Browsing all articles from January, 2010

Addiction: Deficit of the Spirit

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Jan
31

Addiction is a family disease that affects the person abusing as well as family members. Often likened to having “a hole in the soul,” it is a spiritual deprivation that requires the development of an inner spirituality for full recovery.

Spirituality is a connectedness with self, others and a greater power, referred to sometimes as God, or higher power, Source or Universe. Spirituality may be practiced through organized religion or not.

Those who are addicted are disconnected from themselves, from others and from

their Source. They are lonely, scared and confused. Often their lives are out of control and they’ve lost family members, jobs or homes due to their addiction.

The stress of living with someone who is addicted can have numerous effects. Physical problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, insomnia, colitis or heart disease. Emotional problems include anger, irritability, loneliness, guilt, resentment and depression. A person may find themselves withdrawn, isolated, embarrassed, aggressive and controlling. Hopelessness and lack of faith may also befall a person living with an addict.

Spiritual coaching can help both the addict and those living with one. The goal is to support the movement from a place of dis-ease to a place of happiness and peace. All problems are spiritual problems in the sense that they arise when we feel disconnected from the Source of our being. Spiritual coaching supports a movement from an experience of disconnect to one of deep connection. The effects of coaching is to experience more peace and joy, a deepening of relationships, a stronger connection to God and others, finding true purpose and being present in a way that reflects inner love.

Pat Hastings is a licensed Chemical Dependency Professional with more than 20 years of experience. She is a spiritual coach, retreat and workshop leader and inspirational speaker. She is author of the book “Simply a Woman of Faith,” and the recently released CD: “How to Pray and Get Results: 10 Tips to Have Your Prayers Answered.” Contact her at  or call 401-521-6783.

Conscious Detachment

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Jan
31

Do you want peace in your life? Do you want to feel respected and loved? Learning Conscious Detachment can dramatically improve your relationships with your loved ones so they will also feel respected and loved.

What is Conscious Detachment? It’s emotionally separating from a person.  It’s the freedom to own what’s yours and allow other’s to own what’s theirs. When we detach, we let go of our obsession with another’s behavior and begin to lead happier and more manageable lives, lives with dignity and rights, lives guided by a power greater than ourselves.

There are behaviors that can give us clues that we need to detach which

include, but are not limited to; obsessing about another person, feeling like a victim, making excuses for another person, worrying, depression, not sleeping, overeating, blaming others, nagging, trying to manipulate, feeling out of control, feelings of urgency that we need to do something or fix someone, feeling guilty that it’s our fault.

Detachment is difficult because of our need to control. We may fear that if we let go of control, something bad will happen. Control is an illusion. We may not trust that the person we need to detach from will  make the right decision on their own and that they need our advice. People are often unaware that they have a need to control and are surprised when someone tells them that they are controlling.

Refusing to feel is a sign that we may be controlling. Controlling behavior requires denying, ignoring our own needs and feeling resentful when our needs are not met. When we try to control others and that includes adult children, we don’t give them choices and that’s not loving or respectful.

Examples of controlling behavior may be quiet anger, disapproval, being nice, silence, apologizing, guilt, reminders, suggestions, lectures, complaining, pouting, being hurt and refusing to ask for what we need.

CONSCIOUS DETACHMENT IS A CHOICE

It’s getting the focus off changing another person no matter how much we love them. We begin to focus on ourselves and what needs to be changed in us. This is where the power is. It’s getting the focus off the past – what we’ve done, not done, what someone has done to us or not done.

It’s not focusing on the future with all the “what if’s.” It’s allowing ourselves to feel our feelings, letting them go, being in the present moment and trusting in a power greater than ourselves.

Taken from Ivanla Vanzant’s book “Tapping the Power Within”

Detachment is:

  • We care, but don’t intrude.
  • We honor people and their process even if it looks dysfunctional to us.
  • We allow people to learn, grow and unfold at their own pace.
  • We trust and respect people enough to let them live their own lives.
  • We hold no expectation or judgements about what their process looks like or how long it will take.
  • We ask them what direction they are choosing for themselves.
  • We trust that divine order will guide them.
  • We remember how our learning, growing healing process must have looked to others and we offer compassion that we didn’t  receive.
  • We trust that people can make it on their own.

 
DETACHING WITH LOVE IS A PROCESS

  • Get honest with our feelings
  • Talk to people we trust and understand us
  • Get in touch with Higher Power, ask for help and pray
  • Dump all anger and resentment

 
The first step in detaching with love is to begin taking responsibility for our own behavior.  This means that we can no longer blame our loved ones for the way we feel. No one makes us feel anything. It’s our reaction to the behavior that causes us pain, anger, resentment and disappointment. We lose ourselves when we become so involved in another’s behavior. Regaining our self-respect and self-esteem is a big benefit of detaching with love.
 
The next step in detaching with love is acceptance. Acceptance is the
key. Acceptance doesn’t mean that we necessarily feel ok about
current or past situations. It means that we stop trying to change
what we have no power over.  Acceptance brings PEACE. Acceptance
is letting go of control and accepting what is.

In the Hallway – Mastering Your Fears

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Jan
31

How many of you have been in the hallway “when one door is closing or has closed and the other door hasn’t opened up yet?”  Sometimes the door is closed through no fault of your own –you lose a job, a relationship ends, a loved one dies.  Sometimes, you choose to close the door yourself because you want something different  – to feel more alive and fulfilled.  Either way, it’s not always a fun place to be and can be very scary.

Being in the hallway can be a place where your faith muscles grow – if you let them.  It can be a place where you learn patience and

trust, especially when it looks like nothing is happening.  Many of us struggle and complain and bang on the door begging God to open the new door NOW.  We try to bargain with God – I will do this God if you please give me what I desire and need.

You may feel so scared that you think about going back and opening the old door if you could, even though you know in your heart it’s not the right thing to do and you don’t want to do it.  Or you can surrender and wait patiently; knowing God is in control and has your good in mind.  When you surrender and accept “what is”, you will have peace.

I struggle with “being in the hallway” because I can’t see what the next opportunity or open door will look like. Yes, I visualize and see it in my mind what I want it to look like. But there are no guarantees. Here’s where practicing faith comes in.  Often when the new door is opened, it’s better than we could have

ever imagined.

Like most of us, I like to be in control and know exactly what’s going on around me. I’m learning to “let go and let God” when I’m in the hallway. I practice “acting as if” everything is ok and I’m exactly where I need to be, trusting in God’s divine plan and timing.

I just came out of the hallway and a new door has opened for me.  For the past year, I prayed about leaving my job of 20 years

as a therapist to go full time working for God.  As the author of Simply a Woman of Faith, I wanted to promote and market my book, as well as lead retreats and give inspirational talks.

During the discernment period, God gave me many signs that I was on the right path and following His calling. In my heart and soul, I knew it was God’s plan and that He would provide.  I told myself “God is my employer and the benefits will be heavenly.”  Even though I knew I was on the right path, I still had fear.

Shortly after I gave my notice at work, I had what I call a “Fear Attack.”  I felt overwhelmed and doubted if I made the right decision.  All the “what if’s” and negative thinking came crashing down on me, like a giant wave.  I said things like “You have to be crazy leaving your job when people are losing jobs left and right and the economy is at its worst.  At your age, you’ll never find a good job like the one you have now. It’s not too late to tell your boss you changed your mind.”

I knew I was in trouble and had to pray and change my thinking.  When I come into the presence of God and Spirit, I change.  Prayer changes me on the inside.

I allowed myself to feel my fear and then told myself the truth – “I am a divine and powerful spiritual being and am one with God.  I will no longer be ruled by my fears.  Fear is useless, what is needed is trust. Ultimately it is up to me to save myself from fear; nobody could do it for me.”

Developing faith muscles takes commitment and discipline.  It is not the absence of fear. It’s facing the fear and doing it anyway.  As we get closer to manifesting our dreams into reality and the bigger the dream, the old beliefs and feelings will often surface. At these times, it’s important to pray, meditate, visualize, journal and come back to the truth. God is your source and when you step out in faith, doors and opportunities will open up wide.

Mastering your fears, doubts and anxieties is surely the highest task that is given to you in this life time. If you can master your fear, you can go forth into the world and help others to master their fear.

Overcoming your fears requires work, discipline and faith. Faith will give you the ability to believe in something that has no proof and in turn will help you create something seemingly impossible. Without faith, you cannot believe and without belief you cannot create.

Listening to the Small Still Voice Within for Divine Assignments

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Jan
31

That voice may be referred to as God, Intuition, Spirit, Higher Self, Soul, Higher Power or Universe. People often ask me, “How do you know it’s God giving you messages about someone and not just your own voice?” The answer is: “I don’t always know.  It’s only afterwards when people tell me it was exactly what they needed to hear.”

Sometimes it’s scary, my heart pounds and I want to walk the other way when I receive

a message for someone. At those times, I need to let go of my ego and not worry about what others will think of me. I’ve learned to let go of the outcome.

It’s about trusting that God has a Divine Assignment if I’m willing to listen and follow through when I receive a message for someone. It often seems like it comes out of nowhere and just pops into my head. I feel a quickening in my spirit, and then I listen and am still.

Listening and following through are key elements. Usually, when I don’t want to do something, it’s a signal that it’s from Spirit. Sometimes I know what I’m going to say and the message is clear. Other times, I have no idea and the message comes when I open my mouth. I trust it will come and it always does.

I no longer question when I hear the small still voice of God within.  It may not make sense to me, but I do it anyway and then watch the miracles unfold. The following story is one of them.

Mary lived a few blocks away, but I had never just walked to her house to say hello. While taking my walk this one day, I felt a strong pull from Spirit to go to her house.  I had no idea why I was being led there, but found myself taking a right turn into her neighborhood.  I felt disappointed when I arrived because her car wasn’t there.  Did I not hear you right God? I thought you were leading me.

When I arrived home, I called Mary and left a message that I had visited her. Is there a message you want me to give her God? And the words came. “Believe in yourself, your gifts and trust your journey.”  I hung up not knowing if the words meant anything to her. I didn’t hear from Mary for several days and quickly placed it out of my mind.

Mary called when she returned home, very excited. “Pat, you are not going to believe it.  I really needed to hear your message the day you called.  The timing was divine. You had no idea that I was away for a few days at a “Journey” workshop.

During the workshop, the leader suggested I take a break and go outside for a walk because of my feelings of frustration with the process. Others in the group seemed to be getting it, but nothing seemed to be happening with me.

I listened to my telephone messages when I returned to the group.  And there you were with your message.

We Are All Connected

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Jan
31

God  often speaks to me and gets my attention through the use of symbols. My two symbols are the butterfly and the turtle. I didn’t realize until recently how I must embrace both energies to live a balanced and fulfilling life. The turtle and the butterfly teach me many lessons and I am grateful for both.  I believe we are all connected and can learn from one another.

For two days in a row, I put my turtle necklace on that my son gave me for Christmas.  I didn’t consciously plan it, but I wore two different butterfly shirts on both days.  As I looked in the mirror admiring my necklace, my eyes immediately fell to the butterfly on my shirt and I had an “Ah” moment.  I knew in my spirit that it wasn’t a coincidence that the turtle was so close to the butterfly.

The turtle is grounded, connected  to the earth and Spirit.  It moves slowly, but steadily.  It doesn’t appear to be in a rush and is content with its progress.   It doesn’t have to be anywhere so it enjoys the journey and it trusts that it is exactly where it needs to be.  It knows when to rest, be still and just be. The turtle is not afraid to just be and moves with confidence.  It knows when to go in and protect and nourish itself.  It also knows when to stick its head out into the world, take action and move. The turtle accepts “what is” and understands that having his head in or out are both essential parts of its journey.

How I want to be like the turtle and embrace its energy and wisdom.  For me, sticking out my head may be moving in faith when I’m afraid and don’t feel good enough or deserving.  Or it may be speaking up and confronting someone when I don’t want to.  It may be just having fun and letting my passions run wild.  Like the turtle, I go within and connect with God for wisdom, peace, and guidance.  I know everything I need is inside of me.

The butterfly has freed itself from its cocoon after much struggle and strain.  No longer is it a caterpillar crawling on the ground for others to step on.  It’s able to fly and soar in freedom.  It goes where it wants to go bringing beauty and Love for all to see.  It’s free to do and be what it wants to be.  Its wings flutter and it goes from tree to bush and back up into the sky.

I like to think of myself as a butterfly as I allow the wind and spirit to carry me wherever it wants to take me.  It’s called “going with the flow or in  the flow.”  I am a butterfly when I use my gifts and talents for the good of all those around me.  For many years, I struggled to set myself free from my own self-imposed cocoon of not believing and loving myself.  My inner voice tried to stop me by telling me “You’re not good enough or deserving enough.”  But my soul wanted to soar, and with the grace of God, I set myself free to become the woman God created me to be.

God Answers Prayers

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Jan
31

I have been thinking about you since the “I Can Do It” conference in Florida last week.  You touched my heart so deeply and I am very grateful. I had been praying for a mentor and signs to help me move forward with writing my book.  I prayed for FAITH. The first night of the conference  a woman introduced herself to me, and her name was Faith.  I knew God was trying to get my attention when you stopped at my booth on Saturday and you showed me your book, Simply a Woman of Faith. I was amazed when you found me the next day and told me that God wanted you to give me your book, especially after sharing that you gave one to Wayne Dyer and one to Louise Hay. Not only were you led to give me your book, but you wrote a message of faith and inspiration from God. This is a book I will keep near me when I write as the story of our meeting was my sign from God.

I opened your book and randomly read ”You have everything you need, just believe.” All I can say is your story is my story. Like you, I start and stop writing because I get overwhelmed and wonder if my story was just for my healing or if my story will truly help others. My deepest prayer after I read your book from cover to cover is to know HOW you trusted and pushed through the fears or egoic voice that stopped you for so long. I am learning to say to God, “okay if this is what you want, you need to do the rest and give me signs to show me I’m on the right path. YOU WERE MY SIGN.

My intention and purpose is to help people deal with and ultimately heal their grief by taking them on a journey and teaching through my personal experiences and that of a Hospice worker.  I learned so many lessons about how we don’t deal with our feelings and often stuff them which makes the process more difficult and hinders healing.  I plan to donate 10% back to hospice on each book sale.

In my heart of hearts, I really believe that through my experiences over the last eleven years,I can help others face this difficult time with grace and dignity.

Thank you again for offering to be my mentor, God really does work in mysterious ways. I look forward to learning from you and moving forward on my journey of writing my book.

– Sharon Duquette

“The 7 Cousins”

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Jan
31

Before this past weekend at Lasalette Retreat House, we never considered ourselves a special group of people, rather just 7 girls who happen to be related and enjoy each others company. However, it was through our label “The 7 Cousin’s” that we grew to have an appreciation of our cluster being something unique that we could call our own.  We grew an extraordinary bond together and never dreamed that this retreat would be such a positive experience for each one of us. The weekend was packed with such genuine power, prayer, understanding and spirituality.

I speak for all of us when I say that we have accredited our journey to both Pat Hastings and our mothers. This past June our mothers attended one of Pat’s retreats and asked Pat if she would be willing to have one for all of us.  Of course when they returned home anxious with this news, how could we turn down their offer? Nevertheless, when the weekend rolled around we all found ourselves in similar thoughts of hesitation and doubtfulness, especially at this time of year.

It wasn’t until our first group session on Friday night that I felt secure this weekend was something we all needed and made the right choice to attend. Pat’s first activity seemed simple in essence. “Just name one thing you like about yourself.” As each person struggled before my turn, I thought “How can this person not think of just one thing they like, I can think of plenty for them?” I knew we all needed to do something to help each other see what great qualities we possessed. I decided we should each write down one thing we like about each other and then share it together Saturday night.  What happened next is honestly something that none of us would have expected. We found ourselves huddled in a room together for hours after Saturdays activities ended. We did a great deal of talking, listening, and giving inspiration and advice to one another. The compassion and thoughtfulness that we experienced with one another is something that we will cherish forever.

Although the experience we had as a group of cousins was amazing and unforgettable, we must also acclaim our joyfulness to the rest of the women in our group.  In addition to sharing similar expectations and beliefs as ourselves, each individual brought something special to our weekend.  By the end of the retreat we felt a connection with each one of them, as if they had been in our lives forever. We could not have imagined the amount of relationships that would be formed. I have to believe now that in the words of Pat, “There are truly no accidents in life”. We all attended that weekend for a reason, and on behalf of all of my cousins, I would like to thank Pat for sharing her spirituality and wisdom with all of us. We will never be able to express how much it meant for us to come together and trust each other the way we did.

– Jill Fain

Godincidence On the Beach

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Jan
31

I woke up feeling very depressed about the current events in my life, past and present. A painful divorce, two surgeries and no money in the bank were weighing heavenly on my mind.  I went to the beach to ask God a few tough questions. I was screaming inside. PLEASE help me. I walked on the beach and heard a faint voice within -“Keep walking.” I was trying so hard to trust God and understand what was going on.

I noticed the Jerry and Esther Hicks book sitting on the beach chair asI kept walking.  I wondered who was reading the book because I had just finished reading a book by the same authors. Curiosity made me wait around until the person came back who was reading the book.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a woman with a long purple coat coming toward me. She smiled and we said hello to one another.  I immediately asked her about the book and the conversation began – and lasted for 4 hours. Pat invited me to lunch and by the time we left, I knew everything would be alright. That was my introduction to Pat Hastings, Simply a Woman of Faith. She was the answer to my prayers.

She spoke with me as though she new my score. She shared her experiences and I shared mine. It was so easy to open up to her as she listened intently to my story. She seemed to really care. In our conversation, Pat shared that she was an author and had written a book and released a new CD. I was really taken back when she offered to give me a copy of her book as a gift “knowing that I didn’t have any money.”  She said her book would give me hope.  I thanked her and told her I would read the book by the weekend and get back to her.

I started the book that night and couldn’t put it down. I loved it and finished it in one sitting.  Her message of faith, hope and Godincidences came through every page. I knew if she could get through the things that she did, so could I.

The following week I went off my prescribed pain medication.  I didn’t know how scary and painful this withdrawal would be.  And I didn’t know if and when it would ever end. I remembered Pat was also an alcohol and drug counselor. I immediately called her for help. Her soothing voice of love and compassion lead me through the process. She prayed with me on the phone and her prayer’s were reassuring and helped me relax.

I know that I have a new friend and that God is working in my life. Pat was clearly my guiding light. I am so grateful for her and our “GODincidence” that beautiful day on the beach.

– Derek Drinon

On the Journey

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Jan
31

Mary lived a few blocks away, but I had never just walked to her house to say hello. While taking my walk this one day, I felt a strong pull from Spirit to go to her house.  I had no idea why I was being led there, but found myself taking a right turn into her neighborhood.  I felt disappointed when I arrived because her car wasn’t there.  Did I not hear you right God? I thought you were leading me.

When I arrived home, I called Mary and left a message that I had visited her. Is there a message you want me to give her God? And the words came.  “Believe in yourself, your gifts and trust your journey.”  I hung up not knowing if the words meant anything to her.  I didn’t hear from Mary for several days and quickly placed it out of my mind.

Mary called when she returned home, all excited. “Pat, you are not going to believe it.  I really needed to hear your message the day you called.  The timing was divine.  You had no idea that I was away for a few days at a “Journey” workshop.

During the workshop, the leader suggested I take a break and go outside for a walk because I was feeling very frustrated with the process. Others in the group seemed to be getting it, but nothing seemed to be happening with me.

I listened to my telephone messages when I returned to the group.  And there you were with your anointed words from God.  I screamed and immediately gave the phone to my friend to listen too.  After that, everything shifted for me. I felt God’s love and presence and knew I was exactly where I needed to be.  Thank you Pat, you are really connected to God.

– Mary Dambrosio

Divine Intervention

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Jan
31

I was inspired a year ago by reading Pat’s book, for I too am a Woman of Faith.  I immediately felt a shift in my soul as I stood in All That Matters bookstore with her book in hand. There was a connection to Pat that my soul immediately remembered. It was in that moment that I knew I would no longer be afraid to speak my truth.

Pat’s book continued to be a source of inspiration as I continued on my journey of spiritual growth.  I carried it with me almost everywhere I went and this past spring I had the courage to begin writing my own book. What happened after that can only be described as Divine Intervention.

I received a phone call from a friend and inthe middle of the conversation, she said that she wanted me to meet a friend of hers. She said, “You would love her because she too has a strong faith and believes in the power of prayer.” I asked my friend what her name was.  She said, “Pat.”  I replied, “Are you talking about Simply of Woman of Faith, Pat Hastings?”  She gasped.  She said, “Yes, do you know her?”  I said, “No, but I feel like I do.”

I proceeded to tell her that after I read Pat’s book in the summer of 2008, I told my husband in a matter of fact way, “I will meet Pat someday and work with her.” My friend was speechless. There was no question in my mind that the vision I had would become a reality.

I emailed Pat and shared the story of how I came to know of her and what happened with my friend. Within an hour she responded and her words were, “WOW your story gave me chills.”  We set a date to meet and she told me she could help me with my book as well.

On September 3rd we met for the first time, but it was more like old friends reuniting who hadn’t seen each other in many years. I felt like a child on Christmas morning who received exactly what she wanted from Santa Claus.  Not only did Pat help me with the information I needed to proceed with editing and publishing my book, she gave me this opportunity to share this story to be featured in her newsletter and the chance to work with her in the future on her monthly radio show.

– Jayne DeRouin

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Pat Hastings

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host

Simply A Woman of Faith
PO Box 28844
Providence, RI 02908
pat@simplyawomanoffaith.com
401-862-8859