Do you have any memories of your parents saying “hurry up” while you were growing up? I sure do. We were always hurrying to go someplace. I heard “hurry up or you’ll miss the bus or hurry up and get in the car so we won’t be late for the appointment.” There was a panicky feeling inside that if you didn’t hurry, you would miss something or something bad would happen. Consequently, I developed what I call an “inner rusher.”
I never heard, “take your time” honey. Recently, I was behind an elderly gentleman with a walker getting into an elevator. Instead of feeling impatient and trying to get past him to go where I wanted to go, I said “take your time.” He smiled and I felt good. Later on in the day, I had the opportunity to say to another person – take your time. This is a gift I give myself and to another who may be stressed and rushing. This is the peaceful presence that I am inviting into my life. And I invite you to do the same.
Over the years, and especially since I returned from my vacation/retreat in Hawaii a few weeks ago something has shifted and changed inside of me with my relationship with TIME. I lived most of my life with the belief “there is never enough time.” If that is what I believed, then, of course there was never enough time. I always rushed and pushed myself to do more because I didn’t think there was enough time. I now see how much stress I put on myself and how I lost my peace. I changed my thinking to “There is more than enough time to do everything I want to and live my life purpose.”
I have some affirmations that I say daily that help me stay peaceful “My day unfolds in peace, ease and grace and everything I need is streaming toward me, I open my hands and receive.”
My intention in the morning is to be peaceful. I want this with all my heart and soul. Aren’t we all looking for peace? What wouldn’t we do to have that peace that passes understanding and to trust that everything is happening in perfect and divine timing.
Developing a peaceful spirit and presence to all I meet has taken many years to cultivate and practice. When I became aware of what I call my “inner rusher” I knew I needed to change and slow down. I practiced slowing down at work as I walked down the corridor to greet the next patient. I said to myself, “My intention is to be peaceful.” What is interesting is that my co-workers would often say, “I know it’s Pat walking down the hall because she walks so peacefully. It’s nice when others affirm you and it feels really good to be peaceful inside.
Peace is a gift I give myself and give to the world. Here are some other tips that help me stay peaceful.
PAT’S SEVEN TIPS TO LIVE IN PEACE
1. SHOW UP – Develop a daily spiritual practice of prayer and meditation.
2. SLOW DOWN – stop rushing and take your time.
3. ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT – And expect an answer. Be clear about what you want. Visualize and believe.
4. BE GRATEFUL – An attitude of Gratitude is the key to make things manifest quickly. Focus on what you have, rather than what’s missing.
5. FORGIVE YOURSELF AND OTHERS – Holding onto resentment and anger blocks the energy flow and prevents or slows down your ability to manifest your dreams.
6. HAVE FAITH – Your prayers are being answered. Faith is believing what you cannot see. Change your thinking.
7. LET GO OF CONTROL –Trust the process and surrender to “what is.” You are exactly where you need to be.
Holidays can be a stressful and difficult time for many. You hear the Christmas songs on the radio and everybody seems to be so happy and can’t wait to go home for Christmas. You may think, “What’s wrong with me that I’m not feeling that?” You may tell yourself that you should be happy, but the truth of the matter is you are experiencing something completely different-and feeling guilty about it. You may be missing a family member that is no longer with you or dreading seeing a family member that you are not talking to. And the list goes on.
Have you ever felt lonely in the middle of a family gathering, a church service or a group of friends? I have. As they played the AveMaria song in church on Sunday, I felt tears well up in my eyes and a feeling of loneliness engulfed me. I missed my mother who died 42 years ago. Even though there were people around me who I knew loved me, I felt lonely and sad.
Do you allow yourself to feel all of your feelings? Many people stuff their feelings, judge them and shame themselves for having what they perceive as negative feelings. You may stay busy over your feelings or eat or drink. Feelings are not right or wrong. They just are. I am not saying to wallow in your feelings, but I am saying to acknowledge them and then let them go. Feelings are like clouds, they drift away when you allow yourself to feel them.
I have learned to welcome all my feelings and to invite them in to have a cup of tea. I may journal my feelings or talk to a trusted friend about them. Once I give myself permission to feel my feelings, I can release them, let them go- and move on!
It’s amazing what happens when I am honest with myself about what I’m feeling. I am not bad and wrong for feeling lonely and sad. And yes, I am grateful for what I have and the loved ones in my life. I am grateful for many things in my life. I wrote a gratitude list and reached out to someone that I knew was lonely. It worked wonders and my loneliness left as fast as it came.
Give yourself the gift of acknowledging and allowing yourself to feel all of your feelings this season. You will feel freer and more able to feel the love and joy of the season.
Wishing you love, peace and joy.
Daily gratitude is like taking your daily vitamins. When you forget to take your vitamins, you may not feel it immediately, but after awhile you may notice you are not feeling yourself. You then remember your commitment to take your daily vitamins because you want to feel good and be healthy. It’s the same thing with gratitude.
When you forget to be grateful or choose not to be grateful, you don’t feel good. Simple, but not always easy because we often focus on what’s missing in our lives and then feel depressed, self pity, sad and a sense of lack and scarcity invades our soul. Gratitude can totally turn around moments of fear or distress by allowing us to shift our attention from what isn’t working to what is.
When you are grateful and accept everything that is happening in your life, you will experience inner peace and freedom. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is essential for anyone on the spiritual path. The spiritual practice of gratitude has been called a state of mind and a way of life. In every situation, try to find something to be grateful for, and when you find it, your gaze shifts and you are lifted up. Looking for the good allows you to see and appreciate the gifts tucked away in the challenges you face in life school.
I consider myself to be positive and a grateful person. I can usually find the good in what’s happening around me. Maybe not at the moment, but after some reflection and prayer, I am able to accept “what is.” I may not like it, but I accept and trust that it is for my good and part of the bigger plan for my life. I take responsibility for myself and free myself from the self-imposed prison I put myself in by focusing on what’s missing and what I perceive as not good in my life.
But every once in awhile, I relapse, forget what I know to be true and allow the circumstances of my life to get me off track. I feel lost, overwhelmed and confused. It is precisely at these times that I need to put on the armor of gratitude to change the energy around and within me. It is the one tool that guarantees my freedom and peace. I literally force myself to be grateful, especially when that’s the last thing I want to do. I just may want to wallow in my self pity a little longer, but I know that doesn’t work. So, I write in my journal everything I’m grateful for until I cannot think of another thing to write down. It is amazing how the energy shifts. I keep repeating it until I feel the gratitude in my heart return.
If you are really struggling with something in your life and find it hard to be grateful, it’s time to trust. Gratitude and trust go hand and hand. What does it mean to trust? For me, it means trusting that regardless of how things may look like on the outside, that I am safe and in God’s care. It means trusting in a power greater than myself and believing that there is higher plan for my life which is good. I may not know what’s ahead, and that can make it difficult to let go and surrender control of how I think my life should look.
Are you doing the best you can? Are you showing up for life ready to share your gifts and talents? Maybe things are still not going the way you want them to go. It may be a marriage that isn’t working, lack of finances, a job that you hate, grieving the loss of a loved one or being unemployed. It is only in these difficult times of darkness and not knowing what’s going on that we learn to trust and our faith muscles grow stronger. We do not grow on the mountaintop. Mountain top experiences come from being in the darkness and not giving up.
We often give up right before the miracle because of fear. We say we trust but when the s…. hits the fan we often go into fear mode, and it can happen almost automatically without consciously realizing it. Fear can cripple you and make you want to give up and run away. It is in precisely these times that you are given the opportunity to trust in a loving God for your strength and sustenance. You learn that God is all there is and God can be trusted.
Gratitude is a gift you give yourself and it’s free for the taking. Take a daily dose of gratitude, trust in a Power greater than yourself and your life will change.
Happy Holidays and may you always know Gods unconditional love in your heart. It is God’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom and it is your good pleasure to RECEIVE it. I arrived home last night from my two week vacation to Hawaii. It was truly a gift from God with magic and many miracles. Prior to going to Hawaii, I had prepared my heart and soul daily to receive more of God’s love and abundance. I know many people (including myself) who have a hard time receiving because they don’t feel deserving or worthy. This is not the truth. As children of God, it is our divine right to receive abundance, wealth, health, joy, and love.
“I am living my dream” was a recurring theme and affirmation I said to myself while vacationing. Going to Hawaii started with a thought, then a deep desire and then pictures in my intention book that I prayed with for over two years. On one page of my intention book was a picture of a turtle swimming in the ocean in Maui, Hawaii (where I stayed.) Directly across from it was a picture of a man and woman snorkeling in the ocean.
It was next to the last day before my vacation ended and I still hadn’t swum with the turtles and snorkeled yet. I knew it was dangerous to go in the ocean alone and I didn’t have anyone to go with me. Each day as I looked out into the ocean, I kept saying to myself and my friend Ellen (with whom I stayed with and was 84 years old) “I will snorkel and swim with the turtles before I leave, I will do it.” I knew it in my heart, I believed it, but I didn’t know how it would happen.
I took my usual walk after dinner on the night before returning home. I stopped to chat with a couple I had met the week before that I promised to bring my book to. In our conversation, I casually said, “I really want to snorkel and swim with the turtles before I leave tomorrow, but have no one to go with me.” To my surprise, the man said, “Oh, my son Rich has been snorkeling every day since he’s been here. I am sure he would accompany you and I have all the equipment for you to use.”
The next morning, the day I left the beautiful island of Hawaii, my dream came true. Rich and I snorkeled and swam with the turtles for one hour. Words cannot express the excitement, exhilaration, gratefulness, and joy I felt! It was truly an amazing, miraculous moment that I will always treasure and never forget. Turtles are my symbol and I have them all over my house.
Never give up on your dreams, keep believing and trusting. You don’t need to know HOW it will happen. All you need to do is to “Show Up” and believe. Your dreams will come true. And, it always helps to ASK.
While reading Pat’s book, I had just finished the pages about how Pat would hear the
song “Honey” when she was going through a difficult time and needed to be comforted.
At that point, I stopped and asked the Universe for help to live in faith and not fear
because I had been struggling with my financial situation. I asked for some kind of sign.
I walked to the window and looked out toward the ocean expecting to see a rainbow,
which I usually take as a sign of comfort from my Aunt Marion who passed away 15
Having seen nothing, I sat back down and resumed reading Pat’s book. I was now at the part of the book where Pat and her husband were deciding the name of their Christian bookstore and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the name they had chosen, The Alleluia Shop. My mother, who died 5 years ago, was named Alleluia. There was my sign.
I started to sob uncontrollably and knew I had to call Pat. I needed to talk with her and share about my mother and her death, which I had not fully grieved. I didn’t realize how much I had been holding in until the gut-wrenching tears were flowing. As I was sobbing, the phone rang and on the other end was Pat. How did she know to call at that very moment? It was just the day before that she met my partner Cheryl (Pat explained to me afterward that she was calling Cheryl just to say thank you for a wonderful visit.)
I feel so free and was able to fully let go of the anger and resentment about my mother’s alcoholism and how it had affected my life. I was finally able to grieve the loss of her passing. It was a powerful moment and I can’t believe how good I feel now.
As Pat listened to my story, I could feel her love through the phone lines. I felt so renewed and I thank her for the “God Shot.” It was not only a gift from the Universe but a reminder of how we are all connected and there are no coincidences. As Pat says in her book, it’s GODincidences. I am extremely grateful to Pat for writing “Simply a Woman of Faith” and her phone call at the perfect and right time.
Stephanie Roderick, Hawaii
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