Larry and I love to practice and, in fact, look for opportunities to be “Vessels of Love” in our daily life. It may be saying, “Good morning” and smiling at someone on our walk or giving someone a compliment. When we are awake and aware, there are millions of ways to be the presence of God to one another.
Every week we go dancing at a restaurant in Maui called “Mulligans on the Blue.” This Thursday, I witnessed something special when Larry and I were “Vessels of Love” to a young girl on the dance floor. We had already danced a couple of dances and were just sitting and enjoying listening to the jazz band. All of a sudden, this “young girl” appeared on the dance floor dancing all by herself.
All eyes in the room were riveted on her as she twirled around the whole dance floor, raising her arms gracefully. She had a beautiful smile on her face and she was so free and alive. She appeared to not care about what other people thought of her because she was doing what she loved and that was all that mattered. She didn’t have to do it perfectly or try to impress anyone.
Larry looked at me and said, “Do you think I should get up and dance with her?” I immediately said, “Yes.” I will never forget the look in her eyes and the beautiful smile on her face when he joined her on the dance floor. It was priceless watching a 6’ man dancing with this “little angel.” While they were dancing, her mother, Connie, came over to our table (with tears in her eyes) and said to me, “Thank you, it is her birthday today.” She shared that her daughter, Ann, has Down ’s syndrome. My heart was touched and now I had tears in my eyes.
When they finished, the whole room applauded, including members of the band. Why were we all so moved by this simple act of love? Could it be that we were all touched by Ann’s expression of innocence, freedom and love? When Larry came back down to sit down, the man at the next table reached over to him and said, “Well done, thank you for doing that.”
A little while later, Ann came over to me and asked me to dance. Of course, I said, “Yes” and jumped up to dance with her. What a joy it was dancing with her and having so much fun. While we were dancing, Larry went over to her parents table to talk to them. Her mother said, “Ann is 26 years old today (she looked about 12) and we just arrived in Maui today from Australia.”
When we finished dancing, Ann hugged me closely and looked up into my eyes with unconditional love and said, “Thank you.” I went to the band and told them it was her birthday and while they played, we all sang happy birthday to her. I am sure this will be a memorable birthday for her, as it was for us.
My heart was so touched that I had a hard time going to sleep that night and I knew I would be writing a blog about it. I wondered what God was trying to teach me? Dancing is my joy, but I don’t always have the freedom that Ann had. Perhaps my ego gets in the way sometimes because I want to “look good” not make a mistake and be the best.
Ann appeared to be “egoless” in that she didn’t care that she was dancing alone. She was just being herself and having fun. Is this the goal for all of us, to strive to be egoless, live in joy, be ourselves and have fun?
I have read that ego is “Edging God Out.” One of the things ego does is rob us of our peace, bliss and wholeness. We feel separate from others and there is duality. There is no right and wrong, better than or less than, just ego labeling our experiences.
A managed ego state (or egoless state) is free from emotional attachment and reaction from the judgment of others. When ego is attacked or hurt, it does what ego does: fights and hurts back for ego is not love, it is separation.
*What it would be like to be emotionally detached and not react to the judgment of others?
*What would it be like to not take things personally or judge yourself or others harshly?
*What would it be like to not have your way all the time and be flexible?
*What would it be like to acknowledge your mistakes and apologize?
*What would it be like to not have to prove your worth or impress others?
*What would it be like to just be yourself and have fun?
*What would it be like to live in the moment and not worry & live in fear about the future?
*What would it be like to not compare yourself with others?
I think we would experience heaven on earth if we were able to manage our ego and live from love instead of fear. I don’t always recognize when my ego is at work, (especially if I feel “better than or less than” someone else), but I am getting better. When I become conscious and recognize it, I have the opportunity to love, accept and appreciate myself and thank God for showing me the truth.
Thank you Ann for being you, for the truth, for the truth will set me free. I strive to live my life consciously and to live it to the fullest. I want to be detached emotionally from others’ judgments. What a gift it was to be a part of this experience, where the energy of unconditional love caused such happiness and joy for all of us who were present. We truly are all ONE and connected.
I normally start writing my blog on Thursday of the week before I send it out. I am so grateful that I have learned to trust myself and what I need to do in each moment. I knew I didn’t have anything inspiring to write about this week, so I didn’t even sit down at my computer on Thursday. Sometimes, what I need to share just comes when I sit at the computer and pray for inspiration.
I had a sense that I needed to wait until I completed the “Queens Code” (Making Sense of Men) workshop to start the blog. I shared a few weeks ago that I had received a free certificate to attend the “The Queen’s Code” weekend led by Allison Armstrong.
I felt excited about the weekend and what I would learn to make my relationship with Larry and the men in my life even better. I also had the feeling that I was going to meet someone at the workshop that I needed to meet, although I had no idea why or whom it would be.
The morning of the workshop, while in meditation, I heard God say to bring a copy of my book, “Simply a Woman of Faith” and that I was to give it to someone who really needed to read it. I said, “O.K. God, but how will I know who to give it to”? God said, “You will know, I will show you.” I chuckled to myself and imagined myself walking around trying to figure out who looked like they needed more faith.
During the afternoon, I remembered my book sitting in the bottom of my bag and that I hadn’t given it to anyone yet. I had no idea who to give it to. Then I heard God say, “Give it to Allison Armstrong.” I immediately resisted the idea and thought why would she want to read my book? I wanted to ignore this prompting and pretend that I didn’t hear it. I felt embarrassed and clearly didn’t want to give my book to Allison Armstrong.
As much as I wanted to resist the idea of giving my book to Allison, I also wanted to be obedient and listen to what I thought God was asking me to do. I have learned to not question God when I hear him and let go of the outcome and what I will look like. I said, “O.K. God I will give it to her, but I need to run into her.”
At the next break, I left the conference room to go for a walk and brought my bag with me, which I usually left on my seat. As I walked through the lobby of the Marriott Hotel, I noticed a stunning “older woman” (my age) with a beautiful hot pink scarf and matching hat sitting on the couch talking with another woman. We spotted each other at the same time and I was compelled from the across the lobby to compliment her on her outfit. I said, “I love that color pink you have on.” The next thing I knew I was walking toward her and reaching for her hand and asking her who she was.
We introduced ourselves to one another and immediately started sharing our lives. She told me she was a spiritual teacher, healer, and international speaker for the last thirty years, but that for the last year she had been ill and unable to work. She said, “I have been resting and learning about faith and trusting God for all of my needs. God has provided free housing for me and a friend just offered to pay my monthly car payments.”
Of course, I shared with her my experience of being on welfare and food stamps when my husband was out of work for a year. I shared some of the miracles of how we were always provided for each month and I told her about my book.
I had goose bumps throughout my whole body when I realized this is who God wanted me to give my book to, not Allison Armstrong. I told her what happened during my meditation that morning and that God wanted her to have my book.
She thanked me as I handed her my book. We both looked intently into each other’s eyes as if we had known one another for years. I knew this was a divine encounter and “Godincidence” as I call it in my book. We exchanged telephone numbers and I invited her and her friend to come to my home for tea. She said, “I truly believe that we were meant to meet and God has something more for the both of us.”
The break was up and I had to get back to the conference. We hugged each other again and as I looked into her eyes and saw her beauty, I knew it was a reflection of my own beauty. I practically danced away as we both kept saying, “WOW.” I know there will be more to the story that I will be sharing with you as it unfolds.
The lesson for me is that God just wanted to see if I would listen and do what He wanted me to do when I was resistant and didn’t want to do it. Once I said yes and surrendered, then I could be led in another direction while following my intuition and doing what felt right and peaceful in the moment.
As far as the workshop goes, it was great and I learned some new things that I didn’t know. But most of all, I recognized how much inner work, healing and transformation I have done to manifest the most beautiful relationship with the man I love.
My son, Tim, has been on the self-improvement and spiritual path for 12 years and is a Life Coach from Boise, Idaho. He recently invited me to be a part of a powerful online group process called “Self-Love, Self-Acceptance and Self Appreciation.” He designed it to bring people together to share their power with one another for a greater cause other than their own individual use. What a delight it is for me to be a part of this group and witness my son’s teaching about self-love. There is no greater joy for a mother than to see her children live their lives fully and making a difference in the world. I am truly blessed and grateful for my children and who they have become and what they bring into the world.
I have been on this journey of self-love for many years and I believe it is the foundation for everything. When I love myself, I will know how to truly love others. It is important to me because I didn’t love myself growing up and wasn’t taught how to love myself. It was very confusing because I was told I was conceited as a young girl. Coming from an alcoholic home, I was starving for love and looked outside of myself and in all the wrong places for it. I didn’t know that the love I was so desperately craving was inside of me all the time. I looked to others for approval, to love me and tell me I was o.k.
I have heard that LIFE (and the people in our lives) is like a classroom and we are always learning lessons. I believe each lesson is like an “awakening” to see the truth and to set me free to live the life I am called to live as a child of God. It is like peeling an onion and we keep going deeper and deeper into ourselves to see the truth of who we are.
After years of practicing self-love, I wasn’t expecting to have such a powerful “awakening” after our first “Self-love, Self-acceptance and Self -Appreciation” call. Spirit didn’t waste any time because that night something “showed up” with Larry that I needed to process.
Larry and I love to dance and we have great chemistry together, for the most part! He has been learning some new difficult dance steps and was trying to teach them to me on the dance floor. Not a good idea because I had no idea what he was doing and tried to follow him to the best of my ability. I could see the look in his eyes and the frustration on his face when I screwed it up royally. I have always had pride in myself for being a great follower. But, I wasn’t following him and started to feel “inadequate” and judged myself to be “not good enough.” Needless to say, I wasn’t in a good mood when we left the dance.
I was quiet at first when we got in the car because I didn’t want to just dump on him. He knew something was up and turned to me and said, “I love you, Sparkle.” I then decided to share my feelings and communicate because being quiet was an “old behavior” and it didn’t feel very good.
After I shared my feelings of “inadequacy” about my dancing with him, he immediately apologized for being a “jerk” and took responsibility for his actions. He said, “It’s not you, it’s me and my ego. I am frustrated because I cannot remember the steps I have been learning so I haven’t been able to lead you. I know that is unfair to you and I am sorry.”
Wow, I wasn’t expecting that admission from him because I judged myself and thought it was my fault. We talked for quite a while in the car and I felt better when I left. The next day, while journaling and in prayer, some awareness came up for me about my lack of self-love and acceptance. I spent the day going within to process what happened and what I want and don’t want in our dancing experience. I wrote 7 pages in my journal and gained clarity about how I have internalized and allowed what others think of me and how they treat me to be the barometer of how I judge and treat myself. Larry was frustrated with himself (and me) because he couldn’t remember the steps he learned and I wasn’t following him. I took on his frustration and assumed it meant that I was inadequate and “not good enough.”
If my self-love and acceptance was at 100% (which no one’s is,) I would have realized in the moment that it was his frustration and that I didn’t need to buy into it & create and my own story. Feeling inadequate and “not good enough” are old core beliefs that reared their ugly head-again! I forgave myself and wrote a gratitude list.
The truth is it’s about me and how I treat and love myself. I cannot control how others treat me, but I can control how I love, accept and appreciate myself. Through this experience, I was able to give myself the love, acceptance and appreciation that I have craved from others. What a gift and opportunity to see the truth and to see how I have grown and learned to communicate and get my needs met. I felt so empowered after Larry and I discussed what I will and will not do on the dance floor! And the best part is we had a fantastic time on the dance floor this Saturday night.
After my daughter-in –law, Suzie, died 7 years ago, while still at her wake, my son handed me her pewter angel with the inscription, “Let Miracles Find You.” He said, “Mom, Suzie wants you to have this.” I often think about what it means to “Let Miracles Find Me.” It means that I trust God is with me and that I am never alone. It means that God will “show up” in the perfect and right timing and guide me with what to do next in my life. It means that I “show up” daily and watch for miracles to unfold. I wrote a story called “Let Miracles Find Me” about the miracles surrounding Suzie’s death, but never did anything with it until NOW.
Lately, I have been practicing letting miracles find me. Rather than the old behaviors of pushing and trying to make things happen, I am now allowing things to flow and come to me. It’s not that I sit in my house and do nothing; it’s more about an “attitude of calm knowingness” inside of me that all is well and what I have prayed for is on its way.
For example, my friend, Max, was leading a workshop on “Attracting Your Soul Mate” a few weeks ago and asked me if I was interested in hosting the workshop at my home. I said, “Yes.” A couple of days before the workshop a woman, who I had never met before, stopped by to give me a deposit. While she was at my house, she asked, “Would you be interested in hosting an event that I am sponsoring in a few weeks? “
I was curious and asked what the event was about. She said, “It’s called “Making Sense of Men.” Now that perked my interest, not that I need to learn more about men at my age! She told me it was a free workshop for women only, and there would be an opportunity for the women to register for “The Queen’s Code” Workshop at the end of the evening.
“The Queen’s Code Workshop” led by Allison Armstrong was a 2-day weekend workshop, held for the first time in Hawaii, on November 8 & 9. The price online was $849, but women would get a great discount by attending the event at my house. And, if I hosted the event, I would get a special discount.
What I found fascinating was that I had just heard about Allison Armstrong the week before at my WOW (Women of Wisdom) sharing group. My friend, Kati, had taken workshops with Allison and raved about what she had learned about men from the workshop. I had never heard of Allison Armstrong until last week.
“Was this a miracle finding me?” I wondered. I immediately said” yes” to hosting the workshop because I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. The event was a great success and I learned some things about men that I didn’t know. Twenty- three women packed into my living room and it was so much fun.
At the end of the evening, as women signed up for the 2 day workshop in November, Linda handed me a $400 certificate off the online price. It was a great price, but it was still almost $500 which I didn’t want to part with. I thanked her and told her I wasn’t sure if I would use it. Two days later, I received a call from Linda. She said, “Pat, you did so much work hosting the event that I was able to pull some strings and get you a free certificate to attend the “The Queen’s Code.” Would that work for you?” I said, “Thank you, that will work just fine.” I guess I needed it because it came to me! I am expecting to learn lots more about men. Larry already calls me the QUEEN and treats me like a queen. How much better can it get than this?
On another note, I received an email from my book coach, Lisa Tener a few weeks ago informing me of an opportunity to submit one of my inspirational stories to “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Miracles” 101 Inspirational Stories of Faith, Answered Prayers, and Divine Intervention.
“They were looking for: Powerful, amazing stories about miracles and hope — stories that make people say “wow” when you tell them — stories that will give our readers chills. If you have such a story we would love to publish it.”
After I prayed about it, I remembered the story I had written 7 years ago when Suzie died. It was called, “Let Miracles Find Me.” I asked myself, “Is this God’s timing?” It seemed perfect to send it in so I sent it in today. Who knows, perhaps my story will be chosen as one of the stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul.
Do you believe you get what you need when you need it and at the perfect and right timing? It may not be your timing, but it is always God’s perfect timing. I believe everything happens for a reason and it’s always for my highest good and the good of others. I’ve learned to expect God’s favor and miracles and to look for signs that I’m on the right track.
At times, we are our own worst enemies. Our critical “inner voice” is formed from our early life experiences. Without realizing it, we tend to internalize attitudes that were directed toward us by parents or influential caretakers throughout our development. Once we know where our self sabotaging thoughts come from, we can start to differentiate the negative identity we have cast upon ourselves. We can familiarize ourselves with our critical “inner voice” and notice when it starts to seep in to our thought process. As we do this, we can start to recognize ways we act that we don’t like or respect. It is like being a detective to recognize my “inner critic” and it takes diligence and commitment to change it.
I have been on the journey of loving myself and self- care for many years and that includes changing my critical “inner voice.” I am learning to love & trust myself more deeply as I trust the process and live in the moment. I experience peace when I follow my intuition and know what I want.
Through a series of events, I realized how I unconsciously self-sabotage myself. Self-sabotaging behaviors are often hidden from our everyday thoughts. I know that when starting something new, a part of us is going to resist the change and fear may come up. That could be a new job, a new relationship, a move, a birth, a new career. It takes courage to do something you haven’t done before and often doubts will arise.
This week I bumped into old behaviors that reared their ugly head. The good news is that I recognized the behaviors and therefore had a choice as to what I wanted to do to change them. Being in a new relationship with Larry is wonderful and I am so grateful that he is in my life, but intimacy with a partner heals us by bringing up old unconscious pain to the surface so it can be resolved and released. Closeness with another brings up our fears of abandonment and rejection, and their close relatives on the other side of the pendulum, fears of entrapment and commitment. Intimacy means in-to-me-see.
Both are two sides of the same coin. They are fear of losing love, and fear of losing self.
These fears come up in all intimate relationships to be dealt with and healed. They are behind all behaviors of clinging, distancing, controlling, protecting, numbing out, aggression, passive-aggression, and extreme, fear-based independence.
The important thing is to be able to recognize our fears and behaviors and not block God’s flow of good into your life. I put my book “to bed” and didn’t look at it for one year because I was afraid to move forward. I didn’t identify it as fear at the time and said to myself, “I just don’t want to do it.”
But the truth is I was filled with fear, but not ready to admit it and face it. If I hadn’t faced my fear and written my book, I would not be enjoying the life I have now. Today, when fears or doubts arise, I pray and affirm my faith in God’s healing power.
Here is how I unconsciously almost sabotaged my relationship with Larry this week. I had to “check out” things a few times that I was imagining in my head and found out that I was making up stories that weren’t true. I stress myself out needlessly because of the unconscious fear of losing him. Our relationship is so good that “It’s too good to be true” may have been playing in the background. I have changed that to “It’s good and it’s true.” Because of this fear, I found myself distancing from him in small ways. If I push him away, I can’t be hurt as I have been in the past.
What has also come to the light is how I sabotage myself by wanting to do things perfectly and put pressure on myself to know something before I have even been taught. Sometimes my expectations of myself are unrealistic. When I am stressed and put pressure on myself, I am my own worst enemy. I wrote this in my journal this week. No more pressure, only pleasure.
Along with the perfectionism was the need to rush and have it all NOW rather than be patient and trust the process. The old behavior of trying so hard to make it right and control things were evident in my life. Can you relate?
The way out of this is through it. I first became aware of my feelings and behaviors and how I was sabotaging myself because of fear. I wanted things to be perfect and was rushing to have it all NOW. As I worked through it and was able to see the truth, I was able to share honesty with Larry about my experience. I allowed myself to be vulnerable and faced my fears. I now understand that patience and trust in God are important ingredients on the road to intimacy and healing.
When Larry came to my door tonight he said, “I think you have a problem with your water pipe.” I came out and followed him down the long driveway to the road. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the water gushing out of the pipe into the air and running down the road. I had no idea how long it had been going on or what to do about it. Larry ran to his car to get a tool and tried to stop it, but to no avail.
Then I remembered! I had the plumber’s telephone number in my phone because he had just called me a couple of hours earlier concerning my kitchen faucet that was leaking.
I immediately called the plumber and was so happy that I didn’t get his answering machine. I desperately explained the problem to him. He said, “I will be there in 5 minutes.” I had no idea that he lived one street away and I don’t think it was 5 minutes before his truck pulled up. He took one look at the water gushing out of the pipe and said, “We have a big problem here.” I could have told him that. He called the owner on the mainland to inform him of the problem and to get his permission to fix it.
He was then able to shut off the main water valve and the gushing water stopped. Luckily he had a replacement fitting to replace the one that had cracked. The next thing I knew it was fixed and we thanked him for coming over so quickly.
Larry and I just looked at each other stunned how easily and effortlessly it was fixed. We kept thanking God for the synchronicity and timing of everything. If Larry hadn’t come over at that time, I wouldn’t have known that the pipe was gushing out hundreds of gallons of water. If I hadn’t called the landlord a couple of days ago, the plumber would not have come over today to look at the kitchen faucet. If he hadn’t called me today, I wouldn’t have had his telephone number in my phone.
God is interested in the details of our lives. I experience miracles all the time which makes me know that I am not alone and am taken care of. It was ironic because this gushing water in the pipe had nothing to do with my faucet in the sink. God knew that I would need a plumber for this emergency.
On a more personal note, I’d like to share my spiritual lesson for the week. I am learning to take myself lightly and laugh at myself. Many years ago I learned the importance of saying no, especially to my children. Of course, they didn’t like it because they liked me being a people pleaser and getting what they wanted. I know that was the best thing I could have done for myself and for them because I taught them how important it was to love themselves and say no-without feeling guilty.
Over the last few years I’ve been sharing with Larry the importance of loving himself first and not being a people pleaser. He has also witnessed how I love myself. Wow, it came back to bite me in the butt. I didn’t like it when he actually put himself first when it had to do with me. I was surprised, shocked, hurt and angry when he clearly and kindly said what he was going to do, which was not what I wanted him to do. I shared my feelings with him and really saw my “childish behavior” in action. I sulked and was quiet for a while. I then prayed because I knew I needed divine intervention because of how angry I felt. He said to me, “This is our first disagreement.” I barked at him and said, “No, this is a fight.” Then backed down and said, “Ok it’s a disagreement.”
We had lunch and I was able to explain to him how I perceived his actions and why it felt so hurtful. He listened and explained his reasons for doing what he needed to do for himself. By then, I was starting to soften and was able to smile. Even though I was beginning to calm down, I found myself dropping some snide remarks as we walked around Costco.
I am so grateful for the power of prayer that helped me move forward so quickly. I was then inspired with a plan that both of our needs were met. We both agreed to the new plan and I was able to laugh at myself for my childish behavior. I didn’t realize what a good teacher I had become and how well Larry learned the lesson of loving himself first.
The next day Larry shared with me that whenever he thought about our little disagreement , he burst out laughing because he saw the humor in my “little girl” behavior. I am grateful that he was so patient and didn’t escalate the situation.
I am grateful for the opportunities to grow and change and laugh at myself. It would have been so easy to beat up on myself and obsess about it, but instead I was able to love and forgive myself.
As my birthday approached this week, I promised myself that I would not let anything or anyone rob me of my joy and peace, like I have done in the past in regards to my birthday. Being forgotten on my birthday by a family member year after year left a lasting memory. I reminded myself that was the past and this was the present.
I wanted to celebrate my birth and have a great birthday, and I did. My mantra was “I am open to receive (without judgment) whatever and whoever wants to give to me on my birthday.”
It was overwhelming and humbling when I received so many happy birthday wishes from Facebook friends, especially friends that I graduated high school with 50 years ago. My beloved, Larry, who calls me his QUEEN made me feel very special. We had a glorious day celebrating my birthday with dinner and a show. He bought me a beautiful topaz ring that I love and sent me 2 cards with poems that he wrote for me. How much better does it get than this? It is true, good things come to those who wait.
My friends and family called to wish me a happy birthday and sent cards and gifts and I truly felt loved. My women’s’ WOW group (Women of Wisdom) had a birthday cake for me and my friend, Kati, took me out to lunch and brought me lovely gifts and 2 roses.
What I have learned is that I can ask for what I want, but that doesn’t mean the other party will deliver, especially family members. I know that if I ask, there is at least a chance that I will be heard and get what I want as I have shared in past blogs.
When I am not heard and don’t get what I want, I have several choices: I can speak up & share my disappointment, I can shut up & detach, I can be grateful for “what is”, I can let go & accept, I can focus on what I do have, I can hold a resentment and feel like a victim, or I can live in my joy no matter what anyone does or doesn’t do. You see, I am not responsible for the actions of others- what they do or don’t do, what they say or don’t say. I am only responsible for my own actions and reactions and that is plenty enough to take care of.
In the past, when I didn’t know any better, I tried to guilt family members to do what I wanted them to do. They may have done what I wanted them to do once to get me off their back, but it was only temporary. People will do what they want to do and that is really what I want, because it will come from their heart. Today I know that if someone does something or gives me something, it is because they want to and not because they should or out of guilt.
I have learned to do what I want to do because it feels good and it is the loving thing to do. I don’t do what I don’t want to do (if it is not hurting another). I resist if I sense that someone is trying to guilt me into doing something that I don’t want to do. That once worked, but it doesn’t anymore.
I have had a history of taking things personally and thinking it was all about me when a loved one didn’t do what I wanted them to do. I know today that it usually has nothing to do with me. What a relief and blessing it is to know this for myself and for the people who love me and I love. I caused myself undue stress and pain for many years because I thought I wasn’t loved or deserving because someone didn’t do what I asked and wanted them to do. I needed to change my thinking and realize not everyone has the same love language as me.
Of course, it is wonderful to be loved and to love another person. That is what makes the world go around and I am very grateful for the love in my life. I have learned that when I look to another to fill up my tank because it is empty, I give my power away and feel like a victim when I don’t get what I want.
Nobody can give to me what I can give to myself. The love that I want and deserve is my own love and God’s love. When I don’t get what I want from another, I don’t have to wait around because I can give it to myself. For example, I buy myself flowers, cards or something special just for me. I take myself out for dinner or lunch when I want to.
The spiritual journey is about knowing what is mine and what is not mine. It is about knowing what I can and cannot control. I cannot control what another person does or doesn’t do no matter how hard I try. Trying to control another person is futile and disrespectful and it just doesn’t work.
The good news is that I know what I can control and change and that is me: my actions, my thoughts, my reactions and my attitudes. Today, I take responsibility for all of my choices, actions and trust the process of life, knowing that I attract everything and every situation into my life for my highest good.
As I prepare for my workshop “Loving Yourself is the Key to True Happiness” this month in Maui, I have been thinking and talking about happiness and what makes me happy. Is it possible to be happy all the time? I believe that happiness is an inside job and it doesn’t depend upon outside circumstances i.e. how much money I make, my job, how I look, where I live, how other people treat me, etc. Of course, being out of work or not having enough money to pay the rent or buy food, or suffering from depression or a chronic illness will make it more difficult to feel happy.
Happiness is a choice that I choose to make for myself every day. I have a picture in my living room that says “The purpose of life is to be happy.” It is a false belief to think that when things change, (a new job, relationship, more money), I will be happy. The truth is that when I am happy, things will change. I asked myself, “Am I only happy when things are going my way and I am getting what I want in life? Can I be happy when things aren’t going my way and there is a lot on my plate?”
I believe the answer is yes if I stay in an attitude of gratitude, knowing that whatever I am experiencing is for my highest good and soul’s growth. It is not easy but it is a daily decision to live in the moment, to let go, trust God, not complain, worry, and live in fear. I have read that we are as happy as we want to be. I don’t know about you, but I want to be as happy as I can be.
I can truly say that I have never been happier in my life. I do believe that is partly because I have learned to love myself and give myself what I need. I have learned to not depend on others to make me happy. Sure, I am living my dream and manifested my soul mate and am living in a beautiful home on the ocean. That certainly makes me very happy – and that took 15 years to manifest. But if I am honest, before I manifested this, I was happy and grateful for my life as it was. Is that the key – to be grateful, content and happy where I am, and with what I have, and still be open to receive more abundance, new possibilities and new horizons in my life?
There are many activities that contribute to my happiness such as spending time and connecting with family and friends, using my gifts in the world, just BEING, seeing a beautiful sunset, playing at the ocean, relaxing, taking a hot bath, sipping a glass of wine over dinner, dancing, getting a massage, writing, praying and meditating, laughing and having fun, reading a good book, swimming in the hotel pools in Maui, eating dark chocolate or a delicious dinner, to name a few.
I recently had an opportunity to practice an attitude of gratitude, even though I didn’t like what was happening and I wasn’t happy about it. I had a mammogram and wasn’t expecting to hear that they found something and I needed to return for another mammogram and a sonogram. At first, I tried to jump over my feelings and went directly to trust. I didn’t want to feel my feelings, but within a short time, the fear, disappointment and anger surfaced and I was able to process my feelings in a safe and loving place. It was distressing because I had a pre-cancerous lump in my breast 20 years ago and I didn’t know if something new had developed.
Once I allowed myself to feel my feelings and to process and release them, I was able to let go, trust and feel happy again. Even though I didn’t know what the results would be, especially since the tests weren’t scheduled for 6 weeks later, I felt peaceful. I could have worried and been sick about it if I had not chosen to let go and trust. Worrying is a form of disbelief and it is not loving myself when I worry and obsess about something.
I had the mammogram and sonogram yesterday and after being on the table for ½ hour was delighted when the radiologist said, “This is good news, we cannot see anything.” During the procedure, I just kept repeating, “Thank you God, thank you God over and over again.
My primary relationship is with myself. Self-love is the baseline of happiness. When we live from a space of self-love, we are able to develop healthy, loving relationships, because our internal feelings of abundance will reflect back to us in the form of beautiful relationships, purpose-driven work and financial freedom. Self- love puts us on the fast track to healing. Our work is to clear out false beliefs about ourselves and shift them back to a loving perspective on life, which reveals our perfection and wholeness.
I believe that the more I love myself, and truly embrace myself as the perfect, whole and creative being that I am – others will return that love. Everyone in my life is a mirror of my consciousness. They can only be as loving, respectful and good to me as I am to myself. When I learn to love myself, I will receive the love and appreciation that I desire from others.
When I am committed to loving myself, living my truth and knowing what I want, I will be happy and attract others with equal commitment. When we truly love ourselves and give ourselves the love we need, we will be so full that when we give to another, we will give from our hearts true love, pure joy and compassion.
YOUR LIFE IS A SACRED JOURNEY
It is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous risks, embracing challenges at every step along the way.
YOU ARE ON THE PATH
exactly where you are meant to be right now. And from here, you can go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, beauty, wisdom, power, dignity and love.” Caroline Joy Adams
As Larry twirled me around the room dancing, my eyes fell upon the plaque that hung on my living room wall and I knew I was meant to start my blog with these beautiful words.
Yes, it is a sacred journey and we are all on the path, exactly where we need to be to grow and expand. Sometimes where we are is very scary because change is on the way and we don’t know what lies ahead.
Last week I shared that I was in the wings or the hallway – waiting, trusting and surrendering the sale of my condo to the God within. I am excited to share that it worked out perfectly because God is faithful and the timing was perfect. When it felt right to put my condo on the market a few months ago, I didn’t know if it would sell, but I knew that it was my next right step. Since my journey of faith has been to trust God to open or close the door, I knew I was safe and that whatever happened would be for my good.
I received a text message from my son, Brian, to contact him ASAP. I am so grateful to Brian because he has handled all of the transactions with my condo in Rhode Island. I knew something was up and called him immediately. He said, “Mom, there is someone who wants to rent your condo.” When he told me what they were willing to rent it for, I almost screamed. It was $425 more a month than what I was getting from my last tenant. I added it up in my head and it was over $5000 a year more. The extra money each month will help me breathe easier as it will go toward my rent in that doubled when I moved into my new home on the ocean. I was concerned that I wouldn’t get rent for the month of September (since my former tenants moved out on September 1) to pay my monthly mortgage. I am happy to say my new tenants will move in on September 22.
I am seldom “absolutely” sure of the next right step to take on my journey. Here is where I have learned to trust myself and the God within to step out in faith. It is always about stepping out BEFORE I know the outcome. It would be easy if I knew HOW it would work out or what would happen. I stepped out in faith before I knew where the money was going to come from when I moved into my home on the ocean here in Maui. I prayed, turned over my will and trusted my heart. God has been faithful and continues to surprise me each month with how the money comes in. Of course, it is always perfect timing.
On another note, I would like to share an experience I had this week. Being in a loving relationship with Larry gives me the opportunity to ask for what I want which means to stretch, be courageous, listen to my intuition and to take a risk.
I have learned to focus on “what is good” and not what’s missing in my relationship. My relationship with Larry is very good so I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to bring this subject up. I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, but it was something I wanted him to do for me. I gently and lovingly broached the subject, which we had talked about before. It didn’t seem like he was that receptive at first as he explained his thinking and behaviors to me. But as we talked and he listened from his heart, something appeared to shift inside of him and he heard me.
The next day when I asked him about our conversation about asking for what I wanted he said, “I love you. The way you asked me was loving and I would be crazy not to listen to what you needed from me in our relationship.” My heart melted because I felt acknowledged and heard. This is not what I experienced in my marriage of 30 years – I guess that’s why we are not together any more.
There are many reasons why we fear asking for what we want; we may not want to appear weak, selfish, self centered, needy or incompetent. We may not want to inconvenience or bother someone with our needs. We may not think our needs are important and we don’t want to rock the boat, especially if things are going well in a relationship.
There is also the fear of what someone is going to ask us in return or the fear of being rejected or judged for what is important to us. We may have felt humiliated or rejected for asking for what we wanted in the past so we fear doing it in the future.
I wasn’t taught how to be assertive, direct and ask for what I want. The silent treatment was very familiar to me and I expected others to read my mind and then was angry and resentful when my needs weren’t met. I sometimes used guilt, sarcasm, coercion and dropped hints.
Some of us believe that our needs or desires are inferior to, or less important than, the needs of others. Believing that asking for what you want is “selfish” is a distortion often born out of a lack of respect for yourself and others. A lack of self respect can make you feel unworthy or less important than others and cause you to subordinate your own needs and “not ask.”
If you don’t know what you want, you’ll have trouble getting it and experience a life-long feeling of deprivation, disappointment, scarcity, and resentment. When you don’t know what you want, you won’t realize if you achieve it.
I am so grateful that I have learned (and am still learning) to ask for what I want in a loving and non-threatening way. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT I GET EVERYTHING THAT I WANT. It does mean that I get some things I want and that I deserve to ask and be heard.
Do you know what you want and do you have the courage to ask for it?
When I got my divorce 15 years ago, I found a plaque that spoke to my heart and it said RELAX. I still have it hanging in my living room in Maui to remind me to RELAX.
I have been seeing the word RELAX all over the place lately. Today, I noticed it written on a man’s shirt, I see it in store fronts, on license plates, on a beach umbrella and I hear it in songs on the radio. I asked myself, “What does it mean to relax and why was this word “showing up” in my life now?’
The dictionary says: to make looser, or less firm or tense: to relax one’s grip, to make less strict or severe; soften: to relax discipline, to abate; reduce; slacken: to relax one’s efforts, to release from intense concentration, hard work, worry, etc.; give rest to: to relax the mind.
My mind isn’t RELAXED when I obsess, worry, want to control or try to figure things out. Sometimes I am invited just to ACCEPT “what is” and trust. Here is where my faith grows when I don’t know what’s going on and I just have to let go of the outcome or what I think it should be like. Like the definition says – to relax one’s efforts.
To RELAX is to know and believe that God is in control of EVERYTHING because I have turned my life and my will over to the God within. To RELAX means to be at peace knowing all is well and that God has my back covered. It is to know and trust that God’s timing is perfect and I have nothing to worry about. Worry is an illusion and it is also a choice. I can choose to worry and live in fear or I can choose to love and be at peace. I am choosing love, instead of fear.
I’ve shared that I put my condo up for sale in Rhode Island a few months ago. It has been an “emotional roller coaster ride” and I have had to let go of my control and trust God’s plan and timing. It has not been easy knowing that I will now have to pay two rents since my tenant moved out on September 1 and I don’t know how long it will take to sell. Yikes, money issues or coming from a lack consciousness could make me crazy – if I let it.
I thought there was a buyer and was informed that an offer was going to be made the next day. When it fell through and I didn’t hear anything, I decided to try to rent it again since there were no buyers showing up. Three weeks later, the first person who I thought was going to make an offer came back with his contractor and I was told that he was going to make an offer the next day Talk about having your hopes up. I have no idea what happened, but I never heard a thing from him. Clearly the door was shut in my face! Not the first time.
So right now, I am in the wings or the hallway waiting, trusting, surrendering and letting go. I am not sure what is best for me at this point – whether to rent or sell, so I have asked for guidance. I have done everything I know possible; prayer, visualization, gratitude and hiring a rental agent. I am so blessed that I have so many opportunities to practice what I preach; to choose love instead of fear, to let go, to relax and allow my faith muscles to get stronger.
The temptation for me and for most of us is to doubt our decision in the first place and think we made a mistake. It would be so easy to judge myself because it hasn’t turned out the way I thought it would. Instead of judging or doubting myself that I made a mistake by trying to sell it, I am choosing to TRUST the God within that I am being divinely guided and all is well. I cannot see the results in the middle of this, but I know I will and there will be a story.
I would like to share how God has guided me through the concept of open and closed doors for the past 40 years on my spiritual path.
When I don’t know if something is God’s will or my will, I pray, “God open or close the door.” It hurts when the door is slammed in my face and I’m left wandering in the hallway until the next door opens.
“Closed doors are a valid part of guidance. When God closes a door, it’s because there is another plan, a better plan. If He closes one door, He’ll open another – according to His timing, not mine. I keep moving in faith, even in the face of closed doors.” (Basham, 1975)
I may be guided to do one thing and then when I get there, God has something else in mind. He doesn’t tell me His full plan ahead of time, which is probably good. That’s His way. Mine is to love, trust and follow.
Guidance comes when I move in faith, not when I sit in doubt. I step out in faith, trusting that if I make a mistake, God will correct it and get me back on the right path for my life. I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way, but have always been protected and led back to where I need to be.
There seems like there will always be something in our lives to cause us to expand and grow and to trust. I love my journey and I love to share the miracles of how things work out. So, stay tuned because I know God is trustworthy and has my back covered.
“For I know well the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11. As I trust God’s plans to prosper me and give me hope and a future, I will RELAX and enjoy the present moment.
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- She danced as if she was the only one on the dance floor
- I resisted and didn’t want to do what God wanted me to do
- I felt inadequate & “not good enough”
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