When I moved to Maui, my friend, Kati, and I did some painting together and then I put it down. I don’t know why I stopped because I really enjoyed it. Perhaps I felt my paintings weren’t “good enough” because I didn’t know anything about drawing or painting and it felt like I was “flying by the seat of my pants.”
A few months ago, (two years later), I asked my friend, Lesta, (who is a professional artist) if I could paint with her. She said, “Yes” and we painted a picture together in her back yard under her tree. I am not exactly sure what happened to me that day, but I felt a freedom to just play and I wasn’t worried about it being perfect, nor did I compare myself with her painting. Lesta said, “Pat, you have talent.” With her support and encouragement, I left her house with a new desire to paint again.
When I returned home, I found some of my old paints that I had put away and a few canvases lying around. I started to paint and haven’t been able to stop. All I want to do is PAINT. I am amazed at what is coming out of me and onto the canvas. I put a few of my paintings on Facebook and have had lots of compliments. A friend of mine, Jack, who is a well-known artist on the Island saw my paintings and asked if they were for sale.
My friend, Sharon, and I met at the local coffee shop recently. Sharon noticed that the paintings hanging on the walls were from local artists and they were for sale. She said, “Pat, your paintings are amazing and I think you should have yours in a coffee shop.” I remember thinking, “I’ve only been painting a few months now and they are just not “good enough.”
As I continued to play and practice painting ocean scenes, I could see that they were getting better and better with each one I painted. Our home now looks like a gallery and poor Larry has to step around the paintings to open the cabinets. I have all 15 of them lined up so I can look at them and admire them.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to lunch to my favorite restaurant called, 808 Deli. I spotted the paintings by local artists on the walls and felt brave and said to the cashier, “Rachael, who is in charge of the paintings on the wall?” She said, “I am. Do you paint?” I said, “Yes, I do.” She said, “We have the month of October open. Would you want to bring your paintings in to display and sell?” I said, “YES.” I am sure my jaw dropped open with amazement and shock. It is hard to believe how easy it was because she hadn’t even seen my paintings.
As October approaches, I started to feel “uneasy” about displaying my paintings. I felt vulnerable putting myself “out there” because what if no one bought them? There are so many famous artists on the island that are really good and who was I to think mine were “good enough” to sell? I wanted to ask friends, “Do you think my paintings are “good enough?” I was ready to give my power away again by going outside of myself to get others’ opinions, rather than going within for my own.
Last night, I had a dream that I had given birth to a baby. Giving birth in dreams is very powerful and significant because it means a new idea, project, dream has just been birthed. The only problem was that I wasn’t prepared and ready for the baby’s needs when I brought it home. While in prayer, I asked myself some questions: What had just been birthed? Where & what wasn’t I prepared and ready for? What did I need to do to get prepared? Writing a new book with Larry has already been birthed so I didn’t think it was about the book. It seemed to be about the “uneasiness” I was feeling about displaying and selling my paintings. I was shown that the “hard part” of 9 months of pregnancy and the contractions were over. Now all I needed to do was to nurture and love the “baby” so it would grow to its fullest potential. My baby (painting) was in the womb for 35 years.
I NEVER criticized or thought my 4 babies weren’t “good enough” when they were born. They were perfect and I was delighted and happy that they were born. I just loved them and only saw their beauty.
While I was meditating and thinking about the dream, God showed me that I had “birthed” my paintings after being in the “womb” for over 35 years. Instead of criticizing and thinking they weren’t “good enough,” I was being invited to love, nurture and care for them. They didn’t have to be perfect and I didn’t have to compare them to other people’s paintings. All I needed to do was appreciate and love them. That afternoon, I held each one of the paintings in my hands, prayed over them with love and gave them a name. It doesn’t matter if they sell or not. What matters is that they have been birthed and I had the courage to birth them “& put them out there.” The rest is up to God.
With the grace of God, I BELIEVE
• It doesn’t matter what other people think. What matters is what I think
• It’s my approval that I need and want
• I no longer need to compete or compare myself to others (which I did most of my life)
• My paintings don’t have to be perfect or the BEST for me to feel proud of them
• I will give my “baby” the nurturing and love that it needs to grow and develop
• There is no need to hurry the process
• I will love my “creations” just as they are
• I will enjoy and relish each stage of my painting journey
• I will be enthusiastic about showing off my “baby”
What are your dreams? What are you birthing in your life? What has been birthed? What has been in the “womb” that is ready to be born or does it still need time to grow and develop? Know that your soul will guide you in the right direction. We all have gifts to be shared with the world. It takes courage and a willingness to “come out” and let your light shine. Like me, it may take years and that’s ok. It took me 7 years to birth my book, “Simply a Woman of Faith.” We will never be asked to birth something until we are ready for it to be born.
Are you ready to say YES and trust that Spirit will be there to guide you every step of the way? If not now, when?]]>
I woke up feeling agitated, irritable and like I had been hit by a truck. My dreams were about struggle and not being able to get to where I wanted to be. I KNEW something was being dredged up from my unconscious to be healed and transformed. I was in the washing machine cycle called “AGITATION” and it felt awful.
When I went to bed the night before, I shared with Larry that I felt BAD and ASHAMED when I got off the phone with John, my computer guy. I downloaded the new Windows 10 to my computer, but I couldn’t figure out how to get my pictures from my IPhone to my desktop. A friend suggested I go back to Windows 7 which I did and was successful with.
Unfortunately, I still couldn’t get my pictures to my desktop even with the old Windows 7. If anything causes me stress and I want to pull my hair out, it is dealing with computers and technology. I called John and asked for help. John has always been very patient with me and is able to help me. John must have had a bad day because he appeared frustrated and said, “You need to take a computer class because you should know this stuff by now.”
John’s remark and frustration triggered my SHAME. The SHAME was still deep inside in my unconscious and needed healing. It must be REVEALED to be HEALED. It really had nothing to do with John. If the shame wasn’t inside of me, I would have thought, “John is having a bad day and has nothing to do with me.” But I internalized it and felt “bad and wrong,” that I didn’t know what John thought I should know. Feeling “bad and wrong and not good enough” is at the core of a shame-based person.
When I shared with Larry what I was feeling when I woke up, he read the above passage from Alan Cohen’s book to me. It helped me understand what was going on and what was being “dredged up” from my unconscious. Larry encouraged me to trust the process and asked, “How can I support you today?” This was an opportunity for me to nurture myself, re-parent myself and give myself self-love and compassion, rather than beat up on myself. I spent the day in prayer, loving and nurturing myself and within a few hours, I was back to myself. I wrote in my journal, “Today I will allow the light and love of God to flow through me, heal me and transform me. I will re-parent myself and give myself everything I need.
Growing up with an alcoholic mother, I wasn’t encouraged to ask questions or ask for help. I had to figure things out on my own. I was EXPECTED to know the answers, even though I wasn’t often taught how to do things. I PRETENDED to know what I was doing, but often felt “inadequate and not good enough inside.” It was hard to ask for help because I didn’t want to feel vulnerable and ashamed if I didn’t know the answers.
Thank God I know the truth today and have changed that belief. Today, I ask for help when I need it and am not ashamed if I don’t know the answers. I know it is healthy to ask for help and that it is unhealthy to put unrealistic expectations on myself.
Larry’s experience with shame
When do you feel shame? Underneath the shame could be thoughts of unworthiness, inadequacy, not good enough, not smart enough or thoughts of being a failure. As a parent, I have felt some of the above at different times. I have not always recognized this as shame until recently. People don’t talk about it because of its insidious nature.
There may be times in your life when you have felt ashamed because you didn’t think you were a “good enough” friend or supportive enough. You may feel some shame about how you look; too thin, too fat, too tall, not pretty enough, etc. I have felt shame about not having a higher education which made me feel “less than” others.
Many people believe their worth has to do with how much money they earn. Society often judges us by the amount of money we earn and when we have a lot of money, we are deemed successful. When we don’t measure up to those standards, we may judge ourselves to be a failure, which ultimately becomes shame.
In my own life, I have experienced shame when I put too much value on my ability to dance perfectly. I am leaving myself open to react in a negative way when my partner makes a mistake because I see it as a reflection on me. In this area of dance, I realize that I have been too concerned about what other people will think of me. It seems that my ego and wanting to be perfect has allowed me to forget that what other people think of me is none of my business. Thankfully, in many areas of my life, I believe that “what other people think of me is none of my business.”
My grandparents were farmers in Connecticut and had emigrated from Lithuania. They spoke broken English and when I was with them, I often felt ashamed of them because they couldn’t speak correct English. Then I felt ashamed of myself for feeling that way about them. Apparently, I saw it as a reflection on me.
Parents can often, unknowingly, put their high expectations on their children (get all A’s, pass this test, attend college). When children don’t think they measure up, they may not feel “good enough” because they think they are disappointing their parents.
Could it be that shame comes from a “hole in the soul” that only LOVE can fill and heal? When we learn to give ourselves self- love and acceptance, the feelings of shame and not being good enough will no longer have power over us.]]>
I thought it was a great question and started to think about the ways I stay in “relationship with myself” while in a partnership. I have had lots of practice, over the years, of giving my power away and losing myself in relationships by putting my partner’s needs and wants ahead of mine.
Being single and without a partner for 15 years, I felt some anxiety when I thought about starting a new relationship, even though it was the desire of my heart. It took me so many years to “find myself” and the possibility of “losing myself” in a new relationship was not in the picture. I was determined to do it differently and not give my power away as I did for so many years.
When Larry and I became partners, of course, I wanted to spend every waking minute with him. This is natural because getting to know one another is very important. I still want to spend all the time I can with him, because we enjoy each other’s company and we have fun together. We don’t know how long we will have with one another so we try to live each day to the best of our ability. Living alone for all that time and loving it, I also didn’t know how I would feel sharing my living space with another person
I am happy to say that it has been 1 ½ years that we have been partners and I still have “myself,” perhaps even more than I did before the relationship. I can truly BE myself with Larry and be as playful and silly as I want to be or as deep and spiritual as I want to be or as “fresh” as I want to be. We have a relationship that is built on trust, love and commitment. We honor and respect each other’s needs and wants. I love sharing our home together and we have learned to laugh at the little “quirks” we both have.
While in meditation, I went inside and asked myself, “What did I do to stay in relationship with myself?” Here are some of the things that I have done:
I maintained my daily spiritual discipline of prayer, meditation, journaling & daily readings.
When I felt the need to be by myself, I took a “Pat Day” and gave myself the TIME I needed to be with myself.
I continued to love, affirm, accept and appreciate myself, especially if I “blew it.”
I didn’t expect my partner to meet all of my needs all of the time. I gave myself what I needed and did what I could do for myself. For example: If I wanted flowers from the garden or from the store, I bought them for myself, rather than expecting my partner to do it all the time.
I knew what I wanted and was able to ask for what I wanted.
I was able to accept & respect a NO from my partner.
I regularly checked in with myself to see how I was feeling and then, if appropriate shared with my partner what was going on, especially if it had to do with our relationship.
I maintained my friendships with my girlfriends.
I continued with my hobbies and what I enjoyed doing.
I understood that my happiness is my responsibility and I didn’t expect my partner to make me happy. I knew it was my responsibility to take care of my needs: body, mind and spirit.
When I agreed to contribute to Pat’s blog I was completely out of my comfort zone and this is a very long stretch for me. I would like to thank those of you who have written and given me so much positive feedback and support. I really appreciate it. I have to be careful with what questions I ask Pat, because before I know it , I’ll have to write about them. The question just popped into my mind while we were driving, “How do we “preserve” our relationship with ourselves when we are in a love relationship with another person?”
I think in some of my love relationships over the years, I’ve ignored my relationship with myself and gave everything to the relationship I was in. Then when the relationship ended, I didn’t have anything to support me because I didn’t have myself. A healthy relationship encourages the partner to have a life apart from one another. For example: spending time with friends, having hobbies and interests of their own.
When we have developed a relationship with ourselves, we will want to spend some time alone. I think that’s important for each person to understand. It isn’t that we don’t love the other person or don’t want to be with them. I like my own company. I try to walk three miles every day and I value that time alone. When I’m driving, I don’t use the radio because I value that time alone with myself. I believe that if the relationship is secure and there is trust, each would encourage and support the other in the personal relationship they have with themselves.
I believe that one of the most important ways to maintain your relationship with yourself is to continue to love yourself. I’m learning how to accept and value myself. I think one of the most important things I’ve done was to start “believing” the wonderful things Pat is constantly telling me about myself. For example: “You can do anything you put your mind to. You are lovable, kind, patient, fun to be with and a magnificent person and vessel of love.” I always found it extremely difficult to accept compliments and accolades from others. Not only am I learning to accept them from Pat, but I’m beginning to believe them about myself.
Another way I’m valuing myself is by allowing myself to just “BE” and RELAX. I’m not listening to my “busy mind” telling me I have to do this or that all the time. I work especially hard to keep my stress level at 0. I allow myself to go with the flow, keeping a schedule that is very flexible. Before, if I made plans to do something, “come hell or high water” I would do what I had planned or promised because I didn’t want to disappoint anyone or hurt their feelings if I had to change plans. Today, I am able to say NO and change plans if I need to because I know that is valuing and loving myself.
I value and claim my “happiness” because I am worthy and deserve it. I am grateful and appreciate all of the wonderful gifts I have created on this beautiful Island Maui. I am taking credit for making good decisions.
I encourage you to be good to yourself, forgive yourself, don’t criticize or blame yourself, do things “YOU” like to do, be flexible, kind and patient with yourself and, accept gifts and compliments from others. Who knows, you may become your own best friend. LOVE IN YOUR HEART WASN’T PUT THERE TO STAY. LOVE IS NOT LOVE TILL YOU GIVE IT AWAY.]]>
When I heard the news that the New Thought inspirational leader, Dr. Wayne Dyer had passed over, I was shocked and saddened. He had such a powerful presence in this world and was still so active in the community. Over the years, I have read many of his books, watched PBS specials and attended a conference in Florida with him. His book, “Change Your Thinking – Change Your Life” was life changing for me and millions of others. Dr. Dyer had completed his work on this planet to go onto his “NEXT ADVENTURE.”
I learned of his passing on Sunday night, right before I went to bed. I didn’t sleep well thinking about him and what his family must be going through. It is my understanding that he died on Saturday night from a heart attack. On Saturday morning, I found Wayne Dyer’s brand new “Inner Peace” cards at a yard sale. “Wasn’t that serendipitous?” I thought.
On Sunday morning, as I was preparing to leave the house, I looked out over the ocean and witnessed the most amazing rainbow extending over the whole sky. I had never seen one quite that beautiful with the vibrant orange and purple colors and it lasted for quite a long time. Of course, I had no idea that Wayne Dyer had passed over during the night. Could this be a sign from God that he was on to his “NEXT ADVENTURE” and God was welcoming him back home? I like to think it was!
As I said, I had a difficult time sleeping on Sunday night when I heard of his passing. In the morning, while trying to meditate and understand the meaning of his death, I sensed in my spirit, God saying, “This is a wake-up call for the world.”
For me, the wake-up call means that I am not promised tomorrow or the next moment. All I have is today and this precious moment God has given me to live in love or fear. It is my CHOICE. We all have the choice to trust God and live in faith, knowing we have everything we need in this MOMENT. The future is not here and may not ever be here. So why do we worry about what is not here yet? Is it a habit or an addiction? Worrying is an illusion and never helps anyone. What will it take for us to let go, surrender and trust God that all is well and we are being taken care of?
Like all of you, I am not immune to fear. When I allow myself to stay in fear because of negative thinking, I am robbed of the present moment. If I think about what could happen in the future, (especially not having enough money to live on Maui or Larry becoming ill and dying), I lose my peace and my mind is like a blender. When I become aware of what I call “future tripping” I immediately say to myself DELETE, DELETE. Some days I am doing a lot of deleting! I also REMEMBER all the times that God has provided for me in the past.
I recently heard Dr. Dyer on a radio show speaking about how he was ready for his “NEXT ADVENTURE.” I wondered to myself, if he knew he was going to die the next day, would he have done anything differently? I believed he lived his life with love and on purpose. What would you do differently if you knew you were going to die tomorrow? All that would matter to me if I knew I was going to die tomorrow is that I was with my loved ones and they knew how much I loved them. Because Love is all there is.
Serendipitously, Larry and I were scheduled to attend a workshop called “Sacred Living, Sacred Dying” with Sharon Lund on Monday morning. I was still feeling sad about Dr. Dyer’s death and thought it was timely that we were taking the workshop that day. I wondered what talking about “Sacred Dying” would bring up for me. It was a great interactive workshop and I learned a lot of valuable information that I will implement in my life. I really appreciated exploring what we wanted and didn’t want for our final “celebration of life” as well as leaving a legacy of love for our loved ones.
When I left the workshop, I felt excited about working on my final “celebration of life.” I wasn’t excited about dying, but not afraid to die either. I felt excited about celebrating how I am living my life today and the life I have created. I can truly say that I am living my life to the fullest and would not have any regrets if I were to die tomorrow. I am grateful that I am living my mission to love and to inspire others to find the God within. I am ready for the NEXT ADVENTURE, whatever that may be. Larry shares his experiences about how he chooses love instead of fear.
We’ve all had experiences in our lives that help us to remember how fragile life is and that remind us to live in the moment because that’s what’s real and we never know when it will be our last moment.
When I heard about Dr. Wayne Dyer’s passing, like Pat, I felt shocked and saddened by his sudden death. There’s a part of me that wonders why a person so talented and so in touch with spirit would be taken from us, it seems we need more philosophers and inspirational teachers to help us with our journey, not less. Then there is a part of me that reasons that we don’t know God’s plan and all we are promised is this moment. Dr. Wayne Dyer has crossed over and is on to another adventure, his spirit will continue to live on through his books and writings. He will continue to touch many souls as he has touched mine.
When I heard about Dr. Dyer’s death, it brought home to me that I am a year older than he was. We never know when our train will reach its final destination, do we? Before my train comes into the station I want to live, laugh, and love in the NOW because that’s all we really have.
Although I don’t think I fear death, fear is something we all have to deal with. We react many ways to fear: we sometimes run and hide, we may become angry and strike out physically or psychologically. Fear sometimes causes us to shut down emotionally. As I look back on raising my two boys, I think some of my decisions were based in fear. For example: If I didn’t discipline them, I was fearful that they would get into trouble and get into drugs or crime. If they didn’t receive a good education, I was fearful they wouldn’t be able to make it on their own. I was fearful that if I didn’t teach them to take responsibility for their actions they would grow up blaming someone or something for their failures or unhappiness. These are good qualities to instill in our children, but better done from love rather than fear. Now when I recognize fear, I handle it differently.
As I walk my journey, I have discovered that the single most powerful energy known to humankind is “LOVE.” I believe there is nothing stronger than the power of “LOVE.” Fear disguises itself so well, sometimes I have a difficult time identifying it in my life. I have developed a habit of consciously choosing LOVE and deleting fear when I realize that fear is raising its ugly head, I simply say “I delete fear and I choose LOVE.” I continue to say that until I feel the fear disappear and the peace and love enter my being. It works incredibly well for me.
I’m not that comfortable with dentist’s and doctor’s appointments so when I have an appointment I will take a few moments and just declare that I’m not going to let fear into my life. I consciously choose LOVE. Any time you feel fearful, stressed, judged, unappreciated, unworthy, I encourage you to open your heart to the energy and light of LOVE. I think you will be glad you did.
Someone asked me, “If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do differently today?” I think I am probably the happiest man in the world. I wake up every day with a heart filled with gratitude and thanksgiving. I have everything I want. I live in the most beautiful place on earth (to me anyway) and there is no other place I would rather be than with a wonderful, beautiful woman whom I love and who loves me. There is nothing I would do differently. I would spend the day with my sweetheart enjoying each other and our environment and try to be the best vessel of love I could be.]]>
In many of my relationships over the years, I felt as though I had an emptiness or hole that I could not identify or explain. I understand today that I was looking “outside of myself” to find the solution or reason for my emptiness. When I went inside, I found out what the truth was; I needed to love myself to fill the emptiness. If we don’t love ourselves and allow (GOD) to show us how really important we are and how much love wants to lavish itself upon us, we will never be able to have a healthy love relationship with someone else.
Pat and I have a really special relationship; we had been best friends for two years and had formed a bond of trust and appreciation for each other that few people have. During those two years, Pat saw that I had a difficult time accepting compliments or gifts from others. She encouraged me to look at that and begin to love myself. I believe that we are called to be vessels of love and it’s very important for me to follow that calling. I began to understand that to be a vessel of love I had to first accept love. I believe love is a gift, waiting to be accepted. We have a choice to say “Yes, thank you” or “No, thank you.” I think accepting the gift of love is at first a head thing because we have to release thoughts that tell us we are not deserving, not good enough or unworthy. When we say “Yes, thank you” it becomes a heart thing. When we say YES to love, we become vulnerable and sometimes that involves risk. I am much better at accepting and loving myself than I ever have before.
After two years of having Pat as my best friend, I was surprised (and wasn’t sure how I felt about it) when she shared she was having romantic feelings towards me because I had not allowed myself to go there. She was a great friend and I was thankful to have someone like her in my life that way.
When Pat told me she was feeling romantic toward me a lot of my “head” stuff popped up. Things like
“Will it last, will I get hurt, can I trust love?” Fear wasn’t far behind. I asked myself “Do I want to risk a wonderful friendship and allow myself to see this relationship in a different way?” I remember saying to Pat once, “We are lucky we’re not in a romantic relationship because it would probably destroy this great friendship we have.” I had also just ended a relationship that I thought was the best I ever had, but ended up with me being blindsided and hurt. I asked myself, “Do I want to risk that again? How could I trust again? Isn’t it too soon to start another relationship?”
My response to Pat was “Let’s see what happens.” It didn’t take too long because we already had such a great relationship and I really trusted her. I was gradually able to face my fears, get out of my head and let my heart receive the love that was being offered. I let my heart lead, trusted and let go of fear and all of the negative thoughts and doubts that would have sabotaged our relationship. I was able to forgive and move on with my life.
I’m thankful to Love (God) for helping me to forgive, heal and move on so I could accept this wonderful gift that Pat is in my life. I always knew “I COULD HAVE IT ALL” and I do.]]>
When I finished writing, I opened to the “Daily Word” and the title was, “My life is unfolding in perfect order.” It said, “I remember to be patient with the natural timeline of occurrences in my life. Looking back, I see how the right opportunity or person came along just at the right time. Turning within, I affirm with confidence: All is in divine order. I listen and follow my guidance on what my next right step is.”
As I was meditating, my friend, Mary, came into my consciousness. Over the last several years, God has given me divine messages for Mary. I don’t have any idea what they mean, but I follow my intuition and guidance and either call or email her the message. She ALWAYS responds that the message was “right on” and how she needed to hear Gods words at that moment.
I felt in my Spirit that God was giving me a message for Mary. I called and left the message on her answering machine. It was very simple, “EVERYTHING is in perfect and right order. Let go of control. Trust me, all is well.”
Later in the day, I received an email from Mary and here is what she wrote:
“Thank you so much for your message today. You always know when to call and what to say. God so works through you. Dave and I were out car shopping today. When they were working out the figures in the other room, I checked my messages while waiting. OMG. What great joy and comfort to receive your message for when they came back it did not work for us and we were dismayed. We so wanted that car. So I kept thinking of your message from God to trust all is perfect and well. Later that day, we found a car with more features for less money in the color we wanted. As always, God’s perfect timing. Thanks for being such a divine conduit and reflection of God’s love and oneness. Love knows no distance. Also, just yesterday, I was packing my altar and on it were all the messages you sent me over the years. So touching and can you believe it today you send me one just when I needed it again. Thank you so much.”
God worked overtime with me that day because I experienced another “perfect and right” timing incident right after calling Mary with the message. Last week, I shared about meeting with Sharon (Sacred Life publishing) and Margie from my yoga class. Margie hired Sharon “on the spot” because God had promised Margie He would bring the publisher to her. I felt excited and honored to be a part of the “divine orchestration” and watch how that unfolded right before my eyes.
Right before yoga class, I heard the small, still voice of God say, “I want you to bring Margie a present to congratulate and thank her for trusting me and writing the book.” I love to give gifts to my friends and have a “gift drawer” in my living room. Several months ago, I bought a beautiful card with a poem on it at a fair that Larry and I attended. I even found a frame and framed it. I had no idea who I would give it to, but trusted I would know when it was time.
As I picked up the card and read the poem, I knew in my spirit, that it was meant for Margie. I wrapped it and planned on giving it to her at the yoga class. When she read the poem and that the author was Marianne Williamson, she was stunned. She said, “Pat, you are not going to believe this. While I was just driving to class, Spirit was telling me to CALL Marianne Williamson and ask her to endorse my book.” We just smiled at one another, knowing that Spirit was involved. Here is the email I received from Margie later that day. “What a GIFT you gave me!!!! I have it right with me on my desk as a reminder of the Perfection of it all! Mahalo
I invited Larry to share a time that he heard the small, still voice of God within and listened.
’When you read Pat’s blogs you read how she listens and “hears” the small, still voice of God or the Universe speaking to her. It is because she BELIEVES that it is Spirit, God or the Universe. She is dedicated to discerning the voice within and following through.
I often think I’m listening, but I’m not hearing anything much of the time. I sometimes feel frustrated and think perhaps I’m listening the wrong way. I may think about doing something and think it’s a bit far out. For example: I say things to myself like “I can’t do that, what will people think of me, that’s crazy, where did that thought come from? Do you ever feel that way? Sometimes the thought or idea will simply not go away until I act on it. It’s been my experience that when I follow through, I always learn and grow, even when it seems crazy. Here is an example.
Years ago we had an elderly couple named, Evelyn and Phil who were our neighbors. We knew each other casually and would always say good morning to one another. I would help them with their yard work, whenever they needed help.
Evelyn was diagnosed with cancer and was in the hospital for a long time. I would see her husband Phil around and always inquire about how she was doing. Then one day I was instructed (small, still voice of God) to go to the hospital and tell her how much God loved her. My initial reaction was, “Not me, this is crazy, I can’t do that because I don’t even know her that well.” My family already thought I was crazy because of my beliefs. I knew if my wife ever found out I was going around telling people that God loved them, she would try to have me committed.
I didn’t act on this for a few days, hoping it would just go away. Of course, it didn’t and it became even more intense. I finally stepped out in faith and said, “O.K. God, if this is what you want me to do, I will do it.” I went to the hospital with the little pocket size new testament that I carried around in those days. When I arrived at the hospital, I felt afraid and was a wreck. I thought to myself, ”What if there are people in her room with her, what if she’s sleeping, what if she doesn’t even recognize me?”
When I got off the elevator and started to walk to her room, my hands were shaking so badly that I had to put them in my jacket pocket. My knees were also knocking and I thought everyone could hear them. I thought I was going to faint.
When I arrived at Evelyn’s room, I discovered she had a private room, was awake and alone. Thank you God! She remembered me and seemed genuinely happy to see me. We talked for a while and then I said, “Evelyn, the main reason I came to see you tonight is that GOD wanted me to tell you how much he loves you.” The tears started to flow down her cheeks and she said, “I really needed to hear that.” We visited a little while longer and I read her a few verses from my pocket new testament. When I was getting ready to leave she said, “Larry, will you please come back and see me again?”
I visited her quite often after that and she once said, “I am so grateful for your visits because you are the only one I can cry with and tell how I am really feeling. I always have to be happy and optimistic with my family.” Evelyn passed over to the other side to continue her journey a short time after that. I can still feel her presence as I write this story. My lesson from this experience is that when Spirit, Love (God) or the Universe speaks, whether it is often or just once in a while, I will try to listen.”
God has given each one of us the gift of intuition and wants to use us as His instruments. It is not always easy to listen to the small, still voice of God and do what we are asked to do. It takes PRACTICE and not being attached to the outcome. Like Larry, I have also experienced the fear of what others will think. It has been my experience that the more I TRUST my “inner voice” and step out in faith, the more confident I become and know it is God. Fear is useless, what is needed is trust.]]>
Learning to trust myself has been a life-long process. I need to trust when to “go within” for my answers and when to go outside of myself for help or support. I need to know when to rest and when to DO and when to just BE. I have learned to “go within” to see how something feels. If it doesn’t feel 100% in alignment with God, I don’t do it. I wait until it feels right and I am guided to the next right thing. Sometimes it doesn’t even make sense and I don’t understand it, but I trust and wait.
In the trusting, comes the waiting and waiting requires patience. For example, when I moved to Maui, I was ready and willing and expected to use my gifts as an author, speaker and spiritual life coach. God had other plans and I am so grateful that I listened and surrendered “My Plan” as well as my will, my ego, my timing and my gifts. God’s Plan was for me to learn how to BE, to go deeper with God and experience God’s love like I had never experienced it before.
So for 6 months when I first arrived on Maui, I “waited on God” and didn’t DO anything, but follow my heart. I rested, prayed, played and listened to the small, still voice of God within. I also WAITED 15 years for Larry to “show up.” Here it is 3 ½ years later and I am writing another book with Larry and have just been invited to give a presentation at the Unity Church in Maui. I allow the mystery of life to unfold as I trust in God’s perfect timing.
During that time of waiting, I was led to read a book called “Faith” by A.C. Ping. Here is a paragraph that spoke to my heart and helped me to rest and do NOTHING.
“One of the most frustrating times along the spiritual path occurs when NOTHING seems to be happening. Not only do we have lots of time to think, but at the same time people keep asking you “What’s happening?” On the surface nothing seems to be happening, but underneath a great shift is occurring. Instead of feeling frustrated, it may be that life is giving you a safe place to rest and gather your energy for the journey ahead. You may not be able to see which way to go, but if you sit patiently, have faith that life has meaning and wait until the mist clears, you may find that one day you wake up to a bright blue sky that reveals a clear path leading to an even more beautiful mountain than the one you just climbed. The temptation will be to run around in the mist searching for guidance. But this will wear you out and until you stop and rest, no further path will be revealed to you until you have the energy to attempt the next climb. Trust that although nothing seems to be happening on the surface, a whole lot is happening below the surface.”
During this “Waiting on God” process I learned to let go of my pushing and making things happen, which for me, was all about control. I learned the importance of “allowing” things to come to me if it was meant to be and practicing being in the “FLOW.”
Here is an example of being in the “FLOW” and trusting myself and God’s perfect timing. About a year ago, I met a woman at my weekly yoga class named, Margie. We only spoke for a few minutes but both felt like we wanted to get to know one another. And we KNEW it would happen at the perfect and right timing.
Last week Margie kept coming into my mind, so I called her and invited her for coffee after our yoga class. She was delighted and excited to meet with me. I didn’t know anything about Margie and was quite surprised when she said, “I have been writing a book for the past 3 years and it is ready to be published, but the publisher hasn’t shown up yet.” Of course, I told her about meeting Sharon the week before and her publishing company. Margie sat there with her mouth opened wide. She said, “The Holy Spirit has been telling me that He would bring the publisher to me.” We both had chills running down our arms. Sharon and I met with Margie for tea 4 days later and Margie hired Sharon to be her publisher. We all agreed it was a “Divine Encounter.” I asked myself, “Why hadn’t I met with Margie 6 months ago or 2 weeks ago?” It’s because it wasn’t God’s timing and I would not have had this information that she needed right NOW.
I invited Larry to share his thoughts and experiences with trust, patience and “waiting on God.”
Pat has been talking the talk and walking the walk for a very long time. She has developed a very strong trust in guidance from LOVE (GOD). She has learned and is learning to trust her spirit completely; she listens, discerns and then acts even if the acting doesn’t make sense to her at the time. Loving her and living with her, I get to witness her joyful journey. I am encouraged to look at my life and realize that I want to be open to the gift of TRUST also and allow my spirituality to develop through my TRUST in spirit.
One of the elements of trust is “Patience” and I have always needed work in that area. Part of my daily communication with LOVE is to ask for the gift of patience which I have been doing for quite some time. Sometimes I think I’m making progress and then I stumble and feel like I’m back to square one. I’m beginning to understand that patience is a gift from Spirit; all I need to do is ask, be open and receive, TRUST that I’ve been given the gift and practice using it.
Here are a couple of examples that occurred this week. I don’t have a set way to meditate or listen to the voice of LOVE. I usually receive inspirational thoughts during my daily walks or while driving in my car. Since I agreed to contribute to Pat’s blogs and in preparation for writing our book together, I bought a portable recorder to use during those times. Since I purchased the recorder I have heard NOTHING and not had any inspirational thoughts from Spirit. I said to myself, “O.K. God, I bought the recorder, let’s go, I’m ready.” I sensed in my Spirit that it was important that I change my thinking, so now I’m looking at this as a wonderful opportunity to practice “PATIENCE.” I am “TRUSTING” and “WAITING” that spirit will speak when it’s in my highest good. I trust that although NOTHING seems to be happening on the surface, a whole lot is happening below the surface.
Another opportunity I had to practice patience was while we were shopping in a large department store that had a branch bank in it. We were leaving and Pat recognized a teller she knew and wanted to say hi to her. She was busy with another customer and Pat had to wait in line to talk to her. I could feel myself becoming impatient and irritated, and in fact, motioned to Pat when she turned around to look at me that we had things to do. Then I immediately thought to myself, “Perhaps Spirit is using Pat to be a vessel of LOVE towards this teller and why should I be impatient and possibly interrupt this from happening.” I was able to completely change my thinking and relax. I spent the remainder of the time that I waited for Pat sending LOVE Energy to all of the customers in the store. How good it is when we can TRUST the gift of PATIENCE and LOVE.
I feel so blessed that Larry and I are on the same page and practice patience with ourselves and one another. We are learning to respect each other’s journey and wait for Spirit to lead and guide. We know that all good things come to those who wait and God’s timing is perfect. All we have to do is “show up” and say YES.]]>
I lived my life with those unhealthy patterns for many years because I didn’t know any better. I wasn’t taught how to communicate effectively, especially being assertive and asking for what I wanted. When my ex-husband sensed something was bothering me, he would ask, “Is something wrong?” I would automatically say, “No, nothing is wrong.” We both played the same game saying nothing was wrong, instead of being honest and open. I would continue to feel hurt, sulk or cry until we got to the bottom of things. Often, it would be days or weeks before I was aware of what I was feeling. I was good at pushing my feelings down by staying busy or eating or whatever else I did to avoid my feelings.
I remember a time when I was married and we were having company. I was running around the house like a chicken without a head and my ex-husband was sitting on the couch reading the newspaper. I was vacuuming the rug when he asked, “Is something wrong?” I blew up and said, “Can’t you see I need help?” He said, “All you needed to do was ask me to vacuum and I would have been happy to do it.” He was right. I expected him to read my mind, which is another unhealthy pattern that we fell into.
As I got stronger and learned how to communicate assertively and effectively, I started to speak up and ask for what I wanted as well as what I didn’t want in our relationship. In fact, I have heard you teach what you need to learn. For many years, I taught weekly interpersonal skills groups when I worked at the VA hospital. Speaking up didn’t always work and my ex-husband didn’t like it. Changing patterns in a relationship takes a lot of work and both parties have to be willing to change or it doesn’t work. It takes courage and trust in yourself to speak up and perhaps upset the apple cart. It’s risky business because the relationship may not last. In fact, it didn’t last and my marriage of 30 years ended 17 years ago.
Larry and I have great communication skills. We invite each other to be honest and open. We take the time to listen to each other and take responsibility for our actions, and often end up laughing at ourselves. Because our relationship is healthy and open, it is easy for me to bring up something that may be bothering me. I no longer, deny, minimize, ignore or rationalize what I am feeling or experiencing.
For the past week, I have had the “opportunity” to practice and speak up to Larry about a few things that upset me. They weren’t big things, but nonetheless, I chose to share them with him because I didn’t want things to build up inside of me and then come out sideways a month later. As I shared earlier, in the past, it might have taken me days or weeks to get in touch with my feelings and realize I was upset about something. For the most part, today I am aware almost immediately of what I’m feeling and share if it is appropriate and for the good of our relationship.
I realized my “history” of “speaking up” did rock the boat and ended our 30 – year marriage. Even though I will not return to unhealthy patterns of communication and behaviors, I felt vulnerable and fearful of what might happen with Larry and me because I spoke up and asked clearly for what I wanted and shared what I didn’t want. Deep down, I sensed this wasn’t about my relationship with Larry, but past relationships and what happened.
I prayed and asked God for help. Here is what I heard Spirit say: “As you speak up and share your truth, you are modeling healthy communication and this is good, Pat. Don’t be afraid, trust me, trust yourself and trust your relationship.”
I am choosing love instead of fear. Today love means being honest, open, willing, authentic, trusting, worthy and deserving. Fear means holding back, denying, pretending, running away, pushing away, minimizing, pleasing another at the expense of myself and not rocking the boat.
I invited Larry to share his thoughts, feelings and history about communication in a relationship.
I believe that communication is crucial in any relationship, especially with your partner. Like Pat, I didn’t have the skills to communicate in my first marriage, but I have had a lot of years to practice and learn. If my ex-wife confronted me with something that was bothering her, I would automatically get “defensive” because it made me feel “wrong” and I didn’t like that. I didn’t understand that it was her perspective and it didn’t automatically make me wrong.
Today, I am open to listen when something is bothering Pat and I don’t have to defend myself. We are able to work things out so both of our needs are met. When Pat has a problem I try to be present to her with patience and kindness even though I may be seeing things from an entirely different prospective and may not agree with her. It’s not always easy but we both feel it’s worth it.
I am so fortunate that Pat has the great communication skills that she has. She seems to be able to get right to the point of a situation without being “accusatory” or insensitive and that’s great. That doesn’t necessarily make it easy for me because most times, the result is that I have to look at myself and my actions to discern what is going on that I may need to change.
Pat is teaching me how to communicate more effectively and ask for what I want, which is something I didn’t do real well. Looking back, I realize I didn’t ask for what I wanted because I didn’t know what I wanted. I was focused on my family and pleasing them and making them happy. I also didn’t feel deserving to ask even if I did know what I wanted. The beginning of my journey to find out who I was and what I wanted started many years ago when I lost everything: my home, family and business.
It is in a man’s DNA to “protect” his woman. I had a tendency to want to “help” whether it was wanted, appreciated or needed. I am learning to ask Pat if she wants my help and let her make the decision. Pat feels respected knowing she can do something on her own if she wants to, and it also takes the pressure off me to always feel like I have to help her.
I believe Pat feels a sense of love, security and protection, but I am not taking care of her, she is an intelligent woman who makes her own decisions, knows what she likes and dislikes and makes her choices accordingly. We are a couple who love and care for one another, love spending time together and doing things together and we each have our own lives and interests apart. We are joined at the heart not at the hip.
I am trying to live my life as a “vessel of love” and to do that I’ve had to make a lot of changes. I’m still learning to turn to the energy and light of love within when I need guidance and not allow fear and ego to influence me. Love has never failed me and never will. There is nothing stronger than the energy of love.
God has used my dear friend, Joanne, to speak to me many times over the years. I dropped out of college in my junior year for 1 year because I was afraid of writing a 20 page paper. I have no idea what she said to encourage me, but whatever she said, I knew it was God and I returned to school the next semester. I graduated a year later and then went on to finish a Master’s degree. I am so grateful that I listened because I wouldn’t be living my dream today.
Joanne was unable to attend my presentation, “The Power of Self-Love to Manifest Your Dreams” in Rhode Island due to health challenges. A couple of days before the talk we spent the day together and I presented my talk to her. She was very quiet as she listened intently. When I finished, she looked at me and said, “Wow, this is the outline for your next book, Pat. I knew everything that happened to you but I couldn’t wait for you to tell me what happened next.” I sat there with tears in my eyes because I sensed God was speaking to me. I closed my eyes and heard God say, “HEAR WHAT SHE HAS TO SAY, PAT.” I hadn’t shared with Joanne what people have been saying to me about writing a sequel to my book. I said to myself, “OK God, show me the way. I ask you to bring it to me.”
Larry and I have been praying about the possibility of writing a book together about our story and the power of Love Energy in our lives. I shared with Larry what Joanne said to me and we agreed to continue to pray for guidance. Since I write my blog every week, Larry agreed to begin writing some blogs with me and see how that felt for us.
Here is what showed up today and how God is guiding us. Several months ago, I received a message on Facebook from a woman named Sharon, that I had not met before. She was moving to Maui and asked about a spiritual community. When she arrived, she called me and we planned to meet at Unity Church that Sunday. I had to leave the service early so we just got to say hello to one another.
She called me afterward, but we couldn’t get together since Larry was moving in and we were very busy. I ran into her at the theatre right before my trip to Rhode Island and she said, “Pat, I would really like to get together with you.” I said, “I will call you when I return home from Rhode Island.” When I returned to Maui, she kept coming into my mind and I knew I needed to call her and get together. When Larry asked me who I was having tea with that day, I told him the story of Facebook and that I didn’t really know Sharon, but that I knew we were meant to get together. As I was leaving the house to meet Sharon, I heard Spirit say, “Go back and get your book,” which I did.
Sharon and I didn’t waste any time getting to know one another when we met. We shared our lives and how our faith and trust in God brought us to Maui. She is the author of “Sacred Living, Sacred Dying – A Guide to Embodying Life and Death” and has had 2 near death experiences, which were very inspirational. She also owns a publishing company called “Sacred Life Publishers.”
I sat there quietly at first when she told me she owned a publishing company. I wondered if this could be a “Divine Encounter” and had God brought Sharon into my life to help me move forward with another book?
I shared that Larry and I were praying about writing a book together and what had happened with my friend, Joanne a few weeks ago. She smiled and grabbed my hand as my eyes filled up. She said, “I will help you Pat with whatever you need.” I said, “Thank you, I had no idea you had a publishingcompany.” And she said, “I had no idea you were an author and wrote a book.”
I was excited to share this news with Larry about Sharon’s publication company and wondered what his reaction would be. Would he see this as a sign from God that we were meant to write a book together? Just that morning, he had agreed to write something for my blog.
Here it is:
“Pat and I share and discuss our spiritual journey all the time, we respect and encourage each others growth and value each others opinion. We have been praying about writing a book together and were waiting for signs that it was God’s will.
Writing a book together and even writing in her blog each week is definitely a stretch for me and I am completely out of my comfort zone. It’s really difficult for me to share my spiritual journey and private thoughts in public. I have learned, however, that Spirit will give us gentle nudges to get our attention to do something and if that doesn’t work then we may just get banged on the head. I think I’m feeling gentle nudges and I better listen.
For as long as I can remember I’ve had dreams filled with being chased, being in very stressful situations and generally very unhappy circumstances. Pat and I have been doing the Emotion Code by Dr. Bradley Nelson to release trapped emotions regarding my dreams and I have definitely experienced a shift.
The day after Pat met with Sharon, I had a dream that was very meaningful and I believe could be a sign from God that we are meant to write a book together. In my dream, Pat and I had a baby and I was trying to find a place to lay it down. The baby started to become cranky and unhappy. I remember thinking “You are not going to be a cranky baby and the baby instantly became happy and peaceful.” I believe, perhaps the “BABY” could be representing the book that we are considering and could be a nudge in that direction.
During my walk and meditation that day, I thought, “I want to accept every gift, every occasion in my life as something positive even if it frightens me or is asking me to stretch and leave my comfort zone. I will be open to all possibilities and see every gift as an opportunity.”
So, stay tuned, I believe the sequel to “Simply a Woman of Faith” has been birthed. WHEN YOU LEAP, YOU REAP and God gives you wings to fly. And while you are leaping into the unknown and the mystery, Spirit takes over and all of your needs are provided for. I know it is time for the next book and I say YES!
I breathe in God’s love, I breathe out fear and control. I surrender to the moment, and God’s will in my life. I say YES to the mystery and adventure we are stepping into of writing a book together. Help us know you will show us the HOW, WHERE, and WHEN in the perfect and right timing. I trust you will bring us the people to help and guide us and that it will flow with peace, ease and grace. All we have to do is “show up” and do the next right thing. Thank you God because with God all things are possible.