Browsing all articles tagged with faith

God open and closes doors

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Mar
4

For the past 40 years of my spirtitual journey, I have practiced the concept of “open and closed doors.” 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 am left wandering in the hallway until the next door opens, especially when it takes a long time for the next door to open. Over the years, I have learned to trust that when a door is closed, there is always something better and more aligned for my highest good.

“Closed doors are a valid part of GUIDANCE. When God closes a door, it’s because there is 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

Alan Cohen in his book, “The Grace Factor” discusses grace and GUIDANCE. He writes “Never underestimate the power of grace to find you where you are and take your hand. No situation is so dark, dismal, or disgusting that grace cannot enter and move you to a higher ground. When you stepped outside the gate of the Kingdom, a homing device was implanted in your heart. That device has functioned perfectly, constantly feeding you information about where to turn, when, and how. The fact that you have chosen not to listen to its message has not daunted it from broadcasting impeccable guidance. YOU KNOW ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN YOU NEED IT.”

Here are a couple of examples in my life of closed doors that turned out for my highest good:

1. A year after my divorce, I met a man and we were engaged to be married. We were together for 2 years. As I look back on it today, I realize that we would not have made it together. God closed the door and I remained single for 15 years before I met Larry. If God hadn’t closed the door, I would not be where I am today. It was the desire of my heart to meet my soulmate and I “waited” in the hallway for 15 years. At times, I felt angry and didn’t understand why it took so long. I tried banging on the door because of my impatience and lack of trust. That didn’t work! I learned many lessons in the hallway about trust, surrender and God’s perfect timing. For me, it is always about TRUST and I am learning to trust that when I am ready, the door will open at the perfect and right timing.

 2. During my divorce, I prayed and asked God for guidance whether to sell my house or remortgage it because I couldn’t afford the monthly payment. When I finally made the decision to re-mortgage my house, the peace came. My ex-husband needed to sign the papers because we weren’t divorced yet, which he agreed to do. On the day of the closing, he decided he wasn’t going to sign the papers and there was nothing I could do about it. A week later, to my surprise, I received a letter from the mortgage company informing me that the interest rate had gone down (on its own) because it was an adjustable mortgage. The payment was the same as if I had re-mortgaged. God closed the door through my ex-husband’s last minute refusal to save me money.

I don’t know about you but, as a parent, it is difficult to watch your child suffer when a door is closed, especially if it is something they really wanted. Recently, one of my children applied for his dream job and it looked very promising. When he told me that he didn’t get it, my heart hurt and I felt sad and disappointed for him.

It was important for me to allow him his feelings and process. It was not the time to talk about closed doors and the door closed for his highest good. I needed to be there for him and be compassionate, loving and supportive. I had to wait until he was ready to talk about it without pushing and prying. It is easy to do a spiritual bypass which means to deny your feelings and push them down. I didn’t want that to happen to him.

When I am living in faith, I trust that a Higher Power or the Universe knows what is best for me (and my family and friends) because I don’t know what lies ahead. I am sure we have all had experiences when a door has been closed and it’s only afterward that we understand why.

Are you in the “hallway” now in some area of your life? Learning to wait with grace takes trust, surrendering to “what is” and patience. When we trust that our Higher Power has the perfect plan and timing for us, we will have peace that passes all understanding. I love the statement “God has my back.” Do you agree?

It was so easy to backslide

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Jul
21

Getting back into my “LIFE” after 2 weeks of being away takes some doing, or shall I say some BEING. I am so grateful to be home to paradise and to my sweetheart, Larry.  Before I left to visit my family on the mainland, my INTENTION was that my trip would flow with peace, ease and grace and that I would get into the FLOW of activities immediately. I didn’t want to give into “jet lag” with traveling 5000 miles across the ocean and being too tired to spend time with my family. My prayer was answered because I felt great and didn’t waste any time getting into things. I visited my son, daughter-in-law and new grandson in Connecticut and then went kayaking with my children and grandchildren the next day.

I had a wonderful visit with my family and girlfriends. My 4 children attended the annual family reunion at my daughter, Mary’s, farm and my son, Tim commented, “This was the best one yet” and I agreed.  I held my new grandson, River, for the first time and what a blessing that was. I had so much fun with my grandsons: Jarred who will be 2 years old, Zach who will be 25 and Josh who is 20.

It was a busy time and the 2 weeks flew by.  Although my life on Maui is much slower and relaxed, I was able to keep up with all of the activities, but was often in bed by 9 p.m. My daughter, Mary, and I gave a retreat for 20 women at her farm. It was a powerful day of healing and transformation. We look forward to giving another one next year. We also celebrated the grand opening of “The Sage Clinic” (naturopathic clinic) which was started by Mary and Naturopath Dr. John McGonagle.

When I returned home to Maui a few days ago, I wanted to “jump back into my life” and not “waste“ any time.  There was so much I wanted to do; answer emails, get pictures developed, call friends, follow-up with women on the retreat, write thank-you notes, write blog, unpack suitcase and on and on.  I quickly recognized that it didn’t take me long to get back into my “DOING” mode. Perhaps I feel more in control and more powerful when I am in the DOING mode and have a long list of things to accomplish. Of course, there is nothing wrong with doing, but FIRST THINGS FIRST.

As I prayed about what “TO DO” next, I heard God say, “I want you to relax and just BE.”  I asked myself, “Did I think BEING was just wasting precious time?”  Time is a gift God has given us and it is up to us to do what is best for ourselves.  By the grace of God and my willingness to listen to Spirit, I was able to relax and take care of myself. I took several naps, sat outside and enjoyed the breeze, flowers, ocean and the mountains.

You see, my body was clearly very tired from the schedule of the last 2 weeks and being up for 24 hours when I traveled back home. But my mind and perhaps ego was saying something different. My mind said, “You need to get things done first before you can relax.” I realized this was an old belief that no longer served me.  I remember when my children were teenagers and clearly capable of taking care of themselves. I wasn’t able to relax until everybody was taken care of. Not knowing any better, I put myself last.

If I want peace (which has been my daily INTENTION for many years), then I must pay attention to my body, mind and Spirit and give it the love it needs. I choose to live in the moment, follow my heart and trust that I am being led and that everything is in perfect and right order.

 Larry

I have been reading Michael Singer’s book, “The Surrender Experiment” and Eckhart Tolle’s, “Stillness Speaks.”  In both books the authors encourage their readers to learn to accept whatever comes into their lives and not resist.  

 

My understanding of what they’re saying is that there is a Higher Power available to us and we can be helped by this Higher Power with any of our life’s situations if we just remain open to that possibility.   The experience may not be pleasant and may even be painful. We are encouraged to just accept, no matter what it is.  If we feel that we just can’t accept what’s happening at this time in our lives, then accept that we can’t accept. By accepting, we stay open and we allow the Higher Power to grant us the gift that each life experience is bringing us. By resisting what’s happening, we close ourselves to our Higher Power which prevents us from receiving help.   

 

As I write this piece, I am being distracted by my neighbor’s gardener who is using his loud leaf blower and weed whacker on one side of my home and on the other side they are doing construction.  I can imagine my Higher Power observing me with a smile as I try to concentrate and accept in this present life situation.

 

Accepting is a new way of life for me.  The other day I decided to take a nap in the early afternoon. We don’t have air conditioning so we keep our windows and doors open. As I lay there, I became conscious of just how noisy it was outside.  Dogs barking, people mowing lawns, hundreds of birds singing and chirping, etc.  Usually, I would feel frustrated, impatient, angry and get all stirred up and would go into the “poor me, poor me” mode.  

 

I have been working very hard to learn to be more accepting and just allow things to be the way they are. I decided to accept everything that was going on outside and stay open to possibilities.  Before I knew it, I was able to visualize this commotion outside as a large philharmonic orchestra playing a beautiful symphony.  I know this sounds crazy but it was really cool and before I knew it I was asleep.

I know this is just a small example in accepting, but if I can develop a new habit of staying open to life situations then hopefully, I can become more open to accepting larger situations as they arise.

 

We’re finding that it seems to be easier to “accept life situations” when we really try to live in the moment and not pay attention to what may happen in the future or what has happened in the past.  Tolle suggests that what is happening in a life situation is not us; we are “who is observing the situation.” We are the one who is conscious of what is happening in that situation.  It seems like when I can remember that I am an observer in the experience, I can stay open better and accept what is happening in the moment.

 

It’s such a positive experience to allow ourselves the opportunity to be flexible, to not be afraid of change, to be open to new ideas, and to accept the gift of joy and peace that is being offered to us.  I send you the energy of love and light to help you on your journey, please accept my gift.

God provided everything I needed at yard sales

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Apr
20

Many people have commented on the first chapter of my book, “Simply a Woman of Faith.” It’s called God is my Bargain Hunter – How God Provides at Yard Sales. After reading the chapter they say to God, “If you provided for Pat like that, I will ask too.” It really is about believing and being grateful before things “show up.”  God is still providing for me on this beautiful island of Maui. Sometimes it feels like magic the way I am provided for and it makes me smile.

I love how the Universe works when I trust and allow things to flow. Last week, my friend, Sally, told me about a neighborhood yard sale in an exclusive, gated community in Maui. They have it twice a year and there are dozens of yard sales. Now, being called the “yard sale queen” by my friends, I was excited and planned on attending, until I remembered that I had a coaching session scheduled for 8:30 a.m. I thought about calling and asking her if she could come later in the day, but that didn’t feel right. I trusted that if it were meant to be for me to be there at 7 a.m. when the doors opened, she would cancel. Sure enough, I received an email from her on Thursday night informing me that she had to cancel. Of course, I was grateful and excited about that.

Larry asked if he could join me.  He’s been with me a couple of times when we’ve stopped at yard sales along the way. But this was different because this was the big league in a gated community with so many yard sales. I said, “Larry, I would love you to join me, but you have to be willing to follow my yard sale protocol.  This is what we do: We first peruse the whole area to see if there is anything we want. We move fast and don’t hang around to talk to people because if you snooze, you lose. Please don’t discourage me from buying something that I think is valuable.  He smiled and said, “Okay, honey, you’re the queen, I won’t interfere, I’ll let you play.”   I just love how he loves me!

We left the house at 6:30 a.m. as planned to find the treasures we were looking for (or not looking for). As always, God’s timing is perfect. Larry’s birthday was the next day and I’ve been searching for the perfect painting for his “man cave” since he moved in 3 weeks ago. I was glad he was with me because I wanted to find him something that he really liked. Of course, I prayed and asked God to provide the perfect painting (and price) for him. We saw several beautiful paintings, but nothing jumped out at us. We had almost finished our “yard sailing” when I spotted another yard sale sign down the street.

I spotted the 2 matching flowering paintings hanging on the wall immediately when I walked into the garage.  I thought they would be perfect for over the couch and hoped that Larry would also like them. He not only liked them, but I offered the man less than what he was asking for them and he accepted happily.  As soon as we arrived home, Larry hung them up for me and they looked awesome. How much better does it get than that?

On another note on how God provided for me.  Last week, I was invited to my friend, Gail’s, house for a “play day” to paint and decorate rocks.  Our friend, Lesta, is an artist and paints rocks and puts spiritual messages on them. She then leaves them around the island for people to pick them up. We had so much fun being creative by painting and putting colored beads on the rocks. I loved the idea of painting rocks and putting messages on them and leaving them around the island and decided I wanted to do this myself.

I planned on going to Ben Franklin to buy some paint, brushes, colored beads and this stuff called, MOD PODGE, which I had never heard of or used before. We used this to glue on the beads and seal the paint on the rocks.

It is even hard for me to believe that I found everything I wanted for this project at 3 different yard sales. First, I found 9 tubes of acrylic paints and 6 new paint brushes that were perfect for painting rocks. A little while later, at another yard sale, I found the colored beads in a case for $2.00. I was thrilled and couldn’t wait to start my new project.  We were on our way home and only a couple of minutes from our house when I spotted one more yard sale. Of course, we had to stop and I was shocked when I saw the brand new bottle of MOD PODGE sitting on the table.  I mean, really!

Last, but not least of how God provided: Larry brought 2 of his antherium plants with him that look beautiful on our lanai and I told him that I wanted to buy some more plants. At the very first garage sale that we stopped at, God provided 6 beautiful potted flowering plants for my lanai at the perfect price.

As I shared in my book, “The beauty of my “yard sailing” lies not just in the price, but the knowledge that God does care about the details. His answers to my yard sale prayers constantly reminds me that I’m taken care of, that God is in my life and that He wants me to have all I need and desire. The fun I have finding bargains reminds me that God has fun when I have fun. I think God enjoys placing bargains in my path as much as I enjoy finding them.”

The tears flowed down my cheeks

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Mar
7

Author Melody Beattie writes, “Gratitude makes you happier. Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

Although it is my daily practice to be grateful for everything that comes into my life, whether I like it or not, I don’t always FEEL grateful. Sometimes it is a choice that I make because I know I will feel better and lighter if I practice gratitude. For example, I was driving in my car the other day and feeling kind of low as deep sadness welled up inside of me. I didn’t like how I was feeling, but I knew I needed to stay with it and allow whatever needed to be healed to come up. I know that happiness is an inside job and I will be as happy as I choose and want to be. I wanted to feel happy and not sad.

There is a delicate balance of admitting and allowing myself to feel my feelings so I can release and move through them and not staying “stuck in yuck” for longer than I need to. I had to let go of my need to control and figure out where the sadness was coming from. I needed to trust the process that it would be revealed to me in the right and perfect time. And it was!

My mood started to shift as I shouted out loud in my car, “I choose to be happy, I am happy. I am grateful.” I was definitely feeling better (not totally myself though) when I arrived at Larry’s house for dinner. Larry and I had had a “misunderstanding” the night before and I thought that could be a part of my sadness, but I wasn’t sure because the sadness I was feeling seemed to be way out of proportion to what happened with us. I knew it was “my stuff” from the past that was being triggered and coming up.

As Larry and I discussed our “misunderstanding” of the night before and each of our perceptions of what happened, the tears started to flow down my cheeks. It was like Spirit shone a light into my heart and I saw where the pain and sadness were coming from. It has been my experience that intimate relationships have a way of bringing up your “stuff” to be released and healed. Both Larry and I were triggered with “past stuff” and both experienced deep healing and transformation because of it. Thank you God because what sometimes feels like a set-back can really be a set-up by God. We were definitely set-up!

On another note, as I sat to write my blog today, I was definitely feeling gratitude for how things worked out for me this morning. Several weeks ago, while using the exercise bands at my aerobics class, I did something to my shoulder, but didn’t feel it until the next day. I have been icing it and using Arnica to help my healing. Although my shoulder was getting better, I still didn’t have full range of motion and it hurt when I moved it in a certain way.

I woke up on Friday morning and decided to go to the 9:30 a.m. aerobics class in the pool at the Fairmont Hotel. I knew water exercises were really good for healing, but I wasn’t sure what the best exercises would be. I didn’t want to re-injure it or make it worse. When I arrived, I was disappointed to see that the pool was empty and wondered if the class had been cancelled.

With that, this woman appeared before me and I heard her asking the woman sitting in the lounge chair, “Are you interested in joining the water aerobics class in the pool today?” I didn’t hear what the woman answered but I immediately piped up and said, “I am interested.” She smiled and said, “Great, we will do a class just for you.” Apparently, she had been walking around the pool and asking if anyone was interested in joining the class because she didn’t want to cancel it. She was about to leave when I “showed up.” When we got into the pool she smiled and said, “I am so glad you came, I really wanted to get in the pool today and teach a class.”

The instructor, Nancy said, “So Pat, tell me about what you need today.” I told her about what happened to my shoulder and that I was interested in exercises to strengthen my shoulder. For one hour, I had a private session with her that was totally focused on me and what I needed to do for my shoulder. My shoulder feels much better and now I know exactly what exercises to do to continue my healing.

One of the things that I love about living in Maui is how I have learned to live in the moment and follow the flow of what is before me. I followed my intuition on Friday morning to go to the water aerobics class and then had the opportunity to ask for what I wanted. Not only was I blessed to have a private lesson to focus on the best exercises for my shoulder, but the instructor, Nancy, was given the opportunity to share her gifts. A win-win for both of us.

So, all in all it’s been a great week of healing emotionally, spiritually and physically. I continue to practice gratitude, trusting everything is in perfect and divine timing.

 

 

God sent me an “Angel” to guide me to the right terminal

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Jan
6

As I boarded the plane at 7:00 a.m. on my way home to Maui, I felt anticipation and excitement about seeing Larry. Although I loved being with my family, friends and new grandchild for Christmas, I missed my soul mate and couldn’t wait to get back. I thought about the many qualities that I admire in Larry, in particular, how kind and attentive he is to me. I always feel heard and that he truly cares about what is important to me.  Spirit then brought to mind that what I see in others, both positive and negative qualities, are also in me.  

It kind of hit me in a new way. When I see something in Larry that I admire (or in anyone else), it is also in me too. I asked myself, “Do I admire kindness and attentiveness in me?  Have I owned and embraced these qualities as a part of who I am?   Am I kind and attentive to others and listen with my heart?”  To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever really thought about it, but it felt good thinking about the possibility that I was kind and attentive to others, as Larry is to me.

As I allowed this truth to settle into my being, I heard Spirit say, “You are not only coming home to Mother Maui, but you are coming home to yourself.”  This is the truth of who I am. I am kind, attentive and loving or I wouldn’t have recognized it in him. I am seeing my reflection in him because he is my mirror. The more I recognize the goodness in Larry, the more I will recognize it in me. I attracted a man into my life that has some of the same qualities that I have. How cool is that?

Is the unconditional love I feel for Larry an invitation from God to have the same unconditional love for myself? The more I love him, the more I love myself, or is it the other way around? The more I love, accept and appreciate myself, the more I will be capable of loving, accepting and appreciating him. I think that is more accurate. I have to love, accept and appreciate myself first before I can truly love, accept and appreciate another person.

I invited Larry to write out the qualities he admired in me.  One of the qualities he admired in me was my patience. I asked, “Are you able to recognize this quality in yourself?” He hesitated and then said, “I am working on being more patient, but have difficulty believing I am patient enough.” I encouraged him to embrace and accept that quality in himself because as he recognized it in me, it is in him.

I invite you to pick a person you admire and think about their qualities. Are you able to embrace these qualities in yourself? And if not, ask Spirit to help you see the truth about yourself. Wouldn’t this be a great New Year’s resolution?  Can you imagine what it would be like and how your life would be different if you consistently embraced and owned your positive qualities rather than focusing on what needs to be changed or what you don’t like in yourself?

I was given the opportunity to practice loving and accepting myself while I was changing planes on my way home to Maui. I arrived in Los Angeles in plenty of time and found the gate where I was boarding. It was a long walk through the terminal with many turns and doors to go through.  I called Larry, feeling very proud of myself that I found the gate and didn’t get lost.  As the time got closer to boarding time, I looked around and something didn’t feel quite right. I got up and asked the man across from me, “Are you going to Maui?” He looked at me and said, “No, I am going to Canada.”

I asked him to watch my bag as I ran around trying to find someone to ask where the flight to Maui was boarding. I finally found a woman behind a counter and showed her my boarding pass. She was very kind and walked me to the main monitor to see where the flight was boarding.

I almost fainted when she said, “You are in the wrong terminal. This is the Delta terminal and you need to be in the United terminal. She quickly gave me the directions to get back to the United terminal. I grabbed by bags and started running, not really knowing where I was going. I kept praying, “Help God, I don’t know where I am going.”

Right up ahead of me, I spotted a Delta pilot walking calmly through the terminal. I stopped and asked him for help. I am sure he could see the panic in my face when I showed him my boarding pass. He said, “I am meeting a friend at the United terminal, I will show you the way.” He looked at my boarding pass and said, “They are boarding now.”  We both began to run furiously through the terminal. I could hardly breathe we were running so fast.

When I finally arrived at gate 76, the woman behind the counter said, “Mrs. Hastings.” Just about in tears I said, “Yes” and showed her my boarding pass. I was the last one on the plane as they closed the door behind me. I sat down in my seat, still out of breath and all I could say was “Thank you God, Thank you God. I knew God had sent me the Delta pilot as my angel to guide me.

I could have easily been upset with myself for not being more aware and being in the wrong terminal.  I didn’t do that but instead, chose to love and accept myself knowing all is well and that I was being guided and taken care of the whole time. God sent me angels to guide me to the right place. There are times in our lives when we don’t know where we are going and we go to the wrong terminal, but when we trust in God, we are always led safely to the right place.

I was the queen of Multitasking

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Dec
4

As Larry and I were having a conversation about the holidays coming up, I thought about my family and friends and what I wanted to buy them for gifts. One of my love languages is giving gifts (and receiving them) so I wanted to find something that they would like.  As I thought about this, I decided that I wanted to love myself first and give myself a gift (as well as buying gifts for my loved ones). I didn’t want it to be a gift-gift, but something different and special. Before I share with you how I will love myself and the gift I’m giving myself, I will give you a glimpse of what my life was like.

There was a time in my life that I was the “Queen of Multitasking” and rushing. With four children under the age of 10, there never seemed to be enough time in the day and I learned to do many things at the same time.  I could be classified as an overachiever.  Can you relate?

For example, I was holding my son in my left arm nursing him, while counseling a friend on the phone and stirring something on the stove with my right arm.  I felt proud of myself and loved writing lists and crossing things off because at the end of the day, I felt like I had accomplished something and my day wasn’t wasted.  I didn’t know any better and thought it was a necessity to get everything done that I wanted to do. When we multitask, our attention is divided between other tasks which means that the quality of what we’re doing suffers. When we focus on one task at a time, the quality is definitely much higher.

I grew up in a home where I heard “hurry up” a lot.  I didn’t know how to do things slowly and one thing at a time.  Perhaps because I’m also a New Yorker, I did just about everything fast, from eating to driving to talking – and felt proud of it. Thank God, I have learned a better way and that is to relax and stop DOING so much. I have learned to BE, to enjoy and let fun and pleasure be the priority in my life.

That brings me to the gift I’m giving myself this Christmas, but not only at Christmas, but every day as a way of life.  Have you ever heard of the word “lollygagging”? I had to look it up in the dictionary to make sure it really was a word.  It says: “To spend time doing things that are not useful or serious or to fool around and waste time, to spend time idly, loaf.”

I wasn’t taught or encouraged to lollygag, but was taught the opposite; to be serious and get things done.  I have memories of being reprimanded for lollygagging and heard, “Stop lollygagging and get your room cleaned now.” Perhaps I knew the importance of lollygagging at one time but thought it was wrong or bad. As an adult, I felt guilty if I wasn’t doing or accomplishing something. I thought I was lazy if I just wanted to do nothing and relax. I sometimes still have to fight the belief that I’m lazy and that it is bad or wrong to do nothing.

I have a completely new understanding of what it means to lollygag today.  Lollygagging is being in the moment, having fun, being free, enjoying, relaxing, experiencing pleasure, being playful and kind of mindless.  It is really about letting Spirit lead me and doing what feels right in the moment. It is not a time to produce, to please, to impress, or to accomplish anything and there is no agenda. Can you imagine what it would be like to feel good about wasting time on yourself and to just fool around? It’s glorious.

I am proud to say that I am now the “Queen of Lollygagging” and pleasure.  I waste time on myself doing what I love and want to do.  Larry and I lollygag when we go to Costco and just kind of float around looking at new things and tasting all the food samples they give out.  We have so much fun and laugh and he calls it “Pollygagging” because we are now partners.  I mean really, how can you have fun and play at Costco?

You may be thinking, “Sure Pat, you’re retired and have the time to lollygag, but, I have a job and family to take care of and that is the last thing I can do.”  I know what it is like to have a family and a job and go to school at the same time. I know what it is like to go from one thing to another and still feel like there is so much more to do.  At one time, I put everybody else’s needs ahead of my own so there wasn’t time or energy for my needs and I was stressed and exhausted all the time.

With all the stress and demands in our lives, it makes it even more important to give yourself the gift of lollygagging once in a while.  Perhaps a few hours on the weekend or 1 hour a day, whatever feels good and works for you.  When our tanks are full because we have spent time loving and honoring ourselves we will be able to give to others from our surplus. You will also teach your children the importance of taking care of yourself and not being a martyr or saint because of all you do for others.

What gives you pleasure?  Whatever it is, give it to yourself and make yourself a priority. You are important and worth it. Start with doing one good thing for yourself every day and it will feel so good, that you will want to do it more and more.

This is the season of giving – to yourself FIRST and watch the miracles unfold. Then you will be able to receive with an open heart. You won’t look to others to fill and complete you because you have already given it to yourself.

 

 

I felt inadequate & “not good enough”

Posted Posted by admin in Blog (Weekly), Blogs     Comments 1 comment
Nov
7

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.

How Miracles found me last week

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Nov
1

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.

 

I can ask for what I want, but I don’t always get it

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Oct
9

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.

 

Happiness is a choice

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Sep
25

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.

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Pat Hastings

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

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