Browsing all articles tagged with spirituality

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.

Larry felt disconnected and scattered

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May
22

Mother Theresa wrote, “I am a pencil in God’s hand.”  Today, I say YES to be a pencil in God’s hand.  It is an honor and privilege to be of service to God and to the world.  It is my passion to inspire and share authentically from my heart my journey of Awakening to the truth of who I am and where I have come from.  It is my intention for you to find and connect to the “God within” (Source) and to live your life from this place of love.

I share “my stuff” and my process (which is not always easy) each week to let you know you are not alone as we all experience the same challenges and opportunities because we are all ONE.  I believe that openness breeds openness and we need each other on the spiritual path to be open and honest with one another.  Every step of your journey holds a lesson for you and I am grateful and humbled to share my lessons with you.

I started writing the blog once a month in 2007 when “Simply a Woman of Faith” was published.  That was a stretch coming up with something to write once a month.  In 2010, I started writing every week and have been ever since.  Now Larry and I write and share our journey together.  What a gift and blessing.

Some of you have been reading the blogs since the beginning and I thank you for your support and love. I especially want to thank all of you who have written and shared your experience with us.  If it wasn’t for YOU, we wouldn’t be doing this. It would be a delight and gift to us to hear from you and your experience in reading the blogs, whether you began in 2007 or last week.  We are open to receiving your feedback and love.

If anybody would have told me that I would write an inspirational blog every week, I would have told them that they were crazy. After all, I dropped out of a Bachelors program for a whole year because I was terrified that I couldn’t write a 20 page paper.  Miracles do happen when we are open and ask for help.

Writing the blog is like giving BIRTH EVERY WEEK.  Sometimes, it flows with peace, ease and grace and sometimes the process is painful and uncomfortable.  I am learning PATIENCE and to WAIT and TRUST in God’s timing. God is trustworthy and has never let me down.  Although, sometimes I wondered because it seemed like I had nothing to write about until I sat down at the computer to write.  And then it came as I let go of control and “my plan.”

One of the many gifts that I have received in writing weekly is that I have to PAY ATTENTION to what is going on inside of me and PROCESS it so I can write a message that is meaningful and inspiring.  It has also been a gift to have Larry join me and share his personal experiences of spirituality.  We are forced (willingly) to discuss our relationship and how to grow as a couple so we can be vessels of love.

I am learning to let go of control and what I think Larry should write or not write. Last week, when he didn’t write, I accepted it and supported his decision.  It’s been a great learning experience not to push him and do it like I think it should be done.  Author Kute Blackson writes, “The root of misery is control. Control is the master addiction, the hardest one to give up. Control is an illusion, as there is so much in live that we cannot control. When you try to control what you cannot, then suffering is your guaranteed result.”

Another gift of writing the blog is when I meet someone in the community and they say, “I love your blogs and my husband is reading it too or that is exactly what I needed to hear today.”

I am learning to not be attached to the outcome and results.  Of course, like anyone else, I love to receive feedback about what I write. When I don’t get any feedback, I have to let go of making up a story that people didn’t get anything from reading it. I have to keep my eyes on God and trust that if I am not meant to write anymore, Spirit will reveal that to me.  Perhaps it wouldn’t be good for my ego to get too much feedback. All I know is that I have to accept “what is” and not resist.

So in love and joy, we will continue to write and share our journey with you in hopes it will help you deepen your relationship with Source and inspire you to have the courage to follow your heart and dreams.

Larry

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been feeling spiritually disconnected or scattered. I think perhaps I’m being given an opportunity to learn to accept “what is” and not be stressed over what isn’t.

I’ve been contributing to Pat’s blog since last September (31 blogs).  It seems that every week Spirit will give me something to write about.  I just wait and trust that something will manifest itself and I will be inspired to share it with you. Last week, for the first time, nothing arrived as I waited and the days came and went.  I had a few thoughts and even started to write but after a few paragraphs I realized that I was just spinning my wheels and deleted it.

I manage an ocean front condo in Kihei to supplement my income.  I usually have no trouble keeping it rented until now.  I haven’t received any inquiries or bookings in almost a month which has never happened before.  Our summer months are not filling up and it is a concern because I work on commission.

In the past, my reactions to these two situations would have been very different than they are today.  In regards to the blog, I would have been stressed and forced myself to write something at any cost because I made a commitment to contribute each week.  I wouldn’t want to disappoint Pat or our readers.  I would have felt frustrated that I didn’t live up to my part of the bargain and that I let everyone down.

As for the condo, I would have felt stressed out about not performing and not doing enough to get it booked for the summer.  I would have felt frustrated that I wasn’t doing a good enough job and not being successful and giving my client my best effort.

Instead, what I actually did was recognize that these situations were giving me an opportunity to practice accepting and not resisting things as they are.  In both instances, I didn’t feel like I had failed, but had accepted the way things were and I looked forward to writing in the blog whenever I had something to contribute.  If the condo books that’s great and if it doesn’t, well that’s just the way it goes. It’s not the end of the world.

I’m learning that what I resist persists.  When I constrict, I close my heart.  I’m trying to protect myself from the unpleasant circumstances of the situation.  When I do that, I prevent the possibility of receiving the help the Universe is trying to give me.  When I remain open and accept things as they are, I relax and open my heart and allow the energy and light of love to help me in the situation.

Learning not to resist is a difficult lesson for me to learn because I think I’ve been resisting often during my journey.  It’s important for me to remember how wonderful things turn out when I am able to accept and when given the chance love performs miracles in my life.

 

I call her “Sparkle” & she inspires me

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Apr
8

This Easter Sunday was very special to me as it is the 1st year anniversary of my “Awakening.” Last Easter, Larry joined me for the Easter Sunday celebration at Unity Church.  I was so touched when he gave me a beautiful flower lei right before the service.  I remember during the service, praying, “God, open my heart if Larry is my soul mate.”  I was just beginning to have some romantic stirrings towards him after being best friends for 2 years. I believe it was that prayer that awakened me to the reality of love right before my eyes. I also know it wasn’t God’s timing until that very moment that my heart was opened.  Although we were best friends and had built our relationship on trust and respect, we each had some inner work to do before we moved to the next level.

I am amazed at all that has happened over the past year because I opened my heart to love. One year later, we are celebrating Easter Sunday service together again and Larry surprised me with a beautiful flower lei.  My heart overflowed with joy and gratitude. He not only surprised me with a lei, but he purchased leis for my 2 girlfriends, Kati and Catherine, who were attending the service with us.  How much better does it get than this?

As you all know, Larry and I moved in together last week. It was a big step for both of us, giving up our freedom and coming together to build our life together as a couple. For me, it feels like we have been together forever because it’s just flowed with peace, ease and grace. I love him living here and playing together. What a gift at this time in our lives to be together in love.

I asked Larry if he would be open to share with you his experience of our relationship and moving in together.  Here is what he wrote:

“Pat and I had been discussing moving in together for some time. I had been living alone for the past 3 years and was very happy in my condo. The thought of moving was not pleasant, even though Pat and I are very compatible, love one another and find much joy in being together.  Like most people, I don’t necessarily like change, so it was a big decision for me to make.

Even though I felt some fear, it seemed like the best thing to do. I am learning not to worry and control things, but to allow Spirit to do the work. I am also learning to choose love instead of fear. During this process, I realized how much of my decision making over the years has been fear- based. I often tortured myself with thoughts like, “If I do this, I am afraid this will happen and if I don’t do that, I am afraid that will happen.”

When I finally made the decision that the move was for my highest good and for the good of our relationship, everything seemed to just fall into place. Our mantra or prayer was, Everything will flow with peace, ease and grace.  Whenever I felt anxious about the move, Pat reminded me about the mantra and we would say it together. It really worked because “we get what we expect” and I was expecting it to flow with peace, ease and grace.

Here are a couple of examples:  I was feeling some concern about who would help me move the furniture and heavy stuff from my condo. I really value the relationship I have with the folks who owned the condo I rented. When I gave them my notice, they were really disappointed that I was leaving. To my surprise, they offered to move me to my new home in Maui Meadows. The move went, as we expected, with peace, ease and grace. Not being a “techie”, I was concerned about setting up my computer and smart TV. They not only moved me in, but helped set up everything up all in one day.  Pat has shared in her past blog about finding the beautiful stress-less recliner chair valued at $2000 for $800 delivered to our home. I am now enjoying the recliner every day and I love it.

My spiritual journey is similar to Pat’s and our desire is to be vessels of love in whatever we do & wherever we go.  In now living together, we are creating a rhythm that takes compatibility, flexibility and patience.  It is a perfect opportunity to develop and deepen our love relationship. It is my spiritual belief that Love is the most powerful energy known to humankind. For me, LOVE  IS GOD.  I do not allow fear to have any power in my life any more. I bring everything to love because that is where the power is and Love will never fail me. The more that I allow myself to be a vessel of love, the more love comes into my life.

Those of you who follow Pat’s blog realize what an inspiration she is. With her beautiful blue eyes and lovely smile, she lights up the room when she walks in. My nickname for her is “Sparkle.” She has been and always will be an inspiration to me.  She has encouraged me to love myself, to be positive and to trust the power of love.

I am settling into my new “home” and am enjoying our free and easy stress- less lifestyle.  My heart is full of gratitude for what Love has brought into my life. I am happy and look forward to walking this path of love with Pat as we grow spiritually as a couple and as individuals. We are given many opportunities every day to grow and become more conscious. Sometimes that’s scary, but it’s nice to know someone has my back. I look forward to continuing this journey and welcoming all the opportunities that will arise. “

Thank you God for all the blessings in my life. Thank you Larry for coming into my life and loving me the way you do. My journey has been enriched and deepened because of your love and presence.  Although Larry doesn’t see it in the future, who knows, we might even write a book about our “Love Story.”

“I want to give you more, but you must release and let go of guilt”

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Nov
4

I wondered what I was going to write about this week when I received an email from a woman in Rhode Island and – then I knew. She asked me this question.  “Pat, I have always wondered . . . exactly what are you doing in Hawaii?” Thank you Carolyn for asking the question because it prompted this blog.

My first thought was “nothing.”  But that is not the truth.  No Thing to means – I am living my life to the fullest, enjoying the beauty around me in every flower, butterfly and tree, feeling pleasure and joy in my body and soul. I am doing what I want, playing and having fun. In other words, I am “Showing up” for life and allowing miracles to find me every day. I am in constant gratitude for the blessings I experience and my heart is full.

What I am allowing is for my light to shine wherever I go and BEING God’s presence in this world. I think I am getting it – I don’t have to do anything, I just need to BE. WOW, isn’t that awesome? It has taken me this long to know and embrace this in my heart. Is this the purpose of life and what life is meant to be? I asked myself, “Is this what God created us for – to live in peace, joy, love and happiness? I have a plaque in my kitchen that reads, “The purpose of life is to be happy.”

People notice when we are joyful and happy because our vibration is high. My friend, Kati, and I were sitting across from one another at the pool, talking and at one point, held hands and prayed together. There were several couples sitting close by chatting with one another. As they all got up to leave, one of the men walked over to us and said, “You are both beautiful. I don’t know what you are doing, but keep it up because it works.” Wow, he as an angel.

I then wondered why there are so many people who are unhappy? I don’t believe it has to do with the amount of money we have or fame or success or anything like that. I know wealthy people who have no peace in their hearts and worry about losing what they have all the time.

Happiness is an inside job, it is knowing who I am and where I came from.  It is remembering that I was created in God’s image and God doesn’t make junk. It is knowing that it delights God to see me happy and enjoying my life. This is what we were created for. I want to delight God by appreciating everything I have been given. I think it also delights God when I love and cherish myself.

When I take my walk and look out into the ocean and up at the sky, my heart sings and I am grateful. When I say, “I live in Maui,” I smile and sing and rejoice from head to toe. I don’t know how I got here, other than believing and dreaming for years about it and being open to receive.

I believe that being open to receive is one of the keys. How hard it is for us to receive sometimes because we don’t fee deserving. We block our good, whatever that may be: success, abundance, healthy relationships, healthy body, peace or a job that is fulfilling and you are using your gifts, How hard is it to receive a compliment or receive a gift without feeling like you have to return something?

It is hard to believe that it will be two years in January that I have been living in Maui. I could have blocked this wonderful gift of living in paradise because I didn’t feel deserving or felt afraid to take the leap of faith – and it was a leap of faith, for sure, but it was also saying YES to God’s grace and God’s will for me.

If I didn’t have enough trust in myself and my God, I wouldn’t be living the life I am living. The journey is all about TRUST for me. I choose to trust myself that I am where I need to be and if I am not, Spirit will guide me another direction. I live my life in gratitude. I may not feel grateful at first when something happens that I don’t like or approve of, but I always get to that place of gratitude, because it is my belief that I attract everything into my life for my highest good- and that is help my soul to grow

Spirit revealed to me how I was blocking my good. Here is what happened: I woke up at 2 am this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. I lay there full of gratitude for what had happened during that day. My friend, Larry, came over to help me wash my windows  and do some odd jobs around my ohana. The ultimate act of being open and willing to receive was when I watched Larry wash my windows as I laid across my bed icing my back. I knew I was receiving a great gift of love (with no strings attached) from my friend. How good it felt to be able to receive. We spent the rest of the day together, playing and having fun. We went to lunch and then had dessert in another one of our favorite places.

As I was thinking about the day, I got quiet and then heard the “small still voice of God” whisper in my ear, “There is more, I want to give you more, but you must let go of and release your guilt.  Feelings of guilt block me from showering you with more blessings.” I wasn’t completely surprised because I had just become aware of some guilt surfacing into my consciousness. My life was so good, I felt so blessed and wasn’t doing anything, but living my life in joy, love and happiness. I asked myself, “What had I done to deserve this life of living in Maui with such good friends who love me?”

I think the DO, DO part of me had surfaced again and I was ready to do battle with it, because that is not my truth anymore. I prayed, released and let go of all guilt because I KNOW that guilt of not of God. Perhaps this comes from the old saying, “It’s to good to be true.”  I now say, “Yes, it’s true and it’s all good.” We don’t have to do, (pushing, striving, performing, teaching) we just need to be in our beauty and radiate our light from within.

What if, just what if we are all meant to live in love, peace and joy and find our passion and happiness within? I am living my dream, this gift that God has given me and I want to be FULLY open to it in every part of my being and soul. I want to appreciate and love everything and everyone I come in contact with. I am saying YES to all that is and all the good that God wants to bestow on me.

How about you? Are you ready to receive? Is there something you need to let go of and release so that you can receive your good?

“I sued the Catholic Church and won”

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Oct
25

 

My heart is heavy as I begin this blog because I would much rather share a miracle or a synchronistic story of how God showed up in my life this week. But as I reflect upon this, I know that I am sharing a miracle because of what I have survived – and am thriving – and inspiring others to do the same. I have had several situations this month where I needed to speak my truth when there was emotional abuse.

 

I humbly share this part of my life with you, not for you to feel sorry for me or to blame someone, but to share what I have learned, how I set myself free and how you can set yourself free from abuse. I couldn’t set myself free until I recognized that I was being abused as an adult.

 

I was sexually abused by a Catholic priest at the age of 12 years old in New York. Fifty years later, I and several other women who were abused by this priest brought it out into the light to the newspaper and TV. At the time, he was the pastor of his church and denied at the pulpit that he even knew us and told the congregation that we were only out for the money. It was devastating and painful. Not only did he deny the abuse that went on for 2 years, but denied knowing us. It was like being doubly traumatized. It was not easy to stand up to the Catholic Church and be seen and heard.

 

With the grace of God and support from family, I sued the Catholic Church and WON. The abuse of children had to stop and the only way to do that was through the courts. The lies, denial and continuing abuse had to be brought out into the open. There were many years of meetings with bishops and lawyers for it to be settled. It took a tremendous amount of courage to bring it all up again and realize the life-long effects it had on my life.

When you are abused as a child, it sets you up for abuse in later years of your life. It is like you are a sitting duck and “abusers” smell your vulnerability. It may not be sexual abuse again, but could by emotional or psychological abuse in a relationship or job. This kind of abuse be me more harmful than physical abuse because it can undermine what you think about yourself. It can cripple all you are meant to be as you allow something untrue to define you. The abuser projects their words, attitudes or actions onto an unsuspecting victim usually because they themselves have not dealt with childhood wounds that are now causing them to harm others.

 

 Some symptoms of emotional abuse are:

Humiliation, degradation, bullying, discounting, negating, judging, criticizing, domination, control, shame, accusing and blaming, trivial and unreasonable demands or expectations, denies own shortcomings, emotional distancing and the “silent treatment” islolation, emotional abandonment or neglect, codependence and enmeshment.

 

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/02/20/signs-of-emotional-abuse/

 

Here are some questions you might ask yourself:

 

Does anyone make fun of you or put you down in front of others? Do they tease you, use sarcasm as a way to put you down or degrade you? When you complain do they say that “it was just a joke” and that you are too sensitive? Do they tell you that your opinion or feelings are “wrong?” Does anyone regularly ridicule, dismiss, disregard your opinions, thoughts, suggestions, and feelings? Do you feel that the person treats you like a child? Do they constantly correct or chastise you because your behavior is “inappropriate? Do you feel you must “get permission” before going somewhere or before making even small decisions? Do they control your spending? Do they treat you as though you are inferior to them? Do they make you feel as though they are always right? Do they remind you of your shortcomings? Do they belittle your accomplishments, your aspirations, your plans or even who you are? Do they give disapproving, dismissive, contemptuous, or condescending looks, comments, and behavior? Do they accuse you of something contrived in their own minds when you know it isn’t true? Do they have trouble apologizing? Do they make excuses for their behavior or tend to blame others or circumstances for their mistakes? Do they call you names or label you? Do they blame you for their problems or unhappiness? Do they continually have “boundary violations” and disrespect your valid requests? Do they use pouting, withdrawal or withholding attention or affection?

 

As I look back over my life, I see clearly how emotional abuse continued for years because I didn’t recognize it as abuse because it was so familiar. It took me years to leave a marriage, a Christian community and a job that was abusive. Because of ignorance, fear and not believing in myself, I didn’t have a voice to speak my truth.

 

Today, I am happy to say that I have a voice and can spot abuse immediately and speak up to people who are abusive. I was determined to be healthy and do whatever I needed to do to heal from the abuse. I went into therapy, did energy work, attended support groups, left the church, forgave the abusers, and read books. You name it, I did it and it was worth it because I have been set free to be the woman God created me to be and to live my dream. Today, I help others to set themselves free.

 

It has taken me years, but I no longer accept unacceptable behaviors or stay in unhealthy relationships or jobs because I love myself enough and know that I deserve to be treated with respect and kindness, and so do you.

 

I recently came across a couple of quotes that spoke to my heart. “When all things align and power is at hand, your voice comes surely and strong. And you say what you mean, and the things that you say, are heard as your truth.” Author unknown

 

“Your soul has its own song. All of your life lessons help you get back in touch with the music of your soul. Authentic self-expression brings healing, release, and relief. Remember your song, and you will become magnetic and compelling. You will also find peace within yourself.” Alan Cohen – Wisdom of the Heart

 

It is good to see the TRUTH of who I am and who I have become. I am a strong, loving, spiritual woman of God who follows her heart and intuition. Today my voice is heard and I sing my song and the music of my soul. It is so empowering to speak up when I need to and stay away from toxic people.

 

I encourage you to see the truth of who you are and where you have come from.

 

I am so committed to my spiritual growth of transformation and seeing what needs to be changed in me that I had forgotten how strong I really am. I am wondering if that is true for you also.

 

I walked up to the man and said, “I need help”

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Sep
23

Last week I shared about some of the ways I love myself.  This week I would like to share about the ways I’ve felt loved, provided for and protected by the Divine.

I left my house early Saturday morning to facilitate the retreat/Play’dom, “Fall in Love with Your Inner Goddess.”  I planned on meeting, Kati, the co-facilitator at 8:45 a.m. to set up the space and get it ready for the women attending. I had ten minutes to spare when I noticed the big “garage sale” sign on the corner of the street. If you have read my book, you know that I am the “Yard Sale Queen” and just couldn’t resist a yard sale.  I jumped out of my car to look around the yard sale.  I found nothing interesting and walked back to my car. But, to my dismay, my car was dead as a door nail and wouldn’t start. I needed a jump start– perhaps I should not have jumped out of my car!

I looked around and noticed a man walking his dog across the street.  I walked over to him and said, “Hi, my name is Pat and I need some help.” I explained that my car was dead and I needed a ride to a house just a few blocks away. He said, “Sorry, but my wife has the car.” I am not in the habit of asking men that I don’t know for a ride, but I was desperate. I thanked him and walked back to my car.  A lady was outside on her lawn and I said to her, “I need help.”   She was so gracious and offered to drive me to my destination. But, I looked up and spotted Sally, a friend from my dancing group walking out of the yard sale. I thanked the lady and asked Sally to drive me to the house. I left my car there and off we went.  I totally forgot about my car and concentrated on the women at the retreat.

Thank you God for bringing Sally at the perfect and right time to help me when I needed it.  Thank you God that I wasn’t in the middle of nowhere and had a safe place to leave my car for the day.

The retreat was a success and the women all loved it.  We laughed, prayed, danced, sang and healed together. At the end of the day, Kati drove me back to my car to see if it would start. No, it was still dead. I called AAA and they said they would send a truck out in 40 minutes.  When the mechanic arrived and jumped my car with his cables, he said, “I’ve never seen this before, the problem may be the starter or the alternator. Lady, you better drive this car right home and bring it to your mechanic as soon as you can.”  I knew if I drove my car home, which was 30 minutes away, I would have to call AAA in the morning to have it towed to my mechanic. My mechanic lived a few minutes away from where I was.

At this point, I could hardly think straight and didn’t know what to do.  Kati said, “Why don’t you just call your mechanic and tell him what is going on.” It is now 7:00 p.m. on a Saturday night and Kati and I are hungry and exhausted. What is the likelihood of my mechanic answering the phone and being there?

To my surprise and delight, Andy answered the phone on the second ring. “Hi Andy, this is Pat, remember me, the lady that bought the 1997 Camaro.” I explained to him what was going on and I was just a few minutes away. He said, “Bring your car right over and I will look at it

Andy’s garage is attached to his home and when we arrived he was working on another car in the garage. He popped the hood of my car and said, “It just needs a new battery and I have one here that is almost brand new. Would you like me to put it in for you? I can have it done in 10 minutes.”   Of course, I said, “YES.” I was never so happy to write him a check for $100 and have a new battery put in my car.

I drove away thanking God all the way home for taking care of me in such a magnificent way.  It just all worked out perfectly from Sally picking me up and driving me to the house, to Andy being home at 7:00p.m. and having a battery there to put in my car.  I love how the Universe works when I trust and surrender.

I shared in last week’s blog about meeting the angel, Heidi, on the beach and that her message was, “Be Yourself and Let Go.”  On the morning of the retreat, Kati took her walk, and ran into Heidi walking on the beach.  They stopped and talked for a few minutes. Heidi said, “I have some new books in the trunk of my car that I want to get out into the world. Do you know of any women who would like them?”  Of course, Kati said, “Yes, I am leading a retreat later today and there will be 10 women there who would love them.”  I was amazed when Kati told me the story and how “Heidi” showed up again at the perfect and right time. The name of the book is “Awaken Your Royalty  – A playful blending of Body, Mind and Spirit –by Heidi Hohani.

I finished this part of the blog 5 days ago and KNEW there would be another “story” of God’s love to share, but I had to wait. God is faithful because the “story” was born tonight.

My friend, Kati, and I were having dinner together and catching up on the week’s happenings. As women do, we went from one subject to another. I shared with her about writing my blog and was waiting for another “story” of God’s love to unfold.  We both agreed it would happen.

My birthday is October second and Kati said, “What do you want to do for your birthday?” I said, “I have never been to Hana and would love to take a trip there.  Everybody talks about the “Road to Hana” with the beautiful waterfalls, windy roads and pools. It is definitely a must while in Maui.  Kati agreed to check around to see if we could find a place to stay for a night.

As we were chatting, a young woman walked by selling colorful leis. She stopped to greet us and told us her name was “Faith.” We talked for a few minutes and then she walked to the table behind us to greet the two women sitting there.  Kati said, “I just heard the woman sitting at that table say she lived in Hana.”  Kati and I just looked at one another and said, “Hmmmm.”

The next thing I knew I was up and walking over to the table to introduce myself to the women. “Hi, I’m Pat and I overheard you say you lived in Hana. I live in Maui Meadows and want to visit Hana for my birthday next week.  Do you know of a place we could stay?” After thinking for a minute, I was shocked when she said, “Do you want to swap houses? I am staying with my friend here tonight, but I love to come down this way when I can.”  That is how this “Divine Connection” began.  We decided to talk over coffee after dinner.

I went back to our table with a big smile on my face and said, “Kati, you are not going to believe what just happened. We have a place to stay in Hana – and it overlooks the ocean.”  We call it Maui Magic or “Ask and you shall receive.”  We needed a place to stay while in Hana and God answered the prayer. We will be “swapping houses” for 2 nights.

My new friend, Carol, shared with me that she wants to move to this area and this is perfect to stay in my ohana for 2 nights.  My friend, Linda, from Massachusetts is coming to visit me in November and Carol and I will be “swapping” homes again so I can take Linda to Hana.

I invited Carol and Sherri to see my home after we spent time getting to know one another at the restaurant. They are both women of faith and were thrilled when I gave them my book. I just never know when God is going to “show up” in my life. I do know that God is faithful. I have a feeling this is going to be a very special birthday.  And it has only just begun!

I received an email from Sherri  yesterday that read:  “Aloha.  It was “Divine Intervention” at work last night. I have been reading your book all day and thanking God for making our paths cross. I love your book and I can relate to so many things. Mahalo for taking the time to write it and gifting me a copy…..I’m so thankful to have met an AWESOME lady like you.

As I ponder God’s action and love in my life this week, I am reminded to ask for what I need, have faith, trust God in all things, and to know that I will be provided for at the right and perfect time.

“I woke up and had a half-hour of INSANITY”

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Aug
6

I am sitting at the LA airport with 3 hours to kill before I board the plane back to Maui and decided to write about my 1 month trip back to Rhode Island. My friend Larry asked me before I left, “What is your intention for your trip?” I immediately said, “That it flow with peace, ease and grace.” That seems to be a daily mantra for me in everything I do.

I truly believe that “We get what we expect.” I expected my trip to flow with peace, ease and grace and indeed that is exactly what happened. This is what I wrote in my journal the morning I left for Rhode Island. “I feel excited with expectant faith that my family reunion will be the best one ever. My intention is to love my family and friends and to let them know how much I love them. I only see perfection and all is well.”

I had an amazingly fun, relaxing trip filled with the love of family and friends. I was treated like a queen; taken to lunch, dinner, picnic, boat ride, bed & breakfast and a 4 day stay at Narragansett beach in the hottest week of the month. You know who you are so I say thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you who loved me and spoiled me.

I stayed with my daughter, Mary, on her beautiful Herb Farm for part of the time and she cooked delicious, nutritious meals for me. I felt like a gypsy because I stayed at 7 different homes in 4 weeks. Have bag, will travel was my motto. The day before I left, my daughter and her new boyfriend and I went to Newport, RI for a picnic. When we were driving home, Mary handed me a little package wrapped in newspaper and said, “This is a going away present from Glen and I.” As I opened the stain glass red shaped heart, she said, “This is because we love you so much.”  What a special moment that I will never forget and will treasure in my heart.

As we all know, being with family (for a month) can sometimes bring up old issues and dysfunctional patterns. I can truly say that this has been the best time with my family EVER.  Even though my children were young adults when my ex-husband and I got a divorce after 30 years of marriage, it took several years for the family to heal and deal. I sometimes felt like I didn’t belong in my own family and that was very painful.

Had my family changed, or had I changed? My daily prayer and intention when I get out of bed in the morning is to be peaceful, to love and to serve. Living in Maui and learning how TO BE had changed me from the inside out. I could feel the changes in me because I felt relaxed and peaceful and no longer needed to control people and situations around me. I had learned to “go with the flow.”  In prayer one morning, Spirit showed me that I needed to make an amends to one of my children that I had judged for many years. After I made the amends and it was accepted, I felt like I was floating when I attended church that morning.  God is good.

I know that “happiness is an inside job” and doesn’t depend on outer circumstances or how much money I make or who I’m with.  I decide how happy I want to be. Believe me, it’s not MAGIC and it doesn’t just happen. It’s about a committed relationship with the Divine within me where there is total trust and a KNOWING that all is well, no matter what.  It’s about an internal stream of gratitude or an “Attitude of Gratitude.” Here are the keys to my happiness: Trusting, Relaxing, Allowing, Gratitude, Forgiving and Accepting what is.

My son, Jimmy, bought my car when I moved to Maui. Since he also had a truck, I asked if I could use it while I was in Rhode Island. He said, “Yes” but a few weeks before my visit, he contacted me and said, “Mom, I need to sell the car because my friend is going to buy it now.” I knew something would show up and didn’t worry about it. I didn’t know until I arrived in Rhode Island that I would be driving my old red Honda again. His friend had a knee operation and the doctor told him he couldn’t drive a shift and my car was a shift.  I hoped that I could use the car for the whole time, but didn’t know when his friend wanted to pick it up. My son called me the day before I was to leave for Maui and said, “My friend wants to pick up the car today.”    Thank you God for taking care of the details and for your perfect timing

My flight was scheduled to return to Maui on Tuesday, July 30th.  My friend Gail called a few days before that and said, “There is a tropical storm headed toward Hawaii on Tuesday or Wednesday, isn’t that when you are leaving?” I felt some anxiety at first and thought about calling the airline to change my flight. I didn’t want to be stuck in the airport over- night if the flight was cancelled last minute. I decided, instead, to thank God and to trust and do nothing. Of course, I would keep an eye on the storm, but I wasn’t going to worry about it because it was out of my control. The storm hit Maui on Monday, the day before my scheduled flight. All flights were canceled that were going into Maui on Monday. I arrived at the airport on Tuesday and had clear sailing, except for a minor detail about a valve that needed to be fixed before we took off. The 86-year-old woman sitting next to me told me that her flight was on Monday and she spent the night at the airport until this flight. Some people were stuck in the airport until Thursday and Friday. Again, God’s perfect timing.

I arrived home safe and sound and spent the first day quiet and adjusting to being back in my home. I swam in the pool and took a walk along the beach to connect with the land again. I was surprised when I woke up the next morning and felt anxious and afraid in the pit of my stomach.

I had a half-hour of INSANITY as I woke up that morning from a dream.  Was it jet lag and being up almost 24 hours or was it my ego playing games with me?  I felt alone (even though friends had already reached out to me through email and calls). What was going on because nothing had changed – except my THINKING! I was in charge (or I thought I was) again because old patterns of impatience and wanting to know HOW, WHAT, WHEN and WHERE my life was going to change were emerging.  Instead of allowing things to flow with peace, ease and grace and the way I have been living my life for the last year and a half, I thought I could help a little and move things along a little faster.  Can you relate?  YIKES, I knew I was in trouble and needed to get back on the TRUTH track fast.

I jumped out of bed, got on my knees immediately and prayed the Serenity Prayer. I couldn’t wait to pray and meditate and find my peace again.

 

Here is a quote from Abraham that seemed appropriate. “What true patience is, is knowing that you want it and knowing that it’s coming and actually enjoying the unfolding along the way. Understand that you never get it done. So you might as well be patient. You never get it done, because every time you want and receive, you also receive a new perspective from which to want. Life is a constant unfolding of new desires and then a constant alignment to those desires.”

 

This is what I read in Creative Ideas by Ernest Holmes:

“I now establish in my thinking an attitude of expectancy of good things. I let go of the limitations of the past and live with the enthusiastic expectancy of the good that I will encounter today. I know that nothing is too good to be true and that nothing is too much for the power that can do anything. I expect the unexpected to happen and believe in a greater good than I have yet experienced. I keep my mind open to divine intuition which is the wisdom that guides me.

I believe that the Spirit within me, which is God, makes perfect the way before me. In this faith and knowledge, I discover a great peace of mind, a deep sense of belonging, a complete realization that God is right where I am. I put my whole trust in God and feel an intimate relationship with the presence and power which controls everything. The Spirit gently leads me, wisely counsels me. I know that the love that envelops everything flows through me to everyone, and with it goes a confidence, a sense of joy and of peace, as well as a buoyant enthusiasm and zest for life.”

The peace has returned, I am grateful and trusting that all is well and flowing with peace, ease and grace. I have discovered a great peace of mind, a deep sense of belonging, a complete realization that God is right where I am. I put my whole trust in God and feel an intimate relationship with the presence and power which controls everything.

 

 

 

My stuff came up & I am transformed by the renewal of my mind

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Apr
25

When my friend, Ellen, invited me to Maui for 2 weeks in November, 2010, I had no idea I would be living in Paradise 2 years later. God had a plan and I just kept saying YES to the invitation – not having any idea what it would look like or how it would happen.  Step by step, I faced my fears and moved into the mystery and the unknown.

I see today that My “PLAN” was not God’s plan and I am grateful that I had the grace to surrender, let go and allow God to lead and guide me (not without struggle, at times). Before I moved to Maui for 6 months in January 2012, while I was in Maui in November, 2011, I spoke at 2 churches and presented a workshop for women at the Senior Center.  So of course, I thought when I moved to Maui in January 2012, I would continue to do this. My “PLAN” was to continue my work as an inspirational speaker, retreat leader and spiritual coach.  I realize today that God needed to do “some work” in me and I needed to do some “letting go” before I moved forward in this way. It was not God’s timing or God’s plan.

Before I moved to Maui I was warned that all of my “stuff” would come up. I felt a little smug and thought I had worked for so many years on my stuff already, I was safe. Silly me, I should have known better because whenever we are being called to a higher level of consciousness or some big change is occurring in our lives, our stuff comes up. If I am honest, even though I don’t like it at first, I welcome my “stuff” coming up because I want to be the best I can be, so I can serve and be a vessel for God in the purest way. My stuff has come up (as I have shared in my weekly blogs) and with the grace of God, I have been transformed. I read in one of my spiritual books, “While you wait in my presence, I do my best work within you to transform you by the renewal of your mind.”

I wrote in my blog of Jan. 24, 2012 – Waiting has not been my favorite thing to do, but I have learned over the years that it is essential to my spiritual health and well-being to wait on God. I arrived in Maui 5 days ago and it is beyond words how grateful I feel for this opportunity and adventure. In prayer this morning, I became aware of “old behaviors” creeping in and robbing me of my peace. Rather than resting in the energy of BEING and trusting in the divine plan to unfold in its own time and own way, I felt tempted to control and make things happen. I thanked God for this awareness and strengthened my resolve to live in the moment and trust the divine plan. “By waiting and by calm, I shall be saved, in quiet and trust lies my strength.”

When I arrived in Maui in January 2012, I was surprised when I had “no desire” to call the churches, do workshops or coach others. “What was going on”, I wondered.  As I shared earlier, I struggled with this because this was not MY PLAN.

I wrote in my blog of March 6, 2012,  I FINALLY GOT IT and I am so grateful! It will be seven weeks since I have been in paradise and it has been quite a ride!  I am happy to report that, not only am I living in Paradise but I have found Paradise inside of me. I had a major shift in my consciousness while in prayer this week. Deep within my soul, I knew the reason I was here was to receive God’s love. It seemed so simple and yet profound. I said, “God, do you mean I don’t have to do anything?” “Yes, I want you to experience my unconditional love without having to do anything. How will you be able to receive the love from your soul mate that I have planned for you if you are unable to experience my love completely and unconditionally?” Wow, I knew God was speaking to my heart. It’s been over two weeks since I received this message and I feel an incredible freedom to enjoy the present moment, to be in the flow of the Spirit and to trust each moment and experience to unfold perfectly. I am invited to play in God’s playground and enjoy every moment. This is a gift from God with no strings attached. I don’t have to do anything to earn it.

During this time of waiting, I read a book called “Faith” by A.C. Ping. Here is what it said: “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.”

As I write this blog, it is hard to believe that it has been 15 months since I have been living and playing in paradise. I have listened to my intuition and not attempted to further my career in any way. I have trusted that although nothing seemed to be happening on the surface, a whole lot was happening below the surface.”

A couple of months ago, I attended a talk with my friend, Jodene, and after the talk I said, “You know, something is stirring in me because I miss speaking and doing workshops. I will pray about it and ask God to open the door and bring to me what it is that I am to do – if anything.” I let it go and felt peaceful.

I met, Kati, a year ago when we were on a retreat together. I was drawn to her – she was a shining light and I loved her energy.  We exchanged emails but it wasn’t time for us YET! She lived on the other side of the island and we didn’t get together until I moved here this past September.  I had the opportunity to house- sit in Makawa, Maui before I moved into my home in Kihei.  Kati lived 2 minutes away and was friends with the women I house- sat for.  Kati and I reconnected and spent time together having fun and playing.

A couple of months ago, as Kati and I shared our spiritual journey with one another, we both felt that God was calling us to do something together. We didn’t know what it was, but we agreed to pray about it. A few weeks ago, Kati invited me to come and paint with her at her new home on the ocean and I was really excited to paint with her.  I am not sure how it happened but before we knew it, we were planning a day of healing together. It just flowed from both of us easily and effortlessly. There was no struggle, only ease and grace. Kati painted the flyer as I painted the ocean.

I am amazed and grateful how this has unfolded so easily. We are on fire and so excited to share our gifts with women. The title is “This is What I am Here For.”  Celebration of your Divine Feminine Mother Earth.  Discover inner clarity about “This is what I am here for” as Divine Feminine grounded in the arms of Mother Earth.  Join in Celebration, Meditation, Revelation, Forgiveness, Healing, Visioning, Dancing, Ritual and Laughter as your gift to Self.It will be held on May, 11, 2013.

WATCH OUT MAUI BECAUSE KATI AND I ARE COMING OUT

I had totally forgotten about this until recently. My daughter, Mary, gave me the gift of an astrology reading for Christmas. I was really surprised when he said, “Something significant would happen in my career in the month of May.” I had given up “my career” and I didn’t understand.  I wasn’t interested in my career any more; I wanted to know when I was going to meet my soul mate – more waiting on this one!  God does have a sense of humor. I don’t know what’s ahead, not even sure I want a “career”  and that is okay. I will trust God’s will and timing.

Gods timing is perfect. “My good is revealed in diving timing. I choose not to struggle with or force circumstances in my life. I know the time will be right when I feel a nudge from Spirit to move in the right direction. I pay attention to my intuition, knowing that inner wisdom and divine understanding direct me.”

    

  

Spirit showed me my prideful-better than attitude-YUCK

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Mar
5

Is there someone in your life who “pushes” your buttons? Is there someone who challenges your peace of mind when you are in their company?  Is it easier to see their faults and shortcomings (rather than your own) and consequently you blame and condemn them?  There may not be anyone in your life at this moment, (yea) but I am sure there has been a time when you had someone like this in your life.

I recently read in a Science of Mind magazine (pg.50) entitled Our Greatest Teachers.  Here is what it said, “This person is here to teach me a great lesson. They are reflecting back to me some place within myself that is still unhealed. They are calling me into a place of deeper love and honoring myself in spite of my flaws. I give thanks for every person who challenges me. I send blessings and ask for the gifts they bring to be revealed with ease and grace. Our true spirituality is tested when people come into our life that push our buttons.”

It is my belief that I attract every person and everything into my life for my highest good.  I must be willing to ask myself some important questions, “What did I do to create this opportunity to grow? Am I willing to see the gift that is being offered to me, especially when it doesn’t feel good?  What needs to be healed in me? Am I willing to take responsibility for my life and stop looking outside and blaming others for my unhappiness?” Is there some action I need to take (or not take) to take care of myself?  Is there something I need to do to heal the relationship i.e. forgive, pray for them or let go of resentment?

I would like to share the lesson and opportunity that I attracted into my life this week. As many of you know through reading my blogs, it is my passion to dance.  I love to dance and have been dancing since I was in 7th grade.  My mother and father were great dancers and I often danced with my father whenever I could. So, I know I am a good dancer and have been told I am a great follower.

This Saturday, I attended the weekly ballroom dance that I have been attending since I moved to Maui. There are group dance lessons each week to help us learn new steps and improve our dancing. The teacher is a great dancer and dedicated to teaching us to dance.  He often asks the women to dance when the lesson is over and during the dance.

He asked me to dance on Saturday night and I was delighted – until I made my first mistake! When we began the dance, I stepped backward with my foot instead of forward.  I thought I recovered quickly and began following him. He asked me, “Are you just learning this dance? I answered, “No, I have been doing it for a while. He then said, “If you were to dance with a man and do this, he wouldn’t ask you to dance again.” I was shocked and didn’t say anything because sometimes it takes me a while to process things. At the end of the dance he said, “You’re really not a bad dancer.”

I walked away and could feel the angry rising up inside of me. I thought to myself, “How dare you speak to me that way.  Don’t you know that I won a dance contest when I was in 7th grade, was one of the dance teachers for swing dance lessons at the VA hospital and was voted best dancer in high school?” Clearly, my pride was hurt.  I wanted to call him and tell him where to go and thought to myself, “Somebody has to tell him the truth about how he speaks to women because others have shared with me how he has spoken to them too.” He means well but his delivery sometimes isn’t the best. I wanted to call him to express my feelings, but I knew it wasn’t time to call because I needed to process it and deal with my anger first.

I asked myself, “Why did I attract this person into my life? What is the gift? Is it my pride that needs to be healed and transformed?  Is he reflecting back to me some place within myself that is still unhealed?  Am I being called into a place of deeper love of honoring myself in spite of my pride and flaws? Was this an invitation to believe in myself (that I am a good dancer) and not feel insecure despite what the “dance teacher” said? For much of my life, I looked outside for validation and approval and didn’t know that the approval I needed was inside of me all the time.

After I worked through my anger, I prayed and asked for guidance and discernment about what I needed to do next for myself.  Holding onto resentment was not an option because that would only hurt me and block my spiritual progress.  I knew I was not a victim and had choices. I could speak up, I could detach and not take things personally, or I could simply not attend the dances and be in his presence.

I am reading a best-selling book called “Zero Limits” (The Secret Hawaiian System for Wealth, Health, Peace & more) by Joe Vitale.  I have been practicing the principles in the book on a daily basis.  In his book, he explains the ancient Hawaiian Ho’oponopono system.   He writes, “Ho’oponopono is a profound gift that allows one to develop a working relationship with the Divinity within and learn to ask in each moment, our errors in thought, word, deed or act be cleansed. The process is essentially about freedom, complete freedom from the past.” It is a story about Dr. Hew Len, a psychiatrist who helped heal an entire ward of mentally ill criminals – without ever seeing any of them face to face. He used an unusual healing method from Hawaii. When he read the chart of each patient, he simply said, “I love you,”” I’m sorry,” “Please forgive me,” and “Thank you.”

Whenever the dance teacher came into my mind, instead of replaying what happened and feeling angry, I began to send him love and repeat, “I love you, I’m sorry, Please forgive me and Thank you.”

Prior to this incident, I had signed up for dance lessons at the teacher’s studio in his home.  I prayed about what I wanted to do and decided that I would attend the classes and see how I felt.  Last night was the first class and I felt nervous at first, but then relaxed into the moment and kept sending love and dancing.

During the dance lesson, the light bulb went off and Spirit showed me the truth about myself.  I felt embarrassed at first because of my prideful-better than attitude.   I didn’t think I needed to take lessons because I was such a good follower and dancer. YUCK.  The truth is that I need to take dance lessons if I want to be a better dancer – just like everyone else.

I am truly grateful to Spirit for the truth – for the truth shall set me free.  I celebrate myself today that I didn’t walk away and take it personally, that I chose to love, and that I trusted that there was a gift and lesson to learn.  What an opportunity to love myself (and the dance teacher) instead of beating up on myself for making a mistake, and for my shortcomings, as I did for so many years.  And I get to be a better dancer- how cool is that?

 

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Pat Hastings

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

Simply A Woman of Faith
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