I had a wonderful week “showing up for life” playing and being in God’s presence and grace. I danced, swam in the ocean, painted, prayed, meditated, did yoga, walked on the beach, had ice cream, kayaked, went out to lunch with friends, watched the whales jumping out of the water, went to a luau and a ukulele concert with world renowned Jake Shimabukuro. I enjoyed fresh herbs , oranges, limes, tomatoes, strawberries and asparagus from the garden where I am now living. WOW, I am so blessed and grateful for the grace to say “YES” knowing that I deserve to receive all that is mine by divine right. I know that the more grateful I am, I more I will attract things into my life to be grateful for. I can truly say that I don’t know anyone who is more grateful than I am. I asked myself, “Could having a grateful attitude be the reason I am living in Maui?” We all have the choice to live in gratitude, no matter where we live or what is happening in our lives.
I attended the Unity service on Sunday with guest speaker and past minister, Mary Omwake. Her message was “Happiness, “It’s a Practice.” She shared her 21 days to a happier life” 7 steps you can take to ensure increased wellbeing. Here they are:
- Smile with your heart several times a day.
- Laugh out loud, at least twice a day – for one minute or more.
- Be consciously grateful at least 3 times a day, really grateful – feel it, share it, write about it.
- Do something for someone else, anonymously if possible, or just because you can).
- Notice something you did right, review the steps in your mind at least once a day for 2 minutes.
- Every day do something you love for 15 minutes (that is physical.)
- Connect with at least one person who had blessed or enriched your life every day, by phone, email or letter.
These 7 steps are not “new” concepts and I know you are practicing some of them in your daily life, as I am. I have decided to incorporate the “laughing out loud” and connecting with one person through email, letter or call who has blessed my life every day. I have read that it takes 21 days for something to become a habit so every time I get in my car and start it up; I begin laughing out loud for at least one minute. It really feels good. Try it, you might like it (and let me know how you feel). In my morning prayer, I ask Spirit to guide me to whom I am to connect with and thank them for blessing me. You might be the next person that I am thanking.
A few weeks ago, I shared a story in my blog about my friends, Jodene and Trudy, and their experience of asking and receiving and instant manifestation. Here is what happened: After the Unity service a few weeks ago while walking out together, Jodene said, “I really want that picture hanging on the wall” and Trudy responded, “I have a signed copy of it at home and I would be happy to give it to you.”
During the service this past Sunday, I spotted Lee Shapiro in the back of the room, the artist who painted the picture and couldn’t wait to tell him the story of Jodene and Trudy’s manifestation. Of course, Jodene and Trudy were very excited to meet him also. He lives in Maui and invited us to come to his home and see his studio. We didn’t waste any time and took him up on his offer. The next day, 4 of my girlfriends and I piled in the car and visited Lee at his home. What a treat to be in his home and see his beautiful paintings. We found out that Lee Shapiro is a nationally renowned watercolorist who has exhibited in over 40 galleries across the U.S. Not only is Lee a famous watercolorist, but he has a passion for life that is very inspiring.
He showed us his new book, “Living in Passion” and we each bought a book to remember the day. He has beautiful paintings and a poem that he wrote that resonated in my heart and soul. Here it is:
Living in Passion by Lee Shapiro
“I want to live my life full out, without fear or protection totally present in the moment. I want to love with infinite passion holding back nothing, unafraid of intimacy, unafraid of truth. Let love wash over me and through me as the mighty seas crash over the rocks on the shore, sending exuberant sprays of foamy waters skyward in ecstatic celebration. Do you want to dance with me, to throw caution to the wind? To lose our false sense of self and in doing, find our true selves. Let the wings of a glorious eagle carry us to heights unimagined. We might fall, but what an exhilarating ride we would have. Even the free-fall would be moments of rapture as we feel the wind rushing through our souls. Death is not the worst thing, NOT LIVING IS! When death comes, I will go unafraid, joyous in knowing that I played full out, that I did not hold back – that I felt love, sadness, fear, joy – all of it! That my life was a full-bodied symphony of feelings and experiences, played with fervor and fire, gentleness and softness. The notes will resonate in the heart of spirit, in this moment and for all time.”
These words touch my heart so deeply and it is how I am choosing to live my life. I want to love with infinite passion holding back nothing, unafraid of intimacy, unafraid of truth. I want to dance and throw caution to the wind. I want to lose my false self so I can find my true self. I want to live a life full-bodied symphony of feelings and experiences, played with fervor and fire, gentleness and softness.
Have I always lived passionately and in the moment? Absolutely not! I often pushed to make things happen. I was filled with fear and didn’t believe in myself. I looked outside for my answers. It is so important for us to see how we have grown and celebrate who we are and how far we have come. Spirit showed me how I have grown when I read the message on March 11 in “Until Today” by Iyanla Vanzant. It talked about being “obsessive doers” working so hard and always having to have something to do. This is how I lived my life for many years. Here is what it said:
“One reason we work so hard is that we are afraid. Few people will admit it, but most of us live in fear that we are not going to achieve our goals, receive the results we expect or fulfill our heartfelt desires. It is this fear that causes us to engage in a power struggle with God. If we really believe that you have to do it all, what do you think God is doing or can do for you? Strain, struggle, frustration, tension, anxiety, compulsion, obsession and fear are the results you get when you are pushing too hard. God, the creative force of the universe, the power over all life, doesn’t have to push to get you to what you want. As a matter of fact, if you would just ease up a bit, you might be surprised by what God will do on your behalf. Relax, sit back and give God a chance to do something for you.”
What a blessing for me to see my growth and how much better my life is now that I am not pushing and trying to make things happen. Today, I ALLOW things to happen, rather than trying to control everything, as I did for so many years because I didn’t know any better and needed healing from childhood abuse. I trust God and my intuition to guide me on a daily basis. It never fails me and I am living my life from the inside out and living in joy. Where have you grown and what do you need to celebrate about yourself today?
I encourage you to “ease up” a bit because you might be surprised by what God will do on your behalf. Relax, sit back and give God a chance to do something for you.
I had been reading the daily devotional “Until Today” by Iyanla Vanzant for many years. I put it on the bookshelf when I moved to Maui over a year ago, until yesterday. While in prayer yesterday, something nudged me to dust it off and start reading it again. I think Spirit knew I was going to need the message today.
Here is what I read:
Today I am devoted to living without judgements! I am devoted to letting things be! (March 4)
“From where you sit, it may seem that certain people should know better, they should be better and they know they should be doing better. The truth is that every time you should someone, you make a judgment. Your judgement reflects your belief in right and wrong based on what you know or may not know. Your judgement reveals your attitude of superiority that says you have the right to determine what must be done, how it must be done and who must do it. Your judgement shows that you resist accepting things the way they are. A judgement is a means of control. It is an attempt to get people to do what you need and want them to do in order to feel better about yourself. A judgement is a sign of fear. Most important of all, a judgement is the way you set yourself up to be judged by others.”
I received a text from my brother when I woke up this morning informing me that my 95 year old step-mother had a bad fall 2 weeks ago and had to go and live with her sister. Of course, I called her immediately and told her that I hadn’t called because no one had told me about the accident. I left a message on her phone just yesterday and planned on calling again today. She explained to me what happened and reassured me that she was getting better. I felt upset and angry with my brother for not letting me know sooner.
I knew God was speaking to me loud and clear through the reading because I had just finished journaling and writing about my feelings about not being informed that she had the accident. I was “shoulding” on my brother. Many years ago, I put this statement on my phone “I will not should on myself” to remind me not to should on myself, which I did quite a bit at that time.
What I realized is that feelings are not right or wrong. Of course, I would feel angry that I wasn’t informed about it and left out of the loop. I needed to give myself permission to feel the anger and hurt for as long as I needed to feel it. So often, we want to JUMP OVER or deny the feelings because we don’t think it is spiritual to feel these feelings. If I don’t allow myself to feel all of my feelings and try to deny them by whatever I do over them (eat, shop, drink, stay busy, work, gamble) they will often come out sideways and at an innocent bystander or a loved one.
I allowed myself to feel my feelings and then I chose to let them go and not judge my brother. I will speak kindly to him and ask him to let me know in the future when something happens.
Prior to this incident, I was thinking about what God wanted me to write about for the weekly blog. I was working on my “right or wrong” and black and white kind of thinking that I grew up with. Either I was blaming someone for something I didn’t like or I was blaming myself for doing something wrong. Whenever I blame someone for something, I put myself into victim mentality.
I choose not to believe this kind of” right or wrong” thinking anymore because I know I am a perfect divine expression of God and I am always at the perfect and right place in my life. I also believe God’s timing is in perfect and in right order. As divine beings we can really do no wrong. We make choices. Choices have consequences. The only way wrong gets in is when we put it on the path, when we judge ourselves or others. Life always offers us the opportunity to do it over until we receive the desired results of our hearts.
I am grateful when God shines His light into my heart and shows me the truth about myself. As I have written before, it is the desire of my heart to meet my soul mate in Maui. I believe God has put that desire in my heart and it will be fulfilled in God’s time, not mine. For the most part, I am patient and focus on loving myself, having fun and living my life to the fullest. I know like attracts like and l will attract a man who also loves himself and is living his life to the fullest.
I was surprised when I uncovered this false belief about myself this week that needed to be changed and transformed. Have you ever wondered why you can manifest things so easily sometimes and other times, it seems like it takes forever? Perhaps that is God’s way of letting me know I AM NOT IN CONTROL. Have you ever asked yourself, “What’s wrong with me that I cannot manifest this in my life or thought that I must be blocking my good because it hasn’t happened yet?” Yes, there may be blocks that need to be released so I can receive my highest good. But, it may simply be not God’s timing! Acceptance and surrender is the answer here.
This is what I experienced when I went to the weekly dance and noticed 2 women with new boyfriends. The desire for a man in my life was activated and the thought popped into my head “What’s wrong with you that you haven’t manifested your man yet?” Thank God, I recognized this false belief immediately and knew that wasn’t the truth at all.
Whenever I focus on what I “perceive” to be wrong or what’s missing in my life, I lower my vibration and frequency. Whenever my mind takes me into fear or doubt, I need to affirm the truth and call in love and light. My affirmation is “Everything I need is streaming toward me, I open my hands to receive and everything is unfolding according to a divine plan and in the perfect timing.”
There is nothing wrong with you or me, we are God’s perfect expression in this world and we are made in Gods’ image and likeness. That doesn’t mean that we don’t need to change because life is about change and we are constantly evolving and growing into the person God intended us to be.
I am learning to trust the process of life and the lessons that show up for my highest good on a daily basis. I trust God to lead me and show me the way because I only want God’s will in my life. I ask for what I need on a daily basis and am open to receiving all the good that is mine. I know that whatever I need, whenever I need it, wherever I need it, for as long as I need it, will always be there for me. I have read that the perfect prayer is to ask for the highest and best for my life.
I am attuned to my divine nature – Daily Word March/April pg. 49
Because I am made in the image of likeness of God, my essence is divine. In prayer, I affirm my higher nature and invite clarity on how to more fully express it in my thoughts, words and actions. Settling into the silence, I quiet my mind and heart. I become aware of my soul-essence and of God’s gentle presence. This presence is always within me; my spiritual practice simply brings it into focus. I rest in the Presence for a time of meditation. I continue my spiritual practice as I bring my awareness back to the activities of the day. I remain attuned to the present moment. Deeply connected to my divine nature, I shine God’s presence into the world.
I received an email from my friend Mary, in Rhode Island, responding to last week’s blog and here is what she wrote:
“Thank you for your blog because you always teach us a lesson and I am grateful for that.The way you handled the situation with the dance teacher was amazing and food for thought. I always look forward to Wednesday. It used to be “Prince Spaghetti Day” but now it’s “Pat’s Life Experience’s Day.” When I read your blog, it makes me feel as if I am talking to you, and that makes me feel happy inside.”
I thank Mary for sharing her thoughts because that is my intention for the blogs; to be as authentic as I can be and to be God’s instrument of love and peace. I believe we are all connected. I know the lessons I am learning each week are not just for me. I am humbled and grateful that so many of you have written to tell me how you are inspired by my walk in faith and how Spirit provides.
Before I share some of the synchronicities I experienced this week, I would like to share my lesson from Spirit.I recently found a small purple sticker that read PEACEAHOLIC. I bought it immediately and put it on my computer so I would see it daily. To live in peace and BE Peace is the desire of my heart. For many years, I was a RUSHAHOLIC and I multi-tasked. I prided myself on all the things I could do at once. I cannot stand to rush anymore because it robs me of my peace of mind. I strive to live in the moment and follow my intuition to lead me in what I need to do next. But those old behaviors rear their ugly head once in a while and the key is to be aware and awake when I notice myself rushing. When I found myself rushing around one morning, I stopped to journal about what was going on and asked myself, “Why am I rushing and why am I putting this self-induced pressure on myself?”
This is what Spirit revealed to me, “Rushing is about not trusting myself – that I will miss something or that I’m not doing something right or that I don’t know what is best for me.” I knew what was coming up was deep because for so many years I gave my power away by looking outside for my answers and thinking others knew what was best for me. I asked myself, “Who knows better than me what I need in my life?” I needed to love and forgive myself for not trusting myself for so many years. Today, I am happy to be a PEACEAHOLIC. As I drove home today from my massage, I spotted the bumper sticker on the car in front of me. It was PEACE IS POWER. Don’t you just love how God sends his messages to us?
This week has been a week of synchronicities and seeing God at work in my life and my friend’s life. I would like to share a few of the stories with you as they unfolded just because I showed up and said, “YES” to receiving all that God wanted to give me.
My friend, Trudy, gave me a beautiful framed print of an ocean scene with dolphins jumping out of the water and a man and woman embracing in the heavens. The picture is called Hi-I’Lei O Lani (Held in the Arms of Heaven) and the artist is Steve Sundram. She said, “It reminds me of the love between a man and a woman and this is my wish for you on Valentine’s Day. I have the picture hanging in my home also. I couldn’t wait to hang it in my ohana when I returned home that day.
Trudy and I attended the Maui Open Studios this weekend where there were over 90 artists participating in the event. Since I am a “budding artist” and just learning to paint, it was so much fun going into the artists’ studios/homes and watching them paint and seeing their art. The last studio that we visited was in a gated community in Wailea (one of the most affluent areas of Maui.) We were overtaken when we pulled up to the house that overlooked the ocean with a beautiful pool in the front yard. The artist greeted us at the door with a warm smile and invited us to come in to see his paintings. I spotted the painting immediately when I walked in and realized I was in the presence of the artist who painted the picture “Held in the Arms of Heaven.”
Steve was happy to hear that his painting was hanging on our walls and how we were calling in our soul mates through his painting. He then told us the story of how he painted it and what he experienced when he moved to Maui. He said, “Living in Maui was like being held in the arms of heaven.” What a beautiful image and l agree living in Maui is like being held in the arms of heaven. Of course, I had to have my picture taken with him and I have his picture now with the painting on my wall.
Another synchronicity happened when my friend, Jodie, asked me to give the yoga teacher the poem that she read at the last class because she wasn’t sure she was going to attend the next class. I asked her to read it to me since I was driving the car and hadn’t heard it yet. Jodie had no idea that one of my girlfriends had just broken up with her boyfriend and that the poem would be perfect for her. I couldn’t wait to get home and send it to my girlfriend. Shortly after I sent her the poem she emailed me back and said, “Thanks for the words because they are right on- especially the “graceful part.” I had to go to my boyfriend’s house yesterday to drop something off, and while I was there, I picked up an angel that he had at the door- GRACE. Appropriate as I go through the different levels of possible final responses. Here is the poem.
“There is a trick to the graceful exit. It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, a relationship is over – and let go. It means leaving what’s over without denying its validity or its past importance in our lives. It involves a sense of future, a belief that every exit line is an entry that we are moving on, rather than out. It’s hard to recognize that life isn’t a holding action but a process. It’s hard to learn that we don’t leave the best parts of ourselves behind, back in the dugout. We own what we learned back there. The experience and the growth are grafted onto our lives, and when we exit, we can take ourselves along – quite gracefully.” Author Ellen Goodman
Here is an amazing story of what I experienced with asking and receiving. As I was leaving church on Sunday, I was chatting with my friends, Jodie and Trudy. Jodie turned her head and spotted the beautiful picture of the Holy Spirit on the wall and nonchalantly said, “I really want that picture.” Trudy immediately responded and said, “I have that picture and I would like you to have it. One of my neighbors gave it to me and I don’t have a place for it in my home.” It is still rolled up in the box and it is signed by the artist! Jodie stood there speechless trying to hold back the tears. I love how Spirit works when we are ready to ASK & RECEIVE.
I was at the right place at the right moment. On Wednesdays several artists gather at different places on the island to paint together. Although I hadn’t painted that day with them, I walked around to see what the painters had painted. I didn’t recognize one of the artists and stopped to talk to him. I asked him, “How long have you been on Maui and where are you from?” He said, “I’m from Boise.” I replied, “Oh, my son is from Boise.” He said, “Boise is a small place, what’s his name?” I replied, “Tim Hastings.” His eyes lit up and he said, “I know Tim, he has a tattoo on his whole back, you’re Tim’s mother?” Neither one of us could believe it. This is the second time I’ve met someone on Maui that knew my son Tim. They say, “It’s a small world-and it sure is.” I love how Spirit works in my life and I love sharing it with you. I wish you peace.
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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