As I prepare for my workshop “Loving Yourself is the Key to True Happiness” this month in Maui, I have been thinking and talking about happiness and what makes me happy. Is it possible to be happy all the time? I believe that happiness is an inside job and it doesn’t depend upon outside circumstances i.e. how much money I make, my job, how I look, where I live, how other people treat me, etc. Of course, being out of work or not having enough money to pay the rent or buy food, or suffering from depression or a chronic illness will make it more difficult to feel happy.
Happiness is a choice that I choose to make for myself every day. I have a picture in my living room that says “The purpose of life is to be happy.” It is a false belief to think that when things change, (a new job, relationship, more money), I will be happy. The truth is that when I am happy, things will change. I asked myself, “Am I only happy when things are going my way and I am getting what I want in life? Can I be happy when things aren’t going my way and there is a lot on my plate?”
I believe the answer is yes if I stay in an attitude of gratitude, knowing that whatever I am experiencing is for my highest good and soul’s growth. It is not easy but it is a daily decision to live in the moment, to let go, trust God, not complain, worry, and live in fear. I have read that we are as happy as we want to be. I don’t know about you, but I want to be as happy as I can be.
I can truly say that I have never been happier in my life. I do believe that is partly because I have learned to love myself and give myself what I need. I have learned to not depend on others to make me happy. Sure, I am living my dream and manifested my soul mate and am living in a beautiful home on the ocean. That certainly makes me very happy – and that took 15 years to manifest. But if I am honest, before I manifested this, I was happy and grateful for my life as it was. Is that the key – to be grateful, content and happy where I am, and with what I have, and still be open to receive more abundance, new possibilities and new horizons in my life?
There are many activities that contribute to my happiness such as spending time and connecting with family and friends, using my gifts in the world, just BEING, seeing a beautiful sunset, playing at the ocean, relaxing, taking a hot bath, sipping a glass of wine over dinner, dancing, getting a massage, writing, praying and meditating, laughing and having fun, reading a good book, swimming in the hotel pools in Maui, eating dark chocolate or a delicious dinner, to name a few.
I recently had an opportunity to practice an attitude of gratitude, even though I didn’t like what was happening and I wasn’t happy about it. I had a mammogram and wasn’t expecting to hear that they found something and I needed to return for another mammogram and a sonogram. At first, I tried to jump over my feelings and went directly to trust. I didn’t want to feel my feelings, but within a short time, the fear, disappointment and anger surfaced and I was able to process my feelings in a safe and loving place. It was distressing because I had a pre-cancerous lump in my breast 20 years ago and I didn’t know if something new had developed.
Once I allowed myself to feel my feelings and to process and release them, I was able to let go, trust and feel happy again. Even though I didn’t know what the results would be, especially since the tests weren’t scheduled for 6 weeks later, I felt peaceful. I could have worried and been sick about it if I had not chosen to let go and trust. Worrying is a form of disbelief and it is not loving myself when I worry and obsess about something.
I had the mammogram and sonogram yesterday and after being on the table for ½ hour was delighted when the radiologist said, “This is good news, we cannot see anything.” During the procedure, I just kept repeating, “Thank you God, thank you God over and over again.
My primary relationship is with myself. Self-love is the baseline of happiness. When we live from a space of self-love, we are able to develop healthy, loving relationships, because our internal feelings of abundance will reflect back to us in the form of beautiful relationships, purpose-driven work and financial freedom. Self- love puts us on the fast track to healing. Our work is to clear out false beliefs about ourselves and shift them back to a loving perspective on life, which reveals our perfection and wholeness.
I believe that the more I love myself, and truly embrace myself as the perfect, whole and creative being that I am – others will return that love. Everyone in my life is a mirror of my consciousness. They can only be as loving, respectful and good to me as I am to myself. When I learn to love myself, I will receive the love and appreciation that I desire from others.
When I am committed to loving myself, living my truth and knowing what I want, I will be happy and attract others with equal commitment. When we truly love ourselves and give ourselves the love we need, we will be so full that when we give to another, we will give from our hearts true love, pure joy and compassion.
YOUR LIFE IS A SACRED JOURNEY
It is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous risks, embracing challenges at every step along the way.
YOU ARE ON THE PATH
exactly where you are meant to be right now. And from here, you can go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, beauty, wisdom, power, dignity and love.” Caroline Joy Adams
As Larry twirled me around the room dancing, my eyes fell upon the plaque that hung on my living room wall and I knew I was meant to start my blog with these beautiful words.
Yes, it is a sacred journey and we are all on the path, exactly where we need to be to grow and expand. Sometimes where we are is very scary because change is on the way and we don’t know what lies ahead.
Last week I shared that I was in the wings or the hallway – waiting, trusting and surrendering the sale of my condo to the God within. I am excited to share that it worked out perfectly because God is faithful and the timing was perfect. When it felt right to put my condo on the market a few months ago, I didn’t know if it would sell, but I knew that it was my next right step. Since my journey of faith has been to trust God to open or close the door, I knew I was safe and that whatever happened would be for my good.
I received a text message from my son, Brian, to contact him ASAP. I am so grateful to Brian because he has handled all of the transactions with my condo in Rhode Island. I knew something was up and called him immediately. He said, “Mom, there is someone who wants to rent your condo.” When he told me what they were willing to rent it for, I almost screamed. It was $425 more a month than what I was getting from my last tenant. I added it up in my head and it was over $5000 a year more. The extra money each month will help me breathe easier as it will go toward my rent in that doubled when I moved into my new home on the ocean. I was concerned that I wouldn’t get rent for the month of September (since my former tenants moved out on September 1) to pay my monthly mortgage. I am happy to say my new tenants will move in on September 22.
I am seldom “absolutely” sure of the next right step to take on my journey. Here is where I have learned to trust myself and the God within to step out in faith. It is always about stepping out BEFORE I know the outcome. It would be easy if I knew HOW it would work out or what would happen. I stepped out in faith before I knew where the money was going to come from when I moved into my home on the ocean here in Maui. I prayed, turned over my will and trusted my heart. God has been faithful and continues to surprise me each month with how the money comes in. Of course, it is always perfect timing.
On another note, I would like to share an experience I had this week. Being in a loving relationship with Larry gives me the opportunity to ask for what I want which means to stretch, be courageous, listen to my intuition and to take a risk.
I have learned to focus on “what is good” and not what’s missing in my relationship. My relationship with Larry is very good so I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to bring this subject up. I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, but it was something I wanted him to do for me. I gently and lovingly broached the subject, which we had talked about before. It didn’t seem like he was that receptive at first as he explained his thinking and behaviors to me. But as we talked and he listened from his heart, something appeared to shift inside of him and he heard me.
The next day when I asked him about our conversation about asking for what I wanted he said, “I love you. The way you asked me was loving and I would be crazy not to listen to what you needed from me in our relationship.” My heart melted because I felt acknowledged and heard. This is not what I experienced in my marriage of 30 years – I guess that’s why we are not together any more.
There are many reasons why we fear asking for what we want; we may not want to appear weak, selfish, self centered, needy or incompetent. We may not want to inconvenience or bother someone with our needs. We may not think our needs are important and we don’t want to rock the boat, especially if things are going well in a relationship.
There is also the fear of what someone is going to ask us in return or the fear of being rejected or judged for what is important to us. We may have felt humiliated or rejected for asking for what we wanted in the past so we fear doing it in the future.
I wasn’t taught how to be assertive, direct and ask for what I want. The silent treatment was very familiar to me and I expected others to read my mind and then was angry and resentful when my needs weren’t met. I sometimes used guilt, sarcasm, coercion and dropped hints.
Some of us believe that our needs or desires are inferior to, or less important than, the needs of others. Believing that asking for what you want is “selfish” is a distortion often born out of a lack of respect for yourself and others. A lack of self respect can make you feel unworthy or less important than others and cause you to subordinate your own needs and “not ask.”
If you don’t know what you want, you’ll have trouble getting it and experience a life-long feeling of deprivation, disappointment, scarcity, and resentment. When you don’t know what you want, you won’t realize if you achieve it.
I am so grateful that I have learned (and am still learning) to ask for what I want in a loving and non-threatening way. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT I GET EVERYTHING THAT I WANT. It does mean that I get some things I want and that I deserve to ask and be heard.
Do you know what you want and do you have the courage to ask for it?
When I got my divorce 15 years ago, I found a plaque that spoke to my heart and it said RELAX. I still have it hanging in my living room in Maui to remind me to RELAX.
I have been seeing the word RELAX all over the place lately. Today, I noticed it written on a man’s shirt, I see it in store fronts, on license plates, on a beach umbrella and I hear it in songs on the radio. I asked myself, “What does it mean to relax and why was this word “showing up” in my life now?’
The dictionary says: to make looser, or less firm or tense: to relax one’s grip, to make less strict or severe; soften: to relax discipline, to abate; reduce; slacken: to relax one’s efforts, to release from intense concentration, hard work, worry, etc.; give rest to: to relax the mind.
My mind isn’t RELAXED when I obsess, worry, want to control or try to figure things out. Sometimes I am invited just to ACCEPT “what is” and trust. Here is where my faith grows when I don’t know what’s going on and I just have to let go of the outcome or what I think it should be like. Like the definition says – to relax one’s efforts.
To RELAX is to know and believe that God is in control of EVERYTHING because I have turned my life and my will over to the God within. To RELAX means to be at peace knowing all is well and that God has my back covered. It is to know and trust that God’s timing is perfect and I have nothing to worry about. Worry is an illusion and it is also a choice. I can choose to worry and live in fear or I can choose to love and be at peace. I am choosing love, instead of fear.
I’ve shared that I put my condo up for sale in Rhode Island a few months ago. It has been an “emotional roller coaster ride” and I have had to let go of my control and trust God’s plan and timing. It has not been easy knowing that I will now have to pay two rents since my tenant moved out on September 1 and I don’t know how long it will take to sell. Yikes, money issues or coming from a lack consciousness could make me crazy – if I let it.
I thought there was a buyer and was informed that an offer was going to be made the next day. When it fell through and I didn’t hear anything, I decided to try to rent it again since there were no buyers showing up. Three weeks later, the first person who I thought was going to make an offer came back with his contractor and I was told that he was going to make an offer the next day Talk about having your hopes up. I have no idea what happened, but I never heard a thing from him. Clearly the door was shut in my face! Not the first time.
So right now, I am in the wings or the hallway waiting, trusting, surrendering and letting go. I am not sure what is best for me at this point – whether to rent or sell, so I have asked for guidance. I have done everything I know possible; prayer, visualization, gratitude and hiring a rental agent. I am so blessed that I have so many opportunities to practice what I preach; to choose love instead of fear, to let go, to relax and allow my faith muscles to get stronger.
The temptation for me and for most of us is to doubt our decision in the first place and think we made a mistake. It would be so easy to judge myself because it hasn’t turned out the way I thought it would. Instead of judging or doubting myself that I made a mistake by trying to sell it, I am choosing to TRUST the God within that I am being divinely guided and all is well. I cannot see the results in the middle of this, but I know I will and there will be a story.
I would like to share how God has guided me through the concept of open and closed doors for the past 40 years on my spiritual path.
When I don’t know if something is God’s will or my will, I pray, “God open or close the door.” It hurts when the door is slammed in my face and I’m left wandering in the hallway until the next door opens.
“Closed doors are a valid part of guidance. When God closes a door, it’s because there is another plan, a better plan. If He closes one door, He’ll open another – according to His timing, not mine. I keep moving in faith, even in the face of closed doors.” (Basham, 1975)
I may be guided to do one thing and then when I get there, God has something else in mind. He doesn’t tell me His full plan ahead of time, which is probably good. That’s His way. Mine is to love, trust and follow.
Guidance comes when I move in faith, not when I sit in doubt. I step out in faith, trusting that if I make a mistake, God will correct it and get me back on the right path for my life. I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way, but have always been protected and led back to where I need to be.
There seems like there will always be something in our lives to cause us to expand and grow and to trust. I love my journey and I love to share the miracles of how things work out. So, stay tuned because I know God is trustworthy and has my back covered.
“For I know well the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11. As I trust God’s plans to prosper me and give me hope and a future, I will RELAX and enjoy the present moment.
I’m on the plane coming home to Maui as I begin this blog. I’ve missed writing my weekly blogs and sharing what God is doing in my life. I don’t know where to start as my trip was amazing, awesome, fun, magical, powerful and miraculous.
First, I want to share what happened the week before leaving for my trip. I had a “meltdown” and called Larry in tears and asked if he would come over. When he walked in the door and hugged me I said, “I am a mess, will you still love me?” Of course, he smiled and said, “Yes.” I felt exhausted, vulnerable and weak, but on some level I knew I was being triggered from my past and something was coming up. The tears were healing something very deep within. I couldn’t stop crying as I thought about some things from my past and the stories I had made up in my mind. I spent the day in prayer and asked God to heal and free me. I clearly needed to LET GO of the stories because they weren’t true, even though I had believed them for so many years. I am so grateful how quickly I am able to process my feelings and allow them to flow through me, because the next day I was back to myself again.
I arrived in Providence, without incidence, for my family reunion. It was wonderful being at my daughter, Mary’s, farm and being with my children and grandchildren. I spent quality time with each one of them and felt so loved. I was there for one week before Larry joined me for the next two weeks. This was the first time he was meeting my children and I was going to meet his children who also lived on the east coast.
Before our trip to the east coast, Larry and I had a mantra that we prayed often. It was, “Our trip will flow with peace, ease and grace.” Larry hadn’t been off the island since he moved to Maui 8 years ago so it was a little stressful for him at first. As we practiced and repeated our mantra, we both became more and more relaxed and peaceful. I know how powerful our words and thoughts are and we GET WHAT WE EXPECT. We were expecting everything to flow with peace, ease and grace, and it did.
Since I had LET GO and emptied myself of what was no longer useful and for my highest good the week before, I was open to RECEIVE all that God had planned for me and for us. When I become willing to let go of the junk (fear, doubt, judgments), LOVE fills me to overflowing. Of course, as expected, EVERYTHING FLOWED WITH PEACE, EASE AND GRACE.
I know that LOVE IS ALL THERE IS. I have been loved and have loved in the past, but I was experiencing a LOVE like I never experienced before. I was very emotional and cried easily whenever I talked about my relationship with Larry and our love for one another.
Not only did I have fun and play, but I gave the sermon at the Unitarian Church and led a workshop for 12 women at my daughter’s farm. My journey to Maui began when I spoke at the church 4 years ago. I shared how I am LIVING MY DREAM today and living on the ocean in Maui with my soul mate. Here is the email I received from the committee after I gave the sermon.
“The rave reviews keep coming in. I do believe we had the best service this summer and will even exceed Jazz Sunday tomorrow. I continue to get calls of gratitude for having brought you in. Your faith just glowed through your sermon and everyone could see it. You are a blessed woman.”
I know that the women who attended my workshop on Saturday were hand chosen by God. I had prepared a talk and schedule, but didn’t end up following it at all. Instead, I was led by Spirit and completely let go of what I planned on doing. I love when I am able to trust like this and allow Spirit to lead. Here is an email I received from one of the women.
“Dear Pat, yesterday was one of my absolute most favorite days. I loved meeting you and everyone who attended the workshop. It was so delightful. I didn’t want the day to end, it went so quickly. I’m so grateful I picked up that newspaper a few weeks ago and saw that tiny little article. No doubt in my mind, it was a Godincidence. You are such a blessing, Pat and I look forward to seeing you again. P.S. I loved meeting Larry too. What a great guy.”
A few days after we returned home, I experienced another “meltdown” or moment of consciousness and truth. I opened my heart to LOVE and in so doing God brought to light some fear that needed healing and transformation. I felt vulnerable, weak, out of control and shame because a woman who wrote a book on faith shouldn’t feel fear. REALLY! With Larry at my side, I allowed myself to cry, even though I didn’t know what the fear and tears were about. I watered the fear with love, gratitude and acceptance, knowing all was well and I was exactly where God wanted me to BE. Larry helped me recognize that my heart was EXPANDING so I could receive even more love. The more I allow myself to be loved, the more love I can give to others.
Through these experiences, God is inviting me to live in the moment and savor the love and beauty within and around me. I am learning to trust even more deeply and live in faith. I know that I am not promised tomorrow and all I have is this moment. So I celebrate and treasure today and let go of worry about what will happen tomorrow or the next moment.
Here is an excerpt from my book that I received 8 years ago while I was waiting for my soul mate.
“I love you my child and until you discover that only in me is your satisfaction to be found, you will not be capable of the perfect relationship that I have planned for you. You will never by united with another until you are united with me, exclusive of any other longings or desires. I want you to stop wishing, planning, and allow me to bring you the most thrilling plan existing, one that you cannot imagine. I want you to have the best. I will surprise you with a love that is far more wonderful than you could ever dream of.”
My heart is grateful and full of love. God is faithful and we can trust that whatever is happening in our lives is for our good.
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