By the time you receive this, I will be landing in Boston for our yearly family reunion at my daughter, Mary’s farm. I feel excited to see my family and friends and be reunited once again. I look forward to the “Woman of Faith” dinner & presentation and visiting with old friends & meeting new ones. My friend, Betty, from college that I haven’t seen in almost 50 years is attending. What a blessing and honor it is for me to be invited to share my story of manifesting my dream.
It is my belief that everything I attract into my life is for my highest good and an opportunity (not a problem) to live my best life and to be the best me I can be. It may not feel like an opportunity at first and I may not like it and I may even complain, but my faith experiences has shown me otherwise. Often when I “perceive” it to be a difficult situation, it is an opportunity for me to trust God more or to let go of my control (which is an illusion) or to reveal to me an area of my life that is still unhealed or wounded and needs to be released and transformed. I had the opportunity this week to love myself when Spirit revealed to me where I had some old patterns and beliefs to let go of.
I had just sent finished writing my blog “Feelings are a gift from God” and knew I needed to practice what I preach. I wrote in my journal, “What’s brewing God? I feel a “shift” and dip in my energy.” As I thought about it, I realized I started to feel the shift after I read something about a woman I know on Facebook who had received 1,000 likes from her post. Clearly, I felt jealous because I was comparing myself to her and feeling “less than” because I never had 1,000 likes. I knew my ego was at work and pride was rearing its head. Although I remembered feelings are not right or wrong, feeling jealous just didn’t feel “right.”
I knew it was important to not judge my feelings and beat up on myself like I had done for so many years. Instead it was a call from Spirit to be gentle, compassionate and give love to myself. I needed to love the unhealed, wounded part of me that was surfacing even more than I had been. I realized that the “old” patterns of comparing, competition and not being good enough will “pop up” from time to time, but it’s happening less frequently and that’s the good news.
It takes vigilance and awareness to identify the “old” feelings, behaviors and patterns. It takes practice to see the truth of who I am as divine being of Love. I know I have the power to overcome feelings of separation and lack because love fills my heart and soul. We have to be awake and aware and WILLING to allow whatever needs to come up to be healed and transformed.
There was a time in my life that I “hated” that part of me that felt jealous and compared myself to others. I then learned to welcome in all feelings, including jealousy. Today, I am choosing to love that part of me and not judge her. I asked myself, “How can I love myself in this moment?” I could take a nap, take a hot bath, call a friend or paint. I decided to paint and it felt so good. It was exactly what my soul needed.
I then asked myself, “What is the gift or lesson that I need to learn from this”? As I was meditating, this phrase came into my consciousness. It was, “Bloom where you are planted.” I hadn’t heard this in probably 40 years when my ex-husband and I made a Marriage Encounter. I am planted in Maui. My kids are planted far away in other states. I’m not going to bloom where I am not meant to be and God doesn’t want me to be and neither are they. How easy it is to judge someone when we don’t understand their path or journey because we wouldn’t do it that way. That was the first lesson that I learned. We all have to follow our heart and not judge where another is planted.
For flowers to grow beautifully and to their potential they need to be pruned and the dead flowers need to be cut off so the new buds can come forth. Like the flowers, I am being pruned so new growth can happen. I am being pruned of feelings of separation & lack which includes not having or doing enough, behaviors and patterns of competition and comparing. This is a life-long process, not an overnight one.
I asked myself, “How do I know if where I’m planted is God’s will for my life and where I’m supposed to be? All I could think about was that I will be “blooming” if I am where I am meant to be. I know I am “blooming” here in Maui because I feel more love than I have ever felt and I’m loving more than I have ever loved. I know that I am ONE with the God within. I feel peaceful, contented, grateful, creative and happy. I see flowers all around me and I see myself as a “flower” blooming. That doesn’t mean that everything is always perfect because it is not.
After 30 years of marriage, I knew I wasn’t “Blooming where I was planted” because I wasn’t happy and felt unfulfilled. We had grown apart over the years and we weren’t aligned spiritually which was very important to me. I knew deep in my heart that I wasn’t living my life to the fullest and I needed God’s grace and courage to make a change and move forward in my life. It was one of the best decisions I have made in my life.
I encourage you to look inside and ask yourself, “Am I planted where God wants me to be and am I blooming there?” If you are not “flowering” where you are planted and feel discontent, unhappy or depressed, it may be time to take responsibility for your life and ask God guidance and direction. Whether it be a job or a relationship or a marriage, you deserve to be happy and fulfilled. If not now, when?
I had an experience this week with someone that triggered me and brought up some uncomfortable feelings. Allowing myself to feel my feelings takes energy and a commitment to myself to deal with everything that comes up. To feel is to deal and is to heal. As I allowed myself to feel my feelings without judging them and then releasing them, I was then able to identify what had triggered me in the first place and what I needed to change in me. I know that if I “spot it” in another person, I “got it” too. I didn’t see it at first but as I sat with it and meditated, I was able to see how I had done the same behavior in my own life. I forgave myself for my actions and felt compassion for myself, which enabled me to have compassion on what happened with the person in the first place.
I also used the Emotion Code to release trapped emotions. I identified 2 feelings one of them that had been trapped when I was 11 years old. I knew exactly how and when it got trapped. The other feeling that was trapped was when I was 55 years old. I was able to release both feelings.
On the subject of feelings, I would like to share an article that I wrote for Aspire Magazine several years ago. I hope you find it helpful in dealing with your feelings.
FEELINGS ARE A GIFT FROM GOD
When feelings come up, instead of denying, minimizing or judging them:
- I welcome them in and befriend them
- I ask what gift they are bringing me
- I allow myself to feel one feeling at a time and for as long as I need to
- I process the feeling and then let it go
- I change my thinking when I need to
- I spend time alone and trust what I need to do for myself in each moment
- I journal my feelings and share them with a trusted friend
Feelings are gifts from God and we need to take time to listen to them. It’s essential that we claim our true birthright: the freedom and courage to be ourselves, to feel and express our feelings. Feelings are the gateway to who we are. They are there to help us do what we need to do next. They give us clues if something is wrong, to help us protect ourselves and keep ourselves safe. They are part of the human condition and we all have them.
It’s our resistance to feelings that cause more problems than the feelings themselves. Feelings are part of being alive and resisting them means resisting life. Feelings are energy, always in motion. Unstuck energy lives in the body when we resist our feelings. They get stuck in the body and may appear as a lump in the throat, heaviness in the throat or tightness in the stomach.
Feelings live in our bodies and may come out as headaches, stomachaches, backaches and colitis if we don’t deal with them. Repressed feelings tend to lodge in the body in the form of hidden tensions, unhealthy habits and stress-induced chemical changes. Often, illness is an expression of feelings repressed. When terminally ill cancer patients were able to express their feelings of guilt, rage, fear their cancer often went into remission or at least symptoms became less acute. Not all illness is emotionally induced. Be gentle with yourself. If you discover that you’re using illness as an escape, or pushing yourself until you get sick, learn to change that behavior. Honor your body, rest, relax and enjoy.
Feelings are meant to pass quickly, they are like clouds in the sky and it’s the nature of them to move on. I cannot live in the moment and enjoy the present when my feelings are stuck inside, whether that is resentment, anger, fear, jealously or not being able to forgive. To move on, we need to allow our feelings to come to the surface in order to let go and heal. We need to learn to give thanks for the opportunities that life provides for the surfacing of our fears.
When you push away parts of yourself, you fall deeper into isolation, feelings of unworthiness, self-hatred and depression. Depression is the classic disease of women. If we don’t express what we’re feeling – what’s bugging us in a constructive healing manner, very often the result is depression. Depression is like a fog that settles over us, limiting our ability to see what we are really feeling. Feeling depressed when we have had a loss is normal and healthy in the grieving process. Depression can be a sign we are hiding from something or avoiding action. Often it is hidden anger. Depression is inverted anger.
We may have a problem with judging our feelings and making them wrong. We might say to ourselves “I shouldn’t feel this way, after all I have a good husband, home or I’m spiritual and shouldn’t feel fear because it means I’m not trusting God.” Many of us have learned to control our feelings, to keep them hidden away, to stuff them and smile. The message I received was “I will give you something to cry about.” I felt ashamed when I cried or had any feelings at all. For many years, I was totally out of touch with my feelings. We are used to distancing ourselves from emotional pain and cover our feelings with self judgement. When you push away parts of yourself, you fall deeper into isolation, feelings of unworthiness, self-hatred and depression.
Feelings are not right or wrong, they just are. Messages from society are that feelings are bad or dangerous and we try to avoid them at any cost. We need to accept and feel our feelings in order to move through them. If someone cuts me off in traffic and almost causes an accident, I will feel angry which is a normal emotion. If I have road rage, and follow them, it’s the action that’s wrong, not the feelings.
We often confuse our feelings. We think we’re hurt, but we’re really angry or we feel angry to avoid the hurt and fear underneath it. It was easy for me to feel the hurt first and difficult to feel the anger because my anger was blocked for many years. I felt self-righteous and prided myself that I never got angry. I was taught at a young age that sweet little girls don’t get angry. Through therapy, I realized that being a people pleaser, I was filled with anger. I stayed very busy to avoid my feelings, always having to accomplish something, to prove to myself and others that I was worth it. I had to be strong and couldn’t relax and just be. I believed that to feel fear, depression or loneliness was to be less than. It felt shameful, vulnerable and embarrassing to allow those feelings to surface.
There are many ways to avoid feelings and stuff them. We may eat over them, drink or drug over them. We may shop, overwork, stay busy, gamble or be in a codependent relationship where our focus is on taking care of others and always at the expense of ourselves. When we stuff our feelings, especially anger and resentment, an innocent bystander may get the brunt of our anger and then we look like the crazy one when we explode over nothing. Or we may be passive aggressive and get back or get even at the right time at the person we are upset with. We are not being emotionally
honest when we hide our feelings and stuff them. Feelings are like a pressure cooker and if you don’t allow the release of some steam, they will explode.
Ignored feelings can be a cause of projection and color our view of the world. If we are angry, the whole world looks angry. If we are fearful, never trusting anyone or taking risks, the whole world looks fearful. When we suppress or repress an emotion, we lose control over how we express it, even though we will express it, often destructively.
When we are aware of what we are feeling, we can choose how to express it constructively. God wants us to identify our feelings and then be compassionate and loving with ourselves. We need to ask ourselves “What am I feeling, when did it start and where does my body hold it in the form of tension”?
Wherever you are on your spiritual journey and whatever you are feeling today, trust that you are right where you need to be for your highest good and to move forward in your life. Remember, feelings are a gift from God and they give us clues what we need to do next in our lives.
“My faith feeds me like the rain and the sun nourishing flowers. I call on faith in all my life experiences and yield a beautiful bouquet of experiences. I dig into my faith by looking beyond appearances that may seem limiting. My faith leads me to explore new possibilities. I plant positive thoughts in my mind, then let go. I leave the “when” and “how” up to God, and trust in divine order. I nourish my garden of faith by connecting with God in this moment. I envision myself growing in the light of Spirit. I adapt to life’s changes with ease. Just as the gardener reaps a bountiful harvest, I receive abundant blessings. I trust in God and see beauty everywhere.” Daily Word June 11, 2015
My faith is a gift from God that I cherish and am grateful for. It is my faith that allowed me to move 5,000 miles away from my family and friends to live on Maui. It is my faith that has carried me through many trials and made me the woman I am today. It is my faith that gave me the courage to write and publish my book. I stepped out in faith and followed my heart knowing I would meet my soulmate on Maui. Faith will continue to lead me on to new possibilities and adventures, for this I am certain.
I shared in my blog last week about meeting Dana at the Fairmont Hotel pool and our “Divine Connection.” Since then we have been in daily communication either by phone or text. She’s shared some of her experiences since returning home that I would like to share with you. We never know what the impact will be when we “shine our light” in another person’s life. It could just be a conversation, a smile or a kind deed that has lasting effects.
I just got off the phone with Dana and she shared her personal experience of reading “Simply a Woman of Faith” with me. When she read Chapter 5 Messages from Heaven – How God speaks through Songs she was blown away and said she almost felt giddy. For those of you who haven’t read my book, this chapter is about my mother “Honey” and her death when I was 20 years old. My mother died in front of me in the church on my parents’ 25th wedding anniversary.
Dana wrote, “Pat, I didn’t want to put your book down when I read this chapter. Although the yard sale stories in the first chapter were fun and I enjoyed them, this chapter really spoke to me and I thought this woman has had hardships and tragedy and she is REAL. I saw you living your faith through difficult times. My best girlfriend (since kindergarten) is also named “Honey.” What is even more interesting is that her mother’s name was “Honey” too. She was like a mother to me and she was a big part of my faith journey. As a teenager (when my friends were in the basement having a party), I was in the kitchen talking to her mother about God. What I remember is that she shared her faith and she shined her light. She is just like you Pat. Her eyes sparkled, she was full of joy and she laughed a lot.” After hearing this, I knew it was destiny that Dana and I met at the pool.
When I asked Dana what she liked best about reading my book she said, “It was your ongoing, natural dialogue with God. It showed me a different kind of relationship with God that I could have if I wanted one, and I do. It was the simplicity of your relationship with God that I was particularly drawn to because you talk to God about everything. It’s like you know you have God on your side. I need to practice what I have just learned because I don’t know how to talk to God on a regular basis like you do. Since meeting you only a week ago, I have a different mindset about my spiritual growth and I am open to allowing myself to be guided by God in what to do next in my life.” She also enjoyed the moped story in Chapter IX God is my Travel Agent – A Calling to Bermuda. She said, “When you screamed FU God and threw your moped to the ground, I knew you were real.”
Probably like most of you, I don’t always know what kind of an impact my presence and sharing my life and light has on people’s lives and how far-reaching it may go to impact others’ lives. Probably just as well because I might get a big head! So I am grateful to Dana for sharing how her life is changing and how she is now being used to share her light with her clients and students in her yoga classes. It delights me that she is paying it forward.
I met Dana for a beach walk on the day she left to go back home. She bought another one of my books and didn’t know who she was going to give it to. We laughed and both knew she would be led to give it to the right and perfect person. It didn’t take her long to know who that was. For example, she shared with me about a recent therapy session she had with one of her clients.
“My client is a young woman with a strong desire to find her soulmate, just like you did. She considers herself to be a person of very strong faith, but felt anxious. Remembering your book, I encouraged her to use her faith as her guide when trying to find this man. In fact, I was led to give her your book! I told her that I met the author who deepened her own relationship with God on her journey to find a life partner. Little does the reader know that you actually did find your soulmate after writing the book, Pat. You’ve got a sequel!” The woman was so excited about the book when Dana gave it to her and said, “My mother would love this book also and I’m going to buy her one.” Upon leaving the client commented, “You look different, Dana, you seem very spiritually inspired.” She was right!
In several of her yoga classes this week, Dana told her students about meeting me and reading my book. She laughed and said, “I shared with my students that I had been praying for a “guru” to inspire me spiritually. I thought that I had met him at a conference that I attended last month. But no he’s not the one. Pat is the REAL one that I know God brought into my life. The theme of our classes was about God/Divine being inside of us.”
This whole experience has been exciting for me and has shown me how important it is to just BE me and SHINE. I have a small plaque in my bedroom that I have had since moving to Maui.
“SHINE – You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men and women, that they may see your good works and praise our Father in heaven.”
As I left the house to go to water aerobics at the Fairmont Hotel, Larry said to me, “Sweetheart, don’t forget to LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE today.” I smiled and said, “Okay.” I have been going to the hotel at least twice a week and the instructors know me by name.
I was a few minutes late for the class that had already started. About 10 minutes into the class, a woman came to the edge of the pool and asked if she could join us. Candace said, “Sure, come on in.” The women said, “I was eating my breakfast (on the patio overlooking the pool) with my husband and saw you all bobbing around. I put down my coffee and said to my husband, “Do you mind if I join the women?” He said, “Of course not.”
When the class was over, I stayed in the pool to play around for a while. The woman who joined us late also stuck around and we started to chat. She said, “I love your turtle necklace.” She asked where I was from and I told her Maui. She wanted to know how I got here and the rest is history! I seized the opportunity to let my light shine. Dana & I had a lot in common. She was a yoga teacher and psychologist and she was also from the East Coast. She was with her husband on a business trip and they had just arrived at the hotel the night before.
I told her about my book, “Simply a Woman of Faith” and that was the reason I was living in Maui. I don’t remember all that I shared with her but it just poured out of me and we became “fast friends.” I told her that I followed my heart and I knew I was going to meet my soul mate on Maui. She was intrigued by our “love story” and wanted to know more.
She said, “I have to read your book and I want to read it while I’m here. Where can I get it?” She was so excited about it and said, “I will put it in my office so my patients can read it and I will tell my psychologists friends all about you and your book. I recently told God I need a mentor to inspire me.”
As we laughed and shared our lives together she said, “I spotted your pink hat with the flower in the pool and saw that you came late for class so I wasn’t afraid to ask to join the class.” I burst out laughing when she said, “I thought you were a rich lady and lived up in one of the luxurious penthouses here.” Can you imagine that? The slogans “Fake it until you make it and Act as if” were really working in my life.
Her husband walked by the pool and I am sure he wondered who his wife’s new friend was. She introduced me to him and said, “Honey, this is Pat, she is going to change my life.” He smiled and said, “If she is going to change your life, I’m sure mine is going to change too.”
We exchanged telephone numbers and I promised to bring her my book the next day. I received a text from her in the morning that read, “Pat, my thinking has already changed because of meeting you. I am looking for God moment by moment.”
I met Dana the next evening for a drink in the lounge and gave her my book. She was thrilled and said, “I told the other women in the group here that I was meeting “my guru” for a drink before the scheduled cocktail part with the company.” As we were leaving, we walked by her husband’s company’s cocktail party. Dana & her husband invited me to have some cocktails with them and I said, “Yes.” She introduced me to the other women and we all laughed that I was the “guru” that she was meeting.
Dana wrote to me and agreed to have me put her words in the blog.
“I cannot really explain it, but when we started to speak I knew immediately that Pat “got it.” She had deep wisdom which I was craving. She had a joy, faith and satisfaction for which I was longing for and I knew I would be learning from her in some way. The greatest thing I received from her (and Larry) is that God is inside of me and I need to go within to find my path, my gifts and my satisfaction.
Just before meeting Pat I knew it was time to let go of old patterns of thinking, old stories of my life, and negative tapes. I want to be aware of God in my everyday life and retrain my mind to enjoy the wonderful life I have. Pat shared that her and Larry begin their day with affirmations and continues them throughout the day. There are so many things I know I will learn from this special woman with whom I have only spent a few hours.
Thank you Pat for letting God’s radiant light shine through you to me. I don’t know what prompted me to jump into the pool that day except to say it must be part of a greater plan. I am open and willing to see what’s in store for me. I know my life has already changed and I am excited to see what’s next.”
We never know when God is going to use us to inspire and BE the light for another person. When we “show up” with the intention of being a vessel of love, miracles happen and lives are changed. I let my light shine by living in JOY. Joy expresses itself first as a smile, grows into laughter, and expands into radiance, which shines from within. I let my light shine by following my heart and listening to my hearts calling. My heart is overflowing with joy and love because Maui is the energy of love that I am living in.
Thank you Larry for reminding me to LET MY LIGHT SHINE before I left the house. Thank you God for allowing me to BE your presence & light in this world and to share my divine gifts. Thank you Dana for your openness and the opportunity to let my light shine. My life has changed because of meeting Dana and I know we will continue to be friends and inspire one another.
Whether you know it or not, you are already there. YOU ARE THE STAR OF YOUR BEING. All you have to do is let your light shine.
Something for you to think about: Where did I shine my light this past week?
Inner peace is very important to me and it is something that I pray for every day and have been for many years. I EXPECT peace in my daily life by affirming, “Everything will flow with peace, ease and grace.” I know and accept that everything and every event that I attract into my life are for my highest good. I may not know, at the time, why I‘ve attracted something into my life and I may not like it, and I may even feel angry about it, but I am learning to trust the process, no matter what it looks like on the outside.
When I embrace this “way of life” and attitude of gratitude, I experience inner peace and joy. I believe God knows exactly what I need in the moment to grow and heal. This “way of life” of gratitude for everything takes practice, trust and discipline. It is not always easy and not for the faint of heart. I constantly “go within” to see if I am feeling loving, joyful, and peaceful and aligned with Spirit. I may have to let go of my control and what no longer serves me. It may be old patterns of behaviors that cause me stress or it may be a habit of worrying about the future or the outcome of something I really want.
I often need to take a break from people and activities to reconnect with the peaceful core of my being and Divine peace. It is in the stillness that I hear the small, still voice of God and am guided to do the next right action in my life. It may be as simple as “Call your son or send an email or as big as quit your job or move to Maui.” Without that stillness and quiet time with the God within, I can easily get off track and lose my peace of mind and what Spirit wants me to receive.
There are so many wonderful events and places to go living on Maui and the temptation is to do them all. I lose my peace when I do too much and then I feel out of balance and am irritable. It is my responsibility to set the pace and peace for my daily life and to learn to say no when I need to (especially if I think I may disappointing someone I love). I used to think that was selfish, but I know today it is self-care and loving myself.
Today, I choose to listen to my body and what it needs in the moment. Sometimes “doing nothing” but what I want to do is exactly what I need to do. Sometimes, it is doing something radically different, like exercising more or eating healthier. My body has been speaking to me and I am listening.
My friend, Sandy, gave me a book that really inspired her to “go within” and change her life. It’s called “Younger Next Year for Women” by New York Times Bestselling Authors Chris Crowley & Henry Lodge. The authors write, “Do you want the thirty years after menopause to be good years or not?” They show you how to avoid 70% of the normal problems of aging and eliminate 50% of illness and injury.
What the book has done for me is changed my attitude about getting older. Instead of slowing down, because my back hurts or shoulder hurts, I need to up the antics and stop making excuses for myself or I will run out of gas before I get there. I am in the prime of my life and I want to be as healthy as I can be. I am willing to do whatever I need to do to live a longer and healthier life.
Although I did exercise every week by doing yoga, dancing and walking, it wasn’t consistent and intentional. I am not following everything in the book that the authors recommend yet, but I have been exercising 6 days a week and feeling really good about it. I seem to have more energy to do the things I want to do. I am even looking forward to playing my Zydeco and Cajun music while walking the path on the ocean. I sometimes have to stop and just dance!
Along with reading the “Younger Next Year for Women,” I recently watched Oprah’s interview with Dr. Christine Northrup discussing her new book, “Goddesses Never Age.” She states, “How we decide to get older is a choice, it is not our genes. Getting older is inevitable, but aging is optional. Decline and decay is not inevitable when we get in touch with the ageless, inner divinity within.”
My prayer for all of you is that you experience that “inner peace” and the peace that passes all understanding. It’s yours if you really want it and are willing to “go within” to find it.
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Simply A Woman of Faith
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