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Are you being too nice?

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Jul
21

When I stopped to chat with my neighbor on my walk, she asked, “Did Walter (the homeless man that was displaced) get on the plane? With the help of the angels, it truly was a miracle that he made it to Arizona to be with his brother. We were all grateful and relieved.

As we chatted, I laughed and said, “I think I need to write another book on how to retire, have fun, play, and enjoy life.” After a lifetime of busyness and stress with raising kids, working full-time as an Alcohol and Drug therapist, and completing a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, I was exhausted.

My neighbor said, “I have so many “shoulds” in my life and feel guilty when I’m reading the paper, thinking I should be doing something productive. I remembered when I became aware that my life was full of “shoulds” my mantra became I WILL NOT SHOULD ON MYSELF.

I said “YES” to everybody that asked me to do something for them. I often anticipated what others needed before they even asked for my help. For example: Do you need a ride or a babysitter?

When I consistently said YES to others, ultimately, I was saying NO to myself. This is not self-care or self-love, but self-abuse and self-abandonment. It was uncomfortable at first when I started to practice saying NO. I felt guilty because I wanted others to like and love me and didn’t want to disappoint anyone.

Learning to say NO to others has been one of the greatest gifts I have given  myself and it gives permission to the ones I love to say NO.

Learning to relax, enjoy life, play, and have fun without all the “shoulds” and not feeling guilty about not “doing enough” has been a 10-year process. Letting go of my addiction to busyness, rushing, planning, and achieving was a conscious decision and choice.

When I moved to Maui 10½ years ago, I intended to continue to do what I did in Rhode Island: life coaching, inspirational speaking, workshops, and retreats.  God had another plan and I’m grateful I listened. I heard Spirit say after only one week of living here, “I don’t want you to do anything, I want you to learn how to BE.”  I was surprised because I thought I knew how to BE after being a therapist for 20 years and all the inner work I had done. For several years, I didn’t do any coaching, speaking, or retreats.

Instead of pushing, rushing, striving, and planning, I have learned to RELAX, go with the FLOW, live in joy, enjoy my life, and BE. I take long walks, swim in the ocean and pool, go out to lunch with friends, spend time with Larry, sit on my swing, watch the sunset, dance, paint, and go from pleasure to pleasure. My motto is, “I want to live my life to the fullest because I’m not promised tomorrow.” If not now, WHEN?

One of my coaching clients recently asked me, “Do you think you can be too NICE?” I said, “YES.” When we are too NICE to others at the expense of ourselves or despite our own needs not being met, it is a cry for self-love.

There was a time I was too NICE because I didn’t love myself and looked outside for external validation, rather than internal self-esteem. It was never enough. Only I can give myself the love and attention I crave and need. I am the ONE I have been waiting for you are the ONE you have been waiting for.

Here are some symptoms that you may be too NICE

·        You give expecting to get something in return

·        You OVERGIVE as a way to manipulate others to get what you want

·        You believe that if you’re nice, everyone will love you

·        You believe you need to do everything perfectly

·        You avoid conflict as much as you can

·        You seek external validation & approval

·        You have toxic shame you try to hide

·        You’re afraid to ask others for what you need

·        You have a victim mentality and blame others for your unhappiness

·        You feel resentment, frustrated, and discouraged your needs aren’t met

·        You feel guilty when you say NO

I am grateful that I am living my purpose by shining my light and keeping my vibration high in LOVE and gratitude. It is my intention to love and be loved, to live in joy, to be happy, to be of service, and stay connected to Source.

Can you forgive without an apology?

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Jul
21

 Are you aware of how your ego shows up and how it robs you of your peace? My ego shows up in many ways. I’m grateful that I recognize it and get back into the truth of who I am as a child of God and into my heart.

It “shows up” when I compare, compete, control, blame, shame, judge, feel guilty, afraid, unforgiving, jealous, or better or less than. I had no idea how ego played such a huge part in my life for many years.

I wasn’t “conscious” as I am today and how I allowed ego to rob me of my peace. I didn’t know we are all connected and ONE and that everything and everyone is a projection of what’s inside of me. Marianne Williamson states “The ego is the fear-based self or shadow. We are either hostage to ego or host to God.” 

I had an experience this week of ego rearing its head by being triggered. Fortunately, I spotted my ego almost immediately and asked Spirit for help to change my “story” and perspective. Today, I see triggers as a gift from God showing me where I still need inner healing from my past.

There was a time when I judged and beat up on myself when I was triggered. Not anymore because I know when I’m triggered it is an unhealed part of me that’s coming up to be transformed and healed.

When I’m in the middle of being triggered and my emotions are out of control, I may not recognize immediately that I am being triggered. Whenever I’m reacting “strongly” to something in the present that doesn’t warrant such strong emotions, it’s often a trigger from my past.

My friend, Nancy, who is vacationing on Maui came to our home for dinner. Larry and I shared how grateful we were to be living here in our beautiful home and that our landlord hasn’t raised the rent in 8 years. Larry said, “Our landlord appreciates us especially since prior tenants destroyed the place and didn’t keep the place clean.” His next comment seemed to come out of nowhere and surprised Nancy and me. He said something like, “like us, we don’t clean.” Are you kidding me?

Of course, he was only kidding, but it triggered me big time and I froze. I felt embarrassed, insulted, shocked, and angry. When Nancy left, I calmly said to Larry, “I felt embarrassed when you said that about not cleaning. What did you mean?” He kind of brushed me off and minimized my feelings. I wanted Larry to acknowledge what he said and apologize for his behavior.

Instead of blowing up as I have in the past and reacting, I went to the bedroom and journaled my feelings without holding anything back. As I journaled my feelings, it became clear that the strong feelings weren’t about what Larry said, but about being in a marriage of 30 years when my husband was passive-aggressive and often put me down in front of others. I was surprised since I had forgiven my ex many years ago and didn’t have any ill feelings toward him. I wrote and used (EFT) Emotional Freedom Tapping until I felt peaceful and able to go to sleep.

When I woke up in the middle of the night to pee, the first thing that came to mind was what happened and how angry I felt. I knew it was my ego trying to keep me stuck and angry.

As I was falling back to sleep, I heard Spirit clearly say, “Can you forgive without an apology?” Wow, that was deep! With the grace of God and my willingness to let go of anger and forgive, I said YES. When I woke up in the morning, I had no “residue” of resentment from the night before. I had done my inner work and was free.

Larry takes Kobi out for an early walk before I wake up in the morning. When he returned from his walk, we greeted one another with a hug and he immediately said, “I apologize for what I said at dinner last night. I don’t know what I was thinking.”

I believe that everything happens for a reason and for my highest good. If I want to be the best and highest version of myself so I can love and serve Spirit, I must be willing to take responsibility and heal the wounded parts of myself that have been buried inside of me. It’s a process and things come up to be healed when we are ready to let go and surrender.

The truth about aging

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Jul
21

I received a quote from a friend this week that stirred something within me. We are all growing older and with the grace of God, we will age gracefully, peacefully, and joyfully.

“Speak to your children as if they were the wisest, kindest, most beautiful, and magical humans on the earth, for what they BELIEVE they will BECOME.”

What came to me when I read it is that we first have to BELIEVE and speak it to ourselves before we can BECOME it and speak it to our children. I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t taught how to love, appreciate, trust, or believe in myself.

I went even deeper. I thought about what it would be like if our children spoke to us as if we were the wisest, kindest, most beautiful, and magical humans on the earth.  Wouldn’t it be great, instead of the “ageism” beliefs that we don’t have anything to offer as we age and feel devalued by a society that favors the youth?  

We need to teach our children (and everyone) how to treat us and what we need as we age. At every age, we want love, respect, patience, kindness, understanding and to be heard, but need this especially as we age. Our children need to know we will repeat ourselves and forget what we were talking about or even the date without being shamed or corrected.

A friend of mine sent me a book called, “Don’t Call Me Old I’m Just Awakening” by Marsha Sinetar. The book has expanded my perspective of “old age.” Rather than “old age”, she calls it “advanced age.”

Sinetar writes, “We want to be treated like an adult. And I think sometimes our children don’t mean to treat us like children. I think they just want to keep us alive as long as possible. Sometimes our love and concern can manifest in ways that are frustrating or even demeaning to our parents.”

I didn’t realize that prior to reading the book, I was slowly buying into some of the cultural beliefs about aging: older people are frail, dependent, out of touch with what’s going on in the world, “over the hill” and don’t have anything to offer any more. There are some cultures that “honor” the elderly for their wisdom and life experiences, but unfortunately, it is not so in the west.

These “ageism” beliefs are farthest from the truth. I needed to change my thinking and not lose confidence at this crucial time in my life. With God, I can expect favorable results and remain healthy, independent, creative, and productive through life.

To age successfully, we must focus on meaning, purpose, and the intention to live life to the fullest, using our gifts and wisdom to serve the world. The key to aging is to not mourn what’s lost but to CELEBRATE the time we have left. My motto is to live my life to the fullest, for I am not promised tomorrow.

The truth about aging is that every year we grow inwardly stronger and can reclaim and celebrate the wisdom and spiritual intelligence that only comes with age. When we commune with God and understand our ONENESS, we know we are LOVE and loved.

Sinetar writes. “Who and how we were when younger is who and how we will be when older if we develop our SOVEREIGNTY and spiritual hardiness born of our union with Divine Love. How we live our lives can reflect how we die.”  As I age, I require more solitude and quiet time. I love reading, relaxing and just BEING.

I was guided to write a list of 30 practices to continue living my life to the fullest and aging with peace, ease, and grace. Here are the top 7.

·        I will continue to deepen my relationship with Divine Love/Source/God by going within for my answers through meditation, prayer, and journaling.

·        I will continue to do what I enjoy that gives me pleasure and makes me happy and joyful like writing, walking, playing, reading, sitting on my swing and going to the ocean.

·        I will delete negativity, drama, and talking about problems. I will focus on the good, rather than what’s missing.

·        I will keep my vibration high in gratitude and love so I may shine my light wherever I go.

·        I will accept “what is” as if I had chosen it.

·        I will choose love instead of fear and listen to the Spirit within instead of the egoic voice.

·        I will feel all of my feelings instead of a spiritual bypass.

I encourage you to go within and celebrate where you are in life and to know it gets better and better each day with Divine Love.

Stepping out in Faith

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Jul
21

As I stepped on the winding path overlooking the ocean and felt the ocean breeze and sun on my face, I gasped as my heart expanded into sheer gratitude. With tears in my eyes, I said, “OMG I live here, HOW and WHY did I get here?”

The “HOW” was God’s doing, much bigger than what I could have ever imagined. I had no idea HOW to make it happen. The “WHY” was my doing. For as long as I can remember, it was my dream and desire of my heart to live on the water, but never did I expect that I would be living in a house overlooking the ocean on Maui. I believe it is God who places the desires in our hearts.

At the ripe young age of 65, I stepped out in faith to follow my heart and moved 5,000 miles away to Maui, despite family thinking I was crazy. I had never done anything that radical.

Stepping out in faith is stepping into the unknown and the mystery. Very difficult for those of us who want control and answers before we make a move. We like to know what’s ahead so we can feel safe.

Was it easy to leave my family, friends, community, and work? Hell no! I struggled and prayed A LOT. There were so many questions I had. Could I afford it? What would my family think? What if I got sick, who would take care of me?  

As I meditated, it became clear that I didn’t feel deserving to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. I had to work through old beliefs and messages to get to the truth of who I was and God’s plan for my life.

Does being a woman of faith mean that I didn’t have fear? Hell no! I was riddled with fear. While writing my book, “Simply a Woman of Faith” in 2007, I cried myself to sleep because I was so afraid of writing a book. I felt inadequate and in over my head. At one point, I said to God, “I’m not doing it, you have chosen the wrong person.” I didn’t write for one year. I’m so grateful God was patient with me until I was ready to face my fear and ask for help.

With the grace of God, and my willingness to trust I was being guided, I took action and moved forward, instead of staying stuck and paralyzed in fear.

Don Basham, author of “How Guides Us”, states, “Guidance comes when we move in faith, not sit in doubt-even in the face of closed doors. Where God guides, He provides. God reveals each part of the plan as we walk in faith one step at a time.”

If I hadn’t had the courage to face my fears, my dream would have died inside of me and I wouldn’t be living this amazing life of LOVE. God’s plan was already in place, I just needed the courage to say YES. God always has bigger and better plans than we could ever imagine.

Here is what my faith walk looked like:

I didn’t have a place to live until two weeks before I arrived on Maui. It was my trust and faith that assured me I would be provided for. I rented a bedroom overlooking the ocean for $300 a month with another couple (whom I had just met) for 6 months. Everything I owned was in that one bedroom and I was in my glory. 

After six months, I moved to the other side of the island to rent a new ohana. It was small, but it was mine and I loved it. I lived there for one year until the landlord renovated and I was asked to leave.

I was “homeless” for one month until the ohana I have been living in for the past eight years was available. During that time, friends opened their homes and hearts for me to stay with them. Another friend allowed me to store all of my “stuff” in a bedroom she wasn’t using.

I stepped out in faith and trusted God would provide financially. My rent went from $1200 a month to $2500. I rented one of the bedrooms to friends in our home and every month the money showed up. Now Larry and I share the rent and it works out perfectly.

How often do WE block our own good and God’s plan for us because we are afraid, don’t feel deserving, or don’t have any idea HOW to do it?  Remember the HOW is not up to us, but up to God.

Spirit may be inviting you to start a new business or career, leave an unhealthy relationship or job, start a creative project or move to Maui!

God only wants our highest good and for us to be happy. What is the desire of your heart? God placed that desire in your heart. It’s up to you to say YES and to trust you will be provided for and guided. Take that first step and watch the miracles unfold.

What are you choosing: Love or fear

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Jul
21

My friend, Sandy, and I met at the beach this week. One of the first things she said was, “I read your blog last week.” I said, “Yes, what about it?” She said, “It’s hard to believe what you experienced with your mother and came out the way you have.” I smiled and said, “Yes, and more than that, I’m THRIVING and not just surviving.”

Despite all of the turmoil and stress that is going on in the world, today my life is filled with love, peace, light, gratitude, kindness, joy, relaxation, and enjoyment. I have chosen to “rise above” the battleground and trust in the divine presence within.

Instead of always DOING, I am learning to BE. I listen to my body and don’t push myself or stay busy to avoid unresolved feelings from my childhood. Busyness was my addiction. The busier I was, the better I felt about myself and more successful. I looked good on the outside, but inside I struggled with not feeling good enough and comparing myself to others.  

To THRIVE, I did shadow work, deep inner child work of releasing all the beliefs that didn’t serve my highest good. I recognized the egoic voice that always tried to rob me of my peace. The ego is the part of us that tries to control everything so that we feel safe. The ego makes us feel separate from each other and God. When we see others as different from ourselves, it creates an illusion of separation, creating a sense of lack and scarcity. It leads to competition rather than cooperation; it leads to judgment rather than acceptance; it leads to fear rather than love; it leads to hate rather than forgiveness.

Growing up my father’s favorite saying was, “FIND YOURSELF.” Although it was important to him, I don’t think he had any idea what it meant and neither did I. Unfortunately, he was lost in his alcoholism and died before finding himself.

FINDING MYSELF means finding the God/Love/Source within and knowing I am ONE with God and ONE with my brothers and sisters. My journey has been about finding myself, knowing myself, and BEING myself.  

KNOWING MYSELF means knowing what I want and don’t want. It’s knowing what brings me peace and happiness. It’s knowing my strengths and weaknesses. It’s knowing what motivates me and brings me joy. It’s knowing I am love and a divine spark in the world.  It’s knowing my purpose to keep my vibration high in love and gratitude and shine my light into the world. When I’m not in alignment with my true self, I suffer. I feel disconnected and as if something is missing.

BEING MYSELF means that I stand in my own truth and follow my heart. It means being authentic, vulnerable, and honest. When I follow my heart, things begin to align and come together. I find my true self and start to live from that place.

One of my greatest joys (other than spending time with family and friends) is walking the ocean path every morning and greeting people as they pass by. I feel my LIGHT shining as I smile and look in their eyes and say, “Good morning.” As I shine my light, I invite others to shine their light. People feel the energy of Maui which I believe is LOVE.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to TRUST and SURRENDER to God’s will. I am learning to go “within” for all of my answers, rather than looking outside for someone to tell me what to do or how to live my life. Trusting Spirit means letting go of control and how I think things should go or not go.

I remember that everything is already planned in the mind of God. I relax and let go of fear because I know God has my back. When I feel afraid about something in the future, instead of staying in fear, I CHOOSE LOVE. The truth is there is only this present moment, there is no past or future.

Worrying is an illusion and a waste of precious time and energy. It takes more life force energy to stay in the vibration of worry/fear (low vibe) than it does to believe in the power of possibility and miracles (high vibe). Worrying doesn’t change anything, but trusting in God changes EVERYTHING.

What are you choosing today? Love or fear. It’s your choice. If not NOW, when?

I freed my children

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Jul
21

I received a beautiful Mother’s Day gift from Spirit, along with flowers and calls from my children and friends. I look forward to the month of May as it has always been a powerful month of transformation and deep healing.

I had a “light bulb” go off or a shift in consciousness. Do you ever wonder why it takes so long sometimes to “get it” and change beliefs, conditioning, and dysfunctional patterns that cause suffering and no longer serve your highest good? 

My ego is “vicious” (especially obsessing in the middle of the night) and tries to rob me of my peace and new freedom when there has been a breakthrough or shift in consciousness. Can you relate?

Have you heard of the saying “What other people think of me or how they treat me is none of my business?” Of course, we have choices to stay in a situation or to leave if we are being abused. I knew this in my head, but it’s taken a while for it to travel to my heart and set me FREE.

I knew that I wasn’t responsible for another’s behavior and their behavior wasn’t my fault, but in my heart, I felt disappointed, sad, and angry when I thought my needs weren’t met. I didn’t think I was lovable, good enough, or loved when I felt ignored, discounted, or rejected, especially by my children.

How can we change if we aren’t aware of the patterns, distorted beliefs, and egoic voices that play havoc in our minds? We have lived all our lives with these beliefs and we believe they are true. They have become so familiar that we just “go there” without thinking about it until we wake up and see the truth of who we are as LOVE and a divine being having a spiritual experience.

Whenever my children didn’t love me or “show up” the way I wanted and expected them to, I blamed myself and thought I must have done something wrong, and it was my fault. I then tried harder to get them to love me and give me what I thought I wanted and needed. When a friend didn’t return a text or phone call and I felt ignored, I racked my brains out trying to figure out what I did wrong.

Another person’s behavior is about them and not me. When I remember to say, “It’s their stuff, not mine” when I feel hurt or ignored, I free myself. It doesn’t mean that they are wrong and I am right. There is no right or wrong, good or bad. It just is and we all have different perspectives and everyone is doing the best they can.

Because of my childhood and unmet emotional needs, I unconsciously thought my children would heal and complete me. I used my children to feel better about myself and used their achievements as a means of self-validation. My children (or spouse) cannot make me feel whole, happy, or successful, or give me the love to feel like I belong. That’s up to me to give to myself.

As I free my children from the responsibility to fill and complete me, I model to them ways they can love and fill themselves. I no longer expect my children to elevate me and make me feel less alone. I free them to pursue their dreams and life purpose.

Here is the process I use when I feel hurt, angry, ignored, or disappointed by a loved one’s behavior.

·       I surrender and accept “what is” (because it happened)

·       I feel my feelings & don’t do a “spiritual bypass”

·       I don’t take it personally

·       I detach emotionally and let go of the outcome

·       I forgive and let go of judgments

·       I CHOOSE LOVE and send love to the person who hurt me

I’m no longer afraid to be myself, to be authentic and “show up” for life. I don’t look outside for others to love me or make me happy because I have learned to give it to myself. Happiness is an inside job.

I take responsibility for myself and no longer expect my children or husband to make me happy. I no longer need to protect myself because I’m safe and protected by Spirit. I am no longer afraid to love and be loved and I allow others to do the same.

Thank you, Spirit, for the gift of shifting my consciousness The truth has set me free.

My ego reared its head

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May
3

 Are you aware of how your ego shows up and how it robs you of your peace? My ego shows up in many ways. I’m grateful that I recognize it and get back into the truth of who I am as a child of God and into my heart.

It “shows up” when I compare, compete, control, blame, shame, judge, feel guilty, afraid, unforgiving, jealous, or better or less than. I had no idea how ego played such a huge part in my life for many years.

I wasn’t “conscious” as I am today and how I allowed ego to rob me of my peace. I didn’t know we are all connected and ONE and that everything and everyone is a projection of what’s inside of me. Marianne Williamson states “The ego is the fear-based self or shadow. We are either hostage to ego or host to God.” 

I had an experience this week of ego rearing its head by being triggered. Fortunately, I spotted my ego almost immediately and asked Spirit for help to change my “story” and perspective. Today, I see triggers as a gift from God showing me where I still need inner healing from my past.

There was a time when I judged and beat up on myself when I was triggered. Not anymore because I know when I’m triggered it is an unhealed part of me that’s coming up to be transformed and healed.

When I’m in the middle of being triggered and my emotions are out of control, I may not recognize immediately that I am being triggered. Whenever I’m reacting “strongly” to something in the present that doesn’t warrant such strong emotions, it’s often a trigger from my past.

My friend, Nancy, who is vacationing on Maui came to our home for dinner. Larry and I shared how grateful we were to be living here in our beautiful home and that our landlord hasn’t raised the rent in 8 years. Larry said, “Our landlord appreciates us especially since prior tenants destroyed the place and didn’t keep the place clean.” His next comment seemed to come out of nowhere and surprised Nancy and me. He said something like, “like us, we don’t clean.” Are you kidding me?

Of course, he was only kidding, but it triggered me big time and I froze. I felt embarrassed, insulted, shocked, and angry. When Nancy left, I calmly said to Larry, “I felt embarrassed when you said that about not cleaning. What did you mean?” He kind of brushed me off and minimized my feelings. I wanted Larry to acknowledge what he said and apologize for his behavior.

Instead of blowing up as I have in the past and reacting, I went to the bedroom and journaled my feelings without holding anything back. As I journaled my feelings, it became clear that the strong feelings weren’t about what Larry said, but about being in a marriage of 30 years when my husband was passive-aggressive and often put me down in front of others. I was surprised since I had forgiven my ex many years ago and didn’t have any ill feelings toward him. I wrote and used (EFT) Emotional Freedom Tapping until I felt peaceful and able to go to sleep.

When I woke up in the middle of the night to pee, the first thing that came to mind was what happened and how angry I felt. I knew it was my ego trying to keep me stuck and angry.

As I was falling back to sleep, I heard Spirit clearly say, “Can you forgive without an apology?” Wow, that was deep! With the grace of God and my willingness to let go of anger and forgive, I said YES. When I woke up in the morning, I had no “residue” of resentment from the night before. I had done my inner work and was free.

Larry takes Kobi out for an early walk before I wake up in the morning. When he returned from his walk, we greeted one another with a hug and he immediately said, “I apologize for what I said at dinner last night. I don’t know what I was thinking.”

I believe that everything happens for a reason and for my highest good. If I want to be the best and highest version of myself so I can love and serve Spirit, I must be willing to take responsibility and heal the wounded parts of myself that have been buried inside of me. It’s a process and things come up to be healed when we are ready to let go and surrender.

I screamed at God

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May
3

My faith is strengthened every time I remember how Spirit has provided, guided, and opened and closed doors at the perfect and right time.

Whenever I feel fear or am stressed about what’s going on in the world and things that I can’t control such as wars, climate change, economy, housing prices, covid, vaccine mandates, food shortages, I remind myself that all I have is this present moment and everything I need is inside of me. The past is gone and the future is not here yet. All I have is NOW and that is what’s real.

I am learning to take responsibility for myself and what I can change in my part of the world. I strive to keep my vibration high in gratitude, peace, and love rather than fear, worry, anger, and stress. I send out prayers and love to the world.

I met a woman this week and was led to gift her my book, Simply a Woman of Faith. She sent me a text and said, “I love your book and couldn’t put it down. It gave me lots of hope and relief. Thank you so much. I wish I had made it to Bermuda.”

Remembering how I was provided to travel to Bermuda prompted me to share this story. This happened 35 years ago when I was really stressed and down. I was in the middle of healing from childhood sexual abuse and needed some quiet, alone time desperately.

Going on vacation by myself lingered in my mind and in my dreams for a long time. It surprised me because I had never done anything like that before. I didn’t even go to a restaurant by myself, never mind going on a vacation.

After working with my dreams and praying about it, I decided to visit a travel agency to check out brochures for Bermuda. I had gone to Bermuda for college week when I was 16 and I remembered the deep, crystal-clear turquoise water.

The saleswoman said, “We have some great deals now on Bermuda and I have the perfect hotel for you.” I fell in love with Angel’s Grotto.  It looked like the perfect and safe place to go, especially for a woman traveling alone.

When I asked about the price she said, “It’s only $1200, everything included. You can’t beat a price like that. Shall I book it?” It seemed like a good price, but I didn’t have $1200. I didn’t even have $100.

I thought to myself, “I’ll never be able to afford this. What am I doing God? I haven’t even told my husband about it. He’s going to think I’m out of my mind, especially since his unemployment runs out and he doesn’t have a job yet.” Of course, the inner critic chimed in loudly. “Who do you think you are even thinking about going away? You are selfish and self-centered. You don’t deserve this.”

I prayed and asked Spirit to guide me and close the door if this wasn’t His will. When I shared with my husband that I was thinking of going to Bermuda on vacation by myself, he was surprised and asked, “Where are you going to get the money?”

I said, “I’m praying in the money.” He was quiet for a while and then said, “Go for it.” He was supportive and knew the toll the sexual abuse had taken on me.

A couple of weeks later, I ran into a neighbor (whom I hardly knew) while taking a walk. I was shocked when she asked, “Pat, do you know of anyone who can help me with my ninety-year-old mother who just came home from the hospital? I need someone to stay with her for 4 hours a night and put her to bed. I can pay 10 bucks an hour.”

I was so excited and said, “Yes, I’d be glad to help you with your mother. When do I start?” I started the next week and the money poured in quickly. I achieved my $1200 goal in no time. God opened the door and provided all the money I needed to go to Bermuda at the perfect timing.

The trip was not what I expected, but exactly what my soul needed. It rained for 3 days straight. I got caught in a rain/sleet storm while riding my motorbike across a causeway, with cars racing by me. I was terrified and when I got to the sheltered bus stop, I threw my bike down and screamed at God. I had no idea how much anger was inside of me.

It took a hail storm in Bermuda to release the anger and let it go. The next day, the sun shone brightly and I felt transformed and experienced a deep peace within.

Spirit knew what I needed and opened the door and provided everything for my highest good. Remembering the miracles and what God has done in the past will always strengthen your faith.

How does faith grow?

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May
3

I asked myself, “How does your faith grow?” The answer came quickly and spontaneously. It comes through the trials and tribulations that ALWAYS give us the opportunity to TRUST (or not).  I have had many open and closed doors over the last 5 decades on my spiritual journey. It’s not easy to be patient when you are in the “hallway” and waiting for the door to open. Sometimes it takes years of waiting-like waiting 15 years for my soul mate to appear. It was worth the wait, although there were times when I complained and banged on the door. It didn’t do any good, except get me frustrated and angry. God’s timing is ALWAYS perfect.

My family received a text today (Good Friday) from my son, Tim, sharing his journey of open and closed doors. He didn’t give up on his dream, in spite of many closed doors over the last year and a half. The text brought tears to my eyes, and I am so proud of my son for his perseverance and TRUST in the divine plan for his life. The best Good Friday text ever. I’m grateful to be able to share this with you as the saying goes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

“Well family, some great news on Good Friday. I closed on the construction loan this afternoon! It’s been 18 months with five rejected offers on several different pieces of land I wanted to buy. There were five or six times that the funding was approved, then unapproved. I spent hundreds and hundreds of hours planning to get to this point. In the end, it was the love and support of our amazing family that helped me clear that last hurdle, with no days to spare on the closing. I’m so grateful for you all and what we share. As I see other friends with their families, they don’t have what we share. It’s a gift. Thank you and I love you all. Excavation has begun! The building of my new home will start next month as we wait on permits. I’ll keep you all posted!”

It brought back a memory that happened 45 years ago of an opened door at the very last minute. My ex-husband and I had applied for a VA loan so we could purchase a home for our family. We met with the manager of the bank and he said, “I’m sorry Mr. and Mrs. Hastings, it’s unlikely you would be eligible for a mortgage with all of your money tied up in your new business.” My husband said, “I know, but we can still apply, right?” The manager replied, “Yes you can. I just want to be upfront with you about the unlikelihood of it going through.”

Our real estate agent knew of our circumstances with money and our new business. She also knew about our faith and that we were trusting God to intervene and get us the house. She tried to be positive, but she had her doubts. She called me one day and said, “Pat, I don’t think it’s a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket. What if the house falls through? What will you do? Are you sure it’s a good idea to give your notice at the townhouse before you know if you will be approved for a mortgage?”

I replied, “Thank you Darlene for your concern. I know it doesn’t look good on paper, but my husband and I are certain it’s God’s will and it will go through.” Sometimes, it’s just God’s grace that gives you that kind of certainty-a knowing deep within.

We stepped out in faith and gave our notice at the townhouse. We started packing boxes, acting “as if” all was well. We didn’t hear anything for a while and trusted that was a good sign. With only two weeks left before the closing of the house, we started to become nervous. The boxes were packed high in the living room and dining room. We were moving, no matter what.

When I answered the phone, I could hear the hesitation in Darlene’s voice that it wasn’t good news. I took a deep breath and listened carefully. “Pat, this is Darlene. I just got a phone call from the manager of Sovereign Bank. Your mortgage wasn’t approved. I know how you were trusting God. I’m so sorry.”

I blurted out, “Is there anything we can do?” Would you please give me the manager’s name at the bank so my husband can call and explain the situation?” She responded, “I’m really not supposed to do this. I could get fired, but I will give it to you if you don’t tell anyone where you got it from.” I thanked her and said, “I promise, I won’t tell anyone.”  I immediately called my friend to pray together and we asked God to intervene and give us a miracle.

I called my husband and gave him the bad news, along with the manager’s name and phone number. I instructed him to not let him know how he got the phone number. My husband called and got right through to Mr. Simone – the manager of the bank. He wasn’t happy and said, “Why are you calling me? How did you get my number? You weren’t approved and what do you want me to do about it?”

Joe said, “I’m just asking if there is anything you can do for us. Maybe there has been a mistake.” The manager reluctantly replied, “I’ll check it out and get back to you.” A half-hour later, Mr. Simone called back and said, “I completely agree with the disposition. You weren’t approved because your money is tied up in your new business.” For some “unknown” reason Mr. Simone asked my husband, “What makes you sure that the business (a Christian bookstore) is going to be successful?”

My husband doesn’t remember what he said, but to his delight and surprise the manager replied, “Okay, I will approve of it.” Divine intervention and the power of prayer for sure. It was our faith, trust, and prayer that moved mountains. We did our part, and God did His.  

When we called our real estate agent to give her the good news, she said, “Wow, you must know someone upstairs. I have a stack of mortgages in front of me that didn’t qualify and they were much better than yours.” She laughed and said, “Can I please send them over to you?”

When we trust and have faith, miracles happen. I’m so grateful my son, Tim, followed his heart, in spite of the many closed doors. The right door opened at the right and perfect time.

How I shine my light

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May
3

As my dear friend, Ruth, and I sat at the coffee shop for our weekly Saturday morning sharing, a woman whom I had never met stopped in front of me and said, “You are beautiful.” She reached out and hugged me and asked if she could take a picture of us together. Of course, I smiled and said, “Yes.”

She shared she was from Indonesia and here for the wedding of her daughter. She was so open and engaging that I gave her my card “It’s Never Too Late for Love.” She was thrilled and said, “This is no coincidence you are giving me this as I am 67 and “flirting” with a man. Flirting is new for me and not something I usually do.” We laughed as I encouraged her to follow her heart.

My friend, Ruth, chuckled and said, “This happens to her all the time when people walk by her. They see her light and have to comment and ask to take her picture.”  

For a second, I felt vulnerable, embarrassed, and like I wanted to hide. I don’t think I would have felt embarrassed if I was alone, but having my friend present triggered something in me from my past. The truth is almost daily, people are seeing my light and commenting on my presence, my hat, or the colors I’m wearing.

I know, without a doubt, that what people are seeing is God’s light shining from inside of me. When I allow my light to shine, it gives others permission to shine their light. It’s like it activates their own light and they remember the truth of who they are. When I am aligned with the Divine and walk the walk (and not just talk the talk) with intention and purpose, my light shines and people are drawn to the light for inspiration and hope. Marianne Williamson says, “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

I didn’t shine my light for many years because I lived in fear and wanted to please others and protect myself from rejection, loneliness, and judgment. When I don’t shine my light, I close myself off from love and acceptance. I was taught to hide my light so people wouldn’t think I was conceited.

Shining my light is not about being conceited, showing off, or bragging about what I have done. It is about sharing my gifts and talents that only I can share with the world. It is about being authentically ME and allowing my light to radiate as my true essence. Instead of it being conceited to share my light, it’s about being confident and knowing the truth of my being.

As I prayed, meditated, and went deep to explore why I felt embarrassed and wanted to hide when the woman told me I was beautiful, I became aware that the ego’s voice of self-doubt, judgment, unworthiness, not good enough, and comparing was alive and well. I think my ego was threatened by my growth and higher vibration of love and gratitude.

Spirit brought to mind a very painful situation that I experienced in the workplace many years ago. I had a close relationship with another woman therapist that I trusted. We shared our lives and supported one another. Unfortunately, she betrayed me because she was jealous of me and went behind my back to the boss and told lies about me. I almost lost my job until it all came to the light about what she was doing behind my back.

I was surprised when this incident came up as I had forgiven her and didn’t have any ill feelings toward her. I think it came up to show me how and why I didn’t shine my light in the past because I didn’t want to feel pain, rejection, or be judged. There will always be people who are jealous of us and we have no control over that. Unconsciously, I thought if I got too much attention and praise for my light shining, my friends would be jealous and abandon or reject me. This is an old belief that needed to be deleted.

The past is gone, healed, and transformed. I will not allow the past to dim my light.  I am a spark of the Divine and so are you. We are meant to shine our lights in the dark. More than ever, our lights are needed to give others inspiration and hope.

How I shine my light:

·         I smile and look into people’s eyes and connect deeply with their soul

·         I dress in colors that make me happy and joyful

·         I look for opportunities to connect with other souls on the path

·         I remember who I am as a spark of the divine and where I came from

·         I’m authentic and real and share the good, bad, and the ugly

·         I practice being in the present moment and keep my heart open

·         I shine my light simply by BEING the highest and best version of myself

Shining my light means I walk in faith, TRUSTING myself and the Universe that I am always guided and protected as I radiate inner calmness and peace.  It is embracing and celebrating my gifts, talents, and the truth of who I am as a divine being.  It means being a beacon of hope for others by being the truest and highest version of myself. It means being true to myself that I can’t help but inspire others to be true to themselves and shine their lights. KEEP SHINING YOUR BRIGHT LIGHT!

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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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