I am sure most of us have been “wrongly” accused of something at one time or another in our lives. It can be very painful and traumatic and may take a long time to heal. Some of you may still be struggling with something in your past that you are holding onto. Of course, it is only natural to want to defend ourselves and prove our innocence. It has been my experience that Spirit allows things to happen to show me how I have grown (or not grown) in how I handle situations where I have been accused of wrong doing.
For example: I attended a water aerobics class this week and the teacher who I had just met invited me to her pool party on Saturday. A few days later, she saw a friend of mine and told her how upset and angry she was with me for something someone told her I did.
Of course, my friend was shocked and said, “That doesn’t sound like Pat.” When my friend called and shared with me what happened, I felt embarrassed because of the things she accused me of doing. I was shocked and felt terrible. I immediately called the teacher to explain what happened. She didn’t answer her phone so I left a message and apologized for the misunderstanding and asked her to please forgive me.
What I know about myself is that I would never intentionally hurt another person. We all have different perspectives and experiences in life so, unfortunately, we do hurt others and may never even know it.
Instead of beating up on myself or doubting myself, after my friend called me, I released it and didn’t let it ruin my day. I called the teacher and took responsibility for what actually happened. I was a little anxious about seeing her when I attended the next aerobics class. When I prayed about it, I heard Spirit reassure and say “You didn’t do anything wrong and I want you to walk into the class with your head held high. Know that I place everything and everyone and every encounter in your life for a reason. You are learning to trust that more deeply.”
I approached the teacher before the class started and asked if she received my phone call. She said, “Yes, and I wrote you a response 2 days ago, but haven’t sent it.” She was still angry at me and couldn’t understand my actions. I tried to explain my side of what happened, but she didn’t want to hear it. I found out later that she accused me of doing something that was second hand.
I needed to let it go and send her love. I am not responsible and cannot control what other people think of me or say about me. All I am responsible for is me, my actions and keeping my side of the street clean. I can hold onto resentments and ruminate about what happened to me until the cows come home. What good does that do? It only hurts me and robs me of my peace. Whenever the situation popped up in my mind during the day, I released judgment and sent her light and love.
Spirit showed me how I had grown because I didn’t take it personally and I moved through it quickly.
This situation brought to mind what happened to me in my career over 10 years ago when I was wrongly accused of something I didn’t do. It devastated me and took every ounce of energy and prayer to move through it. Someone I trusted had gone behind my back to the boss and said things about me that weren’t true and almost cost me my job. I am so grateful for the friends in the department who loved and supported me through this. In the end, I was vindicated and the truth came to the light, which it always does. But during that time, I learned some valuable lessons about life.
Instead of being bitter and resentful when I walked by her office every day, I learned about forgiveness. I quietly prayed, “I release judgment and send light and love.” It was the only way I could remain peaceful and remain at the job until I was ready to retire.
We can become BITTER or BETTER by what life brings us. I chose to become better. I wasn’t going to allow someone else’s behavior to determine my behavior. It wasn’t easy, but peace was more important to me than being right.
How about you? Is there someone in your life that has hurt or betrayed you and you have been unable to let go and forgive? If not now, when? Forgiveness is a choice and it is for you, not the other person. You are not condoning the act, but forgiving the person for what they did. Take yourself out of the prison of resentment and free yourself to live the best life you can live. Remember, we are not promised tomorrow. All we have is today.
Aloha friends, thought some of you may be wondering why I haven’t been contributing to the blog the last couple of weeks. Truth is, I haven’t had anything to write about. I seem to be in a place right now where it’s better for me to listen instead of writing. I was reading in Alan Cohens book entitled “Enough Already- The Power of Radical Contentment” today and Alan shares a story about an annual retreat in Assisi, Italy. The retreat is basically silent, the rule is: “Speak only if what you have to say is more powerful than the silence.” He also shares about the benefit of being silent and listening. We all go through times in our lives when it is better to listen and not speak so much. It seems like this is where I am right now so I will keep listening and write again when I feel whatever I have to say seems more important than my silence.
I gave my power away for many years and didn’t know I was doing it. I had an insatiable need to be liked, loved and approved by others. I didn’t realize I was looking outside of myself for love, rather than going within to find it. Do I still give my power away sometimes? Yes, I do, but I recognize it almost immediately and then go within and give myself love and appreciation that I deserve.
Learning to trust myself and my feelings is an important aspect of loving myself. By looking to others for love and approval, I allowed myself to be robbed of inner peace and joy. I heard this quote many years ago and have often said it to myself. “What others think of me is none of my business.”
It’s easy to say it and even really think I believe it, but when the sh*t hits the fan and I feel judged by another (real or imagined,) the real test comes. I had an opportunity last week to practice “What others think of me is none of my business” and it wasn’t easy!
I received an email from a friend with her thoughts about a blog that Larry and I had written. Really, it was about what I had written. Even though she said right off the bat that this was her opinion and to only take what rang true for me, I was still in shock and disappointed about what she wrote. I felt like I was being judged, shamed and that I was wrong for some of my beliefs and actions. Before I sat down to write my feelings about the email, I prayed and asked God for me to see the truth. I wrote several pages in my journal and allowed myself to feel all of my feelings. I then called a friend that I trusted because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t overreacting or being too sensitive.
I shared it with Larry and although he was compassionate and understanding, he had a slightly different perspective on it and was trying to be helpful. At that point, I wasn’t ready or willing to hear what he had to say. In fact, I said, “Honey, I am not there yet, and I need to be right where I am in my anger.” I clearly wasn’t ready to let it go and do a “spiritual bypass. “ I knew I was in trouble and prayed again and asked for a miracle- a change in my thinking.
That night, while watching a movie together, I heard the words in my head, “It’s done.” I knew immediately what it meant because all of the resistance, anger, disappointment and resentment were gone in an instant. I felt completely free. I was truly amazed because I didn’t have to do anything or fix myself. I had simply prayed and asked for a miracle. And I got it.
I always respond to people who write to me, but I hadn’t responded to my friend yet because I wanted to come from a place of love and not anger. I needed to give myself time to process all of my feelings and to find the gift and opportunity in it. The next morning, after I heard “It’s done” it was easy to send my friend a loving email. I thanked her for her thoughts and shared with her the gifts that I had received from her email. She responded and said, “We both received gifts because I had some new insights through all of this myself.” I realized that she was not wrong and I was not right and I was not wrong and she was not right. What a freedom to know that we may have different views and opinions and that is o.k. We can agree to disagree and still love one another.
While I was in prayer and meditation that morning, I heard Spirit say that this was an invitation to believe in myself more deeply and to trust my feelings. That afternoon I went to my favorite consignment shop and what do I find but a box that said, “DARE TO BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.” Of course I bought it and put it on my kitchen shelf to remind me always to believe in myself.
A week later, I invited my friend over to discuss the gifts we had both received from one another. I was completely honest with her as she was with me. She shared that she was triggered by what I said and was able to see a pattern in herself that she no longer wanted. I am so grateful for God’s grace and our willingness to communicate from our hearts. It was truly a “grown up” conversation because we left our egos at the door.
What I have learned through this experience is: prayer is powerful and prayer changes me. My heart knows what is best for me and to follow my heart takes courage and strength. I love myself when I believe in myself and do and say what is right for me. I no longer have to fix anything or anyone, prove myself or take things personally. I just have to be me to make a difference in the world. I trust that everything that shows up in my life is a gift and opportunity to grow spiritually.
How do you give your power away? Here is a list of behaviors, attitudes and feelings that may help you identify where you might be giving your power away. I invite you to pick 2 or 3 behaviors and work on them this week.
People Pleasing – need to be liked and approved of by others. Low Self Esteem.
Staying busy with activity and work to avoid feelings and going inside.
Addictions: alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, food, work, religiosity, shopping, cleaning, internet, relationships, codependency.
Looking outside for answers and validation. Need others to tell you what to do and that you are o.k.
Focusing on fixing others, making others happy and then feeling resentful when your needs are not met. Putting others first at the expense of yourself.
Comparing yourself to others – feeling less than or better than.
Perfectionism and unrealistic expectations of yourself and others.
Beating up on yourself with negative self-talk.
Difficulty saying no without feeling guilty. Difficulty setting boundaries and saying no.
Don’t know what you want or feel – know what others want and feel.
Needing to control others and situations. Overreact to situations you have no control over.
Neglecting your own needs – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Difficulty forming and staying in relationships.
Feelings of sadness, depression, loneliness, anger.
Passive aggressive, passive or aggressive communication and behaviors.
Rigidity in behaviors and attitudes and black and white thinking.
Difficulty having fun, taking self and life too serious.
Feeling undeserving and unworthy
Difficulty asking for what you need and receiving it.
Feelings of inadequacy, despite many achievements.
Pretending everything is ok, putting on a happy face no matter what.
Staying in abusive relationships and work situations.
Difficulty confronting others and speaking up.
Judging yourself without mercy and beat up on yourself for making mistakes.
Living your life from the “shoulds.”
Victim, poor me attitude
Mother Maui welcomed me with open arms. After experiencing the “cold snap” in Rhode Island, the warm sunshine felt so good on my face and I couldn’t wait to take my shoes off and walk the beach.
I jumped back into my life head first as I prepared for the workshop, “Radical Abundance: Creating the Life You Want.” It was held at Kaunoa Senior Center in Maui. What a wonderful group of women showed up – the oldest at the ripe age of 97. Her name was Pat and what an amazing spirit and attitude she had. I want to be like her when I grow up. She danced and shared her light with all of us.
I am continually amazed what happens “when I get out of the way” and let Spirit have its way. Of course, I planned a schedule for the day, but I am always open to listen to Spirit when a change is needed. While in prayer and meditation the morning of the workshop, I sensed God wanted me to do the forgiveness meditation and exercise that I had done in other workshops. This was not a part of “MY PLAN” but I listened and put it into the schedule for the day. As I reflect on the day and the comments from the women after the workshop, this was the most powerful part of the day.
When the forgiveness exercise was completed, I wanted to play a song called, “Be Gentle with Myself” but couldn’t get the tape recorder to get to that song (number 5) so I just started with the first song. When the exercise was over, we all stood in a circle holding hands and lo and behold, “Be Gentle with Myself” started playing. I couldn’t have planned it better. What a lesson in trusting and letting go of my plans. The workshop was a great success and I have another one scheduled in a few months.
I love to see what happens when I listen to the voice of Spirit and not question the “WHY” I am led to do something. A couple of days before I traveled to Rhode Island I went to my bank to withdraw some money. The tellers at the back are so friendly and always comment on the jewelry I am wearing. This one particular day, I got into a conversation with Diane and she told me she worked with the youth in her church. I was led to tell her about my book, “Simply a Woman of Faith.” She said, I would love to read it.” I told her I had a book in the car and wanted to know if she wanted to buy one. She said, “I will have to pray about it.” I said, “Okay.” As I walked to my car, I heard God say, “Give her your book as a gift.” I grabbed a book from the car and walked back into the bank to give her the book. I said, “God wants you to have the book as a gift.” She was so touched and thanked me profusely.
A few days ago, I went back to my bank to deposit some checks. When I walked in, Diane got so excited and said, “I knew you would be back. I wanted to call you, but I decided to wait because you were going to the mainland. I loved your book and have told everybody about you and your book. In fact, my minister wants to meet you. When I finished your book, I gave the book to Juanita, the teller next to me and she loved it too and is going to send it to her son. She was so touched because her mother died a few years ago and her mother’s name was also “Honey.” Juanita was off that day.
I shared in last week’s blog how my mother “showed up” for me on New Year’s Day when I received the “HONEY” packets from Starbucks. I heard God say, “I want you to go to the bank and give one of the “HONEY” packets to Juanita tomorrow. I didn’t question it and said, “Okay God, I will do that.”
When I walked into the bank, Juanita spotted me immediately and quickly came from behind the counter to greet me and give me a big hug. She had tears in her eyes and said, “I loved your book and am sending it to my son to read. I have to tell you what happened because you are not going to believe this. I started to read your book immediately when Diane gave it to me at the bank. On my lunch hour that same day, I went to the Salvation Army to browse around. I went to the book section and there staring me in the face was a brand new copy of your book for one dollar.” My jaw dropped open and I had “chicken skin” as they call it in Maui. What are the odds of her finding my book at that perfect and right time when she needed it? I call it a “Godincidence.”
After she told me the story, I smiled and said, “I have a gift for you from God.” Now her jaw dropped open as the tears flowed down her cheeks when I handed her the HONEY packet. She was visibly shaken up and touched by the gesture. As I left she said, “You made my day and I feel so lifted up. I know my mother came to me today.”
I have learned to listen to that “small still voice of God” within or intuition. Whatever you may call it, it doesn’t matter, what is important is that you trust it and follow the guidance. It does take practice and a willingness to get out of your comfort zone and letting go of worrying what others will think of you.
It is such a joy to experience daily miracles and see what unfolds when I step out in faith and let go of my plans. I guess that is why I am called, “Simply a Woman of Faith.”
For the first time in my life, I have an iPhone. I used to have a basic phone where all I did was make and receive phone calls and it was great. Now I am in the big leagues with an iPhone that has so many functions that I am still learning how to use it. Being in Maui and not knowing the streets, I especially love the GPS who talks to me and tells me where to go. When I am going in the wrong direction, some funny thing comes on the screen and she quickly “RECALCULATES” and gets me back in the direction I need to go. I feel like God has been “RECALCULATING” me all week long. Please let me share the events of the week with you.
After I returned from my mini vacation to Kauai, I tried to settle back in to my new home. The first thing that happened was that I learned the house where my ohana is in, was sold and the landlords were moving out Dec 6, 2012. I knew when I rented my place that the house was on the market, so it wasn’t a complete surprise. I also trusted that I would be provided for and if it didn’t work out for me to stay here, I would just find another place to live. Easier said than done! I don’t really want to move out and look for another place. I know that I may not have to move out when the new owners buy it, but there is that possibility. Since the house was on the market when I rented it, I signed a 3 month lease, which will bring me to January 17th. I am trusting that nothing will change and I will easily sign a another one year lease with the new owners.
I wish I could say there was no fear, but there was. This is just another area I am being invited to trust more deeply that God is in control and has me covered. I know that everything that happens is a gift and for my highest good. I also know that all separation is fear when I forget that God and I are one. When I remember God is with me and I am with God, fear leaves me.
Today’s lesson in the book, “Absolutely Effortless Prosperity” by Bijan is “I am realizing that all of my experiences happen for a reason. I choose to see each one as a part of my personal growth. Because of this, I can give up control and let God lead the way. God knows what is best for me, far better than I do. Today, I know that God loves me more than I love myself. When I trust God, I do not question any event that happens. I know that everything that occurs in my life is in my best interest. My power to create miracles for myself begins as I realize that I can make a conscious choice to trust God.”
After reading and pondering this powerful message, I was “RECALCULATED” and trusted that I was going in the right direction again because I felt peaceful. But, it didn’t last for long. I began feeling stressed and my chest felt heavy (very unusual for me). I no longer felt the peace that I had been experiencing since I arrived in Maui. I wrote in my journal one night, “God, I’m not sure what is going on, I feel like crying. I have a headache (and I rarely get headaches). Things seem off. I am really struggling and can’t seem to shake this heaviness. Please bring me into your truth and light. What is coming up God? Is it fear, control? I want my peace back and to live in the flow. How and why have I lost my peace?”
A couple of things seemed to be coming up for me that I was able to identify. I was feeling some fear around not having enough money and coming from a place of lack and scarcity, something I have worked on for many years. I remembered what I read a few weeks ago about the meaning of prosperity. Prosperity is knowing I will always be provided for. I was being “RECALCULATED” again to the truth of what I know in my being. How easy it is to forget the truth that God is my source. Thank God for my inner GPS to get me going in the right direction again.
As I have shared in other blogs, it is the desire of my heart to meet my soul mate and I know that God brought me to Maui to meet him here. I have been opening my heart and thanking God for the right and perfect man for several years now. I thought I was ready until recently when I started to date (yea) and felt some anxiety come up. After I prayed about it, it seemed like some of my stress and heaviness was coming from dating again and wanting to know what was going to happen (control). Instead of just having fun and relaxing, I was obsessing a bit and perhaps, even ready to sabotage myself. After I welcomed the fear, I reassured myself and said, “Of course you have some fear, this is new and it’s been a while since you dated.”
I am happy to report that today I am relaxing and giving myself permission to play and have fun. I don’t need to see the future; all I need to do is to live in the present moment and allow whatever happens to happen. What is mine will come to me at the right and perfect time.
My friend recently said to me, “Lessons are coming fast and furious to many of us light workers.” This is true and I am grateful that I can work through these lessons rather quickly and RECALCULATE so I can go on to the next lesson. I want to be free and live my life to the fullest. Once I recognize that fear or control is coming up, I can choose not to stay there. I can choose Love because I know Love is all there is and fear is an illusion, although sometimes, it really feels real.
Are you living your life in peace? Are there areas in your life where you need to RECALCULATE?
Here are my 6 TIPS TO LIVE IN PEACE that I practice daily.
1. Show Up – Develop a daily spiritual practice of prayer and meditation.
2. Ask For What You Want – and expect an answer. Be clear about what you want. Visualize and Believe.
3. Be Grateful – An attitude of gratitude is the key to make things manifest quickly. Focus on what you have, rather than what’s missing.
4. Forgive Yourself & Others – Holding onto resentment and anger blocks the energy flow and prevents or slows down your ability to manifest your dreams.
5. Have Faith – Your prayers are being answered. Faith is believing in what you cannot see. Change your thinking.
6. Let Go of Control – Trust the process and surrender to what is. You are exactly where you need to be.
1. STOP ALL CRITICISM– Criticism never changes a thing. Refuse to criticize yourself. Accept yourself exactly as you are knowing that you have everything you need in this moment.
2. DON’T SCARE YOURSELF – Stop terrorizing yourself with your negative thoughts. Everything happens to me, “what if mentality.” Find a mental image that brings you pleasure and switch your scary thoughts to pleasurable thoughts. Remember the good things that have happened in the past.
3. SPEND TIME ALONE IN MEDITATION AND PRAYER- Plug into the Power within on a daily basis. Allow yourself to receive Divine Love. Journal your feelings and focus on what you want.
4. BE KIND TO YOUR MIND – Self hatred is only hating your own thoughts. Don’t hate yourself for having the thoughts. Change your thinking and focus on the positive things. Start a gratitude journal.
5. PRAISE YOURSELF – Criticism breaks down the inner spirit. Praise builds it up. Praise yourself as much as you can. Tell yourself how well you are doing with every little thing. Stop looking for others to validate you. Use affirmations on a daily basis. Be patient with yourself and treat yourself as you would your best friend. Look into your eyes often and tell yourself the truth of who you are as a child of God. Believe and trust in yourself.
6. SUPPORT YOURSELF – Find ways to support yourself. Reach out to friends and allow them to help you. Ask for help when you need it – it is a sign of strength and courage.
7. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY – Learn about nutrition. What kind of fuel does your body need to have optimum energy and vitality? Exercise. Cherish and revere the temple you live in.
8. ACCEPT YOUR GIFTS – Step into your greatness and magnificence. Stop hiding and let your light shine. Find your passion and live it.
9. FORGIVE YOURSELF AND OTHERS
Do you ever say to yourself “I can’t believe this is happening to me AGAIN!” or… “How many MORE times do I have to learn this lesson?” Or, perhaps you have felt as if everything in your life was going smoothly and you were in the FLOW, which feels great, and then bang, seemingly out of nowhere, stuff happens and your life feels out of control. For me, when that happens, it’s like God has a giant flashlight that shines into my heart, which enables me to suddenly see the unconscious (and usually false) beliefs I have about myself and the world.
Recently, this happened to me. I had an intense week of inner work, forgiveness and transformation as the result of attending a Radical Forgiveness Workshop by the best- selling author, Colin Tipping. Practicing Forgiveness has been an integral part of my spiritual life for many years, and it has enabled me to forgive many significant people and experiences in my life (including myself). As a result of my own experiences, I have come to believe that while forgiveness is a gift that I give myself, it is something that all of us deserve to experience.
Through a series of synchronistic events, I was surprised when shame and guilt reared their ugly heads in my life, and after extensive prayer, meditation and journaling, I got in touch with some beliefs about myself that were buried deep within my subconscious. Once an unconscious belief is brought to light, it can be healed and transformed, and I believe learning how to do this is a very useful process to incorporate into your daily life. As the result of my inner work, God revealed to me that I was living in victim consciousness in a particular area of my life.
Victim Consciousness is when I blame and judge others and make them “wrong,” and me “right.” When I am in victim consciousness, I’m not willing to take responsibility that my soul attracted this situation or person that I’m blaming and judging, so that I can heal limiting beliefs I have that are not true about who I am. This state of victim consciousness makes me unwilling to see the divine perfection in every interaction or experience. I believe that everything happens for a reason and I create my reality by my thoughts. That means I believe that I attract people, situations into my life to heal unconscious beliefs that are still operating in my life and consequently blocking my progress and soul’s evolution.
Through God’s grace, I became willing to see the perfection in what I had attracted into my life and was willing to stop blaming and judging the players on the field. Rather than coming from a place of anger, blame and judgment, I was able to come from a place of love. I was then able to forgive myself and these other people for what I had “perceived” as their wrong doing. I recognized that I was attracting people into my life that would abuse and ignore me, because I had a limiting belief that said, “I don’t deserve to receive attention and to be treated with respect.” Once I was able to identify this belief, and shine God’s love upon it, I was given the grace to forgive myself, and those people I was angry with. Once this happened, miracles occurred.
With radical forgiveness, it isn’t even necessary to know what unconscious belief needs to be healed and transformed. What is necessary is that we be willing to see the perfection in what is happening and recognize this is an opportunity to expand our ability to love and grow. I’m so grateful for the deep healing and freedom I experienced by being willing to do the deep inner work of forgiveness.
Here are some of the common core beliefs that most of us still hold in our subconscious:
I am not good enough. I am not worthy to receive
I have to be perfect to be loved
I am unlovable and will be abandoned, rejected
I don’t deserve love. I will always be betrayed.
If you find yourself realizing that you have a belief similar to the above, you may want to practice “Radical Forgiveness” and experience the radical freedom and grace you will know when you free yourself from this darkness, and allow the light of your soul to expand.
Is there an area in your life that you feel stuck or blocked?
Do you want to develop a relationship with your inner self and your Higher Power?
Do you have a difficult time forgiving yourself and others?
Join Pat Hastings in this transformational 4 hour workshop on learning how to forgive and transform your life through play. Come and celebrate YOU and give yourself permission to express yourself, lighten up, enjoy and connect with your playful self.
This is an experiential workshop with specific exercises that will guide you through the process of forgiveness. The natural consequence of forgiveness is to discover an inner freedom and peace. You will leave the workshop feeling lighter, freer and more playful. The workshop closes with an opportunity to be creative and play through dance, “dress up” and singing.
Connect with other like-minded spiritual women in a safe environment who also desire a closer relationship with the Divine and who recognize the need for forgiveness in their lives.
WHERE: Leap of Faith
170 Arrow Head Rd.
Dighton, Ma 02715
WHEN: January 22,2010 1:00-5:00 PM
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Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host
Simply A Woman of Faith
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