This has been a week of “uncovering” and releasing unconscious beliefs that no longer serve me and have robbed me of my peace my entire life. I cried a lot as it was painful to feel feelings that I didn’t know were there because I thought I had dealt with them. It felt like the original wounds of “neglect and abuse” were triggered and brought to the surface to be released and healed.
I gave myself lots of “quiet” time, prayer and meditation to “go within.” I know that when I call on God for help, I am connected to the sacred part of myself. It is my belief that whatever happens in my life has been planned in the mind of God and is the perfect opportunity to give myself self- love, rather than looking outside for external validation. When I look outside for validation, it feels like an insatiable appetite that cannot ever be filled. I must give love to myself as it’s my own love and God’s love that I really desire. Nothing else will satisfy and be enough.
My ego thought system was jabbing me left and right as I got caught up in comparing myself, judging and not feeling like there was enough. Are you as surprised as I am when your ego “shows up” unexpectedly and uninvited? You are going along and enjoying your life, feeling loved and grateful and then BANG, you are not feeling so good and you don’t know why. I know I shouldn’t be surprised when ego shows up, but I usually am. It takes me a little time to realize what’s going on because the attack feels so REAL even though I know the truth that the ego is not real and only an illusion. Once I identify the ego thoughts, it loses its power. Are you able to recognize the tactics of your ego and the vulnerable areas of your life?
Spirit showed me that I had a choice; to stay in the “muck” of my negative ego thinking and the stories of not feeling loved, feeling judged by another’s insensitive remark or focusing on what was missing or I could RISE ABOVE it into the energy of LIGHT and LOVE that is all around me.
Message from the Holy Spirit:
“You are still looking outside of yourself for validation and to know that you are loved and lovable. This is a deep-seated pattern that is being broken now. Don’t let yourself get caught up in things that don’t matter or are unimportant. What difference does any of it make? Rise up and only see the LOVE and BEAUTY around you, not the “perceived” problems, like what someone did or didn’t do or said or didn’t say or what’s missing. Don’t let yourself be robbed of your peace. All you need to do is BE LOVE, RECEIVE LOVE, LIVE LOVE and SEND LOVE.”
In prayer, Spirit showed me what to do when I am disturbed, disappointed, angry or hurt with someone. It is a process, and depending on the situation, it will take some time. It is not to be rushed or pushed.
FEEL YOUR FEELINGS
Don’t deny or judge yourself for the feelings you are experiencing. They are your feelings and they are not right or wrong. TO FEEL IS TO HEAL. Write your feelings in a journal. You can share them if you want with someone you love and trust and that won’t judge you. You may need to talk to the person who offended you and clarify what happened or you may be able to just let it go because you realize it’s not important and you don’t want to waste your energy. I have found it is important to feel my feelings for as long as it takes (and not what someone else thinks) to move through them and process them.
RISE ABOVE THE “MUCK”
The muck is the negative energy: worrying, judgmental, comparing, jealousy, resentments, fears and petty problems that you are experiencing. Stop the stories in your head and the obsessing about what happened or what didn’t happen or what you want to happen. Accept what is. It’s not worth losing your peace about what someone did or didn’t do because it doesn’t serve you. How people treat you or love you has nothing to do with you or your worthiness. It’s important to not take things personally and to know it’s not about you. We have no idea what that person is suffering inside. It’s good to remember that if we had their life, we would be doing the same thing.
LET IT GO
Saying the serenity prayer is always helpful in letting go. Write a letter and bury it or rip it up. I know I have let go of something when I don’t want to withdraw from the person that hurt me and I don’t feel any emotion or charge when I think about it.
If you are still struggling with the situation when you think about it, just repeatedly SEND LOVE. I had to SEND LOVE over and over again to the person who hurt me until it no longer bothered me. Of course, stay in an attitude of GRATITUDE for the opportunities for your soul to grow.
It helps me to remember that everything happens for a reason and is for my highest good.
I felt excited when I opened my email early in the morning that read, “Please call me asap.” It was from Dina, the travel agent from the Norwegian Cruise Line. I had spoken to her a few times over the past few months and she knew that we wanted to take another Hawaiian island cruise for our honeymoon. When we went on the cruise for my birthday last year, they gave a considerable discount to Hawaii residents. What we loved about the Hawaiian cruise is that we didn’t have to travel far to get on the ship.
Up until now, they hadn’t offered this discount. It was on that cruise that Larry decided (with the prompting from Spirit) to surprise me and ask me to marry him.
Just the day before receiving this email, I was talking with my friends, Kati and Sally, about the importance of living life to the fullest and not wasting precious time. I said, “I really want to go on another cruise.” There is just something about being on the ocean that feeds my soul. I hadn’t heard from Dina in quite some time.
I called Dina immediately when I read her email. She said, “Pat, are you interested in a 7 day Hawaiian cruise for $599 on October 7-14th? There are only 8 rooms left so you will have to act fast if you want it.” I could hardly get the words out of my mouth, I was so excited and said, “That sounds amazing, can you hold it until I talk to my husband?” She said, “Yes, but don’t take too long, this will go fast.”
I wanted to jump on it and after going within and discussing it with Larry, we were both on board with it. How perfect because we would celebrate my birthday and our honeymoon. I called Dina back within 15 minutes and much to my dismay, she said “The price has already gone up to $899 per person.” She tried everything to get the price back again, but couldn’t, even though she had put a hold on it.
When Larry and I discussed the new price, we decided to wait for another great deal. Of course, I felt disappointed because I thought this was surely an answer to prayer and I was ready for our second cruise. I immediately remembered the concept of “open and closed doors” that has been a vital part of my spiritual journey for many years. It has been my experience that guidance comes through open and closed doors.
It helps me to let go and surrender to “what is” when I trust that the door has been closed for a reason that only Spirit knows why and it is for my highest good. There have been many times that the door was closed because it wasn’t the right timing and opened at the perfect and right time. It was “in the hallway” that I learned to trust and let go.
I thought I had let it go because I didn’t think about it during the day. However, before I went to bed that night, I decided to go online and see if I could find the $599 deal again, but no luck. While I was on the website, I saw some other cruise deals that might work for us. My juices were flowing!
I called Dina in the morning to check out some other cruises that required traveling to San Francisco to get on the ship. She really felt bad about the new price and said, “I went home last night and looked again. Don’t worry Pat, I will keep looking.” I laughed and said, “Dina, I am a woman of faith and if it is meant to be, it will be.”
Rather than “allowing” and letting things come to me, I could feel myself pushing, obsessing and trying to make things happen. As I am learning to honor the Love that I am, I don’t push, seek or strive, for these are the old ways of doing things.
The new way is about allowing and accepting “what is” and trusting that all is in divine order. It is about being in the flow without attachment to anything; just allowing things to unfold naturally. This is self-care and self-loving.
I have read that when I love myself, I keep my vibration high and from that, my consciousness expands and from my higher consciousness, my life shifts to peace, ease and grace and miracles happen.
I knew I wasn’t “letting go” because I had lost my peace. I asked Spirit, “Why is it so hard to let go?” Here is what was revealed to me:
- I am not trusting Spirit that the closed door was for my higher good
- I think I know what’s best for me
- I want what I want – NOW
- I’m impatient
- I think I have to do it myself and control it
- I have to make things happen, rather than” allowing” it to happen
- I don’t want to be HERE right now, I want to be somewhere else
When I realized that I hadn’t let go and was obsessing about going on a cruise, I asked Spirit for help. When I truly let go, I feel peaceful. In this moment, I am peaceful because I am choosing to let go and trust in the divine plan for my life.
Although waiting is not my favorite thing to do, I surrender and trust that my Higher Power has a better plan and another door will open at the perfect and right time. I will wait patiently to see what it is.
How about you, is it hard to trust when the door is closed and you have to wait?
This may appear like a trivial blog, but I think it has some deep significance in living my life to the fullest and not being attached to “anything.” If I want to live in peace, there are some things I must practice daily. Have you ever had a piece of clothing that you absolutely loved and felt terrific and beautiful wearing it? I am sure all of us had this experience at one time or another. It may have wonderful memories attached to it and you hate to part with it, even when it doesn’t fit you anymore.
Well, I felt this way about my wedding dress. I couldn’t wait to wear it on our wedding day. It was the first dress I tried on and I fell in love with it. I loved everything about it, especially the way it flowed when I twirled around and danced with Larry at our reception. When I put my flowered haku and lei on I felt like a Goddess and like I was royalty.
Larry and I are planning a trip to Rhode Island in July to celebrate our marriage with family and friends. I am looking forward to my son, Tim, performing a special wedding ceremony for us. We are looking forward to this special time with everyone. Of course, we both planned on wearing our wedding garments.
A few days after the wedding, I looked at my dress hanging in the closet and noticed some stains on the front of the dress. They weren’t real obvious but I could certainly see them and didn’t want to wear the dress with stains on it. I decided to wash the dress and tried everything from Spray and Wash, Mr. Muscle and even googled tough stains and used baking soda for 3 hours, but to no avail.
Here is what happened: I was given a beautiful Jade lei by some friends at our wedding. I didn’t know that the oil from the lei would stain my beautiful white dress. I was bummed out, to say the least, and had a difficult time letting it go. I felt sad and disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to wear the dress that I loved so much again to our wedding reception in Rhodes Island. I took it to the cleaners today and trying to be positive that the stains can be removed and that I can wear it to the celebration in Rhode Island. If not, I trust there is a better plan and will wait to see what Spirit provides.
It seemed ridiculous that I had a hard time letting it go and shifting my perception when there were serious things going on in the world that were much more significant than a stained dress. I asked Holy Spirit what its message was:.
“It is just a dress. Do not be attached to it or to ANYTHING because it is all fleeting and not real. Love is all that is real. It is only your outer garment. What is inside is what is important and that is what is real and lasting. You must ask me for help to shift this and accept “what is.” Can I not provide something more beautiful for you that you will equally enjoy when you trust me?”
After I prayed and asked for help to let it go, I felt better inside. I am trusting that God will provide and something even better will show up if the dry cleaners are unable to remove the stains. Perhaps I was just to wear this dress for our sacred ceremony as a reminder of God’s perfect pure love. I have beautiful pictures and memories that will last in my heart forever.
It is my belief that EVERYTHING is planned in the mind of God and everything is in perfect and divine order, especially when I am disappointed and don’t understand why things happen the way they
do. For me, it is always about trusting more deeply that all is well and being handled by God.
So whether it is something big like the loss of a loved one, or a job or something small like a stained dress, we need God’s help to get us through whatever we are going through.
Love is always there to comfort and guide us and we are never alone. All we have to do is ask for what we need. What is most important to me is peace in my heart. When I cannot accept “what is,” I lose my peace.
We always have a CHOICE . We can trust God and surrender or stay stuck in the muck wanting our own way and being miserable. What are you choosing today?
I bought some orchids in a large container about 2 ½ years ago for my birthday at a yard sale. The women explained that they had just blossomed and would bloom again in a few months. She didn’t remember what colors they were, but said they were beautiful. In the past, I had never been able to grow orchids so I wanted to make sure I did it the right way. I was patient and watered them weekly, (for 2 ½ years), but no flowers bloomed.
I had given up on them flowering. Then, one day about a month ago, I noticed the first white orchid blooming and then the second and the third. All in all, there are now 12 beautiful orchids blooming. I was astonished after all this time, that they would start to flower. A couple of weeks later, I noticed a yellow orchid starting to bloom. There are 14 buds on the plant ready to pop.
You might be saying to yourself, “So, who cares about her orchids, what’s the point?” There are probably many things we can learn from this simple story. I could have easily tossed the plants and bought new ones to replace them because I love orchids in my home. How many of us have tossed relationships or jobs or dreams because things weren’t happening fast enough?
The lesson for me about the flowers is about WAITING and not giving up. I didn’t really think about it, but I just kept watering them and accepted that I wasn’t going to get flowering orchids. I didn’t have any expectations of when or if they would flower. I just enjoyed their shiny green leaves.
Like most of you, I don’t like to wait.. I’m impatient and want to know what’s going on NOW. Larry might say that I can be IMPULSIVE and he is right. When I think of something I want to buy or do or go somewhere, I am on it in a flash. I am not a procrastinator and do get things done, so that is a good thing. But, being impatient and not willing to wait or wanting things to go my way causes me a great deal of stress
I have learned to temper that part of me that doesn’t like to wait by going within and asking Spirit “What do I need to do or say in this moment. I often hear, ‘WAIT” and I listen. When I hear “Speak or go or do” I follow through. I have seen a big difference in my relationship with Larry when I listen and don’t jump in and let my ego run the show.
As human beings, I think expectations can cause us undue suffering and pain. We want what we want when we want it and we want it NOW. We don’t trust God’s perfect plan and timing for our lives. We are not able to accept “what is.” We want something different than “what is.” We complain, blame, control, manipulate and try to make things happen. We may try to change people we love, instead of looking at ourselves and what needs to be changed in us.
I stayed in a marriage for 30 years until I could no longer stay and was strong enough to leave. I did all of the above; complained, blamed, controlled and it just didn’t work. I could not accept “what is” and knew that if I wanted to live my life to the fullest, leaving was in my best interest and ultimately in his best interest also. I wouldn’t be where I am today and getting married if I didn’t have the courage to look at myself and what needed to be changed in me.
Life is often about letting go, letting God and allowing Spirit to lead the way. We need to discern and ask Spirit what to do next if we are unhappy or struggling in a relationship or job. We need to discern whether to give up, wait or keep going. Others may think we are crazy, but we know in our hearts what we need to do.
If we want peace, we must follow our hearts, no matter what others think. Where do you need to follow your heart? Where do you need to wait? Where do you need to keep going and not give up?
There were several lessons or opportunities that I could have written about this week, but it would have probably been only a sentence or two, not a whole blog. Spirit is faithful and has never let me down over the last 9 years that I have been writing the blogs. I prayed and asked to be led to share what would be for the highest good for all.
This is what I received when I opened my email this morning. “Appreciation is the magic formula you’ve been seeking.” —Abraham
It is my belief that the more I appreciate myself, the more I appreciate other people in my life. I not only appreciate other people but I am learning to appreciate everything in my life. I have an “Appreciation Practice” that I practice every night before I fall off to sleep.
Instead of a nightly review of the day in my mind about where I need to change or grow or what I don’t like about myself, I think about all that I appreciate about MYSELF that day. Sometimes the list is short and other times it is quite long. Nothing is too small and it really feels good when I am done thinking of things I appreciate about myself. Often during the day, if I am tempted to say or do something that is not aligned with Spirit, I will think about the appreciation practice at night and it helps me to do the right thing.
Having a daily practice like this motivates me the next day to do the same things and more. Often during my prayer and meditation, someone will come to mind that Spirit wants me to reach out to. I send a quick text reminding them that they are loved. Larry has seen me on my phone during prayer and says, “Pat is calling God.”
To give you an example of what this look likes, I will share some of the things I appreciate about myself. Of course, this is an accumulation of things I appreciate and every day is different. These are simple things and not great things. Of course, your list will be different if you choose to do this.
- I appreciate that I did my weights this morning
- I appreciate that I ate healthy and stayed away from sugar
- I appreciate that I kept my mouth shut when I really wanted to speak my mind
- I appreciate that I was kind to the cashier at the supermarket
- I appreciate that I called my friend to say hello and send love
- I appreciate that I didn’t judge someone that I wanted to
- I appreciate that I had a “Pat Day” and played and had fun
- I appreciate that I processed my anger and was able to let it go
- I imprecate that I said no because I didn’t want to do something
- I appreciate that I prayed and meditated
- I appreciate that I set boundaries and spoke up
- I appreciate that I let go of control
- I appreciate the choices I made that brought me peace
- I appreciate how I take care of my body, mind and Spirit
- I appreciate how I am asking Spirit for guidance in everything
- I appreciate how I love my family and friends
- I appreciate my creativity
- I appreciate how I trust God to provide for all of my needs
- I appreciate how I am able to receive all that is given to me
- I appreciate that I kept my word
- I appreciate that I listened to Spirit for guidance and followed through
- I appreciate how I chose LOVE instead of FEAR
I encourage you to try this practice and let me know how it works. I guarantee you that miracles will happen. Maryann Williamson ays, “A miracle is a change in thinking.” Rather than focusing on what’s missing or lacking in your life, your focus is on what’s working and what is good. When we do this, we attract more good into our lives.
I know that some people are wondering why I changed my mind about marriage after being so against marrying again. I don’t know if I can really explain the“shift” in me that led to my wanting to marry Pat. I know that if Pat had nagged or pushed me to marry her, I would probably not have experienced the “shift” that occurred. Sometimes when the energy of love is present, things happen and we can’t explain why or how.
I began thinking again of how different males and females think and how different our perspectives are. I am a lot more conservative than Pat and she is much more flexible and creative than I am. I’m not as open to change as much as she is. I think it may be a male thing. When I’m in a good place and life is going along perfectly, I don’t want to change it. I just want to take time to enjoy it. Pat likes to make choices that would expand our awareness and that sometimes means making changes.
If I hadn’t decided to take a chance and commit to a serious relationship, we wouldn’t be where we are now, living together and engaged to be married. It was a big decision for me to move in together because I was happy living alone in my own place.
I wasn’t all that keen on taking a cruise to Australia almost two years ago and that turned out great.
If I hadn’t changed my mind and gone on the Hawaii cruise, (I really didn’t want to do at first),
I don’t know if I would have experienced the “shift” in me that started me thinking that perhaps marriage could be in our future.
When Pat suggests that we do something out of the ordinary that will stretch me my default seems to be NO THANK YOU! She has learned to plant the seed, back off and let me think about it. Sometimes after I think about the suggestion for awhile, I come around.
I’m thinking that the energy of LOVE is always calling us to a greater consciousness, encouraging us to grow by recognizing our fears and deleting them from our lives. From my experience, sometimes that can be very uncomfortable. What’s important to me is that I continue my journey and not allow fear to determine which direction to go.
In Alan Cohen’s book, “Wisdom of the Heart” he writes, “It’s my own love I want, so why confuse it with seeking it from another? When you honor and nurture yourself, your happiness will proceed from within you and you won’t have to depend on another for it. As you give yourself more love, your relationships will change and reflect yourself-honoring. Another person isn’t the source of your love, you are. True love is an inside job.”
I bought a book at a yard sale called, “Madly in Love with ME” by Christine Arylo. I liked the title and was familiar with the author. In each of the chapters, she gives you a list of questions to help you discover how well you are doing on your self-love journey. I scored pretty high and was happy to see that I am on the right path of giving myself self-love.
I am grateful that Spirit always brings to light what is hidden in me so it can be transformed. It could be old beliefs that no longer serve me and will hurt and hinder by spiritual growth.
One of the ways I give myself self-love is to pay attention to my moods, attitudes and feelings. When something is “stirring inside” and just doesn’t feel right, I pray and meditate and ask God for guidance. As I wait and listen, it always becomes clear what needs to change. I often discover it is my ego wanting to cause trouble and unrest in my soul. I know that once the ego is identified, it loses its power. It always helps me to talk about it with someone I love and trust.
As I’ve mentioned in past blogs, being in a relationship will often bring to light “my stuff”. I was given several opportunities to see my stuff this week. Although it always surprises me when I discover an old belief that is still alive and well in my unconscious, I am grateful how quickly I am able to recognize it.
Rather than beat up on myself like I did for so many years when I discovered something about myself or an old belief that was still playing in my head that I didn’t like, I have learned to be gentle, kind and loving toward myself. I forgave myself and didn’t judge myself. It really feels good when I give myself the unconditional love that I would give to one of my children or to a friend when they were hurting.
Without going into all of the details, Spirit revealed to me how I was giving my power away in a couple of areas of my life. Looking outside for validation and approval is always harmful because it is never enough. It is my own validation and approval that I am seeking. Here is what was revealed by Spirit:
- It is not always about me or something I have done wrong when someone doesn’t respond in the way I would like them to. For example, if I am ignored or someone doesn’t answer an email or phone call, it often has nothing to do with me. In other words, “Don’t take things personal.”
- I was looking to Larry to validate my “dancing skills” (giving my power away) Instead, I am validating my own skills and they are “good enough.”
- I don’t have to BE the best – I just have to DO my best and trust that is enough.
When I changed my beliefs and gave myself the validation and love that I needed, everything shifted. It didn’t matter what Larry thought about my dancing, it was what I thought that was important. And the best part was that my dancing improved.
The other day I offered a friend the gift of my time. My friend declined and we agreed that perhaps another time would be more convenient. Later that day Pat asked me, “How do you feel about your friend declining your gift?” I replied, “I’m fine with the decision my friend made not to accept my offer. Actually, I feel happy that our friendship is such that my friend feels comfortable to refuse a visit and knows there will be no ill feelings on my part.”
I proceeded to share with Pat an experience I had many years ago that taught me a very important lesson about giving with “no strings attached.” Pat asked me to share this story in the blog. I was reluctant to do so at first since I am a very private person and don’t like to bring attention to myself. Pat suggested to me that the lessons I learned in this experience could be beneficial to others, so here it is.
I worked in a soup kitchen in Hartford, CT. 30 years ago one day a week. We provided and cooked meals for around 100 people. One evening in February on a snowy subzero night, I noticed one of the men had come into the building with just a light sweater on. He was wet, shivering and looked like he was on his last legs. I couldn’t believe he was out in these winter elements without a coat or jacket.
I had worn my favorite winter parka which I loved because it was the warmest parka I had ever owned. After noticing this man I just couldn’t let him to go out again at night without a jacket, so I gave him my winter parka. He was very thankful and appreciative.
About a half hour later, I saw this man wearing an old ratty jacket and the parka I had given him was gone. I couldn’t believe it! I felt terrible and betrayed. I thought, “What’s the matter with him? Is he crazy? I gave my beautiful new parka away for nothing.”
From my prospective, he had traded it and made a very poor bargain.
Later in the evening while I was thinking about this experience, I asked myself some serious questions about my giving practices.
- Did I not give this person a gift?
- Did it have strings attached?
- Do I give gifts with expectations?
- Was he to use my gift according to my wishes and ideas?
- If I “gave” him the parka then he could do what he wanted to do with it.
- It is no longer mine, it’s gone, out of my life.
One of the gifts I received was that I was able to be compassionate, generous and loving to a person I didn’t even know and give him something that was very important to me to make his life a little better.
The other lesson I learned and haven’t forgotten 30 years later is that when I give a gift, there are no expectations or strings attached. My joy is in the giving and you receiving. Thank you for taking the time to read our blog,
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
Many people have commented on the first chapter of my book, “Simply a Woman of Faith.” It’s called God is my Bargain Hunter – How God Provides at Yard Sales. After reading the chapter they say to God, “If you provided for Pat like that, I will ask too.” It really is about believing and being grateful before things “show up.” God is still providing for me on this beautiful island of Maui. Sometimes it feels like magic the way I am provided for and it makes me smile.
I love how the Universe works when I trust and allow things to flow. Last week, my friend, Sally, told me about a neighborhood yard sale in an exclusive, gated community in Maui. They have it twice a year and there are dozens of yard sales. Now, being called the “yard sale queen” by my friends, I was excited and planned on attending, until I remembered that I had a coaching session scheduled for 8:30 a.m. I thought about calling and asking her if she could come later in the day, but that didn’t feel right. I trusted that if it were meant to be for me to be there at 7 a.m. when the doors opened, she would cancel. Sure enough, I received an email from her on Thursday night informing me that she had to cancel. Of course, I was grateful and excited about that.
Larry asked if he could join me. He’s been with me a couple of times when we’ve stopped at yard sales along the way. But this was different because this was the big league in a gated community with so many yard sales. I said, “Larry, I would love you to join me, but you have to be willing to follow my yard sale protocol. This is what we do: We first peruse the whole area to see if there is anything we want. We move fast and don’t hang around to talk to people because if you snooze, you lose. Please don’t discourage me from buying something that I think is valuable. He smiled and said, “Okay, honey, you’re the queen, I won’t interfere, I’ll let you play.” I just love how he loves me!
We left the house at 6:30 a.m. as planned to find the treasures we were looking for (or not looking for). As always, God’s timing is perfect. Larry’s birthday was the next day and I’ve been searching for the perfect painting for his “man cave” since he moved in 3 weeks ago. I was glad he was with me because I wanted to find him something that he really liked. Of course, I prayed and asked God to provide the perfect painting (and price) for him. We saw several beautiful paintings, but nothing jumped out at us. We had almost finished our “yard sailing” when I spotted another yard sale sign down the street.
I spotted the 2 matching flowering paintings hanging on the wall immediately when I walked into the garage. I thought they would be perfect for over the couch and hoped that Larry would also like them. He not only liked them, but I offered the man less than what he was asking for them and he accepted happily. As soon as we arrived home, Larry hung them up for me and they looked awesome. How much better does it get than that?
On another note on how God provided for me. Last week, I was invited to my friend, Gail’s, house for a “play day” to paint and decorate rocks. Our friend, Lesta, is an artist and paints rocks and puts spiritual messages on them. She then leaves them around the island for people to pick them up. We had so much fun being creative by painting and putting colored beads on the rocks. I loved the idea of painting rocks and putting messages on them and leaving them around the island and decided I wanted to do this myself.
I planned on going to Ben Franklin to buy some paint, brushes, colored beads and this stuff called, MOD PODGE, which I had never heard of or used before. We used this to glue on the beads and seal the paint on the rocks.
It is even hard for me to believe that I found everything I wanted for this project at 3 different yard sales. First, I found 9 tubes of acrylic paints and 6 new paint brushes that were perfect for painting rocks. A little while later, at another yard sale, I found the colored beads in a case for $2.00. I was thrilled and couldn’t wait to start my new project. We were on our way home and only a couple of minutes from our house when I spotted one more yard sale. Of course, we had to stop and I was shocked when I saw the brand new bottle of MOD PODGE sitting on the table. I mean, really!
Last, but not least of how God provided: Larry brought 2 of his antherium plants with him that look beautiful on our lanai and I told him that I wanted to buy some more plants. At the very first garage sale that we stopped at, God provided 6 beautiful potted flowering plants for my lanai at the perfect price.
As I shared in my book, “The beauty of my “yard sailing” lies not just in the price, but the knowledge that God does care about the details. His answers to my yard sale prayers constantly reminds me that I’m taken care of, that God is in my life and that He wants me to have all I need and desire. The fun I have finding bargains reminds me that God has fun when I have fun. I think God enjoys placing bargains in my path as much as I enjoy finding them.”
As Larry and I were having a conversation about the holidays coming up, I thought about my family and friends and what I wanted to buy them for gifts. One of my love languages is giving gifts (and receiving them) so I wanted to find something that they would like. As I thought about this, I decided that I wanted to love myself first and give myself a gift (as well as buying gifts for my loved ones). I didn’t want it to be a gift-gift, but something different and special. Before I share with you how I will love myself and the gift I’m giving myself, I will give you a glimpse of what my life was like.
There was a time in my life that I was the “Queen of Multitasking” and rushing. With four children under the age of 10, there never seemed to be enough time in the day and I learned to do many things at the same time. I could be classified as an overachiever. Can you relate?
For example, I was holding my son in my left arm nursing him, while counseling a friend on the phone and stirring something on the stove with my right arm. I felt proud of myself and loved writing lists and crossing things off because at the end of the day, I felt like I had accomplished something and my day wasn’t wasted. I didn’t know any better and thought it was a necessity to get everything done that I wanted to do. When we multitask, our attention is divided between other tasks which means that the quality of what we’re doing suffers. When we focus on one task at a time, the quality is definitely much higher.
I grew up in a home where I heard “hurry up” a lot. I didn’t know how to do things slowly and one thing at a time. Perhaps because I’m also a New Yorker, I did just about everything fast, from eating to driving to talking – and felt proud of it. Thank God, I have learned a better way and that is to relax and stop DOING so much. I have learned to BE, to enjoy and let fun and pleasure be the priority in my life.
That brings me to the gift I’m giving myself this Christmas, but not only at Christmas, but every day as a way of life. Have you ever heard of the word “lollygagging”? I had to look it up in the dictionary to make sure it really was a word. It says: “To spend time doing things that are not useful or serious or to fool around and waste time, to spend time idly, loaf.”
I wasn’t taught or encouraged to lollygag, but was taught the opposite; to be serious and get things done. I have memories of being reprimanded for lollygagging and heard, “Stop lollygagging and get your room cleaned now.” Perhaps I knew the importance of lollygagging at one time but thought it was wrong or bad. As an adult, I felt guilty if I wasn’t doing or accomplishing something. I thought I was lazy if I just wanted to do nothing and relax. I sometimes still have to fight the belief that I’m lazy and that it is bad or wrong to do nothing.
I have a completely new understanding of what it means to lollygag today. Lollygagging is being in the moment, having fun, being free, enjoying, relaxing, experiencing pleasure, being playful and kind of mindless. It is really about letting Spirit lead me and doing what feels right in the moment. It is not a time to produce, to please, to impress, or to accomplish anything and there is no agenda. Can you imagine what it would be like to feel good about wasting time on yourself and to just fool around? It’s glorious.
I am proud to say that I am now the “Queen of Lollygagging” and pleasure. I waste time on myself doing what I love and want to do. Larry and I lollygag when we go to Costco and just kind of float around looking at new things and tasting all the food samples they give out. We have so much fun and laugh and he calls it “Pollygagging” because we are now partners. I mean really, how can you have fun and play at Costco?
You may be thinking, “Sure Pat, you’re retired and have the time to lollygag, but, I have a job and family to take care of and that is the last thing I can do.” I know what it is like to have a family and a job and go to school at the same time. I know what it is like to go from one thing to another and still feel like there is so much more to do. At one time, I put everybody else’s needs ahead of my own so there wasn’t time or energy for my needs and I was stressed and exhausted all the time.
With all the stress and demands in our lives, it makes it even more important to give yourself the gift of lollygagging once in a while. Perhaps a few hours on the weekend or 1 hour a day, whatever feels good and works for you. When our tanks are full because we have spent time loving and honoring ourselves we will be able to give to others from our surplus. You will also teach your children the importance of taking care of yourself and not being a martyr or saint because of all you do for others.
What gives you pleasure? Whatever it is, give it to yourself and make yourself a priority. You are important and worth it. Start with doing one good thing for yourself every day and it will feel so good, that you will want to do it more and more.
This is the season of giving – to yourself FIRST and watch the miracles unfold. Then you will be able to receive with an open heart. You won’t look to others to fill and complete you because you have already given it to yourself.
Life is about change and change is inevitable. You may be in the process of changing a job, a relationship, a belief, a dress size or where you live. It is a fact and it is our attitude and perception about change that makes the difference in our lives.
Do you worry, feel afraid and is your mind like a blender when you sense change is approaching or do you see it as an adventure to grow and invite something new into your life? Sometimes we have no control over the change that is coming upon us and at other times, we know the change is coming and we can try to prepare ourselves. We cannot control when a loved one dies suddenly or when we have an accident that totals our car.
That is why I love the Serenity Prayer. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”
All I can change is me and the choices I make in each moment. I can choose to trust God and believe everything will work out for my highest good and will flow with peace, ease and grace or I can choose to worry and think the worse will happen. This is what I call “future tripping.”
I don’t know about you but when I realize I have a choice about my attitude, I want to choose peace and love over fear and worry. I may have to choose it several times a day when I become aware that I am in the energy of worry or fear.
What works for me is to REMEMBER. I remember who I am as a child of the Universe and I remember where I came from. I choose to remember what has happened in the past and how it ALWAYS worked out for the best and at the right and perfect time. Not always my time, probably never my time, but always God’s time.
As I reflect back on the last 38 years of my awakening and spiritual path, I remember the doors that have opened and closed when it wasn’t for my highest good because I kept believing and trusting God. I used to think I was being “tested” when things didn’t go as I wanted them to go. I don’t believe that any more. I believe that whatever is before me is an invitation for my faith to grow and be strengthened. That feels so much more loving.
In January 2012, God invited me to move to Maui for 6 months. The plan was to rent my condo in Rhode Island and to find a place to live when I moved to Maui. When I made the decision to do this, I bought my round trip airline ticket, but didn’t have anyone to rent my condo nor did I have a place to live in Maui when I got there. I trusted, believed and kept repeating my mantra, “Thank you God for the right and perfect place to live that will flow with peace, ease and grace.” I know it was God’s grace because I truly was peaceful and knew that it would work out perfectly.
And it did, of course! Just a few weeks before I left for Maui, I found the perfect and right tenant. Her name was Carrie Ann and she was from my church. She had just moved to the area from California. I felt total trust in her and never worried a minute about my place while I was in Maui. She loved my home as if it were her own. Her mother died while she was there and she told me it was like her sanctuary and a very healing place for her to live.
The same thing happened in Maui. Just a few weeks before I was scheduled to leave for Maui, I received a phone call from a woman named, Pat, inviting me to stay with her and her husband. For 6 months I lived with Bob and Pat in a beautiful condo on the ocean for $300 a month. Now that is God.
So here I am today in that same place of believing and trusting God for the right and perfect place to live. I have been living in my ohana for a year and a half. It has truly been a safe, sacred and beautiful place to live.
Recently, my friend, Kati, had to move and she had only 2 weeks to find a place to live. Kati is also a woman of faith and she believed her new home would show up easily and effortlessly, which it did – 3 days later. I went with her to look at the first and only ohana she looked at. I fell in love with the spaciousness and view of the ocean from the lanai.
When I walked into my ohana that night, something had shifted inside of me and I was quite surprised. I felt “closed in” and a sense of constriction that I hadn’t experienced before. My arms literally crossed over my chest and I immediately opened my arms wide to receive. I knew that I didn’t want to live there anymore and that my time there was complete. My lease was up at the end of February and I planned on telling my landlord that I would not be renewing my lease. Instead, a couple of days before I returned to Rhode Island my landlord informed me that they would not be renewing my lease because they had plans to do construction on the house. I was so grateful that God had prepared my heart and that I had made the decision to move, rather than feeling like I was being kicked out.
I know what I want in my new home and I have put it out to the Universe. I will continue to trust and believe that what God has done in the past, He will do in the present. I’ve read a few chapters in my book to help me REMEMBER all the “moving” miracles showing up at the perfect and right time.
Although I am told that this is the “worst” time to be looking for a place to rent due to it being “high season” and there hasn’t been anything on Craigslist, I will continue to use my mantra, “Thank you God for the right and perfect place to live that will flow with peace, ease and grace. My faith is being strengthened, for sure and I look forward to sharing how my new home “shows up” in God’s perfect and right timing. I woke up in the middle of the night and started to think about finding a place. I heard God say, “Go back to sleep and let me worry about finding it.” I said, “Okay and immediately fell back to sleep.
Thank you for your energy and prayers concerning finding my new home. I have 3 weeks before my lease is up. Stay tuned and I look forward to sharing the story with you.
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Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host
Simply A Woman of Faith
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