Saturday, February 24, 2018

Miracles Happen. See Your Miracles With Your Heart

 Dear Readers. We all experience miracles in our lives. Some people only see a small coincidence, but others see an amazing miracle and never forget. Today I was reminded of one of my miracles. And I'd like to share it with you.

Of Course

Sometimes our prayers are answered in unexpected ways. When this happens to me, my initial response is usually one of amazement. But within a short time, I respond with of course and a knowing smile of gratitude.

One such blessing occurred when I worked in Administration for a Mental Health Agency coordinating services in five nursing homes. As a Psychotherapist, I'd worked in various settings, but now my work had become unfulfilling, and I felt overwhelmed and disillusioned. I made a list to satisfy my work needs, but after a week of good intentions, nothing came of it. So when one of the Counselors could not come in to work, I filled-in for her myself and gathered information on new patients to complete our files.

It was late in the day when I entered Martha's room, my last patient before leaving the nursing home. Martha was eighty-one years old, a frail woman with white hair and hazy blue eyes. Her face held lines pinched with time as if she hadn't smiled since she was young. She was oriented and alert, but in a highly agitated state when I approached her. She sat on the edge of her bed wringing her hands and swaying from side to side. She looked at me, but didn't acknowledge my presence.

I pulled a chair over beside her. "It's all right, dear," I said. "I just want to talk with you for a while." She watched curiously as I held her small hands and quietly began to calm her while asking questions for my files. "What kind of work did you do? How far did you go in school?"

He body became still, and she continued watching me. But she had not spoken when she suddenly reared back and asked with serious eyes, "Did God send you?"

Her question startled me, but I considered the importance of this situation. "Well...maybe He did," I answered and smiled.

"Well, I think He did," she said with firm conviction.

At that moment I decided my files could be completed another time, and I became open and receptive to whatever God had in mind for us. Martha began to relax and spoke of times she spent with her children when they were small. Her hands stopped shaking and her face lit up with memories of swimming in the creek, John learning to read, and Billy chasing chickens around the yard. She was engrossed in her stories. And I listened.

In a while, her head nodded, and her breathing became shallow. I saw she was tired, so I suggested she lay back on her pillow. When she was comfortably settled, I moved closer and asked if she could imagine things in her head. She nodded. Then I asked, "Can you imagine yourself a little child cradled in God's loving arms, feeling safe and at peace?"

"Yes, I can do that," she answered, slowly closing her sleepy eyes.

I watched her face for a moment and saw her thin mouth broaden into a peaceful smile. "I have to go now," I said. "But you rest and know that anytime you feel nervous and upset, you can just go inside and be with God, and He will comfort you."

"Mmm hmm." She squeezed my hand.

I left the room and felt my own peace as I stood in the hallway and glanced back at her. Now my work-needs list contained only one item. My answer was clear. I had to work with patients like Martha. Of course, I thought, and felt a knowing smile of gratitude.

Yes, miracles happen. Of course they do. And sometimes they bring a smile. But is a miracle a happenstance? Is it a blessing from God? Is it angels knocking on your door? You interpret them in your own way as they make sense to you. But know when you experience one. And some miracles may even change your life.

I wish you amazing times to remember.


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Many Faces Of Change And How They Affect Your Life

Recently I was sitting outside watching leaves fall from the big oak trees, and I saw the first blossoms on my camelia bushes revel in the sunshine. A baby lizard ran beind the patio chair, and I heard birds talking bird language celebrating our early spring. I live in Florida, and we never know when an unpredictable weather change will arrive. So we go with the flow and welcome the beautiful change when it comes.

As I watched this change unfolding in nature, I thought about our own lives and the positive and negative changes we experience all the time. When life is going good, we coast along in the status quo and don't want anything to rock our boat. Then there are times we pray for, or initiate, a change to move us out of the mess we're in. Change is a law of the universe. Things are always moving, repositioning, increasing and decreasing, or taking a different form. And nothing stands still.

There are two types of change: the change we choose and the change that chooses us. Linda Ellerbee

Some changes are so subtle we don't even notice them happening. In the midst of a dull brain fog I may notice a tremendous idea that quietly crept in. Or I'm amazed at how quickly dust accumulates on the furniture. It wasn't there yesterday. But other devastating changes may hit suddenly, and these can affect our health, work, finances, relationships, any part of our life. Sometimes we have options, and we can choose what we want to change. But other times we're forced to accept what we don't want. And that's life.

Changes may be easy or difficult, but either way you could run into some inner obstacles. With a commitment to release something and create something new, you may feel overwhelmed. How can you let go of what's familiar and learn a new way? Or maybe you cling to an uncomfortable situation because you fear the unknown. And resistance sets in. Or you might experience the loss of someone or something good in your life, and you have to make painful changes to adjust.

In the waves of change, we find our true direction. Unknown 

Change is inevitable, sometimes with unpredictable outcomes. We're constantly being moved along our path with no two moments the same, and we can't live in our status quo for long. Life is about growth, and we can't grow with our feet in mud from the last rain. The new rain has new puddles. Maybe it's time for new puddles.

"All that you touch you change. All that you change changes you." Octavia Butler

Examine various issues in your life, maybe feelings, an attitude, a situation. Observe the bigger picture of yourself and your life, and imagine how you want it to be. Then decide if you'd like to release something, change for the better, or create something new. There's no need to feel overwhelmed, afraid to change, or resistant to it. Everything you need is within you, and awareness supplies courage to make changes you might want. And if you feel now that your status quo is fine with you, just love yourself and be prepared for changes in the future. Remember change is inevitable.

Recently I came across a poem I've had for many years, and it reminds me of changes I've experienced in my life. The poem is quite revealing.


I have resisted change with all my will,
Cried out to life, "Pass by and leave me still."
But I have found as I have trudged time's track
That all my wishing will not hold life back.
All finite things must go their finite way;
I cannot bid the merest moment, "Stay."
So finding that I have no power to change
Change, I have changed myself. And this is strange.
But I have found out when I let change come,
The very change that I was fleeing from
Has often held the good I prayed for,
And I was not the less for change, but more.
Once I accepted life and was not loath
                                         To change, I found change was the seed of growth.

I wish you a happy life filled with wonderful surprises.


Monday, February 12, 2018

The Many Forms Of Love. You Don't Need Words.

We usually think of love in a romantic sense, and how wonderful when 2 people find each other and share their lives in love and harmony together. But love can't be harnessed in only one dimension. Love reaches out, and its expression is found everywhere there is life, because love is life. Each year we celebrate Valentines Day reminding us to express the blessing we carry around inside. I've heard some people say they look forward to Valentines Day, because that's about the only time they hear 'I love you'. But love is expressed all year if we listen.

Valentines Day hasn't always been only for lovers as we generally think of it today. It has quite a history, and was once a pagan fertility festival, then later a religious celebration to commemorate St. Valentine. But there's a difference of opinion as to which Valentine that was. There were several. By the 18th century it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes on one day in February. And by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters. Now there are Valentine cards for just about anyone.

Since the words 'I love you' are usually meant in a romantic way, hearing or saying the words in any other context can sometimes cause discomfort. There's love for family, friends of both genders, agape, or spiritual love, and for our pets and plants. But some people think carefully before expressing love for anyone else. What would your neighbor think if one day you said, "I think you're a great neighbor, and I love you"? Or you phoned an acquaintance and said, "Just wanted you to know I'm glad to know you, and I love you"? Raised eyebrows? Love is a natural emotion, so why not express it as we choose?

Love takes many forms from quiet uttering of the words 'I love you' to love so grand it takes your breath away. Even animals and plants express love in their own ways. Have you ever seen love in the eyes of a devoted pet for its caretaker? Or when a thirsty plant responds to a healthy watering? That's love. And we love them back.

"Love cures people, both the ones who give it and the ones we receive it." Dr. Karl Menninger

Love is akin to many experiences. It doesn't always speak as love, but when you feel gratitude, peace, encouragement, support, kindness, acceptance, happiness, etc, do you not feel a loving tug in your heart? At times like this we may not make a conscious connection to love, but it's there. And it's healing what needs to be healed. Love is like spark plugs in a car to make it run. A particular spark of loving energy produces expression in all of life. But we must be willing to allow love to manifest through us.

I believe that love expands. As you give love out, it's received and reciprocated--and it grows. That's the beauty of it. Hill Harper

Love doesn't always have to be verbalized. You can love without words, and opportunities are abundant. You can smile and wish a stranger a happy day; or hold a door open for someone struggling with an arm full of packages; or wink at a little boy riding in Mama's grocery cart; or run an errand for a neighbor; or hug a friend. Isn't that love? And don't both of you feel it? When I was working, 'I love you' was never said. But I loved all of my patients. And they loved me back.

Love is the great miracle cure. Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives. Louise L. Hay

As you go through life loving others, don't forget to love yourself. There's something special in you, like no other. And you deserve a miracle. What would that be for you? Maybe discovering just how special you are, and feeling it down to your toes. Give yourself a hug, and feel your special love in your heart. And take it with you everyday.

Let love shine in you.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Move Your Mountains And Find More Of Yourself

Dear readers, I apologize for this article being late, but I just came through a mountain of my own, and it took a while to catch up. I hope you enjoy this reading. Maybe it will sound familiar. Blessings to all.

You are not IN the mountains. The mountains are in YOU. John Muir

Life is a series of the good times that warm our heart and put a smile on our face, or times so painful we wonder if we'll survive, and all those in-between times we call routine. We hope for the good ones, but sometimes we're faced with sudden challenges that knock us off our routine path. Each of us is on our own unique journey, and whatever is on one path may not be on another. we never know what each tomorrow will bring. But we're all faced with something, some time. And we all have our mountains to move.

Pain comes on many levels. Some situations nullify your plans like when you're ready for work and your car has a flat, or you receive notice you didn't pay your mortgage, or you forget to register your kid for summer day camp, etc. Others can mean life shattering devastation like sudden illness, loss of a job, death of a loved one, financial loss, the list goes on. Some experiences are extremely hard while others seem less demanding, but whatever the severity, life pushes us to learn and grow from each experience.

How do you respond when a challenge hits? Maybe the first thought is to panic with a 'what if' attitude. What if I'm late for work; what if this ruins my credit; what if my kid thinks I forgot because I don't care. Or more serious, what if I don't get well; what if I can't find another job; what if I can't find peace; what if I lose everything. Our attention is usually so turned toward the outside, we often don't listen to what's going on inside. Are you thinking fear, lack, I can't do it, or any other defeating notion? These thoughts may be your biggest mountains, and only you can move them.

When you focus on faith rather than fear, you tap into a strength to carry you over even the tallest mountains. Gail Lynne Goodwin

Challenges in our life are teaching experiences, and every mountain serves a purpose. They present opportunities to discover something we need on our journey. And they help us realize our strength in overcoming. Turn your mind from fear to faith, and deny that any self-defeating beliefs have power over you. Then replace them with truth. "There is nothing to fear, I have everything I need, I have faith in the Power within to move mountains, and I have faith in myself to be guided and strengthened. I can do it." Give these ideas positive energy, and they will manifest in positive ways.

As you build on your faith, move away from worries, and move toward a solution. Step back, and gauge the size of the mountain you're facing. Theres a saying, "Don't make mountains out of molehills." How big is your mountain really? It might be just a little hill to step over. Size up the mountain, and create a plan. Ask, "How big is it, and what can I do about it? What are the consequences if I can't fix it? Where can I find help if I need it?" Etc. Accept where you are, and voice your intention to move forward.

The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Confucius

Don't feel like you have to hurry through this. Someone once told me that when you're working with a life challenge, remember it's a process, and you have to allow it to unfold in its time, as you're doing what's yours to do. She also said that each time we overcome a challenge, something inside changes, and we're better for it. So take the time you need to move your mountain, and welcome the change within yourself.

For every mountain there is a miracle. Robert H. Schuller

Moving mountains isn't easy. It takes practice and patience, knowing that each overcoming moves you closer to being more of what you're meant to be. And if there's something you can't get past right now, it's okay. You haven't failed. Celebrate the mountains you've moved, and be grateful for those you haven't. They're part of your journey, and will serve a purpose. Their time will come. And you are blessed.

I wish you freedom to discover more of you.


Monday, January 29, 2018

Your Words Reveal Who You Are...Or do they?

No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world. Robin Williams

The words we speak not only affect others, but they affect the speaker too. We assign meanings to the words we use and those we hear. And these meanings register in our mind, affecting the way we think and feel. Words are powerful tools that can bring happiness to a broken heart, peace to a tired soul, whimsical laughter to a child at play. They convey profound ideas, or play with the absurd. They describe our neighbors, and discuss the latest gossip.

"The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do." Thomas Jefferson

One word can be as powerful as a whole sentence. When something pushes our buttons, a sentence may push us into a hole, while just one word can get us over the hump. Many people have a 'key' word they use to reduce stress or to express an attitude or feeling. When my daughter was a small child, she sat on the floor putting a toy together while I visited with my mother-in-law. Suddenly, she said, "Oh, dammit." And my mother-in-law glared in shock. I tried to cover up with, "I wonder where she got that." Then she looked up and commented, "What, Mommy, that word you say?" Well, I just sank further into my chair. And yes, I changed my favorite word.

The user of a key word has to really feel the word for it to become a meaningful habit. Maybe you've heard people use 'oh, well', 'really', 'whew', etc. My favorite word now is 'whatever'. I rarely use it in conversation, but it has an amazing ability to release a tremendous load of stress when I push to frustration trying to accomplish something. To me, it means the situation is not the end of the world, so I can just let it go, at least for now.

Words are powerful. They can create or they can destroy. So choose your words wisely. Unknown

Words have been known to change whole civilizations when a crazy person sits in the power seat spouting directions to his helpless subjects. They gather in the streets carrying signs with words of protest. But they remain helpless, and eventually bend to oppression. When we hear false statements long enough, we tend to believe them. And today we live in a world where words have transformed peaceful, caring minds into 'us and them' attitudes filled with judgment, hate, anger, fear, and separation from one another. Now is when words of love and peace are needed. And a good place to start is with our words to ourselves about who we are.

The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives. Anthony Robbins

Thoughts speak with words, and these words create beliefs and feelings about ourselves and others. Listen carefully to what your own thoughts are saying about you. Are there doubts about the truth of who you are? And have you allowed the words of others to sway your vision of your true self? Look closely at your self-image, and answer these questions. Then use descriptive words to reveal the truth about you, words like honest, loyal, intelligent, kind, good looking, anything positive. And add some words for negative traits you can work on. We all have those.

I think three things are important for people to feel whole and fulfilled...understanding, validation, and caring. All of these can be accomplished in the way we speak to others and in the way we hear others speak to us. Too often in conversations we're just hearing words, and not really hearing the other person. But if you listen with a caring attitude and your words reflect on what they're saying, they'll hear and feel the goodness that is you. Both will feel whole and fulfilled. And they will not forget.

We're living in a time when too many people have chosen a hateful journey. And we all suffer. Make your journey one of peace, harmony, and love. And let your words reveal this in you and as you. Then our journey may have a different future

Enjoy your words. They reveal who you are.


Sunday, January 21, 2018

How To Be Open And Receptive To Receive Your Blessings

Human life runs its course in the metamorphosis between receiving and giving. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

If you've decided what you want in your life this year, hopefuly you trust that you'll receive your desires. This approach raises your vibrational energy to attract the good you want. And once you raise this vibrational level, your good will come. It sounds great. But what if your desires don't materialize, and you wonder why the process isn't working?

Desire and faith are necessary in the abundance process. But the Universal Law of giving and receiving requires balance in both giving and taking. And when we go against the very nature of this law we suffer. Takers lack close connection with others, while givers may feel discomfort in receiving. This lack of balance produces negative energy inhibiting ability to receive what the Universe is waiting to give.

Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. Les Brown

Many people suffer from fear of receiving, and this fear limits their quality of life. And they unknowingly block their good. Their fear may run from mild discomfort to a sense of guilt, unworthiness, greed, all kinds of painful feelings. They sense a blockage inside, but have no idea where it's coming from. They're unaware that reasons behind a blockage are childhood messages hidden in their subconscious. These messages lead to believing that giving is good, but receiving is selfish or shameful. These false beliefs remain with us all of our life unless we learn the truth about giving and receiving.

Our good comes to us in different ways from small gifts to life changing situations. But when false beliefs remain in our subconscious and motivate our choices, we fail to receive much that could enrich our lives. We sometimes fail to receive gifts, because we think it's wrong to accept from others. Or we fail to accept an important job, because we believe we're not capable. Or we miss an ocean cruise believing, "Nothing turns out right for me." Those messages reduce our vibrational energy, and this affects our life.

As a child I was taught that asking for or receiving something is selfish. I felt undeserving, and spent much of my life with guilt in the pit of my stomach if expected to receive something. And much good eluded me because of my resistance to receiving. Later when my mother grew older and lived on social security, she taught me another lesson. Whenever she wanted to buy me even a small gift, I refused, feeling she couldn't afford it. Then one time she cried and said, "Don't you know when you refuse to accept my gift, you take away my pleasure in giving?" She must have learned something since my childhood years. and I learned that when one gives and another receives, both are blessed.

We are Divine enough to ask, and we are important enough to receive. Wayne Dyer

The Universe hears what we believe and answers in kind. And negative or false beliefs interfere with Universal Law. So if what we want is to become a reality, we must be open and receptive to receiving our good. There are ways to overcome inner blockages, but it takes some practice.

1. Begin by giving to yourself, even in small ways, and rejoice in your gifts to yourself. Learn to feel good about receiving.
2. Talk to your inner child, and teach him/her about the law of giving and receiving.
3. When appropriate, ask for and accept what you want, even if it feels uncomfortable.
4. Watch your thoughts and feelings when you're offered something but feel you 'should not' accept. Talk to your feelings and confront that resistance. Affirm your right to receive.
5. Work on forgiving and releasing any old negative beliefs, attitudes, people, and experiences to make room for the new.
6. Learn to tolerate discomfort until it stops being a problem. And given time, it will.

Using the law of giving and receiving promotes physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, and we and the world are blessed. Give to and receive from others, and open your mind and heart to receiving what the Universe has for you. Enjoy the peace you feel from both. You are worthy.

I wish you courage to say 'yes'.


Monday, January 15, 2018

How To Manage Your Vows To Enrich Your Life

Make a vow deep within yourself to have the happiest life possible. R. Sauter

Do you sometimes feel your life is more a struggle than the journey you envisioned for yourself, and you're confused about the way some things in your life turn out? Or you have friends and a family, but you live with a deep, unexplained loneliness? Or has your life blossomed in joyful ways and you share your life with a wonderful partner? Either way, maybe the quality of your life is in vows you made while growing up.

We walk through each day as usual, but seldom aware of that subtle something inside that motivates our actions and determines outcomes--those vows we made in the past, either written, vocal, or just a thought. We make them at any age, but children are impressionable, and they label messages from their environment pleasant or hurtful. Then they create positive or negative vows that affect their adult personality, relationships, work, money, talents, etc.

Messages come in 3 ways: 1) Direct Contact. Someone says to the child, "You're stupid." So the child vows negatively, "I'm so stupid, I can't do anything." 2) Experience. The child stars in the school play. So he vows positively, "I have talent, and I belong." 3) Observation. The child observes parent fighting about money. So she vows negatively, "There's never enough, so I can't expect much." Messages are powerful, and they influence our lives.

Vows are promises to ourselves to avoid what we don't want or to create what we do want, to enrich our life in some way. Vows, intentions, promises...all provide a sense of purpose and direction. But they have consequences, and over time, positive or negative, they may not serve us as we intend. Vows to avoid painful siuations may end up depriving us in the long run. Or vows to get what we want may not be enough to sustain our good. When we make vows, possible consequences need careful consideration.

Avoidance: When we create a vow as protection from painful experiences, we may end up paying a price for it. When I was 6 years old, my father died, and no one was there to comfort me. I remember moving through my hurt feelings vowing that I would never need anyone again or bother anyone with my problems. I spent most of my life true to that vow, being independent, taking care of myself, and never allowing anyone close enough to hurt me. But I learned it's lonely being alone inside, and I finally realized all I'd missed because I clung to my vow. Now I know when vows are not working for us, we can release them and have that fulfilling journey.

Positive Creation: It takes more than creating a vow to sustain its energy. At age 47, I envisioned working in the mental health field. My family thought I was too old for such a lofty goal. But I was determined and vowed to do it. Then reality set in. School was necessary, but I had no money for school, and I'd have to depend on part time work to survive. Fear crept in and shook my vow with thoughts of failure. My vow lost its power, and my lofty dream became a source of pain. My dream could have ended there, but I dug deep inside and renewed my vow. And my dream finally became a wonderful reality. When you create a positive vow, don't let appearances stop you. 

Beginning today and for the rest of my days, I vow to love myself unconditionally. I am empowered. Unknown

If you feel a vow may be affecting an area in your life in a negative way, examine your feelings and behavior patterns in that area. These are clues. Then ask your inner self to reveal what you need to know. Be patient and listen. When you discover a vow not enriching your life, expose it as untrue, and confront it with the truth of yourself and the situation. Remind yourself that you're intelligent, lovable, capable, and all those good qualities you were given when you were created. Release your vow with an affirmation, "I now release all fear and all vows that no longer serve me. I am free." Work on releasing, and know you deserve to be free and happy.

Be happy, dear one. You are worth more than you know.