Go Big with the Golden Key

The Golden Key

This morning as I was grabbing my watch off the dressing table, I came across my copy of “The Golden Key” published by Unity and based on Emmet Fox’s teaching.

In a previous blog I shared the concept of the Golden Key and I was grateful to have found it this morning and reconnect with its simple wisdom. Lately I have been pondering our culture’s tendency to focus on the negative aspect of <insert topic of choice> and how that “default” setting is one of the biggest challenges for us in manifesting a better life.

Complaining about what ISN’T working is a way of life, at least in the United States, and that way of life is counterproductive if we want to move toward our best lives.

The basic process of “turning the Golden Key” is outlined in that earlier blog. In this blog I want to suggest an enhancement to that basic step that can supercharge it.

While adjusting our perspective away from the trouble and onto the Good that is all around us; we can also open our minds to ponder the concept of “Infinite Intelligence”.

Infinite means without boundaries; no limits.

When we are trying to power through some challenge, we can sometimes get it in our head how it needs to work out. Mike Dooley calls this “messing with the cursed hows“. Never mind we’ve spent time and money on stacks of spiritual books, watched countless YouTube videos and attended a plethora of classes, seminars. We encounter one of life’s speed bumps and spiritual gurus that we are – we decide that we know what needs to happen and how it can (or can’t!) …classic spiritual #fail (and we’ve all done it once or twice).

In other words, we put the power of the Universe into a small box,…and then wonder why we’re still not getting answers to our prayers; solutions to our problems and generally a better outcome.

We can take our Golden Key – paper or otherwise – and add infinity power to it by allowing our imagination to go BIG. The “key” to our success lies in recognizing the infinitude of possibilities that exist, and in staying open to how the answer(s) we seek may show up for us so that we a) don’t miss them, and b) can be grateful.

Dig through your list of challenges, and find a stubborn one to work on. Give it the Golden Key treatment, then let your imagination wander, adopting an “allowing” posture (i.e. be the observer – not the micromanager) and watch the magic unfold.

Big dreams.jpg

(C) 2017 Practitioner's Path

A Simple Truth

“All that I am, all that I see; all that I’ve been and all that I’ll ever be – is a blessing, it’s so amazing, and I’m grateful for it all.”

These words form the chorus of the infectious and uplifting music video posted by artists Daniel Nahmod and Nimo Patel (linked above). It’s one of those productions that has magical qualities, and like a pain pill for a headache, can be applied on days when things aren’t feeling all that great and will produce wonderful results.

The music and the images are wonderful; it’s easy to get lost in the totality of this gift and to lose the very simple, yet powerful TRUTH that lies at the foundation of what Daniel and Nimo are trying to communicate.

It’s not a new message, but one that seems to be elusive across the general population. Louise Hay taught it in her blockbuster movie that summarized the theme for her life’s work: “You Can Heal Your Life“.

In one of the interviews that formed the basis for the movie Ms. Hay said, “…I used to fix this problem, and fix that problem,…and one day I discovered… that if I would help people to love themselves, to accept themselves as they are,… we didn’t have to work on problems. It was like a miracle – everything seemed to fall away…”

In the 21st century Louise’s work may seem “new” but this message has been around in various forms for a long time. While it’s true that her teaching – and that of fellow Hay House authors Wayne Dyer, Gregg Braden, and others – are based on ancient teachings and truths; a lot of those truths seem to get lost in the modern world. But throughout even the modern historical period, others have sought to teach the masses.

In 1969, Psychiatrist Thomas Harris published what would become a bestseller: I’m OK, You’re OK. The language in I’m OK, You’re OK leans toward the academic therapeutic (e.g. psychiatrist-speak) and is based on the concepts of transactional analysis. The concepts remain aligned, however with the foundations that would later inform 21st century teachings classified as New Thought.

So what do a hippy, last-century psycho-babble book; a new age woo-woo movie and a feel-good music video have in common?

They all share a simple, yet powerful message that is life-changing – if we can grasp it.

Here’s that message: no matter where we are (especially in comparison to what we see in others, and in the media); we have worth, we have something to contribute – we are a blessing to the world.

Some cynics will take issue and ask if I consider someone who harms another to be a blessing. When someone is actively engaged in harming others with their deeds, words or acts of omission it’s not likely that they are pondering their self-worth. Their negative deeds are the outcome of a serious lack of self-love (along with a lot of other issues that are beyond my scope of practice to diagnose).

Let me be clear that I am not advocating denial. When we harm others, our own successful recovery requires that we make amends. Once we move past the need to live and act in a way that harms others and begin to ponder concepts like self-worth, this simple truth can be applied.

The concept seems simple, right? It is. But it’s not EASY. We must learn to stop in the middle of our internal negative dialogue and pivot toward this truth: that we are OK, that we are indeed a blessing to the world – and the term “world” doesn’t mean that we need to invent a new life-saving technology or figure out how to clean the earth’s oceans. Our “world” is the sphere of influence that we inhabit, every day. When we recognize our contributions and worth in that personal world, we plant seeds that can extend outward to the larger world.

If we stay committed to this positive change, and work it every moment of every day; we can arrive at a place in our own lives where we truly believe these words:

  • All that I am: all my faults, limitations, short-comings and failures along with everything that I do well
  • All that I see: everything I see when I look around in my life experience; where I live, what car I drive, what my job title is and my salary number,…
  • All that I’ve been: my past
  • And all that I’ll ever be: my future

…is a blessing; it’s so amazing. And I’m thankful for it all. (Thanks Daniel & Nimo!)

When we can get to a point where this is our response to life, where we understand and apply this simple truth – we truly can heal and live our best life.

(C) 2017 Practitioner's Path

A New Thought Salon

A popular gathering in 17th & 18th century France, the salon – or gathering – has its roots in 16th century Italian intellectual circles.

Described as a place for the exchange of ideas, the salon has a rich history in political and social history.

Historical records reveal that modern salon gatherings continued into the 1940’s in urban settings in the United States andEurope. It is likely that the upheaval of WWII and the technological revolutions that came on the heels of the end of that war changed the landscape and sent salons to the pages of history.

But are they only meant to be a footnote in history or is it time to revisit the concept of the salon through a 21st century lens?

As demographic changes turn traditional religious patterns on its head in the United States, I think it’s a great time to look at the salon model as perhaps the next great opportunity for building religious and spiritual communities.

New Thought scholars know that Florence Scovel Shinn held salons in her home in NYC early in the last century. Her writings that highlighted the learning journeys of many of her students became a foundation of modern New Thought writings.

And so I mentioned to a friend that I was interested in starting a salon, and she responded by setting a date and time. I can think of no better time spent than good friends, good food and shared wisdom in a casual atmosphere.

I can hardly wait! And I’ll be sure to share the experience later this weekend.

When you look at the historical progression of change and great ideas that emerged from France (don’t forget that our founding fathers traveled often to France and received French support for their war efforts against England) it’s EXCITING to think about the changes for good that may come out of this spiritual / New Thought salon.

Until next time,…

Vive le France!



Rain falls on us all

UmbrellaAs I outline briefly in my Bio, I have traveled a few different spiritual paths in my life. At one point I was an itinerant organist/choir director and ended up with a regular gig in a part of town that had undergone great changes over the years.

In the decades of my childhood, one of these churches had been a place of power. The families of executives in the busy industries all around the city filled the Sunday School classrooms and pews of this church. Its building and amenities – though dated by the time I was working with them as an organist – told a story of robust giving, deep support and a once-thriving congregation. It now sat in the midst of a neighborhood in decline as the demographics of the area have shifted significantly since this church was a centerpiece of power in the community.

A few years after I had wandered into New Thought, I encountered one of the friends I made during that time. She had grown up in that church, and rubbed elbows with the children of the industry titans. Like me, she also had an academic-level curiosity about the drastic changes taking place in the church and neighborhood.

The clergy and members of that church, she shared; thought that holy righteousness was on their side, and that they were invincible.

People forget,” she said to me, “that rain falls equally on the just AND the unjust.”

One of the hallmark moments of Jesus’ teaching life was his Sermon on the Mount, recounted best in the Christian Bible in Matthew (chapter 5). While many teachers recall the lessons of the salt and the light as well as the popular and multi-interpreted beatitudes; the statement toward the end of chapter 5 is sometimes lost.

44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

New Thought and spiritual metaphysical teachings have done a stellar job on the first part of these verses: the concept of openness, acceptance and love is a strong suit of the movements that align with New Thought philosophy and they have a lot they could teach traditional Christian (& other) religious groups.

It’s that last part of verse 45 where I begin to see a challenge to some New Thought teachings. In this verse Jesus says very plainly that [God] makes the sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

In metaphysical parlance, this reads as follows:

The sun will shine on those with and without a right consciousness and it will rain on those with a right consciousness as well as those without one.

In other words, regardless of our consciousness, we are all going to experience good things in life as well as things that are hard, painful and unfair. In the same holy book that we point to when teaching tithing, an ancient truth lays out very clearly that a good consciousness and a not-so-good consciousness are going to bring us a variety of ups & downs in life.

Rain” is going to fall on us at times, regardless of our consciousness.

This is not to say that we should entirely give up on consciousness: a positive attitude, and an orientation toward things working out for the highest benefit to all is a good thing. It does mean that as teachers and leaders, we must not slip into a position where we counsel people experiencing some of life’s “rain” that it’s their consciousness that needs to be fixed. Instead we must learn how to simply “be” with someone when they are hurting.

Holding a hand, giving a hug, saying nothing other than “I’m so sorry for what you are going through” and asking how we can support them through the challenge is how it’s done right. Most people aren’t looking for a quick fix to their troubles; they just want to know that they’re not alone.

People in pain need support, compassion and (if they desire) spiritual tools that can help them walk through the rain that will fall on us all – not a reminder that they just aren’t “getting it (consciousness) right” when it comes to spiritual things.

So let us continue to teach the many benefits of metaphysical principles while walking compassionately with others through all of life’s challenges. Strong spiritual communities are built on a foundation of caring for each other when the sun is shining, when it’s raining, and all the days in between.

Get it started

fire-starter-firelighting-squaresI regularly hear from folks at various points along their spiritual journeys who ask this question: “Does this stuff really work?

This question usually follows some “ask” that was not answered. We do live in a culture that values instant gratification and often new spiritual seekers are drawn to metaphysical spirituality in order to “manifest” something.

And while there’s nothing wrong with seeking a demonstration through prayer and affirmations; understanding the basics of spiritual law helps to move things along. But it is important to realize that we must be ready for movement – very often unexpected/unplanned & inconvenient movement – when we start this process. Recently one of my family members shared their story and it perfectly illustrates this point.

The family was living in a rented home. They liked their neighborhood, and their yard, but the house was small, and needed a lot of work that the landlord was unwilling to do. The wife felt a nudge in her heart that this was not their final destination, and so she quietly wrote out an affirmation to use for helping them to move forward.

The next day after she put her kids on the school bus, she took her affirmation to the basement, and began to clear out and pack up things, saying “I am cleaning up and clearing out in preparation for our move to our beautiful new home.”

It is important to note here that the family did not have a downpayment sitting in the bank, and had been told by a number of people that they would not qualify for a mortgage large enough to afford a house in the condition and location that they desired.

She worked on the basement for a week (1 week!) and got it cleared out. She was feeling good about the progress and planned to continue the work in the rest of the house when their landlord called and said he was coming by.

When he arrived he told them that he was selling the house, and that they needed to be out ASAP. Not surprisingly, this created instantaneous chaos! Where were they going to go? How were they going to afford to move – especially in a hurry? Would the kids be able to stay in their same school district?

It was a tumultuous time, but the woman had some tools. She immediately began to journal using John Randolph Price’s Abundance Journey process and reached out to her family for advice and assistance. They secured a real estate agent, and began to look at homes in the school district where their children were already established.

To say that they “kissed a lot of toads” (saw a lot of subpar homes) would be an understatement, and there were many nights of exhaustion, disappointment and crying. She continued to journal, and held on to her belief that all of this was working together for their Good – that this was all happening for the right reasons. She realized that she had called this change into being with her WORDS and her divine right action.

This next piece of information will come as no surprise to some reading this post: on Day 40 of the Abundance Journey (Price outlines a 40-day Abundance Journey in his book), she and her husband closed on a house in a nicer part of their community that had been listed at a price point significantly higher than their approved loan amount.

She laughs today as she recounts the swift reaction of the Universe when she put her attention and her actions/energy into a singular goal – moving out of their rented house and into their own beautiful home.

The HOW was definitely not what she had envisioned as the path, but she was wise enough to know that the “hows” are none of our concern and that to manifest our dreams, we need to learn to roll with it the way it shows up.

Many of us have set intentions, written affirmations, sought prayer and visualized our goals. Have we ALSO been willing to take that first step in faith, and then – when the chaos erupts, allow it to lead us along the path to our intended goal?

Prayer, affirmations, visualization and other spiritual practices are powerful tools in the art of manifestation. Taking directed action in combination with our intention(s) serves as a quick start method for manifesting, but be careful: while we may have planned for a tame, S’mores kind of fire; we may get a high-flame, eyebrow-singing blaze beMarshmallowfore it settles down into coals that we can approach with a marshmallow on a stick.

Nearly 100 years ago, Florence Scovel Shinn taught her students that their word is their wand. Her words and these teachings remain as powerful today as they were for her students and clients.

When we ask, we WILL receive.

Are we ready?

Truth in a song

When it comes to spiritual music, we are blessed with some great artists. Michael Gott, Karen Drucker, Faith Rivera, Rickie Byars Beckwith and Daniel Nahmod come to mind as I type this.

To be fair there are many more, and on a different day I’d likely have a different mix of names.

I recently found a video on YouTube that is too awesome to keep to myself. I hope you enjoy as much as I continue to…

“All that I am, all that I see; all that I’ve been and that I’ll ever be – is a blessing, and so amazing. And I’m grateful for it all!”

And I challenge you to walk away from viewing this video without feeling uplifted, enlightened, blessed.