Blessings in disguise

I’ve written a number of blog posts on the challenges inherent to the commercialization of spirituality. One of these includes the expectations of miraculous happenings, on par with the movie The Secret where a new bike shows up for a child and a gold necklace appears on a woman’s neck with seemingly no effort.

Those who are decidedly not interested in traditional church but curious about this end of the spiritual spectrum were intrigued by these suggestions. The CHALLENGE that I have addressed previously is that blessings so very often show up looking like anything BUT.

Yesterday I was scheduled to work onsite at my job. We are rotating on telework and coming onsite only every few days due to the pandemic and Friday was to be my day onsite. Early that morning one of my colleagues texted me to say that he was already onsite, and that I did not need to come in if I did not want to.

It had been a hectic week so I took him up on it, thankful for the reprieve.

Around 11am, I walked out to my kitchen to grab something for lunch. I was standing there thinking about what was in the refrigerator when I began to hear a loud HISSING sound. Soon there was water coming out from under the kitchen sink.

A connector had rusted and a line had popped, pouring water out in a rush. I ran to the basement and turned off the water line to stop the gushing.

Now, the rest of the day was frustrating to say the least. My father came over to fix the issue and we ended up running to the hardware store, standing on our heads and using tools, and by 9:30pm last night we had made some significant progress. We’ll finish it today.

Some might wonder why the blessing wasn’t the pipe not breaking in the first place. In an earlier blog I wrote about us living in Caesar’s world. We live in a world where metal rusts, pipes break and water flows. The miracles we most often* experience work within the confines of the physical reality of this world – by the movement of people, circumstances and events to help us out.

The blessing I experienced was the last minute change of plans that had me at home, and standing in the kitchen at the moment the pipe burst. I would be facing an entirely different issue than late night plumbing “yoga” if that water had poured out all over my house for 5 or 6 hours while I was at work.

I have learned to accept, even embrace, these blessings in disguise. I know they are evidence that I am provided – always and in ALL ways. Each one reinforces my faith and trust in the Infinite Spirit – in that Power for Good in the Universe that Ernest Holmes spoke of and wrote about in the last century; that Nona Brooks documented and taught even before that.

The real “secret” to metaphysical spirituality lies in learning how to “be still and know” – and to stand still and consider the wondrous works of the Infinite Spirit in our lives.

A guru whose teachings I appreciate reminds his students that we are never alone or helpless; and that the force that guides the stars, guides us too.

This is comforting knowledge; but to have it at the ready and meaningful for the really scary times in our lives, we must PRACTICE knowing and seeing it show up in the everyday occurrences (like near misses with broken pipes). As we celebrate these blessings in disguise, we are practicing the presence, and deepening our connection to our help in time of need.

And so it is.

(C) 2020 Practitioner's Path

* I do not mean to suggest that other-worldly miracles never occur. They DO! But,…we will experience MORE miracles when we are open to those that are common as well as uncommon.

Related blog posts:

Blessings (expertly) delayed

Today is Veteran’s Day in the United States – the day when the country pauses (national holiday) to recognize every person across history who has served in the US military. Memorial Day – in May – celebrates those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Occurring each year on November 11, Veteran’s Day has become a day to get a free breakfast, or cool discounts. It is more soberly, however, a time to reflect on our youth – since it is almost exclusively the young who leave home and raise their right hands to solemnly swear to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic“.

At age 18, I too raised my right hand and joined the US Navy. My enlistment photo from Boot Camp sits at the top of this post. I look at the face of that young woman and today ponder her life path through the lens of a spiritual journey. At one time I considered that portion of my life to be a big misstep, an error. Today I recognize that it was expertly woven into so many demonstrations that would not come to light until much later in my life.

I enlisted to get the US government to pay for my college education. Unfortunately, the Vietnam-era GI Bill was closed and the Montgomery GI Bill that followed would come too late for me unless I wanted to reenlist (which I did not want to do). Long story short, I was honorably discharged after 6 years of active service with a husband, 2 small children and no college credits.

I ended up going back to college a few years later as a single mother. I had to borrow all the money I did not get in grants as I was making less than $6/hour and paying the bills of our household. I got out of college and went immediately to graduate school so I could “catch up” with my peer group and compete for jobs that were commensurate with my knowledge, skills, abilities and mostly – life experience. I graduated with my master’s degree and student loan debt that was as expensive each month as my mortgage.

For a number of reasons, including the significant student loan debt, I spent a lot of time wondering what I had done “wrong” and asking “why me?“.

As anyone on the spiritual path knows, those are futile questions. Thankfully, the seeds of deeper spiritual exploration had been planted along my undergraduate journey by a wise woman I ended up spending time with as an intern, and would be boosted throughout graduate school by others I would meet, and tempered by some difficult life experiences. Still, it would take a few years to fully bloom.

Once out of graduate school I enjoyed jobs that were in alignment with my expectations. I moved into academia – eventually becoming the dean of allied health at a community college. For some time I thought I would stay there until retirement, but life seemed to have other ideas. Looking back, I can see that I had more to learn.

When I was given, randomly by someone I met in passing, the audiobook version of Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret, things began to line up in my life.

Although for some time I considered this point to be the START of my spiritual journey; I realize now that this spiritual unfoldment had been taking place all along (aaaaah, hindsight).

While in the US Navy, I remember looking out of my 2nd story apartment window to see a parade like I had never seen growing up in rural Ohio. I saw my first drag queen (many of them, actually!) and a lot of signs in support of the gay community.

I lived in the middle of Hillcrest, in San Diego. I don’t know for sure, but given the timeframe, it is very possible that I experienced a synchronistic event that day. I believe that parade was a famed Hay Ride, organized and led by Louise Hay, who lived in San Diego and founded Hay House a few years later based on the growth of her movement in support of gay men during the AIDS epidemic.

Fast forward to the 21st century. My receipt of a copy of The Secret, and the emergence of Louise Hay and Wayne Dyer’s work into the mainstream, with the help of technology advancements like the internet, kicked my spiritual journey into high gear.

For many years I looked at my time in the US Navy as a mistake, a misstep, an unfortunate detour in my life. While I have always been grateful for my children, whom I would not have in this form had I not been in the USN; I saw my enlistment as the reason for my delayed entrance into college and a full-time career. Today I see that it was a perfect unfoldment of learning, blessings and more.

That 6-year delay in my career meant that I went to college at a time when technology was booming. Unlike peers my age, technology comes to me as a second nature and that has opened MANY doors to abundance and prosperity for me. It has also made many things in my life much easier.

While I did not have the advantage of a GI Bill, I ended up getting a benefit through a job that my time in the service helped me to secure (I wrote about that here). That life lesson taught me MUCH about spiritual abundance and relying on Source as the substance of all my Good. And as I quickly approach the year in which I have the option to retire, a pension is in line for me – built on a foundation of that same, 6-year “delay” (I wrote about that demonstration here).

Much greater than any of the financial demonstrations, however; my time in the United States Navy opened my world in a way that would have been less likely had I not been there. I have had the great blessing of friends, acquaintances and guardian angels from every race, religion and perspective thanks to the USN, and that has been life-changing on many levels. It has also added a depth of understanding and knowledge to my spiritual learning that cannot be gained in a workshop, seminar or textbook.

In my previous blog I wrote about the lessons we can learn from Joe Biden’s life: a lesson of patience, of knowing that our Good is always unfolding – no matter WHAT it looks like, and no matter how unlikely and far off it seems to be. I know too, as a teacher of spiritual Truths, I can do much more than quote from a book or a guru’s writing when I encourage students and other seekers to hold on to the knowing that all is well – and much of that is due to my time on active duty with the United States Navy.

I know that all is well because I have walked this long path, and seen, in hindsight, the unfoldment of more Good than I could have ever imagined.

Now I look back with deep gratitude and appreciation, each year on Veteran’s Day, for those years that I once thought were in vain, but that I now know were foundational to the Good I experience today.

Those years served an important, and even critical, role in my life experience; my spiritual growth and wisdom. I recognize the many blessings now, and am humbled by them all.

And so it is.

(C) 2020 Practitioner's Path

Demonstrations – a national example

This week the world watched and held its breath as the most prominent democracy tested the tenets of that very premise, which is – in simplest terms: rule by the people.

The story of Joseph R. Biden‘s road to the Presidency is a lesson in faith, the power of prayer, perseverance, decency and more; but this is not a blog on the life and times of Joe Biden. Instead, it is a reminder that demonstrations – answered prayers – often come along a difficult and heart-wrenching path, that can stretch on and on, and even appear to be out of reach; perhaps not meant for us in this lifetime.

Imagine how, after a couple attempts to run for president, and well into his 60’s, then-Senator Biden must have felt as he was chosen for the Vice Presidential ticket for rising star Barack Obama. I’m sure he had many times where he questioned whether his dreams of being president were over – that perhaps, his destiny was aligned a little differently than what he had hoped and prayed it to be.

The importance of this lesson – of remembering to stay open, receptive and committed to serving our fellow human beings along our path toward our deepest desires – cannot be overstated.

While the movie “The Secret“, and the many Law of Attraction teachers that came out of the woodwork after its release, opened the doors to spiritual metaphysics in a way that had previously been unimagined; it also helped to perpetuate an unrealistic narrative about the way that spiritual principles work. This has resulted in many disgruntled and unfulfilled “customers” and has not helped organized metaphysics, which struggles with the same demographics and societal trends that is decimating other organized religious groups.

Prayer works and faith is always rewarded,… BUT

  1. It’s often on a different timeline than what we’ve planned.
  2. What we desire/pray for/believe often shows up looking VERY different from what we wanted or imagined.
  3. The path to our Good often winds along a challenging and difficult road.
  4. We will often look around and see things that APPEAR to indicate that our dreams are not ever going to come to fruition (refer to #1, #2).
  5. OUR dreams are not siloed and separate from others. Sometimes our dreams have to wait so they can align and support the dreams and prayers of others.
  6. There is always (ALWAYS) the highest and best good for all “baked in” to our demonstrations. It’s NOT all about us.

True spiritual warriors – of ANY tradition – know that God is Good, and that all is well, no matter WHAT it looks like or HOW LONG it takes.

As the world celebrates America’s return to decency, democracy and common sense; those of us on a spiritual path can look to the life and example of Joe Biden as an exemplar of the Truths we teach, and the principles we practice.

And so it is.

(C) 2020 Practitioner's Path

A prayer for safety

In previous posts I have shared affirmative prayers for protection and for times of turmoil. Today I am sharing a prayer for SAFETY as we hear the news and watch the public health data that reports increasing cases of COVID-19 across the nation, and in fact, the world.

While some of us have the luxury of working remotely and being able to self-isolate and order what we need from Amazon and other retailers; many others are going straight into the mouth of the beast, every day.

Whether working in education, healthcare, retail or some other area that requires us to show up and be around other people, there is some sense of worry – no matter HOW strong we are, or how positive we think.

Utilizing the same format as the recent Prayer for Health, I share the following prayer for safety.

Each day, in each place where I stand, I lift my head and square my shoulders, knowing that Spirit and I are one, and that I am never alone. I recognize the Power and the Presence everywhere – across time and space. From within this omnipresence, I accept my oneness with the Infinite, and I affirm that the Universal Spirit of Good expresses in, as and through all of Life as It expresses in, as and through me [and in, as and through the person for whom I am speaking this].

This means that, regardless of how it seems, my/[their] steps are divinely guided, safely along my/[their] journey. I/[They] walk in the protective Light of the Divine and I/[they] find the information, people and supports that are needed at every turn in the road. I am/[S/he is] always in the right place, at the right time, and am so confident in this Truth that even when things APPEAR to be going wrong, I relax/[s/he relaxes] into the sacred assurance that the Infinite Spirit is opening some doors and closing others. I/[They] walk forward in faith, blessed with Divine protection and safe passage through this storm.

Like a sailor in a storm-tossed sea who finds relief in the powerful beam of the lighthouse, I am GRATEFUL for the guiding beacon that is Spirit’s gentle nudge; I give THANKS for Divine intuition and for the appearance in my life/[their life] of angels who come, always in perfect time and at the perfect place to point the way to safety.

Rooted in this gratitude, I release my word into the Infinite Law, knowing that its return is assured. I speak it, I know it, and I let it go. And so it is.

(C) 2020 Practitioner's Path

A prayer for health

In this time of global pandemic, when the health and wellness of ALL is a daily, if not hourly, topic of conversation; it is helpful to reconnect with the ancient practice of prayer.

In spiritual metaphysics, prayer is affirmative – speaking the desired outcome, and not giving voice to what is wrong. Instead of asking (begging) the Infinite for help, affirmative prayer is an acknowledgement that God is already in the middle of our issue. We are simply turning our attention away from the PANIC and onto the Truth.

A favorite Florence Scovel Shinn quote of mine, that I have incorporated into the affirmative prayer below, summarizes this perspective so clearly:

I walk in the Light, and my fears dwindle into nothingness.”

Florence Scovel Shinn

Joseph Murphy called it “Prayer Therapy“, Ernest Holmes called it “Spiritual Mind Treatment“, Mary Baker Eddy, Emma Curtis Hopkins, Malinda Cramer and Nona Brooks called it simply “Treatment“. The process – regardless of what we call it – is powerful. As I mention in my BIO, I have seen time and space altered in remarkable (miraculous) ways by the application of affirmative, scientific prayer.

If you or someone you care for is in need of healing, I offer this affirmative prayer. It is written to be spoken for yourself – or for someone else (hopefully this makes sense as you read it through).

Keep in mind that if you are speaking this for someone else, there are statements that you know (e.g. “I know that,…“) as well as statements about the other person. I have added [brackets] around the places where you will add different language if this is being spoken for someone other than yourself.

Lastly, in keeping with the tradition of Spiritual Mind Treatment, the 1st paragraph contains all “I” statements until the last sentence.

I recognize that the Infinite Spirit is the essence of Good, I lean into this Truth and allow it to fully surround and enfold me, as I affirm my oneness with Spirit. Aware that Divine expression moves in, as and through all of Life, I acknowledge Its expression in me [and in other person)], and I embrace this Truth.

Right here and now, I affirm the perfection of Spirit and know that It is ever-present, and expressing as health, wholeness, wellness and strength in me/[other person]. My/[their] body and mind are open and receptive to the Infinite Power that is expressed in me/[them] and in the many healers and helpers that surround me/[them].

I welcome the advice, medications, and other interventions that doctors and other experts share with me/[them] because I know that they are not random words, but divinely-guided messengers – healing angels sent specifically to me/[them] for my/their highest Good.

I/[They] walk each moment surrounded by the brilliant, warm and restorative light of Spirit, and any fear I/[they] feel dwindles into nothingness. I know that all is well and I am reminded of this as my/[their] experiences on this journey are anchored in ease and grace – even in the most unexpected places and at the most unlikely times.

I am grateful for the ability to connect with this ancient wisdom, and to remember that Spirit is omnipresent; everywhere, with me/[them] always and in all ways. I ground myself in this deep well of gratitude, and release my word into the Infinite Law – knowing that it returns complete.

I speak it. I know it. I let it go.

And so it is.

(C) 2020 Practitioner's Path

(p.s. don’t miss listening to this song by Michael Gott – it’s the perfect closing for any prayer)

Divine nudges, perfect timing

Practitioner's Path, spirituality, giving, charity, tithing, Goodness
(C) 2020 Practitioner’s Path

New Thought emerged in the mid-to-late 19th century in the United States, and had much of its earliest beginnings focused in the realm of healing and health. This makes sense when we look back to the history of the evolution of scientific medical knowledge. People had fewer options for healing and healthcare then as compared to now.

In addition to the interest in healing, there was still a deep religious, and specifically Christian, influence on the American psyche. This would tame all but the most radical minds who would dare to teach what would become the prosperity gospel in the next century.

When the hints from Emerson, Troward (both steeped in White, Anglo-Saxon privilege) and others around humanity’s “right” to be prosperous met the triumph and power felt by the United States after World War II, it was a match made in marketing heaven.

One of the challenges inherent to the focus on manifesting things using the power of a connection to Spirit is that it tends to delude us into thinking that “it’s all about us“. Even as refrains of “we’re all one!” and “love is all there is” float around; the charitable hearts seen in some of the more Christian-leaning organizations are largely muted in many New Thought organizations. Tithing is specifically directed back to the minister or church/center and while support for charitable organizations is supported in some corners, it is specifically eschewed in others.

The teachings moved out of the star-studded streets of Hollywood and the Ebell theater and seemed to morph into the general New Thought mind as a way to get everything one wanted in life.

To be clear, the teachings based on many ancient spiritual traditions do, indeed, help us live more full lives, and experience more abundance. This abundance shows up as opportunities, peace, happiness, joy and sometimes even money. These teachings have helped MANY people turn their lives around from a perspective of negativity and lack to one of positive living, and expansion and I don’t want to skip over this deep truth.

Still, there is a tendency, perhaps uniquely American, perhaps just human nature, to think that using these principles is “all about us“. And therein lies a significant problem.

The biblical canon that is taught as one of the foundations of New Thought (Ernest Holmes was ordained as a Divine Science minister and Divine Science is openly a Christian metaphysics teaching) reminds readers over and over that it is most definitely NOT all about us. It is my belief that we would do well to teach this larger Truth more often than we do a self-focused doctrine.

What does that mean?

From my interpretation of this, and based on the results I’ve observed, this means that instead of running “Unexpected Income” programs (where people are obligated to hand over 10% of any additional income they bring in to the minister or church/center), program focus should be shifted to knowing that we are provided enough that we can devote our time and talents to giving to others. It seems particularly gauche to clap and celebrate someone finding a $10 coupon when there are so many in our communities who are not sure how they will pay their rent, buy diapers for their babies or feed their elderly parents.

True abundance comes not from the amount of money we attract into our bank accounts, but from the Good we seed in the world. Yes, we need money to pay for housing, food and clothing; but if we are clothed, housed and eating regularly – we might want to think about turning our super-Spiritual skills outward to help others who are in the most need.

I know that in some corners of New Thought and spiritual metaphysics, this is seen as anathema to doctrine. I call bull crap on that. If the tradition is built on the ancients, then what the ancients say needs to be considered, and caring for others is a consistent theme.

To be clear, I’ve written extensively on this blog about manifesting financial support, as well as my gratitude for the teaching and learning that gave me the ability to turn my thinking and my circumstances from LACK to ABUNDANCE. In fact, right now I am leading another journey along John Randolph Price’s 40-day Abundance Journey on YouTube (check out my Videos page for more information). But I continue to know that there is MORE to be learned and demonstrated from these ancient principles.

This morning I was reminded of this deep Truth in 2 ways. First of all, I received an email about a drive to collect diapers for a local Diaper Bank that supports families who cannot afford diapers for their babies. Secondly, I had an encounter – first with some lovely flowers (pictured above) and then with a dog.

As I headed out on my usual morning walk, I had an inkling to go RIGHT out of my driveway instead of the usual LEFT that I take. I generally go with these urges, considering them to be divine nudges for one reason or another.

When I got to the row of flowers shown in the photo above, I assumed that it was THIS that had nudged me right. I have wanted to take a photo of this row of free-spirited flowers for the past few weeks, and it is clear that their season of bloom is not long for the year.

I was so glad I had the urge to go this way today, and was finally able to get some photos of these flowers. That must have been the reason for my inclination to go RIGHT instead of LEFT, or was it?

As I continued my walk, I was nudged again to ignore my other usual habit of winding through the back streets, off the main drag. Even as I walked along the outer perimeter of my 2-mile path, I wondered why I was exposing myself to all the traffic noise and exhaust fumes – but the urge to follow this path did not wane.

I came to the 3rd right turn along my travels, and headed up the cross street – also busy with Saturday, late-morning traffic. I grumbled a little at the rougher sidewalk, overgrown shrubbery and noise and for a few moments wondered about my decision-making abilities. After all, if the FLOWERS were the reason for the initial right-hand turn, I could have turned into the quiet, neighborhood streets a block ago.

Not long after this mental exercise, I looked up to see a man with a lawn mower, and a dog with a clear, “cone of shame” on its head. I initially thought the dog belonged to the man mowing, and worried that the busy street and his attention on mowing his grass was a bad combination.

Then I realized that he was NOT the dog’s owner, as the dog dashed, haphazardly, down the sidewalk toward me. I’m a dog-lover (cats, too!) and can’t help but to talk lovingly to random pets I encounter, so I began to talk to this young dog who I now knew was not under anyone’s control.

A couple times the dog turned toward the busy street, and each time I was able to distract him/her by calling out in my “dog mom voice“. I was not sure what I could do, or where he/she belonged, and I was worried about the pace and intensity of the traffic on the street.

Just then a man came out of a house, a little bewildered, sharing that his dog had bolted out of the basement door. At that moment I knew why I had felt the “divine nudge” to take a different route. The flowers were nice, but the timing of encountering a loose dog, and being able to calm him/her until their human came looking for them was a much larger Good.

After “Fido” was successfully corralled, I thought about the times in my life others have shown up for me in my hour of need. In some instances this was with an opportunity or financial support; other times it was information or kind words; and still other times something as fleeting and simple as being in the right place at the right time – such as I was for this wayward pooch and its family.

In his song, I Will Be, Michael Gott sings,

Here I am – a vessel to be used;
whatever Spirit needs of me,
I will be, I will be, I will be.
Here I stand – my heart is here to serve.
Wherever Love is leading me,
I will go, I will go, I will go.

Michael Gott

I know for sure that I was led to take a slightly different route this morning so I could show up at the divine right time for a family and their dog.

This profound Truth – brought to me on a suburban sidewalk in an unassuming American neighborhood this morning – reminded me of the critical importance of remaining true to the core teachings of spiritual Truth: that each of us is absolutely supported, provided, and loved – but that we are here to do more than TAKE. We are here to be that support and love for others, too. We are here to serve.

As we work on our own abundance, prosperity and more – let us look at how we can give more, share widely and serve in alignment with the great Good that we continually receive.

And so it is.

(C) Practitioner's Path

Opportunities to serve/share our good fortune with others:

Foundation of Faith

“The Power that created you, is sustaining you.”

Divine Science Practitioner curriculum

I began this blog more than 6 years ago as a sort of journal of faith. I wanted to document each time a blessing was bestowed, a prayer answered, a demonstration realized.

This has become in many ways a primer on the great Goodness that is available to us when we walk the spiritual or inspired (in-Spirit) path as Wayne Dyer would often call it.

Each small blessing, each answered prayer, each demonstration realized has laid down another layer in my foundation of faith. No matter how small and seemingly insignificant, each time I step forward in the knowing that I am provided, my faith is strengthened.

Regardless of the appearance of things, the “expert” advice, the “common” knowledge; I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a Power for Good in the Universe – greater that I am, and greater than any circumstance that I face – and It is working, always, on my behalf.

I know that I am never alone or helpless; that I am provided – always and in all ways.

I know these things because I have built a foundation of faith by practicing the Presence, and standing firm in the knowledge that the Power that created me is, in every moment, sustaining me.

It’s a good place to be – a place of strength. But this strength and knowing cannot be purchased, stolen, borrowed temporarily or acquired via shortcut. It can ONLY be attained through consistent, regular and intentional application of ancient spiritual principles that have been taught across cultures and time.

The peace that accompanies such a foundation of faith is available to all who are willing to put in the time, attention and INTENTION to spiritual learning; to those committed to practicing the Presence every day, in every way.

It’s simple, but not easy – mostly because the world will say “that’s a bunch of baloney“. But for those willing to ignore the world, and keep their attention and focus on the Infinite Possibilities that exist, your Good is waiting!

And so it is.

(C) 2020 Practitioner's Path

Related blog posts:

Identifying our connection

In my previous post, I wrote that the process of prayer has been overly complicated by institutions over cultures and time and suggested that getting the Divine assistance we need is much simpler than most of us have been taught.

I suggested that there are only 3 steps, and a letting go that are needed to find or RECOGNIZE the help we need in life. Here’s a recap of those 3 (active) steps:

  1. Recognize that there is an Infinite/Divine Spirit that is the foundation of all life (ALL life).
  2. Understand/believe that you are not only connected to this Spirit but are made from the same Divine “stuff” as Spirit.
  3. Accept that the truth of #1 and #2 means that you are always (ALWAYS!provided with what you want and need.
    • understanding that sometimes these things show up looking a little different that we expected but that it always works out for our highest Good!

In this post, I want to focus on how to get grounded in the knowing of step #2 – a step that some struggle with when new to spiritual metaphysics.

Dragonfly visit – OBX 2020 (R Harmon)

I believe that the very BEST way to understand and BELIEVE that I am not only connected to Spirit, but made from the same Divine “stuff” is to make the connection to nature.

It has been my experience that nature is a common and regular medium in which Spirit communicates Its presence to us. Our “assignment” in seeking to adopt the most effective manner of connection to Spirit (or prayer as I have described it) is to quiet down, look around, be still, be open and listen.

I have had so many of these experiences, including a number of very up-close and personal visits by dragonflies, such as the one that landed on my hand and stayed for a few minutes (documented in the photo above).

Last week at work, I was experiencing some work-related stress. Thankfully, I am blessed by the ability and space to take a walk on my break in a lovely, natural environment. As the challenge in my work day began to impact me negatively, I decided to get up from my desk and take a walk. Walking in nature I experienced a meditation-like peace, and I knew I would return refreshed, renewed and ready to tackle the issues anew.

Only a few minutes into this walk, I came to a bend in the path and out from the bushes came 3 monarch butterflies. They fluttered there in front of me, briefly flew around me, and then went on their way. It was brief but powerful.

I’ve seen many monarch butterflies, but I have never encountered 3 of them at the same place and time – especially in a suburban neighborhood environment. In the 6+ years that I have been walking this route, I have never seen more than 1 at a time and even those were not daily occurrences.

This encounter with what I call “winged spirit” is all I needed to course-correct that day; to reconnect with the Truth that no matter what it LOOKS like on the outside, all is well – and – I am not navigating any of this alone.

An added benefit to the practice of noticing small blessings like a visiting dragonfly or trio of butterflies is that while we’re engaged in NOTICING these pleasant happenings, we are – almost imperceptibly – strengthening our connection to Spirit; grounding ourselves in the knowing that we are supported, protected, loved; never alone and always provided.

This aspect is not always as obvious in the moment as is the delight or joy, but it is every bit as real and present.

As we work to build our faith in and reliance on the One Presence, this practice of noticing the whispers of Spirit in nature is a simple way to strengthen and fortify our practice.

Lastly, journaling about these encounters is a wonderful way to make the impact of the moment extend for a longer period of time. In this YouTube video “Mini Master Class” I share a method I use for turning around a difficult situation or period in my life. The same process can be used to document these brushes with Spirit.

Whichever way we choose; we can experience, enjoy and embrace the way that Spirit shows up to remind us that we are never alone or helpless, and that the Force that guides the stars, guides us too.

And so it is.

(C) 2020 Practitioner's Path 

Prayer for Mere Mortals

One of the greatest gifts that spiritual metaphysics gave to the world is the decoupling of prayer from favors. In too many corners of traditional Christianity, answered prayer is tied to being good enough (worthy); and in some cases to the method of the praying. This second issue extends itself beyond Christian circles and into some corners of spiritual metaphysics where the FORMAT and sequence of the prayer is dictated and critiqued.

There’s an element of control inherent in the prescriptive prayer process that I’m not crazy about as it sets up a concept of “us vs. them” – or those who “know how to pray” and those who need to ask for prayers. It’s all a bit too much like the pre-Reformation Church for me!

My studies of the larger spiritual metaphysics movement has led me to the belief that it matters very little what we say in moments of prayer: it’s what we KNOW and believe.

A few years back I wrote about how a young family manifested a flute for their daughter who wanted to be in the band. I talk about this in one of my latest talks on my YouTube channel, Reach for Healing.

In this demonstration of a flute, there was no elaborate prayer work done, no outreach to a prayer practitioner or intentional focus on the acquisition of a flute. There was simply the KNOWING that they are connected to the Divine, and a BELIEF that they are always provided.

In one of his later books, the late Wayne Dyer wrote about being so aligned with Spirit that when he wanted or needed something enough to put his attention on it; it would simply show up. He illustrated this many times including the story of a special wrench that he needed to extract a broken light bulb from its socket that appeared at the end of his driveway, still in its packaging, as if dropped from an Amazon drone. It had apparently fallen out of someone’s bag as they walked by his property and was the exact tool he needed for that task.

This is one of those “Wow!” stories that always got a response from the audience when he shared it, but it’s not an exotic or rare occurrence for those who understand the spiritual nature of life.

The “secret” – although it’s not a very well-kept one – to living a life where things just start to show up is as simple as this:

  1. Recognize that there is an Infinite/Divine Spirit that is the foundation of all life (ALL life).
  2. Understand/believe that you are not only connected to this Spirit but are made from the same Divine “stuff” as Spirit.
  3. Accept that the truth of #1 and #2 means that you are always (ALWAYS!) provided with what you want and need.
    • understanding that sometimes these things show up looking a little different that we expected but that it always works out for our highest Good!

Living in/from this perspective means that we don’t need to worry about if “this” will happen or “that” might happen. We know that all is well, period. We know that we are provided, always. We know that no matter what it looks like externally, it’s all going to be OK.

In the Christian canon, this is taught in the following way:

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

I prefer the metaphysical spiritual angle, which doesn’t suggest as much of a quid pro quo but we are all saying basically the same thing.

So for me, this breaks the concept of prayer into this simple box:

  • Recognize the Infinite
  • Understand our connection
  • Accept that we are provided
  • Relax and allow it to happen (let go & let God!)

No fancy words or reverberating oratories are necessary; no need for a specific set of steps or order of words and no need for an intermediary to say the words for us or interpret. We really just need to be still,.. and know.

And so it is!

(C) 2020 Practitioner's Path
  • be sure to read the follow-up on this post here

Angels Among Us

Today I spoke and expanded on a blog I had written a few years back titled “Help in Times of Need

Click here to listen.

We are never alone. The mystics, ancient wisdom texts and wise old men and women have repeatedly shared this Truth with us. Most of us have also experienced this for ourselves, including the late Congressman, John Lewis who recounted many times the day he narrowly avoided being clubbed to death in a protest around voting rights when “divine intervention” saved him for the important work he would do for our nation.

The video that accompanies the song I closed my talk with is a bit dated (hairstyles & clothes) but well worth the watch. I’ve added it at the bottom of this post.

I am knowing that each one of you reading this is blessed with an obvious, loving, divine reminder that you are never out from under Spirit’s protective care.

Ain’t it kind of funny, at the dark end of the road,
Someone lights the way, with just a single ray of hope.

Alabama “Angels Among Us”

Peace & blessings.

(C) 2020 Practitioner's Path