Get to the pool

It’s likely that at some point in our journey, spiritually-minded people come across someone whose life is in a shambles. This is not a judgment – it’s what they share with us.

In fact, I recently heard someone say this about their spiritual Center:

“There are so many people that need this teaching!”

No argument here. There are indeed multitudes of people who can benefit from the teachings of many metaphysical teachers,…if they are willing to take the first step.

Restoration, healing, peace, abundance and more are available to those willing and able to lift their heads and imagine a better moment, a better hour, a better day, a better year.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts (C) 2016 R Harmon

In John chapter 5 the Christian text outlines the story of the man by the healing pool.

Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?

Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

John 5:2-9

When an angel disturbed the water in the pool, the first person to enter the water was healed, but no one else received healing benefits until the next time an angel came and stirred the waters.

When the teacher Jesus asks the man if he wants to get well, he doesn’t say “Yes!” but instead complains about how everyone and everything is preventing him from reaching his goal.

We all know someone (maybe several someones!) who can recite a grocery-list of reasons why they aren’t happy, peaceful, content, healthy, etc. (you’re thinking of them right now, aren’t you?)

While we can recommend a book or invite them to a metaphysical talk; the reality of the situation is that until they decide to “pick up their mat and walk“, they won’t hear the message, see the miracles, or feel the motivation. Spiritual journeys are intensely personal undertakings.

The lame man gets a lot of the press in this story, but an equally compelling aspect involves the multitude of people he complained about. They got information on how to heal and acted on it. They saw an opportunity to heal, and headed to the pool!

When told to get up and walk by someone in an authority position, the man did just that. But for many years before, he seemed unable to do this for himself. He had watched others heal themselves and surely had some concept of what he needed to do to achieve the same. Still he remained in a diminished capacity for 38 years.

Several metaphysical lessons emerge from this one story.

  • we need to avoid complaining and blaming everyone/everything for our problems
  • we need to make sure we’re not staring at the solution to our challenges day in and day out, and missing it by focusing on what others are/aren’t doing to us or for us
  • when the Universe asks us if we want to be healed, the answer is YES!

Some people will see our lives as examples and want to learn more. When they reach out, it’s time to open the door. Our job is twofold: to make sure we’re not the man complaining by the healing pool – and to shine our Light for others (e.g. point the way to the pool).

Lastly, until we can walk on water, we should probably tamp down the urge to tell wounded people to take up their mats and walk.

When we are living, breathing examples of abundance, health, peace, joy (& more) in the world, we’ll attract others to us who are ready to “get into the pool”.

And so it is.

(C) 2019 Practitioner’s Path

Faith and Patience

In this age of instant information – much of it with questionable veracity – it can be difficult to ascertain what is TRUE and what is simply horse feathers (a term used in place of “bullsh!t” by my older relatives when I was growing up)

The pace with which information goes viral is such a problem that businesses have emerged to assist people in cleaning up their online reputations.

I forget which recent story had me pondering this, but the protestations of a recent public figure, caught in a mess (not sure yet if it’s of his own making or a smear campaign) reminded me of the story of Joseph and Potifar’s wife.

Joseph had been sold into slavery by his brothers. He had shown himself to be a valuable asset, and was working in the employ of Potifar – an official in the government/kingdom of Egypt. Potifar trusted him and relied on him for advice, and more; giving Joseph a lot of clout in Potifar’s household and among Potifar’s colleagues and friends.

Potifar had a wife who was feeling neglected and who tried repeatedly to get Joseph to sleep with her. He refused multiple times, but the last time, she grabbed his garment to pull him to her, and he bolted; but as he ran, she held his garment.

Embarrassed, angry (or both!) at being so boldly rejected, she cried out that he had tried to rape her, and held up his piece of clothing as “proof“. Poor Joseph stood accused of a terrible crime, and was thrown in jail.

Joseph was unfairly accused of doing something when in truth he was not only in the wrong place at the wrong time; but he had actively tried to avoid the circumstances on multiple occasions. Still, he ended up in jail.

Sometimes in life, we end up “in jail” for things we did not do. We may end up in financial distress, even though we’re working hard, doing all the right things, and striving to do better every day. Other times we may find that we are disliked and ostracized at work, even though we go in every day with a positive attitude, treat everyone around us with kindness, and contribute at a high level, helping others whenever we can.

Whatever the unfair circumstance that we find ourselves in, we can look to the story of Joseph and Potifar’s wife for some good news.

20 And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison. 21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22 And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. 23 The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph’s charge, because the Lord was with him. And whatever he did, the Lord made it succeed.

Genesis 39

Although being in prison was a hardship, it was made better by the fact that Joseph had special treatment by the prison keeper, and had special privileges. Genesis accounts for this as the favor of God; metaphysically we would interpret that favor as being someone who understood the concept of Omnipresence.

Spiritually-aware people understand that no matter how things appear on the outside, Spirit is right there in the middle of things, and it’s going to work out. It may not work out the way we want it, or on our timetable; but ultimately things are going to be OK.

While in the prison, Joseph interpreted dreams for 2 new prisoners, both of which came true. One of the prisoners was freed and had access to Pharaoh, who, some 2 years later, had a troubling dream that none of his wise men could interpret. The former prisoner remembered that Joseph had interpreted his dream accurately, and shared this with Pharaoh.

Pharaoh summoned Joseph, who interpreted the dream, and – long story short: Joseph ended up not only being freed from prison, but being put in a position of power and status in the land.

41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain about his neck. 43 And he made him ride in his second chariot. And they called out before him, “Bow the knee!”[e] Thus he set him over all the land of Egypt. 44 Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no one shall lift up hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”

Genesis 41

The big picture story of Joseph is easy to recall, but we must not gloss over the part of the story that outlines the path he walked before he was given Pharaoh’s signet ring:

  • betrayed by family/sold into slavery
  • falsely accused of something he didn’t do
  • several years in prison

I have written about the life work of Neville Goddard in several previous posts (Pray Like Neville and Neville’s Gifts), including one where I outline his regular reference to the world of Caesar. While we can absolutely count on spiritual Law to work in our favor when we are walking in alignment with principle; it often works for us within the context of the world we live in – Caesar’s world, or the physical world we all know and inhabit.

The story of Joseph is the telling of this Truth. Joseph was indeed spared and sustained by Spirit; but he had to walk to his freedom through the world of Caesar, which in his case was slavery and prison.

Like Daniel who had to spend the night in a den of Lions, and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednago who had to go into the fiery furnace – Joseph had to accept his miracle within the context of this world.

Also like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednago; Joseph was never alone. And neither are we.

I opened this post with a mention of the pace in society today (seemingly instant everything). To tap into the miracles experienced by Joseph, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednago and others we must channel their faith and their patience.

When we’re standing in a prison, unfairly accused and sentenced, are we singularly focused on finding the escape hatch (lottery ticket, new job) or can we relax and look patiently for the signs all around us that we are not alone?

It’s not easy to react patiently and peacefully when facing lions, fiery furnaces or an unfair prison sentence. The story of Joseph reminds us that the game of life is a long game. It invites us to live in faith, connected to Source and with patience, knowing that – regardless of how things appear – all is well, and working out for our Highest Good. And when we learn to walk this way, we will find more peace along the path of life.

And so it is.

(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

One Source

Here’s another “demonstration” story from a family member.

This family was getting a bed and a couch from another family member. It was free for the taking, but they needed a trailer to move everything from one house to the other.

They made a few calls and found a trailer that would fit on their hitch, and at a price point that was workable. The estimate was $36. They had about $50 in their checking account until the end of the week and would need gas and some groceries before it was over; but this was the only time that everyone’s schedules lined up, so it needed to happen.

The wife knows these principles and kept knowing that it would all work out. But very often, things “working out” initially take on the appearance of the exact opposite.

When they arrived at the store where they had made the arrangements, there was an issue with the trailer unit they had reserved, and they were directed across town to another location. This made her husband grouchy and cross, but she reminded him that “Spirit has this,…” and that everything would work out.

Unbelievably, the chaos in the second location was even more pronounced than it had been at the first location, and the $36 quote that they had been quoted for the unit they has reserved suddenly went up to $70 before taxes and fees.

This did not appear to be “working out” and any less of a spiritual warrior would have been certain that in their hour of need, they had been abandoned. But this woman is a spiritual warrior of the highest order and she held tight to the knowing that this was going to work out.

They continued to negotiate around the original price quoted to them and the second location finally relented, and charged their credit card for the $36, taxes and fees. They hooked up the trailer, and got on with their retrieval of the gifted couch and bed, grateful for the opportunity.

The next day, the husband received an email from the rental business apologizing for the confusion, the referral to another location and the mix-up in pricing. The email went on to say that the full amount of the rental ($36 plus taxes and fees) had been refunded on their card.

This is a wonderful example of standing firm in the knowing that all is well, when not only wasn’t there a sign that things would work out – but things kept looking WORSE by the minute. Instead of falling into a defeatist posture, and believing that “nothing works out for me,…” the wife stood strong in the knowing that it would all work out; and it did.

As part of the 40-day Abundance Journey, author of The Abundance Book -the late John Randolph Price – wrote 10 statements of principle. The 2nd statement sums this circumstance up nicely:

I lift up my mind and heart to be aware, to be aware, to understand, and to know that the Divine Presence I AM is the Source and Substance of all my Good.

Or as Karen Drucker sings it:

“God is my source. God is my power. God gives me everything I need.
So I give thanks, for all my blessings. God gives me everything I need.”

And so it is.

(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

A good reminder

“You are never alone or helpless. The force that guides the stars, guides you too.”

Shrii Shrii Anandamurti
TEDx Noosa 2014

In our darkest times, it can feel that we are so very alone. I sometimes see Facebook posts from people who share that they feel unmoored, adrift once their parents pass away, and others who share feelings and experiences of loss and pain.

First of all, Facebook can make the most successful among us start to question our lives – snapshots from others’ seemingly wonderful lives compared to our current struggles can seem like we’re doing it all wrong.

We’re not – it’s an illusion, but as Einstein once said: “[it’s] an illusion, albeit a persistent one!

Sometimes our current circumstances feel hopeless, helpless. And that feeling can be quite persistent! Training ourselves to know this is not the truth when we are NOT feeling the hopelessness/helplessness is the best prevention for those times when things start to degrade.

I remember once when the late Louise Hay – a successful and popular guru of self-help – mentioned that she is able to see things positively about 70% – 80% of the time. I remind myself of this when I slip into those dark places. Even with my education in Consciousness, there are days when it’s hard to put the positive spin on things. Thankfully, I have the tools I need and these periods move on quickly.

One of the tools that I use regularly, and encourage those who seek guidance and support from me to use, is to journal (or simply write down somewhere that you can find again to read). At those times when you are the beneficiary of a miracle, or what metaphysical folks would call a “demonstration” – write down what happened so in later times when things appear to be going downhill, you can recall the many times that things actually worked out.

I like the word demonstration instead of miracle because instead of seeming like a one-in-a-million happenstance; it calls these events what they are: a demonstration of the fact that we are indeed never alone or helpless. And when we’ve used the spiritual tools that are available to know this; good things happen.

While I have had many personal instances where I have been reminded that I am never alone; I was reminded this week of a most profound instance of this. My family lost our 2 year old a few years back (my granddaughter), and the Summer after that loss, her mother had a “visitation“. It came in the form of a beautiful, blue butterfly that landed on her and stayed there with her as she sat on her back porch for more than 20 minutes.

A blue butterfly of the same markings has visited her every summer since. A couple years ago when they had moved into a new house, it arrived, and fluttered around, letting her touch it, and pet its wings. Last year it found them again as they arrived home from running errands. It flew in and out of the family’s legs, let them touch it and get close enough for a photograph.

There are so many lessons in this story: but the most profound one I find is the reminder that there is much more to life than what we’ve been taught to see.

If you struggle with the burdens of life and often feel alone; the statement (above the embedded video and posted below) is one, small – but powerful – tool. Write it down; think about it. Turn your attention away from the problems of the world and spend your time and energy reading, watching videos and discussing with others this concept of unity consciousness.

The YouTube video embedded above is a great talk on Consciousness, but if you don’t have the time or patience to listen to it, here’s the gem from it: a quote from Shrii Shrii Anandamurti – guru to the man speaking (Dada Gunamuktananda).

“You are never alone or helpless. The force that guides the stars, guides you too.”

Ponder this truth instead of focusing on your problems. Reach out when you need help. Know that miracles happen every day and be open to how they show up (it’s often not what we expect). Keep a log of when things DO turn around for you, and read it when things start to go sour. Know that you are always loved; always important – and that you are truly, never alone. And so it is.

(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

Manifesting 101

Encinitas, CA (2019)

When The Secret came out, I was immediately mesmerized – as were millions. And yet, somehow I knew that the spiritual tools hinted at in that movie were much deeper and more nuanced than wishing for a gold necklace and having it appear on your neck with no effort.

While I have been critical of some aspects of The Secret, it was a gateway to deeper learning for me and for that I am most grateful.

After The Secret came an explosion of metaphysical teachers on the national and international stage teaching the “Law of Attraction” (LOA) and similar content. And the workshops and seminars multiplied – as did the dollars in the bank accounts of many teachers.

I have no issue with anyone offering a product or guidance and charging a fair price, so I am definitely not disparaging all LOA teachers*. I do wonder about the participants who have spent thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars, to sit in seminar and workshop after seminar and workshop: this stuff isn’t that hard! Learn the basics, and then get up off the workshop seat and get to work!

One of the things that is missed (or left out) in these seminar offerings is that once you learn how to manifest things into your life; it rarely (if ever) shows up as a lottery jackpot or inheritance from a long, lost wealthy relative. It most often takes on the form of what I call “daily bread“. And from what I have observed (I’ve attended a few of these over the years), many of the frequent flyers in the LOA workshops are primarily interested in manifesting a ton of money.

I get it. I would ALSO like to be able to meditate for a few days, chant, speak some affirmations, journal in a fancy book, and have $10 million, $1 million, $100,000 or even $10,000 show up with no additional effort.

Heck – there are days when $100 showing up would be awesome! But in my experience, that’s not how it works at all.

I’ve had some significant success in attracting things into my life that previously seemed impossible, but instead of life-changing lottery winnings; more often than not, I manifest “daily bread“. I use the term “daily bread” to refer to things that I need (or want) that are integral to day to day life.

I’ve written about some of these demonstrations: money for a roofing job; new shoes; a new chair and an under-shelf basket; a retirement pension; and someone to pay my student loans – and many more. All of these experiences began with at least the passing thought that if I “won the lottery“, the situation at hand could be solved. But the lottery never showed up – and that’s likely a blessing – especially since research tells us that the odds of winning are very low and many people who win large lottery winnings end up much worse off just a few years later.

Like many things in life, successful manifesting is a long game. There are no quick fixes, or get-rich-quick techniques. Success requires studying the principles, changing our perspective, practicing the pivot away from old mindsets and toward a new way of being, and finding gratitude in the smallest of wins.

I suspect that a seminar where you could learn how to find the perfect price on a pair of shoes, or an almost-free chair or a part-time job that lasts just long enough to pay off the roof would be hard to pitch. It’s much sexier to have a wealthy (or seemingly wealthy) person stand up and promise that you, too, can have what they have.

But you can have what I have – the tools to attract into your life the things you want, and the things you need when you need them. It’s simple – although not always easy; and you don’t have to spend any money (you can learn a lot on this blog, and it’s free!).

The principles are universal; the lessons are for us all. During this week of celebrating freedom, give yourself the gift of freedom from worry, and freedom from chasing unreasonable goals. Learn the principles of spiritual prosperity, and live a life free from financial anxiety – a life filled with a peace from knowing that what you need will show up; that you are provided – always, and in all ways.

As one of my first teachers liked to say, “This stuff works!

For a primer on how these principles work, start with these blog posts – and if you have any questions, send me an email (I’m happy to share what I have learned).

And so it is.

  • *Blogs on LOA teachers with whom I have taken issue can be found here:
(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

Always exciting

Southern Homewares SH-10025 Shelf Basket

I never tire of hearing or sharing the stories of how things show up for those who understand Spiritual Law and are willing to be patient. In previous blogs I have written about a pair of shoes that showed up in divine perfect timing (and price!), a flute that appeared for a young musician, a chair for a new house, a tree and a part time job – and many more stories of receiving what I like to call “daily bread“.

When New Thought reemerged in popular culture in the late 1980s and blossomed into the phenomenon known as “The Secret” in the early 2000s, much of the focus was on getting stuff – often in the form of manifesting wealth. Many Law of Attraction (LOA) gurus were launched into fame and fortune by the movie. Some are still around while many others faded into history – some more infamously than others.

While I have experienced plenty of success in attracting jobs and money into my life, I have also learned that the principles of spiritual abundance work best in the area of daily bread, as opposed to winning lottery tickets. I have come to believe that the reason for this is that the Universe keeps a perfect balance sheet. There is indeed, no free lunch in life – whether you’ve learned the art of manifesting, or not. We receive in our lives what we have paid for in mental and spiritual coin.

If we are a miserable person, and see only what’s wrong in life, we are paying – in spiritual and mental coin – to receive more misery. If, however, we choose to see the good in life; the opportunities, the beauty, the peace and plenty – we are paying to receive more of these experiences in our life.

This week my daughter was searching for an under-shelf basket like the one pictured above. A quick search on Amazon for the one she wanted showed that it was $10. She didn’t want to spend $10 for a single basket, but she still wanted one, and so she let go of the desire, and settled into a knowing that she’d get one at the perfect price and in perfect timing.

The next day she was driving home from the pool with her kids when she had the urge to stop in the local thrift store bargain basement. On a table near the front of the store, piled high with castaway household goods, she spied an under-shelf basket – in perfect condition. The price? 40-cents.

This is not the first time she has manifested what she wanted with this “method” and here’s how that works:

  • She lives as much as she can in the knowing that she is provided; or as Charles Fillmore (Unity co-founder) said it:

The inexhaustible Resource of Spirit is equal to every demand.  There is no reality in lack.  Abundance is here and now manifest.

Charles Fillmore
  • She allows her attention to fall on something that she either wants or needs, imagines how it will benefit her or her family, and then she lets it go.
  • She does NOT get hung up on how much it costs, whether she has enough money to buy it, what will happen if she can’t buy it – none of that. She identifies it, sees it as hers in her mind’s eye and let’s it go, knowing that it’s going to show up and not caring where or when.
  • She remains open to the HOW, and listens to her inner guidance. Invariably, the things she and her family need show up.

Spirit’s resources are inexhaustible; it’s we who grow impatient and weary. Spiritual Law is indeed equal to every demand and lack is an illusion – a persistent one at times, but an illusion all the same.

Abundance is always here if we know how to see it. And so it is.


Charles Fillmore
Unity
Abundance
Prosperity
Spiritual law
(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path