Decoding the messages

In the study of spiritual metaphysics, it is taught that there is One Mind – and that all is contained within that One Mind. This means that we are never far from the answer to a question, or the solution to a problem. A favorite affirmation that I learned early in my affiliation with New Thought aligns with that teaching and goes like this:

I always know what I need to know, the moment I need to know it!

In using this affirmation, we must remember that the moment we NEED to know something may not align with when we WANT to know it. Patience is a spiritual practice, too.

It has been my experience that we are ALWAYS receiving information from the Universe – it’s just that most of the time, we’re not paying attention. One of the significant benefits of walking a spiritual path is that we are much more likely to recognize these nuanced communications when they come our way because we are more tuned in to the spiritual side of things.

Most of my messages – or answers to my questions – have tested my patience and perseverance as they are usually time-delayed; sometimes for several years. I have learned to be patient and trust the process, but will admit that there are times when I feel quite frustrated in waiting for the answer or message!

One time however, my fervent plea was NOT delayed at all.

I was in Southern California for a retreat, and I was spending some time alone on the beach the day before group activities began. I lived in San Diego when I was a young Sailor and both of my children were born there. I have a deep connection to the area and the beaches and no matter what business takes me to her shores, I make sure I have time alone to reconnect.

I had come to the end of a portion of my spiritual journey and was feeling some trepidation and angst. I had a LOT of questions. Instead of answering the ones I had at the start of my journey, it seems I had uncovered even more along the way as well as a good dose of doubt.

I had invested a lot of time, money and energy in this particular journey and the events of the previous year or so had done little to make me feel comfortable about those investments. Instead of allaying my initial concerns, I observed increasingly ridiculous behavior by multiple “leaders” in the community as well as a breathtaking level of pettiness, power-hunger and competition. I kept thinking, “if this is what enlightened looks like, I need to reconsider remaining in the dark,…

I was beating myself up pretty good for the time, money, attention, energy, etc. that I had spent and beginning to wonder what the opportunity cost had been for this venture. I was smarter than this, and have a portfolio of “proof” (academic credentials and jobs), I told myself. How did I get sidelined into this insanity? What else could I have done in my life/career if I had channeled all those resources in another direction?

As I was thinking, ranting, questioning, and feeling like every negative thought or comment anyone had ever directed my way was probably spot-on accurate; in exasperation I said (out-loud): “I just need to know that I’m not a fool, or complete failure – I need to know that I’m OK…

I stopped walking abruptly and looked down. At the tip of my toe at that moment laid the rock pictured above. It was a 3-D heart-shaped rock.

I dropped to my knees and sobbed.

This beach was rocky and filled with a lot of sea debris. And yet, in the midst of my existential “crisis” when I needed help, answers, support, validation and mostly to know that I was not alone: the message came to me immediately.

It would make great copy if I could tell you that after that, I hit the lottery, met the man of my dreams, and started a job writing for a travel company that only sent me to exotic places with 5-star hotels. That didn’t happen (things didn’t get worse, either).

I have now had what Wayne Dyer called “conscious contact” with the truth that I am inextricably connected to Spirit, and that the things I want and need are indeed of concern beyond my own sphere of influence. I have learned that the answers I seek come on different time schedules, but that they always come and in varying formats.

Sometimes they are a downed tree and a part time job. Other times they are a happenstance conversation or piece of information. Still other times they are answers that seem to be the anti-answer and on a few rare occasions they show up as a random sea rock on a beach.

Mary Baker Eddy taught that what we seek is seeking us. My experience, since I have put my foot more formally on a spiritual path, has proven this time and again. And as I seek to make a connection with that which is simultaneously seeking me; I need only be open, ready and able to decode the messages that come my way.

And so it is.

(C) 2020 Practitioner's Path

Sustainable Spirituality

I have gained a great many benefits from learning and digging deeper into the teachings of New Thought; benefits that have helped in ways too numerous to count. The great transformations I have seen in my own experience and in that of others inspire me to support the continued sharing of these principles and teachings. They also give me strong reasons to hold the movement accountable to first do no harm. We should take care not to set up guidelines and guardrails that serve ourselves but that lead others to cast the whole lot of teachings aside.

This casting aside is what I hear most often from people who affiliated with the teachings for a while, but never saw the great abundance they were promised (or believed that they were promised) – and left, disillusioned. Some went back to their Christian roots. Others are simply disillusioned with organized religion and spirituality as a whole, and that makes me sad because I know of the great Good that can come out of walking a spiritual path.

In a recent blog, I wrote that the teachings in New Thought are based on Christianity as well as other spiritual traditions. As such, I feel that is is helpful to teach the larger context instead of putting so much emphasis on things like “Prosperity” because the core essence of the teachings lies in the larger message.

Louise Hay shared in her movie, “You Can Heal Your Life” that when she placed her foot on the spiritual path, things began to open in front of her.

I recognize in using her example I am potentially creating another expectation that when we step on to the spiritual path, the fame and fortune of a Louise Hay is ours. That is NOT what I am saying: I am using her – a prominent and beloved teacher – to highlight the message that walking in the Light helps bring the “green lights and parking spaces” to us with less effort.

In the biblical canon, the concept of “green lights and parking spaces” is illustrated throughout, but here is one example that nicely highlights the concept that Truth teachings are a way of life – and not about manifesting millions:

Now the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See, the place where we dwell under your charge is too small for us. Let us go to the Jordan and each of us get there a log, and let us make a place for us to dwell there.” And he answered, “Go.” Then one of them said, “Be pleased to go with your servants.” And he answered, “I will go.” So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. But as one was felling a log, his axe head fell into the water, and he cried out, “Alas, my master! It was borrowed.” Then the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, he cut off a stick and threw it in there and made the iron float. And he said, “Take it up.” So he reached out his hand and took it.

2 Kings 6

It’s easy to pass by this mini-miracle as the next passages move quickly into a story of chariots, horses, fires and the ability of the prophet (Elisha) to hear what is spoken in the King’s bedroom from afar. But I believe that the sum total of the benefits to walking the spiritual path is codified in this passage.

Elijah passing the mantle to Elisha

This was not a life or death issue. It was not a crisis. It was someone who had borrowed an axe to do work, and who lost the most valuable part of it when the head (heavy, metal portion) came off and fell into the deep river.

Elisha, being a holy man; a prophet, stopped what he was doing and cut off a stick that he threw into the water where the axe head had sunk, and the iron axe head rose to the top where the man could retrieve it.

This seemingly small act of Good no doubt kept this worker from having to take money he did not have to replace the axe head that he borrowed. We don’t get much more detail around this event but we can imagine ourselves, having to purchase something to replace what we had borrowed. We can assume he was poor, or on hard times, or he would have purchased his own axe. We can also assume from his statements that losing this one and needing to replace it would be a hardship.

Elisha is that person whose feet are firmly planted on the spiritual path. He was Elijah‘s heir apparent, and the mantle of responsibility as prophet to the people of Israel had been formally passed to him at Elijah’s transition.

The lesson of the axe head is in many ways more relevant in today’s modern world than the story of how Elijah called down fire and brimstone to defeat the false gods.

It is likely that we will become disillusioned if we position ourselves to wait on the heavens to open and smite our enemies, or deliver us the bejeweled answers to our financial problems. The reason is that in this expectant posture, we can (will!) miss the many, MANY miraculous things that come our way – the green lights that help us make it to work on time on a critical day; the parking spaces that make our day a little easier, the axe heads that we borrow and do not know how we could afford to replace.

Abundant blessings come to us in strings of many mini-blessings. If we are aware of them, they form a tapestry of a most abundant, blessing-filled life. Our challenge is to take care not to calibrate our vision to be waiting on the BIG ONES, and unable to see the great flood of little ones that come into our experience, every day.

In life there are times when we feel overwhelmed. Nothing seems to be working, or going our way. This is often when people navigate to a spiritual teaching or organization – to seek an end to the pain, to the struggle. I understand that impulse, but I also know that it doesn’t work that way.

In pondering this blog post, my mind wandered off to a story told by a friend – a former US Army officer who had to learn survival skills as part of his training. That memory reminded me of scouting, and the field guides we used to use when we went camping or hiking in the woods.

Field guides don’t teach you how to ascend the ranks to be the grand poobah. They teach you how to identify poisonous plants from edible ones; how to treat minor cuts and scratches with plants; how to make a fire without matches; how to survive by building a shelter if you’re caught in a snowstorm; how to identify the direction (N/S/E/W) using natural landmarks and the stars.

Learning spiritual principles is a good first step to ending our pain or stopping our struggles, but this solution is only sustainable if we understand that the teachings are not a primer on how to manifest the next Power Ball winnings or Prize Patrol visit. They are a field guide on how to live a life using spiritual tools to navigate the challenges that come with being here, now (physical existence on this planet).

When I am engaged with someone who is in a “life pickle“, one of the first things I do is to encourage them to get a small notebook and begin to journal the many little blessings that I know are already coming into their lives. I have seen this simple exercise transform the individual experience on many levels time and again.

I will close this post with a reference to one of my favorite 20th century spiritual writers: Florence Scovel Shinn. She wrote in one of the 4 books she is best known for that we must take care not to “…neglect the day of small things, for little beginnings have big endings“.

And along the spiritual path, these “big endings” are very often a life of peace, harmony, wholeness and being provided with what we need in each moment.

This is what I call “sustainable spirituality” and while it might not be as “sexy” as the prospect of manifesting millions; sustainable spirituality is achievable by anyone, from any perspective, in any situation or circumstance – and it’s free to you, and to me.

(C) 2020 Practitioner's Path

Remembering

As a global community we are experiencing a mix of fear, trepidation, uncertainty and anxiety around the novel Coronavirus and the disease that results: COVID-19.

(C) 2019 Angelic Guide

Stark reports are intermingled with new restrictions and recommendations, and it can be difficult for the strongest among us to stay positive.

I was listening to Michael Gott’s song, “When I Forget” on the way into work this morning (I work at a major medical center, so no home quarantine for me at least for now), and it reminded me of something that I wanted to share.

26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Matthew 6

This verse from the Christian canon reminds us that we are precious, valued and cherished. It is sometimes challenging to remember that we hold this honored status when we are facing scary times. The best way to strengthen our faith in the face of a great storm is to take inventory of all the many times that we have been provided, cared for and blessed in our lives.

We can use a journal, or make a “Vision Board” to review the blessings, answered prayers, miracles and manifestations that we have experienced over the years.

It is easier to battle larger giants when we remember that the Infinite Spirit had our back on many small and medium things. Making a list of all the times Spirit showed up to cover our expenses, provided something we needed (or wanted), and brought healing to us or someone we love helps to calm our fears, and return to a knowing that we are not alone.

To put it in terms as they are presented in the biblical story excerpted above:

Remember all the times God showed up in your life as money, food, healing and answers in things large and small? Be strong, and have faith! You weren’t alone then, and you’re not alone now!

The lyrics in Michael Gott’s song include the following line:

  • When I forget, will you remember for me?

We can work together to remember – for ourselves, and for each other. There is a Power for Good in the Universe – greater than we are – and we can use it! We’ve used It throughout our lives.

And we can use it now – no matter what we are facing.

When you forget, I am remembering: for you, for me, for us all.

And so it is.


(C) 2020 Practitioner's Path

Kindness and miracles

We live in a complex, highly technological world. Things that in decades past seemed much simpler (passing notes in school, for example) have become the domain of programmers and digital giants (text messages and social media). While it seems that some TASKS are easier to accomplish, the complexity of how they are done has increased in logarithmic proportions.

The constant presence of all the technology around us can lead us to believe that EVERYTHING in life that we want to accomplish will require complex interventions. We may begin to believe that if we don’t have these skills or are not connected to people with these skills; we’re at a disadvantage. We may begin to think that all this “advancement” hasn’t been a net positive gain for society and begin to feel a bit helpless.

While the stories from ancient wisdom texts can seem distant and irrelevant to our modern, high-tech lives; I believe that they are more relevant than ever. We just need to look past the context of the times in which they were written for the deeper wisdom.

The story of the prophet Elisha and the Shunammite woman is a great example.

In this story, a wealthy woman took notice of a prophet who passed by her home regularly on his travels. She mentioned it to her husband and together they prepared a small room for him to stay in when he passed through their village. The gesture appeared to come from a place of compassion for a traveling person, and kindness.

Elisha appreciates the gesture, and after a few visits, he asks his servant what the woman would appreciate as a gift for her hospitality. He offers a good word with the king, a favor with the army and both are denied. The woman basically says “we are good here among our own people“.

In further conversations it comes to light that the woman has no children; and so Elisha “speaks his word” to her that in the following year, at about the same time, she will embrace a son. She protests, telling him that both she and her husband are old.

But the woman conceived, and she bore a son about that time the following spring, as Elisha had said to her.

2 Kings

The deep life lesson in this simple story is that attracting miracles into our lives does not require elaborate plans, complex rituals or high-tech solutions. As this story suggests, they come to us when we embody the best of our human nature. When we are kind, generous, forgiving and loving for no reason other than we feel in our hearts that it’s the right thing to do.

The Shunammite woman did not plot to charm the prophet so to get a favor. She reached out in kindness to someone she saw traveling and without a regular place to stay. She and her husband provided shelter, respite, and a place for him when he passed through their village.

It specifically notes that they are from different ethnic groups, and this is another important aspect. She did not provide an open room to one of her kin, but a stranger – someone who lived and moved in circles with which she was unfamiliar.

Lastly, she had no expectation of anything in return. She gave without any strings attached to her gift.

Today we don’t see too many passing prophets in need of a room, and many of us are at work all day, so would miss them if they came through our neighborhood anyway! But each one of us has the opportunity to see someone we don’t know, and reach out in kindness to provide something we have that can make their travels in life a little easier.

The word “stranger” is wider than simply people we don’t know. The generous outreach to a passing stranger in an airport or other public place is one thing: consider the people we know, but may avoid or consider to be “odd” or even aggravating to us. Being kind, generous, loving and forgiving with these people is not only HARDER than it is with strangers, but it is as important – if not more so.

In the story, it’s telling that the woman did not provide a feast, or offer Elisha their room while they slept on the floor. They did not sacrifice their best livestock or supplies but shared what they had – in kindness and consideration of him as a fellow human.

This suggests that the Shunammite woman and her husband were, by default, good and decent people. And this is the important core, truth here: they received a miracle because of who they were – not what they did.

Wayne Dyer taught – especially toward the end of his life – that we attract into our lives according to who we are. This is the lesson from the story of the Shunammite woman and the prophet Elisha.

When we learn to show up in the world as generous, kind, forgiving, and loving; the miracles we seek come to us effortlessly.

We don’t need to engage in special prosperity programs, write down affirmations and paste them all over our homes, or give a certain amount/percentage of money to a specific place. There are no special incantations, prayers or other words that can replace or outperform the simple act of showing up every day as the best version of ourselves.

If we’re not sure where to begin, we can start with those closest to us: family, close friends, neighbors.

Be generous. Act in kindness. Speak loving words – especially when others act in opposition to these principles. We can be the Shunammite woman who provides “shelter” to someone outside of our community, our people, our tribe. When we focus on the Good that we can do in any amount and in every moment; Good flows into our lives.

It’s that simple.


(C) 2020 Practitioner's Path

A balancing act

I have been watching the emergence of the Coronavirus globally and steeling myself for the simultaneous emergence of dangerous advice from multiple corners.

A few years back, I wrote about balancing (spiritual) principle with real life.

There can be a tendency in some spiritual circles to fall into a belief that if we ignore something (e.g. don’t give it any attention), it can’t come to fruition and hurt us. This tends to be more prevalent among those who grew up in “old school New Thought“.

Thankfully, in recent years it has been called out as an inappropriate practice. But old habits die hard, and I’m starting to see hints of these old habits on social media – which concerns me as we face the uncertainty of the aforementioned global virus.

The challenge in discussing topics like this among spiritual folks is that it can quickly turn into a Hatfield & McCoy event, which helps no one and solves nothing. This blog post is my attempt at honoring spiritual principle and practice while acknowledging the facts in a way that is for everyone’s highest Good.

Since beginning my spiritual journey and studies, my motto has been stick with principle, but don’t be stupid. Here are some examples.

I work hard to stay healthy, eat whole foods, get plenty of rest, drink appropriate amounts of water, exercise regularly, avoid alcohol and cigarettes, and other generally-accepted practices for good health.

As a general rule, I don’t run to the doctor every time I get a sniffle, but I do pay attention to my body, and I read the scientific literature. If I have a cough that won’t go away, I go to the doctor. If a rash or sore on my body shows up and doesn’t resolve within a few days (or gets worse), I go to the doctor.

I recently got the Shingles vaccine (part 1, which reminds me – I need part 2 soon [ugh]), and I’ve had the Pneumonia vaccine. I’m not crazy about the flu shot, but I got one this year (first time in awhile).

I also regularly utilize spiritual principles to get over colds, ease headaches, address minor strains and sprains and I’ve got a pharmacopoeia of herbs and holistic remedies in my medicine chest (still a strong connection to my rural roots).

The key to living a long and healthy life and honoring the spiritual path in which I have chosen to invest time, money and attention: balance.

Balance in the face of a potential global pandemic means that I do not give in to hysteria and fear, but that I wisely and with a measured openness pay attention to the public health officials when they make recommendations and provide updates.

Balance in the face of public panic is making sure I understand potential problems and work to mitigate them in my own life so that instead of being a strain on the system, I can be a helper. This means that I have stocked up on essentials in the event that more than the tech sector supply chain is impacted by this event.

Balance means that I am taking EXTRA care to eat right, get rest and avoid running myself ragged. It also means that I am dialing back being out in public. I also make extra certain to observe hand hygiene and infection control practices.

Balance means that I am staying centered in my spiritual practice and not succumbing to abject fear and full-scale panic.

I am not putting my head in the sand, nor giving in to the hysteria. I am preparing in the event that this ends up being as scary as some say it could be. I am not living in fear but I am staying informed by listening to credible outlets (CDC, NIH) for important updates so I can make the best decisions for myself and my family.

Infinite Intelligence has provided inspiration for the many advances in modern medicine that we enjoy today. I see no conflict in benefiting from them and staying healthy.

It’s no different than what I teach about spiritual abundance.

The inexhaustible Resource of Spirit is equal to every demand.

Charles Fillmore, Unity

Spirit always provides – and often, being provided shows up as a job . It’s never once shown up as a magical pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or in the clutches of a disembodied hand coming out of the clouds.

When it comes to scary viruses, Spirit will ALSO show up, but very likely as good sense advice, vaccinations and social decisions that make conditions more ideal for staying healthy than getting sick.

We find ourselves in the midst of an interesting time and event. As with our financial concerns, Spirit will always provide. We just need to make sure we don’t turn into the man on top of his roof when Spirit sends the rescue boat to fetch us.

Science and spirituality cannot walk hand in hand as Ernest Holmes wrote if we line up in camps, one against the other.

We must rely on principle; practice affirmative prayer, and remember that the fervent prayers of people hundreds of years ago brought us the scientific discoveries we have today that solve big issues. Today’s information provides advice on staying well, avoiding illness and the technology and wisdom that has emerged makes medical intervention an option when we are ill.

Science is not our enemy. She is, most assuredly, the answer to our grandmother’s and grandfather’s prayers. Embrace her as a cherished miracle. Know that the scientists and front-line health workers are protected and safe – pray this Truth! Believe that the support, tools, strength, health and care you need are already here; and that all is well – regardless of appearances or the need for interventions and help.

Rely on principle. Respect the Divine gift that is science.

And so it is.


(C) 2020 Practitioner's Path

A hedge of protection

In many traditional religious circles, the phrase “hedge of protection” is referenced to indicate the protected status religious people have in life.

The concept is derived from many verses, especially those in Psalms and Proverbs, and the specific language comes from the story of Job.

In this story, Job is a prosperous and content man, living the good life with all the trappings of that status. As the story goes, in a conversation Satan tells God that Job is only faithful because things are good; because God “put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has,…

Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.

Job 1:10

This verse has generated a host of references to this “hedge of protection”, and is (understandably) comforting to people navigating the uncertainties of life.

In a recent conversation with a friend who is a devout Christian, they made a comment about this hedge of protection and that they feel sorry for non-Christians who don’t benefit from it. I try not to argue about religion so I smiled and swallowed the multiple rebuttals that were in the tip of my tongue, such as the most obvious one: Job wasn’t a Christian,…so (yeah).

The interaction made me think about the concept, but from a wider vantage point. I considered Job, the many faithful Jews, Muslims and others whose lives have surely had that same hedge of protection. I thought too about the multitudes of people whose religions acknowledge a Power and Presence but whose practices diverge from the people of the Book*.

I’d make an educated guess that devout, practicing adherents of all these religious and spiritual groups have experienced the protective benefits described in Job. And for this reason, I believe that this benefit comes, not from gaining favor from a specific deity or following certain dogma; but from living in alignment with Source. Wayne Dyer would put it this way: living “in Spirit”, or an inspired life.

Louise Hay said often that once she put her foot on the spiritual path, she began to get “green lights and parking spaces” and Joel Osteen routinely refers to God’s “favor“.

The GOOD news about this hedge of protection is that it is available to us all, regardless of our religious or spiritual affiliation. The path to this protection begins with an acknowledgment of what Joseph Murphy called The Light Principle and Ernest Holmes called “a Power, greater than we are,…” (e.g. God in traditional religion).

After a basic acknowledgement – or willingness to accept this as Truth; establish a regular spiritual practice. For some this is prayer; for others, meditation. It can be yoga, walks/jogs in nature, creating art – almost anything that allows for some quiet/contemplative and solitary time.

Once you establish your regular routine, practice seeing how Spirit shows up. This happens in ways large and small; grand and simple. If you’re not sure “how” to do this, simply decide/expect, or as the folks who do this stuff regularly say, “put out the intention” that you will RECOGNIZE instances where/when Spirit shows up.

And you’ll start to see things change in ways that feel miraculous.

If this is an entirely NEW concept to you, there are a plethora of places to learn. While there are some newer resources, I have found these to be timeless:

  • How to Get What You Really, Really, Really, Really Want (13 YouTube clips from PBS special)
    • I refer to this as “Spirituality 101” and recommend it first to those interested in learning non-religious, spiritual concepts.
  • You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay (available at most libraries)
    • Super teaching and intro to several other great teachers
  • Teachings of Neville Goddard (start with Live in the End)
    • Some of this teachings are a little off the beaten path, but his concepts on spirituality are quite profound.
  • Keep It Simple (recent blog post about beginning a spiritual journey)

A hedge of protection doesn’t require an exclusive invitation, or membership in a specific organization. It’s available to anyone who is willing to take that first step.

(C) 2020 Practitioner's Path 

*People of the Book refers to Jews, Muslims and Christians

Keep It Simple

The principles of spiritual living are not new, but they came roaring back into the public discourse in the late 20th century as the work of Louise Hay, Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer rose to popularity.

A student of organized metaphysics, I’ve always appreciated the simplicity of the teachings of these 3 teachers, especially. It has been my opinion that, like the King James version of the Bible, organized metaphysical groups cling to the teachers and language of years past to teach principles that are, frankly not that difficult.

Meister Eckhart is widely quoted as saying if the only prayer we ever say is “thank you“, it will be enough. If that’s true, why all the complicated methods and convoluted rules?

What is really necessary to demonstrate a better way of life using spiritual principles?

Here’s a simple guide.

  1. Believe that you deserve a better experience
  2. Spend time connecting to Spirit
  3. Change your default thinking from one of negativity to expectation of better outcomes
  4. Pay attention to your chronic (repetitive) thinking AND what you say – especially in response to things that happen to you
  5. Speak positively over your life and experiences
  6. Avoid self-sabotaging behaviors
  7. Give generously to others; your words, time, talents and money
  8. Be quick to forgive – yourself AND others
  9. Know that there is ALWAYS an opportunity for redemption and renewal of situations – no matter how doomed they appear

Believe!

You must start with the basic premise that you are worthy of experiencing life in a better and more full way. Regardless of what your challenges are, start with loving yourself enough to believe – truly KNOW – that you deserve better.

Connect

Spending time connecting to the Divine will vary with each person. Some people prefer to connect by walking in nature; others use meditation and still others will make deep and lasting connections pondering art, or great works of music. Many people spend time in prayer as well. It does not matter HOW you make the connection – only that you cultivate the connection. Do what works for you.

Change Your Thinking

Wayne Dyer (and many others) have taught that when we change our thinking, our lives change. Most of us have chronic thought patterns that we have carried around for many years. If you’re not sure which ones YOU carry around, look to the challenge areas in your life, and then examine the default thoughts you have.

Examples may include thoughts around money: “People like us don’t get jobs that pay good money“, or “People with lots of money are crooked“, or in terms of relationships: “Men can’t be trusted“, or careers: “Working for (company name or industry) is a path to a dead-end job“,… (you get the picture). It may be something personal about yourself like “I’ve always been overweight” or “everyone in my family is heavy”.

What messages do you carry around in your head about things that are negative? Identify these, and start working to change them by writing them down and then REWRITING them in a positive way. Here’s one example:

“Working for (company/industry) is a path to a better life. I am grateful for the opportunity!” or “I make healthy choices in food and activities and my body lovingly responds!”.

As you make the shift away from chronic negativity, begin to allow your mind to turn toward the experiences you would like to have in your life. Some teachers encourage specifics, but I have found much greater success with a focus on the feelings around what I want.

A great example is a new car.

If we dig in and insist on a new, red Cadillac, for example – will we be able to see the new SUV that comes our way? We risk missing it if we’re too focused on the details.

My counsel is always to focus on what you will FEEL with the experience you want. The end game and your desired outcome are better focal points than the color, make, model and other details (using the car example).

In this example, I would focus on updated amenities (as come in a newer car); reliable transportation; affordable; something I would enjoy driving; etc. This has recently worked for me so I’m teaching from experience, not theory.

Actions Speak Louder than Words

I have often seen people trying to change their experience in abundance/prosperity shoot themselves in the foot by spending money they didn’t have in order to “feel prosperous”.

Do not (DO NOT!) spend $200, $500 (or any amount) that you don’t have on something that you think will make you feel prosperous. That feeling is FLEETING and too soon after your initial excitement, the knowledge that you are now deeper in debt or now don’t have money you need to pay bills will overtake your elation. This also adds to your own self-loathing as it is an action you took, and that now is making things harder in your life.

The key to prosperity lies in learning how to feel prosperous with what you have. If you must purchase something, make it small. As a single mother with very little money I would sometimes buy a rock or a small item from a store in the mall called “Natural Wonders”. I never went into debt and never spent more than the cash I had in my pocket. This allowed me to feel that I had the ability to buy things that I wanted, but never put me in a bad way, This is a CRITICAL piece of this process.

Give!

Prosperity teachers in many traditions teach that to realize abundance in our lives, we must tithe – or give 10% of all that comes in to the church or center or teacher where we are affiliated or studying the principles. Many of these same teachers also tell us that giving to charity doesn’t count.

Horse-feathers.

These same traditions teach that we are all one – that there is a unity to life. If that’s true, it shouldn’t matter where we give, as long as we’re living generous lives, and sharing our good fortune with others whenever we can.

Being generous is the requirement for attracting prosperity – not giving a specific % to a specific place. Practice being generous with servers in restaurants; with your family; with colleagues and co-workers; with people in traffic; with local charitable organizations; with your church or center and any other place that speaks to your heart.

I have demonstrated over and over in attracting abundance using spiritual principles; the position of your HEART is more important than the position of the decimal point on your check.

Forgiveness

Learn, study and accept forgiveness as a daily practice. There are many good resources available – Colin Tipping’s RADICAL FORGIVENESS and RADICAL SELF-FORGIVENESS are 2 good places to begin.

And like the counsel I shared on generosity; use forgiveness in traffic, with servers, in your family and at your church/center. Make sure you are spending time as well forgiving yourself and allowing this to become a default response.

This does not mean that you are no longer accountable for anything – it does mean that you accept that when you know better, you do better. Don’t judge yesterday’s action using today’s lens.

Redemption & Renewal

Lastly, learn that there are no lines in the sand. Life is a journey, and we can always take a different path. You can always start over and choose a new thought, a new way of being, a new belief.

One of my favorite reminders of this is the 8th statement in John Randolph Price’s Abundance Journey, and I wrote about the concept of Restoration recently.

You can start wherever you are, whoever you are. Right here, right now – make the decision to step forward, and walk from darkness into Light.

Start with the first step, and move ahead one step at a time. You didn’t take on all your challenges overnight, and you won’t undo them overnight. Be patient with yourself and the process.

It’s never too late, and you can – no matter what you are facing – find peace; find abundance; find love and acceptance; find stability; find happiness. It’s a close as your next thought.


(C) 2020 Practitioner's Path

Rinse, repeat

Now that you’ve been formally introduced to John Randolph Price’s Abundance Journey, the rest is up to you. If you’ve begun journaling the statements, continue each day until you’ve written and pondered each statement 3 more times, for a total of 40 consecutive days.

One of the many blessings I have taken from this journey are short statements of encouragment or faith that I use regularly when life gets “interesting“.

I’ve shared variations of a couple in earlier posts, but I’ll list them all here for easy access.

  • God/Spirit is lavish, unfailing abundance.
  • God/Spirit is the Source and substance of all my Good.
  • Money is not my supply. No person, place, or condition is my supply.
  • My consciousness of Truth is unlimited, therefore my supply is unlimited.
  • It is impossible for me to have any needs or unfilled desires.
  • I let go and let God/Spirit appear as abundance in my life and affairs.
  • I trust in the Divine Power to restore the years the locusts have eaten, to make all things new, to lift me up to the high road of abundant prosperity.
  • I have found the secret of life, and I relax in the knowledge that the activity of Divine Abundance is eternally operating in my life.
  • I acknowledge the Inner Presence as the only activity in my financial affairs, as the substance of all things visible.
  • My faith rests in the principle of abundance in action within me.

One important caveat to this journey is needed here. While many people reach for this book and process when money is the issue, it is critical to understand that Abundance is much more than dollars and cents.

I love to listen to people talk when the Power Ball gets into mega territory. I hear many different stories about what they would do with lottery winnings, and what I hear is not necessarily that people want the MONEY: they want what they believe the money can bring to them.

Some of these things are peace of mind, opportunities to travel, the ability to afford things they currently cannot, and freedom (from debt, having to work, and more).

This is such an important aspect to spiritual abundance studies. We must learn to not focus on a certain amount of money, but on the end result. Although I’ve racked up more than a few, my favorite example is the demonstration of a new roof. My focus was not on the $15,000 it would cost, but on the end result(s): peace of mind from having a sound home without any additional debt.

When we make the shift from focusing on money, to focusing on the experiences or end state we desire; the Universe begins to move people and circumstances around, and miracles happen. I’ve seen it over and over.

No matter where you are on your spiritual journey, consider adding the Abundance Journey to your tool box. I can attest to its great success in transforming spiritual abundance from an abstract concept learned in a class to real wealth. Without a doubt, it has been among the best $7 spend I have ever made.

Peace. Blessings. Abundance.

And so it is.

(C) 2020 Practitioner's Path

Density

I recently watched a documentary on Amazon Prime called “Life to Afterlife: I died, Now What?”

If you don’t believe in the basic premise of consciousness, and soul – this will seem like a bunch of hooey (that’s a technical term). If you do, I think you’ll find it enlightening.

One thing I took away from the film was the comment made by several of the mediums interviewed: after we return to Spirit – or go beyond the veil – we create the experiences and world that we want by simply thinking.

A reference was made by one medium that here (on the earth) we have that same ability, but it is much harder because of the density of this physical plane.

While I’ve had numerous spiritual experiences since childhood that convince me that there’s much more to life than this short walk of ~100 years on this planet; I have no unique insights into the afterlife. I have studied spirituality from multiple perspectives and sources and believe these teachers have credibility. The consistent threads that exist in reports such as these across time and cultures tell me that Truth exists in their stories.

The issue of “density

When we meditate, pray or do prayer therapy/spiritual mind treatment; things often work out a bit differently than expected. Things don’t manifest, as I have quoted in earlier blogs, like a Vending Machine (prayer in, push button, miracle pops out).

The timelines we experience between putting our attention on something that we desire, and having it show up in our lives are often protracted beyond what we would hope or want and sometimes look a little different than we had initially imagined. This behaves very much like something (thoughts, intentions, prayers and the miracles that follow) moving slowly through a dense energy field – and is the opposite of what has been described on the other side of the veil by these (and other) teachers.

The lesson for us is that we should be patient with this dense world. The things we choose to invest our attention, energy and time will indeed come to fruition. We must remain OPEN to receiving in any way they show up, and not lose faith that we have been heard. We have been heard and things are in motion.

Another point made in the film was that our loved ones on the other side do assist us. They’re not sitting around waiting on us hand and foot – that would hamper our own spiritual evolution; but they do intercede when we are in need. The descriptions provided sounded very much like the work often ascribed to angels and I suspect that there is some crossover there that is beyond the scope of this blog (at least for now).

I’ve shared multiple demonstrations/miracles experienced in my life, and in the life of family and friends. At times, they came in pretty much as expected while at other times, the miracles showed up looking much different; but in every case we were grateful and blessed. These include an unexpected pension, a new roof and more.

The challenge for seekers in manifesting miracles, or the things we desire in life, is that it’s a full-time job – or better yet, a way of life. The “density” of this physical plane requires more energy and attention than a wiggle of our nose or a blink of our eyes/nod of our head.

St Paul wrote in the letter to the Thessalonians:

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances;

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

This counsel provides a key insight to the miracles we seek while walking in this physical world. Time spent in prayer, meditation, grateful contemplation and joyful service to others will bear fruit, if we are willing to do the work. So, as Nike would say, #JustDoIt!

(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path