Stuff we learned in kindergarten

I recently had an experience that highlights a point I made in a previous blog. The Cliff Note’s version is that spiritual people (those who walk an intentionally spiritual path) have just as many life challenges as everyone else; but often when their peanut butter & jelly sandwich falls to the floor – it lands face up.

My latest experience with this involved money. In the insanity that has been the past couple weeks, I neglected to keep track of my bank account and last night – while several other issues were emerging for me to deal with, I logged into my bank account to find that a deposit and a check had crossed paths in the wrong order and I had sustained a $36 overdraft fee.

Ouch.

I was angry, initially, because they both posted to my account within the same hour. And $36 isn’t chump change. But I’ve been walking that spiritual path I referred to above and I know a couple things. 

The first thing I know is that there’s a purpose to everything. Perhaps I needed a $36 reminder to slow down, plan ahead, stay focused,…etc.

The second thing I know is that “money is not my Source“.  This means that no matter what it might look like on the physical plane,…I always have what I need.

Number 1 and 2 make it easy for me to let go of anger – at myself or the bank – and be at peace. I was in this state of peace late last night when the thought occurred to me that I could ask the bank to reverse the charge.

I logged into my online banking app and sent a note. I explained that I’d had a hectic month; that I rarely experience this and asked if there was any way they could waive the fee. I also said that if they could not, I understood and thanked them for their consideration of my request.

This morning I received a notification that the $36 had been returned to my account and a nice note from the bank.

I don’t claim any supernatural occurrence here but I do know that my “spiritual orientation” allowed me to quickly reach a level of acceptance of the situation, and be in peace about the $36 before I had the thought of asking them to reverse the charge. I am also quite certain that you get more bees with honey than vinegar, and so coming from a place of peace, I asked and remained unattached to the outcome. In other words – I was at peace about the circumstance whether I got the $36 back or not.

In addition, I understand that the Universe keeps perfect records. I have a responsibility to take care of business; to “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” which means to pay my bills on time, and take care of my bank business in a respectable manner. This spiritual aspect of the reversed charge was also clear: I was not demanding from the Universe something I did not “pay for” in mental and spiritual coin. I had been responsible in the preponderance of my business dealings with them and so it was a balanced transaction.

While I have experienced and witnessed many instances where space and time have been altered in miraculous ways through the application of intention, affirmative prayer and other spiritual tools; I have also experienced the real benefits of being in the world in a state of peaceful knowing that “all is well”. When in this state, more often than not, things work out – my sandwich lands jelly-side up 🙂

The best thing? I didn’t need to take years of classes to learn this: I learned the basics of being responsible and being courteous at home, before I went to public school. A lot of coarseness and just plain nastiness exists in the public discourse right now. It can be hard to rise above it at times. Walking a spiritual path helps keep me aligned with my core values – no matter what is going on in my life. It’s a win-win all around.

(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

The Answers Lie Within

Neville Goddard
As above, so below
mindset
consciousness
Moonlit night, South Beach, Miami

We all make mistakes – it’s part of being human. Those of us who make mistakes and are willing to accept our role in them and work to correct things not only grow as individuals, but become valuable assets to any organization.

I have worked in management positions for much of my career. When I encounter a problem with an employee, it most often involves an unwillingness in them to understand that while I can support them, recommend additional training or provide other assistance; the solution to their challenges begins and ends with them.

Perpetual “problem” employees tend to be those people who want to blame everyone and everything for their shortcomings instead of looking at what they need to do to impact positive change in their own lives and careers. Since most of us can think of at least 1 person who acts in this manner, their behaviors and attitudes can serve as a useful learning opportunity for those of us who desire personal growth.

In spiritual studies we learn that if we want more abundance in our lives, we must avoid a mindset that sees our experience through the eyes of lack. Emerson wrote that if we want to have a friend, we need to become a friend. In medicine, doctors encourage a positive outlook for battling the most aggressive diseases because they’ve seen the difference in patients with one, and patients without one.

In short, we cannot be (externally) what we are not on the inside: the truth of who we are will out-picture in our lives.

A couple years ago a neighbor shared with me that their young child didn’t seem to have any friends at school. This worried her – understandably – and she and her husband wanted to help without micromanaging the situation.

In addition to providing the requested spiritual support, I listened to the parents’ concerns and found that their child often neglected to share invitations to birthday parties from classmates with the parents. There seemed to be a reticence to participate in parties that involved activities that may be new for their child.

American Philosopher

I shared Emerson’s counsel on finding friends with them, and the parents worked with their child on expectations around the various activities. They wanted to encourage positive growth without mandating behaviors so strictly that it backfired. They told their child that they did not need to attend every birthday party, but needed to choose and attend at least 2 parties or similar events during each semester that year.

A few weeks ago I ran into the mother in the grocery store. She excitedly shared with me that not only was her child now participating in parties, as well as extracurricular school activities; but was regularly going back and forth (at friends homes and in their home) with a handful of friends from school.

I was thrilled for her, and for her child. In pondering the unfolding events for this family I thought of the hard work the child had to do (mentally) to change their trajectory. With the parents’ help and loving encouragement, the child was able to think differently about interactions with kids at school.

Early on, I recall the child expressing that sometimes the activities didn’t sound like they would be very much fun; hence part of the reticence to attend. To move from that position to where they are now, this child had to change on the inside; to decide that they could see an upside/potential good in the parties or activities. And they confessed later that even the most dull-sounding events turned out to be fun.

The ancients taught, and modern gurus, sages and wisdom teachers remind us that the answers we seek lie within. It is phrased in different ways, but in essence it comes down to this: if we can change how we think about things, our lives will change.

We can move from being the problem employee to a valued contributor; we can change from being someone who isn’t included in group activities to someone with a robust social calendar and a circle of friends; we can move from seeing how much we DON’T have in our lives to living a life that is an experience of abundance (recognizing that abundance is much more than money).

When we pivot our thinking and plant seeds for a more positive outlook; life opens up before us providing opportunities we never expected and blessings we couldn’t have seen coming before we shifted our mindset. And so it is.

(c) 2019 Practitioner's Path

Brush with a parallel world

a parallel universe?

My reading across the spiritual curriculum of late has drifted into the area where sages and scientists overlap most often these days: consciousness.

In listening to some of the brightest stars on both sides of this issue, I’ve had exposure to a number of the current theories being floated on the impact of the quantum world on the human experience. One theory is that of the existence of multiple co-existing universes.

WARNING: this will make your head hurt if you think about it too much.

The simplistic version or explanation (because I’m not a scientist) is that each time we make a decision, a spin-off reality, in which the non-choice remains a reality, results. For example, if you make a decision to leave your current job and take a new one, according to this hypothesis, a parallel universe exists where you remain at your current job while you exist now in this universe where you work in your new job.

I don’t know enough about either side of the scientific argument to weigh in but with this information floating around in my head, I had a recent experience that was “interesting” if not a little weird.

About 3 decades ago I was married with 2 small children. My husband had an opportunity to consider a job in a small town at the edge of State College, PA – the home of Penn State University.

Decades later I found myself in State College for a professional conference. As I drove around the area on Day 1 of the conference I began to have an experience that I can only describe as a brush with a parallel universe.

The path I had begun all those years ago eventually led to the demise of my marriage, and my move to a city on the other side of the state. As a Veteran with few marketable job skills I knew I had to go back to school, so I enrolled in the local urban university. I went on to earn my Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree. I ended up working as a Dean at the local Community College, and later a faculty member at that same University and felt great pride and gratitude for the institution(s) I attended and those where I worked.

Years later my son followed me to the same institution and this Fall my nephew will enter as a Freshman. Our history is tightly woven into the fabric of this urban University.

And yet, as I drove around the Penn State campus and looked at the grounds, observed the students and buildings, I felt the pull of this place in a way that is still difficult to explain.

I felt a strong connection to the campus and community as well as a deep sense that I belonged there. Perhaps I felt my own potential attachment to the brand had my life taken this turn so many years ago. Whatever the cause, I felt an unnatural fondness for, and attachment to the symbols and structures of this university. This is even more unusual when you realize that my family connection is to the University of Pittsburgh – one of Penn State’s biggest rivals.

The connection I felt was so strong that I felt a deep sense of sadness when I left the campus at the conference end.

I will never know for sure what it is that I experienced that week. What I DO know is that I will remain seriously curious about the quantum theories surrounding parallel universes.

In recent years a radical new interpretation of the parallel universe problem has emerged: the Many Interacting Worlds (MIW) hypothesis. The basic concept is that many interacting worlds have existed side by side for many years – AND – they subtly influence the worlds closes to them.

So, a couple notes: #1) I’m not a physicist, #2) the MIW model is still speculative – and – (did I mention that I’m not a scientist?).

The problem with people like me who read enough about science and technology to be conversant at dinner parties but not enough to perform the complex mathematical computations is that we tend to make assumptions about things based on connections we think we see and theories we think we understand (and let’s be honest, there are worse habits).

While I fully recognize this, I can’t help but wonder if the parallel universe where my husband took that job and my family moved to State College; where my kids and I became dyed-in-the-wool Nittany Lion devotees was crossing over into my current universe causing the “disturbance in the Force” that I felt so keenly.

Who knows what scientists will discover about the nature of reality into the future? In the 1960s, Star Trek tricorders were pure Science Fiction – and yet today, I have one such device sitting here on my desk, where I could reach out and talk to my friends across town, across the country or across the world. If I had the number, I could even talk to the International Space Station!

It’s unlikely that I’ll solve the mystery of my strange experience in State College, but I know that the nature of reality as we know it continues to be challenged. So I’ll remain curious and open to the possibilities – and that’s much more interesting that assuming that we know all there is to know!

For more information (from real scientists!) on parallel universes, check out this YouTube video:


(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

Consciousness

Deepak Chopra and Stuart Hammerof

The more I study ancient spiritual principles and listen to modern lectures on the discoveries (& differences between) the quantum & classical views of reality; the more I know that we are fast heading to that place that described by Ernest Holmes in his seminal work, The Science of Mind.

“We all look forward to the day when science and religion shall walk hand in hand through the visible to the invisible.

Ernest Holmes

Enjoy!

Tools for scary times

Today’s headlines inspire unrest

Each day I think that the national news surely can’t get any worse,…and then the nightly news proves me wrong. We are clearly living in tumultuous times, where long-standing norms are being upended left and right. There is a great temptation to consider the possibility of moving overseas, but that’s more complicated than it seems with multiple generations of family to consider.

Mulling over several disturbing news reports that have emerged over the past few weeks, I began to think about what I should be doing about things. Should I be protesting, running for office, setting up a non-profit? What is it that I could or should be doing?

During this time, I’ve also been diving deep into the teachings of Neville Goddard. The intersection of these 2 subjects finally came into focus for me and I realized what my work is to do: I need to keep teaching.

In his most popular lectures, Neville outlines examples where he used spiritual principles to change things for the better in his life. He recounted multiple times how he secured an honorable discharge from the US Army during WWII, as well as securing passage on a transport ship back to the USA from the West Indies within a day when all passage was booked for months ahead.

As I listened to Neville recount his story of the trip back to New York, I recalled a story that Wayne Dyer told about a time he and his wife were trying to fly out of Istanbul (1974). A military incursion had begun to brew and the airport was in full-blown chaos. The political unrest had rendered their airline tickets invalid and there were few alternative options.

In “I Can See Clearly Now” Dyer recounted how, as everyone in the airport was panicked and frightened, he kept his thoughts and his intention laser focused on getting on a plane that morning and flying out of the region. He refused to give into the fear, and held on to the vision of himself and his wife boarding a plane that morning that he says he “stuck like Super Glue” in his imagination. As it turned out, he and his wife were able to get the last 2 seats on a military transport and leave the area. The day they arrived back in the United States, Turkey invaded Cyprus – they had made it out just in time.

One of the most important skills we can learn in these politically unstable times is how to use the spiritual principles taught by Wayne Dyer, Neville Goddard and others that can shift time and space to make seemingly impossible things happen in our favor.

I’ve blogged about things less intense than escaping a war zone, such as finding a part time job when I needed money for a roof; finding an answer to paying my student loans; being in the right place at the right time for someone in need; and more. I know without a shadow of a doubt that this works – and I have seen that the more I study and apply these principles, the more things come together for me in perfect (Divine?) time and space.

Important to consider: the time to learn these skills is not when we’re facing a crisis – but in times of low stress. Learning and practicing on small things, and then expanding our ability to use the tools to larger things builds spiritual muscles. The “muscle memory” we are creating will kick in and work when the stress of a situation or circumstance threatens to throw off our concentration. When we learn and consistently use the principles, we are able to use them no matter what is taking place around us.

If ignoring the news isn’t a likely occurrence for you; you can counter the feelings of terror or helplessness. See these times as a call to arms – as the nudge you needed to inspire you to knuckle down and really learn the spiritual principles that can help you alter time and space when you need it most.


Some recommended resources:


(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

Pray like Neville

Neville Goddard

From the time I was a very little girl, I have been instructed on how to pray. I grew up in the traditional, “high church” Protestant tradition (quiet contemplation, not loud praise) and learned the typical Anglo-American way to approach the Divine with various wants and needs.

In the Christian tradition, this is an approach of supplication: “Please consider my plea, all my good deeds, and grant me that which I desire.”

As an adult, I questioned this for many reasons, and that questioning led me to the study of ancient, non-Anglo spiritual studies and their presentation through New Thought (which is really OLD Thought in new garments).

The organized religions in New Thought have patterned their ways after the Protestants that preceded them in formally organizing. They have high-mucky mucks in charge of this and that, and they pass out titles in exchange for investments in their organizations. And they have established a RIGHT and a WRONG way of doing various things – including how to pray.

I have to admit that I bought into this initially and I must say that I have also learned a lot along the way. Funny thing about reading, though – the more you read and learn and think for yourself; the more you see things as they really are and not as others would like you to see them. Such it has been for me on the path of understanding prayer.

While immersing myself in organized New Thought studies, I was also reading widely across the emerging spiritual teachings of the day, including Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra – whose early exposure and immersion in the Hindu tradition makes him an especially rich resource for interpreting New Thought.

These teachers (and others, too numerous to mention, including many Rishis from long ago) were opening my mind and my eyes to the simplicity of communing with the Divine even as I was being instructed that there was another “right way” to do it.

Some of these teachers spoke in ways that would be comfortably welcomed in a liberal Christian church, while others spoke of things that most ministers would claim as blasphemy. Long ago I stopped being afraid to question the commandments of men (and women) with robes and titles, so I found myself drawn to those whose perspectives were most independent from the mainstream. I was sure that they had something of value to add to my journey. Neville Goddard was one such teacher.

In a previous blog I wrote about Neville and his great gift to the world. His contention that God is not some outside force, but lives within humankind as “our own wonderful, human imagination” would make most ministers of the cloth fall faint; but if you’ve studied Neville and taken his advice to try out what he shared, you know, like I do, that there’s something to it (maybe they faint worrying about not being able to pass the offering plate if too many people figure this out for themselves!!?!?)

A year ago I was looking at my finances and doing some pre-retirement planning. I knew that my savings were on track, but I wanted to make sure that I was also addressing other factors that would be relevant, and one of these was debt.

The one significant area of debt in my life was student loans, and I decided to use the tools and techniques I had been learning to deal with them. I was tired of paying them each month, and wanted to be free of that debt, but in a way that was fair and equitable to all. I didn’t want to stop paying them and thumb my nose at the creditors, but I also didn’t want to pay them out of my existing budget any longer. I knew better than to get attached to any particular way of resolving this, such as deciding that I would win the lottery or receive a long-lost inheritance from a rich relative. I decided to undertake a Neville-esque approach, following one of the ways he described in his lecture series from the mid-20th century.

“My third way of praying is simply to feel thankful. If I want something, either for myself or another, I immobilize the physical body, then I produce the state akin to sleep and in that state just feel happy, feel thankful, which thankfulness implies realization of what I want.”

“I assume the feeling of the wish fulfilled and with my mind dominated by this single sensation I go to sleep. I need do nothing to make it so, because it is so. My feeling of the wish fulfilled implies it is done.”

Neville Goddard, Core Lecture #4

Given this construct, I set about feeling the joy I would feel if I no longer had to pay that large, student loan payment each month. I did not craft elaborate prayers, petition others to pray for me or chant affirmations. I simply felt gratitude for this debt being taken off of me, as if it had ALREADY been accomplished. I also avoided daydreaming how it would come about. I remained in the END STATE of the loans not being part of my monthly expenses any longer.

It was a Saturday, much like today, and nothing seemed to happen immediately, but I did not allow myself to know anything other than gratitude for this accomplished state – especially that night when I went to sleep.

About a month or so later, someone stopped by my office at work. As we were chatting, they mentioned that their fiance had just signed paperwork that would have our employer pay her student loans in exchange for an agreement to stay on in her job for the next few years. I was immediately intrigued, and as soon as they left my office, I made a phone call.

Long story short, I am no longer sending a student loan payment in every month: the payments are being made by my employer, in exchange for me agreeing to remain for a few years. In the world of Caesar (as Neville referred to the physical world), I knew I would be working somewhere for at least a few more years. I like my job and am well-compensated, so it was not a hard choice to make in exchange for the student loans being paid on my behalf.

Some may say that this conversation would have happened anyway. Perhaps, but I’ve seen this kind of thing happen enough times that I’m not quick to believe that is the case.

One of Neville Goddard’s great gifts to the world was his uncloaking of the simple Truth in a way that is accessible to everyone. There is no need to get up early on Sunday morning, or put a certain percentage of your money in a basket or bronzed plate that is passed around, or to find specific words (while avoiding others) and place them in a pre-ordained order of speaking. We need only train ourselves to be able to feel thankful for what it is that we desire, and then assume the feeling of the wish fulfilled – to know that it is done, and live in this knowing, period.

If this is NEW to you, don’t start with something so large that your own doubt will cloud the possibilities: start with something that you can believe could happen. Once you learn how to use this, you’ll find that no news is devastating; no situation doomed; no lack unfulfilled.

Practice, keep reading and learning and live the life you truly desire to live!

(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path
To learn more; check out this lecture (in Neville's own voice). 

Healing – A Dangerous Business


Whatever house I enter, I shall come to heal.
~ The Hippocratic Oath

The Google online dictionary defines HEALING as: the process of making or becoming sound or healthy again.

In a recent post I was critical of some leaders of a large spiritual organization who vocalize a narrow viewpoint that is rooted in lack consciousness. As I discussed my perspective with some colleagues, one person asked me how my contrary position aligned with “a healing consciousness“.

It was a valid question, and I thought about it for a day or so before coming to my conclusion. Sometimes the healing that is needed is difficult change.

As I pondered the question, my mind returned to the history of Infection Control in healthcare and the Savior of Mothers, who is credited for an early understanding of disease and the need for disinfection in the hospital setting, Ignaz Semmelweis.

Ignaz Semmelweis (1860)

Semmelweis was a Hungarian physician who was practicing in Vienna in the mid-1800s. At that time, Viennese physicians wore heavy, woolen cloaks. These were the visual badge of their prestige and credentials in society. Even though they were soaked with the blood, urine, feces and other body fluids of the patients they treated and the corpses they studied, they wore them with pride. It is noted in history that you could “smell” the physicians when they gathered in public places due to the thick odors held in their cloaks which they never cleaned (another tradition and badge of honor).

Semmelweis was not part of the “in” crowd with the Viennese elite physicians. His ethnicity counted against him; he was coarse in his manner and perceived to be vulgar. But Semmelweis was a thinker and he wasn’t impressed with the smelly, elite doctors. In fact, he believed that their arrogance was killing people.

At that time, child-bed fever (puerperal fever) was killing so many women in the obstetrical wards of Viennese hospitals that women were opting to have their babies in the streets as it was actually much less likely that they would die. There was well-founded and widespread fear of having a baby in the hospital.

Semmelweis had collected data and made observations that led him to hypothesize that there was something about the practice of performing an autopsy and then tending to patients that was causing the ridiculous mortality (death) rates.

He made other observations such as that the mortality rate at a different hospital, where only midwives (who did not perform autopsies) delivered babies, was significantly lower.

Semmelweis recommended that physicians rinse their hands in a lime solution (calcium hypochlorite) after performing autopsies and before touching patients. He was roundly ridiculed. His methods were scorned and his data and observations dismissed. After all, the credentialed, elite doctors of the day were in charge, and they had no interest in hearing what someone outside of their inner circle had to say – especially someone with a suspect pedigree – someone lower than them on the hierarchy.

Semmelweis was excited about the potential to save lives, but he had inspired the ire of the credentialed elites, and it would cost him his life. He was falsely accused of having a mental breakdown and committed involuntarily to an insane asylum where he died (from an infection) after being beaten to death by guards. There is speculation that his beating was done at the behest of some of his enemies in the physician ranks.

Decades later, Louis Pasteur and others would validate his hypothesis with the discovery of germ theory. Today, effective infection control is built on the observations he first made – observations that irritated and angered the credentialed, elite physicians of his day.

It’s always dangerous to buck the power structure as Semmelweis found out; but in the end, he was RIGHT. His healing contributions came to light through his role as a disrupter. And it’s important to note from his history, that he started out by attempting to have professional conversations with his colleagues. As the politics of “this is the way we’ve always done it” overtook scientific evidence and good sense, he grew strident, and dug in. It is still hard to remain smiling and calm in the face of willful ignorance.

Today there is a statue of Semmelweis in Budapest Hungary in front of the
Szent Rókus Hospital. His remains, long ago buried in a pauper’s grave, were transferred to a memorial built on the site of his former home. He is now revered as the Savior of Mothers for his work to stop the scourge of child-bed fever.

We can learn much from the lessons of history. The voices who criticize; who call out hypocrisy, or challenge “the way we’ve always done it” may be the healers our professions or organizations need most. The question for us is whether we are grounded enough to embrace their messages and push for change. Or will we, like the Viennese elite physicians, continue to wear our filthy, germy cloaks and cast them as troublemakers; mentally deficient and work to banish them from our ranks?

Like the footnotes on child-bed fever, the history books will tell our story. Are we writing it in a way that will make us proud when future generations read about us? Or are we pulling our putrid, smelly cloaks more tightly around us and pronouncing the disrupters around us “disloyal” and unworthy?

Only time will tell.

It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men (or women!) are wrong.
(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path