A Spiritual Booster Shot

I invite you to read these, take them into your meditation, alone or together, to ponder. May they reveal a Life of Peace, Joy, Love, Freedom, Truth, and greater understanding of Who You Really Are:

  • There is one God, and It is indivisible from Itself. There is no power greater than God, nothing to oppose God, no Satan… Evil is a man-made construct stemming from a sense of separation from God. It is our mistaken use of our abilities and thinking.
  • If God is indivisible, you are inseparable from God. This sense of separation from our Source is the root of all unwanted conditions/suffering. We are all of God, made in the image and likeness of God, and this is true of EVERYONE.
  • God is Love Itself, and It wants you to thrive, to have a creatively lush life of Good, filled with meaning and purpose.
  • God is ever-expanding. Through us, as individualized expressions of God, the Universe expands to accommodate the omni-activity of all Life.
  • There is Free Will in order for us to expand, and so our doubts/fears/self-worth participate in every step of our journey, creating contrast and presenting us with opportunities to heal and evolve, to enjoy pure Faith that we are not separate from God, to awaken  and align to our inherent Nature of Good, which is Love, the heart of God.
  • You are made in the image and likeness of God; therefore, you have all of Its qualities available to you — Love, Peace, Joy, Abundance, Balance, Well-Being, Order, Creativity, Compassion, etc.
  • In every situation, God is present, active, and all-powerful, and as you open to God’s unlimited potential that is operating in, as, and through you, you can shift any experience. The same Power that moves mountains and creates galaxies is ever-available to you, simply by acknowledging It.
  • These qualities are made manifest in your life to the degree that you align with them (if you want Peace, be Peace, if you want a greater sense of self-worth, volunteer, if you want more money, tithe to your church or whatever spiritual sources feed your sense of upliftment, if you want more Freedom, allow others the Freedom to be Who They Really Are, etc.).
  • Your thoughts are creative (God/the Universe responds to them, and always says, “Yes! OK! Here you go!” It responds most to the recurring/focused/charged thoughts. Your word is even more creative, particularly what you say about yourself. Never speak a negative word about anyone, ever. We are all One, so when you speak against someone, you manifest against yourself.
  • Death is an illusion… it is like changing coats. The Soul, as an individualized expression of God, is eternal.
  • You are loved, not matter what.
  • You are essential to the Whole, no matter what.
  • You are working with a Power that is beyond the human mind’s ability to fathom to create a beautiful life… Have faith in that, no matter what.
  • Your purpose is to share your Love, unique gifts, and talents to help others to come to know their preciousness and unlimited potential, and that is where you will find the most happiness.

Forgiveness Is the Doorway to Freedom Through the Song of a Loving Heart

forgiveness makes the heart grow wondrousAlthough much has been written and said about forgiveness, when I think of forgiveness, I think of three fundamental qualities; forgiveness as: 1) an attitude, 2) an acceptance, and 3) an action.  Although it does not really matter what order these come in, we might conceive of them as comprising a triangle.

As an attitude, forgiveness means embracing the moment with softness and kindness, and treating life’s current difficulties with the generosity of an open heart.  Forgiveness as an attitude makes you ready and open to when someone commits “a wrong” against you.  It is the willingness to be present and witness a transgression with innocence and understanding.  It is having sufficient faith in the goodness of all things so that painful words and painful actions are seen for what they truly are: cries of a lonely heart.  It is having the clarity to understand that most all offenses come not from the desire to wound, but rather from woundedness, and that the hurtful words or deeds in the long run always point to imbalances held within.

As you take your first steps with this attitude, you will find forgiveness begins with an acceptance or recognition that what you thought occurred most likely wasn’t about you.  It does not mean that you agree with or condone the words or behavior.  It simply means that you can now recognize that source of where they were coming from and are willing to embrace the reality of what happened.  The author, Byron Katie, would say, “Forgiveness is when you realize that what you thought happened, didn’t”.  In other words, the journey you take with forgiveness can eventually lead you to the deeper understanding that the so-called transgression was more about the other person’s pain than it was about you or something you said or did.

This does not mean your pain was any less real or your immediate reaction to the experience did not feel justified.  It does mean, however, that upon closer examination you may find that the only long-term “negative” consequence to the wrongful act was really what you made it mean in your mind.   As you learn to accept the reality of what happened, you may find that the most potent event that took place was probably in your thinking, not in the reality of the words or actions.  Forgiveness is the doorway of clarity that helps heal the confusion of a troubled mind.

Forgiveness as acceptance requires absolute honesty, respect and personal responsibility.  It summons the greatest courage of the heart to be able to clearly see that what you thought was wrong was probably the result of your own mental interpretation.  Forgiveness is about letting go of the control and fear of what should

have happened, and accepting completely what actually did happen.  It is coming to terms with how, by placing the blame outside of yourself, you lose the opportunity for deeper understanding and self-awareness.  It is living from a place of Love to such a degree that you are willing to climb up the most difficult mountain of all: forgiving yourself.  In order to forgive others you must start with forgiving yourself.

In either case, being hurt or hurting others, learning how to forgive yourself first can open up your thinking to see more clearly how you consciously or subconsciously contributed to the event that eventually caused you pain.  You become willing to take an honest inventory of yourself and the words, attitudes and/or actions that set the course of events in motion.  Regardless of what others say or how you compare this action to others, forgiveness means you are willing to take responsibility for what has happened in your reality.  It means you now have enough courage to release the blame and face the imbalance that lives within you.

As such, this attitude of acceptance always leads it to the words or actions that can then release you and others from a repetitive cycle of victimization.  With the realization that perhaps the greatest long-lasting harm is what you thought or made it mean, you are now ready to proclaim and act in truth.  After the initial reaction and perhaps a response that honors your feelings and need for the safety, through the act of forgiveness you are ready to make amends, so to speak, to yourself, to your God and to all those involved.

Forgiveness seizes the opportunity to take action in accordance with divine will.  It rectifies misunderstanding through the bravery of self-responsibility that then becomes grounded through compassionate action.  It’s says, “I see what you have done to me, brother, and I now set you free.  I see how you have only done it to yourself, and that through this experience you were willing to share with me, I can see what needs to be healed within myself”.

In its completion, forgiveness is an act of gratitude and love.  It is the affirmation that you are all deeply connected to each other and struggle for the same self-love and freedom.  It is a divine deliverance to the place where you come to realize that nothing really can ever hurt or separate you from yourself or your goodness.  Forgiveness sets you and your neighbor free through the recognition that we are all doing the very best we can, no matter what has been said or done in the past.

Finally, forgiveness is the quality that alleviates all suffering: the suffering of woundedness, the suffering of disease and injury, and the suffering of separation or death.  Forgiveness is the soothing balm that heals our deepest wound: the belief that we are separate from God.  It is the ongoing discovery that our actions and the actions of others always point in the direction of reclaiming our wholeness and holiness, no matter what the immediate experience or interpretation of that experience may look like.  Put simply, forgiveness is returning to the awareness and knowledge that we are all basically good and live together as a part of the One God.

© 2003 Jeremy Youst

http://powerofbreath.com/articles/forgiveness-is-the-doorway-to-freedom-through-the-song-of-a-loving-heart/

3 Ways to Turn Around a Bad Morning

We all have bad mornings from time to time, but here are 3 easy ways anyone can turn it around (and they work any time of day!):
1.  Stop, Drop, Roll —  Our experiences are dictated by our perspective. While we can’t always control what happens to us, we can certainly control our reaction to it: When we’re caught up in a frenetic and/or negative reaction to some event, we can always Stop, Drop, Roll:
Stop — Stop the reaction. No one is responsible for our reaction but us, and so no one can stop it but us. We can simply choose to create that shift at any time.
Drop — Take 10 deep breaths, and drop down into your body. Breathing is the physical act of release and renewal. With every conscious breath, we get out of the noise and drama in our heads and drop into our hearts, where love conquers all, and we know we are limitless beings.
Roll — Roll your attention away from the irritant.  What we resist persists, so as we turn our attention to what we do want, we are making a conscious acknowledgment that something better is available to us. Being open to that possibility is what starts the shift.
2.  Broaden Your Perspective. Ask yourself, “Does this really matter?” If your answer is yes, then ask yourself, “Is there one peaceful and healthy reason why I should hold onto this thought?”  The rules, roles, and expectations we place on ourselves and others are the number one causes of needless stress, anxiety, disappointment, and anger. Let it go and choose to be happy over being right… or righteous.
3.  Count Your Blessings.  Nothing creates a shift in perspective like gratitude.  When something unwanted happens, find something about that very situation you’re grateful for and acknowledge it. Then find another… and another. For instance, “My car won’t start, and it appears I may be late, but I’m so grateful that I have this job, and I’m grateful that I can call a mechanic and have it taken care of in a few days, and I’m so grateful that I have this car, and I’m so grateful that I have a coworker who lives nearby that I can get a ride with, and I’m grateful that there is public transportation if I need it!”  When we stop and appreciate something, we are catapulting our perspective and our vibration out of the negativity and drama and into the land of potential where “All Is Well.”
By Gretchen Kennedy, RScP

15 Powerful Things Happy People Do Differently

From The Purpose Fairy <http://www.purposefairy.com/4899/15-powerful-things-happy-people-do-differently/>

What is the difference between happy people and unhappy people? Of course, it may be very obvious, happy people are happy while unhappy people are unhappy, right? Well, that is correct, but we want to know what are the things that these people do differently and that is why, I have put together a list of things that HAPPY people do differently than UNHAPPY people.

1. LOVE vs. FEAR. Well, I can tell you for sure that those people who are really happy, FEAR less and LOVE a lot more.They see each moment, each challenge, each person as an opportunity to discover more about themselves and the world around them.

2. ACCEPTANCE vs. RESISTANCE.  Happy people understand that you can’t really change a situation by resisting it, but you can definitely change it by accepting that it is there and by understanding that there might be a reason for its existence. When something unpleasant happens to them, they don’t try to fight it, knowing that this will make the situation even worse, but rather, they ask themselves questions like: What can I learn from this? How can I make this better? and they go from there, focusing on the positive rather than on the negative. They always seem to see the glass half full no matter what happens to them.

3. FORGIVENESS vs. UNFORGIVENESS. Really happy people know that it’s not healthy to hold on to anger. They choose to FORGIVE and FORGET, understanding that FORGIVENESS is  a gift they give to themselves first and foremost.

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”Buddha

4. TRUST vs. DOUBT. They trust themselves and they trust the people around them. No matter if they talk to the cleaning lady or the C.E.O. of a multi billion company, somehow they always seem make the person they are interacting with feel like there is something unique and special about them.

They understand that beliefs become self-fulfilling prophecies, and because of that, they make sure to treat everybody with love, dignity and respect, making no distinctions between age, sex, social status, color, religion or race. These are the great men that Mark Twain was talking about: “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” Mark Twain

5. MEANING vs. AMBITION.  They do the things they do because of the meaning it brings into their lives and because they get a sense of purpose by doing so. They understand that “Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life” like Wayne Dyer puts it, and they care more about living a life full of meaning rather than, what in our modern society we would call, living a successful life.

The irony here is that most of the time they get both, success and meaning, just because they choose to focus on doing the things they love the most and they always pursue their heart desires. They are not motivated by money; they want to make a difference in the lives of those around them and in the world.

6. PRAISING vs. CRITICIZING. Happy people would probably agree with Carl’s Jung theory on resistance: “What you resist not only persists, but will grow in size”. They don’t criticize the absence of the behavior they want to reinforce, but rather, every time the behavior is present, even if it’s not that often, they know that by praising the person and the behavior, they will actually reinforce the positive behavior.

When a parent wants to make sure that his 7 years old boy will learn to always put the toys back in the box after he’s done playing with them, he will make sure not to focus on the many times the child won’t do it, criticizing him and his behavior, but rather, every time the little boy does put the toys back, the parent will praise him and his behavior and that is exactly how he will reinforce the positive behavior, and in the end geting the wanted results.

7. CHALLENGES vs. PROBLEMS. Happy people will see PROBLEMS as CHALLENGES, as opportunities to explore new ways of doing things, expressing their gratitude for them, understanding that underneath them all lies many opportunities that will allow them to expand and to grow.

8. SELFLESSNESS vs. SELFISHNESS. They do what they do not for themselves, but for the good of others, making sure that they bring meaning, empowerment and happiness in the lives of many. They look for ways to give and to share the best of themselves with the world and to make other people happy.

”Before giving, the mind of the giver is happy; while giving, the mind of the giver is made peaceful; and having given, the mind of the giver is uplifted.”Buddha

9. ABUNDANCE vs. LACK/POVERTY. They have an abundant mindset living a balanced life, achieving abundance in all areas of life.

10. DREAMING BIG vs. BEING REALISTIC. These people don’t really care about being realistic. Theylove and dare to dream big, they always listen to their heart and intuition and the greatness of their accomplishments scares many of us.

“Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.” Goethe

11. KINDNESS vs. CRUELTY. They are kind to themselves and others and they understand the power of self love, self forgiveness and self acceptance.

12. GRATITUDE vs. INGRATITUDE. No no matter where they look, no matter where they are or with who, they have this capacity of seeing beauty where most of us would only see ugliness, opportunities, where most of us would only see struggles, abundance where most of us would only see lack and theyexpress their gratitude for them all.

13. PRESENCE/ ENGAGEMENT vs. DISENGAGEMENT. They know how to live in the present moment, appreciating what they have and where they are, while still having big dreams about the future.

“When you are present, you can allow the mind to be as it is without getting entangled in it. The mind in itself is a wonderful tool. Dysfunction sets in when you seek your self in it and mistake it for who you are.” Eckhart Tolle

14. POSITIVITY vs. NEGATIVITY. No matter what happens to them, they always seem to keep a positive perspective on everything and by doing so, they tend irritate a lot of negative and “realistic” people.

15. TAKING RESPONSIBILITY vs. BLAMING. They take full ownership over their lives and they rarely use excuses. Happy people understand that the moment you choose to blame some outside forces for whatever it is that happens to you, you are in fact giving all your power away, and they choose to keep the power for themselves and taking responsibility for everything that happens to them.

To Dance The Sublime Waltz with the Universe, Take 3 Small Steps

Or, How to Instantly Shift the Course of Your Daily Life Without The Funky Chicken

At the center of every nucleus of every atom is energy… the same energy.  Whether it is found in water or plant or mineral or human being, we all share the same energy.  And that energy is alive, creative, intelligent, magnetic, and attractive to itself.  In other words, energy knows no separation from itself, no matter where it resides.  Moreover, it is omni-active.  It never sleeps, and it never dies. It is in a constant state of relation to itself, in all its forms.

Because this energy is magnetic, the law of “like attracts like” is brought into our everyday experience of matter. It makes sense then, that as we shift our own state of being, we draw to us conditions that reflect our current state of being.  As our moods change from day to day, the energy around us responds, creating conditions that match our state of being.  We may not even notice it (yet).  What we do tend to notice, however, are bigger “waves” of events that happen in succession or over time (“They say bad things come in three’s, so what’s next?” or “I must have no immune system because I’m always sick,” or “I’ll be fine!  I will land on my feet. I always do!”).

Even our thoughts impact this energy that is at the center of every atom in our cells.  See if you can feel your entire body uplift while reading this sentence: “I’m a golden goose, everything I touch turns to gold!”  Likewise, see if you can feel your entire body deflate with this one:  “I just can’t catch a break, and now my unemployment benefits are running out.”  The power of this energy is unfailing in its ability to create conditions by attracting more of the same to itself.

We call this power many things (God, Life, Intelligence, Spirit, etc.).  Here, I am calling it “The Universe.”

In us, this creation process starts with our thoughts.  We are truly the masters of our domain. In other words,  life mirrors our dominant or chronic thought patterns.  That means that we can co-create with the Universe an entirely different experience by changing our perspective, and that starts with considering for a moment–just one moment–that other possibilities are available to us.  If you’re not open to that concept, try re-reading the first 2 paragraphs again.

Actually, we co-create our lives through three, progressively powerful ways of engaging the Universe:

  1. our thoughts and words
  2. our vibrations (emotions/feelings)
  3. our actions

And, because you are the master of your domain, the Universe always responds with, “Your wish is my command.”

Thoughts/Words:  When we think of some outcome to a situation (good or bad), the Universe begins to organize around that thinking.  The more we think about it, and the more we talk about it, the more dominant it becomes compared to our other thoughts and spoken words. The Universe pays attention to our most dominant thoughts, making them more likely to come about. The longer and stronger we hold that thought pattern, the more times we will experience aspects of that condition.

Vibrations:  When we add feeling to those thoughts (i.e. whether we’re conjuring up fear and anxiety or the freedom, joy, peace, security, etc. produced by the perfect outcome), we align our vibration to an end result, and the Universe now responds to a much clearer attractor field (the bigger our emotion, the bigger the result).

Actions:  However, when we take action toward achieving that result, no matter how small, the Universe now also has something concrete to mirror and build upon.  It’s like we’re telling the Universe, “Do it like this. Now do it like this.” Every step we take toward the pictured result provides an opportunity for the Universe to act now to clear obstacles, arrange resources, people, and events, and bring our emotionally charged, dominant thought patterns to life, compounding whatever actions we take with its own greater actions.

Always remember, because you are the master of your domain, the Universe works with you for BOTH your greatest desires AND your greatest fears.  As loving as It is, It is neutral, and It allows you to experience–in full glory–of all of your choices:

The Funky Chicken:

You’re alone at a wedding you’ve been dreading for months (having turned down the offer from a good friend to fix you up with her “cute” cousin), painfully aware of how everyone else is coupled up and having fun dancing. You toss back your fourth glass of champagne and wish they’d cut the cake already, so you could leave. Then, the most horrific wedding music ever heard is played: The Funky Chicken.  As you roll your eyes, you hear someone call your name. You sink down into your chair just as the bride rushes by.  She yanks you up and throws you into the throng of dancers. A rush of embarrassment hits you as she starts dancing in a circle around you.  Everyone is watching and laughing.  You don’t remember how to do the Funky Chicken.  You awkwardly stand there until you catch on. As your elbow wings start to beat ridiculously, you collide with the woman dancing next to you.  Your tired feet cross, nearly toppling you over.  The bride steps hard on your foot.  As the song ends, you try not to limp too noticeably back to your empty table. Then, the band starts playing a favorite song of yours, and, because you won’t be dancing to it, you grab another glass of champagne from a passing waiter and wait for this miserable night to end.

OR…

The Sublime Waltz:

Think of the Universe as your attractive blind date at a wedding (a blind date you agreed to with mixed trepidation and excitement).  You’re sitting with the Universe getting acquainted. A favorite song comes on, and you think, “I’d love to dance.” You catch the Universe’s eye, and It smiles at you, swaying a little in Its seat, clearly also moved by the music.  Suddenly you have an emotional surge of anticipation as you think, “I want to experience joy together with the Universe on the dance floor!”  Just as you start to ask “Would you care to—” you see the Universe is already rising, grinning, and holding out Its hand, thrilled that you want to dance. Out on the dance floor, the Universe is a spectacular partner, in sync with your every move, step for step, turn for turn, flourish for flourish. You’re so magically in tune, you aren’t sure who is leading whom, all you know is the dance is effortless, fluid, beautiful, and endless, and you are both giddy with the joy of it.  Eventually, you begin to tire, the song changes, and you tell the Universe that you no longer want to dance.  The Universe smiles, nods, and, holding your hand, gracefully leads the way back to your table.

TO ENGAGE THE UNIVERSE IN THE SUBLIME WALTZ, TAKE 3 SMALL STEPS:

Do 3 small things each week (eventually working up to twice a week, then three times a week, then every other day, and in a year or two, perhaps, daily):

  1. To Retrain Your Thoughts:  Do one thing spiritual (express gratitude for the things that went well that week, meditate for 15 minutes, read an uplifting passage and contemplate it for 15 minutes, write an affirmation and say it aloud 21 times a day for a week, take a silent walk in nature, send a thank you card to your Higher Self, etc.
  2. To Uplift Your Vibration:  Do one healthy, fun thing for yourself that relieves stress and rejuvenates you (take a bubble bath, be in service to someone in need, play hide and seek with your kids, paint a picture, call an old friend, cuddle with your dog, go for a ride in the country, etc.)
  3. To Direct The Universe With Your Actions:  Do one thing you want the Universe to mirror and build upon to help you achieve your desired outcome more quickly and easily (announce a dream to start a business to someone you admire, write a page for that book you’ve always wanted to write, walk the dog at a brisker pace, send your resume to one company with a cover letter specific to that job, buy organic vegetables, smile at 5 strangers, spend 30 minutes sorting through a clutter pile, fulfill a lapsed commitment, etc.)

Keep notes on your progress and notice what miracles start taking place in your life.  Feel free to post any feedback below!

Happy Co-Creating!

Gretchen

© 2012 Gretchen DeWees Kennedy

The Work (an adapted worksheet on Releasing Negativity)

Adapted from “The Work” by Byron Katie

Shifting relationships is all about shifting YOU. The goal is that YOU feel better. Anger and resentment are like taking poison hoping the other person will suffer. This tool helps us release negativity and move on in a genuine and healthy way.

Instructions: Fill in the blanks below, writing about someone (dead or alive) you haven’t yet forgiven 100 percent. Use short, simple sentences. Don’t censor yourself—try to fully experience the situation as if it were occurring right now. Take this opportunity to express your judgments on paper.

1. What is it that the person you are angry at should or shouldn’t do, be, think, or feel? What advice could you offer?
(Name)___________________ should/shouldn’t ________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________
Example: Paul should pull his weight. He shouldn’t argue with me.

2. What do they need to do in order for you to be happy?
I need (Name)__________________ to ________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________
Example: I need Paul to step up in this relationship. I need Paul to respect me.

3. What do you think of them? Make a list.
(Name)_____________________ is ___________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________
Example: Paul is unfair, arrogant, lazy, inconsiderate, and unconscious.

The Four Questions
1. Is it true? (The answer is a simple yes or no. There is no, “Well, in this situation…” If it is “no” go to #3)

2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?

3. How do you react, what happens, how do you treat others and yourself, when you believe that thought? Can you find a single, stress-free reason to keep that thought?

4. Who or what would you be without the thought?

Turning It Around
Knowing that relationships present a perfect mirror of ourselves, we can fully shift our negativity when we understand how we are triggered by things others do which are the very things we judge most in ourselves.

The Turnaround:
Taking the above judgments, turn the thought around (original thought: Paul doesn’t respect me):

a) To the self (I don’t respect me) – Could that be as true or truer?

b) To the other (I don’t respect Paul) – Could that be as true or truer?

c) To the opposite (Paul does respect me) – Could that be as true or truer?

When dealing with an object/ condition, you can replace the object with “my thinking” or “my thoughts.”

Find 2-3 genuine and specific examples of how each turnaround is true in your life (i.e. Paul not only respects me, he has empowered me to go back and get my degree, and he regularly makes considerable sacrifices so I can do that. And he has really taken over all responsibilities in some important areas, like he has been doing all the cooking lately… healthy cooking, too… and all this eating at home saves us a lot of money).

More About The Work
When You Want to Defend Yourself… Do The Work!

Defense is the first act of war.

If Paul says, “You’re wrong!” and you react with, “How can you possibly say that?” or, “I can prove that I’m right, and here’s why,” or, No, you are wrong, and I think you’re rude”—and even if you don’t say it out loud, maybe you think it, that is also stressful—and that’s the moment you’ve started the war, even if it’s a silent war festering inside of you.

When you want to defend yourself, it’s time to do The Work.

The Work allows us to consider other possibilities than our own judgmental thoughts. It shows the mind what is as true or truer than the original thought. People usually find that the Turnaround is as true or truer than the stressful thought they began with.
In doing The Work, it’s not about having others change for you, it’s about you taking responsibility and staying in your own business.

Stay focused on the changes you can create! When you take away the negative thoughts and judgments, you open yourself to being altogether different…. and meeting this person from there, full of possibility.

Find free worksheets and other tools at http://www.thework.com.