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16 Dec

Love is Undefeated

Guest Post by Vanessa D. Werts
Have you ever wondered what your life would be if you could conquer your fears, fully connect with your purpose for being alive, and love yourself and others unconditionally? Well, if you believe in the healing power of love, there is a pre-destined path for you to get there.

 

Anything love touches, comes alive and grows. The heart responds to love with exuberance, and also knows and reacts when there is a lack of it. Without exception, God put a spirit of love on each one of us when his hands touched and formed us in our mothers’ womb. After we were born, that same touch created a void that the heart is wildly in search of as we look to people for this radical love of God we once knew.

 

If you asked ten people what love means to them, you would probably get ten different answers. However, there is a definition and demonstration of love that every heart would acknowledge as true love, and it looks like this: “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT). There isn’t a heart beating that would dispute being treated in this way.

 

My nonfiction book Lies and Love: Cleansing The Heart To Make Room For Radical Love (November 2016), a 30-Day Heart Cleanse for Women, is a tool for inner healing. In the Bible, it says that the heart is “extremely sick” (see Jeremiah 17:9), and it also says to “guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (Proverbs 4:23 NLT). Lies and Love offers a spiritual approach to identify and cast out the residue left behind from traumatic life experiences, then fills up those empty places with love. The cleanse is also designed to activate your God-given gifts and talents.

 

In the opening of the book, I share my own heart story and how daddy issues and being sexually assaulted as a teen affected my self-worth. Then God got my attention one day and taught me to value and honor myself; by his love, he healed my life and defeated every enemy of my soul.

 

What is your heart story? This is the question I ask in Lies and Love. As you follow the spiritual journey through the heart, you will be able to pinpoint your own heart issues. These issues or chaos, would be feelings such as anger, bitterness, fear, frustration, grudges, rejection, resentment, shame, and even hatred, that have become trapped in the heart, affecting how you view yourself and how you interact with and treat others. A chaotic heart is unhealthy and often leads to feeling insecure, unloved, unworthy, and sorrowful. Though we all may experience a range of these emotions at some point in our lives, if you feel like this most of the time, your heart needs to be healed.

 

Any attitude, behavior, or habit that is counterproductive to your life is an indicator that something is going on in the heart that should be addressed. Do any of the following issues play out in your life or concern you on a regular basis?

  • Are you angry often and take it out on those close to you?
  • Is sarcasm your way of communicating with people?
  • Are you frustrated with your current station in life (career, personal, spiritual)?
  • Are you single and discouraged by the dating scene?
  • Does your childhood still haunt you today?
  • Are you indifferent about major decisions you need to make?
  • Do you have a bias against a particular group of people?

 

This is a short list but it makes the point that, just as the issues of life vary, so do the issues of the heart that affect how we function day to day. Only you and God know your heart story, and he wants to heal the hurtful memories of your past that keep you from living fearlessly and loving fully, today.

 

Before the actual 30-day cleanse commences, the topics of lies and love are explored from a heavenly perspective. Lies are considered to be anything that God did not say or provision for your life, according to Scripture. For instance, living with regret is living a lie. Why? Because having regret causes you to hold something you’ve previously done, against yourself now; it’s like having a vendetta against yourself. But the Bible commands us to always forgive, which also includes forgiving ourselves.

 

During the cleanse process, chaos is expelled from the heart through daily activities that are guided by scripture, encouraging women to forgive, pursue love, celebrate their lives, and live on purpose. The 30- Day Heart Cleanse is a literal and spiritual step forward into a new season of your life.

 

Do you want to live that abundant life you dream of, now? Believe that it is possible; let go of emotional baggage, and always remember to love. Love is the undisputed, undefeated, champion.

###

 

VANESSA D. WERTS is the author of Lies and Love and other fiction books about relationships, love and forgiveness. She’s a military veteran, minister, and champion for women achieving a healthy selfimage. When she’s not writing, you can find her speaking to church groups and to college students about the messages in her books. Vanessa has an abiding love to bridge the gap from people’s life experiences to the promises of God. Her website is www.VanessaWerts.com.

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09 Dec

Grassroots Actions are Key for Peace in the Holy Land

Guest post by Dr. Frank Romano, December 7th, 2016

 

I sincerely believe that one of the keys to peace in the Middle is through grassroots efforts to organized interfaith dialogues, to bring people together when politicians, many religious leaders tend to tear them apart chasing their silver linings. The success of these efforts is directly proportional to the results of the dialogues which are designed to open up people’s hearts to each other, to help them overcome years of negative programming derived from the fear and hate exacerbated by ignorance of each other’s culture and religion. To illustrate that, I use an example of a typical interfaith dialogue I lead that could take place either in Israel or in the West Bank:

 

During one session, Jews, Muslims and Christians (sometimes they are orthodox, sometimes liberal practitioners) are sitting next to each other in a circle. They were breaking bread together and drinking tea or eating humus. After an hour, I asked Jacob the Jew to tell me about Muhammad, his orthodox Muslim neighbor or visa-versa. He responded by saying they are talking which, coming from isolated unmixed villages in Israel, is new to them. He added that they have something in common in that their children go to the same school in a third village. The Jew and the Muslim, in their discussion, instead of talking about divisive subjects like religion or politics, they talk about everyday things, like the price of lunch at school has increased, or the history teacher is weird, etc. They were really bonding, becoming friends. Then I asked Sam the Christian what he thought about the group and he responded that he had invited Jacob and Muhammad to experience Christmas with him and his family in December, that they were all going to break the Ramadan fast at Muhammad’s house tonight and would attend Chanukah festivities with Jacob.

 

However, he said there was a problem. Jacob’s and Muhammad’s religion are taking him down the wrong path because they don’t believe in Jesus as their savoir. That opened the “Pandora’s Box” on the topic of religion. Muhammad interrupted and stated that the Jews and Christians didn’t accept Muhammad as an important prophet and then Jacob opened up his Torah and claimed non-Jews don’t accept the importance of Moses and Abraham as the principle prophets. During the discussion that followed, they implied that they don’t share the same God and that they were going to heaven but not those from other religions.

 

As the facilitator of the dialogue, I didn’t judge any of them. I opened up my Torah (first five chapters of the Old Testament), the New Testament and the Qur’an and lead the following discussion on comparing the main principles and philosophies found in those writings. After an hour discussion, most of the members of the dialogue are surprised to learn that all the texts reflect many similar principles, such as the belief in one God, thou shalt not kill, the obligation to help the poor, treat your neighbor with respect. . .etc.

 

After an hour discussing that, I asked the group another question, this time focusing my attention on the Christian as he views his Jewish or Muslim neighbor.

 

“Since there are so many similarities among those sacred writings, do you think it is possible you may share the same God?  After a short discussion, many members now say it is possible.

 

Then I close the dialogue with one last question:

 

“Does it make sense to kill in the name of God if you share the same God? You don’t need to answer that now. Think about it and we’ll resume the dialogue in a month or so.”

 

After we agree to continue the dialogue, I left them to ruminate over the last question without expecting an immediate response and then I returned two months later to the Holy Land to continue the dialogue.

 

Despite the bonding going on among the members of different religions in the above dialogues, they are useless without follow-up actions, which are occasions were the participants walk the talk working on peace projects. Working together, sweating together with few words is when the true profound bonding takes place. I believe those interfaith dialogues and peace marches in Israel and Palestine are thus taking steps, but those are just the first steps. In sum, our work doesn’t end there. The same mixed group, with my participation, continues bonding by rebuilding buildings destroyed during the conflict between Israelis and the Palestinians. But the rebuilding, for the moment, has only taken place on the Palestinian side and should include buildings on both sides of the wall, including the Israeli side.

 

Interfaith activists also engage in the replanting of olive trees that have been uprooted to make way for the walls and part of the confiscation of land engaged in by Israel in the West Bank. Olives are the most important crop for Palestinians who often have difficulties harvesting them due to attacks by Israeli settlers who often steal the olives, even set fire to Palestinian olive trees, some hundreds of years old. In addition, many of the Palestinians who normally help their families harvest the olives are in jail or have left the lands, so there is a serious lack of farm workers to help in the harvest. Thus, I along with many other activists, join the Palestinians in the fields to help them harvest olives in October.

 

A final goal of organizing these interfaith groups and engaging in projects discussed above is to create a massive non-violent peace movement among Israelis and Palestinians, and world activists. We then encourage the activists to exert pressure on their governments to lobby the return of Israel and Palestine to the negotiation table in order to find a solution to the conflict. Only then will the people be finally free and prosperous.

 

My efforts over the last 10 years to organize interfaith events and peace & freedom demonstrations in the Holy Land are chronicled in my book: Love and Terror in the Middle East, 4th Edition.

 

In conclusion, the Holy Land is the epicenter of world conflict, and until a durable peace is found there, the world will remain at war.


 

ABOUT DR. FRANK ROMANO

FRANK ROMANO earned a PhD at University of Paris I, Panthéon Sorbonne. He is a Maître de conférences (assistant tenured professor) at the Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense in the Anglo-American Literature and Civilization Department and a member of the California and Marseille Bars. At present, he teaches law, literature, history and philosophy of law at the Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense and practices law in France and in the United States. The author actively organizes and participates in interfaith events involving Jews, Moslems, Christians and people of other faiths in Israel and Palestine.

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02 Dec

The Power of Transcendence Through Surprise

Little_Book_Surprises_COVER_Rev3Guest post by Deirdre Hade

The (Not So) Little Book of Surprises was twenty years in the making.  My husband, Will Arntz, who created the film What the Bleep Do We Know!? got the idea to take my poetic writing and the mystical transcendental experiences I draw upon when I teach, and combine with the photos of the award‑winning photographer, Endre Balogh, in a book – creating a journey of thought, a journey of the divine, a journey of wisdom.  And when he came to me with this idea I said, “Great, let’s do it.”  And then he said to me, “No, no, it’s not LET’s do it, it’s I’M doing it,” and he actually would not let me see what he was doing in the beginning.

Because he made the successful film What the Bleep, I trusted his insight and intuition and I loved what he put together. He came up with the title The (Not So) Little Book of Surprise because he said this book is a Surprise!  There’s not a book like this book anywhere in the world.  You can look at just one page, read a few sentences and receive wisdom. You can experience the breathtaking nature photography. Or you can read the entire book in about an hour and a half, experiencing a journey as the wisdom story unfolds.

Transformation and consciousness always comes in a Surprise!  We can study, go to our place of worship, we can have a practice. But when those moments of awakening of awareness, the “aha”, when the world looks different…when That happens, it is always a surprise. Awakening comes in surprise moments.

Since a very young age I have been visited by angels, saints and different illuminated beings.  They speak to me, and I’ve seen them with my own eyes.  At an early age I began to write down what they would tell me.

These light beings feel strongly that they want their voices heard, because they want to bring hope. They want to share a map that will help us to get through our changing times with as much grace as is available. This map is inside of us. The (not so) Little Book of Surprises is a guide to one’s inner map of wisdom and awakening.

I say to people, “I’m not really here, I’m a simulation. I’m from the grand projector, I’m beaming in.” My messages come from a state of Irradiance, which is defined as the ability to radiate outward an energy that is felt and/or experienced into the environment.  (You can find this term in the dictionary.)  I use this definition because when the Angels, the Light Beings, when God speaks to me, I feel a palpable presence, like a heaviness of light – my body changes.  I go into a state of bliss and ecstasy, and then I hear their voices.  I’ve worked very hard to be very clear to hear them and to make sure that the voices I hear are who they say they are.  I then speak what they tell me, or I write it down. Surprises is a combination of my own wisdom, with what I’ve learned from God and the Beings of Light. It is my poetic understanding, and it is a combination of the Light Beings and of God sharing a greater reality perspective of our human experience.

Will picked out quotes for the book that resonate as true for the times we live in.  Surprises is a book of my life experience with the divine realms. This is what I’ve seen and experienced with my eyes, this is what I know.  If it rings true for you, great.  If you can’t go there, that’s okay too. The Book of Surprises is like a rock‑and‑roll song.  You get what you can just  enjoy the ride.  Enjoy the magic, the insight, inspiration – Surprises is a melody of sprit and beauty in the mystical. I highly recommend that the reader

Surprises is a “children’s book” for adults.  But it’s also very much a children’s book.  I find children today are very aware, awake, and they’re looking to be validated for the wise souls that they are. More souls are being born right now have this high level of sensitivity.  What I mean by that is, that they have an ability to feel and sense the natural world  outside of the intellectual two-dimensional processing.  These kids Know – and they’re being born by the millions. They want validation.  They have come to help us heal our world.  They come wrapped in a vibration of love. All children, are aware and sensitive, we must prepare a world for them to thrive.  They learn differently, they need different kinds of schools, they need to be honored for what they see and what they know.  The book Surprises  is supportive for young people – it’s a family book to sit around and read together.

I’m ecstatic with how The (not so) Little Book of Surprises turned out.  I love reading it myself.  Because of the through line that Will so artistically created. Each time I read it I experience something new – a spiritual experience of a different flavor.  I actually learn, even though it comes from “my work.” I see something deeper every time.  I’ve been asked, “Why read this book?” and I answer, because we are here as consciousness to experience the third dimension. We are here to create the magic, the miracle and the beauty – the justice, the truth – of what it really means to be human.  And that’s our journey, and it’s bumpy ride.  And we meet obstacles, but that’s really the journey of our human soul. And The (Not So) Little Book of Surprises was created for you to have an awesome experience in a book.

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22 Nov

You are Not Alone: The Epidemic of Self-Judgment

84304An Excerpt from Make Peace with Your Mind

by Mark Coleman

Many of us are well acquainted with our “Inner Critic.” It is the voice that makes us second-guess our every step by saying “not enough,” “not good enough,” or sometimes “too much.” At times the Inner Critic can be so strong that it feels invincible, but bestselling author and renowned meditation teacher Mark Coleman promises that it is not in his new book Make Peace with Your Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Your Inner Critic. We hope you’ll enjoy this short excerpt.

 

# # #

 

Have you noticed how many people give themselves a hard time? How friends and colleagues routinely put themselves down and happily confess all their faults and problems? It is culturally acceptable to talk about your faults and challenges, and of course to complain ad nauseam about the faults of others. As Lucy so eloquently put it in a Peanuts cartoon (speaking to Charlie Brown): “The problem with you, Charlie, is that you are you.”

 

At the same time it is quite the norm not to talk about one’s successes, strengths, and accomplishments. In some cultures, that is considered gauche and egotistical. Being raised in England, I was taught it was a faux pas to speak of your talents and gifts or celebrate your victories. It is as if you are rubbing other people’s nose in the dirt by doing so. Yet it is fine to lead with one’s inadequacies and problems.

 

In the United States the mental health statistics are alarming. One in ten Americans is on some form of antidepressant. One in five took some kind of behavioral medication in 2010. The number of suicides is equally staggering: forty thousand per year. And that’s just the numbers that are reported. Though the numbers may be higher in the United States than elsewhere, many industrialized countries report similarly alarming statistics.

 

Based on the work I have done with people over the past fifteen years on six continents, I believe the inner critic is a significant cause of much of the depression, anxiety, and suicide prevalent today. When the critic’s voices are loud, sharp, and rampant, it is hard to keep a sense of self-worth or feel there is a meaning or purpose in life.

 

Though the statistics are startling, there is one sad but reassuring fact among them: you are not alone. One of the biggest burdens we can carry when we are depressed, or just lost in a swamp of self-reproach, is the troubling thought that we are unusual to have such problems. We mistakenly believe that we are the only ones afflicted by nagging, negative stories about ourselves. It is bad enough to have such troubling thoughts, but the idea that you may be the only “loser” in the room who has them is doubly shaming, and harder to work with.

 

In workshops that I lead about the inner critic, one of the most healing outcomes is people’s realization that they are not the only ones with a judging mind. Isolation and the belief that you’re the odd one out, that everyone but you is having a merry old time, just compounds these mental challenges.

 

When I have people pair up at an inner-critic workshop and share their list of self-judgments, there is at first a sense of great apprehension and embarrassment, and a fear of the shame that may ensue. But when they actually do share their lists, a collective relief sweeps the room. The realization that we share similar self-judgments and negative mental habits brings this sense of relief. The thought that we can help each other if we share a similar burden also nurtures an important sense of camaraderie and social support.

 

Practice: Noticing the Critic Everywhere

As you go about your life — whether at home, at work, with friends, running errands, watching television — start paying attention to how you see the critic operating in other people. We can certainly observe it when hearing politicians and pundits barking on the radio or when movie critics are demolishing the latest film.

 

Also notice the inner critic in conversations, in the way people jokingly put themselves down: “Oh, you know me. I’m hopeless at math. Why don’t you do the numbers?” “My hair looks terrible today.” “I look awful in those photos.” “I made a real mess of that meeting at work yesterday.” These are all common parts of social conversation.

 

Observe what happens when you notice this behavior. Can you relate to others when they are putting themselves or others down? Does it feel familiar or even comfortable? Do you feel a sense of camaraderie? Can you see how ubiquitous this pattern is? Does it leave you feeling less alone, now that you can see you are not the only person with a sadistic inner voice? Similarly, do you feel compassion for others when they talk about themselves so negatively?

 

The more you can observe in this way, the more you will relieve yourself of the burdensome feeling that you are the only one with a problem, that you alone have a voice you should be ashamed of. Instead you may begin to feel a sense of connection with others, a feeling that you too are part of the shared human struggle, trying to find a way to be at peace amid all our conditioning and mental gyrations.

 

# # #

 

Carmel Valley CA Photographer Doug EllisMark Coleman is the author of Make Peace with Your Mind and Awake in the Wild.  He is the founder of the Mindfulness Institute and has an MA in Clinical Psychology. Mark has guided students on five continents as a corporate consultant, counselor, meditation teacher, and wilderness guide. He lives in Northern California. Visit him online at www.markcoleman.org.

 

Excerpted from Make Peace with Your Mind. Copyright © 2016 by Mark Coleman. Printed with permission from New World Library — www.newworldlibrary.com.

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06 Nov

Be Here Meow From Book Call of the Cats

Call of Cats_cvr_p.inddBy Andrew Bloomfield, author of Call of the Cats

 

Woody Allen once said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” That certainly was my experience. Thinking I was destined for greatness in Hollywood I found my life purpose instead in caring for a colony of wild cats.

 

My life as a down-on-my-luck aspiring screenwriter in Hollywood seemed uncomfortably close to that of Joe Gillis, the failed screenwriter in the classic film Sunset Boulevard. I ended up homeless as did he, but instead of escaping into the arms of faded movie star Norma Desmond, I was welcomed by an old love and her sister who lived ten miles from downtown Los Angeles. In the security of their small bungalow I could finally catch my breath, and spent my precious time (unsure of when I might get kicked out!) pecking away on my laptop, trying to manufacture the visions and dreams and high-concept twenty-word pitches I prayed would interest mercurial studio executives, mercenary independent producers, and beautiful, narcissistic rising stars.

 

Though the setting stimulating creativity, I became distracted by the horrific sounds of predators decimating kittens from a large colony of feral cats that made their home out back. Our backyard was a mini-jungle, burgeoned from what perhaps began as a lush backyard into a micro Amazon forest, replete with nonindigenous fronds, old-growth trees and thick veils of ivy oozing white sap. Normal neighborhood sounds dissolved here, replaced with chirps, caws, screeches, and the constant rustling of critters that called it home, including the feral colony. Had monkeys one day appeared and begun swinging from branch to branch, or the occasional rhino passed by, I would have taken it in stride.

 

These cats were not strays—abandoned domesticated cats; these were wild animals—untamed and, for the most part, untamable. They displayed a myriad of colors, shapes, and sizes. They were stealthy and skittish, shadows at night, ghostlike flashes in the trees, peering under the high wooden fence that separated our yards. Occasionally I would spot a startled eye, a black nose, a wispy tail through the broken slats in the fence. The felines were as wary of human contact as any wild animal. Though most looked like domesticated house cats, they were unequivocally feral.

 

I came to learn that their predators, coyotes and raccoons, lived in the latticework of dried arroyos that ran down out of the San Gabriel Mountains. And they knew where to come for fresh meat. Newborn litters and young kittens were particularly vulnerable. Their numbers would grow and then diminish. We reasoned — albeit uneasily — that this was nature at work and none of our business. The cats had been there before the sisters moved in and would probably outlast them.

 

However, one day the colony sat in semi-circle around a dead kitten, holding my gaze, seemingly asking for my help. Feral cats do not approach humans, and they do not make eye contact. So I knew this was an important moment. It had all the familiar earmarks of the universe stepping in to supplant my personal plans. And I do believe in intervention when called.

 

So began the tumultuous saga of my relationship with this group of skittish, wild, and sometimes fierce felines. I began to name, nurse, feed, house, rescue, and neuter them. Sleep was a rare commodity; I rose from my bed countless times to fend off their attackers. I maxed out credit cards on vet bills, and emergency-room visits for myself when mauled by the very cats I was trying to help.

 

I made mistakes along the way certainly, and I’m sure feral cat caregivers will cringe when they read about certain choices and decisions I made in trying to keep the colony safe. But sometimes that’s how one learns. But trusting one’s intuition, jumping in and doing.

 

I had found my purpose. And it looked strangely different from how I imagined it might when I was younger —or for that matter even a week before moving into the house! While obviously not many will be called to care for feral cats, I do believe one key in discerning one’s true purpose is by simply doing the thing right in front of one’s face. The thing closest at hand.

 

Our civilization is skewed toward unease. An unease born of not looking like, having, or accomplishing whatever an advertiser deems indispensable at the time—or what the idol-of-the-day embodies. Thus many strive to look like, or be like, or have the things we’re told will bring us satisfaction. But what is lost in that search is authenticity. Authenticity is being true to oneself—being comfortable in our bodies and content with our skill sets. I’ve met parking garage attendants who take great pride in their work and are more fulfilled in their lives as a result, than some Fortune 50 CEOs.

 

By committing oneself to the task at hand one finds freedom. Even is that task may seem mundane or trivial. This is exemplified by a group of spiritual aspirants from ancient India called the 84 Mahasiddhas who lived over a thousand years ago. They became accomplished masters in a single lifetime, and attained high levels of mastery through their vocational pursuits. That was the medium through which they became perfected. And surprisingly many of them worked at very mundane jobs. Some were beggars, gamblers, prostitutes, rice thrashers, washer men, cow herders and even thieves. The deeper meaning of their life stories still has relevance today: that one’s job or calling in life contains the potentiality for perfect contentment and satisfaction.  No matter what the outer appearance.

 

Andrew Bloomfield is the author of Call of the Cats: What I Learned about Life and Love from a Feral Colony. After running his own bookstore in Seattle, Washington, where he hosted spiritual teachers from all over the world, he caught the film bug and moved to Hollywood. It was there he found his true calling — caring for a colony of feral cats. He lives in Southern California.

 

Based on the book Call of the Cats. Copyright © 2016 by Andrew Bloomfield. Printed with permission from New World Library — www.NewWorldLibrary.com

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30 Sep

Improve your self-esteem with spirituality and prayer

By Kay Christy

Self-esteem is subjective.  We each determine for ourselves our self-worth.  This is the good news and the bad news.  Since this is a personal judgment based on our own assessment, we can change it at any time. Because it is our own assessment, we also create a groove of thought that is both positive and negative, which is similar to how a vinyl record plays with a needle in the groove.

 

This personal groove of thought is where I found myself wanting relief and change.  I desperately wanted to create something that would lay a new pathway in my brain and change the record that played endlessly in the back of my head because of addiction. I was constantly saying to myself that I was not good enough, too large and not right.  At my core, I was not loveable and I felt trapped by my negativity. These negative thoughts played over and over on repeat like how I used to play the Moody Blues song, “Nights in White Satin” on my 1970s record player.

 

There are many writers and inspirational speakers who talk about creative visualization. How using affirmations and positive thinking are intended to improve self-esteem, self-worth and self-perception.  I researched, read and practiced.  I referenced the writings of Louise Hay, Norman Vincent Peale, Wayne Dyer, Shakti Gawain and Marianne Williamson. These authors taught me a new song to sing and a new record to play.  They allowed me to focuses on statements that would improve my self-confidence. I thought of ideas such as how the power and potential of self-esteem could be gleaned from positive thinking.

 

I understood the concepts quickly, but had trouble incorporating them into my daily life.  In the years of my early recovery, I used the book “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron as a writing guide.  In the journaling process of morning pages, I would write messages to myself.  Simple sentences like – everything is just right.  God has my worries taken care of.  The universe loves you.  Today I am in recovery.  Next, I started writing these phrases on small cards and putting them in places where I would see them throughout my day.  They were taped to mirrors, on the refrigerator, the dashboard of my car and inside my wallet. Everywhere I looked, I was helpfully reminded of new ways to train my brain.  I used this same technique when I learned automatic writing to soothe my troublesome thoughts.

 

Within the rooms of the 12-step world of recovery, I felt understood. I learned that prayer could heal emotional and physical afflictions as well as self-loathing.  I learned that I could feel love and compassion for myself and others. I learned the power of surrender and what it feels like to completely release fear in my daily life. This was extremely beneficial for my self-esteem.

 

My journal writing progressed to a daily spiritual practice and I began to experiment with automatic writing where I used my non-dominant hand and let my inner voices of spirit direct my words.

In the beginning, I didn’t know what to call the written pieces.  They were journal entries, yet a bit like poems.  They were affirmations, yet something different.  Calling them prayers seemed right.  I used them in the way I had used the serenity prayer when I first discovering a life without alcohol and drugs.  I realized my mother used verses from the Bible to comfort herself.  My father used the affirmations of Norman Vincent Peale as his thought director. It was all fitting together for me. This helped me to keep writing and I felt happier and stronger.

 

When I pray, my thoughts shift to positivity and calm, which greatly enhances my day. My life becomes easier.  At some point, I stopped attempting to figure things out myself and surrendered to the truth of it.  I now feel better about myself as well as the world that surrounds me.  I can see possibilities that used to elude me.  I now feel more hopeful everyday and have inspiration to share with others.  For me, that is enough.  I am complete.  I am whole. I am love.

 

As I was writing this guest article for the Coffey Talk blog, I asked my internal guidance system to offer a prayer to go with the tagline:  Ancient Wisdom.  Modern Style.  Here is what I wrote for the Coffey Talk readers…

 

Ancient Wisdom

 

The elders gather to chant our names

there is drumming and food

laughter and fire.

 

We are held

and blessed

and washed clean in this highest space

 

Know this today in your modern world

They gather for us

 

The ancestor’s guide

The angels sing our praise

The spirits stand guard

 

We are whole

unique

and free

Know this today and each day forward.

 

About the Author

Kay Christy is  the author of “Gifts from Guidance” and a life coach who has been in recovery for more than 30 years. She received a bachelor’s degree in business from The Evergreen State College and a master’s degree in behavioral science from City University of Seattle. She resides in Olympia, Wash.

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09 Sep

Making One of Two

Why is it so difficult for us to imagine ourselves as One with the divine, with each other and with all of nature?  Why is it that we struggle so hard to repeat those rare unitive experiences in which we have found ourselves as One with the light, one with the divine, One—not two?

The reason is that we have all accepted as part of our human journey a hypnotic trance state called duality.  Our very finite natures seem to prove to us that we are not One at all, but two, a duality—separate and distinct from all else.  We are born and we die—thus proving to ourselves that we are not divine beings in a human experience—rather we are separate from the life force—i.e., we must be born into it, and die to it.

Our suffering also seems to prove to us that we are not One with the divine.  How, we say, how could the divine allow such suffering?  We don’t know that we could ask that question of ourselves in this way:  Why am I, as a divine being, allowing this suffering in my life right now?  What gift does it have to give me?  What piece of my Self, left behind, does this suffering remind me to bring home?

The duality trance state is actually a part of our journey to wholeness.  It will allow us to finish the creative process begun when we decided to take physical form. What we are trying to do is bring physical form and the formlessness of soul together into One entity.  But as Carl Jung reminds us, we must differentiate before we can integrate.

We must begin to see and clearly understand the distinctions between the false and the true.  There is only one way to do that:  We must experience both.  Like any other experience in life, once we have experienced it long enough, examined it thoroughly and begun to outlive the experience, we know what was false and what was true about that experience.  We know, for example, that we talked ourselves into marrying someone we actually knew on an intuitive level was not going to work out for us.  We know that our naiveté was misleading us into all kinds of false assumptions about the character of a boss who later turns out to be quite unethical.  We know these things on a deep personal level, because we have experienced them.  And we will come to know duality and Oneness in the same way.

We will experience the seeming separation of the human from the divine in enough incarnations to come to see that duality was a state of deep hypnosis—in which we totally believed an absolute falsehood.  There is no actual duality.  We only believe that to be true and, therefore, we act as if it is so.  When we get that, really finally get that, we will have finally finished the creation we started eons ago—the creation of Oneness.

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12 Feb

Bead For Life

Recently I had the pleasure of attending a “Bead for Life” party at a friend’s house.  BeadForLife is a Foundation committed to social responsibility and sustainable international development.  Basically this is a group of North American women who have joined together to support families in need in Uganda.  While these women were traveling in Africa, they fell in love with some beautiful beaded jewelry.  It turns out that the women living in the area around Kampala actually make these beads themselves and turn them into colorful necklaces, bracelets, anklets and chokers.  A heartfelt bridge was formed between these two groups of women, and now the jewelry is available for sale and all of the proceeds go to help needy families in Uganda.  To see the jewelry store, and find out how you can host a beadwear party or bring beads to your event, go to: www.beadforlife.com


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Lissa Coffey is an author, media personality, and the founder of CoffeyTalk.com (Reprinted with permission Copyright © Bamboo Entertainment, Inc.)

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