F is for Faith or Fear… Spirituality A to Z

A wise friend once told me, “You can’t have Fear and Faith at the same time – choose.”

Yes, you get to choose. And to the degree you focus on one or the other, your choice determines how you will fare through any situation or decision.

What I’ve discovered as I contemplate this equation is that it takes very little Fear or Faith to tip the scales in the other direction, depending on the situation.

Fear-Baby-2The seed of Faith is and always has been present, waiting to be nurtured, cultivated, and allowed to grow to fuller expression. The weed of Fear has always been with us, too, although it was initially in our infant make-up only as the fear of falling and loud noises. All other fears developed as we grew, coming from those around us and society in general, especially through the media. Fear is a learned characteristic.

It takes a concerted effort to not get caught up in the hysteria of news events and tragedies that bombard our psyche on a daily basis. Yes, sad things happen. Yes, some of those acts are brutal, senseless, and unforgiveable. As long as we continue to view and share and repeatedly talk about such cruelty, that is what will continue being created in our minds and our world… and Fear will maintain its foothold in our race consciousness. We need to stop replaying the tapes or teaching these fears from one generation to the next. There is another option.

Be selective with what you fill your mind and thoughts. Be informed and be objective, yet learn to be non-attached to the form of negative experience. If the acts of violence you see projected through the media are too much, then turn off those programs!

Let me clarify, learn to separate your awareness from the act itself…to look beyond it…and focus on the person or people behind it. While it may take some effort and a change in your own beliefs to accept it, that person or those people are just like you and me – human, God-beings in physical form.

For whatever reason, they are coming from a place of Fear, brought on by misguided information, erroneous instruction, habitual cultural or religious teachings that have gotten off-track at some point. When you react with Fear…rather than responding with understanding, love, objectivity, non-attachment, or forgiveness – and a Faith in the God within …then you and I only perpetuate the cycle of Fear and it becomes stronger in everyone involved.

While this level of Fear may describe a global situation or local tragedy, and be perhaps a most difficult challenge to address with Faith and Love, you can apply the same awareness in your everyday life. For example, a toddler has complete Faith that his parent or grandparent will catch and protect him from falling when he throws himself backward in their arms. The only time Fear may eventually appear is if no one catches him…time and again…and trust is broken with that person and caution takes precedent in future behavior.

You move from Fear to Faith when you try again after a failed relationship. No matter how bad it was before, you believe and trust that it MUST be better next time. There’s a time for healing and renewal, eventually leading to a rebirth of Love.

There might also be Fear about changing jobs or starting a business. Previous experiences of non-success (AKA mistakes or failures) may slow your decision-making process to the state of paralysis, making NO decision for long periods of time…until, finally, you MUST listen to that voice of Faith and take at least one step in the direction of your dream simply because the voice of Creation won’t be quiet.

When properly recognized, Fear can be a useful tool as an early warning system within our psyche. Acknowledge it. Look at it. Reveal the love-floating-heartssource causing it and resolve to move beyond it through Faith in a Higher Power, Unlimited Intelligence and Eternal Love.

Grow within you a belief that everything DOES eventually work out for the Good of Life overall. You can stay in Fear…or move forward in Faith and watch your world change. You choose.

D is for Decide… Spirituality A to Z

I love how Universal Principles follow the alphabet in a natural and logical progression. Thus far we have looked at how we need to (A) ASK for what we want. Then, it is critical to (B) BELIEVE in what you have asked for; that it is already a possibility in the Mind of God. This abundant Universe will most likely provide you with (C) CHOICES from which you can select the best options…and usually better ones than you could have thought for yourself. However, until you DECIDE, take action, nothing happens. D…is for Decide.

“It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires a great deal of strength to decide what to do.”  Elbert Hubbard

You can ask, believe, and review the choices in front of you, but until you act…until you make a decision …it’s as if you’re standing in front of an open refrigerator full of food expecting a meal to jump out at you – all prepared and ready to eat. It’s not going to happen! You need to select/decide what you wish to eat, prepare it or cook it, and put it on your plate.

The same is true in Life. The same is true about your thoughts and beliefs – you can and do choose them. And as a result of deciding what you think and believe the majority of the time, you create your world. Your beliefs, consciously created or absorbed through culture (race consciousness), become thoughts, actions, and eventually your life. Gandhi said it wonderfully:

“Your beliefs become your thoughts… Your thoughts become your words… Your words become your actions… Your actions become your habits… Your habits become your values… Your values become your destiny.” – Gandhi

Every step in this process involves making a decision. No one thinks for you. No one speaks for you. After you come of age, no one decides your habits or your values. You get to decide what you will keep as your own from childhood – or from ANY experience. It’s empowering! Each one of us gets to decide how we will respond to Life’s challenges. Each one of us gets to decide how we will serve or be in the world. And each one of us gets to be responsible for what we decide.

Whether we’ve been aware of it or not, these Universal Principles (and more) are how Life is created. Whether we acknowledge the Principles through using them – try to ignore them or work around them – they’re still in place responding to our thoughts, words and actions. Whether our experiences are of our own conscious creation or as a result of the world’s impact on us, these Principles, these Laws, rule. It’s so much easier to work WITH the Universal Laws than to keep getting knocked down because we refuse to acknowledge them.

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”  J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Every day is your opportunity to Decide anew. You can continue on the path you’ve been traveling or take a new one, even if it’s only to test out something different for awhile – then Decide again. Perhaps it’s time to try a different approach in a relationship or a new attitude at work. You might be thinking about job options or an alternate living arrangement. Maybe you want to express your art or fashion choices with new designs. It might be time to go back to school or change careers or stop working altogether. Whatever it is that keeps coming up in your thoughts, it will not go away until the issue is addressed and a decision is made.

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Then, once you make a decision, one based on that Spiritual “knowing” (intuition)… one that has no doubts about being the right choice… amazing things begin to happen. It’s the kind of decision where you know that you know that you know. There’s no sound of the ego voice debating in your head. Everything unfolds in absolutely perfect timing for your highest and best Good, and your life expands in Joy and Beauty and Love and Peace.

If one advances confidently in the direction of one’s dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. – Henry David Thoreau

I have learned to trust Divine Power by starting with little decisions, witnessing the results, and gradually working up to grander ones as my “mental equivalent” has grown. As my trust grows, my choices and decisions have gotten larger, too. My confidence in Spirit has increased. My vision and life has expanded in wonderful and loving ways I only dreamed of years ago.

My challenge now is to ask and believe in ideas and endeavors that heal me, challenge me, and grow me in areas dear to my heart…maybe even make me a little nervous because they’re so much bigger than I used to dream. True, it can be about acquiring material things, and those are also in my realm of possibility thinking. Yet, they’re not the only areas of growth on which I must decide.

The decisions I make today are more often about the person I’m creating inside this human form. The focus is on becoming the highest expression of God I can envision. And just when I think I’ve achieved the best “me” possible…that this version is decidedly so much better than what I used to be…another choice presents itself and the A-B-C-D process begins anew. And so it is.

C is for Choice… Spirituality A to Z

C is for Choice … and has been my favorite Spiritual aspect of Life for many years. We have so many choices! The only limitations are those we place on ourselves. Even NOT making a specific or direct choice is making one. NOT having a CHOICE is NOT an option. Isn’t that great? That means there’s no excuse not to be involved in what kind of life you ultimately enjoy or experience and how you respond (react) to it. You choose.

When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice. – William James

I suppose I could stop there. I mean, really, how much is there to say about Choice? Actually, I can’t say enough about it! It’s been the foundation for my life’s direction and creation for so long – my underlying mantra – my driving force and inspiration – that it deserves more than just a short paragraph. I believe so deeply in the freedom of Choice and live it so passionately, that it’s actually irritated folks I know from time to time. They get tired of me saying, “You can do _____ OR you can do _____ OR ….”

Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice. – Ayn Rand

Mostly, I think, the reason for the upset is because I don’t buy into being stuck…there’s a choice for everything:  job, home, relationship, attitude, religious focus, hair color… the list is endless. There’s no reason to feel trapped. Each experience brings with it the opportunity to make a Choice each step of the way. Each Choice brings with it a consequence (good or bad). One Choice at a time, Life unfolds before us and lays down the path on which we tread.

Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim. – Aristotle

Perhaps the biggest Choice to make is what we “think” about anything, especially our attitudes and beliefs. No matter how hard our parents tried…no matter how hard we try with our children or grandchildren… with our spouse or anyone else for that matter… we can’t be told or dictated to about what to think. The mind, if nothing else, is the one sacred space we call our very own. The secrets of our mind are safe behind sealed lips. Let not the eyes betray us. We have the Choice to think thoughts based in positive energy and Universal flow, or to sink to depths that would require lengthy ropes to pull us out. Still, it is a Choice.

We need to teach the next generation of children from day one that they are responsible for their lives. Mankind’s greatest gift, also its greatest curse, is that we have free choice. We can make our choices built from love or from fear. – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

With such a powerful tool at your disposal, where do you direct your Choice? Perhaps, it’s how you will use your time… what approach you will take to getting well… who you will share your life with… where you will go to school or on vacation… what attitude you will bring to work today… what priorities you will address in any given moment. Does Choice not offer the most incredible opportunities to create a life uniquely your own?

A life lived of choice is a life of conscious action. A life lived of chance is a life of unconscious creation. – Neale Donald Walsch

Choice, when done with Love behind and through it, for the highest Good of yourself and what you can offer to the world, is a gift of God beyond compare! It’s pure, Divine Intelligence speaking to us as that still, small Voice. Listen well…and choose with Love.

Spirituality A to Z

As often happens when I pay attention to Spirit, an idea will just “pop into my head” at some odd time and be totally irrelevant to what I’m supposed to be thinking about or doing. That is the case now as I am inspired to create a series of essays on “Spirituality A to Z.”

Thus, for the next few months I will focus on one word or phrase of spiritual significance and offer a New Thought perspective on the topic…from A to Z. If you have any particular words or phrases you would like to offer for a topic, feel free to send them to my church email address:   pccrs2945@gmail.com.

 

A is for Ask begins our series. Of course! Asking is what generally begins anything of significance in our lives. Perhaps the most famous of Bible quotes on this word comes from Matthew 7:7: “Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.” (KJV) Later, Matthew also wrote (Ch. 21:22): “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”

The first verse is part of a long list of sayings, doctrine, which is credited to Jesus and that we are instructed to follow. The second passage came after an incident where Jesus had come upon a fig tree that had no fruit. He was hungry but found only leaves on this tree. It is reported here that Jesus told the tree it would never again grow any fruit and the tree immediately withered away. Jesus explained to his amazed disciples that if they had such faith and no doubt, if they asked in prayer, they could do the same type of thing, whether it was a fig tree withering or moving a mountain.

Whether real or metaphorical, the story provides clear direction for all of us. If you want to create something in your life, claim an experience for yourself, or attract an opportunity of some kind…you must ASK for it or declare it so. The desire needs to be as clearly described as you know how to do. There should be passion, feeling, in the declaration, preferably positive emotions toward the longing. The point is, if you don’t ASK directly for what you choose to experience in your life, the Universe (God, Spirit) can only provide to you the average of what your thoughts focus on most of the time.

Ernest Holmes in the Science of Mind textbook wrote that asking also refers to mental acceptance of a situation or thing. For example, if we desire new employment, a home, greater health, money or a certain type of relationship, then we need to pray as specifically as we are able for that desire. Put as much detail into your prayer or mental work as you can until you embody the idea so completely that there’s no doubt in your mind about its creation. You may need to repeat this process daily. It’s your fears you need to change, your doubts that need convincing. Only in this way can we co-create with God through the Laws of Mental Equivalent and Cause and Effect.

On the other hand, let’s say you’re not feeling well and you think (belief) you’re not going to get any better. So you isolate, stop seeking treatment or taking medications. You don’t call the doctor or anyone who might be concerned about you. As a result, no one knows and no one can help you. And you have created exactly what you think and believe was going to occur. The Laws still work!

You MUST ASK to receive your Good, even if the asking is just a mental operation…like a thought… a prayer…or a whisper. This is not about wishing or day dreaming. This is about choosing what you desire to have manifest in your life, your experiences, and then declaring it so as though it’s already a fact.  Because, in fact, it is…in the “Mind” of God. Once you’ve claimed your Good, it’s already done Spiritually in that moment. It’s just a matter of human time – and maybe with some action steps of your own – before you see the physical demonstration show up in your life.

So how much Good are you willing to claim for yourself? Ask, and you shall receive. It works for me. I know it works the same way for you. It’s a Divine Law, a Universal Principle. God can only do for us, what God can do through us. Ask away…believe it’s done…and watch what happens in your life. Hallelujah! 

A Positive No

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where saying “no” to someone was actually a positive thing to do? It can be a way of declining a suggestion you may not want to experience. This, of course, can be done in various ways and intonations, depending on how much you feel you’re being pushed into something or who is involved. However, a Positive No has its own unique sound.

A Positive No comes first from Love. This can be Love for oneself, a conscious form of self-care. For example, you might decide not to participate in an activity with friends because you really need rest from a busy day or week. It can be Love for the safety of another, such as shouting a commanding “NO!” to a child wandering too close to a busy street.

A Positive No can also be utilized when you’re setting boundaries with others who have been used to getting only a “yes” from you in the past. It can be particularly difficult to say “no” to one’s children at times; especially when their circumstances are dire and help is limited. However, continuing to do (whatever) for anyone when they could and should do it for themselves becomes an enabling pattern that cripples everyone in the relationship. It becomes a hard habit to break, resentments build, self-esteem suffers, and relationships wither.

Someone needs to take the first step. In such a situation either person can make the change … the one who has been repeatedly asking for help or the person providing the help. It only takes one person with the awareness to see the cycle appearing again, and then having the courage to take action – in a loving manner – so that both parties can become disentangled from each other and begin the steps toward a mutually respectful relationship. The goal is to create an independent or interdependent, loving connection …rather than one of co-dependence and suffocation.

I now find myself – as one of thousands (maybe millions) of other Baby Boomers do – sandwiched between caring for aging parents in some way, as well trying to help out adult children and perhaps grandchildren. I question myself as to whether a situation really calls for me to participate and what my motive is when I choose to…or not.  There are sure to be some situations when the reason is not so clearly defined and others when there is no doubt at all what I must do. In each instance, I have the option to say “yes” or “no.”

I keep in mind a lesson taught to me on my first airline flight 25 years ago:  I must put on my oxygen mask first BEFORE I can help anyone else, including my child. If I can’t breathe or survive, I won’t be able to help them. I once heard motivational speaker Jim Rohn say, “The best thing you can do for the poor is not become one.” Sometimes that means making the difficult decision to decline a loved one’s request for help, especially if it puts you at great risk in some way…financially, emotionally, physically, etc. The ideal, of course, is a mutually beneficial arrangement – where everyone shares in the risk and success …where everyone grows from the experience.

I must remember to ALWAYS come from a place of Love…not from fear or anger or guilt…or even a self-imposed obligation. My heart and mind will know whether I am doing a service or an injustice. As long as I listen to the still small voice of the Divine Presence, I will be rightly guided. As long as I heed God’s direction and not ego’s, even a “no” can be a “yes” for the Highest Good of all involved.  And so it is.

An Independent New World

On a day of fireworks, picnics and barbecues, our country and “We the People” are celebrating, for the 237th time in its history, its Declaration of Independence from oppressive government ruling. The United States is a relatively young country, still growing, still learning to find its way in the world, still battling its own evolution toward greatness. We are a tribe of visionaries, idealists, revolutionaries, and inventors.

I gave some thought to what kind of country I would create and celebrate. Perhaps you’ve had thoughts about what changes you would make, too. I pray for the day when we will honor a world:

…     where Peace and Harmony are so commonplace that war and conflict are just a sad memory;

…     where Abundance and Kindness are so prevalent that it’s unheard of for any person or child to go to bed hungry or be violently abused or live on the street;

…     where Healing happens so naturally and completely that, although medical care, services and technology are available for everyone equally, it is rarely needed;

…     where a respect for Nature’s Intelligence is embraced and supported so that the water, plants, animals and foods are free from artificial enhancements or chemicals, are wholly nutritious and plentiful for everyone;

…     where Creativity is encouraged in one another so that we graciously contribute to society our many productive talents and skills, and compensation is generous and fair;

…     where Prosperity is a commonly-held, Universal idea so that financial debt on a personal, local, national or global level is an oddity and quickly resolved, without dispute, dominating negative forces or debilitating political negotiations;

…     where Generosity, Truth, and Compassion replaces greed, deceit, and exploitation forever;

…     where Love and Cooperation means to live in community with all people without judgment or fear, accepting differences with curiosity, and embracing diversity into our lives with Joy and a belief in Oneness;

…     where demonstrating Good is more important than demonstrating superiority;

…     where Gratitude – for this life, these privileges, opportunities and freedoms – is experienced and shared in every waking moment, where every prayer begins with “thank you.”

I know this vision is possible. I see pieces of it in my life and all around me, in my spiritual community, in this country and other places around the world. If you share this vision or something similar, then now is the only time we have to make it a reality in the world…to bring such a world into visible and livable form. The only way for it to grow and expand is for each of us to embody this vision, this ideal, and be those qualities we want to see manifested around us…to BE the change you wish to see in the world.

We have Divine Mind within us to guide, direct and support our efforts for Good. We must exercise Wisdom based on Love for one another. And just as light dissipates darkness – not with force but by simply being light – so will Love dissolve fear through Divine Power directed with positive intention. Voltaire wrote: “With great power comes great responsibility.” The Law of Cause and Effect is precise in its creative execution. Be careful and conscious of what you pray for and about, because that is likely what you will experience, attract, and for which you will be responsible. In the words of Jesus “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.” (Luke 12:48 KJV)

Our country’s forefathers had a vision they believed in so definitively that they risked everything to initiate the freedoms we enjoy today. They were willing to be responsible for their actions, to fight and to die for their vision. Today, men and women are still standing on the front lines of freedom, offering their lives for a better world. The work is not over.

We must live these Spiritual Principles each day. We must hold the vision and allow God to guide our actions for Good. Teach this to your children and friends and associates. Start where you are with what you know and what you can do. Start now by expressing appreciation for all the blessings you enjoy, no matter how great or small. Start today…to create the vision and our future world…together.  Happy Independence Day!

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Dawn & Dusk: Danger & Delight

It’s not often I get out of bed before sunrise. However, today was one of those mornings. As I made my way to the grocery store to fetch a supply of coffee and juice, I was reminded of my drive home the previous evening, right around dusk. The reminder was about the two most “dangerous” times of day to drive, dawn and dusk, and I had managed to do both in less than 12 hours. The experience now had different meaning.

The lesson of danger had its roots in my early driving lessons with my dad. He would have me drive not far from where we lived…on the backcountry roads…two lanes of concrete weaving their way through the wooded areas like the many small streams that paralleled our course. Since my dad worked long days, we would either drive before he left for work or when he came home after the sun had nearly set. In either case, there was little danger of me running into another car. However, only a hint of the sky’s light was available for my “daytime” lessons.

The danger he warned me about came from the animals that lived in the woods and the potential of them crossing the road during their normal feeding times. Deer, raccoons, owls, foxes, snakes, rabbits or mice were likely to be moving about in the dim light. I was more than concerned about the damage such an encounter would do to my car. I learned to drive with extreme caution and developed an abnormally heightened awareness of my surroundings.

I still do visual scans of both sides of the road, searching for movement at the point where my headlights meet the dark shadows. I test my skill in owl_GrtHornedspotting camouflaged critters in the bushes or meadows, or look for the reflection of my headlight in an open eyelid, a shadow crouching in a ditch. Once in awhile a large bird, flying fast and low across the road in front of me in pursuit of fleeing prey, will actually cause me to flinch or duck in anticipation of a possible collision. (Yes, it makes me smile, too.) The knowledge gained from those early lessons and innumerable animal sightings since have only validated the importance of being especially attentive when driving at dawn or dusk.

As I now live in a somewhat urban setting, the sound of a haunting train whistle is more likely to be heard than an owl’s screech. Still, there are opportunities to travel backcountry roads and encounter wildlife. I drive more slowly than limits dictate. My attention is focused on an unexpected but welcome encounter with four-legged or winged creatures. I get lost in the moments of anticipation and time has no meaning. There is only an awareness of the interconnectedness of Life, of Nature, if one is willing to pay attention to it.

This awareness brought a new lesson to my mind during the recent dusk-lit drive. As the sun settled quickly behind the mountains in the west, the last sparks of light shot toward the darkening sky and clouds as if flares were set off to capture someone’s attention. I likened the shadowy road before me as Life, my current existence of expression and uncertainties in this world of form. The sun’s rising that morning symbolized my birth into this Life. The setting sun is the time of transition, when my soul will at last depart this world and move along to its next adventure. And what of those sparks of light? Those are the joy my soul will feel when it sees before it how much more Life there is yet to unfold and experience in the eternal Now.

Yes, I will keep my eyes on the road and surrounding landscape…to be aware of potential dangers, wonders, challenges and exhilaration on my journey. I am also blessed by and grateful for the light and darkness of each day…for all the shadows and creatures that cross my path or peek at me from the sidelines as I go by. Life is full and rich and filled with delightful, wonderful lessons. Thank you, God!

Face-to-Face & Heart-to-Heart

Those folks who spend any length of casual time with me or friends who know me well will acknowledge my kinship with communication technology (e.g., tablet, laptop, email, texting, social media, etc.). I’ve always been somewhat of a geeky introvert (yes, I have) so these forms of “talking” or staying in touch with people have been my favored or preferred methods of contact. I enjoy writing and playing with words. Just because I have a smartphone doesn’t mean I use it for conversation; it provides my link to email accounts, texts and the Internet. However, lately I’ve been increasing my personal face-to-face contact with people and with surprising results.

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” ~ Nelson Mandela

I’m sure part of my past hesitation to communicate verbally stems from being hushed as a child. The adage “Children should be seen and not heard” was a constant reminder that I had not yet earned the right to speak with any wisdom or knowledge of life. I developed a fondness for collecting quotations that expressed what I could not find the words to say. I carried the idea of being reserved into adulthood for many years, speaking only when I truly felt passionate about a particular situation, injustice, cause or favorite topic. Then, perhaps not so oddly, I majored in Communication at university and now speak every week before a growing congregation. My writing, speaking and teaching topics are all spiritual in nature. What isn’t?

“When we talk about understanding, surely it takes place only when the mind listens completely – the mind being your heart, your nerves, your ears – when you give your whole attention to it.” ~Jiddu Krishnamurtiheart

What I have discovered to be my biggest aid in communicating with people is…(drum roll, please)…to be authentic…to come from my God-Self and not my ego-self. As long as I let go of all the concerns of what people will think, how they will react to what I say, how cleverly I present the message, how long I go on, whether they understand (or not) the words I use – as long as I release all those thoughts and speak from my heart or pause in silence – the meaning will be understood. Sometimes, such “speaking” comes from just being present in their presence…to hold a sacred space where they, too, can be their authentic selves.

“We have two ears and one tongue so that we would listen more and talk less.” ~Diogenes

Some of my favorite moments have been sitting with a friend, lost in our individual thoughts, connected at the heart-level, and joined in the spirit of the moment. I’ve done that quite often this week, relating with people I’ve just met, known for a few months, or with friends whose lives have mingled with mine for decades. It takes more effort to meet face-to-face and share heart-to-heart; no doubt about it. I come home from these experiences gently used and deeply satisfied, content to have been part of someone’s journey for part of a day or to help with some form of healing. I’d like to think their experiences are as positive as mine. I know that being in their presence has revealed in me a desire to do more of this type of “talking.” I am grateful for the soul exchange and want to attract more of them.

“Sometimes it’s a form of love just to talk to somebody that you have nothing in common with and still be fascinated by their presence.” ~ David Byrne

As I go through my work day with technology and assorted gadgets, messaging for the sake of efficiency, writing on the computer rather than long-hand, I’m drawn to my phone. I open my contacts database and peruse the list for the name and number of someone dear to call after work. I pull out my note cards and write a message to go with the package to be mailed. The note cards provide just the right amount of space for generous love and few words. I complete my tasks quickly and efficiently so that, when the next opportunity presents itself to hold sacred space for a dear friend, I will be ready to do so…with a smiling face and a loving heart.

“Talk low, talk slow, and don’t say too much.” ~ John Wayne

Tires, Tools & Toes

In my early (young and naïve) adult life I saw no real advantage to having a good set of tires on my car. When money was tight, I’d even purchase “recaps” rather than real tires. I still got from point A to point B and saved a lot of cash in the process. Needless to say, I usually wasn’t the one in charge of maintaining the cars in the family. Many years later, however, after driving through snowstorms, rainstorms, off-road, back roads and highways, transporting children and grandchildren, and being able to experience a number of different vehicles in the process, I’m absolutely convinced that a good set of tires with thick and gripping tread is more important than the comfort of the driver’s seat or any other “extras” that attract us to buy a certain vehicle.

This was made particularly clear to me a couple of years ago when my husband and I were on a road trip through the Rocky Mountains…in March…in a blowing snowstorm…going downhill (faster than I preferred)…with a lot of other cars trying to do the same. My car was not aerodynamic; it was rather lightweight, too. Did I mention the blowing gale-force winds? We had never driven together in conditions like this or with me as the passenger. Yet we stuck to that frozen road better than in any machine I’d ever driven.

ImageThe man who sold us the all-wheel-drive car a few months earlier had also thrown in an almost-new set of snow tires and, being intelligent enough to put them on the vehicle by the first snow, we were now the benefactors of an amazing driving experience through the worst conditions ever! Our path was so securely held by those tires, that we confidently and fearlessly journeyed forward. No subsequent conditions ever stopped us from traveling to our destination.

“It’s important to have the right tools for the job,” my dad had told me more than once. Again, life (and my income) didn’t always provide everything exactly as I wanted or needed, so sometimes I had to improvise. That could mean a project would take longer or not look as good as I had pictured in my mind. It might even result in unnecessary aches and pains due to the exertion of more muscle than I would have expended if I’d only had the right tool in the first place.

Having the right tool for the job DOES make a big difference, even if there’s a learning curve to using it. The project gets done more efficiently, looks more professional, and you often don’t have to buy additional materials to replace the ones you messed up the first time (or two) due to improvising. It’s an experience that benefits you in numerous ways. You grow through the process, perhaps learning patience along with new skills. There’s that sense of accomplishment when it’s done correctly. The right tools give you power to create your vision!

So what about toes? They do serve more than one purpose, according to experts. First they provide balance to the body. In addition, extensive, scientific testing shows that they help accelerate the running function in conjunction with the heel and the ankle. I’m content for the balance aspect (and being able to squeeze my toes into mud in the summer garden).

What is the purpose of all this “Tires, Tools and Toes” stuff? All of them relate to Divine Source (you knew there was a connection)…and can serve as our reminder when performing routine tasks.

  • Like the tires…when I’m firmly grounded and living with a deep belief of my connection to God, grounded in my beliefs, I don’t swerve or waiver in my life’s purpose and intentions to express fully, confidently and fearlessly as I journey ever forward in this world.
  • When I use the right tools to keep my life working properly – tools like meditation, studying, praying – my consciousness expands and I powerfully co-create with Spirit a life filled with joy, happiness, abundance, and love.
  • As for the toes, I pay attention to the little things in life so I can stay in balance. As I simplify my material wants, my needs are generously provided. Along the way, I take time for fun.

 Everything has purpose and meaning. Today, this is mine.