It is written in the Science of Mind textbook (Ernest Holmes) that “We must not be lukewarm in our conviction. We must know that we know.” (p. 159.4) Whether the conviction relates to our faith or spiritual understanding, or whether it’s about a direction or goal toward which we’re working, conviction is the solid knowing of a truth for our lives. It’s concrete, definite and specific.

Can our convictions be tested? You bet! When new evidence, doubt or confusion arises in the face of what you know (or thought you knew) to be true, this new information may well change (or slightly modify) your conviction. Holmes tells us that “This faith [in God] can exist only in such degree as the conviction is in line with Reality.” (p.285.4)  The foundation upon which you base your conviction or faith must truly be rock solid and steadfast if it is to stand the test of time, doubt, criticism, etc. You can feel conviction when its presence is known; there is absolute clarity in thought and an energy that never diminishes. It is a power of the Universe that can create the unformed through your word.

Recently I was sharing a business concept with a friend of mine, someone I can rely on to be honest, forthright, and diligent in uncovering the pitfalls of an idea, as well as extremely supportive and inspiring in problem-solving issues. She is such a strong and intelligent woman that I often found myself wavering before her questions when I shared a project goal or business dream with her. I easily buckled to her opinion and, on occasion, a dream would fade under her bright light of scrutiny and never come into being…up until now. I’m determined that this dream succeed and so I require someone of her intensity and wisdom to help me see where I haven’t looked deep enough. And she did that for me. Only this time, I have an attitude of gratitude for her special gifts.

My conviction, my faith, in this new dream has been ‘birthing’ itself for more than five years (in my head and heart). The conviction has taken hold and gives me strength to express in words what I see in my mind. Only recently was I moved to start putting my dream down in words, on paper, because, as we know, “…word gives form to the unformed.” (SOM, p.476.2)  The business idea still has much work to be done to achieve success. Other participants must be sought for their expertise. The idea, the words on the paper, can be modified, added, edited, changed, perfected…but my conviction to see it through is palatable. “Just words, without conviction have no power, and just conviction, without words, will never stir up latent energy.” (SOM, p.476.2) Trust me, the stirring has begun!

Behind the idea, the words, and the desire to create this business entity and project, is a power I cannot contain. It is the driving force that has been welling up inside me these many years. It is conviction to this cause, a firm belief in this higher purpose, that this idea will become a Reality in the world. The form will change as it evolves and grows. That is as it should be. “The tree that does not bend with the wind will be broken by the wind.” – Mandarin Chinese proverb.

Although I have  the idea and a plan, I do not know what the final result (Reality) of my dream looks like. It is an exciting time! I only know that it is much bigger than I alone can do. I am grateful for the people it has attracted; their enthusiasm is growing. More will come. But without conviction…the dream, the possibility, the desire to bring this idea into form… it will never become the Reality it has been waiting to be. This I do know!


The New Year’s holiday is a already a fading memory, the Super Bowl is done, and there’s a bit of a lull before the next big holiday sneaks up on us. In recent moments of reflection, I realized that (1) my husband and I have a special wedding anniversary coming up in May; (2) my desire to start a new business will soon become a reality; and (3) devotion to my spiritual journey and expression grows deeper every day. All of these reflections have at least one trait in common – commitment.

I believe everyone knows and expresses commitment in some way, most assuredly to an interest or passion that gives them joy, something which they have a part in creating. Such effort is relatively easy to give in such a case, even if challenges occur along the way – you keep going. However, there are some situations in life that we are not always able to end exactly when we want. It takes conscious and concerted effort to give positive attention to something that no longer makes your soul sing.

One meaning of “commitment” is to pledge or vow, a gift of the mind and heart to give of ourselves willingly to what we love or cherish. Another meaning is that of obligation, when a task is required out of duty or responsibility. A person can grow through duty, whether you enjoy the experience or not. It can take time to appreciate the experience, to look back on it eventually with fondness at the growth that occurred.

I’ve come to know that the greatest commitment we can make is to our own soul’s journey, to become the grandest expression of who we are or can become. In the words of George Bernard Shaw: “I want to be thoroughly used up when I die…” I want to explore all my talents and develop those I haven’t discovered yet… to fill my mind with the great wisdoms of the world… to love life, family and serve my community… to allow Spirit to express through and as the best me possible.

My commitment to Self, in this manner, in no way robs anyone of anything. In fact, it requires that I give more of myself to the world, for the Good of all and me. The Master Teacher, Jesus, taught “As you give, you receive.”

Commitment…dedication…focus…truly has its own rewards.

Creative Intelligence

I’m continually amazed at the way Creation takes form. While I know, with every fiber of my being, that we all have access to this incredible and intelligent Creative Power, I still get giddy when a new (and brilliant!) idea comes to mind. It’s like asking for guidance and then having a special secret revealed to me alone. The best part is that, as I allow an idea to enter my active, receptive consciousness, then decide if I want to act on it, and the more willing I am to open myself to this Creative Intelligence, the greater the flow of ideas that keeps coming to me. There is NO END to this supply!

Therefore, it can be deduced that, if there is no end to this supply of ideas, then the only limiting factor in this equation is me… my openness to receive them or the intelligence to recognize their value; my energy level to pursue them; my aptitude or connections to bring them into form. Me.

Once I recognize this, what do I want to do about it? I believe I have the choice and the responsibility for these gifts, these creative ideas that desire to express through me. Yes, I have free will and can choose on what I will place my attention. Yes, I can choose to express an idea in any number of ways or I can make its journey into form nothing but drudgery and chore, resisting the creative urge that will not be silenced. I may choose how I will express its creation, but its expression will be birthed. Yet I create nothing on my own. I do not even create my next breath – that is done for me, too. There is Divine Life, Spiritual Force, within each of us that supports and guides, inspires and expresses through us in unlimited ways and ideas.

The range of ideas can be anything: learning to play an instrument, having a loving relationship with your spouse or grandchild, designing a product or service that benefits others, providing leadership or support to an organization, writing an essay or a book, planning a special vacation, starting a business, training a pet, advancing your education, or whatever. This, and so much more, are possibilities that exist in Life. A spark of an idea can ignite anytime, anywhere. There is a Divine Intelligence guiding each creative spark. It knows exactly who and what is the proper match to bring that spark into full flame. The ideas can come easily. You must be willing to receive them.

How do you bring ideas into form? One option is to share it, to partner with someone who is better equipped to bring it into form. Another way is to acknowledge the idea, note it, and consider it for creation at another time. My favorite is when I can see the idea – in a split second – from its inception all the way to its complete form and delivery to the world. Those are the ones that produce such energy in my body and mind that the project becomes an obsession until its creation is complete.

Through every step of the process, I pray for God’s guidance and direction, and I listen for the answers. It’s just easier that way. Pray with me: I am open to the Creative Intelligence of Life, of Spirit. I am a receptacle for Divine Inspiration. I feel the power of Creation expressing through me! I know it is for Good and that it is coming from Divine Intelligence. I need not question it. I know this is mine to do. And so it is.

Faith and Belief

“If there’s one person who can do anything, it’s you!” said my son’s fiancé as we shared morning coffee during an unexpected day off for both of us. I needed to hear it. For a moment I borrowed her Faith and Belief in me to support my own wavering confidence. Where had Belief in myself gone? Does it ever really leave a person – or – just get pushed down and covered up by doubt and fear?

In the Science of Mind philosophy, “Belief” is defined as “conviction or feeling of the truth of a proposition or condition…Belief may go no farther than intellectual assent while Faith embodies a trust and confidence.” (SOM Textbook/Glossary, p.577) Given this definition, I looked up Faith a few pages away. It states “Faith is a mental attitude, so inwardly embodied that the mind can no longer deny it…” (SOM, p.591)

They work hand-in-hand. So I interpret it this way:  Belief in yourself, in your goals, or an expanded life vision, is a conscious act of affirmative thinking that, held in Mind long enough, grows into a Faith to sustain the activities until achievement is finally realized.

Based on my own experience, I know Belief can waiver in its intensity. It’s like a seed that needs the proper soil, sun, water and tending to fully develop into a healthy plant. The care continues. The plant (Belief) grows stronger until it can stand on its own with little conscious tending. The energy behind its growth is no longer totally dependent on daily nurturing. It takes on a life of its own, a strength and confidence (Faith) that it will mature, blossom and produce its fruit. That is what it was created for; that is all it can or will do.

How much simpler would our lives be if we could hold in mind what our purpose is long enough for it to manifest into form? If we could hold the Belief until it grew into Faith so that the fruit of our efforts could be born? Some do. Some do not. Often our brilliant ideas are abandoned and left to die for lack of nurturing. Our Belief is choked out by the weeds of doubt and fear and judgment and criticism. We can remove those weeds with prayer, persistence, courage and trust. A little attention each day to our vision, our idea, can keep it growing until it’s either evident that a better idea is taking its place – or – until Faith steps up with the energy to carry it through to its success.

There are a number of ways to bring your mind from doubt to Belief to Faith. Today, it was simply believing in the Belief someone else had for me, long enough to pull up some negative thoughts and get on with nurturing my life. What you focus on does grow!

First Things First

The first days of a new year can stir up so much in one’s psyche. The excitement of something new or starting over or beginnings of various kinds can either bring a person’s mind into focus of what needs to be addressed – or – the excitement can be a distraction. Keeping “First Things First” at the forefront can help you sort out what needs to happen next.

I first started using this slogan as a calming method many years ago. I found myself getting overwhelmed with all my busyness and caretaking activities; things that often were not mine to do. I could waste valuable mental energy planning scenarios, making lists, and not really accomplishing what needed to be done in the moment. By repeating this slogan during times of stress or overwhelm, it helped me regain focus of what was really important to do, see or be in that moment. I could breathe easier, clear my head, and attend to my project or task with efficiency and successful completion. I still use this method today, although much more easily and quickly.

The difference I see now is the types of stirrings that require a “First Things First” practice. Where before my focus was on concerns and what needed to be done for others, now it’s keeping myself from taking on too much at once. As those who know me can attest, I have many interests and a lot of energy! When I get a new idea to pursue, addressing the daily tasks can be a challenge. Like a brand new toy at Christmas, I want to play with the latest gadgets, the new ideas…not the old stuff that’s been around forever.

Yet, it’s the old stuff that has brought me to this point and allows me to appreciate and recognize the new. Awareness grows. Life experiences build wisdom. Beliefs are refined. Knowledge is obtained. Thinking expands. Comfort is found. And another new idea blossoms to stir the excitement again.

I know what it looks like when a chicken is running around with no head. Being overwhelmed can be like that – or worse! There’s a rhythm to life; we know this.  “First Things First” helps keep me in Life’s pulse so I can express to my fullest. It’s my friendly reminder of how to stay in sync with the Universe so that as many as possible of my new ideas can be born in their right time…one year after the next.

Happy New Beginnings!

Intention. Attention. Anticipation. Success.

The weeks leading up to the Christmas holiday season are filled with anticipation on many levels. Children write letters or lists for Santa and parents. Adults shop, bake or arrange outings. Friends and family travel or prepare for guests to arrive. Then, the New Year follows close behind and brings its own forms of anticipation. Whether there are special parties to attend or to host, resolutions to concentrate on, or decorations and packages to store away, many of us breathe a sigh of relief as the old year comes to an end and the new one begins. A fresh start.

We ask ourselves, “what next?” and prepare for change. This expectancy can be a feeling of welcome and excitement or one of fear and dread. We wonder what the new year will bring, because we recognize that with passing time, we WILL change. Life will provide a challenge to stimulate our learning. We will have another birthday. We might notice a change in our energy level, health or hair color (more gray?). Our children will grow. Friends move to and fro. People die. Babies are born. Everyone will become more knowledgeable in some way as we face change in life. The preference is to choose the desired change (or your response to it) rather than to sit idly by, waiting for whatever might befall you.

Anticipation often includes a feeling of hope or something you look forward to. Intention has to do with having a purpose in mind, an aim that guides your actions, to set a plan in motion (one that has certain objectives). Clear intentions are generally followed with the anticipation of success. However, anticipation alone, without any set intention in mind…while you might feel good for a time…soon fizzles in the fog.  Success in achieving your goals and objectives increases substantially when your intentions are determined first, aligned with your prayers and practical applications (attention), and energized with anticipation.

Anticipation requires active intention (a form of participation) to see the manifestation of the desire. True, something could manifest the way you anticipate without your having to physically do anything toward its creation. The act of anticipating, of focusing your mental energy on the desired outcome…and certainly a lesser form of attention than if you get physically involved in the creation process, such as pick up a hammer, write a goal statement, take a class, etc… could result in something being created, but in what form? 

To create what you truly desire, to bring something into existence (manifestation), requires: 1)  intention; 2) attention; and 3) anticipation, all working together to create the ultimate form – whether that form is a new job, a piece of art, creating a home, developing a relationship, writing an article, or experiencing a more positive attitude and new year.

Anticipation alone? Well, that’s like waiting for Santa to show up and bring you the one present you’ve always secretly wanted, but have never even put on your list; there’s bound to be disappointment. But add intention and attention to the equation of creating the life you envision, and some degree of success will always occur, if only that you learn from mistakes to improve your choices, grow awareness, or sharpen your clarity. Pray…and then do your part. Treat…and move your feet.

Intention. Attention. Anticipation. Success. Happy New Year!

Driving or Driven?

There is that “thing” in us that pushes us to express life, ever fuller, ever richer. We call it Divine Inspiration, motivation, urge or drive. One name does not fit all, nor does one way apply to how every individual expresses, whether in their career, artistic expression, or even the way they drive a car. My daily commute averages 60-90 minutes each way and exposes me to thousands of drivers. I often wonder if the people “drive” their lives the same way they drive their cars.

My drive to and from work is very calculated and planned, so that I can arrive at my destination in the least amount of time and incident-free. I pay attention to the traffic patterns presented during my commute, the time of day, even the time of month or season; such factors affect the number of cars on the road and the types of drivers, too.

For example, in the morning I stay in the far left lane of the highway until I’m about a mile from my exit. It may not move any faster than the other three lanes, but it’s the most direct and has the least number of drivers coming in and out of it. I’m on a mission: get to work! Also, if I need to suddenly stop, the shoulder is just to the left and I can avoid any rear-end impacts to those in front or behind.

As for my return commute in the evening, the fastest and smoothest-running lane is the one just right of the far left lane. The cars move at a steady pace and the lane seems less congested than the ‘fast’ lane. Again, it usually has the least number of drivers coming in and out of it.

So how do these driving habits relate to the way I express in life? In my career? My hobbies or activities? Maybe you can relate to these comparisons:

  • Have a plan, route or map to the destination. I’ve thought through as much as I can based on present observations and past experiences.
  • Use a signal or directional when making lane changes. I talk about it when I need to make a change in life, too. Admittedly, I’m not the most spontaneous person I know… and certainly not for those things in life that hold significant consequences. Go to a movie at a moment’s notice? Yes. Quit my job without having another lined up? Not any more.
  • Obey all traffic laws and the Laws of the Universe, even when no one is looking. I let people into my lane when they signal such an intention, and if someone wants to pass me in a hurry, I let them go by–and pray for their safety. The Universe keeps perfect score ALL the time, and I want my scorecard balanced and clean.
  • Buckle the seat belt every time I’m in a car and maintain my vehicle regularly. This relates to doing what’s healthy and wise for my body, mind and soul, being proactive in caring for this physical form that carries me through life, slowing down when things get too chaotic, maybe even pulling over or taking a break.
  • Stay aware. I notice when traffic or weather patterns change and I need to adapt. I watch for and avoid careless drivers. Learn and apply new skills. Take a different route or get out of the familiar lane. Sometimes it’s necessary to leave familiar patterns…to experience a new situation. 

That’s how we continue to grow and more fully express life.  LIFE: the gift that keeps on giving!

Vision Work: Mental Activity or Real Thinking?

In the Science of Mind philosophy, great emphasis is placed on thought and creating through your word. Since I’m currently doing a lot of “visioning” for my next stage of life, creating through my word has become very important. Thus, when I heard the following statement recently, it gave me pause about how I think: “Just because you’re having mental activity, doesn’t mean you’re thinking. Thinking is creative.” (Mary Morrissey)

Ernest Holmes, recognized as the founder of Religious Science, writes volumes about our thinking processes, whether consciously or sub(un)consciously. He encourages us to “learn how to think abundantly” and “instead of thinking of the problem, think of the answer…principles never have problems.” When we’re faced with a challenge and get all out of balance by it, it’s simply the Universe showing us an opportunity to resolve, a way to grow and to gain more knowledge, perhaps wisdom, too. In his book “The Science of Getting Rich,” Wallace D. Wattles claims that “…sustained and consecutive thought…is the hardest work in the world.” I agree with him.

It can be very easy to get thrown off-track. The power of the unconscious mind (ego), race consciousness, daily media updates about the negative state of the world, and even concerned friends can plant seeds of doubt, even fear, in our thinking about what needs to be done in certain situations – yours, theirs or a common goal. However, if we continue to think about the current circumstance, rather than raise our thinking vibration to the resolution level, our problems cannot be solved. We’ll just keep going around in circles, creating more of the same form. Albert Einstein taught us this when he said, “The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.”

What I’ve noticed by being in the world is that, generally, those who are most tapped into Divine Mind are the most difficult to disturb by any problem or uncertainty. And that is as it should be. The more we study and become immersed in living according to these Truth Principles, the more aware we become of our thinking habits, and the more we incorporate the belief that what we think about with regularity becomes our reality … then the more careful we are about who we hang out with, what we watch or listen to in the media, and WHAT we think, say and do. We hold our precious and sacred life vision before us and move accordingly in the world; not be of the world.

To solve any challenge or create your next vision, you must raise your thoughts, your thinking and words; lift them up to and come from First Cause. Be open to possibilities from ANY direction so you can recognize them in consciousness, active or otherwise, and use a Spiritual filter to decide what’s for your highest and best expression. (It’s important to differentiate between inspiration from Divine Source or advice from ego.) You may have to modify your habits, change your use of certain phrases, or take risks. If your vision is one based on Love and Good – for yourself and others – make that the focus of your thinking. “Life is a mirror reflecting your images of thought.” (Ernest Holmes)

So… if your vision is at least possible, what one thing would you do today to support it? Think about it.

Inspired by Integrity

I finally find myself in a work environment – corporate-based but within the educational realm – where I am inspired by the integrity and passion for service of the people, the leaders, within the organization for the customers (students) they serve.

There is an atmosphere of truly wanting to do the right thing, even if that means putting on hold all the other active projects so this immediate issue – be it a student in need or a policy that needs urgent support – can have full attention. No excuses. There is the expectation that everything can be better; a striving for higher quality, open and direct communication with one another, full disclosure and performing at your highest capability. This is my work heaven. This is where I thrive.

I drive to work each day excited to be going there and anxious to contribute to the greater good in any way I’m able. I know I’m appreciated for what I do, because no one is afraid or embarrassed to say “thank you” or “that was really helpful.” I expect a cooperative environment because that is what I’m putting forth in my work efforts. My tasks are interlaced with many others and yet everything I need to complete a project shows up, on time, and in the best way possible. It opens the door for equal reciprocation and cooperation…and so the cycle continues spiraling upward toward a greater respect for one another and one another’s talents.

My intent is to continue recognizing the good that surrounds me so I can reflect that back to others in my life…at work and elsewhere. I am so blessed to be surrounded by integrity, respectfully appreciated, and given the opportunity to express my talents for the greater good of those we serve. I am truly blessed.

Tea Leaf Wisdom

Time as he grows old teaches all things. (Aeschylus 525-456 BC)

I make the most of all that comes, And the least of all that goes. (Sara Teasdale, 1884-1933)

Strong reasons make strong actions. (William Shakespeare, 1564-1616)

The worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself. (Mark Twain, 1835-1910)

The cure for boredom is curiousity. There is no cure for curiosity. (Dorothy Parker, 1893-1967)

The first duty of love is to listen. (Paul Tillich, 1886-1965)

Let each man exercise the art he knows. (Aristophanes, 450-388 BC)