Moving Into Awakening

Awakening: 7 Steps to Ease the Labor Pain of Spiritual Rebirth

By Juliet Tang

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

Awakening is a unique journey that can only be experienced. The closest description I can come up with is that it feels like finally seeing the true colors of the world for the first time after having taken off a pair of tinted glasses that was tied around your eyes since birth. As you are running down the path with enthusiasm, you realize just how magnificent everything is and you are eager to inhale all its beauty. You long to find all the treasures you never thought were there, and every time when you find something and hold it in your hands to examine its intricate details, you remember it is something you’ve left behind long ago. In fact, the entire journey looks familiar.

Eventually, it dawns on you that this is the path that takes you back to your true origin and the further you go, the more illuminated your path becomes until you see an infinite number of paths all around you and billions of souls traveling at their own pace back to the same place, a place that has birthed the light.

With the excitement of finally starting a new chapter in the journey comes a series of challenges and confusions that can be overwhelming. After all, rebirth is never without its labor pains and some can be quite intense to the point of making us wonder whether this is worth it. There is no “one size fits all” formula or linear path that works for every individual; however, these are some steps that can be taken to ease the impact of the speed bumps. Usually, the more out of alignment we are prior to awakening, the more intense the journey can be felt on all levels because there is much that needs to be unlearned.

It is a journey of letting go and home coming.

Step 1. Acknowledgement

“Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one area I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive… And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” – J.K. Rowling

Many would describe one of the triggers of the awakening process is hitting rock bottom. The common feelings accompanying this step are often depression, anger, despair and loneliness. It can be a dark period of time when we feel no matter how much we try, we continue to slam our faces against the cold brick floor of the pit we have fallen into. We condemn life and everything in it believing it has all been a mistake and we have reached an end.
It is only when we can acknowledge the defeat of the existing paradigm will we be able to liberate ourselves from it and awaken to our true nature. When we are faced with our greatest challenges and darkest moments after having failed to change what is outside of ourselves, we often are left with only one choice — taking the journey inward and changing ourselves.

As difficult as this step is, being in a place in the absence of what we desire in life be it love, joy or fulfillment becomes the motivational factor that pushes us to journey within to a sacred place where higher wisdom can be accessed.

This step is the starless dark night before dawn and the ferocious storm before the rainbow. Many refer to it as the dark night of the soul. As debilitating as the step is, underneath the pain is tremendous love and grace that allows us to journey back to who we truly are if we choose to, but the journey must be taken outside of the mind and existing beliefs. The more we can question every belief we hold onto and see beyond the thin veil separating what’s real and what’s illusive, the more we will be able to see our existing system as a mirage created by others around us to maintain a façade of this dream state.

We begin to realize just how heavy our baggage is from carrying and living those beliefs that we have internalized from our caretakers, teachers, peers and culture without ever questioning whether they represent who we are.
Eventually, we begin questioning ourselves, “If I am not my beliefs, who am I?”

Step 2. Trust

“Faith is trust. Faith is a deep sense of connectedness with Being.” – Eckhart Tolle

Trusting that all will work out for the greatest good when nothing seems to be is a crucial step in the process of awakening. It can also be one of the most frightening steps because it requires a giant leap of faith. Personally, I feel it is the catch-22 of awakening. We simply cannot move forward without at some point making a deliberate choice of being willing to let go of any and everything. However, without knowing how long the tunnel is and whether we will ever see the light at the end, we hesitate with each step because we are consumed by fear of possibly making the wrong move hence losing everything we’ve ever worked for.

This step always involves much fear of change. As miserable as we may be with certain aspects of our lives and as much as we yearn for the better, we are so used to things being one way that we fear once we change, we will change for the worse and end up with regrets. This is why we often choose to stay in failing relationships and careers. We tell ourselves we’ve invested too much in something, that the only way we may change it is if we are guaranteed some kind of success while that very belief keeps us trapped in less than satisfying circumstances for years and decades.

Everything in life is energy that flows to us and from us. When we refuse change, we are placing roadblocks to limit or stop the energy flow and eventually causing stagnation in life force energy. Blocked energy in our bodies creates dis-ease while stagnant energy in our lives creates distressing situations. When we say to ourselves we are stuck and we are not moving forward, we are essentially referring to the lack of energy flow.

The truth is, we are change and life is change. In 1 year, 98% of the subatomic particles in our bodies will be different, yet we continue to attempt to hold onto the same beliefs and expectations by imprisoning ourselves in the cages we build with them. By choosing not to change, we are ultimately still choosing and that choice comes from fear.

Awakening requires us to shed our caterpillar skins so we may emerge as butterflies, and trusting the process of metamorphosis is an absolutely necessary step to awaken. Underneath every fear is a dream waiting to blossom and a wish waiting to be fulfilled.

In order to wake up, we must trust enough to take the red pill. That leap of faith is a trade-off with the divine intelligence in the universe. To remember and claim the greatest gift we each have — the gift of our ability to consciously create, we must first give something in return, and that is our very doubt in that creative power. The journey of awakening is nothing but a process of giving back everything that is not us so we can travel with the lightness of who we really are.

Remember, life begins once we step out of our comfort zone.

We may ask ourselves at this point, “How is my fear holding me back from living the life I desire?”

Step 3. Allowing

“The wound is where the Light enters you.” ~ Rumi

We all have wounds. Prior to awakening, it is tempting to cover them up with bandages so we can present ourselves to the world as whole and perfect based on the world’s expectations. When we finally come to the realization that we have been dragging others’ baggage all along and realize the wounds have never healed from being covered up, anger is usually a common response.

It is easy to slip into a phase of judging and blaming ourselves and others for the flawed lives we have lived. We begin to see problems in everyone and everything. Our families, friends, media, society and often times ourselves all seem to represent sources of our pain. More often than not, we are so eager to shed the disempowering beliefs that we couldn’t purge them fast enough.

The risk of finger pointing is that we can easily slip back into the old victimhood except instead of being the victims with blindfolds on, now they have come off to reveal to us the dungeon we believe we are in. Some of us during this time will turn to teachings of law of attraction without first having taking care of the baggage. We convince ourselves in order to attract what we desire in our lives, we must raise our vibration to that which matches what we seek. As a result, we attempt to bypass all the intense emotions of awakening which is equivalent to introducing new expensive Italian furniture into a packed house that has never done spring cleaning.

The emotions we are bombarded with when we take the first few steps to awaken are part of the journey, and must be processed and integrated before we continue. If we try to resist by judging, denying or repressing any of them, we are still reacting to them and identifying with them which essentially means we are placing ourselves at the mercy of those beliefs we so desperately want to get rid of.

Know that the reason we may still be categorizing emotions into good/bad, positive/negative, acceptable/non-acceptable is because we have been conditioned to attach beliefs to the entire spectrum of emotions that are otherwise natural to us. This is the time to allow ourselves to feel without judgment or resistance. We can do so by journaling, talking to our emotions, practicing sitting with our emotions to understand their language, and inviting all parts of ourselves to participate in our meditations.

The question we may ask is, “What are my emotions trying to tell me?”

By being fully present with all emotions and sitting with them, we are beginning to step into our own power of being conscious creators.

Step 4. Acceptance

“I don’t let go of my thoughts, I meet them with understanding. Then they let go of me.” – Bryon Katie

We cannot disown anything before we own it. If we pick and choose what we wish to accept be it an aspect of ourselves or a person in our lives, we are only shining the flashlight in one corner of the room and leaving the rest of it in the dark. It is only when we have the courage to turn on the light fully and see all there is to see in front of us without looking away can we truly decide which ones no longer speak to who we are.

As our emotions are being processed, more and more clarity begins to surface to guide us in being selective with our thoughts, company we keep and experiences we wish to have. Once again, it may be tempting for us to judge parts within us that we do not like, or judge others for being in deep slumber and engaging in activities we do not agree with. We may get judged by others for being different. We may even feel the urge to persuade others to awaken so they can lift the thin veil between the dream state and reality.

It is important for us to understand that the journey of awakening is an inbound journey that involves individual souls remembering who we are through divinely placed and timed circumstances that are specific to each one of us; hence even if some of us are lucky enough to share it or travel parts of it with others, ultimately, the journey is unique to each individual as no two paths are alike. Just as we cannot rush a bud to blossom, we are not helping anyone by attempting to rush them to awaken or judge them for choosing to be asleep.

What we can do is to accept all there is with love and see the perfection in everything. To clear a common misconception, acceptance has nothing to do with agreeing to or condoning anything that is not aligned with who we are and seeing the perfection does not mean forcing ourselves to glorify things and calling them fabulous when they are not. Rather, by accepting, we are dropping our stories of how our experiences and people around us should be, hence freeing ourselves from fear attachments and whatever actions we decide to take from there emerge from a much higher vibration and clearer understanding.

This step, like all others, is simple but not necessarily easy.

For those who have experienced trauma at the hands of others, even the concept of accepting certain people or past events without judgment and anger is simply inconceivable. After the ending of my 8-year abusive relationship, I held onto the trauma for another decade and it was evident to me that my wounds were never fully healed when I had to take sedatives to fall asleep night after night without ever skipping a dosage. I made up stories and excuses to either condemn or justify why it happened so I could work through the forgiveness; the person went from a monster to someone who deserved pity as I continued to assign him new identities which secured my attachment to the very thing I tried to heal.

Eventually, I dropped my role of the storyteller and I met my past with acceptance and understanding—it happened and the person was who he was. When I accepted that what I thought shouldn’t have happened happened because it did and no amount of inner dialogue about the person or experience would change it, it transformed my life and spontaneous healing took place that led to instantaneous recovery of the natural sleep that eluded me for 14 years.
A question we may ask while going through this step is, “What stories am I telling that are keeping me from moving forward?”

It is easy to mistaken acceptance with passivity especially if we are still in a situation where harm is being done to us. Acceptance is the opposite of taking no action, committing to no change, agreeing with and inviting abuse as well as denying our pain which are all fear responses of non-acceptance. Rather, to accept means to not argue with what is so we can convert the tremendous energy we spend in opposing reality to healing and rebuilding our lives in the present moment whether it is to leave an abusive relationship or stand up for ourselves in a situation. When we accept life and open the space within us, inspired action arises.

When we can embrace all parts without labeling, when we can see the perfection in everyone and everything, we are in a powerful position to forgive, release and heal.

Step 5. Releasing

“Enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretence. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.” ~ Adyashanti

It is only after we have allowed and accepted every aspect of our lives can we finally make the decision to keep, or let go of certain people and patterns based on who we desire to be rather than who we thought we had to be. If we try to release a pattern or belief out of fear, that energy only acts to strengthen the bond between us and that which we seek to dismiss.

The step of releasing can take place simultaneously with the other steps. This is a rather chaotic step and is often referred to as “ego death.”

Initially, it can resemble a demolition project in which drastic changes are made and we go from changing jobs to letting go of relationships within a short period of time with little care about what others think. There may still be fear lingering but it cannot match our enthusiasm to finally live differently as we taste the sweetness of liberation. Our decisions are influenced and fueled by our desire to be and do all that was once held back by our own fears in the past.

Suddenly, our new and lighter vibration begins to attract like-minded individuals from unexpected places and teachers begin to appear out of nowhere. We are also likely to notice divine synchronicity and all those perfectly timed events, resources and people just pop up when we ask for them!

This step is an intimate dance between pain and joy, destruction and reconstruction, confusion and clarity, and despair and hope. On some days when we feel everything has come crashing down and we have absolutely nowhere to hide, somewhere in the middle of the most violent storm, there is a glimpse of hope that lights up like a beacon and the light cannot be extinguished by the waves. Eventually we come to know that the beacon is our spirit guiding us to the shore. We become our own bridges of past and future anchored in this very present moment, inspired, or, in spirit.

One may ask the question, “Where am I going?”

Step 6. Integration

“If we imagine that we’re free of all labels, all separation, and all judgments about this world and the life inhabiting it, we can begin to understand oneness. The place we want to enter is of simply being. We can picture the Source of being as an energy that’s as available to us as is the sky. There’s no anger toward anyone or anything because everyone and everything is Spirit. This Spirit is God, our Source of being. We are it, and it is who we are.” – Wayne Dyer

At a certain point, we realize nothing needs fixing as nothing has ever been broken. Instead, we see the perfection of every moment in our timelines as we can look at our existence from a much bigger picture. We know from a deeper place within us that even those who have caused us pain were beings who were intended for our paths to push us in this direction. Everything, the good and the bad, the laughter and the sadness, everything has been orchestrated by divine intelligence that flows inside of us based on the energy of what we needed to master at the time.

A stream of dreams and aspirations fills us with endless inspiration. We no longer feel the void from those we have let go of because we understand it is only from this infinite space can we write the stories we desire to write. We know whenever we encounter a less than ideal situation in life, it is something that has been called forth by ourselves and we only need to go into that space within ourselves to call on the gentle wisdom. We rely less on others’ teachings and more on our inner resources.

Every once in a while, we may still notice the faint and weak voices from our old patterns trying to speak to us and we consciously choose to overwrite them. We see fear for what it truly is — an illusion as False Evidence Appearing Real. The echoes of our past surface few and far between, and when they do, we approach them with curiosity and understanding knowing no experience is innately positive or negative, it is only our perception that gives anything meaning.

We realize that the ego is not the enemy; it was only doing its job by trying to keep us alive on this dimension. Once we have remembered who we truly are, we can come to a compromise with the ego to allow it to do its part as needed without having to take over. The inner harmony allows us to blend all experiences we’ve ever had and we emerge with greater purpose.

As we are integrating all that is within us, we also experience a deeper connection with everything and everyone around us. We know that energetically, we are all connected as we have all come from the same source. We replace judgment with love; we honor differences but transcend division. Our decisions become driven by the knowing, “We are all one.”

The question may be, “How may I serve?”

Step 7. Gratitude

“The struggle ends when the gratitude begins. The search is over when the finding starts. And the finding is not a finding at all, but a creating. You cannot find what you have been struggling for, but you can create it. And the jump-start of creation is gratitude”. – Neale Donald Walsch

Gratitude naturally arises when we approach the gate of non-duality on our journeys though it may appear much sooner in conjunction with any step towards awakening. Heartfelt gratitude is more than an affirmation, a feeling or a prayer, it is a state of being. That means it is no longer dependent on or conditional to what is happening in us and around us. It is a song and an eternal blessing we are immersed in no matter what we choose to focus our attention on.

We welcome and thank every person and experience that comes across our paths knowing there is a gift that we may choose to accept that will serve us in our evolution. We send gratitude to the ex-lover who “forced” us to remember how to love and value ourselves, to the boss who drove us to quitting that job and finally answering our calling, and to all the moments of tears and struggle for reminding us to step into our inner strength so we can make empowered choices. The imperfections in life become perfections because we know even if they may not be apparent at the moment, they are here to invoke greater wisdom within us.

Gratitude is on the same vibration as love. Love is the highest vibration of the universe. It is the divine source, or life energy itself. We are all beings of love. When we choose to live in gratitude, we are naturally aligning our creation with the very vibration of what we are made of. When we are gratitude, our every thought, word and deed is infused with this infinite creative life force energy that resides in everything in the universe. Our every expression declares and demonstrates who we know ourselves to be — love and Oneness, and from there, creation becomes effortless.

Gratitude allows us to let go of our need to control as control only stems out of the insecurities of our ego. When we allow our experiences to come from our Being and from gratitude, we are stepping into our true power of the creator role we have all chosen prior to this home coming journey.

The question for everything becomes, “What can I create that is a demonstration of love?”

Whether it seems obvious or hidden from us at the moment, we are all given the same creative power of free will. Our destinies are not written in the stars. The happenings in our external environment only reflect the conscious and unconscious choices we’ve made so far, and if something is not to our liking, it is only through inner work can we create a desirable outer reality that matches our own raised vibration.

Know that there is absolutely no destination or requirement in this human experience called life but only perfection wherever we are. The people, experiences and events in our lives at this very moment are exactly what we need to take the next step to create, demonstrate and declare to the world who we are based on the choices we make right here, right now.

We are here to experience every aspect of our infinite Being. We are life energy, manifested in physical form.


Connecting with Animals

How to Connect Telepathically with Animals: A Practical Guide

Join Dr. Linda Bender for the Evolver Learning Lab course, “Connecting with Animal Wisdom: Awaken Your Heart and Intuition,” to deepen your relationship with animals and learn how animals can connect you more profoundly to all of life, and expand your consciousness. This live, 5-part interactive video course starts on September 23. For this series, Linda has gathered five leading animal experts, advocates, and healers: Andrew Harvey, Ellie Laks, Sandra Da Feo, Rick Kaplan, and Michael J. Tamura. To find out more, click here.

This article is taken from Animal Wisdom: Learning from the Spiritual Lives of Animals, recently published by North Atlantic Books. It presents the first seven of 18 practices. 

When we love and spend a lot of time with any being—whether an animal or another person—we usually have a pretty good idea of what that person is feeling, and why. I do not believe that people who call themselves “animal communicators” are significantly more gifted in this regard than regular people. I personally do not like the term animal communicator, because it infers that someone who is labeled “animal communicator” has a special talent or gift that you do not have. We all come into this world wired to connect with all life.

When I need to know what ’s going on with an animal who seems troubled, I first rely on my veterinary training, what the animal’s human guardian reports, and what my physical senses tell me, as well as my “sixth sense” that all living beings are born with. An intuitive ex- change with an animal starts like any other—with physical cues—body language and gestures. From there we reach out from the silent language of our hearts; love creates alignment with human and nonhuman beings.

All life responds to offerings of respect, gentleness, admiration, and reverence. To do psychic or telepathic readings of individual animals is not my intention here and is something I’ve never seen as necessary or desirable. It is not what I will be teaching you to do in this chapter.

Whereas a psychic reading is an attempt to discover otherwise undisclosed information about its subject, my intuitive exchanges with animals are exchanges between equals, companions, about matters of mutual spiritual concern. Say, for example, I have an inner encounter with a dog in a rescue shelter. I probably won’t find out how the dog came to be a stray or who his previous people were. Instead I may learn the sort of thing a human survivor of a traumatic experience would share during a deep and searching conversation about the meaning of adversity. Or say that I myself am going through a difficult time. The spirit of an animal may come to comfort me and offer me some wisdom. The inner encounters I have with animals—and will be teaching you to have—are exchanges of meaning.

I’ve been able to connect with animals in this way ever since I was a small child. Nobody taught me how, and there was no particular technique to it. I was just doing what came naturally to me, exercising what I believe to be an ability all of us are born with. Because the ability is seldom recognized or affirmed in our society, most children lose touch with it at a very young age, and forget that they ever possessed it. So why didn’t that happen to me? As I mentioned earlier in the book, I felt somehow imprinted in my early years by the animals. My experiences with them in nature are deeply embedded in my core. Animals offered me the validation and interpretive help that children more usually receive from human adults. When they noticed I was open to connect with them, they taught me how to connect more. Also mentioned earlier in the book, scientific research shows that emotional need acts like a magnet in the intuitive process. Emotional needs are expressions of the heart.

Even if you can’t remember any instances of it in your own child- hood, I encourage you to think of intuitive, telepathic communication with animals as a natural ability that you once had and have temporarily misplaced, rather than as a supernatural power that you are trying to acquire. There is nothing supernatural or paranormal about it. An animal communicator does not possess a gift that you lack.

Now that I am trying to help others to reawaken this capacity, I’ve had to reflect more about how it works. So let me begin with my thoughts about that. It seems to me that the way in to the mind of any other being is through the mind of the Source. We all exist in the one mind of the Source.  Everything in the created world carries a spark of the Source, divine consciousness. It is what all creatures have in common. Though I appear drastically different from an elephant in out- ward form, insofar as we are both manifestations of the divine mind, we are made of exactly the same stuff. What makes an elephant alive is the very same thing that makes me alive. So when I want to experience a spiritual connection with an elephant, I start by connecting to the Source within me. It is the voice of the heart that takes over. As I said earlier, love creates alignment with all creation. Once I connect with that, the corresponding part of another being lies open to me. I don’t have to go looking for it. I simply recognize it, as one recognizes that which is perfectly self-evident. To be truly recognized is what the Source in every living creature most longs for. Every living creature just eats that up. When you are able to recognize the divine nature of other beings, you become transcendentally charming. Many beings are eager to confide in you.

So the first step in learning to connect with the spirits of animals is to connect to the divine within yourself. To do so, you need to quiet the mundane chatter of your mind and bring your attention into the present moment. I’m going to offer you a variety of practices that might help you to achieve that. You might already do some meditation or other practice that reliably gets you to an inwardly quiet and receptive place. If so, feel free to substitute that for my suggestions.

Practice #1: The Wildlife Photographer

Imagine that you are a wildlife photographer in quest of a close-up. You need to be very quiet and still so as not to frighten away the creature you wish to photograph. At the same time, you need to remain alert so that you will be ready to act as soon as that creature comes near. In a quiet place where you will be protected from interruption, settle yourself in a position that feels both relaxed and alert. Imagine that your thoughts are audible. The more long-winded and complicated a thought, the louder it is. If you become totally carried away with your thoughts, you will scare away the animals for sure. At the same time, imagine that when you exhale, you are creating a blanket of silence. Whenever you notice that your thoughts are becoming noisy, bring your attention to your out-breath to cancel the sound of them. The object here is to quiet the mind rather than to empty it entirely. Thoughts will continue to arise, but you can reduce the noise level by letting go of each thought and bringing your attention back to the out-breath.

Variation: Try this practice in an outdoor setting: your backyard, a park, or a nature preserve. See if you can become so inwardly quiet and outwardly still that the creatures around you are undisturbed by your presence and emboldened to come closer to you than they normally would come to a human being.

Practice #2: Bringing Your Attention into the Present

A quality all animals have in common is that their attention is completely focused on whatever they are doing in the present. Animals don’t multitask. They don’t make plans for the future or dwell on what happened in the past. In order to connect with an animal mind, your mind needs to be focused on the present moment as well. Here are some simple exercises for focusing your attention:

  1. Eat a meal the way an animal does, concentrating on the act of eating without doing anything else. Don’t read, watch TV, listen to music, or converse. Experience the meal with all of your senses. Whenever you notice your mind starting to wander, gently bring it back to your food and to the activity of eating.
  2. Often when we are driving, we experience the roads as an entirely manmade environment, constructed for our own convenience. But even in big cities, our roads cut through the habitats of other creatures—often to their peril. (Over a million squirrels are killed each year by vehicles.) Try driving as slowly as the law allows, remaining conscious that there are other creatures all around you, whether you are able to see them or not, and that you are passing through their territories. Be alert to the possibility that an animal may suddenly dart across the road, unaware of the potential danger because animals don’t interpret the road the way you do. Considering the road from an animal standpoint will make you a safer driver.
  3. Animals experience the world directly through their physical senses, and many of them are gifted with senses that are more acute than ours. Choose one of your physical senses and spend five minutes experiencing your environment with that sense alone. For example, if you choose the sense of smell, focus entirely on the odors and scents around you, noticing those that seldom come to your full awareness. Next time you do the exercise, choose a different sense. Try this practice both indoors and outdoors.
  4. If you have a dog, go for a walk together, letting the dog set the pace and choose the direction. Focus your attention entirely on whatever interests your dog from moment to moment. Try to keep the leash loose, so that neither you nor your dog experience any tugging or jerking. In order to do this, you will need to fall into a rapport, anticipating each other’s movements. Think of the leash as a symbol of your connection with your dog rather than as the physical means of staying connected. This is a terrific way of learning to concentrate your attention, and of discovering what the world is like from your dog’s point of view.

Practice #3: A Day of Silence

Silence is often practiced in the context of a spiritual retreat, but I find the practice even more powerful when it is incorporated into my ordinary life at home. What keeping silent means is to refrain entirely from the use of words—neither speaking, hearing, reading, nor writing them. (By this definition, animals live their whole lives in silence, even though they make sounds.) As you settle into silence, you will probably find that your attention gradually shifts away from verbal thoughts and toward sense impressions, emotions, and mental images. In this way, your consciousness becomes more like that of an animal. This is a wonderful practice to share with an animal companion, if you have one. If you normally use words to communicate with your animal, refrain from doing so on this day.

Opening the Heart

Once your mind is quiet and attentive, the next step in connecting to the divine within you is to open your heart. We are most likely to feel that our hearts are open when we feel warm, expansive, and loving. But if you are not already in that place, trying to get there on purpose doesn’t always work, and your effort can backfire into a sense of personal inadequacy. So when you work with the heart-opening practices, start from the premise that your heart can do no wrong. Whatever it is feeling—or not feeling—is true, sincere, and of value. Let your heart decide which of the practices it feels like doing at any given moment, and let it decide when to quit. Don’t try to force a result, and don’t evaluate. Whatever happens (or doesn’t happen) is fine.

Practice #4: The Keepsake Box

Picture a beautiful box in which you store mementos of love, compassion, and kindness that you have received over the years. Search your memory for items to place in this box. For example, recall a time when:

  • someone made you feel completely understood  and accepted
  • someone really knocked him- or herself out to help you
  • you received a gift that was far more generous than you expected, and exactly what you had been wanting
  • you did something hurtful and the other person fully forgave you
  • you were feeling worthless  and received a sincere and glowing compliment
  • you couldn’t meet some obligation and another person let you off easy

As each memory comes to mind, picture holding it at heart level and notice what happens. If you feel a stirring of warmth or joy or genuine gratitude, place the memory reverently in your imaginary keepsake box. If you’re not feeling it, set that memory aside. (Don’t tell yourself that you should be feeling something that you don’t truly feel.) Each time you return to this practice, begin by taking out and appreciating the items that you have previously placed in the box. Then add any new mementos that might come to mind.

We are most easily moved to gratitude when we have received a gift or a favor that we have done nothing to earn or deserve. Having awakened gratitude by recalling specific incidents like those listed above, see if you can extend the feeling to the blessings all of us receive every day—blessings that no one has to earn or deserve. We are blessed by the sun and the rain, the moon and the stars, the trees, and the flowers. We are blessed by the firm earth under our feet, the air we breathe, the water we drink and bathe in, and the warmth of our own blood. Even when nothing in your life is going the way you want it to go, you wake up every day to find yourself in this miraculously beautiful and supportive environment, and you get to live in it for free! Bring all of this to mind, and bask in the awareness of your good fortune.

Practice #5: Receiving an Animal’s Appreciation

If you have a companion animal, do something that makes that animal demonstrably happy. Get your cat to purr or your dog to jump up and down with joy. Bring the whole of your attention to the gratitude your animal is expressing. Think: “This is the God within me being praised.” Learning to fully take in the appreciation your animal bestows is particularly helpful if you’re the sort of person who has trouble accepting compliments or thanks that come from other people.

Practice #6: The Noah’s Ark of Emotions

Animals have a unique ability to touch the human heart. In fact, sometimes animals move us when nothing else will.

Imagine you have built an ark and need to populate it with all the different ways of feeling moved by an animal. Think of a story, a picture, a film clip, or a memory of an animal that moves you in a particular way: an animal who makes you laugh; one for whom you feel compassion;  one who inspires awe and admiration;  one who makes you go all mushy with affection. For the purpose of this practice you might want to create a physical collection: a file of pictures, anecdotes, and/or video clips. Return to your ark periodically, either singling out a particular item that evokes an emotion you want to feel at that moment, or just browsing to reexperience the various feelings you’ve had in the past. This practice can be especially helpful at times when you’re caught up in thoughts and out of touch with your heart.

Practice #7: The Heart on a Bad-Hair Day

Mystics and seers who are able to connect with spiritual beings usually advise detaching somewhat from the physical senses and the emotions. Since the spiritual beings don’t have bodies and aren’t very emotional, putting oneself in a neutral and somewhat disembodied state helps one to establish a rapport with them. Some people find that they can’t do this at all, and a great many people find that they are unable to do it at the very times when hearing from them, or perhaps a guide or an angel (or from God), would be most welcome. When we ’re sick or exhausted or in the grip of some powerful and painful emotion, input from above might really help, yet we feel we are in no fit state to present ourselves at the gates of heaven.

This is what ’s so great about animals as spiritual helpers. They’re incarnate just like us. They know what it ’s like to feel needy or threatened or sad. When you’re having a bad-hair day, spiritually speaking, you don’t need to tidy yourself up to connect with an animal. On the contrary, the strong emotion that makes it impossible for you to quiet your mind or fill your heart with love and light can become the very means of connection.

The next time you are in the grip of some strong emotion that makes it impossible for you to do any of the previous exercises, don’t fight it. Instead, bring the whole of your attention to what you are feeling. What you want to experience is the texture and sensation of the emotion itself, as opposed to the many thoughts you are probably having about the emotion. You want to experience the emotion through the body more than the head. For example, if you are anxious, your mind is probably full of worries and problem-solving schemes. If you are angry, your mind is probably busy replaying the incident that set you off or engaged in self- righteous diatribes. Instead, you want to focus on what anger or anxiety feels like on a physical level. Notice what part of your body feels it the most, and what the sensation is like. Instead of trying to get rid of that sensation, say “hello” to it and keep it company for a few minutes. Whenever your mind starts to veer off into anxious or angry thoughts, gently bring it back to what is happening in your body.

As you are simply sitting with the difficult feeling, invite an image of an animal to come. This may or may not happen. Don’t try to force it. Simply invite it and see what happens. Should an animal image appear, recognize the emotion you are feeling as your connection to it. This animal knows how you feel, and you know how she feels, because all living creatures experience emotion. You are not isolated in your distress. On the contrary: it connects you to something universal. All feelings are an expression of our aliveness, and a manifestation of the God within.


On Creating Abundance

The Abundance Loop:
How to Develop a Powerful Abundance Mentality That Attracts Wealth Effortlessly


our beliefs, mindset and emotions are the key to an abundance mentality and attracting wealth effortlessly.

Who Do You Believe You Are?

We all hold onto beliefs about who we are and what is possible. Have you ever asked yourself how true are these beliefs? I am astounded and saddened when I hear statements such as these:

“I’ll never be rich.”
“There’s never enough.”
“I’m not good enough.”
“I’ll never be happy.”

These self-limiting beliefs keep you stuck in the Scarcity Loop. When you believe that money is not within your grasp, you get discouraged and give up. Or worse, you may not even try. When the running script in your head is I don’t have enough to save for the future, you don’t put money away, and, therefore, you lack a nest egg. You create a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we believe something is not in the realm of possibility, we don’t bother wasting our energy trying; thus, it’s not in the realm of reality.


“If we believe something is not in the realm of possibility, we don’t bother wasting our energy trying.”


I hear many people say they can’t afford to quit their jobs. And you know something, they’re right. They tell themselves that they can’t quit and then spend their full paychecks (and then more on credit) so that they make it harder and harder to ever quit their jobs. People who are dependent on their employer’s paychecks are not free. Yes, I know, I recognize that most of you are probably not free… yet.

But what if I told you that you could be financially free? Would you believe that you could quit your job, spend your time doing what you love, and still receive an income to pay your bills? Probably not. But ask yourself truthfully: What do you have to lose by changing your belief and adopting an abundance mentality? What would happen if you started to believe that you could indeed save and that you could actually afford to send your children to college or even retire from a grueling job?

I dare you to adopt an abundance mentality and believe that you can be financially free and that you can be rich. I need you to believe it. Because if you can’t even believe it, then taking action toward realizing it may prove futile since it’s not always an easy road.

For this to work, you must have the faith and conviction to withstand the many temptations that come your way and not let challenges deter you from achieving your dream. Many people start with the best of intentions to change their habits, but they revert out of an abundance mentality to old ways once the going gets tough. They stay stuck because they haven’t moved past their old stories, which are the old scripts, of who they are and what is possible.

To help you over this very important hurdle, I am going to introduce you to some common self-limiting beliefs that get in the way of living our dreams. You’ll see how to let go of some of the fear-based beliefs that have defined your identity and shaped your life up to this point. And you’ll learn how to reframe them so you can develop an abundance mentality and start to take the right actions to reach a whole new financial future.

Self-Limiting Belief #1: I Don’t Have Enough Money

This is an offshoot of the fear of not having enough of anything. This fear can easily become the thought I have to have it now, which is endemic to the Scarcity Loop, making you feel incomplete without the object of temptation. Let me show you how this looks in the Scarcity Loop:


The obvious way to break this cycle is to stop shopping or spending money on things you don’t need. But for most people, restraining oneself from spending feels like punishment or deprivation and is counterproductive to developing an abundance mentality. Even if you cut up your credit card, you can’t change your habits until you are willing to change the beliefs you have about that situation in the first place.


“I dare you to believe that you can be financially free and that you can be rich.”

If you have a scarcity mind-set, then refraining from spending feels like torture, like being on a crash diet over Thanksgiving. My intention is not for you to build wealth at the expense of your happiness. Instead of pain, I want you to feel both financially and spiritually fulfilled. This is only possible when you shift your awareness away from what you lack and focus instead on what you have—this is an abundance mentality.

When the running script in your mind is I have enough, then you feel more at peace. Even when your ego is tugging at you to acquire more stuff, you feel convinced and empowered so that you recognize that you truly don’t need it. You have enough. The more you can hold off on spending today, the more money you will have available for the future. You can buy a cute pair of boots now or invest that paycheck and generate passive income to buy two pairs later. You will come to understand that the route to and abundance mentality and financial security is not meant to be laden with guilt and deprivation.

In fact, feelings of guilt and deprivation are symptomatic of the Scarcity Loop. When you feel you don’t have enough, you look externally to ease that sense of inadequacy. Although upgrading your living situation feels good at the moment, that happiness doesn’t last, so you will be tempted to take another dose of “inadequacy relief.”Eventually, you will realize that the long-lasting solution doesn’t lie outside of you and it cannot be purchased, won, or earned. You actually have the treasure box inside of you right now, a healthy financial future, and all you need to unlock it is to shift into an abundance mentality and change your perspective from what you lack to what you have. The loop then begins not with lack but with gratitude.

Abundance Mentality Thinking for Belief #1: I Am Thankful for My Paychecks

This loop represents a balanced approach to achieving financial security, and it starts with embracing the wealth you already have. No matter how little you feel you have today, if you have the means to purchase and read this, you have more than you think.


To help you with this, I invite you to visualize an image with me. Take a moment to clear your mind and relax. Take a couple of slow, deep breaths. Now I want you to imagine that the company you work for has shut down and you are out of a job. Imagine that every dollar you have in the bank is now gone; and you lost your home, your car, and all your belongings. Then imagine that you lost your partner, your family, your friends, and your pets; and you also had to move from your community. And just for the sake of this exercise, let’s keep going and imagine that you have also lost your health, your limbs, your sight, your hearing, your speech, and your ability to read, write, smell, and taste.

How do you feel? How hard would you work to try to get back everything you had lost? Now, shake your head and clear your mind of these tragic thoughts of loss and despair. You haven’t lost all these things, maybe a few, but still you have an abundance of things to be thankful for, right at your fingertips. Can you believe the abundance you have right now?

Self-Limiting Belief #2: There’s Never Enough Time

When you think about balancing work, children, marriage, friends, church, personal health, and finances, how does that make you feel? If you’re like most people, you’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed. When you believe you have to do it all and you have to do it all right now, you feel squeezed for time. This pressure to optimize your time puts you in task mode and you try to juggle it all, very often by trying to multitask. But studies have shown that only 3% of the population can actually multitask efficiently. The rest of us are better off focusing on one task at a time.


Here’s how this works in my own family: I know that when my children are with me, they make it clear that they want my full attention. I notice a huge difference in my own level of satisfaction when I put away my phone, don’t worry about my e-mails, and physically get on the floor with them and play. When I’m fully present with them, I can be more engaged and have fun, even if it’s just for a few minutes, which is an abundance mentality shift. But when I’m worried about how to respond to a client or what I’m going to write in my next chapter, then I rob that precious moment not only from my kids, but from myself, too. I end up feeling guilty for not being a good mom or being a good professional.

Here’s how we can reframe our view of scarcity of time:

Abundance Mentality Thinking for Self-Limiting Belief #2: I Am Thankful for This Moment

By shifting from fear of not having enough time to gratitude for the time you have, your mind becomes more relaxed and can focus on the task at hand. You do the job well and feel good about completing something to the best of your ability. If the task includes another person, then sharing quality time with that person instead of juggling e-mails and texts will result in a stronger relationship. Positive reinforcement supports you to continue operating in and abundance mentality, firmly in the Abundance Loop.


Self-Limiting Belief #3: Money Is the Root of All Evil

Money is the root of all evil. This is not exactly the wording from the famous phrase in the Bible, but it is the wording that many of us have internalized. The original phrase was more like, “For the love of money is the root of all evil,” depending on the translation you might refer to.


What is interesting about this phrase, however you say it, is highlighted in the following story. I had a wonderful conversation with a talented 78-year-old artist named Harold, who showed me that it’s never too late to change your perception about the rich. He was excited about my speaking on the topic of the abundance mentality, and he shared with me what happened when he adjusted his language around rich people relatively late in his life.

Throughout most of his life, Harold used to call people with money “filthy rich,” and he had little interest in connecting with “those greedy capitalists.” But he found that this thinking actually created such a separation from people based on how much money they had (or at least appeared to have) that it was damaging his overall energy and vibration around abundance in his own life.


“You have an abundance of things to be thankful for, right at your fingertips.”

For Harold, rich meant having enough resources to devote his time to making beautiful and elaborate collages in his small seaside studio. He felt rich at times, flirting with a true abundance mentality, but was never “filthy rich.” He eventually realized that his disdain for those with a lot of money (his stuck thinking about them) was creating a barrier against those who could afford to purchase his artwork.

When he became aware of this, he asked himself why he should judge someone simply because they have the means to afford a more expensive lifestyle. It was then Harold made a conscious effort to let go of his disdain for wealth and stopped calling those other people “filthy rich.” He still sees them as privileged, but he widened his perspective to recognize that he enjoys many privileges as well. He has lived and traveled through Europe, Asia, and Africa with his family of artists and together they worked on some amazing and high-profile public art projects. He eventually saw that he is indeed rich. As a result of reflecting about who is rich and what it means to him, Harold now interacts more peacefully with his patrons, taking better care of the money he earns, and feels better about himself, all hallmarks of an abundance mentality.

I share this story because there is value in taking stock in how you perceive money or those with money. As you can see with Harold, messages such as “money is evil” just serve to create a barrier between you, money and a true abundance mentality. You can see now how someone who holds this belief will repel money and let go of it as quickly as it comes into his or her hands.

I keep coming back to ways to build your awareness about how this works, because only by truly understanding and questioning what you hold to be true can you break through blocks that keep you from flowing into an abundance mentality and the Abundance Loop. If this is an issue for you, try the following statement as your new thought pattern.

Abundance Mentality Thinking for Self-Limiting Belief #3: I Am Thankful for Money

I am thankful for money. See how this simple statement is a much more positive way to look at money in general? Here’s one more example that I hope will help drive the idea of an abundance mentality home. Perhaps you will see yourself or someone you know in Carol’s story.


How Beliefs about Money Impact Your Life

Carol was often stressed about money. She would panic that she didn’t earn enough and always seemed to be behind on her bills. She was tired of living that way and desperately sought to shift into an abundance mentality and heal her relationship with her finances. I suggested that she write down all her beliefs about money.

After I tell you about her experience, you will find this exercise explained for you to try. I gave Carol a piece of paper and had her write “money” in large letters across the top. I asked her to write down all the words that came up for her as she thought about money. Her list looked like this: scary, overwhelming, hate, questionable, scarce, hopeless, confusing, and help!

I then asked her about each word and how true it was. For example, she had written “scary” as one of her money beliefs. I asked her, “Is money itself scary?” She replied, “No, but not having money is scary.” In the following pairs, you’ll see her initial ‘money word’ on top and immediately below them her responses when I inquired deeper into each of her beliefs:

Carol’s Money Beliefs

How true is this belief?
What is your real money story?

Not having money is scary.

Feeling like I don’t have enough is overwhelming.

I hate not being able to have money.

My financial future is questionable.

Money is scarce. It’s hard to come by. There’s never enough.

I never make enough, so it seems hopeless.

I don’t know what to do with my money or my debt.

I need help!

Going through this exercise helped Carol realize that she didn’t really feel those words about money itself, but about the lack of money. She immediately thinks about the scarcity of money as opposed to the presence of money. Money itself doesn’t stress her, but not having enough does. Money itself isn’t confusing, but not knowing how to allocate her money is.

Separating the concept of “money” from her perspective of not having enough money really helped her clarify her abundance mentality and understand that money was not the main stressor in her life; it was her negative outlook, her scarcity mind-set, about money that was causing her to hate it and fight it. She had transferred the negative energy of her fear of not having enough money onto “money” itself.

“Only by truly understanding and questioning what you hold to be true can you break through blocks.”

To help her develop an abundance mentality, I had her identify what was really negative and make space for a healthier relationship to money. I proceeded to help her gain clarity around her financial situation. We laid out her assets, her liabilities, and her cash flow; and then we mapped out a plan to help her get out of debt.

After working with her to shift her awareness into an abundance mentality, challenge her beliefs, and lay out a concrete action plan, I then asked her to do the first exercise again and handed her another piece of paper. She wrote MONEY at the top, and this time, her words to describe money were hopeful, excited, less stressed, ready to get the plan started, positive, clear, concrete, understanding, and focused. She felt the powerful difference between her scarcity mind-set and an abundance mentality.

I followed up by asking her to write down and use these affirmations:

I have enough money.

I have enough money to take care of my needs at this moment.

I believe in my financial future.

I am financially secure.

I am abundant.

I am building financial wealth.

I am investing in myself.

In less than an hour, Carol felt empowered enough by her new abundance mentality to transform her relationship with money. She felt significantly better knowing that she had the power to change her beliefs around money and actually put together a plan. The act of writing out her financial situation, her savings (however minimal), debts (however looming and large), her income, and her expenses was cathartic. She felt happy to liberate her mind-set from the Scarcity Loop and excited about moving forward in the Abundance Loop.

Exercise: Developing An Abundance Mentality – Taking Inventory of Your Money Beliefs

1. Now it’s your turn. Take your journal out and write the word MONEY in big letters across the top. Write down the words that jump into your mind about money. Don’t censor yourself. Allow yourself to jot down whatever words, phrases, or images that come to your mind, without judgment. There are no right or wrong words, just your truth. Give yourself time and space to let your thoughts flow. Some of it might be scary or ugly—just let it flow.

2. Next, reflect on each word you wrote down. Ask yourself: Is this how I truly feel about money itself? Or is it about the lack of money? I want you to notice how each word makes you feel. If the word makes you feel tense and constricted, write “ugghh” next to it. If the word makes you feel open and expansive, write “ahhhh” next to it.

3. Now tally up how many “ugghhs” you have compared to “ahhhhs.” Don’t be hard on yourself if your list of words is all negative. Facing your deep-seated beliefs with honesty and compassion requires a sincere effort and is the key to developing an abundance mentality. Take pride that you are doing it. You are unveiling the underlying mind-set that impacts your financial wellbeing.

4. The good news is that now you are starting to identify your fears so you can master them. By reading this article and going through these exercises, you are taking a stand that you will no longer live in fear and confusion. You are ready to move forward and take action to align with your best self and your inherent abundance mentality. Celebrate this moment!

5. If most of your words give you a sense of relaxation and happiness, celebrate this wonderful blessing—you already have an abundance mentality about money. You can move forward with gratitude, and are ready to interact with money in a way that reflects your core values and manifest wealth.

This except on an abundance mentality is from The Abundance Loop by Juliana Park. It is published by Hay House (July 2015) and is available at bookstores or online at


Some Old Tapes to Get Rid Of

15 Things You Should Stop Putting Yourself Through

By: Luminita D. Saviuc, Purpose Fairy, where this was originally featured.

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

A lot of people put themselves through unnecessary pain because of the many unhealthy thoughts, beliefs and behaviors they have. They are so unconscious of their unconsciousness that they blame outside forces for how unhappy they are… They want the world to stop hurting them, when in fact they themselves are hurting themselves.

We are the center of our own personal universe. The thoughts we think, the words we speak, the beliefs we hold and the things we do, they all set the tone for how people, and life in general will treat us… If we want the world to stop treating us unkindly, we have to make sure that we ourselves stop doing the things that cause us pain and suffering. We have to make sure that we ourselves stop hurting ourselves.

Here are 15 things you should stop doing to yourself, things that will help clear out your mind, your heart, your body and your life of everything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy, allowing only good things to come your way.

1. Stop postponing your happiness for the future

Happiness is a journey, not a destination. And if you can’t be happy in this moment, right here, right now, chances are that you will never be happy. Always remember that “There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have. And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special. And remember that time waits for no one. So stop waiting until you finish school, until you go back to school, until you lose ten pounds, until you gain ten pounds, until you have kids, until your kids leave the house, until you start work, until you retire, until you get married, until you get divorced, until Friday night, until Saturday morning, until you get a new car or home, until your car or home is paid off, until spring, until summer, until fall, until winter, until you are off welfare, until the first or fifteenth, until your song comes on, until you’ve had a drink, until you’ve sobered up, until you die, until you are born again, to decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy.” ~ Unknown

2. Stop polluting yourself with negative thoughts

The quality of your life is in direct proportion with the quality of your thoughts.If you want your life to get better, to look better,  and to feel better, you have to stop intoxicating yourself with all kind of negative, self-defeating and toxic thoughts.

3. Stop arguing for your limitations

There are no limits to what we can be, do and have in life, expect the ones we choose to impose on ourselves. And those who continue to argue for their limitations, they will continue to create their life from a place of limitations. Because just like Richard Bach said it, “when you argue for your limitations, sure enough they’re yours.”

4. Stop telling yourself that you’re not ENOUGH

Have you heard the saying, “Be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening”? Well, guess what. If you continue to tell yourself the same old sad stories about you not being good enough, smart enough, young enough, valuable enough, rich enough, and so on, you will continue to act upon these toxic beliefs and you will continue to attract people and experiences in your life that will prove to you that you are right. Because guess what? Life always gives you the experiences that you yourself think, and feel, worthy of receiving. Because that’s how much life loves you.

5. Stop hanging out with the wrong crowd

Jim Rohn once said that you are the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with, and from personal experience I can tell you that that’s true. If you surround yourself with all kind of negative and toxic people, people who loooove to complain about everything and everyone, and who expect the whole world to change so that they can finally be happy, then you will start to mirror their behavior. And without you even knowing it, you will start to believe the same things that they believe, and behave in the same way that they behave.

6. Stop waiting for life to begin

This moment is your life. And if you waste this moment by waiting for life to begin, then you will waste your whole life waiting. Failing to realize that while were waiting for life to begin, your life was already unfolding.

“Waiting is a state of mind. Basically, it means that you want the future; you don’t want the present. You don’t want what you’ve got, and you want what you haven’t got. With every kind of waiting, you unconsciously create inner conflict between your here and now, where you don’t want to be, and the projected future, where you want to be. This greatly reduces the quality of your life by making you lose the present.” ~ The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

7. Stop complaining

If you don’t like something, change it. And if you can’t change it, change the way you look at it. Change your attitude, change your perception, but stop complaining. Because trust me, complaining won’t make things better, on the contrary, it will make them worse.

8. Stop comparing yourself to other people

Your job here on this Earth isn’t to be better than other people, but better than you used to be. Better today than you were yesterday. Your job is to be better than yourself, not better than other people.

Instead of looking to your left and to your right to see what other people are preoccupied with, and instead of wasting your precious time and energy to compare yourself, and your life, to everyone else, you might want to save that energy and channel it into something that will make you happy, and bring you peace of mind.

9. Stop dwelling on the past

Each day offers you a new chance to start all over. To leave the past behind you and start a new life. So learn to treasure this beautiful gift that life is offering you. Leave the dead bury their own dead, and move on with your life.

10. Stop seeking for love in all the wrong places

Why are you looking for love in all the wrong places when there is so much love hidden deep within you, eagerly waiting to be discovered? Find the love that lies within you. Become one with it, and then the whole world will shower you with love. Just like you always wanted.

11. Stop worrying

Leave your worries behind you, they serve you no good.

12. Stop being ungrateful

Those who are ungrateful for what they have, they will lose the gifts that were bestowed on them by life. And when those gifts will be taken away from them, then they will realize how much they had to be grateful for. There is so much to be grateful for in this world, so much to appreciate. And the more you get into the habit of expressing your gratitude for the life you are living, and for the many wonderful things that are present in your life, the more life will give you to be thankful for.

13. Stop trying so hard to make everyone like you

If you want people to like you, stop trying so hard. Yes, you heard me. Stop trying so hard. If you want the world to rave about you, and if you want people to like you, instead of chasing and begging for their love and approval, get busy living your life in a way that will make people curious about you and your life. Get busy with creating things that you are passionate about, things that make your heart sing with joy, and if you do this, not only will people love you, but you yourself will love yourself. And that my friend, will make you very happy. :)

14. Stop doubting yourself

Have faith in who you are. Know that there is a force in you that is more powerful than anything you have ever known. Stop doubting yourself, and learn to trust this force. Learn to trust yourself, your inner wisdom, your inner power, but also the wisdom of life. Know that none of us is here by accident, none of us is flawed. We all have unique gifts and talents that are needed in this world. Who we are matters. Who you are matters.

“Be humble for you are made of earth. Be noble for you are made of stars.” ~ Serbian Proverb

15. Stop taking your sense of worth from outside of you

“Why are you so enchanted by this world, when a mine of gold lies within you?” ~ Rumi

There are things in life that we do, and things that we are. That which we are, is eternal, and that which we have, is temporary. Never look outside of you for things, people and experiences to confirm your sense of value and your worth. Never get your sense of worth from outside of you, for that will only enslave you, putting at the mercy of things, people and experiences you have little or no control over.

P.S. I know there is a lot of stopping but I guess we all need to be reminded of how much we are damaging ourselves and our lives because of our thoughts, beliefs, actions and behaviors. And I guess that’s a lot more harmful than me using the stop word.


Miracles, Synchronicity, & Scientific American

A Miracle in Scientific American

The following originally appeared on The New and Ancient Story.

In the latest issue of Scientific American, Michael Shermer describes an amazing and beautiful synchronicity that happened the day of his wedding, just this summer. I hope you read the article, but to summarize, an old non-functioning radio that had belonged to his bride’s beloved grandfather mysteriously started playing a love song as the ceremony was about to commence, only to go silent again the next day.

The miracle I refer to is not the event itself, but rather the fact that it is recounted in the pages of a top science magazine by Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine and a long-time upholder of scientific orthodoxy. His humility and courage in publicly revealing an experience that has, in his words, shaken his core beliefs is exemplary. That this revelation seems to contradict his aggressively argued position of many years makes it little short of miraculous.

Let me be clear what I mean by scientific orthodoxy. It consists of three beliefs: (1) that the dominant institutions of science, and the consensus of scientists, offer a description of reality that is basically correct; (2) that the implicit metaphysical assumptions underpinning the Scientific Method are true, and (3) that the Scientific Method should enjoy a privileged status among all ways to knowledge; that it is the royal road to truth.

The event that Michael Shermer describes would, to most people, indicate that belief #1 above is faulty: that science offers nowhere near a complete description of reality. One might easily conclude that people can communicate from beyond the grave by influencing electronics, or that in moments of heightened emotion meaningful coincidences occur that reflect a layer of causality that is normally invisible to us. But I would like to focus on another element of Shermer’s piece.

As Shermer is abundantly aware, the stunning synchronicity he experienced on his wedding proves nothing about the nature of reality. He says that if anyone else had reported this event to him, he would have explained it away as a random electrical anomaly that, because of its timing, took on emotional significance. By the Law of Large numbers, he says, one would expect occasional coincidences like this, which, because they are preferentially remembered and reported, seem more common than they are. One might easily say, as some of the commenters did, that it was nothing more than perhaps some wires expanding on what might have been a hot, humid day, completing a circuit.

Only this and nothing more.

But as Michael Shermer perceptively notes, the existence of such explanations is irrelevant to the feeling quality of the experience. It “rocked me back on my heels,” he said; it brought him and his bride into a state of awe and gratitude. In the moment, his bride, also a firm nonbeliever in anything supernatural, knew, “My grandfather is here with us. I am not alone.”

How did she know it, and why was he rocked back on his heels? It wasn’t because they, in the moment, reevaluated a data set and, in light of a single piece of evidence, came to a rational decision to change their beliefs. They were following another way of knowing, one that is quite different from the evidentiary reasoning and hypothesis testing of the Scientific Method. In that moment, they knew something. That kind of knowing is inherently subjective, impossible to translate into objective evidence, because it depends on the totality of the circumstances surrounding it.

Revealingly, Shermer says the experience has shaken his skepticism to the core. But as one of the commenters observed, skepticism isn’t a belief system, it is a process of, as puts it, “employing or calling for statements of fact to prove or disprove claims.” Is it, though? Critics of self-described skeptics point out that what they accept as evidence encodes their own hidden biases as well as their faith in the integrity of the institutions of knowledge production, and that they unwittingly practice the same credulity and closed-mindedness of which they accuse their targets. But these criticisms do not reach to the heart of skepticism: they say, merely, that skeptics practice it imperfectly. When Shermer says his skepticism has been shaken to the core, perhaps he doesn’t mean that his doubts about the usual targets of self-described skeptics – supernatural and paranormal claims – have been shaken. Perhaps what was shaken is his faith in the primacy of a way of knowing: the one that underlies skepticism and the Scientific Method.

It wasn’t a testable hypothesis proven through replicable experiments that rocked Michael Shermer’s world. It was an experience, immediate, subjective, and unreproducible by any normal means.

Certainly, Michael Shermer would not discard scientific reasoning in light of his experience. Nor would I. The challenge is to hold different paths to knowledge alongside each other, to stand in paradox, until one day, perhaps, a hidden unity is revealed. Some of the commenters on line, admonishing the author via various mechanistic explanations, seemed not to understand that the significance of the experience had nothing to do with the absence of a physical mechanism to explain the radio turning on. It was the synchronicity of the event, the timing, the circumstances.

One might think it marvelous if any physical explanation (per accepted physics) could be eliminated, proving that consciousness after death, or perhaps telekinesis, exists after all. One might think it marvelous to expand the realm of known forces and the entities that can wield them. But for me, there is a possibility far more marvelous, beyond a mere extension of the existing catalog of physical phenomena. It is that the causal mechanism – whether a departed spirit or a heat-and-humidity-induced completion of a circuit – is merely the means through which a deeper truth becomes manifest: that the universe, and the events of our lives, possess intelligence, consciousness, purpose. We are not the sole repositories of these qualities, surveying an alien universe of force and mass. We are at home in the universe.

Note that I am not proclaiming here a divinity external to matter that is the source of this aforesaid intelligence, purpose, etc. The usual critique of Cartesian dualism would then apply: if spirit interacts with matter, it isn’t external to matter; it is, rather, an extension of physics that leaves its key metaphysical assumptions intact. I am saying, rather, that these qualities are inherent in the world. Shermer doesn’t say out loud that his experience causes him to doubt that the universe is an impersonal jumble of generic particles governed by mathematical laws, in which there is no meaning except what we project and no intelligence except what we impose, nor does his experience “prove” anything to the contrary; however, his account bears unto the reader a quality of awe, that comes primarily from the experience itself, and only secondarily, if at all, from any reconsideration of physics it might inspire. Properly, he relegates the implications for scientific inquiry to the last paragraph: “We need to keep an open mind,” is basically what he says.

That this spontaneous and numinous experience happened to one of the world’s most prominent debunkers of such experiences may, like the dot of yin in the fullness of yang, portend a fundamental transition. Perhaps it signals the unraveling of the epistemologic hegemony of science, not to be soon replaced with another knowledge system that merely extends its explanatory devices, but leading, rather, to a time of unknowing, a time of paradox and contradiction. As Shermer concludes, “We should not shut the doors of perception when they may be opened to us to marvel in the mysterious.”


Somethings to Consider

6 Thoughts That Will Make You Instantly Happier


Our thoughts are everywhere. Sometimes they can be handy in figuring things out, or sometimes they can overcomplicate things when they don’t need to and many times they just can’t help but be there, including now as you read this article. The bottom line is: your mind always has something to say.

Although practices such as meditation can be great tools in quieting the mind from its rampant chatter, the greatest tool we can ever develop is to regain control of the roller coaster that our mind takes us on. No matter how often it has something to say, it’s ultimately always up to us in how we choose to react to what it has to say. Just like at an amusement park where we have the choice of which roller coaster we would like to ride, we also have the choice as to whether we let our life’s roller coaster be the 5 out of 5 intensity of the BEHEMOTH, or the 1 out of 5 Jolly Taxi.

Rather than always trying to quiet the mind, here are 6 thoughts that we can all implement right now to throw our mind for a loop and make us all instantly happier:

1) When Has Laziness Ever Gotten Me Anywhere?

We all have a lazy bone within us, and many times succumbing to that laziness can be a great experience and an awesome opportunity to unwind. The issue arises when that lazy bone holds us back from doing something that either needs to be done or involves something that we are passionate about. All of the world’s greatest thinkers, athletes, artists, builders, etc., all became that way because they refused to let laziness control their life.

“I can’t relate to lazy people. We don’t speak the same language. I don’t understand you. I don’t want to understand you.” – Kobe Bryant

The bottom line is, in this life you are never going to be younger than you are right now, so if not now, when?

What to do if your mind objects: Rather than basking in the idea of how nice laziness can feel at times, and ultimately letting “I don’t feel like it” dictate your decision, choose to look at the other option. Think of how great it feels to accomplish or be a part of something once you get yourself engaged in it. Let that guide you to say “yes,” with the icing on the cake being how much better the relaxation will feel afterwards with the added incentive of having done something.

2) I Already Have Everything I Need

How many of you have ever heard someone say something like this to you? I’m going to start eating healthy and taking care of myself once I finish this project at work, break-up with the girl I’m dating and get my own place. This thought series -or any other one similar to it -I like to call the ultimate creator of being stuck in a limbo state. We identify a change we would like to make, something we are passionate about, but we choose to hold off on incorporating it until a handful of other cards all fall into place. The all too common end result? Those cards never line-up as we expect them to and years go by without us ever exploring the healthy life that we’ve always wanted to.

What to do if your mind objects: Remember that no matter how full our plate currently is, we can always make time to incorporate something that is important to us (think of how we always manage to make time to deal with emergencies.) Even if just in small doses at first -such as making one homemade lunch a week in the example above -these steps show our mind that we are choosing to take control and gets ourselves on a path to a happier version of our self.

3) I Choose To Focus On The Journey, Not The End Result

The world is a vast place with over 7 billion people. Rather than seeing this as a cool fact, many of us see it as a justification as to why we cannot do anything that will have a significant impact. Since our mind will obsess and compare with things of great magnitude, we will often choose to not even bother partaking in or initiating something that we are passionate about -something that if we did, would make us happier.

What to do if your mind objects: Keep two rebuttals in mind: (1) even the grandest things started small, (2) even the smallest thing has an impact on the entire world at a conscious level. We still have plenty of room to grow, but even Collective Evolution started as just 3 guys with an idea, an idea that slowly developed into the website, social media platform and film production company that it is today.

4) I Am Exactly Where I Need To Be

Comparison is at the core of many toxic thoughts, whether it be towards another person, a personal expectation or a socially developed norm. That being the case, our mind often loves to dwell upon the idea of being a failure to this point, which for many people can lead to “settling” or “rushing” to try and get themselves “there” as quickly as possible. Why not instead work on selling yourself on the idea that we are always exactly where we need to be?

What to do if your mind objects:  Whether or not your mind chooses to agree with you being exactly where you need to, we can all agree that no matter what, there is nothing we can do to change the past. That being the case, choose to accept your life for what it has been, love yourself for who you are now and be present in the now, with no regard towards regrets. Choose to move forward rather than spend any more time thinking about how things could have gone differently.

5) I Can’t Please Everyone

The mind is a very powerful creator, and speaking from personal experience, one of the areas that it particularly loves to create within is the idea of how others will react to something that you do. It will often create and obsess to the point that many of us choose to hold ourselves back from doing something that we felt pulled to, just to avoid the potential ridicule or friction that may or may not come from others in our life.

What to do if your mind objects: The first thing to note is that more often than not, people are far too consumed with their own lives to ever carry through on the ridicule that your mind expected them to. But even if they do, is it really worth holding yourself back to avoid facing? When you choose to let the potential opinion of others dictate your life you ultimately choose to willingly place yourself in a “safety” box that will likely never expand to explore many of your passions. Does that sound like happiness?

6) I’m Beautiful Just The Way I Am

This is by far the most specific of the thoughts that I chose to put on this list, but I feel its placement is justified because of the superficially obsessed world that we live in. Whether we’re married, chronically single or have never been kissed it’s amazing how many of us regularly inflict the idea of being ugly upon ourselves -myself included. Whether it be focused on particular aspects of ourselves that we feel fall short, or our entire physicality as a whole we seem to love thrusting negative thoughts towards this awesome gift that we have the privilege of inhabiting.

What to do if your mind objects: Choose to opt out of the world’s “idea” of beauty and accept yourself for who you are. Whether or not the rest the world chooses to play along there is nothing more attractive than a person who is comfortable and confident in their own shoes. Be who you are and try throwing some nice comments towards yourself for a change.


Are You COmpassionate?

8 Ways To Tell if You’re A Truly Compassionate Person

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” –Dalai Lama

His remarks capture a simple truth: Despite popular belief that happiness depends solely on you, the way to achieve it may not lie just within yourself, but in your relationships and interactions with others.

“When we have feelings of caring or love for other people, we feel better,” clinical psychologist Lisa Firestone, Ph.D., tells The Huffington Post. “We all think we want to be loved, but what actually feels good to us is feeling loving – and part of what makes us feel more love for other people is doing kind, compassionate things for them.”

The good news is, if you don’t normally identify as someone who is overly empathetic, studies show it’s a habit that can be cultivated. So how can you tell if you are or not?

Below, find eight signs you’re a truly compassionate person.

You find commonalities with other people.

Compassionate people know what it’s like to be down on their luck, and they keep those experiences in mind to develop a more empathetic nature, whether through volunteering or just simply networking. “Compassionate people are very outward-focused because they think and feel about other people,” Firestone says. “They have that ability to feel others’ feelings, so they’re very socially connected.”

And turns out, there’s science behind why we feel compassion toward people who have been in our same boat. In one small study, researchers found that humans’ sense of compassion actually increases when there’s a common connection with the other person. “What these results suggest is that the compassion we feel for others is not solely a function of what befalls them: if our minds draw an association between a victim and ourselves — even a relatively trivial one — the compassion we feel for his or her suffering is amplified greatly,” study researcher and Northeastern University psychology professor David DeSteno, Ph.D., wrote in The New York Times.

You don’t put emphasis on money.

If money doesn’t buy happiness, then according to studies from the University of California, Berkeley, it doesn’t buy compassion, either. In one study, researchers found that as someone grew in social class, his or her compassion for others declined. The findings support previous research that showed that a higher social class also negatively influences a person’s ability to pay attention in interactions wither other people, Scientific American reported.

You act on your empathy.

Firestone says a major component of compassion is giving back, even in the smallest ways. “When we take actions that are caring and loving, we feel more love in return,” she explains. This is why compassionate people act on their kindness, whether it’s through volunteering or just being a shoulder to lean on — and overall they’re much happier for it. “If you’re going after happiness, you don’t get as happy as you would if you’re going after generosity,” she says. “A hedonistic way of pursuing happiness really doesn’t work for most people.”

You’re kind to yourself.
self love

“Self-compassion is actually really, really key to becoming a more compassionate person overall,” Firestone explains. “It’s hard to feel for other people something we don’t feel for ourselves.”

Practicing self-love is a little different than self-esteem, is also crucial to beating bad habits in other aspects of our lives. “We often think the way to change bad behaviors is to beat ourselves up, But self-compassion is actually the first step in changing any behavior you want to change.” And there’s science to back it up: According to a study from the University of California, Berkeley, those who practice self-compassion are more motivated to improve themselves and go for their goals.

You teach others.

Compassionate people don’t want to just keep their gifts to themselves, they want to impart their knowledge onto other people. As motivational speaker and author Jen Groover notes, it’s this desire that lies in the root of all empathetic habits. “True compassion exists when you give your strength, guidance and wisdom to empower another so that you can see who you really are and live in a greater capacity and expect nothing in return,” she wrote. “True grace exists when the ‘teachers’ realize that the gift was really theirs — to be able to teach another.”

You’re mindful.


When you’re exercising compassion, you’re putting yourself in the moment. Compassionate people aren’t listening and checking their smartphones at the same time — they’re present, offering their empathetic response to the story right in front of them.

This awareness is crucial to compassion because it allows you to really focus on others rather than your own reflections. “Mindfulness allows us to develop a different relationship to our feelings,” Firestone explains. “Feelings or thoughts may come up, but with mindfulness we can sort of see them as clouds floating by. Not getting caught up in our thoughts is really helpful.”

You have high emotional intelligence.

Individuals who are tapped into their own compassion also seem to be tapped into their own emotions. “It’s partly … being able to see what’s going on in your mind and other people’s minds,” Firestone explains. “I think when we can do that we have more compassion toward other people.”

When you’re emotionally intelligent, you also have a greater sense of morality and you genuinely try to help others – which are all crucial components of empathy. Compassionate people “understand that other people have a sovereign mind that sees the world differently than you do — and one isn’t right and one isn’t wrong,” Firestone says.

You express gratitude.


“Doing things that light us up and make us feel good — people think of that as being selfish, but often that leads us to better behavior toward other people,” Firestone says. One way to do that is to count the positives.

Whether or not you’ve committed a lot of compassionate acts in your life, chances are you’ve been on the receiving end at least once or twice. Empathetic individuals not only acknowledge those acts of kindness done unto them, they actively express gratitude for them. “Just thinking about our gratitude for other people makes us feel happy,” Firestone says. “And it’s slowing down and expressing those types of things that makes us more caring and loving.”

Credits: livebuddhism, where this was originally featured.



On Benevolent Outcomes

Most Benevolent Outcomes – A Simple Tool for Your Toolbox

13th April 2012

By Tom T. Moore

As we get older, one of the things we must face are more trips to a hospital for any variety of reasons.  This happened to me recently when I went in for arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn cartilage brought on by years of skiing. After a vacation this past September to Orlando’s amusement centers and St. Petersburg, Florida, I could barely walk.

Certainly there’s stress involved with any type of procedure, but I’m going to give you a simple tool you can use not only in serious circumstances, but for ANY situation, no matter how mundane for the rest of your life.  It is requesting Most Benevolent Outcomes (MBO’s) each time you go anywhere or do anything.  As an example, before I left for the hospital I said out loud, “I request a Most Benevolent Outcome for my drive to the hospital, thank you!”  Now I believe that my own Guardian Angel handled that request, but you can believe the request is going to God, Allah, Jesus, Mohammad, Buddha, Vishnu, or any other deity.  It does not matter, because IT WORKS!  Before the surgery I said, “I request a Most Benevolent Outcome for this surgery, and may the results be even better than I can hope for or expect, thank you!”

You’ll find a calmness comes over you, and it tremendously lowers the stress and fear factors.  I was so calm for this surgery I dozed off waiting for the doctor in the pre-op room.  I also said what I call a Benevolent Prayer for the doctors and nurses to perform the operation perfectly.  It went well and in the recovery room I even serenaded the nurses with a couple of oldies.  I requested a MBO when I started rehab, and was assigned the most experience physical therapist at the facility.

In 2006 I was scheduled to travel to Houston, Texas to give a talk about my first book, but I had a nagging cough, and went to my doctor to have him prescribe an inhaler.  He checked me over and said, “Tom, I’m not going to prescribe the inhaler; you have congestive heart failure and you’re going downstairs and check yourself into the hospital.”  I replied, “Well I’m glad I wore my clean undies today Doc!”  Naturally I requested a MBO for the heart problem.  They first tried to shock my heart back into normal rhythm, but on awakening they said it didn’t work.  I didn’t worry, as I KNEW something better was on the way.  They brought in an electro-cardiologist and he did an ablation procedure to bring the heart back to normal rhythm, and a year later he performed another one that allowed me to come off all my heart medications.

These requests work quite simply.  When you request a Benevolent Outcome you’re saying you would like a specific outcome, but that benevolent being on the other side knows what’s in your best short term and long term interests, so you’re turning the request over to that spiritual entity.  If you ever watched THE SECRET movie this simple tool is better than any modality presented in the film.  One lady wrote to me and said The Law of Attraction was like driving an old Ford Pinto and requesting MBO’s was like driving a Ferrari—both may get you there but the Ferrari will get you there a lot faster!

I’ve requested 15,000 or more MBO’s in the last 15 years, so I can say they work PERFECTLY, even when at first it does not seem so.  Months later you’ll see something better come along.  You can request Benevolent Outcomes for the perfect job for you, the perfect home for you, and even the perfect mate for you!  You can request them in business situations and even when you feel in danger.  But I do recommend starting with the mundane requests, such as a parking space in front of a busy restaurant or store, your drives to work or the mall, a seat on a bus or train, and around town.  This achieves two things:  First you will build up a trust that this actually works for you, and secondly it will get you in the habit of requesting MBO’s, so that when some emergency or very serious event happens in your life the first thing you’ll do is the request a MBO.

Have fun experimenting with requesting MBO’s.   This will change your life for the better, and will make the rest of your years much less stressful and more successful!


Gratitude of a Humpback Whale

Whale Shows AMAZING Appreciation After Being Freed From Fishing Nets

Michael Fishbach, co-founder of The Great Whale Conservancy (GWC), narrates his encounter with a young humpback whale entangled in local fishing nets.

At first, the animal appeared to be dead, yet Fishbach investigated and quickly discovered that the poor creature was tangled in a fishing net. The humans had to act fast; what began as a tragedy soon became a thrilling rescue as Fishbach and his crew labored to free the young whale. The entire encounter was caught on videotape and later narrated by Fishbach himself.

Watch as the whale named Valentina by her rescuers goes from near death to freedom, then rewards her saviours with dozens of magnificent full-body breeches and tail flips.

Indeed, this video has the power to inspire action on behalf of other beings. In ways big and small, each of us can be the one who helps another. Opportunities to be a hero for animals are all around. Where will your compassion take you next?


Ann Naylor on Wealth and Blessings

Anne Naylor

Personal motivation consultant and author

Wealth School: A Blessing of Wealth and Well-Being

Posted: 1/9/12 08:03 AM ET
 Wealth is a difficult word these days because it seems we have been witnessing an abuse of our financial resources. Nevertheless, ourexperience of wealth goes way beyond money alone.

What does wealth mean for you, deep down? What is your intention for wealth now? Yes, you have basic needs to cover, possibly fewer than you think.

Wealth speaks to me of expansion, and not just in financial terms. Does more money translate to greater happiness and fulfilment? Does security in life come from having a good pension entitlement? What is the more, the expansion that truly counts for you?

Psychologist Daniel Gilbert in his TED talk asks Why are we happy? and suggests we are often mistaken about what makes us happy, including financially.

What is your vision for wealth in 2012? What is your vision for expansion and fulfilment? Do you enjoy the wealth of friendship you would like? Are you following a vocation that is true to your heart? Are you in tune with your spiritual values? Do you enjoy inner peace and serenity, or do you suffer nagging doubts and anxiety? Do you wake up in the morning, refreshed from a good night’s sleep and greet the day with joy and enthusiasm?

A basic message of Christmas is that wherever we may find ourselves, in the equivalent of a lowly stable perhaps, we can start afresh. Each day offers the possibility of a new beginning, a new way of looking at what is in front of us, of seeing clearly the opportunity present.

This blessing I hope may help to awaken you to a new vision for today, a vision in which you count in the wealth and expansion of your life.

Spirit of Divine Love, we bring ourselves forward into the generous consciousness of your loving and Light with our gratitude for all of the many blessings that we enjoy and that enrich us.We offer ourselves for your guidance and infinite wisdom
to comfort, reassure and show us our best ways ahead.

We appreciate your gifts to us, our natural talents and qualities,
the skills and strengths we have developed so far
and those we have yet to master.

We know that as we give, so we also receive,
that we are One with all of your creation,
celebrating the contribution that comes from our own divine essence.

Please show us the way, your way
that we may more fully enrich the world around us
and in so doing,
expand the boundaries of our own wealth experience.

In each moment when we stop to take account
may we know your presence more fully
and know ourselves as one with your magnificence.

We accept and receive your blessings
as we share our blessings with others.

Baruch Bashan — The Blessings Already Are


If you are anything like me, you may be feeling some uncertainty about the coming year. Try these three steps to realize your greater wealth and well-being:

1. Forgive: Any time you are feeling out of balance or a sense of lack, forgive yourself for forgetting that you are Divine. Forgive yourself for the judgements you may be making that cause you to feel separate, alone or lonely. You are never alone.

2. Be grateful: Count your blessings, even and especially the small ones. The little things count. Remember then. In the evening, write down a minimum of 5 things you have appreciated during the day.

3. Bless: Bless your day, your night, the neighbor and those who would in some way offend you. Wish well whoever is around you, whoever you may pass in the street. Bless your work, your projects, your computer, the hands that type on its keyboard, those who read what you have written — including yourself. Bless your world with a smile — you never know who might benefit from such a simple gesture. Be creative with your blessings — there is no limit to the goodness you can extend as you expand your wealth and well-being in 2012.

You do not have to be a saint or a savior to extend blessings. You may wish to bless others silently with your thoughts of goodwill. Your actions of caring and thoughtfulness may communicate blessings. The skills and talents you express at work are an expression of your blessings. The touch of a warm hand, a comforting arm to hold, a gentle smile all speak of blessings.

Through your forgiving, gratitude and blessing you might find greater stability and contentment within the changes that are happening around us. What is more, you may find that the changes themselves produce greater blessings than you could ever have imagined.

May 2012 bless you with many opportunities to expand beyond your former limits of wealth and well-being and into the greater appreciation of who you truly are.