Aug 13

Conversations with God

My heart breaks when I turn on the news and see nothing but hate and violence. The energy of the world is overpowering with emotions. Some spew nothing but hate and intolerance. They attack each other on the streets and in words online. They spread a message of violence and cruelty. With closed minds, they reject what is different.

Yet I still believe in the power of love and the goodness of people. 

It's during these times that I am reminded of the beautiful work of Neale Donald Walsch. The first time I read Conversations with God, I cried tears of joy. This was the God I knew in my heart. This was the God that spoke to me. There is pure, unconditional love in every word. 

This story adapted from Conversations with God is appropriate for all of us today. When faced with hate...when challenges overwhelm us...when we wonder where God's love is...

Remember that YOU are the light! We are ALL the light!

Once upon no time, there was a little Soul who said to God, "I know who I am."
And God said, "That's wonderful! Who are you?"
And the Little Soul shouted, "I'm the Light!"
God smiled a big smile. "That's right!" God exclaimed. "You are the Light."
The Little Soul was so happy, for it had figured out what all the souls in the Kingdom were there to figure out.
"Wow," said the Little Soul, "this is really cool!"
But soon, knowing who it was was not enough. The Little Soul felt stirrings inside, and now wanted to be who it was. And so the Little Soul went back to God (which is not a bad idea for all souls who want to be Who They Really Are) and said,
"Hi, God! Now that I know Who I am, is it okay for me to be it?"
And God said, "You mean you want to be Who You Already Are?"
"Well," replied the Little Soul," it's one thing to know Who I Am, and another thing altogether to actually be it. I want to feel what it's like to be the Light!"
"But you already are the Light," God repeated, smiling again.
"Yes, but I want to see what that feels like!" cried the Little Soul.
"Well," said God with a chuckle, "I suppose I should have known. You always were the adventuresome one."
Then God's expression changed. "There's only one thing..."
"What?" asked the Little Soul.
"Well, there is nothing else but the Light. You see, I created nothing but what you are; and so, there is no easy way for you to experience yourself as Who You Are, since there is nothing that you are not."
"Huh?" said the Little Soul, who was now a little confused.
"Think of it this way," said God. "You are like a candle in the Sun. Oh, you're there all right. Along with a million, gazillion other candles who make up the Sun. And the sun would not be the Sun without you. Nay, it would be a sun without one of its candles...and that would not be the Sun at all; for it would not shine as brightly. Yet, how to know yourself as the Light when you are amidst the Light -that is the question."
"Well," the Little Soul perked up, "you're God. Think of something!"
Once more God smiled. "I already have," God said. "Since you cannot see yourself as the Light when you are in the Light, we'll surround you with darkness."
"What's darkness?" the Little Soul asked.
God replied, "It is that which you are not."
"Will I be afraid of the dark?" cried the Little Soul.
"Only if you choose to be," God answered. "There is nothing, really, to be afraid of, unless you decide that there is. You see, we are making it all up. We are pretending."
"Oh," said the Little Soul, and felt better already.
Then God explained that, in order to experience anything at all, the exact opposite of it will appear. "It is a great gift," God said, "because without it, you could not know what anything is like. You could not know Warm without Cold, Up without Down, Fast without Slow. You could not know Left without Right, Here without There, Now without Then."
"And so," God concluded, "when you are surrounded with darkness, do not shake your fist and raise your voice and curse the darkness. Rather be a Light unto the darkness, and don't be mad about it. Then you will know Who You Really Are, and all others will know, too. Let your Light shine so that everyone will know how special you are!"
"You mean it's okay to let others see how special I am?" asked the Little Soul.
"Of course!" God chuckled. "It's very okay! But remember, 'special' does not mean 'better.' Everybody is special, each in their own way! Yet many others have forgotten that. They will see that it is okay for them to be special only when you see that it is okay for you to be special."
"Wow," said the Little Soul, dancing and skipping and laughing and jumping with joy. "I can be as special as I want to be!"
"Yes, and you can start right now," said God, who was dancing and skipping and laughing right along with the Little Soul.
"What part of special do you want to be?"
"What part of special?" the Little Soul repeated. "I don't understand."
"Well," God explained, "being the Light is being special, and being special has a lot of parts to it. It is special to be kind. It is special to be gentle. It is special to be creative. It is special to be patient. Can you think of any other ways it is special to be?"
The Little Soul sat quietly for a moment. "I can think of lots of ways to be special!" the Little Soul then exclaimed. "It is special to be helpful. It is special to be sharing. It is special to be friendly. It is special to be considerate of others!"
"Yes!" God agreed, "and you can be all of those things, or any part of special you wish to be, at any moment. That's what it means to be the Light."
"I know what I want to be, I know what I want to be!" the Little Soul announced with great excitement. "I want to be the part of special called 'forgiving'. Isn't it special to be forgiving?"
"Oh, yes," God assured the Little Soul. "That is very special."
"Okay," said the Little Soul. "That's what I want to be. I want to be forgiving. I want to experience myself as that."
"Good," said God, "but there's one thing you should know."
The Little Soul was becoming a bit impatient now. It always seemed as though there were some complication.
"What is it?" the Little Soul sighed.
"There is no one to forgive."
"No one?" The Little Soul could hardly believe what had been said.
"No one!" God repeated. "Everything I have made is perfect. There is not a single soul in all creation less perfect than you. Look around you."
It was then that the Little Soul realized a large crowd had gathered. Souls had come from far and wide ~ from all over the Kingdom ~ for the word had gone forth that the Little Soul was having this extraordinary conversation with God, and everyone wanted to hear what they were saying. Looking at the countless other souls gathered there, the Little Soul had to agree. None appeared less wonderful, less magnificent, or less perfect than the Little Soul itself. Such was the wonder of the souls gathered around, and so bright was their Light, that the Little Soul could scarcely gaze upon them.
"Who, then, to forgive?" asked God.
"Boy, this is going to be no fun at all!" grumbled the Little Soul. "I wanted to experience myself as One Who Forgives. I wanted to know what that part of special felt like."
And the Little Soul learned what it must feel like to be sad. But just then a Friendly Soul stepped forward from the crowd.
"Not to worry, Little Soul," the Friendly Soul said, "I will help you."
"You will?" the Little Soul brightened. "But what can you do?"
"Why, I can give you someone to forgive!"
"You can?"
"Certainly!" chirped the Friendly Soul. "I can come into your next lifetime and do something for you to forgive."
"But why? Why would you do that?" the Little Soul asked. "You, who are a Being of such utter perfection! You, who vibrate with such a speed that it creates a Light so bright that I can hardly gaze upon you! What could cause you to want to slow down your vibration to such a speed that your bright Light would become dark and dense? What could cause you ~ who are so light that you dance upon the stars and move through the Kingdom with the speed of your thought--to come into my life and make yourself so heavy that you could do this bad thing?"
"Simple," the Friendly Soul said. "I would do it because I love you."
The Little Soul seemed surprised at the answer.
"Don't be so amazed," said the Friendly Soul, "you have done the same thing for me. Don't you remember? Oh, we have danced together, you and I, many times. Through the eons and across all the ages have we danced. Across all time and in many places have we played together. You just don't remember."
"We have both been All Of It. We have been the Up and the Down of it, the Left and the Right of it. We have been the Here and the There of it, the Now and the Then of it. We have been the male and the female, the good and the bad; we have both been the victim and the villain of it."
"Thus have we come together, you and I, many times before; each bringing to the other the exact and perfect opportunity to Express and to Experience Who We Really Are. And so," the Friendly Soul explained further, "I will come into your next lifetime and be the 'bad one' this time. I will do something really terrible, and then you can experience yourself as the One Who Forgives.
"But what will you do?" the Little Soul asked, just a little nervously, "that will be so terrible?"
"Oh," replied the Friendly Soul with a twinkle, "we'll think of something."
Then the Friendly Soul seemed to turn serious, and said in a quiet voice, "You are right about one thing, you know."
"What is that?" the Little Soul wanted to know.
"I will have to slow down my vibration and become very heavy to do this not-so-nice thing. I will have to pretend to be something very unlike myself. And so, I have but one favor to ask of you in return."
"Oh, anything, anything!" cried the Little Soul, and began to dance and sing, "I get to be forgiving, I get to be forgiving!"
Then the Little Soul saw that the Friendly Soul was remaining very quiet.
"What is it?" the Little Soul asked. "What can I do for you? You are such an angel to be willing to do this for me!"
"Of course this Friendly Soul is an angel!" God interrupted. "Everyone is! Always remember: I have sent you nothing but angels."
And so the Little Soul wanted more than ever to grant the Friendly Soul's request. "What can I do for you?" the Little Soul asked again.
"In the moment that I strike you and smite you," the Friendly Soul replied, "in the moment that I do the worst to you that you could possible imagine ~ in that very moment..."
"Yes?" the Little Soul interrupted, "yes...?""Remember Who I Really Am."
"Oh, I will!" cried the Little Soul, "I promise! I will always remember you as I see you right here, right now!"
"Good," said the Friendly Soul, "because, you see, I will have been pretending so hard, I will have forgotten myself. And if you do not remember me as I really am, I may not be able to remember for a very long time. And if I forget Who I Am, you may even forget Who You Are, and we will both be lost. Then we will need another soul to come along and remind us both of Who We Are."
"No, we won't!" the Little Soul promised again. "I will remember you! And I will thank you for bringing me this gift ~ the chance to experience myself as Who I Am.
"And so, the agreement was made. And the Little Soul went forth into a new lifetime, excited to be the Light, which was very special, and excited to be that part of special called Forgiveness.
And the Little Soul waited anxiously to be able to experience itself as Forgiveness, and to thank whatever other soul made it possible. And at all the moments in that new lifetime, whenever a new soul appeared on the scene, whether that new soul brought joy or sadness--and especially if it brought sadness--the Little Soul thought of what God had said.
"Always remember," God had smiled, "I have sent you nothing but angels."

The Little Soul and The Sun by Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations With God

Jul 30

Big Magic

I hesitated to buy Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic for some time. It was at the top of lots of “must read” lists since it came out in 2015. I didn’t think I would connect with it because I’m not a writer or creative. I don’t paint or draw. Writing these posts can at times feel like torture. I would probably stab myself if I tried to knit. I have famously made curtains without any thread or needles (thanks to the miracle of stitch witchery and my mother’s inspiration).

When asked about my hobbies, I fumble. Um...does passionately watching Cleveland sports count? I do love to read, and I am very good at precisely aligning objects on a desk or shelf (always group in 3’s), but I don’t think that's going to get me into the Olympics or get any recognition.

That’s why I didn’t think I would connect to Big Magic. I was wrong.

Creative big magic doesn’t just happen for those who make a living from their creativity. It’s for everyone that finds joy in doing something they love.

Do you love to spend time digging in the dirt? Take pride in your juicy tomatoes or the glorious colors from your flower bed for you are creative.

Can you make a delicious meal by combining ingredients with the instincts of a 5-star chef? Make me a plate because you are creative.

Can you capture a perfect moment from your phone that brings joy to all your Instagram followers? No fancy equipment necessary when you are creative.

You may work a 9 to 5 that is as inspiring as a matte gray wall, but there is so much more to your life. You are a singer (whether it’s in the church choir or alone on your daily commute), a dancer (keep moving no matter what your teenager says), or a designer (your Pinterest inspired home makes you smile every day). Whatever brings you joy, gets you going, and makes you curious to learn more or try something new is “creativity.”

I guess I just didn’t think that those things were creative enough. I foolishly believed that I wasn’t “a creative person” because I didn’t write novels or sculpt works of art from a slab of marble.

“You’ll never be able to create anything interesting out of your life if you don’t believe that you're entitled to at least try.”

Ah...fear. You seem to find me everywhere.

Fear crushes creativity if you let it. How many times have you stopped creating because you feared what other people would think? Or has perfectionism never allowed you to finish? In the book, Gilbert calls perfectionism “a high-end, haute couture version of fear.” And as a recovering perfectionist, I agree. For months and months, I started to write a blog post but never published because I couldn’t get it as perfect as others I read. I didn’t share my website because the graphics weren’t quite right and the font didn’t inspire me as I wanted. So I just stopped because I didn’t think it was good enough and would never be good enough.

I finally broke the curse of perfectionism because quite simply; I can’t help people if I don't put myself out there.

I took a big leap and pushed myself out there with a not perfect website and a not perfect blog. And now I’m helping women fight through their fears and take leaps to become who they want to be. That feels a thousand times better than a perfect font.

And the last thing you want to do is quit too soon. Gilbert talks about those that quit when things get uncomfortable or scary.

“They miss the good part, the wild part, the transformative part---the part when you push past the difficulty and enter into some raw new unexplored universe within yourself.”

Even those seemingly small creative pursuits can generate big transformations in yourself. Fears are broken. Doubts released. Parts of yourself, hidden for years, can have some fun.

Tell me...what creativity have you been hiding? Instead of binge-watching another season of Grey’s Anatomy (sorry sis), what creative pursuit would make your soul giddy? It doesn’t have to be big or anything you will share with others. This is for you and your soul. What tickles your curiosity? Follow it. Who knows where your new creative pursuit could lead.

Can't seem to shake the fear or self-doubt?​ Let's talk about it. Click here to schedule a free 30 minute call with me.

Jul 26

Make it Work Moments

What’s your guilty pleasure TV show? Right now, mine is Project Runway. I normally avoid extreme drama or any drama. I stay away from those “reality” TV shows where people run high on every emotion...constantly. It’s exhausting. Ugh...too much. (Except for Survivor. Those people are allowed some extra drama since they’re in pure misery.

But on Project Runway, I can overlook some of the drama (and oh can there be drama!) watching the designers create dresses and outfits (apparently jumpsuits are very in.) I’m not a fashionista (obviously since I didn’t know about the jumpsuit thing) and I honestly don’t always see the beauty that the judges see in these clothes. I love watching the creative energy come to life.

During a recent binge-watching event, one episode had the designers pick fabric from a non-traditional section (think beach wear made from upholstery...even I know that’s not easy.) As is typical for Project Runway, there was another twist...they then had to switch their perfectly chosen fabric with another designer. Many horrified faces and fits that would make any 2-year-old proud! So now they must make a dress out of the material they didn’t pick (and really hate)...no one was happy.

The designers took something they didn’t want but still created something they were proud to send down the runway. It made me think.

How many times have you found yourself in a situation that you didn’t choose, but had to make it work? Did you throw a fit (maybe a little) or did you push forward?

Unless you live alone on an island, the people around you will create circumstances that you do not choose but must live with anyway. You can either find that island or learn to how to get through it.

Ask yourself these questions. Not to get through, but to own it!

Why am I really upset?

I often find that I’m annoyed at someone else when I didn’t speak my mind or stand up for myself. I’m sulking because I didn’t say no or didn’t say what I really wanted. Speak up! No one is reading your mind (even if you think they are.)

Is this one of those life lessons I hear so much about?

Life has a way of teaching when you don’t realize you’re in class. You learn the biggest life lessons from experience (and never one that you planned.) Let go of some control and see where this takes you. You may like it.

Maybe…just maybe…is there someone or some force that knows more than you do?

I know. It’s hard to believe, but you might not know everything. I kid, but how many times are you faced with a situation you don’t want, and it all works out. Maybe even better than you could have planned.

A long time ago someone told me that life is like the underside of a blanket. One of those blankets with a picture made of threads. The back looks like a crazy mess, but the other side has a pretty picture. To us, life looks messy and random, but if we could see it from the other side, we would see that every thread is in just the right place.

Trust that there is a reason, even if you don’t know what it is.

Alright, now it’s your turn! Are you in the middle of a situation someone else picked out for you? How are you going to make it work?

Need some help? Let's talk and see if I can help you​ make it work. Click here to schedule a quick call with me. (I promise I won't make you design a ballgown or a jumpsuit!)

Jul 23

White Hot Truth

Week 2 of my Summer Reading journey was HOT (and I’m not talking about blinding sun and lots of humidity.) I’m talking about White Hot Truth by Danielle LaPorte.

You know when you read a book and think, “I want to have a cup of iced tea (or coffee if you prefer) with this person.” That's how I feel about Danielle. Not so much for her words of wisdom or stirring questions (although those are amazing), but because she is flawed and isn’t afraid to put it out there. I love that!

There is a common theme in a lot of self-help books. “You're flawed and here’s what to do to fix you.” Well, great. Now I feel like crap. But guess what?

You don’t need to be fixed.

Nope. You are perfect just as you are. Just as you have always been and how you will always be.

Is it hard to believe that? I know I have struggled with that notion. From people and religion to books and TV, the idea that we are all flawed is everywhere. But they are wrong. God (Creator, Source, whatever term you feel comfortable using) loves you unconditionally. That means no matter what you do or think or say, you will always be perfect. No matter what. No matter what.

So why is it that people spend so much time trying to fix themselves? Maybe it’s not that they need fixing, but that they need connecting.”

“Joy is what happens when you make contact with your Soul.

When you connect to your soul, to that inner you connected to all things, you have all the strength you need, all the compassion and forgiveness. Not for other people (although that’s good too), but for yourself.

“If you want to increase your joy, deepen your devotion to knowing the Truth. The Truth of who you are.”

My journey through these eight weeks of books isn’t to find out what’s wrong with me to fix it. (I'm perfect just the way I am, remember?) Each book gives me greater insight into myself. The passages that stir something inside of me catch my eye because my soul connects with it. What doesn’t connect, I let go. Every book is a journey deeper into the truth of me by looking through a different window.

Are you ready to look inside for your truth? Find a book sitting on your shelf or your Kindle. Go to the store or online and find a new one. Start reading. Underline or highlight (you can do that digitally too) anything that stirs your soul. Spend time with those ideas. Grab your journal and connect with soul. Ask questions and dig deeper. Learn your truth.

If you’re looking for someone to help you on your journey, let’s chat. Click here to schedule a FREE introductory call with me.

Jul 18

Let’s Celebrate!

Do you remember...

High school graduation. Top of the world. No more tests and projects. You can do anything you want!

Oh, wait, then there was college. But you got through that. Graduation. Degree in hand. Ready to take on the world.

First day on the job. And all that schooling didn’t teach you how to use the copy machine or how actually to do this new job.

Every time you reach your goal, there is something new on the other side.

A new experience that seems impossible at first (like when you took that 8 am Speech class...who can think let alone speak that early or that job where you had to manage somehow to figure out how to do your job with no training or direction) yet somehow you reach the end. Success takes on many forms, whether it’s graduation or quitting a thankless job because you know you can do better. Success always leads to a new beginning.

As I’m making my way through my summer reading, the lessons remind me that even when I successfully make a change in my life, there is always more to learn.

 More growing to do.

Congratulations on every successful change you’ve made and every graduation to a new level of living. Don’t feel defeated when it seems that just when you figure life out, it changes on you. It’s supposed to change. Throw yourself a party and get ready for the next level. You’ll find your way through this one too.

Put it into action:

We can so easily forget all that we have accomplished when we are stuck. Grab that journal and write out 5 “graduations” you have had. When did you make that last mindset change? When did you move past your fears? When did you take that brave leap into the unknown? Celebrate all that you have achieved. You will have much more to come.

I know that feeling. You can’t even put it into words. You don’t know what to do. You don’t think you can do it this time. I’m here to tell you...you can do this! But if you’re feeling like you’re not going to make it passed this lesson and you need some tutoring to make the grade...click here to schedule a FREE introductory session with me to get the help you need.

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