INSPIRATION Just BE: A Tribute to Berenice Andrews 3 Free Yourself, Expand Your Boundaries: How Many Minutes is Your Circle of Limitation? 4 Contemplating What’s to Come 7 The Tale of Two Friends and a River 8 The Lesson of the Flute 10 TOOLS & TIPS FOR TRANSFORMATION The Invisible Crown of Confidence Let Go! Transforming Fear – The Alchemy of Life 10 Steps to Embrace Mindfulness The Power of Words: What You Need to Know 7 Abiding Tenets to Follow Your Dreams Do You Dare to Ditch Dairy? Don’t Change Who You Are: Find Where You Fit It’s the RACE Trap. Free Yourself! Intentions & Affirmations, Part 2: How to Avoid Competing Intentions
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COACHING TOOLS Planning for a Profitable Future: How to develop an effective business plan for e-commerce. 32 ENLIGHTENMENT Life After Death: A message from Aunt Polly. Resign as Your Own Teacher The NOW: How I Lost My Head and Found My Heart Space The Power of Imagination Enlightened Advice
© Copyright 2017 Transformation Magazine. All rights reserved. www.TransformationMag.com
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“I saw God contained in a tiny particle, a point so infinitesimal it could barely be seen and yet it contained the origin and essence of all things. [...] The point I saw was all reality, and it contained no separation from God or the love that sustains the world.” —Julian of Norwich
Just BE: A Tribute to Berenice Andrews By Lisa Cedrone While I was busy getting ready to take a month-long trip to Italy this past May, I received what would be Berenice Andrews’ final—and 44th—article for Transformation. She had asked one of her students to type it out because she couldn’t sit at the computer due to ongoing health challenges. Berenice often told me that writing for the magazine and being a part of our community was very important to her. Yet the truth was that we were the ones who were so privileged to receive such a wealth of wisdom and knowledge through her words. I called Berenice a few days before I left the country to see how she was feeling (not well) and I offered to drive to St. Pete from Sarasota, FL, for a visit. But Berenice insisted I wait until after the trip so she could see my photos of Italy, one of her favorite places in the world. That was the final conversation we shared. Berenice transitioned peacefully in her own home on June 8, 2017, so I will not get the chance to share those pictures; however, I was holding her in my heart on that trip and I know she was with me in spirit. We became good friends over the four years Berenice was a regular columnist for Transformation. Monthly email conversations turned into phone calls, and then visits to her home. On my last trip, I had the opportunity to take a shamanic journey under her guidance, and it was a beautiful experience that I will forever hold sacred. Berenice’s enthusiasm for learning never ceased to amaze me. She was an octogenarian—as she liked to call herself—and a gifted shamanic healer, teacher and author. (She even wrote her own textbook, Rebirthing Into Androgyny: Your Quest For Wholeness, and Afterward.) Berenice also was an impressive scholar with the ability to cross cultural boundaries, researching and referencing pertinent examples for the many spiritual topics she addressed in our pages. As just one example: One of her favorite historical figures was the English Christian mystic, philosopher and theologian Julian of Norwich (c. 8 November 1342–c. 1416). When Berenice had the opportunity to dedicate an article to her work, she dug deep enough to find a perfect example that expressed Julian of Norwich’s inherent understanding of the interdependent nature of all things, and that also exemplified today’s merging paths of quantum physics and spirituality:
In the last weeks of her life, Berenice had the opportunity to spend time with her daughter Diana, who lives in Southern California, and her students, who helped to provide hospice care. In the end, Nana Hendricks, a long-time friend and student, had the opportunity hear what Berenice called her last and most important life lesson, which she wanted to share with us all. When Nana retold the story, I could almost hear Berenice’s soft but firm words touching my heart:
Listen carefully, my whole life I felt like I was supposed to do something—something big. Lying here on my deathbed, I had it wrong all along. I didn’t come here to do or accomplish something. I came here to BE something. It wasn’t until I couldn’t do anything at all that I realized the importance of BEING, my I AM Presence. Whenever we are in a state of doing, we focus on one task and put all of our energy into that one thing. However, the vibration of BEING ripples out through the realms. It makes a much larger impact than what we can do in “accomplishment mode.”
The greatest thing we can do is to just BE. May we all come to know that just being here on Earth is meaningful beyond measure, and may we all remember the light that Berenice brought to this world.
Free Yourself, Expand Your Boundaries: How Many Minutes is Your Circle of Limitation? By Natalie Rivera Escape from Darkness When I decided to Florida from New Hampshire when I was 23, everyone I told responded with pessimism and discouragement. “You’ll be back.” “It’s too hot down there, you’re going to roast.” “There are old people everywhere.” “The water at the beach gets so warm it’s not even refreshing.” “I’ve heard the traffic is TERRIBLE.” Everyone had negative things to say. Everyone except one guy who responded more honestly. When I mentioned I was moving to Florida he paused for a moment, reflectively, and said “I wish I had the balls. I’ve always thought about moving south to get away from these horrendous winters, but the truth is I’m just too much of a chicken.” I thanked him for his honesty and told him what I had just realized in that moment—that most of the rest of the people I’d told, who had reacted with negativity, had probably also always thought about moving south but that, unlike him, they couldn’t face the truth.
The truth is that they avoided acknowledging their desire for a better (or at least warmer) life out of fear. 4
They limited themselves to avoid the discomfort of change. So, my brazen and abrupt move to the other side of the country—without a job or a house or a nest egg—threatened the tightly held belief they clung to that it wasn’t possible. It might have been a little crazy, but it was definitely possible. After the winter we had just experienced—with practically zero snow and temperatures so cold they close the schools for cold—the only thing I saw as “crazy” was living through another year in a frozen hell. Hunger for Light I distinctly remember the moment I made my decision. It was February, and the little snow we had was melting and a patch of brown and crumpled grass was showing through. I saw a small green sprout reaching toward the sun. I empathized with it’s hunger for the light. I felt compassion for the months it had spent trapped beneath the frozen earth. I felt the relief of breaking through. I realized it was not the plight of the sprout I was empathizing with, it was my own. “Never again,” I said to myself in that moment. And I meant it. Fear of the unknown or not, I was not about to submit myself to further torture within a self-inflicted boundary of a state.
Self-Imposed Limitations These mental physical boundaries are a perfect example of self-inflicted limits. Whether it’s a state or a certain distance from home, these boundaries are ultimately meaningless. I challenge you to ask anyone (yourself included) what reason they have for not wanting to go beyond whatever boundary they’ve Mental Boundaries set for themselves, and I assure you there will be no reason. So, the other day I was in the Florida Keys celebrating What could the reason possibly be? my birthday with my husband and daughter on a snorkeling trip. Sitting in a car is too painful? On my way there, we stopped to visit family, and at our hotel the Slight discomfort or boredom are simply too much to bear? attendant asked where we were from and what we were there Their brain will explode if they drive too far? for. When we said we lived 4 hours away and were heading to Key They have an irrational fear of being chased by rabid baboons? Largo, he mentioned that he’d always wanted to go to the Keys, WHAT IS IT?! but that anything over an hour away is The only legitimate reason I too far. From the hotel, Key Largo was can think of is that they fear that they little more than 90 minutes south. may experience something beyond that “Never again,” I said to boundary that challenges their belief I thought to myself, “too far that their life is what they want and that myself in that moment. everything they could ever need or love for what?” exists within a 20 minute radius And I meant it. Fear of For experiences worth I arrived in Florida on April 1st, but I can assure you it was not I who was the fool. 13 years later, I’m still here. I live at the beach. And all of those people’s fears were totally bogus, especially the one about the warm water. 88 degree Gulf Beach water is like a saltwater spa. It is heaven. Stop lying to yourself!
having? For opportunities and beauty and adventure? For life to exist?
the unknown or not, I was not about to submit myself to further torture within a self-inflicted boundary of a state.
It reminded me of the limited mental boundaries that I once held for myself. You see, after moving to a giant state like Florida I realized that most people in small states develop what I call “small state mentality”. For some reason, there seems to be a psychological boundary around the literal boundary of one’s home state. For whatever reason, it feels weird to cross it. In Florida, I found myself driving 3 or 4 hours away without questioning it, which I found odd because when I lived in New Hampshire it felt absurd to drive to Boston, which was only an hour away. New York City (2 states away) was only 4 hours away, yet I never would have thought of going. My loss! But, in Florida, you can drive 8 hours and still be in Florida. That felt like freedom to me! However, this hotel attendant reminded me that it isn’t just people who inhabit small states who develop this mental boundary—it’s everyone—except other people’s boundary is a certain driving distance.
It seems so normal for me to drive long distances to experience places I’d like to go that it always surprises me when I meet people who live out their lives within an hour radius. For some, it’s a 20 minute radius. I find it creepy. Even creepier are the people who live within their radius in the same town they grew up in. Eeek. I simply cannot imagine living such a limited life.
What’s your boundary? 20 minutes? 60? 4 hours?
What about with regard to your job? Will you only work somewhere within 20 minutes of your house? It’s understandable if you don’t want to waste your time commuting, but what if your absolutely ideal dream job was 45 minutes away? Would enjoying what you spend 8 hours a day doing be worth spending an extra hour on the road? Or, what if you are happy with your job but your dream beach house became available at a price you could not refuse. Would it be worth driving an hour each way to spend your time at home listening to the waves lap upon the shore, watching the sunset, and swimming when you want to? It’s a toss up... you have to choose between your time and the quality of how you spend your time. Or, you can completely re-think the whole thing, like I did, and create your own job and work from home at the beach.
The truth is that you have a choice but that you don’t allow yourself the full range of options because you create imaginary boundaries of limitation. Stop it. Excuses are Choices I didn’t spend a couple days on vacation in the keys because I have the money and flexibility to do it. I have the money and flexibility to do it because long ago I made a decision to expand my boundaries. At a time when my peers were settling in with their small state mentality and setting up lives that operated
Many people use this famous quote, by George A. within a 20 to 60 minute radius, I was driving across the country with all of my possessions and cat it tow. At a time when money Moore, as an excuse to stay put: was tight, I prioritized experiences over disposable pleasures like Starbucks, cloths and useless possessions. At a time when most “A man travels the world over in search of young adults were climbing the bottom rungs of their chosen cawhat he needs and returns home to find it.” reer path of stability and comfort, I was cliff diving into a path of entrepreneurship and it’s resulting uncertainty and freedom. To which I reply: Sometimes. More often, those who exI’m not saying I think there is anything wrong with beplore find themselves and what they need and love through expoing happy with where you live and living a simple life. I’m just sure to people who think differently than they do, through finding saying that it’s one thing to stay living in your home town, but it’s beauty and meaning in experiences and places they didn’t know exanother thing to NEVER leave it. I think people don’t explore beisted. The truth is most people who leave cause they fear that life beyond their don’t return home. And those who do chosen boundary may reveal what they return home and find that, after all, what may be missing out on. they always wanted was right where Lack of exposure to the outLack of exposure to they began... they first had to “travel the side world is the best way to ensure you world over” in order to realize it... or at the outside world is never question the authenticity of your least leave their state! satisfaction with your life. the best way to ensure I understand... humans are You’ve never heard anyone comfort-seeking beings. We want life to you never question the be pleasant. But, we try so hard to consay “staying within a 1 trol the world around us that we limit it authenticity of your hour radius was the greatest to only what we know. But, then within decision I ever made.” satisfaction with your that narrow path of certainty we make ourselves miserable. The monotony of Take the risk. It’s the only way life. our mediocrity highlights every slight you’ll ever know that the only true risk disruption. When every day is like the is staying stuck where you are... in the one before we seek the variety and novprison of your own making. Only you hold the key. You always elty we crave through conflict, drama, or substance abuse. have. It’s time to stop limiting yourself with imaginary boundaries.
Ask yourself, have you lived 20 years of life, or have you lived 1 year 20 times? If this sounds like you, I’m going to tell you the one thing you’ve been trying to avoid hearing... that you have a choice. • Every day since the beginning of your chosen limitations, you have had a choice to be different. • You have always had the option to cross the boundary, move it, or demolish it. And, every day going forward you will still have this choice. You can say yes to life. • You can get in the car and drive farther than ever before. You can sit down and think about what you really want, but that you’ve told yourself you cannot have... or cannot go... or cannot do. • You can spend your money differently. • You can spend your time differently. • You can stop hiding behind comfort and conformity and obligation. And, if you’re one of those people who loves your home town and wants to raise your kids and grow old where your roots are planted, do it! Every community needs established families to keep tradition and culture alive. But, don’t do it out of fear or obligation.
You’re free to go.
Natalie Rivera is a firestarter, speaker and entrepreneur. She is passionate about empowering others to GET REAL and live authentically. After a decade of living a life that wasn’t hers and developing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Natalie let go of everything and completely transformed. Through her journey to healing she rediscovered her true self and greater purpose—to inspire others to transform their lives. Natalie “retired” from the rat race at 24, put herself through school as a freelance designer, created a non-profit teen center, and later created Transformation Services, Inc., which offers motivational speaking, curriculum development, life coaching, event management, and publishing. She is also the Publisher of Transformation Magazine. Visit www.ignitelife.me.
Contemplating What’s to Come By Ann Darwicki I see my young daughter in her dress, and I am filled with joy. She happily changes into several new dresses in front of my eyes and smiles. She turns and skips off to play, as a six-year-old often will do. I am thoroughly cherishing this tender age, as I know how quickly time will pass. She is our youngest child, and with her I want to savor every moment of the fleeting time of her childhood. A moment later I am awake to realize it was only a dream. My daughter is, in fact, now 18, a recent high school graduate, and a soon to be college student. I am surprised by my sudden sense of loss as I begin to cry. I wonder why this is coming up now. I am on vacation. I am supposed to be enjoying myself. I wonder why, instead of feeling joyous, I am feeling kind of blah. I fondly recall an earlier vacation to this same location with all three of my children in tow, the fun times that we had, the great memories we made. This time only one of my adult children is with me and, while I am enjoying the one-on-one time with him, there is still a vague sense of something missing that is lingering. The changes in my household are mirroring other simultaneous changes occurring in my life: different roles in my marriage, as well as physical and hormonal changes in my body. The truth is that not all of these changes are welcome, but they have come into my life nonetheless. My son is a musician, and the lyrics to one of his songs perfectly capture my feelings and play over and over in my head: Looking over my shoulder I see that nothing’s there
Like a door has closed and will never open again Memories flash back at me like an old film screen Looking back I wouldn’t want to change a single thing The one regret I have is—I didn’t say, I didn’t say goodbye.
Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.—E. Y. Harburg
Ann Darwicki RN is a Certified Professional Life Coach who completed her training at the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching. She is the owner and founder of Whole Being Coaching, specializing in coaching others to live the life of their dreams. Prior to becoming a life coach, Ann obtained as Associates Degree in Nursing from Delaware Technical and Community College. She has 25 years of nursing experience caring for women and children, with a life long affinity for holistic medicine. She is a Reiki practitioner and Nurse Luminary. She is also a freelance writer. She can be reached at 302.750.0574 or by email at adarwicki@ comcast.net.
The Tale of Two Friends and a River By Terez Hartmann Once upon a time, there lived two friends who really loved to play together in a river. They were both deeply spiritual, inquisitive souls who enjoyed asking questions, reveled in exploration, and who could talk for hours and hours about every subject under the sun. While they each had their own unique paths that called them in different directions at times, and were both fiercely independent, they always found a way to connect and have a ball splashing around in the water together. As time went on, the two friends continued to navigate the waters of life, each one choosing her path of least resistance at any given moment. While they may not have always understood each other’s choices and often tried to intervene when it looked like the other was stepping into particularly rough waters, they only discovered that with each attempt to impose their ideas of what the other should do or to “rescue” the other, they unknowingly added sharp rocks and rapids to their once peaceful river. More time passed, and as the friends did their best to swim upstream through this now raging river to meet each other, the ride got rougher and rougher. Though they both knew that this was not healthy for either one of them, their desire to keep the relationship alive and habit of fighting the river caused the two of them to keep jumping in time and time again, even though they would emerge even more battered and bruised than the
time before. In their limited thinking (and now many-year habit), these friends thought that this was the only way they could be together.
Yet, because they were so exhausted from just trying to keep their heads above water, all the fun, inspiration and joy that they once experienced—THE very things that made their relationship so rewarding—were nothing more than a blur as they bounced down the river, hanging on for dear life. One day, as they each started to enter the water, every cell in their bodies called out in every way they could to let the friends know that the current was especially rough on this day, and that this was absolutely NOT the time to attempt to swim. Both of the friends got the message, but deliberately ignored the signs and, sure enough, experienced a ride so rough that they barely survived the trip. They each crawled to the closest shoreline they could find, and knew that until the waters calmed down or some other way presented itself, meeting each other in the
raging river was no longer an option. And so, each stepped away from the river—and each other—for a time. During this time apart, the friends’ desire to get to see each other and play together only continued to increase; however, at the same time, they knew that if they attempted to swim or ask the other to get in the water while still in a weakened state, nothing good would come of it. Friend #1 even started to wonder if perhaps their paths had been severed forever, but because her desire to see her friend was so strong, she decided to put a prayer out into the Universe that somehow, some way, they would meet again. While friend #1 knew she could not control the current of the river or what her friend may be thinking or doing, she decided to focus on what she COULD control: She would nurture her body, mind and spirit to allow herself to heal and find her alignment so that when the time WAS right, she would be ready. One day, friend #1 woke up feeling particularly light and happy. As she went through the rest of her day, her energy only increased, and she was compelled to head over to the river to see her friend. She didn’t know how far along her friend was in her healing process, or if she would even be there, but on this day, the pull to go over to see was too strong to be ignored. Not knowing what she may encounter or if they would be able to meet, she decided that even if she did nothing more than say, “I love you!” in a voice that was loud and clear enough for her friend to hear, that was reason enough to make the trip. Just the thought of this made friend #1 felt elated! By the time friend #1 arrived at the river, what she saw stopped her in her tracks: Not only had her friend decided to come to the river on the same day at the same time, but there, in the spot where she and her friend had each crossed the river many times, was now a beautiful new bridge. Like friend #1, friend #2 also never stopped loving her friend and wanting to be with her, and so as she allowed time to heal her body and mind, and got stronger and stronger, she discovered that there could be another way for them to connect. With each passing day, friend #2 starting building a bridge so that no matter what the river may be doing at any given time, they would always have a way to be together.
Though each of us would continue to navigate the waters of our individual life experiences, anytime we would show up at the river’s edge with love in our hearts, there would always be a bridge that could help us rise above and meet in a place where we each could fully appreciate each other—for we both discovered that love can and will always find a way. The Bottom Line: The Tale of Two Friends and a River If you have ever had someone you love standing on the other side of a raging river, you too may have found that climbing back into tumultuous waters (a.k.a. interacting from a place of disconnection) can take its toll on BOTH of your bodies, minds and souls. So… …Isn’t it nice to know that when you give yourself permission to listen to your inner compass (inner guidance and gut feelings), find your own consistent alignment, and then act from a place of true clarity and inspiration with love in your heart, you may just find, time after time, love can and will build a bridge?
“I will lay me down, like a bridge over troubled waters…” —Paul Simon
Thank you, river, for all you would come to show us. Thank you, mom, for keeping the faith. Thank you, love, for showing us how to build a bridge.
Terez “Firewoman” Hartmann,“Your catalyst for all things Fab-YOUlous,” is the author of Allowing Your Success!, a proud contributing author of Transform Your Life! book one and two, a professional Keynote Speaker/Workshop Facilitator, Singer-Songwriter/Recording Artist, “Allowing Adventures!” & “Savor Vacation” Facilitator, and true Renaissance Woman, and Visionary. She keeps her fire lit by embracing and promoting a lifestyle of “Allowing,” and by using creative expression to elevate and ignite the human spirit, a passion that she shares with her husband, soul-mate and creative partner of over 15 years, John Victor Hartmann. Together they share “Allowing TRUE LOVE” workshops and experiences designed to help others attract, allow, and maintain extraordinary relationships, and create custom jingles and voice-overs in their studio, THE Creativity Express. Visit: www.TerezFirewoman.com
And so it was on this glorious day that the two friends, a.k.a. my mom and I, were reunited—and it was as if all the heavens celebrated with us. We embraced, cried, laughed and—for the first time in a very long time.
Because we no longer were devoting all our energy to staying afloat and swimming upstream in a raging river—we were able to return to the joy, inspiration and core of love that had brought us together in the first place. 9
The Lesson of the Flute By J. Jaye Gold I was in Peru in the 1980s with some friends. We spent a few months hiking and climbing around at some higher elevations in the Andes Mountains. We started off in the north, around Huaraz in the Cajon de Huaylache Mountains, and did some climbing and camping on the slopes of 20,000-foot Mt. Jirishanca. After that we went south to Cusco. People know Cusco because that’s where you go to get to Machu Picchu, the famous Inca ruins. We didn’t go there, but instead went south and climbed to the top of Nevado Ausangate. I had been to Peru before, but never to these particular mountains. I’m bragging about my mountain climbing accomplishments because they explain why, when we eventually returned to Cusco, we were all very tired, had lost a lot of weight, and needed some good R & R in this lovely town in the Andes mountains. One day, I was walking around and looking in the shops, thinking I might buy a flute. I had only been playing the flute for a short while. It was the most recent of my musical instrument explorations—explorations that began with the violin when I was three years old, and went on to include saxophone, piano, drums, harmonica, guitar, and now flute. I actually learned to play the flute from Linda, a friend who was on this trip. She played the silver flute. I had made a flute some years before, but had never really played it. I guess it wasn’t time yet. One day I borrowed Linda’s silver flute and made some sounds that I really liked. I was walking around the streets of Cusco and saw a little shop belonging to a guy who made flutes.
Flutes are very basic to Andean music. If you’ve heard some of that outrageously wonderful music, you know that the basic instruments are panpipes, drums, flutes and little mandolin-like instruments. Most of the flutes made and played in the Andes are called quenas. They have a slot you blow across the top of, instead of sideways, like a silver flute. A traditional flute was difficult enough for me, but I found making any sound (other than air) out of a quena impossible. This guy had probably fifty quenas in his window that he had made, plus one wooden flute that blew sideways like a silver flute. I’m going to digress a bit, for those of you who have traveled in third world countries and know something about bargaining.
The creed of the hip, world traveler is, you are always supposed to bargain. If they say, “Two dollars,” you say, “One dollar,” and you feel great satisfaction from depriving this person of a day’s worth of food because you bargained successfully. In more affluent countries, bargaining is verboten, at least we have been told that it isn’t done, so we have gotten into the habit of either paying what it says on the price tag, or walking out. We had already been in Peru for three months—that adds up to a lot of bargaining—like every time you go into town . . . vegetables, you bargain, eggs, you bargain. You’re always bar-
gaining. At the end of each of my trips to Peru, I have come back with alpaca ponchos and rugs. When you buy tourist-oriented stuff, bargaining is probably indicated, but when you’re buying fruit and vegetables, stuff like that, it’s probably not, but those of us who have gotten the bargaining bug in third world countries— we do it anyway. So, I went into this store and pointed out the flute that I was interested in. The man handed it to me to play, and I proceeded to make some lovely sounds on my first try. Next step, ask the price. He asked for the equivalent of eight dollars in Peruvian Soles. Of course, in the true spirit of an arrogant American, I responded with whatever the equivalent was in Soles of five dollars. He smiled, shook his head, and said, “No.” Then I parried with the equivalent of six dollars in Soles. Once again he smiled, shook his head, and said, “No.” Of course at that point I saw him as breaking the must-bargain convention. Instead, he suggested I play the flute some more. Once again I tried it, and made some even prettier sounds than I had before. Once again I repeated my offer, and once again he refused. He clearly was not going to bargain. So, somewhat self-righteously, I walked out of the shop—proving to myself, later, that I am capable of doing something really foolish. I walked out and went back to the place where we were staying. That night we went out to eat and listen to some music. Walking around afterward, I started thinking how stupid it was to walk away from that flute. Where would I ever find a handmade instrument like that? It wasn’t one of those cheap bamboo flutes—it was quality. So I decided to go back the next day—maybe offer him the equivalent of seven dollars. Even if I had to pay full price, I’d get the flute. When we got back to our room, we drank some pisco, and I told everybody the story, and we all had a good laugh out of it. The next day I had things to do, so I didn’t get to the shop till the afternoon. I went in and reminded him that I was the guy who was looking at that flute there yesterday, and was still interested in it. He told me that someone had come in earlier and bought it. I felt even more dimwitted than I had before. I asked him if he had any others like that one, and he told me that he rarely made them, because people play quenas. I asked him if he could make one for me, and he told me that he would have to find a special kind of wood, but if I came back early next year (it was then November), he might be able to have one for me. I walked out with an awesome feeling of regret, and an equally awesome
lesson. I was really disappointed. I went back and told my friends what had happened. We had a good discussion about lessons and learning, and how sometimes pain is a good teacher. Soon afterward, we flew back to California. By then the pain of my blunder had somewhat left me, and I was left with the lesson. We got back about a week or so before Thanksgiving, and my birthday. A few of my friends threw a birthday party for me; there were about a dozen people there—the people who had gone to Peru and a few others. The flute was long gone, and the pain was less gone, but I wasn’t thinking about that much anymore. We had the candles in the cake, and the Happy Birthday to You song, after which people were handing me boxes and things. After reading one of the cards—it was from Linda—I started unwrapping the present that went with it. She asked me to guess what it was before I opened it. I didn’t have a clue what it was. I tore off the paper and opened the long narrow box. It was the flute. I don’t think I could describe how happy seeing that flute made me. Not only did I learn an important lesson, but I didn’t have to suffer for very long after it, thanks to a remarkable gesture from a remarkable friend. I don’t want to tarnish this love story with a lengthy moral, so here’s a short one: We all have habits and ways we have done things in the past. Many of them are useful practices that have developed out of necessity and can be applied to our benefit. But if our actions are repeated unconsciously, that is, without asking ourselves whether they are appropriate for the moment, we will sometimes cause ourselves unnecessary suffering.
If our actions are repeated unconsciously, that is, without asking ourselves whether they are appropriate for the moment, we will sometimes cause ourselves unnecessary suffering.
Editor’s note: Excerpted from Justin Time, Autobiographical Stories from an American Spiritual Master, By J. Jaye Gold. Published 2016 by Peradam Press.
J. Jaye Gold, in his younger years, studied at a 500-year-old experimental Naqshbandi Sufi school in northeastern Afghanistan. He now lives in Northern California and has authored four published books: Another Heart in his Hand, Highway of Diamonds, The Roca Group, and Justin Time. He is the founding director of the Center for Cultural & Naturalist Studies, a charitable organization that focuses on relief building projects worldwide. For more information, visit justingold.net.
Tools & Tips Inspiration
Many individuals forfeit countless achievements because they are unaware of the top five confidence killers that can remove that crown: 1) Comparison: In business school, we are taught to study our competition. In the royal academy of excellence, a true queen (or king) understands that she is unique by design and that is her competitive advantage. It is paramount that you study every aspect of your being. This includes being honest about your strengths and weaknesses. The question to focus on is, “Are you the best that you can be?” The amount of effort that you will be investing towards the cultivation of personal greatness leaves no room for comparison to others.
The Invisible Crown of Confidence By Kristie Kennedy Take a deep breath for a moment and center within. Quietly listen to your heartbeat and the rhythm of your soul’s deepest desires. You’ve visualized the joy of attaining a magnificent victory. In order to seize it, you must see it.
There is a cutting-edge advantage that will allow you to stand out in any crowd. It’s the invisible crown of internal confidence, and it often will be the determining factor between a win and a loss. 12
2) Past Failures: It takes an unflinching audacity to rise from the pit of past disappointments with a renewed vigor to reach new heights. Winston Churchill expressly stated, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” In the heart of a crown bearer, there is no space for housing debilitating thoughts of yesterday. Become preoccupied with winning and pursue victory until you possess it. 3) Lack of Preparation: It has been said, “Victory loves preparation.” Every day presents an opportunity to prepare for the next
win. To create a lifestyle of winning, it requires a champion state of mind. Are you willing to go the extra mile? Are you willing to become extremely uncomfortable? Are you willing to rise early and go to bed late if that’s what it takes? Are you willing to do what others won’t do until you can do what others can’t? This is your life! How will you live it? 4) Fear: Recently, I saw a homeless man in the parking lot of Walmart holding a sign that said, “Don’t judge me.” This is one of the No. 1 fears that hold most individuals back from chasing their passion. The opinion of others has no power unless you yield to it. The world is full of critics who stand on the sidelines of life haunted by their own fears, attempting to stop dreamers dead in their tracks. Your beliefs have to be more powerful than any anxiety, terror or dread. 5) Negativity: How do you combat negativity when it seems to continually assail you on a daily basis from countless media platforms? I believe Eleanor Roosevelt said it best, “I dwell in possibilities.” There is no other place I would rather be. This requires intentionality and constant watchfulness to every thought that comes across your mind. Our beliefs are potent seeds that create fullgrown trees in our mind—producing either ripe or rotten fruit. Which do you desire to consume and contribute to the world at large? Be diligent in weeding out every negative thought; your future depends on it. Lastly, before you step foot on any stage, remember that you are the crown, esteemed and highly valuable. Embrace your divine essence. Love yourself fiercely and relentlessly. In the words of Leonard Ravenhill:
“The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized within the lifetime of the opportunity.”
Kristie Kennedy is a Licensed Image Enhancement Consultant and Certified Women’s Worth and Wellness Expert who provides confidence and clarity coaching to female leaders, executives and business owners who are exhausted from being the world’s best kept secret, ready to claim center stage as the leading lady of their own life, powerfully shift in mind and magnificently shine. She is skilled in four areas of personal development: mindset mastery, massive momentum, magnetic messaging and potential maximization. Kristie has a passion for helping leaders who have reached a plateau with the ability to turn their cant’s into cans and their dreams into plans. Her life is a testament that you can shift from mediocrity to magnificence one bold step at a time. Visit www.kristiekennedy.com.
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by Rev. Marla Sanderson Of all the spiritual practices I rely on, none is simpler than letting go. It’s also one of the most powerful. If we practice no other exercise, things will get better for us if we release what no longer serves. When you practice release, you’re dealing with your own territory—and nobody knows it the way you do. You don’t need to read books or study with a master, and you don’t need advice or even a road map. There are several areas of life where we can make space for something better—physically emotionally and mentally. But for now, let›s start with an easy one: Stuff. Releasing Stuff Our culture encourages us to place importance on material goods. The right clothes will get you respect; the right house will impress your friends; and the right car will get your date in the sack. We trade much of our lives for a paycheck so we can get more stuff. Is it any wonder that for some people, the solution to every problem is to go shopping for more? One summer I traveled with a group of five adults and two children in a 23-foot trailer. We each had a tiny space for our clothes and personal articles. Whenever anybody was tempted to get something, you could hear a chorus of, “It goes on your shelf.” Right at that moment the “desire to acquire” lost its power. Thanks to reality TV, hoarding recently has come into public awareness. It may seem shocking but, let’s face it, we invent reasons to hang on to worn-out, outdated stuff we probably will never use again. “That old holey shirt was my favorite!” “This is Aunt Mabel’s tablecloth.” “I’m going to fix that broken blender.” “I can’t sell this house—it belonged to my grandparents!” I once visited a friend at her parents’ house shortly after her father passed away. He was a tinkerer. They showed me the swimming pool. It was literally filled with old car parts and big metal pieces of who-knows-what. He was quite the collector…a collector and tinkerer. Now don’t get me wrong—I like nice stuff as much as anyone. The problem comes when we become attached to it for security or as a way to feel better about ourselves. So what happens when we let go of stuff?
Here’s an example. My friend Betty gave up her job for the freedom of the road the summer we drove cross-country. However, she liked to water ski and owned a small boat. She loved the boat enough to drag it with us, even though our new home offered little in the way of water to float it in. In this case, did she own the boat or did the boat own her? It was difficult to keep up with the expenses and repairs for the vessel. She worried about how she’d make the payments.
I asked how she’d feel if she didn’t have the boat anymore. Her face lit up as she realized, “I’d be free!” Shortly after that, the boat was gone—and so was her worry.
A popular metaphysical practice involves the Law of Circulation. We’re encouraged to go through our attics and closets and get rid of anything we don’t need or use anymore. The idea is that the universe abhors a vacuum and a void will always be filled, so we circulate the stuff. We give it away or throw it away as we mentally and physically make space for the new. I said letting go is simple, but I admit it isn’t always easy. Sometimes it takes courage. Sometimes you have to suffer enough.
There are several areas of life where we can make space for something better—physically emotionally and mentally.
Is there something you can let go of now that will make space for something better?
Rev. Marla Sanderson is a skilled spiritual counselor, speaker, teacher, and workshop leader. She has studied and practiced the Science of Happiness and Science of Mind for over 40 years. Her website, The New Thought Global Network, showcases ideas from many New Thought disciplines. She is ordained in the Centers for Spiritual Living. (Religious Science). Contact her at 727475-8991, or email@example.com or visit www. newthoughtglobal.org.
Tools & Tips it already knows (it is part of the mind after all). But you also know what you want—remember your dream and the goal you’ve committed to? That is what is at stake. It is completely your choice.
Transforming Fear – The Alchemy of Life By Ryan Cuillerier If you’ve chosen to transform your life, no doubt there are new goals you’ve committed to accomplish. You have created the vision of who you want to be and have asked yourself to face the fears that stopped you in the past. How about turning fear into the fuel that will give you the energy and momentum to powerfully create and recreate yourself as you move toward that new reality? By reconsidering your relationship with fear you can reclaim your power and regain your freedom. Here are five steps to help you through this process:
Step 4. Trust in Action: Your fear is a part of you, but not all of you. Make the choice that you are in charge and not your fear. Have a little talk with yourself about trusting your process—and that your heart knows more than your fear knows. Trust that you will be safe. Trust you will do what you need to. Trust that you’re facing this fear today, in this process toward this goal, because it is helping you find new strength. Because it is helping you finally get past that block in your life. Because it is love. Trust in your choice to create from a new place inside yourself, let go of attachment to fear, and know that your action is a doorway into the deeper resources of your soul. Sometimes we get stuck because we try to control it all. Allow yourself to be only responsible for your choice—your powerful choice to continue on even though the fear told you to stop. Remember, you totally have this— why else would you chose it?
Step 1. Awareness: OK, you’re in it! You’re shaky or you’re avoiding doing “that thing” you know you need to do. You’re stuck, you’re disappointed, and you’re nervous, scared, or sad. Something is saying NO! Becoming aware of your own signs of fear acting through you is the first key to unlocking a powerful new process. When you change your status quo, your mind can be triggered into fear because it doesn’t know what’s happening. It’s all new. In this way, fear is actually a sign that you’re Step 5. Gifts of Learning: on the right track. Take a moment after your new action is completed. Step 2. Acceptance: What did you learn about yourself Rather than running away or trying to hide your fear—accept it. Be courageous enough to from this experience? Where was unconditionally acknowledge you’re creating this experience and that a part of you is creating fear fear the strongest? Where were to try to stop your progress. Know that fear’s presence does not equal its power. Breathe deeply you even stronger? How does it and slow down enough in your mind to gain some distance from your fear “symptoms.” Take anfeel to know you did something other breath and acknowledge yourself for even thinking of taking this bold new step toward a new future. Accept that you’re being triggered into fear as a new step on your journey. Breathe some to change this fear? This process will serve you for the rest of your more. You are on your way, you just need a moment. life—and you will repeat it each time you face a new level of fear. What if the fear you are feeling in this moment is just trying to help You’re on your way upwards and you? Helping you in the only way it knows how. outwards, and sometimes there are layers of fear built up. Remind yourself that the first time is the Step 3. Choice: In transforming fear, choosing to change is the single most impactful moment in the pro- hardest—the momentum pushcess. It’s where you commit to the direction you want to take—will it be toward helping your goal ing in the opposite direction of or toward increasing your fear. Consider your options and feel into all of them. Consciously choose your dreams is strong in the beknowing what’s at stake. Fear’s mission is to stop your growth, keep you the same, and repeat what ginning. You’ve already changed that, and pretty soon this process
will be second nature. Watch out, there are no fears too big for you. Meet Yourself Again The smile that emerges in the moments following action, when you realize you just encountered fear and kept going—that smile is your indication of the gift. What feeling is inside you as you smile? Maybe its confidence, maybe its self-love, maybe it’s a quiet sense emerging from your core with the message: “You are more powerful than your fear.” The truth is, when we clear away the need to stop and block fear, we create space for our innate soul qualities to emerge and infuse our life. That’s right, the fear was only covering up your true self that was waiting to be revealed! One of the most common road blocks to our soulful experience of life is fear. From little, anxious fears to larger heartpalpitating ones, it shows up in many forms. Whatever way fear shows up, though, it may be persuasive but it is not the truth. The anatomy of fear as a habit of the mind helps us understand that it is, essentially, an act. The mind is known for being a bit predictable, to say the least. It knows what it knows and that’s it. Quite limiting when you think about the creative power of our imagina-
tion and the limitless power of our love. This is why we transform fear. This is why we live. We are bundles of limitless power and energy just waiting for opportunities to use our gifts and share ourselves with life. Facing fears and turning them into moments of soul-satisfying reality is the alchemy of living.
By reconsidering your relationship with fear you can reclaim your power and regain your freedom.
Ryan Cuillerier creates inspiration and meaning through everyday life – this is what motivates him in supporting others to fulfill all they are wanting and committed to achieving. Ryan’s unwavering belief in the untapped potential genius in each of us, paired with an honest, caring and open approach, is what makes his coaching extraordinary to experience. Whether it’s through 1-1 coaching, workshops, inspired blog articles or art, his purpose in creating transformation is abundantly present. Having spent 20 years on his path of creating his soul-infused life, Ryan is committed to sharing and being of service to others through his life’s work. Visit www.coachingwithryan.com.
This article is a chapter from the book Transform Your Life! written by 60 real-life heroes and experts and available at Amazon.com, BN.com, www.TransformationPublishing.com and all ebook formats.
Tools & Tips
10 Steps to Embrace Mindfulness by Sandra Musial What is mindfulness? It’s an intriguing term that we often hear thrown around and, because it’s now kind of hip to be mindful, you might think it is a fad that will pass. But au contraire readers… Mindfulness is powerful stuff, and it’s here to stay! So if it makes you happier and less stressed, why not join in the fun? Mindful means thoughtful or attentive, and mindfulness refers to the active process of being open and aware of the current moment without judgment. It can occur for a few seconds, perhaps as you pause to take a deep breathe and sigh when stressed, or it can be a more intentional process such as meditating (see number 6).
Mindfulness can bring you an immediate sense of calmness. This stress reduction technique is a powerful tool to connect your mind with your body, which in turn will allow you to have more control over how you feel: your outlook to the future, interpretations of the past, and contentedness with the present. You can eat a very healthy, whole foods, plant-based diet, exercise daily, breath clean air and have positive, satisfying relationships, but if you’re a bundle of nonstop frenetic stress you may be a whole lot less healthy than the couch potato next door who lives in a Zen state eating French fries. Why? Because becoming more mindful induces a relaxation response that calms the body and counteracts the stress response. This results in real physiological changes. Regular meditation or mindfulness practices have the power to reduce headaches, lower blood pressure, reduce stress, improve sleep and boost your immune system, according to current research studies.
Mindfulness is not quackery, fringe medicine or even the least bit controversial. I was fortunate to have the opportunity in 1989 to learn meditation firsthand from a now-well-respected leader in this field, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., when I was a student at University of Massachusetts Medical School. He took a few interested students to his meditation room during lunch, where we learned to meditate by focusing on the breath. At the time it felt a little “New Agey,” but I embraced it and learned a great deal from this fascinating man. So here are 10 thing you can do today to find mindfulness in your daily life and reap all the benefits, which I bet you will begin to notice on day 1. 1. Wake up to a new day listening to chirping birds or melodic harps, not the nuclear meltdown alarm. Allow yourself to become aware of the new day gradually. Do NOT grab your phone and start checking texts, emails, Facebook, etc. Just stay in bed and make a mental note about how you feel today. Are you feeling recharged and ready to go/give/serve? Or are you feeling depleted with not enough sleep, in need of love and attention? Be mindful of where you are at and accept that. It’s OK. 2. Take the next two minutes to breathe mindfully while still in bed. Andrew Weil, M.D., created the following breathing practice that is simple and mindful. The counting helps to keep you in the moment. With slow intentional breathing, breath in through your nose for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 7, then slowly exhale through pursed lips for a count of 8. Repeat four to eight times in a row. In addition to doing this before getting out of bed, I use this when stuck in traffic, while waiting in line, before bed, etc. It’s simple and short, but the rewards of a regular breathing practice are tremendous. Try it and you will see.
3. Set an intention for the day. Setting an overall purpose while you are getting ready to go out into the world guides you down the path of your desires with awareness. Write it down and put in your pocket to remind yourself throughout the day. “I love myself and accept where I am at right now.” or “I will try to pause before responding to Mike today at work.” or “I will eat and drink with attention to the process so I don’t eat anything I don’t really want to be eating.” 4. Be grateful. While driving to work or school, list five things for which you are grateful. It’s helpful to write these down in a grateful journal because it is uplifting to remember all the moments of gratefulness that will collect and can otherwise be forgotten. Re-reading them brings in more peace and positivity. What are you grateful for NOW in your life? Maybe the unconditional love your dog offered you this morning? A warm hug from your child/spouse/friend/wherever you can get one—and get them because the energy contained in hugs is very powerful! Do you love your bedroom comforter? The leaves changing in your neighborhood? The muffin you just ate? 5. Eat Mindfully. Instead of multitasking when you eat— we all do it: eating while driving, texting or watching TV—try eating and only eating. Sit down. First pause before starting to appreciate the appearance of the food on the plate and be grateful for where it came from—the farmers who grew the plants, the cooks who prepared it. Take your first bite and taste it while you are chewing. And taste it while you are swallowing; a lot of our taste comes during the swallow phase. Feel the texture, the temperature, the crunchiness or smoothness of the food. Appreciate the flavors—is it salty, sweet, savory? Is there lime in there? Or cilantro? Then repeat. This will slow you down and you will feel full faster than if you mindlessly shovel food in your mouth while preoccupied. Stop eating when you are almost full, because there is a delay in the signal that goes from the food filling up your stomach to the brain knowing you have eaten enough. 6. Find time to start a meditation practice. Meditation is the act of sitting or lying still for a set period of time while staying in the present moment by focusing on the breath. Here is one technique to try: Find a comfortable posture that you can hold for a few minutes. Start with five minutes and increase as you can. Close your eyes. Start by focusing on your slowing breath: in and out. Imagine you are sitting by the side of a beautiful stream on a grassy knoll. Your breathing is represented by the grassy knoll and you want to keep your focus at the edge of the stream. Whenever a thought enters your mind, place no judgment on the thought; just allow it to enter the stream and drift away. It is normal to have thoughts while meditating, just allow them to drift away, one thought at a time and return your focus to the side of the stream—your breath. In and out. 7. Find your flow. Turn your exercise routine into a mindful practice. This is easy with yoga; mindfulness defines the practice as postures are held and transitioned with the breath as a guide. Additionally, walking in the woods with your dog while breathing with your step and focusing on the birds and the wind through the trees can be a mindful practice. And the rhythmic activity of jogging or a repetitive workout machine can be morphed into a mindful activity by chanting an intention to yourself, or just
focusing on your breath and letting all other thoughts go. Even while walking up the stairs at work, you can make an effort to be aware of yourself in this moment and breath with an openness on each step you climb, attaining a higher level of self awareness. Finding your flow can also be getting lost in a guitar solo, creating a painting, lying on the beach, knitting a sweater, carving wood— the possibilities are limitless! 8. Grounding, the process (yes, it’s a process now!) of connecting with the earth helps to bring you to a state of mindfulness. Placing your bare feet on the ground, on the earth, dirt, grass or sand, allows energy to pass between your body and the mass of the earth. It also might help with depression, anxiety and insomnia. Being in a boat on the water, rocking with the waves, also makes you more in tune with nature. Watching a natural event (a sunset, a moon rise, finding constellations, following a rainbow or watching the clouds pass by) connects you with the earth and the universe, offering perspective and bringing you into the moment. 9. Note what you are feeling and get in tune with it right now. And right now…and right now. As you go through your day, be aware of how you feel and be ok with your feelings. It’s ok to feel anxious or nervous or intimidated or angry. Or excited or happy! You don’t necessarily have to share your emotions with your co-workers if it is not appropriate, but acknowledging how you feel and accepting this as a normal human emotion will help you to live the moment more fully. 10. Use essential oils to help instill calm and relaxation. Lavender, for example, is very calming and has the ability to quiet the mind and offer emotional regulation, while promoting a sense of overall relaxation. Essential oils can be used in an oil diffuser, inhaled or applied directly. You also can mix them with a carrier oil (such as almond oil) and apply directly to pulse points on your skin, or add them to the bath. Essential oils are especially useful during times of stress, when going to sleep or before meditation. Relax and enjoy….
Sandra Musial, M.D., is a pediatrician who believes that the foundation of a healthy life starts with healthy food. Growing up, she was inspired by her father, who had a keen interest in nutrition. She earned a B.S. in Nutritional Sciences and then went on to get her M.D. from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. After training as a pediatrician, Sandy worked in private practice for 13 years, where she focused on children’s health and wellness, as well as breastfeeding. She then joined Hasbro Primary Care as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Brown University, teaching the pediatric residents and medical students. Working with an increasing number of undernourished obese children, she was motivated to train at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition® to earn a certificate in Health Coaching. Though she has witnessed the healing power of allopathic medicine, she has also seen its limitations, especially with regard to disease prevention through healthy nutrition. Sandy helps others find their optimal health by exploring the various facets of health and wellness, and making changes toward a healthier whole life. Sandy enjoys gardening, yoga, knitting and sweater alchemy. For more information visit www.healthcoachconnect.com
Tools & Tips
The Power of Words: What You Need to Know By Rena Greenberg With a full moon glowing on my pre-dawn beach walk along beautiful Siesta Key in Sarasota, FL, I began to ponder how each of us could better communicate with our own powerful subconscious mind and with our own deepest wisdom. The first realization that came to me was the power of words. As a hypnotherapist, I have developed great respect for the spoken word, as this is the tool I use to help clients turn their lives around. Through the power of speech and energy, I have seen true miracles happen—phobias cured, 50-year-old habits gone, depression lifted and pounds of pain melted away. Your Subconscious Mind What’s the secret? It’s resonance. It’s interesting that words are very much like food, where one man’s meat (or diet) is another man’s poison— literally. In the same way, certain words, such as “love” and “God,” can bring great healing and peace to someone, while for another person these very same words can trigger fear, repulsion, anger or shutting down. This isn’t good or bad—it just is. It’s important to understand differing internal associations can words have when you’re communicating with others, and it’s most helpful to understand when connecting with your self. In your subconscious mind there is a library of thousands and thousands of pictures. These are memories from your past and ideas and scenes that you have witnessed throughout your life. Some say we even carry the images and experiences of our ancestors and the collective species within the depths of our being. Words simply trigger these images. That’s why there is no point in arguing with someone’s reaction to a word or belief. It doesn’t mean anything. In other words, when you find yourself negatively reacting to someone’s ideology, it may just be that he or she has certain personality characteristics that you don’t like. It also might be equally true that the only reason other people feel as they do is because of the pictures in their mind guiding them. The good news is that these images are not locked in
stone. In fact, advertisers and the media are working on us all day long in an attempt to get us to align our inner thoughts/pictures/ beliefs with whatever they want us to buy or opt into. The Two Drivers of the Subconscious Mind The way the subconscious mind works is simple. We have two types of images/beliefs/drivers. One is Love and the other is Fear. Over time, we create our life experience, to a large degree, based on whether we cultivate our fearful/painful thoughts/memories or our loving, forgiving, peaceful beliefs and experiences. The challenge is that it’s nearly impossible to force loving and positive thoughts if that’s not how we are actually feeling. Yet, the fact remains that the more we come from pain and focus on pain, the more difficulty we tend to continue to feel. So how can we escape this trap? This is the point of meditation, mindfulness and self-hypnosis. By simply opening our awareness of the pain that we are feeling, it naturally begins to shift and change. There’s a big difference between recognizing emotional pain and repeating the negative beliefs that perpetuate it, in our own mind, by replaying victim scenarios that are so real and disturbing.
The way the subconscious mind works is simple. We have two types of images/beliefs/ drivers. One is Love and the other is Fear.
How to Cultivate Happiness If your goal is to cultivate happiness, strength, inner power and a bright future, where the greatest life difficulties are behind you, then your only option in this moment is to choose love. That’s right—you must realize that love is more than a feeling that comes over you in special moments, like when a child is born, or you have a loving encounter with someone. Rather, love is a choice. I know it doesn’t always feel like that. But realizing that you have the power to choose love—not once, but over and over again, no matter what your life circumstances—is your most empowering ability and strength.
Each and every time you choose love—especially when it’s a really hard choice—you are looking circumstance in the eye and saying, “You aren’t going to control me. There is a power within me that’s stronger than you.” Also, you come to realize that even the best life circumstances in the physical, material world will come to pass. Therefore, the only thing of value that you can cultivate in this life is your ability to transcend human sadness, greed and fear, by increasing your connection to that which is greater than the collective and individual human wound. If coming from love feels like it is a goal too lofty to achieve, especially when you are feeling small, angry and weak, then the words that may resonate for you more are “choosing goodness.” You intuitively know what it means to be guided by goodness and to make a better choice. Whether that means taking the time to prepare a small, delicious, healthy and balanced meal for yourself instead of grabbing a handful of chips, or sending a blessing to someone who may be upset with you, your authentic Self knows when you are taking the higher road. It is a completely personal thing, but then personal growth is truly an inside job. That’s why it’s essential for you to become a student of yourself and learn the words, thoughts and actions that are triggers for you. Study your own impulses. Do certain internal images or external experiences cause you to want to react in old, selfdefeating ways? If so, plug into your inner power by practicing whatever form of self-hypnosis helps you to connect to your deepest strength. By mustering up that inner fortitude, it’s easier to choose a higher, better response. Each time you do this, you are one step closer to creating a healthier relationship with yourself and with the world around you. But most importantly, you are starting to see the truth about yourself:
You are beautiful, powerful, and a force for good in this world. Isn’t it time to tap into the power of your subconscious mind so you know this to be true?
Rena Greenberg, a Hay House author, can be reached at EasyWillpower.com. Her weight loss and gastric bypass hypnosis success has been featured in 150-plus news stories including USA Today, Woman’s World, The Doctor’s, CNN, Good Morning America and Nightline. PBS stations nationally aired Rena’s show, “Easy Willpower,” in August 2015. Her wellness program is sponsored in 75 hospitals and 100-plus corporations. She conducts hypnotherapy sessions with people all over the world on Skype and in Sarasota, FL.
Tools & Tips
7 Abiding Tenets to Follow Your
by Carleen Moscati I was fortunate enough to grow up in a home where I witnessed first-hand that even the most impossible of dreams are attainable. Of course I didn’t realize it at the time, but when it mattered it began to come together for me in the MOST meaningful way possible. When the traumatic obstacles of life began to stack miles high against me, the notion that it is entirely possible to start at any point and create anything began to really sink in. This was the solid foundation that I needed to begin to follow my dreams and NOT EVER LOOK BACK. These are the 7 Abiding Tenets to Follow Your Dreams that I have learned along the way. 1. BELIEVE. The No. 1 tenet of any form of goal achievement or dream fulfillment is belief. You have got to have absolute belief in your dream itself. Belief in your dreams is twofold. You must know that it will happen and you must know that you are able to make it happen. 2. PLAN. Planning is the logistics of what it will take to make your dream a reality. It’s the step-by-step process, the map, the blueprint that will get you there. Your plan is essentially the assurance and the fortification behind your Belief on the journey to following your dreams.
6. STAY POSITIVE. Maintaining a positive mindset and attitude despite your circumstances is the biggest secret weapon to conquering obstacles on the journey to success. Oftentimes, what may seem to not be going your way may potentially be exactly what is needed for things to line up in such a way that will benefit you even more so than you ever imagined. If you are not in a positive state of mind you will be certain to miss it. If you are actively following your dreams always: Stay Positive No Matter What.
7. BE CONFIDENT. Having overall confidence and self-assurance in who you are and what you stand for will take you extremely far when you are following a dream. Confidence and certitude are both your comfort and your armor on the journey to your Maintaining a dreams. When you look over your shoulder and find that there is no one positive mindset in your corner to promote and celebrate your endeavors it will be there. and attitude despite If you are going after any kind of dream confidence must live in you and never your circumstances leave. is the biggest secret Like Lisa Nicols so boldly proclaims:
weapon to conquering obstacles on the journey to success.
3. CONSISTENCY. You have to be in constant belief of your dream and in constant action and practice of the plan that you set forth to make it happen. You cannot have a love-hate or on-again-offagain relationship with your goals and your dreams; only consistent nurturing daily will keep them alive and well. 4. BE STRONGER THAN YOUR FEARS. Fear can be a master chameleon that will disguise itself as ANYTHING to paralyze you and keep you from your dreams. Learn to recognize your fears for exactly what they are. Break them down swiftly and move past them to get what you are truly after. At the end of the day they are the only thing that stands in between you and your dream. 5. BE HEALTHY. Your greatest self is only as good as your healthiest self. If you are not in good to great health you will not be motivated to be consistent in your efforts. You will become detached from your goals and dreams, forcing you to fall in love with them again and again, which is draining. Your health is also directly proportionate to the level of enjoyment of your experience. Proper health is a key tenet to be able to reach and experience maximum enjoyment of your dreams.
“You have to know, like you know that it is going to happen.”
That unique compilation of essence that came together to be YOU is the only stuff that was made to do it. You are nothing short of amazing and you were meant to be here, meant to have this dream, this experience—and it is yours to be had. Be bold in this life and let this feeling take you far. Let this confidence become the motivation you need to keep on track. If you have read this far, I know that you can do it—and you know that you can do it. That makes two of us; you’ve definitely got this! These are the 7 Tenets that I have found to be most valuable to me in the achievement of my dreams. These tenets definitely embody what it takes to follow your heart and the vision that you see for the life that you truly desire. They are well worth the time to adopt for dream achievement and for life. Believe. Plan. Be Consistent. Be Stronger Than Your Fears. Be Healthy. Stay Positive. Be Confident. Become Your Greatest Self!™
Carleen Moscati is the founder of Legacy Lifetime. She is a Certified Life Purpose and Holistic Life Coach/Fulfilled Living Expert. Carleen also is the author of the book Brazenly Become Your Greatest Self: How to Build Your Legacy to Live Healthy, Wealthy, Balanced & Fulfilled. Her mission is to help success seekers to clarify their purpose, navigate major life obstacles and achieve the conscious lifestyle that they desire. For more information, visit legacylifetime.com/blog/.
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Do You Dare to Ditch Dairy? By Sue Musial Bigelow Dairy has been the center of our dining tables for years, and the industry has promoted it as an absolute necessary part of a healthy diet—but studies now prove a different truth. The reality is that not only do humans NOT require dairy for health, but it has been shown to be detrimental to many people. Let’s look at why ditching dairy may be one of the best dietary decisions you can make. • The calcium myth: Dairy is a necessary component of a healthy diet for optimal bone strength. • The calcium truth: In countries that consume little to no dairy, the populations have some of the lowest rates of osteoporosis in the world. Plus, dairy can be high in unhealthy saturated fat and cholesterol, and certain cancers are linked to the consumption of caesin, a protein in dairy. The dairy industry’s marketing campaigns are very powerful, and it can be hard to get beyond the myths. Milk’s Design An animal’s milk was created to nourish and grow its young. Cow’s milk is specifically designed to grow a small calf to hundreds of pounds in a relatively short period of time. A mother’s breast milk is designed to nourish human babies for optimal
growth and important immune defensive. Both of these milks are the perfect food for their young of the same species, as each species creates the optimum food for its own offspring. Humans are the only species that regularly consume the milk of another mammal. But nature has made most humans (at least 75 percent of the population) lactose intolerant once weaned from the breast. Many people are unaware of their dairy intolerance because they are so used to the gas or other gastrointestinal issues they experience that they believe it’s normal or blame the symptoms on other things. Maybe it is time to connect the dots. Dairy has been linked to: 1. Increased bone fractures in populations that consume a high amount of dairy. 2. Increased risk of prostate cancer in men when consuming more than two servings of dairy per day. 3. Accelerated cancer growth. Cancer cells have been seen to grow faster with consumption of dairy, which stimulates insulinlike growth factor-1. 4. Consumption of unwanted hormones, contaminants and antibiotics, all of which are given to cows to promote growth and fight
infections that can occur due to the stress of constant milking. 5. Chronic constipation, gas and diarrhea. 6. Type 1 diabetes in children; the protein composition within cow’s milk—particularly the beta-casein A1 molecule—is radically different than what is found within human breast milk.
We need to stick to our own species. Other animals do.
Dairy is Addictive Giving up dairy can be hard because it has addictive qualities. It contains casomorphins, a substance that releases a euphoria sensation like the opiate effect. This is also the origin of cheese eaters’ constipation. (Also a major problem with heroin addicts.) Being addictive, milk assures that a baby will continue to seek nourishment from the source, its mother. It is not intended to attract full-grown mammals. Diet Change Changing your diet is not easy and sometimes best if done a little at a time. Do yourself a favor and find out how it feels to be dairy-free. Try ditching it for at least three weeks, and then for a lifetime. The harmful effects are not worth the dairy addiction or the risks that accompany this food group. Following are some dairy alternatives and a recipe for a great creamy nutty cheese sauce. Egg, Fat and Dairy Alternatives Dairy
You can leave the cow in the pasture happily grazing on the green grass Mother Nature supplies and still have your milk and drink it too! With the growing awareness of dairy allergies, lactose intolerance and greater understanding of species-specific milk, more people are turning to the alternatives that are on the market. And because of the increased demand, there are many mainstream dairy-free milks now available. Nut milks in equal portions such as almond, cashew and hazelnut can substitute in most recipes. Nut milk that is free of carrageenan is your best choice. This little extra ingredient used in many products can still cause problems because all forms of carrageenan are capable of causing inflammation. Other non-dairy milks such as oat, rice or soy will work, as well. However, if your soy milk is not organic it probably is a GMO product. Any nut milk, soy milk, coconut milk, mashed potatoes, pureed garbanzo beans, pureed cauliflower, pureed tofu, soy sour cream, soy whipping cream, or soy creamer can create a creamy alternative to dairy products. Cheese
Nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and/or chopped walnuts or almonds make great nutritional toppers. Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast that has a strong flavor that is described as nutty or cheesy. It contains trace amounts of several vitamins and minerals. Nutritional yeast can also be a significant source of some B-complex vitamins, including vitamin B12.
Soy-, rice-, and nut-based cheese alternatives work great as a healthy substitution. However, make sure you read the labels, as many cheese alternatives contain casein, a protein found in dairy that is linked to cancer. A Dairy-free, non-hydrogenated margarine like Earth Balance or Melt works great for spreading. Coconut oil, avocado puree, prune puree, or applesauce can be used for baking. Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil and nut oils work wonderful for roasting and frying. Ricotta Cheese Firm tofu, drained and crumbled is easy to use in place of ricotta. Egg Substitutes If you are leaving the eggs in the coop, here are a few substitutions you may use, depending on what type of cooking or baking you are doing. One egg equals: • Use 1 ½ teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer plus 2 tablespoons of water to equal one egg. This is a non-GMO powder that contains no eggs or animal protein. • Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer • 1 teaspoon baking powder • 2-3 tablespoons flour • 2-3 tablespoons bread crumbs • ¼ cup cooked oats • 2-3 tablespoon tomato paste • 2 tablespoons potato starch, cornstarch, or arrowroot • ¼ cup mashed white or sweet potatoes • 1 tablspoon ground flax seed meal + 3 tablespoons water + 1 tablespoon oil +1 teaspoon baking powder + 1 teaspoon potato or cornstarch • ½ cup rice or soy yogurt • ¼ cup applesauce or pureed fruit • ½ cup mashed banana • ¼ cup silken tofu blended • 1 tablespoon chia seeds with 1 cup of water left to sit for 15 minutes Fat Alternatives (For Sautéing) • Water • Vegetable broth • Liquid from a can of beans or vegetables that was opened • White wine For Baking • Applesauce • Low-fat liquids such as water or plant milk • 1 tablespoon chia seeds with 9 tablespoons water, let sit for 15 minutes. This is good for 1/2 the fat in a baking recipe. • 1: 1 ratio mashed banana to fat
Nutty Cheese Sauce 3/4 cup raw cashews 1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes 1 teaspoon sea or pink salt 1 cup unsweetened cashew or almond milk 1 clove chopped garlic 2 tablespoon tahini 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 teaspoon cider vinegar 1/2 teaspoon mustard In a high-speed blender, combine the cashews, nutritional yeast and salt. Grind to a powder. Add nut milk, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, vinegar and mustard. Blend until smooth and creamy. This can be now heated in a saucepan or poured over hot pasta or vegetables and mixed into heat. Add more milk if a thinner sauce is desired. Sauce will thicken when it cools.
•••••••••••••• Susan Musial Bigelow is vice president of Health Coach Connect and a Licensed Respiratory Care Practitioner with a passion for organic gardening. She believes good health starts in the kitchen. Sue earned her Bachelor’s of Animal Science from the University of Massachusetts and worked for many years in the veterinary and pet industries with a focus on animal nutrition, where she noticed that animals’ skin and ear infections often could be cured with dietary changes. Throughout her journey, Sue continued to educate herself regarding health, wellness and nutrition, spirituality and lifestyle improvements, realizing all issues have a root cause. Going through her own personal and career transformation, Sue earned a degree in Respiratory Therapy and later received her Masters of Science in Administration from Saint Michael’s College. After witnessing too many patients dying of preventable chronic disease, she was motivated to pursue a certificate as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. Her passion embraces animals, horseback riding, kayaking, cooking, and walks in the wilderness. Visit Health Coach Connect at www.healthcoachconnect.com.
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Don’t Change Who You Are: Find Where You Fit By Jessamine Gibb In self-development and business circles there has been a lot of discussion around how to become a more “positive” person, how to have more extroverted behavior styles, how to be more motivated, what to do about employees or others in your life who do not meet optimal psychological styles of thinking and behavior judged against the current trends. What this discounts is two things: 1) There are always trends in what thinking and behavioral styles are preferred across different eras and contexts. 2) Personality psychology has a considerable body of knowledge that points to people varying naturally in certain characteristics, such as those measured by the Five Factor Model (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism). Although right now we often think an entrepreneurial, adventurous, extroverted (but not so much you get diagnosed as ADHD/ADD in childhood perhaps), low neurocism but conscientious mind is the best—and everyone should aspire to that model. However, that has not always been the case. In more conservative times, higher neuroticism (anxiety, caution) and less extroversion was necessary to remain a respectable person in your community who could adhere to the numerous rules society valued. Falling foul of these rules could have wide ranging social consequences. This is still true in current conservative societies outside of the West. Men and women differ in their statistical likelihood of having certain characteristics. For instance, women are more agreeable and prone to cooperation and also higher on neuroticism, which can lead to them experiencing more negative mind states. Some experts differ in how much they think this gender difference is nature and how much is nurture, seeing as in many instances girls and boys are raised differently. People with higher IQ are also more (statistically) likely to have higher openness to new ideas and experiences than people with average or below average IQs, who can be more conservative (behaviorally, not necessarily politically). This means they often like novel ideas, appreciate art and music, enjoy unusual cuisine, like to think about concepts for the very enjoyment of doing so, and can come across as abstract and unpredictable to those more rooted in the practical side of life. Lacking in “common sense” would be how some would describe it. Although some sets of characteristics are more fun to possess—for instance, high extroversion plus low neuroticism leads to being the “life of the party” and more frequent pleasant mood states—none are objectively better or worse than the other. A mousy, thoughtful, highly agreeable individual can be just as useful to themselves and the community in the right social and vocational roles. Each set of characteristics has its own social and vocational niche where individuals can work with instead of against their strengths and weaknesses. This is very much like an ecological niche, where say a creature may seem unable to do many things but is essential for one particular function, which does in the end maintain the ecosystem in which it lives. For instance, academic minds with genius level mathematical and physics skills may have been needed to initially design the most famous bridges in the world. BUT, without the practical hands-on laborers, who were able to take great physical risks to get the project complete, their blueprints would have remained as valueless as the paper they were traced upon. Or, highly qualified electrical and computing engineers who think and work slowly may be needed to design the latest and greatest smart phone, but factory
workers who can adapt to extremely fast and repetitive assembly work are required to make it a reality. Another example might be an unreliable artist or writer, considered a debauched failure in their day, whose books and works are still enriching the lives of others who perhaps don’t possess their talents hundreds of years later.
EVERYONE with every style of thinking is required for society to function. A clone army of highly extroverted, low-neuroticism, super positive, not very agreeable (highly assertive, lower empathy), highly conscientious workaholic CEO and entrepreneur types would not result in social progress. So, bearing this in mind, perhaps we should be appreciating a wider variety of characteristics in ourselves and others. What we need to do is understand who and what we are as best we can and make the most of it. We can always improve upon the foundations we are built on but we cannot, and should not, try to turn ourselves into a completely different animal. You are great just as you are, and don’t let anyone else tell you different!
Jessamine Gibb is a Confidence and SelfLove Coach with Master Coach level training, as well as a B.A. in Sociology. Additionally, she is an Associate Member of the Career Development Association of Australia and a Member of Counselling Tasmania Incorporated. She is on a mission to help over-achievers and perfectionists with low self-esteem value themselves and get more out of their personal and professional lives. Her style is approachable and nurturing, but she also develops the rapport required to call clients to account when they are neglecting their self-care and stagnating in pursuit of their goals. Having a background in mental health case management she is equipped to work with clients who are maintaining their mental wellness while pursuing their goals. Take her free mini course at: http://achievecoaching.wixsite.com/selfoveconfidence. For more information visit the website http:// achievecoaching.com.au/.
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It’s the RACE Trap. Free Yourself! By Gregg Sanderson The RACE Trap is THE obstacle to spiritual and personal development. RACE is an acronym that stands for Righteousness and Approval Complicate Everything. (Continued from last month’s column) The RACE Trap is the emotional need to be right, or need for approval from somebody else. It distorts or interferes with your creative mental output and provides results and consequences other than optimal. It also creates unpleasant and destructive emotional responses. Remember how it works: Paradigm shift: Stimulus >>> Belief System >>> Response. If I say you have a big nose (stimulus), your need for approval says “disapproved” and your need to be right says “I’m not OK.” You feel bad (response). If I say you’re smart (stimulus), need for approval says, “approved” and your need to be right says, “I’m OK.” You feel good (response). The good news is, when you recognize it’s your needs that cause the bad feelings, and not the stimulus, you have the power to do something about it. The better news is the needs are part of the BS (Belief Systems) you accepted unconsciously throughout your life, and
you can change them. Wow! Where did these silly BS come from? To get almost biblical, I call them the “BEGETs”. (I said ALMOST biblical). Some examples: PARENTS: BE obedient to GET love. FAMILY: BE nice to GET approval SCHOOL: BE alike to GET friends. CHURCH: BE good to GET saved. SOCIETY: BE quiet to GET along. MEDIA: BE lieve to GET in line. FAIRY TALES: BE beautiful to GET a prince …Or the converse, BE a prince to GET the girl Are you BEginning to GET the idea? Surely you can think of other sources that have had their influence. That’s a lot of programming to counter, but it’s a worthy goal on the way to the ultimate BEGET: You can BE free and GET a life! There’s a lot you can do to counteract the RACE Trap programming, and this time we’ll start with the easiest—talk back. In the computer world, we have a saying, “garbage in, garbage out,” and this also applies to Belief Systems. We can expand it to, “spot incoming garbage, and no garbage out.” Counter the limiting belief on the spot, and it doesn’t find a home in your consciousness. When the TV commercial tells you you’re not OK because you don’t use the right detergent just talk back to the TV,
or even better, shout, “BELIEF SYSTEM!” Feel free to abbreviate (or substitute). When the professor insists that you are somehow responsible for somebody else’s hurt feelings, let ‘em have it: BELIEF SYSTEM (BS)! When a religious leader says you’re a guilty sinner and bound to fry in Hell, immediately remind yourself: BELIEF SYSTEM! Same thing if somebody says you’re going to go to Heaven. It’s still BELIEF SYSTEM (BS)! When the newspaper tells you ...uh... anything: BELIEF SYSTEM (BS). When somebody in a white lab coat announces that chocolate is bad for you: BELIEF SYSTEM (BS). Wait...That’s not good enough. Shoot him! And when I say you can break out of the RACE trap so you can be in charge of your thinking to create a life of peace, love and happiness, that’s a BELIEF SYSTEM (BS), too.
Which BS appeals to you most? You are free to choose. BELIEF SYSTEM (BS).
Gregg Sanderson is author of Spirit With A Smile, The World According To BOB. He is a licensed practitioner in the Centers for Spiritual Living, and a Certified Trainer for Infinite Possibilities. His earlier books were, What Ever Happened To Happily Ever After? and Split Happens—Easing The Pain Of Divorce. His latest project is the New Thought Global Network, where subscribers can enjoy the best in New Thought presentations from anywhere at any time. You can see it at www.newthoughtglobal.org.
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Intentions & Affirmations, Part 2: How to Avoid Competing Intentions By Kumari Once you understand how to craft clear and powerful intentions, you may still find that they are not working. I just figured out a new reason why this could be the case: Your intentions may be in direct competition with each other. We live in very complex environments, and we ask for many things in different areas of our lives. What we may desire in one area (like business) may not be what we want to experience in another area (like recreation). Let me give you a great example of how this unfolded for me. Uncovering Competing Intentions I was offered an opportunity to go to a lovely town in Panama and teach. Our friends found a place we could stay for a month and offered to help promote my workshops. I had originally planned to teach two full weekend workshops, plus offer a brand new workshop on sound healing during a third weekend. But obstacle after obstacle kept coming up, and no one was registering. So we offered different workshops in response. Still nada. I couldn’t figure it out, until I reviewed my intentions from the previous year. I had asked for four to six weeks of vacation in exotic places, including Panama! I had booked a month, which was already a huge stretch for me, but I planned to teach for three weeks out of four. I caught myself starting to feel like a failure, until I realized that my vacation intention was winning out over my “all of my workshops are easily filled with ideal clients” intention.
This was a huge “aha” moment. So I decided to honor the vacation intention more, and shift the balance of time teaching to only one week, offering shorter workshops and taking the remaining time truly OFF. That is when things moved along—finally. Forgetting What You Intend I used to notice my partner doing something similar. After steady clients had booked out his time for months on end, one night at dinner he would say he really wanted some time off. Lo and behold in a month or so all his projects would complete or dry up with no new ones on the horizon. Then he would get panicky that he had no work, until I reminded him that he got exactly what he had just asked for. Oh, right, he mused. Then he was more able to enjoy the time off, and not spend it worrying about work and money flow. Sure enough, when he was rested, he would “call in the work” and it always showed up. Six Tips to Help Avoid Competing Intentions 1) Write Them Down. Keep track of what you ask for, and when, so you can recognize when something shows up. 2) Be Flexible Most of us are still in our “intentioning” training wheels, and we may need to adjust to things happening in new and different ways and timing. 3) Assume You are Manifesting Assume you are co-creating your reality, instead of screwing up. Then look more closely at what you are creating (what is working), and then ask
what tweaks you may need to make to better fit your desires. If things don’t match, assume there are underlying strong beliefs that need addressing—but you are co-creating. 4) Clear out the Closets Examine your results to identify the controlling thoughts or beliefs that must be dominant and blocking your intentions, then apply energy clearing techniques to release them. 5) Anchor in the New Correlating Belief or Feeling This is key, as you must become a vibrational match for the new experience you desire. If you say you want financial freedom, but you are resonating with “I don’t deserve” nothing will work until you clear the old patterning and reset your vibration to “I fully deserve abundance in all forms.” This is why I love the advanced energy techniques of the “Rays of Creation” so much; they accomplish both clearing the old patterns and anchoring in of new desires. 6) Be More Precise Many times we ask for things without thinking it through very concisely, and then wonder why we are not receiving more exact results. For instance, you intend your income to increase, yet you don’t mention anything about your expenses, so the result could be higher income but higher expenses. This skill takes a lot of mastery. I intend that these tips will truly support your manifesting goals, and help you to uncover some of the “competing intentions” that are operating in your world so you can achieve greater and quicker success in all your dreams.
Kumari is an internationally acclaimed intuitive coach, master healer, best-selling author, spiritual evolutionary, and animal mystic. Her deepest joy is empowering others to unwrap their innate intuitive, manifesting, and healing gifts. Kumari hosted “Co-Creation Activations” radio show on World Puja Network and the Internet TV program “How to Heal Anything Live.” She is coauthor of the bestselling book Empowering Transformations for Women and just released her new eBook Animal Communication Magic & Miracles: 13 Keys to Deepen Your Bond with Your Pets, Improve Health & Change Behavior Immediately. Kumari is a catalyst for spiritual evolution. Through energy alchemy and unveiling the human/animal spiritual interconnectedness, she has helped thousands around the globe experience bliss, our true divinity and Oneness. For more information visit www.kumarihealing.com.
Planning for a Profitable Future: How to develop an effective business plan for e-commerce. By Lisa Cedrone Online sales sounds so easy: pick a product or a service, develop a website with a shopping cart, and customers will show up and buy. After all, almost 90 percent of U.S. adults have Internet access today, right?1 But it’s not really that simple, and those who decide to plunge into the world of e-commerce without a solid plan are likely to find themselves adrift in a vast sea of uncertainty, rather than sailing in the currents of profitable online sales channels. Why? The reasons are myriad. Just for starters, it’s initially extremely difficult to get website traffic without an investment in pay-per-click advertising. Next, competition is stiff in many categories, and “almost no online startup can survive in the face of significant, established competition,” points out Armando Roggio in the article “8 Reasons Why Ecommerce Businesses Fail.”2 Sure, it’s possible to open a store with just a few hundred dollars, but inventory can be expensive and lead times can keep cash tied up. “New e-commerce companies can get into trouble when they don’t have enough cash to keep operating,” adds Roggio. “An example of this is when an entrepreneur invests all his cash in inventory and there is no money for marketing—so sales don’t rise and the business is stagnant.” The bottom line: Every e-commerce startup needs a solid business plan to improve the odds of success with online sales. It’s a formal statement of business goals and a structured plan for reaching them. This business plan should draw on a wide range of knowledge from different disciplines including finance, human resource management (if applicable), supply chain management, operations/manufacturing and marketing, among others.3 According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, it can be helpful to view this business plan as a collection of subsections that should contain, at a minimum4: • Executive Summary: Usually written last but appearing first in a business plan, the Executive Summary briefly describes where your company is, where you want to take it, and why your business idea will be successful. It also is used as a marketing tool to grab potential investors’ interest. • Company Vision and Background: This high-level review of the different elements of your business includes the marketplace needs that you are trying to satisfy and how
your products and services meet those needs. It also includes customer segments and competitive advantages. Mission Statement: This clear, memorable and concise statement defines what the company does and what it represents philosophically. Less is more in this case, and a one-sentence statement that is inspiring should be the goal. Market Analysis: An evaluation of the company’s target market and its distinguishing characteristics, the competitors in your space, pricing and possible market share that can be garnered is critical for success. Marketing Plan: This includes, but is not limited to, a strategy for promotions, advertising, public relations and printed materials that may help drive business online, such as brochures. This plan should continuously evolve and consider growth objectives over time. Operations/Manufacturing Plan: It’s important to include a supply chain outline for how products and/or services will be developed, sourced and/or manufactured and delivered to customers. Timelines should be included, as well as information about research and development and intellectual property (patents, for example). Financial Plan: After analyzing the market and setting clear objectives, financial projections should be developed. If you have creditors, most likely they will require projections for the next five years and each year’s documents should include forecasted income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and capital expenditure budgets. For the first year, you should supply monthly or quarterly projections.
INTO ACTION For our case study, The BhakTee Life’s startup, we will look at the areas Company Vision and Background, Mission Statement, Market Analysis, Operations/Manufacturing Plan, and Financial Plan. The Marketing Plan will be the focus of next month’s article. Company Vision and Background The BhakTee Life is dedicated to promoting conscious living by creating custom tee shirt designs with spiritual and humor themes, printed on high-quality cottons and cotton blends. The word bhakti is a Sanskrit word that means devotion to a per-
sonal god or to spiritual ideas, and the name BhakTee is a play on 4,500 retail stores nationwide, and the company offers the Sanskrit word. Through the use of slogans and images, our co-branded greeting cards and stationery with Hallmark, a vision is to help people remember that we are spiritual beings line of gourmet coffee with J.M. Smucker, and dog acceshaving a human experience, and that personal devotion is what sories with Planet Dog, all promoting positive thoughts.11 allows the opportunity for spiritual growth and clarity. • The company doesn’t advertise; it started a foundation The BhakTee Life, LLC, is a new company, trademarked to put on festivals to benefit kids overcoming violence, in 2016. Each design is a co-creative effort by the owner, Christy poverty and illness. This is how the Life Is Good brand Perry, and the graphic designer, Lisa Cedrone. Together they bring promotes. 11 over 40 years of practice from their spiritual studies, and both • Full price tee shirts at $25 to $30, but many sale items are have extensive experience in retail and the apparel industry. offered at up to 40 percent off. What distinctly separates The BhakTee Life from other tee Enlightened Clothing Company at www.enlightenclothingshirt companies is the originality of the slogans and the designs, and company.com the manner in which they are created. Christy and Lisa work together • Clothing, jewelry and other items incorporating sacred to design each image around the words, infusing each new design geometry. with their own personal energy and passion for sharing a positive • Very busy designs with a “grungy” theme/look. message. The brand is about being positive, and also having a sense • Younger target audience. of humor, remembering that if nothing else, life should be fun. • Average price range on shirts $9.99 up to $25 for tee The target customer niche for The BhakTee Life is spiritushirts. ally minded people—those who have been on the spiritual path for • some time, and those just beginning their journeys. People wear • Etsy marketplace at www.etsy.com tee shirts because they like to wear something that represents who • As a collective, the Etsy marketplace has thousands of they are. Our customers wear our tee shirts not only because they spiritually oriented tee shirts available that will compete like our designs and slogans, but because they love the fit, and the with The BhakTee Life. soft, comfy feel of the shirts. This is what creates repeat customers, • Average price $15-$25. as well as new customers because they know they are consistently • No solid brand presence is noticeable through searching buying high-quality, mindfully inspired items that will last. “spiritual tee shirts” within the marketplace. • Many shirts feature bad graphic design. Mission Statement The BhakTee Life is devoted to creating clothing that rais- Operations/Manufacturing Plan es the consciousness of the planet by sharing slogans and designs The BhakTee Life is located in Sarasota, Florida, and curthat awaken the spirit, inspire the soul, and bring joy to our lives. rently is developing a two-pronged manufacturing supply chain: 1. Using a local printer and 2. Using a drop ship printer. Market Analysis Shirt Design: All designs are produced collaboratively usThe U.S. apparel market is the largest in the world, acing a mass customization model. Owner Christy Perry creates slocording to Statista9, and in 2015 the market was valued at apgans and graphic artist Lisa Cedrone conceptualizes the designs usproximately $343 billion. More specifically, when it comes to eing a combination of purchased royalty-free stock art, custom art commerce, the tee shirt sector is by far the largest in the online and typography. Using some stock art allows the company to quickapparel arena, accounting for $2.9 billion in 2014, according to ly create designs with minimal investment in art and design time. Counselor10, a magazine for the promotional products industry. Lisa prepares all art for printing and supplies it to a local printer or No matter how big, however, the online tee shirt market is exan on-demand direct-to-garment drop shipping company. tremely competitive. Local Printer: Establishing a relationship with a local Within this market, the best strategy is to have a strong printer allows the company to produce small runs based on sales brand and niche market. For The BhakTee Life, that is tee shirt projections for local events and venues, which can help drive busiconsumers who are spiritual/metaphysical in the middle- to highness to the online shop. To use this model, designs prepared for income brackets. printing are sent to this company, proofs are sent back to The While a Google search of “spiritual t-shirts,” delivers BhakTee Life and, upon proof approval, the printing is completed. 1,400,000 results, there are no similar standout spiritual tee shirt Typically, it takes one to two weeks to create a design and choose companies when you Google “spiritual t-shirts.” That suggests the style of the shirt, and then another two to three days to get that there is an opportunity to build a channel in this market and the proofs once the design is sent to the printer and a deposit make The BhakTee Life the leading brand in spiritual tee shirts. payment is made. Once the proofs are accepted, it takes a week, Top competitors include: sometimes less, to receive the finished product. Life is Good at www.lifeisgood.com Additionally, when top-sellers are identified using the • Leader in the tee shirt market; more than $100 million print-on-demand method of manufacturing, large quantities can apparel business. be produced more cost effectively with screen printing. Having a • Influential brand founded by two brothers with a philosolocal supply chain for top sellers can be later translated easily to phy to focus on the good in life. Semi-spiritual message. the Etsy selling model, which has specifications for hand-crafted • Online shirts are sold through corporate website. supply chain models, if we decide later to sell via this channel and • Life Is Good tee shirts, hats, and other items are sold by hold/ship inventory. Mass producing for Amazon.com and using
Amazon’s fulfillment centers is another option that will be explored as the company grows. Direct-to-Garment (DTG) On-demand Printer: Using a DTG on-demand printer allows The BhakTee Life to print single shirts based on individual orders using unlimited colors—without investing in any inventory. This process also allows for highly detailed designs/artwork. Prices are higher per unit and there are no volume discounts, as with screenprinting; however, there is no risk involved. To use this model, shirt designs are uploaded to the DTG website and mockups are created through a shirt generator. This application also prepares a print file. We set up the shirt manufacturer, shirt style, shirt color and size range, as well as the shipping options, and then automatically link it to the Shopify shopping cart and website. When a customer orders a shirt, it is printed and drop shipped in approximately three days with our company branding. Financial Plan Currently, the owner of The BhakTee Life, Christy Perry, is funding the company through personal finances and a line of credit via a credit card. At this time, Christy is able to return profits from sales back into the company for further development. Human resources: For the startup period, Christy and Lisa do not require any return on investment for their time, so there are no employee expenses in-house. Marketing budget: The initial marketing budget will be $100 per month. After three months, it’s projected that profits will fund the marketing budget and it will grow up to $500 per month by the end of the first year of operation. Inventory costs: Minimal inventory will be kept for the first year, not to exceed $500 at any one time. Shopping cart monthly fee: $26 per month. Screenprinting Local Company • Average price for a screenprinted colored tee shirt is $10.54 for a short sleeve, single color, two-sided print. For a short sleeve, two-color, two-sided printed white tee, the cost begins at $11.96,and goes to $13.17 for a long-sleeved shirt of the same design. • There are additional costs per order in the screenprinting process. When one color is used, the initial setup fee is $25.00. Each additional color is another $5.00. The screen setup fee is $12 for each screen (representing a single color) needed. Also, when printing on colored tee shirts, an undertone of white is required to make the chosen screenprint color “pop” and stand out on the colored tee shirt. So even if only using one color for a design, you will still require two screens to achieve the undertone effect. Digital Direct to Garment Printing Local Company • Digital printed long-sleeve tee shirts with screenprinted logos on the opposite side begin at $19.87. • One-sided digitally printed short-sleeve tees begin at $13.65. • Shipping is $5.00 for the first shirt and $.75 for each additional shirt. Digital Direct to Garment Online Pricing • Wholesale prices will range from $13-$25 with onesided printing.
• Printing the logo on the opposite side will add $5 per shirt. • Shipping is $5.00 for first shirt and $.75 for each additional shirt. Shirt pricing: Retail shirt prices will range from $25 to $45 during the startup period of the company. Prices will be consistent regardless of drop shipping or shipping from Christy’s house. Stay tuned for more on marketing next month. References 1. “13% of Americans don’t use the internet. Who are they?” by Monica Anderson and Andrew Perrin, September 7, 2016, Pew Research Center, online article at http://www.pewresearch.org/ fact-tank/2016/09/07/some-americans-dont-use-the-internet-who-are-they/ 2. “8 Reasons Why Ecommerce Businesses Fail” by Armando Roggio, November 7, 2014, Practical Ecommerce, online article at http:// www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/75484-8-ReasonsWhy-Ecommerce-Businesses-Fail 3. Business Plan Definition, Wikipedia, online definition at https:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_plan 4. “Write Your Business Plan,” U.S. Small Business Administration, online guide at https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/writeyour-business-plan 5. “50 Example Mission Statements,” Top Nonprofits website, online list at https://topnonprofits.com/examples/nonprofit-mission-statements/ 6. “How to Write an eCommerce Business Plan for Your Startup” by Sameer Reddy, selfstartr.com, online article at https://selfstartr. com/ecommerce-business-plan/ 7. “Small Business Ideas: How to Start an Online T-Shirt Business,” YouTube Video at https://youtu.be/Z0yhS_sJkMk 8. “What Is Spiritual Branding?” by Jonathan Greye, September 27, 2016, Spiritual Biz Magazine, online article at http://www.spiritualbizmagazine.com/what-is-spiritual-branding/ 9. “Statistics and Facts on the Apparel Market in the U.S.” Statista portal analysis at https://www.statista.com/topics/965/apparel-market-in-the-us/ 10. “SOI 2015 – T-Shirts Rule Online Sales,” by Shane Dale, Counselor magazine online, July 15, 2015, online article at http://www. asicentral.com/magazines/counselor/Research/content. aspx?id=2089 11. “Life is good in the T-shirt business,” by Dinah Eng, May 01, 2014, Fortune, online article at http://fortune.com/2014/05/01/lifeis-good-in-the-t-shirt-business/
•••••••••••••• Lisa Cedrone is the editor of Transformation Magazine and a freelance editor, writer, and graphic designer working primarily in the spiritual and alternative healing communities. Prior to establishing her Sarasota, FL-based freelance business in 2008, Lisa spent 20 years as an editor/editor-in-chief for two of the Top 10 businessto-business publishers in the United States, serving the apparel manufacturing and residential construction/building markets. Her company, DragonFly Nation, offers a wide range of creative services, with an emphasis on cost-effective, turnkey editorial and design projects for both print and web. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit DragonFlyNation.com.
Enlightenment moment I said those words, “I love you Aunt Polly,” a white flower in the large flower arrangement that was on top of her casket fell. In slow motion, the flower hit the casket, bounced off and came to rest on the floor in front of me. Intuitively I felt her, knew she’d heard me, and this was her message back to me. It was the only time I shed tears. I went out to find the family and tell them what had just happened. They asked where was the flower. I said on the floor. They insisted we go back and get it. As we walked into the chapel two men from the funeral home were wheeling the casket out a side door. The only thing left where the casket had been was the white flower. It now sits on my altar. The following night I had a dream about Aunt Polly. She was dressed in a white summer dress. Her hair was curly and short. She was about 35 and looked radiant. She was “hosting” a memorial service for everyone Life After Death: A message from Aunt Polly. at a swank white restaurant. Then she whispered to the family members, “Let’s get this thing over with so I can By Jo Mooy change into shorts and a T-shirt. I’m going fishing then we’re going to eat at After physical death there’s an inherent part of the human psyche that believes that a real fish camp.” With those words, I the soul, or its equivalent, goes into another realm of being. From earliest childhood I saw knew Aunt Polly was just fine and had beings from other worlds in dreams or with an inner sight. When I got old enough to attend survived Life After Death! school, the nuns and Jesuits replaced those visions with stories of heaven, hell and purgatory. Stories of spirits were drummed out of me. It took many years to unravel that indoctrination and resurrect the more real imagery of my childhood. Jo Mooy has studied with many spiritual traditions over the past 40 years. I was 25 when my grandmother, “Bobo,” died. Two weeks after her passing she apThe wide diversity of this training alpeared in what I thought was a dream. Except I’d opened my eyes and she was standing there lows her to develop spiritual seminars in a long white gown next to my bed. She took an object out of her pocket and handed it to and retreats that explore inspirational me. I said, “It’s the number 8.” She said, “Turn it on its side.” The message for “infinity” was concepts, give purpose and guidance clear. In April on her 88th birthday, her daughter, my Aunt Polly, died. As I wrote the numbers to students, and present esoteric 88, the hair on my neck stood up with the coincidence of Bobo’s infinity message. teachings in an understandable manPolly was my hero from the age of 12. She was an independent woman who did ner. Along with Patricia Cockerill, she things her way. She drove a green convertible MG sports car before graduating to a big truck. has guided the Women’s Meditation She built things. She rode motorcycles. She loved fishing and boating. She was All City and All Circle since January 2006 where it has State in softball and basketball. She traveled and camped in a van all over the country with been honored for five years in a row her life partner. Diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 40, she told the surgeon she’d as the “Favorite Meditation” group in Sarasota, FL, by Natural Awakenings survive. She did for 48 more years, until she was felled by a stroke. Magazine. Teaching and using Sound Our family gathered for her funeral in Jacksonville, Fla. Most of her contemporaries as a retreat healing practice, Jo was had already passed on, so it was a small group. I wanted to be alone with her for a few mincertified as a Sound Healer through utes, so I waited until all the visits, tributes and accolades were over before entering the little Jonathan Goldman’s Sound Healing chapel. I was alone with her in the now dim room. Association. She writes and publishes I stood in front of the casket to thank her for the influences she had in my life; a monthly internationally distributed for the role model she represented to me as a strong, proud and independent woman; for e-newsletter called Spiritual Connecteaching me to drive in her MG; and to water ski on my first try. (It helped that she told me tions and is a staff writer for Spirit of alligators were in the river.) Maat magazine in Sedona. For more I told her I didn’t want to see her frail condition as she died, but would stand with Jainformation go to www.starsoundings. net, her life partner, and the family in saying goodbye. Finally I said, “I love you Aunt Polly.” The com or email email@example.com.
Resign as Your Own Teacher by Alan Cohen While traveling in Europe to attend an André Rieu concert, my laptop wouldn’t boot. If you ever had this happen, you know it can be, well, disconcerting. I Googled computer repair technicians in the small Holland city where I was staying, and found two technicians with good reviews. One of them seemed really attractive, with lots of great comments. I decided he was the guy for me, and phoned him. It was Saturday, and although Google said his shop was open, it wasn’t. I didn’t have much choice but to phone the second tech, fingers crossed. Harry answered immediately and came to my hotel to pick up the laptop. In a foreign country, I had to really trust to let the machine go. Yet to my happy surprise, Harry returned a few hours later, the hard drive perfectly restored. In spite of my misgivings, he was the perfect guy for the job. Often, what I believe is my true guidance isn’t. It’s quite humbling not to know it all. A Course in Miracles underscores our inability to make healthy decisions when we depend on our intellect only. A Course Workbook lesson asks us to remember, “I do not perceive my own best interests. The text bluntly advises us, “Resign as your own teacher.” The Course explains,
“You cannot be your own guide to miracles because it was you who made them necessary.” The way we have been taught to make decisions, through intellect and emotion, is ultimately not our answer. If we can’t trust our thoughts and feelings, then, what can we trust? Are we bereft of guidance, impotent to know what is right for us? To the contrary, we have impeccable guidance. We have an inner teacher to whom we can turn with perfect confidence. Call this teacher Higher Power, Holy Spirit, Divine Guidance or whatever you like, there is a voice of deep knowing within us that will show us exactly what to do. We must turn challenging situations over to this Higher Power. Say, “I do not know what to do here. I am not seeing clearly. I now release my attempts to figure this out, and I place this situation in the hands of Greater Wisdom. I ask and trust that right action be revealed to me, and this situation be resolved in the best interests of everyone concerned.”
Often, what I believe is my true guidance isn’t. It’s quite humbling not to know it all.
Now that’s a prayer that will work—if you pray it sin-
In the case of my laptop repair, I didn’t see my true guidance because I had made up my mind about how events should go. But when I turned it over and trusted the process, everything worked out perfectly. The Course advises us to ask at the beginning of each day, “What would You have me do? Where would You have me go? What would You have me say, and to whom?” Instead of depending on ego, the mode from which we usually operate, we are asking for guidance from Spirit. Many of us make up our mind about an answer before we ask the question. We decide that someone is our soulmate, or a particular job or house should be ours, and then we ask for guidance. Real asking is open-ended. “Send me the right partner, job or house,” allows that the partner, job, or house may be the one you think it should be, or another. End all prayers with “this or better.”
Einstein explained that you cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it. The problem is moving you to rise to a higher level of consciousness so you can see the issue from a broader dimension and resolve it from the Big Picture. Don’t be so sure you know what to do. If you think you know what to do, head in that direction. Then watch for signs. Is your solution flowing and attracting people and events that foster resolution? Or are you hitting walls, having conflicts and getting frustrated? If the latter, try another approach. The walls you are hitting are redirecting you to move in another direction. Great Spirit is very generous with signs as to whether or not we are on the right track. But we must be keen to observe and act on those signs. The spiritual path is not about gaining sophistication. It is about gaining simplicity. We must become like a little child and be open to be shown. Don Marquis summed it up: “The most pleasant and useful persons are those who leave some of the problems of the universe for God to worry about.” Author’s note: André Rieu and his orchestra will be coming to the United States in October and November. His concerts are extraordinarily inspiring, creative, enlivening—even life-changing. I highly recommend you attend his concert(s) while he is here. Visit andrerieu.com or watch some of his many wonderful YouTubes. I promise you will be glad you did!
Alan Cohen is the author of The Grace Factor: Opening the Door to Infinite Love. Become a certified professional life coach though Alan’s transformational Life Coach Training beginning September 1. For more information about this program, his books and videos, free daily inspirational quotes, online courses, and weekly radio show, visit www.AlanCohen.com.
The NOW: How I Lost My Head and Found My Heart Space By Elasa Tina Tiernan Sherbs
“The space in my heart holds the driver’s key to my vehicle of the universe. And this key only ignites in the present moment.” I was born to a set of parents whose definition of God was unique. My mother could be found in nature or on the shore contemplating and meditating with the sun and all of nature, while my father, who walked as a human angel and literally was born in a plane midair, showed me that God hid in the most obscure places, such as a homeless man’s words or a flower in the garden. Later in life, I came to the broad understanding that there are many paths leading to many understandings of creator, but I still wondered how I could live a life fully connected to creator, as creator, and through creator. So I prayed to God to show me a way to get in touch with my own inner God spark, that simple SOUL choosing to show up
authentically unique and undefined. It was the summer of 2004, and I had just assisted opening a string of spiritual centers. I knew I needed to shake off the daily scheduling created by life, bills, and career, and the cobwebs of mass-mind conditioning regarding what it means to be spiritual. I desired to feel more confidence in my shear Creative Being, the true form of god(dess) and creation. I needed a sabbatical! So I closed up the center I was running with a note to clients that I would be heading west, with a light load, and with great love would return at the perfect time. On July 4th, what I like to call “INNER Dependence Day,” I was off. I was guided by spirit to have NO PLAN, and to be in the NOW with a knowing that there would be “no wrong turns.” My journey took me to spiritual communities, ashrams, parks, and hidden sages in oddest of places. As I reached the West Coast I could feel a freedom that was joyful and untethered. After several weeks I made my way to San Francisco and found a dear friend from college who needed guidance and of-
fered a place to stay. While sharing my journeys with this friend and another, I told the ladies to sit down with me and do some finger painting to connect with their inner child. I asked to them to speak only in sounds, the language of love, while we painted. This led to laughter and joy, as the sounds that could be heard were “ah, oh, ee, ie…” Something then moved within me to say, “Now Great Spirit please tell me what my soul’s name is?!” The next three sounds I painted in song were E, La, Sa. My being became alive with light as the other two spoke their soul names ToSaLa, and LoLa. When we finished, I immediately called my mother to tell her the news and, with great surprise, she loved it! We immediately began a search to find out more about Elasa: Goddess of Light and Truth, and we discovered that her story took place before time BEGAN (key point here). Elasa was being chased by a demon named Tien. He wanted her third eye as it held the keys to TRUTH. Tien chased Elasa down to the underworld, and finally captured her. He held her by the hair and drew his sword to cut her head off and have her third eye. Right before he made the cut she looked Tien in the eyes and laughed as she reminded him that she is eternal. As he took her head, out of her neck came eight beams of light that froze the demons in the land, transmuting the darkness. And then TIME BEGAN. Just as I read this part of the story to my mother over the phone, a book from the top shelf at my friend’s house fell to the floor. My mother and I laughed and quickly said aloud, “flip turn!!” I told her to hold on and I got the book, which was titled The Mind’s Eye. I did a flip turn to chapter 2: “The Day I Lost My Head.” In brief, the author described how she finally lost her head and got into her heart space while meditating on sabbatical in the Himalayas. At this moment, NOW TIME began for her, and she experienced deep peace and an understanding of the PRESENCE of God that can be felt in the present moment. Since connecting with the soul name of Elasa, and finding that I AM the God Spark when in a state of free flowing creativity bound by nothing, I have become conscious that it is my participation in the present moment that defines co-creation. It is where the masculine practice of being consciously connected to the true you blends with the feminine brilliance of being open to
the light and freedom of undefined creativity and synchronicity. My offering to you dear fellow god(dess) spark is to greet your day with a prayer and intention to be connected to that the god(dess) spark. Then move through your day open to the possibilities of the divine canvas called life as you unfold your soul’s masterpieces and creations. Try this practice: Choose a day that plans, schedules, and normal routines can be released. Pack a few super-food snacks such as nuts, fruits, vegetables, and water. Head to your favorite nature spot for a short 10-20 minute meditation and intention setting session. Set your intention to be connected to your god(dess) spark, and to be guided by this super conscious part of yourself to connect to the appropriate people and places to further assist in awakening you to your path, purpose, and truth. For this day or time period, focus on being super present in the moment, and pay attention to the “characters” that connect with you, the messages that come forth from the nature kingdom, and events that unfold. Move forward in the direction of what feels right in your heart. Be open to the possibility that you may choose to stay put at the nature oasis of choice, or your journey may lead you to unfold mysteries from within the entirety of consciousness. And enjoy your time in The NOW!
Move through your day open to the possibilities of the divine canvas called life as you unfold your soul’s masterpieces and creations.
Rev. Elasa Tina Marie Tiernan Sherbs OT, CYT had a near death experience at the age of 10 that awakened her to the healing arts. She began reading books on Energy Medicine, and knew that she would assist many on the realization of the SOUL. Elasa studied western medicine at University of Florida and practices Sol Sessions, CranioSacral Therapy, Reiki, and Yoga. She also co-leads God(dess) Retreats. Her private practices are at Sol Terra Wellness and Yoga Lifestyle Center and Bliss Family Center in Palm Harbor, FL. She is currently teaching SOUL STAR SOURCE (S3): Meditation Training, Essential Oil Yoga, Healing Facilitation Certifications, and Yoga via the web and around the globe. Visit www.SoulStarSource.com. This article is a chapter from the book Transform Your Life! written by 60 real-life heroes and experts and available at Amazon.com, BN.com, www.Transformation-Publishing.com and all ebook formats.
The Power of Imagination by Owen K Waters In the dream state, you create any reality that you desire. In a dream, you can be with anyone you imagine and in any surroundings that you choose. In a dream, you might be walking through the local scenery, then suddenly switch to driving in a car and, finally, be flying through the air to get somewhere more quickly. The background scenery can change from one scene to another in a split-second. When you awake, you may dismiss the dream as an imaginary, fast-changing jumble of pure fantasy. After all, when you come back into the cold, solid light of the physical world, the dream world seems so unreal. But is it? Are all dreams just your imagination running wild, or are those scenic backdrops really created around you within the very fabric of the dream world? What about those times when you awake from a dream that seemed so real, you find it hard to believe that it wasn’t real. And yet, you’ve been taught to believe that dreams are never real, so then you struggle between that in-built belief and the fact that you’ve just had a very real dream experience. For example, in a dream, was that really your favorite granddad visiting you, or did you just make it all up? And, why did he look so much younger than when he was alive?
Now, here is the surprising secret. Dreams are real. Very real. When you are dreaming, you are out of your physical body and functioning in your spirit body in the spirit world. The fabric of the dream world, or spirit world, is called etheric energy. Mystics call it the ‘astral light’ but, technically speaking, its correct name is ethero-magnetic energy. The substances of the physical world, on the other hand, are composed of electromagnetic energy. Your spirit body is composed of etheric energy and so is the world that surrounds you when you are in the spirit or astral world. Etheric energy responds instantly to your thought commands. If you want to change your appearance—shape shift—then just think it, and it will be so. If you want to change your surroundings, just imagine a new set of surroundings and they will appear. At least, to your perception, they will, and to anyone in your close proximity. Those surroundings are created for you temporarily, as a backdrop, by the power of your imagination. The real surroundings of that location are independent of your imaginative creations, which survive only for as long as you pay attention to them. In the spirit
world, these mental creations are called thought forms. The more powerful your ability to mentally focus, the larger and more vivid you can make your thought forms. Within the spirit world, they are solid to the touch, as are the bodies of other spirits. This demonstrates that, in the spirit world, your imagination is very real as it creates new realities instantly. In the physical world, your imagination creates realities over time. In fact, new realities physically manifest only after you have applied the necessary action in order to organize them in the physical world. Physical realities don’t just manifest out of thin air like they do in the spirit world. You have to intend them, energize them with your feelings, and then walk them through the steps that will enable them to become physically manifest using existing materials. The common key between the dream world and the physical world is that imagination creates realities. In the spirit world, they manifest instantly and in accordance with the degree of your mental focus. In the physical world they manifest slowly, also in proportion to the effort that you invest in making them happen. Never let it be said that, “It’s only your imagination.” In the saga of life, your imagination is everything.
Imagination is your creative faculty. With it, you have, quite simply, the power to change the world.
Owen K Waters is a cofounder of the Spiritual Dynamics Academy, where a where a free spiritual growth newsletter awaits you at: www.SpiritualDynamics.net. He is an international spiritual teacher who has helped hundreds of thousands of spiritual seekers to understand better the nature of their spiritual potential. Owen’s life has been focused upon gaining spiritual insights through extensive research and the development of his inner vision. For the past 12 years, he has written a spiritual metaphysics newsletter which empowers people to discover their own new vistas of inspiration, love and creativity. Spiritual seekers enjoy his writings for their insight and clarity.
Dear Ms. Spiritual Matters, I work in a fast-paced hospital where I almost never get a lunch and often only a 15-minute break during my 12-hour shift. Instead of coming home pleased with the care I am able to give, I return to my family hiding the anger and tiredness I feel with a disingenuous smile. Whatever joy I was able to give patients has been blown away by the storm of emotions that come over me. My colleagues and I see no end in sight. Some are talking about leaving. Others already have new jobs in less challenging environments. In my heart, my family must come first. Do you have any suggestions? Your reader, Robin Dear Robin, You are not alone. Your feelings are recognized as “compassion fatigue.” Those who in their daily work witness and respond to suffering and death are susceptible. Compassion fatigue affects many caregivers, from nurses and emergency medical technicians and paramedics to firefighters and police officers. Estimates indicate that compassion fatigue affects two-thirds of caregivers at some point in their careers. Giving too much of oneself in order to relieve someone else’s pain is not sustainable without personal consequences. Caregivers may quit their very important roles in society because they are plagued by feelings of inadequacy. They report symptoms of anxiety such as insomnia, weight gain or weight loss, headache or stomachache. They may argue with
coworkers and family members over inconsequential details. They often use medications and alcohol to soothe their unhappiness. Research shows that professionals suffering compassion fatigue take more sick days. They also make more errors at work. What turns around compassion fatigue? Spiritual care of oneself! Studies show that caregivers who participate in spiritual renewal activities such as meditation, contemplation while walking, and other spiritual practices, such as Lectio Divina, as well as personal or group reading and discussion of scriptures were less susceptible to compassion fatigue. Instead, they reported compassion satisfaction, which is the ability to receive good feelings from helping people through their suffering and loss. Consistently practicing a form of spiritual renewal is protective. I encourage you to engage in a spiritual practice that gives you a feeling of renewal and strength. Practice it! You will be able to come home to your family invigorated by the contributions you are making. Sincerely, Ms. Spiritual Matters
Susan Schoenbeck holds Baccalaureate and Master’s degrees in nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is an experienced educator and teaches nursing students at Walla Walla University -- Portland, Oregon campus. She is an oblate of a Benedictine Monastery where she learned centering and contemplative meditation practices. She is author of the book, Zen and the Art of Nursing, Good Grief: Daily Meditations, and NearDeath Experiences: Visits to the Other Side.
This month dive into self mastery by expanding your boundaries, putting on your invisible crown of confidence, and following your dreams!
Published on Sep 1, 2017
This month dive into self mastery by expanding your boundaries, putting on your invisible crown of confidence, and following your dreams!