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Section Title

PURPOSE Awakening: A Search for Meaning 4 Practical Spirituality: The Purpose of Purpose 7 12 The Way It Is: Your Purpose in Life 17 Discovering Life’s Purpose 21 Reflections on Purpose 25 Positive Change: The Purpose of Purpose SPIRITUALITY 9 The 13 Clanmothers and the Equinox 10 Angels and Inspirations: We All Have Angels 19 Experiential Spirituality 23 Holy Mole Cartoon 26 Putting Money Back in its Place HEALTHY LIVING 13 Captain’s Compass: The Element of Wood 16 Ayurveda: The Science of Life 28 Make a Decision TOOLS & TIPS 14 Enlightened Relationships: Taming the Beast 21 Out Your ego: Before and After 22 Spiritualy Speaking: Numerology of Addresses 24 Ask Dr. ZZ TRANSFORMATION The Complicated “Me” 6 8 Journey of a Skeptic 11 Born to Dream 18 Climbing the Mountain of Sorrow 20 Transformational Services are the New Plastics © Copyright 2012 Transformation Magazine. All rights reserved.

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Awakening

An Apple Spiritually &OMJHIUFOFE 3FMBUJPOTIJQT Speaking Dr. XJUIUIF&EJUPS aZZ Day Ask

XJUI3FW.BSMB4BOEFSTPO /BUBMJF"NTEFO 8JUI%$BSPM3PCFSUT .% with MarciaBender Natalie, Publisher of Transformation Magazine, has worked with thousands of people seeking to live a life of purpose and genuine relationship with their true selves, others, and their world. She is the former Director of a counseling center for at risk teenagers and their parents. She is also a public speaker and leads workshops and retreats on Practical Spirituality, Finding Joy, Discovering Your Purpose, and Enlightened Relationships.

•••••••••••••••••• A Search for Meaning

As humans journey through the physical, biological, and psychological stages of maturation, their evolution unfolds automatically. Everyone experiences the shifts from one stage to another in their own time. In the same way, it is also inevitable that we each reach a point in our lives when we begin to seek greater meaning and purpose. Until we reach this shifting point, most people are motivated to achieve based on what they believe they “should� do and not what they came here to do.

What gives purpose or meaning to life is unique for every individual. It is important to carefully examine your life experiences, influences, passions, and talents to extract the deeper, underlying meaning and purpose that is and has been the driving force of your life. Many techniques that help you consciously create your life teach that you can manifest anything you desire; however, the truth is that if you are aiming for a goal that is not part of your True Self’s greater plan you are likely to fail.

Your ego’s intentions will always be trumped by your True Self ’s intentions. On the other hand, if your desires are in alignment with your soul’s greater plan for you, doors open and your life moves more smoothly and elegantly in the direction of fulfilled dreams. What is Purpose? There are many different viewpoints regarding whether individuals have a unique purpose for which they were born. For simplicity’s sake, let’s agree that there is a greater reason for human life—beyond simply existing—including expansion, evolution, creativity, and enjoyment. Let’s also agree that each person has a unique set of talents, passions, experiences, and intentions that sets him or her up to be perfectly prepared to contribute in a unique way. Let’s further conclude that our souls

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came here with an original intention to fulfill a particular purpose that contributes to the greater purpose of All. Fate + Destiny = Your Purpose If we came here with an original intention, we can think of this intention as a contract we create with All That Is. Fate and destiny are forces within this contract that direct us along our journey toward fulfilling our purpose. Life purpose, fate, and destiny should not be confused with a lack of free will. At every moment we have choice. We can take any path we desire and can completely ignore the calling of fate toward destiny. But, finding and following our purpose has the potential to unlock the fullest and most satisfying expression of our being. Our fate will bring us everything we need to fulfill our purpose. Fate is the structure or blueprint through which our destiny is fulfilled. There are certain milestones you planned for your life to help you stay on path toward fulfilling your purpose, such as certain people you meet, skills you acquire, or experiences that inspire. Fate is like the cards you are dealt in life, but how we play the hands of fate, through our creative power of choices, determines our destiny. Fate is a noun; it IS. Destiny is a VERB, it is ACTUALIZATION. By working through your challenges and allowing them to help you become who you truly are, you are able to serve the All with your own unique expression and experience your destiny. THIS is the purpose of your life. Re-Discovering Your Unique Purpose If we came here with an original intention (purpose) and co-created a blueprint (fate) for our lives that would help us experience our destiny, then it would be helpful if we could remember it all. The good news is WE CAN! Step 1: Examine Your Fate: When we reflect back on our life we’ll often see that our whole life has been leading up to this moment. We have all had experiences that stand out as pivotal and changed the direction of our lives. Sometimes these moments are easily recognized as fate because they appear obvious, like a synchronicity or coincidence that is so powerful it cannot be ignored. Other times, especially if an experience was negative or not what we wanted, we can miss the clues fate has to offer. Start at childhood and make a list of all of the pivotal or impactful moments or transitions that have occurred throughout your life, positive and negative. Make special note of any that happened “out of the blue,â€? felt highly synchronistic, or that lead to important parts of your life that you would never have experienced otherwise. • Can you see how many of these seemingly random events somehow have created a cohesive trajectory of life that you are now experiencing? • Can you see how any of these experiences may have been “pre-plannedâ€? by your soul, perhaps in hopes of “waking you up,â€? teaching you a lesson, or preparing you for future events? • Can you find the blessings within the curses? • What does the trajectory of your fate seem to be leading you toward?


Step 2: Determine What You’re Made For: Each of us is a unique being with pre-dispositions, talents, and inclinations like no one else. Our physical and psychological makeup is part of our fate: the part that cannot be changed. We are who we are. However, as we grow up, family influence, society, and our egos take their toll on us and we get out of alignment with our True Selves. This can make living a purposeful life difficult because we are searching for meaning in the wrong places.

When we are living in integrity with who we truly are, we experience the joy of destiny as we ride the waves of fate. We are born with an inner compass that helps us stay on our path. By examining our natural talents, passions, and predispositions we can find our path to what we were made to do and be. It is often helpful to look back at who we WERE to understand who we really ARE: • When you were a child, what did you love to do? • What did you care about or desire when you were a child? • What do you care about today because of your childhood experiences? It is helpful to look at when you are at your best to know who you truly are: • What are your best qualities? • When makes you shine? • What do you do effortlessly? • What are your natural talents? • What could you do all day and enjoy? Step 3: Remember Your Original Intention: By looking at elements of your experience and facets of your True Self, you may already be able to see that there is an underlying theme of your life—this theme is an element of your purpose. By further examining the forces that are calling you along your journey, you will begin to find clarity of purpose. • What do you find yourself drawn to over and over again? • What are you most passionate about? • What would you like to change in the world? • What innovative ideas have you had that excited you? • What dreams have you forgotten? You came to this earth with a goal in mind and forgot it upon your birth, and since your first breath you have been relearning what you always Knew. You imbued yourself with the drives, passions, and inspiration you would need to stay the course. You lost yourself in this world, and you have been finding your way Home through the synchronicities, miracles, and teachers that have been your path. As you become all of who you truly are, you unlock faculties and forces that propel you toward your destiny. As you let go and ride the waves of your fate, you will float effortlessly into alignment with your purpose and live in integrity with the greater purpose of All That Is. Can you see it? Can you remember your original intention?

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Transformation

The Complicated

“Me”

By Steve Priester

At some time in our life we all ask the question, “Who am I?” For me, the question and the answer came only in the past few years. Perhaps I was a case of “arrested spiritual development.” All I know for sure is that soon after retirement I was suddenly fascinated with spiritual concepts, and one book after another came into my life. Then the mystical experiences—waking up in the middle of the night to a white light flowing through my body and experiencing an inner peace that cannot be described. A month later, my Spirit Guide whispers my “name,” and for one glorious second she stops all reality in a moment of total silence. As a result of these two experiences my life was forever changed. Just one of these experiences would have been enough to jumpstart my journey, but two confirmed that I was on my way. Suddenly it became much easier to understand the spiritual principles I was reading about—and the whole world slowed down. I started to witness life as a series of events, with the drama lessening or totally absent.

When one actually “knows” to the core that we are spiritual beings, everything changes and a different paradigm emerges. When we can relate a personal experience to what Wayne Dyer or Deepak Chopra are writing about, the understanding becomes so much deeper. Spiritual concepts like free-will, karma, sacred contracts, and oneness just felt right. The idea that I pretended to forget only so that I could remember gave me goose bumps.

A large part of “me” can be found in the choices of my sacred contract. I chose the German-Hungarian heritage of my parents, agreed to be the first born of five siblings, and chose the male gender along with its hormonal implications. This is my physical DNA. I also chose my astrology, Scorpio, and for some reason I agreed to be born and raised on the Minnesota tundra. Perhaps a karmic debt was owed. In addition, I am sure I selected a series of lessons to learn this lifetime, with patience certainly being one of them. Acceptance was another lesson I chose for this life, and by starting out on my spiritual journey with a willingness to accept, it has

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become much easier to achieve this goal. Since we can control only how we react to the circumstances of life, it is not really that difficult to give up the control that, in reality, we never had in the first place. Only our arrogance needs to be addressed; our desire to control is based on an egocentric assumption that we know what is best.

A more mystical part of “me” can be found in my spiritual DNA. How many past lives have I had? One medium actually saw me herding goats in Turkey! Are the memories of every experience I have ever had truly found in the cells of my present body? In truth, all we ever take with us is our memories—we slough the body but retain the mind. Spiritual teachers tell us there is but one Mind and all minds are connected. I realize now that I agreed to forget, but this role of the mind must be acknowledged. The mind is my connection to Source and carries with it the essence of who I am, including every feeling, thought, and action this complicated “me” has ever experienced.

The complicated “me” is the result of my physical DNA, my spiritual DNA, and all of the choices that I have made this lifetime. Choices on education, relationships, career path, and parenthood are but a few. It is not a coincidence that I ended up majoring in psychology. In hindsight, the fact that my struggle with calculus resulted in changing my major was a blessing. Why would a shy college freshman walk across a classroom to talk with a particular girl when he had never done anything like this before? Well, when that choice was made between lives, the decision in this lifetime became easy. When we are still together over 40 years later, you know it was meant to be. I also knew for many years prior to retirement that I would end up in Florida. I did not know where or how, but the “pull” was strong, as if a decision had already been made. Living in Florida is the first time in my life that I have felt like I “belonged.” There are times now, when I reflect in meditation, that everything that has happened in my life has led up to who I am at this present moment.

What makes life so exciting is that everyone we meet is also just as complicated. This is the great challenge of life—to love all and judge none. How can we possibly judge others


when we know so little about them? What we see with our senses is only a small fraction of who we truly are. When the judging stops, it is so much easier for the loving to start. Everyone who has been blessed with the opportunity to experience what we call “life” has also made countless choices in determining what that experience would be. We truly can create our own reality. As spiritual beings in these human bodies, we tend to underestimate the power of our mind by focusing on our senses. Once we realize and remember who we truly are, then can we experience life as the great eternal gift. We forever have the option to go “within,” where it is so much easier to minimize the distractions from the “outer” world that tend to challenge who we truly are.

The ultimate realization, of course, is that the complicated “me” and all the others that I meet are simply the composition of the Perfect One.

••••••••••••••••••

Steve Priester grew up in Minnesota and followed the sun to Florida after retiring. He is presently the president of the Metaphysical Group at Del Webb’s Spruce Creek in Summerfield, FL. Only in the past five years has he realized the spiritual nature of his journey and this is his first article. Email stvpriester@yahoo.com

Spirituality When you know what you want to accomplish, why you’re doing it, and what you want to get out of it, you add value to whatever you do.

Marla Sanderson has been a student of spiritual practice for more than 35 years. She began as Assistant Director of The Next Step, a psychic and spiritual community in a New Mexico ghost town. As workshop leader, teacher, practitioner, and minister, she has led relationship and personal growth workshops, taught psychic development and meditation, Living Love, and the Science of Mind. Marla is available for workshops and speaking engagements. She recently founded the New Thought Center for Creative Living at the Unity Peace Cottage in Clearwater (see ad ). Attend the Mid-Week Faith Lift service, Wednesdays at 7pm. www.newthoughtctr.org

•••••••••••••••••• The Purpose of Purpose

“The word ‘purposefulness’ might be defined, in general terms, as the very antithesis of aimlessness.

It is the spirit of significance, of importance, a co-mingling of desire and determination; an inner recognition of the Divine Urge.” —Ernest Holmes Being that we are GOD-LIKE, we are subject to that Divine Urge—that sense of purposefulness. Spontaneity and serendipity are great, but under certain circumstances, if you want to accomplish something, you need to do what works. If you know your purpose you will have a better chance. WHAT DO I MEAN BY PURPOSE?

It’s one thing to do something for the sake of doing it but, if you have a purpose, it will be more rewarding—more fulfilling. There will be FRUIT ON THE TREE. You’ll know you’re done when you’ve accomplished what you set out to do. Purpose is greater than any specific action or thing, and if it’s clear to you, it can determine your action and it can manifest your desires. Purpose keeps you on track. If something (an action, method, line of thinking, idea, item, tool, clothing, expenditure, etc.) doesn’t fit your purpose, you can leave it alone. You don’t have to do it.

When you go into any project or situation, it helps to ask, “What’s my purpose here?” When you know it, you know if you get off track, and you can let go of anything that doesn’t serve that end. Some struggle with life purpose. “Am I fulfilling it? Am I good enough?” It’s as if there’s something kept secret from them, and they struggle to know what it is so they’ll feel complete. As long as you think you have to live up to any expectation imposed on you, you can never be at peace. The Science of Mind says “When a man’s thought rests entirely upon himself, he becomes abnormal and unhappy; but when he gives himself with enthusiasm to any legitimate purpose, losing himself in the thing which he is doing, he becomes normal and happy.” If you find yourself in a place where life seems hollow or shallow, ask yourself, “Is there a higher purpose I can serve?” There’s something in you—call it LIFE or CREATIVITY or the DIVINE URGE—that will respond and show you that “meaningful” thing to do. It will give you joy and satisfaction. And when you do that, you will fulfill your Divine Purpose. If you really think deeply, you will find it.

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Transformation

Journey of a Skeptic By Jason Johnston

business owner, a world traveler, a father, a mentor, a speaker, a farmer, and a naturalist, amongst other things. He would go on about true personal responsibility, integrity, and honesty. He would talk about the importance of listening and not just waiting for your turn to speak; even as I would be doing just that with all of the questions and ideas I had roaming around my head begging to be let out lest they be forgotten. His insights, ideas, and beliefs—italicized with a peaceful contempt for the materialistic world around him—helped me to understand a lot more about why I did things a certain way, why I thought of things the way I did, and how I related my own perspective to that of the world around me. During one of our conversations he suggested I take a look at this book he believed would help me in my pursuit. Taking his word for it I went out to a local bookstore and found a copy. I drove home with the hopeful skepticism of someone who thinks they may have discovered something new and worthwhile but in all probability had not. The book was called The Celestine Prophecy. I read through the story, thoroughly enjoying it and thinking I had finally found all the answers I would ever really need to rationalize what was going on in my life at the time. My questions about how people truly relate to one another were all but answered, but the thing about questions and answers is this:

If we have a question we want answered desperately enough sometimes the first possible answer that comes along is the one we latch onto immediately.

I was a skeptic. Well not entirely, but I figured if the answer to at least a few of my major questions regarding life and existence were in a book I was supposed to read, then why wouldn’t everyone be throwing this literature at me with as much force as other, shall we say, over-achievers in the solicitation of religion? But, I had decided reading it might break up the slightly monotonous (but still thoroughly enjoyable) courtroom drama television kick I happened to be on at the time. Prior to reading this book, I had the good fortune of meeting an older gentleman who had been into this kind of “spiritual concentration” for quite a bit longer than I. He was a friend of the family and someone I definitely considered a mentor, educator, and good friend. Our conversations have always been an interesting plethora of topics for a young mind searching for something he knew existed but had not been able to connect with fully yet. They covered everything from nature to introspectiveness, and from society’s malpractices to interpretations of events happening in our lives—all mixed with a general baseline that everything relates to everything else. I would stop to help him with his hobby farm here and there, and at some point the conversation would become more important than the work I was originally there to do. The man had experienced the world of a millionaire, the struggles of poverty, and the life of a husband, a successful

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That is exactly what I had done. I read through all of the chapters of this book, soaking up all the words in print as if they were truly Jesus’ Words in Red themselves. I went back to my mentor’s house, finally feeling like I understood this man and his ideas much better than I had before. We chatted about what I had learned, what I thought, and how I had applied some of the ideas from the book to my own daily existence. His comments were, as usual, of the type that produced more questions than answers. While I left feeling much less ignorant than I had a week prior, I realized that one of the greatest occupations in life is that of the perpetual student. As helpful as this book had been in understanding my friend and altering my perspectives on life in general, I eventually fully understood the meaning of the figurative phrase “taken with a grain of salt.”

Everything, including the seemingly obvious answers to our most desperate questions, should be given thought. Everything should be questioned and then re-evaluated. We should not take for granted that this life has already been solved for us and therefore is meant to be followed as others see fit. Question. Learn. Adapt. Grow. This life with all of its intricacy, experiences, and infinite, yet mostly unseen, connections influences us all differently. What may seem to work for the majority does not work for everybody.

It seems to me we’re all on the same path. The only difference is some of us have been walking it a little longer than others and we all move at different speeds. All too often we let petty differences and misinformation distract us from the people and experiences that actually mean something in our lives— experiences that we’ll actually remember and reflect upon as we’re living through our final days, as opposed to all of the irrelevant happenings that have


long been forgotten. Take in the sights and sounds along the way and enjoy them. Appreciate them truly as your own experience. The good times, the trying times, and everything in between—enjoy the journey because not one person knows for sure when or where this path will end.

•••••••••••••••••

student (always), a carpenter’s assistant, landscaper, loyal friend, avid frisbee golfer, snow/skateboarder, construction worker, demolition master, and a decent bowler. He is currently studying for his first degree in Freemasonry. In his spiritual exploration he has found that Buddhism and Taoism resonate the most with his personal philosophies. Jason loves his jobs, his bands, what he has learned, what he has yet to learn, and the people who share his journey.

Jason Johnston is a young seeker from Manitowoc, Wisconsin with a variety of interests and talents. He’s a musician in two bands, a

Spirituality

The 13 Clanmothers & The Equinox

By Jo Mooy

July: She Who Loves All Things—her message is: “I Love The Truth”; August: She Who Heals—her message is “I Serve The Truth”; September: Setting Sun Woman—her message is “I Live The Truth”; October: She Who Weaves the Web—her message is “I Work With The Truth”; November: Walks Tall Woman—her message is “I Walk The Truth”; December: She Who Gives Praise—her message is “I Am Grateful For The Truth”; The 13th Blue Moon: She who Becomes Her Vision with the message: “I Am The Truth.” Each Clanmother has a specific color associated with her role and her mission. That color holds a vibration that represents the month of that moon. The Clanmother also brings a teaching message to men and women who wish to heal themselves and to prepare their own personal cycle for the coming new earth.

In many ancient cultures the role of mother and medicine woman is honored and, more specifically, in the northern Native American tribes the Mothers of the Clans were held in great esteem. They were the historians, the faith-keepers, spiritual advisors, and the ones who chose tribal leaders. They served in rituals, ceremonies, medicine, and spiritual events. As life-givers, their role was keeper of the culture and recorder of the history of the tribe. The Clanmother was a leadership hereditary role, passed down from grandmother to mother to daughter. In a sacred ritual, the baton was passed, impressing each woman with the importance of just rule, honoring spirit, the animal and earth kingdoms, keeping the stories of the lineage alive, and insuring the tribal leaders were functioning in alignment with the great laws of spirit and earth. Because they were responsible for selecting the chief of the tribe so too did they remove the chief if he was Equinox March 20, 2012 not serving the tribe for the good of all. In 2012, every one of the seasonal cycles becomes more refined, especially Solar-Lunar Cycles by the intentions we are setting forth for this The Clanmothers—like the Druids, Incas, Maya and other cultures before great transformational year. As part of the them which date back 5,500 years—honored the sacred rhythms and cycles of earth. great awakening of human consciousness, It was a natural process for them to follow the moon’s rotation every 28 days. They the rebirth of the planet begins in earnest. honored it for its alignment with the female biological cycle where fertility could be So, on the Spring Equinox of tracked. This recognition of lunar time led to a more harmonious indigenous calendar March 20th, hold space on this most harof 13 moons in a solar year. As time went on, a specific Clanmother with a distinct role monious season of spring. With the earth and unique message was assigned to each of the 13 moons. bathed in equal hours of sunlight and darkEach Clanmother has a purpose and a moon month. ness, you are asked to take into your hearts the messages from each of the ClanmothJanuary, the Clanmothers are: She who Talks With Relations—her message is “I ers. It is 2012’s season of renewal—one Learn The Truth”; that calls to all our aspirations. February: Wisdom Keeper—her message is “I Honor The Truth”; March: She Who Weighs The Truth—her message is “I Accept The Truth”; For more information on the ceremony April: Looks Far Woman—her message is “I See The Truth”; contact Jo Mooy at 941-355-1414 or jo@ May: Listening Woman—her message is “I Hear The Truth”; starsoundings.com. June: Storyteller—her message is “I Speak The Truth”;

••••••••••••

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Spirituality

Emily Rivera Andrews is a certified Angel Healing Practitioner, Reiki Practitioner, and an Angel Manifesting Master Practitioner. Emily shares techniques that have helped her become a Gifted Intuitive, Intuitive Channeler, Healer, Manifester, and Angel Communicator. To ask your Angels a question, attend one of Emily’s local events or email emily@LivingtoInspire.com

••••••••••••••••••

We All Have Angels

We all have beautiful Angels that surround us at all times. They are powerful sparks of God’s love and Divine Essence. They lovingly wish to support us through life’s journey. They are wonderful allies as they guide us in peace, joy, and love. Their Divine Guidance is easily available to us, especially when we seek to connect with them. Whatever state you find yourself in, and regardless of your current life circumstances, know that you can easily open yourself to God’s love through these Angelic beings of love and light. In a period such as this, when everyone is very busy, but seeking guidance for a better way, what is one simple thing they can do that does not require much time to put them further along on their path? This is a great question, since it resonates with a lot of our readers. The Angels want to begin by encouraging everyone to slow down and value their moments. Moments that are available to us, but once in a lifetime. The words they said were “Positive Expectation and Creative Visualization”. Sometimes we think we are expecting the best in a situation within our day, but there may be parts of us that are dreading the drive, the calls, the business and/or personal interactions, etc. We tend to reaction to life unconsciously, based on our past experiences, which hinders our ability to consciously guide our responses and expectations. They are encouraging you and many others to visualize your day and how you desire it to be. This helps focus your mind and your life force, which is magnetic. They said Creative Visualization, since they want you to fully grasp that you are powerfully creating your day. Visualize the emotions of joy, peace, and ease within all your interactions, your drive, your meetings, and business transactions.

You as an individual are currently aligning yourself to a powerful creative energy that will unfold in Divine timing. 10

As you continue to open yourself intuitively and in connecting with your Angels, trust that the right people will connect with you and that the right path will be shown. Throughout your day, especially when making a decision, ask for guidance and then trust your intuition. The Angels want you to know that you are aligning yourself to your truth, desires, and potential. They want you to continue to intentionally connect with them, since they are connecting to you through your intuition. Keep talking to them and keep listening—they they are speaking to you. As you keep working on your life force, by taking care of your needs, you are allowing your life force to become more powerfully magnetic.

The intentions you have set out can come into fruition, but you need to keep doing the work needed for you to become more magnetic with your desires. The Angels recommend the following actions, that when focused on, will help you along your journey: • Meditating • Connecting to your angels • Maintain positive expectation • Honoring your needs • Developing your intuition They also want you to trust that they are creatively guiding you as you connect to your desires. Trust in the inspired actions that they are guiding you to take, and remember that the way you can connect to this inspired action is through your intuition. Affirm daily: • I connect to the seen and unseen guidance that will help me create the life I desire. • I look forward to the wonderful surprises and miracles that will be part of my day!

“The Angels want to Speak to You” -Your Loving Angel

“What if you slept? And what if, in your sleep you dreamed? And what if, in your dream, you went to heaven, And there you plucked a strange and beautiful flower? And what if, when you awoke, you had the flower in your hand?” - Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Transformation

By Karen Williams ONCE UPON A TIME at the beginning of 1988, a little-know Brazilian writer named Paulo Coelho sat down to write his very own fairytale. It became THE ALCHEMIST—a book that went on to sell more than 30 million copies worldwide over 20 years. Based on a fable he had read in the centuries-old book The Arabian Nights, the book also was his personal search to understand why it had taken him so long to realize his childhood ambition of becoming a writer. Once upon a time: As children, when those magical words are spoken to us we begin to dream and unknowingly enter the truth about ourselves deep within our souls. This truth is that here on Earth each of us is a dream—a dream waiting to become a reality. Every child knows this deep inside his/her own heart. In a sense, none of us can live without our own Once Upon a Time. If we are all a dream, then is there any connection between our dreams, or are we each delving into different worlds and traveling in different directions? I discovered that there is a connection. It is called the collective unconscious, or what Paulo Coelho named The Soul of the World. In this unconscious realm, to which each of us belongs, there is a Big Dream we are dreaming as a human race. It is the dream of Divine Love. I made this discovery because seven years after Paulo Coelho dreamed up his fable The Alchemist, I began to live it out in the real world, without ever having heard of his book. The culmination of my journey produced my own book, TREASURE: A Soul Journey with The Alchemist, and it is the result of the child inside me who refused to let her dream go. Paulo’s fable tells the story of Santiago, a shepherd boy living in Andalusia, southern Spain. One night while asleep in a ruined church, he dreams for the second time of finding treasure buried near the pyramids of Egypt. This dream takes him out of his old life into the unknown in search of that treasure. Seven years after Paulo had written this story, I had a powerful dream one night whilst living in Andalusia. I had returned from visiting my favorite ruin on a hill and dreamed that I was reborn. That dream took me in real

life to a land of pyramids in search of my treasure. Destiny is written for us long before we are born. Mine turned out to be that of a mystic. I didn’t play with dolls as a youngster, but with questions. Why was life so unfair when we were basically all the same? Why were some people rich and others poor? The world around me didn’t seem to fit my fairytales. Life in its essence is change, and our childhood dreams move on, gradually morphing into strong emotions, ideals, and passions. But, though their forms change, the core essence of who we are and what we dream never does. At the age of 26, my restless, troubled spirit took me to southern Spain in search of my Once Upon a Time. Consciously, I wasn’t aware that this was what I was seeking. However, our subconscious minds never forget the dream buried inside our soul, and that force had pushed me out of the old and into the new. In Andalusia, I found myself drinking in this new world, which fate would use to prepare me for my dramatic dream of rebirth more than 10 years later, and the beginning of my real-life fairytale. Parallel Lives When Paulo Coelho wrote The Alchemist, he could never have known that he had inadvertently plunged himself into the collective unconscious of humanity. As he sat writing his allegory, through some totally mysterious process he had touched the Big Dream of our species inside that Soul of the World. In my own zeal to live out the true meaning of my life, my subconscious mind had also touched the Big Dream in the collective unconscious. I had followed my dream in search of the rebirth of my soul, and in so doing began to unravel the true meaning of The Alchemist, and the language of that Big Dream. I discovered that each of our souls is made up of two distinct halves – a mystical half and a material half – and each half goes in search of the other. Soul rebirth is the result of the alchemy between them. I also learned that on the surface, even though our lives may seem very different, we are all living in parallel—unearthing the Big Dream. This discovery extended to Paulo himself, when I grasped the fact that, although he had written his book in 1988, he and I had actually been living out The Alchemist in synchronicity for more than a decade. The fable turned Paulo Coelho into a best-selling author worldwide and became iconic to so many people all over the planet. However, as I journeyed for fourteen-and-a-half years through my own quest, I realized that no one, not even Paulo, could explain this phenomenon. The real reason for the book’s iconic status was that deep within everyone’s subconscious mind exists the knowledge that this fable is the story of ourselves—our individual dreams are simply pieces of the larger Big Dream humanity is working out. My greatest discovery was that this Dream is all about the birth of our collective Spirit—Divine Love—the very essence of who we are. No matter how different we are as people, there really is only one treasure. My personal dream of spiritual rebirth finally came about, and with it, also the universal quest in which we are all engaged. My childish heart’s faith in Once Upon a Time had found that dreams really do come true. I didn’t become a princess, find my prince, and live happily ever after in a castle. No, I found something far better – the inner light of my spirit. That light as yet is just a spark: the new journey configuring my horizon is to fan it into a flame.

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Karen has worked cleaning toilets, pen-pushing in offices, and in factories, hospitals, and teaching in schools. Her vocation is that of a mystic: transforming her inner self from an ego-driven being to that of a person illuminated by her spirit. Sometimes you need to clean an awful lot of toilets before you succeed in making the change! Email karen14williams@yahoo.co.uk or search for TREASURE: A Soul Journey with The Alchemist on Amazon.com.

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Spirituality Meanwhile, here we are fulfilling our purpose of entertaining BOB by trying to figure out what our purpose is. Here’s the game: Each of us is an individualized expression of BOB, made out of BOB substance, and filled with BOB Love, which we conveniently forget, just to make it interesting. Every game needs an obstacle, and ours is the RACE Trap. Gregg Sanderson has a rare view of the metaphysical universe. He traveled the road from Christian Science through Judaism, Agnosticism, Atheism, Living Love, Psychic Development, Spiritualism, Teaching of the Inner Christ, all the way to the International Centers for Spiritual Living where he is a licensed practitioner. He is the author of What Ever Happened To Happily Ever After? and Split Happens – Easing the Pain of Divorce. Gregg’s latest venture is Spirit With A Smile — The Way It Is (Unless It’s Something Else). Email to gregg@spiritwithasmile.com.

•••••••••••••••••• Your Purpose In Life Does your life have a purpose?

Of course it does. The trick is to figure out what it is, then live it. You’ve come to the right place. I know, and I’ll tell you. If you’re familiar with my earlier columns, you know all about BOB, the Creative Force and substance out of which we’re all made. The Being Of Bliss—Creative Intelligence, pure Love, and Stuff. Think for a moment. Suppose you were an eternal formless Being, all substance, all knowing, and all blissful. How would you feel sitting out eternity with nothing going on. All Intelligence with nothing to think about. Pure Love with nothing to love, and just a big blob of formless stuff. After eons in this incredibly boring state, It must have asked Itself, “Am I having fun yet?” So It started to make stuff out of Itself, continually adding different elements to Its creation. First rocks, then elemental life, then instinctive life followed by creative life (us), followed by BOB-knows-what: No doubt there are dimensions as yet inconceivable to us.

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The object of the game... our purpose, if you will... is to break free of the RACE Trap and get back to Love. RACE is an acronym. It stands for “Righteousness and Approval Complicate Everything.” Complications and suffering come from the need to be right and/or the need for approval, and when we get through that, what’s left is Love and we win. Since BOB lives through us, It has infinite breakthroughs as we each express our love in our own way through our own dramas. For some it’s easy, for some it’s a long journey, and for some it’s a chamber of horrors. To BOB, it’s always entertaining.

Get it? The purpose of life is entertainment. Nothing more, nothing less. Simple, huh? Surely there are those among you who consider this whole idea to be frivolous, since you know the true path to Spirituality is to meditate in your cave, or dunk in holy water, or do a handstand under that special tree. Actually, it’s all of the above, and more. Whatever you think it is, it is. Your purpose is to use your creative ability to entertain BOB in the best possible way as It expresses through you. The greater happiness you can enjoy by escaping the RACE Trap, the greater BOB’s pleasure. Your struggles, triumphs, and tragedies are all part of BOB’s experience through you, and It really doesn’t care what sort of drama it is. To BOB, it makes no difference because it’s all entertainment, but it might make a big difference to you. If it does, might’s well be happy. BOB doesn’t care.


Healthy Living

Christina Captain, DOM, AP, SLP, FSC is a board certified acupuncture physician and the founder of The Family Healing Center. She earned her degree in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine from the East West College of Natural Medicine, Sarasota, Florida, where she is now a senior faculty member and advisory board chairperson. Christina received additional training in acupuncture injection therapy and earned a Masters degree in Speech Language Pathology and Communication Disorders and is an expert Feng Shui practitioner and teacher.

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Spring

and the Element of Wood In March, it’s more than our clocks that “spring” ahead. Spring is a time of new growth and expansion—a noisy and exuberant celebration after a cold and quiet winter of self-reflection. In the 5 Element Theory of Chinese Medicine, spring is associated with the “wood” element, which governs the liver and gall bladder. Wood is a very apt element to describe this time, as rapid growth and development require the tenacity and also the flexibility of young sapling trees.

We can learn a great deal about healthy renewal and expansion from this season of Spring. In spring, seedlings are rapidly trying to make their way toward the surface. As is evidenced by our (unfortunately) fractured sidewalks and driveways, these seeds are on a mission and will stop at nothing to reach the sun. Adaptability is an absolute virtue during periods of growth; we’re not always planted in the most fertile soil, but we do the best we can with the tools we’re given (whether that means setting down roots in a rich garden or peeking our head through a crack in the pavement). All of this intensity and ambition does not equal unchecked growth, however. Each seed has in it the blueprint for its final goal, whether it’s an oak tree or a dandelion. Its expansion is passionate, but planned. In the same way, the wood element fuels our vision of the future and the capacity to make appropriate plans; specifically, the liver gives us a sense of purpose and necessary creativity, and the gallbladder enables wise and timely decision-making.

The wood element is the driving force behind proper planning in our lives.

When this element is out of balance, it may manifest in either too much structure and organization or not enough. That is, the difference between someone who has a strict weekly rotation of what color socks to wear on which day, and someone who is lucky to be able to find two socks in the drawer at all. As important as movement and expansion are to growth, flexibility is just as crucial. Living in Florida, we all know that trees that can’t bend with the breeze get blown over. Such is life for us, as well. Our “blueprint” may hold the image or idea of our ultimate goal, but recognizing that there are many paths to that goal is vital. Another sign of an imbalanced wood element is either the preponderance or complete lack of sense of purpose. On one end of the spectrum, this can manifest as utter resignation and lack of drive, floating around without a goal or plan. The other side of this can manifest as someone who is constantly scheming and planning, often grandiose affairs, but with little to no follow-through on these goals.

We can support the wood element—our liver and gallbladder—through diet, exercise, and acupuncture. Spring is a very important time to take care of the liver, as this is the time when growth and expansion can have the most potential. Focus on green foods—and I’m not talking about Mountain Dew. Your fresh greens like kale, spinach, and collards are particularly beneficial, especially when grown locally. Garlic, onions, and artichokes are useful, as well as all cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and cabbage. Green tea with a bit of fresh lemon juice would be a great beverage to sip on with your veggies! Any exercise that focuses on flexibility and movement, such as tai chi or yoga, is a perfect complement to the wood element this season. The wood element also governs our sinews and tendons; it’s important to keep them supple and flexible, as well. One of my favorite ways to promote liver and gallbladder health, though, is through acupuncture. Under the care of a skilled acupuncture physician, acupuncture can help unblock any hindrance to growth and expansion, physically and emotionally. Your acupuncture physician can also make recommendations as to specific supplements that will help create and maintain a healthy wood element in you. Let’s spring ahead together! This has been a message from the Captain’s Compass via guest writer Lauren Rathvon, AP, DOM

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Lauren Rathvon, DOM, AP is a nationally board certified Acupuncture Physician and Doctor of Oriental Medicine. She received her education at the East West College of Natural Medicine in Sarasota where she earned her degree in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine. Certified in acupuncture point injection therapy, Lauren has also been trained in Constitutional Facial Rejuvenation. She currently serves on the Oriental Medicine faculty at Mountain Meadow Massage School in Ruidoso, NM, in addition to being an adjunct professor at the East West College of Natural Medicine.

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Joeel A. Rivera, M.Ed., Ph.D. (ABD) holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling and is currently completing his dissertation for his Ph.D. in Psychology. Joeel’s extensive career as a relationship coach includes certifications in P.R.E.P, a 30-year research-based program for couples, Nurturing Father’s curriculum, and Parenting 21st Century. Contact Joeel at joeel@transformationservices.org

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Taming Your Beast

The name of this column is Enlightened Relationships. So, what does that mean, and why would we want one? An enlightened relationship is one in which both partners are conscious, or aware, of their own inner workings as well as the dynamics within their relationship. Most of us strive for a loving, committed relationship; however, there is one “thing” that often gets in our way: our inner beast.

Only by addressing the inner beast can we hope to enjoy an enlightened relationship. It may surprise you to know the true benefits of a loving, commitment relationship. We are social beings who need and seek to share our journey with others, especially in a way that can only be experienced in a committed relationship. In fact, it is essential to our personal survival. For example, research shows that single men have a mortality rate that is 250 percent higher than men in a committed relationship, and single women have a 50 percent higher mortality rate than women in committed relationships. A committed relationship also adds about seven years to the life span of men and four to the life span of women. Happiness, life satisfaction, and wealth are also significantly higher for those in committed relationships. These benefits, of course, depend on the type of committed relationship that we have. Commitment due to obligation, fear, or convenience is not going to produce these benefits; in fact, it may product the opposite effect. What form of relationship you experience depends on you; it starts with your understanding of your true self, your ego, and what I like to call your inner beast. Inner beast, you may ask! Some of us are more aware than others of this beast. But, yes, we all have one. The Ego To understand the beast, first we must look at our ego. The ego gets a bad rap, but it is very important because it helps us be a part of this world by mediating between our instinctual

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drive and what society places on us. At the same time, it hinders us because it has a belief system filled with fears and expectations that do not serve our higher good. When we first meet a new mate, we set our ego aside and are eager to share the journey and forget about the trivial things. We want to get to know the person in every possible way, and we see the person through his or her strengths. However, over time the ego plants seeds of doubts and creates a competitive environment instead of an environment of growth. Trust me, ego will fight against any lessons that the individual or the relationship can teach us because ego does not like to be wrong and does not like to change its belief system. However, it is the lessons that the relationship can teach us that will help us achieve our higher purpose. We get a clear glimpse of our inner beast when we observe our ego fighting for survival when approached with one of these lessons. Ego create the framework for the beliefs that trigger our inner beast. The Inner Beast

People in enlightened relationships recognize, and reflect, when their beasts come out. The beast can best be described as a negative, fearful, childish version of ourselves wedged deep within. It can be so different than our true nature; in essence it’s a completely different entity. You can likely reflect and remember times that your beast reared its ugly head, and you can most certainly recount times you’ve encountered someone else’s beast. It isn’t pretty. It is important to understand that our inner beast was created to protect us. It thinks its job is to save us, and our ego, from harm and pain and it uses past experiences where it was “successful” at warding off attack as evidence for its value. The inner beast is not necessarily aggressive or hostile. For example, when some people’s beasts come out they shut down and refuse to connect, while for others they may become aggressive (verbally or physically), defensive, sarcastic, anxious, fearful, insecure, or noncommittal, among other things. Expectations Our inner beast is most often triggered by expectations, both the ones that aren’t met and the negative ones that we create. A great example of how impactful expectations are is a great, short research video called “A Class Divided.” You can search for the video and easily find it online. In the study, researchers separated an elementary school class by eye color to teach them about racism and segregation. At first they were told that a person with a specific eye color was better, smarter, and worth more than the others. It was interesting that in a short period the students actually lived up to the expectations. The children that were told that they were smart did much better on test scores and behavior. It also developed a wall of separation between students, even those that had always been friends, to the extent that they became physically and verbally aggressive toward each other. The next day they switched the color the children were told was better, and quickly you could see the shift in students and their capabilities. I recommend this


video because it is a great example of how we are influenced by expectations that we develop based on what society teaches us. It relates to relationships by showing how powerful society’s influence is on our perceptions, including that of gender roles and expectations in relationships.

We must be careful with the negative expectations we create because people tend to live up to them. In relationships we all have expectations we place on our partners due to the gender roles that we have had ingrained in our minds. When our partner doesn’t live up to our expectations, our beast can come out because that person’s noncompliance threatens our worldview. At the same time, we often create negative expectations that we place on the relationship, due to unsatisfactory past experiences or role models we saw as children. Like the Class Divided example showed us, if we have expectations that our partner will disappoint us, hurt us, abandon us, or attack us we are most likely going to influence that individual to do so. Having roles is not a problem; it is only a problem when our expectations are different than our partner’s. Often, people in relationships focus on trivial expectations, and it is those trivial things that break the relationship—not because they are deal breakers in and of themselves but because the relationship becomes fixated on those things.

It is crucial to become conscious of our ego and beast, and the expectations and roles that come with them, to experience an enlightened relationship. Taming the Beast Taming our inner beast starts with reflecting on whether our behaviors and expectations are reasonable or if they are coming from our inner beast. We must become an observer and observe the beast as if it were an animal in the wild. Notice what triggers the beast and how it reacts. Is the situation real or perceived? Is our reaction in proportion to the situation? Is it benefiting us? If it’s not, let the beast know it’s not needed. It may be challenging at first to catch the beast in the act, but simply observing it takes away its power. The beast can be trained. The deeper purpose of an enlighten relationship is for two people to help each other grow emotionally, spiritually, and physically. A loving, committed relationship can lift us to our highest potential. However, we often do not allow room for this to happen because we are bogged down by society’s gender roles, trivial expectations, and overactive beasts. To create an enlightened relationship, we need to tame the beast by questioning our ego’s belief system, understanding our expectations, and observing our inner beast.

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Healthy Living

Ayurveda:

The Science of Life

Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar BAMS, MD Ayurveda means the knowledge of life, and it tells us how to achieve a healthy state of existence based on Indian practices that span back more than 5,000 years.

To understand the benefits of this holistic system, we need to appreciate the difference between being disease free and being healthy. The opposite of healthy is unhealthy, but the latter is not necessarily synonymous with being diseased and not typically addressed by traditional Western medicine, which primarily treats the symptoms of diseases. Ayurveda, on the other hand, has wisdom to address a much wider scope of health through prevention, lifestyle practices (such as massage, meditation, and yoga), and herbal remedies. Have you ever awakened in the morning, after a fitful sleep, feeling sick? There are bags under your eyes and no sparkle on those days. You suffer from a feeling of incomplete bowel evacuation. Vague aches and pains dog you throughout the day. You shout at your children more than necessary, argue with peers for no rhyme or reason, and generally you are unhappy. Such symptoms cannot be classified into any known disease syndrome if guided by today’s Western medical system. However, you certainly are not well and definitely are not in a state of positive health. When patients arrive at the doctor’s office with such complaints, what does modern medicine have to offer? In the past it would have been vitamins and tonics, whereas the current trend is to prescribe popular anti-stress drugs. Ayurveda, a “made-to-order” indigenous system of health, given us several alternative tricks to follow that will prevent us from feeling unwell. Two quotations will help us in understanding what Ayurveda has to say in this regard:

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Charaka, the great physician of Ayurveda, says: “The mind, soul, and body form the three pillars, on which not only a human being’s existence rests, but also that of the world.” Sushruta, an ancient Ayurveda scholar honored as the first surgeon of the world, has given us a unique definition of health. He says: “Balanced Dosha (mind and body type), healthy Agni (Vedic God of Fire), a good state of tissues, and their metabolic end-products lead to a balanced state of the senses, mind, and spirit, all of which lead to health.” Ayurveda rests on the tripod of body, mind, and spirit. To be healthy, both the body and the mind need to be fit, and Ayurveda emphasizes the role of mental health in maintaining physical health. Today, we agree that there is a definite link between the mind and the body. Within the framework of psycho-neuro-immunology, we can re-interpret the ancient stanzas of Ayurveda and contribute new knowledge to the science of medicine. In conjunction, we now hear the currently fashionable theme of “environment friendliness,” which can be described as living a healthy life in constant tune with nature. Ayurveda often is erroneously associated with herbs only when, in fact, it is a huge canvas that includes among other things, yoga and Panchakarma therapies. Diet and digestion are the pivots on which most of Ayurveda theories are based—both in physiology (normalcy) as well as in pathology (disease). The basic philosophy of Ayurveda is based on the Panchamahabhoota (five basic elements) theory. From this theory evolves the concept of the controlling forces or the Doshas, which act on the tissues, the Dhatus, giving rise to various metabolic products, i.e., Mala. The character of these forces are governed by what we eat, how we live, our environment, and our mental state. As a result, changes or modifications in any of these areas can make us “unwell,” but not necessarily diseased. As an extension, if we remain unwell for too long, then our tissues (Dhatus) can lose their strength and become susceptible to foreign attack like infections, making us disease-stricken. An important concept of Ayurveda is that each individual is genetically different—giving him or her a very specific constitution (Prakriti) and also a very individual way of interacting with the environment. Thus, each person knows best what suits his or her body and what does not.

Ayurveda provides us with a framework in which we can modify our lifestyles to optimize our bodily functions. These methods are described as Ritucharya (ways and means to be followed in different seasons) and Dinacharya (ways and means to be followed from morning to night). If, for some reason, an illness does occur, then Ayurveda describes remedies based on herbs, minerals, and other therapeutic procedures like Panchakarma. Nobody likes to age, but it is the law of life. Ayurveda teaches us how to age with dignity and grace. The Rasayana group of herbs prescribed for this purpose is a fascinating resume on the secrets of life itself.


Ayurveda currently is making a persistent attempt at a comeback in our modern world. However, there is a word of caution. Blind faith in Ayurveda is not the answer. People are turning towards Ayurveda not only for therapy, but also for providing new directions in research. Researchers engaged in looking at different aspects of Ayurveda are now looking to answer questions including: • Can we develop a formula to live a healthy life using the philosophy of Ayurveda? • Can we personalize our lifestyle so as to avoid disease altogether? • Can we master the art of living?

The probable answers of all these questions are “Yes”, and researches are working to standardize new approaches to Ayurveda that will meld ancient tradition with modern day methodology. As a result, there will be benefits for people in all cultures who wish to adopt a balanced, holistic approach to health and well-being.

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Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar BAMS, MD (Ayurveda) is a classically trained Ayurvedic Physician and Gold Medalist from prestigious Pune University. A Rig Veda Brahmin by tradition and accomplished Clinician, Dr. Suhas will be offering an IMMERSION INTO AYURVEDA workshop on March 17, 2012 at Safety Harbor Spa & Resort in Safety Harbor, FL. For more information visit www.agendadetails.com.

Purpose

Discovering Life’s Purpose By Elena C. Jones

How does one discover life’s purpose? I’m not talking about your work, your achievements, your daily responsibilities, or your longterm goals. I mean the real reason why you’re here at all, the reason you exist. Maybe you’re a person who has not thought about it much, or you don’t believe you have a purpose and that life has no meaning. Your position on the subject really does not matter. Believing that you don’t have a purpose won’t prevent you from discovering it; however, a lack of belief will make the process of discovery much longer. A long time ago when I was trying to find my own life purpose, one of my teachers told me, “If you want to discover your true life’s purpose, you must first empty your mind of all the false beliefs that were presented to you throughout your life.” From experience I have come to the conclusion that there are many ways to do this. Some of them are fairly involved, and others are simple. The first thing that I invite you to do is to be open to this process, and expect it to work. In other words, give yourself permission to believe.

Here’s a simple way to do this: 1. Take out a blank sheet of paper and at the top write: “What is my true life’s purpose”? Or “What is my purpose in life?” Ask yourself, “What feels right to you?” 2. Write an answer (any answer) that pops into your mind. It does not need to be a full sentence. It can be a short phrase. 3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you write an answer that makes you emotional to the point of crying. When you experience this emotional connection, you have found your purpose. That’s it. It doesn’t matter if you’re the CEO of a company, a counselor, a doctor, or a wedding planner. (The latter was my case.) To some people this will make sense. To others it will seem silly. Regardless of how you feel about this process, usually it takes approx 15 to 20 minutes to clear your head of all the clutter, all the social conditioning. Ninety-eight percent of all our thoughts, feelings, and emotions do not belong to us. False answers will come from your mind and your memories. When the true answer finally arrives, it will feel like it’s coming to you from a different source. I call this the “I Am” God source. I will add a word of caution here. This process may take you anywhere from 100 to 200 or maybe even 700 answers. Do not get discouraged. You’ll be amazed by the answer that causes you to surge with emotion—the answer that breaks the conditionings and the old programming. As you go through this process, you will discover that some of your answers will be very similar. You may even relist some of your previous answers. Then you might head off on another direction all together. Remember that you can list whatever answers pop into your brain as long as you just keep writing. Don’t give up! During this time you may find a few answers that seem to give you that feeling of emotion, but they don’t make you cry. Highlight those answers, come back to them later, and refine them. I suggest that you do this alone without any interruptions. It is OK to start your answer with, “I don’t have a purpose for my life right now, but this does not mean that I will not identify a life purpose.” Know that when you finally find your answer to the question of why you are here, you will feel it. It will resonate deeply within your very being.

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Elena C. Jones is a published writer, motivational speaker, Reiki master healer, spiritual life coach, mentor, teacher, and a spiritual counselor. She is the founder of Alma Quest and the Creating My Intentions Conference, which was held on October 15, 2011, in Tampa, Florida. Elena is an internationally renowned psychic medium with clairaudience and clairvoyance. For more information please visit: www.almaquest. com or call 727-321-3366.

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Transformation

Climbing the Mountain

of Sorrow

If you don’t embrace your pain you won’t feel the great pleasure of seeing what’s on the other side when climbing the mountain of sorrow.

When a quick-fix to eliminate pain is available, we quickly sacrifice the courage that is needed to continue on a rough path. What we don’t realize is that the courage we just gave up is precisely what we need in order to know who we are and experience our joy. We all have mastered the step of asking for those things we want in our lives; however, we often stumble when it comes to mustering the courage to walk along the path in faith, knowing that the universe will deliver. As a result, we end By Carrie Bryson up settling for what is “good enough” or “close enough.” Then we wonder why we’re not comThroughout my life I have been the voice of reason that others turn pletely happy. to for advice in a crisis. It’s as if my role is to help others overcome their sorrows. As a teenager this may have been, “I really like Joe, but he likes Emily, How far did you walk along the I’m heartbroken! What should I do?” or something much more serious. While I path before taking a shortcut and may be told that my insights on how to proceed are right, that doesn’t mean that people always follow them. It is said that you can lead a man to water, but you deciding you were close enough? can’t make him drink. A person must first show an interest, a desire, to make a change. However, what I often find is that even when the question is asked and I Do you want to look at a beautiful garadvise, “Perhaps you should do this,” the result is a Band-Aid effect. The person den or do you want to be in its midst? Do you feels comforted and better, but he or she quickly turns right back to the same old want to lie in the cool grass, gazing up at the blue patterns. I have to wonder, “Why?” Why is it that what’s wrong for us is so easy skies filled with bright, puffy clouds as the scent and what’s right for us is so hard? of lavender and roses waft by on a gently cooling I have been asked, “Why does it have to be so hard?” Quite honestly, breeze? Or, do you want to stand on the outskirts there are times when I have asked myself (or my mom) that same question. Why of the wall peering through the cracks watching must we first suffer to receive joy and pleasure? There is truth to universal law others have this experience? of needing to know sorrow to know joy, to know pain to know love, but I don’t Life doesn’t have to be hard, but somebelieve that there always has to be a road of broken glass on the way to the rose times it is. Ask for what you want in life, but then garden. I have indeed witnessed some amazing people who have found loving pause and allow the space and the time for it to and healthy relationships without the burden of desperation or bloodied feet. The come to fruition. A baby has a nine-month gestaDivine didn’t put us on this earth as a punishment, so why would we believe that tional period to prepare you for parenthood, and our experience here has to be anything less than beautiful? itself for life. Sometimes the growth process is In times of sorrow we say that our heart is broken, but I disagree. This challenging, but the struggle prepares you for is a time when we are finally in touch with our heart—yes it is pain, but oh how living. Plant the seed of what your heart truly dewe feel it. The problem is that we don’t want to feel pain, so we put up a wall and sires and allow yourself that same opportunity for say, “Oh, please, just make it go away.” However, that makes everything else go life’s beauty to enter in its own time, no matter away too. Instead of facing the pain we turn away from our dreams. what mountains of sorrow you must climb along the way.

How much of yourself are you walling up so that you don’t feel pain?

Will you remember to ever take the barriers down? Do you continue to build wall after wall? Your heart hasn’t betrayed you; your mind is responsible for the deception. Your mind tells you that you don’t have to feel pain, and although suffering is not required to experience joy, believing there should be no pain, and therefore avoiding it, adds another layer of suffering.

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Carrie Bryson believes in living a heart-centered life in alignment with her soul’s purpose. As an ordained minister, Reiki Master, energy healer, and certified Voyager Intuitive, she offers guidance and support for healing along the spiritual path. She also has studied shamanism in Peru and brings in knowledge from all aspects of her background to encourage others to ignite the flame to find their Divine within.


Spirituality

Experiential

Spirituality

By Dr. Bob Reck When describing “spirituality” beyond the typical dictionary definition of “dealing with the non-physical,” I end up with a number of attributes: • It’s intense and personal; • It deals with one’s deep “inner life” and even one’s soul or divinity; • It includes connectedness to a larger reality and the cosmos; • It pays great attention to our humanistic qualities; and • It may make use of specific practices or rituals that are affiliated in some way with being “spiritual” (for instance, meditation, prayer, yoga). Taking these understandings and putting them into action can be challenging for many people. To help in this quest, let’s look at the three stages that commonly define a spiritual journey and how they can be used to identify purpose, mark progress, and ultimately move into experiential spirituality. Stage 1: Proper Conduct. As some people start out on their quest, they put “being spiritual” in the same genre as “being religious.” Thus, their energy goes into understanding and obeying the rules of “spiritual conduct.” Of course, there’s no shortage of people around to tell them what the rules and rituals are. I’ve heard people attribute their improved level of spirituality to meditating in a certain way at a certain time or wearing special clothing—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Stage 2: Understanding. People in the next phase find purpose in understanding the “beliefs and facts” about spirituality. They resonate with existential questions, take every course that has the right ring, and their libraries bulge with hundreds or thousands of books on spiritual subjects. For many, the understanding is academic and theoretical, but never complete. Unfortunately, what they absorb doesn’t always carry over into their behavior: They don’t walk the talk. Step 3: Experiencing. People who have moved into this stage want to feel and be fully engaged in their own spirituality. They see spirituality more as a journey than a destination. In particular, they want to put their spirituality into practice—to act on it in some meaningful way. Reading and understanding are not enough. Spirituality takes on a purpose of its own, but one that will never be fully achieved. How do people experience their spirituality? Based on the expanded definition presented herein, there are three actionable parts of spirituality: using spiritual practices, mastering humanistic traits, and connectedness.

Spiritual practices that help someone go “down and in” to meet and grow his or her inner being are one basis for experiential spirituality. Some people try many avenues in this area before finding and sticking with those practices that reliably work for them over time. A few of the popular practices are meditation, affirmative prayer, yoga, tai chi, journaling, communing with nature, contemplation of art or music, and visioning. Mastery of various humanistic traits also moves one’s spirituality from theory into practice. Humanistic traits include behaviors such as compassion, humility, forgiveness, patience, honesty, authenticity, open-mindedness, caring, sharing, and commitment. Embracing and actively working on such character-defining subjects may redirect one’s life and give it new meaning and purpose. Connectedness is the third area of experiential spirituality. While feeling the awe of the cosmos can invoke a spiritual feeling, connecting with others in positive ways also satisfies the need in more longlasting ways. Sharing experiences with others at the same stage on their journeys widens the experiential circle. Through such dialogs seekers learn other’s adventures, coping mechanisms, paradigms, memes, and how they apply to themselves. Connectedness with spiritual purpose also implies service to others, such as providing a helping hand in some manner to those in need. Service delivered with spiritual intent emphasizes care for others, particularly their joy and happiness. People become more aware of the acts of service rendered to them; thus, they can express gratitude more appropriately or pay it forward. I particularly like reaching out to people I don’t know at all—doing a random act of kindness, something that makes someone say, “Wow, I didn’t expect that at all. Great!” If your purpose at this stage of your life is to become more spiritual, I expect we’ll run into each other when our paths cross and we’re out experiencing life. Good luck on your journey. Namasté.

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Dr. Bob Reck is a semi-retired international management consultant and executive coach from Sarasota, FL. He has consulted with many big firms migrating through large-scale transformational change, taught at several New England colleges, lived and worked in Europe, and served as commercial pilot. A recent lecturer on spirituality in business, Bob invites comments and commentary on his articles. Contact him at bobreck@ aol.com.

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Transformation Transformational Services are

The New Plastics By Alan Cohen In a classic scene in The Graduate, young Ben is at his college graduation party when a friend of his parents takes him aside and earnestly whispers, “Plastics.” That industry will be the next rage, the fellow hints, and if Ben is smart he’ll get in on the ground floor. Fast forward to 2012. A young acupuncturist phones my Hay House Radio show, Get Real, and confesses her fear that she will not be able to earn enough money to provide for her family, including her little child. I whisper to her, “Transformational services” and leave a pregnant pause for the message to sink in. I go on to tell the woman that in the years to come we will see increasing change, disorientation, and turmoil as many social systems and institutions will likely disintegrate. They will be replaced by new systems rooted in truth, vision, and service rather than fear, greed, and illusion.

As people are pushed out of old comfort zones and lifestyles they will be hungry for answers, relief, and skills to shift into more authentic and rewarding careers, relationships, and living situations. At such a time anyone connected to spiritual principles and tools will be in high demand and of great service. If you are a teacher, healer, massage therapist, coach, speaker, minister, or counselor offering services to uplift individuals or groups, the universe has a job for you. In the world as we have known it, where many people are clinging to methods and systems based on shallow values and false security, you may not be sought out, acknowledged, or paid well for your work. But in the coming epoch in which people need integrity more than hype, they will be happy to pay you to soothe their journey and accelerate their evolution. Until the deeper consciousness is established, faith is required. The old has died away, or is dying, and the new has not yet come to replace it. Imagine you are at a party where you have grown tired, bored, or disillusioned with the people and conversations in the room. You step out of the room in search of new friends and peers who match your values and offer stimulating, empowering interactions. In the corridor you can faintly hear people in another room, but you cannot see them. As you transition between rooms you may feel alone, insecure, or frightened. You might be tempted to turn back—but you couldn’t even if you tried. The genie is out of the bottle. So you have to just keep moving ahead, trusting that you are on your way to higher ground. The trail will become wider and you will find your “just right” tribe.

Regardless of apparent chaos, a grand design is unfolding. Upheaval is the turning over of the ground in preparation for planting new seeds. The winter may have been harsh and cold, but the spring will soften the soil. The ego resists change because it has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, even if the status quo is dysfunctional. Yet the higher mind or inner spirit recognizes that anything taken away is replaced by something greater. As Rabindranath Tagore noted,

“Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.” 20

To clarify your role in the coming world, ask yourself, “Where does my passion call me? How can I serve others in the highest way possible? What tools can I offer that will bring them greater peace and aliveness? Regardless of what I was told about how the world is supposed to work, what do I know, from inside out, about how life really works?”

During this crucial shift we are taking back the power we have vested in external institutions. The only real authority resides in the wisdom and power within you. As you trust your heart and vision more than dogma and dictates, you will have all the guidance you need and the ability to help others access all the guidance they need. A Chinese blessing suggests, “May you live during interesting times.” That we do. In many ways our times seem unstable and worrisome, but they are also rife with the possibility of change for the better. A Course in Miracles tells us, “All change is good.” In another classic film, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Ferris phones his friend Cameron to ask him if he wants to skip school and go out and play. When Cameron complains that he’s too sick to get out of bed, he tells Ferris that he just can’t think of anything worth getting up for. If the world or life seems sick or tired, it may be only because we have accepted a world that doesn’t offer us anything to get up for. But if we recognize that something new and wonderful is calling to us, we will find the energy and means to create what we would choose rather than what has been cast upon us. Transformational services. Tools to awaken. Deeper connection and expanded aliveness. The new plastics. Get in on the ground floor.

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Alan Cohen is the author of many popular inspirational books, including Enough Already: The Power of Radical Contentment. Join Alan for Metaphysics and Miracles, May 30-June 3 at the Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, CO. For more information about this program and Alan’s other books and free daily inspirational quotes, visit www.alancohen.com, email info@alancohen.com, or 1-808-572-0001.


Tools & Tips

BEFORE and AFTER by Staci Backauskas BEFORE you were born You knew the truth The light of your Soul blinded darkness Only the oneness of life Was your world. AFTER your birth You forgot the truth The weight of ego Draped your soul And your fragmented self Became your god. BEFORE you were born You joyously invested In being a witness To love and peace Unable to conjure images Of pain and suffering. AFTER your birth You invented a game of Hide and seek, then Darted madly between Truth and illusion,

Staci B brings Light, Love & Laughter - the three key ingredients to knowing who you really are- to everything she does. From writing books and teaching classes to working with individuals and performing, everything she does supports the desire to know who you really are. You can find her at Enchanted Spirits in Dunedin or on-air hosting her radio show on GSHRadio.com every Wednesday at 4 pm. For more information or to connect with her, visit www.StaciB.com.

Fantasy and reality.

Points that do not exist.

BEFORE you were born There were no worries, Anxiety or fear—no Thoughts of gain or loss No concern of image, Worth or possession.

BEFORE you were born There were no differences, No judgment, no need For healing or Forgiveness.

AFTER your birth You decided there was No need of God—preferring To create your own world Then seeking escape in the Belief you could change. BEFORE you were born You knew only the now, Portal to the eternal, The sacred moment. All that is real. AFTER your birth You believed in Past and future, becoming Trapped between two

AFTER your birth You built boxes and Labeled them to keep Everything and everyone Separate. Including yourself. BEFORE you were born Your light cut Through the fog of Perception bringing only Love to all it touched. AFTER your birth, You were too afraid of Being hurt, criticized, judged And rejected to be who You really are.

BEFORE you were born You saw not form or body Or movement or time. Your only purpose? To be. AFTER your birth You concerned yourself With hips and thighs, bellies And breasts—defining Yourself through them. BEFORE you die Undo the lies of false Beliefs you have layered Upon your soul so that AFTER your death You gently return to Innocence—whole in Oneness with That which Is your Source.

Tools & Tips Each one of us is here for a reason. Whether it is to reach millions through an artistic expression or to impact others in our daily interactions, we all have a purpose. Although some people may appear to have a greater purpose than others, according to specific labels, Ricky Roberts III is the author of three books, an internet-radio host, youth advocate, inspirational speaker, and founder of YOU ARE VALUED, an organization devoted to promoting the value of the individual. His volunteer work includes Life Rolls On – a surfing program for individuals with spinal cord injuries and Surfing for Autism – a surfing program for individuals and families affected by autism. Ricky resides in St. Petersburg, Florida with his wife and their two dogs. www.rickyrobertsiii.com

••••••••••••••••••

There is no one person that has a grander reason for existing than the next. The fact that we are alive right now is purpose in and of itself. What each of us chooses to do with that purpose dictates the impact we have on everyone and everything around us. No matter how little or much we think we can make a difference, the very essence of our existence, our purpose to be here, gives us the opportunity to do so every moment that we are. Blessings - Ricky Roberts III

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Tools & Tips

Marcia began her career as a school teacher, working with preschool through inner city high school students. She has worked with all aspects of Metaphysics for over 40 years and specializes in Tarot and Numerology. Marcia’s clients and students are in every state and throughout Europe. Marcia has taught over 400 students to “read” the Tarot for the purpose of self-guidance and to use the powerful symbolism of the Tarot to reach higher levels of spirituality. Her column, Spiritually Speaking, originally ran for 8 years in Attitudes Magazine in the Sarasota area. Email marlou2000@aol.com

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Numerology

of Your Home and Business Address This month we are going to have some fun with Numerology. Did you know that some addresses are better for homes and businesses than others? Did you know that some addresses are better for individual personalities than others? We always think of our home as a place to go to get away from the daily stresses that are encountered when we interact with others, and most of us have lived in more than one house. Think about the different houses that you have lived in. Was one more special than the rest? Were you happier in one than in the others, or was there one that never felt like home? Sometimes the most elegant home was NOT the home that made you the most comfortable or the happiest. Then there are business addresses. Did you know that certain addresses are better for some businesses than are others? I have been a student of Numerology for well over 30 years, and I can assure you that what I have just said is true. I am going to show you how to figure your house or business number and to find out what it means. Before we can do this I need to explain Numerology. Many of you have been reading this column since it began and have already heard this explanation. Please bear with me as I go over it once again for the new readers of Spiritually Speaking. Numerology is a combination of the Sciences of Astrology and Acrophonology. Acrophonology is an ancient science. It began as the study of letters found in the Kabbalah, a record of the teachings of the ancient Hebrew mystics. Even in this new millennium, Acrophonology remains a “lost” art and there are only a few Acrophonologists out there. Astrology is a science based on the date, time, and place of one’s birth. This knowledge is also found in the Kabbalah, in the Book of Numbers in the Old Testament of the Bible. Astrology has always been an accepted area of Metaphysics and interest in this discipline continues to grow.

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Before I can explain what your house or business number means, I must first instruct on how to figure out the number of your house or business. In Numerology we must always reduce a number or series of numbers to a single digit. If you house number is 5534, we add those four digits together: 5+5+3+4=17, 1+7=8. A person living in a house, or running a business, in the number 5534 would be in an 8 house or business. What happens if you live in an apartment building or office space in a suite of a large building? First, we must figure the address of the building, and then we must figure the number of your apartment or suite. If the building’s address is 2553: 2+5+5+3=15, 1+5=6, the building is a number six. If your apartment is #1, you live in a 6 building, but the most important number is that of the actual space you occupy, which is #1. If you live in a space that has a letter instead of a number, you must reduce that letter to a number. For example, apartment A is a #1, suite B is a #2, and so forth. If you are in Suite J, you must reduce again. J is a 10, 1+0=1, so J is a number 1. We also might want to find out what the street reduces to, and the city and state, so you might live or work in a #1 building, on a #3 street, in a #7 city, in a #6 state! Yes, Numerology is that detailed. It is not the purpose of this column to teach you Numerology, so we will concentrate on the space that most of your time is spent in, the number of your home or business space. It is now time to talk about the nine possible numbers and their meanings. Please understand that these meanings will be brief summaries of what could be extremely detailed explanations. Number One: One is a number of originality, individuality, creativity, inventive ideas, self-determination, courage, energy, leadership, strong opinions, and adventure. It is also possible to develop these traits while living in a #1 house. The #1 personality likes to run affairs and be head of committees in the community. This is an excellent place to run a business out of, even a home based business. #1 is a proud number. Number Two: Two is a number of diplomacy, tact, association, partnerships, sensitivity, aesthetics, modesty, sincerity, culture, spirituality, and femininity. This house will appeal to individuals who are quiet, dignified people who enjoy living simply. They are diplomatic and tactful in dealing with neighbors and friends. An arrogant, dictatorial person would not fit in this house. Number two needs people in the home who are harmonious and balanced. This number is good for long-lasting partnerships, both in business and in personal life. One is rarely happy living alone in a #2. Number Three: Three is a number of imagination, inspiration, emotion, creative and artistic talent, self-expression, optimism, happiness, merriment, and love of pleasure. This house will bring much joy and happiness to its occupants. It will be a good place to entertain, but care must be exerted as the occupants will often spend more than they can afford for pleasure. Creative talent will thrive in a number three dwelling. Three is a happy number so this home is often a “party” house. The happiest I ever was in a dwelling was when I was in a #3 address. It was NOT the most elegant home I ever lived in, and it was not a time when


I was at my financial best, but love and creativity peaked in its atmosphere. I might also add that one of the major aspects of my character is a #3, but that is yet another column!

opment, dignity, pride, observation, research, analysis, reserve, and secrets. This house offers rest and quietude to its dwellers. It is a good place in which to further educational pursuits and is a harmonious atmosphere for “deep” thinkers. This is not an atmoNumber Four: Four is a number of concentration, application, sphere for restless, “party” personalities. I spent my early years, management, science, accomplishment, determination, fixed from age 10 to 22, in #7 houses. It was there that I developed my opinions, exactness, and attention to detail. This house will ap- educational, spiritual, and metaphysical skills. peal to very practical people—people who are orderly, economical, honest, excellent managers, and not afraid to work hard and Number Eight: This is the number of power, authority, efficientirelessly to reach their goals. Four is a physical/material number, cy, supervision, executive ability, direction of business projects, and these homes and businesses are often quietly elegant. In- recognition, organization, attainment, action, love of luxury, and habitants of the #4 home are often well respected and well-liked constant activity. This house will have an atmosphere of imporin the community. tance and success and is an excellent address to conduct a business form. Good judgment and efficiency will be required of the Number Five: Five is a number of progress, versatility, energy, occupants if this is a domestic home address because it is not a action, resourcefulness, curiosity, restlessness, investigation, domestic number, but one in which the dwellers make a strong administration, and impatience. People that can be happy in a impression on others in the community. The surroundings and #5 are freedom loving and active. This house will be enjoyed by decoration are often unusual and elegant. versatile people who will be on the move constantly and are not very domestic. This number is better as a “home base” than as a Number Nine: The number nine is the number of love, compasplace to spend major amounts of time. This is an excellent busi- sion, idealism, charity, forgiveness, religion, drama, art, philanness address because of its progressive and versatile energy. thropy, communication, and the understanding of the Brotherhood of Humankind. This home or business will appeal to those Number Six: Six is a number of high ideals, humanitarian ser- who want to serve and help humanity and is often avoided when vice to others, truth, harmony, domesticity, the conventional, choosing a house number. This place will be “open house” to unselfishness, righteousness, self-sacrifice, and a need for ap- anyone in need. It has a “universal” attraction rather than a “perproval. This house will attract people who enjoy a close family sonal” one, for it is a number based on love and understanding. life. This is not just a house, it is a home and the vision arises of If its occupants are not living on a high spiritual level, it may bring the extended family all sitting around the kitchen table and eating disappointments. This quiet and spiritual address will also attract homemade pie. If the occupants are living constructively and be- lovers of the “arts” and people that work in artistic pursuits. long in a #6, this house will offer love and comfortable to all who live and play there, but domestic responsibility to others is ever present. This is an excellent address for businesses dealing with And remember that Knowledge is the Greatest welfare and community work, as well as family style restaurants, Power, so Walk in the Light. motels, etc. Number Seven: Seven is a number of science, intelligence, love of solitude, meditation, occult, psychic and spiritual devel-

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Dr. ZZ’s bold, upfront, directive style plays an inspirational role in the lives of people she touches. Drawing on a non-traditional Ph.D. in counseling and natural healing, ZZ works in Sarasota with shaman elder Jack Alexander (“Golden Feather”), who offers land blessings, shamanic training, Life Purpose readings, and all-faith, community-based spiritual guidance. This forum proposes potential solutions on health, emotional, and personal matters. For more, see www.shaman.mosaicglobe.com.

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Question: Please help me. I am a 38-year-old stay-at-home mom with two small children. I have been happily married for seven years. Then last summer we purchased our first computer, and I promptly became fascinated by the Internet. While I never thought chat rooms would be my “thing,” I have met and corresponded with a number of individuals in them. About three months ago I met, online, a married man. We have been getting to know each other and have even talked on the phone. Now we both really feel like we are in love. I am so confused. The prospect of meeting and possibly having an affair is becoming stronger, and it frightens me. HELP! Dr. ZZ: Yours is becoming an increasingly common situation. For folks who are unhappy or bored, the Internet offers a way to have stimulating experiences with other people in the comfort of your own home. For the most part this is good. Even people with full and rewarding lives find it enjoyable to interact with others from all over the world. The problems start when fantasy overrides reality. Anyone can pretend to be anybody they choose on the Internet. In this sense, the man you met is not a “real” person, but a vessel into which you pour your unacknowledged needs. Something is missing in your relationship with your husband. You need to examine your feelings and either re-animate your marriage or else level with your husband. Do not make the mistake of sliding into an affair on the sly. This would make matters only worse. Question: I’m a 19-year-old college male who willingly lets passive resistance dictate my life. When I was young, I was respectful and courteous, but I was a nerd. I don’t go to parties, I’m rude to most of my college friends and I simply will NOT socialize with girls. Even though I know I’m an attractive guy, I’m resentful of their former treatment of me. I’ve also got a lot of pent-up anger towards my dad and sister because they had all the glory in high school and I didn’t. I don’t mind the whole passive resistance thing, but I hate feeling angry all the time. I don’t have low selfesteem because I know that I’m smarter and just plain better than most people. But strangely, I wish all people hated me, so I could be a jerk all the time. What can I do about anything?

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Dr. ZZ: Rather than a college male, you sound like a little boy with his nose pressed up against the candy store window, not able to have any candy and hoping that everybody else will get sick eating theirs. You’re full of conflicts about yourself. You have an inferiority complex, and you’re making a lifestyle of rejecting people before they can reject you. Turning your hurt into anger isn’t the key to happiness. In spite of wanting to punish other people because you envy what you see as unwarranted advantages, you’re going to have to start looking at people and events from a different perspective. We see only the outer layer of other people’s garb while we become familiar with every loose thread, missing button, and tear in the lining of our own. Find a way to start appreciating everything that happens, and let gratitude grease your cosmic blessings machine. Gratitude requires putting no expectations on what is. It’s a state of surrender and allowing. Even when something in your life appears not to be going great, use your imagination to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Question: I have a serious problem with my ex-husband. We split up two years ago, but I still love him very much. I am 32 years old and my ex is 25. We met when he was 20, and we were together for five years. The problem is he needs to be with other people to be sure I am the one he wants to spend the rest of his life with. While we were together he fooled around some too, but not often. Now he has a friend who is 19 and on the wild side. I have been so alone without him. I cannot stand the thought of him being with someone else. I have tried many things to get him off my mind but it doesn’t work. I know I should see other people but I only want him. I don’t know what to do with myself anymore. Dr. ZZ: You and your ex were apparently reading from different scripts. He was hardly more than a teenager when you met, and you seem to have been ready for a lasting union. He obviously wanted a wild lifestyle, and either he lied to you or else you fooled yourself into hearing only what you wanted to hear. Either way, the relationship you had hoped for didn’t exist with him. Knowing better now, your only choice is to feel the emotions it stirs, grieve the breakup, and work through the loss of your ex. The only way to make something positive out of this is to turn your attention to yourself and to learn something from it. Ask yourself why you are so needy and ready to blind yourself to reality. Once you have a handle on that, then people like your ex will not be nearly so attractive. Disclaimer: All information provided in this article is intended as general information only and is not to be misconstrued as medical or psychological advice, or as diagnosis, treatment or cure for any condition or ailment. Send queries or comments to askDrZZ@ yahoo.com. All identifying information is kept strictly confidential.


Purpose

Randy owns Triple 3 Marketing based in Sarasota. He’s a long term advocate for positive change having owned a couple community magazines since 1999. Randy sold Positive Change Media in April 2009 and took a year off before launching Triple 3 Marketing. In addition to helping business owners, he also provides private coaching. Randy has a masters degree in communication arts from the University of Wisconsin at Madison where he studied persuasion and attitude change. Contact Randy at randy@triple3marketing.com.

•••••••••••••••••• The Purpose of Purpose “Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished. If you’re alive, it isn’t.” —Richard Bach Reflecting about our purpose in life is universally human. All other species we observe live moment to moment earnestly, but without the same depth of contemplation. The price of having so much gray matter is we ponder questions like, “Why are we here?” and “What can we do to make a difference?” The search for meaning and desire for some kind of legacy are compelling motivators. For some of us, discovering our purpose begins early in life because of our inquisitive nature or circumstances. For others, the process unfolds when we are older and responding to various challenges including our inevitable demise as physical beings. I have worked with many people over the years with a particular focus on transition coaching. All forms of transitions are a natural time to consider questions related to our purpose. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons life presents us with so many transitions in the first place. They tend to slow us down just enough to be introspective. Self-reflection almost always leads to positive change. Think about all the transitions during a single life time. Some relate to work and others relate to our connections with people. We even have transitions within our transitions. An example is having children after getting married or living alone after separating or going through a divorce. How about the transition of becoming an empty nester or financial transitions up and down the economic roller coaster? Our experience of work is rich with transitions; learning a trade, starting a new job, climbing the corporate ladder, building a career, launching a new business and, of course, starting over. Another powerful transition is the various stages of middle age leading us toward our final chapters of life. Some of my earlier life purposes included finding a suitable career and attracting a mate who was smarter and bet-

ter looking than me. Eventually, I discovered with the benefit of hindsight that everything I’ve done in life has contributed to who I am and my depth of understanding. That includes my glorious mistakes and noble setbacks. I also reached a level of awareness that I valued my inner self more than any external affirmations from mates or potential mates. Today, my purpose is much simpler—enjoying each day being content, creative, and inquisitive. Being self-aware about our purpose is both positive and paradoxical. It’s positive when it inspires productivity or creative expression, but it’s paradoxical if our self-awareness leads to disappointment. That comes all too easy if we are harsh in judging ourselves or discounting our so called performance or results. After all, what’s the point of having a sense of purpose if we can’t respect our colorful imperfections? Maybe our purpose has more to do with making peace with ourselves and learning to appreciate the humor and irony of life. The Dalai Lama says the purpose of life is to be happy, and it’s interesting to see how our happy list changes as we mature. For me, being happy is cherishing each moment for what it is—an original experience. I find that easier to do as I get older and, of course, it almost always involves healthy associations or using my mind and heart in positive ways. My favorite notion about purpose is that our greatest accomplishments in life are often small acts of kindness that few people even know about it. Yes, winning a Nobel Peace Prize or becoming a CEO of a successful company is noteworthy, but never underestimate the value of becoming a pretty good person with a genuine nature. My perspective comes from being inspired by many people doing or saying things that mattered in the moment. Not just people I can touch, but also people I encounter in books, on stage, and at the cinema. You know the people I’m talking about—those memorable characters that mirror the best of our nature and potential. The greatest reward of coaching is witnessing a fellow person discovering an aspect of their purpose. That opportunity has accelerated over the past year as a result of my association with Transformation magazine. I have encountered some terrific individuals who have resonated with my words and best intentions. Transformation is like a magnet for connecting people who embrace positive change. The magic is a testament to Natalie and Joeel’s vision and the obvious goodwill associated with all of our columnists and readers. I admit to the playful fantasy of heaven being a giant movie theater with puffy cloud seats and scrumptious popcorn that never sticks in our teeth. Just relax awhile and enjoy the film about how your actions—big and small—have touched other people. Not just the obvious expressions of love for your family and friends, but also your random acts of kindness with many acquaintances and strangers. Our original life movie tells us everything we ever needed to know about the purpose of purpose. This higher potential is best captured by my favorite quote about purpose from the beloved television comedian Carol Burnett. She was quoted as saying that the purpose of life was to love each other. The Dalai Lama took this wisdom a step further by reminding us that if you can’t help (love) another person, at least don’t hurt them.

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Spirituality

Putting Money Back in it’s Place

By Jeff Gitterman As a financial advisor, money is certainly a subject that’s close to my heart. When I give group seminars, I often like to begin by asking people to give me definitions of what money means to them. And I always get a similar range of replies: freedom … security … opportunity … power. I’ve asked this same question to hundreds of financial planners over the last several years, and I rarely ever hear the standard dictionary definition, which is simply that money is a means of exchange. What’s important about their answers is that they illustrate something about our culture.

The problem is not just that we think money can buy us things, but also that we tend to define money as an end in and of itself. My personal definition of money is a means to satisfy a desire. That may sound straightforward enough, but things get complicated when we tend to measure our satisfaction, happiness, or success by how much money we have. Through the work I do, I see proof on a regular basis that having a million dollars in the bank has no relationship to happiness—but people continue to insist that it does, even when their own experience seems to show otherwise. Many of my clients who have reached this milestone tell me that they still wake up in the morning and feel as if they’re broke. To be clear, I’m not arguing against the importance of money—but my point is that money itself is a neutral force—not good or evil, moral or immoral. Some people love to quote the Bible as telling us that money is “the root of all evil,” but I think it would be more accurate to say that “attachment to money is the

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root of all evil.” Implicit in the statement “money won’t buy you happiness” is the idea that something else will, even though we don’t quite know what that something is. What do we mean when we say “happiness?” Usually it represents a certain emotional state—a feeling of peace, joy, contentment, satisfaction—that we may have experienced in brief moments of our lives and that we want to experience as often as possible.

When I got to a point in my own life where I found myself “successful” by common standards yet far from happy, I had to rethink what success was all about. For the previous several years I’d been chasing a dream, religiously visualizing my goals, and attaining them one by one. And I’d found a lot of joy in that process. I didn’t know then that my brain is wired this way, but I saw in my own experience that there was actually more joy in chasing the dream than there was in actually getting it. There was nothing wrong with having the money, and it sure was nice not to have to worry about paying the bills each month. But I had attained everything and then found myself missing the thrill that came from the pursuit itself. Now, we could conclude from this experience, as many brain scientists do, that our evolutionary wiring is a kind of curse, condemning us to perpetual letdown. The anticipation mechanism can seem like a cruel trick of nature. But I looked at it another way. I realized that the problem was not that the goals I’d reached weren’t good enough. The problem was that I was standing still again. I had no journey anymore. So I started to turn my attention to the journey itself, to the sense of striving and reaching ever-higher, and decided to seek my happiness there, rather than in any particular outcome. I guess it’s a kind of “living in the moment,” but it is a moment that is always moving. This approach doesn’t try to short-circuit the process of desire, but rather to channel that powerful motivational drive outward.

When we really understand that there’s nothing we can get that will make us happy, we can stop striving to accumulate more and more.


But because we’re not made to stand still, we need to redirect our “seeking system,” and enlist it in the service of what we want to express in the world, rather than how we want to feel.

That’s the key to this approach—we have to become less concerned with how we happen to feel moment to moment. When we begin to pay less attention to our feeling states as a measure of our success, we will find that we have a tremendous resource of energy and attention at our disposal to begin to have an impact—on our own lives and on others around us. This is what I discovered when I set out to find what lies beyond success and to redefine success itself in the process. I say beyond success because success, I’ve discovered, is not an end point, a state of outer wealth or inner peace that we can achieve and then stop. We as human beings are not made to stop—we are creatures of change, curiosity, and creativity who need to always have our goals set a little beyond our reach. We thrive on challenge and engagement. I am convinced that this is what we are here for. We are designed to give of ourselves—of our energy, our unique creative expressions, our talents, our strengths. It is my deepest belief that we are each a

unique vessel for the creative impulse that is animating life itself. And I feel that it’s only through aligning our individual strengths with that universal source of creativity, in such a way that simultaneously fulfills our own deepest desires and serves others, that we will we find what could be called lasting happiness.

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Adapted from Beyond Success: Redefining the Meaning of Prosperity - © 2009 Jeffrey L. Gitterman - All rights reserved - Published by AMACOM Books - www.amacombooks.org - A Division of the American Management Association. Jeff Gitterman is an award winning financial advisor and CEO of Gitterman & Associates Wealth Management, LLC. www.gawmllc. com. He is also the co-founder of Beyond Success, www.BeyondSuccessConsulting.com, a consulting firm that brings more holistic values to the world of business and finance. His first book, Beyond Success: Redefining the Meaning of Prosperity, was published by the American Management Association (AMACOM). Over the past several years, Jeff has been featured in Money Magazine, CNN, Financial Advisor, London Glossy, and New Jersey Business Journal, among others. In 2004, he was honored by Fortune Small Business Magazine as One of Our Nation’s Best Bosses. He also serves as chairman of the advisory board to the Autism Center of New Jersey Medical School.

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Healthy Living

Make a Decision By Rena Greenberg Have you ever had a habit that you wanted to eliminate? Maybe biting your nails or smoking cigarettes or snacking? Or perhaps right now you have a positive habit that you want to create in your life. Do you want to start exercising, or become a better listener, or start eating healthier foods? When it comes to breaking free from an unwanted habit or stepping into a new, positive habit, there are many theories about what works. Some people say that you have to find support: Join a group, find a mentor or a coach, or use a hypnotherapist. I believe there’s a lot of truth to this and I, too, am a firm believer in finding support to build the life you desire. Other people say that what’s more important is modeling success. Anthony Robbins talked a lot about modeling, such as finding out how a successful person thinks, what strategies he or she uses. It even means modeling the physiology of success, including how a person stands, moves, or breathes. I agree that modeling success is a sure way to increase the likelihood that you will be able to acquire the habits you want in your own life. Still others will say that to eliminate a habit or develop a new, positive habit, you need to have knowledge and understanding about why you do the things you do. You need to look at the past and seek to know what causes your behavior. Knowledge and understanding can be incredibly valuable. The Power of Decision However, there is one key ingredient that insures success when we want to eliminate an unwanted habit or create a new, positive habit. That is making a decision. When we make a decision to do something, it’s amazing how many internal resources become available to help us achieve our goal. Resources that are always within us: strength, courage, determination, patience, and love and compassion for ourselves. These resources are always within—and when we make a decision they become available, and we can harness their power and use it to help us to achieve our goals. Often, when we want to change something in our lives we try. What does trying imply? It implies the possibility of not succeeding. Or sometimes we hope that something will happen. “Oh, I hope that I get to exercise sometime this week.” When we are hoping where is the power placed? It is outside of ourselves. When we

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make a decision, the power is placed where it needs to be— within ourselves. I want to share a secret with you. When I was a child I sucked my thumb—until the age of 12! I was not proud of this fact; in fact, I was quite ashamed of it. My family did not encourage me either. My father used to yell at me, “Rena stop sucking your thumb. You look ridiculous!” My Mother used to scold me, “You are too old to be doing that!” She even put that horrible, terrible-tasting polish on my thumb. She was certain that aversion therapy would get me to stop, but it didn’t work. In fact, it made me want to do it even more because that was my source of pleasure, comfort, and reward. No one was going to take that away from me. One day something suddenly happened. I turned 12. On my 12th birthday it dawned on me that I could grow up and still be controlled by this habit! Horrified, I looked at my future and I saw myself in five years and 10 years, as an adult still controlled by the habit. I read an article about adults who still sucked their thumb. I was mortified! And then it happened: I made a decision. That’s it—I was done. I knew it with absolute certainty. I didn’t need to join a support group, I didn’t need a mentor, I didn’t even need to tell a sole. The past was behind me and I was moving forward because I had made a decision. I’ve been conducting stop smoking and weight loss seminars for the past 21 years, and often I have the good fortune of hearing people’s success stories. Recently a man named Earl approached me after a seminar to thank me and he told me, “I had been smoking for 30 years, two packs a day. After your seminar last year I walked out of the room as a nonsmoker and haven’t touched a cigarette since then.” A woman named Judy called me up the other day and said, “I want to thank you so much. Since being hypnotized, I no longer eat at night like I used to. I just eat an apple if I’m hungry, or drink water, or take a walk.” I smile to myself because deep inside I know that the only reason Earl threw away his cigarettes for good and Judy stopped eating junk food at night is because they made a decision.

Make a decision today to break free from the old negative habits that have kept you stuck and in pain. Make a decision today to step into new, positive habits that will set you free and give you the life that you are longing for. Make a decision and watch all your inner resources—the strength, courage and confidence, rise up to assist you in becoming who you are meant to be. Make a decision and watch your life soar.

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Rena Greenberg is the author of The Right Weigh: Six Steps to Permanent Weight Loss used by over 100,000 People (Hay House Publishing) and The Craving Cure: Break the Hold Carbs and Sweets Have on Your Life (McGraw-Hill). Rena has a private hypnosis practice in Sarasota and can be reached through her Web site at www.EasyWillpower.com

Transformation Magazine PURPOSE Issue  

Explore spiritual principles for dating, contemplate soulmates, and acknowledge that loneliness can be good for you. Learn how ego wants to...

Transformation Magazine PURPOSE Issue  

Explore spiritual principles for dating, contemplate soulmates, and acknowledge that loneliness can be good for you. Learn how ego wants to...