Love is an Inside Job

We spend so much time judging ourselves that we become prisoners of negative thinking. We judge our outer looks as being too big, too fat, too tall, too short, too anything. We believe we are not smart enough, capable enough, or qualified enough. While we are busy judging ourselves, we don’t take time to appreciate the abundant blessings our lives have to offer.

Would you repeat the inner judgments you say to and about yourself to someone you loved? We wouldn’t think of it. Yet, we beat ourselves up mentally and verbally until we are left exhausted, powerless, and immobilized. Self-criticism and judgment are debilitating habits. They break down our faith, erode our self-esteem, and stir up our feelings of shame.

When we live a life of intention, we move away from the self-defeating practice of comparing and competing. We are inspired to find role models whom we want to emulate. We connect with friends and associates who are encouraging and supportive. Instead of searching for our own acknowledgement, we recognize and celebrate the successes of those around us.

As we begin to peel away the layers of false beliefs and ideas about our bodies and ourselves, we touch on our awareness of the Divine, our connection with God. In This Thing Called You, Ernest Holmes states it perfectly: “There is a Divine awareness within you which will lead you upward and onward. Prepare yourself for the ascent, then fill your mental life with spiritual realization.”

Love is an inside job that begins with letting go of the pain from the past. Then there is an opening to express love. As we love ourselves, we begin to acknowledge and appreciate others. The more love we give, the more we receive. As we think about love, we become love.

–Excerpt from Conscious Choices: A Woman’s Guide to Clarity, Courage and Connection, by Christine Green

Perfect, Whole, and Complete

“If we are creating ourselves all the time, then it is never too late to begin creating the bodies we want instead of the ones we mistakenly assume we are stuck with.” — Deepak Chopra

When we feel good, all is right with the world. When the body is out of alignment or in pain, our mental state is less than optimal and our emotional state is shaken.

I know for me, when I am not feeling well, I tend to focus on what is not working pr what I don’t have. When feeling out of sorts, it is easy to feel frustrated, irritated and agitated.

Here are some of my go-to prayers for realigning with my Wholeness.

“In the infinity of life where I am, all is perfect, whole, and complete. I recognize my body as a good friend. Each cell in my body has divine intelligence. I listen to what it tells me, and I know that it’s advice is valid. I am always safe, and divinely protected and guided. I choose to be healthy and free. All is well in my world.”  –  You Can Heal Your Life,  Louise Hay

I am now knowing that my body is a joyful vehicle and I am celebrating it in Divine Love and thanking it for being with me on this remarkable journey in consciousness. I am now choosing to accept the awareness and the actions that are required to support me in realigning my form to hold and vibrate at this new frequency. Word I am Word through this intention. Word I am Word.” — Book of Love and Creation, Paul Selig

“My body is a temple of the living Spirit. It is spiritual substance. Every part of my body is in harmony with the living Spirit within me. The life of this Divine Spirit flows through every atom of my being, revitalizing, reinvigorating and renewing every particle of my physical body. There is a pattern of perfection at the center my being which is now operating through every organ, function, action and reaction. My body is a Divine Idea forever renewed by the Spirit.”

 —This Thing Called You, Ernest Holmes

Choosing Faith Over Fear

“In fear, we forget who we really are. Forgetting who we are, we forget Who lives within us. And in forgetting Who lives within us, we lose conscious connection to our power.” Marianne Williamson

My neighbor was standing outside as I returned from grocery shopping. She greeted me and said, “I have a question for you. The topic came up in my bible study. Do you think we are in the end of times?”

I felt dismayed  she was asking this question on such a tough day. It was a challenging week hearing from friends and loved ones about their pain, loss and grief. The news can be overwhelming with stories of injustice, chaos, and uncertainty in the world. It was easy to fear apocalyptic prophecy in times like this. 

I stalled while I took the groceries out of the car. I shook off my doldrums and took a breath. I knew I had to be centered in my response. I affirmed what I know without a doubt—There is a Power and Presence for good in the world. I refuse to dwell on appearances but stand in the true knowing of the Universal Power that is love. 

I remembered the quote from Ernest Holmes…”In order to have faith, we must have a conviction that all is well. In order to keep faith, we must allow nothing to enter our thought which will weaken this conviction.”

Now I was ready to respond. “What I believe is happening—” She interrupted me mid sentence “There’s my ride, I have to go. Have a nice day.”

I watched as she got in the car and drove away. I laughed out loud. The universe has such a sense of humor. She uses every opportunity to bring me back to love. 

The Soul’s Joy

“Love is a force more formidable than any other. It is invisible—it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could.” Barbara DeAngelis

Walking in the forest noticing the sunlight filter through the trees, watching the birds flit from place to place, listening to the wind whisper through the trees, smelling the fresh fragrance of the trees, my soul is filled with joy.

Walking barefoot on the beach at the ocean, feeling the sand between my toes, feeling the cool breeze through my hair, watching a family building a sand castle. Walking in the garden, smelling the sweet fragrant flowers, feeling enchanted by a hummingbird. A hug from a friend, a smile, laughter, a shared cup of tea. 

These are my places of joy. These experiences are so essential to my wellbeing.  Joy feeds my soul, raises my energy and expands my awareness. 

Feeling joy can at times feel a bit irresponsible. Life can be challenging and there is so very much to do. There are endless issues to face and significant decisions to make. But that is the exact moment when we need joy.

The months during the pandemic there were many days that felt joyless. One day I picked up the phone and called a friend. We laughed, and cried and our hearts were open again. The simple gift of connecting lifted us both.

Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us, “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your  joy.”

Joy is a pathway to love. Take a moment and find your joy and bask in the love.

Affirmation:  I am grateful for the opulent abundance that surrounds me.

Prayer for My Country

I am often overwhelmed with the conflicts and issues about our country. I am grateful for this prayer from Ernest Holmes.

My Prayer for My Country
by Ernest Holmes

Believing in the Divine destiny of the United States of America and in the preservation of liberty, security, and self-expression for all, I offer this, my prayer for my country:

I know that Divine Intelligence governs the destiny of the United States of America, directing the thought and the activity of all who guide its affairs.

I know that success, prosperity, and happiness are the gifts of freedom, the Divine heritage and is now operating in the affairs of every individual in this country.

I know that Divine guidance enlightens the collective mind of the people of this country, causing it to know that economic security may come to all without the loss of either personal freedom or individual self-expression.

I know that no one can believe or be led to believe that freedom must be surrendered in order to insure economic security for all.The All-Knowing Mind contains the answer to every problem which confronts this country.

I know that every leader in this country is now directed by this All-Knowing Mind and has the knowledge of a complete solution to every problem. Each is compelled to act upon this knowledge to the end that abundance, security, and peace shall come to all.

And I know that this spiritual democracy shall endure, guaranteeing to everyone in this country personal liberty, happiness, and self-expression. Amen.

Sacred Sanctuary

“People encounter God under shady oak trees, on riverbanks, at the tops of mountains, and in long stretches of barren wilderness. God shows up in whirlwinds, starry skies, burning bushes and perfect strangers.”  Barbara Brown Taylor

Growing up my experience of sanctuary was a tall building with a steeple, enormous stained glass windows, large looming statues, and lots of marble everywhere. There were so many rules in the sanctuary, one of them required being still and quiet. Only whispers were allowed unless you were praying or singing in the mass. When I was there I recited prayers I had memorized and followed the instructions of the adults. There was no laughing allowed, of course, that rule alone brought out the giggles at the most inopportune moments.

I never felt good enough to be in the sanctuary. I was there to confess my sins and my unworthiness.

Today my experience of sanctuary is anywhere I feel connection with the Divine. In the forest, at the beach, or out to dinner with friends. Sanctuary can be playing with a puppy, helping a neighbor, or going for a walk in the park. 

My home is my sacred sanctuary — a place where I feel love, peace, freedom and harmony. Laughter, joy and fun are absolutely permitted in my sanctuary. I affirm everyone who comes into my home feels the presence of love. I am free to communicate with Spirit through my tears, my anger, my gratitude. My prayers are free flowing, joy-filled whispers, shouts, songs and cheers. 

How freeing it is to have the world as my sanctuary. It is such a blessing to feel God’s presence and love wherever I am. 

Where is your sanctuary?