“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.
What brings joy to your soul? Do you ever yearn for quiet time to gaze at the trees, smell the freshness of a forest, connect with your inner wisdom?
It is easy to feel restricted and limited in a world that is constantly changing and shifting. But joy is our divine inheritance and lifts us up as we cope with the daily demands of life
Wisdom of the Heart Women’s Retreat is a gift to yourself to renew, reflect and to step into your authentic self. When we let go of the constructs of our daily life, we see new possibilities and feel a deeper appreciation for the blessings of life.
Here is what attendees have said:
“I have been on many women’s retreats and found this one to be magical”
“This retreat provided me with a bridge between my connection with the Divine and my everyday living…heaven brought to earth!”
“This is my fourth retreat and each one bring new experiences Can’t wait for the next one.”
“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.
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.
“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.
There is a part of the brain called the reticular activating system. It works like a filter between your conscious mind and subconscious mind. When we think about something we want, we start to notice it everywhere. If you are interested in buying a red Toyota Highlander, suddenly you will see red Toyota Highlanders wherever you go.
What is fascinating is that the reticular activating system of the brain does not know the difference between what is imagined and what is real! The effect of our doubtful imagination stirs our emotions, pumps up the adrenaline and gets the heart racing: at which point we are in full-fledged stress mode.
Imagining what we want is infinitely more beneficial to us than focusing on the fear about what we don’t want. Imagining the possibilities of a life of harmony, peace and prosperity changes our mood, outlook and energy. More importantly, we have the power to imagine what we want.
Each one of us has the power to transform doubt into faith. Wisdom from Albert Einstein, “Imagination…is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Opening to imagination opens us to the limitless expression of Spirit.