An affirmation meme
A cell phone capture of people enjoying the immersive Van Gogh exhibit in Reno, Nevada as part of an affirmation meme illustrating today’s post.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go see the immersive Van Gogh exhibit. It made a huge impact on me.  I am still in awe.  I’m in awe at the artist himself, and I am in awe at the technology it took to put together such an exhibit.  At the beginning of the exhibit there was mention of the merging of the digital and the classical to merge with the work, to “vibrate with it.”  That happened for me.  

Van Gogh not only left us a huge body of work, he left us lessons.  Here was a man who knew what he was and how he wished to express it, and he did, no matter what.  In the exhibit, it said that he wished to communicate with his fellow humans, and he used painting to do it.  He paid some heavy prices, but he never stopped painting.  As I stood in that exhibit and experienced his work, I felt that communication.  I felt life, in all it’s forms.  I felt beauty.  I felt awe.  I felt despair.  I felt discouragement.  I felt joy.  At one point I said to my friend who came with me, “do you feel the ‘awe energy’ in the room?”  And she said, “yes.”  

There are great examples of what it means to live Fearlessly Feral, and Van Gogh is one of them.  He exemplified what I envision for people:  to know who and what we are, and to live that.  To express it. To do it.  To BE it, no matter what.  

This is the first day of a new month.  It is the perfect time to contemplate such questions as who and what we are and how we wish to express that.  Are we living our truth?  Are we expressing that truth in ways that serve us and the rest of the world?  Or are we simply showing up day after day, not even knowing what our truth is?  Or maybe we have lived our truth for a long time, but now, perhaps who and what we are has changed and it is time to be and do something else.  That happens you know.

I believe we are here to express as Spirit in the physical.  As such, and by extension, I also believe that we have a responsibility to ourselves and to the world to really know who and what we are, and to live that and express that fully and completely.  No matter what.  Just like Van Gogh did.  

My ortho doc asked me to write a review, which I did as a gesture of gratitude for him. But I don’t really believe much in reviews because I know that any review speaks more to the reviewer than it does the reviewee. Really. What we see out there in the world is a direct reflection of who we are. What we see in others we have in ourselves. This can work to our advantage. For example, we can’t see beauty unless we have that beauty in ourselves, even if we have hidden it under layers of low self esteem. I remember once seeing such talent and skill and other good yummy stuff in some of my peers, while simultaneously feeling a bit less than. And a mentor pointed out to me that I wouldn’t be able to see that in them unless I had it in myself, and that my job was to reveal that part of me, to bring it out into the light so that it would illuminate that shadow of feeling less than. This is a law, this thing that says what we see in others we have within ourselves. And it also works to our advantage because if we are looking out at the world with suspicion, anger, bitterness or hatred, guess what? We have it within ourselves and if we can acknowledge this, we can bring all those negative feelings to the light of day and heal them, replacing them with trust, acceptance, sweetness and love. Why would we want to? Because I don’t know about you, but I don’t like feeling that way. My teaching says that heaven and hell are states of mind and I can tell you from personal experience that living in suspicion and anger is living in a state of hell. I’d much rather live in a state of heaven. Another reason for changing those feelings is because those negative feelings will make us sick. They turn inward and cause all sorts of havoc in the body.

Our consciousness is a holistic system that consists of our emotional, mental, physical and spiritual selves. In other words, all those pieces of us co-exist together. If one part of us is experiencing a malady, the entire system experiences it. So if we are feeling those feelings of anger or hatred, sooner or later the body will express those feelings. And because we ourselves are simply a small part of a whole, what we think and feel and believe does indeed have an effect on the whole of humanity. So not only do we have a responsibility to ourselves to heal ourselves and replace those feelings of anger, bitterness and suspicion with acceptance, sweetness and love, when we do so we contribute to the goodness of all of humanity. It’s a win win!

Self awareness is a spiritual practice that can and will allow us to reveal that which wants to be healed. So today I look at the ways in which I view the world, and I ask myself if it is good for me to view the world in the ways I view it, and change my views, my thoughts, my feelings and my beliefs if necessary.

I remember the aha moment I had when Kim Kaiser, then Dean of Holmes Institute, said this to me. I had been reporting to him all the losses I had experienced, and how well I was coping with them. And he said, “Karen, metaphysics does not operate at the level of making lemonade out of lemons.” And for the first time ever, I realized that I did not need to lemons to get the lemonade. I didn’t need loss and change and icky stuff in order to experience good in my life. I could just, simply, willy nilly, experience the good! What a concept! Except it wasn’t that simple. Because in order for me to do that I had to have an inner shift in consciousness. I had to change my belief that one succeeded in life due to how well one coped with loss and change. I had to change my belief that I really wasn’t worthy of simply experiencing my good, just because. So I went to work on changing that belief. Today, I know and feel I can just simply experience my good. But once in a while a reminder is good.

Hot off the press! A BRAND NEW daily reading, written just this morning! WEEHAW! And a first: for the FIRST TIME EVER I had to resort to pulling a photo off a royalty free photo site to use for my meme. Up to this point, all the photos I’ve used for my memes are mine. But I’ve never taken a photo of grapes, believe it or not. So I had to go find one. I like this one and it illustrates my point nicely.

Here’s the reading, I hope you enjoy it:

Ernest Holmes: “It has been said that we can know God only in so far as we can become God.”
Gary Zukav, from Seat of the Soul: “ It is impossible for you to come full circle in this way of empowerment without prayer. It is not enough to want or to intend or to meditate. You must pray. You must talk. You must ask. You must believe. That is partnership.”


Eat your grapes today!

I just had a conversation with my prayer partner, during which I was voicing to her to qualities of spirit I wished to embody for today. And we realized we had the beginnings of an acronym! So we went with it and came up with GRAPE!

Now, if you remember our wonderful form of prayer called treatment, or affirmative prayer, then you might also remember that while it is perfectly ok to pray for outside stuff, my personal preference is to go within and pray to embody qualities of spirit, which then create the outside stuff.

So today I am embodying gratitude. Gratitude for all that is. For the miracle of modern medicine. For the miracle of the power of our minds to create our reality. For my surroundings, my life, my beingness. And I further embody relaxation, simply being still, and knowing. And I also reach high, into great altitude, knowing that there is always something greater in store for me. Always higher. And I feel that grand glorious sense of peace flowing through me. And I know excellence. Excellence in living through and because of spiritual principle. Excellence in embodying those qualities of spirit I just mentioned. Excellence in living. Period.

So today am thoroughly enjoying my grapes!

And so it is!

I have a bit of a routine in the mornings after I feed the critters.  It always begins with meditation, then a period of self inquiry and contemplation.  Lately I’ve been noticing that during my self inquiry there are a lot of teary type emotions.  I’m concerned and sad about the events of the day.  A peer shared that whenever another mass shooting happens, he goes into a period of reflection, rather than immediately reacting. That seemed like a good idea to me, so I did that.  And I came up with a couple of ideas that I am still kicking around, as to how I want to respond, but in the meantime, I wanted to discuss this thoughts and prayers thing.  Yeah, people are tired of it.  As they should be.  But I want to propose that perhaps it isn’t the thoughts and prayers that we are tired of, but the ways in which we think and pray.  Sending thoughts and prayers is really just a bandaid, designed to temporarily make the person sending them feel better in a horrible situation.  The problem is, like most bandaids, they only work for a little while and do little to address true healing.  I believe that if we keep thinking in the ways we have always thought, we will keep getting what we’ve been getting.  We need to change our thinking, both as individuals and in society as a whole.  And I believe prayer is something entirely different than asking for something from something outside of ourselves, in other words a beseeching to an outside entity, and when viewed the way I am going to propose, this type of prayer can lead to healing and action, which is what is needed.  So, prayer, I propose, is not a beseeching to an outside entity.  I believe in, and teach, New Thought, which teaches that prayer changes the mind of the one doing the praying, and that if we can change our thinking, we change our lives.  This.  This is what thoughts and prayers are about, or could be about.  Prayers are affirmations, not asks.  Furthermore, they are never directed outward.  In other words, I don’t pray to crystals and candles, the great spirit out there, the guy in the sky, the universe or any other outside thing.  Yes, I love my candles.  I use them a lot to set the tone for things, or change the ambiance of a room.  I almost always have a rock in my pocket because they remind me of wonderful things.  But I never think that rock, crystal or candle or universe or great spirit or universe is going to do something because I ask it.  That is not what prayer is for.  Prayer is me affirming that I change my thinking so that I can better deal with what life is presenting to me.  Because that is really, in the overall scheme of things, the only thing I can change.  Once I change that, then I can venture out into the world and take action in the areas in which I wish to take action.  Whether it is to work to educate people about racism and misogyny or host a talking circle or do a workshop or a retreat.  Life happens from the inside out, always.  So I go within first, get in touch with what I am really feeling on any given day and  proceed from there.  Sometimes I need to allow the sadness, the grief, the anger.  We cannot go into spiritual bypass with that stuff, for it gets locked up inside and festers and then pops out in inelegant and sometimes ugly ways.  But I’ve learned those kinds of feelings will not kill me.  Once I am through those feelings, then I can inquire of myself, asking what in my thinking wants or needs to be different so that I can live even more successfully than I already do?  And I always have to add this, because for some strange reason when I’m speaking to people about this, 99% of the time they go to a place of shame behind what was.  No.  What was worked, there is nothing wrong with it.  But life is always for expansion and growth, and the only way we can do that is to change our thinking.  No shame, no blame, just ever expanding and changing thinking to accommodate life’s desire to be more.  So, prayer changes the mind of the one doing the praying.  Today I joyfully affirm that I am always using life’s events to go within and change my thinking in the ways that result in my expansion.  And I affirm that for you too.

Today I am thinking about more.  One of my favorite expressions is, “but wait, there’s MORE!”  Always more.  More life.  More wisdom.  More good yummy stuff.  Because I believe there is always more, I am always striving.  Always driven to BE the more.  This is the way I have set up my life, purposely.  For me, this is the way to nirvana. Enlightenment.  Peace.  Prosperity.
I am always striving to reach that, and yet I’ve already reached it.  
Yes, it is a paradox of sorts.
Like the commercials where the sales person lays out all these wonderful benefits you will get if you buy the product, then says, “wait!  There’s MORE!”  There is nothing wrong with the product.  There’s just more.
There’s nothing wrong with my life.  But there is always more.
I am always amazed at the thinking that seems to say that if one strives for more it means that whatever is going on now is somehow deficient.  
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Nothing is wrong.  It’s just that there is more.
When I am thinking in terms of more, I’m not thinking that what has passed before in my life is wrong or bad or shameful.  Just that there is more.
There is an inner calling that I feel strongly.  An invitation.  Some folks call it a whack with a two by four upside the head.  And yes, if I ignore that calling it does get stronger and stronger.
Because there is something within each one of us inviting us to more.
Loss is ultimately about more.  Change is ultimately about more.  
Even without loss and change, I would strive for more.
Because I believe that each of us is a manifestation of Spirit, and each of us is the way that Spirit experiences the physical.  Each of us in our human form is a little Godling, strutting around on this earth.  If this is true, then yes, there is always more.  That is why we are here.  Not to do more, but to BE more.
To shine our light greater than ever.  To show up in our own unique and wonderful ways.  To dye our hair all the colors of the rainbow if that’s what we are called to do.  To create a niche for ourselves to earn a living in a way that no one else has ever done before, if that is what we are called to do.  
What on earth is that inner calling for, if not for us to honor it?
Society says we can’t do that.  
I say, go ahead and do it.
Society says we can’t BE that.
I say go ahead and BE it.
Then society judges us.
I say that judgement says more about the folks doing the judging than it does about us.
Ignore the naysayers.  Ignore the judgers. Go within, connect with that inner calling, that inner invitation, and honor it.  Accept the invitation.  BE MORE.

I had an AHA moment this morning. Every day I read something spiritual. Many days it is something by Ernest Holmes but I also read a ton of other authors as well. I read for my own enjoyment and for my own growth, but I also read with an eye towards topics for podcast episodes or blogs. Sometimes I get an idea I want to develop, but sometimes there simply isn’t enough there to talk about for 20 minutes in a podcast, or to write the length of a blog post. This morning I had one of those ideas, and then it occurred to me, “wait a minute! Why not put this into that daily reader you’ve been writing off and on for YEARS!” Duh. So this morning for the first time in I don’t know how long, I made an entry into the daily reader I am writing. By the way, in my own inimitable style, the working title of this is “Go on every ride you can!” Or, alternatively, “Chase all the balls you can!” The second refers to how dogs are always up for play, that’s what we should strive for, in my opinion. And along with that striving comes changing our definition of play. Anyway, here is what I wrote today:

‘ “The Day of Judgment” occurs every day, in self-evaluation.” Linda Martella-Whitsett, “Divine Audacity”

“There is nothing in the Universe that can hinder your upward climb, your increased awareness of Oneness with God . . . unless you decide to stop climbing.” Ernest Holmes, How to Change your Life

I believe that the Bible was meant to be interpreted metaphorically, because that was the way they taught in the time during which the Bible was written. If this is true, then judgement day is every day for us. It is a day when we must go within and do the spiritual practice of self-awareness. We must evaluate with discernment what is ours and what is not. Judgement means something different in this case. It doesn’t mean we’ve done something wrong, bad or shameful. Never that. Judgment is defined as the ability to make a decision or form an opinion objectively and wisely. So we look at ourselves and if we must form an opinion, we do so with wisdom, compassion and discernment. The time for “shoulding” on ourselves is over. No, self evaluation with an eye towards ever more opening up to the new in us that wants to be born. I believe that we are here on this earth to become more and more godlike, to more fully and completely embody qualities of spirit. So each day becomes a quest, not to shame ourselves in judgment over an issue or a behavior or a thought. But instead to ask ourselves, what new wants to be born in me right here and right now? Whatever it is that is happening or has happened, it is always an invitation to step into something greater. Self evaluation is the pathway into that something greater. When we remember who and what we truly are, one with the One, connected in deep and profound ways with Spirit, and here to be more and more spirit-like, then judgment no longer is a negative thing. Instead it is simply a tool for us to use to be more of that which we are meant to be.

Affirmation: Today I evaluate myself with loving discernment as a way to increase my awareness of my Oneness with Spirit

“God does not love anybody or anything. God is the love in everybody and everything. God is love; man becomes loving by permitting that which God is to find expression in word and act.” Charles Fillmore, Jesus Christ Heals

I sometimes wonder about how and why things shape up the way they do.  If that had not happened in such and such a way, would I still be here?  Or maybe I would be there!  I remember when I deepened and renewed my quest to get a better connection with that thing that some call God.  I was between ten and 15 years into recovery, and knew it was time.  I began attending my local Unity church and loved loved loved the person serving as minister then.  I wasn’t churchy and didn’t particularly like church, but I loved this lady’s message so much that I kept coming back.  I likely would be a Unity minister today except for one thing:  one day I went to that church and she was gone!  Willy nilly!  Just like that!  I heard later that the board had fired her.  The new person coming in, well, I didn’t resonate with the message, at all.  So off I went to my local Science of Mind church, what is today called a Center for Spiritual Living.  I had to drive an extra 30 miles to get there, but I did, and the rest, as they say, is history.  I don’t know why I’m telling you this story except to lead up to the source of my quote for today, because the author of that quote, Charles Fillmore is the founder of Unity, along with his wife Myrtle, and he has some pretty good stuff to say.  

When you hear “God does not love anybody or anything” how does that make you feel?  I know that for many, those kind of statements are very uncomfortable.  But this kind of statement never made me uncomfortable.  In fact, it gave me relief.  Because I heard the rest of the sentence:  “God IS the love in everybody and everything.”  And then I heard the final piece, that humans become loving by allowing that which can be called God to find expression within themselves.  We humans are the way that God expresses in physical form.  But we have to allow it.  We have to do what is necessary to let in the sunlight of the spirit so that we can be our full and complete godself, taking that sunlight of the spirit and shining it brightly in our own unique and wonderful ways.
This concept placed full responsibility on me to allow myself to be more than a channel for God, to be more than simply an expression of God.  This gave me permission to express myself fully and completely, as much a part of God as a drop of water is a part of the ocean.  And when I express myself fully and completely in this way, life gets real good.  Good and very good.
So today, I allow.  I BECOME love!  I AM the expression of God today and I BE LOVE!

The latest episode of the podcast is up!

My latest podcast episode is up! WEEHAW! this one is all about prosperity consciousness, and to assist you in your effort to up your prosperity consciousness, I've listed no less than 17 books for your reading pleasure!
5 Gifts for an Abundant Life by Diane HarmonySpiritual Economics by Eric Butterworth: “To get the most from this study, you will want to declare your independence from the belief that your personal welfare is completely tied to the economic fluctuations of the world ‘out there.’” “So before you attempt to raise money, the first step should be to raise consciousness.” The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom by Suze OrmanDon’t Worry, Make Money by Richard Carlson, Ph.D. “Money is circulation, it needs to flow.” “Being attached to an outcome, holding on, takes an enormous amount of energy…” “Cynicism contradicts abundance.” The Abundance Book by John Randolph Price “…prosperity is a part of the natural process of life,…” “…the energy of abundance is constantly radiating from the Source within…” “What one has done, all can do. The secret is to be aware of this unfailing principle…” “…lack is simply the outpicturing of false beliefs…” “…the only limitations you have are the ones you’ve imposed upon yourself.” Creating True Prosperity by Shakti Gawain Soul Currency by Ernest D. Chu “….it’s mistaken to believe that giving to yourself, that taking care of your own needs and interests, is selfish.” “People have long traded satisfaction for security.” (Sub quote from Studs Terkel) “Most people’s jobs are too small for their spirits.” “You are at your most powerful when you follow your creative passion and let it inspire your choices and your path.” The Wealthy Spirit by Chellie Campbell - this is a daily reader. The Laws of Manifestation by David Spangler “…manifesting a quality of being and letting life configure itself to me…” based on “being connected to my own inner inspiration and sense of calling and connected to the world around me.” “…positive beingness was more important than positive thinking.” “…manifestation is not about a technique. It is about our power as participants in the interactive web of life.” “…we think of manifestation as an act of incarnation ore than an act of acquisition or attraction.” “…manifestation is a change of form or state or condition of being; it is not the creation of something out of nothing.”Joyous Abundance Journal by Petra Weldes and Christian Sorensen - another daily readerThe Wisdom of Money by Alice Bandy “it is impossible for you to admire these qualities in others if you don’t already have the beginnings of them in yourself.” “Changing your life is as simple as changing your mind about some of these old concepts that don’t work for you.” The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity by Catherine PonderPutting the Prosperity Idea to Work by Robert A. Russell God Goes to Work by Tom Zender The Prosperous Heart by Julia Cameron Virtually ANY book by Ernest Holmes. You can apply the principles he taught to any area of your life, including prosperity and abundance.

Feel free to use this meme to allow you to sink into the affirmation.

Today I am celebrating the journey.  I am celebrating all the journeys I’ve been on to get me to where I am today, and I’m celebrating your journey too.  I sit here this morning having spent a couple of hours working on my talk for Easter Sunday.  

A bit of background:  in Centers for Spiritual Living land, where we teach this thing called New Thought (not New Age) we go back to the original languages that were used to express the wisdom of the day, and we also take into account the culture of the time and the fact that words meant something different back then than they do today. Did you know, for example, that sin originally meant “miss the mark?”  It was referring to archery, when you shot your arrow, you missed your target.  You made a mistake.  That’s it.  I once tried to explain this to a farrier who then asked me, “if that’s the case, then where is the accountability and the responsibility?”  I tried to explain that it was within each and every one of us, and wasn’t about being worthy, it was about recognizing our mistakes, taking action to correct them without blame and shame, then moving on and trying again.  He was having none of that and he was beginning to get angry, so we dropped the topic and he finished up working on my horse’s feet in silence.  We never spoke of it again although that guy continued to do my horse’s feet for several years.  

What does all of this have to do with celebrating the journey?  Well!  We all have journeys.  And we all have had, at times, very bumpy rides.  And we all are at choice.  We can choose to fight the journey every step of the way and stay stuck, or we can choose to embrace it, learn from it and move to ever greater heights.  

I got the opportunity to visit yesterday with some folks I’ve known for 35 years.  They showed me photos of myself way back then.  And I remembered the ride back then was pretty bumpy.  I had met a group of people who had already taken that bumpy journey, and they were smiling and happy and their lives were filled with laughter and positive activities.  I didn’t know that was possible back then but they showed me. They would drag me along to social things like potlucks and picnics and I would maneuver  myself so that I was still there, sort of, but removed enough to not feel threatened by anyone.  Because back then people were a threat to me.  I couldn’t talk much back then.  I know, I know.  I’m making up for it now.  All part of the journey.  The point is, I refused to blame and shame.  I went in desperate to learn a new way to live, and those people showed me by example, and today I get to talk and be with people and enjoy them and experience all the wonder and joy that life has to offer.  

So yeah, I’m celebrating the journey.  And the only way we get to celebrate our journeys, instead of regretting them and blaming others for them and shaming ourselves because of them, is to go within and examine ourselves and learn.  And correct our course, and begin again.  In this way we get to celebrate. So yeah, today I’m celebrating.  

I’m working on a talk about new beginnings, the metaphor of Easter.  I’m once again exploring what others have to say about this, folks like Ernest Holmes and Joseph Campbell and a few others.  And I’m hoping to weave a nice little story about journeys, although what downloaded this morning described the journey as a climb up a ladder.  That’s a journey too!  And with each rung up the ladder, we get to stop and celebrate our willingness to embrace the change presented to us, to not blame and shame but instead to see change for what it is:  a call or a catalyst that wants us to move ever higher in consciousness.  It never stops, this journey.  Oh, we can stop it anytime we want.  All we have to do is resist the call.  And then we get to stay stuck.  Today I’m celebrating that I didn’t resist the call back then, and I haven’t resisted it since.  I hope it’s been the same for you.  I hope you are not stuck, but instead rising ever higher in consciousness, continuing to enjoy life more and more.

Your affirmation for today: Today I embrace the changes in life, knowing that they are always a call for me to rise ever higher in consciousness, and I celebrate the journey.