Tag Archives: New Thought

As we approach the end of one year and the beginning of another, I believe it to be quite natural that we turn to a bit of reminiscing and review, along with contemplation and setting of intentions.  

For me, on the outside, 2023 was filled with 9 talks, 5 workshops and 45 weddings.  My podcast had 368 downloads last year, and I produced 10 new episodes in 2023.  I also had the privilege of serving another community as Interim Minister, wrapping up that assignment in June. 

I entered my first shooting competition this year and won a prize!  

I spent six months in 2023 venturing into the world of online dating.  I went on a lot of dates, met a lot of interesting people, and learned that I am no longer willing to settle.  Still single over here and happy with that.

I have been working on my third book for a couple of years now and quite frankly, I was stuck.  The book began life as a daily reader and it just wasn’t coming out.  I had an epiphany while cleaning the horses’s stalls one day, and realized I needed to change the focus and emphasis of the book.  A few edits and tweaks later and now the book is coming along nicely.  It will be called “How to Live Fearlessly Feral” and will be a deep dive into spiritual practices and principles.  Complete with monthly recommendations for leaning into, embodying and applying a different practice and principle each month.  It will have four main sections, and I’m happy to report the first three sections are complete!  

I think my greatest accomplishment this year has been in horseback riding.  I got diagnosed with PTSD when I got sober at 32 years old, and while I have experienced years of symptom free living PTSD reared its head after a series of major changes and it affected my horse back riding more than anything else.  And no, it has nothing to do with the horse and everything to do with PTSD.  I had symptoms in other areas as well, but they were strongest with the horses back riding.  With the patient and excellent work of an equine coach, I have been able to progress to the point where I am once again enjoying riding.  I’ve gone from not being able to even get on to being able to ride again with joy.  And that is wonderful.

One cannot do spiritual practices on a daily basis without having inner shifts and I experienced several of those.  I am grateful for all of them and today I live life more confident and feeling whole.  And I am grateful for that as well.   

Now comes to good part:  creation of 2024.  And here is where we leave the past behind.  We move forward into the future and use the practices of self awareness, connection, contemplation and setting of intentions to create what we want to create in the coming year.  Meditation is good for clarity if you are unsure as to what you want life to look like in this coming year.  Those practices exist for a reason and you can use them to your benefit.

This is the beauty of this teaching called New Thought.  We are at choice.  We are powerful.  In fact, another name for New Thought is Liberation Theology and I love that!  Use those spiritual practices.  Do them consistently and persistently and watch your life become liberated from limitations like fear and shame and guilt and all that other nasty stuff.  Do those spiritual practices persistently and consistently and watch your ability to create grow.  

We create by being at peace with the old and being able to leave it behind.  This creates a void, and we use spiritual practices to decide what we want to create.  I mentioned them already.  Self awareness, connection, contemplation and setting of intentions.

None of this New Year’s resolutions stuff.

By the way, those spiritual practices I keep mentioning?  They come in handy in other ways as well.  Yes, we have power.  Yes, we are at choice.  But none of what we teach guarantees that shit won’t happen.  It can and it does.  And it does so not because we thought it into existence.  Sometimes shit just happens.  Don’t go all shame based and blame yourself because shit happened.  That’s where our power comes in.  

Back to the future (see what I did there?). We get to set things up the way we want to set them up. Mary Oliver asked, “what is it you want to do with your one wild and crazy life?”  When you know the answer to that, also know that you can create that.

On tap for 2024:  publication of my third book, continued podcasting, more giving talks and doing workshops.  More horse back riding, more competitive shooting. More speaking out against Christian nationalism, racism, misogyny, and politicians who believe in those things, including and especially that orange menace that is threatening our very democracy.  I have some exciting things on tap for 2024 and I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds!

This is the perfect time of year to begin anew.  To release the past with gratitude and forgiveness, if necessary, and to start fresh with new ideas and dreams, knowing you have within you a power that you can use.  I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds for you as well.

And I leave you with this quote by Hunter S. Thompson:  "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece, but to slide across the finish line broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, leaking oil, and shouting GERONIMO!!!" 

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.