How refreshing it was yesterday to cry my heart out to Spirit, to shout my anger and frustration, just me and God alone, with no one else around. Release… letting go… opened my heart to receive, to get to peace and connection. It felt so intimate… so close to Spirit… togetherness. I can still feel it with me today. For that, I am most grateful.

I am reminded of the song “I Release and I Let Go” by Rickie Byars Beckwith:

There was a time in my life
I thought I had to do it all myself
And I didn’t know the grace of God was sufficient
And I didn’t know the love of God was at hand

But now I can say
If you are discouraged
Struggling just to make it through another day
You got to let it go, let it all go
And this is what you have to say

I release and I let go
I let the Spirit run my life
And my heart is open wide
Yes it’s only up to God

No more struggle, no more strife
With my faith I see the light
I am free in the Spirit
Yes it’s only up to God.

Yes, my life is only up to God, to Source. I am not in control, AND I’m doing the best I can. If Spirit wants to see something different out of me, then Spirit will have to effect the change. Spirit is The Power, and I am Its vehicle. I release and let go all to Spirit, and let It run my life. I am willing, I am open. I am at peace.

And so it is.

Amazing 20 Years

Today I celebrate the most important day of my life.

It was on Saturday, March 10, 1990, at 10:15am, on the upper side of Manhattan (NYC) that I first walked into the rooms of a 12 Step program. It is there where I found Home, my family of choice, and commenced my conscious spiritual journey. It was the beginning of transforming my entire way of living via changing my world view.

This day 20 years ago was the start of my coming to believe in a God of my understanding. And, having been a ‘devout’ atheist, that was no small feat! After all, I’d known about The Program for five years but had declined attending a meeting because I knew the word “God” was going to be uttered.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into and how much my life was going to change by finally taking that fateful step of going to my first meeting – I actually landed up attending three that very first day!. But I had reached bottom, knew that something was ‘wrong’ with me, and also knew that psychotherapy, while helpful with other issues, was not sufficient to address this issue of my eating disorder.

I am grateful to the 12 Step program in more ways and for more things than I could ever recount. My life and relationships would not be what they are today if I had not adopted the 12 Step way of life and had a personality shift of huge proportion. Over the years of practicing the principles and relying on a Power greater than myself, my life has become rich in a myriad of ways and my journey of awakening has become more adventurous.

Today I celebrate: having conscious contact with the Great Mystery who I know is my Source; the love of other spirits having a human experience; knowing peace and serenity are mine any time I choose despite what’s going on in the outer world; knowing my life has a purpose and being of service – the list goes on, and on, and on.

It’s an extra special day of grace and blessing! Thanks be to Spirit, and to all of you friends of Bill W. whose paths have crossed mine, where together we are living in the solution.  God bless.

Thanksgiving Day Reminiscence

Well, it definitely was not anything near a usual Thanksgiving Day for me yesterday as I worked a good portion of the day to get a project done. I had hoped to relax, watch some movies, and simply be with Rog.

How do you make God laugh? Tell Him your plans!

Well, while T-Day didn’t turn out the way I’d planned, I still want to hold a positive, uplifting, attitude of gratitude towards it. We went to Rog’s mom for lunch – I am grateful to G (as she is affectionately called) for her generous spirit. She did a lot to prepare for our visit and meal. It was most appreciated.

I am grateful for the weather here in Gilbert, Arizona. It wasn’t the usual, as it was alternately cloudy, stormy, and sunny. However, it reminded me of a real autumn day, like I used to enjoy back east.

I am grateful for the specialness of this particular holiday as no other, for it is the one in which my friends – most of who are scattered across the country – and I call one another simply to say “I love you.” Sure, we say that to one another throughout the year, but it’s always a bit more special on Thanksgiving Day. We’re saying something more than “I love you;” we’re saying, “I’m grateful you are alive and you are in my life.” How precious.

This was the 5th Thanksgiving that my beloved life partner and I were together. When planning the Thanksgiving festivities in years past often proved to be emotionally straining as I yearned for the arrival of my true partner, I’m grateful that Rog and I finally found one another and that he has been a loving constant in my life since 2004. And this is something I am grateful for not just on Thanksgiving Day but everyday.

My Gratitude List

I’m grateful for:

  • Skype (online instant messaging and calling program)
  • eBay (online marketplace where I can purchase goods)
  • PayPal (I can invoice clients online)
  • Constant Contact (a fun online program I use to create electronic newsletters)
  • Google (what would any of us do without it?!)

Real spiritual, huh?

Well, you see I’m a computer geek AND a people person – unusual combo, I know. So the aforementioned is the geek coming out in me.

On the other side of the coin, I’m grateful for:

  • Conscious contact with Spirit and our ever-deepening connection
  • Being together with my beloved twin flame, life partner, and husband, Rog, in this lifetime
  • Knowing what’s truly important in life
  • Dear friends
  • Moving forward in my spiritual coaching professional practice
  • Good physical health
  • Phoenix weather
  • Laughter
  • Singing
  • Being a good listener (some times better than other times)
  • Being a trustworthy friend
  • The ability to hold a sacred place for others and help empower them as they walk their path.

The list really could go on and on. It’s always up to me as to how I view this world, my life. I can come from a victim standpoint, or I can seize the moment and look at my entire life as a blessing that has me exuding gratitude every moment. It’s always a choice. Having choices is another thing that I’m grateful for.

I am reminded of the following lyrics from A Course in Miracles, put to music by Jeff Olmsted:

Love is the way I walk in gratitude. Love… is the way I walk.

Hmm… Love and gratitude. Now, that’s not an unusual combination at all!

About Gratitude

When I was a devout atheist, I felt there was no one to be thankful to. That changed as soon as I came to believe in a power greater than myself. I’m grateful for that, for walking into the rooms of a 12 Step program, which led me to the most important thing in my life: God, as I understand God.

This week is one that I particularly pause to give thought to gratitude.

So it was no surprise (at least not to me, the facilitator 🙂 ) that at last night’s meeting of the Gilbert Spirituality Meetup group, the topic was Gratitude. The shared stories were “inspirational” as one member put it. Yes, indeed.

When a father can get down on his knees after his son has died and the first words out of his mouth are “I am grateful…for the time You gave me with my child” that is inspiring. Recalling that this man, in his darkest hour, offered thanks to God and not venom, will get me back on track when I’m feeling less than grateful because of some minor occurrence that threw me into a tizzy.

Another member made a point of saying that even if you do have negative thoughts but have a semblance of gratitude, your energy vibrates at a higher frequency. That will get the spiral headed upward towards positivity.

I was reminded that every moment is a moment in which I can choose to be grateful. Every moment is unique, will not be repeated ever again, and hence is a sole/soul(!) opportunity to be seized and savored. The expression “Wake up and smell the roses” came to mind.

When I feel gratitude, my heart is full and I am oftimes moved to tears, tears of joy. When Rog expressed a connection between gratitude and joy, I realized he was right. He expounds upon this in his book Choosing Joy at Work.

Speaking of work, we can sometimes be self-conscious about expressing appreciation of others to those folks, especially in a business setting. What a stark indicator of our increased separation from our fellows with whom we are One. This group member was going to go ahead anyway and be her authentic, expressive, appreciative self. Yes!

When I surround myself with people who not only feel grateful, but express it – like at last night’s meeting – I feel uplifted. And, for that I am grateful.

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

Before my head hits the pillow at night, I find it helpful to constructively review my day.

I think about how I was as a person, i.e., how I treated all those I came into contact with. Was I kind and loving? Helpful? Could I have improved upon my behavior, my thinking? And, I make a list (mentally or in my journal) of the blessings. It is fascinating to look at something that initially seems like a negative and realize that it was really a blessing. There is a blessing in everything if I’m conscious.

This day, I think I was pretty ‘clean’ in how I treated all those I came into contact with. In particular, in a delicate situation, I was gentle and diplomatic as I posed a personal question to an acquaintance, and it was with the idea of helping her.

Ten blessings of this day for which I am grateful:
1. Morning coffee time with Rog where we talk mostly about Spirit
2. Hot shower
3. Receiving a check in the mail
4. Attended a planning meeting for a women’s workshop which further fostered two blooming friendships
5. Coffee with a friend at an outdoor café and caught up on her life and the world of real estate
6. Meditation and quiet time
7. Solo morning drive in which I got to sing to spiritual music, a form of prayer for me
8. Initiated getting together with someone outside of our business meetings in order to get to know one another better – and was warmly received
9. Reliable car filled with fuel
10. Evening dinner date with Rog

Coming up with a gratitude list makes me pause and reflect. It reveals to me that I have much to be thankful for. I find it a terrific exercise for my soul and, anytime I am feeling down, making a gratitude list lifts my spirit.

Now, to laying my head on that pillow…

Slowing Down

Do this! Do that! Oh, here’s yet another thing added to my plate for today. Do, do, do! What a crazy day this is already.

Yesterday it was worry and fear, today it’s feeling overwhelmed. I hadn’t done my morning readings, meditated, or blogged. But, I did find some nice deep breaths (my dear yoga instructor Mary often asks us to “find a deep inhale”) that centered me so I thought I was good for a while longer.

Then God really got my attention: my front tooth’s crown came off without any prior notice although recent problems with it made it no surprise. The whole day just changed again. That was the last straw – I slowed down, no choice. I called my dentist and arranged for an emergency appointment today, then I postponed one business meeting. And, now I’m blogging.

But was it really God who got my attention to slow down? Or, was it my ego (as Rog suggested)?

Slowing down has two aspects to it, one for peace (God), another for blocking our good (ego). There’s no question the morning has been hectic, too hectic for my liking. So I really did need to slow down, breathe, get centered. I’m grateful to finally be doing that. I can’t say I like the way it came to be.

But to be slowed down as a way to block moving forward is another matter.

Rog and I have been keenly focused on two things: simplifying our lives and growing our business in alignment with God’s will. Professionally, we have turned down contracts and clients so that we could be true to ourselves and Spirit. Several months ago we made the conscious decision to work with like-minded people and to only accept projects that would first and foremost provide us with the forum to creatively express ourselves, what God wants us to do, to be. Earning money was to be the secondary consideration. You know, do what you love and the money will come. With that decision I felt such freedom, and power, and joy; moving past years of angst and stepping into what God and faith were calling to me.

We’ve made great strides in downsizing expenses, material possessions, unfulfilling relationships, etc. It’s been a wonderful time spiritually – and a bumpy one financially. We have been meeting marvelous, new, like-minded people, and, we now have a batch of prospective clients who we know we’ll enjoy partnering up with and who Spirit will use as channels for financial prosperity.

And now, my front crown comes off! Of course, that’s not the only thing that’s happened in recent days to throw me disturb my peace. But, do you know how horribly ugly the gap in the front of my mouth is?! Not to mention the time and expense of the permanent solution that is required? Well, I’m not going to let this or my ego sidetrack me from my good.

I know what’s truly important and what I need to keep my focus on, and it’s not of a physical nature. So, I’m finding a deep inhale again, relaxing, and sticking close to God. All is well – it cannot be otherwise.

Keeping an Eye Out

Dear God, I am grateful for many things in my life. Please help me to be aware of and focus on all of the synchronicity and positive things that I encounter each day. Let me be mindful of others who might be in pain or who concentrate on the negative and offer prayers or words of encouragement to help them see beyond the illusion. Amen.

Coming upon the aforementioned prayer this morning was synchronistic itself! It is from the website of Christel Nani, a medical intuitive.

Weeks ago, a friend forwarded Christel’s September article on Energetic Patterns of Breast Cancer. I read it just this morning, was led to check out Christel’s site, and found her prayer list page. This was the prayer for this week.

It had meaning for me – synchronicity is ‘in the eye of the beholder’ – because the topic of last week’s Gilbert Spirituality meeting was synchronicity, I’ve been writing about synchronicity in this blog, and now, this day, I “just so happen” to read the old email that led me to a weekly prayer that “just so happen” to be on synchronicity – that’s how it works!

I am grateful for another occurrence of synchronicity and to be reminded to keep an eye out for it throughout my day, which means keeping a lookout for God.