Tips for Creating an Abundant Life

Like you, perhaps, I’ve been thinking about what I want to create in the New Year of 2009.  When I focus my complete attention on creating my life, a few things come up that I know are vital to the process:

  1. A clear vision: Knowing specifically what you want to create enables you to play an active role in building it. Vague goals don’t give you anything solid to believe in, visualize or reach for.
  2. Give yourself permission to be prosperous. Financial success comes from thinking that prosperity is your natural right, just as much as breathing.  Work on making this belief your habit if it isn’t already.
  3. Adjust your beliefs about your life with what you want your life to be. Become keenly aware of that little voice that is constantly telling you what it thinks is possible for you and make the commitment to override it with statements about what you want to be true for you.
  4. Understand the power of visualization and use it to create the reality you want. Think of yourself as a co-creator of your life and see visualization as your tool for molding your creation. Read more about visualization.
  5. Make a habit of consciously creating your life. Start each day focusing on your vision, be sure that your beliefs are aligned with your vision and follow through with a visualization that brings your vision to life.

Related articles:

How to Consciously Create Your Day – Part 2

How to Consciously Create Your Day

The Deeper Secret to Joy and Abundance

I love the fact that we are evolving into a society that understands that our minds have great influence over what we create in our lives. We’re learning about things like the power of positive thinking, creative visualization and the law of attraction. Yet it seems that sometimes when we employ all of these wonderful metaphysical methods, we still remain unable to make our vision a reality. Why? I’ve had my own theories about this for awhile, and like much of what I write about here, my understandings continue to sharpen through my own awakening. I came across something the other day that helped me to crystallize a belief that I had come to on my own. An interesting thing to note here is how serendipity played a role in my discovery.

I noticed that a new link to this blog was bringing traffic from an Italian site about positive visualization: Of course I was curious to find out what had been written and by who, so I clicked on the link and did the best I could to translate the linked article and the author’s bio. It was here that I was led to learn about the works of Jose Silva and the Silva Mind System. Now, I must put a disclaimer here that I have not read about Jose Silva or the Silva Mind System at any depth so I can’t stand behind the work, yet one point that I read really resonated with me as a valuable principle that should be promoted in concert with the law of attraction:

“Many self-improvement programs tell you that by tapping into your mind you can have ‘anything you desire’.

I’m afraid this is not true.

Silva’s research has shown that you can have anything you want – IF and ONLY IF – it is part of your soul’s plan for you.”

I use my instincts to help me judge what I believe to be truths, and this concept here makes a lot of sense without any proof in the pudding. This supports an “aha” I had when I was painfully trying to cut myself loose from the “security” of my corporate job a couple of years ago. I told myself that it just didn’t make sense that the universe would take better care of me if I stayed clinging to a job that I no longer cared about rather than pursuing the path I felt calling me.

There’s a very big, yet very simple lesson here that I feel like yelling from the rooftops because it is so vastly ignored. Achieving great joy and abundance is not about thinking what will make you happy. It’s about tuning in to your heart and showing up for the purpose of why you are here. If you truly believe that life has a purpose, then there is no fear to be had when you are holding up your end of the bargain.

Thanks for visiting. Let me know if there is any way that I can support you on your path to purpose.

With light,


Susan Hanshaw
Sanctuary for Change

Joy: It’s Your Human Right

I’ve come to believe that one of the biggest challenges we must overcome is our ability to believe deep down that we deserve a life full of joy. We need to believe that a sense of purpose and passion is our human right. We need to give ourselves permission to create lives that set our hearts on fire. Somewhere along the line many of us bought into the belief that we should expect our life to be simply average.

In my work I frequently see a chronic symptom of disconnect between our hearts and the lives we create. We’ve been conditioned to be driven by money, not love; and security, not passion.  Consequently, many of us have buried our truest yearnings so deeply that we can no longer feel them.

Regardless of where you are on the joy scale, each day brings a new opportunity for its expression. What better way to start your day than by consciously asking what would bring you great joy and then focusing on that in some way? If there are some steps you need to take to receive that joy, then make a commitment to make even the tiniest of step. If you’re not in tune with what will bring you joy, then trust that this understanding will come to you through focusing on it.

Remember that joy is not a selfish act. Consider it instead your human responsibility, one which honors creation by claiming the abundance of joy and love that is available to each and every one of us.  What are you serving by being a martyr to mediocrity?  Wouldn’t it be better to be a model for joy?

Thank you for visiting.  May your mind be a magnet for abundance.

Susan Hanshaw

your time is limited

I am blessed to have one of the most awesome jobs on the planet. Along with inspirational coach, teacher and writer, I carry the title of wedding officiant. I recognize that this is not your average job and I often get asked how I got into it. As cliched as it might sound, I followed a calling.

My journey has showed me that following your calling is not necessarily the easiest path, yet it definitely is the one which makes you feel the most alive. It’s the path in which you do your thing and when you’re done, your heart tells you that you’ve just done what you were put here to do. And you can drink in the satisfaction of knowing that if you die tomorrow, that you showed up for your life. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely must go to my grave with this understanding.

I know that what I do is not for everybody. Yet for me there is no greater joy than standing up with two people who are glowing in love as I guide them through the act of formally committing their lives to one another in the presence of their closest family and friends. This is an honor that I’ve come to cherish, yet I didn’t arrive here without a tad of fighting and screaming.

First there was the big decision to leave my corporate career. Then there was the learning curve. Getting used to being the one to stand up front and lead the ceremony did not come overnight or with ease. During my first few I wanted to turn around and dash out the back door. As I stood there with everyone looking at me I thought to myself, “What the hell do I think I’m doing up here??” But with a bit of experience, I got over it. Now I absolutely cherish everything about it. I cherish looking into the eyes of the bride and groom, feeling them acknowledging the commitment they are making. I cherish witnessing the depths that love can be felt. I cherish the opportunity to create an event that enables people to feel their hearts, a rare happening in today’s fast-paced world.

While doing research for my book, Unleashing Your Soul, I came across the text from the commencement address that Steve Jobs delivered to the 2005 graduating class of Stanford University. It touched me. Jobs said, “Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”

No one can take away your inner voice. It’s the one thing you bring to your birth and take to your death. It’s also the one thing whose expression gauges how much you’ve enabled yourself to truly live. What can you do today to let your inner voice sing? What can you do to keep a song in your heart for the rest of your days?

Thanks for visiting.

Susan Hanshaw
Inspired by A Course in Miracles

setting a goal: a battle half won

“In any situation in which you are uncertain, the first thing to consider is “What do I want to come of this?” — A Course in Miracles

My boyfriend, Dean, and I hosted a Mother’s Day gathering yesterday. My parents were expected to arrive at 3 so Dean took off to the city late morning to pick up beverages and hit the gym. He told me he’d be back by 1:30 to help me prepare. At 1:35 my cell phone rang and a frustrated Dean was on the other end. He was caught up in heavy San Francisco traffic and was just inching his way out of the city towards the Golden Gate Bridge. He apologized up and down, telling me that he had no idea the traffic would be so bad. He let me know not to expect him for a good chunk of time. Meanwhile, I’d been pushing the envelope with my own time management and was less than thrilled that I now had to pick up the tasks I’d planned on asking him to do. I was not a happy camper.  Yet I knew it wasn’t Dean’s fault and the last thing I wanted to do with this man who does so much for me was pick a fight.   So I decided to behave myself on the phone.

I was in the shower when I heard Dean drive up around 2:15.  Then the noise of the screen door opening and closing assured me that he was out on the deck getting the furniture situated for the party.  I finished up in the bathroom and went out to greet him.  He seemed a bit nervous as if he didn’t know what kind of a mood he’d find me in.  I let him know that I wasn’t mad and we both hurriedly went about our business.  I went back to finish drying my hair when the thought hit me that I could use this little incident as an opportunity to show him how much I love him.  I marched into the bedroom, tapped him on the back and told him how much I appreciated what he does for me.  His anxious face relaxed into a warm glow as he thanked me before embracing me in a hug.

Every incident that touches your life provides an opportunity for you to decide what you would like the outcome to be.  When stuff happens you have the choice to set a positive goal of what you want to happen so that you can focus your energies on things that will help to achieve the goal.  If you don’t set a goal on the onset, you’re left going with the flow and then looking backwards after it has already happened.  Here you totally lose touch with your ability to guide the flow in the direction you want it to go.

Yesterday the immature side of me was tempted first to respond to Dean’s lateness by getting pissy, yet thankfully I knew that would not lead me to the outcome I wanted, so I focused instead on what I thought could.  The end result was peace and love, everything I could ask for.

Every moment presents you with the opportunity to aim for peace or love.  By claiming your goal, the battle is half won.

the role of faith

I parked myself on my living room couch last night and tuned into my favorite TV news program, CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360. The coverage that followed provided a provocative query into the role of faith in politics and public life. I sat there watching the sound bites that educated me on the beliefs that ranged from what Mormon presidential candidate Mitt Romney would bring to office to why atheist author Christopher Hitchens purports that religion poisons everything. It was cause for me to not only visit my own faith, but even more so, to question just exactly what we’re getting at when we use the word, “religion”. The word itself causes so much strife that it makes me want to bury it with the force of a baseball bat.

In my opinion, faith is not about religion. It is about believing in a higher power that forever surrounds us with love, guidance and the abundance of life. Faith is having something to reach out to in prayer when your mother has been diagnosed with cancer and is spending every other day in bed, too weak from chemotherapy to do anything else. Faith is the hope you cling to when your husband leaves you for another woman and you’re wondering how you’re going to make it through another day. Faith gives you the courage to quit that job that leaves you empty to follow your heart in perfect trust that everything will turn out okay. Faith is a virtue that enables you to rise above the greatest of challenges. I don’t know what I would do without my faith. I consider it to be the greatest gift I have.

Likewise religion is not faith. Religion is the stories we’ve created around the history of creation. And wherever the stories in our history books disagree lies an opportunity for conflict. Does the story really matter anyway? Whether you believe you’ve been divinely created or scientifically produced, there is a source of energy that is behind all of this. If you can’t have faith in the energy that created you, what can you have faith in? Where will you turn in your darkest of days? I do not mean to pass judgment on “non-believers”. I ask this question in innocent curiosity. I would love to hear your comments.

Thank you for visiting.

Susan Hanshaw
Offering contemporary inspiration from A Course in Miracles

remembering the light 

“If you give no power to the fog to obscure light, it has none.”
A Course in Miracles

I woke up this morning and could see a bank of fog hanging over the distant horizon from my bedroom window.  We’d just come off four days of unseasonably warm temperatures in the San Francisco Bay Area.  I took the fog as a promise for a cooler day ahead.  And while I hadn’t fared tremendously well in the mid-90’s heat we experienced a couple of days ago, there’s something about the bright light of early morning sun that makes me feel most blissfully alive.

The fog burned off by 10 am to make way for a clear blue sky to grace a warm sunny day.  I’ve had the luxury to be able to enjoy a bit of the outside air so I am well aware of what a beautiful day it has turned out to be.  I recognize the subtle difference in my psyche, though, when I compare my mood to yesterday when the warm light of the morning sun chased me out of bed.  I couldn’t help but pick up some of its brightness as it stared me in the face.

I can now see how I gave much power to the fog this morning.  I let it dampen my spirit along with  my expectations for the kind of day it would be.  Yet I look out my window now to the picture perfect day and remember the view as I watched the fog move on out this morning.  It was as if there was a blanket that was being lifted to reveal the sunlight that was permanently in place.  I will try to hold on to that vision of the fog lifting to remind me of the light that constantly surrounds me and that it is my choice to see it that way even if the exterior scene doesn’t support the non-physical picture.

10 tips for enjoying the ride

Imagine that your journey through life is like an adventure that you set out for in your car.  Here are some tips to prepare you to make the ride as enjoyable as possible:

  1. Keep your vehicle well maintained and in good shape.  Fill it with the recommended gas to keep it running smoothly.
  2. Take the appropriate precautions and then don’t dwell on worries that you will break down or run out of gas.
  3. Have some sense of where you are going.  Driving aimlessly wastes time and fuel.
  4. If you want to drive the fastest route, use a map to chart out your path.
  5. Expect that you will arrive safely at your desired destination.  Stay alert and keep your seat belt buckled just in case.
  6. Don’t give more than an acknowledging look at the road kill you encounter along the way.
  7. Seize the opportunity to listen to your favorite music.  When a song comes on that you don’t like, exercise your choice to change the music.
  8. Appreciate the scenery in the moment.  It loses its impact in the rear view mirror.
  9. Treat other drivers with loving patience.  Assume that they’re just driving the best they can regardless of what it looks like to you.  Forgive their mistakes.
  10. Remember that you control the vehicle.  It doesn’t control you.  Neither does the road, your passengers, the other drivers, not even the cops.  Exercise the power you have to go wherever you want.

an end to worry

Being involved with the planning of my 30-year high school reunion has reminded me of those days where I worried much about things that were totally a waste of my juice.  If only I had the awareness that it would never really matter if I didn’t get asked to dance or if I wasn’t considered popular by the kids I admired.  Had I not held onto those kinds of worries, I would have had a much better time.

It’s no different now as we face life as grown-ups.  Think about the things you worry about.  They might range from a lack of money or love to fears of failure or rejection.  Ask yourself if experiencing that bit of angst is working for you.  Just like your high school concerns that seemed so vital at the time, might you consider that all your worrying does now is rob you of peace?  How would it feel to not have anything to worry about?  Pretty good, huh?  Ridding yourself of all your fears would free you up to simply enjoy what was unfolding in your life.  You could do this if you held the belief that there was nothing to worry about—that whatever was happening was for the best.

What are you thinking right now as you read this?  Does having a life without worry seem ridiculously out of reach?  If it does, consider that something is holding you back from believing this is possible for you.  Do you believe that you are in God’s good care at all times?  If you do, then this means that you don’t have anything to worry about.  Your living without worry requires simply that you convert this belief in God that is in your intellect to a truth you act upon from your trusting heart.

Learning to live from this level of peaceful trust is something you can condition yourself to do with practice.  The next time you catch yourself worrying about this or that, stop and remind yourself that your need to worry is all in your mind.  You’re in the good hands of a loving universe.  So just relax and enjoy the ride.

Thanks for visiting.

In peace,
Susan Hanshaw
Offering contemporary inspiration from A Course in Miracles

what is stopping you?

What if you were to trust that in every moment of every day of your life you are exactly where you are supposed to be?

What if you were to believe that however chaotic or painful it might look on the outside, that everything is always in perfect order for your highest good?

What would you have to worry about if you decided to fully buy into the laws of abundance and attraction?

The only thing getting in your way of inner peace, prosperity and the manifestation of your dreams is the part of you that is on the fence on any of these questions.  Seek to understand your obstacles and then work through them.  Anything is possible.