the faith to follow your heart

“Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof.”
           — Kahlil Gibran

I left my well-paying corporate job just shy of two years ago to follow my heart.  When I share my story I often receive comments back about the courage it took to take such a leap.  I won’t deny that courage wasn’t involved.  Yet what it really was and continues to be is a leap of faith that my heart is leading me where it knows I am supposed to go.  And I follow it because I trust that my heart is wiser than my mind.  I believe it knows the real role I am supposed to play in our world.  And I believe that if I am doing what I am really here to do, the universe will take care of me just fine.

You see, when we show up for the role we are really here to play, we then become in true alignment with God’s intention for us.  Wouldn’t it make sense then that everything we need to be successful in this role will somehow find its way to us through God?  Isn’t this what is meant by the statement that everything that we will ever need was given to us when we were created?

The first personal growth workshop that I taught included an exercise which asked the students to share the unexpected gifts that had come their way throughout the course of life.  I assumed that each person would produce a list as abundant as my own.  I was shocked when a handful of the participants shared that they felt that life had been much of a struggle to get from here to there.  What an eye-opener that was for me.  My instinct quickly told me that because I have always been one to expect that I would be well taken care of, that was my experience.  I attracted my good fortune through my thinking.

So here I am in year two without my cherished paycheck.  Truth be told, I’m not where I’d like to be financially yet.  Do I ever experience days where I focus on fear or lack, you might ask?  Yes, I have those days.  Yet luckily they are quite rare.  For these days when I get up in the morning, I pay close attention to that voice inside that feels like my heart giving me direction and I surrender to it.  My heart is now the boss.

Yesterday I awoke with a strong desire to do some serious research on what kind of equipment I would need to add video to my blog here.  My boyfriend sat down with me and together we gave ourselves an education in digital camcorders.  On his way home he stopped at an electronics store to discover the model we’d been looking at on sale and he snagged it for me.  So stayed tuned because within a week I expect to deliver my messages of hope and inspiration with my voice and face as well as my fingertips.

I have no idea where this will take me.  It just feels like the right next step.  And that is what following your heart is all about.  It’s putting one foot in front of the other, trusting without proof that where you are being led is where you are supposed to land, knowing that you are always in good hands.

stamp out fear

What if you were to believe that you were given everything that you would ever possibly need when you were created? You may not have everything at your immediate fingertips, yet what if you knew that you simply had to trust that you will receive what you need at the right time?  Shouldn’t that abolish all your thoughts of fear, lack and doubt?  After all, what would you have to worry about if you knew you have everything you need?  You could stop worrying about a lack of this or that and just experience the flow of life.  Wouldn’t that be something? 

The truth is that you do have the opportunity to believe this.  It is your choice to believe whatever you want.  Among the billions of ideas out there for you to believe lies one that says that you will always be taken care of as you believe you will.  If you believe you will be a millionaire, you probably will.  If you believe you are doomed to live in poverty, that will likely be the reality you experience.  So much in life is about our perception.  And there’s more good news in that because we get to choose what we wish to perceive.

If there is something on your mind right now that is causing you discomfort, pain or fear, try letting go of it for a moment while you remind yourself of the loving energy that created you.  That is the same energy that flows through you constantly.  If this energy can create the world, it can very well take care of whatever is on your mind.  I know that this kind of trust doesn’t often happen overnight, so try practicing one day at a time.  Remind yourself that you are in good hands.  The worst thing you have to fear is your own mind. 

making spirit sexy

“Believing that what your physical eyes cannot see does not exist
leads to a denial of spiritual sight.” — A Course in Miracles

I recently asked the founder of a non-profit if there was a turning point in her life which moved her to start her organization which provides food for people with life-threatening illnesses. She told me that while caring for her dying mother with cancer, she felt a sense of peace and love from this transitional process that left her convinced that there is so much more to life that what we can see and touch. She shared with me how this experience has changed how she approaches her life.

As someone who shares this belief, I know how much courage and comfort can be found in believing that there is a supportive energy that flows through all of life that we cannot see, touch, hear or smell. Beyond believing that the energy exists, consider that this energy is available to you personally in the constant form of guidance, strength and supply for all your needs. By denying the existence of this spiritual energy, you enable yourself to drift in and out of a perpetual state of fear as you keep looking for external proof that everything is on track and okay.

Nearly two years ago I said good-bye to a successful 20-year corporate career. When I share this story almost always what I hear is some comment about the courage involved. While I don’t deny that it took courage, my courage is totally a product of my trust in this spiritual energy. It wasn’t my conscious choice to lose interest in a career that provided me with security and comfort on many levels. Instead what happened was that I surrendered to the energy that was pulling me in a different direction. I figured that if it was pulling me so strongly, it must be leading me to a place I need to go and ultimately, one that would take good care of me.

I would be lying if I said that it has been an easy transition because it hasn’t. Yet as I look back on the times that have been the tough ones, they’re the days where my focus was on fear and lack. When I stay focused on my belief that somehow the opportunities I need will make their way to me even if I don’t know exactly how, I stay relaxed, at peace and able to do what I am here to do.

I do believe that instinctively most of us believe there is a spiritual side to life, yet it is one we tend to compartmentalize. Many of us turn that light off until it’s time to pray for a loved one’s recovery or pull ourselves out of a deep dark hole. Yet what if we were to embrace the spiritual side of life; to make it fashionable or maybe even sexy for spirit to be the center of our lives rather than the pursuit of the dollar? I can only think there would be a whole lot more peace in this world.

honoring the divine in the law of attraction

Having been a student of metaphysics for a dozen years, the recent media craze around the law of attraction has surprised me.  I am delighted about the awareness it has brought to these powerful creative principles, yet I can’t help noticing that something vital remains missing from public discussion.  There lacks an acknowledgment of what the creative process is really all about on a deep level.  And there is a significant disconnect there. 

 We can be trained how to organize our thoughts and harness our energy to produce a desired result, yet at that level we’re just acting like programmed machines executing instructions.  What if we were to bring our hearts in and look at it from a deeper level?  What if we were to ask ourselves questions like, “Where did this desire come from?” or “Why do I have this yearning and what am I supposed to do with it?”  From this perspective we acknowledge that there is an energy source that flows through us.  This is where our loving desires stem from.  It’s not all about you or me.  The buck doesn’t start and stop with us.  We are extensions of the creative flow of life.  And we share with this flow our deepest desires because they have come to us from this flow.

I bring this up because I keep hearing this universal law being promoted like a magic technique to use to get what you want.  Yet there’s no conscious in creativity without purpose.  Instead we have the opportunity to look at our desires as clues to what the creative flow wants to express through us, to acknowledge the divine that lives within each of us.  It’s from this place that we honor and respect this power and put it to use with divine intention.  Here we make a shift from being machines in production mode to human spirits seeking to honor their divine expression.  There is great faith to be found in the law of attraction when you accept it in a divine way.  And when we look at ourselves as divine expression, we use our power in a responsible way.

intuition exercises, part 2

How can you begin to strengthen your intuition?  By playing simple games with yourself to practice.  For example, try guessing:

  • who is behind the email that has just arrived in your inbox. 
  • who is calling when the phone rings.
  • what color one of your co-workers will be wearing to work.  
  • the contents in your postal mailbox as you drive home.  
  • the exact time when you walk by a clock. 
  • whether a green light will turn yellow before you reach it. 

Create your own fun games to exercise your intuitive muscle.  I guarantee that with consistent practice, you will be amazed at the accuracy of your instinct.

Once you develop this kind of foundation you will become more aware when you are having a gut feeling about something.  Then your job will become learning to take action on your feelings.  If you are like many of us, you will begin to start noticing that you are having a gut reaction to something.  This reaction could be just quickly enough for it to register or a thought that stayed with you.  For whatever reason, you may choose to put your gut reaction aside and proceed in another direction.  Then, somewhere down the line this decision may blow up in your face.  You will remember the gut reaction you had about it.  You then remind yourself that you should have followed your instinct.  These are the perfect lessons you will experience to prove the wisdom of your own knowledge.  You may go through experiences like this many times before you become completely motivated to go with your gut.  That’s okay.  Trust takes time.  What’s important is that you begin to practice so that you can put this power to work for you.

intuition exercises, part 1 

This morning a client asked if I had any exercises to recommend that could help her get in touch with her intuition.  I was ready to share those I’ve found very effective, yet something called me first to lay a better foundation. You see, intuition is like a spiritual muscle that becomes stronger with exercise.  And just like physical exercise, in order to be most effective we prepare our muscles in ways that make them perform better for us.  Sometimes it’s stretching.  Other examples like long distance running, we need to get some mileage under our belts before we are ready to go the distance.

Intuition is wisdom that is expressed from our inner world.  The process of tuning in to it requires that we allow ourselves the opportunity to experience what it feels, sounds or looks like.  We each learn in different styles and the voice of intuition appears in the form that we can connect with most naturally.  I get my higher level direction in visual form which arrives as symbols of concepts that I then interpret.  In the past couple of weeks these symbols have appeared as a hand reaching out and a sun rising from the horizon.  I knew what they meant immediately.  I also feel guidance and understandings through feelings I get which I know that I have not conjured up myself.  These are commonly referred to as information that we “just know”.

Strengthening your intuition is a process of giving credibility to the wisdom and learning to trust it.  Yet even before we can get this far we have to practice tuning in so that we have a sense of what we are giving credibility and trust to.  You wouldn’t normally invite a guest to dinner in your home that you hadn’t met, would you?  It’s the same thing with intuition.  There is a process of getting to know one another before the trust is developed.

Getting to know your inner wisdom requires some quiet time for you to tune in.  It doesn’t have to be a lengthy time.  It can be as little as five minutes where you acknowledge that there is wisdom there and you set the intention to let it flow to you.  It’s like tuning in to CNN in the evening and expecting Larry King Live to be on.  You’ve built the expectation of what will show up for you.  This is how you can look at your intuition.  It will be there for you if you expect it to. 

I have more to share with specific exercises for strengthening your intuition.  I’ll let you absorb this first and visit the exercises very soon.  If I can support you in this in any way, please send me your questions or comments.

when the train falls off the track

It took my customer service experience from hell today to realize just how far I’d derailed myself off my path of positive life creation recently. It started with a call from the credit and collections office of the telecommunications company I consolidated all my services with last year. The nice woman called to advise me that my account was past due and my service would be discontinued if not paid by Friday. I received a past due notice from them last week which had sent me checking my payment history. My online banking statement reflected that the payment was taken from my account two weeks ago. I remember now how odd I thought that it would take so long for the funds to find their way to the accounts receivable department, yet I shrugged it off assuming that it was one of those checks crossed in the mail situations. Wrong!

One customer service agent later, I discovered that I had mistakenly sent electronic payment to the old long distance account I’d had with this carrier that has since merged with two other companies. I still haven’t figured out who acquired who, yet in my mind they should at least have the ability to talk to one another to settle their customer service problems. Wrong!

I found resolution when my second agent in India joined forces with my fifth in the U.S. It was music to my ears when these two women chimed that my problem was corrected and that I needn’t do anything else. This was an hour and a half after the initial collections call.

As someone who believes that all of life events have meaning, I have been thinking since then what this situation was meant to teach me. Clearly there is the lesson that I need to be more careful about how I enter payment dollars in my online banking program. Hopefully I won’t repeat that mistake. Yet my sense was that there is a greater lesson for me. In this awareness, I was struck with how far off track I’ve enabled myself to go in a short period of time.

Two weeks ago I was a guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio program Career Talk. I was feeling high with a sense of promise and belief in myself. Since then I have allowed myself to focus on things that are not happening fast enough in my business or to the degree that I want to see them. So I have derailed myself by my own thinking. Looking at how I responded to the frustrations of my day today helped me to understand where and how I’ve come off center. I momentarily lost touch with the fact that the creative love that connects us all also flows through me. I can tap into its power if I choose to. It is my choice to practice this power to put it to work for my life or I can choose to wallow in my own disappointments. It’s not my nature to wallow, which I think was behind the purpose of my experience today. I now feel strongly directed to get back on course with vision and trust.

inner voice earns role as CEO

It has struck me recently how aware I am of a little voice inside of me.  Well, I should clarify that it’s not really a voice, rather snippets of wisdom that somehow float to the surface without my digging.  What has struck me even more is how much I’ve come to trust this voice and let it lead my decisions.

Last night I came home from having dinner out with a friend to find an email from another friend sharing some left over thoughts about a telephone conversation we’d had earlier that day.  I had shared some information with this friend that had made her feel vulnerable and she was filling me in on the circle of her feelings.  I understood and honored where she was coming from, yet there was one thing that she said that was not attached to the issue that made me feel I was being attacked.

This is a friendship that I greatly treasure so I wanted to handle the situation with great care.  I reread the email two or three more times and was able to clearly recognize that it was coming from a place of love.  Yet there was a part of me that was asking if I should let this person “get away” with saying the thing that made me feel attacked without my addressing it.  After all, my history is such that I do tend to like to have the last word.  As I contemplated whether I should respond to this email or just wait to talk to my friend live as she suggested, I felt a very strong awareness of my inner voice telling me to just let it go.  The voice told me that standing up on the soapbox of my ego was only going to make matters worse.  I knew for certain that the voice was right so I listened.  I closed up that email and let myself absorb what had just happened.  I couldn’t recall having ever surrendered so effortlessly to a battle between my inner voice and my ego.  I felt like I had finally grown up.  I pondered then what had facilitated this.  Was it a sign of how much I didn’t want to destroy this friendship or was it showing me how much I am evolving?  Looking back the next day it feels like a combination of both.  And I’ll take that.

signs, signs, everywhere are signs 

Yesterday had the makings for a very frustrating day.  Two coaching clients canceled their morning sessions and my first appointment of the day was a total no show.  My morning had suddenly become so different than I expected.  So I sent a text message to a friend to ask out loud what the universe may have been trying to tell me.

My friend called me back and suggested that perhaps the message was that I should consider a 24-hour cancellation policy to inspire greater motivation to honor my time.  We also discussed my confirming coaching appointments just like I do business meetings.  Certainly these are valid practical ideas to consider, yet I had a strong sense that my morning commitments had fallen apart for another reason.  Ironically, it gave me the time to focus on a promotional project that I felt a sense of urgency about.

I shared this experience with a client this morning as we talked about her desire to get in touch with her life’s purpose.  She knows that there is something that she is here to do, yet like many people she hasn’t yet put her finger on it.  I suggested that she think of purpose as being a divine assignment.  None of us chooses our purpose on our own.  This means that we are led to our purpose through divine energy, which flows through every incident at every second.  It’s just like gravity.  It doesn’t work just the 8 to 5 shift.

Learning to look at the events of our lives as having purpose makes way for a tremendously positive shift to occur in how we experience life.  First, if we can surrender in trust that whatever is unfolding is meant to lead us to our higher good, we can let go of getting all bent out of shape when things don’t go the way we wanted or planned.  Secondly, if we expect that there is guidance behind all that is happening, we can more easily see the signs because we are looking for them in an expectant state.  You won’t see them if you don’t believe they are there.

I look at my life through eyes of splendor as I recognize the role that divine energy has played.  I “stumbled across” the home I’ve loved for ten years, my two sister cats who are the perfect pets for me, my most significant mentor and my opportunity last week to be on national radio.  I was not in control of any of these.  There’s a lot of peace and joy to be found in knowing that the divine is working overtime for us.  The least we can do is look for the signs being given to us in this labor of love.

what are you willing to believe?

A friend asked me offline to clarify something I made reference to in yesterday’s article, trusting your gut. Since my intention with this space is not simply to have a voice, but to make a difference, my friend’s feedback helped me to see how I can be more clear to make sure that my message comes across.

I mentioned yesterday about a sense I have about the presence of divine male energy supporting me this week. My awareness of it came from my meditation time on Sunday. While there are many forms of meditation, mine is a practice which enables me to tune in to the divine wisdom through which we are all connected. By this I mean that I believe that we are all connected by spiritual energy, which is essentially what we are. The fact that we are expressing ourselves in physical form right now tends to muddy this connection.

Tuning in to divine wisdom first requires that we believe it is there. Then we must believe that we can access it. We must also believe that this wisdom is here for us personally and that it has valuable guidance to deliver. It’s sort of like inheriting a board of directors. We can call on them for only the major decisions or we can choose to seek their leadership for ongoing matters. I happen to choose the latter. It gives me a sense of team. I’m not walking around thinking that I’m in this all on my own. The team keeps me tied to a sense of purpose.

Sunday’s meditation made way for a strong connection with my divine team. While I sat in a quiet state of trust, I felt connected to an energy that was communicating with me in a way I could understand. It was like having a dialog with trusted friends, not with words but through feelings. In the past I used to question whether I was just making up the whole scene, yet that is where the trust comes in. I now trust that when I tune out my mind and listen to my heart, there is information there that I should listen to.

Receiving guidance in meditation is not something new to me. What feels different for me this week is that the connection to this divine energy has stayed. It feels a part of my existence. I feel a higher power energy surrounding me. I also feel like there is a divine bodyguard that is clutching my right shoulder, protecting me and making sure that I stay on the right path.

When I think about this imagery and the messages I am getting, it resonates perfectly with where I am this week. In fact, it makes such sense that I could shrug it off as being too perfect to be credible and tell myself I am insane for believing in this stuff. But you know what? I know I didn’t make up what I am feeling. And there is a lot of strength and support to be found in believing it is real. So I am going with it. It works for me.