Another Wondrous Coincidence in Life 

About 15 years ago I enrolled in a program through which I earned the accreditation of Ordained Ministerial Counselor. Although I felt drawn to spiritual counseling work, my primary motivator was to be legally recognized as a minister who could preside over weddings, which I did for a few years after I left corporate life.

The program curriculum was based on the teachings of A Course in Miracles, a self-study book which sought to assist its readers in spiritual transformation. Initially published in 1976, I was first introduced to the Course in the late 1980’s when I was working at Mother Jones magazine, which was a magnet for publishers seeking book reviews. There were always stacks of books piled high on a wooden bench on the edge of the editorial department that were offered for the taking to the staff. The Course was only one of an assortment of new age books that I was more than happy to snag during my tenure there, although the book sat on my bookshelf for nearly two decades without my attention.

As I was doing my research for ministerial accreditation, I found it interesting that I already owned the book that was aligned with the coursework that spoke to me the most. When I was ready to get into the work, I totally resonated with what I see as the main premise of the book. In very simplified terms, the Course teaches that all of life is connected through the divine energy from which we were all created. The Course teaches that although from our human minds we see ourselves as separate entities from everyone and everything else, the truth is that we are all spiritually connected by the energy that created us. We are each connected to that creative energy as well as to each other.

A Compelling Coincidence in Life 

I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I consistently believe there is a higher creative power. While I have certainly gone through periods of falling off the spiritual wagon, I happen to be riding on it right now, and it can make for a wondrous view of everyday life.

This afternoon I was sitting at my desk at work, analyzing the performance of a client’s advertising campaign. My eyes have been bothering me lately, a combination of allergies and needing to graduate from cheap readers to real prescription glasses, which I finally gave in to and ordered last weekend from Costco. As I was staring at my computer screen with watery eyes, my mind jumped for a moment from my campaign analysis to the thought that my new glasses should be ready soon. Within seconds my cell phone rang. I can’t explain why, but I suspected the call was related to my glasses. I get so many junk calls that I typically don’t accept calls unless the caller is on my contact list. This call was coming from my nearest Costco location so I picked it up. Sure enough, it was a recording telling me that my glasses were ready for pickup.

What is a Coincidence in Life?

While I can’t explain it, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my mind took a momentary segue from ad campaign analytics to my new glasses at the very same time my Costco call was in the works.

The dictionary defines coincidence as “a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection.”

Does the “remarkable” suggest the events are attached to a higher power?

What My Cat Taught Me About Prayer

A couple of weeks ago I reconnected with a friend I hadn’t seen or talked to in 17 years. I met Ed when I was participating in a local Church of Religious Science, a New Thought movement whose teachings are called Science of Mind. The church community broke up when the minister moved away and I lost touch with Ed and my involvement with Science of Mind ended.

Reconnecting with Ed inspired me to dust off one of my Science of Mind books and get reacquainted with the teachings. I was reminded that Science of Mind teaches a specific format for affirmative prayer that is called Spiritual Mind Treatment. I remembered that I never quite felt fully comfortable with the treatment process. At the time it felt so structured and formal. I was used to praying in a conversational style. The particular book I picked up didn’t outline the treatment process so I grabbed my iPad and Googled it. Somehow the steps outlined in the search result I clicked on suddenly made a lot of sense.

Summarizing the 5 Steps to Spiritual Mind Treatment

  1.  Acknowledge that there is one force that is the creative power behind everything that exists.  I call this power God yet there are other names you might better resonate with.
  2.  Recognize that this same intelligence that created everything is also within you.
  3.  Name your desire with the feeling that  it is already yours. This is moving away from the feeling of ‘wanting’ to the feeling of ‘having’ already received.
  4.  Focus on the feeling of gratitude.
  5.  Release the process with trust that what you desire is manifesting.

How I Put Spiritual Mind Treatment to Work in my Life

A condition I desired to change recently was the health of my 17-year old cat Janie, who is challenged by a kidney condition, not uncommon in older cats. Over the last couple of months Janie had not been eating much and consequently lost a lot of weight. It pained me to feel her bones when I petted her and saddened me to recognize she was spending most of her time under the bed.

Over the course of the past couple of months I had done a fair amount of online research on the care of kidney cats and followed the advice of Janie’s homeopathic vet. I had experimented with different foods. Some she didn’t like and others made her throw up. I felt some relief when I started her on a prescription diet, yet her appetite remained almost non-existent and the weight loss continued.

Last week in a Spiritual Mind Treatment I set my desire for Janie’s body to be revitalized with muscle and weight gain. I didn’t anticipate that I would play a role in this. I just wanted it to happen.

Within a day I sat again at my computer looking for answers on how to help her. I came across a website of a woman who shared extensive information about the care of a kidney cat, wisdom she developed from her own experience.  I dived deep into the section about what to look for in a food, where I discovered tables containing the protein and phosphorus levels for commercial cat food. I printed out the tables for both canned and dry food and drove to the closest pet store. I picked up a couple of different cans along with a bag of dry food that fit the low protein and phosphorus needs.

That evening I served Janie one of the canned foods, which she did not like. I then mixed some of the new dry food with her dry prescription food and put that down for her. A little while later she began munching. I was so happy to discover when I woke up the next morning that she had practically wiped out all the food! Her appetite has been good and her body has filled out a bit since we started the new food.

What I Learned from the Process

Looking back on my mindset during the treatment, I wondered how Janie’s healing would come about. I just left it in God’s hands, not even thinking that God would work through me to do the research which led me to buy the right food.

This is an important understanding as I think about other treatments I want to do involving new things I want to accomplish in my life. In particular, Step #3 above. By feeling that I already am that thing I want to accomplish, doing the necessary practical work to succeed seems natural.

 

 

What Do You Stand For?

My current task of coming up with a logo for my new personal development firm, inner architect has brought me to probe a number of questions that I don’t often think about. I’m sure I’m not the only one who spends more time thinking about what I am going to wear than reflecting on these questions that address life at the very core. I wanted to toss them out to give you something to chew on:

  1. How do you want to be remembered?
  2. What ideals do you represent?
  3. What image would you pick to represent who you are?
  4. Do your choices and actions align with that image?

12 Steps to Make Your Dream Your Life

I delivered the pdf file for my upcoming book, Inner Architect: How to Build the Life You Were Designed to Live, to the printer this past Thursday. On Friday afternoon something incredible hit me. I am in the process of bringing life to my dream! Holy cow. Why did it take me so long to see clearly what is right in front of me? What was I thinking to expect that one single event would bring my dream to life? It really is all about baby steps.

Three years ago this month, I walked away from a successful 20-year career in the corporate world to follow a dream. It hasn’t been an easy journey, that’s for sure, and I’ve got a ways to go. But I can see now that I am on my way.

Your way to your dream can be found in these steps:

  1. Recognize that you have the choice to create a different life.
  2. Believe that it is possible to successfully build your dream.
  3. Define the obstacles that are holding you back.
  4. Replace your obstacles with ideas that support you.
  5. Give credibility to the desires of your heart and learn to trust it.
  6. Outline your training and development needs.
  7. Crystallize your vision.
  8. Identify your major goals.
  9. Define the steps necessary to achieve your goals.
  10. Stay committed to doing the necessary work.
  11. Support your external work with thoughts that help to build it.
  12. See yourself now in the beginning stages of your new life.

Is This All There Is?

When you are feeling that there must be something more,
it means there is.

How do you go about finding it?

Step 1: Ask yourself if you believe you have a purposeful contribution to make to this world.

You cannot discover your purpose unless you are clear that you have one. You don’t need to know what that specific role is right now, but you do need to believe there is something you are here to do, to be, or to accomplish. Your purpose does not necessarily have to be something that will go down in the world’s history records.

No one calling is better than another. The universe needs us all.

How to Get into the True Spirit of the Holidays

Something that my hairdresser, George, said to me very casually yesterday has stuck with me. George asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I replied by saying that all I wanted was for my new business, innerarchitect, to be a success in the New Year. I then threw the same question back at George. He replied quickly that he just wanted his health. You see, George has recently been diagnosed with Lymphoma. He continued on saying that he has everything he needs and then finished with a statement so simple, yet one that speaks to the truth of life:

It doesn’t matter what you got.
All that matters is what you gave.

Thank you, George. May healthy cells populate your glands.

Here’s to the true spirit of the holidays.

Peace, joy and love
Susan

Science Shows the Amazing Benefits of Meditation

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Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been deep in study of the scientific evidence that has come to light that supports many of the spiritual principles that have resonated with me without any hard proof. It has been fascinating and exciting to learn about all the correlations! In particular, I’d like to recommend Lynne McTaggart’s book, The Intention Experiment to anyone interested in learning about this new frontier where science and spirituality come together.

In her book, Lynne McTaggart has taught me much that I didn’t know about meditation. I have viewed meditation as a method for tuning in to my inner wisdom and to connect with divine energy, yet there are so many practical benefits that I am guessing many of us are unaware of. If we were, we might all be clamoring to make it a vital practice in our lives. Here’s what I’ve learned:

Experienced meditators can be more effective in their ability to use their thoughts to effectively influence desired outcomes. Generally speaking, there are two different forms of meditation. Each may produce different brain waves, and consequently offer different benefits:

Concentrative meditation holds attention on the breath, an image, or a sound to still the mind and allow a greater awareness and clarity to emerge. With practice, it appears to enlarge the mechanism by which we receive information and clarify the reception.

By concentrating on focused thoughts, the portion of the brain that handles attention is exercised. This exercise enables its cortical thickness to grow larger. Ordinarily cortical thickness deteriorates with age, yet regular meditation appears to reduce or reverse this process.

Mindfulness meditation involves sitting quietly and being a witness to whatever goes through your mind, not becoming involved or reacting to thoughts, worries, or images. This helps to condition a more calm, clear, and non-reactive state of mind to whatever is happening around and within you.

Studies have shown some other general benefits of meditation to include:

  • Higher levels of gamma waves, which often are associated with feelings of joy
  • A predominance of alpha rhythms, which is the optimal state for the manifestation of your thoughts
  • More coherent brain waves
  • A positive affect on the brain’s reasoning and analytical ability
  • An increase in ability to receive intuitive information, as well as the conscious awareness of it.

Guidance on how to practice either of these types of meditations is enough for two new articles, so I won’t go any further right here. I’m happy to answer any questions you might have in the meantime.

 

Are We Paying Enough Attention to Our Own Evolution?

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In the summer of 2001, I lost my little best buddy, Mindy, to feline lymphoma. Mindy had been by my side when my husband left me for another woman, and was my travel companion while we boarded the airplane that would relocate us from New Hampshire back to my native San Francisco. I was extremely sad when I lost my furry friend of twelve years. Her death inspired within me a curiosity about what happens to souls who make their transition to the other side. Somehow I hoped to understand more about where she was so that I could feel a stronger sense of connection to her. So I began to read a bit about near death experiences.

I don’t profess to be an expert by any means through the dabbling I’ve done on the subject of near death experiences (NDE’s), yet my personal belief is that there is so much more value in what is reported back than we give weight to. As I have come to be a more serious student in learning the truth about the energy behind life and the life creation process, it blows me away how much the various branches of study seem to intersect at the core. Quantum physics aligns with the theories of metaphysics, and metaphysics principles offer a low level version of the manifestation process that has been described by those who have visited the other side. They seem to be reporting the same vital points—that we are all connected by the energy that is the source of life and that we are each encouraged to participate in the co-creation of life through our thoughts.

The more incidences I discover of how the various branches of study confirm one another’s findings, the more significant I perceive this data. We’re at a point in history where science and spirituality are coming together and the majority of us are not even paying attention. We are learning that through our minds we are powerful beyond belief, but somehow the mainstream has yet to accept these ideas as legitimate. So many of us just let our power, and the freedom that comes with it to create the lives we desire, fall to the wayside. How unfortunate. I am, however, convinced that something will happen to enable this to change. After all, this is the evolution of our world that we are experiencing. These understandings have risen to the surface not to be ignored, but to be utilized in some way.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this.

Tips for Greater Prosperity: Gratitude is a Magnet for More

I am blessed to have both of my parents living within an hour’s drive. Even while I was growing up, my friends would always comment about how great my parents were. That feedback always made me smile in my youth, and today I feel so much more deeply grateful to have been given such a great set of parents. It had been almost a month since I’d spent more than just a few minutes with them until we had dinner together last night. Once again I discovered that the more I focus on my gratitude, the more abundantly what I am focusing on seems to shine.

Gratitude is an acknowledgment of goodness, your awareness of the unlimited abundant supply that is being shared with you. This acknowledgment makes it stronger. When you dwell on thoughts of gratitude, you focus your energy on the acceptance of your gifts. Just like your words produce energies which attract like substances, the emotions behind your thoughts also fuel the process of creating more of the same. Gratitude is a magnet for more good.

Making a habit of taking a few minutes at the beginning or end of your day to express gratitude for specific things not only will make you more conscious of your gifts, it will help you to maintain the opening for more richness to manifest in your life. When you are thankful, you are in a mindset of “I have”, one which takes claim of your rightful good. You cannot experience lack when all you are thinking about is how much good you have. Likewise, you cannot experience prosperity if you dwell on what you need more of. Try experimenting with this and see for yourself the difference it can make when you are conscious of the abundant flow in your life.

The Best Gift You Can Give Yourself: It’s Free, Too!

I got knocked down today. A proposal of mine was rejected by someone who I thought was very interested in helping me to bring the project to the next level. As I passed through my various emotions that followed, I recognized that I was at a crossroad. I could choose what had been my most natural response for as long as I can remember, to cry and feel sorry for myself, or I could take it like a big girl who knows better. And while I was so firmly centered in the belief that what had happened was for the best, it felt weird to actually be a witness to my own growth. It felt like I was supposed to cry simply to act out my disappointment. I did finally succumb to my old behavior for about five minutes, yet I felt like I was doing it for the spirit of the old days. It didn’t feel right. I had moved on.

Two years ago, I would have let at least half my day be destroyed as I wallowed in my disappointment. Today I was able to see the perfection within a few minutes of receiving the news. As I reflect back on how I have arrived where I am, once again I see the same thing. I’ve come to totally trust the wisdom of the flow of life. And it feels a lot more peaceful than banging my head against the wall, crying over something that is completely out of my control. What a gift.