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.

 

 

An Exercise for Breaking through Obstacles

I had one of my most fulfilling experiences on Friday when I was invited to speak at a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help those who are most in need to succeed. Sixty women who are enrolled in various vocational job training programs attended my workshop, “The Secret to Success”. Why was it so fulfilling? Because for at least our 90 minutes together, my ideas made a difference.

The breakthrough lesson was how our beliefs are all that holds us back from taking the steps to succeed. We did an exercise that first asked them to write answers to the following:

  • What fears do you have about your job future?
  • What ideas are limiting what you think you can achieve or become in your life?
  • What is holding you back from believing you can stay dedicated to doing the necessary work?

In the second part of the exercise, I asked them to go back and write down what new ideas they could replace the ones above with that would support them in taking action. After a few minutes, several shared how writing their thoughts down enabled them to get clarity they’d never had before.

We can help ourselves break through all our obstacles if only we look closely enough to see what they are.

Try the exercise yourself and see what you might learn.

www.innerarchitect.com

Finding Clues of Guidance in the Midst of Everyday Life

I have just returned from BookExpo America (BEA), the book industry’s annual event held this year at the Los Angeles Convention Center, where I went to promote the debut of my book, Inner Architect: How to Build the Life You Were Designed to Live. I expected the experience to be one of value, learning, and building relationships. What I didn’t expect was to discover what occurred to me while I mentally noted the highlights of the event during our final day. As I focused on these highlights, I saw a common thread that weaved throughout the launch of my book that would have totally bypassed my consciousness had I not stopped to casually review. I believe this common thread provides a direction for me that I would not have taken seriously had the energy of life not have shoved it in my face.

I’d like to share my clues and my perception of the guidance they provide, and then invite you to look at recent, or not so recent, events in your life where there might be direction sitting there for you.

Clue #1: My company, inner architect, published the book using a standard off-set printer who specializes in the book industry. Upon our request for production samples, the printer we ultimately chose sent us two books published by Hay House. I didn’t think anything more about this at the time than the printer wanted to promote that they had a well known, prestigious client.

Clue #2: Louise Hay author and founder of Hay House, happened to be autographing books in the Hay House booth at BEA while my partner, Dean and I walked by. Dean took my bashful arm and led me to stand next to him in the line to meet Louise. When it was our turn to greet her, Dean introduced me and thanked her for the inspiration she provided to us to launch our publishing company. Once again, I didn’t take this for anything more than shear luck of being in the right place at the right time to meet Louise Hay, a woman I respect and honor for her contribution to the human development movement.

Clue #3: Later that day at BEA we stopped to talk with a man promoting international distribution services. We proudly showed him our new book and he responded with a comment about it being along the lines of what Hay House publishes. He went on to tell us that a company that had recently lost the Hay House account would likely welcome something to replace it. I felt encouraged by his comment, yet didn’t see the meaning in this exchange until I put all three of these clues together.

My interpretation of these clues: I was led to look at a woman who I deeply admire as a model for my own work in a way that I had never considered on my own.

What to take away from my experience:

  1. Look at the events that unfold in your life as having meaningful messages for you.
  2. Take the messages that you interpret seriously, even if they seem grander than visions you’ve created for yourself.
  3. Trust that these messages are meant to lead you in the direction where you will find the most fulfillment.
  4. Believe that you are capable in carrying out these messages and commit to doing the steps that will see it through.

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.

Your Heart: Your Wisest Compass

Giving credibility to messages from your heart is a key step to happiness in all areas of your life. Yet most of us have not been taught to lead our lives this way. We may recognize that a fulfilled heart is the key to a happy life, yet we don’t often trust our hearts to lead us there. It is as if we expect that our heart is going to lead us down an irresponsible path of whim and wild.

 

How to trust your heart more than your analytical mind:

  1. Allow your heart to play a role in all matters of your life, just as you allow it a significant role in your personal relationships.
  2. Acknowledge that your heart is the center of your spiritual essence. As such, it is the most knowledgeable entity about who you really are at the core and what is right for you.
  3. Believe that your heart always has your best interest in mind.
  4. Practice following your heart for simple decisions so that you can build the experience to trust it in larger issues.