Thursday, December 30, 2010

World Religions Day

In honor of World Religions Day, January 2nd.

Here at New Dream, we started a new practice in our weekly newsletters. We acknowledge some of the people celebrating high sacred holidays in various spiritual traditions. We do this because we believe all paths lead to the Divine. We are aware that the concept of the Sacred Feminine is a part of many spiritual traditions. We also know the Sacred Feminine existed before any spiritual tradition was created. In a sense, all traditions are children from the womb of the Feminine.

While we state this clearly on our website, I noticed that recently our complaints have increased since we began this practice of honoring many spiritual traditions. When we look at the data from our e-mails broadcasts, we don’t know what people are complaining about. We simply know that some percentage of our readers hit a complaint button available to them through their e-mail software. Because the increase in complaints coincided with our new acknowledgement, I can’t help but wonder if people are “complaining” because we are honoring people within spiritual practices that some of our readers don’t approve. If my speculation is even remotely accurate, I’m saddened by the possibility of what I think I am seeing.

Is there any one of us that is not a child of the Divine? We are the blessed expressions of the Divine exploring itself through the experience of being human. Kahil Gibran expressed it in this way, “They (we) are the sons and the daughters of life longing for itself.” I may or may not agree with another human being’s expression of their Divine self, but who am I to decide my spiritual exploration of the Divine is right and another person’s perception is wrong? Who am I to limit Divine love? What does it say about my limited perceptions, if I am willing to put constraints on the limitless, boundless love of the Divine? What does it say about my own fears and limitations if I am not willing to acknowledge the Divine expression and uniquely sacred journey of another?

There are no others. We, all of us, are the expression of the Divine Oneness exploring what love can be. The best to the worst of us are still children of the Divine. I have not yet discovered that religious preference has anything to do with one’s goodness or rightness. People that carry ill will can be found in every religion. In fact, most of us, if we are really honest with ourselves, would need to admit we have wished ill will upon ourselves and people we know and don’t know, more than once in our lives. Nor have I discovered that there is a significant preponderance of good people within any single religion. They are everywhere. People of good heart, in love with the Divine, living their love through various religious and spiritual practices are everywhere.

I have been fortunate to attend Islamic mosque; Jewish temple; Protestant and Catholic church services; Native American and Wiccan ceremonies; New Thought services; drumming, sounding and healing circles; Hindu Sat Sang; Buddhist ceremony, and more. There was one constant I discovered in every experience—love for the Divine. There is a palpable, unmistakable love that permeates the space when people come together with their hearts open to honor the Divine

Dogma, doctrine, rules, guidelines and beliefs are the form we give ourselves so that we can maneuver through the challenges that come up when we commit to experiencing this Divine love with every fiber of our being. They are guideposts on the journey and can be very useful in that regard, but the real journey is in discovering how deeply we can allow ourselves to know Divine love, not in whether we can follow all the rules of one religion to perfection. The real spiritual journey does not lie in who is better or right. The real journey is in how wide we will allow our sacred hearts to expand

There is a golden rule found in nearly every, if not every, spiritual practice. It is, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Let me take this concept a bit further by asking you this, “Are you thinking about others as you would have them think about you?” Life is not just about actions. Life is reflected in what we think about others too. How honest are you willing to be with yourself? Are there some judgments still lurking around in your mind? Are you willing to let them go?

Remember the wisdom of Gandhi, at a time when many Muslims and Hindus were fighting each other and murdering each other in India. Gandhi began fasting and told the people around him he would continue fasting until the fighting stopped. A Hindu man came to him and asked what he could do to encourage Gandhi to eat. The Hindu man was hurt and understandably enraged by his son’s death, blaming the Muslims for killing his son. Gandhi told him to raise an orphaned Muslim child. Gandhi knew that the only way to experience true peace would be through love and compassion for one another.

Jesus told us much the same, as did Buddha, Mother Teresa, Ammachi and every great saint and mystic that has ever lived. I could create a long list of spiritually enlightened people from every major spiritual tradition that have taught us to love, and that love is what truly matters.

As we begin this year of 2011, perhaps we could join together in discovering just how deep our love can be. Are we willing to discover who we have deemed as other, from ourselves, and as a result we have judged them to be lesser (or even greater) than ourselves? Are we willing surrender the judgments as we discover them, whether they are judgments about people of different spiritual traditions from our own, our boss, our spouse, or co-workers and friends we don’t understand? Are we willing to discover the limitless capacity of love that we as Divine expressions can truly be?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Gratitude—The Most Powerful Prayer—Perfect Holiday Prayer

If the only prayer you say in your life is “thank you,” that would suffice. —Meister Eckhart Tolle

There is a powerful truth in Eckhart Tolle’s words. When we are grateful, we feel full. In that moment, we do not seek for anything more. We are happy, complete and limitlessly fulfilled, and that is when we are in the true presence of the Divine. Inviting yourself to become the most grateful person you know is a most enjoyable way to turn daily activities into devotions of Divine awareness.

Growing up Catholic, I do not remember very much emphasis on gratitude. As a teacher, I now understand that those rituals in which we offered prayers of “blessed be” to saints that had gone before us was a way of blessing their lives in gratitude. But because the language was not common, nor the intention of the prayers explained, I did not realize that by opening my heart I could have felt the flood of delight that gratitude can bring.

We certainly said grace at our evening meals, but I can’t say that reciting the same rote prayer every night opened my heart in gratitude. We said the prayer together as a family and passed the food. It didn’t occur to me that plants’ and animals’ lives were surrendered so that I could live. I didn’t recognize that the Mother Earth was providing for my physical needs and that her life-force was sustaining mine. If I had, I might have been more specific and heart-felt in offering my prayers of gratitude before I ate.

It wasn’t until I experienced my first Native sweat lodge, where we were invited to share our prayers of personal gratitude, that I discovered the power of this prayer. I marveled as my heart opened wide and tears fell with each word of thanks I offered in that lodge. Life itself became holy to me. Rabbi Harold Kushner describes this experience so beautifully:

Can you see the holiness in those things you take for granted--a paved road or a washing machine? If you concentrate on finding what is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.

Gratitude nurtures and elevates spiritual consciousness. I don’t think it is possible to utter an honest, heart-felt prayer of gratitude to God, a person, an animal, the earth or even yourself, without feeling the magnificent fulfillment of the Divine pulsing within you. In gratitude, you realize that all life forms are expressions of Divine creation. In gratitude that comes directly from the heart, you transcend the limits of your mind’s perceptions into direct experience of the Divine. If you chose one prayer to pray throughout your lifetime, gratitude would be a powerful prayer to choose.

If you are not used to offering prayers of gratitude, consider saying a prayer of thanks in the morning when you wake up and again before you go to sleep. This anchors gratitude into the two most significant transition periods of your day.

If you already offer prayers of thanks in the morning and at night, try adding more prayers before each meal blessing the lives of the food and water that nurtures your body. Then bless and give thanks for your body and the unique experiences of your expression as a Divine being.

If you pray at meals and in the evening and morning, you may be ready for gratitude as an ongoing practice. When something troubles you, give thanks for its gifts. When you are involved in a mundane task, give thanks for the way in which the task blesses your life. When you are hoping for something, be in gratitude for the blessings that have not yet arrived. Consider being in awareness of the hidden gifts that may not look like gifts on the outside—the will of the Divine blessing your life in unobvious ways. And as Rabbi Kushner suggests, “see the holiness in the things you take for granted.”

In my own experience, it has mattered little whether my gratitude was offered to a Father or Mother God, my best friend, a sales clerk I didn’t know, a person I disliked, a tree that provided me with shelter, money I received, or if I simply felt grateful for a piece of art that inspired me. All of life is of Divine origin and creation. It is not to what or how the gratitude is conveyed that matters, it is the feeling of gratitude that opens the doorway to Divine awareness.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Unwrap Yourself in Love

Every now and then, I catch myself comparing what I have or have not accomplished in relationship to what someone else has done. I become aware of what makes other people special, while missing what makes me uniquely wonderful. I believe these moments provide a wonderful opportunity to recognize the gift of who I truly am.

If you have ever shared these feelings, or with the coming new year, if you tend to get depressed by everything you think you have not done or become, I invite you to join me in noticing the wonder of you. I suggest choosing a time of day, perhaps either in the morning or evening, when you pause to unwrap yourself like a child receiving a gift, and notice what is unique, special and wonderful about you.

Perhaps you would like to do this in the child-like awe of receiving a box in the mail, knowing that there is a very special present, or in this case—presence—inside. Your delight and enthusiasm in getting to the “presence” will make this delightfully fun. Give yourself permission to enter into the joy of discovery, savoring and loving every moment of the unwrapping.

Begin by taking off the layers of doubt, frustration, unworthiness, concern, and anything that feels like binding. They serve a purpose in helping you experience even greater self-awareness and deeper love. You could tear them out roughly, but that would be painful and would miss the service the provide, so gratefully take them off as though you were removing postal paper, tape and a shipping box—appreciating their function and excited to discover what is inside.

Notice that beneath all of the outside packaging, there is a pretty layer of wrapping. This is the layer of your caring, kindness, talents, and unique expression. Notice that this layer has been lovingly created and is worth your admiration and appreciation. It is a present unto itself, so give yourself time to fully enjoy this aspect of you. And even this layer needs to be taken off, if you are going to get to the true present that you are.

Now, in heart-felt expectation, open up you. Notice what is there. Your very presence is absolute love—timeless, endless, limitless—love. Everything you ever wanted is right here in you. You are the fulfillment of lifetimes of searching and lifetimes of creating the perfect gift. Enjoy the gift of you with all of your senses--nner and outer ones. Be in the joy of your own presence. The Divine has expressed itself in the most beautiful way—through you. You are the most precious gift you could ever want.

May you and those you love enjoy the gifts of this Holiday season, and may you especially delight in the gift that you are.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Volunteers Make the World Wonderful While Developing Their Skills

Celebrating Volunteers On Universal Volunteer Day

This December, many of us are celebrating volunteers. Volunteers are those very special people that create time in their lives to support someone, an organization or a cause that they believe in. I’ve been a volunteer since I was a teenager and I still am. I absolutely believe that because of volunteers many people in need and Mother Earth get necessary help that would otherwise be left undone. You can find a special prayer of thanks for volunteering at:

I discovered years ago that volunteering was extremely rewarding. Most recipients of my volunteerism over the years seemed to really understand that I was giving from my heart, and that I was giving from my most precious gifts—time and talent. It felt great to be appreciated. Plus, I typically learned new skills that I later used for earning income. I made new friends, developed expertise I could put in a resume, and felt great about myself, knowing I was making a tangible difference in the world. I realized my life was blessed by many volunteers, and volunteering in return was a way that I could give back for what I had been given, strengthening the circle of caring and compassion.

In the process of volunteering, I learned that before I complained about something, I’d better first consider what I was going to do about it. Was I willing to volunteer my time in changing what troubled me? If I didn’t have time to volunteer, was I willing to make a financial contribution toward the change I wanted to see? Volunteering taught me to do more than tell other people what I thought they should do to make life better. It taught me to personally be accountable for making the world a great place to live.

Some years ago, I managed a 100-person volunteer program for a non-profit organization. I loved working with volunteers. Because I understood how valuable volunteering was for the organization and how important it is to enjoy your volunteer work, I interviewed volunteers in the same way I interviewed staff for hire. I interviewed potential volunteers about their passions, interests, availability and needs. Then I created volunteer opportunities that matched their talents, aspirations and time availability. In that way, we were both assured they would enjoy their volunteer contributions as much as the non-profit enjoyed their assistance. You can get an idea about how we do this now at New Dream Foundation:

Every person that asks to volunteer New Dream Foundation is personally interviewed. We discover what you love to do and what skills you would like to develop in furthering your career or personal development. Then we tailor-make a position for you. You can see some of our volunteers and their specially created positions at: And if you would like to pay a compliment to our team members, please leave your comment at the end of this article. I’m sure they would be thrilled to know that you appreciate their efforts in providing you with meaningful experiences in your exploration of the Sacred Feminine.

NDF runs completely on volunteer efforts. That’s right. No one gets paid here. It is true that when someone purchases a product or service through NDF, one or more of our volunteers typically get a little bit of compensation. But no one makes a living through any NDF offering. Everything from the web-site to the tele-ceremonies, radio programs and the articles you read are being created and supported by volunteers. The voice of the Sacred Feminine in the world receives support because men and women share their time freely in support of their profound belief in the importance of the Sacred Feminine being recognized and honored for planetary balance.

If you have been thinking about sharing some of your talents with New Dream, we would love the opportunity to get to know you better. Just visit us at our Volunteering Page on our website and follow the steps. One of our volunteers will e-mail you to set up a phone call for a chat. It all begins with getting to know you better.

If you are sharing your volunteer time for something else that you believe in, let us say, “Thank you for making a difference in the world.” We’d like to offer you a little gift as our way of saying thanks for sharing so freely from yourself. Please join me, Reverend Misa, and some of the NDF team on Sunday, December 5 at 5:45 pm Pacific time, for a special tele-meditation and blessing. The number to call is:

Conference dial-in number: (951) 262-4343
Participant access code: 864981

Holding you in my heart with gratitude for all you give to the world,
Reverend Misa

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Giving in Gratitude—An Affirmation of Abundance

By guest writer, Ariann Thomas

One day I was invited a friend to attend Sunday services with me when I lived in Portland, Oregon. During the service I had written a fairly large check to this church. He noticed how much I donated and afterward we got into a discussion about contributing to spiritual and charitable causes. He asked me why I was giving so much money away when I had bills to pay. He ended with saying that he had been taught, “Charity begins at home.”

I recognized this as a familiar attitude a lot of family and friends had. This man was struggling with prosperity as I had struggled for most of my life until I stumbled across a small book called “30 days to Abundance” by John Randolph Price. This book literally changed my life.

I proceeded to tell my friend that my contribution was basically about my feelings of prosperity. My giving was all about how I felt about ME! When I give away money, it means I have enough—I have enough money to buy food, to pay my bills, to have a roof over my head and I have enough to share. My contribution is an affirmation of my trust in Spirit that Spirit will continue to provide in the future.

I grew up in a lower middle class family. There were times when my family could not pay the bills and we went hungry. This didn’t happen often and it didn’t last long but the emotional experience stayed with me into my adult years. Before I read this book and changed my attitude, I was hanging on to every cent I made and constantly telling people how poor I was. I was living out of fear.

For decades I was afraid I wouldn’t have enough money tomorrow to buy groceries, or to make the rent payment. It never actually happened but the fear was always present. After I read the Abundance book I began practicing giving away money. I still felt my fear but gave freely without any intention of getting something back. I always affirmed I had enough money for me and enough to share. Fear had restricted the flow of love, grace, opportunity and abundance in life. When I let go of the fear, my energy was free. I was always taken care of by Spirit.

One time after I quit the job I had for 10 years, I traveled around the country looking for another. I found a new place to live and with some savings moved there without a job.

Six months later I still did not have a full time job, and my money was gone. I had interviewed for a job that felt really good. I knew I was where I should be. I knew this new job was mine. I just continued to pray and trust. I borrowed money for the rent and continued to give away part of what I earned. One week after I borrowed the rent money I was hired for the new job at more money than the job was advertised for and more money I had ever made. It turned out to be the best job I ever had. Thank you Spirit!

Now I have to say that Spirit doesn’t always follow my time requests. You know that old saying, “Lord give me patience…and I want it NOW.” I really would have liked to have gotten that job before I had to borrow money for the rent. However, borrowing money for the rent taught me interdependence and gave my friend the opportunity to be generous when I needed it. Spirit has His/Her own agenda to follow. I believe the agenda is about teaching me to truly trust in the Higher Order of the Universe.

When I first began this practice I started out slowly giving just a little bit. I got just a little bit in return. Then I began to trust more. I began to circulate more of my bounty in earnest. When I feel myself holding on to money or things I say an affirmation, bless what I’m holding onto and let it go.

I invite you to join me in releasing the fear that you do not have enough prosperity and abundance in your life for tomorrow. Embrace life by trusting Spirit and sharing the abundance you do have in your life. Spirit will move to fill your life with abundance in unexpected ways.

I wish you love and abundance to share.

Many Blessings to You and Your Family,
Reverend Ariann

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In Honor of Our Children, Living in the Age of Conscious Evolution

I watch my grandchildren with utter amazement in regard to the wisdom they have and the challenges they face. They have come into this world at a most auspicious time, with the planet teetering on the edge of self-destruction or the evolution of our consciousness into greater clarity and compassion.

Many children today have come in very much aware about what is truth and what is not, and they expect adults to be honest with them, even if that honesty is humbling for us or difficult. Many of them are highly empathic and as a result they can become overwhelmed by their emotions, as they pick up on the emotional turmoil around them. Some of them are quite psychic, gifted in their creativity and healing abilities, intelligent, and sensitive.

I’ve seen a lot of people attempt to qualify their children as crystal children or indigo children, etc. I know people that have taken classes to discover if they might not have been recognized as indigo children when they were young. As a former special education teacher I am intrigued by this need to define the children in categories commensurate with their talents. When I was teaching, I used the categories to help me understand my student’s particular challenges and the learning methodologies that would best support them. Then as soon as possible, I tossed the categories out the window and focused on relating to each child as a unique individual with unique needs.

Each child had something special to offer the world, even the most disabled child, and my job was to discover what that was and help them bring their gift into manifestation. Disabled or gifted made no difference to me. Disabilities bring some strenuous challenges with them, and so do our talents. Gifted children often had difficulty fitting in, were bored easily, didn’t know how to share their gifts constructively, and experienced adults that either expected too much or too little from them.

Some of our psychic children find me in the dream-time. They talk to me about their challenges as they look for support, encouragement and compassion from someone they perceive will understand them. They find it difficult when they are treated special, as though their insights are more significant than those of the adults that raise them. They find it equally difficult when they are treated without respect, as though their insights don’t matter. They don’t appreciate the pressure we put on them as adults because we believe they are more in touch with the Divine and have the answers we need.

They suffer emotionally when they are born into environments where people don’t understand them or know what to do for them. They don’t understand why we hide from our truths, and why we have done so much damage to each other and the planet. They look at what we are leaving for them to inherit and wonder why we haven’t done better. I’ve met children that were psychically quite open and emotionally ready to commit suicide.

All children deserve the best we have to give them, whether they came into this world disabled, gifted, or as “normal” children on their journey of awakening in this life-time. They are all special. And they need adult compassion, supervision, protection, provision, spontaneity, boundaries, playfulness, commitment, and understanding. And they need to know that we take full responsibility, in action, for ourselves and the world we create. They need our truthfulness, our authenticity and our love. They need us to be worthy of their respect.

This is no small matter, when we as adults are often challenged by our own conscious evolution—at times feeling we are adrift in the sea of the unknown. Yet, especially in the face of our challenges, they need to witness us being as present to the truth of the moment and ourselves as we know how to be. They need to learn what we know, so that they can go beyond what we have accomplished.

Some of our children have chosen to be born into some of the most challenging situations we could possibly imagine. Some of them as the heads of households; some have been sold into slavery. Others do not have enough to eat or no safe place to sleep. Some are being emotionally and sexually abused. Some are tempted by drugs at very young ages and some try to grow up too fast, because they think they are wiser than they really are.

I hold the children on this planet dear to my heart. They are all our children—children of humanity. This Saturday, November 20th is National Children’s Day. Will you join me in taking a few minutes to just hold them in your heart in gratitude for their precious lives? Whether or not they know we have held them in their love, their spirits will know they have been loved exactly as they are—as beautiful beings that have come here to discover the depths of love. We can be that well of love, if we choose, by opening our hearts deeper than we have opened them before, and welcome them in to find their peace and the energy to live fully.

Friday, November 12, 2010

When Our Loved Ones Cross Over

Today, a dear old friend made her crossing to the other side of the veil. She was with us for a long time, and turned a life of challenges into one of love for others. As I light a candle, I honor her inner light and the journey she is now making. Then I light candles for loved ones that made their journey last year, at this same time.

Winter is beginning now. It is the great inward season when we reflect upon what is most important to us in our lives in this moment. Some of us will make an effort to reach out to family and friends as the holidays remind us that this is the time to be with those we love. Some of us will engage in spiritual practices that call us into an evaluation about how we choose to live and express our love. As the New Year turns around once again, some of us will consider our purpose and what goals are significant for being the full expression of our true selves. Some of us will end relationships that no longer serve us well and create new ones that are more in alignment with our current development and desires. Still others of us will hear a calling from the other side, and leave this world for a more limitless experience of Divine love.

Many of our loved ones leave us in the winter, often near or during the holidays when we are gathering to be with family and friends. Winter is the inward season that calls us to hibernate a bit, and reflect upon our journey. It seems a natural and fitting time to decide to just keep going inward until we finally release ourselves from our bodies and into the arms of Divine awareness. And while this final capitulation is powerful and rewarding for those that choose to cross over, it can be quite difficult for those of us that are left behind.

We want our memories for the holidays to be joyful, warm and full of love. And they can be, even when our loved ones cross over during this time. I am not suggesting that you pretend everything is okay, when you are aching inside, but I am suggesting that even through the pain of your own loss, you can be happy for the one that has left. For those that choose to leave, there is often quite a process they go through in which they must finally trust that you will be all right if they go. This assurance gives them freedom to go on to their joy with the Divine. You can make that journey easier for them.

As I have held space for people to cross over and then held space for their family in their grieving, I have learned that there are some things you can consider doing to ease the transition of someone you love, and in the process, ease your own sense of loss. Here are some suggestions.

1) Whether you tell them in the physical world while they are still here, or you tell their spirits through your thoughts and prayers, thank them for the gifts they have given you through their lives.

2) Find it in your heart to be in compassion with anything they have done that has caused you pain, so that the lesson can be completed, and you can both be free from the past.

3) Find it in your heart to be in compassion with anything you did that caused them pain, understanding that life on earth is a journey of lessons for everyone that comes together. Most of the time, you and others are doing your best given your personal challenges, history and woundedness; however perfect or imperfect choices might have been.

4) Look for the ways in which the Divine is letting you know you will be all right. Then convey this to the one that has crossed over. Literally talk to them because they can hear you. Often, even if they have gone to the light, a part of their spirit remains to make sure you will be okay. As you can, bit by bit, let go of them, so that they can fully enter into the freedom and joy that is theirs on the other side. In other words, love them enough to let go of your need for them.

5) Create a special place in your house, perhaps for the next year, where you honor their life and memory. Focus on gratitude for the ways in which they made your life special, and the lessons you learned; however difficult or easy those lessons might have been. If you truly grasp the lessons, you are not likely going to need to repeat them again. So receive the full gift of their presence in your life.

6) Open to your loved one in the dream-time. Many loved ones will return to visit you, especially during the year after their crossing, as you bring closure to your earthly journey together. Once closure is complete, some loved ones become guides and helpers on the other side, while others continue on to new adventures.

7) During the year after their transition, begin giving away the things that belonged to them. If you do this with a gracious heart, by giving family and friends special treasures filled with memories of your loved one, you honor your loved one, honor those who loved them, and slowly let go so that you can open to your own new journey without them.

8) When the first anniversary of their crossing occurs, do something to commemorate their life and your acceptance of their new journey. Plant a tree or flower in their honor, hold a ritual and meal with family and friends, volunteer some time in service for their favorite charity, make a donation in their name, rent their favorite movies and watch them, or listen to their favorite songs. Let it be a day of fond remembrance.

9) Incorporate the best of the lessons you learned from your loved one into your life, so that the greatest meaning of their existence can live on inside of you.

In the end, death creates a great portal through which we can feel and experience more Divine love in our lives. The crossing of our loved ones can offer great gifts to us, if we are willing to receive. It takes great courage, but the gifts are worth it. Remember, as you light a candle for your loved one, light a candle for yourself as well, and receive the love that is there to carry you through.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Men That Honor the Sacred Feminine

It was many years before I finally attracted men in my life that truly understood what it meant to honor the Sacred Feminine. Oh I certainly knew men that loved me as a woman and enjoyed many aspects of my femininity, but that is different than deep respect for the spiritual essence of the Sacred Feminine. In my experience, in order for a man to truly respect the sacred within the feminine, he needs to, however he might define it, respect the Sacred Masculine within himself. He must see and know himself as a sacred being.

Honoring the Sacred Feminine is not something you can learn to do in order to be politically correct around women who are exploring this nature within themselves. Typically, a man treasures a woman’s decision to discover more about her sacredness, when he has, at some point in his life, committed to uncovering his own sacred nature. While there are tremendous intersections between Sacred Masculine and Sacred Feminine, and ultimately it is all One, there are distinctions between these two Divine energies. Becoming aware of the nature of these two energies helps us in understanding ourselves—our own inclinations and impulses.

Women enter the depth of their presence with the Sacred Feminine through their wombs—something that obviously, men don’t have. While men can still access the Sacred Feminine energetically within them, the direct physical doorway does not exist. When women explore the depths of the Sacred Feminine through their bodies, they relate to the sacred through the experience of being pregnant, giving birth, mothering, having miscarriages, their cyclic emotions, shedding blood for their people through their monthly cycles, and eventually experiencing a new power as their ability to have children ceases. These are aspects of a woman’s daily reality and spiritual opening that a man can only experience vicariously. Women’s bodies and cyclic emotions are doorways to spiritual awakening unique to women.

In the Sacred Feminine, women’s bodies and emotions carry them into the vast and dark unknown, where all of life is held lovingly in its potential. This is the sacred in which all possibilities of life are honored without judgment. Imagine this womb of all life’s potential as the vast and dark night sky—an endless, cool, and wondrous place in which life explores itself through repeated acts of new creation. This dark and beautiful aspect of the Sacred Feminine is best depicted today in the statues of the Black Madonna. The mystery of these statues found throughout Europe is not a mystery at all when a woman remembers, through her own body and emotions, that the Sacred Feminine is the birthplace of creation.

On the other hand, men who choose to encounter the Sacred Masculine through their bodies have very different experiences. The Sacred Masculine principle is that of light bursting through the darkness—life longing to become and know itself. This light is hot, fast, explosive and blissful in nature. I believe most men can relate to this principle energetically as it pulses through their bodies. To know how to be with this energy is as vital for a man as it is for a woman to know how to be with her cycles.

Can a man experience the depths of the Sacred Feminine, or can a woman discover the passion of the Sacred Masculine? Certainly. In fact, in spiritual practice, this is part of the journey. Ultimately, especially if we age consciously, we embody the full expression of both sacred natures seamlessly. We become the Oneness. We become present to the One by first fully experiencing both.

One reason women like me have looked for men that could honor the exploration of the Sacred Feminine is that this sacred nature has nearly been forgotten on our planet. For thousands of years, we have recognized and held the masculine sacred principle as holy, while minimizing the very nature of the Sacred Feminine. That is perhaps why statues of the Madonna were painted black—to gently remind us that there is another aspect of the Divine nature to be remembered—the forgotten one—the Sacred Feminine.

In order for humanity to once again fully accept both the masculine and the feminine principles as sacred, many women today recognize that we must know and remember this Divine essence within ourselves. Only then will we give birth to sons and daughters from our deepest sacred awareness. Because we are remembering, we look to other women to help us rediscover the ancient practices that teach us how to be fully present to this vastness of loving space we can access through our bodies and emotions.

Men that honor the Sacred Feminine seem to somehow sense or know the significance of this exploration that their women are drawn to experience. They become our great supporters and protectors, perhaps because they have had the courage to explore the power of their own sacred natures.

When the women come to my home to experience ceremony in the Sacred Feminine, my husband has helped me get ready by honoring my need for extra meditation time, assisting me in putting the house in order, and adjusting our meal time to accommodate ceremony. He likes to be there when the women arrive to warmly greet them at the door. Then he quietly slips away, giving us complete and private space. If there is any outside activity that might disturb our space, he handles it. And when ceremony is complete, we call him to join us to share food. He never asks about our experiences out of respect for our privacy, but will gladly receive blessings from the women if it is appropriate.

The women often comment on how wonderful he is when they arrive, and how blessed I am to have such respectful support. I smile, knowing that he is embodying the powerful and loving energy of the Sacred Masculine. To every man that embodies the sacredness within him, I give thanks. Because in your love, support and protection, we are truly free to remember our most sacred selves as women.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Call to Women: Midwives of Planetary Change

This past weekend, some beautiful and powerful women gathered together to explore the true nature of their Sacred Feminine selves. It seems each woman that came expected to leave reborn in self-awareness and commitment, and so they were. We held each other, like midwives, throughout the weekend, witnessing the evolution of the women’s spirits. I was touched by the degree of compassion and truth I witnessed, and will hold this retreat as a benchmark for what the birthing of authentic, conscious evolution in the Sacred Feminine can truly be.

The Grandmother spirits of this sacred path gave us with their teachings about what we need to realize as we women, (or for you men—the women in your lives), when we hear the calling and urgings of our sacred selves to take more action in the world. The Grandmothers told us that when we receive a calling from the well of our truest desires, that such a calling is not a toy to play with. To dabble with our callings is disrespectful to ourselves. They suggest it is better to refuse the calling entirely than it is to play with them as if they are interesting hobbies to explore when we are in the mood.

They suggested that when we feel our true callings, and choose not to act we create a stagnant gap in the energy field. When we know what we should do and then ignore or delay our calling, we set up an energetic field that can actually cause harm to someone else. This was a very new concept for many of us to consider, but upon reflection, we understood the wisdom behind what was being suggested to us.

Let’s say I live in a remote, rural area where there are no nearby emergency services for injured animals. I feel called deeply and profoundly to create an emergency service hospital for animals, but don’t have the money or resources to do it myself, so I let this calling linger in the background, doing nothing about it. Because I recognize it as my calling, perhaps no one else in the area receives the calling or is drawn to that area to fulfill that calling. I am sitting on the energy, so to speak. Because I am not acting on the calling, injured animals are not receiving immediate care.

Here is another example, using the same basic concept. Perhaps I am feeling compelled to bring humane education about animals to the area that I live. I’ve been watching some rather unconscious behaviors toward animals and since animal care is a passion of mine, I know I should develop or bring in a humane education program for adults and children. Because I have so many pulls on my time from my job, husband and children, I keep telling myself I’ll get to this one day when things calm down a bit in my life. One day I hear from a neighbor that a local man known for abusing horses had a son that died while abusing his horse in the same way he learned from his father.

In the collective consciousness there are unspoken agreements about where and how significant energetic responses will arise. These responses are sometimes means for preventing further harm and increasing harmony. If you choose to act upon your calling, you are filling a perceived need identified by the collective consciousness. If you recognize the calling and claim it as your own, the collective-unified mind of humanity acknowledges you as the one fulfilling it. If you don’t act on the calling, the need is left unaddressed, and this is where someone may experience unnecessary harm or a greater degree of harm than might otherwise occur.

So, what do you do if you accept the calling, but can’t seem to bring it into manifestation within an amount of time you consider to be appropriate? Consider giving it back to the collective consciousness, so that someone else has the opportunity to respond. Or if you sense a calling and just can’t do it at the time, it is better to say, “No thank you,” than it is to sit on the calling and do nothing. Maybe it will or won’t get done, but at least you will have been clear and honest about what you are willing and able to do, allowing space for someone else to step in.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes several people seem to get the same idea at the same time, or someone runs with an idea you have had? There are times when the collective consciousness knows that it is time for an idea to come to its fruition, so the idea is seeded among many. If for any reason you are not ready or able to bring the idea to its fulfillment, then someone else will. This is nothing to become jealous about or degrade yourself about. This is cause for celebration. It means that some aspect of the Oneness experiencing life on earth has brought life to a desire so that you and everyone needing and wanting that experience can be fulfilled. If you open up to the Divine, you will discover there is something else waiting for your loving touch and energy.

Certainly, there are times when you recognize your calling and you don’t have the full compliment of skills and resources required to fulfill the calling. This can be the time to hold a clear vision and open up for help. It isn’t necessarily your job to figure out how something is supposed to get done, but rather to fully embrace the vision, share it with others that might want to participate, and hold space for the community to step forward in an act of co-creation with you and Spirit.

For thousands of years, women as a whole have been conditioned to respond to the needs of our family, with our family members being the focal point of our lives. As a result, we can find it foreign and challenging to allow our family members to learn lessons without us. Instead of getting on with what we came here to do, we allow the needs of others (who can often do more for themselves without us) to consume our attention. Our obsession with them provides a place for us to hide so that we don’t have to face our fears by stepping out to do what we are truly called to do.

The Grandmothers tell us it is time to stop hiding. The world needs us now. During the next six to seven years, our planet and humanity are going to experience some revolutionary changes. We can bring our wisdom forward to be midwives to the process of planetary rebirth or we can hide in a back room of our consciousness. The choice is ours. And we are encouraged as the potential midwives of consciousness to choose wisely.

To experience more of the Sacred Path of the Feminine, receive weekly Reflections—guided meditations—by Reverend Misa, articles, and announcements for tele-ceremonies, tele-meditations and events to awaken the sacred feminine, sign-up for notices at

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Do You Ever Wish Dreams Came True Immediately?

Every now and then I get in one of those moods when I wish I could think about something and know that it was creating itself without needing to take any action whatsoever, and without any time passing. And every now and then it actually happens. I’m thinking about how nice it would be to have dinner with friends and those particular friends call with the same suggestion. Those moments of mutual and instant manifestation are cool. But it doesn’t always happen that way, does it?

Some years ago I was moaning about how fulfilling my dreams seemed to take so much time. Shortly after that I had a vision in meditation, putting the function of time into perspective. I saw myself looking at a world in which the creative process had gone awry. With a single thought from me, the world was destroyed. It completely vanished. I came out of the visionary state in a bit of shock. The emotional impact of the vision caused me realize that time is an undervalued friend in the process of manifestation.

Time creates space between the thought and the result. Let’s say as a child I got angry with my mother and thought, “I wish you were dead.” Now if my thought had manifested immediately I would have regretted my mother dying shortly after making a statement like that. As a child with strong emotions that ruled me, if I had come into this world with the power of instant manifestation I would have left a wake of ruthless destruction and joyful creativity in the path behind me, reflections of my momentary moods.

Time provides space for us as children, and as adults, to develop spiritual equilibrium. Time gives us an opportunity to explore options before we settle in on our commitments. Time gives us a chance to be very clear that what we have stated we want in the way we want it is indeed exactly right for us. If we have any conflicting feelings or beliefs we have time to consider them and bring ourselves into greater alignment with an intention that is most in alignment with our higher purpose. Time can simply mean that what we have intended is being created at another non-visible level. For a lovely article about the appropriateness of lag time that can occur in manifestation, I recommend this article by Simona Rich:

Time is the means by which we can get to know what is constant and true. Emotions and thoughts are fleeting. But beneath them is the Divine nature of limitless love. When we make decisions from the clarity of Divine knowing, we are more likely to make wise decisions that benefit the greater good of creation itself. If we allow ourselves to become still within the passing of time, we find ourselves transcending the normal pace of time and indeed, we do manifest more quickly. When we are in the truth of our hearts—the love of agape—we see from the vantage point of Divine clarity.

Once the clarity is there, action is required. This is yet another way in which the manifestation process is slowed down a bit. Action provides a means for getting to know the many wonderful people with which we are co-creating life on planet earth. Like the example of my friends calling about getting together for dinner, action creates opportunities for us to share in the joy of living with others. Action gets us out of the house, engaging in the gifts of Mother Earth. Action stretches us to create beyond our perceived limits. Action across time slows us down enough to savor life.

Sometimes we become confused and think we came here to leave our mark or complete our purpose. That is partially true, but not complete. We came here to experience. Our purpose becomes a focal point for our experiences. Even the evolution of global consciousness is a focal point for our combined experiences as humanity. Time gives us the opportunity to experience life deeply, in all its subtle nuances, and slows us down from making decisions we might later regret.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Do You Get Nervous About Commitment in Spiritual Practice?

The fourth of four healing prescriptions from the Path of the Sacred Feminine.

Funny thing about commitment in spiritual practice—it is often required before you think you know enough to make the commitment. That’s the part where we get nervous—as we are getting ready to make our leap. If you have ever stood on the precipice of commitment, you know that is point at which you want someone to prove to you that you will make it. However, when it is time to make a spiritual commitment, you seldom get the particular type of proof you are seeking.

You might receive a sign that points you in the directions of making the commitments, as in a sign from God. Someone says exactly what you needed to hear, you are given something that is symbolic to you in confirming the direction you are contemplating, or receive clear guidance in a dream or meditation. Certainly, if you ask, you might be the beneficiary of Divine grace, to support you in saying, “Yes,” to the commitment before you.

What you are not likely to receive is absolute proof that once you make the commitment you will make more money, be in a flaw-less relationship, be guaranteed perfect health, never have any more challenges, and everything will be easy. The proof we want isn’t typically available to us.

Sure, you can go to a psychic or an astrologer or numerologist to gain some insight. And they can point the way, but they can’t prove to you that everything will be better. It’s not possible because these moments are intersections of faith. Faith is about acting on what you know to be your guidance as you step into the unknown.

For many of us there is a significant element of fear that arises as we contemplate the commitment we are compelled to make. What I have learned to do with that fear is to breathe and choose. Then I accept whatever choice I have made, without allowing myself to slip into regret when the challenges arise. Challenges come to help us grow, so there are likely to be challenges whether we choose to stay on the precipice or leap over to the other side. Challenges are not necessarily indicators about whether or not we have made the right choice.

There is no right or wrong choice. The chance to make a commitment is simply a moment of choice. In some cases, we have said a prayer—affirming or asking for a new opening in our lives—so when we ask for confirmation about an opportunity that is arising, we may receive guidance to move in a certain direction because it answers a prayer. But if we do not feel ready to fully receive that opportunity, or if we are wondering about our original request, it may not be time to leap. It may be time to be still and reflect.

The same is true in regard to fear when it comes to commitment. Fear is not necessarily an indicator that something is wrong and therefore nothing should be ventured. Fear can simply be a natural reaction to the amount of change and unpredictability involved with making a commitment to an unknown reality.

Here is something wonderful to know about fear. A friend and teacher once explained to me how to convert fear simply. He described fear like a panicky inhale, as he sucked in his breath with an overtone of panic. But then he demonstrate the rest of the breath with an exhale. As he released his breath, I could audibly hear the excitement in his voice as he ended the breath with an audible, “Ah.”

Such is the subtle difference between fear and excitement. So I learned to breath through the nervousness or fear, allowing my fear to become transformed into excitement. Isn’t this a beautiful way to move through the anxiety and become empowered to take action? Here are the four steps to consider the next time it is time for you to consider a commitment: 1) breath fully your inhale and exhale, 2) choose with conviction whether you will remain or leap, and 3) trust in your choice—whatever it is—because life is about exploring not about making a right or wrong choice, and 4) when the challenges arise, remember they are opportunities to learn, not reflections about whether or not you made the right commitment.

Friday, October 08, 2010

How Desire Calls You to Be Your True Self

The third of four healing prescriptions from the Path of the Sacred Feminine.

Do you assume that what you desire is a luxury and not realistic? Have you had so many seeming failures in experiencing what you desire, that it seems like a meaningless part of life, let alone spiritual practice? Or do you ride the wave of your desires into a discovery of personal spiritual evolution?

Many of us have love-hate relationships with our desires. We can’t help but have them. And desires have a potency that just can’t easily be denied. Yet, if we have been hurt by an accumulation of unfulfilled desires, we can lose faith in trusting our desires as impetus for our spiritual fulfillment here on earth.

When we have an accumulation of unfulfilled desires it can point to the fact that we have been trying too hard with limits in our consciousness and methodologies that don’t truly support our fulfillment. We can also cloud our true desires by focusing on what we think we should want, rather than what we truly want. It is also possible to fulfill momentary and temporary desires, and in doing so, sacrifice the greater longing within us to know our limitless potential.

When desire emerges genuinely from surrender to the Divine, we find ourselves in direct alignment with Divine intent as it longs to express itself through us. Desire becomes more than, “This is what I want,” and is more akin to “This is who I am.” The momentum comes from the deepest truth of you, and you simply must live as who you are.

This is not about aspiring to be something you are not or reaching to attain a goal that is not a natural expression of your being. This kind of spiritual desire comes from the longing to express your authentic and true nature in an unfolding of fulfilling experiences. You are a unique expression of the Divine, getting to know yourself in human form with your experiences and personality.

Desire that emerge from surrender and the acceptance of the Divine is a powerful spark of light emerging from the womb of the Divine. Desire emerging from this depth of surrender is a true expression of the Divine. If you haven’t read the previous article here on the blog about surrender I suggest you read it, because the context of desire, as I have been sharing here, emerges from surrender and then acceptance.

I suggest giving yourself some time to really be with the question, “What do you want?” If you need to make a list, do so. If it all distills down into one or two words, that’s fine too. Most of all be very honest about what you want, and let me clarify this is very different from stating what you want other people to do or be so that you will feel fulfilled.

One of the places where we can become tripped up in regard to honoring and even recognizing our truest desires is in thinking that fulfillment comes through the choices of others. Their choices are about their fulfillment, and your choices are about your fulfillment. When you are clear about your desire, you want to support that desire.

Let’s say your core desire is to have peace in your home and in your life. If you choose to follow the impulse of your desire, it will lead you to choices you need to make that either fulfill that desire or not. Honoring the desire becomes less about what you want others to do and more about making your own choices that support your desire.

Fulfillment comes more quickly because you are honestly acknowledging your truest desire without attachment to any specific person, place, or belief. Now the Divine can truly work through you. Imagine how that affects your perceptions about success and failure? You are free to live fully, and measurements of achievement simply become irrelevant. When you are living from the truth of your being, whether what you desire is a luxury or not also become irrelevant, because you are living from a greater truth—the full expression of who you are, motivated by desire to be your full experience and expression in the world.

During our October Women's Retreat, we will be exploring these 4 Prescriptions, including Acceptance, through journeying songs, meditations, dreams and discussions. If you are interested in learning more about the retreat, please visit:

Friday, October 01, 2010

What Is Acceptance in Spiritual Practice?

One of four healing prescriptions from the Path of the Sacred Feminine

It is as easy to think of acceptance in Spiritual Practice as resignation as it is to consider surrender as giving up, particularly if we are facing challenging times. It’s that place we go to when we are thinking, “Well, I guess this is just the way it is going to be. I’d better get used to it and accept it.” What we are really saying in those moments is, “I don’t like what is happening one bit and since there seems to be nothing I can do about it I might as well put up with it and hope for the best.”

But acceptance isn’t about resignation. It is really about acknowledging what is true, and truth usually lies beneath our disappointments or fears. If you approach acceptance from the perspective of resignation, you will very likely miss the gift that acceptance has to offer. Be willing to become more aware of what is true and acceptance becomes sweet relief.

Today I was on the phone with a friend whose mother is slowly getting ready to make her transition to the other side of the veil. Her mother has been ill for a long, long time and tending to her needs has been extremely demanding on my friend. At one point in our conversation I suggested that her mother’s passing would be extremely difficult because my friend would miss her so much, and it would also be very easy, because her mother would finally be out of pain and my friend would be able to focus on her own life again.

In the silence that passed between us for a moment, we both felt the peace this observation evoked. What my friend had accepted was the truth of the difficulty and ease in her life that her mother’s passing would create. Rather than nobly denying that it would make her life easier, she admitted it, effectively short-circuiting any need to feel guilty or ashamed about what was true.

When something is true, the fearful dramas of our minds and emotions disappear. The regrets, guilt and resentments simply have no place to exist and all that remains is peace. That is the gift of acceptance. The minute we accept what is true, especially when we are ashamed of it, embarrassed by it, or afraid of it, we acknowledge the challenging drama we feel trapped in, and simply in recognizing it honestly, it ceases to have any more influence over our thoughts and feelings.

Acceptance is resting in the truth of who we are and what we are honestly experiencing, without embellishment or qualifications. In acceptance, we acknowledge that we are the captains of our own ships. Whatever we are experiencing we have chosen at some level and we are willing to compassionately be present with that awareness. We can wrestle with that awareness, and get angry with ourselves for the choices we have made if we want to or we can simply admit that this is where we are at the moment. We did the best we could and here we are.

By accepting what we are experiencing in this moment honestly, the full and compassionate acknowledgment of what is happening in this moment is enough for the tumultuous feelings to find their rest. And all that is left is peace.

During our October Women's Retreat, we will be exploring these 4 Prescriptions, including Acceptance, through journeying songs, meditations, dreams and discussions. If you are interested in learning more about the retreat, please visit:

Friday, September 24, 2010

What is the Meaning of Surrender in Spiritual Practice?

One of four healing prescriptions from the Path of the Sacred Feminine

Have you ever thought that surrendering to Spirit meant resigning in defeat? Surrender somehow meant giving up and throwing out everything you have been doing. Surrender was like waving the white flag and giving yourself over to your enemy to be tortured and executed. It meant walking away from what you held dear to you. Surrender was a difficult endeavor and the last resort.

Surrender in spiritual practice is actually much more inviting than this perception; however, it is no less difficult. It is difficult because ultimately surrender means letting go of everything. In spiritual surrender we give up our attachment to specific beliefs and desired outcomes; we let go of our preconceived ideas about how things should be and rest in the wisdom of a greater Divine knowledge. We stop attempting to figure things out for a while and we return to Source, allowing ourselves to be in complete service to the Divine Consciousness.

The challenge is in stopping the machinations of our mind and compassionately witnessing our intense feelings, so that we can let go into the serenity and peace of not knowing. It is from the not-knowing—the realm of all possibilities—that we emerge refreshed and renewed with a truer sense of what is next for us. We may discover that the very same goals we had prior to surrender are still appropriate, and now we are able to approach those goals with a clearer sense of purpose and trust. Or we may find that the goals and desires we have been clinging to are now out-dated, so to speak, needing to be replaced with more relevant considerations.

In surrender, we let go of it all—what we perceive to be good, bad, right, wrong, helpful or limiting. We disengage from the duality, where we may have been feeling trapped. In doing so, we are free to receive new input that may demonstrate to us better and more effective goals or means of achieving our greatest desired outcomes. We may learn that there are other approaches more in alignment with our own awakening and the awakening of others.

If you think of surrender as letting go of your individual will and opening to God’s will, or if you would like some really wonderful concrete examples, I like this article at Meditate for Life:

Even the author of the article above agrees: surrender requires much effort, but it does not have to be a struggle. This is a surrender to a quiet mind and still emotions so that you can know what is beyond the struggle. You might find it helpful to think of the effort as what is needed to fully surrender to love. This is not a surrender to romantic, sexual, friendly, parental or conditional love, but it is a surrender to agape—the highest form of universal, unconditional love. This is a surrender in which you allow yourself to trust in the Divine without any care about how things should be. It is a choice to rest in the Divine and allow yourself to be nourished.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Greater Truth of World Peace

September 21 is World Peace Day and I’m wondering what that means for you? Is peace a concept some of us share and talk about or is it a palpable reality—a greater truth of who we are?

I can’t help but wonder how many times in my life I talked about global peace and then was rude to someone in my life. Something tells me I played out that story more times than I probably really want to know. Is world peace even possible if I allow myself to become stuck in my stories and do not sink into the peace that lives in the deeper realization of greater truth?

A very wise man once suggested to me that there are two kinds of truth. As I ponder on his words I believe he was describing these two kinds of truths: one is a personal reflection of my momentary feelings and beliefs; the other is the greater truth that permeates all of life. It is in this greater truth where we find commonality, love and that deep abiding peace.

When do we experience that greater truth? We know it when we realize that we as humans share similar, universal emotions that do not know the boundaries of race, creed or culture. We know it when we are in silence together, or even when we are alone in the depths of our stillness. We even know the greater truth when we laugh together—that space where our thinking stops and purity of being exists.

I remember a dream in which I was with a small group of people and Satan. He was getting to me to do little errands for him that were actually quite harmless, but I was becoming perturbed because I was feeling a little used. Someone in our group cracked a joke and there I was standing next to Satan, and we were laughing hysterically. There was no longer an enemy, no evil or good, no feelings of being perturbed, nor any superiority. There was only the oneness and peace we were experiencing through our laughter.

If I am at odds with someone and I can share laughter with them, a meal, a heart-felt discussion in which I truly listen to understand them, it has been my experience that the barriers break down very quickly. What I perceive to be their thoughtlessness, carelessness or even evil intent, prove to be their attempts to reconcile the fears and wounds of their own earthly existence. My judgments quickly dissolve into nothingness if I open to compassion before opening to judgment.

Because I am human, that takes practice, but it is consciousness I am willing to invest in because I really do want world peace. I want the greater peace—the greater truth—for myself personally, and because that awareness is so rich and fulfilling, I want it for all. True peace is that serene place of consciousness beyond our illusions and fears.

Some of us choose to be that peace in the world. And some of us then choose to act from that peace in service to the world. One of New Dream’s volunteers, John Brown, has a deep dedication to peace. In his commitment, he brought to life a dream that would support the peaceful efforts of individuals and organizations through his program, Rooms for Peace. You can discover more here: This is a natural and beautiful way to meet like-hearted peace-makers and put dollars you would normally spend for travel lodging into organizations that further peace in the world.

On World Peace Day, I invite you to join me in opening to the greater truth—the peace that exists in all of us. May we become what we wish to create in the world.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Do You Know How to Put Your Spiritual Terms of Agreement in Place?

Recently, I was chatting with my husband about a couple of different business opportunities that have shown up in his life, neither of which seem like ideal matches, yet both of them seem like answers to his prayers. As his biggest fan, I decided to support him in his quandary by exploring what these opportunities do and do not have to offer, and then considering ways to negotiate for more potentially ideal business arrangements for him and the other players.

Have you ever walked away from an opportunity because you didn’t know how to negotiate for what you really wanted? Have you ever opened your heart to receive, invoked a flow of energy into your life, such as money, health, or new and meaningful relationships, and prepared for it to come? Then, when something did show up, but didn’t seem quite right, did you walk away from it?

If it happens often enough you can find yourself becoming disappointed, wondering why God hasn’t answered your prayers or assuming you must need to do a better job of defining what you want. It is certainly possible that you will receive a better answer if you define what you want more clearly, and it also possible something else is going on.

If the energy comes in and you don’t know how to channel it, the energy can bounce off of you in such a way that you don’t even realize what you wanted was right around the corner. Or the energy instigates discomfort because it pushes against old beliefs and feelings that don’t support the flow of new opportunities. You get caught up in the seeming lack of response or discomfort and miss the opportunity. If you want to experience the flow of new opportunity, it helps to create a channel.

If you wanted to direct water from a river to a nearby field, you would need to cut a channel, wouldn’t you? Spiritually, that’s what creating your personal terms of agreement can do. This is not about telling Spirit what to do or figuring out the details—who, what, when, where and why—of how your intention is supposed to manifest. It is about establishing the parameters that will allow you to live in harmony with the flow of energy you have summoned.

Let’s say, like my husband, you have prayed for a new money source to come into your life. Because you have set an intention for something new, you might not know how to prepare for it in advance other that to state that it needs to be a profitable, harmonious, honest experience with people you respect. An opportunity presents itself, but you realize it isn’t entirely perfect for meeting other needs, such as your creativity and your desire for a flexible schedule.

You could just walk away because it doesn’t seem quite right, and go back to the drawing board with your intentions. In the case of some jobs, relationships, or health solutions this might be the very best choice you could make. Sometimes walking away and re-evaluating is the best you can do. You might also want to consider that while what you have attracted may or may not be perfect for the rest of your life, it may offer you some benefits right now. In the income example I cited, perhaps this opportunity does have the ability to provide you with what you truly need and want if you are willing to negotiate.

I call this establishing your spiritual terms of agreement. The terms are spiritual when you are negotiating for what best supports you spiritually and emotionally, as well as physically and mentally. These terms of agreement can create a channel between you and the Divine that clarify how this energy can best serve you. Here is one way you could approach creating your spiritual terms of agreement. List the ways in which:

1) the energy you have called in (money, relationship, health, etc.) shall support your spiritual awakening;
2) you will feel when this energy comes in;
3) your knowledge will expand as a result of the energy; and
4) how your life will be physically enhanced when this energy arrives.

With my husband, we outlined the parameters that would allow him to be happiest. They included: highly creative work, flexible scheduling with multiple clients, preferred hourly rate, acceptable hourly rate, having fun, emotional equilibrium, adequate personal time, expanding into new business arenas, life-style preferences, travel preferences and more. Next we took that outline and discussed proposals for both of these new opportunities that would allow his new potential clients to get their most significant needs met while also honoring his spiritual terms of agreement.

This can be done with jobs, contracts, various types of relationships—from business to personal—health care options, and even vacation planning. In our world of duality, it is easy to think of life as though it is an on or off switch—either this will or won’t work. Yet, there is a whole world of opportunity that opens up when we are willing to negotiate options. We honor others and ourselves when we acknowledge their terms (whether spoken or implied) and honor our own spiritual terms of agreement. Then when we invoke something we want, our terms create a channel through which the energy can flow.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Retreats—Who’s Got Time For That?

How Retreats Can Help You Experience Greater Health and Spiritual Awakening

I used to read retreat announcements and think, “Who’s got time for that?” I had things to do for heaven’s sake and my list didn’t include sitting around talking and contemplating with a bunch of people I didn’t know… and then I went to my first retreat. In just one weekend, I rewrote my perspectives about life and found a greater sense of peace and balance than I had ever known before.

Fortunately, my first experience was with renowned facilitator and author, Judith Duerk. Her approach was simple and in its lack of complication, it was profound. The gifts of that weekend didn’t come from all the cool stuff we did--the internal rebirthing came from the authenticity with which each person shared from the depths of their being, and held space for others to explore their inner worlds.

Because I was in the midst of some of my most significant healing around sexual abuse, the retreat became a safe container where I could stop doing everyday things long enough to feel and honor the profound transformation that was longing to take place within me. I went to the retreat living life in reaction to my abuse. I left in the peaceful knowing that the whole of me was beyond my wounds.

I began living life with respect for myself and the lessons I had learned from my abuse, rather than weighed down in the reactionary sorrow and anger I had been feeling for so long. I discovered perspective that translated into greater balance in my life. I became less judgmental of the world and more compassionate toward myself and others. I also discovered that there was less distance between the one being abused and the one doing the abusing than I wanted to believe. Realizing how “one” we really are, was a difficult but necessary aspect of finding inner peace.

After that one weekend, I made retreats part of my regular ritual for furthering my peace of mind and spiritual growth. Retreats, like my first one in which an individual led an experience for a group of us, stretched me into realms of insights and experiences that I wouldn’t have imagined on my own. Witnessing the experiences of other participants opened my mind to possibilities of mystical experience and interpretations of life that I had never considered. I grew exponentially as I tried on the viewpoints of all those people I didn’t know.

The unexpected surprise was that my health improved as I gave myself opportunities to meet and accept myself through retreats. It is too easy to run away from yourself when you are meeting daily obligations. There are a million excuses for putting off a deeper relationship with yourself and discovering the truths behind illnesses and injuries, but in a retreat you are dedicating time to be with yourself. The insights beneath the pain are the ones that lead to substantial healing and ultimately to more enjoyable living.

Recognizing the spiritual and healing benefits of retreating, New Dream is hosting a special weekend for women in October. If you would like to know more about how you can be a part of this weekend going deeply into the Sacred Feminine, visit:

Eventually, I longed to go deeper into myself, and I created a private retreat for myself at a cabin in the woods. I had significant spiritual experiences in my aloneness. Although I was single and living alone at the time, retreating was different. I was consciously stepping away from my daily activities in order to be present with my true self.

With each step that I took in retreating to be present to myself I found greater balance and harmony in my life because my perspectives were truer. The painful beliefs I adhered to, the dramas I created in order to give meaning to my existence, and the attachments I clung to in an attempt to satisfy myself, became less and less a part of my world. What I needed to be happy and healthy was an honest and loving relationship with the real me that was emerging.

Retreats are presents we give ourselves. Before I had attended a retreat, I thought they were luxuries. It only took one good retreat to realize that retreats aren’t luxuries at all. They are opportunities we give ourselves to unplug for a while and to discover the happiness and health living below the surface of our crazy, busy lives.