Belief/Affirmations: Do you believe in the power of prayer?

Article Written By Dr. Jane Cox

You might have noticed that I rather enjoy taking a bit of a controversial view on all sorts of subjects. I remember being taught from quite young that there are certain subjects that you just don’t talk about, and those generally include subjects around things like religion, or politics. Well, that was like a red rag to a bull for me. Tell me I shouldn’t do something, and immediately it engages me as something worth taking notice of. I am also often the “devil’s advocate” – I’ll keep the open mind, and always allow for the possibility that what I “believe” at any stage may change, because my current decision or belief may be based on a lack of knowledge, rather than an abundance of knowledge. And for me, ignorance is no reason to structure my life in a certain way. After all, life is about growing and learning, and I think we all have a huge amount of potential for that learning and that growth.

So one of the controversial subjects that has always interested me is the power of prayer. Some people swear by it, some people dismiss it completely. I went and became a metaphysican in my desire to understand it, amongst trying to get a handle on all other things spiritual and philosophical. I found out a lot of things about prayer, but I hope to share just a small finding in this couple of pages that we have together. And maybe it’ll encourage you to test this concept for yourself.

If you believed the nuns that taught me during my high school years, prayers are answered. To be honest, I had a big red flashing doubt sign in my brain when they came up with this concept. I tested it. I would pray for something, put my heart and soul into that prayer, and nothing seemed to happen. I would do the other thing they suggest – always start your prayer with thanks of what you have in your life, and then expand on this concept and pray for what you want as though the prayer had already been granted. Well, I liked the idea of that, but I wasn’t feeling overwhelmed with the success of the strategy.

One of my best friends at school was always worrying about her weight. She tried this prayer thing as well. She prayed to lose weight. She gave thanks for her thinness as though it had already become a reality. But nope. She kept looking much the same and, dare I say it, if there was weight doing anything it was appearing, not disappearing. So for a while I liked the concept of praying but the proof was still lacking.

Then I sat back and looked at what prayer actually was. It was effectively the sending up of energy into the Universe. And of course if there is real emotion involved in anything, it increased the amount of energy attached to that thought or desire. If we think of ourselves as electrical circuits, it makes sense that we exchange energy with the Universe. And if we guide that energy, and set our intentions, and include our emotions, it is like sending a guided missile up into the energy system of the Universe, and it certainly should be weighted in the favour of working, so why did it seem to have so little working proof?

Then I took a broader look at what was going on, and I experimented further, and I can honestly say that it is true what they say: Every prayer is answered. The trouble is that we tend to forget the first half of the statement. The fact is that EVERY THOUGHT is a prayer, and every prayer is answered. Think about it. Over seven billion souls, all sending up the energy of their thoughts. That’s a helluva lot of energy being sent out into the Universe!

So somehow we expect the Universe, that God power, to listen really carefully to all of that energy coming from each one of us. We expect that if that thought is preceded by a “Dear God”, and ends off with an “Amen”, that somehow the Universe will ignore the clutter of all those other energetic signals we send off, and just grant the request or intention sandwiched between those magic words. The more I thought about it, the more ridiculous it seemed.

I listened carefully to my friend. While for a few minutes each day she prayed for weight loss, she spent most of the other 23 hours and 55 minutes talking about how fat she felt she was. How she “only needed to think about a slice of cake and she would put on weight”. And I looked at where her thoughts centred, I listened to her self talk, and I saw where her emotions lay, and I saw how where she placed her attention was what manifested.

I saw myself do the same. I would “pray” for one thing, but believe another. I would ask for one result, and take actions and expend energy into creating the opposite result. Not intentionally, but when I was honest with myself, the pattern was clear. The negative self talk that we indulge in. The times that we diminish ourselves and run ourselves down. All of that energy, all of those thoughts, all sending out their energy into a very busy Universe, and the answering energy comes back. What we believe, we achieve. If what we internally believe is that we are failures, we create failure. If we believe we are incapable, we are. Or in my friend’s case, if we think we are overweight, we become the outward manifestation of those thoughts.

But on the flip side, when we catch our negative thoughts and beliefs, and we replace them with positive ones, we start to manifest that too. When we start to genuinely tell ourselves that we can do something, we manage it with relative ease. When we expect a positive outcome, we create a much larger possibility for that positive outcome. When our mind sends out clean and consistent energy, and we take ownership of our thoughts, we take back control over the outcome of those thoughts.

At first it may seem clunky. And quite an eye opener as to how many times we “think ourselves down”. But if every time you catch yourself thinking negatively, you intentionally replace those thoughts with positive ones, you start retraining your brain for positive results rather than negative ones. Every thought is a prayer, and every prayer is answered.

What are your thoughts? Because those thoughts are the thoughts that will become your reality.

Thank you so much for reading,

Jane xx


Dr. Jane Cox is a Human behavioural specialist, success psychology expert and ethno-psychologist. Internationally renowed motivational speaker & trainer. find out more at: https://www.drjanecox.co.uk/

Believe It – Or Not! By Donna Davis

Article Written By Donna Davis

 

There are 84,600 seconds in a day. That’s a lot of time to plan for failure – or success. Every waking moment is a chance for greatness, purpose and accomplishment…if we so choose. We have and make choices thousands of times a day both consciously and unconsciously.

Our minds are cluttered with old baggage that no longer serves us, and perhaps never did.  All the thoughts of minding someone else’s business, rehearsing conversations, if-onlys and wishful thinking are a big jumbled mess up in that beautiful mind of yours.  Maybe it’s time to tune in to our thoughts and thinking and sort things out a bit.

In order to do that you need to “find” yourself- the self that does all the thinking. Do you have a certain pattern of thoughts?  Do you have a preferred style of thinking? Are you on autopilot and let thinks run amuck-hoping that they will sort themselves out on their own?

Take a look at some choices below and see if any of these categories of thought seem familiar:

Spin Cycle:  The same thoughts, or series of thoughts are stuck on “repeat.”  For some reason your perception is that if you replay the same thoughts over and over again somehow things from the past will change. You think the same thoughts and place them in the “theatre” in your mind. You then take turns trying a new intro, a new outro, going through several wardrobe changes hoping that the outcome will be different. It’s time to shut the machine off, realize that the past cannot be changed or altered in any way, its already done. How do you want to move forward?

Roller Coaster: Woo-whooo what a ride we are on! We often get on this ride-with no seatbelt-and think that when we reach the end of the ride everything will turn out ‘just fine’ because we braved all of the emotions and twists and turns that the ride provides and somehow it will all will be worth it. We find ourselves bruised, battered, bewildered and disappointed. This ‘emotional’ ride has taken its toll on us and we have paid a very high price and often don’t get the outcome that we so desperately needed and believed that this ride would give us. Sometimes we get on the ride willingly, sometimes not. Often times we don’t realize that we have the option to get off. Don’t let this turn into a runaway train! Find the emergency brake! Find some steady ground and choose some better options, step by step.

In The Valley: It is VERY easy to take inventory of your sadness, pain and failures. They seem so BIG!  They are also very heavy and we have allowed them to wear away at our self-esteem, worth and purpose and it has created a large, deep pit where we can go to feel sorry for ourselves any time of day or night. It is a welcoming place and always reminds us of how many mistakes we have made, all the things that went wrong and just how bad everything is.  There is a special place within this canyon called “The Pity Pot” and you are welcome to sit on it 24 hours a day and think about how everything has turned to shit. Your perception of yourself and the world has hit a record low and it is very difficult to get out of this rut!  This place would like you to think that it is impossible to leave and that climbing out of this hole will kill you.  Truth is- you can leave any time you want. You may need some guidance and a helping hand – or two, but it IS absolutely possible to get yourself out of there. It’s time to trade in your real estate for a better future, starting NOW!

Lost In Space    There will always be plenty of information and opinions to suggest perfect outcomes and ideal situations. There are 101 ways to do ‘this,’ and 57 ways to do ‘that!” You want to try all of them, just knowing that you will find 1 that will be extraordinary! But first you have to assimilate ALL the information, with its endless possible scenarios to figure out what that perfect outcome will be before you try and implement anything! There are unlimited ifs, ands & buts. You want to KNOW before you DO anything so it will all be flawless!  It’s time to land. Pick one thing, something and test it out. Through trial, error, and experience, not thinking, you will find what you’ve been searching for.

It’s time to come back to reality. Like it or not, believe it or not, agree with it or not, that is what you need to accept and deal with. Plant your feet firmly on the ground, take a few deep breaths, find your awareness in THIS moment and steer your mind in a forward, positive direction. Create the best YOU and the NOW that could ever possibly BE.

The choice is and always was ours. We may not have realized it, someone could have taken our power away from us or we could have willingly handed it over thinking and hoping that someone else could do better for us than we could do for ourselves. It’s time to wake up, be aware and consciously make better choices.

Much Love,

Donna xx


 

Find a Penny, Pick it Up- Written By Desirée Toldo

Written By Desirée Toldo

 

I believe in a lot of things. I believe that Disney Princess Band-Aids work better than regular Band-Aids; I believe that people are inherently kind, even if at times they forget it; I believe that most things taste better with ketchup; I believe that everything that is lost has a way of finding its way back. This is the story of the moment I found what I had lost 12 years ago.

In 2015, I was a senior in college living with my cousin and our best friend in our small dorm. It was rare to have the room to myself for a night, but when I did I would sometimes wake up from dreams of my grandfather who we had lost ten years earlier. I would wake up and be so sure I could smell his familiar scent, as though the door had just closed behind him—they were the most vivid dreams I had ever had. I struggled to put a meaning to these dreams. My grandmother and mother had told me of spiritual encounters that they had had in their lives, but I never believed that was the kind of thing I could experience. I wasn’t sure if I even believed it was possible. Yet I wanted so badly to believe that there was meaning in the dreams that I was having, that I was being visited by the person I missed more than I could understand.

One Sunday in March I found myself alone for the night once again, and I suppose my grandfather, who we called Papi, decided it was time to make a believer out of me. I fell asleep with a tingle of disappointment that always came with the end of the weekend. Before I knew it, I was walking up the street toward my parents’ house when I heard the engine of my brother’s truck start. I looked up to see Papi smiling at me from the driver’s seat. He didn’t say a word but I got in the truck and we drove away and went to a movie theater. I don’t remember the drive. I don’t remember any conversation. I don’t even remember what movie we went to see. But I remembering walking up to the concession stand and ordering my favorite movie theater snacks (pretzel nuggets, nacho cheese, and a small popcorn). I remember Papi paying. I remember the cashier placing loose change on the counter. And I remember one bright, shiny penny.

Even through a dream, where there are no limits to what you can imagine and what can be done, I knew Papi would not be staying with me in the world, but that he had come back for a day to take me to the movies, perhaps to reassure me that though he had left the world, he was not gone. He did not say a single word but when I asked him if I could keep that one perfect penny to remember the day he smiled. After that it all dissolved. Maybe new dreams came into focus or maybe it was all just black. I woke up alone in my room with a breath that felt like I had just been resuscitated. The weight of what I had dreamt and the emptiness I felt crashed over me. He was gone. I rolled over and made my body as small as I could in my tiny twin bed.

Against my crisp, black bed sheet I saw the perfectly polished profile of Abe Lincoln, shining up at me. A penny lay next to my pillow, as though it had been placed so purposely near me.

In life, Papi had never denied me anything—ice cream before bed (make no mistake, this was just as much a treat for him as it was for me—chocolate ice cream for him, vanilla for me), the little plastic table from the center of a pizza pie to use as a dining table for my Barbies, nothing. 12 years had passed since he died and yet he still didn’t deny me. This time he gave me something to believe in—his proximity, his presence, his attunement to me even after so many years. I had never felt so connected to someone in my life—he had chosen to give me this gift and in doing so he solidified everything I wanted to believe in but didn’t have enough proof of. I wear the proof around my neck at all times. The penny hangs close to my heart always—a reminder of what that dream meant and everything that changed as a result of it.

In the two years since Papi came to visit me in my dorm, I have had other similar encounters—dreams that seemed just slightly more than dreams. I sometimes wish I could summon both of my grandparents like characters in a science fiction movie, just to get their reassurance that they’re watching everything. But it doesn’t work like that. I don’t know how it works, but I believe in it. I believe that when I need them most, they appear. I believe that the cardinal that sits on my windowsill despite my cat’s numerous attempts to pounce on him through the closed window is Papi saying, “hello, I’m with you.” I believe that the dragonfly fluttering around my car as I eat my peanut butter and jelly sandwich on my lunch break is Gram telling me that peanut butter and jelly is not a filling lunch and I should eat more. I believe that though they were lost, they are always hiding somewhere waiting to be found. It doesn’t make me miss them any less, but it makes the spaces between visits less difficult. Most of all, it gives me hope that there will always be another sign, another visit, another reminder of just how strongly they are imprinted in my soul.

Thank you for reading, with love

Desirée Toldo xx

 

7 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Relationship Part 4

Here is question 4 in highlight the #Metoo campaign

 

Q4. Are you having a relationship with an adult or a child?

 

To explain what I mean by this, I will describe my previous relationship and then you can get an idea of what I am talking about.

My previous partner lacked independence completely; he couldn’t do anything that an ordinary person like you or me could do. Not only did I have to cook, clean the house, take care of the finances, but I would even have to bring in work for him when he was sick. When it came to doing the weekly shop at the supermarket he would walk out after two minutes and go sit in the car and sulk. His excuse would be that he couldn’t deal with the stress of it. (Yes I know you are shaking your head already, it gets better to trust me!).

When it came to decorating our new home, I had to do it all myself. When it came to planning our wedding day, I had to do it all myself. When it came to him looking for a job, I had to look for him. When it came to insuring his car, I had to do it for him.

Even when it came running his bath, yes you got it…..I did it for him!

I am afraid there is nothing that can be changed with people like this; they have spent most of their lives latching on to people who will do everything for them, and they will continue to do so. When you do finally have enough and call it quits on your relationship they are not the slightest bit grateful for anything you did for them. They actually hate you for leaving them ! … Now it’s your fault that they have to now do things for themselves.

When I split with my partner, he sold his car. This was not because he needed the money or anything. It was because I cancelled his standing order from my bank account to his insurance company. So due to his lack of capability to ring the insurance company to set up a standing order he now no longer has a car……Really ??

(There is NO exercise on the planet that could work on this kind of personality, my advice is to leave them and save yourself from an eternity of butt wiping)..

Stay tuned for 3 more questions and 3 more exercises,

Much Love,

Kate x

7 Questions to Ask About Your Relationship

#Metoo

I am sure by now you have had many hashtags fill your news feed for the #Metoo campaign to highlight how many people have actually experienced sexual assault and rape.

The numbers are shocking! Every other post on my Facebook highlights the #Metoo hashtag and it’s seriously disturbing to think that men and women all over the world have experienced this and that so many offenders thought it was “ok” to treat a person like that.

Abuse of authority or downright abuse, whichever the influence it comes from, is completely WRONG! We need to be educating children, teenagers, adults and old people that these things are not right and that every individual should be respected.

Over the next 7 days, I am going to focus on relationships and ask you one question every day to help you come to a conclusion of your own and to help highlight what really SHOULD be experienced in a relationship and what shouldn’t. i will also be leaving a little exercise for you to do to help become more aware of how relationships should be respected, and how you as a human being should receive the respect you deserve.

Q1, Is your boy/girlfriend making you feel good about yourself?

Everybody in every relationship should be made to feel good about themselves. If this is not the case within your own relationship, then you need to tell your partner how you are feeling. It may be that you just lack communication within your relationship and they have no idea where they are going wrong. However if you have told them and you are completely fed up of expressing this, then your partner is not taking your feelings into consideration and it’s likely they never will.
Not every person possesses the same levels of caring, sharing, love and respect as each other. This is not due to something you have done (which I know a lot of you think the blame lies within yourself and you blame yourself… constantly!).

9 times out of 10 the reason for less positive attitudes of partners is other factors. One example is the way they were raised by their parents or the influences and habits from friends and others around them. Different people have certain levels of love inside of them, and over time, we realise they are not capable of loving at the deeper level that we are. So this is where the relationship tends to break down.

Talk to your partner, and if your partner is willing to take your feedback on board and is willing to work at putting your relationship back online then at least you know your partner genuinely cares about how you feel.

Try this little exercise below which will give each of you the chance to see what the other truly thinks of each other’s good and bad points.

Exercise one;
Take a piece of A4 paper each. Draw a line down the centre of the page to make two parts to the page. Give one side of the page the title negatives and the other side of the page the title positives. Making sure you both have separate sheets of paper. Now write down on the positive side what it is you think is positive about your partner and the same with the negative side.

When each of you has finished, swap over the sheets of paper with your partner. This may be hard to swallow at first due to some negative things we never really knew about our self and have never had these things brought to our attention till now. Taking feedback on board from others and listening to what they have to say will strengthen our character and let us know where we can improve.

Stay tuned for 6 more questions and 6 more exercises,

Much Love,

Kate xx


For more information on Kate Batten click here

I Have a Plan For You!

Real Life Story Written By Jaime Evors

 

In 2008, God spoke, “You keep trying to end your life. But I am going to keep intervening because I have a plan for you” as I laid that day in a white hospital bed. Everything in my life that took place up until that point, the sorrows and the victories, swam around in my mind as I tried to make sense of the fact that God himself, had a plan for me.

Soon after that hospitalization, I knew I was to go to Oklahoma for Bible College. Without hesitation, I went. I was newer to faith, and still learning the basics of the Bible. I was excited, vulnerable and naive. I grew by great measure in my faith and in all that God did and does. While attending that college, I met a guy. After being pursued and wooed, we began to date. His family and I would talk on the phone for hours. I dreamed of this family I could have and it was enticing. I was warned by my friends and mentors of these red flags, but my own eyes could not see it. Or simply did not want to. I was slowly drawn away from God. A few months later, I was living across country in the south with his family. When we left the cold winter of Oklahoma and landed in the warmth of the south, I felt sick to my stomach. A part of me knew that I had just gotten myself in to something I wasn’t expecting. But, I wasn’t sure and waited it out. After a few weeks, Christmas came and went, and I knew that I did not want to stay. Something was off. But, I couldn’t quite figure out what exactly. As days turned in to weeks, I began to feel like a puppet. I don’t conform well to other people, so when this began, I had some resistance. They would tell me that what goes on within the family couldn’t go outside their four walls. They controlled who I talked to, what I said, and how acted. I desperately wanted to leave, but was coerced to stay several times by means of being slapped, strangled, thrown onto the ground, and even being put in a shower of cold water during a panic attack. One time in particular, the mother held a butcher knife to her wrists to show what I would cause her to do if I left. I dreaded waking up the next day, every day. I went through psychological, physical, verbal, and sexual abuse during those 8 months. I became so wounded and confused. My past wasn’t one that nurtured what is right and what is wrong, so I naturally thought that it was just me, invaluable me.

But God. I could not deny what He has so kindly spoken to me on that day in 2008. I knew this wasn’t the plan He was referring to. I knew that I needed to flee. With one final attempt, I escaped. I left on a lunch break to never return. I grabbed the few items I could hold and left to head north. As I drove with adrenaline surging, tears streaming, and thoughts racing, I had to keep convincing myself that I was doing the right thing. Everything within me shook and by the next day, I wanted to go back. I panicked. What had I just done? Everything I could have gained, was lost. Maybe it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was? Maybe it’s all my fault? Maybe it can change? But I knew with my failed attempts to leave before, with my many attempts to keep peace, that things weren’t going to change. I needed to accept that fact to keep myself from returning to the abuse. I kept my shaking hands on the steering wheel and didn’t turn back. So, now what?

Life got harder. Leaving something horrific, doesn’t always mean that it’ll be easier on the other side. I had burned bridges, lost my identity, my faith was shaken, I had flashbacks, nightmares, and continually wanted to go back to them. I no longer knew who I was without them, as horrible as it was. That’s what abuse does. That’s what manipulation and coercion does. It strips us of our identity to the point where we can barely, if at all, think for ourselves. We think that it would be easier to go back, than to work through the pain.

But, I just couldn’t go back. I couldn’t.  However, with the flashbacks, nightmares, and fear that followed me daily, I stopped eating. I tried to starve the feelings and fell silent. I was crippled in fear from threats to not speak of what took place. Even though I had fled, I was still held hostage in my mind. I took sleeping pills, worked full time, and threw up what I did eat. I punished myself. I took the pain out on myself. I would go for morning runs on the country roads of Ohio, and with each sound of my feet hitting the pavement, I told myself how horrible I was, what mistakes I made, how I deserved this pain, and that I was weak. I would tear myself down so no one else could. I told myself whatever it took to in order to push through the pain of malnourishment. I was tormented, yet somehow, I tried again. I made some calls and sent some emails and found a way to get back out to Oklahoma where I had friends and medical facilities that I knew could help restore me. About six months from when I fled from the south, I made the move back out west. Within 2 days, I saw a doctor. I was told that in 2 weeks I would be dead if I didn’t have an intervention, due to Anorexia Nervosa. Part of me thought, “good.” But God’s spirit in me rose up and I knew I needed to do what it takes.

I received the feeding tube, and picked up my shield and fought harder. I felt as though I was in a desert all of this time. I had secrets know one knew of and at the same time needed to rebuild myself, my identity. It took 2 years of choosing every day to keep moving forward. To keep speaking the truth of God’s Word, to keep spending time with Him by being still or praying, and by spending time with good company. I knew He was faithful. From stories in the Bible, from other peoples lives, and even from experiences in my life. There was no question to that. I guess what I didn’t know, was how. How could I get out of this? I didn’t have a vision, I just had to blindly trust Him every day with every thing and keep doing the next right thing. During that 8 months of time down south, I had met someone and we became friends. Over a year later, after talking every day, encouraging one another, he came to live by me to help take care of me while my strength returned as I was to the point of where I was not able to work. We were best friends. Two years later, we decided to court one another and got engaged. Two months later, we were married. Being that he is the only child, after much time and prayer, we decided to move back south. To that same city, the same area where I was maltreated.

As God heals us, He gives us new perspectives. I took it as an opportunity to face the nightmare that I had been running from and trying to suppress and began to finally heal. The very time frame where satan tried to destroy me, a new life was being born out of it.

Doing that next right thing, led me to today. I am happily married to that best friend, who I think is a saint. I have 3 beautiful little children, a quaint home, and even a cat. I am a certified Life Coach and consider it an honor to work with others to take the next step. He’s not finished. God is never finished. He is all of our good qualities and more. He never left me. He helped me through one step at a time. There’s character traits and dreams that I would not have, had it not been for that healing process. I’ve learned not to discount the hard work of healing. It isn’t about getting from point A to point B. If we let that season mold us, we will come out of the fire stronger than before we went in. Our thoughts are fleeting, but His are eternal. He has a plan for you.

Only He could know the depths that phrase would follow me to and bring me out of again. Only He could know what lied ahead. At my deepest sorrow, He spoke life. Thats who He is and that’s what He does. He’s a redeemer.

God bless you,

Jaime xx


Jaime Evors. I am a wife, a mother of 3 and counting. I am certified as a Life Coach through THE AMERICAN SCHOOL OF PROFESSIONAL LIFE COACHING, an ICF accredited program and as well have an associates in Ministry. You can find out more about me at http://www.wavesafterwaves.org/