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Gratitude by Stephen Garrett

True Gratitude Includes Both the Good and the Bad

It is very common in new age spiritual practice to be grateful for all the good that comes our way. Indeed it is important to practice Gratitude for all that we receive. That’s the easy part and really only half the coin of gratefulness.

If we are to be true to the practice of real Gratitude we also need to be thankful for those things that happen to us that may be deemed as ‘bad’ – The ‘shit happens’ stuff of life. It may seem odd that we would practice Gratitude for these types of happenings;

Divorce

Job Loss

Financial Loss

Death

Loss of Ability

Loss of a Home

Yet, if we are unwilling to face these types of events and over time be grateful for them we are not really practicing Gratitude at all. We may be practicing appreciation for the ‘good’, while we avoid the ‘bad’ at all costs. And besides how can we possibly be grateful for the loss of a loved one?

Well, let me tell you a story.

My late sister Jody died back in 1988 and initially I was anything but grateful! I was angry, confused, sad, guilty, lost – anything but grateful. Jody’s death really shook the foundation of my life to the point that I changed careers and set out on my journey of social / human work as opposed to my investment finance career. Jody’s death actually re-birthed me! Her death breathed new life into me.

And over time a deep sense of Gratitude overtook me. I couldn’t believe I was indeed grateful for my sister’s passing. And yet I was. I still missed her deeply and was still grieving her death, yet at the same time this profound sense of Gratitude was right there beside the sadness and the missing.

Without my sister death I would likely still be in the investment finance business. I am so grateful I was willing to let her death wake me up to my greater potential. And yes on special dates like Christmas and her birthday I still miss her deeply. In may sound odd this combination of sadness and missing coupled with gratitude and yet they co-exist in me to this very day.

When I look back at all the ‘shit’ that has happening in my life and approach it from the practice of Gratitude I always find the gift beside the loss, and the gift when I accept it always enhances my living. It never fails to surprise me.

My encouragement to each reader is to look closely at the ‘shit’ that has happened in your life. Now, with the grace of some time passed look at the loss and then also for the gift that the loss left behind. Look for how your life changed because of the ‘death’. There will be something there to be grateful for right beside the pain of the loss itself.

Gratitude for all things is a real practice and one that is most worthy of attempting.

Thank you for reading,

Stephen,


Over the past decade I have spoken to groups as large as 1,200 people and more intimate groups from 15 to 200 folks. I have spoken in person at conferences such as IdeaCity, Double D’s Death and Dying Conference, the Ageing and Spirituality Conference in Los Angeles, the Bereavement Ontario Networks 25th Annual Conference, along with numerous radio and television shows.

I currently work with such organizations as hospices, professional continuing education organizations, colleges, communities, and churches creating tailor-made workshops to suit each group’s unique needs and learning styles. Learn more at www.stephengarrett.ca/

 

 

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/

The Beliefs and Affirmations that make us who we are by Trilby Johnson

The Beliefs and Affirmations that make us who we are

Written by Trilby Johnson

Our beliefs are the building blocks of our identity. As they stack together one after the other, throughout childhood and later life, they create the tapestry of our personalities and from this, the identity that we cultivate begins to take shape and form. We become what we believe, both consciously and unconsciously. On one level, this may offer insight into who we are and how we live life.  Nevertheless, very often, on a more personal and individual level, the beliefs we hold may leave us feeling a fraud or unfulfilled and very confused, with the desire to explore and experience more…

This happens when the beliefs we have been taught and are holding onto, are not our own and rather a product of socialization and indoctrination. When a belief is a good one, it can be very good and lead to positive experiences. When a belief is a bad one, it can be very bad and lead to limiting or disempowering experiences. It’s important to be aware that not all beliefs are created equal!

Many people consider that a belief is the same as the truth. A belief and what is true, are not necessarily the same thing, however a belief will certainly influence the type of experiences we have as individuals. If we think of a belief systems as a type of filter, this becomes easier to understand. In particular on a cognitive level, this distinction is important to highlight – beliefs are forms of habitual thinking that build and trigger strong neural responses.

This is one reason, that a strong belief may be difficult to challenge or change, as it is deeply embedded into a person’s behavioural patterns. Not to mention the fact that most of us have several predominant beliefs that are running the show.

In addition to this, a belief rarely stands alone and is joined with one or several other beliefs – known as associations – that weave together to create a web of belief systems. For example, if we have the belief that money is the root of all evil, this will activate a multitude of beliefs around money and what kinds of behaviours are considered good and evil. This comparative process is often subconscious and yet very powerful, which can leave many of us feeling torn in two when it comes to making choices in our daily lives and living up to our beliefs. Conflict usually arises however, when we are confronted by two or more main beliefs.

Confusion, in my opinion, is usually a signal that one or more beliefs are being challenged. This can be a good thing, when the belief being challenged is outdated or simply no longer accurate. In instances like this for example, I have found it helpful to ask targetted questions and to identify the principle belief(s) at play. Is this true for me? Is a powerful question that can offer a feeling of inner relief, clarity as well as inviting in new possibilities.

Affirmations are also a practical first step to retrain our brains and thus breaking a habit of thinking. It was the amazing and inspiring Louise Hay (1927-2017) who first introduced me to affirmations. These are statements that are formulated positively and in the present tense.  At this time in my life, I held the beliefs that I was unlovable, unloved and not good enough. This didn’t feel great at all and I really wanted to feel better about myself. Louise’s work on affirmations helped me learn how to begin to change these limiting beliefs.

I can still remember the wonder and excitement I felt at the time. I knew I was in the presence of what I wanted to hear and believe, even if at first it wasn’t quite yet comfortable. When I first begin affirming, ‘I love myself’ it was really difficult. The words sounded so strange and unfamiliar to me – it actually felt uncomfortable. I liked how saying them and writing them down made me feel about myself though and I kept on with them. Today I use affirmations intentionally to create and generate new and empowering mindset patterns and it helps me to incorporate positive and supportive beliefs that I can think throughout the day. It’s how I remind myself that I am a Conscious Creator co-creating with Life itself.

Our beliefs make us who we are, for the simple reason that we believe them. Herein lies the power and the weakness of beliefs. They can make us weak and strong, empowered and disempowered, believable or a fraud. The critical factor is to remember that although they make us, we can choose and change them. We have and are the power! We just have to believe it and then follow through to make our dreams become true.

Than you so much for reading, much love to you

Trilby xx


Trilby Johnson is an Author, Speaker and Body Energy Alchemist. She supports forward thinking individuals to organically resolve core emotional and physical pain and blocks that may be holding them back from living happy, healthy and successful lives. Find out more at www.trilbyjohnsontheconnective.com

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Beliefs & Affirmations – Written By Hayley Young

Written By Hayley Young

 

When you truly believe in yourself, anything is possible! Affirmations is one of my favorite topics, and I can speak from personal experience when I say they work, they actually work!

Beliefs are what we think of ourselves. They create our lives and our futures, they are the cause of everything we think, say and do. Many of our beliefs are formed unconsciously as children and through personal experiences, but at any time our mind can be reprogrammed by our thoughts and affirmations.

To change our core beliefs about ourselves we need to be ready to start our journey of self-improvement and becoming the best version of ourselves. My journey first started several years ago when my friend shared a documentary with me, you may of her of it, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. I was immediately hooked, and instantly life felt different, more positive and happier. By the time I went to bed, my affirmations were written, and I have stuck by them since that night. They have changed over time as I have had my achievements, but I truly believe in them.

Daily affirmations reprogram your brain with your new beliefs and views of yourself. You see yourself differently; think more positively, and confidence and self-esteem develop. You might not realize it at the time, but when you look back, you will see the personal journey you have taken. In the future, you won’t recognize the person you used to be, in the best possible way.

Decide who and where you want to be in life in the future. You need to be clear about what you want and set goals around what you’d like to achieve. Then you can write your affirmations. You can also make a note of any negative thoughts you have about yourself and write the counterpart down in an affirmation. Put them in places you will see every day (fridge, mirror, phone screensaver, laptop background, etc) and say them in from of the mirror every morning and every evening.

Affirmation Tips:

Write your affirmation in the present tense.

Start with ‘I’ or ‘My’.

Make sure they are positive.

Add an emotion such as ‘I feel so excited that…’.

Feel like it has already happened.

I hope this helps you on your own journey, thank you for reading.

Much Love,

Hayley xx


I am 5ft 5/6ish, dark blonde hair (often dye it red), blue eyes, happy-go-lucky, easy going, always happy and up for a laugh. Love travelling. Life is to short to be miserable!! you can connect with me right here: https://www.facebook.com/hayley.young.9237

REAL LIFE STORY – Blindsided by Donna Davis

REAL LIFE STORY – Written by Donna Davis

He seemed so very charming. Or was it easy for me to be so distracted because my heart was recently broken in a recent break-up. Misery makes it easy for predators to ease right in. I never saw it coming.

He always had time for me. He smiled a lot and was adventurous. He seemed to know exactly what to say and when. We had fun together and things seemed great. I didn’t know he had a temper and a short fuse.

It started the night that he was teaching me how to drive. I hadn’t had the opportunity before so it seemed wonderful to have the chance to learn.  I started out doing well and then at one point drove off the curb, by accident of course, and watched him turn into a monster. He started yelling and cursing and then hit me. What?!  What’s happening?  I’m sorry it was a mistake! The car is fine. We’re fine. What’s the big deal? He later apologized and I thought it wouldn’t happen again. Unfortunately it did. Over and over again for a ten years. No rhyme or reason. Half the time I couldn’t even figure out what the trigger was. It seemed that I was living in hell.

Prior to being with him I never really knew how painful and destructive anger was. I had never experienced it. If he was angry I would get hit. If he was angry I would get punched. If he was angry I would get raped. If he was angry I would have to listen to hours of yelling and threats while I was cornered in the bathroom.  I didn’t dare question him or answer back and had no idea of how to stand up to him. Year after year it went on and on.  I would subconsciously walk on eggshells afraid of relaxing because he could “blow” at any time. We would have patches of okay existence and even some seemingly happy times and then out of nowhere I would get backhanded in the chest or punched in the head. My belief about anger became:  if someone was angry-especially a man- I was going to get hurt!  It would take me years to have this conscious awareness and several more years before I confronted the fact that this was a lie.

That experience taught me many lessons. It allowed me to see how strong I had become, even after years of feeling so weak and helpless.  I found out what forgiveness was. The surprise-and gift-of that was learning and understanding that forgiveness sets me free. It doesn’t justify what happened or excuse his role in the abuse. It allows me to move on and find peace and live life fully.

The dark memories do come to visit from time to time. I’ve learned how to deal with them.  I acknowledge that they happened and I rejoice that I’ve found a way out. It seems like so long ago now since I was able to put it all behind me.  Each day is a victory, another chance to make better choices for myself and make sure NOONE ever does those things to me again.

I sit here today listening to the Kesha song; “Praying” and smile at the thought that somewhere, somehow, perhaps he has found forgiveness for himself, and maybe has a more peaceful life. That is a wish I can send his way.

I get silent and say a prayer of thanks and ask God what to do next: I hear “Your celebration of life IS your release, IS your reward and IS your freedom.”  I dance in those thoughts with a happy heart, a smile, and a sincere hope that many who find themselves in a similar situation can one day be free as well.  There is a way out.  NEVER give up!

Thank you for reading!

Much Love

Donna xx


About Donna Davis:

As The Menopause Fairy I now help other women fine tune their lives as they discover their “A-HA MOMENTS” and discover happiness and pursue their true purpose. Over the years I have had the honor and privilege of helping women all over the world get clear on their dreams and goals while helping and supporting them as they found their balanced hormonal health and peace. Find out more at: http://themenopausefairy.com/