Spirituality

The Ultimate Get Rich Quick Scheme


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I’ve done it!

After years of old-fashioned hard work to make a buck while keeping my eyes peeled for an easy way to score thousands of dollars quickly, I’ve finally landed on a guaranteed-to-work plan to get rich.

Want to hear about it?

First, some background

I grew up with a work-hard-for-your-money ethic.  I believed the bull poop that anything worth having required hard work.  Even if your rear end was falling off, you put in your time, gave it your all and grabbed the paycheck every couple of weeks.

My parents were far from poor but family summer trips were definitely not extravagant.  Our vacations were usually camping trips to Colorado or California or Texas in a little pop-up borrowed from Grandpa.  We made some good memories.

Helping me pay for a college education was a stretch, but my folks were willing.  I screwed up though, and after nearly flunking my first semester (ah, budding alcoholism, but that’s another story!) they invited me to get a job and pay my own way.  I finished college with loan debt, a degree I couldn’t believe I had and dreams of making tons of money as an award-winning journalist.

Flash forward 30 years.  Lots of life circumstances behind me but finally, finally, the financial circumstances were looking good.

Not to brag, but I was probably making an annual salary that was nearly double what my father ever made in a year.   As Bill Wilson wrote in the book, Alcoholics Anonymous, “I have arrived.”

Then one day in the recent past, the job was gone.  No fault of my own; the company just decided to lay me off.

Plus, the great state of Texas declined to pay unemployment into my coffers (which you would think from the words written two paragraphs before, are considerable–they’re not).

Now, the details

The knowledge about this get-rich-quick scheme first came to me a few days after the letter from the unemployment office arrived.  Bits and pieces of information then began to trickle in from additional sources.

Are you sitting down?  This is big!  What I’m about to share with you will change your life in addition to making you incredibly rich.

You ready?

First, here’s the information that my friend Megan provided while I was whining about the unemployment.

Megan said, “Who cares about the unemployment?  God is your employer.”

On that same day, the Daily Word spoke loudly to me, “God is my prosperity.”

The next day, I read Alan Cohen’s daily meditation in A Deep Breath of Life.  He referenced Proverbs 8:18, which reads, “Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and prosperity.”

Is this not the ultimate get rich quick scheme?

OMG!  If you’re not sighing deep relief right now, you should be!  You can stop obsessing about your financial future!

For the most part, I have.  Within about 36 hours, I really heard the truth in the above statements.

The energy of money ebbs and flows like every other form of energy in our lives.  Opportunities sometimes knock on my door and sometimes they skip my house and go to yours.

But the omniscient GUS (God, Universe, Spirit–my personal nickname) is unchanging.  Again, the Daily Word reads, “Knowing God as infinite source is the key to abundance consciousness.”

There you have it, the perfect plan for prosperity and riches.  If you’re having some doubts, that’s okay, but do yourself a favor and don’t discount the scheme entirely.

Maybe you could start with practicing Wayne Dyer’s words, “You’ll see it when you believe it.”

B in peace!

Photo courtesy of clarita

The Wisdom to Know the Difference


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The title of this post is lifted from the beloved Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr and for me, is the precursor to surrender.

The lines preceding this one are clear-cut in their instruction . . . accept the things I cannot changechange the things I can . . . but the wisdom line, well, it’s a little bit murky for me.

A Serenity Prayer story

The last two months have been challenging following the loss of my job.  I know many of you can relate, especially those of you who are passionate about your work.  When you have a dream career and your job suddenly becomes non-existent, a piece of you sort of dies.

The job is a great part of you are as a person.  It’s a natural fit in your life .  And then one day, in a matter of 30 minutes, who you are, maybe even what you are, vanishes.

Or at least it feels that way for a while.

Over the course of the next days and weeks, you work through it, maybe even uncover a sense of unexpected relief.  After all, seldom do we like every part of our work.  With me, I had long ago grown weary of traveling for work–I’d been a sky-flyer for the better part of 30 years–so I was okay with letting go of that part of my work.

You start making the changes you can.  Maybe you decide to move in a brand new work direction or finally decide to live your life’s dream.  Those steps are relatively easy.

You’ve even accepted most of what you can’t change and work toward making lemonade out of lemons.

And still, there’s one thing, maybe more, that lies in the muck between what you can’t change and what you can.  You struggle with it, inwardly knowing you should let it go, but you also believe the old adage that you must do everything you can to eliminate any future regrets.

So you search for something–anything–to make the unacceptable acceptable.  You spend countless hours researching, talking to qualified professionals, pursuing all options.

You lose sleep and serenity.

Control slips from your grip yet you clutch and grab for the fraying strings of what you hope will be the one answer that eludes you.

When you least expect it, the wisdom comes.

I was sitting in a business meeting at my 12-step group over the weekend.  As is our custom, we opened the meeting with The Serenity Prayer.  God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and WISDOM TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE.

The letters hit my mind in flashing caps.  I knew I was done.  It was time to unlock the vise grip I held on what I instinctively knew I couldn’t have.

Suddenly the only thing that mattered was letting go.

Thanks to the wisdom to know the difference, I finally could.

Photo courtesy of belief.net’s Bliss Blog.

The Bible TV Miniseries: This Is It!


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When you read this post, the first night of the epic television docudrama and miniseries, The Bible, is history.

I’m eager to hear your thoughts and impressions.  Maybe you watched it and plan to tune in for the next four Sunday nights.  Maybe you didn’t see it because you didn’t know it was scheduled to air (on the History channel, reportedly the only network interested in the project).  Maybe you don’t care–and that’s okay with me.

Hollywood couple Mark Burnett (producer of Survivor, Celebrity Apprentice and The Voice) and Roma Downey (Touched By An Angel), created The Bible and see its story as a love story between God and mankind, according to an article in Charisma News.  

What’s not to love about a good love story?  No doubt there will be diverse interpretations of the series, from evangelical to mystical.  I hope that love and tolerance are at the heart of all the conversations.

Mega-church leaders like Joel Osteen, T. D. Jakes and Rick Warren, plus many community-based churches have built curriculums around The Bible.  It’s getting a secular push too from movie theater trailers (that’s where I first learned of it) and Facebook.

Let the conversation be inclusive

The airing of The Bible has the potential to be the modern-day Ten Commandments; in fact, with electronic and social media, interest will probably surpass the Charlton Heston classic.  I know it holds my fascination as both an entertaining movie and as a storytelling portrayal of the best book ever written.

Here’s my hope for the conversation around The Bible:  that no one–from the Bible’s literal interpretation believers to New Thought followers–claim an exclusive view.  Please, let’s be inclusive.

Joel Osteen says The Bible will “impact believers and non-believers alike,” according to Urban Christian News.  From my vantage point, about seven hours prior to its airing, I’d like to take it a step further.  I think the show’s impact will reach far beyond traditional church ideas.

While churches discuss its significance, perhaps the miniseries will kick-off a pre-Easter tide of community conversation as well.

Let love be the keystone

In the end, The Bible is entertainment.  Its special effects are eye-popping, reason enough for watching.

The real significance of its entertainment, however, is the impact it has on its viewer.  Many people simply want to be entertained–the “watch and walk away ” crowd.  Nothing wrong with that.

Many others–myself included–want the movie’s entertainment to leave us thinking.  What is the show’s meaning?  What is it’s purpose?

Could it be love?  Is The Bible the ultimate love story?  If so–and I’m going out on a limb since I’m writing this pre-airing–then let’s let love be the focal point of any conversation we have.

Tolerate those with whom you’re discussing the movie.  Accept their right to their beliefs without trying to change their minds.

Most of all, in any conversation you have, let love set the tone, let love be the keystone.

I predict amazing results and I can’t wait to hear yours.  Will you post them in the comments section below?

Thank you, Inspiration Showers, for the photo.

Want Spiritual Experiences? Do This!


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If you’ve ever spent any amount of time in a stream of seemingly bad luck, you know how hard it is to stay positive.

If you’re there right now, I feel your pain.  I’ve written about losing my job six weeks ago and a bit about the accompanying crappy details like being denied unemployment, scheduling and preparing for an appeal hearing, finding out my insurance has lapsed in spite of COBRA and the grueling process of debt consolidation.

The icing on the cake was last week’s unexpected but typical family drama.  The proverbial straw . . .

I know, poor, poor, pitiful me.

It’s tough being spiritual, isn’t it, when you’re clinging to a log in the middle of that rough-water stream?

Tough, but not impossible.

You and I know that the logs we metaphorically hang on to–the ones with the claw marks–represent the stuff that’s hurting us, the circumstances or people we must let go.

But before you can let go, there is something that needs to happen.

You need to become willing.

Huh?

That’s right.  Everything you experience in life is about the decisions you make.  You either made a decision already or you need to make a decision and think you can’t.

Do you know why you can’t?  You haven’t become willing.

I’ve spent the better part of the last six weeks terrified that the money will run out, we’ll become homeless and begging with Jazzy on a street corner.

Well, maybe I’m not quite that fearful.  But I have been clinging to a big ‘ole log of fear even as I’ve known that I need to let it go.

But there was a piece missing.  The piece was willingness.

Willingness precedes every growth step.

I was having a conversation over the weekend with friends about spiritual experiences and how to know if we’d had one.  Several people said they only learn to appreciate an event as a spiritual experience after they became willing to open themselves to having them.

Do you agree?

Reading in the text of A Course in Miracles confirmed the piece about decisions.  “If you cannot hear the Voice for God, it is because you do not choose to listen.  That you do listen to the voice of your ego is demonstrated by your attitudes, your feelings and your behavior,” reads ACIM.

Choosing to listen to the voice on your spiritual path or to your ego is your decision, of course.  That’s why we have free will.

And free will decisions are always about either fear or love.  Will you continue to clutch the log in fear or are you willing to let go and open yourself to your cinema of spiritual experiences?

Give it some thought, and if you’re willing, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

B Well & Willing!

Photo courtesy of renowiggum

 

Invictus: Master Your Fate, Captain Your Soul


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Out of the night that covers me, black as the Pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud.  Under the bludgeonings of chance, my head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears looms but the horror of the shade.  And yet the menace of the years finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll.  I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.

Invictus by William Ernest Henley

I referenced the above poem about 18 months ago, about how I had to memorize it in my 8th grade English class.

I can’t remember what major life challenge was happening at the time; there have been several in the last three years, but it must have been big for me to draw my heavy gun, Invictus.

The poem has crossed my mind several times in the weeks since my job lay-off.  Today it takes on special meaning as friends encourage me to follow my bliss.

The BridgeMaker blog post

About the time I first wrote about how Invictus impacts my life, my friend Alex Blackwell wrote a post on his blog, The BridgeMaker, called “Don’t Rent Your Life, Own It.”

Alex wrote about his fervent belief in Life Ownership Contracts.  He views his contract as a way to embrace his power, to underscore how he is responsible for making his life what it is and what he wants it to be.

A Life Ownership Contract eliminates your victim status, so if you enjoy being a victim, stop reading now.

However, if you want to jump on the magic carpet ride of life, read on.

As I wrote back then, life doesn’t happen to you.  Here’s the rest of what I wrote (I’ve changed the pronouns from 1st to second-person):

When you take 100% responsibility for every aspect of your life–you find freedom.  You no longer blame others for the perceived wrongs done to youYou quit judging others’ actions because you see what they do as the choices they get to make.  If you have a run of what could be seen as crappy circumstances, you sit back and ask yourself whether a belief, thought or feeling you’re holding is attracting the current situation and if not, what can you learn and then pass on to someone else?

Write your Life Ownership Contract

Happily, the LOC I wrote in 2011 is still good.  I’m renewing it today.  I invite you to create your own, or if you did 18 months ago, GREAT!  Join me in reviewing and renewing it.  Please share it if you choose.  Here’s mine:

  1. I agree to remember the Trinity:  God, myself, others.
  2. I agree to respond rather than react.
  3. I agree to allow transparency when it is appropriate.
  4. I agree to treat people and animals with respect and dignity.
  5. I agree to honor my entire self–from the inside out.
  6. I agree to not take myself too seriously and to laugh often.
  7. I agree to walk lightly and appreciate my steps.
  8. I agree to be present to the people, places and circumstances before me.
  9. I agree to always believe in miracles and to know that size doesn’t matter.
  10. I agree to put love ahead of everything else.
  11. I agree to say what I mean and mean what I say and to use words judiciously.
  12. I agree to remember that others’ thoughts, attitudes and opinions are none of my business and to remember to accept responsibility for my own.

Photo courtesy of hotblack