Spirituality

Are You Filled With What You Want to Spill?

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Years ago, somewhere in the rooms of recovery, I heard the question, “Are you filled with what you want to spill if you tip over?”

(If anyone knows the origin of this ditty, please share!)

The question came to mind yesterday as I pondered my finances. It’s the holiday season (which I love!) so there’s extra money going out. In addition to family gifting, I always get a charge out of anonymous and charitable giving and in doing the unexpected.

It was right about then that my mind had a bit of a seizure. Holy smokes! How can I possibly do it all? Clients are shifting, pulling back, others on the horizon but probably won’t make a decision until the new year . . . OMG!

What’s up with the limiting beliefs?

Instead of hyperventilating, I paused (as in, when agitated, we paused). Telling myself there might not be enough money is nothing more than a story. Since I love a good story, why not make it a story of abundance rather than one of lack?

Julia Cameron became my rock star hero in 1992 when she published The Artist’s Way. I learned to write morning pages and to do good things for myself on a weekly basis.

Twenty years later, she wrote another game-changer called The Prosperous Heart, Creating a Life of Enough. I swear I will kiss her ring if we ever meet.

This book is really a 12-week course in learning about abundance. It’s meant to change my attitudes and beliefs around money and when I bought it a month ago, I couldn’t wait to jump in.

The first week in my new journal dedicated to The Prosperous Heart exercises is dated November 23. Nothing since.

The point here is there is something comfortable about misery. My old friend John used to say we sit in our own s**t because it’s warm.

Dumping out those thoughts of lack

Say I’m walking the dogs, stub my toe and take a header onto the sidewalk. What will spill out of me? You guessed it. “Not enough. Won’t be enough. It’s always going to be like this. Why can’t I catch a break?”

Well, that’s not good. And certainly not something I’m proud of, human though it may be.

Okay, so what’s the next step?

I have to dump the ideas of not enough. Then I have to really, really wrap my arms around faith in prosperity.

Tweet: Without dumping my limiting ideas, there’s a block against creativity, which in my business, is highly detrimental. @bheretoday

How to begin?

“Prosperity at its root is a belief in a benevolent something–and a belief that that ‘something’ will guide us and guard us, ” Julia writes in the introduction to The Prosperous Heart.

“In my personal history, I have had tight fiscal times and times of greater abundance,” she continues. “I have learned to have a sense of safety based on my conviction that God will provide.

“Looking back, always, when a demand for cash has appeared, the supply of cash has appeared also,” Julia concludes.

Alrighty then. Now I know what I want to be filled with for the next time I spill my insides all over the sidewalk.

Photo courtesy of JEOMYEOL

31 Christmas Quotes to Keep You Mindful

o-CHRISTMAS-QUOTES-facebookHappy December! For those of you who love Christmas like I do, welcome to the 2014 season. It is this time of year, more than any other, that helps me know that hope does spring eternal and love is the greatest reason to live.

However, for all the sparkling lights, boughs of pine scents and piped in mall music, many of you struggle through the holidays. You may even wake up every day in December grateful that you’re one day closer to January 2 because you’re worn out by family drama and/or exhibitions of addiction.

Regardless of your circumstances, know that you’ll survive. You’re tough and resilient. But when things get tough, turn to these 31 Christmas quotes–one for each day of December–and allow yourself to take a breath and mindfully remember the season is about love. And in the words of Dr. Seuss, “Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!”

2. Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.  ~ Calvin Coolidge

3. Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ~ Norman Vincent Peale

4. It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air. ~ W. T. Ellis

6087e53d8a293c77740cda01943252f35. If you haven’t got any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble. ~ Bob Hope

6. A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together. ~ Garrison Keillor

7. I love the excitement, the childlike spirit of innocence and just about everything that goes along with Christmas. ~ Hillary Scott

8. Christmas makes me happy no matter what time of year it comes around. ~ Bryan White

9. There are a lot of Grinches out there that would like nothing better than to take any references to religion out of the holiday season. ~ Ernest Istook

10. To perceive Christmas through its wrappings becomes more difficult with every year. ~ E. B. White

11. Christmas can be celebrated in the school room with pine trees, tinsel and reindeer, but there must be no mention of the man whose birthday is being celebrated. One wonders how a teacher would answer if a student asked why it was called Christmas. ~ Ronald Reagan

12. Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone. ~ Charles M. Schulz

13. This is the message of Christmas: We are never alone. ~ Taylor Caldwell

14. Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we’re here for something else besides ourselves. ~ Eric Sevareid

15. Christmas, my child, is love in action. ~ Dale Evans

16. Peace on earth will come to stay, When we live Christmas every day. ~ Helen Steiner Rice

17. I truly believe that if we keep telling the Christmas story, singing the Christmas songs, and living the Christmas spirit, we can bring joy and happiness and peace to this world. ~ Norman Vincent Peale

christmas-is-a-precious-reminder-christmas-quotes18. Remember, if Christmas isn’t found in your heart, you won’t find it under a tree. ~ Charlotte Carpenter

19. Christmas is the keeping-place for memories of our innocence. ~ Joan Mills

20. With this in mind, Ava tells herself to be present and celebrate the holiday instead of wishing it was over. After all, one is given only a certain number of Christmases in one’s life. ~ Elin Hilderbrand in Winter Street.

21. The month of December isn’t magical because it sparkles. It’s magical because it changes people’s hearts … at least momentarily. ~ Toni Sorenson

22. Christmas is best pondered, not with logic, but with imagination. ~ Max Lucado

23. Christmas is a whisper of peace and a sigh of hope on the lips of love.” ~ Richelle E. Goodrich

24. If my Valentine you won’t be, I’ll hang myself on your Christmas tree. ~ Ernest Hemingway, 88 Poems

25. Why not share with the world the way it is and tell them my feelings about my cat, and how I played with my kids, and how addicted to Christmas time I am, and the smell of pine needles and hearing my kids laugh. ~ Steven Tyler

26. You have to remind kids to stay connected to the meaning of Christmas. Sometimes it takes a little bit of effort, but it’s so worth it. ~ Caroline Kennedy

27. I think it’s important not to grow up too fast. I’m 26 now, and I still can’t wait for Christmas Day. The inner seven-year-old isn’t buried too deeply in me. ~ Laura Haddock

28. It is the personal thoughtfulness, the warm human awareness, the reaching out of the self to one’s fellow man that makes giving worthy of the Christmas spirit. ~ Isabel Currier

29. Want to keep Christ in Christmas? Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have done unto you. ~ Steve Maraboli, Unimagesapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

30. One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly. ~ Andy Rooney

31. For the spirit of Christmas fulfils the greatest hunger of mankind.  ~ Loring A. Schuler

Please share these mindful Christmas quotes on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks much!

(Cover photo courtesy of The Huffington Post)

Unearthing Faith Again

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Fran Sorin’s Amazon best-selling book is still on my mind. If you saw Monday’s post, you know that Digging Deep is a great practical and metaphorical guide to getting right with the earth and your spirit.

It’s the latter that consumes me today.

I’ve been thinking a lot about faith and I’ve realized that my faith has been as stuck as a shovel in clay-packed Texas dirt.

I read in the Daily Word this morning that I am rooted in God. “I am never separate from God because God is everywhere present.”

Then, I read in one of my recovery guidebooks that growing through challenges is akin to asking God to prune us back so that we can grow stronger.

It’s a plethora of horticultural messages!

Tweet: I may be rooted in God, but my faith can sure decide to root-rot from time to time. @bheretoday #DiggingDeep

That’s when I know I haven’t been feeding my faith the nutrients it needs to thrive.

Every plant (and every human) needs a good pruning

Faith grows stronger at the point where it’s been seemingly cut away.

After the pruning is the time to pour extra nourishment on the site because it may need special protection and care for awhile.

It’s important to keep the area clean–so no thoughts of lack or limitation are allowed. It’s almost as if the newly exposed area of faith needs a quarantine for a time.

We should be mindful of not exposing pruned areas to the elements that could cause harm. You might even consider a light covering, like a tent to ward off a springtime frost against the sharpness of the cold.

I know I feel much better as I protect my newly rooting (re)faith. Later, as it gains in strength, there will be intended harm–pests and even pestilence. But you and your faith will be stronger and more capable of edging around those threats.

The time to grow is now. The time to ripen is now. There is much to do that requires a deep and abiding faith to emerge with a renewed faith and a deepened sense of peace.

May love forever guide all of you as you experience your own pruning process. May you allow the God of your understanding to give you comfort and a renewed sense of faith.

If you like what you’ve read, please share with a comment or through the social media buttons below.

Photo courtesy of taliesin

Fran Sorin’s 10th Anniversary of Digging Deep

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November–the month of thanksgiving, appreciation and gratitude–is one of my favorite months. Many people in recovery have an affinity for November and are often known to use the 30 days as a time to “give back what has been freely given.”

In that spirit, I want to share with you an interview with my friend and fellow writer Fran Sorin, who recently released the 10th Anniversary Edition of Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening.

Don’t be fooled by the title!

Digging Deep is a powerfully uplifting and transformative self-help book for the creatively and spiritually challenged. @bheretoday (Click to Tweet). If you think, “I’m not creative,” think again. Fran will help you harness your instincts and live a life filled with joy and creativity–and isn’t that the whole point?

I asked Fran how Digging Deep applies to B Here Today readers–gardeners and non-gardeners alike. She said, “When we are on all fours in the garden—digging a hole in the ground –we are not only tending to the garden, but we are tending to our souls. The infinite beauty and magic of nature awakens all of our senses and enables us to move beyond the realm of ordinary consciousness.

“We enter a world of sacredness where we feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for not only being alive—but for experiencing ‘oneness’ with the universe. We tuck these jeweled moments of gratitude away into our consciousness, knowing that we can access them anytime (especially when facing obstacles) to help us stay grounded, resilient and focused on the stuff that really matters.”

Holy cow. That’s so cool and so, well, deep.

“Think about it,” she said. “Each of us has the ability to improve the quality of our lives by freeing up our imagination, improvising, taking more risks, experimenting, living with uncertainty, and being more mindful. Although I use the process of gardening as a tool for making my point, learning to live creatively outside of the garden—in all areas of your life—is the ultimate challenge.”

Is gardening a spiritual practice?

“Oh yes, for sure,” Fran said . “The beauty of gardening is that humankind’s connection to nature is such a primordial one that when you slow down, and let yourself just ‘be’ in the moment with nature, tending to the plants, you automatically can enter a Zen-like state. There’s a rhythm and beauty to it unlike any other spiritual practice I know of.

“Believe me, those moments leave deep impressions in your soul and you walk through this earth overflowing with gratitude and a feeling of abundance. If that’s not spirituality, I don’t know what is.”

I wondered whether, as a spiritual practice, gardening has transformational qualities, so I asked Fran if she had ever felt transformed.

She spoke about the time when she went through the first major renovation in her garden by tearing out all the shrubs in her front yard and replacing them with perennials.

“That was a real marker for unearthing the fear and trepidation that had bound me for so many years. I started trusting my instincts, to pay attention to what I knew would work for me, and to take some real risks and be willing to make mistakes.

“I learned to live with ambiguity and to not always rush to conclusion. In the garden, you just have to wait and see what’s going to happen—something I was never all that good at in my personal life. I liked to know what was going to happen at all times. But I started to trust the process of life more, both in my plants and in myself.”

Thank you, Fran, for sharing your love of gardening and your joy in living with us. Purchase Digging Deep through Amazon here.

Fran Sorin is an author, a recognized garden expert, deep ecologist, ordained interfaith minister, and soul tending coach who has a gift of awakening others to the joy of life.

Photos courtesy of Fran Sorin

Are You Praying to the Devil?

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For those of us who enter recovery through 12-step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, or through treatment centers steeped in the 12-steps, we’re told that we’ll come to believe in a power greater than ourselves (Step 2).

That is, belief will come as a result of allowing concepts like powerlessness and unmanageability into our foggy brains.

Later as we work through successive steps, sponsors and others tell us that we get to choose our concept of a higher power. We can even name it, if we want (I eventually chose GUS for God-Universe-Spirit).

You may have struggled, like I did, with the whole “God thing,” based on childhood drama around the church. Now, my mission here is definitely not to diss anybody’s past or present beliefs. I will say, however, that in more than 3,500 12-step meetings when the topic of God is raised, I’ve listened to people inevitably talk about the challenge of aligning their childhood idea of God with their recovery concept of God.

If you stick around the rooms of recovery long enough, you’ll find out two things:

1. Although most people call God, God, nobody really cares what you call your HP.  2. By and large, everybody who holds an HP close to their heart, believes that HP is an all-loving, all-caring, all-nurturing entity.

So here’s a question, if you believe that God (insert your term) is absolute love, complete goodness and wants only the best for you, what happens when crappy stuff happens?

Does the devil answer prayers?

I’m a huge fan of Rev. Ed Townley, a Unity minister in North Carolina, who writes a daily message by way of email. Last month, he wrote about a woman who was down on her luck. From his post:

“There was a general energy of sympathy and self-recognition in the room. But then she said something that made me sit up sharply. ‘I pray. Of course,’ the woman said, ‘but even then, I have to be careful. I believe that sometimes the devil answers prayer!'”

Like Rev. Ed, my beliefs are rooted in New Thought, meaning we are all expressions of God’s divine love and that God has no opposing team headed up by the devil.

Thoughts are prayers

It’s easy to credit God with providing supreme direction when things are going well. You should give yourself credit too because chances are you’re a positive thinker, a glass-half-full kind of person.

In the spirit of New Thought beliefs, those positive thoughts are prayers. Called affirmative prayer, you hold what you desire close to your thoughts, or as we say, “thoughts held in mind produce after their kind.”

Obviously, positive thoughts do have an opposite but the principle remains the same. When we focus on negativity, when we adopt a “yeah, but” attitude because we’re sure the worst thing will happen, we are siding with the devil.

How you ask? As Rev. Ed says, by misusing our power.

“We make choices that create fear instead of love,” he explains. “And then we use those fears that we have created to justify the creation of more fears, until our minds are filled with a whole mass of negative energy that believes in itself.

“We bring more of that fear into tangible expression,” Rev. Ed continues. “So in a very real sense, we could say that Satan is answering our fear-based demands for more negativity.”

The moral of this story? Stay positive or you may find yourself praying to the devil!

Photo courtesy of MGDboston