Posts Tagged ‘Spirit’

Releasing Expectations

 

       Life presents us with opportunities for growth; some painful and some exciting, but these lessons are always challenging our core values and beliefs.  With every new opportunity, we test ourselves and all that we currently know by choosing to either move forward toward the unknown or play it safe.  Whenever we start something new, we’re pushing past our comfort zone and thus pushing past our expectations. While there is familiarity with the known, there is little growth so we make up expectations and fantasize about what this new experience will be like. It’s almost like preparing for a play by studying our lines, except we are the writer, actor, and director. We give emotion, dialogue, and set the scene for our new adventure, environment or relationship, and then get upset when things don’t turn out the way we planned (expected).

Having expectations is part of being human, however, it doesn’t have to take center stage. We’ve all heard the saying “expectations are planned resentments”. This means that by creating them, or buying into them, we are setting ourselves up for failure, disappointment, and pain. Instead, take life as it comes and learn to “roll with it”. Plan, if you must, but don’t fall into the trap of “expecting” anything of a person, place, or thing (ex: event).  The key to releasing expectations is acceptance.

Accept what you cannot change. And that is pretty much everything outside of yourself. Recognize your Spiritual power within and harness control (awareness) over your thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and actions. Practice an attitude of gratitude. As Dr. Bernie Siegel says in his book 101 Exercises for the Soul, “you can’t be troubled and grateful at the same time”.  Through acceptance and gratitude, peace and joy exist.

I am so grateful to have learned this lesson in my life and for the opportunity to practice is regularly.     Join me in releasing expectations forever! There is freedom in not expecting and instead simply allowing experiences to unfold; naturally.  Try it today and see for yourself.

 

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Living with Thanks!

 

 November is a time for thanksgiving; a time for pausing in gratitude for the many blessings in our lives. Living with such an “attitude of gratitude” is essential for a happy life because it turns our attention away from lack into plenty, from poverty into abundance. From this mindset that we can truly see the glass half-full, regardless of its contents.

No matter what your spiritual or religious beliefs, having a thankful consciousness can mean the difference between living in misery or joy. I am so grateful to notice the difference in my life and to have awoken to this Truth long ago. Will you join me? Living with thanks is ultimately a choice. Are you willing you move past petty differences with others to see and appreciate the beauty in them? We all have gifts to give and none is more priceless than the gift of love.

Today, I invite you to thank God, by living with thanks. Another words, living with a grateful heart. Show kindness. Give generously. Practice patience. Live in Gratitude. Say ‘Thank You’ often.

Namaste’,  (Peace be with you)

Lisa

 

Blessed to be Free

During July, Americans celebrate freedom and independence. Fortunately, I was blessed to have been born in the United States of America where I am free to speak my mind, believe whatever I desire, own property, have multiple children, vote, practice any type of profession, travel and create a life of my own choosing. Many people around the world don’t have this kind of luxury. Perhaps you are one of these people.

One thing we all have in common however, is the ability to choose our own thoughts; that in turn reflects our attitude, and ultimately our life experiences. Regardless of political, social, religious, or economical oppression, nobody can control what is inside our heart and mind; this is 100% under our own control. We can choose to forgive and we can choose to have faith. Even in the case of “brain washing” or psychological torture/abuse, our soul/spirit is untouchable. This divine essence always knows the truth of our being and provides more sustenance than food or water.  There are countless stories of such experiences from people who have been imprisoned, oppressed, abused and tortured who have risen above all adversity as a result of this Truth. They never lost sight of their freedom to choose their own thoughts, attitudes and attitude despite any circumstance.

The story of Immaculée Ilibagiza, is a perfect example of this concept during the 1994 Rwanda genocide when she and seven other women huddled silently together in a cramped bathroom of a local pastor’s house for 91 days! During this horrific ordeal, Immaculée lost most of her family, but she survived to share the story and her miraculous transition into forgiveness and a profound relationship with God. To read more of her story, get her book Left To Tell or check out her website for yourself. http://www.lefttotell.com/

The story of Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor, is another example of someone who utilized his freedom of thought to endure unspeakable horrors. For more of his story, read his book Man’s Search for Meaning and discover what he learned about freedom. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Frankl

When I think of these brave people, I am so thankful and grateful for the freedoms I enjoy and for the choice of thought/ attitude/ perception, that is inherent to every human being on this planet.

What freedoms are you grateful for? Take a moment to reflect on what you might take for granted or tell your story and comment below.  Here is what the books look like for featured authors mentioned above. They are definitely worth reading!

 

With love and blessings; gratitude and Joy,

Lisa

 

Planting Seeds of Faith

Spring if often a time for planting in the garden. A time of renewal and anticipation filled with promise and hope. I love 

gardening; planting seeds of herbs, vegetables, and flowers. This brings me joy and connects me to mother earth, which is a very grounding experience. At a recent workshop I attended, we explored the idea of seeds being planted into the conscious mind by way of intentions where they germinate and later manifest into our desires. Today, I want to explore the various seeds we can plant in our own lives and see what sprouts.

Just like there are many varieties of seeds available to plant for food, shade,  or pleasure; there are endless seeds of thought we can plant for a multitude of outcomes. We can choose to plant the seeds of wholeness, wellness, joy, love, beauty, success, dreams, simplicity, harmony, balance, fun, creativity, relationships, communication, forgiveness, reconciliation, hope, faith, strength, courage, wisdom, completion, discipline, longevity, health, adventure, positivity and so much more… There are an infinite amount of seeds available to plant in the fertile soil of our consciousness. The trick is to continue nurturing them and not dig them up. When we plant a seed, we are expressing faith in Universal Laws or Truths that we can trust to manifest our desires. Tomato seeds produce tomatoes. They can’t produce cucumbers because that’s not the intention of their seeds. The same in true for planting seeds of joy, wisdom, love and anything else in life; they all correspond to the intention of that particular seed. Therefor, paying attention to the seeds we plant in our own minds, correspond with the outcomes we experience in our own lives.

We have a choice. Planting seeds of faith require gratitude which nurtures the composition of the seeds allowing them to flourish into manifestation. What would you like to plant today? I invite you to plant the seeds that would make your life more enjoyable and fulfilling. Write them down. Nourish them with positivity, faith and trust. Weed out doubt, fear, or negativity. Instead, focus your energy on the outcome of these seeds and before long you will begin to see them sprout (manifest) in your life.

* If you liked this article, please comment below and/ or reblog (post on your page/wall) to share with others. Let me know what seeds you’re planting and together we can nurture all the possibilities!

The Blessings of Palm Sunday

  Today is Palm Sunday; the kick off to Holy Week for millions of Christians and Jews all over the world and a time for prayerful reflection and gratitude, as well as preparation for changes yet to come. For Christians, today marks the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a road covered with palms fit for a king.

In the Jewish faith, the rituals of Passover serve as important reminders of the sacrifices and triumphs made by the Israelites to regain their freedom in ancient Egypt.

For me, Palm Sunday has deep spiritual meaning because it marks the beginning of personal transformation. Each year, I release another layer of pain, regret, or shame in order to resurrect a new dimension of freedom. Today, I embark on Holy Week by identifying what aspects of my character or life need forgiveness or healing. Then I pray on these areas all week long in order to gain greater clarity of their deeper meaning; to identify the lessons they have for me, since I know that everything happens for a reason and this includes every action and reaction I may have.  I also double up on reading spiritual literature to help me to see different points of view and therefor open up my consciousness to greater capacities for love and understanding. I also meditate on these messages from scripture and other sacred texts in order to heed their personal message for me  allowing them to inspire and motivate me through this process of grieving and healing.

What does today (this week) mean for you?

I urge you to take serious thought about utilizing the blessings of Palm Sunday and this Holy Week to resurrect a new found freedom within yourself. In order to have a breakthrough, we must each be willing to break down our barriers (walls) of anger, hurt, shame, fear, and pain so that we can ascend to a higher plane of existence.

Change is possible. Change is inevitable. Give yourself the blessing of embracing changes in your life with courage and strength. Face them head on and witness the miracles for yourself. Create your own rituals or plug into the one’s offered by your spiritual community, and utilize this sacred time of year to cleanse your heart of any unwanted feelings that may be holding you back.

Throughout the week I will be posting messages of hope and faith as I embark on this sacred journey and remember the sacrifices Jesus made for me through his example.

Join me today. Comment what’s on your heart. Identify your areas for transformation. Great joy await for us all on the other side!

Love & Blessings

Rev. Lisa

 

“I am so Blessed”

Singer, songwriter, Karen Drucker wrote a song entitled “I am so blessed” from her album Songs of the Spirit II, which I have entitled today’s blog because it is so fitting. Below is a link to her website where you can hear this song for yourself and buy a copy of her CD. http://www.karendrucker.com/pages/music.htm

I had the great pleasure of participating in two, new, experiences September 1st. One was a book study and the other a magnificent woman’s group that enticed authentic action from me while tugging at my heartstrings and stirring up my passion/purpose. I learned so much from both experiences and grew more empowered and enlightened as a result. It is amazing the breakthroughs that can happen amongst other like-minded beings when brought together for a common purpose.

I am so thankful for the opportunity of these groups and for being fully present in them so that I could take full advantage. As a result, I had a fabulous day that was way more powerful than if I was just sitting at home alone. I was reminded of the importance of balance, prioritizing, practicing new skills, facing fear & moving forward with purpose & passion. I was reminded that I teach people how to treat me and that I have the right to be assertive in getting my needs met as well as making my boundaries known.

God reminded me of the importance of simplicity, again, and modeled what that looked like from both facilitators as well as provided me an opportunity to practice it with a friend that evening. All that was required was deep listening to another person, being fully present for them and to God, so that I could be a clear conduit for Spirit’s Wisdom. And what a relief it was. No pressure, or anxiety or stress. No worries or fear. No fuss. Just the willingness to listen from both ends. To the person in front of me and God. What could be greater than that.

I also learned to appreciate where I came from in my life and the power of just one decision. I was reminded of a dark time when my self destructive ways led me to a crossroads and how I made a conscious choice to live and stop trying to kill myself. This one choice made all the difference in my life and placed me on the path I am today. It led me to recovery and sobriety, to college where I earned my Bachelor’s in Social Work, and most importantly back to God; Source. From then on my Faith began to grow and I learned to trust God in every area of my life. I learned that God had a Divine Plan for me and that I was special and unique with specific talents and gifts designed for greatness. I learned that all the pain I’d experienced wasn’t in vain and that it all had meaning. For God never leaves us or forsakes us; God walks silently alongside us, waiting for us to reach out to him/her. God was there and always has been there. It’s me who moves away and forgets; who turns a deaf ear or becomes blind to the wisdom, love, strength and absolute power that lies in the Almighty. And the best part is, realizing that this power resides in me. That God lives in the center of my being as Spirit and that we are forever connected. That realization alone is what set me free from the roller coaster of addiction as well as suicidal depression. The knowledge that I am not alone and can never be abandoned. The knowledge that I have all the wisdom I will ever need right inside of myself to answer any question or make any decision in my life. The knowledge that comes from trusting God, having Faith, and surrendering control so that I don’t become lost of crazy in the details. I am so grateful that God has got my back and has supplied me with everything necessary for this earthly adventure. Thanks be to God. Blessed Be. And so it is.

God is in the Details

What a lovely sight; the ocean. How it moves freely and effortlessly over, in, and around land and ships. Millions of sea shells bask in the sunlight as pictured on the left, yet each is uniquely different. God surely is in the details of life.

How often do we become still in gratitude to bask in the magnificence of the Divine? God is all around us, guiding and directing the planets, animals, weather, and us, if we listen and heed his/her advice. I am so thankful that I don’t have to have all the answers and that I can rely upon a power greater than myself for wisdom and strength to lead me through anything.

Each day I am reminded of Spirit’s availability and accessibility in my life. When I feel overwhelmed or out of control, there is a power for good that I can call upon that restores me to sanity and serenity, however I must call upon it and believe its wisdom. There is freedom in trusting God. Spirit never abandons anyone and loves us all unconditionally.

Where in your life is God calling you to surrender control of the details so that something greater can come into being?  Today, I encourage you to become still long enough to feel the presence and peace that awaits when we release our fear and find faith.