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I believe in God. Not necessarily on Faith. I see plenty of physical proof of God’s presence all around me. If I but look.

In the present moment there are many things that give evidence of God to me. I can look into the faces of the people I love who populate my life and see God. The way the sun lights up the curtains next to my desk. My water bottle, beside me always. Like Masaru Emoto prescribes, I have a label on it that says Joy. I look at it and think joyful thoughts, thereby infusing the bottle with that emotion. That’s pretty strong evidence, I think.

How about the truly magical Modern Conveniences we have at our fingertips each and every day? Who but a benevolent God gives us such wonders? The computer and what it can do and all the places it can take me! My blessed Pandora, that sends me musical messages of guidance, brings me to tears, gets me up and dancing, or allows me a few minutes of breath and awareness during my favorite songs. It’s hot outside, I’m kept cool. It’s raining, I have light to work by. Cooking and cleaning are a breeze. I am connected by Internet or phone to almost anyone I please. With a few key strokes I can discover the answers to just about any question. Can you call this any less than physical proof?

What else could paint such Art out my back door – a plethora of golden sunlight and delicate shades of green, strong browns and blacks. In exquisite detail, moving in the breezes, playing with the light. Just the perfect mix of colors and textures. God is quite an Artist and generous with His works.

We could cite this amazing brain we have. Some more developed than others, of course, but still it work marvels. Our minds can think up the most incredible things. And boy can they can take us places! Any place we can imagine. The things we can create. And who knows what this amazing computer of a brain we have is capable of? To me, the incredible intricacies of our bodies and how they work scream God.

What a system He’s created! When I get a glimpse of how life really works, I am dazzled by its splendor, its simplicity, well . . . So God-like in its perfection. The cause and effect of energy is such an elegant system. Could this all have fallen into place by itself? The Cosmology of the Universe is so stunning. A wonder for certain! Endless Forms most Beautiful. Such grace and mystery.

The more I learn about the Universe, the more I’m convinced of the existence of God. That we are all made of the same stuff says that science knows we are all connected. The brilliant Particle Physicist and part time rock star, Professor Brian Cox, who might never speak of a belief in God said this,”We are the cosmos made conscious and life is the means by which the universe understands itself.” Which is precisely how God described the creation of the Universe in Conversations with God Book 1. Scientific proof!

The beauty we all seek, the peace, the feeling of being home is right there in front of us all the time. To stay alive, all we have to do is breathe and breathe out. Receiving and Giving. Staying aware in the moment, seeing what is and doing what works. Could anyone but God have thought this all up?

In any given moment if I pay attention, I see ample evidence of the existence (and Love) of God. Some might call it an Intelligence behind it all. Surely there is something. And even though the Universe may be destructive, I know Professor Cox can see the perfection and beauty of it.

I like to say that I think the Marx Brothers proves the existence of God. I just don’t believe so much talent and joy could exist in world without a God.

I read somewhere that if writing isn’t drudgery, isn’t hard work, than you’re not really writing.

I think that writing is a joy.  I like to say that writing can not only make a living for me, it also helps me plumb the depths of my soul and reach out farther than I could’ve ever imagined.

The most challenging part of writing is figuring out what you want to say.  This is simply a matter of clear thinking.  The next step is to express what you’ve decided you want to say. This takes courage.  To commit to paper or screen where others can see and judge, takes some bravado.

One could say this part is difficult.  I believe though that everyone who has a mastery of a language can say what they want to say.  Granted, those of us who have written our 100K+ words may find this easier than others. Wielding words, after all, is what we do.  And surely we can create more poetic and flowing words than those who have not put in the time.

It does take time.  It takes effort.  It takes thinking and dedication.  But none of that is drudgery.  It’s magical.  Some might call it holy.  Making a wonderful Thanksgiving meal requires planning, shopping, preparing, patience, attention and effort.  But the joy of serving the meal to those you love eradicates any thoughts of drudgery.

When words come together in just the right harmony and resonance, there just is nothing like it.

If you find writing hard work, I suggest you take up something else.  You might try recording your thoughts and taking dictation to make it easier.  Or hire a writer who loves it!

As I Look for Peace as my intention, I wish to actively seek joy.  I’ve been seeking joy lately in the simple things: My work, family and friends, a beautiful day . . .

But too often I find that joy dampened.  Some days the work becomes frustrating, the possibilities dim, and people let me down.  A beautiful day can turn gray and sour in no time.  Seeking joy becomes as fruitless as chasing after  that damned elusive pimpernel.

Stan Gale, in his forthcoming book “A Vine-Ripened Life” tells us that joy cannot be found in the changing circumstances of our lives.  But that we can rejoice even when things are dark.

This got me thinking that I could find joy in everything.  I know that there is always something to feel joyful about – a glimmer of hope, a sliver of light, an undercurrent of gratitude or a seed of faith.  With enough practice I could release my choking grasp on those circumstances that are easy to love.  When I know that I will find joy tomorrow, even if it rains, I can enjoy today without all the tension which drains joy like an uncorked bathtub.

Circumstances will continue to change.  It’s a fact of life.  We will die, things will decompose.  In 250 years, everything that’s here will be gone. There are those who say we all long for something solid we can count on.  But there is no such thing in the life we lead.  Only God is unchanging.

As Dr Gale advises, I will seek joy in God and His love for me.  Find joy in the life He has given me, and in our friendship. And rejoice in that.  For it is available to me every minute of every day.  No matter the weather.

There is a feeling associated with this statement.  I’ve not really been able to put my finger on it.

Julia Cameron described it like this, “. . . an appreciation for the work itself, the sheer joy and self respect to be found in doing it.”  She has used words like “dignity” to explain it or another phrase, “. . . about keeping our side of the bargain.”  It’s hard to really capture it in words.

For me it feels full.  On solid ground.  Going beyond or expanding on the concept of self respect.  It’s a centeredness, a wholeness.

Something about getting some writing done makes me feel like I have integrity from doing what I said I’d do. Maybe it’s a result of sharing my skills and talents. What I’m supposed to be doing on this Earth.

There’s a deep satisfaction in it.  From head to toe. Like a cool, refreshing drink of clear water.  Or after a particularly satisfying, tasty and right-sized meal.  Not too full or left still hungry.  It’s got something to do with completion.

It’s not like anything else I can compare it to.  Perhaps after love-making, except there is no grogginess associated with it.  I feel sharper, more capable.  I’ve gotten some writing done, now what?

I guess I’ll go get some more writing done . . .

I feel blessed that I can do a variety of writing styles.  For a living, I write for business.  Marketing, technical, and content.  Which is, if I may say so myself, a nice range.

But I also really love writing from my heart for this Blog and some of my other projects like the book I’m working on called “Love Letters From Your Soul.”  I hope someday to publish a commercial personal/spiritual growth book.

Fiction probably brings me the most joy and delight.  I love to write rock fiction, or what I like to refer to as romance and passion in the exciting (and now relatively extinct) music business.  With, I always hope, a bit of growth mixed in.

I have to admit, more often than not, I am reading a spiritual/personal growth book.  I do get  into fiction now and again, though. I count myself as a Harry Potter devotee.  And I can gobble up books on Arthurian legend.  Not averse to a good cozy mystery either.  I have seen more than my share of movies and amazing films.  Soap operas have been my secret pleasure for years.  And am proud to count many fine story tellers among my close friends.  So I do know a thing or two about story.

For many years I held the notion that nonfiction expands and fiction is merely an escape.  But I am changing my mind about that.  I’m coming to see that fiction plays an important role in our growth as human beings.

Fiction, when done right, gives an intimate views into the minds and hearts of others.  We feel a connection with well crafted characters.  We see parts of ourselves acting through the story. And parts of others we know.  We may not like them all, but we can come to understand a little more about why they do the things they do. Good fiction makes clear the character’s motivation.  If you don’t buy that you’re unlikely to enjoy the story.  It’s like Science Fiction:  If they give you a good basis for belief, you will follow a good writer just about anywhere out there.

It is a study in understanding.  In the best cases, it can open us up to the experience of being the same. Seeing how we all share the same DNA and our motivated by many of the same things.  Even someone who appears to lead a live very different from ours.  It creates bridges into other worlds.  And has done so long before the Internet.

Story is a very powerful tool for learning, history, growth and motivation.  At the heart of all stories is a person, an entity, a living, breathing creature.  Relationship and struggle are the playthings of story, reflecting life as we know it.

At its best good fiction gives us a view of oneness. It talks of unity and how we are all the same.  The more we can feel that the better for all of us (for the one of us.)

I had a few more thoughts on the subject.  (See Part 1 below.)

What about recycling?  Using again what you have is environmentally sound.

I also thought about tapping into your passion.  Using your joy to motivate and fuel you.  That’s a renewable source.

There’s also using your thoughts to feel the way you want to feel.  That can create very powerful magic!

 

I have come to believe that every moment can be fun and easy.  Beautiful even, if you’re willing to see it behind whatever may show up in your life. Paulette Terrels suggests not putting too much stock in what’s actually going on around you, but, instead, seeing further beyond it, around to what’s grander and more beautiful.

Okay, I will concede that there may be times that are just Not Fun.  Let’s say it’s very hard to see the fun or the beauty. But that doesn’t mean it’s not there. For most of us, who live free and relatively speaking abundant lives, there’s a whole lot of times, though, that most certainly ARE FUN!  Or could be with an attitude tweak or two.

I think we get to moving so fast we forget how easy it is to turn on the Fun switch.  Shining the light on what’s wonderful in and around the moment.

Practice, practice.  Use the obvious, easy ones.  When you’re hanging with people you love, enjoying a great meal.  Or spending time with your special one, watching a wonderful film.  At the arena, watching your favorite team win!  Notice how much fun it is. Remember the feeling so you can spot it elsewhere.

It only takes an intention to find the fun.  Just a breath (or 2) maybe a sigh and you are there.  See how many opportunities there are! The best way to increase your fun times is to notice them. The more you acknowledge, the more you will see.  It is just a practice. And, if I might add, rather a fun practice at that.

I still maintain it is actually possible to find fun all the time. I suspect the Dalai Lama finds life fun and easy most of the time.  If not all.  Despite all the things he’s seen, he loves to laugh!

So I may not reach the Dalai Lama’s level in this lifetime, but I can carve out a mighty fine life – making things easier on my mind, body and spirit.  Not only that, my joy is contagious.  Being happy and finding fun in life spreads.  It affects everything around me.  Make it a practice to see with eyes that recognize the fun and beauty which stands behind everything!

I understand the concept. It’s about energy and vibration.  If I’m vibrating with love now, I will attract similar vibrations.  If I’m picking at things I don’t care for in my current situation, I’m likely to keep finding things wrong in the next situation.  If I don’t harmonize or vibrate the way I want to feel, I’ll never make it to “there.”  I need to accept the now with the same feeling I would accept what I want.

But, I’ve been wrestling with this for days. I get caught up in thinking that if I love that which I do not choose, it will become my Then. Doesn’t that kinda figure? It feels wrong (or odd) to say I love this the way it is, if I don’t. I’m frankly nervous about giving my thumbs up, if you will, to things I really choose to change. There is no use telling me that things change because sometimes it feels like they don’t. It sure looks like I’m stuck in the same stuff I’ve been trying to change.

Okay, I know that life is always changing  – even if it’s not the way I imagine. I guess what this concept teaches is that it’s about feeling good no matter what and then things will change to meet the new vibration. But how does that work, anyway? Do those good feelings and vibrations transform my life into what I want?  How does life know how to change?  From my Want?  Vision?  The Intention?  The good vibes?  What’s to keep life from staying the same since I seem to be so happy with the way things are now?

Sometimes I feel like I’m trying to wedge good feeling into things that don’t naturally generate them.  I know what feels good and this is not it!  Maybe I’m straddling the two.  Thinking I can somehow lasso the life I have to the life I want. If I pull hard enough they will come together. They have to become one, eventually, don’t they?

Do I need to look at what I Do Not Choose more carefully so I can figure out how to change it?  But that leads me to ask,: Why isn’t this change working?  What am I doing wrong?   No, thank you.  That feels like a closed valve, keeping good things from coming my way.

The Positive Slant says, why not?  Doesn’t it feel better to love my now AND my then?   The Secret, of course, is to love what you have.

Could I live without an intention or a goal, though?  Seems hard to me.  As Paulette Terrels has said, What if your Purpose is Peace?  Or Love?  Or even Joy?  Rather that this or that _____.

The things I love in my current life don’t have to have anything to do with what I may not “prefer at the moment.”  I can base my Joy on Whatever Happens or on things that are connected to the situation only by their flavor – like joy or peace.

A practice might be to find those things that feel good which are not directly connected to the life situation or the thing I do not choose. Not entangling myself in what I do and do not want. Like finding some middle ground between the two.  A bridge which could connect them.  What are some things I Love about now? Being able to help others. Taking a walk on a beautiful fall day. Thoughts about my future.  A drink of cool fresh water. Having time to express my art.  Being with people I love. Taking good care of myself. Doing something special for me or my loved ones.

The trick, according to”Conversations with God,” is . . . To choose something while not condemning, but loving too, that which you do not choose. For one thing, this thing I do not choose is what brought me here – closer to that which I Do Want.

The key then is to love whatever is happening, holding my intention lightly.  After all, loving life every moment does not lock an otherwise not wanted situation in place.  The more I can love whatever is in front of me, the more of that same feeling I’ll get.

In the end, it must be about getting past Do and Do Not Want – into Acceptance of whatever is there. It’s all a Joy, all a ride.

Everybody is talking about Self Care.  Readers of this Blog know that I’m a big proponent of this important cause. I contend that a large part of it is in how you talk to yourself.  Self talk can make or break your Self Care program.  When you are the observer of your thoughts you are in the realm of Now. (And we all know how vital and powerful that is!)

So, observation is key.  It only takes a moment to be aware.  Once you hear what you’re saying, you have the opportunity to be proactive in your self-care.

Sometimes I stop and ask myself, “Is this what I really want to be doing right now?”  If I answer that it isn’t, I’m only going to cause myself suffering.  Instead I can turn it into an opportunity to say, “Yes.”  And allow myself to be more present to what I’m doing, rather than questioning it.

Another favorite question is: “Am I doing this well enough?”  This is where I can really step up and be on my side.  If I remember that I can love myself like I would a friend, I turn that thought on its ear.  What a wonderful way to show that I love and care about myself!  Close those thoughts down. Tell them to take a hike.

How about “Am I doing the right thing, moving in the right direction?”  I like to use this as practice in trusting.  Surrendering to whatever I’m doing.  That is the only place I can hear new instructions as to where to go next. If I’m constantly questioning myself I’ll never get anywhere. That’s a lousy way to treat myself.

I am going to listen to what I’m saying and change the thought if it doesn’t support me in joy and acceptance.  I think that’s a very good way to take good care.

I’ve been reading Neale Donald Walsch’s “Conversations with God for Teens.” Teens are my latest passion since I’m writing a book for teenage girls. 

In Neale’s book, the teens get to ask God questions. One of them wondered why he had to do things like watch his younger sibling.  “Yuck,” the teen said. “Who wants to do that?”  God asked the teen to figure out what’s in it for him.

What an amazing concept!  What’s in it for me?  You’d think that’s a recipe for disaster. Especially with a teenager.  But God played it out so it made sense.

God asked if there was something the kid wanted to do, like go on a trip or be able to participate in something special.  If he was to babysit for the younger brother, he would show his parents how responsible he could be.  This would come in handy when he needed to negotiate for what he wanted later.

 Wow!  All of a sudden the teen had a compelling reason to do what’s asked of him. Old school might say he needs to do it simply because he was asked to.  My mother would say I needed to do it because she “said so.”  That doesn’t put me in a very receptive mood.  “Okay, I’ll babysit my younger brother,” I say, “but only because I have to.”  The whole time I’m likely to be resenting it and getting angry at my little brother and my mother for forcing me into it.  I might even be distracted and let my brother get into trouble.

But the boy in the book found a Reason to do it, a spot in his heart where he was willing. He could see what was in it for him. He’ll probably have a much nicer time babysitting and do a far better job.

What’s in it for me does not preclude what’s in it for you. It only gives me that juicy center which offers energy and motivation. Rather than getting bogged down with resentment and anger, I can move forward with joy, excitement and a willing heart.

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