I love and accept myself, unconditionally, right now.
~ Sandy Schwartz
 

Spiritual Growth

DOES GOD’S PERFECTION REALLY EXIST WITHIN YOU?

The profound simplicity of life sometimes amazes me, when in fleeting moments, I catch a vision of the whole. Ernest Holmes eloquently summarized our position in life when he penned the following words…

Perfect God, Perfect Man, Perfect Universe.

What does he mean by that? He is referring to the inherent perfection residing within every one and every thing. In those inspired moments when Life seems to open Itself up to me and I am in conversation with It, I too come to realize that there is a spiritual perfection underlying life, and that everything that aligns itself with that perfection is blessed. Everything out of harmony with that perfect essence is marked by struggle and discord.

So simple, and yet we spend our days tying ourselves up in knots, trying so hard to live our best life. For example, when we truly desire to experience increased good in our lives, where do we find our expectation residing? Do we actually believe in our worth and our right to have this good; or do we instead find our predominate focus on uncertainty and fear, vainly hoping that God will forgive us our trespasses; or that this time Karma will wash out on our side? The underlying intent to which we approach something dictates the outcome. If by chance we should somehow, through sheer will power, achieve a thing, it will be short lived; or else some other good shall be snatched from us, until we grow in consciousness equal to the thing desired. It is the law of cause and effect, as well as a universal principle, that our outer life experience always equals our inner state of consciousness, which is the sum total of our beliefs.

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What we’re not fully embracing is our underlying majesty. We are the Divine essence from which the universe was made! There is no error or mistake to us or Life. We are each unique and perfect, and therefore every experience we have on earth is perfectly right for us and our continued spiritual unfoldment.

The challenge humankind faced upon emergence of conscious, self-directed life on earth was the capacity to think both affirmatively and erroneously. We must, now, decisively choose to release thoughts and beliefs of low energy and embrace their positive opposite. Whether these thoughts are related to our personal lives or that of collective humanity, we must place our expectations only on the highest thoughts for the greatest possible outcome. As we systematically replace lower negative beliefs and expectations with those of a higher nature, Life will rush in to support the truer, more aligned thought pattern. We do not have to manipulate or force Good to be Good or God to be God. We don’t have to change reality because it already is perfect. We simply must align ourselves with it.

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PRACTICAL APPLICATION

  • I invite you now to scan your thoughts and underlying beliefs about yourself. Where might there be some resistance toward belief in your own worthiness and true perfection? Can you identify a particular time in your life when your belief about yourself shifted from one of self confidence and esteem to a more diminished sense of self worth?
  • Another good approach toward assessing your alignment with inherent perfection and your sense of self worth is to repeat the following affirmation to yourself, summoning up as much conviction as possible.

I am completely worthy of all the great good I desire.

What feelings accompany these words of truth? Your degree of inner backtalk reveals your depth of self love or self rejection.

If you suspect that you might require a perspective rewrite, spend some time each day contemplating the beauty of life and your own innate perfection. As you begin, it makes no difference whether you doubt these truths because as you continue focusing on and affirming your good a positive change will unfold for you. You will come to know yourself from that spiritual presence within.

So, does God’s perfection really exist within you? All you have to do is go to the mirror…take a deep breath…look into the eyes of that precious being staring back at you, remembering as within so without, and you’ll know the answer…smile, and say YES!

THE UNIVERSE CONSPIRES FOR YOUR SUCCESS

Just as there are laws enacted in any civilized society to ensure the well-being of its citizens, equally so there are spiritual laws inherent to Life that when honored lift and support us, but when mis-used or broken render consequences. In life, just as proclaimed in the legal system, ignorance of a law is no excuse.

I remember one fine summer day when I became vividly aware of this lesson. Back in my early twenties, driving home from class, I got a little carried away with the car music. All of a sudden out of no where I heard a loud siren blasting and saw red lights flashing as I peered into my rear view mirror. Yes, I was the one being pulled over. I truly wasn’t aware of the speed limit in the area I had just passed or what speed my car had obviously inched up to; I was lost in the tunes! I tried to apologize to the kind officer as he stood there writing me a ticket, all to no avail. It became clear in that pivotal moment, one of Life’s enduring axioms was announcing itself to me––ignorance of a law is no excuse for breaking it!

Do You Love Yourself? 

If you do not, you are breaking one of the great Life tenants or laws.

“Thou Shalt Love Thyself…The Second Great and Missing Commandment”           ~ Sandy Schwartz

Unfortunately, as they say, absence of the knowledge of a law excuses no one from its consequences.  One of the greatest laws and requirements for humanity is that of “self-knowledge” and “self-love.” In the absence of complying with this great law, just about nothing will work out as well for you. Conversely, as you deepen your sense of self worth, you will find your life enriched with ever more joy, success, and well-being!

EMPOWERING YOUR SUCCESS IN 2013

As 2012 moves swiftly to closure, and before we start charting the new, I want to voice a word of caution about a thought pattern that can sabotage even best efforts for desired change. For many of us, there can be a temptation to focus on the year’s unfulfilled goals. However, if you are at all like me you probably started the year off with a list of goals and aspirations that would have taken the average super being a decade to achieve! So I invite you, in reflection, be gentle and loving with yourself!

#1 Begin by Recounting All the Accomplishments and Milestones That You Have Achieved in 2012.  Pat yourself on the back. Give full appreciation to the good you have brought about. Then, after several days recounting your achievements, turn your attention to what’s next. Far too often, at the close of a year, we beat ourselves up about what we haven’t achieved and completely overlook the far greater good we have accomplished.

“A Goal Properly Set Is Halfway Reached.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

#2 Know What You Really Desire.  Be certain the goal you choose is coming from a deep place within and is not just something arising from someone else’s urging or a societal norm. Take some quiet time and reflect on what is really most important to you. Give some thought toward including all areas important in a well balanced life as you formulate your goals. Consider the following:

  • Health and well-being
  • Relationships
  • Career and Creative Expression
  • Abundance and Financial Prosperity
  • Spirituality

Our goals must be deeply meaningful to us, or else it’s likely when turbulence arises, that we’ll find ourselves blown off course.

#3  Test Your 2012 Goals to See if They are Worthy of You.  Because, when all is said and done, we are trading our life for

  1. Does this dream enliven me?
  2. Does this dream align with my core values?
  3. Do I need help from a higher power to make this dream come true?
  4. Will this dream require me to grow into more of my true self?
  5. Will this dream ultimately bless others?

Spend some quiet time in reflection, and if your goal passes the test, consider it worthy of your life energy.

#4  Reprogram Your Subconscious Mind Now that you have chosen your 2012 goals and tested them to be sure they are worthy of your precious time and energy, let’s begin reprogramming your subconscious to make their implementation as easy as possible. For this I recommend the use of “affirmations.” Affirmations are brief positive statements made about your self and your life, framed in first person, present tense. For each life goal form one or more affirmations to build and support a belief that your chosen goal is TRUE for you NOW. I particularly like to begin each affirmation with wording suggested by motivational speaker Bob Proctor, “I am so happy and grateful now that…” As an example of a completed affirmation suggested by Bob around abundance, consider the following.

“I am so happy and grateful now that money comes to me in increasing quantities thru multiple sources on a continuous basis.”

After you have written your affirmations, begin using them daily, reading them out loud with deep conviction, first thing upon awakening in the morning and last thing before sleep at night. With each repetition you are inscribing ever deeper and deeper in consciousness your new and chosen belief supporting your goals.

GOING BEYOND RESOLUTIONS…

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.  He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary, new universal and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him, or the old laws will be expanded and reinterpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings.”     ~ Henry David Thoreau

# 5  Committed Outer Action.  While it is certain that we have paved the way for great results up to this point, the follow through of committed action must be present. Having established your goals and started using affirmations built to support them, you will begin receiving inspired ideas concerning actions that you might take to bring your goals to fruition. You may receive a number of possible options. One thing remains certain, though, you must take outer action in alignment with your goals! Additionally, this action must be sustained for a sufficient period of time. As your proficiency grows in listening to your Inner Wisdom, you will know what you need to do and when you need to do it, for each successive step.

While using Spiritual Principles will require commitment and dedication, you will find it to be far easier than just trying to keep New Year’s Resolutions the old-fashioned way with sheer will power!  Expect happiness and success beyond your wildest dreams! You were made to succeed!  And our world needs you to “BE” your Dream!

THE GIFT IN ADVERSITY

“Within every adversity is its own silver lining. Within every sacrifice is its vindication. Within every martyr is its redeemer. There comes no impediment in the human condition except that its greater emancipator arises. Within every moment of every life rests the fullness of God and thus unlimited potential for change and healing. No matter what the condition or circumstance, no matter when the time frame, no matter what the apparent challenge, part and parcel to the human condition is its sacred counterpart.”  ~ Thou Shalt Love Thyself            ~  Sandy Schwartz

I had been struggling with a deadline for getting an article finalized and prepared for publication for over a week. As a writer fresh inspiration wasn’t the problem this time, however weaving the many inspirational threads into a coherent read was. Finally, finally the end was in sight. I had the rough draft nearly complete and it just needed a few finishing touches. I decided to take time out for a brief meditation to view the final piece with fresh eyes. As is sometimes the case in our new recliner, I drifted off into a pleasant snooze. The next thing I knew, it was 3:00 AM and my lap top was engaging in its automatic download of Microsoft updates. After the updates were complete Microsoft went through its characteristic shut down and restart. This would not normally have been a problem, however this time my auto-save feature didn’t function! All of the work I had poured over the evening before was gone. After trying every technique I could think of, I finally realized it was lost in the belly of the whale, possibly forever. How could this have happened? I felt such a sense of futility. I had worked so hard. (Drats…foiled by Bill Gates once again!)

Deep into the throws of a giant “pity party” an idea surfaced that changed everything; I realized I was at a point of choice. I had no idea why such a loss would have happened or how it could possibly result in anything good, but I sensed something very positive starting to enter my awareness. I could choose to continue the downward spiral of gloom and defeat, or I could choose to step into another possibility, a new perspective that affirmed the potential for something wonderful coming about in spite of appearances.

I further realized that even if nothing good ever directly came of my loss, I was releasing an energy pattern that I had been repeating, perhaps for years. My awareness was that when something negative and out of my control happens, I am no longer the helpless victim bound to an automatic reaction. I could choose a more conscious response. I could choose to trust beyond the facts and appearance. And, in so doing, I would be changing my focus from one of fear and loss into one of faith.

Every moment offers us opportunities for transformation, if we have eyes to see the possibilities. Problems are actually vehicles to assist us in bringing to our awareness an existing negative or limiting belief held in consciousness. Usually such a belief is held at a subjective or subconscious level, of which we may not even be aware. The challenge gives us the opportunity to view, dislodge, and then release the negative or limiting belief, allowing us to refine our energy system and rise in consciousness to a new and healthier level. With this shift in perspective, problems truly are opportunities to grow.

What adversity might be looming ahead for you today? Can you see the silver lining in what at first glance might appear only dire and frightening? If so, realize in that very moment you are shifting, not only the energy content of that experience and how you feel about it, but you are also decreasing the likelihood of encountering such an experience in the future. You really do have a choice to turn those apparent stumbling blocks into stepping stones. At the end of the day with the gift of adversity you really do have a choice. The question is what shall that choice be?

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PRACTICAL APPLICATION

  • The next time you find yourself engulfed in a pang of unjustified fear consider seeking the opportunity this problem might bring. Try this exercise:
    1. Take a long slow deep breath, then relax.
    2. As you exhale imagine yourself releasing all sense of fear and negativity.
    3. Then, as you inhale, feel a deep sense of trust and well-being filling your awareness.
    4. Repeat this process for three breaths. As you do this you are transmuting the negative fear based energy into one of faith and transcendence.
  • Spend some time contemplating the idea that “nothing is ever lost.” Because we all live beyond time and space, there is no “where” for anything to go. The next time something appears to be lost, try affirming instead, “We all live within God and nothing of value to us is ever lost.”
  • Spend some more quiet time considering the idea that everything is always moving in the direction for your highest good, trusting that this is so.

THE SACRED CONTINUUM

“Everything is connected–every second has meaning if we are willing to seek to follow that inner thread of our thought that weaves one moment to the next; in other words, every thought we have ties together the fabric of our life.” ~ Dennis Merritt Jones

As we walk through our days our usual orientation is to think we are moving through objects and space outside of ourselves, objects that have only marginal connection or meaning for us. Everything, however, is both intricately connected to everything else and vibrantly alive.

Yes, everything is alive, part of a living Universe, part of the One. We often think of matter as inanimate, inert, and lifeless. But teaming within any so called inanimate object, life is spinning and rearranging itself at thousands of miles per second, far beyond the human capacity to fathom with our five senses.

And as well as being vibrantly alive, let us further consider the intimacy of our connection within the whole. We are living and breathing within Life Itself, within God. And our every thought and action is connected to and influences the whole. There is a lovely story from the ancient Hindu tradition which further illumines this idea. It states that a single butterfly flapping its wings in deepest Africa affects the weather on the other side of the planet, in our very own communities, in our very home. As we consider the deeper meaning this has for our individual lives we can better understand the vital connection our inner thoughts, words, and actions play in constructing our outer life, and how intimately our life experience touches those around us, near and far, for better or worse.

Life is one continuous whole, interwoven and seamless in its splendor. The inner becomes the outer and the outer becomes the inner, ad infinitum. As an example years ago, while vacationing with my family and driving our RV down the coast of California, I found an interesting ring at a goldsmith’s in Mendocino. I instantly loved this ring and upon considering its shape more closely I realized it was an abstraction of a form that held great meaning for me from my early years of metaphysical study. It held a striking resemblance to the Mobious Strip. The Mobious Strip is a mathematical form, an unbroken circular band with a 180 degree twist in it, thereby connecting the inner and the outer planes into one unbroken whole. As you observe it from any perspective, the outer band becomes the inner band and the inner band becomes the outer band, seamlessly, without end.

I find this shape to be a powerful symbol for the workings of our lives. Our every thought matters and influences the next thought and the next, which in turn colors our emotions, which then finds an outlet through our words, which are backed up by our actions; all of these find a comfortable landing spot deep within our belief system. This, then, gives rise to a strengthened version of our original thought. And thus we begin again, only this time with slightly more resolve and conviction in the correctness of our original position (whether flawed or accurate), as our beliefs have now gained validity upon entering the world of form.

What this ultimately means for us is the more conscious we can become, both of our choices and the stored content of our subjective mind, the more we can be the captain of our own ship as we navigate down the long passageways of our life, living the life we have come here to live, and sharing the gifts that are ours to give.

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PRACTICAL APPLICATION

  • Spend some time each day in absolute silence allowing Life to share its love and wisdom with you.
  • Focus some time today contemplating the connectivity of all Life.
  • Further, consider the possibility that everything is vibrantly alive and of utmost importance to you.