In I am Enough by God!, I talk in depth about how the only way to get out of the illusion that says that we are somehow flawed is to embrace that we are enough just as we are. Some people have had difficulty with this concept because they are living lives that are so incredibly stressful and unfulfilling, and when I suggest that they look at their unfulfilled life and say that it is enough, they get upset because their soul knows that they need to move into something better. But the more energy we spend focused on trying to fix what appears to not work, the deeper we actually entrench ourselves into a life that does not work. Where we place our attention is where the energy of creation moves into manifestation.
Whenever I have tried to "fix" something in my life, I inevitably send my attention and energy into the problem and create more of the problem. For the past year, I have been healing from adrenal fatigue and hypothyroid issues. Every time I focus on fixing the health issue, I have actually made my health worse and the fatigue more debilitating. Every time I have followed another supplement routine outlined by some expert, I have ended up feeling worse than when I began because I was energizing the problem with my attention and energy. I was giving the problem life through my awareness of it.
I know that I do not want to experience fatigue anymore; I know that in the core of my being I deserve more. Focusing on fixing it did not work...not once. Focusing on how my body was already enough, even in the midst of the temporary experience of fatigue, is what is healing me. By loving my body by feeding it nourishing foods., embracing my energy system by feeding it through Qigong, and accepting the temporary imperfection of fatigue, I am creating what I do want instead of pushing against what I don't want. It is a subtle difference but it makes a huge difference in what I energize. I can either energize the problem and try to fix it, or I can stop pushing against the problem and my life as enough. The more I embrace the enoughness, the more I energize the experience of everything being enough.
So no matter what difficulty you experience in your life, trying to "fix" it will only create more of it. You are enough just as you are in this moment. Your life is enough just as it is this moment. You money, your job, your friends, your significant other, your world ... they are all enough right now. Be still in your heart and feel that enoughness seep over everything in your life. Allow it to smooth over you and release the resistance you hold. Sit in that enoughness as relax into your soul today.
On this week of Thanksgiving, do not forget to be grateful for you! It is easy to get lost in fixing ourselves; we want to be skinnier, healthier, smarter, more articulate, or more successful. Yet, in the process of wanting ourselves to become more, we often forget that we are already enough just as God created us.
Extra weight, debt, a health challenge, or careers that don't feed us do not diminish who we are. We are magnificent even in the midst of lives that seem to appear to be imperfect. We are glorious just as we are. So when you see yourself reflecting in a mirror, take a moment to be grateful for you just as you are. Be grateful for your talents. Be grateful for your compassion and love. Be grateful for your body even if it isn't perfect. Be grateful for your laughter and joy. Be grateful for your intelligence. Be grateful for your ability to be a good friend. Be grateful for you wisdom. Be grateful for your integrity. Be grateful for you just as you are this Thanksgiving!
One of the mistakes I made while learning how to create an authentic life was to try to do it all on my own. Part of it was that I had purged quite a few unhealthy relationships that just were not working anymore, but part of it was that I was afraid to share my dreams with new people. I held my dreams too close to my heart and did not share them with very many people, so I did not give other people the opportunity to support me and love me through my journey.
The lesson that I learned on my self-imposed, isolated path was that it was much harder for me to create my dreams all on my own. We are not supposed to do it alone. If I would have reached out for support, I would have had more people to pray and visualize my success, a plethora of different ideas to get past challenges, and some love, joy, and laughter to make the journey to my dreams far more enjoyable!
So if you do not already have kind, loving, supportive people in your life now, start looking for them. Take the risk to try a new study group or try a new church. Take the risk to seek out Meetup groups, Facebook groups, etc. that have the kind of joyful energy that attracts more joyful energy. Find place to go have fun with people who really resonate with the things you are interested in. When you get to these groups, choose to let people in so that they can love you, support you, laugh with you, and help you along the way, and the best part is that you get to help them along the way as well. You are not alone! Ever!
I have had a change of heart on affirmative prayer since writing I am Enough by God. In my first book, I wrote that I did not think affirmative prayer was very effective. I wrote about how when I saw a flaw in my life, I would affirm it's opposite, but my attention and energy was still back at energizing the flaw. So my solution was to keep my awareness in the enoughness of my life and see the enoughness that already existed for me. Seeing enoughness and sufficiency gave me a lot of peace from the illusion in my mind that said that everything about me and my life was flawed.
What I know now is that affirmative prayer does work, but what I was affirming many years ago was so far outside of my realm of belief that I would re-entrench back into the illusion of being flawed even more deeply. I admire those people who can affirm a mansion and six-figure income and have them manifest a year later. For me, if I try to see the mansion, I do not really believe that I will create it therefore I do not; not manifesting the mansion makes me feel like something is wrong with me....that I have somehow failed. Failure to manifest a grand plan always fed into the illusion that I was flawed.
I am far more effective if I use affirmations to see myself achieving things that are stretches for me but still within the realm of what I believe to be possible. So for example, when I felt deeply flawed, seeing myself as a perfect, divine person was not actually in my realm of possibilities, which is why affirmations about my perfection really did not help me. However, when I felt so deeply flawed, affirmations that were closer to my realm of possibilities did work which is why I affirmed my enoughness just as I was created. I could believe in enoughness in a way that I could not believe in perfection, at the time.
I still keep my big dreams and my big vision, but I affirm the smaller, more believable steps along the way. For example, my big dream is that my writing helps people around the world live joyful, authentic lives and inspires them to live their dreams. My affirmations though are not trying to manifest this grand goal. My affirmations are about what I need to do today or this week to manifest my dream. My affirmation today was, "I am Understanding and Wisdom." When I am not sure what I need to write, that affirmation helps to stretch me out of feeling small. What affirmative prayer can you send out today that is within your realm of believable for you but is still a stretch?
When I did not believe I was good enough, I sought the answers to how to make my life better outside of myself. Whether it was the latest self-help book to help me get skinny or a spiritual book to try to make me happier, I kept looking for inner peace from outside of me. In the process of all this self-healing, I was trying really, really hard to be enlightened, beautiful, and perfect.
I woke up trying to make myself more patient with others; I ate my food for the day based off of someone else ideas about what I should eat; I prayed in certain ways because I read that those types of prayers were better than the prayers I had been doing; I spent my money (or hoarded it) based off of what an expert told me to do to get out of debt or be prosperous. Finally, at the end of my day, I would crawl into bed exhausted by all the self-discipline it took to mold my life into the idea of being perfect. I was exhausted from trying to be perfect all the time. It was so hard to force myself to be what I am not.
Inner peace comes when we stop trying so hard to be perfect and love ourselves and our lives just as they are. We always have been and will always be enough just as we are in this very moment. There is nothing "wrong" with us just because we do not live up to societal standards of beauty, weight, leadership, success, or wealth. The more we appreciate and love the beauty of who we are, the more the law of attraction kicks in to show us more of our beauty. We attract people and opportunities that allow us to really shine who we truly when we finally stop trying to become who we are not.
So take a moment to look in the mirror today....really look yourself in the eye and acknowledge this phrase, "I am enough." Then stop trying so hard to be anyone other than you. Relax, let go, and trust yourself.
I know I spent many years looking outside of myself for answers. From self-help books to new age workshops, I kept looking to outside experts to give me the answers to make my life happier and healthier. But the only thing that ended up happening to me is that I felt more deeply flawed every time I failed to live up to the idealized standard of enlightenment that the experts were telling me to achieve. For most of my life, I was living it from the outside to the inside like looking for outside validation, outside wisdom, and outside paths. Years and years of looking outside of myself only served to make me more disconnected from my own inner wisdom and knowing. I felt lost and alone. I felt like a failure each time I failed to maintain the practices of the latest self-help book.
In 2008, I finally got to the point that I was so frustrated that I threw away nearly all my books. I literally woke up from a nap after reading Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth and my inner knowing said, "You don't really believe this stuff do you?" I did not. I did not believe that I carried around a pain body that was reacting to other pain bodies. I did not actually believe that connecting to my inner guidance was really all that complicated. I did not believe I had to change myself yet again to try to become some idealized image of a spiritual person. If God wanted me to be Mother Theresa, I would have been. On that day in 2008, I realized that all I ever needed to be was me. This was when I finally began to listen to myself and my own inner wisdom.
What I would like to offer you today is a new way of viewing yourself. You are already enough exactly as you are in this very moment. You are strong enough. You are wise enough. You are pretty enough. You are healthy enough. You are enough always in any situation and at every moment. In addition, you are already the beacon of your own light. Just like the lighthouse shines brightly in the darkness, you already possess an inner wisdom that will lead you to your best life. You just need to turn within to find it and allow it to guide you. No one and nothing outside of you holds the answers to your life. Your inner beacon is calling you today to connect to it. The easiest way that I have learned to connect to it is through doing something joyful. The act of creating joy places us firmly into the knowing of who we are. So invest some time today to do something fabulous and fun. From that joy that comes from authentic self-expression, you will find your inner beacon of light.
There has never been anything in the way of our dreams except for our own beliefs. What we believe dictates the quality of our lives as well as our capacity to move into our heart's desires. If we believe that we are flawed, we spend our time trying to heal ourselves in self-help workshops or through books. If we believe that we do not have a God that we can trust, we spend our time worrying about the path ahead and whether we will be supported on it. If we believe we are inadequate, we will spend a lot of energy compensating for the perceived flaw. If we believe that we cannot have what we want, we settle for less and do things that are not really on our highest path. If we believe that the world is unsafe, we try to make ourselves feel safe by living our lives small. What we believe, we create simply because beliefs dictate how we spend our time and energy.
I once thought that metaphysics was some kind of magic that I could not wield with any authority. I studied it and studied it trying to make it work for me, but the power of it eluded me until I realized I was the one creating everything in my life by my beliefs. The truth about it is that there is nothing magical about metaphysics. We create our lives by what we focus on and give effort to. We are the ones who choose what we are focusing upon. I spent many years focusing on things that did not create a good life. I worried. I feared. I tried too hard. I kept bad relationships. I over compensated for feeling inadequate. I did things the way others were telling me to do them, instead of listening to my own heart. I will reiterate this one, I tried too hard.
What if today, we choose to believe one thing differently? What would happen if we choose have faith in a kind God instead of fearing a harsh one? What if today, we took steps toward our real dreams instead of settling? What if today, we look at ourselves in the mirror and love the person we are in this very moment? What if today, we do something we love to do instead of finding all the reasons we cannot do it? What if today we let go and enjoyed ourselves right where we are? Shifting to a new belief requires persistence, but each time we step forward with a new action based on a new belief, the God has the opportunity to prove to us that we live, move, and have our being in a safe, supportive, loving place. Each time we choose to place our energy toward creating the life we dream about, we move closer to actually creating it. What belief will you choose differently today?
When we walk our soul's path, we will see obstacles and challenges along the way. I think it is a myth that if we just pray hard enough that a perfect path will open for us and every single step will be effortless. Instead, I think we grow along the path, learn to manage or overcome obstacles, or realize that there were no obstacles to begin with. The mistake that I have kept making is thinking that these perceived obstacles are God's way of telling me I'm on the wrong path. So I have wasted a lot of time and energy looking at many different possible choices hoping to find the "magical" one that is free of difficulties.
I would like to offer a different view of obstacles and challenges. I had a dream eight years ago about who I really am inside and who I want to express myself to be, but it seemed so far from the life that I was living at the time that all I could see were obstacles in my way. I saw the imperfection of the people I would have to work with in order to achieve my dream, and I told myself that these people were in the way of my good. I even spent a good number of years angry at the situation because I believed that I could not have what God was telling me to do because of circumstances outside of myself. I lived almost 8 years in this frustration between what I really wanted to create and all the people and circumstances that I blamed for my inability to create the dream.
This last week, I was reading a book called The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity by Catherine Ponder. In the book, there is a chapter where she talks about writing a letter to God about your heartfelt dreams. I had already written up a list of the things I wanted to create and had that list on the board next to my desk because I knew that helped me focus my energy. But Catherine said something that really changed me. She wrote, "Be honest with yourself when you write out your desires. Express...your really deep feelings. Don't write out what somebody else wants for you, or what you think you should desire. Be honest with yourself and your Maker, if you really want happy results." When I looked at the list of my dreams that I had written down, many of them were not really me being honest with myself or my Maker. They were dreams that I was settling for because I believed that there were obstacles in my path to my true hearts desires. In those moments after I read Catherine's words, my heart softened and opened up to God again. I wrote down my heartfelt dream and said it out loud for the first time in 8 years.
My perception of the obstacles in my path has changed. I know in my being that no one or no thing stands in the way of my soul's dreams. Nothing can stand in the path of what God wants for us because nothing is bigger than God. I believe that God places our dreams safely in our hearts so that we will not lose them. But we need to acknowledge them, believe in them, and take actions on them to create them. Obstacles are not to get us to choose smaller dreams; obstacles are what we perceive when we forget that we can have our heart's desires. You can have your dream path. You can create your heart's desire. What dreams are you holding in your heart? What have you not been honest with your Maker about? What actions are you going to take today to live your heart's dreams and walk your soul's path?
So how do we know what path is ours to take? For me, the answer to that question is usually the path that is followed by my mind saying, "Yeah, but....." More often than not, I know what I really want to create in my life, but I let my mind tell me all the reasons that I cannot have it. When I believe those reasons, I start to compromise on my dreams. My dream might be to run a marathon, but my mind will tell me how time consuming it is to train for one, how difficult marathons are on the knees and joints, and how I am just not in good enough shape to run one. So then I begin to compromise and say that a 5k might be okay, but deep down, I really long to experience a marathon. So the first way we know we are thinking about an important path for us to travel is how much our minds tell us we just cannot have it. The more the mind protests, the bigger the dream, and the more resilience we need to create it.
How do we create that resilience? How do we get so confident that we will not alter our dream? Two ways. The first is to do things on a daily basis that bring us joy. Doing things that bring us joy connects us to our deepest selves. Joy is of the soul, and the best decisions are made when we are in a joyful place. It is hard to worry, doubt, and have fear when we are doing something fun and interesting. So cultivating joy on a daily basis gives us the resilience we need to stay steadfast on our path. The second way is to take baby steps, which means to create smaller dreams or small steps of the big dream. When we focus our efforts on what we can do today to create what we want and stop focusing and worrying about how it will all work out, we build a confidence in our ability to co-create our dreams with the Universe. Being successful at small dreams and little tasks associated with our big dreams steadies our resolve to manifest our bigger dreams. So what dreams do you have that your mind is protesting? What ways can you cultivate joy in your life today? What baby steps do you want to take to build that confidence in your dreams?
I have been pondering a question lately that has me really discerning where I put my energy. The question is, "What makes a full, rich life?" Which leads to the more personal question of, "What would a full, rich life look like for me?" The answer to this question surprises me a little bit because I had been living under the false assumption that I had a limited amount of energy.
I shared with you a few weeks ago that I spent many years with undiagnosed hypothyroidism, which made me very cold and tired. The gift of this experience for me was that it caused me to really look at where I was placing my energy. I didn't have the energy to do the things I was doing. At the time, I felt like I had a finite amount of energy that I needed to carefully place on the things that were meaningful to me, which meant that I started to let go of many of the energy drains in my life. I let go of negative people who brought my energy down. I let go of groups and organizations that really no longer fulfilled me. I let go of many of my daily chores opting to spend my finite energy on the things that I loved like writing. I even let go of where I was living because I was really unhappy in the cold, dreary winters of North Idaho that exacerbated my hypo coldness symptoms.
The gift of this experience was that I did purge my life of negative energy, but the downside of viewing my life from the perspective of a finite amount of energy was that I was unable to fill in the newly opened spaces with enough joyful things to experience a full, rich life. As I sit now on the other side of hypothyroidism and comfortably moved into my new home, I realize that we have an infinite amount of energy to place on the things that really matter to us. I do not have to choose between great opportunities; rather, I am being given enough energy to live fully. I can volunteer to make the world a little better like my heart tells me to. I can take some classes and expand my knowledge in the things I am really interested in. I can build new skills and finally join that Toastmasters group I have been putting off doing. I can join a writers group and find more support for my passions while helping support other people too. I can spend quiet time alone with my writing. I can walk, run, do yoga or tai chi to keep my body healthy. I can still have time to love and care for my family. All of these activities are what a full, rich life means for me, and I am given enough energy to do them all.
Living a full, rich life is not about choosing one single thing. It is about choosing to act from the knowledge that we really have enough energy to do what we want when we are doing what we love. We are being provided an infinite amount of energy to express who we truly are. A full, rich life is about making as many aspects of our live authentic to us as we can. A full, rich life is about opening ourselves to love, friendship, and learning. It is about living our passions fully (whether or not they earn us an income). Living a full, rich life is about expressing all the things our hearts and souls are calling us to do. So I ask this question for you to ponder, "What does living a full, rich life look like for you?"