Archive for the ‘Spirituality’ Category
Sometimes there are things you can encounter on your spiritual path that may surprise and puzzle you. About a year ago I started to notice that bright circles of light, “orbs,” were showing up in the photos people took of me at speaking events. (For a prominent scientist’s view of the fascinating phenomenon of orbs, check out the work of Klaus and Gundi Heinemann in their book, Orbs: Their Mission and Message of Hope.)
Some of the photos people showed me contained gigantic orbs; others had as many as 20 of these light circles clustered around me on stage. Another photo surfaced of a woman at our Australia event. She had a serious weight problem. I had put my arms around her and was looking into her face, telling her about how she was going to change. The photo showed a huge orb hovering over us. From my talk in Vancouver last spring came photos of me and my daughter Skye with beautiful orbs around us that almost looked like they had faces. At another event in Calgary, orbs appeared in a photo of a girl on stage who had been healed of facial paralysis.
The appearance of these orbs is only one of a number of “things intriguing and bizarre” coming into my experience. The final chapter in my upcoming book Wishes Fulfilled (scheduled to release early next year) is about opening yourself up to all possibilities and realizing that there’s nothing out there that’s impossible. The New Testament says that, with God, all things are possible—that leaves nothing out.
So why are these orbs showing up now? Continue Reading
In a small village not far from Florence, Italy, a thirteenth-century soldier was imprisoned. The son of a rich merchant, this young soldier had been “lost” for most of his life when suddenly he had a vision to serve God in an unconditional way. He gave up all material possessions, ultimately living and teaching the message of Jesus of Nazareth. This was the man who would come to be known as Saint Francis of Assisi. He became renowned for helping many by simply being in their presence. Wild animals and birds became tame near him, meekly tickling his fingers and flying into his open hands.
On a pilgrimage many years ago, I went to Lower Assisi to visit the tiny chapel that Saint Francis had prayed in every day. The chapel still stands in its exact condition from that time. Today it is surrounded by a spacious building with glorious stained glass windows and an ornate ceiling. Thousands of people mill about in this outer structure; all are in Assisi to pray and pay homage to the thirteenth-century saint. The visitors come and go every day from all over the globe, in solemn, somber, loving tribute to this divine being.
I was escorted into the tiny chapel Continue Reading
Heaven is a state of mind, not a location, since Spirit is everywhere and in everything. You can begin making a conscious decision to look for the unfolding of Spirit in everything and everyone that you encounter. I personally do this by making an effort to look upon my world as if I were observing it through lenses that filter out the form and all of the material aspects of what I’m seeing, and I can only view the spiritual energy that allows what I’m noticing to exist. Try putting on these imaginary magical lenses and see how different everything appears.
I now see spiritual energy in everyone I encounter. When I’m tempted to judge anyone, I remind myself to view them through my special lenses. When I can do so, all negative judgment dissolves. I feel more peaceful knowing that I’m not just this body that I’m destined to discard. I also feel the life-giving Spirit within me on a daily basis, and it’s exhilarating! Continue Reading
“Lots of people hardly ever feel real soil under their feet, see plants grow except in flower pots, or get far enough beyond the street light to catch the enchantment of a night sky studded with stars. When people live far from scenes of the Great Spirit’s making, it’s easy for them to forget his laws.”
These are the words of Walking Buffalo, a chief of the Nakoda First Nation of Alberta, Canada, who in 1958 traveled the world on a mission of peace and understanding. He reminds us that harmony with the natural world connects us to Spirit—and the essence of who we really are. To have peace and understanding among ourselves and within our world, we need to be in touch with our common Source.
It’s all too easy to forget our connection to the natural world when we live surrounded by technology and the artificial constructions of our amazing modern life. Nature has a way of reminding us, however, when we have overstepped our bounds. The Native wisdom of Walking Buffalo asks us not to forget the sacredness of life and to pay attention to the natural laws at work around us. The air, water, trees, minerals, clouds, animals, birds, and insects are all essential to the sacred web of life which we too often take for granted.
Step closer to your essence by giving gratitude rather than taking for granted. Take a break from the city walls and Continue Reading
Have you noticed that the more you hurry, the less you get done? For example, try rushing through a shower after heavy exercise and notice how your body continues to sweat profusely. Then try showering your mind down, relaxing, and allowing the water to course over you—and notice how your body feels clean without sweating in precisely the same amount of time that you used in your hurry-up mode. Even if your ego doesn’t grasp it, this is the truth: Everything is on time under heaven’s net.
Today after rereading the 73rd verse of the Tao Te Ching, I decided to go for a one-hour “nonaction” walk to observe how everything under the net of heaven is working perfectly. I noticed the silent sun nourishing the land and providing light for us all. I stepped back and watched bees flitting back and forth between flowers, and stood there amazed by the invisible life force growing green bananas in a clump at the top of a tree. In all, I was just an observer of the Divine, invisible, silent, effortless Tao at work—realizing that while it’s in no hurry, it’s still getting everything done on time. Those green bananas will ripen in due course; but today I just loved the energy that creates, nourishes, and prepares them to appear for my breakfast someday!
Today I urge you to take a similar nonaction walk for an hour, and note how nothing slips through the net of heaven. It is heaven’s way to conquer without striving…It does not hurry, yet it completes everything on time.
Peace isn’t something you ultimately receive when you slow down the pace of your life. Peace is what you’re capable of being and bringing to every encounter and event in the waking moments of your life. Being peaceful is an inner attitude that you can enjoy when you’ve learned to silence your incessant inner dialogue. Being peaceful isn’t dependent on what your surroundings look like. It seldom has anything to do with what the people around you think, say, or do. A noiseless environment isn’t a requirement.
St. Francis’s famous prayer states it better than I can: “Make me an instrument of your peace.” In other words, St. Francis wasn’t asking God to provide him with peace. He was asking for guidance to be more like the peace he trusted was his Source. Being peace is different from looking for peace.
This principle isn’t about merely choosing tranquil thoughts when you’re feeling frayed and anxious. I suggest picturing a container deep within yourself out of which all your thoughts flow. Inside of this container, at its very center, imagine a candle flame. You need to make a commitment that this flame in the center of the container holding all your thoughts will never, ever even flicker, although the very worst may go before you. This is your container of peace, and only peaceful thoughts can fuel the burning candle. You don’t need to change your thoughts as much as you need to learn to be an energy of peace lighting the way and attracting serene, harmonious thoughts and beings. In this way, you’ll become a being of peace.
As a being of peace, you make a huge impact on those around you. It’s almost impossible to be totally stressed out in the presence of someone who has opted to be peace. Peace is a higher and faster energy—when you’re being peace, just your presence alone will often nullify the uneasiness and tension in those around you. The secret of this principle is: Be the peace and harmony you desire. You cannot get it from anything or anyone else.
Recently, a Canadian friend told me about taking his kids to a concert put on by a big name, hugely successful rock band. My friend was delighted with the heartfelt gratitude the musicians expressed to their fans, thanking them for making possible a life of creative joy and opportunity. The fans were wildly grateful, too, for the enjoyment the band provided.
Most of the people I’ve met or observed who are at the top levels in their chosen fields have these attitudes of gratitude and “radical humility.” After all, when so many high achievers reach for their statuette or championship trophy, they say, “First I’d like to thank God.” It’s almost as if they can’t help themselves—they’re so grateful for their accolade, but even more than that, they know that there’s a Force in the Universe way bigger than they are that allows them to act, sing, write, compete, or design. And if we adopt this kind of an attitude, we’ll inspire others to do the same. If we practice gratitude as opposed to maintaining an attitude of entitlement, we’ll automatically extend inspiration wherever we go. Being grateful helps remove the influence of our egos, which is certain that we’re better than everyone else. An attitude of gratitude allows us to adopt the radical humility that’s very persuasive in helping others connect with the Spirit that unites us all.
Without exception, I begin every day of my life with an expression of gratitude. As I look in the mirror to begin my daily ritual of shaving, I say, “Thank you, God, for this life, for my body, for my family and loved ones, for this day, and for the opportunity to be of service. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
Gratitude and humility send signals to all who meet us that we’re all connected to something larger than life itself.
Before merging into form, we were a part of God, with all the inherent qualities of a Creator who sends forth abundance, creativity, love, peace, joy, and well-being. The spiritual dimension calls to us in this material world of beginnings and endings. When we listen and allow it to, Spirit guides us to something greater than our life as a physical being. When I let myself align with Spirit, I have a feeling of contentment, but more than this, I experience joy. I’m able to receive the vibrational energies of my Source—call them voices, messages, silent reminders, invisible suggestions, or what have you—they’re vibrations of energy. I’ve learned to get my “self” out of the way and remove resistance to the free flow of this spiritual energy.
Spirit doesn’t dwell on the impossibility of anything—that is, it doesn’t focus on not being able to create, on things not working out, on expecting the worst, or on being stuck in place. When I’m in-Spirit, I want my present moment and thoughts to align perfectly with what I desire to share. I want to offer an experience of inspiration to my audience, so I don’t give a speech thinking, I’ll probably disappoint them. I choose to think that if I stumble or forget something in the middle of my talk, the inspiration to get me through it will be there. When I sit down to write, my desire is to invite Spirit to express through me, and I encourage ideas to flow freely. I’m connected in-Spirit, expecting to be the instrument of my spiritual Source.
When we remember that we’re always connected to Source, we can summon the well-being of God. Each and every one of us represents God or Spirit revealing Itself here on our planet. Experiences of being in-Spirit are available to all of us. Remember that your life is bigger than you are. Dedicate your life to something that reflects an awareness of your Divinity. You can begin by committing to at least one daily experience where you share something of yourself with no expectation of being acknowledged or thanked. For example, before I begin my daily routine, I go to my desk and choose my gift for that day. Sometimes, it’s just a phone call to a stranger who’s written to me, or perhaps I order flowers or send a book or present to someone who has helped me in a local store. It doesn’t matter if this activity is big or small—it’s a way to begin the day in-Spirit. Make a silent dedication to encourage and express your Divine nature.
Are there any life problems that seem beyond our power to overcome? Let’s think about that for a minute. In the face of life-threatening problems like alcoholism and drug addiction, excuses for feeling powerless like “It’s too difficult,” “It’s too big,” and “I’m not strong enough,” might spring to mind. Yet we know people who have beaten even these deadly and crippling problems. Two years ago, I had dinner in New York with Patti Davis, daughter of President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan. Patti had just published an essay on Newsweek’s “My Turn” page about her struggle with cocaine addiction and how grateful she would have been for the rehabilitation programs that celebrities today so often treat with utter disrespect. It’s one of the most honest essays I’ve ever read. At our dinner, Patti was celebrating five years of freedom from drugs. She acknowledged how powerful the comfort and pleasure of cocaine had been in her life, but she knew she would never go back to using it. How did she manage to stop? It wasn’t a reluctance to continue disappointing herself or her parents that finally made the difference. She stopped because she no longer wanted to disappoint God, that highest part of herself that all of us share as our connection to the Divine. We all have a place of well-being, bliss, joy, and perfection within us. We are called to be there and from that empowering place we can reach out as Patti has done to help others find it, too. With God, nothing is impossible, and when we align with Spirit, no excuses are needed.
One of my secrets for feeling successful and attracting bountiful abundance into my life has been an internal axiom that I use virtually every day of my life. It goes like this: Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change. This has always worked for me.
The truth of this little maxim is actually found in the field of quantum physics, which, according to some, is a subject that’s not only stranger than you think it is, it’s stranger than you can think. It turns out that at the tiniest subatomic level, the actual act of observing a particle changes the particle. The way we observe these infinitely small building blocks of life is a determining factor in what they ultimately become. If we extend this metaphor to larger and larger particles and begin to see ourselves as particles in a larger body called humanity or even larger—life itself—then it’s not such a huge stretch to imagine that the way we observe the world we live in affects that world.
Think of this little journey into quantum physics as a metaphor for your life. Your feelings of success and your experience of prosperity and abundance depend on your positive view of yourself, your life, and the Universe from which success and abundance come. Changing the way you look at things is an extremely powerful tool. Start by examining how you look at things. Is the Universe matching your way of looking?
Everyone has a favorite spiritual setting, a natural place that speaks to your heart and thereby to your soul. Living on Maui, I find beauty in all directions—the lush green mountains, the ocean, the sky, the flowers. While filming The Shift, we had a chance to experience the spectacular rocky, windswept coast of central California. The sea can range from turquoise to emerald to steely gray in a single afternoon and when the fog rolls in, it swirls mysteriously around the dark branches of the pines. Surrounded by nature’s majesty, it’s easy to feel the presence of Spirit and reconnect with the love that supports all life. Wherever you live, you’re only a few hours (or even minutes) away from a natural setting that will revive, refresh, and inspire you. What scenery do you love—the shelter of the forest, the expanse of the desert, the peace of a mountain meadow? Give yourself permission to get away so that you can camp in the outdoors, swim in a river, lake, or ocean, ride on horseback, or ski down a mountain. While you’re making plans, take a walk in the park, breathe deeply, hug a tree, notice the natural world that surrounds us, and I guarantee you will feel closer to the real person inside.
Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some of the great men and women who have inspired me with their work and their lives. In their presence I felt the radiant energy that living in-Spirit brings. In 1978, I was invited to go to Vienna to participate in a presentation to a group of young presidents of companies. I was assigned to be on a panel with a man who had been a huge source of inspiration to me: Viktor Frankl. Frankl was a medical doctor who had been herded off to die in a Nazi concentration camp in WW II; while imprisoned, he kept notes that ultimately became a book called Man’s Search for Meaning. This work, which touched me deeply, illustrated not only how Dr. Frankl survived the horrors of Auschwitz, but also how he helped other camp mates do the same. He taught them to be with his spirit and infuse it in others who were giving up on life. He even practiced sending love and peace to his captors, and refused to feel hatred and vengeance because he knew that this was foreign to his spirit, which he wouldn’t forsake. Viktor Frankl stayed true to his spiritual origins in the face of horrors that destroyed so many. When I met him, he exuded joy, peace, kindness, and love, and he wasn’t bitter. Instead, he felt that his experience taught him lessons he’d never have known otherwise. I spent a good part of that afternoon in Vienna listening and being in awe. Viktor Frankl had been one of the truly inspirational figures in my life, and being on the same panel—under the pretext of being a colleague of this master teacher—was overwhelming to me. It was an afternoon I’ve never forgotten, full of pure exhilaration and inspiration.