Sunday, December 28, 2008

It Takes More Than New Year's Resolutions to Change Our Lives

Like millions of others, I made New Year’s resolutions in the past, and then failed to fulfill them. This annual ritual became an exercise in how to beat myself up for my failures.

Then I learned the concept of changing our lives by changing our thoughts. I fully understood that if what I was experiencing wasn’t desirable, it was equally possible to follow this concept and create a life of happiness and fulfillment. I made this idea part of my life over three decades ago.

It didn’t take me long to realize why we can never be successful by making fervent, but wishful statements about our life challenges. I learned that the problem was in the thoughts, feelings and emotions we hold about ourselves, which directly affect such important issues as abundance, health, relationships and success.

I discovered that it was necessary to go within and find out what we really desire in life. I also found that at a deep level most human beings believe they aren’t good enough, deserving or worthy, which effectively blocks their good. To heal those thoughts, say every day as often as possible: I love myself just the way I am, right here, right now. I deserve all the blessings the world has to offer. I am willing to change my negative thoughts and to accept good for myself.

The core beliefs we hold of being unworthy are only thoughts, which create a feeling that binds them to us. If we change the thought, we change that feeling. It doesn’t matter how long we have held negative thoughts or what the thoughts are. We can change the thoughts. Memorize this and say it as often as possible: I love myself, and am willing to change my thoughts. I now allow only positive thoughts about myself.

If we have been hurt in the past, or we hurt someone and are still holding onto the thoughts, we only hurt ourselves. These thoughts have determined the life we have now and will decide the future. We must release these thoughts and be free of the past. The only way to do that is to be willing to forgive not only others but to forgive ourselves. Say this as often as possible and for as long as it takes: I forgive myself for any real or imagined wrong done by me to myself, and to anyone else, past or present. I freely and wholly forgive anyone else for any real or imagined wrong done to me, past or present. I am free, they are free.

The key is to love ourselves so that we can open to accepting what is truly desired into our life. By paying close attention to what we think and say, we become aware of the many times we put ourselves down for the simplest and most inconsequential things. This is a negative habit that keeps us stuck in victim-hood, and assures that our life will continue to be less than desirable. Start today, and repeat often: I am wonderful, lovable, deserving and worthy and I love myself just the way I am.

While it may not be possible to say these affirmations and really mean them at first – if you continue you will – and your life will begin to change. And, while the only one we can ever change is ourselves, when we begin to experience positive changes in our life, it will have an effect on others. Know that whatever our current situation is, we have created it. The good news is that now we can consciously choose the life we desire.

Once we decide what we want, and can love ourselves enough to accept having it, the positive affirmations set a powerful force in motion, and we have only to persevere to be successful. Say every day as often as possible: I am perfect, whole and complete right now. I am willing to do what it takes to change my thoughts. I give thanks for the good that comes to me now, and affirm that only good goes out from me to the world.

Negative thought patterns often take time to change, so we need to be patient and gentle with ourselves. When we begin to falter or doubt, we must take heart and know that millions of others have taken responsibility for their lives and are proving that when they change their thoughts, their lives change. Say every day: I never give up and I never give in—and victory will be yours.
Copyright 2007 by Fern Stewart Welch [The author is on holiday. This is one of her most popular seasonal essays.]

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within is available at and other online booksellers, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Gift That Only You Can Give Yourself

The more time I spend in and observing nature the more I learn about myself. It recently dawned on me that I have spent my entire life in an effort to learn to relax and be who I am. I discovered this by watching the rabbits and birds that frequent my lush yard. They are totally content with being what they are.

I smile when I think about what it must be like to be a blade of grass, whose only role in life is to grow and be green. In doing so, it fulfills its purpose and enhances the beauty of a yard or field. What a sad and frustrating experience it would be for that blade of grass to spend its lifespan wishing to be a flower, a shrub or a tree. Yet, not being grounded and accepting who we are seems to be part of the human condition, resulting in many of us spending our lives striving to be something that we are not.

It does not have to be and should not be that way. Each of us is important, as no one else can be who I am, or who you are. It is only our wayward minds that confuse and frustrate us and keep us from enjoying the fullness of what it means to be alive in this form here and now.

I believe the most important element in overcoming this tendency is to come to peace within ourselves and accept who we were born to be. Our culture is so focused on the external world that we rarely, if ever, take the time to explore the inner world that is within us.

Many people believe that life is what happens to us externally, and our role is to react to whatever comes our way, but that is not so. The fact is that the point of power is within us and has always been. We need to realize that the way life is supposed to happen is from within out—not the other way around. When we understand this, we become empowered and can determine much of what happens to us in life.

We have the power to stop our fear-based frantic search for answers outside ourselves. Unfortunately, our culture focuses on and requires that we not be in touch with ourselves or with our environment, much to the detriment of both.

Going within and connecting with our inner selves is an absolute necessity. It naturally leads to connecting with that larger part of us that knows we are one with everyone else, with all life, as well as with the Earth itself. At that point, there is no confusion or frustration about who we are or what our purpose is on this planet, as it is simply to be fully and wholly who we were born to be.

Once we make this connection, we will be free of the thoughts that have kept us off-balance and off-purpose and that preclude us from achieving our full human potential. There is great power in this knowing—power that can change our lives and the world. It is the gift that only you can give to you.
Copyright 2007 by Fern Stewart Welch [The author is on holiday. This is one of her most popular seasonal essays.]

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within is available at and other online booksellers, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The True Path to Happy Holidays Comes From Within

Several weeks ago at a local church, the minister announced holiday events for those who have no family or who choose not to be with the family they do have during the holidays. While this brought an amused reaction from the congregation, it is common knowledge that in today’s world many people experience sorrow over broken family relationships.

I understand that kind of sadness. I realize that some of the depression during the holiday season is due to the unfulfilled dreams and desires that are often rooted in the mists of childhood. The sadness increases when people think of certain television commercials and movies that present an idyllic view of the perfect family holiday, as well as the imagined “wonderful” holidays everyone else is having.

I once held those images in my mind, but I have learned a lot since I quit buying into the ideal family holiday. Now I know that what is can be enough if you make the most of it.

It isn’t always possible to have close relationships with all your family members. Sometimes it is better to draw close to and bless those relationships we do have. We need to recognize, honor and relish every moment we have to spend with close friends and family.

There are, of course, profound and positive reasons for family gatherings, including savoring the bond represented by extended family, and more importantly allowing children to be embraced in a circle of multigenerational love that provides a strong foundation that will enhance their entire lives. It also gives us an opportunity to learn to honor and accept differences, which is a quality much needed in the world today.

However, while our individual holiday challenges may differ, the emotions they bring may be the same. For me, my adult children and grandchildren are building their own traditions and going their own ways, which is a natural part of the life process. I discovered that dwelling on whom or what I didn’t have in my life during the holidays was a waste of time and life energy. It only results in stress and sadness and detracts from the true meaning of the holidays.

This is a time of year when people aren’t embarrassed to open their hearts and revel in the joy and blessing of sharing with others and truly feeling the joy of being alive. I choose that. I refuse to be cheated out of this goodness by letting any less than positive thoughts rule my consciousness.

What this means is taking control of my thoughts and my life before the holiday season arrives. This year I planned a small gathering early in November to kick off the season. I also bought beautiful poinsettia plants to brighten my home and lift my spirits, and placed electric candles in the upstairs window to broadcast my joy to others.

My holiday calendar [some of which I initiated] also includes intimate time with some family members and longtime friends for lunch, dinner, afternoon tea at a lovely hotel, a holiday-themed concert and theater production, cookie decorating, and holiday movies with my younger grandchildren followed by a trip to the mall to see the seasonal decorations.

What I discovered is that when you choose to do what you truly enjoy, with people who are important and meaningful in your life, the events are guaranteed to fill your arms with hugs and your heart with love.

I don’t believe in allowing the actions or inactions of others to control my happiness. I believe the secret is not to wait for the joy and love to come to us, but to reach out and share our own love and joy—making the world a far better place!
Copyright 2007 by Fern Stewart Welch [The author is on holiday. This is one of her most popular seasonal essays.]

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within is available at and other online booksellers, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Are We Living Our Ideal Life?

Because of the serious challenges we now face, many people are being forced to reevaluate their lives. They are realizing that all the time they were rushing toward the future and pursuing the external trappings of a successful life – money, prestige and power – they were chasing an illusion.

They were living someone else’s idea of how life should be lived and not the one they were born to experience. The discontent they feel comes from a place deep within their core that knows the peace, contentment and happiness that is missing from their lives comes only from living a truly meaningful life.

I learned the lesson through the intense and dramatic years as a single parent of three children. The true journey is one in which we focus on our inner lives and seek to live in a way that fulfills our soul purpose and furthers the cause of good on Earth.

If we want to make a change in our lives for tomorrow and for the rest of our lives, we must take responsibility for where we are right now. We must also accept the truth that what we think, feel, say and do have determined our past and will continue to determine our future, unless we change our approach.

We must monitor our thoughts, decide what we truly want and focus on that goal with constancy in order to create the life we should be living. What we choose must not harm or take from another and must be for our highest and best good, as then it will benefit all others.

I have written about those concepts before, but somehow I had forgotten until now another vital element that was tremendously beneficial in my life: The importance of identifying and living an ideal.

An “ideal” is far above an idea, as it has the potential to enhance our souls and further the cause of good in the world. Our ideal must be something that we can never fully achieve in this lifetime; that strengthens our passion and propels us ever onward and upward. It can also give us a reason for living that is worthwhile and brings satisfaction at the core of our being.

Our ideal can be expressed in a single word, such as: love, kindness, truth, joy, happiness, wisdom, peace, harmony or balance. It can also be a phrase such as: being one with life, one with God, loving relationships, appreciating beauty, appreciating nature, inspiring others through the arts, serving life or bringing hope to others.

We need to devote whatever time it takes to discover the ideal that resonates within our heart, mind and soul. When we commit to our ideal, and place it before us daily during prayers or meditation and think of it often during each day, we will soon find ourselves in alignment with our soul’s true purpose.

I believe we are born onto this planet with the intention of fulfilling some part of Life’s purpose. I believe we each have a personal life mission as well as a larger mission that benefits the world.

Our ideal is our compass. In good times it makes decisions easier as the only question to answer is: Will this bring me closer to living my ideal? When times are bad, we hold fast to our ideal, as we can know that keeping our head and heart pointed toward our ideal will bring us safely through.

By choosing to be guided by our ideal, we begin the greatest journey of our lives. As we connect with the core of our being, we find the peace that passes understanding, as well as a wellspring of joy and wholeness.

We also place ourselves in alignment with what is Good in the universe, and as instruments of Good/God, we will be helping our nation and the world experience a safer passage through this time of global transformation.
Copyright © 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within – is available at, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Importance of an Attitude of Gratitude

As everyone knows, we are facing serious challenges in our country right now, providing us a perfect opportunity to consider utilizing the highest and best information available to protect and maintain our health, prosperity and happiness or, if needed, to increase all three. Taking advantage of this tried and true information will benefit anyone who uses it, and in the process it will help heal America.

This information has been around for eons, and has allowed many thousands of individuals to create successful, enriching and happy lives despite external socio-economic conditions.

The primary concept, which I have written about before, is that by changing our thoughts we can change our lives. Millions of people around the world are confirming the truth of this concept daily by living it. They are also attaining and maintaining an Attitude of Gratitude, which is a key component that assures success.

It is helpful to remember that gratitude is simply taking the time to look around us and appreciate what we do have. And not only does the Universe love a grateful heart, it responds affirmatively by sending us more of the good we are already enjoying. In practicing gratitude each day, this places us in alignment with what is Good in the Universe. This is a powerful place from which to act. By placing only positive thoughts and affirmations of our desires into the Universal Law, and maintaining an attitude of gratitude, we receive back what we have placed as our order.

The challenge for some of us lies in the fact that no matter what we have, we often see only lack and scarcity because we don’t have enough, or we fear it won’t be enough in the future, or isn’t everything we want, or what we really want. If we truly want to change our lives for the better, it is vitally important that we start to become consciously aware of the many Good things that actually are in our lives and to start being grateful for them – no matter how small they may seem to be at the time.

One excellent way to do this is to take time each day, either first thing in the morning or at bedtime in the evening, or both, to repeat everything we can think of that we can be grateful for in that day. Just say: I am grateful for ______________, and let your mind and heart fill in the blank. We can also make a written list or start a Gratitude Journal and keep track of everything for which we are grateful. When gratitude is practiced consistently it is positively life changing.

I start each morning by being grateful for another day of life, for a good night’s sleep, or an unbroken night’s sleep, for the comfortable and warm bed, for my house, my car and for each person, event and experience I will meet this day. I also repeat these affirmations daily: I am grateful for this day, knowing it is the first day of the best years of my life. I am grateful for the continuing Good that comes into my life in expected and unexpected ways.

At night, before I fall asleep, I review the day and while going over it bit by bit, I declare every event Good, every person Good and bless the day. Then I repeat these affirmations: I bless everything that happened today and everyone with whom I came in contact. I am grateful for all the Good I see in my life and for the Good that is yet to be. As I turn over, I always feel complete and clear of the happenings of the day, and just naturally drift into a peaceful sleep.

As we learn to focus on positive thoughts and to live with an attitude of gratitude, this raises our energy vibration, which also elevates the consciousness of humanity. Since our government mirrors our level of awareness, we will also be helping our country return to a state of harmony and balance, and this is another blessed gift for which we can be exceedingly grateful.
Copyright © 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within – is available at, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Simple Joys of Nature's Seasons

In the desert where I live, triple-digit temperatures have finally dropped into the 70s during the daytime, and this means our fall is almost here. I have been doing some re-potting and planting of flowers in my small patio garden and am once again feeling the joy of being in harmony with nature.

I realize that many people are city dwellers today, and seldom think of the importance of nature in our lives. The tendency is to get caught up in the fast pace of life and forget what it feels like to connect with the Earth, feel the soil in our hands and participate in the natural cycles of life.

Still, I believe that we all share a primal response when we notice that nature is shifting into another seasonal change. It may be the falling leaves and a slight chill in the air, or in some areas the first snowfall, but for that fleeting moment we are reconnected to the Earth and grounded in the truth that we are one with everyone and everything on this planet.

While I have lived in the desert long enough to get used to just two seasons, hot and not so hot, there are definitely some rewards. In addition to giving relatives who live in more frigid zones a difficult time by announcing the balmy shirt-sleeve temperatures we enjoy on some of their coldest days, we can wear the same type of clothing year round.

Even though my family moved to the desert when I was a pre-teen, some of my most cherished memories are of winters in St. Louis, where the climate changes were definitely less subtle. For instance, I remember once as a young child I awakened before anyone else in my family with a heightened sense of excitement. And sure enough when I ran to the window and checked, there was the first snow of the season and it was so brilliantly white that in the light it seemed to be sprinkled with jewels. I also didn’t miss the fact that it looked at least six to eight inches deep.

Without another thought I grabbed my coat and quietly left the house barefoot and in what was surely a state of childhood bliss. There was not another footprint anywhere in sight. I ran to the end of our block one way and then to the other with an intention of being the first person to leave footprints in this magical gift. I believe that in marking the occasion in this way, I was paying natural homage to the blessedness of the event, as well as a child’s way of joyously welcoming another opportunity to have fun.

And fun we did have. When we weren’t in school, there were the special days of going with my older brothers to Lafayette Park and sailing down the hillsides on our sturdy wooden sleds, which they masterfully guided. On regular days, we younger kids satisfied our desire to drain every last bit of joy from the snow by building forts and having day-long snowball fights, interrupted only by the need to go indoors and thaw out and being forced to go to the bathroom, eat or put on dry clothes.

Even the adults seemed to appreciate the beauty of the local park, which became a snow-covered wonderland. The picture-postcard images of stately bare trees dressed in arctic-blue ice and outlined against the grey-blue skies were ethereally beautiful.

What great and treasured memories. Yet, as I look around my neighborhood today, there are mostly desert-friendly trees such as paloverde, olive, oleander, mesquite and greasewood. The sun is shining brilliantly, it is a balmy 75 degrees, and flowers are blooming all over the neighborhood, including bright-red geraniums on my back patio. And there will be no shoveling of anything, except maybe a little dirt. Life is good when we are in harmony with nature, no matter the reason or the season, or even the climate zone we call home.
Copyright © 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within – is available at, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

How Our New President Can Help Us Maintain Hope

There is absolutely no secret as to why the president-elect struck such a respondent chord with millions of Americans. Or why his victory reverberated within the hearts and minds of leaders and ordinary citizens around the world. It was obvious that not only were we losing hope, but it seemed much of the world was in the same boat. The presidential nominee’s stirring words and the promise of change spoke to the innermost desires of many freedom-loving people around the globe.

The challenges we face are the result of a retreat from basic values that our founding fathers held dear. We allowed greed and self-interest to grow wild and unchecked in our government, and in the institutions that were intended to benefit American citizens. Personal accountability is at an all-time low in our country, as are honesty, honor, integrity, respect and truth. Since we live in a democracy, the responsibility to pay attention is ours. We can’t afford to lose our focus again.

It is vital for us to remember that our government and the conditions in our nation simply reflect back to us the collective, predominant thoughts and actions of the citizenry. In order to have a better government, we must live to the highest and best ideals within us so that this is mirrored in our leaders, our government and institutions.

Bearing in mind that personal responsibility and accountability are major keys for all of us, here is what we will need from the new president and his administration to sustain our rekindled hope in the future:

First and foremost, he must prove to be a leader worthy of following.

This means holding firm to the values of truth, honor, integrity, honesty and respect that were prescribed by our founding fathers. He must unequivocally assure that our nation embraces the cause of human rights at all times and under all conditions.

We must have transparency in government, and the president must help all of us understand, as Franklin Delano Roosevelt did during another traumatic time, what our country is doing, why, and what we must be willing to sacrifice and do in order to support and help our country’s policies succeed.

Our leader must develop and follow a well-considered and sensible foreign policy that relies on diplomatic intervention and solutions, and comes from a point of cooperation instead of competition and intimidation. War is no longer acceptable as a substitute for conflict resolution.

Many people are aware that there are enough finances and material goods available to end world hunger and poverty. Ignoring these basic challenges only results in circumstances and situations that foment and encourage the continuation of world aggression and violence. There is a ready wellspring of intelligent and credible people who could help the incoming administration develop a plan and implement it.

Ending the torture and resolving the disaster represented by Guantanamo Bay would quickly herald a return to sanity and values in this country. This would go a long way toward undoing the damage to America’s reputation as a leader in human rights. It would also enhance and support the global goodwill and respect that is now being expressed and is so welcome.

We also expect the incoming president to make the best use of the brilliant minds of our time and meet the major challenges, which include: pulling us out of the economic downturn, resolving the situation in Iraq with honor on all sides, giving intense consideration to any commitment of additional troops in Afghanistan, making definitive and effective moves toward resolving global warming, ending our dependence on foreign oil and effectively passing humane and sane immigration reform.

As Americans, we have always been willing to make any sacrifice and shoulder any responsibility to work together for a return to stability and order in our nation. We have done it before and with renewed hope we can do it again.
Copyright © 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within – is available at, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

How We Can Help Our President Make a Difference

I believe at the conclusion of the recent presidential election any historical aspects were trumped by the widespread resurgence of hope that has long been missing in our nation. This was a result that took many millions of Americans, including myself, pleasantly by surprise, as the calls for change by both candidates were believed by some to be simply the usual political campaign rhetoric.

Now, however, we have renewed hope and confidence that the many ills in our government and in our nation can be healed. There is hope in the belief that not only is change possible, but that it can be a reality. And hope that once again our nation can regain its rightful place as a respected world leader.

This emotion of hope proved to be so strong and infectious that it ignited the hearts and minds of millions of our countrymen, as well as leaders and ordinary citizens around the world. This fragile flame presents an opportunity, an opening that must be protected and utilized wisely. Hope, combined with faith in a righteous cause, can change the world. As a nation, our leaders must harness the renewed hope and once again set us on a positive path. And it is vital that we support them.

We have known for years that there has been a crisis of values such as honesty, respect and integrity at all levels in our society. We also knew that our country was on a slippery slope as far as the direction in which we were heading in domestic and foreign affairs, and with all the dire circumstances facing us it seemed inevitable that we were edging closer to the abyss.

The basis of our democratic form of government requires the initiative, interest and involvement of all citizens. This has been severely lacking over the last few decades, and by not fulfilling our responsibility, we ended up getting the government we deserve.

Our government and the conditions in our nation simply reflect back to us the collective, predominant thought forms of our citizenry.

We must not take our attention off the desired course again. Change must come from inside us if we want our government to change. If we want to grow past wars as a means of conflict resolution – or to change the path our government has been on – we must also change.

It’s not what we say we are as individuals, but what each of us truly is and believes at the core of our being that makes a difference. It truly is done unto us as we believe. When we change our thoughts our lives change. Since our government mirrors our collective thoughts, if we change, our government will change.

When enough of us can clear and cleanse invalid thoughts, life patterns and emotions that have kept us mired in negativity, we will have elevated our energy vibration and our conscious awareness. As we heal ourselves, we protect and enhance the future of our nation and the world.

It isn’t simple or easy. This healing calls for a dramatic change. It means living from the highest and best that is within us. If we cheat on our families, our income taxes or in our business dealings with others, we can expect the continued proliferation of greed and dishonesty at all level of society and in our government.

If we lie, cheat, steal or are lazy and don’t do our part to further the cause of democracy – no matter how well meaning, charismatic or gifted the new president – nothing will change. It can’t. The president’s role is to be on the front line and hold the torch high for us, but it will take a concerted effort on behalf of all of us to make desired changes.

We cannot afford to let this opportunity pass us by. Whatever changes we need to make in our lives, whatever we need to do to support our communities, our country and to help our president make a difference—now is the time.
Copyright © 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within – is available at, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Good Health Takes More than an Apple a Day

As parents, we often think how great it would be if we could take all the lessons learned from our various life experiences and magically infuse them into our offspring – and see them accepted as readily as a cold drink on a hot day. Dream on. Even while our children are in front of us seemingly receiving such words of wisdom, the life force is surging through their bodies beckoning them to unknown and exotic adventures that are of their own making; not rules set by their parents.

This is often glaringly evident in the choices children make relating to their health and well-being. All too often, after a few years of being urged to eat their vegetables, brush their teeth and take care of their bodies, they find the switch inside their heads that turns off the lectures.

What we parents really want is for our children and grandchildren to benefit from our mistakes and to awaken sooner rather than later and learn to live healthier and happier lives. The truth is that it isn’t easy. Life does come at us fast, and we get so busy trying to fulfill our varied life roles that not only do we lose contact with our bodies; we lose the natural wisdom within us that knows how to care for our physical vehicles.

It has long been known in many cultures that the mental, emotional, spiritual and physical aspects of our bodies are interconnected. Many disease processes that show up in the bodies of adults have their beginnings in the mental and emotional levels of our being and then manifest in the physical body. When a dis-ease or illness shows up at that time, it is often a message from our subconscious letting us know that we are out of balance at some level of our being, either mentally, emotionally or spiritually.

By the time we are five or six years old, far too many of us have already internalized messages about being undeserving and unlovable. These invalid subconscious directives can have an undesirable impact on our health and our lives and will continue to do so until we replace them in our subconscious with positive ones. Repeat daily: I now willingly release any need, pattern or belief in my subconscious that denies the truth of me—which is love. I deserve the best life has to offer.

It is now believed that a contributing factor to adult-onset disease and illness is a lack of forgiveness for someone in our lives, and the one that is the hardest to forgive is usually the one we most need to forgive. Sometimes it’s us. Repeat daily: I freely and wholly forgive myself for any real or imagined wrong done by me to me or anyone else, past or present. I freely and wholly forgive (name) ________ for any real or imagined wrong done to me, past or present. I am free. They are free.

There are many ways in which to come into alignment with our bodies and our inner wisdom, such as: meditation and prayer, working with our dreams, and discovering our life’s purpose and joyously living it. Repeat daily: There is an infinite source of wisdom, love, health, peace, prosperity and guidance at the core of my being. As I turn within and align with this awareness, all the answers and solutions desired for health and happiness are now mine.

The pendulum in our country on any issue normally swings wide before it settles into a commonsense equilibrium, as in the case of health. Ignoring our bodies and taking them for granted was not the answer, and neither is becoming health fanatics.

As parents, we can take comfort in knowing that someone may have been listening after all. It is now becoming common knowledge that the way to live healthier, longer and happier lives is to take early responsibility for our bodies and to learn how to cooperate with them. That’s all we ever wanted!
Copyright © 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within – is available at, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Key to Financial Security ... No Matter What!

It is a given that our country and the world will ultimately resolve the current financial crisis. The good news right now is that this is an ideal time to consider some ancient tried-and-true prosperity principles. Many famous and successful people have used these concepts for centuries to create and preserve their financial security, despite the external economic conditions.

We have always used our thoughts to create our life circumstances; we simply were not consciously aware of doing so. The rub is that for many of us the results were undesirable. Not only are we responsible for whatever we lacked in our lives in the past, unless we make a change this will also be our future.

We are the only ones who can change the events and conditions we are attracting to us. And it is true that we can change our lives by changing our thoughts. However, most of today’s prosperity information focuses on creating financial gain by mentally deciding what we want, writing it down, picturing it and affirming that it is ours.

These actions are part of the overall process, but they depend only on our finite mental power, instead of utilizing the infinite power that is within us. Until we realize that prosperity and abundance are our natural state, our spiritual birthright, the results will be, at best, undependable and short-lived.

In order to connect with our natural state, our true selves, we must go within. Meditation is one way to enhance our alignment with our inner selves. As we do this, we open ourselves to greater conscious awareness, and are literally fanning the flame in our souls that knows we are powerful spiritual beings and abundance is our God-given original state. We need to become immersed in this truth and act from it.

We live in an incredibly abundant Universe filled with powerful energy that is constantly seeking to become more. This energy is in us and everything in the cosmos, and is called by many names, including God. Within this energy, there is also an impersonal force that receives our thoughts and emotions and returns to us exactly what we project into it through our thoughts and feelings. This is extremely good news because if we have created undesirable conditions it is possible to change our thoughts and change the results that are delivered to us.

By following the concepts below, and consciously sharing heart-directed love, time and our worldly goods to benefit others, the financial success and abundance that result are then part of the natural flow of life – and as such, are firmly anchored in our lives, No Matter What!

Affirm daily: I give thanks for this amazingly abundant Universe and know that it is my birthright to receive all that I can accept. I do not depend upon persons or external conditions for my prosperity or my abundance. The eternal and sublime energy-God is the source of my supply. And so it is!

When we love ourselves and feel worthy and deserving, we create a prosperity passageway within us that keeps our flow of Good constantly coming to us.

Affirm daily: I am worthy and deserving of prosperity and abundance. I love and approve of myself right now. I claim my good, and it manifests in my life peacefully, joyously and harmoniously, with Good for all concerned. And so it is!

When we know that what we desire is good for us and all others, we do not have to scheme, stress or be concerned that our good takes from anyone.

Affirm daily: The forgiving love of the Universe sets me free from all mistakes of the past or present. My Good comes to me now, pressed down and running over, with Good for all concerned. And so it is!

To maintain the uninterrupted flow of prosperity and abundance, we need to clear and cleanse any negative thoughts we may hold about anyone or anything, past or present.

Affirm daily: I freely and wholly forgive myself for any real or imagined wrong done by me to me or to anyone else past or present. I freely and wholly forgive anyone else for any real or imagined wrong done to me past or present. I am free, they are free. And so it is!

As we maintain an attitude of gratitude, our prosperity consciousness expands. This allows us to accept more blessings into our experience, to create lasting financial security and abundant, joyous, meaningful lives for ourselves and our loved ones.

Affirm daily: I am grateful for the abundance of life. I give thanks for the prosperity and abundance that continually blesses my life, the lives of others and the Earth. And so it is!
Copyright © 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

[For additional insights, go to:, scroll down “How-to Lists” and read Realizing Your Heart Desires and Fulfill Your Potential.]

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within – is available at, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Facing Life Challenges With Faith and Resolve

Although I was shocked when my radiantly healthy daughter was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, my ultimate reaction differed from those of a few family members and friends. They viewed the situation as the cruel and unfair hand of fate, which they believe chooses who gets "good" life experiences and who gets "bad" ones. They quickly reminded me that non-smokers sometimes get lung cancer and many lifelong heavy smokers are never touched by it.

I believe, however, that regarding life-threatening experiences as only negative is a short-sighted view of life and that all such events, serious as they may be, are opportunities to help us and those around us learn life lessons.

I also believe that our experiences have more to do with the fact that every human being is unique, and that our souls draw to us whatever circumstances or events we require to move us toward fulfilling our life purpose. This takes precedence over all the other situations in our lives.

Our primary life purpose is specific, is ours alone and no one else can fulfill it. We also have a general purpose that we share with every human being, which is to love ourselves and others and to use our experience to learn how life on Earth really works.

When adults receive a life-threatening medical diagnosis it often signals the beginning of an adventure in consciousness. If we can remain clear and understand that it is our experience and ours alone, we will open to new insights, and we will never look at life the same way again.

The role of anyone else who is involved with us is to love and support us in our continuing life journey, no matter the outcome, in a way that honors us and our choices.

I believe a key element in such life circumstances is for us to remember that we are powerful spiritual beings who came to Earth in human form in order to learn how to work with the eternal and sublime energy that is within us and everything in the universe. By learning to cooperate with this energy, which we call God, we can positively affect our lives, the lives of others and the future of our planet.

Here is an exquisite quote from bestselling author Marianne Williamson that beautifully and profoundly echoes this statement:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually who are you not to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around us.
We are meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
give others permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

I remember as a young girl how deeply I yearned for the opportunity to make a difference in the world. Naturally, I thought it would be by doing something grand that would result in world renown, or at least a photo in the local newspaper to make my parents proud.

I have known for a long time, however, that a truly valued and noble life is one lived in deep gratitude for the gift of life and a steadfastness that allows us to stay the course, no matter what, and to meet challenging circumstances in trust and faith.

The experiences that occur in our lives, including my daughter’s, present opportunities for us to open to expressing more of the truth of who we were born to be. It isn’t the challenges we face in life, it is how we choose to grow through them that make the difference.

When we elect to meet experiences with faith and resolve instead of fear, the difference registers at a soul level—and we elevate the conscious awareness of humanity.
Copyright © 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within – is available at, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Releasing Childhood Wounds and Reclaiming Our True Selves

After a recent business conversation concerning one of my books, in which I didn’t receive the response I wanted, I felt a wave of emotion wash over me that took me back to childhood: I immediately felt unloved and undeserving.

This wasn’t the first time this kind of thing had happened. But it was the first time I consciously recognized the inappropriate reaction for what it was. I was surprised that the emotions were powerful enough to rattle my confidence and knock me off center. Instead of being able to view the situation objectively, I felt the pain of childhood and my wounded heart.

Since I made a decision many years ago to grow through life instead of just going through it, I realized there are often many layers of issues that we need to peel away and clear in order to be free of subconscious thoughts, beliefs and emotions that affect us in undesirable ways. This was certainly true in this instance.

I also knew that some emotional wounding from childhood is inevitable for all of us. Even if we are born into the healthiest family environment imaginable, it happens. When we start out, our lives depend on the responses of those around us, and unless they automatically know what our cries mean and respond quickly, we soon learn that the world can be an unfriendly place.

Also, because children are complex and unique individuals, it would be miraculous for parents to be everything we need in every instance to assure we grow into healthy adults free of any emotional damage. This explains why so many of us, as well as our children and grandchildren, end up with a subconscious laundry list of unmet-unhealed needs that continue to have a powerful impact on our lives.

By the time we’re adults many of us are aware that in order to cope with individual family dynamics, we had to suppress parts of ourselves and take on adaptive behavior in order to fit into or survive in a specific environment. Psychologists call this adaptive behavior a “false” or “disowned self.” This type of behavior can result from any form of dysfunctional parenting that causes a child to change his or her natural responses in order to cope with the situation. In extreme cases, it happens when a child tries to escape the wrath of an abusive parent.

We create this false self to mask the hurt of giving up our original God-given wholeness. This adaptive behavior separates us from our true selves and disallows any true intimacy with ourselves or anyone else.

Later on, as adults, when we don’t get what we need or want from life or our significant others, the emotional energy connected to our unhealed issues will bubble up from our subconscious, often in unhealthy ways. This is a message reminding us that here is yet another opportunity to reclaim our wholeness.

Many people will relate not only to the familiar feeling of emptiness within that is the result of denying our true selves, but also to the habit of trying to use constant activity, food or drugs in an attempt to fill this hole. This response doesn’t work, as we are really seeking to reunite with our undivided, original state of being.

Here is a simple process I learned years ago in a workshop that helps reveal adaptive behavior and begin the healing. It involves going back in our mind’s eye to childhood, and visualizing the house and all the people who strongly influenced our early lives. Coming from mature awareness and love, we then initiate conversations with individual family members. We can feel free to express any feelings – including anger – and to tell them what we needed in childhood and didn’t receive.

Then take a sheet of paper and place two headings at the top of the page: Challenges and Reactions. Below on the left-hand side of the paper write down the names of all the individuals involved, starting with the parents.

As an example, under Challenges, next to my mother’s name, I wrote: “She paid no attention to me.” Under Reactions I wrote: “I try to be perfect to please her; I rebel against her.” For my father, I wrote under Challenges: “He’s hardly ever at home; he cares for me and I know it, but he is not involved in my life.” And my Reaction was: “I try to please him and to get close to him; I pay no attention to him.”

Continue the writing until a clear picture develops of the adaptive behavior we have chosen in childhood. For example, I discovered that initially I tried to be perfect, compliant and never to express anger. By the time I was ten years old, I had turned my attention and focus to the external world, assuming that by shutting the memories out of my mind and forging ahead, I wouldn’t be touched by it any more. I was wrong.

The first required healing step is to do forgiveness work for ourselves and for our family members, whether they are alive or not. This is essential and must be continued for as long as it takes. I recommend saying as often as possible: I freely and wholly forgive myself for any real or imagined wrong done by me to me, or to anyone else, past or present. I freely and wholly forgive (name) ________ for any real or imagined wrong done to me, past or present. I am free. They are free.

The next stage is to use our new awareness to stop the unconscious adaptive behavior by strengthening and supporting our true selves. I recommend repeating as often as possible: I love, nurture and cherish myself. I freely give and receive love. I can healthfully express anger and work through differences. I am perfect, whole and complete right now.

With the right attitude and intention, we can go home again, heal our wounded hearts and be free to reclaim our original undivided selves.
Copyright © 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within – is available at, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Facing Dangerous Times Requires More Than Duct Tape and a First-Aid Kit

Like many others who have been untouched personally by the storms, major floods, hurricanes, wildfires and chemical spills that often fill the news, I never felt compelled to prepare for such emergencies. Yet there I was at a Sunday spiritual service, and it was announced that the Governor had sent out a request to all faith-based organizations in our state asking for help in encouraging citizens to prepare for possible emergencies.

My first thought was, what does this have to do with me? As I sat there, however, I realized that I had lulled myself into a false sense of security. Just because I didn’t want to contemplate the possibility of another terrorist attack on American soil, or that some natural or man-made disaster could devastate my own life, doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

Bolstering my head-in-the sand attitude was the fact that I also subscribe to the belief that what you focus on you draw to you, and I didn’t want to add any energy to the existing fear about any future threats or disasters. Fortunately the speaker’s advice was in line with that thinking, as well as being sane, sensible and imminently practical.

The first recommended response was to become as knowledgeable as possible. I was familiar with the old adage that being forewarned is being forearmed and could certainly go along with that. I also realized that in the dangerous times in which we live, the better part of wisdom would be to acknowledge that being prepared for any emergency is a wise thing to do.

I went to the Internet and looked up the online emergency preparedness address sponsored by the state in which I live. It spells out practical and economical ways in which to protect ourselves and our loved ones. It included the following key items: Developing a family communication plan so that in case of emergency we can contact family members; writing down important telephone numbers and keeping them with us at all times; designating a meeting place in case an evacuation is required; buying a battery operated radio with extra batteries in case of loss of electrical power; and finding out what you should have in a basic Disaster Supplies Kit.

The components of the Disaster Kit were somewhat surprising. I would never have thought of anything beyond the necessary food and water, medical prescriptions, first-aid kits, duct tape and plastic sheeting. The surprises included: some emergency cash (always a good idea), copies of insurance papers and other valuable documents – and putting together two kits, one for the house and one for the car.

The second half of the speaker’s two-part emergency preparedness plan was equally wise. We were reminded that it is stressful, counterproductive and unhealthy to be fearful and to worry about what might happen, as we can’t control natural disasters or other traumatic events.

As she emphasized the importance of staying calm and centered, I realized that this is much easier to do when we’ve consciously faced the situation and made any practical and reasonable preparations. Doing what we can ahead of time enables us to relax and stay in the present moment, which is where peace lives.

We can also support this position of strength by feeding positive statements-affirmations into our subconscious so that we are prepared spiritually and emotionally as well as practically. I recommend repeating the following daily: I am always in my right place at the right time and know exactly what to do. I am divinely guided, guarded and protected. All is well.

By taking back our power and being proactive, we release the victim role, and are able to live free of fear and angst, which adds greatly to the common good. Then, when and if something untoward happens, we are better equipped to help ourselves, our loved ones and others.
Copyright © 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within – is available at, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Turning Kids Into Healthy Adults

My granddaughter will turn thirteen this week, and her brother will soon be sixteen. I have been thinking a lot about each of them lately, as well as the many other youngsters who are poised on the cusp of adulthood. Many of our children today are looking outside the family for role models and turning to young celebrities, which is a cause for concern. The problem is that when these famous child-stars leave the movie studios, concert halls or sports stadiums they sometimes have serious trouble coping with their lives.

It should be of intense national concern that there is such a general lack of attention, awareness and preparation for this incredibly important rite of passage from childhood to adulthood. Yet, how successfully or unsuccessfully our children negotiate this time will have repercussions for years to come for everyone concerned, including society as a whole.

Our nation’s children need to know how amazing and precious they are and that each one is a unique and necessary part of life on Earth. They need to know the value of adhering to a high code of ethics, that their actions have consequences, how to create healthy relationships, as well as how to control their minds, emotions and finances. In this way, they can successfully grow from childhood to adulthood and create meaningful and fulfilling lives that benefit humanity and our planet.

Surely we can come up with something better than merely observing the now universally accepted rites of passage of getting a driver’s license, buying alcohol or getting tattooed or pierced.

Throughout history, far less complex societies than ours saw the need and came up with some sort of training program that when completed marked a child’s transition into adulthood and also their acceptance of responsibility as a full-fledged contributing member of their tribe or community.

While it is no longer appropriate for a young boy to track, kill and drag home some wild beast to fulfill his claim to manhood, there still exists some primitive instinct in teenagers that drives them to seek some external action to prove s/he is a grownup. When there is not enough support, guidance or positive influence from family, the teens automatically turn to their peers, who don’t know any more than they do, to seek an outlet for this inner urge.

The danger in that default “parenting” is that the act can include such serious options as the use of alcohol, drugs, cars, sex and/or a strong show of bravado, which may include getting into fights and destroying property, harming others and/or rebelling against school, parents and all authority.

I thought back to something Kahlil Gibran wrote in his book “The Prophet.” He said that as parents we are the bow and our children and grandchildren are the arrows into the future. These young adults hold not only their own future, but the fate of our planet in their hands. With a challenging time facing us in every area of life on Earth, we must do much more to help our children negotiate the perilous passage from childhood to adulthood.

Since many parents today don’t know how to help prepare children for adulthood, or they handle it poorly, there must be another way in which we can rescue millions of youngsters who may end up becoming sad statistics instead of functioning members of society.

This could be done through the existing school system. There is hardly a thinking parent, teacher – or politician who doesn’t already know that we need a new vision of education in our country that will bring our educational system into this century and actually prepare students for the future they will inherit.

Looking at this situation from a wiser and more visionary approach would show our children that not only are they our most precious legacy; they are our nation’s highest priority. In the process, we would be giving them the tools to become fully conscious and aware adults – the real purpose of education – and to take their place as contributing members of society and protectors of our planet.
Copyright © 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within – is available at, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dealing With the Dysfunction Around Us

A few weeks ago, I started to question why I was hooked on watching “The Office,” a television sit-com in which the main character is a real jerk, someone who is smugly unconscious of his inappropriate behavior. At first I thought it was because the lead actor is so perfectly cast in the role. But I soon realized it was because I could relate to such a dysfunctional office environment.

Years ago I worked in corporate offices where in one instance it was a co-worker and in another it was the department manager who specialized in backstabbing, gossiping, trying to turn individuals against each other and, in general, exhibiting egotistical, dysfunctional [inappropriate] and unacceptable behavior.

In looking back, I realized that the really annoying and frustrating part of those situations was that I felt helpless to change them. It didn’t take too much reflection to recognize that like many others I also have a family member who exhibits similar behavior. Not a big surprise, as John Bradshaw, a bestselling author and leader in the field of family health, says that 97% of families in America are dysfunctional, and the other 3% are lying.

For the countless number of us who find ourselves on the receiving end of such behavior, whatever the source, there’s nothing funny about it. I also realized that I had spent way too much time and life energy in a variety of loving approaches to this problem, none of which changed the problem externally or allowed me to come to peace with the situation. So, I sought the help of a retired physician who in his lengthy career has counseled many individuals on how to achieve healthy relationships.

The first thing I learned was that in most cases the dysfunctional person doesn’t have a clue that their behavior is annoying, hurtful, objectionable, or inappropriate. He further explained that most people who exhibit such behavior are usually surprised and shocked when they discover, if they ever do, how their behavior is viewed by others.

At first I found this difficult to accept, but eventually I had to concede that all we have to do is take a look around us to know the truth in his statement. Many of us don’t have any idea of what a healthy relationship looks like or what it takes to create one – such as an awareness of how our behavior affects others.

He said that one of the core reasons for toxic or dysfunctional behavior is that rarely does anyone have the courage to confront the offenders, especially if it is a family member. He offered a practical solution that, ideally, should start in childhood. If parents and other family members observe dysfunctional behavior – such as inappropriate displays of anger or acting on invalid beliefs and misperceptions – they could try correcting and guiding them into more acceptable behavior patterns. If this proves unsuccessful, this would be the time to seek professional help.

Our normal tendency, however, as he pointed out, is to be extremely cautious about confronting those who can make our lives miserable. In the workplace situation, for example, he said it would require sensitivity, tact and wisdom. All we needed to do, he said, was take the situation to the highest level of management – which has a vested interest in employee satisfaction and safety – explain the situation, and request that a code of conduct be drafted that covered everyone and would be enforced up to and including being dismissed.

When it was time for the expert to comment on my personal situation, he acknowledged the fact that my family’s lack of positive action to resolve the situation was also dysfunctional and resulted in a no-win situation for all concerned. He said when our family chose to silently condone the dysfunctional behavior, the victims were in a position of being doubly wronged, and the perpetrator never learned correct behavior.

While the information was a balm to the wounded child part of me that ended up feeling unloved and unworthy, I was still left with a nagging desire for some sort of closure and inner peace.

As a closing comment, he simply lowered his voice and said softly, “Fern, the primary purpose of human relationships is to learn to identify and resolve our own internal thoughts, beliefs, patterns and needs, and in the process to expand our conscious awareness and truly love ourselves.”

This profound and simple statement pulled me up out of the emotions surrounding “my story.” I not only got the lesson, I knew the answer was within me, had absolutely nothing to do with the other person and was something I had to do for myself.

When we find ourselves in any undesirable situation, no matter the source, there are lessons in it for us; otherwise, we wouldn’t be involved in it. I also knew that the first step in resolving the issue was to stop blaming the other person and to stop repeating the painful stories to ourselves and others. Under the law of attraction, ignoring that advice simply continues to draw to us more of the same. The final and most challenging step for many of us is to look within and heal the part of us that bought into the fallacy that we are unlovable and unworthy. This is what attracts such experiences to us.

I was also acutely aware of the fact that we have no control over the behavior of another human being. The good news, however, is that we hold the key to resolving these issues within us. The lesson learned: When we love, honor and respect ourselves, we will not attract people to us who seek a vulnerable target for their suppressed anger and other unresolved life issues.

[To learn Ten Steps to Healthy Relationships, go to:, and click on How-to Lists at the top.]
Copyright © 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within – is available at, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Secret to Having Dreams Come True

I recently watched Tom Hanks being interviewed on a television talk show. The host asked him what it felt like to be the most famous and respected male movie star in the world. Hanks replied by naming a half-dozen other well-known male performers who started out when he did, and explained in his usual charming and self-effacing manner that he was simply “the last man standing.”

While attrition may have had some small role in his success, it certainly wasn’t the primary part. I think Tom Hanks had a dream and just kept on positively moving toward it. His further comments confirmed the fact that through the years he was so filled with the love of acting that he found great joy and happiness each day in plying his craft. Instead of hankering – pun intended – for the huge success-outcome to hurry up and manifest, he was happy to be doing what he loved. Tom Hanks obviously wears his success comfortably as the natural progression of his journey, which it is, and from all external appearance he is living a fulfilling and joyous life.

We can do the same. As simple as it sounds, however, the challenge is that in order to have a dream come true, we must have an identifiable dream. I believe that each and every one of us was born on this Earth to fulfill some mission-purpose that is uniquely ours. Some individuals know this when they are as young as three years old, as a friend of mind did. Gladys Taylor McGarey, M.D., knew that she was to be a doctor and never wavered from this dream. Actually, she became the acknowledged mother of holistic medicine in America.

For those of us who didn’t come in with such strong intuitive guidance or such a large dream, the steps to take to discover our mission-purpose are well known and fairly simple. First of all, we can begin by making a list of what we think are our heart’s desires, our gifts and abilities. We continue working on this and making adjustments, plumbing the depths of us, until what we’ve written resonates within our heart, mind and soul.

When we are secure that we know our unique dream, we commit it to memory, write it out as a positive affirmation/statement and place it where we will see it often throughout the day. We then use it as the focal point of our lives. Our responsibility is to remain focused, do the best we can each day and to trust the universe to determine when and how our dreams are fulfilled.

Remember, just knowing our mission doesn’t mean it will automatically manifest in our lives. Will Rogers once said, “Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.” Fulfillment of our dreams and heart’s desires is not achieved by sitting around and waiting for life to zap them on us. All we learn is a variety of ways in which to fritter away our precious time on Earth.

Even if the world seems to be setting up roadblocks against us, we must continue to move in the direction of our dreams. We must hold firm and know that something deep within us knows the way. Even if life’s circumstances move us along paths that we think are diametrically opposed to where we want to go, we must continue believing in, holding fast to and moving toward our dreams, no matter how small the actions we are able to take may be.

In the interim, it is important to appreciate every bit of happiness and fulfillment we experience each day, and to have an attitude of gratitude. Anguishing over the past or worrying about the future causes many people to miss the joy of living in the present and cherishing every moment of life, which is the path to true happiness.

Calvin Coolidge may not be as famous as Tom Hanks is today, but what he had to say pretty much sums up the secret to achieving our dreams: “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent …”
Copyright © 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within is available at and other online booksellers, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Living by Choice Instead of by Default

Did you know that when there is a choice to make, and we don’t make it, that is also a choice? For many of us the fact that we had any choices in life was never really obvious to us. By the time we looked up, life had already happened to us and it seemed the only option possible was to make the best of it.

At some point in time, we may have wondered why our lives didn’t turn out more like the classic love-redeems-all movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” in which the main character also experiences unfortunate life events but emerges the most beloved man in town.

When that thought arises and there doesn’t seem to be any hope for reversing our negative cycle, we feel helpless. Many people in this situation are resigned to just “putting in their time,” as they believe the light at the end of the tunnel for them is a knowing that at some point it will all be over.

It doesn’t have to be that way. There is another choice, and when we choose to follow it at any time in our lives, it opens up the opportunity to consciously move out of the victim role, which is living by default, and deliberately creating fulfilling, meaningful and joyous lives.

The original concept for doing this has been known for centuries, and now more and more people are becoming aware of the fact that by changing our thoughts we can change our lives.

What most people aren’t aware of, however, is the parameters that must be met in order to be successful in this process. For example, our desires need to resonate with truth at the core of our being. We must love ourselves enough to allow good into our lives. And we need to know our beliefs and priorities so that we will have a standard by which to measure our progress, as well as to make decisions easier, which helps us stay on track.

I know that may sound complicated, but before you make the choice to give up without giving it a chance, here is the good news. The true secret lies in making one simple choice. That choice will lift us out of victimhood, living by default, and give us the ability to realize the lives we truly desire. That “choice” is to go within and learn what we need to know about ourselves so that we can change our lives.

For those who may resist taking the inner journey, I offer the following: For a number of years I mistakenly believed that everything in life of any note was generated by activity in the external world. I certainly didn’t think I needed to spend time contemplating my navel. But I have known for a long time now that the opposite is true. Life is meant to work from the inside of us out.

I also resisted looking within because I was afraid of what I would find. What I discovered, to my great relief and pleasant surprise, was a sanctuary of unconditional love, support and wisdom that is within everyone and everything in the universe. I also learned that when we consciously align with this energy-intelligence-love, it automatically says yes to our conscious choices and actively assists in manifesting them in our life experience.

In choosing to live from the love, peace, happiness and trust in life that resides within us, we will naturally be drawn to choosing and expressing a more loving, harmonious and balanced state of being. As we become more positive and accepting of our good, this opens a path for all the health, abundance and goodness we consciously choose, and can accept, to be available to us. We are no longer living by default, but by choice.

We are now and always have been the point of power in our lives. At any moment we can choose to reclaim our power and begin to choose the lives we desire for ourselves and our loved ones.

The only question is: Do we continue playing the role of victim and allowing life to happen to us by drifting into default? Or do we choose to step up and own the fact that we are the central character, the star, of our own lives? We are also the producer, director, scriptwriter and casting director. We are always free to create a comedy, a drama, a tragedy, a series of unfortunate events or a wonderful life. The choice is ours.
Copyright © 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within is available at and other online booksellers, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Loving Self Is the Key to Life's Problems

While the name of the speaker and the event are long gone from my memory bank, I still recall his words, almost verbatim. He said that our Good wants us as badly as we want it, and it is bearing down on us like a two-ton truck. The only one who can slow it down or stop it is us. The speaker also explained that the powerful energy of our abundant universe is all-loving, pure and good and seeking to express through us. As an example of how we thwart the process, he cited a garden hose that allows the water to flow through freely until we either step on the hose, causing a temporary stoppage, or turn off the faucet, which shuts off the flow at the source.

Our habit of “stepping on the hose” or shutting off our Good is actually regulated by the love we hold for ourselves. How much we truly love ourselves is apparent in the quality of our lives – as we, and we alone, determine how much Good, if any – we can allow into our lives.

Since loving ourselves is such a vital element in living successful lives, I couldn’t help but think about the way in which our culture has traditionally viewed this matter. While I was growing up, it didn’t take long for me to learn that it wasn’t acceptable to think highly of one’s self as this was considered arrogant, egotistical and wrong. Our families, schools and churches reinforced the message that “being full of ourselves” was a character flaw that would ruin our lives. It was drummed into us that we were always to place others before ourselves, which translated into meaning we were less deserving and less lovable than others.

What an incredible relief to know that what we need to be successful and happy in life is healthy self-love, and this has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with any of the invalid and false beliefs of the past. The truth is that we are born with a natural love of self, in which we accept and honor our gifts and abilities, and have no false sense of humility. Without any interference from others, we would automatically use this base of self-love to achieve success in every area of our lives.

No wonder all the great spiritual teachers throughout the ages realized this was a problem area and counseled us to turn within and know ourselves, for in this knowing we become aware of and can reclaim this healthy self-love. Actually, it is one of the most important things we will ever do. In truly knowing ourselves, we discover that we are one with all that is loving, pure, good and true in the universe. As we align with our inner selves, and accept that this is the truth of us, we realize that we are imminently lovable and deserving of all the good there is.

Once we realize this, we can also understand completely that thinking and believing otherwise about ourselves is what has kept us from allowing good into our lives. Our first reaction is to try to change these negative thoughts and beliefs, but until we know what beliefs we hold, we can’t replace them with positive statements.

Here is a simple way to expose these unloving and powerful directives that have determined our lives for many years. Take sheets of paper and begin by selecting one word and writing it at the top of each page. You can use words like health, love, money, success, self, relationships, life – or any others that occur to you. Write out what you believe about each one and continue writing until what you have written registers as truth at the core of your being. Your “gut” doesn’t lie. If any of your beliefs are negative, this is your cue to start replacing them with positive statements.

No matter the problems in our lives, the remedy lies in connecting with the love that is inherent within us. Everything we have experienced thus far has been created by the thoughts and beliefs of the past. What we are thinking right now will become our future. The point of power is within us at this very moment. We can choose to connect with and accept the love that is within us, which frees our Good to flow to us unimpeded, pressed down and running over.

Here are several powerful affirmations that I repeat as often as possible: I love and approve of myself right now. All the Good I desire is mine now, and flows to me peacefully, joyously, harmoniously with Good for all concerned.
Copyright © 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within is available at and other online booksellers, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Monday, August 25, 2008

How to Become and Stay Happy

I spent many years of my life seeking happiness, without having the foggiest idea of the vital part I played in how and when I experienced it. All I could do during the times when life was exceptionally good was to try to hang onto it for as long as possible, which was never very long. My happiness revolved around external circumstances, events and other people, which were subject to change and often out of my control. This meant that I ended up trying to hold onto what was already in the past – otherwise referred to as getting the short end of the stick.

For most of us, when the feel-good high takes a dip, we are met with a sense of sadness and loss. If we have become addicted to the euphoric feelings that can accompany happy times – and who hasn’t? – we once again begin the search for happiness outside ourselves and the cycle continues. Like most people, I naturally came to believe that happiness was out of my control, came from outside sources and was never meant to last. I was wrong.

The truth is our very souls yearn for happiness, which is our birthright, and the Constitution protects our right to seek it. We are programmed like heat-seeking missiles to experience this aliveness that lifts us up and fills us to the brim on all levels of our being. The challenge is that many of us are too used to looking in all the wrong places, i.e. outside of us. We also need to understand the difference between the fleeting type of happiness, which is intense and delightful, but doesn’t endure, and the more meaningful happiness that comes from deep within us and is lasting. Both are desirable for a balanced life and each is positively within our power to realize.

I heartily recommend all the following ways to boost our daily happiness quotient, as well as beginning our preparation for becoming self-contained happiness units: Keep an attitude of gratitude. Forgive ourselves for any wrongs done to others, and forgive those who have wronged us. Treat ourselves with the same goodwill, kindness and love we lavish on others. Share our unique gifts with others and make the world a better place. Affirm and accept an expectancy of good in every area of our lives. Learn from life’s lessons. Know who we are and what we really want, which allows us to make decisions easily. Build strong friendships and family relationships. Take time to appreciate the simple pleasures of life and to enjoy friends, family and nature. Stay actively involved in life. Take care of the physical body. Believe in that which is beautiful, good, loving, pure and true.

In my experience, it is possible to become a “self-contained happiness unit” and retain a sense of well-being and peace despite the usual ups and downs of life. It does require a higher level of focus and commitment. I believe this can happen by choice any time we’re ready to turn within and consciously align with the life force-love-intelligence that is within us and everything in the universe. However, due to free will, this action usually happens only when we are forced into this as a last-ditch effort by some traumatic life event.

In my case, when my beloved husband began a lengthy decline that would result in his death, I was compelled to look within and seek support and solace. The dire circumstances brought forth a need that was so powerful that it fueled my daily intention to connect with the eternal and sublime energy that is within us and everything in the universe.

During this process, I touched the sanctuary of unconditional love, support and wisdom within us, which is the heart’s desire of every human being. This is also where peace, trust in life and happiness live. The more we are united with the energy-intelligence within, the more we anchor our ability to cope easily and healthfully with life’s inevitable changes and challenges. It is here that we realize our oneness with all life, discover our life purpose and begin to act from a more loving, harmonious and balanced state.

It takes energy and effort to be happy, and the choice as well as the responsibility is unequivocally ours. Instead of taking the line of least resistance, we owe it to ourselves, others and the world to design our own unique handbook to happiness.

Here are the affirmations I repeat each night before I go to sleep: I name everything that happened this day Good. I know that I draw to me only the people and experiences I need to become a conscious, aware human being. I give thanks for this day, knowing that it is the first day of the best years of my life. And So It Is!
Copyright 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within is available at and other online booksellers, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Getting Un-stuck From Our "Stories"

At one time or another, most of us have experienced some sort of life trauma that comes from illness, death of a loved one, relationship woes, work or financial problems. In order to deal with these life challenges, it is often helpful and healthy to share our “story” with a few close confidantes or seek out life counselors until we can heal enough to move into the future on our own.

When we are going through these experiences, however, it isn’t uncommon to feel as if we have temporarily stepped out of time and the world goes on but we’re just not part of it. Sometimes the sadness, frustration and grief are so intense that we feel as if we will never come out of the dark tunnel. Yet with time, the desire to heal, and a little help from our friends, we emerge into the light.

The problem arises when we get stuck in our story and it becomes our identity. Instead of healing and moving on, years later we are still trapped in the situation and still telling the same old story, because we don’t know how to let go of the past and free ourselves to move on.

As I recall some of the individuals who have shared their stories with me, I recognize that a few still wear their “ancient” history like badges of honor. No encounter with them is complete without a listing of the wrongs others have done to them. I also realize with great tenderness and caring, from having been there, that this is one of the most debilitating of life’s circumstances.

I believe that in the extreme this is one of the reasons for the uncivilized and aggressive behavior that some individuals present to the world. I also believe it is why so many people turn to alcohol or other drugs to numb their feelings of being trapped and therefore helpless and hopeless.

Feeling like a victim and being trapped in experiences that are seemingly out of our control and that go from worse to worse – without any understanding or awareness of how to get out of our self-imposed prison – is surely a version of hell on Earth.

If all of that isn’t bad enough, the next stage is that our history becomes our biology and our health begins to be compromised. It is not possible to continue holding such non-life-enhancing thoughts and emotions of anger, grief, hatred, hopelessness, jealousy and sadness without them eventually manifesting in the physical body as illness and disease. I heard someone say that holding negative emotions about another is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.

Now I know that we draw life circumstances to us to provide opportunities to learn how to be in alignment with Universal Laws so that we can live in harmony and balance. At first the lessons come in gentle ways, and if we are open to learning, we face what is, learn what we can from it, and are freed to create better lives for ourselves and our loved ones.

If we are in resistance to facing what is and learning the lessons, the opportunities become more intense and the results less desirable, and all in direct response to our inner thoughts, beliefs and emotions. It truly is done unto us as we believe.

We have been given the ability and the right of free will to consciously or unconsciously choose what our life experiences will be. The universe delivers to us without prejudice or judgment exactly what we place as an order through our beliefs, thoughts and emotions. These principles are timeless, immutable and unwavering.

Simply having the knowledge of Universal Laws and how they work is not enough to be successful. It requires becoming aware of and consciously aligning and harmonizing with these simple truths, as well as releasing the self-sabotaging thoughts and limiting beliefs that hold so many of us in bondage. We alone hold the key to living a life beyond the reach of any self-imposed boundaries or limitations. By choosing to align our focus and actions with these powerful principles, we can create a new story that supports desirable outcomes in every area of our life and affairs.
Copyright 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within is available at and other online booksellers, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Learning the Rules of Life

For many people, Life on Earth is like being in a high-stakes game without knowing the rules. As a result, we sometimes end up feeling like we’ve been rode hard and hung up wet. While we have heard about the book “The Secret,” which is based on using the Law of Attraction to create abundant and successful lives, a lot of people are resistant to taking in and using this valid information. One huge reason for this is the fact that great masses of people today lack a basic and clear understanding of how life on this planet really works.

Many of us are aware that electricity and gravity work in the same precise order for everyone, regardless of ethnicity or gender, young or old, saint or sinner. We know that the scientific parameters-laws under which electricity and gravity operate are precise, unchangeable and totally predictable. They work for everyone, everywhere and at all times. The entire universe operates under a number of these natural principles, called Universal Laws, and the universe works in perfect order, harmony and balance. These basic and fundamental principles are the means by which our world continues to exist.

Now we know that there are also mental, physical and spiritual laws that apply in the lives and affairs of individuals as well as in science. They are the basis for how life on Earth works. Similarly, these laws are also eternal, immutable and unwavering. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are using these laws to build or break everything in our lives – loving relationships, health, wealth, success and happiness.

If we’ve matriculated into the Earth School of Life, it is up to us to become familiar with these rules-laws and to use them to benefit and enhance our lives, the planet and the future of humanity. There are many Universal Laws and sub-laws and they have been identified and written about for centuries. Here are three that are easy to understand and that we can use to realize better lives.

The Law of Cause and Effect means that nothing in life happens by chance or outside the Universal Laws. Every action we take has an equal reaction. We are responsible for everything that happens in our lives. It is a fact that we reap what we sow.

The Law of Attraction means that we create things and draw events and individuals into our lives by the energy of our thoughts, emotions, words and actions. If our thoughts, words, emotions and actions are negative, this is what will be returned to us. If they are positive, the law will return positive reactions. It could not be otherwise.

The Law of Abundance means we live in an abundant universe. We attract to us what we are, not what we pretend to be or hope to be. If we have thoughts of scarcity, poverty and lack, that will be reflected in our lives. What we hold in our consciousness manifests in our lives.

In order to work within these laws, we need to realize the following fundamental and scientifically based truths: There is only energy. Everything and everyone in the universe is energy vibrating at different levels, even inanimate objects are energy vibrating at a specific frequency. Everything and everyone in the world is connected to everything and everyone else.

Simply put, our thoughts, feelings, words and actions – also energy – affect everyone and everything. What each of us thinks, says and does each day contributes to the love, peace and abundance – or the chaos, warring conditions and scarcity of good – within our own lives and the world.

The good news is that we were born into a loving and kind universe that is set up for us to realize full, happy and successful lives. While it may not seem like this if our lives are filled with chaos and suffering, the reason is because we are misapplying the laws. The rub, as Shakespeare would say, is the fact that in Earth School, the entire curriculum centers on taking the time and effort to learn about the laws of life on this planet. The Universal Laws are neutral and respond to us according to our thoughts, beliefs and desires. If we want to change our lives, we change our thoughts and focus only on that which is desirable. To do that we must know what our core beliefs are, for until we know what they are, we cannot change them.

If we learn our “lessons,” and align with these laws-rules-principles, we can create our own heaven on Earth. In literal terms, our lives become our report cards. We have the choice of living a life of struggle and scarcity, or learning the rules of life on Earth and directing our lives in full conscious awareness of what we are creating.
Copyright 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within is available at and other online booksellers, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Opening Our Minds Instead of Closing Our Hearts

Many of us have had relationships that despite our highest and best hopes could never be what we desire. For more years than I care to admit, I experienced sadness and heartache over a relationship with a close family member who I dearly love. At first I thought I could “heal” the relationship by being more loving, kind, forgiving and generous. That didn’t work. I also prayed daily for a resolution, to no avail. For some unknown reason, the person dislikes me intensely and wants little to do with me. I had only been able to hold onto a tenuous connection by a strong inner desire.

Over the past few years, the individual has stopped responding to or initiating any communication and has kept any physical contact to a minimum. Perhaps if the situation hadn’t presented such a deep emotional-energy tie for me, I would have been able to face the reality of it years ago. However, I had grown through enough in life to know that the time had come to face whatever lesson this issue held. I knew that pain and suffering come from hanging on to what has passed, and I was finally ready to accept what is, and start using the insights gained to heal the situation within myself.

For a very long time, I was unable to make any progress in the healing. I finally got in touch with the fact that I held a hidden belief that by healing me it would somehow dissipate or dissolve the love I had for the other person. I wasn’t willing to allow that to happen, as it would have been a betrayal of the very essence of what I knew in my heart. I knew that I could heal myself and release the other person without affecting the love I held for them. I took the time to anchor that belief in my subconscious and then continued the healing process.

Some time ago I had written a letter to this individual acknowledging our situation. I didn’t ask any questions or expect a response; I simply set the person free and indicated my ongoing love. Then, in loving support of each of us, I repeated the following affirmations daily: I place (name) _______ in a ball of light and love and release them to their own true place in life. I place myself in a ball of light and love and release me to my own true place in life.

Since forgiveness is one of the keys to happiness, I also repeated the following affirmations daily: I freely and wholly forgive myself for any real or imagined wrong I have done to me or to (name) ________, past or present. I freely and wholly forgive (name) _________, for any real or imagined wrong done to me, past or present. I am free. They are free.

As I consciously focused on my purpose, to grow through the situation in an enlightened, life-affirming way, the inner healing began to happen. I recalled that love is eternal. Despite what the external appearances seemed to be, I knew my love for this person was real and ongoing. I was never going to close my heart to the individual, which is usually the first reaction in such an experience. I also began to realize that instead of judging or blaming the person, which is also typical in such cases, I was able to move through that stage fairly quickly with love.

Then in another atypical response, instead of just thinking about me, how this situation affected me, and wanting life to be the way I wanted it, I began trying to imagine myself in the other person’s shoes. I realized that because of our longstanding, yet distant relationship, I actually didn’t know the person, what their life challenges were or what unique destiny they were to fulfill. I only knew they were also here on Earth to learn lessons. I remembered a wise spiritual teacher counseling me that the people in our lives who present our biggest challenges are also our greatest teachers.

While mulling over that last bit of information, it suddenly popped into my conscious mind that this was one of my largest life lessons, and I had drawn this person into my life to help me learn once and for all that I have the choice to let go of sadness and suffering and to be free in any situation. With that realization, a wave of love and gratitude for the other person’s vital role in this lesson rose up within me. At the same time I was aware that any of their actions toward me actually said more about them and their life lessons and had little or nothing to do with me.

I also immediately knew that in releasing the sadness and regret I held around the situation, I wasn’t shutting off love for the other person. To the contrary, I was performing an act of love that would be freeing for both of us. I finally got it, and my heart expanded as this truth-awareness settled into the core of my being.

By opening our minds and keeping an open heart, we come from a higher perspective and can reframe the situation [change our thinking] about these highly emotional issues. As we accept the fact that we are here to help each other learn lessons, we will better understand the value in allowing the other person the space to learn theirs – while retaining the love we have for them within us. This sets each soul free to act from an open and unburdened heart and to realize their full human potential.
Copyright 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within is available at and other online booksellers, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.