Monday, January 28, 2008

Listening to and Learning From Nature

Several times each day I hear the honking of dozens of geese as they make their way over my home to one of the nearby lakes. When they are directly over my house, it means they are making the final descent in their flight pattern and the sound reaches a crescendo. I pause in whatever I am doing and smile inwardly. For a fleeting moment I am once again connected with nature, and it touches me at the core of my being.

I recall the carefree days of my early life when my family lived in a rural area in Missouri. I spent my days playing alone in the magical and pristine woods and streams that surrounded our home.

In this Eden-like playground, there were natural springs that bubbled up pure water from underground streams, a paw-paw patch laden with exotic fruit, and giant trees that reached to the sky and sent Tarzan-quality vines down to the ground. I lived a rich fantasy life there. Even though I was only five-years old, I was master of this domain and invincible. I was a fairy princess, a mighty hunter or Nyoka, the Jungle Queen. I could swing through the air like a bird and land in the soft embrace of the paw-paw patch.

As I matured, I developed allergies that caused me to be so wary of nature that for a long time I avoided it as much as possible. This wasn’t difficult because by then we lived in St. Louis, and everyone else seemed to be doing the same thing. Unless you really desired it, there was no reason to have much to do with grass, trees and burbling streams.

When my children and grandchildren were born, my love of nature reawakened. I took great pleasure in making sure my children had a tree house, and was delighted that they immediately began playing the same age-old game of watching clouds changing shape. We took nature walks and connected with the bounty of the Earth by caring for and harvesting the fruit from the fig, peach, plum and citrus trees in our large back yard. Then, as my grandmother would say, “We put them up,” which meant we used glass Ball jars to hold the jams and jellies we made.

I was also delighted to help my grandchildren experience nature up close and personal. The three younger ones still go for walks with me by the golf course lake near my house. We stand motionless to watch the rabbits cavort on the green grass, look for bugs to put in their Sucret’s tins and watch the various types of waterfowl take off and come in for landings on the water.

I remember walking around the golf course with them after a big rain, and one section of the walkway was under about three inches of water. They wanted to turn back. But I insisted they take off their tennis shoes and socks and walk barefoot with me through the water.

They had never done anything like that before. I will never forget the look of joy on their faces then—or the time the summer heat turned our faces beet-red and we ran fully clothed through the golf course sprinklers to cool off.

Now that society as a whole is so far removed from nature, I have a much deeper concern for the Earth. When we are not conscious of nature, we don’t care about what happens to it. We don’t realize how vital it is to our lives or how we need to protect it and to learn from it instead of trying to control it.

I remember what a wonderful wise woman shared with me a few years ago when I mentioned the geese that fly over my house. She said that the geese select one of the weakest members of the flock as a leader so that the slower ones can keep up. The honking noise is the way in which the members spur on the one that leads the V-formation. She also said that when one of them becomes ill and has to find a place to land, two others accompany the ailing bird until it is once again able to rejoin the formation, or it dies.

That is far more humane and caring than the behavior of many human beings—we have much to learn from nature. I pray we take the time to do so.
Copyright 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

[To view the author’s information on how to change your life and connect with the divine spirit within, go to]

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, January 21, 2008

How to Change Your Life ... and Help the World!

The Mayan calendar ends December 21, 2012, a date that some view with fear – much like what occurred just before the end of the millennium – while others look forward to it with jubilation. Predictions of what this event could mean to humanity range from the usual cataclysmic end-of-time to it heralding a major energy shift that will usher in a golden age of love and peace on Earth.

I recall that nothing of major note actually happened when our Gregorian calendar switched over on January 1, 2000, and am fairly certain that this new tempest is similarly unwarranted.

Most of us recognize that if we want to live better lives and help change the direction in which the world is headed, it is time to make some serious changes. Many of us already know how to create what we don’t want in our lives and in the world. Now is the perfect time to learn how to create what we do desire.

However, before attempting to make positive changes in our lives, we need to decide where we are right now, what we want in our future and whether we are willing to make necessary changes in order to be successful.

Part of the self-discovery phase is to identify and be certain that our desires resonate with the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of our being. When we have done this, it is similar to a board of directors that has voted unanimously to follow a course of action. This single-minded focus is not only powerful, it is a prerequisite to achieving our heart desires.

We must also understand how the universe works. We place our “order,” and what we receive back is determined by the innermost-subconscious thoughts and feelings we hold around whatever specific issues we are concerned about. If our thoughts are negative, we receive negative results.

No matter how much willpower we exert trying to force the results we desire into becoming a reality, we eventually tire and give up because of deep-seated thoughts and beliefs. Without this awareness, we will find ourselves constantly sabotaging our efforts. No matter what we are seeking, whether it is health, wealth, loving relationships or the body we desire, the result will be the same: failure.

The reality is that unless we love ourselves just where we are right now, we will not be successful. We must learn to change negative thoughts about our lives and our bodies and replace them with positive thoughts and feelings. Otherwise, the universe will continue to use information that reflects what we really feel at a subconscious level and keep sending us the same old results.

It is tempting to think that if we come to peace with our lives as they are, instead of what we desire, we will become complacent and get stuck there. This isn’t true. There is a divine energy striving to express itself through us, and it is continually spurring us on to be more and to fulfill our full human potential.

Even if we have chosen a specific body or certain life circumstances from which to learn lessons, by resolving to make positive changes in order to achieve our desired life, we will know what to do. We will be led to learn the lessons, solve the challenges we face and come to a peaceful resolution. Then we will finally be able to stop beating ourselves up over the situation and move forward to create the life we truly desire.

Once we take control and begin to transform our lives, we see that our actions positively affects others as well as what happens in the future. Then we know that the power doesn’t lie in some external non-event like the ending of the Mayan calendar—it lies within us.
Copyright 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

[Read the author’s articles on how to successfully change your life, and how to connect with the energy-intelligence within at:

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, January 14, 2008

Helping Children Realize Their Full Human Potential

During the past holiday season, my six-year old grandson spent the day with me. As a treat I let him open an early present. He took one disappointed look at it, tossed it aside and said, “I didn’t want that.”

I wasn’t disappointed or disturbed by his reaction, as I realized fully that at his age he hasn’t learned to harness his feelings and monitor his words according to the customs of our culture. I also appreciate the fact that one of the precious attributes of young children – which we all secretly enjoy and often envy – is that they speak their truth.

The situation caused me to think back to the number of times that my own and other people’s children demonstrated similar reactions. As “good” parents, we all responded in the same way. We focused on not allowing Aunt Martha’s feelings to be hurt and thoroughly chastised the child until s/he apologized. This usually resulted in either the child being reduced to tears, or becoming angry and defensive.

We were totally unaware of how that experience might affect the child. We didn’t know that the way in which we helped our children become socialized – whether it was a positive or negative experience for them – would affect all future interactions with others throughout their lives, as well as the chance to realize their full human potential.

While we’ve always known that it isn’t desirable for children to indiscriminately say hurtful things to others, now we realize the equal importance of teaching this in a way that honors the feelings of the child and Aunt Martha.

I also believe that focusing on Aunt Martha and publicly humiliating a child is a negative experience on more than one level. It teaches a child that our true feelings are wrong, and in order to be acceptable and loved by others we have to repress and deny them. Feelings are an important part of us and to deny or suppress them ignores a very valuable aspect of what it is to be human.

Since we live in such a highly commercialized gift-giving environment, and children experience this at an early age, it is a natural opportunity to teach a more enlightened and conscious approach to giving and receiving.

We need to realize as mature adults that every gift we give will not be the person’s heart desire. Yet, we can hope that after thinking about the person – shopping, purchasing, wrapping and presenting the present with genuine affection and caring – all of this will be considered by the recipient as part of the gift itself.

A wise and caring response for recipients would be to focus more on the giver than the gift. It then becomes possible to recognize the person’s action and to truthfully respond in a way that honors the giver and the recipient. This can be role-modeled by parents and gently and lovingly taught to children.

The children of today and tomorrow will be eager to express their full human potential and to live mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually satisfying lives. It is our responsibility to be sure they have a positive foundation and the clear guidelines to be successful. This also makes the world a better place.

As a postscript, not only was my young grandson open to hearing about a more loving way to respond to a gift, he was able to retain his sense of self-worth and joyous disposition. As his parents came to pick him up, he turned to me and said, “Mimi, of all the old people I know, you are my favorite.”
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, January 7, 2008

If You Don't Feel Connected to Your Good ... Guess Who Moved!

Several weeks before Thanksgiving, I attended a local premiere of bestselling author Louise Hay’s new movie “You Can Heal Your Life.” Her flagship book of the same name came out in 1976 and sold thirty-five million copies worldwide. I was one of the millions who resonated with the concepts in her groundbreaking work.

She was one of the first to recognize the body-mind connection in healing and provided specific techniques to heal emotional and physical problems by clearing the thoughts and feelings we hold around them. She also taught that we could change our lives for the better by changing our thoughts.

This powerful information came into my life at a time when my whole world had been turned upside down by the breakup of my first marriage. I embraced these life-changing ideas with the fervor of a drowning person seeking air, and set in motion an incredible journey within that continues to bless every area of my life with good.

In my lengthy experience with this philosophy, I have learned some valuable lessons and gained insights that will help others on their journeys. For example, no matter how long or how faithfully we work on changing our thoughts and changing our lives, we will have times when we backslide into old habits of negative thinking and acting.

Some of this is because it is challenging to practice an enlightened and positive approach to life that is contrary to what is common in our culture, but it is also because we are human. And as long as we are alive, we will face situations that threaten our resolve to elevate our conscious awareness and act from a loving, balanced sense of self. When these situations come up, we can learn to bless them for what they truly are – an opportunity to clear out invalid thoughts and life patterns, to learn additional lessons – and continue to grow in conscious awareness. A good question to ask at such times: What is the positive lesson I am to learn from this?

I became aware years ago that holiday seasons were a vulnerable time for me, as that was when my resolve tended to dip. I soon learned that by paying attention to the uneasiness within, I could stop and take action to recover my inner balance. Now I take control and get back to basics and re-commit to the principles I learned decades ago. The opportunity to see the Louise Hay movie was perfect timing, as it provided the booster shot I needed to shore up any weakened resolve that surfaced this past season. I also repeated the following affirmations many times daily: I choose love. I choose peace. I choose harmony and balance.

The more we seek to live from the best that is within us, the easier it is to recognize the uncomfortable feeling that comes up when we revert to undesirable habits. This message lets us know that we are out of harmony with the core of our being. If we don’t act to reverse the situation, we begin to feel disconnected from ourselves, others and all life. Fears begin to come up and we start to doubt our self-worth and once again we feel like a victim, helpless and alone. We may be tempted to give in to the negative thoughts and to once again roll around in the fear-based compulsion of blaming and judging others.

There are as many ways as there are people to tap into the energy-connection that is within us – which we call God – as well as to get back on track when we feel disconnected. It is our responsibility to discover what works for us. The good news is that when the feeling of separation arises again, which it will, you will recognize it more quickly and it will take less time to learn any lesson and to regain your equilibrium.

The fact is that the sanctuary within has always been available to us. It is the answer to the heart desire of every human being – unconditional love and acceptance, a deep sense of joy, peace and contentment – and a connection with all life. It is just waiting for our conscious awareness to activate a choice to either move toward it or to ignore it and move away. And as one of my wise spiritual teachers once said: If you feel separate from your Good-God—guess who moved.

[To view the author’s feature article “How to Have a Personal Connection with God,” and the convenient 10-point list, go to and click on How-to-Lists at the top of the page, then click on Connect with God.]
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.