Monday, March 23, 2009

Now's the Time to Ask the Big Question: Are You Being You?

I recently read an intriguing book called “Let Your Life Speak,” by Parker J. Palmer, in which he relates a Hasidic tale with a profound message: “Rabbi Zusya, when he was an old man, said: ‘In the coming world, they will not ask me: Why were you not Moses? They will ask me: Why were you not Zusya?’”

This caused me to reflect on several things. First it seems to be part of the human condition to try to hide our real selves and pretend to be something we’re not. And second, the truth is that for much of my life I tried to cobble together who I was by taking my cue from whatever I was doing in the external world. It was only in the past several decades, that I slowed down enough to begin asking the universal questions: Who am I, why am I here on Earth and what is my life’s purpose?

I recalled that even as a young girl of 10, I knew intuitively that there was something within me striving to express, I just couldn’t connect with whatever it was. It would take many more years before I became aware of the life I was born to experience and then to free myself from invalid beliefs and to start living it. As it was, I lived in survival mode a lot of the time and in what I now call living by default instead of by design. This meant that my only choice involved how to respond to whatever happened to me.

Through a great deal of contemplation and introspection, I finally learned that the eternal and sublime energy that is within everyone and everything, which I call God, is also in me. And like a wave is part of the ocean but not all of it, I possess the same characteristics and sublime qualities. When I accepted that I was an individualized expression of this energy-intelligence-love-God, I began to grasp the truth of myself and started focusing on creating good in my life.

As a natural part of choosing to open to this fuller concept of life, I soon realized that the reason I am here on Earth is to open to growing through life and learning the lessons instead of just going through it. In this way, I can learn to express life as the one and only real me, which results in joy and happiness for me and makes the world a better place by my having been born.

The big challenge for me was in finding my life’s unique purpose, and I was in angst over this quest for many years. During this time, I also realized that this is the question that undoes so many people. I believe that much of the great unhappiness in the world, the depression, the abuse of drugs and generalized soul-sickness is directly linked to not seeking, not finding and not understanding our reason for being.

I sought my life purpose in the business world and discovered it wasn’t there. Immediately after the short-lived “high” I would get from earning more money or receiving an award, the deep longing within me would always return. I bless those experiences now, for they were what keep me seeking. I also learned that I am a highly sensitive person, and that while I had the intellectual capacity to continue pursuing success in the corporate sector, I often found myself in situations that emotionally and spiritually were not compatible with my soul.

It was during my beloved husband’s lengthy decline that I decided to withdraw from the external world to seek a more loving and enlightened way in which to assist him on his last life journey. In the desperation of the situation, I turned within to the innermost core of my being seeking help and guidance, and discovered the sanctuary of love, peace and wisdom that is the heart’s desire of every human being. My life has not been the same since.

In all the positions I have held in the media or the business world, it was primarily my writing ability that allowed me to be successful. But it wasn’t until my husband was dying that the creative energy came through me with a force that I had never known before – and with a purpose that could not be denied. The result was a book chronicling our experience. After that, the concept for another book came to me in meditation and the passion to do it was equally powerful. And the pattern continues.

How interesting that I have known since childhood that I was a writer, yet I had never embraced it as truth. I kept seeking outside of me for who I was to be.

I learned that our true calling – who we are, why we are here and our life purpose – is revealed to us from within, and doesn’t come to us from out there – the external world. And we certainly don’t have to live our lives reacting to and accepting others’ expectations of us. When we can stop trying to be someone else, we can start living the wonderful lives that I believe we were born to live, instead of the poor imitations we create for ourselves.

“To be nobody-but-yourself – in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” –e.e. cummings
Copyright © 2009 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s books: “You Can Live A Balanced Life In An Unbalanced World!” and “The Heart Knows the Way – How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within” are available at and other online booksellers, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Hard Times Are the Signal to Get Back to Basics

With our recent economic crises, I am sure that with few exceptions people all across America – and around the world – are left wondering how this happened to a country that was perceived as the richest, strongest and most powerful in the world.

Well, the truth is that our country bought a one-way ticket to disaster when it lost sight of ethics, morals and values and committed to an all-out pursuit of materialism and power. This antiquated approach has been the pattern for many centuries, but it is glaringly inappropriate and unsustainable in the new millennium.

The simple fact is that the conscious awareness of humanity is at the highest point in the history of the world. The wrong road our country was pursuing actually started becoming apparent to countless millions of Americans in the failed war in Viet Nam. Now we have the irreconcilable conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and two other potential prospects in the offing – Iran and Pakistan. The other shoe dropped with the collapse of the real estate and stock markets, as well the banking and insurance industries.

In the pursuit of power and materialism, our government made choices that were not ethically sound and therefore were not supportive of human values or of a healthy society. Is there anyone around who doesn’t know that the prevailing attitude at all levels in our country has been one of greed, self-interest and dishonesty? Looking out for numero uno became the mantra of this and preceding generations. That attitude fostered the belief that there wasn’t enough of anything for everyone so it was acceptable for individuals to grab whatever they could by any means imaginable and let the rest of us be damned.

As citizens, we were so deeply immersed in our country’s pursuit of money and power that we either bought into it or were complicit in accepting the situation because none of us knew how to stop a runaway train on a slippery slope.

Since this crisis is enormous, many of us are going to pay a high price for the results of our government and institutions straying from the straight and narrow path. Yet inherent in this situation may be the biggest blessing we could ever have imagined. If we take the time to look at the primary cause of the economic crisis in our country – which is an incredible turning away from basic ethics, values and morals – this opens an incredible opportunity to return to the principles that made our nation’s rise to greatness possible in the first place.

More and more people are aware that we do live in an abundant universe that is based on fundamental principles such as the Law of Attraction, which means like attracts like. We draw to us what we think and live and are responsible for what comes into our lives, individually and nationally. When any one of us lies, cheats or steals or allows or condones such actions, it takes away from the good of all. We are all in this together.

We must demand that our government and institutions return to a transparent system that is sensitive to the bottom line, and yet is balanced with humane ethics and values. This must also include an appropriate reverence for planet Earth and a commonsense approach to environmental issues, which got lost in the money-power equation.

I believe this crisis is a wake-up call to remind us that love and kindness, honesty and integrity and looking out for each other are the key values in life. If we individually choose to live from the highest and best within us, we can help each other and our ship of state stay afloat and on course. Only in this way can we assure the future of our children and grandchildren and this awesome planet.

[Scroll down to read - 10 Ways to Help Us Get Through Hard Times.]
Copyright © 2009 by Fern Stewart Welch

The authors books: "You Can Live A Balanced Life In An Unbalanced World" and “The Heart Knows the Way – How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within” are available at and other online booksellers, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

10 Ways to Help Get Us Through Hard Times

Cut back on spending, increase our savings and live below our means instead of beyond them. This helps us and also demonstrates sensitivity to the millions of our fellow Americans who have lost their jobs, homes and insurance.

Learn about the resources that are available to help needy families through hard times so that you can be proactive. Have it ready when someone you meet or know is in need of connecting with these services. [Be part of the healing of our country.]

Curb the temptation to indulge in conspicuous consumption and to flaunt an ostentatious lifestyle. Donate that discretionary income to community organizations to help our fellow citizens.

Give more generously to all the charities of our choice and continue an American tradition of doing good to help others.

Remain positive, which is always an excellent way to ensure better results in every area of our lives and to help calm everyone around us.

Remember to maintain an attitude of gratitude. This boosts our self esteem and raises our energy vibration, which lifts our spirits and those of everyone who comes in contact with us.

Take good care of our health. It is vitally important during hard times to maintain a positive attitude and to manage stress.

Support our inner peace by saying as often as possible: I choose Good this day for me, my loved ones and all others. And So It Is!

Fight fear by repeating over and over: All is well! Something wonderful is happening in my life right now. I sense it. I feel it. I know it. And So It Is!

And then we anchor in our good by repeating the following: In living the key values in life – honesty, integrity and loving and caring for others – I hasten our nation’s return to balance on all levels, peacefully, joyously and harmoniously with Good-God for all concerned. And So It Is!