Wednesday, November 30, 2011

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 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 a 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.

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 Truth 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 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, 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.
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Copyright 2007 by Fern Stewart Welch - one of the author's most requested essays.

The author's books: "Tea with Elisabeth," recipient of the 2010 Silver Award for Non-fiction; "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 Amazon.com, other online booksellers, as well as bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Speed Bumps Keep Appearing on My Way to Becoming a Receiver and a Giver

This is my third essay on learning how a lifelong giver can find a balance between giving and receiving. First, I definitely haven’t reached my goal yet. Though my initial attempts were successful enough to keep me focused on my challenge I discovered that the transformation would be more difficult than I expected.

When I first broke my foot, which was the start of this quest, a number of family members and friends stepped up to help me. Thanks to all the loving assistance with my physical needs and doctor appointments, I was able to breathe a sigh of relief that I wasn't on my own.

But the flurry of helpful involvement wasn’t to last. I realized quickly that my loved ones had lives to live, while I was still occasionally in need. I felt conflicted and was even more determined to reclaim control of my life, including my diet. Since my birthday fell during this recovery time, I was gifted with a variety of tasty but high-calorie foods, which I loved, but which I usually ate only a few times a year. Now it was weekly. I was grateful for all the assistance I received, but was learning to speak up about what I wanted and needed instead of just saying thank you for whatever was delivered. So, I said no more desserts, please.

Yet I wondered if there was something I was missing that would have made the experience more palatable for me and more beneficial for all concerned. Looking back, I think I had relaxed so completely into receiving that I lost sight of my part in the balance of giving. What else was it that I needed to learn?

Divine synchronicity intervened when a dear longtime friend called and said she needed to talk about something that was weighing on her mind. Fortunately, for me, she was so busy with work, travel and speaking commitments that our meeting was delayed for several days. I appreciated the reprieve as I had experienced many such requests from family members and friends, and I was always uneasy because I wasn’t sure I could meet their needs or desires.

During the interval, I remembered something that happened in a class that related to my friend’s current need. The facilitator gave a lecture on listening and was instantly on our case any time one of us failed to listen to her or to another member. She called us out immediately whenever we had our hands in the air before someone finished speaking because we couldn’t wait to put in our two cents, or we fiddled with papers, or read or sent text messages or retreated within and didn't hear or care what the speaker was saying.

Whether I realized it consciously or not, this memory would lead me to, as bestselling author M. Scott Peck, M.D. would say, a road less traveled, at least by me. When my troubled friend called again and asked to come over it was near dinner time, and I suggested she stop by a local restaurant and pick up our meal, which would be my treat (once again I was being the giver.)

As she arrived we greeted each other warmly, and when she remembered she had missed my birthday, she immediately said dinner was on her. Of course old habits surfaced and I began to protest. This time I also thought about that “un-traveled road” – receiving – and said gratefully, “Yes, thank you, more please.” We laughed, embraced again and thoroughly enjoyed our conversation and the wonderful food.

As we settled onto the sofa to talk, I felt at ease. I had evidently decided subconsciously to really listen, to be totally present for her, and remarkably, I was. I paid close attention to her words and her body language. I was never tempted to offer solutions for her problems, but sought only to help her bring forth her own conclusions.

I automatically supported her strengths verbally and felt perfectly comfortable doing that. I even lightly tossed in truths that she knew so well, as we all do, but often lose sight of when we are experiencing emotionally difficult situations.

As we said goodbye, I realized that our energies were in a state of equilibrium, and our shared joy was genuine. It was clearly a real-world example of balanced, from-the-heart giving and receiving, and I was fully aware of it in the moment.

Later I thought of the many times I had missed the chance to simply listen to a fellow human being, and to practice that aspect of giving and receiving. Now I realize there are surely an infinite variety of ways in which to do this, but in this experience it is easy to see how it was a win-win situation for both of us. By being totally present for another person in their time of need, we are helping to create happier lives and a more humane world.
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Copyright 2011 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s books: “Tea with Elisabeth,” recipient of the 2010 Silver Award for Non-fiction; “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 Amazon.com and other online booksellers, as well as bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Making the "Impossible" Possible

After posting last month’s essay on giving and receiving, and feeling complete with the insights I had gained, I happened upon a quote by Indian yogi and mystic Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev that changed my opinion.  I realized immediately that I had only scratched the surface of this vital and complex issue. Evidently I was meant to dig much deeper to fully grasp and understand it so I could embrace it and share it with others.

His provocative quote says that when we think or say something is impossible, what we’re actually doing is telling the universe, “No thank you, we didn’t really want that anyway.”

Some of the “impossible” global examples Vasudev is obviously referring to are world peace, poverty and hunger, and on an individual level, perfect health, healthy relationships and prosperity. They remain impossible, he said, because we hold negative thoughts in our consciousness that cancel out any possibility of receiving them as a reality.

Vasudev’s quote highlighted what I believe, which is that we live in an abundant universe that is constantly giving, but many of us, me included, aren't always willing to receive.  We are the ones blocking the flow by saying or thinking, in essence, “Never mind, that may happen for someone else, but not for me.”

One of the yogi’s first questions after making his bold statement would have to be, why are we withholding good from ourselves? And the next one would be, why would we ever choose to put such unhealthy and undesirable limitations on the infinite giving-ness of Spirit and the abundant universe?

My immediate response would be from my own experience: Most of us still don’t know how life on Earth really works.  I lived the first half of my life as a victim for exactly that reason.  Until I learned the truth in what Jesus taught about it being done unto us as we believe, I was living by default instead of by design.  In the mid-seventies, this incredible concept had been succinctly re-stated as: Change your thoughts and change your life.  And thanks to hundreds of visionary writers and speakers, as well as many sages and spiritual leaders throughout the ages, we are finally aware enough to accept this concept.  It is being lived and confirmed by millions of people all over the world, thanks to all the above and TV's all-purpose guru Oprah.

As I embraced this truth, I realized that we are the scriptwriters, the casting directors and directors of our own comedies, dramas or tragedies. The Universal Life Force, energy that is in everything and everyone in the universe, is the producer.  I finally realized that I had been trapped in a victim role with absolutely no idea that the pleas and prayers I spoke each morning were overshadowed by the negative thoughts I focused on the rest of the day.  The universe sees no difference between an order that is positive or negative; it only knows to fulfill it.

The next deterrent to receiving our good from the universe is directly related to the invalid thoughts, beliefs, needs, feelings and life patterns that we hold in our subconscious.  These long-forgotten directives determine whether we feel worthy, deserving or lovable enough to receive our good.

The solution, from my experience, is to take the time to look within and start clearing out the negative beliefs we have so that our desires for a good life can be realized.  Naturally, we also have to know what we want, which many people don’t, and I didn’t for a very long time.  Then we need to clean up our subconscious and align our desires with what is good in the universe, which means that our desires neither harm nor take from anyone else. When we can do this and maintain an anticipation of good, we are open to receiving.

Is it a lot of work to make the impossible possible?  Yes.  But the result is so much better than spending a lifetime wishing we knew why other people were living “charmed” lives and we always ended up with the short end of the stick.  It was never meant to be that way.  This is a blessed, abundant universe, and it’s time to realize that we were born to have all the good our hearts desire—and can accept.

Incredible technological and economic changes are taking place in our world right now and are already affecting every area of our lives.  I believe that the “impossible” global and individual changes humanity yearns for are imminently possible.

To meet the challenges and opportunities that will alter humanity’s future one way or another, we need to accept the reality of how life works and align our thoughts and actions with that awareness. Our lifetime might see the beginning of a cosmic push-comes-to-shove era for human beings.  If we truly want to be part of this opportunity to co-create a better world, we must step up and face the facts—and be willing to lead, follow or get out of the way.
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Copyright © 2011 by Fern Stewart Welch    
The author’s books: “Tea with Elisabeth,” recipient of the 2010 Silver Award for Non-fiction; “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 Amazon.com and other online booksellers, as well as bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

How a Broken Foot Became a Blessing Instead of a Bummer

Most of you know that I write about what I learn as I grow through life instead of just going through it.  You also know that I consider it part of my life’s purpose to share the insights and lessons learned about how life is meant to work as I meet the ups and downs of daily happenings. 

Recently I’ve been thinking about what my dear friend and mentor, the late Dr. Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross, reminded me of, often: “Everything in life happens for a reason.  There are no such things as accidents.” In addition to being the world expert on death and dying, she was also considered one of the most brilliant, heroic and influential women of all time. 

Since I had just experienced an “accident” while on holiday, it was a perfect opportunity to test her teaching and find out what insight(s) I was meant to gain.  It was the middle of the night.  I was at a friend’s townhouse on the bank of a sparkling stream, and I missed two steps entering the sunken living room.  Naturally, my first priority after the fall wasn’t asking what I was to learn from this situation.  It was taking inventory of my body to check out the damage. Amazingly, I realized that except for my right foot, everything else was intact and felt perfectly fine.

I waited until morning to inform my friend, who was sleeping upstairs. By that time, it was obvious that a bone was broken in my foot. This meant we had to leave that idyllic setting and return home – visit the Emergency Room, have x-rays and consultations – and finally be fitted with a cane and a boot to protect my injured right foot.  The post-ER instructions included staying off the foot as much as possible for the next 4-6 weeks.

When I did turn my thoughts to what this experience meant at a learning level, I realized that before I left on our trip I had purchased a book, “The Power of Receiving,” by Amanda Owen which is now on my bedside table. I bought it, I thought, because there was a glowing cover endorsement by someone I know, Dr. Christiane Northrup, who is also one of my favorite bestselling authors.  The subtitle was, “a revolutionary approach to receiving the life you desire and deserve.”

One of the early statements in the book caught my attention and I was hooked. It was something like this:  The world can only give you what you are willing to receive. 

Like everyone else, I have dreams and goals and want to achieve them, so I allowed those words of wisdom to rumble around in my brain. It didn’t take long after the fall to face the following facts: I was now in a somewhat helpless condition, and definitely needed to ask for and receive help. I also knew that asking others for assistance was something I had always resisted like the plague. In following that train of thought, I also realized that I had been a major giver all my life, without much thought given to the concept of receiving.

As I continued reading about giving and receiving, I grasped the reciprocal tie between them. I realized that in all earthly interactions there needs to be a natural ebb and flow, a harmonious balance.  I also got the message that when we get caught up in giving, as I had obviously done, the ego likes that much better than receiving and some of us choose to be magnanimous givers as a result. As the author says, when we’re giving we get to “showcase” our more saintly attributes and our egos love that.

Since my inner knowing resonated with the author’s information, I was eager to put it to the test.  All offers for help in my time of need were gratefully accepted.  This proved to be a thousand times better than my former stance of “suffering in silence,” and feeling like a victim.  All of which I chose because I wouldn’t allow myself to be a nuisance or to put anyone out.  Now I had willing and happy givers who provided delicious food, brought in my mail, emptied the trash, spent time visiting with me, watered my plants and took me to doctor’s appointments. 

The difference in the natural balance of giving and receiving was immediately obvious.  I felt loved and cared for in a way I had never allowed before.  And, like an over-ripe peach my love and gratitude burst forth. I was rewarded with the smiles on the faces of the givers and several special experiences that I hug to my heart.

The first one was with my younger grandchildren who proudly carried in the “bounty” lovingly chosen and beautifully prepared by their mother to “restock Mimi’s pantry and refrigerator.” Then, after my dear sister took me to the doctor, she paused as she opened the car door and asked what else I needed or wanted. All of a sudden, I felt wickedly playful and asked slyly: “What did you have in mind?”  She replied seriously, “I will do anything for you.”  My eyes widened and I said, “Anything?!” She replied, “Yes.”  I was so surprised and stunned by her loving response that I was speechless.  It wasn’t lost on me that neither of these experiences would ever have happened if I hadn’t allowed myself to receive and others to give.

I have known for a long time that we are born to be powerful spiritual beings. But until we become aware of that and free ourselves from invalid beliefs, thoughts, emotions, feelings, needs and life patterns that we hold in our subconscious, we will never know our true selves.  We will also never realize that we deserve to receive good from ourselves and others—including having our dearest dreams and desires fulfilled from an abundant Universe.

While I was writing this essay, my daughter called and asked what I was working on. As soon as she heard the subject, she said spontaneously, “When giving and receiving are in balance, love just occurs.”  I knew immediately that this wasn’t one of her life issues. I also knew that when we choose to honor and live from that natural balance, it is a blessing. When we aren’t even aware of it, it’s a bummer.
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Copyright © 2011 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s books: “Tea with Elisabeth,” recipient of the 2010 Silver Award for Non-fiction; “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 Amazon.com and other online booksellers, as well as bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I'm a Better Person Today ... And I Owe It All to My Ancient Air-conditioner


As I always write about what I experience on my continuing spiritual journey, I humbly share this recent lesson. I admit that I wasn’t aware of being motivated by anger and fear while doing what I did—which is true but sounds kind of lame.  And I certainly didn’t realize that my chosen approach came from the undesirable shadow part of me. But enough excuses, here is my story, you be the judge.

The desert heat was upon us in the southwestern part of the United States, and it was time to have my home’s twenty-five-year-old air-conditioning unit checked.  I called the warranty firm I’ve had for fourteen years, and they sent out two repairmen.  Normally I would simply direct the repairmen to the unit on the back patio. When they finished, I would listen with great interest as they indicated the unit was beyond repair and needed to be replaced and then they would quickly depart.  As a senior citizen, my hope for the past five years was always that the warranty company would agree with the diagnosis of their on-site experts and replace the unit before it died in the middle of a 120˚ heat wave. 

By now, I was pretty sure that the warranty group wasn’t going to replace any appliance until it had been on life-support for at least ten years or more, and only after resuscitation was impossible and the ensuing demise was accompanied by imploding and/or flooding – after which the jaws of life or a row boat would be brought in to remove the played-out appliance from the premises.

To be honest, it was fear that kept me renewing the warranty contract year after year.  I thought that the minute I failed to pay the annual invoice, I would hear a chorus of “death-rattles” from every major appliance I owned, plus crackles and rumbles from the electrical and plumbing systems.

When the repairmen arrived this time, I was frustrated, stressed and blamed the warranty company. I was also determined that these new on-site experts would know my concerns and tell me the true status of the air-conditioner, as well as what they would be reporting back to the insurance company. Evidently in my dramatic search for truth and justice I had channeled a combination of Mother Theresa and Meryl Streep and had done them both proud.

As a result, the repairmen spent more time checking out the unit than anyone had in years, which initially gave my ego a boost.  But instead of a sense of satisfaction, I started feeling uneasy and questioning myself.  I knew my cause was just, but did I over-dramatize it to influence their diagnosis? I realized immediately that the situation had been further altered when the repairmen sat down in my living room, and began sharing the facts of the situation, which turned out to be a step in the right direction.

They explained that they were sub-contractors for the warranty company and their loyalties and responsibilities were to them, not to me.  This included getting any future call-backs (business referrals) from the company, as well as them getting reimbursement for any expenses incurred beyond the service fee, which I paid. They didn’t have to explain the warranty company’s philosophy on repair vs. replacement.

I realized immediately that while I had legitimate concerns about my air-conditioner and the high desert temperatures, my error was in sharing this information with the repairmen and not the warranty company. 

After the repairmen left, I sat quietly with my embarrassment thinking it was due to not having all the facts and acting inappropriately. It soon became clear, however, that on a deeper level, my emotional response was because I acted from fear and anger, which was out of alignment with my soul. 

As I continued to reflect on this experience, I remembered that when we come from fear, the tendency is to try to manipulate others to make us feel better or to accomplish a selfish purpose, (ouch!) and that these actions are usually motivated by anger, blame, jealousy or vengeance, (ouch, again!) Conversely, and hopefully, when we come from love, we are authentic, honest, grateful, kind, sincere and straightforward. Then the outcome would most probably be positive and good for all.

For me, this incident was another lesson in how the Universe presents us with opportunities to grow in conscious awareness when we’re seeking to know ourselves and to understand how life really works.  The plan is to help us recognize the difference between choosing to come from love or from fear, and ultimately to create results only from love. This guileless approach enriches our lives, our relationships, and opens us to expressing as the truly powerful spiritual beings we were born to be.
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Copyright © 2011 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s books: “Tea with Elisabeth,” recipient of the 2010 Silver Award for Non-fiction; “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 Amazon.com and other online booksellers, as well as bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble.


Friday, July 1, 2011

When You tell Your Negative Thoughts, "You're Not the Boss of Me," Anything Is Possible

Like many others I need to be reminded, evidently often, that I can give myself permission to allow good into my life. Earlier this year, I spent several months feeling not quite myself, but all the tests came back clear and didn’t point to a specific problem.  This was good, I thought, because nothing was seriously wrong, but I still felt “poorly” as my mother would say. This continued until I mentioned my malady to a metaphysical friend.  She looked straight into my eyes and stated firmly, “You are seeing yourself as sick.  You need to immediately change that thought and focus on visualizing yourself as healthy, happy and filled with energy.”  I started doing that, and realized that in shifting my negative focus to a positive one, it energized me, which stimulates the immune system and supports healing.

The concept of changing my thinking to change my life certainly wasn’t new to me.  But this incident left me wondering why I still don’t automatically remember what I should do as soon as I find myself stuck in another undesirable life situation. I immediately recalled another similar incident. I was in a Dream Builder class, and the dream that was coming into my mind was much bigger than I expected. I soon started to wonder why I ever thought that such a large dream was possible for me. I asked for a private session with the facilitator and told her my concerns.  When I was finished sharing my story, she said, “You can have it any way you want.”

My body’s energy response to her statement is seared in my mind.  It was quick and strong and flashed through me like a wave of electricity.  I knew instantly at the core of my being that her statement was absolutely true.  The only limitations on my life are those I place on myself through my own thinking.  What an exhilarating, exciting and wonderful truth. And the best news is that we are born with this gift and when we can control our thoughts, anything is possible. 

Obviously I can still get caught up in life and need to be reminded that I have the power within me to create my life by design or default. After giving it some thought, I realized that when I get caught up in a situation and experience fear, my energy takes a nose dive. When that happens, I give up control of my life, take on the victim role and am reduced to accepting whatever life delivers.  It wasn’t until I confided “my problem” to someone who could stand in truth for me that I remembered I was capable of moving beyond the collective consciousness and reclaimed my power.

Be assured that I am exquisitely sensitive to the fact that it isn’t easy to be in control of our thoughts even some of the time, let alone all the time, but it is certainly worth the effort. I firmly believe what Jesus taught during his time on Earth: It is done unto us as we believe.

Thanks to many of today’s visionaries and authors, and Oprah’s efforts, this concept is now being put to the test by many people around the world.  Some have done the "impossible" simply because they believed it was possible and never allowed limitations to stop them. We read about their stories or see them on television all the time.

So, I ask, why not you and me? To that end, I have adopted from a friend’s young grandson a powerful words-to-live-by motto.  This wise-beyond-his-years youngster was being urged by his frustrated family to admit he was losing in a seemingly never-ending board game.  At one point, he took a break, then got up and walked around.  They asked him again, hopefully, “Do you give up?”  He uttered these words of wisdom:  I never give up and I never give in, but sometimes I take a rest.  I didn’t ask my friend if he ever gave up. I smiled and chose to think that he didn’t, but the others did.

Here are some of the positive affirmative thoughts that I now use to support myself:  The power of Spirit is within me. It is creative and knows no limitation.  I never allow my earthly mind to cramp my thinking or restrict my vision. I know it is done unto me as I believe—and, I never give up and I never give in, but sometimes I take a rest.
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Copyright © 2011 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s books: “Tea with Elisabeth,” recipient of the 2010 Silver Award for Non-fiction; “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 Amazon.com and other online booksellers, as well as bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wanted -- But Never Found: A Magic Wand to Heal Our Lives

Recently someone who knows my story of working with and resolving some of my own undesirable childhood memories turned to me for help with hers. She had already spent a lot of time and money on a variety of options, including psychoanalysis, prescription drugs, self-hypnosis and even, she said, a session with Dr. Phil. She’s frustrated, emotionally drained and bored with “staring at her navel,” not to mention financially challenged.  Yet she still yearns to find a quick-fix solution and be free to live the life she desires.

Many of us can relate to my friend and her understandable but unrealistic hope for a magical solution. I remember when overwhelming life events sent me searching for first-person accounts of how others turned their lives around.  I read every book I thought might help. The ones that really spoke to me were about experiences that included instant heightened conscious awareness, which fit my desperately hopeful time frame and sounded great. The authors’ life-changing experiences were as mystical and varied as a black butterfly landing on a man’s forehead; a deceased spiritual sage manifesting in human form and delivering a message to a woman in a museum; a feather appearing miraculously where there was none, and a library book jumping off the shelf and falling open to the exact passage that when read by the individual resulted in an increase in conscious awareness that allowed him to create a better life. 

While those examples may seem fantastical, I believe such experiences are more prevalent than we realize and imminently possible. It doesn’t take a genius to know that at any given time on Earth the level of conscious awareness among human beings ranges anywhere from ground level to cosmic.  For example, in the past it appears there were usually a rare few individuals that came in with fully developed abilities that enabled them to effortlessly – it seems to us – fulfill their purpose and make a dramatic difference in the world. These well-known genius giants include Einstein, da Vinci, Galileo, Jefferson, Jesus, Michelangelo and Mozart.  Then there were the rest of us.

Since my own life experiences included events that directly affected my three children’s lives, such as divorce, an extremely challenging financial situation, and no career, I was desperate to discover how to become a victor instead of a victim. It took me a long time to realize that the path to do this and the solutions would not come easily or quickly.  In my late thirties, I finally was led to the book “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay, and this answered many of my questions and gave me practical information to help create a better life for me and my family.

Naturally, I had hoped that the path to higher consciousness would be easy and simple, and even more important—quick. It wasn’t and still isn’t. But the good that fills my life now echoes the promise made by the courageous souls who have trod this same path and chose to share their experiences.

Now I know that, just like my friend, each individual’s journey is unique for them, and no one else can dictate it or do it for us. So while it is possible to be inspired by the experiences, insights and techniques used by others, myself included—in the final analysis it is an  inside, do-it-yourself job.

This means at some point going within and finding out who we are and what it truly means to be alive.  Meditation is known as the highway to conscious awareness, as it enables us to connect with the sanctuary of unconditional love, peace, wisdom and guidance within us and that is the heart’s desire of every human being.  When an individual goes within and consistently seeks this connection, a spontaneous process is set in motion that knows the path, pace and timing of each human being’s individualized journey to God-Good.

When I asked my friend if she meditated or spent any time reflecting on her life, her eyes rolled back in her head.  It was obvious she was still seeking instant resolution by external means. I wanted to say to her, but didn’t, that increased conscious awareness isn’t something zapped on us from an outside source; it has to happen through us with our full knowledge and agreement. This is where true healing takes place.

I did gently suggest she think about the decades-long pain of unhealed memories from childhood as a message from her inner guidance and that at some point she might want to turn within and ask for help. I also offered some practical techniques on my Web page that might speak to her, including such “How-to Lists” as: Connect with God; Fulfill Your Potential (Clear Now and Create the Life You Desire), and Realize Your Heart’s Desires. 

Now I realize that the plan has always been for every human being, at some point in their evolution, to open to this natural connection with the unconditional Love, Intelligence, Peace, God within us. We are meant to have help on our journey and the challenges in life are to nudge us back to our center, to our source.  When we turn within and ask, this is where our true life journey begins—and we realize the magic really is in us.
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Copyright © 2011 Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s books: “Tea with Elisabeth,” recipient of the 2010 Silver Award for Nonfiction; “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 Amazon.com and other online booksellers, as well as bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Forgiving Others ... Why It's a Gift to Ourselves

In the past, just the thought of trying to forgive others for serious transgressions against me had always seemed so difficult as to be impossible.  I would be filled with fear and reluctance.  That is until recently, when I realized once again that I have a dream for the rest of my life, and the achievement of this dream requires me to be free of anything that blocks my good.  With that awareness, I knew that there were three people in my life that I still needed to forgive.

I had moved past the misconceptions that were primarily responsible for forgiveness remaining such a dreaded activity for me and many others. Today, no one believes that forgiveness means condoning the behavior of the offending person or that you have to maintain a relationship with him or her. Yet many of us still don’t know how to forgive or understand why forgiveness is one of the most vital and self-helping processes we will ever undertake.

Most of us are aware that no matter how strong our negative emotions are around people who have hurt us, those feelings have absolutely no affect on them. They don’t know what we’re thinking or experiencing and probably wouldn’t care if they did.  They are just going on with their lives. But the truth is that this energy can and will eat away at those holding onto it and will undermine our health and block us from living full and happy lives. That last part really got my attention.  Even though my life is good, there is more goodness I desire in the future.

I had used a daily forgiveness prayer for several decades, and truthfully the negative emotions had lessened and I rarely thought of the people who hurt me.  But when I did, I realized I still held emotional energy around the unhappy memories and each person. What I had failed to realize, until recently, is that if we’re still suffering, we’ve taken full ownership of the energy and the only resolution lies within us.

It wasn’t until I fully accepted the vital importance of forgiveness and sought out another method of accomplishing it that I was finally able to clear these undesirable emotional energies.  I also opened to the fact that whatever technique we choose, we must come from the knowing that forgiveness is an act of self-nurturing. We are seeking our highest and best good and are focusing on what is healing and healthy for us—and no one else. 

My approach began with setting my intention to forgive, and spending time in meditation and prayer. I chose to use the following affirmations that were inspired by the Dalai Lama. I started by repeating the statements for myself: May I be happy.  May I be safe.  May I be healthy.  May I be loving kindness.  May I know the power of love and forgiveness. I allowed myself as much time as needed each day to further imprint the process on my subconscious.

Then I repeated the same desires individually for all my family members and friends, using May you be ... .  As I focused on my loved ones, I practiced seeing their faces and bringing up all the love I felt for each one of them while stating the positive affirmations.  I became very familiar with the energy, how it felt, where I felt it and— after a while—how easy it was to bring it up.  I practiced staying in this loving energy for as long as I could.

That step is so important because we are practicing coming from a higher energy vibration that is vital for the next part of the exercise. I had become so facile in repeating the positive statements and switching between May I and May you …, that I could do it automatically. One day, while bringing forth and maintaining this love energy, I allowed a thought of the offending individuals to come up, one at a time—then their faces.  I spontaneously repeated and meant it: May you be happy.  May you be safe.  May you be healthy.  May you be loving kindness. May you know the power of love and forgiveness.

All the time I was doing this, I knew that to clear the undesirable energy I had to hold onto the higher energy vibration of love.  This step did take several attempts, but I didn’t give up.  When I could make the positive statements while coming from the love within me, I was able to feel a palpable shift in my physical body.  I knew at the core of my being it was a release—full, complete and lasting.

As we free ourselves from the fear surrounding forgiveness, we are then able to welcome any opportunity to forgive ourselves and others.  We know the truth that forgiveness is an inner process that has nothing to do with anyone else, and specifically the ones we believe hurt us.  It truly is one of the most important things we can ever do for ourselves, for it frees us to create a better future, brings peace to our souls and harmony to our lives.
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Copyright © 2011 Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s books including, “Tea with Elisabeth,” recipient of the 2011 Silver Award for Nonfiction; “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 Amazon.com other online booksellers, and bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble.




Wednesday, April 6, 2011

If We Have a Dream, and Stay Open to Our Good … We Can Have It Any Way We Want

We don’t receive a manual at birth that tells us how life on Earth really works, or how to live our highest and best lives. Discovering the how-to’s of life is an inside job, and each one of us has to find our own unique path. Fortunately there have always been courageous souls throughout the ages, like Mary Manin Morrissey, who have stepped forward and shared what they have learned on their journeys—to shine a light on our paths.

Mary is an international speaker, bestselling author and powerful teacher in the human potential movement. I am currently enrolled in her Dream Builder Program, which combines listening to CD’s, doing the exercises, meeting once a week with a facilitator and having access to private coaching sessions. One of the many lessons I am learning from this course is how important it is not only to stay open to our Good, but to trust in and to expect our Good.

For example, I have known for a decade that part of my life’s purpose was to help others by writing about the lessons I learn as I grow through life. This was no problem until it came time to publish the books that resulted, and my old fear of public speaking came up—stronger than ever. I knew from working with publishing companies that the conventional process of marketing and promoting books includes seeking widespread public visibility for the author, thus my resurgence of fear.

Adding to my frustration was the fact that I had a 35-year history of working with Science of Mind principles and creating a successful career and life, which included attracting the man of my dreams. We had 23 wonderful years together, during which I lived out more of my heart’s desires. So, why couldn’t I resolve this particular issue?

After some soul searching, I finally realized that I had become so focused on what was blocking me, that I had become stuck in the problem.

I had another moment of clarity when I recently received my latest manuscript back from a diverse group of “readers.” Their comments confirmed what I knew in my heart—that this book could help others create better lives and a better world, which we sorely need to do right now.

I knew I had to do something, and my impatience to take action started to grow. While, I’ve always considered my impatience a mixed blessing, there have been times when it was just what I needed to move me in the right direction at the right time. I prayed this would be one of those times.

When I heard of the Dream Builder Program, I immediately called and signed up. After the decision was made, I felt a high anticipation of Good. After a few classes and giving myself fully to the information, I wrote out my dream, which included releasing my latest book to the general public. I loved my dream. It was also in alignment with my identified core values and my heart and soul desires.

After several days of focusing on my dream, more details concerning the publishing of the book also became part of the dream. Suddenly the dream was so big that I wasn’t sure I could handle it. I asked the program facilitator for a private session.

I recounted the key points of my dream and my concerns. The facilitator never interrupted me to comment or to ask a question. When I stopped talking, she said quietly, evenly and with no drama: “You Can Have It Any Way You Want.”

I can have it any way I want. This simple statement resonated with the core of my being. I was speechless. Either a tumbler moved into place, I had an infusion of new energy, or the energy I held around this block was released—or all the above—something had shifted within me. I was free from any fear of releasing this book to the general public … and I knew it.

I also knew that I wasn’t going to automatically join the speaking circuit and welcome whatever others might dictate as my duty. No way! I learned from the course material the importance of aligning our core values and soul desires with our dreams. This reinforced my original desire and knowing: I am to write and share what I learn, while remaining centered in God and in alignment with my truth.

While the details to “flesh” out my dream continue to take shape, I realize that having it any way I want means making sure my choices are congruent with the truth of me. It also means that I don’t have to compromise my heart, mind or soul to be successful.

I also learned that by remaining open to our Good, and feeding our faith instead of our fear, this allows us to move beyond our comfort zone and toward our dreams. When we take this leap of faith, the universe gets behind us in ways we can’t even imagine. I not only believe that, I know it.
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Copyright © 2011 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s books: “Tea with Elisabeth,” recipient of the 2011 Silver Award for Adult Nonfiction; “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 Amazon.com, other online booksellers, and bookstore chains, such as Barnes & Noble.

Monday, March 21, 2011

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.
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Copyright © 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch – This is one of the author’s most requested columns.

The author’s books: “Tea with Elisabeth,” “The Heart Knows the Way - How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within,” and “You Can Live a Balanced Life In An Unbalanced World,” are available at Amazon.com, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

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 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 can expect to receive Good back from the Universe..

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 for the good we have in our lives, the loving universe takes that as our order and sends us more of the same.

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 a 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.
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Copyright © 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch – Repeated by request.

The author’s books: “Tea with Elisabeth,” “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 Amazon.com, other online booksellers, bookstore chains, such as Barnes & Noble, Borders, and to the trade from Ingram Book Co., Baker & Taylor and other wholesalers.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Key to Happiness: Letting Go of Our Troubles ... and Living in the Now

Last week, at a spiritual community meeting, the message was titled “Forget Your Troubles” – and as it says in the song – “… C’mon, get happy.” Yet as the minister so ably explained, the reason so many of us are unhappy is because we find it difficult to let go of our fears, disappointments or old hurts. We either choose to live in the past and allow those thoughts to determine our tomorrows, or we mentally live in the future and focus on negative things that may never happen. The past is gone and the future is yet to be, so hanging out mentally in either place, whether consciously or subconsciously, means we’re blocking our potential for happiness.

I immediately thought of an irrational fear that had troubled me most of my life and that had recently resurfaced. As a child, I was extremely shy and lived in fear of being called on to answer a question in the classroom. By college, I was able to handle classroom and social situations, but I never lost my fear of speaking in public. It always weighed on my mind when facing any career decisions, past or present.

The minister also reminded us of something that went straight into the plus column of my consciousness. She said it’s a fact that most mature adults have already come through many life situations that didn’t knock us down or out, and we’re still here and stronger as a result. This boosted my confidence that I could finally face this fear.

When I left the corporate world and developed a communion with God, it wasn’t long before I was guided to help others by writing and sharing the lessons I was learning on my spiritual journey. The fear returned with more intensity, as I was now caught between following the guidance from God and dreading the public speaking that is required today to promote books. If there was a way to end this inner conflict over public visibility, and free me to fulfill my soul purpose, heart’s desires and be at peace, I was ready.

The decisive moment for me came when the minister smiled and said something like this: When we know how life really works, we can wake up and live it consciously and happily, or we can wait until we’re near the end and mourn our missed opportunities for happiness. I knew what I chose, and it wasn’t remorse and regret.

I set my intention to resolve this specific issue and trusted that, as usual, my inner guidance would lead me through the process. I soon recalled an idea I read about several years ago in a book titled “Intuitive Wellness,” by my friend, Laura Alden Kamm. She suggested that when we are in the middle of chaotic situations that confuse or frighten us that we print out these words: Trust, Faith and Power, and place them where we can see them often throughout each day.

Her concept was that by consciously contemplating these words, we would be led to reclaim our trust and faith in ourselves and in God. As a result of doing that, we would be aligned with our inner power and automatically trust that the outcome of all things in our life would be for our highest and best good.

After following my own spiritual practice, I asked my inner guidance to assist me and then sat quietly reflecting upon the three words. Memories began popping up, and each one was of a situation in which I felt as if life had dealt me a very low blow. I noticed the fear I held around each predicament, as they seemed far beyond my ability to handle, yet they couldn’t be avoided. I was forced to face them immediately. Despite my initial very human reactions, I realized that I had eventually grown through the life-changing circumstances and had indeed become stronger.

Once I acknowledged the deep sense of empowerment I gained from recalling these events, I realized something else. The fear and helplessness I had felt for so long about public speaking was tied to my projecting thoughts into the future about bad things happening, which had to be stopped. As I experienced living in the moment with this issue, I felt a sense of peace and knew I had reclaimed my power. I also knew I could handle (ultimately) anything that would ever come up in any area of my life because I had been doing that all along.

Just then I recalled the visionary teachings of my friend and early spiritual teacher, Irene Hunter, author of “The Miracle of Being the Real You.” She strongly advised that every time we catch ourselves casting negative thoughts into the future or re-living past situations, we say the following with great resolve: Cancel-cancel-cancel-together-together-together. This neutralizes a negative thought at all levels of our minds. Then, we lock-in our positive mental stance by stating firmly and as often as needed: My mind is renewed in, for, with and through God.

What a wonderful realization to know that we can choose at any time to be free by letting go of our “troubles,” living in the now and allowing ourselves the happiness that is every human being’s birthright.
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Copyright © 2011 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s books: “Tea with Elisabeth,” “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 Amazon.com, other online booksellers, bookstore chains, such as Barnes & Noble, Borders, and to the trade from Ingram Book Co., Baker & Taylor and other wholesalers.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things Breathe Life Into the American Dream

After the tragedy in Tucson, I searched my heart and mind for something insightful and uplifting to share with others. As I focused on that desire, I received an e-mail from a friend that set me on the right track. The quote she sent was from John F. Kennedy’s speech at The American University in Washington, D.C., in 1963. He said: "Our problems are man-made; therefore they may be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings."

I believe that, and especially the part about man becoming as big as he wants, as those words hold so much positive potential for us right here and right now. I trusted that by allowing those inspiring words to guide me, I would be led to the awareness I was seeking surrounding the Tucson incident. I was immediately drawn to the fact that the majority of American citizens are ordinary people, just like you and me, and also to the realization that the strength of America has historically been vested in our innate goodness.

And, just like me, many of us tend to forget that we’re not alone and that every day millions of our fellow citizens get up with the same desire to do the best they can in every area of their lives. If they are parents, the goal is to rear healthy children who will contribute to society and help heal our Earth. If they are married, they want to be better partners. Those in the work force want to be better employees. And friends and neighbors want to be better friends and neighbors.

Then I thought about the reality that while most of us truly want to be better citizens and better human beings, we become disheartened when members of our society commit inhumane acts. We need to remember that those are the exceptions, and that the majority of us are already deeply committed to living our lives from the highest and best within us. This means that most of us are making a genuine and positive contribution to our nation right now. Some of them, these ordinary heroes, were right there in Tucson. This really matters.

As I realized that ordinary people are the heart, soul and backbone of our nation, I recalled that we also make up a world-renowned resource of capable, caring and generous volunteers. This was immediately obvious in the Tucson situation as the community rose up to help and support those who were affected. A similar desire spread across the state and our nation.

At that point, I thought of two other ordinary “everyday heroes” who typify America’s spirit of volunteerism: Annie Loyd and Jodi Powers. Within hours of the tragic events in Tucson, they convened a think-tank of do-ers through their Arizona-based The FUSION Foundation. Their plan was to come up with an “ongoing generational, transformational process” that would be a visible symbol of support for the affected families and a way for people across the nation to be part of the healing process.

In joining resources with the Arizona Community Tree Council, and other organizations, www.HealingTrees.org was born. They are now sponsoring tree-plantings as a living memorial to those who died in Tucson, as a symbol of “loving kindness” for the wounded and to honor all life.

On February 14, 2011, the 99th birthday of Arizona’s statehood, the ceremonial plantings will begin with the first of 19 trees, representing the 19 victims, planted at the Arizona State Capitol. This healing ceremony offers us a way to focus on what’s inherently good and right in our country, instead of what’s wrong, and to choose to be part of the solution.

Launching of the Healing Trees – Together We Thrive project will also mark the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address, and honor his famous call to action: “… Ask what you can do for your country.”

That quote serves to remind us once again that pulling together in times of need will always be a source of strength and hope for each of us, and the saving grace for our communities and our country. This tradition continues with ordinary people like Annie and Jodi, you and me, the brave folks in Tucson and millions of other everyday heroes who step up and breathe life into the inherent goodness of the American Dream. I feel much better now.
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Copyright © 2011 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s books: “Tea with Elisabeth,” “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 Amazon.com, other online booksellers, bookstore chains, such as Barnes & Noble and Borders, and to the trade from Ingram Book Co., Baker & Taylor and other wholesalers.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Staying Connected with Our Center Is an Ongoing Challenge

Over the past several months, I have been putting the finishing touches on my latest manuscript, “Becoming a Spiritual Warrior of the Heart.” Rest assured that the emphasis is on the word becoming, as I am definitely a work in progress and still face challenges as does everyone who is on a similar path.

For example, when I reached a point in the cover design where technical decisions needed to be made that exceeded my area of expertise; I allowed myself to lose focus on the project and became stressed. Instead of simply asking for help, I slipped into an old life pattern of feeling less-than because I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

As a "work in progress,” I’m not ashamed to admit that this is not the first opportunity I’ve had to release another layer of this life issue. Basically, it equates to the fact that this particular invalid belief is still in my subconscious, and pops up from time to time. When it does, I start beating myself up because I don't know all the answers. I am also not embarrassed to say that it took several sleepless nights, a headache and a digestive upset before it got my full attention.

During this time, I woke up one morning after a restless night, contemplating whether I should sleep in, or do the in-bed exercises for my back that were recommended by my therapist and then get up. I knew I should do the exercises to help regain control of my mental and emotional state to protect my physical well-being – and part of me really wanted to, but I remained immobile.

But then a song wafted into my consciousness. Not just any song, but one that had been a favorite since hearing it years ago in the movie “Oklahoma.” The song was “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning.” I started singing it, actually belting it out with all the feeling I could muster.

The positive energy in the lyrics, as well as my inner desire to return to the balanced, peaceful state I experience when I am connected to my inner guidance-God, brought me back to center. From this place of clarity, I was then able to resume my healthy daily routine and to ask for help in understanding the high-tech decisions required and thus resolving the issues.

I realized once again that facing and growing through another layer of this life pattern released more of the energy I apparently still hold around the invalid belief that I am less-than simply because I don’t know everything about everything. When I am connected to my center-higher intelligence-God I am fully aware that it isn’t necessary or possible to know everything about life or anything else.

The ongoing challenge on the path to free us to live as the true powerful spiritual beings we are is to be able to work through the “opportunities” while maintaining our center. I have learned through many such experiences that the ultimate goal is to make the connection with our inner guidance-God so strong and stable that no matter what situations arise, we can work through them with ease and equanimity.

In this recent instance, I was able to reclaim my natural connection with God by pouring my heart’s desire into the words of the song and embodying them as my truth. During ordinary times, I rely on meditation and positive affirmations to heighten my connection with the sanctuary of unconditional love, peace, joy and guidance that is within every human being. Here is one of my favorite affirmations, which I repeat daily with heartfelt acceptance, emotion, faith and gratitude: Something wonderful is happening in my life and affairs right now. I sense it. I feel it. I know it! I accept it! And so it is! Thank you, God. Thank you, Life.
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Copyright © 2011 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s books: “Tea with Elisabeth,” “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 Amazon.com, other online booksellers, bookstore chains, such as Barnes & Noble, Borders and Inner Visions Bookstore, and to the trade from Ingram Book Co., Baker & Taylor and other wholesalers.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Living Life On Purpose

Like some other fortunate individuals, I sensed at a very young age that there was a purpose to humans existing on Earth. Somehow I just knew it. Naturally, I wondered what my own mission would be. At that time, I was entranced with Saturday afternoon matinees at the local movie theater, which featured either an “oater” (a Western) or an adventure like Sky King. I was deeply touched by the theme of the movies, which promoted the prevailing values of the time: truth, justice and the American Way. I decided to try to live this quality of life, hoping that whatever I was meant to be or do would be equally commendable.

Then “life” happened and the subliminal urging to seek my soul work dimmed in the face of a flurry of other concerns.

Many years would pass before I was once again moved to follow the concept of fulfilling a life purpose. When I did, I wondered if I was already living it just by being alive and being me. After all, no one else on Earth could do that. Part of me really hoped this was so – as there were fewer years before me than behind me. If there was something more I was born to know, do or become, then I needed to get on with it as soon as possible.

By this time, I was aware that finding and living our life purpose is a lifelong learning process. I had no illusions that my path would include some heroic deed that would play out like those I'd watched on the “silver screen.” Nor did I truly desire that. What I sought was far more essential and private. I just wanted to discover and live a meaningful life, no matter what that might mean.

Since we don’t receive a manual at birth as to how life on Earth works or what our sacred contribution is to be, it is necessary to turn within to discover our true North, our life mission. When I did this more than a decade ago, I learned that daily meditation was a key to attaining, maintaining and strengthening a connection with the higher intelligence-guidance-unconditional love-God that resides within each of us. Once we decide to seek our life’s purpose, and are in cooperation with that inner guidance, we are led into the process of discovering, embodying and living our true destiny.

In my case, I have been a writer all my life, but never thought the writing I did to make a living would be part of my inborn life goal. It was just my “day job.” Yet, there turned out to be a world of difference between the writing I did for clients or employers and that which I was led to do as an integral part of my life’s purpose. I discovered that in sharing my spiritual journey with others through writing, I was filled with a great energy, an unwavering commitment and a joy and passion I had never experienced before. I knew then that I’d found my life mission and that I was now living “on purpose.”

For the past decade, I have been led to share through the gift of writing what I am living and learning to help others and inspire them to begin their own inner journey. This is especially important today, as we are all needed to help each other and the world through this time of tumult and transformational change. Throughout the ages, spiritual visionaries and sages have known that even a small number of people can have a disproportionate impact for good in the world. To do this we must each turn within to discover and live what we were born to be.

The natural soul urging that I experienced many years ago is inherent within each of us. When we awaken to it, we are called to further what is positive and good in the universe. This is the impulse that activates humanity to ever higher aspirations, and is the source of the wellspring of hope we hold in our hearts.

I assure you that whatever your soul purpose is, you can absolutely discover it, and it is absolutely do-able. I can also promise you that no accomplishment in the external world can touch the sense of fulfillment and peace you experience when you begin living your life “on purpose.”
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Copyright 2011 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s books: “Tea with Elisabeth,” “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 Amazon.com, other online booksellers, bookstore chains, such as Barnes & Noble, Borders and Inner Visions Bookstore, and to the trade from Ingram Book Co., Baker & Taylor and other wholesalers.