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.
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 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.
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 and other online booksellers, as well as bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble.