Friday, November 27, 2015

The Gift That Only You Can Give Yourself

“Be yourself: Everyone else is already taken.” ~Oscar Wilde

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.
Copyright 2007 by Fern Stewart Welch – repeated by request.

The author's books:”Becoming a Spiritual Warrior of the Heart,” (2013); "Tea with Elisabeth," recipient of the 2010 Silver Award for Non-fiction; "You Can Live A Balanced Life In An Unbalanced World," (2008)  and "The Heart Knows the way - How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within," (Nov. 2006)are available at, other online booksellers, as well as bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Importance of an Attitude of Gratitude

"Gratitude is the single most important ingredient to living a successful and fulfilled life." 
                                                           ~Jack Canfield, "Chicken Soup for the Soul"

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 daily written list or start a daily Gratitude Journal and keep track of everything for which we are grateful, including ourselves, our abilities, attributes and talents. 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 this affirmation 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 the following affirmation:  
 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.   This is another blessed gift for which we can be exceedingly grateful.
Copyright © 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch – Repeated by request.

The author’s books: “Becoming a Spiritual Warrior of the Heart,” (April 2013); “Tea with Elisabeth,” recipient of the 2010 Silver Award for Non-fiction; “You Can Live A Balanced Life In An Unbalanced World,” (Nov. 2008); and “The Heart Knows the Way – How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within,” (Feb. 2008), are available at, other online booksellers, as well as bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Practiced Ear Hears the Song Of God in Nature

I sense a deep primordial kinship with the fall season.  As the Earth's energy slows down following the boisterous display of summer, I instinctively know it is time to draw within and spend quiet time in contemplation.  The need is strong, and the sometimes cloudy, cooler days complement this desire.

Lately, I find myself reflecting on the creativity of nature and the similarity of thoughts and seeds.  Whenever I plant a sunflower seed in my small patio garden, I can rest assured that the germinated seed will produce a sunflower.  So too will the thoughts I focus on produce their own likeness, and whether they are deemed desirable or undesirable depends on the quality of my thoughts.  It is important to choose my thoughts carefully so that what springs forth in my life is as dependable and desirable as what flourishes in my garden.

In joyous anticipation of partnering with nature, I pick up my pruning shears and trowel and head for my small back patio garden to view the results of the Southwest desert's harsh triple-digit temperatures. Despite appropriate care, some potted plants have not survived, much like some of my misplaced thoughts and desires. I bless them and with a sigh, scoop them up and recycle them into the earth.

I am heartened though that while some umbrella plants are brown half-way to the base of their sword-like leaves, they are still alive and worthy of continuing attention and care.  I know that with judicial pruning, some plant food and lower temperatures they will have a rebirth and soon settle in -- healthy and strong for the milder winter months.

It is with great pleasure that I notice the gentle breeze that cools my brow and plays a melody on the chimes.  I survey the healthy green of the large jasmine bush and the heavenly bamboo that long ago sent down their roots deep into the earth.  They can easily withstand the summer heat and the cold of winter.

I realize that many of us also seek to anchor our trust and faith into something greater than we are that will sustain us and enable us to not only survive but to thrive despite the traumas, trials and tribulations of life.

For sentimental reasons, I usually plant red tulip bulbs in pots and place them in a box of sawdust in the garage to prepare them for an early blooming period in a process known as "forcing."

Each time the brilliant red tulips reach full bloom in the still-cold days of winter, I honor the many flowering plants that have "nursed" me through trying times in my life.  They serve as gentle reminders to my yearning heart that spring will eventually burst forth once again in all of its full frolicking, rollicking and riotous splendor.

While surveying the ravages of summer on some of the plants, I realized I finally understood my late husband's seemingly blasé approach to flower and vegetable gardening.  As a master gardener as well as a practical  person, he would give the seeds and sprouts all the tender loving care necessary for optimal growth and then say, "Shape up or ship out."

He gave them every chance to survive, but when it became obvious that they weren't going to make it -- into the compost pile they went.  I now find this not only a well-reasoned approach to the mysterious vagaries of plant survival, but to the choices we make in life.  If our thoughts-decisions bring good results, excellent.  If not, we uproot them and choose new ones.

I was initiated into the joys of gardening in childhood by my grandmothers and my favorite uncle, and my lifelong interest was matched by that of my late husband.  They taught me that nature is the true language of our being, and that we can learn from it whatever we need to know about life.

The invitation is always there for us to draw near the bosom of nature.  If we lean close and listen, we can hear the serenade of God, and know that we are part of Creation and one with all life ... dissolving all fears.
Copyright 2012 by Fern Stewart Welch  (Repeated by Request)

The author’s books: “Becoming a Spiritual Warrior of the Heart” (2013), “Tea with Elisabeth” (recipient of the 2010 Silver Award for Non-fiction), “You Can Live A Balanced Life In An Unbalanced World” (Nov. 2008), and “The Heart Knows the Way—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within” (Feb. 2008), are available at and other online booksellers, as well as bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble.


Monday, August 31, 2015

World Peace May Take Time to Achieve … But the Good News Is You Don’t Have to Wait for Anyone Else to Get Started

 Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, and building new structures.  ~John F. Kennedy

A few months ago, as I was writing in my journal, the idea came to me to start a “Living Love Circle” to further world peace.  As I thought about it, a wave of joyous energy swept through my body, inspiring me to quickly send an e-mail to a small group of friends asking them to join me in the adventure.  I told them I had no idea how to accomplish this lofty goal but that by joining together I knew we would be provided with everything we needed to move forward.

I received no acceptances from my friends – not one – and after I reflected on some of their comments it was obvious they mirrored the mind-set of millions of individuals around the world when it came to seeking peace.  Their no-thank-you rationale included such thoughts as: The current global problems of cultural, political and religious differences are too complex and too deeply imbedded; people are too angry-greedy-hate-filled-ignorant to care about their fellow human beings … and finally, there are too few people on Earth who can get along well with their families, let alone with everybody else.  I was brought up short.

I thought all this over for a few days and then I said “yes” to going solo with a Living Love Circle.  I was certain that after I dropped back and allowed the full gestation of the idea – that others would be drawn to the cause. Of course I realized that at 81-years of age it’s pretty obvious that world peace will not be achieved in my lifetime and certainly not by me alone.  Yet there’s a deep concern gnawing within me that unless we each do what we can – alone or not, here and now – world peace probably won’t be achieved at any time hereafter.

The truth in my friends’ reasons for declining reminded me of another Truth.  When we think we can do something, we can – and when we think we can’t, we’re right again.  And every trip, no matter how long, begins with that first step that gets you up and on your way.

After some more reflection, I realized that I’ve already been on this solo world peace path for some time, yet without the typical circle concept.  I’ve written a number of essays on the subject and most recently wrote one that I believe holds a major key to assisting world peace.  The process starts within by mastering conflict resolution in ourselves.  This translates to actually living peace and sharing the powerful energy with others to help counteract the existing mass of negative energy that hovers over the Earth like a dark cloud.

True it will take time and millions of peace-filled “soloists” to make it happen, yet living peace is something we can do within ourselves, and no one can do it for us except ourselves.

In the past I’ve been content with just writing about what came through me concerning world peace, but now I wanted to know more about the history surrounding humanity’s quest for world peace, which obviously has started and stopped countless times.  I also wanted to pay homage to the higher profile peacemakers of the past – as well as to honor the millions then and through the millennia who were unknown and still are today.  It seems many souls, like my friends, choose to go solo and use prayer and other under-the-radar actions.

I was delighted to discover an impressive website that listed many organizations seeking world peace and a multitude of peacemakers known to history starting with the prophet Moses (BCE), who united the tribes of Israel, wrote the Torah and the Ten Commandments.  Among the many names listed I recognized such peacemakers as Lao Tzu, a philosopher from the sixth century BCE, to Siddhartha-Buddha, (563-483 BCE), Jesus of Nazareth (6 BCE to 35 AD), and Muhammad (570-632 AD), who unified Arabia and wrote the Qur’an.  There were hundreds of other well-known names through ensuing centuries such as: St. Francis of Assisi, Joan of Arc, Immanuel Kant, Thomas Jefferson, Victor Hugo, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, and on and on and on.

At that point, I was filled with gratitude for every soul who focused their lives on elevating the consciousness of humanity and knowing it or not, also furthering the cause of world peace on Earth.

I thought that greater minds than mine had probably already established guidelines as well as how-to guidebooks that delve deeply into the complexities of modern-day life (religious and political differences, as well as cultural beliefs) that cause such highly emotional dislike and distrust of others.  The biggest problem is, of course, that the Truth in these issues must be addressed and acted upon by those in power using common sense and diplomacy to identify areas of cooperation and unity.  The rest is up to us … all those “soloists” out there.

I googled “How to achieve world peace,” and up came a healthy list of possibilities.  I was drawn to a book by Crandall R. Kline, Jr., titled “Peace Within Our Grasp: Making the Dream a Reality.”

Robert Stewart, who wrote the Preamble for the book said that the author has done the world a great service by demonstrating in his “how-to manual” that world peace is achievable.  He added, “It is the best book on how to achieve world peace I’ve ever read.

After scanning the lengthy summary, I recalled from the author’s bio material that Kline had spent 40 years studying why we have wars.  His unique approach to achieving world peace was to quote the experts then identify and interpret what seem to be rational ideas.  I especially liked his recommendation that all people are required to be “activist intelligentsia” and by using high-tech communication keeping the government from straying from the path of peace.

In addition to writing essays about the importance of coming to peace within ourselves, I’ve also written about another major issue that when resolved would hasten the process of world peace.  And, it wasn’t covered in Kline’s treatise, or any other online source I clicked on.  That issue is: FEAR.

I positively believe that we can place all the current critical problems facing our country and the world into one big lump, and with only a little digging we will find the defining thread that ties them all together.  No matter the challenge – fear – is the underlying factor.

At the core of every challenge lies this basic threat.  We are fearful of anyone who is different in actions, beliefs, looks or speech.  We are afraid of events taking place in the world, and those that may take place.  We are afraid of life and death and everything in between.  We are afraid of who we are, so we spend our lives locked in a façade so that we won’t be rejected by others who are doing the same thing.

Most of us live our lives totally unaware and fearful of the incredible life force that is within us and everything in the universe.  Instead we focus on the external, which is sated with the nonfulfilling and crazy-making reality of a fear-based society.

I’ve learned that until we can individually face our own fears and take the journey within to know ourselves, we will never have the understanding to accept others fully, no matter the differences.  Until we have control over ourselves we will continue individually – and as countries – seeking to control others so that we have enough of whatever it is we need to make us feel secure: love, money, power, prestige or possessions.

And until we reconnect with the eternal and sublime energy that is within us and everything in the universe, we will continue to feel the illusion of separation which keeps us locked in our fear.

This is the key, the answer, to all the problems in our lives, our country and the world.  Once we open to the unconditional love, peace, support and wisdom that every heart yearns for, we will Know we have discovered the greatest gift Life has to offer.  We will become the consciously aware spiritual human beings we were born to be.  We will no longer desire or need to have power over others.  We will honor ourselves, all life and the Earth.   We will open to living from a higher conscious awareness.  Our very presence will help to raise the energy level of others, and in the process help us heal the Earth and every human being.  And we will be on our way to World Peace.

This is the way life was meant to work.  This is why we are here on Earth.  Our true destiny is to
become fully aware of our inherent spirituality, to learn how to become co-creators with this incredible energy and to aid in the conscious evolution of ourselves and the Earth.
In this time of global crisis, there remains a great opportunity to a great change for the better.  And there is no doubt that the path to this end lies within each of us, in our solo selves.  As we accept our birthright of being individualized expressions of the Greatest Power on Earth, we master our fear, resolve inner conflicts and come to peace within ourselves.  Then one by one we’re birthing a new cultural paradigm on Earth, and ushering in lasting peace.

 Affirmation for World Peace

I consciously align my intention with the energy of Living Love.
                                    I visualize the energy rising from this sacred circle to                                        embrace Mother Earth and all its inhabitants.
The Earth is healed and its consciousness protected.
The evolution of all souls is harmoniously advanced.
Peace, Love and Cooperation now manifest on Earth.

  ♥ And So It Is!
Copyright© 2015 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s books: “Becoming a Spiritual Warrior of the Heart, (April 2013); “Tea with Elisabeth,” recipient of the 2010 Silver Award for Non-fiction: “You Can Live A Balanced Life In An Unbalanced World,” (Nov. 2008); and “The Heart Knows the Way – How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within,” (Feb. 2008), are available at, other online booksellers, as well as bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble.


Friday, July 31, 2015

Some People Are Born With the Grace to Live an Extra-Ordinary Life ... and the Rest of Us Can Learn From Their Example

 Albert Schweitzer said that the purpose of human life is to serve, to show compassion and to possess the will to help others.  My late sister Jessie, who lived a simple, unheralded life, would have been surprised to know that she embodied that philosophy.  And it was my privilege to not only witness someone live those values, but to have those principles as a guideline for my life.

How else could I recognize that by the time Jessie was a young adult (ten years my senior) she already possessed the positive attributes and qualities that I’ve been working to attain and maintain within myself (off and on) since I was 10-years old. For me, this self-transformation would obviously be a long-term project.  But I finally realized, in the past few years, that I had reached a level of peace and contentment similar to Jessie’s that brought joy and happiness into my life regardless of external circumstances.  I was filled with gratitude.

I seriously thought that if I was very careful and maintained the status quo that this highly desired peace and contentment would be with me for the rest of my life.  I was wrong.  Life is change and the choices we have are simple, but not always easy.  When we’re young it’s easier to cope with change, grow through it and often realize after the fact that it actually brought good into our lives.

The rub is that as we age, and the physical and mental changes that befall us cause us to be less adventurous, we find it more and more difficult to positively respond to change.  So many of us (me included) opt to choose a certain stage of life that seems pretty desirable – and that’s where we draw the line and choose the status quo.  But what we don’t realize is that by making that choice we could also be saying goodbye to consciously choosing progress and growth.  Ouch.  That sounds familiar.

Since I had managed through the years to attain a level of conscious awareness and a desired lifestyle that was the best I had ever experienced, I wanted to continue living from there.  Part of my joy came in honoring my two other siblings who had their lives cut short by cancer.  I chose to honor them by seeking to live a better, more meaningful life; in other words to continue growing spiritually.  At this time with Jessie’s recent passing at 90-years old and with a lifetime of selfless contribution to eight younger siblings – and to life in general – I chose to honor her by releasing my hold on the status quo.  I knew this would please her

I chose to claim an expanded vision for the rest of my life – opening myself to more options – and releasing the how, when and where to God-Good-Life.  What I had overlooked was that by claiming an expanded vision or any other change in my life I was also setting in motion a universal law that was known throughout the ages as – As you think, so you are.  It is now known globally as – When you change your thoughts, you change your life.

So, I have no idea what will happen in response to the three new daily “life changing” affirmations (see below) that I selected to use. But since I believed they are grounded in God-Good, I trust and expect that these new directives are for my highest and best good.
  I     I claim that opening to an expanded vision for my future brings only wonderful new experiences into my life.        I claim that Divine Order is established in my life experiences - and that Divine Timing flows through all my life happenings.

Ordinarily I would have been focusing my attention on the spiritual aspects of my life to glean any messages about expanding my life purpose, potential or adding to my list of true heart and soul desires, however there was no time for that. It seemed the snug little house that I had lived in for 18 years and planned to spend the rest of my life in … was speaking up loud and clear.  I was experiencing the first indication that my life – and my house – was a-changing.

It all started with a minor plumbing problem, then the same day the A/C unit died, and then the garage door opener quit, then the nearly inaccessible smoke alarm battery died.  And looking back now, I am pretty sure that I was in a light stage of shock.

The minor plumbing problem in the upstairs bathroom opened up my blessed sanctuary (upstairs and downstairs) to a bunch of heavy booted technicians, with multiple tool kits on wheels – which meant drilling and hammering noises day after day – and accompanied by huge amounts of debris, dirt and paint dust.  All of this to a highly-sensitive person like me was an assault on every aspect of my being.

Also my office was in one of the reconstruction areas and on some days it was not possible to gain access.  When I could get to the computer, the noise level and strangers walking in and out made it impossible to align with the creative energy that I seek daily.  It felt like my life was out of control, and my beloved house was out to get me.

Actually, I was too distressed to even stop, retreat from the house, or turn within and ask myself my usual key question:  “What am I to learn from this situation?”  When I was finally able to go within and gather my wits about me, I realized that I had allowed the external chaos to temporarily knock me out of a balanced energy state that allowed me to live from loving kindness.  I had given thanks every day for the incredible gift of life.  I want that energy level back.

The automatic inner peace and contentment that I wanted to last forever had slipped away.  It was the first time in a long time that I felt alone, disconnected, and vulnerable.  I don’t know what an out-of-body experience feels like, but this was more like a numbing sensation.

I really knew something was wrong when I started blaming others for the situation and refusing to take responsibility for any life decisions or non-decisions that had drawn this situation to me.  Also, being more human than spiritual at that point, I was highly judgmental of everything that was being done. The biggest surprise was that I could so easily be knocked from my comfort zone of peace and contentment, joy and happiness.  I wanted that back.

Normally I would have called my sister Jessie and told her of my predicament, but she was in the last days of her final life journey, and my priority was to be there for her.  Still I wondered how she would have reacted to my situation.

Fortunately phase two was the positive reconstruction period.  By habitually spending time within for so many years, I was gradually able to return to this daily routine and began writing out strong, positive directive prayers to resolve this situation.   At the same time positive things began to happen – like first and foremost – the reimbursement checks began to arrive from several insurance companies.  Then I noticed a major difference between the take-apart crew and the putting-back-together team.  It was like having new friends who wanted to work together to ensure that the very highest level of work was done with the least upheaval to my life.

This was an incredible boost to my morale, plus they went to great lengths to clean up their messes, and to close doors behind them to keep out unwanted bugs and crawly creatures.  I was so delighted to have the reconstruction phase started that I found my heart opening to all the workers, and started offering them cold water and homemade cookies.  I soon became at ease in sharing light conversation and laughter that brightened the long, hot, noisy workdays for everyone.

It was a mutual heart-opening experience.  They thanked me for allowing them into my house.  I thanked them for using their skills to heal my house.  Later that night I recalled what Jessie had often said … We are mutually blessed by the opportunities to relate on a human, humane and caring level.

Now I know that being open to change – and facing it with a positive attitude – is a prerequisite, and so is an awesome helping of trust and faith, with an expectancy of Good.  All that, plus the loving kindness and the laughter, was just what Jessie would have done.

___________________________________________                                                                            Copyright © 2015 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s books: “Becoming a Spiritual Warrior of the Heart, (April 2013); “Tea with Elisabeth,” recipient of the 2010 Silver Award for Non-fiction: “You Can Live a Balanced Life In An Unbalanced World,” (Nov. 2008); and “The Heart Knows the Way – How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within,” (Feb.2008), are available at Amazon.con, other online booksellers, as well as bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Making the “Impossible” Possible

“World Peace Day is envisioned to become a moment of global unity—it is up to us to make it a reality.”  ~Jeremy Gilley

After posting a recent 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 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 recognized 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 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 that 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. And if we truly want to be part of this opportunity to create a better world, we must face the fact that it won’t be zapped on us—it has to happen through us.  We must wake up and realize that by aligning with the Greater Power within us we can consciously direct the course of our lives and together make the impossible possible.    

Copyright © 2011 by Fern Stewart Welch [Repeated by Request]

The author’s books: “Becoming a Spiritual Warrior of the Heart,” (April 2013); “Tea with Elisabeth,” (recipient of the 2010 Silver Award for Non-fiction); “You Can live A Balanced Life In An Unbalanced World,” (Nov. 2008); “The Heart Knows the Way …” (Feb. 2008), and are available on, online booksellers and bookstore chains such as Barnes &Noble.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Everyone Wants to Bring About World Peace -- But Those With Any Chance to Succeed Know They Must Start Small -- With Themselves

“We cannot leave It (peace) up to other people – creating peace is up to each of us.”                          ~Naomi Drew                               

Who among us hasn’t been moved by our troubled world to ask ourselves the following question:  What could I possibly do to help bring peace to our world?  Since my initial approach to any complicated problem is to corral it by making a list, I immediately sat down and Googled “Deterrents to World Peace.”  What came up was a mind-boggling raft of the most intimidating, soul-searing issues imaginable, running the gamut from war and terrorism to climate change, religion and powerful conflict-causing cultural and gender issues.

Obviously, it’s certainly beyond the ability of any ordinary or even extraordinary human being to know where to start.  While it’s appropriate for the national and international powers that be to work on these issues from those levels, I believe along with many others much wiser than I that without the help of each of us the situation will only get worse.  For the solution to this problem to work it must not only trickle down, it must trickle up, and sideways – simultaneously.

I also believe that the high-tech world we’re living in right now is fully capable of helping humanity be part of ensuring that future change comes about with love and caring for others, so the results are by design instead of by destruction.  It’s literally up to us to step up and help counteract threats to our vision of the peace and security we desire for ourselves, our beloveds and all humanity.

After absorbing the emotional impact of the problems blocking the way of world peace, I needed an hour of prayer work to bring my thinking down to what practical ways each of us, as individuals, might use to start initiating the overall process of reversal.

While I’ve worked for and achieved a level of inner peace within and am aware of how it blesses my life, I had no idea of how my increased awareness would lead me to recognize a practical approach to world peace through something as prosaic as a gathering of friends.

I was at a dinner party at the home of two of my longtime friends when they exploded into a fully-loaded emotional torrent.  I just sat there in stunned silence praying for peace in their situation and also an acceptable way to exit the venue as quickly as possible to respect their privacy.  The other guests were on the same wave length and when the host and hostess left the table and took the drama into the kitchen, we exchanged a knowing look, and then headed out the door.

Naturally being very fond of the couple, Jack and Jane (not their real names), they were automatically the focus of my heartfelt prayers on the drive home. Several days after the incident, I received a note from Jane apologizing for the public display of discontent and seeking my help.  This was followed that afternoon by a telephone call from Jack, also echoing Jane’s request for help.  Evidently getting the truth out and releasing a lot of pent up anger had opened their minds and hearts, to what was still good and desired in their relationship.

While listening to Jack’s plea for advice – I remembered an excellent response line – I will have to take this into prayer, and if I receive any insight that might help you I will be in touch.  This was my saving grace, as I was then free to trust in my Inner Guidance as to whether or not I was to give any assistance beyond prayers.

The next day while adding Jack and Jane to my daily prayer list, the first thing that flashed through my mind was the fact that another friend was married to an attorney who also specialized in corporate arbitration and mediation.  I called her and explained the situation.  She said she had some information that her husband often sent out to dear friends and family members who were experiencing similar situations.

She e-mailed me an excerpt from a book by Naomi Drew, titled “Hope and Healing: Peaceful Parenting in an Uncertain World,” that came out after the infamous 9/11 tragedy.  The author is recognized around the world today as an expert in conflict resolution and peacemaking for all ages.  I found the excerpt consisted of Six Steps for Conflict Resolution.  They resonated deeply within me as being a positive, heartfelt and wise approach for anyone seeking help with resolving a conflict and coming to a peaceful solution.  I also loved the title of the excerpt: Learning Peace – with a subhead – We cannot leave it to other people … creating peace is up to each of us.

The excerpt was definitely something that knowing Jack and Jane as I do, I was certain they were capable of putting to good use.  I also realized that receiving the Six Steps was a positive sign that I was to provide this information and also continue supporting them with prayers.  I had let Jane and Jack know that if I gained an insight that would help them, I would let them know.

The insight turned out to be an intro to the six how-to guidelines and it fit perfectly.  It was in the form of a key question that each individual was to ask themselves before starting the process, together with a list of Desired Answers for the question that would set the tone for the six win-win guidelines.  I also included a copy of the complete excerpt in the e-mail packet:

The question is: What do WE want in this situation?  The desired answers are:

 What is morally fair and right and that we both agree on.      What brings out the best in each of us and is for our individual highest and best good.  What allows us the opportunity to resolve the situation - with mutual respect - and that allows us to close the process by sharing handshakes, high-fives and/or hugs.
Six Steps for Conflict resolution

Step 1:  Cool off.  Conflicts can’t be solved in the face of hot emotions.  Take a step back, breathe deep, and gain some emotional distance before trying to work things out.*

Step 2:  Tell what’s bothering you using “I messages.”  I messages are a tool for expressing how we feel without attacking or blaming.  By starting from the “I” we take responsibility for the way we perceive the problem.  This is in sharp contrast to “you message” which put others on the defensive and close doors to communication.  A key credo in conflict resolution is, “It’s us against the problem, not us against each other.”*

Step 3:  Each person restates what they heard the other person say.  Reflective listening demonstrates that we care enough to hear the other person out, rather than just focusing on our own point of view.  It actually fosters empathy.*

Step 4:  Take responsibility.  In the majority of conflicts, both parties have some degree of responsibility.  However most of us tend to blame rather than looking at our own role in the problem. When we take responsibility, we shift the conflict into an entirely different gear, one where resolution is possible.*

Step 5:  Brainstorm solutions and come up with one that satisfies both people.  Resolving conflicts is a creative act.  There are many solutions to a single problem.  The key is a willingness to seek compromise.*

Step 6:  Affirm, forgive, or thank.  A handshake, high-five, hug, or kind word gives closure to the resolution of conflicts.  Forgiveness is the highest form of closure.  For both parties, forgiveness means the freedom to be at peace inside their own skin and to be glad in each others’ presence.  What a legacy to leave our children as we teach and model this.”*

I placed the Six-Steps in the body of this essay and not just as an add-on at the end because this type of information is invaluable.  I’m pleased to share with you that Jane and Jack are using the Six-Steps and are now working together to resolve their challenges.  They are committed to co-creating an honest, mature and peaceful relationship that allows for sometimes strong disagreements and subsequent compromises – the key to healthy relationships.

In the process of praying with Jane and Jack for a positive resolution, I realized the two-part insight that I want to share with you.  First, their experience confirmed the vital importance of making conflict resolution a part of our daily lives, for when we experience peace within, and live it, we radiate a powerful energy force that – when joined with millions of others – will help counteract the all-encompassing negative energy of greed, dishonesty, hatred and lack of regard for others that rule our world today. Jane and Jack are also setting a great example for others to follow.

The other half of the equation is to use scientific prayer – which is basically positive thought and energy combined.  This means we don’t plead or beg God for world peace, we use a prayer of gratitude each day, thanking the Universal Life Force-Energy-God for manifesting our heart’s desire.  We can also enlist others to do the same – and use the Internet to blanket the world with similar positive prayers.  With millions of individuals aligning with the perfect power within, and backing their prayer with faith and powerful emotional energy, the Universal Law receives the energy-directive and responds to ensure the result is harmonious, joyful, peaceful and Good for all concerned.

“Thank you, God, for providing us with a new formula for world peace, that every man, woman and child, of all races and religions, can use to heal the cloud of uncertainty that hovers over our lives and our loved ones – and at the same time help struggling nations around our troubled world unite in a bond of brotherhood.”

Note*: The Six Steps are condensed excerpts from Naomi Drew’s book, “Hope and Healing--Raising Peaceful Children in an Uncertain World,”  published by Citadel in Sept. 2002.  
___________________________________                                                                                  Copyright © 2015 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s books: “Becoming a Spiritual Warrior of the Heart,” (April 2013); “Tea with Elisabeth,” (recipient of the 2010 Silver Award for Non-fiction); “You Can Live A Balanced Life In An Unbalanced World,” (Nov. 2008); “The Heart Knows the Way …”  (Feb. 2008), and are available on, online booksellers, and bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

To Give May Be "Better" Than to Receive ... But for a Happy, Healthy Life You Need to Balance Both

“When I gave – gifts or service – it made me feel really good inside.
When I was on the receiving end of giving,
I often felt uncomfortable, less-than and weak.  ~Guess who?

My parents may have been acting on their early church teaching that giving was better than receiving, or they had simply come up with a handy way to settle the “who-gets-what?” issues among their nine children.  In my child’s mind – I came to believe that I was giving a lot to others without getting much in return.  At any rate, as I grew up, I became a Giver (with a capital G) because I’d learned that my selfless behavior had seemed to endear me to others as the considerate, generous and thoughtful one.  I stuck with this method of living for a very long time, until recently, when I discovered that my lifelong habit of giving-giving-giving was no longer rewarding me with the desired feelings of love and self-esteem and a sense of being a good person.  I had repeated a longtime, annual offer to an event that really matters to me … and the good feelings I always had before simply weren’t there.

Naturally I wondered if the lesson I was to learn from this uncomfortable situation was that I had accepted only half the equation of Giving and Receiving.  I went online and after reading several articles, I discovered that today Giving and Receiving are talked about as two points on the same spectrum, as well as examples of the universal dynamic energy exchanges that take place throughout the Cosmos.  It’s the give and take energy-wise that makes it all work – down to and including on the personal, individual level.  One site likened Giving and Receiving to a flowing river and as long as there were no interruptions or stoppages everything in the river was healthy and all was good.  Hmmm … now that’s an intriguing segue to learning about how healthy Giving and Receiving can improve our lives on a daily basis.

What I realized after probing my heart and mind about the unsatisfying giving experience that triggered this essay, was that the event itself was not the key to my dilemma.  The strong response was obviously meant to get me thinking, which it did.  This time, I had reacted with resistance and resentment, instead of the usual feeling of positive anticipation and joy.  Naturally, I was stunned at first because this specific event was one that I truly enjoyed and had chosen to be personally involved in for years.

As I continued seeking to understand the change in my attitude about giving, I noticed a number of uncomfortable memories popping up that served to recap some aspects of the earlier decades of my life.  The images were of kind and loving individuals who were offering me all forms of assistance or help, and my response was to avoid Receiving it like it was the plague.  Even when I was a single mother of three and needed all the help I could get, I always said, “No thanks, I can handle it,” even when I had no idea of how I could do that.

It seems for some long-forgotten subconscious reason I couldn’t allow myself to say “yes” because I associated receiving help or support with being weak, guilty, ashamed, and less-than.  I didn’t know the source of that directive in my subconscious back then and still don’t know today.

Since this is my fourth essay on this subject it’s obvious that the answer that I’ve been seeking is that I still have something to learn about how to balance Giving and Receiving and how to do it healthfully and continuously.

As I thought long and hard on why I had previously chosen to be a Giver instead of a Receiver, I realized it was a no-brainer.  With Giving there was such a good feeling, especially when the giving came from my heart to someone or a cause that I truly cared about.  This was hands-down so much more comfortable and desirable than the feeling of discomfort I experienced when I was the unaccustomed Receiver.

Today I realize that in all those years when I was so off-balance in my ideas about giving, I wasn’t just hurting myself, but others as well.  I recognized that my modus operandi back then was so filled with emotions that there was no way it could have been healthy giving or receiving.  I felt so bad for the person asking for help, for their humiliation, and for my own memories of how humiliated I felt when others knew I was needy.  During those heavy-duty emotion-packed times, I just wanted to fulfill their request quickly, so we could end the emotionally-charged situation for everyone concerned, especially me.

I never once thought about any repercussions or side effects for either the giver or receiver in such an unhealthy situation.  I realize now that I probably gifted individuals who would have been better off learning a life lesson from their needy situation, and sometimes I contributed to a charitable cause just to boost my self-esteem and feel good about myself. I am human.

Once again I was becoming overwhelmed by not being able to finally get the spiritual lesson from Giving and Receiving, so I called my go-to expert, Irene Amanda Hunter, a longtime friend, mentor and spiritual life coach.  Her book, “The Miracle of Being the Real You,” has helped countless thousands of people, including me, gain insights into our own blockages and get on with clearing them so we are free to fully be who we were born to be.

In this instance, she explained that psychologists have now acknowledged that this almost universal (Giving and Receiving) challenge comes about when as children we are helpless and dependent on having all our needs met by others.  If we were left without having received our share of what we needed, the result would be held as a powerful directive in our subconscious.  These hidden orders concerning feelings of injustice and lack can serve as silent handicaps that can thwart the life we’re meant to live. Our saving grace is to seek help and choose to grow through such challenges instead of just going through them

Now I understand why it was difficult or even impossible at times to fully express (give) my unique life gifts.  It was because I was still stuck on being needy and wanting only to receive what was lacking in childhood.  Obviously this is why I over-compensated and became a super-giver to bolster my sense of self worth. 
Since gaining insights to inner blockages is part of my life purpose, I immediately began Inner Work to release the past and the unknown subconscious directives that were causing this particular challenge.  In doing so, I finally realized that the strong body-mind-soul negative response I experienced was my body’s way of saying “Enough!” It was time to grow through this spiritual lesson and to celebrate the increased conscious awareness.

So I learned that when we feel overwhelmed it’s not time to give up and turn to food, or whatever our crutch of choice is at such times.  Instead it’s time to move forward and celebrate another growth step.  My new awareness is now enabling me to release the need to give, give, give, to prove I am worthy.  I chose faith instead of fear.  I’m also learning to say “No” to shore up my healthy “me first” goal when it’s appropriate; to set boundaries, and schedule time to continue becoming the Real Me I Was Born to Be.

The reason to master Giving and Receiving is simple and huge.  The truth is they’re both the same and you can’t have one without the other.  The desired result for humanity is that when a person is capable of healthy receiving from a healthy giver – with love and gratitude – the energy exchange is complete and perfect.  This means that divine love is expressing through the individuals and voila, we are helping create healthier relationships and a healthier, balanced world that works for everyone.

Suggestions to help us become healthy Givers and Receivers:

Take time to love the wounded child within, and develop a loving, mature adult to guide you.
Give to causes that inspire you.
Take time to learn to master Giving and Receiving healthfully.
Give to where you experience the most joy.
Take time to be Grateful for the Good that’s come to you and for the good that is yet to be.
Give and Receive with Love and Gratitude.
Copyright© 2015 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s books: “Becoming a Spiritual Warrior of the Heart,“  (April 2013); “Tea with Elisabeth,” recipient of the 2010 Silver Award for Non-fiction; “You Can Live A Balanced Life In An Unbalanced World,” (Nov. 2008); “The Heart Knows the Way …” (Feb. 2008), are available on, other online booksellers, as well as bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Making the Best of the Rest of Your Life

Start by doing what is necessary; then do what’s possible,
and suddenly you’re doing the impossible.”  ~Francis of Assisi

I remember when I was very young hearing my 93-year old great-grandmother repeat that old maxim, “If I’d known I was going to live this long, I would have take better care of myself.”  Like most youngsters, I didn’t take my elder’s wisdom to heart.  And, eventually I did recall the conversation, with regret. Because as a much older me, I was suddenly receiving messages from my own body – I had begun to face one challenging aging ailment after another, barely coping with one before another popped up.  I shouldn’t have been so surprised – I had already written another essay based on it seeming like our older bodies might be falling apart, but it could also be our chance to partner with our bodies.  But, of course, we humans are always forgetting and then being reminded again.  The truth is that our bodies are finite, they do wear out, and they do malfunction – especially if we haven’t taken good care of them, and have taken them for granted.

So, what can we do to ensure that our later life is as healthy and productive and happy as we would like it to be?  Well for starters we need to realize the fact that statistics already show that human beings are now living longer than ever.   The trend that’s already obvious is that the 70s are the new 50s and the 90s are the new 70s.  This means (statistically) that we are going to be “old” for much longer periods of time than our parents and grandparents.

That fact automatically shoots taking better care of our bodies up to the top of all lists.  Every day for decades we’ve been inundated with information that encouraged us to eat a life-enhancing and nutritious diet, to exercise, lose weight, run, walk and keep moving so that we can have a fit and healthy body.

As seniors, many of us already had a handy excuse for ignoring the fitness craze that is still sweeping our country, because we thought it had nothing to do with us.  After all we were too busy focusing on what we thought were the last years of our lives.  Yet the truth is: Better late than never.  Thank you, Granny.

While it’s obvious that younger generations will have more time to adjust to living longer lives, we oldsters have already recognized that life itself is an incredible gift, and the opportunity to live to an advanced age can be an even greater blessing.  It’s our responsibility to make the most of it, and to prepare our bodies for a longer lifespan by staying healthy and fit, and we can do it wisely without ripped muscles and six-packs.

We also need to expand our minds and embrace the new concepts of agelessness and youthfulness, as well as life-long learning and goal-setting.  Another self-defeating thing that we foot-dragging oldsters do to stay firmly entrenched in “the old days” is to resist all changes, and particularly technological change.  I’ve heard many of my peers say when they are being chastised by their family members for retreating from the high-tech world we now live in: “Oh well, we’ll be long-gone soon.” 

People who think that way have already started opting OUT to put it bluntly.  The thought being, that we can’t move forward or don’t think we can, or don’t have the urge to do so.  The upshot of that closed and unhealthy mind-set is a fear of learning new ways, and of trying new things.  It can also isolate us from society – and put our lives in a static kind of holding pattern – that says we’re still here, but patiently waiting for the way out.

I remember a quote by bestselling author Richard Bach that fits this situation perfectly:  “If you think your mission on Earth is complete, if you’re alive it isn’t.”

I have to admit that I am still one of those “foot-dragging” seniors.  For example, just like my parents I resist using the drive-in window at my bank, and still write checks to pay my bills.  I don’t even want to talk about how little I know about my one high-tech concession, computers, for if it works that’s great, but if it doesn’t I have no clue as to what to do.  My young grandsons are my tutors.

After I was recently presented with another aging ailment, I began seriously wondering what the final chapter(s) of my life could be like if I changed my outlook and became part of our world’s evolution into a higher conscious awareness.  I knew immediately that not being part of Life and just kind of “hanging in,” wasn’t for me.

Here’s what I did.  I took a week off for a self-imposed retreat (which I call time-out-of-time) to ponder my stage of life and to revisit some of the wise words of my mentors and teachers, as well as famous sages and philosophers who have gone on before us.

This statement from my late friend and mentor Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross captured my attention
Each and every one of us is a unique, individualized expression of God – the Divine Mind – and we’re here for a reason, and there will never be another me or another you.

I was touched at the core of my being by that quote, and took the time necessary to do two things.  The first was to accept the fact that in order to continue experiencing life on Earth we must have a body and the healthier the better.  Next I took a clear look at my life to figure out what I would need to do (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually) to help me make the best of the rest of my life.

Feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the latest ailment I was experiencing I sat down and listed my half-dozen maladies, along with specific dietary do’s or don’ts for each one.  I also added prescribed exercises, meditation, visualization, and embryonic (qigong) breathing as well as homeopathic and holistic healing modalities.

Having focused my thoughts by writing down my concerns and what I could and would do about them, I no longer felt overwhelmed. What I had done was to come up with a simple list of how-to’s that in a very short time (two weeks for me) became a healthful and uplifting habit.

As soon as I started working with my body as a willing partner, I immediately felt supported and empowered by the positive energy that now coursed through my being.  I was no longer a helpless victim just waiting for the next aging ailment to show up, I was consciously partnering with my body to attain and maintain a higher level of energy and well-being to prepare me for whatever life presents.  (This includes a bit of time to have a snit-fit when and if another malady shows up.)

As my great-grandmother also said, “When you have your health, you have everything!”  She was right.  I’m aware and kind of gobsmacked that at the age of 80 I committed to a new vision – with a healthier diet, exercises and taking full responsibility for my body.  My goal is to continue experiencing life on Earth, growing in conscious awareness instead of  just getting older … and making the best of the rest of my life.

I made my decision with a tip of the hat to the late Art Linkletter, who wrote a bestselling book years ago titled – “How to Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life – in which he said, You can’t stop the clock, but we can rewind it.” 

I chose to do that.  I finally realized that it’s time to embrace this brave new world instead of resisting it.  Life is change, and the world is changing fast and in ways that will affect every aspect of our lives—and they’ve only just begun.  The good news is that part of living in a time of rapid change also means we can take advantage of new and unparalleled opportunities … and use them to make the best of the rest of our lives.

Copyright © 2015 Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s books: “Becoming a Spiritual Warrior of the Heart,” (April 2013); “Tea with Elisabeth,” recipient of the 2010 Silver Award for Non-fiction; “You Can Live A Balanced Life In an Unbalanced World,” (Nov. 2008); and “The Heart Knows the Way – How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within,” (Feb. 2008) are available at other online booksellers and bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble.