Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Today Is International Peace Day and We Can Do Our Part

"Many of the world's greatest minds, masters and teachers throughout the ages claim that we will never have world peace until we come to inner peace within ourselves," 

 It's time we take note.

In 1981 the United Nation's General Assembly (UNGA) established by resolution 36/37 that September 21 is the day we devote to strengthening the idyllic vision  of peace, both within and between all nations and humanity.

Furthering that mission, in 2001 the UNGA voted unanimously to adopt resolution 55/282 and establishing an annual day of nonviolence and cease-fire.

I'm sure that many Americans and individuals around the world  felt as I did  then... gobsmacked and  helpless

About a decade ago, I asked a small group of successful, spiritually based business women to meet and to co-create a World Peace Prayer for use in our different areas of  influence. In my case, I had my computer master to insert it on my web page and have written many essays on this subject, for posting on this blog site.

I've included the World Peace Prayer at the end of this blog for I know it might give you a way to be part of the solution. Or you can come up with your own and light a candle and sit with your loved ones and start your own approach.

I also started a Living Love Prayer Circle where I meditate, pray for friends, family and beloveds who request it.  Once I feel close to God I repeat the Living Love Prayer and end with the World Peace Prayer.

I believe in miracles and know at the core of my being this approach is blessed and, is a way to help  change our world forever.

Love Light Blessings.


I align my energy with the Living Love Prayer Circle, and now live as the real me I was born to be.

I am healthy, whole, joyful, successful, peaceful and wise.

I know that loving me is the key to truly loving others.

I know by loving and accepting myself and others - and by resolving conflicts and living in peace within myself - the powerful and positive energy that results radiates out into the world and neutralizes the negativity that is detrimental to the Earth and all life forms.

I am grateful for the incredible Gift of Life and for the opportunity to be part of a Living Love Prayer Circle, which elevates the consciousness of humanity, heals the Earth and furthers the cause of World Peace.  AMEN


I align my intention with the Living Love Prayer Circle.

I envision the energy from this Sacred Circle rising up to embrace Mother Earth and all  its inhabitants

The Earth is healed and its consciousness protected.

The evolution of all souls is harmoniously advanced, and
Peace, Love and Cooperation now manifest on Earth.  AMEN


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Nature: The Remedy for What Ails Us

The serious challenges facing us and our country now make this the perfect time to take a break from the crazy-making reality of the external world. It appears as if we have fallen down the rabbit hole and nothing seems to be as it should. We desperately need to seek healthy, sane and wise answers that will help us calmly negotiate the rocky road ahead, and which will ultimately help heal our country and the world.

But the truth is that these answers will never come from the chaos and fear that surround us. They will come only from within us by listening to our own inner guidance, the true compass for meaningful and successful lives. While there are many ways in which we can connect with our inner knowing, spending time in nature is the easiest and most accessible path for many people. Here we find a nurturing space that holds the antidote that can counteract the poison of today’s world of double standards and double-dealing. Nature is, above all else, incapable of deceit, dishonesty or hypocrisy.

In nature’s sincere, pure simplicity lies the opportunity to reconnect with the true values in life: honesty, integrity, love and kindness and caring for others and the Earth.

Some of the older generation can remember when their parents, grandparents and great grandparents were in such close communion with nature that they could “read” the signals in the skies and predict the weather and the ebb and flow of seasonal changes. We need to return to that primordial respect and reverence for nature.

When we lost this closeness, we also lost our innate awareness of how we fit into the natural order of life on Earth. We feel this loss of connection as a fear, and desperately seek to cover it up by continually focusing on the busyness of the external world. Yet no matter how hard we push ourselves or what ridiculous levels of activity we aspire to and attain the feeling of being alone and disconnected never goes away.

As we spend time in nature, however, we feel our wholeness in the well-ordered cycles, and sense our oneness with life throughout the cosmos. We also experience inner peace because Mother Nature does not judge us, and this helps us renew our trust in life.

Our distant ancestors knew of the healing power in nature. They would often take those who were ill or emotionally distraught into the forests so that the powerful energy in the trees would soak up any confused energy, which calmed them and hastened their healing. This gives new meaning to free-standing urgent care centers.

As nature is the true language of our being it speaks to us at a soul level through beauty and the intelligent order of the universe. It reminds us that we are one with all life and a vital part of the whole. Reawakening to these truths is the true path to inner peace and the remedy for what ails us, society and our planet.

Copyright © 2010 by Fern Stewart Welch
   [One of the author’s most requested essays]

The authors books include: “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. 2009) are available at, other online booksellers, as well as bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

On Becoming a Human-Being Instead of a Human-Doing

“When one door closes, another door opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully on the closed door that we do not see the one which opened for us.”   ~Alexander Graham Bell

It wasn’t until my late husband became critically ill and I left the corporate world over a decade ago to care for him that I became aware that for most of my life I had been a human-doing instead of a human-being.

The realization didn’t come quickly. For a long time I was so overwhelmed by all the challenges before me that I threw myself into activities that consumed the hours and days of my life. Evidently the strong work ethic I learned from my birth-family translated into feeling worthy only when I was fully engaged in doing something. The busyness also served to keep me from ever questioning how I was living my life, if it was working for me—and if not, why not?

When my husband’s health challenges became so serious that he had to be placed in a 24-hour care environment, the situation changed dramatically. I had released a number of external commitments in order to care for him, and for the first time in my adult life I found myself relatively free. The freedom proved unsettling. Not only did I desperately need to come to grips with the emotional situation with my husband, I needed to come to peace with what all of this would mean to my future life. After trying unsuccessfully to resolve the situation on my own through my usual direct-action efforts, I realized I didn’t know what to do. I felt helpless.

The time had come when I had to stop all the doing and turn within for answers. I was faced with the biggest challenge to my own peace of mind and sense of well- being—me. Or more accurately, the sum total of mental and emotional baggage that lived within me and that had determined my actions, inactions, thoughts, decisions and non-decisions my entire life.

I had an established daily routine of meditating, journaling and affirmative prayer, but because the job and then my husband’s situation took priority over my needs, the time I spent within was determined by those demands. Now I could spend as much time as desired.

My well-honed and single-eyed approach did prove beneficial in this instance. After months of this inner focus, I began to feel a sense of peace. For the first time in my life I was content spending time within. The meditation helped to discipline my racing “monkey-mind.” Gradually my mind opened to a deeper awareness of life and awakened me to my self, others and the eternal and sublime energy that is within each of us and everything in the universe, which we call God. I was realizing some balance in my life, which brought greater clarity to my thought processes and a growing ability to manage my emotional state. When I opened to loving myself, I became aware that my ability to love others in an unselfish and healthier way was greatly enhanced.

I discovered that meditation is a path to inner peace, as it enables us to connect with the sanctuary of unconditional love, guidance and support within that is the heart desire of every conscious person on Earth.

In this process I became a human-being instead of a human-doing. I no longer judged my worth or my life by what I do. By learning to live an inner-directed life, rather than seeking meaning outside myself, I know that whatever activity I engage in will be meaningful and purposeful.

There is a new-found peace and contentment at the core of my being, a sustained sense of well-being and happiness—no matter what conditions or situations arise. I am no longer driven to do. I allow myself to be.

Copyright © 2010 by Fern Stewart Welch
   [One of the author’s most requested essays]

The authors books include: “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. 2009) are available at, other online booksellers, as well as bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Finding Inner Peace Within Ourselves is the Key to Furthering World Peace

"... Let us pray for harmony among the nations, that they march hand in hand through the gate of a fair new civilization."  ~Paramahansa Yogananda 

During this dramatic and emotional time in our country and the world, what we all need is a heaping helping of inner peace. From my experience, the challenge here is two-fold. First we must recognize that it is possible to attain this state even in these difficult times and then that it is imminently worth the time, energy and resolve it takes to get there. I know. It took me many years and many life upheavals, traumas and challenges before I was literally brought to my knees in desperation – with a willingness to do whatever it took to bring some inner calm into my life. 

What I had to get past in order to open to this possibility of inner peace may sound familiar to some of you. Like most people I had heard about the peace that passeth understanding all my life. The rub was that I considered it a platitude, a carrot, a myth that was perpetuated by organized religion to keep members hanging in there. Actually, at that time I had never met a church-going person, or anyone else for that matter, who radiated inner peace, knew what it was, or claimed this was something that was attainable or desirable. While this doesn’t say much for my spiritual awareness back then, it’s just where I was.

As it turned out, the only myth I was wrestling with was the fact that inner peace is not and never has been the property of organized religion. What I have learned is that the universal life force-energy, which we call God, did not develop religion – humanity did – and God has no connection with its dogmas, rules and rituals. It was simply man’s positive desire to try to make sense of why he was on Earth and what he was supposed to do.

I find it interesting that Native Americans have been advising us for centuries that we will never find inner peace through overworking ourselves and rushing through life, which is what most of us do because we don’t know any better. The first step in finding inner peace lies in recognizing there is something in us that isn’t satisfied by the greed and $ucce$$-at-any-price culture that exists today. Many of us know this somewhere in our hearts and minds, but we seem to be stuck in the fallacy that tells us that if we can gather enough money and possessions we can make our own security and have peace of mind. That sentence concludes with the unspoken phrase … and the bloody blazes with everyone else.

The problem with thinking we are independent of everyone else is that it isn’t true. We are actually dependent and interdependent on all others. Whether we are aware of this or not, like it or not, we are one with all life on Earth and what benefits one, benefits all, and what harms one harms us all.

We are also one with the eternal and sublime energy that we call God, which is why when we turn within and consistently connect with this awareness we can cultivate an inner peace and calm that nothing can disturb. The Truth is that the Infinite-Life Force-God is always at peace, as there is nothing that can disturb it. And as we strengthen our link with the Infinite, which is the birthright of every human being, we share in that peace.

This process also opens us to the sanctuary of unconditional love that is the heart’s desire of every individual on Earth, as well as the guidance, support, wisdom and, yes, the peace that really does surpass our understanding.

I learned that maintaining inner peace no matter what happens is not easy but it is possible. The key lies in making it a daily habit to connect with our inner selves and to consistently forgive ourselves and others, which releases the past. Then when any untoward event or situation comes up in our lives, we remember that all life is change. Instead of condemning the incident, and as soon after the optional hissy-fit as possible, we then ask what is to be learned from this “challenge.”

As we continue to take this positive approach, eventually we come to a point where we can actually bless the event or situation and recognize it as an opportunity for soul growth. When we can do this, the time frame for learning the lesson is greatly decreased, and the gift in it – which is always to open us to receive more good in life – manifests much more quickly.

By consistently strengthening our connection with the Infinite within us, and letting go of the past by forgiving ourselves and others – we are on the path to lasting inner peace –and hastening World Peace.
Copyright © 2010 by Fern Stewart Welch
   [Repeated by request]

The author's books include: “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. 2009) are available at, other online booksellers, as well as bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

"Oh, God! Here I Go Again" or "Thanks, God! Here I Grow Again" ... The Choice Is Up to Us

The difficulties of life are to make us better, not bitter.”~Unknown

Some of you may recall that I have previously written about a fractured family relationship that has caused me great heartache and sadness for decades.  Unfortunately, I experienced another emotional episode with that same person a while ago.  This time, though, after years of spiritual work, instead of being hooked into the same-old, in-kind reaction, I knew I was okay enough to not only withstand the barrage of anger but to do something about it.  OMIGOD.  What a breakthrough.

I immediately remembered that it takes two people to keep this negative cycle going, and only one to stop it  At that moment I promised myself I was going to be the latter.

Being unaware of the source of the breach between us, I tried many times through the years to ask the person for forgiveness, but to no avail.  Back then I thought it was because she enjoyed having the power to deny my hope for reconciliation.   Now I know it’s because I was meant to recognize the fact that if I’m suffering, it’s my problem, and I need to heal enough to allow whatever I’m holding onto to be faced, felt, and released.

While my inner guidance provided me with the Inner Work technique to use in such situations years ago – the truth is that I seldom saw this individual – so I turned within to focus on this issue only when I was the recipient of another emotional outbreak.    By then, I would be so upset by the depth of the emotions within me that I just wanted to get past it.

This time, however, I knew instantly that I was through with being a handy target for these emotional outbursts and was determined to learn my lesson, grow through it and come to peace with this issue.  I went into prayer and after centering myself, I realized that my inner guidance was urging me to re-read one of my favorite books.  It was by Arun Gandhi, the fifth grandchild of Mahatma Gandhi, and is titled “Legacy of Love – My Education in the Path of Nonviolence.”

Not only did I re-read several chapters, I clearly recalled being at Arun’s presentation that evening back in 2010.  Since I thought that I was in for a history lesson about India’s trials, tribulations and victories, I didn’t expect it to touch me personally.  I was wrong.

His profound insight was that humanity views violence as only physical, therefore missing the awareness that we daily contribute to passive violence.

According to Arun, we do this in many oppressive and disrespectful ways, including gossiping, name calling, blaming, bullying, teasing and insulting, as well as venting our anger on others. As I remembered this statement, I realized immediately that there’s probably not a person on Earth who hasn’t at one time or another unknowingly indulged in some form of passive violence. 

He explained that passive violence generates anger because the target doesn’t know how to deal with it positively, and the only option seems to be to resort to some form of physical violence, or to keep stockpiling resentments.  So, I was actually adding fuel to the fire of my undesirable situation by blaming the other person.  Now I see why no healing was ever possible under those circumstances.

The next insight I gained was that this dysfunctional relationship was somehow linked to my early-childhood experiences in a large family that left me feeling unlovable, unworthy and vulnerable.  This was surely the reason that as an adult I was addicted to being treated with loving kindness and respect.  And when the reality of the unkind and disrespectful relationship with this individual didn’t fit my desires, I reacted with animosity, blame and a prayer that she would eventually learn her lesson and act accordingly.

I seized this latest opportunity to clear and release this sad situation for all time.  I immediately began daily forgiveness work for each of us.  When I began to feel centered, and could come from a level of love for the other person, I started the Inner Work.

After an unusually powerful and tearful energy release, my inner guidance drew me back in my mind’s eye to when my “adversary” was a newborn baby.

My first thought was if this is to “soften” me up, it won’t work.  I was born the seventh of ten children.  And while I loved babies and had enjoyed (most of the time) being in charge of my younger brother and sisters, I was only eight-years-old and just wanted to be free to play outside with the rest of the kids.  When my mother appeared, she took the infant from the baby’s mother and placed her in my arms, indicating that she had volunteered me to care for the baby after school each day and on the weekend.  I was overwhelmed.

I sensed it wasn’t wise to speak up, because my mother made it quite clear the baby was “sickly” and the mother needed help, and we were “family.”  I decided to do what I had to do, but as I girded myself for this unwanted act of charity, I also actually felt a slight hardening of my heart toward this infant.  Just then I got the message my inner guidance was orchestrating.  I had rejected this fellow human being from the beginning, and I had to accept 100% responsibility for my part.  She had chosen to give back to me (unknowingly) the rejection I had set in motion.

When I started to judge myself harshly for what I had done, my inner guidance stopped me in my tracks.  I was to ask myself these questions: Did I do the best I could as a young child? (Yes.) Did I see life differently then? (Yes.).  Did I know then what I know now? (No.)  Would I have acted differently if I had?  (Yes.)  Am I willing to forgive myself for making a mistake, and not realizing the consequences it set in motion?   (Yes.)

At that moment, I relaxed into the process totally, for I knew from past experience that I was being guided into the insight-healing I sought. I was now face to face with the infant, looking directly into her sparkling blue eyes.  I was also the adult I am now, and was captivated by how lively she was, for I knew the life challenges she would face.  As she smiled and gurgled her way into my heart, I felt the plate of armor dissolve and love flowed freely through me to her. WOW!

I recalled soon after the visioning, that by the time this baby was two-years-old, and I was 10, I had chosen the path of love for my life journey.  As a result, I spent many hours – and most of the money I made, (25 cents an hour) from babysitting neighbor children – in trying to add joy to her life as she faced continuing health challenges.

I also realized once again how powerful our thoughts are and the importance of mastering them to assure they yield desirable instead of undesirable results.

When I fully accepted that I was totally responsible for my part in this situation, and my counterpart was 100% responsible for her reactions and responses, I vowed to continue the Inner Work and claimed freedom from this issue for all time. (See the Inner Work steps in the February essay or on the author’s Web Page

Hip, Hip, Hurray and Hallelujah!  What a gift, and it couldn’t and wouldn’t have happened until I chose to face the truth and to grow through life instead of continuing to suffer through it.
I meet every life experience by smiling, standing tall and saying:Thanks God, here I grow again.
Copyright © 2014 by Fern Stewart Welch   [This archived essay reprinted 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.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

You May Think You're Falling Apart ,,, But It Could Be Your Chance to Get It All Together

        “It’s a fact: We need a body to continue experiencing life on Earth.”   ~Fern Stewart Welch   

Two years ago, after 78 years of mostly radiant health, my body began sending me messages in the form of various maladies, a not so subtle reminder that while our souls are immortal our bodies are finite.  This falling-apart time that I felt I had reached meant that a major life choice loomed before me: Did I give up and give in, thinking that I had no alternative – or did I decide to trust my own inner knowing that tells me there is another option?  Since I wrote my epitaph when I was a freshman in college – I Lived, I Loved, I Learned – it didn’t surprise me that I had already selected my motto for this stage of life – I refuse to die until I’m dead.

In other words, I would not focus on dying, which would send my body the wrong message, which was that I was ready to go home.  At that point, my body would start to fulfill my “order” by sending me more maladies. Instead I changed my negative thoughts about my ailments to positive ones.  I knew at the core of my being that I wasn’t “falling apart,” and that I was being guided to awaken to a more expanded view of living and – ultimately – dying. So with a strong sense that every cell of my body agreed, I affirmed: I am not falling apart; I am finally coming together.

My rationale for that strong outlook was two-fold, the maladies that were popping up got my attention and after some deliberation, I realized our bodies are sacred vehicles that allow us to
experience life on Earth.  Obviously it was also time to step up as a partner and help my body do its only job … to constantly heal itself.  Unfortunately, for most of my life I hadn’t been a good partner.  I took my good health for granted and never once thought of my body as the incredible work of genius it is.  At this point, I was able to look at this experience of things going wrong physically as another life lesson – opportunity – the kind that allows us to gain insight into how life is really meant to work.

Of course, I was aware that many sick people around the globe already lived this choice – they never thought of giving up or giving in just because of what a caregiver or space-age machine declared was their fate.  We’ve all watched them share their extraordinary stories online, on television and hungrily read their books.  Here’s one of my favorite examples:

Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D., is a brain scientist who experienced a massive, debilitating stroke, and chronicled her challenge to regain her life in the book “My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey.”   After years of strong resolve and faith, and partnering with her body in selecting the medical care and therapies necessary for recovery … she discovered her body’s incredible capacity to heal.  She’s now sharing her inspirational experience with people around the world to help others, especially stroke victims.

No matter how serious their prognosis, many courageous people like Dr. Taylor accepted their own inner knowing that our bodies are equipped to reenergize, regenerate and renew every cell, organ and function—depending on our desire and conscious direction.  I humbly realize that while I don’t share the life skills and knowledge of Dr. Taylor, I am a fellow soul and therefore am heir to the same healing power that is within each of us.  Plus, I am totally committed to fulfilling my life purpose by sharing the insights I learn with others as I grow through life instead of just going through it.

The fact is that for the past three decades each member of my team of caregivers has embraced the field of integrative medicine that combines the best of modern-day medicine, as well as holistic modalities and philosophy.  This means I’ve been learning to take responsibility for my health decisions concerning drugs, surgery and so on.  The result is that despite a few aches and pains and some inconveniences, I am still here – and prescription free.

I also believe that each human being is a unique and precious individualized expression of the Universal Life Force-Energy-Spirit-God.  We’re on a unique journey that is tailored just for us, and the one-size-fits-all diagnoses and required drugs and treatments – along with a belief that the Earth is flat – belong together in the dustbin of history.  We are being called to a conscious awakening within ourselves that is a necessary step for us to keep pace with the planetary transformation that is ongoing and the incredible high-tech scientific world we now inhabit.

Being born on Earth is such a Gift.  No matter what chapter of life we’re in, it’s an opportunity to grow into a higher level of consciousness, which is why we’re here.  I believe in following that truth and by doing so, that I will be able to live life the way in which it’s really meant to unfold.  I may have come to this awareness late in life, but obviously it’s the right timing for me.  I am being led and supported in loving myself, taking charge of my life and owning my power.  Baby steps perhaps, but the feeling deep within me is the only encouragement I need to know I am on the right path.

For more than a decade, I have been focusing on fulfilling my life purposes, my potential and true heart and soul desires.  Recently I began receiving the following message from my Higher Wisdom Self:  “Take Heart, Fern, these are The First Days of the Best Years of Your Life.”  That has always lifted my heart and spurred me on to trust and have faith in what is to come.  I recognize the truth in it for now no matter what life presents, I face it, do what I can to cope with it – and continue on my journey with a reassuring feeling of contentment, joy and peace.

During the ensuing years I have experienced several brief episodes of a level of bliss that felt like heaven-on-Earth.  The first time, I hugged it to my heart and as I focused on staying in that energy, I realized it was achievable for longer periods of time right here on Earth.  In other similar instances the all-encompassing bliss was accompanied by an inner knowing that if I died right then, it would be okay for I was God-smacked with a joy that permeated my being and caused me to know that at some level, I was already perfect, whole and complete.  There was also a palpable energy that I recognized as an anticipation of Good.

The more I focus on expanding my conscious awareness of how life on Earth is really meant to be lived, the stronger the inner soul urging is to be free to live a longer life and to continue discovering the Real Me I was born to be.

We don’t have to gaze at the stars or ponder the endless number of galaxies to bring up the awe, love, mystery and potential that is inherent in the gift our bodies present to us.  All we have to do is turn within and become acquainted with our sacred life vehicles to discover the power within each of us.

When I think about it now it’s like being given a magical, mystical toy and I’m just now opening it and seeing what we can accomplish by partnering together.  This opens us to consciously realizing the incredible intelligence, love and perfection that we are.  As if that wasn’t enough, each of us shares in the Universal plan. Our role is to take every challenge as an opportunity to help us learn how life on Earth is meant to work – and to realize that our magnificent body is capable of keeping us around until we have fully expressed our unique energy, light into the world.  Thank you, Life.  I’m Happy.  More Please.

“There is a power and presence within you that is greater than you are and you can use it."   

      ~Irene Amanda Hunter, author of “The Miracle of Being The Real You.”

______________________________________                                                                                       Copyright © 2015 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. 2009) are available at, other online booksellers, as well as bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble.

Friday, April 1, 2016

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 taken 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 K├╝bler-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.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

How I Learned (Painfully) That Patience Isn’t Just a Virtue … It Can Also Keep You Out of the Hospital

“Self-love is the key to patience, persistence and success.”   ~Unknown

I’ve been wrestling with the reality of patience vs. impatience for many years – with healthy signs that I’m making some progress.  But I still experience times like the following situation, when I wish with all my heart that I had stopped and asked myself: If I really loved me, what would I do right now?

After grocery shopping for an hour, I arrived home with a trunk full of bags to unload by myself, and the awareness that I would have to put them all away.  I was tired, my patience exhausted, and all I wanted was to get this chore over with and sit down to relax.  I grabbed two of the last four bags in each hand, noticing that the ones in my right hand each contained a half gallon of milk.  I didn’t think about those heavy bags, just that if I could close the trunk of my car right then, I wouldn’t have to come back out to the garage to do it.

Reaching for the trunk lid, I swung my right arm up above my head, attempting a Michael Jordan slam dunk, grabbed the lid and pushed down.  But it took more strength than I had with the weight of the milk containers and I knew as soon as the lid slammed shut that I had hurt my shoulder.  By the next day, the pain had not abated so I sought medical help.  I had a moderate injury to my rotator cuff that would not require surgery, but would take time to heal, and I would have to limit the use of my right arm, including not being able to drive for a while.

Why was I in such a hurry that I abandoned good sense, acted without thought and chose to do something that would compromise my well-being?  If I had taken a moment to think, had a moment’s patience, I would have realized that what I was doing was not only risky but unnecessary.  Surely I had already had enough not-so-good experiences with impatience in my long lifetime to learn this lesson.  I can remember as a child my great-grandmother, Amanda Hampton Crownover, would wag her pointer finger at me and say, “Act in haste, repent at leisure.” Was I ever! Ouch!

Yet, when an issue, such as patience, or the lack of it, sticks in my consciousness, and won’t go away, I know it’s an indication that it’s way past time to focus on this lesson.  My modus operandi is to turn within and realize any insights, apply them in my life to assist me on my spiritual journey, and to share them with other interested souls who also seek to know how life on Earth is meant to work.

As the thoughts began to gather around the current issue – my lack of patience – I recalled that in at least three instances over the past few years, my impatience resulted in some totally unnecessary, minor – yet painful and inconvenient – health challenges.  Many seniors would just chalk those experiences up to aging and let it go at that.  Not me.  I want truth.

When I asked my inner guidance what I’m to learn from these situations, I was told that if I want to continue experiencing life on Earth, I have to take better care of the sacred vehicle (body) that allows me to do so.  As usual, part of that aspect had to do with getting the maximum nutritional value from the foods I ingest, and also exercising a little every day to keep all the organs functioning at an optimal level.  I’m seriously working on each of these.

But the most important – as well as the most surprising, and vital bit of information – was that I needed to face, heal and release the mental and emotional aspects of me that cause the impatience.  In other words, the major insight in this specific situation turned out to be that I evidently had much more inner work to do on loving myself.

Actually, I honestly thought that after all the years of daily inner work I’ve done to heal and release the childhood feelings of being undeserving, unworthy and unlovable, that I was now nearly “home free.”  Not so.  Evidently I still have layers of undesirable energies that if I want to keep moving forward on the spiritual path, need to be acknowledged and worked with until they too are in alignment with what is for my highest and best good.

As I began the process of plumbing the depths of me to discover insights about my impatience, naturally the first thing I thought of was what I, and perhaps others, consider the real-world definition of patience.  It goes something like this:  Patience means gritting our teeth, digging in our heels and putting up with some undesirable and negative condition, person or situation.

Now I know that while some of this may be true, it’s obvious that there’s a lot more to the full meaning of patience than most of us realize.

After several days of soul-searching and no instant insights, I realized that the only way I was going to make any progress was by going within and looking at my own life.  The first thing that popped up was the fact that when I answered God’s call to be a Spiritual Warrior of the Heart more than twelve years ago, it took not only great daily patience but also long-term persistence (and faith) to stay on my spiritual path.  It wasn’t and still isn’t always easy to stay strong and face the challenges and blockages that pop up from the core of my being.  More often than not, it was extremely humbling.  But the patience and persistence I have managed to gain continue to help me stay lovingly present and conscious of what is happening on my spiritual path so I can open to the insights and fulfill my purpose by sharing them to help others on their life journeys.

As to my inner work, after going within and releasing any negative feelings about my periodic “attacks” of impatience, I released any unloving feelings about myself.  At that point, I got it that patience in its true fullness means first and foremost that we are to be patient with ourselves.  This also means being compassionate, and forgiving, and loving ourselves at every opportunity, because we are all works-in-progress, and we deserve all the help we can get.

What I believe we all need to remember is that we have our human aspect and our Godly side.  While we are human and can choose to express anger, fear, impatience and jealousy, we also have and can express the God-qualities of compassion, caring, joy, love, patience and persistence.  I consider myself reminded Big Time that patience means being loving to me first.  This opens up the opportunity to give any decision the time it needs before I abandon loving myself and act impatiently.

The other insight I gained was that when we can grow into having patience with ourselves and the process of life – whether or not we’re committed to a spiritual path or just want to create a better life – we will automatically realize that self-love is a vital part of our truth and that it requires daily practice.  Actually our universal life mission is to truly love ourselves.  It’s been said throughout eons of time that before we can love another we have to love ourselves.

Oh, BTW, if I had had the patience in my garage to put those heavy things down and to ask myself the question: “What would be the loving thing to do?”  The answer would have been that a truly self-loving person would never consciously choose to risk injury just to save a few moments of time.  Knowing what I know now, I choose to strengthen my self-love, and to claim that patience and persistence guide my life.  I can hear my beloved great-grandmother saying: “Finally, better late than never.”

      I daily claim and practice self-love, patience and persistence.  
With patience I hold on, hold fast and hold out for the best life has to offer.
Copyright © 2014 by Fern Stewart Welch (Reprinted 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