Tuesday, March 4, 2014

What's the Plan, Stan?

“What’s the plan, Stan?” is such a great saying.  My dad used to say it to me and I find myself saying it to my kids. “What’s the plan, Stan?” I ask lightheartedly when they are getting ready to go out with friends or when we are planning our day.  “What’s the plan, Stan?” I’ll text to check in with them and see what is going on.

It’s a simple, almost whimsical question.  It brings a sense of levity to a situation, makes it seem less overbearing.  There is something about rhyming that makes even a difficult query seem a little easier.

So I thought I would try it out on a bigger question.  A question that, I have had since my divorce a few years ago.  A question that, I have kept neatly tucked in the far recesses of my brain since I decided to quit my job last year and follow my spiritual path.  A question that, as time goes on and I don’t see major life and career changes happening quickly, peek its head out more and more trying to get my attention.

I take a deep breath.  I am nervous.  Bringing my question forth and exposing it to the light of day will make it very real.  I won’t be able to tuck it neatly back into the recesses of my brain and pretend it isn’t there.  I will have to deal with it.  I’m not sure I’m ready but I know I also can’t ignore it any longer.  So here it goes…

“What am I going to do with the rest of my life and how am I going to support myself?” I finally give an anxious voice to the question that has troubled me for so long.

Whoa! Well that was overwhelming to say the least.  Putting “the rest of my life” and “support myself” in the same question was probably not a great idea.  Either question on its own is a lot to handle and would make even the strongest of people feel a little weak in the knees.

But wait a minute.  Why is it a lot to handle?  Is it because of the words I used?  The way I phrased it?  Is it because of the way I am making the question so all encompassing or possibly because it is charged with my anxiety and my fear?  The knowledge that the last remnants of my old identity, the me I have known for so long, and feel comfortable with, has to change.

Wow that’s the golden nugget I was looking for, change.  That’s it really.  The underlying emotion we feel in almost every situation has to do with how we are perceiving change.

If we perceive change as something to be feared or something to be lost than it creates a sense of anxiety.  Rereading my words above “the last remnants of my old identity, the me I have known for so long…” are riddled with a sense of fear and loss.  My whole thought process surrounding the imminent change that is upon me is that I am going to be worse off than I am now.  I will be losing a part of myself, my identity.

Whether the change happens because a relationship ends, or our children grow up and leave home, or our careers are changing or ending, it doesn’t matter.  Whether the change is our choice usually doesn’t matter either.  We still feel a sense of loss and a sense of fear of the unknown that somehow it won’t be as good as we know now.

But what if we think of it, this change that is upon us, in a different way?  What if we embrace change as an inevitable and wondrous part of life?  That we are grateful for an opportunity to grow and evolve?  Immerse ourselves in a process of self-discovery?  Know in our hearts that as we grow we expand our body of life experiences, not diminish them or us in any way.

Maybe the key to handling life and the inevitable changes we will experience is really all in our perception.  Possibly even more simply in the delivery of the questions.

So I’ll try it a different way.

“What’s the plan, Stan?” I ask myself with a smile.

Please visit Patricia at her website

Monday, February 10, 2014

It Is Time To Answer Your Call

“Here I am Lord
Is it I Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night
I will go Lord
If you lead me
I will hold your people in my heart.”

Meaningful words from one of my favorite songs of all time.  I usually can’t sing it without my eyes filling with tears.  There is just something so primal and personal to me in this call to service.  I feel a physical ache in my body to respond.

Why?  Why do these words illicit such a response?  I believe it is because my Spirit knows there is more.  My Spirit feels its connection to its higher Self, to all of you, to all of the beings in our world and beyond.  My Spirit is trying to remember its truth, its reason for incarnating this time.

There is also complete surrender and trust.  I will go Lord, if you lead me.  There is a knowing in the deepest part of my soul that there is nothing to fear.  There is only love and support.  We are loved and supported fully as we walk on this earth.

Wow.  Breathe that in.  There is nothing to fear.  There is only love.

We all have a purpose.  A reason for being here, a reason we incarnated this time.  I believe all of you that are reading this know that too.  We are all seeking to remember our truth and our purpose.

I believe our purpose is to serve.  Serve the highest and greatest Good.  We are Lightworkers and Wayshowers.  We are here to Light the way.  Among us we have a myriad of different interests and talents.  All are valuable.  All are necessary.

It is important that each one of us walk our path and do our part.  We are all integral parts of the Divine whole.  We need all of us to remember our own part, our own call to service.

It will be easier now because the energy is getting lighter.  We are creating the Shift.  But we must keep going, keep working, showing the way.  Always remember you are a magnificent being of Light.  Allow your Light to be a beacon for others.

Let us make a commitment to ourselves, each other, and all beings in our world.  We will answer our call.

Is it I Lord?  Yes it is… and It Is Time.

Please visit Patricia at her website

Friday, January 31, 2014

In My Space

Today in this moment I am in my space.  I am in that beautiful, peaceful space that is beyond the noise.   

Beyond the constant noise my mind creates that distracts me and tells me what work I have to do.  There is always something to do, something more to be done.   

But not right now.  Now I simply feel contentment.  That pure, sweet feeling that right here, right now, 
I am enough.   

My body fills with the most perfect deep, cleansing breath.  As I exhale, a soft tingling sensation of wellness ripples through me.  

I feel whole.  My mind and my Spirit are one.   My heart is speaking “All is well.”   

Yes, when my heart speaks, all is most certainly well.

Visit Patricia's website at http://godisinthelittlethings.com

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Lady in the Woods

Even as a child I marched to the beat of a different drummer than the other kids in my small little community.  I did not realize that not everyone was open to the energies that surround us and so I can see why people might have thought that I was just a little strange. Any given Sunday I could be found sitting next to my Grandmother in the Methodist Church, not because I was forced to go but because I sincerely wanted to go. Unlike the other little girls who sat fidgeting with their dresses and whining to their mothers about wanting to go home, I was listening intently on what the man behind the pulpit was saying and absorbing it all into my young little heart. After service I could not wait to talk to my Grandmother about the message that day. Sometimes, she would tell me that I was too young to worry about such things and other times she would discuss it with me. I cherished the discussions.

As I entered into the 7th grade I was eligible to attend Church Camp the following summer and I wanted to go in the worst way. When I went home and told my mother that all I needed was $35 (I think that was the number) in order to register, I was met with a look of frustration and the response of, “Young lady, I don’t have that kind of money so you can just forget about going!”
Mom was single and raising three kids as best she could so she wasn’t being selfish. There really was not extra money to be spent on things like church camp. We had food to eat, a place to live and clothes for school and that was about it.

“What if I work hard and earn the money, myself? Could I go then?” I asked.

“Honey that is an awful lot of money for you to try to earn, but I guess if you were to earn it I would let you go. Sweetheart, don’t get your hopes built up too high because I don’t think you can make that kind of money.”

I was determined to prove her wrong and make that money. So, I got busy and made some flyers with my brother’s crayons and some extra paper that I had in my room. I proceeded to go to every door in town explaining to the people who answered the door that I was trying to earn the money to go to Church camp and that I wondered if they had any odd jobs that I could do. If they were not at home, I left my little flyer. 

People can be pretty amazing. It wasn’t long until a lot of people sort of rallied around me and found jobs for me to do. I heard years later that people thought it was pretty cool that a kid my age wanted something so bad and instead of asking for handouts was willing to work hard to earn what she needed. I wish that you could have seen my mother’s face the day I came to her with the registration and the money that I needed to go to camp.

Finally, the time came for us to go and I was thrilled that I got to go and spend a week on the lake and learn more about the Bible and God and have some fun. It was at this time that I began to realize that I felt closer to God when I was out in nature than at any other time. I loved the hikes we took in the woods, loved making a campfire and sitting around and hearing a lesson. The other kids thought I was strange because I wanted to contribute to the lessons and talk about them later. Golly, they weren’t much different than the kids in my home town; they thought I was weird, too. My heart started to get a little heavy during the week because I started to notice that many of the counselors spoke Godly words but their actions did not match what they were saying. I was really troubled by it all.

The last night, we were to walk into the woods, make a campfire, fix our dinner and then spend some time in a workshop. We busied ourselves with the tasks that we were assigned, ate the food we fixed and then had a rather unremarkable lesson from our counselor. At the point where he was ready to close the session he asked us all to bow our heads to say a final prayer.

As I bowed my head I didn’t listen to what he was praying because I thought his prayers lacked any real meaning, instead I started my own little prayer in my head. I began to tell God that I was really sorry because I had let myself be judgmental this past week and I knew that was not my job but His. Suddenly, I start hearing the most beautiful voices singing a song that I had never heard in my life. At first, I thought it might be the high school kids across the lake. I was just in awe of how almost angelic this song sounded. I turned to the girl next to me and whispered, “Isn’t that the most beautiful song you ever heard?” She shushed me and said that we were supposed to be praying.

After our counselor ended his prayer and we were tending to the campfire to put it out, I spoke to the girl who had been sitting next to me about the song that I had heard. She looked at me like I was some sort of idiot and said, “The kids are right! You are crazy, there was no song!” I proceeded to ask others and no one had heard that song, not one person would admit to have heard that beautiful song.

It was time for us to walk back to our cabins and get ready to go home the next morning. As we were walking in the dark, I heard the song again.   After the cruel remarks from before, I did not ask anyone if they heard it and somehow I knew that they didn’t anyway. I turned my head towards the lake where it seemed that the singing was coming from and there stood a lady with the sweetest smile on her face reaching her hands out towards me.  There was a sudden strong smell of roses but I knew that I had not seen any in these woods so I thought that was strange.

There was something about this lady in the woods. She didn’t look like what I thought an angel would look like. There were no wings but I knew that it there was something holy about this woman and I also knew that there was a reason that the other kids and the adult counselors were not seeing her or hearing the singing. I was receiving some kind of blessing but I just did not know what it was or why. My young heart felt much lighter for the rest of the walk back to the cabin.

Upon arriving back home, we were all asked to get up and tell about our experience during church service. The minister’s wife took us all aside while we were waiting to go up in front of the congregation and asked what we planned to talk about. When I started to enthusiastically tell her about the lady in the woods and the song that I heard, she shushed me right up and told me that I was not to tell that story! She said that the adults were all more than a little tired of my attention getting antics and it was going to stop right now. My heart was broken but worse than that I decided right then at the ripe age of 12 or 13 that I no longer had any desire to go to church anymore.

Many years later, a neighbor asked me if I would go to her son’s baptism the following Sunday. Because I thought so much of her and her children, I said that I would be happy to. Besides she had talked so much about the new Catholic Church that she had helped get built that I wanted to see it. We arrived early and she took me around showing me different things and introducing me to people. We walked into a lovely vestibule and there standing in a corner was the lady in the woods! Well, it was a statue of her but it was exactly like the vision that I had seen all those years ago with the same expression and the same reaching out with her arms toward me. I must have gasped out loud because my neighbor turned and asked me what was wrong.

Remembering the chastisement from so many years ago, I just told her that is was nothing just that I was struck by the sweetness of her expression. My neighbor proceeded to tell me that she particularly liked that statue of the Holy Mother Mary, too. She would often stand before her and recite the Rosary. Not having been brought up in the Catholic Church, I wasn’t completely sure what she was talking about but I did know who Mary was and had to wonder why she would have visited me in the woods that night.

We went into to the sanctuary just before the Mass began. As the service continued, the congregation and choir began singing a song and I almost fell to my knees. Tears fell down my cheeks as I recognized that it was the song that I had heard two times that night in the woods. I was to come to know that the song was “The Great Amen”.

I’m not sure why the Holy Mother would visit a young protestant girl in a woods or why a choir of angels sang their song for me. I received a blessing that lifted my heart as a child and once I understood as an adult who my visitor was my life was changed in a very significant way. I was no longer ashamed to tell people about blessings or spiritual experiences and I began the journey to find out what my spiritual purpose during this lifetime was supposed to be.

Guest post from Beverly Two Feathers
Please visit Bev and her blog about Native American Totems 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Angel on Board

Our angels are our guides and our protectors. They surround us with their loving presence and are always here for us and are ready to help.  Sometimes their help is very straightforward as with a quick response to a prayer.  Sometimes it is very subtle and you may not even be aware that they were there.  You may have thought your good fortune was coincidental or simply good luck.  Other times they are a little more inventive with their help. I believe they enjoy this way the most and this is just how they recently helped me!

It was a couple of days before this past Christmas and I happened to  notice that the front left tire of my car was very low.  I looked at the other tires and they seemed okay.  I made a mental note to have air put in the tire because we were going to be driving to the airport the day after Christmas.  The airport was an hour and a half away and I knew the car wouldn't make it with the low tire pressure.  I drive a very small, very economical car that I bought for my long commutes to work.  It gets great gas mileage and handles very well when the road conditions are good.

A day went by and I kept forgetting to bring the car in to have the tire filled.  A friend stopped by and I asked him to look at the tire.  He checked the pressure on all the tires and said the other three were fine but the front left only had 25 lbs of pressure and it needed 40 lbs to be properly inflated.  He couldn't help me fill it but recommended I not drive it anywhere except to have it filled.

Another day went by and I forgot about the tire again.  I couldn't believe it as I am usually not this absentminded. The next day I woke up on Christmas morning panicking because I had not yet had it fixed.  We were leaving for the airport at 4:00 am the next morning and this was our last chance.  We brought the car to the only gas station that was open in town.  They told us they would be happy to help but their hose for the air pump was either lost or stolen the day before. 

Now we go on vacation every winter and I always drive my car to the airport.  I am comfortable driving a small car that I am used to on the busy New York City highways.  It also gets great gas mileage and I am very conscious of the high price of gas.  However, this year I had been feeling that there was some reason that I shouldn't drive my car to the airport and this confirmed it for me.  I was disappointed but am learning to trust and allow the Divine to guide me so we switched to plan B.  I would have to drive our other car to the airport.  Our other car is a midsized SUV.  It is much  larger and handles great with any road conditions, but is a huge gas guzzler.  I am also not used to driving it.  We left for the airport a little earlier than usual and I slowly and carefully drove the larger car.

All went fine and we arrived at the airport safely.  We went on to enjoy our island vacation and left our friends in the Northeast to enjoy the winter cold.  Halfway through the week we started hearing they were forecasting snow for the day we arrived back home.  Sure enough Winter Storm Hercules was about to make an appearance!  Our flight got into New York just before they started cancelling flights.  The snow/sleet mix was just starting.  The girls and I retrieved our luggage, got through customs, and out to the car as fast as possible hoping to stay at least one step ahead of the storm.

The roads were very slippery.  Thankfully they were also almost deserted.  I drove 30 mph the entire way home, thanking God we were in the larger and safer car. There was no way I could have driven the smaller one.  It would have slid right off the road.

We made it home safely.  The weather for the next few days was terrible and then it was terribly cold.  Today I remembered about the tire.  I looked at it and the tire looked fine. It looked the same as the other three tires.  Did the other three tires also lose air?  I guess it was possible with the car sitting out in the New England elements for close to two weeks.  We took it to our mechanic.  He checked all the tires and said they were all a little low but by a couple of pounds at the most.  The front left tire was nowhere near 25 lbs!

I just smiled and thanked him.  I know my angels were looking out for me.  To be safe in the winter storm that was coming we needed to drive the larger and safer car home from the airport.  My angels not only made sure of that by deflating my front left tire, the one tire I would notice, but they also let me know without a doubt that it was them looking out for me, by reinflating my front left tire before we got home!

It is true and it is wonderful!  Our angels are our guides and our protectors.  They love us and take care of us.  Allow your angels to fully be a part of your life by inviting their help and their counsel.  You will be delighted in the inventive ways that they find to show up!

Visit the author's website at http://godisinthelittlethings.com