Archive for December, 2010

Deceit and Greed Are Not The Same As Lack

Everywhere you turn you’re hearing about insufficient funds.  At the federal, state and local levels the word is that we’re out of money.  Just this weekend “60 Minutes” did a segment titled “Day of Reckoning” spotlighting the current insolvency of many States with more to come.  No matter how rosy this Administration or any politician tries to paint it, there is little doubt in most people’s minds that something has gone terribly awry.

But it’s not the economy.

Money is a form of energy and, as such, flows unobstructed, or not, depending on its context.  Further, money is representative of an underlying condition.  That condition is the spiritual health of humanity.  Generalized prosperity is symptomatic of alignment with spiritual principles.  The absence or apparent lack of money is, likewise, indicative of misalignment with those same principles.

The Universe is eternal, infinite and therefore abundant.  There can be no lack.

However, there can be an interrupted flow of energy due to conditions that block or impede the flow of energy.  This is precisely where we find ourselves at this moment in time.

We have strayed from ethics, good moral character and our spiritual Selves for so long that we have impeded the Universal flow of abundance.  We have been greedy, wasteful and self-absorbed. We have been neither appreciative nor grateful.  We have demanded and received more… then acted as if more was never enough.  We have been insensitive and lacking in compassion.  And just to clarify any misunderstanding, the consequence for such spiritual blindness is not beheadings. Those who claim the moral high ground and choose violence to right a wrong only exacerbate the problem.

Now, the good news. Phew!

It’s not the end of the world, figuratively or literally.  It’s a course correction.  The money will flow again when we no longer tolerate in ourselves or others any form of deceit or greed. When we live the moral high ground, show compassion for one another, and value that which cannot be bought or sold.  Then, we will have regained our essence and materiality will once again flow.

Because we drifted far from the Light for so long we became adjusted to the darkness and it seemed the norm.  But in darkness nothing can grow and grow we must.

Because we’re all connected though one Consciousness, it matters what each of us values.  Give little thought to any apparent lack… for you are staring into the darkness.  Refocus your sights on love, integrity and hope.  They are located in the Light where there is permanent clarity and nothing in the way of the unobstructed flow of energy.

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‘Tis The Season

Jewish or Christian, it’s the season of miracles.  Since I had one this week I thought I‘d share it.  It begins with back pain.

I’m a swimmer.  I love to do laps.  I swim outside in the summer months and in the winter I join a health club with an indoor pool.  My love of the sport is new since, until about 15 years ago, I was uncomfortable in the water and couldn’t really swim.  Having surmounted my fears, I taught myself to swim and have been dedicated ever since.

However, within the last 6 months, I have been having severe upper back pain and so when the pool closed in September I decided it was too painful to swim.  I didn’t join the club.  Recently, I’ve seen several doctors who have ordered x-rays, ultrasounds, thermography and an MRI… all in an effort to diagnose the pain… which happens to be in the area of my rotator cuff and under the scapula as well.

Last week, a friend of mine who didn’t know of the pain, suggested I join the health club as I have for the past couple of years since it was her thought that I am “just plain happier when I am swimming… so why not?”  Thinking over her suggestion, I decided “why not” as well and joined.

Somewhere in my thought process was the hope that, at this point, exercising the muscles by swimming might help.

Enter the miracle.

Yesterday was my second night swimming.  Midway through my regimen of laps, a man asked me if he could share my lane. Swim protocol and courtesy says the answer to that question is always “Yes.”  After he did a lap or two, with beautiful form, he waited for me to end my lap and asked me if I’d mind if he gave me some constructive advice.  “Not at all, please do” I replied.

“When your left arm comes up out of the water and goes back in its crossing over your plane.  It’s crossing all the way to your right side.  You are going to hurt your rotator cuff and upper back.” (my emphasis not his)!

Can you imagine my shock?  I could hardly believe it.  I had just had an x-ray earlier that day.

Here he had “showed up” (a tri-athlete I might add) to tell me exactly the cause of my back pain.  No disease.  Nothing mysterious.  Doctors need apply.  I am swimming incorrectly and reinjuring myself every time I do.

But here’s the thing.

When you are “in the flow” (no pun intended) the Universe gives you what you need.  Exactly what you need.  Not always what you want, but definitely what you need.

So, I got a diagnosis, a solution, and a free swimming lesson from a tri-athlete because I was open to 1) my spiritual friend’s suggestion that I rejoin the health club and 2) I was trying to do the best I could for  myself.

It’s the stuff of miracles.

But that’s not a surprise because… ‘tis the season.


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Mark Madoff’s Suicide Note

As a survivor of attempted suicide, I have been a writer and inspirational speaker on depression and suicide for several years.  Since both subjects continue to have stigma attached to them they don’t get the public attention they need. However, whenever there is a suicide by a public or media worthy person, it presents an opportunity.

Such is the case today with the suicide of convicted financier Bernard Madoff’s eldest son, Mark.

There will be broad conjecture on the “why” of it.  Some will suspect an unrevealed personal embarrassment, or will find perverse satisfaction in Mr. Madoff’s tragic loss and suffering, or, will conclude it’s the “sins of the father” visited upon the son.

I leave those judgmental meanderings to others.

For me, it’s about the two things depression and suicide are always about. The abandonment of trust in one’s ability to handle life’s challenges and the temporary misplacement of hope.

Depression is rooted in the fear that somehow “I am not good enough, capable enough or lovable enough” to live a joyful and productive life.  Its weapon of choice is fear… dense, sluggish energy that manifests as immobility.  A depressed person lacks motivation, initiative, passion and staying power.  They become weighted down by inertia.

When one is depressed, it often follows that feelings of hopelessness accompany feelings of inadequacy resulting in an irrational, but seemingly logical, conclusion that things will never change.  The thought of living an unchanging, inert life becomes unbearable.  Unable to stand the pain, ending one’s life seems a viable option and a “constructive” step to take.

What I share when I speak about depression and suicide is that the only constant in life is change.  For we humans, change is frequently challenging and often uncomfortable.  It’s not so much about learning to overcome feelings of inadequacy and inertia as it is about learning to become comfortable with being uncomfortable.   Then everyday can be seen for what it is: an endless opportunity to create, anew, the life we imagine.

There are two steps I am certain move depression in a positive direction and mitigate the likelihood that it will lead, unaddressed, to attempted suicide.

Giving: Feelings of inadequacy or worthlessness simply dissipate, or disappear, the moment we step outside ourselves and provide assistance to another in need.  When you’re depressed volunteer, or just reach out within your immediate environment, and provide some form of help or caring for a family member, friend, neighbor or even animal. The warmth that flows through your system in realizing you are needed and appreciated thaws the freeze of inertia.

Doing something you love:  Every cell in your body stores memory as well as the emotion attached to it.   So, when you’re depressed and force yourself to do something you love to do… cycling… planting… painting… walking in Nature… whatever… even though you may start out depressed, the sheer act of having your cells call up the emotion stored in them, along with the memory of that thing you love, causes a crack in the door to the place where the darkness of depression sulks. Once that crack occurs, the frequency of Light energy bound to that pleasant memory begins to enter the darkness.  The Light energy, seeping in, will elevate and brighten your outlook.  Literally.

Mark Madoff left a suicide note.  It may not be a literal note, on a physical piece of paper, but it’s no less instructive or important.  The note said: “I was lost in doubt and hopelessness. I thought I was not good enough. I didn’t see a way out. I could not bear the pain.”  I know that’s what his note said because anyone who has ever been depressed, attempted or committed suicide would leave the same note.

Treating a  suicide as “newsworthy” is to make a distinction without a difference.   All suicides are newsworthy as they represent the loss of the infinite potential each of us is born with to create a better world.  I hope we can shine a bright light on this topic and, by so doing, illuminate the way for all of those who may be temporarily lost in darkness.

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Think For Yourself

This is why you cannot believe what you read.

Tonight the headline on is “U.S. Drops Demand for Israeli Settlement Freeze.” At the same time, the headline (the Israeli newspaper’s web edition) reads “Israel-U.S. Talks on Settlement Freeze reach dead-end.”

Now I don’t know about you, but I read the Fox headline as implying that the U.S. is okay with Israel proceeding in building their settlements on the West Bank.  That is clearly not what the Haaretz edition is announcing.  That headline reads as if the U.S. and Israel cannot agree, continue to hold disparate positions, and talks are going nowhere.

While I’m generally aligned with how Fox sees things, this is a perfect example of why 1) you have to read beyond the headlines; 2) you have to draw your conclusions based upon your own thorough investigation; 3) you have to check multiple sources and, 4) after you do all of that you may still find yourself either misinformed or totally hoodwinked by a particular agenda.

What in the world do you think you can reply upon say, for example, in the WikiLeaks-Assange stories?   They are, more likely than not, no matter what media outlet you are using, just that!…. stories.  Who knows the truth of that mess and will we ever know?

While we always thought we were living in the Information Age it turns out its the Misinformation Age.

What to do?  What to do?

Start with bringing integrity to what you deal with personally in your everyday life.  Much of what is going on in the world at this time is not something you can affect otherwise.  Yet, don’t underestimate how powerful you as an individual are.  Remember, when a butterfly flaps its wings in New York City wind patterns change in Singapore.   Its just a matter of time.

We are all connected through consciousness.  Thoughts travel and manifest in ways we as yet do not fully comprehend.  What you think and how you think about things changes how the world works.  Literally.  So, leave the global intrigue to those who aspire to false power and exercise true power by being the change you want to see in the world… if I may paraphrase Gandhi.

In the meantime, my father said it best.  Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see.  In this Internet Age of Misinformation, I would add “and very little of what you read until you have done your homework.”

P.S.  Don’t believe a word of this post until you…

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What If There’s a Bully in the Bully Pulpit?

One of my audiences is high school and college students.  As such, I have been acutely aware of how bullying has escalated in the past decade to the point where it increasingly ends in a suicide or an attempt.  For awhile I could not understand what caused the upsurge in this particular form of insensitivity and intimidation.

I’ve figured it out.

It’s our leaders.  In government, in our churches, in business… the adults of the world have shown, through the behavior of both the bully and the victim, intimidation works.

Think about it.

The cover-up of sexual abuse by clergy, the ramming through of legislation whether or not it’s in the nation’s best interest, harassment and terror experienced by whistle blowers who witness criminal behavior or a lack of fiduciary duty in the private financial sector… all of these have been going on for a very  long time.  Long enough for an entire generation to observe what we do rather than what we say.  So now, we have a generation imbued with the belief that bullying is power.

Our children have watched people in the bully pulpit… acting like bullies.  Is it any wonder the problem has become endemic?

The only power a bully has is humiliation.  The way out of this pattern of behavior actually rests with the so called “victim.”   You see, you cannot bully someone who 1) has no secrets and 2) holds values worth dying for.

Moses, Jesus and Gandhi knew it.  It’s why their legacies have endured long past those of their oppressors.  Many others have known it as well.  It’s the principal of high moral character attributed to John Galt, the protagonist in Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged. And regardless of the century or the society, it’s still the surefire way to defeat a bully.

Live your life with integrity and know what you value enough such that to live with less would be to not really live at all.

If we each step up and live ethical lives predicated upon truthfulness and personal responsibility, we will know our self worth and be certain in our self esteem.  Bullies, be they ancient Egyptians, first century Romans, the British in India, sexually abusive priests, dictatorial governmental leaders or corrupt corporate executives… all need our cooperation in order to maintain their power.

Cultivate the highest version of yourself  and know what you believe in and bullies will be out of a job. That’s good unemployment.

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Bringing Back The Magic

As we embark upon this holiday season, may I make a suggestion?

Make a wish.  Now, don’t write this off as some fairy-tale-mental-meandering of a pie-in-the sky blogger.  Stick with me.  I’m going to make sense of it.

There are thousands of self-help and self-improvement books, tapes and CD’s out there and they sell for a reason.  We live in a high-tech/ high stress world and can use all the help we can get to…well… just get by.  In fact, the power of positive thinking has become the golden egg, so to speak, of this genre.  Whether the “Laws of Attraction,” “The Secret,” or a myriad of others techniques, they all teach, encourage and support focusing your mind to bring to you that which you want.

Well, before we had all the science and fancy words it was called “making a wish.”  After all, when performed properly, wish making shares much in common with these more advanced forms of manifesting your intention.  In fact, focused thought to manifest your intention sounds a lot like making a wish so your dream come true, doesn’t it?

Here’s something else they have in common.  Both require you to do your part, to do the work necessary along the way.  Neither focused thought nor wish-making is predicated upon you having a random thought or making a one-time wish and then sitting back, opening your arms and passively awaiting your bounty to arrive via FedEx or otherwise.

What both are predicated upon is that there exists a moment when no matter how much preparation and work you do, outside influences beyond your control may intervene to detour or totally obstruct the object of your desire.  And so, the power of intention or the laws of attraction hold that if you keep your thoughts focused upon what it is you want, even when you are not physically engaged in achieving it, you can perhaps outwit or end-run those obstructionist energies and thereby call to your assistance some inexplicable aspect of Universal energy.

So, too, with wish-making.

Its benefits engage at that point where all human effort leaves off.  And whether you believe an angel, a fairy, a leprechaun or God intervenes on your behalf to fulfill that which you seemingly could not… in the end its all the same.

What you are doing by positive thinking or wish-making is acknowledging a force that, when combined with your own, is able to co-create a specifically desired outcome.

So, this holiday season, try making a wish.  Here’s how:

Sit down, calm down and be quiet.

Look at something living.

Close your eyes.

Put your left hand over your heart.

Put your right hand over your left hand.

Breathe abdominally.

Now, on the exhale, whisper exactly what you wish for.

Do so in precisely eight words or syllables.

Then trust that your wish has been received in thought and will, when the time is right, manifest in matter.

If that all seems to “fairy-dust-esque” for you then purchase a copy of Norman Vincent Peale’s “The Power of Positive Thinking” or Esther and Jerry Hicks’ “The Laws of Attraction.”

As for me, I’m simply wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a blissful coming year.

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