Having a Spirit pizza party

I am blogging about my 40-day abundance journey using the Prosperity Principles in “The Abundance Book” by John Randolph Price.

Day 20

I keep my mind and thoughts off “this world” and I place my entire focus on God within as the only Cause of my prosperity. I acknowledge the Inner Presence as the only activity in my financial affairs, as the substance of all things visible. I place my faith in the Principle of Abundance in action within me. 

I have been in and out of this journey over the past few days, but came back this morning and focused on Principle 10, even though I technically should be back at Principle 1. There was something important for me to get from this, so I settled in and really concentrated on the notion that Spirit within creates opportunities for prosperity. Like on day 10, I don’t accept that Spirit causes prosperity outright, but instead is constantly finding opportunities for prosperity to arrive in my life, provided I let them in. 

After meditation I trolled my Instagram feed and saw this post from Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of “Big Magic” and “Eat, Pray, Love,” and it could not be apter:Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 7.57.06 AM

I am all for eating pizza and drinking wine and taking naps and dog selfies, and I know this was tongue in cheek, but I want to work for my money. I want to take opportunities that make me uncomfortable, to push through my fears and to create something that I can be proud of. And the money will follow. I think Spirit throws balls of opportunity into the air and my role is to be at ease enough to catch them. These opportunities may take the form of a conversation with a stranger on the 2 train over a bracelet made in Niger. They may take the form of a friend from way back, offering bags of vintage clothes right before I’m about to have a big trunk sale. They may be distant connections helping me find people to interview for a research job. All of these things are uplifting but all of them required some effort on my part. If I hadn’t spoken to the man on the train, if I didn’t make time for a 50-minute subway ride out to Brooklyn, if I didn’t ask for help from people I don’t know very well, none of these things would be real. And that is what makes me feel prosperous. I can feel opportunities building on each other, getting bigger and that is awesome. I don’t want to sit back and eat pizza unless the pizza comes afterward, as a reward for doing the work that Spirit put in front of me to do.

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Getting to work (after I make toast)

I am blogging about my 40-day abundance journey using the Prosperity Principles in “The Abundance Book” by John Randolph Price.

Day 16

My inner supply instantly and constantly takes on form and experience based on my needs and desires, and as the Principle of Supply in action, it is impossible for me to have any needs or unfulfilled desires. 

When I meditated on this Principle 10 days ago, I focused on an ingrained behavior pattern of going shopping after work, not because I need anything, but because I wanted to avoid going home. Home was often a lonely place, filled with landmines and it was easier to pass time among agnostic things to buy than face the work that needed doing behind my front door. I didn’t publish what I wrote because my post took on a life of its own and became more about the circumstances of my first marriage than about the abundance journey.

Revisiting the principles several times allows for different interpretations, which I am grateful for. I am struggling with the journey right now, feeling like I am going in and out of awareness and ease. I’m eating too much and allowing myself to be distracted from the work that needs doing. And that is it, really. I am allowing myself to be distracted from the work that needs doing — I might as well be shopping at TJ Maxx right now.

I just brought in my first big user research job and I am proud of myself. It is a big deal for me to step out into a solo career, doing something new and be able to bring in work that I am excited to do. But now I am scared. I have a lot that I promised and have to deliver on and instead of rolling up my sleeves and getting to it, I am eating bread and allowing myself to drift. So afraid of a big job, I disappear into myself. I have done this all my life. So in a way, the Principle is delivering — it is taking on a form (distractions) based on my desire to be distracted. Why did I think that Spirit would bring what I really need, not necessarily what I am saying I need? That Spirit would see through my bargaining and deliver what She knows I really want deep down? The deal is I do my part and Spirit will do her part. I work and God works. It isn’t passive and Spirit isn’t Yoda, giving me a stern talking to when I want to give up.

The minute I get to work, Spirit will be there with me, feeding me source energy. But I have to get to work.

 

Three days and a skip

I am blogging about my 40-day abundance journey using the Prosperity Principles in “The Abundance Book” by John Randolph Price.

Day 11

God is lavish, unfailing abundance, the rich omnipresent substance of the universe. This all-providing source of infinite prosperity is individualized as me – the reality of me. 

Have you ever done an image search on “cosmos”? I did after meditating on today’s Principle and the results made me smile. I have a new respect for the guys who painted stars and swirling bits of constellations and perfect planets on the sides of their vans.

The substance of the universe are these swirling bits, and one the rare nights I have seen the Milkey Way, I’ve seen it. This substance is what makes up blades of grass and water droplets and crow’s feathers and me. We truly are all one, tied together by the cosmic substance that makes up the universe and everything in it.

Day 12

I lift up my mind and heart to be aware, to understand, and to know that the divine presence I am is the source and substance of all my good. 

I focused on the physicality of lifting my mind and heart yesterday. It is true that this work makes me feel expansive, with my chest actively opening up when I breathe in God. The act of lifting up, my eyes, my thoughts, my chest, makes things seem much clearer. I can see how awareness and understanding come out of this clarity.

I practiced this while riding the subway today and I could swear I saw farther down the car than is possible. Everything was perfectly clear and I saw people shine from the top of their heads. It was a far cry from the days when I shuddered to enter a train and felt hemmed in by bodies and souls each time I rode one.

Day 13

 I am conscious of the inner presence as my lavish abundance. I am conscious of the constant activity of this mind of infinite prosperity. Therefore, my consciousness is filled with the light of truth. 

Day 14

Through my consciousness of my God-self, the Christ within, as my source, I draw into my mind and feeling nature the very substance of Spirit. This substance is my supply, thus my consciousness of the presence of God within me is my supply.

After reading this a few times, I decided I could shorten it to “My consciousness of God within is my supply,” which makes for an easier statement to meditate on.

Yesterday I didn’t have a good afternoon or evening. I felt overwhelmed by the amount of things I had to do but had procrastinated throughout the day rather than being efficient and just getting on with it. I also ate sugar in the afternoon (Trader Joe’s fig bars) and the subsequent crash left me feeling empty and blasé. It felt like I put a heavy, wet blanket on God’s constant activity and the stillness left me feeling dislocated and lost. I was floating in gray aspic. I didn’t like it at all.

I haven’t been giving these meditations the attention they need over the last few days and I think that was the biggest contributor to my darkness. Like with the marathon training, I have to do my part so God can do his/hers. I have to do this work with clear eyes and a full heart, otherwise, it will be a blip in my life. I do not want that.

Perpetual cheese, perpetual money

I am blogging about my 40-day abundance journey using the Prosperity Principles in “The Abundance Book” by John Randolph Price.

Day 10

I keep my mind and thoughts off “this world” and I place my entire focus on God within as the only Cause of my prosperity. I acknowledge the Inner Presence as the only activity in my financial affairs, as the substance of all things visible. I place my faith in the Principle of Abundance in action within me. 

I would like to change “Cause” to “Source in this Principle. I don’t read “cause” as an impetus, a beginning or a source, but instead as a result or an outcome. For example, the Grand Canyon was formed (caused) by the Colorado River (source). God within is the source of my prosperity. That seemed important for me to clarify. Not sure why…

When thinking specifically about finances, I don’t want to place too much emphasis on the actual money part. I trust that the source of money is within, and it is my responsibility to be open to opportunities to give and receive it. I want to be active in my own prosperity, not feel like God is the only cause, the only reason, I am prosperous.

Revisiting the analogy from Day 2 and 3, God is the cheese station that automatically provides all I could ever want, whenever I want it. God doesn’t cause the cheese to appear (he isn’t the caterer), God is the cheese, always. The cheese is perpetual. The money is perpetual. It is up to me to be open to the cheese, to recognize that the cheese is there, to take the cheese and share the cheese and trust that the cheese will be there tomorrow and the next day, whenever I want it. The money is perpetual. The money is there to take and share, whenever I want it. God within is the source of that money.

These last 10 days have been challenging. The Principles are challenging in their audacity and I have been surprised at the feelings they have brought up. I still have some blockages, as today’s post shows in clear light. Tomorrow I start over with Principle #1 and go through the process again. It will be interesting to see if I feel differently.

I will say that the work has already had an effect on me. A few days ago, I was told that I couldn’t hold an event at the venue I had my heart set on and made the conscious choice to open my heart to other venues. I simply asked for the right place to present itself to me, and yesterday, it did. Interestingly, it came as a result of another choice I made, this one to shake off disappointment and stay open instead of shutting down. I wound up having a wonderful birthday because I dropped my expectations of what I wanted it to be and just let it be what it was. Turns out, I had more fun, more surprising and uplifting conversations, more connection with people and more love than I had had in years. It felt abundant and I am so grateful.

Relaxing into knowledge

I am blogging about my 40-day abundance journey using the Prosperity Principles in “The Abundance Book” by John Randolph Price.

Day 9

When I am aware of the God-Self within me as my total fulfillment, I am totally fulfilled. I am now aware of this Truth. I have found the secret of life, and I relax in the knowledge that the Activity of Divine Abundance is eternally operating in my life. I simply have to be aware of the flow, the radiation, of that Creative Energy, which is continuously, easily and effortlessly pouring forth from my Divine Consciousness. I am now aware. I am now in the flow. 

It’s my birthday today and this Principle is my present. I read it, took it in and then went outside, which until yesterday was still snow covered from the blizzard two weeks ago. I breathed in the morning air and watched three white-tailed deer run up the hill behind my house while the sun just starting to peek out behind it. Now I sit, listening to David Bowie and drinking tea while my dog snores at my feet. If this isn’t abundance. If this isn’t beautiful, heart-filling abundance, I don’t know what is.

It is the awareness that creates fulfillment and I am totally fulfilled. I love the notion of relaxing into knowledge, the opposite of trying to control the unknown or furrow out answers from imagined scenarios. The relaxation, the ease, the effortlessness is what God brings. It is what God is. It is my favorite self, living my favorite life.

Yes. The money will come.
Yes. The work will come.
Yes. The giving will come.
Yes. The women will come.
Yes. The peace will come.

God is grit

I am blogging about my 40-day abundance journey using the Prosperity Principles in “The Abundance Book” by John Randolph Price.

Day 8

My consciousness of the Spirit within me as my unlimited Source is the Divine Power to restore the years the locusts have eaten, to make all things new, to lift me up to the High Road of abundant prosperity. This awareness, understanding and knowledge of Spirit appears as every visible form and experience that I could possibly desire. 

“Restore the years the locusts have eaten” may be the most beautiful phrase I have ever read. It feels like that. When I lose hours to television, when I am actively not thinking/feeling/growing but instead choosing to numb myself, those are hours the locusts have eaten. When I give in to feelings of pity or envy and become a small, pointy version of myself, the locusts are eating minutes and hours of my life that are not coming back. What a waste!

While meditating on the Principles, I’ve noticed that I physically curl inward when my thoughts drift. The only way I know that is because when I refocus and breathe into the God within, my shoulders instantly drop back and my chin goes up and I feel more expansive. The shift is instantaneous, making the contrast between how I was holding myself (stiff, hunched shoulders, chin tucked, shallow breathes) that much more stark. The locusts are eating!

About the High Road of abundant prosperity:
There is definitely an element of feeling lifted up by this awareness – I certainly feel lighter when I am focused on Spirit and there is something ascendant about it, but I bristled a bit at the term “high road” as it has connotations of moral judgment and exclusion. But what is wrong with moral judgment? Certainly there is a definite high road/better way of being? A way that is understanding and inclusive and loving and hopeful and giving? A way where treating your neighbor as you would yourself is a positive thing. Why was my initial reaction to think that a message from Spirit should automatically apply to everyone? Why did I feel more comfortable with a road that is dirty and humble over a high road of abundance? That’s when I realized that I was making a distinction between accessibility and applicability. The high road of abundance should absolutely be accessible to all, and it is. But reaching that road isn’t easy. It isn’t instant. It takes work, which I am doing now and will probably continue doing forever. My steps toward knowledge, acceptance and understanding are allowing me to apply the Principles to my life. My steps, my work, is what is giving me access to the higher road.

This epiphany clears a quagmire I have been muddling through for the past few days and why I didn’t blog about days 6 and 7. I was struggling with the idea of being given everything I could ever desire. The way the Principles are worded, I read that God grants any wish I could ever have, but that just didn’t seem true. I used the NYC Marathon as an example. I won a place in the lottery last year and trained all summer to be able to run the race in November. I thought a lot about the long, hard, focused training period. I did that, God didn’t. I built my stamina, God didn’t. I ran five days a week, God didn’t.  If  I said, “Jesus take the wheel” and then gone to sleep for five months, I couldn’t have finished the race. It was really bugging me that the Principles (I thought) were pushing that idea of passively giving it up to God. Even today’s statement, “This awareness, understanding and knowledge of Spirit appears as every visible form and experience that I could possibly desire.” seemed quite passive. Quite spoiled.

But if God wasn’t intimately involved in my race, why did I look up, point up and say, “Thank you” when I crossed the finish line? Why was that one of the most emotional moments of my life? It was because God was inside me, helping me discover my willpower and toughness during training. He made sure my eyes were open to the beauty around me on my runs. He was the stranger in a truck, driving down a remote country road minutes after I had a spectacular fall, asking, “Are you alright?” And when I decided I’d finish my training run with my new cuts and bruises instead of getting a ride back to my car, God was that grit. God was the finish line and the work it took to get there.

The Principles aren’t saying every wish will be granted without work. We have to practice abundance every day to make it a reality in our lives and it is Spirit driving us to do that work.

Aloha and mahalo

I am blogging about my 40-day abundance journey using the Prosperity Principles in “The Abundance Book” by John Randolph Price.

Day 5

Money is not my supply. No person, place or condition is my supply. My awareness, understanding, and knowledge of the all-providing activity of the Divine Mind within me is my supply. My consciousness of this Truth is unlimited, therefore, my supply is unlimited. 

I spent a week on Kauai recently and loved it. By the end, I was picturing a life where I worked making kombucha smoothies at the Kukuiula Market, swam in the ocean, and read Tarot every day. Every time I take a vacation I do this – imagine living my life in a new place, doing things that I love without thought of making money. In my imagination, I never worry about paying rent because it, somehow, would all work out. Aloha and mahalo.

Today’s meditation brought this so much to mind. Since I am a freelancer, it is easy to get stressed out when I don’t know when my next job will come. I have three stages of panic that I typically go through:

Stage 1: I finish a job and feel free. “Now that I am not working all the time, I’ll go to museums and figure out how to finally sell my vintage clothing collection and exercise at 4pm, my favorite time to go to the gym!” I figure that I will have time to meditate and read my cards and relax into who I really am as I look for the next project.

 Stage 2: After a week of relaxing, I start to panic. What if I never work again? What if I’m no good? What if my references say awful things about me? The voices in my head start working overtime and I find myself trolling LinkedIn for jobs I do not want but think I could get.

Stage 3: The discomfort I feel when scrambling after scraps of my old way of being – a way of being that I consciously left behind – is overwhelming. I get instantly depressed and short of breath when I think about going backward; I can feel myself starting to shut down. Fortunately, since I started this work a year or so ago, I have been able to hit pause on that depression and listen for the prompts Spirit always sends. There is always another way, but sometimes it comes quietly.

This is what is so striking about my vacation self. The person I see, when I allow myself to dream, is someone who is untroubled by money because she has enough to get by. She doesn’t crave competition or others affirming her importance and she doesn’t crave the hustle. She is driven by passion but in a calm, confident way. She is enough and the world is enough. Like water seeking its own level, there is a balance there. This is truly what abundance looks like to me.

How amazing that I have been given previews of what life could feel like all the time, not just on vacation. If I take in how the Divine Mind is constantly providing a supply of everything that creates that balance, I realize I don’t need to be in the tropics to be in paradise. It is up to me to embrace that balance no matter where I am. If I approach my life confident that abundance is ever-present, it will become so, just like when I listen to prompts that Spirit sends instead of panicking and then opportunities arise. It isn’t that Spirit/God is sending opportunities when I am looking, it’s just that I am seeing opportunities that are always there.

My supply is unlimited. Aloha and mahalo.

Appreciation

Spider WebThere are many, many mornings where I wake up and acutely feel the absence of a child. But this morning, as I walked into the foggy forest behind the house and spent 45 minutes photographing dew-covered spider webs, was not one of them. I was out as long as I wanted, heard each leaf hit the ground as I realized where Fall got its name and walked without a plan or path. It was glorious and filled my soul.

This is who I am. This is my best self. My self showing up for beauty and nature and the glory of all of my senses. Thanks be to God. Thanks be to time. Thanks be to the mix that makes me, me.

Look up and smile

My friend Alexa was in town from South Africa a few weeks ago and tried looking up and smiling while here. It’s a brave thing to do, looking up and smiling, especially when in New York, where eye contact alone can be viewed as (1) an invitation or (2) a threat, but she wanted to see if it made a difference, so she did it.

It isn’t lost on me that she tried this while on vacation, not in her hometown. Tourists look up anyway, showing excited, expectant faces to the locals hurrying past them. They are taking pictures, figuring out street signs and searching the eyes of the people walking by for some bit of recognition. I am no different. When I used to go to Paris, I watched everyone, hoping to see a flash of outfit approval from a real, live French person. On a recent trip to Mexico, I was much brighter, much more curious and friendly than normal (but not too curious and friendly because all-inclusive resorts still have a whiff of “I never thought this would happen to me…” about them). With nothing to lose, it is simpler to put yourself out there, but no less scary. No less brave.

Alexa had a great story to tell from day 1 of her experiment. She was walking down a street in SoHo, consciously looking up with a smile on her face. Halfway down the block, she heard her name called. “Alexa?” She turned around and saw a man she’d known in New York more than 30 years ago. After a squeal-filled reunion, they went to a cafe to catch up, where she asked him how she recognized her from across the street, so many years later. He told her that he didn’t recognize her at first, but instead noticed a confident woman who was radiating lightness. It was only after he saw her that he realized he knew her.

Confidence and lightness were beacons, preceding her down the street and drawing people to her. How amazing is that and what a great lesson for all of us! When you look down, or furrow your face into your own head, the universe gets nothing and no one sees you, simple as that. And sometimes that is what’s needed to survive . I’ll admit to weeks where I focus downward and inward, even though I know I shouldn’t. I know it’s bad for my soul, bad for my posture, bad for my life, but you can’t shine outward always.

But when you can muster the bravery, give it a try. Even if it’s just when you walk down the frozen food aisle at Trader Joe’s, look up and smile at the air around you. It does no harm and may be the first step in a long-overdue reunion.

Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day and I am rising above my sadness. Two years ago, I was sure that I would be well into being a mom by now. Last year, I thought it was still a possibility. This year, I am at peace with not being a mother, but I dreaded the day. There are no greeting cards or brunches for the “almost” mothers.

There are moments where I feel the absence of a child acutely. The other morning, while walking Rabito, a little boy was in the park with his mom. “Mommy…mommy…mommy,” he said. His mother said, “Yes, love?”, and I felt the loss deep in my belly. You could hear that she was his universe  – that she was the sun and moon to him – in the way he called to her. To know that I am not going to be on the other end of that love is sometimes painful. Not always, not usually, but sometimes.

It has been less than a year since Tom and I decided not to pursue adoption, and it has been a journey of acceptance that continues to unfold. I am so grateful that we went through the process and tried to become parents because, though it didn’t end up the way we thought, we bared our hearts to the Universe. To want something so much, to love a phantom, to dive into the unknown — these were gifts from Spirit. And to not break down or break up when the phantom didn’t become a reality and the dive was into dark, thick helplessness made us better partners and nicer human beings in the long(er) run.

There were a few months where I couldn’t look at parents walking down the street with their children, and in my baby-filled neighborhood, that was a problem. It seemed so unfair – so arbitrary – when I passed a heavily pregnant woman pushing a stroller holding a sleepy toddler, strolling next to her husband who was holding the hand of an adorable four year old going to dance class. Why her? Meanwhile, Tom and I had our little girl waiting for us in an orphanage in Moscow, but Putin had made it illegal for Americans to adopt Russian children, so we couldn’t go get her. And later attempts to adopt domestically felt forced and fake and not right. We had our daughter and she was taken from us before we got to love her. I was filled with resentment and envy and didn’t think to ask Spirit for help.

The good news is that Spirit doesn’t particularly care. Help is there. I didn’t get over my resentment, but I accepted it. It was unfair. It was arbitrary. It was also the path I was walking, and after a while, wanted to stop fighting. I had every reason to be resentful, but no business holding onto it. What good does envy do, out in the world? What good does bitterness do for a marriage? A friendship? Unbeknownst to me, Spirit planted the seeds of change inside my furrowed head. Lately, instead of wishing I was the mom, I try to be more supportive of the moms around me. I let myself laugh when I overhear a funny thing a kid says on the subway. I ask, “Do you have kids?” at cocktail parties — something I never did before because I didn’t want to have to answer the inevitable, “Do you?”

And that brings me to today. Mother’s Day. In keeping with the theme of this blog, I want to celebrate the women who rise as moms every day, those who continue the struggle to try and become moms and those who have found peace in childlessness. We can all shine by showing compassion for the others, whose journeys are different than our own and live the lives we may not have seen coming but have been gifted.