Welcome to my blog...

I'm using this blog to share articles I've written for a column for an online newspaper.

The title of my column is Spirit Corner.


I welcome comments and feedback on anything I've written.

And I also invite you to please feel free to share your thoughts and stories of inspiration.

The articles below appear in their unedited form as opposed to being slightly edited by the time it is posted in the newspaper.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Forgiveness: The Greatest Gift

With the holiday season upon us, I would like to give my readers a gift which I absolutely guarantee will change your life. A gift so amazing that it will completely transform you in ways you never dreamed of. A gift that is so wonderful and awe-inspiring that you will want to share it with everyone on your list.

The priceless gift to which I refer is forgiveness.

The power of forgiveness cannot be underestimated. For this gift, which you can give to yourself and give to others, can help you break through self-imposed barriers.

When we hold on to negative emotions, particularly anger and resentment, we are actually putting up walls which block our path and prevent us from moving forward.

Think for a minute about the resident negative guy or gal in your office. Every office, it seems, has at least one person to fit this bill. Usually this person is negative practically all the time and finds fault with everyone or everything. Typically, this person get upset when someone else in the office gets a promotion as this person believes he or she has more experience and is better suited for the promotion.

If one is negative or angry all the time, usually that person is resentful over something in his or her personal life which they cannot seem to let go of. Whatever resentment they are carrying is not allowing them to break free of their self-created cycle of misery, and their resentment is keeping them stagnant.

What about forgiving someone who has wronged you and hurt you? By forgiving that person, are you simply allowing their hurtful deed?

When you forgive a person or a situation, you are not excusing that person’s behavior. For example, if someone you love has betrayed your trust, forgiving them is not like giving them a Get Out Of Jail Free card. By beginning the process of forgiveness, you are allowing God to step in and help you with the healing. Forgiving simply means giving the situation to God.

Forgiving oneself is also as important as being able to forgive others.

Take a moment and reflect upon yourself. Is there something in your life which you are still holding onto with negative emotions attached to it? When you find it in your heart to forgive yourself or forgive someone else, you are allowing doors to open so that the healing may begin.

Forgiveness is the mightiest force in the universe as it has the power to transform anger into peace. And when you are in that place of peace and forgiveness, that’s when miracles can happen.

Monday, November 22, 2010

What Are You Thankful For?

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year as I enjoy getting together with family for our annual Eat Until You Become Comatose Food Extravaganza.

But upon closer inspection, Thanksgiving is more than gorging on food and then watching football. It is a time of reflection, togetherness, and thankfulness.

Every day we are bombarded in the news about something negative: politics, the uncertain economy, violence, and natural or man-made disasters just to name a few. It seems as if we’ve created a veil of fear which prevents us from really seeing all the good and positive things we have in our lives.

What’s exciting about Thanksgiving is how this holiday can help remove this illusory veil so that we’re able to see and appreciate just how much we really have to be thankful for.

What’s also great about Thanksgiving is how it brings people together. This one day out of the year is like a calling to come home, to connect with our roots, and to connect with each other. People are traveling all over the country to be with family and friends to share in an abundance of food, companionship, love, laughter, and positive energy.

Thanksgiving is also about taking the time to do an inventory of your own life. What do you have to be thankful for? Sure, it’s easy to be thankful for the fact that you have money in your wallet or purse, or to be thankful that you have a car, a giant 50 inch TV, or some really pretty jewelry.

These material things are definitely good to have and, it’s okay to want nice things. But when we really take a closer look at our situation, we see we already have an abundance of gifts of which to be thankful. If you are able to be sitting in front of a computer and see this article and to have the ability to comprehend it, then that’s a lot right there to be thankful for.

And along those lines, how amazing is it to have one’s health? And what about being able to easily access clean drinking water and food? Wow, that is pretty awesome when you take a moment to really think about it.

Another thing to be thankful for is how this life creates the opportunity to be a part of making a difference in the world, and of being able to help others.

What’s wonderful about Thanksgiving is how it’s like a time out from our busy and hectic lives. This holiday affords us the opportunity to take inventory of all the abundance we actually have, and see just how truly blessed we are in so many ways. Every day is a day of Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What Does It Mean To Trust?

Many of us have an easier time trusting others than we do ourselves. We trust other people’s opinions when it comes to how we look, what to do with our money, where to go on a vacation, and how to take care of our health.

It seems, however, that we have the most difficult time when it comes to trusting the one person with whom we have the closest relationship…our own self.

How often do we get in our own way of obtaining the things we want by focusing on the negative? For example, thinking we’re not good looking enough or charming enough to gain the affection of someone whom we find attractive. Or not putting in for a different job or switching careers because we think we are not qualified, or we don’t have what it takes.

It’s as if we subconsciously sabotage ourselves to fulfill what we’ve been conditioned to believe, and that belief is usually “I don’t deserve this”, “I’m not worthy of this”, or “I can’t do this.” We think of reasons to not do the things which would serve us best. And we think of ways to avoid taking action to improve ourselves. We simply don’t want to get out of our comfort zone.

Why do we keep repeating the same negative patterns over and over again?

It’s because we don’t trust in ourselves and our abilities. We don’t trust in the fact that we have the power to change our situation by believing in ourselves. Trusting oneself is about knowing who you are, what you truly are capable of, and standing in your power. Trust is believing and knowing you can accomplish anything you put your mind to.

Trust is knowing that when you take the steps to follow your dreams and listen to your gut feelings, doors will open up to provide you with the opportunities and resources you need to move forward.

Trust is simply about getting out of your own way and allowing yourself to be the process of creation and transformation in your life.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Power of Prayer

When you think about prayer what comes to mind? A religious figure who leads his or her congregation through a sermon with a prayer to God? Or perhaps it’s the local football team huddled together before the big game praying to God for help to beat their opponent.

The thing about prayer is that it’s not always about praying to a God or a higher power. One does not even have to believe in a higher source to harness the power of prayer.

Prayer is about accepting that you have the power to transform your life. Know that when you pray, your prayer is absolutely being heard. Because when you pray, you are actually praying to yourself.

For example, if one is praying for peace and guidance in a stressful situation, you are actually verbalizing out loud what your subconscious already knows and wants you to do for your highest and best. By praying, you are giving yourself the strength and focus you need to either work through or to leave a situation which is no longer healthy or serving you.

As well, why does it seem we tend to pray when we are going through a rough time in our lives? Why not pray during the fun and prosperous times as well? If you are in the groove and surfing the wave of life as all things are falling into place, now is the perfect time to say a prayer of thankfulness. Say a prayer of gratitude for how things are flowing smoothly and that the flow will continue.

What’s fun about prayer is that it can be used in everyday situations in all aspects of one’s life from the moment you wake up to right before bed. Starting each morning with a prayer of gratitude and excitement will give you the energy you need to begin another day of helping make a difference in the world. And end each day with a prayer of thankfulness for all the blessings and lessons you’ve encountered during your day.

And it’s okay to pray for the small stuff as well. Let’s say you are going to the mall during the busy holiday time. Go ahead and pray that you’ll find a parking space close to your destination. And before you start your car each morning, pray you’ll have a safe and timely journey free of accidents, tickets, and distractions throughout your driving day. Prayer can be used for just about anything you can imagine.

I like to think of prayer as a sort of spiritual lubrication which helps ease the friction of life, empowers oneself, and makes things flow more smoothly. You’ll find prayer can give you the extra push you need to take charge of those areas in your life which need the most help right now.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Meditation: It's Easier Than You Think

With today’s hectic lifestyle and so many different responsibilities pulling us in all sorts of directions, how can one keep him or herself centered and clear minded? The answer is meditation. Meditation is an easy practice which anyone can do at home with just a little bit of discipline, and the benefits of meditating regularly can manifest both physically and mentally.

The first statement I usually hear when speaking with someone about meditating is, “I don’t have enough time to meditate 20, 30 or more minutes a day.” The solution to that is start a bit lower. Just like physical exercise helps the body, meditation is exercise to help the mind. And when you begin a new physical exercise program after not exercising at all, you want to start slowly to avoid wearing out quickly and becoming discouraged.

The same holds true for meditation. Simply start with 5 minutes a day. Find a quiet space in your dwelling where you won’t be distracted by family, pets, and other obligations. Hang a Do Not Disturb sign outside your door if that will help. Turn the lights off, sit in a chair, and then close your eyes. First begin by taking a few deep breaths to clear out any tension in your body. Next begin breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.

You may find thoughts pop up in your mind about the day, or things that you have to do. That’s okay. Many people think the objective of meditation is to have a mind completely blank and clear of all thoughts. That’s a misperception. The objective with meditation is to not become attached to those thoughts and then start having a conversation in your head like we all typically do. When thoughts do arise, bring your attention back to your breath. You can even think to yourself “in” with each in breath and “out” with each out breath to keep focused.

As physical exercise strengthens the body, you will find meditation has strengthened your mind. You may begin feeling calmer and have a greater sense of peace. You may also find that you are able to handle stressful situations more clearly with an increased focus to guide you through difficult times. One physical benefit of meditation is that it may help lower your blood pressure since you are more relaxed and less tense. As well, being less tense may relieve some muscle aches and pains.

All it takes is just 5 minutes a day to start meditating to begin enjoying its benefits. And once you start, you may soon find that you like it so much that you look forward to doing it daily. When you feel ready, begin increasing the length of meditation several more minutes every few days. And in no time at all, you’ll find that a half hour or more has passed, with you feeling a lot less stressed and more peaceful.