I Am My Dad Today

Has anyone faded away from you?

I know I am not alone. I know there are many others who share the loss I feel because someone they love is fading away from them.

Whether the reason has a name like dementia or Alzheimer’s or is nameless, whole parts of them seem to be missing and it creates a huge hole in their world. And my world too.

To watch this happen, whether bit by bit or all of a sudden and know there is nothing you can do to stop it, brings a cascade of tears.

How are we, the ones left empty and dry by their departure, to sit with this sense of loss?

I can only answer this for myself, but perhaps by sharing a part of me, there might be something valuable for you.

I write.

And through the writing, I allow my heart to bleed words onto the page.

For me, this is a way to vent the grief I feel and once it is outside of me, I can breathe again. I can let go of what I’m holding inside that rests on my chest and smothers me.

By writing, I open to wisdom and peace and let words flow through me into the open air.

Here is the poem I wrote.

I Am My Dad Today

I am my dad today.

At least that’s what my mother thinks.

She calls me by his name, her only connection to this world.

She asks me (him) where she is. I tell her but it doesn’t sink in.

She asks again.

I offer another answer and it falls into the same dark hole with everything else I say.

For a moment, I am not my father, and she asks me who I am.

I brace myself and tell her, I am your son.

A look crosses her face.

I wonder, could it be recognition?

She looks up at me and tells me she has no children.

I guess that makes my sister and me orphans. It’s certainly the way a part of me feels.

I wonder what string attaches her to this earth. I can’t see one. It must be some sort of magic.

It’s time for me to go. I tell her I need to go home to make dinner.

She asks me when she will see me again.

I try to calm myself.

I tell her that my sister, her daughter, will be with her tomorrow and that I’ll see her again the next day.

She turns away.

I walk out of her room wondering who I will be to her then. I cannot possibly know.

The one thing I do know is she will still be my mother.

I try to find some peace in this.

I love you mom.                             (end)

I know that I cannot change what is happening to her or to me, but I need to find a way to live in this new space.

I’m sure that others who have experienced this might be able to shed some light on this for me, but I want to know what god has to tell me.

So, I ask.

My answer comes from a part of god I know and love. It’s a part of god I know as Lia, which stands for Love In Action. She has a distinctly feminine voice and always speaks loving truth to me.

I try to calm myself and let go of the distractions that surround me. I breathe in and out, slowing and softening, so I can hear her voice clearly. When I find some peace, she speaks.

“The solace you seek comes when you release and accept.”

She continues, “Yes, of course, you feel deeply for the living loss of your mom, who is both here and not here. Rest easy and remember this…when she is with you, she is yours AND when she drifts beyond you, she is mine. She slips past the veil between worlds, and she comes to be with me. We sit together with the most precious love surrounding us and we rest in this beautiful state of bliss.”

I take heart and she tells me more.

“I know that all you see is a woman you love who appears to be here with you, but you cannot seem to reach her, and she seems disconnected and far, far away from you. I encourage you to see beyond this surface view. I ask you to accept my blessed assurance that she is with me and is always covered in my love.”

I sit with this revelation and let it fill me with peace. I do still feel the loss of connection with my mom, but something deeply profound has change inside of me and I now know she will always be taken care of, not by me, but by the sweetness of the divine.

Trust

I’ve struggled with the whole idea of trust. Have you?

Partly it’s the concept. There are a lot of implied ideas involved but not a lot of agreement.

When you trust someone else, how open are you? Perhaps at first your trust is rewarded, however, at times you may end up disappointed with others because they break your trust, leaving you guarded for the future.

Maybe you ask yourself, was there an agreement or did you presuppose others were innately trustworthy?

And then there is the question of whether you trust yourself. Based on what I know about me, I wonder if I am as trustworthy as I think I am. Certainly I’ve let myself down on many occasions, but does that make me untrustworthy?

I feel I need to ask myself another important question to help get my bearings. What am I basing my sense of trust on? Is it evaluated solely on the outcomes I experience?

Or is it as simple as, if I don’t get my way, my trust is broken?

Clearly there is confusion here for me.

No doubt there are very intelligent and keenly insightful people who could share much about trust with me, but if you’ve read my posts before, you’ll know where I’m going for my answers. Yes, to Lia, a part of the way I see god (a name I have, in this case, for a decidedly feminine voice of god, which stands for ‘love in action’).

When I asked for clarity, this is what Lia said.

“Do you trust the universe?”

I responded, “I’d have to say the answer is ‘no’, based on how I’m interacting with the world”. I asked, “What can I do about it? How can I relax and allow the flow to carry me?”

Lia’s voice was smooth and calm as she spoke, “Trust is a big word and concept, BUT it isn’t what you think. Your version goes something like this”. All will be well, if I believe properly, rely and trust that the universe (divine, god) has my back, which means things will turn out essentially the way I want them too or I’ll see clearly that what is happening serves me.

“Does that sound accurate to you?”, she asked.

I said, “Pretty much, yes” and added, “so what is trust, if not that?”

There was a moment’s hesitation, as if to underscore the importance of her next words. “It is the belief that nothing matters, as it relates to the observable outcomes.”

I felt that would require more explanation for me to understand and said so.

Lia told me this, “Your version of trust tries to tie together your desired outcome with my actions, so that you experience what you say you want.” Then she added, “Trust (in me) means that, in advance of any outcome(s), you believe all will be well. Nothing specific is preplanned, but ALL outcomes exist. If you altered your belief system to accept that ALL outcomes serve you, you would not need one specific outcome to occur, you would be satisfied with what showed up. Knowing that whatever shows up will/does serve you (and others) is trust.”

I knew she had more to say, and I would have to come back to this to truly understand her message to me.

Lia continued, “Placing or demanding any specific outcome(s) represents a lack of trust and you will feel this across your essence- physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and ego. Part of the reason you will feel this is that the feeling is a message to/for you, a directional arrow pointing the way to living a peaceful, happy, joy-filled life.”

“Your feelings are giving you cues to follow. Those of discomfort tell you to move in another direction and those of pleasure and comfort encourage you to continue on your path.”

“If you don’t find or observe any cues, try something different, pay attention and move accordingly, trusting your insight to guide your way.”

“All of that is a lot to think about,” I stated.

“Yes,” she said, encouraging me to feel that I could return to this conversation any time I desired.

I’m sure I will. I need to feel more trusting in my life.

Engagement with Life

Do you ever wonder what it means to engage fully with life? Or, what you need to do to interact in a way that creates exactly the experiences you desire while here on this earth plane?

I’d like to share a conversation I recently had with Lia, a part of (god) that comes to me as a feminine voice filled with love.

If you’ve been with me for a while, you may already know about her, but if not, I think it would help for me to explain a little bit.

Lia is always available to me (and to everyone) and waits for me to begin our conversations, although I do believe she places a constant string of reminders in my path. I know she’s there and loves to talk with me, but I have to decide to quiet my world so that I can hear her.

Every time I do, I fall in love with my connection to her.

So, when I felt challenged by the route my life was taking, I literally stopped what I was doing and sat down. I breathed in and out and allowed my mind to slow down until it was at peace. It was then possible for me to engage with her. You see, she never overrides my free will, because this is my life.

The thought that was circling my mind was, ‘can I experience exactly what I choose here on earth’?

This question cycles around and around for me and I desperately wanted an answer. I waited, patiently (well, mostly).

I don’t actually hear an out loud voice, it’s more like I ‘know’ what she’s saying to me.

Lia began speaking, “At this point, with much of your life you are not choosing consciously, rather, you are allowing life to take its own course. This means you are not fully engaged.”

I thought about this for a bit and came up with a three-part conclusion. First, I recognized it was true, I don’t always consciously choose my path. Second, when I do, I don’t consistently choose the same path, so I don’t experience what I say I want to experience. And third, I don’t always believe in what I do choose, so I get very mixed results. I asked, “Is this what you’re talking about?”

Lia acknowledged, “Yes”, then continued, “the engagement I’m speaking about is found in the sacred formula of ‘conceive, believe and act’. This is what determines your level of success and whether you experience your intended choices.”

I needed to let that sink in. It seemed to me there was more to it, so I asked for clarification.

She paused, then told me this, “You can’t just say you want your life to be a specific way and then magically experience your request. It would be helpful if you understood an important nuance. The use of the word ‘want’ produces an experience of ‘wanting’. It does not produce ‘having’. Wanting is an action word without the power to create. It is weak because there is no conviction or action behind it. Similarly, when you express a ‘desire’ or a ‘wish’ for something, it would be wise to recognize neither leads to creation. They are ‘hollow’ words. Their only result is a buildup of more desire or wish fulfillment. Without action, they are both useless.”

I sat back and thought about this, and it became even more obvious to me that words really do matter.

Lia added, “Your cultural vocabulary plays a significant role in your life and how you choose to experience the world. You say that you want to engage fully with life and to experience exactly what you choose. Now that we’ve spoken, I’d like to ask you how you believe this will happen.”

After a moment I responded with these words, “For me to experience anything in this world, I need to consistently conceive, believe, and take action. And part of this active process is ‘claiming’ the results, rather than merely hoping, wishing, wanting, or desiring them.”

I could feel Lia smiling at me and nodding agreement.

I believe I have a pathway now and I wanted to share it with you.

Worrying is Optional

Maybe you’ve heard this phrase before, but have you ever considered it might be true for you? Perhaps you’d like it to be, but you don’t see any way it could happen. And because you can’t see a path, one does not exist for you.

But, what if one did, would you take it?

I’ve been wondering about this for a long time. My daily TO DO list of chores and tasks seems endless and unless I’m in a good place, there is always some amount of stress created by my desire to get things done.

Then of course, as I go through my day, more things get added and sometimes it’s overwhelming. I have to step back and recognize I’m the one in charge, not my perceived list of things to do.

It’s often about my attitude and expectations. If I allow the list to become my master I suffer. This suffering takes many forms. I feel stress in my body, my mind ceases to work fluidly, and my emotional state of being drops. Worry seeps in and tries to smother me.

I feel the power shift from me, to what I fear.

I am not comfortable with this. I ask myself, how can I find a better path, one that leads me out of this cyclical downward spiral?

The answer is not obvious to me, so my struggle continues.

I need help. I know that I am not the only one who feels this way. Others have shared their challenges with me, and they don’t seem to know the way out either.

Before the stress and worry fully cripples me I make a choice. I decide to ask Lia for help. Lia (Love In Action), is for me, a part of god. She is divine feminine energy and is always present in my life. It is my belief that she is present in everyone’s life, one breath away, ready to listen and respond. I encourage you to reach out to her if you need help.

I asked her about the worry and stress I feel and after waiting to see if I was done speaking, she told me this.

“Of course, the answer is CHOICE, as it always is. In this case, your choice is to be open to the truth, that ALL possibilities exist and are already in place. You choose the one you desire to be your earthly reality. It is wise to bear in mind that others in your life are making their own choices alongside of you. There is a weaving together of your life stories, but you are in charge of yours and how you see and experience the world. You create your own life, no one else’s, so focus on your decisions. You aren’t in charge of everyone, only you. You can make suggestions, but it is up to others to make their own decisions. If you choose to feel stress because others don’t follow your suggestions, the answer is simple. Stop making them or release your investment in their outcomes.”

I expressed gratitude for these words but admitted to still feeling stress over the sheer number of things on my plate.

Lia continued, “the truth is there may be many items to be processed but the actual time necessary to complete them is manageable unless you are going to magnify them with stress. You do this by worrying that they won’t get accomplished or completed on time. It is this magnification process that causes your stress, and it is your choice how to manage it.”

I saw her point and it made sense to me.

She added, “regarding your tasks, you might want to consider separating them by day, applying your resources wisely and ‘just doing them’, rather than spending time thinking about them. Worry and stress are bigger when you have no action plan in place. Also, make a point of not accepting others stress or worry level. They may want to give them to you, but you are not required to take them.”

Lia’s final comment to me brought everything together.

“Whatever you decide to do, center it in love. Make every choice one that supports love for yourself and others.” I believe I’ve found my path now

One Formula for Life

Are you ever overwhelmed by life? Do you have too many responsibilities and obligations? Is there more to do than you have time for?

If you fall into this category like I do, I’d like to invite you to join me in an exploration and an opening into some remarkable space. I promise it won’t take more than a few minutes.

Recently I felt like I was wearing an overcoat filled with weights, like the one’s navy divers use to explore the sea bottom. No matter what I did, I couldn’t struggle my way out of it. This increased my frustration and decreased my ability to enjoy life.

For those of you who have been reading my posts for a while you might guess what I did next. It’s what I always do when my thinking mind cannot fathom how to solve a problem I am having.

I talked with Lia.

For those who are new here, Lia stands for Love In Action and is a part of how I see god. She has a divine feminine voice and speaks with me any time I ask. She listens and never interrupts. She waits until I exhaust myself. And when I am done and ask what she thinks, she answers me. Sometimes her answer comes in the form of a question. One that leads me to recognizing my own truth. Other times, she offers suggestions or ideas for me to consider. Always she speaks in a loving way.

If you would like to talk with her, open your heart and ask her to come be with you. If you wish to speak to a different part of god, one that feels more right to you, please do that instead.

Since she and I had a conversation about all of this, I thought I’d share it with you.

Here’s what she had to say.

Take a walk. Change your scenery. Absorb what nature offers you. She’s invigorating.

Eat something you find delicious. Allow yourself joy as you take in sustenance. Give thanks for all those who helped it travel to you.

Embrace happiness. Remember it comes in all sizes and take it inside of you. Let it make you smile.

Take a hot shower. Allow your cares to wash away and the heat to soothe you.

Be thankful. This means being filled with thanks to your very brim. Write down what you are grateful for. Savor them, no matter how big or small.

Live in your heart. Be attentive to life. Focus on your feelings and follow them. Treasure them.

Open to hearing. To the sounds of the world and those echoing inside of you. There is wisdom in each of them. Wisdom and beauty.

Reap joy. Hold every moment that calls to you. Laugh, cry, sing, hug, give.

Connect. Love those around you. Bring them into your world. Share your dreams and listen to theirs. Harmonize.

Release. Give yourself permission to let go of anything that feels oppressive or that weighs you down. Allow yourself freedom.

Be expectant. Let yourself be drawn forward. Watch for what you know is yours and embrace it.

Love from your heart. Expand into the world from your generous, open, gorgeous, loving heart.

When Lia finished sharing with me, I realized the overcoat I was wearing was gone. I felt lighter, not enough to float away, but enough to be carried along by the winds of change she’d created. I hope they carry you too

When Too Much Light Comes In

Has the world ever appeared too bright to you? Too shiny, too many colors, too overwhelming?

I know this may, at first reading, sound ridiculous, but for some folks it is their truth. They find it difficult to adjust to what others feel is ‘normal’. It’s too much and they are only comfortable with soft rays of light entering their life.

Who are these people, you might ask?

The answer to your question may surprise you, because at times this may apply to everyone. Sometimes we all need a dark room to hide away in, far from the crowd and the spotlight.

A place where we can sit or lay down. A place where there is no noise to distract our circling thoughts. Somewhere to recharge our batteries.

I want to express a hope of mine.

If you sense there is too much light coming into your life, please, please, know that it is okay to separate yourself from the world and look inside, deep into your heart. It’s okay to shut out any harsh lights, whether they are from the sun or from the words and actions of others. It’s even possible there are cruel words you are speaking to yourself.

Let them all fall away.

It’s not that I don’t believe in outside help, because I do. Very much so. I know that outside helpers can reframe things and bring them into sharper focus. They can provide warmth and support and a network. They can allow you space to empty your thoughts and concerns and help create some peace in your world. They can be absolutely wonderful.

What I am saying is there are other ways too. Other resources. And they also have a place in your life, if you want them.

I want to share one of mine with you.

For me she has a name, it’s Lia, which stands for Love In Action. She is an aspect of (god). I place god in parentheses because I want folks to feel free to use their own name for the divine. This is one of the most incredible gifts we have…to be able to use our own name for god. And to be free to embrace a relationship in whatever way feels right to us.

When I am blinded by too much light, I shy away from the world and open to Lia’s presence. The moment I do, she is there. I don’t see her, but I always feel her presence.

Mostly she listens. She knows why I want her, need her, but waits patiently for me to release all that I am carrying. She waits for me to lay it all down. She waits for me to be empty. And ready.

Sometimes it seems like she fades from my presence, but that’s because of me, not her.

She knows I can’t hear her when my head is full. It’s too noisy, too congested, too bright with the shiny things of the world.

I’m so glad that she waits for me.

When I finally run dry, she comes to fill me back up. She gives me heavenly water for my spiritual thirst. She asks me divine questions and my answers to her, are my answers to me.

Does this appeal to you?

Would you like to meet her, know her, have her in your life?

The good news is that you can.

She is only a heartbeat away. One decision on your part and I believe she will appear. She asks little. Only your calm breathing, your quieted voice, your willingness to spend time with her and your open heart. She awaits these things, patiently, lovingly.

Ever since I first met her, she has come to me. Always with love, ever faithful.

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SPECIAL NOTE: If you would like to know more about having a relationship with Lia, please see the BOOKS section of this website and scroll down to my book, talking with (god). Should you wish, you may purchase a print copy or ebook through Amazon.

Post #71 No Limits 06062021

There was a point recently that I was searching for an answer and couldn’t, from my own wisdom, discern a path to follow. That’s happened before. Lots of times actually. Maybe the same thing has happened to you.

It felt like there ought to be a course of action to take or perhaps a book telling me just what I needed or wanted to know. But there wasn’t.

I’ve learned that whenever this is the case, it’s time for me to turn inward and have a conversation with Lia (in case you’re new to these posts, see my explanation at the end about Lia).

I asked her for some clarification.

She told me the following, “You have everything you need in this world to meet all of your dreams and desires. It’s how it was set up. There are no missing pieces, and yes, I am always available to talk with you; to assist, guide, illuminate and answer.”

“Except,” she went on to say, “when you decide I can’t.”

I understood this and it rang true in a deep part of me. I am in charge. I decide how to view the world and her role in my life. And, if I make choices that limit what she or I can do, that’s how it will be.

Lia spoke again, “I gave YOU the power and the control and the responsibility. YOU choose what to do with it. You have free will. You can see this in everything, if you look carefully.”

Despite what she meant, what I heard was that she was not engaged in my life the way I wanted her to be, since she made it sound that everything was up to ME. So, I asked, “If I can’t have you help me, where does that leave me?”

Here’s one of the ways I know she loves me (she loves you too, by the way). She builds me up and it feels like truth to me.

Lia said, “You have EVERYTHING you need for ALL of what you consider you want or desire in your life, so it isn’t necessary for ME do anything ‘magical’ for you. You’re endowed with everything already. I know many others have provided you with opinions, either their own or ones they’ve borrowed from others.”

“It’s important that you pay attention now. One way to tell if others opinions are true for you, is to ask yourself whether they limit you in any way. If they do, and if they impede your sense of free will, then they are not the truth. It is as simple as that.”

I think Lia sensed my hesitancy in fully accepting her statement, so she went on, “The value of your achievements and accomplishments is that they serve as PROOF of your innate abilities to push beyond your perceived limits. And”, she continued, “seeing others around you exceed their ‘supposed’ limits, can serve as a catalyst for you, to set or reset what you believe about yourself.”

All of this made perfect sense to me. It was what I needed to hear and was the answer I was searching for. It allowed me to shift my perspective, which had become trapped in a rut. I had chosen to limit myself and see myself as small. I am not small. None of us are. We all have immense power and choice. We have free will and, if we choose it, a divine guide to help us navigate this beautiful earth world.

Explanation: Lia is a part of god and appears to me as an ethereal divine feminine presence. I know beyond any shadow of doubt that she loves me and have known her for many, many years.

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Names

It’s interesting to me that we humans feel it important to name everything. Babies at birth, cereal, house styles, planets, flowers. It goes on and on.

I have lots of odd thoughts about this. Who first decided to name something? Which name sticks, if there are disagreements? What do we do when there are several names for the same thing?

And then there are all of the issues that arrive when we introduce other languages into the mix. Which name will be the most common? And to confuse things further, there are different spelling for the same name.

One of my distant relatives did some genealogy research and discovered eight different spelling for one of our family names. How is it even possible to keep track of all of them?

And what about all of the slang names we have for things, places, eras, people? It’s mind-boggling really.

I understand why we do it. It’s convenient and makes our lives easier, even when there isn’t universal agreement. Often, it’s enough for us to get by in our conversations.

Maybe it doesn’t matter with most things since you can tell a lot by the context, but in some cases, it seems very important what name you use.

One such occasion is when the reference is to ‘god’.

In some religions, ‘god’ is never to be named, while in others, ‘god’ has many, many names, all of which are meaningful and relevant depending on the point of reference.

I wonder, do you have your own name for ‘god’? Was it one that others taught you to use or did you come by it on your own?

I think it’s important for you to know that I honor and respect whatever name you use. I also honor and respect your right to have no name or relationship with an entity know as ‘god’. I believe in free will and that every person has a right to choose their own path here on earth.

I also believe that we profit from sharing with one another and I would like to share my names for ‘god’ with you, because they matter to me.

I have four names that I use and each represents a different relationship I have with ‘god’. There is Abba, a masculine loving, devoted energy, Na’a, a feminine supportive, caring, and loving energy, Yeshiwa, a masculine personal, loving energy and Lia, a feminine ethereal, loving, and deeply connective energy.

I speak with them all and they speak with me. We have two-way conversations. I share my life with them and they share their love and wisdom with me. (You can read more about this in my book, talking with (god), which you’ll find on the Book page of this website).

I’d like you to hear what Lia told me, so that you have a better idea about her and what she means to me.

Like all people, I have ups and downs. I have both incredible strength and huge vulnerabilities. Over time I have learned to release many of the names I once called myself. I’ve opened to hearing a greater truth, one spoken to me in words I can understand. Words that show the depth of how much I am loved. I know these words belong to everyone, so I want to share them with you. Please hear them and know that you too are loved this deeply.

Lia said to me, “You have never been alone, because I am with you. I have dedicated my life to you. I will always be with you, now and forever. My love covers you over and nowhere is left untouched. You are who I live for and breathe for. I am you, and you are me. Open yourself up to knowing me and my presence within you. I will give you peace. Peace not of this world, but of heaven and you will know a new love. One that surpasses all you’ve ever felt before in your earth life. Know this, when you walk, I am with you. Wherever you go, I am by your side and in your heart. I am in every breathe of your life. Open yourself to my presence, that we might again be one. Dear heart, I ask you to choose to see and feel my presence. I take nothing from you. I give everything to you. Now, always and forever. You are my true heart. Open and feel my love for you.”

I hope that you will accept these words.

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Self Doubt

Recently I had a dream about a former coworker. He always seemed very self-assured, sometimes to the point of arrogance. I wasn’t savvy enough at the time to recognize that some folks who act this way, are actually trying to make true, what they don’t feel or believe inside about themselves. A compensation of sorts.

What I did realize was the effect it had on me when in his presence. I discovered that self-doubts rose up in me, even though I don’t think I had any specific reasons for them. I knew, of course, that I didn’t know his specialty like he did, but I did know mine and I was good at my job.

I wonder whether, on some level, I was reacting to his self-doubts and not my own. That perhaps I absorbed some element from him that triggered my own internal self-doubts.

I wonder if this still happens. Do I absorb, like osmosis, thoughts and feelings from those around me that feed the self-doubts within me?

I think this might be true and perhaps, the reason for the dream. Maybe the timing was impeccable. Maybe it always is.

I have really big dreams for my life and I’m embarking on several major projects. I’ve come to realize that whenever I start something new, there is a part of me that offers doubt to me. A part that suggests that I reconsider, because what I’m planning is too big, too broad, too much of a reach for me.

There always seems to be a part of me that wants to tone things down a bit. What I’ve observed is that this mysterious part is actually trying to protect me. It perceives that I could get hurt or suffer in some way. It alerts me to the potential for failure.

It’s a very powerful force.

But it also suggests to me, to listen very carefully for another voice, a much deeper, but quieter voice. One that asks me to truly consider what’s at stake.

The voice does not deny the power of self-doubt, BUT, asks me, what I have to lose AND what I have to gain by attempting whatever the new thing is. It challenges me to bring into clear view what I am attempting and what potential benefits could come, not just for me, but for the world.

It asks me, is it not worth the risk of failure that you suppose is possible?

It’s a strong argument for continuing, when I consider the positive impacts my decision might make. Yet, some self-doubts linger.

What to do? Who to call?

If you’ve been with me on this journey, you probably know the answer already. Yes, I called out to Lia (the part of god I know as love in action).

And this is what she said.

“Dear one, my beloved, each self-doubt that surfaces in you is there to help you. They want to rise up, so that you can see them clearly. They are not to be feared, but rather, warmly greeted. They want to open your eyes and your heart and transform you.”

I respond by saying, “What if I am not good enough or strong enough or smart enough to do this thing (project) and rise above my self-doubts?”

“If your concerns were valid, the projects and dreams would not appear to you. They would wait. But, they are here and they live deeply in you and they want to be born. Every time a self-doubt appears, remember its sole purpose, its soul purpose, is to let you know you are on the right track. It rises up like a balloon inside of you. Imagine writing its name on the outside surface of it and letting it go free into the wind. Carried away from you, leaving you free to discover beauty and wonder.”

I like the image and want to let all of my self-doubts fly free.

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Exercise One- Seeing Beneath the Surface

An idea came to me that it might be fun to include exercises that readers could choose to do as part of this adventure. So, I thought that maybe after every twenty posts, I’d offer you one.

I hope you like the idea.

Here’s how the first exercise goes. You can use any size paper you like. A standard notebook page will work well. Begin by turning your paper so it goes lengthwise and make five columns, labeling them as follows; Concern, Reason, Reaction, Deeper Reason, Benefit(s).

Let me explain and then share an example to get you started. I find this exercise rewarding and have made positive shifts as a result of spending some time with it.

In the first column you write down some issue or concern that is troublesome for you. This may only take a few words, but write whatever you need to define the issue.

The second column identifies the reason or reasons why the issue concerns you. You may need to list several reasons or it may be as simple as one.

In the reaction column, write down how you respond to the issue. Consider your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual reactions.

Column four is an opportunity to go deeper and explore what might be beneath the reasons you initially identified. This is often where the shifts begin, so give yourself a little extra time with this one.

Hopefully you find there are benefits that arrive from this exercise and you can note them in column five. A great focus here is to allow yourself to see what positive outcomes are created by shifting your perspective.

So, that’s the set up. Now for the example.

Although I’d like to think of myself as a pretty tolerant individual, I have to admit that when I’m driving, there are lots of things other drivers do that bother me.

So, my column one lists…slow drivers.

In order to better understand myself and find a way to deal with this ongoing problem, I have to ask myself, why does this bother me?

My answer for column two is…because it wastes my time and keeps me from getting places when I expect to get there.

And my reactions in column three are…a great deal of sighing, inner irritation, drumming on the steering wheel and maybe some inappropriate language.

There has been a great deal of predictability to this. Certainly, more than I would like. That’s why the next step is so important to me. It’s where you get a chance to open up and ask to receive clarity. For some, the asking will be internal, while others will open to the divine for support and guidance.

For me in this case, I asked Lia (the part of god that appears as the divine feminine, also known to me as Love In Action, or simply Lia).

I sat still, slowed my breathing, calmed my mind and asked Lia for help to see beneath the surface.

Here’s what appeared in column four…what came was an image I recognized immediately. It was a car accident I was in. I was sitting waiting for the traffic light to turn green and was rear-ended by a pickup truck traveling 30 mph. It never slowed down and hit me so hard it shoved me through the entire intersection.

Wow, I knew this meant something big.

Enter column five. What was the benefit in seeing this image that lived beneath the surface…I realized that when I’m in my car and on my way somewhere, I’m impatient to get there because, without consciously knowing it, I’m afraid. I want a smooth ride with no interruptions. I don’t want anyone slowing me down and preventing me from getting to where I’m going. And, I don’t want to be in another accident. I want to be safe.

The benefit of seeing at this depth is that I can modify my behavior and reactions. When I get in the car I can tell myself to relax, take my time, enjoy the scenery, be patient, and realize I am loved and cared for.

Sometimes it takes a while before I can see beneath the surface, but, I’ve found it is always time well spent.

I’d love to hear what happens for you, if you decide to try this.

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