The Day The Universe Divulged My Secrets

One Way

For something new to come into your life, space has to be created. For example, if I want to have a new relationship with an acquaintance, but I already have set parameters about how we function together, there is no space for a new way of being together to arise. If you want to gain new understanding about your life, your work, the world, space must be created by releasing the old understanding. For me this translates into declaring out loud to the ether, “I don’t know anything!” Which is often followed by, “For real, this is crazy. I have no idea what is going on!” For you this may sound different.

By vocalizing that you do not understand, you create an opportunity for new understanding to present itself. This can also sound like, “I do not understand. Please show me!” Several years ago I experienced an incident on a city bus that prompted my declaration of “not-knowing.” It is not a story I tell at parties, because I still do not understand it. But the beauty of its consequence continually reveals a world more wondrous than I could have thought up.

As I was sitting on a bus one hot summer day in Chicago, I overheard two girls talking behind me. I wasn’t paying a great deal of attention to them, but the conversation took an abrupt turn, and admittedly I went into full eavesdrop mode. They began telling my life story, the story that I told myself about my life at the time. It happened all of a sudden; in the middle of a normal conversation one of the girls started discussing a girl she knew. She described her relationships in detail. There were even timelines. What was more, she was telling the story of fear I had been operating on. There were tales of betrayal, mistrust, and secrets, along with the faults in this person’s character and how it was affecting her relationships. Although it is several years later, I cannot bring myself to recount the exact story the girl on the bus regaled to my eavesdropping ears, because it still feels too personal. Too many fears and perceived flaws divulged.

The story ended and the girls quickly exited the bus through the back door. I tried to get a glimpse of them. At first I thought, “Was that someone from my hometown? Did I go to high school with these people?” I couldn’t get a good look at them as the bus sped away. I was left completely and utterly baffled, and slightly afraid. There was no good explanation for the event.

I never found out who the girls were, whom they were really talking about, and why my life related so closely to the story. Logically, I knew it wasn’t an actual story about me. Then the question became, “Who has such a close life experience to my own?” I had never encountered such a mysteriously inexplicable moment in my entire life. After the initial horror that came from hearing my greatest fears spoken aloud to me on a city bus for all to hear, I reached a point where a decision had to be made. I could drive myself crazy by trying to find a logical explanation with my thinking mind, or I could let it go, and admit that I had no idea what was going on. Because it was such an unbelievable occurrence, I decided to relinquish my need to explain it away, and just not know.

That letting go, of the idea that I had to know everything, created the space that allowed my true self and a new way of experiencing life to begin to emerge. Life started to become more and more miraculous. I was able to relinquish past fears, because after all what did I know anyway? I was able to let go mistrust, and love the people in my life more fully than I had ever let myself before. From admitting that I did not understand, the universe began to show me new ways of understanding. When life showed me that I had no idea what was going on, it in turn started to present a new reality.

I had been putting restrictions on life. When you put parameters on the universe, you restrict the fullness of reality from presenting itself to you. You leave no room for your highest potential to manifest in your life. Over the years I have become comfortable with the “not-knowing.” What would happen if you let go of some of your own thoughts about how things are? What would life be like if you knew nothing about it, created no barriers? The simplest way to invite a new life situation your direction is to relinquish your firm understanding about how your current life is or should be.


Going, Going, Almost Gone

Katie and ChrisNext week I’m moving for the first time in five years. My boyfriend and I have loved living in this little studio apartment all these years, but several months ago (even before the bed bug incident) I began having a strong desire for something new. Something with a bedroom.

The last time I re-signed my current lease I had some doubts, the inkling that I might want to live somewhere new.  But I was comfortable living here, and the price was affordable for my boyfriend and I.  Then one day I watched an Oprah’s Next Chapter episode that took place in India and featured a family of five living in a studio apartment much smaller than ours, which I had previously considered tiny.  I took this as a sign that I should stay in the apartment, that it was relatively large, and more than enough for just the two of us.

One of the blessings of staying here for a fifth year, is that now moving feels like a gift.  I am infinitely grateful.  Yet, even as my dream is coming true before my eyes, I am still trying to figure out how it will be realized. I know come September 1st I’ll be sleeping in a different apartment, but I haven’t yet figured out how. There is a huge list of tasks that must be accomplished; I can’t keep track of them all.

Can you feel it? I’m right at that point where I can choose to react, or to allow. It would be easy to let the “how” take over the enjoyment of this highly anticipated change. This is a transition I have dreamt about for months, and I am grateful it is finally coming to pass. So no matter how impossible getting a dishwasher into a car and up a flight of stairs seems, I choose to let myself enjoy the experience.

Is there anything going on for you right now that you can surrender to? For me, moving is an experiment in letting go. The easiest way to tell if you’ve actually surrendered, and aligned yourself with your present experience, is to ask yourself if you feel peaceful or stressed out. If you’re feeling stressed, that is a compass letting you know you should turn around and go in a different direction. It gives you another chance to say, “I am going to allow this situation to be as it is,” and find out how life unfolds.


“C’mon Get Happy!” – Ted Koehler

My Family Dancing on NYE 2010Thank you SoulPancake for dishing out the happiness with these two awesome pick-me-ups:




“Bus Stop Disco Surprise!” by SoulPancake


“Dancewalk!” by SoulPancake


Keep the fun going by challenging yourself to do a little freestyle dancing of your own today.  No rules, you can dance alone in your bathroom if it suits you.  Will it make you feel more joyful? Will be it super weird?  Only time will tell!

Letting go, and being “silly” is a sure ticket to changing your mood and changing your experience. I break into ridiculous dances pretty often. Eventually you can’t even tell if you’re happy because you’re dancing or you’re dancing because you’re happy.


“Worry never helps anyone” – Swami Satchidananda



For the final day of the “1 new thing a day challenge,” I went to the Chicago Air and Water Show for the first time.  This picture is courtesy of a fleet of skywriters.

For the final day of the “1 new thing a day challenge,” I went to the Chicago Air and Water Show for the first time. This picture is courtesy of a fleet of skywriters.

Human minds always have a “fall back.” The mind’s “fall back” is a pattern that it is used to, that has become habitual. For example, I would say that my mind’s “fall back” is worry. When something happens, whether it is an undesirable situation or an experience that cannot be understood, my mind will fall back into the worry pattern. It comes up with scenarios of increasingly disturbing outcomes.

Tonight my apartment buzzer rang and it was the UPS man. But when I got downstairs there was no package and no UPS man to be seen. Who had I buzzed into my apartment building? I did not have the answer to that question so my mind decided to fall back into its comfortable worry pattern. What is your mind’s “fall back?”

I took a nap, and realized I was still worried after I woke up. I then decided to ask the universe a question. Asking questions to God, the universe, the “field of potentiality” (as Pam Grout calls it), or whatever word you use, is a readily accessible life tool. I needed to know everything was okay. I asked, “Please give me a clear sign tonight, before I fall asleep, that everything is okay.” I proceeded to peruse ridiculously expensive couches on the internet, but still had my request in the background of my attention. A few hours later I checked my email per my usual routine. Right at the top of the list read the subject line, “Don’t Worry.” Inside was this message:

We worry over all kinds of things. If you can’t get the right nail polish color, you worry. Everything causes worry. You don’t have to have a crash in the stock market or some other financial crisis to make you miserable. Just one little pimple is enough to cause you to go into a tailspin—as if nobody has ever had it or it’s going to be there permanently. There seems to be so much stress in modern life: ‘I have to do this. I have to do that.’ Yes, you may have responsibilities, but the first and foremost responsibility is to take care of you. If you can’t take care of yourself, how can you take care of others? So, have faith and confidence: ‘I’m going to change the situation. I have the strength to face and overcome anything.’ Worry never helps anyone.

God bless you. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti. (Swami Satchidananda)

The email was from the Satchidananda Ashram which sends out “Weekly Words of Wisdom.” This one arrived right on time. The feelings of worry were transmuted into peace; the sign I received was sufficient to break my rapt attention on a mind in the midst of a worry cycle.

What is your “fall back?” Next time you notice the mind reverting to its habitual thinking patterns try asking a question. You can even just ask for help. While no one knows how the questions will be answered, it will be interesting to watch and find out.


The Human ATM

White Glove DanceAs I arrived at my place of work this morning I found the street full of huge trucks. It turned out a TV show was being filmed in the neighborhood. As I was walking home I ended up talking to a production assistant, who let me in on some of the woes of filming in residential neighborhoods. In his experience of filming in such locations he has found that people are always complaining, always angry, and always looking to get something for themselves. People want to park their cars outside their houses as usual and complain since they can’t, while at the same time they ask to watch and be a part of the show themselves. One of the most interesting insights from him, was that people always go up to the actors and want pictures, but never actually ask them any questions. All of this got me thinking about the nature of fame, image, and perception.

Why does being famous seem so fulfilling? Why does getting a ton of “likes” on a Facebook post seem important? Personally, I have had that desire for fame, for “likes” on Facebook, and admittedly, I check my blog stats all the time. When I first realized that there was a “stats” section on the blog I thought, “I shouldn’t make a habit of looking at this. After all, how many people read it has nothing to do with what I’m trying to accomplish.” What a noble thought! But to no avail. I still check the stats, and I still get that leap within when people “like” and comment on my Facebook posts. So as I speak to why these things seem so important, it is without judgment, but rather introspection.

When you’re around someone who you think has more than you, the mind will take one of two routes. It will downplay the success of the other person, and come up with reasons why they’re not so great anyway. Or it will go to the opposite end of the spectrum and feel bad about itself, coming up with a barrage of reasons why you, the thinker, are not good enough and should be better (but can’t). That approach to famous people is what I like to call “anything you can do, I can do better.” If the mind can’t come up with reasons why it is better than the other person, it will still manage to gain a sense of superiority by explaining why it is worse than the other person. Good or bad, the mind doesn’t care, as long as it can attach itself to a story.

The other approach to someone who you think has more than you, is to try to get something from them. I call this, “the human ATM.” This is when you see someone for what they can do for you. When it comes to being around famous people, “the human ATM” approach says that being around them will make you more than you currently are.

What these approaches have in common is that the ego, the mind when it identifies with things, is interacting with other perceived egos. There is no real human interaction here. It is merely ideas interacting with other ideas. The mind has an idea about who the other person is, and engages with that idea, rather than the actual person. So when a person really wants to take a picture with a famous person, but has nothing to say to them or any curiosity about them, it is really their mind attempting to attach itself to an object it sees as valuable. Or to post it on Facebook and receive “likes,” therefore making them more than they were before.  When a person is well known, it is easy to see only your own ideas about them, and not the actual human being.

On the flip side of this insanity, I had an amusing thought as I was walking home. Since everything around us is completely unified and whole, when we praise famous people it is like the universe praising itself! When I build up others, I know I am really just building up myself. This principle, however, is alien to the ego.  Having an intention when interacting with other people can help you to see them as they really are, and quell the ever avid ego. For example, as I was talking to the production assistant my ego would have loved to implement the “human ATM.” And I was one of the people getting their picture taken with the actors. But when I’m talking to people, especially if they’re telling me about things that are bothersome to them, it is my intention to spread consciousness, and leave them feeling great about themselves. I stay present by listening without talking in my head at the same time, and I offer helpful, loving remarks whenever appropriate. Asking questions and listening, without internal dialog, is a good indicator that you are having a human interaction and not an ego interaction. By no means am I always aligned with my intentions when interacting with others, but I attempt to remind myself of them when my ego starts to rear its ugly head. Experiencing other human beings without the mental screen of who you think they are, opens you up to a world the ego cannot conceive of. People are very different than the mind’s ideas about them. Next time your ego tries to take over an interaction, laugh at it, and then find out what happens when you see things as they really are!

“1 new thing a day challenge” update: Today, for day 6, I ate fried shrimp for the first time! For those who know me, you will appreciate the magnitude of this endeavor. I never eat anything that comes from the water, not fish, shrimp, lobster, literally nothing. This challenge has gotten me taking risks, and I am quite pleased I did! Not that I liked the shrimp, but I can finally say I’ve tried seafood. Now I don’t have to eat anything like that again (until the next challenge…). Yesterday,for day 5, I attempted a few new things. I am moving soon so I switched my address with the post office and other venues, and tried to set up the cooking gas service at my new place. I haven’t moved for five years, and didn’t have to do these things last time, so it made me feel quite the responsible person. What are your plans for the last day of the challenge?

consciousness, spirituality

“Err in the Direction of Kindness” – George Saunders

The other day my dear friend Melissa Gati sent me an email with a link to a New York Times article regarding George Saudners’ 2013 commencement speech at Syracuse University.  All Melissa wrote in the email was, “You should read this!!”  The two exclamation points convinced me, so I clicked the link and began reading.  My later reply to Melissa included an “OMG” and some more exclamation points.  I felt this speech in my bones, in the truest whispers of my being.  And to anyone who is slightly unsure of the purpose of their life, or of the direction they are going in, these words offer sincere clarity.  I truly cannot articulate the brilliance of this speech, so I won’t.  But I’ve included it here that it may bless your life as it has mine:

Down through the ages, a traditional form has evolved for this type of speech, which is: Some old fart, his best years behind him, who, over the course of his life, has made a series of dreadful mistakes (that would be me), gives heartfelt advice to a group of shining, energetic young people, with all of their best years ahead of them (that would be you).

And I intend to respect that tradition.

Now, one useful thing you can do with an old person, in addition to borrowing money from them, or asking them to do one of their old-time “dances,” so you can watch, while laughing, is ask: “Looking back, what do you regret?”  And they’ll tell you.  Sometimes, as you know, they’ll tell you even if you haven’t asked.  Sometimes, even when you’ve specifically requested they not tell you, they’ll tell you.

So: What do I regret?  Being poor from time to time?  Not really.  Working terrible jobs, like “knuckle-puller in a slaughterhouse?”  (And don’t even ASK what that entails.)  No.  I don’t regret that.  Skinny-dipping in a river in Sumatra, a little buzzed, and looking up and seeing like 300 monkeys sitting on a pipeline, pooping down into the river, the river in which I was swimming, with my mouth open, naked?  And getting deathly ill afterwards, and staying sick for the next seven months?  Not so much.  Do I regret the occasional humiliation?  Like once, playing hockey in front of a big crowd, including this girl I really liked, I somehow managed, while falling and emitting this weird whooping noise, to score on my own goalie, while also sending my stick flying into the crowd, nearly hitting that girl?  No.  I don’t even regret that.

But here’s something I do regret:

In seventh grade, this new kid joined our class.  In the interest of confidentiality, her Convocation Speech name will be “ELLEN.”  ELLEN was small, shy.  She wore these blue cat’s-eye glasses that, at the time, only old ladies wore.  When nervous, which was pretty much always, she had a habit of taking a strand of hair into her mouth and chewing on it.

So she came to our school and our neighborhood, and was mostly ignored, occasionally teased (“Your hair taste good?” – that sort of thing).  I could see this hurt her.  I still remember the way she’d look after such an insult: eyes cast down, a little gut-kicked, as if, having just been reminded of her place in things, she was trying, as much as possible, to disappear.  After awhile she’d drift away, hair-strand still in her mouth.  At home, I imagined, after school, her mother would say, you know: “How was your day, sweetie?” and she’d say, “Oh, fine.”  And her mother would say, “Making any friends?” and she’d go, “Sure, lots.”

Sometimes I’d see her hanging around alone in her front yard, as if afraid to leave it.

And then – they moved.  That was it.  No tragedy, no big final hazing.

One day she was there, next day she wasn’t.

End of story.

Now, why do I regret that?  Why, forty-two years later, am I still thinking about it?  Relative to most of the other kids, I was actually pretty nice to her.  I never said an unkind word to her.  In fact, I sometimes even (mildly) defended her.

But still.  It bothers me.

So here’s something I know to be true, although it’s a little corny, and I don’t quite know what to do with it:

What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness. 

Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering, and I responded…sensibly.  Reservedly.  Mildly.

Or, to look at it from the other end of the telescope:  Who, in your life, do you remember most fondly, with the most undeniable feelings of warmth?

Those who were kindest to you, I bet.

It’s a little facile, maybe, and certainly hard to implement, but I’d say, as a goal in life, you could do worse than: Try to be kinder.

Now, the million-dollar question:  What’s our problem?  Why aren’t we kinder?

Here’s what I think:

Each of us is born with a series of built-in confusions that are probably somehow Darwinian.  These are: (1) we’re central to the universe (that is, our personal story is the main and most interesting story, the only story, really); (2) we’re separate from the universe (there’s US and then, out there, all that other junk – dogs and swing-sets, and the State of Nebraska and low-hanging clouds and, you know, other people), and (3) we’re permanent (death is real, o.k., sure – for you, but not for me).

Now, we don’t really believe these things – intellectually we know better – but we believe them viscerally, and live by them, and they cause us to prioritize our own needs over the needs of others, even though what we really want, in our hearts, is to be less selfish, more aware of what’s actually happening in the present moment, more open, and more loving.

So, the second million-dollar question:  How might we DO this?  How might we become more loving, more open, less selfish, more present, less delusional, etc., etc?

Well, yes, good question.

Unfortunately, I only have three minutes left.

So let me just say this.  There are ways.  You already know that because, in your life, there have been High Kindness periods and Low Kindness periods, and you know what inclined you toward the former and away from the latter.  Education is good; immersing ourselves in a work of art: good; prayer is good; meditation’s good; a frank talk with a dear friend;  establishing ourselves in some kind of spiritual tradition – recognizing that there have been countless really smart people before us who have asked these same questions and left behind answers for us.

Because kindness, it turns out, is hard – it starts out all rainbows and puppy dogs, and expands to include…well,everything.

One thing in our favor:  some of this “becoming kinder” happens naturally, with age.  It might be a simple matter of attrition:  as we get older, we come to see how useless it is to be selfish – how illogical, really.  We come to love other people and are thereby counter-instructed in our own centrality.  We get our butts kicked by real life, and people come to our defense, and help us, and we learn that we’re not separate, and don’t want to be.  We see people near and dear to us dropping away, and are gradually convinced that maybe we too will drop away (someday, a long time from now).  Most people, as they age, become less selfish and more loving.  I think this is true.  The great Syracuse poet, Hayden Carruth, said, in a poem written near the end of his life, that he was “mostly Love, now.”

And so, a prediction, and my heartfelt wish for you: as you get older, your self will diminish and you will grow in love.  YOU will gradually be replaced by LOVE.   If you have kids, that will be a huge moment in your process of self-diminishment.  You really won’t care what happens to YOU, as long as they benefit.  That’s one reason your parents are so proud and happy today.  One of their fondest dreams has come true: you have accomplished something difficult and tangible that has enlarged you as a person and will make your life better, from here on in, forever.

Congratulations, by the way.

When young, we’re anxious – understandably – to find out if we’ve got what it takes.  Can we succeed?  Can we build a viable life for ourselves?  But you – in particular you, of this generation – may have noticed a certain cyclical quality to ambition.  You do well in high-school, in hopes of getting into a good college, so you can do well in the good college, in the hopes of getting a good job, so you can do well in the good job so you can….

And this is actually O.K.  If we’re going to become kinder, that process has to include taking ourselves seriously – as doers, as accomplishers, as dreamers.  We have to do that, to be our best selves.

Still, accomplishment is unreliable.  “Succeeding,” whatever that might mean to you, is hard, and the need to do so constantly renews itself (success is like a mountain that keeps growing ahead of you as you hike it), and there’s the very real danger that “succeeding” will take up your whole life, while the big questions go untended.

So, quick, end-of-speech advice: Since, according to me, your life is going to be a gradual process of becoming kinder and more loving: Hurry up.  Speed it along.  Start right now.  There’s a confusion in each of us, a sickness, really:selfishness.  But there’s also a cure.  So be a good and proactive and even somewhat desperate patient on your own behalf – seek out the most efficacious anti-selfishness medicines, energetically, for the rest of your life.

Do all the other things, the ambitious things – travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes, swim naked in wild jungle rivers (after first having it tested for monkey poop) – but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness.  Do those things that incline you toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial.  That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality – your soul, if you will – is as bright and shining as any that has ever been.  Bright as Shakespeare’s, bright as Gandhi’s, bright as Mother Teresa’s.  Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place.  Believe it exists, come to know it better, nurture it, share its fruits tirelessly.

And someday, in 80 years, when you’re 100, and I’m 134, and we’re both so kind and loving we’re nearly unbearable, drop me a line, let me know how your life has been.  I hope you will say: It has been so wonderful.

Congratulations, Class of 2013.

I wish you great happiness, all the luck in the world, and a beautiful summer. (Saunders)

Thank you George Saunders!  And now, it’s that time again!  What have you been doing for your “1 new thing a day challenge?”  Yesterday I ate at a tapas restaurant, Benjamin Tapas, for the first time, and I am so happy I did!  It was delicious and perfectly portioned.  Today, on day 4 of the challenge, I ventured down several new streets to a friend’s new house.  The exciting part was not getting lost.  I also got to enjoy the moon in the bright blue daytime sky as I made my way there.  If you have had any new experiences lately I’d love to hear about them!

consciousness, spirituality

“Build a Life, Don’t Live One” – Ashton Kutcher

Today’s post should really be called “don’t judge a book by its cover.”  Admittedly I have judged a book by its cover, when I was in the 4th grade, and that book turned out to be Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling.  So in that instance judging a book by its cover worked swimmingly, as the Harry Potter books became my favorite series.  But I digress.  In general judging a book by its cover, so to speak, keeps you from discovering a myriad of wonder lying just beyond a dull exterior.  This principle made itself very clear to me yesterday as I was scrolling through YouTube and came across a video of Ashton Kutcher at the Teen Choice Awards.  I’m going to be honest; I started watching the video because of the headline “Ashton reveals his first name.”  I don’t know why that happened to hook me, but alas it did.  As I watched the video the first name thing was not interesting at all, but what followed blew my mind!  I was amazed by the wisdom that came out of his mouth; I was left completely speechless.  There is no prescription for where wisdom comes from.  Generally, I would surmise, people aren’t watching the Teen Choice Awards in order to become enlightened.  But everyone in this audience ended up receiving infinitely more than they paid for:

Thank you Ashton!  The more human beings that begin “building a life” instead of living a life prescribed in advance by their predecessors, the more the world will be transformed into the heaven that it always had the potential to be.  

Now for a brief update on day 3 of the “1 new thing a day challenge.”  I have yet to do my new activity for the day, but last night I tried pizza with pineapple on it for the first time.  I am picky eater so that was big.  And it really wasn’t half bad!  Although, it just left me wanting to eat pineapple on its own.

consciousness, spirituality

“Part of the Cosmic Body”

Swami Satchidananda

I received an email from the Satchidananda Ashram, with one of Swami Satchidanada’s quotes, that contains a vital key to living peacefully.  I hope this quote can reach you in whatever way you most need it to:

You don’t have to do great things. Sometimes we compare ourselves, ‘Oh, he is doing so much. She is doing great things. I am not doing anything.’ Don’t ever put yourself down like that. Imagine, there are so many parts in the body. And you don’t see all the parts working. Some of them seem to be sitting there, insignificant, doing nothing. For example, we don’t even remember that we have a little toe. Is that toe unnecessary? No. We are all like little parts or cells in the cosmic body. Every part has its own importance. When we realize that then we believe, ‘Yes, there’s a great purpose behind it all and that all wise God will do something with me when it’s time. I’m happy to be part of the cosmic body.’ That should be the attitude.  
God bless you. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.  (Swami Satchidananda)

Thank you Swami Satchidananda! And now for day 1 of the “1 new thing a day challenge!”  Today I downloaded an app for learning Chinese!  It won’t be as good a teacher as my cousins and their parents (the Li family), but hopefully I’ll know a few phrases by the time they visit for the winter holidays.  What new thing did you try today?

consciousness, spirituality

“Mastering the Art of Manifestation”

The other week I talked about the difference between feeling and knowing.  When it comes to creating your own reality, I think this difference is the key component.  For example, I can say in my head all day, “I am rich, I am rich, I know I am rich,” when inside I still feel like that is not true.  That feeling of lack on the inside aligns me with a world that demonstrates lack.  When I feel I don’t have enough, everything around me reminds me of that truth.  I’ll see people with fancy cars that I don’t think I can buy, or see high price tags and feel like I will never be able to afford expensive items.

Although the disparity between what you want to have, and what you feel you have, can prevent you from manifesting your desired reality, there is a real choice when it comes to how you feel.  In this video Dr. Wayne Dyer talks to Oprah on Super Soul Sunday about how to manifest your dreams by coming into alignment with them.  When you decide to feel abundant, grateful, and peaceful, you are in alignment with all that is created out of abundance.  When you feel peace inside, you attract more peace.  When you feel infinitely whole and abundant on the inside, you will attract wholeness and abundance into your life.  Wishing for a new car, when you feel like you’ll never afford it, will keep that wish unfulfilled.  So if you want a new car, or whatever it is you’re believing for, start by simply telling yourself that you are everything you will ever need.  Tell yourself you already have everything you could ever want, residing within you.  Suspend your disbelief long enough to feel like the world has more than enough for you and everyone in it.  Bask in that feeling of abundance and gratitude.  The consequence of such a feeling is seeing that reality manifest in your life.

consciousness, spirituality

On Smiling

It is amazing how momentous a gift one smile can be.  A single smile can be passed down from generation to generation.  When you smile at a stranger or friend it is impossible to know the boundless positive effects that it will have on their life.

I am so thankful for this video by SoulPancake.  My wonderful cousins are going back home to New Jersey tomorrow, after visiting us here in Chicago.  And although I am already missing them, I can’t help but smile when watching this: