Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How to Reduce The Guilt in Our Lives

"For to forgive means to choose to release another from the perceptions you have been projecting upon them.  It is therefore, an act of forgiving one's self of one's projections".  --The Way of Mastery p. 25
All things are neutral.  All people, all events, all experiences, all words ... all of it is, simply, neutral.

We are the ones that put our own personal spin on everything.  We are the perceivers and we project our own opinions onto all we encounter.

We decide whether what we see in the world around us is "good" or "bad".  We decide whether what we see is "beautiful" or "ugly", "interesting" or "uninteresting", "right" or "wrong".

And yet, everything in our worlds, simply is.

When we see something and decide it is "bad", we are creating a judgment about it.  This judgment will, ultimately, have to be forgiven.  But before we forgive it, it will cause us much pain.  What we give out comes back to us.  When we judge others harshly, we will suffer.  Judging always leads to feelings of guilt.  Sometimes we are acutely aware of the guilt and sometimes we repress it.  But judging always creates guilt, even if it is only in our sub-consciousness.  And guilt, especially sub-conscious guilt, causes us to feel restless, unhappy, empty and deeply dis-satisfied.

"Each time that you judge anything or anyone, you have literally elicited guilt within yourself.  Because there is a place within you, yet still, that knows the perfect purity of your brother and sister, and sees quite clearly that all things within the human realm are either the extension of love or a cry for help and healing."  --Way of Master p. 25

Why not skip all the pain and upset and just learn to accept everything as it is?  If we don't judge it, we won't need to forgive it, and more importantly we won't need to forgive ourselves.  Acceptance of everything in our world is the only way to create inner peace.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Forgiveness is an Expression of the Soul's Deep Desire to BE Forgiven

"When you judge, you have moved out of alignment with what is true.  You have decreed that the innocent are not innocent.  And if you would judge another as being without innocence, you have already declared that this is true about you!  Therefore, to practice forgiveness actually cultivates the quality of consciousness in which you finally come to forgive yourself.  And it is indeed the forgiven who remember their God."  --Way of Mastery  p. 26

It is only when we come to a point that we are able to understand that everyone is forgivable, and that we are indeed putting this universal forgiveness into practice, that we begin to believe that we ourselves are worthy of forgiveness.

After all, it's only good logic.  If every one of God's Children is innocent, then I myself, being also a Child of God, must be an innocent, too.

The problem is that down deep in our sub-consciousness, we struggle to believe this.  We have mountains of guilt.  We believe we're not worthy.  We believe we're unlovable.  We believe that we are "bad", that we have sinned and that we should be punished.  Removing the guilt from our sub-conscious minds can only be accomplished through our own acts of forgiveness toward others.

This is a process that takes some time.  We can begin by forgiving any trespasses we experience today. Once we create a habit of forgiving all of each day's hurts, we can begin to go into our pasts and release old grievances.  This stage requires much intense soul searching and quietude as we look deep into our minds to discover the wounds that lurk therein. Finally, in the third stage of forgiveness we can begin to forgive the conditions we see in the world around us.  We begin to forgive the war, famine, cruelty and selfishness that plays out on a world-wide scale.

As we move forward in our forgiveness, we will see a pattern emerging.  What we are most offended by in others is actually something that we find reflected in our own consciousness.  We fear the murderer, however, we come to know that there is so much anger deep within our own sub-consciousness that we are actually, ourselves, capable of murder.  We fear the dictator, but ultimately come to see the bossiness that resides within our own personality.  We fear the greedy ones, but we ourselves often take what we want.

"Therefore, in truth, understand well.  Forgiveness is essential.  What has not been forgiven in others, has not been forgiven in you.  But not by a God who sits outside of you, for He never judges.  What you have not forgiven in another or in the world is but a reflection of what you carry within as a burden that you cannot forgive of yourself."  --Way of Master p.26

As we forgive the world around us, our consciousness begins to purify.  Our own thoughts of fear, anger, greed, rejection and envy begin to release.  Our minds are cleansed.

This is where our happiness begins.  As we are freed of the tormenting thoughts and beliefs that our minds contain, we come to experience inner peace.

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Who Are You Forgiving Today?

We are

                     all one.

We are simply only forgiving......


"How lovely does the world become in just that single instant when you see the truth about yourself reflected there.  Now you are sinless and behold your sinlessness.  Now you are holy and perceive it so.  And now the mind returns to its creator, the joining of the Father and the Son, the Unity of unities that stands behind all joining but beyond them all.  God is not seen but only understood.  His Son is not attacked but recognized."
A Course in Miracles, Manual for Teachers p 84 

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Forgiveness is the Release of all Judgment

"All suffering is a by-product of judgment".--Jennifer Hadley

Yes, dropping the habit of judging is very difficult.  I am struggling with it, too!  But I do realize acutely that the more I simply drop my judgments on every subject in my life, the happier I am.  When I just accept whatever is, I am happiest.

Why do we want to label everything?  Something comes into our awareness and we feel compelled to create an opinion about it.  We judge people (smart, skinny, tall, bossy, beautiful, etc).  We judge our physical world (The ocean is calming, cities are crowded, today's weather is too cold, her house is elegant.)  We judge situations (painful, uplifting, confusing, undesirable).  

What would life be like if we just watched it unfold and just accepted whatever it was?  How does creating an opinion about anything contribute to the quality of our lives?  

When I tell myself that my feelings are hurt, I feel bad.  When I tell myself that she is smarter than I am, I feel bad.  When I tell myself that I don't like his behavior, I feel bad.  When I tell myself that it is a sad thing that she is sick, I feel bad.  

Is it my goal to feel bad?  Of course not.  Then why do I indulge in behavior that makes me feel bad?  

Today I am renewing my intention to drop all judgments toward everyone, everything and every situation that is a part of my world.  When I meet my world with acceptance I am showing up with love and I know that the more love I give out, the more love comes to me.  This is the most important way I can create happiness in my life and in the lives of others around me. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Radical Forgiveness

I love Colin Tipping!  His radical forgiveness forms have played a large role in my own personal forgiveness process.  When I first began to forgive my past I used them over and over again.  I kept an open forgiveness "to do" list and anything that would occur to me from my past that had hurt or upset me was on that list.  Each morning or so I would fill out one of his forms.  These forms helped me to clear through and release a lot of the most obvious hurts, disappointments, frustrations and upsets from my past in a matter of months.  I probably did about thirty or forty of them at first.

Then a few years later my father died and all sorts of more abstract hurts came up and I used the forms again, perhaps about sixty or seventy of them.  Now I use them on occasion whenever I need the kind of forgiveness work they provide.

I love these forms.  If you don't really know how to forgive, they will teach you how to flip your feelings from anger and fear to love.  And Colin Tipping is a wondeful, kind and intuitive teacher.

 This Thursday Colin Tipping is offering a free webinar training on how to use the Radical Forgiveness forms.  You can register here. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Forgive Someone You Love

I really believe that our biggest "forgiveness opportunities", as we A Course in Miracles Students like to call them, come from the people we know best.  The people that we are in relationship with can be our greatest source of joy...and they can also be our greatest source of annoyance or outright hurt.  Spouses, significant others, children, siblings, best friends or anyone else that we spend a great deal of time with, are often the people we find ourselves needing to forgive over and over.

I am going to give some tips on forgiving the people that we "love" the most, but first, I think it's important that we all give a good hard look at the reasons why we need to forgive our loved ones so often.  Remember that when we find that we need to forgive someone, it is because we have first judged them in some way.  We all need to ask ourselves some hard questions:

Are we too critical of our families, friends and loved ones?
Do we look at these relationships in terms of what we can get from them versus what we can give?
Do we have expectations for these people?
Are we accepting who they truly are or do we want them to be something else?
Are we looking at these people to be the source of our good in this world? 

No person is responsible for our happiness.  True happiness is something that comes from inside ourselves.  It comes when we know that we are loved and cherished by Spirit and are therefore able to love and cherish ourselves.  If we go looking for happiness elsewhere, we will never really find it.  Yes, we may find something that looks and smells a little bit like happiness for awhile, but it will always be fleeting.

Only the happiness we get from inside is the permanent kind that grows and deepens and sustains.  Forgiveness is the process through which we earn that happiness.  As we forgive others by offering them love, we begin to realize that we are worthy of that love, too.  It's a universal law, "You get what you give."  Happiness never comes from others, rather it comes when we give love to others.  Forgiveness is one of the ways we do this.

So first, let's all give a long hard look at each of our most challenging personal relationships and be honest with ourselves about how much of the discomfort we feel from those relationships is of our own doing.  This is not something that we will spend a quick few minutes on, but something that we will be studying and watching for the next few months as we really observe our own feelings and behaviors.

In the meantime, when we do find that someone we love is annoying us or hurting our feelings in any way, let's practice a little forgiveness.  My favorite forgiveness process for this situation is available in an audio format that you can download for $2.99, Forgive Someone NOW.

This audio takes 13 minutes to listen to, but it will teach you a process that takes less than a minute to complete once you get a little practice with it.  This is also forgiveness process #1, Seeing the Higher Truth, as outlined in my book, "Forgiveness is the Key to Happiness".  This is by far the process that I use the most frequently.  In fact, I use it almost every day for just about every thing that hurts or annoys me in my present

And here's a little advanced forgiveness experiment I recommend.  The next time someone that you "love" is upsetting you try "flipping the switch" right then and there.  

Go right from fear to love.  See if you can just stop the ego rampage in your mind.  Just let go of all those critical thoughts, those needy thoughts, those "I have to be right" thoughts, those "I need you to complete me" thoughts.  Just drop them.  Just do it.  And then turn up the love.  Direct feelings of deep love toward your loved one.  Let them amplify until they engulf the two of you.  Just keep intensifying the love.

One fascinating by-product of forgiveness is that it actually changes the world around us.  If you practice forgiving the people you love every time they press your buttons, you will find that over time your buttons get pressed less frequently, until eventually, almost never.  Do the people we love actually become less annoying with forgiveness or are we less likely to be annoyed?  Who knows?  I believe that both actually happen, but try it and see for yourself.  One thing I know for sure is that your world will change.    

This morning I was listening to a lecture with Louise Hay and Cheryl Richardson.  Cheryl Richardson mentioned that a former therapist had asked her an important question during couples' counselling.  The question was, "Do you want to keep redecorating hell or do you want to fix this?"  This is exactly the issue we face when we allow ourselves to stay in a state of annoyance, hurt or victim-hood with the people in our lives.  We can allow our egos to take over, amplifying fear and keeping us in hell, or we can connect to Spirit and switch to love.  One of those choices leads to happiness!

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sometimes We Dread Forgiving Certain People

Forgiveness is actually very easy, once you get the hang of it.  However, forgiveness does take getting past one hurdle and that is letting go of the pleasure we feel in our victim-hood.  Does that idea surprise you?  Well, it's true that we enjoy being victims and the evidence of that is simply that we choose to be victims.  We stubbornly hang on to our victim-hood.  We love to savor our anger and outrage.  We love to get into our pain and we love to feel put upon and abused.  Our hurt feeds the fire of our indignation.

It can sometimes be a big step to let all that go.

But like any big step, if you want to make progress, you just have to do it.

Remember what it was like, learning to put your head underwater for the first time?  You just held your nose and dunked.  You just did it, even though you may not have known what it would be like.  You just trusted that it would be good.

Sometimes, when we are thinking about forgiving someone that we believe is particularly heinous, the idea of forgiving feels very distasteful.  Now that I am in the habit of forgiving everything, I don't feel that way anymore, but I do clearly remember how unpleasant it once was to offer forgiveness to the few people in my life that I believed were villainous.  I don't know why we sometimes resist forgiving so strongly.  Maybe we just want to hang onto our feelings of superiority.  "He's a horrible person and that makes me a good person."  Perhaps that kind of thinking just makes us feel better.  It's hard to give it up.

My best advice, if you're feeling that way, is to just do it.  Just hold your nose and dive into the forgiveness.  It will be over before you know it and you'll feel totally different about it afterward. You just will.  Forgiveness makes everything better.

In my meditation class today, we did a simple meditation from the book "Aging as a Spiritual Practice" by Lewis Richmond.  I'd like to share it with you, because I think it might be a good little exercise to ease into forgiveness, especially if you have some unpleasant people that you're feeling reluctant to forgive.  Here it is:

Find a quiet place and spend a few minutes calming your mind and listening to your breath.  When you are ready, imagine a small intense orb of white light in your heart center.  "On each in-breath feel the breath coming in from the world and refreshing the sphere of light.  On each out-breath, feel the breath going back out into the world with that light's generous energy."  Continue with this for a minute or two, feeling the flow of white light out into the world around you, healing, cleansing, offering love. 
Now, imagine that there is a mirror image of yourself sitting opposite you.  Let the cleansed out-breaths of white light surround and permeate the image of yourself.  Then as you breathe in, imagine that all the troubles, problems, pains and emotional hurts float out from the image of yourself and into your real self, down into the white light in your heart center where they can be cleansed and consumed in the light.  You are purifying and healing all the troubles away. Then breath pure white loving light out and into the image of yourself.  Let your breath circle generosity to and from yourself.  Continue on with this for a short time until you feel that all the problems and pains have been transformed. 
Next, imagine that there is someone you love sitting opposite you and continue the healing and loving breathing with them until they are cleansed (this should happen in five or six breaths or so).  Then switch to another person you love. Do this for three or four people. comes the good part, and it should be fairly easy to do because you are now in a very loving place.  Switch the person sitting opposite you into someone you need to forgive.  Continue to breathe out the loving white light, flooding their image with kindness and healing.  Then breathe in all their pain and difficulties to your heart center where the white light can transform them into pure loving energy.  Do this until you feel you have cleansed and healed them.   

This is another good example of the action of "flipping the switch" in our minds from fear to love.  At first it can seems almost inconceivable that we could look on someone that we loathe with love.  However, once we teach our minds how to do it, it becomes very easy.  In some ways the mind is very trainable.

So if you're feeling fear, reluctance or righteousness about forgiving someone unpleasant in your life, take the plunge.  Have a forgiveness baptism.  The water's fine!

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How to Handle Big Betrayals

I have a number of people coming to my site from the Ukraine, Romania and Russia in the past few weeks.  I am re-posting this discussion on betrayal for you.....

Once you get a forgiveness lifestyle happening, most of your forgiveness work will be fairly easy.  Lately I've been discussing the concept of "flipping the switch" from judgement to acceptance or fear to love.  This is a fairly easy process and once you understand it and have worked with it for awhile you'll find that you can forgive most of life's little annoyances and wounds in a minute or so of correct thinking.

However, there are other kinds of forgiveness needs in our lives and some are more challenging than this.  One is for big betrayals.  Not all of us have experienced a core-shattering betrayal, but if you have, you'll know how deeply painful this can be.  

My own experience with forgiving big betrayals has shown me that they require a lot of forgiveness work, often over an ongoing period of time.  Also, I've found that some deep betrayals need to be forgiven from a number of different angles and using a number of different processes.

Let's deal with the ongoing aspect of forgiving big betrayals first.  When we are deeply and utterly betrayed to our cores, there is so much hurt that it sometimes releases slowly.  In forgiving big betrayals, I found that I would forgive only to find that just a few days later, painful memories were running through my mind all over again. Much of the hurt, anger and other painful emotions had returned in almost full force.   

When this happens, there is nothing you can do, but forgive the whole mess all over again to the best of your ability.  Sometimes this means that you are forgiving the same event over and over again for weeks, months or even years.  It's important not to feel alarmed or overwhelmed by this.  Settle in to the fact that some of the biggest traumas of our lives take some time and effort to work through.  As we forgive, accept and release the pain, over time we will find that our forgiveness load lightens considerably every time we work with it and that eventually, the traumatic painful emotions lift completely away, never to return.  Have patience and keep chipping away at it.  You will come to the other side of it.

It's complicated!

One thing I've found is that there are often a number of different emotional aspects surrounding a big betrayal.  In other words, it's complicated.  As we forgive one part of it, other aspects come to the surface of our minds.  As each aspect comes into our awareness, we need to forgive that part of the betrayal.  We might find that we are forgiving one big betrayal, but that this event had repercussions that affected a myriad of aspects in our lives.  The trusting way we formerly looked at the world may have changed.  The betrayal may have forced significant changes into our daily lifestyles, perhaps financial, or we may even have had to move houses or change jobs.  If we have children, they may be affected.  Perhaps our betrayer was someone we spent a great deal of time with, and now we are mourning the loss of a best friend or spouse.  Our confidence levels may have changed and our sense of overall fear may be increased.  Perhaps this event tied into earlier memories of betrayal in our past that need to be dug up from the interior of our minds and processed.  

Understanding and forgiving all this needs contemplative time.  Think of this betrayal as a big knotted ball of yarn in our sub-consciousness.  We need to unravel every thread and release it individually until eventually, there is nothing left. 

A great starting place for forgiving a big betrayal is with Colin Tipping's Radical Forgiveness forms. (available for free at under "free stuff")  They really force you to do some deep thinking about how the betrayal has affected you.  If you are really deeply hurt, be prepared to do quite a few forms.  Try to tackle a form every day or so for awhile until you feel that the forgiveness is taking effect.  Every time you become aware of a new aspect of the betrayal that needs to be forgiven, write it down on an ongoing forgiveness "to do" list.   This way, you'll know the direction your forgiveness will take each day.  

I also like using a number of other forgiveness processes on something big like this.  There are several great ones outlined in my book "Forgiveness is the Key to Happiness", particularly "Feel the Feelings".  Also, my "Forgive Your Past NOW" audio meditation can be of significant help in breaking through a lot of the pain and hurt in one quick blow.  

Just remember that forgiveness is a lifestyle.  It is something we do everyday.  We are all given forgiveness assignments in this lifetime. Everyone of us has bruises, bumps and deep wounds to forgive.  It is as we forgive, accept and release that the true meaning of love begins to flow into our lives.  It starts off slowly at first, but as our forgiveness lifestyle grows, our understanding of the true meaning of love does, too.  And when this happens, we begin to know the deep inner peace that is our divine inheritance.  It's always ours to receive, but forgiveness is the way that we convince ourselves that we are worthy of accepting it.  

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Audio download with the "feel the feelings" forgivness process:

Happiness is a Role People Play

In Eckart Tolle's book, A New Earth, he makes the point that many people act like they are happy.  You run into someone you haven't seen for a while and you ask how they are, "Oh, great" they say, "things are great.  My job is going well.  The kids are busy at school and with sports.  We just took a nice trip to Hawaii for spring break.  I bought a new car this year.  Everything is great."

Is this really happiness?  Or is it busy-ness, safety, normalcy?  Isn't true happiness more than just a regular paycheck, a few comforts and a general overall sense of moving on with it?

What about the kind of happiness that wells up from deep within your heart and spills over into every moment of your life, always and wherever you are.  The happiness that makes you feel so much a part of all that is, that nothing can interfere with it and bring you down.  The deep abiding happiness that comes from knowing that you are completely supported and loved in your life, that you will always be taken care of and cherished, that nothing you can ever do is wrong and that you are forgiven for any "sins" you may believe you have committed.

You don't get this kind of happiness from a new car, a good report card or a promotion at work.

True happiness comes with forgiveness.  This is because as we begin to release our habit of judging everyone and everything in our lives and replace judgment with a sincere forgiveness lifestyle (we forgive the people in our present, the people and events of our pasts and everything we see in the world around us that upsets us) we begin to realize that we are forgiven, too.

There is no sin.  Spirit is only love.  When we love others through our forgiveness, we open ourselves up to receiving all of the Divine's gifts to us. And the Divine's gifts are truly multitude...happiness, peace, beauty, truth and love.  All this comes to us when we replace fear with love and offer forgiveness to the world around us.  

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Monday, April 14, 2014

The More You Give, the More You Have

Lesson 105 in the A Course in Miracles workbook presents a very nice little exercise in forgiveness.  It instructs us to think of our "enemies" a little while and tell each one, as he occurs to us:

   "My brother, peace and joy I offer you, 
That I may have God's peace and joy as mine."  

Remember that all minds are joined.  Even though consciously your "enemy" is not aware that you are offering forgiveness, on an unconscious level he knows.

In lesson 105, the concept of giving is discussed.  It is explained that there is a big difference in giving and receiving when we are talking about Godly gifts as opposed to earthly gifts.  Here in our earthly world, when we give something away it is gone to us.  For example, you have two cupcakes and two friends.  If you offer a cupcake to each of your two friends, there is no cupcake left for you.  

In God's world, however, giving Godly gifts works differently.  (God's gifts are higher concepts such as love, truth, beauty, happiness, peace.)  The more you give, the more you have:
"God's peace and joy are yours.  Today we will accept them, knowing they belong to us.  And we will try to understand these gifts increase as we receive them.  They are not like to the gifts the world can give, in which the giver loses as he gives the gifts, the taker is the richer by his loss.  Such are not gifts, but bargains made with guilt.  The truly given gift entails no loss. It is impossible that one can gain because another loses.  This implies a limit and an insufficiency."  
You will find the evidence of how this works is in the doing of this exercise.  If you take it seriously and go to a quiet place where you can still your mind for a few minutes by listening to your breath, you will find that your peace and joy truly does grow as you sincerely give it away to your trespassers.

Our math:  1-1=0 ... God's math 1-1= Infinity

This is one simple example of how forgiveness creates happiness in our lives.  When we embark on a large-scale forgiveness life-style, forgiving everything we can in our present, past and in the world around us, we are giving away our love all around us in our world and all the time.  What happens then?  Why, all this love comes right back to us multiplied.  Forgiveness is the key to happiness!

Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”--Luke 6:38 

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Happiness is Something You Decide On

"The 92-year old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with her hair done and makeup applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.
After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window. “I love it,” she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy. 
“Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room ...” 
“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged, it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it."  --The above story came from Chapter Two Blog .   

Mrs. Jones knows something big.  And this is something that most of us go our entire lives without learning.  Mrs. Jones knows that our thoughts are the one thing in life that we have complete and utter control over.  How we chose to look at the world is the one choice that is ours to make.  Mrs. Jones knows that each of us has the wherewithal to choose to allow only thoughts that ultimately contribute to our happiness to fill our minds.   

Choosing to be happy means that we choose to accept everything that occurs in our lives, even blindness. 

Choosing to be happy means that we learn to trust that whatever occurs is ultimately for our greater good, if we will only let it unfold, watching it with love and acceptance.

Choosing to be happy means that we let go of our habit of judging.  We stop judging the people we encounter, we stop judging the events that occur in our life and we stop judging the world and its conditions.

Choosing to be happy means that we commit to work to forgive the source of our disappointments, pains, losses, lack, discomfort, unhappiness, sadness, frustrations and fear, whatever it may be.  

Choosing to be happy means that it is okay for us to experience and feel real pain and hurt when it shows up in our lives.  It's okay to grieve.  It's okay to gnash ones teeth.  It's okay to howl with frustration.  But then, we release it and move on.  we don't fixate and get stuck in victim-hood.  We forgive.   

Choosing to be happy means that we develop a forgiveness lifestyle, that we practice forgiving whatever pushes our buttons each day in our present, that we forgive the painful events from our past and that we work to uncover the "false beliefs" that we have created as the result of these past events that are creating upsetting, confusing and painful patterns in our present.

And finally. choosing to be happy means that we flip the switch in our mind whenever the ego rears it's ugly head.  We flip the switch from fear to love.  We choose to think with Spirit in our minds.  Whenever we notice that the ego has returned with its thoughts of fear and worry, sadness and disappointment, frustration and anger, hurt and despair...we process, we inquire, we dig deep into our pasts to find the source of these thoughts, we examine, we feel and we release.  And then we kick the ego to the curb and get on with our happy lives.  

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

May All Beings Be Happy

I've noticed that this past week there have lots of readers from the Ukraine coming to this site.  I'm glad to know that there are people in the Ukraine that are searching for ways to deal with what has happened with forgiveness.  I also want any Ukrainian readers to know that there are people all over the world that support you and are praying for your well being.

When life shattering events occur, there is certainly much deep forgiveness work that can be done.  There are ideas in my book and throughout this site that may help with that.  However, in this posting I want to offer again a process, a Buddhist Metta prayer, that can easily and immediately help everyone get on the pathway to forgiveness around this issue.

Whenever we "flip the switch" in our minds from fear to love, we are beginning to forgive.  A Course in Miracles defines a miracle as "a shift in perception that takes place within the mind".  This little Metta prayer is truly a miracle-maker because in a matter of moments it takes you to love.

The prayer was written by Lama Surya Das and can be found in his book "Awakening the Budda Within".   There are many metta prayers and all have similar intentions.  However, the language in this one is particularly beautiful and seems to speak to everyone who reads it.

Here's what you do.  Get a picture in your mind of anyone involved in the recent events in Ukraine, the protagonists, the victims, the villains and the innocent by-standers.  You are going to say this prayer for each and every one of them. Say the prayer as sincerely as you can and really direct the words out to the individuals or groups whom you wish to receive its benefits.  If you need to, you can repeat it several times, once for people you feel angry with, another for victims, another for the people you are simply worried about, etc.

May all beings be happy, content and fulfilled.
May all beings be healed and whole.
May all beings have whatever they want and need.
May all beings be protected from harm, and free from fear.  
May all beings enjoy inner peace and ease.
May all beings be awakened, liberated, and free.
May there be peace in this world and throughout the entire universe.  

(You can insert someone's name instead of using the words "all beings" if you have a particular person or group of people in mind.  By the way, this prayer is so powerful, it will absolutely change your life if you use it every day.  My advice would be to print it out in a word document, perhaps add a beautiful picture to it like the heart world below and take it to your local office store to have them laminate it for you.  Then use it first thing in the morning.)

I would like to encourage all readers of this posting to say this prayer for the Ukraine and sincerely wish that everyone involved will be lifted up, be safe and will find a way to heal and to bring more love into their lives. 

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As a next step in forgiveness, I would suggest a guided meditation process that you can download for $2.99 called "Forgive the World Now".  It only takes 17 minutes to do and it will take you to a place where you will be able to see all this from a different perspective.  

And finally, here is a link to an article I like titled, "The Path to World Peace Starts Within" from The Power of Oneness.  A few excerpts:

"The condition of our physical world is a giant mirror reflecting back to us the collective thoughts of every person who is part of our earth family.  since thought is creative, whatever we focus on expands.  Therefore, what we are seeing is an indication that part of our human society is predominately focused on judgement, violence, greed and crime.  
We can point a finger of blame wherever and to whomever we want, but it does not change the truth that each of us has played a part in creating the condition of the world in which we live.  
We can only change the quality of our collective personal reality by taking personal responsibility for the part we have each played in creating it.  Since all change begins at the level of self, when we change our individual lives, the world around us changes as well. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Ways the Ego Sets Us Up

The ego loves to set us up in situations that create chaos in our lives.  The ego loves problems.  After all, while we are busy searching around in our earthly lives for the solutions to problems, we are distracted from our true purpose here, which is love.

Earlier this week I wrote about a classic ego set-up that a lot of us experience.  This is something I call "The rug gets pulled out from underneath me".  See here.  This almost always happens when we are the most elated about our lives.  Just when everything is going great, it all changes in an instant and everything goes horribly bad.

Another common ego set-up is "I can't win no matter what I do".  In this set-up, we have people in our life who are going to be very upset with us if we handle things one way and other people (just as important to us) who are going to be upset if we handle things the other way.  There are no alternative choices that will satisfy everyone.

I have a friend that is in this conundrum right now.  She and her sister receive a modest yearly stipend from her mother's trust.  There seems to be a problem with it.  Her sister has hired an expensive lawyer to fix it and expects my friend to share in the costs. My friend's husband believes that by the time the lawyer fixes the problem, his fees will eat up the stipend.  Her sister is angry at her because her husband is involved.  Her husband is angry because her sister is handling it badly, in his opinion.  If my friend let's her sister handle it, her husband will be hurt and angry with her.  If she gets her husband involved, her sister will be hurt and angry with her.  She can't win.

We all have themes we're working on in life.  I see this same friend in similar situations where she can't win occasionally.  This is her theme.

When you find yourself in ego set-ups, the only thing you can do is turn the whole mess over to Spirit.  You can do this two ways.  The first can just use words and make a statement something like this, "Holy Spirit, I am giving this whole situation regarding (X) over to you.  I know that you will know what to do with it and I trust you to find a solution that is in everyone's best interest."

Alternatively, if you visualize easily, you can create a big beautiful white marble altar in your mind.  Light it up with divine love.  Make it gorgeous, glowing and brilliant.  Just place your problem on the altar and watch it be consumed with heavenly white flames.

After you turn your problem over, what do you do?  Why, nothing, of course.  Spirit's got your back!  If Spirit decides there is some additional action for you to take, you will be informed.  Until that time, just rest in trust and enjoy the peace of knowing that it is not your problem any longer.   Let it go.  Release and forgive.

Turning your problems over is most definitely a form of forgiveness, but there's more forgiveness work we can do here.  When we find a pattern of ego set-ups in our lives, we need to do some soul searching to figure out why they're happening.  What events occurred early in our lives that caused us to create an unconscious false belief that we can't win?  Until we go back and really look at this false belief, we will continue to experience "can't win" ego set ups on a regular basis.  This will take some deep probing and thought.  However, if we ask Spirit for direction and knowing, we will receive the answers we search for.

Then how do we forgive whatever we find in our past?  For something like this, I like to use the "Feel the Feelings" process in Chapter Three of "Forgiveness is the Key to Happiness".   An easy to use download of this process in the form of a guided meditation is available, Forgive Your Past NOW.  For just $2.99 you will be shown a process that you can use over and over to forgive all kinds of wounds and hurts from your past.  These old injuries are wreaking havoc in your present. Why not do a little forgiveness work on your past and make your life work better for you today?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Pardoning vs. True Forgiveness

Many of us were taught to pardon when we were children.  Here is how pardoning works:

Someone injures, annoys or upsets us in some way.  We think, "They are very bad.  They behaved badly.  However, I am going to be the bigger person and I am going to pardon them for their bad behavior.  I am a good person.  I forgive them."

Pardoning is not true forgiveness.  Pardoning is actually a form of judgment.  In pardoning others we see them as less than us.  They are "bad" and we are "good". 

With true forgiveness, we see our trespassers as being our exact and perfect equals.  We see them in their higher place (which is our higher place, too).  We know that their true reality is that they are perfect children of God, that God made them in his exact image, that he loves them infinitely and that they are only love.  We acknowledge that this world is an illusion and that the things that happen here are only illusory acts.

Pardoning is an ego act.  It comes from the ego side of our mind.  It never leaves us feeling love.  Anytime we judge others, we move away from God. 

However, true forgiveness, moves us closer to our real home in the mind of God.  It comes from the Holy Spirit part of our mind.  Forgiveness is an act of love and loving make us happy.  That's why forgiving the world around us ultimately leads us to a happy life.
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Saturday, April 5, 2014

"The Rug Got Pulled Out From Underneath Me"

I spent today leading a forgiveness workshop and afterward one of the participants asked if I might spend a few minutes helping her understand something about an event from her past.

While doing one of the forgiveness meditations, she became aware that there were various elements associated with a particular event and wanted to know why that was.  I let her know that, yes, our bigger forgiveness lessons often have many aspects associated with them.  Big painful events are often complicated and the emotion we feel about them tends to make then seem even more complicated in our minds.

When she began to speak about what happened, her face took on a confused clouded expression and she had a difficult time grasping what we were discussing, even though it was all easily clear and obvious to me. As we were making a list of the aspects of this event that she needed to forgive, she kept asking me to repeat each one over and over so she could write it down.  She would write down a word or two of my sentence and get completely lost and ask me to repeat it again. Now, this is a very smart woman, but her painful memories were creating emotional blocks that were keeping her from thinking in her normal clear head.

Here are the simple facts about the event that transpired in her past.  She was a young girl and she was given her first bicycle.  She was so excited that she could ride it that she wanted to share her joy and rode down the block to show her best friend.  She felt elated that she could ride, proud of her new bike and excited to share with her friend.  When she rode back home, her father greeted her standing on the corner with a willow switch in his hand which he then beat her with it.

Today in the workshop she was able to see for the first time that his response came from his own fear.  After all, she had ridden off without telling him where she was.  She asked me if her understanding of this now was forgiveness.  My answer is that yes, it is, but only partially.

Anytime you flip the switch from fear thinking to love thinking you are forgiving.  In this case, her willingness to put herself in her father's shoes is an offering of love to him.  This is definitely the start of the forgiveness for her.  

However, there's a lot more under the surface.  I said to her, "Let's talk about the fact that here was this incredibly big moment in your life.  Getting a bicycle is a giant step in the progression to becoming BIG, so important to us when we are children.  This was one of the most important, happiest and proudest moments in your childhood.   Here you are absolutely celebrating this big moment and then suddenly it all turned horrible...the rug got pulled out from underneath you."

When I said the words, "the rug got pulled out from underneath you", she looked stunned.  "Oh, my God", she said.  "That is the repeating theme in my life.  Just when things seem to be going their very best, the rug gets pulled out from underneath me."

Of course they do!  When we have an experience this big and emotional in our childhood, it creates subconscious beliefs that color our world throughout our lifetime. In Science of Mind studies, we call these false beliefs.  My friend's belief is that whenever things are going really good, there is going to be a nasty and painful surprise.  The rug will be pulled out from underneath her.

The only way for her to stop reliving this moment in her life is for her to forgive it.  When she accomplishes the forgiveness, the horrible repeating pattern will stop and she will be able to accept happiness knowing that it will not be shockingly, abruptly and painfully taken from her.

Here are some other aspects of this experience which may have created additional false beliefs she can be working to forgive:

I get punished whenever I feel big and free and I fly.
People I love can harm me.
Love has strings attached. Other people love me conditionally.
I am a helpless victim.
I get in trouble even though I do nothing wrong.
I can't trust life.
This is not a safe world.

True forgiveness takes some deep thinking and self discovery.  That's why I like to call it a forgiveness lifestyle.  It sometimes takes months and even years to unravel the emotions, fears and blockages we have created in our minds because of the events in our past.  However, if we ask Spirit to help us receive understanding about our pasts, it will be given to us.  It often comes in fits and starts over a series of weeks and months, but maybe that's because we need the time to process what we are discovering.

Filmed at Lake Tahoe (where I live). 

It's true that forgiveness is a commitment.  However, the process can be fascinating (after all, what's more interesting than ourselves?)  It's also easier than you may think.  Now that my friend has begun to forgive this important event from her past, she'll be given more information and greater understanding about it.  It will become easier and easier for her to forgive each aspect of it.  Pretty soon, she will have released the whole thing.  The emotion of it will leave her body and she will be at peace whenever she remembers it.  This will allow her to open herself up to new possibilities in her life.  Perhaps she will decide to trust the world a little more and open up to new experiences and relationships in a larger way than she has in the past.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Are You Choosing Separation from Spirit?

Words from Jennifer Hadley:

"I’ve come to realize that all feelings of fear are the result of choosing separation from Spirit in some form or another. It always comes down to a judgment, an opinion.

The more I cultivate a pristine awareness, a release of all opinions and judgments, the more peaceful I feel. The more safe and secure I feel. The more I feel free to Love and be loved.

Fear is not caused by anything other than choosing to value a belief in separation from each other and from God.  Practice non-judgment and watch the peace emerge and the fear recede.

Don’t take my word for it.  Prove it.  When you choose to block Love from your heart and mind, you feel afraid.  When you choose to block Love from your heart and mind, you are cutting the communication with the ALL in ALL – and that’s why you feel afraid.

If you don’t enjoy feeling afraid, choose again." 

You can find more of Jennifer Hadley at:

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Judgments, Expectations and Behaviors of Wanting

I really love Colin Tipping's Radical Forgiveness forms and I have used many to forgive people and events from my past.  There is an entire chapter on Radical Forgiveness in my book, "Forgiveness is the Key to Happiness", and I recommend them in my forgiveness workshops.  (The forms are available for free at under "Free Stuff").

If you are a regular follower of this blog, you know that I often encourage readers to "flip the switch" from fear to love as a part of the forgiveness process.  Flipping the switch occurs the moment we stop judging and condemning and offer any sort of love, understanding or compassion to our trespasser.

In Colin Tipping's form he asks a number of questions that build upon each other culminating in the flipping of the switch.  One of the questions I love is this (substitute your trespasser's name for the X):
"My discontent was my signal that I was withholding love from myself and (X) by judging, holding expectations, wanting (X) to change, and seeing (X) as less than perfect. List the judgments, expectations and behaviors that indicate you were wanting (X) to change."
So often, our hurt and pain occurs when we want either someone in our lives, or the world around us to be a certain way.

When we dis-attach ourselves from expectations, wanting and emotional needs, then we are free to live in peace and joy.

We often create "needs" in our minds.  We might think, "I can't be happy if (X) doesn't love me." Or, "My life is a failure if I don't get a job with an important company."  Or, "I need to live in a beautiful house to be happy."  Or, "I need to be healthy to be happy."  All of these kinds of beliefs are just things we tell ourselves. Think about each of these statements above.  Are any of them really true?  Happiness and inner peace come from  releasing judgments and accepting whatever is.

When we create desired outcomes in our minds and get attached to them, we are only setting ourselves up for failure and misery.  In fact, attachments of any kind only set us up for pain.  Attachments to people, to places, to things are what create most of the pain in our lives.  When we just allow what is to be and accept the world around us as it is, we begin the process of creating inner peace in our minds.

There is a great big, beautiful, joyful world right here in front of us and in our minds.  And it is "what is".  There is plenty here to keep us satisfied if we will only flip the switch from fear to love and allow ourselves to see the truth around us.

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