A Deliverance of Biblical Proportion

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Have you ever felt like things were so bad that the only solution was running away?

I did. One year I determined to fit all my most important possessions into 12 boxes.

“Why 12?” you may ask.

Because I2 was how many would fit in my trunk.

When whittling your life down to the bare necessities, you will realize just what really is and is not important.

When Jesus asked the disciples to throw down their nets and follow him, they traveled even more lightly than that.

My material life with all its material things had left me so spiritually empty that if Jesus had come along and offered me the same deal, I’m sure I would have taken him up on it.

I fantasized about how it would feel to just ride off into the sunset and never be seen again.

At some point, my husband shook some sense into me by telling me how I would never be able to live with leaving my new boss in the lurch.

He was right, of course, but I couldn’t help the feeling that my situation had much in common with Abraham being instructed to kill his only son… In this case, the sacrifice was to be me.

The very next day I went into work with a new attitude. Rather than trying to figure out how to escape the job I hated, I determined to see it through.

The second day of my commitment, my new boss was coming into town to meet with me. I even stopped by a shop and got him his favorite coffee drink.

The meeting started at 8. Within 10 minutes he fired me. He FIRED me!!!!!

Most people would be upset by such news, but I felt that God had decided to spare me.

I was elated.

Those 12 boxes really helped me see that all the big things are nothing in comparison with being happy and feeling free.

Give me 12 boxes and a spirit filled with joy. I’ll be just fine.

What would you put in your 12 boxes?

 

Pecked to Death by Geese

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There are profound moments in everyone’s life when they hear something that really ‘hits the nail on the head’ so to speak.

Maya Angelou gave me one of those moments several years ago. She put words to a feeling she called, “Being pecked to death by geese.”

She was explaining that she did not allow any person to speak unkindly to, or about, another in her home. Even tiny jabs, sarcasm towards, eye rolls, etc., aimed at another were not allowed.

At the first sight of such behavior she would look seriously at them and state, “Not in my house!”

Those small, almost invisible little bites at another take a little bit from a person’s value, one piece at the time; a peck here, a peck there.

Over time, those little things add up and eat at a person and destroy their feelings of self worth. Maya’s word for those little insidious jabs taken at others…..

“Being pecked to death by geese.”

It’s a message to all of us to check ourselves.

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It bares repeating.

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

Do your words and actions lift others up or take them down?

We each have great power to change the world, one kind word at a time.

Changing up the Order for Success

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There are all kinds of success trainings and wealth seminars happening every day throughout the world.

I’ve taken many and given a few of them as well.

But why don’t they stick? We go and get all excited, take lots of notes, buy the program CDs and videos. And then we go home and back to the lives we had before. Not too many days go by before the things we learned take a back burner to the daily grind.

What will really make the difference, the lasting difference, the true transformation in your life?

The real answer is in changing YOU. But that is the last place most of us will look. The teaching of the world is out of order.

We are taught to DO.

DO go to college

DO get a great job or start a business

DO get married, have a family, buy a house, buy a bigger house…..

DO, DO, Do

Then we think we will HAVE

HAVE success

HAVE the American dream

HAVE all the things money can buy…..

HAVE, HAVE, and HAVE more

Then we will BE

BE happy

BE fulfilled

BE truly successful.

However, after following this path of DO-HAVE-BE, most of us find that we worked hard and sacrificed our time and attention on things that, in the end, did not give us the happiness we thought would be the reward.

The good news – Finding true success only takes an instant. One dramatic instant where you flip the order of the 3 little words.

BE DO HAVE

First BE who you really are. When you are in your highest state of BEingness, you will only DO what is in alignment with who you really are. The rabbit trails will be a thing of the past.

By Being authentic and Doing accordingly, you will immediately HAVE the most important things there are; a love and life that is filled with true passion because it comes from your authentic self. Your beingness.

 

Faith like an Onion

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I’ve had God in my life as long as I can remember but having faith is something each of us grapples with over a lifetime.

It’s easy to say you have faith. And… much more challenging to actually ‘Have Faith.”

So how would real faith look?

What is the truth of its gift to us?

If we had complete faith almost everything in our personal worlds would look different.

I would know that no matter what it may look like at any given moment, everything is going to be ok.

Ponder that for a minute. Isn’t that the ultimate faith?

Some of the best advice I ever got came from a mountain man. At the time, I was trying to terribly hard to control the things that were happening in my life and the lives of those close to me. Talk about stressing out, I WAS!

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After listening to me patiently for quite some time, he stopped me in my tracks with his gently spoken statement. “ Dina….. do you realize that the sun rises and sets every day without your help? Grass grows, seasons turn… Why do you feel so responsible for everything?”

The mountain man really drove home the idea that it is not our job to try to control things. The Universe really is doing very well without our help.

God has shown us thru the way he handles all the basics that we are in very good hands but still we question.

Billions of cells in our bodies work in concert to have us walk, talk and breathe. Our hearts beat in rhythm. Babies are born.

When you look at the big picture there is no logic to indicate that we and not God should be in charge. And yet, our trust has limits.

So, our growth in faith is like the peeling of an onion.

As we notice a fear and give it up to spirit. We peel a layer.

We release a little control and there goes another layer.

There are tears when dealing with onions, but in the end they are happy tears.

As time goes on, we remember who we are and how well we have been taken care of.

The closer we get to the center, the lighter we feel.

 

If God was One of Us

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It’s been a long time since I saw the movie, “Meet Joe Black”, but it sticks with me to this day.

 

 

Where the popular opinion was that Joe Black personified Death, I thought it was more a picture of what God would experience if He took a little vacation to earth.

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He would un-nerve everyone, admire our good qualities, fool most of us into thinking he was human and find himself being sucked into human-ness, if only for a while.

It is a powerful pull.

Let’s turn the tables for a minute.

What if the opposite was true? What if we were the representatives of God?

What higher standards would we expect from ourselves? Haven’t we all been lost in our human-ness long enough to see that the greatest joys in life are not things at all. They are the relationships that make us feel whole.

To take the time to know and love others deeply is the greatest gift we can ever give.

To be loved and known deeply is the greatest joy.

I think Rumi says it best.

“Once I had a thousand desires, but in my desire to know you all else melted away.”

Your Birth Story

babyRight before you were born, God placed in your right hand a brand new artist’s canvas, rolled up like a scroll.

And in your left, a handful of bright colored paints. He hugged you tight and kissed you on the forehead. “Go into the world my child and make of your life a beautiful masterpiece.”

Shocked at the sight of a newborn armed with such sophisticated materials, the doctor pried your little fingers from the gifts you were born with to your screams of protest.

“A baby cannot possibly have the skills to paint on canvas with oils.”

Soon they were replaced with a page marked with soft blue lines, each with a number in it and crayons labeled with matching numbers.

As they tucked these in your crib, you were assured, “Life was about staying in the lines and painting by the numbers. If you do that everything will work out fine.”

And that is a lie! 

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Because we forgot who we were meant to be, we are all in the process of finding our way back.

In the past, we have thought that if we go to the right schools, get the right job and marry the right person, that everything will work out fine. That would be true if we were choosing from a soul perspective.

But most of these decisions are based on the perspective of others. Life really starts to work when we throw away the coloring book, open up a new set of paints, and discover who we were really meant to be.

Ready! Set! Go!

Put a New Spin on your Old Story

Never be discouraged

 

Are you one of those people who continue to beat yourself up about things of the past?

It’s time to stop that nonsense.

 

 

“Never be discouraged about your past. You may not fully realize all you have learned from it. Those who have weathered the largest storms are most able to understand how to help those who struggle. You have a rare and unique gift to offer the world.” The Baglady

It’s time to look at those old events as valued experiences for your present and future success.

Having grown up in a loving family, physical abuse was never part of my experience. I was unsympathetic to anyone who would put up with bad treatment. My thought was, “Get out!”

Imagine my surprise when I found myself in an abusive relationship and could not leave? My friends begged me and continually worried for my safety. Of course, I had my reasons (like all abused people do) for putting up with it.

While I was in the situation, it seemed like there were 2 voices in my head fighting with one another. The old me kept yelling “Get out.” The abused me found so many reasons why leaving seemed impossible.

Long story short, I finally escaped. But I also learned so much from the experience. I’m much more understanding and compassionate now.

Instead of beating yourself up for your past, what did you learn? How are you better for it?

The answers to those questions are now part of the gifts you can share with others.

The Broken Link

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If you really believed……

 

 

….. that your trip to the grocery store,

….. your interaction with the plumber,

….. the phone call from your elderly aunt,

….. the dinner you served your family,

….. and the way you treated the waitress at Denny’s was sacred, how would your day be different?

Your life would be different. That’s for sure.

You would be living it consciously.

You wouldn’t pass by today dreaming of a better, more perfect tomorrow.

You’d actually be present in the NOW, seeing all the small miracles in every moment.

It’s a tall order to BE in the moment. But if you practice it, you will see a world that real dreams are made of. It’s been right here the whole time.

You were the one who was missing.

 

 

 

 

A New Take on Journaling

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Yes, it’s true. Many people are touting the positive effects of journaling, especially about gratitude.

And…. So am I. But do you know why it is so important?

Do you know how to quantify the value?

MATH!

The more good you put out, the more good you get back. It’s just math.

Ask yourself this question. “What percentage of my life do I approach from a positive perspective?” That will be just about the same amount of good you see coming back to you.

For example, if it’s 50%, about half of your life is working right now. Every small improvement you make in your attitude will result in more good coming your way.

When you set aside time every day to consider the things you are grateful for, the time you spend becomes part of that math equation. Because of your effort to focus time on the bright side of life, you tend to notice more good in your world. Thus, you continue to expand the percentage of the positive in your life.

Don’t wait for the outside to improve first. Be grateful for what you already have and more will follow. Once you see that a gratitude journal is a small effort with a huge benefit, you’ll be sharing this ‘New Math’ with everyone you know.

 

 

Mustard Seeds, Mountains & Men

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Several years ago a strange thing started happening in my life. At first I didn’t even really notice.

It just happened to be in the men who came into my life.

 

A guy had just broken my heart and I was sitting across from a dear friend crying over my lost love.

Larry listened patiently to all my woes, handing me tissues at regular intervals and letting me vent.

I was totally burned out with the life I’d been living. A bonafide workaholic, my values were all materialistic. I lived in a huge home and had surrounded myself with all the creature comforts. It sounds good on paper, but I was really unhappy with every aspect. The man was just the icing on my cake of discontent.

After I’d calmed down, Larry got my attention and asked me, in all sincerity, “Dina, what do you really want?”

Without a moment’s hesitation, I told him that I wanted to move to a commune and grow vegetables. I could see myself standing in a beautiful field of green in a gauzy dress and large brimmed hat, my apron holding today’s bounty. I wanted a more spiritual life, one that had meaning.

At the end of my description he said, “ You probably wouldn’t want to leave your ivory tower.” (That’s what he called my house.)

I assured him that I would gladly leave it for happiness.

Then he countered with, “You wouldn’t want kids.”

And I convinced him that I was finally ready to have kids. I could do that.

After letting me get my whole idea out, we ended our conversation and life went on.

tumblr_mo3r2x82bq1s8b6s6o1_500Within a few days, I met a widower with 6 young children who lived way out in the boonies. He was 100% back to nature; wood heat, no air conditioning, composting, gardening, home schooling. You get the picture.

 

Basically everything I had asked for. But, at the time, I didn’t tie it all together.

He ended up being too difficult for me. His religious views and dominating ways were over the top. (But then I had asked for something kind of ‘over the top, hadn’t I?

So, the next thing I decided I wanted was someone educated and logical who didn’t believe in God at all. And, if he did, I never wanted him to talk to me about it.

Low and behold, along came the perfect match to my latest asking.

That was also a disaster. If there is anything that is important to me, it is my spiritual life. For me to say that I never wanted to talk about it was strictly the pain of the moment .

I still had not made the connection between my thoughts and my results.

God, needed to finally get me to see what was going on……

A few weeks later I attended a lecture where the speaker talked about manifesting the things you want in your life.

I had a eureka moment. I had unconsciously been asking everything that was happening to me.

I argued that manifesting was not all it was cracked up to be. And, while he was teaching people to do it, everything in me was saying “no.”

At some point I asked him why, considering how much trouble it could cause, was it something to experience.

His answer shook me. “Only thru the experience will you see how very powerful you are.”

As it turns out, our asking, is a form of prayer. I did not know that I had been praying.

My outcome was disturbing, but the results sure did teach me to monitor my thoughts.

Now that I know that my thoughts/prayers are so powerful, I finish all my asking with “If it be Thy will.”

More than anything, I want my life to be what is in the highest good for all concerned.

The faith of a mustard seed can move mountains. I only want to move the ‘mountains’ that God would have me move.

And men?  My prayer for a good man?

Lord, only if it be thy will. And you choose.