One of my favorite CDs is a recording of a Celtic musical of Peter Pan. A highlight for me is a lovely song-poem which includes the line, "And those who trust shall grace attain."
This got me thinking...what is grace to me? And can it be attained? Can it be bestowed?
Most Christian religions teach that grace is "the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings." I disagree with this completely, because I do not believe in the concept of salvation or that some outside force decides whether you are worthy of blessings. (If you believe, otherwise, you're welcome to continue to believe that. I'm not trying to convince you otherwise!)
My definition of grace is that undefinable connection with Spirit (God, Allah, Universe, whatever your term for a higher power). I believe that this connection can be reached whenever you allow yourself to go deeply within, through prayer or meditation (which to me are the same thing), to that realm of no-thought. That space that is composed of only BEing. When you are in that zone, you are in grace.
And so, in a very real way, I believe that you can attain grace by entering into that "BEing" space. As the song says, when you trust that you can indeed reach that state, and then trust that your experience there is very real, that's where the magic happens.
In my view, in this lovely space of co-creation you tap into your blessings through this state of grace. Blessings are the result of the connection and the inspired action you take, trusting in the creation and the outcome.
I recently lectured and taught a class on how to discover your life theme. You see, we all have a running soundtrack of sorts, one that's playing in the background, creating opportunities to co-create with the universe.
That theme song is not consistently playing all of the time, and in fact may change a bit or a lot over a lifetime.
Let me explain.
If you follow my writing you probably understand a bit about the Law of Attraction (or Manifestation, or Co-Creation). The energy you put out comes back to you in some form. If you constantly say (and believe) that "I can't," then indeed you can't. The Universe will show you more reasons you can't.
And if you believe that creating what you want in life is easy, then life shows you more reasons to believe that.
So, consider your life right now. Is the sound track playing a dirge of "life is hard and I can't get ahead"? Or is it playing a lively jig: "WOW this life stuff is fun!"
How can you tell? Think of your interactions with others - easy or hard? Your success, your satisfaction, your contentment - all present and accounted for? Watch your words - are they positive creations or negative? Neither is wrong, but both create - choose your creations carefully.
YOU GET TO CHOOSE! You're the composer, the orchestra, AND the conductor. Decide what you want your soundtrack to sound like, and have fun with it!
Last month I had the most recent of OH-so-many synchronicities (i.e. "co-incidences") in my life.
At the close of a business conference I was attending, the speaker invited questions from her audience. A woman seated at a nearby table stood and introduced herself, then asked a very insightful question of the speaker, worded in such a way that indicated to me that she had a similar outlook to mine, an understanding of our co-creation with the universe. I was also very intrigued my her business name, which (as mine does) had a spiritual meaning.
"Something" told me to write down her name and business. Soon after the event, I looked up her website and was blown away...this woman was speaking my language! I wrote to her to tell her so, and tell her of the "still small voice" that told me to pay attention. Her response was to express her amazement and delight that I'd contacted her, as she'd been focused on manifesting someone like me to help her with a major business project.
We met for lunch, and immediately connected. We do indeed speak the same language, and share a deep commitment to shifting the world from fear to love. And further, as we discussed her project, every single item on her list of immediate needs was something that I could fulfill!
Had I not been paying attention, or had I not felt that nudge, what a powerful connection would have been missed to meet a like-minded (and like-hearted) woman with whom I could also enjoy a transformational business opportunity.
The moral of the story? Listen! Know that the messages and road signs are always out there. Allow yourself to focus on the knowing that the universe (by whatever name you choose) always, ALWAYS has your back. But you have to be ready and willing to reach out.
If you read my blog or social media posts regularly, you know that I often write about the importance of taking action toward goals, planting the seed of an idea so that it may take root. There are several types of action that may be taken, and it's important to consider which will serve you best.
We often find ourselves pushing against something we don't want. We rebel against a political statement, we denounce actions of others, or we argue a point in a business discussion. Usually without being consciously aware of it, we add energy and focus to these things by the act of pushing. As most conscious-thought teachers say, whether you are for or against something, you are still focused on that thing.
Sometimes we find ourselves pulling ... taking action to figuratively drag something to ourselves. We may try to force a relationship that does not feel energetically easy, or we may pester a potential client when we don't hear from them, or we may take something rather than allowing it to naturally come to us.
The most energetically easy action to take is to reach. Simply reach out your hand (figuratively and yes, sometimes literally) and grasp what comes to you. When you hold an empty hand out expecting it to be filled with all sorts of good things you desire in your life, that's where the magic happens. You're making yourself available, you're showing up and allowing.
Reaching is an action itself, and an allowing of more action toward your dreams. Hands out!
Hieroglyphs. Ogham. Runes. Emoticons. Tarot cards. Roman letters. Cyrillic letters. Arabic letters. What do these all have in common?
Symbols. Each image depicts an idea that the creator (and his culture) wanted to communicate to others. Pictures and drawings which have meaning only because they were assigned meaning. They have energy, because the meaning assigned to them contains energy.
Think of the swastika, for example. The original symbol in shamanic cultures represented the idea of divinity, of spirituality. We all know it was usurped by a culture which did its best to wipe out divinity and spirituality - and therefore the energy of the image changed.
Does this image - 8 - mean anything? As a drawing, no, it's just a twisty line. However our culture has assigned a numeric meaning to it. Turn it sideways - ∞ - and it has a completely different meaning.
I know people who fear runes and tarot cards, for instance, believing they are evil. These people assign the meaning "evil" to the images because that is the energy they are focused on, so that is what they see. I know other people who value these symbols, because love is what they're focused on, so that is what they see.
When we collect a whole bunch of symbols together, we have an entire system of communication. But the person perceiving (i.e. reading) the symbols will perceive through their own energy filter. This is why symbols and writing will never take the place of face-to-face communication, where tonality and physicality contribute to the meaning.
Is there any wonder why we so often mis-understand?
No, I'm not talking about what car you drive to a meeting or what you're wearing! I'm talking about how YOU show up to others as YOU! Do you put on a mask or do you show your true self?
I grew up as a very talented people-pleaser, and so that's how I showed up...as whatever others wanted me to be. I paid close attention to cues so I would know how to adjust for the situation. I had no clue who I really was, at the core.
As I gained life experience (i.e. I aged!) I learned that it was not only very uncomfortable to work so hard at pleasing others and never myself, but it no longer worked! The time had come to show my true colors. I discovered in the process that others much preferred that authentic self, with humor and wit, love and compassion, confidence and strength. When I saw those qualities in myself, I saw them in others - funny how that works!
I am now part of such a large, caring community of holistic and metaphysical people. For the most part, we all show up as we truly are, hearts exposed. That by no means implies we're doormats or overly vulnerable, but it does mean that we are not afraid to be authentic.
I recently met a woman who showed up as domineering, mean, abrupt and rude. I was shocked as I've been unaccustomed to dealing with that kind of energy. I don't know whether that is authentic for who she truly is. I can't judge, but also it is not important to me - it's doubtful I'd see her again. But it got me thinking about what seeds she's planting with that energy.
I choose light seeds!
Did you know we all have "set points"? Points during past, present, or future lives in which something significant happened?
I was recently reminded of this during a new meditation I was trying, in which an alternate "version" of me brings me a gift of knowledge. This "other self" had an awareness that I am currently seeking, and the gift was to bring that awareness in to my present-self consciousness.
This probably sounds odd to some, but makes perfect sense to me. Time is a man-made construct, so any concept of "now" and "then" is just our perception.
My studies and my experience have taught me that any time something amazingly wonderful, or alternatively, traumatic, happens a set-point is created, rather like a re-set point on your computer.
As well, other "mes" have understandings, knowledge, experience that you either do not yet have or have forgotten.
I find this topic fascinating, and have had some amazing experiences playing with those other Hollys. If it is a topic you wish to explore, seek out the best resource for you, whether a YouTube video, mentor or teacher, or healer, and give it a try. Release judgment and accept the gifts!
I was recently speaking with a friend with whom I have a great deal in common. We both had awareness lately of how we occasionally slip into older, less enlightened thoughts and behaviors. That's human nature, isn't it? The ego gets in the way of progress, working hard to keep you safe (by the ego's definition), when you know a better way to be.
In WordPress, Google Docs and other programs, there is a Revert function that allows you to reset a page to a previously saved version. When a problem occurs with the newest changes, you can simply click to go back to a version of the page that you prefer.
When we practice that better way and that is our "normal," the backtrack feels off somehow. The awareness of "off" is what allows us to re-engage that new, more aware way of being. That is our chance to hit the "Revert" function in our internal software! "Oh, wait, no wonder this doesn't feel right. Things have been going so well with my newer thought patterns and manifestations...but I slipped. Let's go back to these better ways - Undo - RESET!"
Pay attention to the manifestations you're experiencing. If they are not what you would choose, then reset to a better way!
I've been on Facebook for a very long time and I appreciate the network I share with. I am also discerning regarding accepting new friend requests. Recently I was reminded of the importance of my boundaries of what is acceptable on my news feed.
Someone I met at a gathering friended me, and because she seemed a pleasant person I accepted. I had only seen a couple of posts in my timeline from her and it was very obvious that we had social views on the opposite end of the spectrum from each other. And that's fine! I believe everyone should post authentically on their own page. Last week, this person shared a meme that was vile. I was disheartened that someone would create it, let alone that anyone would share it as appropriate. And so **click** UNFOLLOW! I felt relief about that.
In my work life, I LOVE being my own boss...I get to decide with whom I work, and I am able to honor boundaries there as well. I have conversed with prospects who either felt angry to me, or operating from ego or fear. I have had unfortunate experiences with a couple of clients who used me to work through their own issues. And through these boundary tests, I have learned that loving ME first is the most important thing. As I honor who I am, what I believe, and what energy I work with, I am more open to those who will benefit from a working relationship with me...those who understand that honoring self first fills your well so that you have abundance to share with others.
And those with whom I choose to not create a relationship will find the perfect match for their energy - but I am not that match!
Now, nay-sayers, be aware I am NOT talking about love. I send love and light everywhere I go. That's a very different thing from honoring personal boundaries.
Become more aware of what you feel when meeting people for the first time, whether live or virtually. Honor yourself and your boundaries, and share your energy as you choose.
It's interesting to be a solo-preneur as I approach retirement age. I've been able to let go of the societal, workplace prejudice about the "older American" and tired work habits, and really delve into work that delights me.
Are there workplaces which truly value the skill that older people can bring to their businesses? I haven't found them. But an experienced worker as a freelancer...now that's another situation.
The entrepreneur's image is necessarily based on their work ethic, personality and talent. A young adult stepping out into entrepreneurship may be perceived as not yet having the skill and authority necessary to not only run a business, but also to provide superior service to clients.
However, a middle-aged individual (and older) has reserves of business and life experience just waiting to be tapped. The sage, the expert, the wisdom-keeper. Assuming we have good work records, we have earned the respect of our associates and network. People tend to think, "Well, if he (she) has come this far, he (she) must have a lot to offer."
I am happier in work than I have ever been, and happier in my life as well. These, of course, are closely intertwined. Now, I am grateful for that shove off the cliff, although at the time I was terrified. I have, like that wonderful bottle of Cabernet, aged to perfection...and I know I will share my "sage-ness" with clients for years to come!