Posts Tagged ‘faith’

The Power of Imperfection

“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong.
There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right.
To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

Do what You can with what You have from where You are now.

Bryan Gaynor, computer science major of Kennesaw State University, Georgia, has a secret love.  Dance.  He also has a not so secret health issue, scoliosis, which influences his dancing.  Bryan is charismatic and instantly endearing with an obvious passion for life, music, and most especially dance.  He knows the secret of success as has collaborates with his body and creates a unique dance style that stirs the hearts of audiences worldwide.

“You’ve taken your physical appearance, your size, and everything else and you’ve used it to your advantage brilliantly.  What else could anyone ask of you.  That was just sensational.  Brilliant!”

~ Nigel Lythgoe, So You Think You Can Dance ~

Bryan Gaynor’s So You Think You Can Dance Audition – “Ain”t No Other Man”, Christina Aguilera

Bryan Gaynor’s So You Think You Can Dance Audition – “Fireflies”, Owl City

Bryan Gaynor & Remote Kontrol

Bryan chooses to believe in the beauty of creation, the power of art, and Love, his love for dance.  Bryan parented an entirely new form of dance because his dance was too much a part of him to let it go.  He made a way and inspires others in the process of doing what he loves.

“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

Taylor Swift is another prime example of someone who has created her own road.  Taylor’s decision early on to become a country star stayed her focus upon her goal transforming every block into a stepping stone.  She shattered the music industry’s illusions by going against everything she was “supposed to be” to succeed.  Taylor channeled her feelings of social outcast into teaching herself guitar and writing songs, developing her trademark candor ultimately catapulting her to international success.  Taylor’s determination to live her passion led her to create an entirely new sound that redefined the music industry worldwide.

What if we listen to our dreams and passions?  What if we allow our talents to lead us?  What if we believe in ourselves?  What if we know we are enough and feel lovable and worthy of every blessing intended for us?  What if we chose to perceive everything a gift of wisdom helping us to live our dreams?  What if we celebrate what is going right and use our strengths to bless one another?  What if we choose to believe life is happening for us?  What if we make a conscious choice to exchange being victimized for being victorious?

I made a life-altering decision this year …to find the blessing and to choose Love and Peace in every situation.  It required something unexpected …for me to be gentle with and kind to myself.  Those who know me would suggest it is an understatement when I say I was harshly self-analytical consistently focusing on what could be improved and how to improve it.  I was in a constant mindset of “not enough” being critical of everything because I believed it was motivating me to grow.  My spirit, one day, grew very weary of feeling as though it simply could never measure up, and it said, “Time to rest.”.  Spirit is our life force and pretty much runs the show.   “Now what,” I asked?  Spirit said, “You are Beloved, so just Be.  Be Love and Be Loved.”

Everything changed in an instant, and I began to see more clearly exactly how loved we are that God/J created an entire universe as our classroom and playground.  We are here to grow and learn, and beauty and strength is found in our imperfections.  My entire paradigm shifted, and everyday has become a gift.  How am I growing?  What am I learning?  Who am I becoming?  I choose to celebrate everyone’s uniqueness and focus on the positive.  I also seek to identify the blessings in everything, which sometimes requires creativity and deeper thought.

I used to think acknowledging one’s strengths was conceited, narcissistic, and self-aggrandizing and was certainly surprised to discover the opposite was true.  There is a difference between touting one’s self from a position of insecurity versus being grounded in peace and true self-love, and it is okay if it sometimes takes the former to get to the later.  Self-Love is fruit from the Tree of Life, which nourishes one to be a blessing to others.

“Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love”, a heartwarming story by Larry Levin, chronicles Oogy’s harrowing tale of barely surviving after being baited for fight dogs.  He was left in a cage for five days without food or water with a hole in his head and other serious wounds.  Oogy eventually connected with an amazing family, who adopted him as one of their own.  Levin pondered, “I’ve often wondered what kept this dog going – this dog, who never knew any human warmth or kindness …and he couldn’t stop kissing us.”  He is an excellent example that imperfection provides a greater opportunity to connect more deeply, heart-to-heart, spirit-to-spirit.  Levin shares, “Oogy is a sign of encouragement because inevitably everyone’s going to go through some horrible stuff in their lives.  You just can’t skip it.  This dog is living proof that you can go through the most obscene experience and come out okay on the other side and find love on the other side.”  Oogy’s story confirms the reality that we are all spiritually connected, beyond the physical, reminding us that, at our core, we are Love.

Larry Levin talks about Oogy

Faith is easy when things go well.  Love is simple when people behave lovingly.  What about when someone or something is imperfect?  Do we give up, walk away, write it off, or do we recognize the opportunity for deeper Love?  Do we celebrate the beauty, strength, and gifts in imperfections?  Choosing Love goes beyond, helping our hearts, minds, and spirits mature.  Love nurtures potential, recognizes possibilities, and is the seed for miracles.  I choose Love.

May You see yourself through the eyes of our brilliant Creator understanding You are a glorious gift and a blessing in the world.  Know your “flaws” are “on purpose”, beautiful to the Creator, and offer You the opportunity to Love yourself more deeply in order to Love others more genuinely.  Imperfections are greater windows through which Love can flow.  May You celebrate the unique and wonderful treasures You bring to the world.  May You courageously be your marvelously authentic self  radiating brilliant light and inspiring others to shine with You.  May joy, Love, and peace fill your heart, mind, soul, and universe.  Know You are cherished, exquisite, and protected.  You are a divine miracle.  You are BeLoved.        ღ

©2011 Susan Stackpole  www.susanstackpole.com

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Care to use this article for your e-zine or newsletter?  Please include the following

Susan Stackpole, certified creative consultant and results expert, is the #1 coach helping celebrities, VIPs, and You celebrate your inner superstar and manifest destinyIgnite your potential, jump-start your success, and achieve quick, effect results while living your dreams.  Please visit www.susanstackpole.com for free resources on living your best life.  Sign up for the monthly newsletter, which includes celebrity tips on manifesting destiny in style.   Contact Susan to map your destiny today.

The Power of Gratitude

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today,

and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

~ Anonymous ~

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Thank You.  Merci (French).  Efharisto (Greek).  Mahalo (Hawaiian).  Grazie (Italian).

Click here to learn to say “Thank You” in other languages.

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What is gratitude?

The Princeton Dictionary defines gratitude as “a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation”, and Wikipedia describes it as “a positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive”.  Gratitude is mutually beneficial for the giver and receiver, a win-win situation.  “Thank You” feels good whether you hear it or say it, especially if you are blessing someone’s life.  Recent attention has been brought to the importance of gratitude in manifesting one’s desires.  Law of attraction suggests advanced praise activates attracting one’s desires.  Spirituality also confirms the importance of remaining grateful in every situation as a way of activating and receiving blessings.

“Gratitude helps you to grow and expand;

gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life

and into the lives of all those around you.”

~ Eileen Caddy ~

Why is gratitude important?

Neale Donald Walsch, author of “Conversations with God”, suggests our souls choose certain situations ripe with valuable lessons to gain greater wisdom.  He reveals that accessing this knowledge shifts one’s perspective to automatically engage gratitude.  Gregg Braden, author of “The Divine Matrix”, suggests gratitude is fundamental to our survival as we approach 21 December 2012, the dawning of a new world age.  He reveals the future of the world is currently being shaped by what people choose to believe, and the future is literally being created by the thoughts people think.  Gregg states this new world age accounts for many people who have been affected by the random passing of loved ones and other curious events in recent years.  He shares that we are being offered massive growth opportunities to step into higher consciousness and experience a greater sense of gratitude than ever before.

How can gratitude work for me?

2010 has been a crazy year for many people, including me.  I found myself searching for a deeper understanding of God and universe in an attempt to make sense of the year’s weird happenings.  I explored religious philosophies and scientific theories, which only led to more questions.  My life began to seem like an alternate reality, and one day I simply prayed to know The Truth.  It seemed like it was one thing after another, and I was at my wit’s end.  I was attempting to make a note of something with a brand new ink pen that simply wasn’t cooperating.  Have you ever had one of those weeks where it seems everything is going the opposite way in which you’d like?  Well, I was there, and this just was just too much.  I asked aloud, “What do you want from me?  How do I get things to work out for me?”

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find;

knock and the door will be opened to you.

For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds;

and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

~ Matthew 7:7-8 ~

Ask, and You shall receive.

God (or Jehovah as I call Him), or however you choose to address Him, spoke to me as clearly as if you and I were having a conversation.  He said, “Stop asking me for things, and start trusting Me.  Surrender your heart to Me.  You are my child, and I know your heart.  I love you and am working all things out for your good even if it doesn’t make sense now.  Pray with praise as if you have your heart’s desires.  Say ‘Thank You’ instead of ‘Please’, and remember to praise on others’ behalf, too.”  The Voice disappeared as quickly as it appeared, and I sat in humbled in silence.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all.

The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation,

by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,

will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

~ Philippians 4:4-6 ~

Did I imagine The Voice?  Could something this simple really work?  The ink pen had embossed lovely scrolls on the paper where I had been scribbling without success.  I took a breath and said, in my head, “Thank You for this pen writing.”  The pen magically began writing within seconds.  I was certain it must merely be coincidence.  I began testing the gratitude principle on other things, including a challenging situation beyond my control, and even that began to transform almost instantly.  I was quite pleasantly surprised by the immediately positive results …all from saying, “Thank You” in advance.  I was, in a word …astonished.

Why is gratitude so effective?

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘Thank You,’ that would suffice.”

~ Meister Eckhart ~

Doors open.  Light bursts through windows.  Possibility blossoms.  Blessings bloom.  Miracles manifest.

Gratitude is the ultimate confirmation of faith because it is so certain of receiving that it praises in advance.  Someone once explained it to me this way –  we know gravity is a law; therefore, we go through the day trusting it is active without questioning it.  True faith is the same principle.  We walk in belief knowing that we will see what we believe versus waiting to believe until we see.

Gratitude is our Love Song to The Creator.

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The Power of Gratitude is dedicated to Amazing, Gorgeous, Talented, and Wonderful You.  Thank You, My Dear Readers, for sharing your kind comments and radiating your awesome light.  You are a gift.  You are BeLove(d).  Shine on.

©2010 Susan Stackpole  www.susanstackpole.com

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Care to use this article for your e-zine or newsletter?  Please include the following

Susan Stackpole, certified creative consultant and results expert, is the #1 coach helping celebrities, VIPs, and You celebrate your inner superstar and manifest destinyIgnite your potential, jump-start your success, and achieve quick, effect results while living your dreams.  Please visit www.susanstackpole.com for free resources on living your best life.  Sign up for the monthly newsletter, which includes celebrity tips on manifesting destiny in style.   Contact Susan to map your destiny today.

The Power of Words

“Words have the power to destroy or heal.

When words are true and kind, they can change the world.”

~ Buddha ~

Words, words everywhere in what you hear, speak, and think  …and what you drink?!?

Dr. Masaru Emoto’s book, “Hidden Messages in Water” chronicles the effects of words on water.  Dr. Emoto discovered that words affect the formation of water crystals.  Beautiful words create elegant, intricate crystals, and unappealing words form unattractive and misshapen crystals.  Test it yourself by creating an easy home experiment utilizing cooked rice.  (Details on conducting the experiment are included at the end of the video.)   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZDOPQRdxJM

How is Dr. Emoto’s work significant for you?  Water defines over seventy percent of the human body, which means everything that is heard, spoken, or thought creates a vibration in water affecting every single cell in the body.  How?  The human body is a group of atoms vibrating so quickly that it gives the illusion of being a solid mass.  Jefferson Lab estimates the average human body is 7*1027 atoms (7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) – that is seven billion billion billion atoms.  Wow!  Water’s hydrogen atoms form polar bonds to the oxygen atoms to create a web.  Huh?  Water creates a network that keeps the body’s atoms connected while still allowing them to vibrate in place.

Words are also give great significance in the spiritual realm.  Most religions reference, in on form or another, that the power of the word is crucial to the creative process.  Christianity notes that God created the heavens and the earth with a word.  “God said…”, and it was done.  There was no magic wand, no fairy dust, rather simply words that brought all creating into existence.  What mighty words!   Additionally, the power of the word was bestowed on humans when God created man in His image and likeness, “in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”  That includes You, too!

Why are words so powerful?

Has a friend every called you moments after thoughts of him/her popped into your brain?  Have you thought about a new car, and suddenly you see it everywhere?  Why?  Dr. Joe Dispenza, author of “The Thrones of Divinity”, appearing in What the Bleep, states, “Our human brain processes 400 billion bits of information every second; however, we are only aware of about 2000 of those billions of bits of data.”  How, then, does the brain determine how to filter the data it receives?   Words.  Words that are heard, spoken, and thought create receptors, homing beacons, in the brain, which the brain utilizes as a guide to filter information.  The brain is a dutiful servant and will focus on what its master tells it to.

How do we choose our words?

The selection criteria for the words we choose to hear, speak, and say is belief.  Belief is defined by The Princeton Dictionary as, “any cognitive content held as true”.  Notice it carefully distinguishes, “held as true” versus stating “is true”.  Beliefs exist solely in the mind requiring validation to exist. and the ego is in charge of collecting information to support the belief system.  The ego messages the brain, and the brain creates a filter to collect information to support the beliefs, and, voila!  Words.  (Please see the upcoming blog, “The Power of Belief” for more information on beliefs).

How can the power of words help for me?

Do you know race car drivers are taught to focus on where they’d like their car to go because it keeps them safe?  (Thank You, Tony Robbins, for sharing.)  Focus on where you’re going, not where you’ve been or where you are.  Both faith and the law of attraction highlight claiming what it is you desire.  Why?  It keeps your mind focused on where you’d like to be and ultimately determines where you are going.  Words create vibrations that attract similar words that attract atoms that group together to eventually form something.  The experience your words shape is your choice.  Hear, speak, and think only those things you’d like to manifest in your life, and be patient as your thoughts shape your new reality …and enjoy your daydreams in the meantime.

Still skeptical?  Okay.  Write down a list of ten words – five positive and five negative.  Focus on one word for a few minutes.  Allow it to roll around in your brain and on your tongue.  Think about the meaning that word has for you.  Pay attention to how your body responds.  Are you breathing deeply or shallowly?  Is your posture straight or slouched?  Are you smiling or not?  Your body is automatically responding to the vibration of the meaning you’ve attached to the word.

What if it seems like nothing is happening?

Research has proven the human brain cannot distinguish between something it has actually seen versus something it has imagined.  Images for the brain are incredibly powerful and help determine the words chosen to describe them.  It may help to create a clear picture of what you’d like to experience then focus your thoughts on that picture.  People sometimes experience resistance when there is a subconscious fear or “worth” issues around receiving.  See if you can coax the fear to the surface and shift its focus to what you truly desire because your words will follow.  Fear is simply love confused.  (I’ll include a helpful tip for this in a future blog).  Keep choosing words that affirm abundance, blessing, happiness, health, and wealth in what you hear, speak, and think, and eventually things will shift.  Remember, it’s like exercising – you’re likely to see more positive results as things progress.

It’s important to be very clear about the meaning attached to words, specifically that each person attaches individual meaning to words based on their experience.  Words’ meanings are the ones the individual chooses to give them.  Example: Love is a very powerfully charged word, and most people define love by their first experience of it, which is usually either largely positive or negative.  For some it means unconditional acceptance, and they feel nurtured and cherished when someone says, “I love you.”  For others, love was wrought with expectation and not measuring up, so they feel insecure and inadequate when someone says, “I love you.”  The individual experiences their definition of “love” whenever they hear, speak, or think the word “love”.  Be clear about what your words mean by exploring the meaning you attach them, and decide if that’s a meaning you’d like to keep or redefine.  Sometimes simply attaching a more positive meaning to a word creates wonderful results.

Can words create world peace?

Research documents people with major medical conditions that defied explanation cured themselves simply by saying aloud several times a day, “I’m getting better and better every day in every way”.

Do you ever wonder if society is being brainwashed by all the negative, fear-based advertising and news in the media?  Consider how things would change if media, benefits, concerts, foundations, research centers, walk-a-thons, etc.. began celebrating, honoring, hearing, speaking, and thinking abundance, happiness, health, love, and wealth?  What if it was the Susan G. Komen foundation for Breast Health?  What if October became Breast Health Awareness month?  What if homeless became homebless to focus on them being blessed with homes forthcoming?  What if we eradicated the word “victim” and replaced it instead with “champion”?  How would the world change if everyone speaks the language of Love?

Please share this message with as many people as possible and join me in starting a global movement of celebrating positive words that inspire, heal, and uplift.  Claim your marvelous destiny and what you truly desire – abundance, happiness, health, love, wealth, etc., and you’ll begin to see changes in your life.

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Care to use this article for your e-zine or newsletter?  Please include the following

Susan Stackpole, certified creative consultant and results expert, is the #1 coach helping celebrities, VIPs, and You manifest destinyIgnite your potential, jump-start your success, and achieve quick, effect results while living your dreams.  Please visit www.susanstackpole.com for free resources on living your best life.  Sign up for the monthly newsletter, which includes celebrity tips on manifesting destiny in style.   Contact Susan to map your destiny today.

Faith

Cliff Divers by twotom192004 ( will return later this summer).

Aloha.

Thank You for your joining me here in our cozy corner of the world.  My wish is that you feel inspired, joyful, loved, and peaceful.  May the summer possibilities free your heart.

Relax.  Breathe.  Allow your dreams to come out and play.

Today’s topic is something people have studied for centuries.  It is an idea that has ignited many a passionate discussion and about which numerous books have been written from varying points of view.  I feel, in my humble opinion, it boils down to making a singular choice and committing one’s self fully to that choice, which, in theory, sounds simple, though seems to require a delicate balance of patience, self-discipline, and skilled application.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”  ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

I was reminded of this very thing this past week as I found myself overly concerned regarding a specific decision.  I was examining various possibilities and entertaining various scenarios, concerned with making the “right” choice while simultaneously fretting a bit and jubilantly rejoicing the changes forthcoming.  The thought struck me that real character is claiming one’s own resourcefulness and trusting one’s own ability to choose wisely.  It is ultimately saying, “Yes, I can, and I will” in thought, feeling, and action.  True character, then, is walking in faith, knowing that all shall be well.  I very clearly became aware that if I really and truly walk in faith, then fear is an illusion keeping me from living my dreams.  If I really walk in faith, worry is only an insignificant thought.  If I were living in faith, deep in my core would be a resounding peace that everything will always be okay regardless of circumstance or outcome.

It sounds so deliciously simple and blissfully easy, like a young child skipping through a daisy field, a simple choice, and if so, then why do I still sometimes question and doubt?  Why am I quick to jump in when fear offers to chauffeur me around for a while?

Faith is easy when everything is going well, but then it’s not really faith, is it?  “Going well” is simply a matter of perspective anyway.  It’s easy to believe in something which you already see happening.  What about believing everything is working out for the good even when it feels like the world is ending?   What about trusting in divine power when the only reason for resilience is the whisper of a prayer carried safely on the wings of angels nestled in the hope that someone, somewhere will send relief?

Faith believes …always.  That  is faith.

The Princeton Dictionary defines faith as “a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny” or “complete confidence in a person or plan etc”

Okay.  That is about as inspired of a definition as waiting all week to dine at a new restaurant only to discover that the cardboard from a microwave dinner has more texture and tastes more flavorful than whatever they attempted serve up as a gourmet meal.  We’re talking FAITH here, people!  Faith, you know, that little thing that allowed Jesus to walk on water.  Faith – the fire that inspired pilgrims to risk their lives crossing foreign waters to establish a country based on equal rights.  Faith – the passion inside visionaries like the Wright Brothers, who kept going even when everyone said it couldn’t be done.

Faith believes in miracles and possibilities.  It trusts blessings are forthcoming in your life.  It steps forward out of hesitation into possibility.  It surrenders to a divine power and allows itself to receive help.  Faith recognizes and welcomes opportunities availing themselves.  Faith displays a peacock’s flair of splendid attributes, and though visually exquisite as they may be, absorbing and integrating them as part of one’s being is another matter entirely.

Here’s how I like to check and see if I’m living faith.  Notice I said “living faith” instead of “living in faith”.  I feel when you fully embrace something you become it, which in this case is living, breathing faith in motion.  Okay – here’s how I check myself.  Have you ever in the history of your life asked yourself, “Hmm. I wonder if gravity is working today.  Maybe  I’ll jump from a ridiculously high structure just to be sure.”  Silly, right?  Well, that’s faith – certain, solid belief.  I’ll admit, sometimes I’m tempted to look for signs to “test” if my prayers are being heard.  The ego jumps in with all sorts of questions, sidetracking with mental rubbish.  Will this opportunity work out?  What do I do now?  Will I be okay?  The ego is especially famous for his “what if” questions in every possible variation, which it knows will distract me for hours as my analytical brain attempts to untangle the ridiculously tangled ball of twine.

True faith is a resounding, “Yes, I know I am okay whatever happens.”  Faith knows with absolute certainty that life is happening for you, that even the most challenging circumstances are creating something in your life that is meant to help you.  Someone once told me that God only allows suffering that brings us closer to divine wisdom.  If this is true, it further suggests that everything happens for our greater good and that faith, theoretically speaking, is a stroll in the park. This is such a deeply profound concept that I shall revisit it at another time when I can offer it spotlight and center stage for closer inspection.

For me, two people whom I feel are outstanding examples of living faith are Nick Vujicic http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org and Bethany Hamilton  http://www.bethanyhamilton.com.

Nick Vujicic was born without any appendages, with the exception of one digit protruding from his hip.  He faced extremely dark times in his life and cites his faith as the reason he has kept going.  Nick is a college graduate and travels around the world speaking to groups about the power of getting up every time you fall.

Bethany Hamilton is a self-professed soul surfer who, in her early teens, lost an arm in a tiger shark attack of the Hawaiian coast.  Weeks prior to the attack, Bethany recalls a conversation with her Mom, in which she said she felt as if God was going to use her in a special way.  When asked if she wishes the attack didn’t happen, she replies without hesitation, “No”.  Bethany goes on to say that she’s living her life in a righteous way being of service to others and perhaps, had it not occurred, she would be tempted to step off the path she knows God has for her.  Bethany continues to compete in surfing contests, and a feature film is being made about her life.

Faith honors that small, still voice inside that says, “Yes, You can.”

The 64th Tony Awards is the perfect example of faith in action.  Millions watch as actors, dancers, composers, directors, producers, set-designers, vocalists, writers, and more gather together to celebrate the magic of Broadway.  Thousands of talented performers wade their way through countless auditions, subsisting on soda, saltines, and Ramen noodles while cramming themselves, a half dozen at a time, into a miniscule one bedroom apartment in search of realizing the golden dream …and what keeps them going?  Faith.

“This is the stuff dreams are made of.” ~ Eddie Redmayne

Scarlett Johansson, upon winning her Tony Award, thanked Liev Schreiber, for teaching her to, “Never anticipate anything,” and while she’s describing acting, it’s also a fitting definition of faith.  Faith believes we’re supported in discovering within ourselves a wealth of strength and resourcefulness to process whatever comes along; therefore, there is no need to anticipate anything.  How freeing it would be to get to that place of simply existing, trusting the process, and being peaceful, , and as Julian Norwich says, “…and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”

“Be here now.” ~ Ram Dass

One of my favorite movie moments is in Evan Almighty, in which God explains how prayers are answered.  I’ll close with thought this to ponder.

“Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?”

What is faith?  Faith believes in miracles while walking in possibility knowing Love answers all things.

©2010 Susan Stackpole  www.susanstackpole.com

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Want to use this article for your e-zine or newsletter?  Please include the following

Susan Stackpole, certified creative consultant and results expert, is the #1 coach for celebrities, VIPs, and people serious about getting results and living their best lives.  Are you ready to ignite your potential, jump-start your success, and achieve quick, effect results while living your dreams?  If so, please visit www.susanstackpole.com where you’ll find free resources for living your best life.  While you’re there, sign up for the monthly newsletter, which includes celebrity tips for manifesting destiny in style.   Contact Susan today for more information on mapping your destiny.

Aloha.

Thank You for your joining me here in our cozy corner of the world. My wish is that you feel inspired, joyous, loved, and peaceful. May the summer possibilities set free your heart.

Relax. Breath. Allow your dreams to come out and play.

Today’s topic is something people have studied for centuries. It is an idea about which numerous books have been written from varying points of view. I feel, in my humble opinion, it boils down to making a singular choice and committing one’s self fully to that choice, which, in theory, sounds simple, though seems to require a delicate balance of patience, self-discipline, and skilled application.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

I was reminded of this very thing this past week as I found myself overly concerned regarding a specific decision. I was examining various possibilities and entertaining various scenarios, concerned with making the “right” choice while simultaneously fretting a bit and jubilantly rejoicing the changes forthcoming. The thought struck me that real character is claiming one’s own resourcefulness and trusting one’s own ability to make savvy decisions. It’s ultimately saying, “Yes, I can, and I will” in thought, feeling, and action. True character, then, is walking in faith, knowing that all shall be well. I very clearly became aware that if I really and truly walk in faith, then fear an illusion keeping me from living my dreams. If I really walk in faith, worry is only a fleeting thought. If I were living in faith, deep in my core would be a resounding peace that everything will always be okay regardless of circumstance or outcome.

It sounds so deliciously simple and blissfully easy, like a young child skipping through a daisy field. It’s simply a matter of choice, and if so, then why do I still sometimes question and doubt? Why am I quick to jump in when fear offers to chauffer me around for a while?

Faith is easy when everything is going well, but then it’s not really faith, is it? It’s easy to believe in something which you already see happening. What about believing it’s all working out in what feels the end of the world, when the only reason for resilience is the whisper of a prayer carried safely on the wings of angels nestled in hope that someone, somewhere will send relief?

Faith believes …always. That is faith.

The Princeton Dictionary defines faith as “a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny” or “complete confidence in a person or plan etc”

Okay. That is about as inspired of a definition as waiting all week to dine at a new restaurant only to discover that the cardboard from a microwave dinner has more texture and tastes more flavorful than whatever they attempted serve up as a gourmet meal. We’re talking FAITH here, people! Faith, you know, that little thing that allowed Jesus to walk on water. Faith – the fire that inspired pilgrims to risk their lives crossing foreign waters to establish a country based on equal rights. Faith – the passion inside visionaries like the Wright Brothers, who kept going even when everyone said it couldn’t be done.

Faith believes in miracles and possibilities. It trusts blessings are forthcoming in your life. It steps forward out of hesitation into possibility. It surrenders to a divine power and allows itself to receive help. Faith recognizes and acts upon opportunities availing themselves..

Whew.

Faith displays a peacock’s flair of splendid attributes, though visually exquisite as they may be, absorbing them in and allowing them to integrate as part of one’s self is another matter entirely.

Here’s how I like to think of it really and truly living faith. Notice I said “living faith” instead of “living in faith”. I feel when you fully embrace something you become it, which in this case is a living, breathing faith in motion. Have you ever in the history of your life asked yourself, “Hmm. I wonder if gravity is working today. Maybe I’ll jump from a ridiculously high structure just to be sure.” Silly, right? Yet, sometimes we search for signs to “test” if our prayers are being heard and answered. The ego jumps in with all sorts of questions, sidetracking us with mental rubbish. Will this opportunity work out? Will s/he still love me if I change? Will I be okay?

True faith is a resounding, “Yes, I know I am okay whatever happens.” Faith is knowing with absolute certainty that life is happening for you, that even the most challenging circumstances are creating something in your life that is meant to help you.

Someone once told me that God only allows suffering that brings us closer to divine wisdom. If this is true, it further suggests that everything happens for us and that walking in faith theoretically should be a walk in the park. It’s such a deep and profound concept that I’ll revisit it at another time. It deserves center stage and a spotlight for closer inspection.

For me, two people whom I feel are outstanding examples of living faith are Nick Vujicic http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org and Bethany Hamilton http://www.bethanyhamilton.com.

Nick Vujicic was born without any appendages, with the exception of one digit protruding from his thigh. He faced extremely dark times in his life and cites his faith as the reason he has kept going. Nick is a college graduate and travels around the world speaking to groups about the power of getting up every time you fall.

Bethany Hamilton is a self-professed soul surfer who, in her early teens, lost an arm in a tiger shark attack of the Hawaiian coast. Weeks prior to the attack, Bethany recalls a conversation with her Mom, in which she said she felt as if God was going to use her in a special way. When asked if she wishes the attack didn’t happen, she replies without hesitation, “No”. Bethany goes on to say that she’s living her life in a righteous way being of service to others and perhaps, had it not occurred, she would be tempted to step off the path she knows God has for her. Bethany continues to compete in surfing contests, and a feature film is being made about her life.

Faith is honoring that small, still voice inside that says, “Yes, You can.”

The 64th Tony Awards is the perfect example of faith in action. Millions watch as actors, dancers, composers, directors, producers, set-designers, vocalists, writers, and more gather together to celebrate the magic of Broadway. Thousands of talented performers wade their way through countless auditions, subsisting on soda, saltines, and ramen noodles while cramming themselves, a half dozen at a time, into a miniscule one bedroom apartment in search of the golden dream …and what keeps them going? Faith.

“This is the stuff dreams are made of.” ~ Eddie Redmayne

Scarlett Johansson, upon winning her Tony Award, thanked Liev Schreiber, for teaching her to, “Never anticipate anything,” and while she’s describing acting, it’s also a fitting definition of faith. Faith believes we’re supported in discovering within ourselves a wealth of strength and resourcefulness to process whatever comes along; therefore, there is no need to anticipate anything. How freeing it would be to get to that place of simply existing, trusting the process, and being at peace, , and as Julian Norwich says, “…and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

“Be here now.” ~ Ram Dass

One of my favorite quotations is from Evan Almighty, in which God is explaining how prayers are answered. I’ll close with this to ponder.

“Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?”

What is faith? Faith believes in miracles while walking in possibility knowing Love answers all things.

Possibility

Aloha.

Thank You for taking time to be with me here.  I believe you found this article for a reason.  My wish is that you feel cherished, loved and inspired.  May you curl up in soft clothes, settle into a cozy chair, sip a delicious beverage, and allow your dreams to come out and play.

Well… here goes…

The onset of summer brought with it a brief discussion with one of my youth mentees about why we both adore summer.  Is it the sweet breeze gently wafting the billowy sheer curtains of an open window as one enters a coma-like state of sleep after a day of outdoor fun?  Is it the beach, festivals, marshmallows roasts, parks, picnics, pools, and vacations?  It’s all that and more.  Summer is possibility.

Possibility is defined by Princeton Dictionary as “a future prospect or potential, as in, ‘this room has great possibilities’, and also as “the capability of existing or happening or being true.”

What is possibility?  Possibility is so many things.  Possibility is the blank canvas fully submitting itself to an eager artist.  Possibility is an empty parcel of land that becomes a glorious estate in the capable hands of a talented architect.  Possibility is a holiday weekend with a full tank of gas and the open road wrought with raw adventure sprung to life by the driver’s whimsy.

Paper represents possibility.  Years ago, it was the crisp virgin ivory sheet of paper inching along the scroll of a typewriter, excitedly awaiting the indentation of black letters sprawling across it like musical notes on a staff telling a story.

The paper thoughtfully ponders its future, wondering, “Will I be the next great novel?”  It smiles, considering, “Perhaps I shall announce a baby’s birth.”  Solemnly, it stands tall, puffing out its pristine chest, declaring, “I will be a newspaper and share information with the world.”

Ancient people chiseled on stone tablets.  Ancestral laborers pounded out papyrus.  Today, paper’s mass production has become almost synonymous with it being taken for granted.  Paper is now a glaring snowy rectangle on a square electronic screen waiting emotionless as the beckoning cursor flashing, imploring someone to write something meaningful.

Possibility is woven into the fiber of every moment.  It is found in every action, breath, feeling, heartbeat, sound, and thought.  Possibility is choice, freedom, hope, the belief in miracles, and sometimes the only thing that keeps some people going.  Possibility is the expanding belief in what can actually happen.  Possibility is that instant when life changes in a flash in such as astonishing way that it fully engages all the senses and calls one to action.

“Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Congratulations, it’s a boy!”

“Ms. Watson, You’ve been promoted to a new position in Paris.”

“Mr. James, Your book is being published.”

And so on.

Possibility is about that bit of magic, that spark which ignites passion and brings new creation into existence.   Possibility is walking in faith, knowing that every situation has the potential to be a miracle.  A dash of faith, a smidgen of trust, sprinkled with a generous helping of belief, and, voila, dreams become reality.

Possibility has the heart of a child, the cleverness of a crafty schoolboy, and the savvy of royalty.   Possibility is activated by honoring the quiet voice inside.  It sometimes is being deliciously self-indulgent, which, in turn, can and does change the world by inspiring others to honor the dreams in their heart.

“Eat, Pray, Love” is the story of possibility.  It’s the story about a woman discovering herself and the secrets of happiness, serenity, and love, of course.  Some may say her journey was incredibly selfish, yet that journey led to a best-selling book that inspired thousands of people and has become movie starring Julie Roberts, which will go on to inspire thousands more to live their best lives.  It has created for her more possibilities and the opportunity do more of what she adores …writing.

You posse something rare and beautiful and unique to you – your heart, wherein exists possibility and the guidance to find your way in this world.  Each of has what I call a Heartstar™, a dream seed planted in our hearts before we were born.  It holds the secret of who we are and why we’re here.  It’s the origin of passion and keeper of dreams.  People are passionate about all sorts of wonderful things – flying kites, racing cars, riding horses, making music, creating art, dancing, interior decorating, designing buildings, healing people, and the list goes on and on.  Visionaries fuel possibility with passion and bring dreams to life.

Is it selfish to pursue your dreams?  I used to think so, and now I feel quite strongly that the opposite is true.  It’s selfish not to pursue your passion.  It is self-absorbed to allow fear to prevent you from growing the dream seeds in your heart.  How can I say this?  Because it used to be me.

What if Rosa Parks didn’t get on the bus that day?  What if Thomas Edison gave up?  What if the Wright Brothers believed everyone who said they couldn’t fly?  What if The Beatles quit after a few disappointing gigs early in their career?  Why do visionaries succeed?  Possibility.  Bill Gates and Richard Branson, two of the wealthiest and most powerful men in the world, are motivated completely by their passion for transforming possibility into reality.

What does it meant to live in possibility?  It means believing.  It means honoring that desire to learn a language simply for the fun of it.  It means honors the urge write a novel simply for the delight of it.  It means doing things that manifest joy in your heart and peace in your spirit.

I used to think life had a specific set of rules, and I would be rewarded for following those rules.  I’m not talking about spiritual guidelines.  I’m talking about mirage of the corporate job with shining benefits and happy retirement.  I’m talking about the vision of the house with the white picket fence, a tire swing, and 2.5 children playing in the yard. I’m talking about the things we tell ourselves we desire because they are supposed to bring us happiness.

Follow the rules, get a gold star.  Disobey the rules, get a red check.  For a long time, I followed these imaginary rules and life seemed difficult and filled with disappointment and suffering.  I was miserable, and it didn’t make sense because I was doing what I thought I was supposed to be doing.   To clarify, when I say,”miserable”, I don’t mean just a twinge of sadness here and there.  I mean it got to where I was enveloped by an inky Armageddon cloud to the point I no longer saw value in breathing.  My heart was literally dying for me to listen.  And I did.  And I’m glad I did because I began to understand what it means to truly live in possibility.

Julie & Julia touched the deepest recesses of my heart.  It is a delightfully transformational tale of living in possibility and illustrates what it really means to fully live by savor every morsel of life.  It echoes the resiliency of the human spirit, stripping away everything and finally becoming ourselves by stepping into possibility.  It is about doing what we love for sheer pleasure; setting our own course for adventure and allowing it take us where it will.  It is getting up every single time we fall and learning lessons.  It is destiny pulling us.  It’s awakening to who we are and have always been.  Julie & Julia teach us that by stepping into possibility, by taking time to be self-involved, by honoring that still voice inside us, which sometimes screams to be heard, we are able to be more, give more, and live the life intended for us.

If you’re still with me, perhaps you’ll relate to what I’m about to share.  I became a people pleaser early in life because I thought putting others first meant a complete disregard for self.  I realized much later that each of us is responsible only for our own well-being, and if we all did that, we could give and receive much more fully and healthfully.  Happiness is a choice not a condition.

It was accepted and expected during that time that I was the 24/7 emotional mini-mart.  People would pull up, spiritually refuel and then disappear without a trace.  I unknowingly participated because I thought that’s what it meant to put others first.

“You must first fill your cup before you can share anything with others” is something one of my most cherished gal pals says.  I finally understood what that meant the day everything literally came to a halt.  I’ll spare the details; however, suffice it to say that I gave until I was completely empty.  My heart physically boycotted.  The store closed.  The shelves were empty.  The windows and doors were boarded up.  The parking lot was vacant.  …and I felt completely on my own.   The people I most thought would be there for me were the first to turn their backs, or worse, kick me when I was down.  It was a huge wake-up call for me in terms of how I was living my life and nothing was working anymore.

The truth was, it hadn’t been working for a long time, and I was busy running away to avoid dealing with it.  I’d been miserable for much longer than I would admit to anyone, and I was working diligently to help everyone else live their dreams because I was too scared and didn’t know how to live mine.  I’m grateful because that experience transformed my life.  It taught me about possibility and gave me a second chance to be the person I came to be in this life.

I believe Love has a voice and that it’s the voice inside our heart that knows who we really are and guides us to live our true purpose.  Love is the voice that sometimes sounds crazy, which our brains attempt to rationalize.  Love is the voice we sometimes pretend not to hear when it asks us to expand our comfort zone.  Love is the voice that lets us know when we are “off the path”; even though we do everything we can to convince ourselves we’re “on the path”.  Love is the voice that sings our heart songs, reminding us who we are in our core.  Love is the voice that tells us why we are here.  Love is the voice that reminds us we’re all the same.   Love is the voice of Possibility.

©2010 Susan Stackpole

www.susanstackpole.com

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Susan Stackpole, certified creative consultant and results expert, is the #1 coach for celebrities, VIPs, and people serious about getting results and living their best lives.  Are you ready to ignite your potential, jump-start your success, and achieve quick, effect results while living your dreams?  If so, please visit www.susanstackpole.com where you’ll find free resources for living your best life.  While you’re there, sign up for the monthly newsletter, which includes celebrity tips for manifesting destiny in style.   Contact Susan Stackpole International today for more information on mapping your destiny.

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