Posts Tagged ‘miracles’

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.

Castaway

“I’ve got to keep breathing because tomorrow the sun will rise, and who knows what the tide will bring?”

~ Chuck Noland, Castaway ~

Do you enjoy films? I do. Very much. I especially savor movies that magically transport me to another world entirely. Amazingly, I seem to learn the most about myself in films that are far-removed from my reality, perhaps because my brain relaxes and views life from a broader perspective. The walls disintegrate, and the silly rules behind which I hide to protect myself from the illusion of fear dissolve. I dance gleefully in the garden of possibilities delighting in the luscious trees ripe for harvest. I swim freely in the ocean of peace as sunshine glistens upon me as if to say, “It’s alright.” My dreams transform into glittering stars frolicking upon an infinite ebony canvas basking in the moon’s radiance. I am transported, enthralled, and empowered by the sheer force of the human will’s survival instinct. I am inspired as determination, perseverance, and persistence emanate. My heart, much like The Grinch’s, grows exponentially as Love, once again, is the catalytic for miracles with a dual existence as both a reason to hang on and to let go. I am transported, transformed, and renter my body renewed and refreshed with greater insight into myself and deeper wisdom about life.

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged

to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”

~ Nelson Mandela ~

Castaway is the story of Chuck Noland, played by Tom Hanks, who is stranded on a desert island …for years. The story profiles the strength and innovation of the human spirit to keep pressing forward, or as Chuck says, the determination to “keep breathing”. His journey is one of courage, determination, vulnerability, and total self reliance sans modern conveniences and expert input. Chuck’s return to “normal” life is particularly striking as he finds himself lost in places that were once comfortable and familiar. “Home” and “Self” become question marks as he searches within and outside of himself to rediscover and redefine his life.

“Who am I?” “Where is home?” are two questions Castaway offers for viewers to answer for themselves, taking it a step further, inquiring, “Who would you be, and how would you define home if your world was suddenly turned upside down?” Chuck’s character is a metaphor for every person on the planet. Everyone is lost in one sense or another and searching for self and home. All people are wayward travelers plucked from the ether and gifted with the opportunity to experience the journey to self. Self is discovered through the mirrors of relationships infused in every facet of life. Every living being in existence begins with a seed, an individual blueprint, guiding it to grow into unique creation, a watermelon, a tree, an animal, a person, etc.. The primary purpose of life then becomes one of “being” in which on comes to know self .

“Fabulous, Rich, and Homeless” a television show on Planet Green, profiled several prominent, successful, wealthy social figures as they voluntarily became homeless. The arduous experiment revealed surprising results, and the participants almost unanimously cited the issue’s root stems largely from missing identity and no sense of community. It suggests a primary definition of “self” and “home”, even artificial, is crucial in developing the confidence. curiosity, and stability from which to springboard and further explore and expand one’s self-awareness.  True freedom is when one recognizes the interconnectedness of all beings, which reveals that one’s sense of self and home are ultimately however one chooses to define them independent of external circumstances.

What if we recognize we are all castaways searching for ourselves on our journey home? What if we encouraged, inspired, and uplifted one another? How would our attitudes and behaviors change if we viewed every person as a cherished friend and trusted travel companion? Would we be more open-minded and understanding toward one another? Would we be more willing to help others? Would Love unite us as one big family by celebrating our diversity as beautiful threads weaving the world’s magnificent tapestry?

I declare myself a “castaway”. I am casting away anxiety, apprehension, doubt, fear, hesitation, and judgment of others and replacing it with adventure, exploration, joy, kindness, and Love. I am casting away living as a human doing and choosing instead to live as a human being. I am releasing preconceived notions of who I think I am supposed to be and instead acting as The Creator’s Beloved. I am nurturing that special seed inside me that “knows” allowing it to grow into what it was destined to be while praising the glorious journey on which it has brought me. I am forgoing shrinking in fear and instead opening my heart in Love as a conduit for manifesting a magnificent masterpiece. I am casting away my yesterdays and tomorrows and celebrating the blessings and miracles in this moment. Here’s to doing less and being more, to knowing “self” and “home” are a choice, and to casting away fear to live in Love.

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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.

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