Stop Trying To Be Yourself

Are you still trying to find your “purpose?” The problem is not finding it. The real challenge is what to do after you figure it out!

I starting teaching a workshop over twenty years ago called, “Discovering Your Bliss.” I was in my Joseph Campbell period, a ministerial student and wild about realizing in my own life what a difference having a vision and mission in life can make.

That afternoon seminar morphed itself into a manual and eventually my most recent book. I still strongly believe that having a vision and mission gives us a firm foundation for happiness and, therefore, success.

But it’s not enough.

As I’m beginning to find out in my own life, it may not even be necessary for everyone. Vision and mission statements are tools; that’s all they are. They aren’t the end-all to all end-alls. What we really need to be happy and succeed in life is already within us.

What’s that you ask? I’m so glad you did!21-blog

We must stop trying to be who we are and start being who we are.

Thanks, a lot, Terry. Fine. What’s THAT supposed to mean, oh great guru of knowledge and wisdom?

(In spite of that sarcasm there, I will respond!)

It means we frequently try too hard to:

  • Be something we’re not;
  • Always strive to please others;
  • Not pleasing ourselves;
  • Sanitize our approach;
  • Worry that we won’t appeal to everyone – NEW FLASH! WE WON’T!
  • Compare our happiness and satisfaction to others;
  • Base our worth on the number of people following our social media accounts; or,
  • Are terrified we’re “not ready.”

Well, pumpkin’ we’re NOT ready for that next big leap to magnificence. Of course we’re not “ready!” If we were we’d have already done what we’re thinking about doing. But right now we are as ready as we ever could be to be ourselves.

Think about it. No one knows you the way you do. If you don’t like something about yourself, change it or figure out why you are being so critical with yourself. If you need help doing that find that professional help.

The key point is to stop trying to be yourself and just start accepting that you can be yourself. You can do so without reservation, approval, permission or apology.

Isn’t it time for us to see who you are? Isn’t it time to move to that next level of expression? It’s inside you, perhaps desperately seeking the manifestation only you can provide. Let it out! Be YOU! WOO-HOO!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Terry Drew Karanen © 2016

Who Are You Listening To?

What is really important in your life? I mean, with all that’s going on in the world, what do we really need to know?

Apparently several papers and the Internet media feel the impending divorce of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt is front page news. No, seriously. A local news radio station reported recently this was actually on the front page of several newspapers.

This is not about all the other events that could have taken precedent. We can all name several, but this media feeding frenzy speaks to just how much our news sources concentrate on the negative.

So after 12 years of being together, Bradgelina is about to be a thing of the past. One reporter said, “Another Hollywood marriage has broken up, not that we’re ever surprised about that.” Really? Statistically Pitt and Jolie have been together longer than the average marriage, which ends in divorce within eight years (McKinley Irvin, 2012). The media is not interested in the 50-year marriage Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward enjoyed, or that Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell have been together over 30 years.

Similarly, the media is quick to tell you that half of all American marriages end in divorce, but fail to mention that ALSO means half of all American marriages survive! You get the point.

In New Thought we teach that our thoughts create. We can say all the affirmations we want and create beautiful affirmative prayers, but if we are constantly listening to every piece of gossip and tragedy from the media then it’s like shopping for organic groceries, and then going home to drink drain cleaner.blog22

Stop the madness! Let’s fill our minds with uplifting information. That doesn’t mean we ignore what’s going on in the world. Ernest Holmes, the founder of the Science of Mind philosophy never taught us to ignore our problems or the plight of others. He did, however, write that we deny the necessity that they should continue.

We have a responsibility to feed our minds with productive thoughts and an obligation to act on those ideas to the best of our abilities for the benefit of our planet. Not preachin’, jus’ sayin’.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


What’s Your Daily Practice

Did you enjoy watching the 2016 Rio Olympics? In spite of the various controversies surrounding these Games, it’s hard not to be impressed with the dedication of the individual athletes.

It was fascinating to watch the competitors mentally rehearse their routines before it was their turn to perform. But this wasn’t playful fantasy. It was vividly remembering years, if not decades in some cases, of practice along with successful completions in past competitions and training of what they were about to attempt.09Blog

Are we that dedicated to our personal and spiritual goals? Few of us have achieved a lifestyle whereby we can spend eight-to-ten hours per day training our minds spiritually as the Olympic athletes train for physical competition. But that doesn’t mean we are at a loss for time.

Studies have repeated proved that people who meditate just five-to-ten minutes per day notice an increase in productivity, satisfaction with life and the experience of joy; and, a reduction of stress, depression and physical ailments. Does that seem like a lot of time for that kind of return?

Ask yourself how long you stood in line last time for an outrageously expensive cup of coffee? Or, were you enlightened, encouraged and inspired by the time you may have spent on social media clicking from one negative political posting to the next? You get the point.

I invite you to take just a few minutes before bed tonight and decide what’s really important for you to do tomorrow for your personal growth, spiritual progress and inner satisfaction. Write that down and THEN slot in everything else in your life.

You’re worth the effort! With practice you’ll go from being on the sidelines of some area of your life, to placing and finally medaling in whatever you choose as your event. Yes, I acknowledge that you might not feel on the sidelines of anything and should be proud of where you are already. But isn’t there something you’d like more of?

Imagine how we’ll leap for joy when you’re standing on the medals platform, we see you grasping your gold medallion with pride, and cheer for the Anthem of YOU!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


I Didn’t Mean It!

Ever say something and before it’s even out of your mouth you knew you’d regret it? You might have said right then or perhaps later, “I didn’t mean that!”


You sorta kinda probably did.

Our comments might not indicate the type of person we want to be remembered as being for generations to come, but we often mean EXACTLY what we say. True, we may regret having let the cat out of the bag, but there it is, lying exposed on the floor in front of us for all to see, all green and stinky, oozing its way across the floor like the Blob in the 1958 movie by the same name.

Today with social media, our embarrassment can quickly leave the room and go globally viral. Our theme for this week is, As Within, So Without. It’s based on a quote by Ernest Holmes that says,

We believe that we are surrounded by Creative Mind
which receives the direct impress of our thought and acts upon it.

Fortunately, Creative Mind does not act immediately upon our thoughts or we’d have more to clean up than a few ill-thought-out feelings expressed as vitriolic tirades. It does, however, give us pause when we think of those nasty little thoughts lurking about the darker corners of our mind.

The question is whether or not we will be willing to acknowledge the smelly elephant in the living room of our mind or pretend it doesn’t exist. Funny thing about smelly elephants and nasty little thoughts:  They grow just about as quickly as the Blob, devouring victim after victim and gaining strength in the process. But in this case, the victims they are munching on are our desires, hope, goals and dreams. If we are not experiencing the life we want we can be sure that something in our consciousness needs an attitude adjustment.

Over the weekend we experienced another group tragedy in the United States, this one specifically targeting the LGBTQ community, with deaths topping any of the other mass shootings. Once you pull the trigger on a gun of any kind there is no going back. The result of such a commitment is, once again, painfully in front of us for all to see.13A

As with all such events, our justified outrage and pain often expresses back as a strike against a community or group that we feel – justified or not – is at least partially responsible. So many people want someone to blame for this, someone other than the shooter because he’s gone and cannot feel our anger. But, blaming all Muslims during Ramadan for this mass murder is about as logical as blaming all Christians during the Christmas of 1945 for the Holocaust simply because Hitler was born Catholic. Flag-waving, cross-carrying fanatics do well to ask if they would like to be associated with the bloodshed, pillaging and slavery approved of between the pages of their sacred Bible in the same way they are accusing faithful followers of the Prophet Mohammed for atrocities committed in the name of Allah.

Join me this week over at the Facebook® page for Spirit, Mind and Body Foundation to see how we can acknowledge and clear our thoughts about the tragedy in Orlando at the Pulse nightclub, as well as addressing challenges we face personally day-to-day. Then, with a firm foundation in Truth, we’ll turn our attention to using the power of our own thoughts to direct Creative Mind to produce for us the results we want in our lives and a world that works for everyone. See you there.

With love,


Can We Save the World?

I admit it. At times it’s just overwhelming to me.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes the charity emails, social media postings about the great needs of people locally and around the global, and the unending mail delivered to my house requesting donations is just too much.23 Blog

I go to the grocery store and there’s that same guy with his sign at the entrance to the parking lot, asking for money because he’s homeless. Is there anything we can do to make a difference? Are the requests we hear about saving the world impossible to make into a reality?

Perhaps we can at least make a dent and often more than we realize. Today we continue with our search into The Global Vision:  A World That Works For Everyone. Our affirmation for this week is:

We see a world in which we are called to conscious action.

The action to which we are called by so many life-saving organizations is often “give us your money.” When we look at truly “conscious” action in writing a check or having funds transferred our involvement increases exponentially. That’s why our theme for the week is:

What Is Mine to Do?

The hard fact is that we cannot contribute all our money to all the causes everywhere in the world. So, I’m an advocate for starting where we are.

I rarely give money on the street. I’m just not comfortable with it. But that didn’t stop me from buying a lunch one day at the grocery store and giving it to the homeless man on the corner (who appreciated my efforts greatly and didn’t need money for drugs).

My conscious action could have gone a step further, however. I could have asked the guy’s name or told him mine. I could have inquired whether or not he had a warm place to stay that night, and if not told him where he might try.

We must add mindfulness to our efforts for our actions to be fully conscious ones. We can consciously make it a point to give money, donate clothes or help out at a shelter, but our attempts could still be lacking if we are not mindful of our circumstances and those involved while we are accomplishing our conscious action.

Our discussions this week over at the Facebook® page for Spirit, Mind and Body Foundation will look at:

  • How we define “conscious action”
  • How we can all make differences in the lives of others and our planet
  • Leading or following in social justice actions
  • Caring for our families
  • Acting on a global level
  • And more! (There are seven days in the week – I have to leave you some surprises!)

Sound like a lot? It’s great stuff and taking it in small increments one-day-at-a-time is why I blog daily on this great year-long adventure we’ve undertaken. I hope you’ll join me!

Till then, or next week, be well, live life to the fullest, and let us all see just how amazing you are!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


What About Those K-Cups®?

If you’re signed up for my eMessages, which normally arrive on Monday mornings, are you wondering why you’re getting this now, in the middle of the week?

And why would he be writing about K-Cups®?

I’ve been gearing my writing toward the 2016 theme created through the larger organization, Centers for Spiritual Living, with whom I’m associated. It’s wonderful to feel a part of something bigger, something global. But, I’m finding that I’m somehow losing the personalized message of “me” in the global movement. I promise to change that starting next Monday, but in addition to my weekly blog I’ll be sending out periodic messages and writings about ideas and issues that I find important to me personally or to the readers I’m hearing from.

Now. Back to the K-Cup®.

For those of you who may not know what a “K-Cup®” is, they are plastic pods of coffee, tea, hot chocolate powder or other liquids that are inserted in a Keurig® machine (thus the “K” designation), thus saving time when you want a drink.

But what are we losing when we do this?

The discussion surfaced earlier this week when it dawned on me that in our household alone we were tossing away a significant amount of plastic when throwing away the used K-Cups®. The pods can be recycled (DUH!), as long as the innards are discard; the grounds could also be used in a garden, potted plants or a compost pile.04A

What we are gaining with any convenience – mobile devices, microwave ovens, the list goes on – is time. We are automating one activity so as to give us the opportunity to “make better use of our time.” At least allegedly.

But at what cost? Religious Science practitioner, Kevin McGhee, recently stated in this conversation, “… almost anything that is created for convenience – time saving [activities], single servings, etc. – are a drag on the earth, …” He believes, quite rightly I think, that fast foods or prepackaged portions can’t nearly sustain us the way whole foods can. In the name of time saving and the Western way of thinking that “we deserve it,” we are sacrificing our health and the future of our planet.

However, there’s an even greater issue here that bears our scrutiny. I’m old enough to remember the “Captain Kangaroo” TV show when I was a kid. There was this one episode I remember when the Captain talked about these new thing-a-ma-gigs called “computers.” They were going to make our work much lighter. In fact, they’d eventually do so much for us that we could complete much of our five-day work week in three days, and have a four-day weekend EVERY WEEK to enjoy life and one another! WOO-HOO!

That’s not quite the way it came down, however. It’s true that computers, automation, robots and the ongoing work of A.I. (artificial intelligence) research continue to free up humanity from the more mundane chores. Yet, instead of using this extra time for leisure, we’ve doubled (or more) our output to competitively increase our own productivity and hopefully our income – by working 50, 60, 70, 80 or more hours a week.

We’re losing ourselves in automation.

We’re losing our spirit.

We’re losing our humanity.

And some of us are putting ourselves in an early grave.

I’m not suggesting we throw out our mobile devices and I’m not giving up my Keurig®. I am positing, however, that although-Cups, meditation, environment, recycling, peace, harmony, joy, ease, stresswe can check email while we’re nuking our dinner, it may not be to our best spiritual and physical benefit to do so consistently.

Ten or twenty minutes of meditation once or twice a day can completely recharge and revitalize our bodies and minds. In the same way, using coffee again as an example, taking a few extra minutes to brew the coffee in a French press or percolator can give us a breather of sorts. We can commune with our own thoughts, each other or simply “be.”

Again, I’m not suggesting we stop all our automated activities. Perhaps we can all be just a little more aware, a bit more mindful, of how and why we are doing what we’re doing. Slowly and gently, we may be able to bring back the joy of living in simpler ways than our hectic society is demanding.

Not preachin’ – jus’ thinkin’



Guidance and Responsibility

Theme for the Month of May

The Global Vision:
Spiritual Guidance and Personal Responsibility

Theme for the Week of May 2:
My Mind Is a Center of Divine Activity

“We believe that life is the logical and necessary outcome
of the infinite self-knowingness of God.” -  Ernest Holmes

Do you realize we’ve completed one third of the year already in our discussion of The Global Vision:  A World That Works For Everyone? I hope you’ve been enjoying the topics created through Centers for Spiritual Living (

In May our chats and debates will reflect on two parts necessary for the development of our vision:

Spiritual Guidance
Personal Responsibility

02BAs a caveat for my readers who are atheist and agnostic, may I suggest you think of the spiritual guidance aspect as the group of people, individual or organization to whom you look to when you desire guidance in your life?

And, what about taking personal responsibility for the creation and nurturing of this vision? That might seem like an awesome task. Remember that with us all working together it simply means we will each do our part to the best of our ability.

For our discussions this week (which you’ll find over at the Facebook® page for my ministry – Spirit, Mind and Body Foundation), we’re going to look at the activity of our individual minds being a place of activity of more divine or universal activity.

In a world that works for everyone we believe in the unity of all life. That means that our thoughts are creating both our own experience as well as building the collective consciousness. Yes, it sounds like a pretty important ability. And you know what? It is!

Join me this week and throughout the month to experience the joy of focusing on what you want, instead of what you don’t want, as is more common in our society. Learn how to access the knowledge, understanding and wisdom of all time through meditation and reflection.

Sound like fun? It’s going to be! See you this week over at the Foundation’s Facebook® page and weekly on my blog, “Making Sense of Life!”

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Say WHAT?!?

Theme for the Week of April 18:
Consciousness Creates Reality

“We believe that the manifest universe is the body of God.”
– Ernest Holmes

Say WHAT?!?

Are you enjoying the themes so far this year? Please let me know what you think! While I’m committed to joining other spiritual communities in this quest of #TheGlobalVision - #AWorldThatWorksForEveryone, I want to make sure that we are discussing and thinking about how these themes and ideas fit into our own lives, how we can live happier, more productive lives because of them. Let me know what you want to hear more of, if you’re not getting what you want from this blog!

Take this week, for instance. Do you still see God as the “Old Man in the Sky?” It’s not as uncommon as you think. Plenty of people have been raised to see God as far-off, distant, judgmental and to-be-feared so as not to displease Him. And, oh yes, God is definitely a “Him.”

Not so much … really! First of all the Judiac-Christian Bible, if that is your holy book of reference, must depict God as male due to the patriarchal nature of those societies. Yet to think that God is physically male is to negate the fact that anything we believe as God must not have actually corporeal form, even though we’ve been taught to see God as such.

If we go back to the consciousness of Oneness (that we are all made of the same “stuff”), then that means God is that same stuff, too. So whatever we see around us is a manifestation of God-stuff. Or, as Holmes put it, “the body of God.” So, our consciousness creates reality. Say WHAT?!?

Yep, and I know that brings up a LOT of different emotions. Over the next week on the Facebook® page of Spirit, Mind and Body Foundation we’ll be discussing how to increase our awareness of “God made manifest” within us and all those around us. How will that look and how will that help us have a life more worth living?18

Well, if our consciousness creates reality – meaning that we are cause to the effect in our lives – how can we have more of what we want; and, conversely, less of what we do NOT want? How can we deal with seemingly impossible choices or disastrous events? We’ll include all of that and more. Intrigued? I am! So please join me daily and let’s get to the bottom of this!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Will You Accept or Except?

Theme for the Week of March 28:
Identify Yourself With What You Want

Affirmation:  We see a world in which individuals rediscover their personal power to create an individual life that works within a life
that works for everyone.

Do you see yourself accepting something before you physically have it in your possession? Or, do you wish you had something, but don’t see how it’s possible to have it? Why do we disbelieve we can acquire the very things we desire?

Actually, there are number of reasons. Here’s just a few; they are all based on “I’d have/do that, except … “

  • … I don’t deserve it.
  • … I haven’t worked hard enough for it.
  • … other people will think I’m trying to show off.
  • … our family just doesn’t do that.
  • … only rich people can afford that.
  • … I’m too old to be thinking I could pull that off.

The list continues and you probably have at least of few of your own. I do! But here’s a favorite quote by Richard Bach from his book, “Illusions,” that always brings me back to the Truth:

28A - Argue for Limitations

It’s absolutely amazing just how hard we can fight for our limitations, isn’t it? The universe can only respond to what we believe, not just what we say. If someone says they want to get married, but turns around and spouts off a litany of reasons why that’s not going to happen, where do you think the energy is directed?

If you engage in this sort of self-defeating, self-fulling prophesying about your inability to have a life worth living then do yourself and everyone around you a favor:  Just don’t bother wanting anything. Just give up. That’s right. GIVE UP!

Do those comments upset you? Good. They’re meant to jar us out of a victim consciousness to an attitude of gratitude, acceptance and empowerment. We can all benefit in some area of our lives by deciding to be sick and tired of being sick and tired.

This whole week over at the Facebook® page for Spirit, Mind and Body Foundation I’ll be publishing ideas about acceptance. I hope we can further clarify how we can better work with the universe instead of against it. Will you join me?

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


What Is the “God Within?”

Theme for February 22:
The Highest God and the Innermost God: One God

“We believe in the unity of all life,
and that the highest God and the innermost God is one God.”
Ernest Holmes

What Is the "God Within?"

Is the God in which you believe far away from you or disinterested in your daily life? Or, if you don’t believe in some Higher Power, do you feel cut off from the abundance you seek by some outside force?

There is a solution to both these situations, if any of them ring true for you. No, not a litany of instructions or complicated esoteric processes. Just one solution to address all three of the problems.

Ernest Holmes, the founder of the Science of Mind philosophy, gives us the solution in the quote above. Scientific research has proved beyond any doubt that all life is intertwined, all part of the same cosmic “stuff.” As such, the separations and distance we see between us and other people – or experiences we desire – is human in nature, brought on only by our own perceptions of time and space.quote-the-highest-god-and-the-innermost-god-is-one-god-ernest-holmes-89-12-62

Do you look outside yourself for help? It’s easy to look outside ourselves for direction or approval, especially if we feel someone we admire or aspire to be like seems to have some secret of success. We aren’t taught to trust our own inner guidance, our intuition or the “still small voice” about which you may have read. Why?

Control. We are controlled by mass marketing, societal norms designed to keep us small and compliant, and individual attributes such as age, gender, race or physicality to act as a barrier to fulfilling our fondest, most precious dreams.

I invite you on journey with me this week to examine the unity of life and how understanding that concept will enrich your daily experience of life. You’ll find daily concepts and exercises beginning today at the Facebook page of my ministry:  Spirit, Mind and Body Foundation.

In the meantime, consider what it would take for you to believe in a universe that is conspiring for your good. What would it take for you to follow the instructions of Jesus of Nazareth, “ASK and it shall be given to you, SEEK and you will find, KNOCK and it shall be open to you.” Are you willing to A-S-K with the knowledge that you will receive your good?

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,