Snarky, Snide and Sarcastic

We all have our unique ways of expressing ourselves. We can also make ourselves pretty miserable trying to get others to express themselves the same way. Ashleigh Brilliant once wrote that “I need a map of your mind to avoid the most dangerous areas.” Wouldn’t that be helpful!

Some people have a very off-the-wall sense of humor. A person like that can be fun to be around and most entertaining. It is often difficult, however, to engage that same person in a serious conversation.

Humor is one way of expressing ourselves in tense situations to lessen the seriousness of the circumstances by taking the edge off. It is when humor turns into snarky remarks, snide innuendoes and sarcastic rhetoric that misunderstanding and hurt occur.

People who resort to a flip or arrogant answer to the simplest question are attempting to show they are in control and superior. It is important, particularly for the victims of such a sharp tongue, to understand just the opposite is true. The truly confident need not prove themselves to anyone; thinking oneself superior to others is a recipe for disaster. The psalmist admonished us to “safeguard [our] tongue against what is bad, and [our] lips again speaking deception.” (Ps. 34:13)

Does it really feel that good to always be the one with the “zinger” response that shuts down the other person? A person who is secure in him- or herself does not need to make others feel stupid, unappreciated or insignificant. The individual who is truly confident has the ability to understand others, communicate effectively and listen to people around them without any need to put down friends, family or colleagues.

We live in very busy times. One way to deal with the madness in which many of us find ourselves in is to stop and give the person with whom we are talking our full and undivided attention. No finishing that last email while chatting on the phone with a loved one – the email can wait until you are done with your conversation.

Be present in the moment with love, understanding and appreciation of others. Taking the time to listen to what others are saying (and not saying) will enable us to respond with joy instead of a hurtful, snarky quip.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

Stop, Step Back and Breathe

Three or four times every year we are presented with a slice of time, about three weeks give or take, in which we may find our lives going array for no apparent reason. There are very good explanations for what is happening around us, as with most situations which cause us to be perplexed and confused. But for the purpose of brevity, I ask you to just go with me on this, because one of those slices of time started yesterday.

Whether it is bad karma, some stars in or out of alignment, a Universal Law we are fighting or a devil doing his work (depending on your take on life), we all have these moments where no matter how hard we try to make things right everything seems to be going wrong.

Psychotherapist and coach Lynn Grodzki, LCSW, says for those of in the profession of helping others, we recognize this as AFGO, Another Friggin’ Growth Opportunity. As helpers we know we must first help ourselves before helping others. Often people want to grow spiritual or improve in their lives only to complain that they do not want to try something new. 12-step programs remind us that doing the same thing over and over and expecting difference results is a great definition of insanity. At times during our lives such as we are currently experiencing, it does it good to stop, step back, take one heck of a deep breath, and see if the AFGO before us requires a change in the paradigm we have of life.

When Ernest Holmes wisely taught us that changing our thinking changes our life he was not explaining a one-time experience. It is not like you “paint your car, change your life” and the car works perfectly for the rest of the time we own it. Changing our thinking only changes our life when we are practicing this principle by examining our sacrosanct paradigms on a daily basis.

If we have built our life on a firm foundation as expressed in our personal vision and mission, then the changes, frustrations, obstacles and other AFGOs that present themselves allow us to move forward instead of stopping progress and/or staying stuck.

Over the next three weeks be aware of the AFGOs, of frustration on the part of others, or perhaps yourself. When these “golden opportunities” present themselves, stop, step back, take one heck of a deep breath, smile to yourself as you recognize the AFGO and go with the flow of the Universe. Just remember when you go with the flow: YOU get to pick the stream.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

What We Focus On We Attract

I started writing this blog a while back, but could never quite get it going. Scripture says “there is a time and a place for everything.” Once again, Spirit has decided when and where.

The “Law of Attraction” operates on the assumption that whatever we are focusing on we are attracting to us. Like most metaphysical principles it is a fairly simple proposition. Simple principles, however, can often be far from easy in application.

That is why it is so hard not to think of an elephant if someone tells us not to think of an elephant. Whatever we think about becomes our focus.

Coincidentally many of us are, right this minute, thinking about elephants…and donkeys. America is being faced with a crisis (again) and everyone has their knickers in a twist about it. If I have learned one thing about the history of this country from my husband, Kevin, it is that our nation has survived many crises. We will survive this one in spite of the catastrophe predicted by some and the ignorance of others who continue to “hunker down” instead of stepping up to the plate.

Have you noticed how so many people are simply aghast at how politicians seem to have their own political agendas, making headlines for themselves instead of doing their jobs and bowing to the corporations that keep them in power? Like this is news?!? Seriously?

Contact your representatives, if you have not already done so, and hold them accountable to do their jobs. Take this time to be practical and re-evaluate your financial situation (meaning pull up Quicken and get a grip on reality). Actively appreciate the people in your life that support you, because they are who will ultimately get us through this period on the physical level.

Congress is giving us a wonderful opportunity to consider what is truly important in our lives. I cannot honestly say I appreciate the timing, but it is what it is! Know in your own mind and heart that the Universe is abundant. This situation will resolve itself one way or the other and just fretting about it will not change the outcome. Very few may agree with the solution or consequences, but Life continues.

When you think about it that way it sounds like just about every other day!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

Apologies

Have you ever had someone apologize to you and then discover the next sentence out of their mouths is justification for their inappropriate actions? The cosmic giggle in that (or damn annoying outcome, whichever you feel at the time!) is that the person is long-gone before you realize they were not really sorry for what they did.

“Everything before ‘but’ is bullshit.” That’s something I learned from a beloved and respected professor of mine at Temple University. Think about it. If you are going to apologize to someone then those words, if they are to be sincere, cannot come with reasons why the action or words were deserved, can they?

It’s okay not to be sorry. You may feel righteously indignant about something someone did to you and are very angry about it. You may feel deeply hurt. And, yes, you may have even had a part in the altercation. It’s unhealthy, however, okay to hold onto those hurts for days, months or years.

I would suggest to you that if you cannot simply say, “I’m sorry” and let it go at that, then you are not truly sorry. If there is to be discussion or debate about the situation, let it be before any apologies ensue. Then, once everyone has been heard and understood, if a sincere apology can be given, let it. Otherwise, wait until you can.

Receiving a sincere apology also requires forgiveness on the part of the person wronged. I have been told that “they don’t deserve my forgiveness.” That may be true. But here’s the kicker: YOU deserve your forgiveness. Every time we hold onto anger, hatred or hurt because of what he, she or they did to us intensifies the cosmic bond between us and that other party.

Think of something about which you feel guilty, in particular something that you have been beating yourself up about. Now…take a deep breath and let yourself off the hook. Forgive yourself. Allow your breath to cleanse your mind, body, heart and soul of all the nastiness you’ve been holding inside. Allow it to flow out of your body like used, gunky oil flows out of the car. Fill yourself with love through knowing that however you acted, you did the very best you could at that time.

When you feel complete and know how well that feels, think about whom you may have harmed or hurt, knowingly or unknowingly and offer an apology to them. No “ifs”, “ands” OR “buts”.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

Staying Connected

“I’m SURE your Droid has an app for that!” That’s something my husband, Paul, often says to me in a snide, somewhat BBC English accent. I take his disdain for smart phone as painfully obvious jealousy – he won’t even get a cell phone!

Still, he’s right. (OMG – Did I just say that?!?) I do have an app for just about everything I “need.” This, of course, begs the question, Exactly why do I need it? With four growing businesses, a full-time job, a large volunteer commitment with a local non-profit and two aging parents on opposites side of the country (one of whom is in hospice care), and the fact that I travel extensively, my Droid has become an indispensable tool for keeping in touch, scheduling and planning.

Recently, however, I laughed out loud at myself for taking several minutes to access a computer program to find out the weather when I realized walking outside might have sufficed! Last week I heard on NPR that a study indicated the maximum number of meaningful relationships we can have is 50. How many “friends” to you have on Facebook? Keeping in touch is wonderful, but is there a limit to how much information we can assimilate?

Apparently, yes. While the connection we have with the world is amazing, our minds are not developed to the extent that is necessary to absorb 24/7 news about every country in every corner of the world. Mastin Kipp, founder of The Daily Love, wrote this yesterday:

[W]e know the SECOND something happens anywhere in the world. And we give these events our attention. And almost as soon as one event seems to be over, another happens and another and another and another, until pretty soon it seems like the world is going mad. … it’s not the world that’s going mad; it’s just that we have become more aware of what’s happening around us. We are more aware and therefore, more overwhelmed.

I’ve been wanting to blog about this for some time, knowing only too well just how difficult it is to deal with information overload. Mastin put it perfectly. The joy is we have the tools to deal with this issue – and it’s not another app for your smart phone.

If the Science of Mind teaches us anything it teaches us that we have choice. We can choose to turn off our phones, our computers, even (gasp!) our TVs and DVRs! I lived for five years at one point in my life without a TV. It was amazing how much I got done! For me this means prioritizing. I need to be available, but not for the whole world. I need to be available for my family, for my friends – the real friends – not the endless sea of faces online. I mean really…how many people on Facebook have you friended that you don’t even like, but can’t stand not knowing what they’re doing? Oh…was that my “out loud” voice again? Hmmmm…

Take time every day to “un-plug” from the electronics and endless chatter of the Internet. Use that time to TALK (not TEXT) the ones you love, to go within and calm your mind, to do something physically that is meaningful. Giggle, not Laugh, not ROTFLMAO. Even better, trying writing a real letter on paper (you remember paper, right?) and send it in an envelope with a stamp. I can guarantee that will bring a smile to the face of the recipient…and you!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

Realizing Our Dreams

I have written about spiritual mind treatment, also called affirming prayer, in many of my blogs. The final step in this type of prayer is “release.” We release our desire into the Universe to allow our words to become concrete realities in our world. Then what?

Sitting around, waiting for the Universe to drop our desire on our doorstep or in our laps, beautifully wrapped up with a gold bow is probably not the best course of action. Conversely, running around, manically doing everything we can to force our desire into manifestation is equally counterproductive to an acceptable conclusion.

“Daily OM”, a daily, spiritual email to which I subscribe (http://www.dailyom.com/) recently stated, “To realize our goals and visions we must be as industrious as we are optimistic.” This statement is a perfect complement to affirming prayer. The late Dr. Vetura Papke, religious science practitioner to Science of Mind founder, Dr. Ernest S. Holmes, used to say, “Treat and move your feet.” It is really the same admonition, but Vetura had something even more important in mind.

“Moving our feet” has another application than doing the physical, spiritual and emotional work we must do to make room for our hopes, desires, goals and dreams to become reality. Part of “moving our feet” is moving out of God’s way! We must avoid outlining to the Universe exactly when, how and what needs to happen to have our prayers answered, and by whom that answer must come. The Universe often seems to have a more simplistic and beautiful way of supplying our needs than what our human minds contrive.

Perhaps one of the most annoying parts of any answered prayer is having it answered by someone who we do not particularly like. Most annoying. I mean really annoying. (Guess you can tell I have been there!) When we are faced with this situation the dilemma to which we are confounded is: Do we ignore the answer because of our ego? Or, do we humbly accept the good no matter where it comes from or how it happens?

By nurturing our dreams into goals and then allowing that desire to take on a life of its own, we shall be able to enjoy the evolution of our manifestation. We shall see all that we desire and enjoy the benefits of knowing that with God all things are possible. Remember the words of Peter J. Meyer:

Whatever you vividly imagine,

ardently desire,

sincerely believe,

and enthusiastically act upon...

must inevitably come to pass!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

The Rapture

Since I am writing this and you are reading it, it would appear that either: 1) The Rapture of May 21, 2011 did not occur; 2) It happened and apparently no one on earth made the cut; or, 3) We all were taken and – get ready – this IS Heaven!

When Jesus told us “the kingdom of heaven is within” and “no one knows the hour” I believe we can take the Great Teacher at face value. It is far more important to live our life by being truly present in the moment and much less important to know when or if this or that can or will occur.

Losing sleep over what may or will happen in the future leads to anxiety. No one can accurately predict the future since, as the scripture says, “Time and unforeseen occurrences befall us all.”

“This or something better” is what I often add when I give a spiritual mind treatment (or affirmative prayer) for myself or others. I am very clear on the reasons why the words are being spoken. I’m confident that I am one with all that there is, that there is within me the Knower that knows, and that the result is already a complete idea in the Mind of God.

But I also know that the Universe often has a far bigger and better idea for me than I can perceive. Why limit the unlimited? As Rev. Helen Street used to say, “You’re dealing with Divine Intelligence – not ‘Big Dummy in the Sky!’” We don’t have to tell God or the Universe how to accomplish our desires. Neither do we need to worry about when things will happen or abandon our responsibilities in a belief that God or some force outside ourselves will do everything for us.

What we can do is be busy about our work, clarifying our desires, making sure that our actions are in line with what we want, and leave the final outcome alone to unfold. If we don’t like the results we can choose again.

Life is immortal, but the time we spend in this body, at this point in the history of humankind is finite. Whether that is 40 years, 80 years or 120 years remains to be seen. What is important is that we appreciate every day we have as a glorious opportunity to better our planet, each other and ourselves. Our success in having a life truly worth living will bless everyone around us.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

Methodical Madness

I am often asked how I keep all the different parts of my life organized. Granted, my Droid has become indispensable, but there is another reason. I see my life and all that I do, both at the Center and away from it, as One.

There was a time when I was a man of many masks – not faces, masks. I was a completely different person depending on where I was and with whom. Sure, I still have what my partners call my “flight attendant voice” at times, but with me pretty much what you see is what you get.

The Center is the base of operations for my businesses and services, plus I am still employed full-time. Add to that many hours as a board member and singer for our men’s chorus and that makes for a very full schedule. My partners are equally busy in their own careers and also serve on the board and sing in the chorus. We still make time for each other. How?

Methodical madness! I heard that term on NPR the other day referring to someone who has ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). Like the person with dementia who realizes there are some things she’s always wanted to forget and now can, I have learned to enjoy the madness of my tendency toward ADD to accomplish more than I ever thought possible.

My partners tell me that what I really suffer from is “AD..OSO,” or “Attention Deficit….OH! SHINY OBJECT!” Kidding aside I do not suffer from ADD or anything else. I am not willing to claim it. Remember in the Bible when God brought the animals to Adam? Scripture says that Adam named them and he received dominion over them. It is a wonderful metaphysical lesson: Name it and it’s yours.

I call it a “tendency toward ADD” and not my my ADD. When we own a disease, person or situation it can become a noose around our neck. Recognizing the areas in our lives that are out of balance and taking responsibility for our situation is one thing; allowing something to run or ruin our life is another thing entirely.

Is there something in your life that is stopping you from living life to the fullest? If so, ask yourself why you continue to put up with it, work around it, or allow it to force you to live a life that is less than stellar. I love to see people make decisions to thinking differently about physical or psychological issues. We can affect change and create lives truly worth living instead of “just getting by.”

Let me help you with some problem that’s been nagging you for longer than you’d like! Call, email, or make an appointment to spend some time together to get to the bottom of the problem and move beyond! We are all One Mind – within YOU is the Knower that knows the answer to any challenge you face.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

Catching Up!

I’m sending this out as an update on activities at the Center, but this is also an apology for the way my Blog has "disappeared". So....I'm sorry about the blog! Several people have told me they've missed the blog (appreciated!) and I promise to be more consistent with that in the future. 'Nuff said?

I've spent a tremendous amount of time recently getting ready for the opening of the Center this month. You'd think that after 20 years in some form of ministry and 25 years as a massage therapist this would be a piece of cake, simply moving what I have been doing out of my home all this time across the river into a new office suite. It isn't!

There seems to be an ongoing and endless list of items to move into or purchase for the Center. I've had donations of furniture that I've not been able to obtain due to a large enough vehicle. Getting our schedules together to get the furniture I do have has not happened...yet! So the look of the Center is evolving rather than being a "POP - It's CREATED!" event - hmmm....kinda like life, huh?

New business cards for the Center and my various types of work have been received or on order, press releases were sent in March, and advertising is beginning to be seen throughout the community. Tuesday classes in April have concluded and produced lively discussions! I have no classes planned for May or June, but I’ve been asked to consider starting an ongoing Wednesday evening group. This would be a time to check in, a short talk on a current topic and then a guided meditation. Let me know if that’s something in which you might be interested!

This month has seen an increase in counseling and massage clients, a local magazine has expressed interest in running an article on the Center and my work, and I've been humbled by referrals, often from channels I'd not even considered. April begins a busy six-month period of weddings to perform. I have the joy of working with a diverse and exciting group of couples from many religious and spiritual backgrounds. We'll be breaking glasses, lighting candles, tying knots, reciting vows and jumping a broom or two.

The foundation that keeps me centered is my wonderful family, Paul and Kevin, who support me through all my crazy, eclectic life, all the while running their own successful careers and interests. I thank my guys often, but probably not nearly enough I'm sure. Who supports you? Have you thanked them recently? Take a moment today to do that today!

I hope my experience of life and the way I use the principles of New Thought can help you in your life. I've screwed up a lot in my life, continue to do things I know don't work, but I love the process of life (most of the time....) and hope that both my successes AND foibles can be of help to you. I care very much about what's going on in your life, so please let me hear back from you. If you contact me for support I will know the Truth about you: That you are the only person like you that gets to express God or Universal Power the way you do. Be yourself. Be authentic. And be unique. To do any less, robs us of your gift.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

I Can’t Wait For Monday!

How many times do we hear THAT?!? Not often. It seems the majority of the people around us, or perhaps we ourselves, are not happy with what we do for a living. Are you?

It is possible to expand the “love month” scope of February from romantic involvements to include the love we have in other areas of our life, such as career. Some people are happy with what they do for a living, but many are not. The latter refer to their jobs as “the grind” or a prison. Most of the time there is one major reason why people are dissatisfied with their work: It doesn’t express who they are.

Before the industrial revolution our careers more aptly placed us in a category that not only described what people did but also situated them in a sector of society. It defined what socioeconomic circles in which people moved and lived. The other side of that system is that it forced young people into what was expected of them, not into a career that expressed who they were. Girls did not have many options at all. Boys had more opportunities, but can you imagine being the son of the village accountant with no interest or aptitude in math? In America today, it seems to be less about what we do and more about how much money we make doing it, regardless of the cost to our health, our families or our spirit.

You may fall into the category as do so many and dread going to work. Or, perhaps you have developed your heart’s desire or a hobby into a prosperous career. You may, like me, have multiple careers that fulfill your need for self expression and financial support. One way to look at a job we don’t like is to recognize that the money we receive from it may allow us to pursue other activities out of which we reap a myriad of benefits. In other words, your job may not be what you really want to do in life, but it gives you the means to pursue a hobby or leisure activity you enjoy. That can make a monotonous job more palatable.

There is a law in metaphysics called the Law of Reciprocity. It speaks to the principle that for every action there is a reciprocal reaction. In the case of the person who hates their job, the more s/he curses the position the worse the situation will get. If you are not blessed with the career of your dreams, why not try “blessing yourself out” of it, rather than have an ongoing litany of why it’s so awful? You will get results – so be cautious of what you ask for!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry