Similar and Different

Have you ever met someone, thought how similar you were, but then discovered some glaringly different beliefs? It can be most unsettling. We think we’re on the same wavelength and suddenly realize this isn’t true at all.

I remember accepting a temporary secretarial position many years ago that required proficiency with the Word and Excel programs. While my abilities were more than sufficient, I was stopped dead in my tracks when I sat down at the Apple computer in front of me. I’m a PC guy and couldn’t even figure out how to turn the darn thing on.

When situations like this occur it can be quite jarring to our sense of peace. But it’s also a great reminder that one of the great constants in the universe is change, as paradoxical as that may be. The question is not so much whether change will occur in our lives, but how we will deal with change when it’s staring us in the face. I was at that temp job for three months and got along smashingly with my new Apple friend!

If everything in our lives were similar or identical it would be pretty boring. Consistency doesn’t have to be sameness. We have evidence in nature of how just different landscapes can be yet all beautiful in their own way.

Perhaps the next time you think one thing is happening only to discover that some very different is occurring you’ll think of this discussion. Take a deep breath and relax into the change that’s happening. Even in the differences, what can you find that is similar?

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


2016 © Terry Drew Karanen

The Small Stuff

It’s the little things that make a difference in our lives. We have the choice whether seemingly insignificant events are going to produce happiness, sorrow, regret or gratitude, among many other emotions. In fact, it’s the small stuff that can actually be a life saver for us.

In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's, A Study in Scarlet, Sherlock Holmes’ sidekick, Dr. Watson is credited with writing this small piece of wisdom:

No man burdens his mind with small matters unless he has some very good reason for doing so.

If you are willing to get by the masculine noun writing style of the day this quote bears a tremendous message. Throughout the day we are bombarded with information. It’s not just what we read on social media or hear on the news. It’s far more subtle, yet infinitely more important.

The small stuff about which the good doctor speaks is our power of observation. It’s being open to noticing the energy of a person we meet; a split second before she stood tall and smiled she was slightly slumped, her eyes gray with disappointment, or perhaps despondency. Might we be a tad more loving and considerate if we had taken the time to be more observant?Blog

We may be lamenting the problems in the world, of which we are many, yet if we open to being more aware of our surroundings we notice one driver signally for another to go ahead in an act of courtesy; an elderly woman holding the door for a young father with three young children in tow, giving the guy just what he needs not to feel so alone; or, the cat who insists on us taking the time to pet her, just when we need to stop the craziness of the day.

It can also be hearing something intriguing or helpful and saying, “That’s really interesting! I’m going to remember that when I need it,” instead of, “I wish I could remember stuff like this, but I’m so forgetful.”

Are we are willing to believe there is only One Divine Consciousness with which we are all connected? If so, we understand that by training ourselves to believe in Divine Timing we’ll know that all knowledge is ours to have when it’s needed.

What will you observe today that you’ll recall in the future? Are you willing to enjoy the day, enjoying all you observe, and without rushing through it just to get to the end? I’d love to know what you experience today!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Terry Drew Karanen © 2016

I Love You – Now Change!

Have you noticed how we hold celebrities and spiritual leaders to a higher standard than others? We can be quick to criticize the conduct of people we hold in high esteem if what they do or say doesn’t fit the pictures we’ve created of them.

For example, if celebrity couples separate or divorce the gossip rags go crazy, citing the events as yet another example of how famous people can’t manage relationships well – as if the general public can cast the first stone or look to their own record as evidence they can!

As a writer and speaker I get messages and comments on my blog and Facebook pages that are not just critical, but actually angry explanations of how I’ve somehow betrayed the trust of my readers by admitting something has pissed me off. One ministerial colleague recently exclaimed, “Is THAT the way a TRUE minister of Religious Science should act/talk/write?”really-seth-and-amy

Admittedly, I swear more than some people think I should, though considerably less than I used to. Others believe a profane word should never be heard from me because I’m supposed to be “spiritual,” which I am and they are, no matter what they think. I’ve even been told I shouldn’t use contractions in my writing and blogging, because that’s not professional – although my judicious use of the Oxford comma is LEGENDARY, if I must say so myself!

Further, even though the New Thought philosophies in which I believe and teach embrace the love in all faiths and philosophies, my experience in and practice of pagan arts and traditions make even some of my closest friends and family suspect, squeamish or uncomfortable.

None of this is my problem.

The fact that some individuals, colleagues and even friends are taken aback or critical of how I live my life is their issue, not mine. You know how this works; it’s the same way you rub some people the wrong way when you act like you do, simply being “you.” I certainly don’t expect you to censure your magnificence and I’ll be damned if I will either.

We are living in one of the most – not if the THE most – exciting, innovative and, at the same time, potentially terrifying times in human history. The exponential explosion of technology has advanced far beyond what our brains have evolved to handle. Yet within that same technology lie answers to problems which have plagued civilization for centuries, even though that same science raises as many questions as it answers.

This can be scary, so the uneducated and timid who are experts in playing the victim look to others to be more than they think they themselves can be. New flash:  The people we idolize and think never have problems DO have challenges and also look up to others. Those esteemed leaders go through many of the same doubts that we do.

The difference in being a leader – whether it’s of a corporation, a spiritual community or our family – is that we don’t give up. We acknowledge our mistakes, make course corrections and move on. But the truth – whether you think you’re a leader or not which, by the way, you are! – is that we must be the authentic, real and unabashedly unique individuals we are no matter what. To do any less is robbing ourselves and everyone else of our true expression of life.

We also accept each other for who we are, not for who we want each other to be. I stand by this quote that I first penned over two decades ago:

You cannot have a relationship with someone’s potential.

This also means that we may not be everyone’s cup of tea. If that’s the case, best to allow those relationships and connections to dissolve organically. We might need to burn a bridge or slam a door or two; if we’re absolutely sure that’s what needs to happen then so be it.

So why do we cling to that and who which no longer serves our vision of life by encouraging us, uplifting us and loving us, particularly when we’re trying so hard to be there for them? Because the other side of that equation is that while we’re “working on someone else” or trying to get them to change, the work we ought to be doing on ourselves goes right in the toilet.

It’s time once again that we all stepped back from the world around us, looked in the mirror just one more time, and figured out what we have to give to the world, as well as what we want out of life. Don’t you deserve to have a life worth living with people around you who celebrate YOU?!?

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Terry Drew Karanen © 2016

What’s Your Vision

Do you have a “vision?” One of the most important tools we can have for success is a personal vision statement. It succinctly articulates what we want our lives to accomplish, what we want to enjoy, how we wish to live, with whom we wish to live it, and what impact we intend to have on the planet using the gifts that are uniquely ours to give.

This week we continue to discuss The Global Vision:  A World That Works For Everyone, brought to us by Centers for Spiritual Living. The organization has chosen “What’s Your Vision?” for discussion this week. As you may already know, this topic is one of the mainstays of my teaching, my ministry and my own life. I’m very excited to share these ideas with you specifically this week.

A vision statement, and its accompanying mission statement, has become a necessity for businesses and organizations over the past few decades. We’ve come to expect them to be prominently displayed in offices and on websites.

What is often missing, however, is a personal vision, something just for us. For us to have a world that works for everyone – meaning we all have enough food, a comfortable place to live and a sense of belonging – we must be clear individually as to what that means for us personally.

It is only by being firm in our own direction that we can be of use and service to others. To serve without a vision is to flounder in uncertainty, accomplishing little and ending the day with a sense of dissatisfaction and confusion.

Over the next week at the Facebook® page for Spirit, Mind and Body Foundation I’ll be discussing this week’s topic by providing a free-of-charge, mini-course on this theme from my last book, “How to Find Your Vision and Get a Life! Using a vision and mission to create a life worth living.”20150623_093529

I hope you’ll join me and actively participate in the daily lessons and discussions. (Spoiler Alert:  I’m developing an entire eight-week course on this book for individual and organizational use that is expected to be available in the fall.) See you over at SMBF on Facebook®!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Terry Drew Karanen © 2016

Healing Pain

Have you changed your Facebook profile picture to the French flag? Many have. Thousands have been affected from the recent losses in Paris. No loss should be minimized, but when we highlight tragedy of any kind we give it power and energy.5000

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be informed. But it does beg the question of just how many times we have to watch the same video feed or listen to the same report. And, as in the case of the recent events in France, we can easily turn our backs on the many other catastrophes and misfortunes that are occurring simultaneous, a number of which are exponentially more impactful.

The Jewish scriptures tell us, “Time and unforeseen circumstances befall us all.” Planes crash. Buildings burn. Extremists blow themselves up taking innocent people with them. How can we deal with these catastrophes?

Jesus the great teacher is quoted in the Christian scriptures as saying, “Love one another.” Punishing the innocents who faithfully practice a faith that terrorists only claim to embrace is not the way to love one another. We must stand together to compassionately support one another regardless of religion.

Will our pain be healed immediately? No. Like a physical scar, our emotional injuries carry mental scars. It’s said that when scar tissue completely heals it’s stronger than the skin around it. Our scars not only prepare us for future challenges, but they can be a reminder of how we dealt with a situation we couldn’t previously imagine living through.

I read this quote recently:  "Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain." In the coming weeks we’ll each have the opportunity to exercise wisdom in our dealings with others. We’ll perhaps be more compassionate with others around us, as well as suffering all over the globe, even if those individuals are not of our race, our nationality or our faith.

We are at a turning point in human history. Humankind as a whole is killing the planet and killing its own family. There’s no magic wand to wave, no prayer that heals everything, everywhere immediately. We have a choice to beautify the planet and accept peace. Will we?

We can choose to use wisdom in loving one another and being responsible planetary citizens. There’s always plenty of blame to go around; the media focuses on that because it increases rating.

Instead, let’s focus on the solution:  #TheGlobalVision of #AWorldThatWorksForEveryone.

With Love,



Yes, Precious, It DOES Matter

There WILL be a spiritual component to this writing … I promise … but you need a little “set-up” for it.
So … I'm off to my “day job” as a flight attendant, going through the "Known Crew Member (KCM)" security check at BWI last Monday morning at 4:35am for my 5:00am sign-in.
I hand my passport to the TSA agent, scan my KCM badge, then hold my airline ID badge for her to compare my ID, passport and the photo of me on the monitor.
She looks at my passport.
She looks at my badge.
She waits for the photo to come up on the screen.
Her eyebrows raise, ever so slightly.
She looks at my passport again, then at my ID and the back at the screen.
Then, she looks up at me.
Her left eyebrow raises in a more pronounced manner.
She looks back at the passport, issued in 2006.
She looks back at me.
THEN she says it:
“WOW! You sure have aged!”
I’m barely standing up straight, managing on 4.5 hours of sleep, a two-hour drive to the airport in the middle of the night and it’s now 4:36am.
I am NOT in the mood.
My response?
I honestly didn’t have one – don’t ask me to be witty before coffee. I did manage my best flight attendant fake smile (you know, the one that looks nice and really means, “Drop dead”), accompanied by a slight raise of MY left eyebrow.
I stopped short of saying something about one of the worst hair weaves in the greater Baltimore/Washington DC area and that “someone” likes the McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts just down the corridor a little more than is prudent. I’ve learned to NEVER push a TSA agent, particularly one that obviously takes great pride reveling in perhaps the only part of her life in which she feels she has complete and utter control.
So what isthe spiritual side of all this? This amazing light being with bad hair and a penchant toward hypertensive heart disease was scheduled at exactly the right time and on the precise day that I would come up to her desk for her to be able to deliver a message from Spirit that I did not want to hear:  “Terry, We believe you are a “bit” more concerned about turning 60 next year than you might want to admit. Jus’ sayin’. Thanks, The Universe.”
Like a lot of people, I’ve been known occasionally to believe denial of the facts will encourage the manifestation

of what we imagine to be eternal truth. The Truth is, however, denial doesn’t do anything for us, except perhaps make us uncomfortable because we’re lying to ourselves and everyone around us. What we can deny is the necessity of our situation and then turn to knowing the Truth.

We forget that the “facts” are not the Truth. It isn’t turning 60, or having a few pounds after we gave birth to our third child, or finding hair growing in places we didn’t know hair would grow, or not fitting into our favorite skinny jeans. It’s what meaning we assign to those facts that change our attitude and our experience in life.
What facts have you been denying in your life? Would you be willing to admit what you don’t want to think about? Admitting the facts doesn’t mean we forget the Truth. It’s the first step to our healing. In the words of my friend, Arleen, “You’ve suffered long enough. Are you willing to try something else?”
So, are you? Willing to try something else? And, FYI? My birthday is May 23. I expect cards. LOTS of cards. Jus’ sayin’….
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Why Did That Happen?

This week it’s been announced that Malaysian Airlines flight 370 and its crew and passengers totaling 239 people is considered lost at sea. A commuter train on its way to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago derailed, injuring over 30 people. And, a freak mudslide in Washington state has resulted in over two hundred people missing and feared dead.
Not exactly cheery news. And this wasn’t all that happened either. While we were inundated with the stories above by mass media, there is still fighting in Syria, suicide bombers in the Middle East, and human rights abuses throughout the planet. I’d like to be able to tell you the events noted here are exceptions to the rule, but the fact is horrible things are happening even as we speak. It’s called life. As King Solomon is believed to have said, “Time and unforeseen circumstances befall us all.”
I found it interesting how quickly we stopped hearing about Syria as soon as MH370 went missing. The truth is, we have a very short attention span with news reports unless we have a personal stake in the story. Media constantly scans the events of the day to see what can be sensationalized, thereby making their network the most watched, which, not-so-coincidentally, helps drive up advertising rates. We can ask, What happened? Why? Or, we can ask an even more interesting question:  Why are we putting so much time, effort and energy into dwelling on disasters, crises, pain and suffering?
Now, before one of you writes me an angry email explaining in detail why we should care about others, please let me explain. This obsession with disaster has little to do with lovingly caring for those around us and those we don’t even know. It has to do with diverting our attention from what we could be doing and, instead, focusing on what other’s should be doing...or at least what we think they should be doing.
If you feel so inclined to support people suffering because of political conditions or disasters through your dollars, time or physical efforts by all means do so. Everyone helping even a little translates into a shift, even a small one, in the consciousness of the situation. I am merely suggesting that we focus on what we can do that will have the most impact.
The first thing we must do is keep the highest and best outcome at the forefront of our consciousness. The next thing we can do is to affect positive change wherever we can. I’ve known people who feel quite proud that they send money to a far off country to help those in need, but who are unwilling to offer to buy meal for a homeless person in their own town. I can’t personally contact Bashar al-Assad to discuss what I think would solve the problems in Syria. I can make sure that my interactions with others throughout the day, including my own family, are ones full of love, understanding and compassion.
“Why?” is a question that rarely has a satisfying answer in the moment. Rather, what affects change is asking, “How can I support you?”
Who is waiting for you to support them this week, and from whom are you willing to accept help? Seeking to learn the answer to those questions will keep you busy while the seemingly unanswerable get worked on, Wonderful side effects include less stress and more happiness.
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,