While this may only be a problem in certain corners of the world, I often wonder whether I would have had my beautiful healing experience of God if I’d had a smart phone. I had my experience in 2006, before iPhones were widely on the market. When I had quiet time, I had quiet time. I didn’t shove my face into a phone whenever I needed to relax. My experience came from a place of silence and connection to my heart.
I am very guilty of getting sucked into the rabbit hole of Instagram and online news like the New York Times. I really believe if I’d had a smart phone, I might not have found the silent place I did to allow me to have such a beautiful experience of God. It’s honestly not so different from drinking wine or eating too much. It’s something that one needs to be mindful and aware of. How can we make sure to keep the tool in its place, and let our minds find a place of calm when needed?
I’ve found some good ways to limit time on my phone that have helped me stay more present in my life. I deactivated Facebook completely, and as a result no longer have it on my phone. I do have Instagram, but I try to limit how much time I’m on the site. I also practice leaving my phone in another room or in my purse when I’m at work or out and about. And at night, I don’t have it in a place by my bed where I can reach it easily. This makes a big difference.
It’s important to find space within while you’re on your journey towards healing. Give your heart space and your smart phone a break, as much as you need to, and let your inner vision reign.
I spend some time on this blog writing about God. God is a big word about which many people have many feelings and beliefs. It can be hard for me to use that word and know it may mean different things to different people. Mostly, I don’t want my use of the word to turn people off or away, because it can be a heavy word, and because many people have had difficult experiences with religion in childhood and beyond.
I was raised at a religious crossroads, having three major religious and spiritual traditions at different points in my life – Judaism from my dad, Christianity from my mom, and Native American Spirituality from my stepdad. I am grateful for these traditions and the people who shared them with me.
And I am grateful for my own life-changing experience of God. Because of this experience, and because of the worlds I was raised among, when I write about God I mean ~ love, wholeness, completeness, peace, and joy. God is everything all together. God is in my heart. God is in your heart. God feels beautiful. God feels good. God feels safe. God is in me. God is in you.
“Include yourself among those you love” – Conversations with God
Did you love yourself today? It can seem easy (or not) to say “Sure, I love myself,” but what does that mean in the day to day workings of a life? In the in-between moments and unremarkable days? Learning to love yourself takes time. It’s not just a feeling. It’s also a state of being that will ripple out into the world around you. It’s hard to stay in bad situations when you love yourself as God loves you.
My journey to self-love is constantly evolving. It took a big leap when I felt the love God had for me, but it still hasn’t been easy to fully love myself. I had been given many opposite messages over the years, and I believed them to my core. It was humbling to feel the love of God and then to see the world I had created for myself, and the world I was living in.
It would take a near constant effort on my part of feel that love in every moment. When I remember to, I try. I connect to it. I pray. Prayer and truly connecting to God in my heart in help a lot. A lot of the time life takes over and I get busy and stressed. But each moment counts, and each time I love myself, I can love myself a little more.
Recently, I ran into a friend who recounted something I’d said to her ten years earlier when she told me she was entering recovery. I didn’t remember this conversation, but apparently I’d really buoyed her spirit by a comment I’d made when she was still shaky about becoming sober. I’d said something along the lines of “people in recovery at the nicest people!” She said it was the kindest thing to hear during a difficult time in her life, and I didn’t even remember saying it!
It brings me to think about all the small things we say to other people that we don’t even think about. I know for me, hearing something kind and loving another person says to me can make me feel warm and fuzzy for days. It is so nice to hear loving words, and it’s so nice to say them to others. Even if you never know about the effect of your words, or if you find out ten years later as I did, the kindness matters, and can change hearts. Conversely, saying hurtful words can do the opposite. They can sting others, leading to more unhappiness for them and for those around them.
Say something kind to someone today, stranger or friend, and let it ripple out into the world.
All my love.
It’s been easy for me to fall into the trap of letting other people define my experiences for me, especially when it comes to defining my spirituality and God. When I first had my experience of God, I believed what other people told me about it, more than I believed my own experience. That’s been a big part of my path and a huge learning area for me. My experiences are mine – other people’s perspectives can be really helpful, but they can’t tell me what I feel, believe, or see.
I spent a lot of time talking with a few trusted mentors about my experience. Looking back, I wish I had been brave enough to keep it to myself. I was too afraid that I was going crazy to stay silent, and I needed to talk about it to make sure I was ok. The few people I talked to about it helped me feel grounded, and thankfully, blessedly, helped me to learn that it was not “crazy” to have a spiritual experience. They were very encouraging and helpful.
But they could not understand how much it changed me, and how much it meant to me. It was my soul connecting to God, and that was life-transforming. Sometimes I feel that talking about it cheapens that – there’s no way to communicate in words the depth of my transformation, except for a person to have their own life-changing experience of God and of love.
Trusting your experience doesn’t just apply to your spiritual reality, but also to your relationships, jobs, truths, and life. I wish you the courage and strength to trust your own experience today and to honor it, with love.
I’m back! I missed blogging for a few days last week because my toddler daughter poured water on my computer. Luckily it could be fixed and now I’m able to write again!
I’ve been thinking about the years after I had my experience with God. When it first happened, I thought I needed to become a very holy person. In the traditions in which I had been raised, only very special people had experiences with God, and they were usually perfect people. It’s taken years for me to learn that God is for everyone, everyone can be close to God, and everyone can have an experience of God.
Still, I can tell the days, weeks, and months when I am closer or farther from God’s reality. I can tell when I’m closer because I’m able to feel peace, love, joy and all of the beautiful things that come from God. I can tell when I’m farther away because I’m worrying, stressed, unhappy, and grumpy. It’s what people talk about when they speak about “raising your vibration,” because that is what it feels like. It feels like walking on air. I’ve felt true joy and peace and had the holiest of times while living in very run down apartments and in the middle of what would seem to be externally imperfect surroundings. And yet, my heart had peace and I felt free.
My stepfather called being on God’s path being on the Red Road. It meant you were on your right path. Doors opened for you. Things clicked. You were living your right life. It is a beautiful way to live. Sometimes it eludes me, and sometimes it is easy.
It helps when I get still and clear my mind. It helps when I pray. It helps when I don’t drink any wine or alcohol. It helps when I eat a clean diet. It helps when I can be in nature. It helps when I listen to what my heart is telling me. Then the air clears and I can feel the peace of God which is light and free.
I hope you can feel connected to your heart and to God today. It’s for you.
It can be hard to change. When you are on a healing path, you may be called to change quite a bit from the person you were last year, last week, or even yesterday. As you move into greater alignment with your heart, you may also feel called to make changes to support your evolving vision of yourself.
These changes may take the form of a new habit, or a new job, or a change in your relationship with another person. Over the years as I’ve healed, I’ve made so many changes in my life. Sometimes these changes made me feel embarrassed – what would other people think of me? I made some big changes in my career and also in my relationships. I’ve ended relationships that didn’t work when I felt very called to, and that was tough for both people. I’ve also completely shifted career courses to a career that was more in alignment with my dreams and desire to give back to others. Even writing this blog represents a big change from the self I show to the world around me.
Yet all of these changes in the outer world have had an inception with my heart. They feel like inner callings, and they all begin from within. The change in the outer world is just a continuation of my inner reality. Every time I have changed, life adjusts accordingly and catches up. And besides, it helps me to know that everyone around me is also going through their own changes. It’s the nature of life.
I hope today gives you a chance to make positive changes to live more in alignment with your heart! Wishing you a happy day.