To heal from the past, we must correct the errors in perception that prevent us from forgiving those who have harmed us. In relinquishing anger, fear, and hatred and completely forgiving past errors, we free our lives and hearts from experiencing emotional devastation and we can live fully in the present open to unlimited love. This is a path towards a renewed and transformed sense of Self that takes us closer to God and our true, Higher Self. Correcting errors of perception such as anger, fear, jealousy, and the need for retribution heals the disenfranchised aspects of ourselves that have long searched and yearned for clarity and atonement. The mental process of dissociation slips us further away from the all encompassing nature of God’s love and we develop a false sense of security – further emboldening the nightmarish dream rather than awakening from its terror and stronghold on our emotional and mental well being. In the process of trying to escape or avoid emotional danger, we actually create more negative disowned energy by psychically dividing aspects of ourselves and furthering the split between our personality and Spirit. We should, instead, pray for healing and integration and infuse our shadow selves with rehabilitative energy and careful, spiritual nourishment. This consistent and repetitive nature of denying the present by emboldening egoistic divisions within our psyche takes us further away rather than closer to the spiritual realm. Our task is to remember Spirit’s unlimited ability to heal all atrocities rather than creating more perceptual errors which obscure our spiritual sight. Any act that is not of love is counter to the world of Spirit and is an illusion, further reminding us that our task on earth is to heal and awaken from this dimension’s obsessive identification with the physical and its associated anguish.
I have been considering, for quite some time, what the topic of my next blog post would involve. So many events have occurred over the past few months that I delayed my posts because I was so overwhelmed by the continual manifestation of unwanted occurrences in my life. I kept thinking, things are going to improve and by then I will have a much more comprehensive perspective. Well, things did not get better. In fact, circumstances turned for the worse and then they continued to deteriorate. Why were these horrible events happening, I kept asking myself? What have I done to deserve such treatment? Why is this happening? Why me?
As my world crumbled, I continued to focus on what was most important at the time: finishing my first semester in graduate school at University of Houston (pursuing a graduate degree has been a long-revered goal of mine) and keeping my eyes open for career opportunities, as my career had taken a most definite reversal and had stalled. Then, as luck would have it, a dark cloud seemed to hover over me and within less than a month, I had three back to back car accidents that significantly sidetracked my ability to earn income. At this point, I was driving for ride-sharing platforms while simultaneously interviewing for positions in my field. Without a car, I was unable to earn this secondary, temporary income. And it happened in the blink of an eye. In the worst of circumstances, things seemed to become even more bleak.
I have been a student of new age spirituality for years and years, and I knew that from all spiritual lessons I had learned, these events were happening for a reason. But why now? This is a time when my career should flourish and I should enjoy abundance and a wealth of opportunities. The fifties are often considered the most important time in life when careers are at their highest and we experience the very best in friendships, relationships, and key moments of self-actualization. Unfortunately, for me, nothing seemed to work. I was stuck. Friendships that had long been the cornerstone of my emotional ecosystem of support were no longer there. Friends that I had turned to for years and years to get through the rough times were either emotionally or physically absent, unable to reach or stubbornly indifferent to my circumstances. These experiences brought about a revelation on just how significantly friendships change over time and the dynamics that shift our interpersonal relationships.
For many of us, we choose to enter romantic relationships and marriage because we want and need emotional support. Life is meant to be shared and it is not much fun to be alone. So, whether we intend it or not, our secondary and tertiary relationships, outside of our partnership or marriage, take a back seat. We are so focused on our romantic relationship, partnership, or marriage, that we no longer provide the support that we so often gave our “bestie” or best friend throughout the years. For someone, like myself, who is not currently involved in a romantic relationship or partnership/marriage, this lack of caring or emotional indifference is a slap in the face. We all remember those times during college when we swore to always remember our best buddies and to be there during the rough times and even in some cases, we made promises never to forget or abandon our “best friend forever”. The song “The Promise” by the group “When in Rome” certainly comes to mind: “If you need a friend, don’t look to a stranger, you know in the end, I’ll always be there….”
Unfortunately, time mars such an endeavor during middle age and perhaps even before then. Changing dynamics within our lives and friendships mean that we shift our priorities. Those of us who are single probably endure the most of many friendships where a one time “best friend” or “close friend” just checks out. And the friend that checks out may not even be aware of it! It just happens. It’s a part of life. However, if one exercises even a semblance of emotional intelligence, it is obvious that our most revered friendships deserve care and attention, particularly when one is experiencing a life-threatening situation and is in dire need of support. I find it difficult to understand how anyone could turn their backs on a dear friend when they need assistance during a crisis. Such abandonment is most definitely a slap in the face and requires us to reevaluate and examine the place, if any, this relationship should have in our lives.
Middle-age is a time when we experience a multitude of changes. Those who have children witness their bundles of joy head off to college, our careers often have extreme demands, and our partners/spouses also have their challenges to which we must attend. Inevitably, this is a time when our parents need us the most. When our parents age and we tend to their needs and concerns, or we witness the cruelty of old age and all the illness and despair that can often accompany such a grueling time of life, the experience has the effect of forever changing us, the caregivers. We have witnessed the ravages of time, despair, and illness, and we are changed. Forever. We are not the same. And this change in how we perceive the rest of our lives is very significant. It is painfully understood just how preciously fragile our later years are and how eye-opening it is to prepare for those last chapters in our lives. We see ourselves in our parents. In the next twenty years or less, the same challenges that aging has brought upon our parents will affect us. And will we have the same level of support that was provided to our own parents? Those of us without children wonder what will happen, should the time come, and of course it will, when we will need assistance just to get through the day. And this realization certainly changes our existing interactions within friendships and relationships. While the opportunity to bounce back from an illness or a bout of depression in our twenties and thirties was easily realized, we suddenly experience an epiphany that in our fifties, time is short. There is not that much time left, and when the “life-clock” stares at us in the face, this realization alters our perceptions, our relationships are reevaluated, and we question how they fit within our lives. Are they contributing to our wellness and happiness or are they bogging us down, contributing to depression or a sense of despair? Therefore, it is logical that we remove these friendships from our lives or limit their influence on our happiness, given that our time on this life is short – there is only one attempt at this life and it is certainly not a dress rehearsal. It is “opening night” every single day and we must make the best of it.
So, does this mean that we just arbitrarily begin to dump our friendships? I have never been a fan of “fair-weather” friendship. I believe that true friendship involves being there for our friends during the bad times as well as the good. Those who have even a modicum of emotional intelligence will know that dumping relationships is not easy to do and it should never be done lightly. Especially if there is a desire on one side to continue a friendship/relationship, we should give it a decent try and should not arbitrarily cut people off. Specifically, when a friend is in a dire situation, we should do our best to provide some level of support; perhaps they are fleeing domestic violence, their life is in danger, or perhaps they need not just an ear, but help transitioning or need a temporary place to live while they sort things out. So much for those drunken promises when we were younger, in college, or in our twenties. Those promises are certainly broken when harsh realities surface – especially harsh realities as I have described.
Recent events in my life have brought me to the realization that I cannot rely upon familiar sources of support – either because of life’s design or through unfortunately stubborn individual choices. The ecosystem of emotional support that one may have experienced in earlier decades is significantly altered or non-existent as time passes. Changing dynamics within relationships shift the support system and it is important to recognize and adapt to these patterns. When a crisis occurs, this shift can seem like an earthquake, so it is better to recognize the signs as they occur and adapt as quickly and efficiently as possible. Otherwise, the very events that you thought could never happen may quickly appear within your life and the associated daunting challenges may overwhelm you when your support system is no longer there. Throughout such a seemingly adversarial environment, it is even more important to tap into our inner divinity and find a closer relationship with ourselves and God. By remembering our spiritual essence and acting in accordance with the laws of the universe, we will take giant leaps forward and will flourish once again. We discover and develop our divine, spiritual essence as we cope with unbearable situations and make soul-based, spiritually-aligned decisions during critical circumstances.
At this point in my life, I am facing a new chapter, a new beginning. And now, more than ever before, I call upon spiritual principles to assist in coping with the numerous challenges that are occurring simultaneously. When one experiences life-threatening or changing events, it is vital to seek professional help from a therapist or counselor who can assist in reaching out to resources to help solve such problems. The second action is to find emotional support however you can, through forming new friendships, seeking new support groups, or reengaging existing friendships. When we experience a crisis, we must seek support, and often during these difficult situations, the people that we have called on for emotional support in the past are not able or willing to help us, so we must seek out other sources. We must continue to move through the process, to heal and to remedy the problems that have led us to such disastrous circumstances. Throughout such a process, it is very important to stay connected to our sense of a higher power, the divine source that can lead us through the darkness to light, peace and understanding.
Multiple circumstances arise out of fear, misunderstanding and jealousy. When we examine the bulk of problems between ourselves, family members and close friends, it can often be deduced that the source of contention is a lack of communication, a misunderstanding, or a long-held grievance rooted in ego-based jealousy. When we stare deeply in the face of danger and reckon with our own mortality, a new awareness arises from such a crisis. When we realize that danger exists in our lives, we must seek light and guidance from God. It most definitely signals the need for a shift in consciousness that affirms: “I will not become a victim. I deserve to live my life without fear, without the fear of losing my life. I belong in this world and you will not take it from me. You can threaten and bully, but you will not take away my spirit, for it is eternal.”
That shift in consciousness requires a great deal of soul-searching, meditation, and a commitment to see beyond the current situation to its resolution. It means that we are most likely forever changed by such dangerous circumstances, but we must move forward, toward light and understanding, and with the sincere desire for peace, unity, and communion with God and spiritual principles. Every action has a reaction, and we are certain to experience karma through every decision that we make. The universe has a unique way of correcting itself and it is important to be forever open to the infinite number of possibilities that God will send our way, but only if we are open to receiving his miraculous assistance. We must try, even with our busy lives and multiple responsibilities, to make decisions that take us closer to the divinity that resides within each of us. Decision-making in the converse takes us away from Spirit and sets off a chain of unwanted occurrences in our lives. With every decision that we make, let us ask ourselves if the action we are about to take places us closer or further away from Spirit. We owe it to ourselves, families, loved-ones, and closely-held friendships to act with kindness and Godliness, even when our physical lives remind us of scarcity and limitation. And lastly, when our loved ones or friends reach out for help amid the most daunting of circumstances, we should open our eyes and hearts and do what we can to help. It may not be our direct responsibility, but it is the right thing to do. In fact, how we respond to a friend’s sincere request for assistance may make a world of difference and save his or her life.
When we act in accordance with the laws of the universe which demonstrate consistently that scarcity and limitation are not real, they are illusions from which we have the ability to conquer, then we are open to miraculous and divine intervention. When the realization dawns that we are not held back by self-imposed constraints or limitations, then a new world appears upon the horizon and we can truly become what we have always dreamed and desired. The universe leads us through a pathway to an enlightened version of ourselves: The Higher Self that God always wanted us to manifest here on earth is suddenly tangible. A new World, a new Self, and a new Consciousness. It is as if we awaken from a nightmarish dream and remember who we were at the very beginning of time: joyful, abundant spiritual beings with unlimited potential for love and the wonder of the universe. If we are open to his divine assistance, he leads us to that beautiful place within our lives where we can become a better version of ourselves by remembering that we are creations of love, light, abundance, and divinity instead of fear, limitation, mistrust, anger, jealousy or delusion. When we shift our perceptions from darkness to light, fear to love, and scarcity to abundance, divine intervention awakens us to a world of infinite new possibilities.
May the love, peace, light and understanding of God be with you now and forever.
This is a topic that has meant various things to me throughout the years, and one that I have pondered over many times. I can remember very clearly in my younger years in undergraduate school just how concerned and frightened I was on whether or not I would succeed. I had these notions in my mind about what success meant. Indeed, it was what I thought others viewed as success that guided me instead of listening to my own intuition. I have found repeatedly that when we place control outside of ourselves, when we place others in control of our happiness, then we ultimately will “fail.” It does not matter how much money one makes or how outwardly successful one may appear; if we do not listen to our own intuition, if we are guided by the perceptions of others, then happiness and a sense of accomplishment will elude us.
Success is something that is extremely difficult to quantify and it is highly subjective. During my undergrad years, I consistently worried about becoming successful. Did I have to earn a certain amount of money? Did I need to become famous? What if I never found a true sense of fulfillment? Repeatedly in various courses ranging from psychology, sociology, literature, economics, advertising, marketing and many others, Erik Erikson’s psychoanalytic theory was discussed. It was so highly popular then that every time I came across it I experienced a kind of dread. I remember thinking “Oh no, not the eight stages of personal development all over again!” And I was fraught with anxiety about whether I would experience fulfillment through the wrangling of each stage in personal development posed by Erikson. Eventually, as I experienced life and became more well-grounded and “successful” in my own eyes, then I became less anxious about my prospects of self-actualization. Yet, I believe that the continual search for success and meaning within our work lives and our lives in general is the hallmark of the contemporary struggle to find purpose within our often-chaotic environments.
Recently, I watched a TED Seminar video in which Alain de Botton spoke on this very subject. I believe he is very much on target when he states that we must view our definitions of success through our own lenses. Our fear of being judged by others often prompts us to make decisions so that we will not feel a sense of inferiority in relation to others. Yet, when we act from this perspective, we often create needless problems. I have seen it occur in corporate sales environments, where the focus is not on solving customer issues or encouraging collaboration between team members, but on the soul-less pursuit of “winning” at the expense of others. Healthy competition always has its place within corporate environments, but when individuals act out of balance within these settings, doing so creates an atmosphere of mistrust rather than cooperation. And when this happens, the corporation ultimately loses because not everyone is operating within the appropriate framework to bring their unique contributions to the company. They are focused more on out-performing others instead of the more important tasks of solving customer problems, increasing efficiency, and working together to create unique solutions that benefit everyone.
Therefore, a healthy work environment is a vital component of living and contributing successfully. When we operate within a supportive, healthy atmosphere, then our efforts are more focused on bringing about the objectives that create win-win scenarios, vs. destructive tactics such as pillaging over the backs of others to be the number one salesperson or to sabotage the success or experience of others due to jealousy, fear or misunderstandings. Does this mean that we always act perfectly in relation to one another? Certainly not. No one is perfect and no one should pretend to be, but you can certainly feel a difference within the workplace where leaders are visionary and provide all employees the operational framework and corporate culture to bring their unique gifts to the table to advance the company’s goals and objectives. Any actions by individuals to thwart this open environment certainly can lead us to a sense of frustration. Even when operating in such a dysfunctional environment, we must stay focused upon our inner uniqueness and the contributions we bring to our projects, teams, goals and aspirations. We can become an inspiration to others by allowing our unique gifts to shine and lead the way towards visionary business practices in which everyone is encouraged to participate within a finely woven fabric of shared values and goals.
Success is going to mean something different to everyone – and certainly, monetary compensation and wealth building are excellent examples of achievement. Others focus on the advocacy of the marginalized and disenfranchised, and receive an enormous amount of satisfaction by helping others in need or furthering a societal cause. Who is one to judge what is more powerful or more important? I think that Alain de Botton’s speech on success highly resonates with my own ideas of self worth, and we should view our lives through our own lenses, not through the perceptions of others, if we are to achieve a sense of fulfillment within our careers. Our self-constructs of “what we do” often permeate throughout our entire perception of ourselves and create either the feeling of accomplishment or the despair of not having achieved our innermost goals and desires. While we may need the support of others to achieve our own sense of success, we should not rely upon or become too heavily influenced by acceptance or rejection from others. The compass of our achievements is expertly guided by our hearts, intuition, and unique perceptual framework.
de Botton, A. (2009). A kinder, gentler philosophy of success. Lecture presented at TEDGLOBAL 2009, Oxford, England. [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/alain_de_botton_a_kinder_gentler_philosophy_of_success
I recently wrote a review of an article from The Washington Post on Immigration Reform for my graduate course in Employment Law. The content of this review is below, and I welcome any comments on this controversial issue.
Immigration reform has been a turbulent issue for quite some time, and it has been the cornerstone of Trump’s agenda during the election and as a vital component of his initial strategies as President. Trump won the election primarily by appealing to the working and middle classes. This population has been adversely impacted by immigrants who compete against American laborers for lower-paying, unskilled jobs. Trump’s historic upset against Hillary Clinton was due, in part, to his messages of bringing jobs back to America, protecting the nation against immigrants who may take away American jobs at home as well as making it more difficult for companies to outsource. While I am not a fan of the Trump administration, or the discriminatory measures that he has initiated such as the Travel Ban on the Muslim population, I do, agree, that we need to protect the American middle class from further erosion. Job losses, outsourcing, factory-closings, and wage pressure have all contributed to a deleterious impact on the working and middle classes. While I disagree with his tactics, the idea of protecting the American landscape and American workers is a popular one.
A recent article within The Washington Post by David Nakamura (2017) touches on this controversial issue by describing Trump’s proposed policy of limiting immigration to individuals with higher education vs. those who enter the country and compete against American laborers for lower paying positions. A “merit-based” approach would essentially reshape our immigration policy to curtail the massive influx of unskilled labor. At issue is the family unification approach where these individuals initially enter the country and then later bring their families as well, contributing to the overage of unskilled labor that competes with American laborers. The administration’s view is that a merit-based system would curtail entry to the country for those immigrants who are unable to make a living for themselves. This definition is somewhat vague and leads to multiple considerations and guesses as to the actual scope of such reform. In addition, it is unlikely that The administration will succeed with Trump’s plans for immigration reform since he has alienated much of America with the discriminatory and unconstitutional travel ban as well as heated, racist, and bigoted remarks that have spawned movements across the nation to oppose Trump’s orders and legislation. His policies and orders have contributed to intolerance and bigotry and have resulted in a world-wide rebuke of his Presidency and administration. It would be wise for his administration to initiate policies that make sense for America but while also upholding our most basic, constitutional freedoms and human rights. We want the American middle class to thrive and to limit the ability for immigrant workers to take away jobs from citizens, but we also want an inclusive and fair America, the foundation of which forms the most basic values we uphold and revere within our society.
Pro-immigration groups and many grassroots organizations within the country view restrictive immigration measures as counter to our policies of diversity and inclusion and seem to indicate the vast potential for disparate impact upon thousands and thousands of foreign nationals. While we want to take care of the American worker, we must also understand that we are a nation made up of immigrants, and severe restrictive efforts to limit migration, while they may appear neutral, are forms of deeply-rooted prejudice, fear and discrimination that can hurt our country and economy over the long term. We are a country that has welcome, open arms, and we must remember not to alienate ourselves from the rest of the world. Those American workers who are competing with immigrants for lower paying unskilled labor would be better served if they were encouraged to obtain advanced education or certifications to improve their careers and workplace opportunities.
Trump’s restrictive immigration stance is highly indicative of a strategy reflective of the 1920’s negative response to waves of immigrants that entered the country during that time, and immigration patterns did not increase until the “family-oriented” system returned in 1965.
So, how the Trump Administration’s stance on immigration will work is still questionable. While most of America embraces an inclusive, diverse nation, we also must look at the realities of the labor market, to make certain that there are enough jobs for our citizens while also welcoming the diverse talents of our immigrant community. Where the administration’s policy seems to be strongest is in attracting highly educated and skilled workers to help improve and contribute to the economy while not displacing American workers within the working and middle classes. Many high-tech companies, particularly in Silicon Valley, support inclusive immigration policies to attract qualified, diverse candidates. Shutting the door to these individuals seems entirely unjust and un-American. At the same time, we must make certain that we are building up our working and middle classes so that wage pressures, outsourcing and displacement do not affect this vital sector of our economy and nation. The best of both worlds would include embracing diverse immigrant populations that positively contribute to our economy and that do not threaten our labor workforce with displacement. This will take strategic implementation of immigration reform and should never rely upon scare tactics, division, racism, disparate impact, or unconstitutional practices.
Nakamura, D. (2017, March 6). It’s not just deportations and the border: Trump seeks to remake the immigration system. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/a4231b52-fec5-11e6-8ebe-6e…
Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Painful Defeat
As I turned on the TV last Tuesday evening, I thought to myself, “This is going to be a long night.” I wholeheartedly believed that Secretary Clinton would win the election and that the next day we would all wake up to victory. I, along with most of the country and perhaps even Trump himself, did not think that he had a significant chance at winning the Presidency. But the night started out with Trump ahead by a few electoral votes and my stomach was feeling quite uneasy: was this the pattern that would follow throughout the rest of the night? If so, then Sec. Clinton’s chance at the Presidency would elude her once again. Then, Florida became more and more ominously red, then North Carolina, then Ohio, Pennsylvania, and of course, Michigan and Wisconsin. Who would have believed that the working class workers that had long been the stronghold of the Democratic party, the part of the voting population that had helped Bill Clinton and Barack Obama to the White House, would elude Secretary Clinton and vote for Trump? Certainly, Trump’s messages of intolerance, misogyny, racism, and bigotry along with his own propensity for denigrating women would preclude him from the nation’s highest office. And Secretary Clinton ran a flawless, well-organized campaign. Her messages of unity, respect for women, minorities and LGBT rights seemed certain to hold together the Obama Coalition which would propel her to the White House. Unfortunately, this was not the case. The working class in the Midwest and in the Rust Belt who felt betrayed by the Democratic party and who felt that they didn’t have a place within contemporary political policy voted against Hillary Clinton and for Donald Trump. Trump’s “deplorables” came out in droves and sent him to the White House….at least through the Electoral College. It appears that she will win the popular vote by a substantial margin, and while that is enlightening and provides hope, it will not lead her to the White House.
The Electoral College, its Limitations and Bias
This is the second time since 2000 that the Democrats have been stung by the Electoral College. The disaster of the Gore/Bush election, where Florida was a hotbed of contention and then later a Supreme Court ruling that seemed to decide the election, and now again, in 2016, with the Secretary’s electoral college defeat by Trump. I know that the Founding Fathers envisioned the Electoral College as a buffer to protect the nation against a tyrannical despot who may potentially sway most of the American population with extreme, prejudicial ideas or inflammatory rhetoric. It seems, however, that in a twist of irony, the Electoral College is now bound to elect the type of candidate that the Founding Fathers so ardently wanted to protect from the nation! I sincerely believe that we should abolish the Electoral College and go with the Popular Vote. Perhaps a compromise should be put in place to ensure that candidates will not “ignore” the smaller states. But twice within 20 years the Presidency will not go to the candidate with the plurality of the popular vote – and that, in my opinion, is a political tragedy.
It is also a tragedy that the Democratic Party erred with the Caucasian, working class population. After all, this is the voting segment that had always supported President Bill Clinton during his years of the Presidency. Why was the President’s advice ignored? Why didn’t the campaign, with its numerous resources and messages of unity and inclusion, reach out to this population to ensure victory? Instead of viewing this segment of the economy and population as “Deplorables”, the campaign should have listened to their needs and unheard voices. If the Democrats had done so, then Secretary Clinton would have possibly won the election. I think a lot of the miscalculation was in the campaign’s belief that Sec. Clinton could hold on to the Obama Coalition 100%. We see from some of the numbers that she did not hold on to the voting groups that elected Barack Obama and we certainly see that the Caucasian, rural working class voters propelled Donald Trump to victory. Why did these voters see him as their savior? How could these individuals vote for someone who has admittedly stiffed the working class even in his own business dealings. How would someone who was born into privilege and who has built a gaudy empire on casinos, hotels and the disastrous Trump University suddenly become the spokesman for the common man? The fact that Sec. Clinton did not tap into the needs of these voters is, unfortunately, part of the reason for this historic and painful upset.
Transitioning to a Trump Presidency
Now there are fears that Trump’s messages of hatred, intolerance, racism, bigotry and misogyny will inform the next four years of politics. I certainly hope not. My hope is that Trump will stop the rhetoric in which he engaged and inflamed the voters during the debates and election and will become much more moderate and inclusive as President. The protests are growing louder and louder each day with many of the masses exclaiming “NOT MY PRESIDENT”, and so he would be wise to continually have an open ear to both sides in order to compromise. Many times, in politics, foes become allies to heal the country and to bridge the divide. Trump should wisely halt the train wreck of attempting to overturn much of Barack Obama’s legacy, as he will face extraordinary resistance and this will create much more division in an already divided nation. Trump should work together with his advisers to formulate strategies and initiatives that will truly keep the nation at the forefront of the developed world, vs. pandering to the prejudicial wishes of a portion of the voting population that helped him get to the Oval Office. I think we can all tell that Trump is realizing just how far over his depth and capabilities he has placed himself. He cannot overturn Obama’s legacy of eight years within his first 100 days without substantial resistance, even from members of his own party. He must form a government not on rash decisions based on electoral promises but on initiatives that are truly for the greater good of this country. This is not an easy task and he has his work cut out for him.
Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Concession Speech
So right before the election and afterwards, I came down with the very worst case of “stomach flu”. Was it anxiety about the election? Anxiety about what the future holds? Or was it food poisoning? Whatever it was, it threw me for a loop, and then with the election results, since I am a true-blue fan of Secretary Clinton, I was catapulted into a state of bewilderment and a sense of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion. When she gave her concession speech the next morning I, along with at least half of the country, felt her pain. I had purposely not involved myself too emotionally in the election because in 2008 I painstakingly watched every move of the primaries between Obama and Clinton. And now, while I am a wholehearted Obama fan, at the time, I was staunchly in favor of HRC winning the nomination. When she lost the primaries to Obama, it seemed like the loss was entirely unjust. Everyone remembers her historic concession speech in which she lamented that she had not been able to shatter the “highest, hardest glass ceiling”, although after the primaries it had 18 million cracks in it and provided her the impetus to continue her career. There was certainly a great deal of sadness, but we knew she still had a place in politics, and we could rest assured that the momentum from Obama’s campaign would most likely get a Democrat back in office, which we so sorely needed after eight years of the disastrous Bush Presidency. And there was an extraordinary feeling in the air because we knew that if Obama succeeded, he would become the first African American President of the United States, and this was indeed history in the making. We had no idea at the time that Obama would actually deliver on his campaign promises. Obama has undoubtedly earned his place in American politics as one of the very best Presidents of our great nation, because he has initiated legislation that created jobs, improved healthcare and helped promote LGBT equality. The vast accomplishments that his administration has put into place should not be thrown out the door by the next regime that wants to pander to the needs of part of the electorate who feel they have been abandoned because of the progressive movement. Politicians cannot be everything to everyone, so we must be realistic in our expectations of our leaders and the process. But it is frightening to think that Trump may very well initiate legislation that will satisfy some of the deepest prejudices within America. Instead of dividing the country even further, Trump should take the high road and initiate legislation that promotes fairness, creates jobs, improves healthcare and protects the disenfranchised.
So, during the 2008 primaries I was so disappointed in HRC’s loss to Obama that this sort of jaded me, and I lost interest in politics for a while and held my guard up during the 2016 election. Perhaps I was concerned that all the polls and predictions were somehow inaccurate? Perhaps I had become so cynical of this process that I wanted to remove myself from the agony of defeat should it happen? Such is politics. And we should remember, as the Secretary stated during her concession speech, that our causes are not something that we should pay attention to once every four years; we should consistently fight the good fight and they should become part of our everyday lives – as exhausting as that challenge may seem!
Moving Forward from the Election
So, when Hillary Rodham Clinton took the podium the morning after the election, we knew she had been up all night. We knew that she was crushed emotionally, and that this was the most difficult thing she had to do, to concede the election to a candidate so seemingly unfit for the Presidency. But with grace, class, and unusual heart-felt candor and simplicity, she spoke to the nation and her supporters about unifying the country, giving Trump a chance to lead with an open mind, and assuring her supporters that though this was not the outcome any of us wanted, we still needed to move forward towards a peaceful transition of power, since it is a hallmark of our democracy and a value we all cherish. She reminded us to continue fighting for what we felt was right because it is “worth it.” And most everyone was in tears when she made certain to emphasize that the power of our dreams should not be forgotten and that we should get back out there to fight for the causes that we hold dearly since we are all “valuable” and “powerful”. She mentioned that she also offered to work with the President Elect to help bridge the nation’s differences because the nation is evidently much more divided than we originally thought. All of this she took on with great bravery and class and we all looked up to her even that much more. During much of the speech, her heart was overflowing with sadness and she nearly broke in tears. It is evident that Secretary Clinton has worked her entire life to help the marginalized and disenfranchised in this country and in the world. Now was the time for her to hold the very highest office, to break that “highest and hardest” of glass ceilings. As President, Hillary Rodham Clinton would have enacted legislation to bring about the necessary societal changes that have been the cornerstone of her presidential aspirations and the causes for which she has so ardently fought throughout her life. As Americans, we had the opportunity to elect a leader who truly cares about the unity and strength of this great nation. But that’s not going to happen with this election. Her supporters must recognize that. Unless we can sway the electoral college to break from tradition and vote for her in December, Trump will be our President. And, as she says, we must have an open mind and give him the “chance to lead” so that he can be a President for “all Americans.” Let’s hope that his Presidency is inclusive rather than divisive, that he listens to viewpoints from the other side, and that he truly examines the pertinent issues facing the county not from the perspective of a candidate seeking office or popularity, but as a visionary leader of the Free World committed to the principles our nation holds so dearly within our hearts and in our minds.
Let us All Work Together for a Bright, Peaceful Future
And, of course, it is not just the politicians that will influence our future. Politicians alone cannot solve the nation’s problems; we should work in concert with our leaders to create the national culture and environment that will truly show the world that the United States continues to remain at the forefront of human rights, peace and dignity. We can effect change within our communities and environments by promoting peace, reaching out to the other side, and by recognizing our differences as strengths instead of encumbrances. If you are a leader in a corporation or organization, empower your employees to be the very best by recognizing and utilizing their unique contributions. Let us all remember, as Secretary Clinton stated in her concession speech, to continue fighting for the causes that are closest to our hearts; the American political process demands that we continue the fight, allow our voices to be heard, and hold our elected leaders accountable. Let us continue to be a shining example to the rest of the world by uniting as a progressive global leader while initiating change, promoting peace, establishing fair trade practices, improving the world economy, and continuing to make this country the very best that it can be by protecting the disenfranchised and empowering all Americans to contribute in the political and legislative process. The American Dream is still alive, but it is up to each and everyone of us to make our dreams and the dreams of future generations a reality.
Today, I am writing about one of the most central themes in my life as well as in the lives of many other soul-searchers seeking fulfillment and self-actualization. How do I attract abundance in a world that seems to indicate scarcity and competition rather than infinite potential and abundance? We learn and experience at a very early age that resources are scarce; we must fight for every single morsel available to us. We learn that life is a struggle. Many times individuals work diligently, yet they find it difficult to get ahead and to achieve their dreams. It is very frustrating that this cycle of attracting abundance but then returning to a state of scarcity occurs repeatedly. I truly believe that when there are recurring patterns in our lives, within the fabric of these interwoven tapestries exists many pertinent clues to the work we are meant to undertake in order to self-actualize. In this process, we come to terms with the most pressing concerns leading to our soul’s development. After all, we are here to consciously co-create; in fact, every minute, every breath, we are becoming more and more conscious of the divinity and unlimited potential within us.
The Fear of Not Attracting Money in Our Lives
For many of us, our fears come into play when we think about attaining money, attracting abundance, and achieving a sense of fulfillment. After all, everyone wants to have the admiration and respect of their families, friends, peers and colleagues. Yet, many times, a recurring pattern of scarcity consciousness gets in the way. We cannot seem to earn exactly the amount of money we want, buy that perfect house, have enough money in the bank, have the “right” friends, experiences and so on. All of this is based on a mindset of fear and scarcity rather than on prosperity. So, it is entirely uplifting and somewhat of a revelation when we actually reverse thought patterns of insufficiency and attune our core beliefs into a pattern of plenitude. If we think and operate not from fear but from a positive mindset, we realize that there is actually enough for everyone if we co-create with one another harmoniously. Now, in everyday life, it is very easy for our ego to get in the way. Our society thrives on competition, and there is certainly nothing wrong with healthy, vibrant competition to drive us to succeed and to help us visualize our goals. The problem occurs when, in acting out of balance, we disregard basic values in the quest to out-perform others in order to achieve recognition. Now, there’s nothing wrong with recognition and achievement, but if we get to a place of achievement at the expense of others, then we are not acting in alignment with a soul-based awareness. Instead, we are acting out of our own selfish, ego-based desires. When we place too much importance on attaining monetary gain by acting recklessly towards others, we actually create scarcity within our souls and lives rather than abundance. In the process, sooner or later, we will reach a crucial moment in our evolutionary state of being where we look in the mirror to ask “What have I become? Who am I? Where am I headed? Am I on the right path? Have I acted with the most compassion, love, selflessness and forgiveness? And do I truly believe that I can attract what I want in my life?”
The Many Forms of Abundance and Prosperity
The truth of the matter is that there are many forms of abundance: abundance of the spirit, health, mind and in sharing our unique gifts to the world. If we consistently focus on monetary wealth at the expense of our physical and mental health, then we are acting out of balance and will return to a state of scarcity consciousness without even being aware of the process. We have the infinite power to create the lives that we want by consistently honoring the infinite potential within each and every one of us. Prosperity appears in our lives in so many different ways – many times, it is not exactly apparent, or perhaps we do not value the form in which it appears. For example, can I take the time to truly see what is happening around me? How do I react? Am I so consumed by the idea of “getting ahead” that I trample upon the lives and hearts of others? If I react with bitterness, hatred, a lack of compassion, then certainly the same negativity will be reflected back to me since we are all mirrors to one another, and I will feel and experience the same amount of hatred that I have sent out to my immediate environment and the universe. If, instead, I choose to act with compassion, love, forgiveness and understanding, then all of these attributes will reflect back to me. Herein lies the power of the Law of Attraction.
The Visionary Perspective of Abundance vs. Soul-Impoverished Imbalance
So, one might ask – how do I continually attract abundance in my life? After all, there’s only so much that can go around, right? And since there are scarce resources, shouldn’t I keep my knowledge of resources to myself, and align with only the few people I trust, and then to heck with the rest? And, in fact, the person right next to me, who I really don’t care for anyway, why don’t I just do whatever I can to make that person’s life miserable so that they give up, and then I can receive what could have been theirs. I will tell you, with many years of experience that I have had in the corporate arena, this is the most typical mindset. And it is a dangerous one. It does not promote cooperation or collaboration. It promotes unhealthy competition. And it produces fear and mistrust instead of harmony. It is toxic. Individuals do not trust one another so they seek to out-perform each other in order to earn recognition and respect. When individuals act out of balance in a corporation by thwarting the lives of others in order to achieve their own personal gain, they may achieve monetary wealth but their souls are impoverished. This kind of behavior creates an atmosphere of scarcity, mistrust and deception. It does not further anyone’s soul-based development nor does it help the overall organization to become visionary. When a business has employees that are healthy, well-balanced in all areas of their lives, then they produce much more efficiently. The business thrives and grows because their employees are able to utilize their soul-based gifts to their ultimate potential. When leaders develop their employees, then the entire organization benefits from increased productivity, since their employees can concentrate on creating the very best products and services, gaining new clients, increasing customer satisfaction, and realizing improved profits. A visionary business develops employees by allowing them to utilize their unique gifts in order to advance the company’s goals. In every move that we make within our work and personal environments we should ask ourselves the question, what is best for the good of all concerned? When we operate from this perspective, we no longer operate from the field of scarcity but from the visionary perspective of abundance.
An Unwavering Belief System in Authentic Power Provides the Ability to Persevere During the Harshest of Circumstances
I have noticed that when I meditate and focus on sincere gratitude, notwithstanding my own personal financial situation, then I feel a sense of abundance that is incredibly empowering. My task is to continually believe in the authentic power of abundance consciousness, not to be afraid of success, not to be afraid of attracting the very things that I want so deeply. For when we accept that we are authentically powerful spiritual beings experiencing this life of seemingly persistent limitations, then we can truly understand and grasp the lessons that we are meant to learn in attempting to overcome these obstacles. I might ask myself, why do I continually return to that scarcity thought process when I know that the universe is plentiful? I don’t have the firm answers yet. I am still seeking and searching, very much hopeful that I will find the answers. The answers are in my heart. I know, with the deepest of assurance, that I have the infinite ability to arrive at them as long as I act with soul-based awareness and harmony. I must listen to my intuition in order to come to terms with why that perception of scarcity is there. What lessons do I learn about myself when I experience that gut-wrenching feeling of emptiness? How do I respond to that deepest, darkest experience of spiritual hunger and thirst? It is during this painful experience that I must realize that scarcity is an illusion, even when the physical world of experience seems to undoubtedly mirror that same scarcity. During these moments of self-reflection, I become aware of who I am, where my life leads next on this vast journey, and I am once again aware of the circumstances from which I will undoubtedly persevere and conquer in order to reach self-fulfillment, actualization, and soul-purpose. I must consistently listen to my higher guidance and inner voice to fully understand that any currently perceived setbacks are only temporary, and I, indeed, will persevere even under the harshest of circumstances. I must realize that these hindrances are being manifested from an unconscious/subconscious state of being, and that becoming more aware of these emotional blocks are the key to overcoming the continual manifestation of events or circumstances that are not in alignment with my soul-purpose.
Healing our Mind, Body and Spirit from Self-Imposed Constraints
Obstacles are only temporary manifestations of blocks that can be removed by carefully tuning in to the infinite power within us that is our birthright – but only if we claim this boundless energy and utilize it for our higher good and the good of those concerned. When we realize that we possess this infinite potential, then we are free from self-imposed mental constraints and our desires seem to be fulfilled in a spontaneous manner. When our dreams begin to manifest, it is an enlightening, inspiring and wondrous experience. We all have the ability to lead inspiring lives that send out our innermost light which is actually the energy of the universe pouring through our physical selves and into our immediate environment and then throughout the world. It is so very apparent when we are in the presence of someone with authenticity. Perhaps it is a trusted spiritual adviser or a visionary business leader. We are inspired by their actions and words and we feel the power of their authentic energy. Their energy actually increases the positive mindset of individuals within their immediate environment because their inner authenticity is so powerful. We become inspired by their lessons, wisdom and the outpouring of positive energy they possess and it inspires us to mirror that same positive mindset. Therefore, by elevating the energetic field of pure potentiality within our immediate environment, we actually raise the vibrational frequency within our own lives, friendships, relationships and communities and this positive energy has the effect of permeating through the rest of the world to like-minded individuals. We change the world by changing ourselves.
Reclaiming our Faith Helps us to Reach our Fullest Potential
In order to effect change within our daily lives, we must begin with ourselves. Transitioning from a state of scarcity to prosperity begins with the empowerment of our own lives by integrating the disowned aspects of our selves and emerging from this integration as a complete human being, more fully enlightened and in touch with our Higher Selves, unwavering in our belief that we will overcome even the most daunting of circumstances. When we have integrated the disowned selves, healing all the negative energy that has caused blocks within our lives, then we heal the disenfranchised aspects of ourselves that we have buried within our subconscious in order to dissociate from the pain of traumatic experiences. Healing these disowned aspects of ourselves is the most difficult work to undertake, but it is an extremely enlightening process since we are able to come to terms with the core issues in our lives that are preventing us from a sense of completeness and peacefulness. Forgiveness is a major component of healing the energy blocks within our subconscious belief system. When we are no longer bogged down emotionally from fragments of the past, then we can achieve a current state of peacefulness and enlightenment. Then we are finally willing and able to accept the gifts of the universe because we become fully aware of the plenitude that exists within our lives. We are no longer soul-impoverished but filled with Light and positive energy because we have healed from the issues, circumstances and hindrances that have kept us from achieving our Higher Selves. In the process of striving to reach our fullest potential, we reclaim our faith in the Universe – firmly believing that with love, patience, compassion and understanding we are in alignment with our soul-based purpose in this lifetime. When we act in accordance with these universal principles, we become fully aware of the infinite joy and inspiration that are completely within reach during our life’s journey, where we not only strive to integrate aspects of our inner divisions but also our physical-spiritual selves. Our journey on this plane is to remember who we once were at the very beginning of our existence, before we were physical beings in this world of limitation. We were joyful, abundant, spiritual creations who were fully in touch with our unlimited potential. Our soul-based path leads us to remember who we once were so we can return to that divine place once again when we awaken from this illusory world. That dynamic shift in awareness, when it occurs, will transform our thinking so that we will remember light instead of darkness, love instead of fear, and joyful abundance instead of illusive limitation.
We are a Mirror to Each Other
I wholeheartedly believe that consistently practicing meditation on attracting and maintaining abundance as our natural state will help us manifest the life of our dreams. If you wish to experience something wonderful in your life, put the patterns and resources in place to allow others to receive that very same thing. You will find that it reflects back to you, and you will experience that same wealth consciousness and abundance many times over.
Everyone can Achieve their Innermost Desires and Dreams
May everyone achieve their dreams through consciously attuning to a natural state of wealth-consciousness and abundance!
I’ve been reading a great deal lately. Since I moved from my townhouse and into my apartment, I have become much more introspective. As I unpacked many of the books that I had in boxes, I realized how “out of touch” I was with many of the spiritual and personal development ideas and techniques I had learned in the past. So, I have been reading new books as well as reexamining works that have inspired me and from which I have learned authentically powerful and transformational concepts. I have been particularly influenced by several authors whose works include perceptual frameworks surrounding human potential, the Collective Unconscious, the power of the God and the Universe and the big questions about our existence on this plane and our soul-based evolutionary path. When I recently went to LA this August, I attended a live seminar on overcoming depression by Marianne Williamson. Widely regarded as one of the foremost influential writers of this generation, her books have sold millions and have introduced countless individuals to the principles within New Age Spirituality and A Course in Miracles. I thoroughly enjoyed her seminar and began reading her latest book Tears to Triumph on recovering from depression through spiritual rather than pharmaceutical methods. Her first book, A Return to Love, Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles is a New Age classic. Her writing and ideas are highly inspirational, and her grasp on the principles within A Course in Miracles is very enlightening. I was first introduced to the Course back in the early nineties, but I found it very confusing and so I distanced myself from its teachings. However, when I underwent therapy in the early to mid-2000’s, my therapist and spiritual counselor was very influenced by the Course, so the inherent concepts within its teachings became a vital component of my therapy, along with the principles discussed by many New Age authors such as Shakti Gawain, Wayne Dyer, and Deepak Chopra. Although I resisted its teachings, I have found that I continually return to the Course’s principles and attempt to digest as much as possible without becoming fearsome of understanding every single aspect. Williamson’s grasp on the subject is enlightening and refreshing, and I find that I am understanding the course much better and it is influencing me greatly. Much of what Williamson interprets and expresses concerning the Course is very pertinent to me right now so I am gladly learning new principles that tackle the very big questions about God, the Universe, and our existence in this realm. Williamson’s work as well as her reflections on A Course in Miracles remind us that fear is the opposite of love and it is an illusion meant to distract us from his Love which is all-empowering and all-encompassing. Our task on earth is to remember who we once were before we made the decision, a huge error in perception, to separate from God and become part of the earthly, physical plane. At the very beginning of our existence, before we were physical beings in this world of limitation, we were joyful, abundant, spiritual creations who were fully in touch with our unlimited potential. Our soul-based path leads us to remember who we once were. By correcting errors in perception and awakening from the nightmarish dream of this world, we return to our origin, which is a place where only love exists. According to the Course, nothing else exists; everything counter to love is an illusion meant to distract us from His all-encompassing nature. What is all-encompassing can have no opposite and is, therefore, an illusion. When I was first introduced to the Course nearly thirty years ago, before Williamson’s profound work A Return to Love was published, I resisted this notion of an illusory world because I could not comprehend the magnitude of this conceptual framework to view our existence. Yet, as time has passed, I continually returned to the Course and its teachings as a source of meaning and fulfillment, and I can now honestly say that I understand the Course’s major component that we live in an illusive world, often in conditions and circumstances that are the opposite of love. God, with his all-encompassing nature, could not have created or envisioned a world full of bitterness, hatred, war, poverty or sickness. These facets of existence are errors in perception that man has created, not God. Once we fully accept this concept, well-knowing that while on earth it is our divine duty to learn and grow in Spirit, then we will eventually return to the Spiritual realm from which we have originated, where Love only exists. It has taken me a long time to understand this basic and most profound principle within A Course in Miracles, and thankfully we have a bright light in the Universe such as Williamson to help guide us along our pathway towards a more Enlightened and loving Universe.
Recently, I read “Conversations with God” by Neale Donald Walsch, and I can tell you that it is really a fascinating book. I also watched the movie. Neale wrote “Conversations with God” in the early 90’s and he claims that God began speaking directly to him at one of the most adverse times in his life. He was disabled from a horrible car accident, had lost his job, and became homeless, and tried desperately to return to work but with no luck. It seems he just kept being beaten down. Then, out of nowhere, he began hearing God’s voice and so, “Conversations with God” began. Surprisingly, this book makes a great deal of sense and it really resonates with me. When it was first published, I scoffed at the idea that God could have an on-going conversation with someone. I figured it was some writer’s “gimmick” to sell books. Well, I am happy to report (after all these years) that my perception of this author has completely changed. The book is highly inspirational and makes a great deal of sense. And its influence is huge within the New Age/Spirituality movement. So, I am enjoying and enthralled by this book and the lessons that I am learning and re-learning. The most exciting idea that I am learning right now is that life is all about creating. We were brought here to create and to reach self-actualization. As we learn and co-create with God, we become closer to Him. We “remember” who we are and become more “God-like” as we co-create. Conversations with God emphasizes that we remember our divine nature by recognizing that we are spiritual beings having a physical experience. God has created us out of absolute, pure love, but with a sincere desire to experience this absolute divinity in physical, “experiential” form. By experiencing this realm in the physical sense, we are different from God, but not separate. The Holy Spirit connects our physical and spiritual selves with God. While these are not new ideas, they are very powerful – and these concepts help us to realize our main purpose on earth: to love, create, forgive and to express compassion. The most important thing that Conversations with God expresses is the idea that we are self-actualizing each and every day we are on this planet and he provided us with free will. Now, whether God spoke to Walsch is uncertain. It is possible that Walsch was hearing his own inner guidance and intuition during a time of seemingly unbearable circumstances. During this trying time of his life he was able to connect, at a very deep and sincere level, with his own divine nature and, as a result, we all benefit from this highly inspiring and thoughtful work on communicating with God and our Higher Self.
All of this is very inspiring, and it adds to the knowledge and beliefs that I had learned during several years of research into spiritual principles taught and espoused by Shakti Gawain, Wayne Dyer, Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, and several others. I was specifically influenced by Shakti’s Creative Visualization and Living in the Light along with Deepak Chopra’s Creating Affluence. Wayne Dyer’s Power of Intention and Manifest Your Destiny were very instrumental in reshaping my ideas, recognizing destructive thought patterns, and understanding patterns that did not aid in my growth or self-actualization. These principles helped me to realize that I am in control of my destiny and that I do not have to be bound by useless dogmas which no longer serve my soul’s path. We are, in fact, very much in control of our destiny if we listen to our higher selves and stay attuned to our divine nature.
Ideally, I would like to utilize this blog to discuss current topics and events and how spiritual principles can help guide individuals to make the right choices. For the longest time, I have wanted to put my thoughts together and to write a book that will help those who have experienced similar circumstances and challenges. I hope this blog will be the beginning of that endeavor in that I finally have a platform to express my ideas.
There are numerous societal ills that we are facing within America: poverty, illness, homelessness, inadequate educational systems, income inequality, sexual exploitation and harassment, politics that do not serve constituents, misguided immigration reform, interference from foreign governments in our political process, a broken electoral college process, violence in schools, lack of mental health awareness and social policy, and long-held racial tensions. These man-made ills are part of the collective nightmare and hell in which we all reside because we have chosen fear and hatred instead of love, compassion and understanding. Yet, through the application of spiritual principles, and a sincere focus on humanely solving these societal evils, we can move beyond them to resolution and freedom. I am particularly concerned about the racial tensions that have occurred in many parts of the U.S. between civilians and law enforcement. Horrific shooting incidents between law enforcement and civilians, especially within the Deep South, have illuminated a blight upon our society that continues to exist. I believe these perpetual tragic events indicate the nation has not healed on a collective level and individuals may be acting out their fears based on ancestral imprints from the Collective Unconscious that have not been appropriately addressed and spiritually cleared. The Collective Unconscious involves archetypes and prototypes that we innately know by being born into a species. We may not be aware that we are acting out our fears based on these primordial ideas, archetypes, and prototypes. Most spiritual cleansing involves examining not only our own personal conscious and unconscious beliefs but also universal, national, and ancestral imprints (archetypes and prototypes that have been handed down from generation to generation.) My greatest hope is that we all recognize these destructive, primordial patterns will not work for us in the modern world, especially for those of us who want to create a livable and peaceful present and future. So many people say, “How can God create so much destruction?” The answer is that it is not God who is creating this mess, people are! If we do not collectively pray and envision personal and planetary transformation, our future is very much at risk. It should be our calling to reexamine and re-think what we are currently doing in our everyday lives to manifest peaceful transformation by removing blocks to compassion, love, forgiveness, and unity.
The affirmation that I would like to share is that we should all envision a loving, peaceful place wherever we are in our lives. It is the most important thing, yet it is the easiest to forget when we are caught in a nightmarish world full of illusion and fear. My hope is that everyone can live to the fullest by developing their divine potential and dreams, without limitations and with boundless energy and enthusiasm!
With my sincerest love to all,
Michael J. Lovell