The Meaning of Success

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 success will elude us.

Success is something that is extremely difficult to quantify.  I believe that success is highly subjective; what one individual views as success is certainly not indicative of everyone else in his/her social class or position. During my undergrad years, I kept worrying about what “success” would mean.  Did I have to earn a certain amount of money?  Did I need to become famous to experience success?  What if I never found success?  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 this theory 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 achieve success or fulfillment through the wrangling of each stage in personal development posed by Erikson.  Finally, 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 within our lives in general is the hallmark of the modern struggle to find purpose within our often-chaotic environments.  Recently, I listened to 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 that 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 the 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.

So, a healthy work environment is very important. When we operate within a supportive, healthy atmosphere, then our efforts are more focused on bringing about the objectives that are going to create success, vs. 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, and 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 work environment where the 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 during this frustration, we must stay focused upon our inner uniqueness and the contribution we can bring to the table.

Success is going to mean something different to everyone – and certainly, monetary compensation and wealth building are vital sources of some perceptions of success.  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 Botton’s point is very well taken, that we should view our lives through our own lenses, not through the perceptions of others, if we are to achieve a sense of success within our work environments.  Our perception of “what we do” often permeates throughout our entire perception of ourselves and creates 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 the acceptance or non-acceptance outside of ourselves.  The compass of our achievements is within our hearts and our own unique perceptual framework.

Suggested Material:

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

Immigration Reform and a Merit-Based System

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 unfairly competes with American laborers. Trump’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 Trump will succeed with his 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 foreign nationals to take away jobs from our 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 learn skilled trades so they can live and work more comfortably within the middle class, vs. competing at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder for jobs that are menial and dead-end.

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…

The end of 2016. Happy New Year!!

Today is the last day of 2016 and all I can say is that I am very thankful this year is almost over. It has been a difficult, challenging year and I am certain there are better times ahead. The affirmation I would like to share is for everyone to have a wonderful New Year full of love, prosperity and abundance in all of its many forms. This is a time when we can bring in the new year with hope for a brighter future, even if the next four years are going to be decidedly a challenge with the new administration. Let’s all remember that while we may sometimes feel overwhelmed, we can never be defeated when we practice forgiveness, compassion, love and understanding. Let us always remember to ardently pursue our innermost desires and dreams and to persistently advocate on behalf of the issues and causes that are closest to our hearts.

My hope for this year and always is for everyone to achieve their dreams and to live with inspiration and love. For those who have been ill this year, I send you love and light for recovery and healing. For everyone who may have experienced challenges within your career or workplace settings, I hope you find the job or vocation of your dreams. The future is bright and full of hope; we have the immense potential of the Universe to guide us along our next soul-based path and the opportunity to share our unique gifts and contributions within our communities, the workplace, our relationships, and to the world.

So, I wish everyone a wonderful New Year, with the hope that everyone achieves their goals and dreams, well-knowing that when we follow our intuition and a soul-based alignment, nothing is impossible and we can experience what we truly wish to manifest and co-create.

My sincerest love to all!

The 2016 Election and The Future of America

Hillary’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 Hillary had this election won, and that the next day we would all wake up to the reality of President-Elect Hillary Rodham Clinton.  I did not think, and I don’t even think Trump thought, that he was going to win the election.  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 Hillary’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 bastion of the Democratic party, the part of the electorate that had helped Bill Clinton and Barack Obama to the White House, would elude Hillary 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 Hillary 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.  Not so much.  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 Clinton and for Trump.  Trump’s “deplorables” came out in droves and sent him to the White House….at least through the Electoral College.  It appears that Hillary will win the popular vote by a substantial margin, and while that is enlightening and provides hope, it will not get her to the White House.

The Electoral College, its Limitations and Bias

So, 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 Hillary’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 Hillary and the Democratic Party got it wrong with the Caucasian, working class electorate.  After all, this is the portion of the electorate that had always been good to Bill during his years of the Presidency.  Why was Bill’s advice ignored?  Why didn’t the campaign, with its numerous resources and messages of unity and inclusion, reach out to this portion of the population to ensure victory?  Is this a case of the campaign just not “getting it” or is it “hindsight is 20-20?” Instead of viewing this portion of the electorate as “Deplorables”, they should have listened to their needs and unheard voices.  If the Democrats had done so, then Hillary would be President-Elect and not Trump. I think a lot of the miscalculation was in the campaign’s belief that Hillary could hold on to the Obama Coalition 100%.  We see from some of the numbers that Hillary did not hold on to all the electorate that voted for Obama and we certainly see that the Caucasian, rural working class voters propelled Trump to victory.  Why did these voters see Trump 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 Hillary did not tap into the needs of these voters is the greatest miscalculation that, unfortunately, cost her the election.

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.  I know this is a far-fetched idea, but I think it would create an atmosphere of unity and cooperation if Trump offered Hillary a position within the newly formed administration to help bridge the differences between the two parties.  Is this likely to happen?  Probably not.  But not many people knew that Obama would offer Hillary, his one-time foe, the position of Secretary of State.  Many times, in politics, foes become allies to heal the country and to bridge the divide.  Trump would be wise to halt the train wreck of attempting to overturn much of 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 electorate 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’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 Hillary fan, I was catapulted into a state of bewilderment and a sense of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion. When Hillary 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 Hillary.  And now, while I am a wholehearted Obama fan, at the time, I was staunchly in favor of Hillary 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 Hillary 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 Hillary’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 Hillary 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 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 Hillary 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 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 Hillary 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 Hillary 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.

 

Infinite Potential, Attracting Abundance, and Manifesting Our Innermost Desires and Dreams

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 lies 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 don’t 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, still searching and still hoping I 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 the answers 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, unified Being of Light, 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-divided lives but also our physical-spiritual selves.

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!

My intuition says….

world-is-heaven

My life-Long Goal of Writing a Book: It is Now a Reality!

I’ve been reading a great deal lately. Since I moved from my townhouse and into my apartment, I have become much more introspective.  I unpacked many of the books that I had in boxes, and I realized how “out of touch” I have been 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 re-reading books which have inspired me and from which I have learned authentically powerful and transformative concepts.  I have been particularly influenced by several authors whose works include perceptual frameworks surrounding human potential, the collective consciousness, the power of the  Universe, and existentialism.  When I recently went to LA this August, I attended a live seminar on overcoming depression by Marianne Williamson.  She has written several books on spiritual issues and is considered one of the foremost voices on New Age Spirituality and the interpretation of A Course in Miracles. Her first book, Return to Love, is considered an “anthem” for spiritual seekers and quickly became a huge best-seller in the 90’s.  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 writing and ideas are highly inspirational, and I have been tuning into her Livestreams from NYC every Wednesday.  Much of what she says is very pertinent to me right now so I am enjoying re-learning and learning new principles.

I’ve also been reading “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 of 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 actually 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.  Similar to the central theme of A Course in Miracles,  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.  God provided us with the power of free will, which gives us the opportunity to create within this dense plane of existence something that God, even within his absolute greatness, could not experience before he created us. Before he created us there was the essence of pure and absolute love, but God could not “experience” dualities:  thus, he created us out of his pure love but with free will.  Now, whether or not God actually spoke to Walsch is uncertain.  It’s possible that Walsch was hearing his own inner guidance and intuition.  But I do believe that his message is of a spiritual nature and his messages, whether they are directly from God or not, are highly inspirational.  Walsch as well as 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.

So 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 books on Spiritual Laws of Success.  Wayne Dyer’s Power of Intention and Manifest Your Destiny were very instrumental as well in helping me to reshape my ideas and recognize destructive thought patterns that were not helping me achieve growth and self actualization.  These principles helped me 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 and evolution.  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 in a published format. Hopefully, with persistence, I will outline the basic contents of my exploration of a number of topical areas and it will help to form the basis for a book on many issues that we face in today’s world.  I am particularly concerned about the racial tensions that have occurred in many parts of the U.S., particularly in the South.  I truly hope that the nation can heal from the racial tensions that have occurred due to shootings between civilians and law enforcement.  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.  This “theory” of mine is based partly on spiritual principles but also on Carl Jung’s theory of the Collective Unconscious.  The Collective Unconscious involves archetypes and prototypes that we innately know simply 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 can return to Love and Peace by recognizing 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, and ideally a “heaven on earth.”  I know that the idea of a “heaven on earth” is so unrealistic, but it really is what God wants for us.  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 don’t 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.  But this is a topic that I could go on for pages and pages…..and it’s getting late…or early, if you will!  So, that’s it for now.  I would love to hear from others on this topic and similar ideas.  So feel free to post on this site or to send me a private message at mike_lovell@outlook.com.

The affirmation that I would like to share is that we should all return to a loving, peaceful place wherever we are in our lives.  Love is all there is. It’s the most important thing.  And it’s the easiest to forget.  My hope is that everyone can live to the fullest and live out their potential and dreams, without limitations and with boundless energy and enthusiasm.

With my sincerest love to all,

Mike

 

 

My New Blog!

My first post

So, this is my new blog!  I hope to write on topical interests, particularly on Spirituality and Personal Development.  I hope that this blog will allow me to get better in touch with my own thoughts and beliefs and to share these with my friends and followers.  Now, if I can just figure out how to use this site!  I’m sure I will learn as I go!  I’m looking forward to this adventure…maybe it will lead to something bigger, like a book?  Who knows?!  I suppose that if I am going to write a book, which I have always said that I would, I had better get going.  I should listen to my intuition, my inner voice, shouldn’t I?  So, onward I go as I tackle this endeavor. I think this journey will lead to several paths.  Hop on board!