Tag Archives: spirituality

“Imagineering” Your Life

Walt Disney used the term “imagineering” when it came to creating his world-known theme parks. It’s a belief that permeates everything that his company does.  These imagineers are the creative force behind the fairy tale castles, the thrilling amusement rides, and the spectacular fireworks displays.

To be an imagineer, one must use his or her imagination to engineer life experiences that reveal and release the higher/authentic self.

It’s about making magic by pushing the boundaries of creativity, innovation, and possibility to create the life we want.

The greatest gift we were ever given was the gift of imagination. Within that magical realm is the capacity to manifest our dreams. The poet William Blake writes, “What is now proved was once only imagin’d.”  This is the basis for imagineering.  This is the secret to living a life of creative manifestation.  As Blake’s nugget of wisdom sinks into your consciousness, your imagination will begin to take over.

One look around will show you that everything you experience with your senses was once in someone’s imagination.  In order for things to exist, or to be proved, as Blake says, they must first be placed firmly into your imagination. Without imagination, creativity stops. Spiritual leaders have known this through the centuries.  And today, the world of quantum physics confirms that the universe is made of formless energy, and that particles (matter, things) do not originate from other particles; they spring from something invisible, something akin to our imagination. It transcends the boundaries of our senses, and it can’t be proven mathematically or verified scientifically.  Yet it exists. We know we have an imagination.

All we have to do is to take charge of it.

If we are to advance confidently in the direction of our dreams, as Henry David Thoreau instructs, we must understand that using our imagination involves more intensity than just imagining the occasional wishful thought.  This involves unlearning some of the ways we have squandered or misused the capacity that our imagination has to advance us in the direction of our dreams.  We’ve used it to develop mental habits that hold us back.

We can change those habits by developing a new mindset.  We do this by remembering that our imagination is ours and ours alone to use in any way that we choose.  No one else is responsible for our imagination, and anything we place in it and hold there ultimately becomes our reality.

The imagineer does not misuse his or her imagination. Instead, the imagineer stresses what s/he wants, not what s/he doesn’t want. The imagineer never imagines what it is that s/he doesn’t wish to have as his or her reality.  Energy flows where attention goes.

The imagineer does not allow the imagination to be contaminated by ideas about how life used to be.  S/He uses positive “I am” statements instead of “I am not” statements. The imagineer has developed a healthy self-concept. S/He has replaced old ideas of I can’t help it, It’s my nature, I’ve always been that way with I am capable, I am strong, I am healthy, I am happy. Imagineers completely heed St. Germain’s words, “I AM the Conquering Presence! I command this I AM Presence to govern perfectly my mind, home, affairs and world.”  The words “I AM” are our sacred identification as our Higher Self, and the imagineer knows this.

The imagineer doesn’t allow the current conditions of life to restrict the imagination. The imagineer knows the imagination is unlimited and does not opt for an ordinary level of living. The imagineer is a bold thinker, changing such thoughts as I will one day be in a better place to In my mind I am where I intend to be. S/He invites and trusts the mysterious unseen world of Spirit to guide him or her by creating an atmosphere of allowing it in without pushing it.

The imagineer is adamant about the imagination being a private sacred inner space.  S/He speaks to it with reverence and stays in a constant state of gratitude.

With imagineering, there are no limits.  Are you brave enough to give it a try?

Finding Your Life’s Purpose

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Ever witness someone living his or her life’s purpose?

It’s inspiring! Such a person exudes happiness. One can’t help but feel energized in their company.

Everyone has a purpose in life. And within that purpose lies a signature talent waiting to birth itself to the world.

While some people have a clear vision of their purpose early on in life, there are those whose paths seems unclear, even elusive.  I’m one of those whose life’s purpose took the circuitous route.  But I’ve learned a lot along the way, despite the detours.

Detours are not setbacks. Hitting a roadblock means it’s time to go in a new or different direction. This is a time for reflection and learning. Rather than worry that you may get lost (and you may), trust that your internal GPS is guiding you in the right direction. You may uncover a unique talent as a result, or you may learn something like a new skill or meet someone who will become a mentor. Be open to the possibilities while on detour…and enjoy the scenery along the way.

Read the signs. To be an active participant in your life, you’ll need to pay attention. “Signs” will present themselves in various ways. Notice the things that make you happy. Recall times you’ve felt fulfilled. What were you doing? What did you feel? Did you experience moments when you’ve lost track of time because of doing something you loved? Take cues from your relationships. What have others said regarding your skills and talents? Notice any common themes? When you hear the same thing several times from others that could be an indication of a talent you’ve overlooked.

Slow down. To read the signs presenting themselves to you, you’ll need to slow down. We live in such a busy world full of constant stimulation, making it hard to wrap our head around our own thoughts. Put yourself in a time-out, away from all the distractions, so that you can restore your balance and energy. This quiet time could be a walk through the woods, journaling, meditating, or exercising. Find what works for you, do it on a daily basis, and you’ll give space to inner clarity and expanded awareness that will help you discover yourself.

Change direction. If you’ve been traveling the same mental route with no results, you’ll need to exit and recalculate. Rather than get stuck on asking, “What is my purpose?” ask, “Who do I want to become?” This shift in direction throws your mind into a higher creative gear. What can you see yourself as, and what do you look like (and feel like) as you are doing it? If it feels good, then you are in alignment with your soul’s purpose. You’ll experience an inner knowing that can not be shaken. You’ll know that you know. And it will feel “right.”

Discovering your life’s purpose requires taking action. Living your life inside your head is not the same as living your life out loud, on purpose. There are steps to be taken with the biggest one being a leap of faith…not always easy, but absolutely necessary. It doesn’t have to be one big giant leap, but smaller ones which will impact big changes over time.

4 Steps To Managing Your Personal Energy

Managing our personal energy is our job, not anyone else’s. We are responsible for everything that we think, say, and do. There’s no way around it. And as much as we’d like to blame our stress on someone or something else, we must come to terms with the reality that we alone have invited that stress into our lives. We somehow agreed to it, either consciously or unconsciously.

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When we live our lives on auto-pilot, we get lazy. We say yes when we mean no.  We say no when we mean yes. We act without thinking. We think without acting. We don’t set healthy boundaries. We take things for granted. Suddenly two plus two equals seventeen, and we are left reeling under the pressure we’ve placed upon ourselves…all because we weren’t mindful.

When we learn to manage our personal energy, we reclaim our power and our lives. Here’s how:

Create a list of things that give you energy. All too often we engage in activities that deplete our energy. The focus here is to embrace activities that increase your energy and make you feel better. Take a walk, call a loved one, sing, meditate. It could be anything. These little things will feel like luxuries.  Keep your list available so that you can refer to it whenever you begin feeling overwhelmed.

Chunk your time into manageable segments. Rearrange your day so that you are working in blocks of time, not straight through. After every 90 to 120 minutes, take a break and do something from your list of energy-boosting activities. This allows you to relax and recover, and it gives the brain a much-needed break so that it can recuperate.

Practice mindfulness. Stay focused on one activity at a time. This means NO multitasking during your breaks since your breaks are meant for your energy-building activities.

Set healthy boundaries. Say no when you mean no. Say yes when you mean yes. Don’t agree to added responsibility if you can’t devote the time and energy. Think carefully about taking on additional tasks. Having no boundaries leaves one open to exploitation. Assert yourself if you must, but do so respectfully.

We can counteract the effects of stress by consciously making decisions and performing activities that energize us.  When we feel good, we perform better.  And in so doing, the structure of our brain actually changes; new neural pathways form as we continually take in good things, making it easier to feel good in the future.

Positive Mind Medicine

It is a well-known fact that stress, anxiety, tension, worrying, and fear will hurt your physical, mental, and emotional health. These negative states are shots of poison. “Drink” too many and you jeopardize not only your health, but your relationships, your career, your self-confidence, your self-esteem, and your self-worth.

Such negative states release toxins into the bloodstream, thereby “poisoning” your system. This opens the door to various ailments, disorders, diseases, and terminal illnesses.

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Talk about being your own worst enemy!

Obviously, minimizing the amount of stress in your life will reduce the amount of “poison” you release into your system.

Hippocrates said, “The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well.”

In other words, we hold the “cure.”  We are our own antidote.

If we can think ourselves sick, we can think ourselves whole.  We have within us what it takes to change the direction of our health and the course of our lives. We can do this through the practice of positive mind medicine.

According to Universal Law, our thoughts and beliefs, whether positive or negative, manifest into reality. If we continually pump our systems with negativity, we release harmful cortisol and epinephrine (stress hormones) that deactivate our body’s natural self-repair mechanisms. The more that is released, the more the body breaks down, adding more stress to an already compromised immune system.

However, if we use the power of positive thoughts and emotions to influence our physical health, we relax our nervous systems and give our bodies the space to heal. Also, choosing to participate in positive activities over destructive ones releases “happy hormones” (seratonin, endorphins, dopamine, phenylethamine, and gherlin) that reduce the effects of stress and make us feel better.

Of course, I am not suggesting that positive thinking is the only factor in the healing process (things do happen that warrant immediate medical attention; if you need it, seek it). But in many cases, a positive shift in one’s way of thinking and mental habits can prove more effective than medicating oneself with drugs or other substances.

If negativity is “poisoning” you, here’s what you can do:

Take inventory of the stressors in your life. What immediate steps can you take to reduce them? Develop a plan of action to begin removing them.

Be more aware of your thoughts. Practice mind management. Catch yourself whenever you think negative thoughts, and replace them by thinking about things that bring you joy. This may take some practice, but keep at it. Inside the poison is the antidote, so turn negative thoughts around to thoughts that will serve you rather than harm you.

Rest your body and mind often. Do this several times a day, even if only for a few minutes at a time.

Practice some form of meditation. Meditation releases tension and stress from the body and mind. Use creative visualization to produce positive changes in your life. Breathe deeply and slowly.

Read inspiring words. Start and end your day with inspirational quotes, positive affirmations, or sacred literature that uplifts and edifies you.

Think and expect the best. Focus thought energy on everything working out for the best. Remember, Universal Law works with your thought energy, whether the energy you are emitting is positive or negative.

Give gratitude for what you have. Remind yourself of all the positives in your life, no matter how small. Gratitude acts as a magnet, attracting more into your life for which to be thankful.

Positive mind medicine has no ill side effects, requires no prescription, and the benefits are many. I’ll drink to that!

Spiritual Growing Pains: Tell-Tale Signs

When we awaken spiritually, a subtle yet powerful shift occurs. Like a newborn, we crave spiritual nourishment so that we can grow and evolve. Just as we experience the physical growing pains of childhood, we experience the metaphysical growing pains of spirithood.

As we grow, we find ourselves expanding beyond people, places, and ideas that have been familiar and comfortable. These can be challenging times, especially when those around us make judgments about our new state of being and our new-found, ever-evolving approach to life situations. Some may even choose not to support us in our decisions and transformation.

This does not mean anything is wrong with you. Nor does it mean that there is anything wrong with those who no longer wish to support your growth. We each grow and learn at different rates, and as much as we’d like to take others with us on our journey, sometimes we must accept that in moving on we may have to leave others behind.

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Photo Courtesy Pixabay

And therein lies the spiritual pain. As much as we want to remain, we know we can’t. Yet we push forward because we know the pain would be that much greater in remaining than in answering the call of Higher Self. No pill can palliate the pain. Why? Because the point of spiritual pain is not to get rid of it, but to embrace it and integrate it, so that we can grow through it. We can certainly channel this energy through various spiritual practices (prayer, meditation, chanting, ritual cleansing, acts of atonement, yoga, etc.) that will bring clarity, direction, and peace of mind.

Here are some tell-tale signs of spiritual growing pains:

Restlessness. Spirit wants to move and create; the ego wants to lounge and stick with the status quo. You’ll want to “do new things” even if you don’t know what those things are…yet. Your sleep patterns may be affected. You get the strong feeling that there’s something more to life, and you begin to develop a determination to find out what it is. You realize that the material world cannot fulfill this longing.

Restriction. Spirit moves in freedom; the ego remains within safe confines. You may be feeling the constraints of a job or a relationship that no longer serves you. In fact, the situation feels inhibiting and contracting rather than expanding. You want to break free from restrictive patterns, toxic people, and life-draining jobs, and you begin to do so.

Brain-fog. Spirit is suprarational; the ego refuses to budge beyond the rational. Things that you thought made sense no longer make sense. And things that never made sense before suddenly make sense. Normally, the left hemisphere of the brain (which likes to organize, compartmentalize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and problem-solve) dominates the often less-valued right side of the brain. You may be experiencing psychic ability, intuitive knowing, feeling, compassion, and other right hemisphere activities that contradict those of the left side of the brain. You may also be experiencing a feeling of spaciness, minor memory lapses, scattered thinking, mild dizziness, and a general fogginess as you try to find balance. You feel drawn to creative activities of expression and to the sensate. There’s no explaining it; it’s an inner knowing. As you allow your heart and your right brain to lead you, the left will activate appropriately to support you, and that “fog” will lift.

Of course, seek medical help if these symptoms persist. If you’ve determined that it is not a medical condition, then simply relax in the realization that what you are experiencing is temporary.

As Spirit evolves, ego devolves. Spiritual growing pains are part of our journey. Recognizing, embracing, and channeling them will give us the confidence and strength to move through them.

Time For A Cosmic Reset?

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We forget that we have choices.

We forget that our current reality exists because of our choices.

We forget that we are the creators of our current reality.

We forget that we are in charge of our own happiness.

There are laws that rule the Universe.

We forget that these laws are in place to help us fulfill our destiny, to help us be the highest expression of ourselves.

We don’t have to do anything to activate these laws. These laws are always working in our lives.

Where are you focusing your attention lately?

Is it focused predominately on thoughts of lack or resistance, or abundance and flow? It is an energetic law of the Universe that like attracts like. Whatever thought (vibration) we hold within mind magnetically draws more of the same to us.

Time for a cosmic reset.

Remember:

1) Everything is energy.

2) Energy follows thought.

3) Your dominant thought (focus, vibration) brings you more of the same.

Change your thinking and you change the direction of your energy.

Your choices put you in the creator’s seat. Become aware of your choices. Better choices bring better results, and better results make for a better reality.

It’s clearly up to you.

Create A Self-Care Practice

Self-care is NOT selfish.

Making yourself a priority in your own life does NOT mean that you don’t care for your loved ones.

Without self-care, life will overwhelm us. We’ll grow frustrated, depleted, even bitter. Our energy plummets. Our weight skyrockets. We compromise our immune systems and invite all kinds of ailments into our bodies and minds. Our relationships suffer. We find ourselves ill-tempered and uninspired. We lose our confidence. Before we know it, a spiritual cancer has set in.

Self-care will combat this.

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Creating a self-care practice will bring you back to YOU.

How?

Re-prioritize. It’s time to drop back and punt. Resolve to reevaluate your priorities. Put yourself at the top of your priority list. You can’t be number one outside until you are number one inside.

Reconnect with yourself. Ask, “What makes me happy, and what can I do to be the best version of myself?” Take a self-inventory, and then take action!

Retreat to nature. Take in and appreciate the beauty and stillness of nature. Immerse yourself in its restorative power. Open yourself to the lessons nature has to teach.

Rekindle your relationship with spirit. Meditate. Pray. Contemplate. Journal your thoughts and feelings. Recommit yourself to spiritual work.

Refuel your body. Re-energize it by getting enough rest, nourishing yourself with healthy foods, and finding fitness you enjoy.

Redecorate your mind. Renew your thinking through positive affirmations and self-talk. Rip down those dismal drapes of doom and let in the light. Clear out the cobwebs of negativity that have slowed or stalled your progress. Release any thoughts that no longer serve you or the highest good.

Recruit support. Hold yourself accountable. Enlist the help of loved ones, friends, or a coach to help you get your life back in control.

Creating an effective self-care practice is about redesigning your life physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The more you give to yourself, the more you give to your loved ones.

Take care of YOU. You are the only YOU you’ve got.

Becoming Spiritually Conscious

I woke up dead.

Well, at least that’s how I felt.

I felt no connection to anything. Life consisted of going through the motions…day in, day out…same ol’ same ol’.  I had been trying to let outside things determine my happiness and my spiritual fitness, but it wasn’t working. I was so concerned about how to “do” life right that I wasn’t living it at all. I knew I had to shake things up.

Ever feel like this?

If so, know that this is the beginning of being conscious of your spiritual journey. Your spiritual alarm clock is sounding!

I had been “unconscious” for so long that I really didn’t know what I was doing. But I was open to anything, and whenever I felt that “something” tugging at me inside, I followed its guidance. I haunted those “New Age” bookstores that others had told me to avoid because they were “evil.” The more I read, the more I craved. My spiritual appetite was ravenous!

I began to meditate, to pray, and to ask questions. I went within and uncovered my true self that had been buried under years of others “shoulding” on me and listening to them instead of myself.

I broke away from the confines of religion, especially the ones that told me I was going to hell if I did or didn’t do this or that.

I felt connected. Transformed. And alive!

Here’s what I’ve learned along the way…

There is no right or wrong way. We’re all on the same journey; we’re just taking different paths to get there. The God of my understanding is of the same essence as the God of your understanding, even if we relate in different ways.

There is no “normal” when it comes to spirituality. Our beliefs are unique to ourselves. We are each individual expressions of a Diverse Divine Being, and we are free to call that Being by whatever name we choose.

There’s no need to follow the crowd. The differences around us allow us to mold our own journey into exactly what we want. What works for some may not work for me or for you, and that’s okay.  Be grateful for these differences; it’s Spirit’s creativity in action.

There’s no need to compare journeys. Each journey is unique to the individual. Celebrate each part of it along the way. If something works for you on your journey, hold on to it, and if it doesn’t, then let it go. It’s not always going to be a smooth journey, so whatever happens, allow it to shape you in the best version of yourself.

I love having the freedom to express my spirituality in the way that I so choose, and I’ve learned much from the various wisdom traditions and spiritual practices that exist. They’ve served as the stepping stones in my journey.

In the words of Khalil Gibran, “I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit.”

What have you learned along the way?

On Hold…

Sometimes things happen because the Universe is guiding us to place our energies in a different direction for the time being.

This is one of those times.

And that’s okay.

I will be back with more of Spiritography: Imaging the Sacred in Everyday Life. While this series is on temporary hold, I will continue posting about spiritual matters. In the meantime, click on the links below to enjoy the past posts regarding spirituality and photography.

Pruning: Not Just For Plants

Holy Graffiti

How To Disappoint Disappointment

Ways To Wander Into Wonder

Cultivate Your Sacred Vision

Lessons We Can Learn From Water

3 Spiritual Lessons From Autumn

Getting On Track

Butterfly As Spiritual Metaphor

Bee Here Now!

Thank you.