Blue Skies Smiling At Me

scan024I felt a bit down when I wrote my previous  post, so I named it Moody Blues.  In response, several readers sent me cheery notes. Some told me how much they appreciated me. Others told me about themselves and their lives.

I was pleased so many people found the time to send me a personal message. My “downtime” was only a momentary glitch and by the time I’d finished writing, I was all right again. Your notes and calls erased any residual thoughts.

So I thank you. I am truly grateful for all of you readers and for many, many other things in my life. I like to say thank you several times during the day because it keeps me on track. I try to start my day saying thank you and end it the same way. It does keep the blues away.

Expressing gratitude is always a good idea, especially when we are down and want to be up. Certainly, some days are better than others but we really can learn to be happy most of the time.

I learned about expressing gratitude quite a while ago and ever since, even my bad days are much better than my “good” days of the past . I can now laugh out loud about some of the things  I used to believe.

For example, I used to believe that life happened at me. I thought my moods arrived because of events in my life. I now know that I am, to a very great extent, creating my life and my moods are within my control.

New Thought teaches us to look at life in new ways. We learn to release our negativity and turn toward the Light. We know that we can change our thinking and immediately lift our moods. We learn we can be happy when we pay attention to our thoughts and beliefs.

As we learn to be happy, we also learn to view our emotions in new ways. We discover we can control our thinking and lift our emotional state and that it feels exactly like moving from the gloom to the sunshine. Why shiver in darkness?

We also discover that moods don’t just happen, they are caused by triggers and we can usually avoid them. Last week I was happy when I left church but then I was hungry in the supermarket. I was also a bit tired and knew I would be alone at home. All triggers.

Many years ago in my 12 Step Program, I learned the word HALT. I was told that if I wanted to stay sober and be happy, I should not allow myself to get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. I have found that particular way of taking care of myself very useful.

These days, I can honestly say I love myself the way I am and I am willing to change. So on Moody Blues Sunday, I took care of myself quickly and quietly. I ate something  and took a nap. Then I wrote a blog for my readers who are all friends in my mind. Life was immediately good again. Nothing but blue skies in sight.

Moods are not dark invaders swooping down on us out of nowhere. They are simply old habits of thought that can be changed. They are the result of choices we make when we are not paying attention.

Before we can switch a mood, we have to love ourselves enough to take care of ourselves. This is a lifelong lesson for some of us but it is possible.  I remember the first time I tried looking in the mirror and saying, out loud, “I love you Jane.” I burst into tears – but after trying for a while, I got very good at that it. Practice makes perfect.

In the beginning, loving ourselves and taking care of ourselves can be a bit of a struggle. It is easy to work too hard. Easy to put other people’s needs ahead of our own. Easy to attempt to please others and ignore our own desires. None of these patterns is self-loving.

As you deepen your understanding of New Thought and learn that you are created in the image and likeness of God, taking care of yourself because you love yourself gets much easier.

You discover you were created as perfect, whole and complete. You can love yourself now, and you do not have to wait for improvement. How could you possibly improve on God’s handiwork?  Just see yourself as God created you and it is a snap to love yourself.

Learning to love yourself as God loves you is a wonderful adventure. You can start by reading and taking classes. Use your center’s practitioner or minister for counseling if loving yourself  and taking care of yourself seems to be an impossible or very difficult goal. Make your first step asking for help. These ways of thinking will truly change your life.

Ask Yourself

Do I love myself?Do I take good care of myself?

Do I want to release any old behavior?

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Bless and Release

FreeShe sat in the chair, shoulders slumped and head in her hands, as she sobbed. “I don’t ever want to see him again.  He’s bad for me but I can’t get him out of my mind.” Her practitioner said, “If you mean that, then every time you think of him, say, “I bless him and release him to his highest good.”

         It worked! It took almost a year, but she followed the suggestion and one day she realized she hadn’t thought of him in days. What’s more, from that day forward, she was a happy woman. One day at a time.

This is a true story and it is demonstrates a simple but quite wonderful technique for letting go of any long, tortured issue or relationship.

Despite her original feelings, she blessed and released until she truly felt the words. It worked for several reasons and the first of these was she wanted change. The second reason it worked was that she got support and  help.

When we have lived with a problem long enough to know that we need to move on and we do not have the courage to do so, we really should seek help. It is out there. Ministers and practitioners in churches are a good place to start your search for support.

It is usually very helpful to talk over your problem with someone who is trained to listen. It may enable you to clarify your position and you may be able to come up with a next step that makes sense. If you seek a religious counselor, you get the added benefit of prayer.

Of course, you should also pray for yourself but sometimes when we are deeply emotional about an issue, it is difficult to pray effectively. Having a minister or practitioner pray for you can be very helpful because the practioner is not emotionally involved. He or she will see you as perfect, whole and complete even when you are despairing.

There are also other avenues of support available. Sometimes your pastor may be able to refer you to a respected psychologist or grief counselor.  You may need to get a physical checkup if you are depressed to make sure your health is optimum.

Twelve Step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Debtors Anonymous, Alanon, Gambling Anonymous, C0-Dependents Anonymous, and Narcotics Anonymous are extremely valuable if you are struggling with an addiction. There is something wonderful about being with a group of people who are also recovering from an addiction. You will hear some real “down home” wisdom there. The Steps and the Traditions are a great platform for a new life.

There are many ways to let go of activities and relationships that no longer are working. Of course you must want to change to do much but you can always begin where you are. Even if you don’t want to change, you can pray to be willing to change. Your prayers will bring you further guidance.

It is important to remember that we must truly let go and move on. It does little good to let go of a bad marriage if we carry our story with us for the next ten years. The purpose of changing to feel better is to truly release the problem and move on. We must let go emotionally as well as physically.

In the beginning of this article, the woman learned to say, “I bless you and release you to your highest good.”  She didn’t understand why she should bless the person she was angry at, but in time, it became clear. If we hold onto the anger, we are holding on to the past. We must move into the present to be happy and fully functioning.

Do you know people who carry their “story” with them wherever they go?  They cannot enjoy life or live fully because they are still trapped in negative feelings about something that happened in the past.  Certainly, it is bad to have a dreadful childhood. It is worse – it is tragic – when a person retells the story of his past so often that he creates a dreadful adulthood as well.

We must be willing to release the past and live in the present if we are to create a happy life.  We must not be stuck in the past or so busy planning the future that our lives slip by without our active enjoyment.

Many great religious teachings, including Buddhism and New Thought emphasize the need to be fully present. We must be aware of the present moment in our hearts and minds as well as bodies.

There is a wonderful old story about two travelling monks who walked until they came to a river. They met a woman there who needed help to cross. One monk carried her across and put her down on the bank. She thanked him and the monks continued to walk. An hour later the other monk said, “You should not have carried that woman! It was forbidden!’ His companion answered, “True, I broke my vow but I put her down an hour ago and you are still carrying her.”

What are you still carrying? When we carry bitter childhood memories or nurse grudges against old bosses or fromer spouses, we are like the monk who continues to carry the woman.  Let’s not hold onto the burden or we will feel like Marley’s ghost dragging his chains as he visits Ebenezer Scrooge in Dickens’ Christmas Carol. Let’s put the past down and walk freely into the moment. The past is gone forever.

Think about it. The past is over. It is gone. The way the past continues to harm us is when we choose to remain angry or sad. If we use the past as an excuse, if we feel self-pity, or if we are mistrustful, we are allowing the past to intrude on today’s possibilities.

I own a battered copy of a book by Ram Dass called Be Here Now and I treasure it. The book looks as if the cat dragged it through the swimming pool a couple of times, but it contains great wisdom. We are here now and we need to realize it, mentally, emotionally and physically.

Here’s a physical exercise to use as a reminder to be open and present. Take a moment and close your fists tightly and squeeze hard. See how that feels? That is what holding onto the past feels like. Now, slowly, open up your hands, stretch your fingers out and cup your hands into a receiving position. That is today’s possibilty. Which do you choose?

 Ask Yourself

Is there anything I want to release in my current life?

Do I carry negative feelings about anyone from the past?

Am I willing to bless and release that past?

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Changing Gun Laws

Lennonquote_nMy brothers went on Dad’s hunting trips. My sister and I were expected to help clean and cook those pitiful little birds. I didn’t want to hunt and I deftly avoided kitchen chores, so it didn’t seem like a big deal then. But guns seem like very big deal right now.

I’m willing to admit that some very nice people like to hunt even if I never did. Those tiny birds seemed like a foolish payoff for all that tramping in the weeds. The birds weren’t very tasty and you could crack a tooth on a leftover bullet.

I’m writing today because life has changed since 1940 and we need new gun laws. My Dad hunted in places like Corona that are now wall-to-wall houses. One of my favorite movie scenes is when Eddie Murphy as a new congressman goes on a hunting trip with NRA types and shoots birds with an Uzi. It was so ridiculous in Distinguished Gentleman that everyone laughed. But assault weapons are not funny in real life.

I’ve never really bought the idea that hunting is a transcendental experience. Nevertheless, lots of people I’ve respected have enjoyed hunting so I’m willing to leave regular guns in the hands of responsible people. But the rest is nonsense.

The Sandy Hook massacre apparently created enough public awareness so that we are on the verge of political action. I trust that President Obama will do what he says he’s going to do, especially since a large majority of Americans are in favor. But he cannot do it alone. Good people like us need to continue a steadfast activity in the direction of change. Let’s not get discouraged or confused but forge ahead. Let’s not get trapped in rhetoric about how complicated change is. Complications dissolve where there is a clear vision.

We people in New Thought know how to hold a vision. We use the power of prayer daily. Will you join me and devote part of your spiritual practice to envisioning fewer guns and less violence? Include it in our prayer for peace?

I believe in the power of prayer and I also believe in backing up my prayer with activities that support the desired goal. There are some simple steps to take. We can endeavor to be centered in peace ourselves. We can make sure any guns we have around are securely locked up. We can also get rid of them.

Prayer works. Follow-up action works. We are not powerless and we are with the majority opinion.

When an idea takes hold, change happens and each of us can do our part to support this idea. That is actually how all change happens on a personal, community, national or worldwide level. First we establish a clear vision. God then supports that vision. I believe we must also support the vision with our actions.

God does the work but there is an old saying, “Treat and move your feet.”  We seldom get the job unless we send out the resume. We seldom move ahead unless we take political action. Our actions confirm our commitment to the vision.

Don’t get confused about the issue in the following weeks. We often hear that guns are not the problem – that people who shoot guns are. That’s simplistic. Without assault weapons, fewer people would have been killed in massacres like Sandy Hook and Tucson and Columbine.

You may also hear that the real problem is violence in the inner cities. It is true that young people are losing their lives every day in the streets. Urban mayors are pushing hard to regulate guns in their cities and that is one more  beginning. Tightening up gun regulations will reduce  problems.

I don’t want us to be distracted during this window of opportunity, although it is clear there is not just one single solution, but many partial solutions. We must approach the problem of violence in the United States from several angles.

Mental health is a big part of the problem. We need changes in mental health identification and treatment. I can see those changes coming but I am not willing to postpone action on banning assault weapons until we solve the myriad mental health treatment issues.

Violence in the entertainment media is also a problem. The special effects that accompany crime drama in today’s movies are appalling. Many people in New Thought already choose to avoid entertainment violence. I find it’s no big loss. If enough people boycott violent films and video games, it will help.

Then there are the constitutional arguments. Both liberals and conservatives use them to defend their beloved First and Second amendments.

It is ridiculous when liberals rage against the 2nd Amendment “patriots” then turn around and insist that the appalling graphic carnage in movies is protected by the 1st Amendment. Nonsense on both sides.

The First and Second Amendments were written as a reaction to English rule. They are not written in stone. They can be interpreted differently and they can be changed. Fundamentalism, whether from the right or left is nuts.

Yes – I want to support stronger controls of violence in movies, TV and games. And…  I do not want to let that slow down the control of assault weapons and tighter regulations on guns.

When the NRA and others try to cloud the issue by pointing out that the issue of violence is complicated and there are other problems, it amounts to static on the airwaves. We know there is truth in what they say and we know they say it to distract us from taking action today.

They say what they say because there is big money in guns. We know that reducing the availability of guns will help reduce violence. We also know you don’t need assault weapons to shoot birds or deer.

You do make a difference.

I believe we can reduce the violence in the United States by getting assault weapons off the street and tightening up all gun laws. I salute and support the leaders who are in front of this movement and I will sign the petitions, write the letters and pray for passage of laws and the establishment of peaceful life in this land.  How about you?

I write this today because I would like to see every one who believes in the power of peaceful change to speak up in the next few days. Write letters to your representatives. Sign petitions to ban assault weapons. Send money to the organizations that support the cause.  Send this blog to your friends. Spend some of your prayer and visioning time on this issue.

Ask Yourself

What do I think about gun laws?

Will I pray about it?

Will I write a comment on this blog about it?

Will I take political action about it?


Past & Present Gifts

gift  I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season. Mine was lovely. This year, I enjoyed every bit of the holiday festivities. The events were low key compared to some years, but the love seemed even more pronounced. God is good – all the time.

One of the highpoints of this week was spending Christmas Eve with family members in Redondo Beach. This is the season for nostalgia and we all know that can be dangerous but this year the party was very present and very fun.

We ate a lot and laughed a lot and we didn’t drift into the “good old days” conversations. My family has never looked like Norman Rockwell’s idealized version of Americana but as the years flew by, we all found our own balance and happiness.

Even though memories flooded my mind, I enjoyed the present holiday season very much. I always loved my family but when I was younger, I didn’t know it as well as I do now. I am also better at recognizing their love for me. I’ve changed and so have they.

Redondo Beach hasn’t changed much, and everywhere I look, I see myself as a younger woman, making crucial choices. Especially at Christmas, I feel a bit like Old Scrooge (with less money) visiting my youthful self. These trips down memory lane are a little unsettling; I fade in and out of time warps even though I know the past is gone forever.

I lived in this beach town from age 16 until age 30. I then returned at 33 to live here until I was 40. During that time, I was widowed twice and I raised my daughter there. I also taught school longer there than any other place. History is all around me. Some of it is pretty bad but I see more and more good in those years – now that I’ve ridden and survived the rapids.

I started drinking there. I also had an auto accident and got sober there. I returned to drinking there nine years later. I worked my way through college there and I wrote my first novel there. There is also where I first attended Dr. Frank Richelieu’s Religious Science Church.

I’ve been sober for 39 years, by the grace of God and my 12 Step program. I really do know the past is gone forever. I also know I can’t push the rewind button on my life and make different choices. I can, however, take this season of Joy as a chance to be grateful. Life has actually turned out as well as any of those novels that Dickens wrote.

One of the greatest gifts of my age is the ability to look back and marvel at the “dumb luck” or the unseen angels that guided me to make some positive decisions. Forty years ago, I wouldn’t have bet a nickel that I’d still be here – let alone be happy.

I’ve already lived longer than my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Despite my smoking, drinking and eating issues, I’m still here. I’m interested in life and I can still be useful from time to time. That is surely a gift from God. Thank you, God.

I’m no Charles Dickens but I could write several different endings to the book of Jane’s life. If it were not for the crucial and (mostly) unconscious choices along the way, things might have been very different.

I could have been killed in that auto accident instead of ending up in the hospital and deciding to get sober. I could have married any one of several wrong candidates for my hand. I could have been a miserable human being if it were not for going to church when I was 23. I could have been truly broke if I hadn’t decided to go to college.

Until recently, I could only see the tragedy in going back to drink after 9 years of being dry. Now I see that those 9 years enabled me to raise my daughter, build a career and achieve enough I could use when I got sober the second time.

It is humbling to think about, when I look at my life as though it were a novel, I can see a series of dumb choices and also many others I made in the direction of life and love. I chose to keep on trying to heal even during some very dark times. I chose to believe that using the ideas I found in Science of Mind and 12 Step programs could help me turn my life around.

I chose to leave some people because I felt bad when I was with them. I chose to continue to seek love. I chose to try new ideas and to step out on faith. I chose to take better care of myself even though it was a long way down the path in the other direction. I chose to let the past be what it was and to believe I could make different choices today.

All of these choices amounted to acknowledging that God was for me, not against me. It took me a long time and it was a zigzag path but the forward steps added up.

I used to believe I was stuck and I wasn’t. Since I’ve discovered the power of choice, I have devoted myself to helping others take charge of their lives.

Many people aren’t sure they have many choices ahead or behind them. They believe they are only reactors, rather than actors on the stage of their own lives. They see themselves as victims. Whether victims of their early childhood, their late starts in life, their fate, their bad luck or their flawed characters, they define themselves as powerless. Despite what our culture teaches and what we may believe, everyone has access to Infinite Power and Infinite Possibility.

That Infinite Possibility and Power must be discovered within ourselves. No one can do it for us, although we can point the way for each other, we must make our own choices.

If I had that power, I would wave my magic wand and say, “Do it this way!” But it would never work. We all have to discover our own pathway to hope. In the end, we will all be writing our own life story.

One of the saddest things about seeing yourself as a victim is that you don’t know you have any power to change anything. Even if people get to the place where they hear an authority say, “You can change your thinking and change your life,” they may interpret that to mean, “It’s all your fault.”

In this Season of Love, I feel my Oneness with all people and all life. If I could, I would give everyone the gift of self- discovery this season.

Right now, I imagine every reader, unwrapping the gift of love and discovering Unlimited Possibility in the exact right size and color for his or her life. And with the gift, there is a message from me. It says, You have the power to change your thinking and change your life. Never give up hope! Never stop trying! You can do it!
Ask Yourself
What positive choices have I made in the past?

What positive choices shall I make soon?

What do I want to use my gift of power for?


You Will Get The Raise

powerquote_n

My sister and I talked recently about the adults (besides our parents) we knew in our early teens. She was enthralled with a woman I remember as pushy but cheerful. I was fascinated by a woman who was brilliant and non-conformist.

I thought it would be good to write today about why we believe what we believe and how belief impacts our lives. While none of us is able to control every bit of our lives, we do need to know that we have a great deal more control than most people believe.

Our parents are our first interpreters of reality and if we are fortunate, we have others. Positive beliefs mean a lot to kids and I like to believe that kids raised in Religious Science get a positive attitude.

When I was a teen, Ernest Holmes was just hitting his stride. Oprah wasn’t born. I don’t think I knew anyone who believed we lived in a friendly universe. We had just finished a devastating war. We were stunned by the depth of cruelty toward Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and non-conformists in Nazi Germany. We were also stunned by the power of the atom bomb and the Cold War was starting.

Some of my teachers were optimistic and it helped. I was inspired by one who worked her way through college by typing. Another told us to get a library card because no matter how tough times got, books would always be free. Many teachers took time to encourage me to develop my mind. But I don’t remember anyone talking about unlimited possibility.

Many of my fellow students dropped out at 16 and went to work. The girls all planned to marry young. I knew one girl who dropped out of sixth grade to marry a sailor. By the time she was 18 she had three kids and she hated her husband. They all lived with her mother.

We believed the culture of our times. The movies were full of tales of 18 year olds marrying and living happily ever after. Only they seldom showed the “after.”

I knew life wasn’t the movies but I dreamed big dreams. I would someday be thirty-five, live in New York City and be a working girl. The term “working girl” meant something quite different in those days and while my job was vague in my dreams, my apartment was quite wonderful with white rugs and two white poodles.

I did eventually end up in New York City and I worked hard. But…I shared a rent-controlled apartment with an aging, divorcee. Ah well! I never liked poodles anyway.

It took me a long time to study Science of Mind and begin to hope that I could be happy. I now believe that we live in a basically friendly universe. My God is a God of unlimited possibility. I know that to make dreams come true, you have to change your thinking.

My ideas are common these days. Times have changed and change is good. I am happier than I could have dreamed as a child.

I wasn’t kidding when I said that we live in a basically friendly universe. Things go the way of our prevailing belief system. When we change our thinking, our lives change. Sounds simple but it takes, attention, skill and practice. So much of what we believe is from the surrounding culture and we are not even always aware of it. We must be independent thinkers.

The important thing is to remember that Spiritual Law is responsive to our thoughts, emotions and beliefs. The law of cause and effect is always working.

Many years ago, I read a chapter in a self-help book on how spiritual law always finds a way to respond. The chapter was entitled, You Will Always Get The Raise. If you begin to look around, you will see it is true.

Suppose you are in an abusive relationship and you are miserable. If you do nothing but think about how miserable you are, and stay in that relationship, you may begin to believe that you deserve whatever your partner says and does. The consequence will be more misery. Somehow, you need to find a new idea that gives you the courage to leave.

Even so, if you leave the relationship but hold onto the negative beliefs about yourself, the abuse will show up and continue in other ways. One of the saddest things in life is our propensity to repeat negative patterns.

This may be easier for you to see in others. Take a look at how patterns tend to repeat in others’ lives. Don’t judge or criticize, just observe. The next step is to look at your own negative patterns without judgment.

Now look around and find some success stories. Something will have changed in that person’s belief about life and himself. If you can observe clearly, you will see the way things changed because her belief changed.

You will observe that people who focus on the positive get more positive in their lives. You will be able to discern that Universal Mind finds a way to return our prevailing beliefs. You will always get the raise.

The concept that the spiritual law of cause and effect returns your prevailing belief is very different than the rules you learned about being a good little boy or girl. Working with spiritual laws opens people’s lives up to unlimited possibility.

You are truly in a position to prove the phrase, “Change your thinking and change your life.” Right now. If you have been around Science of Mind for a while, think back to how you were feeling when you first arrived and compare that to how you feel now. You will discover a great change for the better.

Even if you are new, you can prove this very quickly. Decide on a goal, and do spiritual work around the issue of belief. Keep records and notes for a month, then check you data. One reason Science of Mind is called science is that it is verifiable. While you probably can’t change everything in a month, you can test it and see some progress. And know that you can change your thinking a bit at a time for the rest of your life. It gets easier.

You may find affirmation cards helpful to carry in your pocket and review several times a day. You should also think about taking a class and going to church on Sunday. You can buy my book, Science of Mind Skills, on this website by going to New Thought Works page.

Most of us get a much narrower and tighter view of life as children than we can discover for ourselves as we become adults. You can change your mind. You are not stuck in your old thinking.

Remember that you can do it. Even if you encounter resistance breaking out of your early belief system, millions have done it before you. Go ahead and risk putting some effort into changing. Remember that all effort will be rewarded. You will always get the raise.

Ask Yourself
What’s one belief you’ve changed?

What’s one belief you want to change?

What’s one great prevailing belief you have that works in your life?


McGovern Made A Difference

 When I sold my 1968 Volkswagon and packed it up for Mexico, my McGovern sticker was clinging to the rear window. The election was quite over but I was reluctant to tear down the dream. It seemed to me that  all hope for world peace was lost. I was wrong.

         Senator George McGovern died last week at the age of 90. He was a great man who opened minds to the possibility of peace in the world. When he lost the presidential election to Richard Nixon, I was discouraged but that was not the end of the story.

McGovern’s honesty and courage continued into next forty years. I thought his passing received less attention than deserved, probably because of the 2012 election news. On the other hand, everyone I heard or read praised him for his vision and  called him a visionary.I also think he was a powerful change agent.

McGovern had strong personal convictions about what was right and wrong. Killing was wrong. Helping people was right. His deep seated notions are still at work in the consciousness of the United States.

Despite our drift into war in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is clear that US citizens are running out of enthusiasm for war. I believe that Senator McGovern’s life has been instrumental in opening our consciousness to the advantages of keeping the peace.

He was courageous and vision-driven and even more important, he was consistent. McGovern was guided by his spiritual principles and he valued his beliefs more than winning strategies. The opposition painted him as a wild-eyed radical and he lost dramatically. McGovern won 17 electoral votes and Nixon got the other 520.

A recent  New York Times article quoted McGovern as saying, in 2005, “It was an issue-oriented campaign, and we should have paid more attention to image.”

I realize this is history for most of the people living on the planet today. I write about it because history is important. That campaign is a factor in the image driven current campaign, for instance.

In the late 60’s and early 70”s, the Vietnam War seemed to come out of nowhere. There was a draft then and quite a few young men moved out of the country to avoid going to war. McGovern attracted a large number of young idealists who were anti-war.

There were other issues at risk in the 1972 presidential campaign. McGovern had a consistent liberal record in the Senate. He steadfastly voted for measures that helped the poor, supported civil rights, and championed women. He was for expanding food stamps and head start programs along with other liberal issues.

Not too long after losing that election, I left the country. It’s true that I was very disillusioned with American politics but I was also disillusioned with teaching, relationships, and just about everything else in my life. I’d started drinking again and I needed a place to hide out so I decided on a geographical change.

Oaxaca was a beautiful, old-fashioned state way down south in Mexico. It offered cheaper living, a lovely climate and wonderful folk art. The few Americans who were there were either hippies or snow birds. I was an eccentric age 40. The other expatriates were all their 20’s or 60’s.

I personally learned a lot in Mexico. I learned that I was a total alcoholic and needed to give up the idea that anything outside myself, including a move to a foreign land, could “cure” me. I learned that AA could help me quit drinking. I also learned a great deal about Mexican art and folk art. At some level, I loved Oaxaca and it was good for me.

My years there also taught me what a great country the United States really is. The level of poverty and corruption in Mexico, at that time, was astounding to me. The custom of mordida or bribe was so ingrained that it went unnoticed. When the Watergate scandal hit the US, it simply didn’t seem very important. All politicians were totally crooked. What was all the fuss about?

I almost completely missed Watergate. When USA tourists wanted to tell us about the scandal, we expatriates just yawned.  We were living in Mexico where the police made 90% of their living on bribes and waiters “bought “ their jobs from their bosses so they could garner the tips.

That was then and this is now. My interpretation of how life works underwent an extreme makeover 38 years ago. Since I now see everything in the light of Science of Mind. I know that our lives make a difference and that consciousness creates experience.

I also know that an individual’s consciousness, once stretched, never returns to its original state. When I read that statement by Dr. Raymond Charles Barker, I laughed out loud. It made me think of consciousness as being like a pair of comfortable old shoes.

Sen. George McGovern had a comfortable consciousness and he helped stretched mine. I think he represents the best about this wonderful nation. His honesty, steadfastness, and courage are important to us all. I give him credit for helping us envision a peaceful planet.

Now that I a Religious Science minister, I have participated in many visioning workshops and led many presentations on the unlimited possibility of God. We say it something like this every Sunday because this is our belief system.

God is Unlimited and I am the recipient of God’s Love through spiritual law. I can achieve and receive what I can envision, believe, and accept. God is Divine Givingness and responds automatically to my consciousness.

I know that New Thought and other peaceful religious groups are growing in size and influence. Our national consciousness is changing and McGovern is one impetus for that change. You and I are another impetus. We are making a difference right now.

In church, nearly every Sunday, we sing the Peace. Song. We are diligent about accepting peace into our personal lives. We can also be diligent about accepting peace in our collective spiritual life. We even have a Season For Non-Violence in the late winter. The era of peace is not only possible but inevitable.

George McGovern lived with honor and he continued to speak out about his goals, vision and ideals. He did not let defeat in the 1972 presidential campaign define him. He made a difference in a big way.

He was one of my “wayshowers”.  I have never swayed in my political views about what’s important. I vote for issues, not image. My life plays out on a smaller stage but I know it makes a difference. So does yours.

Thank you, Senator George McGovern. You weren’t a peacenik or hippie, but you were an inspiration. I believe that your ideas were the beginning of major shifts. Thank you for modeling hope and courage.

The ideas of the 60’s morphed into the 70’s and change began to happen. We not only withdrew from Vietnam, we changed the status of minorities and women in this nation. We expanded admission to elite universities, drilled holes in the class system and ushered in a profound interest in Eastern religions.

George McGovern, you were a conservative man. You went to church, cut your hair short, and wore neckties but you spoke your truth in a beautiful way. It was a short skip and jump from you to the Beatles, Joan Baez, and Bob Dylan. Our nation sang about peace and love and it is still singing.

What I know is that Hope continues the journey toward Peace and Love never dies.

Ask Yourself

Whom do you admire?

How does that person make a difference?

What qualities do you admire?

Do you also have those qualities?


A Rosy World View

 This is blog #100 so I want to say something profound and here it is… Each of us views the world through our belief-colored glasses. The rosier they are, the happier we will be.

Albert Einstein was right when he said the most important question is whether the universe is friendly.

I feel smarter than Einstein because I know the answer. The world is as friendly as you think it is.

Of course, Einstein was a true genius because he developed the question out of his amazing original thinking. Most of what I know comes from Ernest Holmes, the founder of Religious Science and author of the Science of Mind Textbook. My genius was in recognizing the wisdom of the ages when I saw it.

I didn’t immediately recognize the eternal wisdom, I just hoped it was true. Whatever – I’ve spent the last thirty-eight years testing Holmes’s ideas. As I studied and practiced Science of Mind, my glasses (and my world) turned rosier and rosier. My life is much better than expected and I credit my rosy glasses for that upturn of destiny.

I was definitely headed for trouble when I was younger. I avoided my probable fate as I discarded my dark glasses and deliberately set out to become an optimist. That decision worked wonders for me

I’ve encountered setbacks but Science of Mind has helped me in every area – creativity, prosperity, relationships, and, despite some serious problems, health. During my most recent trip to my lung doctor, he used the phrase, “ridiculously well” several times. So far, I have defied the COPD prognosis and every day is a blessing.

I’ll be 80 in April and when I look at my original beliefs about old age, I see that I’m doing much better than I was taught to expect. I have a purpose, I try new things, enjoy life, learn new skills, make new friends and have good times. I’m certain that I’m here and happy because I’ve been resolute about changing my thinking.

You don’t have to be brilliant or pious to use positive thinking. Anyone can do it. On the other hand, we all encounter surprises and challenges as we move along life’s path. As I’ve aged, I’ve had to learn some new skills and adapt to my new body and changed circumstances.

I still get to control the direction of my change and I still get to be healthy and happy. Change is still possible but change does not come the way it did at thirty. For example, I release that idea of romantic love and accept many good friends. I don’t look for high-paying work but continue to find ways to live well.

The key remains the same – being open to release old beliefs and make room for the new. I am happy to  admit that I did quite a bit of releasing and accepting as I travelled along my spiritual path.

Sometimes seems as though I released one negative belief only to discover six more but I kept on keeping on. I remember Dr. Tom Costa saying, “If you are going through Hell, keep moving, don’t pitch your tent.”

I learned that changing consciousness is a lifelong work and I also saw that spiritual principle supported my changes immediately. My journey has been one of release and support and it has been a testing ground for the power of Science of Mind and affirmative prayer.

I can now say, with perfect confidence, that it is  absolutely true that what we believe about the nature of reality has a tremendous influence on how our lives spin out.  I can also conclude that changing beliefs is complicated because some are cultural and others are deeply embedded in childhood experiences. However, I am certain that we are not really at the mercy of fate or kismet or kharma.

There was a time when most people believed that our life story is created by fate. Fate was usually portrayed as three women at a spinning wheel who twisted the yarn and spun out our story until one of them snipped the thread and it was all over.

You may remember these three fates as the three witches in MacBeth. They also appear together or separately in many fairy tales. That belief system makes us victims of fate. The Three Fates have all the control and life happens at us. Not true!

If we believe in fate then we are victims. It is always hopeless and we are always helpless. Not so! We can train our minds and gain control over much of our lives. We are not victims.

Trained minds touch into the Infinite Possibility, Infinite Power and Infinite Intelligence of God. We say, there is a power for good and you can use it. That is a shorthand description of the wisdom of the ages.

The Master Teacher, Jesus said, “As you believe, so it shall be done unto you.”

About 400 years later, the Greek philosopher Plutarch said, What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality. He was speaking as if he were a quantum physicist only he said it 2500 years earlier.

In between the early Christians, ancient Greeks, and modern quantum physics, I found the teachings of the Asian masters by way of hippie gurus such as Alan Watts. Among many other things, Watts said, Reality is only a Rorschach ink-blot, you know”.

I fell in love with the idea of personal freedom and the ability to change my destiny in the Sixties. My early journey included Tarot cards, booze and acting out characters from old movies. For a while there, I really thought I was Sadie Thompson.

Eventually, I turned to a serious study of Science of Mind and I found Truth in the works of Ernest Holmes. He was a great synthesizer. He said, “Borrowing knowledge of reality from all sources, taking the best from every study, Science of Mind brings together the highest enlightenment of the ages.

In retrospect, my life is living proof of the practical wisdom of Science of Mind. I share it because it is not theoretical but my very real experience.

In the early Eighties, I began to really soak up the wisdom teaching. I took classes, read books, listened carefully and I experimented with positive thinking. My world got lighter and brighter almost immediately. Over the years, I changed my mind about nearly everything. Somewhere along the road, I discovered I live in a friendly universe.

What about you? Do you live in a friendly universe? Or is it full of lions and tigers and bears?

If your life-load seems too heavy, you can begin with some simple steps. First, try gratitude. Nothing greases the wheels of life as quickly. An attitude of gratitude is a marvelous change agent. Try it – it works!

Then begin accepting more. When someone gives you a compliment, say thanks instead of arguing. If they want to take you to lunch, accept the invitation and have fun. Take the good things that come your way and enjoy them without a struggle.

Gratitude and acceptance are perfect ways to begin your own experiments with Truth teaching. Dr. Holmes uses many names for God and the one I love is Divine Givingness. Open up to the gifts of life now!

Spiritual laws are always working. Put on your rose colored glasses and celebrate this hundredth blog post with me. Use Science of Mind ideas about reality to prove the wisdom of the ages with your own life story. Create a rosy future for yourself.  What have you got to lose?

Ask Yourself

Do I expect the best?

Am I usually grateful?

Am I good at accepting?