Faith and vulnerability

I write a lot in this blog about the “safe universe concept”—the idea being that we live in a safe universe. This is one of the core concepts of conscious creation and it’s a belief that’s hard for people to accept: very hard. It’s even harder when we’re faced with tragic events we see in the news such as the movie theatre shooting that happened in Aurora, Colorado last week.

Accepting that you live in a safe universe means changing your beliefs about safety. It means knocking down old beliefs that are contrary to that concept and changing them, one by one, to feelings of security. To truly embrace the feeling of safety and security, you must purposely direct your thoughts and beliefs to a new paradigm and learn to adopt new thought patterns and beliefs on a variety of subjects. Doing this requires faith and practice. No one said this would be easy.

Having faith that you are protected is new for most of us. We’re conditioned to be on the lookout for threats to our own precious existence. Whether the threats are financial (the economy), emotional (relationships), health (disease) or physical safety (violence), we have grown up in a society that teaches us to be vigilant toward these subjects and take the needed precautions against them. We’ve been taught that we must prepare for danger and actively work against it in our future.

But that old methodology doesn’t fit with the theory of living in a safe world. When you believe, truly believe, that you live in a safe world, those external threats don’t make sense. When you believe that no harm will come to you and when you believe that every action you experience is leading you toward your own value fulfillment, threats take on a new meaning. They are no longer threats. Instead, they’re indicators that let you see if you believe what you now say you do.

I’ve worked with the safe universe concept for a few years now and continue to struggle with it. Our own personal safety is ingrained in our psyche and we’re committed to protecting it. The ego is the main culprit here, as the ego wants us to be safe. The ego reacts primarily to physical data as its basis for protecting us. What it can’t see or doesn’t understand, it ignores. The data that it does see, it usually overreacts to, turning even minor threats into major ordeals designed to get us to react for our own safety.

There’s more to the psyche than the ego. That’s why it’s important to begin the process of changing your thoughts and beliefs about safety. It’s often easiest to start with your conscious thoughts: checking them periodically throughout the day and weighting them against the theory of living in a safe world. Asking “does this make sense in a world where I’m completely safe and protected?” is a good place to start. If it doesn’t make sense, you’ve identified an area you can start to shift to a new, safer perspective.

As I’ve worked on changing my beliefs about my own safety in the world, I’ve become acutely aware of the hardest part in the whole process: being vulnerable. Making conscious choices to accept safety as a way of life means taking a leap of faith that the new thought model will pay off. It’s scary to do this. The concept sounds good but implementing it is a whole new game.

Embracing life from a safe perspective means we must be vulnerable to the world. It means being vulnerable to the things we’ve created with our emotions and thoughts and beliefs and it means being vulnerable to the variations that occur from the creative universe. Being vulnerable is the only way we can move forward in the world. Without that vulnerability, we remain stuck in fear and then in turn, attract more fear.

Vulnerability requires faith and faith requires vulnerability. It’s a declaration of independence from the official life we know. Vulnerability is like standing naked on the mountaintop and telling the world, “I accept what I’m creating, bring it on, world.” Making that declaration then means being open to what we’ve created and what we attract, no matter what it is.

Sometimes these issues loom larger than life. This morning, I read a blog post about a friend of a friend who went to the movies after the mass shooting in Colorado. My friend wondered how safe people will now feel to do something as simple as going to a movie. Is there a lingering threat? Should I be watchful of other people in the theatre? Should I always know where to find the emergency exits? Certainly these are big issues right now. I’m not denying that they are important to think about at the moment. The emotional wounds of last week’s shooting are still fresh in everyone’s minds.

Yet once again we’re faced with making ourselves vulnerable if we want to move forward. We must have the faith that we are protected and that taking steps toward that vulnerability will eventually lead us to new feelings of calm and centeredness. It can be scary to move toward that vulnerability but practice will make it easier and faith will help it come closer.




Life doesn’t always give you answers

In times of tragedy, it seems like all we have are questions, the most prevalent being simply: why?

In Colorado today, we’re finding ourselves burdened by that oppressive question as we come to terms with the details of a gunman who opened fire in a crowded movie theatre, killing 12 people and injuring more than 50. As the media dissect the story and as witnesses post to social media platforms, the images and emotions of the late night shooting are making their way outward into the world. And with every news story, every status update and every graphic image shared, the question arises again: why?

Why would someone kill innocent people? Why would this happen to innocent people? Why would the shooter booby trap his apartment knowing law enforcement would find it? Why? Why? Why? Like a song stuck in your head, the question of why is always just under the surface of your consciousness, poking its head up every so often, demanding to be heard and answered.

Faith often provides a framework for the question of “why?” but usually seems to only strengthen its hold on your awareness. For every rationalization and for every small bit of understanding gained, the “why monster” only gets bigger and hungrier. It wants more information, more clarity and more understanding. It doesn’t understand that no matter what your religion, your belief system, your view on life, some things in life simply are unanswerable on a level that makes any sense.

I firmly believe that All That Is (or whatever term you use for God) understands events like this and that ultimately there is a reason for them. But right here, right now, I’m locked into an ego-bound consciousness; and, that consciousness simply cannot process such tragedy. The ego interfaces with physical reality and therefore is subject to a limited range—that which it can see and hear and feel. The ego doesn’t have direct access to that part of me that’s connected with the divine and so it feels shut out and abandoned. What the ego cannot understand, it cannot accept.

So for the time being, I simply must rely on my faith in All That Is. I must trust that tragedies such as this morning’s shooting serve another purpose that I’m not yet privy to. I must trust that everyone involved directly with the tragedy is ultimately being led to something bigger and better, even if I can never see it in my lifetime. My own faith in All That Is tells me that my limited ego doesn’t need to know the answers. All of the “why’s” aren’t my concern and that by releasing my need to know why, I’ll actually feel more serenity.

To quell the “why? Monster,” I find I must turn my attention to the things that do make sense and that feel good. Already we’re seeing people come together in prayer for those affected by the shooting. I’ve witnessed parents hugging their kids and spouses reaffirming their love for one another. Like we had a few weeks ago with the forest fires that ravaged Colorado, there is an outpouring of love and concern for our state.

Narrowing our concentration to love and compassion for others and ourselves helps quiet the “Why? Monster.” It’s a monster that cannot be defeated during our time on earth so we must learn to work with it, to understand it, and release it when it gets too big.

For now, I hope you’ll join me in quiet reflection on those thoughts we can control: love for one another and compassion for those that were affected by the tragedy. Those actions and thoughts we can purposely direct and the intent to do so will be felt by everyone involved.



Denver, CO


You don’t have to know how

Butterfly and rocks

Go ahead: dream big. Big. Big. BIG. But don’t get wrapped up in the details of how, that’s for the universe to figure out. It’s not your job to know. When you identify those things in your life that you want, allow your spirit some breathing room. Trust that the universe is on your side and will help you meet your goals. Have faith that all you need to be successful will come to you. Once the request has been made, turn your concentration back to how good it’s going to feel when you meet your goals. Let go. Catch a tailwind. Enjoy the view and let your spirit soar.

The tree knows

The tree knows

Some would call it instinct; I would call it faith. The tree trusts nature and allows the universe to help it grow and thrive. The tree trusts that the universe will provide for it the right amount of moisture, sunlight and nutrients. The tree knows its own beauty and delights in the little pink flowers it produces each spring. The tree understands its exquisite smell vibrates into the universe, affecting all other life forms that happen to find their way through the fragrant air. The tree does not get sad that its blossoms only last a few days; it knows they’ll be back year after year after year. I could learn a lot from this tree.


Releasing attachment to desire

“Negative attachments, Richard. If you really want to remove a cloud from your life, you do not make a big production out of it, you just relax and remove it from your thinking. That’s all there is to it.”
Illusions by Richard Bach

The quote above, from Richard Bach’s Illusions, got me thinking about ease and effortlessness in the conscious creation process. Whether we’re creating or removing something from our consciousness, it’s often hard to let go of our attachments and truly go on faith that what we want will be accomplished.

When we make a request of the universe, whether it’s through thought, verbalization or action, we are setting into motion a complex stream of energy. That energy, through the law of attraction, sets out to find like energy that will eventually lead to the manifestation we’ve requested. In what I’ll call the “creation universe,” energy is converted to the specific things we’ve requested: a new job, a computer, or a friendship. The same is true for “removing” things in our life, as we are in actuality creating a new situation instead of removing the old. But that creation universe works more efficiently when you take away your active concentration from it—that’s the rub.

The creation universe works on the concept of faith. In that universe, millions upon millions of computations are made to bring us circumstances, events and physical objects that will act in our best interest. The speed of this universe corresponds to the intensity of the request we make and our belief that it will be fulfilled. As junior creationists, we frequently hamper the process by checking and rechecking for results before they’re ready.

Think about making a hard-boiled egg. Your desire is the finished product—the cooked egg. Yet for most of us, checking for progress on our desires is like pulling the egg out of the water every 30 seconds and cracking it open, only to discover it’s not truly cooked. We curse the process and start again, giving it a little longer. With trial and error, we eventually reach our goal and learn to let the process complete itself and we’ll have breakfast. If only we could allow that for other parts of our lives, too.

Releasing attachments from our desires is a necessity for activating the creation universe and there are three main ingredients that are key to success.

Flexing your will

It takes willpower not to check for results on your desires. The will can be thought of as the active process of pointing your consciousness in a particular, focused direction. In this case, we’re actively aiming our consciousness away from the process itself. That is, we’re using our willpower to stop checking on the manifestation. Remember, the creation universe works with faith and that same faith is required of you.

In our current reality, we’re used to accepting as true only that which we can see, touch and feel. In other words, we have accepted the belief that something is not real unless it is already manifest and we can get our hands on it. In the conscious creation process (or in this case, faith-creation process) we accept that our new beliefs, feelings and thoughts have already created what we want and leave it at that.

Constantly checking on the process nullifies your faith, especially if what you want hasn’t appeared in your everyday world. And once you notice that, your disappointment or your doubt in the creation process will act with law of attraction to bring you more of the same: doubt and disappointment. Flex your will to not check so often.

Go with ease

As powerful as “flexing your will” sounds, it does need to be done with a gentle touch, the second ingredient to removing attachment from want. ‘Ease’ is opposite of ‘anxious,’ which is the energy we emote when we’re checking on our manifestations. Ease, instead, allows our consciousness to detach from the outcome and let the creation universe do its thing…bring our desires to us.

Ease is the energetic foundation of faith: the knowing and trustful assumption that our desires will be fulfilled and done so in a way that promotes our best outcome. When we’re attached to a particular outcome we’re anxious about it, which is why ease is so hard to come by. But learning to ease our way into faith gives us a head start on the creation process. It allows gentle energy to infuse the creation universe and start the ball rolling.

Allow the results

Once you’ve taken an easy, focused approach to conscious creation, you will—at some point—want to check for results. Here’s where allowing comes into play. Allowing means you’re open to the many ways the creation universe can bring your manifestation to you.

Like faith, allowing is a gentle process. It requires keeping enough attention to the possible outcomes that you are open to the fruits of your labor but not so much attention that you try to drive the process with negative energy. Attempting to control the process works against the creation universe by creating resistance. The process of allowing means paying attention to your impulses, as impulses will guide you to the very action or knowledge you need to allow your dreams to come true.

Like any new skill, learning detachment takes practice and patience. Whether you’re removing a cloud from the sky or trying to manifest your dream job, taking a relaxed approach will serve you well and bring you closer to your desires.

Move over Pollyanna, there’s a new tool in town

“Positive thinking” sure has gotten a bad rap over the years. The term conjures up images of Pollyanna taking even the direst circumstances in stride and turning every frown upside down. For most people, positive thinking isn’t just a stretch, it’s incomprehensible.

As a psychological tool, positive thinking certainly has many benefits but it’s best used only after a thorough examination of your own thoughts, emotions and beliefs. Every individual has proclivities toward certain thought patterns and without an understanding of those patterns, positive thinking may do more harm than good.

For instance, some people have habitual negative thoughts. Without an understanding of the beliefs beneath those negative thoughts, applying positive thinking can actually cause such people to repress certain emotions. They then don’t get the benefits of positive thinking. Since understanding when and how to use positive thinking is an ongoing process, there is one tool you can adopt now that will set the stage for a better utilization of positive thinking.

Instead of acting like Pollyanna, try the exercise of using positive intent. This means expecting every situation you encounter will be met with a positive outcome, even if you normally think it can’t. Positive intent works hand-in-hand with “faith” and the belief that the universe is working for you and not against you.

An example: You get an angry voice mail from a friend who is upset that you didn’t invite him along for a weekend camping trip. You didn’t purposely mean to exclude him and his reaction has thrown you into a negative tailspin. You feel that his anger is an overreaction to the reality of the situation.

Traditional positive thinking advocates would tell you to ignore the situation, think good thoughts about your friend, and apply a big dose of compassion. In this case, however, that would ignore your own subjective feelings about the situation. You would be creating an energy blockage and setting yourself up for either a physical manifestation (headache, stomach ache, etc.) or situational manifestation (more of the same type of behavior from your friend).

Here’s where to apply positive intent. Realize that you have created or attracted the situation to yourself and understand that you will get a positive effect out of it. This way, you still allow yourself to feel your emotions and you’re doing so in a context where you can learn from the situation. The intent helps you comprehend that every facet of living can be used as a learning tool, pushing you towards greater understanding and fulfillment. Now the situation may be negative on the surface, but your positive intent means you’ll get something positive out of it.

The intent to have a positive experience sets up circumstances for you to learn something about yourself. Perhaps you have some unresolved—and unconscious—feelings toward your friend that the altercation can bring to the surface. Maybe the fight will help you get in touch with your own feelings of exclusion and set you in the direction of healing those feelings. Or, maybe you have a set of beliefs about what type of behavior you expect from your friends and this allows you to see your beliefs manifest in a very vivid manner. In any of those cases, you’re uncovering information about your thoughts, emotions and beliefs and using them as a benchmark for change.

Positive intent can be used in all situations. It’s a way of approaching life so that you always realize that actions, interactions and events are working for your benefit. It does take faith to get to this point, but even just the intent to have a positive experience means that’s what you’ll get. Law of attraction fuels positive intent: your intent, your desire and your faith that something good is coming from every situation will set in motion the types of experiences you’ll see reflected in the future.

Keep in mind that you may not always have immediate understanding about the events of your life. Sometimes the universe reveals itself a little more slowly than we would like, so faith in the process is paramount to your success. Again, the positive intent will bring you positive effect. The more you work with the process, the better you’ll understand it and the quicker the results will come.


The irony of faith

Even when you think you don’t have it, you do.

Growing up in a secular household, the topic of faith, to the best of my memory, was never discussed. We didn’t discuss things like God, religion, life after death and so forth. The only questions I remember asking about these topics would come after the occasional visit to church for a funeral or a wedding. To the pious, it appeared I had a lack of faith.

But this lack of faith, or more appropriately this lack of knowledge about faith, was never a problem until my later years. Certain touchstones would cause me to pause and reflect on faith: my father’s death, the events of 9/11, the feeling of emptiness that would frequently overtake me. Those events, while trying to elicit a faith-response within me, simply clouded my understanding of faith and religion. To add fire to the brimstone, I’m reminded every four years of my lack of faith by presidential candidates who deem any religious experience not consistent with their own to be a moral sin upon the Earth. Those precious candidates at least taught me one thing: you can’t guilt someone into faith.

So without an organized concept of faith, god or religion, I stumbled upon spirituality in my late 30s. The concepts felt warm and comfortable. After all, most spirituality puts the person at the center of the universe instead of God—I liked that. I also liked the intellectual pursuit of spirituality, researching the great teachers and their lessons and studying them with a philosophical lens. Yet hundreds of books and seminars later I found myself still aching for an understanding of faith.

What does one have faith in? Certainly for most people it’s a faith in “Almighty God.” Having thrown that concept in the trash, I needed something else. “Faith in myself” sounded better, but still didn’t feel right as I struggled with life and didn’t still trust myself. We are told that faith is a belief not based on proof, which makes acting on faith all that much harder. If you can never quantify such a belief until perhaps after death, what good is it to hold such faith?

When I read Jane Robert’s The Afterdeath Journal of An American Philosopher: The World View of William James, I was particularly taken with James’ view on faith. He defines it as a growth medium, turning the tables on our traditional view of faith “in” something.

“This brings us to faith, of course, which as I now perceive it is a physical, biological condition of growth and a psychic or spiritual condition as well. It is as if faith were the agent that developed a negative into a definite picture in the darkroom of the mind; and without faith, the events will not “take,” Roberts writes.

My intellect started processing this concept immediately. This view takes it for granted that faith is a constant presence in the universe, an active substance that makes life possible. Faith grows the body. Faith nurtures the seedlings. Faith turns the invisible wheels of the Earth and points us at the sun for just the right amount of time every day. Faith is a process.

My need for proof of faith’s existence then became palpable for its existence is now definable everywhere. The things we take on faith become faith itself. No one needs to tell his or her body how to digest food. Breathing is automatic. The miraculous ability for life to happen in the present moment is proof of faith’s presence.

What we term “bad” or “negative” things aren’t bad or negative at all. Those definitions are only defined when we turn our heads away from faith and ignore the evidence to the contrary. We are constantly being supported by the universe through the process of faith itself. Nature, unimpeded, is always seeking growth, balance and fulfillment, so trusting in that process means that nothing is ever wrong unless we take faith out of the equation.

Faith in this case becomes an understanding of the way the world works. As a growth medium, it is not only life giving but also life sustaining to every bit of consciousness on the planet. Faith helps us understand the support available to us and assists us with reframing unwanted or undesired circumstances. It allows us to perceive the magic of consciousness where every act leads us gently toward a greater understanding of ourselves.  Accepting this definition means we either accept faith on its terms or fight against it. Honoring Your Spirit means going along for the ride, assuring that faith will allow life to unfold perfectly.

Perhaps it’s only a matter of semantics, for now I’ve started having “trust” in “faith.” It’s a trust in the process of life including my own unique stamp on the world. It’s a trust in my own thoughts, impulses and beliefs and knowing that faith will coalesce those actions into objective reality. This new reality of faith allows me to see I’m never without it, only sometimes temporarily disconnected from it. And rediscovering that connection gives me direct experience with the divine.

By the grace of dog

After a Denver television anchor was bitten in the face by a dog on live TV, she had two choices in telling her story. She could continue in her role as journalist and give official, cut-and-dried details of her recovery. Or, she could consciously create a story of healing and acceptance. Kyle Dyer chose creation.

The story has been well documented in Denver media and on the web. Max, an Argentine mastiff, had fallen through a frozen lake the day before and was rescued by a local paramedic. Kyle interviewed the dog’s owner and the paramedic the next morning. The interview had been going well; Max was sitting quietly and accepting pets from Kyle. Toward the end of the interview, Kyle did what many dog lovers would do: she leaned in to give the dog a hug. Max lurched forward and bit her right on the face. Kyle quickly leaned back, covered her mouth and the station cut to commercial.

News and video clips, of the accident went viral. Within hours, the web was full of stories, replays and conversations about the bite. Reader’s flooded comments on the station’s Facebook page in a barrage of both positive and negative statements. Even other reporters at the station were receiving mixed feedback on their own social media pages. The story took on a life of its own. People were concerned about Kyle and about the dog, which had been taken immediately into quarantine for 10 days. People were also angry about the incident.  No one was safe from criticism: the dog, Kyle, the dog’s owner, the television station. As happens in emergencies, people wanted someone to blame.

Blame seemed to be the furthest from Kyle’s mind in the days after the accident. She underwent hours of reconstructive surgery on her face to repair her upper lip and part of her nose. Skin grafts, additional surgeries and rest at home were the immediate mainstays for the journalist while she processed what had happened. Here’s where Kyle’s conscious creation story starts to take off.

“It’s a shame some negative stuff had to come out of all of this because, for me, it’s really been in an odd way a positive experience,” Kyle said to the Denver Post in an interview after her stitches were removed. That sounds like an odd statement from someone who just had a substantial amount of reconstructive surgery, but as Kyle began to tell her own story, she had the chance to focus on what was important to her.

Rather than focus on blame, disappointment and anger, Kyle turned her attention to her family. During her hospital stay, she wanted to make sure her own family knew what had happened before they saw it on television or social media. Already, she was taking her attention off of the incident – an important part of conscious creation. She didn’t focus on the negative comments that were streaming forth in the media. Instead, she started going through the hundreds and hundreds of cards, letters and posts to her Facebook wall that were supportive. And there were lots of them. She says she was overwhelmed with all of the outpouring of support from people who “only know her from TV.”

In the two weeks after the accident, Kyle couldn’t use her mouth to speak. She passed along quick notes to co-workers and viewers with notes on social media, but people were still anxious. The “story” was still generating it’s own energy and people around the world were hungry for more information. Viewers wanted to know the extent of her injuries. Animal welfare groups wanted to make sure the dog was okay. Journalists wanted to debate the ethics of the station’s handling of the incident.

Her own news station was first to show pictures of her face after surgery, a face besieged by 70 stitches and deep scaring. After the stitches were out, Kyle agreed to an interview with her morning show co-host so she could put her own “official” story into the record. Again, Kyle was exercising her option to tell the story the way she wanted to tell it. Yes, the station was in the middle of a ratings period where high viewership is important. The general populace and media bloggers all caught onto that. But Kyle was able to use that to her benefit. If she’s going to tell her story the way she wants to, why not do it with a large audience watching?

The Kyle Dyer people see on television every morning is a happy, positive person. Most would call is a “television persona,” as she has a very pleasant disposition for morning TV. But the truth is, Kyle is a naturally optimistic person. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her several times and I’m always struck at her presence and optimism. It seems to exude from her at high levels. This optimism has kept her going during her healing and is representative of some of the basics of Honoring Your Spirit.

Kyle is an awesome example of turning your thoughts to a desired outcome. When asked to summarize the incident, she told her co-worker, “I’m doing better. The dog is back with his family. It’s time to move on.” The journalist refuses to give in to negativity and blame. She has been very clear about her concern for the dog, the dog’s owners and others who have been affected by the incident. She sees positivity in the series of canine behavior stories her station ran after the injury.

For me, Kyle’s most heart-warming and effective use of conscious creation comes from her attitude toward life. It’s a premise that crosses many different religions and spiritual camps, but it’s a biggie: trust. Trust in the universe—or God, or All That Is, or whatever term you prefer—is one of the greatest healing energies available. A profound trust in the universe is hard to fake and people who have it have the world at their doorstep. Kyle’s deep faith has been showcased a lot in the past few weeks, and I think she says it best when defending her own reaction to the incident.

“I just had a feeling—and still do—that everything is going to be okay,” she said in an interview. Great words from an unknowing conscious creator and a woman who truly understands what Honoring Your Spirit is all about.