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Glimpses of Heaven….. 2004

November 14, 2013

I’m keeping my promise to myself to post once a week and even though what follows was written in 2004 it still applies to my life today.

I may add a postscript….

GLIMPSES OF HEAVEN

2004

Today I am more consciously aware of the world around me and my place in it, not because of anything I have done and because of everything I have done. When I say I’m more aware, not because of anything I’ve done I don’t mean that I passively sat back and let my life happen. Yet today, as I look back over the last 25 of my 71 years on earth, I know that one day at a time, my life unfolded.

Years of food addiction and people pleasing kept me asleep to who I was and all that I could be. During those years I unconsciously went through the motions of life, doing what I thought I should do rather than what I could do. Yes! Life happened to me while I actively participated in it. What I needed to do next was revealed to me and I acted. But I have a sense there was a Divine Plan and a purpose for all that occurred. I realize today that this process I call my awakening has been going on since the day I was born and maybe even before that, and I believe it will continue even after my body is gone. I can’t help but think about what Mohandas K. Ghandi said about his growth. “In my search after Truth, I have discarded many ideas and learned many new things. Old as I am in age, I have no feeling that I have ceased to grow inwardly, or that my growth will stop at the dissolution of the flesh. What I am concerned with is my readiness to obey the call of Truth, my God, from moment to moment.”

So…I cannot remember how the concept of God was first introduced to me. I also cannot remember a time when God, in varying degrees, has not been in my awareness. However, I do remember that as a little girl I was taught that God was everywhere, in everyone, and in everything and that there is no place, situation or circumstance where God is not. It was that basic belief that kept me searching and yearning to know God more deeply. That seed planted in my young mind was the force driving me along my spiritual path.

Over the years I have learned that “awakening” is not a destination. Awakening is a process of unveiling, of walking through one phase after another, one set of circumstances after another, trusting that what I need to know and do will be revealed. The awakening process, though simple in concept, such as “be in the present moment,” is difficult. Awakening requires courage and commitment. It also requires humility, that is, the ability to reach out for help in times of need. Most importantly, awakening takes the courage to be honest with ourselves and the people who are there to help us.  The deeper I go spiritually, the more challenging my life experiences become for me, the greater the opportunity to experience the Grace of God.

These challenges have taken many forms: being a mother of three children, the death of their father at a young age, ( he was 39 years old), a second marriage that included five children and the scary big “C” in my body to name a few. But the greatest growth for me comes from everyday living experiences with my relationships. Working on the relationships with my family of origin, my husband, children, stepchildren, friends and coworkers has provided me and will continue to provide me with many opportunities to look at myself and to change.

And that brings me to the most important relationship I’ve had to work on…the one with myself. I spent at least ten years learning how to become my own best friend. By working the 12 Steps of Overeater’s Anonymous and participating in an Al-Anon program, private counseling, prayer and meditation, I learned to tame the critic within and to love myself unconditionally as I was being transformed. The more I learned about myself, deepening my relationship with God, through working the 11th Step*, the more my relationship with others improved. My experience showed me that in order to live a life that is fully conscious and peace-filled, I had to have a good relationship with myself. Today I live a healthy lifestyle, I eat moderate amounts of healthy food most of the time, and I exercise several times a week. But most importantly I have strong, clear boundaries and am careful not to do for others what they can do for themselves. I ask for help when I need it and I am willing to look within to resolve conflict in a relationship, asking myself, “What is my part in this?” and “What can I do to make a difference?”

In recent years, experiencing the Divine has come from discovering and claiming my creative yearnings. My Soul’s sincere desire to be a public speaker and to write articles such as this has provided me with the opportunity to confront and walk through my greatest fear…the fear of failure. Public speaking is easy for me. Writing those speeches is torture. And now knowing that someone else will read them… well I’ll keep on taking one step at a time, trusting that I will grow and change while learning all I can about writing.

For years I have attempted to practice the presence of God in all that I do. I pray and meditate on a regular basis and feel close to God when I’m writing. My awakening has been a gradual one. As a result of taking responsibility for my thoughts and actions and living as best I can surrendered to the will of God, I have more peace, more joy, more satisfaction and more fulfillment in my life. This awakening was not a euphoric, one-time experience, but has been glimpses of Heaven in the here and now.

*11th Step…..Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.

P.S. Yep that me and my story in a nutshell….Glimpses of heaven still show up, Grace filled experiences deepen my faith and next

time I’ll write about trust. I had someone ask me, “Anne, What is the difference between faith and trust?”……..stay tuned.

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Celebrating Easter Everyday….

Celebrating Easter Everyday….

During this lenten season, with the anticipation of Easter Sunday on my mind, I’ve been pondering the mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus and what it means for me personally.

As most of you know I believe that there is only one God. God for me is known by many names. I believe that God shows up in a perfect way for everyone, everywhere. I also believe that some people that don’t acknowledge God, but are kind, loving, generous people are being used by God whether they know it or not.

Today I am a committed follower of the teachings of Jesus first and foremost in my life. About 25 years ago I took a spiritual side trip and had a great time learning about all the ways that God shows up for other people. Bottom line I learned that to live in the Kingdom of Love is all there is and those of us who know that, live a happy life no matter what is going on in the world or in our lives.

Then four years ago I was strongly urged to narrow my path. Catholicism and Jesus is the way God showed up for me when I was born.  So I was led back to the Catholic Church, continuing to take what I liked and leaving the rest. With the main focus for me being the teachings of Jesus. I’ve learned that in order to follow these teachings I needed a personal relationship with Jesus. So Jesus became my best friend and I talk with Him often during the day and night.

In Genesis we read that the Spirit of God, from before the beginning of time, hovered over all the empty, darkness of what became the world. So the Holy Spirit has always been and will always be everywhere.

But…. something happened when Jesus died on the cross. I think that during His trial he was tortured not only by the all the humiliation he went through during that time but He took on every aspect of what humans face in the world. He literally absorbed all the evil, all the shame, all the pain and ugliness of the world and surrendered it all and died releasing the power of His Holy Spirit.

Jesus told his disciples that when he died he would send His Spirit to minister to them and guide them. While on earth he was fully human and called Jesus. When he died on the cross and rose from the dead He was able to release His “Christ” Spirit to the whole world, in a more powerful way.  He filled the world and each one of us with His Christ powered Grace so that all of us could chose to be a part of His Holy Spirit more fully.

Now some of you may not agree with all that I’ve said and that’s o.k. But let’s face it something very powerful happened when he rose from the dead. Just think about what we know. Jesus was physically and actively teaching in the world for only three years. He taught 12 men how to follow in his foot steps and now over 2000 years have past but his message came through and spread all over the world in a very short time.

FATHER ROHR SAYS IT THIS WAY:

“The day of Pentecost frees the apostles to believe in a God who is

actively involved in their lives and no longer a mere intellectual

concept. The Holy Spirit has become wind, fire, joy, excitement,

universal shareability, and not just another boring Sabbath obligation

or more commandments to obey. Notice how all the metaphors of Spirit

presence are dynamic, alive, moving, and universally available.

 

The Spirit will always be totally unmerited grace. She always takes the

initiative, because Spirit is omnipresent, and thus there first! In the

first Pentecost account (Acts 2:1-13 [1]) the Holy Spirit is experienced as

intimacy, enlightenment, joy, and fire, and as the power to love beyond

boundaries and ethnicities, which now becomes the universal language.

She is presented as surprising, elusive, and free, and yet totally

given. The Spirit comes from no place we can control, least of all by

our good behavior or even our bad behavior. All we can do is surrender,

enjoy, and share. A spirit-filled life becomes like a pass-through

savings account—which gains lots of “interest” for yourself and

others when it is consciously enjoyed.”

Now this is what we can celebrate everyday of our lives….not just on Easter Sunday.

Thinking about you with Love this Holy Season I pray…. May your lives be enriched with Love, Joy and Peace.

Love, Anne

Remember to Feed Your Soul

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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My 80th Year!!!

November 15, 2012

On November 12th, I celebrated my 79th birthday. So I’m now embarking on the beginning of my 80th year. I don’t know for sure why, but I am excited! But, more than excited I’m truly grateful to be alive, healthy and happy. I’m stronger and more willing to risk and live life to the fullest, more willing than I’ve ever been before. I’ve been graced with a very full and challenging life that has filled me with satisfaction and great joy. My life has had many twists and turns and all kinds of surprises…..never a dull moment and always filled with tremendous faith. Thank you God!!!

12-12-12 I celebrate 22 years cancer free, that’s something to celebrate! And now after almost two years of treatment of various kinds for back misalignment with severe sciatic nerve pain, I am pain free.

It took me a lot of time, a lot more money and and whole lot of faith to finally find the Chiropractor that was able to show me on a X-ray what was going on in my back. The top part of my fifth lumbar was jutting forward toward my internal organs putting pressure on my sciatic nerve and headed for my spinal cord.

Today I can walk two miles with comfort and ease which was not true even a few weeks ago. So I’ve decided to start training to be able to walk the 5K (3.1 Miles) Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning in downtown San Jose. In the words of a dear friend, “This is my skydiving challenge.” Only God knows what I’ll do next. God has surprised me with many challenges over the years all of which has made me the happy, healthy, energetic faith filled, woman I am today. I look forward, by the grace of God to do more….. thank you God.

As most of you know I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the concept of “Love.” One day as I was pondering God’s love for me my heart burst open and in flowed a real sense of God’s love for me in a new and real way. That’s all I can say. It was not a feeling. It just was real…. beyond explanation. I now know without a doubt that God loves me just the way I am, flaws and all. I know that there is nothing that I could do that would separate me from God’s love unless I let it. And I’ve discovered that my work now is about loving myself the same way.

God is my refuge and my strength. God is my cheerleader, always putting supportive and encouraging words in my mind. I refuse to listen to any negative thoughts at all. I remember years ago when I first started working a 12 step program and learning how to take care of myself, I realized that if I talked to my friends the way I talked to myself I would not have very many friends. If what you hear in your head is not encouraging and supportive of who you are, gently guiding you in a different direction it’s not God. God is always firm but gentle, always kind and loving, supportive and encouraging. We must do the same for ourselves and for others.

Negative thoughts enter my mind less frequently but when they attack me, and attack me they do…. I’m prepared with an affirmation or scripture and I pray until they are pushed out of my mind and I am peaceful again. I trust that if there’s something I need to change or alter in my life, God will reveal God’s will for me in the situation that was being used to attack me.

That’s one of the ways that I love myself…..In my next post I’ll talk more about how I love myself and how I do my best, not ever perfect, loving others.

Peace is always for me, the answer to prayer. It’s in that peaceful place that I’m able to know and act according to God’s will. I do my part and leave the rest to God.

Remember to feed your soul and you will change your life!!!

Love & Blessings to you and yours for a glorious Thanksgiving Day……Anne

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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A Little Bit About Envy …..

October 5, 2012

Love does not envy, Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have….

It’s been a very long time since I’ve envied anyone but I’m sure that sometime or another in my life I have been envious of someone. Maybe because they were thin and/or had beautiful clothes that I could not afford at the time, or had a talent that was not one of my gifts.

But today, by the grace of God I do not suffer from this crippling frame of mind. I say crippling because if we are spending time feeling badly and wanting things to be different than they are…..this attitude gets in our way of our self discovery.

If we truly love ourselves and accept who we are, we are then in a better position to discover our gifts and what our purpose is for being born.

Envy is a debilitating attitude that must be recognized for what it is and to the best of our ability, notice it and let it go.

Now there are times when I see something someone else has or is doing and I think, “I’d like to be able to have_______ or do ______!”  For a few seconds I do covet what my neighbor has or is doing and even think why can’t I have or do _______? Today, more often than not I quickly change the envious thought to one of appreciation and gratitude for all my friend has and is able to do. Sometimes I have to kind of fake it but if I stay with the new thoughts and listen for where appreciation and gratitude take me, eventually the rest of me catches up and I truly feel blessed to know and see my friend in the light of Love.

Jesus said something like this: “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” I say….”Fix your attention on God.” You’ll be changed from the inside out. My personal experience is that….that’s the only way change becomes permanent….from the inside out. You can’t make it happen however you can cooperate with the Holy Spirit and then change happens. Anticipate miracles, miracles do happen.

Remember to Feed You Soul….so change can happen!!!

Love & Blessings galore,

Anne

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Presumptuous and Arrogant!!!

October 1, 2012

Presumptuous and Arrogant!!!

As I was sitting here one morning about four days ago, just being with my Self, contemplating God and Love I realized that what I’ve written so far is presumptuous and arrogant of me to think I know anything at all about God or about the true essence of Love.

I write with the purpose of growing spiritually myself. In order to do that I need to be vigorously honest with myself and with you.

So I was reminded that I need to own…. that when I write, I’m writing about my thoughts and feelings. To the best of my ability I let my thoughts come off the ends of my fingers and on the page letting my fingers take me where ever I‘m led to go. As I write I do my best to search deep within myself for answers that feed my soul. Yes! What I write is about my personal questions and answers.

I know that when I describe God or attempt to assign an attribute to God or even love for that matter, my thoughts are limited. God is more than my thoughts and feelings. GOD IS! Period! God and love are beyond description. God is always more and more and more. God is way beyond our ability to express, in thought, word or deed.

My process of learning about God and Love is limited to my experiences however, I continue to search, pray and trust that what I learn is perfect for where I am in life at this time. I take it one day at a time,  thinking, feeling and experiencing my life and to the best of my ability sharing with you what I learn along the way, encouraging you to find your answers in your God given guidance and pray that one day you will share with me what you are learning, whether you agree with me or not, I would welcome the dialogue.

With Blessings for an awesome day.

Love,

Anne

Remember to Feed Your Soul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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God IS Love!!! Love IS a Choice!!!

September 27 2012

This morning I’m filled with the awareness of God’s love for us. Jesus’ message is all about love. Most of the people of His time did not get it and we know how the clergy of His time felt about it all. They were so threatened by his message of love they made it their job to stop Him. They were very comfortable following the rules. Follow the rules is what they wanted him to do. He calmed the waters when the boat was in a storm but he rocked the boat more often than not on the land. They did not like that at all.

Jesus’ message lives on…..but it’s evident to me that most people today don’t get it either. Just imagine what this world could be like if we all knew we were loved just the way we are and if each of us would live our lives from that place and love one another.

I think the most important message is that God loves us and wants to love others through us. For me that’s where it starts. What makes it so real for me is that I’ve experienced trying to love unconditionally on my own and have failed every time. My love for others without the realization that it is God loving them and not me ends up being unhealthy love.

God is the doer. The part of me that is one with God is the part of me that loves God, that loves others and that loves my enemies. That’s what God is…..God is love. Of myself I am nothing. In God, all things are possible.

For me, God is the doer, God is the initiator, God is the one who seduces me in my unworthiness. It’s all about God’s initiative! Our work is about giving that love back to the world. Our work is about letting God work through us, letting God use us in loving ways to be active witnesses of God’s love to the world.

If we could really grasp that God lives in each one of us and that we are intimately loved by God and that God wants to express through us I wonder what we would accomplish. If we could just let go and let God guide us and show us the way, we would be amazed at what would happen. I am amazed often!!!

Are you willing to let go of all your old ideas? Most people in the bible were afraid to let go. Are you afraid to let go? Well I’m here to hold your hand to encourage and support you. I’m also willing to let God love you through me, until you are ready to surrender. Surrender is what is required to be free to love in a way that will change the world.

Surrender simply means to take your attention off of the world’s discord and put your attention on God. See God all around you, in the trees, the flowers, in the clouds, in the homeless person on the street, in your husband, in your wife, in your children, in your life. God is everywhere and in everyone. Look for God and you will see God everywhere. That’s surrender! AMEN!!!

I can hear you now, “This is too hard! ‘I can’t do what you are asking Anne!’ Well in the 12 step program we are told, “To act as if!” ‘To fake it ‘til make it! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Love is the prize.

I can’t prove this to you…..only you can prove it for yourselves.

Remember to Feed Your Soul……Seeing God everywhere is a way to feed your soul…..and for me it’s the only way to live.

Love and Blessings Galore,

Anne

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Truths about Love to Ponder……

September 19, 2012

Truths about Love to Ponder:

There are two versions to ponder. The following quotes are from two different translations of the bible:

The first is from a fairly new translation called “The Message!”

The second is from the New International Version

 

“The Message”

Love never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.

Love doesn’t strut,

Doesn’t ae a swelled head,

Doesn’t force itself on others,

Isn’t always “me First,”

Doesn’t fly off the handle,

Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others.

Doesn’t revel when others grovel,

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

Puts up with anything,

Trust God always,

Always looks for the best,

Never looks back,

But keeps going to the end.

 

The New International Version”

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy,

it does not boast, it is not proud.

It does not dishonor others,

it is not self-seeking,

it is not easily angered,

it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects,

always trusts,

always hopes,

always perseveres.

Love never fails.

I know this all sounds beyond our ability to accomplish…..but remember, living in Love, these attributes are what we are striving for. They are worthwhile goals. Remember none of us can do anything perfectly…..but all of us can be willing, to be willing, to be willing, to move in this direction. With God we will do our very best and accomplish more than we think we can.

If this doesn’’t stir up some questions and/or comments nothing I write will.

Remember to Feed You Soul!!!

Love & Blessings Galore!!!

Anne

 

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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