What is your New Year’s Resolution? And, secondly, what is your wish for the New Year?
I was born on the last day of the year. So the annual transition of “out with the old and in with the new” feels especially pivotal to me as I reflect with gratitude upon what once was, I look forward with hope and anticipation for what is yet to come, and I explore more deeply the larger reason for my birth. And, yes, I do make some “New Year’s Resolutions”; however, they have nothing to do with resolving to fit into last year’s pair of blue jeans. And while more money flowing into my bank account rather than out of it would bring some much-needed financial relief, I will not be making that my top priority either. Nor will I be committing to get a better job or setting my sights on traveling around the world sampling exotic foods.
Part of the reason why I believe New Year’s Resolutions “fail” is because the purpose for which we enter into such agreements with ourselves has very little to do with the purpose of our lives. I am sharing a letter I wrote to my 18-year-old son, as it captures the essence of how I feel about the arrival of a new year. The gifts I have been given the opportunity to receive and give within the context of my relationship with my son have been some of the most profound and life-changing. And I believe deeply that by allowing the gifts to flow through me to you, they become a gift to us all.
As night gently falls on 2012 and the promise of a new dawn in 2013 hangs in the air, billions of people around the world will be resolving and committing to make changes in their life, hoping to stick to long-lasting resolutions that will finally deliver to them the things in life we all desire most — abundance, prosperity, better health, joy, security, happiness, and love — believing that this time, this year, their well-intentioned efforts will resemble more than simply a “to do” list for the first week of January.
I wonder if you, too, feel that yearning, if you hear a beckoning to a higher calling, if you desire to make new choices with an eye on shaping and defining not just your experience for a particular year, but with an eye on shaping and defining the entire purpose of your life. Ah, the purpose of life — the question that has perplexed scholars and religious teachers around the world, the question which has led countries into war and tested and stretched the fabric of every relationship we enter into, the question that is most looked at in the final moments of our physical being here on earth:
What is the purpose of my life?
My Beloved Son, I am here to share with you the answer.
I will begin by sharing with you what the purpose of your life is not. As my good friend, Neale, has shared many, many times, the purpose of life has very little to do, if anything, with “getting the girl, getting the car, getting the job, getting the house, getting the spouse, getting the kids, getting the better job, getting the better house, getting the promotion, getting the grandkids, getting the gray hair, getting the office in the corner, getting the retirement watch, getting the illness, getting the burial plot, and getting the hell out.”
And so far, in the 46 years that I have been blessed to have on this earth, this has demonstrated itself to be true – life is not about any of those things. I’ve had most of the things on that list, and some of them more than once. And I am here to tell you that the purpose for my life was not realized or remembered by “getting” or “having” any one of them.
So if life really isn’t about any of those things, then what is it about?
This is what I know to be true:
The purpose of your life is to create the purpose of your life.
When you were a very young child, it mattered not to me whether you played baseball or joined Cub Scouts, whether you went swimming or read a book, or whether you ate pizza or spaghetti. And now, as a young man who is living on his own, it matters not to me which career you choose or what area of the world you reside in, what you have for dinner, how you enjoy your spare time, or what kind of clothes you wear.
Do not confuse “not mattering” with “not loving.” My love for you is without conditions. These choices would only matter to me if somehow the level of my love for you was attached to a particular outcome designed by me or hinged to a misguided idea that somehow you could fail in this Life game.
I want for you what you want for you.
And here is where it gets even better, James:
God wants for us what we want for us.
Society will tell you that in order to “earn” God’s love, you must be a certain way and do certain things. Have you questioned this for yourself? Have you wondered why a God who is “unconditionally loving” would place such conditions upon his love? Have you dared to imagine a different kind of God?
And if God wants for us what we want for us, and the purpose of our lives have nothing to do with what we have or what we get, what will the arrival of a new year mean to you? What will you strive for? What will you draw upon to ascribe meaning to the experiences in your life?
Your life is an opportunity. Within every occurrence, there is an opportunity for you. And within every relationship, you are an opportunity for someone else. Will you see those moments and embrace those gifts, both those that are being given to you and those you have to give? As the world collectively and consciously welcomes the New Year, perhaps the largest number of people purposefully and simultaneously placing positive energy and intention into the world, how could our world not become a better place? Where will you be in that process? And WHO will you be in that process?
What will you decide and what will you declare the purpose of your life to be, my beloved son?”
What will the arrival of a New Year mean to you, my friends? A new car? More money? Fitting in last year’s blue jeans? Or perhaps at last the answer to one of life’s biggest questions: What is the purpose of my life?
(Lisa McCormack is the Managing Editor & Administrator of The Global Conversation. She is also a member of the Spiritual Helper team atwww.ChangingChange.net, a website offering emotional and spiritual support. To connect with Lisa, please e-mail her at Lisa@TheGlobalConversation.com.)
I attended a spiritual retreat earlier this year. Afterward, I had all this strength and clarity and felt so strong! I made a decision to leave my husband, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time because the marriage was a mistake from the beginning. When I got home I told him, and it felt really good to start living my truth and moving my life in the right direction. But then I lost my resolve and let him talk me out of it, because trying to figure out all the details of a divorce seems overwhelming. I feel terrible because I really don’t want to be with him anymore. How can I get back on track and stay there?… Carly
It is said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. When making a big change in your life, don’t try to figure it all out at once. Just take it one step at a time, thanking God for guiding you every step of the way. Your feelings are your guidance and they come directly from God, via your Soul. God puts them there to guide you toward the most joyous life you can live, but the longer you continue to disregard the feelings that don’t feel good to you, the longer you postpone your joy.
You already followed the first two steps of Truth-telling: “Tell your truth about yourself to yourself” and “tell your truth about yourself to another”. Yet, you say you’ve wavered in your resolve to act on it. Is it still your truth that you want to leave your husband? Knowing that this is a major decision in your life, please, once again, do some deep Soul searching about it. Then if it is still your truth, you may need to repeat that to your husband, as lovingly and compassionately as you can. You might soften the blow by telling him that relationships don’t ever end—they only change form. Endings can be very hard, so sometimes it’s easier if we think of them as changes, not endings. “We’re changing the way we interact together…”
The way to stay on track is to stay in touch with your Soul, which knows all. You can’t figure this all out at the level of Mind, because the Mind’s information is so limited. However that works for you—prayer, meditation, yoga, walking in nature, chanting… whatever—make it a top priority every day. Better yet, make every waking moment a conversation with God. Learn to trust the wisdom of the Voice within you, knowing it is Divine Intelligence at work in your life. The more you follow that “still, small voice”, the happier you’ll be. And worry not about your husband, because he also has access to all the wisdom in the world. God is always with him too.
Last but not least, you might find this mantra helpful as you encounter challenges along the way:
“Thank you, God, for helping me remember that this problem has already been solved for me.”
(Annie Sims is the Global Director of CWG Advanced Programs, is a Conversations With God Coach and author/instructor of the CWG Online School. To connect with Annie, please email her at Annie@TheGlobalConversation.com
(If you would like a question considered for publication, please submit your request to: Advice@TheGlobalConversation.com where our team is waiting to hear from you.)
The five most well-known and talked about addictions are Drugs/Alcohol, Gambling, Sex, Food/Sugar, and Co-Dependency. Their affects on individuals and society are well-documented. The recovery industry is a huge business with a fifty-mile stretch of highway from Delray Beach, Florida, down to Miami having over 400 treatment facilities!
But I am not going to get into the Big Five today. It is very clear that we as a society can and will become addicted to anything that takes us out of the human experience. We can’t seem to stand being here, being present, being available, being sociable, being caring, loving, thoughtful, emotional, happy, sad, mad, glad — we’ll have none of that. Give me bliss or give me completely checked out. There is no middle ground here on this great physical experience we call Earth.
This blog is the start of a sub-series of blogs in the larger topic of evolving the Twelve Steps into a spiritually centered, personal-power oriented, recovery program. We are going to take a look at the so-called “soft” addictions in this series. The first of these is going to be the obsessive-compulsive use of electronics.
We have set up our whole culture to enable us to check out. We are seemingly possessed, diving into our iPhones or Blackberrys at every stop sign or traffic light — wait, check that — we drive down the road at 80 miles per hour checking our email, texting, surfing the web, or watching a movie. We can’t even be present while doing something that requires us to be alert and on guard, like driving a car in rush-hour traffic.
My wife and I were out to eat the other night and we casually looked around the restaurant to “people watch” for a minute. We both found a young couple in their early 20’s sitting at a table for two; both of them had their Smart Phones out and were seemingly oblivious to the world going on around them. What is it that the phone is giving them that the person across the booth is not? What is it that makes us so afraid to emotionally connect with another person over dinner?
The other day I took the family to a movie, and during one scene that was particularly quiet it became apparent that the guy behind us was on his phone having a conversation! When asked to stop, he replied back that the call was important and he had to take it! Does the electronic signal from the phone make it impossible for the person holding it to possess good judgment? Was the call so important he couldn’t take it out of the theater?
So let’s be honest here, it isn’t the electronic equipment that is causing us to obsess like this. We are willing participants in the anti-social behavior of “teching out” – the act of checking out with the help of technology. What is the payoff? It would appear that not having to stay present, interested, engaged, progressive, and emotionally connected is what we are after.
We spend most of our waking moments checked out! We as a society have made it our priority to do whatever it takes to not experience what it is like to be human. At some point we decided that life sucks and we need to find some way of passing the time till we can get the hell out. Granted this wasn’t a conscious decision for most, but it happened nonetheless.
This epidemic of disconnectedness will ultimately fail to produce the results we desire in life. Just like with the chemical addictions, lives will start to fall apart, relationships will dissolve, friends will part ways, jobs will be lost due to decreased productivity, people will find themselves at emotional bottoms. And maybe then a miracle will take place.
Some will find this program and awaken to the truth that is in them, that they are more than their body, more than their personality, that they are a singular aspect of God, and that all of us are a piece of God. We open ourselves to the realization that our souls choose to come here to experience the wonderment of life through the inter-connected mass of sentient beings.
When we come to understand this on a deeper level, we not only want to be engaged with others, we go out of our way to do so. We come to realize that it is only through our relationships with others, that we can experience the greatest joy, the grandest feelings of who and what we really are: Love.
This is part of the process Neale has termed “The Civil Rights Movement for the Soul.” So this obsession we are all experiencing is a gift from God, The Universe, Source, Allah, Buddha, Jesus or whatever Deity term suits you. This is the opportunity that these polarizing afflictions create in the human experience. They give rise to the opportunities for grandeur.
I ask you to look around you and notice what others are doing. Take inventory of what others do, not to damn those who may be doing something you disapprove of, but to see if there is something in your life that may be similar that you could maybe spend a little effort eradicating from your persona. Examine how others interact and see how it looks from the outside. The entire world is our mirror; let’s look in that mirror and see the present.
(Kevin McCormack is a Conversations with God Life Coach, a Spiritual helper on www.changingchange.net, and an Addictions recovery advisor. To connect with Kevin, please email him at Kevin@theglobalconversation.com)
ON THE FACEBOOK PLATFORM of Neale Donald Walsch there is an excerpt-by-excerpt posting of The Only Thing That Matters, the newest book in the Conversations with God cosmology. Here is one of those entries…
An Enormous Power Has Been Placed in Your Hands
Now you have one missing piece of the puzzle. Now you have one transformative tool. (You will be given others here as well.) It is a device with immense power—a simple device that can transform almost any moment, almost miraculously, almost immediately.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s understand exactly what this tool is.
Gratitude is not merely an emotion, it is a decision.
So powerful is this decision that it becomes a definition and a declaration. It defines and declares your experience of Here and Now. And hence, your reality. Gratitude can be a simple emotional reaction, or it can be a magnificent spiritual creation. It is a simple reaction when your Mind is on Automatic. It is a magnificent creation when your Mind has merged with your Soul in making a combined choice about any Present Moment.
In every Moment of your life your choice is always the same: to move into Reaction or Creation.
(You might have a little fun noticing that “reaction” and “creation” are very close to being the same word. Only the C and the R need to be reversed. When you C what you have always been meant to C, then you R what you always R—and the course of your life is reversed.)
Visit this site: http://goo.gl/gFAsm to find out more.
(NOTE from NDW SUPPORT: Neale considers THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS (released from Hay House) to be his most important book to emerge from God’s inspiration since “Conversations with God.” Neale’s dream is that everyone could read every word that’s in this text. He is therefore posting the entire book, line-by-line, here on Facebook, in daily excerpts. He hopes that you will find the book as beneficial as he has.)
Instead of answering a question this week, I thought I’d share a very powerful New Year’s ritual you may want to try to properly say goodbye to this significant year, and embrace the year ahead with open arms. I often hear the phrases “good riddens” or “I’m so done with this year” at the end of each year, in people’s attempt to leave behind the old and start fresh. What most people don’t realize, however, is that when you speak in such negative tones, you are actually creating more resistance around what you are trying to let go of and are basically inviting more of it into the next year. So don’t do that! Try the following instead 🙂 :
On New Year’s Eve, set aside some alone time (or do this with someone you can easily share stuff like this with) to be with what has occurred in the last year, and tune into what you want to see in the next year. Follow these steps:
1. Create your space. Making this a ritualistic experience adds to the energy of what you are doing, and makes it more meaningful. So light that candle, say a prayer, take deep breaths, burn incense, etc.
2. Properly say goodbye to 2012. Take out a sheet of paper, and begin writing all that you are ready to say goodbye to from the last year and even prior to it, all of those things that you recognize have served their purpose and are no longer needed in your life. I say “properly”, because in order to truly release something, it needs to be lovingly released. In other words, rather than saying “I’m so done with that” with an edge of regret or disdain, shift your energy to being grateful for the presence of this thing in your life, and the acceptance that it was there for a reason and there was a gift in it.
3. Lovingly release. In a safe way, burn the piece of paper, or tear it up, bury it whatever works for you, and as you do so give thanks to God, the Universe or whomever it is you appeal to with such things.
4. Celebrate! When you are finished, it is so important to celebrate. Not only does it lock in the experience, but it is an acknowledgment of this loving, important thing you just did for yourself. Celebrating can happen in many different ways; maybe pouring a glass of champagne or eating some decadent chocolate, or perhaps taking a luxurious bubble bath or going out to celebrate with a loved one.
5. Powerfully invite the new. On New Year’s Day, or as close to it as you can get, take some time to tune into and get clear on all that you’d like to invite into your life for 2013. Again, create your space and take out a sheet of paper writing out all of those things you’d like to see show up, both physical and non-physical things within yourself you’d like to see emerge. This can be done as a list, a letter to yourself, a drawing, etc. When you’re finished, seal it in an envelope and keep it somewhere safe that you’ll remember to take it out and read it next December (it helps to mark a reminder on your calendar).
6. Act as if and walk your talk. Don’t simply sit back and wait for these things to show up. In the days, weeks and months that follow, consciously choose to think, speak and act in accordance with the things you wrote down for 2013. Set some goals and milestones, hire a coach to inspire you and keep you on track, enlist a good friend to help hold you accountable.
Wishing you happiness, joy, peace, love and fulfillment in the New Year, and in this process of becoming more of Who You Really Are.
(Nova Wightman is a CWG Life Coach, as well as the owner and operator of Go Within Life Coaching, www.gowithincoaching.com, specializing in helping individuals blend their spirituality with their humanity in a way that makes life more enjoyable, easy, and fulfilling. She can be reached at Nova@theglobalconversation.com. )
(If you would like a question considered for publication, please submit your request to: Advice@TheGlobalConversation.com, where our team is waiting to hear from you.)
NEALE: Many people think that God is their friend, but they don’t know how to use that friendship. They see it as a distant relationship, not a close one.
GOD: Many more people do not even think of Me as a friend at all. That’s the sad part of it. Many people think of Me as a parent, not a friend — and a harsh, cruel, demanding, angry parent at that. A Father who will tolerate absolutely no failure in certain areas — such as, for instance, how to worship Me.
In the minds of these people, I not only demand your worship, I demand it in a specific way. It is not enough that you come to Me. You must come to Me by a particular path. Should you come to Me by another path — any other path — I will reject your love, ignore your entreaties, and, indeed, condemn you to hell.
NEALE: Even though my search for You was sincere, my intent pure, and my understandings the best I could reach.
GOD: Even though. Yes, even though. In the minds of these people, I am a stringent parent who will accept nothing less than absolute correctness in your understandings of Who I Am.
If you are not correct in the understandings at which you have arrived, I will punish you. You can be as pure in your intent as possible; you can be so filled with love for Me that you overflow. I will cast you into the fires of hell nonetheless, and you will suffer there forever, if you come to Me with the wrong name on your lips, the wrong ideas in your head.
NEALE: It is sad that so many people see You that way. This is not how a friend would behave at all.
GOD: No, it is not. And so the very idea of having a friendship with God, the kind of relationship you have with your best friend, who will accept anything given in love, forgive everything done in error — that kind of friendship — is unfathomable to them.
Then, among those who do see Me as their friend, you are right; most of them hold Me at a great distance. They do not have a working friendship with Me. It is, rather, a very distant relationship that they hope they can count on if they should ever have to. But it is not the day-to-day, hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute friendship that it could be.
NEALE: And You were starting to tell me what it would take to have that kind of friendship with You.
GOD: A change of mind and a change of heart. That is what it would take. A change of mind and a change of heart.
GOD: Yes. The courage to reject every notion, every idea, every teaching of a God who would reject you.
This will take enormous bravery, because the world has contrived to fill your head with those notions, ideas and teachings. You will have to adopt a New Thought about all of this, a thought that runs counter to virtually everything you’ve ever been told or heard about Me.
That’ll be tough. For some, that’ll be very tough. But it will be necessary, because you can’t have a friendship — not a real, not a close, not a working, give-and-take friendship — with someone you fear.
NEALE: So a big part of forging a friendship with God is forgetting our “fearship” with God.
Editor’s Note: If you would like to COMMENT on the above excerpt, please scroll down to the end of the red ancillary copy that appears just below, which has been placed here for First Time Readers…
If Conversations with God has touched your life in a positive way, you are one of millions of people around the world who have had such an experience. All of the readers of CWG have yearned to find a way to keep its healing messages alive in their life.
One of the best ways to do that is to read and re-read the material over and over again — and we have made it convenient and easy for you to do so. Come here often and enjoy selected excerpts from the Conversations with God cosmology, changed on a regular basis, so you can “dip in” to the 3,000 pages of material quickly and easily. We hope you have enjoyed the excerpt above, from Friendship with God.
Now, may we tell you about a very easy way that you can share these wonderful messages with others? Please keep reading…
If you believe that the messages in Conversations with God could inspire humanity to change its basic beliefs about God, about Life, and about Human Beings and their relationship to each other, leave those messages lying around.
Simply “forget” or “misplace” a copy of Conversations with God on a bench somewhere. At a bus stop, or a train station, or an airport—or actually on the bus, train, or plane. At a hairstyling salon, a doctor’s office, a chiropractor’s office, a park bench, or even just a bench on the street. Just leave a book lying around.
If everybody did this, the message of Conversations with God could “go viral” in a very short period of time. So you are invited to participate in the Book-On-A-Bench program and spread ideas that could create a new cultural story far and wide.
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ABOUT the author of Conversations with God…
Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. With an early interest in religion and a deeply felt connection to spirituality, Neale spent the majority of his life thriving professionally, yet searching for spiritual meaning before experiencing his now famous conversation with God. His Conversations with God series of books has been translated into 37 languages, touching millions and inspiring important changes in their day-to-day lives.
Neale was born in Milwaukee to a Roman Catholic family that encouraged his quest for spiritual truth. Serving as his first spiritual mentor, Neale’s mother taught him not to be afraid of God, as she believed in having a personal relationship with the divine — and she taught Neale to do the same.
A nontraditional believer, Neale’s mother hardly ever went to church, and when he asked her why, she told Neale: “I don’t have to go to church — God comes to me. He’s with me and around me wherever I am.” This notion of God at an early age would later move Neale to transcend traditional views of organized religion.
By his late teens Neale’s involvement with spiritually-based teachings led him to begin dipping into a variety of spiritual texts, including the Bible, the Rig Veda, the Upanishads and Divine revelation according to Sri Ramakrishna. He noticed that when people became involved in organized religion they sometimes seemed less joyful and more angry, occasionally exhibiting behaviors of prejudice and separateness. Neale concluded that humanity’s collective experience of theology was not as positive as it was meant to be. It seemed to him that there was something missing in standard theological teachings; that they might contain very good lessons, he concluded, but that they might not be complete.
After graduating from high school, he enrolled at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, but academic life could not hold his interest and he dropped out of college after two years to follow an interest in radio broadcasting that eventually led to a full-time position at the age of 19 at a small radio station far from his Milwaukee home, in Annapolis, Maryland.
Restless by nature and always seeking to expand his opportunities for self-expression, Neale in the years that followed became a radio station program director, a newspaper managing editor, public information officer for one of the nation’s largest public school systems, and, after moving to the West Coast, creator and owner of his own public relations and marketing firm. Moving from one career field to another, he could not seem to find occupational satisfaction, his relationship life was in constant turmoil, and his health was going rapidly downhill.
He had relocated in Oregon as part of a change-of-scenery strategy to find his way, but Fate was to provide more than a change of location. It produced a change in his entire life. One day a car driven by an elderly gentleman made a left turn directly into his path. Neale emerged from the auto accident with a broken neck. He was lucky to escape with his life.
Over a year of rehab threw him out of work. A failed marriage had already removed him from his home, and soon he couldn’t keep even the small apartment he’d rented. Within months he found himself on the street, homeless. It took him two weeks shy of a year to pull himself together and get back under shelter. He found a modest part-time job, once again in broadcasting, then worked his way into full time broadcasting, eventual landing a spot as a nationally syndicated radio talk show host.
He had seen the bottom of life living outside, gathering beer and soft drink cans in a park to collect the return deposit, but now his life seemed to be on the mend. Yet, once more, Neale felt an emptiness inside that he could not define, and the daily difficulties that everyone faces continued.
In 1992, following a period of deep despair, Neale awoke in the middle of a February night and wrote an anguished letter to God. “What does it take to make life work?” he angrily scratched across a yellow legal pad. “And what have I done to deserve a life of such continuing struggle?”
What followed has been well chronicled and widely discussed around the world. Neale says his questioning letter received a Divine answer. He tells us that he heard a voice just over his right shoulder—soft and warm, kind and loving, as he describes it—that offered a reply. Awestruck and inspired, he quickly scribbled the response onto a yellow legal pad he’d found on a coffee table before him.
More questions came, and as fast as they occurred to him, answers were given in the same gentle voice, which now seemed to have moved inside his head, but also seemed clearly beyond his normal thinking. Before he knew it, Neale found himself engaged in a two-way on-paper dialogue.
He continued this first “conversation” for hours, and had many more in the weeks that followed, always awakening in the middle of the night and being drawn back to his legal pad. Neale’s handwritten notes would later become the best-selling Conversations with God books. He says the process was “exactly like taking dictation,” and that the dialogue that was created in this way was published without alteration or editing. He also says that God is talking to all of us, all the time, and that he has come to understand that this experience is not unusual, nor does it make him in any way a special person or a unique messenger.
In addition to producing the With God series of books, Neale has published 18 other works, as well as many video and audio programs. Available throughout the world, seven of the Conversations with God books made the New York Times bestseller list, with Conversations with God: Book 1 occupying a place on that list for more than two-and-half years. Walsch’s books have sold more than 7.5 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 37 languages. Anecdotal evidence suggests that CWG is one of the most widely distributed hand-to-hand books ever published, with estimates that, on average, at least two people have read every copy purchased — meaning that something more than 15 million people worldwide have read the CWG messages.
The With God series has redefined God and shifted spiritual paradigms around the globe. In order to deal with the enormous response to his writings, Neale has created several global outreach projects dedicated to inspiring the world to help itself move from violence to peace, from confusion to clarity, and from anger to love revolving around their core messages.
The projects include: (1) the Conversations with God Foundation, an adult education outreach; (2) Humanity’s Team, a global spiritual activist outreach; (3) CWG for Parents, an outreach providing resources to those who wish to bring their children the messages of CWG; (4) the Changing Change Network, a CWG helping outreach to persons facing major life challenges; (5) The Global Conversation, an internet newspaper outreach relating the spiritual messages of CWG to the news of the day; and (6) CWG Connect, a multi-media communications outreach creating a worldwide CWG community featuring Video and Audio On-Demand services, together with ongoing personal interaction with the author of CWG. Access to all of these programs will be found at the gateway internet site: www.CWGPortal.com
Neale’s work has taken him from the steps of Machu Picchu in Peru to the steps of the Shinto shrines of Japan, from Red Square in Moscow to St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City to Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
Everywhere he has gone—from South Africa to Norway, Croatia to The Netherlands, the streets of Zurich to the streets of Seoul—Neale has found a hunger among the people to find a new way to live; a way to co-exist, at last, in peace and harmony, with a reverence for Life Itself in all its forms, and for each other. And he has sought to help them develop a new, expanded understanding of God, of life, and of themselves that allows them to create and experience this.
Neale’s latest book, The Only Thing That Matters, was published in October, 2012. He lives in Ashland, Oregon and is married to the American poet Em Claire (www.emclairepoet.com).
If there was a way to make the Christmas Spirit last longer than just one blessed and relieving week, what, in your opinion, would that be?
Let’s have a conversation. Let’s have it be a conversation during which we will conduct an extraordinary investigation into how life works at the mental and spiritual level, out of which will emerge a surprising revelation about ways in which we can change our experience of change itself—which means, of course, our experience of life.
All of life is nothing more than a process, and we call that process “change.” The conversation we are about to have is designed to offer you a pathway to help and to peace if you are struggling right now with changes in your life.
Are you going through massive changes right now? Or maybe just little ones? The truth is, there’s no such thing as a “little change,” in the sense of it being a change that doesn’t matter. All change in one’s life matters, because change is creation, and creation matters.
So in this space over the weeks ahead, we are going to look at this experience of change — and at how it changes us. Is the way that Change changes us something that is within our control? Or are we consigned, after all is said and done, to do as Shakespeare put it: “Suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”?
There could be no better time that right now to begin this discussion, as we make the change from 2012 to 2013 — and the bigger change from the Last Great Epoch to the Next Great Epoch, and a new 5,000+ year cycle as indicated by the Mayan calendar.
We’ll get this exploration underway with this important observation: The changes in your life are not going to stop.
If you’re thinking about riding things out for a while, waiting for things to settle down a bit, you may be in for a surprise. There’s going to be no “settling down.” Things are going to be in a constant state of upheaval on this planet and in your own life for a good while now. Actually… yes, well, I might as well tell you….actually, forever.
Change is what is—and there is no way to change that.
What can be changed is the way you deal with change, and the way you’re changed by change.
That’s what the conversation in this corner is going to be all about.
We are going to be talking here about how to deal with major change, not just minor change. I mean change that emerges from collapse, calamity, and catastrophe—or at least what we label as these.
So if your life is collapsing right now, if you’re in the midst of a calamity, if a catastrophe has occurred, what you’re going to find here could save your life. I mean, emotionally. But heck, you know what? Maybe even physically.
Here you will be given Nine Changes That Could Change Everything. And that is where we will go in our next installment here. I hope you will plan to join us — and tell everyone you know about the exploration getting underway here. We’re going to fly into 2013 with some of the most important reading you could do.
(Editor’s Note: The above article, and the series which follows, is based upon, and includes liberal portions of, the book When Everything Change, Change Everything, with additional observation and reflections from the author. Your commentary and input, as well as a description of your own personal experience, is invited below.)