There have been moments in my life when I have entertained unkind thoughts. I have also said things in my life that I do not feel proud of. And I can remember times when I have acted in ways that contradicted my best intentions. I suppose each and every one of us can remember at least one time in our lives when our thoughts, words, and actions were not in alignment with our Highest Self, instances when we functioned from a place of fear and not from a place of love, moments when we knew at a very deep and certain level that we had stepped off the path of clarity.
However, fortunately for most of us, our mishaps, intentional or otherwise, were not instantaneously broadcast on national television, shared feverishly across thousands, if not millions, of internet websites, blogs, Facebook and Twitter pages, or published in countless newspaper and magazine publications around the world simultaneously, as they have been in recent days for Paula Deen.
Ms. Deen is being sued by a former manager at her restaurants, Lisa T. Jackson, in Savannah, Georgia, for sexual and racial harassment. Jackson’s lawsuit alleges that Deen and her brother, Bubba Hier, committed numerous acts of violence, discrimination, and racism that resulted in the end of her five-year employment with Deen.
During a deposition in the legal proceedings, Paula Deen admitted to using racial epithets, such as the “N” word, tolerating racist jokes, and condoning pornography in the workplace, candid forthcomings that have landed her smack dab in the middle of a firestorm of sharp criticism and vilification from both the media and the public at large. Ms. Deen’s candor ultimately led to the swift decision by The Food Network to cancel her cooking show on their television station only one hour after she publicly offered her heartfelt apologies and begged for forgiveness from all those who have been affected by her choices and actions.
I would like to be clear that I am not here to judge what Paula Deen did, or did not do, as being good or bad, right or wrong, defensible or indefensible. What I am interested in having a conversation about is: What happens now? How do we, individually and collectively, show up now in relation to this event and this experience? Do we attempt to drain and deplete Paula Deen of every ounce of goodness and joy that she has given to our world as a trade-off for the moments in which she forgot who she was? Do we punish her? Do we support her? Do we forgive her?
Is forgiveness even necessary?
In the book The Only Thing That Matters, we are offered the invitation to consider a radical new way of thinking: Forgiveness Forgone, a concept which says that forgiveness is not necessary when it is replaced, rather, with the more powerful energy of Understanding. If this concept is held as true, then the question becomes: What are we being asked to understand here? Are we willing to see through the thick layers of distortion – anger, fear, judgment – to understand that anything Paula Deen has said or done is truly an expression of love? Do we need to see to it that Paula Deen “loses everything” in order for us to feel as though we are “made whole”? Is that how it all works in this game of life?
Perhaps the notoriety of situations like these offers us an opportunity to peer into our own personal relationships and notice where we are holding on to grudges or allowing tightly held resentment to dominate our choices. Is there anything in life that is unforgivable? Is there a “point of no return”?
Perhaps the woes and sorrows of another famous face are unimportant to us as we move through the day-to-day affairs of our own lives. As with everything in life, we all get to decide for ourselves what it means. But for me, I can’t help but notice the many way in which these types of defining moments continue to appear, calling me, beckoning me, and inviting me to once again choose, declare, and ultimately experience who I really am.
Who will you choose to be?
(Lisa McCormack is the Managing Editor & Administrator of The Global Conversation. She is also a member of the Spiritual Helper team at www.ChangingChange.net, a website offering emotional and spiritual support. To connect with Lisa, please e-mail her at Lisa@TheGlobalConversation.com.)
Maori love song “Pokarekare Ana”
Home is a four letter word. Representing a four walled structured. Built to withstand the four seasons. With (sometimes) four family members living under its roof.
And it can be ripped away from you in four seconds.
In an official June statement, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), reported that nearly every four seconds, someone is displaced from their home, their community, or their country. So that means that each day over 23,000 people each day flee their home in search of somewhere safe.
It’s not a reality that most of us are willing to face. But it’s very much a reality for more than 7.6 million new refugees in this year alone. Whether it be war, genocide, or rebel forces, the main cause of displacement is simply that millions across the globe don’t feel safe anymore.
And there is not an easy solution. The UNHCR has made their attempt at their solutions, and took their best shot at Voluntary Repatriation (returning to their homeland), Resettlement (finding a new country of temporary residence), and Local Integration (legalizing residency in the host country).
Yet still, with over 45.2 million refugees abroad, these solutions simply aren’t enough. We don’t need a solution that simply shifts people around, but a solution that actually addresses the causes of the problem itself.
In Neale’s ever appropriate style, When Everything Changes, Change Everything shows us that with so many people moving, shifting, and changing, we can’t just sit still on the sidelines any longer. We can’t just stay comfortable in our Old Definition of the World. What we need is a massive overhaul of our beliefs (and humanity itself) that let these hostile environments grow and survive.
If we want to help these people, and I mean really help these people, we need to change our definition of our most basic ethics. And we can start off with the concept of Just War, or Jus ad bellum (to give you an idea how long this has been a part of our dysfunctional belief system). Latin aside, Jus ad bellum is the justification of warfare IF warfare can be justified. Straight from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, war can be justified if the following conditions are met (with my scathing sarcasm):
1. Just Cause. Because, of course, a war must be fought for the right reasons, which could include ‘self-defense’ (fear of losing power) and ‘punishment for wrongs against the country’ (revenge).
2. Proper Authority to Declare War. Only if the authority is approved in the country’s constitution (assuming the document itself is not corrupt) can the country be legitimately engaged in warfare.
3. Right Intention. As long as a country has the right intention of its warfare, (even if it is against its own people) it can still be given the A-Okay.
4. Last Resort. When a country has exhausted every other option (except direct communication and conversation with the opposing party, of course).
5. Probability of Success. There must be a chance that the conflict has a resolution (and won’t lead to years upon years of civil war, genocide, millions of refugees fleeing the country…oh wait, too late on that one).
6. Proportionality. As long as the ‘good outweighs the bad’, (with the fighting government judging the scale), then the war is considered be worth it.
The top five nations of exodus – Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Sudan, and Syria – were all at one point considered to be a hot topic of foreign policy seminars. But, with debate through the UN, war in these countries became ‘justifiable’ at one point or another, especially seen with the case of Syria (whose refugee numbers begin to climb faster and faster). Within the international community, we just accepted that these countries had problems, had violence and we said fine. They are justified.
Unfortunately, that’s not even the worst part. We have even created justifications for the CONTINUATION OF WARFARE, known as the evil stepsister Jus in bello, which is accepted on the following terms:
1. Discrimination. As long as the right people are being punished, (and never the innocent villagers), war can continue.
2. Obey International Law on Weapon Usage. If the country is following code (set up by no one else but the UN itself…remember Syria’s usage of biological weapons?), war can continue.
3. Minimum usage of force and brutality. If a country uses the most peaceful warfare possible (and not grant itself massive amounts of power to make more destruction), war can continue.
Can we really live with these ridiculously outdated beliefs? Apparently we can, and apparently our governments want us to. The main focus of the United Nations IS to oversee international affairs. But monitoring can only go so far. When will the UN finally realize that they can solve the refugee problem by never giving it the conditions to happen in the first place?
Until we can stop living in our delusion that ruthless violence should be accepted anywhere, we will continue to have more people without somewhere to call home. Until we can live in a society where peace, compassion, and oneness are at the core of its belief system, we will continue to have more people trying to run away from suffering. Until we can be together living in a world where the love of thy neighbor is greater than the fear of thy neighbor, we will continue to have more people who are just as lost and confused with the purpose of life as we once were.
So as people’s lives are torn from right under them every four seconds, you CAN help with four little words. Believe in something different. Know that there IS a spiritual solution to every problem. That is the seed in which society will thrive. And in every four seconds, people will be running towards this new world.
(Lauren is a Feature Editor of The Global Conversation. She lives in Wood Dale, IL, and can be reached at Lauren@TheGlobalConversation.com)
It is time for the world to wake up. Most of the people on our planet think that humans have nothing to do with conditions on the Earth.
The inability to see, recognize, or acknowledge our own role in the producing of our own experience is the first mark of a still-maturing species — and the first obstacle in humanity’s path as the few who do see the connection try and try in vain to change the course of our species’ future.
Some time ago a humorist remarked that if we are not careful, we will wind up exactly where we are headed. And it was the late cartoonist Walt Kelly’s wildly popular character Pogo who gave us this observation: “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”
Sadly, this is true. Human beings in largest number refuse — abjectly refuse — to see the link between their beliefs, their behaviors, and the worst of their collective outcomes.
The messages in the Conversations with God books have made it very clear that many of the unhappy exterior circumstances and conditions of daily life have been collaboratively created over a period of many years by the entire community of beings populating this planet — yet those beings refuse to take responsibility for their collective choices, actions, and decisions, preferring to believe that they have nothing whatsoever to do with any prevailing condition or circumstance.
The easy availability of guns with rapid-fire high capacity magazines has nothing to do with the increasing number of mass killings in the U.S.
The conducting of underground nuclear tests has nothing to do with the increase in earthquakes and tidal waves across the planet.
The degradation of our atmosphere by human-made pollutants has nothing to do with global warming. In fact, there actually isn’t any “global warming.” That’s all the raving of wild-eyed environmentalists. (And the World Bank, which just issued an urgent call to the entire planet to take immediate and decisive action on climate change or face multi-millions in poverty very soon.)
Our actions, let it be known, have nothing to do with our experience. Do not make us ‘wrong’ about anything. Bad stuff is happening, yes, but human beings and their choices have nothing to do with it.
Yet Conversations with God points out that unless and until we accept responsibility for the occurrences and events of our lives, we render ourselves utterly incapable of doing anything about them.
Case in point: a study released this week reveals that the increasing incidence of children born with autism is directly connected to the increasing pollution of our air.
A report from Bloomberg News says that researchers from Harvard University’s School of Public Health found that pregnant women exposed to high levels of diesel particulates or mercury were twice as likely to have an autistic child compared with peers in low-pollution areas.
In other words, chemicals in air pollution, inhaled by pregnant women, produce abnormal babies. And those chemicals are being put into the air by human beings.
Put more directly, we are specifically responsible for producing many of our own abnormally challenged offspring.
“No, we’re not! No, we’re not!” the scoffers will now no doubt come out to loudly declare. “We have nothing to do with it! The study is wrong! It’s those pointy-headed Eastern liberal scientists, again. Besides, we have to put those chemicals — which don’t hurt anyone — into the air! We’re talking about jobs here. We need to live the way we’ve been living! And only one of every fifty children is born with autism anyway. What’s the problem?”
In our next post: The problem with bees. Oh, yes, we also have nothing to do with that. And further…there really is no problem. Those liberals are making that one up, too.
You may have already known that the Agenda of the Soul is something to which you should be paying attention, but it might not have been made clear to you just how important it is to your personal, earthly well-being.
Yes, not just to your spiritual well-being, but to your physical, psychological, emotional, social, and even financial well-being as well. There is nothing else in Life that can bring you security, health, prosperity, happiness, and inner peace faster or more abundantly than the achieving of Completion. This is, of course, the opposite of what you have been told. There are, you have been advised, many other things to which you must pay attention.
You have been told that to be happy in Life you need to get the guy, get the girl, get the car, get the job, get the house, get the spouse, get the kids, get the better job, get the better house, get the promotion, get the grandkids, get the gray hair, get the office in the corner, get the retirement watch, get the illness, get the burial plot, and then get out.
You have been told that you need to obey God’s commands, do God’s will, follow God’s law, spread God’s word, and fear God’s wrath, for when you face God’s judgment you will be begging for God’s mercy—and, depending on your offenses, you may not get it, but rather, may find yourself condemned to everlasting and unbearable torture in the fires of hell.
You have been told about the Survival of the Fittest and that To the Victor Go the Spoils, that Nice Guys Finish Last and that The One with the Most Toys Wins, that It’s Every Man for Himself and that The End Justifies the Means, that Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees and that You’re to Be Seen and Not Heard and that You Are Not to Color Outside the Lines and that You Made Your Bed and Now You Have to Lie in It.
You have been told that There Is Only One Way to Heaven and You’d Better Get It Right, that It’s Us Against Them, and that You Can’t Fight City Hall; that you should Never Raise Your Head Above the Crowd, that You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It, and that you should Never Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch.
Your Mind has been filled with many, many others messages that have created a day-to-day reality so far removed from your real reason for being on the Earth that it is a wonder you find any joy or excitement in life at all.
* * *
Now you are being told that the only thing that matters doesn’t have to do with any of this. The missing puzzle piece revolves around how you reach Completion on The Sacred Journey of the Soul. Can this be true?
It can, and it is.
But don’t worry; going where your Soul seeks to go will not deny you the Good Life. Completion of the Agenda of the Soul will get you everything that your Body and your Mind signal to you that they desire to enjoy.
This is not about giving up one aspect of Life for another. Trust that. Pay attention to the Soul’s Agenda, and to what it takes to complete it, and the rest of Life—not only what you desire, but all that you may imagine that you need—will take care of itself. It will take care of itself by itself.
Or, to paraphrase a far more eloquent statement:
Don’t go around asking,
“What are we to eat?” “What are we to drink?”
“Wherewithal shall we clothe ourselves?”
Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven,
and all else shall be added unto you.
The “Kingdom of Heaven” and “Completion of The Sacred Journey” refer to the same experience. The problem with both phrases is that no one has lately (if ever) explained or described to you what this experience is, and how to achieve it.
* * *
The Kingdom of Heaven is not a physical location, it is a State of Being. It is, in fact, the state of being “Complete.” And so it is perfect that the two phrases are used here interchangeably.
It is literally “heaven” for humans to find themselves in a state in which there is nothing left to be, do, or have in any given Moment in order to experience inner peace, total love, and absolute bliss, because All That Is and all that one could ever desire is fully present, fully expressed, and fully experienced Right Here, Right Now.
You are Complete.
The Agenda of the Soul is to bring The Totality of You to this very State, so that the aspect of Life that is called “you” may express, experience, reflect, demonstrate, and personify the aspect of Life that is called Divinity.
This is your Basic Instinct.
* * *
Survival is the Basic Instinct of most chemical or biological life forms. It is what makes flowers turn toward the sun. It is what makes birds fly to warmer climates. It is what makes turtles recede into their shells. It is what makes lions roar and rattlesnakes shake their rattle.
Survival is not, however, the Basic Instinct of human beings—nor of any sentient creatures in the cosmos who have evolved into Self Consciousness. For such beings, the Basic Instinct is Divinity.
If your Basic Instinct were survival, you would run away from the flames of the burning house. But you run into the flames, because you’ve heard a baby cry. In that Moment your survival is not the issue.
If your Basic Instinct were survival, you would turn away from the man with the gun. But you stand between the man and the person he is assaulting. In that Moment your survival is not the issue.
Something deep inside of you, something you cannot describe or name, calls to you in such Moments to demonstrate at the highest level Who You Really Are.
People who have done this, when interviewed by the newspapers later, never put it that way, of course. They say they simply acted on instinct.
But it surely could not have been survival instinct, for their actions defied survival. Yet they had no fear—not even a thought of fear—at the time, because Who They Really Are knows that survival is not the issue. It knows that their survival is guaranteed. There are no questions about whether they will survive, the only questions are: How? In what form? Why? And for what purpose?
These become, in moments of self-realization, Life’s Only Inquiries. And in moments of self-realization, the Mind and the Soul answer as One.
* * *
As a human, your Basic Instinct is on display when the Complete Being that is you is Completely Remembered, Recreated, Reintegrated, and Reunited with Divinity.
Even as the tiniest cell within you is a member of your Body, so is every element of physical Life a member of the Body of God. When the Mind’s Experience and the Soul’s Knowledge combine to produce elevated Consciousness, human beings choose to experience themselves once again as members of the Body of God. They are thus said to have Re-Membered.
The above excerpt is from The Only Thing That Matters, which the author, Neale Donald Walsch, has described as the most important writing he has been inspired to produce since Conversations with God-Book One
I’m writing this blog while drinking my last cup of coffee, at least for today, and then one day at a time from there on out. You see, I like coffee. I like the taste. I delight in the process of making coffee. I savor the aroma of the brewing process. I enjoy the burst of energy. But there is a problem. I am suffering consequences. Real or imagined, I am not sure. But nonetheless, I believe there is a downside that I am not willing to continue to experience.
One of the suggestions all newcomers get in the 12 Step program is to not make any major decisions for the first year. I had decided I wanted to quit smoking during my first year of recovery, and my sponsor and many people in the 12 Step meetings advised me against doing so. I took their advice, and when I had 18 months sober, I quit smoking cold turkey. Second best thing I ever did, by the way.
I have asked a lot of people along the way why caffeine isn’t considered a problem drug or one that should be avoided by addicts in recovery. I haven’t received a very good reason from even the most scholarly of my teachers. I’m thinking this could be due to the widespread use of this drug, along with a teaspoon of denial. The best answer I have been given may well be the following:
There aren’t too many people suffering deep consequences from drinking coffee, tea, or sodas. “Nobody is breaking into cars or mugging people to fund their Starbucks habit.”
You won’t get an argument from me there. Compared to the consequences I and many others experienced from our addictions — drugs, alcohol, food, gambling, pornography, electronics, always being right, greed, power — caffeine would seem to be as innocuous as broccoli!
Yet for me, I feel that caffeine is causing undesirable effects that I no longer wish to experience. I am not comfortable knowing that if I choose to not have my morning coffee, by afternoon, I will get a headache. That is kind of a red flag of addiction, isn’t it? I also don’t care for the jittery nerves and the rapid thoughts that accompany my cup of java.
I have also used caffeine to exceed what my body’s tolerance is. I have overexerted myself many times with the use of caffeinated beverages. That is a pretty big consequence for me nowadays. I am very conscious of taking better care of my body, and by pushing it beyond the point of fatigue is no longer something I wish to do.
But here is the reason that brings me to this decision so resolutely: I want to experience my thoughts, my feelings, my emotions, my passions, my interactions with others without a chemical in my system that has the ability to pass through the blood brain barrier and tinker with my brain chemistry. I no longer wish to artificially alter my mood, energy, or creativity.
If I want my mood elevated, I can train my mind to think the thoughts that elevate my mood and do the things that bring me joy. If I want to have more energy, that is as simple as eating foods that do not drag my system down. Fruits and vegetables, nuts and berries are very high in energy and easy for the body to digest. Eating light foods like fish and chicken that are not fried or smothered in greasy, creamy sauces will also keep my energy high.
On the spiritual path of life, I find it important to follow my gut instincts. What is good for some may not be good for others. If you are questioning a behavior of your own, over and over again, it is probably your soul giving you a nudge to consider a different direction. Conversations with God, Book 1, says, “The work of the soul is to wake yourself up.” I am going to listen to the message this time around.
Is your soul knocking on the door? Is there something that you keep thinking you should be doing or not doing that you continuously ignore? What is stopping you? Fear of failing? I have quit coffee dozens of times. Relapse is a part of recovery. Our past experience is always a valuable tool in our day-to-day decisions.
Kevin McCormack, C.A.d ,is a certified addictions professional. He is a recovering addict with 26 years of sobriety. Kevin is a practicing auriculotherapist, life coach, and interventionist specializing in individual and family recovery. You can visit his website for more information at www.Kevin-Spiritualmentor.com To connect with Kevin, please email him at Kevin@TheGlobalConversation.com or call 407-808-6431.
I recently took a job close to home, and I chose it over a job offer in another state. Both jobs seemed like they’d be a good fit, and believe me I weighed the pros and cons of each; I literally almost just flipped a coin to decide. My problem is, now that I made my choice I am plagued by thoughts that maybe it was the wrong one, that I am missing out on a totally different life that I might enjoy even more. Is that insane? How do I know I made the right choice, and if that’s not possible to know, how do I make peace with the one I made??
Ah decisions, decisions. I don’t know about you, Frank, but to me the worst part about making the “wrong” decision is that I am the one who makes it, the responsibility falls on me. But then, nearly in the same instant sometimes, I remember that because the responsibility falls on me, there is no such thing as a “wrong” decision. In other words, you make a choice and then you make that choice the “right” choice. You are the one who gives meaning to it, you are the one who creates what your experience is.
You see, we can’t lose at this game of life, Frank, not really. That’s because we’re making it all up. Events show up in our lives and we are all at choice as to how we want to experience those events, where we want to place our focus and attention. It’s the same with a choice we have already made – the event has happened and now we get to decide how we want to experience it, how we wish to view that choice. And if I may, why on earth would we choose to view something as the “wrong” choice, full of regret, resentment, and feeling bad about ourselves, when we can just as easily say that this was a fantastic choice and feel great about ourselves?
As for the curiosity over what taking that other job would’ve meant for your life, well, make that up too. Give it meaning and proceed with your life from there. Our brains, our bodies even, respond to what we think. And furthermore, our minds don’t know the difference between memory, imagination, and “reality”; it will produce the same chemical reactions and physiological responses no matter what. So again I say, why not make up (a.k.a. giving meaning to) something that feels good?
And if by chance we decide that something was the “wrong” choice, remember this: opportunities in life are endless, literally endless. There are more combinations of the elements and stuff of life than our minds could ever comprehend, there will always be something else available for you. Strive to keep your attention on the good, on gratitude and possibility and love as much as you can and your awareness of those opportunities will increase.
So go ahead and take a deep breath, Frank. Stop telling yourself you made the wrong choice and start telling yourself you made the right one. Give meaning to taking this job closer to home, and come from a place of what you want to say about it, with you as the authority on the matter.
(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.)
An additional resource: ChangingChange.net offers spiritual assistance from a team of non-professional/volunteer Spiritual Helpers responding to every post from readers within 24 hours or less. Nothing on the CCN site should be construed or is intended to take the place of or be in any way similar to professional therapeutic or counseling services. The site functions with the gracious willing assistance of lay persons without credentials or experience in the helping professions. What these volunteers possess is an awareness of the theology of Conversations with God. It is from this context that they offer insight, suggestions, and spiritual support during moments of unbidden, unexpected, or unwelcome change on the journey of life.
“You are not the body. You are not the mind. You are not even the soul. You are all three – and more.” from When Everything Changes Change Everything.
We are in a battle for balance in our lives. We constantly get pushed and pulled away from our focus, distracted, and stressed. How in the world are we supposed to create a balance between body, mind, soul, and more?
In order to make sure that we have a balanced life, we need to eat a balanced diet. But what does that mean? We must consider not only what we eat (protein, fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, water, fats) but also the flavors, temperatures, and textures of our foods.
One way to balance our foods is to consider the Yin and Yang properties of each food. Yin foods are expanding, cool, moistening foods such as fruits and vegetables, sweet foods, raw foods, alcohol, and cool foods. Yang foods are animal based, fish, meat, eggs, salty foods, hot foods. If we eat too much of a yin food, we can trigger cravings for yang foods. For instance, if we eat too much salt we may later crave sweets.
It is best to avoid the extreme yin or yang foods. Extreme yin foods include alcohol, sugar, fruit juices, nightshade vegetables, and dairy products. Extreme yang foods include salty cheeses, red meat, eggs, caviar, and sea salt. But feel free to load up on foods that are closely balanced such as nuts, fruits, vegetables, beans, tofu, sea vegetables, whole grains, and fish.
Another way to balance your food is to include all of the Ayurvedic tastes in every meal. In this way, you will help avoid cravings because every flavor has been received by the brain. The six flavors in Ayurveda are
- Sweet – fruits, grains, sugars, dairy
- Salty – salts and sea vegetables
- Sour – sour fruits, yogurt, fermented foods
- Bitter – dark leafy greens, herbs and spices
- Pungent – chili peppers, garlic, herbs and spices
- Astringent – legumes, raw fruits and vegetables, herbs
Try to balance the flavors in your meals by keeping a set of condiments on your dining room table – select from any flavorings, spices, herbs, oils, vinegars, and butters you like and keep a variety available within reach at every meal.
Paying attention to balance in your foods will help you maintain balance in your entire life.
(Beth Anderson is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and a Certified Natural Health Practitioner. She is the founder of Holistic Health Hotspot in Evansville, Indiana and author of The Holistic Diet: Achieve Your Ideal Weight, Be Happy and Healthy for Life. Beth received her training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. An expert in holistic and alternative health, Beth thoroughly enjoys educating and inspiring people to learn about the truths of food, consumer products, environmental issues, and life choices. She speaks nationally and publishes articles regularly on several internet wellness sites. Beth provides individual and group holistic health coaching and works with companies to provide wellness programs, workshops, and individualized coaching services for employees. You can find Beth on Facebook or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org)
If I could show you a way to transform your life in one year or less, would you be interested? How about if you could help others do the same thing at the same time?
May I share a possibility with you, one that caused my life to alter so dramatically that it changed the course of my life forever. In fact, I wouldn’t be writing this to you today without it. You might be thinking by now that it was reading books like Conversations with God. Well you would be partly correct, but it wasn’t just reading CwG that made the difference for me.
About 14 years ago, I embarked on a spiritual quest, to find my truth about God and life. I was 12 years sober at the time, but I was missing something, as my life experience was anything but happy, joyous and free. One day in a meeting, while thinking of my challenge, I looked up at the AA 12 steps and had a realization: I had no clue what my truth about God was. It said, “God, as you understand God,” but in that moment I realized I didn’t have a clue what that meant for me. Sure, I had my ideas about it, my childhood upbringing, but clearly those weren’t working, or I would have been happy.
Later that year, after much contemplation and searching, I began a course of study which took me down the comparative religion path. All of it was really very interesting and helpful stuff as a whole new world began to open up for me. But nothing really knocked my socks off; that was, until this happened.
I was right in the middle of studying Christian history and theology at the time. I wish I remembered the date, but I will never forget the day. CwG, Book 1, showed up, not once, not twice, but three times from three different sources. I had dismissed the first one simply because my thought was that I had a stack of books at home to read, like I really needed another book on that pile? I don’t think so. Later that day, I was sitting in a Chiropractor’s office and something caught my eye. I looked up at their lending library and, low and behold, there was CwG, Book 1, on tape. I pulled it out to look at it, but once again dismissed it thinking I was just too busy. That evening, I was watching a game show, and as if God needed to hit me with a two-by-four, there was a question in the category “New York Times Best Sellers”: “Name the author of Conversations with God”… Okay, whatever!
After I picked myself up off of the floor, I jumped into my car and drove down to the bookstore. I may be slower than some, but after the third time, I got it. I began reading the book that evening – big mistake. Who needs sleep anyway? Well, probably like you, I began to make the journey with Neale, as he asked the questions and God answered.
Yes, reading the book moved me and I had to learn more. I read all the books available, which at the time was only the first three. I had an excitement. Like a treasure hunter finding clues, I knew I was on the right path. I found out that Neale was going to be speaking in my area, so I bought a ticket. A week later, I went to Sedona, Arizona, for my very first retreat. I followed the breadcrumbs to an invitation that I knew was changing my life.
I felt there was something for me within having this whole “Conversation with God” experience. I was led to these books and retreat by a communication from God; I just wasn’t talking back. But I was paying attention to the signs that led me all the way to Sedona. I watched and listened as this regular guy named Neale, who had a boat-load of living problems, shared his story of transformation and the invitation that God gave to him. His was to be a messenger, and his invitation was for me to consider being one, too.
In that moment, I heard the call and I knew this would benefit me greatly. If I could really get a grasp on the concepts within the CwG message, maybe I could live them. If I could incorporate them into my life, I knew I would reap the rewards of living my life in that new way. Perhaps I could be happy, joyous and free. The breadcrumb trail had led me to a guy who had a conversation with God and who suggested that I help others as a way of helping myself. Oh, I got it, the 12th step of AA. “Having had a spiritual awakening, help others have one too.” I can do this!
I now pass along that same invitation to you. One very simple way of helping yourself and others transform is by starting a CwG Study Group. I did so for seven years in the San Diego area and not only was a new man born out of it, so was a new career. I continued to follow the breadcrumbs, which led me all the way here, now as the Executive Director of the Conversations with God Foundation. How do you plan for something like that? Yet there was a path and there is one who knows your heart and soul. What is God saying to you? Was this invitation written directly for you?
Here is the best part: I will help you create a Study Group if you hear that call. You must answer. I will also help you transform your life, not because there is something wrong with your life, but because like me, you wish to become a grander version of yourself. That was the call I answered — to become the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever I held of who I am. I knew within my heart that if I could be around the messages of CwG enough, that I could begin to live them. And what better way than sitting in front of the room. I heard things come out of my mouth in those meetings that were sometimes astonishing to me. I was being a vessel for wisdom to flow through and gaining that wisdom in the process.
I promise that your life will change forever.
Reach out to me: JR@CWG.ORG
I will be offering a conference call on Wednesday, June 19th, at noon pacific time for those interested in learning more. I will show you how easy it is to do. Does it take a year to transform? No. But it will take about a year just to get through Book 1 in a study group and discussion. And you will be a different person in that year.
I was forever transformed. Let me know if you are interested and I will send you the conference call info.
Looking forward to speaking with you soon! – JR
(J.R. Westen, D.D., C.Ad, is a Holistic Health & Spiritual Counselor who has worked and presented side-by-side with Neale Donald Walsch for over a decade. He is passionate about helping individuals move beyond their emotional and spiritual challenges, transforming breakdowns into breakthroughs. His counseling and coaching provides practical wisdom and guidance that can be immediately incorporated to shift one’s experience of life. As is true for most impactful teachers, J.R.’s own struggles and triumphs inspired him to find powerful ways of helping others. Sober since June 1, 1986, J.R.’s passion for helping individuals move through intense life challenges drove him to also specialize in Addiction and Grief Recovery. J.R. currently shares his gift of counseling & coaching with individuals from around the world through the Wellness Center, Simply Vibrant, located on Long Island N.Y. In addition, he operates “Change House” a place where people come to transform. He also works with Escondido Sobering Services and now serves as the Director for the Conversations with God Foundation. He can be contacted at JR@CWG.ORG. )