July, 2013

Contrary to the way in which the media is portraying it, Central Florida actually has problems much larger than the recent “not guilty” verdict in the George Zimmerman case.  And one of the most significant and glaring dilemmas is the rising number of human beings who have no place to live and very little, if any, food to eat.  In other words, a growing number of individuals who are what we have collectively classified as “homeless.”

While overly ambitious newscasters clamoring for ratings continue to spoon-feed the drama of this high-profile Zimmerman murder trial to an audience all too willing to devote their free time and undivided attention to their television sets, an estimated 35,000 to 40,000 people in the state of Florida are spending their days and nights on the streets, probably much more concerned, I presume, with where their next meal is coming from than the status of George Zimmerman’s criminal case.

I find it shocking that one criminal case can cause thousands of people across the United States to leave their homes and stand in solidarity to protest what they believe to be an injustice, but the fact that last year 633,782 people in the United States alone were without a place to call home does not even create a tiny ripple.

Where is everybody?

How are we choosing what is important to us…and what is not?

Is it that we assuming that someone else is taking care of this?

In the City of Orlando specifically, efforts by local activist groups to organize food offerings for our community’s homeless population in downtown parks have been strategically and legally blocked by local government at every angle over the past several years.  The city has designated blue boxes painted on the sidewalks where homeless individuals are permitted to ask for and receive money.  If they do so outside the blue lines, they are promptly arrested.

We can’t feed the hungry – except where it has been deemed legally acceptable.

We can’t offer financial assistance to the poorest of poor – except where it has been deemed legally acceptable.

And these people have nowhere to go – except where it has been deemed legally acceptable for them to go.

Maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe we should and do live in a world where it truly is each man or woman for him or herself.  Maybe those men and women standing on the street corner with signs pleading for money don’t deserve the extra dollar or two I have tucked in the drink holder of my car and I should just continue to act as though I do not even see them.  Perhaps that seemingly able-bodied man IS perfectly capable of getting a job and I shouldn’t enable his obvious choice not to work by throwing him a few bucks.  Perhaps I should question why those souls who have come to share a portion of life’s journey with me have not experienced their own abundance in the way that I have.  After all, they must have done something wrong to get to this point and this place, right?  And finally, maybe it is entirely possible that the George Zimmerman trial is way more important than any of this, and that is where I should be focusing my thoughts and energy, as thousands of others are choosing to do.

I don’t think so.

I have never been homeless.  But I have had times in my own life where stretching $20 in the grocery store for a week’s worth of meals for my family was a stark reality.  And it is not difficult for me to recall many turning points in my life which pivoted upon a compassionate helping hand from someone else.  So I’m just noticing.  I’m just taking a closer look at what we as a society appear to be fixated on, what issues cause us take a stand, which events in life we choose to outwardly define ourselves by…and which ones we do not.   I’m just noticing and wondering how we got here, why we are here, and asking:  What will it take to change it?

“When someone enters your life unexpectedly,
look for the gift that person has come to receive from you…
“Conversations with God” – Book 2

(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.)

There is currently a genocide underway in Burma – as you read this, an “ethnic cleansing” is happening, with unspeakable horrors being committed against the peaceful Rohingya people.  The President of Burma, Thein Sein, has done nothing so far.

What is the crime of the Rohingya people?  Why are they hated so much?  Is it because they are murderers, or terrorists?  No.  Is it because they are polluting the land, destroying vital crops? No.  They are hated “simply because” their skin is darker and the majority fear they’re ‘taking jobs away’.

The real question before us is not why do we continue to witness so much suffering and violence, but rather why do we allow it?

I agree that this question may be difficult for us to hear – however, whilst this life-threatening situation is most certainly not our fault, it is most certainly our responsibility.

Are we going to stand by and idly watch hundreds of thousands of innocent people be massacred from the comfort and safety of our own homes?  Or are we going to cry out to all of our powerful world governments and insist that they do something!

Burmese President Thein Sein has the power and resources to protect the Rohingya.  All he has to do is give the word to make it happen.  Yet, rather than deal with this urgent situation, he is instead looking to come to Europe to sell his country’s new openness to trade. It beggars belief!

These terrible atrocities happening on our planet continue to be tolerated, regardless of the fractures they create in our collective unconscious, because we continue to put commerce before vital, humanitarian interests; because we have constructed our individual and collective lives around such false paradigms as ‘survival of the fittest’, we continue to experience life as a massive struggle.

Right now is the time to change all of this nonsense – and we must act, with urgency! All of us, together, as ONE voice. This situation demands it.

To change the results we are witnessing, we have to change ourselves; we cannot keep saying we are going to change things but then fail to act.

We cannot keep listening to greedy, naive or inept politicians, and those governments and institutions who would deliberately mislead us, and then seek to placate us with excuses of how they could do nothing, and how their hands were ‘tied’, when they could easily move into action.

We keep waiting for a better time, a better future… but it never arrives because we have not arrived. We have not had the courage to act as ONE. To be as ONE.

Natural disasters are terrible enough when they do happen, yet human acts of war and genocide are many times worse. They betray us all at the deepest level.

The invitation is to BE HERE NOW. To act from presence, not powerlessness.

What will you do today? What stance will you take?  Will you shrug your shoulders and walk away – or will you sound the clarion call of freedom, respect and dignity for all?

We cannot allow this to become another Rwanda, or Sarajevo….

Sign the Avaaz petition here, and get involved.

Thank you for being part of a movement of change.

Jaime Tanna

jaime-tanna (2)(Jaime Tanna is the founder of Energy Therapy and an active Reiki Master and Spiritual Mentor, Healer and Teacher. Together with his wife Jennifer, their unifying vision is to empower others through spiritual education and energy-based healing treatments, to help them become aware of their true natures, and to live more joyfully and consciously. You can visit their website at www.energytherapy.biz)

(If you would like to contribute an article you have authored to the Guest Column, please submit it to our Managing Editor, Lisa McCormack, for possible publication in this space. Not all submissions can be published, due to the number of submissions and sometimes because of other content considerations, but all are encouraged. Send submissions to Lisa@TheGlobalConversation.com. Please label the topic: “Guest Column.”)

Now that you have solidified your clarity around what you believe and think and know about God, you must ask yourself this question: What do I want my children to believe and think and know about God?

If you want them to know nothing at all about God until they are old enough to begin forming their own thoughts about who and what God is, then you may choose to say very little, if anything, about God in your home and around your children until they reach the so-called “age of reason” — generally around seven.

If you want them to come to know God as you have come to know God, but “get there” much faster than you did…or, if you want them to come to know God as you have come to know God rather than as many others have come to know God…then you may choose to speak of God, to refer to God, casually and affirmatively and cheerfully and lovingly in day-to-day conversation from your children’s earliest days, so that by the age of seven they will have tons of Already Received Data about God against which to consider what they will soon be encountering (or what they have already encountered) in the outside world.

Sooner or later your children will hear about “God” from sources others than you as they move through childhood, and they will bring what they are hearing up with you.

If you have firm beliefs about God (and I hope you do), you will want to share them then, in an age-appropriate way. But if you had previously taken the Don’t-Mention-It-Until-Asked route, do not be surprised if your children then say something like, “How come you never talked about God before?”—or words to that effect. You will need to be ready to answer such a question.

My suggestion would be that you might then say, “Well, sweetheart, lots of people have different thoughts and ideas about God, and we wanted you to be able to make up your own mind. But since you asked, here is what I feel in my heart is true…”

I must say, though, that I prefer the Casual-Mention-From-The-Beginning approach, in which you put God into your child’s world without fanfare or huge initial explanation.

For instance, when your child asks a question about certain things, you can bring God into your answer. Example: “Mommy, how did the stars get into the sky?” “God put them there, honey.”

Or, “Daddy, why does it rain so hard that it makes noise?” “Wow, that’s a good question, Sweetie. I think that sometimes God just makes it happen that way.”

Or, “Mommy, how can birds fly?” “Well, honey, God gave birds a special gift, just as God gives everyone special gifts. Birds can fly, but they can’t talk. They can sing, but they can’t use words. You can talk, but you can’t fly. But you can SING, just like a bird!”

By bringing “God” into regular conversation, it will be no time at all — perhaps on the very first mention — before your child asks, “Who is ‘God’?” Now you are answering a question, rather than starting from a place of trying to explain something, or even bring up something that the child doesn’t care about and hasn’t even expressed an interest in.

So the idea here is to ignite in your child an interest in God.

(Our discussion will continue here, with Part VI, in our next post.)

What do you think America, and the world, should do about Edward J. Snowden? What should society’s response be to someone who forces us into Total Transparency about everything governments, and we, are doing?

Part 2: Simply Together

In the past months, we have focused an immense amount of energy and attention onto the evolution and growth of the conscious self. But as we have been growing in the ‘inside world’, we also begin to emerge into the ‘outside world’. Filled with the intricate and elaborate webs of connections, networks, and relationships, understanding the myriad topics of the ‘outside world’ is its own colossal challenge.

In the ‘outside world’, the concept of ‘being together’ continues to be one its most intriguing topics. And, from anybody who first enters a dating relationship, ‘being together’ is a wonderful feeling. And it is little surprise why.

Simply stated, ‘being together’ means ‘being together’. In the triage of our states of being – Be, Do, Have – being is the highest expression. And when it is with the presence of another, the feeling only gets exponentiated. Presence, both in time and location, is truly crucial for living in the depth and beauty of the Now. being present together can enhance not only the status of the relationship, but also the individual self. On the level of the mind, the body, and the spirit, the self is enhanced by the extra presence in the following ways:

-On the most basic level, the body’s physical reactions to another significant presence create an entirely different reaction. Sometimes by the mere presence of another in a stable relationship can cause the body to relax and to release its stressful buildups. By being in the state of being, physical wellness can be experienced in all seven chakras.

-On the level of the mind, the psychology of being together is also very transformative. In the association of another, the ego’s self-centeredness loses its grasp. Knowing that there is more than just the single mind, the ego’s self-importance diminishes, as it becomes less and less about the self, and more and more about sharing thoughts, feelings, and ideas.  

-On the deeper spiritual level, this is the highest state you can be with another. It means fully enjoying the presence of another at the highest level possible. When being conscious of another presence, the energy linking thoughts and feelings meld into unity. Being aware is truly the core of wellness and oneness, and being aware together, can only accelerate that process.   

As the state of being together can be extremely fulfilling, the states of having together and doing together can be a little less enjoyable. Having a relationship means that the relationship itself must be constantly maintained to keep the relationship alive. By fixating on the material means of a relationship (such that it is something to have), it becomes less and less about enjoying the other person’s presence and more and more about the angst, bitterness, and jealously that normally fills a soap opera drama. Furthermore, doing things in a relationship can also be just as unfulfilling, as the couple is relying on external events, such as movies, concerts, and expensive meals, to provide their sense of happiness with each other. Though it is a great to go out to events and do things in your relationship, it can possibly also lead to emptiness when doing those things becomes overdone or overrated.

Being present together, absorbing and emitting a shared energy, is one of the most creative forces of the universe. Living in the sense of unity, peace, and oneness, from beyond the individual and towards the collective, is root of change on the external plane. When we bring the same ‘beingness’ in ALL of our relationships (not just dating relationships), we bring that same creative energy into every interaction and connection we have. So, understanding, experiencing, and knowing beingness, from the shared presence to the collective presence, is what relationships ARE truly about. So just be in a relationship. Nothing more, nothing less. That’s all you need.

(Lauren is a Feature Editor of The Global Conversation. She lives in Wood Dale, IL, and can be reached at Lauren@TheGlobalConversation.com)

Is there any spiritual reason for, or value in, a society’s working to reduce the gap between its highest, middle, and lowest income brackets? Can anything be said in favor of a culture that seeks to create mechanisms that militate against an “every man for himself/to the winner go the spoils” mentality?

If a particular society observes this gap to be grower larger, larger, and ever larger, is there anything to be said for doing what it takes to put a stop to that widening, and to even shrinking that chasm, so that a “good life” may be experienced by all?

What can be said of a society that creates a bigger and bigger gulf between the rich and the poor — and puts into place mechanisms and laws, choices and decisions that reinforce the notion that everything about this is alright; indeed, that this is the way it should be?

I ask these questions because the other day the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington-based think tank, released statistics showing that the average earning of a CEO in a major company in 2012 was $14.1 million. That’s per year, not per lifetime. The figure represents a 12.7% increase for the boss over the previous year.

Average worker salaries, meanwhile, have not increased by 12.7%. Nor even by 6%. Nor even by 2%. Nor, in fact, at all.

For most workers in the U.S., wages in 2012 remained at their 2011 levels — and that’s in the best-case scenarios. Many saw their wages actually fall, the EPI study showed.

And the salaries of their bosses are not the only compensation awarded the folks in the front office. Most also received stock options and other awards, adding more than 50% of their actual cash paycheck to their total income.

All this is happening because corporate earnings continue to soar. But the workers who make those earnings possible are not reaping their proportionate share of the benefit. The website Business Insider.com recently carried the headline:

Corporate Profits Just Hit An All-Time High,
Wages Just Hit An All-Time Low

(Read more here)

The good news is that at least a larger number of Americans are working today — however disproportionate their wage — than at any time in the past thirty years.

Oh, I’m sorry. I got that wrong. It’s exactly the opposite. The Business Insider website says it’s precisely the other way around.

It seems that American companies are hiring fewer American workers than ever before in history.

Than ever in history.

And while workers are so hungry for jobs that they’ll take sub-par wages just to keep bread on their family’s table, corporate heads are making 20 times what their employees earn, dollar for dollar. That’s right. For every dollar the average worker earns, the average CEO earns twenty.

Oh, gosh…I’m so sorry. I got that wrong, too.  That was in 1965. Gee, I was looking at the wrong page on my stat sheet. Today, in 2012, the CEO of a major company makes, on average, something along the order of 273 times more than the average worker.

What is perhaps most remarkable of all: It is not only the very rich who seem to be okay with all this. Millions of people in the middle, and even lower, income class in the U.S. also apparently think this is perfectly alright. Many staunch Conservatives, most Tea Party members, a huge percentage of Republicans, and a handful of red dog Democrats will tell  you: This is the American way. Theirs is the Land of Opportunity, and in the Land of Opportunity everyone has the same chance to “get theirs.”

But is it true? Does everyone in America have an equal opportunity? Is it true of black Americans? Female Americans? Gay Americans? I just ask. Does everyone in America have an equal opportunity to be the CEO of a major company, and earn nearly 273% more than the workers they boss?

More important, is this really the way that an enlightened society sets up its laws and economic mechanisms, and treats its members?

I am curious. Really curious. What do you think? Is there any spiritual reason for, or value in, a society’s working to reduce the gap between its highest, middle, and lowest income brackets? Can anything be said in favor of a culture that seeks to promote ideas and ideals, and maybe even create mechanisms, that militate against an “every man for himself/to the winner go the spoils” mentality?
IMPORTANT: Have you seen this item here?

It gives you something that you can do RIGHT NOW if your answer to the above question is: “NO, this is not okay with me.Click here to learn more right now.This is your chance to do something more than just enter posts underneath this blog!


How many of us are holding back in our relationships?  Who among us is restricting their growth potential or avoiding a change in their career?  Let’s see a show of hands from those of us who in some way, shape, or form are limiting ourselves in some aspect of our lives because we are afraid.  Yes, I have to admit that my hand has slowly crept up, too.

Afraid of rejection?

Afraid of being hurt?

Afraid of being hurt again?

Afraid of being hurt even again?

Afraid of not being good enough or pretty enough or smart enough or sexy enough?

There seems to me to be a curious double standard when it comes to fear.  Human beings have clearly demonstrated time and time again that we actually are not afraid of fear.  In so many ways, we are fear-seekers.  Just ask the rollercoaster-riders, the bungee-jumpers, the race car drivers, the tight-rope walkers, the lion-tamers, the deep-sea divers, the skyscraper window cleaners, and those who have left the boundaries of earth’s atmosphere to explore what exists beyond this planet we call home.  Heck, even I welcomed fear into my life with open arms recently when I zip-lined five stories over a swampy pond filled with giant alligators.

It would appear that in those specific instances, fear actually propels us into our greatness, thrusting us into our highest potential.  We desire the rush of danger.  We crave the surge of vulnerability.  We embrace the feelings of uncertainty.  We know there are no guarantees…and we do it anyway.

So why do we not apply that same powerful field of energy when it comes to matters of the heart and soul?  Why do we suddenly “need” the guarantee?  Why do we suddenly “require” the certainty of a sure thing?  Why do we only clear the pathway to our heart when we feel convinced that it is “safe” to do so?

In the meantime, while we are waiting for those assurances, we are not only denying ourselves the gift of those around us, we are denying those around us the gift of us.  Fear-based thinking causes us to live small and live prudent, shrinking into an existence of believing we can shield ourselves from our imagined fears by cocooning ourselves in layers of imagined protection.

Imagine if Martin Luther King, Jr., thought, “I have a dream, but I am simply too scared to share it with the people of the world.”

Imagine if Rosa Parks thought, “I do not want to give up my seat on this bus because of the color of my skin, but I am too afraid not to.”

Imagine if Neale Donald Walsch thought, “I had an extraordinary conversation with God, but I’m too afraid to share it with the world for fear of how it or I will be received.”

If any one of those people had listened to and acted upon that voice of fear, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right here, right now.  But these are the risk-takers.  These are the people who looked fear squarely and confidently and gently in the eye, blessed its presence in their lives, and did it anyway.

And what exactly is the difference between these three individuals and us?  What do they have that perhaps you or I do not?

Nothing, except a deep-seated understanding that no matter what happens, no matter how the chips may fall or in which direction the events of our lives take us, we have nothing to lose.  The guarantee that life gives to us is that we simply cannot fail.  The only “loss” we can experience is the one we personally create in our individual reality when we do not place ourselves fully in the game, the type of loss that prevents us from not only knowing who we really are, but actually experiencing who we are.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
Conversations with God

(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.)

It seems like every time I find myself feeling really good and happy about my life, it is short-lived.  One minute I’ll be happy and in no time at all something will happen to throw me into a tailspin and I don’t know which way is up! How can I stay happy for longer periods of time?

~ Melissa, Indiana

Dear Melissa,

First of all, I so know what you’re going through!  Truth is, we all do.  What you are experiencing is the Law of Opposites at work; that is, as soon as you make a declaration to the Universe (i.e. “I am happy.”), its exact opposite will show up in some way.  Admittedly, this experience can be frustrating, especially if you aren’t aware of what’s really going on.  But the existence of this law isn’t to punish or to deter us, it actually helps us create what we want in life.

Allow me to explain.  The Law of Opposites is based on the principle: “In the absence of that which you are not, that which you are, is not.”  In other words, you cannot know yourself as happy unless you know of the experience of sadness.  If you were happy all the time, and were only surrounded by happiness, you would cease to even know what happiness really is.  But when its opposite shows up, and you experience that contrast, your experience of happiness becomes greater.  So you see, the Law of Opposites works in harmony with what you are trying to create more of.  The key is to recognize what’s happening and choose happiness again.

So the next time you have this experience, in whatever context, try this:

~ The moment you notice the seemingly not-so-great stuff showing up in your world, take the time to stop and recognize what’s happening.  Choose to see it as the Law of Opposites doing its part to bring you what you have called forth.  If you dare to, choose to see the “bad” stuff as a sign that the process of creation is indeed working, and say “thank you.”

~ Make a new choice, or rather, choose your original thought again.  For example, if your original declaration was “I am happy”, then choose it again, and focus on everything that is alignment with happiness.  Make the conscious choice to not give any more energy to the negative stuff that is appearing in your reality.

~ Pat yourself on the back for being the creator of your own experience.

I’m not saying applying any of this is easy, unless it is, of course.  But I am saying with a little conscious thought, intention and awareness, you can have an entirely different experience than the one you mentioned in your question.  Good luck!


(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.

I just finished watching the 2011 documentary, Happy. It examines the happiness levels of people across many different cultures: from the slums of India, to the bush of Africa, to the beaches of Brazil, to the city streets of industrialized world. Along the way, it seems to discover that feeling gratitude, compassion, connection to others, responsibility toward the earth and helping others are some main ingredients to happiness. This film was rich with ideas that can apply to parenting in the New Spirituality, and I thought I would touch on a couple of them here to open our minds and hearts a little to help our children find their own internal happiness.

By the end of the movie, you are left with a clear sense that happiness comes through your decisions in both your actions and the thoughts you hold about your life. The Conversations with God core concept “We are all one” fits well with their ideas. When we allow ourselves to feel our connectedness and realize that what we do for another, we do for ourselves, we can feel spiritual fulfillment on a profound level.

One of the stories in the documentary was about a woman who was involved in a terrible accident. She had overcome so many obstacles in healing from her disfiguring injuries and even stated that she felt she had a happier life after the accident than before. She had found new meaning in her life and was now helping other people. She could have looked at her 30 reconstructive surgeries and shut down, caught up in the unfairness of it all, but instead she chose to create her own positive experience of the situation. She chose to live each day with renewed purpose and gratitude. She is a great example of how one can “create your own reality” (a core concept from Conversations with God).

In watching the film with my daughter and twenty-year-old nephew, I was thinking about ways we could re-dedicate ourselves to these concepts in our life. They discussed the influence society has on how happy we feel and the role that popular culture plays in making us feel inadequate. As parents, if we can instill in our children an ability to find fulfillment within, the external influences will have less effect on their happiness. The documentary proposed a few ideas to increase our internal happiness which are probably not new to you, but bear repeating:

1. They cited a study which shows that meditation (specifically a meditation about compassion) changes the structure of the brain.

2. Writing down five things for which you are grateful once per week increases happiness.

3. Showing kindness to others increases your happiness.

Adding just one of these activities to your life can make great changes in how you (and your children) feel! An easy way to begin is to start with the gratitude list or journal (something we have talked about before in this column). Just ask your child, “What made you happy today?” And help him or her write it down! For smaller children, this can be drawing pictures.  For older children, it can be more involved using the word gratitude.

However you approach it, just know that you are giving your child an irreplaceable gift: The gift of happiness!

(Emily A. Filmore is the Creative Co-Director of www.cwgforparents.com. She is also the author/illustrator of the “With My Child” Series of books about bonding with your child through everyday activities.  Her books are available at www.withmychildseries.com. To contact Emily, please email her at Emily@cwgforparents.com.)

Change is difficult.  Unwanted change can be painful and challenging.  Recovery from addictions, hard or soft, is no exception.  Anyone who has consciously made the effort to rid their lives of a behavior they deem destructive or no longer useful can attest to this.  So why is it that when we come to the realization that we desire change it then becomes difficult to follow through?

Personally, I have chosen recently to stop drinking coffee or any other caffeinated beverages.  It has been 18 days of complete abstinence for me, yet I know this territory very well.  I have quit before for longer periods of time.  The difference this time is, I have been seeking the support of others and remaining aware of my tendencies.

Thoughts create our urges and cravings.  Sometimes the triggers are subtle, other times they are very predictable.  I have just about every Starbucks in the greater Orlando area mapped out in my head.  When I am driving, occasionally I will have the thought “hey, there is a Starbucks right around the corner.”  This is the moment of choice.  Do I react or do I create?  Do I give in and damage my self-esteem or do I acknowledge my own power and move on?   I have found the best way to choose the latter is to enroll others in my journey.

The frontal lobe of the brain is the cognitive center, and its function is to separate out thoughts and filter them in the way we direct.  The midbrain is the impulsive, reactive center in the brain.  The midbrain sends its messages 7 times faster than the cognitive brain operates.  This is because the midbrain’s function is to preserve life.  When we practice cognitive behavior, we are much better prepared to handle the impulsiveness of the midbrain.  Increasing our awareness is a slow process that takes practice and willingness.

So how do we direct the frontal lobe to make choices that support us in where we say we want to go?  This is the great challenge all of us face in life.  What are the voices in my head? How many of them are there? And which ones do I listen to?

Life can be a lot like typing.  We can hunt and peck our way through, hoping we create a document worth reading before we die.  Or we can blindly stroke keys and end up with a mess of letters on a page that do not form any meaning at all.  Or, lastly, we can train ourselves to memorize where the keys are and which fingers to use to hit the keys and really create a work of art in a much shorter period of time, allowing for greater amounts of creation during our lifetime.

The “qwerty” way of living life takes a little more upfront  work in the form of practicing healthy patterns of living so that we can start to direct our life with more focus and determination.  Have you noticed that the things in life you pay most attention to are the things that manifest in your reality?  Positive and negative, this is how life works.  God provides us with exactly what we place the majority of our intention on.

This is why it is so important to make sure you are sending out the message that you want to experience and not place your energy on what you do not wish to experience.  Many of us tend to fall prey to the thinking that life is not on our side and that we are somehow at a disadvantage to others.  So long as we play out that belief, it will appear true.

“The Universe is like a big Xerox machine.
It simply produces multiple copies of your thoughts”
Conversations with God, Book  1

When we decide to make a change in our life, circumstances will present in the form of “are you sure?”  I have had many “are you sure” moments over the last 18 days of abstinence from caffeine.  From the wonderful smell of the coffee tray coming down the aisle of the airplane I was on and mercilessly stopping right next to me for what seemed like 5 minutes.  God, it smelled good!  But I had support, people who knew what I had called forth in my life.  And whether or not I didn’t take the coffee because I would have been embarrassed to admit I didn’t succeed or I simply chose not to, doesn’t matter.  I remained resolved in my quest.  One day at a time.  One craving at a time.  One “are you sure?” moment after the other.

The moments when a craving hits or an opportunity presents itself to relapse into past behaviors and we choose to rise above and recreate ourselves in a new way, we reinforce our new pattern.  After doing this repeatedly, the new pattern becomes the norm and the “are you sure?” moments become less frequent.

So I choose to embrace these “are you sure?” moments and recognize them for what they are.  They are the spiritual barbells of the universe, making us more powerful in our ability to create our lives in a more conscious way.

What are your experiences with “are you sure?” moments?

(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 and also co-facilitates spiritual recovery retreats for the CWG foundation with JR Westen.  The next retreat will be September 19 – 22nd in San Jose, California.  More information on retreats can be found here. You can visit his website for more information at www.Kevin-Spiritualmentor.com  To connect with Kevin, please email him at Kevin@TheGlobalConversation.com)