Recovering Addicts on Faith and Sobriety, A Guest Post by Amanda Bartow

man's head highlighted by light, black background

Image courtesy of pixabay

By Amanda Bartow

Many people are left feeling hopeless and devoid of happiness when they’re addicted to drugs or alcohol, but those who go through the recovery process often regain that missing piece of their life. Many even gain a closer relationship with God.

Faith can help a recovering addict stick with their sobriety, but likewise, sobriety can help someone find God and keep Him close at all times.

Eric, who abused drugs (including heroin) for two years, received significant help from A Forever Recovery’s faith-based track.

“I was just sucked in — I just loved it and everything about it,” he said. “The people that run it are awesome. We just have a good time — we sing, we get into the Word. I’m definitely going to continue that… I’m going to enroll in celebratory recovery classes and go to church. We all really come together and support each other. It’s just a great group of people here. You’ve got to do this for the right reasons and put the work in. I’m not going to say it’s easy, because it’s tough work. But what’s six to seven weeks compared to the rest of your life? Every time you load that needle up or do whatever you do, it’s like playing Russian Roulette. It’s the truth.”

Alex was using OxyContin, Opana and painkillers before going to treatment, where he too received help from God.

“Without my faith, I don’t believe I would have made it this far,” he said. “It instilled the values that I hold dear in my heart, and it really just helped me get through tough times. We did baptisms. I didn’t plan on getting baptized the day I did at all, but something spoke to me and told me, ‘Go ahead. Go through with it. Go into the water.’ And it was a really refreshing experience. It was like an old piece of me died and a new heart was beginning. I knew that my addiction and drugs were a problem, but I knew the main problem was with myself and how I dealt with hardships and disappointments. It blew me out of the water learning what I could do with myself.

“They helped me handle those negative emotions and gave me coping skills in so many different ways,” he continued. “They didn’t say, ‘Here’s the way we’re going to do it. Here’s the way you’re always going to do it.’ It’s not like that.

“Definitely get the help you need. I can’t speak enough on how valuable it is that you get help, and you ask for help. You can’t do it alone. I could not have done this alone. I strictly urge you to follow through with your instinct to get help.”

Wesley, another recovering addict, thanks God for the people who are “on the front lines of withdrawal” who “paved the way” and gave him the opportunity to give himself a chance at life.

“My favorite part, although it was hard for me, was to take an opportunity to give my growth some consideration,” he said. “I’ve gained some tools, some insight, some awareness to be able to not misplace hostility on people who have nothing to do with what is going on inside my head. I’m not scared because I’ve been prepared for the inevitable, and that is to take back my life. … Now I’m ready to move on with my life. I’m ready to be a productive member of society and take back a life that I so irresponsibly threw away.”

Addiction recovery facilities like A Forever Recovery and others are making a huge impact on people’s lives. Clearly, God and the faith He gives to people deserves a great deal of the credit as well.

Amanda Bartow believes there is only one greater feeling than being recognized for a job well done — the fulfillment that comes from honoring someone’s achievements! This is what inspired her to join the Recognition Works team. (Recognition Works is an organization that recognizes outstanding people.)

The Man of Real Peace

Head of Christ

Hoffman’s Head of Christ

When I think of Jesus Christ, what I know in my heart is all mixed up with pomp and history, wars and wars of words. The gentle man of peace, the direct-speaking man with no belongings, the man whose gaze and voice and touch healed us, what does He think of our world?

When I read news stories of those who sacrifice their lives for another, I experience awe. Years ago in our town, a woman jumped instinctively to save her family dog and was killed by a train. My young sons were so upset, “Don’t you ever do anything like that!” I try to imagine what her children felt. I can’t; it’s beyond my understanding.

And that’s how it feels to me with Jesus Christ. How did that happen again? A Great Being of Light chose to take on a coarse body like ours and lived and worked like us, to try to get through to us? “Your Father understands everything—look to Him for help in this life. Your Father’s love for you cannot be measured. With every beat of your heart and every breath you take, He is with you. Earth is not your home; follow me and I will show you the way.”

Earth is not our home? Hold on a minute! Let’s not get carried away. I’ve got stuff, gold, position, respect. I’ve got power; I say jump and people jump. I’ve got family, goals, responsibilities, people to see, places to go, things to do. I can’t follow You right now; I promise to check in at the end, though. Promise.

I often wonder if we aren’t characters on a stage, a darn good mock-up, but still a mock-up, and if enough of us realized it, we’d be like Jim Carrey in The Truman Show and break through the fake sky to the real one. I think that’s why the Man of Peace was born—so we could find what’s real. And that’s probably why He was killed, too.

Related Post: Man with a Plan 

Mistakes, then Unconditional Love

We Are Never Abandoned

There are so many mistakes to be made as a human, from little ones to the big life-errors that make us cringe and wonder if God loves us when we think of them. But, doesn’t it seem likely that our omniscient Creator knows our weaknesses and likely errors before we are born?

We come into this physical world to live, to make choices, to experience and to grow in wisdom. We are not born to separate farther from our Creator.

I think of God as unconditional love, compassion and forgiveness. No matter how far we sink into the muck, we will not be separated from God unless we consciously choose to be. Very few walk that path.

The hard part for us humans is believing that God knows us, cares deeply and understands not only us, but all that happens in our world due to mankind’s actions. We are asked, when ready, to become God’s hands, God’s feet and God’s heart, to help heal this country and world.

We’ve been taught many untruths about life and the mistakes we make. Know that God is Love, forever an invitation–the invitation–to love and be loved. Someday we will fathom the gift that God’s love is and our tears of sorrow and regret will be transformed into tears of joy.

True Power

There is so much we don’t know about life, including, and perhaps most importantly, that we really are all children of the Light. To us, the light is the sun; the moon is our light at night. But what if, as our bodies are physical symbols of our souls, the sun and the moon are physical symbols of the Light of Love, the force that animates the universe?

Is it crazy to wonder if the sun and the moon are great beings that make light for the great being that shelters, clothes, waters and feeds us–our dear Earth Mother? With all the advances in science, there is still so much we don’t know about the cause of all that exists and our relationship with the cause. How many of us remember to be grateful that the sun continues to shine every day, or give thanks for our nourishment that comes from the Earth? We would very quickly starve without our motherly source of food. If ever a mother gave unconditional love, it is Mother Earth, but how much poison can the Earth’s body–the soil, water and air–absorb before our planet can no longer function in the way God meant her to?

When my mother was a child, two of her older brothers went off to World War II. She and the rest of her siblings worked the farm with their parents. I don’t in any way envy them their outhouse or that there was no running water, which meant they hauled in, heated and shared the same bath water. But I do envy their sturdiness, their connection to the land, their ability to produce from it what they needed to survive. They were bonded in the truest sense of the word and back then, they knew from whence their sustenance came (it wasn’t the grocery store), and they gave thanks for the light that spurred everything to grow.

I once heard a teacher say it’s important to take children to live concerts so they can see where music comes from. The same thing could apply to electricity and running water. We’ve had them for so long now, we forget they are generated/corralled and carried to us from somewhere else. It’s no great mystery to us—we just flip the switch and turn on the faucet. I forget to be grateful for them every day. How about you?

War, on the other hand, represents the dark forces, and the misuse by those in power of the dedication and lives of the honorable, hard-working men and women on the front lines. Greed is of the dark forces. Power is a mighty call away from the Light, but this kind of power is also an illusion. It’s not real because everything comes from God and everything belongs to God. We own nothing that is of the physical world; if we did, we could take it with us when we leave these bodies behind. True power is the Force as in “May the Force be with you,” and the old saying, “God gives and God takes away,” has never been more true.

Even now the “financial masters” brainstorm, devise, toss and turn, grasp, and manipulate to prop up that which cannot be propped. Balance is not about how much profit any individual can make (or steal). A true economy is built by those providing genuine services and products of quality, and by the business owner showing gratitude in meaningful ways to their customers, their employees and to earth for her resources and inspiration.

This is a powerful way to honor our Creator.

Restoring Balance and Harmony Benefits Women and Men, A Guest Post by Michael Brine

A Guest Post from Michael Brine:

woman and childWhat is “God?”

What God is can best be described as the collectiveness of mankind, whether seen or unseen, and in the virtue of mankind’s existence, God, through that description, is unconditional and open-ended Love – because in the realisation of what God is is the realisation of what we are – that we are God and we always have been. That we are not evil or corrupt in our souls, as we have been taught. That we are really divine in our souls and with that learning – that profoundness of learning – it allows us the vision, the hope, the desire to become all that we can be, which is unlimited probability. That gets us out of the harshness of our own creations and gives us hope.

It teaches us how to love!

~Author unknown

Quoted from Servers of the Divine Plan on Male/Female Imbalance:

“It is evident that there has been an extreme patriarchal imbalance upon Earth for a very long time. The innate creative and intuitive qualities of the feminine spirit have been long-feared by distorted male perception, and as a result women have been repressed, dominated and persecuted throughout history. In order to bring equilibrium in a world that has known so much control by the male force, the majority of Server-souls upon Earth at this time have chosen to incarnate in female bodies. As agents of change, these valiant envoys of the New Spirit bring to the planet a very high concentration of feminine power that will presently resolve the  patriarchal problem upon Earth once and for all, restoring much needed balance and harmony that will benefit everyone in the New World, both women AND men. During the time leading up to the Great Transition, however, and since male authority is still presently the controlling power, female Servers will continue to experience something of the anguish of the collective persecution endured by so many women over the ages. Nonetheless, they are assured that their long awaited time of liberation and victory is today at hand.”

From Michael Brine:

I fully realise that some of the material I present in my columns may cause some readers to feel uncomfortable – even annoyed. It is not done to annoy but to suggest that perhaps there are other ways to view life. The world is passing through very disturbing times and much of this disturbance is being caused by severe religious differences. These differences are mostly caused by some of the more extreme followers of the three Abraham based religions – Islam, Judaism and Christianity. I imagine that the persons who originally gave of their wisdom those many years ago must be shaking their collective heads in great sadness when they witness how men have so corrupted their simple teachings such as, “Love ye one another,” and “Judge not.” Sadly, judgment would seem to have become a constant in all three.

Let me leave it at that – but I ask you to think about it.

Be well,

Michael Brine

If you wish to comment my e-mail address is: wild.brine621@gmail com.  Other writings of mine may be accessed at:

Man with a Plan

Unknown Artist

Unknown Artist

God, he was beautiful. Nobody talked about auras, but his skin almost glowed. His features were perfectly symmetrical. It was impossible to look into his eyes without your heart skipping a beat. Was he a magician? Some thought so because he looked into their souls and they felt it, a measuring of sorts. “Who are you?” his eyes asked. “How have you lived? Do you know your Father?”

He was a teacher of Life, with a capital L—the important stuff. Oh, he loved his family, even had a profession and friends, but only a few wanted to hang with him. He was from another world and sometimes things got spooky, like when he knew what they were thinking. It took courage to stay with him, and a desire to see beyond what they could see with their physical eyes.

Life was hard, but he didn’t seem to care. He wouldn’t listen to their rants and he kept talking about love and forgiveness, beauty and joy. “Let me show you,” he’d say, and they’d sit together in a circle around a fire and listen to his stories. He seemed to be asking them to ignore the problems they had, to live and think in a whole new way, to express thanks to God for everything, even their suffering. Someone always stomped off when he talked of giving thanks for their suffering. “I will not!” they’d shout. “If God loved us, these things wouldn’t happen!”

“This world,” he would say with a sweep of his arm, “is not the real world. This is only a play, created by all of your thoughts. Only those who believe in this world are born here, for we are what we think, what we believe. How could you be born elsewhere when this is what you believe?”

“Close your eyes for a moment,” he’d say. He told them stories, which unfolded in their minds’ eyes. “Love and peace are gifts of your Father. Once you open your minds and hearts to what I am showing you, you will go and show others and they will go and show others. My work is your work. This is how the world will be healed of war.”

“The world will be healed of war?” one man asked, astonished. “How is that possible?”

“Love is irresistible and magical. It spreads in waves and when the wave hits, hearts and minds are made anew. Does this answer your question?” he’d ask.

“It is an answer, but I’m not sure I believe it.”

“Stay with me,” the beautiful, glowing man said, smiling. “And you will see it.”

Reincarnation: The Great Wheel of Life, Fiction by Pam Bickell

If he wasn’t so parched, tears would have come. So, this is how my life ends? the man thought. I’ve Spiral in Sandlived like an asshole, so You crash my plane in the middle of a damn desert and leave me here, with a half-empty bottle of water, which has been gone for over a day. This desert is my personal preview of hell, right? I don’t deserve a goodbye to my kids and wife, to my mother, because I’m such a jerk, right?

“Steven, open your eyes.”

Open my eyes? he thought. I can’t. I’m almost blind from the sun. Then, Great, now I’m hallucinating.

“I’ll stand between you and the sun, Steven. Open your eyes.”

Feathers Red and Neon GreenSteven opened them a crack and a dark-haired woman in a white robe stood nearby. He tried to speak, but his mouth was too dry. Nothing came out. He closed his eyes and thought, Thank God! Help me, please.

“Thank who?” she said.

What was she talking about? Look, lady, I don’t know who you are, or how you got here, but please help me. I’m dying. Have you called for help?

“I am your help, Steven. My name is Elouise. Can you open your eyes? I want to tell you something.”

Steven cracked his eyes again. She was kneeling next to him now, still blocking the sun from his eyes. She smiled and caressed his forehead. “I’m here to help you cross over to the other side.”

No! he thought, though he knew it was true. I’m not ready. I need to say goodbye to my family.

“We’ve met before, you know,” she said, ignoring his thoughts. “I am your guardian, Steven,” she added, still smiling gently. “You don’t remember because the last time you saw me was between this life and the one before it. You made a commitment to yourself then, that if you repeated certain stubborn habits of selfishness, you wanted to be ripped away from your family, to die in such a way that you would carry with you the memory of the tearing, never to make the same mistakes again. Thus it is we find ourselves here.”

The pain was more than he thought he could bear. His chest burned with a fire so terrible he wanted to scream, but the urge to listen was stronger than even that.

A silver cup appeared in Elouise’s hand. She lifted his head with her other hand and poured a few drops of water onto his lips. It felt like heaven. He was able to crack his lips and she poured a few drops into his mouth, waited and then poured a few more. After repeating this several times, Steven was able to smile weakly and said, “Thank you. You have no idea how good that feels.”

“I do have some idea, Steven,” she said, smiling. “It’s all in a day’s work for us guardians.”

“My wife believes in angels, but I never did. Until now, when it seems a little late.”

She touched his forehead with a finger. “Try to remember, Steven. It is never too late.”

Picture after picture of memories of his wife and kids, of working too much, then meeting his wife, of college, of high school and football, of his childhood, his mom and dad—it was all too much and tears pooled in his eyes. Then there was a door and he backed through it. His body disappeared. He was a spirit and so was Elouise.

“I remember!”

“Shhhh,” she said. “More is coming.”

He rewound through another painful life of–what had she called it, stubborn selfishness?–and then stopped at a monastery. He was a monk and couldn’t believe it. I would never choose that life, he thought.

“Oh, but you did,” Elouise said with a smile. “You grew very close to God in that monastery and as your life came to a close, you asked God if you could experience having a family, a profession, a life among people in your next life. You had made a tremendous effort to be true to your spiritual life, and you transferred that work ethic into these last two lives. But you were uncomfortable with the intimacy of family life and never felt that you fit in as a husband and father. So you worked. And worked and worked. And here we are.”

“So, dying in this desert isn’t a punishment then?”

“Heavens, no!” she said. “How could such a loving being as God treat His children this way? He loves you immeasurably, Steven. All souls have free will. You asked for this, if it became necessary. This is your plan unfolding.”

Suddenly he understood it all and he laughed. Then, tears formed again. “Will Annie and the kids be all right?”

“After a time, they will. It is natural for them to feel deserted, and Tommy will have a void in his heart, but a healer will come into his life and help him later on.” The pain in Steven’s chest gripped him tighter.

“Steven, don’t you remember? Annie, Tommy, and Carrie picked this life with you, for their growth, too? Try to remember,” she said, touching his forehead again.

Images formed in his mind’s eye. Annie, Tommy and Carrie were his family in the life before this one also, only Carrie was his wife, Annie his daughter. “What?” he croaked, pushing her hand away. “How is that possible?”

“Easy there, big guy. On the Great Wheel of Life, all souls take on male and female bodies and become brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, parents and children, kings and slaves, judges and criminals. You get the idea, right?”

“I guess so.”

“It’s for the experience, for developing a full appreciation of what it is like to be human. When we understand completely, when we love ourselves and all others unconditionally, we step off the Wheel and go home to God. Between lives we can see God’s great purpose for physical life and our gradual evolvement toward unconditional love. We choose to evolve when there, even if it includes heartbreaking pain in the next life. Souls travel in groups and you and Annie and the children have traveled together many times. This is the very reason we don’t remember our previous lives—it would be so confusing!” Elouise giggled.

He nodded. He could feel himself leaving his body. “Will they find my body?” he whispered.

“Yes. They’ll find the wreckage.”

“I love them so much,” he said, choking back tears. “And I can’t tell them.”

“Take my hand,” she said. His spirit hand took hers and he came up out of his body. “Let me show you something.” They left the desert and reappeared somewhere above the earth. “See those tiny lights that look like stars? Each of them represents a soul appearing in a dream of someone still on earth. That is how you will tell them how much you love them.”

“Thank God,” Steven said. He felt some of the pain lift off his heart.

Elouise looked over at him, smiled and said, “Thank who?”

He got it the second time.

Play Your Own Peace Pipe

Peace pipeIn researching some events of WWII, I have realized that a person could spend a lifetime of study on WWII and never get to everything that happened. The extent of Hitler’s plotting, planning and destruction is truly stunning. How is it possible that one man, one man!, could lead to the destruction of over 13,000,000 lives and countless homes, buildings—entire cities—around the world? I’ve concluded that just as Jesus Christ took on a human body to show us Love and Light, the anti-Christ took on a body as Adolf Hitler, for the opposite reasons. Study the sheer scope of Hitler’s relentless, marching, pounding, darkness-machine that destroyed everything in its path from 1939-1945, and you’ll agree with me.

Their power was spiritual power: Christ as God become man because He loves us; and the Anti-Christ using a human body to destroy what God loves: life, humankind, the Earth, beauty, family, sharing, joy, community, truth. Interestingly, Hitler’s Nazi party was born of the Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei, established by a German occultist group called The Thule Society. Their focus was on the origins of the Aryan race in Thule, the capital of ancient Hyperborea, a land mass lost to time in the extreme north, near Iceland. Some believe their occult (the realm of secret, supernatural phenomena) force was the power behind the Anti-Christ as Hitler. It is possible that Hitler might have taken all of the Earth for himself, turning the entire world into a place of darkness and fear, if Christ had not come before Him enabling humankind to stand in the face of this utter evil. So many sacrificed so much to stop Hitler.

Does God allow evil to spread? In the sense that we each choose what Force we will serve, yes, God does. But He (and/or She) did not leave us on our own. Our souls carry seeds of Light. We are here to learn how to become beings of Light. Perhaps these facts are what bother the dark force the most: Jesus Christ’s sacrifice of his own life for the Earth and for the success of all life upon her; and that God’s seed of Love lives within each of us as our souls.

Let us never forget that people allowed themselves to be manipulated by Hitler’s message of a war between races, in which the superior would exterminate the inferior. He spread anti-Semitism (anti-wealth), yet he established a totalitarian state in which no one but he and his cohorts stole/gained wealth and power. He spread anti-religion (God, Love, Peace) and was intolerant of anything different than his ‘perfect’ race of people. Perfection is achieved only in total Oneness with God, reflecting compassion, tolerance, forgiveness and healing. Wherever you are, whenever you are able, be a peacemaker. In so doing, we light one more candle from God’s world of Love.

We Sleep-Walk, Strive, Battle and Resist our Own Truths

Two GorillasInside of each of us exists two beings, both powerful and both seeded with the potential to bring about the end of the other. This has made for some great stories about battles that take place because good and evil live within us. The most potent of these stories stir the inner Spirit, as when sweet and unassuming beings, like Frodo the Hobbit, throw themselves wholly into the quest to save the world from the destructive madness of the monstrous, pounding armies of beings like Sauron, the Dark Lord. J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy in England around the world wars. I have often wondered if Frodo is a symbol for Jesus and Sauron for Hitler.

How do we humans ultimately choose which fork in the road to take? Is it a million small decisions made over a thousand lifetimes that ferry us at last either to hopelessness and a pit of despair, or into light and the joy of belonging? Is it fair that we must live with the consequences of our choices? In our many lifetimes, we have all been master and slave, criminal and judge, this or that color and race, healer and diseased, wealthy and poor–so that we may ‘walk in another’s shoes.’ Deep within, we know this. We also know everything that we’ve ever done and thought, though we must choose to see it. Thus, between lives, we request the circumstances that will stimulate remembrance and spiritual growth, personally ‘writing’ the pathways of each of our stories or lifetimes.

Why do we do this? We are spiritual beings who fell from the light who have been given some time and space to ‘go Home.’ Between lives, there is nothing more important than getting Home. But here, in these bodies full of desires, with our strong minds, we struggle. If we’re successful, we struggle with ego and the ‘number-one’ fixation. If we’re not, we struggle to survive. Forgetting that we are sons and daughters of the Loving Force that created everything in the universe, we sleep-walk, strive, battle and resist our own truths.

Is this all there is? Near-endless cycles of self-centered decisions and never-ending suffering? Is there no other way? Is group healing possible? Is there a fall-back clause tucked away in the divine manual of Universal Law that would allow for heavenly intervention to end all of our self-inflicted, painful karma?

Would it take a certain percentage of us saying, “Yes to Love!” to allow the rest to come? How would that work? We all have free will, so we likely can’t be swooped up in a love-wave. We would each have to choose. “Given the opportunity to end your suffering,” we might be asked, “would you choose to again become one with God/Love/Universe, to exist and create within the Whole, or do you choose to live in separation?”

If this was possible, what would your answer be?

Cleansing Myself and My Home with Forgiveness

"Forgiveness" written in sandThis is a story of healing, myself and my home, of the presence of an ill-intentioned spirit. It is a follow up to my home cleansing stories, in which smudging to clear negative energy was insufficient. The healing came at last with an experience of grace, forgiveness, compassion and deep understanding.

On November 20, I wrote about a home cleansing for which I had carefully prepared and then attempted. I was unable to keep the sage smudge-stick burning, even when holding it directly in the flame of a candle (which, according to the laws of nature is impossible–fire beats dried plants every time!) but the cleansing did have some effect. Later that day, I was out and saw an extraordinary raven  and realized the spirit of Raven had come to help empower and carry my ‘prayer-smoke’ to the heavens.

On the morning of 12/1/2013, I dreamed of friends from the past prying into my life for gossip-like purposes. Then the dream switched to a cluster of beautiful orange and white barn owls resting in a tree and one of them was trying to communicate with me. One message was, “Life is short; every day is precious; open your heart to love.” Another was, “Do a home cleansing to free up lost spirits.” I had felt somewhat better since the cleansing, but my daughter felt something brush up against her in the kitchen, where I had also sensed an unfriendly presence. Another owl-message was, “Owl is associated with magic, both black and white. Owl will help you intuit the truth.”

A friend suggested I sit quietly, tune into each person from my past associated with ‘hurt’ and psychically sever the cords. I had used this ‘disconnection’ technique before, with some success. The night after the barn-owl dream, I decided to sit quietly and do so. I began by trying to light my Jesus Christ candle (made with aromatherapy oils used in his time and to anoint his body). It snuffed out and I lit it again. I put a ‘Songs of Mary’ CD into my computer and it would not start. I ejected it several times and it finally played. I held a quartz crystal in my hand to connect to our Earth Mother and slowed my breathing. I began to choke and cough and could not stop. When I thought, “That’s fine. I’ll cough all night because I’m going to sit here until I can quiet myself and proceed,” the choking came to an end.

My breathing settled and I asked Universal Christ to be with me and protect me and those I love. I asked to connect with our Earth Mother and our Divine Mother. I asked All My Relations (my friends from nature), the Ascended Masters, especially Paramahansa Yogananda, Archangel Michael and Saint Benedict to be with me. I then asked to see the cords that connect me with the people and painful situations from my past. Their names and faces began to come to me. I was overcome with all the pain, mine and theirs, and tears came, in rivers.

One at a time, I sent each of them my heartfelt apology for hurting them and asked, if it was possible, for their forgiveness. I wholeheartedly gave my forgiveness to them for the hurt I had felt. In my mind’s eye, light was building within and around me and I felt lighter and lighter as the process continued. Then I felt a surge of power come up from the Earth and powerful beams of light come down through my head, where they joined in my heart. In that moment, I asked that any spirits stuck in the apartment or around me be freed to go into the light. I saw arms reach down and draw a spirit up into the light.

I was stunned. Then a sense of joy swept over me for the being who moved into the light and then for myself, realizing the gift that was given to both of us. We were both freed! I gave thanks to every being of Love who had been with me. It was a Love-army and it took a while.

When the experience was over, I noted that almost two hours had passed. I realized that much healing with people from my past, both living and on the other side, had occurred. I have three people I need to continue to work with for forgiveness, one passed on, two living.

It was a truly beautiful experience, one I guess that could only happen when the time was right, or when I truly desired to know how cleansing and healing occur. In November, I had asked for divine aid, and when I could not keep the sage smudge-stick lit, help came from an unexpected source: Raven. That day was a step in the process: I learned about sincerity, inner preparation, commitment to a higher purpose and opening to ceremony. I received both grace and mercy.

But I had not yet understood that when healing a negative connection—the emotional, mental or spiritual pain of both parties—forgiveness is the washing machine. It is likely that we can psychically sever painful connections using will power, but this has only a temporary effect because the pain will be carried into future lifetimes, into new-old relationships, awaiting the process of forgiveness, the healing of memories and the application of grace and mercy.

What Does the Birth and Life of Christ Mean Today?

Mary and JesusThis time each year, we Christians celebrate the birth of a child whose divinely-seeded mother was forced out of her town just prior to her son’s birth, and when her time came, she found only a barn. Why? Men of power feared even the thought of a man who would become a king appointed by God. Even those who had been expecting a savior king rejected him, for they knew what they did not want. “We don’t want a king of peace. Give us a king who will fight against this injustice!”

We have always misunderstood ‘God,’ haven’t we? We’re here, caught up in a literal rat race, complaining every day about what is lacking in our lives and in others’ lack of character and their human foibles. Haven’t we all wondered, “How could our country have fallen so far? How could God allow all the evil in the world?” What is evil to you may be different than what is evil to me, but what is evil to God? (Or Goddess? as the case may be.) I suspect it is anything that keeps us separate from our true design—conscious oneness with our Loving Creator, our Loving Natures, our inner Peacemakers.

Spiritual masters have written that the evil within us, our dark sides, may have been a glitch in the free-will design. Others have taught that the evil in the world (domination and war, immeasurably destructive greed, rampant deviancy and cruelty) is necessary. Why? Because when everything ‘comes up roses,’ we don’t seek God—and finding God within ourselves is why we’re here.

Every so often, though, we humans go so far out of control, a divine being comes to Earth to redirect us onto ‘the path Home.’ God became man, Jesus Christ, for just that reason. Isn’t the story of the angels rejoicing above the manger, the three wise kings directed there by a star, the shepherds in the fields, even the nearby animals, all coming to be with him, truly beautiful? What a welcome he received!

But it didn’t last long. I recently read somewhere that when Jesus Christ realized he had failed miserably in his invitation to us for oneness with His Father, he had no choice but to sacrifice himself. And though some don’t believe that ‘he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven,’ I doubt the true spirit of the Christmas/Easter Love Story would still have so much effect on our hearts if he hadn’t.

But, what is the point now? When I think of post-Jesus Christ history, all the crazy dictators and all the warring over land, wealth, power—think of just Hitler and Stalin alone and your jaw drops—what does Jesus Christ mean in this context? How will the message, “My Father loves all of you. To know this, put Him first and then love your neighbor as you do yourself,” ever get through our thick, brick me-first walls? Maybe the answer is now in a tipping-point:

God created us and gave us free will, probably because children of God, made in His (and Her) image with souls, minds and hearts, cannot be God’s children without free will. Certainly, however, God has thought, “Dang it all!” many times since. Maybe when God became a man, for a truly personal experience for everyone, our Creator thought, “That ought to do it!” But more death has been caused in wars over religion than all other motives combined.

It seems now that peace is up to us. We must bring it forth from our God-souls. Something stirs across the Earth—and from within our dear Earth Mother, whose every particle of being reflects divine love. Something is, at last, touching our hearts and minds on a group level. When enough of us tire of the ego-tripping and the fierce competing that crushes our brothers and sisters, we will reach a tipping point and a planetary shift in consciousness will occur. Those who put Love first will turn, take the hand of another who will do the same, and together, we will leave anti-Love and our well-earned karma behind and make the blessed leap Home—together.

Merry Christmas and divine blessings for all in 2014.

Amen OM Aho


There is Always a Way

PathwayWhen something is needed, or it is right, there is always a way.

One of the things I’ve learned over the years, apparently more slowly than most people, 🙂 , is that in living out our lives, there is always a way. After I contracted viral meningitis in 1997 and could no longer work, my mind shriveled. I could only see what I couldn’t do, or couldn’t have. What powerful instruments our minds are! Whatever we ‘order’ from the universe, the universe is happy to serve up.

So I can relate to parents who can’t buy Christmas gifts for their young children this year. I know how much this hurts. Yes, the ‘system’ is skewed and yes, Yes!, the minimum wage must be raised significantly, but we mustn’t forget that above and beyond this mundane world, there is a universal, amazing organization in place: Love—spilling over.

And Love knows all the hopes of our hearts and will provide them, will find a way, if we will only open our minds. I can’t fathom how this works but somehow, every single one of us is connected to the flow of Love and, whenever we make an opening, Love pours in, in whatever form we need. It could be in guiding us to an organization that provides gifts for kids at Christmas, or to a working car that we can afford—big things to us are such little things to the universe of Love—or in my case, teaching me how to stretch my dollars.

Cost of Groceries

I used to be mad a lot about ‘lack’ and when we’re mad, solutions can’t get in. Desperate about the cost of groceries, I was literally steered one day to the beans and rice aisle, two items which cost far less than many other foods. I have learned to make some pretty tasty meals and wrap them in corn tortillas. The combination is filling and healthier than a lot of other products available for higher prices, especially if you add fresh garlic and use brown rice.

More Tea from the Bags

I drink a lot of tea and used to make it with one tea bag per up. I saw a woman on TV who said she got five cups of tea from each tea bag. I snorted. The most I could get was two and the second was weak. Well, apparently Ms. Grouchy stepped aside for a few minutes one day and the idea popped into my head to boil water in a small pot with the tea bag in the water, not hanging in my cup. The result? Two cups of strong tea! Then I thought I’d try it with a bigger pot: five cups of strong tea. Eventually I tried boiling one tea bag in the pot I use for spaghetti and, sure enough, one tea bag made ten or more cups of strong tea. I had complained for years about how expensive tea is when you drink it like I do. My mind had only to open.

Garlic, Vinegar and Honey

garlicOne of the best Love-gifts I ever received was a booklet called Garlic, Vinegar and Honey, published by MicroMags.  It is filled with effective natural remedies and there it sat for years, squeezed between books on a shelf. Then, stressed about the cost of allergy medications, I was drawn to it. Inside was a recipe to use tea, vinegar and honey as an allergy remedy. Honey is not cheap, but this treatment is way less expensive than the medications at the store. The directions say to put two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and two teaspoons of honey in one cup of black tea. Are you wrinkling your nose? Don’t—it’s tasty. Almost addictive, even. I need three cups spread over the day on my bad allergy days, but it works. And it’s not a chemical whipped up in a lab.

The booklet also gives recipes for using garlic for healing. I had read about a First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt I think, who took a couple cloves of garlic every day with honey and never got sick. Whenever I felt a bug coming on, I chopped up several cloves (which releases the infection-fighting element), covered it in honey and swallowed it down. I repeated this several times for a couple of days and it killed the bugs, but it was hard every time for me to choke it down.

Then, I read the garlic tea recipe in the booklet. It says to put on one cup of water to boil, while mincing three cloves of garlic. Remove the water, add the garlic pieces, cover and steep for ten minutes. Strain out the garlic and drink the water. Surprisingly, it tastes kind of like potato water. If an infection comes on fast and hard, I use more garlic per cup and, wow, is it effective (and easy to take). I don’t know how well garlic tea would work if you’re already sick, but it is powerful as a preventative and when using it at the first sign of infection. With garlic tea, most of us can truly say, ‘No more colds and maybe even flus.’

My point is, my little problems that were big problems to me could’ve all been solved much earlier had I been willing to let go of being mad and simply opened my mind to solutions. It is a totally different way of experiencing life. With open minds and hearts, whatever we really need is provided to us, sometimes in unusual or unexpected ways, as the Universe answers our calls. It really is that simple. It’s called trust in God, trust in our Higher Power, trust in the Divine. Love truly is the almighty force.

Ego-Propelled into the Day

pride 2I cannot share some of the ego-in-control discoveries on my spiritual path because they are deeply personal and very difficult to reveal. Layer after layer exposed with me asking, “Is this truly a part of me? Is this who I am?” My ego, the false me, takes pride in everything. ‘I’m a spiritual person;’ ‘I’m a good mother;’ ‘I’m a writer, getting better every day,’ and on and on and on.

These thoughts are not always front and center; I get a flicker of a feeling here or there and I dig—and there they are, thumbing their noses at me, not a bit unhappy about being exposed, because my ego believes it will always be with me, even driving me at times. At times? Only God sees how much our egos propel us into each day, their feathers fluffed, ever ready to publicly humiliate us if need be. The private humiliation is worse when doors to past lives open and past behaviors are seen.

We can’t really battle our egos or past behaviors; they will always come out on top. The spiritual process truly is about what the great spiritual masters teach: “Observe and let go. Observe and let it pass. Give it no energy. Smile. Get quiet to be  at one with the Light. Persevere; operating from ego is an unnatural state. You are a child of a Great Being of Love.”

Okay, great masters. I’m trusting you on this. Thank you.