Natural Law

New YearYesterday I attended a lecture on Natural Law presented at The Source Spiritual Education Centre, which is owned by my friend Jonella Bachman and her husband, Dave. The workshop was presented by Rev. Diane Davis, who has been a medium, intuitive counselor,  lecturer and member of the Cassadaga Spiritualist community for more than 30 years. I have attended several of her lectures, had a reading with her a few years ago and have always appreciated her insights and playful sense of humor. As I listened to her speak it occurred to me that a lot of the things I try to express on this blog are similar in message to what she talks about and that pleased me, not only because I admire her but, also because it made me realize that I have come a long way in my own personal growth in the years since I first attended one of her lectures. I’m much more content within myself and living in alignment with my inner truth than I was at that time.

When I met Rev. Davis in 2007 I was still grieving the loss of my father the previous year, I was dissatisfied with my job and just generally restless and discontented with everything. Followers of this blog will know that I am not affiliated with any organized religion but that I am a deeply spiritual person and a believer in a Higher Power. I consider my lack of religious affiliation to be a great blessing because I am not locked into an ideology and; therefore, I’m open to wisdom and inspiration from any source. My own belief system has been cobbled together over the years from a myriad of sources and I never cease to be amazed by some of the unexpected places I find inspiration. Spiritualists believe in the survival of the personality after death and that we can communicate with the spirits of the deceased by using our God-given intuitive powers. We may not all have the ability to become mediums but we do have intuitive powers, which I think is one connection to our spirituality. Unfortunately, in this modern world with all it’s distractions we don’t pay enough attention to intuition and we often lose touch with our natural instincts. The reading with Rev. Davis was exactly what I needed at that time and I believe she did receive messages about or from my father because there is no other way to explain some of the things she said. It was a very comforting experience and also another step on the long path of connecting with my spiritual nature and discovering my truth.

We are all familiar with the “Law of Attraction” but that is just one of many, many Natural Laws (also called Universal Truths) and there are actually many Natural Laws that are at work within the Law of Attraction. I particularly like the Law of Perception because it is about the way everything – every experience, thought, mood, relationship – affects our perception. Perceptions can change from minute to minute according to our energy and the energy fields of those around us. Our larger perceptions change as we get older and have more life experience. They also change according to the filters through which we view life at any given time so; how you perceive something is a part of what you believe to be true. If we accepted what we were taught by our parents, church, teachers, and our surroundings as the truth then it really is life changing – and perception changing – if we begin to question that truth. Questioning what they have been taught is a rite of passage for many young adults, but often it’s nothing more than rebellion against authority and the deeper questioning doesn’t come until much later in life. There’s nothing like a dose of disappointment and pain to change your perception and force you to re-examine what is really true.

Waterfront Park 10-13-12 007

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Black Dog

A Prayer for YouLately I’ve been struggling with what Winston Churchill* used to refer to as the “black dog” (I’m sure no offense was intended to black dogs because he had dogs that he loved dearly) – a dark mood that just stays with me and affects all my thoughts and experiences. It is the opposite of rose-colored glasses. This is nothing new for me; I’ve been visited by the black dog more times than I can count, starting way back in my teen years. Sometimes he hangs around less than a day and sometimes he stays for weeks, but the challenge for me has always been how to deal with him. If you have read other posts on this blog then you know I am a proponent of positive thinking and of changing your thoughts to change the way you experience your life, etc., but today I’m writing about the reality of how hard that can be at times. It’s much easier to think positively when you’re in a good mood! Like I always say, simple but not easy.

First, I want to stress that I’m not talking about debilitating depression that prevents you from getting any pleasure out of life or depletes your energy to the point that you can’t even get out of bed in the morning or causes you to isolate yourself. I’m not talking about crying jags, long-term insomnia, decreased appetite, binge eating, or any self destructive behavior. If you are experiencing any of that, please get professional help. For me, the black dog brings feelings of mental fuzziness, sadness, and diminished creativity, energy, and motivation. I’m going to be totally honest with you – there are times when, no matter how hard I try, I can’t change the way I’m thinking. So how do I deal with the black dog? I keep moving. I take Stella for a walk and remind myself to be appreciative of my surroundings – I take deep breaths and look at the sky, trees, and birds. If I’m walking along the Intracoastal Waterway I pause to look for dolphins and manatees or to admire an egret standing in the shallow water as still as a statue. I do things that I enjoy like reading, watching movies, and getting together with friends. I stay on the lookout for inspiration. I remember to treat myself and others with kindness. I thank God for all the blessings in my life, even if it feels disingenuous, because I know that eventually it will feel genuine again if I just continue my prayers.

I think one of my strengths as a life coach is that I don’t talk to people as if I have it “all together”. I have empathy and understanding for the struggle to overcome weaknesses and effect positive change in our lives because I have been there, done that, and I’m still on the journey. I, too, have struggled with low self-esteem, shyness, and insecurity so I get a great deal of pleasure from helping someone to overcome those negative feelings. I have fallen victim to comparing myself unfavorably to others so I know firsthand how counterproductive that type of thinking can be. I have been dishonest with and about myself. I have been my own worst enemy and strongest critic. I fully admit that I am a flawed human being who is still and always will be a work in progress. And … I still get visited by the dreaded black dog!

One thing I have discovered about the black dog is that he does have a purpose. I have learned not to fight against him  because he carries a message within his darkness. I don’t always recognize the message but, I have noticed that when the black dog finally leaves me I have a renewed sense of creativity. While he is with me I’m enveloped in darkness but words can’t describe the wonderful lightness I feel when he leaves, which convinces me that part of his purpose is simply to give me a renewed appreciation of my life. After all, how would we be able to truly appreciate beauty if there was no ugliness to compare it to? I think the black dog exists to provide contrast and help me to see things differently. So, when the black dog pays you a visit I suggest that you just acknowledge his presence, be patient with yourself, keep moving, and wait for his message. Then, celebrate his departure! Woof.

*Winston Churchill suffered from periods of depression, which he described as “Black Dog”. “Black Dog” was well used by Victorian nannies (including Churchill’s nanny) to describe their charge’s dark moods.

Sometimes you just get in one of those moods

Sometimes you just get in one of those moods

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