All around us the Universe buzzes with life, vitality and peace. Undisturbed by human shenanigans, the Universe — aka God — stands in complete integrity behind every creation. This field of infinite potentiality is the truth of every manifestation.
We humans like the idea of distinguishing between what is God and what is not. But, in truth, I AM plays all the parts — big and small, good and bad, great and un-great. Or, as my teachers taught me, “There is no spot where God is not.”
For my last blog post of 2016, I want to focus on the subject of gratitude. In the Metaphysical Bible Hangout, we are studying Pam Grout’s amazing book Thank and Grow Rich. I cannot say enough good things about this text. And, I am convinced that when Pam and I meet, we will become fast friends. It seems like on every page, she shares insights and revelations that I have felt or come to during my spiritual journey.
In fact, I had to remind myself that all has not been said. There is still room for my books. 🙂
I want to focus on a few points in part 3 of her book — Game On — that really stood out to me. This list of highlights is by no means exhaustive. She opens the section by saying, “Feel free to approach this section on a need-to-use basis.” But I found part 3 as indispensable as parts 1 and 2. I thought I was going to get 2 or 3 good points but I found whole sections of the text deserved highlighting. So, here’s my abridged list of things I believe you should pay attention to:
True Spirituality Will Always Be a Team Sport
I really liked this point because our world has become some fragmented these days. Now that you can get your information from any number of channels tailored to your specific sensibility, you may feel there’s no need to interact with other people.
There is tremendous value in connecting with like-minded people. I have a special group that I see on the last Wednesday of every month. In a month full of church building, preschool play-dates, bills and other things that make life feel like a treadmill, this monthly interaction is very much a lifeline for me. Not only is it comprised of people who knew me before my life as a pastor, it’s a place where I can be free to be vulnerable, share my deepest concerns and receive affirmation that I have something valuable to contribute to the world.
In my opinion, the value of your spiritual practice can be measured in its ability to help you relate better to other people. I think it’s significant that 60% of the 10 commandments are devoted to teaching you how to interact with other people. We are meant to be in relationship to one another. And, checking in diminishes our lives that cannot be made up with quality me time.
Life Works Better When We Let Go
Many people treat the aphorism, Let go and let God, as a suggestion. As my friend (and church member), Lucky, might say, it is a categorical imperative. I don’t know exactly what that is but it sounds serious and that’s how I feel about the value of truly letting go and letting God.
Earlier this year, Spirit revealed to me that if I’m figuring it out, then it’s not Spirit. I haven’t let Go and I certainly am not letting God when I keep trying to make it work. As Grout writes in Chapter 7: “When I began focusing on what could go right, I found that my so-called problems had a way of fixing themselves. I discovered the less I did, the better my life worked. The more I identified with the invisible realm of goodness, joy, and beauty, the happier I became. The less I planned, the more magic became available.”
For all you Type A personalities — and I count myself in that bunch — the idea of not planning raises the hairs on the back of my neck. I say this as a reformed Franklin-Covey/dayplanner/SMART goal-setter chick: Your divine assignment will never come through reasoning and figuring things out. You cannot reason your way into the Kingdom. As Rev. Della taught, “God is a feeling thing.”
So, relax and listen for a nudge and go in that direction.
Genuine Happiness Requires Sincere Gratitude
One of my favorite quotes from the book is this: “If you attempt to make lasagna with a cake mix, you’re never going to end up with the layered Italian dish that’s widely credited as being the world’s first pasta recipe. If you use a map of Peoria to navigate Los Angeles, you’ll probably never find Rodeo Drive, Hollywood Boulevard, or Venice Beach. Likewise, if you want to live a happy and meaningful life, it’s imperative to recognize you’ve been using the wrong tools. For a very long time.”
The road to happiness is paved in gratitude. Every word of thank you, every feeling of gratitude, every sense of appreciation builds the mix that lays down the road that will take you from where you are to a life more magical and amazing than you ever could have imagined. You are only one thank you away from a life that you will love living.
We Are Never Separate From the Field of Infinite Potentiality
Specifically, Grout writes: “We actually bought this big joke that we could be separate from our Source…that we could disconnect from the energy field.” The reason I like the term “field of infinite potentiality” as a synonym for God is because it removes the baggage that often comes attached to thinking about God. Based on my cultural and spiritual upbringing, I can disappoint God. I can let God down. God can get mad at me.
Not so with the field of infinite potentiality. I am and always will be connected to All There Is. No exceptions.
True Creation Happens in a State of Peace
Grout says it this way: “Manifestation occurs instantly in an energy field without conflict.” I have written in earlier blog posts that we are self-healing, self-restoring beings. We see evidence of this whenever we get any kind of scrape or cut. Provided we do not re-open the wound, we heal ourselves.
We maintain a state of peace when we allow the wound to close and the self-healing properties within us to go to work. This principle of self-healing applies across every aspect of our lives. Unfortunately, we are not as giving when the wound is something other than a cut or scrape. We do pick the scab through our negative thinking and feeling. The psychological wound that could heal, won’t heal because we keep it alive with wrong thoughts.
The moment we let go. The moment we take our minds somewhere else — say to a state of gratitude — the self-healing aspect of our nature can do its perfect work, restoring us to our best selves.
Cultivate a Childlike Attitude Toward Your Creations
We believe we must be concerned about the problems in our lives. We do not. Jordan treats his so-called problems with the same level of wonderment as he does his greatest creations.
Grout recommends that we learn to love the creations. She explains, “That’s how you claim dominion over your life.” When you express love toward even your gravest mistakes, you find that even what you thought was a complete setback can be transformed.
The love you express connects you to the field of infinite potentiality and you create a portal through which the wonder-working power of the Universe can flow into expression for you.
Say Thank You for Every Single Thing That Happens
A few years ago, I participated in a breast cancer walk in Santa Barbara. Along the route, men, women and children applauded us as we walked. At first, the “thank you” felt weird. I happened to be participating as a work assignment. But somewhere along the route — I don’t remember which mile it was now — I remember feeling completely lifted. Even though I was dog-tired and my feet were screaming, I felt as if I could walk another marathon. When I was back in my hotel room, I had a chance to reflect on what happened. And, I realized what I was feeling was the elevation given to me by all those “thank yous.”
Then it dawned on me why I’d never experienced that before: I hadn’t said “thank you” enough. From that day forward, I have been convinced of the power of gratitude. I felt the way it lifted me and I knew that if I could maintain my own practice of gratitude, I could give myself that transformation that those people gave me.
The Field of Infinite Potentiality Meets You Where You Are
Depending on your present experience, that heading can make you happy or sad. Grout gives this amazing metaphor for the way the Universe works. She explains: If you have Netflix, you’ll notice a category called “Because you watched…” that lists all the movies or TV shows or documentaries that fall into the same genre. Netflix assumes you’d appreciate these offerings because, well, they’re quite similar to options you chose earlier…This is exactly how the universe works. It continually sends people, ideas, and events that mirror the frequency you emit, the channel you’ve chosen to speak for your life. It doesn’t charge for these gifts that match what you’ve previously selected. But it also doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t just or doubt that what you’ve chosen in the past is what you still want…No. It sends an exact match.”
Like I said…that previous quote can make you happy or sad. But here’s the good news: you have the power to emit a new frequency. By simply developing a genuine sense of gratitude for your life and all that you have, you raise your vibration to a new level and can begin to attract new and better experiences.
Laugh Today As Often As Possible
Laughter puts you in alignment with the field of infinite potentiality. Whatever previously blocked you, laughter dissolves and brings you into right alignment.
I have a comedy channel on my Pandora.com account. When I need to laugh, I will turn it on. Usually, I am falling out laughing by the 3rd or 4th comedian. I’ve used it at the gym and had to watch myself to make sure I didn’t fall off the treadmill laughing.
Humor is the best medicine for whatever ails you. Implicit in your laughter is the understanding that all is well and all shall be well no matter what it looks like.
Now It’s Your Turn
Those are my takeaways. If you’ve read through Part 3, then you know this list is nowhere near exhaustive. I’d love to hear your biggest takeaway from that section. What stood out to you as something to remember never to forget? Leave me a comment and be as specific as you can. You never know whom you might inspire.