Monthly Archives: January 2013

Self Worth


“A well-known speaker started off his seminar holding up a $20.00 bill. In the packed room, he asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?” Hands started going up. He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this.”

He proceeded to crumple up the $20 dollar bill. He then asked, “Who still wants it…?” Still the hands were up in the air. “Well,” he replied, “What if I do this?” And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. “Now, who still wants it?” Still the hands went into the air.

“My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We may feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value.”

“Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who DO LOVE you. The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE. You are special – Don’t EVER forget it! Count your blessings, not your problems.”

When we think or say something negative about ourselves, even if we don’t really mean it, the thought carries creative energy. EVERY thought is a cause that creates an effect. An undisciplined mind, easily tempted into faithless and unloving thoughts, is a huge deterrent to success. They sabotage the dynamic by which the universe is programmed to support us. Releasing negative self-concepts is important not simply because they hurt you; it’s important because they’re not true.

The spiritual journey is a path of surrendering our fear-based thoughts and allowing them to be replaced by God’s. The reason to embrace a positive self-image is that it describes you as God thinks of you. Such painful and negative self-concepts arise from over-identification with the material plane. Identifying with your material self rather than with your spiritual self will always leave you vulnerable to self-hating projections, because the mortal self is not who you truly are. The mortal plane is, at best an ever-changing parade of individual perceptions that lack a consistent theme. Sometimes you’ll deem yourself worthy of self-regard, and sometimes you won’t – depending on what’s in your bank account, other people’s opinions of you, and so forth.

On the mortal plane, none of us are perfect all the time. But on the spiritual plane, all of us are perfect all the time. Who we really are, perfect creations of God, unchangeable and unlimited, none of us more or less brilliant than anyone else – is the MOST POSITIVE SELF-CONCEPT POSSIBLE! To self-identify according to your spiritual rather than material reality is enlightenment. From this perspective, you see that you are the light. No thought or condition of darkness – that is, lovelessness in your own mind or in anyone else’s – has any bearing whatsoever on the truth of who you are or what the universe has planned for you. Your past, your mistakes, other people’s opinions about you, even your failures do not in any way limit who you are at this present moment or what is possible for you right now.

Marianne Williamson states through A Course in Miracles that all of us are special and none of us are special. No one has any more or less capacity than anyone else to be used as a conduit for the genius that pours forth constantly from the Mind of God. This genius pours into us as one, but is accepted by us separately. God’s greatness is a gift that is offered to all of us, but it’s our choice whether or not to receive it.

She adds that, we lack in faith what exists within us because we lack in faith Who exists within us. Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world. Each of us is assigned by God a function that only we can fill. At this level, none of us are in competition with each other, for the universe has an infinite number of pieces of pie. My piece does not take away from yours, and yours does not take away from mine. There is space for everyone’s gifts to flower. There is more than enough room for all of us.

Spiritual growth involves giving up the stories of your past so the universe can write a new one. You are not denying your past; you are simply transcending any of its negative aspects. Right now, in this moment, the universe is responding not to your past but to the truth of who you are, always were, and always will be. We’ve all got “right stuff” because all of us are meant to channel the spiritual realities of talent, creativity, and intelligence. Whether or not you’ve always known this, or practiced it, there lies within you in this very moment the latent ability to create and achieve beyond your wildest dreams.

And this never changes. It doesn’t matter what “mistakes” you thought you made, or how the economy is doing, etc. etc. It matters only where you place your thinking/consciousness now. Know who you are and connect to that Inner Source that wants you to Thrive, and moving mountains will seem small compared to what you can do!

-Who would attempt to fly with the tiny wings of a sparrow when the mighty power of an eagle has been given to him?

A Course In Miracles



THRIVING with New Awareness

tumblr_lzi71sgXNl1qzgiyxo1_500A man stood at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule. A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk. A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the child stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the boy continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32.15. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. This Grammy Award winner and Avery Fisher Prize winner for outstanding achievement as a classical instrumentalist played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Bell’s instrument is a 300-year-old Stradivarius violin called the Gibson ex Huberman, which was made in 1713 during what is known as Antonio Stradivari’s “Golden Era.” Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats averaged $100. He regularly undertakes over 200 international engagements a year.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: Would people distinguish between a world-class instrumental virtuoso and an ordinary street musician if the only difference between them were the setting? In a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the conclusions from this experiment could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing? When life seems monotonous, it is usually an indication that there is something we need to change. Boredom can easily lead us down the path to despondency. Acknowledging our feelings and then setting the intention to alter just one small thing in our life can give us a much more affirmative outlook. This act of change allows us to step outside of ourselves and discover new and exciting things that are often already present in our everyday lives. Simple things like eating a healthier diet, taking a new class or joining a club are all ways in which we can go beyond our comfort zone and explore the wonders that exist all around us.

Keep in mind that the moment that we do something different from our usual routine, the more fresh energy, hope, and blessings we will manifest in our life. What this means is that we’ll no longer see things as being tedious but will instead realize the preciousness of everything.

Being able to integrate these subtle changes on a daily basis allows us to recognize the miracles that are our lives. Even though we may think of change as doing something life-altering or drastic, gentle transitions from our habitual ways of doing things and an appreciation and awareness of all life offers us will truly bring about positive and lasting transformation.

-You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. And be sure to smell the roses along the way.

Walter Hagen


Our Inner Sunrise


Today, January 1 of 2013 I awoke to a stunning sunrise over the beautiful Chicago skyline winterscape where I currently reside. It was befitting that amongst my daily early morning readings, the Daily Om ( topic today was “Inner Sunrise” as today is most definitely a Brand New Day in a Brand New Year!

Throughout our history, the sun has been revered as the most important aspect of life since it provides the energy for the nourishment and growth of all living things. When the sun shines, the heart is at peace. We can start fresh in this very moment, even if today is a “bad hair day” and it’s tempting to focus on tomorrow as a blank slate with all the possibilities that newness provides. But we don’t have to wait until tomorrow to start fresh, we can start fresh at any moment, clearing our energy field of any negativity that has accumulated, and call this very moment the beginning of our brand new day.

There is something about the sunrise and the first few hours of the morning that makes us feel cleansed and rejuvenated, ready to move forward enthusiastically. As the day wears on, we may lose some of this dynamic energy and the inspiration it provides. This may be why we look forward to tomorrow as providing the possibility of renewal. Many traditions consider the light of the rising sun to be particularly divine in its origins; this is also why so many people in the world face east when performing ritual. We too can cultivate that rising sun energy inside ourselves, carrying it with us to light our way through any time of day or night, drawing on its power to awaken and renew our spirits.

One simple way to do this is to carry an image or a photograph of the rising sun with us in our wallet or purse. We can also post this image on our wall at work or at home, or have it as a screensaver on our computer. When we feel the need to start fresh, we can take a moment to gaze at the image, allowing its light to enter into our hearts. As we do this, we might say out loud or to ourselves, “I am ready to let go of the past and start anew.”  We might visualize anything we want to release leaving us as we exhale, and as we inhale, we can take in the fresh energy of the eastern sun, allowing it to light the way to a brand-new day.

-The sun, the hearth of affection and life, pours burning love on the delighted earth.

Arthur Rimbaud

-excerpts taken from the Daily OM “Brand-New Day” on 1/1/13 written by Madisyn Taylor.