Weekend Retreat with May McCarthy, May 17 - 19, 2019.

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“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.” - Vincent Van Gogh


I heard a great speaker recently who shared how in the midst of a Storm as in an unexpected terrible situation, it can feel like we’re not going to make it. We can feel ready to give up and wonder “where is God in all of this?” The speaker reminded the audience that only we have the power to choose how to view and react to any situation. As part of that process, we can choose to be a victim and give up or choose to be a victor and survive. It’s a matter of attitude.


Viktor Frankl was a holocaust survivor and the author of a number of books including “Man’s Search for Meaning”. An incredible storm of injustice and terror was thrust upon Frankl and millions of other Jewish people. None of us, unless you’d actually been there, could possibly imagine what Viktor Frankl and others experienced in Nazi concentration camps. This was a terrible storm filled with horror, pain and suffering. Frankl tells us “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” I agree – attitude is vital for survival. Attitude as words, thoughts and emotions, were keys for Frankl in enduring the horrendous situation he was put in.

Growing up as the last of 10 children in my family was fun and chaotic.  We didn’t understand the value of listening to each other as children. In fact, we’d often talk over each other in order to tell our funny story, to share our love and support, and to reminisce about experiences of our past. Years later, we have learned to listen more and have gained some wisdom. As journalist Doug Larson points out, "Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you'd have preferred to talk."  


As I’ve matured, I’ve learned more about the value of listening as a tool for success and understanding. According to businessman, Bernard Baruch "Most of the successful people I've known are the ones who do more listening than talking." That’s been my experience and observation as well. The more we listen, the more we understand. The more we understand, the greater the opportunity that we’ll learn something about another person that will reveal a way for us to provide them with something valuable that satisfies a need.

I read a story that Ernest Holmes wrote about praying for another person for good health and freedom from an addiction. Holmes and his friend spent several hours proclaiming out loud the Truth about the other person who was in a different hotel room down the hall. They affirmed that the person was whole and complete, free from addiction, living a peaceful and healthy life. Holmes calls this form of praying, spiritual mind treatment. Holmes would proclaim his truth affirmations for several minutes, then his friend would do the same. They did this for several hours, back and forth until they both believed the truth in the statement. Then, they went to sleep. The next morning, the man with the addiction told them that he felt free and handed them the unfinished bottle of liquor. According to Holmes, the man had remained sober.


I sometimes wonder if my prayers for others work. This kind of story helps me to know that they do. There is an added element that is necessary for prayers to work in accordance with the outcomes that we desire. That’s faith in the power of your prayers. Do you believe that it’s possible for someone to be healed? Do you believe that it’s possible to live in peace with family, friends, co-workers and community? Do you believe that it’s possible to be free with the financial support necessary to live a good life? Do you believe that it’s possible to live an easy and joyful life with fulfilling and satisfying work?

Now that we’re in the midst of the Holiday Season, I can’t help but notice cards, banners, and advertisements all proclaiming a hopeful blessing of Peace on Earth. I stopped to think about what that means. One definition of Peace is “freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility.” I have to be honest – most of what I notice in the world appears busy and rushed rather than quiet and tranquil.  Every time I open my email, there are dozens of new messages. When I go onto social media, thousands of connections have posted stories, pictures, opinions and lots of lively activity. As I drove to a recent meeting, horns sounded while all of us crawled through city traffic. There wasn’t anything quiet and tranquil about that experience.


As I looked further for some metaphysical meaning on the concept of Peace, I realized that everything “out there” is simply a reflection of what is going on inside each of us. And, if I want to experience more Peace in my life, I have to choose to allow Peace to be present within me first and then share it with others.  Mother Theresa said “Peace begins with a smile.” I like that.

Have you ever overheard a conversation where someone was disparaging people that they clearly have never met? As I was at an airport recently, I happened to overhear a group at another table saying how much they despised a few people who are rich and have more than they do. They spent almost 30 minutes condemning these wealthy people for not sharing their money and resources with them and others. They used phrases like “it’s not fair”, “they must have taken an unethical short cut” and “they don’t deserve to have all of that.” I found it remarkable that none of these people had personally met the wealthy people that they were criticizing.


While listening to their conversation, it made me sad. I recognized that we can sometimes forget the Spiritual Truths and Universal Laws in which we operate. These Laws operate whether we recognize them or not.  I thought that it would be a great time to have a review and help you to “remember to remember” the following Truths:

I’ve had a chance to interview a number of fascinating and accomplished guests on my radio show, Abundance, Incorporated on Unity online radio. One recent interview was with Rev. Dr. John Waterhouse, the first President of Centers for Spiritual Living. Dr. Waterhouse has been learning, teaching and practicing Science of Mind principles for over 30 years. His life is about revealing and celebrating the divine power and presence that dwells within each person he meets. With this as his foundation, he has created a variety of expressions through which he contributes to the human experience.

What happens when you’re doing your spiritual practice every day, and you’re not getting obvious intuitive leads or directions to take steps along a path to achieve your goals? Most people decide to do nothing. If you’ve been to one of my workshops, you’ll remember my advice – “you’re not allowed to do nothing.” Without having a really clear and strong lead, you may find that you have an inkling of a hunch or idea. If so, do what I call “digging a ditch.” This means that you take some action and start moving in what you think is the right direction while continuing to ask for more leads and directions along the way.


Digging a ditch is faith in action. I recognize that this may be hard for some people to do. Many of us were taught that we have to do everything ourselves. A quote that I was told as a child is “There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs.” The quote promotes taking some form of action, and that’s a good thing. However, it doesn’t allow for spiritual intervention to help you so that your goals manifest in easy and unusual ways. One of my favorite authors, Florence Scovel Shinn, said “Intuition is a spiritual faculty and does not explain, but simply points the way.” Following your intuition and taking some action allows for unexpected channels to open which may produce results in miraculous ways.


If you’ve adopted the use of spiritual tools and principles that I write about in my books, I hope that you’ve recognized that your CSO spiritual partner can illuminate steps to take that don’t make rational sense. These leads or directions can come through strong thoughts, gut hunches and instincts, messages through others, or through signs external to you. As you commit to taking the first step of action with confidence and faith, things can shift so that your success manifests in easier and more joyful ways. Go ahead and start “climbing up the stairs” to success if you feel led by your CSO partner to do so, and you might unexpectedly find an escalator waiting for you at the first landing. Spirit’s ways are ingenious and filled with infinite possibilities.

This past week I had the pleasure and privilege to host my first radio show on Unity On Line Radio. My show is called Abundance Incorporated with May McCarthy and we discussed Balancing Spirituality and Success. When I think of being balanced, I have an image of a see saw or teeter-totter like the ones that I used to play on as a child. If my friend and I were the same weight, we could balance the see saw perfectly in horizontal alignment.  If one side was heavier than the other, the heavy load wouldn’t remain off the ground very long.


To be balanced, we want every aspect of our life to have the same weight, importance, proportion, and meaning. The aspects of life include your health, your relationships, your work, your finances, your recreation and your spiritual connection. All of these have to be in balance, or have a measure of importance, for you to enjoy a fulfilling, satisfying, healthy, free and prosperous life.

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