Money & The Spiritual Journey

There’s a prevalent idea within the spiritual community that I have recently been contemplating. This idea is that in order to progress spiritually we must invest in ourselves, and typically, that investment means spending a lot of money (sometimes hundreds or thousands of dollars) on a particular spiritual tool, course, or healing session.

Having been involved in spirituality in its loosest form for the past decade, I think it’s finally time to shed some light on this topic.

For instance, what is “investing in yourself”? What does that look like? And, if I don’t have the money to make that investment, will I be denied my full enlightenment? These are all excellent questions that this article will attempt to address.

money-652560_640

Now, full disclosure: I am writing this amidst making serious changes in my financial life. Increasingly, I find that I want to budget more closely, which means that my b.s. meter has gone on high alert when it comes to the latest Ascension product or healing session that someone is trying to convince me to buy. (Of course, this is not just limited to the spiritual realm, though I am focusing on that here as this is a spiritually-focused blog.)

When it comes down to it, 100% of what is sold on the spiritual market be it activations, audios, courses, healing sessions, books, necklaces, crystals, or anything else are sold by marketers. That is, people sell these items to make a profit. I am not saying that this is wrong or bad. I believe that everyone deserves to be financially supported in this Universe and to get paid fairly for what they offer, especially if these tools are truly life-changing, as many spiritual tools are. However, when being a savvy spiritual shopper, it’s important to be conscious of the profit motive that is behind even the most tantalizing products. Yes, the item may help you. Yes, the person or group selling it may have a very real desire to help you create change in your life. However, they also want to make money and the way they make that money is through you.

Putting this into perspective, it behooves us to become aware that not everything on the spiritual market is as pure or high vibration as it is said to be. We all have the ability to ask our own heart, our own Spirit Team, and our Soul if the item is truly something we need for our Ascension before we pay for it… but this does take willingness, patience, and practice. Also, the spiritual journey is an individual one, and the very thing that your best friend swears changed her life may not be right for where you are right now on your path.

Again, I am in no way saying that energy healers, spiritual teachers, and other Lightworkers should always do work for free. Actually, I often choose to spend money in this area as I believe that sharing money with people who are truly working for the highest and best good of all will eventually heal our broken financial system. Imagine what our world would look like if we all consciously chose to spend money on products and experiences that were aligned with our Highest Self! This would totally shift the bulk of wealth away from people whose only motives for selling are greed and profit.

Originally, I believe this idea of investing in yourself through paying for spiritual products, came from an observation by healers and other teachers that most of us suffer from extreme lack of self-worth and low self-esteem. Unfortunately, we are often told that putting ourselves first is selfish and wrong, so it’s really no wonder that many of us have a hard time with self-love. When you’re running around caring for others, it’s easy to dismiss the voice of your own Soul inside that is begging to be heard.

“Go for a run,” it says. “Get some rest,” it says. “Skip the party and work on your novel.” Yet your reply is always the same. “I’ll do that later.” “My boss really needs me.” “If I don’t, I’ll disappoint them.” And on and on it goes.

Then, like a bolt of lightning, your spiritual teacher comes in and says, “Look at my awesome new program. It’s time you invested in yourself!” And you think, “Yeah! It is time, damn it! If not now, when?”

Now, if you’re like me and you’ve had a longstanding habit of not taking care of yourself and you truly feel that this course or book or crystal or whatever would truly benefit you, then yes, this may be a sign from your own Soul/Higher Self that it’s an opportunity for you to finally do that. It’s about being discerning and listening to our own guidance… which typically occurs well outside of the sales page.

As I mentioned, I am not new to the spiritual arena. I have been investing in myself (i.e. spending time and money) through courses, meditations, retreats, audios, healing sessions, books, and so much more for years. It’s only in the past months that I’ve realized that I am way more powerful than I’ve given myself credit for and that I don’t need to work with every single healer on the planet. These days, I am much more selective of where I choose to spend my energy — and that includes the energy of money.

If asked what investing in myself meant to me a couple years ago, my answer would have been very different. Today, this means making sure that my bills are paid, that I have food to eat, clothes I want to wear (not just the threadbare items that get me by), and the things that make my life and my household more pleasant. I, like so many others, am constantly unlearning the program that staying in poverty makes me a more spiritual person. It really has just dawned on me that continuing to make unnecessary purchases— even supposedly helpful spiritual purchases — when I have other financial responsibilities, is still continuing the lack cycle. Now when I see a healing tool or some other thing that truly resonates with me, I say, “Wow! I can’t wait to purchase this. I’m going to save up so I can do so responsibly.”

It may seem like I am being contradictory, but here’s the thing: For many of us, self-help and spirituality have become addictive. Instead of feeling like it’s something that we should do if it’s truly right, each purchase becomes a have-to, a must, or supposed to. It’s like consciously or subconsciously, those of us in the spiritual community are trying to buy our way into Heaven.

Unfortunately, being spiritual doesn’t exempt us from humanity’s mind games, particularly when it comes to money. At times I have noticed a sense of eliticism and the sadness of missing out when those with more money could easily buy the courses, personal sessions, or higher-end packages that I so wished I could afford. Feeling competitive, I would often settle for the audio or lower-priced option, and needless to say, these were often the things that I would use for a few days and then lose interest in. From this place, every purchase made wasn’t because it helped my Soul’s purpose, but because of the mistaken belief that I wouldn’t have access to my highest potential if I didn’t make a purchase.

TRUTH: My highest potential is already accessible if I would just stop and look.

TRUTH: Enlightenment is within me and IS me, so no one can take that away.

It’s time to call foul on marketers who claim that we can’t Ascend if we don’t buy their spiritual products. Simply put, this is a lie. Their product may make my spiritual journey easier or more accelerated, but in the end, it should be my Soul that guides rather than testimonials on a sales page.

As always, my message is to not give your power away to anyone or anything outside of you, regardless of whether it carries the label of spiritual or not. When it’s time to go to the next level to take that course, to get that spiritual tool, or whatever it is — we know inside our hearts, and more often than not, the money comes in to support that.

Love yourself. Trust yourself. And know that even the best spiritual tool is nothing compared to the amazing power that already lies within.

Until next time … May you be blessed with Pure Love & Light beyond your wildest dreams! Contemplate it. Activate it. From inside of you. You already have all that you need.

Are Spiritual Experiences Real?

Channeling. Astral travel. Angelic healing. Miraculous cures by prayer.

What do these things have in common?

They are all considered spiritual experiences.

buddha-1280434_640

Today’s spirituality is a catch-all phrase for any sort of experience with the divine. I’ve seen it used as a marketing tool for self-help books; a way to lure money from desperate people. I’ve also experienced spirituality as a means of self-reflection; a reminder of God as the thread between everything.

The other day, I saw a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile. Having grown up Catholic, but not particularly religious, there was always a question mark for her when it came to God. So it was a surprise to me to hear that she’d had a spiritual experience – complete with physical sensations of warmth and an overwhelming feeling of openness and forgiveness in her heart. Since then, her relationship with God has changed and her faith has increased.

For months before this, my friend struggled both personally and professionally. I guess her cry for help was finally answered, since her life has done a complete 180.

Where before, she was struggling to find a place to rent, she is moving into a new place in precisely the town she wanted to live in. Where she was experiencing financial difficulty, employment is on the way. Where she was struggling in her marriage, her relationship has been restored.

In this age of science and skepticism, it’s easy to dismiss this as coincidence or imagination. However, I’m a firm believer that “the proof is in the pudding.” If my friend truly feels better and sees obstacles removed in her life, I’d say she’s got something working for her. The fact that she claims the Holy Spirit entered her seems unbelievable. Yet, just listening to her talk, I couldn’t help but feel moved and excited about her experience.

After our discussion, I had to ask myself, “Are spiritual experiences real?” If so, how do we define what is – and isn’t – a spiritual experience?

I’m going to go old skool for a minute and give us the dictionary definition of spiritual. According to Merriam-Webster, “spiritual is of, or relating to, a person’s spirit.” Synonyms include: non-physical, ethereal, formless, and immaterial.

What all of this says to me, is that a spiritual experience is, by its’ very nature, not of the physical. It is the moments we find hard to define or that seem incredible, that most often signal communication with God.

Here are some examples of spiritual experiences I have seen, felt, or read about:

  • I have been to a church where every Sunday, a group of women would get up and start speaking in what sounded to me like gibberish. These women believed that the Holy Spirit was speaking through them in a language that could not be understood, but had to be felt.
  • After a weekend retreat focused on deep meditation, I took a nature walk and felt completely filled with love and gratitude. I remember my eyes filling with tears and feeling completely in harmony with the Universe.
  • I’ve read reports of yogis describing heavy pressure and heat moving up and down the spine following intense periods of fasting, yoga, and meditation. Referred to as Kundalini, when awakened, this powerful energy has a profound effect on a person’s spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being.
  • The author Neale Donald Walsh, says his book and subsequent series, Conversations with God, was a result of channeled writing. According to Walsh, “…my hand remained poised over the paper, as if held there by some invisible force. Abruptly, the pen began moving on its’ own.” Dr. Helen Schucman said the same thing about her book, A Course in Miracles.

I could go on, but the point is this. Although each of these experiences is considered spiritual, they all differ in scope, medium, and intensity. As for the main question of this post, Are these experiences real? Well, that remains up for interpretation.

The fact is, whatever feels true for YOU is real. We often spend so much time searching for facts and judging our experiences, that we forget to just savor the moment. Be it in a moment in nature, during a healing session, or intense meditation, anything that feels like God IS God.

In closing, I leave you with this message which came through my inbox as I was writing this article. (Courtesy of Lisa Beachy’s Daily Angel Card emails, which you can subscribe to here by joining her email list.*)

Many of you pass around the word “spirituality” without really knowing what it is that you are searching for. Sometimes this leaves you sad or more confused than when you started the journey of looking for love, peace, forgiveness, or “enlightenment.” 

In its’ simplest answer, spirituality is striving to know God. Stop searching and just be. God has created you. You are the Creator’s child. Therefore, God is always with you. 

Would a good parent leave their child alone in a crowd?

Stop searching. Stay still. Breathe deeply to relax. 

Then look around you to feel God’s love within you. 

See God’s beauty around you.

Keep it simple.

You cannot overthink love, or you will think it away. It is about FEELING the love of God within your heart to know that God is there, taking your hand and joining you on the path, as any good parent would.

*Jan. 2017 Update: Lisa is no longer offering her daily Angel card readings, but you can still receiving free readings by visiting my Inspiration page here.

Why Lack Persists Despite Positive Thinking

Lately, I’ve been feeling slightly embarrassed about my beliefs. I have a wonderful husband in my life who is the epitome of a logical thinker, friends who would rather stay stuck in their experience than believe that something like angels or affirmations can help, and a whole society of people dedicated to laughing at New Agers or anyone who decides there’s more to life than what we see in front of us. Understandably, I’m sometimes hesitant to share what I really think.

But more than the fear of people thinking I’m nuts for being into this “woo woo” stuff, one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced as someone who believes in the power of thoughts to change our lives, is the question, “If the Law of Attraction is true, did starving children in Africa attract their situation through thoughts of poverty?” Another variation of this question is, “Did someone who was raped/murdered/insert heinous crime here attract it?”

These are great questions, because they get into some of the complexities of the Law of Attraction that are often overlooked. It’s true that our thoughts (via emotions and actions) create our lives. Generally speaking, the more we focus on the positive, the more positive we attract. However, it’s also true that the environment, choices, and consciousness of those around us also impacts us. This is another way of saying that not everything is within our control.

Marianne Williamson has a great quote on this. She says,”Starving children in Africa are not poor because their consciousness is unaligned with love; they’re poor because ours is.”*  Her idea is that, because most of humanity is focused on lack, struggle, and hatred, we have yet to find a solution to end world poverty.

It’s important to note, however, that this does not mean that an answer does not exist. We are simply blinded to it because humanity is not yet ready to embrace love. In the Western world, we simply accept the reality that most of the people outside of the West are poor, and it is this acceptance that makes the difference.

Indeed, consciousness and choice are the foundations of our reality. Fortunately, we can choose to think differently, to rise up, and stop accepting the reality we face as truths. This is as applicable to world poverty as it is to being overweight or lacking money. In each instance, there are “truths” that have been accepted, and because they have been accepted, there is no room for growth or potential.

I was thinking today how so many of us have bought into the “reality” of how the economy is failing, growth has been slow, etc. It seems as if the economy is being blamed for everything. Can’t find a job? Blame the economy. Can’t sell your house? Blame the economy. Lost a game of chess? Blame the economy. Okay, I’m just kidding about that last one (sort of).

What if, just for one day, we stopped blaming the economy, we stopped blaming each other, and we all took responsibility for our own thoughts and actions. What if we stopped accepting the “reality” of poverty, violence, and lack. And, what if we did this, not just for one day, but for a lifetime. Well, folks, then we’d all be a little bit closer to walking the spiritual path.

The question is, Are you up for the challenge?

Don’t forget, the more the merrier. Share this article with a friend. It builds good karma points. 🙂

*Marianne Williamson quote from her book, “The Law of Divine Compensation.”

 

Working with Angel Numbers

It’s easier to believe in spiritual guidance when have personal experience with it. Sure, someone could tell you that the world is abundant or that angels are here to guide you, but if all you experience is loneliness and lack of money, positive statements will seem irrelevant. The thing is, just like affirmations and the other spiritual practices I discuss, you have to take action to get results. angel-1107707_640

A good place to start is online. It’s easy to find videos, meditations, and messages from the angels on Google and YouTube, and while it may at first feel strange or seem totally weird to ask an angelic being for help, it sure beats staying in the muck of negative thoughts which does nothing but prolong our experience of lack, worry, and desperation.

Like most things in life, the more you practice, the easier it becomes. The truth is, while we were all born alone, there is no reason we need to go through life feeling lost or lacking in guidance. Angels have specific assignments and job descriptions, and because they are spiritual beings, there is nothing they cannot do. The key, however, is that angels will only act on your behalf if you ask, and that includes sending you messages.

Asking is very simple, and I’ve found that it need not involve any sort of complicated rituals or purchases. I strongly believe that within each of us we already have the ability to connect to angels and spiritual guides. Once you talk to your angels, which is really as simple as saying, “Angels, please connect. I need help with… (then state whatever your problem is),” then you must let go and be willing to receive guidance.

Sometimes solutions will appear in ways you hadn’t expected. Angels are very practical and willing to help in things like manifesting parking spaces in crowded lots, healing illnesses, or creating ease in your workday. Once you make the connection, your angels are more than willing to help by sharing messages with you, and the best part is, they will continue to help you as long as you keep the connection open.

One of the most common ways angels send messages to us is through angel numbers. If I’m having negative thoughts at work or generally feeling down or nervous, my angels usually show me 444 or 111 when I look at the clock, as gentle reminders to release my negativity. Repeated numbers such as 111, 333, or other number patterns are reminders that we are connected with spirit and that our angels are here to guide us.

Here are some of the most common angel numbers and their meanings, courtesy of Doreen Virtue, author of “Angel Numbers 101.”

11, also seen as 1:11 or 111: Your thoughts are manifesting into form at record speeds. Monitor your thoughts carefully and be sure to think about what you want, not what you don’t want. I often take this to be the angelic version of, “Don’t worry, be happy.”

222: Your newly planted ideas are beginning to grow into reality. Keep watering and nurturing them, and soon they will push through the soil so you can see evidence of your manifestation. In other words, don’t quit five minutes before the miracle. Your manifestation is soon going to be evident to you, so keep up the good work!

333: The Ascended Masters are with you, desiring you to know that you have their help, love, and companionship. Ascended Masters are believed to be spiritually enlightened beings who in past incarnations were ordinary humans, but who have undergone a series of spiritual transformations to reach enlightenment and take ascended form. When you see the number 3 around you, call upon the Ascended Masters such as Jesus, Buddha, or Mary to help you.

444:  A simple message: Don’t worry. The angels are surrounding you now with love, help, and guidance.

555: A major life change is upon you. Do not judge it as “positive” or “negative,” but see it as part of life’s flow. This change may be a much-needed answer to your prayers.

666: Your thoughts are out of balance right now, focused too much on the material world. The angels ask you to focus on spirit and being of service, knowing that your material and emotional needs will be taken care of as a result.

777: There’s a reason 7 is seen as a “lucky” number. 7’s mean you’re on a roll! Keep up the good work and know that your wish is coming to you. A series of 7’s is a positive sign and you should expect more miracles to occur.

888: This is a sign warning you to prepare for the ending of a particular phase in life. Seeing 8’s might signal the ending of a relationship or career that wasn’t in your highest good. It also means there is light at the end of the tunnel. Prepare, make plans, and don’t procrastinate in taking action towards your next move.

999: Completion. This is the end of a big phase in your personal or global life. 9 series is also a message to energy healers and lightworkers to get to work because Mother Earth needs you now.

000: A reminder that you are one with God and to feel the presence of the Creator’s love within you. Also a sign that a situation has gone full circle.

Know that these numbers are guidelines, and at the end of the day, use your own intuition and guidance to see what feels right for you. The fun part is, the more you reach out to your angels and ask for help, the more angel numbers and other signs will begin to show up for you. That means less worry, less stress, and knowing that no matter what, you never have to face life alone.

What Death Has Taught Me

Two weeks ago, I got news that my oldest brother died. At 45 years old, he lost his life-long battle of depression and committed suicide. Being someone who believes in vibration and transforming my life through healing energy, it’s been a struggle to fully allow myself to grieve while not staying in those lower vibrations. I’ve had to re-think the idea that our thoughts are things, meaning I shouldn’t even think about death or allow in sadness stairway-1899297_640because that would lower my vibration and stop me from allowing better things into my life. What I know for sure is that what we resist persists. I also believe that although my brother is physically gone, his Spirit lives on. Much like life, death is a type of beginning and with each new beginning, I have an opportunity to learn anew.

With that, I open this post to describe the top 5 things my brother’s death has taught me:

1) I am connected to my angels and lovingly supported by the Universe… if that’s what I want.

I’ve been doing a lot of talking about the events in my life lately. I’ve talked to relatives and to friends, but I’ve been just as vocal in talking to my spiritual team. I trust and know that I am supported and guided at all times. No matter what’s going on, I am connected to the light and love that is in all things. This is Truth. Whether or not I connect is always my choice. So, I’ve spent every morning connecting to the light within me, blessing my day, and sending love to my entire family. At night, I clear any negativity I may have taken in throughout my day, and just see the light dissolve it. I’ve supplemented these white light meditations with chakra clearing and prayer.

This is the best way I know to keep my spirits up and to receive divine healing and guidance. And you know what? It works. I feel better and better every time I do this. If you’re going through a crappy situation, no matter how big or small, I suggest this: Connect to the light (your God, Universe, Angels, Buddha, or whatever), let the light in, and ask for your energy field to be cleared. The more you do it, the more you’ll feel the connection.

2) My mission.

Being so close to someone who died from depression, I am more committed than ever to my mission of bringing my knowledge, support, and experience to other people. Why? Because the more we share our struggles, the more we’re all uplifted. There is hope. If even one person learns about lifting their energy and heals their life by reading one of the articles I’ve shared, then my work is done. Plus, I get the bonus of feeling better by taking the focus off of me and thinking more about helping others.

3) Family is whoever and whatever you make it.

I used to think that family had to be the people you grew up with. As I grow older, I realize that family is complicated. Being the youngest and the only girl, there are so many histories, grudges, rivalries and arguments in the background that I just don’t want to be a part of. I lovingly term this as “macho masculine energy.”

The good news? I get to choose my family. So, my family is: my dad, my step-mom, my husband, and my friends. That’s it. If I hear from other relatives, great! But I’ve stopped expecting (and needing) support from every single person in my genetic family. That just ain’t gonna happen, and that’s okay. Nor do I have to be the go-between and heal all of their stuff. Some people just aren’t ready to upgrade. I continue to pray for them and send them love anyway. By accepting this, I am able to love my family more and be more truly, authentically me.

4) Diet and exercise are life savers.

I admit it. I’m an ice-cream obsessed sugar junkie who would rather lie in bed reading a good book than getting off my bum and going for a walk. I accept it, but I also accept that I feel waaay better when I eat fresh veggies and that I find myself smiling more after a hike. In terms of energy work , movement — be it dancing at the club, a walk with a friend, or a 5-mile run — gets the chi flowing, and that just makes everything work better. My motto: fill myself first, then share the love.

5) It’s okay to cry. In fact, it’s a right!

I’m not like most women. I don’t get all gushy when I watch romantic films or teary-eyed when I look at puppies. In fact, my ego spends a lot of time trying to convince me that I need to be strong and take care of everyone else. All my life I’ve subscribed to the “Big girls don’t cry” club.

The truth ?  Tears are just my body’s way of getting out the emotions that need to come out. Without crying, that energy stays stuck — a big manifesting no-no. Sadness, like any other emotion, is temporary, but it deserves to be honored. I can’t say I’ve spent a solid hour crying yet, but if I’m talking about my brother (or anything else) and I start to get emotional, I’ve learned to just let it flow. I don’t need to apologize for being human.

As I re-connect with more family, spread David’s ashes, and attend the memorial service in between my other responsibilities, I’m sure I’ll have even more opportunities to learn and grow. The key, I think, is to just allow it. My wish for all of my readers — yes, even myself — is that we all become okay just being ourselves. Whatever is, is okay.

*This post is dedicated to my lovely brother — the writer, artist, and tech guru David Andrew Nelson. David, you are missed. I send you love and light to ease your transition into your next adventure. Rest in peace.*

5 Minutes to Freedom: Easily Release Stress and “WTF!?” Energy

Let’s face it. Every day we get whammed by stress: running late to appointments, presentations at work, long lines at the coffee shop, and more. Sometimes even good things are stressful – “Yeah, thanks honey, for telling me we were hosting Diane and Bob for dinner tonight!” If you’re feeling crazy and filled with angry “WTF!?” energy, this exercise is for you. It’ll help you quickly relieve stress and minimize negativity. The best part is — it only takes five minutes. 

quotes-933816_640

Being a self-professed personal development junkie, I spend lots of time absorbing articles and books on spirituality, many of which include tips and tricks to help raise our vibration. If you know the basics of the Law of Attraction, you’re aware that worry, fear, and desperation rate as pretty low vibrations. What’s more, if you’re spending most of your time focused on what you don’t want, it’s hard to manifest the things you do want in life. But knowing it’s essential to stay positive doesn’t mean it’s easy.

When faced with kids screaming at the dinner table, obnoxious office politics, and a pile of bills to pay, sometimes the dreams you have seem farther away than ever. During these times, many of us turn to affirmations. While they’re a great way to re-direct your mind and focus more on what you want, when faced with difficult situations, there’s one method I turn to that works every time – the God Can (or the “the Universe Can” if you prefer).

Many of us have heard the phrase, “Let Go, and Let God.” Most of us who believe in the Law of Attraction know that attracting what we want is about being a deliberate creator. Sometimes though, the constant need to be acting and creating can feel more like forcing things into being rather than just going with the flow. In my experience, when things go wrong, I can easily get trapped in a cycle of negativity. I literally drive myself crazy trying to figure out what I could have done better in a given situation, what actions I need to take next, and of course, I usually end up with the near-constant worry that accompanies this. However, when I do this exercise, in an instant I realize that I am truly more than my physical body. I am a being of light who is deeply and intimately connected with the Universe. Whatever problems I have are instantly let go of and I am able to breathe a sigh of relief.

So, are you ready to release the stress? Here’s how to do it.

  1. Grab an empty can, bottle, or paper bag.
  2. Label it the “God Can” (or “Universe Can” if you prefer)
  3. Take out a blank piece of paper.
  4. Write down ALL of the things that are causing you stress, fear, and anxiety. Large or small – it doesn’t matter. Just write down anything that comes to mind.
  5. Fold the piece of paper and place it in the can.
  6. Release it, knowing that those issues are now being taken care of and proceed to go about your day in ease.

Once this is done, I know that it’s no longer my job to figure it out. Instead, the God within me – that Universal energy of possibility that I’m a part of – takes over. From that space, I am way more likely to gain insight into my next step.

So there you have it! The God Can is my way of relieving stress. Now it’s your turn. What do you do when you’re stressed out? Have some tips? Share them below.