Giving Thanks Once Again

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends in Canada!

It’s a happy coincidence that this holiday always falls on a Monday, when I post here. It is such a wonderful opportunity to count my blessings.

I am grateful for my husband. He is so supportive, and loving, and encouraging. We’ve been married for over 21 years, and we are still very much in love. We’ve been together through some challenging times, and always found ways to overcome them, together.

I am grateful for my children. They are all turning into amazingly fine young men. They are affectionate, and helpful, intelligent and handsome. I feel so lucky and blessed to be their mother.

I am grateful for my parents and my sister and her family. We don’t get to see each other nearly often enough, and yet, I know they are there, loving and ready to support us in any way they can. And I am grateful for all the help and love they have given us in the past.

I am grateful for my spiritual family. They teach me, they guide me, they learn from me, and they love me. And I love them. I am grateful for the sense of purpose I receive from my interactions with them.

I am grateful for my job, for the challenges and the flexibility, and the financial stability that it provides my family. I am also grateful that the environment has improved since two short years ago.

I am grateful for my students. They push me to learn and grow, to expand my understanding and continue to walk my path.

I am grateful for the improvement in my health, for recognizing the foods that were harming me and the will to limit them.

I am grateful for ALL of the abundance in my life – an abundance of love, of food, of shelter, of opportunities – financial, growth, spiritual, kindness, generosity…

I have so many blessings. How can I be anything other than grateful?

May you be blessed this Thanksgiving, with an abundance of blessings.

Mary

In the Flow

This week I had a wonderful reminder of being in the flow of abundance and opportunities.

As (almost) always, my week was scheduled to the hilt. Meetings and classes and work and… well, you know the drill.

I’m also organizing the Campbell River Spirit Fair. Because I’m crazy. Because it is a fundraiser for our Circle. I want to make sure it happens, and I had agreed to it a year ago. It is such a fun event!

I’ve had a couple of email money transfers for that event, and another for work that I’ve done, just not show up in my email. I’ve had to request that they be re-issued, which is unusual.

The last time it happened, my friend pointed out that I needed to unblock my acceptance of money – somehow I was repelling it!

That won’t do. No, it won’t do at all.

So I put on the Lakshmi mantra. And immediately reminded myself that I am a child of the Gods. Abundance is my birthright. I am in the flow.

The email money transfer came through. A friend needed kitchen help for a fundraiser, so my boys and I went to help with that, and we will be paid for that work.

I am back in the flow.

It’s not always that easy. Fear and scarcity thinking definitely block the flow of abundance, and those mental spirals aren’t always easy to get out of.

I have a set of affirmations that I use when I find myself succumbing to the itty bitty shitty committee:

  • I am a child of the Gods with Infinite Worth.
  • I am always taken care of.
  • God and Goddess love and accept me.
  • I am always more than enough.
  • The worth of my soul is great.
  • I now fully accept myself.
  • My body is now in perfect balance.
  • I am always healthy and strong.
  • Everything I touch prospers.
  • Other people experience their worth when they are in my presence.
  • Everything works together for my highest and greatest good.

(Adapted from The Creation Course by Tony Lister)

You can adjust it to suit your beliefs. For example, you might say “I am a child of God…” or “God loves me and accepts me”. It’s pretty powerful for fighting off the brain weasels when they run amok, and not just when it comes to abundance.

May you be in the flow as well!

Blessings,

 

Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho…

It’s back to work I go.

Heigh HoI’ve been (mostly) off work for the past 6 weeks. I say mostly because I have had one shift a week, and some Union things to deal with. I can’t believe it is over already. Today I am back to full time hours.

This summer has been a contrast from previous layoffs. Previous summers were marked by me freaking out about how we were going to make ends meet, and trying to squeak the most out of every penny.

I’ve been a lot more relaxed this summer, for a few different reasons. Part of it is likely that we’ve survived twice now. And yes, there were some rough spots, and we got through them. Part of it is that I opted not to apply for Employment Insurance this summer, due to several circumstances. So I wasn’t having to look over my shoulder and make sure I was dancing to all of their rules and regulations.

A big part of it, though, is that I looked ahead, and started reading tarot at the Pier Street Farmer’s Market back in May. And I will probably continue until it ends in September.

The tarot reading has been much more successful than I expected. I was worried that I wouldn’t make enough on my own to cover my expenses for the booth, so I enlisted the help of a friend so we could split the costs. I needn’t have worried. It’s been doing great – and I have a tarot party coming up!

So while I have still been mindful about how I am allocating my resources, I’ve also been a lot more relaxed about it.

I’ve also accomplished most of what I wanted to achieve while I was off work. I wrote a new course that I will be teaching at the Woolston-Steen Theological Seminary. I made another sweater coat, and I’m working on a third. I have material for more. I enjoyed time with my parents while they were out visiting. And I’ve spent some time with my husband and children.

I tell people all the time to trust the Universe and it will provide. This summer has been living proof of that for me, and I am abundantly grateful.

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU UNIVERSE!

Blessings,

Mary

Black Friday Puts Me in a Black Mood

This past week was Thanksgiving in the US. I have to say I miss the big family dinner in November. I remember going to my Grandma’s house, and my aunt and cousin would be there. And always so much wonderful food! I miss that.

This year, though, I didn’t hear much about Thanksgiving. Mostly I was hearing about “Black Friday”. It was everywhere – on the radio, on social media, in my email. I really got tired of hearing about it. It is such a huge contradiction to the holiday the day before.

Here’s a holiday that is supposed to be about gratitude for all the things we have and spending time with family. Then the very next day, or in some cases, the very same day, going out and buying lots of stuff because we obviously don’t have enough.

I know this has been going on for years, I just don’t remember hearing SO much about it in the past. Maybe I was just better at tuning it out before. Or maybe the desperation of retailers encouraging us to consume more was deafening this year.

Don’t get me wrong. I like my stuff. I’m quite attached to my cell phone, aka pocket computer. I like having lots of clothes to choose from. And I’m starting to get quite a collection of goddess statues. And if you are one of those who went out to get great deals this weekend, that’s OK. It’s your choice.

The blatant, loud, repeated message to “BUY MORE!” got on my nerves though. I’m very conscious that the next consumer holiday is coming up quickly, thank you. I’m also very aware that I have two birthdays in my immediate family in the next month. I don’t need it hammered into my every waking moment.

OK, rant over. Time to refocus. Deep breath. Ground and center. Gratitude. Yes. That’s a much higher vibration.

meditation love gratitudeI’m grateful for my amazing supportive husband – I can’t say that enough. I’m grateful for my children, my extended family, and my family of choice. I’m grateful for my spiritual community, and opportunities to learn and grow. I’m grateful for my friends. I’m grateful for my home, and the warmth of the fire, and a full belly. I am so blessed with abundance all around me.

I am grateful that I have the choice to re-focus my attention where I want it to be, and not where someone else tells me it should be.

I feel so much better now!

What are you grateful for?

Blessings,

Mary

PS. There’s a contest going on at this post over here. Make sure you get your entry in by leaving a comment!

Money Myths, Abundance and a Giveaway!

I don’t remember ever hearing it outright, but somehow when I was young I learned that truly spiritual people did not need or want money. There are lots of clichés about money:

  • money treeMoney is the root of all evil.
  • It is better to give than to receive.
  • Neither a borrower nor a lender be.
  • Money doesn’t grow on trees.
  • You can’t take it with you.
  • Money isn’t everything.
  • Money can’t buy happiness.

Some of these have truth in them, and some are, unfortunately, mis-quotes. For example, I have learned from a number of different sources that the first two quotes should really read, “The love of money is the root of all evil,” and, “It is better to be in a position to give than in a position where you need to receive.” Taken all together, the message I got was that money, or wealth, is bad.

It probably didn’t help that my family didn’t have a lot of money. My dad was always talking about this plan or that opportunity, but he never “made it” with any of them. Every once in a while, my father would tell me about how he could have made a lot of money with this or that, except for the thing that held him back. There is always an excuse.

Several years ago, I spent a lot of time attending courses and listening to audios and reading books about how to become successful or how to become wealthy.  I learned a lot, but following in my father’s footsteps, I had a number of excuses and I did not apply what I have learned in my life.  As easy as it might be to blame my parents, I don’t.

The courses I went to were great at motivating me while I was there in the room and surrounded by others who were just as hyped up as I was.  Unfortunately, they didn’t offer an action plan to get me going or keep me motivated once I got home.  They also did a very good job at appealing to my logic, but failed to engage my spirit.  Once again, it sounds like I am blaming the courses for my lack of action, but please believe that I do not.  I take full responsibility for my procrastination!

One course I went to at the end of October 2008 was different from the others.  Instead of trying to teach methods of becoming wealthy, the point was to work on discovering the negative beliefs and conditioning we all have around money, and replace them with positive and supportive beliefs.  I was amazed at the energy level of the room, and astounded at the depth of the work accomplished in a huge room of 450 people.  The presenters managed to create and hold safe space for us to work in.  I uncovered many of my own limiting beliefs and patterns.

Today, I understand and believe deep in my core that I am a child of the Divine.  Since the Divine Spirit created everything in the Universe, and since I am a child of the Divine, everything in the Universe is my inheritance.  It is my birthright, and yours!  Each of us has come to this place and this time for a specific reason, and everything we need to accomplish our individual purposes has been provided for us.  All we need to do is ask and be open to receiving.

In the Elements of Abundance class, we worked on changing our beliefs about money, our feelings about wealth, our actions to achieve our visions, and how we receive the abundance that is all around us. And even I have been amazed at the results the people in the class have been having!

I’ll be running another session in the late spring. Would you like to take part? I’m giving away a spot in my next Elements of Abundance course, and you could be the lucky winner! Just leave a comment below (on the blog, not on Facebook) letting me know why you would like to take the Elements of Abundance course. I’ll announce the lucky winner April 15th. Good luck!

Blessings,

Mary

When Was the Last Time You Counted Your Blessings?

Today is Thanksgiving in Canada, and it has me thinking about how truly blessed I am. This summer I did a video about the power of gratitude.

So today, I’m taking time to count my blessings.

I am grateful that all my basic needs are met – food, water, shelter, clothing.

I am grateful that our landlord is happy enough with the arrangements that he has let us continue living here long after we initially agreed.

I am grateful for the work that helps to maintain those basic needs.

I am grateful for my husband, David. He is so supportive of me, and he does so much work around the house, with very little complaint. I am glad to have him as my partner in life.

I am grateful for my boys. They always forgive me when I make parenting mistakes, and they remind me to play. Their hugs and snuggles are worth the frustration I sometimes feel!

I am grateful for my parents and my sister. Even though we are far apart, I know you always support me.

I am grateful for my friends. I consider you my family of choice. Your encouragement helps me to keep going when I feel like giving up.

I am grateful for my mentors. You challenge me to stretch outside my comfort zone, and help me grow beyond my limitations.

I am grateful for the beautiful nature that surrounds me.

I am grateful for the many opportunities I have to learn, to grow, and to express myself.

I am grateful for the challenges I face. They help me have more compassion and understanding for myself and for others.

I am grateful for my health.

I could keep going – there is much more I am grateful for. I am definitely feeling the abundance that surrounds me.

What are you grateful for? Take a few moments today to count your blessings. You may be surprised at what comes up.

Blessings,

Mary

Are You Putting Off Your Passion?

This weekend I attended Vancouver Pagan Pride Day. It was a wonderful opportunity to see how different traditions celebrate and connect to the Divine, and I am grateful that I was able to go, in spite of injuring myself within 10 minutes of arriving on the site, but that’s a different post.

I led a workshop while I was there called “Energy Basics: Grounding and Shielding”, which went very well, even if it was a bit rushed. At the end of the workshop I passed out some business cards for Walks Within so that the people who attended could download the meditations I shared in the workshop (the grounding one is coming soon, I promise!).

Love for moneyOne woman asked me what was involved in the life coaching. I told her that I help her connect to her values and life purpose, raise her awareness, and keep her accountable to what she says she wants to do. I also shared a little bit about the Elements of Abundance program I am working on to help people earn their living from their passion.

The discussion turned to that old lie I keep bumping into: Money is evil.

Once upon a time, somewhere back in my churchgoing days, I was told that money is the root of all evil. And since I was told that when I was an impressionable child, it has stuck with me. Money, or as my husband would correct me, currency, is not evil. It is an inanimate object. It is not inherently good or evil just as a stone is not good or evil.

For the record, the actual quote from the bible is:

For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

~1 Timothy 6:10, New Living Translation

Money is a form of energy. You can use it for good or for evil, although that implies that there is a way that is right and one that is wrong, and I don’t totally buy into that anyway. How you direct that energy, how you earn and spend your money, is what is important.

Somewhere along the line, many of us got off track with how we earn our money. I know I certainly have. I hold a job that I am not passionate about because I need to cover the basic needs for myself and, more importantly, for my family.

Don’t get me wrong, there are parts of my job that I enjoy. I do my best there, because I believe in making my piece of the world as beautiful and positive as I can. It is still not my passion. My passion is seeing other people grow personally and spiritually. That’s why I am a life coach and a priestess outside my 9 to 5 job.

So many people I know have a job that is outside of their passion, including the young woman I was talking to at Pagan Pride. I totally understand the motivation to earn money to cover your needs from whatever source is available. My question is, what are you doing to fulfill your passion? If you’re not doing anything, what is one small thing you could change to bring you a little closer to your dream life? You’ll be amazed at how much richer your life will be when you engage your passion and purpose.

Blessings,

Mary

Did You Ever Have That Nightmare…

I don't know what to say…where you’re standing in front of a group of people, and you can’t remember what you’re supposed to say? And you can’t think of anything to say beyond, “Umm, hi.”

I know the blog posts have been coming out faithfully every other day for the past two weeks, but I haven’t actually written one for almost a week. I’ve been sitting here staring at my computer for at least 15 minutes.

I’m terrified that I have run out of things to say. I was on a streak for a while, and then, nothing. Well, not nothing, exactly. I wrote an Introduction to Meditation course for Wiccan Seminary. I’ve recorded some more videos and gotten them ready to publish online. And now the inspiration seems to have dried up.

I want to slack off. I want to watch movies, and read books, and sleep in. Sometimes I wish I didn’t know the things I know. Sometimes I’d like to be like the “average” North American – go to work, come home, watch tv, go to sleep, lather, rinse, repeat. But a mind once expanded can never go back to its previous shape. I can never un-know the things that I know.

Part of this blog challenge is about finding my voice, and uncovering my message. I thought I knew what my voice sounded like, though I haven’t been quite as clear what my message is. It’s pretty hard to share my message with you if I’m not clear what it is.

If I’m going to claim the title, The Prosperity Priestess, my message is about abundance and spirituality. This feels in alignment for me.

I love seeing people find their connection to Source – in whatever form they connect, whether it is through Paganism, Christianity, Hinduism, or any other faith. I think we all have a right to be happy. We all deserve to live lives of abundance and joy and love. I’ve been working to increase the joy, love and abundance in my life, and I want that for others as well.

I won’t lie to you and say its easy. I’ve spent a lot of time, and to be honest, a lot of money, to learn and grow. And I would like to save others some of the time and money I’ve spent to see the abundance that I am enjoying. I may not be the richest person in the world, but I enjoy a lot of abundance in my life.

Huh, I guess I had something to say after all.

Blessings,

Mary

When is it OK to Loan Someone Money?

I received an email yesterday that got me very excited. Kiva is offering “free” loans to new members, and for a limited time, if you sign up via my referral, I receive a credit to make a loan as well.

Kiva LogoWhat is Kiva and why am I so excited?

Kiva is a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world.

I made my first Kiva loan in 2008. I started by donating $50 to a woman in Ghana so she could by more supplies to increase her business selling food in her community.  She is a single mother with five children, and her dream was to send them all to school. Fourteen different people, including me, from all around the world were able to give this woman a helping hand in building her business and changing the circumstances of her life and the lives of her children.

As she repaid her loan, I was able to re-loan the money I had contributed to others. Since then, I have deposited about another $125 into my lending account, and I have made loans to 18 different people. While there are some recipients who default on their loans, so far everyone I have loaned to has repaid their loan in full, and I have been able to send that money back out to keep making a difference. (Knock wood that that trend continues!)

Whenever I make a contribution to my account, I consider that money gone, even though I could withdraw it at any time. This is my donation to the world, one that I can send out again and again, increasing the vibration of those few dollars as they circle the world.

Today is August eighth – 08/08. If you believe in numerology, this is a day of opportunity, prosperity, and financial abundance. It is a lucky day. Let’s make it our lucky day by sending some positive money energy out in the universe. Remember, what you put out to the universe comes back to you times three!

Click the link here and sign up for Kiva. You’ll receive a $25 credit that you can loan out to one of the borrowers on the system, and so will I. This credit is different from money you deposit on your own in that the repayment goes to the sponsor who contributes the credit, and not to our own account. Who knows? Maybe you’ll get a taste for helping others who may never know your name and decide to continue spreading the positive energy of money. You may just change a life.

What are you waiting for? Go loan some money!

Blessings,

Mary

Scarcity Rears Its Ugly Head

Saturday was my last day of work for about a month and a half. I’ve known this day was coming for several months, so I have had lots of time to deal with the scarcity conversation about money, and I’m actually pretty calm about that. I trust that the Universe is taking care of me in that respect.

Scarcity vs AbundanceThe lack and scare-city reared its head in a different way last week, though. Before I received the layoff notice, I had been planning to go camping with a group of friends this weekend. I had submitted my request for the time off, and I was really looking forward to it, because I had missed it the last several years (because of work). Once the notice came, though, that ended all thoughts of having this weekend off. I needed to be there to help shut things down, and I wanted the money for the coming time off.

I was bummed, of course. So my family started thinking about heading down just for the last night, after I got off work. There was going to be a ritual Saturday night, so we would still be included in some of the festivities.

Then last week we heard that the ritual was going to be at 5 pm instead of 7. There was no way we could be there for 5. And I started questioning whether it would be worth driving the two plus hours to get there if we would be missing all the events of the weekend. Then one of my mentors offered to do a couple of workshops, and I felt even more that I was missing out. The “poor me” voice in my head was having a heyday!

I was feeling bad, which means I am out of alignment with myself. I asked myself what I was really upset about. This event was bringing up all the times I had missed out on something because I had to work, or because I have children. I thought I had dealt with that and taken responsibility for the choices I have made already! And why was I suddenly feeling the scarcity of missing out on this one experience? Most people would still be freaking out about having enough money to last for the layoff.

And then the insight struck me. I’m not truly open to receive abundance financially if I am focused on the lack in other areas of my life. If what I focus on I receive more of, then focusing on missing this experience is not where I want to place my attention and energy!

I started looking for the abundance of other experiences I was having, or could be having. I enjoyed a wonderful potluck with other staff and Board members from work at a beautiful home on Quadra Island overlooking the Straight of Georgia. The next night I had a very enjoyable and entertaining evening with some girlfriends, one of whom has moved to another village several hours away, and was here for just the one night. On the way home I saw the stunning Aurora Borealis. I went for a walk with another friend to a beautiful park called Nymph Falls, and shared some good conversation with her.

And probably the most important – I got to sleep in my own bed! (Me and the ground don’t see eye to eye when it comes to sleeping.)

I am grateful for the abundance and variety of experiences I was blessed with this weekend, even if I missed out on other experiences. I trust that I was exactly where I needed to be this weekend, doing exactly what I needed to be doing, with exactly the right people. Thank you all!

Where are you having “lack” conversations, and how can you shift them to abundant conversations?

Blessings,

Mary