Tag Archives: faith

Taking the Leap

spiritual guidance photo (2)

What is the difference between those who follow their dreams and those who do not? One major difference is that those who follow their dreams eventually take a leap from where they are into the somewhat unknown. Some have called it a leap of faith. It is taking a step in the direction of a vision without knowing all the details of how it is going to work out.

Some who don’t follow their dreams are in a waiting pattern – waiting for just the right moment, waiting for the unknown to become known, waiting for the perfect conditions to present themselves, or just waiting for courage.

While patience is a good thing and paying attention to timing is wise, at some point there is a leap to be taken. Rarely are all the steps revealed in advance. Seldom is everything neatly arranged for our human comfort. However, what does occur is that a moment arises where we realize we have done all that we can to prepare for pursuing our dream. More importantly, there comes a time where the vision is pressing against us so firmly that to not take the leap would be to engage in significant resistance.

The time has arrived. We are as ready as we are going to be. There will not be some better time in the future. We may not be or have all that we will need to completely fulfill the vision, but we are all that we need to be to start it. Some gifts are not bestowed until we take the leap and we are committed. Then our clear “yes” begins to open doors that heretofore where not accessible to us.

The leap ultimately is part of advancing our soul work. And the soul does not advance through maintaining human comfort. It beckons us to reap a greater harvest that awaits us when we step into the infinitude of our being. It calls us to stretch in order to see what is possible.

To use a temporal example, in tennis some people decide to not try to return a particular shot because, in their mind, it is not possible to make. Others will go for the shot. Those who go for the shot often surprise themselves by making an incredible return shot. We cannot know what is possible without making the attempt. Deciding in advance what is possible and what is not possible is putting ourselves in a box of limitation.

When Moses of the Bible led his people out of bondage, there were many moments when the people moaned and groaned, and longed for the comfort of the familiar, even though the familiar was being in bondage. As Moses and his people made their way through many seeming obstacles on the way to the Promised Land, again and again the people lamented that if only they had stayed in Egypt (where they were in bondage) they would not be dealing with the present obstacles. And such is the nature of taking the leap. We are likely to question ourselves when we reach the uncomfortable parts of the journey and wonder if we were wise to ever have considered venturing into foreign lands.

These doubts are natural and should not deter us from continuing to move forward. What’s important to remember are all the times that we surmount the seeming obstacles. When we find ourselves in the midst of a seeming obstacle, we can remember all the times we thought we’d encountered an insurmountable obstacle only to find ourselves on the other side of the Red Sea.

The invitation this day is when the soul calls you and the moment is ripe, take the leap! Step into the mystery and begin to offer your gifts and your vision to the world.

Enjoy the journey.

But for the Grace of God

diamond lake - nederland, colorado

Where would we be but for the grace of God? There are so many examples in life whereby we couldn’t imagine how we survived, thrived or accomplished, but for something greater than ourselves. The odds of any one of us even being born are astronomical according to scientists and statisticians, with some saying 1 in 400 trillion.

The awareness of grace is cause for much gratitude, for surrender, and for humility. I heard a man last night, before tennis league play, boldly proclaiming that he was 33 years old and had plenty of time to plan a great retirement nest egg. He was confidently speaking of his investment acumen. I couldn’t help but remember one of my grandmother’s phrases: “The Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.” While this man was speaking the truth in a practical worldly sense, there is also the opportunity to recognize the role of grace in our lives. Each moment we have is by divine grace, by our leaning into the awareness of grace.

Twenty-five years ago, shortly after moving to San Francisco, I made a quick decision that could have cost me my life or otherwise not turned out well. I had attended a San Francisco 49ers professional football game and gotten a ride from a friend to the game. Since we were going in opposite directions after the game I told him I would catch a cab home. If there were cabs waiting outside the stadium, they were nowhere to be found in the area where I exited.

Seeing me looking for a cab, a man said that for $10 he could give me a ride home to San Francisco (the stadium was south of the city). Without giving it much thought, being the trusting person I’ve always been, I said “sure,” thankful that I had found a ride home. Being new to San Francisco, I didn’t know much about the route home, so I paid little attention to the roads being taken. However, I became alarmed when the man pulled off the road and onto a dark field. I was in the front passenger seat and there was a second man in the back seat.

I asked what was going on and the look on their faces and the energy suggested that they were not up to anything for my good. Somewhere within I summoned a powerful voice and began to demand that they fulfill the agreement to take me home. “You told me you would take me to San Francisco, now take me to San Francisco,” I said very firmly. Looking like he wasn’t even sure why he was obeying my command, the driver pulled back onto the road and drove me to San Francisco as originally agreed.

It was a rattling experience and one that reminded me where I place my trust. My trust is in divine wisdom and guidance within me. That day I did not pause to check in with my inner guidance before accepting a ride. What I relied on was more like blind faith or trust, as opposed to trust grounded in deeper knowing through divine guidance.

I am grateful that, through the grace of God, even my bumbling moments turn out okay. As much as many of us feel very competent and self-assured, most of us would likely admit that the good we have in our lives is through a combination of our own efforts and the grace of God.

The invitation today is to pay attention to divine grace in our lives, to give thanks for all the help we receive from “on high,” and to take ourselves a little bit less seriously. Life is good and we are supported by life!

Enjoy the journey.

How to Be A Master Change Agent

Eolic generator covered with a cloudy sky.

by Gregory Toole

Once when I was about to take on a leadership position with a global spiritual organization, a veteran of the organization congratulated me on my new role, then said, “You won’t change anything.” Upon hearing that, I was a bit perplexed as I have never been anywhere that I didn’t change something. In fact, my experience is that just the presence of someone new in a group changes things.

Ironically, by the time I left the position, we had changed so many things that many felt we had made too many changes. But that’s what happens when we embrace change – we are able to navigate major change as a regular course of things, albeit change may still bring about some feelings of temporary discomfort.

Being a ‘master change agent,’ in many ways, is something to which we are all called. After all, who among us is immune to change? In fact, who among us isn’t constantly experiencing change? Rather than resist this ever-present phenomenon, our spiritual journey is really about mastering it.

How do we master change? The first step is to acknowledge that change is the natural order of things. The next step is to embrace it. With these two steps, we are 80% of the way, if not more, toward mastering change. The last 20% involves practice and seeing more deeply into the nature of change.

The practice is simply continuously returning to steps one and two: recognizing that change is the natural order of things and embracing change as it is happening.

Looking more deeply into the nature of change, we see that its true purpose is to further our spiritual growth. Change moves us out of our comfort zone, out of our place of inertia. It causes us to reach deeper into our inner resources to discover those that we previously did not know existed. It calls on the infinite divine creativity within us to bring forth newness of form, which is in alignment with our evolutionary nature as spiritual beings having a human experience.

As we are moved out of our comfort zone, we discover that we are bigger than we formerly realized. We find that our gifts can be given and received more fully than previously.

Here are the ten essential traits and behaviors of a master change agent:

  1. They embrace change as natural and good.
  2. They are continuously inquiring into what is moving within them that is wanting more outward expression.
  3. They look at how what is moving in them is connected to what is moving in the world around them.
  4. They acknowledge and address underlying feelings of fear and resistance that might block effective change.
  5. They constantly push themselves out of inertia and into newness.
  6. They acknowledge their biases and then honestly consider other points of view and perspectives.
  7. They look beyond “comfort” to discover a greater good that can be served by change.
  8. They use their own sense of clarity and wisdom about the nature of change to support and guide others through the change process.
  9. They get help in areas where change takes them beyond their current skills or competencies.
  10. They focus their creative energies on new and original ideas that take themselves and their organizations into bold evolutionary directions.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to be a master change agent. You have what it takes, and the world needs you!

Enjoy the journey.

Faith and Your Triumphant Nature


by Gregory Toole

Faith is not blind, nor is it merely hoping things will work out. True faith involves knowing. What we know is that there is a power within us and all around us that is for us. It is really knowing that life itself is for us. If we can let go of our need to control and our need for specific outcomes, then let go of our opinions and judgments, we find that all things truly are working together for good.

Yes, there are plenty of things that show up in all of our lives that look anything but good, some even appearing horrendous. Yet, if we take a larger view of life, of its eternal and infinite nature, we can actually feel, see, and know the inherent goodness of all that is unfolding.

A favorite story of mine in the Christian Bible is that of Joseph whose brothers sell him into slavery. Joseph recognized that no one could interfere with his divine destiny and as he rose to the highest levels of influence and power in Egypt, he eventually said to his brothers, “you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.”

If we can know with the Buddhists that everything can be used toward our enlightenment, then we can know that nothing comes into our lives except for the reason of our soul’s unfoldment on its eternal journey. If we can let go of any sense of victimization or righteousness about the various situations that we have experienced in life, we have the opportunity to see a bigger picture of what Life if unfolding for us.

I am reminded of the scene in the 1970s movie “Jaws” where two characters compare scars. If we get into this type of comparison we will always find someone with a life story similar or more difficult than ours who has used their experiences toward good.

I always encourage people to tell their story from a place of love, triumph, and power. Everyone has overcome much to be where they are today. Mistakes have been made along the way and we have fallen short more than once, and yet we are still here, still showing up, and still aspiring to something greater. And we’ve all had our successes and high moments along the way.

Claim victory today. It is the divine truth of your being, and it is more real than any story of victimhood or lowliness. Claim your divine destiny of eternally unfolding into the greater and greater. It is yours and I stand with you in the powerful unfolding of your life.