Tag Archives: freedom

Prospering in Your Calling


Most of us experience this interesting dilemma in life: can we follow our calling and put all of our energy into it, or do we need to follow our calling on the side after working the job that pays our bills? Or further still, do we need to put off our calling until after retirement from the career from which we have made our living?

While there are no easy answers to these questions as they are very personal to each individual, I will share a couple spiritual principles that have the possibility to free us from this dilemma.

The first spiritual principle of prosperity is that we have an unlimited divine Source. For most of us, this principle is just a theory, or an ultimate reality that has little bearing on our day-to-day experience. We give thanks for the abundance we experience, but still feel a great deal of limitation.

The salient question becomes, how does this spiritual principle of unlimited prosperity become our reality? Firstly, like any principle, we must practice it. Practicing it means delving deeply into it, asking how do I connect to this principle. Do I even believe in the principle?

Our connection to the first principle brings us to the second important prosperity principle: the law of circulation. This second principle is keenly related to the first. In knowing that we have an unlimited divine source, we put ourselves in the flow of that source by becoming like that source and freely giving of our own resources.

In the Christian religion that principle is known as tithing. While tithing may have gotten a bad reputation depending on how it was applied in various settings, the law of circulation, upon which it is based, is solid.

Tithing specifically refers to giving ten percent of the first fruits of our labor. That is, we put ten percent of all money we make back into circulation, ideally toward that which supports the highest divine use. It is up to each of us personally to discern the highest divine use. The key is that we are giving back unselfishly and without expectation of anything in return.

For many, if they are not currently practicing the law of circulation, ten percent feels out of reach. Others may question whether it needs to be ten percent. I found that the best way to start is by simply acknowledging that there is a law of circulation and beginning to play with it at whatever level of giving feels comfortable. Then pay attention to how you feel and what you begin to experience.

When we practice the law of circulation with love and openness, our relationship to it will evolve naturally. When we begin to see that we feel more prosperous and more free with our money, we naturally might consider giving more. When we begin to experience the relationship between the law of circulation and being in the flow with our unlimited source, there is a natural tendency toward giving more. We don’t have to force it or try to figure it out.

And perhaps most importantly, we don’t have to believe what anyone else says about the law of circulation (including this author). We can try it out for ourselves. When trying it out, however, we want to be sure to do it with an open heart and mind, and truly practice it. If we are skeptical, it helps if we start with an amount of giving that feels comfortable.

Why not give it a try? It is possible that practicing the law of circulation is just the thing that will make 2016 your most prosperous year ever.

Enjoy the journey.

How to Forgive Anything

Cat and lapdog in studio

This is the second article in a two-part series on forgiveness. The first article addressed the question of “why forgive?” Here I explore the practical “how to” of forgiveness.

Let me begin by saying that there are many different ways to forgive and each of us is likely to do it a little differently. You might consider the steps here as the foundation upon which you can build your own forgiveness practice.

Remember, forgiveness is something we do first and foremost for ourselves, not the person we are forgiving. We forgive because our nature is love, and to have anything flowing through us that is unlike love begins to block our true nature and potentiality.

So our goal is to get back to the love within ourselves. The love is always there at our center, as our essence. In forgiveness, we are simply freeing it to flow unencumbered within us and out through us.

No matter what has happened, we forgive because we need to get back to our own true nature of love, in order to be fulfilled in our lives and to fully express the gifts that are ours to give. Forgiveness is not condoning the behavior of the other person. It is an act of our own self-care.

Seven Steps to Forgiveness:

  1. Acknowledge that you’ve been hurt.
  2. Feel your feelings of anger, betrayal, resentment, or any others that come up. Allow yourself to feel them and experience them fully within yourself. They are part of your natural process. Share them with your spiritual practitioner or someone you really trust. Write them in a journal.
    (We do this step so that we are not bypassing our feelings, only to have them resurface later in some unhealthy way.)
  3. Bless the feelings from step 2. Say a prayer of blessing and acceptance of the feelings. Remind yourself that the feelings are not who you are, just something you are experiencing.
  4. Make the decision to forgive. Before doing so, intuitively determine whether you have spent a healthy amount of time experiencing your feelings.
  5. Open to the power of divine love, grace, and wisdom to guide you in your forgiveness. Recognize that, though you may not feel you know how you will forgive the person or situation, there is a power, presence, and wisdom within you that does know.
  6. Ask your divine wisdom to reveal to you how you might find empathy for the person you are choosing to forgive. (For example, you might realize that the person hadn’t experienced much love in their own lives, and empathize about how difficult that must have been for them.)
  7. Open your heart and allow love to flow to the person you are forgiving. Repeat this step every day until you feel nothing but love toward the other person. (This step takes whatever amount of time it takes – days, months, or years, and it does not mean you have to let the person back in your life.)

While these steps appear sequentially, in practice one might need to go back and repeat steps. Step 7 in the process can be a big step, depending on the nature of what happened. Be gentle with yourself in this step. Allow yourself whatever experience you need to have. Remember that forgiveness is a process. Some situations are likely to be easier to forgive than others. Forgiveness transforms us, and transformation does not usually feel good while it is happening.

May you know only love. May the love in your heart flow freely in your being. May you be transformed by love, and may your love transform the world.

Enjoy the journey.

Being Consciously Conscious

man thinking over the beach

by Gregory Toole

The name of this article comes from a talk I gave nearly 20 years ago in the formative stages of my spiritual teaching practice. The same theme was coming up for me this week as I observed myself and others around me.

There are many definitions for the word conscious. At the most base level it refers to just being physically awake, rather than asleep, such as when there has been a car accident and the emergency responders ask if the patient is conscious. Then there is the spiritual definition of conscious, which involves awareness on more levels. A spiritually conscious person is conscious that they are conscious, or aware that they are aware. That person is both the actor and the observer of his or her experience.

Why does this matter? Without being the observer we are left with just being the actor, and usually that means the unconscious actor, simply responding from past conditioning, rather than consciously choosing our experience in this moment. We are really not at choice when we act based on past conditioning, nor are we in our power. Rather we are on a kind of auto-pilot, and we are tossed about by the experiences of life, on an emotional rollercoaster of sorts.

What is the alternative? It is to be fully present in this moment, consciously conscious, aware that we have choice in each moment, that there are no hardwired responses to the events of life. When something occurs in our lives, we experience it, we feel what we are feeling, we observe both what we are feeling and the conditioned response that wells up, but there is enough spaciousness in that moment, wherein we have choice. Is the conditioned response how I choose to respond, or is there some higher way in which I decide to respond?

This is true freedom. We are at choice.

How does one gain such choice and freedom? Spaciousness is the key. Without spaciousness, some short gap between what happens and our response, there can be no real choice. We arrive at spaciousness primarily through the practice of meditation. Meditation expands our awareness to the place where we become the observer, in addition to being the actor. Meditation calms the mind just enough to have that space. We may still feel anger, rage, fear or a host of other emotions, but now we are at choice as to how we respond. With this kind of spaciousness, we feel the emotions, but we are not the emotions. We are not identified with them as much. They are just an experience we are having.

Even when we create spaciousness, there may still be times when we go unconscious and an automatic response is triggered because a situation brings up some unhealed part of ourselves where there is a deep wound. Even then, as the observer of our experience, we can watch ourselves get triggered, see ourselves respond automatically from a place of hurt, and then come back into our sense of wholeness with greater clarity of what is ours to consciously heal. In other words, we don’t have to stew in it for weeks, months, or years.

A world where people are consciously conscious looks very different from the world we largely live in today. And it is the world that is emerging right now, the world that we are creating, and that is evolving as us. Such great possibility there is for peace and fulfillment in a world where people are thoughtfully responding with heart and conscious awareness. Let’s do our part to hasten the dawn of this new world!

Enjoy the journey.

Prosperity Secret: The Magic of Giving

Female hand holding beautiful gold gift box with red bow isolated on white background

by Gregory Toole

The word “secret” is in the title because the truth of the law of circulation is hidden or mysterious to many. The law of circulation occurs much like breathing. We exhale so that we may inhale again. None of us would consider only inhaling. We must give of our breath, which then also frees us to receive the next breath. The law of circulation works like this with money, time, talents, and most anything else.

The secret is to give with a joyful heart, without any concern about getting anything in return. The funny thing is we will get something in return, but that is not something for us to be concerned about. That is simply the result of the law of circulation working automatically and being invoked every time we give unconditionally.

My sweetest experience with the law of circulation occurred several years ago with a swift demonstration. I had just completed a workshop that was already paid for. I decided that I would tithe to the presenter anyway because I had received so much value from what she offered. As I went to retrieve my checkbook, a funny thought popped into my mind. I thought, “Isn’t it funny how happy I am to give this money, and how I have no need to get anything in return, and yet there is this law of circulation, and I will, in fact, get something in return.” It gave me a chuckle, and then I went about writing my check.

I handed the check to the workshop presenter and no sooner than I could take a step or two, a man I knew handed me an envelope that appeared to contain a check. I opened the envelope and there was a tithe check to me in appreciation for some writing I had done, and it was much larger than the tithe check I had just written, by orders of magnitude. My heart was full of gratitude as I was reminded once again that we cannot out-give our divine source. What we give joyfully and freely is always returned back to us multiplied many times.

We do encounter people who appear to be prosperous and do not seem to be participating with the law of circulation through joyful giving. But how often do we also hear of people who do not feel prosperous, no matter how much money they make, who speak of strain and struggle in making their money and also in maintaining it?

If it is freedom we seek with our money and in our life, then giving freely, joyfully, and generously is the way to go. That includes our time, money, and talents, but we don’t want to make the mistake of substituting one for the other. Pay attention to where there is resistance in giving and that is the most important place to give in that moment. For example, if we are very willing to give our time, but not our money, we may ask, why do I not feel free with money? No matter how much money we acquire in that mindset, we will never feel that it is enough.

If it is our time or talents that that we are resistant to give, then we may similarly ask what is it that doesn’t allow us to be free with those, because we won’t be able to fully enjoy and be free with our time or talents either if we are unwilling to share them freely.

When we really understand the law of circulation, it truly frees us to enjoy all of our prosperity, and we become the most generous of givers because we are free from the idea that giving could cause a shortage for ourselves.

The invitation this day is to give all you have joyfully and generously, without any expectation of anything in return. Then have fun watching the many ways that the universe gives right back to you many times over.

Enjoy the journey.

Surrender: Where The Real Power Is

by Gregory Toole

In our upbringing, most of us have probably known “surrender” to be a negative action, something we surely only do as a last resort. The common definition equates surrender to giving up.

In spiritual terms, the only thing we give up with surrender is our need to be in control of everything. And since we don’t actually control nearly as much as we sometimes think, ultimately we are not giving up much at all when we surrender.

However, we gain much–greater ease, peace of mind, and expanded possibilities for our life that are beyond anything we could ever imagine when we needed to be fully in control.

A big question is, “What are we surrendering to?” What we surrender to is our divine nature, our higher nature. In short, we surrender to God, or whatever we call our higher power.

Another question is, “How do I do it?” The answer to this question is a bit more involved, but the simplest response is that we begin to let go, little by little, of our attachment to specific outcomes and how and when those outcomes come to pass.

In letting go, we get out of the way of our higher nature, making room for grace to come into our lives. Grace can only occur when we get our human ego-centered selves out of the way.

As brilliant as the human brain is, it really is finite in terms of its ability to coordinate the infinite range of activities that need to take place for our lives to be full and, at the same time, for us to be at peace and at ease with life. Our divine, or higher, self is infinite, capable of coordinating an infinite array of simultaneous synchronistic activities on our behalf, all at once.

“How is this possible?” you may say. It is possible due to the infinite intelligence embedded in our divine nature, combined with the reality of oneness, that all of life is one and connected. Surrender aligns us with the flow of this one life and infinite intelligence. In that flow, synchronicities become commonplace and we find that our effort is only a small part of what takes place to get our needs met.

Five Steps

Here are five initial steps to support you in your desire to practice surrender:

  1. Let go of the notion that you’re fully in control.
  2. Spend some time in meditation daily, even if it’s just one minute a day. Use this time to listen for divine wisdom and inspiration, but don’t be attached to getting a result.
  3. When you feel stressed, pause for a moment and get in touch with your breath. Your breath is your connection to life, and thus the flow of life.
  4. Don’t schedule yourself so tightly. Leave at least a little room for divine opportunities (those that match what you want, but not your human timing).
  5. Develop strategies in advance for how you will capture your divine inspirations and insights (e.g., keep a recording device handy). These insights are a gift to you and often provide clarity and solutions that would have required far more human effort to develop if you had waited until you felt you had time to think about them.

The practice of surrender is possible for you. It starts with willingness, and being open to divine guidance. Little by little, you can loosen your grip, and as you do, the ease and peace you’ve been wanting start to become real, and yet your life is even fuller.

Enjoy the journey!