Monday, November 18, 2013

Fear of failure

I sat down to write about a particular subject when I impulsively picked up a book and started reading. My morning has gone like that, impulsively. I brewed tea when I wanted coffee. I flipped back and forth through pages of my notebook expanding on different subjects instead of finishing the one at hand. I stopped yoga right in the middle of it. In short, I have not finished one thing this morning. I have jumped from one activity to the next in the most unproductive way. As I write this, I notice that my heart is beating fast, that my mind is wandering and that my body feels restless. I am anxious. About what? I don't know. I only remember feeling this way when I have been afraid of failing.

Fear of failure holds us back, keeps us from trying to reach our goals and paralyzes us keeping us stuck in our current condition. Fear of failure keeps us angry, frustrated and unfulfilled. It's terrible. The worst part of fear of failure is that it is born within us. We entertain thoughts of embarrassment, ridicule and rejection in the face of failure. We fail to see the rewards, what we can learn in the process, what we can enjoy and the growth we experience. Fear of failure keeps us mediocre. How do we act when we fear failure? We don't decide, we procrastinate, we don't complete projects, we start to list excuses for why we can't do something, we jump from one thing to the next without a plan, we make up stories in our minds about negative outcomes, we believe we are victims of circumstance.

Our fear of failure may kick into high gear when we are on the verge of succeeding. Today is a good day to switch thoughts of What if I fail? to thoughts of I am moving forward on my path. Live today from a place of passion, enjoyment and lightheartedness. Try, learn, grow, enjoy, laugh, help and release thoughts that keep you inert. Remember that you are loved, protected and supported no matter what the end result of anything you intend is. Whatever the outcome, everything will be well. You will know what to do then. There is nothing to fear.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


A few years ago I had to make frequent business trips to a city that was 400 miles away from where I lived. This was right after 911 and new travel regulations and airline price increases made driving much more. So I bought a GPS and hit the road.

My GPS was a girl. I called her Carmen. We disagreed frequently. I yelled at her when she wasn't clear (she was, I just did not understand), but she kept her cool. Every time I made a mistake, she would dispassionately say "Recalculating." She wouldn't yell. She wouldn't condemn me. She wouldn't hate me. She would just point me again in the right direction...every time I asked.

There is no sin. God does not punish us for our wrong choices. We make mistakes and we live the effects of those mistakes. We either learn, atone and grow or we make mistakes again until we get it, until we learn our lesson. In other words, we punish ourselves by our mistakes and we free ourselves by our choice to get back on our path of right action and love.

Carmen was a lot like Spirit. Spirit does not condemn, hate or damn us. Spirit allows us to be and to make our own choices. We connect to it or take our own way. When we are ready to get back on our path, all we have to do is realign with our Source. Recalculation ensues. After every wrong turn, we can reassess where we are and start moving in another direction. After every wrongdoing, mistaken choice or offense to another, we can ask for direction and Spirit will lovingly guide us back.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

What's love got to do with it?

Everything. Of course, you knew I would say that.

The love I write about can include romantic love, yet what I want you to consider is a more encompassing love. Love has everything to do with everything. We do things with love or as a demand for love. In either case, we affect the energy with which we do things and we have an immediate effect in our spirits and the spirit of those around us.

We do things with love when we show consideration, understanding, joy, gratitude and genuine appreciation. We have an opportunity to love in our work, in our homes, in our families, in our relationships and in our communities. When we do things with love, we foster trust, inspiration and cooperation. When we imbue what we do with love, love returns to us over and over again.

We don't have to like everyone we interact with, but we can love them. We love them by not judging, showing respect, allowing individual creativity and thought to flow, cultivating politeness, courtesy, acceptance and patience, forgiving the little annoyances and being willing to understand. We see them as one with us, not separate from us. When we act in love, we are loving ourselves. Of course, the inverse is also true.

©2013 The Soulcerer's Apprentice
Today is a good day to love. Love those you don't particularly care for. Be kind, gracious and good-humored. Your life will be more pleasant. What's love got to do with it? Everything.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

To love when it is difficult

Loving others is easy...when they agree with us, when they make us laugh, when what they do pleases us. Loving others when we disagree...not so much. In our daily lives, it is our interaction with who we love that affects us the most. It is those closest to us whose words and actions weigh heavier on our hearts. We react stronger, more passionately, when we disagree with someone we love and it is in these disagreements that love–in action–becomes difficult.

Disagreements do not have to escalate to an argument. Yet many times they do because of how we handle the disagreement. Sometimes we judge, point fingers, criticize, defend ourselves, attack and blame. In those moments, we should act in such a way that we infuse the disagreement with love rather than with antagonism and disaffection. 

If you are disagreeing with someone you love, transcend common attitudes and beliefs by seeing through the eyes of love rather than the veil of ego. Many times, it is not the issue that divides us, but how we see and treat the issue. Remember in the moments of conflict why you love each other. We cannot have love and hold a grudge in our heart at the same time. Love comes before understanding. Bringing love to the forefront begets understanding and understanding brings about better communication which helps diffuse anger and discord. Today is a good day to listen more intently, to speak a little softer, to love a little harder when we love when it is difficult. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

To dive like a pelican

The ocean is a source of life for many. The water, the fish, the tide itself, the sway of the water, the hiss of the mist, the salt, the vastness... are all part of the life cycle for animal life, human life, our ecosystem and our spirits. When life becomes hectic and our minds are polluted with the residues of busyness, one full breath of ocean–it's smell, it's expansiveness, it's welcoming nature, brings life back into our lives. It regenerates, recharges, enlivens us.

Over the weekend I sat on the most beautiful beach taking in everything it was giving me. We had the beach to ourselves when beautiful pelicans flew in. Majestic, self-assured and confident, these pelicans flew, dove and ate gracefully before us. They were elegant and smooth as they glided in our sky teaching us a lesson in being.

There was no struggle and no competition in nor between these pelicans. They behaved like pelicans. Every move was effortless and precise. Today is a good day to be assertive in our ways. To do so, we must be aware of who we are and what our purpose is. Then every action will be guided and supported, much like the flight of the pelican. Every choice will be sure for it is aligned with our being. When we dive like a pelican, we have no doubt. We dive for what we want, for what is ours. Focused on being who we are meant to be, we don't waste time in doing, we just are. This propels our wings into the direction we want to go. When we focus on what we are, we are lifted and held up, there's an ease in what we do and a nonchalantness in our attitude that is very natural. When we direct our attention to being, synchronicities accumulate and our being becomes sharper, more defined. We become skilled, masterful, experts. Today, we dive like pelicans...

Friday, November 8, 2013

Building blocks

When I was a little girl I wanted to be an architect. There's something fascinating about structures. If they're old, there's a story. If they're new, there's progress. In both there's creativity, collaboration and hope. I used to draw buildings, homes, schools and bridges. More than lone-standing edifices, I drew communities with one building coexisting with the next one. One structure gave me the idea for the next. At one point my parents allowed me to draw an entire imagined mixed-use neighborhood on a wall in our house, in permanent colors! I covered the wall. This was not just any wall. This was the longest wall in the house–the one in the hallway, the one that made them think twice before selling the house. These were my building blocks. I thought everything was possible. That everything imagined could become. It did for me.

I never studied architecture. Yet I still thought in terms of space and composition and of their possible uses. I learned that everything I wanted to build began with a thought. Then there was a plan. Then there was  a design. My building blocks were those thoughts and what I built were stories for the future. I was a writer who, nonetheless, constructed.

Buildings have a special meaning to me. I reflect on parts of their construction and know that one element builds on another and that the stability, safety, beauty, durability and usefulness of each building is contingent on each component being built right.

I imagined this life. As I write, I see my life as a reconstructed and restructured building. There's a story. It's art that I share in the hopes that others, that you, can gain strength from and then be strong for the next person that they may be strong for the next one. Today is a good day to think that which will build the future you want to have. Focusing on the now, have thoughts you can build on. Have thoughts that build you up, your loved ones, your community. One positive thought today, builds tomorrow in hope, in love, in good-will.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Cleaning up the mess

There's a puddle of water in your room. There's a mop. You mop the puddle up. You have cleaned up the mess.

It rains. There's a puddle. You mop. You have cleaned up the mess.

It rains again...

Cleaning up the puddle, but not attending to the cause, does not make sense. Yet this is what we do when we try to solve a problem by trying to fix the effect. In every case, we must address the causes, the underlying thoughts that cause a situation.

Our thoughts have tangible effects on our circumstances. We cannot change our circumstances without first changing the way we think for everything begins with a thought. Today is a good day to stop cleaning up the mess and start dealing with what causes the mess. If you find yourself constantly fixing conflict in your relationships, turning work in late, in persistent financial difficulty in spite of a steady source of income, in a defensive frame of mind, overweight, ill or in a recurrent bad mood, take a look at the way you think. What thoughts keep you in those conditions? What thoughts could move you into a better state? What thoughts could help you fix the leak?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

You suck

You don't really suck, but that's what others think. They do because of the way you present yourself. Listen to yourself complain, criticize, blame and gossip. You are sucking the air out of the room. You are repeating the diatribe of those who have lost hope, the ability to imagine a better life experience and who are dissatisfied with themselves. You repeat the discourse to partake in common conversation. And now you have become a contagion bringing low energy, negativity, pessimism and antagonism with you everywhere you go. Who wants to be with someone like that?

Today is a good day to let your True Self shine through. Dare to see something beautiful. Bring your highest level energy with you. Uplift others. Listen. Smile. Enjoy the moment. Let annoyances pass. Allow yourself to laugh. Share. Collaborate. Love. Be that person you would like to be with.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My lying eyes

With eyes wide open, I am clumsy. I am not clumsy all the time, but I am clumsy, especially when I think I know what I am looking at. Our eyes are our first access to the world. We trust them, yet, many times, what we see is not exactly the truth and, in many cases, even though we see what is in front of us, we still tumble on, trip on and bump into it.

When we think we know what we see, we are not as careful. This has become evident to me as part of my meditation practice. Since I began meditating, I have become quite good at seeing in the dark. I am trying to translate that into an emotional, mental and psychic ability, because it is there where I am still heavy-handed and graceless. After my morning meditation, I stay in my darkened room for a few minutes to rest between the stillness and the movement about to begin, to help with the transition between silence and the stirring of the day. In the dark, I breathe, I move, I am careful. I take it easy as I turn the music off, put away my meditation cushions, move my incense, turn the ceiling fan on, gather my research notebook, my book, my highlighter, my pen, me cell phone and my laptop before I head out the door. I do all of this in the dark never dropping anything, never hitting my shins on the edge of the bed, never burning anything with the incense. It is when I don't trust my eyes that my senses become acute, that my intuition amplifies. It is then that I pay attention.

Today is a good day to move in the dark. Not relying on our eyes, we will be more alert, we will listen better, we will be more elegant in our gestures, fall less. Today is a good day not to trust our physical eyes so much as our spiritual vision. Let's see our day, our life, our loved ones, our blessings, our difficulties, our jobs, our dreams, our inconveniences, our pain, our joy and our goodness through our hearts because it is what we see that we stumble on when we rely on what we think we see. When we see with our heart's attention, we take less for granted, we appreciate more, we see the truth, we see the beauty in our everyday.

Monday, November 4, 2013


Last week I took some time off everything that I could–writing, laundry, assignments, chores, planning. I didn't do it on purpose. I didn't schedule it in my planner. I just did it. It felt almost like resignation, a resignation to first level feelings of fatigue, lack of inspiration and low spirits. I was off-center.

During this time, I went about like a zombie. I ate, I interacted with others, read, worked and brushed my teeth, but there was no intention behind anything I was doing. Yet, there was no resistance either. Behind my apparent disengagement, there was a higher purpose, a nobler objective meant to restore me. What I felt was a disconnection from life was really a disconnection from life's distractions, mindless habits, complacency and ordinary routines. In my numbness, my thoughts became slower, I released judgment and relaxed a bit about almost everything. As a result, my mind became clearer, my heart became lightweight. 

There is a time for everything, and this seems to be a time to let go, to release those mental patterns that bind me, the sense of obligation, the thoughts of how things should be. This time is a gift to reconnect with Spirit. It is not something I initiate, but something I allow and in this allowing I receive awareness, new breath, inspiration, guidance and joy. This short bout of detoxification is letting me appreciate life's blessings, recognize my inner strength, lean on my inner knowing, clue in to my higher purpose and follow my inner compass. These few days of rest have renewed my spirit. 

As we begin a new month, a new lunar cycle and a new season, I invite you to release and allow. Let go of the thoughts that are polluting your mind, clouding your vision and weighing you down. Open your heart, rest your mind, relax your body. In turn, receive clarity, peace, enlivenment. Return to center where your true Self abides, where you naturally flow in goodness, where your intention guides you to your happiest and most fulfilled self. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

We at The Soulcerer's Apprentice have taken a time to regroup, refocus, reconnect and reflect. As we enjoy Sunday, we eagerly prepare to return to you with shared wisdom for personal enlightenment...that together we may illumine brighter. As always, thank you for reading and sharing. Love and light—The Soulcerer's Apprentice