Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Divine Sign?

March 29, 2009

Dear Friends,

In one part of my workshop, I talk about the “divine signs” that guide us in life. I really enjoy this section because sometimes these divine signs are literal signs—actual words that have been printed or painted on a surface somewhere. And these literal signs are so succinct and so direct, they are often as amusing as they are amazing.

One of the ways I was guided to the publisher of my book was through a billboard that was posted on the sign of the highway. That was not only a literal sign, but it was a very large one! And after I published my book, I saw another sign that encouraged me to focus on sharing my message, instead of dwelling on selling books. It was a poster on the side of a bus that simply read, “SPREAD THE WORD.”

Of course, we also receive divine signs that are not literal. They are figurative—that is, they are objects, animals, or insects that we ourselves have assigned meaning to over time.

Usually, we have assigned meaning to these objects, animals, or insects, because something very beneficial has occurred when one of these things was present, or something significant happened immediately after its appearance. Then—at another time or in another place—the same unusual juxtaposition happened again. And then—later still—it happened one more time.

At that point, we know that when these things show up in our lives, we are being divinely guided to something important, or made aware of something significant, and we take heed.

Please notice, though, that I began the last paragraph with the words, “At that point.” Assigning meaning to what appears in your life should not be done too hastily. If it’s truly a divine sign, it will usually reappear over time. And generally, it will also have these other two characteristics:

1. The object, animal, or insect itself will be very unusual; or it will be something ordinary that is showing up at an extraordinary time or place; or it will be something that is highly personal to you, and to you alone. Please be careful in assigning meaning to common, everyday things that are likely to appear in your life on a frequent basis.

2. Every single time this sign appears, something helpful happens. Divine signs are consistently beneficial. If you are experiencing mixed results, the divine nature and origin of that sign is questionable.

Remember, too, that this intelligent universe we live in has more than one way of communicating with you. If you are really paying attention, you will notice that you are not only being shown a sign, but that sign will also be supported by other messages that are being delivered to you—through something that you see on television, hear on the radio, or are told by a trusted friend. The most reliable confirmation usually comes from what your own intuition is indicating to you.

So, my friends, here’s to seeing the divine signs, and here’s to following the divine signs. But first, here’s to taking the time to practice a little divine discernment.


© 2009 by Steven Lane Taylor
Author of Row, Row, Row Your Boat:
A Guide for Living Life in the Divine Flow

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Bigger Picture

March 22, 2009

NOTE: For obvious reasons, many of the messages that I have been delivering lately have been focused on maintaining a positive, peaceful, and prosperous attitude—in spite of outward appearances of lack and limitation. This week’s message is one that I originally wrote in August of 2007, but it is timelier than ever. I think you’ll agree.

Dear Friends,

When Carol and I moved into our home in Sedona, Arizona, we quickly noticed an interesting phenomenon. There is a large picture window in our living room that perfectly frames one of the most popular sights in Sedona . . . a red rock formation called Bell Rock. When viewed from our living room, Bell Rock fills much of the window, and it looks huge. But when we step outside onto the patio, Bell Rock seems to shrink.

Why? Because when we are outside we see the whole picture. We see the vast blue sky above Bell Rock, all of the terrain beneath it, and the mountains that flank Bell Rock on the left and right.

When I visited Mount Rainier in the state of Washington, I noticed the same phenomenon. When seen in the context of everything around it—the sky above, the river below, and the mountain ranges on either side—Mount Rainier still looks immense (because it is!). But it seems even more prominent when seen through the window of the visitor center.

Isn’t life like that? Mountains often represent the challenges you face in life, and, yes, some challenges are quite significant. But when they are viewed through the confines of your limited perception—when they are “framed” by your highly personal, highly biased, and highly subjective beliefs and fears—these challenges can seem much larger than they actually are.

When, instead, you look at the big picture, and let go of how you are framing the object of your attention, obstacles become less insurmountable and more manageable. And what, exactly, is the big picture?

Well, for one, it helps to remember that you never have to overcome any troubling circumstance alone. In fact, you have the entire universe on your side . . . a universe that is continually working on your behalf to help you solve or overcome any particular problem. And to the universe—to that intelligent, compassionate energy that many of us call God—every problem, regardless of its seeming size and complexity, is eminently solvable.

And secondly, it helps to keep in mind that any current challenge you are facing is just one small portion of your entire life experience. Yes, that portion may totally dominate your experience at the moment—in fact, it may be all you are able to focus on right now—but eventually you will come to see this situation as just one part of the complete picture of your life.

Remember that no matter how enormous your current difficulty appears to be, it really only looks that way from your restricted point of view. The Truth is, all challenges are smaller challenges when viewed in the context of God’s unlimited love, and God’s infinite inventiveness. All problems are smaller problems when you are able to look at the bigger picture.

I hope you find as much comfort in that thought as I do.


© 2009 by Steven Lane Taylor
Author of Row, Row, Row Your Boat:
A Guide for Living Life in the Divine Flow

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Grow With The Flow

March 15, 2009

Dear Friends,

Whenever I imagine the divine flow in my mind, I tend to picture it more like a river than a stream—a river that twists and turns as it meanders through the land . . . sometimes moving swiftly, but often slowing down to a virtual standstill.

A question that often arises in my talks and workshops is this one: Why can’t the flow be more direct—leading us to our goal in a quick, simple, and straightforward manner?

Well, it can . . . and sometimes does. But there are many reasons why the flow often takes a more roundabout route. Included are:

1. The flow is guiding you around obstacles that you are unaware of.

2. The flow is leading you to a place where you can be of assistance to someone else. The flow is not always about you!

3. The flow is constantly changing its course to adjust to the freewill decisions that you make, combined with the freewill decisions that everyone else is making.

4. The flow is slowing things down, or sending you on detours, so you will be at the right place at just the right moment. It’s simply a matter of divine timing.

Today, I want to add another important reason to this list, and then expand on it:

5. The flow is leading you toward opportunities that can help you become the kind of person that you need to be before you arrive at your chosen destination.

You may have a grand dream that you are pursuing, but that doesn’t mean that you are fully equipped to handle its manifestation at this particular moment. If you were to arrive at your destination prematurely, you might not be able to remain there very long, or even enjoy it.

At a minimum, there may be some skills that you need to develop before your dream is realized. Have you ever looked back on your life and noticed how certain skills that you acquired along the way served you wonderfully later?

Even more importantly, you may have some personal issues that need to be addressed before it is wise—or even possible—for your desire to be fulfilled. There may be some emotional wounds that need to be healed. There may be some self-sabotaging behaviors that need to be revealed. There may be some mental conflicts that need to be resolved, or limiting ideas that need to be dissolved.

You see, the flow not only helps you get where you are going, but it also supports you in growing—in maturing mentally, emotionally, and spiritually—so you are adequately prepared for where you are headed. It may help you meet a particular person who can help you grow in some way. Or it may pave the way for an experience you could benefit from.

Some experiences you encounter may be quite challenging. But the fact is, many of these opportunities for growth are ones that you yourself—on a very deep level—know that you need, and are actually choosing to take advantage of, so you can successfully live the kind of life that you are pursuing.

So, here’s to rowing the with flow—whether it’s fast or slow, straight or circuitous—knowing that it is always guiding you to your highest good. And here’s to growing with the flow, knowing that—all along the way—it is helping you become the kind of person that you need to be . . . the kind of person that you want to be . . . and the kind of person that you were born to be.


© 2009 by Steven Lane Taylor
Author of Row, Row, Row Your Boat:
A Guide for Living Life in the Divine Flow

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Fable Revisited

March 8, 2009

Dear Friends,

As I often mention—and did so again last week—everything can be a stepping stone to your higher good . . . if you want it to be. There is a fable I sometimes tell in my talks and workshops that is a wonderful illustration of this principle. And lately I have discovered that this visual metaphor is even more perfect than I realized.

Here’s the story:

“There was once a rancher who owned a donkey. This donkey was more of a pet than a work animal, and the rancher was sad to watch his beloved donkey grow increasingly feeble and blind as time went by.

One day, the rancher noticed the donkey hobbling across a field toward a bucket of oats. Between the donkey and the oats there was a dried-up well, which was encircled by a short stone wall.

The rancher was horrified when the donkey—being half-blind—stumbled over the wall and fell right into the well! The rancher ran out to the well, and looked down into the hole. But the hole was so deep, the rancher couldn’t see the bottom. So he listened carefully for sounds of suffering. But he never heard a thing.

The rancher finally assumed that the donkey must have died in the fall. And although the rancher was very sad about what had happened, he felt like this terrible accident might be a blessing in disguise. The donkey’s life had ended instantly, and the donkey no longer had to suffer the ever-increasing aches and pains of aging.

Since retrieving the donkey from the well would be extremely difficult, the rancher decided to make the well the donkey’s final resting place. He would fill in the dangerous hole, and then erect a small monument to the animal on that very spot.

Requiring help with this, the rancher asked his friends to bring over some loads of dirt, which they did. And after conducting a short, but touching memorial service, the rancher and his buddies began to shovel the dirt into the hole.

Well, guess what? Although the well no longer produced water, there was still six feet of mud in the bottom of the hole. And the mud had protected the donkey from harm! Other than being disoriented, and having his legs stuck in the mud, the donkey was perfectly fine! He wasn’t dead at all!

But then dirt starts falling on the donkey’s head! And on his back! And all around him! After a while, the dirt had piled up past the donkey’s knees. And that’s when instinct took over.

First with one leg, and then with the others, the donkey slowly pulled himself out of the mud, and stepped up onto the pile of dry dirt. As more dirt accumulated, the donkey stepped up again. And then again. And then again. Until finally, the ranchers were shocked to see the donkey’s head appear at the top of the well! What a delightful surprise!”

You get the point, of course. Quite literally, the dirt that was supposed to bury the donkey became his “stepping stone to a higher good!” And the metaphor for us is equally obvious:

We, too, blindly fall into holes. And when we think we’ve hit bottom, the world seems to add insult to injury and throws dirt on us. The difference between people and the donkey, though, is this: We often let the dirt pile up to our necks—or even over our heads—before we are open to seeing the next right step that is right in front of us.

Unlike the donkey, we spend all our time blaming the people who dug the hole, or shaming ourselves for stupidly falling into it. We rant and we rave about the injustice of it all, and in that judgmental state, we fail to notice that the very elements that make up our circumstance can provide us with a way out of our predicament.

But now I see that there is even more depth (and height) to the story than that. For when the donkey got to the top of the well, he was no closer to the oats than he was when he first fell into the hole. And so it may be for you.

Although it is possible for the divine flow to instantly open a portal that leads directly from the bottom of the well to the goal that you are trying to reach, more often than not, the next right step that you will be divinely guided to take will simply be a step that is designed to help rectify the situation that you are in.

There may be a step that helps you heal emotionally, a step that helps you grow spiritually, or a step that helps restore something that was damaged or lost . . . but those steps won’t necessarily move you any closer to your chosen destination.

There are consequences to going through life blindly—that is, making choices based on fear and ego, rather than continually seeking divine guidance. And when you fall into a hole, there may be quite a few steps that have to be taken, and quite a bit of time that might have to pass, before you feel like you are once again heading toward your dream.

Whether it’s a step that heals something, reveals something, or repairs something, it’s a great comfort to know that the divine flow is continually providing you with what you need to lift you up, before it once again guides you toward your goal with effortless ease.

Remember, though, it’s up to you to recognize that step when it appears. May you be open and receptive to identifying your next right step now . . . and be willing to take it . . . and to take the one after that . . . and the one after that . . . and the one after that.


© 2009 by Steven Lane Taylor
Author of Row, Row, Row Your Boat:
A Guide for Living Life in the Divine Flow