Saturday, January 30, 2010

Obstacles & The Flow, Part 1

January 31, 2010

Dear Friends,

Has this ever happened to you? You have a particular goal in mind. You begin to pursue that goal, and you feel divinely supported in reaching it, because doors are miraculously opening for you everywhere. You experience an unbelievable stream of coincidences and synchronicities that make your progress incredibly effortless. As you take one divinely guided step after another, you feel like you are definitely “in the flow!”

And then, surprisingly, you run into a closed door. You are certain that the divine flow led you to that door, so you knock on it. But there is no answer. You decide to knock on it again. Still there is no answer. Frustrated, you knock one more time—this time a little harder—and the door finally opens. But then the person who opened the door quickly shuts it in your face.

You are confused. You are positive that the divine flow meant for you to go through that door. What happened? And what are you supposed to do now?

In response to the first question, there is, of course, no single, definitive answer. Maybe you were mistaken about that particular door being part of your divinely prepared path. Or, for some reason, perhaps your goal is no longer in your best interest. Also possible in this instance, is the fact that the doorkeeper was simply not cooperating with his or her divine instructions to open the door for you, and keep it open.

Remember that—for the most part—the divine flow works through people doing what they are being divinely directed to do. Each of us is continually being guided to take actions that will not only help us fulfill our own dreams, but will also help other people fulfill their dreams.

As I have said before, it is important to honor your intuitive nudges, even if they don’t make sense, because it is not always about you. A sudden urge to grab a cup of coffee at a nearby Starbucks might be because there is someone there who needs to meet you in order to accomplish his or her goal.

Unfortunately, people don’t always play the part they are being divinely encouraged to play. Sometimes they are simply not in touch with that still, small voice that is inspiring them to take a certain action. Other times they do sense what they are being divinely asked to do, but then their ego gets in the way. They become fearful, insecure, resistant, or even threatened in some way. So they hesitate. Or worse, they flat out refuse to take the action that—in their hearts—they know is right. Instead of being part of the flow for someone, they close the door in that person’s face.

And when you are the one facing that closed door—a door that you fully expected to be open for you—what are you supposed to do then? The temptation is to bang on the door again . . . or try the backdoor . . . or climb in through a window. Those are the kind of thoughts that might enter your mind. But is that what you are really being divinely guided to do?

How do you know when an action that you are considering taking is, in truth, an act of force arising from the ego, instead of your divinely guided next right step?

I wish there was a simple answer for that—a hard and fast rule, or an unmistakable sign. All I can tell you is what I, personally, experience in moments like that . . . which is this: There comes a point when I notice that an action that I am considering taking is accompanied by a sense of tension and anxiety, rather than a sense of peace and ease. There are possible downsides to this course of action, and I can easily see what they are. And the fact that I am even questioning this action—instead of feeling sure about it—is a sign to me that I may be moving into the willful world of manipulation and control, rather than “rowing with the flow.”

That’s when I surrender any and all notions about how my desire is going to be fulfilled, and I take comfort in the fact that “when one door closes, the Universe always opens another.”

I become willing to move in an entirely new direction, and follow the “inner direction” of my spirit—even if it is telling me to just stay put and be patient. I once had a door that was closed to me for over a year. Then one day, I suddenly felt compelled to knock on that door again. And this time, it swung wide open. I don’t know if it was a matter of divine timing, or if the doorkeeper had a change of heart, or if there was a brand new doorkeeper. Any of those things is possible. But none of that matters. Remember that your job is never to “figure out” what’s going on. It is only to remain open and receptive to your divinely-inspired next right step . . . and the one after that . . . and the one after that . . . no matter where that step may lead.

Keep in mind, too, that through a regular practice of prayer and meditation, and by paying close attention to your feelings, your ability to discern the difference between a divinely guided step and a misguided one will get better and better. Sure, there will still be occasions when your ego wins out, and you force your way forward. But when you do that, the unwanted consequences are usually so obvious, you will then know without a doubt that it is time for you to give up on that particular course of action. And that sense of certainty—belated though it may be—will come as a big relief.

And if you keep encountering closed doors, one after another? If you keep running into obstacles in the form of uncooperative and resistant people? What then? Are you just supposed to give up on your dream? Well, that’s another story. I’ll share my thoughts on that next week.


© 2010 by Steven Lane Taylor
Author of Row, Row, Row Your Boat:
A Guide for Living Life in the Divine Flow

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Disasters and The Flow, Part 2

January 24, 2010

Dear Friends,

With the arrival of rescue crews and doctors in Haiti, we are beginning to hear many joyful stories about people being pulled out of the rubble, and lives being miraculously saved. For countless thousands of earthquake survivors, however, there is not a lot to be joyful about. These people have forever lost cherished friends, beloved family members, and respected co-workers. And right now they are grieving.

Although one of the keys to living life in the divine flow is maintaining a positive attitude, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for that positive attitude to be genuine. That means that feelings like sadness and sorrow must be allowed to run their natural course, because only then can there be an authentic return to a more optimistic outlook on life.

As I mentioned just a few months ago, living life in the divine flow is not about stuffing your feelings to maintain an "appearance" of positivity. There is such a thing as legitimate pain in life. It is not the kind of pain that you bring upon yourself through needless worry or thoughtless actions. It is the kind of pain that occurs most often with the sudden and unexpected loss of someone, or something, that you deeply love.

If you are dealing with a loss in your life right now, it is okay to go ahead and let yourself feel your feelings about it. In fact, it is necessary. Give yourself permission to experience all of your feelings freely and fully. Allow them to come, and go . . . and come again . . . and go again. It is the only way that they will eventually dissipate.

If, instead, you attempt to suppress those feelings, they will continue to exist at an unconscious level. And, in the end, that will just delay your ability to heal and feel joy again. And by "joy" I mean that underlying sense of appreciation for the total experience of life . . . a joy that embraces all of life’s twists and turns . . . a joy that may be best described as "bittersweet."

To each of you who have recently lost a loved one, or anything else that occupies a special place in your heart, please know that kindred spirits the world over are supporting you in the restoration of your sense of well-being.

Blessings to you all.


© 2010 by Steven Lane Taylor
Author of Row, Row, Row Your Boat:
A Guide for Living Life in the Divine Flow

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Disasters and The Divine Flow

January 17, 2010

Dear Friends,

When a disaster occurs—like the devastating earthquake that just struck Haiti—we often turn our faces to the sky and cry, “Why, God? Why?” In our attempt to make sense out of what has happened, we desperately seek some kind of “divine” reason for it all. And that is completely understandable.

But in this physical world we live in—a world that is not only influenced by the choices of man, but also by the natural forces of wind and water and shifting ground—things happen . . . tragic things, sometimes. And the simple fact is, there may not be a “divine” explanation for it.

Perhaps a better question to ask in this instance is not why something has happened, but now that it has happened, what is our next right step? What is that divinely guided step that is not only in our own best interests, but in the best interests of all?

Remember that no matter what has happened or why it has happened, there can always be a divine flow from that point on . . . a healing flow that directs us and supports us in our return to health, wholeness, and an overall experience of well-being. The challenge, as always, is remaining open and receptive enough to hear that still, small voice that is continually telling us the best way to help ourselves, and to help each other.

In this time of shock and grief, confusion and sadness, let us send our love and light to all the people in Haiti who are in too much pain right now to sense any kind of divine flow in their lives.

Or, better yet, let us offer those people our aid in whatever way we feel divinely inspired to . . . and be the divine flow in their lives.


P.S. Here are two ways you can be of immediate help in the wake of the Haiti disaster: Text “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross. (Your donation will appear on your phone bill.) Give blood through a Red Cross sponsored blood drive to help replenish their supplies. (O-Negative blood is especially helpful because it is the one blood type that can be given to anyone.)

© 2010 by Steven Lane Taylor
Author of Row, Row, Row Your Boat:
A Guide for Living Life in the Divine Flow

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Trust and The Divine Flow

January 10, 2010

Dear Friends,

As a person whose livelihood depends primarily on the written word, I have become fond of word plays, including acronyms . . . that is, words formed from the initial letters of other words. For example:
ROW = Relying on Wisdom
EGO = Edging God Out
FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real
HOPE = Holding Onto Positive Expectations
Like many people, at the beginning of this year I was looking for a personal theme for 2010—something in particular I wanted to focus on for the next 12 months. Well, I found it when I visited a new church recently, and the minister mentioned this acronym:
TRUST = Totally Relying Upon Spirit’s Timing
In these emails I often mention the part that divine timing plays in the manifestation of your desires, and how that requires a fair amount of patience on your part. If you try to force something into being before the universe has gotten all the “ducks in row,” you may complicate things and delay that manifestation even further. Or, you may create something that is a poor imitation of what the universe was originally lining up for you. Or, you may fulfill your desire before you are the kind of person you need to be in order to maintain that manifestation for any length of time.

However, living life in the divine flow—and fulfilling your heart’s desires effortlessly—is not just about timing.

It’s also about inspiration . . . about being open and receptive to divine ideas—the kind of thoughts and insights that fill you with great enthusiasm, and give you a clue as to what you were born on this planet to do.

It’s about nurturing . . . knowing that the universe is always supporting you in your emotional development and spiritual growth—giving you the opportunity to benefit from every single thing that you experience in life.

And it’s about guidance . . . remembering that the universe is continually directing you toward your highest good in a myriad of ways, and it is up to you to constantly be on the lookout for that guidance—whether it comes from your own intuition, the intuitive wisdom of others, or the divine signs and synchronicities that are all around you.

Put all of these things together, and you wind up with this expanded acronym:
TRUSTING = Totally Relying Upon Spirit’s Timing,
Inspiration, Nurturing, and Guidance.
TRUSTING—that’s my focus for the year. And if it resonates with you, I invite you to join me in practicing this way of being in 2010 . . . not partially (just sometimes in some situations), but—as the first letter in this acronym indicates—totally (all the time in all situations).

Now there’s a challenge!


© 2010 by Steven Lane Taylor
Author of Row, Row, Row Your Boat:
A Guide for Living Life in the Divine Flow

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy "Now" Year!

January 1, 2010

Happy Now Year, Friends!

Yes, you read that right. I wrote Happy "Now" Year instead of Happy "New" Year. It’s not a typo. It's just my way of reminding you about the important part that the present moment plays in the manifestation process.

Remember that fulfilling your heart’s desires effortlessly depends upon your ability to recognize and follow divine guidance. But that guidance only comes to you in “the now.”

That doesn't mean that you should refrain from visualizing and affirming what you want to have, do, or be in the coming year. It just means that it is not productive for you to keep your attention continually focused there. And focusing continually on your desires is not even necessary. I have had many manifestations occur in my life after thinking about a desire for only one short moment, and then never giving it another thought.

The challenge is not making sure that this intelligent universe we live in “hears” you. The universe has great “ears,” and it hears you the first time. The challenge is making sure that you are completely open and receptive to the response that you will invariably receive. And since that response always occurs in the present, you must keep your awareness primarily centered in the now moment so you are able to see, hear, or sense that response.

To live life in the divine flow, you must let go of your reflections on the past and your projections into the future, so you can recognize and go through the doors that are being divinely opened for you right here, and right now.

And above all, always remember that you never have to fulfill a desire to be happy; you never have to accomplish a goal to be happy; and you never have to realize a dream to be happy. Remember that real happiness—true, long-lasting happiness—only comes from accepting and appreciating the now moment for whatever it is offering you . . . and from opening up your heart and being the love that you are in that moment. That, my friends, is the real key to having a happy new year.

So, here’s to the Here and Now!

Here’s to the Year and Now!

Happy Now Year, my friends!


© 2010 by Steven Lane Taylor
Author of Row, Row, Row, Your Boat:
A Guide for Living Life in the Divine Flow