Saturday, January 29, 2011

Why Pride Precedes A Fall

January 30, 2011

Dear Friends,

Regardless of your spiritual background, most of you are probably familiar with the old saying, “Pride goeth before a fall.” Originating from a verse in the Book of Proverbs, it simply means that pride can somehow set you up for failure, and lead you down a destructive path. But why is that?

First of all, let’s clarify one thing. The kind of pride we are talking about here is not authentic pride. Authentic pride is a healthy sense of your own personal worth and value. You recognize that you have been blessed with a unique combination of talents, gifts, and abilities . . . but you also recognize that your accomplishments are the result of a co-creative endeavor between you and that Divine Universal Intelligence that many call God. It’s a “we” thing.

The kind of pride that precedes a “fall” does not recognize divine assistance. Instead, it credits all achievements solely to the self. It’s an “I” thing, revealed in statements such as “I did this,” or “I did that.” This false sense of pride comes from the ego—that part of you that tends to Edge God Out (E.G.O.).

When you Edge God Out you are no longer open to divine direction—to the divine guidance that is there to help you accomplish your goals and fulfill your dreams effortlessly. Instead, you have only your own intellect to rely on. And thus, your ability to make truly wise decisions and take truly wise actions becomes extremely limited. Struggle—and sometimes, trouble—often follows as a result.

I can’t help but wonder if pride, in part, contributed to the downfall of Ted Williams. Ted is the homeless man who recently made the national news when a video of him was posted on the Internet. People were surprised to discover that this man, who was begging for money on a street corner, had a remarkable gift—a “golden voice” that was ideal for radio and television broadcasting.

Although the overt cause of Ted’s trouble appears to be alcohol and drug addiction, Ted said something in an interview that I believe is quite telling. He said that before his life began to fall apart, “he took everything for granted.” He was never grateful for any of the blessings that appeared in his life, and he never thanked a Higher Power for any of the good things that came his way.

I don’t know if an attitude of gratitude would have been enough to have saved Ted from his “fall,” but I am certain about this, friends: If you want to live a life that is more joyful, more fulfilling, and remarkably effortless, then don’t let the “I” in “PRIDE” be your only guide.

Remember that you also have the help of something greater than yourself—the support of a Greater Intelligence and a Higher Power. And there is no better way to be open and receptive to the divine direction of that Intelligent Power, than to consciously acknowledge its presence in your life, and be continually grateful for its loving assistance.

As Meister Eckhart, the German philosopher and theologian, said:

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life
is ‘Thank You,’ that will be enough.”



© 2011 by Steven Lane Taylor
Author of Row, Row, Row Your Boat:
A Guide for Living Life in the Divine Flow

Friday, January 21, 2011

Dealing With Loss

January 23, 2011

Dear Friends,

No doubt, each and every one of you have heard quite a bit about the horrific shooting rampage that recently took place in Tucson, Arizona, as well as the massive flooding that occurred in both Australia and Brazil. Hundreds of people have lost their lives, lost their health, and lost their homes.

I often mention that one of the keys to living life in the divine flow is maintaining a positive attitude. A "merry" mind-set is important because it helps you stay open to divine guidance, which enables you to play your part in the unfolding of a greater good. But—and here’s the point of this week’s message—that positive attitude must be genuine. That means that when you experience a loss in your life, feelings such as disappointment, sadness, and sorrow must first be allowed to run their natural course.

Living life in the divine flow is not—I repeat, 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, thoughtless actions, or inappropriate attachments. It is the kind of pain that occurs most often with the sudden and unexpected loss of someone you deeply love, or the loss of something else that is near and dear to your heart, such as a fulfilling job.

If you are dealing with a loss in your life right now—or any challenging situation—it is okay to go ahead and let yourself feel your feelings about it. 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, a beloved pet, or anything else that occupies an important place in your heart, please know that kindred spirits the world over are supporting you in the restoration of your sense of wholeness, and the recovery of your sense of peace.



© 2011 by Steven Lane Taylor
Author of Row, Row, Row Your Boat:
A Guide for Living Life in the Divine Flow

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Devastation of Separation

January 16, 2011

Dear Friends,

Although there are rarely definitive answers as to why certain tragedies occur in this world—such as the shooting rampage that recently took place at a political gathering in Tucson, Arizona—I believe that the underlying cause for many of these events is ultimately the same thing: a feeling of separation instead of oneness.

“Oneness” is about our intimately joined relationship with each other. It is a relationship that arises from the fact that we are all individual expressions of One Spirit—that creative, loving, all-pervading Spirit that many call God.

There are times when we sense that holy connection more than others, such as when we pray, meditate, spend time in nature, or hold a tiny baby in our arms. And the natural result of that sense of connection is a wonderful feeling of well-being.

But all too often we feel disconnected, instead. We forget that we are one with God, and one with all of God's children. We feel separate from others, and separate from everything around us. And that sense of separation—of being all alone and on our own in this world—can generate a fair amount of fear.

Sometimes that fear—and the anger that often issues from that fear—can be so magnified by mental illness or negative mental conditioning, we witness the kind of destructive behavior that exploded in Tucson on January 8th.

Although everything that happens in life is an opportunity for us to discover where our blocks to loving are, it may be quite a while before many of us are willing to feel compassion for the lonely soul who orchestrated that horrific event which ended the lives of six people, and changed forever the lives of many, many more.

For now, let us remember that when we judge others—when we attack them, belittle them, and criticize them—we are not only mentally and emotionally separating ourselves from them, we are also mentally and emotionally divorcing ourselves from the One Spirit . . . from the All-That-Is that is God.

May we remember who we truly are at the core of our being: individual expressions of God, as inseparable from our Source as waves are from the ocean. And may we maintain that conscious connection—and the sense of well-being that comes from that connection—by seeing all of our brothers and sisters as equal members of God's family.



© 2011 by Steven Lane Taylor
Author of Row, Row, Row Your Boat:
A Guide for Living Life in the Divine Flow

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Misconceptions About Manifesting

January 9, 2011

Dear Friends,

One of my favorite quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson is this one:

“The moment you make a decision,
the whole universe conspires to make it happen.”

If that is true—and, for the most part, I believe it is—you can see what tremendous power you have when it comes to manifesting whatever it is you want to have, do, or be in life. You have the whole universe working on your behalf to help you realize your dreams!

In a few popular books and videos, our helpful universe is portrayed as a “genie” that magically delivers to you whatever it is you specifically ask for . . . as long as you stay focused on what you want. But is that true? Is the universe like a giant genie?

My experience of life suggests that we do, indeed, have celestial assistance when it comes to accomplishing our goals and fulfilling our desires. But to me, the portrayal of the universe as a genie is overly simplistic. And I believe it leaves people with quite a few misconceptions about how the manifestation process really works.

This week, I would like to briefly address four of those misconceptions.

You must be very specific about what you want,
because you only get exactly what you ask for.

There is nothing wrong with being specific about what you want to get out of life. In fact, I recommend it. But after that, it is best to let go of any rigid attachment you might have to one specific outcome. My experience has shown me that the universe is willing to help me manifest something that is even better than what I think I want—something that is greater, grander, and more fulfilling . . . and something that is always in the best interests of all. When I confine myself to my own, limited, pre-conceived ideas about what I think is best for me, I risk missing a much greater miracle.

You literally attract what you want to you.

Is it possible to ask the universe for something and have it literally show up on your doorstep the very next morning? Yes, actually, it is. I have done that very thing. But that kind of experience is rare. What you are always attracting to you are the people and circumstances that lead you to what you want. Through synchronistic events and happy coincidences, the universe will open doors for you and create opportunities for you in direct response to your desire. But you have to go through those doors and take advantage of those opportunities! In short, you have to act! If you are just sitting around waiting for something to literally fall in your lap, you may be waiting quite a while . . . perhaps forever.

It takes a lot of concentrated thought and energy
to manifest what you want.

Really? Time and time again I have manifested something in my life without giving it a second thought—often within 24 hours! The key is not telling the universe what you want over and over again. The universe hears you the first time! The key is being totally open to receiving what you want, and paying attention to what immediately appears in your life—no matter what that might look like. It’s okay to spend a little time visualizing what you want, and getting in touch with what brings you joy. Just remember to keep most of your focus in the here and now, because that’s where your miracle is going to manifest.

You must be consciously aware of what you want,
and ask for it.

On more than one occasion, the universe has demonstrated to me that it knows exactly what I need, even when I am not consciously aware of it myself! When I cooperate with the universe by doing what I feel divinely guided to do at any given moment, I consistently end up manifesting things I greatly need, but never thought to ask for. If you want to have a similar experience, then listen to your intuition, heed the divine signs and synchronicities that are all around you, and move in the direction that seems indicated—even if you have no idea where you are being guided.

So, my friends, I ask the question again: Is our universe like a genie that can only respond to our stated desires in a very automatic, robotic-like fashion? Based on my own experience, I say no. This wonderfully beneficent universe is far more intelligent than many people are giving it credit for these days.

Whether we call it “The Universe,” “Source,” “Divine Mind,” or “God,” experience after experience suggests to me that there is, indeed, a Higher Intelligence that is at work in this world. It knows what is in our hearts, as well as what is in our heads. It knows what we need, as well as want we want. And it is already working on our behalf to fulfill our dreams, goals, and desires . . . whether we have specifically asked for something or not.

Let’s not get so caught up in our power to manifest, that we forget to be grateful for the Higher Power that is behind it all . . . a Power that always has our best interests in mind, and is continually orchestrating the highest good for each and every one of us.



© 2011 by Steven Lane Taylor
Author of Row, Row, Row Your Boat:
A Guide for Living Life in the Divine Flow

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Do You Know What You Want?

January 1, 2011

Happy New Year, Friends!

This is the time of year when many of you will begin to seriously visualize what it is you want to create for yourself in the coming 12 months. But I can already hear a few of you saying, “I really don’t know what I want.”

“I don’t know what I want” is something I hear fairly often in my workshops and retreats. And to be perfectly honest with you, it’s an issue I don’t relate to very well. Personally, I have never had any trouble identifying what it is I want to have, do, or be in my life. I just follow the old adage, “follow your bliss.” I notice what makes me the happiest, and I focus my time and energy on manifesting more of that.

If you are a person who claims to not have any specific goals or dreams—if you feel like you don’t really know what you want—I invite you to consider this: Perhaps you do know what you want. Perhaps you do know what you would like to have, do, or be. And perhaps you do know what makes you happy. Maybe you just aren’t willing to admit it to yourself. So you nip the idea in the bud before it ever fully develops.

And why would you do that? There are various reasons why. Among them are these: You don’t consider yourself worthy enough to have, do, or be what you want. You don’t think you are smart enough to have it, or capable enough to handle it. Or your goal is so lofty, your dream is so ideal, you can’t conceive of how such a manifestation could ever be possible. So you literally stop the thought before it ever fully forms in your mind.

Friends, if any of you are in this position, I invite you begin this brand new year by affirming the following: If you can dream it, then you deserve to have it!

As a holy and wholly-loved child of the Divine, you are innately worthy of whatever it is you want to have, do, or be in this life. You don’t have to know how to create it, and you don’t have to know how to handle it once you have it. The entire universe is working on your behalf to fulfill your every heart’s desire . . . just because you desire it!

This year, don’t edit yourself. The only limits in life are the ones that you—yourself—put on it. Go ahead—dream big! Begin picturing your ideal life today. Let your imagination soar!

May your 2011 be absolute heaven!


P.S. If you would like to improve your sense of self-worth or deservedness, I invite you to download a helpful set of affirmations I created a number of years ago. To download this simple Word document, just click here.


© 2011 by Steven Lane Taylor
Author of Row, Row, Row Your Boat:
A Guide for Living Life in the Divine Flow