Saturday, April 28, 2012

Who's Charting Your Course?

April 29, 2012

Dear Friends,

Two weeks ago—April 15th, to be exact—was the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.  That weekend there were several shows on television featuring researchers explaining exactly how and why the Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg, and why it broke in half as it went down.

As research tools have become increasingly sophisticated, it now appears that the Titanic was a much stronger ship than many people have been giving it credit for. In fact, some researchers now believe that other ships in the same situation would have sunk much faster.

None of this, however, relieves the captain of the Titanic, Edward John Smith, from being at least partially responsible for this tragedy. Although there may never be any conclusive evidence for this, many people strongly suspect that Captain Smith made a decision during the Titanic’s voyage that proved to be disastrous for everyone on board.

That suspicion reminds me of something that came up when I was writing the first chapter of Row, Row, Row Your Boat. To stay with the boating metaphor, I described the body as “the physical vessel itself.” But I just couldn’t bring myself to refer to the mind as “the captain” of that vessel. I settled for “the brains of the boat,” instead. Why? Because for most people the word “captain” evokes an image of a wise decision-maker in a crisp, white suit—a figure entirely worthy of our total trust. But is the mind really that trustworthy?

In the case of the Titanic, it seems that the captain might have been influenced by someone else on board during that fateful trip . . . Mr. Bruce Ismay. Ismay was the chairman of the White Star Shipping Line—the Line that had built the Titanic, and touted it as both the biggest and the fastest vessel on the seas.

When the Titanic received news that icebergs were drifting toward their latitude, there is reason to believe that Ismay may have convinced the captain to speed up to avoid the approaching icebergs, rather than slow down or change course altogether. The reason? So the Titanic would arrive in New York in record-setting time, living up to its highly publicized reputation for speed.

Do you see the parallel here? Just like the captain of a ship, your mind does have the final responsibility for deciding where you want to go, and how you want to get there. But sometimes your mind can be influenced by the “Bruce Ismay” that resides within your consciousness—that is, by your self-serving ego. Disconnected from the One Divine Spirit that unites us all, your ego will encourage you to make decisions that may benefit you in the short run, but are not in everyone’s best interest in the long run.

Don’t let your ego—which can be just as fearful as it can be grandiose—chart your course for you! That can be a Titanic mistake . . . literally! Always make sure that your mind remains open enough to receive divine direction. It’s the kind of direction that comes through intuitive nudges, divine signs and synchronicities, and the intuitive wisdom of others. And it’s the kind of direction that you can always trust to be in your best interest, as well as the best interests of all.



© 2012 by Steven Lane Taylor 
Steven Lane Taylor, LLC

Saturday, April 21, 2012

If It's Not Good, It's Not The End!

April 22, 2012

Dear Friends,

About a week ago, I watched a television interview with a well-known Olympic swimmer. During this interview, this female athlete said that her life has not always been “rainbows and butterflies.” I think that most of us can say something similar about our own lives, right?

Instead of rainbows and butterflies, we often experience thunderstorms and stinging bees. Or—to go back the metaphor in my first book, Row, Row, Row Your Boat—the waters of life are not always calm and clear. There are plenty of times when we find ourselves surrounded by rocks and rapids. The challenge in those trying times is retaining a sense of well-being by maintaining a state of mind that is constructive and productive.

Obviously, when you encounter an unexpected situation in life, it is neither constructive nor productive to immediately assume that it is “bad.” That kind of instant negativity blocks your connection to your own inner wisdom, and makes it difficult for you to be attuned to the divine guidance that is always leading you to a higher good.

To avoid that kind of mental and emotional block, you might adopt the opposite viewpoint, and label everything that happens in your life—even the most disturbing of events—as “good.” And if that purely positive attitude is totally sincere, that’s great. The trouble is, it is likely that part of you still harbors some doubts about the “goodness” of what you are experiencing. And that sets up a conflict within yourself that can interfere with your ability to make consistently wise choices.

So, if “sugar-coating” every challenging circumstance you face in life is not the best approach, then what is? Many people believe that the wisest way to respond to any perceived difficulty is to avoid labeling it as either good or bad. And there is a very sound basis for that. Because, in truth, nothing in and of itself is actually good or bad. It just is. We are the ones who assign meaning to what occurs in life. And the meaning we assign to things is highly biased and highly subjective—arising out of our own personal history and belief systems.

If you can be truly objective about what occurs in life—refusing to label anything that happens as either good or bad—there is a great sense of peace that results from that, and that’s wonderful. But to me, that kind of mind-set (if you are even able to achieve it) has one drawback. It may limit the possibility of your feeling anything beyond peace . . . such as joy. And I, for one, believe that our Spirits are in this world and in these bodies to experience joy, as well as peace.

If something happens that I think is good (even though I know it is just a subjective judgment on my part), I want to be able to experience all the wonderful feelings that go along with that—feelings like happiness and gratitude. And when things don’t seem to be going good? Well, I still want to experience good feelings! So how do I do that?

I look at every situation that appears to be bad, and see it as good in potential. In other words, I see everything as a stepping-stone to something good. What is happening right now may not be good, but it can always lead to something good. And that’s not just wishful thinking on my part. It has been my experience time and time again that the possibility for good exists within every situation . . . and the divine flow is continually working on my behalf—and everyone’s behalf—to manifest that good.

The choice is yours. You can achieve peace by assigning little or no meaning to what occurs in life. Or, can respond to life’s circumstances in a way that—to my mind—is even more positive and uplifting . . . by seeing everything that happens as either good, or good in potential.

I, for one, choose to thoroughly enjoy all the things that I believe are “good” in life. And more than that, I choose to appreciate the constant possibility of good in everything else. As the old saying goes:

“Everything is good in the end. 
If it’s not good, it’s not the end." 



© 2012 by Steven Lane Taylor
Steven Lane Taylor, LLC

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Divine Discontent

April, 15, 2012

Dear Friends,

Have you ever heard of something called “Divine Discontent?” Divine discontent is not the kind of discontent that arises from your ego. Your ego is always discontented—always urging you to look outside of yourself for something else or something more to “make you happy.” When you experience divine discontent, you are not looking for anything outside of yourself to make you happy. You know that true happiness always comes from within. And yet, you still have a strange and persistent feeling that something needs to shift in your life.

Sometimes, this feeling arises after you have successfully reached a chosen destination in life. And that’s not surprising, because on the level of your innately creative Spirit, true satisfaction in life arises from the process of manifesting. Once something has been manifested, your Spirit is hungry to create anew, and it inspires you to begin the process all over again. That’s why a painter doesn’t stop painting after completing a single work of art—even if it’s considered to be a masterpiece. He or she will continue to create one work of art after another.

Sometimes, too, this feeling of divine discontent is a signal from your Spirit that you are ready to move into an even more fulfilling phase of your work life. Even though you may be very accomplished at what you do, well suited to it, and handsomely paid for it, part of you may long to use your talents, skills, and abilities in an even more meaningful and worthwhile way.

Are you feeling discontented right now? Through prayer, meditation, and/or contemplation, see if you can discern the true source of that feeling. Are you actually just being critical and judgmental about your life? Or, are you truly grateful for what you have in life, but you still sense that there is something else you should be doing.

Perhaps it is time to seriously consider what brings you the most joy and satisfaction in life—regardless of the income you think it may or may not generate—and begin devoting more time and energy to that. Perhaps you are being encouraged by your Spirit to recognize your “calling,” and to finally step out in faith and follow that call. Perhaps it is time to heed that subtle stirring from deep within that says, “It’s time for a new chapter in your life to begin.”

Just something to ponder.



© 2012 by Steven Lane Taylor
Steven Lane Taylor, LLC

Saturday, April 7, 2012

An Easter Reminder

April 8, 2012

Dear Friends,

As the saying goes, “You are not a human being having an occasional spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being having a temporary human experience.” And there is no better time of the year to affirm that for yourself than Easter.

For me, the Easter story is a dramatic demonstration and profound illustration of something that I believe is just as true for you now, as it was for Jesus over 2,000 years ago—that you are in this world, but you are not of this world.

Like I often mention, your true essence is Spirit, not body. And unlike the body, your Spirit is eternal and indestructible. Your authentic self is, in a word, divine—an individual expression of that source energy that many of us call God. And you are here for one purpose, and one purpose only: to express your divine nature in the body, and in the world.

And what, exactly, is that nature? Love. Unconditional love. Divine love.

It’s the kind of love that knows no limits . . . the kind of love that forgives—no matter what. It’s the kind of love that Jesus fully expressed throughout his life, right up to the final moments of his earthly existence. And it’s the kind of love that you, and I, and all of us are called upon to express on a daily basis.

Today, and every day of the year, may you remember who you are, and why you are here. May you remember that the journey of life is not about getting somewhere. The journey of life is about being something. It’s about being the love that you are in every single moment of that journey. And it’s about experiencing the absolute joy that your love brings to the journey, and brings to each and every Spirit that you encounter along the way.

Happy Easter!



© 2012 by Steven Lane Taylor
Author of Row, Row, Row Your Boat:
A Guide for Living Life in the Divine Flow
Steven Lane Taylor, LLC