March 10, 2012 Edition

"For all sad words of tongue and pen,
The saddest are these,
'It might have been'.
- John Greenleaf Whittier

To Awareness

Expand Your Perspectives

Mystics say that we come to this lifetime with one or more major life lessons to learn. Our major life issues are usually of 2 types:

- Mental and POWER-ORIENTED, like making our stand, developing our minds or being more courageous.

- Emotional and LOVE-ORIENTED, like expressing our love, receiving love or nurturing others.

For roughly the first half of our lives, our personality wrestles with different experiences around power and/or love issues. During this time, we are building up our Egos and so our perspectives are typically self-centered, protective and primarily focused on the material world. Our ego feels it's in charge and knows all the answers. But under its leadership, we usually find ourselves in pain, struggling with one or more challenges with health, career, family, relationships or finances.

As we enter the second half of life, our maturing personality may begin to see the patterns in how we are handling (or mishandling) our lives. As we become more aware of who we are and how we interact with the world, we may experience a deep inner urge to heal our life's challenges. This urge signifies our personality's willingness to open to its higher nature or Soul.

Under the Soul's guidance, we discover the learning opportunities present in our challenges. We shift to a higher perspective where we understand cause and not just the effects ... we seek truth ... we begin to understand natural laws and spiritual connection ... we begin to work through the pain and fear, to find more balance, harmony and wholeness.

It's a huge gift when we can grasp the major lessons of our lives. They offer a context that gives meaning to the many individual incidents that, in isolation, seem to serve no purpose. When we can bring the many parts of our lives together into a bigger picture, we get more meaning out of life.

"Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them."
-- Brendan Francis

Love Those Soul Soothers
Blessings to a grateful subscriber
(Subscriber noted she was unable to make a love donation due to financial problems,
but offered this poem as a show of gratitude.)

Today when I signed online,
I was happy and pleased to see.
That in my incoming mail,
Was a Soul Soothers from you to me.

I love the stories you send me
And all the quotes and other things too!
But the biggest thrill of all,
Was seeing the "Spiritual Insight" from you.

Now we don't talk that much
So these stories and poems say it all.
But I want you to know that your Soul Soothers are special
No matter how big or how small.

So keep the Soul Soothers coming
I love it ever so much.
And know its really appreciated ...
Especially that inspirational touch! ;-)

"Neither situations nor people can be altered
by the interference of an outsider. If they are to be altered,
that alteration must come from within.
Phyllis Bottome

The Power Of Feelings
by Michael Bonamassa, Sr.

There are two feelings that are fundamental to the attracting of anything in our lives ... one is "gratitude" and the other is "self-love." When we look at our life with gratitude, we shift our focus onto what we like. As we shift our focus on something, more of the same comes to us. That is the Law of Attraction. No, gratitude does not work because the Universe says, "Look, there is one who is grateful, let us give this one more for they deserve a greater reward." It is all about where we place our focus of attention.

The Universe is a neutral place and responds simply to our focus of attention. Gratitude places our focus upon the positive side of any subject; it places our attention onto the having of something, rather than the lack of something. As we practice gratitude and acknowledge what we already have, we shift not only our focus, but also our vibration, into the direction of more of the thing we are looking for. You see, we cannot ask for anything that we don't already have.

If we were born on an island somewhere where there were no birds and therefore no eggs, we could not ask for more eggs. It is the same with everything our heart desires. When we ask for abundance, we already have it. When we ask for good health, we already have it. You see, if our legs lack health and we cannot walk, our arms still work, don't they? Are we then totally devoid of health? No. Inwardly, we know what health is because it is part of who we are.

The four principles of creation are who we are. They are not things we need to earn or discover. Perhaps we need the awareness to remember, but that is all. Health and well-being, abundance, love, and the power to create are what we are. They are part of our very being, they are our soul, and they are the expression of the God/Goddess within us. I say this to you with absolute knowing ... we cannot ask for anything that we don't already have. With gratitude, we can focus on what is already present. For example, let us say that we are looking for an intimate relationship, one that provides us with companionship, love, sharing, and all the things we want from a partner.

These things are already in our life, expressed by the people who are in our lives. Our friends offer us companionship, love, understanding, and many other things. The problem is that when longing for a partner, most of us focus on our loneliness, and as we focus on the loneliness, we distance the opportunities for connecting with that special someone. When we acknowledge that what we want is already there and shift our focus onto it, we strengthen its presence and cause it to grow by placing our energy (vibrations) on it.

If you are one that says, "I cannot feel gratitude for I am so unhappy with my life", then let me say this to you ... "Feelings are the result of thought and thought is the catalyst for all that we think." We can teach ourselves how to feel gratitude by practicing it. Just as we can deliberately practice self-appreciation in order to engender Self-love, we can also practice gratitude and encourage that feeling within us.

When you want something to come into your life, sit and think of all aspects of it. Consider the essence of what it is that you want. If it is more money that you want, ask yourself what does money represent to you? For many, money is synonymous with freedom. What else does it represent? Your ability to create an environment that is pleasing to you or any other thing with which you associate having money. Once you know what money represents to you and understand the essence of it in your life, begin to journal all the areas of your life in which that same essence is present. As you acknowledge where this essence already exists, you begin to attract more of the same. At the end of each day, write down all the things you are grateful for, all those things that contain the essence of the thing you want more of, and you will have gone a long way in shifting your focus onto the positive side of the subject of your desire.

Gratitude is not a spiritual obligation, it is not a spiritual law that 'good' and 'loving' people are expected to follow. It is the acknowledgement of the love already present in our life. It is using the Universal Laws to our benefit. As we acknowledge all things with gratitude, we begin to radiate love, and as we do this, we become magnetic to love, health and well-being, abundance, and the evidence that we are the creator.

Self-love is paramount. There is nothing more important than us feeling good about who and what we are. As we acknowledge ourselves with appreciation, we open the door to allowing more good things to come into our lives. It no longer becomes a question of deserving or ability ... it becomes a question of allowing. How much will you allow yourself to have today?

If there were nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine subjects upon which we could speak, and if you were to ask us which out of all these subjects was the most important, we would say to you, with an absolute knowing, without a shadow of doubt or the twinkling of a second thought, that "self-love" is the most important topic of all. Self-love is the key to our spiritual growth, to enlightenment, to humanity's problems ... it is the solution to everything that is considered a problem.

For those who may be thinking ... "Well, this is selfishness!", I say to you that I am not speaking of love from the standpoint of the 'ego' or small-self of personality ... I am speaking of the love of Self (with a big "S") ... love of who we really are as "Soul." For the truth is that we are unlimited multi-dimensional beings of Light and Love ... a spark of that Infinite Being we call God.

For many generations we have been taught that to love oneself is to be haughty and arrogant and unfitting ... selfish. We have been told to keep ourselves small and not to think too highly of ourselves, for we are unworthy of such adoration and recognition. We, at the Center of Light & Serenity and through through Soul Soothers issues like this one, are here to bring you a different message. We say that it is time for you to Love and appreciate yourSelf and that, without Self-love, all other things that you are striving for will either elude you or remain a struggle ... because it is a denial of who you really are.

As we learn to love and appreciate who we are and what we have to offer the world, all the qualities that we want to develop, such as patience, acceptance, compassion, caring, and love ... higher consciousness ... will be ours. As is true in everything, that which is within us is reflected outside of us. That which we feel manifests in our world. Therefore, if we want to develop love, patience, and compassion, it is love of Self, patience with self, and compassion for self that first must be developed ... "we can only give what we already have." Does it not make complete sense to you when I say that?

If we have but little love for ourselves, then we will not be in a position to offer authentic love, i.e., acceptance to another. We will offer a kind of ingratiation perhaps, telling ourselves through the ego that we are loving and kind, but when we give love, there must be a two-way flow. The flow must come from an open heart, a heart that is also open to the receiver of whom we are actually connected.

Many who focus on giving, find it difficult to receive. Then, it is like using up the energy in a battery. The more we give, the more of our own energy we are giving away. When we are open to receive, then we become a conduit for the Universe, a channel for love. Pure Universal Love, the love of All That Is, begins to flow through us. This love, this energy, is the source of all life, and as we become this channel, it feeds us, sustains us, keeps us in health and well-being, and allows abundance to flow freely into our life.

Self-love is about saying ... "I accept for who I really am." It is also about acknowledging our unique gifts as a physical being. Our world is full of artists, healers, writers, great chefs, architects, teachers, and miracle makers who are yet to be discovered. They have not yet been discovered because we have not allowed ourselves to shine. Within each of us is a highly creative, highly skilled being, just waiting to be discovered. Many of us catch glimpses of this in moments of inspiration, but then most of us immediately begin to compare ourselves to others and tell ourself that their work or creation is of much more value than ours.

Self-appreciation and love is not about putting another down, or thinking we are better than another. It is about acknowledging the greater part of us, the part of ourselves that is tapped into Universal knowledge and power and can create miracles. It is about acknowledging the truth of who we really are ... the truth of who we are is simple ... we are a spark of the divine, more than that even, we are the divine.

Somewhere along the line, many of us got the idea that we were here to prove ourselves worthy of God or some other higher authority. This is not the case. We are here through the expression of our free will and we came forth into this plane of existence in order to create, experience and learn from our creations.

The Earth poses some unique challenges. It appears that there is much evidence suggesting that we are alone and not connected to the power of the Universe. But this is exactly why we chose to come here. It was a challenge that we were delighted to take. We are not here on probation ... we will not be released from this place for good behavior ... we are not here waiting for the chance to go somewhere better. When our heart is filled with self-love, it will govern what we draw to us ... it will govern our experience of the world and how we relate to others. Then, when we are fully self-appreciative, we will have the most delicious experience in the Universe.

When we become spiritually instead of physically focused, our hearts will be fully open to the love of the Universe, and God's love will stream through us, using us as a channel for all that is great. There is no greater experience than this one ... to be physical and spiritual simultaneously. This is why our planet is so populated, for many, many souls are wanting this experience, and self-love is the key.

When you look at the great teachers, how do you think they got to that position? How did the Buddha and the Christ get to that position? It was through "Self-Love" ... Love of Self. It is only through loving and accepting ourselves for who we really are that we open ourselves to the love of God. For God can only give us that which we are prepared to give to ourselves. There is no higher truth than that.


If we take care of our character,
our reputation will take care of itself.
the Center of Light & Serenity

with the Center of Light & Serenity
Taking Responsibility
For Our Experiences

As we receive correspondence from subscribers of Soul Soothers, we are continually struck by how difficult it is for people to apply the principle of personal responsibility. People blame us, their past, their family, their financial situation, their heritage, their race, other people, Republicans, big business, and many other things outside themselves, for whatever they don't like about their situation.

If you've learned anything from our articles in Soul Soothers about "Responsibility and Self-Empowerment", taking responsibility is understanding that your experience of life, in every detail, is created by you. This means it is NOT created by other people, or your circumstances. These things can be a stimulus, but the response that creates your experience of life comes from you, and only you.

Many people give lip service to the idea of personal responsibility, or the idea that we each create our own reality, but when faced with a specific situation where they do not like what is happening, they have trouble taking responsibility for the fact that their response to that specific person or situation comes from within. It is only in each specific situation that this principle can have any beneficial effect on your life. A general rule unapplied is of no use to you.

I recently experienced a situation with a relative who, though not really on a spiritual path, so obviously does not understand this principle, nor would she be at all open to it if I were to approach her with the idea. Very simply, everything that happens in her life is caused by everything and everybody! Why do some people have so much trouble taking responsibility for their experiences, and why is it important to place emphasis on this principle? First, let's look at why people blame something outside themselves for their experience of life.

The first reason this happens is that most people are responding to whatever happens around them unconsciously and automatically. Based on unconscious programming picked up by osmosis during childhood, people place certain meanings on things and then automatically respond to those meanings as if each of these meanings really were intrinsic to the thing in question (they are not). Being an automatic response mechanism robs you of choice, because by placing a meaning on something, you MUST then respond as if that meaning were real, when in fact nothing really has any intrinsic meaning. This is a recipe for suffering if there ever way one.

Wouldn't it be more fun to be able to choose the response that created the most happiness and inner peace, rather than having your response dictated by unconscious beliefs you did not choose?

The solution to running on automatic pilot is to do regularly perform some kind of psychological or spiritual practice, one that brings what was unconscious into conscious awareness. Reading Soul Soothers and meditating on various metaphysical principles that we cover each week does this more powerfully than anything I have ever seen, though there are many other ways to do it. Whatever you do, you must learn to see how and why you respond the way you do, decide whether your current responses give you the experience of life you want, and if not, choose something else.

You cannot, of course, do this if your premise is like that of my relative ... that things outside you cause your experiences. In that case, your only hope would be to change those things outside yourself to be the way you want them to be. And to that I say ... good luck to you.

The second reason people have trouble applying this principle and exercising choice in their responses is that when you run on automatic it really SEEMS as if those people and situations outside of you ARE creating your response. But things are not always what they seem. That things outside of you causes you to have certain feelings and behaviors is nothing more than a mental illusion and you don't have to believe it. In fact, believing it is a major cause of suffering. Why would you want to believe something that creates suffering?

Just because you are not aware of where a response is coming from (which happens because the response is automatic and coming from an unconscious part of you) does not mean it isn't coming from something inside of you. Luckily, you don't have to evaluate each response, one by one, to see where it is coming from (which would be very tedious), because it's all coming from you. This simple fact takes all the guesswork out of life!

The third reason people don't take responsibility for their experience of life is they mistakenly think that blaming something outside of themselves is somehow an easier way to live. Unfortunately for them, the opposite is the case. Taking full responsibility for every feeling, every thought, and every action is the EASY way, and blaming something outside of you is actually the hard way.

Why? Because once you take responsibility, if you don't like the results you're getting, you can do something to change them. But if something outside of you is to blame, what can you do? In that case, you're stuck, just a victim of whatever is happening around you-unless you've come up with a way to control other people and the rest of the world (if you do figure this one out, be sure to let me know).

One thing I've noticed over the years we've been helping people through the Center of Light & Serenity is that those who blame their experience of life on something outside themselves continually experience problems, dramas, and suffering, while those who take full responsibility live lives that are smoother, easier, and happier. Why? Because once you take responsibility for everything in your world, you automatically begin to do whatever is necessary to make things work. As long as it's not your fault, you just blunder along, bouncing from one drama, one mistake, to another. Not taking responsibility creates suffering. Taking responsibility creates solutions.

So the reason I place so much emphasis on this principle of responsibility as empowerment is that without it you are powerless, and you suffer all the consequences that automatically flow from being powerless (and there are quite a few, none of them pleasant).

On the other hand, when you take responsibility, you are all-powerful, you become creative, and you automatically begin to exercise that creative power to create the life you want.

Do I always create the life I want? Nope, I don't. Yes, from time to time I still do things that give me results I do not want. I don't do it very often, but I have to admit, it does happen. But whenever it does happen, I am conscious of the experience and instantly know who is responsible ... me. And as soon as I note to myself that I created an experience I did not want, I try to learn from it and stop doing it, because it really is true that you can only create something that isn't good for you if you do it unconsciously. In that way, I can only create suffering for myself for a very short amount of time, instead of day-in and day-out.

So, this would be a good time to examine yourself and honestly assess what feelings, behaviors, thoughts, and results in your life you have been fooling yourself into thinking are the result of something outside of yourself. Invariably, these areas of your life will be those that aren't working very well. This is not a coincidence! Take responsibility for these areas of your life and things will change, I promise.

Keep reading Soul Soothers, since by doing so, all of these principles will begin to mean something to you on an experiential, not just an intellectual level.

The Universe is working for us, not against us ...
manifesting ... ever creating that which our thoughts put out!
Only you and I can create what we want.
the Center of Light & Serenity


Time To Examine Your Thoughts

As you think, so you are .... and so will you shape the world around you! Are you building a world of love, joy and happiness ... or one of hate, judgement and condemnation?

Know that your thoughts can obscure just as easily as they can enlighten. For example, it is possible to experience many worthwhile things through thought which you are unable to comprehend. However, even here you have to know how to balance your thoughts, for if you try to fully rationalize such things as love, beauty, faith, trust, and the like, you then succeed only in diminishing the value of each and therefore lessen the experience.

Don't let your thinking stop you from being who you really are ... for you are not your 'ego'. If you are watchful of your thoughts, it is then that you will direct them through the consciousness of your being and it is then that you will bring those things about that are only for our greatest good. It is this way that you learn to depart from those unconscious thoughts. Know that when you try to rationalize any kind of irrational behavior, you are acting the way of the ego and that's not the way to let your thoughts serve your greater good and the good of others.

As you plan your thoughts, so shall they flow into manifestation. As you examine your thoughts, so shall they flow in consciousness. As you think in consciousness, so shall you then live in that which is for your greatest good. And as you visualize your thoughts, so shall they become your reality. So, above all, remember that "whatever shall you sow, so shall you reap" .... it's the Law of Life!

A Special Blessing to You and Yours ...
Until next issue ...
These things, we warmly wish for you-
May Angels fill You With Their Presence.
May They Always Stand Beside You
And May They Make You Ever Bold.

Love and Light, Mike & Sandy

A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle ...



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