Saturday, December 13, 2014

Victim or Victory?



Of course we think to ourselves the one pushing the rock down the hill will have more power behind them. They have the law of gravity on their side. We cannot see in this picture how big the person is who is pushing the rock, and really it is of little consequence. The young small person holding the rock back, you are thinking, will be crushed. What law of nature does he have on his side?
How often have you been in this situation? You feel like you are powerless and the rock and person pushing it are just to big and strong to stand against. You think of giving up and giving in. How many times have you been pushed this way, yet found your own inner power to push back and survive?
I was thinking this morning of personal power; it's use and abuse in our daily lives. This picture created the vision of what it is like to be in circumstances seemingly beyond our control because there are people who would abuse their power, pushing against us as though wanting to crush our spirit. Are they truly powerful people? Can they, even with the power of influence on their side, crush anyone who stands in their path? They seem to think so. Somehow in their perception they justify their reasons for pushing that rock. They feel a sense of power in winning a battle, that was of their own choosing. They create the circumstance and drama in which to beat down one who appears to be a threat to their power or status. If a rock is not available they will simply "pull the rug out" from beneath you, leaving confusion and disappointment in their wake, while they feel the surge of adrenalin that comes from winning a mighty battle. Are they really so powerful? Have they won any great prize?
I look at so many such circumstances, where one has to create a victim, in order to feel worthy in their own lives. How sad and pathetic it is.
If you had to choose, which would you be? The person pushing the rock, the rock, or the one who is pushing back to hold on to their own life? Many would rather be the one on the other side of the rock. It seems easier doesn't it? But is it? It certainly appears safer in the moment. The truth is we all have the choice, and many of us have been all three during the course of our lifetime. Sometimes we have not even been aware of the consequence of our choices, we have unknowingly bought into a drama or scenario, that causes us to take on one of the roles. But if you could be aware of all your actions, words, and decisions, which would you choose?
Though at times I get tired of pushing back against the boulders of life, it is my choice. When I look upon the would be victims of this world, I see the strength of mankind, a much more powerful law than the law of gravity. Strength to keep holding on each day is far greater than the strength it takes to roll a rock downhill. If you saw the young person in the picture as a victim you are wrong. Those who are kicked when they are down, are not a victim at all. Society only makes it so. Society justifies it as victimhood so they can feel the power of their own influence; so they can feel powerful. In actuality those who use their position in life to crush others are the victims, they are the ones we should pity. How sad their guilty triumphs must be when looking back on their life at the end of time.
For those who see themselves as the victim, as you stand holding back the rock, wanting to just let go and be crushed, I say, keep pushing. You are always stronger than the obstacles you face and you have the power of the Universe behind you. Feel your power as you see the threat against you. No one can take from you your most valuable asset, your self-worth, and you are much more worthy than the one pushing or the rock itself. Your integrity to keep going, is much more valuable to the world, than the influence of those who push. Continue to stand in your truth for you can be trusted. Hold fast to your belief in yourself for you will know authentic success. Forgive those who torment you, for they are the ones to be pitied. Stand with your head held high, knowing you there is no force in this life that can hold you back from your dreams and desires. Stand up for yourself against these would be bullies, not with brute force, but with compassion for the pain they must be feeling. You will find yourself at the top of the hill, looking down at the pile of boulders pushed your way, and know the true power of survival. And in the moment you can feel the triumph of being a true winner, a champion of life.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays!!

The Christmas season has begun. For many shopping is already complete. Others are just beginning to think about what they will buy for friends and loved ones. Still others are feeling the hurt that comes with knowing they are going to have a year with no presents under the tree. Some will not even have a tree or a home in which to celebrate the season.

Each year my heart goes out to those who cannot meet the social expectations of Christmas. I remember as a child, the difference between how we celebrated, compared to school mates and neighbors.

Mom spent hours baking, using recipes from the war years when supplies were limited. Chocolates made from mashed potatoes and flavorings (maple, mint, orange, lemon). They were delicious. There was always gingerbread men and sugar cookies, which we helped to decorate. There was fruitcake, vinatarta (fig layer cake), and oatmeal logs.

Our tree though small and real, was simply decorated. Under the tree were very few gifts. Santa always brought things we needed, and one present that was along the lines of what we dreamt of receiving. Christmas eve we settled around the tree listening to Christmas carols, reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas", talking and opening one gift.  On Christmas morning we would find our stockings, made by our sister Jayne, filled with a mandarin orange, a few hard candies and peanuts in the shell.

I remember the peace which filled our home, beginning with the first day of baking and preparation right through the season. I don't remember all of the presents I ever got, nor even exactly what our tree was like. I remember pulling taffy in the snow. I remember mom being so careful where she hid special treats, so we wouldn't eat them before Christmas day.  I remember sitting together, being a family, reading from the bible, playing monopoly and scrabble. I miss those days. I miss that feeling.

Yet I always dreaded going back to school or to the arena to skate, knowing I would be asked, "What did you get for Christmas?" The rolled eyes at my delight over simple gifts when they had received so much more still leaves me humbled. But I knew even then, I was the lucky one. Could they not see what Christmas was really about? I wonder if they see things differently now?

I am so grateful to have received the best gift in the world each year - the gift of love.

My heart goes out to those who cannot meet the accepted standard of Christmas and those who work extra long hours to buy their children exactly what is on their list, or at least something on the popular gifts to buy list. My heart goes out to those who have no family to celebrate with. I feel helpless for those who will spend the nights of the season cold and hungry, knowing if we took what was spent over the next month on last minute gifts, guilt gifts and tinsel we could at least for a few days make life easier for them. If we took what we spent over the years we have celebrated beyond magical, we could rehabilitate and educate a good number of people unable to find work or live in our society filled with expectations and judgements.

During a time in my life when income was low, I discovered the gift of giving to a food kitchen offering Christmas dinner to the homeless. I chose between giving there or giving more to my daughter. It felt good knowing others were enjoying hot turkey, dressing, cranberries and salads, friendship, while I was able to sit around the tree, in my warm home, loving my family. And so each year I give to them, along with the other holidays, and give thanks for all I have. I am grateful for the love in my life, a warm cozy home, hot meals, warm clothes, a comfortable bed, and a simple tree with a few presents to celebrate the Spirit of Christmas. I am grateful to have learned giving is not about giving things, but giving ourselves. The only gifts we really remember are those with sentimental value. They are often inexpensive trinkets given by our children or an aunt who simply wants to be remembered on Christmas morning.

When I see posts asking if we are willing to be politically incorrect and Wish everyone a Merry Christmas I hit the like button. Yet a part of me wonders if it matters. If celebrating Christmas is just about the decorations, parties and presents, then does it really matter what we call it? If you prefer Christmas I can only hope it is because you choose to celebrate the love, laughter, peace and joy as Christmas was celebrated in years past. For me, any holiday can be happy, or any day for that matter, but Christmas is a symbol of choosing peace on earth, a symbol of giving to others everyday, and receiving all the good, all the love, all the peace that this day was meant to remind us of.

As we try manically to survive this season, I hope you will take time every day to remember this season is not about how hard you have to work to buy the gifts, nor how many crazy stores you have to visit to find the perfect gift. This season is about stopping, reaching out, loving others and creating family time and community. This season is about sharing the many blessings you have with others who have not, with an intention they will prosper in the coming year as you have prospered.

So Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays - whichever you prefer. I hope this season and the coming year will be all you could wish for. May the magic of the season find you warm, prosperous and healthy, but most of all loved.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Accepting Hardships as a Pathway to Peace

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

This prayer has seen me through many times of turmoil and hurt. It became my motto, my go to prayer, the year my father passed away. 37 years ago I experienced that first adult realization that we do not have full control of our lives. Even today, the wisdom to know the difference often eludes me. Yet there are also times when the fact cannot be argued. Then I turn to this age old prayer.

There are times when it takes courage to hold fast in acceptance of what is when we cannot change circumstances, but if we can have courage, serenity will be the gift that follows. We can not always know the reasons for the events of our lives. It is hard to understand why angst and loss must be forever on the horizon. Yet without tears of sadness we would not know tears of joy, without sorrow we could not know bliss. And yes, you have heard this said too many times. Now is the time to really hear the words.

Over the years I have come to understand we are all here for a purpose. Some for large, grandiose reasons, others for smaller, more significant reasons. We each have a special skill, a light, or perhaps a darkness to share so others may experience their lessons. Our co-existence is part of the greatest plan on earth. When we have done our part, we are once again allowed to go home.

There was a time I would cry out in anguish, "Why is this happening?" "How could You do this?" Today I read the prayer and believe, "Thy Will Be Done." Thank you for blessing my life with an opportunity to watch a young boy grow into a man. Thank you for blessing my life with his pranks and laughter. Thank you for letting his light shine in my life, if only for a short time. I learned and experienced so much in his presence and even as my heart breaks, a smile creases my lips as I remember his devilish grin and the twinkle in his eye. We could not control you in life, we certainly had no control over your death.

But I share the thought that in twenty years you did more for this world, than many of us who have lived 3 times as long. You gave fully to life, not the rules. You were real, not who others expected you to be. Your choices, helped me to see my own from a little different view point. You challenged me to be creative and open minded. You taught me unconditional love. Thank you.

Now you are teaching me how precious each day is, how quickly events can change what is into something totally different.

So today I ask "Please grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the courage to stay in a place of light and love."

With love to all who are missing and grieving for a young man who changed us in ways we never really understood until now. May you feel the blessing of his warm heart holding you in your sorrow.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Have You Given Yourself The Credit You Deserve?

I think perhaps I haven't given myself enough credit. Perhaps you are feeling that way too, or maybe you haven't had the ah ha moment yet. Therefore I am compelled to share this with you, hoping you will see within yourself the success you truly are.

I was reading a book I wrote several years ago, "Don't Change For Heaven's Sake", and found my moment of truth. Some found the book too personal, others were helped beyond explanation by reading it and applying it to their own life. We all have a story, but honestly, our story is the same, with different characters and drama. Our purpose is the same. We are all here to experience what is ours to walk through and come through it with love, gratitude and compassion. We are all here to learn peace, to know who and what we are.

I set out to revise the edition. Instead what I found is the relevance of what is written. We have become so success and material conscious, we have forgotten the basics of living a good life. Social Media has created a bigger audience for our stories about others (gossip). There is so much more advertising available to tell us we are not good enough unless we own more cars than we can drive or a bigger house than we can maintain. Success has become about money in the bank, no matter who is left hungry in the process. We beat ourselves up daily as we compare what we have with others. We are so busy putting out positive messages to the world, we don't take time to process anger, guilt and shame, or take time to forgive. And in our search for self-acceptance we are met by Law of Attraction Gurus who reinforce the idea of having more is being more. What happened to the basic laws of respect, acceptance and loving others?

As I reviewed "Don't Change..." I realized how blessed I am. I  felt the strength it took to work through relationship and health problems, to clear my anger, shame and guilt. I felt blessed not to have succumbed to the feelings of lack, which were true for a long time. I saw the success with which I had used the tools for clean living, as I continued to create a life I was proud to be living. There are too many who give up. I reach out to you today. There are those who continue to live in an illusion, believing that their houses and cars make up for their lack of love, as they continue to berate others for their seeming lack. I send my compassion out to you, knowing the loneliness of things. I am grateful for faith in a Higher Power providing all that I need.

Louise Hay was my greatest mentor, teaching me to love myself, so I could love others; teaching me to accept others for who they are, rather than judge or use them as a marker for who I am. I learned along the way, I cannot control everything. Sometimes surrender is all that solves the situation.

And as I reviewed the book, I saw how constant criticism of ourselves undermines our opportunities for happiness and peace. As we go through each day, we will make mistakes, we will have times when we could have given more or done better. Yet, in each moment if we are doing the best we can, that is enough. Mistakes can be fixed and moments of over achieving will make up for the shortcuts taken. In the end all that really matters is, "Are you happy?" If you aren't what can you do to be happy, not because of what is happening on the outside, but because deep inside you feel your own love - self love and love of life.

Just for today - Approve of yourself - no matter what.
Know "You Are A Success Because You Exist"
I am reminded life is not about change. It is about letting go - letting go of judgements, vengeance, hurt, remorse. It is about letting go of everything that does not support joy. When you stop comparing yourself to others you will no longer have a reason to criticize yourself. When you stop criticizing yourself, you will no longer have a reason to criticize others.
Know now, you are "perfect, whole and complete", in the words of Louise Hay. Feel the blessing of those words. Review your life and see what you have accomplished. You are worthy. You are strong. You are beautiful.
Julie Melville

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Forgive and Find Joy

Why do we assume there is something wrong? We need to blame either ourselves or someone else for situations and events. We take a defensive stance when confronted with another's misunderstanding of what is happening. Often we shift the blame to the one who is confused, angry or upset. Why?

Somewhere we have been taught anything that does not make others happy is our fault. We are not good enough. We are somehow broken. Our ideas cannot be good enough or everyone would just simply agree. When our judgement is questioned it triggers the response of defending our worthiness. We find ourselves lashing out or withdrawing into silence. We seldom open to discussion on these alternate opinions or ideas, afraid we may see a different point of view, thus making our point wrong. But is there a wrong or right opinion to anything that happens in life? Is life not just a perception?

One of the biggest reasons I have found for this push and pull between us, is the need to feel we are in control. Our subconscious has been programed to believe others are either better than us or beneath us. Therefore we need to defend our position on the ladder of life. But is there anyone who is better or beneath anyone? Is there a need to defend our position, if we are all equal? Is it not acceptable to understand another's point of view without feeling there is something wrong with us?

As is my usual Easter custom, I sit in meditation and consider forgiveness. Forgiveness of self and others. More and more I find myself asking, "What is there to forgive?" This ritual shows me how I am taking life too personally. We are here to experience. Those who push our "Hot Buttons" or illicit hurt or anger, can be appreciated rather than defamed for they are showing me where I still have the belief, "I am not good, worthy,  smart or important enough. Those beliefs have nothing to do with anyone else but me. I need in times of feeling a need to forgive someone else, to realize I created this experience to teach me more about who I think I am.

So then, what is left to forgive? I have long since forgiven the bullies, abusers, and naysayers in my life. I have even found a place of gratitude for the strength they have given me. Do I need to forgive those who disagree with my perception of life and what should be? No, they are entitled to their opinion. I can be grateful for the different aspect they have on a particular idea, for it broadens my mind.

Forgiveness of self is all that is left. Forgiveness for those times when I have responded without opening my mind and heart to what another feels in a situation. Forgiveness for self for those times I have made an assumption without hearing the whole story. Forgiveness of self for thinking I am not worthy of all that is good in life. Forgiveness for desiring control when control is not appropriate or necessary. Forgiveness for some and any belief that allows another to push those old buttons of the past, when the past is gone. Forgiveness for thinking I should be able to control the future when there is a greater power within me who will guide me if I just drop the pretense that my ego is all there is to guide me. Forgiveness of self for looking either up the ladder or down, when in truth I know we are all equal, all one, with a unique set of qualities and ideas that make the experience of life, rich and textured.

As I conclude my meditation for this year it comes to me that most misunderstandings are based on assumption, creating a story without allowing ourselves to hear the truth from others. We are so afraid of the truth that we shut out those who we presume have wronged us and create a story that gives basis to our right to be angry, hurt, and disgruntled. If we could instead create a story that says I am enough, they are enough and together we create a beautiful world, the need for this Easter custom could end.

Is it not enough that one man died on the cross, must we carry that hurt, burden and sacrifice as well? To do so negates that which we were taught in Sunday School, that Jesus died on the cross to forgive the sins of man eternally. Can we not remember this and forgive without pain and suffering?
For in forgiveness we find the joy we are seeking.

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Having had a week of sitting in emergency rooms, hospitals, hotels, and long drives, I have had a lot of time to think. Believe it or not, my thoughts continually gravitated toward gratitude. I also found myself in a state of complete acceptance. At first there was panic over the unknown, and doctors who sometimes don't remember to listen to their patients. Feeling alone and desperate to ensure my daughters safety, I lost my usual strength and foundation. In a moment feeling no support from angels or humans, I let myself totally surrender to the Will of God. In one deep breath, I released all that is and ever was. In that moment all the support I desired and more showed up for me. Doctors and nurses began to listen, friends reached out to be there for my daughter. In exhaustion, I was given the energy to do what needed to be done.

What came out of that moment of surrender, was spiritual organization, aligning everything we needed to make the best of an unfortunate accident. And even as I say unfortunate, I ask, "What good has come of this?" For me it has been about giving up control, letting go of the need to make things right, accepting once again, there is a reason for everything. I hear the words, "slow down, let me do the thinking, planning and creating. All you have to do is be in the moment." I am so glad I listened to those words, for I could never have found a hotel in a city with no rooms, let alone find a place that would cater without being asked to a girl just our of surgery and in a walker. I could never have flowed with ease through all the hoops of picking up walkers, pillows, new shower heads, and paraphernalia needed for a newly handicapped girl. Somehow this was all done for me, and as I stayed fully in the moment, clear directions were given each step of the way. Not just friends but strangers quietly and eagerly went out of their way to ease our journey. I feel so blessed.

Somehow, what may have triggered guilt, anger and victimization, has resulted in even more gratitude for life, more acceptance of people and circumstances.

It is ever more clear to me that we do not have much control over the events in our life. We like to think we do, and perhaps that is what creates most of the problems we encounter along the way. We have gotten too attached to an idea that we are co-creators, leaving little room for the original creator to work the miracles that give our life depth, meaning and comfort. In any co-creation there must be a director, a lead player, and supporting roles. At what point did I decide I wanted to be all three? In even my most spiritual moments, I see now where I still held on to the role of director much too tightly. I believe most of do.

I invite you to take a moment to sit on the bench, looking out over the water, enjoying the leaves in all their color. Could you have created that all on your own. Take a deep breath and imagine the energy it takes to create just the right amount of rain, sun, wind, and weather to sustain this view. Do you have the perfect vibration within you to create such miracles and sustain them? Can you marvel at how earth continues to rotate on it's axis, keeping us planted firmly here?

How do we ever believe that we must be the sole creator of our world? How do we even believe we can be? Today I am grateful knowing that only good can come, when we surrender fully and completely to the one who created us for a purpose. I apologize for my arrogance and avoidance. Today I gratefully accept the Will of God, knowing this guidance and direction will never lead me astray. I am willing to play the leading role, or supporting cast in whatever measure is required of me.

In "Don't Change For Heaven's Sake" I wrote a chapter on letting someone else take the wheel. I had seen the power of allowing Spirit and it felt good, but somehow I lost track of that trust and faith. I am grateful to be reminded once again.

Are you ready to play your part, and allow the director to make this movie of life according to the script? I invite you to try it, even if just for a day.

In gratitude and blessings I offer this piece of my life, so you may see how most of our events are similar, even though we are strangers on this earth. We are all learning the same lessons, reaching for the same stars, and being assisted by the same creative energy. May you find the faith to let go, surrender and live in the moment, knowing you are loved no matter what.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Honoring Creation

I have studied and practiced energy healing with many exceptional teachers - Louise Hay, Deborah King, Donna Eden, John Randolph Price, Catherine Ponder. Marianne Williamson led me to "A Course In Miracles", nearly 20 years ago. Doreen Virtue showed me how to employ the angels I had so long believed in, but did not know how to properly address them or listen for their messages.

I am blessed to have been able to heal and remain reasonably healthy using the guidance of these angels and teachers, along with the assistance of natural practitioners when required. I see and feel the importance of their teachings at this time. The one thing they all have in common is that we are each our own healer, we all have the power to choose health. They also concur that we create our lives each day through our thoughts, prayers and intentions. It is time to stop looking for external sources to make us happy, healthy and wealthy. That is not to say you should never go to a doctor or financial expert, but instead of blindly following trends and treatments, begin to use your inner resources. Open your mind to the possibility that all you desire is yours if you will only turn your mind in the direction of what you want, rather than noticing it does not exist at this moment.

When I started this work over twenty years ago, I was desperate. I was also quite skeptical. The one thread holding all of it together was my belief in a power greater than myself, and so I began my journey holding faith and trust in that power. I also had a strong affiliation with Jesus, but to be honest I did not know how to access his healing power until I read the work of John Randolph Price. We have so much help, so much love, so much strength waiting to lift us up when we are ready. As I have written in many previous posts everything is energy. Our assistance comes to us in the form of energy, often in the guise of past mythical and mystical beings. Help comes in our dreams, and in the form of "earth angels" (people in this physical plane) created to link energy between heaven and earth. They are here as teachers, friends, guides and conduits of healing.

So often I am asked, "What if I do not believe in God, Jesus or a Higher Power?, Will the energy still work?" The answer is yes. Just begin the work and the power within you will take care of the rest. Teachers, books, miracles will show up in your life, showing you the next step. As you begin to affirm your wellness, peace, joy, prosperity, all will manifest in Divine Timing according to the faith you are prepared to exercise.

At first it may feel you are going backwards, as many things begin to fall away from you - possessions, friends, loved ones, stagnating beliefs, and even your health. Hold strong and continue to have trust in the process. What is happening is merely a cleansing of your soul, making room for new thoughts, beliefs and desires, congruent with your life purpose. Just as we cannot continue to fill our homes with old newspapers, magazines, case lots of food, more furniture, toys, and other "stuff", we cannot fill ourselves before clearing out the old.  The beginning process is house cleaning; a time to learn forgiveness, self-nurturance, and self-love.

Only from this place of acceptance and love can you begin to heal. This includes the healing of relationships and debt, as well as health. All can be made right, simply by choosing to move from a place of lack to a place of abundance. This choice must begin with you letting go of old grievances, old guilt, old anger. Release past pain, and heart-ache. It was important for you to have had experiences that caused deep feelings, but the importance was in processing and forgiving each event. You were never meant to hold on to the sludge that you have created in reliving the situation everyday, since the day of it's occurrence. You were never intended to create beliefs of "I can't", or "I deserve bad things". You were meant, with each experience, to expand compassion, to learn non-judgement and to pull from the depths of your soul, the ability to move forward, stronger and more determined.

From old experiences we become people-pleasers, not wanting to hurt another as we have been hurt, or hoping if we can make others happy, they will not hurt us, as we have been hurt in the past. We learn as little children, that we must sacrifice in order to have something good in our lives. What we need to see is what we give up for something better is not a loss. It is just growth and expansion. We do not create something disastrous for others because we create something wonderful for ourselves, unless we choose to gain by causing another to lose.

All the Creative Energy (God) asks of us is to put our focus on love, faith, trust, and to believe in our power to create as "It" created. I realized that striving for anything less than perfect health, happiness, peace and prosperity was an insult to the Energy that created me. In honoring Creation, one must choose growth and expansion, in love and compassion, for that is how we in fact came to be in this world. Creative Energy called man forth for the experience of the same beauty we see in nature, but trees and flowers, pretty as they are, were not created to think, we were. We were given dominion over this world because we were given the power of thought, action, word and quite frankly the same power of creation as our own creator. Holding back that power is to create injustice in the world. We were given tools to protect, grow and nurture. If you are unsure of how to set intentions, or create affirmations, in the name of your Creator, begin simply with "Thy Will be done" until the Will begins to show up in your daily life.

Are you ready to do your part in creating the world as our Original Creator intended it to be? Begin today starting with your personal creation of miracles and awesomeness, then allow your experiences to touch the lives of those around you.  You do not serve the world playing small, sick or insignificant. What is the lesson your lack is encouraging to learn? Step up to the challenge life is throwing you in this moment. Choose to experience health, joy, love, peace and prosperity because that is your exchange of energy with Original Creation. And so the energy of creation continues.......