Hi there! It's been quite a year for pretty much everyone! Frankly, if you had told me only 14 months ago that we would be, faced with treating cancer in my family, faced with keeping safe during a global pandemic, a loss of beloved family members, and loss of work and income all in those next 14 months, I'm not sure I would have 1) believed it, or 2) felt strong enough to deal with it.
But, here we are, still here and still feeling incredibly grateful for all we DO have. Yes, there have been some health challenges (but it isn't the end of the world) - and yet, there are GOOD things to report.
I am happy to report from my own end that a personal challenge in my own life has been going really well in that I haven't had any alcohol in well over 14 months as of this writing (10/21/20).
Mind you, I never came outright and said that I was QUITTING drinking; rather, I recognized that I struggled with it, and decided to simply stop for a while.
How did I stop? I can only tell you that I've pictured it for so long, and imagined how GOOD I would feel without any wine for so long that I guess something finally "sunk in" and it just happened. I just "stopped" one day, and so far - no matter how trying some of our challenges have been - I've felt so much better WITHOUT drinking, that I just haven't had the desire for it (very often anyway).
It's almost like the Universe sorta KNEW I was going to need as much strength as I could muster in order to work through the events of this last year+.
Another thing that seemed to "just happen" was that I dropped over 40 pounds of excess weight (or, as Genevieve Behrend so eloquently puts it in one description in a chapter of her fabulous book, "Your Invisible Power" - "excess avoirdupois" which sounds far more elegant than "excess fat"). That's another thing that I had been imagining for a number of years. (Although omitting empty alcohol calories helped, it really was other dietary changes that suddenly came out of the blue that really helped!)
By the way, I have had a request to read "Your Invisible Power" at my YouTube channel. I'll tackle this project once I'm home in Florida (where I recently moved - also a big change this past year).
Life definitely has led us on a bit of a journey, especially this past year. Things seem to have sped up - and that's not just because I've gotten older that it seems this way!
(In case you are interested in seeing my personal progress, which I really do feel good about, here are 2 pictures - the one on the top is me a couple of years ago - 2018 - while still drinking a lot (I know, it isn't pretty!), and weighing 40 pounds more, and the below is just a couple of months ago! And, at age 61, I definitely have to say I'm feeling a LOT better in the new skin.)
FOCUS ON SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
It just seems as though the more I practice the teachings I've come to love, the more things happen.
Back when I started this blog with my friend Martin, I had a simple page of "Law of Attraction manifestations." Since then, both our understandings of universal laws has expanded.
Martin, for his part, has discovered an insatiable passion for sharing his and his family's interest in drag-racing. You couldn't stop him now if you tried! (If you are curious, check out his channel here! You'll see what I mean.) At first glance, you might not think of car racing as a "spiritual" pursuit. But, if you knew Martin, you would know that everything he does now is based out of his own spiritual practices and meditations, and that he was most certainly led to this vocation.
For my part, I have finally come to realize and accept that one of the reasons my life has always seemed "different" to me - is due to an undeniable "pull" to understand life, or, more precisely, the FORCE behind life. Just "existing" simply is not enough for me. The older I get, the stronger the pull to better understand and work with the spiritual workings of life.
Anyway, spiritual practices have become of utmost importance to me.
There is a relatively little-known practice that is called "consecration" that I've incorporated into pretty much every waking moment. I'm not talking about "consecration" in the way it may be used in religious practices (e.g. as in the Christian belief of declaring bread and/or wine to represent the body and blood of Jesus Christ - source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_presence_of_Christ_in_the_Eucharist).
Rather, "consecration" is an everyday practice used by devotees of Sri Aurobindo and his spiritual partner "The Mother" (Mira Alfassa), and Sri Karmayogi, wherein everything we do is "offered up" to the Divine, the "Spiritual Force." I have increasingly found consecration to be an absolutely essential add-on to all my spiritual practices - whether using techniques taught by the mystic Neville Goddard or self-help author Earl Nightingale, or biblical teacher Jesus, or more scientifically-oriented Joe Dispenza, and others.
In fact, the practice of consecration has become so ingrained in my day-to-day life over this last year, that I've begun a specific playlist at YouTube (here) devoted to it (with full permission by author and devotee of The Mother and Karmayogi, Roy Posner).
There is far too much to discuss when it comes to consecration than I can write about in this update. Hopefully you will take a look at the videos I just mentioned. As of this writing I think I've dedicated 4 videos about it!
READING ALOUD AT YOUTUBE
For some reason, the "reading bug" has caught me, and I'm finding myself wanting to read certain books and inspirational passages and quotes on YouTube. Going forward, that's going to be a big part of the channel. I've had enough viewers request this now that I need to take the requests seriously.
Someone made a very kind mention about my reading voice (and that really made my day!). What I didn't mention in the video, but will here, is that to keep a reading sounding "smooth," I do extensive edits. For example, I find myself stumbling along on occasion, and will suddenly lose my place or have a few "uhs" or "ummms" in there, or I mispronounce a word or name. I do my very best to correct such errors. 🙂
Hopefully my readings will improve as time goes on!
My friend, Roy Posner (the author who is allowing me to publicly read and share his work), suggested that I tell a personal "success story" when I have one. So, whenever I notice a success that I can truly attribute to my spiritual practice, I have begun to share that!
Anyway, I wanted to give you an update about what has been going on, and where we are heading at the moment!