Saturday, November 29, 2008

Response to "Agendas" question (Spiritual Q&A @

Below is my response to a question that I answered for Soul Solutions Healing Group. My response, responses from other writers, and many additional spiritual articles, are available at the Soul Solutions Healing Group Team Blog ( The following response addresses a question about how some people might have specific agendas that would result in the denial of certain things to us.

Just as beauty exists in the eye of the beholder, an agenda exists in the eye of the perceiver. If we believe that we see an agenda in another person, then an agenda consequently exists, at least within our mind. If we believe that a person can come to this Earth with an agenda, then yes, this will be true to our perception. We will do whatever it takes to make it true if this is what we believe. This reinforces the power of the mind. We can create many things in our minds if we give our minds the control to do so. Agendas, deceitfulness, manipulation, etc. exist only if we allow them to exist. In truth, our perception of an agenda only serves as a barrier between our higher self and the higher self of the person who we think is holding the agenda.

All people on this earth are inherently good. Some, however, out of fear, mask their goodness with self-serving purposes. An agenda, a form of self-serving purpose, is a temporary mask that covers the inherent goodness existing at the person's core being. If we choose to buy-in to (or dwell on) the agenda, our perception materializes that agenda whether we express our buy-in orally or via an alternate means or communication.

People are eager to show us that which we identify in them. As a result, the person whom we believe holds the agenda will more readily show us his/her attributes that lead us to believe that he/she has an agenda. When we identify the good in them, they show us their good attributes. When we dwell on the negative that masks their inherent good, they will show us the negative because that is what we are paying attention to. They will show us their agenda.

Take the example of a child dressing up in a scary costume. In this scenario, the scary costume represents the ill-intentioned agenda of another person. If we pay most of our attention to the child when he is in a scary costume, the child will continue to wear the costume around us because he knows that we pay more attention to him when he is covering up his true self. The same child may not dress up in the costume around other individuals because they pay attention to him as his natural self. As we continue to see the child in costume, our perception leads us to believe that the costume is an actual part of the child; we forget what the child's true self looks like because we have chosen to pay attention to the child only when he is in costume. We know that the child was not born wearing the costume; he simply made it part of himself while in our presence because we only pay attention to him when he is wearing it. In time, when we become aware of how our attention has prompted the child to continuously wear a costume around us, we can choose to focus our attention on the child's true self; consequently, the child will remove the costume and show us his good, natural self because we are now paying attention to his genuine attributes. When we pay our attention to the God-given attributes of others, the scary costumes, the agendas, will be removed.

On a personal level, in previous years, I had seen many more agendas than I currently see. This is not because the people have changed, but because my perception of the people has changed. A person only knows that which he/she pays attention to. As such, a conscious effort can be made to pay attention to that which is beautiful: the genuine God-sent attributes of each individual. Routine identification of God-sent attributes will eventually remove the mask that was put on to attract our attention. The agenda will eventually dissolve.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Life is like...a massage

Life is like…a massage

The masseuse who performs the massage possesses an ability to positively impact the well-being of the massage recipient. He realizes the benefits of offering the service and knows that such benefits rarely include a returned massage from the person to whom he provided the massage. He conducted the massage and, for the reward, he doesn’t receive a massage himself, but instead is compensated with stronger hands and the satisfaction that the tension of another person’s life was eased through his efforts.

In life, much like rewards for a masseuse, rewards for our actions and good deeds do not always align perfectly with the “I massage your back, you massage mine” philosophy. We don’t always massage the kinks out of another person’s life with the expectation that she is going to immediately do the same thing for us. Holding onto such expectations is only setting us up for disappointment when the expectations are not met.

When our awareness is keen and the timing is right for the kinks to be worked out of our lives, a masseuse will emerge to loosen our tension. A willing masseuse may already be in our lives, or we may need to expend some effort to find the right one. If not immediately, we will eventually find he who is eager to help; or maybe he will first find us. Just as we realized the benefits of strengthening our hands and our character by massaging the tensions out of another, someone else will realize the benefits of massaging the tensions out of us.

Throughout our existence, we continuously face opportunities to play the masseuse, opportunities to help work out the kinks and knots of people’s lives and enhance their overall well-being. Metaphorically, the masseuse role can exist through a diverse array of mediums, including examples such as helping a neighbor mow his lawn, talking to a child about issues at school, assisting a family member with a project at her house, explaining a homework assignment to a fellow classmate, or giving an unexpected gift to a friend. Each example depicts a different way that we can help ease tension in others’ lives just as a masseuse eases tension in the one who is being massaged.

Although only a few are listed, countless opportunities to assume this role continuously surface. Depending upon our awareness and expectations of the role, we will approach such opportunities differently. Some of us are aware of these opportunities and act upon them, while to others the opportunities are less apparent. Some of us, although able to see the opportunities, fail to act upon them because we expect something in return that we don’t think we’ll receive.

To illustrate, while shopping we may identify an item that would help brighten a saddened friend’s day so we purchase the item and offer it as a gift in hopes that it will lighten her mood. With this mindset, we do not expect a gift in return. We understand that our reward will not be in the form of a tangible gift, but in the form of strengthened character and the satisfaction of helping to improve a friend’s well-being. Some of us, however, are unable to identify the item because we lack awareness of the positive impact that it could have on our friend. Furthermore, some of us may easily identify the item but choose not to purchase it because we don’t believe that we will receive a tangible gift in return.

We must understand that our good deeds unto others will yield us positive rewards even if the rewards do not grace us in the same shape of the deeds that we provide. We simply need to be aware of the countless forms of positive rewards that result from our doings and appreciate them as they bless our lives. As we dissolve our expectations about the rewards for our good deeds, we enhance our ability to maximize contentedness within our selves. We can gracefully play the role of the masseuse, realizing contentment without expecting an immediate massage in return.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Life is like...a bread recipe

Our lives are comprised of several variables that contribute to our happiness, success, and overall well-being. Such variables include, but are clearly not limited to, our food, shelter, families, careers, financial prosperity, physical condition, mental stability, and spiritual health.

When reviewing who we are and what we’ve become, we can view each of these variables as ingredients that have ultimately created the end product of our selves. Just as each ingredient in a bread recipe adds value to the overall quality of the loaf, each variable, or ingredient, in our life recipe adds value to the overall quality of our lives. We must reflect upon ourselves and determine whether or not we are satisfied with our current product, or our lives as they currently exist.

If we are satisfied with what we’ve become, we should continue to follow the recipe as is. However, if we lack satisfaction with our current product, we must modify our recipe. If unsatisfied, we review all of the ingredients within our recipe and then add to, remove from, or modify quantities currently on the list. We continue to research variables through trial and error in effort to develop the perfect recipe for our lives just as the baker tries different ingredients in the bread recipe until she discovers the perfect recipe. She continues to follow the perfect recipe from the point of discovery just as we will continue to follow the perfect recipe for our lives as soon as it is discovered.

Once discovered, although each ingredient in the bread recipe is crucial to produce the perfect loaf, the small amount of yeast included in the recipe is the element that allows the loaf to rise to its optimum size. Without the yeast, the loaf would still exist, but at a lesser potential. Too much yeast would yield a product that is fragile and full of holes.

What ingredient in our lives expands our potential to the same extent that yeast expands the bread? The answer is...Passion. We must identify our passion and, if we have not done so already, add that passion to our life recipe. Without passion, we still exist, but just as the loaf, we exist at a lesser potential. By integrating that passion into our recipe, we have the ability to rise to our optimum potential.

Finding our passion and interlacing it with the ingredients in our lives, such as our careers and families, will significantly enhance our potential. Find your passion, that which you love and that which excites you, that which strikes your deepest interests; and work that passion into your life.

Some of us are searching for our passion while some of us are well aware of our passion. Unfortunately, although some of us have already identified our passion, we fail to add it to the other ingredients in our lives. Omitting our identified passion from our recipe can be compared to a baker who omits the yeast from the bread recipe even though the ingredient sits on the counter waiting to be used.

Be cautious to regulate the amount of passion added to your life. Just as an excessive yeast ratio can yield a fragile loaf of bread, an excessive passion ratio can yield a fragile life. Too much passion can begin to negatively impact other ingredients within your life such as your career and family life, resulting in a weaker overall well-being.

When we identify the right recipe for our lives and add passion to the blend, we then face the opportunity to reach our full potential.