Fishing For Soul

Angling for Spiritual Reconnection

Archive for December, 2009

What Does It Mean To Pursue Happiness?

One of my renewed commitments to myself is to follow impulses and allow my intuition to guide me more often. That’s a New Year’s resolution that I’ve started working on in the past two weeks.

This morning, as I was having a conversation on the phone with my friend Fred about being true to one’s self and being happy in what one does, I followed an impulse and grabbed Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love from my bookshelf. For those of you unfamiliar with that bestseller, it is “a meditation on love in its many forms – love of food, language, humanity, God, and most meaningful for Gilbert, love of self.”

I looked for a passage in the book that I had highlighted a couple of years ago. There it was on page 260:

“I keep remembering one of my Guru’s teachings about happiness. She says that people universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you’re fortunate enough. But that’s not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don’t, you will leak away your innate contentment. It’s easy enough to pray when you’re in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments.”

I read that passage several times and questions formed in my mind. Ah, the Fishing for Soul process continues.

I asked myself, “How tightly am I holding on to my happiness? How and why do I let my thoughts move me away from my innate contentment?”

In response I heard, “Pay attention. Pay attention. Pay attention.”

Another book, Iyanla Vanzant’s Yesterday, I Cried, beckoned to me. I pulled it off the bookshelf and said, “Show me what I need.”

The following quote by John Randolph Price is on page 253, at the beginning of Chapter 17, which is titled ‘What’s the Lesson When You Get the Lesson but Don’t Know What to do With It?’

“Truth must be realized individually.
It must be realized by you, otherwise it is not your Truth.
Only your Truth, not the truth, is expressed in your life, not anyone else’s.
How do you find your truth?
By seeking and finding the teacher within.
You see, the Teacher and the Truth within are one.”

And so it goes…

Today I am grateful for early morning calls with my action partner, questioning myself, exploring my stressful thoughts, Byron Katie, Rosa and Lorna, my intuition, my blog, my wise cat Wicca, hot tea, Truth and Happiness,

Thanks and peace to all!

Joe

What Is Your New Year’s Resolution?

What is your New Year’s resolution? Have you even begun to think about additions, deletions, or tweaks here and there for 2010? Do you want to? Do you need to?

According to the ProActiveChange web site, “40 to 45% of American adults make one or more resolutions each year.

Among the top new years resolutions are resolutions about weight loss, exercise,” and to stop smoking. “Also popular are resolutions dealing with better money management / debt reduction.

The following shows how many of these resolutions are maintained as time goes on:
– past the first week: 75%
– past 2 weeks: 71%
– after one month: 64%
– after 6 months: 46%

While a lot of people who make new years resolutions do break them, research shows that making resolutions is useful. People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.”

Good to know. Perhaps you can combine those statistics with this:

“As you move through your day and into a shining new year, we invite you to imagine the lifestyle you desire. Picture it. Feel it. Yes! You are living it right now. As soon as you see it in your mind, All That Is gathers the momentum and moves it into your energetic field.

Keep your self in tune with what is and what can be.

You ARE possible.” – At One and JM

I caught this quote in Byron Katie’s book A Thousand Names For Joy:

“”I wouldn’t give myself less than the best of what is available at any moment.”

Now what was your resolution?

Today am I grateful for time to reflect on the new year, abundant smiles, the #3 train, quiet nights, sunny days, my book agent, editor and publisher, House Publishing and Radio, understanding the Law of Attraction, falling down and getting up, the gym 3 blocks from my apartment, my nieces and nephews who continuously make me laugh and teach me about playfulness and their parents for having the courage to bring those amazing beings into this world.

Thanks and peace to all!

Joe

Life Is Your Shopping Center. Are You Getting What You Want?

Two days until Christmas! Does that strike fear in you or send shivers of excitement up and down your spine? Are you still running around trying to find the ‘perfect’ or ‘last-minute’ gift? Are you wondering what Santa will bring you? Are you stressed or delighted?

I’ve been doing my best to stay out of the way of frantic shoppers here in New York. Three hours in Macy’s Herald Square on the last weekend before the holiday can cure any would-be gift buyer. I highly recommend that place if you’d like to witness some silly shopper shenanigans.

I’ve also been doing whatever I can to make sure that my mind is clear about what is always available to me at Christmas and all through the year: EVERYTHING.

That rang in my head and heart last week as I sat in meditation and heard these words: “”Life is your shopping center. Life is your ultimate on-line resource for all goods and services. Just log-in and you will discover a world full of EVERYTHING.”

Yesterday I was reading Byron Katie’s book A Thousand Names for Joy on the subway when this line grabbed me again: “You can’t have it, because you already are it. You already have what you want, you already are what you want. It appears as this now – perfect, flawless.”

My affirmation for the week is: I have all I want and need. Everything flows to me and through me with great ease.

Now on to one of my favorite heart string tugging tunes of the holiday, Do They Know It’s Christmas? The song is 25 years old! Check out Sting, Bono, George Michael, Boy George and others gathering to raise funds for people affected by famine in Ethiopia.

Today I am grateful for the joy that Christmas brings, for kindness and generosity, holiday music, memories of Christmases past, late night’s with a good book, snow, dreams of a hot beach, playfulness, my body and breath, my home, my work, and my computer.

Happy Christmas and peace to all!

Joe

What Are You Grateful To Receive?

Christmas is just a few days away and you may be wondering if the items on your wish list will find their way into your hands on Christmas morning.

What are you hoping to receive this year, and HOW will you receive it?

In the spirit of the season I’m sharing a few thoughts on RECEIVING:

“Allowing your self to receive is absolutely as valuable as giving.

Pay close attention to how you receive.
Are you awkward in those moments or are you genuinely thrilled and grateful to receive whatever is brought to you? Remember, gifts come in many shapes and sizes and they need not be surprises.

Take it in. Take it all in and give your self the gift of being open to receive.” – At One + JM

“For somehow, not only at Christmas, but all the long year through, the joy that you give to others is the joy that comes back to you.” – John Greenleaf Whittier

“Only when your consciousness is totally focused on the moment you are in can you receive whatever gift, lesson, or delight that moment has to offer.”
– Barbara De Angelis

* * *

Are you interested in getting what you want?

Join the Earth Spirit Works community for our first Law of Attraction Tele-Course of 2010 and be prepared to receive!

30-Day Magical Manifesting TeleCoaching Course
This five-session Law of Attraction and Action Intensive is designed to help you break through self-imposed barriers, get focused on your J.O.B. (Joyful, Outrageous, Bliss), build your Trust Fund, and create more of what you want in your life.

When: Tue., Jan. 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th & Feb. 2nd, 8-9PM ET
Where: On the Conference Line
Course Includes: 5 one-hour classes, a FREE 60-minute Private On-Track Coaching Session valued at $150, inspiring daily updates, and ongoing support
Your Investment: Just $150 when registered and paid by Jan. 1st (After Jan. 1st your investment is $215)
Registration and Info: Earth Spirit Works Web Site

Today I am grateful for my hands that are always open to receive and that type these words, my arms that can give and receive warm embraces, my strong voice, my powerful inner vision that creates an extraordinary external experience, my breath, my home, my friends and family, snow, Nurture’s Path, lessons that only lovers can bring, the Christmas holiday, and never-ending gifts.

Thanks and peace to all!

Are You Living Peace? (Warning: This post contains strong language.)

“Motherfucking faggot,” I heard the man say as he barreled past.

“Is he talking to me?”

I looked around the subway car. There were four other people waiting for the #3 train to leave the 148th St. station, three women and a young man.

“Maybe he had a run-in with someone before he stepped into the train,” I assured myself.

A familiar uneasiness had crept in. I looked down the subway car at the big guy who had just sat down. He was staring at me. Or was he?

“Why are you looking down there, Joe?” I asked myself.

“What are you looking at fucking faggot?”

“I think he’s talking to me NOW!”

I pretended not to hear him and looked down at my Blackberry.

“Why am I nervous? Why the hell am I letting this guy upset me? Focus on something else, Joe. Be compassionate and tolerant, just like you think he should be. Do I LOOK gay? What am I saying? I AM gay. What the heck does ‘look gay’ mean? Great, now I’m thinking in stereotypes. Shit. Am I a stereotype? Am I dressed ‘gay’? Maybe it’s my shoes. Are my pants too tight? I’m sitting down, he can’t tell if my pants are tight. Mom once told me I looked like a girl in grade school. Where was that memory hiding? Remember when that guy called Byron Katie a fucking bitch? She said ‘Yes, thank you.’ Thank this guy for recognizing the truth: You are a man who has sex with men. So what? Oh, this is some conversation I’m having with myself. Compassion and tolerance, Joe, come on. Asshole. I could kick his ass. If I had a baseball bat I’d break his friggin’ skull. Asshole. I don’t need a bat, I’ll use my hands. Fucking asshole. He’s really messing with the wrong person.”

I laughed at myself. “Yeah, now I sound like him. Very good.”

I was so immersed in my violent, stress-inducing thoughts that I barely noticed my alleged gay-basher getting off the train. A deep breath. Now could I be tolerant and compassionate?

It’s a day later and I still don’t know if he was really looking at and talking to me. Funny what the mind can do.

How many gay men, people of color, women, Muslims, Jews, obese people, etc. experience what I did today? How many of us allow the kind of thoughts that I described to run rampant without taking a closer look at the source of the torture?

Why do we think that others must change for there to be peace? Like the song says, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” Will you let peace begin with you?

My affirmation for today is: ‘I am peace.’

Today I am grateful for the man on the 3 train, my brilliant mind, my loving heart, my fear and anger, my friends and family, gay men and women all over the world (Uganda, Rwanda!), warm clothes, Always Economically Viable, Robin Coley, Byron Katie, and this blog.

Thanks and peace to all!

Joe

Thanks for the Reminder Madonna!

‘Say what you like, do what you feel
You know exactly who you are
The time is right now
You got to decide
Stand in the back or be the star.’

– from Madonna’s Beat Goes On

Yes, I’m quoting a line from a Madonna song. I’ve been listening to 2008’s Hard Candy on my iPod during my workouts at the gym. The music, especially Beat Goes On, inspires me to move faster and push a little harder. The quoted lyrics have also grabbed my attention as I review this soon-to-be-ending year and decade, and look forward to 2010.

As the new year approaches I am envisioning myself in some new, unexplored geographical locations, growing my business as I speak in bigger venues, reaching more people through my J.O.B., forming new and powerful professional and personal alliances (that would mean I’ve got a new love, baby), and happily sharing more of myself with the world as I shine brighter and brighter.

I am ready. I am willing. I am open.

Madonna’s song rings in my ears: ‘The time is right now, You got to decide, Stand in the back or be the star.’

There is no time like right now to step into your greatness. Go on, be the star. What are you waiting for?

I’d like to send a shout out to my Facebook friend Thomas who often quotes Madonna song lyrics in his status updates to great affect. Thanks for your humor, intelligence, and inspiration Thomas! Rock on.

Today I am grateful for my Facebook friends and their endless stream of humor and insights, the world wide web, my computer skills, Jennifer at the new mani/pedi place in Chelsea (thanks for the tip Leslie!), my dentist, clean sheets, heat and hot water, my happy cat, bare trees, my body and breath, and the god/goddess in all things.

Amen.

Thanks and peace to all!

Joe

The Gift of Giving

“‘Tis the season” goes the saying and this holiday season you may be thinking about what and how to give.

Here in New York City, Christmas shoppers are hustling and bustling though the stores, on the streets, and in the subways. I often wonder where they get their stamina and how they can carry so many packages. I also wonder why they are out there shopping. Are they doing it because they feel like they have to give something, anything, the ‘right’ thing, or are they shopping for presents for the sheer joy of giving?

I asked myself those same questions and this is what I heard in response:

“”Whenever you are ready to give, then give. Do not think about what it will look like, or how it will be received, just GIVE.

When you give without expectation and without worry, you will find that YOU RECEIVE. That is the way of it.

What do you have inside of you that you can offer NOW? The smallest gift can bring the greatest rewards.

Be free in your giving and BE OPEN to the joy of it.

There is no thing greater than when you align your self with giving from the place of utmost integrity and authenticity.

There lies the true gift.

And so we say – Thank You!” – At One + JM

Amen!

Give to yourself this season.
Join the Earth Spirit Works and Always Economically Viable communities for these special events in NYC
and beyond.

Always Economically Viable presents a FREE Tele-Event, “A Vision for Your 2010”, on Thu., Dec. 17th, 8-9PM ET.
Call the Conference Line at 218.862.1300, ext. 951782.
(Bring a notebook and pen.)
We’ll journey to our peaceful and prosperous future selves and embrace the success that we are NOW.

And…

If you are in NYC on Dec. 19th, please come and celebrate with us at our Annual Shamanic Candlelight Fire Ceremony, an ancient, uplifting ceremony of transformation and purification.
Celebrate the Winter Solstice and your self as you humbly and gratefully release 2009 and welcome the exciting, prosperous New Year. Let your heart and soul soar as we gather to experience the healing and ecstatic energies of fire and allow it to help us trade in our old story for a brand new one.

When: Sat., Dec. 19, 2009, 7-10pm
Where: 1133 Broadway @ 26th St., 2nd Fl, Rm 245, NYC
What to Bring: A rattle or drum (some will be provided), a birthday cake candle, an intention for transformation to share with the group
Your Investment: $60
Registration and Info: Earth Spirit Works Web Site

I hope to see (or just hear) you at one of those events.

Today I am grateful for all that I have been given, all that I have now, and all that will come. I am grateful for the beautiful Earth and the endless stream of nourishment and support that it provides, the sky for it’s magnificent shadows and light, my body and breath, my wise friends, family and teachers, new and prosperous business opportunities and connections, my clients, my computer and Blackberry, love, sex and magic.

Thanks and peace to all!

Joe