Do you believe in miracles?
Sure, you might say. I’ve seen miracles. And I expect to see them again
Or, There are no such things. Science has explanations for everything.
Actually, both perspectives are right. Miracles are prayers answered, hope fulfilled, stories of the seemingly impossible, inspirations that change lives, the melting of hardened hearts, personal transformation. But how do these things happen?
Contrary to what our senses tell us, science informs us that everything is energy. The observer affects the observed. Our thoughts influence what we perceive, how we feel, and whether we are joyful or depressed.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “A man is a product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.”
Traditionally, a miracle is an event we don’t expect and didn’t foresee. It comes out of the blue, full of meaning, an object of wonder so marvelous it points to a reality beyond our reach. In a religious context, we can see this as God, the ground of being, or as manifestations of supernatural powers.
What is miraculous in one culture may be ordinary in another.
In the west, people interpret spontaneous recovery from serious illness as a miracle, and persons with unusual healing powers as miraculous beings. In some earth-based cultures, thunder and lightning are considered messengers of the divine, while recovery from serious afflictions is the result of energetic interventions by a shaman or spiritual healer. And perfectly ordinary
Saint Augustine said, “Miracles are not contrary to nature, only to what we know about nature.”
Another view is that the miraculous shows itself in the everyday world—in nature, in the love between people, in a child’s smile.
The miraculous may simply be something we do not yet understand. When we use the power of intention, affirmation, gratitude, or prayer, we are harnessing energy in the living field that connects us all. We do it to change our lives, which means we acknowledge our connectedness in the field of life. Nothing is really separate. If I love you, I love myself. If I hurt you, I hurt myself.
When we understand this, we notice that our thoughts and words change our perception of reality. If we persevere with those new thoughts, our actual reality changes too.
If I pray for healing for my friend, and my friend recovers from his illness, is that a miracle? Or the effect of intention on the web of consciousness that binds us together
You decide, according to what you believe.
For 101 stories of everyday miracles, check out the new anthology, Believe in Miracles, by Chicken Soup for the Soul, available now for pre-order. My essay, Please Pass the Holy Water, is one of the stories. I hope you enjoy it.
The Book of the Center
While I was working on my novel a few years ago, a thought dropped in. It had nothing to do with the book and came with the little jolt I associate with the part of me that is NOT my ego-mind. The thought was, “The Book of the Center.” I heard the words as if a voice had spoken aloud.
The first time this happened I was 28 and it scared the heck out of me. I thought either God was speaking, or I was losing my mind. Maybe both. A self-professed humanist, I had no religious convictions or grounding in metaphysics. I sought help. To no avail. Finally, I realized the voice was a part of myself I didn’t know. It seemed prudent to record what it said. That was the beginning of my awakening to spirit.
I’ve learned (the hard way) to listen. When I heard about this mysterious book, I pulled out a fresh file folder, labeled it The Book of the Center and stuck in a file with other writing projects. Going to write that someday, I thought. Wonder what it means. Sometimes I pondered if Center meant my own center or Self, my heart, a place of neutrality, or something different.
Reading The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself recently, I remembered how my Book of the Center appeared. Finally, I’ve started it.
Journaling for Healing
Between the first intrusion of the voice of my Self and the title of a book I didn’t understand came a lot of years of journaling. In the beginning I journaled to deal with the drama of my life.
In midlife, I was embroiled in a difficult relationship that made no sense. By then, I had learned to meditate, work with my own energy, and use healing methods to address my issues. With this situation, nothing worked.
One day I sat at my computer, opened a new file, and wrote my latest take on The Situation. Although I judged my relationship problems as too petty to bring to the attention of my deeper parts, I decided to try anyway. I typed a single question: “What is going on with me and this person?” Then I sat with my keys on the keyboard and waited.
After a few minutes I wrote whatever came up, without thinking or judging. No voices spoke, no visions came, I just wrote.
What I wrote was not profound or particularly clear, but it made enough sense that I asked another question, waited again, and wrote again.
That was the beginning of me using writing to connect with Self.
The more I dialogued with my Self, the more useful the exercise became. It took several years to convince me I was talking to more than my ego-mind (one of my issues is self-doubt), but I kept going. No one read my journal. I didn’t talk about it. I just kept writing because it seemed like the right thing to do. Also, I’m a fast typist and the faster I write, the easier it is to bypass the mental critic in my head.
Many others have discovered this method. It’s even mentioned in books on journaling. I teach my journaling students how to do it. The great thing is you don’t have to learn to meditate, take a class, or learn special techniques. All you need is a notebook and pen or a computer, and a mind willing to open.
An Easy Exercise for You
Have you tried it? If not, this could be the time. This is how it works.
- Assume you have an aspect of your identity that knows more than you do, that loves you, and is willing to communicate.
- Settle yourself and clear your mind.
- Ask your Self a question in writing. About a crisis, a choice, a pattern you don’t understand. Anything you want to know about yourself.
- Write what comes.
- Refrain from judgment.
This works. I swear. You may have to be patient, but persistence counts.
If you give this method a try, send me a comment about your experience. I’d love to hear your reaction.
Do you ever wonder why you feel like you do?
If you’re happy and satisfied with your life, the question may not come up.
But what about when you feel:
- out of sorts
Or maybe you can’t pinpoint why you can’t get going on that creative project, stick to your exercise or diet plan, or start looking for a better job.
It could be that you’re ignoring the messages from your own body.
If you’re a creative type, things can get more complicated. Creative people often live in their heads. Exciting ideas drop in and swirl around, but they have a hard time devoting the time and energy to produce their art, writing, or music. They wander in circles, not sure how to begin, or where to find resources. They think about the future (Who would buy my book?) and don’t finish writing it.
We have ready excuses for not moving on. “I’m stressed! I don’t have time. I’ll feel better after the holidays when the weather’s warmer, when my mother-in-law goes home.”
All these may be true, but they don’t answer the question, Why do you feel the way you do?
The eastern metaphysical traditions don’t perceive the mind and body as separate systems. Healing modalities like yoga, acupuncture, t’ai chi and meditation assume that mind affects body and body affects mind. A two-way street.
Many of us have adopted this belief because we got positive results when we tried them. But the medical establishment did not give up its insistence on the separation of mind and body until Candace Pert, a molecular biologist, discovered how peptides, a protein found in every cell of the body, carry information from and to all our organs including the brain.
Her research showed that the body works more like an information processing system than a clockwork. The peptides which carry glucose to our organs, are biochemicals which Pert called the molecules of emotion. They form a network of communication, the means by which thoughts affect the chemistry of the body. As the chemistry changes, so do our feelings.
It turns out that the mystics were right. The mind of the body is in every organ and every cell. The seat of emotion is not in the brain or the heart. It is in our cells, each and every one.
Like information, emotions travel physically between body and mind as the peptides and their receptors. In the subjective realm, we experience changes in feelings and emotions.
Pert agrees with Carl Jung’s intuition that the physical body itself is the unconscious mind. Which is why we often don’t know why we feel as we do. When we repress or discard uncomfortable feelings, we literally push them into our bodies. Held long enough, they eventually produce stress and illness.
If we want to feel better, we can start by acknowledging and releasing our emotions from the bondage of the body. Energy therapies, yoga, acupuncture, any healing modality that involves therapeutic touch, and learning to clear the mind through meditation or prayer establish new pathways so our bodies can let our minds know what they need.
Expressing emotions in a safe environment results in more glucose being available to all the organs. The peptides spread the word, and emotional blocks that have formed into physical blocks begin to dissolve.
Another way to open the lines of communication with your body is very simple. Journaling about what’s going on in your life and how you feel about it is a powerful tool. It can help you get unstuck, boost your immune system, and improve your ability to make decisions and act.
All you need is a notebook and a pen!
My new novel, The Tyro, is now available in paperback on Amazon. Book One of the fantasy trilogy, The Dreamwalkers of Larreta, it has already been well received by reviewers for which I am very grateful.
We are having a Facebook Celebration for Tryo on October 2, 4-6 PM PDT. Join us for games, contests, and the chance to win free books. I’ll be there to answer any questions you might have.
I am thrilled to announce the publication of The Tyro, Book One of the fantasy trilogy, The Dreamwalkers of Larreta. Pubished by Ellysian Press, The Tyro is now available on Amazon!
This story has been rattling around in my mind and haunting my dreams for a long time, so it is gratifying to finally be able to share it with you. The electronic version is out now, and the paperback will be available soon for those of you who prefer to hold your books.
It means a lot to to an author to be read. On Amazon, a book’s success is often defined by its sales in the first months of its release, so if contemporary fantasy, metaphysics, adventures across worlds and a romance that spans centuries interests you, please consider The Tyro.