Paradigm Shift in Progress

Limitless Ocean 

Limitless Ocean 

There comes a season in life that requires more than the tame answers that once worked but no longer seem relevant. Life becomes wild and chaotic, and the tame answers stop working. It doesn’t matter how you try to defend them or rehearse how well this way of looking at your life has worked in the past. It’s as if a volcano has erupted, burying all you have spent your life building, as Mt. Vesuvius buried the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 A.D. The familiar landscape of your life has been changed forever. There is no going back to who you were and where you were, because that person and that place and that time no longer exists.

It may be a cataclysmic event that changes your life: a death of someone near and dear, a loss of job or dream or project, a divorce, a catastrophe, or a sudden earthquake of emotion that opens your eyes to the instability of others—and yourself. Or it could be a more gradual change: the numbing disillusionment of delays, detours and pretty promises made but never kept; the growing belief that the people you once thought were so wise are not so wonderful after all; or learning that someone’s pious talk of caring and comfort was all a smoke screen for a user to abuse you emotionally, physically, or spiritually. It can be when you come face to face with your own human folly and realize that you were living in your head instead of following your heart and now you’re at a dead end with no way out. Whatever the catalyst, things have changed and the old comfortable ways no longer feel good, your old solutions do not work, and you’ve come face to face with your own inadequacies and unanswerable questions.

It’s time for a paradigm shift. Pastor and author Eugene Peterson says in Under the Unpredictable Plant, “A paradigm is a model or pattern for grasping and interpreting reality. If the paradigm is wrong or deficient in some way, reality is understood wrongly or deficiently. It makes no difference that the pieces of reality that are fed into the paradigm are true and understood accurately; if the paradigm arranges them wrongly, they come out wrong.” When the paradigm stops working because conditions have changed, new information has arrived, or old ideas stop making sense, it’s time to set the old belief system aside and be open to a new belief system.

How do you do this? One key is the imagination. As long as you try to drum dry facts and cold figures into your head, you starve your heart and keep yourself stuck. Instead, planting the wild mustard seed of imagination may help you see everything from a fresh perspective. The wild thoughts that seem so fearsome and intimidating at first can become the safest way to navigate this deep life change process.

Let go of familiar categories of “right” and “wrong” and all of the old explanations. Instead of repeating the old story over and over, look for a new story—a more positive and proactive narrative of your life’s tale. This is not easy, because so many voices, especially those inside your head, tell you this is not “safe” or “prudent,” that only a crazy or depraved person be willing to take risks and let go of the truisms of the herd to find their own way in the world. John Middleton Murray says, “For the good man to realize that it is better to be whole than to be good is to enter on a straight and narrow path compared to which his previous rectitude was flowery license.” 

An interior shift of the imagination can move you beyond carefully defined boundaries. It’s not so much that you’ll remake the world in another image, but that you’ll learn to see the world differently. When you acknowledge that you don’t have all the answers, you allow new ideas to work their way into your imagination, expanding your reality past your current understanding. With a paradigm shift, everything changes. With a shift of imagination, your way of looking at everything changes.


When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
Max Planck (physicist, discovered quanta in 1899)

Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized:
• In the first, it is ridiculed.
• In the second, it is opposed.
• In the third, it is regarded as self-evident.
Arthur Schopenhauer

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it. 
Upton Sinclair

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
Mahatma Gandhi

Now we have been dealing with the magical approach, and let me gently remind you that I said that you must be willing to change all the way from the old system of orientation to the new, if you want the new approach to work fully for you in your life.
Jane Roberts, The Magical Approach

Whether we are young or old, whether our dreams are public or private, we are always evolving toward either a smaller and more fearful self, or a larger and more loving self.
Marianne Williamson

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
Albert Einstein

It is from that place of intense aliveness, spacious presence, that you can appreciate the aliveness in all things. It is more than just the sense perception of the chair or the perception of the table or the glass of water. Within the sense perceptions you can sense that there is more than what you are perceiving on the surface; that everything has a presence, an alive presence to it. When you touch that within you, then you don't have to wait for something to happen in your life to feel more alive. 
Eckhart Tolle

I soon learned that I could have right thought only as I lived my interior life in the very atmosphere of the Abiding Presence. 
Albert C. Grier

It is only by allowing your emotions to be highly attuned that you will be able to see things differently. As Pir-O-Mirshid indicates, you become aware of the way identifying with your physical condition entraps you in a very limited purview. Raise yourself from this earthly condition, considering it as scaffolding, as underpinning. This is where God-consciousness will make a difference. If you are trying to reach upward, you are limiting yourself as the one who is wishing it. It is much more effective to think the other way around: The divine perfection is trying to come through my imperfection. There is a divine fulfillment taking place as long as I do not obstruct it or limit it by my personal way of looking at things.
Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan

There is something in the universe which forever gives itself to its creation, forever offers itself, not as sacrifice, but as an impartation of its essence in everything. The practitioner must sense this Divine Givingness, this Divine Love, as the manifestation of Spirit through everything. He must sense the harmony of the Divine Life, which, should we permit It, could give such power to our thought that it would become irresistible as law, not through will or concentration, but by attention and willingness.
Ernest Holmes

The practitioner must have a calm which transcends any confusion he wishes to change. He must have a sense of justice that outweighs any manifestation of injustice. And he must have a sense of the immediate availability of good—not as though he were reaching out toward it, but rather, as though he were reaching out with it. 
Ernest Holmes

God, in all that is most living and incarnate in him, is not far away from us, altogether apart from the world we see, touch, hear, smell, and taste about us. Rather he awaits us every instant in our action, in the work of the moment. There is a sense in which he is at the tip of my pen, my spade, my brush, my needle—of my heart and of my thought.
Teilhard de Chardin 

The brain can as easily speak a good word to the body as to speak an evil one, and the effect will follow. But men do not know this and so they are at the mercy of thousands of idle thoughts, generated by brains so low in the scale of development as to scarcely be capable of thought at all. It is this class of low irresponsible thoughts that forms the mental atmosphere we breathe and keeps us weak in our own opinions until we learn how to combat and drive it away, and how to place our new thoughts, now being educated in strength, in place of them.
Helen Wilman (The Conquest of Poverty ©1899)

What is needed is to learn afresh, to observe, and to discover for ourselves, the meaning of wholeness.
David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order

The attainment of wholeness requires one to stake one's whole being. Nothing less will do; there can be no easier conditions, no substitutes, no compromises.
C.G. Jung

Asked for advice, Ernest Holmes would often say, "I do not know what you should do, but there is Something that does know." Then he would pray affirmatively that the person was now receiving guidance from his or her own inner wisdom. 

Affirmative Prayer/Inspiring Person

I’m using this affirmation in 2011:

I am in touch with Spirit every moment. I am guided to create the life of my dreams in an easy and relaxed manner, a healthy and positive way, with grace, ease, and lightness. 

Marc Allen 
(founder of New World Library, who used this affirmation to get out of financial trouble and build his successful publishing company). 
Here's a link to an interview with him:

The Heart of A Lion

I found an old notebook filled with lyrics when I was awake in the wee hours of the night. The Heart of A Lion is one of the few songs I have written totally by myself (I have such incredible co-writers that writing alone is rare). I wrote a new verse today. This lyric is a comfort in difficult times. I wrote the original song back in the 80s when I was totally immersed in contemporary Christian music, but I think the message is universal. 

May it inspire you if you are facing the lions of your own particular challenges. 

The Heart of A Lion

verse 1
In Roman days they would praise
The Lord in front of lions
He was there to hear their prayer
Alive among the dying

Giving them the heart of a lion
Strong before the jaws of death
Trusting God with every breath
To face each test
With the heart of a lion

verse 2
God has a plan for mortal man
Fulfilled in Judah's Lion
Trade despair for the Lion's share
For those who seek will find him

repeat chorus

verse 3
Like Daniel in the lion's den
Or David and Goliath
Strong inside we win the fight
God's Presence in us triumphs

repeat chorus

Success for Everyone

Success depends on a plus condition of mind and body, on power of work, on courage.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Enough of scary headlines and dire predictions. And that, my friend, includes the frightening stories we tell ourselves and the disbelieving comments that cripple us at every turn. 

Every morning I wake up to a choice: Will I believe that low energy whine that tells me, “You’ll never succeed, the obstacles are too overwhelming, and besides, you wouldn’t be in this place if you could anything right.” If I listen to that voice, I’ll never get out of bed. 

Or will I choose to listen to a more subtle voice that says, “Accept that things are not as you would like them to be. Accept that you played your part in co-creating these circumstances. But do not accept that you are helpless in the face of these difficult truths. Instead, choose to trust God (and yourself) in a new way today. Release your regrets and set aside your fears. Do today’s work with your whole heart. Live in the moment and plan for success.”

That inspiring voice also says, “Take small steps in the right direction and trust that you will be led. Believe that you are a child of God, and you are greater than any conditions that life presents. You can create better conditions, with the help of Spirit, if you’ll just see yourself as a powerful spiritual being capable of creating amazing things. Even in loss and failure the human spirit can triumph, and unexpected victories can come to the heart that believes.”

One day when I was feeling anxious, I took a small positive step and bought a book. Cash in a Flash: Fast Money in Slow Times by Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen gave me lots of ideas for building my business and taking positive action to create a life I love. Since then, I have been sorting through empowering ideas and choosing to listen to my “inner winner” instead of my “inner whiner.” 

One other idea I have taken from the book: create a mastermind group. So now I’m having regular meetings with three of the most powerful women I know. These ladies are survivors who know how to thrive, who never give up, and who have created meaningful lives out of the ashes of their failures and losses. They inspire me to do the same, and to believe that even when things feel like they are falling apart, they are also coming together. A new and better pattern is replacing the old ways. 

Our mastermind group is reading through the book and applying the lessons from Cash in a Flash. We are discussing some great ideas for co-creating and collaborating on projects. We encourage and pray daily for each other as we make progress toward building happier and more prosperous lives. 

Here’s the website address for the Cash in a Flash book. They offer lots of extra practical and inspiring goodies online, so it’s a great investment.


Success = a focused mind + a determined heart + a focused, determined team.
from Cash in a Flash

There is no combination of experiences so hard, so black, so complicated but that God can work a miracle in them.
Emma Curtis Hopkins

A self-pitying life is a doomed life. Only the life which deliberately picks up and starts over again is victorious.
James Gordon Gilkey

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.

Men were born to succeed, not to fail.
Henry David Thoreau

If we want more roses, we must plant more trees!
George Eliot

The thing we wish to do, then, is to find a faith greater than our fears, whether they are fears of people, of conditions, of life, or of death. Such faith is born out of a complete conviction of the eternal destiny of one’s own soul and of all other souls. 
Ernest Holmes

Affirmative prayer

From this moment on, life is forever changed for me in magnificent, prosperous, and graceful ways. All things are unfolding for the highest good and there is no resistance, only divine timing and perfect peace. Love is the true motivation for all I do, even in the simplest routines of my daily life. I now claim God’s great idea of amazing success and vision to help, heal, and touch the world. I am now open and willing to receive the blessings which make this so.

Introducing an inspiring friend: 

I have Pam Slim’s blog on my bookmarks bar. I check it every week. She has a great blog on starting your first website right now. But I especially appreciated her blog on the three types of people described in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point. 

Here is Pam’s description of the three kinds of people that make things happen: 

Connectors are fantastic at expanding your network. They will say things like: 
“Oh you should talk to …”
“Have you heard about…”
“Let me introduce you to…” 
They think in nodes, not individuals, and like nothing more than to help you. They see people first, then money.

Salesmen will take the idea that you have been working on for years and help you package it, price it and sell it. They say things like:
“But if you do that, you won’t make any money!”
“Here is how you should position it, and here is the upsell…”
“You have to have an offer. Traffic means nothing if it doesn’t lead to a sale.”
“What is your pricing structure?”
“What specific value will this have to your market? How much is that worth?”

Mavens will dig deeply into your product and give very specific, detailed and relevant information on how it can fit within the marketplace. 
“I was researching that last month, and I noticed a slight discrepancy in ….”
“Your work fits right in the xxx part of yyy’s essay on the zzz topic.”
“You could add videos to this to bring the lessons alive! And you could expand on the content in Chapter 3, Section 2, by listing …”

I realized that I’m a “maven.” My bookshelves and my collections of quotes tell you that I like resources and research. For example, when people ask me about writing and publishing, I’m the one who says, 
“Have you checked out the writer’s section at your local bookstore?” 
“Have you read this or that person’s blog?” 
“Do you realize you can create a great information product with this?” 
“Did you read this document on the developing e-book story?” 
“Have you gone to Smashwords and read Mark Coker’s blog and clicked through on to the other blogs he recommends? 

So what are you—connector, salesperson, or maven? And how can you use your unique gifts to collaborate with others to create a success that multiplies good for everyone?

read the entire blog post at: 
Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen: The secret to your success
Pam Slim’s blog on August 23, 2010


  1. September 19, 2010 11:08 AM CDT

    I came across your book by chance, or so I thought. I have really enjoyed how you write and put things. I choose to make the best of every day. Keep writing, people need you. God has used you in such a great way. Never live in a box. Throw the box away.

    - Tammy Pitarro


The Courage to Thrive

Whenever evil befalls us, we ought to ask ourselves, after the first suffering, how we can turn it into good. So shall we take occasion, from one bitter root, to raise perhaps many flowers. 
Leigh Hunt

I have been handling a lot of frustration, desperation, and depression this summer.Struggling to keep afloat, I experienced a leak in my boat. And I’ve been drowning in the negativity and fear that we all feel like a miasma around us, fed by the media and by economic woes. And I have been tempted to give in to the most frightening thoughts, the most troubling images. I doing things that I never thought I would have to do, facing losses that are hard to bear. 

But I refuse to be defined by my failures, my losses, and my fears. I am choosing to move beyond limited definitions of who I am and what I am capable of being. 

In the process of seeking answers to my own dilemmas, I have met some amazing people and found some helpful resources that tell me we can do more than just survive in hard times. We can learn how to thrive.

I am reading an inspiring book by Paul Pearsall. It’s called The Beethoven Factor: The New Positive Psychology of Hardiness, Happiness, Healing, and Hope. Pearsall’s own story of surviving cancer is inspiring, and he introduces you to the people he calls thrivers, individuals who face life’s unavoidable challenges head-on and grow stronger and more vital as a result. He offers a course in “thrivology” that teaches you to tap into your God-given powers to transform troubles into triumphs. Beethoven wrote his best-loved symphonies despite deafness. And we can write a more meaningful story for our lives even in the face of loss and difficult times. 

This is not just about positive thinking. It’s about being willing to live fully, even in the face of death. It’s about being willing to risk, even if you have no guarantees of winning. And it’s about choosing to love life, give it meaning, and adapt to the changing circumstances of life with grace and courage.

If you are in the midst of a crisis, I know that words often slide off the surface of your mind, making no impact. You have to give yourself grace and time. But when you are ready, the right phrase, a new idea, or something that lets you know you are not alone in your struggles, can reach the heart. I’m writing not because I have the answers, but because I have found some comfort and inspiration to help me make a choice for life, and to choose to thrive instead of merely surviving. 

The Daily Coyote, a book (and website) by Shreve Stockton, tells the story of a young woman raising a coyote in the wilds of Wyoming. One of the most inspiring ideas I gleaned from her relationship with Charlie, the coyote, is about becoming an “energetic alpha.” Shreve says, 
“By energetic alpha I mean a solid, unwavering conviction in oneself. On that cannot be broken by intimidation from outside sources.… Energetic alpha is a combination of confidence and grace, and this translates seamlessly to every area of life—personal and business relationships, even our attitudes regarding work and personal trials—and the manner in which we move through life.” 

Paul Pearsall writes: “Thriving is defined as reconstructing life’s meaning in response to life’s most destructive occurrences. It is not only rising to the occasion, but being raised by it. Thriving is a renewal of faith, energy, trust, hope, and connection just when doubt, cynicism, fear, fatigue, and alienation seem at their worst. It’s not just bounding back, but up and beyond. It is the emergence of a new creative spirit through and because of the darkest times, a spirit that can guide us to the Beethoven Factor so we too can creatively conduct our daily life as an ode to joy.”

Are you willing to consider the possibility that there is more to you than meets the eye? Are you willing to come with me on a quest for a more meaningful and vibrant response to the challenges life presents? I can’t guarantee that we’ll get out of this unscathed, but I do guarantee that we can find grace and a new kind of wholeness and sanity if we will face our fears and failings with courage, and move deeper into the heart of God for our strength and comfort. This is my quest. I hope you’ll join me. 

Here are a few more quotes that I hope will inspire you if you are facing a crisis or challenge in life:

The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

After a time of decay comes the turning point. The powerful light that has been banished returns.
I Ching, The Book of Changes

All suffering prepares the soul for vision.
Martin Buber

The familiar life horizon has been outgrown; the old concepts, ideals, and emotional patterns not longer fit; the time for a passing of a threshold is at hand. 
Joseph Campbell

To a poor sailor the winds are always against you.

The winds of grace blow all the time. All we need to do is set our sails.

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; 
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
William Shakespeare

Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves—regret for the past and fear of the future.
Fulton Oursler

Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.
Pablo Picasso

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ 
Eleanor Roosevelt

Things seem to turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.
Art Linkletter

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.
Oscar Wilde

Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the conquest of it.
William Danforth

Affirmative prayer

My mother recites this prayer and I, too, am finding great comfort in it.

The light of God surrounds me,
The love of God enfolds me,
The power of God protects me,
The Presence of God watches over me,
Wherever I am, God is.
--prayer card/author unknown 

Introducing an inspiring friend: 

Just for fun

Remember the old Exxon slogan, “Put a tiger in your tank?” Chris Guillebeau offers a new take on that with his blog entry Visit to Tiger Kingdom. The photos do not lie—he’s cuddling up to a very big tiger. “What’s new, pussycat?”

Get serious about play:

With all the dire headlines and my blog about finding meaning in trials and difficulties, it’s easy to forget that one of the best things you can do is play. If you want to be fully alive, play with others. Interplay groups offer one of the most wonderful ways to play meaningfully. I took the Interplay Leadership course and will be forever grateful to Diana Morningstar Ault for introducing me to the joys of Interplaying. I give you the national website and our Tennessee site. Come have fun and heal your heart!

Action Whey

I don’t normally endorse products. However, I have enjoyed so much success using this whey drink that I have become a distributor. I'd love to have you check it out and see if it would work for you, too. I’m offering my personal experience with the product and if you are not interested in a commercial, just skip this part of my blog. 

I have been drinking ActionWhey since late June, and I'm so grateful for the extra energy it gives me. I'm eating less (so I'm saving money on groceries!), feeling better, and even losing weight! People tell me I am looking great. 

Not only that, ActionWhey tastes good, with no bitter or gluey aftertaste. I like to blend it with water, milk, rice milk, or almond milk, and a banana. Chocolate is my preferred flavor, but the vanilla is also excellent. I drink one serving in the morning for energy, and if the day is hectic or I'm feeling the need for extra nourishment, I'll drink another serving later in the day. I have always struggled to eat for energy and tend to wilt pretty quickly in the afternoon, even when I eat well (salads and fresh fruits). 

Since I have been using ActionWhey my energy continues evenly through the day. I'm also handling the heat of Nashville summer better, too. No more wilting for me. This has been a special blessing in the last few weeks as life has been more stressful than usual recently (hasn't it been so for us all?). 

Oh, and did I say how helpful it was when I traveled in July? I had plenty of energy for the five hour flight, and when I was at my destination, one serving of ActionWhey kept my energies up so I could enjoy time with my family. 

I also sleep more soundly. And my digestion is better. They say it helps you feel younger—and I do feel younger, lighter, and less weighed down by life itself (this is a neat trick, considering what's going on in my life right now!). 

One new thing I've noticed: clear sinuses. This may not be a big deal in other parts of the country, but summer in Nashville, especially on hot and humid days, can be hell on sinuses. I have had something that gives me sinus headaches every July since I moved here in 1993. Not this year. I'm sure it's the ActionWhey helping my immune system. Clear breathing is a gift, especially when the heat is on and the humidity makes you sweat. Clear sinuses mean more oxygen in the body, and that means more energy. 

Gail Goad, my friend and yoga instructor, introduced me to Action Whey. Her son has helped develop the product, and Hugh Downs chose to feature the product and company on a recent PBS program. It also features Dr. Mark Houston from Vanderbilt, Director of the Center for Anti-Aging and a Board Certified physician. 

I have also learned that it's easy to build a business quickly (low key, absolutely nothing pushy, no financial investment, no complicated systems or sales meetings). I can soon have the monthly cost of my whey drink covered, just by introducing others to what I already use and enjoy. And as more people join under me I can also earn $$$$. All I do is tell them about the product and send them to my website. 

But you don't have to build a business. You can just go to the retail site, read about the product, and download the free report on Glutathione, with no obligation. 

If you decide to try ActionWhey, let me know if you like it. Email me if you have questions. I'll do my best to answer them. I think the website is pretty self-explanatory, though.

I'm putting links for Action Whey here. One takes you to my website.

The other link takes you to the Action Whey page for information on the product I'm using.