A new survey conducted by Public Policy Polling on July 21, 2011 found that American voters tend to give God a pass on performance.
Though not the most popular figure PPP has polled, if God exists, voters are prepared to give it good marks. Voters approve of God’s performance by 52-9 margin, making God about as popular as [Rupert] Murdock [sic] is unpopular [12-49].
God’s best rating was on creating the universe where he/she got a 71% approval rating. The rating for the handling of the animal kingdom is also relatively high at 56%, while the approval rating on natural disasters dipped to 50%.
The survey was conducted via phone and had 928 registered voters respond. PPP also found that those who consider themselves very conservative gave God a 61% approval rating versus 40% for those who considered themselves fairly liberal. The trend continued when it came to God’s handling of the animal kingdom where ultra-conservatives rated God at 69% versus 41% for those who are somewhat liberal.
To read the full Public Policy Polling survey click here.
Reunion: How We Heal Our Broken Connection to the Earth by Ellen Gunter and Ted Carter. Foreword by Caroline Myss.
From the earliest mythologies, it’s clear we all start as a little bit of dirt. But these stories aren’t just entertaining. They also carry a profound message: each of us is born with a deep and abiding connection to the earth, one that many of us have lost touch with. The authors, Ellen Gunter and Ted Carter, spent more than two years interviewing organic and biodynamic farmers, environmentalists, filmmakers, authors, farming advocates, teachers, and spiritual leaders to understand how that connection is present in our lives-and how we can begin to see it ourselves. Using historical narratives, dozens of simple and profound practices and examples of people whose adventures in earth stewardship are showing us the way to our own roles in the world’s environmental crises, REUNION: HOW WE HEAL OUR CONNECTION TO THE EARTH is about how we rediscover and repair that connection ourselves-and by doing that, open ourselves up to solutions we had never considered before.
“Reunion is a book that should be required reading for every single person. Something radical has changed in us and it’s not good. We have strayed from our fundamental nature and we must find our way back to our primary rapport with the earth and our own life instincts before we lose sight of those precious instincts entirely.” -Caroline Myss
Ellen Gunter is a writer, a spiritual director and an environmental advocate. She lectures about the connections between spirituality and the environment in the Chicago area. She lives in Oak Park, Illinois.
Ted Carter has been designing earth-centric landscapes along the northeast coast for more than thirty years. His award-winning work has been featured in many publications. He lives and works in Buxton, Maine.
When you are feeling down and sad, unwilling or unmotivated to continue, discouragement might have taken a grip of you. You might have just lost a business, or gotten turned down for a job. Maybe you’re not where you thought you’d be at this age or you’re overwhelmed by the amount of learning you have to do to reach your next goal. Whatever the reason may be for your discouragement, understanding where it comes from will help you deal with it and have it disappear from your life as fast as it came.
What causes discouragement?
There are many reasons why we feel discouraged. They include criticism, family troubles, financial problems, poor health, daunting tasks, perfectionism, comparing yourself to others, pessimism, feeling undervalued or under appreciated, or having faced rejection.
As Rick Warren states: When you are physically or emotionally fatigued things might seem bleaker than they really are. When you are frustrated and overwhelmed by the amount of tasks you must complete it’s easier to get discouraged. When something you’ve been planning or working on falls through and you think you’ve failed. When we’re afraid of what other people will think, or if we’ll be able to handle it.
H0w can we overcome discouragement?
Talk to someone. Vent your frustration with someone you trust and/or with a professional. Ask someone to help you look at the situation from a different perspective. Sometimes just shifting your focus and seeing the situation in a new light might give you the motivation and energy to keep going.
Give back to others. The gift of giving will help those who receive your gift but it’ll also help you feel good inside. The gift can be material but it can also mean giving someone your time and energy, or giving them a smile and a hug.
Be realistic. Distinguish between the things you can change and the things you can’t. For example, if you are feeling discouraged by the lack of progress you are making in learning to play a new instrument, realize that it takes time to be proficient at it. You might not be an expert in a couple of lessons but keep on practicing and you just might be the next master at your craft.
If your discouragement has come about because someone criticized you, before you let it get to you consider the source. Artist Nancy Doyle encourages us to ask ourselves several questions:
Does the person have training or experience? Is the person able to be objective? Does the person have a similar sensibility to me? How intelligent is this person? This goes both ways – if the person is intelligent, has training, has no axe to grind – perhaps some of what they are saying is true. We need to accept criticism without necessarily buying into it, or at least suspend our judgment. We need to consider it, over time, to see if there is anything we can gain from it. We can’t take it personally; we can’t feel that it renders us worthless as artists or people. If we look at it without our egos, we may glean great insight and help to make our work better.
Leonie Dawson, author and spiritual visionary, provides four powerful methods to beat discouragement. The first is to use the 5/5/5 Rule: ask yourself how much it is going to impact you in 5 days or 5 months or 5 years from now. The second is to remember your vision. Return to that place of knowing what is truly important to completing that which you have set out to do. And the third is to mend your wounds. Meet yourself where you are at right now. Not where you were before or where you hope to be, but right now in this very moment. Go outside and get a breath of fresh air. Treat yourself to a luxurious bath or a movie you’ve wanted to see. And lastly, bring in something new into your life. It could be a new class, a new hobby or a new friend.
In his blogpost Overcoming Discouragement, Scott H. Young encourages us to reward ourselves when we’ve attempted something, even if it failed:
Whenever you take steps outside your past limitations, either in conquering your fears, improving your skills or increasing your own willpower you must recognize and reward that victory even if the rest of the world won’t. When you reward attempts even when they aren’t successful you are signaling to your brain that taking there is value in attempting something that isn’t attached to a particular outcome.
Whatever the reason for your discouragement, the important thing is to recognize it for what it is and to take action to remedy it. Not doing so might lead to more serious consequences including depression and possibly even suicide for some. However, if you nip the problem in the bud you might just walk out of the situation happy and on the road to success.
Back to Incomplete, The New Spiritual Exploration E-book by Grant Andrews
Learn to love the parts of yourself that make you unique. Open pathways to godliness in your life right now. Reach for awakening and growth in every moment of your life.
Back to Incomplete is reaching back to a state of harmony in life, even within uncertainty.
Aligning yourself with a higher power, and acknowledging your own power as well as your powerlessness.
Accepting the fact that you will never reach perfection, completeness or finality in your life, and embracing the journey nonetheless.
Finding joy and being in a state of openness and readiness for light and love to flow into your life, without relying on expectations.
Letting go of resentments, and being at peace with the fact that you cannot control everything and everyone around you.
You are moving back to a state of being incomplete, but you move there with a higher consciousness of light and love.
The ebook contains 40 chapters divided into three parts: “Self-Knowledge”, “The World”, and “The Meaning of Life”. Chapters range from topics like the body, mind, emotion and soul, to work, money love and sex, to universal concepts like courage, power, grace and the meaning of life.
Grant Andrews lives in Cape Town, South Africa. He has been running the Back to Incomplete blog since 2010, and in that way he shares conversations about spirituality on a regular basis. He teaches English at the University of the Western Cape. His interests include literature and philosophy. He works in the fields of theatre, academia, education and leadership development.
Thomas Bähler has just released his first novel, “Anything is Possible.”
This inspiring and heartwarming story follows the life of Æsop. For centuries the world has studied Æsop’s Fables. Whether you’ve read The Tortoise and the Hare, The Lion and the Mouse, The Goose Who Laid the Golden Eggs or so many others, we have all enjoyed the magic of his words. But it may come as a surprise to learn that Æsop was, for much of his life, a slave. A beautiful, richly wrought story, it re-imagines the life of the great storyteller, Æsop. Born a slave in the house of Theseus, Æsop understands early on that though the world may see him as a slave, in his heart he is free.
Through countless hardships, cruel masters and the loss of everything he loves, Æsop holds fast to those immortal words his mother taught him and finally finds a way to achieve his dreams of Freedom. So rarely does a story like this cross our paths, with such a perfect message for these difficult times. Powerful though simple, it is a profoundly inspirational tale that teaches us… Anything is possible.
THOMAS BÄHLER has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the entertainment industry. He composed music for Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, directors Steven Spielberg and Barry Levinson, magicians Siegfried and Roy, Superbowl Halftime Shows and a number of other high profile stage productions. As a songwriter he’s written many hits including “She’s Out of My Life” “Living In A House Divided” and ”Julie Do You Love Me.” Thomas created vocal arrangements for the landmark charity event “We Are the World,” as well as for Barbara Streisand, Billy Joel, and the motion picture version of “The Wiz.” He served as Music Director for a number of events sponsored by the White House, including “America’s Millennium”, “Points of Light” and President Clinton’s Inaugural Concert. Mr. Bähler has also served as Music Director and arranger for “The Kennedy Center Honors.”
We are all born with the innate ability to know when we are hungry. As babies, we naturally got fussy or cried in response to sensations of hunger. We learned to use words as toddlers to ask for food when we needed it. As we grew and became able to obtain food on our own, however, many of us began to eat for reasons other than pure hunger.
This may have been to soothe uncomfortable feelings such as sadness, fear, stress, or boredom or simply because good food was readily available. Other triggers might have been meal times, seeing/smelling food, and people or places connected in the mind with eating. The more we ate when we were not hungry, the more our natural hunger signals became distorted and difficult to recognize.
When people repeatedly eat for reasons besides hunger, physical sensations that mimic true hunger and create a false drive to eat emerge and are reinforced. The simplest way to learn to distinguish true hunger from false hunger is to begin paying attention to the body’s hunger cues again. When the body is truly hungry it sends signals to the brain, which then creates specific physical sensations that are interpreted as a need for food. We each feel these physical sensations somewhat differently. Because they can vary from person to person, it is important to learn how your own true hunger begins and progresses over time.
False hunger signals can be as intense as true hunger signals, but they are usually not felt in the same way or at the same time as true hunger. For example, you may experience false hunger in the upper area of your throat, but not at the same time that you feel true hunger around the lower sternum. The easiest way to start identifying false hunger is to pay attention to the sensations that are occurring in your body whenever you know that you are not hungry but want to eat anyway. Often, this can be done when you have finished a meal but crave something more, such as dessert or seconds of a favorite dish. In this situation, your body does not actually want more food. It is your mind sending false hunger signals that makes you believe that you need to eat more.
You can also use the time of your last meal as a way to help you distinguish true hunger from false hunger. If you want something to eat but had a meal less than two hours earlier, you are probably not really hungry, yet. Rather than eating, you can take time to become more aware of what your false hunger feels like. If you are an emotional eater and recognize that you are wanting to eat as a result of stress, boredom, or some other emotion, then take time to notice the physical sensations associated with the emotions that are driving you to eat.
Five Steps to Eating When You Are Truly Hungry
1. Before you decide to eat something take a few deep breaths, close your eyes, and tune in to the physical signs of wanting food.
2. Take time to notice the location and intensity of the sensations, and then decide if what you are experiencing is true or false hunger.
3. If it is true hunger, you will probably want to eat. If it is false hunger, you might decide to wait.
4. Try not to judge yourself or your actions no matter which decision you make.
5. Continue to practice these steps before eating and you will begin to shift back to the natural rhythm of eating when you are truly hungry.
Dr. Stephanie Coate is a licensed psychologist who holds a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and a masters degree in transpersonal psychology. She created The Awareness Diet out of her personal and professional knowledge with the intention of providing an alternative avenue to help people heal their relationship to food and their bodies. Dr. Coate provides individual coaching on the program and can be contacted for information about this or other inquiries at email@example.com.
If you would like to learn more about how to improve your relationship to food and your body, visit awarenessdiet.com where you will find a comprehensive program to guide you in this process. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get tips and up to date information!
Meditation can help you do much more than just reduce stress. It can activate that inner spiritual part of you that is already calm, content and wise. Through Simple Meditation, you will discover easy steps to connect with the replenishing peace and beauty of nature. The exercises and information will help you to improve your relationships, tap into psychic abilities and use quantum energy to release blocks to your health and happiness. The final chapters include powerful steps to examine your life, consider its direction and transform your life.
Curt Remington is a writer, nature photographer, and meditation practioner. Curt has meditated regularly since childhood. Those early meditations involved venturing into the woods and tuning into the beauty of nature, listening to the wind in the trees, or just sitting quietly and taking in the energy of a scenic place.
First it begins with knowing you want to help others, probably not knowing how or what to do, just a knowing that you want to help others. Then that may turn into the wanting to help others heal, and in order to do that you must first begin to heal yourself and sort of clean out your own junk so you can better help others heal from theirs.
You may not fully understand what to do, you just have this overwhelming urge to start healing yourself and a burning desire to help others. As you wake up to this calling you may find yourself going through alot of changes and letting go of the old or unnecessary things in your life. This letting go and balancing is necessary in this healing process. When we learn through experience what it is to heal from circumstances and experiences that are challenging, we are better equipped to help heal those we cross in our path.
When we are feeling as though we have no idea what we want to do, we are what seems to be stuck, there is a good possibility that you are in the process of healing and balancing what needs to be, in order for your next step to be shown to you.
Once we begin to understand what is involved in the healing process we can truly help others to heal on theirs. When this urge seems so strong and you are not sure what to call it… you can almost guarantee you are in the process of becoming aware or awakening to the fact that you are a lightworker, indigo, starseed, wayshower or anything alike. There is more than likely something stirring within you, telling you it is time to wake up and start the process that is necessary for you to become a healer. Which ALWAYS begins with healing yourself first, through looking within and letting go of anything old or useless from your past and present, that no longer serves you good, in order to make room for new and beneficial.
If healing is in your vocabulary, than make good use of it. It is there for a reason. If your intention is to heal, then events, experiences, or people will be brought into our life and experiences will manifest to help show you the process in which, will be most beneficial to you personally on your healing journey. Be forewarned it can be a challenging and sometimes confusing journey but one you will be fully supported and guided on that will have rewards that last a lifetime.
Article by Spirituality InYou which is a collaboration of a variety of healers including reiki, healing touch, reflexology, card readers, psychics, work shops and more.
Listen in as Michael Losier, Law of Attraction Coach, describes the basic principles of Law of Attraction (LOA) to the listeners of Spiritual Perspectives Radio. Michael answers basic questions such as what is LOA, why should you use it, what happens when your partner practices it right alongside you, how do you use it, and most importantly, why are you not getting the results you would like.
Michael reminds listeners that we are all already experiencing Law of Attraction without even knowing it. However, we’re using words such as serendipity, coincidence, synchronicity, fate or karma. In actuality, these are all evidence of LOA. Whether you like it, believe in it, or understand it, everything that you are attracting is a result of the Law of Attraction.
Bestselling book and movie “The Secret” teaches us about Law of Attraction but fails to mention that if you are sending out negative vibes, you are not likely to get what you desire. Michael teaches us that we are sending out vibrations at all times but some might cancel out our desires – thus leading to poor or no results. For example, if you want to attract $1 million with all your heart but also highly doubt that it will happen, then you are right – nothing will happen. The desire and the doubt cancel each other out.
So how do we know what vibrations we’re sending out? Are they positive or negative? Michael’s list of negative vibrations include feelings of anger, disappointment, guilt, shame, blame, or jealousy. Positive vibrations include love, joy, appreciation, success, gratitude and abundance. To determine what kind of vibration you are sending out in a particular area of your life, take a closer look. For example, if you want to know your vibrations towards money, open your wallet. If you want to know your vibrations toward business success, take a look at your clients’ file folders.
Another aspect of Law of Attraction that differentiates Michael from other Practitioners is his ability to teach people how to reset the vibrations they are sending. Once you have identified the type of vibration you are sending out, if you determine that it’s a negative one, just hit a “Reset Button” and you’ll start from scratch. Michael believes that Law of Attraction has no memory, no conscience or brain, therefore it won’t remember what you vibrated in the past, it will only remember what you are vibrating now.
The Pagan Perspective recently answered the following question by one of its Youtube viewers:
What are your thoughts on a male following the goddess in paganism and a female following the god. Do you feel that the sex of someone should determine if they follow the goddess or the god in their pagan life? I’m male and beginning to learn about paganism. I feel that I connect more to the goddess but I have noticed from reading things and watching videos that males tend to lean more toward the god and females to the goddess.
Speaking from a Wiccan experience, Mary, the speaker, answers the question by looking at the people that surround her. She contends that the followers of the Wiccan tradition are drawn to both the god and the goddess and can relate to aspects of both. Followers who want to honor both strive to understand what is power and warrior-like in the goddess and what is kind and nurturing in the god. However, if you study both of them at their depths they will both encompass every experience that will take us to the levels of supreme wisdom and confidence.
Mary asks that you try to relate to both god and goddess in their many different aspects. If you feel more connected to one or the other then find out why. See if you can find that which you admire in one, in the other. It’s important to understand who both are so that you can explore who you might be. The femaleness and the maleness of the deities doesn’t define who they are in terms of potential. It also doesn’t limit or define them or us.
If we are not relating to the god and goddess as equals, we may not be in tune with who we are. Don’t limit what god or goddess can be. Explore both but if in the point in your study you lean towards one or the other, enjoy what you have to learn and then decide what you want in your life.