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Dear Oprah,

The spiritual self help community has lost a giant today.  I guess if I were any good a practicing this philosophy I would say that one of our intuitive souls has made his transition back into the great beyond.  Dr. Wayne Dyer.  One of the great teachers of positive thinking.  I have many, many miles on the audio cd’s where he lectures on the “Power of Intention.”  He was so wise and amusing and had such a good grasp on the big picture of humanity I used to joke that I was going to do a “write in” of his name on the ballot during a presidential election.

For those of you who know me, you know that I have been into the new-age-y spiritual perspective of Neal Donald Walsh (“Conversations with God”), Louise Hay (You Can Heal Your Body), Abraham Hicks You Tube videos, and other flakes like myself.  I sort of fell into them because their perspectives resonated with me in a way no other spiritually based faith had—they sort of gave me back my power and then after the honey moon period, I would slip back into my powerlessness, get mad at them and put them away for a bit, only to come around again—definitely an infant of spirituality.  It has taken 20 years of practice, but like anything there has been definite improvement, and the good feelings usually last longer than the downward spirals.

To honor these intuitive souls that have bestowed their spiritual secrets upon me, I write this blog for you!  Get you’re sense of humor on!  I’m flowing downstream on current of self deprecating amusement to show how much I have evolved!  For my readers, when you see how super spiritual and super human I have become, you will surely be buying all of these resources and asking me to speak for large audiences—make way for a new guru!

Probably the two things in my life that I am the most immature about are money and food.  I am such a child when it comes to saying no to myself!  I want what I want, and want to tell the universe when and how it’s going to happen!  I want instant gratification!  I have muscled the Universe with harsh demanding words.  I have finessed the Universe with silver cuff bracelets and license plates that vainly plead ”White Light” endeavoring to refocus negative thoughts into positive ones and call upon God’s grace.  I have gossiped with the Universe about how stupidly other people behave—my god—if they would just approach their lives like we do, the world would be such a better place.  I have BS’d the universe with mantras that I want to believe and hope to believe with enough repetition to force something I want to have happen come true.  Most of these conversations have gotten me more of the same.  More self loathing, more shame, more judgement, more food, more spending and less abundance, but mostly more separation from the Source of my contentment.

After 20 years filled with huge enlightening “aha moments in my 20’s” to the actual practicing of all of this enlightenment in my 30’s and now to the quiet enlightened whispers of “you are just beginning to understand how this works” of my 40’s.  I can say that I am starting to truly understand the simplicity of these practices.  It’s weird.  The cliché that everyone has something that they are working on is so unbelievably true.  If you want to know how spiritually evolved you are, look at those parts of your life that you struggle to control, and witness how gracefully you react to them.  Forget how awesome you are when everything is going according to plan—we are all saints then.  When I say forget—I don’t mean to forget those moments of gratitude for the fact that everything is going according to plan—just check the barometer.  How do you treat yourself and others when things aren’t perfect?  I have learned to remember kindness and humor AND silence, and I don’t mean meditation because I still can’t do that crap, I mean biting my tongue and waiting for the Universe to give me the kindest or funniest perspective before I spew forth every possible insult and injury that comes to my mind at the moment.  And there are plenty of undesirable thoughts rattling around in this brain.

I have learned that everything that offends me has nothing to do with anyone else.  It has everything to do with how I am feeling about myself.  Am I feeling guilty, fat, tired, neglected, dumb, vulnerable, or frustrated?  When I am flying high I’m pretty hard to offend, unless it’s my children making loud annoying noises—that could knock me out of heaven!

I have learned that discussing every negative thing that happens to me or anyone else spells doomsday for my psyche.  Have you ever wanted to call a friend to vent something awful that just happened at the grocery store or work and they don’t answer the phone?  That is the Universe telling you to simmer down.  It doesn’t work very well In the moment as your temper flares like gas on fire because now your loser friend isn’t there for you to bring down to your horrible state.  I promise you though, because I have done it, give the Universe a little time to work out your situation.  RELAX!  You can tell the whole story later when you have removed yourself and can put a funny spin on it.  I swear this is how Greg and I have stayed married.  We stopped ranting over every stupid thing and wait until we have had a couple of drinks when everything is hilarious, and then we tease each other for the dumb things that we do to irritate each other.  It never gets inflammatory, and we trust each other not to push buttons at the worst time.
I have also learned that nobody is obligated to do anything for me—nothing.  So I am grateful when they do, even if they are getting paid to do it, and I am over the moon when they do it happily.  Even if it’s just an ice coffee from McDonalds.  Life is way too long to not find some fun in what you are doing even if it’s not your dream.

Now, I am not skinny and I am not a millionare—yet.  So if you are waiting for those as proof of my obvious recommendation for canonization…well, all I can say is, not long now.  (Except maybe the skinny part…that’s a tough one for me.)

It’s a pretty fantastic philosophy if you are tuned into your own responsibility and willing to watch for the magical occurrences in your life.  I thank all of my teachers for your wisdom and words that reached me at just the right moment when I could actually understand them.

To all of my followers:  For all of your sakes—TURN OFF THE NEWS—it does nothing for happy thoughts.

You’re Welcome!

St. Jennifer Donovan