Ash Wednesday Musings

Ash Wednesday Musings

Growing up Catholic and attending Catholic school, Ash Wednesday always felt like a somber day of remembering one’s bodily mortality, e.g. “Remember man that thou art dust, and unto dust you shall return,” and deciding which decadent treats (chocolate, soda, cake, etc.) you were willing to give up. For better or worse, the day became synonymous with dieting for many people, as the concept of self-denial centered around food and beverages. Some argued that you could have Sundays “off” while others insisted you must stick to it for the full 40 days.

Why the discrepancy?

According to Catholicism.About.com:

Lent, the period of prayer and fasting in preparation for Easter, is 40 days long, but there are 46 days between Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent in the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar, and Easter. So how are the 40 days of Lent calculated?

A Little History

The answer takes us back to the earliest days of the Church. Christ’s original disciples, who were Jewish, grew up with the idea that the Sabbath—the day of worship and of rest—was Saturday, the seventh day of the week since the account of creation in Genesis says that God rested on the seventh day.

Christ rose from the dead, however, on Sunday, the first day of the week, and the early Christians, starting with the apostles (those original disciples), saw Christ’s Resurrection as a new creation, and so they transferred the day of rest and worship from Saturday to Sunday.

Sunday: The Celebration of the Resurrection

Since all Sundays—and not simply Easter Sunday—were days to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection, Christians were forbidden to fast and do other forms of penance on those days.

Therefore, when the Church expanded the period of fasting and prayer in preparation for Easter from a few days to 40 days (to mirror Christ’s fasting in the desert, before He began His public ministry), Sundays could not be included in the count.

Thus, in order for Lent to include 40 days on which fasting could occur, it had to be expanded to six full weeks (with six days of fasting in each week) plus four extra days—Ash Wednesday and the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday that follow it. Six times six is thirty-six, plus four equals forty. And that’s how we arrive at the 40 days of Lent!

While I’m supportive of anyone using this time to deprive themselves of sweets (and lose weight in the process), I also love this idea from Aleteia.com:

During Lent we want to de-emphasize ourselves and emphasize our dependence on God. Almsgiving (materially sharing with those in need) is one of the three “pillars” of Lent. (The other two pillars are prayer and fasting.) We can give in ways other than money. In giving up things around our house that we don’t need, we can detach from “stuff” while helping others.

Here’s the challenge: During the 40 days of Lent, find one thing each day you no longer need. For most of us, this should be really easy. It could be a kitchen item, a jacket, a bike, an unopened gift hanging around. Go through your closets, drawers, basement, even the garage.

Click here to read the full post.

For me, it’s also about releasing old beliefs and thought patterns while embracing the knowledge that we are all children of God. With that in mind, here are some suggestions. During Lent 2017, let’s fully let go of:

  • Self-Doubt
  • Worry
  • Fear
  • Laziness
  • Impatience
  • Jealousy
  • Selfishness
  • Distrust
  • Comparing Ourselves to Others

Instead, embrace our individuality as creations of God. Celebrate the unique gifts He has given to each of us. Vow to use them in service to your family, friends, neighbors, community, country, workplace and/or business. Stop the comparison/jealousy game and recognize that we are all here for our own purpose. It has been said that “comparison is the thief of joy.” I fully agree.

No matter how you honor the season of Lent, remember to express gratitude for all that you are and all that you have. Focus on your blessings, not your problems. By doing so, you just may find that God will guide you through every obstacle.

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Wednesday Wisdom: How to Manifest Abundance Into Your Life

Wednesday Wisdom: How to Manifest Abundance Into Your Life

Here’s yet another informative, inspiring video from You Are Creators.

 

1. Believe

2. Visualize

3. Be Grateful

4. Listen to Your Heart

5. Continue Your Actions – Never Give Up, Never Relent

Have a great Wednesday!

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Reflections on 2016: A Year of Building

Reflections on 2016: A Year of Building

Although I’ve been a student of the Law of Attraction for decades (since my oldest brother introduced me to Tony Robbins in the early 90s), over the past year I’ve had the opportunity to study and apply it continuously, thanks to Tasha Chen and the Science of Getting Rich Academy.

Putting these principles into practice takes focused effort and unwavering faith in the process — a daunting task for any human being, especially since most of us have been raised with negative messages about money. This unhelpful programming has been embedded in our subconscious minds, which in turn, constantly remind us that acquiring wealth requires slavish hard work and/or is nearly impossible (only the “lucky ones” do, after all); the love of money is evil; and being poor is somehow virtuous.

A typical Florida sight: an egret crosses my path during my walk.

A typical Florida sight: an egret crosses my path during my walk.

In my case, positive messages about success and wealth at home contrasted sharply with those received throughout my Catholic schooling. I didn’t fully appreciate the origins of these conflicts until I had the chance to work with Tasha, both one-on-one, and within the fabulous community of like-minded people she has created.

For the most part, I’ve spent this past year acknowledging and releasing old thought patterns, forgiving those who helped to instill them, and remaining firm in BE-ing and Living in the Certain Way.

Through these daily, minute-by-minute efforts, I met author and entrepreneur William Todd, whose book The Mentor in Me, will be published soon by Writestream Publishing.  I sought out an affiliation with the incredible book publicist Michelle Kulp for Writestream Publishing — which became a reality this past summer. These are just two of the inspired actions I took, thanks to Tasha’s guidance.

Last week, I attended my first Women’s Prosperity Network, where I met even more like-minded people and won a raffle prize.

img_20161215_120400International Speaker, Best Selling Author and Global Leader, Nancy Matthews brings the perfect blend of business acumen, authenticity, heart and an intuitive understanding of people to all of her endeavors. After 20 years in corporate and dabbling in entrepreneurship on the side, in 2002 Nancy went into business for herself and the rest, as they say, is history. She is known as the “Visionary with Guts” for her persistence in going for her goals and dreams despite apparent obstacles or challenges and works with individuals and organizations to support them in achieving stellar results. As co-founder of Women’s Prosperity Network (along with her two sisters), Nancy’s leadership creates the space for women (and men) to embrace and step into higher levels of self-mastery and professional development. Since 2008 Women’s Prosperity Network has served thousands of people, through workshops, conferences and mastermind events and the weekly “Wow Wednedsay” teleclass that features today’s thought leaders and experts. She is the author of The One Philosophy, Visionaries with Guts, the highly acclaimed Receiving Your Riches Course and the Best Selling Series, Journey to the Stage. Nancy has been featured on NBC, BraveheartWomenTV, The John Tesh Radio Network and has shared the stage with some of today’s leading experts such as Jack Canfield, Seth Godin, Sharon Lechter, Loral Langemeier, Kevin Harrington, John Maxwell and Bob Burg. Nancy is currently the CEO and Founder of Visions In Action, Inc. (her coaching and consulting firm), and Co-Founder of Women’s Prosperity Network (WPN). She lives in South Florida and is the proud parent of 2 amazing children … they are light of her life! For more information about Nancy and Women’s Prosperity Network go to NancyMatthews.com and WomensProsperityNetwork.com Contact: Nancy@NancyMatthews.com (800) 928-6928

The Melbourne Causeway, one of my favorite sites in my own backyard.

The Melbourne Causeway, one of my favorite sites in my own backyard.

If you haven’t read Nancy Matthews’ powerful book, I highly recommend it. It is filled with practical wisdom and simple exercises you can do right now to change your mindset and your life. One of them involves a daily practice of gratitude ~ something I’ve done for many years, but thanks to Tasha, much more consistently throughout 2016.

While my physical manifestations have not yet materialized, I know and trust they are on their way. And when the old thought patterns threaten my faith in the creative process, giving thanks for what is already here is one simple, effective way to stand firm on principle.

This past Saturday is an example. I spent several hours walking in nature to appreciate what’s already all around me and to keep my mind saturated in gratefulness, versus guilt. Countless people this year have been incredibly good to me. They know who they are and I hope they know how much I appreciate them. One in particular comes to mind because she has gone above and beyond what anyone could have reasonably expected under the circumstances (which I’ll not divulge here). I’ve expressed my gratitude to her verbally and I certainly hope she recognizes herself in this blog post.

Rather than wallowing in guilt, I am choosing to channel my genuine thankfulness into resolute adherence to the principles outlined in the Science of Getting Rich. It’s the best way to prove their validity and vindicate her trust in me as the co-creator of my healthy, wealthy, abundant-in-every-good-way life.

What are you grateful for in your life? Who do you thank God for?

Keep a journal. Write it all down, every single day. Take nothing for granted, but give thanks for every good thing, no matter what else appears to be going wrong. By keeping your mind focused on the good that already exists, you will open the channels for even better events, circumstances and people to enter your life. Focusing on gratitude puts you in a high vibration, which in turn, attracts greater abundance and more reasons for you to feel thankful – a wonderful, scientific fact and self-fulfilling prophecy.

As for me, I am grateful for the countless opportunities I attracted in 2016 and look forward to the miracles and blessings sure to come in 2017. I am grateful for the people who have supported me in various ways in this past year and cannot wait to vindicate their faith in me in the New Year.

To all of them and to God, I say with unbridled enthusiasm and joy: thank you, thank you, thank you!

 

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