December Plan Day 23: The magic begins today. What do you want?

This December Plan to call in a magical new year has been quite an adventure hasn’t it? The first week, we set our intention and created our personal processes. The second week, we unearthed all the gifts of 2009. Last week, we took a long swim in the cleansing sea of forgiveness. With each stroke we collected more and more of the cash that runs this miraculous universe.

You’re rich right now. Whether you see it or not, your pockets are stuffed with miracle cash. This week, you get to decide what you’re going to spend it on. The really fun part of our December Plan starts right now.

2009 has been a strange year for many. For some, it’s been downright brutal. But we are here. We are standing. We are alive. And January 1st is coming. We have done what we could. Now it’s time to gently tuck 2009 in her bed, bless her, kiss her, and say goodnight. It’s time to close that door and turn our faces toward the rising light of 2010.

2010 could be magical. It could be divine. It could be a year of wonder and joy. It could be. And you have the power to call it in. Truth is, like Dorothy, you’ve always had the power, but if you’re anything like me, you’re really just beginning to absorb that profound truth. Our December Plan is our red shoes. And I, for one, am ready to do some serious clicking.

(Thanks to Beth Boardman for this delightful picture. Guys, I know it doesn’t work for you; imagine red loafers!)

 Click I acknowledge that I am an alchemist. I have the power to co-create my life, my world, my year.

Click I know what I want and what I need. I don’t apologize for it. I state it. I state it loud and clear.

Click My year is alive. It has a name, a delicious, delightful, smile-inducing, heart-lifting, soul-popping name.

Click My year has a symbol. A picture. A thing. I infuse my year’s symbol with the power and joy of my new year. Just glancing at it makes me happy.

Click I believe. I believe in myself. I believe in my purpose. I believe that my soul is unfolding just the way it wants.

Click With my head high and proud, I joyfully take the next step toward my purpose. Toward my year. Toward my destiny.

Click I trust. I trust that I am loved, protected, guided, and led. Led right into into my magical new year.

I told you this week would be fun! Let’s begin with Click One:

I am an alchemist. I am a magical being. As Rev. Lauren McLaughlin of Unity Now states so elegantly and succinctly in one of the Twelve Affirmations:

“I am intimately connected to all the power of the universe.”

Say that. Let it sink in. It will start in your head as an idea, but let the words drift down to your throat, your heart, your solar plexus, your stomach, your bowels and down into your legs. Let the words flow out of your body and into the earth. Then back again. Draw the words up into your feet from the blessed earth that sustains you. For fun, when it reaches your feet, click your heels as you say it again:

“I am intimately connected to all the power of the universe.”

Then let the words flow back up through your chakras and out
the top of your head to connect with and attract the power of this beautiful universe — our home. Now and forever. This is home. This is your home. You belong here. You are one of its power children. Not a bad family to be a member of!

Till tomorrow’s blog, keep clicking!

December Plan Day 21: Finally Forgive–the miracle prayer.

Today we wrap up our week of clearing our spaces–our heart spaces, our mind spaces, our soul spaces, and even our body spaces–of the silent (or not so silent) anger and resentment festering within. Is this necessary? Ask any therapist. Ask any spiritual counselor. Ask any metaphysician. Ask anyone. But really, there’s only one person’s opinion that matters. Ask yourself.

You know if you’ve got old crusty crud blocking your spiritual arteries. You know if you’re carrying a pocket of anger toward some jerk who done you wrong. You know if deep inside you still wish that something rotten would happen to someone. You know. And you know if this anger is getting in the way. You know if it’s gotten in the way all last year — or all last decade for that matter. And you know, somewhere deep you know, if it could get in the way of calling in your magical, glorious, joyous new year.

So once and for all, it’s time to let go. To move on. To release. To forgive. To finally, totally and completely forgive. Want to do that? Well, it’s your lucky day because it just so happens that I know how. No, wait, let me amend that. It isn’t that I “know” how to forgive. Not in the sense of having an intellectual understanding of what forgiveness is and how it happens. I’m not sure anyone, no matter how many books they’ve read or written, “knows” that.

But we who have had a profound experience of forgiveness, do know something special. We know that forgiveness is miraculous. We know that when we forgive — not in the mind or even the heart but at the deepest, let’s call it cellular or even soul level — something happens. Chains really do break. Spirits really are released. And not just the other guy’s. Both people are released. You and the person you are forgiving. You are both instantly and miraculously free.

So, do I “know” something about forgiveness? Can I explain why this particular prayer works? No. Not really. It’s a mystical experience. It’s a miracle. All I can tell you is that it works. This is the prayer that released me and my ex-husband. Within two hours of my writing this prayer, my ex-husband wrote a check for the first time during our divorce. A check for half our son’s last dental appointment. Doesn’t sound big? Not to you maybe, but for us it was nothing less than the parting of the Red Sea. And, more than that, it was a harbinger of the giant life insurance miracle to come. (If you don’t know the story, you can read it in this excerpt from Writing Down Your Soul.)

And this prayer, “Finally Forgive,” doesn’t just work for me. Every time I read it in public, I get phone calls. I don’t know why, but they always come on the third day. And they always start the same way, “You’re not going to believe what happened….” I always smile. Oh, yes, I am. Yes, I am. Yes, I am. I am absolutely, positively going to believe what happened. Because forgiveness works. Forgiveness works miracles. Forgiveness works miracles every time.

Here’s the miracle prayer, “Finally Forgive.” I wrote it about my situation with my ex-husband. But it applies to everyone. Just change the sentence, “The truth is…” and fill in your own Truth about your own relationship with the person you are forgiving. Adjust this prayer any way you want for yourself.

  1. Listen to me say it first.
  2. Then make any changes you want to personalize the prayer for yourself.
  3. Then speak the prayer out loud. This is important. Say it standing up. Say it aloud. Say it slowly. With conviction. With meaning. With heart. Hold up your hands as you see the corners and make the choice. Because that’s really all you’re doing. You’re making a choice. THE choice. The most important choice you’ll ever make.

After you’ve said the prayer, be still. Let the words wash over you. Feel the fetters burst. Don’t be surprised if you’re a little woozy. If that happens, just sit. Be still. And whisper thank you. “Thank You, God for this gift of forgiveness. I am free. I am free. At last, I am free. Free to live the life I’m here to live. Free to come from love. Free to love my life, my soul, my purpose, and my gifts. Free at last. Free at last. Thank God almighty, I am free at last.”

Finally Forgive
a prayer of finally, really, truly, and completely choosing to forgive copyright 2009 Janet Conner

Part I   The Gap
There is a gap between you and me.

In the gap is pain and fear and anger.
In the gap is our history of ugly thoughts, ugly words, ugly actions.
In the gap are the sounds of screaming, crying and swearing.
That gap is killing us and hurting our child.

What good is there in that gap?
What good is there in refusing to cross it?
What good is there in staying angry?
What good is there in not forgiving?

Part II   One Love
If there really is only one love—God’s love—then:
How can I love my work,
if I don’t love you, in some way? Just a little.
How can I love our son with my whole heart,
if I don’t love you, in some way? Just a little.

How can I love my new relationship,
whomever that may be, whenever that may be,
if I don’t love you, won’t love you, can’t love you, in some way?
Just a little.

How can I love my home, my family, my friends?
How can I love my purpose, my reason for being,
if I don’t love you, in some way?

If I could love you, just a little
I could love my life all the more,
love my child all the more
love my work, my home, my friends, all the more.

Part III   The Choice
I have it in my power to hate you, to ignore you, to blame you.
I have it in my power to make your life difficult, set up little traps,
say small nasty things.
I have it in my power to paint you as the bad guy, the stupid one, the fool.
And, I have it in my power to forgive you, to love you, in some way. Just a little.

The truth is your presence in my life was a gift.
For now and for always, you gave me our precious child,
the sweetest gift on earth.
And you taught me, finally taught me, to say no.

Thanks to you, I learned, oh God, how I learned.
Thanks to you, I grew, till I became bigger, stronger, richer, fuller.
Thanks to you, I walked. I walked a long tough journey, but I walked
to this place, this moment, when I know who I am.

I know what I’m thinking. I know what I’m feeling.
And I see a clear choice:
I can hold you in this corner, where you are forever wrong.
Or, I can hold you in the light, where you are free to grow, and change, and be happy.

Dear God, I’m choosing.
I’m closing the gap,
filling it with forgiveness, plugging the holes, and posting a sign:
Only love is spoken here.

(Finally Forgive comes from Spiritual Geography, the soul-writing system that heals the broken heart. Click on the Country of Peace to learn more about forgiveness. If you’re interested in more information about Spiritual Geography please contact me at I invite you to forward this and all the posts on forgiveness in the December Plan to friends. Encourage them to subscribe to this blog and to the Writing Down Your Soul newsletter.)

December Plan Day 19: Who’s in your Dungeon?

We’ve been talking about forgiveness for several days now. And the conversation just keep getting richer and richer. Truth is we could probably talk about forgiveness with our inner divine Voice for a month, and still find more to say and more to forgive.

That’s why most people don’t begin. We sense instinctively that if we start to poke beneath the taut surface of our “everything is fine” mask, we’ll find dozens of wounds that need healing and there’ll never be an end to it. So why start?

Here’s why: forgiveness is the most delicious, most healing, most soul-lifting, joy-inducing thing you can do.

Want freedom? Forgive.
Want a vibrant healthy body? Forgive.
Want to find your purpose? Live your purpose? Forgive.
Want love? Forgive.
Want that magical new year? Gotta forgive first.

Forgiveness is the magic. It opens the door to a life you cannot even imagine at the moment. A life that’s yours, all yours, if you will just let go of the anger and resenting holding you prisoner.

St Theresa of Avila knew this way back in the sixteenth century. She explained it in her treatise, Inner Castle. In Entering the Castle, Caroline Myss gives us a modern insight into St Theresa’s vision. For Theresa, the soul has seven floors in the inner castle. Well, guess what’s on the first floor? Your castle’s dungeon.

Listen to St Theresa speaking to you about the dungeon through Caroline Myss:

“Everyone has a dungeon. It’s where you hold your prisoners…. Haul open the heavy lead door and walk down the damp, stone stairs. The atmosphere gts darker and colder as you descent. As you walk through, notice that there are cells for prisoners lining the walls. Everyone you cannot forgive or whom you resent or wish harm to is held by you in these cells. The parents you cannot forgive are in a cell; the business partner who cheated you and whom you still resent is in a cell; the ex-spouse is in a cell…. No doubt some of the people you hold prisoners are holding you prisoner as well.

Why do you keep prisoners? …you keep someone prisoner because you feel he has not been punished enough for the harm he did to you.”

It’s time to take a little tour of your own dungeon. Close your eyes for a few seconds and walk down the stairs in your own inner gut. Look around at the cells. Surprising how many are in there, huh? Glance around inside the cells. Who’s there? Any surprises?

Now, comes the fun part. And it’s easy. Instead of dissecting all the stories, reopening the wounds, explaining what happened, justifying your behavior or your motivation for locking them up, just release them. That’s it. Just release them. Here’s how you do it.

Stand up to stretch out your dungeon. Close your eyes. Put your hands in front of your dungeon like two doors. Visualize yourself walking down into your dungeon. See the cells. Walk up to each one and open it. Gesture for the prisoner to leave. No talking. No apologizing. No explaining. No nothing. Just open the cells and watch them walk out. When all your prisoners are gone, walk to the very back and release the pathetic prisoner in the darkest dankest cell. You know who that is. You.

When your dungeon is empty, call on Spirit to flood the dungeon with white and gold light. See the space being filled with this loving gentle healing light. Watch the cells dissolve. When the space is completely transformed from prison to light, say thank you and open your eyes.

How does that feel?

(If you don’t want to miss any of the rest of the December Plan, I invite you to subscribe to this blog at the top of the right hand column.)

December Plan Day 16: The universe runs on a special currency. Want some?

This is the beginning of Week 3 of the December Plan to call in a magical 2010.

Thanks for joining me in this December Plan to prepare our hearts, minds, and souls to call in a magical new year. It’s been quite an adventure so far, hasn’t it? The first week we set our intention and created our rituals and process. That was fun. (I continue to light my candle and say my December Prayer every evening and write one wish on a teeny card. Always renews my spirit.) Last week we unearthed the gifts of 2009 — all of them. I had quite a few surprises; bet you did, too.

This week we plunge into the richest spiritual work we can do.
It’s the most freeing, the most important, the most essential.
But, truth be told, we don’t want to do it. Guessed it yet? Yup. Forgiveness.

Hafiz, the great Sufi poet, described the magical power of forgiveness perfectly:

Forgiveness is the cash you need.
All the other kinds of silver really buy just strange things.
Everything has its music.
Everything has genes of God inside.
But learn from those courageous addicted lovers
of glands and opium and gold —
Look, they cannot jump high or laugh long
when they are whirling.
And the moon and the stars become sad
when their tender light is used for night wars.
Forgiveness is part of the treasure you need
to craft your falcon wings
And return to your true realm
of Divine freedom. 

The Subject Tonight is Love, Daniel Ladinsky

Forgiveness is the cash you need. The cash I need. The cash we all need to return to our true realm of divine freedom. Freedom. That’s what we really want in 2010. That’s the whole purpose of calling in a magical year. Did you think it was the house, the car, the lover, the job, the contract, the money? Or as Hafiz says, “the glands, the opium, the gold?”

What’s the real reason you want the things you want for next year? Because you want to be free. To feel free. You want to “craft your falcon wings” and fly. Fly to the place where you are who you want to be — who you came here to be. To the place where you are the fullest, richest expression of your whole, authentic, holy self.

Next week, we’ll get real clarity about our wish lists. Hey, I’ve got an idea. From now on, let’s call them our “Freedom Lists.” But first, we need some cash to spend. The universe, you see, is a store. Like any store, it’s run on currency. You want something, you exchange currency for it. In this divine store, the currency is love, forgiveness, and gratitude.

Think about it. Is there really anything else?

  • If you love and are loved…
  • If you forgive and are totally and completely forgiven…
  • If you are filled with gratitude and the people around you are filled with gratitude for all you are and all you do…

You’d be incredibly rich, wouldn’t you? The truth is you’d have quite a stash of universe-currency. And you could “buy” anything you wanted. Well, we are going to be doing some serious “shopping” on New Year’s Day, but first we’re going to gather some universe-cash, quite a bit of it, in fact.

So, join me this week as we dive into the miracle of forgiveness. We begin tomorrow forgiving the the person it is hardest to forgive. Do you know who that is?

(This post was originally published in the Writing Down Your Soul newsletter. To receive it click on the Subscribe tab above.)

December Plan Day 13: Saying Thank You before you say Please

How many times did your mother tell you to say thank you when someone gave you something? Your wild child’s eyes were pasted to the thing–the bright shiny thing–or the food, the gooey yummy food, the ball, the chocolate, the book…whatever was hovering a few inches before you. But before you could grab it, your mother’s voice would slice into the air between you and the thing, and she’d say, “Say, thank you.” You’d mumble it, fast perhaps, but the words would come out, and once they did, you could have what you wanted.

Of course, there were those other times, when your bizarre great aunt, the one with the bright red lipstick and the strange smell and the very odd gifts, gave you something you really didn’t want, but still the insistent voice said, “Say, thank you.” And you did. And the strange thing was suddenly yours, too.

By the time you were four you knew the world runs on thank you. Please and thank you. If you want something, say please. Before you take it, say thank you.

So, let’s be four again. Let’s look at all the gifts you received in 2009. All of them. Even the “but I don’t want this” gifts. As you stare at your calendar or pour your story onto the page, see the gifts, name them, jot them down until you have a nice long list: The Gifts of 2009.

Then, sit with your list and say, “Thank you.” Thank you for the luscious things–the raises, the invitations, the payments, all the lovely people who said yes. And, thank you for the sorrows, the frustrations, the dead ends, the rejections, the people who said no.

Thank you for all of it. The whole thing. The whole story. The whole adventure. Why? Because it is your story. It is the expression of your soul on earth. It is why you’re here. Why you came. What your soul wants to experience, learn, know, become. As the Tao says: Everything is a movement toward your wholeness. Everything. Not just the good stuff. Everything. So say thank you. You are one year further along in your journey to wholeness. And that’s a very good thing.

Soon, you’ll be saying Please to call in the magical gifts of 2010, but for today, your job is just to say thank you for how your story unfolded in 2009.

December Plan Day 11: Don’t go back to sleep

Rumi said it perfectly:

“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.”
(From Love Poems from God by Daniel Ladinksy and quoted in Writing Down Your Soul on p 221.)

The door is round and open. How’s that for a simple truth. But what do we do? Why, we fall crashing into the sleep of the unconscious life and then whine and complain about how hard life is, how unfulfilled we feel, how disconnected, how lonely, how sad. We complain that we don’t get what we want–what we so clearly deserve.

But is that the door’s fault? No. The door to the inner world is open. The door to your soul is round. The door to the inside journey, the door to real human and spiritual connection, the door to peace, the door to fulfillment, the door to deep inner joy is open. So who’s got a problem here? Why, we do.

So, in your December Plan, as you are reviewing your year to date, uncovering all its gifts, ask yourself: When was I wide awake this past year? When was I aware of what was happening? When was I in touch with my soul’s purpose? When was I connected with my best self, my God-self, my fullest expression. When did I walk through that door and touch what’s real, what’s true, what’s holy?

And when did I look the other way? When did I stay so busy busy busy that I stayed oblivious of what I was feeling deep inside? When did I avoid real conversations–with myself, with my soul, with my source? When did I pretend I didn’t feel the pain? Didn’t see the dishonesty–mine or others’? When did I pretend to myself that everything was OK, when everything wasn’t OK?

In Rumi’s words, when did I go back to sleep? Back to the old habits, the old fears, the old assumptions?

Look at your year for a pattern of waking and sleeping. When you get your arms around what keeps you alive and what sends you reeling backward into sleep-walking through life, you’ll know something big about yourself. You’ll know something that could make a profound difference in 2010. Want a magical new year? You can have one, but magic comes to those awake enough to see it happening.

So here are a few questions for your deep soul writing on Day 11 of your December Plan. Plunge into these and your eyes will be knocked wide open:

How often was I asleep in 2009?
What are my sleep triggers?
What kind of situations or people make me want to go back to sleep?
What happened to awaken me?
What were my most awake moments? What kinds of situations or people make my soul sing?
How did it feel to be awake, really really awake?
How awake do I want to be in 2010?
How am I going to stay awake in 2010?
What do I think could happen, if I lived a more soul-ful, living, vibrant, awake life?

It’s an exciting vision, isn’t it?

December Plan: Day 3 If I say I want X why does the opposite appear?

Have you noticed that the second you say, “I want,” and your heart beats faster and your chin lifts higher, and a smile bursts onto your face as you think, “Oh my, oh my, oh my, won’t it be divine when all this happens,” suddenly everything that stands in the way pops into your mind chanting, “Oh, yeah? Who do you think you are? What makes you think you deserve all that?” And then, when you go to bed, when you close your eyes, when you slip into the dream world, all those doubts come crawling out of their secret recesses to poison your dreams. Have you noticed that?

It happened to me the very first night. On December 1st I got excited about calling in my magical year and that night dreamt of a house filled with vermin. There were bugs and when the bugs crawled out of the bedroom door, they were eaten by rats, and the rats were chased by giant rabbits. I woke in a sweat. Fear had come calling in a big way, a way I could not ignore, a way I could not mistake. I had to do something about my fears.

As I said my Covenant the next morning, I had an impulse to check the meaning of bugs and rats and rabbits on Dream Moods, a dream interpretation site I particularly like. Would you like to guess? Bugs = fear. Rats = fear. And rabbits? Yes, they can represent love, but in the Animal Medicine Cards…ten guesses, fear. While I was there I looked up boats, too because boats keep creeping into my dreams. Boats? They represent a fear of going deep into your emotions. OK, lord, I get it. There’s a little fear here.

So off to the page I went. You’ve got to help me, I cried. What do I need to know right now about my fears so I can heal them, release them, understand them, befriend them, better still, transmute them? Because as long as I’ve got the bugs and rats of fear crawling around inside my psyche, I’m pretty sure I can’t call in a magical year. I need to perform a little “magic” trick on my fears and I need to do it now.

On the page I learned what to do: a card reading. I have several card sets that I know love and trust but my favorite at the moment is Ask Your Guides by Sonia Choquette.

I prayerfully shuffled and cut three times (once for God, once for me and once for the question), whispering, “What do I need to know right now to transmute my fears?” With a deep deep sigh, I lifted the top three cards.

First card: Despair/Nature Spirits. That card told me what my fears are. “A feeling of desolation and despair has you in its grip…your fears are blowing things out of proportion.” I didn’t like getting that card but I understood it. My old life-long bugaboo about earning enough money had blow up to three times the size of my joys of teaching and sharing Writing Down Your Soul. The Nature Spirits part of the card told me a solution. Go outside, it said. And I did. I went for a long refreshing walk on the Pinellas Trail.

Second card: Epiphany/Higher Self. This card showed me how to shift my resistance. “Be gently led rather than the old way of figuring things out…trust your vibes at all times.” I understood this one perfectly, too. In the past, when I’ve simply followed my guidance, I’ve been safe, protected, and yes financially secure.

Third card: Community/Spiritual Ancestors. This card showed me that I’m not alone. I don’t have to do this alone. I am surrounded and supported by everyone who has passed. I have a big spiritual village in heaven loving me and supporting me to find my spiritual community here on earth.

I felt deep peace after my card reading. I had received exactly the information I asked for and needed. I had received practical simple solutions and a loving pat on my back from my many spiritual guides.

My interpretation of my fears and my card-reading process for transmuting them may not be right for you. But the fear piece is universal. It happens to everyone. Say “I want” and everything that is the opposite immediately shows up.

So, if on Day 1 of your December Plan, you signed up in your heart and your mind and your soul to call in a magical, beautiful, prosperous, holy year, I bet your fears — whatever they are — showed up too, chanting, “Who do you think you are? What makes you think you deserve that? You’re not good enough, smart enough, capable enough… That’ll never happen to you.”

Has fear crept into your thoughts? Your dreams? Do you know what’s between you and your magical year? Well, what are you going to do about that? Where can you go for help? Guidance? Comfort? How are you going to transmute your fears so you are fresh, open, receptive and ready for the delight of your magical new year?