What lies beyond the Law of Attraction

 
How does The Lotus and The Lily process work? I know it does. I’ve lived it for two years. This coming January 1, I’ll create my third Intention Mandala and I know today without a doubt, that the result will be a 2012 I will love. And I’m not the only one. Hundreds of people who have gone through The Lotus and The Lily telecourse have shared their own miraculous results.
 
But knowing something works and understanding how it works are two different things.
 
 
 
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I’ve struggled mightly with prosperity and attraction. Like everybody else, I was impacted by the popular literature on changing your thinking and asking for what you want. I listened, learned, and tried. But despite my best efforts, by November of 2009 I was bankrupt. It hurt, but I made an appointment to see a bankruptcy attorney the next February. In the meantime, I picked up a pen and demanded help. I received instructions on what to do during the four weeks of December.
 
There was one creepy caveat: I was to blog every day, letting the whole word peek into my spiritual pain and practice. I didn’t like that part. But I did it. Please understand that I did not clearly know what I was doing. The process did not come from anywhere inside my conscious mind. And I couldn’t find anything like it in the literature. And, I confess, I didn’t have any particular confidence that the whole thing would work. Bankruptcy was looking pretty final. But I couldn’t see any other option, so on December 1, 2009, I wrote my first blog.
 
A month later, after thirty days of often surprising spiritual exploration, I woke on January 1, 2010 ready to call in a new year. I felt truly ready. I had made amazing discoveries in my month of preparation. I had uncovered hidden gifts in my past, become a real friend of ritual and prayer, emptied myself of any vestige of anger or resentment, and become clear on what I wanted next in my life. That morning, I felt a deep sense of peace and knew I was in God’s hands and all was well.
 
But instead of starting my customary Soul Day process, I picked up a library book lying at my feet that was due the next day. Why in the world did I do that? Looking back I can only think it was an angel nudge.
 
Whatever the reason, I am forever grateful. Because buried in Thich Nhat Hanh’s beautiful book, You are Here, was a simple sentence explaining the Buddha’s teaching on the relationship of all things. That sentence changed my life, gave birth to The Lotus and The Lily course, and started a snowball rolling down a hill toward a greatly expanded writing and teaching career. The sentence is: “When conditions are sufficient, there is a manifestion.”
 
I lept out of my chair. My hand shot to my forehead. I raced in circles around the room gushing, “Oh my God! Oh my God! Everything we think we know about the Law of Attraction is 180 degrees off.” Every fiber of my being vibrated in recognition of Truth with a capital T. In the time it takes to read eight words, I knew why I hadn’t been able to create the life I wanted: Because it isn’t about asking for what you want! It’s about creating the fertile conditions that automatically and naturally produce all you want and more. There’s a BIG, BIG difference.
 
A few days later, I went hunting for what Jesus might have said on the same topic. I was pretty sure the two great spiritual masters wouldn’t teach two different things.
 
I was right. In English we read: “Seek first the kingdom, and all else shall be provided.” But in Aramaic, Jesus is so much more eloquent and precise: “When you pursue a right relationship with the Universal One, and allow that relationship to realign your life, you produce a condition of receptivity, in which everything you need to fulfill your purpose in life will be supplied by the universe.” (Neil Douglas-Klotz, Blessings of the Cosmos.)
 
In a word, it’s not about asking for anything; it’s about creating conditions.
 
In the two years since that morning, I have embraced Buddha and Jesus’s teachings on conditions. I’ve taught The Lotus and The Lily five times, and written the book proposal. But there was a part of me that still didn’t really grasp just how profound the differences are between the Law of Attraction and The Lotus and The Lily.
 
So the angels sent Jason Howard. Jason is a member of Your Soul Wants Five Things. We were talking on the phone and he asked what was happening with The Lotus and The Lily.I told him about Larry Dossey’s wonderful endorsement:”The Lotus and the Lily is a healthy corrective for the ego-driven, materialistic interpretation of spirituality that is epidemic in our culture. Spirituality is not about getting your stuff. It is about developing a closer relationship with the Transcendent, however named, as Janet Conner makes clear.””Of course,” Jason said, “The Lotus and The Lily is about  giving, not getting; allowing, not requesting.” In that moment, a whole cascade of differences came pouring down. I had to write them quickly lest I forget. Here are just a few:
 
Law of Attraction                            Lotus and Lily
 
human at the center                     divine at the center
how to ask                                         how to live
things                                                  conditions
effort                                                   effortless
goals                                                    intentions
conscious mind                              higher self/soul
ego                                                      will
manipulate                                      allow
personal desire                              universal service
personal power                              step aside
fill the cup yourself                      “cup runneth over”
 
 
That’s just a taste. The differences are endless. Now, this doesn’t mean the Law of Attraction is wrong. It simply means that we’ve been focused on only a tiny corner of its true power and capacity. Jesus said, “everything you need” will be supplied by the universe. So why ask for this or that when if you put your energy into creating the conditions of your life, the universe will send everything.
 
In these past two years, I can certainly attest to things and people and opportunities coming my way that I didn’t ask for. It appears that a greater consciousness than mine knew I needed them and sent them effortlessly to me. My job, as I see it, is to say thank you and use everything that comes to me to fulfill my purpose.
 
So I say thank you to Jason and the angel that sent him. Thank you to Thich Nhat Hanh and the angel that nudged me to read his book. Thank you to Neil Douglas-Klotz for a lifetime of research into Jesus in Aramaic. And I say thank you to the hundreds who have joined me in this great adventure.
 
If you’ve been wondering what lies BEYOND the Law of Attraction, please come join me on November 21 for the only presentation of The Lotus and The Lily before the book comes out next year.  
 
I cannot wait to stand beside you as you too discover just how rich and delightful life can be beyond the Law of Attraction.
  
 
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A New Year surprise: We’re pregnant!

I love January 1st. It’s a wildly creative day. I set my intention to receive rich guidance and then settle into my sacred writing chair to extract all the gifts of the past year with my Beloved Voice. Next, we explore all the possibilities of the year to come. Then comes my favorite part: naming the new year. That’s always such a fun revelation. I wrap up my year-starting mini-retreat by creating a vision board with the name of the year across the bottom. But last January. I did two things differently. Those two things set a whole new life in motion.

First, I began the day reading Thich Nhat Hanh’s You are Here and when I stumbled upon “When conditions are sufficient, there is a manifestation,” my mouth flew open and my understanding of the Law of Attraction flipped in that instant on its head.

Second, instead of making a rectangle-shaped vision board, I made a mandala. I drew little pictures of all I want on the periphery and a big yellow lily in the center with the “conditions” that I promise to live written on the six petal. Across the bottom, I wrote 2010’s name on a purple banner: “My Breakthrough Year.”

Did reading Thich Nhat Hanh or making a mandala matter?

Well, let’s just say that 2010 was, to put it mildly, magical. The number of new ideas and events flowing through me were breathtaking. People wanted to know how to create that magic for themselves. So I taught The Lotus and The Lily four times to over 100 people and after each course, my inbox overflowed with screaming emails: THIS WORKS!

So I thought I knew what to do this January 1st. I made a pot of french press coffee (coffee matters), spoke my Soul Vows, set my intention to be open to guidance, and sat down to write. But then, just like last year, instead of writing, I bent down and picked up a book–Thich Nhat Hanh’s Living Buddha Living Christ. I began to read. And, just like last year, I couldn’t put it down. All I can say is, Thich Nhat Hanh did it again!

Listen to this: “The word ‘Buddha’ comes from the root buddh, which means to wake up. A Buddha is someone who is awake.” (I didn’t know that. Did you?) Thich Nhat Hanh goes on to say that the Buddha told his followers to focus not on rules or doctrines or dogmas, but on practice. It is practice that brings our spiritual knowing to life. Or as Thich Nhat Hanh puts it, “We are all mothers of the Buddha because we are all pregnant with the potential for awakening.”

I giggled. Oh my God, I’m pregnant! A bit of a surprise at 62, but I know it’s true. I can feel it. I can feel ideas and books and relationships and all manner of things pressing to be born. Of greater importance, I sense a more awakened relationship with Spirit growing inside me.

Are you pregnant, too? I think so. But like all expectant parents, we must care tenderly for our babies. How? Thich Nhat Hanh says we care for our growing baby Buddha by being mindful,
listening for the voice, being attentive to the messages around us in all their forms–even leaves or pebbles or clouds. But the number one thing we do to bring our Awakening Buddha to life is find a spiritual practice and live it. Live it every day.

My pregnant self floated through the rest of New Year’s Day. I made a 2011 mandala. I asked what to name this year. “Big Pot” came the answer. Big Pot? I looked at my mandala. Oh, I get it. If I look at the 12-inch circle of my mandala from an eagle eye view, it does look an awful lot like a huge soup pot. And, you know what? I think the Master Chef is adding some pretty nifty ingredients and doing a lot of simmering. Ever since I read Heat , I’ve been obsessed with learning how to make Ragu Bolognese. Now I see that I’ve been mimicking the master chef cooking up a “Janet Bolognese.”

I did one last thing on Jan 1–something new. I added up the numeric values of the letters in “Big Pot.” The total came to 33. The master number of creativity. Yeowza. If the Master Chef keeps this up, it’s going to be an amazing year.

Would you like to know the numeric vibration of your year’s name or any words? It’s easy. Just select the numeric value of each letter in this chart and add them up.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z

B I G P O T
2 + 9 + 7 + 7 + 6 + 2 = 33

Here’s another example, Jazz Jaeschke of Austin TX in the Lotus and Lily class that just ended named 2011 “Harmony Happens.”

H A R M O N Y
8 + 1 + 9 + 4 + 6 + 5 + 7 = 40

H A P P E N S
8 + 1 + 7 + 7 + 5 + 5 + 1 = 34

Harmony Happens 74 = 7 + 4 = 11

Talk about a power number. 11 is the wisdom channel of the divine. What does the numeric value mean? Well, for that you need a bit of introduction to numerology. Here’s a very simple overview:

1 new beginnings, take action, courage, independence
2 intuitive, receiving, separation, nurturing, forgiving
3 trinity, combining 1 & 2, peacemaking, creativity
4 physical manifestation, structure, form, building step-by-step
5 change, movement, freedom, flexibility, sensual
6 balance, responsibility, commitment, relationships, harmony
7 inner truth and power, trust, deeper answers, mystical
8 abundance, power, material success, inner power, harvest
9 wholeness, oneness, bigger picture, unconditional love

For a richer understanding, I recommend Numerology by Ruth Drayer.

Even if you don’t have a name for your year, we can all tap into the universal numeric vibration for 2011: 2 + 0 + 1 + 1 = 4

Four is the number of organization, structure, foundation. In other words, spiritual practice! (I think the Buddha and Thich Nhat Hanh are smiling on us this year.)

What exactly is Spirit cooking up in my “Big Pot” year? I don’t know. And that’s OK. I don’t have to know the what, when, or how. I leave the details to my Divine Partner. (And, based on my experience, I gotta say the Divine does great work.) I commit to doing my part, the part taught by the Buddha. I’ll show up every day and do my practice.

For me that means speaking my Soul Vows, my Creative Blessing, Lorna Byrne’s angel prayer, the 12 affirmations from UnityNow, and last, standing in front of my “2011 Big Pot” mandala and having a nice chat with the “Master Chef” about the year Spirit is cookin’ up for me! It means engaging in deep soul writing. It means waking in joy and going to bed in gratitude. It means blessing every bite of food. It means calling on the angels for guidance and following the guidance I receive.

None of this is difficult. In fact, it’s really all rather delightful. It’s how I parent my sweet baby Buddha. How about you? What are you doing in this 4 year of foundation and spiritual practice to birth the sweet baby Buddha growing inside of you?

___________________

If you want more help birthing that Buddha and attracting a delightful and holy new year, consider joining me and Margo Mastromarchi for 2011 Intentions with the Angels, learning how to write the most important prayer in your life–your Soul Vows, and learning how to Plug In to the creative force of the universe.


Connect the bloomin’ battery

Amazing what happens when the power source is connected

Amazing what happens when the power source is connected

Beep beep beep. If you’ve got a UPS for your computer, you know the sound. My computer guy announced three weeks ago that my UPS was dead. When the new one arrived, he said, “I can’t come over, we’ll do it on the phone.”

Obediently I crawled around on the floor, following directions. I pulled the PC off its shelf, identified wires, unplugged the old, and plugged in the new. As we worked, I described how everything looked–and sounded. The new UPS emitted a soft “beep beep beep.” “It’s fine,” he said.

Well, two days later the computer flipped off while I was typing. A few days later, I walked in to a blue screen. A week later it happened again. “There’s something wrong!” I screamed at my poor computer guy. “Bad UPS,” he said.

I called the manufacturer. A very nice, very calm, very patient guy said, “I can help you.” I didn’t want help. I wanted a new UPS, but I crawled on the floor, followed directions, pulled out the PC, identified wires and plugs. “Hear that beep beep beep?” he said. That means the battery is not connected.

What?

Turns out there’s an enormous battery inside the UPS. You have to connect one red wire inside the UPS to that battery. One red wire. But without that connection, you’ve got no juice.

THAT, I thought, is the perfect description of prayer. No connection. No juice. And the whole time your soul is sighing: beep beep beep, help help help.

My UPS is now connected to its battery. And I had a nice reminder to get back to my foundational practice. A practice that even I, a teacher of such things, can easily misplace. Too busy, too upset, too scared, too…whatever.

But I’d received an incredibly simple lesson: No connection. No juice.

I love the way Spirit talks to me. Even through my UPS. I connected that red wire, thanked the technician, hung up, and sat right down in my writing chair.

“Hello,” I wrote, “I need some juice.”