Concentrate on Effort

Concentrate on effort. All of life is energy and information. Seeds of awareness are in constant growth. “Where one attention goes – energy flows.” I am sure you have heard this many times. It is true. Life comes through you and not from you. Life is the greatest gift a person can receive upon this earth.

One way you can notice if life is moving through you; instead of, life as moving from you is to pay attention. When life is coming from you, you are using a lot of personal effort to achieve a task. When life is moving through you, you are embracing and acknowledging the need for and dependence on your Creator’s strength to sustain you each day and each moment of your life.

Let’s just say you are on earth to fulfill a mission, a purpose, or a reason for being. As you act out this intention and desire to full your reason for being on earth, your mind is clear and your body is filled with joy, energy, and contentment. As you get feedback from others who are the recipients of your purpose on earth, what returns to you is the gratitude for being the person this experience is transferred through. Your highest joy is not the praise or the servant being willing to serve another. The real joy is in knowing you were chosen for the spirit of one’s Creator to flow through you and create in you a clean heart where purity exists. It is our way of knowing ourselves as God knows us. It is a deep connection with God in that moment. This level of effort is simply your faith, your trust, your willingness to integrate yourself into the fabric of God’s flowing moving through your being. This level of connectedness is the effortless effort of being present as you become a vessel for God’s hands, feet, mind, and body to work through in accomplishing God’s will for your life and the lives of others.

Hospice patients clearly understand effort and the need to let God, those God works through, or one’s Higher Power bring to them their sustenance each day. When you were a child, life was effortless. You needed someone to take care of your needs, so you could live and grow into independence. When we die, we need help as well. We need help in letting go of personal effort and allowing God to fill us with faith. When we let go of personal effort, God/Our Creator can fill us up with spirit and the realization that we do nothing alone. Then, the resources that are available to us move to our aid to help us with our transition from being born into this world, and to, the birth that takes us into eternity.

Sam Oliver @ www.pathintohealing.com

The Ways We Grieve

Have you ever noticed the way people grieve? There seems to be those who grieve from an ego perspective, and those who grieve from an integrative perspective. To some degree, you will notice a little of ego and integrative responses in the process of letting go. We live in a society where being able to become independent is necessary to exist in the world. From the moment we are born, we are observed by the medical society and our parents. We are watched to see how we are developing. It is important that we learn to crawl, to walk, to be potty trained, to learn to speak, and you know the rest.

Each of these developmental stages of growth enables us to live independently in this world. Our ego finds new confidence each step of the way. We begin forget we are brought into this world by a power greater than and selves. And thus, self-centeredness takes such a stronghold within our psyche we are convinced that what we are in more real than anything else. Then, it happens. We experience loss. Something beyond our control reminds us there is a world in us that doesn’t match the one outside us. There is more to living in this world than our own needs, wants, and desires. This new identity allows our self-centered ego to relate to a much grandeur world. The movement from the world lives inside us. It is an integrative process.

1. Grieving through the Ego.

This kind of grief is found in these words: “life begins and ends here,” “life will never be the same,” “my life is over.” Although there are elements of truth to these statements, there is a limited worldview attached to them. They are statements people use to express their ego needs no longer being met due to the loss that takes away from them a part of their world.

When I hear the voice of ego grief in a profound way, I realize I am dealing with someone attached to the world of form. The ability to become abstract enough to find hope beyond this world in their relationships is challenged by the death of a loved one. In doing so, the deceased loved one becomes a pathway into the soul of those in ego grief.

2. Grieving through the Integrative process.

You may hear these words in this path to grief: “life is different,” “my loved one is in a better place,” “I will be O.K.” Do you hear how these statements reflect a sense of knowing their loved one’s body is gone, but their spirit will remain in their heart? This type of grieving allows a person to have a sense of knowing. It is a knowing that only the body is dead. The relationship with a deceased loved one remains in place. It may even be such a connection in soul that some feel closer to their loved one than when they were alive in physical form.

To be known as we are truly known is not an afterlife experience. To be fully human and fully divine is one of the best kept secrets we all pretend we are not aware of until the afterlife. There is no afterlife. We came from eternity and to eternity we return. When we let go of the notion that eternity begins at death, we are free to utilize eternal resources to help us live in the here and now.

The instant we realize we live in the world AND the world lives inside of us reveals a sense of awe. The world and our part in it have neither beginning nor an end. This integration from individual awareness to collective awareness carries within it hopes. It is the hope in knowing that all belong to an unending stream of consciousness. As humans, we have predictable stages of development indicating where we are in human maturity.

As we age, our psyche or our soul integrates its being from individual awareness to universal awareness. The journey into eternal awareness allows a sense of hope beyond the sense to withstand grief. Eternal Awareness integrates the self into the Universal knowing that the power which leads us into the world knows how to take us home.

Sam Oliver @ www.pathintohealing.com

Remember Who You Are

After caring to dying people for over 17 years now, I have come to the conclusion that people are physically dying and awakening at the same time. We spend a great deal of our time defining ourselves in this work and making our way through it through the titles we obtain along the way such as minister, chaplain, counselor, etc… Much attention is placed on what we are. Such actions lead us away from the place we often will attempt to guide other’s to in their dying after long years of experience in the opposite.

I have been to seminary, seminars, conferences, and lectures upon lectures. Much of the talk is on creating modalities of care and techniques on soliciting a certain response from our patients and families who need to “feel” their grief and loss which they are in our care. It seems to me that people want to be who they are and not coerced into a pattern of thinking and feeling taught to counselors and ministers in order to create a certain response we are looking for inside our own selves.

This kind of care is really in essence training others to think and feel the way we have been trained to get others to in their grief. I believe we would get much future with people if we were to help the “remember who they are.” There are many ways to do this. Here are a few examples.

1. Find out what sacred events are the most meaningful to those you care for in grief.
Sacred Events are moments in time that call out one’s attention from the deepest essence of who they are. You will notice this by how one’s attention is undivided and engaged. You will see insight develop in the words reflected back on this experience in inspirational ways.
Sacred Events give vitality to living. You will see someone literally come alive within themselves and seem to never tire of what they are doing. Sacred Events fill the heart with joy and energy.

2. Find out if religious words matter to someone as they are dying or are sacred expressions more what they want to describe the world around them.
The language of the soul comes out is a person’s words. He or she will voice through words what is meaningful in their lives. This may be their church, or it can be their meditation group. A dying patient will give you clues as to what is important to them by how they describe the world around them and their lives in it.

3. Find out if a person is afraid of dying or afraid of the journey into pain.
Our perceptions of dying can go a long way to help us find a peaceful death or fear it all the way. What has been a dying patient’s experience of pain? Has this person been given reason to be confident in the medical field or fear it? Most fears lie in one’s perception of what he or she believes will happen. The unknown is a major factor in all of this as well. A person who once had control to some degree of their life is being taken away.

4. Find out what is a person’s “lived theology.”
A person’s lived theology is not what he or she has been taught to believe philosophically or religiously. A lived theology is a study of life through introspection. Such ponders leads people to a universal wisdom that has been pasted from generation to generation. They are truth’s obtained through experience and held to be sacred. A person can count on their lived theology because is has came through them and not from them.

The path into the sacred is a journey into who a person is. It is based upon sacred events, the stories shared because of these events, and it develops an inner confidence in what cannot die. In so doing, a lived theology is the result. The Bible talks about such a journey of faith as one “not made with human hands.” It is the path into healing because it is a journey into one’s deepest self.

When a dying patient remembers who they are, a sense of well-being swells up inside of them and radiates out as peace. These are the visits when a Chaplain feels as though he or she received much more out of the visit than they gave to it. It is the give and take of spiritual remembering to the point of no longer having to do anything which includes a Chaplain being a Chaplain and a dying patient being with dying because all roles fade into this kind of presence. It is the presence of Holiness. It is the presence of Eternal Life. It is the presence of peace.

Sam Oliver @ www.pathintohealing.com

One Pointed Desire

My children are in their teens. They both have a desire to fulfill their dreams. My son wants to be an airline pilot, and my daughter wants to be a chef. They are making plans for school to achieve these dreams. Each step of the way will be challenges to overcome and discipline to make their dreams come true.

When my son was younger, he wanted to be a fireman. He went to the local fire station and viewed a huge red truck. Then he wanted a small toy truck of his own. If he would continue to want this dream, his inner vision of the world would form a material reality over time. In the following paragraph I want to share with you how a one pointed desire creates a material reality. I will describe it as a Miracle.

A miracle is Energy In Formation. Anything you hold your attention on over time is energy in formation. We are transformed by what we hold dear to us and fill our heart with the experience of what we desire. Our intent to dwell upon what we hold sacred is our soul. Thus, the miracle of transformation that occurs from this quality of existence creates a manifestation of the formless into form.

This miracle is a single focus on what you desire to bring into being. It connects your heart and mind together. This unification creates movement in the body to make your desires come true. Your soul holds all of this together by creating the kind of character needed to fill your body with inspiration and energy. This connection between your mind, body, and soul forms patterns consistent with the obtainment of your ultimate desire. Through daily actions and the gathering of others with similar desires, you will make your dreams come true.

When I was running marathons in my early to late twenties, I had to practice daily running. I didn’t just go out and run 26.2 miles without mentally disciplining my mind and body to train for these events. Every day I would put on my t-shirt, shorts, and shoes and go outside to run in the rain or sun. Nothing was going to stop me from realizing my goal of finishing a marathon.

I can still remember the end of that Chicago Marathon many years ago. The last three miles of this marathon were filled with people cheering us all on. I remember crying and feeling my body be filled up with energy beyond myself. My body was exhausted. It was the energy of the crowd that inspired me to go further and finish what I had started many months ago in the trails I ran through the woods and the streets near my home. My tears and cold chills running through my body was my soul, reminding me that I had finished the journey I started, and my soul was proud of Sam.

Many men and women with strong masculine tendencies believe that physical control of an environment means dominance over it. And thus, we will know peace. This does not serve humanity well. As we mature, we become more soul than body. It is our inner dominion over our own world inside us “collectively” that will heal the world around us. Using our inner strengths to care for and build a world around us that reflects the inner qualities of existence inside us will manifest an experience of harmony that cannot be shaken.

“The Law of Attraction” is a phrase you are hearing a great deal about these days. It is not a new idea. You have heard it in these phrases as well: “You will become what you think about.” “You will reap what you sow.” “What goes around comes around.” and “For every action is an equal and opposite reaction.” The ideas set forth in these phrases are for you and me to realize that where we place our attention will draw unto us the desires making themselves known to us. We have a choice to make during these moments of contemplation. We can dwell and explore these experiences or move on to the next thought.

You and I are like magnets. We draw to us what we habitually place our attention on. The instant we realize this part of us is able to create from a one-pointed desire is monumental. It is here we become the creators of our own destiny. This is not to say that we are The Creator. It is to say that who we are will become known through us as we explore the nature of our soul in its depths.

As we age, conditions are placed on us to direct us along our paths intended to keep us from harm. Even if we manage to stay out of harms way, we move into a state of stimulus-response reactions toward life. This draws us further and further away from the natural state of pure being we came into the world with as an infant.

When you and I follow the desires of our most authentic self, we will be given a path that will make work our play and our play our work. This one pointed desire is our path into endless abundance and endless joy. It all begins with a simple question and four simple words expressed to your Creator and your most authentic self: how may I serve?

Sam Oliver @ www.pathintohealing.com

Focused Intentions

Runners to your mark, get set, go! When I was running track in high school, the sprinters lined up on the track to run a 100 yard dash. Each of them had one single focus and intention. They wanted to be the first one to cross the finish line before anyone else. This required unwavering attention inwardly and outwardly upon their goal because a single mistake could cost them the race.

When a person is engaged in accomplishing a goal, you have to set your mind and heart to the task at hand. Setting a goal to accomplish is a good start. Along the way there needs to be mini goals to keep you on track for your main goal. Setting goals keeps you focused. They make you follow through with your highest intention.

To see through your eyes what you cannot see with them is a good way to meet your goals in life. For example, take a pebble and throw it into a pond or lake. Watch the ripples move and spread out across the lake or pond. Then see how far you can follow the pebble as it makes its way to the bottom of the lake or pond. At some point, you will not be able to see where the pebble is going. This requires you to see through your eyes what you no longer can see with them. You know exactly where that rock went. It went to the very bottom. It landed on the foundation of what holds every bit of that pond together.

Your soul or your inner vision is just like this pond. When you chose to focus your attention on a particular intention or goal, you place your energy into life. Then, a ripple effect causes actions to take place across the pond or your life. Although none of us can predict our paths in life, we can always know where we are going. We are going to the Source. It is the foundation that holds all of life together.

How can you know what your focused intention is? What is your favorite hobby? Have your ever thought of making it your career? For instance, do you love golf and find yourself being a salesman? Then try to find a way to invest in or sell golf equipment. There are many ways to tap into your abundant thoughts and connect them to your interests. My hunch is that you will be glad you did. Out of your abundance or thoughts will come the riches of your life.

I know of one man who had a dream. He had a dream to become the next President of the United States of America. His dream was to make the playing field even for all Americans economically. His message was one of Hope. His focused intentions were to be in a position of living to fulfill his dream. He went all over the country to share his message of hope for all Americans. After 2 long years of campaigning, winning the Democratic nomination, running against the Republican nominee John McCain, on November 4, 2008, President Barack Obama saw his focused intentions manifest themselves into material reality. He made history by becoming the first black American President of our time.

Do you have a dream? What is it? Have you been focusing on this dream for years? Why not make it a reality? Put your dream into reality by making small goals you can attain one step at a time until you reach your ultimate focused intention. You will be glad you did. Insight is to see from within what you want to see in front of you. Stay true to your purpose in life. Know the reason why you are here. Then create meaning from your life by fulfilling you destiny.

Sam Oliver @ www.pathintohealing.com

Imprints on my Soul

     When I was a resident Chaplain at the University of Kentucky, I would often baptize those who were dying. On one occasion, I was given the task of baptizing an aborted child that did not make it through labor. I was given a small fetus in an empty room. This child was not much bigger than my thumb. I remember wondering what this infant’s mother looked like and who was the father. What were they going through? I wondered who was helping them through their grief.

     This fetus was given to me, so I could baptize him/her before further burial procedures were to take place. In the back of my mind, I began to imagine what this child’s life would have been like if this child had of lived. What baring on the parents would all this create in their heart and in their soul?

     There are several places for a person to find comfort and healing. Your local Hospice Care Program has several support groups with qualified therapists to assist you in sharing your grief. Your local hospital has social workers and chaplains to guide you through this difficult time. Also, hospital social workers have a list of groups in the community to give you in finding a caring group to share your grief. Your Minister and friends will help you too. And, if you have a pet, they grieve to. Give them attention. They will draw close to you.

     In the meantime, be good to yourself. Eat right. Take walks. Take time to listen to your heart recall memories of your loved one who has passed on into a deeper place in your heart only your soul can embrace. There are several books on grief. Often we heal in the deepest parts of our being before we notice it physically. This journey into the heart is a predictable one. I would like to recommend my book “The Path into Healing.” This is a book about the journey into one’s heart and soul. 

     This event took place over 16 years ago. I can still remember this event as though it were yesterday. I was alone with this fetus and nurse. I did anoint this child. In a way, I believe the child anointed me as well. This child, to this day, has left an image in my mind and heart that lives and breathes through my recalling this story. This child has left an imprint on my Soul and shown me a way into Eternity.

Sam Oliver @ www.pathintohealing.com

 

Dying People Teach Us…

 Dying people have much to teach us about living in soul.  I have witnessed people of all races, ages, genders, and sexual orientation let go of the life they have come to know.  One thing becomes clear “everyone learns to love the life they have been given.”

When a dying person enjoys or is saddened by the past constitution of their life, he/she reaches deep within themselves to find meaning, hope, and unconditional love.  Despite our humanness, we have an inherent need to bless what has given us experience within the expressions of our lives.  This is the level of soul care “not made with human hands.”  It is the heart of creation, and perhaps, the heart of God.

Sam Oliver @ www.pathintohealing.com