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Posts Tagged ‘children’s books’

As promised many months ago, I am keeping my readers abreast of an annual vacation that my sisters and I take, along with a whole string of other fun-loving people from across the US and Canada that we’ve met along the way.  Most of us agree that it is the best vacation ever.  Martinique will be the likely destination this year.  For a preview:  http://tinyurl.com/aoupvwl

Looks good, huh?  It is.  It seems that no matter what your idea of a ‘great vacation’ is, Club Med offers it up.  For starters, it’s an all-inclusive, which in my book, is the only way to go, and Club Med has the edge on the ‘all-inclusive’ vacation.  For me, being on vacation means that I don’t have to make choices based on affordability; I think about finances all year long but please, not when I’m on vacation.  I also want to play, eat, drink, relax, socialize, dance, and try new things without compromising quality. 

I work hard at my job and I want to arrive home feeling rejuvenated . . . . not exhausted, needing a ‘vacation from my vacation’.  My ideal get-away is without a schedule.  I like to be spontaneous every day, doing what I want, when I want.  I like to wake up to no alarm clock, indulging  in ‘absurdly long’ breakfasts by the water.  I want to sun on the beach or read a book under a shady palm during the mid-day hours with the ocean as my backdrop.  I like to meander barefoot to the beach bar for a Peña Colada whenever the urge arises, taking in the salty breeze as the sand squishes between my toes.  I like having an endless supply of food and wine at my meals.

I love the individual theme of each club and the way they’re laid out; usually on 40 acres or more.  There is a central ‘hub’, in an area that consists of a pool, the largest bar, the largest restaurant, reception, a boutique, a place to schedule excursions, massages, diving, deep sea fishing . . . this is where you’ll find the people who like to be in the middle of things. . . . water aerobics, pool games, music, table tennis, billiards, and a multitude of fun other things to participate in; or you might just want relax by the pool to observe the other vacationers exerting energy.  And then of course, there are the more remote places to spend your day without all the action; just the harmonious sounds of the breaking waves and swaying palm fronds in the tropical breeze. There are a few things that cost extra such as an excursion or a massage, but I have to have a massage in one of those cute little huts on the beach; have to . . . . reaffirms that life is indeed, good.

I love hopping on the snorkeling boat which goes out twice a day.  I’m not a diver but snorkeling makes me feel like I am, with a lot less commitment of course.  It’s always nice to grab a drink after the twenty minute boat ride back to land; I feel that I genuinely need it after exhausting myself like that; floating on the water, spying on the colorful marine life.

Some years I’m more adventurous than others.  There have been times that I couldn’t be pried from my beach chair, period.  And yet other times when I wanted to do more than watch the ‘brave ones’ (see video) http://youtu.be/BnOqiLBvG7M.

Everyone is different and everyone has a different idea of what kindles their spirit when they take time off to nurture their soul.  Club Med offers it up.  Want to learn how to sail, scuba dive, snorkel, windsurf, water ski, play tennis, shoot a bow and arrow, fly on a full size trapeze (not all clubs have the latter), or do you prefer to jump into a game of beach volleyball or play pool or table tennis at your leisure? After a lesson, you can spend the remainder of the week learning how to perfect your new sport.  It’s all included in the price. 

But there is one thing that always remains the same, year after year, no matter the Club Med location:  we laugh . . . . and laugh . . . . and laugh . . . . frequently into the wee hours of the morning . . . and we dance like nobody’s watching.  Life is indeed, good.

Do I come home feeling rested?  It literally takes me a couple of days to get off ‘island time’ and back in the swing of things.  I’m so relaxed that I can barely kick it into high gear, and that is always the sign of a good vacation. Something  we all agree on (my favorite, by the way): time  s l o w s   d o w n.  The week doesn’t fly by in the blink of an eye, but rather, feels like you’ve been there for a long time, savoring every blissful detail of paradise.

For those of you, who like the idea of this vacation, but not sure about going with a group, let me assure you of this: you’re on your own.  It’s comforting for some to know there are others there with whom you can immediately connect with, but for others, they might want a romantic get-away, or they need the solitude.  No worries, we’ll wave at you from across the path on your way to lunch; that will be your biggest commitment to this group.  Or if you prefer, have lunch, dinner or a cocktail with us and share some stories from the day.  We’re all here to do what we want, when we want, with whoever we want.

I extend this offer to all of you, my readers:  jump on board with us this March or April; the week is still undecided.  It is likely that we’re going to Martinique, but even the location isn’t solid just yet; no matter, they’re all wonderful.  My husband lovingly gives me this gift of a ‘girl trip’ each year.  You too can make it a girl or guy trip or you can bring your loved one and indulge in a romantic get-away.  Price is based on double occupancy and although a private room can be had, it’s usually an additional $300.00.  Last year it cost us $699, excluding air, because we had a group of over twenty . . . . seven days, everything included, even tips.  This trip is well-worth twice that price, I assure you.  I’m holding off, hoping to get a rate close to last year and then we’ll book it with 10% down ($69.00).  Sixty days before departure they take a bit more, and the balance 30 days before we hop on the plane. 

So there you have it.  If you’re interested, email me privately at PMerker@TampaBay.rr.com and I’ll put you on the list to keep you updated.  And ask me any questions as well.  I’m telling you about this in advance so that you can get prepared. When I get that anticipated email, we have to be ready.  Sometimes we only have three days to reserve at that price.  If you book it and then change your mind, there is a still lots of time to cancel without a penalty.  We’d love to have you join us.  If you’re a parent who hasn’t had an adult vacation in a long time, you will come home a better parent.  You won’t be sorry and most likely; you’ll join us on many future trips.  There are probably lots of reasons you shouldn’t go, but as Grand Master would say, “Life is meant to be lived, little master, take some time for YOU.”

In love and light,

Patricia

www.TheGrandMasterLittleMasterSeries.com

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The Grand Master/Little Master Series

Endorsed by Marianne Williamson

 Take a child on a personal, magical, interactive

journey to discover their Source of Power within.

So much more than a bedtime story.

For more detailed series information, and to view a short video book trailer, visit:

http://www.TheGrandMasterLittleMasterSeries.com

When one believes in something, with not a shred of doubt, the universe aligns itself to ‘make it so’.  The tough part for most of us is that pesky little thing called TIME.  We want it now.  There are many things that I desire, but few things that I believe in at a gut level; that no matter what the appearance, I will not be swayed.  My book series is one of those things.

When I sat down to write The Grand Master/Little Master Series over fourteen years ago, I knew it was meant to be.  I knew this because I seemed to have little to do with the creation of it; IT wrote ME.  I’ve never written anything before, never had the desire to do so or had any particular talent for writing.  And yet, when my fingers started typing, they moved faster than my brain could think it.  I was moved in a way that I can’t adequately describe, and quitting, despite all the rejections and a variety of other hurdles, was simply not an option. 

I tired of jumping those hurdles after a couple of years and put it away, but swayed?  Never.  When I once again dug it out from the back of my drawer and started searching, things began to align.  The timing seemed right and indeed it was.  Has it been an overnight success?  Nope, wish it was . . . it’s that TIME factor again.   Does it ever feel like it was all in vain?  Nope.  Slowly, it’s gotten the attention of some pretty impressive people and if you’ve been following this blog from day one, you know all the detailed information; the really unlikely things that fell into place, ‘coincidently’. 

In an effort to get it out there, I decided to advertise in Spirituality and Health Magazine (see ad above).  The price was amazingly affordable for six months in both their hard copy and online edition.  As an advertiser, I received an advanced copy of their Nov/Dec issue (the first month my ad is running). 

‘Endorsed by Marianne Williamson’ is a big deal so Iwanted it to be included.  She was my second pick for an endorsement under Oprah (I still expect Oprah to call).  To my surprise, the magazine arrived and many people might wonder, ‘Is it just a coincidence that Marianne Williamson is on the cover of this upcoming issue?’  I don’t think so.  Once again, I believe its Synchronicity in motion.  Our faith moves mountains.  Find something that you believe in, really believe in.  Think about it and be grateful for it.  If doubt creeps in, tell it to go away and that it cannot live here . . . and then watch the ‘coincidental events’ unfold.  But be careful about that TIME thing.  Divine Timing isn’t always OUR timing.

In Love and Light,

Patricia

http://www.TheGrandMasterLittleMasterSeries.com

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For those of you who read my posts on a regular basis, you might remember my post from August 20, 2012 regarding my son and his ‘time-management’ issue involving his homework, being up all night, etc.  I resolved to distance myself from all aspects of his homework and only assign him a bedtime, allowing HIM to assume full responsibility for the results, either positive or negative.  It seemed like such a good idea at the time; the only solution that allowed my husband and I some freedom from the stress that kept our stomachs in knots.  We were done saving him.   I also wrote in that August 20th post that I would update you on the results of our non-involvement in a couple of months.

The ugly truth is, he progressively got worse; worse than we’ve ever seen him. He continued with the all-night work habits (he got up after we went to bed), the exhaustion and bags under his eyes were hard to watch, and yet, we were bound and determined to let him hit rock bottom if that’s what it took.   But for all the time he spent working (albeit, in the middle of the night), he was getting further and further behind.  He kept complaining that he had so much make-up work to turn in.  Little did we know that this was due to the nine days of school he’d missed.  Nine days?  How can this be happening to OUR son, who is super smart , extremely motivated and capable of getting straight A’s in a program that rivals most college courses?  A kid who last summer was planning on applying to Yale? He was damn near suicidal when he got his first B, and now we’re seeing D’s and F’s?? . . .  “And you’ve missed how many days of school?” How could we not know this?  Something is wrong, really wrong; something much more than a procrastination or time-management issue.  And to make matters worse, he didn’t care. Depression was setting in.

We quickly scheduled a parent-teacher meeting and I spent the following day calling every child psychiatrist in the book, hoping that one of them (any of them) could see him tomorrow.  In the real world, I guess that everyone who finally decides to call a psychiatrist needs to be seen tomorrow.  Four to five weeks was the soonest, anywhere.  No one seemed to understand that my son is having difficulty getting out of bed; he won’t make it four-five weeks.  Not knowing what else to do, I called The Children’s Crisis Center.  Wonderful, wonderful people working there, but I was shocked to hear that the only solution to being seen immediately was if he would agree to a 72 hour ‘volunteer’ Baker Act; the only way to get him help NOW.  Baker Act?  OMG, are you kidding me?!  The sad truth was, it seemed the only option; “Let us think about it, we can’t make that decision without some time to think.”

It was then that I had to stop and get centered.  For the previous 24 hours, I was on automatic pilot, calling psychiatrists like a mad woman, looking for a solution quickly.  FIX HIM, SOMEONE FIX HIM NOW. I had to remind myself that he wasn’t dying, even though it felt that way.  I had to remind myself that everything was okay, and the stress that my husband and I were feeling wasn’t helping him at all.  He needed us to respond logically, not emotionally.  He needed us to be strong and figure it out.  I was amazed that the anger I’d been feeling for the slow decline of his mental health over the last three years (what we thought was procrastination/poor time management) turned to compassion.  The poor kid didn’t know why he was having trouble focusing.  He couldn’t seem to start a project, much less finish one.  He says he spends the dark hours of the night staring at his work, accomplishing very little.  When we woke him for school (after he’d only slept one-two hours), he was a zombie.  There were nine days that once we’d left for work, he couldn’t muster it up to get dressed and go to school.  He was so far behind that he couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Two good things happened after we stopped responding emotionally and everything was on the table.  The first was a call from one of the psychiatrist’s offices that previously had no openings (a highly recommended one); they had a cancellation on Monday at 4pm, did we want it?  “Yes, thank you” . . . tears of joy.  The second was our parent-teacher conference.  They all expressed their love for Jordan and felt that he was an ideal candidate for the IB Program; to drop out in his senior year with only months to go, would be a crime.  They were compassionate and willing to give him incompletes, rather than zero’s for his unfinished work until we know what’s going on.  They’ll work with him and support him through this.  As we left the room, several teachers hugged me and said, “Tell Jordan that we love him and that he has a community of people here to help him.” More tears of joy.

Our appointment is on Monday and although we don’t have any answers yet, everyone feels lighter.  Jordan has always loved the relationship he’s had with his teachers but in light of his recent absences and unfinished work, he thought they had all lost respect for him; he thought they viewed him as a slacker. Now he knows better and this one factor alone gives him hope. 

I am humbled by the desire of everyday people to extend their hand when they see someone in need.  In the midst of my 24 hours of sheer panic, I poured my heart out to many of my daily customers at my job, frequently on the verge of tears.  Everyone took time to listen, give a hug and assure me that it would be okay.  Many had suggestions of places to seek help, business cards and phone numbers of professionals that had helped them or their own family.  An ex-deputy sheriff  connected me with the Children’s Crisis Center and took the time to tell me about the wonderful work they do.  Human beings are amazing creations.  We love to give of ourselves and when we do so, the law of cause and effect is set into motion; our own life is brightened in miraculous ways.  Being on the receiving end of the outpouring of love and help is a different experience for me as I seldom fall apart; I handle things myself.  I urge anyone else who is like me; someone who always holds it together, to reach out to others when you have a personal or family crisis.  It’s a humbling experience and I feel centered again, at least for the time being.  It certainly makes me want to pay it forward.  I’ll keep you updated.

In love and light,

Patricia

www.TheGrandMasterLittleMasterSeries.com

Photo courtsey of www.freedigitalphotos.net

 

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I’m reblogging this video from www.pixelrites.wordpress.com.  It’s a wonderful blog,  filled with inspirational words, pictures, and videos ; do yourself a favor and stop by.

To me, this video is a testiment to the power of our thoughts and words.  Children haven’t been on the planet long enough to stop believing, and subsequently, they can produce miracles if we don’t get in the way.  For that very reason, I wrote The Grand Master/Little Master Series which is designed to support, teach and nurture this belief.  Enjoy the video of Dr. Wayne Dyer and his adult daughter as she tells the story of a childhood healing.

In love and light,

Patricia

www.TheGrandMasterLittleMasterSeries.com

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I receive daily ‘Law of Attraction’ notifications from Abraham-Hicks (http://www.abraham-hicks.com/lawofattractionsource/index.php) and felt compelled to share the one below with you, because it is the one I live by:

Life Will Always Be Working Out for Me . . .

I like understanding that things are always evolving, and while there are many things that could be better where I am, it is not really a problem because “where I am” is constantly changing to something better. I like knowing that as I look for the best things around me where I am, those things become more prevalent in my experience.

It is fun to know that things are always working out for me, and as I watch for the evidence of that . . . I see more evidence of that every day.

— Abraham

I start out each and every day at 3:30am with my cup of coffee (currently Dunkin Donuts, Pumpkin Spice!) and my Abraham-Hicks notification.  It seems to get my day off to a good start and it reminds me to stay conscious with my thoughts.

I continuously inspire to raise my vibration to a higher place, living by the above affirmation, and over the past year or so, I see evidence of it all around me.  I’ve always told others to find something to be grateful for; something you can believe in.  If you’re homeless, give thanks for the bridge that shelters you (and mean it).  The mere act of genuine thankfulness will attract more good to you.  It’s the Law of Attraction and it works.  Continuously complain about your circumstances, dwell on your poverty or loneliness and the Law of Attraction will supply more of it.  Like attracts like, it’s the Law of Attraction in action. This law isn’t compassionate or emotional at all, it just works the way it works and everyone gets to use it either consciously or unconsciously; it works either way.

I work with the public (lots of them) and I can tell you that the overwhelming majority aren’t happy with their life, job, relationship, children, income (or lack of), etc.  Most people love to talk about the negative drama in their lives and they’re committed to it; resigned to it simply as ‘the way it is.’ Yes indeed.

In conversing with my daily customers, I also frequently engage in this conversation.  The reality is, unless they’re paying a therapist for advice, they don’t want any.  They want someone they can talk to; someone who can relate to them; and I can relate.  The difference is I think, is that I don’t believe (at a gut level) that which sometimes comes out of my mouth!  Sure, I can complain with the best of them about the job, the money, the lack of time (you’ve all heard me on this one!), etc. but I believe with my whole heart and soul the above affirmation.  I KNOW that I’ll always be okay and that the universe supports my higher good.  The manifestation of this belief continues to propel me forward in ways I’ve never dreamed of.  My complaints are made in an almost humorous way, as I find comfort in this and I’ve never been one to take things too seriously.  Being human is to feel, and sometimes I feel a bit negative.  But I also know that tomorrow is a new day and the negativity doesn’t mean anything; it’s not real.  I know that something good is just around the corner.

In love and light,

Patricia

http://www.TheGrandMasterLittleMasterSeries.com

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I hate politics.  Let me repeat: I hate politics.  To me, it’s the biggest joke on the planet.  I only vote in the presidential election out of guilt; it is my responsibility to do so.   It’s rarely for the candidate that I LOVE, it’s the ‘lesser of the evils’.  I am not proud of this mentality but it is nonetheless so.  I rarely talk politics with anyone because A) I don’t keep current enough to engage in a stimulating conversation and B) it’s a guaranteed argument in which there is no winner, period.  I walk away feeling ticked off that educated people have fallen for the lies, slander and promises, once again.   In my opinion, the only way we will see a change for the good; a chance in hell that we can once again live in the best country in the world, will be through a grassroots movement. The people need to rise up and tolerate it no more.

The last time I was authentically excited about a presidential election was when John Hagelin ran back in 2000.  He is a brilliant American particle physicist, three-time candidate of the Natural Law Party for President of the United States (1992, 1996, and 2000), and the director of the Transcendental Meditation movement for the US.  He was introduced by Neale Donald Walsch (the drawing card for those who came to the event).  I was enrolled; the guy was brilliant, and he accepted no PAC money. He had workable solutions for our problems that made sense because they didn’t go against the natural order of energy in the universe, but with it. But more than anything, John Hagelin came from his ‘heart-space’.  It was a gut feeling that we all had when we left the event that night; a reason to be excited.  He obviously didn’t win, but considering he could get very little airtime, he did quite well.  He had people like me; people that hadn’t voted in years, voting. He made an impact on all who heard him.

After that, Obama touched a place in my gut.  I felt that he was authentic and committed to making the world a better place.  I thought that maybe he could work within the confines of our messed-up system to make some positive change; not an easy task, but certainly worth taking a chance on.  I’ll say it out loud, I still believe that.

Recently, something else has given me a reason to ‘hope’.  Marianne Williamson (ahem, the woman who has endorsed my series!) is hosting an event that I suggest you look in to called Sister Giant (www.SisterGiant.com).  Here you can listen to endorsements from some top names in the New Thought Movement such as Neale Donald Walsch, Gary Zukov, Barbara Marx Hubbard . . . Marianne is a friend of Oprah’s; she’s been on her show many times.  I’m hoping that this event makes it to Oprah’s ears.

Read Marianne’s article in The Huffington Post and see if it resonates with you http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marianne-williamson/sister-giant-consciousness-politics_b_1855564.html.  It’s about consciousness & politics; it’s about more female influence in politics which is the very thing that we lack.  By nature, women are natural caregivers, nurturers, and supporters of peace, not war.  Women are organizers and have all the God-given, natural credentials to play in this arena called politics, and yet our numbers are few.  Men in the New Thought Movement agree with this idea, knowing that women will bring something different to the game; the something that we lack; the something that we desperately need. 

As parents, we want the best for our children and grandchildren.  As women, maybe we take a back-seat to politics (I certainly have);  maybe it’s time to see what can be accomplished.  The foundation for Sister Giant is already in place; the hard work has been done.  Your only task (should you decide to accpet this mission)  is check it out; see how you feel.  Read Marianne’s article in The Huffington Post and maybe you’ll want to get involved in some way.  It might only be  to forward her link to your friends and family or blog about it if you have a blog.  If enough of us do (men included) maybe we can be a part of the shift that has to occur.  Enough of politics as usual.

In Love and Light,

Patricia

http://www.TheGrandMasterLittleMasterSeries.com

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TIME seems to be my biggest challenge these days, and I keep pressuring myself to become more efficient with it, acting as though it’s something I can control.  If I just plan better, organize myself differently, get up earlier and stay up later, eat crackers and cheese for dinner rather than organizing a sit-down meal, forego the family bbq on Labor Day (no worries, I’ll be there sis), I can squeeze more in , you get the picture.  But the thing is, there’s never enough of this thing called TIME, no matter how I try to switch it up or change what I do.  Something is always slipping through the cracks and mostly, its quality time.  As an example:

This blog: it’s hard for me to accept that I can’t get it together to post every weekend.  I always attempt to do it; the intention is there.  Writing is my newfound first love, but unfortunately it is my second job . . . the one that isn’t bringing in enough money to pay the bills yet; the one that is the most demanding of my time.  Enjoying this blog was the one surprise that I wasn’t anticipating.  Not only is it a creative, fun way to express myself, but I’ve met so many great people along the way.  Every author has to have a blog these days but in order to make it pay off in a marketing sense (sales of my children’s series), it requires a number of daily tasks that, in reality, equates to a full-time job.  Posting two to three times per week (if not daily) is one of those tasks.  Asking questions to engage conversation is another, and responding to those comments is critically important. 

One can’t overlook the daily reading of your fellow bloggers posts and leaving comments.  Those of us who have blogs know how much it validates what we do when people respond in some way . . . any way actually.  Agree, disagree, but say something.  I completely enjoy this part of the blogging experience and can get lost for several hours a day if I allow myself this luxury, which I would like to do.   And of course there’s the visual appearance of your blog (themes, colors, backgrounds, pictures, video’s, etc.) which should  be pleasant.  There are courses that teach one how to be a professional blogger in order to reach big numbers and how to then turn that into sales . . . but this too is a commitment of TIME; lots of it.

If you’re a published author, there’s other marketing that can’t be ignored, and is probably way more important than blogging (if you have to prioritize): sending off piles and piles of books to potential reviewers, landing radio interviews, attempting to check in and be active on the social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Amazon Author, Library Thing, and Shelfari , to name just a few of the hundreds and hundreds out there.  Where do I advertise with my limited funds to get the most ‘bang for the buck’? How do I stand out from all the other children’s books on the shelves?  Oh how I wish I had the TIME to sit at my computer all day and play on this level.  Yes, it’s a lot of work but I really enjoy it. I believe that I’ve resigned myself to blogging for pure pleasure, when I can squeeze it in, because clearly I don’t have the TIME to do all that’s required, in any way that even remotely resembles ‘professional.’

I could go on and on with the countless other tasks required to live and function when one has a spouse, children, pets, an aging parent to tend to, sickness, etc., but the thing is, most all of you can relate to what I’m saying; nothing new here. My world is likely no different than yours, just different tasks on the ‘to do’ list.  Are you hoping for some sound, practical advice in this post for how to add more TIME or quality to your already full day?  I do have some answers, but the problem is, they’re the ones you already know . . . . “you have to MAKE THE TIME “(really?). . . “Prioritize and let the little ones go” (I have no little ones; I already dropped them off my list). Can I practice what I preach in my series?  Do we really have all the answers internally?  What would Grand Master say about this dilemma we face?  Is it just a matter of getting quiet, going within and asking?

Let me check . . . . . . . . . Eyes closed, deep breath; . . . inhale . . . exhale. . . .  going within . . . . .

“All your worries and stress about ‘lack of time’ only hinder your success and intensify the negative experience, little master. You cannot focus on ‘lack of time’ and expect more time to show up.  Be clear about what you want, move forward with love and kindness, do not compromise quality in your life, and help others on their path when the opportunity arises.  Know that there is a powerful force in the universe that is committed to manifesting all that you desire.  This is the most powerful tool you have at your disposal, little master; if you can believe it.”

Hmmm, not sure how that works, but it does.  I know where I want this series to go and I’m quite clear about it. It either will or it won’t but my constant mind-set of ‘not enough time’ is indeed providing, not enough time.  What shows up in our world is exactly what we focus on.  If you don’t like what you see in your life, change what you see in your life; find the beauty, the serenity, the sunrises and sunsets; focus on nothing but the good for as long as you can and when the negative creeps in, consciously push it out.  Say something to yourself such as, “I refuse to let this negative thought permeate my consciousness,” and lovingly send it on its way.  It seems silly and yet, it’s quite a powerful statement to the universe about what you’re willing to accept as your reality.  This takes conscious practice, but the benefits are well worth it.  Do I do this all the time?  No, because I forget and I’m busy and my lack of time robs my will to stay conscious.  Will I put extra effort into it this week?  Damn straight. 

Any comments?   🙂

In love and light,

Patricia

www.TheGrandMasterLittleMasterSeries.com

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