Think about the people who have most influenced you.  When I remember them I am always surprised to discover that these are people who did not try to influence me, who did not need my response.  Instead they radiated a certain inner freedom.  They made me aware that they were in touch with more than themselves.  They pointed to a reality greater than themselves from which and in whom their freedom grew.  This centeredness, this inner freedom, this spiritual independence had a mysterious contagiousness.

— Henri Nouwen, Turn My Mourning into Dancing, p. 75

Confident Expectation

I encourage you to confidently expect, while not being attached to an outcome.  Expect it, but then let it go.  Yes, the money would be great, the job would be perfect, the relationship would be wonderful, but they in themselves are not what has value.  It’s what they provide that we are really interested in — the sense of security or freedom, the experience of happiness and belonging.  We can claim those states as our inner reality, with or without the associated tangibles.  It’s the essence behind the form that really matters to us.  And when we live in It Already Is, we are irresistible to the flow of abundance in the universe.

— Victoria Castle, The Trance of Scarcity, p. 120

A Mental Shift

Gratitude is indeed like a gearshift that can move our mental mechanism from obsession to peacefulness, from stuckness to creativity, from fear to love.  The ability to relax and be mindfully present in the moment comes naturally when we are grateful.  One of the most delightful aspects of my Jewish heritage is the saying of Brachot, blessings or prayers of thanksgiving throughout the day.  These are praises of God for creating a world of infinite wonder and possibility.  There is a blessing upon seeing a star or a rainbow.  There is a blessing for the gifts of food, wine, and water.  There is even a blessing upon going to the bathroom for internal organs that function so well!

Joan Z. Borysenko, PhD, Gratitude: A Way of Life, by Louise L. Hay and Friends, p. 11

Finding Treasure

Adopting the perspective of the Stargazer not only leads us toward our future best destinies but actually transmutes past unhappiness into treasure.  This is because, in emotional terms, everything is made from its opposite.  The raw material for joy is sorrow; the raw material for compassion is anger; the raw material for fearlessness is fear.  This means that the very people who hurt you worst may turn out to have enriched you most.  “Forgiveness” isn’t even an issue from the position of the Stargazer.  Why would anyone bother to “forgive” someone who’d made them rich?

— Martha Beck, Steering by Starlight, p. 76

Bring an Umbrella

This is where most people get stuck.  To get what they want, they try wanting harder.  They yearn more deeply, try harder to become worthy.  They build the case about why they should have what they want, but this very attitude requires holding the desire as other (out of reach).  It’s a strange paradox that when you want a thing, you affirm that your life is wanting.  You affirm the Trance of Scarcity and lack….

We need to recognize the formula that does work.  That formula is not desire but confident expectation.  It’s an example of energy matching energy, impersonal but reliable.  When you pray for rain, bring an umbrella.

— Victoria Castle, The Trance of Scarcity, p. 111 & 117

Sharing from Fullness

When we are full, sharing comes naturally.  Generous souls know they cannot be diminished by Giving — the more they share, the fuller they feel.  What they have, they want others to have.  Generosity recognizes our interconnectedness, our mutuality, our oneness.

— Victoria Castle, The Trance of Scarcity, p. 98

The Sacred Romance

The sacred romance calls to us every moment of our lives.  It whispers to us on the wind, invites us through the laughter of good friends, reaches out to us through the touch of someone we love.  We’ve heard it in our favorite music, sensed it at the birth of our first child, been drawn to it while watching the shimmer of a sunset on the ocean.  It is even present in times of great personal suffering — the illness of a child, the loss of a marriage, the death of a friend.  Something calls to us through experiences like these and rouses an inconsolable longing deep within our heart, wakening in us a yearning for intimacy, beauty, and adventure.  This longing is the most powerful part of any human personality.  It fuels our search for meaning, for wholeness, for a sense of being truly alive.  However we may describe this deep desire, it is the most important thing about us, our heart of hearts, the passion of our life.  And the voice that calls to us in this place is none other than the voice of God.

— Brent Curtis and John Eldredge, The Sacred Romance, p. 195


Now there’s at least two ways I can look at all of this.  I can say look at everything I’ve had to go through.  Or I can stand back and say wow.  Look at everything I got to experience, feel, and see.  And as much as I’ve resisted and struggled each step of the way, maybe that’s why I am here: to go through all of this and see from my point of view exactly how all these things feel.

— Melody Beattie, Playing It By Heart, p. 247

Deepening the Pleasure

Receiving means being available in the fullest sense of the word — allowing the precious moments of life to touch us deeply.  Receiving has nothing to do with being worthy, but it has everything to do with being Open….

If we receive fully, Gratitude follows naturally.  Gratitude is generative energy that acknowledges our connectedness.  Gratitude deepens the pleasure of Receiving and makes us eager to accept more and more good things into our lives.

— Victoria Castle, The Trance of Scarcity, p. 97