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If You Only Read One Article About Self Mastery, Read This One

Aristotle says, “The hardest victory is victory over self.”

That victory — the path to self mastery — begins with knowing yourself. Unfortunately, as McArthur writes in Your Life, “it is easy to turn away from the task of finding self because we do not realize its importance nor fully understand what it means…Finding self is the most important thing you have to do — it is (or should be) top priority.”

I believe that, more than anything else, humankind lacks in self awareness. If we really knew who we are, all divisions of race, class, gender, etc would fall away in an instant.

The more you grasp your true nature, the less you feel the need to compare yourself to others. The truly self aware woman is afraid of nothing!

Self Mastery Rule #1: Stop Seeking a Co-Signer

“Realize that you are the most important person in your world. What you see out there and what you think, feel, experience, and know is your own world. In fact, it is your universe. No other person sees it the way you do” (McArthur).

When you learn to rely completely on your self, you obliterate fear of what others may think or say and you kill any fear of an inability to accomplish whatever you set out to do. You do not need a co-signer to realize your dreams.
The moment you decide that what is true in your heart shall be true in your everyday life, all the universe conspires to help you. People show up from near and far to support you.

As that early New Thought pioneer Helen Wilmans wrote in The Conquest of Poverty, “all the world falls into step with the woman who walks, careless of who follows, with the air of one who knows she is a master.”

Paradoxically, the moment you stop looking for agreement and approval from others, you get it.

Self Mastery Rule #2: Take Your Mask Off

“People are afraid of what their friends or the public or society will say, and most of all are afraid of failure if they attempt anything other than that which, in some accidental way, they find themselves to be already engaged in doing” (Wilmans).

We are so afraid to stand out, to be different. All the joy you could ever imagine lies on the other side of your fear of rejection. Inevitably, when you take off the mask of personality and dare to step out into your individuality, the people who most relate to you come forward.

You didn’t even know they were there until you dare to step one foot outside of your comfort zone. What would happen if you would just go ahead and throw that other foot out there? You may find that you have a veritable army of supporters standing with you. But you will never find out until you take a chance and be your true, authentic self.

Self Mastery Rule #3:  No One is Greater or Lesser Than You

“All of us come from the same source and were created equal, each being a child of God and each having God within us…Your true needs, wants, desires, hopes, dreams, wishes, and their fulfillment are as important as those of any other soul in existence” (McArthur).

No matter where you fall on the spectrum of believing in or denying your self worth, your goal is to come back to the middle and realize that no one is greater and no one is lesser than you.

My needs do not trump yours and your needs do not trump mine. In the eyes of God and those who have surrendered to God, we each matter equally.

So we need to master those thoughts that  pump us up and make us feel like we’ve got a leg up on someone else; in like manner, we need to temper those thoughts that put others who admire on pedestals as if they’re better than us.

This rule of self mastery applies to present day people as well as those who have died.

Self Mastery Rule #4: Grow Through Service to Others

“Service to others is one of the basic requirements for spiritual growth…As you honor, respect, and love your own unique individuality, so you honor, respect, and love the individuality of others” (McArthur).

Whenever I have trouble with this rule of self mastery, I remind myself that I am created in the image/likeness of the Original Giver, God. Giving is an indispensable part of my divine nature. I give because that’s how I was created.

Mahatma Ghandi said, “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Something comes alive in you when you give generously to others.

If you truly desire self mastery, make service to others a non-negotiable priority.

Self Mastery Rule #5: Prioritize Your Self Care

“If you wish to help others…[let] your first priority be to care for self spiritually, mentally, and physically…You must first ‘save’ self if you would ‘save’ another” (McArthur).

You cannot give what you do not have. In a recent class, I asked a student to hand a $100 to demonstrate this lesson. She looked at me with a quizzical look but I insisted. Finally, she said, “Rev. Sherri, I don’t have that amount of money.”

My response: “Exactly! You cannot give me what you do not have. Therefore, there is no such thing as loving someone else more than you love yourself.”

Whatever you want to give to another — whether it be your child, your family, or society in general — first give it to yourself. Before Moses could free the Israelites from Egyptian rule, he had to spend 40 years in the Midian Desert freeing  his own mind from the bonds of slavery.

Make your daily self-care your highest priority. Be willing to start with five minutes per day. As you stretch to make you a priority, others ideas for self care and self nurture will come.

Self Mastery Rule #6: Trust Your Gut

“Give of yourself…only to that point at which you do not feel depleted — physically, mentally, or emotionally. You do not move in opposition to what feels right for you, even if this conflicts with another” (McArthur).

I learned this lesson years ago when I belonged to a church in Philadelphia. Caught up in the euphoria that comes from giving, I over-gave. I volunteered so much that they literally created an award to give me for volunteerism.

When I left that church because I was moving to Los Angeles for film school, I found that I had no desire to join a church. Even though I was doing good, my giving depleted me. I learned in a very visceral way that you can only give from the interest, never from the principle.

My classmate, Rev. Doral Pulley has an excellent example with a cup and a saucer.  He explains that what is in the cup is for you and only what spills over from the cup onto the saucer is for others. I am responsible for filling my cup (through self care) so that something spills over onto the saucer. But if nothing spills over, then that’s my clue that I have nothing to give right now.

Challenge yourself to give but never give when it does not feel right in your gut.

Self Mastery Rule #7: Mind Your Own Spiritual Business

“You and I are responsible for our own well-being and not that of anyone else. You came into the earth alone and will leave the same way…You have others with whom you experience life, but with this existence you are not responsible for them” (McArthur).

As wise as you are, you do not know what is best for another person…not even your child. As a parent, you must stay in constant communication with Spirit to know that you are making the right decisions for your child’s development.

How often do we get to adulthood and it’s the thing our parents didn’t do that puts us on the therapist’s couch?

Self Mastery Rule #8: Form Good Habits

“We can restore the power we have given away to others or to our lower nature, fears, doubts, and confusion…As we become master of our lower self, so all things, conditions, and elements become subject unto you” (McArthur).

We spend an inordinate amount of time trying to control things in the outer, not knowing that the control we seek would readily give itself to us if we prioritized controlling things in the inner.

Good habits are hard to form but easy to live with; conversely, bad habits are easy to form but hard to live with. Give yourself the gift of good habits. Yes, it takes some doing to wake up thirty earlier to get some spiritual development into your day. But the rewards are great for the one who will commit.

Yes, it is easy to take a shortcut or cut corners when no one is looking. But the universe always mirrors back to us exactly what we have done. Push yourself to do the right thing even without the promise a reward in the end.

As you release bad habits and replace them with good habits, you develop an inner control that brings all things under your control; you come believe as David believed: “You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet, all sheep and oxen, and all the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the path of the seas” (Psalm 8:6-8).

Your Next Step

You always have a choice. Will you step onto the path of self mastery? Or, will you shrink from the challenge of conquering yourself? It will be hardest victory you ever accomplish but it will be the one that means the most.

Self mastery belongs to everyone not the privileged few. Each person who elects to put in the daily work it requires shall receive the prizes it promises. We may not each arrive at the same time but the victory has been assured for the one who commits to begin and refuses to give up.


A Testimony for The Money Poems

“I experienced how The Money Poems work one day while cooking dinner. I’d just started reciting my poems two days prior, when our internet went out at the house.

My mother had gotten out of the hospital a few weeks prior. Since my parents are retired, the hospital stay altered their monthly income. Basically, things were tight and my father needed an extra week to pay the full amount.

He called to get an extension and reconnection of services. The customer service representative told him there was nothing that could be done until the full amount was paid.

When my dad told me what was said, I encouraged him to call back. I also suggested my mother be with him on the phone for the second call.

As my parents sat in the home office waiting to speak to a representative for the second time, I completed dinner and picked up my copy of The Money Poems. I began reciting, softly, the poem of the day, which was Wednesday. I would recite the poem and go back to reading the book.

Once I heard them on the phone with the new representative and his supervisor, I continuously recited the Wednesday poem. I was relaxed and smiling every time I recited the poem. Once I felt completely at ease, I stopped and continued to read the book.

When my parents completed their phone call, they informed me that the supervisor saw they’d never been disconnected before and agreed to turn on the internet service within the hour. I smiled to myself and announced dinner was ready.”

~ Dee Johnson (Houston, TX)

4 Things to Remember Never to Forget When You Have a Setback

It happens.

The good you expected does not happen. The move forward turned into two steps back. Life delivered a problem when you were expecting an opportunity.

In the quest to transform ourselves personally, we are bound to hit what I like to call “spiritual bedrock”: that place in consciousness where it seems like we cannot go any further.

Today, I want to talk about four things to remember never to forget when you experience a setback. When life sits you down or you get the wind knocked out of your sails, I want to give you four things to go to so you can get back on track.

I hike.

Well…I used to. (It’s a little hard to hike with a toddler…but that’s another story.)

When I hiked, sometimes I would encounter an incline that made me pause. I had to take a break.

Because I was committed to finishing the hill I was climbing, I waited until my breath returned and then I powered on. What I learned when I hit those moments in climbing is that it’s okay to take a break. It’s okay to sit on the side of the hill or the mountain and catch your breath.

Turning around wasn’t an option. So, while I waited, I reminded myself that I’d conquered this hill many times before and I could do it again. If I hiked alone, I might say aloud to myself, “Girl, this is nothing! You’ve got this!” After a few minutes, I would get up and begin again.

I learned that when you suffer a setback, you need to remember who you are, what you’ve already overcome and what you’re committed to. When life hands you an unexpected setback, know that it’s okay to take break. Just don’t make the break a permanent stop.

Here are 4 things to remember about yourself:

Remember: You Are Made in the Image of Spirit

As McArthur says in Your Life, “When you…look in the mirror, it may be a little hard to believe that you are looking at [an image] of Spirit.”

But you are.

Not your body. But you. The Real You. The You that has no form.

When you experience a setback that knocks the wind out of you or makes you sit down, see if you can take a step back. Step back from the moment and remember that you — the Real You — are a spiritual being.

Within you lies the answer to every riddle, the solution to every problem. Although you may not be able to consciously access what you need in this moment, you can develop the capacity to do so.

Sometimes I’d hit a certain point in my climb that would be so challenging, I could hardly breathe. I felt like I could not keep going. It wasn’t the truth but it felt true. And, when I couldn’t get out of my own head to keep moving, I knew it was time to stop and collect myself.

We experience moments like that in life. Some obstacles we can power through. But others get in our heads. When that happens, know that you can stop. You can take a break.

While you’re on your break, remember that you are a spiritual being made in the image of Spirit.

Remember: You Have a Movable Awareness

McArthur explains, “We [are] endowed with life and consciousness.” We can think. We can have an experience and we can also separate ourselves from that experience. We can pull back our perspective and change the way we see a set of circumstances.

It is this movable point of awareness that is our saving grace and the key to our ultimate breakthrough.

While I take a break on the hill, I can change the way I see the hill. In the moment that I felt compelled to stop, my awareness was focused on the sense  of not being able to continue.

But I can instantaneously change what I focus on. I can give my attention to all the ways that I can finish my hike and finish strong.

Feeling follows thought.

Do not give your attention to your feelings. Instead, change what you think and the feelings will catch up. You don’t have to take my word for it. Try it.

The next time you go through a challenging experience, remember, “I don’t have to focus on what is not working. I can just as well pay attention to what is working. I have a movable awareness”

Remember: You Are Eternal

In some religious systems, eternal life is something that you earn. If you are made in the image of Spirit, then you also inherit all the qualities and characteristics of Spirit. Just as the drop of water varies from the ocean only in size, you vary from Spirit only in size.

You can do what God can do…just on a much smaller scale.

Since God is eternal, you, as Its offspring, are also eternal. It cannot be otherwise. “You, as a soul, exist as a spiritual being before you enter and after you leave this earth. This is not death. What we experience as death is but a transition to another step in the fulfillment of our purpose” (McArthur).

Let that free you.

Sometimes we get caught up in the way that world values things. We put value on age and personal wealth and other material things. But when God gives a dream, He doesn’t check your bank account, your birth certificate, your ethnicity, or your gender.

The only question is whether you can develop a big enough faith to bring into expression what He wants to do through you. You didn’t come to fulfill another person’s assignment. You haven’t one moment to waste serving someone else’s agenda. But you have all of eternity to complete your own divine assignment.

Remember: You Can Always Make a New Choice

We have free will. “With free will, we can do whatever we choose to do with the gifts we have been given” (McArthur).

Did you know that your will is greater than any other influence in your life? The patterns given to us by our parents may influence us but they do not compel us. We tend to believe that certain conditions and circumstances “run in the family.”

So, we see our behavior in light of the way we were raised. But your upbringing speaks only to tendencies never absolutes.

Through the power of free will, you can always make a new choice.

Will it be simple? Yes.

Will it be easy? Not necessarily. But you can do it. You can change the patterns in your life through systematic application of universal law. Consciously sow seeds of love, peace, joy, kindness, abundance.

Now It’s Your Turn

What did I miss? What you feel we should remember never to forget when we experience a setback, especially one that takes the wind out of us? Let me know in the comments.


A Testimony for The Money Poems

“I experienced how The Money Poems work one day while cooking dinner. I’d just started reciting my poems two days prior, when our internet went out at the house.

My mother had gotten out of the hospital a few weeks prior. Since my parents are retired, the hospital stay altered their monthly income. Basically, things were tight and my father needed an extra week to pay the full amount.

He called to get an extension and reconnection of services. The customer service representative told him there was nothing that could be done until the full amount was paid.

When my dad told me what was said, I encouraged him to call back. I also suggested my mother be with him on the phone for the second call.

As my parents sat in the home office waiting to speak to a representative for the second time, I completed dinner and picked up my copy of The Money Poems. I began reciting, softly, the poem of the day, which was Wednesday. I would recite the poem and go back to reading the book.

Once I heard them on the phone with the new representative and his supervisor, I continuously recited the Wednesday poem. I was relaxed and smiling every time I recited the poem. Once I felt completely at ease, I stopped and continued to read the book.

When my parents completed their phone call, they informed me that the supervisor saw they’d never been disconnected before and agreed to turn on the internet service within the hour. I smiled to myself and announced dinner was ready.”

~ Dee Johnson (Houston, TX)

What’s the Truth? Is Joel Osteen the Money Hungry Pastor Twitter Made Him Out to Be?

The question that belongs to each of us is “What is truth?”

This week Joel Osteen, Senior Pastor at Lakewood Church in my hometown, Houston, TX took a beating. He tweeted a call for prayer in response to Hurricane Harvey.

Twitter responded with a vicious backlash, accusing him of keeping his doors closed while the people of Houston suffered through the worst of Hurricane Harvey. A spokesperson for Lakewood Church insists that the church never closed and on Good Morning, America, Osteen maintained that position.

Since we’re in the midst of a conversation on Universal Law and drawing to us experiences that transform us, I’d like to consider Osteen’s challenge from this perspective.

All Experience Seeks to Transform Us

This moment will serve as a test for Osteen as a minister and leader. I don’t think anyone could have foreseen the viciousness with which people would respond to his tweet. It reminded me that we cannot always control the events that happen to us. We plant the seeds and cultivate the soil of consciousness for positive experience. But sometimes the prayer for patience draws an extra long line at the bank. Or, the prayer for humility draws stinging criticism that we must rise above.

While we cannot completely control what happens to us, we always have control over how we respond to what happens. Every experience — no matter how painful — has the power to transform us, if we allow it.

The question for Osteen is what will he do with this opportunity? Will he allow it to deepen his personal integrity? Will this moment give birth to a better version of him? Or, will he get mired in the human tendency to insist that “I am right; I didn’t do anything wrong” when attacked?

Transformation Comes By Choice not Chance

In Your Life, McArthur defines transformation in a spiritual sense. It is a “shift or change in consciousness from an older, limiting pattern to a higher pattern.”

Older, Limiting Pattern —> Higher Pattern

Selfishness —> Selflessness

Sadness, Despair —> Positive Outlook

The public shaming of Joel Osteen and Lakewood Church has happened. We cannot make it “un-happen.” The opportunity for Joel lies in his response.

For us — those who witnessed the public shaming and those who participated in it — we, too, have an opportunity. How we will allow this moment to transform us? In what positive way will we allow this moment to shape us?

No matter how you felt (or feel) about Joel Osteen, Lakewood Church and its response to Hurricane Harvey, what you feel is, at most, an opinion. And, that opinion does not represent the whole truth.

Why does this matter? Because it costs you something when you hold to your opinions as if they were the absolute truth. Transformation comes by choice, not chance. Every opinion we rigidly hold eats away at our ability to transform personally.

The choice to transform begins with the willingness to see beyond your opinions, to recognize that we never have the full picture.

Did God Call You With the Truth About Joel Osteen?

What we really saw this week were thousands of people stating publicly via social media opinions about Osteen as if God had phoned them personally and said, “This is what I think about Joel Osteen.”

People made judgments about Osteen’s character, his heart for people and even the sincerity of his ministerial call. They tweeted and facebooked as if they had intimate knowledge of Joel’s private thoughts. They issued opinions as if they were immutable, indisputable fact.

In reality, no one — not even Joel — has the full picture. God didn’t call you or me to issue an edict that we now must pass along to the rest of humanity.

If we live long enough, the things we “see” change. The things we held as unquestionably true when we were teenagers, we laugh out now that we’re beyond that age. The Truth does not evolve but our perception of Truth does.

Stepping into spiritual maturity means realizing that we never have the whole truth even when it feels like we see the whole picture. And, in the Twitter-happy Universe where we can fire off an insult at the drop of a hat, we must discipline ourselves to “be still and know.”

Real Truth Sets You Free

Jesus taught “Know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free.” Real Truth sets you free.

Every time you learn something true, it expands your capacity to be, do and have on this earth plane. The more you learn about your job, the more valuable you become to your employer and the more money you’re able to command as an employee.

In business, the more you learn how to deliver greater quality in your product or service, the more valuable you become to your customers or clients and the more you are able to charge and/or grow your business.

Real truth expands you.

Therefore, if the opinion you hold does not expand you, you cannot call it Truth. Your disdain for Joel Osteen, Lakewood Church and anything related to him or his ministry cannot be Truth because it failed the basic test of setting you free.

If an opinion left you in the same petty place where it originated, then it may be time to let it go.

Be Willing to Change

McArthur writes in Your Life, “You are fettered by self when you have doubts, fears, hatreds, prejudices, worry, or other negative outlooks or attitudes, for these are self-created conditions. The Master Law of Transformation assures you that as you come to know the Universal Laws — that is, apply them in your life in the highest way you know — you will be free of such negative conditions…”

Every experience comes to free us from some doubt or fear or hatred or prejudice or worry or other negative outlook or attitude. When you look back at this moment, what doubt, fear, hatred, prejudice or worry was life asking you to let go of? What opportunity for transformation presented itself to you? Did you take it? Or, did you let it go?

Change may not always be easy but it will always be worth it. Some opinions feel to juicy to release. But, stepping into the next dimension for your life means letting go of what no longer serves you.

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways” (I Corinthians 13:11). Are we willing to put away childish ways of dealing with people, especially those we do not like or do not agree with?

Why Transformation Matters

Wise men and women of all ages speak of the “imprisoned splendor” within us. I speak about this “imprisoned splendor” as my “5th Symphony.”

God flows freely through every open vessel. Unobstructed by doubt, fear, worry and anxiety, the Spirit manifests Itself through women and men in grand fashion. I think about the fact that Beethoven composed his 5th Symphony more than 250 years ago. Yet, even a child in the most remote area knows that famous opening!

Allowing experience to positively transform us opens the way in us for the Spirit to flow through us, producing works this world has never seen. It’s not worth it to me to hold a negative opinion about Osteen or anyone else at the expense of having God flow through me, bringing through me my 5th Symphony.

I am just not that married to being right.

The Three Steps to Transformation

We do not have to remain stuck in our doubts, fears, worries, negative opinions and attitudes. We can change. We can expand. We can open up for our 5th Symphony!

Step One: Open Your Mind to Truth

Be willing to admit that you do not have the full picture. No matter how compelling an appearance may seem, you do not have to full story.

This step does not simply apply to opinions we express about other people but also to experiences we go through. Let us embrace every experience — positive and negative — so that we may draw from it whatever it came to teach us.

Step Two: Accept Ultimate Truth

The only thing that is true in an absolute sense is that God Is. Everything else is opinion. Live long enough and you will see that is true.

It used to be considered wrong for women to work. In some countries that is still true. But it is not true in an ultimate sense. Be willing to back away from all opinions and hold only to the awareness that God Is.

Step Three: Consciously Apply Universal Law

We always make use of Universal Law in every circumstance but we are not always aware of the seeds we sow. I don’t know Osteen but I would guess that he — like most of us — probably cannot trace the seed sown that produced this week’s experience.

But, what he can do and what we all can do is plant a positive seed for what we do want. Every thought is a seed that, once released, must bring us a corresponding harvest.

Accept the Opportunity to Transform

My call to action is simple: change. Let this moment give birth to something wonderful within you. You have gifts, talents and abilities that have not even revealed themselves to you yet. Are you really willing to exchange your greatness to hold to an opinion about a man you do not know?

No disrespect to Osteen, Lakewood or anyone related to them…but he’s not worth it.


Support Hurricane Harvey Relief

My family escaped the worst of the storm in Houston but we’re still waiting to hear about relatives in Beaumont, TX where my mother is from. Based on the research I’ve done on the relief funds out there, I like the fund set up by the Mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner. If you want to make a donation, you can use this link: https://ghcf.org/hurricane-relief/

My Assistant Minster, Sheree Thompson, found a great list of Hurricane Harvey Relief Resources: https://ghcf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Hurricane-Harvey-Resources-2017-08-29-Revised-3PM.pdf

Thank you for supporting my city!


A Testimony for The Money Poems

“I experienced how The Money Poems work one day while cooking dinner. I’d just started reciting my poems two days prior, when our internet went out at the house.

My mother had gotten out of the hospital a few weeks prior. Since my parents are retired, the hospital stay altered their monthly income. Basically, things were tight and my father needed an extra week to pay the full amount.

He called to get an extension and reconnection of services. The customer service representative told him there was nothing that could be done until the full amount was paid.

When my dad told me what was said, I encouraged him to call back. I also suggested my mother be with him on the phone for the second call.

As my parents sat in the home office waiting to speak to a representative for the second time, I completed dinner and picked up my copy of The Money Poems. I began reciting, softly, the poem of the day, which was Wednesday. I would recite the poem and go back to reading the book.

Once I heard them on the phone with the new representative and his supervisor, I continuously recited the Wednesday poem. I was relaxed and smiling every time I recited the poem. Once I felt completely at ease, I stopped and continued to read the book.

When my parents completed their phone call, they informed me that the supervisor saw they’d never been disconnected before and agreed to turn on the internet service within the hour. I smiled to myself and announced dinner was ready.”

~ Dee Johnson (Houston, TX)

Is Your Destiny Relevant in a World Full of Racism?

With so much upheaval happening around the world, the focus on destiny and contribution to humankind can seem frivolous and out of touch. How can you concentrate on destiny when police brutality seems to be on the rise instead of waning? Is it right to give any attention to wealth creation when the voting rights and even human rights are in jeopardy?

I am of the opinion that you have an even greater responsibility to focus on your destiny in the face of ‘hard times.’

In difficult times, those who concentrate on their destiny in spite of the oppression and discrimination come to symbolize possibility and they give hope to others whose hearts and minds may be beaten down. Someone has to see oppression and discrimination rightly in order to do something extraordinary. Will it be you?

Pursuing Your Destiny No Matter What

The Washington Post recently profiled Olympic Gold Medalist Tianna Bartoletta who placed 3rd at the IAAF World Championships. “Having previously won gold in the event at worlds twice before, and being the reigning Olympic gold medalist at the long jump, Bartoletta has had better finishes.” In an Instagram post, Bartoletta revealed that prior to the competition she’d been homeless for three months as a result of having to run away from an abusive marriage.

“I had to run away from my own home, I had to decide which of ALL my belongings were the most important, I had to leave my dogs, I had little money, I still have no actual address, all to give myself a chance at having a life and the love I deserved — one that didn’t involve fear or fighting, threats, and abuse.”

Reach For Your Destiny at All Times

In times of distress, those who reach for their own greatness inspire others. It would have been very easy for her to put her professional career aside to deal with the perils of being homeless and having to escape a very bad marital situation.

Even in times of distress and hardships, you are still “at cause” as far as the Universe is concerned. Your thoughts still create no matter what happens outside of you. The Universe has not absolved you of your responsibility to contribute to the betterment of humankind.

Not simply the betterment of “your people” but the betterment of humankind.

“Taking responsibility for what we have now is the key to releasing the power which is inherently available to us” (McArthur). Said differently, the responsibility we have to take responsibility never goes away. The power within us depends upon us taking responsibility for it. Dare to reach for your destiny at all times no matter what is happening around you.

Reaching For Your Destiny Breaks the Cycle of Karma

Each of us operates in a karmic vibration, living out the choices of all that we have ever thought. McArthur explains in Your Life that “we carry with us, in our subconscious mind, the total memory of all that we have done, seen, heard, said, and experienced since our beginning as souls.”

Everything we think about that which happens to us, in us or around us sets in motion the law of cause and effect (or karma). The operation of this law creates an event in our experience. We react to that event, “based on the beliefs or typical reactions we have developed. By the energy and nature of our own reaction, we are again ‘at cause’ and, as a result put one or more of the laws of cause and effect into operation again” (McArthur).

Continuing to reach for professional excellence in spite of her troubles at home changed the course of destiny for Bartoletta. You will ways find the way out through reaching for your destiny, reaching for that higher expression of yourself.

Resist the Temptation to Place Blame

Blame paralyzes.

“Each event or experience in your life, no matter how drastic it appears to be, is your opportunity to change yourself and to create your destiny” (McArthur). It may feel good to say someone else bears responsibility for what happened to you, but the way out involves applying the “put one foot in front of the other” method.

Our reaction to oppression, discrimination, distress, pain, suffering is the most important thing and it is the key that determines our destiny. “If we react at the level of hate, resentment, or revenge, our reaction will create more of the same for our future. That will be our destiny. The cycle will repeat” (McArthur).

Forgiveness is Not a 4-Letter Word

We withhold forgiveness like it is a 4-letter word. What will it take for everyone to realize that forgiveness is always for you and never for the other person?

We have so many convoluted ideas about forgiveness. We believe that letting go of the anger, the resentment, the hate lets the other person off the hook. It does not.

Can we entertain the idea that you can forgive someone and still hold them accountable? “If you blame no one nor yourself for having created these events in your life, if you forgive each one involved and react with thoughts, words, and acts of love, peace, and forgiveness, then by the Universal Laws of cause and effect you “cause” love, peace, and forgiveness to come to you in the future. By the simple process of substituting a higher reaction, you can totally change your life” (McArthur).

Notice Your Reactions

“The key to successful change is to be aware of your reactions” (McArthur). The distance between stimuli and reaction can be so small that most people do not even realize they have reacted.

You witness an event on the news — let’s say, another killing of an unarmed person. Often, a response rises in you before you can even get a handle on your thinking.

Once you can notice your reactions, then you can consciously choose your reactions. “You can choose to react with a positive attitude rather than a negative one. Your awareness of the fact that you are reacting, not choosing, is the first step in your transformation, in creating your greater destiny” (McArthur).

Consciously Choose Better Reactions

Frustration, anger, resentment, and hate keep alive the very thing we want to eliminate. Let your observation of undesirable experiences spur you to take positive action toward your destiny.

The next time you witness some atrocity, put in an extra hour on your destiny. If you write, double your daily word count. If you sing or make music, write an extra song. If you invent things, spend more time in the laboratory.

Why? Because you are responsible for sowing the seed that produces the experience you want.

Allowing the anger that arises when we witness injustice to fester within you prospers no one not even you. We must consciously choose better reactions. Bartoletta shares of the choice to keep pursuing her destiny in the face of extreme circumstances: “I took a huge gamble blowing my life up in such an important year for me career-wise. But it was about time for me to see that I was worth it. It was worth it.”

Breaking the Karma of Racism

“Universal Laws apply to groups as well as individuals” (McArthur).

How we react to the stimuli of racist acts determines our experience. What would it take to react differently to the hatred and the violence and the blatant mistreatment? How many people would have to react differently in order to shift the way we react as a community? Who is willing to be bold enough to do something different in the face of oppression and discrimination?

I do not buy into the idea that racism or any other oppression is a permanent fixture in our experience. I may not be able to do anything about the heart of racist men and women but I can do something about the way I show up. I can continue to reach for the best within me.

May we always remember that One Power that indwells is always greater and more potent than the ignorance men and women entertain about which race is better or greater or lesser.


A Testimony for The Money Poems

“I experienced how The Money Poems work one day while cooking dinner. I’d just started reciting my poems two days prior, when our internet went out at the house.

My mother had gotten out of the hospital a few weeks prior. Since my parents are retired, the hospital stay altered their monthly income. Basically, things were tight and my father needed an extra week to pay the full amount.

He called to get an extension and reconnection of services. The customer service representative told him there was nothing that could be done until the full amount was paid.

When my dad told me what was said, I encouraged him to call back. I also suggested my mother be with him on the phone for the second call.

As my parents sat in the home office waiting to speak to a representative for the second time, I completed dinner and picked up my copy of The Money Poems. I began reciting, softly, the poem of the day, which was Wednesday. I would recite the poem and go back to reading the book.

Once I heard them on the phone with the new representative and his supervisor, I continuously recited the Wednesday poem. I was relaxed and smiling every time I recited the poem. Once I felt completely at ease, I stopped and continued to read the book.

When my parents completed their phone call, they informed me that the supervisor saw they’d never been disconnected before and agreed to turn on the internet service within the hour. I smiled to myself and announced dinner was ready.”

~ Dee Johnson (Houston, TX)