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Why You Are the Cause of All That Happens To You

The law of cause and effect is one of those things that pulls people “off the fence.” Either you believe in it or you believe there must be an exception. Those who believe in it tend to be diehards. Those who do not insist upon exceptions.

What Is the Law of Cause and Effect?

Simply stated, the law of cause and effect says that “for every effect, there is a cause.” Nothing just happens. Everything happens just. Every effect has a cause, whether you can easily identify that cause or not.

Edgar Cayce referred often to the physical world as “a causation world.” Fillmore and other New Thought pioneers refer to our world as “the realm of cause.” “Nothing that happens in our world or to us personally ever happens by itself or without cause” (McArthur).

Here’s the kicker: You are the cause…

Well…your inner self sets in motion the cause. “No fault, no hurt comes to you except that you have created in your consciousness, in your inner self, the cause” (McArthur).

Place No Blame, Elicit No Guilt

In my opinion, our tendency to blame or guilt others for the things that happen to us keeps us from fully accepting the law of cause and effect. “We would rather blame our problems and failures on our parents or spouse or the government or some other organization or condition” (McArthur). We come with dozens of reasons to explain why things happened as they did but none of those reasons includes an acceptance of personal responsibility.

McArthur recommends that we forgive ourselves for those things which we regret. “Life is not a judgment process; it is a learning process. Be thankful for all that is happening or has happened to you, for it can teach you important lessons if you accept it as an opportunity to learn and look for the good in it” (McArthur).

As I see it, the tendency to blame or guilt others for our own experience sets in motion a recurring experience through which we never grow. Like the hamster on the treadmill, we keep running past the same kinds of experience just wearing different pants and chewing a differently flavored gum.

How to Exit the Treadmill of Repeating Experiences

How can you take yourself off the treadmill of repeating experiences? Realize that nothing happens by chance. “Every cause has its effect; every effect has its cause; everything happens according to law; chance is but a name for a law not recognized; there are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the law” (McArthur).

Then make a decision to get off the treadmill. Motivational speaker and author Lisa Nichols shares a powerful realization that helped her decide get off the treadmill of repeating experiences.

You must decide within yourself that enough is enough. In the words of famous words of Civil Rights Activist Fannie Lou Hamer: “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

Make a declaration that no matter what your experience looks like, you can do something about it. You may appear to be stuck but you are not stuck. Today you can do something about where you are in life.

Everything Can Be Traced to Choice

Every experience can be traced to the choice the created or invited it. “Through the laws of attraction you were drawn to earth and to the place, position, race, family, and parents through which your needs could be met. The Creator does not do things haphazardly. You came by law” (McArthur).

Many people declare, “I didn’t choose this!” Or, “this child didn’t choose these circumstances.” I always wonder…in a universe where we have been given free choice, where does that free choice begin and end? And, how is it that a universe that operates according to perpetual, unchanging law, would manage to create a condition that operated in certain situations but not in others.

If you ever have the power of choice, you always have the power of choice. You may unknowingly make choices that lead to circumstances you would not consciously choose. But in a universe governed by spiritual law, every experience arrives because of an invitation. No invitation (sent by thought) means no experience.

Every experience has come about as another step for your development. So, take your eyes off what you do not like about it and give your attention wholly to what this experience seeks to develop in you.

The Universe Handles the Details

We explored this concept in the law of increase but it bears repeating: our business lies in the realm of seed planting and cultivating the soil. We do not control how or when the increase happens.

Expressed in the language of the bible: I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth (I Corinthians 3:6). Manifestation cannot happen without the intervention of God. But God cannot do His part until we have done our part by planting and watering.

Once you have set the pattern for your good through what you have sown and how you have sown it and through the cultivation of your mind, the Creative Forces of the Universe take over and do the work. “Handling details is generally considered a conscious mind experience. However, the conscious mind does not know all of the variables in any situation. Only Infinite Intelligence has this knowledge” (McArthur).

Once we plant the seed and cultivate the land, we must release the effort to the Creative Forces of the Universe. Let go and let God.

Work the Law in the Highest Way Possible

Think the best thoughts you know how to think. Feel the best feelings you know how to feel. Speak the best words you know how to speak. Act in the best manner that you know how to act. And, respond to life in the best way you know how to respond.

Every thought, word and action sows a seed across the spiritual, mental and physical planes of life. You cannot course correct once the seed is sown. You can only make a change to the seed before you plant it. Monitor your inner chatter; it controls the types of seeds you sow as well as the soil in which you plant them.

Set aside definite periods to program your inner chatter for greatness. Read positive literature. Memorize affirmative Bible verses. Commit to memory those things that are worthy of repeating in your mind over and over again.

The law of cause and effect always works. But you are responsible for working it in the highest way possible.

Do you know the #1 reason most people lack peace of mind around money? They have the WRONG ATTITUDE, which chases money away. Few people can afford this reality in the new ‘gig economy.’ Too many people hold multiple jobs just to piece together a full time living.

With 20th century job security gone, we must respond differently. People everywhere keep asking, “How can I begin to plan to my life? How can I know I’ll have enough work to put a meal on the table for my kids, to pay bills, let alone to save for a mortgage or get a roof over my own head?”

Nearly 50% of the workforce lacks a full-time job. The gig economy’s feast or famine cycle demands a new attitude. The Money Poems will teach you the right attitude toward money.

How to Expect the Best in Life

Many New Thought teachers assert the aphorism you do not get what you want; you get what you expect. Yet no one explains how to develop expectation. I get it: expect the best. But, how do I set up expectation for the best in my heart when there is no physical evidence? What if the thing I want lies far beyond my comfort zone? What then?

Or, what if I find myself in the midst of a storm? I may be waist deep in a negative experience. Putting one foot in front of the other seems like an enormous chore. In the midst of experiencing life’s worst, ¬†how can you develop an expectation for life’s best?

Before I share my theory on how to develop expectation, let’s talk about why expectation matters.

Why Expectation Matters

Expectation creates energy in the body.

In¬†Your Life, McArthur says, “When we have an attitude of expectancy, our mind senses it and begins to build. Without it, nothing happens. The spirit of expectancy is the key that turns on ‘mind the builder.'”

Science supports his assertion: When we imagine future events, the brain releases dopamine in proportion to the amount of pleasure we anticipate experiencing. “Researchers have proved that dopamine regulates motivation, causing individuals to initiate and persevere” (

Challenges in life —¬†especially persistent challenges¬†— drain our energy. We find it hard to get out of bed in the morning. In the evenings, when we should give time to our side business, we feel too tired to take action. Days often run together with little joy to be found.

A slight shift in expectation can make a world of difference.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter. It is a chemical messenger that helps in the transmission of signals in the brain and other vital areas. The expectation of an unexpected good raises the dopamine level in the body, thereby giving you a shot of energy.

Try starting your day with this simple affirmation to set up expectation in your mind: Today, something insanely amazing is going to happen to me! Make a 7-day commitment to using this affirmation and see what happens.

Can I Expect the Best Without Giving My Best?


The law of increase teaches that as you sow, so shall you reap. Your consciousness cannot deliver on seeds you will not sow. No apple seeds planted means no apples shall return. As that great soul singer Billy Preston taught us: “Nothing from nothing leaves nothing. You gotta have something if you wanna be with me.” The Universe cannot work with nothing. Something must be given.

Keep in mind: the spirit in which you sow multiplies the result (second law of increase). Universal Law will not violate Itself to give better than you have given it. Life always acts as a mirror. We may not want to look in it but it always reflects back what and how we’ve sown.

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be measure you get back” (Luke 6:38).

Challenge yourself to show up differently. ¬†Do not let the way others show up influence how you show up. Be self-motivated; give your very best regardless of what others do. “Whatever your task, put yourself into it, as done for the Lord and not for your master” (Colossians 3:23).

How to Expect the Best In All Situations

Point of view controls expectation.

McArthur points out that “our expectancy should be as real for us as it is for a woman who knows she is pregnant…You can be certain even when you do not have such obvious physical evidence as a pregnancy.”

In reality, you always expect something. The question is not whether you expect something but rather what is it you expect. In most instance, we build expectation upon what we see with our physical eyes.  We determine what our workday will be like based upon interactions with our co-workers or our boss. We decide whether a family outing is fun based on how everyone behaves.

In short, we take our cues from an external point of view.

To expect the best in all situations, we must shift our point of view from the outside to the inside.¬†The mind that expects the best in all situations must see beyond that which can be seen with the physical eye. It must place hope in that which cannot be seen. Paul agrees: “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2).

The next time you find yourself in the middle of “Murphy’s Law,” remember God has a higher law that can turn that situation around. ¬†Dare to “look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

Whatever You Think About You Give Energy To

So, do not give energy to that which you do not want.

“The creative process of the Universal Laws is impartial and works in accord with your input. It is basically an energy-transforming process. In thinking about negative conditions past, present, or future, you are giving energy to such conditions. Through the creative process they will grow, expand, and manifest” (McArthur).

You may have to work with this idea. Many people buy into the idea that “if others have it, I have to have it.” Let us keep at the forefront of our minds that we “do not belong to the world” for we have been “chosen out of the world” (John 15:19).

Others — even family members — may experience riot, chaos, and confusion but those things do not have to touch us or disturb us. “Our world can be one of peace, order, and joy no matter what may be occurring on the outside. Our world depends on how we choose to view it and, more important, how we choose to create it through our expectancy, our beliefs, and our application of the Universal Laws” (McArthur).

In the midst of seeming chaos, think peace. Should confusion approach, declare order. If sadness threatens to overtake, insist upon joy. We always have control over what we think about, which means we always have control over our experience.

Let’s Make This Practical: Concentrate on the Joy

Science reveals that we get a burst of dopamine every time we imagine some future joy. That burst motivates and inspires us. The latest research indicates that greater the level of expected pleasure, the greater the level of dopamine released.

The path to developing a mind that continually expects the best begins with a mind that concentrates on joy.

Build into your day activities that put your attention on joy. I will share with you a few things I do every morning before I start my day. I journal three things I am grateful for. Then, I set a timer for two minutes and I journal about something positive that happened the day before. Next I set a timer for five minutes and I envision some future experience that I want to have.

Because I still work with my mind wandering, I do my visualization via my journal. So, I write out a scenario of some future good. Even in the midst of a trying experience, I keep these habits in place.

You may be in a situation where you feel there is little joy. I encourage you to develop a morning routine that directs your mind to joy in whatever form you can find it. The process may move slowly but your mind will eventually turn around. Trust the process.

Going to the Next Level: Get Ready For What You Want

Motion creates emotion.

In Walking Your Blues Away, Thom Hartmann explains the simple process of walking as a means to solve your most pressing problems. Something happens in you when you move.

If you will physically begin to get ready for what you want, your mind will naturally develop expectation the thing you want. You already know this works. If you have ever worked out with the intention of getting into better physical shape, you know that after a certain amount of time in the gym, you begin to expect to look and feel better.

This same principle will work for all other areas of your life. Begin to get ready for the thing you want and your mind will begin to expect the thing you want.

And, if you really want to go to the next level, sow a seed on all three levels of life: spiritual, mental and physical. Meet God in prayer daily about the thing you want. Set aside definite time to imagine a preferred scenario that indicates the realization of what you want. And, do something in the physical realm that moves you closer to what you want.

Sow a seed every day across every level of your life and you will automatically drive up your level of expectation.

For Further Study and Reflection

As I researched today’s blog post, I ran across several other resources that I thought you would appreciate:

Psychology Today

Blogs on Developing Expectation

Expectations – Use Awareness to Expect the Best

Expect The Best

Do you know the #1 reason most people lack peace of mind around money? They have the WRONG ATTITUDE, which chases money away — a reality few people can afford in the new ‘gig economy’ where many adults who work hold multiple jobs just to piece together a full time living.

With 20th century job security gone, we must respond differently. People everywhere keep asking, “How can I begin to plan to my life? How can I know I’ll have enough work to put a meal on the table for my kids, to pay bills, let alone to save for a mortgage or get a roof over my own head?”

Nearly 50% of the workforce lacks a full-time job. The gig economy’s feast or famine cycle demands a new attitude. The Money Poems will teach you the right attitude toward money.

Do You Know How to Make the Law of Attraction Work For You?

When The Secret came out more than a decade ago in 2006, the law of attraction received an inordinate amount of attention. The movie painted a very rosy picture of how the law of attraction works and when novices could not “make it work” for them, thinkpieces were written to deride those who believe in the law of attraction.

I remember Wayne Dyer and other thinkers releasing videos and blog posts to explain that the reason people had difficulty working the law of attraction is because it’s a secondary law. For this post, I want to deal with what it means to call the law of attraction a secondary law and then I want to share with you how you can “make” the law of attraction work for you.

Why Is the Law of Attraction a Secondary Law?

It used to bother me when I would hear thinkers like Bob Proctor and Wayne Dyer and others call the Law of Attraction a secondary law. To be honest, it sounded like semantics.

The reason they call the Law of Attraction a secondary law is that this law — “Like Attracts Like” — cannot overstep the master law of “Like Begets Like.”

For example, you cannot hold the thought for a luxury lifestyle and produce it unless you also plant the seeds for a luxury lifestyle across all three levels of life: physically, mentally and spiritually. Everything you attract comes to you, filtered through your consciousness.

Whatever you receive will always be a match for your primary vibration (or consciousness).

The Law of Attraction will never bring you anything that is out of step with who you are. “Everyone and everything we see or are involved with or are aware of, in any way, constitute our own universe” (McArthur).

How Does the Law of Attraction Work?

In his book, Your Life, McArthur says we each have an aura and that aura forms a universe within which the law of attraction operates for us. “An aura is an effect, not a cause. Every atom, every molecule, every group of atoms and molecules, however simple or complex, however large or small, tells the story of itself, its pattern, its purpose, through the vibrations which emanate from it…Thus at any time, in any world, a soul will give off through vibrations the story of itself and the condition in which it now exists.”

The Law of Attraction functions within your aura, or what I call, your emotional signature. Everything in your life takes on your primary emotional signature.

It may be easier to recognize another person’s emotional signature. I once had a relative stay with me for a short period of time. During that time, my entire life turned upside down. It was only for a few days but the presence of this relative totally disrupted my flow because we were so different in our approaches to life.

I tend to like things to be in order. I do not need a lot of stuff. For example, I keep a lot of open space in my refrigerator. I like to be able to look all the way to the back.

After a quick trip to the grocery store, this relative stocked my refrigerator so fully that I couldn’t see everything. I was already ready for the visit to end but haven’t my refrigerator stuffed to overflowing.

As I was seeing the relative off to the airport, I mentioned in a half-joking/half-not joking way, “You know you stuffed my refrigerator so much that I don’t know what’s in there.” The relative responded: “That’s the way a refrigerator is supposed to look.” This relative proved for me that everything in our lives takes on our emotional signature. We show up everywhere we go.

The Law of Attraction Works in Reverse

Just as the Law of Attraction works to bring to you that which you hold the thought for and also matches your emotional signature, it also works to repel that which you have not summoned through thought.

That which you do not hold in mind though you may have the emotional signature to support it cannot find you.

The Law of Attraction Brings What is Best for You

Many people want to know why they attract experiences they do not want. No one would consciously choose pain. Our brains are hard wired to seek pleasure.

There is a secondary aspect to the law of attraction that may explain this phenomena: “As you seek, you attract and are attracted to that which will fulfill your search.” For example, you may pray for a patient consciousness and the Universe may bring you an extra long line at the grocery store.

On the surface, it may appear that the Universe brought you the opposite of what you want. In fact, you have been given an experience (that matches your aura) to help you develop a patient mindset.

Can you learn patience through a more pleasant experience? Absolutely. But the Law of Attraction can only bring you what matches your primary emotional signature. When we stop letting pain push us, we finally allow love to lead us.

The Power of Choice Always Operates

Depending on your experience, you may or may not accept the belief that we create our own experience. I believe that Universal Law has no exception. For me, the power to choose my experience never turns off. It was never turned on. It always has been.

That means, then that “we have created whatever exists in our lives or is happening to us at this time. We have, through the laws of attraction and repulsion and other laws, brought that creation into our lives to fulfill our present needs and desires. That creation is what we need now for our greatest development and our highest good” (McArthur).

Rev. Richard Maraj, Senior Minister at Unity of Phoenix spoke at the 102nd Congress of the International New Thought Alliance. He said, “Whatever is happening to us is NOT the worst thing; the worst thing is believing that we DO NOT have the power to overcome whatever it is that’s happening to us.”

Even if you find it difficult to buy into the idea that you have control over what comes into your experience, hold to the belief that you can do something about it.

We Choose All People, All Places and All Things in Our Experience

Because the power of choice has no beginning and no end, it follows, then, that we also chose our parents and our life circumstances. Depending on your background and life circumstances that statement may anger you.

The power of choice does not turn on when you turn 18; neither does it turn off simply because you are a child and do not understand the full ramifications of your choices.

McArthur throws out the possibility of reincarnation as a way to explain the difficult life circumstances some people find themselves a part of. He explains: “Those whom we now view as victims may well have been abusers in a previous life. They may have chosen abusive parents in order to face the karma they created and, through it, come to realize there must be a better way.”


I do not believe we always need to know where behavior comes from in order to change it. But if it helps you to trace behavior to seeming root cause, then do so.

Once you reach whatever seems to be a starting point, then you will need to come back to the present, reframe your perspective on what happened and make a new choice. I wonder if it’s possible to simply reframe the past and make a new choice without delving into the past.

Let the Law of Attraction Transform You

Whatever you want to do to improve yourself, the Universe will back you. McArthur explains:

“By law you can attract the possibility and the ability to become that which you innately desire to be. Your Creator knows your potential and gives you that ‘innate desire’ for fulfillment through use of your talents. As you recognize and accept that desire, you put your mind to work; it will attract and build the possibilities and abilities that you need in order to accomplish your desire.”

At the end of 2016, I set a goal to refine my speaking, teaching and preaching ability. I made a plan to accomplish that goal, which included visiting other ministries to study the lead pastors.

Along the way, my schedule tightened and I could not complete many of the site visits I’d hoped to make. I kept trying to find open windows to make my visits but my time seem to get tighter and tighter.

Around this time, my mom mentioned a book a trainer at her college had used for a professional development workshop called “The Ten Minute Trainer: Teach It Quick and Make It Stick.” This book turned out to be a missing link in the process of improvement. Not only is it helping me meet my stated goal of refining my ability as a speaker, teacher and preacher but it is also giving me a better way to evaluate the ministers and teachers I study.

“When you begin to do what you love to do, the law of attraction goes to work for you. Things really begin to work out to enable you to fulfill that desire of your heart” (McArthur).

We All Work with the Same Mind

When you look at the apparent disparities in the world, it may seem that some have an unfair advantage. But the great equalizer in every circumstance is Mind. No matter who we are or where we come from, we each have equal access to Mind. Through proper use of Mind, we may create any type of life we desire.

Cayce taught “That you dwell upon…you become…that you hate suddenly befalls you.” McArthur explains: “As you think about ‘that you dwell upon’ or ‘that you hate,’ you put energy into your aura. When you put it there, even though you may hate something, you’ll attract it to you. So don’t hate anything. Find something to like or to love.”

Do not despair about anything because within you lies the power to change everything. What do you want? What would make you happy? Dwell upon those things. “Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8).

Do you know the #1 reason most people lack peace of mind around money? They have the WRONG ATTITUDE, which chases money away — a reality few people can afford in the new ‘gig economy’ where many adults who work hold multiple jobs just to piece together a full time living.

With 20th century job security gone, we must respond differently. People everywhere keep asking, “How can I begin to plan to my life? How can I know I’ll have enough work to put a meal on the table for my kids, to pay bills, let alone to save for a mortgage or get a roof over my own head?”

Nearly 50% of the workforce lacks a full-time job. The gig economy’s feast or famine cycle demands a new attitude. The Money Poems will teach you the right attitude toward money.

Are You Good Soil?

In previous posts, I talked about the First Law of Increase (as you sow so shall you reap) and the Second Law of Increase (the spirit in which you sow multiplies the result). It’s not just the seed you sow and how you sow it, it’s also important to understand the quality of the soil in which you sow.

Here are the 3 keys to the laws of increase:

  1. What you sow
  2. How you sow
  3. Soil quality

But here’s the thing: Your life is the soil into which you sow.

Yes, you want to sow the right seed for the right purposes. But you also want to sow in the right kind of soil. Before we sow seed, let us test the soil. Perhaps we have the right seeds and the right attitude but we sow in poor soil.

The Parable of the Sower Can Help Us Test the Soil

You will find the Parable of the Sower in the 13th Chapter of Matthew:

“Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty…

Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.

Newsflash: You Are the Sower

I’ve always read this parable with the understanding that God is the sower and I am the soil, standing in receipt of the seed being sown. But you and me — we are the sowers in our lives, specifically and in the world, generally.

We begin each day with 40,000 – 60,000 seeds. These seeds are the thoughts — both conscious and unconscious — that pass through our minds. By day’s end, we have broadcast tens of thousands of seed thoughts.

Some kind of garden has been sown.

Our job, as taught by Jesus, is to be the light of of the world (see Matthew 5:14).

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being excellent and 1 indicating a strong need for improvement, how would you rate yourself as being the light of the world?

Gut Check: You Can Be Spiritual And Still Have A Consciousness Like a Footpath

The Parable of the Sower can help us understand the character of the soil we have cultivated.

When I’d previously considered this parable, I always thought of the foot path, the rocky ground, and the shallow ground as being representative of people who were not actively working on their spiritual development or perhaps not yet committed to their spiritual growth and expansion.

In Your Life, McArthur talks about the different types of soil from the perspective of one who is actively developing himself or herself. Speaking of the footpath for one who may be a teacher of spiritual things:

I often find myself in this position when I have too many books to read or lectures to attend or trips to take or others things to do. My life, then, is like the footpath because I allow unimportant activities to take my time and energy, leaving nothing for the seeds of the Spirit which have been sown.

Those of us who serve others must make sure that our days are not so packed with lesson planning and teaching and speaking and counseling that we do not have time to nurture ourselves.

When we have overextended ourselves in this way, the soil of lives is like the footpath. The seeds fall on it but all the activities we’re engaged in eat up the seed. It never gets a chance to get in the ground of our lives and become something.

Gut Check: Don’t Be Rocky Ground

I appreciated McArthur’s effort to make this lesson practical for the serious spiritual student. When you’ve made a serious commitment to spiritual study, you can become blind to the ways that you are not taking care of yourself.

About the rocky ground, McArthur writes:

The “rocky ground” occurs in my life, when though I may be enthusiastic to apply new truth in my life, I fail to make the commitment or discipline myself to study, to work with, and to follow through. In other words, there is no depth to the soil in which I have sown this seed. Therefore, there is no growth.

When you do not see the growth that you know must come by law, perhaps the reason you do not see growth is that you are “rocky ground.” There may be a level of discipline and consistency that needs to be implemented in your life to begin to see the results you believe you should have.

Gut Check: Keep the Thistles of Life in Perspective

There’s a great book called¬†Even Mystics Have Bills to Pay.¬†In the kind of work that we do as spiritual entrepreneurs, it can be challenging to balance the giving with the receiving.¬†Even though we lead businesses that serve people and make life better, we still have bills to pay.

About the thistles of life, McArthur writes:

The “thistles” in my life, as the parable indicates, are the worldly cares about job, family, home, and health. All are valid concerns, but they become thistles if I allow them to choke out the seeds of the Spirit. The thistles of “false glamour of wealth” are ones that grow when we let desire for money, position, or power deprive us of time for nourishment of the seeds of the Spirit.

Spiritual entrepreneurs must make self-care a much higher priority. In addition to the daily spiritual work that you do to nourish yourself, you need regular time away to just be.

What things do you do just for the purpose of creating joy in your life? Do you have time to think? On scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being excellent and 1 indicating a strong need for improvement, what is your capacity to handle just one more thing?

Perhaps there are some things to take off your plate so that you have time to gain perspective on the things that create pressure in your life.

Gut Check: Good Soil Produces Fruit

In truth, we really don’t have to wonder whether we have cultivated good soil. Our lives prove to us the kind of soil we are. But, often we have gone blind to the ways that we are showing up in life. And, even though we receive evidence that bad seed has been sown or that we have not sown in the right spirit, we cannot see what needs to change.

When that happens, it’s best to remember that good soil produces fruit. About good soil, McArthur writes:

The “good soil,” Jesus says, is the life of a person who hears the word (is awake and listening for truth) and understands it (gives it priority and applies it). To do that, the person keeps life in balance so that “other” aspects do not devour nor choke out nor destroy the seeds of truth. Since there always seems to be more to do than we have time for, such a life requires assigning value to what we consider important and eliminating those items of lower value. At the very least, it requires giving precedence to and adhering to specific periods each day for work on our spiritual growth.

Motivational speaker Chalene Johnson offers a great exercise to see where you are. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being excellent and 1 indicating a strong need for improvement, she asks you to rate yourself in 10 different areas of life:

  • Physical health
  • Mental wellness
  • Quality of Your Surroundings
  • Things You Do Just for Pure Joy
  • Romance
  • Key Friends and Family Relationships
  • Financial Situation
  • Living Out Your Calling/Purpose
  • Spirituality
  • Personal Growth

Your numbers may vary from area to area. However, as good soil, you want to cultivate a life of balance.

Run the Soil Test

How can you tell you’ve got good soil? McArthur has a suggestion:

As a practical exercise and a test of the kind of soil your life is, do a good deed for someone each day. Make a commitment to yourself to do it consistently over a reasonable period of time and keep a written record. If you can do it consistently, you have good soil. If you cannot do it consistently, you need to revise your life to eliminate the footpaths, rocky ground and thistles until you develop good soil.

I actually tried something like this experiment last year. I’d read Jeff Olson’s The Slight Edge. He recommended a few daily disciplines:

  1. Write down 3 things you’re grateful for
  2. Journal 2 minutes each day about a positive event from the day before, and
  3. Complete 1 random act of kindness for someone each day.

Well, it’s been about 1 year since I read the book and only 2 of the recommended disciplines stuck. I keep a gratitude journal and spend 2 minutes each day writing about a positive event from the day before. Doing a good deed every day proved to be much harder than I thought. Often, I’d forget to do it. Or, I’d get to the end of the day and run out of time. Most often, I couldn’t think of what to do. ūüôĀ

Eventually, I eliminated the random act of kindness from my daily non-negotiables list.

But I think it’s time to add it back. I want good soil and I bet you do too! For the next 30 days, I challenge you and me to commit 1 random act of kindness (or good deed) every day. We can check in on my Facebook page.

Do you know the #1 reason most people lack peace of mind around money? They have the WRONG ATTITUDE, which chases money away — a reality few people can afford in the new ‘gig economy’ where many adults who work hold multiple jobs just to piece together a full time living.

With 20th century job security gone, we must respond differently. People everywhere keep asking, “How can I begin to plan to my life? How can I know I’ll have enough work to put a meal on the table for my kids, to pay bills, let alone to save for a mortgage or get a roof over my own head?”

Nearly 50% of the workforce lacks a full-time job. The gig economy’s feast or famine cycle demands a new attitude. The Money Poems will teach you the right attitude toward money.

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