Faith & Imagination: It’s a ‘Verb’al Thing

Faith: (Merriam-Webster dictionary definition): Noun:  Firm belief in something for which there is no proof:  complete trust

Faith:  (Come to the Edge Today definition):  Verb: Firm belief in something with such trust that I allow myself to see it, experience it and become it from the end, prior to its evidence or manifestation

Living life as a verb rather than a noun is a leap in itself, isn’t it?  It means throwing away the view of ourselves as observer and reactor and instead, putting on the new perspective of ourselves as participant, creator and co-creator.

This is a major leap because when we think differently about ourselves, the transformation begins for re-membering Who we really are (and this is where the fun of living really begins!).  Living a life of faith (as a verb) means that we embrace and lay claim to the reality that we are NOW already worthy, Loved and part of the stream of Divine Love.  We acknowledge NOW that we are loved by a Creator who genuinely wants to co-create with us.

At this point, some may be thinking, “Why would I consider myself worthy and loved NOW, much less being an active participant in allowing my dreams to come true, especially since I do not believe that I deserve it.  In fact, I knowingly or unknowingly gather evidence reinforcing how undeserving I am!”  But here is the thing:  We are invited to see and experience life from God-The Creator’s point of view, not our often cloudy one.  And, from the Creator’s point of view, we are already worthy and unconditionally loved.  Faith is a backwards thing, really. Faith is seeing, feeling and experiencing the ‘end’ at the beginning. It feels awkward and tricky at first, but once you commit to seeing yourself as a ‘worthy verb’ (!) NOW, you’ll never experience life in the same way again!  You will have climbed out of the unworthy, onlooker hole and you will consciously create the life you intended.  You will fly (just as the Creator intended)!

Let’s look at some examples of people who lived their faith as a verb, daring to see themselves as worthy and loved, thereby opening themselves to the experience of co-creating their dream:

Mahatma Gandhi:  He had a vision of a free India, liberated through non-violence.  He dared to dream it, declare it, and grow with it.  His prayer, actions and life were a reflection of seeing and becoming ‘the end’ prior to its manifestation.

Mother Teresa:  Her vision was creating something out of nothing – and she did.   Her passion and creation were to serve the poorest of the poor in Calcutta. She envisioned it, prayed it, claimed it and co-created it with God prior to its manifestation; and manifest, it did!

Nelson Mandela:  He dreamed of his beloved South Africa free of apartheid.  He imagined it.  Declared it.  Became it (during 27 years in prison).  In the end, he experienced the manifestation of a free South Africa.

These three are living proof that faith, lived as a verb, is more than hope or a strong belief.  They dared to dream it, experience it and become it ‘from the end’, prior to its evidence or manifestation. We are invited to be the same!  Yet, how does one begin to be transformed from an onlooker to an active creator?  How does one change from a belief of unworthiness to a ‘knowing’ of being loved?  How does one change from a noun to a verb?

We have the tools already!  One of the most powerful….Imagination!

What does this have to do with it?  Actually, everything.  Imagination is the Creator’s tool.  Everything is born from it.  (Take a few minutes to think about this and you’ll discover how wonderfully true this is!)

Read the first chapter of Genesis – Imagination at its best!

Look at the stars – Imagination!

Look at a baby – Imagination!

Look at the ocean – Imagination!

Look at You – Imagination!

Becoming a master ‘Imagineer’ is key to faith (as a verb), creating and manifesting.  Imagining with our heart and soul, blended with Love is how we transform the view of ourselves from unworthy to worthy, from unloved to Loved, from onlooker to creator.  How to begin?  See ‘the end’ from the beginning – Imagine!

Today’s “leaping” exerciseExercise #1 It is important to understand imagination as a tool; the first part of this exercise is to explore how imagination is used.  Read the first chapter of Genesis.  Read it imagining God/Love creating through the tool called imagination.  Notice how it works.  Notice the power of it.  Notice the fun of it.  Next, take a tour of your home.  Notice 10 items you have acquired.  Remember when you first imagined them, your initial thoughts about them.  Recall the story line of how they came to be present.  If you took action in their acquisition, how did your imagination play a role?  Keep playing with this idea of imagination as a key creative tool until you are comfortable with this new idea.

Exercise #2:  These simple tools will help in developing your imagination:  The “What if” tool:  Begin your sentences (especially those that are ‘out there’ dreams or something you think is still beyond your reach).  For example:  “What if I were to travel to Europe this year”?  “What if I were to land my dream job in the next 6 months?”  “What if I were to meet the person I have been dreaming of this year?” “What if I really am worthy and loved?”  This is a powerful tool to use because it tells your mind/ego that you are just ‘pretending’  (your ego will never grasp this seeing-it-from-‘the-end’-idea, so it’s a good way to fool it!)

Another tool:  Begin your sentences with “Imagine that….”  “Imagine that I were to finish my college degree, free and clear of student loans!”  “Imagine that I had more free time to…..”.  Then, allow yourself to flow with the dream.  Since, at this point you are ‘just imagining’, let it take you to new heights and feelings of having it already come true.  One additional tool:  Use the preface “Pretend that”…..

Use these often as they can lead you to unleashing the creative power of your imagination.

Exercise #3:  Now that you are familiar with imagination tools, let’s do an important exercise for seeing ‘the end’ from the beginning:  Athletes use this tool when preparing for their event.  They actually see themselves at the finish line.  They imagine and ‘become’ the experience.  From this stance, they begin their race.  The apostle, Paul also used this tool as he spread the Gospel message:  “Just one thing, forgetting what lies behind, but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling..” (Philippians 3: 13,14).

Find a quiet, uninterrupted spot.  Close your eyes and imagine something you want to experience – an event, a relationship, job, etc.  Imagine with as much detail as possible.  Use all your senses.  How does it look?  Feel?  Hear?  Imagine it as though complete.  Be as detailed as you can.  Imagine it as if it were real.  “Become” it.  Revel in it.

“Becoming” happens with persistence.  Repeat, Repeat, Repeat, Repeat!!! Developing this technique and allowing yourself to become your dream is essential for living the life you intended.

“…you must assume in confidence that this new state of consciousness will become incarnated through your absolute fidelity to the assumption that you are that which you desire to be.” – Goddard Neville

As with Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Mandela, be patient and persistent.  Be faithful to this Creator’s gift and it will be faithful to you – Joan Kappes

Photo courtesy of Tinypic

If you would like to regularly “Come to the Edge Today” and receive updated posts via your email, simply subscribe (see column at the right of this page where it says “Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”). I share more inspiration on Facebook and Twitter! Let’s “soar’ together!

Joy – How to Experience It Everyday!

As I live my life at “The Edge”, I’ve noticed that all of us are really after one thing – Joy.  If you think about it for just a few minutes, isn’t this true?  What we accumulate, the relationships we’re in or yearn for, the jobs, hobbies and interests we pursue, the religions we encounter, the spirituality we experience – don’t all provide the hope, promise and/or experience of true joy and happiness? Some endeavors lead to real Joy and others to dead ends, but the bottom line is, we want to experience Joy.

Joy is a gift offered 24/7 to every person on the planet.  No two experiences of Joy are the same and it matters not a person’s physical condition, political or religious leaning, place of residence, emotional state or IQ.  Isn’t that simply amazing?

“Yeah, but how do I claim it when my life is falling apart, or when the world is on the brink of (pick a tragedy)?  What if Joy is becoming an endangered species?  What if another person is getting all the Joy and there is little left for me?”

How do we come to experience Joy on a consistent basis?  Living at “The Edge”, there are certain leaps of belief that, if taken will lead you to your Joy.  They are:  Joy is a gift given to me to be experienced daily.  Joy flows to me and through me.  Joy is unique to everyone.  There is a never ending supply of Joy to be experienced in my lifetime.

Coming to believe that the gift of Joy is meant for me (and you), the process for experiencing Joy is simple:

Become aware of it in your life

Acknowledge it when you feel it

Allow yourself to experience it when you feel it

“Milk it” so it grows and grows to become the predominant lived experience in your daily life

Below is the simple “Joy Exercise” – a step-by-step process for daily experiencing true Joy.

Today’s “leaping” exercise:  The Joy Exercise:  The beauty of this exercise is that absolutely everyone can use this!  EVERYONE!

Let’s “leap” to it!

  1. Carry a notebook with you for at least 30 days (a computer works too).  This will be extremely helpful for you as a trigger for your intention to look for and experience Joy throughout the day.  It will also serve as a reminder down the road as evidence of Joy already in your life (in case you need a reminder!) There is power in knowing that you need to write something in your notebook once each hour!  It tells your mind to look for evidence (and you know what – it finds it!!)
  2. Each hour (yes!  Each hour!) stop for 60 seconds with the intention of noticing a joyful moment that occurred during the previous 60 minutes.  I promise you, there will be at least one experience!  Write what happened and how you felt in your notebook.  There are no right or wrongs here.  The point is to train yourself to recognize, allow, then experience Joy flowing through you.   Example:  10AM.  Meeting with staff.  Noticed that everyone was involved and contributing.  I felt good about contributing!   Another example:  8PM:  Missing my family.  Spent a few minutes sending love and prayers to them.  Felt peace and joy while doing this.  One more example:  2PM Very difficult budget meeting.  Felt a little glimmer of peace as I gave it my best efforts.  (You’ll notice that the word “Joy” may not be the word you choose.  This is ok as one feeling and intention (even if it is not quite Joy yet) builds on another until in time, Joy becomes the dominant reality within
  3. At the end of each day, read from your notebook and experience these moments again.  Remember, you are practicing the feeling of Joy in your life using YOUR life’s experiences.  If this is new to you, be patient.  It will come.  It’s ok if it feels awkward at first.  For those who already know Joy, use this to deepen your awareness and experience.
  4. Learn to “milk” the feeling of Joy.  Allow it to grow and grow in the moment you are experiencing it or through recalling the experience later – reliving the feeling and expanding it.  Use your imagination and allow the Joy to become bigger and bigger! (Isn’t being human a wonderful thing?  Not only do we get to experience Joy-filled moments real time, we get to recall them and make them even more Joy-Full!)

I have a few additional tips for getting started.  I discovered them via falling off a ladder, severing the ACL in my knee which led to knee surgery.  Following is what I’ve learned from the therapist’s approach to my healing:

Begin therapy where “I am at”.  In other words, begin exercises with what my body is able to do

Progress slowly with a few repetitions, then build as my body becomes accustomed to the exercise and gains strength

Consistency is key!!!

Each exercise has a specific purpose

Each exercise session benefits the overall healing.  I became aware of this after about day 20 when I noticed when I did and did not exercise.  My body advised me how to feel better!

So many simple and clever tools to benefit my healing.  For example, an exercise ball to keep my back supported.  A phone book as a simple step for strengthening my quads.  A piece of latex banding for helping to extend my knee.  Simple.  Powerful

One exercise builds upon another.  Beginning small, then expanding is an amazing process to watch and experience

Building awareness of listening to what my body is communicating is also very useful

So, what does this have to do with our “Joy Exercise”?  Developing the habit of feeling and flowing Joy is similar.  Begin where you are at.  Progress slowly; allow your mind and heart to begin to work together.  Consistency is key!!!!!  Trust that each entry in your notebook is there for a specific purpose and benefit.  Trust that the simple exercise of recording 8-10 times per day is powerful and will make a long lasting impact.  Know that this exercise is the first step and other inspirations will follow.  Use it to build awareness of Joy in your life!    20-30 days from now, there’s no telling where you and Joy will be!

Life at “The Edge” is indeed, a journey in Joy! –Joan Kappes

For additional information, inspiration and “how to’s on bringing more joy into your life, I highly recommend “Living with Joy” by Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer

Photo courtesy of Tinypic

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image22083187Subscribe to “Come to the Edge Today” to receive (via email) life-changing ‘how-to’s, inspiration, insights and as always, the invitation from Life to ‘Come to the Edge Today!’ so you can finally live your life in joy! See column at the right of this page where it says “Subscribe to Come to the Edge Today!”.  Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”.  Your privacy is protected and respected.Connect on  Facebook /  Twitter / Linked-In / Come to the Edge Today! Radio Show / Life Coaching

 

She Let Go

She let go.

Without a thought or a word,

she let go.  She let go of the fear.

She let go of the judgments.  She

let go of the confluence of

opinions swarming around her

head.  She let go of the committee

of  indecision within her.  She let

go of all the ‘right’ reasons.

Wholly and completely, without

hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice.

She didn’t read a book on how to

let go.  She didn’t search the

scriptures.  She just let go.  She let

go of all the memories that held

her back.  She let go of all the

anxiety that kept her from moving

forward.  She let go of the

planning and all of the

calculations about how to

do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go.  She

didn’t journal about it.  She didn’t

write the projected date in her

Day-Timer.  She made no public

announcement and put no ad in

the paper.  She didn’t check the

weather report or read her daily

horoscope.  She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she

should let go.  She didn’t call her

friends to discuss the matter.  She

didn’t do a five-step Spiritual

Mind Treatment.  She didn’t call

the prayer line.  She didn’t utter

one word.  She just let go.

No one was around when it

happened.  There was no applause

or congratulations.  No

one thanked her or praised her.

No one noticed a thing.  Like a

leaf falling from a tree, she just

let go.  There was no effort.  There

was no struggle.  It wasn’t good

and it wasn’t bad.  It was what it

was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let

it all be.  A small smile came over

her face.  A light breeze blew through her.  And the sun and the

moon shone forevermore…

 

(Attributed to Reverend Safire Rose)

______________________________________________________

Today’s “leaping exercise”:  Allow yourself 15+ minutes of uninterrupted time.  Surround yourself with items that help you feel comfortable (a blanket, pillow, candle).  Quietly breathe in and out, in and out.  Allow your mind to become quiet. Slowly and quietly, read it imagining that this is your story.  Read it out loud and experience it as ‘you’.  When finished, close your eyes and let yourself ‘go’ in whatever way your are inspired.  Experience the feeling.  Experience the well-being.  Experience….you.

Flying and letting go with you at “The Edge” – Joan Kappes

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image22083187Subscribe to “Come to the Edge Today” to receive (via email) life-changing ‘how-to’s, inspiration, insights and as always, the invitation from Life to ‘Come to the Edge Today!’ so you can finally live your life in joy! See column at the right of this page where it says “Subscribe to Come to the Edge Today!”.  Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”.  Your privacy is protected and respected.

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Spice It Up!

As you know,  life at “Come to the Edge Today” is a journey, a quest where we claim and create the life of our dreams.  It’s exciting to take those perceived “big leaps”, yet just as exhilarating to take small ones.  Trying something new each day whether in action or thought is what spices up our life and gives our dreams the opportunity to grow.

Today, I thought it would be fun to share with you one of my little leaps:

I grew up in a delightful Scandinavian home complete with German and Norwegian dishes (including the famed lutefisk and lefse).  Spices used in cooking ranged from salt to paprika.  Chili powder?  Garlic?  Unheard of!  This year, I decided to venture forth and try new foods and new food combinations.  Yes, new adventures into the world of chard, kale, leeks, cilantro, collard, chili powder and even garlic!

Today I made turkey chili and am proud to announce that I diced my first bunch of cilantro!  What a taste sensation!  Such a leap for spicing up my life!

Will this venture to the grocery store or the experience of cilantro make front page news?  Perhaps not; what matters is this experience brought me joy.  It expanded me and my life.  And, as I’ve always said to my kids, “Just try it, because one thing always leads to another!”

Where will cilantro take me?  I have no idea.  But, what I do know is I took the leap, I grew, and I experienced “life” in a new way.

Today’s “leaping” exercise:  What is your small “leap” you can take today to spice up your life?  What can you do that is new to give you joy?  Be open to it and remember:  “One thing leads to another”!  Have fun with this!  Decide that you will try one new experience each day.  Your dreams are inviting you to “spice it up”!

See you in the spice aisle! – Joan Kappes

Photo courtesy of Tinypic

If you would like to regularly “Come to the Edge Today” and receive updated posts via your email, simply subscribe (see column at the right of this page where it says “Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”). I share more inspiration on Facebook and Twitter! Let’s “soar’ together!

 

Love Will Find You

colorful-1220747_1280Life is experienced on a whole new level when we come to know that no matter what our life experience is or has been, no matter who we think we are or what we do, no matter where we are going or where we have been, ‘Love Will Find You’ –

If it’s true that ‘Love will find you’, let us listen, opening our hearts to hear Love’s pure intent.  We’ll do this via inspired music and lyrics titled, “Love Will Find You” performed by the very talented duo, Storyhill.

Today’s “leaping” exercise:  Experiencing “Love Will Find You” (see video heart-1220657_1280and lyrics below).  Allow yourself 15 minutes of uninterrupted time (You’ll want to give yourself this treat!)  Find a comfortable spot.  Take several deep, slow breaths to quiet your mind.   Gently set aside any distracting thoughts or obligations.   Allow yourself to be present to the melody and lyrics.  My suggestion is to close your eyes and just listen to the song. When finished, reflect on:  “How am feeling right now”?  “What inspiration or idea or picture came about from this experience”?  “What is the gift I received by experiencing this?”  Record  these gifts in your journal.  Now, listen again.  Enjoy!  Relish!  Accept the Love given through this gift!  Repeat daily.

As you accept your daily invitation to “Come to the Edge Today!”, may you come to know and experience that Love WILL Find You (Actually, It already has….) –Joan Kappes – #IAMChoosingLove

Love Will Find You- You Tube*

Love Will Find You by Storyhill

You may be watching from a safe distance
You may be so close you can taste the blood
You may have headed for higher ground
You may be drowning in the flood

Chorus
No matter what you do
Love will find you

You may have lost what little faith you have
You may believe with all your heart
You may be pulling yourself together again
You may be falling apart

Chorus

One of you sees that love’s a long lost friend
One of you can’t recognize her face
One of you runs to her with open arms
One of you falls down is disgrace

You may see a million different gateways home
You may think there’s only one way through
You may be waiting for the kingdom to come
You may believe it’s in you

Chorus
colorful-1191019_1280No matter what you do
Love will find you
Love will find you
Love will find you

___________________________________

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Photo courtesy of Pixabay

*Video & lyrics used for educational purposes

Because It’s Christmas – A Time For Love

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to the children in us all!


Because It’s Christmas – Barry Manilow

Tonight the stars shine for the children
And light the way for dreams to fly
Tonight our love comes wrapped in ribbons
The world is right
And hopes are high
And from a dark
And frosted window
A child appears
To search the sky

Because it’s Christmas
Because it’s Christmas
Tonight belongs to all the children
Tonight their joy rings through the air
And so we send our tender blessings
To all the children everywhere
To see the smiles and hear the laughter
A time to give
A time to share

Because it’s Christmas
For now and forever
For all of the children
And for the children in us all
Tonight belongs to all the children
Tonight their joy rings through the air
And so we send our tender blessings
To all the children everywhere
To see the smiles and hear the laughter
A time to give
A time to share

Because it’s Christmas
For now and forever
For all of the children
And for the children in us all

Sending you tender blessings today and always – Joan Kappes

Photo courtesy of Tinypic
If you would like to regularly “Come to the Edge Today” and receive updated posts via your email, simply subscribe (see column at the right of this page where it says “Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”). I share more inspiration on Facebook and Twitter! Let’s “soar’ together!

The Night Before Christmas

 

The MAGIC of  this Christmas Eve  is more than memories, more than celebrating the Christmas story,  more than gifts and preparations – oh, SO much more!

THIS Christmas is for celebrating  who we are,  just as we  are (!) –  reaching out – giving and receiving Love to those who are in our life TODAY.  We don’t have to be an angel, a wise one or even a child to feel the mystery and magic of the Love enveloping us today.

Enjoy this beautiful song,  by Amy Grant The Night Before Christmas (click link to listen)

If sorrow has “kept you company and the dance has passed you by”, rather than being a spectator,  reach out to someone today  who can help “lift you up and blaze with you across a moonlit sky”.  If you are already dancing and celebrating, lift another who would like to fly but at this time, cannot.  The point is,  today is the day to allow Love – no matter its form.  Be surprised by who and how it will touch you.  Know that Love is here for you…..Now.

“The heart of this Christmas is in you and me” – Joan Kappes

YouTube – The Night Before Christmas, Amy Grant

If you would like to regularly “Come to the Edge Today” and receive updated posts via your email, simply subscribe (see column at the right of this page where it says “Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”). I share more  inspirations on Facebook, Twitter, etc! Let’s “soar’ together!