The Meaning of Success

The Meaning of Success

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winSuccess comes as the by-product of a life lived from the inside out. The key to living a successful life is grasping the awareness that you are enough. Once you understand you are enough, you create the space within your consciousness that allows you to realign harmoniously with your essential self or highest good.

One of the early pioneers of spiritual psychology, Carl Jung, suggested our psyche, or soul, consists of three specific parts: the persona, the ego and the essential self. The persona is the aspect of ourselves we wish to present to the world. The ego is the “I,” or the personality. It is the aspect of ourselves we believe ourselves to be. These two are highly powerful and can cause us to believe in the illusion of failure when they are out of alignment with the third aspect of our soul, our essential self, or “God-Self.” If we allow ourselves to be moved by the world of effects, our attention is pulled away from the true callings of our soul. And as the saying goes: Where attention goes, energy flows.

Most of us are products of a society that defines success in terms of material supply. Yet true success is demonstrated by wholeness, which is only experienced by walking in alignment with the needs of your soul. A whole person is happy, healthy, peaceful, creative, loved, appreciated, giving, fulfilled, desired and compassionate. To only view success as a demonstration of a certain level of material or financial status gained through ambition is to only grasp a small portion of your soul’s potential.

For example, after a couple of internships, and an unsuccessful stint in law school, I reached a crossroads in my own personal development, which made me question my desire to practice law. It took some time, and serious truth-telling, but I soon discovered I was pushing myself toward a vision of success based on money, not wholeness. Yet in this discovery, I was able to find that education—advocacy, teaching, counseling and researching consciousness—were subjects that fascinated me. I devoted my full attention toward my passions, and I watched my soul blossom as a result. In fact, it’s how I met my wife, which was confirmation for me that I was on the right path.

Third John 1:2 offers some insight into the theme of success. The King James Bible words the famous Scripture in this way: “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” Arguably one of the shortest books in the New Testament, the writer, John, begins with an opening address, but he projects an affirmation of health and wholeness toward the reader, which is very important in reference to our understanding of success and wholeness. In fact, within the Greek translation of the Scripture, the writer does two things: He addresses the reader as a soul, instead of the usual English translation “your soul,” as if it is a tangible object that one holds in their possession. Also, the writer suggests that a part of the continuous unfolding of our essential self, or soul, is to exist, euodousthai,  or to be—being constantly in this good health or wholeness. The word prosper in this instance in Greek is also the word euodousthai. It is a compound of eu,(to be good) and odos (a road or path). The word for good health is hugiainein, which means to be “sound,” or complete. With the original translation taken in consideration, this text literally says prospering or prosperity means to have a “good journey.” This helps readers to understand that success is a continuum, not a destination. It is more than merely a state of being, but it is an evolving stage of consciousness.

The action statements from this Scripture are signals from the divine spark, or Kosmic consciousness, which is always seeking to express itself by means of us. In that light, this impulse is always in motion through our lives in an attempt to carry out its purpose.

Therefore, success is not a thing, but a process demonstrated through the expression of this divine force by means of you. Material things will be added to your life as you share your talents with the world and reveal your innermost potential. However, material gain is only a small aspect of the joy, love, creativity, compassion and kindness that you were truly sent here in this incarnation to receive and share. Sharing these gifts is the demonstration of a successful life. This is the awareness that helps to transform the consciousness of the planet, one life at a time.


Break Through Your Limitations

Break Through Your Limitations

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s the working of the power of good (or God) through you, prosperity makes your life complete and whole. Prosperity belongs to you as your divine right; it is your natural state. Students of Truth should always remember that prosperity isn’t about material possessions. Prosperity is what you are. It is your state of being. Just as you take one breath without thought of whether the next one will come or not, prosperity is the flow of Spirit through you for your betterment.

Our modern misunderstanding of the concept of prosperity can be linked with the English translation of Psalm 118:25 from the King James Bible. The KJV translation of Psalm 118:25 reads in this manner: “Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.”

The English translation of this book of Scripture portrays the author as someone in a place of lack, desperation and totally out of alignment with their source. This Scripture presents Spirit as a genie who has to be coaxed and wooed in order to grant the seeker their wishes. Now there are times in life where we may feel like prosperity eludes us, and Spirit turns its love and abundance away from us. Yet as a student of Truth, one question we can always ask ourselves is; if this power for good in the universe is progressive, loving and affirmative, why would it deny itself the chance to be more of itself through our lives?

The word prosperity translates roughly from the [Hebrew] word tsalach or tsaleach, meaning to evolve, to push onward, to break through, or break forward. In other words, this word does not imply a specific material lifestyle at all. The original languages suggest that prosperity is about growth, pushing forward, crossing over, evolution, involution, progress, expansiveness, and breaking through. Metaphysically, what we are crossing over and breaking through are the veils of falsity that we embrace as fixed, permanent, crystalized, “real” moments in our consciousness. A true demonstration of prosperity begins with the recognition of your oneness with Spirit. From that awareness, your task is then to break through your own self-imposed limitations and take an active role in co-creating life as you desire it to be.

In the language of spiritual psychology, your ability to become more integrated, open and individuated allows more of Spirit to know itself through you. In other words, you don’t have to beg God to prosper you; it is in the nature of the affirmative life giving Source of our being to say YES. Your role is to say YES to Spirit. So when you feel as if you are in lack, don’t beg for prosperity, shift your awareness and say YES to the prosperity that already is yours.

Biblical scriptures were written by men and women like us, with similar concerns, worries, families and obligations. They discovered that same power for good that operates within us, to make us actualized and make our lives complete. Today, make a decision to embrace the prosperity that is yours by breaking through your limitations, crossing over your inner hurdles, and moving forward in the direction toward your goals with integrity and patience.

Take a deep breath, feel the rush of the moment, and exhale with the understanding that you are loved and infinitely provided for. The Universe is waiting on your Yes … will you heed the call?

Jesse Herriott is an educator, public speaker, practitioner  and host of “Living on Purpose: Where Psychology Meets Spirituality,” which airs on Unity Online Radio, on Tuesdays at 9 a.m. CT.

The Truth About Pain

The Truth About Pain

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meditationIf you are reading this article and are a conscious being, then undoubtedly you’ve experienced pain. For physical ailments, some treatments provide instantaneous cures to whatever dis-ease we may be experiencing. And there are just as many instant cures for various emotional and mental ailments as well. But what about the hurts that just won’t go away? Why are they there? And if we, being Truth students, do affirmative work and mind treatments and positive thinking, can’t we be exempt from hurting at all?

Pain acts as one of life’s greatest transformation agents. Pain, along with its not-too-distant cousin “discomfort,” is life’s way of nudging us towards a greater level of expression, unfoldment, and being. Regardless of the spiritual practices that we incorporate into our daily lives, pain and discomfort are necessary agents in each one of our journeys. Yet we can add more discomfort and pain to our lives when we resist life instead of working with it. Sometimes we find ourselves caught up in all of the wonder and “feel-good” parts of our life’s experiences, which is great in some cases. However, it is the same divine expression of Spirit that leads us through those times in which life doesn’t feel as great. It is our responsibility to hold on to that realization regardless of any turn life has taken. This is a lifeline, and the passport to liberation. However, one of the things we will notice at the end of an ordeal is that the grace of the Divine never left our side, although it was difficult to see Spirit’s influences while making our way through the fog.

Suffering typically occurs in our lives whenever we resist what life brings to us. Yet because we are human beings, we should not avoid the emotions that come along with suffering. Feeling is a part of the human experience. There are moments in life in which we will become angry, or even cry, but those moments don’t indicate a spiritual loss. In fact, it is during those moments that we actually make our biggest gains. You see, feelings indicate levels of comfort and discomfort, but they do not measure of whether or not the comfort or discomfort is necessary, which is why we have a mind that can determine what’s fruitful or not in our lives. It is impossible to run from all discomfort. In fact, as Truth students, we can’t allow ourselves to fall into the trap of ignoring feelings and life’s dilemmas by engaging in “extra” spiritual practices. Spiritual practices are designed to help us process life’s circumstances, not hide from them. Whenever finding ourselves in circumstances of stress and emotional hurt, we have to find a way to let those feelings out so they don’t have control. After releasing them, and we get back to center, it will be easier to feel the impulse of Spirit during a time of pain.

There are some treasures inside of us that will only emerge when we are under pressure. And maybe we don’t respond to the circumstance at first the way we think we should … then we have to give ourselves a break! Take that moment to realize that the Spiritual Path is not about perfection; it’s about the process of perfecting. Take the pressure off. It’s okay to feel, to hurt, to cry, to laugh; all of these are necessary parts of the human experience. What Spirit is trying to get us to see is that we are okay just as we are, and the sooner we see that, the easier life will become. So let’s go through it, get the lesson, and remember we are being loved, guided, and protected every step of the way.

Overcoming Depression:

Overcoming Depression

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depressionJesse Herriott, M.A.—–Despite all the festivities and holiday cheer, many people this season will be reminded of what they may be experiencing as lack in their lives.

Depression is a serious problem in this country, and its ugly symptoms are all too common, even among those who practice spiritual principles to overcome it. Recent studies suggest that about 8.7 million Americans are being treated for depression, which adds up to about three out of every 100 people. Yet that figure does not include those who are treating depression on their own, or even ignoring it altogether. However, whenever you feel depression’s onslaught, there are things you can do in order to get back into your life, and resume control over your circumstances.

You see, our thoughts and feelings are indicators of how aligned or out of alignment we are with ourselves. Just because your life isn’t where you’d expect it to be does not mean that you cannot make strong steps towards becoming whole and creating a better life with what you have to work with. So when you feel your thoughts and feelings shift, and your mood becomes irritable, self-loathing, and defeated, the first thing you need to understand is that you are loved. Nobody’s situation is so bad that Spirit cannot work through them to make it better. Regardless of where you are or what you have—even if all you have is you—you can start there.

One of the key triggers of depression is our own lack of honesty with ourselves. When we place realistic expectations on what we are able to do, it frees us up. For example, if you don’t have the income to shower your children or loved ones with gifts and accessories, do what you can with what you have. The holidays are about times of reflection, recuperation, and family. If those around you don’t understand that, then maybe this is the wake-up call you needed in order to create more peace in your environment.

In addition, if you want to really kick depression out of your life, you have to surround yourself with love; eliminate friends or even family members who cannot love you for who you are, where you are. This can be pretty tough during the holiday season, simply because big holidays have a tendency to draw families together. Yet you know what’s best for your mental and emotional health. If you have to attend a gathering, find someone who resonates with your brand-new outlook, and have your own private gathering, within the larger gathering. You could even throw your own gathering with guests who really share your heart. It will not make you any less than who Spirit has called you to be if you choose to love some people from a distance.

Even if the pressure you are experiencing is from your own children, consider the fact that you are helping to create responsible and loving adults, as opposed to creating another generation hooked on materialism. Like most people, your family receives your love all year long. Don’t let the pressures of one day place you in worse financial and emotional straights than you were prior to its arrival.

Our self-esteem plays a huge role in our ability to stay out of the grips of depression. When things in your life don’t work out as you envision, instead of viewing circumstances with broad strokes such as “I failed”; “I lost”; “I didn’t receive”; “It’s my fault”; or “It’s their fault,” try to be fair with yourself. To be frank, you probably gained about 10 percent of what you wanted out of that situation, which is a bit more realistic, and it’s the way of escape that you needed out of that dark place you’re experiencing.

Other ways in which depression rears its ugly head are insomnia and oversleeping. In both cases, moderating how you handle your day will help you rest easier through the night. There are times in which you may want to sleep in late, but a repetitive habit of sleeping late all of the time exceeds the label of indolence; it could be a sign that you are running away from your life. First of all, learn to place a period at the end of your work day. It’s impossible for our systems to recuperate if we are pushing them beyond their limitations. Studies have shown that there’s a link between individuals with an abnormal circadian rhythm, which is the internal 24-hour clock that your body is regulated by, and depression.

Learn to treat your body as if it’s the temple of the divine; on a regular basis, create a relaxing space where you can end your day. Even if it’s as simple as a warm bath, soothing music, or quiet reading, recognize that the time you spend simply in a state of “being” is just as vital as the time you spend in a state of “doing.” And if none of that works for you, then make a commitment to talk with a therapist. There’s nothing wrong with having help along your journey.

Finally, learn to appreciate and accept the way in which you show up in your own life; value the inner gifts that Spirit gave you, and let that be good enough. Our lives are what we make of them, and it is our responsibility to bring the Divine into life just as much as we expect to receive the Divine and Sublime from life. Step outside and get some sunshine, knowing that every day above ground is a chance to live your life anew.

We all are humans first, and believe it or not, grounding yourself in the human experience is the key to living an authentic spiritual life. Embracing the spiritual path does not mean that you won’t have bad days; learning to embrace both the good and the bad and balancing your reaction to both of them is the heart of the spiritual path. Make a commitment to try and meet each day with honest effort and acceptance. You will find that by and by, you will get stronger, and peace will become your closest friend.

You Don’t Have to Be Alone

You Don’t Have to Be Alone

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aloneBy Rev. Jesse Herriott, M.A.—-We are creatures of connection by nature. In fact, research by neuroscientist Dr. Candace Pert suggests that our ability to form the right connections could actually lengthen our life span. Our ability to grow and evolve is directly proportionate to the quality of our connections to our inner world, our outer environment, and to other people. In other words, our connections speed up our personal evolutionary process. And whether you know it or not, on a very basic level, there’s a part of you that’s confident in the ability to form the right relationships, at the right time—those necessary for your next stage of evolution.

Right now, while you are reading this article, the ultimate connection party is going on as new relationships are being formed within your brain; signals are crossing synapses and strengthening new pathways. The more open you are to learning, individuation, and growth, the stronger those synapses become, making it possible for you to have access to your next level of conscious. You are the by-product of millions of years of evolutionary connections that were formed by an Infinite Intelligence, and now that same force is rushing through your veins. Feel it, embrace it, and yield to it. Life itself is trying to live through you!

I think that much of our problem lies in our interpretation of the world around us, and our tendency to compare what we see out there to what we think we have going on within. For instance, when I first met my wife, Jessi, I thought that Spirit was playing a joke on me because we shared the same name. I was in my senior year, and I assumed that college was not the place for me to meet anyone because I was on my way out the door. But that’s when my life changed. The funny thing about the Divine is that sometimes it gracefully moves through us on such a subconscious level that we don’t even realize that a force beyond our conscious awareness is at work.

As soon as I contemplated the possibility of forming a connection with the embodiment of the sacred feminine, I immediately started seeing everything that prevented me from just saying hello. I was able to pull myself out of my stupor and step into my moment. And just as God would have it, we were able to share a soul connection that made me realize life partnerships are as important to my path as my vocation and faith. As a result, I carry her essence with me and within me every day, even when she’s not around.

There is always a greater idea that’s trying to emerge within our attempts to reach out to one another. Sometimes, we don’t need a huge lightning bolt from the cosmos to propel us into our next phase of life. Just get up and do it. God has given you what you need, and there is always a response to the question your heart is asking. Eros, which is the evolutionary impulse of the Divine, propels us to form relationships because it’s woven into the fundamental pattern of life that we should connect.

Connections result in more than just an emotional exchange of information. When we connect with one another, despite the resistance we may feel, we pass along spiritual and genetic traits to our descendants and encode information for overcoming obstacles in their DNA. Through our connections, we are helping to create a future generation of powerful, faith-filled, and natural born light-bearers.

Forming relationships is how we were able to make the evolutionary leap from single-celled creatures to multicellular organisms in the first place. You can’t help desiring friends; you can’t help wanting to have a companion, and you can’t help not wanting to be alone. You don’t have to be—and God does not want you to be. Pray for Spirit’s guidance, move your feet in its direction, and watch your life open up beyond your wildest dreams. Mine did and yours will too.

Spirituality and Stress

Spirituality and Stress

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stressA spiritual approach to living does not make you immune to stress. However, choosing to practice spiritual awareness can shorten the time in which you experience seeming moments of pressure or tension.  As author Thomas Moore powerfully reminds us, “It is by submerging yourself into the experiences of life, work, marriage and family that you truly engage in spiritual practice.”

The key word is practice. Spiritual practice is a repetitive, habitual expression you consciously engage in every day. Furthermore, there isn’t a right or wrong way of “practicing”; your soul will guide you into experiences that are in alignment with your need to grow and evolve.

The Book of Acts, chapter 17, verse 28 says that “in him we live move and have our being.” The verse suggests there is no spot where the Infinite is not present; therefore, God will meet you where you are. If you choose to see the Infinite as impulses firing at you, instead of shifting your perspective to see them as God expressing through you, you will experience suffering.

Life challenges you to evolve and transform into the luminous being that you are meant to be. Experiencing various degrees of stress is a necessary part of the human experience.  Remember that you are a channel of luminosity seeking to know and express itself. The rate of expansion can be overwhelming at times. So when you feel the rush of emotions flood your body, take a deep breath and let them pass through you. Make a conscious choice to perceive reality as a set of experiences working together for your good. Go through it and grow through it; your light will shine a bit brighter because of it!

Live Fully, Love Freely

Live Fully, Love Freely

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freeIf you pay close attention to the news outlets and the talk around town (and on social media), you may quickly find yourself drawn into a state of pandemonium and fear. Fear is a natural emotion that runs through our biological systems as a result of external stimuli that we perceive to be threatening. It would be absurd to deny that fear is not a real emotion.

Whenever you are faced with a circumstance that makes you fearful, try to remember that the foundation of spiritual practice isn’t to run away or deny the fullness of the human expression and experience; rather, it is to feel it come up and pass through you. To illustrate what I mean, let’s take a brief look at language. One of the many Latin words for fear is the word metus, which means “among, with, or around fear.” The root of that word, met, is used in composing words, such asmeti-culous (fearful of making a mistake).

But if you add the letter “A” to that root to turn “met” into “meta,” you instantly shift from being “around, on the same level as, or with” fear to being “above” or “transcendent” of whatever you are facing, as in the word meta-physics (above or beyond the physical). The lesson is this: As soon as you feel fear gripping you, try adding one small iota of spiritual truth to your awareness, and it will create an opening for you to step out of that state.

The whole purpose of the human experience is to live fully and love freely. Whenever you are stuck in fear, you are disconnected from the awareness that you are loved and guided. By love, I am not referring to an emotion directed toward you, but the truth that you are the embodiment of Divine Love itself. In many cases, we try to run away from our true feelings and deny the signals that life is bringing us. Well, if fear is a bio-physical response to external stimuli in your environment, then your life is giving you an answer to a very powerful question that you have asked. Your job is to shift your awareness of that message by bringing the truth of your being into your consciousness.

You are always loved and you are always provided for. Don’t run away from your fear. God in you, as you, through you, has the tools to shape it into something beautiful. Dig your heels in; Hold on to your truth, and for your next move, select one of the many infinite possibilities that are around you. Your life will get better when you participate in creating the good you wish to experience.