There is a place by a river, not far from a small southern city, where magic happens on a regular basis. Some say it is the place itself that holds the magic, but I know differently. Surely the quiet flow of the green waters, the sound of crickets and birds, and the glorious sights of the woods across the cove are magical and spellbinding, but it is the people that are drawn here, and the love and wisdom that they share with one another that give the place a special air.

I came to live at the river many years ago. The path to it was littered with regrets I'd finally cast aside. I rested, lying limply in the arms of this beautiful place, and just breathed.

I understood when I first saw this place that it is something to be shared. Its power lies in its quiet peace, the healing waters always present in view, the sounds of nature a constant background tone. It is exquisitely relaxing to sit on the dock in the spring on an early evening and do nothing but listen to the frogs croak and the pilings creak. Not speaking, even if I have company. There is much less that seems necessary to say when in the trance that the river creates.

On quiet days, the river animals have the dock mostly to themselves. This year, an odd goose without a mate and family sits persistently at the end of the dock and honks loudly, and I sometimes imagine, sadly. Hawks circle and dive into the small cove to the side and rise with effort, their catch weighing them down. In winter, blue heron perch to fish, and in spring I usually find a snake or two.

In the daytime, in summer, the tables and benches are littered with suntan lotion, towels and junk food. People gather here just to laugh away an afternoon and bask in the pleasure of company that doesn't judge and is always open to one more.

My friend Kim asked me once, long ago in my journey, "If you were driving down a lonely road and came over a hill to see a billboard that proclaimed, 'surprise ahead!,' and you could not see over the top of the next rise, what would you do?"

"Stomp on brakes, turn around and get out of there as quickly as possible." was my reply.

"Ahh," she said, "Too bad you don't expect more good in your life. I'd speed up, knowing that there was something really great waiting for me ahead."

This idea filled me with wonder, a new and foreign idea for me. Expect good? Was she nuts? My father had always been a pessimist, and I had never questioned his views until that time. Expect good? Well, it was exciting just to think about it. Scary, but exciting.

Kim had electricity and hot water for all but a few hours in the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo, which hit Charlotte, 300 miles inland, unexpectedly and violently. I spent 15 days scrounging for unobtainable charcoal and candles, making coffee on my barbecue grill and only getting a decent shower at her place. I was interested.

I learned from Kim that she had been reared in a family that held beliefs totally unlike anything I'd encountered in my almost-forty years of experience. Beliefs like, the nature of the Universe is Good, the nature of humans is good, people are OK the way they are, prosperity is our natural state, and life can be a fun adventure. I'd assumed almost everybody thought and acted the way my family did. It wasn't that my family was bad, they were just normal. Until that time I thought life was hard work and I had to be careful because I just never knew when the next disaster would hit, and it was probably because I was such a crummy person that it happened in the first place.

I wanted something different from the minute I heard about it and began attending a local Unity church, which was where Kim's family had learned and practiced their philosophy. And so I gradually learned to be more open, to expect more good, and accordingly more good started to show up in my life. I went to every class the place sponsored. I joined prayer groups. I listened to tapes over and over and over again. Then I discovered Religious Science and Abraham-Hicks (hear a sample here.)

My life is far different now, filled with satisfying work, relationships and spiritual experiences. Life is a joy and a pleasure most of the time, and I feel powerful in my ability to create what I like.

Endless discussions have wound on far into the evenings at the dock (Hear something cool here from our friend Jimmy Landry). We've talked about what Life is, and how to be happy in it. In talking with many people, and listening to their stories, we've come up with a few common, basic principles that have worked for us.

There Is A Meaning And A Purpose To Your Life, And You Can Find It And Live It

Everyone wants to find a meaningful purpose for their life, one that transcends the basic needs of survival; one that makes you wake up enthused, excited and happily expectant. With a subtle but important shift in your thinking, you can begin to experience a daily progression towards that fulfillment.

I Am Cause to My Own Experience

The concept of Personal Responsibility has been a central idea of almost every spiritual and philosophical teaching in history. In adopting a statement of Personal Responsibility for yourself, and by daily living and practicing a few simple techniques, you will begin to create the life experience you'd like to have.


What is Personal Responsibility?

Personal Responsibility is a stand in life that accepts that YOU are the generator, the creator of all that you experience.

Personal Responsibility is based on the recognition that you are a divine and perfect expression of Spirit, vested with the same authority It has within Itself to create by means of thought and word.

Personal Responsibility is not guilt or blame, and especially not shame. Personal Responsibility is not about good or bad, sin or piousness. Personal Responsibility is not a way to make yourself wrong, but rather a recognition of your inherent wholeness and completion, your utter "rightness."

Personal Responsibility is recognition of Spirit as the only Power in you and in your life, and living in complete reliance on that Spirit within for your support and guidance.

Personal Responsibility is a gift you give to yourself. Personal Responsibility is freedom and a feeling of power, knowing you have a say in your own life. Personal Responsibility is a gift you give to others, to recognize their power and free them of responsibility for you.

The Truth Will Set You Free,
But First It Will Piss You Off

The truth of our lives is different from almost everything we were taught. In the concept of Personal Responsibility lies our freedom, our complete fulfillment, if we will only let go of old, non-productive thinking and beliefs, and begin to practice new, desirable beliefs. All thought is creative. What are you creating right now? Is it to your liking, or would you like something different?

Feed Yourself, Feed Others

Everything we do, every thought, every action, every movement, somehow affects the whole of humanity, and indeed, the Universe. We are all connected and interdependent, yet individual and unique at the same time. What you do for yourself in creating a life that is uniquely on-purpose for you, subtly yet positively affects the world around you.

Don't Be Looking Over The Fence At My Garden,
Tend Your Own!

You are the only thinker in your mind. Your thoughts are your power. Combined with a commitment to Personal Responsibilty and daily practice, your thoughts are the seeds of your fulfillment.

Creativity Is Your Natural Expression

Now that you know the truth, that you create your experience of the Universe by means of your thought, and you have assumed Personal Responsibility as a way of life, you can naturally and easily express yourself in ways that create joy for you. You will gladly give up struggle for ease, anger for happiness and victimhood for power.

These Are Your Glory Days

Creativity is an ongoing thing, never static and always changing. Living in Personal Responsibility also means living in the now moment, letting go of the dead past and the imagined future. These are your glory days.



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