Why choose joy

Today’s amazing share comes from Mindset Mastery Program participant Stephanie Lee (stephanieleeart.com). Worth reading to the end…

Hi All,

I’m taking a FB fast through the rest of June but HAD to break it just long enough to log in here and share some cool experiences I’ve had this week. It’s a little long, so grab a cup of tea or box of donut holes and settle in. 🙂

1. I’ve been sleeping too hot lately and decided we needed a ceiling fan for our bedroom. Something small and low profile and JUST enough to draw the cool air in from the window. I don’t like sleeping in wind. 🙂 I made a little quick movie of how it would feel in my mind and then went about my day. Today, I went to help my daughter pick up a bed she bought off FB marketplace from up the road and while I was there, the lady said “We have other stuff we are getting rid of if you need any of this” she sweeps her hand across the room and I see a white ceiling fan sitting on a chair. I ask her how much she is asking for it and she said “Nothing. You can have it.”

2. At the concert mentioned next, we see someone walk right in front of us with a large Tupperware container of Rainier Cherries. It’s cherry season here and they are abundant but they are still as expensive as all get out. Rainier cherries are my favorite and I said to Vince “Dang, those look good! I want to get my hands on some. I wish someone we knew had a tree with more than they can eat that we could just go pick.” Within ten minutes I get a text from a friend that I didn’t know even had any cherry trees saying “I have too many cherries. If you want to come pick some, come help yourself before the birds get them.”

3. I get a text on Monday from my daughter who (also texting her dad at the same time) said “You two have a date Wednesday night to see Chris Isaak at the Britt.” It’s our favorite outdoor concert hall – small and surrounded by lovely trees – and Chris Isaak is someone we both have enjoyed for years.

She had purchased us lawn seating because that’s all that was left. Lawn seating meant getting to the box office at 3 to pick up our tickets and then getting in line at the gate to wait for it to open at 6. The line, by then, would already be quite long from the people who already had their tickets in hand and then the rush would happen when the gates were opened and we all clamored for a space on the grass. The concert didn’t start until 7:30 so the thought of 4 1/2 hours of waiting was dreadful. All this on the hottest day of the year so far – a heavy, muggy, 97 degrees. Rain showers certain.

In front of the grass is a 1/3 circle of comfy benches, reserved seating, of course. In front of the benches is a small, lower artificial lawn which doubles as an orchestra pit in during symphony season. The absolute BEST seats in the house are the front row of benches, within 40 feet of the stage, if that. Even if the people in front of you in the pit are standing/dancing, you can sit comfortably and see right over their heads.

At about 11 am, I called to see if, by chance, there were any seats available for an upgrade. There were two…on opposite corners of the benches. We debated and decided we’d rather sit uncomfortably on the lawn (where it’s hard to get comfy and there are people potentially crammed up close or standing up the whole time) than to sit separately.

The lady told me to call back at around 4 to see if any seats had open. I did and none had. She told me to call back at 5:05 when the calls would be transferred to the actual venue box office (rather than the downtown offices) and they might know if any had opened up.

Before this point, we had gone back and forth and back and forth about whether to go early and stand in line or just show up when we wanted to and hope for a good seat. At one point, I took a single deep breath and envisioned out loud to my husband, “We’re just going to go when we want and we’ll get the perfect spot.” That was that.

We left the house at 4:45 and drove toward the venue. At 5:50 I called the box office and asked if there were any seats available for upgrading. Here’s how the conversation went:

“Hi. My name is Stephanie Lee and we have two tickets we are supposed to pick up there tonight. They are lawn seating and i’m calling to see if there happen to be any seats that have opened up?”

Nice Box Office Lady (heretofore refered to as NBOL): “Were the tickets purchased in your name? I’m not seeing any record of them…”

Me: “No. They were purchased over the phone on Monday by my daughter, Annabelle.”

NOBL: “Annabelle Lee?”

Me: “yes.”

NOBL (in a suddenly enthusiastic tone): “Oh! We have been talking about her off and on all day!”

Me: “Really? Why?” (perplexed…they’d never met her so I know her dimples didn’t make an impression like they so often do.)

NOBL: “Oh, nothing bad. It’s her name. I’m a HUGE Edgar Allen Poe fan and his poem Anabel Lee is my favorite. I asked her if she knew it when she called and she was so cute on the phone. We chatted about it.”

Me: “Oh how funny! Yeah…She gets that a lot but only from well read people.” (we laughed).

NOBL: “So you’re wanting two seats?”

Me: “Yes, if there are any available.”

NOBL: “Is Annabelle the one picking up the tickets? Are you coming to the concert with her?”

Me: “No. She isn’t coming. She actually bought them as a gift for her dad and me. She texted us and told us we have a date and bought us the tickets. We’re so excited.”

NOBL: “Oh my gosh! How old is she? (I tell her 17 and she says) Seriously?! That is SO nice of her to do that for you two! What a great girl you’ve got there!”

Me: “Thank you! We adore her too!” 🙂

NOBL: “Do you mind holding for a minute?” (Of course not, I say) She says she has to run check on something.

Five minutes later I hear her whispering to her coworker and can only decipher “Annabelle’s parents…I asked Chris and he’s totally cool with it.”

NOBL: “We found you two seats, front row, section A”.

I am dropped jawed. These are LITERALLY THE BEST seats in the house. I thank her profusely and hung up. We detoured to REI to grab some $5 ponchos in case the dark clouds decided to dump on us.

The time comes that we are at the venue walking up to the ticket booth and I have four windows to choose from, one of which says “closed”. I make eye contact in passing with the lady behind that window and smile. She opens her window and waves “I can help you here”. I tell her my name and before i can finish it she says excitedly, “You’re Annabelle’s parents!” She turns and repeats to her co-workers “Hey, this is Annabelle’s mom and dad!” Then back to me “We love her name and love that she bought you guys tickets. You’ve raised a great kid, mom and dad.” Then she turns and says “I have your tickets right here”. She hands us the envelope and says “Theres a little something extra in there from us. Enjoy your evening and good job with that kid of yours. She’s a smart cookie.”

We look in the envelope and there, with our tickets, is a gift certificate to our favorite restaurant in that town. We are stunned. We thank them profusely and float through the gate.

We find our seats and discover a volunteer usher (they are EVERYWHERE here) is waiting near our seats. As we sit down she says “Oh, YOU’RE the ones who got a couple of the Artist’s reserved seats! Lucky you two! That NEVER happens!”

Evidently the performing artist gets X number of seats they can offer to traveling companions or whatever. Evidently, even if they don’t need them, they RARELY remember to give them up so they are rarely available to the public. They are the best seats in the house. Turns out, when she went to “ask Chris”, she meant THE CHRIS! As in Isaak.

As I sit down, I remember the little movie I made in my mind at home about showing up when we wanted and finding the perfect seats. And here we were…even better than I had imagined.

To top it all off, Chris Isaak walked RIGHT BY US during his first song as he walked through the audience and the weather was PERFECT! I cooled down as the sun set, there were no mosquitos, and not a drop of rain fell. It really was so amazing and Chris and his band were so entertaining, told amazing stories, and didn’t once say anything off color or unsavory (unlike a couple of his music videos from the 90’s). It was fantastic.

So, here’s the interesting common thread in all three of these stories:

When I try really hard to “manifest” stuff, it seems like such an unproductive struggle.

When I choose visions from a place of joy and “wouldn’t that be fun?”, they seem to happen almost “too easily”.

The trick for me is to remember what Marianne Williamson says that the Course in Miracles says about miracles: There is no degree of difficulty for God when working miracles.

Note to self: choose joy whenever possible.

So awesome, Stephanie! Thanks for sharing!!!

Learn how (and why) it works, and also learn HOW to tell your mind to choose joy, so that you can experience life this way, too. How can I claim to know such things? It’s been my fascination and obsession for over 18 years to study, learn, practice, and share all the ins and outs of the process. It’s based in science and therefore testable and duplicatable. The challenge is controlling all the variables in the experiment. So many variables! To make a true scientific experiment of it, you need to set all the controls and only test the one variable: your thoughts. I can help you do that, because I’ve helped hundreds if not thousands of people do it since it became my mission to coach people in Rare Faith (my unique angle on the Law of Attraction). I can help you navigate past all the ways it doesn’t work, and show you how to make those fine-tune adjustments that will finally spring your lock open.

I’m telling ya, the same activity with greater awareness and understanding of the laws always yields better results. So come find out what you didn’t know you don’t know! Click to learn more, and join me here!

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Feeling guilty for spending money

Today’s Tender Mercies story comes from Mindset Mastery participant Stephanie Lee. She writes:

Something interesting happened to me this week.

Over a year ago I had started a business making baby clothes. A lot of thoughtful preparation went into launching it – product prototypes, professional photography of said products, website set up, etc. It felt so divinely orchestrated and I was excited about how it could grow.

It did pretty well initially and I was excited. Without getting into all the details, I soon lost my excitement and coincidentally my sales decreased. I had ideas of new products I wanted to make but they would have required a very specialized and expensive machine. I couldn’t justify it and so my excitement and drive just sort of fizzled out. However, before the fizzle-out, I had very detailed visions of owning this machine. I would “see” the products I was making with it and feel them in my hands.

But I never went so far as to actually create any sort of plan for how to acquire it.

For some reason that makes no sense in the context of what I’m busy with in my life right now, I jumped on FB Marketplace the other day and searched for this machine not EVEN expecting to find one locally, let alone at a price I could afford. They are so specialized and if people have them they usually keep them so imagine my shock when I found one!

One year old, in mint condition, with $400 worth of expensive accessories. The very exact specialty accessories I would need to purchase additionally if I were to buy this machine new. The exact brand I had wanted.

I was shocked.

I messaged the woman and asked her about it. We arranged a phone call and there was something in her voice that felt so familiar. She had what I affectionally call “the Utah Lilt”. I said, “This is a super weird question…are you by chance LDS?” (It’s a rare thing here in many parts of Oregon).

She said “yes! Why do you ask?”

I told her it was her voice – that it sounded to familiar and peaceful and happy. She said that was the nicest thing any one has ever said to her. 😉

We chatted some more and made arrangements for my sister to pick it up. (She lives two hours north of me but my sister just happens to be coming down from even further north next week and can swing by and pick it up.)

She even told me that if I ever needed lessons using the machine or help of any kind, to call her or come for a visit and that she’d be happy to help me. She was feeling so sad to get rid of her machine (downsizing) but told me that all her sadness is gone and that she is THRILLED that it’s going to me!

We’ve messaged each other quite a bit since our phone chat and have become fast friends.

The night after sending her money via PayPal, I started to feel so guilty for buying it. I just “happened” to have made the exact amount of money for the cost of the machine in art sales the few days before finding the machine. It wasn’t earmarked for anything but I still felt like I shouldn’t have spent it so spontaneously on something I didn’t even have a really solid plan for.

I took this guilt to my journal and discovered how habituated I am to feel guilty for spending money. Even in things that will make me money or that I saved up for it that will allow me to expand my creativity. I felt prompted to write a list of all the “proof” that this purchase was exactly the right thing to do with that money including points like “It was for sale for nearly 1/3 if it’s value that also was exactly what I had made in sales the days before”. It felt like I was journaling what God’s reasons and ways of giving it to me. It was an awesome journaling experience and I felt so much peace about it.

Here’s what’s weird…

This machine doesn’t actually make sense in my life right now. And that feels, surprisingly, completely okay. It feels like one of the tumblers in the lock Leslie talks about and because I understand that analogy and the laws it relates to, I feel at peace knowing the other tumblers will continue to turn in perfect time and the reason I got this machine will become more evident. AND bless our family!

I am so grateful for the peace I feel at God’s pace. It hasn’t always been easy and tomorrow morning I might wake up completely unmoored from that peace for whatever reason and feel the impatience I have made into a living art form. 😂 But for now, I trust.

She later added this:

I was reflecting on many thing this morning and thought of the adage “just take the next right step” kept bubbling up. I’ve always assumed it meant the next logical step. It occurred to me that MY experiences have included a lot of steps that, at the time, seemed very out of order. So I’m reframing “the next right step” to mean “the next step you are being called to take even if it doesn’t feel like the next logical one.”

Wise words, Stephanie. I’ll end with this reminder: “…behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes . . . (Alma 37:6-7).

This has been another installment in a series of articles about Tender Mercies. Stay tuned for more coming soon…

What about you?

Maybe you’re not a millionaire. Maybe you haven’t yet realized that big vision for your life. Maybe your relationships aren’t what you want them to be. Maybe you’re still waiting for that breakthrough that never seems to come. Maybe you struggle with your health, or maybe you’re caring for someone else who is. But even so…

Have you seen God’s hand in your life today? Have you noticed Him sustaining you from day to day?

“And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in ALL things, and obey not his commandments,” (D&C 59:21, emphasis added).

Submit your stories here!

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“I wanted out”

Here is another installment in my series about Tender Mercies. Now YOU can submit your OWN stories at ANY time right here.

Today’s story comes from Cosette Snarr, who writes: 

My husband started having seizures in 1985. At first they were just at night and didn’t disrupt our daily life, although they did have an affect on my sleep. Over time the seizures changed and started happening during the day. Eventually he was in a terrible car accident and lost his ability to drive.

Over the years the seizures created situations of lots of unemployment and underemployment. I was frustrated and angry and did not want to deal with this terrible situation. I had tried everything I could think of to “fix” the situation but to no avail. I felt like my prayers were not being answered. It was awful.

I wanted out but knew I could not leave.

Over the years I went through all kind of emotions, mostly anger, until finally, f-i-n-a-l-l-y I decided to turn to the Lord in humility rather than telling Him how things needed to be. That seemed to be the key. I felt inspired that we needed to start re-finishing furniture together. I thought that was really odd. That’s not the kind of activity I would necessarily choose to do but I felt strongly that I had been directed so we did.

We took a class together, went searching for furniture together, worked together and in the process I fell in love with my husband again. The anger was gone. I felt confident that I could simply look beyond the seizures and everything would be okay. They did not have to rule me.

Within a couple of months of starting on the furniture the seizures stopped. It was not due to any change in medication or treatment that he had been getting. This happened in 2014. He had been having seizures for 30 years and they had stopped. His doctor had never heard of such a thing.

To me it was more than a tender mercy. It was a miracle in every sense of the word. A miracle that came through the love of the Savior as I finally allowed Him into my heart. The miracle was not so much that the seizures stopped as much as my heart had been changed.

Today our relationship is strong. My husband is still seizures free and is healthier than most men his age. We are incredibly blessed.

___________

What about you?

Maybe you’re not a millionaire. Maybe you haven’t yet realized that big vision for your life. Maybe your relationships aren’t what you want them to be. Maybe you’re still waiting for that breakthrough that never seems to come. Maybe you struggle with your health, or maybe you’re caring for someone else who is.

But even so…

Have you seen God’s hand in your life, sustaining you from day to day?

I want to hear about it. Submit your stories here!

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God multiplies things

Diana with her husband

Here is another installment in my Tender Mercies article series. Today’s story comes from Diana Johnson, who writes:

Leslie, I’m so grateful I met you about 7-8 months before my husband’s stroke. Reading your books increased my faith and helped put me in the frame of mind to experience so many miracles. With all my heart, I KNOW that God multiplies what we have when we share! He has already shown this to me.

Back in 2006, I gave my sister my share of profits from the sale of our parents’ home (about $10,000, because she was in dire need). We were in need as well; but I felt her need was greater. That, plus a loan of about $3,000, which I eventually forgave.

Ten years later, my husband suffered a massive stroke, and could no longer work. Miraculously, it happened when his Wal-Mart bus run was cancelled due to BYUI students leaving for Christmas. Otherwise, his stroke would have occurred while driving a busload of students!

And when our need was the greatest (after my husband’s stroke), the amount I gave my sister was returned to me, multiplied, in a miraculous, unexpected way:

I received a certified letter in the mail, which at first I ignored, thinking it was just another notice from the IRS. When I finally picked up the letter from the post office, I was informed that a previously unknown retirement was waiting for me from BYUI, where I had taught for 15 years. I had worked part-time, but was told that part time and adjunct instructors receive no retirement. Yet, here was a certified letter informing me of a lump sum which had been held for me for years, and growing without my knowledge. 

That unexpected retirement was close to $24,000, equivalent to one year’s salary that my husband made at a part-time job just before his stroke. And this has lasted us much longer than a year, due to other financial miracles: donations, an unexpected deposit from Social Security to our credit union account with a letter (which showed up later) informing us that they had not credited my husband properly for his military service!

While my husband was still in intensive care, I also received a call from DMBA (my retirement account), informing me that they had discovered another $5,000 plus that was owed me. This was exactly the extra amount I needed to pay for home medical equipment I had ordered, and didn’t know how I would pay for it! 

And then, when my husband suffered a relapse, putting him back in intensive care, my son tried to give us a thousand dollars to help pay the hospital bill.  They were expecting a new baby, so I told him to keep it until they had enough saved for their baby.  But two days later, I received a hospital bill discounted over $1000 (beyond the Medicare discounts)!!… 

…I have learned that when we live in LOVE, FAITH, and GENEROSITY, the Lord can return the same for us, in every time of need!

You can read more about Diana’s miracles here.

_____________

What about you?

So, maybe you’re not a millionaire. Maybe you haven’t yet realized that big vision for your life. Maybe your relationships aren’t what you want them to be. Maybe you’re still waiting for that breakthrough that never seems to come. Maybe you struggle with your health, or maybe you’re caring for someone else who is.

But even so…

Have you seen God’s hand in your life, sustaining you from day to day?

I want to hear about it. Submit your stories here!

#RareFaithTenderMercies
#ModernMiracles

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