Mindful Mondays: God Was On My iPhone

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The question is, “Are you spiritual or are you not?” The truth is you are. The reality is you don’t believe it. – Yogi Bhajan

How does a person start on a path to spiritual enlightenment and awareness?

OH NO SHE DIDN’T.

Yes, yes I did. I just put that question out there.

But relax – this is not over-the-top woo woo, I swear. I think we see the words “spiritual” and “enlightenment” and immediately think of white robes and chanting and monasteries, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

My answer to that question? I would imagine it’s different for everyone, but I do think the search for an awareness of something bigger than us arises out of a certain level of suffering, don’t you? I mean, you hear it time and time again, people saying that their most difficult, darkest, and challenging times ended up being the catalyst for a much richer, fuller, and happier life.

And it makes sense, right? When you’re not suffering, you pleasantly continue going through the motions of life. Good days, bad days, lots of first world problems (OMG I spent THREE HOURS at the Genius Bar this morning), so you know, why look deeper? Everything is fine! I like life. (Kind of.) I like my job. (Kind of.) I like me. (Kind of.) It’s all good. (Kind of.) And then, BAM. Something happens that rattles you to the core, and the mind starts up with those damn thoughts. “Why is this happening? What is going on? Why do I deserve this? I must not be a good person. What does it all mean? I’m so scared. What does it all meeeaaaaan?”

(Oh, that’s just me? Huh.)

Well, that’s how it started with me. I explained of lot of what was going on here, so I won’t bore you with the details again, but in a nutshell, the shit was hitting the fan. However, during this time, I kept experiencing these (very rare) fleeting moments of quiet when my intuition would speak to me, telling me to press on with my budding “investigation” of how our thoughts could shape our reality. To push beyond my current grasp of what I thought this world was all about, and see where it led.

Now, let me tell you what. There were several times, standing at Barnes & Noble, immersed in my own self-help bender, when I asked myself, “Why? Why open myself up to all of these theories and ideas and self-worth crap and Super Soul Sunday episodes – it’s just SO EXHAUSTING. It would be so much easier to squeeze my eyes shut and go on with life as I know it.”

It’s like I knew that making the conscious decision to open my mind to the possibilities of God (the universe/life force/prana/love/whatever you want to call it) was making a declaration to a lifelong commitment of learning. And let’s face it, that sure seemed like a lot of work. I mean, can’t we just go shoe shopping and call it a day?

At that point, I wasn’t sure what I believed in. I wanted to believe in something bigger than us, but how vague can you get? Vague-o-rama. And me? I like black and white. I like concrete, tangible facts. So I picked up the book, E Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality. I figured, hey, I like science. I like experiments. Let’s do this thing. I decided to try Experiment #1, and told myself that if it rocked my world, I would never question or turn away from this path. Hoo boy, talk about making a promise.

The premise of Experiment #1 was very simple. You were to ask God (or the energetic life force around us – again, whatever you want to call it) to show itself to you through an unexpected blessing or gift within 48 hours. Something that couldn’t be written off as a coincidence – just a completely unexpected blessing that would prove an invisible energy force is available to us. All I had to do was make the intention, write it on a piece of paper, and put aside all skepticism for the next two days. Expect it with my whole heart. With every ounce of my soul. (That’s the crucial part – you must believe with every fiber of your being.)

So I did it. I wrote down my intention to receive a blessing. I expected a sign.

Within 30 minutes, D called me from work to tell me that we had unexpectedly received $3,000. Long story short, our refrigerator was a lemon and leaked underneath our wood floors, causing all sorts of damage.  Unbeknownst to us, the appliance repairman had submitted a claim, and the insurance company agreed to fix all the damage done to our cabinetry and floors. Hello, unexpected blessing.

Here’s the best (worst) part, though. Although I was so happy to hear the news, I questioned if that was actually my “blessing.” YOU GUYS, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? There I stood, with the completely surprising knowledge of all this extra money coming our way, and I was like, “Hmmm, I just don’t know if that’s it.” Seriously, I know. Sometimes, I want to smack myself upside the head. And I felt horrible about it! I mean, look at this great situation, and I’m totally questioning it. What kind of a believer am I? Get with the program, Sarah.

The issue was that deep down, I truly believed that a deeply personal, take-my-breath-away moment was coming my way. I expected it. With my heart and soul.

Well, I got it.

The next morning, upon waking, I did what I always do. I rolled over, picked up my iPhone, and looked at the screen. (Obviously, I have a long way to go in regards to enlightenment considering that’s the first thing I do in the morning!) There was a notification on my lock screen – I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, put on my glasses, and read it.

“Keep up the good work.”

That’s all it said. And once I swiped to unlock the screen, it was gone. I figured someone had texted me, or maybe it was a message via Facebook, or something along those lines so I sat up and tried to figure out the source. Except I couldn’t find it. You guys, I spent over an hour trying to find the source of that message. I scoured my notifications, checked all my apps, texts, I even googled for quite some time. Nothing. And I was dead set on finding the source. To prove that it couldn’t possibly be a message from…I don’t know, the life force I’d been seeking?

I never found the source. But I know where it came from, and I believe it wholeheartedly.

Call me crazy, but this whole lifelong spiritual journey thing? I’m fully committed. I mean, I can’t turn back now. GOD WAS ON MY IPHONE, PEOPLE. Feel free to back away slowly.

I invite you to try out the experiment for yourself. What do you have to lose? Just see what happens! I’ve even made a little intention sheet for you to fill out. (You know how much I love organization and lists.)

Do share your experiences!



COMMENTS (38)

Comments

  1. Love this! God on your iPhone! Hey…it just might’ve been. Good luck on your spiritual journey!

  2. Great share. I believe you. :)

    When I was pregnant with my first, I was a nervous wreck. Fearful like many first time moms, with the added spice of OCD and no meds.

    I got an unexpected email from no one I know. No address. No one ever claimed it. I don’t know what happened to the email. It said something like, “All will be well. Your baby is perfectly healthy.” (Not those words, I’m sure.) I think there was a mention of angels.

    And calm assurance came over me. I still think of it when I worry now. It still helps 14 years later.
    Danielle recently posted…Wood Sock Sign Tutorial

  3. Lady, I’m so right there with you. You’re story is lovely and I’m super happy for you and appreciative of your openness with these posts. They are great. Yesterday, we celebrated my daughter’s 6th birthday. We’re in Northern California and we’ve been having some amazing weather. Of course, the forecast was rain for Sunday – for our outdoor, jumpy house, crafty, pinata party – all stuff that depended on our yard. We were setting up in the morning and the wind was fierce and cold. I kept telling myself and Emerson that you have to get through a little rain to get a rainbow (her party theme), but inside I had some bitterness. Some why me? Why today of all days? But I also really wanted to believe it was all going to be o.k. And at 11 a.m. on the dot, the start of the party, the clouds parted and the sun started to shine. I kid you not, it was like divine intervention. Sun was shining without even a breeze all day. Amazing. I’m beyond grateful and can’t stop thinking about it. It felt powerful and moving.
    estelle recently posted…On 40 and winging it

  4. Such a lovely post. I’ve been in the midst of my own spiritual journey so have really enjoyed your posts on the topic. I bought the book per your recommendation when you mentioned it weeks ago. For my “sign” I asked to see a rainbow that night before I went to bed. The first thing the next morning I walked out of the bedroom into the living room. The first thing my husband said to me was how he saw a rainbow that morning and showed me the picture he took on his phone. I mean c”mon!

  5. Be most assured of my prayers in your continued search.

  6. Super skeptical of the whole experiment, but I can relate to trying to be more mindful, more aware, more present, more grateful and more centered. That part I can get behind.
    Stacey recently posted…Spring Work Suits for Women

  7. Heather D says:

    I’m seriously in awe right now. That gave me goose bumps, I’m trying this myself! Thank you again for sharing your experiences!

    • Heather D says:

      I stopped by Barnes and Noble on my way home from work yesterday and bought this book. I’m anxious to dive in and see what unfolds for me. To be continued…

  8. claudia098 says:

    So interesting! It’s wonderful you’re getting such fulfillment. Is your husband along on the journey with you? I would think if one person moves in this new direction and the other doesn’t, some tension could spring up. I hope that’s not the case with you both.

    • He’s supportive – I think he’s happy when I’m happy! :) He’s not much of a reader or learner of new things, but he shows interest in my bullet-point synopses.

  9. that is F*****G AWESOME!!! As a lifelong skeptic/ Pollyanna hybrid, I’ve recently come to terms with the fact that that (mixed-up) mindset isn’t working for me anymore, even it’s “comfortable”. I’m just finishing The Untethered Soul, based on your recommendation and I love it. I say, BRING IT.

    • Oh, man. I seriously could write for days about that book. And the best part? It gets better when you read it the second time around. So excited for you! BRING IT.

      • I’m just starting e2 and I remembered something that I want to share with you. Years ago, in college and still doing my laundry with coins in the apt bldg laundry room, I needed ONE quarter to finish my last load. ONE. And I didn’t have it. Searched every pocket, every bag every drawer, every nook and cranny of my car. None of my neighbors were around. I was on a mission. I prayed for a quarter. I VISUALIZED. And..Nothing. I’d resigned myself to making a trip to the store for change, when I took one last look through the pile of junk on the table by the door. There, in a perfectly quarter-sized vellum envelope, was a perfect, single quarter. I was freaked out, of course, but mostly super happy that I could finish my laundry and get to the Beer Garden. Lame, I know. I chalked it up to coincidence, because, duh, quarters in little envelopes are ALWAYS just laying around, and maybe I shouldn’t be such a slob. Many months later, I was cleaning up, going through old junk mail (like I said, slob), and there was a letter, some sort of donation plea or survey, with a note to the effect: “thanks for your time, here’s a quarter to show our appreciation…” So, I thought, “ah-ha! it WASN’T a miracle- I knew it!” But of course it was. And now I get it. :)

  10. I love all the positive energy around these parts! I’ve always felt that the universe brings us what we think about/put out there. It’s the ‘allowing it’ part that is so hard. I love Eckhart Tolle’s writing…especially ‘the power of now’…and Dr. Wayne Dyer’s essays on the Tao, ‘change your thoughts, change your life’ truly helped me survive the very challenging toddler years of my now 8 and 6 year old. Sending you grateful, positive vibes :) :)
    kristiina recently posted…Wishlist: Spring Blouses

    • Thank you! I love Tolle’s writing so much. Have you been watching the A New Earth series with Oprah on OWN? It’s so good. Sending grateful, positive vibes right back at you!

      • I watched his Super Soul Sunday a few weeks back, but I had a DVR fail on the A New Earth series. I actually took the webinar he did with Oprah like four or five years ago. It was so, so good. My problem is that I don’t make time every day to put the things I’ve learned into practice. I’m going to check out E-squared…You’ve reignited my passion for just feeling GOOD and remaining open to the endless possibilities. It should be a priority, but we really do get caught up in the day to day nonsense. :)
        kristiina recently posted…Change Your Life In 30 Days?

  11. I’m a new reader, I think I was linked last weekend by yesandyes.org, and I spent hours reading your entire blog– it’s been so long since that’s happened! Anyway, per your recommendation I picked up E-Squared, and after the first experiment I had several serendipitous things happen… all of which I was sure were just a coincidence. But then I did the one where you look for the butterfly (or something else, I picked a yellow butterfly). And that afternoon I picked up a magazine and found this wonderful story whose lead page had an enormous yellow butterfly. The climax of the story couldn’t have been a clearer message for me if it had been tattooed on my forehead. CRAZY!

  12. I like this! I grew up in SC- hello Bible belt- and I’m a happily practicing Lutheran. But I went to school for philosophy and religion and this kind of talk gets me all tingly! If you’re kind of in the “open to anything” mood, I’d highly suggest visiting some religious places that you’re not quite as familiar with. I don’t know what you grew up with (if anything) but if you had any experience with evangelical, try Lutheran or Catholic or Anglican. Visit a synagogue or mosque. One of my best college experiences was going to a Hindu temple and simply asking some of the people there to explain their faith to me. It was a beautiful and moving experience, to have these people trust me with their intimate faith and show such hospitality. I love seeing God in so many places, even through traditions I know little about. Best of luck to you on your quest and I hope you find a community to worship with in whatever faith/spirituality you choose. (Desmond Tutu’s “God is not a Christian” is a wonderful read, especially touching on social justice)
    Lauren recently posted…Quilt Top Finish!

  13. Sarah! I read this post super early this morning after having a bummer of a day yesterday. I’ve been spiritually searching for the past few months and thought that this couldn’t hurt, so I printed out the image, filled it out, and stuck it in my nightstand. I then went to get an estimate for some old china I’d been looking to sell, and it was double what I’d been hoping! Then, not five minutes later, I got a call from my wife that our friends are going to give us a laptop. For free! We found out yesterday that it would cost a few hundred dollars to fix our laptop that we bought last summer (!), so this is huge for us. I’m not working right now and money is rather tight, so these two things together are just amazing. I’m kind of in awe right now!

  14. I may be overthinking Experiment #1 but have a question about it. Are you supposed to ask for a specific blessing/clear cut sign to show itself within that timeframe or just set the intention that something will present itself?

    • Set the intention that a clear-cut sign will present itself, but you don’t ask for a specific blessing, like a letter to show up in the mail or something… :)

  15. I can really relate to your blog and writings, especially as you seek information and guidance to support your healthy lifestyle and mind. As I read your post yesterday I did not even have to think about what I would set my intention as, because as a single mom who has just entered the work force again, my life seems to revolve around finances and making it all work. So I just cleared all the gunk out of my head and asked for some peace of mind – just to be able to stop worrying about money all the time. Two checks came in the mail that afternoon that I was not sure were ever coming and I found out today that I will receive enough cash from a settlement to pay for my son’s schooling as well. It’s funny, I have actually been thinking for awhile that it almost feels like there is something watching over me, taking care of me as things get a little dicey. Maybe spiritual? Maybe my own forces at work? Perhaps the Long Island Medium? It is a fun journey – I am glad that you are finding so many paths to explore!
    Stephanie recently posted…Nautical Thoughts

  16. Thank you for sharing! I have experienced physical healing from God in an incredible way, so hearing other “crazy” stories makes me happy. I’ve always wondered why stories like this don’t make front page headlines, but I guess so much of the world wouldn’t even believe it. Blessings to you Sarah!

  17. This was such a great read for my Wednesday morning! I love how God does things like this. It’s just a reminder that he is our father and keeper. He is always watching out for us, sometimes so intently that he reaches out to us in a mysterious way! It’s almost playful. He’s a pretty cool guy. I really want to try this experiment, and I really want to get that book! I hope you will keep writing about your spiritual journey!
    Hayley recently posted…A Quote On Passion

  18. Elizabeth says:

    I have always really wanted to believe that there are forces in the universe that are beyond our understanding, but never beyond our faith. I want to see signs in the universe that point us all towards the good. However, I just can’t believe any of it.

    My brother, the kindest human and best father I know, has been going through a terrible divorce. He has spent the last ten years sleeping in a gardening shed in his own backyard (his wife could not stand having him in the bedroom), and for years his wife only spoke to him when she demanded that he give her more money. He told his wife he wanted a divorce, so she threw my brother out of his own home. She has kept his children from him, slandered him to his employer, and waged a campaign of hatred and anger against my brother that has spread to the children’s school. I asked for the universe–or whoever may be out there–to show my brother kindness and compassion, to not let him be destroyed and left with nothing. Today was his divorce trial, and he found out that he gets no money from his house, he has to pay thousands a month in alimony, and he will only see his kids two days a week, regardless of the fact that his children have told him time and time again that they want to live with him and not their mother.

    I am sorry, but there is no god or being or spirit or anything at all in this or any other universe that would allow this to happen to such a hardworking, kind, and loving person. Not only was I shown that my prayers and good thoughts will under no circumstances be answered, but I was also shown that being kind and compassionate means absolutely nothing. It’s the cruelest among us who benefit the most, as they stop at nothing to hurt and destroy the good.

    I am sorry for being so emotional and forceful about this, but I just can’t see how anyone can believe in “good forces” being at work.

  19. I believe. I totally believe. God speaks to us and uses daily life, ordinary people, electronic gadgets, majestic sunsets to send us messages. I am so glad you heard the divine encouragement via iPhone.

    Recently I was at a retreat center with a group of women. I was excited for the weekend with some of my closest friends (away from the toddlers and daily grind), but beyond “fun and relaxation” I had low expectations. It struck me that the time away might be more purposeful. So, I did something totally “woo woo”, as you say. I asked a woman who I had never met, but who had just spoken to our group about what we can learn about God through nature (super cool btw) if she would consider if God had something to tell me through her. It felt bold. Scary. Embarrassing. And exciting because I felt sure she would respond sometime during the weekend.

    Later that night, she gave me the message she heard. As she talked to me, I shook all over and cried. It was right on. It resonated with my thoughts, my life, my challenges, my excitement. It felt wonderful because I was sure it was meant just for me. In the past few months, I have thought about those words and they have given me confidence to move in vulnerable and risky directions.

    What a gift to engage and communicate with the One.
    natalie recently posted…Whole30, shall we?

  20. Yeah, you know what? As a loyal lurker whose own mother went on a big “spiritual journey” from about the time I turned 8 until I left for college? I’m going to be the voice of “checking out now.” (It was all about HER from that point on.) I (actually really do) wish you all the best, Sarah. Just can’t read it. Be well.

    Ami

  21. anonymous says:

    I have been following your blog for awhile now. Not totally on board with all your new self discovery and self help books. I always have a problem when people embrace something new and then get fanatical about it. I am an avid reader but I can’t deal with all those self help books. As far as writing down your intentions goes, many of the things the people talked about are just normal life happenings not something spiritual. It is unfortunate that you are dealing with health issues but it sounds like you are going overboard trying new things. I guess that is very Orange County. I do wish you the best but I will skip all of your mindful posts.

  22. Okay, I gave it a try. Nothing came of it – at least I didn’t think so. But now, I realized that we got an extra $100 Visa Gift Card when our mattress arrived today that we did not expect. It won’t arrive for 4 months. LOL. but still a “gift” :) Thanks!

  23. i tried this, skeptically, and dang if i didn’t have a sweet surprise happen to me as well.

    intrigued enough to try another experiment :-)

    don’t sweat the negative comments, btw. your truth is your truth.

  24. Thank you.
    I have had a craptastic year…really . I had major surgery, my beloved grandfather died, my father who I have not seen in 10 years came back into my life and promptly died (I had to make the decision to end care), I inherited money and the government took almost half of it, two dear friends were diagnosed with life threatening illnesses and my husband and I are separating. Poke me with a fork I am done. I have been seeing a therapist for the last 8 months to wrap my head around all that I feel; grief, anger, scared, worried and the list goes on. No one ever has to wrap their head around their feelings of joy and happiness do they? I am in the final stages of separation and all the balls were in the air and hitting the ground with a splat beside me. It seemed all I touched turned to crap. I was already in a really good depression and the stress of the last month was almost unbearable. I felt like those cartoon characters that has a cloud over their head with the lightning and thunder coming down. I am afraid to hope for good things because I will jinx myself. I don’t tell people what is going on in my life and shut myself off because who really cares or wants to know? Then to top that off I think of people who have it worse than me and feel guilty for feeling bad because, ‘it could be worse’. I hate that line, it is validation that you have no right to feel bad.
    Then 48 hours ago I stumbled across your blog, and found your post about the book E squared. I don’t usually go for that type of stuff, but I needed something, anything to bring me around. I downloaded it, and read up to the end of the first exercise. The part that resonated most with me was about, why prepare for something to go wrong or think you do not deserve to have something good happen. So I decided to just believe that it will be alright. I got greedy and asked for a lot a big honking sign. I wanted to get this stuff taken care of, I want it to all fall into place and damnit why shouldn’t it, there was no reason it cannot just all come together. I just chose to believe it will all be alright. I woke up the next morning and instead of the poor me I decided there was no reason why it shouldn’t work.
    Here is the list of signs I received
    Day 1
    My teenager actually woke up on time and pleasant.
    A co worker paid me a huge compliment
    A senior VP used my work to make a case for change
    I found myself with a spare hour and a good friend and we had a lovely catch up chat
    My realtor got me cash back on my house and an extension for financing while we wait for the papers to get signed.

    Day 2
    Now I am really into this. I can feel my mood shift, I can feel cracks in the depression, like there is hope that it will lift and maybe just maybe my brain will recover and I will shake this feeling of despair. I wonder how this can happen after 1 day. I must be tricking myself into thinking it will be ok. Then I realize I am allowing positive thoughts to run my brain. I am thinking ‘yes I can’ not ‘ why me?’

    My lawyer finished my separation agreement early
    My paperwork for the house went through for approval based on the agreement completing
    The tax man gave me back some of my inheritance
    And my employer donated money to help support my son’s soccer team.

    I want to thank you very much. I know I have a long way to go but I know that this is finally a start to lift the grey cloud. I think there may be a light at the end of the tunnel and I can get through the grief and pain and come out the other side a stronger person. Some may think it was blind luck or coincidence and some may choose to think it was divine intervention that brought me to your blog. Whatever anyone chooses to believe I am glad I found you and I am going to choose to believe it was fate pushing me to the right place at the right time.

  25. Really, really interesting. I don’t think you’re alone at all looking for some sort of spiritual guidance given all the stuff you’ve been through. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer several years ago, I experienced very similar feelings (and A LOT of why did this happen to me). I even spent a whole year in therapy where several discussions focused on my mixed feelings toward religion and how those feelings amplified my fear of death. I’m definitely interested in checking out the book you recommended. Following your story closely. xo Wendy

  26. Sarah D says:

    Revisiting this post to share with you that I just got a call from a super fabulous local jewelry store letting me know that I have a “sizable” store credit, dating back to 2008!!! I’d completely forgotten about it. Yay!!!!

    The funny thing is, I think I’m even more excited about the fact that the exercise worked this time (2nd try; 1st was during a ladies beach weekend, my head wasn’t in it) I had to stop myself from telling the gal who called “OMG! It worked! Have you read E Squared????”

    :)

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