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Spiritual Shift: Changing Faith

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Faith is changing.

A new poll shows that 44% of Americans have chosen either to change their religious affiliation or abandoned going to church altogether.

The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey interviewed 35,000 people to snapshot a revealing photo of American religious habits. This insightful report demonstrates that churches today are going to have to pay attention to these changing patterns.

The poll shows the major Christian denominations are losing numbers fast. Non-denominational churches are the only ones that showed growth. The expansion of Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism are directly connected to immigration, conversion, workplaces and school. Two in three people who grew up Jehovah’s Witnesses are also leaving their faith.

Not shown in the report is the percentage of people who pray or believe in God. Perhaps today’s religious outlook will be more like a self-study program with people creating their own spiritual learning format.

One has only to look at the recent popularity of the Web site class Oprah is teaching on Eckert Tolle’s book, A New Earth Awakening To Your Life’s Purpose, to know that people are eager to embrace a spiritual path that is outside of the traditional format.

Prayer is an important part of Western culture that is not restricted to particular denomination. We dance with God when we reflect our innermost needs and desires regardless of our religious denomination.

For many people the most powerful belief is belief in God. For the last 40 years, Gallup Poll results have shown that 95% of people believe in God. Spiritual strength is sought by many to overcome life’s circumstances.

There is enormous research which demonstrates the power of the human belief system. The Intention Experiment by Lynne McTaggert reveals startling scientific data which shows the impact of intention on everything from the growth of a plant to reducing cancer cells in controlled environments.

Self-study spirituality is the wave of the future. Churches that understand and embrace this concept will expand. Those who don’t will reflect the diminishing pulpit size that this report reveals. People are no longer willing to accept a paint-by-number plan that most religions have taught.

Do you or someone you know need guidance?
Contact Sheree Franklin for a one-on-one coaching session. http://www.shereefranklin.com


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Awaken Your Intuition

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The popularity of the television programs the Ghost Whisperer and Medium has more people thinking about ways to expand their intuitive abilities. Most of us weren’t born with the special gifts those characters portray, but each of us has an innate ability to connect with our inner knowing.

Developing this tool will help you make better decisions, determine when something is wrong or right for you or even who to trust. Clearing the chaos in your mind is the first step to being able to connect with your inner consciousness.  It begins with making consistent time for silence. Our society does not condition people to be in complete silence, so your first attempt may feel like it went on for eternity.

Set short time periods that are realistic, rather then attempting to become a master mediator on the first day.

Deep breathing exercises is one of the best ways to become relaxed. Guided meditation CDs are a good way to get started. One meditation CD which has a book to offer instructions is Getting in the Gap by Dr. Wayne Dyer.

Once you start to connect with your inner knowing you can ask yourself questions. They could be as simple as what route to take to work, or characteristics or traits about a person that you don’t know. Play with it, test yourself and you’ll find that exercising your muscle of inner knowing will get stronger. Accessing your intuition and trusting it is like sharpening a pencil.

Connecting with your intuition allows us to feel powerful and more trusting of ourselves. How many times have you beat yourself up over not following what you knew all along? Practicing with your intuition on a daily basis gives you a powerful tool to use in all areas of your life!


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Train Your Brain Like an Athlete

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How does an athlete know how to be at the exact spot where their opponent’s ball lands? Experts will tell you it has to do with conditioning and training. Those are critical skills to developing any kind of success, but research is now showing that your ability to tap into implicit memory plays a big part in being able to craft and create the destiny of your life. It might even provide you with insight you weren’t aware was happening.

A couple of weeks ago I was on a very crowded Chicago Transit Authority Bus at rush hour. The bus was so packed that I found myself barely able to squeeze into the front area surrounding the driver. To me, being near the driver always made me feel safer, but that wasn’t the case this particular cold, and windy February night.

The wind off Lake Michigan practically pushing me down the street to catch the northbound 151 bus. As soon as I put my transit card through a bad feeling came over me. Since crowds are one of my least favorite environments to be in, I pushed the feeling aside and hung on for my very short 15 minute ride home.

In less than 5 minutes into that ride I felt a tug on my purse. That’s right, in a flash someone had already pulled back the zipper on my bag and helped themselves to my wallet containing $100!

Needless to say, I wanted to scream—but scream at whom? Every face I looked into appeared impassive and indifferent. I shook my head in disbelief and got off the bus with the clear insight that riding the bus again without recognizing my inner awareness would never happen again.

But remember, intuition is my thing. Hadn’t I paid close attention when my good friend, Judy mentioned that most of the time we carry around too much stuff in our wallets? While we were on the phone, I took this helpful comment to heart and took things out of my purse and wallet that were unnecessary and would have resulted in a harder impact when my wallet was stolen.

Even knowing I had taken that step only a couple of days before, didn’t help to change the feeling of outrage over the fact that someone could act so callously against me or anyone else.

As I explained my feelings to my CPA husband, he surprised me by taking a step out of his usual financial, left brain mode and asked me a critical question. “Can you remember everyone that was around you?”

Remember, the bus was extremely crowded, but I distinctly remembered three men surrounding me. I went through a description of each one with him: an Asian man in a suit, a black male who looked like he was on his way to work with a garment bag on his arm, and a nondescript white man.

Without hesitation my husband told me, “The brother got you.” I refused to believe it, telling him that the black man looked like he worked in a restaurant or as a doorman with a clean, crisp white shirt and his hair was immaculate.

My husband asked me if he exited the bus before me. When I confirmed it, he told the person who has committed a crime usually wants to get away fast, because they don’t know if you will notice the missing item. I should mention that my husband grew from a working class family in Baltimore to grow into a well-respected businessman.

Because of the details he guided me into recalling, my intuition kicked in when I encountered one of the guys from that fateful bus just two weeks later. This time this well-groomed mid- to late-thirties black young man got off the same northbound 151 and crossed the street and waited for the same bus only going southbound this time with me.

I went into my memory and recalled the details from the day of my fateful bus ride from two weeks before. Again, he was wearing a white crisp shirt this time I noted black embroidery around the collar, dark pants and a garment bag over his arm. Again, his hair and grooming were immaculate. I took in his height and my sixth sense had already started to send me verbal clues, “Watch him, my mind said but don’t get too close.” I got on the bus first and allowed myself to be intuitively guided to the right seat. This bus heading downtown wasn’t packed like the one earlier, and I knew if he was the same guy, he would have to be selective on choosing a victim. Even while behind me, I made my intuition focus in on him. He stood at the exit doors immediately to the rear of my seat and with my intuition on heighted awareness, I knew without looking when he made a move to sit down.

While watching him I also very casually looked at the other people on the bus and identified who would be an easy mark coming down the aisle. It was amazing to note that I counted at least two women with their wallets in their hands very casually dumping it back into their purse. Each of these people weren’t seated anywhere near where the guy was standing. Then my mind got laser-focused and I concentrated on a white female in her mid-40s with a knee-length mink coat sitting on a vertical bench near the exit door where my guy was standing.

The guy sat down and appeared to be very intent on counting money from his wallet. I watched him taking in his bench companion as she went back and forth through her large bag and then carefully zipped things back up. Even with this careful action, the guy didn’t get dissuaded he stayed focused on the woman and even got to the point where he stretched his arm across the empty seat between them.

With my newspaper up and hat down I was carefully taking all this in and knew he would make a move very soon. I put the newspaper down and pointed to the woman asking her to come sit in the empty seat by me. Without hesitating she grabbed her bag and came over. I whispered my concerns and then the next thing you knew the guy immediately exited the bus.

The lady told me that she was about to take a trip and would have been “bad off,” if her things would have been stolen.” She called me “her angel,” and thanked me for saying something before it was too late.

Each of us has the capacity to connect into our inner knowing but when it comes up (like me on the fateful bus where my wallet was stolen) we push the feeling aside for all sorts of reasons.

Just as athlete knows where to be in the exact spot of the court when a ball falls, you can live your life intuitively and it will help you train for the greatest performance in your life—the ability to guide and direct your life safely.

Your intuition is there for you to listen and heed. This is how it gets stronger and it could mean the difference between your wallet getting stolen and your ability to be an angel to someone you don’t even know.


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Unblocking Inner Wisdom

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There are many things that we clutter our minds with that diminish our ability to connect with our intuition. One of the biggest challenges in unblocking our inner wisdom is when we practice sympathy, and not empathy, when it comes to other people’s problems.

The difference between empathy and sympathy has a big impact on everything from our wellness to our ability to manifest our desires.

Oftentimes, we get into sympathy with people that we love and before you know it, you become intricately involved in their problems to the extent where you end up worrying about their issues.

When we are empathetic, it is possible to step back and see the life journey another person is facing without getting so involved. You can pray for others, offer your insights and suggestions, but it is critically important that each of us knows how to separate ourselves from another’s life experience.

This lesson was revealed to me in a big way when a female client came in to see me about a year after her mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer. As with all people who allow me to participate in their life journey, I had prayed for her along the way. Even though we had not seen each other since our initial visit, it took me only a couple of minutes to sense that the life force of the mother had passed and that while expressing my condolences I was taken by surprise to sense that the young 40-year-old woman seated in front of me was now ill.

When I questioned her on this she told me without hesitation that “she now had breast cancer.” Before even processing the information deeply I asked her simply, “What had you been thinking when your mother was ill?” She told me she, “Kept wishing it was her.”

We must be careful on this life journey to allow others to experience their challenges without allowing ourselves to take in another person’s burdens. Each of us is meant to walk this life’s journey and grow and evolve in our own life challenges. Taking on another’s life experience does not allow us to expand our consciousness.


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Reinvent Your Life

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Few people have awakened to what life really holds for them. Each of us has the ability to express from our own life center directed purpose to change our lives. Learning the technique for reinvention will allow you to set the course for whatever you want to achieve.

First, you must become aware of the possibilities that life has to offer. Start by making time for prayer and meditation on a consistent basis. Even as few as 10 minutes per day, twice daily will have an effect on your ability to quiet the chaos in your mind. Allowing time to connect with your spiritual essence will create ideas that will gestate and grow in your mind.

Connecting with your inner presence will set the foundation for asking yourself critical questions such as: What is my life purpose? What can I change now to achieve my true potential? Keep a
pen and pad handy to jot down whatever insights are revealed. Even if the information does not come through immediately, dedicated intent will make all the difference in allowing your spiritual
essence to reveal your life plan.

The Intention Experiment by Lynne McTaggert provides the revolutionary scientific data to support the power of intention and the impact it has on our lives. Set the intention that you want
to change and fully commit your will to the process.

Mind, body, connection is so strong that your conception of the changes you desire need to become visible in your mind’s eye. Create a vision board that reflects your future life. Divide it into specific categories such as: health, wealth, family and spirit. Gaze upon this board at least three times per day.

The ability to expand your mind is most effective when we work with programming the subconscious mind. Make a recording of the things that you want to manifest in your life. Affirm these things in the most positive language possible. Listen to this recording, especially at night right before you fall asleep.

Identify three specific area that you want to set your intent and focus for the next 30 days. Write them with clear and concise language and begin each line with: I Have, I Create and I Am.

Focused intention on the three specific areas will give you concrete evidence of the power of your intention.

Be true to your vision. There cannot be hesitation, worry or fear that your changes you desire will manifest. Every idea, word and thought must be true to your vision.

Concentration of will is the strongest power we have available to our ability to expand our consciousness. The will to serve turns the life flow current on to a heightened awareness of accessing inner knowing. The dedicated commitment to serve gives purpose to your vision and accelerates the universal flow in connecting to your need.

As things start to assume the true position in your life, be grateful.


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Forgiving Yourself

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Do you know who the most important person many of us need to forgive? It’s YOU. All too often we play the blame game and continuously bombard our minds and spirit with the regrets, mistakes, and disappointments in our lives.

Our thoughts, feelings, and emotions are too important to ignore and must be carefully monitored in order to help navigate and direct our path to wellness, success, and happiness. Never was this lesson explained to me more clearly than from a teenager.

The student and I connected when she interviewed as part of my responsibility chairing the Chicago Minority Business Development Council Scholarship Committee.

She was a 17-year-old Asian immigrant who was one of the highest ranking students in a large inner-city school in Chicago. Kim, (not her name) had come to the United States around the age of six or seven and spoke only Chinese. As an only child, her parents emphasized the importance of achieving an American education and she spent many hours studying.

The hard work and dedication paid off and she was named Valedictorian her senior year. At the same time, the student’s family learned that her maternal grandfather was dying in China. They made the commitment to travel home for two weeks to see him in his final days.

When Kim informed the school’s principal of her upcoming absence, she learned that due to the small point difference between herself and the other top ranked students, it would be next to impossible for her to maintain the coveted Number One spot. Looking at the young girl across the table from me, I could still sense the deep hurt of this experience.

She told of having spoken with Grandfather about this injustice and he asked her a critical question, “If you were given a choice between a large stick of gold and a vessel that contained time, which would you choose? Kim said, “Of course, I would take the gold.” He told her the vessel of time is much important because that you can never replace.”

After the funeral service, Kim returned to school and hid the deep hurt inside over losing the top spot, by overeating in her home alone each day. After gaining almost 30 pounds in a few months Kim’s self-esteem plummeted even more. Her parents spent long hours working in low wage jobs and didn’t notice their daughter’s despair.

Later, taking a college-level Psychology class, Kim continued her practice of reading the entire textbook in the first week. She then met with the teacher and told her of her own diagnosis of having an eating disorder. Kim said, “My parents cannot afford to put me in therapy. I must work to change myself.” The two devised a strategy in which Kim would get a job after school doing something that she really loved: working in the library. And she was to commit to asking one person to do something with her each week.

When I asked her what she learned from this experience, Kim explained, “I had to make up with myself and stop being angry about everything I thought I had done wrong.” My eyes filled with tears as I listened to this life lesson coming from this young teenage girl seated across from me.

How many of us don’t understand the vital significance of practicing self-forgiveness? We often talk to ourselves much worse than we would allow anyone else to. Only through truly listening to our inner dialogue can we become aware of what we are saying to ourselves.

Kim was on route to graduating in the top ten of her class. When she left the room, everyone agreed we found our scholarship award winner.

©2008 Sheree Franklin. Sheree is a life coach and entrepreneur who specializes in intuitive coaching. Sign up for Sheree’s bi-monthly tips on intuition and relationships at
http://www.shereefranklin.com


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Have You Forgotten to Pay One of Your Bills?

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Everywhere we turn someone is talking about debt. There are all kinds of bills we need to concern ourselves with in order to ensure the quality of our lives.

Of course, you must focus on paying your mortgage or rent first to ensure having a roof over your head. And during the winter months, especially, all of us are concerned with keeping warm.

Then there are the creature comfort bills that we find impossible to live without, such as getting our hair done, or our cell phone and cable bills.

But, there is another kind of debt that most of us don’t think about, but it is accruing a much higher interest rate in our lives. That is the emotional debt that many of us are carrying around from our past hurts, resentments and anger. This very subtle debt, which won’t appear on your financial statement, but clearing it up will make a difference in helping you reach your true potential.

When a client comes to see me and starts talking about all the bills they have to pay, my mind immediately clicks into the awareness that they haven’t told me there is “more to the story.”

To me, financial debts in life are easier to pay because they have a beginning and an end. It is the emotional debts that we don’t know when they will occur or how long it will take us to internally clear up whatever we are facing.

Developing a daily and consistent spiritual practice is the best way to prepare yourself to pay for whatever challenges occur in your life. Even a small commitment– such as 10 minutes a day–can make a big difference in your having the internal resources to cover whatever comes up in life.

By taking the time to create your own custom meditation you will allow yourself to identify whatever problem areas have been stored in your heart and soul. Whatever spiritual practice you choose, be consistent. We train our brains when we do the same thing at the same time each day.

The reason why meditation is a vital part of any effective plan to heal emotional pain is that it allows you to exist in a cosmic consciousness with God. You can present any and all of your needs and be assured that the call you are placing won’t be dropped and it will have clear reception.

Seeking alternative treatment is also a very effective way to remove emotional pain from the body. Acupuncture has found to be a way to treat depression. And you can it make more budget friendly by seeking treatment at a school. Most people associate acupuncture in dealing with physical pain but in the privacy of your treatment course you can tell your practitioner what deep hurts need to be cleaned out and they can needle the appropriate spots to speed up the process.

That’s the real secret in life: to heal your emotional debt in less time and with less stress so we can go out and live the life we want.

I’ve created a free meditation video just for you. Go to http://www.ShereeFranklin.com and click video to listen and expand your consciousness.


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Intuition: Use it to Maintain Wellness

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Stress has become more heightened in America as an additional half-a-million new people lose their jobs during this holiday period. Research shows that high stress levels are one of the key factors that impact our ability to maintain a strong immune system and to even think positively. And along with the loss of so many jobs, more people don’t have health insurance, or the funds to pay for a doctor when a problem develops. One of the best kept secrets is that you can use your intuition to do your own internal “check-up,” to boost your immune system, and alert you when something is wrong in your body.

One of the major challenge periods in my life happened when I was going through a divorce while trying to build a business at the same time. To say that I was scared is an understatement—fear and I got to be old friends. Somehow I managed to squeeze in my annual mammogram right before the insurance cutoff. This is the one of the first things you want to do in a job loss, find out what tests and procedures can be done while you are still covered by your insurance and/or before money gets extremely tight.

Knowing that I had a positive mammogram result just a month before, helped me when a problem developed with my left breast. It was very subtle but I found myself waking in the morning sensing that my breast felt differently. I decided to allow myself time to meditate on the area that morning and ask that whatever needed to be known would be revealed to me in Divine Order.

My then 7-year-old daughter confirmed just a couple of hours later, what I knew intuitively. When I was getting out the shower, she alerted to the fact that the area around my nipple looked red. At first I thought it had to do with my rubbing to hard with my wash cloth, but intuitively my mind kept going back to this area and what I had been sensing the last couple of mornings.

Calling the doctor became the right thing to do even though funds were tight. I was referred to a breast specialist and immediately my mind went into a list of all the other things that had gone wrong since the divorce. In the midst of this inner turmoil, I caught myself listening to my inner voice and it told me “to relax and not to go into this with fear.”

The breast infection diagnosis included a round of powerful antibiotics that the doctor had samples of and would last me a few days. If things didn’t improve after that point, I would need to undergo another round of medication and possibly a very painful draining of the ducts surrounding the nipple.

I came home that day and sensed that it was time for me to intuitively connect with my body and ask what was wrong. What came back was the old nemesis—anger—as the underlying cause.

When my marriage ended, my ex-husband vowed not to provide any help or pay support for his daughter. His moving in with his parents and refusing to work had left me struggling and feeling enraged for about a year.

In addition to the anger there was also the underlying emotion of shame that filled me up and made me not want to reach out to others for help. People didn’t know how hard I was struggling during those times. It wasn’t unusual for me to pay the light bill on the day that the disconnection notice took effect. Or how I convinced my daughter that we were “having a party” when there were only peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to eat for dinner.

Coming to grips with the anger was a bigger part of my treatment than the giant pills the doctor gave me to swallow. In addition to the medicine, the doctor also prescribed hot compresses placed on my breast once or twice a day. I decided to play full out and give myself the best chance for a complete recovery and applied the compresses sometimes 4 to 6 times every day. While the compresses were on, I intuitively went into my body and expressed gratitude for it alerting me to the effects of my anger. And I told myself that it was time to change. Being angry at my ex-husband wasn’t allowing me to connect with the fullness and richness in my life. I made the decision that releasing the anger and shame was the only way to keep my body and spirit well.

There are many people facing tremendous hardships wondering how they can keep their homes, feed their children and even hold onto their spirit. This is a time in which you must consciously choose to connect with your inner knowing (intuition). It can be done in as little as five minutes. On my website you will find a free affirmations & meditations that can be either downloaded or listened to on a daily basis. I created it for busy people who do not have the time or even the foundation for connecting with their intuition. Use it as a precursor to explore what damaging emotions are holding you back in your life. For me, becoming aware and understanding my anger and shame opened the doorway for wellness in my body.

©2008 Sheree Franklin. Sheree is a life coach and entrepreneur who specializes in intuitive coaching. Visit her web site at www.shereefranklin.com or contact [email protected]


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Surving the Holidays with Emotional Pain

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My grandmother used to say, “The holidays come and go and take a lot of people with them.”

For a long time, I used to think those were “just words,” until the keen insight this statement revealed about our life experiences struck me personally.

One of my biggest life lessons happened eight years ago, when my dad passed very suddenly just fifteen days before Christmas. My mom’s phone call alerting me of his death is still etched in my heart and mind. From time to time, the memory resurfaces triggered by a variety of sensory experiences that we all get exposed to in our everyday life.

We all know the cardinal rule: we are born and one day we will die. If this happens during the holiday season, we must work to expand our consciousness, by choosing to grow through the pain of loss.

Everything that is happening to us is being absorbed on both the conscious and subconscious levels. When we become aware of all the many levels in life it helps us better understand the grieving process. Knowing what triggers our depression, or emotional pain, gives us the ability to become more powerful in our lives.

For many people, the holidays can be extremely painful as we remember not only those we have lost, but also how the life we may have wished for didn’t turn out.

We must remember that we live in a free-will planet and you must decide to either be a volunteer or a draftee in dealing with whatever pain you are facing. When you choose to be a volunteer you become open and receptive to the growth an experience offers. As a draftee, many people go through pain, literally, kicking and screaming, not wanting to change or even accept circumstances they cannot control.

Celine Dion’s song, Because You Loved Me, still connects with the inner layer of pain around my heart concerning my dad’s death. That song played at his funeral, and hearing it some eight years later, can still throw me into emotional pain if I am not extremely careful.

Once while donating blood, the song was playing in a room filled with volunteers like me who were hooked up to IVs. The technician monitoring my blood withdrawal looked shocked when she saw I was softly crying. Knowing about the emotional trigger of this song, gave me the insight to not only accept, but even acknowledge, the process to her. I made a conscious choice to relax and decided that my giving blood at this time was no accident, it reminded me of one of God’s greatest gifts—our ability to give and receive love.

©2008 Sheree Franklin. Sheree is a life coach and entrepreneur who specializes in intuitive coaching. Visit her web site at http://www.shereefranklin.com or contact
[email protected]


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