Seattle’s East West Bookshop Opens Its Doors For The 365 Days Of Gratitude North American Book Tour: Meet Muskan Virk Saturday Night, April 15th For A FREE Book Talk/Signing/Q&A
Buffalo, NY – March 19, 2017 – Join one of the world’s youngest authors, 10-year-old Muskan Virk, at East West Bookshop in Seattle on Saturday evening, April 15th (from 7-8:30PM PT), as she shares the release of her new book, 365 Days of Gratitude, in a special free Book Talk. Muskan will discuss how practicing compassion and expressing unconditional love allow us to see the bigger picture of life, and how gratitude heals, for when we are grateful for what we have in our lives, we have more to be grateful for. Plus, Muskan will be answering your questions in a special interactive 365 Days of Gratitude Q&A and conclude the evening’s event with a book signing, where you will be able to have your very own copy of 365 Days of Gratitude signed by Muskan herself.
“I cannot wait to share my message of gratitude, love, and compassion with the customers of East West Bookshop,” said Muskan.
The Inspiring Journey To 365 Days Of Gratitude: Muskan came into this world as a miracle after her parents’ 16 years of marriage. At the young age of 6, Muskan learned about the injustice that Malala Yousafzai (the Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate) had gone through, and was devastated. She was propelled to take action and wanted to make a difference. She started by raising funds to donate to the Malala Fund and other local charities. However, despite the difference she was already making, Muskan didn’t want to stop there. She asked her mother incessantly about why there was so much gender inequality in such modern times. In order to shift her thoughts on this subject to a more positive state, her mother gave her a journal and encouraged her to write one thing every day that she was grateful for.
She wanted Muskan to focus on all the positive things in her life. As time passed, her mother forgot about the journal, until Muskan came to her later with a journal filled with all of the things she was grateful for and how she had transformed her negative thoughts about gender inequality into positive thoughts on how she can use her influence to make an impact.
From those beautiful daily gratitudes, 365 Days of Gratitude was born. Along with the inspiring stories of gratitude from best-selling authors Serena Dyer (the daughter of beloved spiritual teacher and New York Times best-selling author & inspirational speaker Dr. Wayne Dyer) and Jason Garner, 365 Days of Gratitude is filled with simple gratitudes of everyday life, which inspire and uplift, and remind all of the beauty and pleasures that surrounds us and makes us feel good.
Pre-registration for this special event at the Main Hall of East West Bookshop is required. Reserve your free tickets by visiting EastWestBookshop.com. You are also welcome to reserve your space and spread the word on Muskan’s first-ever appearance at East West by RSVP’ing and sharing the official Facebook event on social media
To learn more about Muskan Virk and her charitable organization (Helping Hands), please visit MuskanVirk.com.
I am deeply grateful to have Spirit bring me back to my blog for a reason for this, the final Wednesday of January.
As some of you may know, while others may not, I have made the decision to have this blog on the Empowered by John website serve as a complimentary tool to the business that I am so blessed to have been given by God to operate. I launched my new personal blog, “My Empowering Miracle,” last week, which will be centered more on the observations of my spiritual journey. It is important for me to navigate both blogs with unconditional love, compassion, and kindness, while also speaking my truth on each one. My soul would not allow it any other way.
As I was meditating the other day, I asked my higher self what would be a topic that would provide clarity, for you, the reader, as well as for myself, and that would also allow for you to learn a little bit about how I serve others and the blessing I have each and every day of empowering fellow lightworkers all around the world. Boom: download received. Thank you angels!
The topic of this blog post is pretty straightforward, but one that I strongly felt would make a strong, positive impact and also change the way you may look at a word that has some perceived stigmas behind it. That word is “publicity.” So why did I decide to become a publicist? It’s been an interesting path, I’ll tell you that.
In the summer of 2014, I was guided to go to the Erie County Clerk’s office, here in the Buffalo, NY area, to open up Empowered by John. The road to that summer day, nearly two ago, was a long time in the works.
My childhood ambition was to be a sportscaster. Yes, I wanted to be the next Chris Berman at ESPN. As one millennium ended and the next began (’99-’00), I enrolled in the Communication Department at Buffalo State College.
After taking the required prerequisite classes, I was able to shift into the driver’s seat and be the Sports Director for BSC-TV and for our campus newscasts. At the time, I was between 250-300 pounds, so not the “required look” for someone who wanted to be on television, according to the collective ego. I even fondly remember my professor at the time, Paul DeWald, saying something to the effect of “maybe you should try something behind the scenes.” Maybe this was Spirit’s way of telling me something.
As my time at Buffalo State was wrapping to a close, I was also an intern at the Empire Sports Network, which was owned at the time by Adelphia Communications. The station was the sports station in town, covering the Buffalo Bills, the Buffalo Sabres, and the rest of the local college and high school scene. If you lived in or around the Northeast between 2003-2005, you may remember that Adelphia’s Founder, John Rigas, along with several members of his family were investigated and later found guilty of fraud. What did this mean for Empire’s future and mine at the time? Well, I went from being an eager intern at this time 13 years ago to seeing a media entity begin to slowly die on the inside, all within four months.
But, as fate would have it, the mind was already focused on something else, something that I had a passion for since I was a child, when I first remembered watching Hulk Hogan & Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake taking on “The Macho Man” Randy Savage & Zeus at WWE’s SummerSlam ’89 Pay-Per-View.
For nearly 12 years, Monday Night Mayhem was my life. If you are unfamiliar with the world of professional wrestling and sports-entertainment, Monday Night Mayhem was one of the longest-tenured and most popular wrestling radio shows. A virtual “Who’s Who” ion the world of wrestling, sports, and entertainment stepped into our studios for over a decade, from Hulk Hogan, “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair, and Chris Jericho to Nancy O’Dell (the host of Entertainment Tonight), Billy Corgan (of the Smashing Pumpkins), and NFL Hall of Famer Jim Kelly.
I founded the program in early 2002 at my Alma Mater, Buffalo State College, on our campus radio station, 91.3 FM WBNY. The show grew in popularity through “grassroots” promotion. Yes, before the world of MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, and any other social portals that I may have forgotten or that haven’t been identified yet, there was simply getting the word out on what you were doing by “word of mouth.”
In 2002, two of the three main wrestling promotions in the country, iMPACT Wrestling and Ring of Honor, opened up, which was a gift that myself and my fellow co-hosts were able to gratefully receive at the time. Through this synergy, we were able to expand beyond the parameters of Western New York and received international exposure. MNM also took the program on the road, traveling to Toronto, Ontario, Canada (for WrestleMania X-8), Nashville, TN, as well as to the hallowed halls of Madison Square Garden in New York City (for WrestleMania XX). All of these destinations in just the first two years of the Mayhem.
In the fall of 2004, the show parted ways with WBNY and became one of the first-ever independently-produced podcasts. This was before iTunes came into the equation and well before the term “podcast” was “acceptable” by many. The term “Internet Radio” also had a stigma to it, with people in the broadcasting industry and many others asking the same question, “So why aren’t you on regular radio?”
I persisted. I believed in what I was doing. And the persistence paid off. Monday Night Mayhem won “Show of the Year” Award in back-to-back years in the Wrestling Radio Awards and became the “go-to” show where wrestlers wished to speak to their fans. And yes, there was the time from the fall of 2004 to the spring of 2006, where my co-hosts and I would drive nearly one hour from the Amherst, NY area to Arcade, NY to record the program, watch WWE’s flagship show (Monday Night RAW) until after 11PM, dropping off my friends at home, and then returning back to my own house between 1-2 AM in the morning.
What most people were not privy to was what was happening behind the scenes. I used to joke around when I used the term I’m about to use, but there is some truth to it: I ran a little “media machine.” I booked the guests for the program, printed out pages of “show prep” (information used during the live airing of the program), edited the guest interview recaps (which were sent out to members of the wrestling websites that covered the industry), promoted the show on social media (which began with MySpace, then Facebook, followed by Twitter), coordinated affiliations with VH1, the WWE, and the Buffalo Bills, and established relationships with sponsors (which would be revealed about four or five years into MNM’s run). And, as part of the perfect divine order of life, it would turn out that I would be given the opportunity to serve three of these sponsors in the capacity of branding, social media marketing, and publicity. Imagine that! Little did I know at the time that this would be a sign from the Universe, a glimpse from God, as to the blessings that would unfold for me professionally.
Now, in hindsight, I can look back and observe things from a non-judgmental perspective. I was a perfectionist. I was afraid of letting other members of my team do the necessary work for the show, for fear of it “not being good enough.” Things had to be “my way.” With these tendencies of perfectionism, I allowed worry and doubt to creep into the mind, especially when it came to technical issues popping up during the program (which there were a few here and there). I was also a “People-Pleaser” in various ways, even giving my own power away to my former co-host many years later, as he thought the show would sound “more professional” without the services of my longest-tenure MNM co-host and good friend. Now, with that being said, he may have been right. He may have been wrong. But, I’ve learned along the way, thanks to a Course in Miracles that I would rather be happy than be right. In this particular instance, I wanted to make sure he was happy before I was. The program was starting to become “work.” It was no longer fun. And along the way, I disconnected with my inner child that just wanted to hang out with friends, watch wrestling, and talk about it.
Enter the beginning of my spiritual journey.
In the summer of 2011, shortly after returning to Buffalo from Los Angeles, where I covered the release of the new WWE ’12 video game for THQ, as part of the WWE SummerSlam Pay-Per-View weekend, I began experiencing a myriad of interesting symptoms. I left my corporate job for eight months and was on short-term disability. I had remembered telling one of my friends at the time, shortly before going to Atlanta that spring for WrestleMania XXVII, that I was “experiencing burnout.” It’s important to note that this is where my awakening probably began, even though it was not clearly revealed to me until a little over two years later.
After everything happened exactly as it was meant to, things began to improve on many levels, as, in my opinion, I was given a new lease on life. I went gluten-free and dairy-free, began exercising regularly, and had lost close to 100 pounds in the process. I brought back Monday Night Mayhem to the airwaves in the summer of 2012, so the show could “achieve its 10-year anniversary.” Notice why that is in quotes. Despite making immense progress, I was still not ready to turn inward to see things from outside of the ego mindset.
Something interesting happened during that time, shortly after MNM came back. I remember being with my two co-hosts, along with a friend from high school, who I had reconnected with in the process. We went down to the First Niagara Center to enjoy Monday Night RAW, one of the final televised events leading into that year’s WrestleMania. It was an “Old-School” edition of RAW, complete with several WWE Hall of Famers and Legends in attendance. As several of the Superstars were coming out for their respective entrances, I noticed my friends were cheering loudly and standing on their feet. Me? I was sitting. Doing a golf clap. Things were not the same anymore. Wrestling was not resonating with me at all. It was not connecting with my soul.
So, in the fall of 2013, about two months after my grandmother made her transition, I made one of the toughest decision of my entire life, to release Monday Night Mayhem back into the Universe. It was fitting that the two songs I chose to use for “MNM: The Finale” was Rihanna’s “Farewell” and The Verve’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony.”
It was as if I saying “farewell” not so much to Monday Night Mayhem, but to a part of me that needed to be released, so that my soul could continue to evolve and grow. And yes, it was a bitter sweet symphony as well. I had spent most of my adult life (from the age of 20 to the age of 32) living my life in the world of Mayhem. Subconsciously, I had created a new “reality” for myself, one that lasted for nearly a quarter-century. While growing up, I had thought that the external projection of what I was seeing in my life was not making me feel happy. But now, I was allowing my higher self to guide me, and everything else was about to transform forever.
Coming clean: Monday Night Mayhem was one of the greatest life lessons that I ever had. I would always remember the memories, the moments, and yes, even the Mayhem. But it was time for “The Big Mosh” (my on-air name/moniker and an admitted extension of my ego) to move on. I was realizing that I was placed on this earth to help people. I knew that there were people who had gone through similar experiences. And the first forum that I was going to be able to graciously utilize to help and inspire was already taking shape.
About one year prior to releasing Monday Night Mayhem, the Universe would provide a sneak peek of my next steps. This stat is if you are continuing to create a timeline of this in your mind. I had the blessing of meeting Michelle Rober, a health and wellness coach from New Hampshire. I was introduced to her by her sister Corrine, who owned the popular Margarita Grill in Glen, NH. I was doing social media work for Corrine’s restaurant, as well as her new business venture, Bear Rock Adventures. As the scope of my life was expanding into the world of physical fitness, it only made sense that I manifested this relationship with Michelle. I began doing social media work for Michelle as well, promoting her fitness studio, wellness center, and day spa, 121 Fit. The Divine has other ideas, however, for why we were meant to come into one another’s lives.
I vividly remember having a conversation with Corrine, saying her and her sister should do their own podcast or radio show. With Margarita Grill incorporating the “farm-to-table” aspect as part of their restaurant, with Corrine initiating her own program in the community called “S.O.H.L.” (standing for “Sustainable, Organic, Handcrafted, and Local”), and with a profound love being felt and shared between Corrine and Michelle, to me, this was a logical next step for them both. They were doing things for the right reasons. They wanted to make the area they live in a more wonderful place. And, they wanted to project their unconditional love they had for humanity out into the Universe. Why wouldn’t this be successful? Why wouldn’t people want to listen to a program that had these themes as its internal structure? Soul Luminous Radio would be born, but not in the way I had originally thought of.
Michelle came to me saying she would like to launch the program and have me serve as an on-air co-host and producer. I had made a promise to myself that I would entertain the notion of possibly stepping back into the world of podcasting if the right opportunity presented itself, one in which the relationships would be balanced, one in which would feed my soul, one that didn’t seem like “work.” I was guided by my higher self and Babcia (my grandmother) to make this transition, from Mayhem to Soul Luminous.
The format was to have authors, musicians, inspirational/motivational speakers, lightworkers of healing, and yes, even a wrestler or two, share with the journeys with the Souluniverse, how they overcame any perceived obstacles that came their way on their own path, and how they wished to have their gifts that were given to them by God, Spirit, and the Universe positively impact the lives of others for the greater good. It made complete sense to me. It felt right.
I viewed this time in my life as being given the chance to put my toes into the pool of the Divine. During the first few months of 2014, the emotions that I had suppressed for my entire life were coming up for healing. Some may call this part of their awakening as the “Dark Night of the Soul.” Looking back, I know that all was unfolding as it should have and that I was being taken care of and guided, even though, in those present moments, it felt cumbersome. But, Soul Luminous Radio would play a huge role in my own healing. My soul was taking notes.
By combining the skills that I had learned through Monday Night Mayhem with the on-air chemistry that Michelle and I had early on, Soul Luminous Radio was listed in iTunes’ “New & Noteworthy” section, and we also developed a relationship with Hay House, the top spiritual, self-help, and inspirational book publishing company in the world. Myself and Michelle had the opportunity to interview one of my greatest teachers, Anita Moorjani, along with James van Praagh, Panache Desai, plus other names in the world of personal transformation, health, and healing, in addition to talented up-and-coming spiritual teachers and artists. Interacting with these beings of light were all part of a bigger plan for me, one that I wanted answers on left and right. My ego, as I knew it, was dissolving. My spirit and all parts of my being were getting stronger.
In March 2014, was guided to go to Toronto, Ontario, Canada for Hay House’s “I Can Do It” event, a weekend that featured many of Hay House’s popular authors, speakers, and healers. The night before I left for Toronto, my ego was showing signs of resistance, not wanting me to go to the Roy Thompson Hall. Just my opinion, but I don’t think I’m alone in this: You know that you are truly meant to do something in your life if you feel this resistance coming up. I prayed to my grandmother, asking for her to be there with me in Toronto.
I made it to Toronto the next morning, right as Cheryl Richardson was finishing her keynote speech on stage. As my angels would have it, as soon as Anita came on stage and began sharing her path to healing, I began feeling much better than I had in some time. Anita and I made a promise to one another to meet in person, and we did, a moment and an experience that I would never forget, another sign, another glimpse of what was to come for me in my own life.
I began actively listening to some of the other speakers, such as Dr. Joe Dispenza, talking about how your thoughts create your reality and your experiences, as well as Robert Holden, who said “if someone asks you what is your religion, you say love.” I also had the opportunity to meet and have lunch with Anthony Tilotta, an inspirational/consciousness musician from Toronto (and also a former Soul Luminous Radio guest), along with his fiancée (now wife) Danielle Fagan, a spiritual teacher and author. The two of them looked so happy, so beautiful together. I even remember asking them if they were “on something,” because I had never, in my entire life, seen and felt two people so happy and in love before in my entire life. They were not “on anything.” They were in love. They loved themselves, and that self-love within each of them was being reflected in the other.
This was all new to me, but boy, I was excited! I was soaking in the all of the energies of this new environment I found myself in. It was a feeling I had never experienced before. It felt like nothing at all was bothering me. I felt love, pure and unconditional love. I wanted to take home with me, sprinkle it on everyone and everything, and have this series of present moments last for more than just the weekend. Who knew that a “Soul Luminous Radio” business trip would provide so much soul growth in just two days.
While driving back from Toronto to Buffalo, I knew that I wanted to not only help, heal, inspire, and serve people. But, I was not sure of the “how.” One of the many things that I have learned through my spiritual journey is that the “how’s” are not up to us. The “how’s” are revealed by God in those two words that touch the depths of our soul: divine timing.
In addition to Soul Luminous Radio and the freelance branding, social media, and publicity work that I was doing, I was serving humanity through the collections industry as a financial recovery specialist, something I had been doing since I graduated from Buffalo State College to supplement my income.
A day or so after returning back home, I had a conversation with my supervisor (a term that I have long since released, as that signifies one person is better than another). He asked me the following question: “John, do you have empathy for these people?” He meant the customers I was speaking to on the phone. My answer was: “Yes. Yes I do.” His response was something I would forever remember for the rest of my life. It may have been him speaking as the vessel to utter his next words, but in truth, it actually was the voice of God. “Why don’t you open up your own charity or build houses.” In the moment when he was saying what he was saying, I did not realize the true magnificence of this conversation. Oprah Winfrey calls these significant moments and or realizations in our lives as “Aha! Moments.” And this was an Aha! Moment if I ever heard one.
In all honesty, however, I didn’t see myself building houses, as I was not quite the handyman. I could see myself working for a charity of some kind, especially from the joy that I experienced from the service work that I had the blessing of doing at Children’s Hospital, which I was introduced to through Dennis DiPaolo, the owner of the Ilio DiPaolo’s Restaurant here in Buffalo, through my time at Monday Night Mayhem. Coordinating visits with wrestlers from iMPACT Wrestling and Ring of Honor were magical experiences. Seeing the smiles on the children’s faces. Bringing happiness into the lives of children and their families during trying times. These were just some of the reasons why my work with the Child Life Department at Children’s Hospital was so worthwhile. I did not know, at the time, how I could incorporate serving others into a setting that would allow me to have this sense of peace and bliss, while also allowing me to take care of my financial commitments and responsibilities, and also leave my collections job…and never look back.
This was going to be the beginning of my “inner work,” delving into healing myself from years of unworthiness, shame, judgment, guilt, and fear. It really is true: How you feel about yourself, your own personal beliefs, and the world around you determines what you create in your external realm. Most people are afraid of this, simply because they feel that they will discover something terrible. Fittingly enough, during this time, I had the opportunity to have the “Love Pioneer,” Jennifer Kass, come into my life through Soul Luminous Radio. Her teachings left a profound impact on me, especially when learning the following: “As we move through painful feelings, we’re eventually guided to the only truth that there is about ourselves, that we are pure love, pure light. In this space, we connect with out spirit, and we see ourselves from the perspective of how our higher self and the Universe sees us.”
The Universe began to reveal more. Around this time, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Cynthia Thaik, a Holistic Cardiologist and author in Los Angeles, along with a dear friend of mine, Loree Bischoff, a Holistic Life Coach and the wife of Eric Bischoff, the former President of World Championship Wrestling, on Soul Luminous Radio. After doing “show prep” (which carried over from Monday Night Mayhem), a force within me felt very confident that I could do work with them, to help them achieve some of their own professional goals, to expand the reach of their audience, to grow their platform, and most importantly, to touch more lives through the gifts of healing they were both given. Even though I didn’t know all of the answers and even though there might have been people within more qualifications that were more experienced than I was, I was determined to speak my truth, come from a space of love, let them know my intention to serve alongside them, and surrender all to God and my angels. I was saying “yes” to the Universe, and in turn, the Universe said “yes” to me. I was very grateful to both of these women for providing me two tremendous opportunities. I followed the guidance of Spirit and my own heart, drove down to the Erie County Clerk’s office, filed the necessary paperwork, and Empowered by John was born.
Fast forward a few months from Toronto, and the relationship with Anthony and Danielle blossomed. They joined Michelle and I for two individual interviews on Soul Luminous Radio. Even though each interview was separate, it was clear that these two were one. There was no separation there at all, an extension of the truth: That we are all one, and that we only become separate when we disconnect ourselves from God and from our source.
Spirit was bringing Danielle, Anthony, and I together for something special. On the surface, it may have looked as if I was their publicist, but in truth, their purpose in my life was much greater, which I will share shortly. I remember walking into Barnes and Noble for the first time, wearing a T-shirt and wind pants, going to one of the service kiosks, introducing myself as a publicist, and asking the gentleman behind the counter of how I would go about co-facilitating a book signing for Danielle, who had just released her first book, “Infinite Kingdom: Ignite the Night” (through Balboa Press). Now, speaking openly as I have done thus far, I am the kind of person that may not have all of the answers, but I know I can find them. In this particular instance, just like many of the series of events on my spiritual journey, there was a little magic from heaven and from grandmother on my side. The sir behind the counter was named Michael. This would be one of many times that I had an awareness of Archangel Michael alongside me on my path, as he manifested himself in the physical form of this particular Michael and several others. So yes, I was able to get the necessary answers, and a signing for Danielle happened shortly thereafter. What a blessing! I walked into Barnes and Noble, set an intention for the highest and greatest good of all, and it manifested itself. Not for my personal gain. Not even for Danielle’s. But for the collective consciousness. True story: One of the last times I was at that particular Barnes and Noble, I noticed her book alongside that of one of Wayne Dyer’s books. I simply had to smile at that, in lieu of both of our profound connections to the late Dr. Dyer.
Even before that signing took place, I had co-facilitated an in-studio interview for Anthony on WKBW-TV’s “AM Buffalo,” airing on the ABC affiliate here in Buffalo. There is a reason for me using the term “co-facilitating” or “co-facilitated,” because I was realizing more and more than I was merely the conduit for making these beautiful co-creations manifest into reality. This was and will always be God’s work. Now originally, the plan was for Anthony to be interviewed and perform on-air, which was going to be his North American television debut. Spirit had different plans. Not being familiar with some parts of the New York State Thruway, even after all of this time in living here, I missed our exit off the Thruway, which delayed our arrival time by a few minutes. Plus, there was, of all things, a hostage situation right next door to the station, which in theory, and in reality, should have prevented us from even getting to the studios at all. There was a higher power that wanted this interview and the messages of love contained within it to take place and be seen and heard. After arriving at the station and getting the chance to calm our energies down, the show’s executive producer, along with the show’s host, Linda Pellegrino, asked Danielle if she would like to join Anthony together on the set and be a part of the interview. I was deeply moved by what I was seeing, and before they sat down with Linda for the interview, I was guided to pray with Anthony and Danielle. We joined hands in a circle and let our love and gratitude be felt in the silence that followed. The two went on set, had a terrific interview, and were given an open invitation to return in the future. I could not have scripted this even if I tried. God was clearly smiling down on all of us.
So what were Anthony and Danielle’s purposes in my life you ask? To be two of my first clients? Nope. They were two of my greatest teachers of self-love that followed after Anita. They were instrumental in teaching me to feel that it is possible to be comfortable in my own skin and to say what was in my heart and on my mind without the need to suppress any emotion or judge any thought. These lessons were nourishment for my soul, allowing it to expand, just as I was growing in all aspects of my life, business included.
As the first few weeks of 2015 revealed themselves, I was being drawn in a different direction, one that seemed to almost come from out of nowhere. After 13 years of radio and podcasting and promoting other people’s messages, I felt that I had a message of my own, one that I wanted to get out to the world, and that was not going to happen while being in my “comfort zone.” It’s been said many times that freedom lies on the other side of fear. 111% true. I was afraid… of a lot. I was afraid of commitment, responsibility, power, and success, which fittingly enough will be the topics for my next personal blog post (coming Monday, February 1st). Could I, as my authentic self and not as “The Big Mosh” succeed? Could I actually learn how to navigate and run my own business? What if Empowered by John actually brought so much love into the world through a sacred union of my own love and the love of my clients? These were just a few of the seemingly zillions of questions and their attached fears that my ego was trying to have me focus on vs. investing my energies and time in the business itself. And yes, where your energies go is where your attention goes. 111% true.
As I have said in previous blogs and to many of you whom I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with on social media, your soul always knows what to do. Your heart is always leading you in the right direction. You just have to be still, listen for your guidance in the silence, and take action from there. So, during the first week of March, I said farewell to Soul Luminous Radio. I was appreciative of Michelle giving me this opportunity and this platform and still am thankful nearly one year later. She too was one of my greatest teachers of self-love on my path. The learning would continue…
I had come so far, released so much, actually began to love myself, and now wanted to give, truly give unconditional love back to the world, but in order to empower others, I would first need to truly empower myself.
At the start of this blog post, I didn’t think that we will be looking at a word count of over 5,000, nor did I think I would intertwine my spiritual journey with my business, but honestly, the two go hand-in-hand. When I speak, I speak from my soul. When I write, I write from my soul. When I blog, I blog from my soul. So yes, I’ve learned that part of my purpose here is being a writer and an author, not just a publicist. And yes, a little healthy boundary or two is important. But you know what’s also important: not being hard on yourself. Each and every one of us is learning. Channeling my inner Ram Dass: And through the relationships we have, with ourselves, with our families, our friends, our pets, and yes, even those we work with, we are helping to walk each other home.
All is happening in perfect divine order though. And yes, the Universe is right on time with everything, as always. So with that being said, I will pick up this thread with a “Part Deux” (meaning “Part II” in French) during the week of February 6th. There’s much more to share with you.
Should this blog post resonate with your soul, your business mind, or both, I warmly invite you to post your thoughts in the comments below and/or share this blog post on the social media portals of your choice. And if these loving words from my heart inspire or help you in any way and/or if you feel that this blog could help someone who is taking the “Leap of Faith” to open their own business or someone who is beginning their own journey of self-love and/or healing, someone who needs empowerment, faith, hope, and/or inspiration in their lives, I would be profoundly grateful for you to share this with him or her.
Has your 2016 started off on a heavenly note? If the answer to this question is “yes,” then you have undoubtedly been feeling the wonderful energies that have been streaming through the Universe over the past few weeks, that began around the Christmas holiday. If the answer to the question I posed is “no,” and it seems as if your life has flipped upside down, I assure you that not only that all is well, but that you can give yourself the permission to shift your perspective to see things differently. How about going outside of the box for a New Year’s Resolution that will last beyond 2016: to release the “old programming,” the old thought process that no longer serves you. I assure you, that if you surrender this request to your soul, your higher self, to the Divine, and to God, some interesting things will begin to happen.
Now, after many years of negative thoughts and wondering “how can they go away?,” I put out the intention to the Universe to let my own outdated software dissolve itself. And presto! Another chapter of “My Empowering Miracle” has been written. Call it divine timing, call it the extensive inner work that I have been doing, but I view it as more of a combination of things really. I credit the releasing of this in large part to no longer needing to view myself as a body. I already had a good grasp on the “I am not my thoughts, feelings, emotions, possessions” part, but I always struggled with the “pain body.” Coming clean on that one, for my soul and for all of you.
If you are not familiar with the “pain body,” I highly encourage you to read Eckhart Tolle‘s “A New Earth” or get the lowdown on it from the man himself in the above YouTube video. I am not an expert, by far, on this topic, so I leave the best explanation on this to someone more versed, and who better than Sir Eckhart to describe the “pain body.” Know this though: You have a choice: You have the power to choose whether you wish to continue the cycle of pain you have been experiencing (either subconsciously and/or consciously), or end your suffering, while still joining us here on Earth School, choosing love vs. fear.
As many of you, I too was very much embracing the beginning of the new year and fully release 2015, keeping its teachings and remembering its blessings and life lessons. I was beginning to notice that I was noticeably feeling even better around Christmastime and a few days thereafter. Fast forward to New Year’s Eve if I may. I had returned from doing laundry in Los Angeles, which may sound interesting to you, because I live in Buffalo. Over the past several months, I was brought to a “Coin Laundry” near my residence. I was always guided to park between the “o” in “coin” and the “u” in “laundry.” There are no coincidences in the Universe. “In LA.” Quite interesting indeed. This realization set in prior to New Year’s Eve, but I would it especially fitting that of all nights during the year, of all the things I could be doing, that laundry was what was in the tea leaves. In truth, I was actually spending some “time” in California, where I will be ringing in many a new year very soon.
After returning home, close to midnight, I sat down in my office, powering up the online feed of “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.” As is the customary tradition, John Lennon’s “Imagine” was being played in Times Square. Jessie J, whose music I admittedly not heard of until this night, was performing “Imagine,” leading an estimated one million people in the heart of New York City in singing this timeless classic, on the Planet Fitness “Judgment Free” stage. Empowered souls: I truly cannot put into words how amazing I felt while watching this. It felt as if there was a surge of white light flowing through my being, with a knowing that an inner knowing that 2016 was going to be the most beautiful year of my entire life and the lives of those I touched. Too add in a little flair, the song that came streaming on Pandora Radio in my living room? How about Whitney Houston’s “One Moment in Time.” My grandmother was definitely celebrating New Year’s Eve in heaven by having some fun with me, in a loving way of course, while operating the controls of Pandora Radio from above. I had never in my life felt this good to usher in a new year. And this experience, these series of present moments cost virtually nothing, albeit the cost of my electricity and internet for the day. I have a feeling that many of you experienced a memorable New Year’s Eve in your own right, as part of these recent supportive energies from the Divine.
There is a personal connection for placing a title with every blog that I write, and I safely assume that if you love to write creatively and let your soul speak through your PC, tablet, or favorite electronic device of your choice, that is also the same for you. You may be wondering as you read “Why did John select the title of ‘Give Your Glimpses to God’ for his first blog of 2016?” If that came through your flow of consciousness, wonderful! If not, no judgment. It’s all good either way.
If you have co-navigating my spiritual journey from afar, whether it be through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or through my previous blogs, you have noticed that my visions of what I am seeing for my life are beginning to unfold with even greater clarity, more than ever before. The name of my son was downloaded to me, the specific destination in California that “I am living in” was revealed, and yes, another layer of the inner knowing was shown to me: that the person I am meant to spend the rest of my life with here is already in my life. Even Oprah would think that’s a lot of Aha! moments in a brief span of time. This, combined with opening myself to the possibility of having more than just one child, despite my son being only one I “saw” and felt within my being.
It would be very easy on the surface to begin to want real, tangible answers from God during this part of your life. You could begin to think. And think some more. And then you could begin to over think, which turns into analyzing, followed by a part-time residence of dwelling in your noggin’. Thank you Mercury Retrograde! Now, you may believe that Mercury Retrograde parallels that of “Gilligan’s Island,” that your life is tossed about for a three weeks a few times per year. That’s what you may have thought until now. But try this on for size, while we are in the first few days of the first Mercury Retrograde of 2016: Imagine, just imagine that you are actually receiving clarity during this time. You are recognizing what is working and what’s not. You are reviewing your life and seeing what and/or whom needs to stay and what/whom needs to be released. It’s a time of reflection, seeing how far you’ve come on your own personal path, while letting things unfold before you.
Back at the end of 2013 leading into 2014, I saw glimpses of what my life was revealing for me, as my spiritual awakening began, as I began to shift: I saw the person I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with, my soul mate if you will. I saw having a family. I was given the opportunity to place my feet into the shallow end of the pool that is the Divine, through my experience co-hosting Soul Luminous Radio, learning from some of my greatest teachers: Anita Moorjani, Panache Desai, James Van Praagh, among others. A part of me thought I had everything figured out. Things were starting to make sense. Not so fast John! There were two things that were needed on my end that I had to reconnect with: my love with God and the love for myself that I so desperately wanted. All would be revealed when, where, and how it was meant to.
I was not ready then. I had to “be” with the emotions of fear, anger, guilt, judgment, shame, and unworthiness that I had suppressed for decades. Then, and only then, would I be able to truly move forward and allow myself to receive the blessings that God and the Universe had planned for me. The truth: When you love yourself, when you stay connected to God, when you forgive yourself for the times you did not love yourself and for the times you disconnected from God, your external matches the internal.
For countless souls across the planet, the past four or five years have brought up a lot. We have purged emotions, energy, vibrations, jobs, possessions, relationships, and yes, even money from your lives. What was no longer serving you needed to be let go of. And for some of us, that’s been a challenge. The whole “letting go” part. That’s where we’ve experienced the most discomfort. We clutched onto what we knew, in whatever way that presented itself, because that was all that we knew. Our souls, however, were not going to let us be “stuck” anymore. The Universe gave each and every one of us a little kick in the tush and moved us forward to where we needed to be. The really cool thing about all of this is literally found in the here and now: that 2016 is the year of completion.
What I described above may now be starting to make a little more sense. We had to go through that “stuff” in order to get to where we are now. We have come so far. Our dreams are no longer our dreams: They are our realities. So, your soul’s purpose is going to make the biggest strides over the next 12 months. The desires of your heart will begin to take shape in the physical realm. Now remember, before you return to the ride at the amusement park that is the mind, know that those desires will be revealed in the way that God wants. There are times when what you want is different from what your higher self wants and what the Divine has in store for you. Trust in the fact that everything really is happening in perfect divine order. That all really is well. You’ll be getting that more and more with each present moment that passes this year.
So yes, the Universe has been showing me abundance, many amazing images in forms, that can only be described as extensions of the unconditional love that I am. My grandmother and my angels have been communicating with me a great deal, specifically on the threads of my significant other/life partner/wife (releasing all titles and labels on this, but safe to say, you’re getting the picture on this), as well as on California.
Leave it to Pandora Radio for playing messages in the right moments after New Year’s Eve, coming mainly in the form of Celine Dion Radio. Yes, Celine Dion Radio, or what I like to refer to as “Heaven on Earth Radio,” a bit of an extension from what I mentioned about my grandmother’s plans for me for New Year’s Eve.
On a lighthearted note regarding Celine, as I wish to make everyone reading this smile and laugh: Growing up, I never resonated with Celine Dion’s music. I always wanted to change the channel whenever her songs came on. The beautiful soul that is my mother used to listen to Celine quite frequently, even seeing her perform in concert here in Buffalo. Who knew that the music of the “greatest singer in the world” would gravitate so strongly to my soul nearly two decades later. Not I.
While eating dinner the other night, I found myself listening to said “Heaven on Earth Radio” and on came Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” As soon as the song came on, I started weeping…openly weeping. It felt like a feeling I had several times prior over the last few years: that a part of me was dying inside. That I was letting go of who I used to be…again (in my best authentic Forrest Gump impersonation). Since the summer of 2012, there has been so much soul growth in my life, so much that I have let go of, whether it be where I used to live, the physical weight that I released, my two radio shows/podcasts (Monday Night Mayhem and Soul Luminous Radio), working in the collections industry, many of my past relationships, and pretty much most of my connections to who and what I thought I was and who and what I wanted to be. This time, however, it felt similar, but very much different. This feeling, from the depths of my soul, felt like the abundance that I had waited my whole entire life for was now wanting to come in.
I had re-established my connection with God and with my inner child, both of which I am deeply grateful for. I forgave myself and those who I had felt hurt me. I have come very far in loving myself during this time. And I also surrendered everything to the Divine. All I simply had to do to receive this limitless abundance was to believe in myself, to believe that I am worthy of being connected to the Power of Intention (as Wayne Dyer refers to in the book of the same title) and worthy of fulfilling my dharma.
So what was my choice? You better believe I chose to continue to believe in myself, now more than I ever have before, while also continuing to acknowledge and trust that I am being supported at all times, in all ways. 111%. I “gave my glimpses to God.”
I have found myself over the past several days at night, before heading to sleep, in deep meditation, which includes the listening and viewing of four specific songs and brief snidbits of two specific movies and one of my favorite television shows on YouTube, all of which have a California connection, all of which my soul took note of when my ears hear the tracks and my eyes watched the films. Those are very sacred to me. And so, what I have seen in my mind’s eye for some time now, is now being revealed, frame by frame, in the movie of my life.
Seeing how I am serving others. Seeing the unconditional love that is me being reflected in a special someone and in my own child/children. Seeing that light that I am being reflected in the California sunshine. Feeling the clarity that is flowing through me being reflected in the clear blue water of the Pacific Ocean. It’s all here. If this is what God really has planned for me, I had to give it back to him. If someone or something is truly meant to be, it’ll happen, the way God has intended and all in divine timing. I had to continue to love myself in the interim, while the puzzle pieces take shape.
I have peace and solace that I’m right where I need to be. And that’s a good feeling. So, smile. 2016 has some magnificent surprises in store for all of us. This is going to be the greatest year of your life. You know how I know? Because, in some way, on some level, our enrollment on Earth School has already happened. It’s all already happened while it’s all happening. In the immortal words of Bill and Ted: “Woah.”
I’d love to hear how your new year of love is going. Have you given your glimpses to God? I cordially invite you to post your thoughts in the comments below, e-mail them via the Contact section here on EmpoweredByJohn.com, or connect with me on social media (Facebook or Twitter). If these loving words from my heart inspire or help you in any way and/or if you feel that this blog could help someone transform 2016 into a year of self-love and a co-creation with God, someone who needs some faith and hope in their lives, I would be profoundly grateful for you to share this with him or her.
Until then empowered souls, I leave you with some more immortal words of Bill and Ted, as well as a deep bow from myself to you.
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