Wednesday

The Cracked Plate

Are any of these situations famiilar?

• You are asking for a new job and you get offered voluntary work.
• You want to work in TV and a film crew spends a day shooting in your street.
• You want your own horse and you find a stray dog in the street.
• You want a good relationship and you get chatted up by someone who’s married.
• You want a new dinner service – and you are given a cracked plate.

It’s very easy to get mad about the Universe’s seeming non-comprehension of what you want but stop before you do. Get grateful instead. “The Cracked Plate Syndrome” is a very clear message that you’re on your way but something still needs a little more (or maybe a little less!) attention.

It’s actually a wonderful thing when something borderline to your desire shows up in your life. No, you don’t have to accept what’s come as the final answer but you do need to acknowledge it as a step in the right direction.

I first came across “The Cracked Plate Syndrome” in Catherine Ponder’s Bible of creating abundance, The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity (De Vors). Catherine teaches that the cracked plate is a clear sign from the Universe that the dinner service you want is on its way. All you have to do is check the signals you’re putting out and start giving thanks that what you want is already yours and moving closer.

Checking the signals you’re putting out is important. Sometimes you’re not quite asking clearly. For example, asking the Universe for full healing for a sick person or pet could (to the Universe) mean taking them home to Heaven. Asking for full physical wellness for that animal is closer to the mark.

I once asked for love with a kind, funny loving man like my former boss (who was a cutie). Guess what? I started being asked out by married men. I’d forgotten the all-important stipulation of a single kind, funny, loving man. My boss was married so the Universe thought that was the complete package that I wanted. Remember, Universal Law is very literal.

Don’t panic; you don’t have to fret frantically over the exact wording for your desire – that’s exactly what the Cracked Plate Syndrome is for: to help you hone your request and clarify your desire.

However if you’re constantly getting cracked plates, it could be that you are actually asking for something that can’t come to you either because your energy simply isn’t aligned to it yet — or it’s something that wouldn’t do you any good if it did come.

And leading on from that, it may be that the cracked plate is what you do want after all.

For example: I want to do more interfaith work so I Googled ‘Interfaith teacher’ and came up with a Fellowship in the Interfaith Department at Cambridge University. Now, in the academic world I would appear not to have a cat’s hope in hell when it comes to being accepted as a Fellow at one of the UK’s top universities; I simply don’t have the academic qualifications.

Several of my friends thought I was crazy (and said so) but, within a week, I’d been offered lecturing work at Stafford University, a former polytechnic. So the Universe had marked my request and come up with the nearest cracked plate available. And I’m very grateful for it!

If you’re in any doubt about what you actually do want or whether what the Universe is offering you is the cracked plate or the Full Monty, the simplest answer is to get vaguer!

Every day give thanks for everything you have appreciated in the last 24 hours from stroking a pet, through having a cup of tea to not being run over by a bus. And then tell the Universe that you want to wake up happy tomorrow and to receive a wonderful, amazing and delightful surprise.

That makes it so much easier for you to create a life full of happiness – and the perfect dinner service. Because you may have been asking for white plates with an ivy pattern and the simple truth is that you are plain plate with a silver edging kind of person; you just don’t know it yet.

Asking for a lovely surprise frees up all parties in the Ask and Allow equation. You get what the Universe knows you will love and the Universe doesn’t get its hands tied in a knot.

Trust your Higher Self to know best. Trust the Universe to deliver. Just get happy; that’s really all it takes and if by the Law of Attraction you see a physical cracked plate in the next week, I bet you’ll laugh out loud.

Tuesday

The Sabbath

“I’m late. I’m late!” said the White Rabbit.

This article is late. Technically it should have been sent out on 28th February or 1st March. And the reason why it wasn’t is this month’s topic.

The Sabbath.

Despite the fact that guilt tried to gnaw me raw I didn’t write it yesterday. I didn’t check my emails. I didn’t answer the phone. I didn’t go on Facebook or Twitter; I kept my mobile turned off; I didn’t update my website which was suddenly (again!) totally out of date. I worked all weekend so Monday was my Sabbath.

“Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy” is the fourth of the Ten Commandments. If we are of a similar age and upbringing, you’ll remember deeply boring Sunday mornings in Church and Sunday afternoons with absolutely nothing to do apart from (in term time) the dreaded homework.

Nowadays, of course, it’s different. You can do pretty much whatever you please on the Sabbath, whether it’s Saturday or Sunday or any other day off if you are working at the weekend.

But do you? Especially if you work for yourself or as a freelance? Or do you still open up the computer and deal with emails? Do you succumb to Facebook or Twitter addiction? Do you scorn the idea of keeping a day separate and sacred? Do you have good intentions but get ambushed by family, colleagues or friends? Does the dreaded Should bite your neck?

It’s not easy to celebrate a Sabbath. In the fast-paced world there’s always the Blackberry, the mobile and the Internet. But I’d suggest you try.

The idea is not about being bored. It’s not even about stopping you from going shopping or having fun; it’s about slowing down enough to be able to hear the Daughter of the Voice.

The Daughter of the Voice is one of the names for Shekhinah, the Presence of God, also known as the Feminine of God. This is the part of Divinity which touches our Higher Self and which gives birth to us and receives us back at death.

It’s often said that prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening to God and a Sabbath is a whole day where we are meant to slow down enough to be able to hear our intuition — the Still, Small Voice. It can tell us where we’re going right and where we are out of kilter. But it can’t compete with the noise of constant action.

I worked both days of the last two weekends and the first temptation was to say that I didn’t need time off was everything I was doing was delightful and inspirational. I’d done two workshops and taught at the Interfaith Seminary and had had a ball on every occasion. So my ego was fairly emphatic that more fun was not required; what WAS required was administration, banking, accounting, answering emails, writing etc. etc.

And other people can’t be expected to know you’re taking a day off either. The phone rang these last two Mondays just as much as it always does. It’s not easy to let it ring and challenging for my husband to have to answer it for me and tell someone with a pressing enquiry that I’m not available when I’m obviously doing very little.

And apart from that, defining a Sabbath is pretty tricky. In essence it’s meant to be about not doing what you do every other day. Ringing the changes.

Should I go shopping? Should I phone my mother? Should I do the washing? Should I clean out the chickens? Should I do something worthwhile instead of blogging in front of the TV? Was it defaming the Sabbath to be blogging in front of the TV? Should I cook? Should I take just that one phone call? Should I send just one email in case someone’s worrying? After all, I haven’t been on the Internet since Friday so checking emails would be okay wouldn’t it?

No, it wouldn’t. Because it would be succumbing to the demon of Should.

Maybe that’s it. The Sabbath is a day off from doing anything that we Should.

That’s going to be a tricky one I know but I think that’s just the point. Our life is run by so many unacknowledged Shoulds.

One of the things I love about the Jewish faith is that debate about the laws is encouraged so there can always be a lively discussion about what’s appropriate. Even if the discussion is only inside our own head.

One thing I do know for sure. If we don’t take time out for the Still Small Voice then we’ll never be free of the Shoulds or the Hows or the Urgents.

Yes, today when I logged onto the internet there were five emails saying “Please confirm you received this…” because I hadn’t replied in three days. But I know the answer to that now because it came to me easily and peacefully yesterday as I sat with my feet up, a beagle on my lap and a good book in my hands. I can put an “Enjoying a Day Off” out of office auto-reply on my emails for just that one day a week. I can put a message on the answerphone. I can own up to the fact that I take a Sabbath. For me and for God. And without that, I can’t deal with you guys half as well as I do.

So this month, take a Sabbath just for fun, once a week. If it’s too much to ask, I’d respectfully suggest that’s the root of practically ALL your prosperity issues in just one go.

Bless you and have a wonderful March.