The Edgar Cayce readings have been life changing to me for many years, and the A.R.E. conferences and A Search for God study group equally life changing. One of my favorite Cayce readings talked about our “soul's purpose,” suggesting that instead of changing the world by yourself overnight, it might be just as simple as brightening the corner of one person you meet, every day. I remember my smile and sense of relief at seeing a task so achievable, yet collectively with such a powerful impact! Which leads me to the present ...
I recently attended the “Mindfulness” seminar at A.R.E. headquarters in Virginia Beach, Va. It was a great conference! The concepts were so powerful that I made an entire set of outline notes from each presenter to remind myself of those key concepts going forward. Many people attending the conference asked the question: “What if my current career is not in line with my soul's purpose? Should I quit?” Your leaders replied: “What do YOU think?” They explained each person must answer that question privately. I thought back to my own experience and realized that over a 30 year period, the A.R.E. studies gradually, but totally, reshaped my external life to balance with my spiritual ideal. I didn't even recognize this until the conference!
In 1996, I left a large law firm to start my own law practice. Although I hated litigation, nearly 95% of my practice consisted of it. I suffered a lot of stress-induced illnesses in those early years! During ebbs and flows over 17 years, my private practice slowly morphed from a full litigation docket into a practice that is small, varied, mediation-driven, flexible, and profitable. I start each day with meditation and am also able to do short meditations throughout the day when needed. I am able to take Wednesdays off and devote that day to balancing, meditation, and massage. Interestingly, my billable hours and revenues did not slip even though you would expect them to. I'm also able to provide pro bono (donated legal services) to various 501 (c)3 charities, many of which are either equine therapy or developmental riding therapy programs, or rehabilitation homes for mentally or physically disabled adults, or young adults just released from foster care. Nearly 90% of my litigation cases settle early and without trial. In many instances, the respective parties go on to do business with each other again. In early March, I will complete my American Arbitration Association training as an AAA mediator/arbitrator and look forward to focusing more and more on that side of my practice. I continue to work with small business and minority and women business owners on local, state, and national economic development programs and legislative advocacy training. In other words, without my even realizing it, my “dread” job turned into my “dream job”! It was so incremental that I (apparently!) didn't even realize it was happening until the A.R.E. conference on Mindfulness. Thank you, A.R.E., for the conference and its “mindfulness” reminder to recognize and appreciate that what we pray for, we may have received without even realizing it!
The conference also generated some amazing synchronicity during and immediately following the conference. Another conference attendee, learning I did a lot of legislative training work, told me about a book written by Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio called A Mindful Nation. I immediately purchased and read it on my return to Kansas City. The book's concepts, employing many of the Jon Kabat Zinn concepts taught at the conference, was just the source I was seeking for my desire to incrementally change the political dialogue. Two days after my return, I had to fly to meet with one of my expert witnesses, a commercial construction engineer that specializes in analyzing multi-million dollar commercial development claims. At dinner, I told him about recently completing the Mindfulness seminar in Virginia Beach and how impressed I was with the many concepts discussed. Imagine my surprise when he said he was studying materials by Lama Surya Das on the same issue. He couldn't believe I had just attended a conference with the Lama and was able to meet and talk to him in person!
My spiritual intention for 2013 is “deliberateness.” I can't wait to see where and what is delivered each day moving forward. I feel very blessed to have attended the conference, visited the headquarters after so many years, experienced a Cayce/Reilly® massage for the first time, and then been blessed by these multiple “what a coincidence” instances after the conference. I am so grateful to the A.R.E. organization and staff for continuing this important work.
When I think it has taken me nearly 30 years to write this letter to you, I imagine how many other nameless, quiet people have been touched by the lessons and by your work! Please remember how much good work goes on quietly to persons beyond your immediate knowledge. Keep it up, and “Thank you!”