The God You Don’t Believe in Doesn’t Exist

I don’t “believe” in God. What I mean by stating to Atheists or those that question the existence of God is that the super hero, long white bearded judgmental God sitting up in heaven doesn’t exist.

God  is far beyond any form we humans have tried to put on him (she or it) The word God has been terribly misunderstood from the beginning of time, in fact the sheer magnitude of the universal divine force defies comprehension of the human mind.

Many religious fundamentalists who claim to be following God’s teachings are simply spewing dogma as a means of controlling people.

God is life itself, beyond all form and ideology, available to all, manifesting as pure love.

I am a spiritual seeker, have been for most of my life. That being said, I have some of the most compelling spiritual conversations with friends who profess to be atheist. Recently I had lunch with one of my atheist friends. He is retired doctor who shared with me that he couldn’t believe in a God that allowed so much of the horrible suffering in children he treated as a pediatrician in his early career. We do however agree that there is a “force” that is greater than we are that just may have created and now sustains the universe.

My true essence could only start to be realized by becoming a spiritual rebel. I had to question the rules of my Jewish heritage in order to come to know a power greater than my small ego. This Self or Soul is the guiding light of my life. It has been the healing force of my life in recovery.

Everyone of us has this “Higher Self” within us that can be experienced typically in moments of deep silence. We each have a unique path home to our soul. Mediation, prayer, quiet time in nature, music and art are some of the ways.

What has been taught by the saints, sages and prophets of all the true religious traditions is that God is Love, simple pure Love that is accessible to each and every one of us.


Do You Believe in You?

I love a fresh start, a clean slate. While I think something as small as a deep breath can wipe the slate, the end of the year also represents an opportunity to begin again. If you let it, yearend can be a time to celebrate everything you’ve accomplished, all the ways you’ve grown and all the things you’re inspired to undertake in the new year. As you celebrate and look forward, I invite you to consider your ideal state for 2017. With that ideal state in mind, what will you need to change to get to that state? Whether it’s a goal, a new year’s resolution, a fresh intention, or even a different mantra – give thought to what you’d like to embark on and why it’s important to you. That “why” is critical to stay motivated and to give meaning to your changes.

Change can be hard, we’re creatures of comfort and often the devil we know is more comfortable than the one we don’t. That’s why, come mid-February, many people have conveniently forgotten about their new year’s resolutions. Set yourself up for success this year and if you veer off track, take a breath, wipe the slate clean and start again.

Here are some things I do to keep inspiration strong and my head and heart focused on my intentions:

• Write down your intention and post it in a place (or multiple places) where you’ll see it often • Create an inspiration board with images and words that evoke your goal and how it will feel when you accomplish it (if you don’t have a lot of magazines handy, then Pinterest boards are great for this, take a screenshot of your board and use it as your computer wallpaper) • Get an accountability partner who will support you and who you will be responsible to • Visualize achieving your ideal state, imagine all the ways your life will be different in deep detail • Break your resolution into manageable steps and create a schedule to keep moving forward • Track your progress and celebrate big, as well as small, milestones

Let your next breath signal a fresh start and then take your first step towards your new intention, you’ve got this! Meg Burton Tudman Health Coach | Yoga Teacher

Is Everyone Really Doing Their Best?

There was a time when I had a bit of a chip on my shoulder, I felt as if everyone was out to get me, like the deck was stacked against me.  I released that chip because I decided to accept that everyone is doing the best they can. Frankly, it doesn’t really matter if they’re out to get me or not, or if they’re doing their best or not because that’s always going to be out of my control.  What is in my control is how I respond and that focus makes my life so much better.

Accepting that everyone is doing the best they can may seem a bit Pollyanna and that’s definitely not me.  It takes practice to cultivate this mindset and sometimes it’s really hard!

I love Brené Brown’s work and in her book Rising Strong, Her husband’s response to “Do you think everyone is doing the best they can?” is one of the best truths I’ve heard.  He explains, “All I know is that my life is better when I assume that people are doing their best. It keeps me out of judgment and lets me focus on what is, and not what should or could be.”

Eureka!   So, when we aren’t recognized at work for going above and beyond, it’s not a reflection on the quality of our work or our worth.  Our co-workers are doing the best they can and right now that doesn’t involve acknowledging us.  That doesn’t change our awesome skills or value.

When we’re in a hurry at the grocery store and the person ahead of us is unloading his cart at a snail’s pace and then decides to pay with a handwritten check, the universe is not against us and this person probably isn’t a jerk.  He’s doing the best he can at that moment and our judgment or anger isn’t going to make the line move faster, it’s only going to increase our stress response.

When we’re too exhausted to cook a homemade meal for ourselves or our families and we get takeout instead, it doesn’t mean we’re bad. The best we can do some days is takeout (hopefully healthy takeout!) and that’s okay, healthy or not.

Our self-criticism doesn’t change the situation; it only makes it harder for us to thrive.   Are you starting to get the point?  Our judgment and criticism negatively impact us more than anyone and there will be days when we need compassion from ourselves and others, so the more we practice the idea that everyone is doing their best, including us, the easier that compassion is to express.

Here are some ways I try to cultivate acceptance of everyone doing their best:

Pause and take a few deep breaths, especially when rushing or about to explode.

Be mindful, notice what’s really happening and give others the benefit of the doubt.

Tune into the internal dialogue, reframe negative thoughts with positive ones.

Say no when necessary and let go of any guilt around it.

I invite you to practice this acceptance, moment by moment and breath by breath and then notice how much you’re thriving.

Meg Burton Tudman

Health Coach and Yoga Instructor