Now Featured at the Patheos Book Club
The Lotus and the Lily
Access the Wisdom of Buddha and Jesus to Nourish Your Beautiful, Abundant Life

By Janet Conner

Book Excerpt: Welcome
Copyright © 2012 The Lotus and the Lily by Janet Conner
Reprinted with permission of Red Wheel Weiser/Conari Press

Welcome to the divine playground of your soul. Here, Julian of Norwich's sweet blessing "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well" actually comes to pass. And none too soon. For many of us things haven't been going so well. We look around and wonder, "What happened? How did I get here?"

It isn't that we haven't been told what to do. We have. In many ways and by many teachers, we've been told to ask and receive. Asking sounds so easy and so fun. And sometimes, it works! But sometimes, nothing happens. Or the wrong thing happens. So we ask again. And again. And again. It seems no matter how much activity there is at the asking end, there's never quite enough on the receiving end.

Something is wrong, and we assume it must be with us. Maybe we're not asking correctly, or we're not clear enough about what we want, or our thoughts aren't in the right alignment, or perhaps our vibration is off, or we don't trust enough, or we're not saying the right affirmations, or—here's a scary thought—maybe we don't deserve to get what we want. Or, yikes, what if the universe doesn't actually work this way.

It's frustrating to keep knocking at a door that doesn't seem to want to open. Many of us are ready to give up.

Please don't give up. There's nothing wrong with you, and there's nothing wrong with the way the universe works. Furthermore, you are utterly and completely worthy of experiencing a life of abundance and joy. And—here's an important piece of good news—you already possess everything you need to create that life. Because you are a soul. That means you were born with innate spiritual intelligence. That means direct and immediate access to the Divine was built into you at the factory. That means the creative powers of desire, imagination, will, and intention are all at your fingertips. Hafiz, the peerless Sufi mystic, knows this little secret about you:

All the talents of God are within you.
How could this be otherwise
When your soul
Derived from His
—Hafiz, from "All the Talents of God," The Gift, translation by Daniel Ladinsky

Here's another little secret: You chose this human experience, and you came to live in beauty, not in pain—to consume life, not to be consumed by it. You came to create life, and at the soul level, you know how to do that. You've just humanly forgotten, as we all have. But the truth is still alive and waiting. The great masters, the Buddha and Jesus, told us ages ago how to create an abundant life and—guess what?—they did not say get clear about what you want and ask for it. The Buddha said, "When conditions are sufficient there is a manifestation." Jesus said, "[W]hen we pursue a right relationship with the Universal One and allow this relationship to realign our lives, we produce a condition of receptivity in which anything we need to help us complete our purpose in life will be supplied by the universe."