Inspirational Leader Maryann Patalano shares an excerpt from her book titled, “Journal Like God – Harness the Creative Power of the Universe Through Journal Writing,” below.
Several years ago, I felt a divine inner calling to become a Licensed Religious Science Practitioner (RScP). A Practitioner is an individual who takes the courses (4 years of study) and does the required inner and outer spiritual work to become licensed. The Centers for Spiritual Living defines a Practitioner as:
“One who endeavors to heal themselves and others through the creative power of Mind and the ever availability of Good. Practitioners are individuals who have been trained in the art, skill, and science of Affirmative Prayer. A practitioner seeks to demonstrate the power of spiritual realization in everyday affairs and believes in Divine guidance. A Practitioner sees through whatever condition someone is facing to the spiritual truth of your being, bringing about a change in the circumstance. Practitioners are licensed to practice professionally, and are bound by a high code of ethics to respect your privacy.”
While going through my Practitioner training I was encouraged to journal every day. At the same time, I learned about the creative universal laws and principles discussed in this book. I was raised Roman Catholic and the principles and references to God that were presented in the training were contrary to what I had learned as a child. However, the New Thought material I was studying made more sense; it felt right. Contrary to my previous belief, which preached separation from my source, I learned that I am an emanation of God. This was an entirely new concept to me! I had always been told that I was separate from God, practically abandoned.
I noticed a distinct correlation between what I had written in my journal and what came to pass in my experience. I’m not saying that events mirrored the events I wished for, or wrote about.
Rather, my perceptions, beliefs, and feelings surrounding experiences were precisely reflected back to me at some future time. The tone of my writing was connected to the subsequent tone of my experiences. It became clear to me that I exist in a reciprocal universe; that I get back whatever I put out. In my Catholic upbringing, this concept was referred to as “You will reap as you sow.” I reviewed some older journals and, upon deep reflection, I discovered that through the laws and principles I was learning, I had always co-created with the Universe.
Aha! It was then I realized I had been writing most often from my ego-self (Lower Self), and had expressed a lot of fear, doubt, and worry. I began to recognize that my journals contained a lot of limiting beliefs and negativity. I believed that God certainly would not have written journals in this manner, and I wondered: “What would God (or Source) write like?” I wanted to write like God! I had concluded that to do so would most certainly create improved experiences and enhance my life. As a result, I designed the journaling method discussed in this book. I began to write in ways that reflected the magnificence of God; and my life began to reflect the magnificence of God.
I want to share some additional background about myself to illustrate that I am writing from firsthand experience. Last year, just before getting married, I quit my corporate job at IBM to focus on being a Practitioner. The journey to this point was an incredible testament to the power of belief in Spirit.
Ten years ago, I left my family and friends behind in New York and moved to North Carolina to provide a better life for my then three-year-old daughter. I was a divorced, single mother doing the best I could for my child. I worked as an Administrative Assistant at IBM, bought a house, and settled my life in the beautiful town of Cary, North Carolina. Cary is one of the best places to live in America. On the outside, it appeared that my life was great – I had a beautiful child, a beautiful little house, a great job, a reliable car, and plenty of money. I didn’t have to struggle. However, I was unfulfilled mentally and spiritually. My job as an assistant to one of the highest-level executives at IBM was completely unfulfilling. I did, however, recognize it as a financial blessing.
Though life in North Carolina was great, my daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy almost immediately after my arrival. My entire family still lived in New York and because I was new to the area, I had almost no friends. Looking back, I see that Spirit guided and guarded us through the move and through her illness. But at the time I was heartbroken and terrified for my daughter. I never imagined I would have the strength to manage the situation on my own, but I did. I now realize that I was not alone: Spirit was with me every step of the way.
After living a quiet, peaceful life in our new house for about a year, my peace was totally destroyed when I witnessed a freak shoot-out that occurred on my cul-de-sac. Unbeknownst to me when I bought my house, a neighborhood feud was brewing, and was the reason my house was for sale. I’ll not forget the sounds of the gunshots, and a crazed man howling outside as I cowered down below my front door window, peeking at the terrible scene. I got down on my hands and knees and told my daughter to do the same as we crawled to the guest room closet, where I dialed 911. Time stood still as gunshots sounded outside. My daughter and I trembled in the closet as I anxiously waited to hear police sirens. All of this in one of the best towns in America!
The situation got even worse when I woke up the next day. Still in shock, I was hoping that the prior evening’s event was just a nightmare. However, when I looked outside, it was evident that the shooter had spray-painted a crazy, horrific message across the entire front of his house!
Thankfully, no one was shot during the tirade. A few weeks after the gunshots, the neighborhood husbands got together and painted over the offensive message so that the house would not be such an eyesore. However, the traumatic memories persisted for me and I never felt safe in my beloved house again. Shortly thereafter, I moved to another neighborhood.
I enjoyed living in my new neighborhood. My daughter’s epilepsy went away and I was doing well at work. I was single and dating – but dating men who did not enhance my life, and even brought negativity to it. My father is a strong, successful, Italian-American, Roman Catholic man. I am the only girl of five siblings. As a result, I have my own idea about what a man should be like. However, the men I met didn’t live up to that idea. I wanted to meet a very specific type of man: one I could relate to in deep emotional, physical, and spiritual ways. I wanted a fairytale love story, but it eluded me.
Life went on and I remained strong giving my daughter the best possible life – good public schools, dance classes, and guitar lessons. In the meantime, I happened upon the teachings of Ernest Holmes, the author of The Science of Mind, the book Religious Science is based upon. I began to regularly attend Wednesday and Sunday services at the Triangle Center for Spiritual Living in Raleigh. Soon afterward, I began taking classes at the Center.
The first class I took was “Foundations,” which takes students through the 10 Core Concepts of Religious Science, the science of the loving, creative intelligence that we live in. Intuitively, I knew that everything I was learning in class was true. For example, the Centers for Spiritual Living teaches that “thoughts are things,” that there exists a “collective consciousness” and that God is everywhere present. God is right where you are – in and through you.
I came to understand that my mind is a part of the Universal Mind (God). It was a surreal experience to hear such simple truths spoken about and taught in such an open, loving, and honest manner. I went on to take more classes and became entirely immersed in New Thought teachings. I made the decision to become a Licensed Practitioner.
Shortly after deciding to become a Practitioner, I declared to the Universe that someday I would quit my corporate job and become a spiritual leader. I also declared that I would meet a wonderful, loving man who would exceed my expectations. I also believed that I would live a lavishly abundant life. I did not know how all of this would happen, but I knew and believed that through Spirit all things were possible – and that this was all I had to know. Faith in God through me – what a concept!
I began journaling like God, which combines New Thought principles and a prayer method known as Affirmative Prayer. Soon, all my declarations came to pass. For example, I met and married my soul mate (a fairytale love story!) My daughter and I moved from a modest house into an estate home on a private golf club. I now drive a fabulous new sports car. I quit my job at IBM and am enjoying being a wife and stepmother. We often travel to wonderful places such as Miami, New York, and San Francisco. However, the material blessings do not compare to the abundance of love and friendships I now enjoy. One of my greatest pleasures is providing Affirmative Prayer to members of my spiritual community after services.
I was recently named as an “Inspirational Luminary” on the website InspireMeToday.com, which was quite an honor. As a spiritual leader, I facilitate workshops, write, teach, and lecture. My written work has been published in national magazines and on national websites. Recently, my company co-sponsored Will Bowen’s visit to Raleigh. Will is the internationally known best- selling author of A Complaint Free World. It was a pleasure for my family to meet him and enjoy his inspirational message.
Admittedly, I still do experience difficulties, setbacks, and disappointments, just like everyone else. However, the duration of my struggles and suffering has decreased significantly due to my spiritual study and journaling practice. I have become more loving, forgiving, and compassionate. Therefore, I experience more of the same. I accept more abundance; therefore, I experience more abundance. My greater awareness and ability to see things differently have made all the difference!
My husband has been a great blessing and has taught me more about the meaning of love, generosity, and selflessness. In all ways, my life reflects the love and abundance of Spirit. I stand as an example of what Spirit (God) can do to you by working through you. I am an advocate and ambassador of The Science of Mind and New Thought principles.