“Will You! Won’t You?”: Journey of Worth 2.0 – Day 15

Copyright Tam Black 2016 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2016
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Cracking The Oyster

Happy Saturday! Welcome to Day 15!

This morning was a battle of the will, which as it turns out, was both completely apropos and on topic!

This article is much shorter than it could have been; there was Sus, sitting at the table, battling her own will, trying to not take this article off into the stratosphere. It doesn’t happen often, but when Divine Love and Will start “talking”, I think it becomes difficult to know when to shut the spigot off in favor of staying on “a” topic. She did manage though…and I think you’re going to notice (at least if you’re a regular reader) there seems to be a bit of an abrupt ending to today’s article (lol). That’s not to say the article isn’t “complete”, it is; there’s just a sudden seeming shortness to it today.

It’s not you, dear reader. It’s not you, not today…lol!

So, grab yourself a temperature appropriate beverage, get to your favorite cushy reading spot, and as always…




Guiding Thought

There is only one Will. That Will is Love. That Will is your Love, my Love, our Love, together. Only when you will in Love is the outcome assured in Love. Only when you will in Love do you know the results are truly beneficial to all, including yourself. Only when you will with Love are you Free and can affirm with certainty “All is as it should be”.



It almost seems like this Guiding Thought is saying that the reason to Will in Love is to see results that are beneficial to all, or to experience results that “are as it should be”. And, in a way, that is right. Willing in Love does produce results that are beneficial to all and there is confidence when Willing in Love that the results are as it should be.

But getting those results is not the reason to Will in Love. The results of benefit and assurance are simply the side-effects of Willing in Love. The reason to Will in Love is that there is only one Will and that Will is Love. When you Will in Love, you are willing your own will, and willing the only thing that is real. While at the same time, you are willing my will, and everyone’s will–the One Will. That is why the results are beneficial to all–because Love is all our wills; It is all we want.

It’s kind of like what A Course in Miracles teaches: “That which is real cannot be threatened, that which is unreal does not exist.” Only Love exists. We can only will something that exists: Love. Yet, we can believe we are willing something other than Love.

Trying to will anything other than Love, or believing that we are, keeps us in the illusion that it is possible to will something other than Love. We experience the results of trying to will something other than Love–we experience harm, suffering, confusion, fear, frustration, and call them “real”, but they disappear as soon as we will in Love.

Love’s Will is the only thing that is real; it’s the only thing that exists.

If you don’t “buy” this, but you want results that feel good to you, that produce amicable relationships, that maintain peace and harmony in your life, or that just keep you feeling good, by all means…do it for the side effects.

“Try It, You’ll like It!”: Journey of Worth 2.0 – Day 14

Copyright Tam Black 2016 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2016
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

I feel an introduction is in order as this is something new to you folks here at WP.

My name is Tam. How do you do?

For quite some time now, you’ve known me as the individual who provides the pictures that sit atop the articles here. Once the articles are posted here, they’re also “tweeted” and posted over at FB on the Susanwithpearls page there. I also post the articles to my personal page on FB because I believe in what Susan is doing and want all MY friends to be able to read them, even if they’ve not signed up for SWP on FB or here.

Over the years, I’ve taken to writing introductions to the article every day; some personal insight of my own having to do with what the article means, or insight into Susan (having known her for 16 yrs.), myself, or just life in general. Susan has asked that these introductions be shared here at WP as well…we call it “cracking the oyster” (so you can get straight to the pearls). I apologize in advance…and hope you enjoy them as much as our friends and families do.



Cracking The Oyster

Happy Friday! It’s Day 14…welcome to it!

We’ve knocked back two whole weeks of this Journey already…WOW! This thing is just movin’ right along, and no one has given me a reason to turn the car around YET! 😉

Today’s article is a little more tough, a little more psychologically sticky, than the others have been so far. Everyone’s had issues with their own sense of worth at some point…and this article is gonna nail it to the wall and poke at it a bit. Not in an intentional way by any means, but only because we’ve all been there, questioned ourselves. Today is about how let go of the feeling of limitation…(that’s a tough one alright)…in order to give freely that which is infinite (ourselves).

So, grab yourself a good stiff drink :), get to your favorite cushy reading spot, and as always…




Guiding Thought

Your worth is inestimable, beyond compare!

Always know you always have everything to give—as such, you may always give freely! Know your worth! Give it! Give it freely! Know in the giving!

As you give, you learn; allow Joy and Peace to lead and to guide you. Follow willingly because you know: Where there is Joy and Peace, there is Love; where there is Love, you are; where you are, you are giving your inestimable worth.



Today’s Guiding Thought is a hard lesson to grasp.

It begins by proclaiming your worth as inestimable, and beyond compare. Who really believes this? Who doesn’t struggle with this idea? How many people gloss over this first sentence, without even trying to feel it, without even attempting to believe it? Unfortunately, I do this too. It is symptomatic of low self-worth, of not even knowing how to receive the idea that my worth is incomparable.

Then, the Guiding Thought tells us we have everything to give, so we can always give freely…and that (apparently) when we give freely, we’ll somehow be validated in knowing that we have everything to give. (Again…) who really believes this? Please understand I am not saying the Guiding Thought is not True. The Guiding Thought has it absolutely, 100% right…but most of us are not “there” (yet). So many people still associate giving with losing or not having; there is no way, in that mindset, that giving can also mean “having everything”. But this is why the Guiding Thoughts are so important–it’s the mindset of not having, of limitation, and of clenching to keep, that the Guiding Thought opposes. Until people are ready to let go of limitation, and accept (and receive) that which is infinite, they will be stuck.

In combination with the first sentence, this letting go and accepting the infinite is additionally difficult. Until we, see ourselves as the infinity we are to give away, we will not know how much we have to give, nor understand that we can never, ever, lose when we give.

There is a bit of relief from the difficulty of this Guiding Thought in the third section: learn. As you give, you learn… Learning implies, or acknowledges, that you don’t know…yet. How do you learn? Try it. See for yourself. Try thinking of yourself as infinitely valuable, of incomparable worth. Try it. Try giving everything you have. Try it!

It’s also saying two other things that are not as noticeable:

1) What you have to give–that which is already of inestimable worth–is who you are. You don’t have to contrive anything. There is no figuring it out. You’re already you; you are already naturally and easily Love, which is your inestimable worth.

2) There is a positive reinforcement that you will experience as you try it: Peace and Joy. When you experience Peace and Joy, you know you have created the conditions necessary for Peace and Joy to exist. This is why Peace and Joy lead you. They show you how your attitude, energy, and actions produce results. The only results that matter are Peace and Joy, because those are the emotional/spiritual results that are showing you the Truth of yourself through your attitudes, energy, and actions.

With this Guiding Thought, it does not matter where you start to try it. You may start by encouraging your own self-worth, or you may start with giving as much as you can, or you may begin to look for more Peace and Joy, and try to figure out the attitude, energy, and actions that preceded it. Try it! Just start!

“In Truth, It Never Was”: Journey of Worth 2.0 – Day 13

Copyright Tam Black 2016 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2016
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

Love yourself for the Truth within you. The Truth within you Knows you for who you are—Pure Love, Only Love, beyond all valuing of the world. In Love all are equal, for we are One. This is how Truth Knows you—Pure, One, and Free. This is your Truth; this is our Truth; this is the Self you love.



I’ve been learning so much about Love lately. I want pure love, real love, authentic Love. Yet, I also wonder what pure, real, authentic Love is. (You know me, I always ask, how do I know?)

In my stubbornness to accept only pure, real, authentic Love, I tend to dismiss or deny a feeling that could be Love, but I don’t know for certain.  If I don’t know, then (maybe) it isn’t pure, real, and authentic. I want that Love that is so certain it is absolute. 100%. I don’t even need to think about what it is or how I know, because it’s just there, surrounding me, flowing through me, bubbling up in me unprovoked and unannounced.

Well. For a while now, I have been feeling empty (or, more specifically, numb). It’s that kind of empty that is on the verge of a breakthrough. The emptiness of making room for more, the emptiness of clearing away the dross, to replace it with the Divine. But it still feels empty, and that can be a difficult space for lengths of time.

There have been a couple of things that have happened over the past week that have given me the gift of feeling so much love for people, all people; my heart has opened, love pours out. The first thing that happened was a conversation with a former-monk who really knows how to be this thing called love. If you have never spent any time with someone who has simply practiced love…I recommend it; their very presence moves and shifts how you feel, and opens you to Love in a way other people and situations do not. I aspire to being that for others.

The second thing that happened was a dream I had of my “first love”. Do you remember your first love? For me, it was a complete and total submission to and immersion in love. It was fully enveloping. It was unconditional. It was all-encompassing. I had forgotten that feeling–my first love was a long, long time ago, but in this dream it all came back. The joy! The freedom! The purity! The innocence!

Both the conversation with the ex-monk, and the dream have reminded me of what Love is and that this Love is not “mine”, but it’s something that flows through me of its own accord. I am reminded what It feels like, what It truly is, and how joyous it feels to simply love and to love simply, to love purely, innocently, unconditionally–beyond all valuing of the world. I am so humbled and grateful for these lessons, for the memories, for the experiences.

And now, I just want to love everyone…all the time. The emptiness is gone, as though it never was, because in Truth, it never was.

“Dueling Dualism”: Journey of Worth 2.0 – Day 12

Copyright Tam Black 2016 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2016
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

You know your Self when your share your Self. As you give your Self, you see your Source returned to you. All that is Whole, all that is Beauty, all that is Holy, reflects back to you in the Joy of Being, in the brilliance of Life, in the Unity of Self. Choose now to share only the Self of Beauty, Wholeness, and Joy, that you may Know your Self as Beauty, Wholeness, and Joy.



When I first started these Journeys, I had been through several years of doing A Course in Miracles. In fact, one of my initial reasons for doing these Journeys was to sift through the major concepts of ACIM and work out their inter-relatedness. I am certain the Course influenced me when writing these Guiding Thoughts.

I mention this because today’s Guiding Thought resonates (for me) with this paragraph from the Course:

‘As I have said before, “As you teach so shall you learn.” If you react as if you are persecuted, you are teaching persecution. This is not a lesson a Son of God should want to teach if he is to realize his own salvation. Rather, teach your own perfect immunity, which is the truth in you, and realize that it cannot be assailed. Do not try to protect it yourself, or you are believing that it is assailable.’ (Full text available here: http://www.miraclecenter.org/a-course-in-miracles/T-6.I.php)

What you teach, you learn; what you share you Know. Is the converse also true? If you Know something, are you sharing it? If you are learning something are you teaching it?

My experience and my intuition tell me both of these are correct, although it’s a little bit harder to believe intellectually that if I am learning I am also teaching.

Intellectually, my mind tends toward dualism (that’s its nature, until we train our minds to perceive Unity). When I think about learning, despite what I feel and know in my heart, I still get the traditional picture of teacher at the front of the class, students in rows, learning. One is the authority, the others the recipients. The teacher is supposed to have the information, not be learning while teaching.

Yet, my years of being the person standing up in front of the class, as well as the conversations in which I am the “teacher” have taught me, the traditional scenarios are outdated and teaching is truly a great learning experience. First, there is the preparation that goes into the teaching–which is certainly learning! Then there is also listening to the students, hearing their questions, their responses, their interpretations. The material becomes dynamic as it passes between and through people in discussion; understanding is advanced. It’s brilliant!

And so it is with sharing your Self, the Self of Beauty, Wholeness, and Joy. As you share It, It becomes alive to you in new ways, sending Itself back to you in a dynamic relationship, forever growing and building.

When It comes back to you, and you see It, you can say This is me; This is who I am! Then your own perception of yourself shifts and changes and you see more of your Self in yourself. The more you see, the more you can share, the more comes back to you, the more you see, the more you share. You see?

Life is a dynamic interaction. You are that Life, that Life is you. Participate with it. Be it. Let it be you. Every moment, see yourself as the beauty and wonder of Life itself.

“The Work Of Finding Yourself & The Work Of Your Self”: Journey of Worth 2.0 – Day 11

Copyright Tam Black 2016 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2016
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

You have forgotten your Self. You have forgotten who you are. You have forgotten that you are established in Love and by Love, which is infinite and eternal; therefore, your worth is infinite and eternal.

Seek to remember your Self; choose to remember your Self. Choose to remember who you are, and your infinite worth in Love. Choose to be aware, to understand, and to Know yourself (your Self) as the Love that you are. Choose to share who you are with the world, giving your infinite worth, measured in infinite Love.



How do you feel? 11 days into it and going strong! Today we start Round 2. For those of you who are new to this, you can find information about how we change it up a bit each round here.

For those of you who have been at this a while (other Journeys): Are you beginning to see how the days lead you forward? How they bring up exactly what you need to look at in order to progress your mind-emotions to align more with Spirit? Are you feeling like you are “getting” things in new and different ways? Seeing more? Seeing more connections?

I have been! I’ve been “getting” things in new and different ways, seeing more, and seeing more connections.

On Day 01 of this Journey, there was a part of me which thought the whole “I have forgotten myself” was a bit melodramatic, that it was a bit over the top. I wondered why I would tell myself that I have forgotten my Self? Why would I say that in a way that feels like an affirmation, in a way that could potentially reinforce the forgetting?

I knew on some level that it’s not reinforcing the forgetting. It’s a verbalization of something I need to acknowledge consciously in order to transform it. That’s why the remainder of the Guiding Thought makes a very concrete, conscious CHOICE about the remembering.

This morning, I realized in a new way, seeing new connections, that I HAVE forgotten my Self, and I am still shaking my head about it.

I have spent much of my life working on being True to myself (“And this above all, to thine own Self be true”! (To see how my personal philosophy has developed with this see this post). A lot of my undergraduate work was on authenticity, then I went through a period of finding myself (working in the mountains for 3 years. If you want to find yourself…go to the mountains!), then I traveled around the country with a spiritual guru for a year, then I collapsed and had to completely re-build myself anew–now that was a time of being organized goo!

So you see, it makes sense, since I’ve spent so much time working on being my Authentic Self, that 10 days ago, I would think the idea of forgetting myself might be a little over the top. But also, perhaps you can see that once I was able to see it, I had to tools to acknowledge maybe I have forgotten myself.

I would again like to thank my friends who move me, prod me, and keep me on my own path! It was one such friend who said the simplest thing that had the most profound effect. She said, “You just need a job where you can be yourself”.

Yes! I’ve been thinking about that ever since. You see, like many people, my job represents just a miniscule fraction of who I am and what I have to offer. I think this is why so many people are so unhappy in their work: they are being such a small part of who they are, and they yearn for expansion! They yearn for their own greatness!

I know there is so much out there about doing what you love and finding right work–as a society, we need more of this! Our work needs to express wholly who we are, as whole human beings. I’m not just talking about the yoga teachers, the nutritionists, all the people who are doing helpful and healing things which are helping so many other people to be more fully themselves. I am talking about every aspect of society: education, business, administration, sales, marketing–all of it. How do we bring the wholeness of ourselves into all of that? So that everything transforms with us, allowing us to explore even more of who we are and what we have to offer?

As more people wake up to themselves, and LOVE who they are, we are going to need work structures, environments, which encourage us in holistic ways and give us vehicles to share our best Selves. We are well on our way–there are lots of great people working on this. But there is also a lot of work to be done.

“Distractions To The Rescue”: Journey of Worth 2.0 – Day 10

Copyright Tam Black 2016 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2016
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

If I am to be my Self in the world, I must be for others as well as myself. There is no other.

I am willing to be receptive to the Infinite Love of All. I am willing to understand how I must rise above the struggles and pains of the world. I am willing to rise again and again with each call for help, each outstretched hand. I am willing to be the one to choose to change. I offer my pain, suffering, guilt, and blame up for transformation, into the light of Love, that I may see and give only the light of Love always.



When Facebook validates the Journey, I know I must be doing something right (at least, that’s one way to look at it). You know how FB reminds you of a memory, and asks if you’d like to share it again? All of mine recently have been really stupid, like horrible smoothies and other bad food experiences, so I didn’t share them. Today, though, FB was right there with me on the Journey…how did FB know!??  Apparently, I posted this 4 years ago on my timeline:

“…freedom must always be exercised in a concrete manner. We will freedom for freedom’s sake through our individual circumstances. And in thus willing freedom, we discover that it depends entirely on the freedom of others, and that the freedom of others depends on our own…I am obliged to will the freedom of others at the same time I will my own. -Jean Paul Sartre (bold, mine, today)

4 years ago, I hadn’t even started doing these Journeys; I don’t think they were even conceived at that time. Yet, I was posting ideas whose essence is reflected in the Guiding Thought for today.

I was kind of glad about the validation, because I had a bit of a rough morning. During my workout (my new morning practice, that is taking the place of my baths), my knee became funky (old injuries and lots of athleticism sometimes make it act up, so to say) and I had to stop the workout. Fortunately, I was able to tell myself, “This funky knee is going to go away as quickly and as quietly as it came, and my knee will be back to normal without me even knowing when or how”. And lo, at some point before I got to work, my knee was back to normal, and I didn’t even know when it happened! (I’m SOOOO happy I will be able to work out tomorrow!)

Then, also, when I was doing my meditation for the 7.125 billion people on the planet, I was totally, totally distracted. It was sort of like the mental-spiritual equivalent of what I experienced a couple of days ago, when I wrote Keep Pushing Play. In my distraction, I kept thinking, “I should just stop. This is not the right frame of mind to do this. I need to get centered and focused, then I can do this meditation.” But again: that’s not how this works. Show up. Do what is before you, whatever your mind-set. Keep pushing play.

There are days when I am fully immersed in my meditation. When I can visualize easily and vibrantly. On these days, I can tell I am going deep, really feeling the intention behind the meditation. But there are also days when I am very distracted, as I was today. There are so many variations between these on every other day. Who am I to say that one is “better” or more real than the other?

When I feel distracted, I figure it’s just that those meditative energies need to work on me in a deeper way than my conscious mind will allow. So, those energies distract me, and turn my mind to other things–they get “me” out of the way, so they can do what they need to within and through me.

For me, it’s more important to be who I am, where I am (mentally-emotionally-spiritually), and approach the practice from that place of authenticity, than it is to stop what I am doing “until I feel right about it”. Because if I did that, I would probably never feel right about anything.

“It Was Just A Little Push”: Journey of Worth 2.0 – Day 09

Copyright Tam Black 2016 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2016
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

I extend the Love that I am, for that is all I truly am. As I learn to be aware, to understand and to Know my own will as Love, and make choices according to that will, my life experiences become worthy of me. Expressing my Self that is wholly Love and united with All is the only choice that is worthwhile. It is the only thing that brings me satisfaction, the only choice that allows me to experience my Self—the Love that I am. My-your-our freedom depends on my right choices, depends on my choosing what is worthy and what is not; it depends on me, depends on you, depends on us.



Often when I talk to two of my dearest friends in the whole wide world, we end up saying something to each other like, “Oh, my God, I am experiencing the exact same thing, but different!”

This just happened Wednesday. My dear friend was describing her non-stop life: working 12 hours each day, devoting evenings and weekends to building her family’s new house (the old house was destroyed in Hurricane Sandy). She and her brothers have to do all the work, because, while the house is 90% done, they’ve run out of money to pay laborers. She was describing feeling overwhelmed with responsibility, with obligation, with balancing time and money. The problem was not the work itself, or the situation; her obligations are to a family she loves, the work is a labor of love, she loves the job that keeps her occupied 12 hours a day. There was simply this feeling of this is a lot to handle. And I will be really happy when this is over. There’s a feeling of the weight of the responsibility and of getting everything done that needs to get done and having enough time and money to do it all under what feels like a very tight timeline.

“Oh, my God, I am experiencing the exact same thing, but different!”

It’s not the experience that’s the same, it’s the feeling: the weight of the responsibility and of getting everything done that needs to get done and having enough time and money to do it all under what feels like a very tight timeline.

I woke up this morning almost overwhelmed by this feeling; it’s been building for a few days now. Physically, when I get into an emotional funk, I find comfort in routine and familiar actions: making coffee, putting away dishes, cleaning counters. While I was doing these actions, feeling that feeling encroaching (I was doing a good job keeping it under control), I turned to my comforting spiritual routines and habits: Om Namah Shivaya. Think about God.

This morning, two ideas extended from the mantra and focus on God: a) devote my day to God. The day is only worth anything when it’s devoted to God in the first place. So, I did a little prayer of devotion and submission. b) “I place the future in the hands of God” –A Course in Miracles, lesson 194. I’ve done the lessons enough by now that they show up in the appropriate places, when I need them! I did a little prayer, placing the future in God’s hands.

These two things together set me on a good footing, but I still felt the earlier feeling, so I maintained the mantra in my head.

Then, wouldn’t you know it…I got pushed. Just a little bit, but it was enough to put me smack dab into that earlier emotion. The push was not something I normally would have had much of a response to, but today… You know how it happens when you are on the edge and all of a sudden someone says or does something…and it’s both exactly what you need and exactly what you’ve been keeping at bay? Yeah. That.

What was so good about this was, I had just devoted my day to God and placed the future in God’s hands. I knew it was ok. I knew that this emotion, now overwhelming me, was a tool set before me to move me for God, to God. Thank God for the people He uses as His instruments.

I started my meditation. This was the meditation I devoted to you (and the 7.125 billion people on the planet) in the Commitment and Dedication for this Journey.

While full of that emotion, I entered into a healing meditation for 7.125 billion people. There was a moment of feeling this isn’t right, I am not at Peace how can I meditate for others like this? Aren’t I supposed to be in a space of equanimity and love when I meditate?

But no. Being in the emotion was exactly right.

Do you know what I saw? On some level we all are feeling this. Just like I and my two good friends, we all are saying to each other “Oh, my God, I am experiencing the exact same thing, but different!” And on some level, I knew that this day, dedicated to God, was for healing that feeling for all of the 7.125 billion people.

I am here to tell you, all of that stuff stressing you out–too much to do, not enough time, wondering if you will have the money for…whatever-it-is…– it’s not WORTH it! What is worth it is appreciating the people you love, doing your best to be in God’s service, and giving the future to the hands of Divine Love. This is the only thing that will bring you what you are worthy of: God. Love. Peace. Acceptance.

Now, read the Guiding Thought again.