The Waiting Game

By Debra Landwehr Engle

Recently, I’ve been mentoring a woman who is writing a book about healing from a traumatic injury. Over the past few months, we’ve been focused on writing techniques, and she’s made steady progress.

Then she sent me two chapters she’d written recently, and they blew everything else she’d written out of the park. Why?

Because they were inspired writing.

She had opened up to her guidance and written with the voice of Spirit, and it came out seamlessly. Intimate, powerful, compelling. This writing soared.

All because she got out of the way.

We talked about why this happened now rather than three months ago. And I told her that, with writing, just like so many things in life, we practice to get better. We need to get to a place of readiness, and that’s what she’d been doing.

Once she had the storytelling skills, Spirit could speak through her and trust that she would tell her story with depth and heart. And that’s exactly what she did. She had to do the work and then get out of the way. She had to wait for it.

Waiting.

This kind of waiting is not sitting and doing nothing. It’s using your time creatively, with intention, to get to know your guides and yourself.

For instance, after my book The Only Little Prayer You Need was published, I felt like I was supposed to be doing things. Setting up workshops, sending emails, doing, doing, doing.

But when I talked with my guides one day about my impatience, they showed me an image of a rabbit digging up seeds in a garden.

“This is you,” they said. “You’re the rabbit. If you keep going into the garden and digging up what you’ve planted, it can’t grow. This is a time for waiting. Let those seeds take root, and we’ll let you know when it’s time for action.”

A few weeks later, they did. But in the meantime, I had opportunities to trust, to ask for what I wanted and then detach with love, and to listen to my guides more closely.

Waiting seems hard because it’s not how our ego minds are wired. They’re like the rabbit, constantly taking action, digging, planning, fixing, controlling. And waiting, by definition, is none of those things.

So how do you make better use of your waiting time?

Think of something you’re waiting for—something significant, like having the right buyer make an offer on your house or getting the job you’ve dreamed of.

Now start a journal and call it While I Wait. Every day, sit down and talk to your guides about where you are, and let them guide you through the process. Ask them questions like these:

  • How can I grow during this time of waiting?
  • What can I focus on today?
  • What is getting stronger in me?
  • What do I need to practice?
  • How is everything contributing to my good?

Write about these questions daily. Spend at least 10 minutes so you can truly enter into a conversation and give it your full attention. Remember, this is transformation in action, so it deserves some time and focus.

Do this for a week and see what you learn. Then do it for another week, and then another. Gradually, you’ll see that what seems like waiting is actually active growth happening under the surface, the place where real change starts.

In time, you will be ready to receive exactly what you’re waiting for. And with the help of your guides, it will arrive at exactly the right time.

Debra Engle is the author of the award-winning Let You Spirit Guides Speak and The Only Little Prayer You Need.

Everybody Loves Me

by Debra Landwehr Engle

Last year, a student in one of my A Course in Miracles classes traveled to Central America for more than a week. By herself.

As she told people about the trip, she received a variety of responses, ranging from “Good for you, have a great time” to “Are you crazy? You’re going alone?”

Her physical safety was not an issue for her. She’s traveled farther and to more remote destinations than this by herself without problems. But this time she did decide to try something new.

For a week leading up to the trip, and each day she was traveling, she told herself the same message: “Everybody loves me.”

Three words. Powerful words. They put her in receiving mode. And they created a protective bubble of intention and energy that not only made her safe, but made her magnetic.

everybody-loves-me

She’d sit alone in a restaurant, and someone would always show up to talk. She’d ask directions on city streets and be led exactly where she needed to go. She had all the company she wanted and, on the one occasion where she questioned her safety, she reminded herself that everyone loves her, and all was well.

In Let Your Spirit Guides Speak, I write about the value of treating life as an extended journey to another country, a place where we get to joyfully discover diversity and new cultures. My fiend’s mantra is a great addition to that mode of living, to claim and reaffirm every day that, on this journey to a wildly exotic place, everyone loves us.

It’s also an interesting twist to the “Jesus loves me, this I know” lyrics many of us learned as children. If God loves us, and His son loves us, and we are all one, it follows that everyone does love us. The Christ energy in every human being loves the Christ energy in all others, despite the seemingly endless conflicts our ego minds create.

Is it selfish or self-centered to think that everyone loves you? Hardly. When I feel loved, I’m able to express my joy and loving nature to others in a way that’s not possible when I’m locked in insecurity or self-doubt.

Claiming that everyone loves me puts my mind in the right place, where I can extend love and everything that entails: abundance, peace of mind, playfulness, safety and well-being.

That’s the least selfish thing I can think of.

So, as you set your intentions for 2017, there’s no doubt that your thoughts will determine the quality of this year for you. They’ll make the difference between a year of success or failure in every aspect of your life.

If you need one thought to carry you through each day, you couldn’t do much better than “Everybody loves me.” Give it a try for a day or a week or a month, and start paying attention to what and who shows up in your life—no matter where you travel on your own personal journey.


Debra Engle is the author of The Only Little Prayer You Need and Let Your Spirit Guides Speak. You can find her on Facebook and at debraengle.com and at her Patheos.com blog “Everyday Miracles.”

Deb Engle's Books

Is That Your Fear Talking?

Contrary to what you may have been taught, you’re not at the mercy of a dangerous world or your own negative self-talk. In fact, you can change your mind to see yourself—and the world—with a whole new perspective.

The first step is to become aware of thoughts that are based in fear. This takes practice, because they sometimes look and sound different than you might think.

Here are three common fear-based thoughts. When you hear yourself saying these statements to yourself or someone else, you can be sure your fear-based ego is doing the talking.

Is That Your Fear Talking

“What if I make a mistake?”

Just think of all the ways this ego thought impacts you. It could keep you from experiencing the most significant aspects of life: falling in love, having a family, starting a business, booking a trip, buying a house—even something as simple as ordering a menu item you’ve never had before.

If you give your power to this one thought, you can end up completely paralyzed.

The fear of making a mistake may disguise itself in different ways. For instance, it may look like the fear of being judged by others (or yourself).

It could be the fear of looking silly or being ashamed.

Or it could look like conformity to a family code that has always governed your behavior, maybe without your knowing it.

The truth is, we all make “mistakes” and take detours. Sometimes we have to regroup and chart a new course. And sometimes we find ourselves in a delicious new place that we wouldn’t have discovered if we had listened to our fear.

As you go through your day today, become aware any time this fear gets in your way, then ask yourself: “What would my life look like if I weren’t afraid of making a mistake?

What if I disappoint someone?

True story: I married my first husband out of a lot of fear—fear of being alone, of not being able to support myself, and of disappointing him.

This was not a good idea.

“What if I disappoint someone?” can cause chronic unhappiness by making us think we’re being noble or dependable…but at the cost of our own joy. It can mire us in “shoulds” and convince us that everyone else’s feelings are more important than our own.

The ego does this to make itself feel important and indispensable, but the truth is that you’re important and indispensable by being the unique and genuine child of God that you are, not by trying to please everyone around you.

Pay attention through the day and see if some form of “What if I disappoint someone?” shows up in your mind. If so, remember that you have the right to focus on what brings you joy—and do it even if it’s not what others might want or expect.

Remember: This is not a selfish act. In fact, it’s the most generous thing you can do. The more joy you have, the more you have to give

“I feel so guilty.”

There are LOTS of variations on this theme, including regret (“If only I could do it over again”) and beating yourself up over something from the past (“What was I thinking?”).

These feelings and thoughts are part of being human, of course. But mistakes aren’t meant to be lifelong burdens. If you allow your mind to go round and round, revisiting the same guilt feelings or regrets about the past, you’ll completely miss the gifts of life right now.

As you go through the day today, become aware any time your thoughts linger in guilt or regret.

Then ask yourself, “Is there anything I need to apologize for or any amends I need to make?” If so, take at least one step toward doing so today.

Equally important, be open to the idea that you may be carrying guilt over past mistakes that no longer matter to anyone else, or that you’ve long since been forgiven for. Be aware that the primary person who needs to forgive you is you.


Debra Landwehr Engle is the author of The Only Little Prayer You Need and the forthcoming Let Your Spirit Guides Speak (Hampton Roads, September 2016). She is also a workshop facilitator, and regular blogger at Patheos. She is also a longtime teacher of A Course in Miracles and a widely traveled inspirational speaker. She lives in Des Moines, IA.

Deb Engle's Books

The Only Little Prayer You Need | Let Your Spirit Guides Speak