July 1st, 2015 by whitneyhopler
I’ve recently visited two national parks — Acadia National Park in Maine, USA and Kejimkujik National Park Seaside in Nova Scotia, Canada — as part of my research for upcoming articles. What I’ve learned about light in these amazing parks is incredible. Since both Acadia and Kejimkujik are located so far east on the North American continent, many people visit the parks to see the first light rays of the sun hit the continent during morning sunrises. Pilgrimages to the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia to see sunrises are especially popular. Since both parks also take significant precautions against artificial light pollution at night, their dark skies are excellent places to see the light of stars at night.
When you renew your mind, you seek enlightenment — a term that comes from the concept of light as inspiration. Light symbolizes inspiration in many different ways, and angels work with light rays to send their energy from heaven to earth.
How have you experienced enlightenment in your mind lately?
June 24th, 2015 by whitneyhopler
I’ve been thinking about guardian angels a lot lately because I’ve recently profiled a new TV show that I’m looking forward to watching when it starts airing on CBS this fall: ‘Angel from Hell’ with Jane Lynch. Despite the show’s awful title (it sounds like it’s about a demon, when it’s really about a holy angel who’s annoying), I’m glad to see angels get more attention — and from what I’ve seen of the show so far, it’s entertaining and thought-provoking.
So how do guardian angels relate to renewing our minds? They often communicate with us through our thoughts.
You can probably recall many moments of divine inspiration as you reflect on your life so far. Often, those moments come directly from the Holy Spirit. But sometimes guardian angels are the messengers who deliver God’s inspiration to our minds.
Guardian angels are most famous for the work they do protecting people from danger — and sometimes the way they do that is by sending us warning thoughts.
What thoughts have come into your mind lately that may have been messages from a guardian angel? As always, if you have an angel story to share, I’d love to read it and post it on the About.com site to inspire others.
June 17th, 2015 by whitneyhopler
What does it mean to have your mind on fire? It’s about feeling enthusiasm and passion, but even more than that. The expression “on fire” has new layers of meaning for me now that I’ve done some fascinating research into fire for new About.com articles such as why Archangel Michael is associated with fire and the famous Bible stories of Pentecost and the angel with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the furnace.
A mind on fire is one that is enlightened spiritually. When your mind is on fire, you can live confidently and courageously.
How has your mind been on fire lately?
June 10th, 2015 by whitneyhopler
The connections between the mind, body, and spirit have fascinated me for a long time. When I recently conducted research into the famous Our Lady of Akita miracles involving the Virgin Mary, I was impressed to see how the emotional energy of compassion in someone’s mind can lead to bodily fluids (blood, sweat, and tears) flowing. In this case, the mind was Mary’s, and her compassionate thoughts apparently caused a statue of her to bleed, sweat, and cry to inspire people to pray about human sin and suffering.
Our own emotional energy affects our minds, bodies, and spirits in many ways, some of which I’m convinced that we don’t yet fully understand.
How can use your emotional energy to accomplish something good today?
June 3rd, 2015 by whitneyhopler
While writing some articles about holy water recently, I had the pleasure of reading several books by Masaru Emoto, who has conducted groundbreaking research into water. It was fascinating to learn about how the energy from thoughts that people direct toward water changes the water’s molecules. Water forms orderly, beautiful crystals when it’s exposed to positive energy (like prayer) but when exposed to negative energy (such as words of hate) water either forms chaotic, ugly crystals or fails to form any crystals at all from its living molecules.
That’s a wonderful reminder about just how powerful our thoughts really are!
Since the human body is comprised mostly of water (60 to 70 percent, on average, for adults), and we have water in all of our cells, our thoughts about each other affect us profoundly — at the cellular level. The energy we direct to others through our thoughts resonates with the water in their bodies. Imagine how much we can bless others by thinking good thoughts about them! Then the energy from those good thoughts will lead to good words and actions, continuing the cycle of blessing that seems to be built into the fabric of creation itself.
Have you experienced a miracle in your life because of the power of positive thinking and prayer? If so, consider emailing me a brief report about it to post on the About.com Angels and Miracles site to inspire others. You can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
May 27th, 2015 by whitneyhopler
The popular inspirational saying “You can do anything you want to do” is well-meaning, but untrue. Too often, we chase dreams that seem at first like they’re good ideas, only to find that they aren’t the right dreams for us. So I believe that a key step toward making our dreams come true is discovering what dreams we should focus on first. That’s part of the message of my young adult novel Dream Factory, which is set in Hollywood, California during the classic “old movie” days — the 1930s.
Aspiring actors and actresses in the novel dream of making it big in the motion picture industry that was known as the world’s “dream factory.” When they struggle to see some of their dreams become reality, they find themselves in a different kind of dream factory – one in which God and his angels challenge them to transform their dreams. If you’re a young adult, or have a special young adult in your life, I hope you’ll consider Dream Factory for your reading list (or gift list) this summer!
May 20th, 2015 by whitneyhopler
So much exists that we can’t usually see with our physical eyes. I often think about that when I write about angels, because they’re constantly at work all around us, yet only show up in visible ways in order to accomplish purposes. Many energy waves (such as radio waves) are constantly traveling through the air around us, and subatomic particles are always in matter surrounding us, yet we can’t see those parts of God’s creation without technological devices to reveal them to us.
Renowned surrealist artist Salvador Dali believed that we can see much more of reality through our mind’s eyes than through our physical eyes. Dali painted angels and subatomic particles, as well as many other wonderful images from his creative mind. Often, those images came to Dali in dreams. Dali preferred looking at the world through his mind’s eye, because he believed that it showed him a greater view of reality than what people often think of as “reality” (what can be seen with physical eyes). “One day it will have to be officially admitted that what we have christened reality is an even greater illusion than the world of dreams,” Dali even said.
What images have come into your mind’s eye lately, and what do they symbolize for you? If you have a story to share about a clairvoyant vision or miraculous dream, consider emailing me a brief report about it to post on the About.com Angels and Miracles site to inspire others. You can reach me at: email@example.com
May 13th, 2015 by whitneyhopler
The best way to experience peace of mind is to pray.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the connection between prayer and peace, since I’ve recently written articles about the Virgin Mary’s miraculous apparitions at Medjugorje. In her messages there, Mary emphasizes the importance of prayer, saying that it’s only through prayer that people can find true peace — within their souls, and in the world around them.
One time when I especially needed peace — after my mom’s death, when I was carrying out her wishes to scatter her ashes off the coast of Ireland — I had prayed a lot prior to arriving at the Dollymount Strand beach outside of Dublin. By the time I arrived, I felt a strong sense of peace. Then I was delighted to discover that that beach I’d chosen through an Internet search back home in the USA had a feature I hadn’t known about until I was there in person: a tall statue of Mary (“Our Lady Star of the Sea”) on the promontory that jutted out into the sea. My heavenly mother was watching over the memorial event for my earthly mother! I experienced more peace than I could have imagined when I set my mom’s ashes free in the water.
God often answers our prayers for peace above and beyond what we can imagine or ask for, as it says in the Bible: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).
No matter what kind of peace of mind you need in any situation, prayer will lead you toward it!
May 6th, 2015 by whitneyhopler
I’ve had a lot of fun lately researching the fascinating phenomenon of out-of-body experiences (OBEs) for my About.com Angels and Miracles site. OBEs happen when people’s souls leave their physical bodies temporarily. That may happen during intense prayer or meditation, while dreaming, or in a near-death experience.
While I haven’t had an OBE myself, I know three people who have: two had an OBE while they were deep in prayer, and one had an OBE as part of a near-death experience during surgery. Each of these people are completely sane and rational individuals, whom I trust. I know that they’re not of their minds; they simply went out of their bodies. Yet when I first heard their OBE stories, I struggled with believing that such an experience could really happen. It sounded too “out there” for me.
The more I’ve learned about OBEs, however, the more convinced I am that sometimes they do actually happen — and for good purposes — when God chooses to allow them. During OBEs, people report, they’re guided by the power of their thoughts. Whatever they think about determines what they experience, to a great extent. Sometimes they may even travel to another dimension during an OBE to learn lessens that strengthen their minds by strengthening their faith.
What do you think about OBEs? Have you ever experienced one? If so, consider sharing your story to inspire others by writing a brief account of it and emailing it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to post on the About.com site!
April 29th, 2015 by whitneyhopler
Our dreams and visions speak to us in the language of symbols, since symbols can communicate profound meanings simply, helping us understand our deepest thoughts and feelings. Interpreting symbols involves figuring out two types of associations: both their universal symbolic meanings and what they represent to us personally through our unique connections to them.
As I continue to cover angelic dreams and miraculous dreams for About.com, I’m learning lots of fascinating information about symbols, such as what different colors and numbers mean. Recently, I visited The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida as part of my research for an upcoming series on shapes in dreams. The museum is dedicated to the work of famous surrealist artist Salvador Dali, who said that his dreams provided the inspiration for his renowned symbolic paintings.
When we receive inspiration from God (or his messengers, the angels) it often comes in the form of symbols designed to help our minds best comprehend what’s happening. For instance, angels often appear to people with wings, even though they don’t actually have wings (they’re purely spirits who can choose to manifest physically in any form) because many people have become culturally conditioned to expect angels to have wings.
What symbols have shown up in your mind lately — either while you’re awake, or while you’re asleep and dreaming — and what do you think they’re trying to tell you?