Spiritual Psychology Today

the official newsletter of the university of santa monica

may/june 2022

We are thrilled to be offering the Loyalty to Your Soul® (LTYS) three-day workshop Online September 9, 10 & 11, 2022 plus a bonus class on Tuesday, September 27, for the first time since its sold-out run in 2019!

This workshop is a robust dive into the foundational Principles and Practices of Spiritual Psychology. During the two weekends, participants from around the world will be experiencing the quintessential Soul-Centered Basic Skills and “power tools” that have supported thousands of students over the last 40 years to live more authentic and empowered lives.

The 2019 workshop was our largest ever with more than 235 participants, and the energy present was electric! Besides participants who attended from 22 different states, we also welcomed attendees who came from as far away as Dubai, Mexico, and France!

One particularly memorable highlight of the weekend was with some participants joined by their families. This Workshop was unique in that it included the youngest-ever attendees who were children of USM Grads and students—ages 15, 17, and 18. It was so inspiring to see how easily they embraced the Principles and Practices of Spiritual Psychology. The sincerity and commitment of these young people are a powerful indicator of the consciousness coming onto the planet at this time.

Now Three Days!

Participant Jen Mintz ’19, who was a Life Mastery & Soul-Centered Living II student at the time, took the Workshop with both of her parents! It is such a delight when families take this Workshop together. She shared these sentiments about their experience:

“Doing LTYS with my parents was a groundbreaking and truly profound experience. Going into the weekend, I had no idea what to expect. The concept of Spirituality was still relatively new to me and completely new to them. I had my initial fears—they wouldn’t like it, they wouldn’t ‘get’ it—but as I surrendered to the full experience, I witnessed both of them immerse themselves and take it in with such open arms. There were so many shifts throughout the Workshop in the way we spoke to, related to, and saw each other. It was like we were moving beyond mom / dad / daughter and seeing the full person as people who were really just doing the best they could, with their own unique experiences. I could not be more grateful for the experience. I saw my almost 86-year-old dad and 75-year-old mom fully embrace the wholeness of USM—the energy, the community, the vulnerability, the inspiration, and the Basic Skills presented in the Workshop that have forever changed our communication and our way of relating to ourselves and each other. We are all changed for the better, and doing this together was the greatest gift we could have given our family.”

Another participant, Fazal Bari ’19, who was a Soul-Centered Living I student at the time, witnessed a profound shift in his three children in just one weekend. Listen to his joyful share about what he experienced after his youngest son took the workshop. 

If you’re a USM Grad or current student, and you feel that one of your children under the age of 18 is ready for the Loyalty to Your Soul Workshop experience, please reach out to Eliza Swords.

In these challenging times, how wonderful it is to have the opportunity to invite your friends and family to participate in this life-changing education in the now three-full-day Loyalty to Your Soul Workshop. And you may be called to join them! It can be incredibly enlivening to be among a group of new people who are experiencing the Principles and Practices of Spiritual Psychology for the first time.

If you spend any time with Beloved grad Ken Fisher ’15, you will very quickly experience his warmth, kind-heartedness, and deep love for the planet. He can be found most days in Florida wearing his “Spread Love” t-shirt, which he describes as the perfect conversation starter for his talks with others about the Principles and Practices of Spiritual Psychology.

In 2016, he founded Heal The Planet, a non-profit organization with the powerful mission of improving the health of our planet by providing the community with free education and resources to increase awareness about nutrition, mindfulness, and increasing the level of consciousness to create a more sustainable future.

On April 24, his organization held a very successful “Heal The Planet Day,” an annual event that celebrates Earth Day by bringing the South Florida community together for a day of experiential activities for kids and families, educational programs, organic food, and entertainment.

Heal the Planet Day April 24, 2022 Ken Fisher

Originally meant to be an organization that sold organic healthy products with all profits going to the betterment of the planet, the work evolved into its current focus of educating children, the world’s next generation of leaders. Heal The Planet couples Ken’s extensive business expertise with his longtime interest in nutrition and sustainability. When speaking about his intention behind his environmental advocacy, Ken shares: “I would like to leave a more kind, compassionate, and loving planet where people are conscious of their daily choices.”

Joyful photos of children from Heal the Planet

Ken credits his experience in the Second Year of USM for inspiring the creation of Heal The Planet including some of the programs currently offered by the organization. A primary one, “SEED” (Sustainable Energy EDucation), teaches children in public schools about nutrition and mindfulness as well as practices fostering Worthiness, the Power of Choice, Oneness, Loving Kindness, and Compassion. Over 12,000 children have participated in this free six-week Program so far.

Ken shares that his USM education enables him to see himself and his life through an entirely new lens. He describes his participation at USM as instrumental in clarifying his Soul’s work and, in his words, “allowing me to connect more to my Inner Guidance and Knowing.” Learning Trust and practicing Surrender have been instrumental keys throughout his professional and personal life.

An Inspired and Spirit-Led Book Ministry

Ken is a proud ambassador of USM with an ardent mission to share with others what has so positively impacted his own life. Over the years, he has purchased and distributed more than 1,000 Loyalty to Your Soul books, many of which he Joyfully dedicates with such thoughtful personalized inscriptions as: “Astonishing Andrea,” “Radiant Regena,” and “Soulful Sophie.” In speaking about his Loyalty to Your Soul book ambassadorship, Ken enthusiastically shares that he is like a “spiritual magnet” and “Spirit made me a minister of Spiritual Psychology” since, in his words, “I’m here to share anything that I’ve benefitted from to enhance others’ lives.”

“Once I hand out a book, I know my part is done and the rest is up to Spirit,” Ken explains. “I really believe that in my heart. It’s in Spirit’s hands. It’s fun to get a call or text from someone who will say ‘You have no idea how meaningful it is to get this book right now,’ or ‘This book couldn’t have arrived at a better time.’ It reinforces my own Inner Knowing and is a very powerful reference for the education I received at USM.”

The Love I seek is already within me. –Ken Fisher

Standing in His Light & Making a Difference

An inspirational force for good and cherished member of the USM community, Ken beautifully embodies Generosity of Spirit through his advocacy for the well-being of the earth and has positively impacted many lives with innumerable ripple effects.

To learn more about Heal The Planet, go to healtheplanet.com

 What a package!!! Presence … Purpose … and Practices that support you in answering the calling of your Soul’s Purpose. Spiritual Psychology as experienced through Soul-Centered education offers Principles and Practices intended to support you in Awakening into the Awareness of who you truly are: a Divine, Loving Being having and using a human experience for the purpose of Awakening … and then living your life in ways that have Heart, meaning, and purpose for you.

We begin ever so simply with the very first Soul-Centered Basic Skill: Seeing the Loving Essence. Magically a portal to Presence opens your eyes and Heart to the Awareness of Being the Loving Essence. You have the experience of residing within your Authentic Self, beyond duality, as the Presence of Love. And there you have it! One simple, revelational practice altering your perception of who you are and what you’re doing on the planet—not as a concept, rather as an experience that can transform your Way of Being and way of life.

Soul Purpose flows directly from the experience of Awakening into the Awareness that you are the Presence of Love. With your Heart open, opportunities for showing up as the Presence of Love and sharing your gifts abound. Soul purpose is sharing your heart, doing what brings you joy through service—Love in action. A beautiful example among many is Chef José Andrés, Founder of the World Central Kitchen, a not-for-profit, non-governmental agency that provides meals in the wake of natural disasters, man-made crises, and humanitarian emergencies around the world.

Do you yearn to experience your calling? To be engaged in your life in ways that have Heart, meaning, and purpose? The texture and content of your life provide keys and pathways for sharing your gifts of Love. Join us for an evening focused on exploring ways you can answer the call of your Soul’s Purpose in your daily life.

We invite you to consider the following from David Spangler’s book, The Call:

“Let’s take a look at your life, because in its texture and content, you will discover why you are here. The fact that you are an incarnation is itself a gift to you and from you to the earth, and you are here because the earth has called you. The earth has called to you at this time in its history because it wants souls who can expand their powers of lovingness and compassion, souls who can begin to look beyond certain fixed and habitual positions, certain traditional perspectives, and say, ‘Is there more?’ The earth needs people who can say, ‘Yes, there is more.’ Not just more in the way of knowledge or inventions or wisdom or revelations, but more compassion, more gentleness and sweetness, more caring, more love, more valuing of one another. That is your mission, and it is of the highest, for it is nothing other than the mission of manifesting the spirit of the Beloved in your life.” 

We will share some keys, provide a Self-reflective process, offer a guided meditation, and take sharing in which you can bring forward those questions that matter to you most!

USM Worldwide Community Gathering

Presence, Purpose, and Practices:
Answering the Calling of Your Soul’s Purpose

Open to All! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

6–8 p.m. Pacific

In the Classroom: Spiritual Psychology students

Watch as Clare beautifully embodies the empowering liberation that can be found through this transformational work demonstrating one of USM’s most powerful skills in action: Outer experience is a reflection of inner reality.

On the second anniversary of her mother’s passing, Laura celebrates the beautiful gift she found in the sacred contract she held as the daughter of a single parent—that gift being the dissolution of the pattern of over-responsibility.

Janet from Toronto, Canada, shares about her revelatory “a-ha” moments from a trio regarding releasing misidentifications of worthiness tied to overworking. Ron and Mary facilitate Janet in affirming her inherent worthiness and “enoughness” independent of anything she accomplishes on the Goal Line. Mary also speaks to how Janet’s process with decluttering her physical space and calendar is supporting her intention of being more present in the “Here and Now.”

Books by USM Grads, Spiritual Psychology Graduates

The USM Grad community is amazing. Students at the University of Santa Monica are adults with diverse cultural and varied educational, professional, and personal backgrounds.

This educational process at USM results in graduates who are experiencing greater connection with the authenticity of who they are, their life purpose, and enhanced levels of success and fulfillment. This empowers them to make a more meaningful contribution in their world. Some of those contributions are in the form of books!

For each newsletter, we’ll be featuring some grads who have used their USM education and the Principles and Practices of Spiritual Psychology for sharing with others through their writing. We asked each of them how USM contributed to their careers and the writing of their books. Their responses are heartwarming and inspiring.

Carolyn Freyer-Jones & Michelle Bauman

A book about friendship, coaching, dying, living and using everything for your learning, growth, and upliftment

What If This Is the Fun Part: A Book About Friendship, Coaching, Dying, Living, and Using Everything for Your Learning, Growth, and Upliftment could not have been written without Michelle’s and my USM education. Michelle’s professional and Spiritual growth, her handling of a life-threatening illness (as she was a mother of two young boys and a wife), and her passing would not have been as it was without the Principles and Practices of Spiritual Psychology.

My ability to meet and handle my best friend and business partner dying at 48 years old (as our work together was taking off) would have looked very different. 

That experience brought me to my knees in ways (I thought) I was unprepared for … my USM education and Spirit was what I leaned on, day and night. The USM tools and skills are THE foundation of my work as a professional coach. USM is where my skills and capacity to serve were honed in the most profound ways. 

As a side note—a USM education is a GAME CHANGER as a professional coach. As someone who works with professional coaches all the time, USM grads have deeper abilities out of the gate … and over time we have the potential to assist people in their transformation in ways that other coaches only dream of. My USM education continues to be one of the greatest gifts in my life personally and professionally—it continues to shape and expand me, and I’m so grateful.

Kute Blackson

A life-changing book that teaches you how to harness the power of surrender to live your highest purpose.

I went through USM at a very pivotal time in my life—in my early 20s. It was a profound process and critically important in helping me develop the foundations of my consciousness.

The work I did at USM at that time served as a foundation and springboard in enabling me to grow in the ways that I have. I was able to explore my childhood, to explore my unconscious beliefs, my perceptions and paradigms of the world, and any stories I made up that were limiting—many that I didn’t even know were limiting.

The rigorousness of the two-year Program provided an opportunity to look at all different dimensions and aspects of myself—physical, mental, emotional, spiritual—that enabled me to really do some core healing.

This was an amazing foundation to till the soil; to grow and blossom. After that I did different work to grow different plants in the garden, to keep with the metaphor. I still feel the beauty and the benefits of the work today, more than 20 years from when I graduated in 2001.

As for this particular book, really it’s all connected, and my USM education is part of what has contributed to my consciousness that enabled me to write a book of surrender. It’s hard to surrender if you don’t deal with all those levels—because that’s what causes us to hold on. I’m sure I wouldn’t have been able to embody surrender if I had not done that core work.

Lynn Dickinson

Once upon a time, high in the sacred Rocky Mountains of North America, there lived...

The Writetress is an inspiring, uplifting novella of visionary fiction, similar in genre to Richard Bach’s book Illusions. In the story, the world’s most famous metaphysical author goes missing and Derek Shaffer, a cynical, down-to-earth detective, has to find her. The only problem is, she has no intention of being found. While Derek closes in on her whereabouts, The Writetress lives in solitude, answering letters from her fans, one at a time. But hers are no ordinary letters. They’re the kind that can change lives, open hearts, and awaken the inner gifts of all who read them.

The story was written in 2002 as my Second-Year Project in the Self-Mastery Practicum, when my husband, Clyde Smith, and I were enrolled in the MA program at USM. At that time, I wrote the book, turned it in as “homework,” saved it to my hard drive and forgot all about it.

Near the end of 2020, Clyde made his transition. As I was excavating my old hard drive in search of images to use in his memorial service, I rediscovered the manuscript and, eventually, shared it with a few close friends. Even though the story had been written nearly 20 years earlier, it seemed to have a strong resonance with everyone who read it. I was encouraged to publish the book and share The Writetress with the world. (Even USM President Ron Hulnick agreed and got involved in the project by providing a wonderful endorsement, which you can read on the book’s Amazon page.)

These days, I teach media studies to community college students, which provides me with the opportunity to practice my USM Soul-Centered Basic Skills every single day! I consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to be of service to so many diverse young people as they clarify their dreams, spread their wings, and prepare to fly off into adulthoods that will inevitably change the world. I’m grateful for my USM training which gave me the skills I needed to uplift and inspire so many young minds.


There are no mistakes—only opportunities for Learning, Healing, and Awakening unto Love.

Another way to say this is: “Everything is perfect.” This was a principle I absolutely rejected—until I had a realization that my definition of “perfect” might be narrow and limited.

In the past, I defined “perfect” as: safe; enjoyable; comfortable; pleasant. Therefore, anything I was experiencing that wasn’t any of these things had to be “wrong” or “bad.” It could not be exactly what I needed, from any perspective.

But once I shifted my definition to include “all the things that suck” (as I put it at the time), suddenly all the people and experiences of my life began to fall into order. They made sense. 

James Cox

— James Cox 

From a spiritual perspective, if I came here to learn courage, I would be presented with opportunities that required it. If I came to learn unconditional loving, it might make sense to be surrounded by critical, conditional people with whom unconditional loving would feel challenging, or impossible even. It wasn’t about getting them to change, but for me to drop all my own judgments and criteria I was using that kept me from loving unconditionally.

A tremendous healing came about for me when I realized that my mother’s pattern of withholding love was an opportunity to learn that the source of my experience of love was within myself. Her Soul was helping me to realize that I already had everything I needed. And when this insight occurred in class during one of the relationship trios, I felt my mother’s Soul jump for joy with: “Oh, he gets it!” All my judgments and resentments disappeared, and I was in gratitude for her Soul’s offer to help me learn this.

Were those experiences fun or comfortable or pleasant growing up? No. But were they perfect? Absolutely!

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