Saturday, September 17, 2011

It's nothing that you say
And nothing that you do
My love I cannot explain
Only that it's you

You don't have to give me
Any more than what you are
As I'm seeking nothing
I needn't venture far

For all I need is inside of me
And what you are as well
We've nothing left to trade
And nothing left to sell

So don't tally what you have to offer
Simply live as you wish to live
For in the end
Being who we are
Is all we truly have to give

In loving memory of
Linda Susan Mika
January 3, 1963 - July 11, 2001

Monday, June 1, 2009

Oneness Blog Update

Hi Everyone,

For those of you seeking links to my current “Oneness” postings they are as follows:

The main link to all article postings:

To access articles individually:

Journey to Oneness:

What Now?

Realizing our Wholeness:

Experiencing Oneness:

Finding Our Own Truth:


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Reverse Thinking & Spiritual Growth

I have recently been reminded of the wisdom of what I can only call “reverse thinking.” I’ve used it a number of times in my life to maximize results. It’s ideal for use in business and can assist in opening the flood gates of inspiration and flow of “what-ifs.” For example, when I am making decisions I visualize myself having already achieved the desired goal. I then ask myself “What could I have done differently to make the outcome even more desirable or more beneficial?” The result is a flood of ideas that can be researched, tested, and put into practice - even before begining to work towards the desired goal.

What I’ve been reminded of recently is that this process works equally well when it comes to personal issues and spiritual growth, sometimes allowing one to actually circumvent painful experiences. I’ll share with you an experience that took place some years back that illustrates the concept more fully.

I was having difficulties with a personal relationship to the point of considering terminating it. I had gone around and around attempting to cause the elimination of what I considered to be inappropriate behavior in my partner, whom I loved very much and also lived with. After much soul searching, I finally resolved myself to moving out. I made all the necessary arrangements. I rented a place, separated finances, put myself out there to make new contacts and begin a new life. But the fact remained, I was simply going through the motions. I was now able to leave at any time, I had my place, I had the money - but something was stopping me. I didn’t want to go. Despite all my issues I had with my partner, I loved him.

It was time for more soul searching...

In the process I found that I really felt justified in leaving my partner. I deserved more than I was getting out of the relationship and my identity was being stifled. I began asking myself, preparing myself really, for what it would be like once I finally left. I knew I would have to go through a period of grief. I knew I would have to mourn the loss of what was, or what could have been. I knew I’d have to form new friends and new interests and get used to sleeping alone.

But something else happened in the process of visualizing myself going on without my partner. I started to ask myself what I had learned and what had come out of my leaving (projecting into the future). I saw that I had needed to grow and expand my identity of who I was. I saw that I was far too dependant on our relationship. I saw that I didn’t devote enough time to my writing and my own interests.

It was then that I realized that the problem wasn’t my partner. The problem was me! The Universe (always at the prompting of our higher self) was attempting to push me out of my comfortable nest, attempting to force me to grow and do what I needed to do. I was creating the necessary circumstances to force myself out of my comfort zone, out into the world - and to do what I was supposed to be doing. Our souls are like that, they know who we are and what we are supposed to be accomplishing, and they don’t mess around.

This is where reverse thinking comes in. Any time we can look back and see the purpose in our suffering, we can also look forward and ask ourselves how we might need to grow before taking a leap into the unknown. What I mean is, we can actually harness the apprehension we feel when we know we are looking into the great abyss of the unknown. When we know we are heading towards something unpleasant, something that scares us, something we may not want to do - we can practice reverse thinking, asking ourselves: What might be the lesson I am being challenged to learn? And maybe, just maybe - in identifying that lesson and taking action to actually learn it, we might be able to avoid the negative experience all together. I know now, that in order for my life and my relationships to work I have to make time for myself - my real self and do all the things my real self requires. Like meditating and writing and communing with nature.

Let me share with you how my story ended. Once I had my epiphany, realizing that I created the situation myself for my own higher learning, I also realized that if I didn’t learn that particular lesson from my current partner, I’d just have to learn it later on down the road from someone else. Once I realized that, I also realized that if I just learned the lesson and got over it, not only would I save a whole heck of a lot of time, but I would get to learn my lessons from a person whom I loved very much, and by getting over it, I would eliminate the need to leave.

What really occurred was me dropping the pretense that “our problems" were about whatever I labeled as offending behavior, and realizing that not only are all lessons, lessons I am creating for myself, but that I was, am, and will always be 100% accountable for my reactions to life, my judgments about it, and what I allow to diminish my experience of it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Additional Source for Tree of Life Postings

Hi everybody! I just wanted to let you know that I will be writing for a new social network that has just been launched earlier this month. It’s called and it’s more or less a Facebook with a purpose - meaning that you go there not just to interact but to learn how to do something better. It’s still in the Beta (testing) phase, but is up and running while the bugs are being worked out - about another 2 weeks.

I will be mentoring (leading discussions) in the Unity Consciousness category under Spirituality. I will post blogs weekly and respond to all e-mails within my circle. Membership and access to all blogs at that site is free, unless you wish to also have the ability to post to the site.

My postings at will NOT take the place of this blog, however they may reduce the frequency of these postings (or not, time will tell!) But please keep in mind that I will be posting WEEKLY at which is more frequently than my usual monthly post at this address. I already have 3 blog entries - so don’t miss any. I invite each of you to come and explore the many great blog authors at

If you opt not to become a member of but are following my blog postings at that address, you may feel free to leave comments at this site but please be aware that monitoring of this site will be less frequent than that of

I appreciate your support and readership and hope to see each and everyone of you at my newest address!


Monday, March 16, 2009

Going Within

I have been having a difficult time lately as a lot of us have. (Part of the reason it’s been so long since my last post.) Uncertain times. Poor economy. Financial challenges. Personal upsets. Change. Change. More change. What I’ve come to realize however is that it’s of even greater importance to look within when our life becomes a challenge.

It seems our first impulse is to run to the comfort of someone or something familiar. Be it a loved one, a job, or a diversion. We tend to want to wrap ourselves up in whatever provides a sense of security and comfort. We long to retreat to the loving embrace of a spouse. Bury our self in work. Distract our self with our business. Keep our self busy at all costs.

But what does one do when the very person or thing one cherishes is the “thing” that is falling apart or falling away? The reality is that many things are falling apart or falling away right now. From marriages, to careers, to life plans. Yes, change is in the air. But it doesn’t mean that we have to fall apart too. But it does mean that we might have to make some changes of our own - starting with our dependence on outside influences. Deepak Chopra called it “self referral,” verses “object referral,” in his 1994 book titled The Spiritual Laws of Success. Loosely translated, self referral is defined as looking within to what is unchanging and eternal, ie: our soul, our spiritual essence - who we are at our deepest level. Looking to anything outside of that; our spouse, our loved ones, career, our ego identity, is object referral. When we practice object referral we make a challenging situation even worse because we are looking to influences and events that are not only outside of us, but also out of our control. This is the realm of the ego. It attempts to dominate and control, be right, gain approval, look good and conform at all times. But all of those things are impossible - at least some of the time. And that leads us to fear. Fear of losing control. Fear of looking stupid. Fear of losing support. Fear of financial loss, emotional loss, personal loss… you get the idea. It’s never ending.

That’s when it’s time to break the cycle by looking within. Within we find stillness. Peace. Oneness. Sanity in a world of insanity. We find that we - the real us - is none of what we were referring to. We are not the career, the image, the material possessions, even our relationships. We are exactly who we are supposed to be - without all the fanfare. Without all of the conditions. Without all the pretense. We are perfect.

If you are uncertain about how to go within and connect with your inner being, start small. Allow a little bit of time each day (or multiple times - even better!) to simply be quiet and listen to your higher self. Take a walk in nature. Sit in the garden. Take a long hot bath. Choose whatever feels best but know that the main objective is to turn off the internal mind chatter - which may take some practice. In the beginning of my quest I used a repetitive sound such as a ticking clock to focus my attention on. Focusing on the body can also work quite well. Sometimes I simply enjoy the weight of my body feeling heavier and heavier. Whatever the method, going within connects us to our true source - pure raw energy. And nothing feels better than experiencing yourself in this pure form, with no beginning and no end. And it is in this state that we realize that we are not our problems. Nor are we are our environment, our compulsions, our conditions, or our addictions. We are not even our preferences. For in this state we have none! We are simply who we were meant to be. We are love. We are peace. We are joy. We are One with All That Is.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Inscribed / Autographed Copies

Due to overwhelming response, readers requesting personally inscribed or autographed copies should NOT purchase books on-line. Instead please contact the author directly by e-mail with the words “Signed Copy” in the subject field.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Publication Update

Pre-publication copies of The Tree of Life are now available for purchase (click on the book to the right) as well as through One Spirit Publishing ( The revised date for bookstore distribution is May of 2009.

Life in a Perfect World

I’ve been reflecting lately on the concept of perfection. It seems our society is obsessed with it: finding the perfect job, the perfect home, the perfect man or woman, having a perfect body, and if you’re a woman; perfect hair, nails, complexion…. I could go on forever. We as a culture, have been conditioned to seek out “perfection” in all things. We have been brainwashed into believing that we shouldn’t settle for less than we deserve - and we deserve no less than perfection!

The problem is in our continual search for perfection we create a perpetual state of insatiability. And the more we look for perfection, the more we require it, and unfortunately, the less we are apt to find it (actually see it, that is). Perfection, like many things is subjective. It’s all in how we perceive things. The problem is, we most often see things according to society’s dictates rather than our own needs or preferences. We see a need for a new car when our neighbor gets one. We see a need for a face-lift or tummy tuck, after our best friend has had one. We see a need for a promotion or a more perfect job when a colleague lands one. Perhaps worst of all is when our growing need for perfection permeates all areas of our life until we are chronically malcontent. Everywhere we look we see imperfection.

What we don’t see is the bigger picture. We don’t see (or even think about) the master plan. It’s time to realize that there is something (regardless of the name we give It) bigger than us. There is a higher power. There is also a purpose to our lives and it’s not about acquiring things and keeping up with the Jones. It is about learning and sharing and spiritual growth. And frankly, those things don’t come from attaining society’s idea of perfection. They come from adversity and change and (sometimes uncomfortable) stretching of our boundaries. They come when we least expect it; when we help a neighbor, answer a need in another, when we find ourselves in need of comfort or assistance.

When we let go of society’s idea of perfection and let go of our pursuit of it, we are able to see perfection all around us. We see that holding on to our perfectly good car (instead of buying a new one every year) allowed us the financial freedom to take care of an ailing parent when the time came. The minor inconvenience of a traffic jam allowed us an extra few minutes to unwind before returning home and taking our frustrations out on our loved ones. Who knows, our delay might even have saved us from getting hit by a train (a little far-fetched, I’ll admit - but who knows?) Clearly, we don’t. But our Higher Power does. It’s time we trust that Higher Power and realize that everything does have a purpose. Every moment, every thought, every interaction - is exactly as it should be. That less-than- perfect job you have is teaching you everything you need to know to move on to a better one (when the time is right). That slightly less than perfect husband of yours is exactly who you need to learn your life lessons from. And that ever so nasty co-worker of yours teaches you exactly what not to do and who not to become. You see, it’s all exactly as it should be.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Good -vs- Evil

I recently watched a special on the End of Times. Of all of the material presented I was most struck by a single statement made by the narrator:

“There is more evil in our world today than ever before.”

I’d like to officially go on record as disagreeing. Yes, we have war. We have crime, we have famine, we have injustice. But each day I look around and also see people reaching out to help others, lending a helping hand, giving of their time, giving of themselves. Each day I hear people taking the time to listen, taking the time to show interest and appreciation, taking the time to reach out and connect with others.

As I look around, I see signs posted about a fund-raiser for an accident victim, neighbors offering neighbors a helping hand, children collecting canned goods for the less fortunate. I see collection jars set out for underprivileged children and homeless animals, and community members providing financial assistance to struggling business owners. These are just a handful of deeds that I have stumbled across - within my immediate community, in the handful of days preceding this commentary.

No. I don’t think there is more evil in our world than ever before. I think there is more love, more kindness, and more compassion than ever before. In view of that I challenge each and every one of us to hold that vision and not give credence to the “more evil than ever before” mentality. Don’t buy into it. It’s important to remember, especially in these times, what you see is what you get. So take the time to see beauty. Take the time to see love. Witnessing acts of beauty changes us - witnessing acts of love changes us. Experiencing beauty and love changes us. Changes who we are. It changes how we interact with others. Changes our reality. Changes everybody's reality.

So do yourself and everyone else a favor: See beauty. See love. See hope. See inspiration. See God. Don’t fall prey to cynicism. It’s our job more than ever to create these things by seeing these things. Do your part. Hold the vision.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Grandma's Legacy

I have had the same re-occurring dream since I was a young girl. Most re-occurring dreams are scary or traumatic, at the very least puzzling. In my re-occurring dream I experience the elation of suddenly attaining everything I ever wished for.

I lost my only grandmother as a young girl. She symbolized for me everything that was good, kind, loving and right in the world. She was a happy woman. Widowed before I was even born, she still lived each day to the fullest, despite having lost the love of her life at too early of an age. She sang and played piano, watched Wild Kingdom on the Public Broadcasting channel. She knitted beautiful sweaters for family members, making her own yarn-covered buttons, and fed the homeless bacon and eggs on her back porch.

Going to Grandma’s house, for me, was always a bit like going on a long awaited and much needed vacation. I was so happy to have arrived that somehow I could never fully relax into the moment without the haunting realization that our time together was finite. Grandma’s house, to me, was magical. It was filled with beautiful elegant things that had been lovingly collected from around the world. A highly polished piece of wood artfully carved in the shape of a cupped leaf. A multi-faceted lead crystal paperweight that scattered rainbows in all directions. A grandfather clock that chimed reassuringly in the blackness of night. Grandma’s house was safe. Above all, Grandma’s house was love.

In my dream I am aware that Grandma is gone, passed on. However I am standing in her house which in reality was sold long ago, and all of her belongings along with it. I stand in her house now with her belongings intact. I walk through in awe taking in all the treasured memories of days long since passed and I am filled up once again to be in Grandma’s space surrounded by all her treasured keepsakes. When I awake I am wrapped in the sensation of love, peace and total fulfillment. I wake happy, joyful and grateful for the experience. The sensation frequently outlasts a day.

Until this evening however, I had never really understood what the message of my dream was. I have read that re-occurring dreams only present themselves as long as the dreamer fails to grasp their meaning. Perhaps that’s why I’ve never been in much of a hurry to “crack that nut.” But this evening I couldn’t help but reflect on my dream and soon its meaning became clear. As I walk through Grandma’s house, eyes falling on the many treasures she so-lovingly collected and cared for, not only do I re-live happy experiences of my own but I am witness to the way that Grandma lived, surrounded by beauty, engaging fully in life - or rather, ringing every last drop out of it. Never growing too weary or too bored to see all that life has to offer. Never giving up on seeing beauty, or being too jaded to get involved or reach out to someone in need. Never without faith, always optimistic, full of love, and full of life. It’s clear to me now that that is the message of my dream. I look around Grandma's living room and see her zest for life, her love of music and nature and travel, and above all, her refusal to give in to the mundane aspects of life.

Never mind that she has long since left this earth, for she is very much alive, as is her legacy which lives on forever not only in my heart, but in my dreams.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Connecting for Spirit

I just returned from a wonderful evening of sharing. I am blessed to have found a group of like-minded individuals who share a common passion for exploration of spirit. We meet once a week. Sometimes we have guest speakers. Sometimes not. Sometimes we have pre-determined topics, other times open discussion. What is for certain, is that our exchange is never judgmental, never confrontational. It’s always loving and always in the spirit of sharing and personal growth.

Being a writer, it is infinitely easier and more comfortable for me to share in solitude - in the form of the written word. However, I realize how important it is at this point in time to step outside of our comfort zones to connect with other spiritually minded individuals, in the interest of multiplying and sharing our light.

So on that note I invite you to set aside any fears or insecurities you might have, and reach out and join forces with other spiritually minded individuals, letting your light shine - brightly. So brightly that we might ignite the love of Life and Spirit in every last soul.

Shine forth!

Revised Release Date - The Tree of Life

The upcoming release of The Tree of Life has been pushed back (not to worry!) just a few design issues. The revised release date is early December 2008. At that time The Tree of Life will become available for on-line purchasing. The scheduled release date for bookstores is sometime between Jan. 15 and Feb. 15, 2009.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Tree of Life receives endorsement from International and NY Times best selling author Lynn V. Andrews.

Lynn V. Andrews, author of 19 books and the highly acclaimed Medicine Woman series has endorsed Laura Mika Benton’s upcoming release of The Tree of Life.

“…An inspiring and exciting book for all ages,” says Andrews, whose award winning titles include Medicine Woman, Flight of the Seventh Moon, The Woman of Wyrrd and Shakkai, among others.

Benton's book The Tree of Life, is an inspirational parable that portrays the concept of unity with the easy-to-grasp analogy of mankind as leaves of one tree, delivering a broad spiritual message regarding man's relationship to Spirit and all of creation.

Illustrated with over 45 black and white nature photos of northwest Arkansas, The Tree of Life is a “must have” for the metaphysical or spiritual reader, and an ideal keepsake to remind readers of the beauty and splendor that abound in nature.

The Tree of Life is scheduled for release November 15, 2008 through One Spirit Publishing and will be available wherever books are sold, as well as on-line at under ISBN#0-615-24860-8. Retail price is $10.95