An excerpt: FROM HERE TO SERENITY: A Spiritual Guide to Transform Your Life

As we learn about the Universal Law and how to use it, we eventually come to realize it is when we release the desire to use the Power (God) and allow the Power to use us that we step up to a higher state of consciousness. It is when the awareness of the Divine Presence that dwells within us becomes so strong and when we are open to It that we transform our lives. It is as we surrender to God that we move to a place of enlightenment and we become that which we already are, God-beings living in human bodies. We are spiritual beings living a human experience. It is at this time that we come to a place of deep serenity. In the beginning we may not remain there all the time, but the more we practice prayer and mediation and these principles of life the more we time we spend in serenity.

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Gail’s Serenity Garden

Joy and Peace in My Garden

Gail Manishor, Author of
From Here to Serenity, A Spiritual Guide to Transform Your Life

Do you know what my Garden Angel just said to me? “I have plans for our garden. I know what needs doing. The most important thing is to prepare the soil. But you go out and get all excited and buy plants by the carload and distract me from my plan.”

Okay, She’s a little bossy. But, Wow! She’s right. I do that. But I’m compelled and can’t stop. Well, let’s face it, I don’t want to stop.

Sunday I went over to Anderson’s La Costa Nursery. It’s always fun to go there and poke around. Of course, I can’t leave without buying just a few things. Anderson’s is really beautiful and has well cared for plants in interesting and well-designed settings and helpful people.

Sunday I went over and bought more red and orange flowers to fill in and highlight the purple (Whirlwind Blue and the silver plants I already have on one side of my back garden.  I bought: orange snapdragons, red Nemesia, orange Nemesia, Phlox hybrid “Intensia blueberry,” and a plant I’ve been lusting after for a long time named  Very Cranberry Cape Mallow.  I think it’s looking very beautiful and that’s what matters… Well –  my Garden Angel does have something to say about it. Luckily she usually gets into the spirit of it.

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” –Thich Nhat Hanh


 I Am Here

“I am that I am,” are the words God said when Moses asked who God was. These words “I am” are powerful healing words. Begin affirmations with these words in faith and a demonstration takes place.”
From Here to Serenity, A Spiritual Guide to Transform Your Life
Gail Manishor,     


 I Am Here Mandala by Sue O’Kieffe    

I couldn’t resist this beautiful mandala created by Sue O’Kieffe. She was inspired by the airplants Tillandsia Bromeliad.   

Here is Sue O’Kieffe’s link:    

Airplants on Grapevine


 I also admire airplants and have recently started a collection of my own in my Meditation Garden. I’ve become quite enthralled by these fascinating plants. Above is an arrangement of some of my airplants of mine taken a few months ago.     

Gail Manishor, RScP     


My Meditation Garden

The Path 

My next move was to put down slate stones for a small patio and walkway to guide anyone who loved peace to my Meditation Garden. I found an interesting wrought iron love-seat at Anderson’s Nursery for that area. It’s an unusual shape and size and so far I haven’t found the perfect cushion for it and will have one made.

On Seaside’s Center for Spiritual Living’s annual trip to Baja, Bill and I looked for and found a small fountain with a cherub which we placed under the tree. Later in an Encinitas shopping area called The Lumberyard, I found a few treasures: a beautiful piece of rose quartz, a clear crystal rock and a chunk of amethyst and placed them on the baby tears moss under the tree.

For some reason which I couldn’t understand, I never did use the meditation garden for meditating. I had some work to do. Still, I thought it was beautiful and always took friends to see it when they came to visit.

The Meditation Garden



 Beginning My Meditation Garden

I envisioned a meditation area in our backyard and the perfect site was obvious to me. There already was a beautiful tropical tree and some leather ferns on the shady side of the back garden. However, the ferns looked a little burned. I began to cut back the bad parts. I love camellias, so I bought several of those and one pale pink one went into the meditation area. It was beginning to take shape.  

I placed a Buddha on the path leading to what was to be a peaceful setting and put an arch over him with a flowering purple trumpet vine climbing it and added some other plants to further spotlight our Buddha. We (Bill and I) found the Buddha on our first of many trips to Baja together.  





As a child I was a nervous little worry-wart. My goal has always been to be calm, serene and peaceful. This has been a transformational experience that I have worked on all my life. That’s why I wrote From Here to Serenity, A Spiritual Guide to transform Your Life.

When I first moved into our home in Carlsbad 10 years ago, there were trees, shrubs and hedges. It was neat and boring. My new husband Bill had been living in his home for years and wasn’t all that interested in gardening. In fact, he wasn’t interested in gardening period. However, he did love the trees and shrubs he had painstakingly planted. We had some negotiating to do.

My goal was to make our home and garden comfortable, peaceful and serene. When I moved into our home I bought 4 rose bushes and 2 Australian Tree Ferns. I was still working full-time in Long Beach and so the progress was slow but it was sure.

Gail Manishor