Wednesday, July 28, 2010
It's always interesting for me when in the classes that I teach I ask people how much time they spend worrying about things that never happen. We often don't even realize that we do this, so people in classes are usually surprised when they think about it. I am aware that I worry at times without even having proof that the situation warrants it; but awareness or not, I still worry. It's one of those things that does seem to get better with age, as I experience that the sky never falls, but somehow stays right where it belongs.
I happened upon a quote that's fitting: "Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere." How true. People in my classes often say that a large percentage of the things they worry about never actually occur. In the meantime, that worry creates stress, diminishes our quality of life, causes illness, and steals our moments.
Worry is borne of fear, and as such I see it as forgetting - that the outcome is never in question, that we are the sole creators of our experience, and that all exists as part of a divine consciousness that is flawless in its design. We experience so much more joy when we put our energy into affirming all of the good that exists in this moment.
There are many ways to develop a "no worries" outlook. Certainly the spiritual tools discussed in this blog and elsewhere help bring us to truth, where worry is unnecessary. Some people actually spend 10 minutes or so every day worrying about every single thing they can imagine, in order to get it over with, so to speak. I've heard that this can be helpful. For me, meditation, and turning it all over to God, help me remember that God within me is the only truth. My husband likes to point out that when we keep our attention in the present, we really can't worry. Worry is usually over something out in the future. And in this moment, right now, all is well.
I teach to remember, and so I was grateful in this morning's class to again be able to present to others the possibility that living without worry is not irresponsible, or dangerous. Living without worry, or fear, is allowing divine intelligence to work though us and for us. In doing so, we give others permission to do the same.
May this tool be a blessing. . .
Sunday, July 25, 2010
One idea from the movie stuck with me, that "you attract what you are." I'd never heard it put that way before, and it prompted me to ponder the idea.
That we manifest what we hold as true, and put our attention on, is for me a basic spiritual "law." But attracting what we are is a different slant. Certainly the law of attraction is at work; we call to us what we believe to be real in our experience. Does it follow that the core of who I am is revealed in what I am attracting? I don't think so.
If I am poor, and I believe that my lot in life is poverty, then I am attracting what I believe I am. If I am lonely, and have come to believe that's how things are going to be for me, then I attract more of the same. If I have a hard time trusting and believe that no one has my best interests at heart, then I will attract situations that make me feel victimized. Bur what I believe is far different from who I am.
If for just a moment we can place our full trust in ourselves as whole and perfect expressions of divine consciousness, unable to ever fail at our purpose of knowing ourselves as unlimited creators of good, that is what we are.
So I will attract what I believe myself to be, part of the miracle of ongoing creation, and joyfully watch my life's course; I am an embodiment of God's love, wisdom and peace, and I am grateful.
May this tool be a blessing. . .
Friday, July 23, 2010
I've heard the hymn countless times in my life, but today I heard it differently, and that brought a touch of grace to me. I attended a very moving funeral for a coworker's husband, at the beautiful Catholic church they belong to. He died suddenly last Monday at the much-too-young age of 52. They were married for 33 years and had the good fortune of being best friends through all of them.
I've never been a traditionally-religious person, but I deeply honor all paths to God. And I realized today that on my path, I'd never had the opportunity to really hear this hymn beyond the first couple of lines. But as often happens, my answers come at times and in ways I don't expect, and that hymn had something I needed to hear today.
It's a simple explanation, really, for the big struggles my heart faces at times, with remembering what is mine to do, and what is not. In this time of accelerating growth and change, I have a hard time watching people struggling, hurting, and in fear, and staying in trust myself. I become fearful about others' fears. It doesn't help matters, and doesn't serve my truth. Sometimes it's hard to just remember my own truth in the middle of everything.
The hymn reminded me, in the part I'd never really heard before, that "'Twas Grace that taught my heart to fear, and Grace, my fears relieved." Of course! At times I feel like bonking myself on the forehead; yes, I know this. Thankfully, I get to hear the truth countless times in myriad different ways, through an infinity of life experience, to remember.
Grace (from the dictionary), that "influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate them," provides the gifts of struggle, hurt and fear, so that in overcoming them we discover, or more accurately remember, the truth of who we really are. Fear is the forgetting, and in each and every instance of remembering we are reborn into our Godselves.
Both fear, and love, which can be thought of as fear's absence, are weighty dichotomies indeed. Both are brought to us in love, through God's grace. All are held in divine consciousness. Not a new concept, certainly, but I'm grateful for it being brought to me today, in the perfect way.
May you know the amazing grace of your highest self, and that of others', no matter how it may look in the moment, and may this tool be a blessing. . .
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Yesterday morning it rained, hard, that kind of tropical rain that I love. As it pounded down on the metal awning covering our lanai, it soaked everything in a few minutes, and then the sun broke through and the whole world sparkled. Thank you, God, for the opportunity to experience another tropical rainstorm. It really is a wonderful world.
I am reminded of a great spiritual tool that I learned a few years ago, at a Unity book study group. We were reading The Creative Life by Eric Butterworth, and discussing how in creating this life, we need to reconnect with the truth that we are expressions of divine mind, made in God's image to manifest all that we conceive as truth. We are the light of the world, and our lights shine brightly when we seize that most holy birthright and trust in who we are.
One way to help remind our subconscious that we are one with universal creative energy is with the affirmation, "I am open to receive all of life's riches." When I say this a few times, and let myself know the truth of it, I feel the subtle shift of energy in my body as I reconnect with the rightness of the moment. Doubts and details are replaced with trust that as a child of ongoing creation, my will is God's will, and our will is for good. I need only accept that as truth, or at least be open to the possibility of it. The really wonderful thing is, just being open to the possibility is enough. We don't have to know our Godselves completely, in every moment. A mustard seed of faith comes with just being open to the possibility that we could really be all that we imagine.
It was recommended in the study group that we repeat the affirmation, "I am open to receive all of life's riches" 100 times a day. I don't normally do affirmations as a regular part of my spiritual practice, but during those six weeks I tried it. The process was interesting. I noticed that at first it just felt boring and repetitive. Then it started to feel like maybe I was connecting with something bigger than how I usually think. At times I knew I was talking to God, and she to me. It became a mantra, and a prayer.
The energy of the affirmation changes depending on what word you emphasize in the sentence: "I am open to receive all of life's riches," "I am open to receive all of life's riches," "I am open to receive all of life's riches." All are parts of a larger whole, the truth that we can have, do or be all that we can imagine. We could never be any less, as children of God.
Mike, and I with big hair, are off to seize the good this day brings!
May this tool be a blessing. . . Aloha!
Sunday, July 11, 2010
When we remember, and accept, that nothing exists outside of God consciousness, there is no sin, only expressions of that divine consciousness. There is nothing we need feel guilty for, and nothing we need to hold on to. Forgiveness itself becomes unnecessary.
I learned long ago that there are no villians, and no victims. Every challenging person or situation is a mirror we call to ourselves to reflect what remains hidden in darkness, so that we may heal, and grow. All is constructed for us to learn to live as light.
We have all at times been subjected to others who did not have our best interest at heart. We have also interacted with others in ways that didn't reflect our best. These interactions are opportunities to choose and choose again; they prompt us to think about who we are and who we want to be on our path toward expressing our highest light.
Forgiveness creates freedom. When we live without blame, or guilt, we trust the loving and divine intelligence that created this process of life. We don't dwell on the small stuff, and instinctively turn the big stuff over to our own never-ending good. We are free to use our life force in creating that good, and our joy sends ripples throughout humanity. Forgiveness helps us heal ourselves, and our world. It allows us to be part of the solution. In each choice to forgive, we set ourselves, and our world, free.
May this tool be a blessing. . .
Friday, July 9, 2010
It seems that the big question would be, then, "How do I possibly find that much faith?" We all have within us seeds of the very same faith that Jesus knew, and the Buddha, and all other great spiritual teachers. As Jesus said, "These things I do, and more, you shall do." That is the simple truth.
I believe that there will be other way-showers to enlighten our path; maybe they are here now. But in the meantime, what is a spiritually open, seeking, very grateful, but otherwise ordinary person to do? How do we take that immense leap of faith that allows us, in the middle of countless indications to the contrary, to step up and create in totality as the expressions of God that we are?
It's hard enough to figure out how to do that in my own life when limits seem pretty darn real, let alone stepping up and deciding that I can change the whole world. Thankfully we don't all have to remember completely, as Jesus did, who he was. Our own remembering, moment by moment, is enough. But that doesn't mean that we have to hold back from claiming our highest as children of God. I read an interesting perspective by Wayne Dyer in his book, Manifesting Your Destiny, recently. He says, "If you wait for everyone else to learn how to manifest their hearts' desires, you will not have enough time in this lifetime to even begin your journey. You must unplug from your conditioning and know in that private space behind your eyes that you can and will take on the challenge of manifesting your destiny."
(I was given Wayne Dyer's book, which I'm enjoying immensely, by a fellow blogger, poet and very kind person and bright light in the world, Sandra Hendricks. Her blog, This Should Help, is filled with all kinds of spiritual and uplifting stories and resources, and I highly recommend it.)
I was thinking this morning about a few of the big things that I have created in my life, things that meant alot to me and didn't feel at all attainable for a long time. I realized that at the time I did very consciously take on the challenge of creating them. In looking back, I remembered that even though I could picture these things and even put some effort into making them happen, they didn't. I started to fear that they never would.
What changed for me, each time, was my level of intention, and commitment. One noteworthy example is my current job, which I have loved for the past 10 years. I had been applying for similar jobs for about a year, but had been out of the job market raising my kids, just doing some part-time work. I wasn't getting any bites at all and was starting to believe I just wasn't going to get hired. I decided to make a commitment to my career, and spent the next six months doing alot of soul-searching, meditation, and looking at not only what I could do but what I'd love to do. I went through an amazing book by Maria Nemeth called The Energy of Money that helped me release limits on what I could have.
As a result of all of that, I decided on a career, and company where I wanted to work. I wrote a list of important factors I wanted to create, including income, proximity to my house, and other things that were important to me, like being a valued member of a good team and making a contribution in the world. Then I submitted my resume. I'm still amazed when I think back to how easily it came together. They called me in for the first interview, which went well. The second interview didn't go as well, and I went home and lay on my bed and cried. Then I turned it over to God, saying "I can't do this on my own. I've been failing for a year and a half. I turn this over to You. Even though it seems like I completely blew it, I know there are ways I can't even see to let my good come to pass."
And it did. I got the job offer shortly thereafter, at the location close to my home, and at a higher salary and with better benefits than I had intended. Every single thing on my list came to pass. I believe that the important part of this creation is that first of all I made the commitment to do my part to become very, very clear about what I wanted. When I was waffling, the universe waffled, and nothing concrete can grow from that. And then I turned it over to the unlimited creative consciousness that lives in all things. Even when appearances looked like it was going to blow up in my face, again, I believed that God would find a way. And she did.
Landing that job was my first unforgettable experience of how I can create, despite all appearances, my heart's desire, through active faith - committing to do my part, stating my intention to the universe, and then getting out of the way no matter what happens and knowing it will happen. It was my first experience of true faith that God works in and through me. And I haven't ever forgotten what that kind of unshakeable faith feels like.
May your faith in your unlimited creativity grow strong and tall, and may this tool be a blessing.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Negative thinking is insidious. It stems from fear, which is pervasive in human nature. And while I do honor the gift that fear provides us in our human evolution, I believe that we are here to learn the truth of how very unnecessary it is.
When I get caught up in fear, and so negative thinking, I hardly notice it at first. It builds over a few days, and then suddenly I become aware that I am more distracted, and worrying about things that haven’t even happened yet. As our Rev. Ken at Unity says, I get caught up in “awfulizing.” Instead of being easy my life becomes a series of issues that I need to power through, and it’s just no fun.
Optimism is a simple and effective tool for counteracting negative thinking. Rather than standing by and letting the unproductive thoughts feed on themselves and grow stronger, optimism shifts our focus to make room for our good. It helps redirect our attention to the truth that is always waiting for us to embrace, that what we expect we always find, without exception.
Count your blessings. Journal five things that you are grateful for every day. Laugh. Some of these tools for increasing our optimism can seem fluffy and unhelpful, but to me they are the very crux of creating the life of our dreams. In counting my blessings my eyes open to see that all things are possible. With my attention strongly on all that is worthy of my gratitude, the universe cannot help but respond in kind with even more expressions of grace. And in laughing my body finds its ever-present vibration of joy.
May you laugh often and be grateful for your blessings, and may this tool be a blessing. . .
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
I remember, God, and release my concern to your hands, for all to be held in perfect love. Today’s struggles are like a drop in a vast ocean, but serve us well on our course toward the never-ending light.
There is no amount of confusion that cannot be sorted out, no amount of pain that cannot be healed. There is no amount of darkness solid enough to extinguish the light that exists in every thought, every action, and each and every breath we take. We can never make a mistake, for all choice serves our remembering. Even when the breath leaves this body we live on as you, in the soil, and the sun, and the wind, in all that is, and all that ever will be.
The challenges we encounter today are all part of divine order. Heaven is right here in my heart, when I remember.
May this prayer be a blessing. . .
Monday, July 5, 2010
Being in the center of my head is a much different space from being in my heart, which I perceive as communion with God in his many faces, and all being right with the world. Communion with God also exists in the center of my head, but it is a more personal communion where I find the steps of my own unique path in this lifetime. It is where I go to be alone with my truth.
Because our attention is most often focused outside of us, on whatever situation we find ourselves in the middle of, we do not often go to the center of our heads. It usually takes a conscious decision to do so. The center of your head is located behind your eyes, and between your ears.
The center of the head is also where the sixth chakra sits, and so our clairvoyance. It is where we can "see" the vibrations we or others experience in the form of colors or pictures. In bringing our attention up into the center of our heads, we detach from the survival of the first chakra, or the struggles of the third chakra, to a more neutral place that to me often feels like a respite from the rest of the vibrational input of being alive. In the center of my head, I can just be, and watch as all of creation is opened to me.
Following is a simple meditation on being in the center of your head:
1. Sit quietly for a few minutes, breathing deeply and comfortably, and allowing yourself to relax.
2. Bring your attention first back to yourself, and then to the center of your head. To help direct my attention to this place, I sometimes place my finger on my forehead, and then allow my attention to come first to that spot on my forehead, and then from that spot further in to the very center of my head.
3. Just breathe, and be, and notice what you notice.
Being in the center of one's head is much like sitting in an airplane's cockpit. It's a spiritual space where we are able to see not only where we are, but where we've been. It can also help us see a clearer path to where we're going.
May this tool be a blessing. . .
Friday, July 2, 2010
I learned to meditate at the Berkeley Psychic Institute, and have practiced its very helpful tools of grounding and running my own life force energy, among many others, every day since. I'm grateful that I listened to the urgings of my spirit and walked in the door that first day. I had been seeking answers in various places, just trying things out. BPI was very different from anything I had experienced, and the idea of just walking in was more than a little anxiety-producing.
I had been spending the day in a city about 45 minutes away from where I live, and was just about ready to head home. I was driving down a street and saw a sign, and on a whim stopped and went in. In looking back it feels like I wasn't making conscious choices, but acting on a very strong impulse that I didn't understand. It just felt like I had go in. I've since learned to trust that spirit leads me to the right doors; I just have to quiet my mind's nay-saying and cross the threshold, as scary as that can feel at times.
I have a quote on my desk at work which says, "If I don't go within, I go without." I'm not sure who wrote it, but for me that play-on-words pretty much sums up how meditation has been for me in my life. If I don't go within, on a fairly regular basis, I most definitely go without. I lose touch with the deeper truth of who I am, and the issues of the world become the biggest reality in my existence. In a sense, I become what I see outside of me.
When I go within, I am reconnected with awareness of myself as a spiritual being. I am reunited with the light of the God of my heart shining brightly within me. I am renewed in my appreciation of my body, and my soul is brought back into communion with it's beloved temple. In going within, there is nothing I go without, for all that is good and true reflects in and through me.
I have heard it said that prayer is talking to God, and meditation is listening to God. In my own practice it seems that the two blend so that I don't know where talking ends, and listening begins. I'm often not sure if it's me talking and God listening, or the other way around. In my truth it is all happening simultaneously. It is all God, experiencing her Self.
May this tool be a blessing. . .