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I remember the aha moment I had when Kim Kaiser, then Dean of Holmes Institute, said this to me. I had been reporting to him all the losses I had experienced, and how well I was coping with them. And he said, “Karen, metaphysics does not operate at the level of making lemonade out of lemons.” And for the first time ever, I realized that I did not need to lemons to get the lemonade. I didn’t need loss and change and icky stuff in order to experience good in my life. I could just, simply, willy nilly, experience the good! What a concept! Except it wasn’t that simple. Because in order for me to do that I had to have an inner shift in consciousness. I had to change my belief that one succeeded in life due to how well one coped with loss and change. I had to change my belief that I really wasn’t worthy of simply experiencing my good, just because. So I went to work on changing that belief. Today, I know and feel I can just simply experience my good. But once in a while a reminder is good.

Hot off the press! A BRAND NEW daily reading, written just this morning! WEEHAW! And a first: for the FIRST TIME EVER I had to resort to pulling a photo off a royalty free photo site to use for my meme. Up to this point, all the photos I’ve used for my memes are mine. But I’ve never taken a photo of grapes, believe it or not. So I had to go find one. I like this one and it illustrates my point nicely.

Here’s the reading, I hope you enjoy it:

Ernest Holmes: “It has been said that we can know God only in so far as we can become God.”
Gary Zukav, from Seat of the Soul: “ It is impossible for you to come full circle in this way of empowerment without prayer. It is not enough to want or to intend or to meditate. You must pray. You must talk. You must ask. You must believe. That is partnership.”

Gratitude
Relaxation
Altitude
Peace
Excellence

Eat your grapes today!

I just had a conversation with my prayer partner, during which I was voicing to her to qualities of spirit I wished to embody for today. And we realized we had the beginnings of an acronym! So we went with it and came up with GRAPE!

Now, if you remember our wonderful form of prayer called treatment, or affirmative prayer, then you might also remember that while it is perfectly ok to pray for outside stuff, my personal preference is to go within and pray to embody qualities of spirit, which then create the outside stuff.

So today I am embodying gratitude. Gratitude for all that is. For the miracle of modern medicine. For the miracle of the power of our minds to create our reality. For my surroundings, my life, my beingness. And I further embody relaxation, simply being still, and knowing. And I also reach high, into great altitude, knowing that there is always something greater in store for me. Always higher. And I feel that grand glorious sense of peace flowing through me. And I know excellence. Excellence in living through and because of spiritual principle. Excellence in embodying those qualities of spirit I just mentioned. Excellence in living. Period.

So today am thoroughly enjoying my grapes!

And so it is!

On this 4th of July, I do not feel in a celebratory mood.  In fact, I feel the opposite.  I feel sad, I am worried.  I feel the pain of my fellow humans who are of a different color than me, who still, even after this country was founded on all men being created equally, are not equal.  They still suffer under shackles of red lining, efforts to prevent them from voting, racial profiling and other efforts to intimidate them.  I feel the pain of being a woman and feeling as if I am, simply because of my gender, relegated to second class citizenship having to fight for the right to make my own decisions about my health care.  I feel the pain of not even being able to own a credit card in my name in my lifetime, simply because of my gender.  I feel the pain of folks who have different belief systems than much of America, and yet are not given the same recognition as those who claim the mantle of Christianity. I have felt the scorn coming from a Catholic priest who simply refused to acknowledge that there was any other way to believe than his own way.  I have felt the scorn of the evangelical who believes that women should not be ministers.  I feel the pain of folks who dare to be different in the pursuit of their own happiness, as this is supposedly guaranteed in our Constitution, and yet they are ridiculed and harmed.

I feel all this pain, and it is all so unnecessary.  And I strive to live in spiritual principle.  I strive to live from a place of being for something and against nothing.  It is admittedly very difficult to do these days, yet I still strive.  I adopted this spiritual principle after hearing about it for the first time in a talk originally given by Ernest Holmes in 1959.  I first heard this talk sometime around the early 2000s, and my entire world was rocked.  The entire talk is incredible but this one sentence gets me every time, “ Find me one person who is for something and against nothing, who is redeemed enough not to condemn others out of the burden of his soul and I will find another savior, another Jesus, and an exalted human being.”  From that moment onward I began to explore how to remove the burdens from my soul so that I could be for something and against nothing.

“Redeemed enough not to condemn others out of the burden of his soul…”. And then I remember that even Jesus told us that we could do all the things he did, and so much more and greater.

So why are we not doing that?  We are we not redeemed enough to not condemn others out of the burdens of our own souls?

I spend much of my time answering these questions, and attempting to find solutions to the problems we face, as a nation.

The separation cannot continue, because it really is true that united we stand and divided we fall.

And so my work continues, as does the work of many others who also feel the pain.  And in my search to be for something and against nothing, on this July 4th holiday, here is what I am for:

I am for a way of life that embodies what Gary Zukav, in his book The Seat of the Soul, authentic power.  This kind of power means that we have no burden on our souls, so we are against nothing.  This kind of power shows up in a full love of life, in all its forms.  This kind of power shows up in loving everything and everyone.  Loving all.  No matter the color of their skin.  No matter what religion they practice.  No matter what their gender is.  No matter what their sexual preference is.  Because when we stand in this kind of power, we are at peace, confident in our own place in the world, and thus have no need to displace anyone else.  

I am for true equality for all.  I am for compassionate and honest communication to resolve our differences.  I am for each and every human being to be free of the burdens that would cause them to lash out in fear and attempt to destroy anything that isn’t in their zone of approval.  So on this 4th of July, I am for peace most of all.  And so I call on each and every one of us, as we picnic, as we attend parades, as we barbecue, as we go about our day celebrating, that we look each person we encounter in the eye and think peace.  That we great each person we encounter with an expression of joy and acceptance.  Begin there.  Then let’s see what happens.

The unthinkable has happened. With one tragic ruling by a group of people I refuse to honor anymore because they are obviously misguided and biased, women’s rights have taken a giant step backward with the repeal of Roe vs Wade.

This is not about babies. If it were about babies, all you pro life people would be supporting women who are forced to carry a baby to term. You would be showing up to adopt or foster kids who were born into places where the people inhabiting those places simply had no means to care for a baby. If you were truly pro life, you would be supporting all of life. But the fact is that this is more about controlling women then it is about anything else. And if you are a woman who has bought into the patriarchy that says women are second class citizens, shame on you. I’m calling you out. If you support this insanity, grow a pair and put your money where your mouth is and provide some support to those babies after they are born.

I’d like to be able to spout off some positive thinking spiritual stuff about things being all good all the time but I am not there yet. I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m afraid for my personal well being because I live in an area that is filled with magas. And I won’t be silent. I’m fighting back.

I’m fighting back with spreading the word about what this is really about.

I’m fighting back with offering to tithe 10% of my fee for wedding officiant services to human rights organizations. If you support human rights. If you don’t and I find out about it, I’m either going to refuse your business or charge you more. Much more.

I’m fighting back by making my home a sanctuary. Yep, if you need medical care, I will support you and give you a place to stay while you get the care you need.

I’m using my voice and I won’t stop using it.

I’m sure I will find other ways to fight back.

Already there are companies that are saying they will pay for travel fees for employees who need to go out of state to get the proper medical care. Patronize these companies. Don’t patronize the ones that support fascism.

I support human rights. This means I support a woman’s right to choose. I support marriage between two people who love one another, no matter their gender. I support true equality for all people: all colors, all cultures, all races. Except for you who would take away my rights and the rights of others simply because of their color or gender or culture. You’re on your own.

I had an AHA moment this morning. Every day I read something spiritual. Many days it is something by Ernest Holmes but I also read a ton of other authors as well. I read for my own enjoyment and for my own growth, but I also read with an eye towards topics for podcast episodes or blogs. Sometimes I get an idea I want to develop, but sometimes there simply isn’t enough there to talk about for 20 minutes in a podcast, or to write the length of a blog post. This morning I had one of those ideas, and then it occurred to me, “wait a minute! Why not put this into that daily reader you’ve been writing off and on for YEARS!” Duh. So this morning for the first time in I don’t know how long, I made an entry into the daily reader I am writing. By the way, in my own inimitable style, the working title of this is “Go on every ride you can!” Or, alternatively, “Chase all the balls you can!” The second refers to how dogs are always up for play, that’s what we should strive for, in my opinion. And along with that striving comes changing our definition of play. Anyway, here is what I wrote today:

‘ “The Day of Judgment” occurs every day, in self-evaluation.” Linda Martella-Whitsett, “Divine Audacity”

“There is nothing in the Universe that can hinder your upward climb, your increased awareness of Oneness with God . . . unless you decide to stop climbing.” Ernest Holmes, How to Change your Life

I believe that the Bible was meant to be interpreted metaphorically, because that was the way they taught in the time during which the Bible was written. If this is true, then judgement day is every day for us. It is a day when we must go within and do the spiritual practice of self-awareness. We must evaluate with discernment what is ours and what is not. Judgement means something different in this case. It doesn’t mean we’ve done something wrong, bad or shameful. Never that. Judgment is defined as the ability to make a decision or form an opinion objectively and wisely. So we look at ourselves and if we must form an opinion, we do so with wisdom, compassion and discernment. The time for “shoulding” on ourselves is over. No, self evaluation with an eye towards ever more opening up to the new in us that wants to be born. I believe that we are here on this earth to become more and more godlike, to more fully and completely embody qualities of spirit. So each day becomes a quest, not to shame ourselves in judgment over an issue or a behavior or a thought. But instead to ask ourselves, what new wants to be born in me right here and right now? Whatever it is that is happening or has happened, it is always an invitation to step into something greater. Self evaluation is the pathway into that something greater. When we remember who and what we truly are, one with the One, connected in deep and profound ways with Spirit, and here to be more and more spirit-like, then judgment no longer is a negative thing. Instead it is simply a tool for us to use to be more of that which we are meant to be.

Affirmation: Today I evaluate myself with loving discernment as a way to increase my awareness of my Oneness with Spirit

The thought that we might go back to what it was like when I was a kid terrifies me.  Those were definitely NOT the good old days.  I remember those days.  I got raped when I was 12.  Who told me that it was good I was learning about such things now, because I was still trainable.  I was not a human to him, but a tool to be used to give him a false sense of power and superiority.  Abortion was still illegal, as was birth control.  Had that asshole monster of a man impregnated me, I would have had no choice but to carry that baby to term. Or find some back woods unsafe and unscrupulous hack to help me out, risking my own life in the process.  Because to bring a child into my world would not have been good.  My world was filled with confusion, violence and neglect.  My mom couldn’t care for me and my dad was absent.  I cared for myself by numbing and becoming very very  fierce.  There was no way I could have cared for a child.  A few years later, birth control became legal and I took a big sigh of relief and went on birth control.  Because even at a young age I knew that bringing a child into my world would not have been a good thing.  My views of sexuality were highly distorted because no one talked about it except us kids, and those untruths were couched in the rhetoric of the day:  girls who weren’t virgins were sluts and guys who slept around were studs. Vaginas were bad and penises were good. Sigh. And the folks crying out for a reversal of Roe vs Wade would want a return to that.  To those days where sex is not talked about in intelligent and truthful ways, rape is not reported because it was all the women’s fault for dressing provocatively, where women are not supposed to enjoy sex, and where they are not in charge of their own lives nor their own bodies. Honestly, I fear that once we begin that backwards slide, all progress we have made towards true equality will stop and then get reversed.  Women will no longer be able to own property in their own name, nor vote.  It will once again become legal for a husband to rape his wife.  I remember meeting a guy and beginning to date him, much later in life.  He brought me home to meet his mom.  Who proceeded to tell me I needed to sit like a lady and instruct me just how that looked. Along with thinly veiled comments about the proper ways to dress to please a man but not be TOO provocative.  The first time I went to bed with this guy, he told me I wasn’t supposed to enjoy sex.  That was the last time I went to bed with him.  That’s where we were folks.  In the 1960s and 1970s!  That wasn’t that long ago.  It was in my lifetime. Today I enjoy a certain amount of freedom but still, as woman, I have to show up in the world differently than men do.  Men are not taught to be aware of their surroundings and of potential threats.  Men are not taught to carry their keys handy to use as a weapon if needed.  Men are not taught to stay out of dark deserted places at night.  Women are taught that.  Because we are still seen as prey by many men.  Do not allow us to go backwards.  As the years progressed, looking back I can see evidence of where I was not taken seriously simply because I was a woman.  I remember talking with someone of male persuasion whom I thought was a friend, about my ministerial school adventures and how happy I was to be a minister and what I was going to do with my ministry.  This man literally got a glazed look in his eye, said “how nice for you” with insincerity dripping from his voice, and walked away.  It was ok for me to be a photographer, but not a minister in his eyes.  Just a few years later I found out why:  born again Christian being taught that women can only be and do certain things.  Good thing I had a mom who repeatedly told me that I should never let anyone tell me what I could and could not do simply because of my gender.  Much later, I had a woman tell me I was cute in my ministerial robes.  I asked her if she would tell her catholic priest he was cute in his robes.  She got offended, claimed she knew about misogyny because she worked in a male dominated field.  Ok, so it’s all right to be a woman cop but a woman minister is “cute?”  Not taken seriously.  Again.  By a woman.  In some ways we haven’t come as far as I’d like to believe.  But make no mistake, this movement with reversing Roe vs Wade is not about babies. It’s about taking a step backwards into time when women were second class citizens, not worthy nor able to make and follow through on their own decisions.  Then will follow the reversals of other laws enacted to ensure social justice.  Affecting people of color, gays, transgender, and anyone else who dares to stand in their own truth and show up differently than the status quo.  
Historically, before the time of Jesus, women were strong.  They were leaders.  Along came Jesus.  Who did not teach to subjugate women.  No, he taught to treat everyone with compassion and lack of judgement.  But then men took his teachings and distorted them to satisfy their own insecurities. They wrote their distorted opinions down in the Bible and refused to allow any women’s writings to be included.  What they wrote is a poor example of a beautiful teaching, and what they wrote is what is driving this movement today.  A movement by insecure frightened immature misogynistic males who are accompanied by brainwashed women, to squash down any attempts at equality, the things we say this country was founded upon.  
There are folks who think that the leak of the opinion about reversing Roe vs Wade was a manipulative move by democrats to stir people like me up and get out the vote.  I choose to think the leak was done by a person who, like me, sees the devastating results a reversal would engender and wanted the public to know what was happening behind the scenes.  Ironically, I have traditionally voted Republican on every issue except the social justice ones.  I believe in less government.  I believe in less legislation.  I believe in being fiscally conservative.  But I also believe in equality.  For all.  For myself, I would love not to feel threatened by some guy driving a Ram pickup wearing a maga hat flying a confederate flag.  But I do.  Very much so.  Because I know that guy would just love to knock me down a few notches.  I saw a mixed race couple yesterday at a stop light with a baby carriage.  In my little neighboring town.  My first thought was that they were very brave to be out in public in this racist community.  Oh, we aren’t openly racist here.  That would be wrong.  Mostly just ignorant, with a few scattered true racists thrown in the stir the pot.  I’m doing what I can in that area.  Slowly but compassionately attempting to educate folks.  I said a little prayer for that mixed race couple.  And then I wanted to thank them for being here, because I suspect what they have to put up with on a daily basis is not fun.  Probably not outright violence.  But covert violence.  Places they cannot go, places where they know they are not welcome.  I have not invited any of my black friends to come visit because I do not want them to feel uncomfortable when they see all the confederate flags flying in my neighborhood and on the back of those aforementioned ram pickups.  When my husband and I bought this place, I told him if we were to fly a flag at all, it would be a rainbow flag.  He told me we could do that if I wanted to be subjected to attacks by my neighbors.  In some ways he was much wiser than me.  As we began to have service people come over to fix things for us, my husband would deal with them.  And after they left, he would tell me, “wow, that guy is really racist and misogynistic.”  Good thing he dealt with them not me.  After my husband died, I had to find all new service people because I guess once he was gone I began to be fair game for being hit on.  In rude and inappropriate ways.  Or mansplained to.   Then I find out other single women in this area experienced the same thing from the same people.
So yeah, I’m angry.  And I feel powerless. I have never been the type to go to protests.  I vote.  I sign petitions.  I use my platform to voice my concerns.  I talk one on one with people.  I try to teach folks to communicate in healthy ways, and to find common ground upon which to begin a discuss, not a series of accusations and name calling and bullying.  Unfortunately name calling and bullying is where most people are at right now.  I have a lot of work to do.  
If you have read this entire thing, I thank you.  I needed to say it.  I have no grand illusions here.  I know I won’t be changing anyone’s mind with this.  But perhaps the next time you want to think that the leak of the opinion of reversing Roe vs Wade is some sort of giant conspiracy to manipulate things, perhaps you might just want to consider that it is a sincere effort to not take our country back to where we were, because it definitely wasn’t great.

I just wanted to give you all a report about what I’ve been doing in my ministry over here in what I call the Back 40. This is exciting stuff, because what I’m doing now is what I always wanted for this thing called being a minister.

I never wanted to be a traditional minister. You know, one with a full time pulpit and all the stuff that goes along with that. When I began grad school/seminary, I only knew what I didn’t want. It took a while for things to become clear for me.

By the way, if you are seeking clarity on something, the way to go about it is to not rush it, to allow what wants to percolate in you just be, no matter how outlandish it may seem. If you are thinking about it, it means there are possibilities there and nothing is impossible.

Anyway, I began to get clarity that what I really wanted to do was teach, speak, create and do workshops and retreats.

And soon the ways to accomplish that began to show up. I began getting invitations to speak at Centers for Spiritual Living and at Unity Churches. Some also requested workshops. I began doing my own retreats and workshops and offering things online. The online piece was necessary because living in the Back 40 means I needed to reach beyond the physical. There was also the pandemic to consider and sheltering in place opened up a whole new world for folks to become willing to participate in my online offerings.

To make a long story short, here is what it looks like today:

  • I have a focus ministry called Fearlessly Feral Living. A focus ministry is a rather unique thing, and to my knowledge is only done with Centers for Spiritual Living, AKA CSL. In CSL land, we have Centers, Teaching Chapters and Focus Ministries. Centers are basically churches. Teaching Chapters teach. Focus Ministries have a focus in their teaching. Some focus on carrying the message of Science of Mind into prisons. That’s a pretty good example. My focus is to facilitate successful transitions. What that means is that we can either benefit and thrive from life’s changes and losses, or not. I choose to benefit and thrive. So I teach how to do that.
  • I have a podcast, also called Fearlessly Feral Living. It’s fun! You can listen through Apple, Buzzsprout, or on Google Podcasts. I’m also on Spotify.
  • I also serve as an Interim Minister for CSL. This means I go into Centers that have lost their permanent minister and temporarily serve. My main function as Interim is to be a bridge between loss and successful transition, with the ultimate goal of attracting their new permanent senior minister. And to do this, I get to do all the things I love doing: work with people one on one and in community, do workshops and retreats, speak, teach.

So that’s my ministry in a nutshell. And of course I’m still creating memes! Cuz I love doing them! So I will close with one of my latest memes. I hope you enjoy it, feel free to share it and use it.

WHEW! what a time we are living in right?!?!?! I don't know about you but with warmer weather and spring time and things beginning to open up, I am more than ready to resume doing things like workshops and retreats. I've been getting out and about lately and I can't tell you how much it has improved my mood and attitude!

And it has felt so good that I decided to team up with my friend Melinda at EquusInsight to offer you a feel good experience too! So we are offering the popular ICK to JOY retreat for you! I've done this retreat before with Melinda and we have discovered that our unique blend of inner and outer really works to provide a complete experience. AND, Melinda now has the edition of Fran, who is an EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning) coach.

Between the three of us we have cooked up a grand day for you! We will begin the day with me, using tools of meditation and inner exploration to allow you to safely connect with both your ICK and your JOY! After connecting, I will present you with techniques to use to move through those ICK feelings and acknowledge, then release them, replacing them with JOY feelings. Then you will relocate out to be with the equine herd to cement what you learned. We will have snacks and beverages available for you, and we've decided to do a potluck lunch since potluck provides additional opportunities for community with your fellow retreat attendees.

Cost is $145 for one person, and you can register by clicking the store link at the top of this page. Or, if you want to bring a friend, go to my PayPal site and register the both of you for $250. That is a savings of $40!

Once you register we will be sending you all the information you need to have a spectacular day!

What does spring mean for us in our lives?
Feel free to share and use this affirmation for yourself

Spring is my favorite season.  The promise of new life.  Little green things popping up their heads after a long rest, to greet the world.  This year spring seems particularly poignant and somewhat fragile to me.  It’s been an eventful year.  I have fully embraced sheltering in place, it was not difficult for me to do so.  Perhaps because for the first part of it I was staying at home to care for my dying husband.  And for the last part of it I was staying at home and doing my inner grief work and learning what it means to be a widow.  And much of what that involves is re-creation in my life.  Who do I wish to be?  The truth is I have been single for much longer than I have been in relationship, but there is something different about widowhood.  Other widows I have spoken with talk about the difficulties, and the gifts, of living alone after cohabitating with another person for 20, 30 and 40 years.  I do not have that experience.  My husband and I were only married for a little less than two years.  Together in romantic relationship for a little more than 3 years.  Even though we had known each other for 40 years.  So learning how to live alone was simply a return to what passes for normal for me.  And shelter in place simply provided an opportunity to fully sink into a grief process, which I believe is necessary in order to successfully rejoin life.  I strive for balance in all my affairs.  Having been a black and white, all or nothing sort of person for so much of my life, I’ve learned that such extremes rarely serve me well.  So during shelter in place, I did go out to perform weddings.  Most of these were outdoors, and all of them involved following the guidelines for COVID:  masking up, staying six feet away and frequent use of sanitizer.  And now, here we are.  Opening up.  In so many ways!  I am beginning to contemplate travel and doing more things in person.  I’ve had one vaccine, the second will happen later this month.  I am also contemplating re-creation.  After 8 years of losses and moves and changes, I have experienced no small amount of Post Traumatic Stress.  Now that I am settled in to what emerged from all that upheaval.  And beginning to see signs of lessening of the anxiety, the need for more resting time, the need to just be and stop doing.  I am revisiting some things I began before the full stop of dealing with a sick and dying husband.  I am feeling excitement.  It is cautious excitement at this point, but it is still excitement.  And collectively, this nation has been opening up.  As more and more people get vaccinated, shelter in place restrictions begin to ease.  As we have a new government once again fully functioning with an emotionally healthy leader, the country is beginning to get back on track. I still experience deep sadness and dismay at the racism and misogyny that came out of the shadows to gloat during the previous administration.  While at the same time I am grateful that they have come out of those shadows.  Because only light can heal the darkness of generations of racism and misogyny.  So I am feeling the consciousness of renewed hope that is spreading.  It has occurred to me that we had a virus take over during one of the darkest times in our country.  That is some strong metaphorical significance right there.  Now we have new hope and new light taking over both the darkness and the virus.  New life.  And so I fully and completely embrace spring and all that it brings.  I appreciate the metaphor of new life in all areas of my life and in the life of this country.  

This is the perfect time to move within and create a new consciousness of compassion, faith and unconditional love.
You can use this affirmation yourself. Remember that thought plus feeling equals power, so when you are thinking these words, or speaking them to yourself, recall what it feels like to experience compassion for something, and feel that. Recall what faith feels like, and feel that. Recall a time in your life when you have experienced unconditional love for someone, and feel that.

And so ends another month.  As we move closer to the end of 2020, I sense a new hope, a new light, coming into the consciousness of the human race.  I see evidence of this everywhere: some people are putting up their Christmas decorations early; others are speaking positively about the future.  Kindness is returning, compassion is being renewed.  There is a thing called consciousness, and it refers to our entire being:  our beliefs, values, attitudes, which lead to our words and actions.  The thing about consciousness is that it is much bigger than you or I.  Because we are all connected, there is a group consciousness.  A human race consciousness.  And everything begins within.  As within, so without.  What we think about expands.  All action is born in thought.  And this is true on an individual level as well as on a group level.  This past year, I’ve gone into hiding.  The consciousness I saw emerged, I will confess, frightened me in ways I never thought I could fear again.  I became greatly disillusioned with my fellow human beings.  My trust in the basic goodness of humanity was damaged.  Yes, I lost faith and I lost hope.  And I know that others felt the same.  In this way we succumbed to the group consciousness.  But with this new hope and this new light, together we can renew our faith, enlarge our hope, and move once again into knowing that love is stronger than hatred.  Some of you have joined me in November for an annual spiritual practice of deepened gratitude, listing 10 different things each day for which we are grateful. I have heard from some of you, who have reported that it was difficult to come up with 300 things for which to be grateful.  Some of you have reported difficulty in being grateful for the things that truly matter, those inner things like faith and compassion and trust and hope.  I too experienced this difficulty.  I’ve never experienced this kind of difficulty with my gratitude practice, and I’ve been doing this annual practice for decades.  Part of it is the natural process of grief that comes with loss.  The truth is there has been much loss for me in the last seven years.  But most of my own difficulty with the practice came from my own loss of trust in my fellow humans to do the loving compassionate thing. I’ve persevered. I’ve persisted.  I know enough to know that consistency and persistence in spiritual practice always pays off.  It is like one of my old meditation teachers told me once:  we sit, no matter what.  So I persisted, no matter what.  And slowly, surely, my own consciousness is once again morphing back into something I can live with.  And greater.  Because now I’ve seen things.  I’ve witnessed with horror what my fellow humans are capable of.  So my new consciousness, my new faith and trust and hope and love and compassion that is emerging is greater than ever.  I’m still cautious.  Maybe I’m not only grieving the loss of my husband and all the other physical losses, but also the loss of a certain sort of innocence.  What I know is that the new consciousness that is being born in me will result in a new person.  A wiser one.  A more peaceful one.  A more compassionate one.  And because we are all connected, I know that this new consciousness is also being born in you, and in our neighbors.  For Christians, this is the beginning of Advent, a time of joyous expectation.  In the New Thought world, this is, or can be, also a time of joyous expectation.  A time to expect a return to compassion, because we are compassionate ourselves.  A time to return to trust because we ourselves are trustworthy.  A time to return to unconditional love, because we love ourselves that way.  A time to once again simply know that all is well and all will continue to be well.  Because of the group consciousness, if enough of us do this thing, this changing of our own consciousness, together we will change the consciousness of the human race. So this December, my spiritual practice will move from a daily gratitude list to daily affirmation of love, trust, hope, faith, compassion and joy.  Won’t you join me?
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November closed out with 10 weddings, two of which included photography.  One wedding cancelled due the bride getting COVID.  December brings with it 7 weddings, 3 of which include photography, and a return to more ministerial work:  I will be giving one talk in December, and opening negotiations for my next Interim Ministry assignment, to begin sometime in early 2021.  The end of a sabbatical for me.  You can expect podcasts to resume as well.