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?
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.