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What if wishes really could come true? Check this out!

I found the turkey wishbone this morning. 

Which immediately reminded me of that old saying, something about if wishes were fishes. So I googled it. (Don’t you just love google?). Here’s what came up: “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride" is a proverb and nursery rhyme, first recorded about 1628 in a collection of Scottish proverbs, which suggests if wishing could make things happen, then even the most destitute people would have everything they wanted.” And then this was also there: “K.C. Jones says when someone would wish for something, it used to be cute to reply: ‘And if wishes were fishes we'd have some fried; And if wishes were horses, beggars might ride.’ "

And this led me to a story I would like to share with you. Because there’s a way to do more than wish. There’s a way to have those wishes come true.

First of all, a bit of history:  my mom was the one who taught me about the wishbone in the turkey.  She would clean those wishbones and stash them someplace until they dried out, then proudly produce one, ask me to pull one end while she held the other end, and if it broke off in my favor, I got to make a wish.  Somehow she managed to arrange it so that it always broke off in my favor.  At least that’s the way I remember it.

Anyway, today is the day after thanksgiving and I am now prepping for annual round of turkey soup and turkey noodle casserole and of course, turkey sandwiches.  And I found the wishbone.

I also had a question posed to me a few days ago by a wise friend, upon learning that it was my birthday.  He asked, “so what are your intentions for this next trip around the sun?”

Now, my wise friend is a Science of Mind minister, like me, so I knew precisely what he was asking.  Because in our world, we know that a setting of an intention is actually an affirmative prayer.  And as I voiced to him my intentions, which I had previously voiced to no one else, I asked myself if I was really ready for this?  Because in my world, this setting of intentions stuff is powerful.  And the answer came back, yeah, I’m ready.  Also in our world:  our prayers tend to be of the affirmation type, not the beseeching type.  In other words, we don’t ask a god or the universe or whatever outside of ourselves to please do this for us.  We instead know that as we are, as Ernest Holmes put it, unique and individualized manifestations of god, we can simply speak our word and know.

We actually have a formulaic 5 step prayer for this stuff.  Yep, an affirmative prayer.  

Not a wish.  Not a goal.  Not a resolution.  But an intention.  There are very real differences between these things, which, by the way, is why I don’t do new year’s resolutions.

Back to the prayer:  

Here’s that 5 step affirmative prayer in a nutshell:  God is, I Am, It is done, Thanks, Bye!

Now, because I’ve been doing affirmative prayer since god was a child, I can do the shortened version of this thing and put feeling behind it and know.  

But let me break it down a bit.

In Science of Mind classes, we are given an acronym for this formula.  By the way, this is basic foundational Science of Mind stuff and it is taught in all beginning classes, because everything else basically builds upon affirmative prayer. Oh, and while I’m here, we sometimes call affirmative prayer “treatment.” So if you ever experience a Science of Mind person asking you if you have a treatment request, what they are really asking you is if you have an affirmative prayer request.

So here we go:  

R U R T R?

Are You Ready to Receive?

Five steps.

The first one is Recognition.  I recognize God.  Now, you can flesh out this step in whatever way appeals to you.  The key here is to move into a feeling space with it. This isn’t just intellectual heady stuff.  Thought plus feeling equals power and when we do an affirmative prayer, we begin with this first step recognizing the existence of a god in whatever form, and we begin to feel stuff by doing that.  I tend to flesh out this step with things like God is all good, all the time.  I might add some qualities of spirit as we like to call them.  God is love, god is power, god is peace, god is joy.  And for good measure, I usually add that god is everywhere present.

Which leads me to the next step:  Unification.  God and I, we are one.  Oneness.  No separation between me and god.  I usually have some fun with this step.  I am a godling.  A little godling running around on this earth. Notice the first person singular by the way.  And if you don’t know what that is, review your grammar class but basically we do this stuff in I statements. Not you and not we.  There’s reasons for this which could get me way off track so I won’t go into them now.  Just speak in I statements.  If you are curious and want more, take the Foundations class.  Let me know.  I can offer that one.  Anyway, back to the unification:  I am a unique and individualized manifestation of spirit.  (That’s from Ernest Holmes by the way).  God is living and moving and breathing as and in and through me.  And one of my other favorites, I am a drop in the ocean, god is the ocean.  The key is to realize here that there is no separation between us.  There isn’t a god out there.  Only in here.

Next step:  Realization.  This is a fun one.  I love love love this step.  Because in this step I get to affirm and know and feel as if it is already true.  So we state this step in the present tense (see comment about grammar), as if it is already happening.  And we get to state how we are feeling about this event.  So we don’t necessarily affirm the event, we affirm the feelings we will have when the event comes true.  As an example, I’m going to out myself here and give you one of the intentions I stated to my friend when he asked.  You are the second to hear my intention for this next year.  My intention this year is to manifest a healthy, equal, romantic relationship with a wonderful partner who is open, loving, kind and has similar beliefs to me.  Now, that’s pretty specific.  And no, I don’t and won’t outline that in my prayer.  But I do have it mind because those things lead me to the feelings I will get when this comes true:  peace, joy, a sense of companionship, intimacy.  So in reality I am affirming those feelings. My prayer is for those feelings to manifest within me. The rest of it, the manifestation of the perfect guy in my life at the perfect time, well let’s just say I am now in partnership with a Law that always says yes to my word.  How I get there isn’t entirely up to me, although I do have some footwork to do.  Like BE the partner I wish to attract. Which means I get to also BE open, loving, kind.  And I get to really know what my beliefs are.  So when I BE these things, I activate the law of attraction that Ernest Holmes speaks of in an ENTIRE CHAPTER in the Science of Mind textbook.  So, I affirm the feelings.  I BE the qualities.  Notice there is no other action that needs to be taken. Although I will freely admit that sometimes I do find it necessary to do some footwork.  For example, I need to work on just how open and loving I really am.  Yeah, when we affirm this stuff, the first thing that usually happens is that opportunities will arise for us to take care of our own shit.  Which is why I asked myself if I was truly ready to affirm this intention.  I knew what I was setting myself up for.  It’s good.  It’s ok.  I’m ready.

Then I give thanks.  Express my gratitude.  Because it is already done in the Law, that delights in doing precisely what I affirm, every single time.  

Then I release into that Law, which basically means I let it go.  It is done.  I need do nothing more with it.  As Eddie Watkins Jr. sings in one of his songs, you don’t bury a seed then dig it up again to see if it is sprouting.   I leave it be.

And anchor:  and so it is!

That’s it!  

That’s the story of how I got from a wishbone to an affirmative prayer.

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.


I believe life was meant to be enjoyed.  You know that phrase in the Bible, where it says to be as a child?  I take that to heart.  No, I am not speaking of hanging on to immaturity.  I am speaking of enjoying life as children do.  They move through their days in awe and wonder and joy.  Sometimes I look at my life and the awe almost brings me to my knees.  I move through the day and appreciate the beauty of whatever is surrounding me.  I feel joy that I can do the things I like to do. A friend told me I could have fun inside a paper bag, and I can.  That is joy.  I have the ability to find the joy in anything because I have cultivated that joy.  But sometimes finding the joy becomes a bit difficult, and that’s what this post is about.  It’s about the reasons why you might also be finding it difficult to find the joy, and what to do about it. 
I know why it is difficult for me right now to feel the joy.  Let me see if I can explain it to you.  It has to do with a phenomenon called group consciousness.  This phenomenon states that since we are all connected, part of a great whole, the trend of our thinking will affect others, and their thinking will affect us.  I learned about this phenomenon while studying a spiritual and philosophical way of life called New Thought, which developed by this very phenomenon of group consciousness back in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  All of a sudden people in separate parts of the world were all speaking and writing about the same concepts without ever connecting with each other. One of the concepts those early New Thought pioneers were speaking and writing about is Oneness.  They were convinced that we are all connected on very deep levels, part of a great One.  Ernest Holmes was one of those pioneers and created a New Thought teaching called Science of Mind.  It is one of several, and it just happens to be the one I follow and teach.  Ernest Holmes is the one who came up with the term group consciousness, but he isn’t the only one who has studied, and strived to prove, the concept.  Science has proved it.  I will never forget the excitement I felt when I took my first quantum physics class in grad school and discovered that what Holmes had been saying had been proven true by science.
Quantum physics is one of those sciences and they have proven it in repeated experiments.  If you don’t believe me, look up the observer effect.
Another item of proof:  you may have heard of the hundredth monkey effect.   Way back in the 1950s some scientists did a study and discovered that if a certain learned behavior reached 100 monkeys, all of a sudden that behavior jumped across the water and monkeys on nearby islands, who never had physical contact with the first group of monkeys, began doing the same behavior.
One more, this one from an author named Terry Patten, in his book called a New Republic of the Heart:  “The popularity of ideas like the “tipping point” or the hundredth-monkey stories are not simply tall tales. As already mentioned, Ken Wilber has pointed to the claim, rooted in the historical evidence of the late 1700s and the American Revolution, that when 10 percent of the population grows into a genuinely higher structure of consciousness, the nature of public agreements and power exchanges can be restructured according to a higher set of (postmonarchical, constitutional, democratic, meritocratic, free-enterprise) rules.”
Unfortunately, that phenomenon works both ways, higher consciousness and lower consciousness.  If 10% of the population is living a lower state of consciousness, guess what?  We are going to experience evidence of that.  Such evidence looks like anger, judgement, close mindedness, rigidity, polarity.
I believe we in America are in a lower state of consciousness right now, and those of us who are aware of such things and believe in group consciousness feel it.  
It may feel like grief.  I’m sure you’ve felt grief before.  All those things you feel when you experience a loss.  Things that Elizabeth Kubler Ross identified as stages of grief:  Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.  I know I’ve felt all of these in the last couple of years.  I bounce around these feelings like one of those giant beach balls being tossed about by people who don’t seem to care where the ball lands or what, or who, it bounces off of.  
Now, you may be thinking that this all sounds sort of victimy.  To be subject to the consciousness of the populace?  Yep, victim.  Fortunately, we are at choice as to how to respond to this.  We can choose not to buy into the polarity, the judgement, the rigidity, the anger and the close mindedness.  
If you are anything like me, you might wake up some mornings just feeling wrong.  No apparent reason for it.  Just wrong.  There is a reason, it’s the group consciousness.  Here’s where we can, and should, choose differently. 
I believe we have a responsibility to choose differently.  Because to give in to the group consciousness means to accept the shit that is going on, and that I will not do.  And neither should you.  If you believe that life is meant to be lived in joy, then you will also take responsibility for being one of the hundred monkeys.  Or one of the 10%.  Do not buy into the group consciousness.  Refuse to live from a base of fear.  Instead contemplate what it could be like, feel like, to live a life based in love.  Refuse to wrap yourself in a cocoon of suspicion.  Instead, realize that all that suspicion simply shuts out any possibility of joyful living, and strive to be vulnerable.  Yes, I said vulnerable.  There is a way to be vulnerable without opening ourselves up to harm.  The vulnerability I’m speaking of is a sort of open mindedness.  A willingness to explore a different way to be, so as to experience a better life.   Refuse to judge, condemn, belittle.  Instead cultivate compassion for yourself and others.  Deny the sadness that you feel and replace it with happiness.  Refuse to judge anyone, for anything.  Refuse to shame other people.  Refuse to claim a side.  Refuse to be angry.  Refuse to be close minded.  Instead, cultivate compassion.  Nurture open mindedness.  Actively pursue an attitude of gratitude.  Explore different ways of communicating so that you can have healthy conversations with people who think differently than you do.
If enough of us do these things, we can and will change the world.  


In Christianity, a superficial understanding of prayer is that it is a beseeching to an outside entity.  This idea of prayer is so ingrained in our culture that even people who claim not to be Christian, who replace the word God with the word Universe, still beseech to an outside entity.  They say things like, “I’ve asked the Universe to help me with this.”  

This superficial understanding of prayer has never worked for me.  I’ve always felt “victimy” praying to an outer entity, and always felt like there was something missing with those prayers.  The reality is that prayer goes much deeper than simply asking a God separate from us to do something for us.  The reality of prayer is that it has the power to change us from the inside out, and when we change, our world changes.  

In Science of Mind, Ernest Holmes says that prayer “changes the mind of the one doing the praying.”  And in the Bible, it calls us to “pray without ceasing.”

How is one to pray without ceasing?  And what is the real power behind prayer?  I believe that prayer is a guiding light, not something to be used when we are in need.  Prayer is a way of being, not words.  The traditional way of praying is a very good start.  Now let’s take it a bit further.

If we are called to pray without ceasing, it means we are called to BE prayerful, 24/7.  Prayer, in a deeper sense than the beseeching sense, means communion.  It means connection.  I’m sure you have had times in your life when you felt disconnected.  Alone.  Lonely.  Loneliness is not about a lack of people in our lives.  It is about being and feeling disconnected from that beautiful power that exists in this world, that Power that is everywhere present.  The reality is we can not be disconnected from It, because It really is everywhere present.  We’ve just shut ourselves off from It.  

We shut ourselves off from It by judging others.  We shut ourselves off from It by hatred.  We shut ourselves off from It by putting up walls of defense.  We shut ourselves off from It by acting in ways which run counter to our deepest beliefs and values.  And when we shut ourselves off from It, It never goes away.  It just affirms our way of being, because that, in essence, is what we have been praying for.  It always says yes.  So we judge and hate and build walls and separate ourselves further from It by separating ourselves from our fellow humans.  We live in terms of us and them.  And we get lonelier, and sicker, and more and more hateful and judgmental, and we wonder how God could be doing the things he is doing?  And then we shut ourselves off from God even more because now we are mad at Him.

I am finding it necessary to take a deep breath now.  Breathe.  Breathe out that pain and misery born of ignorance, and breathe in relief, and truth, and the love of God.

Because in reality that is really what God is.  It is love.  That’s all.  But that is quite a bit.  It covers everything.  In some circles there are seven qualities,  or attributes, of Spirit that are mentioned.  Those attributes are love,  light, peace, power, joy and beauty.

I’m going to make an assumption here and assume that you believe that God is indeed everywhere present.  Another way of putting it is that there is no place where God is not.  No place.  You are here.  And if there is no place where God is not, then God is in you.  

I’m going to make another assumption and assume that you believe that the qualities of God are indeed love, light, peace, power, joy and beauty.

If you believe that there is no place where God is not, and if you believe that the qualities of God are love, light, peace, power, joy and beauty, then you must also believe that YOU are made of love, light, peace, power, joy and beauty.   And if you believe in what the Bible says, then you believe that the way to pray is 24/7, without ceasing.  

If you believe all that, then the way to pray is to embody those qualities of love, light, peace, power, joy and beauty.  All day.  Every day.  As best as you can.  This is the mystical and very deep power of prayer.  When we strive to pray like this, prayer does indeed change the mind of the one doing the praying.

In Sanskrit, prayer means seeing oneself as wonderfully made.  How much more wonderful can you get than to think of yourself as the essence of love, light, peace, power, joy and beauty?  

I am reminded of the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi.  You may know it as the 11th step prayer if you are a 12 stepper.  This prayer goes like this:  

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.

The prayer begins with a beseeching to an outside entity, but then, it moves deeper.  It asks for us to become peace.  It asks for us to become love instead of hatred.  It asks for us to forgive instead of perpetuating the offense.  It asks for us to bring harmony to discord.  It asks for us to speak the truth.  What truth?  OUR truth!  This calls for an extraordinary level of self awareness, which calls for a regular practice of introspection, which is another form of prayer, and the topic of which could be another talk or blog post.  Back to the prayer.  This prayer calls us to replace our doubts with faith, our despair with hope.  It calls for us the Be the light, shining on the darkness of hatred and judgement and bigotry and shame.  It calls for us to be joyful.  It calls for us to turn away from such self centered and selfish motives as wanting consolation, understanding and love and to turn towards consoling others, loving others and understanding others.  And it tells us that when we do this, we find ourselves, our true selves.  Thus that old self, that lonely miserable old self, dies, and we reawaken to an eternal life that is filled with so much love, light, peace, power, joy and beauty that we sometimes wonder about it.  How can I, a lowly human, be filled with so much love, light, peace, power, joy and beauty?

And here’s the kicker to this prayer:  it is in giving that one receives.  In Science of Mind we call this the Law of Attraction.  This law says that what we give, we receive.  I find it somewhat ironic that we are back to where we began, beseeching to an outside entity, only now we have received that which we have asked for, because we have become that which we have asked for.

So go out into the world.  BE love, light, peace, power, joy and beauty.  Every time you find yourself judging, remember.  Every time you find yourself separating yourself from the sunlight of the Spirit by building walls of us and them, tear down those walls.  Every time you find yourself hating something or someone, replace that hatred with love.  Every time you discover an example of sadness, bring some joy to it.  Every time you want to participate in feeding disharmony by choosing a side, instead seek to understand.  BE the voice and the example of Spirit in your every action and your every thought.  Allow to die a natural death pessimism and negativity, and replace that with optimism and positive thinking.  

And watch your life resurrect into something new and wonderful; and what you have prayed for manifest.

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What are you painting on the canvas of your life?

A year ago today I received my ordination from Centers for Spiritual Living.  It was a long road to get there:  8 years of education plus 4 years of working “in the field” after graduating with a Masters Degree in Consciousness Studies.  When I look at the photos of me in my memories feed, I see someone who looks tired.  I was doing what that lady in the commercial for anti depression meds was doing, walking around with a paper smiley face to cover up what was really going on.  I had experienced so many changes and losses in such a short time during that period of my life and I was weathering it as best as I could.  I’m strong.  That is a character asset that has served me well many times in my life, allowing me to persevere and sometimes even succeed, no matter what.  But the shadow side of that is that I became accustomed to only being able to succeed when I felt a need to be strong to stand against what life was dishing out. That is not a good way to live.  Today I’ve come out the other end of that journey.  The active grieving is done, the PTS (I refuse to call a normal reaction to shit happening a disorder) is lessening in frequency and intensity, and today I have learned that I can succeed without hardship.  I can and do succeed just because that’s the natural and normal progression of things. And today the sun is shining and it isn’t snowing, for the first time in weeks!  So today I will bundle up and venture out into the world to continue painting on the canvas of my life.  As Ernest Holmes said, “we must all become artists in living,” and today I am an artist painting a bright and glorious canvas!

If it is true that every thought sets the fulfillment of its desire in motion, and I believe it is, then it behooves us to make sure our thoughts are setting good motions in place.  Ernest Holmes tells us that “trained thought is far more powerful than untrained....”

This means we must take steps to train our mind.  Those steps are the spiritual practices of self inquiry and meditation.  Done together regularly, consistently and persistently, these two practices allow for a trained mind that is supportive and friendly.

I am fond of saying that my mind is not the boss of me, but that doesn’t just happen automatically.  I had to do some work to establish a positive relationship between me and my mind.  You may be familiar with the saying that the mind is a dangerous neighborhood, we should not go there alone.  When I first began the spiritual practices of self inquiry and meditation, it was very scary and uncomfortable.  But I was told that my life would get better if I did these practices.  I did, and it did.

Today, I not only DO these practices daily, but they are a lifestyle for me. It hasn’t always been like this, but I can assure you that if you make a beginning you will eventually end up with a trained mind that is a friend, not a foe.

If you have an untrained mind that seems to be against you, I can help.  Contact me for more information.

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Fun
Fabulous Unique Nut
Feeling Up Now
Feeling the Universe Now
Find Ur Nature
What is fun?  Think about it.  How do you have fun?  You DO have fun don't you?  Do you do fun things?  Is life itself fun?  Or do you simply go from one SHOULD to another, one task to another, thinking that you will have fun one of these days?
I have an invitation for you:  don't do it if it isn't fun.  Yep.  I have learned that life is too short to do anything that isn't fun.  But your fun is different than my fun.  The key is to figure out what is fun for you.
And so we get to the first invitation when we consider fun:  Figure it out!  Figure Unique Nourishment.

...continue reading "FUN: Fill Unique Niche Or Fabulous Unique Nut or …?"

Every week, I create a talk which I deliver at one and sometimes two places.  Sometimes I’m a guest speaker at various Centers for Spiritual Living in my area, and every Monday night I do the talk as a prelude to an open discussion.  We call these discussions Monday Night Musings, and if you live in the Lake Tahoe, Reno or Carson Valley areas, you are welcome to attend.  Every Monday night at 6 PM at A-to-Zen in Carson City.  Monday Night Musings are sponsored by the Center for Spiritual Living Carson City and while they are free, love offerings are gratefully accepted.  These offerings support the various endeavors of CSL Carson City, which are all in line with the mission of providing spiritual tools to live happier lives.  And they are tax deductible!

The process by which I create the talk takes all week.  At the beginning of the week, I  download the topic outline.  Each week’s outline was supplied by a different CSL minister, in a grass roots effort called The Global Vision.  What is cool about this is that many Centers all over the world are all following the same topic outlines, so no matter where you go, you will find the same general topic. And the beauty of it is that depending on the minister who is delivering the talk, you will get a different take on the topic!  After downloading the outline, I read it, and also read the week’s reading from the Ernest Holmes book Living the Science of Mind.  Then I let all that stuff “cook” in my consciousness for a few days.  By the time I sit down to write, things usually flow fairly smoothly and out comes a talk!

My take on this topic is life changing.  At least it was for me.  It reminds me that who I am today, and how I show up in the world today, need not be based on who I was yesterday.  It also need not be based on the events of yesterday.  This is a powerful way of thinking for those of us who have had unpleasantness occur in our lives.  And who hasn’t?

The truth is that we can be limited by basing our current lives on the past, or we can break those bonds and fly free.  My choice is to fly free.  What is yours?

Like many of you, and many of the people I know and love, I woke up Wednesday morning shocked, dismayed, and very very frightened.

I consider myself a fiscal conservative who believes in true equality for all. What that boils down to is I think government needs to get out of our personal lives, and stop enabling people by paying for things that, quite honestly, they should pay for themselves. I believe in lending a helping hand. I've taken advantage of those helping hands at times in my life, but while doing so I also took steps to educate myself, and do my inner work, so that I could once again become responsible for my own life. It is very empowering to do that and I am grateful I had people in my life who refused to enable me. But what I believe in most of all, and this....excuse the language...trumps everything else...is equality. I'm so over racism, and misogyny and bigotry and hateful language which very often results in hateful acts. This is a deep value of mine, and one that takes importance over everything else, so when I vote, I vote equal rights no matter what. No matter whether I agree with the rest of it.

I tell you this because I believe it is important we know what our values are, because all of our thoughts, words and deeds stem from our values. I was frightened post election because I perceived that my country had elected a person who, from his words during the campaign, believed in the opposite of equality for all. Not only that, he seemed to embrace misogyny, hatred, bigotry and racism. I'm frightened of that. To be honest, I did not even investigate policy with him, because I couldn't get past the hateful language.

I also believe that after all I've experienced and done in my life, I am not here to live a fear based life. I believe that we either live a fear based life or a faith based life. Living a fear based life means I believe in us and them. Living a fear based life means I say hateful things, take sides, view others with suspicion, and feel a need to protect myself. It also means I judge others who are not exactly like me. It means I can't make eye contact with people I meet on the street. I can not and will not live like that. I choose to live a faith based life. Living a faith based life means I believe in Oneness, there is no separation between me and you. If I say hateful things to you, I am also saying them to myself. And vice versa. In my faith, I have learned that everything I experience has been for the good. And I've experienced a lot that most "normal" people don't. It has all been for the good. Living a faith based life also means that when I'm experiencing fear, as I was the other day, the call is not to declare sides and lash out in anger and blame others. The call is to go inward and investigate what it is I am afraid of, exactly, and why. And do my inner work so that I can move back into faith. And then make amends if, in my fear, I did any damage.

I've done the inner work. I am now back in faith. I now once again remember that outside appearances have no power to affect me except if I give them that power. I now once again remember that we are all one. I now once again remember that blame only keeps me in the problem. Pointing fingers at others only keeps me in the problem. Focusing on what I am afraid of only keeps me in the problem.

I am not advocating spiritual bypass....which is simply an exotic way of talking about denial. What I am advocating is that we stop contributing to the divisiveness in this world and begin to contribute to peace.

It is time for us to do our inner work, and make amends. I've been reading some interesting articles that basically say that Trump won this election not because of his misogyny, bigotry and racism, but in spite of it. He won because he represented change to a people who are tired of not making enough money, tired of things not working right. I'm tired of that too. I'm tired of people telling me they won't hire me as a photographer or wedding officiant because I charge too much. I'm tired of people who value price over quality. I'm tired of people telling me ministers should do the work they do for free. I'm tired of the government telling me what I can and cannot do in my personal life. Don't EVEN get me started on seat belts. My point is here that those of us who say we believe in tolerance and equality have not listened to the cries from "those other people." We've just judged and separated ourselves from them. Part of my amends is that I will no longer do that.

I've received a few phone calls and emails the past few days from ministers and practitioners (spiritual coaches) who wanted treatment (prayer) and help with the fear they were experiencing. I am also witnessing many who are posting things on Facebook that indicate to me they are still in fear. It is time to move out of our fear folks. It is time to embrace what is. Should we hold Donald Trump accountable? You bet. Do we need to ensure that human rights don't take a step backward? You bet. Should we blame and point fingers and say he isn't our president, when he will be come January? No. That is more separation, more fear based thinking, and it will only keep us in the problem.

One last thing: the good that has come out of this? Ernest Holmes, the founder of what we now call Centers for Spiritual Living, said that healing can only come from revealing. For a long time we've been able to hide the fact that there is racism and misogyny and bigotry in this country. Now it is out in the open. No one can deny it. Now that it is revealed in all its ugly glory, we can heal it. That is my job from this point onward. I don't know how I'm going to do this job, but I know I'm going to do it. Won't you join me?

On Sunday, I will be speaking at the Center for Spiritual Living in Carson City about how to survive....and thrive....in this unsettling time. I hope you will join me. Meditation at 10, service at 10:30. 3579 Highway 50 East in Unit 301. We are in the iStorage Business Park across from Goodwill. Don't use GPS to find us unless you want to take a scenic tour.