Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I feel so used.

How can I serve today? 

There are times in our life when we feel really useful. We may feel everything is going well, we have direction, we have connections, and we are being called upon by others for assistance. These are the times to reflect upon the idea of being used.

Some of us do things out of guilt or obligation. Some of us do things because we believe it would really benefit another. Some of us do things because we really feel we have to make a name for ourselves. If we take a step back and look at ourselves through eyes outside of ourselves, we may find a clear answer to our purpose and place in this world.

Being used, in a Spiritual sense, is remembering that the I AM presence, God, Spirit, is moving through us. We are a beacon, a channel, a direct source from Spirit through to our actions. When we allow God to move through us, rather than making things happen, the actions can come with grace and ease. The idea is to remember throughout our day to continue to ask, "What is moving through me today?" "How can I be of service?" "Use me where I am needed most." These are all statements/ questions that will bring us closer to a realization we seek.

Also, when we understand the way of Spirit moving through us, it is easier to know we are not alone in this world. We have the Universal Consciousness which is working together for our collective good. When we allow Spirit to use us, we not only experience the benefit  to the recipient but the benefit to ourselves.

Today, when we go about our day, ask ourselves, "In what way is Spirit expressing through me today?"

photo: Rodney Brown

Sunday, October 26, 2014

More Than You Were Looking For Sunday Service

 With joy I recognize that everything I always wanted is right where I am! I am grateful for the abundance of all good. I am grateful for all the connection in my life. I am especially grateful for the support of my friends in this community.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Why I Do Not eat Onions

When I was a small child growing up in a prairie village in Saskatchewan, I was a curious and empathic child. I was three years old, my older sister was in school, and my brothers were not yet in the picture. I had a great imagination and I liked playing by myself. I liked to twirl and make my skirts float up. I liked to look up at the clouds and imagine that they were goddesses, and animals, and ships. I liked to think about life.

My mom was pickling cucumbers. Onions were involved.

I was playing outside and came tearing into the house for some reason, maybe it was to tell mommy something or ask for a glass of water. Whatever the reason, it was soon gone; one look at my mother and I knew that something was wrong. My mother looked devastated – tears were rolling down her cheeks, her eyes were puffy and red. I imagine I was greatly frightened; my mother from whom I had never seen anything but love (and possibly anger) was crying. I flung my arms around her legs and asked, “What’s wrong mommy?” I imagine my heart was beating rapidly too. Without a confident caring mother, what could a small child depend upon? 
Not Really My Mom

She just wiped her eyes with the back of her hands and explained, “It’s nothing, honey.  It’s just these darn onions!” She thought she had explained the whole thing, by saying it was nothing, but to me, it was not NOTHING, it was EVERYTHING. My provider, protector, and guide was made helpless, driven to tears, by “onions.” Onions must be very bad indeed.

From that day on, during my childhood no-one could get me to eat onions. My mother put them in everything, even fish sticks, and I always knew. She was always trying to trick me to eat them.  Even if I took a bite, I couldn't swallow it.  Onions would stick in my throat
For many years, I just thought I hated onions. When I was in high school, and started understanding that there was a cause for everything, I asked mom if something traumatic happened to me.  Mom told me the story. I thought knowledge would make it better. But still onions stick in my throat. Yes, I know they are good for me. It is ironic that mom was trying to help her child be a less-fussy eater, and I was unconsciously trying to protect my mother from those ”bad” things.

This is a simple example of how beliefs are formed and how they can affect our lives. It is interesting to me that simply understanding that the original belief was incorrect and even knowing the opposite is true, it has been very difficult to change my beliefs.
It is difficult to change beliefs and most of our beliefs, remain underneath the field of awareness and scrutiny. Some of us think that that’s just the way the world is. But God didn't make one kind of vegetable that was bad, regardless of my personal preferences. All creation is part of the oneness that is an expression of the Divine. 
Great chefs everywhere use onions as flavoring. It would be a good thing to change my mind about onions, so that I could have a more enjoyable life. I will continue to expand my awareness of good.

It brings me to the question, what erroneous beliefs do you have that are stopping you from living a sensational life? I don’t like onions, and that is too bad for me. However, I have managed to live quite well just the way I am.

But are there other unexamined beliefs, perhaps also starting with a childhood perceptions, that really are making a difference in my life? It is likely so.

Ernest Holmes wrote: “By far the largest part of our thinking processes are automatic, casting, as it were, the images of their acceptance into the universal Mind which reacts upon them. And thus it is that fear can bring about the condition feared while faith can reverse it.”

So I am determined to look through eyes of good and see good everywhere. I am determined to know that I am an expression of love and that everything in my life has been a response to love’s call. I am determined to use my knowledge to help myself and others. Every memory contains a gift.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

And now for a little Music Therapy

Tuning into therapy

Recently I joined a Yahoo! group named Mindfulness in Education Network. Being familiar with Yahoo! groups, I was prepared to receive many emails from various members all spreading the word of Mindfulness. One of the members shared an article from the Smithsonian regarding Music Therapy. In the article it references a study conducted where participants were subjected to a favorite song, liked songs, and non-preferred songs. The brain was the focus of this study, and scans were taken while music was heard. What they found was varying brain activity that resulted in certification that Music therapy actually does work.

While I know, from personal experience, the effects of music on myself, I reflected on the music I introduced to those in my own family. When my husband and I married, the music at our reception was slow jazz and standards, none of that wedding "party" music for our celebration. The likes of Diana Krall, Steve Tyrell, Etta James, Harry Connick Jr., etc. were our choices for the reception. During our honeymoon, my husband and I mistakenly took a wrong bag and ended up with only one CD to listen to. It was the perfect CD for the serenely, tropical local. Diana Krall's Love Scenes provided the exact music needed for our memories to be created.

When my children were young, music was a constant. Listening to Baby Einstein music provided them an introduction to classical music that is soothing, memorable and comforting when heard during their growth. Currently, when I have the privilege of driving my daughter and her friend to high school, the station conveniently makes it way to KJAZZ. This is my sneaky way of infiltrating their minds with music other than their preferred teenage music they so enjoy (not that there is anything wrong with that, sometimes). Being of an eclectic music taste, I want to introduce my children to as much music variety as I enjoy. I also know the power of creating memories with music. Interestingly enough, the research article referenced in the Smithsonian article mentions the correlation to favorite music and hippocampi activity, deriving the conclusion that favorite music stimulates memory recalling brain activity instead of memory making brain activity. Music + making a great memory = future memory recall + a pleasurable feeling.

Before my father passed he was in a care facility. When visiting, I brought my ipod touch and placed the external speaker near him to hear the playlist I provided for him. One of the songs I added was Andrea Bocelli's version of Amapola. As my father was in and out of sleep quite often, whenever that particular song came on he would regain his consciousness and sing along with the song while his eyes were still closed. It is such a loving memory I have of my father that whenever I hear this song, whoever is singing it, I have a direct connection with my dad.

Take a listen to Amapola and create a memory for yourself.