Friday, July 21, 2017

Lost in Unbelief? The Answer is Within

As some of you know, I was blessed several years ago with the gift of some old Science of Mind magazines. The earliest ones in my possession are from 1950. This month I am reading a 1956 issue. It was July in an election year. Some of the articles were written to convince readers of how to vote. History shows that Dwight D. Eisenhower  was elected President. I don't know much about what the fears and hopes of the American people were, but from Dr. Holmes' article, I know that there were some big fears.
His words are just as important to us today as they were sixty-one years ago.

Holmes wrote: "First, we have to have conviction of the Presence; next, we have to have the technique for prayer; then, we have to have the results of prayer. This is the only authority we have. The only background you and I have is what we leave behind us as we advance to the foreground of spiritual awareness. This is the only background that has any reality or substantiality or any real validity in any field. What we know, we can do. The rest we only believe in.
The world has intellectual capacity enough and it has the ingenuity for magnificence. It has inventions and modern conveniences that we all enjoy but it is more scared than it ever was. It is more insecure than it ever was. Therefore, there is something missing in human endeavor That which must now come to the world must be an ever-increasing spiritual awareness. This is what the world needs, what it is dying for, and without which it might destroy itself. Everything else has failed. Why? Because it has detached itself from the spiritual and wanders alone and is lost in the midst of unbelief.
Let us, then, in our thought firmly but easily, spontaneously, but definitely, seize the prerogative of the Spirit within us and say:'We know there is One Life, we know that that Life is God, we know that there is no unbelief within us, no doubt, no uncertainty. There is One Life, that Life is God, that Life is our Life, that Life is the life of every person. Deep within us we must feel It, comprehend the meaning of Its beauty, sense the dynamic power and creativity in It. We need to know that here and now there is One Perfect Life in every atom of our being and every organ and function of our body. Its Intelligence is the source of all intelligence. We need to accept the givingness of That which projects nature out of the lavish abundance of Its own inexhaustible resources; the substance of the living Spirit. The government of Divine Intelligence can govern our affairs, if we know Something in us which knows what to do and how to do it. We must permit the expansion of our own soul, the liberation of our own spirit, and the authority of our own faith.'"

Ad so it is! May this day be  a day in which you expand your soul, liberate your spirit and be confident in your faith. After all, it is the faith of God in you!

Ernest Holmes


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Prejudices and Sins, Sunday Service

Today I move into a glorious way of being that embodies and exemplifies beauty, grace, compassion and joy! And So It Is!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Go Placidly, Breathe, and Choose

When I think of Max Ehrman's Desiderata, my whole body relaxes.

He says: "Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence."

Words of wisdom.

Last week I was running behind my own self-imposed time schedule. I was cleaning out a tuna can to recycle. I ripped open my index finger which bled profusely. (Incidentally, I was wearing a white cotton skirt and managed to escape any blood stains on my skirt.) But there was a lot of blood everywhere else. Knowing my doctor doesn't do emergencies, I went to the urgent care located across from our building. I received my first stitches aside from wisdom teeth removal which I had not counted.

It was a bother to try to keep the wound dry so the stitches could do their work, but for the most part, I did. I wore rubber gloves to do most things and the finger of a rubber gloves to bathe and shower.

When I went to the doctor today to have the stitches removed, he complimented himself for doing such good work. Indeed he did do a good job. I have a tiny reminder on my right hand to slow down.

But my point is that if I had not been in  a hurry, I would have taken more care in the first place. I would not have needed stitches, nor would I have needed a tetanus shot, a trip to Laguna Niguel in mid-week, or any of the other additional time-takers that I experienced. My grandma used to say, "Haste makes waste." Grandma was right about a great many things.

Hurrying did not save me anything, neither time nor money.

Since I know that God, Divine Mind is everywhere present and in the truest sense everything is in perfect order, I relax and let the blessings flow. I stop. Take  a breath. Remember that I am surrounded by infinite intelligence and that all is well.
On page 148 of the Science of Mind textbook, Ernest Holmes writes: "When we speak into this Mind, we have sown a seed of thought in the Absolute and we may rest in peace. We need not make haste, for it is done unto u\s as we believe. 'In that day they call upon me, I will answer.'"
You too are a child of the Universe, no less than the trees and stars. You have a right to be here.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

From Racism to Grace, Sunday Service

We communicate openly with each other in an atmosphere of collaboration and inclusion. And So It Is!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Getting Out of the Box

Recently I viewed a short film entitled: "40 Strangers, 50 Questions."  I was very moved by the contents. First, forty people came together  and were asked to stand in a certain area based on the color of their skin. Then they were asked a series of questions, to determine what other qualities and experiences they might have in common. Then they were asked to come to the front of the room to have a photograph taken with their new group. Some of the questions were playful and light-hearted, others were personal. The questions included:
As a child were you over-protected?
Do you ever feel lonely?
Have you ever been teased because of your appearance or race?
Have you had sex this week?
Always there were some people who went forward and realized they were part of a different group, one that was based on their experiences, not on the color of their skin.

The one question that was asked that everyone went to the front of the room was:
"Do you feel that we would be stronger united than divided?"
What do you think? It isn't much fun to be put in a box for any reason, but especially for something that we have no choice over... the color of our skin. I think this is an amazing exercise in oneness. We have so much in common in our shared human experiences. And we have even more in common when we remember that we are all made of the same stuff by the same creative process.

Have you put yourself in a box? Is it time to get out?

Be willing to see through the eyes of love and possibility and a new paradigm will appear.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

'The Multi-cultural America' Sunday Service

"Behind all is a Unity, through all is a diversity, saturating all is a Divinity.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Who's Your Authority?

Recently I re-watched Mary Morrissey's Prosperity Plus II  class two in which Mary tells her introduction to Metaphysical Principles. As a new mother, just out of high school, Mary was diagnosed with critical nephritis in both kidneys. Her prognosis was that they would remove the kidney that was totally diseased, then and because the other kidney was also badly diseased she might have two months to live. She had been given a death sentence. Mary's story is heart-wrenching because she had been shamed by her family, her school and abandoned by her friends because she was pregnant in a day when "good girls" didn't get pregnant.

The beautiful thing about Mary's story is that the night before her surgery, a chaplain came in to her room and asked her if she would like prayer. She then says that what happened next was unlike any version of prayer she had ever seen. The chaplain drew up a chair and talked with her about her life. She explained to Mary that everything is created twice. Before anything takes a tangible form it was first an idea. She went on to explain that our bodies are always showing us what our thinking has been; if you think an embarrassing thought, you will blush; if you think a scary thought, your heart will beat rapidly. the chaplain asked Mary to consider that if one thought toxic thoughts, your body would be toxic. Mary had never considered such an idea. She didn't really buy it. She wasn't certain that prayer could actually detoxify her body. But she knew that the chaplain believed it.

The next morning she had surgery, practiced the ideas that the chaplain had suggested  and gradually she got better. From two months to live to a lifetime of health, is a great journey.

Mary also said that the initials M.D. often represent for patients, Minor Deities.

Have you given your power away to a diagnosis or prognosis?

It is never too late to change your mind. It is never too late to be kind, caring and loving to yourself. It is never too late to be your own authority.

What is it going to be for you.

Today has been a day wherein I have had a lot of calls of diagnoses and prognoses that the people didn't like.

If that is you. Take back your power. The only healing power there is, lies within you. The only healing power there is responds to your intentions and beliefs.

Choose wisely. Live long and prosper!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Gracism: Embracing Freedom of Choice

Freedom of choice is July's value and with it comes opportunity to examine the choices we are making in thought and action. One of Ernest Holmes' most famous quotes is "Change your thinking change your life." He encouraged us all to look at the unexamined and unconscious beliefs running our lives and challenge them, asking "is that True?"; true with a capital T.

My daughter as we explored the Museum of Man exhibits in San Diego.

Recently, I visited the Museum of Man in San Diego. I spent most of my time in an exhibit called Race: Are We So Different? It was fascinating and obliterated many of my learned beliefs about race.

The exhibit used science, like biology and archaeology, to prove false many of society's long held assumptions about race. One of the most interesting things I learned was about classification. Before the British started to travel and conquer the world, there was no such thing as race. People were people regardless of skin color or cultural differences. It wasn’t until the British applied their classification system to the people they encounter that race and racism was born. No other culture, up until that point, thought to put people in boxes based on traits and assumptions. That was such an “AHA” moment for me, and right there I made a conscious choice to release people from classification.

One of the books this month’s value is drawing inspiration from is Gracism by Rev. Dr. David Anderson. He is the senior minister at a multicultural church in Maryland. Here’s what Dr. Anderson has to say about Gracism…

Join us this month to explore the value: Freedom of Choice. Release yourself from hidden unconscious beliefs and race thinking. And, if you are traveling to San Diego this month, I highly recommend visiting the Museum of Man and the Race exhibit.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Callings, Sunday Service with Guest Speaker Greg Lavoy

One Spirit, One Love, One Life. It is father and mother to us all. I live in that Spirit, I am thay Love. I am that Life. I listen to guidance from the inner perfection that dwells within. And So It Is!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Prosperity Plus for You and Me

I love great prosperity classes. Whether I am the facilitator, teacher or student these classes inspire me. My life changes and improves. I am more aware of what I am grateful for. I am more aware of the current abundance in my life.

One of the best prosperity teachers I know is Mary Manin Morrissey. She is clear, compelling and authentic. She has proven these principles in her life and shares her experiences and struggles. Mary is  a gifted story-teller. Within her stories are gems of transformation.

I will be facilitating Mary's course, Prosperity Plus II: Harnessing Your Invisible Power beginning June 20 for 10 weeks. There is still room in this class and I highly recommend it.

Mary uses Chinese bamboo for the symbol of this course. Chinese bamboo is an interesting plant. After planting the bamboo seed, if you take really good care of it the first year, carefully watering and fertilizing it, it grows one inch. It continues to grow one inch per year for four years. Then in the fifth year, if you take good care of it, it grows an amazing eighty feet in just six weeks. What exactly has it been doing for the first four years? It has been developing a strong and powerful root system, ready to support its massive growth.

In the student guidebook, Mary writes, "Our dreams are sometimes like Chinese bamboo. We may nurture them for what feels like a long time with very little signs on the outside that anything is happening. And then,continue to nurture our dream with patience and persistence,  declining to be discouraged, it is as if overnight, everything comes together and we find ourselves living the very life of which we dreamed."
The course is an experiment in more expansive living, giving each student the opportunity to experience new levels of abundance in every area of your life.

The first thing we get clear about is what would we really love. You will be invited to think about what would you love in terms of your health, your relationships, your vocation and your time and money freedom.

There is room in the class and materials available. Call the Center today to reserve your spot. Our number is 949-240-6463.


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Creating A Culture Of Accountability, Sunday Service

I am in a committed relationship with Spirit, with myself and with my spiritual brothers and sisters. And So It Is!

Friday, June 9, 2017

What is Accountability for Us?

A Prayer Wall at our Center: We Go to God First

What is a culture of accountability? Do we have this culture at our Center?  My questions led to more questions.
Roger Connors in his book Fix It: Getting Accountability Right  writes: "Accountability is a personal choice to rise above one's circumstances and demonstrate the ownership necessary for achieving Key Results: See It, Own It, Solve It, and Do It."
So key results in our Center would always start with God-- seeking guidance from the highest power through prayer and visioning. It is also about taking action. If you take ownership of your organization, and you see something that needs to be done, you do it. Currently there are many examples of this accountability right in our Center. For instance, we have several people who have been researching buildings for us. Whenever we have meals together, we have people stay to help clean up.

This month we have scheduled a series of visioning sessions. Visioning is a process in which one listens for direction from God, Divine Mind, Mother/Father God. We are doing these sessions so that each member and friend of our Center can contribute to the overall vision of our future. Everyone's participation adds to the practice of cultural accountability by taking part in the fulfillment and flourishing of our Center.

I will not be leading the visioning this Sunday because I have another Center commitment, but I know that the right and perfect people will attend. Lee Van Slyke will be leading it. I will be leading it again the following week. Visioning is important work for us to do for our community.

I wasn't exactly certain what culture meant in this context either. The dictionary didn't help, but Centers for Spiritual Living, founding documents, our Organization Design Model did help. I love this document and am so proud that our Center not only embraced these ideas but many of us were part of the creation process of these documents.  In Section 4, under the heading Our Organizational Culture you will find these wonderful words:
"We are a healthy, effective organization honoring and respecting each other and all of creation.
We  are known for the love that we share throughout our community and the world. 
We stand together in a shared commitment and devotion to our spiritual principles, practices and values. 
We are all in this Life together and we include everyone in our vision of a peaceful, loving world. 
We embrace the evolution and revelation of higher consciousness. 
We are prayerful and principled in our decision-making and actions. 
We practice the spiritual tools put forward by our founder, Dr. Ernest Holmes, in The Science of Mind, and by other spiritual leaders and mystics who teach and apply truth principles  for our individual lives."
Today, out of the blue, we received a note from one our our members who was writing to thank us for being who we are. This person addressed the note to her Family of Love. She said that when she walked in she felt love, acceptance and home. She went on to say that when she started attending her thinking was self-destructive but she didn't know how to stop it. She went on to say that now she knows that she is Love, Light, and Life and she is perfect, whole and complete, priceless freedom. She signed the note with gratitude for all of us.
I believe we have a demonstration that we have a culture of accountability.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

'The Courage to Do the Right Thing' Sunday Service

I am an Individualization of the One, wisely using the power of discernment and courage. And So It Is!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Celebrating My Brothers

On Sunday, June 4, my baby brothers will be 67 years old.

I remember when they were born. We were expecting ONE baby.  Evidently the doctor was not sure there were two babies. She could tell there were extra appendages, but because of their position in my mother's womb, the doctor couldn't hear two heartbeats.

Up-until-their birth, our family was perfect in my eyes. I was three years old. I had an eight-year-old sister, whom I adored, both parents, my maternal grandparents,lots of cousins and aunts and uncles. I really didn't want the change of adding more children to our family! I remember peering into the bassinet and hearing my grandma exclaim, "Two BOYS! We are so lucky!"

Now grandma and I were very close. I knew she loved and valued me, but what I heard in those words was "Girls are not as good nor as desirable as boys. So up to now, they had their girl, my older sister and now they had TWO boys. We don't need another girl. You are one child more than we need."

None of this was true.

Coincidentally, just after their births, I had to have my tonsils removed. It was my first trip to a hospital. I thought the nurses were mean and they treated me like a baby. Imagine! I had to sleep in a crib. I had been sleeping in a regular bed with my sister for several months. Likely to free up a crib for my brother(s.) The prevailing "wisdom" was that mothers couldn't have any contact with their children while they were in the hospital. So little did I know, my mommy had come to see me every day, for ten days, but had to peak in when I was asleep.

I was a child of great imagination. I knew that Mommy had gone to the hospital to get my brothers. I assumed my family didn't need me anymore and they were taking me back. I was terrified and I was heart-broken. I didn't even smile for the ice cream when my throat was recovering.

As children, my brothers were pests to me. I was trying to carve out a place of importance for myself and these two interlopers were budging in. We didn't seem to have much in common. They even spoke a strange twin language. They called each other Dodi and Nonny. To make matters worse they seemed to be good in sports in which I often played drawback. So my jealousy and insecurity got in the way of really getting to know them.

When our mother made her transition last year, they both spoke at her service. I saw that they were kind, sensitive and loving. They did her proud. She was proud of all her children. Both brothers have children of their own, interestingly they had boys. And they are lucky! And so am I to be their auntie.

Happy birthday to my brothers Gerald Roy Neil Clark and John Douglas Lorne Clark.
Adorable baby boys Johnny (Nonny) and Gerry (Dodi)

Lela Clark and her 5 children
Gerald, Heather, Kathryn, Cheryl, John

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

How to Tell It's Your True Calling

Wondering what to look for in a True Calling? 
Here’s a primer...

I used to do a lot of stone sculpting, and when you want to find out whether a stone is “true,” you bang on it with a hammer. If it gives off a dull tone, that means the stone has faults running through it that are likely to crack it apart when you work on it. But if it gives off a clear ring, one that hangs in the air for a moment, that means the stone is “true,” has “integrity,” and most importantly, will hold up under repeated blows.
This is exactly the information you need to know about your callings. You need to know it rings true, has integrity, and is going to hold up under repeated blows—the kind the world specializes in, the kind you’re going to encounter the moment you take your callings and convictions out into the world, where they’re going to get banged on.
One of the best ways to find out whether they’re “true” is to get into the habit of continually tapping in and listening to yourself with what Saint Benedict called “the ear of the heart.” It’s the core of what we’ll be exploring in the Callings workshop at CSLCV on Sunday, June 25, and the heart of what spiritual traditions refer to as discernment, of clarifying your calls. And it sometimes requires not just pick-and-shovel work, but patience on the order of years.
It also helps if you know what to look for—what characterizes “integrity” in a calling.
It’s one of the questions I routinely asked the people I interviewed for the Callings book: How did you know it was a true call? How did you figure out you were on the right path, or that you were the right person? How did you know whether the call came from soul/God/passion, or whether it came from ego/wishful thinking/the desire for financial security/the desire to show the bastards?
The responses people gave me were so consistent, I can list them for you. Here are six signs that a calling is “true”:

1) It keeps coming back, no matter how much you ignore it. A poet named Francis Thompson once wrote a poem called Hound of Heaven, which is about God. He referred to God as a hound-dog because of what hound dogs are famous for, which is tracking people down. They can get one whiff of you and follow you for a hundred miles. In other words, our callings may be “still small voices,” but the true ones have staying power. It’s the blessing and the curse of them—the search party doesn’t retire.

2) The true calls tend to come at you from multiple directions—gifts, talents, dreams both day and night, body symptoms, synchronicities, the books that mysteriously make their way onto your night-table, the way events and opportunities unfold in your life. In other words, there’s a clustering effect, and you’ve got to connect the dots.

3) There’s a feeling of rightness about it. It just feels right. You may not be able to explain it, but you can’t deny it either.

4) Your enthusiasm for it tends to sustain itself over time, and doesn’t just peter out after a few weeks or months or semesters. You even feel a kind of affinity or affection for all the mundane tasks involved in bringing these calls to fruition, and they all have them. No matter how exalted, every calling has its version of licking stamps and stuffing envelopes, making cold calls and tacking posters up on telephone poles.
Author Malcolm Gladwell calculates that mastery in most endeavors requires at least 10,000 hours of dedicated practice—the math: 90 minutes a day for 20 years—and anyone who’s ever been in a play or a band knows that the amount of time they spend rehearsing compared to performing is something like 90-10. But it’s passion that largely explains people’s willingness to put up with that equation. To practice the same lines or lyrics for thousands of hours for the chance to go public with it barely a tenth of the time.

5) It will scare you. Some people even told me that they figured if a call felt safe, it probably wasn’t the right path, but if it scared them, it probably was, because it meant they were close to something vital.
I’m always amused by a bumper sticker campaign I see all around the country on my travels. I think it’s for a clothing company, but it says, “No Fear.” And I don’t buy it. Fear is a biological imperative—it’s hardwired in us. The fight-or-flight mechanism is a perfect example. I think what can happen sometimes is that something else becomes more important to you than the fear you feel, and then you act with real courage and conviction. But no fear? I don’t think so. In fact, I saw one of these bumper stickers in Arizona a few years back. Same sticker, but with a slight alteration made in it, I think in the name of credibility. It said, “Some Fear.”

6) The truth or falseness of a calling is ultimately in the results. In other words, you’ve got to be willing to try it out, to experiment, to go down the path a little ways—even if you’re not sure it’s the path—and take field notes.
What you do is take a step toward a call and look at the feedback your life gives you. Take a step and see if your energy expands or contracts. Take another step and see if you feel more awake or more asleep. Another step—what do your dreams at night tell you? Another step—what does your body tell you? Another step—what do your friends tell you? It’s the old gospel criteria: by their fruits you shall know them.

Gregg Levoy is the author of the bestseller Callings: Finding and Following An Authentic Life (Random House)—rated among the "Top 20 Career Publications" by the Workforce Information Group—and Vital Signs: Discovering and Sustaining Your Passion for Life (Penguin). He has keynoted at the CSL Asilomar Conference, Smithsonian Institution, Environmental Protection Agency, National Conference on Positive Aging, Microsoft, American Counseling Association, National Career Development Association, and others, and been a frequent guest of the media, including ABC-TV, CNN, NPR and PBS.
A former adjunct professor of journalism at the University of New Mexico, former columnist and reporter for USA Today and the Cincinnati Enquirer, he has written about callings for the New York Times Magazine, Washington Post, Omni, Psychology Today, Reader’s Digest, and many others. His website is   

** This blog post is adapted from Gregg Levoy’s book Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life (Random House). 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

LEAP--From Planning To Action, Sunday Service

I am filled with the Spirit of Joy. I am filled with the Spirit of Peace. I am filled with Happiness. I radiate Life, I am Alive, I smile. And So It Is!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Timidity or Perfectionism

In David and Tom Kelley's book Creative Confidence,David writes: "We recently talked with two employees at IDEO from very different backgrounds. Yet both had the same fear of approaching the white board in a business meeting. One was an industrial design intern with sophisticated drawing skills who had studied at the Art Center College of Design in Pasedena. The other was a business designer with a Harvard MBA and  a bright and analytical mind who didn't think of himself as artistic at all. The business guy didn't want to look silly trying to visually express an idea with a whiteboard sketch. And the skilled artist didn't want to be judged by the kind of drawing he could create in thirty seconds in front of an impatient audience. One was hemmed in by timidity, the other by perfectionism. But the end result was the same. Each preferred to sit in his chair rather than risk being judged by his peers."

This really struck me as true for many kinds of risk-taking situations.

I know I have let both extremes influence my choices or lack of them over the years.

As a former teacher, it has been hard to give up perfectionism. And to purposely do something that I already know I am not good at, gives me stomach flutters. (And not the good kind.)

So I have started to look at the things I have attempted and failed and then gave up on.

The first thing occurred twenty years or so ago. I wanted to learn to play syncopation. I had an excellent teacher. I just couldn't get my fingers to move the way they were supposed to. But instead of  doing what I could have done, practiced and played imperfectly, I stopped practicing altogether. I couldn't do it perfectly, then I wasn't going to do it all.

Now the truth is that Divine mind knows no limits. If I had continued to practice and to think optimistically I might have been able to play some of those funky songs now. I would still need to practice and do it imperfectly .

How many ideas have you scrapped because you were too timid or too much of a perfectionist?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

'SPARK-From Nothing to Insight'

Today I call forth the infinite and Inexhaustible Spark of Spirit to create through me. And So It Is!

Friday, May 19, 2017

God's Highest Idea of Itself as Me

Have you ever been off-course? Adrift in the stuff of the world? feeling disconnected? separate and lonely? One of the most certain ways to get back on course is to listen to the voice of God within. We call the process Visioning. It is a process that came out of the Agape International Center in Los Angeles. I am very grateful for Rev. Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith, the founder of Agape and the originator of this process.

Visioning basically takes the manifestation process out of the hands of the ego and puts it in the hands of Spirit. Not that manifesting through visualization, intention-setting and imagination is wrong. It is a powerful tool.

Depending where we are on our spiritual path of awakening, we will be drawn to different techniques and tools. Basically there are four kingdoms of consciousness or stages of spiritual development. In the first kingdom, life happens to me. It is not my fault; things happen and seem to be completely beyond my control. Life is happening to me. If this is the level of consciousness you find yourself in, then manifesting through using basic spiritual techniques is very good. It actually takes  a person out of victim-hood and into the second kingdom.

In the second kingdom, life happens by me. No longer a victim, we start taking responsibility for our thinking, our choices, our decisions and we start to create what we do want. Still in this level of consciousness there is a great deal of effort, constant vigilance to see what we have been thinking about. There is a point in which we let go of control.

This is the third level of consciousness where life happens through me. I have learned to establish dominion over my life. I now realize that there is more to life than stuff. I surrender to the Spirit and let It use me. Visioning is natural at this level of consciousness.

The fourth level of consciousness is life happens as me. It is then when we realize complete identification with God. "I and my Father are one."

It is such a powerful practice and we are going to practice together on Sundays beginning June 4.
God is. I am. And So It Is!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

DARE---Fear to Courage, Sunday Service

I decide to be true to my creative nature and let it lead the way to a richer, more rewarding life experience. And So It Is!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Mothers Day Thoughts

This Sunday, May 14, is Mothers' Day. It is a day set aside to express gratitude for the women who gave us birth, and the men and women who were our first care-givers. Each of us has her own story of how successfully our mothers gave us models for raising our own children. In my opinion, motherhood can be the most thankless job; yet it is the most important one for living a life that is healthy-minded.  Our mothers are our first gods. They held the power of life and death over us. They were responsible for our physical and emotional care. They fed us, clothed us and by their words and  example showed us what love is;our understanding of the nature of love paved the way for all our relationships.

There is a powerful quote that is attributed to many people including Jonas Salk,
"Good parents give their children roots and wings. Roots to know where home is, wings to fly away and exercise what's been taught them."
My parents gave me roots and wings. I am living in Southern California, my parents, who had both been born and raised in the Canadian prairies, still lived within one hundred miles of their places of birth at the time of their passing. 

Two years ago, when my mom had a stroke and while she was still in the hospital she was struggling to ask me something. The stroke had left her weak. She finally managed to say,
"Why do you live so far away?"
I was very sad and did not have an answer. My inner answer seemed to be selfish and shallow. I was living my dream of being a New Thought minister in paradise. I was living where I wanted to be.

Lela Eugenia Clark, my mother, made her transition on June 23, 2016. She was not a woman without flaws. She had her own insecurities as well as an abundance of strengths: she modeled creativity, commitment, leadership and fierce independence. I am very grateful that she was my mother. Some traditions say I chose her. 

I talk to her when I see butterflies when I am out walking. I talk to her when I see a pair of doves building a nest, knowing she is now with my dad again.

And now, I can answer the question:
"Mom, I am living so far away because you did such an amazing job in giving me roots and wings."
Of the three daughters in the photo below, my oldest sister, Kathy stayed close to home, my baby sister Cheryl has lived in Calgary for thirty years, about nine hours away, and I have lived here in paradise for 24 years. Good job, Mom. 

Happy Mothers Day to all mothers. 

Lela Clark and daughters Kathy, Cheryl & Heather

Sunday, May 7, 2017

'FLIP-Creative Confidence

I am the powerful and potent presence of Love in the world. I find new creative ways to express this Love in everything that I do because I am inspired by the Divine Truth, that we are all One. And So It Is!

Friday, May 5, 2017

More Helpful Than Harmful

We are all on a spiritual path whether we know it or not. Before I knew that there was a spiritual path to be on, I would often get stuck in ideas that would not let go of me. They stuck to me and I stuck to them. Most of them were not for my highest good. I practiced the blame game with alacrity. There was always something to fear, and then there was always someone to blame for that fear. (Believe me, I rarely considered that I could be the cause of my unhappiness.) I  was probably typical for women of my age -- there were so many things wrong with life -- there was the government, my spouse, low wages, parents of the children I taught, the children themselves, and the weather. Just to begin. It was not uncommon for me to declare that the weather was just miserable. And it may have been stormy, or cold, or icy, or too hot, but none of those conditions makes weather miserable. Feeling that there was someone or something to blame made me feel righteous. I was filled with righteous indignation. Imagine what charming company I would have been! Haha. Nothing was my fault. But I was playing the victim.  Of course, I would have railed against the idea that I was a victim. Through my eyes, I was simply describing what was so.

Later in my thirties, when I awakened to the awareness of divine presence, I was fascinated by God. I spent hours in meditations and contemplation. I wrote volumes about the nature of God. Most of what I thought I knew, I have now changed my mind about. But still it was a great change of direction to be contemplating something eternal, omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent whose nature is love. I spent a great deal of time wondering about my purpose. What was God calling me to do or be specifically? That was not very productive as far as directing divine mind, but it was much better than the first two decades. It was healthier.

When I started understanding New Thought, I still contemplated God, but now as me. The Divine Presence that fascinates me is in me as me! During one of the first classes I took, I remember feeling overwhelmed by the vastness of subconscious mind, and how impossible it felt to change my entire way of thinking. I would often catch myself in negative thinking and often felt discouraged. Fortunately, we don't really have to erase every negative thought we have had, we simply need to keep filling up with positive ideas and hopefulness until the tendency of our thought is more helpful than harmful. 

Gradually, almost imperceptibly, I  started noticing that the tendency of my thoughts were positive, hopeful and life-affirming. I noticed that there is always so much for which to be grateful. I notice that more and more things for which to be grateful come into my life. (Were they always there, and I just couldn't see them because my filter was so negative? Or did my change in thinking actually change my life?)

I like to think it is the latter. Since then I did discover my true purpose which is to assist others in seeing their divinity. I feel thankful every day for my wonderful life!

Remember, it is  a wonderful life and all the better because you are in it.
A Gift From Some Students


Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Joy of Living, Sunday Service

I no longer limit Divine Law in any way. I trust and know that everything I declare comes to me with great benefits added. I experience the Joy of Living! And So It Is!

Friday, April 28, 2017

The Joy of Cause and Effect

The Joy of Cooking

I just had a funny conversation with our administrator Diane Hennessy about the talk title "Joy of Living." She said, "It makes me think about a cookbook." To which I replied, "It is a cookbook! I have it." Then she responded, "No, that is what I thought, too. The cookbook is titled "The Joy of Cooking!" We both have the cookbook.I must admit that I never really found joy in cooking. I have not used my cookbook for a long time, but it didn't change titles. 

Think about it: The Joy of Living! When I hear that phrase, I see Snoopy doing his happy dance. I think of someone who is deliriously happy!

Does your life feel joyful? Do you awaken every day and hug yourself because you are living your life? Do you appreciate your work? your family and friends? your health? Do you break into smiles for no reason other than you are deliciously enjoying being you?

My rigorously honest answer would be sometimes. Sometimes I am so happy, I smile all the time. Sometimes I appreciate my health and praise myself for the well-being I am experiencing. Sometimes I appreciate my friends and family. Sometimes I appreciate my life.

Yes, I am living a privileged, inspired life right now. I am living this inspired life not because of the color of my skin or where I am blessed to live. (Although they are both true as well.) I am living this inspired privileged life because I know who I am and how life gets to be the way it is. I know what causes things to be the way they are. Knowing who I am, automatically brings me joy. 
Pierre Teillard de Chardin wrote, "Joy is the infallible sign of the Presence of God."

Years ago I found some books by Danish philosopher, scientist and poet whose short, sometimes illustrated philosophical poems were called Grooks. His Grooks almost always made me smile.  The idea of cause and effect reminded me of this Grook: 

Rhyme and Reason
"There was an old woman
who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children.
She didn't know what to do.
But try as she would
She could never detect
which was the cause
and which the effect."

I smile when I read or even think about Hein's poetry.

Well, the old woman was puzzled about cause and effect on the physical plane. We can
   laugh about it now.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
Like many other people of my era, I thought that life was something that just happened
 to me.
I thought that if I were lucky, I would have happiness, health and peace of mind. 
Now I have come to understand that we have  a limitless power which is always 
responding to us.

I understand that with this Power I am constantly creating the life of my beliefs. 
My deepest beliefs, including all the unexamined ones and the shadows, all of them are
coming into the visible plane through my consciousness.

If I do not like the result, I go back to my perceptions, and after determining what my
false beliefs are, I use affirmative prayer to change my mind, to create a new belief.
I am so grateful for knowing what I know.

Life is good now. Take a moment and let Life tickle you!

Feeling Joy With Baxter and Freddy 


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Dealing With Conditions, Sunday Service

There is One Power, One God, One All, One Life, and that life is in me now. I am a manifestation of that One. And So It Is!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Being in Glorious Community

On Easter Sunday, Wade Wooldridge sang a song that I had come across on the internet several months ago, "Glorious" by David Archuletta. I love this song: it has meaningful lyrics and a beautiful melody. I was grateful that Wade learned it. It reminds me of the value of community, of being part of something greater than our individual selves, part of the tapestry of all creation.

It reminds me of our connectedness, our oneness. The saying that "when a butterfly flaps its wings in New York, it can cause a hurricane in Tokyo." It speaks of the interconnectedness of all life.

What it means to each one of us is that our lives matter. No matter what our actions are, whether big or small, what we do matters. Because we think the way we do, it also means what we think about matters.

Paul gave great advice to the Phillipians 4:8 with these words: " Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue,and if there be any praise, think on these things."
It is great advice for maintaining healthy-mindedness because it helps us to stay focused on positive thoughts. 

Another reason for staying positive is to keep the thought atmosphere around you wholesome. Dr. Ernest Holmes writes about how unhappy people can influence a whole room without ever saying a thing. Just imagine what happens if Debbie Downer happens to come into the conversation. 

But you and I can decide to be difference-makers. We can decide to take the high road with our thoughts, words and actions thereby creating an atmosphere of love and possibility. A smile can make the difference.

The administrator  in my first Center in Bonita was a difference-maker. She noticed that one of the tellers at our bank was usually cranky and wore a scowl everyday. She came back to the office one day and told me that she had a project which was to prove that like attracts like. She purposely chose the cranky teller and while she was making her deposit, she would ask how the teller was, give small compliments and be "nice" no matter what response she got or didn't get. It only took a few weeks until she was getting smiles in return. 

All of us can make a difference like that.

The song that Wade sang contains these lyrics:
There are times when/ You might feel aimless/ And you can't see the places/ Where you belong. But you will find that there is a purpose. It's been in you, all along/ And when you're near it/ You can almost hear it/ It's like  a symphony/ Just keep listening/ And pretty soon you'll start to figure out your part./ Everyone plays a piece and there are melodies in each one of us! Ooohh it is glorious! And you will know how to let it ring out, as you discover who you are. Others around you will start to wake up/ to the sounds that are in their hearts/It's so amazing, what we're creating..."
I am including a video of  the children's choir singing "glorious" for the movie Meet the Mormons. From this video and song, it appears as if there is a golden thread of truth between our spiritual beliefs.

It is glorious! We are glorious! You are glorious! And so am I!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

'Awaken to the Christ Within', Sunday Service

Today I am transparent to transcendence. I am willing to be new and to love new life. I am open to the possibilities of renewal and rebirth because my life is God's life in me. And So It Is!

Friday, April 14, 2017

There is a Tide

One of Diane Hennessy's Roses

Something exciting is happening! Roses are blooming! Beauty is everywhere. I can feel it! Can you? There are so many things it could be. Last week I wrote about spring fever. It could be spring fever but it feels more definite and concrete. It could be Easter which is around the corner and all of Christianity is focused on new beginnings. It could be the energy that came from our town hall meeting last week in which we discussed the pro's and con's of selling our building and buying something with cash!  I am feeling the opening to greater and greater possibilities.
In the play, Julius Caesar, Brutus is speaking with Cassius and utters these immortal words: 
"There is a tide in the affairs of men, / Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;/ Omitted, all the voyage of their life/ Is bound in shallows and in miseries. /On such a sea are we now afloat, /And we must take the current as it serves, /Or lose our ventures."
Spiritually, it is partially true. We are always surrounded by that tide. When we know we are in the flow of Divine Energy we know good things happen because we are corresponding to the divine nature.  We are reminded that when we trust that divine mind, good is at hand. We don't need to make anything happen. We need to be available and willing for it to happen. 

The second part of the quote which could be fiscally true, is spiritually false. It is incorrect because it elicits fear. When we experience fear, we cannot feel the truth of our faith. It is either fear or faith; it is never both fear and faith.

So as mindful spiritual beings, we do our work. We examine our own motivations, actions, thoughts and beliefs. We look to see if we are making decisions from a sense of our history and lack or from a place of possibility and empowerment.

Are you a possibility thinker? Are you bold and certain? Or are you hesitant and cautious? Are you too quick to react?

The second part of the quote says that if you don't act now, you will struggle forever. As students of the Science of Mind, we know that is no way to think. Creative Mind is forever providing new possibilities. If there were only one tide, what a mean-spirited God that would be. "Oops, you missed it! better luck next life!"

I believe in a loving creative power that had so much faith in each one of us, that it set us free to discover our divine nature for ourselves. Every moment that One is making all things new. There is a new venture. We are encouraged to take action.

So we come to a Center such as this one. We grow in awareness. We listen to that voice for God within and we take action.

Sometimes we can only see part-way to our goal. But keeping the faith, and doing our work, the path is certain to unfold in perfect order. 

Let's trust in the wisdom of divine mind in each one of us to guide us to the right and perfect answer regarding our building and in all other decisions.

Friday, April 7, 2017

It is April and I am experiencing a little bit of spring fever, defined as  a feeling of restlessness. I have been researching short pieces for a wedding I will help officiate in August. Part of my research led me  to a website for on-religious weddings. On it I found a quote which I will share with you in a few minutes. 

First let me tell you that in 1968 in order to complete my Bachelor of Education degree, I needed one last undergraduate class. I chose an introduction to Philosophy -- Philosophy 101. It wasn't exactly Philosophy for Dummies but it was a course that touched upon the well-known philosophers from Plato to Kant. I was young and found most of it exceedingly ponderous. (By that time in my education, I had decided that most so-called intellectuals were neither scholarly nor bright. I was a jaded twenty-year-old!) Then our professor added to the prescribed reading list the book, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. I adored the book. It helped me change my mind about the course.  It spoke to the larger concepts that the other philosophers were writing about but in the form of a timeless allegory about love and innocence. It spoke to my heart. It is about a prince from another planet who learned about life from the people and creatures he met on Earth.

By the time I got to this course, I was burnt-out. I had been taking classes without  a break for three years. No summer break. No spring break... just the next class. I was trudging through my higher education. I wanted to be finished with it so I could get to the real work of changing the lives and hearts of teenagers. I had sailed through high school but my grades in University were disastrous; the only "A" I got in University was in Philosophy 101.My enthusiasm for the philosophy class had a great deal to do with the book.  I hope you enjoy this excerpt from The Little Prince.
"'To establish ties'?"
"Just that," said the fox. "To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world . . ."
"My life is very monotonous," the fox said. "I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat . . ."
The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time.
 "One only understands the things that one tames," said the fox. "Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me . . .""What must I do, to tame you?" asked the little prince.
"You must be very patient," replied the fox. "First you will sit down at a little distance from me--like that--in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day . . ."
The next day the little prince came back... 
So the little prince tamed the fox. And when the hour of his departure drew near--
"Ah," said the fox, "I shall cry."
"It is your own fault," said the little prince. "I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you . . ."
"Yes, that is so," said the fox.
"But now you are going to cry!" said the little prince.
"Yes, that is so," said the fox.
"Then it has done you no good at all!"
"It has done me good," said the fox, "because of the color of the wheat fields." And then he added:
 "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
"What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.
Perhaps the solution to my spring fever is to find a friend that I can tame.According to Saint-Expurey, I will need to be patient. It will be much more important to be myself  rather  than to speak or do anything in particular.  "Only with the heart can one see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye."

Sunday, April 2, 2017

'99 Years of Private Lessons' Sunday Service

I choose Love this day. I know that Love always points me in the best direction and my conviction swells as I absolutely know this to be true. And So It Is!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Transformation and Evolution

Bhaksar & Sudha: Oneness Blessing Trainers 

Our theme for the month of April is "Spiritual Living Through Evolution and Transformation."
"We do deep inner personal work of self-discovery and healing to reveal the greater truth of our divinity, wholeness and freedom."

Coincidentally, I was approached by a woman last week to see if we would be interested in hosting a Oneness Blessing. Since I was introduced to the Oneness Blessing years ago, I was happy to give up my normal Sunday morning 20 minutes meditation time for them.

The Oneness Meditation is designed to give participants a deep experience of the Divine. The meditation originated in India but does not belong to any religion, faith or doctrine.

When I Googled Oneness Blessing the first article I acme to was on the website of Deborah Lindeman, a hypnotist from Fort Collins, Colorado.
"The Oneness Blessing is a process by which we are re-connected with this quiet, intelligent center of ourselves."

That sounded great to me and exactly the theme of our focus for the month of April.

Later in my research, I found some very negative articles about the founders and their character and motives. However, when you Google "Centers for Spiritual Living" the second item that comes up is "Centers for Spiritual Living Cult."

From my experience we are less like a cult than anything. We help people understand how their thinking has a direct influence on their lives. I leave it to the individual what it is they want to think.

If you intend to come to receive the Oneness Blessing on April 9th at 10 AM, please come a little early so you can be seated by 10 AM.

Here is another coincidence. This week in our history of the Science of Mind class, we are studying Ernest Holmes' book The Holmes Papers: The Philosophy of Ernest Holmes. 
On page 4, Dr. Holmes writes:
"In looking over these generations of teachings of India, we find a very great concept of unity of all life.  They believed in one god and only One; they didn't call it God; they called it the Absolute, or Brahma, but it doesn't matter what you call it. They believed in one Presence and one Power, and only One in the Universe. They believed (which later came out as a theosophical teaching) in the mind that sleeps in the mineral, waves in the grass, wakes to simple consciousness in the animal, to self-consciousness in the human and to cosmic consciousness in what they call the upper hierarchies, or ascending scale of evolution, ad infinitum."
I am very curious if my own experience will be different than it was the first one. Since I know that one cannot step in the same river twice I know it will be different, I am curious about how it will be.

By the way, I do not believe in coincidences! Everything is always perfectly unfolding as it should.