Sunday, September 17, 2017

Choosing Where to Give, Sunday Service

I love sharing my Divine Gifts with my community & the world.
I make an impact here and now that resonates throughout the globe!
And So It Is!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Talking With A Practitioner Is Always A Good Idea

What is within you is greater than your history.  Your history does not need to decide your destiny unless you decide it must.   – Mary Morrissey

I saw a recent Facebook post titled If You Experienced Emotional Abuse As A Child, You Probably Do These Things As An Adult”.  The article was posted from a medical site by a retired CSL minister and it had a lot of useful information on how those experiences shaped current behaviors. Most of the comments posted about the article were positive and came from students of New Thought including practioners and ministers.

Someone noted that “Many use this information as a reason to be a victim all their life and blame their family the rest of their lives. It is frustrating to see them tell themselves that is their story for the rest of their life.” 

As I read that comment I was reminded of a common myth promoted by many people who call themselves coaches. Many are taught to say that the difference between a coach and a therapist is that a therapist looks at the past while a coach is only interested in the future. This of course is not true. As both a  therapist and a practitioner,  in either role I am interested in assisting people to live full, prosperous  and satisfying lives in the present and the future.

Each person is not a problem to be fixed or a hole to be filled.  Each of us is a light to be shined, not covered over. However, there is a clear purpose for and benefit to exploring a person’s personal history before treating.  

Naturally  I approach my work differently as a practitioner/minister than as a therapist, because I am being asked to supply a different service in each case. As a therapist I am asked to use my knowledge, training and skills to deal with and help heal conditions from a physical human perspective. As practitioner I am asked to employ all of my knowledge, training and skills to help heal a condition from a different perspective.

As a practitioner and minister I am seeing beyond conditions into the Source of all conditions and know the client’s true perfection at the level of Source.  Be that as it may, as a therapist trained as a Science of Mind Minister and practitioner I bring all of my abilities to every situation. 

However just as when wearing my “therapist” hat, when I am acting as a practitioner I find it is useful to look into the person’s history.  I don’t do it to help the person wallow in their past or to assign blame. I do it  to understand where the error in belief occurred, how it happened and what sustains it. By understanding those things, I can target my treatments to the real blockage. To solve a problem it is important to identify the right problem.

Spirit, Source, Higher Power whatever you want to call It is constantly creating and each of us is a Divine idea in Mind. Spirit creates us as vehicles for doing what Life does, create channels to express more of its essence. Spirit extends itself through and as us into this realm of time and space, which it also created, for the richness of learning that is possible in physical form. Our primary drive is to express experiences of more Love, more success of all kinds (health, relationships, financial, joy, satisfaction, peace, beauty, appreciation, gratitude,) and every possible good. As stated earlier, each of is a light to be shined.

The catch is that in this human experience our operating system for Mind is largely in our human brain which is also designed to preserve our survival. To aid in this, our brains are always searching for patterns, specially patterns that warn us that danger is possibly near. Pattern recognition helped our early ancestors avoid danger by noticing everything that resembled a previous threat.

 When we try to change patterns that are not working for us, our brain automatically activates ideas, beliefs and behaviors that were developed to defend against something that was once a threat. It may no longer be happening but the pull of the familiar is strong because it feels safe.  Something familiar that worked is hard to release.

Exploring personal history  is valuable because it helps us  identify and understand  how the erroneous and often unconscious beliefs  that are driving those unhelpful behaviors were created. It can remove the mystery by bringing previously unexamined beliefs into conscious awareness.

As individualized self-conscious expressions of the Divine you and I are blessed with the capacity to generate new original thoughts which allow us to change our minds.  The first step to getting out of a cage is to recognize that you are in one.

Discovering that you built the cage because it was the best defense you could come up with at the time against something that was but is no longer happening helps sidestep useless self-blame and also accept the possibility that the cage is not needed anymore. Finding out that you created the cage for understandable reasons (not just 'cause you are defective) is good news. Even better news is that you built it so you have the power to learn how to open the door and step out. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

A world That Works For Everyone

Centers for Spiritual Living
Our MISSION is to provide spiritual tools for personal and global transformation.
Our PURPOSE is to awaken humanity to its spiritual magnificence.
Our VISION is a world that works for everyone.

While Dr. Heather is on Sabbatical I am filling in. As a Staff Minister whose ministry focuses on the  Science of Mind in Mental Health my attention is naturally drawn to certain perspectives.

In this first post, I want to share my belief that many of our human experience problems can be resolved and our lives improved if we focus on recognizing a simple Truth. That is we all come from One Source. We are all connected.  
This is not simply a nice sounding concept. It plays out as an inescapable factor of our physical world reality. Physically, we are all connected. We are all touching the atmosphere and/or in some way touching the earth or touching something that is connected to the earth. Always and everywhere. There are no exceptions. Beyond the physical connection it runs even deeper than that. 

Change Our Thinking Change Our Lives
At the top of this page, you see the Mission, Purpose and Vison for all Centers for Spiritual Living.  My thinking is that to bring  our Vision into physical reality requires understanding, accepting and living the basic concept that we all come from One Source and thus we are all connected.
This demonstrable premise leads to some inevitable conclusions. One of these is that every decision we make and every action we take has consequences for others.  Positive as well as negative.
Many of us do well with understanding how we direct and co-create the conditions of our individual lives.  At the same time I see less understanding of how our collective consciousness drives how we organize ourselves as societies both here and around the world.  Changing this starts with each of us individually.
If this connection was visible, if we were all tied together with a simple cord around our body, we would easily understand. We would experience  that when someone moves with thoughtless impulse or aggressive disregard for  anyone else we would all feel the pull to one degree or another. For some it would be a minor event. For others it could be disastrous and cause injury.
With everyone being aware of the situation eventually it would be obvious that no one can move forward without cooperation from the rest of us. Even with a long length of cord to allow us sufficient freedom to do everything we desired all of our decisions and actions would be automatically guided by consideration of  how they affect everyone else.
 It would be in our self-interest to do so because the necessity and benefits would be obvious. When no one is harmed by another person’s physical expression and  instead benefits  from everyone’s decisions all of us  including ME  is better off.

Why has this been so difficult to achieve?
We live in a culture that encourages hyper-adrenalized physical and emotional states.
According to Fred Luskin, Ph.D.  Director of Stanford’s Forgiveness program, the purpose of adrenaline is to force us to focus on a problem. He points out that when we are in hyper-adrenalized states, generating emotions such as generosity, empathy and compassion is almost impossible. It is easy to understand how that does not lead to creating a world that works for everyone
It is becomimg more intense. Twenty four hours news programs compete for audience size by promoting the worst aspects of human activity. Talk radio shows substitute yelling and anger for honest discussion. Many popular entertainments – movies, television shows, video games, sports - constantly and prominently feature physical violence, horror and fear demanding that we feel anxious and afraid.

All of this and more promotes a general sense of separation, danger and lack. It is difficult to think thoughts of Truth (health, abundance and prosperity of all good things) when our physical senses are feeding us a constant stream input that insists we are in immediate danger.

Why competition should be re-evaluated. It is not always good.
It is instructive to examine what we know about this and can prove. One of the things that happens when we find ourselves in conflict is that conflict narrows focus. Conflict is about winning and losing. Winning and avoiding losing are the primary values. We have seen that when people believe that the stakes and consequences of losing are high enough they often discard values such as empathy, caring about fairness, and even honesty.  
Competition of course is a level of conflict. How intense the conflict can become depends on perception of what are the consequences of losing. When we are in that mental state our brain causes our bodies to release a cascade of hormones to prepare us to fight, flee or freeze. One of those is adrenaline. When adrenaline is high feelings compassion, generosity, sharing, mercy and forgiveness decrease and even disappear altogether.

Why this is important to know.
That which is believed gets done. Everything else gets "lip service". There is a natural outcome of understanding and BELIEVING that our constant connection and oneness is real. We would use our intelligence to create and voluntarily employ basic rules of decency in day to day attitudes and behaviors. Otherwise, how would anything work?  I would still have my individual consciousness and expression and freedoms, and at the same time I would have to acknowledge the physical reality that what I do affects more than just me.

We all understand that we cannot hurt one part of our body without injuring and/or causing a pain experience for the entire ME. I cannot allow injury to one of my limbs or organs  without all of  me feeling the pain. Whenever someone goes to a swimming pool no one asks “Where is the no pooping section”. That is because it is obvious that as soon as any part of the pool is contaminated it is all damaged. If we could accept this Truth, to know and really believe it we would, all of us, never take any action that did not hold value for every other person in the world.
In his well known book The Science of Getting Rich Wallace D. Wallace introduces the idea of keeping our ideas on the Creative Plane instead of falling down into the Competitive Plane. The difference is this: On the Creative Plane it is understood that the One Source of everything  - call it Spirit, Life Force, God, Higher Power, etc -  is infinitely powerful and endlessly and constantly creative so that we are always supplied with everything we need. Our job is to accept that reality and make sure our actions are congruent with that belief.  
On the other hand minds working on the competitive plane see limitation and fall into behavior consistent with that belief. If someone believes that the her or his access to the supply of all of the good things in life ( loving supportive relationships, finances, health, safety, satisfaction etc.) are finite and limited the natural outcome is to compete fiercely to get some share of whatever is still left and an attitude of separation from everyone else who may be trying to get “your share.” It’s easy to see how that can get in the way, perhaps even eliminating the possibility of creating a world that works for everyone.

This is the crux of it.
When we truly know something we take action that is congruent with our belief. When enough of us do the necessary work to accept our Oneness as the Truth rather than a wish or a hope our decisions and actions will change and the systems for daily life would change to reflect that Belief, The natural result would be a world that works for everyone.
It is  beyond my present knowledge as to what sort of systems we will design and create when enough of us believe and take seriously the understanding that we are unbreakably connected with each other and our One Source. I am certain that it will include more empathy, generosity and  forgiveness. It makes sense to me that that competition will be relegated to minor games and amusements and have no part in any activities in which losing can result in serious harm to any of us.
In the 1950s Dr.  Ernest Holmes declared his belief that the population of the U.S.A. was large enough for a nucleus such that if enough of us believed that world peace was possible and truly desired and intended it that world peace  would manifest quickly. Like many of us, I falter at times in my ability to act in accordance with these ideas. I invite everyone to join me in shifting our individual beliefs to embrace ideas that support Our VISION -  a world that works for everyone -into manifesting as a practical physical reality.
I welcome any ideas and comments anyone has that helps accomplish this.

If you found this post helpful please share with others.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Self-Absorbed--It's All About Me!, Sunday Service

The right-mindedness of one person can change the world. Today I practice recognizing the Spirit in all. And So It Is!

Friday, September 1, 2017

On Sabbatical

On Sabbatical

Thursday, August 31, 2017

What I Know for Sure

One of my favorite parts of the Oprah magazine is her "What I Know for Sure" column, so I'm sharing my wisdom with you in my own version of "What I Know for Sure."

What I know for sure is...volunteering and serving is the best, easiest and most fulfilling way to find belonging in any community. It gives us purpose to connect, fosters friendships, and offers a whole new reason for showing up. Whenever I start in a new group or community, I always look for ways that I can serve because I know it's the fast track to making friends.

I found our Center about 14 years ago when my girls were small and getting up by 6:30 a.m. every morning.  Since we weren't doing much on Sunday mornings AND we were up early, I decided to seek out a spiritual center with a vibrant youth church. God guided me to our Center and the most spiritually grounded, fun and loving youth director; our very own Ms. Pattie (now Rev. Pattie). I didn't know a soul when I walked in the door! It was just me and my girls. I asked Pattie if I could serve in youth church. Of course she said YES!

I was new to the Science of Mind teaching and really didn't know how I could help, but I was a warm body with a willingness to serve. At the same time, I signed up for Dr. Heather's Science of Mind classes.

I learned the philosophy from Dr. Heather in class and the application in youth church with Rev. Pattie, made complete by a hands-on craft!  Additionally, I made friends, so many friends, creating connections with all members of our congregation. My bond with Rev. Pattie is deep and lasting. She knows me so well and supports me in countless ways. Overall, my time in service made our Center my spiritual home.

I continue to serve, but in a different way. Although, you might see me back in the youth church in the not too distant future. I hear Spirit calling my name.

There are so many ways to be in service at our Center and I know there is the perfect way for you.

What I know for sure is that you will come away from a service experience more enriched with flourishing with friendships and a deep sense of belonging.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

'Being Kind in a Cruel World' Sunday Service

Kindness is the fruit of the Spirit. As I look for. embody and spread kidness, I am expressing the Divinity within me and changing the world around me. And So It Is

Friday, August 25, 2017

Everything You Wanted to Know About the Senior Minister's Sabbatical

A few weeks ago I wrote about the benefits of a sabbatical and thought I would add to those ideas some that I gleaned from my colleagues, particularly Rev. Dr. Petra Weldes and Rev. Dr. Edward Viljoen.

What is a sabbatical? Sabbatical leave for the Senior Minister of the Center for Spiritual Living Capistrano Valley is a planned time of rest and renewal to support future growth. Sabbatical leave follows precedents in the academic community and among a growing number of private sector groups. This "extended time" is qualitatively different from "vacation" or "days off." It is an opportunity for the individual to strategically disengage from regular normal tasks so that ministry may be viewed from a new perspective because of a planned time of rejuvenation. Sabbatical leave is an extension of the Biblical concept of a Sabbath day for renewal and also the direction that fields should be allowed to lie fallow every seventh year to regain strength and fertility. A sabbatical is paid time off during which no teaching, preaching, seminars or workshops take place inside or outside the Center by the minister.

When does the sabbatical take place and how long will it last? My sabbatical will begin September 1, 2017 and end November 30, 2017. I will be back in the pulpit in December 2017 and intend to take my usual vacation next year.

Why is there a sabbatical for the minister? The practice of a sabbatical every six years is common in many congregations. A sabbatical is an investment in the minister's vitality and longevity and in the congregations' autonomy and leadership. I have been in service here for 18 years and have never taken a sabbatical (Although several years ago I took 6 weeks off and called it a sabbatical. My colleagues lovingly informed me that that was a vacation.)

What will I do during her sabbatical? I  will maintain her position as Senior Minister but will undertake a program of spiritual reflection, study and some travel.

What will happen on Sundays during the sabbatical? Regular Sunday services and activities will continue as always. Assistant Ministers, Rev. Pattie Mercado and Rev. Judee Chapman, and guest speakers will lead services during this time. We have some amazing guest speakers lined up including my mentor, Rev. Richard Rogers, Gino Walker, Rev. Dr. Kathy Hearn, Rev. Dr. Harry Morgan Moses, and Rev. Dr. Maureen Hoyt. Some of them will also offer workshops after the Sunday service. Also stay tuned for some exciting classes and other activities.

Does my  taking a sabbatical mean I am thinking about leaving the Center for Spiritual Living? Not at all! In fact, I simply realized that I was overdue for some rest and renewal, a sabbatical is the best way to prevent burnout.

Can we contact you while you are  on sabbatical? In the case of extreme emergency I may be contacted through the Board President, Fred Mercado, or either of our Assistant Ministers, Rev. Pattie Mercado and Rev. Judee Chapman. (Of course, if you run into me at Ralphs, be sure to say hi!)

How does the congregation benefit from the sabbatical? You have the opportunity to realize you are an empowered community whose strengths include but are not limited to the Senior Minister. Guest speakers will offer different perspectives providing an exciting time of learning, experimentation and rejuvenation.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Kindness Toward Ourselves, Sunday Service

I am the Presence of God's Love in the world, kind and loving toward myself and others. And So It Is!

Friday, August 18, 2017

What Would You Love?

The Prosperity Plus II course which is nearing completion, begins by asking the students: What would you love? Not what would you like, or what would be okay if it occurred, but what would you LOVE in each of the areas of their lives. What would you love in terms of your body and health? What would you love in terms of your career? What would you love in terms of your relationships? What would you love regarding time and money freedom?

It is such a great question! Recently after Sunday service, practitioner Aidan Greaney led us in a visualization process and started with the question,
 'What would you love to see representing growth of our Center?' 
He took us through a process of making welcome those ideas and being grateful for  their manifestation. The second part of the process was asking us what would we love in our personal lives.

Although I have wants regarding relationships, health, and time and money freedom, what came immediately as my answer was to be such a powerful and clear channel for Divine Mind, that people who wanted healing would be healed just by being in my presence. It was definite. It was clear. It is what I truly want. And it is one of the main reasons for my sabbatical-- to get in touch with my calling.The irony is for  my entire ministry, this has been what I most greatly desired. And I often feel disconnected from it.

But how can I know that I have made a difference in people's lives?

I noticed years ago, almost from the time of working for my very first client, that people have  a tendency to attribute their healing to conditions in their lives and not to prayer. For instance, my first client had not been a very good student her entire life. She wanted to pass an accounting exam that she had failed twice before. We worked together. I prayed for her; she passed; she received an "A." And she explained that she had had a great sleep the night before the exam, the person grading the exams was known to be easy and she took her "lucky" bracelet with her. Now the truth was that consciousness was unfolding. I was confidant that the Divine Mind was guiding her throughout the exam. I told her she could borrow my believing and she did.

But what difference does it make who gets the credit? The bottom line is that she passed an exam with flying colors that she had not passed before. It doesn't matter if it is luck or consciousness unfolding. It doesn't matter whether I prayed for her or someone else had.

When I get my bloated nothingness out of the way of the Divine Circuits, I realize that the TRUE HEALER isn't me anyway. It is the power of perfect Spirit. 
"It truly is the "father within who doeth the work."
It is always the inner teacher/ father-mother God, Infinite Mind that does the healing. It is also that same mind that brings us clarity about what we would really love.

What would you love? Listen to that voice for God and make welcome those ideas. When you have clarity about what you would love, the next step is to sit in the silence and visualize yourself being, doing and having those ideas.

As the wonderful mystic Emma Curtis Hopkins used to say:
"There is good for me and I ought to have it."
Having your good, living your dream, blesses everyone  -- even the people who don't know you. People are blessed because the outer world is a little bit brighter, lighter and more beautiful because you are a spot where the Absolute is becoming the relative. So you become a holy place. the place where love blooms.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

"Accepting What Is" Sunday Service

I accept my and others humanity with compassion. I accept our Spiritual Truth with conviction and faith.' And So It Is!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Why Do People take a Sabbatical?

Genesis 2:  
"1. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 
2.  And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made." 
The people were instructed to remember the sabbath and keep it holy.  It was to be a day of delight and thanksgiving. So just as joy is more than the absence of sorrow, keeping the sabbath is more than the cessation of work. It is a time to develop a deeper, more meaningful relationship with God. It is a time to fully appreciate the blessings that surround and indwell us all.

Ministers, teachers and other professional people are encouraged to take sabbaticals periodically to rest and renew.

What better use of a minister's time and energy than to rest from the daily activities and to renew her connection with Source.

I am very grateful to be given a three month sabbatical beginning September 1, 2017.

Please know that I love my work and feel blessed everyday to be doing the work I am doing. I am blessed by the entire community -- the people who attend services here regularly, the ones who have been part of  our community in service, the hundreds of students who have studied with me. I am grateful to be part of a Center that values my contributions and service.

When I speak on a Sunday, I want to speak about the experience of Transcendence from a felt sense. I want to inspire other seekers.  When I truly experience the divine within nature and within myself, I experience transcendence. That is my hope for my sabbatical. I will be a better minister for unplugging and turning to the Source within.

Jason Silva spoke about the mystical experience recently. He inspires me.


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Compassion In Action, Sunday Service

Today I celebrate my Oneness with all of life. I bring compassion into action this day and Love becomes my way. And So It Is!

Friday, August 4, 2017

I Agree With God

In the August 1951 issue of the Science of Mind magazine, author Linda B Huber wrote an article titled, "With What Do You Agree?" The following is an excerpt from that article:
"Life for all of us should be so sacred, so sweet, so holy, so marvelous because we bear His Image, because we have been fashioned after his own likeness; because his Spirit is within us; because He hath set his Love upon us; because this world is so filled with His glory and wonders of His handiwork; because we are one Spirit, members of one divine family.
I agree with God only! Words of Life and Light. Say them, ye that are storm-tossed, sad, weary and alone.
I agree with God only! Words of Peace and Power. Say them ye that are discouraged, disheartened, doubtful and worried.
I agree with God only! Words of Truth and Beauty.  Say them ye whose lives are dark, sad, unhappy and unlovely.
I agree with God only! Words of Wholeness and health. Say them, ye whose minds and bodies are out of tune with the Infinite.
I agree with God only! I see only Good in every condition, therefore I know all things continually work together for  my Good. I see only God in my mind, my body and in all of my affairs. I agree with Peace. I agree with health. I agree with abundance. I agree with God, the Good, Omnipotent! Within me! Now!
I believe these words of wisdom are timeless and just as inspirational  today as they were 66 years ago. Let's practice together.


Friday, July 28, 2017

She Let Go

last weekend, our Board of Trustees was treated to a weekend retreat led by the amazing Rev. Dr. Petra Weldes, senior minister of the Dallas Center for Spiritual Living. It was an amazing weekend with brilliant results. The Board had decided what we wanted to focus on in the retreat. Then Fred Mercado and I had a telephone meeting with Dr. Petra. We wanted to have  a spiritual experience of connection and we wanted to evaluate our Board Commitment and we wanted to create a Mission Statement that moved us forward into our new home. We wanted to examine growth and expansion. We did it all. The Mission of the Center for Spiritual Living Capistrano Valley is:
 This vibrant spiritual center:
·        Teaches Science of Mind principles and practices for transformation and a deepening relationship with the Divine.
·        Creates affirming, inclusive gatherings of unconditional love and acceptance.
·        Contributes to the benefit of the greater community.
We were fairly sizzling with  enthusiasm and agreement when it was completed.

On Friday night, we made a cozy relaxed circle in the back of the all-purpose room. Dr. Petra led us in a meditation and then encouraged us to stay in that consciousness of receptivity to our soul's growth. Then one at a time we were encouraged to read one of the poems that she had brought for the purpose of our deepening. We had many insights from them, including a quote from Meister Eckhart,
"God ripened me
So I see it is true: all objects are wildly in love. "
Each trustee felt deeply connected and provided keen insights to whatever he or she had read. I was the last to read. I read the last poem. Rather it read me. I was sobbing by the third line. It speaks of deep surrender which is something I feel called to do now.

She Let Go by Safire Rose
She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of fear. She let go of judgments.
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the 'right' reasons. Wholly and completely,
without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn't ask anyone advice. She didn't read 
a book on how to let go.  She didn't read the scriptures.
She just let go.

She let go of all the memories that held her back.
She let go of all the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of planning and all the calculations about 
how to do it just right.
She didn't promise to let go.
She didn't journal about it.
She didn't write the projected date in her day-timer.
She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.
She didn't check the weather report or her daily horoscope.
She just let go.

She didn't analyze whether she should let go.
She didn't call her friends to discuss the matter.
She didn't do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.
She didn't call the prayer line.
She didn't utter one word. She just let go.
No one  was around when it happened.
There was no applause or congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing.

Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort. There was no struggle.
It wasn't good and it wasn't bad.
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A light breeze blew through her.
And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Practicing Compassion and Kindness

Every time I step on my yoga mat, my wise teacher reminds the class, “Yoga is a practice.” 

I’ve learned that a “practice” means you approach whatever you are doing without expectation, taking what comes in the moment with gratitude.

It’s a simple concept but not always easy to do. My mind likes to assess the status of the body and judge whether this will be a good or bad day for yoga. But, really, is there ever a bad day for yoga? Ha!

The same could be said for compassion and kindness. It’s a practice and there really isn’t a bad day or time to practice. Regardless of what’s going on in your world, compassion and kindness, just like love, seem to improve any situation even if it’s just your experience of it.

Last year I took a class with Rev. Pattie called Living My Life Purpose. One of the practices in that class was to raise and praise people and situations in our experience. At that time, I felt like I was living in my car, driving my kids to and from three different schools and a variety of after school activities nearly daily. I decided to start raising and praising all the other drivers on the road. Out loud declaring, “I raise you and praise you!” when someone cut me off. “I raise you and praise you!” when someone didn’t stop at the intersection. “I raise you and praise you!” to the road workers causing delays. First it added humor to the situation because my kids thought it was hilarious, and second, 

it reminded me of the power I have in the moment
to invite God into any situation by means of me.

In August, we are exploring the ideas of compassion and kindness. How can you invite God into the moment by means of you through your practice of compassion and kindness? How can you make your life more vibrant and alive by practicing compassion and kindness in the moments when it's not easy?

If you are looking for some ideas, here are a bunch! Pick something and do it, then share with us on our Facebook page how you noticed your life expand.

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).