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

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.