Thursday, September 28, 2017

You Had It All Along

Recently I read a blog post for people who lean toward being introverted about starting conversations at parties or other social gatherings. One question they suggested asking was, "What is your super power?" It got me thinking about how I would answer that question. 

Then I came across a Super Soul Sunday episode where Oprah interviewed  Shauna Niequist, author of Present Not Perfect. Shauna comes from a Christian background, her father is a pastor of a mega church. A few  years ago  she had a spiritual crisis; her life was out of control. Exhausted and depleted, she realized she wasn't living in alignment with her values and intentions. This realization required a big change. She proceeded to deconstruct her life, let go of obligations and get conscious about her priorities.  

It was a great interview but my favorite part was when Shauna spoke about self-worth and her morning practice. 

Each morning she spends a little time focused on God's love for her. She centers herself with the image of a beautiful red heart in her mind's eye and soaks in all of God's unconditional love. She writes, "not to earn it, but to remind myself that it can't be earned." During the interview she said, that she finds comfort in knowing that there is nothing we can do to lose God's love.

Take that in for a moment.

Close your eyes and imagine a well-spring of love pulsing with each beat of your heart. God is right where you are, expressing in you, through you and as you, right now.

Isn’t that freeing? All of God’s love is right where you are. There is nothing you need to do to earn it. There is nothing you can do to lose it. You are it. In the words of Glenda the Good Witch, “You had the power all along.”

And then I knew! That's my super power, The knowledge that I'm safe in God's love always without exception. 

That’s what Sunday’s are all about at our beautiful Center this month, Spiritual Living through Love as Safety.  Come, get filled up and energize that super power! 

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. 

Posted by Rev. Bruce Fredenburg 

Staff Minister; Science of Mind in Mental Health

In addition to being an Ordained Minister with Centers for Spiritual Living Reverend  Bruce is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, practicing in Laguna Hills, California since 1982. He is a Clinical Member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, a Child Specialist and Divorce Coach with Collaborative Divorce Solutions Orange County a member of  the International Association of Collaborative Professionals and is a trained  Mediator.  Reverend  Bruce is also a professional speaker who brings wit and humor into everything he does He has served as a Staff Minister with a focus on Science of Mind in Mental Health at CSLCV since 2003

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.

Posted by Rev. Bruce Fredenburg 

Staff Minister; Science of Mind in Mental Health

In addition to being an Ordained Minister with Centers for Spiritual Living Reverend  Bruce is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, practicing in Laguna Hills, California since 1982. He is a Clinical Member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, a Child Specialist and Divorce Coach with Collaborative Divorce Solutions Orange County a member of  the International Association of Collaborative Professionals and is a trained  Mediator.  Reverend  Bruce is also a professional speaker who brings wit and humor into everything he does He has served as a Staff Minister with a focus on Science of Mind in Mental Health at CSLCV since 2003

Sunday, September 3, 2017