I Dare You!

In the wonderful book, A New Way to Be Human, Robert V. Taylor writes about “risky invitations.”  He says, “Risky invitations interrupt the imagined or assumed course of your life, raising the stakes right where you struggle the most.  Responding to these invitations takes you beyond your comfort zone, inviting transformation and an enlarged understanding of yourself, others, and the Holy.  The perceived risk compared to what you imagine to be certain may tempt you to decline the invitation.  Don’t say no just yet!”

What risky invitations are in my life today?  The invitations, appearing as divine discontent or an idea from my imagination reminding that I don’t have to do this anymore (whatever this is, if it does not bring me joy), might be to finally change my story about a past experience, or forgive, or stop settling.

It might also be about releasing excuses for “playing small” in my financial life, my relationships, or other areas of my life.

Click on the link to listen to my talk from last Sunday, titled “I Dare You!  Saying Yes to Risky Invitations.”

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If you were with us in church on Sunday, you remember we celebrated the Summer Solstice (first day of summer).  Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong helped us, with a rendition of the song, “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess:

“Summertime, and the livin’ is easy.

Fish are jumpin,’ and the cotton is high.

Your daddy’s rich, and your mama’s good looking;

So hush little baby, don’t you cry.”

It’s probably true that the arrival of summer in Southern California can be a little anti-climactic.  Of course, we do (usually) release “May gray” and “June gloom” and jump into what a friend of mine used to call “July fry.”  But it a very different experience from the Upper Midwest and Northeast, where a profound change can be seen in nature, going from the colors of brown, gray and white in winter to the brilliant greens of summer.

In the Pagan and Wiccan traditions, the Summer Solstice celebrates joy, warmth and laughter.  The gift of imagination is in full tilt, as we plan and experience outdoor activities such as picnics, barbeques with family and friends, trips to the beach, and summer vacations.  Days are longer, which gives us more time to enjoy the sun and soak in its warmth.

Warmth can also be very healing, and with the brilliant light of the sun, we can use our ever available imagination to think “outside the box,” creating a new story about an old event or situation.

Click on the link above to listen to my talk from June 21, titled “Summertime…”

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Moving To A New State

We’ve been using Charles Fillmore’s book, The Twelve Powers of Man, for the year.  Our power (or gift) for the month of June is imagination.

Our book for my Wednesday night class is The Neville Reader by Neville Goddard.  He talks about imagination, as well as the feeling behind it.  “To attempt to change circumstances before you change your imaginal activity, is to struggle against the very nature of things.  Imagining the wish fulfilled brings about a union with that state, and during that union you behave in keeping with your imaginal change…Whenever one state grows so stable as to become your constant mood, your habitual attitude, then that habitual state defines your character and is a true transformation.”

In other words, again quoting Neville:  “Whatever state has your attention holds your life.”

In what state do we reside?  Worry, fear, dread, resentment?  Or wonder and absolute certainty that the good we have imagined (and even greater) is coming to us?

Click on the link to listen to my talk, “How Do You Feel?” (or moving to a new state…).

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Vision Beyond Appearances

Our power or gift from the Universe for the month of June is Imagination, and our color is light blue.

The book How To Use Your Twelve Gifts from God by William Warch tells us that imagination is “vision beyond appearances.”

There is an expression in the business world about “thinking outside the box.”  The box is appearances, what we have always done, what is “safe.”  The box may also be how we experience life.  When someone says or does something that does not make us happy, do we automatically react the same way we have before, or allow ourselves to consider another way of looking at the situation?  Is there a lesson or gift they are bringing us?

Click on the link to listen to my talk from last Sunday, “Vision Beyond Appearances.”

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The Power of Decision

Imagine the experience of going out for dinner.  You’ve looked at the menu, and looked at the menu, and looked at the menu.  But you just can’t decide what to choose.  So when the server comes back, and it is your turn, you respond, “just bring me something you think I’d like.”

So it is with Life.  Do we recognize that we are creating our experience every day, and so consciously choose our thoughts and words, or do we bounce along on the waves of life, just wishing and hoping for the best?

In the wonderful book The Power of Decision, Raymond Charles Barker says, “Decision is the most important function of the individual mind.  No creative process can begin until a decision is made…Having made the decision, every right idea will flow into my consciousness…The creative process awaits your decision and your calm acceptance of the necessary work on your part following the decision.”

Click on the link to listen to my talk, “The Power of Decision.”

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The Power of Joy

Think about the experience of happiness v joy.

A new car, fully paid for, makes us happy.  Spending time with dear ones makes us happy.  Chocolate cake (or our favorite dessert) makes us happy.  But eventually, the new car smell will wear off, our dear ones will have to go home, and we will have eaten all the cake.

In the book, Power, Freedom and Grace, Deepak Chopra says, “Joy is an internal state of consciousness that determines how we perceive and experience the world.  The internal source of joy–our connection to our Creator, our source, our inner self–is the cause, while happiness is the effect.”

When we live in this foundation of joy, we can not judge by appearances, knowing that whatever is going on, there is always something more.

Click on the link to listen to my talk, “The Power of Joy.”

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“Watch Your Mouth”

I don’t know about you, but it was my mother who taught me how to act in polite society.  Many people call that “couth.”  (I always thought that was a slang word, but Webster’s Dictionary says it really exists.)  She taught me what to say when we met people in the grocery store, what was appropriate at the dinner table, etc.  When I said something inappropriate, she might have said, “watch your mouth.”

There is amazing wisdom there for us, no matter our age.  What do we say about life–our money, our relationships, our health?  Do we remember that our words (especially starting with I AM) have amazing power?  And how often do we say, “I can’t afford it?”

Click on the link to listen to my Mothers’ Day talk, titled, “Watch Your Mouth.”

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Walking on Fire–Or Not

If you were with me on Sunday, you might remember that I talked about my most recent experience at Edwene Gaines’ retreat center in Valley Head, Alabama.  It was my fifth time to be there with the opportunity to participate in a fire walk.  Unlike the previous times,  after asking Spirit “is this mine to do?” I was given the guidance to NOT walk.  So I didn’t.

Each experience has been a power-filled and life changing event, and this time was no exception, because it challenged me to ask myself about what other areas of my life I am still “walking on fire” when I don’t need to be.  Taking things personally?  Taking responsibility for someone else’s actions that had nothing to do with me?  Trying to “help” Spirit answer that prayer, rather than just releasing and listening?

Click on the link to listen to my talk, “Walking on Fire–Or Not.”

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Rolling the Stone Away–For Good!

When was the last time you met someone named Judas?  I’ll bet never.

As you remember in the story of the crucifixion of Jesus, Judas was the guy who betrayed Jesus by pointing him out to the soldiers.  He became the most hated man in Christian history.  He was depicted as treacherous, greedy, thieving, to be despised by all righteous people.

But what if there was a different story?  What if Judas was a saintly and righteous man, carrying out the command and mission of Jesus at a risk to his own life and reputation?

What if there is a different story in our experiences?  Are we open to the possibility that what happened had to happen for our growth?  Can we begin to see that there is a bigger picture?

Often, our feelings of resentment, guilt and shame (often as a result of “betraying” ourselves) can be the stone that, like on Easter, is waiting to be rolled away in order to express and experience all the good Life has for us.

Click on the link to listen to my talk from Easter Sunday.

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In Search of Strength

As you may know, I’m using Charles Fillmore’s book The Twelve Powers (of Man) as my book for the year. Our power for March was Strength.

The book, How To Use Your Twelve Gifts from God by William Warch says that “strength has four spiritual aspects: patience, tolerance, steadfastness, and balance.”

Last Sunday, we were luxuriating in the experience of answered prayer and demonstration.

In my personal life, two long-planned birthday surprises came off without a hitch. “Easter Palooza,” an Easter egg hunt and street fair sponsored and produced by Joyful Living Spiritual Center, was more successful than anyone could have imaged. In every experience, there was more than enough—enough time, enough money, enough wisdom.

The road to answered prayer is not always easy. Even though we “know” that it is done unto us as we believe, that Spirit always responds to us, often we allow old beliefs in lack and struggle, and appearances, to get in the way. Staying focused on what we want, rather than what we don’t, requires strength–keeping in mind that we are never talking God into doing anything, but rather changing our belief about the possibility.

Click on the link to listen to my talk from last Sunday, “In Search of Strength.”

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