Worry or Wonder?

So you’ve decided to find a new relationship.  Or forgive an old hurt.  Or create a wonderful event.  Or step-up to greater financial abundance.  Or get a job that makes your heart sing.

You write down your plan, reviewing the steps to be followed.  You go in search of whatever it is.

At what point in the process do you get the Universe (Spirit, the Infinite, the Divine, God, your higher power) involved?

If you were with me last Sunday, you remember I (again) quoted the song from my days in the Lutheran Church:  “oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear; all because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer.”

In my life today, thankfully, my experience of prayer is very different, in that I am speaking affirmatively and accepting what I want, rather than begging and beseeching the God out there somewhere to do what I want.

But in my getting the Infinite involved, I am allowing Infinite Intelligence to pave the way, bringing me what I need when I need it.  It might be those strange “coincidences” that happen, or the idea of who to call or where to go.

What if we got Spirit involved from the start, rather than as a last resort?

And what if, rather than worrying IF it will happen, we could stay in wonder about HOW it will happen (recognizing the HOW is not our business, and in absolute conviction, no-question-about-it, that it will)?

Click on the link to listen to my talk, “Worry or Wonder?”

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The Holy Instant

“A Course in Miracles” talks about the holy instant.  It is that moment right after someone says something, or something happens, or we have a thought.  Will we react or respond, and if so, how?  Does the thought scare us, and will we decide to run with (thereby creating whatever it is), or do we just allow it to flow right on through?

Our “power” for March is Strength.  Our perception of strength may be pushing, shoving, overpowering force.  But strength is also expressed in practicing restraint–in taking that holy instant and deciding what is true for us and what is not, rather than just reacting from ego, fear, resentment–like we always have.

Click on the link to learn more.

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The Spiritual Power of Strength

Think about what you think about when you hear the word strength.  It might have to do with physical capabilities, but might also be the mental and spiritual abilities to walk through what is presented, knowing the truth of our being.

My book for March, The Twelve Powers by Charles Fillmore, states there are four spiritual aspects to strength:  patience, steadfastness, tolerance and balance.  We’ll be looking at all of those aspects throughout the month.

To me, strength might also be the willingness to look at what no longer serves us; ask what we need to change–and then act on what we are told; and to get out of victimhood, limitation and struggle.

Click on the link to listen to my talk from last Sunday, titled “The Spiritual Power of Strength.”

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The Courage to Love Extravagantly

If you were with me last Sunday, you remember I quoted Stephanie Dowrick’s wonderful book, Forgiveness and Other Acts of Love, in talking about loving extravagantly:  “It takes courage to wake up to how mysterious and profound life is, and not to avoid, deny, scorn, repress or contain what doesn’t easily fit into our world view.”

What is my world view?  To me, it is my list of rules and regulations—how it should be.  It requires courage to look at a situation and remember that there is always something more.  That’s why we are told to not judge by appearances.

I am convinced that the people in our lives always bring us a gift—sometimes obvious, sometimes not.  Often, the gift is in requiring us to take a higher view.  In staying out of judgment, we remind ourselves that we have no way of knowing exactly what the other person went through—exactly what they experienced, or what they felt.  All we can do is love, and love extravagantly.

Click on the link to listen to my talk, “The Courage to Love Extravagantly.”

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God Bless ME

Well, we made it through Valentine’s Day.  The flowers have probably begun dropping their leaves and may have been tossed, and the candy boxes are empty.

Valentine’s Day is a wonderful and heart-opening day for those of us in a relationship.  But what if you are not?  What if you are carrying some old hurt about a relationship that didn’t work out as you expected?

This “holiday” is often focused on someone else, but are we willing and able to be our own Valentine?

Last Sunday, I spoke about Jack and Cornelia Addington’s book, How To Love and Be Loved:  Drawing the Larger Circle.  The circle includes the people we love and nurture in our hearts.  Do we leave ourselves out of the circle, because of regret, shame or a belief in limitation?  Click on the link to listen to my talk.

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The Gift of Generosity

You probably remember the quote from the New Testament about “the greatest commandment:” loving God (which we talked about on Sunday, February 1), and loving our neighbor as ourselves.

I believe that loving our neighbor, no matter who that is, requires generosity, not only of pocket, but also of heart and spirit.

Yes, that generosity might include putting a quarter in an expired meter, or paying for a box of Thin Mints to be sent to a military person (since we have sworn off carbs and sugar). But it can, and should (if I may use that word), include giving of our undivided attention when we are in a conversation at the table, as well as in a business transaction. (Don’t you want the teller at the bank to give your money their full attention? Fair is fair.)

Generosity often calls us to “go the extra mile.” Agreeing to do something we don’t really want to do for an hour—and then staying an extra hour. Getting up—even though it’s not “your turn”—to change the DVD, and filling the water glasses while you are up.

It has been my experience that it is not possible to be genuinely generous with someone else without benefiting myself. In fact, there is a Hindu proverb that states, “help your brother’s boat across and your own will reach the shore.”

I believe we are also called on to be generous with ourselves: by receiving gracefully, treating ourselves with compassion, and not taking anything personally.

Click on the link to listen to my talk about generosity–to others as well as ourselves.

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“Believe in Something Bigger”

If you live in California and have been out and about, you’ve probably seen the billboards or heard the radio commercials for the California Lottery Commission, with the announcement of Wednesday night’s jackpot being more than $317 million.  Their by-line is “believe in something bigger.”

I’m not sure what this has to do with the lottery, but I love the message for us.  If you were with me last month, you remember we talked about faith.  Do we really believe that God (Spirit, the Universe, our Higher Power) can and will do for us what we affirm in our prayer work?

Ernest Holmes, the founder of Science of Mind, said that there is a power greater than we are, and we can use it.  (And I would add that we do use it, whether we are conscious of it or not.)

But for many of us, faith is a process, not an event.  How do we get to that absolute, no question about it, knowing?  One way might be by getting to know God–not just about God.  There is a difference.

Do we ever just hang out with God and listen?

Kahlil Gibran said, “You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.”  Hmmm–there’s a thought.

Click to listen to my talk from last week, “Hanging With God.”

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How Do You Feel?

Neville Goddard (1905-1972) was one of the great early New Thought writers.  He basically said what everyone else said, but especially in the book The Neville Reader, focused on the importance of feelings in our daily life, and our affirmative prayer (spiritual mind treatment).

If you were with me on Sunday, you remember I quoted from the book, using the example of the mustard seed.  You’ve read in the New Testament about faith as a grain of mustard seed, and if you are like me, interpreted the story as having to do with the size of one’s faith.  But consider a new thought.

Neville wrote, “A mustard seed is conscious of being a mustard seed and a mustard seed alone.  It is not aware of any other seed in the world.  It is sealed in the conviction that it is a mustard seed.  You too must lose yourself in the consciousness of being only the thing desired.  You abide within this sealed state until it bursts itself and reveals your conscious claim.  Faith is feeling or living in the consciousness of being the thing desired.”

Think about “being the thing desired.”  If we are looking for love, we must recognize and affirm that we are the essence and experience of Spirit, expressing as love.  If we want greater abundance, we must recognize and affirm that we are the abundance of the Universe.

So it is with everything in nature, fully present in the moment expressing what it really is.  The mustard seed is not worried if it is growing bigger than the scrub oak across the street, of if there will be enough water next month.

In our prayer work, that really is all we are doing—remembering the truth of who we are.  But after we say “and so it is,” (or “amen,”) how long does it take us to slide back into fear, regret and resentment?

Click to listen to my talk from last Sunday, titled “How Do You Feel?”

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Production or Pipeline? My Responsibility in Prayer

If you were with me last Sunday, you remember I talked about our responsibility in our affirmative prayer (Spiritual Mind treatment). We pray affirmatively, rather than begging, beseeching and hoping for the best, because Jesus said, “Anything you pray for and ask, believe that you will receive it, and it will be done for you.”

After we say “amen” (or “and so it is”), what do we do? Do our minds remind us of all the reasons why whatever it is couldn’t possibly happen for us? Do we help God (Spirit, the Universe, our Higher Power) by running down the list of the ways that our good could come to us, thereby limiting the possibilities? Do we take responsibility for the creation of whatever it is, or do we just work to clear the pipeline so it can come?

Click on the link to listen to last week’s message, “Production or Pipeline: My Responsibility in Treatment.”

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Thinking With the Mind of God

If you were with me on Sunday, you remember that our theme for the month of January is the power of FAITH.  We talked about what happens after we do our affirmative prayer (spiritual mind treatment).  Do we still have a belief in two powers?  Is there something out there that can keep our good from coming to us?  Does God somehow withhold because of what we did yesterday or last year or twenty years ago?

Click on the link to listen to my talk, “Thinking With the Mind of God.”

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