Monthly Archives: November 2016

Snow days

I didn’t realize how much I was looking forward to a snow day until I looked out the window and saw my snowless front lawn. There’s something about being “stuck” in the house that calls to me. I do a lot of reading. I do a lot of thinking. I do an awful lot of napping – and that’s not awful.

I noticed recently that I’m tired a lot. If I go lay down for a few minutes, I wake up two hours later. I’m not doing any more work than normal. I’m sleeping through the night usually. But one thing I’ve learned is to pay attention to what my body wants. Right now, it wants sleep. Or at least, it wants more quiet time. More cuddling with the cats. More deep thinking and reading. Less people-centered activities and more Spirit time.

One of the funny things about the holiday season is that while the rest of nature settles down for a long winters nap, humans in our culture rev up and party hard. Now I’m an introvert, so I party hard by reading a whole series of books in one day. I’m just wild and crazy that way. But my philosophy teaches that if we live according to Natural Laws, which we learn by looking at Nature, we’ll be much happier, more effective and more abundant in general. So why do we crazy folk rev up when Nature is telling us to slow down?

The easy answers include consumerism and materialistic obsessions. It’s almost mandatory to be stressed out by what needs to get done to make a holiday successful. On my umpteenth trip to the grocery story right before Thanksgiving, I realized that I was comforting myself by affirming that the “stress” was part of the fun. WHAT?!!?

What would happen if we slowed down and had a mellow holiday season? I don’t know that I’d get all the shopping done, much less the Christmas cards. But in truth, I’m more interested in investing my money in getting debt free and Christmas cards have never taken all that long to do. Maybe I’m afraid my friends will be hurt if I don’t get everyone the perfect gift. Maybe I’m concerned that my colleagues at the Center will think I’m unprofessional if I don’t get something for everyone (don’t worry, guys, I already took care of you).

And maybe, just maybe, the oath of busyness that we seem to take in this culture is yanking at my chain. There seems to be an oath of obedience (that requires working really hard) that spiritual people take. It goes with the chastity and poverty thing, but that’s another whole set of issues). This holiday season, I’m breaking the oath. I’m going to be mellow, spend no more than what fits comfortably in my budget and let my gift to most folks be something intangible. A smile, a listening ear. Or maybe even just taking the time to nap so that I can be fully awake and functional when it’s time to connect with other humans, so that I can connect in joy.

Do you feel stressed by the holidays? Or by your schedule in general? Please comment about what you do and how it all works for you.

Fake news

There’s been a debate lately about how and if Facebook should screen the news that gets shared on that site. There’s a lot of fake news – there are actually people who make their entire living making up news and sharing it on Facebook. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, says only 1% of the information on Facebook is fake news, but since a quarter of the world’s population is part of this site, that might still be a problem.

What an awesome metaphor for our consciousness! How many fake news sites are running through your head at any given time? Who’s making money by advertising on those sites? Is there a site dedicated to why your body is not the right shape, size, color or gender? Is it overflowing with ads that tell you how to “fix” yourself?

What about a site that tells you about your talents and skills? Are there articles that say your primary worth is what you do? Or maybe there’s not much you can do that is worthy of sharing, so you should probably just stay home. These sites might have lots of ads for classes or self-help books. They might have commentary from the authority figures of your childhood explaining WHY you never did learn to be useful or what would happen if you stopped doing that thing everyone expects you to do.

It’s worth looking into what scrolls through the feed in your mind. It’s what we do in this philosophy. Each of us probably has some input from someone we should mentally block or even unfriend. The process we go through in Science of Mind is akin to fact checking the news sites that pop up. There is a divine snopes.com that we access through prayer and meditation. There is a way to let our conscious mind comment on different articles, deciding whether they are just inflammatory or if they hold real, important information.

We all have this power. In the Divine sense, we can’t unsubscribe to Facebook – there’s a consciousness that runs through all of us and never stops. It is running in the back of your head right now. It’s also running in your heart and in your physical body. Paying attention to what you’re paying attention to is a great spiritual practice. So, what news sites do you need to block from your consciousness? Are you willing to unfriend the really toxic ones? And just as important – are you willing to read the in-depth articles that might teach you about a world you didn’t know existed?

It’s a beautiful morning!

These last few weeks have been absolutely fantastic! You might wonder if I’ve taken leave of my senses – and yes, I have! Thank God! In the last few weeks I’ve dealt with conversations I didn’t want to have, family dynamics I thought I’d left behind, and an election that has a large section of my social media feed in full freak-out mode. All the rational reasoning seems to have been left in the dust, drowned in adrenaline.

So I’m taking leave of my senses in the best possible way. Over all these years of studying and teaching, I’ve learned intellectually that cause is always from within and that I can choose my thinking and thus my experience. These past few weeks, I got to DO it. I got to look at the circumstances around me and refuse the evidence of my senses. It took me a long time, but I guess I’m finally getting the lesson. I won’t bemoan the time it took, because it was all worth it for this result.

The absolute truth is that I live in a friendly universe and, as Emma Curtis Hopkins wrote, “God is my friend.” Every time I think that phrase, I see the big blue genie from Aladdin and hear “You ain’t never had a friend like me!” Okay, so my mental image of God is less dignified but he sure is fun! No matter what is going on in the world, I can relax because underneath and through it all is a force for good. Underneath and through it all is a Being and a Presence that would never let me fall.

Do I ignore or look down on those who are hurting right now? Of course not! I am their ally. James Dillet Freeman once wrote a poem about what it means to minister. In that poem, he writes,

“It means to not merely live a life of prayer, but to turn your prayers into life – more life for you, more life for those to whom you minister.

It means to be God-centered and human hearted, to involve yourself in humanity and to keep your vision on divinity – and so draw from all around you the human form divine

It means to share in the greatest moments of life – in birth and sickness and marriage and death – and at times, whether of crisis or of celebration, to bring comfort and a blessing, and above all a sense of a Presence that sometimes we cannot see and of a Meaning that often we overlook.

That is what it means to be a minister of God and a minister to man.”

Let us all minister to each other. Let us all choose to create a world that works for everyone, leaving the past in the past, allowing ourselves to believe that the Universe is our friend and is conspiring on our behalf.

Post Election Thoughts

A lot of people are in fear this morning as we face the consequences of the presidential election. A lot of people are very happy, too. If you are in the first group, I urge you to go to prayer. If you can’t get to a place of love on your own, if your grief is not ready for that, please make a point of calling a practitioner (contact information is at www.cslprescott.org). There is support available to you. And if there was ever a time to engage in spiritual practice, this is it.

As members of the Centers for Spiritual Living, we as a community need to remember a few things. Our primary principle is Oneness. Other important values include diversity and inclusivity. I believe that as Religious Scientists it is our calling to support our friends and neighbors who are of color, who are of other faiths and who are of the LGBTQ community. That support might be a phone call. It might be speaking up when we hear racist, homophobic or misogynistic talk. It might mean staying in constant prayer to know what is really ours to do. When we affiliated with the Centers for Spiritual Living, we agreed to practice the principles and espouse the values of the Centers. These are just a few.

And this is not the end of the world. It might be the end of the world we knew, or the end of our perception of the world we thought we lived in. However, I will point out that Ernest Holmes began defining this philosophy in the midst of World War I, and continued teaching it through the Great Depression and World War II. This is a great time to prove the principles. This is a time for which this philosophy was created. If we let go of it now, we prove that we never really knew Truth. It’s time to practice what we have studied, create that world that works for everyone and see the Christ in each other. Our calling is no less than this.

Elections

Well, today we come to the end of the 2016 Presidential election process. Some are heaving a sigh of relief. Some are still worried about what happens starting November 9th. And some have long since given up hoping for a government that we can respect. I hope, at least, you’re not one of the last group.

This philosophy teaches Oneness. That means, in part, that the government we elect is an accurate reflection of who we are in consciousness as a nation. And what do we do when we’ve created something we don’t like? We learn from it and change the thinking that created it.

So today, I’m offering you a new ballot. It has nothing to do with political parties, agendas or personality. You get to vote for joy or fear. You have a choice between victimhood and active participation in your life. You have a choice between poverty of all kinds or abundance in every area of your life. You vote. And your vote in consciousness gets added to the election. You can’t abstain on this one. You can’t refuse to go to the polls. If you exist, you are voting just by how you are in the world and in your head.

Here’s the good news. If you have trained your consciousness, if you have spent some time discovering your own thinking and learning how to stay positive, then you are not only a super-delegate, you are an executive member of the electoral college. A trained consciousness is always more powerful than an untrained one.

Today, I vote for less victimhood in my own experience and I do that by participating in creating that experience. Today I vote for joy. I vote for an abundance of money, friends, love, and good times. I vote for clarity around my own vision of life and what I actually want to do and be. And I vote for you to join me on this journey.

Party takes on a whole new meaning here, doesn’t it?