Monthly Archives: December 2016

Working with the Law

Today is my 47th birthday. And, because I’m a responsible adult with a full time job and mortgage payments, and thus in control of my own destiny, we had chocolate cake and coffee for breakfast. That’s probably the best part of being an adult. You get to decide what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it.

Of course, there’s this guy whose birthday we celebrate tomorrow that also talked about the joy of being in charge of your own life. Ernest Holmes, about 2000 years later, explained to us how it all works by talking about the Law of Cause and Effect. And he was right in saying that we are the Law’s slave until we understand it and then it becomes our servant.

So, for instance, I could have chocolate cake for breakfast (two pieces). I get to make that decision. It doesn’t excuse me from the consequences, either on the scale or the sudden need for salad for lunch. I can try to twist the Law, but there it is. I even split hairs with it – like the time I remembered that mom taught that if there was lots of color on your dinner plate, it was probably a healthy meal. I poured bowl of M&M’s, then called her to tell her what I was eating. Followed the letter of the law, but not the spirit, and so ended up with an upset stomach.

Knowing how the Law works helps us to live happier lives. We give from our joy, in part because we know the Law will return that joy a hundred-fold. Of course, it’s also a lot of fun. We do good for others in order to create the world that works for everyone and then we get to live in that world. That’s how it works – always and in all ways. We live in the world we create, according to the Law, whether we like it or not. There’s something reassuring about that. No matter how long it takes, my positive thoughts and choice to believe in the ultimate goodness of the human soul MUST return to me. I must experience the outpicturing of that thought/belief.

So here’s my early Christmas wish for you – may you be pleasantly surprised this year by the inherent goodness of your fellow beings on this earth. May you let that happy surprise shape your thinking about the whole world. And may you, at some point, gift yourself with birthday cake for breakfast, just because it’s fun and you can.

The art of the spiritual snit

The thing about this philosophy is that you can’t just read the books. If you don’t use the tools in your everyday life, you’re wasting your time. No, really, let’s just be honest here. I can teach tools and you can use them really well in a class, but if you don’t use them in the meeting with your boss, or while buying a home, or while untangling a misunderstanding with your spouse or neighbor or kids, why bother spending the money and time learning those tools? That might sound harsh, but it’s true. And I know it’s true because I bumped up against it myself. Okay, so I got into a head-on collision with it while racing at top speed. And as you might imagine, it wasn’t pretty.

I used to work in a law office. I was the supervisor for the clerical staff. I did some of the clerical work, just to keep my hand in and show that I wasn’t too good to do it. Plus, I was bored. I remember transcribing an audio tape of someone who was mentally ill, was accused of burning down a family member’s home and, unfortunately, killing the cat. I really didn’t like that transcription job. Luckily, I was in the midst of training to be a Practitioner (a spiritual coach) and had the presence of mind to ask “Where is God in all this?” I don’t remember the answer I got, but I got pretty peaceful after that. It must have been a great answer, but all I remember is asking the question.

This past week was challenging for me, so I used another tool taught by my former minister, Rev. Duchess Dale. She’d turn on a kitchen timer for five or ten minutes and then tantrum until the bell went off. Whatever she needed to feel was expressed, and then she got back to being a reasonably adult human being. I gave myself more than ten minutes, but the same principle still applies. Lie in bed for the day, pouting resentfully, eating bad food, irresponsibly reading fiction when I knew there was work I could be doing and generally having a tantrum, introvert style. This morning I got up, mentally heard the timer go off, and got back to being me.

There are lots of tools we teach and they work. However, you have to be ready to use them. You don’t get to use them in place of having your human experience. That just leads to more problems because now you’re in denial plus you have all the original issues. This is not a philosophy in which you get to pretend you’re not a human with human issues. Then again, this is a philosophy in which you don’t have to pretend not to have issues. You get to be you, just as you are, and still be a wonderful spiritual being. You get to try on tools in the real world, mess things up and try again. That’s the actual practice part. If someone sees your training wheels, you’ll just get cheered on rather than laughed at.

I screw up on a regular basis. I have bad days, and even bad months. I have times when I have a rotten attitude. I am perfectly capable of spending time having arguments I win with people who aren’t even there. As long as I come back to truth, as long as I spend more time in a higher consciousness and know that the older, more immature behaviors are ridiculous, I’m doing okay. So there. Ppbbbt.

Go for the gold

We have cats. That’s important to know because it’s the holiday season and we celebrate Christmas in our house. Cat people have already figured out the issue. For those who haven’t caught on, let’s just say we hesitate to put up a tree and we’ve given up on decorating the bottom third. Our ornaments get sorted and stored by “breakable” and “unbreakable.” This year, my sister Kelly loaned her tree to the Center (thank you!) because, well… see the above… and the Center needed something smaller and more easily taken down than the gorgeous-but-huge tree we usually have.

The thing is, we still want the pretty lights and the Christmas spirit and the sparkle. So we are decorating the fake ficus trees that are in the living room. There are two, so we each took our best memory ornaments and put those up. We practically super-glued them on, but they are up. The carols are playing, there are decorations everywhere the animals can’t reach and we have a plan for Christmas day (mostly about food).

Have you ever really wanted to have a certain experience and had it happen in the way you didn’t expect? Maybe you’ve been praying for love and you meet a puppy. Or you make a new, wonderful friend which is great but not romantic. It can be very disappointing when you recognize that you got what you asked for but didn’t really get what you wanted. Some people don’t even realize their prayer was answered because it doesn’t look like what they expected.

When I teach prayer, that is how to do affirmative prayer, I am careful to teach to treat for an experience rather than a specific situation. Want transportation in the form of a car? That’s great – treat for Freedom and Abundance, not the car your cousin says might make it a few more miles. Want love? Treat for Love (notice the capital L) and Joy rather than for your latest crush to leave his/her current partner.

I want the joy and sanctity of the holiday season to brim up in my life. I want to sit in the deep dark silence of Christmas night and feel the starlight on my heart. I don’t care what the tree looks like or if the tree I was expecting is in the room I usually put it in. I want the reflection of the ornaments to shine on my soul and the lights to sparkle in my eyes. I want the gifts to pile up, too; the smiles and songs and snacks that feed my soul and are impossible to wrap.

If you are looking for something to happen in your life, whether it’s a financial improvement or for your love life to get steamy, think for a moment about what that represents to you. Do you want a date, or love? Do you want a bill paid or to never worry about money again? Claim the bigger experience. Go for the gold rather than the gilt. That leaves room for the Universe to be more creative. You may get what you originally thought you wanted, or something better. And you’ll definitely get the demonstration, one way or another. But don’t you think the Living Spirit that created the giraffe and roses and peppermint mochas can do something amazing for you if you let It have some fun? Make that your gift to the Universe this season, no matter which holidays you are celebrating. Give the gift of carte blanche to the Universe to create a life beyond your wildest dreams.