This is the transcript of a talk given at Center for Spiritual Living Prescott on August 21, 2023 by Hazel Bowman.
Thank you. Thank you. As I talk on my message, embracing the new with gratitude. You know it was President John F. Kennedy who stated “or time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life.” We certainly have been in the midst of a lot of interesting changes here at the center, haven't we? You know, for more than a year, we have been saying our sacred covenant together, calling forth our new minister. And two weeks ago we elected Reverend Tracey Harrick as our new senior minister. And next month we will be saying a loving farewell to our interim minister, Reverend Cath dePalma, who has guided us on this journey.
You know, every moment the clock resets, and it is up to us on how we wish to respond or how we wish to react. One of the many things that Reverend Cath taught us is that we are in conscious union with God. What Ernest Holmes called the thing itself, which I just love that name, what it is is that we have a direct access to an intelligence that guides us to a life force, or energy, or spiritual something that heals us, and a law of mind that we can use. You know, it's just really an expansion of the concept of God as divine creator and designer. In other words, God is still writing our story here at the Center, as well as in your own life.
What's one of the things we can do? Well, I'm going to tell you, one of the things we can do is to stop trying to steal the pen and trust the author. Yes, for change is divine orchestration and manifestation. You know, we are on a spiritual journey in discovering who we truly are. Every person, every person is a center in the consciousness of God. Dreams feed the soul. So dream boldly for you to access the higher levels of consciousness. Strive to deepen your spirituality in no matter what form it takes. Music, art, dancing, taking a walk in Mother Nature, standing outside and feeling the rain upon your face. Go skipping in the grass. Yes, because the more you deepen your spirituality, the more you reveal your soul and when you embrace your soul at the core of your being you just, oh, you embrace all other beings in this limitless universe filled with infinite possibilities and opportunities. We embrace Reverend Tracey's spiritual gifts that she brings to this Center The God in her is the God in you Yes, and what unfolds for me and knowing this is a complex understanding of how intricately our pulsating threads of life are woven together in color and in beauty. Those pulsating threads of passions and values and strengths and in dreams. As we go forward in this new chapter there will be changes, and no, I do not know what they're going to be. But guess what? Spirit does Yes, without you know, I personally don't know of anything new emerging without change. Do you? Ah, it doesn't exist, you know, without change. We would be stagnant. We would be bored. We would be regressing. We would be uninspired. Change is an important and potent part of life, and yes, some of the things we try and attempt will be substituted by something else. As we continue to grow and to learn and to experience all of the good that Divine Life has in store for us. Don't be concerned about something new. It was Albert Einstein who stated a person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. Yeah, you know one of my granddaughters has a challenge in accepting something new in her life. Oh, she is perfectly fine with change as long as she's the one making it. Sound familiar? But other than that to her there has to be such a way of doing things. I'm gonna tell you more than once she has come up to me and has told me “Grandma, you're doing it wrong.” Oh, such a cute child. I don't think of it as doing something wrong, I just think of it as doing something different. It's like that time when she and her sister, our granddaughters, this is when they were ages six and four and they were visiting us, myself and my husband Howard, Grandma and Grandpa. And I want you to know that first day was wonderful together. It was just filled with all the Norman Rockwell moments that you'd want to experience. I don't know what happened on that second day. I really don't. I don't know if they slept wrong, if they didn't get a good night's sleep. Maybe they got up on the wrong side of the bed, but they woke up bickering as only siblings can do. You touched my dolly. Did not. Did too. Is my turn. 's not. Is too. I mean, I got to tell you, I thought that once I got them dressed and fed, that their squabbling would kind of go down and kind of end. I mean, it works for my husband, it really does. If my husband's been fed, he becomes like a happy camper. And the world just seems a little bit brighter to him. But not with these two ladies. I'm going to tell you that here it was. it wasn't even 9 AM in the morning and I am feeling this headache coming on. And so finally, I interrupted their current argument, whatever it was. Cannot. Can too. I just interrupted it. And I said, “that's it”. I said, “I just can't take this any longer. It is just way too early in the morning for me. I am calling time out for the next 10 minutes.” And with that, I rose from my chair and I went into my bedroom and I closed the door. It was less than a minute later I hear this knocking on the door. And my granddaughter telling me, “Grandma, you're doing time out wrong. You're not to go to your room, we're to go to our room.” Such a sweet child. Well, that might be the way her mommy and daddy did it. I did it differently. And I want you to know it was the best 10 minutes of time out I have ever experienced here.
Yes. Fortunately, each and every one of us here has experienced change, haven't we? Yes. Whether it be accepting a new job or moving to a new home, moving to a new community, starting a new school, I mean, maybe even welcoming a little baby into the family. And then there are the changes that we have adapted to in our life. You know, I always feel like I have to lie down when someone tells me, well, 20 years ago, and my mind thinks, ah, yes, the 1980s. And then I realize they're talking about the year 2003. Now, I have a relative who enjoys posting on Facebook pictures with a comment, “do you remember this?” Let's show some of those pictures. Do you remember this? Yes. How about this? Yeah. Oh, an alarm clock. Yes. You remember this? Ah, yes, a typewriter. Yes, and the old floppy disk. Yes. Of course I remember them. And chances are you do too. Heck, when I was growing up, our home shared a telephone party line with three other households. The first car, first car that I learned to drive was a stick shift with a manual choke. And even then, many times I had to push it to jump-start it, to get it going. Yes. Does anyone remember some of these things? You know, over the years, we have become pros in adapting to change. Who was here two years ago when our minister, Reverend Kathleen Sibley, moved back east? Ah, look at the number of hands here. You know, we were just coming out of the COVID lockdown. And people were concerned about our Sunday services. And who was going to give the messages? And I'll admit, for that first month, I ensured that practitioners from your own practitioner corps were our guest speakers to give you that sense of continuity. But then I expanded. In addition to the wonderful messages our interim minister Reverend Cath gave us, I invited other religious science ministers, such as Reverend Donald Graves, Dr. Ruth Deaton, Reverend Helen Downey, including Reverend McDowell. And then I made sure that, yes, our own religious science practitioner corps were our guest speakers. But I included others, such as Reverend Tracey Harrick, when she was a practitioner, and Jeff Harjes. And then members from our own center here, such as Bob Jocelyn, Gary Stewart. Last week we had our director of music, Jackson. And next week we're going to have our IT guru, Clay Smith, as our guest speaker. And then there was Reverend Tom Catlin from Unity. Swami Sankarandanda, Yukwala, Medicine Man, Dr. Carmen Smith, Dr. Betty Henderson. I include, and that doesn't count by the way, the rabbis that I've had as guest speakers, a Buddhist priest, individuals representing the Baha'i faith, or Sufism, which is the sect of the Islamic faith.
You know what was once a concern manifested into a blessing, didn't it? As we learned so much from each speaker. So much so now that with Reverend Tracey as our new minister, folks have approached me and the board saying, oh, they just love Reverend Tracy being our new minister and they're looking forward to her messages, but they still want guest speakers as well. What all of us had kind of forgotten in those early days is that Spirit is the master designer. And we trust that as we trust this moment as well. For you see what we have realized is that we are resilient, aren't we? We are not defined by one change. Each of us is a whole person with vast and diverse experiences. Change is inevitable. Not only in the world around you, but in your own life as well. But here's the joker that's in the pack. You are at choice of what you want to experience, of how you wish to respond. You are at choice of what you wish to manifest. You know, manifesting is a process of changing your thoughts, your words, your feelings, your beliefs to attract something that you want in your life. I'm gonna be sharing it with you that it works simply speaking in its simplest form. It works by intentionally shifting your thoughts and energy to align with your desires. That's all it is. Trust your intuition. Go with the flow. The universe is supporting you. We are each inherently spiritual in nature. And we are all connected to those higher levels of consciousness. As spiritual beings, we operate on multiple levels of higher consciousness simultaneously. But it is our physical senses that create the illusions of individuality and that the only existence is that of our physical universe. It's time to create a new path in living. It's time to create that new path. And I like the word path because path means unconstructed to me. Have you ever, oh, I don't know, gone on a walk or a hike following a path? Have you ever realized that that path was not created by just walking at once, but by many times, many different times? You know, for that, you should, in doing that, we recognize how it was created and that you should continully align yourself with what it is that you want to experience and repeat your mantra daily. Doesn't make any difference what that mantra is or that affirmation. It can be, “I am whole, healthy and complete.” It can be, “I am immersed in abundance.” It can be, “I rejoice in the freedom of my life.” It can even be, “the life as God is within me as me.” If you can't come up with your own mantra in your program book, there's an affirmation card provided by the office. Make that your mantra for the week. And as you do so, you are creating your own path. Not by walking it just one time. You just can't say, okay, I'm abundant. Done. No, you've got to walk that, reaffirm that, many, many different times. Because as you do so, you are walking and creating your path. And yes, there are going to be times in your path that you're going to turn around and go back the other way. And that's good. That's doubt. Sometimes I think doubt gets a bum rap. Because doubt is good in the sense that doubt gives you another way of looking at things, doesn't it? It also gives you that opportunity to question or to interrogate old beliefs. It allows you to wiggle your toes in finding your own truth.
Now, I admit that change can bring with it some level of discomfort, can't it? As your mortal mind tries to argue with your spiritual self. It's like my granddaughter's bickering. You know, cannot, can too, are not, am too. That's your mortal mind arguing with your spiritual mind. And as you meet this discomfort and learn new parts about yourself, you recognize that you are getting stronger and wiser. I invite you to notice the quality of your heart as you do so. Reflect on your own unique journey. Pause regularly to notice how far you have come and celebrate your growth. For you are rooted in the unity of life itself. Through each and every change, you are making progress. Isn't that inspiring? You know, you get to decide what each and every transition will mean for you. For example, for myself, when things have gone south on me, and let's be honest, things have all gone south of us, to us at one point or another. But when things go south on me, I always say, I am not this experience. I am not this experience. What unfolds is a new understanding of your life exploration. An adventure is born. Paths become trails, and trails lead to new heights. You discover joys in your life that you never even knew existed. Dreams dawn the horizon, and they blossom in the full daylight. Embrace it as self-love. As Oprah Winfrey stated, “create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.” God conferred upon us a unique status, your individual being. Can anything be more wonderful than that? As Ernest Holmes states, “this is not a philosophy of exclusion. It does not breed intellectual snobbery. It merely states that if we travel the highways and byways of human life, the north, the south, the east and the west, we will find that every living soul spends its entire time trying to discover what God made him to be. The great search has ended when we find that what we are looking for is what we are looking with.”
Praise God for new beginnings and unwavering provision. How many here express gratitude on a daily basis? Yes, I love seeing those hands raised there, because there is power in gratitude. Meister Eckhart stated, “if the only prayer you ever state in your entire life is thank you it will be enough.” Rely on the infinite source for riches and divine love for providing all of your emotional, physical and spiritual needs. Turn to this great inner life. One who penetrates this great inner life will discover it and find it birthless, deathless, fearless, eternal, happy, perfect and complete. Gradually, there dawns in your consciousness a sense that God or the infinite is flowing into absolutely everything you do. Embrace change with gratitude. Embrace the new with gratitude, knowing that all is well. Just as we sang earlier this morning, all is well and unfolding as it should. For all is God.
And let us go ahead and anchor that in prayer as we hear the words that Ernest Holmes wrote in the Science of Mind. On pages 56 and 57 of the Science of Mind, Dr. Ernest Holmes shares the following prayer. Many have adopted this as part of their daily spiritual practice, and it is suggested that you allow yourself to hear these words as they are your own. “I am the center in the Divine Mind, a point of God-conscious life, truth, and action. My affairs are divinely guided and guarded into right action, into correct results. Everything I do, say, or think is stimulated by the truth. There is power in this word that I speak because it is of the truth and it is the truth. There is perfect and continuous right action in my life and my affairs. All belief in wrong action is dispelled and made negative. Right action alone has power, and right action is power, and power is God, the living Spirit Almighty. This Spirit animates everything that I do, say, or think. Ideas come to me daily, and these ideas are divine ideas. They direct me and sustain me without effort. I am continuously directed. I am compelled to do the right thing at the right time, to say the right word at the right time, to follow the right course at all times. All suggestion of age, poverty, limitation, or unhappiness is uprooted from my mind and cannot gain entry to my thought. I am happy, well, and filled with perfect life. I live in the Spirit of Truth and am conscious that the Spirit of Truth lives in me. My word is the law unto its own manifestation and will bring to me or cause me to be brought to its fulfillment. There is no unbelief, no doubt, no uncertainty. I know and I know that I know. Let every thought of doubt vanish from my mind that I may know the truth, and the truth may make me free.” And so it is.