Thursday, December 1, 2016

Perfect Peace

Peace is the space where love abides
Peace is my aim, my Soul’s desire
In my willingness to be all that God is within me
I am free to be me, Perfect Peace

These are the inspired lyrics of a chant written by my friend Reverend Debi Lee. As I meditated on the concept of Peace¹, they came to mind. I say they are inspired because I believe in just a few short phrases Rev. Debi captured the essence of Peace. Peace is our natural state of being. It is the natural state of mind and heart.

We often think of Peace as the absence of conflict. But, Peace is not the absence of anything. Peace is the presence of God in every moment.

Peace is the space where love abides. Peace is the essence of the state in which Consciousness² exists. Love abides eternally within the Consciousness of Peace. It is the Consciousness from which Love is born and is expressed.

Peace is my aim, my Soul’s desire. In our humanness, Peace is our aim. The desire of our soul is for us to remember that Peace is our dwelling place. Peace is our homeland, so to speak. We are princes and princesses of Peace. When, at times we forget who and whose we are, our desire is always to return home as quickly as possible. It is the Consciousness from which we are born and in which our souls eternally abide.

In our willingness to be all that God is within [us], [we] are free. We are free to be the essence of who we are – Perfect Peace.

It is possible for us to abide in the state of Perfect Peace always. However, abiding in Peace does not mean that we do not experience conflict. It does not mean that we sit idly by and watch the world go by as if in a trance. Peace is not a passive state of being.

Peace is the consciousness² from which all loving action arises. If we are to truly demonstrate Peace and live in Peace, we must remember who we are and whose we are. When we find ourselves exiled in our own minds, we must return to the state of Peace prior to taking action or speaking our word. If we are acting from any other state, we are contributing to the conflict and the pain in the world.

What can separate us from Peace?

Nothing. Noting has the power to exile us from Peace. If that is true, then why are we at times not living in Peace? We are not in Peace because we have allowed our reactions to something or someone to pull us from our center, and we are unwilling to surrender our weapons and return to Peace. Our weapons are our judgmental thoughts either about ourselves or another. Our weapons are our words that criticize and condemn others or ourselves. Our weapons are born from our fears and our pain.

What are we using our weapons to protect?

We are attempting to defend our ego-identified self, our false self. We are attempting to protect what cannot abide in Peace, and therefore is not who we truly are. As A Course in Miracles states, “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.” We are attempting to defend an illusory self that we have created.

Are we willing to lay down our weapons and return home? If so, how?

We must be willing to let it go. Let go of what we have given power to and is therefore holding us captive. Nothing can separate us from Peace, except that to which we have relinquished our power. Only we can abdicate our power. It is up to us to surrender our need to defend, lay down our weapons and free ourselves from exile in a land not your own.

How do I return to peace when I have lost my way?

Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10). Stop. Be still. Quiet the mind and listen to the call of your soul. It knows the way home.

Ask for help from others, from someone you know and trust who is there to help you remember who you are, and will guide you home. There is no need to live in exile from your homeland. You are the gatekeeper at the land of Peace. You decide whether you are in or out. No one else has that power. You think they do. You blame them for it. But, the truth is, only you can separate yourself from Peace.

I recently received a message from someone who was, in my opinion, harsh and critical of me. The tone of the message was demanding and demeaning. When I read the message, I was immediately transported from my state of Peace into a land of pain, blame and judgement. My weapons of choice were thoughts of judgement about myself and about the other. I was tempted to respond from that place. My first reaction was to defend myself from what I perceived as an attack. I was tempted to return fire. It took me a few minutes, maybe more than a few, to bring myself back to a state of Peace. I got up, walked around and did a great deal of deep breathing. I focused on my breath, and I centered my awareness in my heart. I allowed myself to feel the sting of the words I had just read. I felt my pain and my fear. Then, I connected with the pain and the fear of the one who sent the message. I felt our unity and I knew that I wanted to return to Peace. I wanted to, as the chant says, be all that God is in me. I returned to a space of Peace within my heart and mind. And, I responded, to the best of my ability from that place. I don't know how my message was received by the other, but I am in Peace knowing that I did my best not to attack from my sense of separation.

As we celebrate Advent and prepare ourselves more completely for the awakening of the Christ in our own consciousness it is valuable to remember that the Christ, the true nature of each of us, abides eternally in a state of Peace.

During the busyness of the holiday season it is important for us to remember that nothing or no one has the power to separate us from our state of Peace. Amid the traffic, the shopping, the parties, the family gatherings, and the activities at home and at our spiritual home, I encourage us to take time to breathe consciously, focus in the heart, listen for the voice of the soul speaking words of peace and comfort, and know that there are many, both in the physical and nonphysical realms, who are here to remind you of your truth and help you find your way back home to Peace. I hope you know that I am one of them. If you need a reminder, please call me.

The following affirmative prayer is from my book, In This Moment. I encourage you to use it and meditate on it this week.

Peace abides at the core of my being.
Peace is the Eternal Presence.
Peace expresses in my life as Love, and I experience that Love as Joy.
Peace, Love, and Joy – Holy Trinity, Three in One.
In this now moment, as I choose to surrender to Peace, Love is my only expression.
As I express Love, it is returned to me as Joy eternal.

Peaceful blessings,

¹ I have intentionally capitalized ‘Peace’ when referring to a state of Being.

² I have intentionally capitalized ‘Consciousness” when referring to Allness. When ‘consciousness’ is not capitalized it refers to a personal state of mind and heart.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Promise of Hope

The Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel – Isaiah 7:14

This Sunday begins the Advent season. Advent is the period leading up to the celebration of the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day. For us, it is a time of preparation for the birth of the Christ, represented by the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.

As we observe Advent this year, we will be utilizing the qualities of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love which are traditional in Christianity. Our children will also be observing Advent by exploring these concepts. In many traditional Christian churches these are celebrated as the virtues that Jesus brings to us, but we honor them as attitudes of mind and heart and states of consciousness. They are states we can embrace during Advent to open ourselves more fully to the birth of the awareness of the indwelling Christ.

This week, we begin with Hope. One definition of ‘hope’ is: A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.

As I meditated on this definition, I activated my power of Imagination, and I imaged myself as a Jew in Ancient Israel. The following is what came to me.

I have heard the reading of the Scripture at temple since I was a boy. Today, I am especially remembering the words of the prophet Isaiah who foretold of the birth of a child born of a virgin and of the house of David who would be called Immanuel; the promised and long-awaited Messiah. This Scripture always fills me with hope, for I am one of a people who have been persecuted and enslaved by invading empires for centuries. I am one of a nation who longs for peace, equality and freedom. I am hopeful that the Messiah will soon come to deliver us from our bondage and return us to our place of honor and prosperity. I have lived with this desire, as has my father and his father before him. We are a people of hope. We live in expectation that the prophecy will be fulfilled. And, still we wait.

This is the essence of the attitude of mind and heart we call ‘Hope.’

Hope begins with a promise of a desire yet to be fulfilled. In the case of my imagined self, it is the desire for freedom from bondage and to enjoy peace and equality. That is a desire we all share. We all want to experience freedom. We all want peace. We all want equality. We all want to be valued simply because we are.

Unlike my imagined self or many who still await the coming of a savior to deliver them from bondage, we in Unity know that our freedom is not dependent upon the birth of a man or the coming of a long-awaited deliverer. Our freedom from enslavement, the bondage of our own limited thinking and beliefs, comes from the birth of the Christ, the one true light of God, in our consciousness.  We can invite the birth, or awakening, of the indwelling Christ in every moment.

I am reminded of an analogy that Eckhart Tolle uses in The Power of Now when speaking about the power of our presence. He says that we should approach every moment with the same attention as a cat watching a mouse hole waiting for the mouse to emerge. I compare that image to the anticipation we feel as we embrace the attitude of ‘hope.’

Hope is living with eager expectancy of the discovery of the Christ born in us every moment, and the acceptance of the Christ expressing in each person we meet. The birth, or awakening, of the Christ in our hearts and minds is our deliverance from the bondage of the limited self and our belief in our separation from God and from each other. From that perspective, the Christ is our savior, the Christ revealed as us.

This week, as we begin Advent, we embrace ‘Hope’ as our attitude of mind and heart as we honor our desire for freedom and live with the expectancy of the freeing power of the indwelling Christ born as us in every moment.

Join us on Sunday at 10:00 as we explore together the power of a mind and heart filled with Hope.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Is It All In Divine Order?

I realize that not everyone is mourning the outcome of the Presidential election, and that many are in fact celebrating it. I honor that. However, it is also vitally important that we acknowledge that there are many who are grieving.

I have heard and read some say, in response to those who are upset, things such as, “Just get over it. It’s not a big deal.” But, for those who believe that something essential about our humanity was wounded by the election, it is a big deal, and it is painful. I encourage us to allow our brothers and sisters to have their feelings and not ask them to “get over it.”

In addition to that, and I spoke about this briefly in my lesson on Sunday (listen here) or (watch here), I assert that it is not helpful for us, in Unity, to say, “It’s all in Divine Order.”

I often hear people in Unity say, “It’s all in Divine Order” when something happens that one might judge as “negative.” It seems to be our New Thought version of the more traditional Christian phrase, “It’s God’s Will.”

“It’s all in Divine Order” seems to imply a predestined plan. It suggests that there is a power or deity out there somewhere calling the shots. Further, it indicates that we are in no way responsible for what happens and that everything is being controlled by a master puppeteer.

“Divine Order” in its proper use is another way of saying that everything happens under the orderly operation of universal laws, such as the law of attraction and the law of cause and effect. These are two of the primary spiritual laws under which all comes into being. These are foundational to the teaching of Unity and other New Thought movements. In Unity we often refer to this as “Mind – Idea – Expression” or the “Law of Mind Action.” We also use the phrase, “What you think about comes about.”

Everything is always in “Divine Order,” not because God out there somewhere is deciding what should or should not happen, but because you and I are deciding much of what happens according to our consciousness and the actions we take.

In their book, Get Over It, former Dean of Spiritual Education and Development, Dr. Paul Hasselbeck and Bil Holton, Ph.D., Spiritual Leader at Unity Spiritual Life Center in Durham, NC say this about the concept of “Divine Order,”

Most people get Divine Order out-of-order! There is no such thing as Divine Order as we ordinarily use it. This idea has been poorly understood and misused over the years. This phrase is used more as a statement of resignation rather than the statement of power it is meant to be.

In his book, The Twelve Powers, Charles Fillmore, cofounder of Unity, defined Divine Order in the following way:
“[We] can never exercise dominion until [we] know who and what [we are] and, knowing, brings forth that knowledge into the external by exercising it in Divine Order, which is mind, idea, manifestation.” (Pg 113)

It is clear that Charles Fillmore did not see Divine Order as a divine fiat or divine proclamation. He saw it as a Divine Process, a point of power. In other Fillmore writings we learn that everything comes into expression through the process of Mind-Idea-Expression (Divine Order). It is a universal process.

Further, we do not teach a doctrine of predestination. There is no Divine Plan that we are playing out. The Divine Plan, as we understand it, is for each of us to realize our Divinity and live it, so that we bring forth into manifestation all that is in alignment with Peace, Love and Joy, the essential nature of the Divine, thus of each of us.

How we do that is not dictated by a “Divine Plan,” but by how each of us chooses to embody our divinity and live from it. The “Divine Plan,” if we want to use that phrase, for humanity is that we co-create a world in which the needs of all human beings are met; where we respect and care for our environment, our planet, and all its inhabitant; and where we treat each other with respect, compassion and equity. This Divine Plan unfolds according to the choices we make each and every day.

As Unity minister and author Eric Butterworth said,

The only predestiny in life is the ultimate unfoldment of the divine creature you are. But the direction you take in realizing this outforming of the Christ indwelling will always be determined by your consciousness.¹

We are mistaken if we believe that there is a “Divine Plan” working itself out in “Divine Order” and that we are to accept whatever happens as that. Think about it in terms of your physical body.

I venture to say that few, if any of us when we feel a pain or experience an imbalance or dis-ease in the body, say to ourselves, “It’s in Divine Order” and choose to do nothing about it. On the contrary, when we feel a pain, most of us immediately do something to alleviate the symptoms. If the symptoms persist, we take action to treat the cause. There are not many of us who upon breaking a leg would simply say, “It’s in Divine Order,” and leave it at that. No, we do what is needed to mitigate the pain and treat the injury.

I assert that aspects of the body of humanity are broken and in pain and that we must do something to ease the pain as well as to assess and treat the cause. We cannot simply observe the suffering in the world, our brothers and sisters who are in pain because of economic, food or social injustice and say to ourselves or to them, “It’s all in Divine Order “and just go about our business. No, we say, ‘It’s in Divine Order,” because it has manifested according to our consciousness and resulting actions, and then we do what we can to soothe the pain and assess the cause.

We take action to connect with those who are in pain, listen to them, hear them, and treat them with respect and compassion. But, we do not stop there. We must also do whatever is needed to determine the cause of the pain and treat it. There are political and societal structures in place that support the brokenness and contribute to the pain. We must do what we can to be sure that they are not allowed to continue.

We, in the Unity movement, unlike in many other spiritual and religion traditions, all too often shy away from engaging in the political process. I have heard many say that it is not our purpose; that we are about spiritual development and not about social change. But, I assert that we must be about social change. We must act from our spiritually awakened consciousness to help affect change in our social, political and cultural structures so that those who are hurting and in pain have the opportunity to get the help they need, ease the suffering and heal.

This Presidential election reveled to us, if we are willing to open our eyes to see it, a great deal of pain being felt by the people of this county. Pain was and is being expressed on both sides of the issues. This election revealed a cry for healing from many within our society. Now is our opportunity to respond. It is our opportunity to help soothe the pain, investigate the cause, and begin an honest healing process.

The body of humanity is feeling the pain of our brokenness. We cannot continue to stand idly by and say with resignation, “It’s all in Divine Order” and do nothing. Yes, “All is in Divine Order.” It is in “Divine Order” because it is the effect of our thoughts, beliefs and corresponding actions.

We are not witnessing the unfolding of a “Divine Plan.” We are witnessing, as A Course in Miracles says, a call for love and a cry for help. Are we listening? We must not continue to turn a deaf ear and closed mind to the suffering of our brothers and sisters. We must take action.

Please take a look at the initiatives being sponsored by Interfaith Alliance of Colorado. I would love to see us at Unity Spiritual Center Denver join the Interfaith Force for Good and have a presence with this group. Are you with me?

Now is the time and we are the ones.

¹ In the Flow of Life, Eric Butterworth, page 77

Thursday, November 10, 2016

God's Hands

I wrote the majority of the content of this post prior to election night; however as I read through it again just now, I realize that it is relevant. Whether you are one of the millions who felt sad and disappointed at the results of the election or one of the millions who celebrated, this applies equally.

While I hesitate to anthropomorphize God as I do not wish to support the concept of God as a deity, I believe it is apropos to say – you and I are the hands of God on Earth. In fact we are the expressions of God on Earth who are here to care for the manifest world. In the creation story in Genesis we are told that God gave humans dominion over the “lower” life forms. This does not mean that we are to have control over them, but that we, as the “higher” life forms, are to care for them. These include animals, plants, water and our environment.

It also includes our human brothers and sisters. Those of us who are blessed to enjoy privilege in America and the freedoms and bounty provided to us must care for those among us who are not as privileged as we. We, as God’s hands on Earth, are not intended to only be concerned with maintaining our own well-being and positions of privilege at the expense of those who are not like us. This applies to all who differ from us in physical or mental abilities, nationality, race, gender, religion, and sexual or gender orientation.

We must awaken to the awareness of God in and as each of us and know our unity. We must hold each other in the Truth of our Oneness. We must speak and act from our awareness of our unity, so that we can truly manifest the kingdom of God – Peace, Love, Joy, Equality and Equity – upon the Earth. We must accept that God – Love, Life, Harmony, Order, Peace and Love – can only be demonstrated through our will and actions.

In light of the above, I trust that what follows will not seem trite. I share it as an example of how something simple can be a source of awakening.

Last Friday, I decided it was time to rake the leaves in the front yard. Those who know me know that I do not like doing yard work. When I asked my inner Knower why I don’t like yard work, it came to me that I was shamed and guilted into doing yard work when I was a teenager. And although I begrudgingly did it when my father gave me little option, I resented every minute of it.

That seems to be a common reaction among humans. When we do something motivated by shame or guilt, we feel resentment.  As I reflected on my leaf raking experience, I recognize that as I began my endeavor, I was indeed being motivated by the demons of guilt and shame.

I was having friends over for dinner on Friday, and I felt embarrassed that they would drive up and see the leaf-covered yard. I had the thought that they would judge me negatively for not keeping the yard clean - further evidence that guilt and shame were my motivators. And, yes, initially I resented spending part of my afternoon raking leaves.

However, as I progressed in my leaf raking, I realized that I could have a different attitude about this project. It was one of those ‘V8’ moments. You know the ones when you smack yourself on the forehead at the realization that you could have made a completely different and more life-enriching choice.

I was reminded of what my friend and Unity Minister, Karen Romestan, who serves Unity on Greenville in Dallas, said about giving attention to their aging building and the amount of time it was consuming. She referred to it as “ministering to the building.” When I thought of my leaf raking as ministering to the property and to the Earth, I had a complete change of mind and heart. In that moment, I saw my effort as an act of service.

I saw my leaf raking as serving the Earth, the neighborhood and Unity Spiritual Center Denver as the property adjoins the parking lot and is owned by the center. My change of mind allowed me to see my efforts as serving order and beauty, as well as giving to something greater than myself.

As I continued to rake the leaves into piles, I witnessed the beauty of the leaves waiting to be bagged and placed with the compost collection bin. My heart felt lighter knowing that the leaves were going to be composted, as I see that as being of service to our planet and the environment.

The simple act of raking leaves last Friday proved to be a valuable life lesson for me. It reminded me that I am here to be in service. I am here to be in service to God, the Source of all creation, as I serve creation. This includes serving humanity, animals, the Earth and our environment.

I am also here to be in service to God as the Truth of my being. Every act, when approached from the desire to be in service to God, takes on an entirely new dimension. Nothing is done from a sense of shame or guilt. There is no resentment. There is only the free-flowing of love through acts of kindness and service as expressions of the God I am and in service to the God in and as all life. It truly is God serving God.

Keeping in mind that she wrote her books in the early twentieth century and used language in referring to God that we most likely would not choose today, H. Emilie Cady, in her book, How I Used Truth, states this idea eloquently. She says,

Your hand is God’s hand. My hand is God’s hand. Our Father reaches out through these, His only hands, to give His gifts. We have nothing to do with the supply. Our part is to pass out the good freely and without ceasing. This we can do only by making a complete consecration (so far as our consciousness goes) of our hands, our entire being, to the service of God, the All-Good. When we have given anything to others we no longer consider it our own, but recognize it as belonging to them. So, this conscious consecration of our hands to God, helps us to recognize them as God’s hands in which is (no longer “shall be”) the fullness of all things.

As we move though this coming week, I encourage us all to ask ourselves…How can I serve today? How can I serve God as me? How can I serve God as you? How can I embrace more fully the God I am, so that I am giving freely from the eternal flow of Source that is the essential nature of who and what I am?

I encourage us to think less about the ways we can be served, less about how we can get what we think we want or need. Instead, give what you would like to receive. We can only truly know that we have something once we are free to give it away. We can only know love when we know that we are love, and we can only truly experience love when we dare to give it away without expectation of return. As Unity minister and author Eric Butterworth said, “I can only know myself as I know myself as the self-livingness of God. I can only really know myself when I know I am ‘in the flow of life’.” ¹ God can only flow freely as me in service when I cease asking “What’s in it for me?”

Let us consider more what we can give, rather than what we can get.  May we affirm as the prayer of St. Francis states, “It is in giving that we receive. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying [to the needs of the adverse ego ²] that we are born [into the awareness that we are] eternal life.”

Join on Sunday morning at 10:00 as we explore together what it means to be in service as God’s hands in the world.

¹ In the Flow of Life, Eric Butterworth

Thursday, November 3, 2016

L' Chaim

This week I am wrapping up the lesson series on Divine Audacity, the book by Reverend Linda Martella-Whitsett in which she explores The Twelve Powers of Man from a practical perspective as tools that we each can use to strengthen our awareness of our divinity, our Christ nature, and more fully embody and live as that. It has been a powerful series for me. I have learned a great deal about The Twelves Powers, which I honestly found confusing until I read Rev. Linda’s book. She presents the information in a clear and concise manner that has helped me to embrace my powers and learn ways to use them in my daily life. I am eternally grateful to Rev. Linda for writing this inspiring and informative book.

The final lesson is on the Power of Life. Rev. Linda says “The principle of Life, our life faculty, expresses as animation, vitality and presence.”

This is a timely message for me and as I re-read the chapter on Life, I felt energized and inspired. I received it as confirmation of an experience I had just the day before.

During a session with my spiritual teacher/guide, Sophia, I had an amazing experience. Or as my friend Debra says, an “AWE-mazing” experience. Sophia lead me through a visualization process that began with us creating together the vision of a meadow filled with light, plants of light, trees of light and vibrant colors of radiant energy streaming into the space. I was reminded of a framed print I have had for many years. It is entitled “Homecoming.” I have included a photo of it below. It is my image of “home,” a place beyond space and time, a place that only exists in my mind and heart, but a place that I go to when I want to encounter the sacred or visit another dimension.

With Sophia’s guidance, I envisioned us in this place surrounded by angels and archangel, St. Michael, St. Uriel and others, who were there to assist in holding the safety and sanctity of the space. She asked me to imagine that we were seated in this space with an empty chair to my right and her in a chair to my left. She then asked me to envision a doorway leading into the space from another dimension. Then, to invite my soul to appear on the other side of the door awaiting my invitation to enter. As I allowed my imagination to expand, I felt an overwhelming sense of exhilaration and anticipation. Sophia asked me to tell her when I felt my soul’s presence beyond the door. When I informed her that he was there, she asked me to go to the door, open it and invite him in. As I opened the door, I was amazed at the energy I felt from my soul. He danced into the room with exuberance and delight. He appeared to me as a bright, red-orange energy full of vitality and enthusiasm. He seemed ready to play and to delight in all that life on this plane offers.

As I do not see myself embodying that energy, I was curious about the incongruence between my way of being in life and his way of being on this spiritual plane. I invited my soul to sit down in the seat next to me. Then, I asked him why I am not living life with the vitality, courage and enthusiasm that he so obviously possesses. He said to me,

You have forgotten who you are. You have believed what others have told you that you are or who they believe you are supposed to be to be accepted. You have conformed to their way of being so that you would be loved. But, what you are receiving is not love, it is conditional acceptance at best. You must begin to love who you truly are, accept who you truly are, and live as though you know who you are. As the saying goes, ‘Dance like nobody is watching, sing like no one is listening and love like you’ve never been hurt.’ You must dance with life in every moment to feel the vitality of life that is flowing through you. That is who and what you truly are, and in doing so you not only serve your highest good, and remain true to your soul, you also serve the world in even greater ways. Allow me (your Soul) to live through you. Allow the exuberance you see and feel right now to be at the forefront of your consciousness. See me as you look in the mirror. Think as me. Feel as me. Act as me. And, claim who you truly are. Not everyone in your world will like it. They will fear it. Others will gravitate to you. They will be drawn to our light and they will be supported in your glowing.

I sat in the radiance of my soul’s presence for twenty minutes or more just soaking up the energy and bringing it more consciously into my mind so that my mind would be renewed and refreshed in that powerful presence. Even now, I am joyously radiating that energy as I write these words.

As I re-read Rev. Linda’s chapter on the power of Life my heart leapt with recognition. That experience with my soul provided me with a visceral connection to the vitalizing energy of Life, the eternal stream of Life that flows from the Godhead into and through all creation. And, I am a channel through which it follows. I am an individuated presence of the Life principle that is God. And, so are you and everyone else. We are the presence of God living in this third dimensional “reality.” As we awaken to ourselves as that, we become more fully empowered by Life. Life animates every aspect of our being. When we understand that we are that Life, created in the image and the likeness of that Life as unique souls - individuated expressions of Life - we know that are here to experience and express that Life to the fullest. We are, in fact, here as creative Life to animate more life, to bring greater demonstrations of that life through us as we use our powers of imagination, wisdom, understanding and all the other powers that we have studied over the course of the past few weeks. The animating power of Life gives energy and vitality to all the other powers.

Life surges through us every moment of every day. We are Life in form. Let us direct that Life through us in service to the highest and best that we are so that we are serving the highest and best in each other and bringing into manifestation a world that reflects the vibrant Life of God. May we use the Life Principle to create a world that works for all.

I encourage you to use the following to assist you in consciously activating the power of Life.

I breathe into the area at the base of my spine and envision a bright red light spinning there. I awaken to my power of Life. Life surges through me as vitalizing energy. I know I am the Life of God in form. I am the Presence. I am animated by it, and I animate my creations with this power of Life. I consciously direct this energy in service to my Christ nature and the Christ nature of all creation. I am the Light of Life.

Join us this Sunday, November 6, for our 10:00 service as we come together celebrating our animating, vitalizing power of Life.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

I Shall Not Be Moved

When the student is ready, the teacher appears.

Most of us have heard the adage quoted above. It is sometimes attributed to the Buddha, but it is actually derived from a Theosophical text. ¹

As a perpetual student, I have found that even when I am not ready, at least not consciously ready, teachers still appear. Our greatest teachers are those with whom we find ourselves in relationship. They may be our spouses, partners, lovers, family, friends, fellow church members or even our ministers. Anyone can be our teacher if we are willing to open ourselves up to the lessons they are here to share with us. I find this especially true as it relates to the current Presidential election and the candidates of the two major parties.

At times, I find it challenging, if not nearly impossible, to behold the Christ in and as each and every person. I reluctantly admit that at times I judge and criticize both candidates, albeit one more prevalently than the other. This person is proving to be a great teacher for me, and I suspect a great teacher for us all.

However, my study of Reverend Linda Martella-Whitsett’s book, Divine Audacity, an exploration of The Twelve Powers of Man as discerned by Unity cofounder Charles Fillmore, has helped me immensely.

This Sunday, October 30, I will continue with my lesson series based on her book as I explore the powers of Release and Strength. As I am pondering these powers, I have awakening to how I can use both of them to assist me in returning to peace after being triggered by news reports, watching a debate, or hearing words that I interpret as criticism of me.

Rev. Linda says that our power of Release is our ability to cleanse, renounce and repent. Those words, at least for me, have some strong traditional religious implications. And, of themselves, can be triggers. But, once understood and applied from the perspective that they are aspects of our divine powers, they can prove to be powerful allies as we come face to face with our teachers in this human realm.

In my talks and writing about The Twelve Powers, I return again and again to the assertion that our highest intention is to align with and embody the Christ frequency so that we may bring forth into our world all that reflects the consciousness of the Christ. Our Twelve Powers are aspects of the Christ that we can awaken to and employ in our daily lives in order to do just that.

The power of Release helps to restore us to the consciousness of the Christ, thus to the awareness of oneness with all humanity, including those who are currently showing up as our teachers, those who are stimulating discomfort within us.

What follows is the process that I used recently and will continue to use as teachers show up for me.

First, welcome and invite the awareness of the thoughts about someone. Even though those thoughts are judgmental and critical thoughts, invite them into conscious awareness so that we are not using energy to suppress them. They can be quite informative when are willing to listen to them.

They are, after all, just thoughts. Thoughts are energy vibrations. If we are not aware of them, we cannot inquire of them. Ignoring them actually gives them power and allows them to take root in our consciousness.

When we hold thoughts that would seem to separate us or another from God, we are, in our minds, placing ourselves or another outside of God thus damning them or ourselves to hell – a state of consciousness created from a belief in separation. In truth, no one can be outside of God. Therefore, we use our power of Release to deny those thoughts and cease to give them power. This is Unity’s teaching on denials.

We then use the power of Release to invite the Light of Spirit to wash through our minds cleansing our mental bodies of the energy of these liming thoughts. Then employing the repenting power of Release, we choose different thoughts. ‘Repent’ simply means to have a change of mind, or to turn in a different direction. Using the power of Release, choose to think loving thoughts about the divine nature of this teacher. Even if we cannot conjure positive thoughts about his or her personality, we can always choose to think thoughts about their spiritual truth. Choose to behold each one as the Christ, knowing that is the divine truth, claim it for them and for yourself.

We can also activate and use our power of Strength, which Rev. Linda says is our power of stability, courage and tenacity.

Using our power of Strength, we ground ourselves firmly in the awareness of the Christ as the only eternal Truth of ourselves and of all humanity. Grounded in that Knowing, nothing that arises can sway us from this realization of Truth. Even if the one who is showing up as our teacher speaks words of hate or acts in ways that are out of integrity with our values, we are able to stand firm in the resolve to see only the Christ. As a tree bends with the wind so as not to break, we can move with the emotions that arise and find balance in the Christ within as we use the power of Strength.

Additionally, grounded in the Truth of the Christ nature and the Christ nature of our teachers, we can use the power of Strength to ignite courage. The root of the English word ‘courage’ is from the Latin ‘cor’ meaning ‘heart.’ When we employ courage, we are acting, speaking and thinking from the heart, a heart that is grounded in the Truth of the Christ. We can courageously speak the Truth, not the truth of our personal opinions or ego positions, but from the Truth of the Christ as us.

Strength is also our ability to be tenacious. The word ‘tenacious’ has a somewhat negative connotation for me. But, when viewed as our ability and willingness to keep coming back over and over and over again to the intention to know ourselves and all others as the Christ, and to not allow anything or anyone to sway us from that, I embrace the power of Strength as our ability to tenaciously stay the course.

I encourage us to activate our powers of Release and Strength in every aspect of our lives. They are tools that can assist us in our desire to keep our minds free, or as free as possible, of thoughts of separation and limitation. These thoughts only serve to restrict the flow of divine light and love in and through our minds.

We know that, as Emmet Fox said, “Life is consciousness,” so when our consciousness is filled with thoughts of separation and limitation, our lives reflect that. Not only does our life reflect it personally, but so does the life or our country and the life of the planet.  

When our teachers appear, let us be firmly grounded in the Truth of our being, our Christ nature, so that we can see them in that Truth as well. When we find ourselves straying, let us remember to use our power of Release to cleanse, renounce and repent, and our power of Strength to tenaciously continue bringing ourselves back to our firm foundation, so that we may think, speak and act from our Truth with courage.

I invite you to use the following statements to assist you in activating your powers of Strength and Release.

I breathe deeply and imagine that I am breathing into the small of my back. My awareness is now filled with a verdant green light. I claim my power of Strength. I am firmly grounded in the truth of myself and all others as the Christ. In the stability of that Knowing, I see the Truth of my being expressing courageously through every thought, word and action. I hold tenaciously to my Truth. I am the Light of Strength.

I now focus my awareness in my lower abdomen and envision a russet light there. I awaken to my Power of Release. I use my power of Release to cleanse my energy field of any thoughts that are not in alignment with my Christ nature. I renounce the power of any thought of lack, limitation or separation. I repent. I change my mind as I choose thoughts of Unity. I am the Light of Release.

Join us on Sunday at 10:00 for our service as we come together in the Light of Release and Strength, and live our Divine Audacity.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Power of Love

This past Sunday I talked about the power of Love during my lesson at Unity Spiritual Center Denver. You may listen to that lesson here. Because I feel so strongly that this is a timely and important message, I chose to summarize my talk in this post. I would enjoy connecting with you around how this article lands with you so I hope you will let me know your reaction.

When we talk about Love as one of the Twelve Powers of Man, we are not talking about an emotion or an experience we have with another. We are, instead, referring to a spiritual power that we all possess. It is one of our spiritual faculties that we can employ in order to live from our Divine nature and manifest a world that reflects the qualities of the Divine – Peace, Love and Joy.

In our exploration of the Twelve Powers we are using Rev. Linda Martella-Whisett’s book, Divine Audacity. In her book, Rev. Linda encourages us to make the audacious claim that we are “The Light of the World,” ¹ as our way shower Jesus Christ taught us. Further, she encourages us to live more fully and authentically from our Divine nature by exercising our Twelve Powers.

Our power of Love is our ability to magnetize, harmonize and unify.²

I invite you to take a moment and enter into a quite space. Breathe deeply and exhale fully. Repeat this deep cleansing breath three times. Now, use the following as a meditation on Love.

I breathe into my heart space and envision a soft pink light. I activate my power of Love. Centered in Love, I see all with the eyes of the Christ. We are One. I bring harmony to my world as I align my thoughts, words, and actions to Love. I attract myself to people, places and circumstances for the sake of Love. I am Love.

Now that you have awakened to and activated your power of Love, feel the resonate energy in your heart space. Allow your mind to rest in the awareness that you are the energy of Love vibrating in this moment. Repeat to yourself, as a mantra, “I am Love.” Allow your mind to be filled with the energy of Love, knowing that “perfect Love casts out all fear.”³ Know that in this moment all thoughts of separation that ignite fear are cast out in the presence of Love. In this moment, know that you are One in and as the Divine. As you know this for yourself, know it for all others and for all creation. Say to yourself and to all those who come to mind, “I Am; You Are I Am.” Repeat this affirmation until the Truth of it is realized in your being. Through your willingness and affirmation, the power of Love is now renewing your mind and restoring you to the conscious state of union in God and with all. You know Unity. You are Unity.

In the consciousness of Unity, use the power of Love to harmonize any thoughts, words or actions that might be out of alignment with Love. Fully aware of any dissonant thought vibrations, feel the tension that is created between the vibration of Love within your heart and any thought, word or action that is stimulated by fear. Use the power of Love to realign and adjust so that harmony is restored. Behold each of the dissonant vibrations bathed in the light pink energy of Love. Allow Love to transmute and dissipate them. You are now in harmonic resonance with the Love that you are in all that you think, say and do. As you continue to focus on the power of Love in your heart, you draw yourself to people, places and situations that give you the opportunity to know yourself in Love. The power of Love, acting as you, reveals to you your Divine nature in and through every person you meet, and through every life experience you encounter. Love reveals to you who you truly are. Love reveals to you, even in the midst of what might appear as tragedy, the Truth of who you are. Know and trust that every circumstance, when seen through the eyes of Love, is an opportunity to remember your Truth and the Truth of all.

This is especially important at this time in our history as a nation. We are witnessing what appears to be a great deal of tension, dissonance that is created from thoughts, words and actions that are stimulated from fear. We are all feeling it because we are all participants in the collective consciousness called “America.” We are all a part of it. And, we are all responsible for it. We must be responsible to it as well. It is easy for us to point fingers at others and say “they should be” or “they shouldn’t be.” It is easy for us to place the blame on others. Please know that what we blame, we fear. What we criticize, we fear. What we judge, we fear. And, fear can only stimulate more fear. Only Love can cast out fear. It is our power of Love that enables us to do just that.

We must be the ones who are willing to make the difference. If we are not part of the solution, then we continue to be a part of the problem. It is the consciousness of fear that has created and continues to manifest the divisiveness we are currently experiencing. If we are buying into it, then we are helping to foster it.

No, you and I are not responsible for the entire consciousness of America. We are, however, responsible for our own consciousness. And, our individual consciousness impacts the whole. I am encouraging each of us to take responsibility for our own thoughts, words and actions. It is imperative, as we move through this current election cycle, that we make a commitment to ourselves and to our country to become more consciously aware of when we are thinking thoughts or speaking words of criticism or damnation against anyone, including the candidate(s) we most dislike. We must be part of the healing energy of Love so that the wounds of the past few months can be mended. We must be the ones who are willing to stop, breathe and remember to invoke the power of Love to bring us into a remembered state of Unity with God and with each other, to harmonize our thoughts, words and actions in the power of Love and to use the power of Love to attract into our lives and the lives of all only that which is a reflection of Love, not fear.

Please join me in claiming the power of Love today in your own hearts and choosing to see all through the eyes of Love. Let us, “Be the change we wish to see and experience in the world.”⁴ May we be the ones to bring the kingdom of heaven upon the earth through the power of Love.

¹ Matthew 5:14
² Divine Audacity, Rev. Linda Martella-Whitsett
³ I John 4:18

⁴ Attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, see reference