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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Threefold Healing and Wholeness

I am at Unity Village this week enjoying the final series of classes required for me to be a Licensed Unity Teacher.  That brings me one step closer to ordination and I am full of gratitude.  My days begin at 8:00 a.m. with four hours of class focused on prayer, both principle and practice.  It is a wonderful way to begin the day.  As part of the class, we attend the daily prayer service at the Silent Unity Chapel.  It is a present reminder that the Unity movement was founded on the healing power of prayer as was demonstrated by co-founder, Myrtle Fillmore.  While Charles Fillmore is often given credit for advancing the movement, it was Myrtle who began the prayer ministry upon which it rests. 

The following is an article I wrote last year after attending a class entitled “Myrtle and Charles on Healing and Wholeness.”  One of the texts for the class is Myrtle Fillmore’s Healing Letters which is a collection of letters Mrs. Fillmore wrote in response to prayer requests that were sent to Silent Unity.  I was particularly struck by one of her letters that affirms the power of prayer, but seems to dissuade the writer from the belief that it is somehow magical.  It affirms that while prayer is a powerful practice, it is not magic, and one must take personal responsibility for his or her own demonstration of wholeness.

In her response to two statements from the writer in which he asks to be “sent some healing vibrations” and “to relieve us through Silent Unity healing,” Mrs. Fillmore reminds us all that the path to healing and wholeness is three-fold, involving all aspects of our being - spirit, mind and body.  This three-fold path to healing and wholeness applies to all aspects of our life experiences, including physical health, financial well-being, self-expression through our chosen vocation and avocation, and our relationships with others.  If we are to demonstrate the full expression of all the Good that God is as us, we must realize our Truth in spirit, mind and body.

We know that the spiritual Truth is that each of us is an expression of Divine Intelligence, Substance, and Supply, that which we call “God.”  As the allegorical story in the book of Genesis tells us, we are created in the image and likeness of God.  Not only that, but we are created to live in the Kingdom of God represented in the story as the Garden of Eden where all is provided, there is no need, and there is nothing lacking.  As in this story, God gave it all at the moment of creation, and we eternally exist in this state of wholeness and perfection.  We only “separate” ourselves from this state of being as we hold the belief that we can be separate.  It is a state that can only happen in our minds.  Thus, we must keep our minds stayed on the Truth.

The mind, as we understand it, is more than our thoughts; it also includes our feeling nature.  Since our thoughts and feelings are so closely interlinked, it is difficult, if not impossible to determine which comes first.  There are those who assert that thoughts elicit feelings, and others will argue the reverse.  Because they happen almost simultaneously in most cases, it is of little concern which arises first.  For the purposes of healing and wholeness, it only matters that we are aware of our thoughts and feelings and intervene on those that are not in alignment with our Truth.  Often, our feeling nature will alert us when we are out of harmony with our spiritual Truth.  Any feeling that does not have its foundation in peace, love or joy can be our signal that our thoughts are off track and are in need of investigation and realignment.  We establish a consciousness of healing and wholeness as we keep our thoughts and thus our feelings in alignment the Truth of our being.  It is this consciousness which establishes the foundation for the demonstration of life experiences that embody the fullness of our Truth as it opens us to receive the divine ideas that we are to bring forth into manifestation and sets the stage for our action.

The body, or the physical, is the final aspect of establishing the demonstration of Truth in any aspect of our lives.  From the consciousness of Truth, we open ourselves to the wisdom, understanding and imagination, as well as other faculties of our nature which co-founder, Charles Fillmore, indentified as “The Twelve Powers of Man.”  We open to the guidance that is available to us in the quiet of our peaceful, loving, joyous minds, and we use our powers of strength, will, and power to move forward, and take the action that we are called to take in order to bring forth into the physical realm the manifestation of a body, career, relationships, and bank account that mirror the Truth of our nature as God in expression. 

Thus, spirit, mind and body must be three-in-one, as one, in order that we may demonstrate healing and wholeness in all areas of our lives.  Myrtle Fillmore encourages us to, “Daily declare that your spiritual life and world, your mental life and world, your physical life and world are unified and that you are expressing harmoniously the ideas of the Christ Mind on these three planes.”

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Boldly, Courageously

I was touched by your expressions of gratitude this past Sunday in recognition of my five year anniversary as Spiritual Leader at Unity of Arlington.  Thank you for sharing your love with me. I have a wonderful vivid memory of preparing for my first visit as guest speaker and musician here in 2007.  As I meditated, I heard very clearly the words, “You are going to be their minister.”  While I shrugged it off and even argued with the voice, somewhere deep within I knew it was true.  I did not know how it would happen, but I had a knowing that somehow it would.  I could not be more delighted to affirm the truth that “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).  As I contemplate these first five years and envision what is to come, I know that I am being called to a greater expression of who I have come here to be, not just at Unity of Arlington, but as I live in the world as well.  I trust that I am not alone as I have heard others in our community express similar thoughts.

In my recent messages based on the book, The Untethered Soul, by Michael A. Singer I have talked about the ways we restrict our souls from their fullest expressions.  Whether it is the mind that will not be quiet, the walls of our psyche that keep us imprisoned, or the elaborate structures of the ego that we build to protect ourselves from the pain we fear, we often prevent ourselves from living courageous, wholehearted lives.  I have often heard the adage, “You teach what you need most to learn,” and I have certainly proved that to myself over the course of this series.  This series has given me the motivation to explore for myself the areas in which I do not allow my soul to express “untethered,” and discover how I can I change that.  It is my greatest desire to live life wholeheartedly and soulfully, and to encourage each of you to do that as well.

While I will complete the series on The Untethered Soul when I return to the platform on Sunday, August 11, I have begun researching my next series which I am calling “Wake up with Jesus.”  I have been reintroduced to Jesus, the man who is the epitome of living life courageously and wholeheartedly. I see him as our guide to living a life of “the Untethered Soul,” and I look forward to exploring that with you.  The writer of the Gospel of Luke gives us a glimpse of the power of conviction that Jesus displayed at the beginning of his ministry.

"He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom.  He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him.  Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
'The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.'
Then he rolled up the Scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down.  The eyes of eveyrone in the synagogue were fastened on him.  He began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." – Luke 4:16-21

According to this scripture, soon after being baptized by John and later tempted by Satan in the desert, Jesus entered the synagogue in Nazareth and proclaimed his mission to all who were listening.  After reading from the prophetic writing of Isaiah, he boldly stated that he was the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy.  He was not shy or hesitant about claiming his anointing by the Holy Spirit nor did he shrink from his authority to teach the truth that would loose the ties of bondage, restore sight to the blind and set free the oppressed.  He stated his intention clearly, and according to the gospel narratives he never wavered.    Whether or not this account is factual, and many biblical scholars believe that it is not, this story, like many stories in the Canonical Gospels, is told by the writer of Luke in order to share what he believed to be true, a very basic tenet upon which the Christian movement was founded – Jesus is the Messiah, the anointed one of God.

Jesus’ statement is an unequivocal declaration of his presumed life purpose.  According to Luke’s Gospel, this event is the beginning of Jesus’ ministry and it set the tone for all that was to come.  He began his ministry in the same way he lived it, with courage and conviction.  It is an example of the way that Jesus approached his life and the work that he was here to do.  He owned his truth and he lived it, and by doing so he engendered criticism and persecution.  Yet, he did not allow his detractors to dissuade him in his mission.

Jesus was not the great exception; he was the great example.  He is our way-shower.  Just as Jesus did, each of us must choose for ourselves what our mission in the world is to be, declare it boldly and live it courageously.  Just as Jesus was the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, so are we. The difference is that he was willing to boldly claim it and live it.

Now is the time for each of us to open ourselves in order to accept the baptism of the Holy Spirit, claim our anointing, and allow ourselves to be the vessels through which the Spirit of God pours into the world.  Each of us is here to share the good news - the Kingdom of Heaven is here and now - to all who are open and willing to receive it; proclaim that the Christ of our being sets us free from the bondage of fear in the moment we realize it; assist humanity in seeing ourselves and all creation as manifestations of the One Life; claim and live a limitless life and help others open to the unlimited potential and possibility that they are; and proclaim now, this day, this moment replete with the Glory of God.  Let us stand with Jesus and state emphatically, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

May we choose to claim our truth and stand firmly in it.  When we fully commit ourselves to living the truth, not allowing anything to dissuade us, we will truly live the life of “The Untethered Soul,” and we will live life wholeheartedly.  This is my prayer for you, and for me.