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Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Art of Remembrance

Your soul is calling you to the remembrance of itself as you. Remembrance is the consciousness of remembered union in God and as your Divine Nature.

Your soul is calling you to say ‘Yes’ to the Life of God expressing as the fullness of you. It is calling you to remember your creativity, passion, enthusiasm, love and joy.

As you are in remembrance of your soul, you are remembered in your own conscious awareness as God’s image-likeness, the masterpiece of the Master Artist.

In remembrance, your soul is embodied in every aspect of your being. Every cell of your body remembers its Divine Nature. All aspects of your life come into congruence with the frequency of Light that you truly are.

This Sunday, May 29, I will continue with my series, “Life as Art” as we explore “The Art of Remembrance” and how it assists us as we commit to bringing into visibility the invisible nature of our soul through our thoughts, words and actions.

We will also have the opportunity to participate in a time of remembrance of our loved ones who have transitioned from this Earthly plane of existence. Monday, May 30, is Memorial Day. This federal holiday is designated as a day to remember Americans who have died while serving their country. It is an opportunity for us to practice the “Art of Remembrance” as we honor them for their commitment to embrace and to make the ultimate sacrifice in support of the principles of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness upon which the United States of America was founded.

It is also a time for each of us to answer the call of our souls to remember that Life, Liberty and Happiness are innate qualities of our souls as the image-likeness of our Source and that by being in remembrance of that Truth, we answer the call and become those who manifest those values NOW.

I hope you will join us on Sunday for our 10:00 service as we come together in remembrance of who we truly are, and together bring into manifestation a world that embodies the nature of our Divinity.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Art of Aligning

This Sunday I will continue with my series entitled “Life as Art.” My premise for this series is that each of us, through our thoughts, words and actions, is the artist of our own life. As we connect with our soul, which I believe is our essence created as the image-likeness of the Master Artist, God, we bring into manifestation all that is aligned with our divine nature.

For those who are students of Unity and Heart-Centered Metaphysics, I realize that my use of the word ‘soul’ is not in agreement with the official Unity use of the word. Unity’s concept of ‘soul’ is that it is the “sum total of all our beliefs, thoughts and attitudes, both conscious and subconscious minds.”¹ I, however, prefer the more common usage of the word. I resonate with what spiritual teacher and author, Marianne Williamson, said of the soul, 

For me, it's the truth of who we are. The light, the love which is within us goes by different names, but is the truth of us. Michelangelo said when he got a statue that he would go to the quarry and get a big piece of marble and the way he imagined it, God had already created the statue and his job was just to get rid of the excess marble. So that's what we're like. Inside is the being that God has already created. Some call it the Christ, the Buddha mind, the Shekinah, the light, the soul. And our job is to get rid of this excess, useless fear, thought forms of the world that actually hide the light of the soul.

The soul is the essence of us that is the unchanging experience of who we are. In our humanness we have forgotten this truth. My intention for this series is to offer some practical tools that will help us to rid ourselves of whatever hides our true light and by doing so reveal the masterpiece of God that we are.

My lesson this week is entitled, “The Art of Aligning.” We live in a universe of energy. All energy is in motion and vibrates at a particular frequency. The energy of the soul is no different. As an expression of energy, the soul resonates at a specific frequency. In a similar way to tuning a radio to a particular frequency in order to listen to the desired transmission, we align in consciousness with the frequency of the soul by tuning into it. Intention is the “dial” we use to align with the frequency of the soul.

We set our intention as we activate our power of ‘Will,’ one of the Twelve Powers of Man as discerned by Unity cofounder Charles Fillmore. The power of ‘Will’ includes the mental attitude of willingness to consciously connect with the inner guidance of the soul. Further, ‘Will’ includes our power of free will to make conscious choices that are in alignment with the soul. In addition, ‘Will’ is our power to make a firm commitment not only to listen to the soul’s guidance, but also to follow it. For more on the power of 'Will' I highly recommend reading Divine Audacity by Linda Martella-Whitsett.

As we embrace the willingness to be open and receptive to our soul’s guidance, make choices that reflect the guidance we receive and commit to our choices, we move closer to bringing the invisible nature of our soul into conscious visibility through our thoughts, words and actions.

I hope you will join us on Sunday at 10:00 for our service as we come together to explore further how the power of ‘Will’ can assist us in aligning with the resonance of our soul to bring that vibration into manifestation.

¹ Heart-Centered Metaphysics, Page 157

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Art of For-getting

My current Sunday lesson series, “Life as Art,” is intended to help remind us of our true selves and acquaint us with some tools and practices we can engage in to strengthen our conscious awareness of and further our connection with our souls. God, as the Master Artist of all creation, created us as expressions of Itself. Each of us is an individuated soul formed in the image-likeness of God and born into this life experience to share our own unique gifts and talents with the world.

As we give expression to our souls, we bring into visibility the invisible nature of our unique image-likeness of God and create our lives as works of art. In order to do so, we must, as all great artists do, learn to use our tools, in this case it is our thoughts, words and actions with focus, skill and vision.

We are born with awareness of our souls. However, we soon learn from our parents, schools, churches and others how to behave in ways that are “acceptable” but very often belie the expression of our true nature. We learn to hide our true light under a bushel basket full of myths, messages and beliefs that tell us a story of who we are, but which are, in actuality, who we are not. As a result, we lose conscious connection with our image-likeness, our souls, and instead of creating our lives as works of art in service to the God of our being, we live our lives in service to what others have taught us.

The title of my lesson this week is “The Art of For-getting.” I thought of titling it “The Art of Remembering;” however, I was inspired when I thought of ‘for-getting’ as a contraction of the words ‘before getting.’ I am intrigued by the idea of using our power of imagination to return in consciousness to a point “before getting” corrupted by the world.

Through setting a clear intention and using the power of our minds we can return to any point in our memory, a point before we took on the limiting beliefs of our parents, society, culture, religion or any other external influence. New Thought teacher and writer, Neville Goddard, called this practice “revisioning.” “Revisioning” involves recalling a time from your past in which you took on a belief about yourself that is not in alignment with your divine nature. Then, from that place, imagining a different scenario, one that is affirming, rather than limiting, and one that reflects the essence of your soul. I will talk more about this and give some examples in my lesson on Sunday, May 15. If you are unable to attend service, you can listen here beginning Monday, May 16.

In addition to “revisioning,” other elements of “The Art of For-getting” include the practices of reclaiming and repenting. “Reclaiming” is acknowledging the power of the word and using our words to establish ourselves in the energy of truth by claiming our divine nature. “You shall decree and thing and it shall be established for you” (Job 22:28). Note that this Scripture does not say that it “may” be established, but that it shall be. This is true because the moment we speak our intention through the power of our word, we align ourselves in the vibrational frequency of whatever we speak.

While the word “repent” may trigger some people due to the historical misuse of the word by some fundamental Christian teaching, the word actually means to “have a change of mind” or “to turn and make a different choice.” Repenting is the power we have to make different choices in our actions. When we are willing to practice honest self-reflection and determine that our actions contradict our divine nature, we can without burdening ourselves with guilt or shame, make different choices that assist us in living our lives in service to our souls.

I hope you will join us on Sunday, and for the rest of the series that will conclude on Sunday, June 5. My hope is that we each make a renewed commitment to being true to our souls and in doing so further the manifestation of heaven on Earth.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Vessel of the Soul

My current six-week series of Sunday lessons is entitled “Life as Art.” I am basing this series on the idea that each of us is the artist of his or her life. An artist is one who makes the invisible visible. All art begins with an idea, a concept. The idea begins in the invisible realm and is impressed upon the mind of the artist. The artist then becomes the vessel through which the image becomes visible. Artists create works of art through the skillful, focused and visionary use of their tools in the application of their media.

Likewise, each of us is here as the artist of our life to bring into visibility the aspect of us – our soul – that exists in the invisible realm. The soul is the very essence of who and what we are. The soul exists eternally as a concept in the Mind of the Master Artist – God – ready for us to manifest it. Each of us has the opportunity, through the skillful, focused and visionary use of our tools - our thoughts, words and actions - to bring into visibility a physical representation of who we are in the Mind of God. We are here to be the vessel through which the soul, through the media of our creations, becomes visible.

As I stated in last week’s post, you are the image-likeness of God (Creative Intelligence, Life Force Energy, Source) endowed with all of the attributes and qualities that you assign to God. Poet, peacemaker and scholar, Rev. Dr. John Philip Newell said, “to say that we are made in the image of the Divine is to say that what is deepest in us is of God.” And as Unity cofounder Charles Fillmore said, “It is your mission to express all that you can imagine God to be.”

In order to be the true artists of our lives, in order to bring the invisible nature of our soul into visibility, we must be willing to open our minds and our hearts, in order that the awareness of God, thus the vision of our souls, may be impressed upon them.

We do that by first becoming consciously aware that we have allowed a misperception of ourselves to become fixed in our hearts and minds. We have given power to the illusory image of a false self which was created, not in the image-likeness of God, but in the image-likeness of the myths, messages and beliefs of those who impressed their images upon us. We have broken the first two of the Ten Commandments¹. In the vernacular of the Hebrew Scriptures, we have created an idol of the false self and worshiped it as our God.

We have believed, falsely, that this image is who we are, and in our ignorance have allowed it to block us from bringing the invisible nature of our souls into visibility.

I fully realize that the false self was mostly created for us without our permission. I also realize that for the majority of us, those of us who are adult with full mental capacities, have the ability and power to stop worshipping at the altar of the false self and begin to focus on the true self, the soul, through our practice of prayer, meditation, contemplation and mindfulness.

Once we become aware of this false self, we must continually invite and welcome conscious awareness of it so as not to allow it and its fear to control our thoughts, words, and actions. When the false self is in control, we are not bringing the invisibility of our souls into clear vision. We are not creating our lives as works of art. We are, instead, creating our lives as imitations of what others have believed and taught us as truth.

Recent experience has shown me that it can be powerfully painful and scary to come face-to-face with the image of the false self. After 55 years of continuing to feed it, my false self is pretty strong. Even though I was aware that it was in my face, and was keenly aware that it is not my truth, during a recent incident I still found it daunting to return to the conscious awareness of my soul and stay grounded there. While I believe I was able to do it to the best of my ability, it required a great deal of energy and focus. 

I prefer not to go into detail here, but I will share that just before beginning the service on a recent Sunday morning, someone told me something in a way that triggered a powerful aspect of my false self. I walked into the sanctuary fully engaged in my fear and pain, knowing that in a few minutes I would be in front of the congregation welcoming everyone and then presenting a lesson. During the entire service, I felt the inner struggle. I wanted to be grounded and bring through the lesson from a deep connection with my soul and with the souls of all in the sanctuary. Yet, the deepest fear of my inadequacy had been stirred up and was effectively overshadowing my true soul.

I did my best to shift my focus from the thoughts that were racing through my mind telling me that I was not loved, accepted or competent. In spite of my internal struggle, I believe I was able to walk the line, leaning more toward the soul, at least during most of the service. My guess is that some people sensed the shift in my energy, but not everyone.

I am reluctant to admit this, but I was not able to reclaim a deep connection with my soul until about 24-hours later. We all need help from time-to-time holding ourselves and others in our Highest truth. I was finally able to reclaim my truth after being guided through a process of self-awareness and self-discovery.

I share this for three reasons. First, even though it was not a pleasant experience and one I hope not to repeat any time soon, I am grateful that I was aware of what was happening in the moment. Awareness is the first step in being able to make a different choice. The second reason I share it is to offer encouragement. The false self, the ego, the personality, all names for the same amalgamation of limiting beliefs, can and will be stimulated. It happens for all of us, at least for all of us who have not yet achieved a permanent state of enlightenment. Finally, this episode was a clear reminder that attempting to do battle with the false self is not the way to gain freedom from it. I remembered later, with the help of another, that the best way to move through a powerful ego-activating situation is to breathe into the heart and connect with the true self – the soul – and allow its light to shine through. We must reclaim the soul energy and allow it to be the light that illumines our truth.

The purpose of my series, “Life as Art,” is to help us all become aware, not only of our souls, the image-likeness of God that we are, but also to remind us of the tools we have to bring the invisible nature of our souls into visibility.

As the artists of our lives, we are the vessels through which our image-likeness becomes visible. Just as any artist does, we make our life a work of art through skillful, focused and visionary use of our tools – our thoughts, words and actions – to create life experiences, our media, which are imbued with our soul’s qualities.

I will take a one-week break from this series as we welcome Jan Garret and JD Martin this Sunday, May 8. They will present the message and music at our 10:00 service.

I will continue with “Life as Art” on Sunday, May 15. The title of my lesson will be “The Art of Releasing.” I hope you will join us then. If you have missed the first two installments, you may listen to them here. Please join us as we come together to co-create a world that reflect the nature of our divine souls.