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Thursday, June 28, 2018

In The World; Not Of The World

I am taking some time off and a short break from writing. I plan to devote time to contemplating what is stirring within me and discern what is to be the focus of my next series of talks and blog posts.

Several weeks ago, when driving by a neighborhood church, my attention was drawn to the marquee which read, “Have you seen the Holy Spirit at work lately?” My curiosity was piqued. It has stuck with me since.

I am, indeed, feeling the Holy Spirit at work in me and witnessing the effects. My desire and intention is to spend quality time connecting with the Holy Spirit, welcoming and allowing greater revelations. I look forward to sharing them with you.

In the meantime, I have chosen to repost some earlier pieces that reference the Holy Spirit. This one from 2013 reveals aspects of nature of the Holy Spirit as companion, teacher and guide.


When I first began my conscious spiritual quest, I believed that if I meditated and engaged in other spiritual practices every day I would eventually become enlightened, transcend the cares of the world, and live thereafter in a perpetual state of bliss. I hoped that when I “awakened” I would no longer have to deal with the concerns of everyday life. I have since discovered that awakening is not about escaping the world, but about living more fully present while in it and responding to it accordingly from a consciousness centered in divine nature. This is evidenced beautifully in the story of Jesus’ life.

In Unity, we view Jesus as our Way Shower, one who exampled the potential we all possess to awaken to divine nature and respond from that divinity while continuing to live in the “nitty gritty” of life. In other words, Jesus showed us what it means to be in the world, but not of the world. His life experiences, albeit dramatic portrayals, are metaphorical representations of what we may encounter as we awaken and choose to live in the world centered in divine nature.

In the fourth chapter of Matthew’s gospel we are told that after Jesus received baptism, he was carried away into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit where he faced the temptations of Satan. Satan first tells Jesus, who is fasting, to turn stones into bread to ease his hunger. Jesus responds stating that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.  Satan then suggests to Jesus that he leap from the pinnacle of the temple to prove that God will save him. Jesus chooses not to test God. Finally, Satan encourages Jesus to worship him in order that he might be ruler over the entire world. Jesus rebukes Satan. He tells him that only God is worthy of worship and then tells Satan to leave. Satan goes away and leaves Jesus alone.

From a metaphorical perspective, Satan is the personification of Jesus’ conditioned mind. He is not an entity external to Jesus; he is the limiting thoughts that arise. Jesus experienced this confrontation and so do we. When we experience a shift in how we see ourselves, and awaken to a deeper understanding of our true nature; we are inevitably confronted with the myths, messages and beliefs of the conditioned mind that tell us we are something less than the awakened Christ. We may even question the validity of our newly awakened state. Unlike Satan in this story, the thoughts of the conditioned mind are not there to threaten us, or to possess us. They arise as opportunities for us to meet them in Love, question them and release them.

Only by our willingness to enter the wilderness of our own minds and encounter the temptations to discount our awakening experience will we truly be able to claim our truth and stand firmly in our conviction. We can take solace in knowing that while it may seem daunting, it does not have to be a scary, painful struggle. We can follow Jesus’ example. He did not argue with Satan or attempt to do battle with him. Instead, Jesus stood in his truth and chose not to give power to his conditioned mind. He responded from a consciousness grounded in divine nature, and eventually Satan left him. We must be willing to come face-to-face with our limiting thoughts and allow the truth to be revealed. Then we can respond to them just as Jesus responded to “Satan” from his Christ awareness, from a level of understanding gained as the result of a newly awakened state.

Let us remain mindful that the world around us does not necessarily change as we awaken; our perspective of the world changes. No matter how scary it may first appear, we are free to respond to whatever life brings our way from a consciousness centered in divine nature. We are in the world, but not of the world.


Please join us on Sunday, July 1, as our Associate Minister, Trish Morris, brings the message and on Sunday, July 8, as we welcome guest speaker and workshop facilitator, Avital Miller. Avital is the bestselling author of Healing Happens – Stories of Healing against All Odds.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

My Two-by-Four Experience

Those of us who have been around metaphysical circles have heard of the “cosmic two-by-four.” The concept refers to the idea that, in attempts to teach us lessons, the “universe” delivers progressively intense nudges to get our attention. If we fail to learn the lesson or get it “right” after several tries, the “universe” may resort to “hitting us over the head with a cosmic two-by-four” to wake us up. The concept implies that there is something or someone outside of us that employs whatever means is needed to get our attention, even if it necessitates our pain and suffering.

I do not subscribe to that notion. It speaks of an external power of reward and punishment. It also invites us to abdicate personal responsibility. There is nothing or no one “out there” exacting pain upon us so that we can learn a lesson. We co-create our experiences, and every experience is an opportunity for us to awaken.

We can seek and find the gift or gifts in every situation, and choose to learn and grow from them. Granted, we may not be able or willing to see the gift while in the midst of a challenging life circumstance, but in time, if we are open, the gifts will be revealed. I am currently having such an experience.

My body is currently demonstrating what my doctor believes to be a torn meniscus in my left knee joint. I have been dealing with discomfort and various degrees of pain for two weeks. If I believed in “cosmic two-by-fours,” this would be one. Since I don’t, I am instead, choosing to allow the gifts of this physical manifestation to be revealed.

This experience is proving to be rich with opportunities for learning and growth. Being forced to stop, rest, and not engage in my normal activities has given me an opportunity to observe how I measure my worth. Additionally, it has invited me into more conscious compassion and empathy for those who live with pain and for those who are experiencing the demonstrations of physical disease or other imbalances in the physical body. It has also reminded me of the importance of paying attention to my physical body.

Photo by CoaGoa -

Last week, after the initial injury, adhering to my doctor’s recommendation, I chose to stay home, rather than attend the Youth of Unity rally in Oklahoma as I had planned. I agreed with her that traveling on an airplane, navigating an airport, driving a car for several hours and engaging in the activities at rally might not serve my well-being. Instead, I spent a great deal of time sitting on the sofa with my ice-pack-covered knee elevated. I had a great deal of time to be with myself and my discomfort, emotional and mental as well as physical.

I felt restless while sitting there doing “nothing.” I thought of all the things I “should” or could be doing. Even though I had already planned to be away for the week, I felt guilty. After some time in contemplation, I realized that much of my mental and emotional discomfort stemmed from an underlying belief that my value lies in what I do, rather than who I am. While this was not a starkly surprising revelation, the awareness has been enlightening.

I would love to tell you that following this realization I was immediately able to affirm my value and my innate worth and feel better. I would love to tell you that, but that is not exactly what happened. I am pleased to tell you that I was able to mourn my predilection to base my self-worth on my accomplishment. I was also willing to celebrate my awareness and honor that I have the power to make other choices.

This is yet another opportunity for me to live the truth I know. I can choose to be aware of my thoughts and beliefs and, to the best of my ability in each moment, release those that are limiting and affirm my truth: I am worthy and valuable just because I am.

I encourage each of us to know that truth. I encourage us to stop frequently during the day and affirm that truth for ourselves, not because the body demands it, but because it is in our own self-interest. When we know that we are worthy just because we are, we are empowered to do what is ours to do, and no more, not because it defines us or establishes our worthiness, but because we can move forward with great love, enthusiasm and intention to do all that is to be done by us.

After a few days of rest and recuperation, I chose to make the planned trip to my family reunion in Georgia and my prayer partner’s ordination in Texas. I made the first leg of the trip with little or no issues. However, I could barely walk the following morning. I hobbled around the reunion on Saturday. When we got to the airport on Sunday to travel from Atlanta to Dallas, I made it to the check-in counter with J’s help and the aid of a cane, but requested a wheelchair to take me to the gate. I knew I could make it on foot, but also knew that I would regret it if I did.

It was, indeed, a humbling experience. Moving through the airport in a wheelchair and walking with a cane, opened my eyes, mind and heart to others who I observed in similar situations. I was able to see them and hold them in my heart with a greater sense of care and compassion. The experience also opened me to greater compassion for myself and has allowed me to be more open and receptive to help from others who want to support me.

Again, I do not believe in the concept of a “cosmic two-by-four,” but I do believe that if we discount the subtle messages our bodies give us that those message will eventually be delivered in ways that are hard to ignore.

Prior to this recent episode, I had been experiencing some discomfort and irritation in my knee. I didn’t completely ignore it, but I didn’t take decisive action to treat it. I received inner guidance about strengthening the muscles in my legs and around the knee, but delayed doing anything about it. I kept telling myself that I would get to it when I had the time and could focus on it. After all, I had a great deal to do, and if I didn’t do it, I wouldn’t be valued! HA!

I hesitate to admit it, but I took no definitive action to change my consciousness about the knee. I did not do any focused prayer treatment for my knee, nor did I request any from others. I did not begin physical exercise that might have helped to prevent further injury. In short, I did not practice the principles of three-fold healing and wholeness that Unity cofounder, Myrtle Fillmore, so eloquently wrote about.¹

Unfortunately, it took experiencing the pain and debilitating effects of the injury to get my complete attention. I am pleased to report that I am now taking definitive action. Daily, I meditate on the life energy restoring my knee. I speak prayer treatments for the health of my knee. I receive prayer treatment from others. I have contacted a friend who is a personal trainer to assist me with exercises to strengthen my legs muscles. I rest and elevate my leg, even if it means I don’t DO other things. And, I do my best not to feel guilty about it.

I have been powerfully reminded how essential it is not to wait until we experience an unwanted manifestation in our life before we take action. Preventative action is potentially more potent that corrective action.

I encourage us all to take time daily to engage in spiritual, mental and physical practice:

Mentally scan the body for any signs of irritation or imbalance. If there are none, Great! If there are, focus awareness in that area, and ask the body to reveal what it needs. The body holds a great deal of wisdom that is accessible to us if we will only listen. Listen to its guidance. Most importantly, follow the guidance you receive.

Consciously connect with the Life Energy living as the body. Feel it following through every system of the body - circulatory, digestive, skeletal, muscular, excretive, nervous and respiratory. Use your power of imagination to see it flowing freely without restriction or resistance, connection all of the body systems in perfect harmony and order.

Honor and appreciate every aspect of the body. Speak words of praise and thanksgiving for all the ways the body expresses and allows you to experience this wonderful earthly dimension.

Move the body as much and as often as you can during the day. Take a walk. Go dancing. Practice Tai’ Chi Gung, Yoga, or other physically and spiritually connected movement.

As you say your daily prayers for others, be sure to include yourself.

We need not create our own “two-by-four” experience, but if we find ourselves having one, we can use it to go deeper into our spiritual truth and learn and grow through it.

Please join us on Sunday for our service at 10:00. I will have the privilege of bringing the message in both word and song.

¹ Myrtle Fillmore’s Healing Letters

Thursday, June 14, 2018

I Am; You Are Eternal Life

Last Monday, J and I spent the day in Rocky Mountain National Park being nurtured by nature. We had been there several times before, but this was the first time we had been able to travel Trail Ridge Road all the way from Estes Park over to Grand Lake.

If you have had the experience, you are familiar with the AWE-inspiring vistas at every turn. From the meadows at the park entrance to the tundra at the top, the majestic displays are breathtaking. If you have not yet had the opportunity, I encourage you to put it on your bucket list.

Near the end of the day, we took a short hike along one of the trails. Once we had walked far enough to be away from other people and the noise of the road, we stopped and sat on a rock listening to the wind in the trees.

Photo by J Johnson at Rocky Mountain National Park

In the stillness and quiet of those moments, surrounded by the rocks, and trees and mountains, I began to think about how small and temporal I am compared to all that I was surrounded by. But then, I heard my inner voice saying, “No, you are Consciousness. You are eternal. You are one with everything.”

It was then, as I looked in amazement upon the beauty and majesty of my surroundings, that I recognized my Self in and through it all. I knew and felt my Oneness. I realized that, while this physical form is minuscule and oh so temporal in comparison, I am not defined by it.

I am the Eternal Life of God that lives Itself in and through all creation. The awe and wonder I experienced as I sat on that rock was God recognizing and delighting in Itself through my eyes. I was God opening in conscious awareness to God. I am grateful for the reminder.

I encourage us all to open to the realization that we are not limited beings in human form. We are Consciousness living and expressing in these forms, and we are fully capable of perceiving and connecting with Consciousness as It expresses in and through all forms. We are one.

I am out of town this weekend for a family reunion in Georgia and on to Texas for my prayer partner’s ordination ceremony. I trust that in the midst of all the busyness and activity that I will hold to the awareness that I am one with everyone and all things. I know that I will have AWE-some experiences to learn and grow in and from. I look forward to sharing them with you.

Please join our guest speaker, musician and workshop facilitator, Ester Nicholson, on Sunday, June 17. She will present a workshop entitled “The Keys to Abundant Living.” You may register here . I know you will be inspired and blessed by Ester.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

A Lesson Lived

I have often heard the adage, “Be careful what you wish for, because you will surely get it.” I prefer rewording it as, “Be conscious of what you wish for…” From my perspective, the former has the energy of fear, while the latter speaks of setting clear intentions.

I have a new take on this saying for anyone who facilitates others’ learning and supports spiritual growth and understanding. It goes, “Be conscious of what you choose to teach, because you will surely live the lessons.”

I share this because, while it is not a new revelation, it has become abundantly clear yet again as I have chosen to offer lessons on the body.

I spoke this past Sunday (listen here) about the mind/body connection. I stressed how important it is for us to understand how the energy field of the body responds to the energy of our thoughts, beliefs and feelings.

I had the opportunity to live that lesson on Monday morning. As I was bent over loading some things into the van, I felt a sudden twinge in my back. It was not an unfamiliar twinge. I have experienced it before. In fact, as recently as a month ago, I had a similar experience. Prior to that, the most recent episode was 3 years ago. The muscles in my lower back tensed up. It was challenging to stand up straight and painful to walk and uncomfortable to sit.

Since I had just spoken about it the day before and it was fresh in my consciousness, fairly quickly, after the initial shock, I questioned, “What was I thinking and feeling just prior to this incident, and how might it be similar to what had been going on with me just a month prior?”

Something I learned many years ago from You Can Heal Your Life author Louise Hay came to mind. She says in her book that lower back issues stem from the belief that we are not being supported. AHA! It did not take me long to recognize that, for some time now, I have been aware that I need to take more time for myself, do more that feeds my spirit and soul and act in ways that embody more of who I know myself to be. In short, I need to support my True Self more!

With this awareness, I began to affirm –

I am divinely supported by the Universe at all times and in all ways.

I am empowered to ask for and receive the support I need from others.

I am now making choices that support me in living my highest potential.

I would love to report that my body responded immediately and that the discomfort and tension went away instantly. I would love to report that, but that is not what happened. As I said on Sunday, we start where we are.

Self-awareness is just the beginning, but it is a great start. Only when we invite and welcome the awareness of our limiting consciousness can we begin to affect a shift. The shift may happen instantaneously, but for most of us, it is gradual. Releasing the energy of the life-denying beliefs and affirming the truth are methods we can use to begin the process. As I shared on Sunday, Unity cofounder Myrtle Fillmore committed herself to the process, and over a period of years her body responded to the shift in her consciousness.

Additionally, I said on Sunday that it is imperative not to criticize ourselves or blame ourselves if our bodies are demonstrating symptoms of illness or other imbalance. The energy of those negative thoughts about our bodies or ourselves will only serve to further weaken the body and exacerbate the issue. 

I would love to report that I did not engage in any negative self-talk on Monday. I would love to report that, but that is not what happened. My knee-jerk reaction was to blame myself for not taking better care and to criticize myself for not being more conscious in the moment. I am happy to report that those thoughts were short lived. I was able to move through them quickly and on to self-inquiry as I shared above.

While shifting our consciousness is essential in affecting the demonstration of physical harmony and well-being, for most of us it is just the beginning. From this expanded and renewed consciousness, we can make life choices that support us in our process.

In my case, I called upon my chiropractor and energy facilitator, Dr. Peter Stucz, to assist me in restoring the natural flow of energy through my body. I am also choosing to support the strengthening of my body by altering my exercise routines. In some situations, we may be inspired to make different choices about what we are ingesting, our living environments or the people with whom we interact. Each of these can and does impact our energy, thus our bodies.

I encourage us to pay attention and listen to our bodies. They hold a great deal of valuable information that can lead us to a shift in consciousness and a more vibrantly alive physical form.

The mind – beliefs, thoughts and feelings – is the most powerful energy field in which the body exists and with which the body interacts. Yet, it is not the only one. This coming Sunday I will talk more about how our bodies interact with other energy fields, such as our environment, food, water, and other beings. Please join us for that exploration.

Following service this Sunday, several practitioners of healing modalities and those offering products and services that support physical health and well-being will be on-hand to share with us about what they offer. Please plan to stay and visit.