Choosing Oneness

In recent days I’ve become aware of a practice I find very disturbing. It appears our American society regularly practices the habits of labeling, profiling, discriminating and separating various segments of our culture into smaller and smaller pieces. This practice, of course, only serves to position “us against them” and cause discord on many levels. I have not paid much any attention to this, until a comment was made at my church. I will stay quiet no longer.

The first nudge began with an article that came across my desk, comparing the characteristics between introverts and extroverts. Fortunately, it was a very positive piece, written to show the qualities each personality provides. Unfortunately, I don’t remember where I read it and can’t find it for my reference here. However, another website I discovered today ( provides something similar, though highlights more the benefits of being an introvert. Both personalities are necessary to our world; one is not better than the other.  Each has strengths to compliment and support the other. Balance is created when both are accepted into an organization or society.

The next unsettling bit of news came from a congressional bill that aimed to protect a familiar segment of society – those who wear leather jackets and ride motorcycles. The bill is/was an attempt to protect such folks from discrimination (as is done for gender, age, religion, etc.) by businesses or access to (commercial) property and refusal of service simply because of what they are wearing and what they drive [my interpretation of the bill].  I wasn’t even aware such fear and bias existed to such a degree, in my state of residence, in this century! To refuse service because of bad/offensive behavior, that’s more reasonable as it stems from the Universal Law of Cause and Effect.

Having personally experienced various degrees of discrimination myself – due to nationality, gender, age, and religion – the idea that I could be refused service because I rode a motorcycle and wore a practical, heavy coat against the wind and elements – just seems barbaric in today’s world. So I have to ask, does my being an introverted, female minister and a working, educated professional over the age of 55 who also likes to ride on the back of her husband’s motorcycle and wear black leather jacket, boots and chaps…am I a threat to your business? Really? I’m having a hard time expressing how ludicrous this is. What happened to “One nation…under God”? What happened to accepting our differences? What happened to Oneness taught in ALL major religions?

One of the things I preach EVERY Sunday is the acceptance of ALL people who come through the doors of our church and live in our world. We honor all paths, all faiths, all forms of prayer and worship…because at the core root of most religions, the same principles are found and we all worship the same God. Each religion teaches there is ONE God, thus, we are all praying to the same entity.

We are all members of the same family – the human family – and as such, I strongly discourage labels that even hint at separation thinking. For example, I prefer congregants over members – when referring to those who attend our spiritual community, so that everyone is included. It takes every one of us to create a welcoming and friendly atmosphere. But it only takes one fearful person carelessly expressing a personal bias against a certain group of people to damage the efforts of so many loving and open hearts. Whether in jest or in sincerity, words that separate do little good. Perhaps those thoughts, those beliefs, need to be examined and replaced.

Obviously, I have more work to do within my own church family. Apparently, I need to be more of a living example of what I’m expressing in these words. And, yes, I am more than willing to discuss the concepts and practices of Acceptance and Oneness with whomever is still living in fear of these ideals or does not yet understand the damage done through indiscriminate labeling and name-calling.

Based on the situations I’ve encountered just this week, I’ll be busy for quite some time. Won’t you join me in loving consciousness…for expanded acceptance of one another … for our human family? … for our Spiritual Oneness?

All thoughts and prayers are welcome.

Aware of Being Aware

A co-worker once told me, “Once you become aware (spiritually), you can never go back to being UNaware.” It didn’t take long to realize the truth of that statement. As consciousness grows and the mind expands, old ideas can no longer fit into that previous mental mold. The mind has been altered. You can never think the same way again. Expansive thinking at its finest! So what do you do when you just want a break from all that expanded consciousness thinking?

The short answer: not much, too bad, get over it. Truly, your thinking will never be the same again. No more blame or playing the victim…at least, not for very long. No more wishing things would change without you having to get involved or take responsibility – either by personal participation or positive prayer. Once you realize the impact of the Universal Law of Cause and Effect and the power of your thoughts – and have increasing experience using them effectively – it’s nearly impossible to wallow in self-pity with the negative results in your life. This realization can be empowering or intimidating or both!

For you know you have the power within you – always did, always will – to change those situations you would rather not experience any longer. All you need do is “change your thinking…” so you can change the situations over time…Spirit’s time, that is. It can be instant or it can take years. How much energy are you putting into the old paradigm versus the new consciousness? It falls back to you…your thoughts…and being willing to turn over to God what you cannot control.

Is there something you keep experiencing over and over again? Are you getting the same emotional and insane results? The same effects and conditions of the world? Or is the experience slightly different, better than before? What changed…or not?

I’ve had to ask myself these questions several times a day in recent weeks when considering what next direction I want to take for my work. Recent layoffs and the redistribution of workloads has me questioning how much I can continue to take on, if I even want to, and what my options might be if I don’t. Some things I can easily turn over; they’re not in my human realm of control. Other options bring up so much analysis or fear, that I feel paralyzed to make a sane decision. My prayer work is frequent and calming. I’m cautious about which small voice I heed for direction. I take conscious steps in these situations, so I’m making progress…just not as fast as my ego-self prefers. And there’s the challenge… staying securely connected to Spirit so I don’t slip back into old habits.

My consciousness has indeed expanded. My soul-self is evolving. This spiritual life is richer, more supportive, and growing with each challenge. I no longer make decisions or respond in ways as I did in previous decades. I remain vigilant with my spiritual practices. Some days, the emotional turmoil is tearfully painful. I tell myself that the only way to get past the pain is to go through it…to truly resolve this situation so I won’t need to experience it again. That truth gives me hope and a new awareness into the person I’ve become. I will never be the same again.

My Community, My Family

“Community” has been at the forefront of my consciousness lately. Whether it’s recovering from the recent layoffs at my office or attracting new people to our church. Community can be defined and experienced in many ways.

Rev. Michael Beckwith has his definition of community – communicate in unity. That can be talking things out, no matter how difficult the subject, or working together on a special project. Community is spending time at a business gathering or church service, just getting to know the people who are there and letting them get to know you. Isn’t that why we come together? To support each other for as long as we can?

Some of our members have been part of the PCCRS church community for a long time; others have joined in just the last year or two. What keeps us coming together? 

I used to think it was the minister and his/her style of delivering the Sunday message, and for some that may be the draw initially. Or maybe it was the music that filled the cracks of consciousness and made the Sunday experience one of rich harmony. Perhaps it’s the opportunity to serve and overcome challenges. But ministers come and go, presentation styles vary, problems get resolved, and even musicians move on to greater compositions.

The folks that are dedicated to a particular community don’t really come for those reasons. They’re here for each other. The minister, the message, the music, the challenges, even the treats and coffee…those are all just details. These can be important details because that’s what we’ve become accustomed to. But it doesn’t take much of a change or a shake-up to find out what’s really important in a community – it’s the people.

When a company lets go of several employees at the same time, those still holding jobs also hold onto each other and cherish the time they had with the ones saying ‘good-bye.’ When people come and go from a congregation, we miss them, welcome them back when they visit, and release them again, holding them in friendship inside our cherished memories. It doesn’t take a deep meditation practice to recognize the cycles of life apply to the coming and going in a community, too.

Community is what brings us back to the church in which we’ve grown as spiritual individuals. Community is an intangible, unseen bond that helps us recognize who we are within certain human circles. Community is what causes us to wear name badges that identify us with a particular group. Community is where we find love and support when life seems unusually challenging. Community helps us find strength to get up, dust ourselves off, and even laugh at our mistakes and trials as we move forward with greater awareness in a new and better direction. Community is our family of choice.

We don’t always have a say as to who will be part of our family, our community. All we can do is love the ones who are here.