K is for Kindness… Spirituality A to Z

I remember how uplifted I was the first time I saw a bumper sticker that displayed these words: “Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.” It was in the mid-1980s and I had recently moved to Colorado. The words were on many cars in Boulder and I enjoyed being reminded to offer these efforts.

Actually, this phrase is attributed to Anne Herbert. She is said to have written it on a placemat in a California restaurant (in the early-1980s). Now there are millions of bumper stickers, a non-profit foundation and website (listed below), a Wikipedia page, and multiple internet references on how people can go about doing random kindness for one another. That’s a good thing.

Kindness is inherent in all humanity. We might need to be reminded about the importance of practicing it in our lives…on a regular and on-going basis. I’m fortunate to remember it every day. My life is filled with so many people doing Kind acts for one another. Sometimes I get to be the recipient of such Kindness and, at other times, I get to pay it forward. I find it the most fun when Kindness can be done for someone without them knowing who provided it…like a wonderful surprise gift!

I’ve noticed a few social media postings in past weeks where young adults are providing a number of acts of Kindness on their birthdays – one for eachKindness_two_girls of their years of life. A celebration of Kindness! As my years have significantly added up, I’m not sure I could do that many Kind acts all in one day. Thus, I’ve decided to do at least one or two purposeful ones EVERY day…in secret or otherwise…and see what effect it has on the people around me, whether I know them or not.

In order to get some ideas and not keep repeating the SAME Kind acts all the time, I visited a couple of websites for inspiration. And I was inspired!! You might be, too. Take a look at these and see what Kind acts come to your mind:

http://mashable.com/2013/10/21/random-acts-of-kindness/

http://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas

http://www.therandomact.org/getinvolved/randomacts/

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/26-random-acts-of-kindness

What I’ve noticed, is that when you start looking to see what Good you can do, what Kindness you can offer, you see more of that Good, more of God, showing up in your world. We don’t need to wait for the holidays before we send a donation, lend a hand, or offer a smile. People can use our help or just a Spiritual uplift any day. We can always do more.

The thing is, what you give out, comes back…in some manner…from somewhere. This is a reciprocal Universe; it works in circles. As you give, you receive. Give from your Divine Source those aspects of yourself that have no limit…such as Kindness…Joy…Love… and so forth. The only time such parts of you stop is because the human or ego part of you quits…because you think you’ve done enough or have no more to give. That’s not true. The God-self of you never stops wanting to do more Good.

Open your heart and your mind to the Kindness within you. Tap into that Source right now and Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty. You’ll be uplifted from the uplifting…I guarantee it.

I is for Intuition… Spirituality A to Z

There is something magical about listening to that Still Small Voice within me, which I refer to as Intuition. When I listen, and actually follow that Divine Inner Guidance, I am repeatedly amazed at the Good that unfolds in my experience of Life. The key to following the correct guidance, however, lies in being able to identify it properly: is it Intuition or ego?

The way I’ve been able to simplify knowing which “voice” is speaking to me is by the length of the dialogue that goes on in my head. I always know it’s Intuition if the thought is instant and complete. It happens all at once and there is no question about it. I know that I know. However, if an idea comes to me and then is followed by a mental debate or other mind questioning chatter, that’s my ego. This delineation of these two guidance systems has never failed me.

Intuition has expressed itself when I’ve been guided in a particular direction – whether it’s an idea that comes to me to create something, in my writing, or to drive down a particular street. Some people call it a gut feeling, a knowing, or a sixth sense. One definition I found describes Intuition this way: “the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.” I prefer to substitute “conscious reasoning” in this case, with “human reasoning.”

I need to be Spiritually conscious in order to hear that inner voice. I like to think of Intuition as the way God communicates with me. And what I’ve learned is that the more I pay attention to Divine Guidance, the more God communicates with me. Unless I’m open to listening (such as through meditation), unless I’m Spiritually conscious, my ego mind-chatter drowns out any God-messages that are there for me to hear. It’s up to me to pay attention.

Pausing in my activities and daydreaming during moments of writing or other creative endeavors are really ways to stop and listen to the Infinite Creator’s direction of what to say next, or where to go, or to try something new. It’s a way to separate the wheat from the chaff…of what is truly important from the non-essentials of my experiences. My ego doesn’t always like such pure direction and thought, so it can sometimes get in the way of what truly needs to be communicated by adding a bunch of gobble-di-gook for attention. (Like that last sentence.)

Intuition allows me to stay connected to Spirit, to God, in a most personal and intimate way. I see it as God’s way of speaking through me…expressing as me…and I honor and cherish those moments of awareness. I’m paying attention more so I can connect more; to demonstrate a higher quality of living and a loving beingness in Life. As a result, I get to be in that Universal Flow where everything just happens in perfect timing and Divine right expression. It’s amazing!

Spirituality A to Z

As often happens when I pay attention to Spirit, an idea will just “pop into my head” at some odd time and be totally irrelevant to what I’m supposed to be thinking about or doing. That is the case now as I am inspired to create a series of essays on “Spirituality A to Z.”

Thus, for the next few months I will focus on one word or phrase of spiritual significance and offer a New Thought perspective on the topic…from A to Z. If you have any particular words or phrases you would like to offer for a topic, feel free to send them to my church email address:   pccrs2945@gmail.com.

 

A is for Ask begins our series. Of course! Asking is what generally begins anything of significance in our lives. Perhaps the most famous of Bible quotes on this word comes from Matthew 7:7: “Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.” (KJV) Later, Matthew also wrote (Ch. 21:22): “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”

The first verse is part of a long list of sayings, doctrine, which is credited to Jesus and that we are instructed to follow. The second passage came after an incident where Jesus had come upon a fig tree that had no fruit. He was hungry but found only leaves on this tree. It is reported here that Jesus told the tree it would never again grow any fruit and the tree immediately withered away. Jesus explained to his amazed disciples that if they had such faith and no doubt, if they asked in prayer, they could do the same type of thing, whether it was a fig tree withering or moving a mountain.

Whether real or metaphorical, the story provides clear direction for all of us. If you want to create something in your life, claim an experience for yourself, or attract an opportunity of some kind…you must ASK for it or declare it so. The desire needs to be as clearly described as you know how to do. There should be passion, feeling, in the declaration, preferably positive emotions toward the longing. The point is, if you don’t ASK directly for what you choose to experience in your life, the Universe (God, Spirit) can only provide to you the average of what your thoughts focus on most of the time.

Ernest Holmes in the Science of Mind textbook wrote that asking also refers to mental acceptance of a situation or thing. For example, if we desire new employment, a home, greater health, money or a certain type of relationship, then we need to pray as specifically as we are able for that desire. Put as much detail into your prayer or mental work as you can until you embody the idea so completely that there’s no doubt in your mind about its creation. You may need to repeat this process daily. It’s your fears you need to change, your doubts that need convincing. Only in this way can we co-create with God through the Laws of Mental Equivalent and Cause and Effect.

On the other hand, let’s say you’re not feeling well and you think (belief) you’re not going to get any better. So you isolate, stop seeking treatment or taking medications. You don’t call the doctor or anyone who might be concerned about you. As a result, no one knows and no one can help you. And you have created exactly what you think and believe was going to occur. The Laws still work!

You MUST ASK to receive your Good, even if the asking is just a mental operation…like a thought… a prayer…or a whisper. This is not about wishing or day dreaming. This is about choosing what you desire to have manifest in your life, your experiences, and then declaring it so as though it’s already a fact.  Because, in fact, it is…in the “Mind” of God. Once you’ve claimed your Good, it’s already done Spiritually in that moment. It’s just a matter of human time – and maybe with some action steps of your own – before you see the physical demonstration show up in your life.

So how much Good are you willing to claim for yourself? Ask, and you shall receive. It works for me. I know it works the same way for you. It’s a Divine Law, a Universal Principle. God can only do for us, what God can do through us. Ask away…believe it’s done…and watch what happens in your life. Hallelujah! 

It’s All In Your Mind

There’s a colloquial saying that claims, “It’s all in your head.” I remember hearing that phrase on occasion when I was growing up, especially when I would start to project about some concern or problem happening in the future that would totally ruin my teenage life. The phrase was meant to stop me from such a negative train of thought. I later took it to mean that I was creating an unnecessary problem in my life. Both interpretations are correct…I know that now.

It truly is all in one’s head or mind. What we think about most often…positive or negative…we create in our lives or attract to us in some way. This means we must be diligent in our thinking and not fall into complacency. It means being aware and rigorously honest about the intentions, the motives, behind our thoughts, asking ourselves from time to time, “What was the real reason I said that [snippy, loving, mean, kind] remark?” or “Why did I treat him/her that way?” or “Where did that comment come from?”

I find it interesting to examine my thinking patterns to be sure I’m on the right track toward creating the life I intend to have – now and in the future. What is it I REALLY want to experience?

Right now, my focus is on Balance/Harmony, Abundance and Peace. This means I must also consider living from Love and acknowledging my connection with all Life. I must focus on the Universal Principles that are behind all creation…these (and other) “qualities” of God (as referred to in Religious Science).

This type of focus can be a challenge with so many distractions in the world or life in general. What I’ve noticed is that as I become more attuned to living and thinking from my God-Self, my human ego-self gets a bit unsettled, wanting to return to old habits and avoiding any change in the status quo. Opportunities for Spiritual growth continue to present themselves as a kind of challenge to see if I’m really making any progress…to test my commitment to this path. Sometimes, it can be two steps forward and one step back, depending on whom I’m interacting with and what the challenge might be. Yet, the evolution of Higher Consciousness will not be stopped.

The point is to be aware…to stay connected to Divine Love…to know that what you create in your life and what you are now or will experience… is truly all in your mind. You and I get to decide–in each second, each moment, with each thought, word and action–how we’re showing up in the world.

What does that look like for you today? Pay attention!

Universal Principles in Action!

Recently I was in a dilemma about a prosperity workshop I wanted to attend. The guest facilitator was someone I’d heard about years before and whom I admired from a distance. I’d never met her in person but, after hearing her story of success and reading her book of how she has used – and continues to use – Spiritual principles to create a prosperous life, I was inspired to take the next step and attend her workshop. And I needed to quell any lingering doubt and skepticism about what she was teaching. I believed the only way I could learn the truth of her claims was to meet her in person. Little did I know her lesson would come from an entirely different source.

The first challenge I encountered was that her workshop was scheduled on a date for which I already had major commitments at the exact same time. The afternoon was fully booked. I was required to attend another function, and there was no way to see her that day. I searched her website to discover she would be in another town the following evening, delivering the same presentation…a town that was 360 miles away!

After a little more research, I knew I’d rather drive than fly. I could leave the morning of the workshop, drive about six or seven hours, attend the two-hour workshop, stay the night at a hotel, and drive back early the next day so I could teach my own class the following evening. Piece of cake! Then I went online to register for the workshop. After entering my name and contact details, I hit the “submit” button and got an instant response: EVENT SOLD OUT. Argh!

Now, when I had finished reading her book the midnight before, Spirit had given me a nudge. You know, that small voice with the big message? It had told me to contact her directly about how much I wanted to meet and talk with her…how inspired I was by her book. So when I received the “SOLD OUT” message about the workshop, I began writing an email to her – to propose another idea. At the same time, I sent an email to the distant workshop organizer, asking to be placed on a reserve, backup or waiting list, in case someone canceled at the last minute and I could still get in. Simultaneously, I had a quick but stern talk with the Divine.

I said, “Listen up, God. You’re the one that put this idea into my head. I’ve done everything I know to do to see her. If you really want me to go, then you better figure it out and DO something about this! I’m ready to go. I’ve done all I can. And if this creative intention stuff really works, then show me some results now!” I’d worked myself up into quite a praying frenzy. So I took a deep breath and went back to writing my email to the author/teacher.

I explained about not being able to see her at the first workshop due to conflicting events…how I was willing to drive the distance to see her in another town…only to find out there were no tickets available, but that I was on a waiting list and hopeful. I offered to drive her from Point A to Point B (and back again) just for the privilege of hearing her experiences and basking in her years of wisdom. I assured her I was not a stalker, just a very enthusiastic minister with a desire for clarity about a big project of my own. I offered to pay for the travel and meals, and deliver her safely to wherever she needed to go, even if I could not get into any of the workshops where she would be speaking. I’d patiently wait at my hotel until the next day and bring her back to wherever she needed to be. I was willing to serve and happy to accept any time and conversation she was able to offer.

I was just about done composing and editing her email, when another one came back from the distant workshop organizers. They explained that they had put me on the reserve list a few minutes ago, as I had requested. I had been second on that list. However, they just received a cancellation from a couple who couldn’t use their two tickets, so enclosed in the email was a link to my FREE ticket and directions to the workshop location. They also offered to find me a place to stay with one of their group’s members. They looked forward to meeting me soon.

As I read the email twice and then again, I started crying. I also quickly printed the ticket to be sure it was real. Then I sent a REPLY, thanking God…and them…for the opportunity to attend. Hotel reservations were secured immediately. After wiping the tears from my joyful face, taking a few deep breaths, and gathering my itinerary papers together, I went back to make changes to my email to the author/teacher.

The email now expressed a tone of heartfelt service rather than pleading. I told her I had been able to secure a ticket at the new location. I resisted offering all the details of this miraculous victory. My offer to drive was still an option I hoped she would consider. I pressed SEND…and smiled my way through a prayer of gratitude for this valuable lesson.

When we are clear about our intention, our desire, to experience something Good in our lives…and state it or write it plainly…and throw in some passion toward its creation…and do our part but also leave some room for God to work in mysterious and wondrous ways…I have NO doubt that demonstrations such as this will occur all the time. We need to be open to seeing the miracles, the God-stuff, being created all around us…in God-time, not ours.

This was the fastest gift I’d ever received from the Divine (that I can remember). It wasn’t my first and it won’t be the last. But this experience was a clear reminder of the clarity, the passion, and the trust I need to have when creating something I desire. It wasn’t going to come from the author/teacher. It came from the Divine Power within me…the same Power that’s within each of us. What an incredible lesson! And there’s more…

Since that day my “big project” has gotten even more clarity. With the help of a spiritual life coach, I saw not only some much needed adjustments to the vision I’d been creating for myself, but also what had kept me from going forward with my plans. It was the wrong dream! My new direction has filled me with energy, enthusiasm, and simplicity of vision…it’s do-able and exciting! I wake up eager each morning to take the next steps into my future…and reluctantly retire to bed late at night. I love this life!

One last note…in case you still don’t think God has a “hand” in our affairs. After all that activity to secure a ticket, get a hotel room, rearrange my work schedule, etc., a week before the workshop date the author/teacher fell and broke her arm, which will include additional surgery. She had to cancel BOTH workshops and has no other events scheduled in this area for the rest of this year. However, there is a FREE three-day Ministers’ workshop next year at her retreat center…and I REALLY want to see what that looks like.   🙂   Listen up, God!

Face-to-Face & Heart-to-Heart

Those folks who spend any length of casual time with me or friends who know me well will acknowledge my kinship with communication technology (e.g., tablet, laptop, email, texting, social media, etc.). I’ve always been somewhat of a geeky introvert (yes, I have) so these forms of “talking” or staying in touch with people have been my favored or preferred methods of contact. I enjoy writing and playing with words. Just because I have a smartphone doesn’t mean I use it for conversation; it provides my link to email accounts, texts and the Internet. However, lately I’ve been increasing my personal face-to-face contact with people and with surprising results.

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” ~ Nelson Mandela

I’m sure part of my past hesitation to communicate verbally stems from being hushed as a child. The adage “Children should be seen and not heard” was a constant reminder that I had not yet earned the right to speak with any wisdom or knowledge of life. I developed a fondness for collecting quotations that expressed what I could not find the words to say. I carried the idea of being reserved into adulthood for many years, speaking only when I truly felt passionate about a particular situation, injustice, cause or favorite topic. Then, perhaps not so oddly, I majored in Communication at university and now speak every week before a growing congregation. My writing, speaking and teaching topics are all spiritual in nature. What isn’t?

“When we talk about understanding, surely it takes place only when the mind listens completely – the mind being your heart, your nerves, your ears – when you give your whole attention to it.” ~Jiddu Krishnamurtiheart

What I have discovered to be my biggest aid in communicating with people is…(drum roll, please)…to be authentic…to come from my God-Self and not my ego-self. As long as I let go of all the concerns of what people will think, how they will react to what I say, how cleverly I present the message, how long I go on, whether they understand (or not) the words I use – as long as I release all those thoughts and speak from my heart or pause in silence – the meaning will be understood. Sometimes, such “speaking” comes from just being present in their presence…to hold a sacred space where they, too, can be their authentic selves.

“We have two ears and one tongue so that we would listen more and talk less.” ~Diogenes

Some of my favorite moments have been sitting with a friend, lost in our individual thoughts, connected at the heart-level, and joined in the spirit of the moment. I’ve done that quite often this week, relating with people I’ve just met, known for a few months, or with friends whose lives have mingled with mine for decades. It takes more effort to meet face-to-face and share heart-to-heart; no doubt about it. I come home from these experiences gently used and deeply satisfied, content to have been part of someone’s journey for part of a day or to help with some form of healing. I’d like to think their experiences are as positive as mine. I know that being in their presence has revealed in me a desire to do more of this type of “talking.” I am grateful for the soul exchange and want to attract more of them.

“Sometimes it’s a form of love just to talk to somebody that you have nothing in common with and still be fascinated by their presence.” ~ David Byrne

As I go through my work day with technology and assorted gadgets, messaging for the sake of efficiency, writing on the computer rather than long-hand, I’m drawn to my phone. I open my contacts database and peruse the list for the name and number of someone dear to call after work. I pull out my note cards and write a message to go with the package to be mailed. The note cards provide just the right amount of space for generous love and few words. I complete my tasks quickly and efficiently so that, when the next opportunity presents itself to hold sacred space for a dear friend, I will be ready to do so…with a smiling face and a loving heart.

“Talk low, talk slow, and don’t say too much.” ~ John Wayne

Transcendence

You can’t have fear and faith at the same time. Easier said than done. This morning I woke up with another subconscious gift about that phrase. Thank you, God! Rather than approaching fear with the aim of a stealth bomber or well-rehearsed mantras, a more reasonable and achievable approach might be to transcend fear or whatever else is holding you back from living a rich and full life. This means, in general terms, to “go beyond…rise above…or be greater than.” How would we put this into practice?

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.   Eleanor Roosevelt

First it absolutely takes awareness, active consciousness, to notice and identify what is keeping you from expressing as your highest self, your God-Self. This can be accomplished in the wink of an eye or after years of self-evaluation, therapy, classes, emotional pain, and contemplation.

After you achieve the ability to do this a couple of times, recognition of lingering issues and fears usually comes much more quickly. Yes, it means to do what Eleanor Roosevelt recommended (above quote)…and more. You not only “look fear in the face”; you go beyond that fear to a place where it has no power over you. The strength that builds within you comes from a Divine Intelligence and Source of Love. Old reactive habits are replaced with new responding behaviors. Such changes result from recognizing what no longer brings you peace, through spiritual classes and teachers, or past positive experiences upon which you can model future changes.

In the Science of Mind textbook, it says this: “There is, then, no limitation outside our own ignorance, and since we can all conceive of a greater good than we have so far experienced, we all have the ability to transcend previous experiences and rise triumphant above them; but we shall never triumph over them while we persist in going through the old mental reactions.”  (SOM p. 147.4)

transcend-image

We can apply this transcending process to health challenges, time constraints, and fears of all kinds. Every time we adjust our thoughts about some previous fear or difficulty, letting the fear dissipate through acceptance of what is – given we’ve done everything we know to do to that point – we transcend the negative energy of that situation. It becomes less fearful, less worrisome, no longer intimidating. We move beyond it. And just like the creative nature of a spiraling universe, or the spiraling design of our DNA, our consciousness expands upward and outward in an ever greater expression of Life.

“A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life.” – James Allen

My greatest application of transcending something particularly significant was when I applied it to the fear of death. My childhood religion had convinced me that, no matter how I behaved, it may never be ‘good enough’ to enter the gates of heaven. Years later, after decades of life experiences, a fresh interpretation of biblical verses, and a mature acceptance of God, forgiveness, and the energetic Spirit that expresses as me… my fear of physical death has transcended into what will be just another experience of Life. Not something to be feared. And not something to be hurried into. But something to anticipate with awe and wonder as I focus on and complete what I must do in this physical existence before the transition occurs.

“In such degree as we contemplate the Spirit of Livingness, It becomes manifest.” (SOM p. 336.3)

As long as my focus is on: living Life to its fullest; serving others to the best of my ability; loving myself and humanity, animals, the world; expressing as my authentic God-Self for the highest and best Good in all situations; and contemplating Spirit with increasing awareness and active consciousness…as long as this is my focus, my life will be well-lived and my time here will have served a greater purpose. There can be no fear in that. Only Faith. Only Love.

 

Detoxing My Demeanor

A couple of weeks ago I came down with a seasonal flu or cold or something viral. It kept me in bed for two days (sort of), sleeping and eating vegetables and fruits as much as possible so my body could heal. I love that about the human body. It KNOWS how to fight off infections, viruses, bacteria, etc. if we only provide it with the proper conditions for healing….rest, water, nutrients, positive intention.  So that was my goal. My body recovered pretty fast (I don’t make a very good patient anyway).

While in bed resting, I watched a couple of documentary films about food and healing that included the process of “juicing.” Great idea! In an effort to assist my body back to a healthy state, I started juicing raw fruits and vegetables. You see, I also lost a bit of weight during those five days of illness and I’d prefer they stayed lost. Juicing allows me to take in the nutrients and not the bulk, so I can actually “eat” several helpings of the good stuff – like we’re instructed to do. I am mixing wonderful flavors and really enjoying the added energy, convenient preparation and cleanup, and the variety of foods I now consume. I also started taking 30-minute walks. More excess weight is going away and I’m detoxing in the process.

I wish I could say the process was as quick and effective when it came to my mental attitude in the midst of unnecessary confrontation or challenge. Is there a way to detox my demeanor, too?

I don’t like using the excuse of “I’m not feeling well” as the reason for my occasional sour disposition. I know better. And I certainly don’t like placing blame on others for their rude manners, condescending attitudes, or sarcastic remarks. There are times when I struggle to just let such behavior flow past me or when I’m moved to stop the onslaught and say something. Lately, I’ve been “responding” rather than being reserved. It’s the responses I’d like to change.

Someone reminded me recently how much they “hate” being talked to like they were stupid. I share that sentiment. Yet, I have to catch myself in those challenging moments to not fling back this same stinging dialogue. My ego-self goes into instant defense mode…before my God-self can take a breath, think, and respond – either with silence (for there is power there, too) or with a calm, respectful statement. I don’t like my defensiveness any more than I like being brushed aside. That’s where the detoxing of my mental state, demeanor, comes in. And that is where the simple act of taking a breath may be the key solution.

Just like the juicing machine takes out all the bulk from the raw foods and provides only the juicy nutrients in an easy-to-digest liquid form, taking a breath (or two) before speaking in those tense situations can remove the sarcasm and hurtful sting from words hurled at an unsuspecting target.  A simple breath can cleanse the mind (detox), provide a few seconds of silence (power), and allow only the juicy, respectful, easy-to-accept expression (nutrients) of who you are to be heard and understood. It lowers the negative energy in those tense situations and creates a pool of calm for everyone involved.

Divine Spirit recognizes and connects one person to another, if only for a micro-second, and healing occurs. I feel better already.

Great Expectations

You wouldn’t think that the turning of a calendar page would make that much difference. The exception is the transition from the last day of the year to the first. Starting another year seems to open up people to all kinds of new possibilities. Suddenly, within 24 hours, life is filled with great expectations of promise and potential. I can feel it in myself as well.

My focus is on what lies ahead. I am invigorated with the possibilities of what I might create, where I may go, who will introduce themselves into my life, and how the world will unfold. As I tend to be a bit of a techno-geek, I’m truly interested in what software, gadgets and conveniences will be revealed to the world in the next few months. Besides the people and things that will come into my life, I also get to look forward to how I will grow and express as who I Am.

The eternal supply of ideas that comes into my brain is sure to drop a few into the soil of my conscious mind and passionate heart. Those plans that have not yet been developed need to remain strong and sturdy to root more deeply in creation…in thought. For example, I reviewed a few pages from a 2007 journal to discover seedling ideas that still merit development, but that I had put on the back burner so long ago, they’ve nearly dried up in the dark recesses of my memory. It’s a good thing I write some things down!

It’s not only the promising expectations of “doing” that capture my attention, but also the potential of who or what I will become (“be”). A recent meditation, in which I was directed to ask Divine Intelligence for gifts that would greatly benefit me on the next stage of my journey, resulted in three key characteristics I thought I already possessed…at least to some degree…but apparently am still in short supply of having: maturity, patience, and humility.

Not only did Spirit provide the answer with amazing speed, but as it caused my ego edgy discomfort and a bit of argument, my heart knew it was the correct answer. Yes, I have focused on deepening these characteristics in recent years and have made great progress. But are we ever really finished? If we’re honest with ourselves, there is always something more we can do to be a better human in this world.

I have great expectations of myself, it’s true. As I make my way into a new (dual) career move, give some attention to personal projects, spend time with family and friends, continue to create a life and home I love, and learn how to have balance in my life, the development of these three, strong characteristics will be at the forefront of my mind.

All of creation starts with a thought…and this, for today, is mine.

Peaceful Easy Feeling

My week currently starts with Sunday afternoon…after church is done and I’ve changed into my comfy clothes. I either unwind with a trip to the movie theater or a couple of hours walking in nature.

Recently I chose the latter, walking in the afternoon sun around a small lake, stopping to sit and enjoy the views and the warm breeze. My husband and I were both lost in silence as our steps traveled the gravel path. The dog, too, kept to herself and was relatively quiet during the whole excursion. My mind was filled only with peace and contentment.

That peaceful, easy feeling has remained with me since. It opened me to the interconnectedness of all creation. This internal quiet heightens my awareness of the Oneness of Life. It encourages me to be mindful of what is before me at this moment. Such peace invites compassion and patience into each interaction I have with another life form – plant, animal or human. Such peace fills my whole being with a deep love born of God, of Spirit.

Divine Love knows no bounds; has no exceptions; is without limit, powerful and ever-lasting. Its depth is beyond that of human emotion. Let me give you a comparison.

If you’ve ever been on a small to mid-size passenger boat (not a cruise ship) and taken a ride out into the ocean for an hour or two, you can feel the movement of the ocean beneath your feet, separated only by the boat’s hull. As the boat rises and falls through the waves, you might notice the power of the ocean as water meets boat, yielding, but firm. The boat provides your connection to the unknown depth below. There’s a mystery of the life within the liquid darkness. In every direction there is only the majesty of the ocean. Suddenly, you realize you can no longer see any shore. The power and depth of the immensity that stretches out all around you is humbling and awe-inspiring.

That is what Divine Love feels like to me…powerful, deep, immense, humbling and awesome!

I am cradled through my trust in a Universal Presence. My soul is protected through all eternity. Whether I can see ahead in my journey through unknown or dark situations, rising and falling as my beliefs allow, I am propelled ever forward. I am always connected to this Divine Love, anchored in the knowing that I am never alone, no matter what stretches out before me. Spirit resides within me, and I within It, embraced in waves of Love.

I am at peace in my surrender to this immense Power.

And so it is…