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Courage! Who Needs Courage?

The gap since my last blog post has been filled with preparing for and traveling to Egypt, and then catching up on everything that got behind while I engaged in the amazing array of travel experiences.  I definitely underestimated the catch-up phase so here I am letting you know why there was an “interruption in service.”

The topic of “courage” actually came up quite some time ago. It was originally focused on the courage one needs to “do the right thing” … to stand out from the crowd, perhaps to be visibly vocal.  Those initially points were:

  • What does courage look and feel like? … and
  • How can we determine what the “right thing” is?

There was a third, even more important aspect of that discussion:

  • What makes it possible for each of us have such courage?

Before I left for Egypt, several people asked, “Why Egypt?”  I was filled with answers that ranged from the simple, “because I haven’t gone there yet,” to my curiosity and fascination with how people of supposedly primitive times could build structures that have survived all these years and how they passed along construction methods that are more durable than much of what has been built since.  Most of the ones that didn’t survive were those damaged by people, not the elements.

The more recent, more pressing, questions about “courage” have come since I returned from my trip.  Perhaps they have been prompted by the news media.  A number of people have told me how courageous I was to travel to Egypt.  I have been asked, “Weren’t you scared?”  Some have expressed how crazy and/or bold they thought I was for going.  Truth is, it never crossed my mind.  Not sure if maybe I just declared to the world that I am oblivious to the world as others see it, or, if as I prefer to look at it, I am totally grounded in what I believe to be Truth:  I am an expression of the Divine as are all the beautiful people I encountered on my travels.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  And …

I realized that the answer to what may have initially seemed like the largest of my original three questions is the same answer to the questions posed by all my concerned friends:  When I remember what I am – and expression, actual incarnation of the Divine –I have all the courage and powers of discernment needed for life.  It is so simple. Whether I am responding to the various people that questioned my sanity in traveling across a broad section of Egypt or just dealing with day to day decision making or identifying the “right thing” and being willing to be a stand for it, the answer is the same: when I remember to rely on the Truth within me, I have clarity and calm confidence. It is only my humanity (sometimes associated with ego) that gets tangled up in circumstances and becomes fearful, comparative, defensive and even combative.  This internal hysteria, which sometimes shows up as how I treat those around me and at other times is turned inwardly, self-destructively on myself, is only truly, lastingly healed when I remember, when I release my dependency on appearances, and fully embrace what I really am.

This isn’t just my Truth, it’s our Truth.  It’s the Truth of all creation.  We are each an activity of God. God is whole, perfect and complete … and so are we.  We experience wholeness, perfection and completeness to the extent that we remember our relationship with the source of our existence.  It is always alive and well in us and as us.  In those moments of amnesia when we forget this essential truth, the Divine doesn’t leave us.  The Truth is the Truth:  It is Constant.  What leaves us, is the depth of our memory – our access to that Truth.  We simply forget the Truth and how to embody and use it.

As Dr. Ernest Holmes stated in A Holmes Reader on Practical Wisdom, “The Spirit of God is an undivided and indivisible Wholeness. It fills all time with Its presence and all space with the activity of Its thought. Everyone is an incarnation of God, and a unique incarnation. All are rooted in the One Life. Your endeavor, then, is not so much to find God as it is to realize God’s Presence and to understand that this Presence is always with you. Nothing can be nearer to you than that which is the very essence of your being. Your outward search culminates in the greatest of all possible discoveries — finding God at the center of your own being. Life flows up from within you.”

Really grasping this concept totally alters how we relate to our world.  When we “get it,” it is the most empowering, yet humbling, awareness imaginable. We are imbued with the power of discernment.  It is given to us to use moment by moment for our own benefit and the good of all.  That awareness is the logical response to Dr. Holmes’ assertion in The Magic of the Mind, “The great and only awakening that can ever come to man is when he becomes aware of the fact that that which enables him to think, to be conscious, to be creative, is the Mind of God active within him.”

Please contemplate the following quote and affirm it with me.  I promise you, if you spend time with it, it will facilitate shifting your perception of your world.

“I am a center in the Divine Mind, a point of God-conscious life, truth and action.  My affairs are divinely guided and guarded into right action, into correct results.  Everything I do, say or think, is stimulated by the Truth.  There is power in this word I speak, because it is of the Truth and it is the Truth.  There is perfect and continuous right action in my life and my affairs.  All belief in wrong action is dispelled …  Right action alone has power and right action is power, and Power is God . . . the Living Spirit Almighty.  This Spirit animates everything that I do, say or think.  Ideas come to me daily and these ideas are divine ideas.  They direct me and sustain me without effort.  I am continuously directed.  I am compelled to do the right thing at the right time, to say the right word at the right time, to follow the right course at all time.”  [Science of Mind]

So how do we know what the “right thing” is?  Can we be sure?  If so, how?  And for that matter, is knowing enough?  Simply knowing something often makes no difference whatsoever.  Once we identify what is right, what are we to do with it or about it?  The simple answer to all of these questions is right in front of us!  It is all around us, and most importantly, it is already inside of each of us!

Knowing, sensing, embracing what is “right” cannot be dependent on the opinions of others.  It must arise from within.  It must emanate from our own consciousness. If what is “right” depends on anything external to us, we would be adrift if that external source was out of reach.  Dr Holmes once shared some insights as to how to determine the rightness of our actions: “Does the thing I wish to do express more life, more happiness, more peace for myself, and at the same time harm no one?  If it does, it is right.  It is not selfish.  But if it is done at the expense of anyone, then in such degree, we are making a wrong use of the Law.”

I contend that when we remember what we are, when we enter into conscious communion with our life force, Spirit within, we awaken to and discern Divine Guidance.  As incarnations of the Divine, we can tap into Wisdom and release the allure of logic.

Great teachers throughout the ages have told us that until we are willing to embrace the Truth of our being, confront our egoically-based fears of rejection and separation and be what we truly are, we will not be fulfilled.  Jesus is quoted in the Gospel of Thomas as having put it even more bluntly: “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”

Confidently Creative!

Please accept my apology for the gap in updating the blog.  The silly expression, “Life got in the way” fits all too well here and yet, isn’t living all about being present with life?  I can assure you, I was definitely being present with life … immersed in it, absorbed by it, perhaps even obsessed with it.

I don’t like the idea of even considering curbing my enthusiasm, yet it’s my enthusiasm that lures me into over committing.  There are so many possibilities all calling to me.  And they all sound so enticing.  There are so many ways I can learn, serve, fully express myself through my innate givingness while enjoying birthing something new by using  the creativity imbued in me.  Often I find myself echoing Charles Filmore’s declaration, “I fairly sizzle with zeal and enthusiasm as I bound forth to do the things that ought be done by me.”  I say, “YES! Pick me!” Wisdom seems to shrink as zeal leaps to the front and my creativity soars.  It all sounds fabulous! And, it works, mostly.  If all my activities stay precisely on track on their timelines, it’s wonderful.  Sometimes, I am in awe at how well it all works together.  Sometimes, however, some itsy bitsy thing, like the timing of a deliverable, will get just a little out of whack, which, small as it is, can derail that one thing which then can startthi a cascade of dominos that devolve into a train wreck.  I then scurry around compulsively picking up all the pieces and putting them back on their tracks.

My mother declared when I was quite young that I was born with some sort time disorder that made me believe that more could be accomplished in any increment of time than anyone, with even a twit of sanity, would know was impossible.  But, as Walt Disney said, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible!”  Later I discovered that my “disorder” was broader than originally reported: it was (is) actually entangled in some sort of time-space continuum.  Every time I get the silly notion to clean a closet I am reminded of my disorder.  Follow me with this process:

Step #1: Empty the closet

Step #2: Sort the contents

Step#3:  Discard things that haven’t been used for quite some time, no longer fit, or have passed their useful life

Step #4:  Feel good about the large pile of items that are going away

Step #5:  Put the now greatly reduced number of items back in the closet.  [This step should more correctly say, “try to put …”]

Step#6:  Use all my creativity to figure out how to fit the “greatly reduced number of items” back in the closet.

Step #7:  Look at the clock and realize that time as well as space escaped.

It seems quite obvious that when I took things out, the closet shrunk, or while the items were out and the pressure was off of them, they swelled up … or maybe there really are closet demons and they are out to get me.  Kidding aside, we use our creativity every moment whether with a closet project, calendar management or writing a silly little piece.

Ernest Holmes stated,  “We cannot escape from the creative power of our thought and there is no use in trying to do so. All we need to do is to use the law from the right motive, then we shall be made free.”

In some ways, it’s a bit scary to think that we are constantly creating.  I remember asking a minister when I first dove into our teaching about the creative power of some of my “evil thoughts.”  I gave up that verbiage a long, long time ago and yet the residual question remains:  some of my thoughts are not necessarily the most affirming and skillful thoughts I’ve ever had. Combine this with our teaching that God is not the “great editor in the sky,” redacting those errant thoughts, then why are the worst of my thoughts not manifesting as powerfully as my “good thoughts”?  The distinction here is some of my errant thoughts don’t reflect my actual beliefs. I believe that we manifest the “net sum” of our beliefs.  The truth is, I don’t even believe a goodly portion of the thoughts that arise in my mind.  It’s sort of like thoughts pop in on a trial basis to see if they fit.  If they don’t they’re rejected and fade into the nothingness from which they came.  Thoughts that do align with my beliefs take root and flourish.  I am prospered in all aspects of my life.

Applying this perspective reveals why sometimes our prayers aren’t “answered.”  If the prayer [thought] is contrary to our beliefs, it is likely to be rejected in our own mind. Josh Stearn said, “We cannot create a world we cannot imagine.”  Ah, so true … if we cannot imagine the fulfillment of our prayer, we are what is in the way of it being answered.  God’s givingness is unlimited.  There is no shortage or constriction of the Universal Flow. I accept that my receptivity is not always equally unlimited.  I am working on it.  This is one of those beautiful opportunities for us to be our own observer, to be mindful, and to realize that the obstruction arises from faulty beliefs … beliefs that can most definitely be changed.

Dr Holmes said, “We are told to have faith, to believe, to have positive conviction and undeviating acceptance.  That is the Law … and that is the way to use It.  It is impossible for anyone who will definitely create the right picture, and stay with it, to fail.”  What he was addressing was the way, the method for us to use, to change beliefs that are not serving us.  It requires conscientiousness combined with confidence that the “tool” we are using, Divine Creativity, cannot fail us.

Divine Creativity is not about talent or special abilities, an artistic flair or even the ability to speak a prayer in a poetic way, although it may be displayed through those expressions.  Being creative is our nature.  As a living individuation of the Almighty, we are imbued with the creative potential and capability of the Divine itself.  It is up to us to open our receptors, to release our doubts and negative self-talk, and align with Spirit expressing as us.  The entire Universe conspires to deliver our good.  We have to create a vessel into which that good can arrive.

Dr Holmes taught that, “The thought is a mold, conviction is the molten substance poured into this mold. One is not complete without the other and many people make the mistake of using only one of these essential states of consciousness.” It is easier for me to grasp this concept if I shift from “thought” being the mold to “belief” as the mold.  I can understand how some of my deep seeded beliefs, particularly my doubts, are still influencing my outcomes.  When I truly desire something and I have done my spiritual practices and nothing happens, I have learned to take that simply as feedback:  there apparently is a limiting belief still lurking around that is obstructing the free flow of good coming my way.

God, “Source,” is not holding anything back.  My mixed messages are.  “The Law is no respecter of persons and will bring good or evil to any according to his/her use or misuse of it.”  The Law is cold, hard, mechanical fact.  It responds, returning to each the result of his own beliefs, be they false or true. When we get our constricted humanity out of the way our wealth expands, our relationships are enriched and our authentic life purpose makes itself known.  This is the intelligent use of creative imagination.  Fortunately or unfortunately, the Law, predictably and reliably says, “yes.”

Being brave, bold, calm and confident about how we embrace and embody the Truth of our being plays a huge part in how effective we are in consciously using the immense creativity that is at our disposal. When we identify with the Truth that we are living individuations of the Divine, we are grounded, secure, unstoppable and able  to live boundlessly.  Any old fears of scarcity are allayed and generosity of spirit and goods arise.

As Rev Brian Akers declared, “If I believe these principles are the cornerstone of my life, why on earth would I hide them or choose not to share them when given the opportunity?”  If you are unwilling to share this Truth when provided the opportunity, then something, some fear, some doubt, is hiding in you causing you to be afraid to openly let your Truth be known.  This is a brilliant moment!  It is a “golden opportunity” to do some rich, deep belief shifting that would not have arisen had you not walked smack into it.  Take full advantage of the situation.  Engage the full range of your Divine Creativity!

Because you have the power of choice, you can allow this encounter with doubt to paralyze you or catapult you forward.  I suggest that you bolster your faith by engaging in daily spiritual practices.  These tools strengthen the alignment of our humanity with the Divine Truth so we can stand firmly, unflinchingly in the face of conditions and opinions. They reinforce our resolve to remember that we are Simply Spirit … an incarnation of the Divine who knows itself so clearly that it is never vulnerable, only available.

Our imagination is the greatest creative canvas we have! We know we’re using it all the time but sometimes we misplace the conscious use of it with the habitual use of it. As an example, we may have someone tell us to imagine what our life would be like if it were perfect. After some trying maybe we say, “I can’t even imagine it! I’m just not good at using my imagination.”  Some may even go so far as to claim that they, therefore, lack creativity.

Five minutes later that same person may be immersed in worry and fret about how s/he is going to pay the bills this month and suddenly, without realizing it, the faculty of imagination is working really well.  Circling back to where we began, we now awaken to how easily we are able to imagine with such vivid clarity.  We can create all of the panic sensations associated with what will happen if we can’t pay the rent.  We can become fully engaged in all the feelings as though the situation was already upon us.

The imagination that predicts a horrible future is literally the very same one that can imagine a beautiful one. It isn’t our ability to create that has an issue.  It’s the amount of time we spend practicing the use of our imagination to produce our good rather than allowing old faulty beliefs to run rampant through our minds.  Changing our thoughts can be used to change our beliefs.  Changing our beliefs can totally alter our feelings about our future, and literally bring paradise closer to home with each passing moment.

All of this is summed up to:  How are you using this amazing gift that has been placed within you?  Are you applying it consciously and confidently?  Are you using it for the highest and best for yourself and others?  Are you using this magnificent gift of creativity consciously and confidently? The choice is up to you.  Choose wisely!  Every choice is creative.  It is being acted upon by the Law as you think!

Baby Steps or Giant Leaps … Which? When? Why?

When are baby steps the best way to go?  When do they just not work?  Taking only baby steps can become a habit and shackle us to thinking small, being classic under achievers.  Spirit expressing as you is not an under achiever!  As Anais Nin declared, “And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”  What do you need to be bold?  When do you know not to be bold, not out of fear but instead because you have listened to … and followed …Divine Guidance?

What causes us to choose incremental, little steps

  • Is it a choice?
  • Is it habit? Conditioned reflex?  Fear?
  • Are we opting to allow circumstances to control us?

Are we drawing on the wisdom of Spirit that resides in each of us?

What causes us to opt for Giant Leaps?

  • Is it desire?
  • Is it that the level of discomfort has risen so high that we are compelled, even propelled, to do something different?

What is our decision process?

  • Do we have multiple processes?
  • What causes us to use one approach or another?

Many of us find thinking is easier in the silence, some of us awaken to wisdom beyond our personal experience that makes itself known in the silence.  Jack Fowler captured this well in his song, “In the Silence.”

In the silence, there is peace

In the silence, there is unspoken joy

In the silence, there’s release

From a world full of chaos and noise


So, I wait for these precious moments

When I hear all that could never be said

And right here, in this holy silence

I find God.  I find myself.

Current international conditions look and feel a lot like “chaos and noise.”  Uncertainty and instability seem to be the norm, and that’s when we need to remember to use the conscious intelligence that is imbued in us to remind us that we have tools – mental tools – to direct and select our processes.

We are expressions of Spirit.  That is Spirit is expressing AS human.  We cannot be separated from Spirit.  It is being each of us. We are an amalgamation endowed with the ability to use our intellect to choose our path of life and to draw on the wisdom of Spirit/Universe to guide us.

This is awesome to contemplate!  We are endowed with an intellect that has the power to choose at all times, in all situations, just how we will be.  We have the power to update and upgrade it any time we want and are willing to put in the mental energy and self-discipline to do so.

Ernest Holmes recommended that we, “Start with this simple proposition: The nature of God, of man, and of being is perfect, harmonious, whole.”  He was telling the Truth: our nature is Spiritual.

He further explained that we, “believe God is the Life Principle through which individuals derive their nature as intelligent, self-choosing entities…”

It is this divine nature that makes it possible for us to use our intelligence to immerse in and draw upon the One Mind:  The Mind that is both the Mind of man and the Mind of God.  This Mind is the essence of creativeness and the essence of goodness.  It is available to all.  Individuals can feel a connection to this intelligence as a deep sense of inner communion, as a spontaneous, irresistible union.  Individuals who have consciously entered into a spiritual path, who have opted to be grounded in their spirituality, clearly see and feel this Truth.

All of our challenges, regardless of their nature or size, share one common cause:  We have not accepted our full spiritual inheritance!  Instead, we have invited undesirable conditions and situations into our experience and then tried to combat them at their own level.  That’s a perfect formula for failure.  Who consciously wants to be a failure?  It’s time for you to wake up to just how incredibly powerful you are!

Living spiritually changes your life dynamically.  It totally alters not only how you experience life, but how others experience you.  When you really get the enormity of your potentiality, you awaken to the realization that you already have the ability to change what isn’t working.  That power has been latent in you forever.  This realization was one of the most powerful discoveries of my entire life.  You just need to work on the Art of Living Spiritually – it’s subtle, it’s gentle, it’s powerful beyond measure.  Change your thinking, shift your beliefs, experience life anew!!!

So we begin by putting all of this in perspective and reminding you of just how awesome and powerful you are.

What causes us to choose incremental, little steps

  • Is it habit or conditioned reflex?
    • How many times have you done something simply because that’s just the way I/we always do it?
      • This is living by default – brainlessly
      • Another name for “routine” is “rut.” A comical friend of mine once told me that “a coffin with the ends kicked out” You may not die physically from being in a rut, but you will become lifeless and might as well be dead.
    • Are we opting to allow circumstances to control us?
      • There are two habitual aspects to this
        • Recurring circumstances trigger old habits – laziness invites the old, trusted “easy way,” mindless default prevails
        • Circumstances that may be frightening, call in the “voice of fear” and s/he rather than clear thinking. We are literally “blinded” by that voice – the voice that takes command and make decisions for us based on past experiences, often exaggerated that can “paralyze” us

Singer/Songwriter, Jana Stanfield asks a powerful question in her song, “If I Were Brave,”   “If I refuse to listen to the voice of fear,
Would the voice of courage whisper in my ear?”  When we use our powerful intellect to choose how we are going to be in each situation, It, the voice of courage, whispers (and sometimes shouts) really good advice.  And, again come the big question:  Am I listening?  Do I trust God (Spirit in me)?  Do I have the courage to follow the guidance?

It’s all too easy to fall into the habit of thinking small … of tolerating “less than” simply because “history makes it so.”

  • Is it wisdom?
    • Sometimes the voice of reason steps in to guide us in relation to circumstances
      • Perhaps there is a very real danger
        • The question here is, who’s in charge? Is it the blinding, paralyzing voice of fear … or the thinking, strategic voice of reason?
        • How do we discern which voice is which?
      • It is a choice!
        • Many people don’t realize that it is a choice.
        • Some claim “that’s just how I am” and don’t get it that who you are – how you are showing up in the world – is totally a matter of choice.
      • Are we drawing on the wisdom of Spirit that resides in each of us?
        • Spirit in us, as us, is the direct link to the “wisdom of the ages” and an intelligence far greater than could possibly have been acquired in one individual human lifetime
        • How can we determine whether it is better to take baby steps of make a giant leap?
          • To an infant a baby step is a big deal
          • To an ant a mountain is not overwhelming, you just move it a grain at a time

Shifts in consciousness are made incrementally … a new perspective, a different vantage point, a presence of compassion, a sense of empathy

  • What causes us to opt for Giant Leaps?
    • Selecting the “right” approach can happen in an instant, using our intellect in light of Divine Guidance.
      • David Lloyd George suggests, “Don’t be afraid to take a big step. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.”
        • Circumstance may dictate “move now” and Divinely Guided intelligence, says “one giant leap” … two small ones aren’t the answer here
      • Leverage what you know in light of what you intuit
        • Habitual thinking says there is one way to do something
        • Intuition opens to possibilities
        • Wisdom leans into possibilities bringing with it skills, knowledge, talent and abilities
      • Is the decision, simply, desire?
      • A decision cycle can be fascinating:
        • Very few of us, on a percentage basis, simply opt to move in a given direction
        • Most of us have to reach a level of discomfort that is sufficiently high that we are compelled/propelled to do something different, before we’ll act
        • Anais Nin: “And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
      • What is our decision process?
        • Most of us have multiple, context specific processes
          • We assess circumstances based on feelings, beliefs, perceived outcomes – using our intellect …
          • We go into the stillness, sensing with every faculty, and open to Spirit in us, as us, guiding from within … and outside.
            • Numinous experiences of knowing without reasoning or knowledge
            • Discerning and entering “Wow!” … the wholly experiential sense of the Divine.

We recognize this Wow!  Sense – the direct experience –  is the essence of all shifts of Consciousness.  We understand how the tiniest change at the quantum level (immeasurably small) can result in an abrupt change, sudden increase, or dramatic advance.

Once experienced, you can never go back and pretend it never happened … why would you want to?  You have been altered forever, never to be the same.  How could you ever revert to making decisions based solely on the facts, on circumstances … on effect.  You are divinely designed to co-create your entire life.  All that is needed is latent in you, as you, waiting for you to awaken to your magnificent, pure potentiality.

A huge question makes itself known: “How then shall you live?

  • Do you remember, moment by moment that you are Spirit in expression
  • Do your behaviors align with that Spiritual knowing?
  • Do your decisions arise from that Spiritual knowing?


Really Say “Yes!” … Reap Untold Rewards!

What’s to lose?  There’s no downside … it’s all upside: just say “Yes!” … a genuine, whole hearted, “Yes!” … and experience “Wow!”

So what really happens when you say “Yes!”?  And, I don’t mean “maybe” or a half-heartedly “yes” just in case some other shiny object gets your attention?  I’m talking about a real “Yes!” that you truly mean and are willing to lean into.

This amazing human experience Spirit, as you, is having is a multi-level, fully integrated mind-body event:  the moment you utter “Yes!” your body is flooded with chemical compounds that were triggered by neurons responding to thought!  When we say every choice we make has a consequence, it’s broader than you may think.  The act of choosing causes a cascade of chemicals that ignite neurological and physiological responses so long before consequences show up externally, your mind-body is already impacted.  This array of responses is autonomic.  Interestingly, this amazing orchestration takes place instantaneously in response to your mental activity whether there is a physical event or not.  It calibrates the congruency of your commitment – your wholeheartedness or lack thereof.

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche:  “We should experience everything totally, never withdrawing into ourselves as a marmot hides in its hole. This practice releases tremendous energy which is usually constricted by the process of maintaining fixed reference points. … Being present in the moment may initially trigger fear. But by welcoming the sensation of fear with complete openness, we cut through the barriers created by habitual emotional patterns. When we engage in the practice of discovering space, we should develop the feeling of opening ourselves out completely to the entire universe. We should open ourselves with absolute simplicity and nakedness of mind. This is the powerful and ordinary practice of dropping the mask of self-protection.”

This ability we have “to think” is astounding.  And, the only reason we are able to think, to plan, to create, is because each of us is an activity of the One Mind.  Just as the only reason we are living is because the One Life, God, is in us, expressing as us.

Ernest Holmes:  “Start with this simple proposition: The nature of God, of man, and of being is perfect, harmonious, whole.”

He also said, “Metaphysicians generally believe God is the Life Principle through which individuals derive their nature as intelligent, self-choosing entities … It is this divine nature that makes it possible for us to use the One Mind:  This Mind is both the Mind of man and the Mind of God.  This Mind is the essence of creativeness and the essence of goodness.”

The One Mind is available to all and is experienced by each individual as a deep sense of inner communion, as a spontaneous, irresistible union.  Spiritually grounded people clearly sense and know, see and feel, this Truth.

All of our challenges, regardless of their nature or size, share one common cause:  We have not accepted our full spiritual inheritance!  Instead, we accept undesirable conditions and situations and then try to combat them at their own level.  That’s a perfect formula for failure.  No one I know consciously wants to be a loser, however, I know several who other-than-consciously set themselves up to be underachievers.  If by chance, I am describing you, then it’s time for you to wake up to just how incredibly powerful you are!

When we shift from being at the whim of circumstances to living spiritually, we open to transformation … the possibility of living our divine potentiality.

And, before I disclose what’s called a self-evident Truth, I want to address something:  As you awaken to how incredibly powerful you are, you will be confronted by the realization that all that “powerfulness” means you are the cause of the great things that are drawn into your life … the experiences you have when you boldly declare “Yes!”  AND you are the cause when life sucks.  There is no one to blame … especially not you!!  Conscious, as well as other-than-conscious, thoughts and beliefs manifest! We are living in and with the consequences of prior (uninformed) choices.  The good news here is how much of life you can influence.  The bad news is how much life you can inadvertently influence.  The relief here is that when you really get the enormity of your potentiality, you understand that you already have the ability to celebrate what is working and change what isn’t.

You just need to work on the Art of Living Spiritually:  change your thinking, shift your beliefs, experience life anew!!!

You have the ability to clean up errors, resolve misunderstandings, heal hurts, and the list goes on.  The circumstances of our lives are the consequence of our choices.  We live in the law of cause and effect.  Our circumstances or conditions are simply the consequence of our choices coming into form.  Every choice has a consequence – some are good, some are not so good.  The not so good consequence can be altered by simply making new and hopefully better choices.

Our thoughts are how we set the law of cause and effect in motion.  Our thoughts work through the avenue of the One Mind.  Conditions are always the externalization of thought, it follows that they can be controlled by changing the thought – by thinking constructively.  This is where it all becomes “self-evident.”  If our thoughts attracted positive experiences into our lives … awesome!  If our thoughts, particularly our habitual thoughts, have brought less than positive circumstances into our lives, we have the ability and the authority to change our thoughts and, therefore, transmute the negative situation.

There is not a thing that appears in the manifest universe that is not an objectified thought, whether it is a bump on your head or a corn on your foot, or a mountain or a planet.  It could not be there if it was not made out of Mind.

I invite you to take a short trip into the imaginal realm:

Since our world of form is objectified thought, bring to mind a situation that you wish to be different.  Contemplate how that would be.  See it in its new expression. Become aware of the many different thoughts you are having about the newly remodeled situation.  Now release all thought of how you would change or fix the situation.  Instead, focus on the thoughts and sensations associated with how you are relating to it in its new expression.  Invite a greater and greater experience of the newly remodeled situation.  Relate to its newness.  Embrace you in relation to this newly remodeled situation.  Sense it on all levels of your body-mind.  Be with it.  Stay a while and enjoy.  Return your attention from the experience very gently.

In order to make sense of what I have been saying, it is essential that you open to the enormity of this Truth.  Until then, some of this may seem far-fetched.  And … I promise you, the “Aha Moment” will strike when it will make complete sense, and you will say to yourself, “Why, it’s all so obvious … I should have known this all along!”

So let’s delve a bit deeper into something else Dr. Holmes shared:  “All we know about mind is that mind is that thing in me, whatever it is, which enables me to know that I am.  It is that in you which enables you to know that you are.  If I had a mind which was all mine, and you had one which was all yours, how could you know that I exist or how could I talk to you?  Therefore we believe that there is only One Mind in the universe and It is incarnated in every one of us.”

It is completely logical to declare, “To say there is one Life, that Life is God, and that Life is my life now, is to speak the truth.  To say there is one Mind, that Mind is the Mind of God, and that Mind is my mind now, is to speak the truth.  For each of us is an individual personality in this infinite and perfect Mind.”

We are each individualizations in this One Mind; no two of us are exactly alike. We each use Its creativeness in unique ways, and we are all immersed in the collective thought of the whole human race.

A person’s mind is the use of the One Mind, God-Mind, to the level of that person’s understanding.  Divine Intelligence stands ready to pour into our consciousness every idea of good, and an infinite Law within this Intelligence acts upon our acceptance or belief, and makes it visible in our experience.  Our activity of thought is actually a Divine compulsion of the One Mind in us seeking an ever-increasing achievement and expression through us.

Dr Holmes declared: “All individual minds, your own included, are merely different activities of the Infinite Mind.  This Mind of God is the Law of your life.  When you speak, It speaks within you.  Thus your thought becomes the law of your life because the Law of the One Mind already resides at the center of your being.”


“Giving of Oneself: Serve and See”

Try it!  You’ll like it!  Serve and see how your life is transformed.

Rabindranath Tagore: “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”

Serving comes naturally to most people, yet there are many who have disconnected from that natural urge.  Most people intuitively respond to the needs of others, of nature.  Most are generous.  Some are not.

The tradition of “selfless service” (work performed without any thought of reward or repayment), is found in all cultures and goes by many names, such as, “Seva” in Sanskrit, “Dana” in Pali, generosity in the west.  This level of generosity is of oneself, from the soul.  It demonstrates a readiness to give more of something, as money or time, than is necessary or expected.

Whether you call it “dana” or “seva” or giving of oneself, generosity produces immeasurable benefits if and when we get out of the way.  Not only are we the beneficiaries every time we appear as a benefactor, we do our part to transform the world by modeling the joy of giving of ourselves … of serving.

When we remember that “we cannot “out-give God,” we free ourselves to give wholeheartedly in full faith and trust.  Spirit has imbued us with immeasurable gifts and talents for us to share … and share them boundlessly!

It’s pretty easy to engage in the rich generosity of “selfless service,” when one is feeling resourceful.  It may be quite different when it feels like giving is wrenching something more away.  Perception is the key. How do we perceive ourselves and others?

Our mindset causes deviations in our perceptions moment by moment that alter how we address different situations.  If we have dropped out of mindfulness into habitual, unconscious behavior, we apply our preconceived notions broadly without thought.  Our impact on others may even surprise us. Our outcomes shift radically depending on the expectations we bring.  Rachel Naomi Remin, PhD, used three related concepts, helping, fixing and serving,  to illustrate the impact that subtle beliefs and distinctions can produce.  When rendering assistance our mindset dramatically alters results:

  • When we see life as weak, we feel called to help and make it weaker
  • When we see life as broken, we find more and more that need fixing
  • When we perceive life as whole, we serve.

How do we perceive ourselves and others?  Do I see myself as weak, broken or whole?  The answer is “yes” to all three … at times.  And how I see myself is, generally, how I see others. My internal dialogue shapes how I show up.  When contemplating why the difference between generosity and hoarding, serving and wanting to be served, givingness and greed, I, not happily, realized they all reside in me.  Most of the time, I serve.  I am generous with my time, talents, treasures … my energy and consciousness. And, sometimes I’m not.  When I’m not it’s because I have fallen into feeling resourceless:  fear of not having or being enough is crowding out my clear thinking, causing me to be egocentric.  It’s curious to look at what factors are present when I feel resourceful vs resourceless.  Feeling resourceless is a primary stimulus for greed.  In the grips of fear of lack, an  intense and selfish desire for things, especially wealth, power, or food, readily arises.

The difference, for me, is rooted in last week’s topic:  “The One Thing.”

That one thing is “Simply Spirit” … the deeply rooted, soul-filled wholeness you “remember” when you open wide to the Truth of your being: You are “Simply Spirit.”  It is the comprehension of this Truth that totally shifts how you experience life.  What I am inviting you to embrace is that you are “Simply Spirit” – a spiritual being that is expressing AS a human being. This level of comprehension recognizes that there is nothing that can be separated.  The wholeness of Spirit is inseparable. There is a unitary whole, God, expressing as countless individuations.

When I remember the One Thing, when I remember that I am “Simply Spirit in expression,” I am resourceful, empowered, confident and give continuously and generously.  I serve.  When I forget, I fall into my list of acquired fears.  I may feel disconnected, limited, less-than, vulnerable to the judgments of others, on the brink of overwhelm that I’m on my own to do all that I expect of me.  When I remember that I am “Simply Spirit,” all negativity in my internal dialogue surrenders to the Truth:  I remember I am an expression of Spirit.  I lean into that knowing:  I am not weak or broken.  I am an expression of a perfect Creator.  I cannot be alone.

Dr. Ernest Holmes shared, “We are on the path of experience. Just waking to the real fact of our true being; as we awake, we find we are surrounded by many false conditions, but there is something within which remembers the real state. If one will sit in quiet contemplation of good, as an inner experience, he will experience the good which he contemplates.”

Sometimes people ask “Why should I serve others?  I have needs, too!”  Martin Luther King, Jr. summed it up this way,   “It really boils down to this; all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

A Course in Miracles reminds us that the purpose of our relationships is to deepen our capacity to give and receive love.  One opportunity of such love is to remind one another that we are “Simply Spirit.”

Often we affirm that “Love is the most powerful healing force in the universe,” and generosity is the practice that puts it into daily living.  The mobius, a never-ending strip used to illustrate infinity, is an excellent model for the interlacing elements of love and generosity:

Love stimulates generosity causing gratitude to arise

Gratitude is experienced as Love that stimulates generosity,

Gratitude arises … and around it goes without end.

Marianne Williamson further reminds us that we are not held back by the love we didn’t receive but by the love we’re not extending in the present.

Very often, I’ll hear people say, “What could I do that would matter?  I can’t just drop everything and run off to India like Mother Teresa did.”  And that is undoubtedly true for most people.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, Nelson Mandela among the other notables sacrificed greatly in order to follow their passion and serve.  There are hundreds of others throughout history.  There are multimillionaires that have shared their wealth and their celebrity in order to serve an array of organizations and millions of people around the world … AND …

Not everyone is called to serve on that scale.  Instead, we are the millions of “ordinary people” who do “extraordinary things.”  We care.  We serve. We show up and do what we can to change the world for the better.  Whether it’s for an elderly person, a child, a neighborhood or an organization.    We care.  We serve. We show up and do what we can to change the world for the better.

This whole subject has sent me wandering down memory lane.  I have been so blessed by those who have showed up in my life and gave to me with no strings attached.  My mental wanderings also brought to mind the many people who gave me the precious gift of accepting what I had to offer:  I probably grew most on those occasions when someone accepted the gifts I freely gave.  Maya Angelou declared that people will forget what you said and what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.  Those who accepted my gifts called me to my best.  They recognized the Truth of my being and granted me the space to relax into giving and receiving an ever-growing supply of all that is needed and desired.  In their presence, I felt really good.  They sensed and saw me as “Simply Spirit” making it through each day of this human experience.

John F Kennedy asked, “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

David Owen Ritz pointed out, “The world was not given to you; you were given to the world. Step into the natural flow of abundance by committing yourself to becoming a giver.”

Dr Seuss admonished us to get off our duffs with,  “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

So I ask, “What if tomorrow you woke up with only the things you were consciously grateful for today? What if, all you had was what you had given, how you had served?  What would you have in your life?”