Birth of the Light

Today I had the experience of awakening suddenly to the faint light of predawn in my room. My alarm had not rung but I was wide awake. Panic set in. What day was it? What time was it? Why didn’t the alarm ring? What was I supposed to be doing? Going to work? Attending Saturday court? Taking up Board or practitioner duties at CSLT? Just then the alarm rang, and I finally tumbled to the conclusion that it was Sunday and I was going to CSLT. My new day, however, was already marred by anxiety over things I needed to accomplish.

This is the season of the winter solstice, the rebirth of the sun. I considered the anxiety my forebears felt during the long winter nights wondering if they had preserved enough food, so the elders and children would survive until spring. The return of the sun at solstice was, for them, a literal celebration of life. In my life I may not depend literally upon the sun for my survival, but I asked whether I was celebrating my life day by day. Was I living from my core or was I simply “doing”?

With divine synchronicity, Rev. Janis’ reminder talk addressed this very topic. She spoke about how we can accept our own magnificence, acknowledge our light and find our own unique way of shining that light. Thinking back to my experience of the morning, I realized that I spend a lot of time stressing about things I should be doing and not a lot about just being present for my life. The things I stress about are not even necessarily things I chose for myself. Many times they are “shoulds” I inherited from other people and from that nasty bullying voice in my head that is always ready to berate me.

In her talk, Rev Janis asked, “how do we become self-aware?” How do we find our unique light and expression apart from the “shoulds”? She said the answer would be different for everyone. As I sat with the idea I realized the answer, for me, was self-love. I am very skilled at bullying myself about what I should be doing. I hide the ball from myself about what I want. I build defenses. In so doing, I shutter my own light. In a moment of radical acceptance, I broke open to my own lack of self-love. I saw a way to live more authentically.

My authentic Self wants to express It’s unique light. With a self-loving intention, I can be my own friend, be on my own side and tell the bullying voice in my head to shut up. Being there for myself I can discover who I am at my core and exercise sovereignty in my own life. I can be honest about what I want.

As a Practitioner, I already see the light in others with love. For these last long nights of winter, I am doing the same for myself. I hold my own hand, drop my barriers and defenses and walk open and unafraid into the light, my own and the light of the reborn sun.

— Leah Hamilton, RScP

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Interconnected

Seldom am I truly surprised. That’s not quite true. I wasn’t truly surprised on Wednesday night with Victor Shamas’ class on Deep Creativity.   In fact, I was totally delighted and thrilled that he had come to the same understanding of the unity of all things, the Oneness of It All, from a completely different (academic!) perspective and point-of-view. As I was sitting in the back of the room, watching his presentation, I kept nodding and smiling at his conclusions. The words he used were different, but he was speaking Science of Mind without knowing it. That awareness thrills me, because it reinforces the idea that there is only one originator, or Source, a.k.a. Divine Mind, with billions of individualized expressions. In his language, there is only one aquifer and we each, whether we are fortunate enough to know it or not, are individual wells tapping into that great aquifer. I love that. I’ll probably use it one of these days.

I was talking with my acupuncturist late last week about something that she and her business partner had noticed with their acupuncture business. When she gets complacent about the business, it just trundles along like it is running on autopilot. It certainly doesn’t grow. It’s adequate, but not stunning, or stellar. But when she ‘wakes up’ (her words) and starts paying attention to the business, the phone starts ringing and people walk in off the streets wanting to see if acupuncture will help them. When she and her son are in the office together, and they are both attentive to the business, they can barely schedule in everyone who wants to come in for services. Her partner says he has noticed this pattern at least five times. At some intellectual level we know this is true, because this is the way the Law delivers on our intentions.

In The Science of Mind 37.2-3, Holmes wrote, “The Thing, then, works for us by working through us and is us, always. It cannot work for us in any other way. It spreads Itself over the whole universe and shouts at us from every angle, but It can become powerful to us ONLY WHEN WE RECOGNIZE IT AS POWER. (yes, he’s yelling). We cannot recognize that It is, while we are believing that It is not.”

When the Board spoke their personal covenant on November 26th, these were some of the things they affirmed:

  • I demonstrate my commitment through active involvement in the activities of the Center for Spiritual Living Tucson, and demonstrate, to the best of my ability, a spiritually principled lifestyle.
  • I regularly attend Center for Spiritual Living Tucson’s Sunday Celebrations, and its other activities and functions.
  • I warmly greet all who enter CSL Tucson’s doors.
  • I consistently and fully tithe my time, talent and treasure.
  • I attract new members to our congregation and encourage others to bring new people.
  • I regularly acknowledge the loving service of CSL Tucson’s staff and volunteers.
  • I actively engage in my own spiritual growth, take classes at CSL Tucson and do my spiritual practices.
  • I enthusiastically participate in, and encourage others in, voluntary service.

Since we are all connected at a level beyond our human understanding, what do you think would happen if everyone who chooses to be part of CSL Tucson decided to affirm even a few of these statements? This is not ‘my’ Center, nor is it your ‘Board’s’ Center, this Center belongs to every single individualized Divine Spark who chooses to walk through our doors and participate with us. Each of us is integral to the full functioning of this Center.   We’d hardly have enough space to accommodate the people clamoring to join with us each Sunday morning in the auditorium at The Gregory School, the Wednesday night classes would be overflowing, and the small groups would be buzzing with excitement and verve.

What shall we do with this All Power that lives as us, in and through us, All Together?   What should we do with this magnificent engine of All Good? I think we should do something wonderful, heart-expanding and amazing. How about we share this tremendous quality of life that we know as already ours?  You in?

— Rev Janis Farmer

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Recycling, Eating Organic and New Thought

I remember when the concept of recycling was new. I remember when the idea of eating organic food was uncommon. It wasn’t so long ago really. In my lifetime I have watched as our culture embraced the values both of these concepts represent. Today both ideas are familiar and commonly practiced. It took just a few decades for the concept of recycling to become a common household practice. Likewise, today organic foods are found on the shelves in all major grocery stores. There was a time these ideas were “cutting edge”.

This for me is very fun to see.

I think that philosophy we embrace at CSLT is “cutting edge”. It is an idea whose time has come, an idea that makes good sense. More and more people daily embrace some aspect of New Thought philosophy. Witnessed by the work of well know TV celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra, and the myriad of other New Thought teachers, literature, CD’s, mp3s, workshops and tons of information available on the internet. The basic concepts that Dr Holmes proposed are being explored and lived by many, whether they are aware of the origin of those ideas or not.

Now in 2017 I am reminded of how it felt to be involved in getting the word out about recycling and eating organically. I remember the feeling of momentum building and awareness growing. Today I hear folks espouse the merits of eating a clean diet and I smile. There was a time when this was “cutting edge” thinking. Today it is commonplace.

When I apply this to New Thought I get goose bumps (the good kind), because I can see, very soon, a day when we’ll all know that we live in choice. A day when we all know that available to everyone, right now, are useful tools that work to help each of us stay centered in the Divine, tools that allow joy and contentment to define our lives. I feel the momentum building, as everyday more and more people become aware of, and choose to use these tools, and to play in this field of unlimited potential. I delight when I think of the kind of place our earth becomes.

Here is to the day when the awareness of New Thought principles is as common as a recycling bin in every home. It is just around the corner!

I feel thankful to know this truth,

Sheila Campbell

“When consciousness is changed, experience automatically changes”          — Ernest Holmes, Living the Science of Mind 207.4

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Growing And Grateful

“…the human is really Divine but will ever evolve into newer and better states of conscious being”. ~~ Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 410.1

So for a few minutes I got ticked off and wondered to myself, “How the *bleep* many times do I have to process this same stuff?  I’ve done ‘tons’ of ‘work’ on my ‘issues’ – in Alcoholics Anonymous, with therapists and in numerous classes at CSL Seattle and CSLT.  What does it take, anyway?”

Well gang, once again I am reminded that growth is an ongoing thing as it must be since Spirit is ever-evolving through and as me/you/us.  I will never get a doctorate in any of the ‘issues’ I thought I had nailed.  However, I choose to embrace growth and thereby, more life, more love, joy, and peace as a result of being willing to be honest with myself and do what needs to be done by me.  But growth is frequently preceded by pain, discomfort, angst and/or confusion.  I mean, who really needs to grow while lying next to the pool in the sun, listening to the birds sing?

But let me get to the causal factors behind this article.  Money, for one.  I thought I understood and totally had it down how the Law of Divine Circulation works and that I always embodied prosperity consciousness.  It was easy to think that way because I had enough money for everything (within reason) that I wanted, plus enough to share.  I tithed.  I actually would occasionally find ‘extra’ money in my checking account.  But then I joined a gym and hired a trainer, my kitty got sick, I took a couple trips and not only was the ‘extra’ money gone, but I realized I was a bit overextended.  Lack and limitation consciousness can be subtle, and just because one is aware of it doesn’t necessarily keep it at bay.  It crept in and I was dumbfounded to find myself sprawled out in the Ditch of Lack.

Enter humility.  Enter actually using the spiritual practice tools we have been instructed to use.  Enter the remembering that God is Source, and that my prosperity is not limited to the Social Security Administration and monthly withdrawals from my retirement fund.  Enter God as Creative Spirit and great ideas!  Seemingly out of the blue, I realized I had several pieces of jewelry that I no longer wear and that there is a great store in Tucson that might wish to sell these items on consignment; they agreed and so far, I have picked up checks for $795!  The community in which I live held a semi-annual yard sale and I sold a bunch of stuff l didn’t need or want to the tune of another $190.  I was reminded and reassured that God is always my source, no exceptions.  In my fear of not being able to manage things on my predictable income, I had forgotten where my good truly comes from.   I just need to remember and live in that certainty.  In The Science of Mind 402.1 Ernest Holmes shares this, “Let us be happy to begin right where we are and grow.”  Deal!

Another thing I thought I had nailed beyond question was boundaries and saying ‘no’ with love.  Alas, I manifested a situation that triggered numerous unpleasant feelings and in taking my own personal inventory as to my part in the breakdown of the relationship, I realized I had set sloppy boundaries and been out of integrity with myself.  I appreciate what Tama Kieves wrote in her book Inspired and Unstoppable, p. 292, “The difficulties are supposed to arise.  Challenges position you to evolve into more than you ever thought possible.”  …and from p. 281, “Wild success isn’t a destination but an awakening, and the evolution continues, as far as I can see.  Even as I know I will continue to face the unknown and unknowable, I feel more peaceful and grateful than ever before.  I know this way will take me all the way.” 

I overflow with gratitude that I am alive and aware of who I am, and that growth continues with every breath I take… I embrace growing pleasures as well as growing pains as I evolve more and more into the knowingness of God as me, as you, and as us.

by Renee’ Mezzone

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Opulent Fruitfulness

Opulent Fruitfulness

Last Monday night in the 8-week Meditation class, the student-led meditation was a mantra meditation. The word that came to me to work with was ‘fruitfulness’. What an odd word. I haven’t really thought of that word since I read the Old Testament for Metaphysical Bible while I was in ministerial school. The phrase that came to my mind, “Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.” (Genesis 1:28, KJV).

So what other ways am I, and are we, fruitful or full of fruits? Well, there’s the fruit of the spirit. (Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22, NIV)). Many of the students who completed the How of Happiness book study this past Wednesday night felt that their time and energy expenditure was fruitful, because they learned that they could increase their own personal experience of happiness and contentment within themselves by working from their strengths. Holmes talks about bearing much fruit when he writes (The Science of Mind 481.7), “When we express a greater livingness, then Life is more completely expressing Itself through us. A barren tree does not express the principle of abundance and production, so a life barren of good does not fully express the divine ideal.

This past weekend, I had this joy of traveling to East Phoenix CSL with our practitioner students so they could take their oral panels and become licensed Religious Science Practitioners (that’s what RScP stands for). Two of them are now authorized to wear the purple stole of service. We will recognize them next Sunday. The third gets to continue to grow in her skills and consciousness and has the opportunity to re-panel next year. It was a sweet, and bittersweet, experience for me, and I think for them. It is easy to remember those days of nervousness and assessment; that feeling of being questioned and challenged about those important and seemingly intangible qualities that set practitioners apart from the gifted and talented lay practicers of our philosophy. For the two who completed their licenses, their spiritual consciousness was recognized and celebrated by the paneling ministers and practitioners who vetted their qualifications and skills. For the one who gets to continue her own personal deep inquiry, she was immersed in love, recognition and appreciation, and encouraged to stay the course. Each of these women, and I, experienced that sweet, and bitter, moment of fruitfulness that can come with certain experiences. I feel blessed and uplifted by these three powerful, prayerful women.

This past Sunday, I spoke about how we often choose to constrain our own experience of freedom, which is a secret code word for fruitfulness, when we unthinkingly or unwittingly accept the directives of others, and do not choose our own life experiences. We got to look at hidden beliefs around the necessity of struggle for the experience of success and the ever present critic, who lives in our own head and decides whether we are good enough, or not.   Spoiler alert: The critic is mistaken. Societal pressures would prefer to keep us as compliant consumers, and that’s not what we are here for. (Lest you think, I am against consuming, that’s not what this is about. It is about you, and me, choosing intentionally and not being led by someone else’s ideas of who we need to be.) To quote Robert Heinlein, “Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite.”   You get to decide what freedom, and fruitfulness looks like for you, and also to change your mind when that particular path no longer works for you and you realize you have a new and better idea. (The audio of this past Sunday’s talk should be uploaded onto the website within the week. Check the link, here.)

In August we are going to start a community wide book-study using Edward Viljoen’s Ordinary Goodness. A limited number of books are available at the book table. You can also read along on your e-reader if that is more your style. Books are not required, but if you desire to follow along, or read ahead, they are available. We will explore how each of us can experience our own greater fruitfulness, in simple powerful ways, through expressing and experiencing goodness, kindness, compassion and faith.  Stay the course. Notice, experience, and enjoy your own fruitful life expression, as you.

Thank you for being part of our community.

By Rev Janis

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One Earth

I am an avid YouTube fan and wander through its riches frequently. Recently I fell in love with a channel that shows NASA footage livestreamed from the International Space Station. With a background of soft New Age music, I like to watch when the camera is trained on Earth as seen from orbit. I never cease to marvel at the beauty of our big blue marble in space. As the space station orbits Earth, I can see the brilliant sparkle of sunlight off waves in the distant oceans. Clouds hug the surface of our planet and seem to glow with an internal light as they also absorb and reflect the sun. Continents become visible and are revealed as smooth expanses of brown under the clouds. At first, I thought the landmasses looked odd. They were just like the maps of my childhood schoolroom in shape, but they looked at the same time completely different.

When I was in school, a large glossy map of the world always hung at front of the room. I spent a lot of time gazing at the map, wondering how it came to be that South America’s shape could nestle like a puzzle piece into the coast of Africa across the Atlantic Ocean. I was not surprised when scientists brought forward the continental drift theory that the landmasses were all once a giant supercontinent, Pangaea, which broke apart billions of years ago. Another thing I noticed in those maps was that every continent was divided up by lines that enclosed shapes of different colors. Africa and Europe looked like patchwork quilts of many colors describing the various countries’ borders.

It was the lack of lines on the continents that at first made the world from space look odd to my eyes. There are no visible borders and boundaries on the Earth’s landmasses. There is no separation visible between nations, people and resources from space; it is evident that Earth is Whole. I was reminded of John Lennon’s song “Imagine”:

Imagine there’s no countries

It isn’t hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion too

Imagine all the people living life in peace

I like to imagine our world in peace, without nationalistic or religious fighting. I once read something about describing one’s address in purely ecological/geographic terms, not using man-made GPS coordinates or country names or political subdivisions of the earth. I tried it out for myself and found it difficult to avoid all “names” but with my new address I felt like a citizen of a whole earth community. Here it is: I live on planet Earth, in the northern hemisphere, almost in the middle of the longest landmass that extends nearly from pole to pole, in a vast desert which is the only place on earth where saguaro cacti grow, in a basin between three mountain ranges, in the Upper Santa Cruz watershed, west of the river itself, and east of the high pass of the western mountain range, near the base of a hill.

I like to watch the NASA livestream and think of myself as a denizen of this planet, unlabeled, undivided and whole and remember with Black Elk:

And while I stood there

I saw more than I can tell

and I understood more than I saw,

for I was seeing in a sacred manner

the shapes of all things in the spirit

and the shape of all shapes as

they must all live together

as one being.

I remember that I am the sparkling waters. I am the shining clouds. I am the blue Earth

and the blackness of space that swaddles it. I AM.

By Leah Hamilton, RScP

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On Eagle’s Wings

“If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree” – Unknown

“Believers do not carry their faith, faith is their wings. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary.” – Ibrahim Emile

In my dream,​ I’m standing alone in an expansive ​barren field. My view is clear, far into the distance and high above. I look way ​up in the sky and see a bald eagle majestically riding the current of the wind. Intuitively, I know this bald ​eagle will fly down within seconds to land on my left shoulder. I brace myself and prepare for the powerful whoosh of the eagle’s landing and the piercing of the eagle’s mighty talons as they grip onto my body. Astonishingly, the eagle lights without a sound, without so much as raising a hair on my head, softly and gently as a single feather. The eagle perches on my shoulder and together, we stand and just look, for a very long time.

​Have you ever felt like you’re lost in your life and you don’t know what you’re doing anymore? Like you just wanted to sleep until everything sorted itself out? Like you were alone and lost in a barren field of nothingness not knowing how to find yourself and just at that breaking point, an “eagle” of sorts appears – possibly as a new insight or a remembrance of something you already knew, but had forgotten in the flurry of your despair?

​Some that know me well are aware I’ve been grappling with what’s next in my life. I’ve given up trying to hide my struggle. My journey hasn’t been very pretty and it’s definitely not over.

Oddly, through this writing, I discovered for myself that I don’t really like change. I see that while I crave change desperately, I have been resisting it by staying mired in confusion and feelings of hopelessness. Carolee Dean’s quote​ “As long as you’re breathing, there’s still hope” gives me comfort as some days I wanted to do nothing more that retract, retreat, close down and give up!

Another fairly obvious insight I imagine many might identify with is that I forget what I ‘know’. As a ‘practicer’ in the Science of Mind philosophy and teachings, I now ‘rechoose’ the truth of our teachings. I choose Faith now and move into a place of gratitude for this transition I have so stubbornly resisted. I let go of my need to know what’s next and I embrace now as a time to purge, to rethink priorities and to be intentional about new habits. I choose to move forward freely rather stand still and continue to suffer.

​Holding this view when we consider our beloved CSLT and the transition we too as a community are going through, might serve us well. Let’s fully embrace this fertile transition with excitement and exuberance! Let’s proudly acknowledge our progress and forward movement! Our currently barren but fertile land on 22nd St stands ready for the seeds of new creation just as my life is now fertile for that which I choose to plant, when the time is ripe for the planting.

As a community, it’s time for us to solidly ground and practice our Faith and hold on, because when we do, the power of our collective creative imagination will and must manifest!!

We wish a faith based on the knowledge that there is nothing to fear! Faith is a substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. The thought of faith molds the undifferentiated substance, and brings into manifestation the thing which was fashioned in the mind. This is how faith brings our desires to pass. When we use our creative imagination in strong faith, it will create for us, out of the One Substance, whatever we have formed in thought. In this way, man becomes a Co-Creator with God…This is not a difficult task, but a thrilling experience. (Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 156.5-157.2)

Funny, how we forget what we know…

In fearless faith,

Holly Baker​

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Releasing the (Inner) Warrior

I am ever grateful for the philosophy and tools I have learned here at CSLT because they have changed my approach to living. During the last few weeks I faced some challenges that would have defeated my old self. But I learned way back in Foundations class that when the brown stuff starts to pile up that is the time to start getting out the spiritual tools like meditation and prayer. One of my lifeline quotes from Ernest Holmes in The Science of Mind is on page 282.4. (I know it is important because it appears totally in caps):

TO DESERT THE TRUTH IN THE HOUR OF NEED IS TO PROVE THAT WE DO NOT KNOW THE TRUTH.  When things look the worst, that is the supreme moment to demonstrate, to ourselves, that there are no obstructions to the operation of truth.

Holmes is talking about keeping the faith in Good when everything seems grim. All around me everything sure felt negative. I had been personally attacked and undermined on my job. I saw a long- time coworker and friend involuntarily transferred out of my unit. A friend at the Center decided to steer her life away in a different direction. I had my faith denigrated by a person close to me as “fortune cookie nonsense.” I was left thinking “What the hell?” I felt angry, very angry, and I also experienced a sense of loss for the people no longer in my daily sphere.

I have a card on my altar with a quote by Ram Dass that says: Everything in your life is there as a vehicle for your transformation. Use it! That means everything that happens to me is ultimately for my good. I knew I had to start looking for that Good. I remembered Reverend Janis quoting Nelson Mandela as saying that if he continued to be bitter and angry at those who held him captive, it would be like keeping himself in prison. That told me I had to process my anger too, and that didn’t mean eating a box of chocolate to numb out. It meant a form of radical acceptance, just letting myself feel my emotions. I sat with my anger in meditation and let it tell me where it lived in my body and what it wanted me to know. I was aware that behind every emotion is a thought. As I sat I discovered the thoughts behind my feelings of anger and loss and the story I created about my reality.

My freedom of choice allows me to reframe the meaning of any experience, to rewrite my stories. I asked myself “is there a different way to look at this situation than as a victim?” That’s when I remembered that I had stated my desire to get in touch with that warrior woman archetype within me a few weeks ago. I had said I was attracted to the independence, decisiveness and strength of the warrior archetype and wanted to bring it into my personal life. Bingo! I had brought the perfect opportunities to myself to practice! When attacked on the job I strongly asserted myself and spoke my truth in a way I had never done before. When ridiculed for my beliefs, I accepted that I no longer needed others to accept me and approve what I do. When the two friends moved on, I realized I had not lost them but their daily absence from my life did spur me to remain independent in my work and growth. I indeed began to see all these events as catalysts for my transformation. I found God and saw the good in the events that had seemed so hurtful.

Like dough to make good bread, I sometimes need the leavening yeast of challenges, along with a good kneading, to make me rise and be strong. Once risen I know I can go out into the world and help others rise as well. In the New Testament, Luke 13:20–21, Jesus gives his shortest parable:

To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened.”

I now know I can prove the Truth to myself. It only takes a few people living the Truth to help others so we may all rise together and create the Kingdom of God right here.

And So It Is!

By Leah Hamilton

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Creating a Common Vision

Reverend Janis’ recent reminder of the faith of Genevieve Behrend to manifest study with Thomas Troward even though he was across the sea and she had no money to get there, inspired me to think how we in our Center can manifest the home of our desires.

We now own property on 22nd Street near Swan, a flat buildable five-acre parcel on a busy and visible thoroughfare.  What is our vision for the asset that we now own? Even when we do not yet know how the Universe will provide it, just as Reverend Janis suggested during her recent reminder, I propose we come up with a vision that we can share and envision together.  A common vision requires a picture that we can focus on individually and collectively as we imagine the reality of how the building that houses our sanctuary and education center looks like on the land we now own.

As Genevieve Behrend, we have some legwork to do to educate ourselves on the cost and processes so our vision has a point of direction. Genevieve knew how much money she needed to bring her dream to reality, she knew her mode of transportation and costs, she knew where she would stay when she arrived in England and she knew where to find Thomas Troward. She had done her research so she could direct her mental work to accurately envision herself counting the cash she needed from one hand to the other, cruising on the ship carrying her to England, residing in the room she would occupy, and once there, walking up to Troward’s house and knocking on the door.

With a collective vision, we can each picture the money we need already banked in the facility fund, the city granting permits, the electric and water being run into the property, the foundation being poured, the hustle and bustle of the building going up, the spades turning the earth and the gardens been planted, and the parking lot being paved.  We can each imagine ourselves in the light-filled sanctuary for Sunday celebration, hearing the music the stirs our hearts and animates our energy. We can each listen to the spiritual message of Reverend Janis’ inspired and challenging words of truth resounding in the warm and inviting new space.

We can each picture ourselves in the education center partaking of exciting classes, brimming with knowledge and tools to help us shape our lives, supported by the smiling faces of our loving Community. We can each smell the gardens growing on the land and mentally walk the meditation path or labyrinth to remind ourselves of Omnipotent Bounty. We can each envision the sign out front boldly declaring our new home to all those who pass by. We can see the paved parking filled with cars transporting those of us already participating at our center to our new digs, and those who are new to the center curiously coming in to find out what we offer.

With a common vision and a common purpose, we could each model the actions of Genevieve Behrend and do the mental work to put ourselves in the place we want to be and hold to that vision with absolute trust that it is already so because the abundant Universe knows how to deliver it even when we don’t.  Let’s make our vision a reality!  So It Is!

By Carla Hodge

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Course Corrections

I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”               — Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Have you ever wondered why changing directions, and moving in the direction of your dream, is so demanding and elusive? I have.

Not only must we endeavor to live the lives that we have imagined, we must also be honest about our experience of time, and how we spend, or use, it. Why? Because our repetitive thoughts and behaviors created the person I became today. The possibility of change arises only after we have neutralized the power, insistent drive and momentum of the old patterns and ways of thinking.

I had this realization at age 29. By age 29, I had spent 248,240 hours becoming exactly the person that I had become. During those years, I routinely spent one hour each Sunday in community on spiritual matters, and that was all. The rest of my life was mine to do with as I pleased. I didn’t like the results I was getting from that decision.

This recognition was important because I concluded that celebrating one hour in spiritual community on Sunday would not be sufficient to change the direction, much less reverse the trend, of my life. And I realized I had no interest in slowly and casually accumulating another 248,240 hours of (perhaps) new thinking to neutralize my past. Why?

I would be 58 years old, and only infinitesimally changed. I knew there had to be a faster way. There was. Rather than taking the slow path, doing only one thing at a time (attending Sunday services), I would increase my level of engagement and do three things at the same time. Simultaneously, I gave of my time, my talent and my treasure. This doesn’t only mean participating in the church or center of my choice. It means owning and honoring my own spiritual life experience. In doing so, I attained my goal and dream sooner rather than later.

By combining the actions, and owning them, I had unexpected success in common hours. I also had the experience of success sooner rather than later. One hour out of a week, or even of a day, would have been to slow, taken too long, and probably lead to frustration. And, out of that frustration, I can easily imagine creating an excuse to quit and say this stuff does not work. Attend Sunday Celebration only, participating at a passive level, would not have allowed my success.

In summary, there is power in time. How we use it is critical. Knowing the number of hours that passed in the creation of the old me, allowed me to exercise compassion towards the “me” that wanted to become more. I became my current self by arresting the momentum of my former life and intentionally changing my direction. Are you interested in arresting the momentum of your former self and creating a new you?

by Keith Gorley

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