Robert Fulghum wrote a book entitled "Maybe…Maybe Not". The title comes from a Yiddish term, timshel, which means "maybe", and by implication, "maybe not".
Long ago I read something that was intended to be humorous: “When all else fails, lower your expectations.” When I saw the quote for the first time, I laughed hysterically. Obviously, I related to the idea more than I really wanted to. I’ll never forget that moment. It really brought me to myself.
With a viewpoint that something we desire or are working toward may or may not come into our experience, we demonstrate one kind of possibility thinking. However, this kind of possibility thinking may… or may not… help us have what we want.
If I embrace the idea that something I want may, as well as may not, come, then what am I really choosing? I am choosing that it really doesn’t matter what happens. Obviously, with this viewpoint, I have not really chosen that particular desire as my own. If I say I want something, why would I choose not to choose it?
Why would anyone act like s/he wants something, when in fact, and based on this lackadaisical attitude about it, s/he obviously doesn’t care about it one way or another?
Do you ever say you want something when if fact, you really don’t? Have you ever lowered the quality of your desire because you haven’t yet attracted it? Another term for this would be “settle for”.
If you look at Life and at timshel from the viewpoint of being a victim in a random and fickle universe; that you may or may not experience the life you desire, the possibilities look less than glorious and encouraging. And with this point of view, I suspect there will be more “have not’s” than “have’s”.
Alternatively, if you really choose whatever you say you want in life, and allow the Infinite Creative Law that makes everything happen, then timshel can facilitate opening to an even greater possibility in Life; one greater than any you have imagined so far. What do you think?
~Blessings, Rev Donald~
As I sat in Church April 15, 2012, listening to Rev. Donald Graves talk about our Center and Community visioning, a great, deep peace and feeling of well being swept over me. I've had this experience at times in the past and usually in this deepened state of consciousness - comes the Light. As I sat there listening, the Light appeared. First it seemed only around me and then it filled the auditorium. And I was overwhelmed by the Love and Oneness I was experiencing.
As Rev. Donald talked about filling out the information sheet all I could think was Light. Just Light, Light, Light. Then the knowing came that the right Church Home is out there just waiting for us to discover it. Also had the thought “Do not limit your search.”
And then I realized the Light was dissipating and fading. What an absolutely wonderful and beautiful experience for me. The feeling of deep peace stayed with me for the rest of the service. And I didn't want to leave the auditorium. Have absolutely no idea what I wrote on the information sheet.
When I got home and walked into the apartment I realized how full of light it was and how happy I was to be here. Sat down in my chair and thanked Spirit for this wonderful, beautiful experience I was given that morning. I believe completely that “The Infinite is there, awaiting the touch of our awakened thought.” Life is good.
And then I cried because I was so very happy! What a special day.
~ Sandy Mallory ~
Every time I hear Jimmy Buffett sing "I Love the Now" I remember that I always live in choice. I, like everyone else, have the perpetual opportunity to live in this present moment, this right now, or to live in the past and operate as though the experience I am in the middle of right this minute is exactly the same as something that happened before. Its easy to relive a memory and say "this is the same as that" because our minds like to pigeonhole events, circumstances and occurrences. It's easy to do that. Some would say it is even natural and appropriate. If you are trying to avoid getting eaten by a saber-toothed tiger, or stomped by a Brontosaurus, it makes some sense to remember how one set of circumstances seems very similar to a previous set of circumstances. In fact, even subconsciously translating or projecting from someone else's story might save your life if you are operating in survival mode.
Our bodies react to our memories exactly as though they are actual real-in-the-moment events. There's no difference. In the Spiritual Thought from this past Sunday, Ernest Holmes (from A New Design for Living, p. 130) says "In whatever aspect of living we desire a betterment - be it in respect to health, abundance, or happiness - we have to know that it is ours now. We establish the pattern now, we accept what it is now, we know that it is our experience now. There is no difference between thought and thing. There is no time element in Mind, nor need there be in out mind. Whatever good we desire must be accepted as the present reality of our experience. Only now can it exist."
If I create a fear situation in my mind, my body acts fearful, releasing adrenaline and cortisol, and my body gets ready to fight, flee or freeze. Basic physiology again. The bad news, according to the physicians and psychologists who study such things is that this internalized fear state, which may have been created by something completely imaginary, causes an internal physical-chemical stress on the body, and has a long lag time before the body can even begin to come back to its own balance, equilibrium and well being.
What if "this is not that"? What if this apparently threatening situation isn't really inherently threatening? What if the Universe is predominantly a safe place and that all the events in my present experience can be viewed from a positive and supportive perspective? This doesn't mean I'm going to be stupid and step out in front of a bus to see what happens, but it can mean that I don't automatically interpret a conversation, and impression, or a look as antagonistic from the start.
Feels like a happier way to live to me. How about you?
It is my hope that you and your families are in excellent health and finding more excuses for love and joy in life.
I am trusting that everyone will be forgiving of this mass communication, and hopefully pass onto others our brief update. Needless to say, it has taken me a while to be able to form the ideas of what this crazy experience has been like for us here in Abu Dhabi. A lot of processing going on. lol
It is hard to believe that I have nearly completed my 2-year teaching contract here. Prayer is an incredibly powerful tool, but one could have never expected it to be answered in the way it was--Wow! Not only has this opportunity provided for us financially, allowing Ryan the chance to work on his degree as well as availing us to travel to places that we NEVER would have thought that we'd visit, but it has been such incredible spiritual fodder. Living in a Muslim country has been such a tremendous experience for us, and we are ever so grateful for being able to experience Islam first hand. Prior to moving here, we, like many folks, thought that the Middle East was a place full of angry Muslims who were trying to impose their radical beliefs on others--I mean, that's what the media tells us, night after night, right?? -- everyone is Taliban and women are silenced and imprisoned by Islam. Whoa, so NOT true!! As Donald has said on more than one occasion, the news reports on the "exception" and not the "rule". I don't think I could possibly articulate the Peace and Love that I experience here, as people are so friendly, so hospitable, and so respectful. They don't gossip, but laugh at their petty complaints and shrink from confrontation. It's almost the complete opposite of the Western paradigm, which has probably been the hardest part of coping with this culture here--accepting that I have a lot of areas to improve on. lol Naturally, living in this environment has impacted my consciousness greatly, and I often wonder in awe what prayer I made to create this wonderful experience.
I just want to share a couple of Arabic words that are sprinkled into nearly every sentence here, and are so attuned with New Thought/SOM teachings, that have had a profound impact on me.
- In'shallah: directly translated, it means "God willing". It is almost synonymous with the word, YES, and it implies a promise, a trusting, a knowing that something is going to happen. Whenever something in the future is described, "In'shallah" ends the sentence. When someone asks you to do something, this is your response. Even though this expression seems commonplace, I don't know if I can really articulate what a powerful word this is. It has personally reminded me that every intention is prayer that Spirit is eager to manifest; and it is not an "if...." but a matter of "when..." So I love hearing that "God is willing" to do something for me when I make a request.
- Alhumdiallah: This means, "Give thanks to God", and is the response you give when someone asks you " How are you? -- How's it going?"-- Whoa! -- isn't that interesting? I love when someone asks me this question, because it gives me a moment to pause and feel grateful for this body and this life that I have. I think, "Yea, thanks to God, I am here, having this breath and sharing this moment with you. Pretty cool."
- Asamalakum: This is what you say when you want to say "hi" to someone, and it means "The Peace of Allah Be Upon You". How cool is that? I remember when I went to Catholic mass, the part of the service where everyone shakes hands and says "Peace" to each other used to be my favorite time. But now I get to do it ALL the time! It is wonderful to be in the awareness that you are offering Peace to people you meet, recognizing that the Spirit of Life is "upon them". I think this is my absolute favorite Arabic expression because of this.
As you might imagine, we are in no hurry to leave the "sandbox", our amusing term for the UAE. We are content to stay at least another year, or at least until Ryan completes his degree--In'shallah! lol However, we hope to see many of you when we come to visit this summer in August. We may only be able to come to one Sunday service because of our schedule, but we feel hopeful that we might be able to meet up some other time to officially catch up. Know in the meanwhile that you are always in our prayers and thoughts, and that we love you very much.
May you continue to enjoy your journey into your Divine enfoldment, as I know you are a blessing and a joy to this world. We look forward to seeing you soon!
-- Judy Imamudeen