How I Described (and Used) The Creative Process

A common example used to explain the creative process is that of growing a plant. You start with the seed (Conscious Mind) which is planted in the ground (Creative Medium) to produce a plant (Manifestation). During Foundations class, we were asked to come up with our own example we would use to illustrate the creative process. Having a background in theater, this is how I described it:

Conscious Mind is represented by the director whose idea it is for the production. To start with, the whole concept lives in his mind only. He then assembles a cast and crew to whom he explains his concept. They are the Creative Medium creating characters, props, costumes, etc. that bring the vision to life. The performances are the Manifestation of this process.

Through this, I was able to relate my theater experience to Science of Mind principles. Now, over a year later, I get to bring my SOM practices to my theater experience.

I’m doing the costumes for the next Live Theatre Workshop’s Children’s Theatre production, Tall Tales: Legends of America. I have 30 characters to costume and 6 weeks in which to do it. When I did costumes for Tucson Shakespeare in the Park, I had just as many characters but we had a couple of months to work with. Luckily, some of the characters only need one article of clothing to identify them.

At first, I’m a little overwhelmed. Some of the pieces I needed were not common articles: multiple cowboy hats, a fringed vest, a green banker’s visor, an aluminum hard hat, etc. But, I remember and recite my manta – Spirit guides me, all is well. I created my costume list of things I wanted and put it out into the Universe. If you are clear in what you desire, the Law must respond with a Yes! Things suddenly started appearing.

Where am I going to find a pair of spurs, maybe two? There they are in the props rack. I’m looking for a red cowgirl skirt to fit a full-figured actor. There it is hiding under the matching shirt and it fits without needing alterations. How about a ten-gallon cowboy hat? I can take that brown top hat and make one. I’ve only got 4 of the 5 Henley shirts I need. Searching the costume racks for the nth time, I finally spot one on a rack I’ve looked through numerous times not seeing it. And it’s the size I’m looking for. Thank you Spirit.

This has been the most relaxed, easy going process I have experienced doing costumes. I knew this time I was not going to be doing it all on my own. I was confident I would be led to find what was needed or inspired on how to create it. With Spirit, everything came together with ease.

Please come see what Spirit has made manifest through the Tall Tales cast and crew for your enjoyment. The show runs weekends July 15 through July 30. (Now Showing – Children’s Theatre | Live Theatre Workshop) I guarantee you will laugh, tap your toes and maybe even tear up a bit.

–Janet Salese

GOT RESENTMENT

Yeah, me too. I don’t like it. How about you?

In the Resilient book study class offered last year, I had mentioned that I often feel resentful and that I didn’t want to have those feelings in me. I didn’t like how I felt. Rev. Janis casually mentioned, ‘being resentful is a learned behavior.’ I almost didn’t hear what she said. Learned behavior? I thought who did I learn THAT from? Bam. I answered my own thought immediately. I can only begin to tell you the relief I felt just hearing those words, then. Knowing it was only a learned behavior, IT IS totally possible to UNLEARN that behavior! I felt instant relief.

Jump ahead to this year and I’m in the Atlas of the Heart book study class. We started to discuss the section on resentment, and I quickly announced, “I’m the Queen of resentment.” I said it as though it were a good thing! Ha! What? What am I thinking? Let me tell you, I’ve been thinking about this ever since I said that. Every thought we think and every word we speak, is creating our future (Louise Hay). I don’t want to be the Queen of resentment. I’m happy to let someone else wear that crown.

Why do we hang on to resentment? I don’t know but it’s obvious I do. Since I haven’t quite figured out how it serves me, I know it must, since I haven’t let it go. As I was walking past the 40′ shipping container on my property, the thought came to me that ‘hanging onto resentment is kind of like hoarding.’ The effects of one afflicted by it are basically the same since it is so difficult to let it go. I speak from experience in both areas.

Let me just clarify that a bit.

Resentment: a feeling of anger because you have been forced to accept something that you do not like. (Cambridge Dictionary)
Hoarding: a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. (Mayo Clinic)

Resentment is a thought; hoarding is an action. Both of which I don’t want. Neither serves me well.

What serves me well are thoughts and actions that bring me peace calm and order. That’s what I want to focus my attention on. Many years ago, I showed up at CSLT looking for a little bit of spiritual guidance. I got it, and a whole lot more than I ever bargained for. I love a good bargain. How about you?

Madeline Pallanes

fear, fight, flight, freeze, flop, fawn…

                                        … Faith, Forgiveness, Flow, Freedom

The seed of freedom must be planted in the innermost being of man, but… man must make the great discovery for himself.
Ernest Holmes The Science of Mind 25.2

I have finished the Spiritual Practitioner classwork, and my panels to become a licensed practitioner are this Saturday, June 25. This journey has been about living life from my center, going within and being one with the Source, with Life. It has been an awareness of how much of my time has been spent on looking outside myself for guidance. Aligning with Spirit is a constant monitoring of my thoughts, and when I get off course, to re-align. How can I assist someone to find their Divine Center if I can’t do that myself?

Looking at my life experiences and how I have related to them in the past; fear, and the five responses to being challenged (some would use the word trauma), fight, flight, freeze, fawn, flop. My top two behaviors are freeze, and fawn, which means compliance and people pleasing. These lifelong behaviors are not easy to change, but with awareness, practice, and weekly time with my prayer partners, I started transforming those experiences through faith and forgiveness, to get to flow and freedom. Ernest Holmes words on freedom became more than words, they became an experience.

This journey is about living life inside out, to know my truth by deepening my union with God. My Truth is not always comfortable, but it is Freedom.

The Divine Plan is one of Freedom; bondage is not God-ordained.
Freedom is the birthright of every living soul…. The truth points to freedom, under Law. Thus the inherent nature of man is forever seeking to express itself in terms of freedom. We do well to listen to this Inner Voice, for it tells us of a life wonderful in its scope; of a love beyond our fondest dreams; of a freedom which the soul craves.
Ernest Holmes The Science of Mind 25.3

Photo by Jill Wellington

–Maria

Time again to reach out and share some thoughts that relate to Tucson CSL

I made it to the first meeting of the book study “Atlas of the Heart.”

The discussion was centered on the introduction and the first chapter. I realized that some of my problems following the line of thought had to do with my defense mechanism of avoidance.

At one point during the introduction the author was lamenting along with her siblings their intense disdain for having to move literally tons of accumulated stuff that the previous, now dead, generation had gathered and refused to let go of. I was a good student of said generation and I am a visual learner. I also depend heavily on physical prompts to jog my memories.

I have a real addiction to stuff.

I tend to avoid anything I see as unpleasant whatever it takes. And if emotional work is involved, I have a tendency to run away.

Okay, so the introduction was just how the book came about and some background information. My stories are different and that’s ok. Because as individuals we are different, the emotional response pattern is similar.

Chapter one touched on stress, overwhelm, anxiety, worry, avoidance, excitement, dread, fear and vulnerability. The author gives brief examples of stress, overwhelm, anxiety and worry.

I particularly related to avoidance. The author states: “Avoidance will make you feel less vulnerable in the short run, but it will never make you less afraid.” Also, I hadn’t considered the consequences of this coping mechanism and its effect on others.

“The premise of the book is that language has the power to define our experiences.” Anxiety and excitement are defined and contrasted to practical fears.

Then an analysis of vulnerability leading to the conclusion that vulnerability can also be an asset.

I have begun chapter two “Places We Go When We Compare” and feel like I am beginning to make some progress and finding more relatable material. I hope to attend this discussion for the next 12 weeks. The class is a drop in and not a certificated affair, so read along and feel free to participate as you are able.

–Chris Wheeler

Invoke. Who, Me?

The image “Invoke” is from Cheryl Richardson’s Grace Cards. The back of the card reads, “Ask for a blessing. There is an endless supply of Divine support awaiting your request.” As a hard-core Religious Scientist, I feel a little twitch with her imagery, and what’s implied by her words. It looks like she’s asking for a favor from a God ‘out there’. We know that’s not where the Divine lives. It lives in us, through us, as us, and also all around us. It’s clearly not a big daddy in the sky that gives us candy when we ask nicely.

Neither does that image convey the typical notion I have when I think of the word ‘invoke’. To me, invoke is more engaged than that, more like demanding, asserting and claiming. The magician creating a spell uses an invocation, and so does someone speaking affirmations that they actually believe. According to dictionary.com both the passive and active meanings of the word apply. Invoking is a tool we each have available to us, right now, that we can use to claim and receive our endless supply of good.

We are invoking a new creation this month. We’re returning to in-person services, but they won’t be the same as what we had before. We’re in a different place, and each one of us has experienced a different sort of life for these past 27 months. How will we show up differently for ourselves, for each other and for our spiritual community?

This isn’t something that I’m doing single-handedly, though I do have a part in it. Every Sunday this month I’m going to ‘dance’ with the text of the Hafiz poem, “The small man builds cages for everyone he knows. While the sage, who has to duck his head when the moon is low, keeps dropping keys all night long for the beautiful rowdy prisoners.” And it’s not something me, your board, our practitioners and our beloved music team are creating for the enjoyment, and the spiritual growth, emotional well-being and social enhancement of our community, though we trust those things will happen too.

For the remainder of the month of June, we, the community of CSL in Tucson that chooses to gather in person is going to begin to gather in person again. Are we invoking an endless supply of good? What does that good ‘look like, sound like, and feel like’ when we do that? What probable experiences are we creating, feeling and invoking together? What are we ready and willing to ask for, claim and receive? Back in January when we did the Community Envisioning practice for this year, one of the big-ticket items was to find more ways to experience joy together. (Hint: that’s not a top-down agenda.) How do WE invoke joy, peace and blessings (aka ‘good’) for ourselves, each other, and our community?

We’ll also be invoking a greater understanding and appreciation of our emotions, through reading/discussing Brene’ Brown’s Atlas of the Heart, so that we may speak more clearly and effectively in all aspects of our relationships and our lives. Having the emotional clarity in our word choices lets each of us speak clearly and accurately about our experiences, and those we desire to have. We’ll increase our recognition of good, and be able to see more clearly the good that arises from those things that don’t necessarily look like good at first.

I invite you to consider your answers to these questions. Is it just business as usual, the same-old-same-old, or are we invoking something new that has never been experienced by us before? We get to call it into being. What do we create?

If you choose to participate with us in person, or choose to remain online, I look forward to seeing you Sunday morning at 9:30am for our Sunday Celebration Services, and preceding that, at 9am for our in-person only Sunday morning meditation at our new Sunday location, Live Theater Workshop, 3322 E. Fort Lowell Rd.

–Rev Janis Farmer

Thoughts As My Sabbatical Ends

I’ve been physically away from you all for a month. I’ve done a bit of traveling and a lot of reading, writing, thinking and resting. I’ve had a doctor appointment — a follow-up from my hospital visit 3 months ago, a couple massages, and treatments for my back. I’ve finished one quilt top and started on another, planted some flowers, and done a tiny bit of work on my house.

I’ve watched the attendance numbers sag while I’ve been away, and the contributions are not keep up with what I know the basic monthly expenses are. I know it’s summer, our winter visitors have left for cooler climates, and more than a few folks have expressed displeasure with our continuing zoom services. I remember when Rev Donald took his sabbatical in summer 2016, our attendance dropped by 35%. Of course, that was also the summer the air conditioning was out at The Gregory (it was truly sweltering in that auditorium), so I’m sure that also had an impact. I’m grateful our Sunday attendance during May was only down 15%. Thank you to those who continued to participate in, and support, this spiritual community and those who chose to enjoy and support the speakers I deliberately picked for the Sundays I was elsewhere.

I devoured a bunch of books during the month I was away, both fiction and non-fiction, and I’ve thought a lot about what’s actually mine to do. Truthfully, the Visioning class I took in February jumpstarted the process for me. The final project for Visioning was to create a personal (life) vision statement. Mine: “I live as a lighthouse, a living sanctuary, involved and willing to be changed by the process. No matter what I do, I live as love.”

One of the books I’m still working my way through is Burnout, The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle (2019) by Emily and Amelia Nagoski. In the 2nd chapter, they wrote about reframing, and reconsidering the decisions we’ve made in the past, and how we might take another look at them. I’ll share my process with you, here.

The exercise is about redefining what success looks like for the reader, and it’s built around a goal that creates frustration instead of joy. I was stunned when I realized my answer to their question, which is what inspired me to share this with you all.

Frustrating Goal: Grow, support, and sustain CSLT, aka ‘Keep the wheels on the bus’. (I actually believed this was mine to do, and it’s not.)

Why is this frustrating? It’s not attainable for me to accomplish. I can’t make any of it happen.

What can I do instead? (Brainstorming, not all ideas captured are good ideas)

  • Share what I know, and continue to explore with individuals who engage
  • Speak, teach, facilitate, write
  • Support, encourage, guide (lighthouse)
  • Continue to explore my own spiritual (includes physical, mental, emotional) wellbeing, share what I learn
  • Encourage others to do the same
  • Fret over people who choose not to show up, or quit supporting this center (presumably because they feel it doesn’t support them the way they want to be supported.) Chase anybody, ever.
  • Express gratitude for those who do show up and participate.
  • Express gratitude for those continuing to connect with each other and this center.
  • Express gratitude for those engaging in their own spiritual (physical, mental, emotional) work.
  • Discover what self-care really looks like and do that.

Next, I get to choose a couple of these ideas and decide how to implement them most efficiently, keeping my vision for my life purpose firmly in mind. And remembering that if I’m not enjoying what I’m doing, I might want to think about that some more, and pick differently.

I look forward to being back with you soon. Big hugs. — Rev J

The Body Divine

That is the topic title of June’s Science of Mind magazine. Usually I “savor” the magazine, reading the Daily Guides each day and articles in my spare time throughout the month. After seeing Live Theater Workshop’s production of Body Awareness (playing through June 4th), hearing Joseph Gabrielson RScP speak about how his attitude towards his body changed while studying SOM principles, then seeing this month’s topic, I dove right in. If you don’t subscribe to the magazine, copies are available at the office.

Here are some of the highlights:

Pg. 11 – Dr. Edward Viljoen gives a simple exercise to come to love your body, or at least various parts of it.

Pg. 24 – At the end of Kelly Robbins’ article is a nice affirmation, “My body is the temple holding my soul. And it’s up to me to take care of it and love it as it is.”

Pg. 100 – Rev. Sally Robbins offers A Whole-Body Treatment.

Pg. 97 – Rev. Karen Russo eloquently states what I have come to realize: “We discover that choosing to build a robust, healthy physicality provides us with a more receptive, aware, capable vehicle for expressing our Spirit in this world.”

Pg. 26 – “Your Body Is Trying to Get Your Attention…Are You Listening?” by Dennis Merritt Jones spoke the most to me.

For many years, I did not listen to my body. I made it do what my mind thought it should regardless of any signals it was sending to the contrary. A cold wasn’t going to keep me from going to work. Feeling tired? Just push through it…and collapse later. And actually, that’s exactly what did happen. Diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I went from working 16-hour days to sleeping 16 hours a day. My body took drastic measures to make me slow down and listen. I reluctantly made many lifestyle changes-work, diet, exercise, yoga and meditation, etc.-which eventually led me to New Thought teachings and CSLT.

Many I know view this diagnosis as a disability and burden. I came to appreciate it as a way of learning lessons I would never have otherwise learned. I learned to stop and smell the roses. I learned that, even though I couldn’t do everything, I found ways to do what I was meant to do. I learned ways of doing things that were right for me, not necessarily anyone else. I learned what it meant to be a human being rather than a human doing. I learned I have value and worth in just being. I learned that I’m not like everyone else and that’s ok, even marvelous.

As Jones puts it, “…your body-in its current condition-may be a teacher with a message for you, especially if that condition is one of illness, malady, or disability of some sort. What message does your teacher have for you?”

–Janet Salese

GOT SHADES

On a recommendation I went to see her through a Catholic charity. She may have been a nun although she wasn’t dressed as one. She was old, probably the age I am now. I was young, in my early 20’s. She peered at me over her eyeglasses, head tipped down, eyebrows raised, lips perched in a stern wrinkled face. She sat behind a big wooden desk; arms folded in front of her. She stared at me as I sat on the hard wooden chair facing her, although I was ready for a couch. There was no couch. This was low budget counseling. I thought what the heck, I may even get some spiritual guidance here.

I spilled my guts to her.

I was wrong.

In a real annoyed tone, as if I were wasting her time, she said, “Madeline, you see life through rose colored glasses!” I sat there bewildered and quiet. She went on and on about how I was viewing life wrong. When I finally spoke, I said, “You make that sound like that’s a bad thing?!” Honestly, I couldn’t see what was so wrong with seeing life through rose colored glasses. Nearly 40 years later, I still can’t see what’s so bad about it. For this article I asked Google to define seeing through rose colored glasses: “to see things in an overly optimistic, often unrealistic way.” Again, I still can’t see what’s so wrong with that considering the alternative.

Nowadays though, ‘the future’s so bright I got to wear shades!” Love shades. I now see life through the eyes of love. It’s so much easier. It’s so much more beneficial. There’s no longer a need for low budget counseling. I simply soak up all the teachings CSLT has to offer. As a bonus, I do get some spiritual guidance. This is priceless and for this I share my love and remain grateful.

“In an intelligent study of the teachings of the Science of Mind, we come to understand that all is Love and yet all is Law. Love rules through Law. Love is the Divine Givingness; Law is the Way.”

Ernest Holmes – Science of Mind – Page 43.1

–Madeline Pallanes

Hollyhock Magic

Coming home from my walk I see a man in a black SUV parked in front of my house. I know exactly what he is doing. He has been called by the hollyhocks. I am surprised by his stopping because the flowers have not begun to bloom, but the leaves are a big beautiful green and there are a lot of them clustered together. Hollyhocks take two years to grow into plants that bloom. They are also independent, hearty plants that do not need to be covered when it frosts, nor do they need to be watered.

            Still curious about his stopping, I say, “You look in deep contemplation.”

“Are those squash plants? I’m putting a planter in my friend’s backyard and am looking for some vegetables to plant.” I tell him the plants are hollyhocks. We chat a bit, then he pulls out his phone and wants to show me pictures of the work he has done. We are still in the middle of the street. I suggest he puts his car in park, and he does. He shows me the photos and where he is working a street to the north. In the photos I notice beautiful iron work on the wall where he is putting in the planting beds. When he says they have similar ironwork on the wall around the front of their house, the one with the pontoon boat, I know exactly which house he is talking about. It’s a beautiful yard, with two big Mesquite trees with flowers around the base of the trees. We marvel about the trees together. I learn his name is Hector, and Joe is the friend he is helping out. “What’s his wife’s name?” I ask. He closes his eyes and thinks about it, then remembers “Judy. Joe and Judy.” In my daily walks around the neighborhood, I have greeted Joe, now I can do it with his name.

            Hector tells me of his arthritic hands, the cancer that is remission and about his kayaking and upcoming 77th birthday. But mostly he tells me about the importance of staying busy.

            I tell him he must come by when the hollyhocks are in bloom, he assures me he will.

            During the time we had our conversation in the middle of the street, no cars came by. It was a scared time of communion and grace.

–Maria

BELONGING

For years a feeling like I did not fit on planet earth was my constant companion. I knew that there are a multitude of ways to GOD and I was confused seeing things and experiencing life from a multitude of modern perspectives. I have been influenced by many of the common ideas that seem to dominate the majority of people. At the time it was all I had to go on.

The Story of Gillian Lynne

            The story of a little girl. The little girl was constantly getting into trouble in the classroom at school. She was talking at the wrong times. Appeared not to have any prolonged concentration abilities. And was deemed generally disruptive. Unable to sit still, Gillian had earned the nickname Wriggle Bottom. Gillian felt hopeless, her teachers were exasperated, and her mother was at the end of her tether.

            Gillian’s mother persevering took her to a psychologist. After some discussion among the three of them, the psychologist turned on the radio and told the little girl that he and her mother needed to leave the room for a moment. They left the room, waited a few moments, and peeked in. The little girl was joyously dancing to the music. The doctor looked at the mom and said your little girl is a dancer. Her mother enrolled her daughter in an arts school that included dancing and the little girl became very successful. Finally finding other children that she could relate to. And express herself with movement.

This story really moves me because I love to create. I believed I had no choice. That in order to survive in this world I must conform to common hour thinking. Discovering new ideas used to feel much more difficult. Not knowing what I’m not seeing or not seeing what is there, due to my thinking or perception. I’m grateful for a new perspective.

Today, having my new and increasingly aware perspectives, I have experienced great relief. I credit this enlightenment to the study and practice of Science of Mind. This study increases my abilities to explore new tools to guide me in my exploration of the multiverse.

–Chris Wheeler

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