Me Changing Me

“Life shrinks or expands in direct proportion to one’s courage.” – Anais Ian

Change is difficult because ‘same’ is easy. I worked really hard for a lot of years and I deserved a break. The issue has become how long a break, and after five years of retirement exactly what am I breaking away from now?

Frankly, I’m good with: No subway commute into midtown Manhattan. No financial models to prepare, no boss or staff to praise, cajole or worry about. The people I enjoyed; I’ve kept in my life. Mostly.

So, where’s the bad/hard/challenge? For me it’s re-claiming the energy of learning daily, responding to new circumstances, and managing the unexpected. I’ve known for some time I need to grow, to change, to become more of that unique expression that is from my center, not accepting any longer that excuse of putting first the I am responsible to/for: others, my house, my car, my volunteer gigs, etc. Or the all-encompassing excuse for me: I deserve a break today…. Again.

I have done good things. Still… it’s been five years!

I’m a decent photographer. I have what it takes to be really good. And to be really good in creating work that is different from what I photograph by habit. But it is so much easier to do the usual, than it is to move away from the habitual, the “I’ll do that after I __________.”

And so, I’ve started. This plan now lives written on my white board, pinned to my bulletin board, posted on the refrigerator, and stuck to the bathroom mirror:

1. I Know, Accept and Allow who I really am.
2. I clear away every thing which obstructs or diverts from #1.
3. #1 and #2 occur concurrently
4. NOW. Every day.


The primary requirement is remembering it all flows from S/spirit within, around, as, and through everything.

And yes, my spending time in stillness is absolutely required in accomplishing this.

Rev. Janis and I laugh over my addiction to “consistent & persistent.” Now, however, I know them as the practice I must maintain. Yes, persistently, consistently maintain steps 1-5 to make the following the active expression and manifestation of who I really am.

These words stay posted over my desk where I see them every time I sit down to work on anything. They seem fairly ordinary and standard, except when I don’t do them.

1. Before beginning – define why I am doing _____________ (and remind myself why when I go off- track.)
2. Focus on what I’m doing (ignoring the voice muttering “you really should be doing this not that.”)
3. Make space/time for the unexpected, unplanned to blossom.
4. When I stop, leave the project properly organized for the next session, or finished and filed in good order.
5. Always be grateful I can choose so freely who I am and what I do.

What is a Universal Human? It is one connected through the heart to the whole of life, a person awakening from within by a deep heart’s desire to express and give his or her gifts into the world.”

— Barbara Marx Hubbard Introduction to EMERGENCE

Here’s to each of us awakening, growing into, and becoming our best. That’s where the fun lives.

–Peace to all, Mariann

The Universal Human

Barbara Marx Hubbard

I first encountered Barbara Marx Hubbard, and the idea of the Universal Human, at Unity of Houston a whole bunch of years ago. Dr Michael Gott wasn’t there yet, and I remain forever grateful about that. If he had been part of that community, I can imagine feeling hard-pressed to leave Houston, and to move to the desert. Unity of Houston brought Barbara Marx Hubbard to town for a special series of workshops to introduce her new book Emergence, and to allow those of us who attended that day to arrange ourselves into home study groups.


So what is a Universal Human? As I said in my closing comments this past Sunday, A Universal Human is one who is connected through the heart to the whole of life, attuned to the deeper intelligence of nature, and called forth irresistibly by Spirit to creatively express his or her gifts in the evolution of the self that is a direct expression of Source. To become a Universal Human is to evolve consciously, choosing a path of development that has never been mapped before in a world that has never existed before. (p.4)

Is it attractive, or scary, to think that we might still be walking an uncharted path in uncharted territory? Probably both. And yet, are we ever really following in someone else’s footsteps if we are walking our own path?

Antonio Michado is credited with writing, …Wanderer, there is no road. The road is made by walking. By walking one makes the road, and upon glancing behind one sees the path that never will be trod again. Wanderer, there is no road – only a wake upon the sea.

There are those who say we are in the early stages of the 6th major extinction event, the first one where humans have been present. [The 5th major extinction event was 65 million years ago, and may have taken up to 2.5 million years to complete. It is believed to have begun with meteor strikes combined with increased volcanic activity, resulting in the extinction of non- avian dinosaurs, as well as many other species. The 5th major extinction event created opportunities and space for mammals and birds to rapidly diversify and evolve.] If indeed, the 6th major extinction event is underway, rather than being disheartened and distressed, Barbara Marx Hubbard saw it as a glorious opportunity for humans to step up as a species and intentionally evolve from Homo sapiens sapiens to something more, which she calls Homo universalis. Catastrophic changes often catalyze new beginnings both at the individual level and for the collective whole.

This is new territory, an untraveled road. I look forward to considering this potential new world that we can choose to create together, a world that works for all, on Wednesdays starting next week, September 9th from 5:30-7pm at our Sunday zoom link.

If you wish to participate in the conversation, get a copy (or an e-copy) of Barbara Marx Hubbard’s Emergence, The Shift from Ego to Essence, 10 Steps to the Universal Human, and let’s go exploring. Reading through the foreword, introduction and first 32 pages ahead of time will be useful preparation for our first conversation.


–Rev Janis

Reflections

“Seeing into darkness is clarity.
Knowing how to yield is strength.
Use your own light and return to the source of that light.
This is called practicing eternity.”
— Lao Tzu

I have known for some weeks that I have felt inspired to write about death, a topic most of us, including me, have been socially conditioned not to talk about. I have known seven people who have died in the last year and a half and it has caused me to contemplate the value of life, and my own demise. I fully realize I am closer to getting off the planet than I am to entering it. I will be 80 next month.

I have had the opportunity to be with those who are dying and it has been a privilege as well as a sadness to lose those I have so loved, one of them being my only sister. I have discovered that when I am afraid of something (like death), I need to come as close to it as I comfortably can, and just sit with it. I benefit from paying attention to my reactivity and resistance, seeing where my boundaries and limitations are, noting the quality of my fear, and eventually seeing it all as a process that comes from my own identification and conditioning, as well as a natural processes, and part of life as we understand it.

My losses of family and friends have been natural, inevitable, and sad, experiences. I can also say that being with the dying has been very tender, rich, and rewarding for my heart and soul. I hope I have grown more compassionate as a result. I am grateful for those who have passed through my life and those who still remain as my teachers.

I know that there will be other loving human beings who have significance to, and for, me because I realize we are all in this together, parallel souls on a parallel journey of finding the meaning of our own lives and eventually releasing that meaning in order to surrender to the One Eternal Life, which I now experience and will continue to experience. From my soul’s point of view, I have discovered in accepting death, I have been blessed and will continue to be blessed by the mystery of life and death, all part of the same magnificent continuing gift.

—Namaste, Janie

Cattail Brown

Some of you who were on Sunday’s zoom service noticed I left my chair while Michael Zimmerman played Wholly Holy Way. My handyman had knocked on my door, even though I told him that we recorded between 10:30 and 11:30 or so and that I’d really prefer we didn’t get interrupted. He felt like his interruption was valid. The cattail brown paint that he got for my porch covering wasn’t the same as the cattail brown paint on my neighbor’s porch covering. He was right. It didn’t match. I said there wasn’t any point in continuing with the painting and I’d get with the homeowner’s association (HOA) rep and see what was they thought since we’d bought the paint they had instructed us to buy, and clearly it wasn’t right.

Unbeknownst to me, this fed into a whole chain of events already in motion. The rep came by. I learned that the HOA had given me outdated, actually false, information on the paint color in error. I also Iearned that a letter was coming out for the entire HOA restating the agreements, with which we had all concurred when we bought into the neighborhood, about allowable paint colors and needed maintenance for the individual units, etc. I wondered how much of this had been spurred on by me getting my porch repaired, but didn’t ask.

The paint color mystery isn’t solved yet, though I do have a physical sample now to take to get it matched at the store. In working to get a bigger perspective on this in my mind, I remind myself of the stories we tell ourselves about what happens in our lives, and how much we love it when we have a sweet, simple and tidy bow around a problem and its solution, and how infrequently that truly happens. There’s usually more going
on than meets the eye.

James Hollis wrote, in Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life, When I was young, I fantasized I could learn all that was needed to know to choose rightly; today I know that I can never know enough, that there are always unconscious factors at work, which will only become apparent down the line, if then, and that the old powers, “memory’s unmade bed” are far stronger than I ever gave them credit for…. From this encounter with our limitations the wisdom of humility comes; to know we don’t even know what we don’t know, and that what we don’t know will often make choices for us. (I don’t know if I recommend this book yet. We’ll see.)

In Religious Science we use different words to describe this same experience. We talk about the beliefs of the collective unconscious, default thinking, or what everybody believes, and how if we don’t intentionally (and profoundly) choose differently, we get to experience what everybody else believes is true. The old school religious scientists among us call this bias by a different name, ‘race consciousness’ or ‘race tendency’, which is an unfortunate word choice. It isn’t race as in skin color or ethic heritage, it is race as in the human race, in other words everybody’s unaware, unintended or unintentional unconscious thoughts and beliefs.

So what’s my take-away? I will get to the bottom of this puzzle, and being irritated for receiving bad data doesn’t help me, and I don’t choose to feel victimized by the slowdown. My handyman was bragging (to me) that I was going to have the nicest porch awnings in the development, and that everyone else was going to have to step up their game. He may be right, if the HOA letter says what I think it is going to say, and it’s going to require a little more work on my part for me to get there. I’m OK with that. It’s good for us all.

Ernest Holmes wrote, in The Science of Mind 560.2, The whole order of discord is changed into the natural order of harmony and wholeness, and we let that Divine Power be exactly what It is in us. We are no longer afraid, for love casts out fear. Our faith destroys all fear. We awake from the dream of fear to the vision of Reality, where there is no shadow of which to be afraid. We awake from the dream of lack and want and
unhappiness to the knowledge of harmony, of abundance and of peace.

I get to decide whether I see the experiences of my life as hard or easy, simple or complicated, and I get to decide how to engage with others… remembering everyone does their best. (Thank you, Don Miguel Ruiz) Some days, and some times, are easier than others. None of that changes the Truth.


–Rev Janis

We’re Already There…

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful
beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.”  — Marianne Williamson

As Rev. Janis reminded us during morning meditation:
“The limit of our ability to demonstrate depends upon our ability to provide a mental equivalent.”  — Ernest Holmes (The Science of Mind 306.2)

For me it’s the practice of remembering that it is my responsibility, my choice to hold to knowing the right outcome. If I want a different world experience – then I am in charge of naming it, seeing it, knowing it as “Reality”. Not just – even now, BUT especially now.

I have long been a “political” person. Even during my most adamant Good-bye, so-long, farewell, I’m withdrawing-from-politics-now stages, there are always surreptitious peeks sneaked at the NYTimes to see what’s going on. Blame it on my parents, they were avidly involved in local and state politics, or being in college during those 60’s. One of my true coming of age actions, was to understand myself as what Erich Fromm labeled a “true believer”. It only took a couple of decades for me to give up most of the narrow holding to what I knew to be “THE RIGHT WAY.” I still visit on occasion just to remind myself of how truly narrow and limiting my-way or the-highway truly is. No matter whose ‘way’ it is.

“Never depend upon people or say that things must come from this or that source. It makes no difference where things come from. SAY THAT THEY ARE, and let them come from where they may, and if something occurs which points to a place for them to come from, it is correct to say: ‘If this is the place, then there is nothing which can hinder.’” — Ernest Holmes (The Science of Mind 304.4)

Back to the Williamson quote. I am, you are, everyone is “powerful beyond measure” because we have available the support of the Universal Spirit.

Remembering as much of the time as we can …
“There is a place in us which lies open to the Infinite; but when the Spirit brings Its gift, by pouring Itself through us, It can give to us only what we take. This taking is mental. If we persist in saying that Life will not give us that which is good… It cannot, for life must reveal Itself to us through our intelligence. The pent-up energy of life, and the possibility of further human evolution, work through man’s imagination and will. The time is now; the place is where we are, and it is done unto us as we believe.” — Ernest Holmes (The Science of Mind 151.4-152.1)

Not as we “want” or “wistfully contemplate” but as we truly, deeply, awake-at-midnight believe. So join me in learning to see the perfect and rejecting all the world’s attempts to disrupt our knowing. The less attention we give those distractions, the faster they will be replaced.

Here’s to the beautiful world we reveal.


–Peace to you and yours, Mariann

What are Your Standing Stones?

I love mysteries. Actually that’s not really true. I love figuring out mysteries.

A little over 15 years ago, some friends and I had the pleasure of visiting a number of the ancient Neolithic sites in Ireland as part of a tour group. We had a fabulous local tour guide who was chock-full of stories about what everything meant, what it was for, and what it did.

This stunning image is of the Stones of Stennes (in Scotland), taken by photographer Jim Richardson.


When it came to the standing stones though, he didn’t have a lot to say. Not a lot is known with confidence. There are loads of theories. The most likely theory was that they were connected with acknowledging the changing seasons, and the movement of the sun and the moon, so that the groups of people who had settled in the area would feel some certainty about when to plant their crops. Another theory that seems to make sense to those who study the prehistory and archaeology of the sites is that they were spirit houses, for some form of ancestor worship. A theory that I learned about as I was writing this blogpost is that they were also for showing off power and technical prowess; neighboring villages built bigger and more expansive arrays than their neighbors simply to show off. As much effort as I am sure it took to construct these monuments, I have a little trouble imagining that a little gamesmanship was going on.

What I do know with some clarity is that these stones were important to the locals and the life of their community. Which brings me to the question I’m asking today. What are Your Standing Stones? What are the ideals and tenets that you live by? What is important to you and worth expending time and energy toward manifesting or supporting in your life? I’m not asking necessarily for anyone to share their answers to these questions, and I’ll ask you to spend some time looking at the questions and seeing what arises for you. Once you have a working answer to these questions, please contemplate what you do in your daily life and how it is at least aligned on some level with those intentions.

One of the realizations I’ve had as I’m working my way through learning to tell better stories in the Story Skills Workshop (that I’m still in the middle of) is that we, and I’m including myself in that ‘we’, don’t necessarily spend a lot of time contemplating what we do on a routine basis and why it is important to us. I think it is useful to know what we each do, and why. I also think it is important to know why we do what we do together as a community. Please spend a little time and discover this for yourself, and for your own sense of satisfaction and well-being, embody what you find.


–Rev Janis Farmer

Thoughts on Membership

In 2009, when I realized I’d found ‘my people’ at this Center, I had absolutely no intention of formally joining the organization. I had a long and unpleasant history of every organization that I formally joined imploding, exploding, disbanding, or being shut down. Yet I recognized that this was a philosophy I could really step into. (Little did I know how far…) These people were speaking, and practicing, what I already believed was The Truth. So I asked how I could participate.

At the time, we met at the Kiva on River Rd on Sundays. It was a Sundays-only use agreement. The main room at the Kiva was long, dark, and kind of dingy from long use, and not a lot of care. We had it reserved for our use between 9 and noon. Every week we had to set up everything, including the chairs, and any tables we would use. We had to set up our own sound system, and there was no projector. The ceilings were too low for projection. Oh, and there was one single stall toilet closet in the back. In fact, that was when Tom, Joe, Carol and Charlie started helping us. The Board was really small at that moment in time, and they took turns being responsible for making sure the space was set up correctly for Sunday services.

My friend and tai chi buddy Mark was Board President. Many weeks he carried a lot of the Sunday morning set up load by himself, working with Tom and Joe. I asked if I could help by hauling the church-in-a-box sometimes. He let me help. (I know this sounds like the old story of Huck Finn tricking his friends into whitewashing the fence, but it didn’t feel that way to me.)

I had already started taking classes. Like I said, I’d found my tribe; I intended to learn everything I could about this new/old way of seeing, and being, in the world. “Foundations of the Science of Mind” had been mind- expanding and earth-moving. I grabbed hold of this new way like it was fresh oxygen for my body.

Since I was still living in Arizona City (roughly 70 minutes from Tucson, each way), I asked if I there was anything I could do to help out at the office, since I had driven to town for either CSLT classes or tai chi classes. My first foray into helping was in making nametags, which then shifted to doing database entry (we didn’t have a paid bookkeeper to do it, then). Over time my involvement slowly increased. But I still wasn’t a formal member, because everything I had joined previously had crashed, and I didn’t want to create that here.

Still, I did ask how one got on the Board. The answer was, “First you have to be a member for six months.” Oh. That. (Guess I have to change my story about that.) They then followed with, “But you can attend Board meetings and see how we work, and you can still help out.” You can see for yourself how that turned out.

What I’ve realized in the last couple years is that I don’t have a strong need for people to become members of our Center unless they really want to. To me, membership is a very individual decision. I’ve seen people become members, and then we never see them again, like it’s some kind of bizarre ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card. Since we don’t believe in hell, that’s kind of a hard one for me to wrap my mind around. Membership used in that way can’t be of much benefit to the member, and is of even less use, or value, to the Center.

I asked the ministers at our weekly ministers’ zoom lunch what their thoughts were about membership. The consensus point-of-view of the five ministers I asked was that membership in a Center is a public step in affirming a definitive formal relationship with the Divine.

That got me thinking. We don’t have a profession of faith like the traditional (primarily Christian) churches do. We don’t need it. Each one of us is already intimately one in the Divine Wholeness and Oneness. To become a member of this spiritual community is more about alignment and affiliation with a group of people who have decided it is more useful, and enjoyable, to expand and experience their spiritual growth with others than be a spiritual island. Everyone gets to decide how they want to play in this miraculous thing called life.

What called you to your present level of commitment and affiliation with CSLT, and does it still work for you?

Our Annual Meeting will be here before you know it. Presently, we are considering adding two qualified and interested persons to our Board of Trustees now, and have two new Board members joining us in October. 
 
If you are curious about the requirements for Board Membership, please see page 7 of our Bylaws. If you meet the requirements and would like to speak with someone about potentially serving on the CSLT Board of Trustees, please contact the office (admin@tucsoncsl.org) and we will get back to you.
 
–Rev Janis Farmer

Having Compassion for the Frustrated and Frustrating

Be kind to yourself, and then let your kindness flood the world — Pema Chodron

How can it be possible to practice compassion toward people who frustrate you, or to those who do so much harm in the world?

Our experiences in the world do not support practicing compassion with people like this. First a global pandemic has turned the world completely upside down, with unclear messages from our leaders. We bore witness to George Floyd’s murder, which was traumatizing enough, even though it has become a catalyst to action for the Black Community and allies who have reached a tipping point with blatant racism so prevalent and pervasive in our nation and society. We see peaceful protests, and we also see rubber bullets, tear gas, looting, violence and the latest nebulous activity and arrests in Portland, OR.

While my external experience of the greater world at this moment is disturbing and unpleasant, I have to stop and remember that I can affect only what’s in my area of influence. Directly within my area of influence (at least sometimes) is my life and, to a lesser degree, the lives of my Renee and her children and grandchildren. Yes, it is hard to remember I am a great-grandmother to an 11-year old!

I recently had my granddaughter and 11-year old great granddaughter here from Texas for a visit. Oh my goodness, what an experience. Her Mother returned to Texas because she needed to go back to work and my great granddaughter stayed for another week. She was a handful, misbehaving constantly and continuously. She argued with both me, and her grandmother Renee, at every opportunity. She went through all the makeup she could find in the apartment and mixed a lot of it up together. She also went through every drawer in the house, looking for what, I’ll never know, but some things are now missing. She even brought Renee to tears several times. I managed to suppress my anger, but it was difficult! When Renee, my daughter, asked me what could we do about this, I told her the only thing I knew to do. Since we couldn’t possibly remedy her reasons for misbehaving in 1 week, was to just be firm, but let her know she was loved, in spite of whatever she did.

To be honest, participating in the 12 Steps to a Compassionate Life book study group for the second time(!) helped me through this difficult and awkward situation.

I truly believe when you practice compassion for others, you benefit as well, reaping better health, your overall wellbeing improves, and your relationships are better.

Here are some tips we can use to move ourselves towards a practice of greater compassion:

1. Separate the person from their behavior
2. Imagine whirled peas, when you see people whose actions don’t align with your values, imagine
that person enjoying a particular tasty vegetable you also like, to create commonality,
communion, and at least the possibility of collaboration.
3. Try a loving kindness meditation for that person. Keep working at it!
4. Don’t forget yourself. You can’t give what you don’t have!

Every single person on the planet deserves compassion, including each of us. No matter what.


–Janie Hooper

Yay for Boats in the Desert!

Reverend Janis described using a boat. She loves her boats. I love my boats. What we are referring to is the joke about the man stuck on his roof during a devastating flood. When a boat approaches, he declines help, saying that God will rescue him. A helicopter comes by to rescue him and he declines their help, explaining that God will rescue him. Then he drowns. When he gets to heaven, he asks God why God didn’t rescue him. God replies, “I sent a boat and a helicopter!” A boat refers to receiving help recognizing that, in unity, we are all one and that help received is the same as help given. And the awareness that the Divine will provide help to me through people.

My two most recent experiences of receiving help were from two of my coaches. I have a business coach and a Health and Wellness (H&W) coach. I also have a sponsor in the 12-step program to which I belong.

My H&W coach meets with me every 2-3 weeks. She is wonderful and helps me establish good health habits. We work on ways to deal with my feeling of panic that causes me to overeat. She helps me devise strategies that help me get to sleep as it often takes me 45-60 minutes to power down enough to fall asleep. I was explaining that I had stopped walking with my girlfriends because I was focusing on completing tax returns before the deadline. The problem was that I was not finding that I had any extra time as I gave up my movement. She advised me to start moving again. She has been working with me for about 1 year and commented on how important exercise is to me. And reminding me that I do better when I have a hard work out. That was on July 2. The next day I walked 21⁄2 miles with my friends. On July 4, I got up early and walked around Randolph Park from my house and back, a distance of 4.5+ miles. I have been doing that daily since and feel so much better. On rest days, I walk 3 miles because I need movement every day. My body expects it.

I meet with my business coach monthly. She is an integrative coach who believes that personal and business are the same. I receive guidance of a practical sense – she transformed my time management by helping me set up a hybrid system using a Google sheets list of tasks and a daily planner because she says that I have my long list and then every day I tend to work off a separate agenda. That is totally true. When I talked to her about needing to trust my ability to complete my work on time and relaxing instead of living in stress based on deadlines, she later said that she knew that I needed to increase my connection to Spirit.

Through her skillful questioning I was able to come back into knowing that my business success is Spirit-based and that I can rely on the Divine to ease my way with regard to deadlines and tasks that appear challenging. This is extra important as I am preparing for an audit with my largest client. Last year’s audit was very difficult and so my “triggers” are in full force. Using our Science of Mind philosophy, I remember I need to see through appearances to know the reality that all is perfect and whole. Applying SOM to my work means that even though I experience stress dealing with strong personalities and the appearance of authority, it is my job to look beyond appearances and know that my tasks are manageable and that I have the resources I need to complete the task. Talking with her re- centered me and I was able to discuss strategies to remind me of my connection with Spirit throughout my day. And like Science of Mind, I looked over at my windowsill and saw my little altar full of keepsakes that I created several years ago with friends. It’s in a repurposed Altoids tin. I closed it up and put it in my desk drawer and I intend to look at it daily.

I also poured pink Himalayan salt that my coach, Tabitha, said is very clearing spiritually into a singing bowl to keep by my computer screen. I can play with it while on Zoom calls. She suggested I purchase some palo santos sticks, which I did, to burn daily to spread peace and positivity. I grabbed my Angel Therapy oracle cards and fired up my essential oils diffuser. I feel totally blessed to receive help, guidance and support from my friends. Ha!

I do pay both of them and they are also clients of mine so we totally help each other out! And the fact that Tabitha supports my spirituality is an added bonus. It reminds me that I am loved and that the Divine does indeed provide what I need by giving me boats in the desert.

-Marya Wheeler

Jaded

“Who are you – When you are NOT a problem to be solved?” Bryan Stevenson

And it doesn’t count as a solution when we project all our personal problems onto one or more “outside” entities. It doesn’t count as a solution, because we still own the problem of living surrounded by problems.

Having gained enough distance from my time in NYC and learned enough Science of Mind, I am beginning to understand that too much of my time was spent with unhappy, jaded people. They believed they had seen too much, been overlooked too many times, were not valued highly enough …. if only things were different: boss, money, job, family.

The solution, as Rev. Janis reminds us frequently, is not in the stars or even in the whatever we identify as “the problem.” That unhappiness, those choices are our very own, in fact our only, responsibility to own and improve.

Though this idea runs rampant in our world, allowing the common hour jaded cynicism to enfold us is choosing that as our reality. Yes, our current environment burgeons with challenges – oh you bet. And every time we, meaning you and I, sigh and say I wish it weren’t so – we make it more real. Every time, we contribute more energy to the overflowing sense of a world in chaos.

My personal challenge, one of them, is to hold and cherish both of these:
“Disregarding all evidence to the contrary, the student of Truth will maintain he lives in a Perfect Universe and among people potentially perfect…..At first he may be influenced by conditions, and he may appear to be weak, but as time goes on he will prove to himself that his position is a correct one…” Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 184.5-185.1

And along with knowing and living that –
“There is a strength, a power even, in understanding brokenness because embracing our brokenness creates a need and desire for mercy, and perhaps a corresponding need to show mercy. When you experience mercy, you learn things that are hard to learn otherwise. You see things you can’t otherwise see; you hear things you can’t otherwise hear. You begin to recognize the humanity that resides in each of us.” Bryan Stevenson

The challenge for each of us is to know both the Truth and the brokenness – those things that need, in fact, must change. Move them away from our emotions, and into our vision of a perfect world. Only when we know Perfect as capital ”R” Reality, can we act not with despair or anger, but with the knowing it as already here – then we embody the Perfect not the pain.

Because finally:
“What we demonstrate today, tomorrow and the next day is not as important as the TENDENCY WHICH OUR THOUGHT IS TAKING…the dominant attitude of our mind…, if every day we are expressing more life, we are going in the right direction.” (Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 306.3)

Yes, that was Dr. Holmes YELLING. Consistent persistence in knowing and choosing our own thoughts and behaviors – we build the trend line to that Perfect that is Reality.

–Take care of yourself and your loved ones, peace to all everywhere. Mariann

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