Change Happens!

In September I wrote an article about how busy I was and the resultant feelings of pressure and fear. I said, “My days feel like they are filled to the brim and there is a resulting feeling of pressure fueled by fear of missing something or of being yelled at by an unhappy client because I did not fulfill my commitment”. I was applying my resources to finally dealing with this issue that was also showing up as pain in my hip, which was restricting my movement. My resources included the Prosperity Plus 3 Mastermind group, my Power of Your Word prayer partner and my health and wellness coach. In addition to my regular practices which include daily mantra meditation and the morning meditation group and Sunday service with Reverend Janis.

Things have changed! I let go of my largest client and have experienced a significant shift in my work life, for the better. The separation was unexpected and there were some uncomfortable feelings of embarrassment and shame involved, but it was the right move and I have experienced great relief as a result! I am poised to enter this tax season with administrative support and with work support from 3 independent contractors. I will have more support than ever before.

I have had the chance to reconcile my business bank accounts for 2020 and just this weekend reconciled my personal bank accounts. I have several accounts but the busiest one had not been reconciled since 2018. This allows me to use the software to look at my spending habits and to work with my financial coach to prepare a budget. I have not looked at my retirement situation for the last 4 years since I have had my own business and my financial coach is going to work with me to do that. I have had a reduction in income but have plans to replace it easily. After all, I work at introducing the HELLO god qualities into my workday almost every day. They are Harmony, Ease, Love, Liberation and Order.

I’ve also experienced change in my hip issues. As I said in September, holistically, Louise Hays says that issues with your hip involve “moving forward”. After receiving treatment from an acupuncturist, a chiropractor, a myo-fascial practitioner, and a cranio-sacral practitioner with momentary relief but nothing that would last, my PCP read an MRI that I received last January that said that I had stenosis in my left leg. That is the narrowing or restriction of a blood vessel or valve that reduces blood flow. This has been the problem all along. I have an appointment next Monday for a visit to a pain management clinic for injections and 8 PT sessions set up for February, hopefully virtual after the initial intake.

My health and wellness coach commented yesterday that she has noticed that I have more energy, that I am no longer yawning all the time or talking about being exhausted. Yay!!

So, having relief in my life is lovely because I have a new class that is taking some time, but I am not experiencing dread with regard to reading Ralph Waldo Emerson in the Roots class. It is difficult to read him, Reverend Janis has suggested reading him out loud. It is very dense and I feel like I am slogging through it. I would never read this of my own volition, but I am excited and interested to hear what other people in the class have experienced. Sharing with others in classes and during 12-step groups and in the morning meditation leads to a greater depth of understanding. Again, sharing with others via Zoom enriches my life and, as I write this, I am feeling great waves of relief regarding my work situation. That is one of my favorite things about practicing the Science of Mind principles with the support of the CSLT membership. Change happens and this practice actually works!

–Marya Wheeler

Never Underestimate the Power

Never underestimate the Power you have to take your life in a new direction. Every moment can be a fresh beginning.

I like the dreams of the future better than the history of this past year.

I need to remember that the present is the most important time in my own life and that the events of the past year must not be allowed to crowd out the good that is always available to me every single day.

It has been difficult for me to generate optimism and easy to slip into fear and dread over the many things that have taken place in our own country and all over the world during 2020.

There is a great saying in AA that comes to my mind that addresses all events that may have been dragged from the past into our present moment. “Let go, Let God”.

If I am vigilant with my daily routine of reading my Guide for Spiritual Living Magazine, journaling, meditating and praying for others, I have a much better chance of having a brighter, more fulfilling day.

Thanks to the teachings of the Science of Mind, I have available to me all the tools I need to make today the best possible day, not only for myself, but for those around me.

And so it is!

“ Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one”
— singer/songwriter Brad Paisley

Happy New Year and Namaste.
Janie Hooper

Endings and Beginnings Ritual, Online

When I realized that I needed to completely recreate the Endings and Beginnings rituals, my heart sank. There was virtually nothing of our traditional ceremony I could salvage. I couldn’t even send participants the flash paper in the mail, because it’s considered an explosion hazard when dry, and useless for ‘flashing’ when wet.

The first part of the evening involves speaking the names of the family and friends who have departed from the earth plane this year.  That part is still workable, though we won’t be using a crystal bowl, or having people speak over the music. Online gatherings on zoom do have their constraints.

So I got to take a step back and think about the reason for the different practices used in the other two rituals. The Burning Bowl is all about releasing what we are done with/ready to let got of, and claiming the good that we desire to bring in to our lives.  Once I got clear about that, it was easier to imagine and create a way that our zoom participants could have a similar, though perhaps not as exciting, or picturesque as sticking a piece of flash paper in a lit candle and watching it flare up.

Then the third part of the ceremony, crossing the threshold is about challenging ourselves to be honest with ourselves about what we want, and are willing to intend, and attend to, and taking a look at the doubts, second thoughts and fears we have about moving in the direction of our dreams. There’s nothing special about the threshold we created year-after-year in the auditorium at the Gregory. It’s a doorway. Everybody’s got doorways in their houses. Ours was decorated, but there’s nothing to stop people from decorating a doorway at their own house, if they choose.

One of the benefits of having the service online, is that there will be more music, songs that we mostly know and can sing along with David. Shelly’s going to help me with a part of the ritual, and I won’t be talking as much.

And of course, if people want to hang around afterwards and visit, the zoom room will remain open as long as people want to stay.

*****

Thanks to Mariann Moery for most of the photos used in the post.  They were taken at last year’s Endings and Beginnings ceremony.  I had to go all the way back to 2017 for the photo of the flame at the burning bowl. Jon Lopez, who moved to Green Valley with his partner Grey, and affiliated with the Sonoran Desert CSL, took that photo.  Plan to join us Thursday evening!

–Rev Janis

Joy In The Moment

In Freedom from the Known, Jiddu Krishnamurti wrote about joy and pleasure. Joy is in the awareness of the moment. It has no history and can’t really be compared to other joyful moments. Pleasure, the way he defined it, is always connected to a memory and compared to that memory. If we don’t have the experience we expect, we experience displeasure, pain, sorrow, or heartbreak instead.

This most peculiar holiday season, if you find yourself down in the dumps because this year’s celebrations are different that what you wanted them to be, I invite you to consider shifting your focus away from comparison with some imagined ‘Currier and Ives moment’ or some Hallmark holiday movie with predictable themes.

I invite you to lift up your eyes and be dazzled by some familiar, or new, joy. It might be the way the sunlight plays on your balcony, patio or yard, or the feel of the air, and the scent of your neighborhood as you take a walk. It might be as simple, and as profound, as the aroma of your morning beverage before you take that first sip. It might be the feel of the warm water on your hands and the fragrance of the soap, as you wash your hands for the umpteenth time today. It might be listening to your favorite music, or playing it, or listening to something new.

Color, aroma, melody or rhythm, movement, taste, texture. Inspiration surrounds us. We get to slow down and notice it, and find the joy in the moment.

Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 538, meditation 1

The Light of Life is full within me, and around me.
It shines forth into the Perfect Day.
O Light within, lighting my path to peace,
I adore and love ‘You’ and I let ‘You’ shine.
Go forth and bless all who become aware of you,
Light Within.My Light radiates to all, and through all.

–Rev Janis

Got Zoom?

“When you and I know enough and are in Los Angeles and wish to be in San Francisco, we shall be there.” -Ernest Holmes Can We Talk to God? Pg. 52

I wonder if Ernest Holmes knew his thought would manifest into what we now know, and use, through the power of Zoom. Gosh, I love Zoom. For those of you who don’t particularly care for Zoom, I hope you will reconsider your thoughts and try using Zoom. During this pandemic Zoom has become the norm for many of us. It’s a lovely replacement for face-to-face contact and at the same time keeps us safe from the virus. I was hesitant at first and quickly learned with a couple touches on a keyboard I could be in Tucson, Reno, Tacoma or anywhere I wanted to go. A new world has opened for me.

I go places with Zoom. I have the ability to travel everywhere I choose and have gained many new friendships that I cherish. I have been able to study and take many classes I wouldn’t have been able to take if it weren’t for Zoom. I am able to tap into the CSL Universe from the comfort of my home.

Wherever we are, we are in sacred space.

I love attending our morning meditation practice. It starts my day out beautifully. I show up as I am, some mornings in my pajamas, and always drink my coffee. Zoom has a built-in beautification filter, although I haven’t found it yet. It’s really not important. We know beauty lies within each and every one of us and that is what we see. We chat, laugh, cry, read a reading, take 10 minutes of silent meditation, chat more and close our meditation with a prayer. I call it “taking my morning med.” The connections with each other are irreplaceable. From the comfort of my home, each day I know I am tapping into the Universal Source that runs through me.

I love attending our Sunday Service. I haven’t missed a Sunday Service yet. Zoom has made it so easy to show up with my family. My son David, has heard every message and I know it has to be of help to him. My St. Bernard Sissy occasionally makes her appearance known, and I know she’s listening to the Sunday message.

Looking back through this pandemic, Zoom has enabled our Community to hear from very special guests, prospective charities, to share the special light of the Solstice as well as services, classes and other ways to “be together” and safe in this time. It is amazing how much easier my life has become. I want the same for you. Until we can meet in person again, if you’re not Zooming, I sure hope you’ll reconsider. It is the quickest and easiest way to get to where you want to go or be. I look forward to seeing you soon on Zoom.

Madeline Pallanes

Season of Wonder

Humanity and Divinity will be identical when we recognize Divinity in humanity. We must learn to see through the apparent, to not judge accordingly to appearances,
and to realize at the center of every person’s soul God is throned.

— Ernest Holmes, 365 Science of Mind 340.1

Jesus is a mentor for me, not a savior, not a physical being who is going to return and redeem the world. I don’t put Jesus on a pedestal and worship, because I would be missing practicing the way of life he taught, practicing Christ Consciousness.

During this time of year societal focus is on the birth of Jesus. But the birth of Jesus is also a reminder of Christ Consciousness, the idea of transcending physical existence and experiencing one’s own divinity and God-like nature. The realization that Humanity and Divinity are no longer separated. We are spiritual beings living in a physical form. The idea of celebrating Christ Consciousness (which I just got while writing this article) is something I can embrace joyfully.

In the past I had only looked at Jesus’ later life as being a teaching, but his birth is also about all of us being a unique expression of God/Divine Mind/Spirit/The Source. A reminder that all of us are a miracle. When I think of the creation of life, that two half cells join together to create one cell and from that one cell, all the other cells in the body are made, bone, muscle, ligaments, organs. I am in awe. And maybe that’s part of what Christmas is about, taking the time to appreciate the miracle of life.

Everything is made of the same cosmic stuff. And from that cosmic stuff things may be similar, but in reality nothing is the same, no two people, snowflakes, trees, flowers are alike. Everything is a unique expression of Divine Mind.

This Christmas season I am grateful for the reminder I too am a unique expression of God, and have the potential to live a life of light and love, peace and harmony, joy and delight. What an incredible gift, to get, and share through a life of embracing and radiating Christ Consciousness.

Once we were particles of Light
Now we are Beings of Light,
Radiating love.
— Rumi

— Maria

Complete Freedom from All Discord

From The Science of Mind Declaration of Principles:
“WE BELIEVE the ultimate goal of life to be complete freedom from all discord of any nature, and that this goal is sure to be attained by all.”

Here we are, finally in December, and the end of the contentious, paradoxical, sometimes excruciating, 2020.

Most of our lives have been turned upside down by COVID, drastic changes in our democracy, and rampant misinformation thrown at us on a daily basis. Sometimes it can get challenging to remember the Truth.

I don’t know what I would do without a solid connection to Spirit that tells me it is always darkest before the light. Just as a seed in the ground reaches toward the light for expansion, growth and transformation, I know that God will prevail, not necessarily on my timetable.

We all have the capacity to put out into the Law wishes not only for our own well-being, but for the well-being and relief of suffering for all sentient beings. The metaphorical darkness is the fertile ground for ascending from despair into hope, and from fear into courage — to face what presently presents itself with a knowing that the Divine is always with us, sometimes unfolding and mystical but comforting ways.

I am always grateful for the Divine that has guided me through each moment of every day. The trick for me is to look for the good in all things and give thanks for the principles of Science of Mind and that what we believe we will experience.

So, let’s keep the faith that has been gifted to us and adapt to new ways of expressing the love of God and the love we have for each other.

May you experience a blessed season of goodwill and love of the teachings of Science of Mind that sustain us and allow us to live in God’s Grace and Love.

And when nothing else seems possible, Ben’s Bells reminds us all, “Be Kind.”

PAX,
Janie Hooper

The Consecration of the Moment

 

“The joy of life is not in the grand gesture but in the consecration of the moment.””The joy of life is not in the grand gesture but in the consecration of the moment.”

— Kent Nerburn

We’ve made it to Thanksgiving week, in the most bizarre, unexpected, absurd year I have experienced in my life… so far. I won’t add importance to how weird, strange, or whatever, this year has been. I’m just grateful most of us have made it this far, mostly intact.

So what can we do to appreciate, or consecrate (make sacred), this moment?

First, we can acknowledge our experience, know what we don’t feel we have, and what we do have.

Marcus Aurelius was the most powerful man in the world from 161-180 CE, one of the ‘Five Good Emperors’ of the Roman Empire and served as the last emperor during Pax Romana, a relatively peaceful era of roman history. And his legions were at war continuously; he often battled with them. Floods, famine and the Antonine plague, which lasted 15 years, dominated his reign.

And yet, in his Meditations, he wrote:
“If you’ve seen the present, you’ve seen all things, from time immemorial into all of eternity. For everything that happens is related and the same.”

Life happens. In some ways, it’s quite predictable. The sun rises and sets. The moon waxes and wanes. It rises and sets, though sometimes that happens during daylight hours, which confuses some people. Seasons change. If rain is predicted in southern Arizona, it may rain, or it might not. People get uneasy and they try to control something, anything, and the stores run out of paper products. Politicians pose. Newscasters talk. Neighbors help each other. Friends check on one another. Strangers change other people’s tires when they have a flat on the side of the road. CSLT identifies potential 2021 charities.

Things happen in our lives that we don’t like, we don’t want to have to deal with them, and yet…

J.R.R.Tolkien created the perfect reminder for us in this exchange between Frodo and Gandalf:
Frodo: “I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.”
Gandalf: “So do all who live to see such times; but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.”

What if we all meant to be here? What if it’s an encouraging thought that we are the ones who have either been called, or we chose (depending on your frame of reference), to be here at this time to work out how to live in these most unusual times? It’s both an honor and a challenge, right?

How can we honor, celebrate, commemorate, even consecrate, these remaining days of 2020? In a previous year, these days would have been filled with parties and travel and gatherings of all sorts. We can bemoan what we don’t have, or don’t have right now, or we can look at what we do have to work with, and decide to make the best use we can of what we do have. We can find joy in consecrating this moment.

Master Teacher Jesus said it best, “Love one another.” We know how to do that, even if we are apart. We’ve known how since we were very small children. And that is an encouraging thought.

–Rev Janis Farmer

Got Class?

I’ve turned into a classaholic. Yep, that’s me.

Have you ever taken a class, book study or workshop through CSLT? You too can easily become a classaholic and I highly recommend that you do.

Let me tell you a little bit on how I got here.

Many years ago I found our Center for Spiritual Living. Every so often I would bop into service, usually late. Every so often meant my life was in complete turmoil and I didn’t know how to handle my life. I showed up, sat down and listened up. Often I silently would leave my problems there. I always left service feeling better. I did this for years.

In more recent years, our phenomenal band was now playing music I knew.
Let the show begin. Service now included a concert each week. I’d sing along watching the dancers dance in the aisles or in front of the stage. What great entertainment along with the spiritual guidance I so sought. Going to service started becoming a habit. Hearing the message was helping me to heal my life, while I still silently left my problems there. Answers would appear. The weekly programs held all sorts of info including upcoming classes, book studies & workshops.

Life always gets better. I retired. I took a class, and you know what happened? It wasn’t what I thought it would be. It was different from what I expected. It was what I needed to learn…. class after class after class. I had homework and I had projects. I had (and still continue to have) tremendous inner spiritual & mental growth because of these classes. I got hooked.

Yeah, I’ve got class. Take a class or two and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a classaholic, like me. The rewards are truly immeasurable. I am grateful that I’m a part of CSLT. Looking forward to spending time with you (yes you) in our next class.

Madeline Pallanes

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