To Playlist, or Not…

Let’s just say certain types of music are not and have never been on my playlists. There are exceptions, I get caught up in the melody or by an artist or songs. I like to hear stories etc…but a considerable amount of music contains messages that I do not want to involve myself with. If the music is exceptional I may listen to it in spite of any message but again they are exceptions.

Like most of us I was influenced by my parents and the world about how to think about things. One of those opinions influenced me to believe that country and western music was not something I should listen to. Over the years I have reinforced this conclusion and sought support from others. I held a belief that the country and western culture was a threat to my ideas.

I now understand that my thinking – my view of reality – and my happiness are connected. Holding thoughts of dissatisfaction regarding anything disrupts the ease and flow of my life.

I recently had the opportunity to accompany my wife to a business function in Nashville at one time known as the capital of the country and western music recording industry. During the preparations for the trip I made the decision to not succumb to my old thoughts and ideas.

Visit the Grand Ole Opry as planned and take things as they come.

This was my very first trip to Nashville Tennessee. I was able to experience the fluid nature of my thoughts and my ability to influence them. Whenever I find I am having thoughts that are causing some sort of resistance to my peace of mind. I do my best to consider them. In other words I avoid deciding to turn and swim upstream.

This approach proved to be optimum for my happiness because I had a remarkable time. Unburdened by the hardships that come with attitudes of various uninvited conclusions that have been a part of my thinking for a long time.

–Chris Wheeler

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

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

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

Fighting What Is

I realized today I’d been fighting ‘what is.’ It’s total silliness, and I do it sometimes. I’ve been resisting so many things. I realized I’m ready to stop fighting ‘what is.’

My favorite type of shampoo, that I’ve been using for almost 20 years, changed their formulation recently. I don’t like the new formulation. In fact, I think it’s nasty. I think the company did a really stupid thing in stopping production of this fabulous shampoo. I wrote a consumer comment on the company’s website that was so unsupportive of the product swap, the company actually refused to publish it. I realized this morning when I was in the shower washing my hair, that my opinion, and my displeasure, of their marketing decision makes no difference to them, and only hurts me. I’d gotten wrapped around the axle about something that a) isn’t mine to manage, and b) doesn’t really matter in the big scheme of things.

I’ve been taking this newly revised online class (Visioning) because I wanted to see how the organization had revised it. I’ve taught the class using the old curriculum for a bunch of years, and found it okay, but not stellar, so I was excited to see how it had been modified. The facilitator has a teaching style that is exceedingly different from mine. Exceedingly different. I found myself getting really upset with him and his incessant need to hold court and pontificate in class. To me, there are better, more effective, ways to transmit this teaching. Once again, I was agitated. It made no difference in the scheme of things, and I only hurt myself.

The Queen Creek quilting group that I joined, ostensibly to make charity quilts for Dine’ cancer patients, isn’t actually interested in making charity quilts for that group. I finished my first quilt top and brought it to the meeting to give to someone who would do the long-arm stitching that I don’t enjoy doing. When the woman who agreed to complete it acted like she was handling something with cooties, I noticed, but I didn’t understand. At their Christmas party, they gave away little gift bags that including the supplies needed to finish the quilts. Sometimes, I’m really dense. They offered patterns for quilt blocks to us for us to make individual blocks for veterans’ charity quilts. I agreed to make one, and offered to send it to someone so they could incorporate it in a quilt top they were making. No takers. The next month, I did it again with a new block-of-the-month. No takers. Finally, someone wrote that they were encouraging me to make, and finish, a quilt to give away to a veteran on my own, and to be sure to take a picture (with permission) and share it with them. They are only interested in making charity quilts to give to veterans. I’m not. Nothing against veterans. I have several in my family, and have several friends who are veterans, but that’s not where my quilting joy lies. I joined the Tucson Quilters’ Guild last month, and went to my first guild meeting about 10 days ago. There is a group there that joyfully finishes quilts. That’s where this one is headed after I get it pieced, and where it goes after that is none of my business.

By the time this blogpost gets published I will have already driven over to the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix to hear one of my favorite musicians, David Wilcox, in concert. He has a number of songs about not pushing against ‘what is.’ The song that sprang to my mind tonight as I wrote this blogpost was about spilling a paint can of blue enamel paint on the kitchen floor, and resisting the urge to clean it up, but instead featuring it, as though it had been done intentionally.

Here’s the song. https://youtu.be/S7mkdHQX-NE. If you don’t want to hear his pre-song story, the song starts at 3 minutes.

It’s something to think about. Rather than fighting the current condition or situation, what if I/we flipped it and saw it as something desirable or beneficial.

–Rev Janis Farmer

New Year’s Resolutions

This being the first article of the new year, the idea of New Year’s resolutions came to mind as my topic. I used to make New Year’s resolutions, but stopped several years ago. Why continue to set myself up for failure in making a year-long commitment that I only seem to keep up for a few months or even weeks. What was I going to write about resolutions? I should choose another topic. But then I saw this in the newspaper:

I took this as a sign that I should explore this topic further.

Why is it that I fail to keep my resolutions going? The usual reasons came to mind first: They are not specific enough, A year’s commitment is too long, Trying to make too many changes at once, And so on. Then the true realization came to me – I had been coming up with these commitments and trying to bring them to fruition by myself, without God’s involvement. So this year, instead of a “resolution”, I’ve created a Spiritual Mind Treatment (SMT) for my intent of becoming more organized.

I actually did the SMT prior to New Year’s Day and am making progress already. I have a gift certificate to The Container Store and an appointment scheduled next week to start working with my organization tasker. I paid particular attention to the realization section or, as Rev. Janis refers to it, the juicy details of what it will look like when it manifests. I keep picturing how things will look, the ease with which I’m able to accomplish tasks more easily and the time I will save by being organized. This year, instead of grudgingly starting on a resolution, I’m excitedly advancing toward my goal.

Spiritual Mind Treatment, or Affirmative Prayer, is the type of prayer format used in the Centers of Spiritual Living. Many of us are familiar with this tool, but how many of us make a regular practice of using it? This year I challenge you to turn your New Year’s resolution into an SMT. There’s a template to get you started. The link is in newsletter. If you are not practiced in creating a spiritual mind treatment on your own, visit the CSLT website and complete a prayer request. Prayer Request – Center for Spiritual Living Tucson (tucsoncsl.org)

May 2022 be a happy, healthy, prosperous year for us all in Divine Order.

–Janet Salese

What Was I Thinking?

I woke up Sunday after having an anxiety dream about doing the Spiritual Mind Treatment for service. I’m still learning to do Spiritual Mind Treatments, and feel comfortable enough treating for my classmates, but larger gatherings I’m still working on. When I got up our internet was down. It had been working inconsistently, so we bought another router, and it was working. However, on Sunday morning after numerous tries to get it working, and not succeeding, I decided to go to the office. It was advantageous that I had hosted the watch party the previous week, so I knew how to connect to the internet.

I got to the office with Terri’s laptop, my itouch and ipad, (devices galore!) and connected with the internet, but had difficulty with my email (which had the Zoom link) on the laptop. Sometimes when things like this happen, I stop, laugh and ask myself, “Are you having fun with this? Seeing me panic?” I finally got the email to work and emailed Rev. Janis that I was in the office, and that perhaps my anxiety dream manifested my problems.

When the time came, I was able to lead the mediation, voice only, not knowing why the camera wasn’t working. On the PC laptop I borrowed (I’m a Mac sort of gal) it has a camera slider which acts like a lens cap, which I finally figured out.

Then came the giving of the Spiritual Mind Treatment. The laptop was working, I had the ipad with the spiritual thought. During the reading of the spiritual thought, I must have touched the screen and it disappeared, hence the long silence, and a scramble to get it back on the screen.

This term of Practitioner Studies I’m getting to look at my issue of feeling like a disappointment. It’s followed me around for too long. I think some of that crept into my dream and my morning. The shift that took place during the term was focusing on the word, belief, and behavior of “confidence”, instead. It was like I had never heard the word before! Yes, I need to think of confidence and not disappointment, because if I think of disappointment, that’s what I’m going to get. I choose to shift my thoughts toward confidence, and as a classmate suggested, “Not putting a limit to it,” which was a great reminder.

This reminds me of a time I went skiing, and took a group lesson. I was struggling, so the instructor took the whole class up the lift. When we got off the lift he said, “if you look over the cliff, you’ll go over the cliff,” then he disappeared over the embankment. “And if you look to the middle of the path,” he reappeared, “That’s where you’ll go.” It was a great lesson, one that I continue to work on.

–Maria

Got Skeletons?

Every year I look forward to the trick or treaters coming to my home. I enjoy preparing weeks in advance buying only candy bars and Little Debbie cakes that I enjoy just in case there are any leftovers. Usually, the day of Halloween I need to buy more treats since some have already disappeared. I wouldn’t want to run out and must be prepared for the trick or treaters. I get such a kick out of seeing the ghosts and goblins that appear. Skeletons? Well, not so much. I guess it’s because it’s too close to home.

I’d like to say I have never had a skeleton in my closet, but there is not a word of truth in that. I had a rather big skeleton that enjoyed reminding me he was there. He scared me. I tried ignoring him by pushing him back in the closet and shutting the door. He didn’t go away. He kept reappearing either through a phone call, an e-mail, a letter in the mail, or an appearance on my credit report. It didn’t really matter how he made his appearance, he knew-and I knew- he was there. We both agreed he needed to leave my closet. He often reminded me of my error, which brought up feelings of embarrassment, failure and shame. These feelings I created with him, and just like my skeleton, I wanted them to all go away. He wasn’t going to leave me and would continue haunting me until I settled my debt with him. We needed to talk, and I needed to take action. No doubt, it was time to clean my closet.

I know we all have, or had, some sort of skeleton in our closet. The skeleton holds some piece of our past we would simply prefer to remain hidden or just totally forget. More often than not, it doesn’t remain hidden and we don’t forget. Recently, I cleaned my closet. I talked to my skeleton and took action to settle my debt with him.

I’d like to say I dance with my skeleton now, but there is not a word of truth in that.

Right now, I am repeating affirmations…

  • I forgive myself completely for mistakes I have made knowing I did the best I could at that time.
  • I let go of embarrassment, failure and shame.
  • I approve of myself.

I loving support you if it’s your time to clean your closet. There is every word of truth in that. Happy Halloween.

–Madeline Pallanes

Friends in Far Places

I’ve met some amazing humans as part of the writing group practice that I’ve been in the past year.

Simon and I first met when we were matched up in a book-finishers group. I knew he was working on a book of bedtime stories for adults, but that didn’t intrigue me enough to read his early drafts. Once I read his draft book in its entirety, I realized he was on to something big. He’d realized that he had been parenting his children the same critical and demeaning way he’d been parented, and he wanted to do a healthier, happier, saner job with his own children.

Simon decided to write about his process of self-discovery, and extrapolated his own self-work into exploring positive techniques of communicating, correcting and engaging with his children, and his wife. His background is traditional fundamentalist Christian, and his mind is wide open to exploring how he can change how he engages with those in his world. I am delighted to have met him and get to encourage him in his progress. He published his initial book on Kindle, with intentions of polishing it, and publishing in print later.

Lately he’s been writing about doing more meaningful work, and deepening his satisfying relationships with the other adult humans in his life. He credits being part of this writing community and getting supportive feedback from all of us for his shift in his way of being. I thought there was probably more to it…

Last night he dropped in with this:

“I have done something every day for over a year now that has had a hugeimpact on my self-confidence. It is called the Self-Confidence Formula, 
and it comes from Napoleon Hill’s Think And Grow Rich. In the book, it 
is phrased as if these things would take place in the future. About a 
month ago, I changed what I say to state these things in the present 
instead of the future. I repeat it out loud, at least once a day.

First, I know that I have the ability to achieve the object of my 
definite purpose in life. Therefore, I demand of myself persistent, 
continuous action toward its attainment, and I here and now promise to 
render such action.

Second, I realize the dominating thoughts of my mind eventually 
reproduce themselves in outward physical action and gradually transform themselves into physical reality. Therefore, I concentrate my thoughts 
for thirty minutes daily upon the task of thinking of the person I 
intend to become, thereby creating in my mind a clear, mental picture ofthat person.

Third, I know through the principle of autosuggestion, any desire that Ipersistently hold in my mind eventually seeks expression through some 
practical means of attaining the object back of it. Therefore, I devote ten minutes daily to demanding of myself the development of 
self-confidence.

Fourth, I have clearly written down a description of my definite, chief aim in life, and I never stop trying. I am developing sufficient 
self-confidence for its attainment.

Fifth, I fully realize that no wealth or position can long endure unlessbuilt upon truth and justice. Therefore, I engage in no transaction 
which does not benefit all whom it affects. I succeed by attracting to 
myself the forces I wish to use, and the cooperation of other people. I induce others to serve me because of my willingness to serve others. I 
eliminate hatred, envy, jealousy, selfishness, and cynicism, by 
developing love for all humanity, because I know that a negative 
attitude toward others can never bring me success. I cause others to 
believe in me, because I believe in them, and in myself.

I have signed my name to this formula, I have committed it to memory, 
and I repeat it aloud once a day, with full faith that it is influencingand transforming my thoughts and actions so that I am becoming a 
self-reliant and successful person.

Signed, ___________, September 7, 2020.

I feel amazed, grateful, and exhilarated as I look back over the last 
year and see how I have grown and am growing into this firm declaration of belief in myself.”


Those of you who have read Napoleon Hill’s work, and have done this same practice recognize the covenant. Perhaps you studied it with Keith Gorley when he led a book study on this particular Napoleon Hill work several years ago. It’s not ever just about the studying, it’s about the application and the implementation.

I did smile when I read how Simon had changed Napoleon’s words from future tense to present tense. Good use of affirmations, man! And it’s the consistent, daily practice is critical.

As we move into a month exploring Edwene Gaines’ Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity, we get to remember that prosperity is about a lot more than just money. As a member of a fundamentalist Christian faith tradition, I have no doubt that Simon is a tither. Beyond that, if you look at his assertions in his practice with Napoleon Hill’s covenant, you’ll see a very similar roadmap to the one that Edwene Gaines wrote about: goal setting, forgiveness and finding a divine purpose.

I’m excited to see what new pathways open up for those of us who choose to engage deeply with these principles and practices.

–Rev Janis Farmer

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