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

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

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

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

Science Of Mind and Skiing

The mention of downhill skiing elicits a myriad of reactions from people. Many people have a story to tell or an opinion to communicate. I have been skiing since I was in elementary school. So I have talked about skiing with many people in my fifty some years of negotiating the slopes.

While learning to ski people often struggle to stay in control. Some feel fear because conditions are different than they are accustomed to. Concerns turn to worry about the terrible things that could happen as the relationship to friction changes.

As knowledge, experience and strength increase, the fear is replaced with the comfort of knowing how to take action and get results.

Eventually they decide to take the next greater challenge and try out the next larger hill.
Standing at the top of that next hill there is uncertainty. The perspective has changed and the world view is much larger. The potential success could be overshadowed by more fear and doubt. Followed by removing their skis and walking down the hill.

Or they could turn and face downhill and practice their skills to navigate in a new way gaining more experience. There is always some risk that things may end in an unfavorable way. The law of gravity does not change.

My experience on the slopes has helped keep me calm but every ski run has some uncertainty.

Adopting a mental practice of finding a way to relax and allow the experience of the moment and a smooth run is optimal. This is the way I choose to approach the practices of SOM. Mental practice builds the knowledge experience that allows for comfort and confidence to negotiate the world knowing that the Law operates regardless of what type of initial conditions are offered.

SOM the Law is the vehicle that changes thought into action.

“The possibilities of the Law are infinite, and our possibilities of using It are limitless.
— Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 271.2

“The way to work is to begin right where we are and, through constantly applying ourselves to the truth, we gradually increase in wisdom and understanding, for in this way alone will good results be obtained. — Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 271.4

–Chris Wheeler

Not a Muggle

Sometimes it would seem to be so much easier to just be a ‘muggle’ (JK Rowling’s word for non-wizards), and have life happen to us, and just react blindly and unthinkingly to whatever comes our way. We wouldn’t be aware we were responsible for what we thought, how we chose to carry ourselves in the world or engage with others. We could just let ourselves be carried away by our emotions in this second. We see this happen all around us all the time. It happens to famous people and normal people.

I was in line at the main Tucson Post Office mailing a package just before the holidays in December last year. The line was long and moving very slowly. People were tired of masks, and lines, and just worn out and fed up. A man came in the alternate entrance and cut in line. He had a huge box which was poorly labeled, and poorly taped together for shipping. The post office workers ignored him. They were helping the customers who had been standing in line. He got more and more blustery, without anybody noticing him. After several minutes of complaining loudly about not being served, he left in a huff, taking his big box with him. The man standing in front of me started talking about how that guy made him so mad, and he wanted to just go punch him for being so rude. I smiled at him under my mask, and said “Some people make us happy when they come, and some people make us happy when they go.” My statement caught the guy standing next to me off-guard, and he looked at me really strangely. Eventually his eyes crinkled like he was smiling, he stopped imagining the harm he would do to that guy, and said, “Yeah, you’re right.”

Of course, it’s not really better to be a muggle, and not really possible once we’ve become aware of our accountability for our experience. Sometimes it would feel so consoling to think that I have nothing to do with what I experience – especially when my body hurts, or my heart hurts over some perceived injustice, or I feel angry, or something seems particularly hard or unfair.

Those of us who have been around the Science of Mind teachings have been made aware that we have ultimate responsibility for how we perceive our life experiences. We also know that we have some control over the conditions which pop up in our lives, depending on how much authority we believe we have, and how much we agree with the collective beliefs of our society. It’s hard to stay a muggle when you know you have power. We don’t have ultimate power, partly because we don’t believe that we can, or should be allowed to have it. Master Teacher Jesus is believed to have said (In John 14) “…greater works than these shall he do”. We don’t truly and profoundly know that we live in the Divine, and are of the Divine Nature, and this gets in our way of creating the goodness we imagine for ourselves.

From Ernest Holmes in Ten Ideas that Make a Difference 62.2 (1966): “… the invisible Principle — God, the universal Essence of Reality, the “I am that I am” — is incarnated in us as the “I” which we are. There is the Universal I Am and the individual I. Each one of us is an individual rooted in the Universal I Am — a personification at the level of our conscious perception of that invisible Presence which is both God and man.”

Some of us participated in, or observed, Keith Gorley’s Celebration of Life this past weekend. Keith was very clear on this in his own life. He knew he was of God, at least most of the time, and he loved encouraging others to look within themselves for guidance, and to recognize that that internal guidance, when it was clear and not self-serving (only), was divine in origin.

It’s a practice. We never arrive. We are always, in every moment, part of the divine expression as ourselves and we are always growing and changing, exploring and expressing this Divine Nature as us. Isn’t Life grand?

“You must not ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever,
give anyone else the responsibility for your life.” — Mary Oliver, Upstream: selected essays

–Rev Janis Farmer

Being Peace

These are challenging times. Added to the two years of uncertainty of COVID, now a war has been started by Russia with Ukraine. Sometimes I feel helpless. It reminds me of growing up during the Vietnam War, and the aftereffects of the images of World War II. What is mine to do? Pray. And it doesn’t seem good enough, but I know it is what I can do, and it is good. If peace consciousness raises into a cloud of peace, and it will rain peace.

During these times of uncertainty, I strive to become peace, to be kind to my neighbors, greet people with an enthusiastic wave and a smile, listen, and know the Truth, the big Truth, the Spiritual Truth.

A Prayer for World Peace
By Ernest Holmes
I know but One Mind which is the Mind of God, in which all people live and move and have their being.

I know there is a Divine Pattern for humanity and within this pattern there is infinite harmony and peace, cooperation, unity and mutual helpfulness.

I know that the mind of man, being one with the Mind of God, shall Discover the method, the way and the means best fitted to permit the flow of Divine Love between individuals and nations.

This harmony, peace, cooperation, unity and mutual helpfulness will be experienced by all.

I know there shall be a free interchange of ideas, of cultures, of spiritual concepts, of ethics, of educational systems and scientific Discoveries for all good belongs to all alike.

I know that, because the Divine Mind has created us all, we are bound together in one infinite perfect unity.

In bringing about World Peace, I know that all people and all nations will remain individual, but unified for the common purpose of promoting peace, happiness, harmony and prosperity.

I know that Deep within every person the Divine Pattern of perfect peace is already implanted.

I now Declare that in each person and in leaders of thought everywhere this Divine Pattern moves into action and form, to the end that all nations and all people shall live together in peace, harmony and prosperity forever. And So It Is.

Somebody Needs A Prayer Today, a song by Niki Harris also brings me solace and fills me with the power of prayer, to send my light and love out into the world.

Two additional thoughts from Ernest Holmes, from the July 1931 The Science of Mind Magazine pp.5-16:

“Do not fall under the belief that if one is to excel in spiritual things they must renounce everything that is called physical. There are those who would separate life from living. Do not make this mistake. Take the time to weed out unbelief. Find the world to be good. See every man as an evolving soul. Let your mind be tempered with that human wisdom which rejects the lie, which separates the wheat from the chaff — but in all kindness, sympathy and compassion. Your system of thought does not deny the merit of human endeavor or intellectual attainment. It does affirm the supremacy of Spirit. It is the Spirit which creates and sustains all.

Search out your own mind. Be true to your own thought. Penetrate more deeply into your own consciousness. In the silence of your own soul, you meet the Eternal and Creative Center of all.”

–Maria

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