Self-Awareness

“That which is back of everything must be good, must be complete, must be love and harmony. When we are out of harmony with some special good, it is because we are off the track along that particular line of the activity of Spirit. But how are we to regain the lost Paradise? Only through soul culture and careful self-analysis….A change of consciousness does not come by simply willing or wishing….but a gradual unfoldment of the inner self.” (Science of Mind page 446)

We are driven to learn more about ourselves, especially how we’re special. On social media there are quizzes to reveal a number of aspects of our personality – for example, which fairy princess am I? or which of the 7 Dwarfs best describes me? Of course these are silly.

More than entertainment value, self-awareness is an avenue to spiritual growth. According to Yung Pueblo, “the cultivation of self-awareness is critical not only for those seeking a fulfilling life, but also for anyone who understands the value of appreciating the perspective of another…Self-awareness opens the door to compassion.” Some people develop self-awareness through journaling, others through meditation, and some by paying attention to their emotions when they feel upset or threatened.

Numerous personality tests have appeared over time, the most familiar being the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The test helps people assess their personality using four specific dichotomies, or scales: introversion-extraversion, sensing-intuition, thinking-feeling, and judging-perceiving. Yet what use can we make of this knowledge?

The Enneagram has been introduced as a precise, powerful tool for spiritual growth. Richard Rohr writes, “With the Enneagram, the question is: Why in our encounter with life do we human beings keep running up against ourselves, instead of making a breakthrough to God? …In the Enneagram, God is calling us all to let go of our false self because we don’t need it anymore.” (Richard Rohr, Discovering the Enneagram, pages 10 and 13)

The Enneagram is not an ego-enhancing tool; it calls us to be unsparingly honest with ourselves and to better discern when we are hearing only our own inner voices and impressions and possibly reacting from our prejudices. We must ask whether we can be open to new ways of seeing the world. Of course, personal attitudes were developed as a means of protection in our childhood. We may learn that we are doing the right thing for the wrong reason.

The spiritual growth occurs as we discern where we are off track; recognize the origin and use of the specific thoughts and behaviors; make a judgment as to whether these characteristics lead constructively to our relationship to Spirit or destructively leads away from it; and to decide whether to accept or reject the knowledge revealed and to utilize the wisdom in our lives. This means the Enneagram can show us where change may be beneficial. Of course, we have self-determination and can choose our actions.

Our new class on Enneagrams begins April 21 and runs for 11 weeks.

–Linda Bullock

GOT PROCRASTINATION?

Well, I’ve done it again. Here it is, the late night of the day this article is due. I’ve had plenty of time to think about something really cool, profound or witty to write about but nothing much has come to mind. I do it every time as this isn’t my first newsletter article. I don’t know why I do this over and over (and expect different results), but I do it in all areas of my life. I am quite skilled at it. Is this something I desire to be skilled at? Not really. I procrastinate.

Why do we procrastinate? I say “we” because the likelihood is you too, procrastinate. If I have to be up late writing this, I’m going to keep you up too. Let’s discuss procrastination….

Google experts define procrastination as a self-defeating behavior pattern marked by short-term benefits and long-term costs. Many of us know it as putting off things that we need to get done, no matter the level of difficulty behind the task. Procrastination is caused by the same things it creates: stress and anxiety. We avoid tasks because they overwhelm us in the moment. This feels good momentarily-we get to do something we want instead, and we don’t need to address any obligations. As good as those sound, that’s the bad news.

The good news is there are solutions to procrastinating that takes some practice and perseverance:

• Reduce the number of decisions we need to make throughout the day. Every decision we make has an energy consequence.

• Develop a practice of using the Science of Mind Affirmative Prayers.

In our Science of Mind philosophy, affirmative prayer is a powerful practice that aligns our thoughts with the all-good of God. It helps shift our consciousness, making us open and receptive to the good that already exists in our lives. Let’s create an affirmative prayer specifically addressing procrastination-with a little help from Bing experts.

1. Recognition:

• Know that God is all there is.

• Recognize that the Divine Presence is within you, guiding and supporting you.

2. Unification:

• Know that you are one with God.

• Understand that your true nature is connected to the infinite wisdom and creativity of the Universe

3. Declaration:

• State your word for the circumstance you want to manifest.

• Declare your intention to overcome procrastination.

• Affirm that you are taking inspired action now.

4. Thanksgiving:

• Give thanks for your good as though it’s already yours.

• Express gratitude for the motivation, focus, and discipline that are flowing through you.

• Thank the Universe for supporting your efforts.

5. Release:

• Let go of any resistance or doubt.

• Release any thought of delay or hesitation.

• Trust the Divine Intelligence is guiding you toward productivity and success.

Remember, affirmative prayer is not about repetition; it’s about belief, acceptance, and direct communication with the Divine Presence with in you.

–Madeline Pallanes

Sagebrush Sam

I have been reading a copy of “Your Aladdin’s Lamp” by Hornaday and Ware. An account of an “unsavory” cowboy type chewing large chaws of tobacco and smelling like the cattle he had been tending studying at the Institute.

Sagebrush Sam, as he was referred to, came to the Institute to learn how to speak   the word so he could go home to heal his cattle because the doctors were not accomplishing the task.

Sam had gotten hold of a Science of Mind magazine and understood the practice of Science of Mind to show practical results. As it turned out Sam was an excellent student with a pleasant demeanor. At one point he asked a woman who was suffering from a chest cold if she would like him to speak the word for her. The woman agreed to accept his help. Speaking a brief treatment to relieve a woman of the cold. To the woman’s amazement (and the entire class) the cold disappeared.

Sagebrush Sam received a communication right before he was to be officially a graduate and announced he was going home. Sam was approached and encouraged to stay for graduation.

Sam responded with I didn’t come here to get a certificate; I came here to learn the process. I got what I came for and he left and was never heard from again.

Sam’s statement about learning the process is very relatable. To me it makes it seem that the process can be simple. And my understanding can be general. I believe treatments can be simple and direct. I am grateful that there is a system to follow. But for me this is where the work begins.

Currently, I am auditing Foundations to continue to expand my abilities knowing the Truth. I was jumping around in my appendix and came across Concept 6

“This is a Universe of infinite abundance, spiritual, mental, and physical. This bounty of Spirit, this allness of God is limitless and can never be exhausted or depleted.”

As a human being I will never have the ability to completely understand the Law, I need only know that it works.

So as I learn more and more about God the multiverse and abundance in practice all I really have to do is increase my ability to know the Truth.

–Chris Wheeler

Divine Timing

I have always felt I have had my feet in two states, California where I was born, and Arizona where my brother Erik lives in Prescott Valley. Traveling back and forth for four decades I was as much at home in PV as I was in California. Now a resident of the great state 48, I often wonder why it took me so long to commit to something I knew in my heart was where I really wanted to be. All in Divine Timing.

One of several advantages I have learned living in the A-Z is not having to concern myself with time. I no longer must spend days, or even weeks adjusting all the digital clocks in my home, because there was always one, I would forget to reset. It all simply stays the same. Unlike our lives.

As the Spring Equinox approaches, I no longer think about “Springing Forward” but simply being still, and let time be. Spring Forward and Fall Back have now taken on more spiritual meanings. More of, “Divine time”, my time, our time with Spirit/God.

Spring has always represented a time where we spend our time cleaning out and sorting through things we no longer require. A time to create a fresh start. So, we simply spring forward in our actions to wipe our slates clean, moving forward into a new experience. Hopefully, not Falling Back into old habits, and collecting things that tend to anchor us.

Springtime is also when Passover and Easter are celebrated. Two holy-days in the metaphysical realm that often go unnoticed. Why? Because many metaphysicians consider themselves not to be Christian. However, there is more to these holy days than the Jewish tradition’s exit from Egypt, and a rabbit that hides colored eggs.

The current time we are in is referred to as Lent. Lent is an old English word meaning to “lengthen.” Our days during the Spring Equinox become longer. Usually with more daylight to enjoy our outdoor lifestyles. It often is associated with Jesus the Christ and his 40-day endurance and preparation for his trial, and crucifixion. We need not endure or prepare for Lent as a time where we are to give something up, as to suffer, as Jesus choose to do for himself.

Instead, let us reflect on the good, our highest good as Metaphysician’s we experience the time of longer days, as an opportunity of spiritual growth, and progressive unfoldment. It is not the experience of giving up. but having our minds firmly planted in the fertile soil of possibility.

It is a time of “rebirth”, to begin again. We roll away the stone on old ideas, and discover we walk into a new life. The garden of life is for us to enjoy through our human experiences. It speaks to us through restoration, rest, and taking our time, that being Divine time.

Ernest Holmes said, “There is something right within you and within me that is awaiting expression, and what we must learn to do is to get out of the way and let it express itself. Withdraw to ourselves, receive, and distribute this, Spirit.” Love and Law, pg. 95.2

When we understand this principle of Spirit working through us, as us, we realize we are one with the creative power. However, the second thing to understand is all things happen in Divine time. Our minds create in an instant, but it takes a little longer for matter to manifest. So, as we move forward, let us embrace all things new, working for us. Accepting love, and Spirit is our source from which all is created and, it’s not our time, but Divine time.

Namaste, Rev. Rhonda

Who, me?

“Self-acceptance is an invitation to stop trying to change yourself into the person you wish to be, long enough to find out who you really are.” Robert Holden

“Become intrigued with what you can be and forget what you were.” Raymond Charles Barker

Enter the “5-Second Rule” having nothing to do with cookies dropped on the floor, and everything to do with how quickly a mind/ego can identify something not “normal” not “habitual” not “known”. Therefore NOT acceptable – so mind switch. NOW!

Mel Robbins is an internationally known life coach and proponent of the “5-second rule”: We are constantly in a flow of good energy and ideas and change but unless we respond within 5-seconds the inertia of autopilot and the distraction of habit will shut down the idea the change and the growth. She labels the two sides of our brain: Inertia and Emergency Stop.

Have to admit I find it absolutely amazing how quickly my mind can drop a topic and flow back into the autopilot of normal. Like much of our teaching – the rule is simple and hard. So grab that idea, that thought, that what if and hang on – in fact do something with it right then.

“The mind is a tool. The question is, do you use the tool or does the tool use you?”              — Zen proverb

And here’s a reminder to myself and to all: every intelligent book I’ve read on working with my mind to do other than the habitual – pretty much insists on meditation in some form as a basic tool. (The less intelligent ones do to, but I try to forget reading them.)

Given the amount of time I’ve thought about it, I should be stellar with it. I’m not.

But reading Pema Chodron gives me hope and encouragement. She describes how she too can have trouble staying centered on breath. Though I am sure she returns to center more quickly than I – it helps to know that every one has to practice a lot.

For me the practice is to practice staying present in this moment and this one and this one. Though I’m not sure I’ve ever made it through three complete moments – I do better when I practice.

As David sings most Sundays – In the Peace I find God – I find myself.

And only by finding my self – spirit embodied and sourced- can I know what next …

–In Peace, Mariann

 

Community Visioning

This past weekend, Reverend Rhonda led us in a community visioning. (In February, the theme for her talks will be Visioning, Visualization and Mental Equivalents.) About 20 people participated both Friday evening and Saturday morning. We gathered to see what would bubble up to be known for the highest vision for our beloved CSLT for this next year.

A wide variety of ideas and images emerged which were analyzed to discover recurring and similar themes. These are my take-aways from this process:

Community – We are a cohesive group. We are a welcoming center. We choose inclusivity and diversity. We are growing.

Fellowship – Many food and coffee references showed up. We want more opportunities to share conversation over meals, potlucks and coffee. We want a place to converge and linger after service. We enjoy each other’s company.

Expansion – We grow as individuals and as a Center. We don’t hide our light but shine it like a beacon for others to see, feel and experience. We want a place to call our own that allows for our increasing congregation.

Joy – There was much laughter in the room. We allow Spirit to express through us in delightful ways. Laughter>Joy>God.

Music – Many song titles were mentioned or alluded to, followed by brief bursts of singing. Music is important to us. We value our musicians. We realized that SOM also stands for Sound of Music.

Open to the Mystery… – The Mystery being the realm of possibilities. We don’t know exactly what the future looks like or how we will achieve it, but we remain open to all opportunities.

This was then all distilled into a theme for the year which is:

Open and expanding into the Mystery…

–Janet Salese

GOT INTENTIONS?

There once was a group of friends who were interested in the Science of Mind and the power of positive thinking. They formed a Mastermind group and were discussing the concept of manifestation and how they could use their thoughts to attract what they wanted in life. They agreed to do an experiment and wrote down what they wanted to see could happen in a month. A month later they gathered to share their results.

The first friend said, “I won the lottery and became a millionaire.”

The second friend said, “I found my soulmate and we’re madly in love.”

The third friend said, “I traveled the world and had incredible experiences.”

The fourth friend said, “I am happy and healthy. That’s it.”

The other three friends looked at him with confusion. They asked him, “Don’t you want anything else? Don’t you have any dreams or ambitions?”

The fourth friend smiled and said, “No, I don’t. I have everything I need. I’m content with what I have and grateful. I don’t compare myself to others.”

The other three friends were speechless. They realized that they had been chasing after illusions and that they had missed the point of the Science of Mind.”

They looked at the fourth friend with admiration and curiosity. They asked him, ” How did you do it? How did you manifest happiness and health so easily?

The fourth friend said, “I didn’t do anything. I just let go and let God. I trusted the Universe and followed my intuition. I didn’t write down what I wanted. I wrote down what I am.

He showed him his paper. It read: “I AM HAPPY AND HEALTHY.” —(Story courtesy of Bing)

Q) What do you call a group of people who use their minds to create their reality?

A) Science of Mind Mastermind group.

Courtesy of CSLT is our very own Mastermind group. We are a group who meet on Zoom and share ideas, insights, goals, challenges, and feedback. Most important, we hold intentions for each other. We help each other grow and achieve success in our personal and professional lives. Let us know if you’d like to join our group, we are welcoming to all!

Q) How many mastermind group members does it take to change a light bulb?

A) None. We just affirm the light is on.

–Madeline Pallanes

Next Year

It’s an odd bit of time, this week between Christmas and New Year’s. Some spend it cleaning house, some planning for next year (resolu1ons to be prepared), some just letting go of what has been a year which disappeared even faster than the one before. And so it goes.

But what if we stopped and took these precious hours to recognize that as the Stoics have it, every morning we wake up is a gift and we once again are playing on the house. Because no new day is promised it is gifted.

That, for me, can be very hard to remember as the events of the day, the headlines and the promises made all push/pull me in their different, demanding ways.

And so the only resolution I am making this year is to travel the path to that place of gratitude and trust that frees me from the self-created fraught and to simply be who I am. And so I leave you with this prayer/blessing to carry us into the New Year.

In Peace, Mariann

FOR EQUILIBRIUM

Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.

As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity be lightened by grace.

Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.

As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.

As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.

May your prayer of listening deepen enough,
To hear in the depths the laughter of God.

John O’Donohue from To Bless the Space Between

 

We Plan and God Laughs….

Welcome 2024 and thank you CSLT for the opportunity to serve as your Spiritual Leader. In the words of Socrates, “The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Or, a simpler statement might be, “we plan, and God laughs.”

A year ago, I had no idea walking through the doors of the LTW last March would place me on a trajectory path of becoming your new minister. What I knew at the time, is I fell in love with a spiritual community, and I hoped I would be asked back to speak. Over the course of last year while you were creating your covenant of intention, I was playing the role of a teacher in a Montessori school in Tempe. (Having left my pulpit and Center of 12 years in California, because I decided to get married.) I thought being a schoolteacher was my “new ministry” working with kids and I was okay with my new role.

However, my 5-year plan of the Montessori assignment was to be cut short after only a year, as “God was calling” again. I received two “nudges” during this last year from “the universe” to go back into ministry. It’s as if God gives me a few hints of where I should be, and I often have chosen to say, “eh, later” and push it aside.

Not the right answer, you don’t ignore the universal “I have this for you.” In my experience, the third nudge is usually a drastic change when the spiritual 2 x 4 hits me, sending me flying into my purpose.

The positive side of my flying lesson was everything began aligning for my husband Charles and I to be here near Tucson. A home we had admired for months became available for purchase, and we did. As we went through the process, I began looking at the school district to teach within a Montessori school.

However, the next nudge came in a call to action from a dear friend and colleague telling me, “Tucson is waiting for you, you need to apply for their pulpit.” After many heart-leading discussions, Charles, a retired UCC minister encouraged me to apply as the window of opportunity was closing quickly. In September, with a week left, I did.

As I filled out the spiritual leader documents to be sent to the search committee, I discovered the God presence within me was calling me to my highest good. My heart has always been in ministry, and it took a small but mighty spiritual community to be that light of “this is your purpose” leading me out of the dark hallway of “what’s next?”

It is with a grateful heart, I look forward to being your spiritual leader, teaching not just the principles of Science of Mind, but other faith traditions, and how all interact together in the great metaphysical beingness in our daily lives. Religious Science is truly a philosophy of how to live in unconditional love and be unconditional love to all we interact with.

Ernest Holmes our Founder wrote in his book, Can We Talk to God? “Of what value would a religion or philosophy be to the world which simply taught it a few laws of cause and e8ect, or how to heal a pain? This is good and wonderful, but unless it teaches how to live and how to be, unless it gives something which is a divine certainty of life and being, it is useless.” (p.11.2)

I look forward to our relationship of not just Sunday celebrations but classes, holidays, and the unknown unscripted adventures of the heart. Please know my door is always open when I am in my o]ice at Craycroft, and reachable through email if you require support for any life situation. I love you all, and thank you for all that you are, and all that you are becoming. I look forward to getting to know every one of you!

–In love and gratitude, Rev. Rhonda

Names of God

As we head into the busy holiday season, I’ve been leaning into Spirit and all its Divine aspects. Troward says God/Spirit is Life, Light, Joy, Love, Peace, Beauty, and Power. One of my favorite meditations is to repeat the phrase, “There is only one Life, that Life is God’s Life, that Life is perfect, that Life is my Life now.” I then repeat the phrase replacing Life with Light, Joy, Love, Peace, Beauty, and finally, Power. I will also insert Mind, Body, and Source; “There is only one Mind, that Mind is God’s Mind, that Mind is perfect, that Mind is my Mind now.” This chant always brings me calm and is a great reminder that I am one with Source (God is my Peace, my Source, my Power Now!).

In our recent membership class, we were asked to bring five names for God to class. Some people had two or three names; others had a long list of names they use for God. I have often heard it said that Ernest Holmes said we can call God “Potato” if that is what works for us (as God created potatoes, Spirit is there, too!). Below is the combined list of names for God our group came up with:

Every faith tradition has multiple names for God. In Islam, it is a practice to meditate and recite the 99 names of God. Several years ago, Rev. Dr. Edward Viljoen compiled 99 names for God out of the Science of Mind text.

This holiday season, and into the new year, I invite you into the practice of meditating on the names of God. Pick one that resonates with you and sit with it for a while; recognizing you are that. Wishing you Happy Holidays and a Blessed New Year.

–Sharon Whealy, RScP

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