Pathways of Love

“Love is the central flame of the Universe, nay, the very fire itself. Love reigns supreme over all. God is Love and Love is God.” SOM 475.3-5

As a child, even though we were Catholic, my father would occasionally take me to different religion’s Sunday services to be exposed to other beliefs and practices. I remember going to a Lutheran, Baptist and Methodist church. We would discuss the differences, but more importantly, the similarities between them. He showed me that there was not just one way to experience God.

I recently enjoyed spending time with my sister and her family while celebrating her granddaughter’s nuptials. This Christian family welcomed a Muslim groom into its fold. There was much discussion and explanation of religious beliefs. I was made aware of how diverse they are in their religious practices, each worshiping at a different church: Apostolic Pentecostal, United Pentecostal, Reformed Presbyterian, Assemblies of God, Catholic. While they share some common ground, each denomination has its unique theological perspectives and practices yet, at the core of each, is the belief in God and Love. Each individual is taking a slightly different path, but all leading to God.

As my niece put it, “We hold firm to our convictions and beliefs but don’t look down on others with differing beliefs. As a family, we have had challenges, discussions, and disagreements at times, but have learned to accept each other despite our differences. Professing to be Christians, we must exercise the Biblical principles we embrace, study and teach. One of those foundational principles is loving others. We seek to demonstrate the love of God to others, despite differences in beliefs. Personally, I have seen so many families divided, distanced, and separated over such seemingly insignificant, petty matters. Though our family is far from perfect, I believe we have managed to keep a strong bond of love for one another despite our differences in beliefs, and for that I am truly grateful.”

My sister shared a quote from our Dad, “Love is all that’s real. Love is all there is.” The love present that weekend amongst family members and friends could physically be seen and felt. Our father’s legacy lives on!

–Janet Salese

You don’t have squat! But let me tell you, I do!

I haven’t always had squat. There was a time I didn’t have diddly squat. Squat (short for squatter) is the newest addition to our family. He picked up residence under my shipping container one day. After an extensive search for a lost cat turned unsuccessful, a health check and vaccination appointment were in order. With a clean bill of health, he moved into our home, just before the weather turned cold.

The intelligence in an animal which directs its actions and tells it where to go to find food and shelter, we call instinct. It is really Omniscience in the animal. The same quality, more highly developed, makes a conscious appearance in man and is what we call intuition. Intuition is God in man, reveling to him the Realities of Being; and just as instinct guides the animal, so would intuition guide man, if he would allow it to do so.  – Ernest Holmes. The Science of Mind. 342.2

The cat followed his intuition and relied on his instincts to find our home. He found a comfort & solace within us. To him, there was

Something Quite Unique About This.”

I’ve learned from THIS experience that in the future whenever I find such a comfort…I’m going to just squat too.

Madeline Pallanes

On the Road With….

I recently drove across country by myself. I do like driving, but this was way out of my comfort zone. My fear would rise, what if I get a flat tire (I know how to change a flat tire and even have an extra length of pipe to put on my lug wrench to give me the leverage to loosen the lug nuts), and what if something happens to my car (which only had 30,000 miles and have kept it maintained), and what if…… And I’m not fond of expressway driving, going 70 miles per hour with lots of cars around me. More what ifs.

I printed out a recent favorite Holmes quote and took it with me.

Divine Wisdom within me guides every act, directs everything in my life, toward happiness, toward peace, toward power; and being the Spirit of Love, It surrounds me with beauty, with friendship and with joy. Being the Giver of Life, every day I receive that which is perfect, abundant, happy, joyful and free. Being that Divine Thing, which individualizes in me, It is entirely individual, personal and unique. I am the expression of my own complete self, and there is no barrier or bar to that self-expression. Being the Spirit of Substance, that Spirit within me is my Source of Supply, and It brings to me everything necessary to my unfoldment, and keeps me in the wisdom through which It governs me now and forever. (Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 564.3)

For the first couple of days I took state routes and enjoyed a leisurely pace, drinking in the landscape of acres and acres of corn fields, baled hay. I would have breakfast in diners to get a feel of the community, and spend time with the people that grow the crops that feed me. And I wondered about their faith, faith in rain, and sun, limited pests. Their livelihood dependent on some conditions that are beyond their control. I felt a gratitude for the work they do.

After a few days I could no longer avoid the interstate highways. I finally got on I-70 in Kansas and drove to and around Kansas City, St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Columbus, thankfully not all in one day. When I would feel my fear arise, usually with the traffic whizzing by me at a much greater speed than was posted, I would repeat my mantra, “Divine Wisdom within me guides every act. Divine Wisdom within me guides every act…” and I would calm down.

It was a comfort to know God was my copilot.

–Maria

Imperfectly Perfect by Rev Janis Farmer

In a recent Saturday’s daily morning practice, we got another opportunity to look at, remember, and celebrate, that every individual human, including ourselves, is an individualized personification of the Oneness, as we understand, and experience, it in this moment. And that no matter how badly we fail, or we think someone else has failed, there is no failure. Every bit of that experience is simply the perfect expression of the imperfectly perfect human life.

In a recent daily missive, Fr Richard Rohr used this quote from Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection:
“It is in the process of embracing our imperfections that we find our truest gifts: courage, compassion, and connection. … When we can let go of what other people think and own our story, we gain access to our worthiness—the feeling that we are enough just as we are and that we are worthy of love and belonging. When we spend a lifetime trying to distance ourselves from the parts of our lives that don’t fit with who we think we’re supposed to be, we stand outside of our story and hustle for our worthiness by constantly performing, perfecting, pleasing, and proving. …

“There is a line from Leonard Cohen’s song “Anthem” that serves as a reminder to me when … I’m trying to control everything and make it perfect. The line is, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” … This line helps me remember the beauty of the cracks (and the messy house and the imperfect manuscript and the too-tight jeans). It reminds me that our imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together. Imperfectly, but together.”

One of the sweet spots for me is in remembering that every time I feel judgmental, or judged, it is an opportunity to practice clear seeing, compassion and forgiveness. And every time I feel triggered by something that happens around me, or even something that seems to be happening to me, it’s not the thing that happens in this world of form that I need to fix, correct or change — it’s the way I perceive the situation. This doesn’t mean I always manage to remember any of this stuff in that moment, but I get back to that awareness as soon as I am able.

In working on this past week’s talk, I felt drawn to re-read Ernest Holmes’ ‘Final Conclusions’ in the Science of Mind. You can read them in their entirety on page 423. The sentence that jumped out at me the most was this one, from the second paragraph, “To hold one’s thought steadfastly to the constructive, to that which endures, and to the Truth, may not be easy in a rapidly changing world, but to the one who makes the attempt, much is guaranteed.”

I love that, because it doesn’t mean that if I haven’t succeeded at staying focused on the constructive, I have failed. The notion of ‘doing it right’ is a story that I make up, and that each one of us probably interprets differently. Further, there’s no way to actually get it right, since there is no definitive thing called ‘right’. (I realize there are people who disagree with me about that. And that’s okay too.) What it does mean is that, if I want to play, I have to stay in the game and continue to participate as best as I know how in the moment. And by making the attempt, ‘much is guaranteed’. I can make the attempt, even if I get to begin again a hundred times a day.

As we move into our month of gratitude and gratefulness, and into this period of mid-term elections, it serves me to remember to be grateful for it all, and know that every single one of us is exactly in the right place, at the right time, being beautifully, magnificently, imperfectly perfect.

Mental Equivalents II by Maria Schuchardt, RScP

Last blog I spoke about equivalents, how I have an overarching desire for a “rich and full life.” A few more thoughts have come up.

We must sense the embodiment of that which we wish to experience… the whole
problem is not one of creation, but one of direction, and there is no direction unless there is first an embodiment. Let us try this in our meditation. We know that we reflect the Divine Perfection and that there is an intuition within us which guides us. We know that all the power there is and all presence there is, is this perfect Spirit, this Divine Reality, which is around us and through us and in us. — Ernest Holmes

And also:
“You must have some kind of vision for your life, even if you don’t have a plan, you should have a direction in which you choose to go. I never was the kind of a woman who liked to get in the car and just go for a ride…. Do we have a destination? Do we have a plan? Or are we just riding? You have to be in the driver’s seat of your life because if you are not, life will drive you.” — Oprah

I was on the UA campus one day and I saw Dr. Marcia Rieke the principal investigator for the near-infrared camera on the James Webb Space Telescope. “How are things going?” I asked. “Much better than we could have even imagined.” She replied. I smiled. This is not the first time I have heard that statement. That the desired outcome, mental equivalent, was much more than the original idea. That the One Mind, hears our claim, and adds a touch of magic. One of my practitioner studies classmates said the same thing when she spoke about creating a studio space for herself.

Both Dr. Rieke and my classmate had a specific direction, a specific goal they wanted to manifest. A lot of my life, I have been a wanderer. I wrote these words in sometime in the 1970’s.

Skipping stones into the sunset.
Watching waves caress the rocks
Soothing sharp edges
Into sensuous curves – Voices far away and melted.
The sun is a hazy circle
Descending upon the water
And I, I am a wanderer
In search of peace.
And my direction, my direction is to be my authentic self, that knows that God is my Source, and in that, I have found my peace.

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 Cash?

I have hesitated on writing about this topic for quite some time. It can be a touchy personal topic for some, and for others almost taboo to talk about. Money. I think to myself, ‘who am I to write about money especially since no one is even asking?’ I answer myself, ‘My name is Madeline Pallanes and I am a woman of power.’ (I learned that affirmation from Edwene Gaines.) Sometimes I believe it, sometimes I don’t. ‘Money flows to me easily & freely.’ I’ve been repeating that affirmation for probably 20 years. I always believe it.

Today, I have a loving healthy relationship with my money. It hasn’t always been that way. Yes, it’s a relationship. A relationship that has had its ups and downs over the years. I wanted a healthy relationship with money. I have made many blunders with my money and when I did, I later sought out help.

I attended Dave Ramsey’s University of Financial Peace.

Stacy Johnson with Money Talks News is also one of my sought-out helpers.

I have taken many Prosperity classes offered though CSL. Edwene Gaines, “The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity” is probably the one I have absorbed the teachings and practice the most. One of the Laws is tithing and giving. Through the years, whenever I would show up at a church (CSL or any other one I may have stopped into) I had a standard amount of cash I would donate to the church for the service. If I couldn’t donate that amount, I wouldn’t go. That was my tithing practice. That was how I thought one tithes. It was also standard practice for me to donate to many non-profit organizations. I have always been generous with donations. If I had it, I gave it and if I didn’t have it, I didn’t give it.

A few years ago, an interesting thing happened. I learned the definition of tithing. Tithing is giving 10% of your income to where you receive your spiritual guidance. That really made me think. Was I actually tithing? Tithing 10% of my income to where I receive my spiritual guidance? It probably totaled up to 10% with church and other non-profit donations, but I know I wasn’t receiving spiritual guidance from Salvation Army, the local food bank, or local animal shelters. I made a decision right then and there, to give 10% of my income to where I receive my spiritual guidance. In addition, I give 5% of my income to charitable giving. Later, I also decided to save 10% of my income. This loving relationship practice I have with my money continues to grow stronger and healthier each day.

Recently over the past couple months, I decided instead of tithing 10% of what I received, I would tithe 10% of what I want to receive for the month. I’m tithing in advance knowing this increased income is coming to me easily and freely. “My income is constantly increasing.” (Yet another affirmation I frequently say.)

This year I decided to start a “Five & Dime savings account” and I’m having a lot of fun with it. I’m not spending any 5-dollar bills that flow through my hands. I put the $5 bill into a zip lock bag and put it in my underwear drawer. I’m also not spending dimes. I have a dime bag sitting on my dresser. That is my Five & Dime savings account. Currently I have already saved $120 in 5’s, along with 32 dimes. Cha Ching!

The idea for the $5 savings plan came from a friend who saved every $5 she received for a year. This is what she had saved at the end of the year, without any hardship.

And this is my dime bag. 🙂

If having a healthier relationship with your money interests you, I know you can have it! Start with where ever you are now. For me, starting with tithing 10% of my income to where I receive my spiritual guidance, was my biggest jumpstart to access my prosperity & abundance.

–Madeline

Things I Learned

“Everyone has been made for some particular work,and the desire for that work has been put in every heart”             — Rumi

I was thinking today about some of the things I am so grateful for.

My introduction to Science of Mind in 2008 was right up at the top of my list. I was lost and confused about the state of my life at that time, having been divorced and living alone and feeling that something else was lacking. I began to take any and all classes available to me at CSLT, and slowly things began to shift.

So, here are some of the things I learned that literally turned me around & up.

I learned that a loving God put me exactly where I belonged, with exactly the teachers I needed to have.

I learned that I was capable of bonding deeply with like-minded people that I barely knew.

I learned to trust, at a much deeper level, both with my God self and others.

I learned that life is ALWAYS what I choose to make it, and that I am always at choice.

I learned that it’s OK to make mistakes, and that if I do, I am still loved.

I really got it, that I am an eternal being and death holds no threat for me.

I learned and saw that Spiritual Mind Treatment really works.

I’m learned that supply and prosperity come to me in many forms, when I allow it to be.

I found out that I am not a separate being but one with the One.

I came to understand the complex workings of the Law and how to use it constructively.

I found out that I spent more time worrying and praying how to put these thoughts on paper than it actually took.  🙂

Thank you Science of Mind for the blessed life I now have.

— Janie Hooper

 

Can’t? Or Won’t?

If you missed this past Sunday’s talk from Rev. Janis, it was not recorded, and the topic was “The Experience of Freedom”. What freedom to be means to me is that I don’t have to stay stuck in a world that has been defined for me in the past by my parents, teachers, experiences and my life’s choices.

The wonderful thing is that we can give our past stories up, and move forward in a more open, expansive way. What really hit me right between the eyes was Rev. Janis’ statement, “If you say you can’t, what you really mean, is that you won’t”. After reflecting on that, and thinking about the many ways I have remained entrenched in my own story, and the stories that have come from outside myself that I have agreed with, I had believed those stories defined me, and what I could or couldn’t do.

I told myself just last week, when I realized it was my turn to write this Newsletter article, that I just couldn’t do it, that I can’t write very well, and have always had trouble putting my thoughts on paper. I discovered after this morning’s talk that my “I can’t” thinking only keeps me entrenched in my belief about my inability to express myself.

Apparently, I needed to be reminded again that I can always, always, change my mind, my thoughts, my dreams and intentions. I am already equipped with all I need to do anything that I put my mind, heart and soul into. I am a creation of the One and only need to focus on whatever I choose to do. Oh, and practice, practice, practice. 🙂

So, I choose to give up some of the old restrictive stories that have programmed me over the years, and move forward in a totally new and free life, one that has always been mine to choose. I intend to continue to study the principles of Science of the Mind, continue to go to classes, continue to pray for inspiration and direction, and see what happens. While it may be easier to stay “in my rut of familiarity and safety”, I miss out on all of the wonderful opportunities that life has to offer if I am willing to step out of who I think I am, and become who God intended me to be.

Namaste, Janie Hooper

I KNOW WHERE I BELONG

“ This is the whole secret, a complete mental acceptance,
and embodiment of our desires.”
—– Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 398.3

Having grown up a gypsy child, moving and changing schools frequently, I never felt like I belonged anywhere. Since we were poor, as well as having no parent-figure(s) around to ‘raise’ me, I had the resultant low self-esteem and either just kept to myself or ran with the kids I probably shouldn’t have been. I was a very lost little girl and even my own skin didn’t feel like it belonged on me.

Enter drugs, alcohol, blah blah, blah, until I ended up in Alcoholics Anonymous. These were my people telling my story; I had paid my dues and, for the first time in my life, I had a sense of belonging. It was delicious, and I gave it my all. I did service work, sponsored newcomers, went to meetings, worked the steps, and reaped the rewards – I stayed sober.

Because of my thorough self-examination in working the twelve steps of AA, I began to heal and to feel like I belonged on the planet and that to live in my own skin might be an okay thing after all. Life marched on but it wasn’t really fulfilling until I found the Center for Spiritual Living Tucson (even though I’d attended and taken classes at CSL Seattle for a few years, I never felt like I belonged). This is my center, though it didn’t start out that way…

When I first walked through the doors and heard Rev. Donald Graves speak, I felt the effervescent energy and knew I wanted to be a part of it. But being an introvert and not knowing anyone, I didn’t know ‘how’ so I just kept showing up on Sundays. I made myself talk to strangers and tried not to be too star-struck when someone who had clearly been around for a long time would sit at my table during the potluck. I know it sounds silly, but such was my desire to be one of ‘them’. When the opportunity arose to take classes, I signed up and again started from the beginning, Foundations. Taking classes was a great way to get to know people because as we learned each other’s names, we learned each other’s stories. I began to feel a sense of belonging, and I added to it by volunteering to usher; then I asked if I could be a host, and before I knew it I was on the Board of Trustees filling out a term of someone who had retired. Since our classes are always inspiring and changing, I show up for them. And come this fall, I will be signing up online for Practitioner 2 studies. I’ve delayed it long enough and it’s time to step into my calling and let my light shine! (Yep, I said that.)

Belonging. I am so grateful to belong to this center that so obviously is experiencing the manifestations of our awesome collective consciousness — in one week, we are moving into our own education/office building! We will be paying a mortgage, not rent, while we establish equity and grow closer to realizing our intention of one day having a center that is all in one place. Do you realize how many things had to line up for this office purchase to transpire? It’s mind-blowing! Even when the road was rough and rocky over this last year or so, we declined to be discouraged and stayed our course, knowing without fail that in spite of appearances of lack, we move in abundance and everything is right on track, bringing our good, as we wish. And here it is!

Bottom line, if you want a stronger sense of belonging at CSLT, show up! Join teams, take classes, stay for potluck, talk to people you don’t know but think you might want to. We’re a positive, growing, inspirational, and inclusive community of people who are aware enough to know we do experience a better life, more abundance, better health, and all the good stuff as we are able to allow it. So, come on, let’s do this thing called ‘Our Center’ together! There’s no doubt in my mind. You belong, too!

–Renee’ Mercer

1 2 3