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.

Got Moves? by Madeline Pallanes

I do. Those of you who know me in the most recent years, probably find that surprising. I haven’t always been weighted down as I am now.

Many years ago, on the encouragement of my brother (who has always been quite health conscious) I signed up for a yoga class offered at a local yoga studio. I had never done yoga. The closest involvement I ever had with yoga was delivering their mail to the studio. To be properly prepared, I bought a yoga mat at our local sporting goods store and a cute yoga
outfit. I was ready to start my new yoga practice.

I showed up for my first class, late. I know you find that surprising too. I wasn’t that late but late enough that all heads turned to me in complete silence. Everyone was already in their first pose.

I smiled. “Hi! I’m Madeline. I’m here to learn yoga.” The teacher glanced over at the clock and stated the time class starts. That was the start of my yoga practice.

My practice continued for quite a few years centering primarily around breathing, meditation, and relaxation. I loved my yoga practice. It helped me to physically feel better, reduce stress and clear my mind. Eventually the local yoga studio closed and so did my practice. Over the years, I have thought about picking it back up again. Recently, it has been on my mind quite a lot. I really liked the moves. I liked how it made me feel.

I have done and heard of many types of yoga. You can imagine my excitement when Reverend Karen Russo said she was going to teach us “wealth yoga”. Wealth yoga? This was a new one for me! How exciting! I knew I loved yoga, and I knew I loved the thought of being wealthy. I’ve made a lot of yoga moves and a lot of financial moves, just never together. It has to be better together! Wow. I’m back & eager to continue my yoga practice. This time I won’t show up late!

Report from our October 2 2022 Annual Meeting by Rev Janis

Apologies to the 6 folks, and any others, who tried to join on zoom. The sound was working when we tested it, so I don’t know what happened after that. Nothing changed, and apparently, something changed.

We had 14 people in the room. Maria ran the meeting. Each board member talked about their area of specific connection to our greater community. More on each group, team, and topic, are included in our Annual Report, which is linked elsewhere in this newsletter; specific details are shared in the monthly Board minutes. Board minutes are included in our weekly newsletter a couple weeks after each board meeting, and are made available on the website, under About Us, under Organizational Documents.

One question was raised about the number of major donors we have. Janet’s answer was a good one. We track that information by quarter, and report it to the Board, without attaching any names to the donation amounts. The information is also recorded and presented in the Board minutes. For the second quarter of 2022, we had 14 contributors who donated 80% of the monies that came in to our center. During the first quarter of the year, 80% of our donations came from 18 contributors. These are considered our ‘major donors’ and we especially celebrate them. We also acknowledge and celebrate all contributions of time, talent and/or treasure, in whatever form they occur. Generosity abounds. And as Rev Karen said last Sunday morning, “Money loves rhythm, … and flow.”

When I spoke about last January’s Community Envisioning, I mentioned that one of the desires of the community was to have more social activities. I reiterated that suggested social activities must arise from within our community. Board members can suggest activities, but they are not the only source of potential fun things we can do. These can be formal activities that take a bit of preparation and planning (see the next paragraph for how to do that), or more casual activities, such as going to Willcox to pick fruit, caravanning down to see the sandhill cranes, enjoying music and a meal at the lavender farms, or going for a hike or bike ride, or getting together to see a play at LTW, live music or a sporting event. Examples of other fun classes we have held in the past, tangentially related to learning, had to do with folding peace cranes, and coloring mandalas. Both of these are sneaky ways to expand each individual’s repertoire of meditation practices.

I didn’t mention it at the meeting, but we have an event proposal form on our website (under Organizational Documents). If someone were interested in proposing a big event, such as having a booth at the Tucson Pride Festival that happened this past weekend, this would be how they would do that. In the past, we’ve had a booth at the Tucson Festival of Books. There may be other events in town where we could have an identifiable presence. What are they?

In addition to the classes that I’ll be teaching, some of which will be certificated, Noreen Poli intends to offer an in-person, Wednesday afternoon book study on Emmett Fox’s Sermon on the Mount in January. You may remember when Noreen offered this book study four or five years ago when our office was still on E. River Rd. Also, Ethel Lee-Taylor intends to offer a book study on Brene’ Brown’s Braving the Wilderness in February. More book studies and assorted classes will arise, as other facilitators step up.

The last thing on the agenda was electing new board members. We had two seats available that had remained unfilled during the Covid years. No one rotated off the board this year. Linda Bullock expressed an interest in serving on the Board, meets the qualifications (as specified in our bylaws), and attended a board meeting to see what she was agreeing to. She spoke a few minutes to those assembled in the room, and was unanimously elected with cheers, and thanks.

We remain grateful to every single individual who participates with, and supports, this center. It is your active participation and engagement, as well as in the sharing of your time, talents and treasures that we become a more effective place of learning and growth, connection and community. We are grateful for you all.

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 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

Visioning

Of the four spiritual practices used in Science of Mind (Affirmations, Spiritual Mind Treatment, Meditation, Visioning), Visioning was the one I had worked with and understood the least. I was delighted that enough people joined me in making this class, which recently concluded, happen.

I had in the past used visualization, such as making a vision board or seeing myself succeed at a task. Maybe even wanting this class to occur now, I helped to manifest it. This is different from Visioning. As the class’ student guide puts it, “It is the difference between directing Spirit to have our way (visualization) and allowing Spirit to have Its way (visioning).”

I had practiced visioning a little as part of a class or in a group visioning for the highest for CSLT. The practice has usually been to center in Oneness, then open to the vision by asking a series of questions: 1-What is your highest vision or ideal for ____? 2- What changes, evolves or becomes as this highest vision comes into existence?

3-Is there anything else which wants to be known, understood or realized? We write down any images, feelings, sounds, etc. that come to/through mind. The leader will then gather these from all the individuals and compile a list, which is then distributed back to the individuals. This has been where I have usually stopped with the practice.

This class taught and allowed me to practice the next step which is that, in identifying themes, you articulate the vision through spiritual discernment. It is fascinating to see what comes through during the visioning process, but what do all these seemingly random ideas mean? What could Spirit be trying to tell me through images of: Dogs barking happily, blue jeans, plaid shirt, playful winged insects, beach, chair on a cloud? Could it be, as one of my classmates suggested, to loosen up, dress down, be happy and relax?

The full title of the class was Visioning: A Way of Life! So, after we figured out what our visioning session was telling us, we were asked to develop a Vision Statement which we make a commitment to become. When you embody the vision, you attune to Spirit and allow Spirit to show you how it wants to express itself through you to bring forth your highest and best experience of life. Bring on the happy, relaxed, casual Life!

Now that I have finally taken this class, I look forward to joining the Vision Core which meets on the first Thursday of each month at 6:30pm on the Sunday Zoom channel. If you have taken the Visioning class, recently or before, you are welcomed to join in also.

–Janet Salese

GOT WORRIES

I do. My guess is that you do too. It’s been said, “Don’t worry about anything, instead, pray about everything.” “Let your worries go.” Yeah right. I’m working on that.

Why do we worry especially when it keeps us in a state of anxiety and uncertainty? I don’t know for sure, but I think it is a learned behavior that became a habit. It’s what we know how to do well. Most of us have had a lot of practice and experience worrying. I think we worry at times because it shows care & concern for others. “I was worried about you!” We worry ourselves into a tizzy and sometimes even get sick from it.

But how can we not worry? I don’t know. I’m still working on that. What I do know is I have many practices that have helped to ease my worries over the years:

•      I mentally throw my worries into the church service and leave them there to dissolve into a sacred space. I remind myself, ‘wherever I am, I am in sacred space.’
•     I have a Worry Basket that I mentally throw my worries into to dissolve. (See picture of the Burden Basket. It was used for gathering crops and once a woman returned home, she would hang her basket on the front door. Those that considered their home a sacred space, the basket was a symbol that visitors were to leave all their worries, anger, and negative emotions in the basket before entering to protect the space.)
•    I use a prayer box that I have o my nightstand when a worry is
creating insomnia.
•    I practice Worry on Wednesday. I remind myself to only worry on Wednesday between 12 and 2 pm.
•    I remind myself that the great majority of what I worry about never happens. The little bit that does, really isn’t as bad as I worried about.
•    I attend our morning meditation regularly and surround myself with like-minded friends.
•   I study the Science of Mind.

o Faith is the only complete answer to our worries-faith in something greater than we are”-Ernest Holmes- How to stop worrying. This PDF available from Science of Mind Archives
o “We must heal ourselves from worry. This tension is relaxed as we gain confidence in good, in truth and in beauty.”- Ernest Holmes Science of Mind 245.3

This haiku was written during morning meditation by Susan Seid:

“Release all worry
In God’s hands, troubles dissolve
Lay them down, have faith”

–Madeline Pallanes

GOT AMEN

I have always thought saying the word ‘Amen’ at the end of a prayer, was how a prayer was ended. The same as saying, ‘The End’. It ends the prayer, everything is taken care of now, so let’s continue on with our day. It is something I never gave much thought to. I don’t know where I gained that belief but it definitely was my belief.

Science of Mind ends prayers with “And so it is.” I wondered why Amen wasn’t used. I knew I needed more clarification so I searched my Science of Mind library, did some on-line searches trying to find the answer. Why isn’t Amen used? So when the answer couldn’t be found, I did what just about everyone else does. I reached for my phone and asked Google.

“Google, what is the definition of Amen?” Google quickly replied, “uttered at the end of a prayer or hymn, meaning ‘so be it.’ ”

Ahh, so it was starting to make sense. And so it is. So be it. Same thing.

As a child, I learned the Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, Now I lay me down to sleep, all ending with Amen. These prayers have served me well over the years. They have guided me to where I am now. It was (is) the power of prayer.

“Google, what is the definition of prayer?” Google quickly replied, “a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship.”

“Google, what is the definition of affirmative prayer?” Google still answered me, “affirmative prayer is a form of prayer or a metaphysical technique that is focused on a positive outcome rather than a negative situation.”

Spiritual Mind Treatment aka Affirmative Prayer, is one of the most powerful resources I can
use. It is the power of prayer. I don’t have to ask Google.

And so it is.

–Madeline Pallanes

Got Food for Thought?

I once was scolded by a doctor because she thought Sissy was obese. “What are you feeding her? I can’t even feel her ribs!”

I started to tell her Sissy’s diet and she stopped me in mid-sentence, holding her hand up at me. “Stop it. I’ve heard enough. She needs to be on a special diet which we will discuss, AFTER I finish my exam.” She glared at me, stethoscope in hand and listened to Sissy’s heart.

“I’m the one who needs to be on the special diet!” I told her. She rolled her eyes in disgust and continued writing down her notes. Our office visit was quickly over.

She couldn’t help me with my diet since she was a veterinarian. Sissy is my full-figured girl maintaining 160 lb weight throughout the years. For a St. Bernard, that is an average
weight. Since my veterinarian’s office has many vets there, we have never seen that particular doctor since. No other doctor ever scolded me. Sissy needing to be on a diet has never come up for discussion again.

Discussion of me being on a diet, well that’s a different story. I’ve been on many diets in my lifetime and I have to say they have all been successful. I have lost many pounds, almost too many to count. Oddly enough I find the pounds again and lately carry them where ever I go! Nothing is ever really lost. I must say I have never been scolded by a doctor for the weight I carry around. Someday, I’ll let the extra baggage go for good, probably when it no longer serves me.

Since we are discussing diets, here is the food for thought. This is the best diet I have ever been on, and I want to share it with you. You too can do this diet and see immediate results! Yes, you! You don’t even have to be overweight! I know, how can you imagine that? Wanting to be on this diet and you’re not even overweight? Well listen up, this is a really good diet. Try it out, take a bite and enjoy having a great day every day!

Here is a 5-day mental diet. It’s good for healthy mindedness. It will help give you a great day every day.

  1. First day: Think no ill about anybody-only good about everybody.
  2. Second day: Put the best possible construction, the most favorable interpretation, onthe behavior of everybody you encounter or have dealings with.
  3. Third day: Send out kindly thoughts toward every person you contact or think of.
  4. Fourth day: Think hopefully about everything. Immediately cancel out any discouragingthought that comes to mind.
  5. Fifth day: Think of God’s presence all day long.

With great gratitude I thank Dr. Norman Vincent Peale as I found this diet in his book HAVE A GREAT DAY EVERY DAY!

–Madeline Pallanes

Calling All CSLT Artists

Although 2022 is many months away, we’d like to put together the 2022 CSLT calendar. I did a calendar for one of my class projects (I’d been thinking about making a calendar for a while), and it was a project we wanted to do for the community. So, for the past two years we have experimented with putting the calendar together, getting the details figured out. For the upcoming year’s calendar we’d like to get photos, photos of artwork, and short writings from our entire community.

Below are examples of two pages from last year’s calendar:

   

The photo on the left is by Mariann Moery, painting on right is by Carolyn King.

The writing needs to be short, no more than four – six sentences. The image files of photographs, art, etc. need to be high resolution, 8×10” @ 300 dpi, so they will print nicely. There are only 12 months in the year, so there is limited, but I hope if you have writing, photos, images of art you like, you will share them. This notice is to plant the seed.

I’ll be gathering works in August, (deadline for submissions is August 31) and will have the calendar ready for the printer by September 15, 2021. (I want to have it complete by the time I take an extended trip). Each artist will be credited for their work. If you have a website for your work, that will also be listed on the calendar.

If you would like to participate in the calendar this year, send me an email at directory@tucsoncsl.org. Please put “calendar” in the subject line.

Happy Creating!

–Maria

 

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