Sunday, December 29, 2013

25 Questions - Listening to Your Inner Wisdom

Happy New Year!  

Each year we do a ritual known as the Burning Bowl.  We reflect on what we want to release as we move into the New Year, write it down on a piece of paper and we bless it then let it go by burning it.

I've done this every year for almost 15 years and it's been a powerful ritual to intentionally release things that no longer serve me.  This year I'm taking it a little deeper and adding a pre-ritual assessment of the year.  I'm listening to my inner wisdom voice and taking an inventory of the year and then deciding what needs to be released.

Here are the questions I'm asking myself courtesy of Ashley Wilhite at

1. What am I most proud of this year?

2. How can I become a better _____________?

3. Where am I feeling stuck?

4. Where do I need to allow myself grace?

5. Am I passionate about my work & career?

6. What lessons have I learned?

7. What did my finances look like?

8. How did I spend my free time?

9. How well did I take care of my body, mind, and soul?

10. How have I been open-minded?

11. When did I feel most creatively inspired?

12. What projects have I completed?

13. How have I procrastinated?

14. In what ways can I re-structure my time?

15. How have I allowed fear of failure hold me back?

16. Where has self-doubt taken over?

17. When have I felt the most alive?

18. How have I taught others to respect me?

19. How can I improve my relationships?

20. Have I been unfair to anyone?

21. Who do I need to forgive?

22. Where is it time to let go?

23. What old habits would I like to release?

24. What new habits would I like to cultivate?

25. How can I be kind to myself?

Once I answered these questions I asked myself one more question….

What do I want to hand over to the Spirit to be transformed in 2014?

And this is what I'll release to the Divine Wisdom of the Universe during our Burning Bowl Ceremony January 5th.  I've decided to have no regrets - just release and let it go.

Feel free to post what you'd like to release here and I'll include them in our ceremony next week.  

In the meantime, have a safe and happy New Year my Beloveds - here's to a fabulous 2014!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Are You Who You Say You Are?

This year all the businesses gave out candy to kids on Main Street for Halloween.  The Center for Spiritual Living Central Maryland participated too.  We gave away goodie bags with candy and an affirmation ; I called them ‘trick or treatments’.  There were lots of families out with their little kids. It was great fun; the costumes were darling and although I don’t usually approve of loading kids up with sugar I loved giving the little goodie bags to the children.

It’s fun to dress up, to put on a costume or a mask and pretend to be something else.  As children we learned by pretending. We played house, we dressed up, and we pretended to be superheroes, monsters, or fairies and princesses. It was just make believe but it taught us how to play different roles in life.

Pretending is harmless fun.  But what happens when we don’t realize we are still pretending?  As we mature; wait a minute – I’ll just speak for myself here…. As I matured and began living in the “grown up” world I pretended to know what I was doing.  I took on the roles of wife, worker, mother, not really knowing who I was at this stage of my life so I identified with the roles instead. 

Perhaps you consider yourself awake and conscious. A spiritually aware person, if you will, knowing the difference between the roles you play and who you really are. Or is being a spiritual being just another role you’re playing?  

As conscious beings we espouse that we want peace yet when we find ourselves in a difficult situation it is our reaction that speaks volumes of who we are.

Do we respond from our spiritually aware self when something upsetting happens?  Again speaking for myself – the answer is that often my first reaction is just that, a reaction.  I still have some work to do in this department. Sometimes it’s surprising how attached I can be to wanting my way.  Suddenly my upset seems to trump my desire for peace in the world… imagine that.

I like to think that when I fall short it’s an opportunity to see my growing edge. No shame or blame, just my humanity reminding me to stay present and remember who I said I want to be when I grow up.  With my eyes opened once again all I can do is take notice and give thanks for the reminder.  

Happy Halloween Everybody!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Acceptance As A Spiritual Practice

Oh how we love to think we are in control of our destinies; and in the grand scheme of things we are.  But not because we have control over other people, places, and circumstances.  No, we can only control how we see and relate to the world around us.  I, like most people, tend to confuse the two and when that happens I begin to take on too much responsibility and I feel stressed out, usually all in the name of love and service.

Here's how it works for me.  Something big happens in your life and I begin to get all wrapped up in what you need to do to remedy or deal with the situation.  The more involved I get the more "powerful" I think I am and the more I forget that you are powerful too.  Before long I'm trying to solve your problem and I find myself not taking care of my own life.  It's very subtle and often I don't see it happening until I'm knee deep in trying to control your outcomes.

Sigh...  This is where acceptance comes in.  The reason I'm all wrapped up in your situation is because some part of me finds it unacceptable.  I'm judging you and I'm judging your situation.  My purview is limited because I'm reacting to my judgements and in fact I'm probably seeing the situation through my own self judgement and laying it on your situation.  

What if my first reaction is to accept the person, place or situation as being exactly perfect.  Rather than judging it, I can remember that there is a Divine Order to life even in the midst of tradgedy.  What I know from my own life experiences is the things that were the hardest were also the things that helped me grow stronger and shaped me in to the person I am today.   How do I know that the lost job, bad relationship or health challenge isn't exactly the right friction required to bring about the next right thing in your life.

Let's be clear I'm not talking about apathy - apathy is when we suppress our emotions and are indifferent.  True acceptance on the other hand is allowing ourselves to love exactly what is happening in the moment it is happening.  It's trusting that there is a higher order to life.  When we enter into acceptance we make ourselves more available to a myriad of possibility.

Acceptance keeps me right sized and paying attention to how I see the world and the people in my life.   Once I can accept something I can release judgement and approach the situation with real Love.  This is how I master my own destiny, be deciding to see the world through the eyes of Love, to see the higher truth and the perfection in the most imperfect situation.  And therein lies what I'm responsible for  -  just me, my thoughts, my perception and my choices.

I'm always at choice and I choose Love and Acceptance.

Monday, September 2, 2013

I Accept My Responsibility

I just went to see the movie The Butler last night.  It is appalling to me that our society ever treated human beings like we treated black americans in my lifetime.

Growing up white, I can never fully understand what it must have been like to live in a world where one was always considered 'less than'.  But something has been stirred in me.  It's like I want to apologize to every person of color I know despite never having intentionally practiced oppression or racism.

This idea made me think of Ho'oponopono (ho opono pono), an ancient Hawaiian spiritual practice that "corrects, restores and maintains good relationships among family members and with their gods or God by getting to the causes and sources of trouble."   There was a medical professional in Hawaii who practiced this with patients on a ward for the criminally insane; despite never actually meeting with any of the patients Dr. Hew Len was said to have cured the patients by using a version of ho'oponopono.  

Each day Dr. Len would review the files and then practice the ho'oponopono ritual for each person on the ward.  In effect he looked at the data in the file and chose to look passed it, in an attempt to really see each patient.  He was willing to take individual responsibility for believing anything other than the higher truth about each man, the higher truth being that at our core each human being is perfect, whole and complete.  He would then consciously and intentionally repeat the following phrase, "I'm sorry, please forgive me; Thank you, I love you."  

Ho'oponopono starts with the acceptance that if I perceive of the problem then something in me supports it and promotes it.  I must be willing to take an honest assessment and accept my part in the collective consciousness that created the problem, then I can heal it within me and heal my part of the consciousness that created the problem.  

See where I'm going with this?  As a white woman in America I have the power to participate in healing the divide that my ancestors created by actively seeking anything within me that sees less than wholeness in my black brothers and sisters.   Rather than feeling powerless and angry I can approach my feelings from this potent place of possibility simply by being willing to take responsibility for my part, no matter how minuscule, in our human history and then choosing to know a higher truth.

I accept my responsibility, won't you join me?

I'm sorry.
Please forgive me.
Thank you.
I love you.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Making Stuff Up

I often say that I'm a graduate of MSU.... Making Stuff Up.

My perceptions are just that, my perceptions.  When I get an emotional hit from a thought like 'why isn't she talking to me' or 'why did he do that to me' I try to remind myself that I'm making stuff up again.

Abraham Lincoln once said that "People are just as happy as they make their minds up to be".  So why is it that we often choose to invest in the thoughts or ideas that make us unhappy?  I think it has a lot to do with paying too much attention to what we don't have, rather than being present with what we do have.

Try this next time you are feeling lost, separate, sad or even angry.  Make a gratitude list... some of you may be saying - that again!  It's a tried and true exercise for changing your perception which in turn will put you in touch with a greater sense of your well-being.

I recall being stuck in traffic one snowy night on my 3 mile commute from my office to my home.  It was maddening that it was taking over an hour to get home with such a short commute.  I found myself in this vicious place, I think we call it road rage.  I had been deduced to screaming (behind the safety of my closed windows of course) at some poor soul who was trying to make a turn on to the road I was on that was obviously gridlocked.

Of course the obsurdity of it all struck me when I was deduced to such a fit of anger.  I felt stuck in my emotions and behavior and needed some relief.  It was then that I remembered my gratitude practice.  My first thought was "no way, that won't help".  But I reasoned with myself that I needed to do something, this was crazy.

With both hands gripping the steering wheel like my life depended on it I took a deep breath and begrudgingly said "Ok I'm grateful for my breath".  That wasn't so bad, so I tried another, "I'm grateful I have a car",  "I'm grateful I'm healthy".... I grasped for the obvious things like a woman being thrown a life line off a boat.  I was in fact drifting in a sea of confusion and pain and this simple practice proved to be the life line that brought me back to sanity; more that that it brought me back to peace.  As I released my thoughts of frustration and anger and got present with myself I got in touch with my true sense of well-being.  I changed my perception.

We all have the ability to choose our perceptions even in the darkest of moments.  It all starts with a willingness to let go of what's difficult and grab hold of something larger than the situation we are in.  Am I willing to stop making stuff up about the situation?  That's the question to ask, once you get honest with yourself the rest is easy.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Israeli asks Iran to “Be My Valentine?”

With February comes Valentine’s day:  A day to remind our loved ones how much theyare loved; so this week I’m looking at how “Love points the way” toward ourheart’s desire.  It’s the energy thatcreates a pathway to realizing our dreams, sharing our heart with another, oreven doing our life’s work.  If we listento our heart, the wisdom that lies within us will guide us in the direction ofour highest good.  In fact not only arewe led toward our own highest good but often the highest good for all.  The trick is to follow your heart and thenallow the Universe to do the heavy lifting. 
Ernest Holmes wrote “Love points the way and the Law makes the waypossible.”  By Law he’s referring to theLife Force that animates all beings, God, Spirit, call it what you will – it’swhat makes the grass grow, it’s what ignites the hearts of others when wefollow our own.
So as my Valentine’s Day treat for you I want to share avery special Valentine’s with you that demonstrates how Love can point the wayto possibility, to changing the consciousness of thousands of young people whowere taught to hate.  A young man inIsrael, feeling no animosity toward “the enemy” in Iran sent out a powerfulmessage that ignited the hearts of millions. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Philosophy, Science and Roots

It’s the time of year when all Religious Scientists traditionally go back to our roots, the basic ideas of the Science of Mind teaching; which are summarized in the first four chapters of Ernest Holmes book The Science of Mind.
Chapter 1- The Thing Itself, talks about our inherent nature as part of the wholeness of the universe, that our thoughts create our life.
Chapter 2 - The Way It Works speaks to how Consciousness creates our life through our conscious use of our thoughts.
Chapter 3 - What It Does addresses the action that takes place as we allow our thoughts to create our life.
Chapter 4 - How to Use It discusses how we can proactively engage the One Consciousness to create a life we desire.

First let’s review The Thing Itself.  We recognize God or Spirit as Infinite Intelligence.  Always available to us since it is the essence of who we are.   Wo/Man is forever creating life from Consciousness whether s/he is aware of it our not.    God so loved that it objectified its love and created Wo/Man.  Likewise when we so love something we bring potency to our thoughts, which then create our life.
We refer to this Consciousness by two names but it is one thing, first we have the conscious mind and second we have the subjective or subconscious mind.  We use our conscious mind to direct our subconscious mind.  Yet it is our subconscious mind that does the actual creating.  If we aren’t “conscious” our subconscious creates unconsciously.

An example of this is when we accept ideas that are in the mass consciousness without discernment.  I like to refer to this as race belief or race consciousness.  Consider the stock market, in truth the market is an emotional mechanism that creates and destroys value based on what the race consciousness believes.   If everyone feels good about the economy they buy stocks and the market goes up; if the masses get scared they sell and the market goes down. 
However there are those people who can create good fortune independent of the race consciousness – they are the ones who tap into a deeper understanding of consciousness and create from a deep belief in abundance.  They seem to be unaffected by the market. 

Consider also that the Universe never plays favorites.  It only creates from our subjective consciousness.  It’s up to us to be interactive with our subconscious mind with our conscious mind.  The conscious mind directs the subconscious, then the subconscious does the actual creating.  If we are not mindful, if we don’t take care of what enters into our subconscious we find ourselves creating unconsciously.
Everything, absolutely everything is created in thought first and then becomes form according to the energy, nature, impulse or conviction behind the thought.  Whether we decide to be conscious of our thoughts or not they are always creating.  The nature of our life is not the result of some cosmic happenstance or luck or fate but cause and effect.  “It’s a taskmaster to the unwise and a servant to the wise.”  p31.1 The Science of Mind text.

In Biology of Belief author and Biologist Bruce Lipton, talks about his experience as a biologist.  Early on in his career he was taught to not only observe the substance he was studying but also its environment, he noted that if he changed the environment it would impact the results of his experiments.
This understanding led him to look beyond science’s basic belief that who we became was solely dependent on our DNA.  He recognized that the proteins in our bodies interacted with our DNA like little switches that would turn certain aspects on and off.  He likened the DNA to the architect and the proteins switches (whom science largely ignored after the discovery of DNA) as the contractor or builder.  The builder always influences how the design takes form.  Are you seeing the correlation to Holmes discussion of conscious and subjective mind?  Just like the builder influences how the design takes shape, or the protein switches direct the DNA to affect our physical form; it is the conscious mind that directs the subjective mind and it is the subjective mind that is part of the greater whole that creates our experience.

I find it fascinating that this pattern shows up over and over again in our world, even in the study of biology.  It is the sacred pattern of the Divine coming into form.
So what can we do about this, this Thing Itself, the sacred pattern that is the very essence of creation?  Wake up and be present with your own patterns.  Are they patterns that you like, do you want to change them?  Are you aware of the subconscious patterns that create your life, or as Holmes puts it is your subconscious “a taskmaster to the unwise” or  “a servant to the wise.”