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Rare and Precious, Who Me?

Rare and Precious, Who Me?

Growing into your future with health and grace and beauty doesn’t have to take all your time. It rather requires a dedication to caring for yourself as if you were rare and precious, which you are, and regarding all life around you as equally so, which it is. Victoria Moran

Spirit sees you as infinitely precious and worthy. You are, after all, an incarnation of Itself, expressing and experiencing life as you. There is only one of you. Spirit always wants the highest and best for you, and sees you having it through the eyes of Love. Start seeing yourself as Spirit sees you, as Love sees you. Take time today to explore how you could. Now, open to what will allow you to express more Spirit, Live more Joy, and be more Love.

Spiritual Contemplation: Do you know that you are rare and precious? Do you treat yourself with the tender care you deserve?

Affirmation: I treat myself and everyone else as the rare and precious beings we are!

Notice You Observing You

Notice You Observing You

Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor. Thich Nhat Hanh

Have you ever watched the clouds taking on their unique shapes and then transform into something else before they just float out of existence? Have you ever watched a forceful storm blow in from the horizon in all its fury? Maybe you’ve even seen a tornado twisting through the sky or sucking the water out of the ocean. Or watched the whole sky disappear in a whiteout from falling snow or dense fog. Where did the sky go in all of these scenarios? Nowhere, of course! It remained the constant, unchanged space as all the activity blew through with a convincing performance that it was the sky, but the truth is, all of it was just passing through the unbothered space we call “sky.”

Your observing consciousness witnesses your thoughts, dramas, and soul-searching defining moments without being impacted in the least. The higher aspect is not impacted by your stories. A part of you that has never been hurt or violated lovingly beholds your unfoldment without any judgment. It’s like the sky with all the weather passing through it—the weather is not the sky, and your experiences are not you. Weather takes place within the sky, and the dynamics of your life take place within your field of awareness. You are not your stories any more than the weather is the sky. Watch your happenings and narratives pass through who you really are like clouds passing through the sky.

Spiritual Contemplation: Sit and watch your thoughts form and dissipate through your mind without attachment. Then notice you observing you as you watch those thoughts.

Affirmation: I gracefully observe myself moving through life!

Cultivate Childlike Wonder

Cultivate Childlike Wonder

Never lose the childlike wonder. Show gratitude. . . Don’t complain; just work harder. . . Never give up. Randy Pausch

“Star of Wonder, Star of Light” reminds us to see life with wonder and awe. There is so much more going on than just the outer forms of our ordinary lives. Through the eyes of a child, an ordinary toy car becomes an extraordinary monster drag-racing winner. This holiday give yourself the gift of stopping and seeing the extraordinary in your life. It’s there! You just have to open your God-eyes with childlike wonder, anticipation, and joy. These eyes will enliven what seems to have lost its sparkle and renew you. Let the Season work its magic on YOU!

Spiritual Contemplation: How much childlike wonder do you have these days? Where do you find it?

Affirmation: I see the world with the eyes of wonder. I am in awe of its beauty and love!

The Gift of Grace

The Gift of Grace

The grace of God means something like: “Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are, because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you.” Frederick Buechner

Ernest Holmes writes, “Every sacred book is a Divine document insofar as it is true. Any note of pure harmony ever struck on any instrument or by the human voice is a harmony of God, a revelation of God, an action of God, and an impersonation of God. Every step in a dance that is pure symmetry and grace is that which is the essence of loveliness. Every essay ever written that speaks the truth is God proclaiming it. There is only God; and we must not deny the slightest fact to affirm the omnipresence of God—over all, in all and through all.”

Grace is Spirit’s gift of life to us, unearned and joyfully given. What we do with it is our gift back to the Whole, or as some people say, “Grace without works is dead.” Every time we live, act, and move from the center of our being, we give the Divine Presence reality in human expression. This is what is meant by the incarnation, and this is what we celebrate throughout the season of light.

Spiritual Contemplation: How are you manifesting and sharing the gift of Grace, your very life, with the world?

Affirmation: I accept the gift of Grace as the Presence of the Divine. I return that gift with the work of my hands, my heart, and my life.

It’s Time to WAKE UP!

It’s Time to WAKE UP!

We are born with the capacity to learn how to dream, and the humans who live before us teach us how to dream the way society dreams. The outside dream has so many rules that when a new human is born, we hook the child’s attention and introduce these rules into his or her mind. The outside dream uses Mom and Dad, the schools, and religion to teach us how to dream. Don Miguel Ruiz

My mom used to tell my sister and me, “It doesn’t matter that you are girls; you can grow up to do or be anything you want to do or be!” This was a great positive message and I believed it. Not everyone, however, treated me this way. There were many things I learned, subtly and overtly, that I couldn’t do or have because I was a girl. The reverse happened to my guy friends. A box was laid out that we were each supposed to fit into—a box that defined what our lives were supposed to look like, what success meant, and how we would know if we were happy.

But now it’s time to wake up from the societal trance. Your good, your joy, happiness, love, or peace isn’t out there. It’s not in your bank account, the gifts under the tree, the job, or the house. Stop being run by what you think should make you or others happy! Listen to your own inner being; follow your inner guidance; find out where your joy lives. Bliss is an inside job, and it requires you to be awake.

Spiritual Contemplation: Are you still living inside the box and asleep to your true desires?

Affirmation: I am awake. I desire only that which supports my bliss and the bliss of others!

Maya

Maya

When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see the real you, or what you have been conditioned to believe is you? The two are so, so different. One is an infinite consciousness capable of being and creating whatever it chooses, the other is an illusion imprisoned by its own perceived and programmed limitations. David Icke

One of the secrets of an illusionist is to guide you to look in a certain direction while the trick takes place outside your view. A live elephant can be made to appear and disappear as you watch from your seat. The illusionist distorts reality, knowing that your brain makes general assumptions during its perception. You are lost in the trance of believing your perceptions, or what the Hindus call Maya, the illusion.

You operate in your thoughts as well as the collective consciousness of the world, which guides you to look in certain directions. But it’s important to note that who you are is the witness to this activity. As the Knower you understand it’s all Maya—the body, the mind, and the world of form that lures you into a trance by directing what you are led to perceive as the truth. Your body grabs your attention and speaks of discomfort, and you believe you are the body; your finances are a bit short for a desired purchase, and you think you don’t have enough. But as you evolve a new spirituality, you leave behind the limiting beliefs that no longer define you and embrace the unlimited truth of who you are. You are infinite consciousness capable of creating and being whatever it chooses. Are you going to believe what you see in the mirror of life or are you going to create a new reflection?

Spiritual contemplation: What illusion in your life has you trapped into believing it’s the truth of who you are? Now observe yourself thinking those thoughts, feeling those feelings. Ask yourself who is observing you having those thoughts and feelings? Then listen to this witness guide you to a higher place beyond the trance of that illusion.

Affirmation: I am the clear observer of my life!

The Illusion of Separation

The Illusion of Separation

The God that is in us is the same God that is universal. There is no wall of separation, no barrier, no place where one begins and the other leaves off. All is one and one is all. Ernest Holmes

Getting caught in your human struggle can cause you to question your Oneness with Spirit. You might imagine yourself like a windowpane. No matter how dirty the pane is, it doesn’t affect the sunlight itself. The sun always shines brightly. It’s every false idea of who you are, every smallness, littleness, resentment, and unforgiveness, that clouds the windowpane. Every time you feel unable, unworthy, or unnecessary, you are fogging the window with the illusion of separation.

Clean your dirty window with deep spiritual truths and a new way of seeing yourself and the world. The birthing of the Light that we celebrate in so many ways this season is all about this eternal light that is always shining. When we see with the eyes of the ONE, look how bright the light becomes! This brightness is your eternal Oneness with Spirit. You only sometimes seem separate from it. Remember, you never really are.

Spiritual Contemplation: What beliefs or stories do you carry that separate you from your ONENESS?

Affirmation: The eternal Light is revealed within me and within all people. In this light our Oneness is revealed.

What a Ride

What a Ride

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, “Wow, What a Ride!” Hunter S. Thompson

When an imposing issue looms large it seems natural to look at it. But what you focus on grows more real and often increases the discomfort around it. It’s similar to what happens when your car goes into a skid. The natural tendency is to look at what you’re skidding toward. Wrong. Because you steer toward what you’re looking at, you end up driving right into the very collision you want to avoid. Racecar drivers know to look away from the skid and with that comes the ability to steer away from the impending disaster, such as a wall.

Remember though, the car’s response time isn’t immediate—there’s a natural delay between the turn and the response of the vehicle. The same is true about life—when you change your focus there may be some gap time between your new cause and its effect showing up in your world. Be patient with the responsiveness to the new form taking shape in your body, mind, or world of affairs. Form does follow consciousness; it always has and always will. It’s your job to turn away from where you don’t want to go, and life’s momentum will fulfill its part.

Spiritual Contemplation: Are there any walls you seem to be racing toward? It doesn’t matter if this wall is a doctor, a bank, or relationship—call it to your attention and look in the other direction to avoid a crash.

Affirmation: My path is clear!

Slow Down, Be Still

Slow Down, Be Still

Take time to be aware that in the very midst of our busy preparations for the celebration of Christ’s birth in ancient Bethlehem, Christ is reborn in the Bethlehems of our homes and daily lives. Take time, slow down, be still, be awake to the Divine Mystery that looks so common and so ordinary, yet is wondrously present. Edward Hayes

I love Christmas carols, and one of my favorites of the traditional carols I grew up with is “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” I love how it talks about the stillness of the town and how quiet everything feels as the Christ is born. Other lovely songs in both English and German talk about the stillness of the forest in a snowfall at this time of year. How wonderful to be reminded to seek out stillness and quiet in the midst of the hustle and bustle of our preparation for the holidays.

Spiritual Contemplation: How will you find stillness and take time to slow down during this season?

Affirmation: I invite in the stillness and the quiet as I slow down and take time to nourish my soul with the Presence of the Christ Child.

Nothing to Overcome

Nothing to Overcome

Seek first the kingdom of God and his rightness and all other things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33

If it weren’t for some challenging situation in people’s lives they probably would never have wandered into the teachings of the New Thought movement with its universal metaphysical principles of truth from the ancient wisdom. It’s easy to get caught in the idea that this power can be used to overcome the challenges of your life. The difficulty is not an error of a real nature that must be overcome, but a belief in the physical expression as the truth of who you are. New Thought isn’t about using a bigger power to overcome a lesser one, but a knowing that the so-called error doesn’t exist as the spiritual truth of who you are. Healing has moved beyond looking for a mental cause to knowing the dis-ease cannot exist in the realm of the Infinite because there can be no otherness, no other power, hence nothing to overcome.

When you move into the realization that God is your very awareness and live in a spiritual alertness, you’ll find your needs being forever fulfilled. As you shift into being a beholder of spirit, then that which is unlike it falls away. Spirit isn’t sending your good to you; rather, it is emerging as your healing. So don’t turn to God to improve the situation, but for the consciousness of God appearing as the perfect expression that is already available. The Infinite takes on all forms. So let your demonstration be in the consciousness of the omnipresence even in the midst of the challenge at hand.

Spiritual contemplation: Where do you believe the physical fact is the truth of who you are and is greater than the spirit of your being?

Affirmation: My life is spirit appearing!

Closer Than a Phone Call

Closer Than a Phone Call

I hope it is true a man can die and yet not only live in others but give them life, and not only life, but that great consciousness of life. Jack Kerouac

Losing a dear friend after many years of sharing and loving is painful. Of course you can’t help missing them, but indeed your life is richer for all the memories of caring and love you received and gave. You have so much more to bring to the world and your relationships with others because they were such an important part of your life. Their tender touch lives in your heart, and all that you do will move through a piece of them in you for the rest of your life. They truly are part of your every act and thought. They are closer than a phone call, but you must now learn a new communication system.

Your loved one would not want you to remain overly sad for too long, but rather be a place where aliveness and joy are part of your daily experience. Isn’t that what you’d want for the ones you love? Love transcends time and space and the link of love that brought you together has not been severed because of death. It is Omni-dimensional, and just as true of the spirit that animates your physical body. This plane of human form is only one stopping place on its evolving journey. When the soul is complete here, it leaves behind the physical body, which is the ideal vehicle for this plane of expression, and continues on its forward journey otherwise unchanged, but enriched by the love experienced here. One doesn’t die to become immortal— you are immortal now, and a living person can never die.

Spiritual Contemplation: Allot some space in this day to find a quiet spot and bring a loved one who is no longer in this world into the memory of your loving heart. Spend some time connecting with them.

Affirmation: I believe in the continuity of the individual soul that is forever expanding!

The Power of Grief

The Power of Grief

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.  From a headstone in Ireland.

The Holidays may bring you face to face with the loss of someone you love. Grief is a powerful experience and requires expression. Speak the name of your loved one, and remember his or her gift to you and your life. Remember how much more you have to bring to life because of the time you shared.

Spiritual Contemplation: Write a love letter to the one you’ve lost and whom you miss.

Affirmation: My grief is an outward sign of my love. I allow my grief to be a gentle and tender expression of my heart. I know the Love of Spirit supports me always.

Iconic Memories

Iconic Memories

The Topps Company developed its Bazooka Bubble Gum product in Brooklyn, New York after the end of World War II. It was named after the humorous musical instrument which entertainer Bob Burns had fashioned from two gas pipes and a funnel in the 1930s. (This contraption also gave its name to the armor-piercing weapon developed during the War.) Bazooka Joe comic Bazooka, with its distinctive name, taste, and red, white and blue logo and packaging, soon became a familiar part of Americana. OldTimeCandy.com

Every now and then, a scent or a thought of a taste triggers childhood memories, and one of those is Bazooka Bubble Gum, the classic bubble gum with the Bazooka Joe comic inside the wrapper. One of my earliest candy-buying memories was being knee-high to the counter as I selected those little individually wrapped pieces of bubble gum from the bottom shelf at Mr. Chinn’s candy shop. It’s what a whole generation of kids learned to blow bubbles with, and I couldn’t even play a Little League game without some in my mouth. So it’s sad to report that Bazooka Bubble Gum as you knew it from your childhood is no longer. In an effort to appeal to a new generation, the taste, shape, and packaging have all been changed and Bazooka Joe rests among the fallen.

Nostalgic moments live in your heart and soul forever, occasionally transporting you to a more innocent and simple time in your life. Today’s kids are creating memories of their own that in a few decades will trigger the same kind of smile from those warm remembrances. This heart experience allows all to meet in the subjective space that transcends linear time.

Spiritual Contemplation: Find a quiet space and allow a pleasant memory, scent, or taste to transport you to an innocent time that warms your heart and puts a smile on your face. Then notice how real it is now and how you just transcended time and space.

Affirmation: Innocent and simpler times that make me smile are alive within my heart!

Stoked

Stoked

The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.  Abigail Van Buren

One day a member of a spiritual community who participated regularly just stopped attending. After a month the minister decided to visit her. Guessing the reason for his call, she welcomed him in and offered him a chair by the fire. He made himself comfortable, and together they watched the fire dancing around the logs. After a time of reflection and silence, he got up, picked up one of the burning logs with the tongs, and placed it away from the fire. Returning to his chair they watched as the log slowly lost its radiance and glow and eventually died. Not a word had yet been spoken when the minister looked at the clock and indicated he had to go. He got up, returned the cold log to the fire, and they watched as the other embers immediately brought the life and glow back to it. As the minister went to the door, his hostess got up, gave him a big hug, and thanked him for his message—she said she’d heard him loud and clear, and she’d see him next week at services.

Sometimes when the routine of life knocks you off course, you might think you’ll find some extra time if you give up your spiritual practices. But when you feel depleted and tired, a community has a central flame that blesses you, and a love that can rekindle and awaken your spirit when it goes into slumber. The more you isolate yourself when you’re feeling down, the wider the chasm becomes. The gift of community is the energy and love it offers you in the downtimes. Don’t remove yourself—reach out and know the fire burns with more light when you are there to receive your blessings.

Spiritual Contemplation: Do you have a spiritual family from whom you’ve withdrawn? Drop back in and see if there is still fire there for you.

Affirmation: My life is brighter with a community!

Giving Back

Giving Back

How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world.  Anne Frank
Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little. Edmund Burke

Now is the time to share your final tithes and gifts for the year. You have been well supported and nourished by Life this whole year, in many different ways. Make your “Declaration of Abundance” by willingly giving of that abundance. Think of those places and people who have spiritually nourished you. These are the perfect places to contribute a little extra to. It’s like planting seeds in the fall, knowing they are busy preparing to burst forth into new growth at the first hint of spring.

Spiritual Contemplation: Where have you been spiritual or personally nourished? How much support are you willing to give back?

Affirmation: I cheerfully and joyfully give back. I lovingly support others as the Universe has supported me.