Freely giving and receiving love and grace, we celebrate the divinity of all

Site Content

image1

Our Talks

Our  Own Resurrection by dava money, Easter , April 21, 2019

  

Easter Talk for 2019 complete

FINDING OUR OWN RESURRECTION dava money

Three days after Jesus the Christ was crucified upon a cross, Mary Magdalene and other women came to his tomb to apply spices to his body. They found the large stone that secured the tomb had been rolled away. Two men within told them Jesus was arisen as he had predicted.

Mary turned away from the tomb and saw a man she believed to be the gardener. He asked her who she was looking for. She responded with her own question, “If you moved his body where did you take it?”. The man said her name, “Mary” and she recognized Jesus and called him teacher. She ran to embrace him, but he stopped her and said “Do not hold on to me, for I have not finished my journey. Go and tell the others I have risen”. She did not want to leave but did as she was asked.

Jan Richardson writes about Easter morning:

Easter began in the shadows, well before sunrise. This is the way resurrection works: it gathers itself in the darkness, beginning in such secrecy and hiddenness that when it happens, it can be difficult for us to recognize it at first.

What does this have to do with us here, today on Easter? A great deal it seems to me. In Unity we look to the master teacher Jesus and his followers for guidance on how we can live our life most soulfully.

What we can take away this Easter is that we, too, have the divine within. The apostle Paul clearly reminded us that the same Spirit that inhabited Jesus inhabits us. We are the light and the kingdom of God is within.

We have a part of ourselves that is connected to all else, has never been born and will never die. We have a part that when times get tough, when we go through our own crucifixions, we can lean into it in order to not only survive but to rise. Our soul is with us at all times, yet we may not tend to it nor allow it to tend to us, our personality and body regularly. Important events and holidays can serve to remind us. Our soul is our true nature and transcends all during our lives. We can be reminded that we are here on earth to share our unique talents and gifts for a divine purpose. 

We know when we are operating from soul or ego, it is a felt sense that can guide us in our thoughts and behaviors if we are willing. When we are soulful, we expand, when we are egoic we contract, not only in spirit but in our body. We have a choice whether we follow the path of our soul or not. I know that I get waylaid from my path at times and it may take some extraordinary event to bring me back home. Sometimes those moments are magical and heavenly and sometimes they are hellish.

Our own lives and the life of Jesus show us that resurrection follows crucifixion. Many times in our lives an old part of us, an old way of thinking or behaving, an old consciousness has given way to something new. Perhaps because we are human those losses are experienced as excruciating. For myself, I can see that early on in the transformation process I resist letting go of the old and I resist giving birth to the new. I make it so much harder. Examples of crucifixion are easy to find in our lives, divorce, loss of a prized job, loss of health, death of a loved one. With each of these our identity must shift in order for us to awaken the newness. It is important to remember:

If during those tough times we can recall the journey Jesus took and remember the resurrection and what practices he engaged in, it will be helpful. What did Jesus the divine man do?

He prayed all the time, not just when his life got hard. And what we know of prayer is that it is not to change God but to change ourselves. With prayer we are increasingly filled with divine presence that brings us the strength and stamina to continue. He also spent time alone in nature. Nature so often shifts our being with it’s beauty and majesty. He also connected deeply with other humans as companions and resources.

He also was able to maintain a perspective of equanimity. He was able to see the seeming betrayals of life as just part of the process. Without his dearly beloved Judas seemingly trading Jesus for a few coins, Jesus would not have been publicly and dramatically killed so that his teachings took on greater urgency and were shared across our world. So often in our life we may feel betrayed, by that partner that leaves, that boss that fires us, that child that does not follow our guidance. Yet each of these events moves us along our path if we are willing. 

I believe Jesus remembered the spiritual contract he entered before incarnating. I also believe that we have entered sacred contracts before incarnating. We pass through a veil of forgetting when born, however I think Jesus had a greater handle on his calling than most of us because of remembering. Perhaps he had fewer stumbles along the way. And yet, our stumbles become part of our path if we are willing to dust ourselves off and continue walking.

Our lives include means of seducing ourselves from our path, it is just a part of being human. We are reminded that on Good Friday while upon the cross, Jesus had a suffering thief on either side of him. One represented the past and the other the future. The one focused on the past acknowledged he had done horrendous things in his past. The one focused on the future asked what was to come next. Jesus tells them that now, today they are with him in paradise.

They demonstrate the suffering that comes when we put our attention on either the past or future rather than the now. Let us continue practicing like Jesus by being in the now of our lives.

Unity teaches us that it is not the past itself that determines our current experiences, it is the thought we have in the now about the past. Our thoughts affect every aspect of our lives. Our thoughts will carve out our future, especially when we label and judge things as ‘good and bad’. Where are we putting our attention? Let’s bring it back to now, let’s practice, practice, and practice. For the Christ presence returns to us in the moment, now. We recognize that Christ is not a person but a consciousness. It is in service to all that is that we cultivate Christ consciousness. That is not a sacrifice as I have believed the word “sacrifice” to mean. The root of the word sacrifice is Latin sacrificium  that means ‘holy’ or ‘to make sacred’. So when we feel challenged let’s find ways to make it sacred.

When circumstances overwhelm us, when we are on the brink of collapse, or actually do collapse let us remember that our crucifixions lead us beyond our current self-imposed limitations. Ron Roth, the author of the book about prayer that we are studying on Fridays writes “…we do create our own reality. If we see our reality connected with the Reality of God, and we see the love and mercy and presence of God as who we are, then we may more readily create a divine reality within ourselves.”

And when the suffering of others in the world weighs upon us remember what Clarissa Pinkola Estes wrote.

My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.

...We have been in training for a dark time such as this, since the day we assented to come to Earth. We have a history of being gutted, and yet remember this especially ... we have also, of necessity, perfected the knack of resurrection. Over and over again we have been the living proof that that which has been exiled, lost, or foundered — can be restored to life again. 

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul.

Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.

There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.

The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours. They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.

Our soul knows how to do that, to make all things and actions sacred. Our soul also guides us to find our dharma, or calling, the way to bring our gifts as service to those that benefit. We are taught that while on the cross Jesus cried out “Why hast thou forsaken me?” The Lamsa Bible drawing on the original Aramaic tells us that Jesus called out, “It is for this purpose that I was born”.

Even while in a horrible situation on the cross Jesus said, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do”. When we are unforgiving, we hold ourselves back and hold ourselves apart from all that is. When we cultivate compassion and see those that have seemingly ‘harmed’ us knew not what they did and we can forgive them we move forward. Carolyn Myss describes the lack of forgiveness as being plugged into another and feeding them our energy. Forgiveness is the unplugging and the taking back of our energy needed for our pilgrimage. The Four Agreements teach us to take nothing personally. That is ultimately because nothing another does is directed to us although it may feel that way. Their decisions, thoughts, behaviors are to protect themselves, their own egos. As a person with an ego, we can understand and move on. Moving on does not mean to accept poor behavior, we may need to move on from them.

We also need to forgive ourselves, for we recognize that we are human and make mistakes. If we can acknowledge those mistakes and learn from them and hold ourselves accountable, we can move on. Otherwise a part of us lives in the past trying ineffectively to change that mistake, hide in shame over it or justify it. In order to fulfill our dharma well we need all our energy in the present. It is at least a worthy goal.

Spirit supports us at all times. There is but one Presence, and that Presence is within us. Our attention upon Presence increases the expression of it in our lives.

Today we celebrate the life and teachings of Jesus. We also celebrate our lives and our purpose; we practice the principles and teachings of Jesus. As James Trapp writes: we all come from that divine Presence and are “able to say as Jesus did, “When you see me, you see the presence that sent me”. 

Happy Easter today and all days. And so it is. .

Communion March 31, 2019 dava money

  

Communion March 31, 2019

Communion:the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.

My first experience of communion was in Switzerland when I was about 7. We were not Catholic but my younger sister and I were dropped off at a Catholic boarding school when my mother was diagnosed with Lupus. It was about 1957 and little was known about the auto-immune disorder. She had been told she was going to die, so our parents were trying to take care of us, I imagine. Perhaps my memory is erroneous because now I imagine you would not normally take communion until First Communion, after preparing for it. Perhaps because of my age it was assumed I had gone through that ritual. I remember being cold, always being cold, sitting on a pew and then going forward for the wafer and finding it repugnant.

However, since I have such an active imagination perhaps it was simply that, imagination.

Regardless the word communion has some edgy energy for me, even though both my daughters went through First Communion---and loved their dresses.

All this to say I looked up the definition and found the one above. It is straight forward, clear and requires no transubstantiation. 

I was curious about how Unity approaches communion as I am more familiar with Catholicism and Protestant faiths.

My daily meditation and prayer establish in my mind the habit of God consciousness. Charles Fillmore 1935

READ Fillmore

So again:

Communion:the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.

I like the definition for its breadth and depth. We can commune with nature, with each other and with God.

At our Fridays class about prayer, we are reading The Healing Path of Prayerby Ron Roth.

He was once a Catholic priest and became drawn to healing and to contemplative practices, the same practices mystics from around the world have used for centuries.

He tells us that the purpose of prayer is to be in union with God, to commune with God. And that by doing so through stillness and silence we are able to perceive the world as God does. Each and every time we allow ourselves to infused with God’s love and light we remember who we are. In addition, during prayer we are changed in such a way that those we meet may experience a bit of God’s grace.

“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.”
Soren Kierkegaard

He reminds us that “prayer is not a matter of doing but of being” and that we need to be receptive and receive the Holy Spirit. In order to receive we need to empty ourselves and allow ourselves to be filled by light. Then when we are in a contemplative state we may experience guidance, sometimes through thought or feeling. 

He shares that the word for prayer in Aramaic is slotha, “to set a trap”. At first this meaning confused me, however Ron Roth suggest that when we do set a trap we can catch the thoughts of God. Then we may be made instruments of God’s peace.

Rather than begging we are to allow. Rather than asking for something specific we are to be open to what God directs. “God’s life in us is what He wants to radiate outward to others” and we just need to set that trap and be still.

“I used to pray that God would feed the hungry, or do this or that, but now I pray that he will guide me to do whatever I'm supposed to do, what I can do. I used to pray for answers, but now I'm praying for strength. I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us and we change things.”
Mother Teresa

Fillmore writes “your spiritual digestive system will automatically receive the food of God’s light-energy” and distribute it. That language touches on communion, not the wafer or wine but the essence of the Source of All.

Because our minds are all akimbo, so rarely quiet we benefit from preparation.

There are many ways to prepare for this contemplative silence. One is to use ejaculations, utterances. We can vocalize sounds, chants, words, scripture, whatever we are drawn to. Whatever we say with love becomes love. If we repeat something long enough, we will get to a place of wordlessness and receptivity. 

In that state we will recognize everyday miracles, the benefit of faith and the delight of mystery.

Another requirement is that we are in a state of nonattachment to the outcome. This is something all mystics know and teach. For who are we to determine what is best? As Roth reminds us, God is not in the habit of providing service such as being a handyman, a leasing agent, or banker.

If you do speak to God, be aware of your words, be aware of what affect your words have on your body and pay attention to your surroundings. That is mindfulness, that awareness of what is.

It may take practice and spiritual maturity to develop the endurance of silence necessary for extended communion. So if we speak let’s share our gratitude with the Divine Presence, for that transforms us. 

“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.”
Meister Eckhart

Let us seek that conversation throughout the day. And each time we forget let’s start our practice of prayer again. For then we experience divine companionship.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5 

I don’t yet know the whole story of why Roth left the Catholic priesthood, however I suspect it is because he believes we are all priests, our own priests and have been ordained by God.

We need no one to be an intermediary, we are invited to a direct relationship with the Divine for we carry that divinity within us. Contemplation allows the recognition that the divinity within and God don’t even need to be reunited. It is our humanness that longs for it. It is for our humanness that we adopt the practices that lead us to that home, where spiritual food is always available.

“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
 

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved, as to love.
 

For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”
St. Francis of Assisi

And so it is.

Meditation: Allow the light in and the activity of the mind to be released.

Contemplate these attributes of God.

1. Mercy

2. Kindness

3. Pure light

4. Omnipotence

5. Omniscience

6. Omnipresence

7. Health & well-being

IS LENT PREPARATION FOR SURRENDER? dava money 3/10/18

  

IS LENT PREPARATION FOR SURRENDER? 3/10/18

Lent is penitential preparation for Easter. It begins Ash Wednesday and goes to Easter, a 40 day fast in imitation of Jesus’ fast in the wilderness that he went through before his public ministry. The word Lent means Spring. Those religions that still practice Lent focus on penitential practice and almsgiving. The daily practice of fasting (one meal a day and the avoidance of many foods) stopped during World War ll.

Penitential is being sorry or having a deep sorrow and regret for something you have done.

We may choose to give up certain pleasures to foster simplicity and self-control. As we will see ‘self-control’ is not controlling the outside world, simply our response to it. During Lent one can use cravings as a reminder to pray and focus on spiritual matters.

Spiritual surrender is not giving up, losing or being humiliated, or allowing our self to be controlled by another or imprisoned. It is giving up what no longer serves us.

It is when we stop struggling against “what is” and embrace the totality of life, all that is. It is when we have faith that the Divine is in charge and cultivates our highest good.

(Moving truck story)

Fear, resistance and other emotional states can feel like punishment even if we have done nothing wrong. Is this a form of unconscious penance? Or is it simply a human response to not knowing what is happening or what will happen? What if we approach our painful feelings—even frustration-- like we might a craving during Lent and learn to pray as soon as we become aware of the feeling which often includes feeling out of control.

Deepak Chopra reminds us: 

· In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna, who represents the Divine, tells Arjuna, “Abandon all varieties of dharma [purpose] and simply surrender unto me alone. I shall liberate you from all sinful reactions; do not fear.”

· Spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle says, “Surrender is to say ‘yes’ to life—and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.”

· Author Debbie Ford says, “Surrender is a gift that you can give yourself. It’s an act of faith. It’s saying that even though I can’t see where this river is flowing, I trust it will take me in the right direction.”

It seems hard for the ego to let go, to surrender to the universe that conspires to serve us. The ego can set up self-generated prisons, it can whip us up into a frenzy, or take us down to a near catatonic state. It can lead us to trust the wrong people and shut out those we truly can trust. The ego is prone to misunderstanding situations, is near sighted and driven by fear. Like all else, the ego is a God given gift yet has somehow taken on the wrong job, a job that belongs to the Divine. The job of creation. When our ego becomes more tame, or trained (or like a friend says, ‘on a leash’) we are left to co-create with the Divine. In that partnership we truly live with : “Thy will be done.”

Deepak Chopra suggest 5 actions that allow us to surrender spiritually.

1. Faith that is soul driven. When we live with faith there is no need to doubt the Divine plan and we learn to live with that which we designate good or bad. Eventually we may even stop labelling and simply notice and go on about our business, whatever that is. To know what that is we must look to the Divine for guidance.

2. Patience leads to harmony and well-being. From a place of Compassionate Witness we can observe what unfolds and note that all we need comes to us when we are fully surrendered.

3. Awareness will overcome doubts and continue to expand. Awareness cultivates love and is born out of love.

4. Meditation allows our awareness to bring us to our essential divine self. With practice in meditation we can merge with all that is. Asking these questions may help:

a. “Who am I?”

b. “What do I want?”

c. “What is my purpose?”

d. “What am I grateful for?”

5. Bhakti Yoga, one of the four paths to enlightenment in the Vedic tradition is the path of love and devotion. According to the Vedas, devotion humbles the ego and is essential to surrender. It is suggested that each day we contemplate the Divine and serve humanity. This leads to peace and expands consciousness.

Love came and made me empty.
Love came and it filled me with the Beloved.
It became the blood in my veins.
It became my arms and legs.
It became everything.
Now all I have is a name.
The rest belongs to the Beloved.

—Rumi

“… when you truly surrender to any aspect of the Divine, human or otherwise, you are really surrendering to your own being in another disguise. Whatever you need on your spiritual journey isn’t given, it’s received. It’s received by your ability to attune with your own higher Self and this ability develops with surrender, love, and devotion. Automatically you are elevated to your highest level so help doesn’t come from outside but from your own being.

Complete surrender is the final fulfillment of your spiritual life. It isn’t about giving anything up. You don’t have to leave your family, quit your job, give away your possessions, or live in a monastery. Surrender isn’t about doing, it’s about just allowing. Allowing the truth, beauty, purity, and goodness that is and always has been you, to flow effortlessly through you and radiate out into the world. Deepak Chopra

GABRIELLE BERSTEIN, the author of The Universe Has Your Back also suggest 5 steps to surrender.

1. Take your hands off the wheel through prayer. She suggests fear is a signal that you are relying on your own power rather than the power of the Universe which desires to support us. When we fear, turn to prayer, recognize we don’t know what we truly need so it is not useful to pray for a specific outcome. It is useful to pray for the highest good.

2. Appreciate what’s thriving. Practice gratitude for what you have, what is beautiful, for the love. Devote your attention to what is working.

3. Recognize that obstacles are detours in the right direction. Often it is in the direction of greater healing, by uncovering shadow that needs to be brought to light.

4. Ask the universe for a sign. The universe is always sending them to you, pay attention, be open to receiving.

5. When you think you’ve surrendered, surrender more. Faith is developed in relationship with God. We need daily practices regardless of how much we have evolved. She suggests asking:

a. Where would you have me go?

b. What would you have me do?

c. What would you have me say? 

d. And to whom? (From Course in Miracles).

[Story of speaking to New York shaman/Herkimer diamonds, healer’s healer).

Because the word Lent comes from Middle English meaning Spring and we associate newness and growth with Spring, let’s start where we are and practice Lent which can lead to surrender.

A Bountiful Life 11/25/18 dava money

  

A Bountiful Life 11/25/18 dava money

As we approached Thanksgiving I kept thinking of the word ‘bounty’ and experiencing some gratitude. I looked up the meaning of the word bounty and found :

1. a sum paid for killing or capturing a person or animal.

"there was an increased bounty on his head"

2. HISTORICAL

a sum paid to encourage trade.

"bounties were paid to colonial producers of indigo dye"

I was beginning to plan this talk and decided bounty did not accurately capture the essence of what I wanted to describe. So, I changed to using ‘bountiful’ to begin to describe my life.

I am more clearly understanding that we are where we are in life because of how we define our self.

I also remember the license plate I had in Virginia for many years: CRE8SELF.

I have recently considered getting a job to supplement my income and relieve financial pressures. I have explored some of the stores in the area knowing they are hiring for the holidays. One of my biggest concerns is the noise level and how I might not be able to function well especially if the day is long. In early 2001 I was living in an environment that had two adolescent boys who would come home late making a racket. Whenever they were home loud music would play, their friends would visit, or they would bicker. They were doing what adolescents do and it did not bother their mother, but it was wearing on me. I began to think and say that I wished I lived in a quieter environment, in fact a hermitage would be perfect. One morning in March I woke up and sneezed three times. Sneezing was not unusual, however that day it had an unusual effect. I could not hear anything. At first I thought my ears were clogged up and would clear up. There was a graduation party that night in the house. I served food and drinks but could not engage in conversation because I still could not hear.

The next day I went to the emergency room and they prescribed a steroid. A couple of days later I went to see my primary care physician. Unfortunately, she suggested I hold my nose and blow throughout the day to clear my sinuses. The same way my father, a pilot, had taught me to do when flying. Within a couple of days I could hear some sounds although conversation sounded like it was taking place underwater. An MRI was ordered and demonstrated that I had blown out the cilia in my ears. It was a barometric pressure injury as if I had surfaced from the sea too quickly. I learned the cilia do not grow back. Blowing with a pinched nose was the worst thing to do.

Within a couple of weeks I moved to a quiet place. As a psychotherapist I still needed to make a living which became increasingly difficult. I began to frame my work as encouraging clients to ‘find their voice’. My clients were loyal. It was two years before I could afford hearing aids which helped enormously. I learned that being hard of hearing taxes the brain and causes deep fatigue. I was told my brain was working 40% harder to hear. 

So looking for a job in a quiet environment seems critical to me. I reasoned I only need a part time job if I can continue my other work. My schedule is irregular because I babysit, teach the Authenticity Series, have a few phone clients and lead a spiritual community. I insist upon having Sundays off. 

As I pondered for several days about where to apply, I noticed some inner voice telling me that I needed to focus on ways that I can use my education, experience and talents. The prompts came over two days with very specific actions to take to attract new clients. I also noticed that I became calmer and more optimistic. With that came feelings of deep gratitude for the current circumstances of my life. I recognized that my schedule allows me to paint frequently and to write regularly. The writing had ramped up since joining a writing group a couple of weeks ago. I had been trying to write a memoir for two years, now there was some progress. 

I realized I have a bountiful life. A book A Practical Guide to Prosperous Livinghad been on my desk for several weeks. I don’t know who gave it to me but one day while cleaning it stood out on the shelf so I placed it on the desk.

As I considered what to talk about, I browsed the book then became immersed. It was telling me what my intuition had been suggesting. According to Rev. Bottorff:

“Each one of us is endowed with a high calling, a calling that may not be presently apparent to us in any form other than a sense of dissatisfaction with our life as it is”. J. Douglas Bottorff

When we are unhappy or dissatisfied, we often seek happiness through an external goal, to achieve something, to buy something, to go for a promotion or new relationship. The happiness those effects brings is brief. We can get into a cycle of scurrying toward something or someone, experience temporary relief, then scurry again. It can lead to being manipulative in order to get what we think we need.

Ultimately our external circumstances in life are a direct reflection of how we see our self. Our calling is to shift from external circumstances to the commitment to work toward seeing ourselves as the image of God. That is an inside job. There is an unceasing living force working through us to enable us to discover and reveal our higher Self.

He explains that when we are dissatisfied, we look to change something externally thinking it will provide us with the feeling we are looking for. And if it does it is brief. We can learn to follow our desires (origin of word is from ‘of the stars’) which is ultimately the deeper desire for Self-expression. I was struck by his recognition of the importance of desire. The motto for the Authenticity Series I developed is “Midwife your soul’s desire”. 

We are here to experience the quality we want by using our natural talents, expressing our uniqueness and doing what we love. Sure, I have heard that before and it sounds good however I was not truly aware of the deeper meaning of that.

When we seek a change of the external what we are looking for is a feeling state and we can cultivate that feeling state and our external circumstances change.

We can determine what external thing we think we desire then identify what the feeling state of being is that is associated with it. Then we can cultivate that spiritual state of being, whether it is security, freedom, creativity, love, etc.

What keeps us from doing so is our unconscious denial of Self-expression and that is the source of our unhappiness. Although the journey can be hard and arduous we will be guided by the internal life force.

When we recognize who we truly are and live from that not only will we be fulfilled but our external circumstances change. The change may take a long time. The Universe is supporting us in that journey as it lives through us. What is required is to give up our old identity and move into the new identity as made in the image of God. Most of us are stubborn about giving up the old identity for it has served us in some ways. For example, if we perceive our self as inadequate, not good enough, less than, a victim, etc. then we have a belief in scarcity. This belief determines our decisions and actions and may invite some benefits like sympathy, support and short cuts that accentuate our specialness. Sometimes a relationship will feed our need for increasing our self-esteem, but it is ultimately empty food. It must come from inside. 

We see the world and our self through our beliefs. Our beliefs also determine what decisions we make and what actions we take. 

Recently I was working with a client who is suffering. She mentioned that her mother saw everything as a crisis and the task was to survive and her father saw everything as a problem that need to be solved. We explored how those beliefs played out in their lives and how she has adopted those beliefs. What do those beliefs bring to her? Drama and intensity and a paternal support from her husband. Her father failed her and in some ways her husband has made up for that failure. He is wealthy, reliable and predictable. When she feels downtrodden, she can gift herself with expensive spas and retreats that fill her briefly until the belief that she is less than or unable to navigate life well brings her down again. She will need to go within to find her true value, and the peace she is promised. 

Creating a life of prosperity, or a bountiful life requires change. Change is often frightening. We often hold on to our misery because it brings us sympathy or something we are accustomed to. That something fortifies our current identity. 

What does my belief that money is elusive bring me? It brings me gifts of clothing and even money from others. It tells me I am of some value to those people. My work is to change how I view myself and to allow my value to come from Source. 

Most of these limiting beliefs are unconscious so we need to commit to getting to know ourselves deeply. Meditation is especially valuable where we can learn to know ourselves without judgment…eventually. We need to identify the unconscious limiting beliefs in order to let them go. We need to make room for the true Self to be expressed. 

We will encounter challenges as we journey. The challenges serve to bring up to awareness our limiting thoughts and fears. We need to know them before we can release them. 

An example: recently I took on the responsibility of pulling together an event meant to honor those who give their time, talent and treasures to a community. I was honored and excited to do so yet encountered some niggling fear that it was not going to be successful. I remembered my mother throwing a birthday party for my sister—she may have been 6-- and no one came. Of course, my little sister assumed no one wanted to come. Later mom found out that she had put the wrong date on the invitations. By then the damage was done, my sister introjected that belief that she was unworthy. She still operates out of that belief frequently and has limited her scope of life to home and husband to avoid experiencing fear. That is simply where she seems to be. Whatever limiting belief we hold we will find evidence for. There is ultimately no wrong or right. 

The event turned out to be beautiful and tender. Then the challenge came. Someone aggressively confronted me about not being integral enough to the event. This person was late and missed the brief honoring of service. I took the confrontation to heart initially as it brought up my inner victim and I felt afraid. It brought up a sense of inadequacy as though I had not done a good enough job because I was not good enough. I even allowed it initially to change my perception of the event, questioning its value. It has taken me some time and the reading of Bottorff’s book to recognize the gift in the challenge. The gift of bringing to my attention where I still need to identify limiting beliefs, let them go and allow for the true Self to come forward. There is relief in that and I feel lighter.

Now with that growth I need to make different decisions and take different actions.

Last Sunday, Jenny spoke on ‘relaxed acceptance’. When I got home my hearing aid began to buzz. I tried to replace the parts necessary to stop the buzzing. Instead it broke in my hand. I immediately went into panic and fear that my life would be so handicapped, that I would be disabled. I remembered Jenny’s talk and practiced moving into relaxed acceptance. I countered my panic with the knowledge that I could not fix it, but someone could. My fear surfaced again when I remembered the last time a hearing aid needed fixing it had to be sent to Sweden and took two weeks to get it back fixed. My mind imagined two weeks without it. Already I was deciding I could not go to the ministers’ luncheon, nor to Thanksgiving because I would not be able to hear and the noise would be overwhelming. Then I reminded myself that I did not know what was going to happen, but this break was clearly mechanical rather than the computer chip. Surely it would be easier. I figured there was no reason to worry ( my usual response) since it was a Sunday afternoon and it would have to wait until Monday. I could see that my worry was not going to change anything except my state of mind. 

I was going to dinner Sunday evening to a friend’s house and it would be quiet, and she would be willing to speak up so that should be alright. I figured I would call the audiologist first thing Monday morning. Then I got the idea of emailing the office and they would hopefully get that Monday and get back to me. I was surprised when I got a response within a half hour telling me to come in when they opened at 8 on Monday. The rest of the afternoon and evening were calm and fine. Worry was just my ineffectual way of trying to control the situation and it had not worked.

By 8:15 am Monday, the audiologist had repaired my hearing aid.

Our soul guides us to follow the quiet voice inside, which shows up as our intuition in order to live our appointed life. Not living our appointed life leads to disappointment.

Happiness is our natural state, love is our natural being. Our purpose in life is to express those spiritual attributes that lie unexpressed.

4 Practical steps:

1.Identify state of being you want to experience

2.Know that this state is an integral part of your true Self

3.Evolve this from within

4.Recognize that this state will attract external symbols that represent it. (e.g., want a loving relationship have to love yourself, cannot find self-esteem in relationship, must find it within).

Wherever we are in our journey we are still providing Spirit an experience of being human. 

I am blessed to be able to paint regularly and realize that paintings like us go through an evolution, a process, a journey. It starts off with a blank paper and perhaps imagination. Then it begins to take shape with form and color. For awhile it may not look like much of anything, even sometimes appearing unattractive. With enough attention and practice it begins to reveal itself more fully. We are like that painting and our essence is beautiful regardless of what stage we are at. The finished product is already imagined and willed.

Each one of us is the product of a Cosmic activity that is creating individualized expressions of Itself from an invisible blueprint. Bottorff.

I started out speaking of the word bounty and finding it had no place in this talk. Now I wonder if bounty, the payment for capturing, killing something or facilitating a trade might fit somehow. What if there is a bounty for identifying and releasing our limiting beliefs and to facilitate a trade between what is and what will be? A bountiful life awaits.