I had an AHA moment this morning. Every day I read something spiritual. Many days it is something by Ernest Holmes but I also read a ton of other authors as well. I read for my own enjoyment and for my own growth, but I also read with an eye towards topics for podcast episodes or blogs. Sometimes I get an idea I want to develop, but sometimes there simply isn’t enough there to talk about for 20 minutes in a podcast, or to write the length of a blog post. This morning I had one of those ideas, and then it occurred to me, “wait a minute! Why not put this into that daily reader you’ve been writing off and on for YEARS!” Duh. So this morning for the first time in I don’t know how long, I made an entry into the daily reader I am writing. By the way, in my own inimitable style, the working title of this is “Go on every ride you can!” Or, alternatively, “Chase all the balls you can!” The second refers to how dogs are always up for play, that’s what we should strive for, in my opinion. And along with that striving comes changing our definition of play. Anyway, here is what I wrote today:

‘ “The Day of Judgment” occurs every day, in self-evaluation.” Linda Martella-Whitsett, “Divine Audacity”

“There is nothing in the Universe that can hinder your upward climb, your increased awareness of Oneness with God . . . unless you decide to stop climbing.” Ernest Holmes, How to Change your Life

I believe that the Bible was meant to be interpreted metaphorically, because that was the way they taught in the time during which the Bible was written. If this is true, then judgement day is every day for us. It is a day when we must go within and do the spiritual practice of self-awareness. We must evaluate with discernment what is ours and what is not. Judgement means something different in this case. It doesn’t mean we’ve done something wrong, bad or shameful. Never that. Judgment is defined as the ability to make a decision or form an opinion objectively and wisely. So we look at ourselves and if we must form an opinion, we do so with wisdom, compassion and discernment. The time for “shoulding” on ourselves is over. No, self evaluation with an eye towards ever more opening up to the new in us that wants to be born. I believe that we are here on this earth to become more and more godlike, to more fully and completely embody qualities of spirit. So each day becomes a quest, not to shame ourselves in judgment over an issue or a behavior or a thought. But instead to ask ourselves, what new wants to be born in me right here and right now? Whatever it is that is happening or has happened, it is always an invitation to step into something greater. Self evaluation is the pathway into that something greater. When we remember who and what we truly are, one with the One, connected in deep and profound ways with Spirit, and here to be more and more spirit-like, then judgment no longer is a negative thing. Instead it is simply a tool for us to use to be more of that which we are meant to be.

Affirmation: Today I evaluate myself with loving discernment as a way to increase my awareness of my Oneness with Spirit

“God does not love anybody or anything. God is the love in everybody and everything. God is love; man becomes loving by permitting that which God is to find expression in word and act.” Charles Fillmore, Jesus Christ Heals

I sometimes wonder about how and why things shape up the way they do.  If that had not happened in such and such a way, would I still be here?  Or maybe I would be there!  I remember when I deepened and renewed my quest to get a better connection with that thing that some call God.  I was between ten and 15 years into recovery, and knew it was time.  I began attending my local Unity church and loved loved loved the person serving as minister then.  I wasn’t churchy and didn’t particularly like church, but I loved this lady’s message so much that I kept coming back.  I likely would be a Unity minister today except for one thing:  one day I went to that church and she was gone!  Willy nilly!  Just like that!  I heard later that the board had fired her.  The new person coming in, well, I didn’t resonate with the message, at all.  So off I went to my local Science of Mind church, what is today called a Center for Spiritual Living.  I had to drive an extra 30 miles to get there, but I did, and the rest, as they say, is history.  I don’t know why I’m telling you this story except to lead up to the source of my quote for today, because the author of that quote, Charles Fillmore is the founder of Unity, along with his wife Myrtle, and he has some pretty good stuff to say.  

When you hear “God does not love anybody or anything” how does that make you feel?  I know that for many, those kind of statements are very uncomfortable.  But this kind of statement never made me uncomfortable.  In fact, it gave me relief.  Because I heard the rest of the sentence:  “God IS the love in everybody and everything.”  And then I heard the final piece, that humans become loving by allowing that which can be called God to find expression within themselves.  We humans are the way that God expresses in physical form.  But we have to allow it.  We have to do what is necessary to let in the sunlight of the spirit so that we can be our full and complete godself, taking that sunlight of the spirit and shining it brightly in our own unique and wonderful ways.
This concept placed full responsibility on me to allow myself to be more than a channel for God, to be more than simply an expression of God.  This gave me permission to express myself fully and completely, as much a part of God as a drop of water is a part of the ocean.  And when I express myself fully and completely in this way, life gets real good.  Good and very good.
So today, I allow.  I BECOME love!  I AM the expression of God today and I BE LOVE!

The latest episode of the podcast is up!

My latest podcast episode is up! WEEHAW! this one is all about prosperity consciousness, and to assist you in your effort to up your prosperity consciousness, I've listed no less than 17 books for your reading pleasure!
5 Gifts for an Abundant Life by Diane HarmonySpiritual Economics by Eric Butterworth: “To get the most from this study, you will want to declare your independence from the belief that your personal welfare is completely tied to the economic fluctuations of the world ‘out there.’” “So before you attempt to raise money, the first step should be to raise consciousness.” The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom by Suze OrmanDon’t Worry, Make Money by Richard Carlson, Ph.D. “Money is circulation, it needs to flow.” “Being attached to an outcome, holding on, takes an enormous amount of energy…” “Cynicism contradicts abundance.” The Abundance Book by John Randolph Price “…prosperity is a part of the natural process of life,…” “…the energy of abundance is constantly radiating from the Source within…” “What one has done, all can do. The secret is to be aware of this unfailing principle…” “…lack is simply the outpicturing of false beliefs…” “…the only limitations you have are the ones you’ve imposed upon yourself.” Creating True Prosperity by Shakti Gawain Soul Currency by Ernest D. Chu “….it’s mistaken to believe that giving to yourself, that taking care of your own needs and interests, is selfish.” “People have long traded satisfaction for security.” (Sub quote from Studs Terkel) “Most people’s jobs are too small for their spirits.” “You are at your most powerful when you follow your creative passion and let it inspire your choices and your path.” The Wealthy Spirit by Chellie Campbell - this is a daily reader. The Laws of Manifestation by David Spangler “…manifesting a quality of being and letting life configure itself to me…” based on “being connected to my own inner inspiration and sense of calling and connected to the world around me.” “…positive beingness was more important than positive thinking.” “…manifestation is not about a technique. It is about our power as participants in the interactive web of life.” “…we think of manifestation as an act of incarnation ore than an act of acquisition or attraction.” “…manifestation is a change of form or state or condition of being; it is not the creation of something out of nothing.”Joyous Abundance Journal by Petra Weldes and Christian Sorensen - another daily readerThe Wisdom of Money by Alice Bandy “it is impossible for you to admire these qualities in others if you don’t already have the beginnings of them in yourself.” “Changing your life is as simple as changing your mind about some of these old concepts that don’t work for you.” The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity by Catherine PonderPutting the Prosperity Idea to Work by Robert A. Russell God Goes to Work by Tom Zender The Prosperous Heart by Julia Cameron Virtually ANY book by Ernest Holmes. You can apply the principles he taught to any area of your life, including prosperity and abundance.

Feel free to use this meme to allow you to sink into the affirmation.

Today I am celebrating the journey.  I am celebrating all the journeys I’ve been on to get me to where I am today, and I’m celebrating your journey too.  I sit here this morning having spent a couple of hours working on my talk for Easter Sunday.  

A bit of background:  in Centers for Spiritual Living land, where we teach this thing called New Thought (not New Age) we go back to the original languages that were used to express the wisdom of the day, and we also take into account the culture of the time and the fact that words meant something different back then than they do today. Did you know, for example, that sin originally meant “miss the mark?”  It was referring to archery, when you shot your arrow, you missed your target.  You made a mistake.  That’s it.  I once tried to explain this to a farrier who then asked me, “if that’s the case, then where is the accountability and the responsibility?”  I tried to explain that it was within each and every one of us, and wasn’t about being worthy, it was about recognizing our mistakes, taking action to correct them without blame and shame, then moving on and trying again.  He was having none of that and he was beginning to get angry, so we dropped the topic and he finished up working on my horse’s feet in silence.  We never spoke of it again although that guy continued to do my horse’s feet for several years.  

What does all of this have to do with celebrating the journey?  Well!  We all have journeys.  And we all have had, at times, very bumpy rides.  And we all are at choice.  We can choose to fight the journey every step of the way and stay stuck, or we can choose to embrace it, learn from it and move to ever greater heights.  

I got the opportunity to visit yesterday with some folks I’ve known for 35 years.  They showed me photos of myself way back then.  And I remembered the ride back then was pretty bumpy.  I had met a group of people who had already taken that bumpy journey, and they were smiling and happy and their lives were filled with laughter and positive activities.  I didn’t know that was possible back then but they showed me. They would drag me along to social things like potlucks and picnics and I would maneuver  myself so that I was still there, sort of, but removed enough to not feel threatened by anyone.  Because back then people were a threat to me.  I couldn’t talk much back then.  I know, I know.  I’m making up for it now.  All part of the journey.  The point is, I refused to blame and shame.  I went in desperate to learn a new way to live, and those people showed me by example, and today I get to talk and be with people and enjoy them and experience all the wonder and joy that life has to offer.  

So yeah, I’m celebrating the journey.  And the only way we get to celebrate our journeys, instead of regretting them and blaming others for them and shaming ourselves because of them, is to go within and examine ourselves and learn.  And correct our course, and begin again.  In this way we get to celebrate. So yeah, today I’m celebrating.  

I’m working on a talk about new beginnings, the metaphor of Easter.  I’m once again exploring what others have to say about this, folks like Ernest Holmes and Joseph Campbell and a few others.  And I’m hoping to weave a nice little story about journeys, although what downloaded this morning described the journey as a climb up a ladder.  That’s a journey too!  And with each rung up the ladder, we get to stop and celebrate our willingness to embrace the change presented to us, to not blame and shame but instead to see change for what it is:  a call or a catalyst that wants us to move ever higher in consciousness.  It never stops, this journey.  Oh, we can stop it anytime we want.  All we have to do is resist the call.  And then we get to stay stuck.  Today I’m celebrating that I didn’t resist the call back then, and I haven’t resisted it since.  I hope it’s been the same for you.  I hope you are not stuck, but instead rising ever higher in consciousness, continuing to enjoy life more and more.

Your affirmation for today: Today I embrace the changes in life, knowing that they are always a call for me to rise ever higher in consciousness, and I celebrate the journey.

Seven Magic Mountains. A testament to the creativity of human kind. I got a chance to visit this exhibit, located just south of Las Vegas, Nevada, last year when I traveled there. Visiting this place had long been on my list of things to do! I’m so glad I got to go!

Today I am thinking of how our thoughts, words and deeds build upon one another, stacking up to build a destiny, a life.  Totally of our own creation.  There is a saying I love, and I’ve researched it to discover who said it.  I find it interesting that this saying is credited to so many different people!

Watch your thoughts for they become words. Watch your words for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become…habits. Watch your habits, for they become your character. And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny! What we think we become.”

This quote is variously attributed to transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson, Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, supermarket magnate Frank Outlaw, spiritual teacher Gautama Buddha, and the father of Margaret Thatcher, and Margaret Thatcher herself.  We don’t know said it, but that doesn’t negate how powerful it is.
Self awareness is defined as a spiritual practice in a class offered by Centers for Spiritual Living.

It is one of my most favorite of all the spiritual practices we teach.  I first learned of this practice when working my way through the 12 steps.  For me, the inventory process presented to me in step 4 was not a tool to shame me, but instead a glorious way to illuminate those thoughts, beliefs and behaviors which created trouble for me in my life.  Once I was aware, I could then set about changing those beliefs, those thoughts and those behaviors.

One belief at a time.  One thought at a time.  One behavior at a time.
In this way, over time, I change who and what I am.  I change how I show up in the world.  I change my destiny.

The spiritual implications of such a practice are enormous.  First of all, many of us think we can’t change our beliefs.  Then many other of us think that destiny is predetermined, that we have no choice in the matter.  I have learned differently.

Consider the fact that when the Bible spoke of humans having dominion over the earth, it was really speaking of us having power over our own outer experiences.  This is, I think, where the “I Believe” statement by Ernest Holmes comes from. He said, and Centers for Spiritual Living has adopted it, “we believe in the healing of the sick and control of conditions through the power of this Mind.”
The Mind spoken of is a Law, through which spirit operates.  This is both a simple and a complex teaching, but for the purposes of this blog today, suffice to say that I do believe in control of conditions.  I do believe I have dominion.

It is easy to do so?  No.  But by doing the practice of spiritual self awareness, each and every day, and becoming aware of my thoughts and my feelings and my beliefs, and changing them, and thus changing my actions, one day at at time, one thought and belief at a time, I can then change my destiny.  It all stacks upon that foundation of Knowingness.

And so today I KNOW.  I be still, and I KNOW.  And from this KNOWingness, I explore the sometimes dangerous neighborhood of my mind, and I feel safe doing so.  And I change that neighborhood from one of danger to one of safety, and then I move outward into the world, demonstrating that safety everywhere I go.

In this way, I live Fearlessly Feral.