Presence and Peace

Six Months Ago Today

“If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.”  Gal. 5:25

This scripture is a part of The Daily Word’s Guidance piece today and this post is a sort-of rubber-meets-the-road response.

How many of us can say that we live the by Spirit?  A good majority, myself included.  Most people I know in recovery have, in our lingo, “turned our will and our lives over to the care of God.”

In my experience, living by the Spirit and living by the Spirit are vastly different.  The first simply requires speaking the words, going about your life and when something devastating occurs, assume that God is punishing you.  

The second is a whole lot tougher because it means taking responsibility for my choices and my actions.  While God is responsible for creating everything, I believe He abdicates responsibility of my choices. 

However, if I embrace the second half of the scripture, “let us also be guided by the Spirit,” and I place all my meditative focus on those words, then what I get increases exponentially.

I get the gifts of being sober, of being of service (my friend Angela reminded me that this blog is a kind of service), the gift of being present to the circumstances of my day, the gift of smiling and the gift of feeling peace in the midst of a personal crisis. 

Today is the six-month anniversary of Mom’s death.   While I still miss her intensely, as I told Dad earlier today, when I think of her, most times I smile in my heart instead of feeling overwhelming sad.  He agreed and said, “It’s better.  It will never be good, but it’s better.”

Well said, Dad.  It looks as if the rubber not only met the road, the tread gripped the pavement and we’re rolling along, with peace and even joy flashing by the open windows.

Introducing: Mindful Monday

I’m pretty excited to offer, beginning today, a weekly Mindful Monday blog post for my BHT readers.

MM is an inspirational writing and photo to help you open a channel for love, peace and joy to flow throughout your week.  I know you usually have a ton of stuff to do on Monday mornings, but please take a moment to ground yoursel.  I promise Mindful Monday will be a short read so think of it as setting the tone for your week.  Let me know what you think and . . . Enjoy! (note: this was scheduled to depart my cloud early Monday morning, but thanks to operator error, is leaving mid-day–room for improvement is always good!)

I’m still thinking about the principle of Intention. Regular readers will recall that Intention is one of my power words for 2011. (see my January 11 post: http://www.bheretoday.com/2011/01/11/while-most-peoples-resolutions-wane-three-words-live/)

It occurs to me that setting a deliberate spiritual intention accomplishes little if not followed by a belief that a path will be provided.  In fact, the path offers the perfect melding of Intention with my other two words for 2011:  Source and Order.

Source is the way of orderly direction, or “demonstration,” to use an old-fashioned term.  A demonstration cannot not work so long as the focus stays squarely on the intention.

What we think about we bring about, or as within, so without. The Rev. Ed Townley says he thanks God and acknowledges the joyful good in his life.  The critical follow-up step, however, is to allow the good to express, and to believe it is good.

Are you demonstrating your good today and do you believe it IS good?

While Most People’s Resolutions Wane, Three Words Live

I have three words for 2011:  Intention, Source and Order.

Intention.  To me, the word is interchangeable with Commitment.  To set an intention effectively places a commitment right in front of me, directly across from my heart in the space between my outstretched arms.  That space receives a blessing for my intention and then it is released into the universe.

Oddly, the act of release seals the deal.

Let’s talk about languaging for a moment.

It is common for folks to say, “I intend to go to the movies this weekend.”  While they may intend to go the movies, the words are actually more a wish or a desire because if you’re like me, movies tend to come after household chores and errands (hmmm, maybe I need to write a post about priorities.)  Get my drift?

I may say to my significant other, “I intend to get my hair cut today.”  That statement feels more like an item to check off the to-do list instead of an intention.

Don’t get me wrong.  Those uses of intention are proper and right, but there is another usage that typically follows contemplation, prayer and maybe even meditation.

To set an intention is like locking the hand brake on a car.  Uphill, downhill, it doesn’t matter, that car will stay put.

An intention set well, isn’t going anywhere either so long as it’s locked in my affirmative prayer, conscious awareness and moving feet.  Action has to follow awareness of an intention.

More from me later about the word Intention as it spans over 2011.  If you were to choose three words for the present year, what would they be?

Life

This is it!  January 6, the climax of Advent and Christmas and the day that represents the culmination of the journey into my heart, has finally arrived. 

The Day of Epiphany, or Three Kings Day, is the celebration of the Magi visiting the newborn Jesus, who they considered sent from the stars or the heavens to create a new beginning for the world.

LIFE

The manger where Jesus was born and revealed his perfect Christ self is where life began anew.  As we personalize the Christmas story, we receive the opportunity to enter the manger of our own being and allow the breath of Christ life to be birthed in us.

Our study of The Twelve Days of Christmas has served its purpose as we experience our personal epiphany, our new lives.

I gratefully accept and honor my life today.  Life, on a higher plane, is Unity’s final spiritual faculty of the 12 Powers. 

Life with a capital L rises above daily limitations and challenges.  This day, I begin to see myself through the lens of Higher Life.  I see the essence of me stripped bare, free from any earthy encumbrance.  The Power of Life teaches me to forever visualize myself as one who is exposed to nothing but God.  The cloak of humanity, worn over my Christ self, is merely presentation and enhancement.  It covers my true life force and the holy nature of God and me as one.

In my earthly body, my greatest desire is to move and breathe from this precious place of God connection.  From deep within me, it is my intention to energize, vitalize, enliven, animate and invigorate my day-by-day stroll across the earth (thank you, Unity!).

The Encarta World English Dictionary defines an epiphany as “sudden realization: a sudden intuitive leap of understanding, especially through an ordinary but striking occurrence.”

Life–sweet life–is my Source’s desire for me.  That realization is certainly ordinary, even simple, and definitely striking.

Please share, if you like, your personal epiphany.  Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to visit your heart these last 12 days; my own is touched by your comments, thoughts and energy.

Let it Be Christmas!

“Seize every day as an adventure and your spirit will soar when you discover the wonderful surprises life has to offer.” This little ditty comes from a beautiful note card left in my hotel room in Columbus, OH.

As I sit in my writer’s chair this morning, feeling the presence of Christ deep in my marrow, I continue to ponder and meditate on this thing called Christmas.

I say “thing” because that word to me summarizes the commercialization and consumerism of Christmas. For many, Christmas is a business and quite a money-maker.

Unity has provided a spiritual tool for me—the Advent booklet. This is the year that I am really examining what Christmas means to me. I was really in no condition to undertake it last year, having just left everything familiar to me a few months prior, my home, family and friends and my most significant relationship.

This is the year. I’m not going to my childhood home, for the first time in my life I won’t be celebrating Christmas with my family of origin. And yet I will because of my realizations about Christmas.

Rev Ed Townley writes in his article, “A Metaphysical Interpretation of the Christmas Story,” “Metaphysically, what we celebrate each Christmas is . . . the birth of Christ awareness. What Jesus brought to us was a spark of new light, new possibility—light that shines through the darkness of human confusion and illuminates, the spiritual truth of who we are.”

I am growing in my belief that Christmas is a deeply personal experience. It is ceremonial in nature, I think, as it involves placing my soul—my truest of selves—on the altar of my inner being. From there, in the parts of me I’ve laid down, space is created for a re-birthing to occur. The Christ child’s birth symbolizes my new birth into a new way of existing.

The entire concept goes back to the quote from the hotel card—Am I living fully? Am I embracing my God-self? Do I feel the unity and connection to all the other God creatures I encounter today?

In this moment my heart whispers a prayer of thanks for this spiritual awakening, for the expanding understanding of the universal life purpose—to grow in love of self, each other and every hidden and revealed source of life.

Let it be Christmas.

(photo courtesy of freefoto.com)