Presence and Peace

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)

Survival and Spiritual Contentment, Part 3



Courtesy of Salvatore Vuono



Mindy Audlin, professional speaker, author and radio personality, suggests that we make our own Santa list and write out in detail our heart’s desires. She writes, “Mail it to the North Pole with the expectation of a child and allowing the Spirit of Love to provide all the wisdom and resources we need to delight ourselves this year.”

Mindy’s words are a perfect accompaniment to my approach to Christmas this year. I am bringing it inside—into my soul. All the outer trappings can stay as they are and I’ll accept the crazy commercialism. I can even feel a sense of appreciation for the lights and pageantry, although I do pray that the harried ones will eventually find relief from the frenetic pace they endure during the holidays.

This week of Advent is focused on Joy. It feels good to really bring that concept inward, as it relates to the meaning of Christmas.  I’m reminded of the old church hymn refrain, “joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.”

It is possible to feel joy and grief simultaneously and frankly, I’m relieved by that realization.  Shortly after Mom died in July, I remember thinking, “My God, we can’t celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas this year!”  Now I know that grieving is a process but joy is a state of being that can co-exist within the process.

When I think of joy and try to describe the feeling, the phrase “child-like wonder” always comes to mind.  Mindy’s point of allowing our adult selves to find delight in Christmas is the difference between misery and comfort for me this year.  Delight and gratitude are like the chicken and the egg.  Who cares which comes first so long as we get to eat? 

So it is with all the emotions of Christmas.  My letter to Santa asks for peace and joy for those who struggle with the holidays.  And I fully expect my wish will be granted.  What is your greatest wish this year?

Survival . . . Part 2

I recently asked the question about what Christmas means in a person’s heart and I received really great replies! In this season of holiday giving, I’d like to share some of the wisdom that the loving people in my life expressed. They’ve taught me that the biggest gift of the season is one I give to myself—self love and appreciation.

My friend Carol responded that Jesus is the reason for the season. Truthfully, the old me would bristle at those words. That’s a phrase that made me cringe. I’m now at a place in my life where I know she’s right. Actualized love was born into human form on that night so long ago and is in fact living on in each one of us.

Unity folks call it Christ consciousness. They’re right too.

For me, this consciousness is love so that Christmas in my heart is centering and focusing on love no matter the circumstances or situation.

Everything that is not contained within this vessel of heart love is man-made and probably way too stressful for my preferred level of peace and comfort.

Jesus was the ultimate love shower and my example. Much of his love was pronounced through prayer. That is the way it will be for me this Christmas time—prayer and letters of love along with phone calls to wish Christmas cheer.

I’m doing my best to keep my spotlight on love and off the differences in my present relationship with Christmas. There are obvious losses, but to dwell on them creates unnecessary agony. I strive to find a healthy balance between letting my wounds fester and honoring my sacred memories and traditions. The latter are all a part of me, a part of the love that is me today.

“We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.” I embrace the past as love, wrap it up as a Christmas gift and give it to myself this year.

Survival of the Spiritually Fit at Christmas–Part 1

I’ve been fascinated with religious and/or spiritual beliefs all my life. Having been raised in a non church-going home (although my family background is assuredly Christian), I’ve always been curious about what–and why–people believe the way they do.

Let me say at the outset that I consider myself a Christian and that I think Jesus was a great guy.  I do my best to live by the principles he espoused, I pray regularly and often and from time to time, turn the pages of one of my several versions of the Bible.

I celebrate our nation’s founding principle of religious freedom and its been years since I found it necessary to try to convince someone that my beliefs were the only ones good enough to get into heaven.  In fact, one of the many gifts of recovery has been my respect and honor of those who think differently.  In my book, there is no right or wrong.

This night finds me thinking of all the folks out there who don’t celebrate Christmas.  What must they think of all the commercial hoop-la around this religious holiday?  How in the world do they survive the onslaught of visual and auditory (not to mention subliminal) messages that seemingly begin July 1st?  Short of moving into a thatched hut in the middle of the desert or an igloo at the North Pole–oops, better not go there!–how do they/we escape the incessant stimulation?

I discovered the answer this year.  Actually, I fell into the answer out of necessity; if you read my previous post, you’ll understand why.  If you share my sense of the curious, check back–or better yet, subscribe and/or follow this blog from the home page and more will be revealed!