New Thought

Tiptoe Through the Tulips


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“Don’t go through life, grow through life.” ~ Eric Butterworth

The calendar reads Spring, and while many parts of the U.S. are still blanketed in blustery cold and snow, many of us are experiencing rising temps and warm rays.  Be consoled, my northern friends!  At least your knees and backs aren’t aching from spring planting;  I’m finally starting to recover from last weekend.

Our climates may be different, but we can share a different kind of spring right here, right now–the spring planting of new thoughts and attitudes.

You don’t have to channel Tiny Tim

If you’re a child of the ’60s or early ’70s, you may recall a long-haired, ukulele-playing guy who sang “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” in a high, falsetto voice.

Let that image go!

Instead, let the images of spring–the tulips, cherry blossoms, redbuds and the myriad of other flowering plant life–stoke your desire for this to be your  Spring Extraordinaire.  Determine that this is the year you will clean your mind of old mulched and rooted thoughts.

Turn your mental ground, till the soil and make ready for a new crop of fertile ideas.

The winter of your discontent has given way (or will soon!) to the Spring of your dreams.

Preparing for new growth

I’ve written quite a lot lately about losing my job and starting a freelance copywriting business.  (By the way, thanks for indulging me.  Writing here has been great therapy.)

Last weekend, I hit the nursery on Saturday looking for bedding plants.  I walked the aisles, stuck my fingers in the dirt checking moisture and started planning which plants could go where in our little townhouse garden area.

I talked with other patrons about their plans, joked with the guy in line behind me who was also buying a dozen bags of mulch (and then helped me load mine in my car–spring does great things to people), and drove home with the windows down and the radio up.  I felt alive!

Sure, lots of stuff has gone down lately; some of it has been rough.  But there was something about having living things in my hands that made me feel bright with possibilities.

Sunday was planting day.  My sweetie and I assembled our tools and dug in.

Working the soil, whether in your garden, or in your mind, is hard work, especially if you have years of old growth to cut through.  I discovered though, that chunking through all the clay to stir in fresh new loose soil said a lot about my desire to do the work.

If you want a refreshed garden or a renewed mind, you have to be willing to go to the earth.

You have to be willing to cut away old stuff to root the new.

Once the work is done, you can’t just walk away.  You have to be willing to feed and water your new growth.  (It’s only been four days but I think I heard the lilies and columbine and phlox whispering their thanks.)

In the end, new growth is about your willingness to be a bloomer.  Through the challenges of the last two months, I’ve made the decision that I am a bloomer.

Doesn’t matter if you’re early or late to blooming, so long as you bloom.  Are you ready to tiptoe through your mind’s tulips?

The Bible TV Miniseries: This Is It!


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When you read this post, the first night of the epic television docudrama and miniseries, The Bible, is history.

I’m eager to hear your thoughts and impressions.  Maybe you watched it and plan to tune in for the next four Sunday nights.  Maybe you didn’t see it because you didn’t know it was scheduled to air (on the History channel, reportedly the only network interested in the project).  Maybe you don’t care–and that’s okay with me.

Hollywood couple Mark Burnett (producer of Survivor, Celebrity Apprentice and The Voice) and Roma Downey (Touched By An Angel), created The Bible and see its story as a love story between God and mankind, according to an article in Charisma News.  

What’s not to love about a good love story?  No doubt there will be diverse interpretations of the series, from evangelical to mystical.  I hope that love and tolerance are at the heart of all the conversations.

Mega-church leaders like Joel Osteen, T. D. Jakes and Rick Warren, plus many community-based churches have built curriculums around The Bible.  It’s getting a secular push too from movie theater trailers (that’s where I first learned of it) and Facebook.

Let the conversation be inclusive

The airing of The Bible has the potential to be the modern-day Ten Commandments; in fact, with electronic and social media, interest will probably surpass the Charlton Heston classic.  I know it holds my fascination as both an entertaining movie and as a storytelling portrayal of the best book ever written.

Here’s my hope for the conversation around The Bible:  that no one–from the Bible’s literal interpretation believers to New Thought followers–claim an exclusive view.  Please, let’s be inclusive.

Joel Osteen says The Bible will “impact believers and non-believers alike,” according to Urban Christian News.  From my vantage point, about seven hours prior to its airing, I’d like to take it a step further.  I think the show’s impact will reach far beyond traditional church ideas.

While churches discuss its significance, perhaps the miniseries will kick-off a pre-Easter tide of community conversation as well.

Let love be the keystone

In the end, The Bible is entertainment.  Its special effects are eye-popping, reason enough for watching.

The real significance of its entertainment, however, is the impact it has on its viewer.  Many people simply want to be entertained–the “watch and walk away ” crowd.  Nothing wrong with that.

Many others–myself included–want the movie’s entertainment to leave us thinking.  What is the show’s meaning?  What is it’s purpose?

Could it be love?  Is The Bible the ultimate love story?  If so–and I’m going out on a limb since I’m writing this pre-airing–then let’s let love be the focal point of any conversation we have.

Tolerate those with whom you’re discussing the movie.  Accept their right to their beliefs without trying to change their minds.

Most of all, in any conversation you have, let love set the tone, let love be the keystone.

I predict amazing results and I can’t wait to hear yours.  Will you post them in the comments section below?

Thank you, Inspiration Showers, for the photo.

Want Spiritual Experiences? Do This!


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If you’ve ever spent any amount of time in a stream of seemingly bad luck, you know how hard it is to stay positive.

If you’re there right now, I feel your pain.  I’ve written about losing my job six weeks ago and a bit about the accompanying crappy details like being denied unemployment, scheduling and preparing for an appeal hearing, finding out my insurance has lapsed in spite of COBRA and the grueling process of debt consolidation.

The icing on the cake was last week’s unexpected but typical family drama.  The proverbial straw . . .

I know, poor, poor, pitiful me.

It’s tough being spiritual, isn’t it, when you’re clinging to a log in the middle of that rough-water stream?

Tough, but not impossible.

You and I know that the logs we metaphorically hang on to–the ones with the claw marks–represent the stuff that’s hurting us, the circumstances or people we must let go.

But before you can let go, there is something that needs to happen.

You need to become willing.

Huh?

That’s right.  Everything you experience in life is about the decisions you make.  You either made a decision already or you need to make a decision and think you can’t.

Do you know why you can’t?  You haven’t become willing.

I’ve spent the better part of the last six weeks terrified that the money will run out, we’ll become homeless and begging with Jazzy on a street corner.

Well, maybe I’m not quite that fearful.  But I have been clinging to a big ‘ole log of fear even as I’ve known that I need to let it go.

But there was a piece missing.  The piece was willingness.

Willingness precedes every growth step.

I was having a conversation over the weekend with friends about spiritual experiences and how to know if we’d had one.  Several people said they only learn to appreciate an event as a spiritual experience after they became willing to open themselves to having them.

Do you agree?

Reading in the text of A Course in Miracles confirmed the piece about decisions.  “If you cannot hear the Voice for God, it is because you do not choose to listen.  That you do listen to the voice of your ego is demonstrated by your attitudes, your feelings and your behavior,” reads ACIM.

Choosing to listen to the voice on your spiritual path or to your ego is your decision, of course.  That’s why we have free will.

And free will decisions are always about either fear or love.  Will you continue to clutch the log in fear or are you willing to let go and open yourself to your cinema of spiritual experiences?

Give it some thought, and if you’re willing, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

B Well & Willing!

Photo courtesy of renowiggum

 

Are You Priority One?


Today, the day that begins the second week of 2012 finds me in a totally differet place than on the first day of last week.

Today I choose to be easy with myself and with each person and situation I encounter.

Today, I release, I let go, I let Spirit run my life (to quote one of my favorite Unity songs). I am now free to hop and skip and have fun with my day.

My early morning dreams started the ball rolling. I was with Oprah at a huge party/event she hosted to help women learn to nurture and honor themselves. Not a big stretch, right? Here’s the cool part–Oprah had a zillion people pulling her in several directions but before she did any of those things, she grabbed a nice paper shopping bag and excused herself. She was gone for several moments and when she returned, she handed the bag to me and said, “Please enjoy and please take good care of yourself. You are the most important person in your life.”  Inside the bag were beautifully wrapped pampering goodies.

Do you think there are messages in dreams? I do! My Oprah dream tells me that taking care of myself is Priority One.

Are you your Priority One today?

As we begin this second work week of 2012, please savor these five quotes about self-care. Yes, we all have our goals and ambitions for the year, but let’s remember to balance the outer with the inner.

B Well & Present,

Beth

The name of the game is taking care of yourself, because you’re going to live long enough to wish you had.
–Grace Mirabella

People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.
–Thomas S. Szasz

We need to find the courage to say ‘NO’ to the things and people that are not serving us if we want to
rediscover ourselves and live our lives with authenticity.
–Barbara De Angelis

Ninety per cent of the world’s woe comes from people not knowing themselves, their abilities, their frailties, and even their real virtues. Most of us go almost all the way through life as complete strangers to ourselves — so how can we know anyone else?
–Sidney J. Harris

I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence, but it comes from within. It is there all the time.
–Anna Freud

Happy Is . . . What Exactly?


Rawhide treats make our 10-year-old Greyhound, Baylor, really happy.

He made that point with gusto following a recent early morning walk. As I watched him devour the Christmas-decorated bone, I pondered the state of happy and what it means.

Pretty broad–and deep–subject for 7 a.m., wouldn’t you say?

Happy is a slippery word, I think, and is hard to define yet most of us are quick to respond to the question, Are you happy?

For me, at least at first blush, the word happy seems superficial. Who says, No, I’m not happy when asked?

Personally, I would rather someone ask me if I’m at peace, than whether I’m happy. The peace question seems a little easier to answer.

Maybe I’m just uncomfortable with the word Happy. I mean, think about how easily it gets tossed around. People are always throwing out Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary or Happy New Year.

Have a Happy Day, a Happy Life.

But what does that mean?

Maybe we need to think about what causes happiness. Is it the source of satisfaction? Comfort? The ease with which we move through our days?

Maybe happy is a summation of being kind and gentle, thoughtful and charitable.

Perhaps the state of happiness is the absence of tension and envy. Sometimes I realize I’m empty of certain emotions, so is it at that point that other emotions–like Happy–can enter my consciousness?

Maybe I need to drain first, fill second.

All this really makes no sense, and truthfully, I’m started to remind myself of the late Andy Rooney delivering his closing comments on 60 Minutes.

Except . . .

Maybe the purpose of contemplating the meaning of Happy is merely to point out my incessant need to define my feelings.

There it is. The crux of discomfort. That old ugly urge to harness my state of mind.

Well, I say phooey to that today. I have only one need that can make me happy.

I just need to be; be in this moment because in this minute space of time, I am everything and anything and fine.

I may even go so far as to say I’m happy. Happy as a dog with a rawhide bone.