Creative Gifting on a Budget


I recently traveled to a friend’s mid-summer wedding. The ceremony was in a gorgeous meadow that had a labyrinth. The path was as wide as a lawn mower. When we arrived to the meadow, I picked wild daisies to make the bride a wreath for her head. Then I took photos of the surrounding area. Next thing I knew, it was time to sage and bless each guest before their entering the labyrinth.

IMG_5600This wedding got me thinking of gifts that can be given from the heart. First, there was the opportunity for every guest (17) to bring organic, non-GMO fruit, vegetable, or flower seeds for the couple to plant and act as a reminder for them to nurture their friendships. The couple also asked each guest to bring  something from nature. In addition to seeds and nature, guests were asked to write a poem or message about, or to the Summer Solstice and read it to the group.IMG_5589

Up until the point of finding an item of nature, I had confidence that as usual, I packed light, and smart. But then I found two rocks—each in the shape of a heart. Why couldn’t I be happy with a leaf or feather! Sticking to my original plan, I was also giving the couple a great chef knife. My friend loves to cook and entertain. So, this meant I had to plan ahead and ship off the knife, and pack the rocks along with wrapping paper (only to get scolded by the bride for using paper.) One guest gifted the couple with catering the simple but beautiful hors d’oeuvres. Another guest made a six foot wine bottle holder out of wood he’d found, adding shape and holes to the piece of wood.

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I’m on the good side of cancer—rebuilding strength. This was my first big trip, and I was determined to carry-on my bag rather than pay $25 for the same weight as some women’s purses. It wasn’t pretty and I ached from doing it, but I did it. It reminded me of a story I was told by a man years ago.

This man was staying in Africa for several months. He made friends with the locals. On his birthday, one of his new friends gifted him with a sea shell. This man knew his friend couldn’t have bought the shell, and they lived hundreds of miles from the coast. He said, “The ocean is far away. How did you get this shell?” His friend replied. “Long journey part of gift.” He’d walked a few days to honor his friend with a sea shell.

How can your journey gift someone? What can you do differently, or go out of your way to honor someone without a big expense on your part? I think my friend was more grateful for the head wreath, photography, and space clearing I did than the chef knife. For me, the big gift was the travel itself.IMG_5590

Be Present. . . Now.


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Image Credit: Good Serch

When you take in a breath—in that moment, you’re telling the Universe you’re trusting 100% that all your needs are met. In that moment, you’re not bargaining for a few more years of life, or refusing to breathe until you have all the money you want. It’s pretty amazing. A breath—something we don’t usually pay attention to, gives us all we need in that moment. It’s up to us to trust.

If we live in “the now” we give up worrying about the future, and regretting the past. We breathe in. . . . Pause. . . . Breathe out. . . . Pause. . . . Repeat. We focus on what’s in front of us: The person we’re talking with, the food we’re eating, the car we’re driving.

Pay attention to your breathing today. Is it fast or shallow? Do you sit slumped over, making breathing harder or less efficient than it could be? When you walk, stand tall! Know you deserve to be here just the same as the trees around you, and the stars above. You’re here by Divine appointment. By breathing, you’re saying, “Yes!” to that arrangement. When you think like this, you’re not just taking up oxygen, you’re taking it in. Becoming one with it—with life, with body, mind and soul. It’s not about “What more can I get.”

It’s about learning to trust that we are already proved for.

Building Confidence


I’ve been working with at a middle school with a boy who has special needs. Next year he’ll be in high school. Not just any high school, but a fast-pace one without the student support he’s used to. One day, during our five minute walk/break, I asked him if he was excited about going to high school. There was hesitation. Then I interjected, “—Or are you a bit nervous?” He answered, “Nervous.” After school, I went home and compiled a list of songs he could hear and watch on You Tube. The songs all have positive messages and are ones my mom would refer to at certain times in my life. On the day of promotion, I gave him the list.I hope you share these with anyone who may be facing some fear, big or small in your eyes. The videos I chose were geared toward what I thought this particular student would like. You may find the same song with different artists.

How to wake up early and cheerful.


singingsparrow Image Credit: Good Search

Are you excited about life when you wake up in the morning? Does hearing birds chirp outside your window while you’re still in bed, make you smile? It does me! Even if I sometimes wish the birds would hold off a bit longer, I always end up smiling, and sometimes laughing. The birds are so excited about the new day!

The birds sound like a bunch of kids waiting for a field trip to start, or friends getting together for a good chat over breakfast. “Oh I saw the most beautiful sunrise this morning!” “I had the best worm and bug for breakfast! —And did you see the new basil on that woman’s patio? I love basil!”

In the Spring, if you pay close attention, you’ll hear conversations between parent birds and their young. The young will mimic the sounds made by their parent—be corrected, and try again. A few days later, you won’t hear them. They’ve had their “it’s time to leave the nest” conversation, and are off.

Next time you get bent out of shape when your Saturday begins a bit earlier than you’d planed, shift your focus and listen to the birds. It just may make you smile.

How to Live the Life You Want


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Image Credit: Good Search  (from movie, what the bleep do we know)

A woman is on a cruise, and sees a man she finds very attractive. He notices her looking at him and starts up a conversation with her. She tells him, “You look like my first husband.” He asks, “How many times have you been married?” She responds, “None so far.”

It’s possible to create wonderful experiences, but it takes held intention. We often just give up, or give in to negative talk or thoughts that are unconscious. Here are some tips for how to get started on the life you want to create.

Remove the Negative:

Worry = torment one’s self (dictionary definition)

  1. Go without TV, news paper, or any negative stories or opinion (even if it means you are not answering your phone with the weekly gloom update call from family, or friend.) Cut off the flow for 14 days, then be conscious when watching/reading/taking.
  2. If you listen to music, listen to that of higher consciousness. If the words are crude, or the song is from hurt or anger, that’s not higher consciousness.
  3. Avoid negative people for 14 days. Say to yourself: “I’m only receptive to receiving the positive energy of life.” Be part of the positive energy, too. What goes out, comes back.

Bring in the Positive:

  1. Get around the right people at least once a week- dinner, class, pals.
  2. Mental image a life without worry. What does it look like? See yourself with friends, laughing, having plenty of extra money, joy, love…
  3. Write the vision down, read it, read positive books, refresh your mindset with movies like The Secret, and What The Bleep Do We Know.

How an Eye Exam Turns into an I Exam


eye-exam image credit: Good Search

I went in for an eye exam and had the test where the two circles start out on the left, and on the right – then move toward each other, and the object of the game is when they’re in alignment.

Then I thought having an “I Exam” — what am I in alignment with?

The whole idea about life is for use to be in alignment with God. If we’re not in alignment with God, Who moved? God never moves. God is constant. God is always there/here. God is one of those circles in the eye exam that the other circle aligns with. When they’re in alignment, yell, “STOP!” before that other circle (now represented by you) moves past the other circle (now representing God.)

It’s not about “Getting” from God. It’s about aligning with God. When we’re in alignment, we’re open and receptive—and we do receive. It’s easy when we’re in the flow. When it’s hard, we’re not in alignment.

Being in alignment with God doesn’t mean life doesn’t give us “stuff” — It does mean we go through our stuff with more ease and grace. We are here to learn and grow. We are not here to decide why the person next to us, or the person sitting at home has the problems they do. Nor are we to take on their exam and tell them when the circles are in alignment. If they are open to your input, fine—bring them to church, a class, hand them a book, share non-judgmental conversation, but you can’t drag someone to enlightenment. That only proves there are two people un-enlightened.

 

 

 

 

For the Next Thirty Days


When I tell people I don’t have a television, I’ll get comments like, “You must get a lot done.” Or I’ll get looks like, What rock do you live under? I’ve been offered at least one television a year for eight years.

I’m not advocating everyone giving up their television. (Having one per house, and not in the bedroom, maybe.) I am encouraging people to look at what they do with their time, and think of what they’d do if they had more time. What have you thought of giving up? (Gossip, swearing, smoking, sugar, fat, negative thinking. . .) What do you want to do? (Yoga, sing, read, water color paint, cook. . .) Don’t have time to cook a healthy, tasty dinner? Get the family involved in the activity. Husbands can shop. Teens can chop onions. Families can talk during dinner (oh, aren’t we glad we gave the television away!)

Here’s a six minute video about trying something new for 30 days. By the way, it takes 27 days for something to become a habit. Once a habit is formed, you’ll miss it if you break the pattern.

Separation has a “rat” in it


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We are one with our Creator and there’s no way we can be separate. We are magnificence in manifestation. Think of your eyes blinking. heart beating, blood circulating, and the breaths you breathe —all while you sleep. And then you dare to think your Creator is separate from you! The Universe only says, “Yes!” If we have a belief that we’re separate from God, we’ll experience the appearance of separation; however, we can never be separate. It’s like closing your our eyes in a lighted room. We have the experience of darkness, but when we open our eyes, we experience the Light.

We can experience separation because we experience what we perceive to be true, but our perception is fact—and facts change. Truth never changes. We live our lives as though there were separation. “I and the father are of one accord.” (John 10:30).

Everything takes place within. It’s not from our outer world. All form follows thought. God is always giving us feedback via our body, our environment and our mind. I’m the thinker thinking thoughts. While the created is not the Creator, it is part of it. God works in, around, through and for us. If you want to know your thoughts of yesterday, look at your life today. In a nutshell, New Thought teaches “Change your thinking, change your life.” There is One Power of Good, and we can use It. (It can also use us.) When we say, “I’m going to do ______” we’re really saying, God is doing _______ through me.

Love someone when they’re at 2 + 2 = 5 in their life while knowing them as 2 + 2 = 4 (aligned with the Truth, whole perfect and complete). And if you’re feeling separate from God, take notice the the word “separation” has a rat in it! It’s not your Truth.

Metaphysical Terms and Meanings


CopyofIcreate-1 image credit: Good Search

Most people, even if they’re  not steeped in traditional religion know traditional definitions of  terms like devil, sin and evil. Metaphysical, New Thought meanings of these words differ from how traditional religious institutions use them.

In New Thought, or metaphysics, the terms devil, sin, evil and hell may be used, but, as you’d guess, in a different sense. New Thought teaches that we all have free will, and are Divinely guided.

Christ-Consciousness: Jesus did not have the last name of Christ. He was given the title, Jesus the Christ because of his crystal clear consciousness. The “anointed” one. In Hebrew, “Messiah.” In Greek, “Khristos.” New Thought teachings talk about Christ-consciousness when they are talking about crystal clear knowingness, our solid connection with the Divine. (Not to be confused with the Divine’s connection with us, because that never changes. It is us who move, or cloud over, not the Divine.) Meditation is one of the many ways to help us in our clear, or Christ-consciousness.

The devil made me do it: The devil did not make you do anything. He does not exist, and gets a bad rap from people not willing to take responsibility for their own actions.

Ever gone to heaven and found hell? Heaven and hell are states of consciousness, not destinations. You can be in a beautiful place with someone you love and be in hell. You can also be in ugly surroundings with no one you know and find heaven. If you think about heaven and hell being in your mind, rather than when you die, you may free yourself from living out of obligation and guilt, and just might truly begin to live, and finding you do more from love because the self-imposed pressure is off you.

To sin is to miss the mark: Sin is an ancient archery term with the origin of Hebrew and Greek. It literally means “to miss the mark.” “Mark” is the “bull’s eye” at which the marksman takes aim. When we’re off balance, or off-center, we have “missed the mark.” When we’ve “missed the mark” we’re not consciously aligned with our Christ-consciousness, and some would say we’re “sinning.” “Go and sin no more.” Rough translation: Get your act together. Take better aim of the bull’s eye in life. Pay attention and do your part to live as high-minded and consciously as you can.

Negative thinking and talking is “missing the mark.” When we’re off center, we’re not hitting the bull’s eye. Fasting is to “turn the other cheek” (to look the other way) from negative thoughts and practices. Prayer is the affirmation of good.  Negative thoughts, words and actions can be considered sin, and to take it a step further, some would say this is blasphemy because to think and talk in less than glorifying ways is to denigrate God, the Creator of all, the image and energy which we are made from.

Evil is a mistaken idea: Evil is a belief in separation that will remain as long as we believe in it. “No matter how powerful the dark seems it has no power to stop the light that comes from either a searchlight or tiny candle” (Starcke, It’s All Good). New Thought teachings don’t deny the appearance of darkness, but deny it has power over Light.

A Metaphysical Look at Death


dandelion image credit: Good Search

When someone has made their transition, they’ve left this plane of existence. Some call this experience death. While we may fully embrace the idea of ongoing life, we may still feel the “rope burn” of having someone/something we desired, pulled from our grasp. We can bless and know the person making their transition moves on the wings of love, and also grieve for the fact that we miss our physical companionship with the person who has made their transition.

We agree we live in a three-dimensional world, when in fact, science has discovered twelve dimensions of which they’re aware. This validates many experiences people have had that do not fit neatly into out three-dimensional world thinking. Religious Science (not Christian Science, not Scientology) does not take a stand on reincarnation, but does teach that just as in nature, life is ongoing and there are different levels of experience. While we may return to this exact place, there is no waste, and no finality to spirit.

When our soul arrived to this life experience there was a celebration. Who are we to think we’re the only ones waiting to celebrate the arrival of souls? It’s much like a boat sailing into the horizon. we stand on shore, feeling loss as we lose view of the boat. Yet, there are others on the distant shore waiting in excitement for its arrival.

 It is because you believe you are born that you fear death. Who is it that was born? Who is it that dies? Look within. what was your face before you were born? Who you are, in reality, was never born and never dies. let go of who you think you are and become who you have always been (Levine, Who Dies? an investigation of Conscious living and Dying).

Yes, we experience that “rope burn” when someone we love pulled out of our physical experience. And yes, I believe there is celebration for their arrival on the next plane. They move on—and into the wings of love. Peace.