Great Morning Beloved!
Happy ALMOST Halloween!
What are your memories of Halloween? Or are you still enjoying the fun associated with its traditions? I know I used to love to decorate for this holiday and had fun with pumpkin carving parties for many years.
And many people, not me(!) like the scary traditions associated with ‘hallows eve’. They like to feel afraid, to feel FEAR.
Fear, that unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
Why would anyone want that is beyond me! The definition itself states its UNPLEASANT!
We are told time and again in the Bible to fear not, be not afraid, do not be afraid…yet we too often let fear overtake us.
In Unity and other New Thought Communities, we look at fear as meaning:
False evidence appearing real F.E.A.R.
The Metaphysical meaning of fear according to Charles Fillmore and as stated in the Revealing Word: “Fear is one of the most subtle and destructive errors that the carnal mind in man experiences. Fear is a paralyzer of mental action; it weakens both mind and body.
Why do we allow fear to overtake us?
Sure, there are times when letting the emotion of fear respond as it is meant to, so we can react properly for safety reasons. But how often do we encounter FREDDY Crouger on Halloween Night? Not so far anyway.
And we all know by now not to place our hand in a fire or step in front of a moving car.
In that case fear might be First Effort Against Risk
The number-one cause for not living life to its fullest is fear.
Can you believe that?
I can —- easily….
But sometimes our fears are based upon an experience we had in the past. But they really do not relate to the present. If we look back and try to discern what caused the fear, can we possibly see and understand that, whatever had caused it in the first place was no longer true?
When I was very young, my family was staying with my maternal grandparents for whatever reason. I was around under 1 year old and my brother 2. Well, the house blew up…gas leak. Completely flattened. No one was hurt but everything was destroyed.
My Mother held that fear of the house exploding through much of her adult life, even though we never had gas heat after that.
That would be an example of Former Expectations Affecting Rationale. And a need to remember that First Experiences Aren’t Representative of future opportunities. In which case, the evidence isn’t FALSE – it just isn’t relevant.
And it is also why there are no baby pictures of me!
Maybe we are looking for a way to navigate the current circumstance, which is taxing our brain for solutions. Then we need Functional, Evolutionary Action Required. Something that answers the question, ‘what do I do now?’
Job 3:13: tells us; “Happy are those who find wisdom, and those who get understanding, for her income is better than silver, and her revenue better than gold.”
This writer is recommending a life of conscious spiritual awareness, because a spiritual focus on wisdom and understanding offers a greater sense of abundance and joy than any emphasis on the so-called ‘tangibles’ of our human lives.
If we stay centered in Christ energy, committed to expressing divine wisdom and understanding through all the challenges we may encounter, then there will be no need for panic. We can be certain that our Christ guidance will move us through any storms, preventing us from making any choices that might create problems.
Bertrand Russell tells us:
Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
If that is true, then we have an additional reason to conquer our fears.
The moment we become afraid of anything our vibratory energy is reduced. Then our defenses begin to crumble.
Fear causes that which we fear to come upon us. What we resist, persists.
The most common way we can get into trouble is to allow ourselves to become afraid. This usually happens through ignorance and unawareness of energy function and our present level of energy.
And because we are not making conscious choices about our responses to happenings around us.
We are living in a Universe of Immutable Laws, whether we know them or not.
We may not see it, but the unknown is just as lawful as the known. LAW is LAW.
If we are no longer able to have faith in those values which are real, (The 5 Principles for example) then we open ourselves up to the influence of the unreal (darkness, fear, doubt, misery, ignorance).
When a person becomes afraid of anything, an image of terror rises before him. Immediately he begins to abdicate his leadership over his own life.
We give our power away in so many ways….
Fear and guilt are the only enemies of (hu)man(ity).
— Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
If we look at our current state of humanity, we may think that we live in uncertain times. Well, get real folks, there are no ‘certain times’ in this duality. Not unless we MAKE THEM CERTAIN.
We can be more certain by controlling our reaction to uncertainty.
We have nothing to fear but fear itself.
— Franklin Roosevelt
Wise words from our former President. Even Harry Potter knew not to be afraid of the Dementors.
How do we overcome fear? According to Charles Fillmore, Fear is cast out by perfect love. To know divine love is to be selfless, and to be selfless is to be without fear. The God-conscious person is filled with quietness and confidence.
You ask how we can do that in “these uncertain times?”
How about if we Feel Entirely, Absolutely, Rip-Roaringly certain that it’s okay we don’t have certain times, because we can be certain about ourselves. So long as we do what we need to do to Feel Entirely, Absolutely Resourceful – fear serves no purpose at all.
Once again. Perception limits us, because it is how we perceive whatever is in front of us that is causing an unpleasant feeling of danger.
As you are awakening, you are beginning to see fear for what it truly is. The only power fear ever has is the power that you give it. You must act despite fear. Each time you become fearful, you must fully recognize and experience fear for what it truly is.
Look at it from the NOW…be there and truly see it for what it is… False evidence appearing real.
Even in the Hebrew Texts, we are reminded that it is our choices that make our life experiences.
Job 3:25 tells us:
“Truly the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me.”
And Job created that experience. We do too, we create our own life experiences according to the choices we make. We are creative expressions of the one God. As Jesus said, “According to your faith be it done to you.” If we choose to focus on things that frighten us, we are expressing a faith that those things will happen. And so they do.
The answer to fear and dread is to focus on the good—appreciate the many ways in which your life is unfolding beautifully. It can be hard sometimes, but it’s always possible. Don’t give up. Ask for help in confronting your fears.
Don’t give your power away.
What does F.E.A.R. stand for to you?
“The Ladder of Life”
You know, as I look for topics that would interest you or at least have some sense of purpose for you, sometimes ideas just pop into my head…thank you Spirit!
SO, when the “Ladder of Life” came to mind, I thought, why not go for it. Could be an interesting topic…some value to it if I can fill in the large blank that is a blank page.
So, I googled “Ladder of Life” just for the heck of it, and I got all kinds of Ladders…but nothing about the “Ladder of Life” that I was thinking of.
So, once again, I was going into this on my own.
When I think of a ladder of life, I think of the steps we take on our life’s journey and how each one affects us.
If we think back to our earliest choice, where did it bring us? And then, think again to our next choice…. there is always a choice.
Somewhere along the way, we choose to try to better ourselves. Maybe we made a-not-so-great choice and we weren’t in a good place. But then we made a ‘better’ choice and we saw that there was hope for us.
We all have been in those situations…some earlier in our lives than others. But we made a choice to do better. There’s always a CHOICE!
Obviously, one of those choices was to attend Unity…just saying!
We ALL have experiences that were presented to us for learning…learning about life, about others, learning about relationships, and about the God of our understanding.
T.S. Eliot says, “We had the experience but missed the meaning.”
It is possible to live through something and not to understand it. If the meaning is not recognized, then the full life changing impact of the experience may be lost, even aborted. Luckily, it is never too late to “get the meaning” and with the meaning there may come transformation.
This could be the ‘spiritual 2×4’ that we too often refer to, right????
AS babies, we are born whole and complete. We lose that wholeness as we grow and separate ourselves in our individualization…. ego comes into play and domestication on all levels thwart our sense of remaining in Oneness with the Divine.
So, our goal then, is to get back to wholeness. And THAT is where our “Ladder of Life” comes into play.
The creation story of the Garden of Eden tells us metaphorically about our lost wholeness.
The Garden is a place of wholeness and perfection. All needs are met and there is only one prohibition. One may not eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Eating from this tree will bring death. Such a temptation to knowledge proves too much and Eve and Adam do eat of the fruit. Their eyes are opened. They awaken to self-knowledge and to the world of opposites. They are thrown into the world of duality.
Symbolically, the story tells us that when they eat of the fruit of this Tree there is the birth of self-reflective consciousness. There is the beginning of personality formation and the Ego. With the birth of the ego there is an expulsion from the garden of unconscious wholeness out into the world of individuality.
Can you see why eating from the tree of good and evil brings about metaphoric death?
That death introduced us to duality. We no longer saw ourselves as One with all. A death of our realization of wholeness. And we want that back…but we cannot not gain it going backwards…we must move forward.
Life’s journey, then, is to strive to regain our realization of wholeness but do it consciously and with intention. Unconscious wholeness does not do you or anyone else any good but conscious wholeness can be made manifest in the world and shared with others.
The first half of our lives we developed personality and a sense of ourselves which is the ego. We learned skills and abilities, so we can be all we can be in this physical world.
The second part of life involves bringing all that knowledge together to wholeness. It’s almost like asking yourself, what did I learn in this life and then setting our steps forward to transformation to our realization of our Divine self?
And actually, that is what you are asking as you climb the Ladder of Life…what did I learn at each step, each rung? And, does it still suit me to have that as part of my life?
In our “I of the Storm” class this past week, one of the assignments was to form a timeline of your life’ journey and indicate on that time line, the instances of resistance you encountered along the way, noting the feelings felt. Then, looking at the maze that is your life, what can you learn from those situations? Was there a theme to your challenges? How often did you have to learn the same lesson? Did each situation make you stronger?
It’s a great book and class…everyone should take it.
So these questions and experiences are all rungs on the Ladder of Life.
Each point of resistance is an opportunity to learn something. We do not necessarily realize it at the time, but looking back is most often, easier to do. Try it when you are at home and see what you come up with.
Rev. Dr. Gary Simmon’s book, “The I of the Storm” has a unique way of looking at those situations that present themselves as conflict. It is when we embrace conflict that we work through it and learn what gifts are being presented.
Remember, ‘what we resist, persists’.
Or as they say on Star Trek, ‘resistance is futile!
What does ‘what we resist persists’ mean?
It means what we continue to think about consciously or unconsciously, will continue to remain in our lives.
So, if you feel as if you are stuck on a certain rung on the Ladder of Life, a certain place, and can’t seem to feel as if you are moving forward; check what you are thinking about. What are you saying to yourself? Watch your conscious AND unconscious thoughts and behaviors.
What is showing up in your life is what rung you are standing on…is it a strong rung or is it a little worn?
Thoughts of lack, for example, come in many forms…. instead of “I can’t afford that” we could say, “that is not is my budget at this time.”
Instead of “my illness…whatever it may be” say “this body is whole and complete, disease free.” Or, “this body is afflicted with….” If you must mention the illness.
We do not need to claim the affliction and Myrtle Fillmore would agree. When she stopped believing of the family illness of Tuberculosis, she began turning it around and cured herself.
And we can do that and more also. Just take the steps necessary…that first step may be a hard one, but we all know after that first step, it gets easier.
I found these steps, no author noted, of 5 steps on the Ladder of Life, to improve yourself daily,
According to the writers, you only need one thing to improve your life: determination.
You need to improve yourself in order to be happy. But then they break it down into five keys to promote your own personal growth.
1. The first step to improving yourself: stop being permeable.
If you’re strongly affected by criticism, you are permeable. When you get carried away by what others say to you, recommend, or suggest without considering your own opinion first, you are permeable.
If you’re the kind of person who feels overwhelmed by the negativity of those around you, by their toxic or limited ideas, you are permeable.
To stop it, you need to protect yourself…. begin by visualizing a wall. Next, internalize a very simple concept: no one will be able to cross that wall. That is where your dignity and self-esteem are stored, and no one can violate that boundary. To protect this boundary, be assertive. Learn to say “NO.”
2. Second step: deal with what’s hurting you
The second phase to improving yourself and climbing the ladder of life is solving what hurts you.
You feel disappointments, failures, and lies throughout your life that make you feel as if you’ve achieved nothing. You need to heal those wounds and stop dragging them around behind you. Disappointments do hurt, but they can be overcome by being aware that the entire world and people within it can’t be exactly as you desire.
You must assume that people fail, and that you too will fail from time to time. Understand that this all becomes a part of your past. It becomes of yesterday and there’s nothing that has happened that you can change.
This is where you experience the meaning of the situation or relationship, learn the lesson and then move on.
What you can change is yourself. The past is past, not happening NOW. So, climb up one rung of the ladder once you’ve resolved those wounds.
3. Third step: not resisting
There’s that ‘resistance is futile’ again!
If you want to excel you need to start practicing the “no resistance” approach. What persists, resists.
If you’re an indecisive person, let yourself go. Everything that you want and dream of is beyond this psychological barrier.
Fear is what will be most able to freeze you in place. The fear of failing, the fear of not being what others expect of you, or the restlessness that comes from having to search for your dreams can bring you disappointment that is a common occurrence among humankind.
The law of non-resistance can be applied in a variety of ways. One way is by accepting others as they are. Don’t expect to be able to change them. You can only change you and how you see and understand what is around you.
Another useful strategy is to practice self-knowledge. If you know who you are and what you want, you need to break free from what holds you back and what forces you to persist in suffering or sadness. It is of no use to you, we choose to suffer. Only you can choose to not suffer.
4. Fourth step: personal freedom
By personal freedom, we don’t mean dropping everything and leaving. Freedom demands responsibility.
You have the right to be free and to choose what you do and do not want in your life. You can also choose who you do and do not want by your side.
This fourth step above all implies being courageous. It’s time to leave behind what no longer serves you and climb the most complicated rung of all: that of conscious choices.
5. Step five: embrace love
To embrace love is to fight for what is worthwhile and to know how to keep it. The top of the ladder of life is being able to hold onto what makes you happy.
There’s no doubt that there are people by your side whom you love. They are the pinnacle of your experiences: appreciate them.
Similarly, in this final goal at the top of the ladder of your life is your personal fulfilment. Here is where your self-love shines and where you glow with the calm of understanding how you feel and realizing your true self.
Getting here is not easy. As we said in the beginning, you need determination. But you’ll always have people by your side assisting you onward, giving wind to your wings.
They come in all living forms and are here for you as you need them and as you ALLOW for them to be in your life.
They are the magical beings that soothe the soul and become an intimate part of your personal journey.
Be grateful for all those who have helped you to and through your journey thus far….
And do not give up. The journey is worth it…just look inside to that blessed part of your soul, that connection to Spirit you have and keep working on keeping that connection burning…it’s all you need to Know the Truth, and that Truth will set you free.
We are Prosperous.
Richard & Mary-Alice Jafolla have stated that ‘prosperity could very well be the easiest of God’s laws to prove…”
What do you think they mean? Do you agree?
Well, I think there’s a hint in this story….
Try think what would you have done in this situation?
There was a workshop back in the 80’s that Unity minister, Susan Eng-Poole attended. Here’s how she tells it:
“We were blindfolded and dropped off in different areas. We were given $1 and we couldn’t bring anything but a sleeping bag and sundries. As this was to prepare us to go to different countries, our assignment was to survive for 24 hours and to get to know about the area as much as possible.
I had in my mindset that I was to ‘survive’ on the dollar and bought a loaf of bread to last me. I walked around the town to learn of it and then settled on an area to do homework. I later slept out in an open field.
All day long people were asking me what I was doing. When I told them, a family invited me to go boating, people wanted to give me money, dinner etc. I thought that was cheating since I would not be surviving on the $1 so I refused. I found a field to sleep in for the night.
The next day I walked into the town to see what time it was, waiting for my pick up. I was surprised because news had spread, and people were watching out for the girl sleeping in the field and were asking how I slept, etc.
When we debriefed the assignment, I was shocked to see my interpretation of the assignment was so different from my fellow classmates. One person had gambled his dollar and won enough for a hotel room and dinner. Another went to a pub and had a blast meeting others, people bought her drinks and talked about their lives, like people do in a bar.
Another person went to a lake and had a meditation retreat. Another asked for a temporary job and washed dishes in a restaurant.
I realized that I had limited myself. I had limited myself because my goal was just to survive. I could have had a much richer experience.”
What do you think?
Now look at your experiences. How have you, …. Me, how have we limited our-selves through our thinking? What beliefs are holding us back?
We have a divine inheritance from our Source, the Creator…but we limit that inheritance…. By our thoughts, our domestication, even our beliefs.
the word ‘prosper’ in its root means “wholeness.” You are prosperous to the degree that you are experiencing peace, health, and plenty in your world.
When most people think of prosperity, we automatically go to gratitude for the people and things already in our life, and how blessed we am.
But there is so much more available to us is we just allow, if we are willing to look beyond our corner of the world. Just imagine…..
Yes, we can use our Power of Imagination to do more and have more in our life. More friendships, more love, more peace and joy.
We need to start being thankful for the good that is already present. This is very important.
From there we learn how to know and claim the prosperity that flows in and through us all to generate more prosperity.
Start now by taking a deep breath. As you feel the air fill your lungs, give thanks that you can breathe easily and effortlessly. And if it takes a bit of effort, give thanks that you can breathe as well as you are now.
Next, look around you and give thanks for the things in your life.
Let’s start right here at Unity: what are YOU grateful for? Our space? Our family of like-minded souls sharing our journey? The many people who volunteer time and talent to helps us with all our endeavors each week. Our Board and Leaders? Give thanks for all these things in your heart.
Do you have a roof over your head? Give thanks for it. Do you have food to eat? Give thanks for it. Do you have an automobile to drive? Give thanks for it every time you get in it. Give thanks for your friends and family, perhaps have a celebration of your relationships. Give thanks for the chair you sit in. For every little thing you have, notice it with a grateful heart and mind. Notice the beauty of nature around you. Gratitude is key!
When we give our attention to the things we are grateful for, we notice more things to be grateful for. We create our life experience through our way of thinking. The magic is that whatever we give our attention to, we manifest more of.
While you are doing this gratitude inventory, notice if there are things in your life that no longer serve you. Clean these things out of your life. This creates a vacuum that allows other things to come to you—it is the cycle of giving and receiving. Are there things you have that might serve someone else better? Give it to them. Or place them in the ‘save for the spring yard sale’ box and donate the sale to Unity like we did this past spring.
Tithe on your income to the places where you receive your spiritual nourishment. A healthy giving consciousness naturally draws better into your life.
One of Unity’s Prosperity experts Rev. Catherine Ponder, writes about the importance of tithing:
“tithing generates prosperity only when you give gratefully and without fear instead of out of obligation”
She continues: “It is through the law of giving and receiving that we demonstrate prosperity, and the first step of receiving is giving. The act of giving moves on universal substance and starts substance flowing back to you in some appropriate form. We are never impoverished by giving, only enriched, and there is always something we can give.”
And do not think that you can’t afford to tithe.
“It is when you think you can’t afford to tithe, that you cannot afford not to tithe.”
Tithing releases unlimited supply. You must share your substance to insure continuation of it.
There are ways to tithe…if not on income, then time and talent…. all part of what you have to share.
Sharing and expectancy are the beginning of financial increase because when you share, you can and should expect a new supply to come to you. Your faith and expectancy opens the way. It is the law of the universe. Just as you must give to make way to receive, you cannot give anything without getting something in return for it.
This is expectancy from the Universe in whatever way IT sees fit. Not necessarily as you do, keep in mind. It may be a car, for example, but red instead of blue…or in my case, grey instead of the white we all were expecting back in 2014.
What would you like to have more of? Close your eyes and imagine what it smells like,
what it tastes like,
what it looks like,
what it feels like.
Imagine it as if it were already yours.
If you are new to this type of thinking, you might want to start small. Would you like to have more happiness and joy in your life? Imagine what it would feel like to be happy and joyful.
Would you like to be gentler and kinder? Imagine what it would feel like to be gentle and kind.
We are pulling the power of the universe into motion, bringing whatever you can imagine into your life.
It is important to be very clear when you imagine what you want to manifest in your life. For example, if you imagine a new pair of shoes, be sure to imagine they fit well and are comfortable.
Maybe you want a better job. What are you doing in the new job?
Do you want better pay? What would you do with the extra money?
Have the courage to imagine your highest and best in the world. Have the courage to imagine a deeper connection to Spirit. Anything you can imagine, you can manifest.
This is like a mental Vision Board. And you can add affirmations to your visioning.; Rev. Catherine Ponder says: “The most powerful technique of all, however, is when you combine the power of the spoken word with the power of the written word and the power of imagination. Picture what you want in your mind, write out your desires on paper, and then speak the word out loud daily.”
When you begin to draw greater prosperity to yourself, don’t forget to be grateful.
Like Willy from the comic strip, Willy N Ethyl: Willy says to his wife: “We could’ve lost a freezer full of food when I accidentally unplugged the fridge. But instead, because it was totally empty, we lost nothing! We have to be the two luckiest people in the world!”
Here’s another story of the power of gratitude:
She smiled at a sorrowful stranger. The smile made him feel better and caused him to remember a past kindness of a friend. With that memory, he decided to write his friend a thank you letter.
The friend was so pleased to receive the thank you, that he left an extra-large tip that day at lunch. The waitress, surprised by the large tip, gave part of it to a man on the street.
The man on the street was very grateful, because for two days he’d had nothing to eat. After he finished his dinner, he left for his small, dingy room. He was feeling so warm and satisfied that, when he saw a shivering puppy on the street, he picked it up and took it home to get warm.
The puppy was very grateful to be in out of the cold. That night the house caught on fire. The puppy barked the alarm. He barked till he woke up the whole household and saved everybody from harm. All this because of a simple smile that hadn’t cost a cent.
We forget that sometimes the simplest things we do can be the most profound. Have you done any simple yet ‘profound’ things lately?
Rev Ponder tells this story of how she learned about Unity:
When I was young and my mother was raising three small children, she became quite ill. My father met an electrical engineer who came to inspect the Carolina Power and Light Company substation he operated in North Carolina.
My father told him about my mother’s daunting health problems. The engineer pulled an issue of Unity Magazine out of his hip pocket, handed it to my father, and said, “Call these people in Kansas City, and they will pray with you about your wife’s health.”
“But we are Presbyterian,” my father told the engineer.
“That doesn’t matter,” the engineer said. “These people are nondenominational and will be glad to pray for your wife.”
He did, and a few days later, my mother was up and around, functioning properly again. (She lived to the age of 80 and was active until her passing.) After that, whenever a problem arose in the family, my father would say to my mother, “Contact those people in Kansas City and tell them to straighten out this problem.” My mother dutifully did so and the problem got “straightened out.”
My mother kept leaving Unity publications around our house because she thought my father “needed” them, but he never took the hint. I eventually wondered what kind of “propaganda” my mother was leaving for my father, so I finally picked up an issue of Unity Magazine. I thought, Wow! Why didn’t Mother tell me what’s in this literature? This is what I have believed all my life.
After that I became an avid reader of Unity literature and books. In 1950, I attended a retreat at Unity Village with others from around the world and had the revelation that made a believer of me. I returned in the early 1950s to attend what was then called Unity Training School. I became a licensed Unity minister in 1957 and was ordained by Lowell Fillmore, son of Unity founders Charles Fillmore and Myrtle Fillmore, in 1958.
Those people in Kansas City can and have straightened out many situations through the years. We believe in the power we hold as co-creator with our Creator.
Lets take all this into meditation….