The Four Agreements – Always do your best
Welcome back to Unity Spiritual Center!
OK, we’ve come to the 4th Agreement, Always Do Your Best.
With this 4th Agreement, we integrate the first three and put them all to the test by doing each one in the best way we can. Easy, right?
Not necessarily so.
Have you tried one yet, much less all 4?!!?
So, let’s look at each of the first three agreements and what that would look like when looking through the eyes of doing our best.
The 1st Agreement; Be Impeccable with Your Word. As a reminder, to be impeccable with our word, we wish to observe our words, both internal and those we speak; to ourselves and to others, about our life and about society. This means no gossiping!
Have you tried that yet? It may be more difficult than you think. Think back over the last few days…how often did you find yourself in the midst of gossiping with family or friends, without even a second thought?
It is a serious ‘habit’ that many of us have and without much thought. So, review your recent discussions and when the talk came around to about someone, how much was gossip?
And how do we tell if its gossip? Great question.
The dictionary tells us gossip is “casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true”.
We can ask ourselves – Is It True? Is It Necessary? Is It Kind?
Is It True?
While we rarely speak with the intention to tell outright lies, that doesn’t make our words true. We can perpetuate rumors, spread gossip, exaggerate in ways that cater to our egos and personal bias. Or, we can simply talk in ways that aren’t authentic to who we are and what we want to communicate. When speaking, ask yourself, Is this true? And if it’s not, why am I saying it? What am I really trying to communicate by stretching the truth?
Is It Necessary?
Words that take the form of negative comments, complains, or insults can help air our grievances, but they don’t always improve upon the silence. While we mustn’t ever censor ourselves, there are many times when what we want to say isn’t necessary or helpful for the situation at hand. Or, it might be necessary, but not for the given time, place, or audience. It’s always worth considering, Is this necessary? Is this necessary right now? Are these exact words right for the message I want to communicate?
Is It Kind?
When you say things, are you showing empathy? Are you taking into consideration the feelings of others? Are you saying something that will lift the mood or lift the spirits of those in the room? Expressing kindness isn’t about mindless optimism or giving gratuitous compliments: it’s about knowing which words are the most compassionate. Sometimes, this means refraining from speaking at all. Other times, it means saying what has to be said but using only the gentlest phrasing. Always ask, is this kind? Does what I’m about to say express compassion?
The goal of mindful speech is not to police your sentences. The point is to be conscious of the words that we often take for granted. Being mindful about speech simply means slowing down and choosing our sentences with care.
Being impeccable and doing our best…are you doing your best when it comes to being impeccable with your words…spoken and thoughts?
It may mean taking a step back when gathering with family and friends and when gossiping starts, either excuse yourself, or, better yet, ask the people involved to refrain from using the power of words against others…including yourself.
Agreement #2; Don’t take anything personally. If you recall, this agreement also has to do with the power and magic of words. This is about how we react to what others say and do about or against us.
And how could we do our best with this agreement? Easily said but not necessarily done, remember that what others say and do is about them, not you. If we remember that it is about the other person, then we get to choose how or even IF we wish to respond.
It’s the old, don’t react, respond rule. And if we are good at keeping this agreement as best as we are able, then we are always in responding mode, not reacting. If we find ourselves reacting, we know that we are not doing our best.
And Agreement #3; Don’t make assumptions. The biggest and best way to always do our best with this Agreement is to ask questions. Make sure you are understanding what the other person is trying to say. It is up to us to understand the other person and if we don’t to ask for further explanation; if we don’t say, “tell me more,” then we are not doing our best.
And as the speaker, it is up to us to make sure the person you are speaking with understands what you are saying.
So, both persons in the discussion have a responsibility to each other. And THAT is how we do our best when we are not making assumptions.
Not only is this a great way for understanding communication, but it is also a way to be authentic, with yourself and with others. Being authentic is how we want to show up.
It involves doing the best that one can individually manage, which varies from the different situations and circumstances that the individual may encounter. Ruiz believes that if one avoids self-judgment and does their best in every given moment, they will be able to avoid regret.
By incorporating the first three agreements and doing the best they can in all facets of life, individuals will be able to live a life free from sorrow and self-ridicule.
Our best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to feeling ill. Or maybe you don’t enjoy the task at hand, do you slack off or do you put 100% into it?
We know what the answer SHOULD be to that question, but do you do your 100%, no matter what? I hope so, even if the 100% you give this morning may look and even feel different than the 100% you give this evening.
Can you admit to yourself and maybe even your family and friends, that sometimes your best is not your highest quality, but at the time, it is your best…and THAT is ok?
Can you be ok with that? If you are doing your 100%, you can’t do more than that, even if, yesterday, your 100% was a bit more quality than today.
And no matter what, you can’t give more than 100%…Not possible. It may feel that way to you, but it’s not possible. Sounds nice tho, doesn’t it? All you do if you try to go beyond what your 100% is at the time is frustrate yourself and probably wear yourself down. And often, trying beyond your energy level causes accidents and inadequate work.
So just try to make progress, do better the next time. Don’t compare yourself to others; your best is not the same as your friends or family. Just learn from your experiences and each time you will get better.
Under any circumstance, simply do your best and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
Did you know there is a 5th Agreement? Yes…Be Skeptical-But Learn to Listen. It has to do with saying what you mean, making sure you understand what the other is saying. It’s up to you to make sure you hear their words correctly just as it’s up to you to say what you mean, understand the intent of your words and what you are hearing.
There are many words of wisdom from our many masters and people who have shown us the way. Many paths on the spiritual journey. We often travel many of those paths until we find the right fit. And even that changes from time to time.
Pray for yourself and each other, that not only do we do are best, but we raise others up as we travel this spiritual path…whatever that path may be.
The Four Agreements, “Don’t Make Assumptions”
Welcome back to Unity Spiritual Center!
How’s everyone today?
We started this miniseries on The Four Agreements, a few weeks ago with the most important Agreement, Be Impeccable with Your Word. How have you been doing with that?
Being impeccable means watching all your words and use only words that express love, including your thoughts!
Not only ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ but THINK about others as you would have them Think about you!
Thoughts are powerful also.
We followed up that Agreement with number 2, “Don’t Take Anything Personally”. This agreement is about words too, but it’s about what others have to say about us and how we handle it.
Now we are at agreement number 3, “Don’t Make Assumptions”
For example: A policeman was heading home after a long, hard day on patrol. He had dealt with a whole succession of difficult people, and a mountain of frustrating paperwork. All he wanted at this point was to kick back, unwind, enjoy some peace and quiet, and maybe watch a few innings of baseball on TV.
But, as he neared his home, he was startled by a vehicle that came careening around a sharp curve and narrowly missed his squad car. As the car passed within inches of him, the other driver shouted “Pig!”
The police officer was suddenly energized. He slammed on his breaks, all set to turn his squad car around and head off in hot pursuit. But as he rounded the curve….he ran head-on into a large pig that was standing in the middle of the road.
How often do we make an assumption that turns out to be completely inaccurate? More often, I would submit, than when the assumption is correct.
We have the tendency to make assumptions about everything. It helps us organize our thoughts. However, as we said earlier, more often than not the assumption isn’t true.
And that is the problem, when we make an assumption, we believe it to be true, like our policeman earlier.
And when we make that assumption, it can lead to suffering.
We make assumptions about what others are thinking or doing – we take it personally-then we blame them and react by being angry, manipulative, or avoid the person.
When one assumes what others are thinking, it can create stress and interpersonal conflict because the person believes their assumption is a representation of the truth.
“Because we are afraid to ask for clarification, we make assumptions and believe we are right; then try to defend our assumptions and try to make someone else wrong.”
We only see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear.
The funny thing is that the only way we can see anything is through our own eyes – through our own experiences that lead to our assumptions. However, what Ruiz is cautioning us to do is to know this and to avoid projecting our perceptions onto others.
When you avoid projecting your perceptions onto others, you are better able to detach from a potential emotional charge that might or might not be intended. Also, you aren’t jumping to any conclusions until you have listened with clarity – you have actively listened.
To practice active listening requires you to listen with full attention, ask questions, and paraphrase/repeat what was said to check for clear understanding. When the other person agrees that you have understood them, the communication is less ambiguous and more harmonious.
This is easy to talk about and makes perfect sense, but it is not always easy to do. It requires commitment to the cultivation of habit and loving, undistracted focus.
Ruiz suggests that you find the courage to listen without making assumptions as well as to “express what you really want”. We can interpret this to mean that we must not make assumptions that we are being heard in the way we mean to be heard. This requires responsibility for your “voice”, and if you are misunderstood, it means that the issue might be the other person’s miscomprehension, or it might be your miscommunication.
Don’t make assumptions about this either because that is only a distraction and can cause an artificial emotional charge for the egos involved, including yours. Instead, take responsibility because if the other person has miscomprehended, it means that you have, nevertheless, miscommunicated!
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Asking “Tell me more,” or “I don’t know,” or even “I don’t understand,” can lead to further discussion and avoid the assumption that could happen if the questions were not asked.
Making assumptions in our relationships is really asking for problems.
We often make assumptions that our partners know what we think, what we want. We talked about this when we discussed “The 5 Love Languages.” Do you recall what your love language is?
Remember, a solution to overcoming the act of making an assumption is to ask questions and ensure that the communication is clear between the persons involved.
Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
The human mind works in interesting ways in that it has a need to justify everything, to explain and understand everything, in order to feel safe. There are so many things that the human mind cannot explain. It is not important if the answer is correct; just the answer itself makes us feel safe. This is why we make assumptions.
And probably why we have so many answers to the same questions. Just look at our politics. We made the assumption that everyone saw things as we do. They thought as we did, felt as we did, made judgments as we did…and THAT is the biggest assumption we can make!
So, the way to keep from making assumptions is to ask questions. Make sure to communicate clearly. If you don’t understand, ask. Have the courage to ask questions until you are clear as can be and even then, don’t assume you know all there is to know about a given situation.
Find your voice to ask. Everyone has the right to say no, but you always have the right to ask.
We are here to transform our lives and that of our Earth. We are to find the deeper parts of ourselves, to let go that which binds us and to find something larger which expands us and moves us into a deeper peace, a deeper appreciation and a deeper love.
Without making assumptions, your word becomes impeccable
The Four Agreements – “Don’t take anything personally”
Welcome back to Unity Spiritual Center!
Good morning again, and it is great to be with you again. Any way we can stay connected with you…right!
Let’s take a few moments to remember….not just what September 11th means to most of us, but to remember those who are not with us physically, but definitely, in Spirit.
We continue with our Series; “The Four Agreements
We are in our second week of this new series on the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. This series is giving us another opportunity to question where we are and where we wish to be headed on the spiritual journey, we call life.
Forward or backwards? Which will it be? Always your choice. Thought we know by now that going backwards isn’t really an option. Once we know these truths, we can’t really go back. That’s why our 5th Principle tells us to put our Truth into action, however that looks.
And these Agreements may help us all make the choices we need to make on the journey of forward motion.
Remember, these are agreements that you have made with life. You must have agreed with it to make it true for you.
So, did last week’s Message, “Be Impeccable with Your Word” start anything for you? Did it resonate? Did you consider your words and what they were telling you about yourself? About others?
We want to use our words to build up, not take down. We wish to speak with integrity and honesty.
This second agreement is about thoughts, words, and actions also, but it is about what others have to say about us and how we handle it.
“Don’t take anything personally”
When we take things personally, we are agreeing with what was said about us. We are trapped in ‘personal importance,’ everything is about me, me, me.
Are we really that self-centered?
Even when a situation seems so personal, maybe someone is insulting you directly, it’s not you. It’s the other person’s issue. Sometimes that’s hard to accept at the moment…we react instead or taking a breathe and respond.
I am sure we all have situations where we have been insulted, or hurt, by something that was said towards you. It can be difficult to not be offended when that statement hits a chord within you.
I can recall walking my first bichon, Tosha, she was getting old, walking slow, her fur not as thick, you could see her age spots through it. As we walked through the neighborhood, some teens skateboarded by us saying, “Ugly lady, ugly dog.” I must have believed that to have it bother me at the time.
Or when we had a chasm in our young Unity community a few years ago, I was told by one of the folks who suddenly left the congregation, that I didn’t know what I was doing, and we needed someone who did.
Each time I had to go within and see where I believed the statement and then heal that wound.
This is where forgiveness comes to play…again!
Forgiveness is the fulfillment of a divine law, one that can open my very soul to the presence of God within me and within others. Even when I believe I have been wronged by another person, I forgive — not just for the sake of the other person, but also for my own sake.
When I forgive, I am taking responsibility for cocreating my life. I don’t spend time blaming others for things in the past or make excuses for current outcomes. I invest my time and energy in cocreating powerful, new experiences in the present moment.
When I forgive someone, I may have some effect on that person, but I myself am deeply affected. Inner peace, caring, and respect fill my days as I bring spiritual qualities into expression in every activity of life.
So, pay attention to those times when we are wounded by another’s words or actions. See where the wound is that needs healing. And then work on that healing.
We can’t truly be free until we can stop taking things personally. At the time we get offended we have given our power to that person. We are being controlled by their words, behavior, their actions.
As soon as we understand that what others think about us is none of our business, we are free.
But when we buy into their words, we have given over to the attachment of those words…they now have meaning to us, we believe them. They have energy.
What would happen if we took that energy from being offended and use it to be transformed? To truly know who we are, what we are made of?
We are of God, Divine Spirit…we are spiritual beings; we are not powerless, not weak, but powerful.
Don’t react when someone says to you, “Now don’t take this personally, but…?” We know intellectually who we are, but we still get that gut reaction, don’t we?
We must learn to keep our hearts open and not take it personally. Whatever it is, it has nothing to do with us, it is about them. Hard to do…but it is worth the effort.
Stop living in the realm of emotions and the outer and begin to live from within. D not be a victim to others’ opinions…don’t take things personally.
Here are the steps to remember who we are when someone offends us:
- Be still, be silent
- Recognize that our buttons have been pushed.
- Look within to find the wounded place, an old story and heal it.
- Remember to open your heart.
- Remember we are made of spirit
- Remember that whatever anyone does or says to you, that it does not disturb the calm peace of your soul.
“Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality. When you are not immune to the opinions and actions of others, you will be the victim of needless suffering.”
Don’t choose suffering. Take the opportunity to transform that energy to growth. Be the true you…a part of our Creator, blessed to be here. Be grateful for all your blessings and share them with your family and friends. Share your love with the Earth and her children.
Let’s get back on track and take care of each other. And we can do that by knowing what we say and how we say it. Speak with truth and honesty, with compassion and love and we will transform our world to one of peace.
The Four Agreements – Be Impeccable with your word”
Welcome back to Unity Spiritual Center!
New Series: The Four Agreements
Do you remember when you were very young, growing up first in your family, and later as you made your way through your school. Maybe attending a religious service weekly.
And all the things, the rules and concepts and laws that you, and me…all of us, were taught as we made our way along in family and society.
We learned what our language was and our religion, what the rules of the house were and what would happen if they were not followed. And we continued to learn the rewards and punishments as we moved through all the parts of society…home, school, church, work…etc.
Don Miguel Ruiz calls these Agreements. We made agreements with our families, our school and workplace, everywhere. We allowed ourselves to be domesticated by our society, by these hundreds of agreements.
If we wished for acceptance, we strived to follow these rules of rewards and punishments. This was what brought us love…and who doesn’t want love?
If we are beautiful enough…we will be loved.
If we are smart enough…we will be loved.
If we don’t show emotion…don’t cry…we will be loved.
If we stood out with talent, athletically or academically or musically or artistically….we would be loved. We’d have fans.
Don Miguel Ruiz tells us, “Whenever we hear an opinion and believe it, we make an agreement, and it becomes part of our belief system. …somewhere someone told us through their word, that we were not enough, and we agreed with it.”
And so, we end up judging ourselves…comparing ourselves against others. We judge the others too, searching for perfection.
Well, the time of making our way through life repeating the same 95% of the 60,000 thoughts we have every day is gone. We are way past the time foraging for food while at the same time watching out for saber-toothed tiger attacks.
Of all these agreements, the most important ones are the ones you have with yourself…who you are, what you feel, what you believe, and how to behave. I see it as your true self, your integrity.
When we hold onto agreements that make us suffer, make us fail in life…they hold us back. They interfere with our inner as well as outer, growth.
We must find the will, the courage to break these fear-based agreements.
To do that, we can use these positive, Four Agreements:
- Be impeccable with your word
- Don’t take anything personally
- Don’t make assumptions
- Always do your best
By making a pact with these four key agreements, an individual is able to dramatically impact the amount of happiness they feel in their lives, regardless of external circumstances
First, Be impeccable with your word.
In Ruiz’s mind, this is the most important.’ Can you think why?
It is the most difficult one to honor.
To be impeccable means to be in accordance with the highest standards of propriety; faultless.
We are told that being impeccable means “without sin.” sin, according to Ruiz, is anything that you do which goes against yourself. When you are impeccable, you take responsibility for your actions, but you do not judge or blame yourself.”
We ‘speak with integrity.’ Saying only what you mean. And avoiding speaking against yourself or to gossip.
This is more than being honest. We are to use our speech to lift up ourselves and those around us, to build community rather than tear it down.
Being impeccable with our word begins with ourselves. We all know that a lot of negative self-talk goes on…in fact, we probably talk more negatively about ourselves than we do of others. If we use negative talk with ourselves, it’s bound to come out against others eventually.
Of course, we all make mistakes, but as we take responsibility for our words and actions without judgment for ourselves or for others, we learn and grow. And move forward.
Our words are not just a sound or a written symbol. They have energy, force…it is a power we all have to express and communicate, to think and to create.
We humans are the only creatures that have this power of the word, to create…like magic…
One of my favorite quotes from the Harry Potter series is:
“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it.” – Dumbledore
Words have power. Their meaning crystallizes perceptions that shape our beliefs, drive our behavior, and ultimately, create our world. Their power arises from our emotional responses when we read, speak, or hear them.
Take the words interview and interrogation. Which would you like to hear when entering a meeting?
Each one presented a different vision in your mind as to what you might experience in the meeting, did it not?
So, we need to choose our words wisely.
Rumi: “Raise your words, not your voice. It is the rain that grows flowers, not the thunder.”
We learned to gossip by agreement. As children we heard the adults around us gossip, openly giving their opinions about others… we thought this was a normal way of communicating.
We spoke more about gossip a few weeks ago when we discussed the song, “I heard it through the grapevine.”
Gossip is likened to a computer virus, using the same language but with harmful intent. Often, hearing something said about another is imprinted in our mind, and it is difficult to release. This is the harm of gossip. So you have a preconceived opinion of someone, often before you even meet them!
Do you recall the story I told you about a man living in a village. Here’s another example that you can see and maybe feel the result of careless words.
A father had been noticing his son and the anger he exhibited on a very short fuse. Finally, it came time to try a new way of discussing the damage that happens when we say things in anger, or even hurt, and how those words cannot be taken back.
The Father took his son to the back yard which was enclosed with a wooden fence, He handed him some nails and a hammer and said to let his anger out by hitting the nails with the hammer into the fence.
After the son finished all the nails his father had given him, he said he felt better. Then the father asked what if those nails were words spoken in anger?
Then he told his son to remove the nails. After that, the boy saw the holes that were left. His father explained even though the anger was expressed the damage done by the spoken words could not be removed.
This is an example of not only a safe way to get rid of excess energy but also the damage done when we do not handle anger in healthy ways.
We are imprinted with the words and the emotional code that they were said with. We may not know why the other was saying the words – were they angry, jealous? What was the motivation?
So, we end up looking through the other persons lens, their fear and judgments, instead of our own opinions.
I carry word I have heard in my younger years still…I try not to react to them, but sometimes I am not in a strong position, emotionally, and I let them linger until I turn it around.
We are always building our world with our words…. what are you building? Think about that.
If we are going to be Impeccable with our words, we are
- Building our own self up with the words,
- Supporting others, sharing love, radiating positive thoughts and feelings,
- Using our words in the direction of truth and the energy of love.
When we use our word to support another, to share love, positive thoughts, & feelings, we are actually loving ourselves.
We can only use our word ‘against another, (which is actually against ourselves) if we do not love ourselves.
Buddha – “Whatever words we utter should be chosen with great care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.”
From ‘The Four Agreements’ “For years we have received gossip from the words of others, but also from ourselves. We talk to ourselves constantly, and mostly saying things like: ‘oh, I look fat,’ ‘I look ugly,’ ‘I’m getting old,’ ‘I’m stupid,’ ‘I will never be good enough,’ and similar negative statements.” See how we use the word against ourselves?
Did you find one that you say to yourself?
We must begin to understand what the word is and what it does.
If we understand the 1st agreement, be impeccable with your word, we begin to see all the changes that can happen in our life. Changes first in the way we deal with ourselves, and later in the way we deal with other people, especially those we love the most.
Consider that your opinion is only your point of view, created from your beliefs, your ego and your dream. Spreading it to others is your ego wishing to be right.
Being impeccable with your word clears your mind from negativity, so only words of love survive.
Just this one agreement can change your whole life. It can free you from all fear and transform it into joy and love.
Here are some positive ways to put this into practice:
Ask yourself where you are impeccable with your word?
Practice using your words with integrity.
Begin with yourself…tell yourself each day how much you love yourself, how great you are, how wonderful you are.
Use words to break the agreements you have made with yourself, maybe through domestication with your family, your religious beliefs.
Speak only words of love, peace, joy.
Motown Series -“The Way You DO The Things You Do!”
Welcome back to Unity Spiritual Center!
Well, we’ve come to the end of our trip down Motown Lane. I hope you have enjoyed the journey and maybe looked at your music, whatever it is, in a different way. Music, like most things, can have many meanings, just as books, even the Bible.
When we look at how something resonates with us, we get a different message, and that can be different from one day to the next. I recall when listening to Gary Zukav’s book, “The Seat of the Soul.” Every time I listened, I got something more, different from it. I had that tape (yes, back in those days!) in my car and often popped it in to see what I’d get next.
I had challenged you to suggest a song for today’s Message, but only received an idea from Greg…these weeks “The Way You Do the Things You Do.” The Temptations had a hit with this list of pick-up lines that Smokey Robinson & Bobby Rogers joked with each other while pass time on the long bus ride, and then turned it into a song.
Now you may ask, how can a list of pick-up lines be spiritual? Listen to them…
You’ve got a smile so bright
You know you could have been a candle
I’m holding you so tight
You know you could have been a handle
The way you swept me off my feet
You know you could have been a broom
The way you smell so sweet
You know you could have been some perfume
And the kicker is the chorus….
Well, you could have been anything that you wanted to
And I can tell, the way you do the things you do
The way you do the things you do, the way you do the things you do
We have been told that we are All One, of God, our Creator. And we can be and do anything.
In John 14, Jesus tells us, “These things and more shall you do…”
So, again, if we truly believe; if we have faith, if we connect with our authentic self and get aligned with the Divine, we can do these things.
But let’s look at the words again. I am not sure that the important thing here is being a candle, a broom, or perfume. I think that it is significant that what makes them say that the girl can be those things.
I think the important thing is the smile that make him compare her to a candle.
Smelling sweet is the reminder of perfume.
Pretty as a flower. Smart as a schoolbook.
These are qualities that we might be looking for in someone.
They MIGHT be qualities we strive for in ourselves.
Unfortunately, most of these qualities are outside, superficial. And that is often what attracts us to someone initially.
But if we truly wish a connection, then we go deeper. We look for the qualities that our Way-Shower had…compassion, kindness, love for others, faith.
Our Unity Principles remind us that we are of God, the Creator. And that because of that, we are born as a blessing, not as a sinner. We are made it the image and likeness of our Creator, therefor we are all GOOD.
We believe that we make our days by our thoughts. If we don’t care for the way our days are presenting, we can change them by changing our thoughts.
The song is using positive thoughts to encourage the girl of their pursuit to turn her affections their way. They are attempting to influence her thoughts.
We let people do that. Sometimes it’s a good thing and other times not so much. We ARE to have dominion over our thoughts. All of us have probably let others influence us, for better or not.
The good thing is our thoughts can and will change our world if we wish it so.
Unity helped me do that. The only sad part was that it took so long to be presented to me. But they say, the teacher comes when you are ready. I had to be ready for that huge change in my life.
If you walked into Unity, no matter when it was for the first time, you were looking for something different. You probably were searching for a different way of looking at life. Or maybe you knew the religion of your youth was not what resonated in your heart.
And finally, you found Unity. And maybe your heart sang. Maybe you felt at home, finally. Or maybe you were afraid because this would mean a change…were you ready for that?
Some people thought they were and stayed for a while, but then it was too much personal responsibility, they actually had to work on themselves and so they left.
Some people never came back…nowhere near ready.
But others stayed. You stayed. I stayed. We all grew stronger in our faith; our spiritual journey was soaring. We were so happy to have found our home.
This is how it is. We do the things we do to further our soul’s journey, experiencing events and happenings in this physical plane, each with a lesson, large or small, to move us forward.
This is what I ask of you. If Unity has been for you anywhere near what is has been and is for me, don’t stop. I will not stop seeking, learning, listening, growing in my spirit.
I ask you all to do the same. Do the things that you do to keep your soul’s journey going.
Motown Series – “Ain’t no mountain high enough”
Welcome back to Unity Spiritual Center!
We are coming to the end of our Summer Series on Motown Music. Unfortunately, that means summer is closing in too. We still have lots of time for fun in the sun, so let’s get started.
This week we listen to the words of Marvin Gaye & Tammie Terrell and another hit for him, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”
Song co-author Nickolas Ashford strolling down the streets of New York, he observed the tall skyscrapers around him; they seemed almost mountainous. He thought about how nothing, not even these great and marvelous structures, could stop his dreams. When he sat down with his wife, Valerie Simpson, to write what would become a Motown hit, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” he thought about how love can be mountainous too. While Ashford and Simpson felt they could not do the song justice vocally, several people have endeavored to perform the song. The most notable versions are the ones by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell (1967), and Diana Ross (1970).
We are focusing on the first version, Gaye & Terrell.
In their duet “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” love is clearly the main focus as they profess their devotion and commitment to one another in alternating statements. The song is deliberately slow in order to make the lyrics and message–nothing can stop love– more impactful. The slow rhythm of the song contributes to the heartfelt attitude of the singers. Terrell tells Gaye “If you need me, call me, no matter where you are, no matter how far” and Gaye croons “I told you, you could always count on me, darling.” Gaye and Terrell alternate lyrics throughout the song instead of alternating verses. This alternating structure makes the song seem almost like a conversation.
Though most of the song consists of them singing to each other, both Gaye and Terrell sing the chorus, harmonizing with each other to create a sense of intensity when delivering the most memorable lyrics of the song. This intensity helps develop the loving and passionate tone they intend to express. In the chorus, they make use of hyperbole by claiming “ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough, ain’t no river wide enough to keep me from getting to you.” These lines convey the main point of the song: their love for each other is so strong, nothing can keep them apart. During the last verse, Terrell says, “no wind, no rain, no winters cold can stop me baby” and Gaye sings “If you’re ever in trouble, I’ll be there on the double just send for me.” Their belief in the strength of their love creates a sense of optimism and hope for the longevity of their relationship.
How can this love song be spiritual? What do you think?
I think it’s simple. It is about God’s love for us and our love for God. Much like the Song of Solomon, which Biblical scholars have interpreted various ways. Among Jews, the allegorical interpretation regards the book as an allegory of God’s love for the Israelites, with whom he has made a sacred covenant. Among Christians, the book is interpreted as describing the covenantal love of Christ for his church. In medieval mysticism, the Song of Solomon was construed to apply to the love between Christ and the human soul.
If we look at a few of the important words metaphysically, we can get another idea.
Metaphysical meaning of mountain from the Revealing Word tells us – A mountain represents an exalted state of mind where the divine plan may be perceived and unfolded; a state of spiritual realization.
The “high mountain” to which personality carries us in our spiritual uplift is the consciousness of power over mortal thought in all its earthly avenues of expression. Going up into the mountain to pray means elevating our thoughts and our aspirations to the spiritual viewpoint.
I believe going up into the mountain and coming down from the mountain are mentioned 15 times in the New Testament. Jesus goes up to pray, bringing his consciousness higher. He comes down to heal and spread the good news.
So, when we take ourselves into our higher consciousness, we are connecting to our Higher Self, our authentic self.
How often do we read or see Jesus and other spiritual people lifting their eyes…it has nothing to do with our childhood belief in heaven being in the sky? It’s about lifting our consciousness to be aware of our closeness to God and Divine Spirit’s closeness to us.
So, this song can be seen spiritually as all qualities of God. Nothing can keep us from them, because they are within us. Nothing can keep us from God, Divine Spirit, but our own thoughts…. the mountains of our own making.
We form whatever we will according to our faith & understanding. If we are weak, maybe struggling, and we all experience struggle, the walls, mountains, even hills we build are of our own making. We can shatter them with faith, prayer, & meditation.
Chopra – “we change the world most effectively through who we are, recognizing ourselves as one with Spirit. And being that open channel, good will flow through us.”
Another important point the song makes is
If you need me, call me
No matter where you are
No matter how far (Don’t worry baby)
Just call my name
I’ll be there in a hurry
You don’t have to worry
We all too often fail to reach out when we are tired, sick, maybe out of sorts. I used to call it the ‘ho-hums’ when talking with my Mother.
I am at fault too. Oh, I did ask for help each time I was laid up from the accident and the surgeries. But I’m much slower when it comes to my emotional/spiritual needs. I’m an introvert and tend to stay inside myself. Something I am working on.
How about you? Do you reach out when you need a listening heart? A helping hand?
Call. Write. Visit. Be a friend.
You know that saying, “if you want a friend, you have to be a friend”….
Motown Series – “Holy Ground”
Welcome back to Unity Spiritual Center!
Happy Anniversary to you all. And thank you for supporting Unity Spiritual Center
of Coastal Delaware.
You helped to make a dream of mine come true. I pray you will continue your support in all ways.
This week we are swerving away a bit from Motown because I love the song I choose and because it fits our celebration. And it is a reminder, that we are always standing on Holy Ground
Those words could be what we all thought in our hearts as we entered a Unity Center or Church for the first time. That is what I often think about…standing in a Holy Presence. That overwhelming swell of love and acceptance as one walks into the positive energy on Unity.
When I walked Through the doors
I sensed his presence
And I knew This was a place
Where love abounds
The first time a I walked into Unity, I was overwhelmed. It was a small space but filled with folks. The minister actually was leaving to work at Unity Village, so I barely got to know her, but the new minister was a mentor and guide for me as I pursued becoming a Licensed Unity Teacher.
But more important, it was a step into a spiritual journey of self-discovery and an opening to my Higher Self. Finding Unity was and is probably the most important event in my life. I thank Darla and O’Neal for that
What was it like, the first time you walked into Unity? (SHARE) pic
The words to this song can be so profound.
Here we can find Sweet peace of mind, Can still be found
If we are following the guidance of our Way-shower, we do and will find peace of mind when we give our hearts over to that still small voice that will guide us as we travel through each day.
And yes, there is joy beyond all measure…
We must do our part if we wish to live a life filled with joy. Oh yes, there will be opportunities for our growth, but our mis-step is dwelling in what seems hours and hours of turmoil when in the reality of our life, it is only a moment.
We too often dwell in the Valley of the Shadow, when in reality, if we pick up the tent instead of setting it up and continue through to the other side, we find friends and family there to help us. We sense the support that comes from the prayers from our Prayer tram and Silent Unity. And we feel the arms as they circle us in the warmth of a hug.
We need to do our part when it comes to our spiritual growth. As the message from our first songs in this Motown Series reminded us, we must Reach Out. And as today’s song is telling us we must reach out and claim it.
It is our responsibility to claim what we have a desire for. And we must do all the work to prepare for that gift from the Divine. Remember, the Universe is always for you. Nothing and no one is against you.
It is us who place the barriers in front of us. And it is US who must push them away.
No, we don’t have to do it alone. That is one of the reasons we have Unity Spiritual Center. And the Men’s Group. And the Women’s Circle. And classes. And Meditations.
And leaders within this community.
But we must all do our part.
I ask you to ask yourself time and again…”What is mine to do?”
How do you answer that now? (SHARE)
Motown Series #5 Higher Ground
Welcome back to Unity Spiritual Center!
Our journey through some of Motown’s great music has been fun and enlightening.
We started with ‘Reach Out, I’ll Be There” by the Four Tops and ‘I’ll Be There” by the Jackson 5. Both songs spoke to the reality that God, our Creator, is always there for us. God does not move from us, too often, we do. We just have to remember that that Divine Energy is always with us, in us…we just need to be willing and open to connect.
Next, we let the Temptations take our “Imagination” and let it float away. Imagination is one of our 12 Powers. And we were reminded that all we see before us is brought to manifestation through IMAGINATION.
Marvin Gaye’s “I heard it Through the Grapevine” was a reminder of the perils of gossip. I can imagine that each of us has had an experience of gossip and the damage and hurt can cause. So, we should all put that type of behavior behind us and walk away. Even better, ask the person attempting to engage you, to stop.
Today, we are listening to “Higher Ground” by Stevie Wonder.
People, keep on learnin’
Soldiers, keep on warrin’
World, keep on turnin’
‘Cause it won’t be too long
Powers, keep on lyin’
While your people keep on dyin’
World, keep on turnin’
‘Cause it won’t be too long
I’m so darn glad He let me try it again
‘Cause my last time on earth I lived a whole world of sin
I’m so glad that I know more than I knew then
Gonna keep on tryin’
‘Til I reach my highest ground
Teachers, keep on teachin’
Preachers, keep on preachin’
World, keep on turning
Cause it won’t be too long
Lovers, keep on lovin’
Believers, keep on believin’
Sleepers, just stop sleepin’
‘Cause it won’t be too long
I’m so glad that He let me try it again
‘Cause my last time on earth I lived a whole world of sin
I’m so glad that I know more than I knew then
Gonna keep on tryin’
‘Til I reach my highest ground, whoo
Til I reach my highest ground
No one’s gonna bring me down
‘Til I reach my highest ground
Don’t you let nobody bring you down (they’ll sho ’nuff try)
If you listen to the words, and relate to what he is saying, it’s very interesting. At least for me. I believe he is talking about how frustrating life can be when it seems that we never get past the sameness of every day.
Learning, warring, turning, lying, dying…
And then “it won’t be too long…”
It won’t be too long for what? Lots of negativity there.
Well, surprise! He gets another chance at life through reincarnation and changes his life, his outlook on life, and sees things from a Higher Ground—a different perspective.
The thing is…. We don’t have to wait for reincarnation to have a better life. We can start right now.
Haven’t we spoken about this time and again? To ‘REPENT’ which means, Metaphysically, to look at things differently. When our perspective changes, everything changes. That’s what “Change your thoughts, change your life” is all about.
If you look at the New Testament, there are 15 references to our Way-Shower, Jesus, going up a mountain, or Higher Ground and sitting in prayer and meditation, or coming down from a mountain and healing.
The Revealing Word tells us “Mountains are symbolic of an exalted state of mind,” or a state of spiritual realization may be perceived and unfolded, making real in our lives the peace and love of God.
So, how do we achieve this Higher Ground, this higher consciousness?
Through prayer and meditation, quiet contemplation.
Speaking of prayer, Unity’s World Day of Prayer is September 8th. Check out the plans from Big Unity at Unity World Day of Prayer 2022
And remember, we pray for our benefit, not the divine Spirit that we are one with. We are the ones that moved away from God in our hearts and sometimes actions.
As we pray and meditate, we not only shift our perspective, but we lift the collective consciousness of the world too. As we heal, we heal the world.
This makes our personal work even more important.
Meditation is a type of mind-body medicine. It has been practiced for thousands of years. During meditation, you develop intentional focus and minimize random thoughts about the past or future.
The purpose of meditation is to expand the consciousness toward the Christ of your authentic self, to bring into realization divine Truth, to be transformed in spirit and body by the renewing of your mind.
Unity author May Roland tells us: “The silence is not something mysterious. It is that inner place of stillness where you feel and know your oneness with God.”
Meditation may offer many benefits, such as helping with: Concentration; Relaxation; Inner peace; Stress reduction; Fatigue; & Emotional well-being
Research has found that meditation may help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. When combined with conventional medicine, meditation may improve physical health. For example, some research suggests meditation can help manage symptoms of conditions such as: Chronic pain; Asthma; Cancer; Heart disease; High blood pressure; Sleep problems & Digestive problems.
There are several ways to meditate. Traditionally, we think of someone who is meditating as sitting quietly, often with their legs crossed, and fingers touching. (Pic)
But many people can meditate while walking on the beach, or taking steps through a garden, even doing the dishes.
The important point is quieting your mind.
So, when you are practicing meditation, find a comfortable place to sit, away from others so you will not be disturbed. Give yourself time to go deep. If a thought comes by in your mind, watch it go, not holding on to it but seeing it travel out of your thoughts.
As I hope you know, Unity is here to aid you in your prayer and meditation practices. I mentioned earlier, World Day of Prayer is coming up next month.
And we have Karen’s meditation group on Monday evenings. Talk with her if you wish to get on that ZOOM call.
If you check out our FB page, https://www.facebook.com/www.unityspiritualcenterofcoastalde.org, I often post other meditations from Big Unity and other Unity’s as well.
This is the reading I selected for today’s Message:
Divine Spirit, as I seek a deep and real closeness to your presence, I realize that only when I am lifted up in consciousness and stabilized in a loving and faith-filled approach to life will I have perfect answers to my prayers.
I know now that my good comes through me – through my ability to meet all things in a constructive way. I bring myself to You to be lifted up.
Lift me into the thought of perfect life, that my body may show forth health and wholeness. Place me on the higher ground of perpetual renewal and restoration. Lift me into the feeling of universal love, that my heart-range may expand, and a flow of happiness may be expressed through me. Place me on the higher ground of harmony with all people and a realization of the goodness of life that never ends.
Lift me up and place me on higher ground, that I may always abide in Your presence and be one with perfect life and love.
Lift up your eyes to the higher plane that we know is there to remind us all that Spirit is always with us, to guide, love and protect us.
If we consider the beginning of Stevie Wonders song, we can relate to the business and frustrations we all could experience each day.
But we are reminded again, that that does not have to be our reality. We have been given dominion over our thoughts, we just have to take that responsibility on and think good thoughts, be present in our lives and do what is our to do to make this a better world.
Motown Music – “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”
Welcome back to Unity Spiritual Center!
I do hope you are enjoying our trip into the wonderful music of Motown. I have been enjoying researching it and listening to the songs we will be discussing.
This week, we listen to and explore the sound of Marvin Gaye and “I Heard it Through the Grapevine”
This song is a simple but still powerful example of gossip.
It was the first of Gaye’s songs to hit #1.
What is gossip? It is casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true
To hear something through the grapevine is to learn of something informally and unofficially by means of gossip and rumor. The usual implication is that the information was passed person to person by word of mouth, perhaps in a confidential manner among friends or colleagues.
When I was young, (very young!), our families often vacationed together, a couple of my dad’s brothers and sisters. All the families often went to Cowen’s State Park, in western PA. One of the games we played when we all gathered together was called Telephone. Did you ever play it?
We made a big circle in one of the cabins all sitting on chairs and benches. We’re talking 30-40 people. One person would start by whispering some word or phrase into the ear of the person next to them and it would be whispered around the circle.
By the time it got all the way around, it usually was nothing near what it started out as.
My Dad was usually the guy who came up with some weird phrase that usually ended up with the most laughter.
But gossip is usually not a funny thing.
And this is a good example of the dangers of gossip. What may, and that is a huge may, have started out as an innocent comment, most often turn out much more damaging.
When we talk about other people, we may end up ruining another person’s reputation. A reputation is very fragile. When you gossip, you are helping to destroy something extremely valuable.
There’s a story about a man who lived in a small town. He was new there, so most didn’t know much about him.
One person started to gossip, saying some unaccounted things and it quickly spread through the town. The man was deeply hurt, and finally confronted the gossip. After explaining how wrong the information was and how hurt he was, the gossiper asked how they could repair the harm they had done.
After thinking a bit, the man said to take a feather pillow, go to the top floor of their home, rip the pillow open and send the feathers out an open window.
Then, go out and try to gather all the feathers up.
This is the harm of gossip. Once the words are out, you can’t take them back. Those words can ruin friendships, marriages, word relations, lives.
Gossip and rumors can destroy a person’s self-confidence and affect their self-esteem. It also can lead to depression, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders, anxiety, and a host of other issues.
Too often we have seen the affects of gossip leading to a child taking their own life.
Words are powerful. Just ask any child who is being bullied.
Or as Professor Dumbledore stated: “Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it.”
If we search the Bible, there are many references to gossip, in both the Hebrew and New Testaments. There are many references in Proverbs:
Proverbs 20:19 A gossip betrays a confidence; so, avoid anyone who talks too much.
Proverbs 26:20 Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.
Proverbs 16:28 A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.
Proverbs 11:13 A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.
And the Book of James is filled with such references: James 3:1-4:12
This section of James’ Epistle is so clearly written that very little comment is necessary. Careless talk and idle gossip caused dissensions and disturbances in many of the Christian groups, and James felt it necessary to admonish the offenders. “The tongue is a little member and boasts of great things,” he wrote, but see “How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire!” (James 3:5). James thus indicates that offenses of this sort could endanger the entire church and should be immediately checked.
Gossiping often carries an element of malicious criticism and judgment of others, and so it also strengthens the ego through the implied but imagined moral superiority that is there whenever you apply a negative judgment to anyone.
Metaphysically, we could ask ourselves why can we become so jealous and manipulative at the thought of hearing through the grapevine that our lover was leaving us?
The Course in Miracles tells us: the ego lives in comparisons; the ego attempts to always feel special and melodramatic.
As we move away from fear-based ego & onto our spiritual journey, our relationships may turn to fear, our partners want us to change back. This is ego, asking us to go back to what we were.
It is up to us to stand strong and see this as an attempt to keep us from moving forward.
Here is a response to the question: “How can I stop gossiping?” from G. Leroy Dale, Unity Minister—
All of us were given freedom of thought when God created us, but few of us have realized our personal responsibility involved in using thought. All that we think, say, and do registers in our subconscious nature and comes forth again by the law of attraction, to bless or to injure us or others.
A Truth student who realizes his personal responsibility for thinking discovers that what he thinks frees or binds him. So, he studies Truth to learn better ways of thinking, and thereby frees himself from many unhappy experiences.
If caught in a gossipy “talkfest,” simply keep thinking thoughts similar to the following:
What is being said here is of no consequence to me. The perfect action of God is taking place here through all concerned and only Divine Mind ideas are being contacted and expressed. Kindness, love, generosity, and understanding manifest through and for all, myself included.
The result will be that your own soul will not be contaminated, the so-called “gossips” will soon stop gossiping, no one’s reputation will suffer, and peace for all will prevail.
And I conclude with this message from Eckhart Tolle:
Here’s why you should not GOSSIP:
In Ancient Greece, Socrates had a great reputation of wisdom. One day, someone came to find the great philosopher and said to him:
– Do you know what I just heard about your friend?
– A moment, replied Socrates. Before you tell me, I would like to test you the three sieves.
– The three sieves?
– Yes, continued Socrates. Before telling anything about the others, it’s good to take the time to filter what you mean. I call it the test of the three sieves.
The first sieve is the TRUTH. Have you checked if what you’re going to tell me is true?
– No, I just heard it.
– Very good! So, you don’t know if it’s true.
We continue with the second sieve, that of KINDNESS. What you want to tell me about my friend, is it good?
– Oh, no! On the contrary.
– So, questioned Socrates, you want to tell me bad things about him and you’re not even sure they’re true?
Maybe you can still pass the test of the third sieve, that of UTILITY. Is it useful that I know what you’re going to tell me about this friend?
– No, really.
– So, concluded Socrates, what you were going to tell me is neither true, nor good, nor useful. Why, then, did you want to tell me this?
“Gossip is a bad thing. In the beginning it may seem enjoyable and fun, but in the end, it fills our hearts with bitterness and poisons us, too!”
Motown Part 2 – “It’s Just My Imagination”
Welcome back to Unity Spiritual Center!
Back for our second week on Motown Music…Motown Magic!
This week we are taking a listen to the Temptations, “It’s Just My Imagination.”
We know a lot about imagination in Unity. Imagination is one of the 12 Powers that we all have within us.
Cora Fillmore stated, “Imagination is an attribute of God. It is the formative power of thought, the molding power of the mind. It is that which gives shape, tone, color, to thinking. In Truth, every word, every combination of words, has back of it an image, a thought picture. These images, these combinations of shapes working in omnipresent substance, mold our lives.”
Charles would call it the nerve center between the eyes. Through this, the formless takes form.
Without our imagination, there would be nothing. We need to imagine it to make it manifest. Remember, we are co-creators.
Just take a moment, take yourself back to when you were thinking about something you wanted to do, say paint the living room, or plant a garden. You let your imagination flow, devising different colors on the walls or in the garden. If you actually put feet to the thought, you ended up with a different color in the living room or a beautiful garden to enjoy through the days of spring, summer and fall.
We all use our imagination all the time. Sometimes it for a specific purpose. The imagination of a handful of people manifested Unity Spiritual Center. Your imagination can help to maintain it and see it grow and prosper.
Your imagination is the first step to manifestation. Feeling it, holding it, living it leads to the full manifestation.
Listen to the words of this weeks Motown Song
“Just My Imagination” by the Temptations
This song is an example of someone using their thoughts to imagine a relationship with another. Principle 3 “Since we are children of God, made in God’s image, we are co-creators with God. We create reality through our thoughts and beliefs.”
Or, as we often hear: Thoughts held in mind, produce after their kind.”
We have all daydreamed about one thing or another throughout our lives.
But what is the difference between a daydream and using our imagination to manifest some desire into form?
In a daydream, do we hold it in mind? No. It is short lived and we move on, often suddenly awakened by someone nudging us back to reality!
In a daydream, do we put energy behind the thought to bring manifestation forward? No. Our energy is not grounded in the daydream.
In a daydream, do we put feet to the prayer? Not usually. We usually get busy doing what we are supposed to be doing, like listening to the teacher, or doing the dishes, or back to work before the boss comes by.
It’s No to all these questions. In a daydream, we let our thought wander to wherever they wish to go, there is no intent behind them.
But, when we bring an idea from Divine Mind and have desire behind it, we hold that in mind. We put desire behind it. We give it some detail, not too much, to imagine it in form.
It is the desire, the energy behind the idea that helps to bring it forth.
Emily Cady tells us, Desire is an expression of the inmost being of man; the onward impulse of an ever-evolving man.
However, she says, all the desires we have ever had, have now, or will have in the future, are part of the one desire- to truly know God, not merely to know about our Creator
Cady continues, “Even one who has strong desires never gets beyond mere “daydreaming,” unless their desires are backed up by an understanding faith. Desire is related to vision of some hoped-for good, but faith measures one’s capacity to receive that good; faith has been called the “measuring cup” that sets the time and quantity.
Because imagination is the faculty that actually molds and shapes substance, we may sometimes overlook the fact that it takes desire to determine the shape that imagination will work with. Our desire, the yearning for some good, comes alive under the action of faith and sets the imagination to work.
Just to hold a thought of some good in our intellect does not stir the soul to desire, for feeling is part of desire. We awaken feeling when faith is brought into conscious expression. An idea must go into the feeling nature, to become a desire that can “shape” the good we long for. We may be aware of many things in our conscious thinking, but until what we are thinking becomes impregnated with feeling in the (the heart, we will have only unfulfilled desires. When faith is linked with, understanding and imagination, we have added the feeling or conviction that can bring the good we desire into visible form.”
AND, we have no preconceived idea when or how it will manifest. It is all on God time, not ours.
I can imagine that if the gentleman in the song sang it daily with deep feelings, he may manifest his desire.
Look at the times in your life when you had a thought or idea that you wished to become real. Did you hold it in mind with feeling and desire? Did you put your energy behind it as well as your action?
If not, maybe you can see why it did not manifest. Your thoughts must be aligned with your body, the desire must run true throughout your being.
Think of elite athletes. Part of their training is using the imagination as a desire, to see and feel themselves moving through the skill. The muscles memorize what is needed to perform the act.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Albert Einstein
And why would he say that? Here are some thoughts:
- Imagination ignites passion. As adults we have been forced into a world of responsibility and practicality where money, bills, and jobs (many of which we hate) dictate how we live, breathe, and experience the world. Dreaming of what can be allows us to tap into our imaginations again, reminding us what it feels like to be passionate about something. Somewhere along the lines we have lost that connection to passion and purpose in life and replaced it with survival and responsibility. Who says you can’t be passionate and responsible?
- Our imagination and thoughts create our future. It’s long been said that ‘thoughts become things’ and our imaginative muscle is the very thing that helps make that possible. When we stay immersed in what is directly in front of us at all times (i.e. our current reality, in the NOW), we continually create the same challenges, problems, and experiences over and over again. But, when we venture into our imagination to focus on the reality that we want to experience, the energy is set in motion and magnificent change can occur.
And as Albert Einstein so eloquently stated:
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview for life’s coming attractions.”
- Imagination stimulates creativity and innovation. Some of the most influential and innovative creations have come from the simple act of imagining something bigger, easier, or more beautiful. Scientists and creative artists have an amazing gift for thinking outside the box and allowing their imaginations the freedom to grow and evolve their thoughts, many of which have created products that have changed the way we live entirely. Without this creative power we may never have had the internet, smartphones, airplanes, and other amazing technology we rely on every day. Simply put, imagination is the key ingredient to expansion and the advancement of our world.
- Imagination is magical. Take a moment to watch a young child play alone and you will experience first-hand the magic that comes from imagination. Creative thought turns the mundane into a magical experience. It is what turns a simple box into a powerful rocket, a laundry basket into a pirate ship, and a simple bathtub into the deep blue sea. Taking a moment to view the world through a child’s eyes is enough to bring back the joy and wonder that imagination brings. How amazing would our world be if we all experienced that same joy and wonder on a day-to-day basis?
- Sometimes reality just sucks. Watching the news and hearing about the violence, crime, sickness, and sadness in the world is enough to make anyone believe that things are falling apart. By falling into the trap of ‘what is’ and believing that this is just the way the world works, we become a victim and relinquish our true creative power. Choosing to use our imaginative muscle as a means of creation provides hope. And where there is hope there is ultimately an opportunity for transformation and change. Two things that are necessary for us to create a better world for generations to come.
Albert Einstein had it right when he said:
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
Reality is merely an outward expression of what we have chosen to accept and focus on in the world. But when we turn our thoughts to that which we want to create in our lives, the possibilities are endless. With that kind of imaginative power, why would we waste it focusing on the mundane only to perpetuate a reality that is less than optimum? We have the power to create so much more and it is up to us to use our imaginations to change our lives and our world for the better.
How to imagine your future
The mind’s ability to turn imagination into reality is truly very powerful. If you want to have a creative mind, just follow these steps:
- Describe or draw your desired image, seeing yourself successfully, as you’d like.
- Breathe deeply and relax. This way you’ll be more responsive and able to create a more detailed picture, since what you imagine must be as close to the real experience as possible. Pay special attention to the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and any other details of the scene.
- Imagine your desired results. Imagine that they’re really happening, and imagine yourself in the present tense with phrases like “I am,” and forget the “I hope” or “I’ll try.”
- Create positive emotions such as joy, happiness and relaxation in the scene and smile while you’re imagining.
- Spend five minutes mentally visualizing the image you want realized, a minimum of twice per week. Try it first thing in the morning before getting out of bed, and again at night just before bedtime. Free yourself of tensions, and imagine yourself in a calm and relaxed place. By Lamisha Serf-Walls, Contributor, Transformational Coach
I’ll close with the Reading I chose for today’s Message: Imagination
I use the power of imagination to shape and form my thoughts into positive, constructive action.
If I have dismissed the activity of imagination as unproductive, wishful thinking, I need to recognize that imagination is a gift from God. How I use the power of imagination determines the productiveness of it. When I put my imagination to good use, I realize good results.
Imagination is a direct inheritance from God. As I use the power of imaging, I accept divine ideas from God and form them into an appropriate plan of action in my life.
The powerful process of imaging helps link divine ideas in mind to their manifestation in reality. I use my imagination to plan for success. I am led to think positively and constructively, and also to act in positive and constructive ways. I follow the plan of good that my use of the power of imagination has already established in my mind.
We have a lot to think about this week. Let’s start with meditation.