September 13th is Unity World Day of Prayer. One of the many things I love about Unity is its empowering approach to prayer. Instead of beseeching help from a separate, “out-there” God, Unity practices affirmative prayer, claiming the outcome we want as already being truth. For example instead of asking for healing from an illness we affirm the health and wholeness that is our natural state. Instead of asking for more money, we affirm our place in the flow of infinite abundance where all our needs are met with ease and grace.
This type of prayer is not so much asking something of God or placing an affirmation in our mind as it is lifting our eyes above the appearance of limitation or lack. It’s about cleansing our mind and releasing its inherent power.
In affirmative prayer we enter into conscious remembrance of our Oneness with Source and of our Divine Nature. In a Letter to Adam, Sue Sikking writes, “True prayer is not asking for things, not even the best of things. Prayer is the lifting of the consciousness to the place where these things are.”
Prayer, like meditation, is even more powerful when two or more gather together with shared intention. During this World Day of Prayer for twenty-four hours people across the globe will be joining together activating the inherent power of mind to create good in our lives and world.
Together, we lift our consciousness to the place of peace and wholeness, which is our natural state. Let us all begin to hear the ancient familiar melody reminding us who we really are in full glory and goodness. The love that we are, the only thing that is real, pours forth with such fullness it leaves no room for anything else. Healing dances into every corner of creation. A song of peace echoes through the world with every choice we make. We affirm the Kingdom of Heaven is here now. And so it is. Amen.
I recently made the painful decision to pull away from someone who has been one of my closest friends. This person did something extremely dishonest and unloving and, although the love is still there, the trust is gone. Even though I miss the friendship I know this is the right decision.
The whole situation proves, once again, that relationships are our most profound classrooms. Now that I’ve gained some distance I can see what a terribly noisy relationship this was. What I mean by that is that this person always has a lot of drama swirling around her and, against my norm, I allowed myself to get wrapped up in it. The uncomfortable truth is that she fed my ego and vice versa. I have no doubt that there is genuine love between us, but there is also no doubt that out relationship wasn’t completely healthy. I knew I was acting unwisely when I put myself into a position of dependency on her but I did it anyway. And I paid for it. And it hurt in more ways than one.
Now that the noise has quieted the most amazing thing is happening. Into that void is flowing the voice of Spirit. I am hearing my own Higher Self, far more directly and more often. The plain truth is no other person can ever fill our need to develop a deep, honest relationship with ourselves.
Noisy, co-dependent relationships keep us identified with voices and opinions of ourselves that are not really ours. They are just an attempt by our small, ego self to distract us from our True Self, in all it’s magnificence.
Today, I respect myself enough to prioritize my inner relationship. Today I am listening to, and valuing, me.
I celebrated my birthday last week with our annual raft trip down the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue River. Four solid days with no cell phone, emails, TV, radio or motors of any kind. Just flowing water, wild critters, dear friends, decent food, good beer and my journal.
There is no more calming, grounding therapy than getting unplugged from devices, and so-called news and plugging into Nature. Feeling the warm earth under my feet, rocking on the water surrounded by, immersed in, flow and cascading river song. At night, the brilliant display of truly dark skies pin holed by a billion bright cosmic lights.
There is a beautiful practice in A Course in Miracles known as the Holy Instant.
This is becoming fully present in the now, releasing any notion of past or future. In that space we remember who we really are, spiritual beings, at one with, an extension of, the Creator, Source. Touching that place, the Truth behind the illusions we regularly plug into, is one of this life’s most beautiful experiences.
I’ve stopped being surprised, but haven’t stopped being saddened, by how many of my clients, my fellow advocates, activists and social entrepreneurs, get so caught up working to protect the planet and change the world that they fail to get out there and actually experience it!
By the time I emerged from wilderness I was excited to reengage with business and life’s busyness, with texts and emails and errands. I’m happy to note that a little bigger piece of now is with me in the process.
So, friends, if you are feeling stressed, or sad, overwhelmed or worried, leave the devices behind and go get a hug from Mother Earth. She’s there for you whether deep in wilderness or at the corner park. Breathe her in. Listen. Remember you are an extension of God, ever supported by the spiritual substance from which you were created.
Unplug. Choose a different outlet. Plug into the present moment. Remember who you are.
Also, this fall I’ll be offering a group Course in Miracles teleconference class. Please let me know if you might be interested in being part of it. I love sharing this life-changing set of teachings with friends and colleagues. I would love to share it with you.
We’re hearing a lot these days about “Confirmation Bias” in our media choices. This is the tendency we have to only tune into (and be sent info from) media sources that are likely to confirm what we already believe. Because it is challenging for us to admit me might be wrong we gravitate toward messages that tell us we’re right (even if we actually are wrong!). This leads to a massive constriction in our worldview.
But there is an even more dangerous version of Confirmation Bias — and that is the tendency we have to keep believing our own limiting stories about ourselves and our world.
These stories we tell ourselves LITERALLY create our experiences in life. Take that in for a second. Your life reflects the stories you have accepted as truth.
This puts a whole new spin on “Who do you think you are?” Victim. Overcomer. Don’t really deserve. Not thin enough. Not smart enough. Not good enough. Unlucky. Happy. Gifted. Fortunate.
We also create the lens through which we view the world. Hard. Dangerous. Dog eat dog. If you believe life is hard and you have to fight your way through then you will do a lot of struggling. Believe me, I know all about this one!
If you believe most people can’t be trusted then you’ll see a lot of untrustworthy people. Due to my childhood I used to believe that, but when I got a little distance and looked deep, I realized by far most people I’ve encountered have been good and kind people. I am now continuously blown away by the beautiful, caring, generous people that come into my life.
It took me until my late 40’s to shift the belief that I was a survivor to the truth that I AM a thriver. Talk about a powerful life lens changer!
Confirmation bias in our media choices leads to a constricted worldview. Staying blind to the confirmation bias in our self-beliefs leads to emotional constriction and constriction of our true potential.
Your core beliefs and your constructed identity are like powerful magnets drawing to you experiences that confirm those beliefs. One of the most important self-empowerment strategies is to become aware of the stories you’ve been telling yourself about yourself and our world. This is your life. This is your story and you absolutely have the right to rewrite it!
It may surprise you but I want to say thank you to the Oregonian newspaper. Without their 3½ years of ongoing attacks I would never have grown and deepened as I have, and am.
I truly would have been surprised if they hadn’t launched another one just on the eve of my TEDxBend talk. They did. And all it’s done is generate a flood of love and encouragement from friends and supporters all across the community. For that too I am grateful.
Someone just asked me if I felt like the Oregonian was my Goliath. I started to say yes and then realized that actually they were just a symptom of my real Goliath, and that is my (up until now) lifelong sense of not being good enough. That giant has caused me some real harm over the years. But in an amazing turn of events, the Oregonian’s nastiness has helped me find liberation. Now, each one of their attacks just becomes another stone in my sling helping me slay the giant of limiting self-beliefs.
As I’ll talk about on Saturday one of the huge upsides of these ongoing challenges has been learning that peace and empowerment is a choice and there are practical ways to grow our ability to stay above the battlefield and in joy despite the crap that might be swirling in the circumstances of day-to-day life.
What’s your Goliath? And what tools, however strangely or perversely disguised, can you use to bring him down?
Huge love to all of you for being there and showing kindness and support. I look forward to seeing a bunch of you this Saturday.