In A World of Uncertainty

There is a saying, “The only constant in this life is change.”   We all know this to be true.  Everything is always shifting in energy and form.  Seeds become plants, sunny weather turns to rain, families increase in number and decline in number.  There are ways that we experience change that we celebrate, and ways that we experience change that cause distress and sometimes pain.

Some people say, “I love change; I seek it out.”  Other people will say, “I dislike change, I like things to stay the same so I know what to expect.”  From my perspective neither one is right or wrong.  It is more a matter of personality preference.  Change is inevitable so how do we come to the changes that are active in our life?  The truth that may be more difficult to really take in is, change is always working in our favor… for our good.  

I have experienced both sides of this coin: love change/ do not like change.   I used to say I thrive in change until I went through a very difficult change that affected every aspect of my life…especially my thoughts about who I am.  One of the ways this time in my life changed me was around my thinking that if I am enjoying the change, I must be doing it “right”.  By embracing the belief that I create my experience, I remember there is a higher Truth that is happening that I may not be aware of in the moment. Those moments of pain or discomfort may be times of healing deep-seated beliefs of limitation and separation.   

What shifted and made the difference for me was awakening the spiritual practice of acceptance.  It does not matter if you love change or not, the way to walk through it is the same.   What does life look like when we accept everything exactly as it is and are fully present in the moment?  Acceptance is the first step in awareness.  I accept, not deny, not try to fix it. I accept what is happening is happening.  In the moment, I am fully aware and can sit with the emotions that arise. In this place of acceptance there is no blame of others; thus, I am 100% responsible for what I create. One hundred percent responsible!

The way I understand 100% responsible takes into consideration that I am responsible for the thoughts that I am holding in my mind.  Can I be love in this situation?  Can I fully love myself and who or what I perceive as other?  

Acceptance is accepting all of the experience just as it is.   It is so easy to make up a story around what is happening and how what is happening will affect our life.  Feelings are messengers, and it is my responsibility to listen to the message without getting hooked on a story.  There was an

old detective show when I was growing up called Dragnet.  The detective would say, “Just the facts ma’am.”  Sticking to the facts of a situation without wrapping it in meaning can allow me to see it from a broader perspective.  By being aware of my feelings, I can become aware of the message about my experience that my soul is trying to give me.  These emotions can appear as thoughts, heat, cold, aches and pains, goosebumps, or elation.  When I think of change from a negative standpoint, I may think that walking through the emotions means walking through pain.  This is not necessarily true.  Awakening to Presence through my feelings can be awakening through joy, peace, and a sense of appreciation. 

Acceptance is awakening the wisdom within and the power to take meaningful action.  When the message is from the ego, trying to tell me to beware we are entering unknown territory, I can 

breathe into it and assure myself I am safe. It is only by allowing the feelings to be what they are, can I move through them to understanding and the power that lies within.  When the message is one of joy, I can take measures to share that joy with the world.  

Acceptance is awakening our power to step out and take inspired actions or to sit down and allow it to be what it is.  We live in a world of uncertainty.  God is not a part of that uncertainty. The uncertainty is whatever we are making up in the moment. There is a spiritual process at work within us that is guided and supported on all levels of our being.  By practicing these steps we have the capacity to live life fully no matter what it brings.  

In the gospels, Jesus was actively engaged with this world and centered in knowing the Divine Presence within him.  Was his life uncertain?  I do not believe Jesus knew everything that was going to happen.  What he knew was that no matter what happened, he could choose what to create out of the situation.  We too have this power within us.  No matter what someone else says or does, we have the power within us to choose our thoughts around the situation.  

In a world of uncertainty, I choose love.  

LIVING BAREFOOT ON HOLY GROUND

In the book of Exodus, God tells Moses to remove the sandals from his feel for he stands on holy ground (Ex 3: 5).   What would life look like if we recognized every moment and every place we stood as being holy? ALL MOMENTS AND ALL PLACES.  If I am experiencing conflict: holy ground.   If I am experiencing a health challenge: holy ground.  If I am experiencing a belief in lack: holy ground.  If life is flowing just the way I want it to: holy ground.  When we recognize that we are always on holy ground, we are living in the flow of life.

So often I hear people say they are in the flow.  The interpretation is, life is going my way.  My health is good, my bank account has money in it, there is no conflict in my life.  God is on my side.  I must be doing it right.  The truth is we have moments where all is well in our world, and we face difficult challenges in this life too.  What is important is to remember that God is every where every when present.  God is equally in the spaces and times that we interpret as good, and the spaces and times we interpret as challenging.    All circumstances that we experience in this life have the potential within them to lead us toward our good.

I have a coffee cup that says, “We do AMEN in our home”.  Amen is one of the most powerful words we can speak.  It is declaring something to be so, in this moment: holy ground.  The literal translation of AMEN is truth, verily, and so be it.  When we are in a place of forgetting the truth of who we are, like Moses did, Divine Intelligence is there speaking within our heart and mind: Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground, the ground of infinite potential.

No matter how experiences are showing up in our life right now, there is always the potential for greater good.  Affirm the truth of who you are, and remember to take off your sandals for the you are standing on holy ground.

 

 

 

The fourth week of Advent: Joy

On this fourth week in Advent, I want to take just a moment to acknowledge the joy possible within this season.  Joy is more than an emotion of extreme or lasting happiness.  Joy is an expression of Love that acknowledges the power of God active in, through, and as every aspect of our lives.  Joy is part of what might be called a mystery of faith.  The mystery of experiencing joy even in the midst of the challenges of daily life.  We can experience joy even in the midst of pain or perceived tribulation.  As an expression of Spirit, Joy is strengthens, inspires, and uplifts us.  Joy, like our other expressions of Spirit, needs to be nurtured and matured in order for us to benefit from its fullness.

One way to nurture joy is by paying attention to the thoughts that we think.  Thoughts are things.  Thoughts are not just passing energy that has no affect.  Thoughts already have form, and when we speak that form out loud we give it whatever energy is there. Are we thinking thoughts that create discord, or are we thinking thoughts that create harmony and goodwill?  A part of the Christmas story is when the angels come and bring tidings of great joy.  They sing Glory to God in the HIghest, and  Peace on Earth Goodwill toward humankind.  The blessing they bring is for all humankind not just the shepherds. As we move forward through this week of Christmas may we all look for those thoughts that bring us joy.  This year may we  consciously express Joy bringing Goodwill toward all.

May your Christmas be filled with Hope, Peace, Love and Joy.  May we all know the blessings of this season and the mystery of newness in the coming year.

The Power of Divine Love

In this third week of Advent, we look at the power of Divine Love.  The best description of Divine love I found is in the classic New Thought book, It’s All God, by Walter Starke, he says:  Without a doubt, at the birth of Christ Consciousness a new kind of love was introduced to humankind, an all-inclusive, spontaneous, altruistic, universal love __ Agapé love.

This Agapé love is the love that was brought into the world when Jesus was born.  Jesus came to bring in a new paradigm and it has taken us 2000 years to progress enough in consciousness to begin to understand what that means.

Love, as it has often been thought of, was exclusive.  It was reserved for family, clan, those who spoke and understood the world in the same way we do.  Jesus brought in a new and higher understanding of love.

In the past, we may have been told about the characteristics or traits that we need to get rid of or control.  They are the traits that we may put into a negative category: anger, depression, sadness, being over-excited to name a few.   These are not negative in and of themselves.  It is what we do with them that matters.  These traits are merely messengers.  Messengers that come to reveal to us areas within our consciousness that we are attempting to exclude and are making themselves known so that we may bring them into a state of love where all healing takes place.   Love releases all judgment, and sees these moments of awareness as gifts to allow all aspects of ourselves.  Inclusivity!

For instance: I recently resigned from my position as a hospice chaplain in Prescott.  I was having dinner with a one of the social workers and my supervisor when the social worker looked at my supervisor and said, “Well, you know, she holds down two full-time jobs and is a care giver for her husband.”… I heard it, and a still small voice within me said, “What is that truly about?”… The answer that came back surprised me.  I felt like I needed to do and be more, because I wasn’t enough.  OOOOHHH!  I thought that I had dealt with that issue.  Instead of pushing it away and denying it, I held it.  I asked for the feeling of not enough to tell me more.  It’s an old habit.  The belief was, if there is an empty space, fill it. Busy = productive=good.

It is only in holding this belief even though it is uncomfortable, and allowing it to reveal within my heart and mind that which is asking for healing: asking to be brought into wholeness, that I can release judgements and step into a new way of being.  A way that is freeer and more joyful.   It is through this awareness and acceptance that I can make conscious choices around what I take on.

Loving ourselves wholely is the greatest gift we can give to the world.  May this season bless you with inclusive love.   It is as we love ourselves that we are truly able to love others.  

Gracefilled Blessings,

Charli

First week of Advent: Hope

Mother MaryI love Advent! I especially love this first week.  I’m still in the newness of the holidays.  Decorating has begun, buying gifts for loved ones, spending time contemplating this holy season and what it means to me this year.

Each year I open myself to see and hear the sights and sounds of Christmas in a new way.  What is the deeper understanding of this season, and the events told of long ago?  Of course the Marys are close by, both Mother and Magdalene.

When I envision Mother Mary being approached by the angel Gabriel, I don’t see a little peasant girl poor and shy.   I see a strong young lady who knows, on some level, that she is called to birth a deeper reality of Spirit into the world.  She might not have known it would be in the form of a child.  There are always mysteries to the ways that we are called to express Spirit in this world.  There is a spirit within us that is ever calling us into these mysteries.  I call that spirit HOPE.

Hope might commonly be thought of as a deep wishing for something to happen that isn’t happening.  Hope, elpis in Greek, is a great anticipation of good, and expectation of 100% completion.   Hope is that within us that knows who we have come here to be at this time on this planet, and the ways that we will birth that truth.  That hope is going to look different for each of us.  The power comes when we, as Mary did, say yes even when we don’t have the complete picture.  Every time we say yes to this desire within, we demonstrate within this world a greater reality.  It is by standing in our hope that we make a difference in the world.

May this Christmas season be one of Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy.

Grace-filled Blessings,

Rev. Charli

 

THE THREE GIFTS

Once upon a time in a land far away there was a young girl named Isabel. Isabel was born into a very poor family.  Her parents did the best they could, but circumstances of life kept them stuck.  From an early age, Isabel’s greatest desire was to serve God in this world.  If she could please God, everything would be okay.  She went to church – the right one – and obeyed all the rules. As Isabel got older, she read scripture, and tried and tried with all her might to be good.  She read things that told her if she did the right things, nothing bad would ever happen.  God would protect her.  But bad things did happen. They happened in her life, in the life of those she loved, and in the lives of people she didn’t even know who lived on the other side of the world.  Isabel’s heart was broken and the burden made her very tired. The more she tried, the more alone she felt.  The more alone she felt the more she felt like a failure.  Then the depression set in.   What is the use of all this work if there is only pain?  Where is God in all of this?  What did I do wrong?

One night, while in a deep sleep, a beautiful woman came to Isabel in a dream.  The woman was dressed in the most exquisite blue robe, her eyes were the color of the earth and radiated a compassion Isabel had never experienced.  In her left hand she held three stars, and in her right was a ruby red apple.  The woman smiled at Isabel, and offered her the apple.  Isabel was surprised by this gesture.  Old fairy tales of older women offering young women poisonous apples ran through her mind.  The old woman laughed because she could see what Isabel was thinking.  Her laugh was like water running down a stream; bubbly and light, filled with gaiety.  There was no judgement.

Isabel, she said, the apple has always been thought of as the forbidden fruit that caused all of humanities troubles.  It is the fruit that opened Adam and Eves eyes to the polarities of this life.  As we accept life as life is, our eyes are opened and we have the potential to see a new.  What was once thought of as a curse is actually a blessing.  This is true with much of life.  My daughter, I see that you are hungry and yet not satisfied.  Tonight I come to open your eyes to the three gifts of life and light:

Isabel takes the apple from the woman and bites into it, her seeing begins to shift; her heart opens, her mind becomes clear and Isabel begins to see her life with a new clarity.   The woman invites Isabel to have a seat next to her, and this is what she says.

The three gifts I bring this night are the gifts of Presence, Love, and Wisdom.

The first gift is Presence. We are always in the Presence and the Presence is always in us.  This Presence is the good you desire in your life.  As you take in this truth, your eyes are opened and you see the Presence of God at work in every situation, relationship, and circumstance.  This does not mean that every situation and circumstance of this life will be easy; rather that, your inner eyes will be opened to know that God is in this present moment.  God is absolute good; therefore, everything and everyone has within it at its core the seed of good.  When our eyes interpret something as less than what we would desire it to be, or find difficulty seeing the Presence, it is an opportunity for us to stop and refocus.  As we do this, we may be called into action.  Not action from the standpoint of fighting against what we don’t like, but of drawing forth the seed of good that is already there.

The second gift is Unconditional Love: From a human perspective, what you call love is an emotion that flows through your consciousness and therefore is based on your perceptions of what you like or don’t like, what you find acceptable and what you don’t find acceptable.  Unconditional love is the Presence active in and through you.  As your inner eyes are opened to the everywhere Presence of Good, you open yourself to the everywhere Presence of Love.  One of your biggest blocks that makes you feel as if love is being withheld from you is your belief that you must earn God’s love.  That would be like saying you need to earn air in order to breathe.  All you need to do is accept the love of God that is everywhere present.  One way to do this is by acknowledging no matter the circumstance: God is present here as unconditional love, and that love is being revealed through you in ways that are unmistakable.

The third gift is Wisdom:  This ever present Presence, God, is within us; therefore, we have the power of divine wisdom ALL OF THE TIME.  No matter what the question or circumstance if we stop and be still wisdom will speak within our heart and mind.  This wisdom is the uniting force of the Universe.  Wisdom empowers us to create good wherever we are.  Isabel, this gift of wisdom does not mean that you will not face challenges.  It means you never face challenges alone and without a course of action that will awaken you to deeper truths of who you are.  You are loved beyond measure.  I behold the Christ Consciousness in you.

Isabel was deeply touched, tears of joy and peace flowed down her face for the first time in a very long time.  She looked up at the woman and asked, How do I follow these truths?  What books can I read?  What groups can I attend?  What television shows do I watch?  What teachers do I follow?

You have spent many hours searching for the right answers.  The right way to be and the best actions to take.  Let go, your search is over.  You have found yourself.  You are the Presence, Love, and Wisdom of God in expression.

The woman smiled a big smile and said, stop and listen, your heart and mind will show you the way.  Remember your wisdom lies within.  As you open to this, you will be drawn to those who will support you on this path. And above all remember it’s not about being supported as much as it is about supporting others to know they too have these three gifts within them.  This is how you will strengthen these gifts within you.  Use them in service to your world.  All that you need to know will be revealed to you, as you need it.  Trust in the goodness of God and yourself.

With that, the woman was gone, and Isabel woke up.

Living (W)holy

frozen wave against sunlight

Over the course of the past couple of years, I have been undergoing a transformation process that has led me down roads I never would have dreamed of going.  I have heard people talk about past lives, referring to times in their life that were so different from how they were experiencing life now.  I understand that now.

When I was going to ministerial school, it was a requirement to write a credo. Mine was,  there is One presence, One power active as the universe and as my life, love.  I do hold this belief close to my heart, and… I have come to realize that my actions demonstrated another belief: avoid conflict at all cost.  Some who know me, may not think that was the belief, because my behavior was sometimes irritable and irrational.  That is what happens when we live out of alignment with who we really are.  The conflict within expresses outside of us. We begin to resist life and the way the people in our life are expressing.  It may show up as anger, depression, or defensiveness.  What I know for sure is it causes a great deal of unnecessary pain for everyone.  The question that arises from within is: where in my life am I saying one thing and acting in a different way?  What are the values that I hold dear, but out of unconscious thoughtlessness or habit act in another way.? This is not a bash on myself.  It is an awareness that I can only express from the level of  consciousness that I am believe to be possible.  It is for this reason, I believe this to be one of the most important questions we can ask ourselves.

Becoming aware is the first step to any change. One of the most powerful ways to become aware is through asking questions.  When we ask questions such as, where in in my life am I demonstrating the core values I say I believe, or what are the driving values in my life, can empower us to make choices for ourselves that bring good not only into our personal lives, but into the world.

Having recently engaged these questions, has led me to reacquaint myself with my credo, and re-vision my purpose and mission.  I know, as an expression of God, I am whole, harmonious, creative, wise, and compassionate.  I am open and receptive to the inspiration that guides me in demonstrating these qualities in my life.  I once heard a minister say, “I can hardly wait to see how God is going to show up here.”  He wasn’t implying that God was absent and would magically appear and wave his magic wand to make everything okay.  It was a deeper reminder that God is every where every when present.  Remembering this truth empowers me to live from my wholeness and to express in new and dynamic ways.  I can hardly wait to see how living fully from the awareness that there is only one presence and power active in the universe and as my life, transforms this life.

What are the questions that are arising within your soul?  What change might they bring as you engage with them and discover new truths about the power and creativity within you?  It is one thing to just ask the question, and another to actually take the time to sit down and listen for an answer.  I believe the answer to our questions is always being transmitted within our hearts.  It is the answer that actually calls the question into mind.  If we did not already have access to the answer, there could be no question.  We don’t need to look outside of ourselves to know the answer and to access the wisdom to live from these higher truths.   Each of us has within us the power and creativity to live our lives in ways that awaken us to a grace-filled life.

Grace-filled Blessings,

Rev. Charli

Living Lighter, Freer, more Joyfilled

The question arises in my mind: What has happened in your life lately that makes you smile or laugh out loud?  Do we take ourselves and this human experience too seriously?  I know there are times when I have and do.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe we are in the midst of a great consciousness shift that requires us to take seriously our thoughts and actions — our thoughts and our actions.

We have been talking about what it looks like to live life on purpose.  Even saying, I’m living life on purpose, sounds very serious.  It can sound as if we are saying, there is a purpose for your life and you better get to it.  I don’t think that is exactly what living on purpose is.  For me, knowing my purpose is a way to live life from a freer more alive consciousness.

Being an introvert, I tend to project a more serious side more often than I would like to admit.  I have thought about this , because this serious side can be interpreted as snobby, judgmental, or uncaring.  I have spent many years judging myself as wrong for being this way, and trying every technique in the book to change it.  This judgment feels like a burden or as if I have a weight around my neck. It creates a spiral that is even more serious.  Recently I discovered a new thought about a way to live lighter, freer, and more joy-filled.  What do I appreciate about myself?

What is it that you appreciate about yourself?  When was the last time you sat down and contemplated that question?   Really allow the answers to come up without judgment of their value on the imaginary scale of your ego.  Make the list as long as you can make it. List the smallest things to the largest things.  Leave nothing out, and remember no judgment.

Now create affirmations around these qualities, focusing on the ones you want to expand and experience more of.    Here is a link to a guided meditation intended to instill these qualities in your heart and mind in an expanded demonstration.  meditation

Each of us is created uniquely in the image and after the likeness of God.  These qualities, skills, attributes that make up who we are, collectively make-up our gifts to this world and humanity.  It is our God essence shining forth.  As we center ourselves in an awareness of these qualities, the invitation we experience is a life that is lighter, freer, and more joy-filled regardless of the circumstances around us.

Join me on a journey of lightness, of centered awareness, and freedom to be our unique individualized self.

 

 

Has Life Become Too Serious

The question arises in my mind: What has happened in your life lately that makes you smile or laugh out loud?  Do we take ourselves and this human experience too seriously?  I know there are times when I have and do.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe we are in the midst of a great consciousness shift that requires us to take seriously our thoughts and actions — our thoughts and our actions.

We have been talking about what it looks like to live life on purpose.  Even saying, I’m living life on purpose, sounds very serious.  It can sound as if we are saying, there is a purpose for your life and you better get to it.  I don’t think that is exactly what living on purpose is.  For me, knowing my purpose is a way to live life from a freer more alive consciousness.

Being an introvert, I tend to put my more serious side forward more often than I would like to admit.  I have thought about this , because this serious side can be interpreted as snobby, judgmental, or uncaring.  I have spent many years judging myself as wrong for being this way, and trying every technique in the book to change it.  This judgment feels like a burden or as if I have a weight around my neck. It creates a spiral that is even more serious.  Recently I discovered a new thought about a way to live lighter, freer, and more joy-filled.

Teilhard de Chardin said, we do not become completely ‘reflective’…. except by being reflected in each other.

Paul in the 1 Corinthians 12 goes to great lengths to explain that there is one body with many different parts.  That no aspect of the body is less than any other, and that we are created differently in order to create a greater whole.

It is our diversity that makes us one.  It is by being in community that we reflect back to each other that which completes us?  When I have an argument with my husband, instead of making him wrong and the bane of my existence; I have an opportunity to see what he is reflecting to me that completes some aspect of myself.  When we see polar opposites not as either/or, good/bad, right/wrong, but as both/and we can embrace our differences to create a greater experience of wholeness and joy.

pexels-photo-164531.jpeg

When we are truly living on purpose —  being led by the indwelling Spirit —  everyone and everything benefits.  There is no separation, and there is a lightness that expresses through us.  It is time for us to see our diversity as a gift that completes the picture of humanity.  It is time for us to embrace our differences knowing that as we do so we will be in lightened.  It is this lightness that brings healing to our hearts and minds.

My invitation to you is to ask yourself who the people are in your life that you want to see as wrong?  Then ask, what part of the whole is being expressed through this person?   Just as the picture shows, where one decreases, the other increases and it is through these perfect fits we create a world that is a living expression of the Christ.

Grace-filled Blessings,

Rev. Charli

Forgiveness and Purpose

nature water flowers lake
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Living our purpose is about fully engaging life at the level of consciousness that reflects and manifests who we are.  It is one thing to have an idea of who we are and another to fully step into the power of expressing that on all levels of being.   As our purpose becomes clearer and begins to unfold, we catch glimpses of  it coming into manifestation in our life.  During these moments we may experience great joy or a deep sense of peace, and we say yes to Spirit through our energy of fun.  And then… we begin to recognize those areas in our life that are not in alignment with our purpose.

These revelations can sometimes be painful, and we may at first think that all this work was for naught.  From my perspective, we can look at these revelations in at least two different ways. We can lower our vibration by thinking thoughts of accusation and shame toward ourselves and others, or we can honestly assess the circumstances with a willingness to see with new eyes.  In order to fully engage in true transformation we must be willing to honestly look at what thoughts and beliefs we are holding on to that are not in alignment with who we are.  This is the part of transformation that we so often want to skip over.  If I just change my thinking to positive, this negative will go away.  It appears to be a bit more complex than that in my life.

Spiritual principle tells us we are a part of the  natural flow of giving and receiving in the universe. Therefore, we must be willing to give in order to open space for new ideas, feelings, behaviors to take root within us.   We often think of giving in terms of the physical. The aspect of giving I would like to speak to is forgiving. 

Albert Einstein said, We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”  Jesus said much the same thing when he taught us to love our enemies, and pray for those who persecute us.  (Matt 5:46)  When we raise our vibration to the level of affirming the One everywhere every-when presence and power of God, we open ourselves to see whatever is happening with new eyes — eyes of compassion and understanding.   This is true For-giveness. 

There is a paradox within this principle.  When we give from an open heart without expectation of return, we open ourselves to receive even more than we gave away. If we give with expectation of return, we draw to ourselves only what we expect.  Metaphysics tells us that there is always a greater good underneath appearance.

True forgiveness is about letting go and creating space within ourselves to express more fully our divine purpose.  It is only through expressing our divine purpose that we experience the fullness of who we are: Christ Consciousness.  Expressing that Truth is our purpose; our gift to the world.