Feminine Face of Grace

As I have been working on this blog post, there is a strong argument going on within me about stressing the feminine face of grace.  Grace is not either/or, it is both/and.   Grace is equally masculine and feminine, because Grace is God’s love in action, and nothing that is God can be either/or.  Grace as love in action reveals itself in different ways depending on where we are in consciousness.  Much like a parent’s love shows up in different ways depending on the age and development of the child.  There are times in our journey of life where grace shows up as the stranger who helps us in our hour of need.  In other times, grace shows up as a feeling that all is well in the midst of turmoil.  Action and Being; male and female.  Yet, my guidance for today, which I am choosing to follow, is to write about the feminine face of God.

Grace, I believe, is a misunderstood spiritual principle.  We may find ourselves thinking that we are in God’s grace when things are going our way, when we feel as if we are living in the flow of life, and that God has removed grace when we are facing hardship and challenges.  Grace, in its broadest sense, is the activity of Spirit as love in its many expressions awakening us to our True Self.  Grace is living from the awareness of One Presence, One Power, One Will, One Awakening, and we are That.  Grace is the revelation, the knowing and out picturing of the Truth of who we are.

Our vision is limited at best.  When we surrender into our greatest good, grace opens our eyes and hearts to see and experience more of what we are, and how we are expressing that is not in alignment with our True Self.   It feels so good to see our goodness; our love and good actions, but what about when we become painfully aware of those traits we have learned that are not a part of who we truly are.  What about those thoughts of; I love you. except when.  I accept you, as long as you are doing what I want.  I will be with you as long as you see the world exactly as I see it.  It is the feminine face of grace that heals our woundedness in order for us to fully live; to fully love.

What are our feminine traits and why is it so important that we connect with them?  We all, as humans, have both male and female traits.  So, men, this does not exclude you. I believe that we are being called to activate our feminine traits, as humankind, in order to bring us into balance and to transform our collective consciousness.  Feminine traits include: Surrender, receptivity, empathy, radiance, flow, sensuality, nurturing, affection, sharing, tenderness, patience, and loving.  These are what I would refer to also as the being traits. The masculine traits are the doing traits,. We’ll look at them another time.

When we look at these feminine traits and the power of Grace, there is an undeniable connection between grace and the feminine aspect of Spirit.  It is Grace that empowers us to surrender our old beliefs in order to open ourselves to a new way of Being in the world, but not of it.  It is Grace that opens our hearts in receptivity, empathy, nurturing, affection, tenderness, and patience.  When we express these Divine attributes without exception or judgement, we are conduits of God’s Grace.  Where in your life, right now, today, can you Be God’s Grace?  Is there someone close to you who could use tenderness instead of judgement?  Is there a place within you that you can open to and allow God’s Grace to heal?  Allowing Grace is not about doing the right thing, it is just being with God’s love.  There are so many people and places that would benefit from the Feminine Face of Grace, the beingness of God’s Presence.  Take a moment today and share God’s Grace.

 

Awakening The Divine Feminine

For some time now, I have had what I refer to as a minor obsession.  I have been fascinated by the Marys in the Bible, especially Mary Magdalene.  She would just keep showing up in different books I would pick up or someone would give me something that was representative of one of the Marys.   I couldn’t figure out why.  So, I just let it be, knowing that someday more would be revealed.

Ta Ta da da!   Someday has arrived.  As I have explored this idea that we are not only being called to wake up spiritually, but to also be raised up to become spiritually adult, I am recognizing the power of the Divine Feminine.   It is one thing to have a spiritual experience and another to do the consistent work that is required to allow that experience to transform all aspects of our being.

One of my challenges over the years with the idea of teaching about the Marys, who represent the Divine Feminine, is that I don’t think of myself as a feminist, or a women’s libber.  Yet, there is something that is so profound and True about what I believe Mary has to say to us today.   This teaching is not in opposition to the Divine Masculine.  It enhances and brings balance into all of life.

As more and more people wake-up in consciousness, it is imperative that we provide support and nurturing for them to develop all aspects of themselves to match the awakened energy.  It is as if we are teenagers in consciousness.  We have adult bodies, but not the consciousness of an adult.  It is the Divine Feminine within each of us that can bring us into balance and harmony: into the wholeness of our being.

The time around my leaving Unity of Prescott has proven to be a time of distinct transformation.  I thought I was leaving for one reason, and it turns out that was not at all the Truth.  Leaving has opened a doorway for me to take responsibility for my past actions, and not introject what is not factual.  Introjection is a new word for me and was introduced to me through Ken Wilbur’s Integral Philosophy which I have followed for years.  To introject an idea is to take something that someone else says and you own it as true about yourself.  We talk so readily about the destruction that can happen in relationships when we project our issues onto someone else.  We don’t talk about the trauma  we cause ourselves by taking on someone else’s projection as true about us.

I believe that the Divine Feminine is the aspect of us that helps to discern the Truth of who we are in relationship with All That Is.  Just like a nurturing mother figure helps us to discern what is true when, as a child, we have an argument with a friend .  This nurturing mother within us helps us  discern what is true in order to know ourselves more completely.

When we own our wholeness as the Truth of who we are, which includes owning our Divine Feminine nature, resistance of all kinds falls away.  Without resistance to what is, there is nothing to defend or fight against, which is where much of our conflict comes from.  This process allows us to see from a higher vantage point the situations we face in our day-to-day lives.  We must be cognizant of the danger that lurks in the idea of rising above a circumstances that we do not like.  It is the Mary, Divine Feminine, within who can help us make sure we are not using the idea of stepping up in order to stand on and push down our feelings.  Living in balance with the Divine Feminine, we are already in an open energy that invites us to see and know where our growing edge is.  The Divine Feminine is bringing us into an awareness and maturing of our souls in order to live life fully from an open heart all of the time.

Passions of Life

Lately I have felt as if I am living in the perpetual question: What….?  I even considered giving up the word, but found that was more difficult than it sounds.  It’s not the question, it’s where the answer comes from.  Do I ask What and then just give the first answer that pops into my mind, or do I use it as a tool to dive deeper into awareness itself.
Last week I wrote about The Three Sisters: Purpose, Passion, and Prayer.  Our Purpose is to know/love God as the indwelling Presence I AM, to know/love our selves as an expression of the Divine Presence, and to know/love others as Self.   It is through the power of passion that we open ourselves to new ways to experience this knowing, this loving.
Passion is the energy of Spirit moving through our lives as Divine Ideas.  I capitalize Divine Ideas because when they come through as our passion, they are pure.  Passion moves us into action.  It is the fire in our soul that propels us forward on our spiritual path.
Over the past month or so, I have been reading and contemplating about Pele, Hawaii’s Goddess of the volcano.  She is the Goddess of fire, which both destroys and creates new life.  When I think about this Goddess within me, I think about her fire burning away the old beliefs and attitudes that stand in my way of knowing/loving God, self and others, while being a catalyst for new life expressing in beauty and Truth.
So, the question arises, “What am I truly passionate about?”  I am passionate about experiencing God as All That Is in new ways.  I am passionate about teaching classes. Not so that I can impart my great wisdom to others, but to create an open space for us to share our collective wisdom.  I am passionate about my family.  I am passionate about nature, and the beauty of this planet and its creatures.  I am passionate about humankind and how we are evolving as we open more and more to the knowing of our oneness.  I am passionate about creating meaningful friendships in my life.  I am passionate about this blog.
Each of these passions are very real for me, and you may have different ones.  If I take one of them and take it deeper into consciousness and ask What is my passion about teaching?  I love the openness, the exploration that brings that aha moment both within me and others.  I love how it so often turns out that what I am teaching is what my soul is calling for me to learn.  I love how Spirit speaks through everyone in the room, especially those who may be new.  I love how classes create a connection in consciousness between the students.  I love that preparing for classes makes me aware that I am just as much a student as anyone else.  I don’t have a special connection to the Divine that is not possible for all of us.  I love how teaching reminds me that we are all taking this journey of life and I don’t have the answer for you, but you do.
What are your passions?  Take them deeper and ask what is my passion for _______ really?  And look at what appears.  This is a great way to be clear on what your passions are, which are not the same as anyone else’s.  There are no shoulds when it comes to passions.  They are.  It’s that simple.

3 Sisters; Purpose, Passion, and Prayer

I woke up this morning fully aware that in a little over a week I will be speaking at the International New Thought Alliance (INTA)  Conference in Scottsdale, and I have not started working on my talk. I chose the title, 3 Sisters; Purpose, Passion, and Prayer,  several months ago when I was first asked to speak.  This is not usually how I prepare for my talks, so now I am sitting with it and listening for what these three words mean to me today.  So, over the course of the next few weeks, we will explore them together.

For so many years I thought purpose was what we think our life means.  What is the reason that I am alive at this time, living in this place, in relationship with these people.  I think it is so much more than that.  Purpose is about who and what we are, and how our awareness of this makes a difference in the world.  It’s not so much “my purpose” as it is “the purpose”.  The purpose is different for different people, but the bottom line is to recognize and live from the awareness that we are ONE: one with our self, one with others, and one with God.

One with our self means that we know our True self and integrate all aspects of our self into one.  This means that we do not disown parts of our self because we don’t like it. The shadow that shows up and misbehaves is not the enemy, but a part of our self looking for compassion and redirection.  How might our happiness meter change if we treated our self with compassion and gently redirected those thoughts that are not in alignment with our True purpose.

One with others is more broad.  When we think of being one with others, it is easy to include those who are close to us, and are behaving the way we would like them to behave.  We are called to know our oneness with the stranger and the enemy.  We are called to know our oneness with the earth and the animals.  We are called to know our oneness with those who are on the other side of the veil.  Those who support us: angels, guides, those who have made their transition from this world to the next,  and invisible support that is always working to bring us happiness.

One with God is living from the awakened awareness that we are one with ALL THAT IS, the question begs to be asked.  What does ALL leave out?  It is only through recognizing my oneness with God that I can recognize my oneness with others and myself.  The work then, is to practice recognizing our oneness with ALL THAT IS.

This practice takes place whenever we remember and connect with our True purpose, which is to know God.  This is not only accomplished by going into the Silence, but by every conversation and experience we encounter.  These experiences are deigned to awaken us to a deeper understanding of who we are at this time, and where we want to go.  Each person who comes into our lives has a gift for us and we for them.  Purpose then becomes the giving and receiving of the gifts, which ignites our passion and inspires our prayers.

Oceans of Grace

I love how life is constantly unfolding and as we allow Grace to move through our lives, we can experience a life that is better than anything we could create by ourselves.

A couple of weeks ago, I was using the ocean as a metaphor, and the metaphor has continued to stay with me, and open up in more powerful ways.  Nature lends itself as an easy metaphor for living our lives authentically. The fact that the ocean, like all of mother earth, is feminine in nature, makes this metaphor all the more powerful.  So, the invitation for today is to come along and ride the waves into a new way of seeing and experiencing answers to our prayers, by engaging our natural ability to heal.  The type of need or healing is not important.  Spirit does not differentiate between physical, emotional, or spiritual healing.  It is we who put limitations on the power that is God.

From a scientific standpoint, we know the healing properties of salt water and the ions in the air at the ocean.  However, did you know that the ocean in its natural state is self-healing, and that we as humankind have been created with a similar capacity to heal. We have a body (shore), emotions (waves),  soul (currents), and Spirit (unseen depths) .   When the waters are stirred at the surface by winds, currents, or ships, waves are created.  These waves stir up whatever is loose and ready to be released.  These particles are often thrown onto the shore, until another wave comes and retrieves that which the shore is willing to release.  As these particles return to the ocean, they sink down into the depths where they are transformed. In our own lives; our soul, race consciousness, and life experiences create waves (emotions) that bring into conscious awareness those unhealed aspects of ourselves that our soul is ready to release and make room for  greater experiences of freedom and joy.

How do I see this as a healing process?  The activities and circumstances of our lives create turbulence.   This turbulence may be physical as in a disease, it may be emotional as in conflict within ourselves and relationship with others, it may be spiritual where we are questioning who we are and why we are here, or what our next step is.  The source of the turbulence does not matter as much as our awareness of it.  When I say awareness,  I do not mean that we go into fix it mode.  Just as the ocean is not broken when the waves break on the shore leaving debris, we are not broken and do not require fixing when error thinking and attitudes are revealed.  We do, however, require willingness to be open-minded and allow Grace to move through us breaking loose any debris that will open the way for healing to take place.  As this debris is broken away, we can surrender it to the depths of our being and allow Spirit to transform it and return it to us renewed and whole.

For instance, recently I became aware of a fear that was running certain aspects of my life.  This fear was blocking me from showing up authentically in my relationships and was a factor in blocking my prosperity.  As I wrestled with these waves, I surrendered and became willing to allow Grace to change my mind, my attitudes, and my actions.  This opened up a new freedom inside of me that I know has set into motion a healing that will bring me into a freedom of expressing that is better than anything I could have dreamed up for myself.  I am having the best time watching synchronicity appear.  For me this is the fun of living a conscious spiritual life; watching God work in seemingly miraculous ways.

 

Awakening the Divine Feminine

For some time now, I have had what I refer to as a minor obsession.  I have been fascinated by the Marys in the Bible, especially Mary Magdalene.  She would just keep showing up in different books I would pick up or someone would give me something that was representative of one of the Marys.   I couldn’t figure out why.  Don’t we always want to know why?   So, I just let it be, knowing that someday more would be revealed.

Ta Ta da da!   Someday has arrived.  As I have explored this idea that we are not only being called to wake up spiritually, but to also be raised up to become spiritual adults, I am recognizing the power of the Divine Feminine.   It is one thing to have a spiritual experience and another to do the consistent work that is required to allow that experience to transform all aspects of our being.

One of my challenges over the years with the idea of teaching about the Marys, who represent the Divine Feminine, is that I don’t think of myself as a feminist, or a women’s libber.  Yet, there is something that is so profound and True about what I believe Mary has to say to us today.   This teaching is not in opposition to the Divine Masculine.  It enhances and brings balance into all of life.  In the Bible there is the reference to the bride of Christ.  It has been interpreted to mean humankind.  If we don’t raise up the Divine Feminine within us, who is the bride?

As more and more people wake-up in consciousness, it is imperative that we provide support and nurturing for them to develop all aspects of themselves to match the awakened energy.  It is as if we are teenagers in consciousness.  We have adult bodies, but not the brain development or consciousness of an adult.  It is the Divine Feminine within each of us that can bring us into balance and harmony: into the fullness of our being.

 

 

Heart Opening Through Grace

It is common in spiritual circles to hear about how powerful it is to live from an open heart.  I know for many years I have interpreted this to mean that I am to open my heart to everyone else.  The Truth is, we cannot open our heart to someone else until we are willing to open our heart to our self.

Each of us, through our daily experiences, is invited to investigate those aspects of our self that we have ignored or disowned because they don’t line up with who we think we are supposed to be.  I call it an investigation for a couple of reasons.  When you think of investigating something, it is because it has been brought to your attention.  You didn’t go looking for something to investigate, yet as it comes to your attention, you don’t block it out either and ignore it.

A personal example I might share is: I was talking with a friend and she said something to me that hurt my feelings.  My reaction to her comment was the desire to close my heart down.  Instead, I decided to investigate what I was thinking and feeling.  I asked for the help of Spirit to reveal what I was believing about myself that would trigger me to close my heart.  My discovery, as I continued to be present in the moment was the button being pushed had to do with how I was treated as a child.  This allowed me to ask for Grace.  The power of Divine Love in action to heal me at depth.

Through the power of grace-filled investigation  we are stating that we are willing to have Spirit reveal to our conscious mind those beliefs and patterns of thinking that are getting in the way of opening our hearts fully not only to ourselves, but to all others as well.   It is out of this willingness that Grace comes in and reveals only that which we are ready to know in the moment.  This is a very important part of the process.  I call it the ‘no digging’ clause.  This process is not about trying to figure out why we did something, or dredging up every mistake, or analyzing the meeting we had with someone to figure out ‘what’s wrong with me or them’.  It is allowing Grace, the activity of Spirit, Divine Love, to move through and release and forgive old beliefs and mistakes that are not serving us at this time.   The beauty of this process is we may not even have to know what is being released.  I love that we are on an “as need to know” basis with Spirit.  If it is not in our best interest to know and remember something that needs to be healed, Spirit not only can do it without our help, but does it without our even knowing about it.

It is out of the process of healing through the power of Grace that we are able to open our hearts more deeply to our self with loving compassion.  We are then set free to be present with others with an open heart.  To be fully present with them in the moment without analyzing what they are saying, thinking, or feeling.  This is one of the greatest gifts we can give to everyone.  And it is truly a gift of Grace.

 

Living As The Light

Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World.                      Christopher Columbus

IMG_0638What is it that you are being called into doing that you’ve been resisting?  You know, it’s that thought of calling someone, but you don’t because they may be busy.  It is the thought of taking extra time in meditation only to have the second thought be, I don’t have that much time.  It’s the thought of releasing an urge to pay someone back for a perceived wrong, and the second thought being to  hang on to the resentment a little longer.

Jesus said, You are the light of the world.  He added that you don’t light a light and then put it under a basket and hide it.  You allow that light to shine.

The real question becomes, what old world belief are you being called to leave behind by following the light?   This may be an old belief that has closed your heart to an awareness of the light within you.  Sometimes memories of old hurts that we have caused or we perceive have been done unto us, can cause us to close our hearts in ways that prevent us from loving ourselves: from having the courage to move into new territory.

There is a light within us that is always beckoning us forward on our personal journey of life.  Sometimes we have difficulty seeing this light.  Yet, it is always there!  Much like the sun is always at the center of the galaxy, but our view of it may be obscured.  It is the Divine light that we might refer to as Christ or Buddha or Spirit.  The name we give the light is not important.  The important part is acknowledging this dynamic and powerful light that when we open our heart to it,  life opens to us in unexpected and glorious ways.  We begin to see things that were not there before.  We begin to have a strength and courage to step forward even when we don’t know where the path is leading.

We all have moments when we feel we are in the dark.  Rather than becoming frightened, we can claim this opportunity to open our heart to the light within.  We can feed the light by focusing our attention on the good within our life.  We can feed the light through the practice of keeping our heart open to ourselves and others.  We can feed the light by going into the Silence and turning your awareness to the indwelling Presence.  The Truth is, as we feed the light, it will illumine our next steps, and then our next steps, and then our next steps until we too discover a new world.

Anticipatory Appreciation

Anticipatory Appreciation: now here’s a brilliant idea!  That’s what I thought when I first encountered this idea in Rev. Jane Simmons’ new book, You Can’t Sleep Through Your AWAKENING.  So for this past week, I have set three intentions to experience appreciation during the day.

During my morning sacred time, I center myself in my heart and ask for guidance as I look over my day.   As I do so,  I actively look for three opportunities to experience appreciation.  It may be that I have a meeting with someone whom I enjoy immensely, or it may be that I need to have a crucial conversation with someone.  You know, one of those conversations where you have to touch on a tough subject.  Out of this over looking, I consciously choose three times to experience deep appreciation.  I then speak this intention within my open heart.

What is amazing is how often, just at the moment I intended, or soon afterwards,  I experience appreciation.  It may be for the person I am with, the circumstance, or the beauty of nature around me.  The experience is unique each time, and most often catches me off guard, until I remember my intention.

As I look at the two aspects of this practice, I am aware that they work hand-in-hand.  An intention is defined as: a conscious aim or plan.  This means that we use our conscious mind to make a plan and set an energy in place to fulfill this plan.  Appreciation and gratitude are synonymous.  Gratitude is defined as: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation and to return kindness.

So this practice is not only saying in your mind I appreciate this, but to demonstrate appreciation through an act of kindness.  Appreciation also opens us to the knowing that God is our Source infinite and unlimited. Everything that we have, we have because of who we are in God.

Check it out, try it for yourself.  Set an intention to appreciation three things during your day, and prepare to be amazed at the outcome.

 

 

Big Change Brings Big Questions

We all have moments of starting a new.  These moments happen when we move, or children leave home, or we have a change in our job or lifestyle.  Walking through the big changes of leaving a ministry that I have loved so dearly has brought forth old questions that are beckoning to be answered in a new and hopefully deeper way.

When I was busy running from meeting to class to appointment to home, I was too exhausted to really listen to these questions or the answers that would come forth.  My focus was always on: How did I need to show up in order for others to be okay, and   What was the next fire that needed to be put out?

With all of this removed, there is a void that is allowing  me to look more deeply at what this change could mean for me.  How might this change transform the way I show up in the world?

I always thought of voids as uncomfortable at best and painful at worst.  Yet,  the longer I sit, the clearer life becomes and the freer I feel to really live in a way that demonstrates what I believe.

Isn’t that what we are called to do?  Each of us is here to live in a way that demonstrates what we believe to be true about life: what we value.  I value the power of transformation.  The power of change that happens when we embrace the courage and strength we have within us to move out of a rut and unto a new road.   I value love, kindness, joy, strength, and wisdom.  These are but a few of the qualities that I am working to express more clearly in my new life.

The question for me now is: How do I express these qualities in my day-to-day life?   I have a saying that I have used for years.  I’m on an as need to know basis and God doesn’t think I as need to know yet, or I would.  I do; however,  believe what I need to know is unfolding in each moment that I am aware of where I am and what I am doing.

What is your purpose?  What do you value?  How are you expressing those qualities in your life?  I’d love to hear from you.