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.

The Kingdom of Heaven

Repent for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.  WHOA!  Does that conjure up old stories?   “You better be good, you better not shout, you better not cry, I’m telling you why…..?”  And it’s not good.

Let’s take a moment and look at a deeper meaning for ‘repent the kingdom of heaven is at hand’.  To repent is to turn.  We turn from judgment to acceptance.  We turn from anxiety and worry to peace.  We turn from not enough to a consciousness of abundance and joy.  We turn, turn, turn and with each turning awaken more and more to a lasting awareness of our connection with the Divine.

In ancient days, the Israelites believed that God was not only going to liberate them from the  tyranny of being ruled by others, but they were going to be the rulers.  This new kingdom would be called the Kingdom of Heaven.  Oh, and only those who were good enough would be the rulers, and they would not only rule the Israelite people, but also, the Gentile nations.   So begins the race consciousness of: ‘be good and someday you’ll be rewarded… in heaven’.  Only heaven became this mystical place that you go when you die.  Many scholars today believe that Jesus never said, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  Me, I’m not so sure.

What did Jesus say?  In the Gospel of Thomas, with parallels in the Gospels of Luke & Mary and Dialogue of the Savior:  “The kingdom of God is within you and all around you, yet you do not see it.”  And again in the Gospel of Luke with parallels in the Gospels of Thomas and Mary: “The Kingdom is not coming in any way that you can observe. The Kingdom of God is already here — within you.”  So what is this kingdom of God that is already within you?  In the Revealing Word, a metaphysical dictionary published by UNITY, it says,

Kingdom of God: The Christ consciousness, kingdom of heaven.

 Kingdom of Heaven: The kingdom of heaven is the realm of divine ideas, producing their expression, perfect harmony. It is within man.”

WOW! Within each and everyone of us is the Kingdom of Heaven, without exception.  It is our responsibility to turn our thoughts toward the kingdom.  One way to do this is by Practicing the Presence.  Practicing the Presence is a meditation technique where you enter into an awareness that God is everywhere present all of the time.  God is present in this time and space.  This practice opens us to a higher realm of awareness and connection with that which we know is True.  It opens us to a deeper knowing and expression of love and compassion.

As I have meditated on this idea, I believe the author of the Gospel of Matthew was saying.  Turn around and look within.  For it is within where you will find the Kingdom of Heaven.  It is this Kingdom that awakens and empowers the expression of our True Nature: Love.

A Funny Thing Happened…

This classic line fell into my mind this morning: ‘A funny thing happened’ on my way out the door. Leaving a place and a people who have meant so much to me for so many years has proven to be more of a life changing experience than I anticipated. My emotions continue to resemble the shore of a great ocean. There are times when the ocean is calm and the waves are just little laps on the shore, and then there are times when the waves are larger and create great sprays of water in the air. The purpose of the waves in an ocean is to stir up life: just as the waves of emotion in me are stirring up life in a number of its glorious forms.

These waves (Life) sometimes show up as beautiful feelings of excitement at the possibility of stepping into a new phase of life and what that means. There is an excitement about the standing at the realm of infinite possibility. There are also times that this life shows up as deep loss and an opportunity to own where I might have done things differently. There is also a deep compassion for myself and others, and a knowing that we all did our best.

So, you might be asking, where is the funny part? The funny part, is more ironic than haha funny. We have chosen this life and have the power within to create the experiences that we choose to have; and yet at its core, Life is a mystery. I thought I knew what to expect. I had a plan. What is they say about plans; if you want to hear God laugh tell him yours. I know God is getting a good laugh, and is holding my hand in a way that no person can.

Through any of life’s changing processes, the most important Truth for us to remember is that God is everywhere present all of the time. This Presence is all Power and Wisdom, and as we enter into an awareness of this ever present Power and Wisdom there is nothing to fear.

My change was in leaving a job. Yours may be loosing someone close to you through death or divorce, or it may be starting a new adventure in your life. It doesn’t matter what the change is; what is important is to remember that Spirit is with us always No Matter What. Then as the waves come in and go out, we can look for the life that has been stirred up. What if we learned to dance with the waves?

A funny thing happened on my way out, I entered into…

Grace-filled Blessings,

Rev. Charli

For those in the Prescott, AZ area, stay tuned for an upcoming class and retreat opportunities.

NEW BEGINNINGS

It has often been said that each moment holds the possibility for a new beginning, and this is absolutely true.  The truth of this statement, is however, heightened when we make major changes in our lives without the security of knowing what’s next.

New beginnings evoke a wide range of emotions that can move quickly and shift from one end of the spectrum: sadness at the loss of what was, to freedom and joyful anticipation of what could be.  It is about standing in the realm of infinite possibility.

I remember a vision I had years ago when I completed my schooling to become a Licensed Unity Teacher.  In this vision, I was standing at the edge of a great precipice looking out over a beautiful valley that stretched as far as my eyes could see.  There were streams, trees, flowers, and animals all together in harmony.  The thought appeared, “what do you want?  You are standing at the edge of infinite possibility, what would make your heart sing?”

I have thought of this vision on several occasions since then.  Every time I face a significant change in my life.  My question that arises again for me this morning and I am sharing with you is:  What do you want?  You are standing at the edge of infinite possibility, what would make your heart sing?

Gracefilled Blessings,

Rev. Charli Tupper