Are You Trying Too Hard?

If you are a person who works to be a better person, often through study and personal reflection, you may find there is always something more to do. It can seem like no matter how hard we try we just can’t seem to get our lives to reflect the excellence for which we strive.
Perhaps you are trying too hard. There are just so many hours in a day and so many days in a week. Yet we use our electronic devices to accomplish far more, often simultaneously, than we could possibly do without them. We may use medications to keep us awake or put us to sleep, disregarding our physical need for rest and our attunement to the cycles of life on our planet.
Take a moment to think about what really needs to be done today and what could just as easily wait. Our “to do” lists can roll through our lives like a bulldozer and that is no way to live. Eliminate at least enough from that list today to take a half hour to do nothing, or to do something that will revive, excite and enliven you in a way that you’ve not experienced recently.
That problem, whatever “that” is, will probably not even been a dim memory in a year or five years. Is it really that important now? Life is for living, not struggling. Life is to be enjoyed, not to be endured.

in Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Got Is…

Let me begin with the acknowledgement that you may substitute any other more palatable word for “God” in this discussion. Many people still see God as the old man in the sky who punishes us if we’re bad and blesses us if we’re good (maybe…if He’s feeling so inclined).
In the New Thought Movement we have a very different concept of God as an intelligence with which we have a direct connection. But, if Spirit, Divine Love, Universal Intelligence, or something else works better for you, I ask that, for the purpose of this discussion, you just substitute that term for God.
When we pray affirmatively we acknowledge the unification of ourselves with God. And yet, even that statement is hollow. “With God” still indicates a separation. How can we be “with” something if we are part of it? How can we be “part of it” if there is only One?
BAM! (That’s the sound of the brick wall with which you may have collided after reading the above paragraph. I dearly hope that you have had your morning coffee before reading this, or at least have been awake for a while!) The confusion and disconnect felt when discussing the Oneness of the Universe stems from two basic reasons:  language and perception.
English and most other modern tongues are not languages of inclusion or unification. They are, by the very nature of their structure, a means of communication that exemplifies separation, division and differences. It is not the fault of our languages, for our languages reflect the parameters of our culture. In English we call that frozen white stuff “snow.” One Native Alaskan language has 26 different terms for snow. Why? That area of the world is more affected by snow than other areas.
We talk in metaphysics about the “universality” of God; that God is timeless, endless and infinite. Yet we live in a world of beginnings and endings, and of birth, life and death. We live a linear existence in a holistic universe. The truth is that whenever we finish the sentence, “God is…” with anything we immediately limit God. How can we begin to describe the infinite with words designed to convey the finite? This is a situation in which words alone cannot be the most effective way to communicate. The definition must be felt, internally and personally.
We also describe God as “all-knowing” and “all-powerful.” God is neither. Does that surprise you? You see, if God is all there is then God is not all-knowing; God is Knowledge. God is not all-powerful; God is Power. Re-read this paragraph. Breathe into it. Let it settle into your consciousness and feel your emotions, for words alone cannot effectively conceive this notion.
We must be careful in prayer to acknowledge our unity. But at the same time we would do well to cut ourselves some slack so that we don’t get hung up on worrying about whether or not we are expressing ourselves as universally as we feel we should. You cannot pray the wrong way, though with practice we can make our prayers more effective.
Go with what is in your heart, but at the same time be cognizant of the words you use. What we say is reflective of what we believe. And, what we believe is behind the thoughts we have that result in our experiences.
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Not Choosing IS Choosing

(Originally written April 6, 2012, but not published)


I’m a firm believer in blogging when you have something to say. This week I really don’t have a cute story, any deep insights to share or a foible of my own to report for amusement and education. It’s a busy week with extra services for Holy Week, caring for my Dad and living the life I have chosen to live – all good stuff, actually! But a full-out, blog to share – Iit ain’t happening.

We all have choices to make in life. When our lives get overly complicated and we are in the “busy-ness” of life, it can be enticing to “just let things happen.” As I told my Unity congregation last Sunday, “Not choosing IS choosing.” If we decide to live life that way then there is one rule: We don’t get to bitch about the results if we don’t like what shows up.

If you are celebrating Good Friday and Easter, or observing Passover, may your weekend be blessed by renewal, rebirth, resurrection and the joy of spring!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

Consequences

(Originally written March 30, 2012, but not posted)


Whether or not we are aware of it, the Universal Law of Cause and Effect operates at all times in our lives. Our thoughts, both conscious and unconscious, are constantly forming our reality. The results of those thoughts produce what we think are rewards and consequences.

It is our ego that is into judging, not the Universe. We judge some outcomes and situations as rewards, sometimes even miracles. Other results we deem consequences or occasionally disasters.

It is easiest to understand this concept when we have created and achieved a goal, or when we have planned some event and it falls apart. We see these situations as achievements (rewards) or failures (consequences). Then we get caught up in what other people are saying. It is fascinating to me that no one ever seems to say, “I just KNEW that was going to happen!” about anything good. The statement is almost always attributed to failure.

The only illusion is that we can control our entire lives. We can try, but the result is a white-knuckle ride that almost always ends badly. Control is a result of our ego needing to be right, not living in the flow of life. We can use metaphysical principles to have a better life, but we cannot exercise complete control of the conditions around us.

What we can control is our reaction to conditions. We get to decide what we are going to think. No one else can take away that right without our permission. And to control our reactions we have to ask ourselves the question, “Do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy?” And, no, the answer is not to sit there and whine that you want both.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

You’re Gonna Get a Pimple

(Was originally released March 23, 2012, but didn't get posted)


I am alternately amused, annoyed and perplexed at how much I, and others around me, can fuss about the most insignificant things. I remember a discussion not too long ago about what color to paint a room in our home. That decision was preceded by high-level negotiations about the necessity of a wall border, and ultimately which border to choose since he had to have his way about having one – oops, “someone” apparently still has some energy on that! The scene entertained the staff at the wallpaper store (they actually asked us to come back the following week), though I considered seeking a peace accord from NATO.

My standard comment to someone who bumps me with their grocery cart or walks in front of me is, “No worries. Compared to world peace, how important is it?” But when it came to that room, the color of the paint and that darn wall border, I had to at least have my way in something. Or perhaps it would be more correct to say my ego needed it.

Life is about perspective. I can assure you that as I sat in my father’s hospital room this week the last thing on my mind was the weeding and cleanup I need to do on what will become our meditation shade garden. I was focused on my father’s issues, not mine. Though the chores still need doing (Pennsylvania Dutch grammar for those of you not here locally), I’m not going to get a pimple over it.

That saying comes from a friend of mine years ago who would listen quietly as I ranted and raved about the “issue du jour” and, when I was done, draw slowly on her cigarette and say, in her raspy voice while shaking her cigarette and ashes in my direction, “You’re gonna get a pimple. Uh-huh….you are.” Then she’d go back to drinking her Tuaca* (straight up, of course, no ice) and smoking while nodding her head knowingly. I hated it when she did that. It also annoyed me that she was right. My issues were normally pretty stupid to be all hot and bothered about. But I was 25 years old, and everything was an issue!

The next time you are faced with a situation that annoys you, whether it’s the actions of someone else, a world event or your own foibles, stop and ask yourself one question: “How important will this be in five years?” Our egos will insist on us being right and getting our way, but at what cost? Is it really all that important? Will worrying, fretting and getting angry solve anything?

Stop, take a deep breath and take stock of what is really important in your life. We’ve all heard the counsel “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Here’s a news flash: In the grand scheme of things, it’s all small stuff.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

*Tuaca – I know someone will ask…It’s a citrus, vanilla liqueur that looks a little like old motor oil and tastes a lot like battery acid. It’s to be sipped, not slammed. Trust me on this.