Blessed and Highly Favored

I walked into a business not long ago, smiled and asked the clerk how she was. “OH! God! ISN’T it a miserable day!” I thought, Gee, I know there are a few things I’d working on changing in my life, but it just seemed like a normal, brisk, somewhat cloudy, south central Pennsylvania, fall-like....uh...day.
As I left, she said, “Isn't this just awful?!? Everything else is wrong and now it’s raining to boot!” I looked at her and said, “Actually, I'm feeling pretty good. I was thinking about wearing my leather coat out today because it was so chilly, but then had a senior moment and forgot it. If I’d remembered to wear that coat, the rain would have made a mess of it!”
Her response was a blank stare. The Eeyores of the world just hate it when faced with happiness in the midst of their “drama-du-jour.” Okay, so I’m not always Pollyanna, but I’d sure rather be a little over-the-top-too-happy instead of finding a dark cloud in every blue sky. Sheesh!
I have a standard reply when I’m asked how I am:  “Blessed and highly favored.” My dear friend, Cindy, reminded me recently how comments like that just make her want to slap the snot out of people like me. Point well taken…and she would, too! I can’t take credit for that saying. It’s something I picked up in the south when I lived in Georgia. A southern boy I knew said it was something his grandmother always said without fail. She never complained about anything. She just counted her blessings and knew she was favored by God.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t recognize the problems in the world, our country, our community or our own lives. But recognizing them and spending a good deal of time lamenting them while we are unwilling to do anything about changing our situation is counterproductive. It also makes us really unpleasant to be around.
We are blessed to have the good in our lives. We are favored by a Universal Consciousness that knows only how to give. The trick is to open to that abundance and utilize it to the best of our abilities. You know the old saying, “If life gives you lemons, for heaven’s sake slice one up and plop it into a lemon drop martini”…or something like that. You get the idea.
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Dr. Terry

What Really Matters

There is so much going around me in my world. I suppose the blessing is that most of it is going around me and not going through me. It reminds me of how a common phrase in Christianity to “be in the world, but not of it” can have application in our lives. How does that work?
Part of the ability to stay focused and centered in the midst of chaos is dependent upon the foundation by which we live. I have a wide variety of spiritual interests, but the foundation allowing me this peace of mind about which I speak is the Science of Mind philosophy created by Ernest Holmes. That foundation provides the means to anchor me to a higher truth. When world events or family disputes arise it allows me to be centered.
The way I maintain my center is not the way you may maintain yours. Perhaps you are a practicing Roman Catholic, Buddhist, Jew or Muslim. Is that your center, your true foundation? It may be, or it may not be. Often people revert back to the religion or spiritual practice of their youth when faced with opposition or tragedy. But what if we no longer subscribe to that belief system?
Each week in my blog I offer you a question to ponder or a challenge to undertake should you desire to do so. This week is no different. I challenge you this week to define the foundation by which you live that will allow you peace of mind in the turmoil of our current events. Don’t be too quick with your answer. Take some time and really think about the principles by which you live. The final answer may surprise you.
Are you feeling the effect of the government shutdown as evidenced by your worrying about the future? Have you allowed the government, the congress, a political party or particular politicians to decide for you what kind of a day you will have, or if you will get a good night’s rest? If your belief system is built on a firm foundation you will not be so moved.
If not, you will find yourself thrown about like a small boat on the rough sea. But before you can answer those questions you must determine exactly what it is you have based your life upon. What are your guiding principles? What is the source of your strength in times of need?
Find that, believe in that, remember that, and call upon that and you will never again feel at the whim of others.
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

Self Care is not Selfish

Do you find it difficult to address your own needs? I know a woman who is a wonderful mother and homemaker, but she seldom takes time for herself. An executive I know works long hours during the week yet spends most of the weekend arranging meetings for the following week – evidenced by the deluge of emails received by her subordinates on Monday morning.
I’m not sure if we neglect our own needs from time-to-time because we live in a society that is constantly busy or if perhaps it might have something to do with the ideal of Christian martyrdom being a quality for which we should strive. The reason, in actuality, is irrelevant since constantly doing for others and neglecting ourselves is unhealthy.
As with so many other issues in life this situation requires that we find balance. I’ve recently returned to the practice of tithing my time and talent, in addition to the regular financial tithing that has been a part of life for almost three decades. Tithing of your time is giving back to … wait for it … take deep breath … ready? … YOU!
When we tithe our time it means we slice out a regular amount of time to renew ourselves. It includes taking care of our own needs through study, meditation, prayer treatment work, exercise and play, to name just a few ways. If you’re anything like me you might find yourself so enjoying playing at your work that it somehow gets to be midday or early afternoon when you discover you forgot to eat breakfast. When you are living your bliss that can happen, but it still isn’t in our best interest to forget to eat!
Here’s another example. I’m the only one in my family who enjoys a strong cup of coffee. Half-caf and weak coffee just doesn’t cut it. So instead of bowing to the majority or forcing them to water down the pot I’d like, I’ve started using the French press my friend, Bobbie, gave me years ago. It takes more time, but it’s time for ME that I’m spending doing something special for myself. Get the picture?
We must take care of ourselves. What that means for each if us individually is unique to our lifestyle and needs. Whatever it is we need to do doesn’t translate into selfishness. I can remember working hard all day long – not a tedious thing since I enjoy my work – and deciding about four o’clock in the afternoon to have a cup of tea and watch a program I’d recorded. I’d just sat down when a family member came home, saw me with my feet up and the TV on and exclaimed, “WOW! I wish I could stay home all day, watch TV and eat bon bons!”
My answer, which wasn’t at all appreciated was, “And, my love, when you decide to set your life up to do that you’ll enjoy it just as much as I do!” You can’t let guilt prodders ruin your “me” time. Do yourself a favor this week and carve out at least a half hour every day to practice and enjoy some self care. You return rejuvenated and even more available to care for others.
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

Taking a Human Holiday

I read a prayer treatment this week in which Rev. George E. Honn, III used an interesting phrase I’d never thought about. He was referring to our lives on this planet and phrased it this way:  “[We are] Spirit taking a human holiday.”
I don’t know about you, but at times my life can feel about as far from a “holiday” as I can imagine. I greatly appreciate the life I have created for myself and find that I am happier today than ever before in my life. Still, there are “days.” Acknowledging our responsibility in setting up events in our lives to play out in response to the choices and decisions we’ve made in the recent or distant past doesn’t mean we have to like the results.
That’s why Rev. George’s statement rung true for me. Life is eternal. There is no past and no future in the universal scheme of things. Past, present and future are linear time concepts we have become accustomed to in our human existence. The eternality of life is not constrained by linear thinking. During those times in our lives that are shall we say “less than stellar,” we can find a certain amount of comfort in knowing that the situation, as well as our time on this planet and in these bodies, is quite temporary…just like a vacation.
In the same way we return home from a physical vacation, so will our consciousness one day return to the awareness of the at-one-ment of our being with all life. However, rather than expect this as some reward for “time served” as a human, we can appreciate the Truth of this eventuality today. We can be confident that our problems, issues, concerns and worries are not the end of the world. They are simply tools to more fully help us understand how powerful we really are.
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry