You’ve Got to Enter to Win

The powerful civil rights leader, author and theologian, Howard Thurman, wrote, “Not only is faith a way of knowing, a form of knowledge, but it is also one of life’s great teachers. Faith teaches that God is.” Though the manifestations of God are everywhere Life is, we won’t learn that God Is the One Unseen Cause behind all that exists without faith that all that we see right now originated in a realm of invisible vibration stimulated by thought, and that “what’s next” has already begun within the Creativity of Divinity, the Source Energy of the Universe.

We learn we are one with that Source Energy as we feel Its Invisible Presence within us as stillness, peace, power, love, joy, and well-being. And then, as we focus on thoughts that feel Good to think, and that keep us aligned with Source Energy, we come to know through experience that the “things” in our life begin invisibly  as thoughts before they visibly appear around us. We read in The Science of Mind, “The more spiritual the the thought, the higher the manifestation. Spiritual thought means an absolute belief in, and reliance upon, Truth. This is both natural and normal.”

Faith isn’t required if we believe that what we see is all there is to what is True. Faith isn’t required if we limit our knowledge of what is possible for us and the world to our observations of the circumstances of the world and what it has already become. That’s old news, like learning from outdated books! What is visible has already completed its journey from the invisible to visible. We come to know God Is as we focus beyond “what is” and on “what’s next.” Faith by its very nature requires we believe in something before we see, hear, taste, smell, or touch it. Faith requires our reliance on the Truth that God Is, and God is Love. The experience of trust shows us that as we maintain positive thoughts that cause good feelings to arise within us something good cannot fail to appear in physical form in our life—healing of our body and relationships, and resolutions to life issues. We come to know, without doubt, that there is so much more to see and know about this Life we are living than is visible to our eyes.

When we trust that God Is, we’re at peace with whatever appears to be going on because we know that something Very Good is on Its way! God’s Love is All-encompassing. It never leaves anything or anyone out of Its Embrace for any reason. That is why It is the Power that keeps all things safe. The Unseen Power of Love has woven all of life together with Infinite Grace into a beautiful, seamless Tapestry of Love we share. Love is the unseen Substance of the Universe that holds each of us gently and safely within It, even as It powerfully Sources us with all we need to be, see, do, know, and experience in this life while we’re here. But we have enter fully into Life to win all life has to give us. Deepak Chopra wrote, “Each of us is a unique strand in the intricate web of life and here to make a difference.” Every one of us is here to make difference. Not just the famous, the wealthy, the seemingly powerful, not just the influencers, the inventors, or even the essential workers, but each of us is here to make a difference in our own unique way. The difference we make while we’re here depends on how much trust we have that the Universe knows exactly where we are, exactly what we want, and that It is willing to deliver. The difference we make while we ‘re here depends on how much love, peace, joy, happiness, and enthusiasm we’re willing to allow within us and to emanate from our own unique strand of being so that we add our unique colors to the intricate color and beauty of God’s Design. That’s how valuable each of us is to the extension and expansion of Creation. We make that difference by living fully in the world we see, even as we trust in the One Source of all Life we can’t see.

Despite appearances these days that might suggest there has been a snag in the web of Life or a tear in the fabric of the Universe, and that some us may have inadvertently, or intentionally, fallen through, no one has because no can no matter how out-of-touch with Love anyone may seem to be. We remain, now and forever, One Life created with threads of Unity that are unbreakable. It takes Trust to accept that no matter what we have thought, said or done that seems contrary to Love, Love is loving us still. It takes Trust to believe that no matter what anyone else has thought, said or done that seems contrary to Love, Love still embraces all that lives. Most of us learned from our parents, or Sunday School teachers, that bad behavior must be punished, and we’re all for that as long as they get theirs! But, we read in the Book of 1 Corinthians, “Love holds no record of wrongs.” It is we who do, and there are often enough records in our mind against our self and others to fill the Library of Congress! We might even check out certain volumes to read again and again so that we don’t forget who it is we’re blaming for our not fully living life now, who it is we’re holding responsible for why we’ve stopped believing in our dreams and trusting that we are precious and valuable to life.

We may be thinking that it’s this pandemic, or the problems in our country, that’s holding us back right now. But, if we’re withdrawn now, it’s likely we made a choice not to fully participate in life long before now. Maybe we opened our heart, and expressed our authentic feelings, and we were rejected or misunderstood. We felt criticized for being our self and decided to protect our self from being hurt again. And now we are allowing past hurts to harm our present experiences. What we’re willing to give to others and life may seem enough to get us by in life. But unless we begin to give wholeheartedly now, we won’t feel truly alive in life even when the pandemic has passed. Kahlil Gibran wrote, “Many of us spend our whole lives running from feelings with the mistaken belief that we cannot bear the pain. But we have already born the pain. What we have not done is feel all we are beyond that pain.” It’s hard to trust that it’s okay to let go of past hurts and injuries, and to forgive our self and others, because our painful stories seem so much a part of us they influence almost all we perceive about life. And, they cause us to worry about what others think of us. Often in our relationships we’re more interested in how someone responds to us than in fully engaging from our authentic self. We work to extract approval from them even if we don’t approve of what we’re saying or doing. But there’s really nothing we can do to keep anyone’s approval coming on a regular basis because it’s never really about us. We all look at each other through the filters of our life experiences. Those who are unhappy with who we are, are unhappy with who they are. We can never really know what someone is thinking or why. It’s our worry about what we think they’re thinking that holds us back in life.

Fear of hurtful criticism, or the fear of looking foolish “at our age” if we really let go and live as we feel we could, keeps us off the dance floor of life. We’ve all heard the say, “dance as if no one’s watching,” but it’s hard for us to trust no one’s really concerned if we make a misstep, if we make a point to watch for the missteps of others. We are here to learn from our missteps, as well as our coordinated steps, how to dance with each other. We learn to dance by dancing, just as we learn to trust by trusting, and we learn to live by living.

We can’t control where anyone is mentally and emotionally coming from when they meet up with us, but we can control where we’re coming from when we meet up with them. If we trust in the Goodness of Life, and maintain good feeling thoughts, we’ll be ready for whomever comes our way! It’s not how much we’re loved, but how much we love that matters most. It’s how much we appreciate, and not how much we’re appreciated, that matters most. We can choose to let past hurts remain a hindrance or stumbling block to our willingness to fully live, and fully give, now. But, if we do we won’t discover who we are beyond the pain. The good news is that every moment is a chance to choose to dance, no matter what the current conditions in our life may be. We can decide today to jump into life with both feet even if we’re sitting on the couch because it’s our heart that dances to the rhythm of our soul.

Hafez wrote, “You carry all the ingredients to turn your existence into joy. Mix them!” All the ingredients to turn our existence into joy are still within us. And, unlike the ingredients in the kitchen pantry that get old after awhile, the sacred ingredients we carry within us are ageless! It’s never too late to mix it up with life. It’s never too late to allow unrestricted movement within us that causes us to feel spunky and want to live fully. But, we’ve got to enter into this wondrous, mysterious Earth life if we want to find the treasures we came to discover. The prolific French writer, Emile Zola, said, “If you ask me what I came into this life to do-I will tell you: I came to live out loud.” Are we ready to live out loud? How much love, peace, joy, happiness, and enthusiasm are we willing to express and allow to emanate from our unique strand of being? We all matter to the God of our Creation because the Divine Thread count of every radiant thread is essential to the Beautiful Tapestry of Life. Whether we’re sheltered in place, wearing a mask, or standing six feet away from each other, now is the time for us to choose to live out loud, to enter into this life with the fullness of who we are. How else will we bring about a “what’s next” that will be a joy to live?

Do You Need an Emoji?

We are focusing this month on the Power within us that, as A Course in Miracles tells us, “keeps all things safe.” Our focus couldn’t have come at a more perfect time because we certainly seem to be living in a world at the present time that appears to be unsafe in so many ways. If our sense of health and well-being is dependent on a world of conflict and disagreement about what’s safe, and if we continue to look to a world outside of us to tell us what to believe about life, we’ll continue to feel unsafe in so many ways. But, in view of the seeming impossibility of any kind of immediate physical solution to a world situation that’s long gone viral, it would certainly seem that a Power that keeps all things safe is a Power to give our complete focus and attention to!

It would be a Power to pray to, listen to, surrender to, and feel our oneness with, so we’re able to feel that Power within us. In this way, we become a way for It to express in the world and keep all things safe—our self, our loved ones, and every child, woman and man. It’s a Power that requires trust because It is unseen by the physical eye. It’s a Power that requires faith because we must feel Its Invisible Presence within us before we see It around us. In The Science of Mind we read, “It is well to remember that the enlightened in every age have taught that back of all things there is One Unseen Cause, a common thread that runs thru all, the thread of Unity.” We access that One Unseen Cause, and consciously use Its Power to create our life experiences, through our practice of trust. Our willingness to trust that It’s there, and that Its Intrinsic Goodness is everywhere including right where we are despite appearances that occasionally may seem to oppose our good and Good, Itself.

The practice of Trusting Life brings a deep feeling of confidence that all things turn out good for us. Trust gives us peace in our mind that transcends worry, calm in our emotions that transforms anxiety, and a constant happy anticipation of good in our life that excludes doubt. When we feel the Good within us, we’re willing to patiently wait, with a sense of well-being and safety, for Its physical appearance around us. Our trust-filled thoughts that Life is fundamentally Good emit a vibration that attracts to us forms, expressions and experiences that validate our trust that Life is Good. A feeling of well being rejuvenates our body. A feeling of openness brings about positive encounters with others. A feeling of safety allows us to fear no evil no matter where we walk. When we trust in the Goodness of Life we’re naturally open and receptive to our good. We expect the best from people, conditions and situations. We’d rather be peaceful than argue, and we’d rather be happy than right! And yet when we trust, we’re not surprised when we feel good and have energy and enthusiasm for life. We’re not surprised by serendipitous encounters that happen at just the right time. In fact, we’re not surprised at any good result in our life because we live with an expectation of good that feels natural to us and manifests naturally in our life.

On the other hand (or on the other end of the stick) if conditions, situations and events in our life seem to oppose our good more than occasionally, it could be we’re not only not trusting life, we’re highly suspicious of its intentions toward us! We’re not surprised when the tiniest sniffle becomes a full-blown illness, the tiniest pain becomes disabling, or when dishonesty appears to be the motive of everyone around us. If it seems, as Rosanne-Rosannadanna of SNL used to say, “If it’s not one thing, it’s another,” it’s likely our thoughts are emitting a vibration of suspicion that is attracting into our individual experience plenty of forms and expressions that validate our suspicions: cagey characters, shifty situations, and curious conditions that “just go to show you, it’s always something.” Eckhard Tolle wrote, “It may look as if the situation is creating the suffering, but ultimately this is not so, your resistance is.” It’s our resistance to trusting what we can’t see (yet) that causes us to suffer about what we do see. When we focus on whatever is physically in front of us that doesn’t seem good, as if it’s a cold hard fact that will never go away, we’re right! Whether it’s a condition of our body, the behavior of someone toward us, or the behavior of someone who seems to have power in the world, it won’t go away as long as we focus on it. It is our attention to it, and our determination to get rid of it at all costs, that causes it to stay in our mind and constantly appear before our eyes.

We have to “believe it before we see it.” If we don’t believe that’s true, then we’re trusting in something else and not in the Power that will keep us safe. When we resist letting go of blame for our suffering, that resistance keeps Good from flowing naturally to us through inlets of positive receptivity in our mind that trust opens. Resistance causes us to fear that if we don’t prepare for teh worst in our health, people or situations, it’ll catch us by surprise. So, we’re prepared and not surprised when our health goes from bad to worse, when a tiny disagreement becomes a full-blown argument, or when we’re swindled by everyone we ask to help us. Our efforts to insure we’re never fooled or taken advantage of is the very energy that attracts both to us. Then we say, “I knew that was going happen.” And even though what happened didn’t feel good, often we’re satisfied just to be right. We’d rather think of our self as having psychic powers to detect the bad even before it appears, than to live in the Innocence of Trust that no matter how bad things look, and even if we can’t see how, something good is about to take off Its Cloak of Invisibility right in front of us. There is a line in the lyrics of the song, The Rose, that says, “It’s the one who won’t be taken that never learns to give.” Suspicion ties our mind and emotions up in knots and prevents us from giving from our heart. It blocks the Good of Life from turning out to be good in our life.

Abraham-Hicks tells us, “You’re not here for the relationship with others. You’re here for the relationship with Source. And, from that relationship with Source all kinds of meaningful other things will happen. Joy first and then anything else you have time for.” Which brings us to the title of today’s talk, “Do You Need an Emoji?” I overheard someone say the other day, “What she wrote didn’t sound nice but she ended the email with a smiley so I guess it’s okay.” We’re so used to looking for physical evidence of what to believe before we believe it that we’ll even let an emoji decide for us what we’re willing to believe. But there isn’t an emoji in the world that will help us to trust life if we don’t. How often do we spend our time trying to figure out what somebody meant by what they said before we decide if we’re okay or offended, or if we should feel defensive or not? When we live in suspicion we don’t give others the benefit of the doubt, or the benefit of trust. We look for a hidden meaning beneath their words because there’s often a hidden meaning behind ours. Even if someone means no harm, our doubt in their sincerity, and our lack of trust, keeps our mind in conflict and confusion, our emotions worked up and uncomfortable, and our feelings filled with hurt that contracts us and keeps us from freely giving of our self.

How do we rise above blame and live in a no-fault state of mind? How do we rise about suspicion and learn to trust? Don Miguel Ruiz wrote, “Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean.” It is who we are in the world that creates our experience of the world. When we are impeccable with our word and we speak with integrity, we are more likely to see that impeccability and integrity in others. “I’m sure they meant nothing by that.” But, whether they did or didn’t, our trust in their intrinsic goodness kept us happy—peaceful in our mind, uplifted in our emotions, and open to a good outcome. It’s not about blindly trusting the world as it appears to be, but rather as A Course in Miracles puts it, it’s about trusting in the world because we know it’s not governed by the laws the world made up. It’s governed by a Power that is in us but not of us. It’s our trust in that Power that keeps us safe, and keeps us feeling good and seeing good.

When we trust that all Life is intrinsically Good, and we live with a deep confidence that all things turn out good for us, they turn out to be good for us. We trust our intuition. We trust the guidance that comes from the Holy Light within us that never tells us “don’t trust the darkness.” It simply guides us to the Light. The mystical poet, Rumi, wrote “Feel the sweetness in your own heart. Then you may find the sweetness in every heart.” As we feel the sweetness in our own heart, it’s easier for us to feel that sweetness in another’s heart. When we find the feeling place of Love’s Flow within us we won’t need an emoji or anything else in the outer world to convince us that Life is Good. Feeling good, easy, lighthearted, and filled with trust will be so natural to us that we’ll feel it despite appearances that only occasionally seem to oppose our good and Good, Itself.

The Cooperative Universe

Deepak Chopra wrote, “In the light of trust, as it develops slowly over time, you will find that you are a privileged child of the universe, entirely safe, entirely supported, entirely loved.” In a month like October that includes ghosts, goblins and things that go bump in the night, in a year such as this one that has often felt more frightening than any Halloween night,  and in these seemingly uncertain times where so many of us may feel unsafe, unsupported and unloved, developing trust in the Universe is a very good thing. In fact, trust is vital for our health, happiness, well being, and peace of mind.

Now some of us may trust that God has a plan for us and the rest of humanity, but that it’s either an afterlife plan waiting for us beyond “the pearly gates” if we can just sacrifice enough here to get in, or that it’s such a long-term Earth plan (because we, humans, don’t seem to be interested in doing things any differently) that we may not live long enough to see the Divine plan manifest—to actually experience in our lifetime a world living together in peace, love, safety, health, and abundant good for all. The good news is that the Power of Trust we’re focusing on allows all the good we desire for our self and the world to manifest here and now, while we’re still here to enjoy it!

In A Course in Miracles Manual for Teachers, we read, “The teachers of God have trust in the world because they have learned it is not governed by the laws the world made up. It is governed by a power that is in them but not of them. It is this power that keeps all things safe.” The Power we’re focusing on as we talk about the Power of Trust is the Power that keeps all thing safe: The Power of God’s Love within us. We are so loved that we’ve been given power by Love, Itself, to create for our self forms of Love and expressions of Love from within us that can manifest as a world of Love around us. The Trust we’re focusing on as we talk about the Power of Trust is our trust in the Intrinsic Goodness of the Universe of God’s Creation, the very Universe in which we live right now despite any appearance that seems to contradict that Goodness. And, we’re talking about our trust that no matter what we’ve thought, said or done that seems contrary to Goodness, that Goodness lives in us still and is there to guide us whenever we choose to trust It.

Still, because we rely so heavily on what we can see physically, and trust and faith require our believing something or believing in something that we can’t see, hear, taste, smell, or touch yet, we may be wondering how we can be expected to trust the Universe, or even slowly develop trust over time, when so many things these days almost everywhere we look seem to be going in the opposite direction of what we want to see and experience in this Earth life. We might even be thinking “This isn’t why I came!” But, then again, maybe it is because there is nothing like vivid contrast between what we want to see and experience, and what we see and experience we don’t want, to encourage us to learn to trust in more than what we can experience with our five senses. Oscar Wilde wrote, “All good experiences have come from trusting the universe. There is no other way to live or love. Otherwise you create your own prison.” We create our own prison with thoughts, words, conversations, and actions that are dominated by what we don’t want and why we don’t want it, and why we’re not happy that whatever is going on is going on! We’re so used to not seeing what we want—not because we can’t have it but because we’re not looking in the direction it’s coming from—that we’ve stopped asking for what we want in life and settled for complaining about life. We settle for such a small, lackluster version of our self and life when we’re created to extend and expand a Universe of limitless possibilities!

We’ve forgotten our life, in all its ways, arises from within us, and that within us is a realm of unlimited power and potential no matter what may be going on along our life path in any moment. In the Book of Hebrews we read, “Things that are seen came into being out of those things which are unseen.” We’ve forgotten that our thoughts and feelings are the unseen substance out of which our life comes into manifestation. We may be a little rusty when it comes to faith and trust in those things which are unseen because we’ve been relying so much on what we can see physically and “the laws the world made up.” We’ve been focusing so long on what’s already in front of us we’ve come to believe that it’s all there for us to experience in this life. We look at our body, relationships, and everything else around us, and then focus so often on what we don’t want, e.g., illness, conflict or lack, that we forget our life is governed by the Power of the Love of God for us that is within us and ready to give us whatever we want.

We live in a cooperative Universe that always delivers. All we have to do is ask and it will be given to us. But, we have to let it in, and we won’t if we don’t trust in the Goodness of Life and who we are in It. We resist our good with a belief in own unworthiness and our stubborn view of what is possible (or not possible) for us and the world around us. The poet, Rumi, wrote, “Do you know what you are? You are a manuscript of a Divine Love letter. You are a mirror reflecting a noble face. This universe is not outside of you. Look inside yourself. Everything that you want, you are already that.” We’d have no problem trusting that the Universe has our back 24/7 if we had faith that our safety, support, health, and well being are already ours. The Universe always answers “yes” when we ask for whatever we ask for, but we have to anticipate that “yes,” and expect to receive what we’ve asked for. The Universe always supports us in all we desire to be, do and have. We just have to let go and stop resisting being, doing and having it!

We read in The Science of Mind, “A marvelous sense steals over the one who waits on Good, and in patience bides his time. A feeling of some Unseen Presence silently creeps over the waiting thought. Though you cannot trace it, you must trust it.” Still, so often we want to trace it before we trust it! We want definitive proof before our eyes. “I’ll believe it when I see it” is such a human mantra that we’re used to looking for physical evidence of what to believe before we believe it! In 1989 Wayne Dyer wrote a wonderful book titled, “You’ll See It When You Believe It.” Over 2,000 years ago, Jesus said basically the same thing, “It is done unto you as you believe.” We’ll see it done when we believe it will be done “unto” us. In other words, we learn to trust the Universe by trusting the Universe! So often we’re afraid to dream because we don’t trust that our dreams will come true. We’re afraid to ask because we don’t want to be disappointed if we don’t get what we want—better health, happier relationships, increased financial freedom, or inspiration when we feel stuck in some situation. We let past disappointments cause us to resist our Present Good.

We can only develop trust that the Universe will give us what we want by finding the feeling of trust first, by letting our self feel what it would feel like to have whatever it is we want. Whatever it is we want, we want it for the feeling it will bring. What does good health feel like, ease and happiness? What does a loving relationship feel like, intimacy and contentment? What does financial abundance feel like, freedom and peace of mind? What does inspiration feel like, excitement and enthusiasm for life? We increase our trust by letting that good feeling grow within us before it physically manifests. It grows as we feel the reality of the inner evidence of it, like a baby moving in our womb, and we abide in patient trust in the unseen out of which everything is made. Trust opens us to receiving the wanted in our life because we’re looking in the direction it is coming from.

We read in The Science of Mind, “My confidence in The All Good is complete. My faith in the Power of Spirit is supreme. I have no doubts or uncertainties. I know my Good is at hand and I realize that no fear can hinder that Good from making Its appearance in my life and affairs. I know that my Life and Good are complete.” The Universe always has something very, very good up Its Holy Sleeve. It gathers all the unseen cooperative components together just for us. We just have be a cooperative component in our own desires by celebrating the Good even before we see it, and then looking for it with trust that It’s there.

 

Are Your Bells Ringable?

Image by Capri23auto from Pixabay

Through this month’s Sunday talks and the powerful multi-faith prayers for world peace offered at our World Peace Service, it seems for now that we’ve said what needs to be said about the Power of Peace, and what it takes for there to be Peace on Earth. Hopefully, we’ve all come to the same awareness: What it will take now for World Peace is what it has always taken, and what matters now, and for the future of our Planet, is what has always mattered, i.e., how we, individually, practice peace in our life. Wayne Dyer wrote, “Peace can become a lens through which you see the world. Be it. Live it. Radiate it out. Peace is an inside job.”

Peace has always been an inside job. Peace, like everything else we see in this three-dimensional world, begins individually in us, and collectively as humanity, as an unseen thought before it becomes visible to us in physical form, expression and action. Peace has always been Present in the world and in us because Peace is of God, the Source of all Life. Despite appearances today, Peace remains Present still because there can be no physical life without the Presence of the non-physical Source of Life that is Peace, as It is Love. But, we must choose to Be Peace if we want to feel It. We must live It if we want to see It. And, we must radiate It out if we want Peace to come into physical expression in the world around us.

The peaceful thoughts in our mind about our self as well as others, the peaceful way we speak about our self and others, and what we do in our everyday life to give Peace a chance to extend and expand on Earth, in difficult times as well easy ones, is the only way Peace has a chance to manifest Its Presence here and now through us. Our peaceful thoughts now, and our faith that our unseen peaceful thoughts matter to what manifests in the visible world next, is the Presence of Peace on Earth now in us, as us.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, we are the only place Peace can begin! We can’t be reminded of that Truth too often because so often we forget it’s true. We forget that it matters what we, individually, think, say and do. We forget that when things change inside of us, things naturally and automatically change around us. We get wishy-washy in our thinking when we forget it matters who we choose to be, individually, because we share One Life with everyone else on our Planet. This world is a reflection of what is alive and active in all of us. And, because we forget that it is, we fight for change in the world that hasn’t become a change in us yet.

The energetic vibrations we emit through our thinking not only attract to us a perfect match in the forms, expressions and experiences in our personal life, but affect the world we share.
It is the vibration of creation in each of us that makes the world go round as it does for each of us in our own mind. And, as the saying goes, “What goes around, comes around!” A Course in miracles tells us that our mind establishes everything that happens to us. Every response we make to everything we perceive is up to us, individually, because our mind determines our perception of it. When someone tells us “It’s all in your head, ”they’re right, and it’s all their head, too! How we see each other, and how we respond to each other, is determined by our individual perception of life. Sometimes New Thought students will say, just before they make a judgement, “I’m not judging, I’m just observing.” But it is difficult, even with regular long-time spiritual practice, to observe anything without prejudice or bias. Whatever I see begins with me. “I see” is a statement of our perceived awareness. “I don’t see” is also a statement of our perceived awareness. Either way, as the late Flip Wilson would say, “What you see is what you get.”

Though we may want to be, not one of us is exempt from creative participation in Life as long as we’re still here thinking, and every moment of every day we’re thinking about something. What we become aware of as a thought, given enough focus by us, will eventually physically manifest in our life as the condition of our health, relationships, finances, activities, and capabilities. As long as we are here in this earth life, even if we haven’t left home for months, we are not only affecting our individual life with our thinking, we are affecting the world. No matter how well-hidden we believe our beliefs to be, we are a walking, talking, vibrationally-creative spiritual being even when we’re sitting on the couch seemingly doing nothing! Whether we think intentionally, or live by default because we’re not paying attention to what we’re thinking, or don’t care what we’re thinking—whether we speak calmly and thoughtfully to others and about others, or have a verbal knee-jerk reaction to someone’s words or behaviors—everyday, in every way, we are either enriching our life with joy, peace, love, and well-being, and helping to create a richer world for all, or we’re not. But, even if we’re not, we’re still a powerful creative being who can if we choose to.

We read in A Course in Miracles, “He created you for Himself, but He gave you the power to create for yourself so you would be like Him. That is why your mind is holy. Believe this and you will realize how much is up to you.” We all know we have buttons that are pushable, triggers that are pullable, and a chain that is yankable. But are our bells ringable? There is a place within each of us where the peaceful breezes of the Love of God flow. That Energy of Love would ring our bells all day long if we’d let It. How often do we feel a happy vibration within us? We have to let go of our death-grip on life, stop trying to control others and outer events and bracing for the worst, before we’re “loose enough” for our bells to ring. We must choose to loosen up and trust in the Presence of joy, peace, and love before our bells will ring in celebration of life.

Even though the world seems to have manifested the unthinkable, if we keep focusing on what is already here that we don’t want, it will appear immovable, unchangeable, and unlovable. When our stomach is tied in knots with fear and worry, we make it difficult for our bells to ring. We are free, instead, to choose to live in the joyous expectation of the next miracle that is coming. In fact, it’s vital for us to start trusting that despite appearances, life is still good right now, and becoming better and better every day

We may want to ask our self, “Do I still believe that peace, health, joy, and love are natural to all living things? Do I trust that (even now) peace, health, joy, and love are alive and well in Universe in which I live, and so they are alive in me? No matter what negativity may call to me, am I willing to turn the other cheek so that I can see the beauty of miracles around me? Do I want to vibrate with such happiness most of time that I’m like bell-tower that is resounding with the celebration of life? Or am I settling for an individual vibration most of time that is more like a death knell, the ringing of a church bell announcing the death of things? Do I keep my focus most of time, or all of the time, on this physical world that appears to be manifesting more and more conflict, chaos, sickness, and division every day?”

Years ago I had a friend who watched a lot of football games with her family and friends. But as she consciously began her spiritual practice every day, she realized that watching football made her think combative thoughts towards the other team, and to feel aggressive in a way that caused her to feel agitated the rest of day. So, she decided that until she was able to watch football and still maintain a peaceful mind whether her preferred team was winning or losing, she wouldn’t watch football. Now you may be thinking it’s only a game, and half the fun is getting worked up over it! Many people feel that way about watching horror movies, half the fun is feeling the fear! But, it’s important not to forget that what we’re thinking and how we’re feeling, while we’re watching a football game or horror movie, is still creating our life in that moment off the football field and beyond the TV or movie theater.

The same is true when we’re watching the news. All the conflict, blaming and competitiveness can cause us, depending on who we’re “rooting for,” to mentally give the ‘ol football cheer, “Hit ‘em again, hit ‘em again, harder, harder!!” When the news is over we might feel agitated the rest of day, or all through the night if watch the news before bed! And, like having watched horror movie, the images we’ve seen may be hard to get out of our head. It’s good to be informed about what’s going on in the world, but it’s good for us and the world to make it our intention to maintain a peaceful mind whether our preferred team appears to be winning or losing.

It’s time for us to replace our pushable buttons with a zipper of Love. It’s time for us to put down our defensive weapons so we are no longer triggered by words we hear, wherever we hear them and no matter who is saying them. It’s time for us to tuck in our chain so it’s no longer yankable. If we want Peace on Earth it’s time for us to allow our bells to ring so loud with joy and appreciation for life that the whole world will feel the vibration of our individual celebration of life. If we want Peace to be a lens through which we see world, we must Be that Peace. We must live It and radiate It out, so that our inside job becomes a good job for the world.

World Peace Service

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The International Day of Peace is a day observed around the world on September 21st each year. It was established by the United Nations General Assembly to provide a globally-shared day for all humanity to choose Peace above all differences, and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace. It was drafted more than seventy-two years ago by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world. It was adopted by UN General Assembly in Paris on December 10, 1948. It is the most translated document in the world, available in more than five-hundred languages.

The International Day of Peace is intended to commemorate and strengthen the ideals of peace both within each individual and among all nations and all peoples. Each year there is a different theme. This year is “Shaping Peace Together.” It could not be a more appropriate theme for 2020. With the clarity of 2020 vision this year has brought with it, by what continues to occur in our country and around the world everyday and is currently manifesting in previously unimaginable ways, one day set aside to meditate and pray for World Peace is not enough. Though it may temporarily affect the world in positive and powerful ways, one day a year has not, because one day alone cannot, bring a sustained Peace on Earth.

The late Prime Minister of India, Nehru, said “Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Peace isn’t merely the absence of war, it is a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people.” Peace on Earth requires peaceful people living together in peace. It requires our individual desire for peace within us above all else around us. No one can give serenity to our soul or peace to our mind, but we, our self. No government, no religion, nothing outside of us can make us peaceful within us. Being a peaceful being in the world is a choice. Peace on Earth can only be sustained by individual awareness that the differences between people and religions and cultures, and the differences in the color and texture of physical expression, is not evidence of separation from one another, or the exemption of anyone from the One Life we share. It is evidence of the rich, ever-unfolding diversity of creation we all individually and uniquely express.

Martin Luther King said, “If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective. We must learn to live together as brothers or we will perish together as fools.” Learning to live together in natural harmony and peace, rather than dying together in the insanity of conflict and separation, requires global unity of hearts and minds, every heart and every mind. Are we going to be foolish enough to wait to see evidence of Peace around us before we make it our intention to be peaceful in our heart and mind? Are we going to be foolish enough to believe that Peace can come without our individual participation? Are we going to be foolish enough to believe it is our birthright to control the life of anyone else? Are we going to be foolish enough to believe that our way of living life and loving God is the only way?

A sustainable Peace on Earth can’t be legislated by any government or enforced by any power but our own power to choose who we will be and how we will be individually in the world, not just for one day, but every day. Being a peaceful being doesn’t mean to be in a place where there is never any noise, no conflict around us and no fingers pointing at us. It means that we can look at such situations as opportunities for us to exercise our Power to Choose to focus on peaceful thoughts that bring about calmness in our emotions. It means to be able to be in the midst of all those things, and still choose to be peaceful in our mind and serene in our soul.

Gandhi said, “We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.” Are we waiting to see what others do before we do the peaceful thing? Are we waiting to see how the elections turn out, or who is appointed to the Supreme Court, before we rest in peaceful thoughts, before we let our conversations voice only peaceful words, and before we decide to make our responses to each other, and actions toward one another, actions of peace? Are we going to reach for each other in peace or point at each other in anger and blame? As we change own nature, so does the attitude of the world seem to change right before our eyes. Before Peace can manifest in the world, It must become our way of seeing the world, and our way of being in the world.

On this International Day of Peace there will be powerful Prayers for World Peace by beautiful practitioners of Peace around the world, offered in the language of their faith. Every prayer, in every language and of every faith, is answered in the moment it is uttered. Today we have an opportunity to stand in answered prayer together by taking a stand within our self for Peace above all else. We can choose to let our loyalties transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation. Are we ready to develop a world perspective of Peace together? Are we ready to visualize and manifest a world that works for every living being? If the answer is “yes,” then today we can begin “Shaping Peace Together.” And, it will come to pass that an International Day of Peace will be a day we observe every day.

Behind the “Seens”

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

The Peace we are focusing on this month is the Peace that begins with us as we choose to be a peaceful being in the world. If we want there to be Peace on Earth, then every day we must decide to make Peace a priority within us. Martin Luther King said, “Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.” Inner Peace is the means by which we arrive at Peace on Earth.

Inner Peace is Present for us to choose all of the time. It becomes an outer experience only as we choose to make It a priority at least most of the time—through the thoughts we intentionally focus on in our mind most of the time; through the emotions we consciously choose to give voice to most of the time; and through the purposeful movements and considerate actions we take most of the time. The more we practice Inner Peace, the more peaceful we become. The more peaceful we become, the more Peace we bring into world through us.

St Francis de Sales wrote, “Do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever even if your whole world seems upset.” Our whole world certainly seems upset these days, doesn’t it? We all want to feel peaceful, but with everything that’s going on in politics, with the results of climate change, with covid fears and mandates, it’s easy to lose our inner peace over just about anything. If fact, many of us are on our last coping nerve without even being aware that we are. There are certain people in our life that we know well, and well-known people in life we know of, that can trigger negative emotions in us that don’t surprise us because we expect to feel those specific emotions most of the time, which is why we continue to feel them most of the time! But these days, if we’re not aware of how we’re feeling within us, if we’re not consciously monitoring how we’re doing mentally and emotionally with all the crazy, chaotic things that are going on, and if we’re not soothing our self with peaceful, calming thoughts so we are able to do things in a calm spirit, even the smallest thing can set us off.

Even in the midst of all that seems to be happening these days, whether it’s happening in our individual life with us or someone we love, in our country, or in the world, we have the capacity to stand in the center of our own peace. When we take time to soothe our self with peaceful thoughts that create calm emotions, a molehill doesn’t turn into a mountain. Lao Tzu wrote, “Make your heart like a lake with a calm, still surface and great depths of kindness.” If we make Inner Peace our priority, if our intention is to do what we do in a calm spirit as often as we can, then if we find our self suddenly upset by one of “the regulars,” or something else, that sudden upset doesn’t need to get any bigger, or last any longer, and turn our whole day into a mountain of manure! We can take time right then and there to quiet the mental-emotional turbulence. We can calm our mind with forgiveness of our self for temporarily losing it, and soothe our self with kindness and love, so that we can return to being a peaceful being in the world as soon as we can.

Before Peace can become manifest in the world, It must become Present and active in our inner awareness, and express through us as us. There is Power in maintaining a peaceful inner life. There is Power in consciously deciding which thoughts and emotions we care to dwell on. It is strong to stay calm even when our whole world seems upset. In the Book of Psalms we read, “Let there be peace by your power and prosperity within your walls.” Maintenance of Inner Peace requires diligence of mind and emotions. Otherwise we may find our self burning with rage over the smallest thing like a wildfire started by just a tiny spark. We must decide to let there be peace within us by our own power, and not someone else’s, or we allow the world to have power over us. If we do, we will end up stoking the flames of conflict and division in a world we claim we want to live peacefully within.

Why do we choose to procrastinate when Peace is so urgently needed in the world? Often it’s because we’re not ready to let It begin with us. We’re not convinced that is where It begins. We want to see evidence of Its Presence around us before we decide to be peaceful within us. We want someone to give in, give up, take responsibility, and say “sorry.” We measure the Presence of Peace not by what we are able to feel within us, but by what we can see around us. However, Peace, like everything else that appears in form and expression around us, doesn’t begin outside of us. Everything we see begins with the vibration of the beliefs we hold within us. And, often, those beliefs are based on what’s in front of us. We don’t look beyond the obvious to the unseen energies within us that is causing us to see what see and react to it. In the Book of Hebrews we read, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” What we see with our eyes isn’t what causes things to appear to us the way they do. Things that appear to us begin with the unseen, but not unfelt, energy we emit. If that were not true, how could Peace on Earth begin with us?

There is so much in the world we don’t see that we have “substantial faith” in nonetheless—like gravity. We can see the results of gravity, and sometimes feel the results of gravity, but we can’t see gravity with our physical eyes. Still, we have so much faith in it we don’t ever worry we’ll fly off into space, and we’d never intentionally step off a high building or jump out of an airplane without a parachute, if we wanted to continue to live.

We have faith in the unseen law of mathematics as well. We can see the results of accurate and inaccurate calculations, and try as we might we can never make two plus two add up to anything other than four. But we can’t physically see the law that keeps mathematics true to what it is. We can’t see the spiritual-vibrational Law of Love that keeps us true to what we are. We are mostly non-physical spiritual-vibrational beings even while we are having this physical human experience. The greatest part us, and the most powerful part us, can be felt and experienced within us, even though it is unseen by our physical eyes. We don’t see energy, we feel it. We don’t see thoughts, yet they emit a vibration we feel as emotion, and those around us often feel too. That vibration is always responded to by the spiritual-vibrational Universe in which we live. Through the unseen Law of Attraction we attract to us, and around us, what we think about most of the time. It is the Law of Attraction that organizes the universe and keeps It true to what it is. Everything that becomes visible in the world has already been organized behind the seens by the Law of Attraction in response to the individual and collective thoughts we emit. Tomorrow is already here, behind the seens!

Every thought is a Prayer that is answered the moment It goes out as thought. Answered prayer has nothing to do with lip-service, and everything to do with what we believe Life to be and who we believe our self to be when we ask. There is so many shouting of “peace, peace” these days when there is no peace behind the shouting. In the Book of Matthew we read, “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Thoughts are prayers that go out into a spiritual-vibrational Universe that “sees” the vibration, and “feels” the energy, and responds to it according to the secret, physically-unseen substance emitted. A prayer to make something fearful go away is filled with fearful energy. It’s based on what is already in physical form. And, behind the seens, the substance of fear is busy creating more to be afraid of in the world. A prayer of calm peace, love and joy, filled with faith in the unseen Divine Presence, creates more to feel peaceful, loving and joyful about in the world.

It doesn’t matter if we say or sing, “let there be Peace on Earth.” It doesn’t matter if we talk about Peace and march for Peace unless what we’re doing behind the seens for Peace is being a peaceful being. The peaceful thoughts we hold in our mind now, and faith that our unseen thoughts matter to what manifests in the visible world, is evidence of the Presence of Peace on Earth now. Tomorrow is already here! We are the evidence of things not seen “yet,” and we carry with us the powerful substance of things hoped for around us. In this way, and only in this way, can we let Peace begin with us.