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Denise’s Daring Daydreams for 01/12/2017

“I should not make any promises right now,
But I know if you pray
Somewhere in the world –
Something good will happen.”

Hafiz

In many of the world’s religions there is a base line knowledge that practices like meditation, prayer, and ritual, in addition to their positive effect on individuals, play a subtle role in supporting change in the world.  This benefit can be understood as subtle activism. 

When I began my journey on the Unity path, meditation was a new experience for this “born again Christian.”  My prayer life had been one of either memorized prayers for certain occasions or prayers for certain times of day – “Now I lay me down to sleep.”  Other prayers were for me to confess my sins to this being that was “somewhere out there,” in hopes that “he” would hear me and have compassion on me “a sinner.” 

When I began to practice meditation – and believe me 30+ years later, it is still a practice that I do every day – I realized that sitting in the silence made me feel better.  But, I wasn’t sure why. I was working towards my Master’s Degree in Psychology, so I was a part of a Vanderbilt study about the benefits of such things as Bio Feedback and practices that included Mindfulness.  (Bio Feedback is a technique that trains people to improve their health by controlling certain bodily processes that normally happen involuntarily)  All of a sudden I was blowing my own mind.  I literally had the ability to lower my heart rate just by sitting in the silence.  Who Knew?

One of the highlights of my training was being in the presence of Jon Kabat Zinn, a professor of Medicine who created a Stress Reduction Clinic and a Center for Mindfulness. One of the quotes I remember him stating at a conference I attended was, “Be careful.  You might be tempted to avoid the messiness of daily living for the tranquility of stillness and peacefulness.  Remember – you came here to experience it all.  And you came with an intention to have an effect on it all.”   

The statement, “You came here to experience it all” was much easier for me to take in, although that was difficult enough.  Surely I didn’t come here to experience some of the things I had experienced.  Don’t try to tell me I signed up for this!  

The second part of that statement still sends chills up and down my spine, “You came with an intention to have an effect on it all.”   That statement has run through my mind many times when I wanted to run away – and even as I was running away.  That same belief has served me well at times and taken me into many situations that otherwise I would have been scared and powerless to step into. 

As I remind the Prayer Chaplains, when I stay “prayed up” I can then step into any situation and have a positive effect.  And the magic is that sometimes I don’t even know I’m choosing.  They appear right in front of me. It is as if stepping on this path that I have been on for over 30 years has led me to the right and perfect next step. 

Sunday  we will begin our study of Sacred Activism – what it is and how to begin to experience it.  I hope you choose to join me “At the Beginning.”  The amazing Sherri Phillips will be joining me as we weave this sacred web of intrigue and mystery. 

I am light, I am light
I am divinity defined
I am the God on the inside
I am a star, a piece of it all
I am light. 

 

See you Sunday!
Rev. D


Denise’s Daring Daydreams 01/05/2017

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On January 1, 2017 our spiritual community sang the following words:  “Let me be a force for good in this world – each day I’ll give my best.”  Excitement was in the air as we left the sanctuary and went out into the world with a new thought and a new commitment for 2017.   Then life began to happen. 

Making the Commitment to Be a Force for Good brings numerous opportunities to walk your talk. During the last week as I have been preparing for a lesson entitled,

Becoming a Force for Good, I have contemplated, “What does that statement really mean?”  As I am reading the book by Daniel Goleman (A Force for Good), I have become more aware of my own thoughts and feelings and how they assist me or hold me back from being who I want to be each day.   

The word force means “the use of strength or energy as an attribute of physical action or movement.”  So as I begin to ponder how I will be a force, through sacred actions during each day, these 4 ideas have risen to the surface of my mind.  I choose to use my energy in this way.     

  1. Give Others Something to Believe In

We are all in a position to affect many lives.  I’m not sure that we fully realize the impact we can have on others during the normal flow of our days.  I posted earlier this week a picture of a lighthouse with the words: “Don’t forget that maybe you are the lighthouse in someone else’s storm.”  A smile, a kind word or an act of compassion can help another reframe their belief in humankind.   

  1. Look for the good

Finding the good is not always easy but if we are willing, there is usually a shred of good in everything. (There’s a pony in here somewhere)  Finding that shred doesn’t just help us.  Finding and sharing the good can assist others in having a better day.  The good goes viral when as it is shared like ripples on the water, out into the world.

  1. Move beyond Love and Light

“It’s more than just the words I say; it’s more than just the prayers I pray.”  So many times in New Thought, we spend our time in prayer and meditation, sending love across the oceans.  The Prayer process is the beginning of the shift of energy, and when we stop at that place we leave the most important step of Sacred Action. How do I choose to move my energy out into the world?

  1. Build a Community That Cares

True Connections are formed when people genuinely care about each other.  A caring community provides a warm, safe environment for persons to come together and build higher vibrations of understanding and love.  When a community truly treats other people the way they want to be treated – miracles flow. 

With Spirit as my source
I will stay the course
I will be a force for good in this world. 

Rev. D