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Denise’s Daring Daydreams for 03/10/2016


“Sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”  These are words my mother said to me when I was growing up.  I also heard them from several teachers.  The words were spoken to help me or others shift from a place of hurt to a place of healing and wholeness – AND – they didn’t work; at least not for me.

A study by W. Penn Handwerker, a professor of anthropology at the University of Connecticut linked depression, suicide, stress, heart disease, and aggression to a lifetime of hurtful words stored in the energy of the body.  Handwerker was interested in bullying that seemed to be on the rise in the late 90’s.  He specifically studied the Littleton, Colorado public school shootings better known as Columbine.  Handwerker found that the shooters had experienced years of hurtful words and emotional abuse.

The facts of bullying and emotional abuse experienced by the shooters do not lesson the effect of the loss of 13 lives on April 20, 1999.  What the fact does is clarify something that many of us know at a gut level.  Therapists who have worked with children or adults are well aware that abuse is not merely physical or sexual.  In fact, the effects of emotional, verbal or psychological abuse can many times be as demeaning and devastating and sometimes much harder to process.  It is much easier to say, this physical situation happened to me.  It is much more difficult to discuss emotional abuse, for the simple fact that it is emotional and many times we have stuffed it inside and chosen to not bring it to the surface again.

While most of us can’t recall the details of our day-to-day life experiences — what we ate for dinner last Thursday, which clothes we wore

on Monday, or even what we did last weekend – our minds are like a virtual recording system when it comes to the spoken word.  And it seems that we tend to harbor all the ugly things people have said to us, effortlessly playing back the comments from years and years ago.  I can still remember a 3rd 

grade teacher holding up my handwriting paper in front of a classroom of students and stating, “This is Denise’s paper and her letters are slanted backwards.  You should never write like this.”  That may not sound awful to you, but to a 9 year old, I was completely devastated.

You see I was probably born left handed, but my mother kept putting the pencil in my right hand, telling me “This is the hand you are supposed to write with.”  By the time I got to first grade, I was writing with my right hand but when cursive writing was introduced in third grade, I curved my hand on my paper and slanted my letters to the left instead of the right.  Zaner Bloser – the official handwriting course stated that “perfect and beautiful handwriting slanted to the right.”  The words spoken, “You should never write like this” translated in my 9 year old brain, “my handwriting is ugly.”  To this day I have never liked my handwriting.  As I got older, I wrote in print letters and still do except to sign my name.

Clearly words matter.  They are powerful.  And what matters most is how we use our words.  Do we use them like sticks and stones to tear down, to destruct, and destroy?  Do we use them to defend our position?  Or do we use them to build us?  Do we use them to create peace?  Jesus when speaking to his disciples stated, “My peace I give to you.”  Jesus the Master Teacher had practiced over and over the process of meditation and he was mindful of the reservoir of spirit freely available to us in any moment.  When his disciples were scared and fearful, he was able to offer them overflowing peace from the reservoir.


morning our lesson is entitled, Speak Peace.  In the words of our special music guest, Jody Soland, “I choose peace, I choose love.  I breathe it in, and it fills up my heart.  Then I send it out believing it’s healing the whole world right now.  I choose peace.  I choose love.”  What words are you choosing – what words are you speaking?  What vibration are you adding into the cosmic soup?


Peace is the Way,
Rev. D

Denise’s Daring Daydreams for 03/03/2016


This month, I am pulling the “Jesus Card”.  That very statement may cause some to shudder and give others a feeling of peace.  Your personal reactions depend on what your thoughts are about this man.  Did you know that Jesus never taught one single fearful principle?  He taught about Love and Forgiveness.  In fact, he asked people to let go of the laws and commandments they had been attempting to keep and to focus on Love.  But we have realized over 2000 years later that even the purest of words and intentions can be distorted.

This month leading up to Easter Sunday, we will look at healing beliefs around the man Jesus; letting go of distortions; seeing him as he was and is today; and understanding that many of his teachings came from Buddha, Krishna and others.  We will also focus on allowing the flame of the Christ, the flame of love to burn within our hearts.  That Love actually can come to us from the heart of the Christ because he was one who remembered the light in the darkness of the world.  That Love can come from him because he not only received the gift of love, but was able to give it unconditionally to all who would receive it.

In the 1990’s a man by the name of Paul Ferrini began to publish some remarkable books, 40 to be exact.  Paul’s writings, poetry, meditations and Affinity Circles helped heal people of thoughts and emotions that had been keeping them in lower vibrational energy, and gave them the tools to become more spiritually grounded in the challenges of daily life.   Paul was simply sharing the message that Jesus the Master Teacher shared over 2000 years ago.  Paul offered to those who would join him an experience of Peace in thoughts, words, and actions.  That experience may be spoken of in many different ways through the words we use, and that experience is Love – Joy – Peace.  So how do we get there?

There are three stages of development along the way.  The first stage is subconscious knowledge which is driven by our instinct and our emotions.  This is the stage of the Old Testament.  In this stage, we do things out of fear.  “Do this or God will punish you!”  “Do this or Santa Claus will not bring you a toy.”  “Do this or I will not love you.”  Many of us can speak new thought lingo, and still occasionally hang out in Stage One, fearing an outcome that we believe will come if we do not show up a certain way.

Stage two is Self-Conscious Knowledge which begins to build the intellect and personal empowerment – thinking that if I know enough, I can ward off this vengeful God; find a way to get my Christmas present and make you love me.  Stage two is being aware of God but still feeling separate – New Testament mentality.  Stage Two teachings focus on what you will miss if you don’t allow God into your life – attempting to entice you into a life of spirit.  Stage three is much different than the other two.

Stage three calls for the birth of a new human; a different way of living individually and collectively – a new practice if you will.  Think about a Musical Composition which begins to come to life when someone steps up to perform it, and of course they must practice first.  I can remember practicing certain piano pieces for over a year to get to the place where I was ready to perform.  Our lives can only become peaceful when we step up to the practice of Peace as called for by Jesus the Master Teacher.  That practice begins and ends with Love. It calls for a thorough investigation of the mind and the fears on which our thoughts have been based.  It calls for us to look at the creations that our fears bring to the surface.

My prediction for the spiritual community of Unity of Music City is this:  During the Month of March – we will find God in our hearts and in the hearts of our brothers and sisters.  We will find that ministry or place we can plug into or that class or experience that will begin our practice of the presence of peace.  We will begin to experience our own divinity, knowing that divinity is our very essence.  And we will choose to share that love and joy and peace with everyone we meet.  We are advertising a Spirit of Unity Festival: Nashville Chooses Peace on April 2nd from 10:00am – 2:00pm.   Have you chosen the vibration of peace for your life today?  Begin the practice.  It will lead you to the performance of a lifetime!

Peace is the Way,
Rev. D