For the world to be able to live in peace we must begin living as peace. To have peace we must be peace. Simple as that.
But of course we know in the reality of our world it really isn’t. Nobody wants to be the first to let go of the anger and strife that have come to be accepted as “just the way things are.” But it is important that we keep trying.
This month Espirational will focus on living as peace. Please join us.
Rest in peace is a phrase we usually hear when someone has died. But we don’t have to die to rest in peace.
We can rest in the peace of God right here and right now. Yes, right smack dab in the chaos and turmoil of the world around us.
All we have to do is stop, close our eyes and notice our breath going in and out. As we watch our thoughts going past without grabbing hold of them we will feel our mind start to settle. As we continue we will begin to find ourselves resting in the peace of God.
It’t that easy. The hard part is letting go. Letting go of thoughts. Letting go of the energy of drama and struggle.
Taking the time to just rest in the Presence is not being lazy, selfish or non-productive. It is the most important time we can spend. and is not something to put off until we die.
So today, I say to all of us still among the living…. rest in peace.
I have reached a point in my life where I am really not interested in theology. I don’t want to know what scholars or preachers think about God, I want to know God. Faith for me has become less and less intellectual and more experiential.
Life and faith are not meant to be endless struggle until we die and “go to heaven” as an escape from this earth. We are created to know and enjoy God right here and now. It is our beliefs about God spelled out in our doctrines and theologies which make life hard. It is not some sort of punishment from God, we do it to ourselves.
Almost twenty years ago at the end of an energy healing session I had an experience of the Divine that changed my life and how I see God. The healer, who was also a licensed medical doctor, knew something special happened and asked about it, but there were no words to describe it.
The doctor died unexpectedly a few months after that and unfortunately it took me awhile to stop going from one alternative healer to another looking to repeat that experience. I was not ready to comprehend that God was within me and that conscious experience of the Divine is always at hand. Now I don’t know how I lived before.
That doesn’t mean life is always smooth sailing. I do a pretty good job of complicating things and making life hard all on my own. But it is my thoughts and beliefs that do that, not God.
So this month let’s look at knowing God. If you have a personal experience you would like to share, please feel free to leave a comment below.
I haven’t been speaking directly to the global pandemic or the racial unrest here in the U.S. very much over the last few months. I have been trying to choose topics that might give you quotes and tools to deal with what is going on “out there” right now. I was waiting, hoping things would calm down a bit, but that just doesn’t seem to be happening. So — here I go, speaking from my heart.
This has been a time of unimaginable sickness, death and social upheaval. I would never try to minimize that. I would also never minimize the seriousness of the situation. But I believe we have been put in “time out” for a reason. Everyone is in a big hurry to get back to “normal.” The problem with that is that in our world “normal” means what most of the people are doing. It has nothing to do with what is good, pure, loving, peaceful or promoting the good for all.
If we look carefully at that “normal” people want to get back to we can see why the world is a mess. We have been destroying our planet, the only home we’ve got. We have institutionalized imagined differences between peoples and declared that some of us are more important than others. Many who are pro-life are supporting the separation of families and detention of children and police brutality, including the murders of people of color. We have forgotten we are created as one with the Creator and each other. Greed and selfishness have taken over with people striving to have more and more while trying to make sure others get nothing.
These things are what many consider the “normal” they want to go back to. I don’t now about you, but I want to move forward to create a world that works for all.
The Black Lives Matter movement has made life uncomfortable for many of us. We are being forced to look at ourselves and our country and answer some hard questions and deal with difficult issues. It is time for Americans admit that our country is not perfect. The atrocities that have been committed against native peoples who already lived in this country and the African people who were captured, enslaved and considered “property” can no longer be swept under that ratty old dirty carpet. We must also realize that “freedom of religion” applies to all not just Christians or one group of Christians.
None of this will be easy — we have a big job ahead of us. The important thing is that we begin and then keep going.
So, now we stand at a crossroads. As I am writing this I am listening to Daniel Nahmod singing Love is My Decision. Perfect timing. We have a decision to make. Are we going to choose love or are we going to continue the quest for money and power that has led to the precipice we now stand at. Are we going to keep going and go over the edge or will we turn around, stand as one and create a new way of living on this earth?
Demanding our right to be reckless and endanger the lives of others, potentially continuing to spread a deadly virus won’t get us there. Neither will racism and trying to create an all white “Christian” nation. Continuing to support a President who continues to divide our country will not get us there either. We can feel compassion for him but his incompetence will only continue to lead us down a dark road.
Take advantage of this time to drink a little deeper from the well of Spirit. Clean house not only physically but mentally and spiritually as well. Look at those old thoughts, beliefs and attitudes, letting go of those that no longer serve the higher good.
These are difficult times. But they can also be be healing times, even exciting times. We have a chance to turn around, “repent” if you will, and create a better world. Will we take it, or will we blow it?
“It is best to emphasize again and again that spiritual awakening has nothing to do with reaching a divine state. Rather, it is the acknowledgement that every moment is about accepting life’s divinity.”
We know that many are still dealing with the virus and we will be living with the aftermath of this for some time to come. The immensity of the loss of life, jobs, homes, and financial security has not quite hit most of us yet. There will be much grieving for some time . But today I want to talk about what we have learned from this international crisis.
We all know some people have spent this forced “time out” being angry, frightened, bored, hoarding food and supplies, or even profiting from the misfortune of others. Who will ever forget the empty store shelves and the “toilet paper crisis?”
But others have been enjoying the chance to rest, decompress and spend more time with family, learning new information and skills, or just taking the time to do those things at home they never had time for. Some have even used this time to heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
People have prayed, meditated, forgiven, and asked for forgiveness. We have discovered new ways to come together and still reach out to others in spite of “social distancing.”
Authorities tell us the virus has temporarily reached a peak, but that it’s not over and will return. The government tells us we must return to work for the economic well being of all, as long as we do so with certain precautions.
My hope is that in the days to come we will not just go back to “business as usual.” Instead, let’s learn important truths from this experience — both good and bad. I hope we will come out of this situation better people who have taken the time to work on ourselves while also finding new ways to help and connect to others and are ready to come together to create a world that works for all.
As I close this month I want to leave you with a few questions: What has changed for you? What have you learned? How will your life be different? What do you want to see continue when we are past the crisis? Let’s talk!
We are returning to our regular blog posts, but I will relate them to what is going on in our world as appropriate. Tomorrow we will begin a month of posts on communication. How does this relate to the circumstances we are currently living through?
So, be safe as we enter into May. Please make your comments on these posts and quotes and let’s start a conversation.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
[c]—Psalm 46:1-3 The Bible, NIV, accessed through Bible Gateway.com
The COVID pandemic has certainly shown us how quickly our world can be turned upside down, hasn’t it? Things change from week to week, day to day and sometimes hour to hour. I watched as churches announced online on Friday that they would still be holding services only to find themselves scrambling on Saturday to keep the flock together and informed as they were closing their facilities to help prevent the spread of the virus.
The uncertainty has brought out the best and the worst of us all. We have seen everything from people hoarding toilet paper and fighting over hand sanitizer to people looking for ways to reach out to elderly friends and family. We have seen churches activating phone trees to keep in contact with members and pastors taking their ministries totally online, speaking to a camera instead of a congregation. We have also seen reactions from the extreme of fear-mongering to saying there is no danger and encouraging people to behave irresponsibly.
It is perfectly normal to be afraid in times like these. I am not even going to pretend that I don’t have my moments of fear for myself. I also have concern for others in my senior community, many with compromised immune systems. But I know I cannot let that fear consume me.
Believe me, it is not easy; but this is a time I have to continue my spiritual practice and trust God. As someone who always has to be doing and helping others, I also have to ask, “What is mine to do? ” — right now, in this situation.
This time of uncertainty is also a time of great opportunity. If we will use it, many of us will now have the chance to slow down, rest and connect with our higher selves. We have time to strengthen the spiritual practices (prayer, meditation, affirmations, study) we may have been getting lax in, so we will come out of this even stronger and have better ways of coping when the next crisis comes. We have the opportunity to get creative with new ways to keep in touch with others and maintain a strong sense of community and belonging. This is the time to learn new things, new ways of living and being.
If we focus on only surviving this time of great uncertainty things will be just as chaotic when the next great earth-shaking event (or even just a small one) occurs. With the world changing as rapidly as it is now, uncertainty is a given. How will we cope? Will we stay stuck to the things that used to work? Or will we anchor ourselves firmly in faith and practice as we prepare for the next great adventure?
As in any situation, it is all up to you. We cannot always control our circumstances, but we can control what we think and believe about them and how we react. What will your choice be?
This month we will be talking about living through uncertainty. Please feel free to talk about how you are living in these uncertain times.
Choices. Which one is the best? Which one do I want? Just choose one. I want both — don’t make me choose one. I don’t want either — don’t make me choose one. Sound familiar? These are the kind of thoughts we have all had while trying to make choices.
While we all enjoy having the freedom to make our own choices actually choosing can be difficult. There are times we really wish someone else would choose for us. But that rarely works out, does it?
So why can it be so difficult to choose?
Fear of making a mistake/fear of the consequences. What if I make the wrong choice? What if my choice just makes things worse? Do I really want to be responsible? Am I ready to live with my choice?
Both choices appear equally good. In this case, we may wish we could have both. Sometimes we can have both, like a scoop of ice cream on a piece of our cake. Other times we really do have to choose just one good thing.
Both choices appear equally bad. There just wasn’t a good choice. People of all political persuasions were saying that after the last U.S. Presidential election. When there doesn’t appear to be a good choice we can always regret the choice we did make — even if the choice was not to chose. If you choose not to choose you are giving other people the right to choose for you.
Peer pressure. It can be difficult to make a different choice than it appears everyone else is making. This happens when we live differently than those around us as well as being the lone vote for or against something in a group decision. Making choices can be lonely. But sooner or later we all have to choose — something.
Please join us this month as we look at some of the choices we make and how we make them. Feel free to leave your comments below. Give us some tips on things you use to make the decision making process easier so everyone reading these articles could use them. I would love to get a discussion going about this.