Summer: A time to relax into ease

Midsummer is such a wonderful time of plenty here in Minnesota, with the sun’s warmth and light giving us awesome sustenance and beauty with luxuriant foliage and delicious, healthy fruits and vegetables. We also are receiving essential vitamins from the sun’s rays that warm and tan and relax us.

Our lives are meant to have a natural cycle: Work—rest—conceive. It’s circular, with the conception of ideas stimulating us to move forward again into the next work portion of the cycle. We are meant to express and experience these in equal measure: 1/3, 1/3, 1/3. (I know, the Bible says God rested on the seventh day, and it and other holy books often advise doing things in 40-day periods. Both 7 and 40 are numbers indicating wholeness and perfection; their metaphysical meanings are “completeness” and “as long as it takes.” These passages are saying that God rested when creation was complete and that what was undertaken was continued until the desired result was achieved.)

The number three represents a wholeness that is comprised of three equal parts. Creative wholeness consists of equal elements of work, rest, and conception or inspiration (inspire: breathing spirit into).

summer_relaxSummertime is a natural time for us to honor the “rest” part of this cycle. It is much more important than our production-oriented culture appreciates, for without relaxation, we aren’t in a mode of openness to conceive new ideas or easier, better ways to accomplish that which we wish to produce. We’ve all heard striking examples of scientists and others who experienced a “eureka!” moment regarding a problem when they took a nap or went for a relaxing walk. We are meant to receive solutions and guidance easily and often, in our everyday lives. We can’t do that if we aren’t giving ourselves appropriate relaxation time; we won’t be “in the zone”!

Another really important reason to get the right amount of rest is that this relaxed and rested zone—this arena in which creativity comes alive—is where our real selves come out to play. Want to get in touch with your Real, Inner Self? Relax, get in touch with what It wants to do, then play at that. This will be true happiness. So get in the groove. As Simon and Garfunkel sang,
“Slow down, you move too fast.
You gotta make the (summer) last…”

What to do when all hell breaks loose

My friend, Brendalyn Batchelor (the Unity minister in Santa Fe), and I were shocked when we heard that all hell had been breaking loose in the world while we were lightheartedly enjoying a summer vacation together. What to do about this accelerated conflict in our world? It’s scary. It’s threatening. It’s real. Denying it won’t get us anywhere–our brains won’t buy into the denial anyway–nor will ignoring the situation help bring about any change. What can we do?

What are you doing about it? There’s an old saying that’s true: If you want to know how someone will handle the big, important things, look at how they handle small things; it’ll be the same. Whether we’re dealing with world conflict or a situation at home or at our workplace with one person or event, knowing how to effectively handle conflict is a valuable skill. Our teaching gives the same advice for all conflict, major or minor, personal or world-wide:

First, move into peace yourself. Center yourself in prayer or your mindfulness technique to embody the peace you desire to manifest. peace doveDoing this removes any unhelpful energy you might be contributing to the situation (fear, anger, judgment) and prepares you to be a conduit for the energy of resolution.

Next, be grateful for this conflict-free peace you have right now. Know that this peace is available also to everyone and everything involved in the situation that you have concern about. Peace in the situation might not exist at present, but it is available to it, and Spirit can resolve the conflict without stripping anyone or anything of their appropriate power.

Now, claim and accept peace for the situation. Know that in your oneness with all life, you have the ability to accept peace for any other part of life. Let yourself be a conduit for peaceful resolution of the situation, releasing all judgment and concern. This doesn’t mean you are to muster up peace to send to others; you simply accept for them, letting peace flow through you without effort.

Once you have done this, remain mindfully peaceful. (Probably the hardest part!) If there is any other action that is yours to take regarding the situation, you are in a receptive state to receive guidance. If you don’t receive a divine nudge to do something in particular, know that your Being an Instrument of Peace is powerful beyond our knowledge, and perfect for you. If everyone were doing this simple thing, think what a wonderful world we would have!

A Commitment to Honor Ourselves

“I cannot afford to associate with doubters of who I am.”

This statement has been attributed to Ernest Holmes, spoken during a speech he gave in CA many years ago. I have not been able to verify its accuracy, but what I do know is that it is a very wise and empowering statement, in keeping with Holmes’ teachings.

Did reading it give you goosebumps? Goosebumps are the result of witnessing or hearing something deeply true and powerful, often a new thought to us and a new way of thinking that offers us an avenue to freedom. Many of those attending last Wednesday night’s Gathering felt goosebumps when this statement was shared.

It’s a simple statement; it doesn’t need explanation. It probably does need, if it’s new to you and you are considering taking it as your own, some deep contemplation. Serious commitment to honor ourselves needs serious consideration. The roots of a commitment will go as deeply into our lives and our relationships as the depth we give them. (Imagine that!)

The strength this deep realization gives me is one of the valuable things I have learned and gained this past year. I am grateful for it and for the opportunity to share its rich blessings with you.

The Love Religion

Words of the 12th century Sufi mystic, poet and spiritual master Ibn Arabi.

The inner space inside what we call the heart
Has many different living scenes and stories,
A pasture for sleek gazelles,
A monastery for Christian monks
A temple with Shiva dancing
A Kaaba for pilgrims
The tablets of Moses are there, the Quran, the Vedas, the Sutras
and the Gospels.
Love is the religion in me and whichever way Love’s camel goes that
way becomes my faith
the source of beauty and a light of sacredness over all things.

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