Posted in Current events & community, Employment/jobs, Future/stability/security, Life, Prayer/healing

Life lessons from landscaping


My husband and I are continuing a landscaping project we started last fall. When we initially considered this project it was  overwhelming. There was the space we had to consider as well as the aesthetic look, practical needs and our budget. How could we get the best results without exceeding our budget, or making mistakes and having to redo the landscaping? 

We had a landscape consultant helps us with the big picture. We wanted to do the planting, expanding and decorating ourselves to save on cost and to learn more about the value and skills of homeownership. 

We could then focus on priorities. This was very important because we didn’t have the time or money to do the whole project at once. 

This reminded me of man’s spiritual journey through life. If we look at ourself, our understanding, the world and all that needs to be accomplished, we might feel overwhelmed. Feeling this way often prevents us from even getting started, being apathetic or feeling like what we have to offer is of little value compared to the all that needs to be done. But as I’m learning through this landscape project – planting a tree here and there, fertilizing and watching it grow – we see how each part that we accomplish affects the whole. In fact, with each part that we accomplish we can step back, look at the big picture again, and see if any adjustments need to be made. What have we learned? Can we adjust our route or strategy?

And then we see that each part is actually a valuable, integral part of the whole. Each part is needed to help us see the full picture. And with each part we gain the ideas, lessons and skills we need to continue in a more productive, effective way. 

I think about all that the prophets and spiritual leaders have accomplished to help humanity gain a clearer sense of the allness and tangible presence of Spirit, Life, Truth and Love. They each had a spiritual journey of learning and growing – of God’s nature being revealed to their consciousness. If they had stopped, or failed to get started, we wouldn’t have the spiritual understanding of being that we do today.

Mary Baker Eddy, a Christian healer and teacher from the late 1800’s – early 1900’s wrote:

“[Divine] Science reveals the possibility of achieving all good, and sets mortals at work to discover what God has already done; but distrust of one’s ability to gain the goodness desired and to bring out better and higher results, often hampers the trial of one’s wings and ensures failure at the outset.”¹

“We must form perfect models in thought and look at them continually, or we shall never carve them out in grand and noble lives. Let unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love — the kingdom of heaven — reign within us, and sin, disease, and death will diminish until they finally disappear.”²

Even though we have a lot of growing to do, like my garden, we can still succeed with each step we take along the way. 

 

¹ Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 260
² Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scripturesp. 248 

Posted in Body/physical healing, Childlike, Employment/jobs, Future/stability/security, Guest blogs/reposts, Identity/healing the past, Life, Supply, Self-Worth, Finances

Are you being affected by people’s opinions?

Are you being ogled?

by , Staff Writer for The Christian Science Monitor

I came across an article with a provocative headline the other day. It read, “Study: Ogling women makes them worse at math.” Basically, the study wanted to figure out what happened when men and women felt objectified, something the researchers defined as people being “judged on body parts or sexual function without regard to other aspects of their personality.” So several members of the study team were trained to stare at men and women in an inappropriate way, then the men and women were asked to take a math test.

The women who were objectified did worse than women in a control group who were not. (The men showed no difference.) Moreover, other research has shown that women do worse on math tests when they are told before starting: “Girls are bad at math.”

We often think of contagion as being a process of microbes and viruses. But how often do we think about mental contagion? Yes, we admit that we are influenced by our friends, our parents, our co-workers. Still, these studies are shocking – showing the degree to which we unconsciously allow others’ thoughts to shape our experience. This is mental tyranny, and thankfully it is something that we can summarily reject.

How? We can start by understanding our origin and nature. Mary Baker Eddy, the author of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” (see p. 525), refers to the Icelandic Bible translation of this verse from the first chapter of Genesis: “And God said, Let us make man after our mind and our likeness; and God shaped man after His mind; after God’s mind shaped He him; and He shaped them male and female” (verse 27).

So all that we are is the likeness of God’s mind. We are not a body to be ogled or a brain of doubtful mathematical aptitude. We are an image of God’s thought, and the allness of God precludes the intrusion of anything unlike this perfect likeness in this image. This frees us from aggressive mental intrusion… Read more

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Posted in Current events & community, Employment/jobs, Future/stability/security, Life, Love/relationships, Mental health/wellness, Prayer/healing, Supply, Self-Worth, Finances

Thoughts on gratitude


I really appreciate the blog series my husband is doing right now. It is inspired by a book that we are both reading for our book club: 365 Thank Yous. It’s a wonderful story about a man/dad who is down in the dumps; his business is falling apart; his relationships with his family & friends aren’t great. One day he gets the idea (I would call this a spiritual idea, “angel” message or the Christ) which tells him to write thank you notes! It’s New Years Eve when he gets this message so he vows to write 365 thank you notes in the New Year. The rest of the book (which I haven’t finished yet) is about how this practice transforms his thought, life and relationships.

It is a delightful book. I get such a sense of joy when reading it, and it reminds me how the simple act of gratitude can really brighten my day. I may even start a “thank you” note project of my own! (My husband is doing his thank you note project on his blog.)

What is it about gratitude that makes us feel so light and joyful? It reminds us of the good in our lives and puts Good at the forefront of thought. The human mind is so prone to magnify evil or the negative. Often this mind ruminates over the past. It’s like a treadmill of worry and fear. Apparently, humans think 2,000-3,000 thoughts per day. And I’ve heard that 70% of these thoughts are the same each day. We have to jump off this same old treadmill of thought and think differently! And gratitude is a fun, light way to do that.