Environment, Health/wellness, Mental health/wellness, Travel

Satisfaction, nature and being in awe

Nature teaches grand lessons.

This summer I got the opportunity to sit in awe of the ocean, the beautiful sand, and tall trees. I felt like I was in heaven. Sand and water are so simple, yet their purity and consistency can entertain one for hours as you stare at the waves coming in and out, in and back out again.

I was reminded of a blog that a colleague wrote about the healing power of being in awe. Scientists have found there are healthy physical and mental effects from the state of being in awe. What gives us this profound sense of awe is as diverse as we are.  For me it’s nature, the trees, moon, animals. There is something so spiritual about pausing for a moment to just be in awe of this wonderful creation.

I was reading an article about retails shops and malls closing down at a rapid rate across America. One town is looking to make up for the lost business by attracting people to stop for the hiking trails, state parks and a new whitewater rafting outfit.

Studies have found that as people consume more, they are less and less happy. Spending money can actually be an addiction, similar to drug addictions, because, as studies show, spending can give people the same temporary high that drugs can.

So how do we break these cycles of addiction? Through knowing that man (more than just human beings) — men, women and children — are the spiritual manifestation of God. A friend once told me that she thinks of the word “man” as short for “manifestation.” I like that. We are much more than the flesh and bones that we see. We are actually each the image and likeness of God; the reflection of the one creative Spirit. Getting to know God and expressing this infinite wonderful being is the way to satisfy.

Higher enjoyments alone can satisfy the cravings of immortal man... The senses confer no real enjoyment.

What can we enjoy then? I find that thinking in terms of qualities helps. The Bible says:

God’s Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful…

So true enjoyment comes from our spiritual sense. Spiritual sense is actually how we perceive beauty, peace, love, satisfaction, comfort, joy. It’s how we feel safe. It’s how we give generously. It helps us make the right decisions. In fact, it is our constant connection to the Divine, to our real, native being.

God’s being is infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss.

So it makes sense that as we become conscious of God, we are becoming more aware of infinity, freedom, harmony and boundless bliss and can be truly satisfied.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

__

Mary Baker Eddy, Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 60:31
Galatians 5:22 CEV
Science & Health, p. 481:2-4
Matthew 5:6 NIV

 

Health/wellness, Life, Mental health/wellness, Supply, Self-Worth, Finances

You are mine  

“You are mine” and “You are special”. Sweet books by Max Lucado that we read to our little one. They are sweet because they remind us that what the world says of us can’t really stick if we don’t believe it. We can daily listen to our Maker, the Creator of the universe, that tells us how perfect, special and good He made us. 

There is a lot of noise in the world. Clanging cymbals of doubt, lack, remorse, uncertainty. But we can counteract this by dwelling in the “secret place of the Most High”, listening to the thoughts that God gives us. 

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.*

God has only good for you and that goodness exists right now within you. Good is the truth about you now and forever. 

The Bible tells about the disciples hearts that burning within them while they talked with Jesus (as he illuminated the Scriptures to them). 

Don’t we all want out hearts to burn within us through an inspiration and spiritual understanding? God says “before you were in the womb, I knew you” and “the very hairs on your head are all numbered.”

Each of us is infinitely valued, needed and special to God. Each us has an individuality that is safe and pure. Each of us is spiritual, made in the image and likeness of Life and Love itself. 

*Jeremiah 29:11

Future/stability/security, Mental health/wellness, Time/stress

What is controlling our thinking?

bieszczady-1001894__180One night, while laying in bed trying to go to sleep, I found myself ruminating about an upcoming project that didn’t require me to be organizing every detail that moment. What I did need was a feeling of peace, rest and trust in God’s all-power.

What do we do when we feel like our thinking is being hijacked from our naturally happy, healthy, restful selves?

The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.1

the-stones-263661__180Mary Baker Eddy, a spiritual teacher and healer, called this influence “error” — it is simply an error to believe that God is not in control; it is simply an error to believe that God’s reality is not harmonious, perfect and that you are not included in it right now.

You are valuable! You are special!

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid2;

To be at one with divine consciousness is to know that God is controlling and working out every detail of your experience.

You are an active component of one “stupendous whole”.

As an active portion of one stupendous whole, goodness identifies man with universal good.3

love-1120294__180Sometimes I wonder: “Really, me? My tiny, insignificant problem in the grand scheme of things? Is God really working that out?” Well the answer that comes is YES —not because my problem is of huge significance but because my being is at one with the whole being— the whole of creation, God’s perfect universe. If I claim and accept that he isn’t governing me than I am claiming and accepting that I am separate from God and the rest of His creation. Impossible!

sea-989677__180As I lay in bed that night, I saw clear that it was error (subtly or aggressively) influencing me to over-analyze without relying on God, good, to guide each step of the way through divine inspiration. The moment I realized the error that was influencing my consciousness, I turned my thought to Christ; I thought about the Bible story of Christ Jesus walking over the waves to his disciples who were in the boat.

Jesus taught us to walk over, not into or with, the currents of matter, or mortal mind.4
It was clear to me that I had a choice to make: I could believe that God is all and is the only true law caring for every want and detail I could possibly imagine or I could stay in the boat of believing that there is lack, limitation, rush, stress, and fear that God has no ability to reject.

 

Thinking about the Master’s nonjudgmental compassion for Peter in reaching out his hand to help Peter when he started to sink helped me see the divine Love that I really wanted to take a stand for. I could see that I was being urged to “walk over the waves” – the downward pull of material thinking — to trust in God’s love.

The unnecessary ruminating stopped in those moments. I slept peacefully and awoke feeling a greater sense of freedom and refreshment. (In the following weeks, the project even evolved in such a way that the details I would have planned that evening would been obsolete, so I was saved from wasted time.) Divine inspiration, trust, and not human will, was needed to take the lead.

. . . let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.5

So, if you find yourself fretting about something, know that Christ is present to help you break the cycles of negative/limited thinking; Christ enables you to see who you really are, your perfect relationship with God who is unfolding every perfect detail to bless everyone.

___

1 Romans 8:6 NIV
2 Luke 12:7 NIV
3 Mary Baker Eddy, The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany, p. 165:16-18
4 Mary Baker Eddy, Unity of Good, p. 11:3-4
5 James 1:4 NKJV

Love/relationships, Mental health/wellness

Divine love can dissolve past hurt

Family gatherings can be difficult times for many. How do you feel a sense of God’s presence and love during the holidays? God is the Source of each one’s individuality, so we can all know — spiritually discern — that we are each loved equally despite what may have gone on before.family-591579_960_720

Pure humanity, friendship, home, the interchange of love, bring to earth a foretaste of heaven.1

Our identity, feeling worthy and loved doesn’t actually come from other people, although sometimes friends and family can beautifully reflect how worthy, lovely and lovable we all are. These expressions of joy and appreciation are natural and normal and are signs of God, divine Love’s, kingdom on earth.

Your kingdom come.
    Your will be done,
        on earth as it is in heaven.2

Relationships are a good opportunity to dissolve what Mary Baker Eddy calls the “adamant of error”: self-will, self-justification and self-love3 ; the old adage “my way or the highway” mentality; self-righteousness, which wreaks havoc on all of us; then of course there’s just plain old judgement.

Christ Jesus was the perfect example of living and expressing spiritual love.

After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? You call me ‘Teacher’ wash-717812_960_720and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you…Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.4

God will bless you for doing them! God will bless you for putting off old resentments. God will bless you for being humble enough to be made new — in the likeness of God!

You deserve to express divine Love — not hold on to the past or limited views of others (that God is not knowing about them). Self-hatred is what makes us feel we are not worthy or loved enough to let go of hatred towards others! We are worth it! Let it go.

Spiritual living and blessedness are the only evidences, by which we can recognize true existence and feel the unspeakable peace which comes from an all-absorbing spiritual love. 5

Feel that unspeakable peace. It is God’s spiritual love wrapping you up and enabling you to move past hurt, condemnation, resentment. You are holy! You are free. You can feel that way by seeing others that way.

________

1 Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896, p. 100
2 Matthew 6:10 The Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version

3 Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 242
4 John 13 The Holy Bible New Living Translation
5 Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 264

Body/physical healing, Future/stability/security, Health/wellness, Identity/healing the past, Mental health/wellness, Prayer/healing

Mental inbox

Today I took some time to clean out my inbox. I don’t know how I end up subscribed to so many emails; I usually just ignore them (which is easy to do with the new Google filters) and once in a while I’ll delete them all.

However, today I took the time to unsubscribe from the many lists. Wow, did that feel good! Imagine: having an inbox where you hear only what you want to hear. It’s so tranquil and peaceful.

That is the mental atmosphere, or consciousness, I want to live in as well. It is peaceful and still, and all I can hear is God speaking to me.

This is possible!

Unsubscribe from all the voices you don’t need to hear: self-criticism, condemnation, worry, human will and opinions, etc.

Enjoy a mental inbox that is peaceful and tranquil. Only receive messages of love, value, your worth, purity, innocence and beauty as a child of God. You have an indestructible relationship to your Father-Mother God. And She is speaking messages of comfort and healing to you each moment.

 

Health/wellness, Mental health/wellness, Prayer/healing, Time/stress

Sleepless nights?

Reading a recent blog with the following startling statistics prompted me to share my own experience in overcoming this problem.

 People today sleep 20% less than they did 100 years ago.  More than half of Americans lose sleep due to stress or anxiety, with more than 30% of our population suffering from insomnia.  To combat this, approximately 10 million people in the United States use prescription sleep aids (better-sleep-better-life.com).

I never had trouble sleeping until I became pregnant. My evening routine of prayer, reading the Bible or other inspirational material, and writing in my gratitude journal no longer guaranteed me a lasting night of sleep.

What did help?

I went to church one evening and shared this experience with fellow church members. They each had a unique experience and insight to share. One woman shared how she had never needed much sleep in throughout her life. She was able to function perfectly well on just a few hours each night. This skill had enabled her to take far more than the usual credits when she was in graduate school.

Another woman shared how when she woke up in the middle of the night, she prayed for the world and her church. She felt there was a spiritual reason or “calling” for her to be up at the hour (to love her fellow brothers and sisters) and she was able to sleep again after spending time in prayer.

I contacted a Christian Science practitioner for ideas on this subject. She said that she loved waking up during those hours in the night and for her it was like “free time” when she got to do things she couldn’t normally do.

Instead of seeing myself in a dark, lonely house, wishing I was doing something (sleeping) that I was not, I started to appreciate the opportunities this afforded me. I prayed for humanity; I learned more about God; I ate something; I did chores; I worked, etc. I lost the fear and anxiety about being up at that time, and it became very productive for me. Since I was able to accomplish more during that time, I found I could take the opportunity to sleep later in the day when I felt rested and peaceful.

“Siesta” – or nap and resting time – is built-in to the day of many cultures. However, it’s not part of the American culture. My husband told me that his grandfather in South Africa has taken a nap ever day of his life. I realized I didn’t have to be boxed in to what my culture says is “normal” (i.e. sleeping and working in 8 hr blocks). I felt anxiety because I didn’t fit into this mold, and I realized I could step out of this mold and follow a God-directed and inspired schedule. This change in thought really helped me. It didn’t negatively affect my work or the people around me. And it gave me a greater sense of peace and the ability to follow divine inspiration and feel the gentleness of God throughout my day. Sometimes we just need to be a little more gentle on ourselves.

Mental health/wellness, Prayer/healing

Facing your fears…like the Hobbits did

Recently my husband and I watched “The Hobbit” and the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

The “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, in particular, is quite intense with epic battle scenes and constant toil for the characters. I often find myself echoing the Hobbit’s sentiment of being a peaceful people who don’t like adventures. Even watching these movies can be quite exhausting!

As one might already know, watching the extended version of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy is quite an endeavor in and of itself. So I figured I should get the most out of it. Well, I did because I had a spiritual breakthrough!

We might want to run away from the challenges that confront us, like Bilbo & Frodo Baggins wanted to. However, we have the “sword of Truth”, the “armor of goodness” that we can wield to overcome the deception of evil.

For instance, was the ring that Frodo was carrying actually physically heavier as he was climbing up the mountain of Mordor to throw it into the fire? I don’t think so. The ring weighed the same as it always had. However, the resistance to good and the temptation of evil is what seemed to be heavier in Frodo’s thought and he had to summon the courage and will to overcome it.

What if Jesus simply wanted to have a peaceful life and avoid conflict? We wouldn’t have his supreme example of overcoming every obstacle of evil and demonstrating the victory of good, divine Love and spiritual Life. Jesus’ example proves what is possible, and his life-work has been inspiring to me many times.

So, though I may echo the sentiment of the Hobbits, I can feel the dominion of their victory by the end of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. The young Hobbits return home with an understanding of what it takes to overcome evil (love, unity, strength, etc). Conquering their fears, instead of hiding from them, has made Middle-earth a better place for all of its inhabitants.