Belonging To Community

I am a part of a community, not just a person for myself.”  wpid-hands_of_friendship
Being within community means I am not just passing through, or showing up sometimes, making demands, seeking attention, and complaining that my needs are not being met.  I do not pretend to be someone I am not nor do I disown or dislike the original community that shaped me.  Instead I am continually checking and adjusting myself to make sure I am right with my communities.  I do not expect them to understand and do things my way.  I am open to the needs and ways of the community.

Trust is an essential part of a viable community or any worthwhile relationship.  Trust assumes that everyone is innately well-intentioned and working toward the same goals and purpose.   Trust is learning to be trustworthy in ourselves which not the same as automatically trusting others.  Trust comes when we know that it’s possible to discern if another is trustworthy without having judgments about that.

Secrecy is a strategy that satisfies a need for safety and self-protection.  We live in a guilt and shame culture and learn early in life not to share things that might “get us into trouble.”  Even as adults we believe we can “get into trouble” instead of understanding that our mistakes are opportunities to learn, grow, become initiated, and develop compassion for the self and others.

Feelings of guilt or shame create a need to make excuses or deny our behavior.  secretsWe try not to get caught doing and saying things that our community, family, friends, and significant other might not approve of.  Most of us believe deep down that we are bad, unlovable, and unworthy of trust.  Often we don’t trust ourselves let alone anyone else.  After all how many times have we tried and failed- to stay on a diet- not drink too much- get enough sleep- eat the foods that are good for us- and so on.

Making another responsible for our behavior is also a strategy to be safe and protected.  We tell others: “Don’t tell John I said that!”  “Please don’t tell Mom- I know I can trust you.”  “I don’t want Jill to hear about this, Ok?”  “I’ve never told anyone this before, but…”  Making others responsible for our secrets keeps us immature and spiritually undeveloped.

love-trustAll feelings of guilt and shame are an opportunity to develop compassionate forgiveness for the self or for another. When we fall out of grace there is a temptation to withdraw and blame others, or to punish ourselves.  However, pretending everything is fine when it isn’t fine only creates barriers in our heart.  So before we can actually make a commitment to a community or a meaningful relationship we have to stop pretending, withdrawing, and blaming.  We begin by thinking and acting with sincerity and reliability.

Trust I am a part of a community, not just a person for myself.

We open to Divine Will,
Surrendering, letting go, and being held
By the Great Mystery.
We trust in one another.

This day Great Father, we open
To the Divine way.
Surrendering, letting go, and being held,
in community,
We let divine movement carry us to the fullness of life.

This day Great Mother,
We remember who we are.
We remember why we are;
Your hands in the world, your voice for our people,
Free to create and bring love and joy and peace
To fill all the places of this day.

We are spirit, we are people of heart.
Guild us as we bring grace to this world.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the ability to compassionately understand ourselves, our desires, and our needs.  It’s the ability to realize that no matter how awkwardly I’ve attempted to meet those needs, and no matter how many mistakes I make in the process, it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with me. broken-heart-broken-hearts-6853604We are well served to be suspicious of any voice, inside or outside, that says there is something wrong with us.  For example- it’s possible to realize I have been unkind toward someone and then feel sad about that.  It’s not that I’m a bad person who will get into trouble- it’s just that I don’t want to be unkind because it hurts my heart.

Forgiveness is allowing.  Allowing ourselves, or another, to confess a mistake, take responsibility for whatever harm may have been created by that mistake and to move on into trusting that something new can happen.  Forgiveness is letting go, permitting something to pass, and allowing something in.  With true forgiveness we agree to forget the past in order to authorize trust for the future.

If we hold ourselves or others in a place of remembering preceding incidents, emotional outbursts, and former mistakes 3.-BURMA-US-congress-Lalitwe are keeping them a prisoner in our mind; they have been judged, sentenced, and jailed.  And we will continue living a life of suspicion, doubt, and mistrust of those whose mistakes we find upsetting, shocking, or appalling.

Consider– we cling to mistrust in order to be safe and self-protective.

What if, instead of falling into judgment, we allow in the possibility of a life initiation?
Initiation means making a beginning, opening an investigation, or launching a new possibility.  Initiation also implies hard work, striving to learn a new skill, and sufficient motivation to introduce a transformed, difficult, and disciplined response to our accustomed discontented and calamitous emotions.  Both those who judge and those who make errors are in need of such an initiation.

The initiation being offered is the knowledge necessary to build an intimate relationship with spirit, the self, and others.  Such a relationship is built by reviewing and restating our values, beliefs, and past stories so that they are consistent with our current understanding, goals, and aspirations.  relaxOur relationship with self is also fostered by distinguishing the adult-voice from the child-voice, the self-hate voice from beneficial caring advice.  It means cultivating and developing genuine emotional intelligence.  A mature, adult, spiritual relationship is cultivated through disciplined thought, silent meditation, contemplative prayer, and the counsel of a sagacious spiritual director.

As we practice and create trust all our relationships begin to have an indivisible sense of unity.  Each member of our community becomes like a cell in our body.  The group needs the me, and I need the group.  To be truly human means understanding that we need each other.  Only in this way can we express and experience the love and caring for which we long.

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Do you trust yourself?

If so, what do you trust yourself to do, say, or give to others?
Can you meet your own needs
or do you expect others to know what you want
and give it to you?
What demonstration do you wish the people around you
to make so you can trust them?
Are you willing to make this demonstration
so that others can trust you?
Do you believe others are well-intentioned
even when they are ungraceful in their behavior or words?

Patience

Patience is a spiritual discipline.  It is the ability to move forward wen when we appear to be going backward.  Patience is trusting in Great Spirit even when things change. secret_of_shamballa_by_myxxo-d4jh6pa It is releasing the way things have always been or the expectation of what should have been.  Patience is kindness to yourself and others when mistakes are made.  Patience is what Great Mother and Great Father give to all of their children.

Everyday we look for, and expect, to receive gifts from Great Spirit.  Waiting in patience means honoring the truth that we are the Beloved Children of the Great Mother and Father…and they will give to us everything we need…even if they don’t give us everything we demand or want.

We often hear that anything we can imagine we can create.  Of course, we also know that it is important to have a plan.  What are those plans being based in?  strategic-plan-cycleAre we spending our energy in avoidance of pain, fear, or disapproval?  Are we trying to get everything everyone else appears to have?  Maybe it’s time to spend time planing how to create more joy, love, peace, and compassion in the world around us.

What does Great Spirit want for my life?  What saint or great being do I wish to emulate?  How can I be strong in love and forgiveness?
How can I make choices that lead to a joyful life of service and loving kindness to others?

In order to work successfully with the Great Spirit of All Life we must practice the art of detachment.  The more attached we are to the manifestation of something we want…the harder it is to allow it to happen.  Detachment is the non-emotional and compassionate ability to see through our little self desires to something worthy of a Beloved Child of Life.
So if we pray, affirm, and know love is ours …there is nothing else we need to do.  There is no need to get so excited about seeing if it has happened yet…and how it has happened.  That puts us in a state of “doubt”…”Are we there yet?”   Instead we practice saying, “Great Mother and Father help me to plant my seeds and learn to wait patiently, with detachment, until they grow to harvest time.

Manual_harvest_in_TirumayamGreat Mother,
Help me to be understanding with all the people in my life.
Teach me to listen instead of trying to be heard.
Show me how to merge myself into the wholeness of life
So I do not become puffed up and think of myself as unduly important.
Great Lady, grant me your loving patience that I may understand others
even as I desire to be understood.

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Great Father,
I bow to your wisdom.
Help me for I am prone to trust myself instead of You.
Many times I have tried to leave behind old habits.
Many times I have failed.
Let me take your hand, Great Father
for with you there can be no failure.
Together with you miracles shall unfold.
Together with you I shall learn to be patient
with myself and others when mistakes are made.

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Great Weaver,
I recognize and accept the good, the beautiful
and the loving gift of life within me.
Help me so that
When my inner self is hungry I can feed it with love-
When my inner self is angry I can find a way
to return to peace and safety-
When my inner self is sad, help me
find comfort and assurance-
When my inner self sees lack
show me my blessings-
And when my inner self sees failure-
show me my successes.
And. Great Weaver, above all help me
remember to share these good things
with the people around me.

Surrender

Surrendering means something more than to devote ourselves to a cause, or to the will of Great Spirit.  It is more than giving of ourselves to others.  It is even more than abandoning our life to Spirit.

prayer-surrender

True surrender is to die to everything and everyone.  It is to continually keep our heart and mind turned toward Great Father, Great Mother, and the Great Weaver of all Life.  We no longer seek self-satisfaction in anything but the words, the heart, and the mind of Great Spirit.

It should be added that self-surrender means following the path of detachment from people, places, things, and even from a natural desire to be noticed, appreciated, and loved by our God(dess).  It is to accept everything that happens as a gift.  It means to submit our life to being guided by a Higher Power- without argument, or exception.

Perhaps you think this is too difficult.  Do not be deceived.  There is nothing easier to do. tumblr_mmx1blnVL21s9rnz8o1_500 Nothing so sweet to practice.  The whole thing consists in saying:
“Beloved, I wish to be entirely yours.  Please accept my offering.”

Everything is an opportunity to serve the Light.
By incarnating in the physical world we decided to have an experience.  We have the power to imagine, decide, create, and change.  When we practice surrender we agree to accept life as it is.  We can always count on Great Spirit to help us have a little bit of everything.  Let us give thanks for the potluck abundance of our experience of life- instead of whining that we don’t like and want certain things.  Abundance is a full heart.  Not a full refrigerator, garage, or wallet.

tumblr_mlipahaKVj1qhmhdfo1_500Great Spirit
I abandon myself into your hands.
Do with me this day according to Your will.
Whatever happens today or any day,
May I give thanks for the blessing of life.
I am ready to accept all people
And to let only your love, joy ad peace be expressed to them.
Into your hands I lay my life.
Guide me in the ways I am to go.

Give me the relationships that will best serve You.
Allow my hands to do work that is a blessing to Your Name.
I surrender myself without reservation
And with boundless confidence
Because I know You love me!

Creativity

What we decide today creates our experiences of tomorrow. Today is a by-product of yesterday. Empowerment is knowing we have what it takes to make our life work- to create more love, more joy, more peace, and more light- for ourselves and for others.

The one constant in life is the necessity to make decisions. Therefore the more consistently we choose Love, Joy, and Peace the brighter and more exciting our future will be.  How can we decide for love, joy, or peace in the midst of chaos and confusion, pain, unhappiness, and criticism?   Most of that answer lies in knowing who we truly are- not what we do, not where we live, not what we own- BUT who we are!

Are you: Creative?
Kind & thoughtful?
Generous and concerned?
Adventurous & Bold?
Curious and intuitive?

When we know the True Creative Self we can begin to use that self to create our today, our tomorrows, and our future.

Contemplate these possibilities: All the love that is possible- is possible today.
All the sorrow that is possible- is possible today.
If we let circumstances rule us we are letting go of our ability to choose our destiny.

Remember that only dead fish go with the flow. Let us pray each day-Great Spirit help me keep what is worth keeping and with your breath of kindness blow the rest away.

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The only thing blocking our expression of our Greater Self is our self. Often we are only aware of, or even look for, limitations, blockages, and barriers to the creation of our desires and dreams.  We think and speak in terms of “I cannot because…”

The first step to eliminating limitations is to recognize that the limitation is a challenge to be overcome.  It is important as a means to test our resolve, our courage, and our ingenuity.
The second step is a change of attitude:- instead of “I can’t because…” WE DECLARE- “I can… I will … I shall!”

We need to be filled with possibilities instead of excuses and limitations!  If we are unwilling to do anything different our lives will always remain the same.

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Sometimes we search for a truth or a cause we would be willing to die for.  Wouldn’t it be better to find a truth we are willing to LIVE for?

We rarely perform an action unless we are motivated to do so.
Would you work at your current job if you were not being offered a motivation to do so?
Passion is the great motivator of all important change. What are you doing today that awakens that passion?

What motivated you to get out of bed today?

Is that a good enough reason to be alive or do you need a better one?

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Great Spirit did not make human beings truly helpless.
Perhaps it is time for us to say
ENOUGH ALREADY!
Perhaps it is time to rediscover our Divine Nature
The Gifts the Great Mother, the Great Father, and
the Great Weaver have given us-
Creativity
Imagination
Initiative
Ingenuity
Strength
Willingness to Serve
If we are the sons and daughters of
The Great Mother, Father, and Weaver
maybe we need to claim our heritage-
Grow-up
And stop Whining!

Today I shall do what I can
to make this so!

More About The Path

Remember our true nature is Divine Light. Our true nature demands sharing, love, joy, laughter, healing, knowledge, and understanding. When we do not have these things we become miserable. We want to hide from or lash out at the world around us.

It is our true nature to be compassionate and loving.
It is our true nature to create beauty.
We are the beloved children of Great Spirit.
Children always partake of the nature of their parents.

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Remember this when you think there is something wrong with you. Say, I am beauty. I am loved.  I am creative.  I am healing.  I am laughter.  I am the beloved child of Mama and Poppa Light- there is nothing wrong with me!

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Nothing that has taken place in our life is wasted. We can learn from any experience but it is helpful to remember that Great Spirit is not experimenting on us, testing us, or doing something to us, or making us pay back our karma.  Bad things happen to even good and innocent people as well as evil, destructive people. 

It is our purpose as the children of Great Spirit to remember that love, joy, peace, and abundant life are always possible. We can learn from unpleasant challenging circumstances and then let them go.  We can transform our anger and hatred into peace and love.  We can transform our pain and grief into joy and peace.

Whatever we deny, whatever we cannot accept grows stronger every day.  Acceptance starts with the ability to know what we do not want and gracefully deal with it if it comes our way. Denial  means going to extraordinary lengths to justify clinging to pain, anger, grief, disapproval, and persecution. Let us decide to use denial to remove pain, grief, fear, and anger in our lives. Let us instead claim our true heritage of love, compassion, healing, wholeness, magic, joy, kindness, and beauty.

There is a divine purpose for our existence.
Nothing is impossible for a loving soul.

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Blessed are they who hear The Master
speaking in their souls.
Blessed are they who take from her mouth
words of comfort.
Blessed are those ears that hear
the secret whisperings of spirit
and heed not the deceitful whining of the world.
Blessed are those eyes closed
to the distracting desires of the material world.
Blessed are those who daily perform
works of compassion, service, and sacrifice for others.
Blessed are those who seek to discover
and manifest only the Divine Will
of love, joy, and peace.
Blessed are those wholly committed to this service! 

May I do likewise,
this day and all the days that I shall live!

 

Trust

“Ambition and goal-setting are essential to the path of life, but they will get you in trouble on the Path of Spirit.”  

The Path of Spirit is surrender.  It is trust that Great Spirit will help, guide, guard, and protect us.  When our faith in these truths is smaller than a mustard seed we feel the need to problem solve, set goals, strive, and evaluate ourselves and others. When our desires do not unfold in the way we want, in the way we feel is needed, we may lose faith in Spirit.  But, a trust that happens only when things go our own way is not trust.

Often we believe that Spirit is promising us things and then not delivering those promises.  We hear that if we follow certain rules, work on certain processes, and practice certain disciplines then Spirit will reward us.  One has only to read the lives of the Saints to discover that Spirit did not save them from the pain, grief, fear, and anger of the world.
So, why follow Spirit at all?

We can choose Spirit and the spiritual path because it teaches us to hold, and know, the possibilities of love, peace, kindness, and generosity regardless of what is happening around us or to us. 

This is what the Saints understood; that when we surrender to Spirit we are surrounded with peace even when nothing in the outer world has changed.

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 Humans are very attached to struggling.
We strive to be perfect.
We try to succeed.
When we are not struggling and striving we quickly become bored.

  • What if we allowed ourselves to laugh more often?
  • What if we appreciated the small joys of each day?
  • What if we saw life with spirit eyes?
  • What if today we make other people more important than we are?
  • What if today was your last day on earth?

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As I awaken this day to Great Spirit’s Dream,
As I walk in the light of truth,
May I remember that I don’t have to be perfect.
Teach me to accept my personal challenges
and minimize their effects
in the lives of the people around me.

Teach me to live as though my only job
Was to create love, laughter, kindness
and joy in the world.
Help me to accept myself
And all others as who they are.
Assist me to make my life story
into an Angel’s Life Story.