Thursday, August 15, 2019

When Nothing is Making Sense

I can't remember exactly what day last week I finally hit bottom - by that I mean when I finally accepted that nothing was making sense in my life and if nothing makes sense, then that was my signal to stop judging.

My most loved ones didn't make sense. I know that each individual has his or her own "agenda" or perspective (as do I) and, at least in my case, the choices made by people I love don't make sense to me. That's when the judge in me rears its ugly head and peace is gone.

I volunteer for several different nonprofit organizations. I watch individuals and boards make decisions that don't make sense to me. I argue in my head "Why'd they do this or that?" My judge kicks in and peace is gone.

Our world doesn't make sense to me - whether it's guns, politics, climate, wealth and no wealth, honesty or dishonesty. Why is this world like that? My judge kicks in and peace is gone.

Hitting bottom at first was tear inducing. I'm totally out of control. I'm helpless. Nothing makes sense. What am I going to do? I thank God that I finally got to that question: What am I going to do? Turning within, I asked "What am I going to do?" My answer is that I can't control anything. If something doesn't make sense then I obviously don't have enough information and I can't judge it, can I? And so I let go. I now tell myself multiple times a day: "Don't judge!"

Here are my Daily Word take aways from the last few weeks:

  • God is not separate from me but closer than breathing... (Comfort)
  • Wholeness is my true nature.
  • I do not judge past behaviors or future outcomes. (Pray for Others)
  • Strength is part of my divine makeup.

Yesterday's and today's Daily Words are Fearless:
When I face difficulties, I draw upon inner faith and courage.
and Faith:
I have faith that the very best is unfolding in my life. The truth is that I am within God, and God is within me every step of the way.
Last Friday's Daily Word was Inner Peace:
I experience life from a place of peace.
That is my goal and intention. Stop judging as soon as I notice I'm doing it - talking out loud to myself if necessary. "Don't judge!" That frees me to turn my thoughts toward peace, toward doing what I can do with love. Let it be so.
~ JEAN

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Spiritual Principles - A Reminder

These are two of the best spiritual practices that I want to keep in mind every day.

Friday's Daily Word: Let Go, Let God. I am inspired by the words of Meister Eckhart, a 14th-century German monk and philosopher, who said, "Let God be God in you." I know I am never separate from the Infinite, but when I consciously "let God be God" in me, I begin to think and act from my divine nature. I see with eyes of love and compassion. I see good in myself, my affairs and the world. Letting go frees me to express my divine nature.

And

Saturday's Daily Word: Divine Order. I allow events to unfold naturally. Aligning with the order inherent in all things, I affirm: I gratefully recognize the order and harmony of the universe.

I regret to say that too often I stress over life because I forget these two very important principles:
1. I don't have to solve problems, I can turn them over to God and 2. Everything in my life unfolds in divine order. Maybe you're like me and need these same reminders.

With love,

~ JEAN

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Setting Intentions

Yesterday's Daily Word was Intention. It was timely since we just finished an outline of Edwene Gaines' book The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity in which she discusses setting goals (among other things). Here is part of the meditation:
Just as I set clear intentions for my outer life, I need intentions for my inner life. I focus on these spiritual intentions during prayer and meditation, knowing they will change and grow through the years. Yet one intention doesn't change: to be a light of God expressing.
It's sometimes easier for me to set outer life intentions than inner life intentions. Here are three I just wrote:

  1. Work on the Photobook for my family
  2. Make my office a welcoming space to write in. As you can see from the accompanying photo, I have an affirmation in my office but need to make it true. I have successfully avoided my office for several months now.
  3. Set aside time every day to pray and meditate.

There will surely be more over time but I wanted to get started.

Happy setting of intentions, all. With love,

~ JEAN

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Moments

Saturday’s Daily Word Moments confirms how I want to live my life.

I take time to live in and appreciate each moment of the day.

Remember the wonderful works. – Psalm 105:5

Last week our family was wondering if all the feral cats we have been feeding outside our barn for over 8 years were all gone (read: dead). We have grown attached to them and hadn't seen any of them for awhile. Over the years we’ve been feeding these cats, we’ve also seen raccoons and red and gray foxes outside the barn, stopping by for cat food. Eating can be a dangerous activity since the cats are in the open and vulnerable.

I went to the barn Friday mid-afternoon, hopeful, and started calling the most “tame” of our cats – Callie. “Breakfast, Callie,” I called. I clapped my hands and shook the food bowl to entice her if she was within hearing range. I was thrilled to see Callie appear at the edge of the woods. She did not come running to me like she usually does. She was watchful, looking all directions and remaining still at the edge. I waited and called, “it’s okay.” After about five minutes she came over to eat. I pulled a stool by her bowl and watched her as she ate. She looked up regularly to scan the woods. I’d never seen her so skittish before.

I quietly sat watching her for several minutes. When I wondered if I was “wasting time,” I immediately realized that no, I wasn’t wasting time, I was enjoying this moment in our lives – Callie’s and mine.

After she ate, she came toward me and began to wind her body between my shoes, rubbing along my legs. I picked her up and held and stoked her for several minutes. She began to purr, stretch and settle in my arms as I continued to pet her. When she wanted to eat some more, I let her down and continued to watch her for a little while. When I closed the barn door, I promised I would see her tomorrow. And I did. She came back on Saturday too. Saturday was a beautiful sunny, 70 degree day. It was a pleasure to sit with her and enjoy the day. She came a little more easily on Saturday and we had more petting moments.

Part of Saturday’s meditation:
Today I set an intention to be fully aware of God’s presence, to notice the small things: the butterflies and birds, the laughter as well as the quiet. Throughout the journey of today, I will focus less on my destination and more on the route that gets me there…My heart of thanks and my openness to the occurrences of the day fill me with a deeper awareness of my oneness with all life.
I wish you many special moments – that you notice the small things each day. With love,

~ JEAN

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Gratitude and Grace = Love and Happiness

Rebooting myself - Update: Before I went to Arizona for my vaction I finished reading The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer. The chapter I'm focusing on today is titled "the path of unconditional happiness." Here are some passages I underlined in my book:
"The highest spiritual path is life itself. If you know how to live daily life, it all becomes a liberating experience... To begin with, you have to realize that you really only have one choice in this life... Do you want to be happy, or do you not want to be happy?... If you keep it that simple, you will see that it really is under your control... Do you want to be happy from this point forward for the rest of your life, regardless of what happens? ... You have to give an unconditional answer... Once you decide you want to be unconditionally happy, something inevitably will happen that challenges you. This test of your commitment is exactly what stimulates spiritual growth. In fact, it is the unconditional aspect of your commitment that makes this the highest path... You just have to decide whether or not you will break your vow..."
The reason I underlined these sentences is because I want to commit to unconditional happiness. To do that requires me to seriously think about the "decide whether or not you will break your vow." So my mind goes to fear: What if this or that happens? How will I feel then? Will I still be able to be unconditional happy?


During my vacation, I signed up for the Oprah Winfrey's and Deepak Chopra's online 21-Day Meditation Experience on "Manifesting Grace Through Gratitude." The first day's Centering Thought was "When I am grateful, I find my grace." Every day for 21 straight days I heard a short message on gratitude and grace from Oprah and from Deepak and then meditated for about 10 minutes.

I have discovered that unconditional happiness and gratitude go together. No matter what, there is something to be grateful for - and that puts me into grace which I equate with happiness, joy, love and contentment.

An example: I was talking to a friend who is a member of the Friends of the Hunterdon County Library a couple days ago. She had just heard about a relative with cancer and I had heard recently about a young wife and mother of two who is friends with my stepson being diagnosed with cancer. Rather than going into despair, I was able to say that we both could be grateful that we can be supportive of these women and their families in any and every possible way.

There truly is always something to be grateful for.

~ JEAN


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Rebooting Myself

I'm going to Tucson, Arizona, tomorrow with my sister to do some bird watching and hiking. I also realized today that I'm going to use those 10 days away to reboot myself - about attitude, eating and outlook on life.

I committed several weeks ago to being unconditionally happy - no matter what. And mostly I am but life happens and it was so helpful to read today's Daily Word message on Divine Order:
Unity Minister and author Eric Butterworth shared the following thought: "Things may happen around you, and things may happen to you, but the only things that matter are the things that happen in you."
Somewhere else I read (don't remember where but probably sometime around Easter or Christmas) that every day is an opportunity to be reborn, to start over - a rebirth. So off to Arizona I go - looking very forward to rebooting myself. See you all in April.

With much love.

~ JEAN

Thursday, March 14, 2019

In The Silence

When I was young, my parents apparently quickly identified that I needed alone time. I was the second of five children, the oldest girl. My two brothers shared one large bedroom and we three sisters shared the other large bedroom. My parents had theirs – and there was a small fourth bedroom. I don’t remember what it was used for.

Then the unexpected happened, by me anyway. My parents gave me the fourth bedroom. To make the experience even more special, they let me pick out a new bedspread and curtains and the wall color to match. I chose a yellow and white striped spread with some orange and forest green accents. They had a chair I liked to read in re-covered in forest green to match. I was thrilled.

Whenever I fell into a bad mood, they sent me to my room to read not really as a punishment but because, they said, when I re-emerged I was my usually sunny personality.

All this is a lead up to show how much the Daily Word for February 19 means to me: In the Silence. Back when I was a girl, I had no clue about being in the silence, about being one with Holy Spirit, about affirmative prayer or about Unity principles. My parents, though, knew I needed silence. From the meditation:
Mother Teresa once said: “God is the friend of silence.” I feel my oneness with Spirit when I choose to spend time in the Silence. As I do this regularly, I experience an unmistakable sense of peace. I find clarity in all that I do. I forgive more easily. I open myself to new and profound inspiration.
For a short time after I moved out of my family’s home I shared an apartment with one of my sisters. Soon I was able to purchase my beloved little yellow house in my home town in a suburb of Illinois. I loved living alone. I didn’t care a whole lot about decorating my house but I did create a quiet, comfortable haven for myself to come home to either after school, after work or after being out socializing with friends. My little house on Morgan Ave. was my private space where I could be in the silence whenever I wanted.

Then in 2002 I fell in love, got married and moved to New Jersey. All of a sudden, I was sharing a home with another person. It took me awhile to learn how to create my own space, privacy and silence while living with someone. I made over a room upstairs into a sitting room for myself. I bought a couple book shelves where I keep many of my spiritual books. I have a comfortable chair by one of the windows where I can look out over our field where our three alpacas live. Most importantly, I can sit there in the silence, I can journal in that chair when I’m sorting something out.
Continuing the mediation:
I live, however, in a world that is not completely quiet. In order to find silence in the midst of the everyday clamor of life, I take a moment to close my eyes and find an inner quiet and calm. It was there all along. I simply needed to remember. I can draw on this divine serenity at any time. I simply choose to release any concerns or anxiety. 
Be still, and know that I am God! – Psalm 46:10
This is true when I’m home. This is true when I take a moment in my car to breath. This is true when I’m outside walking my dog. Finally, the affirmation:
I immerse myself in the loving, comforting awareness of Spirit.
And that is what I hope for each and every one of us.

~ JEAN