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5/31/12 8:16 A

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Rev. Ed Townley's Daily Focus

May 30, 2012 -

A man was once given free ticket to a performance of "Hamlet." Later he was asked if he had liked it. No, he replied, he hadn't. Why not? "There's nothing to it," he explained. "It's just a bunch of famous quotes."

Familiarity can easily cause us to hear only the sound of familiar words, and miss what, in fact, they are saying.

The ministry of Jesus was also full of famous quotes. Literally hundreds of his phrases have become so familiar that we may let them slide right through our consciousness, missing the urgently important message he is trying to convey.

So it is that in John 14, in discussing his legacy of peace, he instructs his disciples in how to maintain the peace he leaves with them. "Let not your hearts be troubled," he tells them.

The familiarity of the phrase may cause us to miss a very important, simple and effective instruction: If your heart is untroubled, you will be at peace with all the world. We squander our energy when we try to alter outer appearances to reflect an image of peace. Let us instead turn within, focus on our hearts, and calm our hearts as Jesus calmed the sea.

Through the Presence of God within me, my untroubled heart creates a peaceful world. Thank You, God.

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5/30/12 7:46 A

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May 30, 2012
The First Moments of the Day
Conscious Creation
by Madisyn Taylor

Each morning when we awake, we have an opportunity to create our day with what inspires us the most.

The moment during the day when we very first open our eyes and come into consciousness is a precious opportunity. It sets the tone for all that comes after it, like the opening scene in a film or novel. At this moment, our ability to create the day is at its most powerful, and we can offer ourselves fully to the creative process by filling this moment with whatever inspires us most. It may be that we want to be more generous, or it may be that we want to be more open to beauty in our daily lives. Whatever the case, if we bring this vision into our minds at this very fertile moment, we empower it to be the guiding principle of our day.

Sometimes we wake up with a mood already seemingly in place, and it’s important to give this feeling its due. It can inform us and deepen our awareness to what’s going on inside us, as well as around us. As long as we are conscious, we can honor this feeling and also introduce our new affirmation or vision, our conscious offering to the day. We may want to decide before we go to sleep what we want to bring to the next day of our lives. It could be that we simply want to be more open to whatever comes our way. Or we may want to summon a particular quality such as confidence. Then again, we may simply call up a feeling that perfectly captures the texture we want our day to have.
We can reaffirm our vision or affirmation as we shower and eat breakfast, as well as recalling it at various times throughout the day. We can write it down and carry it with us on a little slip of paper if this helps. Simply by being aware of those first moments, we set the stage for a more conscious, enlivened experience, and we become active participants in the creation of our lives.

Sandy H - Leader Meditation Motion & Stillness
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5/29/12 7:42 A

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May 29, 2012
The Pursuit of Conscious Wholeness
Earthbound
by Madisyn Taylor

Our bodies are living, breathing expressions of our consciousness and should be treated as such.

Striking the right balance between our physical and spiritual aspects is one of the most challenging aspects of existence. We are dual beings by nature, spiritual entities bound to earth by physical bodies. In our lifetimes, we are charged with the duty of nurturing and tending both with equal devotion and love. Yet while both aspects of the self are deserving of honor and respect, there is a tendency for people who are more spiritually focused to ignore, avoid, or dismiss their bodies. Similarly, many individuals are entirely ensconced in the carnal realm and pay no attention to the needs of the soul. In both cases, an adjustment is in order. We are whole only to the degree that we embrace both sides of our beings.

If the soul is the inward manifestation of our consciousness, the body is the living, breathing expression of that consciousness. The physical self provides the home in which the spiritual self takes root and flourishes. Just as we must tend to the seed of the soul to ensure that it grows strong, so, too, must we care for the protective shell that is the body to make certain it is capable of playing its role in our development. Though there will no doubt be times in our lives when we feel more comfortable focusing on the spiritual self or the physical self, denying the fundamental importance of one or the other can lead to ill health, emotional distress, and a sense of incompleteness. Both facets of the human experience play a vital role in our well-being.

The body and the soul are the yin and yang of our current reality. They are, at this point of human evolution, irreparably bound together, and many spiritual teachers agree that the body is one of the greatest vehicles through which to access the soul. In fact, many believe that our spirit has chosen to be embodied as an essential part of our spiritual development. Consequently, it is the responsibility of each person on the planet to forge a marriage between the two, so that these disparate aspects bring out the best in each other, creating a vibrant, dynamic, and workable whole.

Sandy H - Leader Meditation Motion & Stillness
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5/28/12 8:13 A

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Monday, May 28, 2012
Thank You
With gratitude, I bring you to heart and mind. You are a gift from God.

When I look back on the times I’ve shared with friends and family, I know our bonds cannot be broken. Through laughter and tears, good times and bad, we have created indelible memories.

Today I take the opportunity to tell my loved ones how much they mean to me. I give thanks for the many ways in which they have blessed and enriched my life. I seek ways to honor them.

Many people I may have never personally met have also helped make my life better. Public servants, service providers and others who work behind the scenes, all contribute to my life in significant ways. Today I also say a prayer of gratitude for the work they do and the ways in which they serve.

I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.—Ephesians 1:16

Sandy H - Leader Meditation Motion & Stillness
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5/26/12 8:43 A

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Today, in the face of any challenges, fears or resentments, I remain calm and centered. I resist any urge to run away. I brush past the noisy dramas expressing around me, and I turn within, to the 'sound of sheer silence' within me, and I allow its guiding Light and Love to express through me into the world around me. And all is well. - Rev Ed Townsley

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5/25/12 9:34 A

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May 25, 2012
The Benefits of Singing
Harmonizing with the Universe
by Madisyn Taylor

The act of singing is one of the easiest ways of raising the vibration of your body as you harmonize with the universe.

Singing is an act of vibration. It takes music from the realm of the unformed-- whether that is in your mind or from that magical space of inspiration--and moves it from within to without. From the first breath singing moves the energy in a circular way inside your body. As the breath fills your lungs, it brushes against the second and third chakras—the centers of creation and honoring self and others. Instead of merely exhaling, pushing the air past the fourth and fifth chakras where heart charka and the center of will and intention reside, singing engages both the heart and mind. Sound vibrations from vocal chords resonate in the sinus cavities, filling the head with motion and sound while the brain lights up with the processing of the mathematics of music. This marriage of activities brings the third eye into play and opens the door for inspiration from the crown chakra before sending the sound out into the world.

Once the vibration begins, it is sustained with each note, moving throughout your body and the space around you. This can help you to harmonize your frequency with the world and with the divine. The use of the voice can bring about catharsis, a cleansing from the expression of emotion, which is why we feel better after singing certain types of songs. All of this occurs even if we are not conscious of what we are singing, but when we really connect with an intention, the power of the voice and music together are powerful tools in creation.

Even if you are not a singer by nature or talent, you are not left out. If you have a voice, it is your birthright to celebrate life with song. It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel you have a nice voice. Chanting or humming, singing solo or with others, your voice is yours to enjoy. Whether you sing along to the radio or use vocalization as part of your meditation time, singing and harmonizing are healing activities that bring your body’s vibrations into alignment with the universe.

Sandy H - Leader Meditation Motion & Stillness
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5/24/12 8:47 A

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May 24, 2012 - Centering and Expressing
by Madisyn Taylor

Expressing ourselves honestly in any relationship is essential to our well-being.

When we are in a relationship where we feel listened to and understood, we count ourselves lucky because we know how rare that experience is. We reserve our most intimate selves for the people who, along with us, cocreate an open space where we feel free to express ourselves and listen without judgment. These relationships, which thrive on open communication, can mean the difference between existential loneliness and a deep sense of belonging. We all long to feel heard, understood, and loved, and clear communication makes this possible.

Sometimes problems arise in the process of expressing how we feel, but it is always worth it to do the work. Even in our less intimate relationships, expressing ourselves honestly is essential to our sense of well-being. Whether at home with family or in the outside world, successful communication requires some forethought; otherwise we risk blundering through our relationships like the proverbial bull in a china shop. However, too much forethought can stifle us or cause us to pad our words so extremely that we end up saying nothing at all or confusing the matter further. The good news is that there are many methods that can come to our rescue, from meditation to visualization to journaling.

If the person we need to communicate with is open to sitting in meditation together for a set period of time before speaking, this can be invaluable. When we are calm and centered, we can count on ourselves to speak and respond truthfully. We can also meditate on our own time and then practice what we need to say. A visualization in which we sit with the person and lovingly exchange a few words can also be a great precedent to an actual conversation. If writing comes easily, we can write out what we need to say; it may take several drafts, but we will eventually find the words. The key is to find ways to center ourselves so that we communicate meaningfully, lovingly, and wisely. In this way, we honor our companions and create relationships in which there is a genuine sense of understanding and respect.

Sandy H - Leader Meditation Motion & Stillness
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5/23/12 8:10 A

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May 23, 2012
The Status Quo
Life as We Know It
by Madisyn Taylor

Our lives can sometimes become status quo and that is ok as long as we aren't keeping it that way on purpose.

When our lives are going well, and sometimes even when they aren’t, we may find ourselves feeling very attached to the status quo of our existence--life as we know it. It is a very human tendency to resist change as though it were possible to simply decide not to do it, or have it in our lives. But change will come and the status quo will go, sooner or later, with our consent or without it. We may find at the end of the day that we feel considerably more empowered when we find the courage to ally ourselves with the universal force of change, rather than working against it.

Of course, the answer is not to go about changing things at random, without regard to whether they are working or not. There is a time and place for stability and the preservation of what has been gained over time. In fact, the ability to stabilize and preserve what is serving us is part of what helps us to survive and thrive. The problem comes when we become more attached to preserving the status quo than to honoring the universal givens of growth and change. For example, if we allow a situation we are in to remain stagnant simply because we are comfortable, it may be time for us to summon up the courage to challenge the status quo.

This may be painful at times, or surprisingly liberating, and it will most likely be a little of both. Underneath the discomfort, we will probably find excitement and energy as we take the risk of unblocking the natural flow of energy in our lives. It is like dismantling a dam inside ourselves, because most of the work involves clearing our own inner obstacles so that the river of our life can flow unobstructed. Once we remove the obstacles, we can simply go with the flow, trusting the changes that follow.

Sandy H - Leader Meditation Motion & Stillness
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5/22/12 7:25 A

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May 22, 2012
Overachieving and Overreaching
A Sign of Imbalance
by Madisyn Taylor

Sometimes when we don't feel good enough, we create imbalance by overachieving or needing to be the best at something.

Overachievers are people who have achieved but still feel the need to do more, creating an imbalance in their lives. People who exhibit this behavior may be trying to compensate for feelings of insecurity and doubts about their worth. They may be chasing unresolved issues from their past into the present, or they might not be looking at their lives as a whole, but judging themselves based only on one aspect of their being. If this is a word that we’ve heard used with respect to our choices and lifestyle, it is worth examining in order to balance our lives for a more rewarding experience.

If we find that we cannot allow ourselves to experience and enjoy the present moment, putting pleasure off into some distant future, it may be a sign that we are being driven to achieve more than is truly necessary. Pushing ourselves beyond the point of exhaustion, or to the exclusion of important people in our lives, robs us of true and meaningful joy. Once we make the connection to the eternal part of us, it can nourish us and allow our priorities to shift from chasing after an elusive feeling to being fully present in the moment so that we can live our lives in the now.

Sometimes we need to look to those we love and admire in order to realize what we value about life. We can take time to note what we like about others, and then turn the mirror to reflect the light of those same words and feelings toward ourselves. It can be quite a revelation to see ourselves in this nourishing light. When we can put the energy that we’ve been devoting to a phantom sense of achievement into the truly satisfying aspects of our lives, we can restore the balance between our inner and outer worlds and experience true joyful peace.

Sandy H - Leader Meditation Motion & Stillness
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5/21/12 12:53 P

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Monday, May 21, 2012Healing
Wholeness is my truth.

The truth about my health is this: I am whole. Nothing stands in the way of this truth; rather, I stand in the truth of my wholeness.

I align my mind, body and spirit with complete health. I reject activities, conversations and media choices that do not serve my highest good. I focus on Divine Life and know I am whole and well.

Through meditation and prayer, I align with my indwelling Spirit. My daily choices reflect the value I place on the life I’ve been given to live.

I affirm my wholeness with every thought, word and action. I am healthy, whole and complete.

I am going to bring it recovery and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security.—Jeremiah 33:6

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5/20/12 11:31 A

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Sunday, May 20, 2012
Joy
I am jazzed with irrepressible joy!

I proclaim today to be a day of joy, no matter what the current circumstances in my life may be. I do not dwell in pessimism, lack, fear or doubt. Today I am jazzed with irrepressible joy!

My exuberance is fueled by my awareness of true joy—the joy that lives within me. It does not depend on outer situations or other people. This joy is innate. It comes from the unfailing Source of happiness and serenity within me.

When I allow joy to surface, even in difficult times, its powerful energy calls forth my good. As I share joy freely, my own joy is increased.

For you shall go out in joy … the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song. —Isaiah 55:12

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5/19/12 7:30 A

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Saturday, May 19, 2012
Let Go, Let God

I let go of concerns and let God be God in my life.

Gardeners consider the sunlight and soil conditions each plant needs to thrive. A gardener’s work begins with designing the garden, preparing the soil, and planting the seeds. Watering, weeding and thinning the crop are necessary. Gardening involves proper preparation and continual care.

The desires of my heart are like seeds. They respond to careful planning and nurturing, and they manifest in their own time. Just as a gardener knows not to disturb germinating seeds to check their progress, I learn to be patient and not worry as my life unfolds. I trust that God is ever-present. My desires will bear fruit in time, and all is well.

The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps. —Proverbs 16:9

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5/18/12 7:51 A

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Divine Order
Divine order is at work in my life and I am grateful.

A magnificent order underlies all of creation. It is found in the macrocosm of our galaxy, as we see the placement of sun, earth and moon in perfect alignment to support life on this planet. Order is also manifest in the microcosm, as the smallest atoms of oxygen and hydrogen bond to form water vapor, water and ice. Divine intelligence is revealed in all things. God eternally creates, sustains and re-creates all that is.

Just as divine order works in nature, it also works in my life. I am at peace knowing that my good is now becoming visible. I am grateful for the divine creative process.

Who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night. —Jeremiah 31:35

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5/17/12 8:04 A

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May 17, 2012
Trying to Please Others
Living for Ourselves
by Madisyn Taylor

We may not realize until we are adults that we are living our life to make our parents happy.

Most of us come to a point in our lives when we question why we are doing what we are doing, and many of us come to realize that we may be living our lives in an effort to make our parents happy. This realization can dawn when we are in our 20s, our 40s, or even later, depending upon how tight a hold our family of origin has on our psyche. We may feel shocked or depressed by this information, but we can trust that it is coming to us at this time because we are ready to find out what it would mean to live our lives for ourselves, following the call of our own soul, and refusing any longer to be beholden to someone else’s expectations.

One of the most common reasons we are so tied into making our parents, or others, happy, is that we were not properly mirrored when we were children. We were not honored as individuals in our own right, with a will and purpose of our own, to be determined by our own unfolding. As a result, we learned to look outside of ourselves for approval, support, and direction rather than look within. The good news is that the part of us that was not adequately nurtured is still there, inside us, like a seed that has not yet received the sunlight and moisture it needs to open and to allow its inner contents to unfurl. It is never too late to provide ourselves with what we need to awaken this inner being.

There are many ways to create a safe container for ourselves so that we can turn within and shine the light of awareness there. We may join a support group, go to therapy, or start a practice of journaling every day for half an hour. This experience of becoming is well worth the difficult work that may be required of us to get there. In whatever process we choose, we may feel worse before we feel better, but we will ultimately find out how to live our lives for ourselves and how to make ourselves happy.


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5/16/12 7:38 P

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May 16, 2012
Life
I am in the flow of life.

Life is God made evident. I behold life in the vitality of a nourishing rain, the warm sunshine of a spring day, and a field arrayed in wildflowers—all divine life in expression.

The life of God flows through me as well. I express my divine potential when I develop my interests and follow my dreams. I feel new enthusiasm for life as I let go of fear and limiting beliefs. I see that my life holds great opportunity for joy and fulfillment.

Every experience offers me a chance to grow into my full potential, to learn and to express what is uniquely mine to offer. I am in the flow of life, and I am unfolding my divine indwelling pattern.

He turns a desert into pools of water … And there he lets the hungry live. —Psalm 107:35, 36

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5/9/12 8:24 A

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Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Forgive

I choose forgiveness.


When someone I love hurts my feelings or betrays my trust, I can consciously choose how to react. I can choose to harbor a grudge, lash out in anger, or retaliate. Or I can choose to forgive.

Holding on to resentment is like holding onto a burning ember: the longer I hold it, the greater the pain. But if I let it go, healing begins.

When I forgive, I open the door to both physical and spiritual healing. My mind and heart become peaceful. My body relaxes and releases stress. When I choose forgiveness, the path to peace, happiness and freedom is revealed. I choose to forgive myself and others. I choose to be happy.

Then Peter came and said to him, "Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive?"--Matthew 18:21

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5/7/12 9:47 A

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May 7, 2012
Undistracted Energy
Pure Thoughts by Madisyn Taylor

The longer we are able to hold a positive thought, the stronger that energy around us becomes.

If we make no effort at all, our thoughts usually scatter in a vast array of directions. They start and stop and move in surprising ways from one second to the next. If we try to follow our thoughts without controlling them, we will be amazed at how truly inconsistent they are. Yet, if we apply our minds to a specific task, especially one that interests us, they gather together and allow us to focus our attention, creating great power and energy. This is what is known as pure thought, because it is undistracted.

The law of attraction—like attracts like—influences all energy, including our thoughts, and this is what makes pure thought so potent. Our undistracted thoughts create a powerful magnet that draws similar energy into our vibrational field. As a result, the longer we are able to hold positive thoughts in our minds, the more powerful the positive energy around us becomes. We don’t need to focus on action and controlling so much when we are surrounded by energy that draws what we want toward us. We can simply respond to the opportunities that naturally come our way. When this is the essence of our experience, we can go with the flow, knowing that we will be okay.

If pure thought is a body, it is our emotions that supply the heart that can really bring it to life. Our thoughts and feelings exist in relation to one another, and they form a feedback loop through which they communicate and empower each other. When we hold a thought in our mind without being distracted, we have achieved pure thought. When we have a positive emotional response to that thought, we enable it to dance and move and breathe itself into existence.

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5/6/12 7:43 A

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Sunday, May 06, 2012

Affirmation
I say yes to my highest good.

What do I say yes to in life? What do I affirm? Through my words, I reveal what I believe to be true. When I am centered in God, I affirm wholeness, love and abundant good.

If I find my words expressing lack, discomfort or separation from God, I take a moment to recenter. I quiet my thoughts, close my eyes, and take a gentle breath. Moving my attention to my heart space, I come home to my true center, my Christ Light.

I am whole. I am blessed. I am filled with peace. As I speak these words, I experience their truth.

I say yes to health, love and abundance in my life and claim my divine inheritance as a child of God. I say yes to my highest good.

Let your "Yes" be yes and your "No" be no.--James 5:12

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5/5/12 8:55 A

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May 4, 2012
Noticing Synchronicity
Interconnected Experiences

Things happen in our lives for a reason, even if that reason is not clear to you right away.


When events appear to fit together perfectly in our lives it may seem at first that they are random occurrences, things that are the result of coincidence. These synchronous happenings, though, are much more than that, for, if we look at them more closely they can show us that the universe is listening to us and gently communicating with us. Learning to pay attention to and link the things that occur on a daily basis can be a way for us to become more attuned to the fact that most everything happens in our lives for a reason – even when that reason is not clear right away.

When we realize that things often go more smoothly than we can ever imagine, it allows us to take the time to reflect on the patterns in our lives. Even events that might not at first seem to be related to each other are indicators that the universe is working with, not against, us. This idea of synchronicity, then, means that we have to trust there is more to our lives than what we experience on a physical level. We need to be willing to look more closely at the bigger picture, accepting and having confidence in the fact that there is more to our experiences than immediately meets the eye. Being open to synchronicity also means that we have to understand that our lives are filled with both positive and negative events. Once we can recognize that one event is neither more desirable nor better than the other – they all have an overall purpose in our lives -- then we are truly ready to listen to the messages the universe gives us.

While we may not be able to see everything in our lives as being synchronous, we can certainly use hindsight to be more aware of how the universe guides us. This sense of wonder at the mysteries of the universe and the interconnectedness present in our lives will help us see our overall ways of being and will in turn make it easier to work more consciously towards our spiritual evolution.

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5/4/12 9:24 A

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Friday, May 04, 2012

Satisfied

I immerse myself in stillness.


Where my attention goes, my energy flows. If I focus on what appears to be missing, I only feel more dissatisfied, which then spills over into other areas of my life. So instead of yearning for what I don't have and overlooking the treasures I do have, I am content with what is.

Access to stillness is one of the great gifts in my life. Using my breath to release and let go, I lean into the sanctuary of inner peace and experience deep satisfaction. All worry and tension fall away.

In the refuge of this inner space, I encounter the Divine. This is what my soul truly yearns for. The stillness fulfills the infinite promise of abiding peace.

Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have.--Philippians 4:11

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5/3/12 7:48 A

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Thursday, May 03, 2012

Pray for Others

I reach out in prayer to support and encourage others.


It has been said that "it takes a village to raise a child." We all benefit when we assist and support one another. I am fulfilled as I give from my heart the gifts of my time, talent and treasure, and as I support others through the power of affirmative prayer. When I pray for others, I reach out in faith and enfold them in love.

We are one in Spirit with each other, for we are all children of God. As I pray for others, I tap into our spiritual connection that joins us heart and mind. Through prayer, I am part of a "village" of people who spiritually support one another. Every time I pray, every time I give my love and encouragement, I am more aware of the living Christ Presence within us all.

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.--John 15:12

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5/2/12 8:01 A

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Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Prosperity
I open my heart to the rich blessings of Spirit.

Today I let go of thoughts of scarcity or lack and fill my entire mind with thoughts of my rich life--the life I am blessed with right now.

I open my heart to gratefulness as I count my blessings. I think of the people in my life, the places I have lived, the adventures I have enjoyed. I remember the thoughtful gifts I've received and given, and the love I've shared with friends and family. I remember times of peace-filled relaxation, exhilarating fun and deep contentment.

My list of blessings quickly grows as more and more come to mind. My joy overflows. Thank you, God, for everything in my life. I am so blessed.

Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and prosperity. --Proverbs 8:18

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5/1/12 10:12 A

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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Beauty

I add beauty to an already beautiful world!


In some cultures people celebrate the start of May by leaving a basket of spring flowers at a neighbor's doorstep. Flowers are nature's inspiring gift to us all. Yet before a flower's outer beauty is revealed, the divine idea of inner beauty exists as potential within a tiny seed.

In much the same way, seeds of God-given potential are present within me, ready to blossom. As I live and learn and grow, my potential takes form, and my full beauty and purpose are revealed.

I set an intention this moment to fully express my inner beauty. Through prayer, I free my God-given inner qualities and allow them to blossom.

Let your adornment be the inner self with the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in God's sight.--1 Peter 3:4

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4/30/12 8:06 A

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Monday, April 30, 2012

Expect the Best

God is my companion and guide at all times and in all places.


I may have certain expectations about my finances, relationships or future goals, but I don't place limits on the good I expect. My expectations are high, and my vision is wide--wide enough to include a world of unlimited possibilities. I release any struggle and have faith in God, my constant companion and guide.

An unexpected change--or even an expected one--might seem like the last thing I would ask for; but over time, its value becomes clear. My life is unfolding in divine order. As I remain at peace with what is and listen for divine direction, I move into new experiences with grace and ease. I cooperate with my spirit and expect only the best from this divine journey.


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4/29/12 10:43 A

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Rev. Ed Townley's Daily Focus
April 29, 2012

Periodically I like to link several of these daily meditations into a sequential examination of some aspect of spiritual Truth. Today I'd like to begin an appreciation of a powerful and, I think, under-appreciated spiritual guide, Emily Cady's Lessons in Truth, written more than a century ago.

Emily Cady must have been an extraordinary woman. For one thing, she was a doctor - which in the late 19th century was not an easy achievement. More, she had the courage to combine her medical skills and her spiritual understanding into a homeopathic approach to healing that is only reaching the fringe of general acceptance today. She was also an excellent writer in the somewhat florid style of the times, and Lessons in Truth, written on commission from Charles and Myrtle Fillmore and first published in Unity Magazine, is still today a clear and challenging text for the study of New Thought principles.

Dr. Cady begins with a challenge to the reader: Bondage or liberty, which? The choice is ours; she quotes Paul's Letter to the Romans that we are not servants of God, but sons, and if sons, heirs. We can claim our inheritance or ignore it, but we must know that it is our choice. "Because God in us is the fountain out of which springs all our good," she writes, "nothing that anyone does or says, or fails to do or say, can take away our joy and good."

Today I choose liberty---the liberty of knowing that I inherit all that God is. I make this choice in the stillness of my heart and I watch it transform my life. Thank You God.

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4/28/12 8:37 A

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Inner Peace
I am tranquil as I experience love and peace within me.

As I walk along the shoreline, watch the sun rise at the start of the day, or listen to the patter of rain on my roof, I feel peace within me. Nature is a reminder that God is everywhere present.

Tranquility settles in as I contemplate the activity of God's spirit. I call forth peace and attune my inner ear to the word of divine guidance, encouragement, love and faith that emanates from within. The vastness, the power, the glory of God await me in my inner sanctuary.

As I face the daily demands of my life, and the occasional chaos, I remember the peace that lies within and draw from its strength. Nothing can disturb the peace of my soul.

Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.--Philippians 4:9

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4/27/12 3:15 P

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Wisdom

Wise and prepared, I make right choices.


When Solomon met God face to face in a dream shortly after becoming king, he had the opportunity to ask for anything God might give him. His only request was for "an understanding mind"--the ability to discern right choices in governing his people.

Like Solomon, I have access to an understanding mind. I have the capacity for wise insight and spiritual perspective. This allows me to choose which thoughts I hold in mind, which words I speak, which actions I take.

I exercise my faculty of wisdom in small everyday choices, while strengthening my connection with God through prayerful meditation. When a major decision is needed, I am prepared. With wisdom, I make right choices.

Give your servant therefore an understanding mind.--1 Kings 3:9

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4/26/12 9:22 A

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April 26, 2012
Life as It Is
Making Life Work for You

Running your life and your household is a bit like running a business for which some things can easily be delegated.


Sometimes we have so many varying responsibilities in our lives, ranging from work obligations to caring for children to running a household, we feel we cannot possibly make it all work. We may feel overwhelmed in the face of it all, ending each day feeling hopelessly behind schedule. However, regardless of how frustrating this can be, these are the parameters that make up our lives, and we owe it to ourselves to find a way to make it work. Rather than buckling under the pressure of an impossible to-do list, we might take a moment to view the larger perspective.

Like the president of a large organization, we must first realize that we cannot do every job ourselves. The first step to sanity is learning how to delegate some of the responsibility to other people, whether by paying someone to clean our house or trading childcare duties with another parent. In addition, we might find places where we can shift our expectations in ways that make our lives easier. For example, expecting ourselves to create a healthy home-cooked meal every night after a full day of work, errands, or caring for an infant or toddler may be a bit excessive. We might allow ourselves to order in food once in a while without any guilt. Accepting the adjustments needed to make our lives work is an essential ingredient to being at peace with our situation.

At the end of the day, we must come to terms with changing what we can and accepting what we cannot change. Sometimes the laundry piles up, a sick child demands more of our attention than usual, and we temporarily get behind with our schedule. Accepting this momentary state of affairs and trusting in our ability to get back on track when the time is right, we gracefully accept our life as it is, letting go of perfectionism and embracing life as it stands.

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4/25/12 10:45 A

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Guidance

Confident and assured, I trust my inner guidance.


Traffic signs such as "Stop," "Yield" and "Railroad Crossing" give instructions to help us navigate the road. But divine guidance comes from within. It emerges as a feeling, an instinct, a repeating thought or an impression. Inner guidance may come in a slow dawning of awareness or in a flash of insight.

To access divine guidance, I become a spiritual observer. I notice the world around me and within me. Through centering prayer and mindfulness, I gain a deep understanding, a sense of assurance that brings me peace. With gratitude and positive anticipation, I follow my inner guidance.

I will lead the blind by a road they do not know, by paths they have not known I will guide them. --Isaiah 42:16

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4/22/12 9:07 A

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Blessed Earth

I am in awe of Earth's bountiful blessings.


God's loving Spirit permeates every atom of creation. Today I open my eyes and ears to behold the boundless variety and beauty of nature: a snowflake, a grain of sand, a glacier; a fawn, a fish, a colorful chameleon; the loud clap of thunder, the rhythmic lap of a wave against the shore, the inspiring sight of an eagle in flight.

From the tiniest seed of potential to a tall stand of trees stretching up to the heavens, our blessed earth reveals the infinite expression of Spirit. Today I breathe in the blessings of this wondrous planet. A deep appreciation of all life surges from within as I consider that God is within me and God is everywhere present. The love and life of God are abudantly on display, and I am grateful.

Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest.--James 5:18

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4/21/12 10:29 A

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April 20, 2012
Worth the Time
Meditating More When Our Plates Are Full

It is when our lives are full and busy that we need our daily meditation to help center us for the day.

Ironically, when we get busy, the first thing that tends to get cut back is our meditation practice. We have less time and a lot on our plates, so it makes sense that this happens, but in the end it doesn’t really help us. Most of us know from experience that we function much better when we give ourselves time each day to sit in silence. And the more we have to do, the more we need that solitary, quiet time for the day ahead. As a result, while it may sound counterintuitive, it is during busy times that we most need to spend more time in meditation rather than less. By being quiet and listening to the universe, we will be given what we need to get through our day.

Expanding our morning meditation by just 10 minutes can make a big difference, as can the addition of short meditations into our daily schedule. The truth is, no matter how busy we are, unless we are in the midst of a crisis we always have five or 10 minutes to spare. The key is convincing ourselves that spending that time in meditation is the most fruitful choice. We could be getting our dishes done or heading into work earlier instead, so it’s important that we come to value the importance of meditation in the context of all the other things competing for attention in our lives. All we have to do to discover whether it works to meditate more when we are busy is to try it.

We can start by creating more time in the morning, either by getting up earlier or by preparing breakfast the night before and using the extra time for meditation. We can also add short meditation breaks into our schedule, from five minutes before or after lunch to a meditation at night before we go to sleep. When we come from a place of centered calm, we are more effective in handling our busy schedules and more able to keep it all in perspective. If more time in meditation means less time feeling anxious, panicky, and overwhelmed, then it’s certainly worth the extra time.

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4/19/12 9:52 A

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April 19, 2012
Shifting the Mood
Attitude Follows Perspective

We all have to do things in our life that we don't want to and the easiest solution is with to change our attitude.


We all have days when we are faced with chores, errands, or responsibilities that we don’t want to do. At times like these, it’s easy to get into a bad mood and stay in one as we tackle these tasks. However, given the fact that our bad mood will not change the fact that we have to do these things, and will most likely make things worse, we could also try to shift our attitude. Many wise people have pointed out that it is not so much what we do as it is how we do it that makes the difference in our lives.

It’s important when we’re facing something that’s really hard for us, whether it’s doing taxes, paying bills, or visiting a challenging relative, that we lovingly support ourselves through the process. The more supported we feel, the easier it is to open our minds to the idea that we could change our way of looking at the situation. In truth, most of the chores we don’t like doing are intimately intertwined with our blessings. When we remember this, we feel gratitude, which makes it hard to stay in a dark mood.

We can shift our attitude by considering how much we love our home as we clean it and how lucky we are to have a roof over our head. Any task can be transformed from a burden to a necessary aspect of caring for something we love. All we have to do is shift our perspective, and our attitude follows shortly behind.

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4/18/12 7:40 P

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April 18, 2012
Daily Focus with Rev. Ed Townley

"Doyou not know," Paul writes in his first letter to theCorinthians, "that you are God'stemple...and that God's spirit dwells in you?"

There is no more important lesson in allthe ministry of Jesus than the realization that the Christ, the "Kingdom of Heaven" is with each one of us.

But it is not easy. It requires us tounlearn a lifetime of conditioning that God is a Being in the heavenssomewhere, distant and unapproachable. How almost sacrilegious it seems atfirst to claim God's Presence within ourselves - even though that is preciselywhat our greatest teacher taught. "When you pray," he said, "go within."

My body is the temple constructed to honorthe Presence of God within me. It is not to be ignored in favor of my spiritualself; it is to be appreciated, and carefully tended to reflect the beauty, loveand light of the Spirit within. I want my body to be a temple that is healthyand pleasant. When I take care of my body with diet, exercise, cleanliness,clothing, whatever, I am honoring Spirit whose temple my body is.

TodayI affirm: I am radiant, healthy and strong, because my body is the temple forthe I Am, the Christ of God within me. Thank You, God.

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4/17/12 9:40 A

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Healing
Health is my natural state. My body responds to love and care.

The body is a wondrous system. With each breath, with each heartbeat, my body is renewed and restored. When pain alerts me to a need for healing, I respond with love and care. Rather than becoming tense, I breathe deeply, sending light and love to the places calling for attention.

The wisdom of God works through me and my health care providers, in cooperation with my body's innate healing power.

Health is my very nature. I relax and rest as my body responds to loving affirmations and care. I am grateful for the healing now in progress. I feel it, I see it and I know it. My body is refreshed, renewed and restored to wholeness.

It will be a healing for your flesh and a refreshment for your body. --Proverbs 3:8

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4/16/12 9:13 A

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April 16, 2012 - Daily Focus
with Rev. Ed Townley

A great sense of seeking after somethinghas been a trademark of our recent spiritual endeavors. We seek after God, weseek for a sense of identity, we seek after secrets of life.

This great expenditure of energy spentseeking is apparently nothing new. A century ago, in Lessons in Truth, Emily Cady was concerned that it might becomecounter productive. "I believe," she wrote, "that too much introspection, toomuch ...spiritual seeking, is detrimental rather than helpful."

What is the alternative? Let the Power ofGod in the universe do the seeking. "Know once and forever," Dr. Cady tells us,"that you are not seeking God, but God is seeking you." And since the Presenceof God is to be found within each one of us, we begin to understand the Truth behindthe great Biblical injunction, "Be still and know that I am God."

TodayI turn to the I Am of my being, the Presence of God within me, and I allow itto express in my life. With God as Love and Light within me, I am complete. Ineed not seek, but only be. Thank You, God.

Edited by: WIZINTN at: 4/16/2012 (09:13)
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4/15/12 9:45 A

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Capacity

I am a child of God, with wonder-working power.


As I awaken each day, I can either resist what is before me or celebrate it. I have the capacity to live this day fully and freely as a beloved child of God. I have the capacity to express love, joy and appreciation. I remember the presence of God in me, and as such, my hands do God's work. My mind is open to Divine Mind, and my thoughts are inspired.

Going with the flow, I feel God's wonder-working power moving through me and as me. I cooperate with others and sense our oneness. Problems are no problem! Right solutions come easily as a divine power opens doors and removes all roadblocks. With God in mind, I believe and I receive.

But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God.--John 1:12

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4/14/12 8:35 A

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April 14, 2012 - archive edition
Daily Focus with Rev. Ed Townley

As I work at experiencing and releasing the process of spiritual transformation that is clearly the purpose of this human experience, it is clear above all that I cannot do it alone.

Of course, I am not really alone. Left to its own devices, my limited intellect begins to dialogue with itself - with the fear-based ego thoughts that are in fact the core of every difficulty I experience. This surely is the worst-case scenario Jesus warned us about: The blind leading the blind -- My blind ego leading my blind intellect into experiences of lack and negativity!

There is an alternative. There is another voice within me that speaks of love, truth, oneness and total trust. It will not force its way into my awareness as its ego counterpart does. I must seek it, invite it and welcome it - Seek, Ask, Knock in the great teaching of Jesus.

If I am willing to seek, I cannot fail to find that this voice - which A Course in Miracles calls the Voice for God - is everywhere alive, supportive and eager to gently correct the ignorance and error thought that plague me.

Today I acknowledge and embrace my ego voice, calming its fears as best I can, but never relying on its misguided advice. Today I turn instead to the Voice forGod. I listen, I share, I feel the love and I release my life to its embrace.Thank You, God.

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4/13/12 9:58 A

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April 13, 2012
Daily Focus
with Rev. Ed Townley

Why do bad things happen to good people?If God's will for each of us is perfect good, then what are we to understandabout the suffering, pain, loss and sorrow that so often appear without warning- and without any apparent spiritual cause?

Some may say that misfortune is apunishment for sin, but Jesus clearly demonstrated and taught otherwise. "For (God) makes his sun rise on the eviland on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous," henotes in his Sermon on the Mount.

Once we come to accept our individualexpression of the creative Power of God, we may turn for blame to someone'snegative thoughts instead of sinful acts.

The simple fact is that we don't alwaysknow. Our limited human perspective does not allow us to see all answersclearly. We know that every human life is a part of a larger story, but wedon't have the whole script. We believe that every experience is important,moving us along to a higher awareness.
Westumble, we fall, we hurt, we cry, but ultimately we rest in the certainty thatGod is Good, that we are moving forward, moving together, and that appearancescannot threaten the Truth that we are always one with each other and with God.

And so I remember and affirm today that from the eternal perspective of God, theanswer is always "Yes" and the outcome is always Good. Thank You, God.

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4/11/12 8:48 A

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April 11, 2012
Offering Our Gifts
Community Responsibility

We all live in a community in one way or another and we all have an opportunity to make it better in some way.


It’s easy to get caught up in our personal lives and forget that we have an obligation to be responsible members of our communities. For some of us, expressing this responsibility is so interwoven into our personal lives that it is simply a natural extension of who we are. Others may need to take a moment to consider how to be more responsible for the communities in which we live. For those of us who live in large cities, we can start with our neighborhoods. Anything we do on a small level will automatically ripple out into the larger system.

Communities thrive on the talents of their members, so one approach to community responsibility is to consider what you have to offer and find ways to bring that into your community. If you have a special gift when it comes to bringing people together, you might agree to throw a party or event once a year that includes the whole community. Even a small open house in an apartment building can accomplish a lot in terms of making people feel more connected and comfortable with each other. If you have a talent for organic gardening, you might offer to help people in your neighborhood plan their own organic gardens. You might be the go to person for neighbors who need someone to water their plants or care for their pets when they’re away. You might take an abandoned space in your community and galvanize others to help you transform it into a community garden or a playground for children. In an area where there are many homeless people, starting a soup kitchen or organizing a holiday meal makes a big difference not only to those in need but to those who want to help.

All holiday parades, picnics, and ceremonies started somewhere, with someone who wanted to give back to the community in which they lived. It’s not too late to propose and execute a new tradition in your own community, whether it’s a block party or an annual picnic. Your particular vision, gifts, and strengths are part of what makes your community unique, so as you recognize them in yourself, feel free to offer them to those who live in your vicinity. Whether your offerings are visionary or practical, they are the very essence of community.

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4/10/12 10:56 A

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“You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith.”
-Mary Manin Morrissey

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4/9/12 10:42 A

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April 9, 2012
Ready for Change
Declaring Our Intentions

If you are feeling stuck in your life and are ready for change, take time to declare to the Universe that you are ready.

There comes a point in most of our lives when we feel ready to experience a change we’ve had trouble carrying out. Maybe we’ve been stuck in a home, a relationship, job, or a town that hasn’t felt right for a long time, but we’ve been unable to shift our circumstances in the direction we want to go. At times like this, it can help to declare to the universe that we are ready for a change. Think of it as informing a helpful friend that you need her assistance to move to the next level in your life. If the time is right, the universe will respond with opportunities and offers designed to help you create the change you wish to see.

You can begin the process of making your declaration by getting clear within yourself about what exactly you want to change. Whenever we ask anyone for help, they can assist us that much better if we are specific. The universe also appreciates our clarity and has an easier time answering a direct communication than a vague yearning. When you are clear on what you want, write your declaration on a piece of paper and place it on your altar, if you have one. If you don’t, you can also place it under your pillow or in a box on your nightstand. Set aside a period of time every day to be silent with your wishes for change, repeating your declaration like a mantra. This lets the universe know that you are ready to change and will be receptive to its efforts.

Feel free to continue to refine and redefine your declaration, and remember to be open to the many different ways in which the change you seek might come to be. Remember also to be active in your own efforts, taking opportunities that come your way, watching for signs, and always taking responsibility for your intentions. If things don’t happen quickly, try not to be discouraged; it might take time to free up energy that has been blocked and possibly serving a purpose beyond what we can understand. If you continue your conversation with the universe, declaring yourself clearly and openly, you cannot help but experience the magic of changing and being changed.

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4/8/12 7:47 A

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Sunday, April 08, 2012
Easter
I awaken from illusion into life renewed!

On Easter, we awaken from the illusion of death into renewed life. We are propelled into higher levels of consciousness and greater expressions of good.

I revel in the freedom of releasing restriction and limitation. No longer do challenges hold my body, mind or emotions captive. The trepidation, which once threatened to bind me, now disintegrates into nothingness. I am unfettered and unbound. The heavy stones that seemed to block my path are rolled away, clearing the avenues of liberation before me.

I allow the Christ Spirit to rise triumphant in me. Boldly, I embrace a new way of thinking, an affirmative way of being, and a grand and glorious way of living. Today I celebrate renewed life!

Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.--Luke 24:5

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4/7/12 8:23 A

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Saturday, April 07, 2012

Free

I follow Spirit, and I am free.


Guided and inspired by Spirit, Moses led the ancient Israelites out of bondage in Egypt. To escape slavery, people had to change their thinking and claim their freedom. As long as they believed someone or something had power over them, they submitted to that power and remained enslaved.

My own limitations can similarly be traced to erroneous beliefs about myself and the world. Today I release the belief that I lack any gifts or attributes. I deny that anyone or anything has power over me. I claim my freedom as a child of God, blessed with everything I need to be an expression of love and power in this world. I open to Spirit's guidance and advance toward my highest good. I am free!

Moses said to the people, "Remember this day on which you came out of Egypt."--Exodus 13:3

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April 6, 2012
Culling out the Weeds
Mind over Matter

We can improve our overall physical well-being by first starting to notice our thoughts and our reactions to our thoughts.

The power of the mind is a curious thing, because it is so powerful yet so difficult to control sometimes. We find ourselves thinking a certain way, knowing that this thought may be creating trouble for us yet we find it difficult to stop. For example, many people have the experience of getting sick at the same time every year or every time they go on a plane. They may even be aware that their beliefs impact their experiences, so continue to think they will get sick and then they do.

Sometimes we need to get sick in order to process something or move something through our bodies. But often we get sick, or feel exhausted, because we don’t make the effort to galvanize the power of our minds in the service of our physical health, which is one of its most important functions. We really can use it to communicate to our bodies, yet we often regard the two as separate entities that have little to do with one another.

Knowing this, we have the power to create physical health and mental health, simply by paying attention to the tapes running in our minds. Once we hear ourselves, we have the option to let that tape keep running or to make a new recording. We harness the power of the mind in our defense when we choose supportive, healing words that foster good health and high spirits. All we need to do is remember to tend the field of our mind with the attentive and loving hand of a master gardener tending her flower beds, culling out the weeds so that the blossoms may come to fruition.

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4/5/12 7:34 A

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Thursday, April 05, 2012

Comfort

I find comfort in my heart today.


Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal. I am earth and I am heaven. I am human and I am divine. The human part of me may be the only self I have known, but the divine self is revealed to me as I turn to God and lift my mind and heart in prayer. Earth meets heaven, and clouds dissolve in light as the Spirit of truth ascends in my mind and brings me understanding.

I may experience sorrow or sadness, but strength, joy and understanding are mine even then. When circumstances cast me down, when fear crowds joy and courage from my heart, something in me says: This is not true of you, this is not true of life. This message is the divine self healing the human self. It is the healing that transforms my life.

I saw a new heaven and a new earth.--Revelation 21:1

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4/4/12 8:40 A

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Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Prosperity

I am grateful for blessings manifested and all those yet to be.


I open my mind to divine substance everywhere present and from which all blessings flow. I affirm the fields are ripe for harvesting now, rather than postponing my good to the distant future. I recognize and give thanks for all that is mine today.

With my focus on God, I also open myself to receive that which I desire. Divine ideas take root in my mind, and I nurture them with faith. I shape them into reality through my thoughts, feelings and actions. Whether the idea is for a creative solution, an ingenious invention or a new job, it is born of divine substance and the activity of God.

I am grateful for my present good and for the continual blessings coming my way.

Do you not say, "Four months more, then comes the harvest?" But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting.--John 4:35

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4/2/12 9:12 P

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Amen.

Carol - South Carolina EDT = GMT -4.
Awesome A Team Summer 5% Challenge

Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.

Circumstances are just temporary. Outlook and attitude should remain permanently positive.
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4/2/12 9:54 A

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Monday, April 02, 2012
Sacred Space
All that I seek is right where I am.

Many places around the world are considered holy by people of various faith traditions. I may visit such places and find inspiration; yet I am reminded that anywhere I am is holy ground. I needn't travel to commune with God. The One Power and One Presence is everywhere present, wherever I am. I need only pause, take a breath and become aware of the Presence within and around me.

Closing my eyes in prayer, I enter a sacred space, a holy place of peace. With each breath, I feel the activity of God moving through my life. All that I seek is right where I am. I close my prayer with gratitude for God's eternal presence.

Then he said, "Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground."--Exodus 3:5

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3/31/12 11:02 A

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Wonderful message. Curiously I woke up laughing, from the belly laughing. How great it is to have a reinforcing Daily Word. Thank you! Thank God,

Edited by: RITZIBROWN at: 4/1/2012 (20:47)
Carol - South Carolina EDT = GMT -4.
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Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.

Circumstances are just temporary. Outlook and attitude should remain permanently positive.
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3/31/12 8:08 A

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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Joy

I am a center of peace and joy.


Nature abounds with sights and sounds of joy: birds sing in the morning light, butterflies flit among blossoms, flowers nod their heads in the breeze. All remind me of the joy that lives in me.

I am a center of peace and joy. God within me is the ultimate song that plays through my heart and life. As I still my mind in prayer, I hear the song of the Divine and allow its melody to fill my being.

True joy is deeper than any sorrow, stronger than any disappointment. I trust this power within to help me overcome sorrow, anger or grief, to remind me that life is good. Each day I awaken to an awareness of God. I awaken to joy.

Clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with loud songs of joy. --Psalm 47:1

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3/28/12 10:28 A

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March 28, 2012
Seeing Inside
Sight Versus Vision

Vision comes from within and shows us how to navigate the realms of thought, feeling, and emotion.

Sight is the ability to see the physical world while vision is the gift of seeing beyond it. Sight enables us to take the physical world in so we can participate in it with knowledge. It brings us pleasure through our eyes, which perceive the colors and shapes of all the myriad expressions of nature and human beings. It helps us feel in control, allowing us to see what is coming toward us, which way we are going, and exactly where we are standing at a given moment. We are able to read signs and books, navigate the interiors of buildings with ease, sense and perceive how a person is feeling by the expressions that cross her face.

As anyone who has lost their eyesight can tell you, though, there are things that are clearer when you cannot see the world through your eyes. One of the reasons many meditation instructors advise sitting with the eyes closed is because we automatically become more in touch with our inner world when we are not distracted by the outer world. It is in this state that vision becomes our mode of seeing. Vision comes from within and shows us how to navigate the realms of thought, feeling, and emotion. It enables us to see things that aren’t yet manifested in the world of form, and it also connects us to that part of ourselves that exists separately from the world of form.

As we age, even those of us with perfect eyesight will generally lose some of our acuity, but this loss is usually replaced with inner vision. This is the time of life when we are meant to turn inside and take what are sometimes the very first steps of a journey that cannot be traced on a map. We call upon intuition and feel our way along a path that ultimately carries us beyond the realm we can see with our eyes and into the land of spirit.

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3/27/12 8:59 A

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Guidance

I am attuned to Spirit and act on the guidance I receive.

At certain times in my life, I may want to make detailed plans, and at others, I am more comfortable waiting to see what happens. In either case, divine guidance is available to me.

When I pray for guidance, the answer may be subtle or unmistakable. Direction may come as a whisper or it may seem like an opportunity has been dropped in my lap. However it manifests, I listen to Spirit and pay attention to my inner knowing.

Whether I am setting goals and outlining a plan, or simply setting an intention and observing what transpires, I hold to my faith. I take action, ask for help if I need it, and celebrate success with gratitude to God.

When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you. --Proverbs 6:22

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3/26/12 1:06 P

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March 26, 2012
Softening and Expanding
Being Receptive to What You Want

In a world of harshness, it is time to soften and expand how we go about our life.

In order to get what we want in life, we have to be willing to receive it when it appears, and in order to do that we have to be open. Often we go through life with defenses we developed early on in order to protect ourselves. These defenses act as barriers, walls we needed at one time to feel safe, but that now serve to shut out desired influences, like intimacy or love. So an essential part of being receptive to what we want is to soften these barriers enough to let those things in when they show up. For example, we may spend a lot of time alone as a way to protect ourselves from being hurt by other people, but we can see how this is now preventing us from meeting new friends.

Another obstacle to our receptivity can be our tendency to believe that we have to act aggressively in order to achieve our desired goal. This can cause us to become mono-focused and to fail to see, and be open to, opportunities on the periphery of our vision. So becoming receptive involves a softening of our defenses and a willingness to remain open to possibilities outside our immediate realm of vision. If we are looking for love or friendship, it means first looking within ourselves to see where we are shut down, and second, not getting too fixated on where we might find the love we want. In this way, we become more open as individuals and more expansive in terms of what we see as possible.

Often, the things and people we want to draw into our lives elude us because we are unconsciously blocking them out, either with our defenses, or with tunnel vision that causes us to not see them when they appear. When this is the case, we can take action by exploring and softening our barriers, and expanding our vision to encompass new possibilities. These actions are the essence of receptivity.

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3/25/12 12:44 P

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Strength
I am strong in body and mind.

The strength of God is present and active within my body and mind. God's vision for me is wholeness and vitality. I align my thoughts, feelings and beliefs with these truths and remove any barriers I may have built in fear. I open to the flow of divine energy and life that strengthens, sustains and heals me in body and mind.

Just as divine strength infuses my body, it also empowers me to use my mind constructively. In faith, I focus my thoughts on what I want to experience. If I find myself worrying, I gently set those worries aside and affirm I am strong in body and mind. I draw from the wellspring of divine strength within.

The Lord will guide you continually, ... and you shall be like a watered garden, ... like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. --Isaiah 58:11

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3/24/12 8:14 A

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March 23, 2012
You Are the One You Are Waiting for
Turn to Yourself

Ultimately, you are the one.

We spend a lot of our lives looking for role models, mentors, teachers, and gurus to guide us on our path. There is nothing wrong with this and, in fact, finding the right person at the right time can really help. However, it is important to realize that in the absence of such a figure, we can very safely rely upon ourselves. We carry within us everything we need to know to make progress on our paths to self-realization. The outer world serves as a mirror. Or to use another metaphor, our inner world has a magnetic force that draws to us what we need to evolve to the next level. All we need to do to see that we already have everything we need is to let go of our belief that we need to seek in order to find.

The path of the spirit is often defined as a journey with a goal such as the fabled pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. In this metaphor, a person begins a search for something they want but do not have and then they find it, and there is a happy ending. However, most of us know that getting what we want only makes us happy for a moment, and then the happiness passes until a new object of desire presents itself. Joy is a permanent aspect of our inner selves and is not separate from us at any point. We do not have to travel to find it or imagine that it resides only in the body of another. In fact, what the best teachers will do is point out that this very precious elixir is something we already possess.

So when we find ourselves on our path, not knowing which way to turn and wishing for guidance, we can turn to ourselves. We may not know the right answer rationally or intellectually, but if we simply ask, let go, and wait patiently, an answer will come. The more we practice this and trust this process, the less we will look outside ourselves for teachers and guides for we will have successfully become our own.

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3/22/12 8:57 A

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Let Go, Let God
I let go, confident in the good God provides.

If I leave one job for a better one, or move into a more comfortable home, letting go of the old may feel easy. But it can be more difficult to let go when I am unsure about what is to come. Sometimes staying in an unsatisfying situation feels safer than stepping into the unknown.

When my spirit knows I need to let go, I do it with confidence that my good is being revealed. I release to God any concerns, situations or relationships that no longer serve me. Even when my future is uncertain, healing and growth are assured.

I am open to and cooperate with the guidance of Spirit even before the path ahead is clear. I release, let go and claim my divine potential.

Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward.--Hebrews 10:35

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3/20/12 8:24 A

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Bounty

Bountiful blessings echo through my words and manifest in my life.

The start of spring brings a sense of bounty as new life awakens from the drowsiness of winter. I cultivate a springtime consciousness of newness and abundance by calling forth the divine blessings available to me now.

As I focus on the Divine within--the source of all my good--bounty pours into my awareness as ideas and opportunities. Possibilities for order, health, wisdom, love and joy echo through my creative word and manifest in my life. Countless blessings of good fill the once-idle spaces of my life in energizing and delightful ways. I am sustained by the awareness of good supporting and renewing me now.

The Lord will open for you his rich storehouse, the heavens, ... to bless all your undertakings.--Deuteronomy 28:12

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3/19/12 10:07 P

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I had moments of peace & serenity today however as the day wore on I became frazzled. Checking in & reading this helped me to remember the best of my day. Thank you.

Carol - South Carolina EDT = GMT -4.
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Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.

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3/19/12 8:04 A

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Monday, March 19, 2012
Serenity
I am an instrument of peace and serenity.

In the rush of everyday activities, peace and quiet may seem an elusive dream. So I begin each day with a time of prayer and meditation in which I enter the kingdom of God within.

In meditation, I mentally draw an image that reminds me of peace. It may be a quiet lake or the face of a loved one. I may recall the words of a favorite song or Scripture. Whatever I choose to visualize or focus on becomes a touchstone to which I can return any moment of the day.

My key to this sacred inner space, this center of serenity and love deep within, is a simple "Thank you, God." In appreciation, I realize the love that supports me. I realize God and I are one.

The effect of righteousness will be peace.--Isaiah 32:17

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3/17/12 9:08 A

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Vision
I see the good in my life and in the world.

Today I embrace an expanded view of my life and my world. I am awakening to my divine potential, and I am aware of the abundance of good in my life. I see myself as a child of God, supported and guided, sustained and whole, vibrant and enthusiastic.

I envision the best for myself and for others. I intentionally behold the innate beauty in the faces and hearts of people around me. I value the unique expressions of divine life. I honor our differences while appreciating our oneness.

I enlarge my vision to include peace and prosperity for everyone. I open to a world of positive possibilities and expect the manifestation of all that is good.

They said to him, "Lord, let our eyes be opened."--Matthew 20:33

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3/16/12 8:33 A

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March 16, 2012
A Matter of Priorities
Letting Go of the Little Stuff

When we stop worrying about unimportant matters, we can devote so much more of ourselves to what is truly important.

We experience numerous disappointments each and every day. Our expectations go unmet, our plans are blocked by circumstance, our wishes go unfulfilled, and we discover that our lives are subject to a myriad of forces beyond our conscious control. In some cases, our response is powerful because we must invest ourselves and our resources to overcome genuine hardship. In others, our reactions are far more passionate than our circumstances likely warrant. The tension that permeates our bodies and minds when we are late for an event, interrupted at work, or sitting in traffic is not inappropriate, but it can interfere with our well-being in profound ways. When we stop worrying about relatively unimportant matters, we can be at peace and devote so much more of ourselves to what is truly important.

The small frustrations and irritations wield such power over us because they rob us of the illusion of control. But every problem is a potential teacher—a confusing situation is an opportunity to practice mindfulness, and difficult people provide us with opportunities to display compassion. There is a natural human tendency to invest copious amounts of emotional energy in minor dilemmas and frustrations in order to avoid confronting those more complex issues that are largely outside the realm of our control. The intensity of our response provides us with a temporary sense of personal power that helps us cope with challenges that might otherwise overwhelm us. But it is only when we let the little stuff go that we discover that the big stuff is not really so devastating after all.

In the stress of a singularly tense incident, differentiating between an inconsequential annoyance and a legitimate challenge can seem a monumental task. Ask yourself whether the emotions you are feeling will be as vivid in a year, a day, or even an hour. As focused as you are on this moment in time, your reward for letting go of your emotional investment may be the very happiness and harmony of being whose loss you are lamenting. Needless aggravation is seldom worth the cost it exacts. You cannot distance yourself from life's inconsistencies, irritations, and upheavals, but you can relinquish your desire for perfect order and gain peace of mind in the process.

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3/13/12 8:46 A

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Divine Order
This is a divine order day!

If I become frustrated from failing to complete a task or goal, I may feel like an "Out of Order" sign is flashing above my head. There is no need, however, to give in or give up. Instead, I take a God-moment to immerse myself in the divine order that is always present. I still my inner critic and affirm: I am in the presence of God, and God's presence is within me.

God is everywhere present. Divine order permeates all that I am, all that is. I realize my frustration was caused by my lack of God-awareness. Once I tune in to the presence of God, I experience the flow of divine order in my life. This day, and all others, is a divine order day!

"In him we live and move and have our being"; as even some of your own poets have said, "For we too are his offspring."--Acts 17:28

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3/12/12 10:40 A

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March 12, 2012
The Power of Disengagement
Playing Mind Games

Life should not be lived through a series of mind games, but from truth and looking deep within.

For better or worse, many people have been raised to believe that communicating in an honest and open way will not get them what they want. They have learned, instead, to play mind games or go on power trips in the service of their ego’s agenda. People stuck in this outmoded and inefficient style of communication can be trying at best and downright destructive at worst. We may get caught up in thinking we have to play the same games in order to defend ourselves, but that will only lead us deeper into confusion and conflict. The best way to handle people like this is to be clear and honest with them

As with all relationships and situations in our lives, we must look within for both the source of our difficulties and the solution. Reacting to the situation by getting upset will only entrench us more deeply in the undesirable relationship. Only by disengaging, becoming still, and going within can we begin to see what has hooked us into the mess in the first place. We will most likely find unprocessed emotions that we can finally fully feel and release into the stillness we find in meditation. The more we are able to do this, the less we will be bothered by the other person’s dramas and the more we will be free to respond in a new way. In the light of our new awareness, the situation will untangle itself and we will slowly break free.

Whenever people come into our lives, they have come for a reason, to show us something about ourselves that we have not been able to see. When unhealthy people try to hook us into their patterns with mind games and power trips, we can remind ourselves that we have something to learn here and that a part of us is calling out for healing. This takes the focus off the troubling individual and puts it back on us, giving us the opportunity to change the situation from the inside out.

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3/11/12 9:18 A

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Prosperity
I am enriched by the gifts of Spirit.

With gratitude, I consider what truly enriches me: my inner spirit, a gift from God that can never be taken away. No trend, circumstance, life change or even death can touch it. The gift of my divine spirit is beyond anything money, position or possessions may offer.

With God as my source of unlimited good, I am fulfilled. No matter what is happening in the outer world, I am centered within. When Truth guides my decisions, my spiritual nature shines forth. With wisdom and understanding, I pursue what brings out the best in me and others.

Eager to give and receive fully and freely from Spirit within me, I live with courage and conviction.

If you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit.--Galatians 6:8

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3/10/12 12:12 P

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Change
I move through change with ease.

Change seen as a new beginning is often welcomed, while change viewed as an ending is resisted. Yet every change holds both a beginning and an end. Our perspective and attitude determine which aspect we focus on.

I choose to manage the endings in my life with appreciation for all that has been, and to view the beginnings with an expectancy of good unfolding.

I release the idea that change must involve struggle. I trust God to provide all I need in each moment. My faith allows me to welcome change with open arms and move forward with ease and grace.

He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.--Ecclesiastes 3:11

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3/9/12 7:58 A

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March 9, 2012
Compassionate Intensity
Balancing Your Warrior Spirit

When we recognize our warrior self we can exhibit strength without sacrificing tenderness.

The human soul is dynamic, adapting readily to the changing conditions we encounter as time marches unerringly forward. Though we may use a single set of characteristics to define ourselves, we slip easily into contradictory roles when circumstances necessitate doing so. When we feel called to explore the way of the warrior, we may feel a strong sense of dismay because we have no wish to disavow ourselves of our softer side. Yet embracing the warrior spirit is not a matter of denying gentleness or compassion—all human beings embody all traits to some degree, and seemingly contradictory aspects can coexist peacefully within us. We can exhibit strength without sacrificing tenderness precisely because both are elements of the self and both have a role to play in the complexity of existence.

Balance is the key that unlocks the door of peaceable coexistence where opposing characteristics of the self are concerned. The warrior spirit, when allowed free reign, is overpowering and all-consuming. If it is to be an affirmative force in our lives, it must be tempered with wisdom and moderation. Our inner warriors are ready to react instantly to conflict, chaos, and confusion, while nonetheless remaining committed to a path of goodwill and fairness. They lie at the root of our dedication to integrity but do not drive us to use our strength to coerce others into adopting our values. The warrior may be nourished by raw emotions with the potential to cause us to lash out, but it channels that energy into positive and constructive action.

Your inner warrior is one source of strength you can draw upon in times of great need. When you employ your warrior spirit thoughtfully, it manifests itself as clarity, focus, determination, courage, constancy, and an unflappable zest for life. The warrior views roadblocks as evolutionary opportunities and is not afraid to pursue a purpose to its climax. There is more than enough room in the existence of the warrior for softness and benevolence, and the warrior's willingness to stand up for their beliefs can aid you greatly as you strive to incorporate these ideals into your existence. Exploring this unique side of yourself is a means of broadening your reality so you can internalize mindfulness while meeting life's challenges with an intensity of spirit that never wavers.

dailyom.com/

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3/7/12 8:44 A

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Wednesday, March 07, 2012

World Peace

My prayer for peace encircles the world.


In Scripture, Jesus tells us to "love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind," and to "love your neighbor as yourself."

These are the ultimate rules to live by, and I consciously aspire to both. When I love God, I express the Christ in me. When I love my neighbor as myself, I behold the Christ in them. All outer differences fade away. I look beyond appearances and know, that at heart, we are truly one.

We are all children of God. We are all unique expressions of the Divine. When we embrace that truth, we lay the foundation for a world of peace.

All you inhabitants of the world, ... when a signal is raised on the mountains, look! When a trumpet is blown, listen! --Isaiah 18:3

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3/6/12 5:40 A

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March 6, 2012
The Truths Within
Value Your Own Wisdom

Your very own inner wisdom should be valued more than any other and will always guide you in the direction you need to travel.

Throughout our lives, we will encounter individuals who presume to know what is best for us. The insights they offer cannot compare, however, with the powers of awareness and discernment that already exist within us. From birth we are blessed with wisdom that cannot be learned or unlearned. It exists whether or not we acknowledge it because it is a gift given to us by a loving universe before we chose to experience existence on the earthly plane. Yet for all its permanence, it is vital that we value and honor this incredible element of the self. It is when we do not use our inborn wisdom that we begin to doubt our personal truths and are driven to outside sources of information because we are afraid. What we know to be true in our hearts is invariably true, and we discover how intensely beautiful and useful self-trust can be when we recognize the power of our wisdom.

Inner wisdom is not subject to the influences of the outside world, which means that it will never demand that we surrender our free will or counsel us to act in opposition to our values. We benefit from this inspiration when we open ourselves to it, letting go of the false notion that we are less qualified than others to determine our fate. The wisdom inside of us is the source of our discernment and our ability to identify blessings in disguise. When we are unsure of who to trust, how to respond, or what we require, the answers lie in our inner wisdom. It knows where we are going and understands where we are coming from, taking this into account though it is not a product of experience but rather a piece of our connection to the universal mind.

In the whole of your existence, no force you will ever encounter will contribute as much to your ability to do what you need to do and be who you want to be as your natural wisdom. Through it, you reveal your growing consciousness to the greater source and discover the true extent of your strength. If you heed this wisdom with conviction and confidence, the patterns, people, and fears that held you back will be dismantled, paving the way for you to fulfill your truest potential.

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3/5/12 8:38 A

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Monday, March 05, 2012
Kindness
With kindness I give; in kindness I live.

Today I choose to practice kindness. As I encounter others, I am happy to greet them. I think of them as traveling companions on life's journey. I offer a warm smile or a few words of appreciation to a friend or a stranger. Acts of kindness bring positive energy to both giver and receiver, then ripple out to bless others.

When I inquire about someone's day, I honor them by listening deeply to their reply. If I miss an opportunity for kindness, I am kind to the next person I meet, and I remember to be kind to myself.

However expressed, kindness honors the divine within us all. I affirm: With kindness I give, and in kindness I live.

Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life and honor. --Proverbs 21:21

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3/4/12 8:05 A

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Sunday, March 04, 2012

Inner Peace
The peace of God flows through me now.

As the song proclaims, "I've got peace like a river in my soul." Peace is like a river, for peace is the steady stream of God's presence. It saturates my being. I am sustained and fulfilled by the flow of divine peace within me.

Even as I experience the twists and turns of life, the peace of God is steady, carrying me gently along. Nothing can disturb the calm peace of my soul.

I feel that peace now. I feel it permeating my life, expressing through my everyday activities. I experience peace in my mind, in my heart, in my body, and peace in my soul. I draw strength from God's peace. Its energy blesses me with vitality, graces me with divine ideas and leads me on the right path.

Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have.--1 Samuel 25:6

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3/3/12 9:12 A

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Saturday, March 03, 2012
Free
I am free to live a life richly blessed.

Before humans understood the laws of aerodynamics, no one would have thought an airplane weighing many tons could fly. Now, through the proper application of this law, people not only travel the globe, but also fly into space.

Similarly, once we understand the spiritual laws of creation, we may apply them to free ourselves from limiting beliefs and ideas.

As I journey into the depths of spiritual understanding, I align with God's laws of love and creation. Lifting my eyes to a new vision of myself, I claim my co-creative power. I am created in the image and likeness of God, and I am free to follow my dreams. I am free to live a life richly blessed.

I shall walk at liberty, for I have sought your precepts. --Psalm 119:45

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3/2/12 9:20 A

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Friday, March 02, 2012 - Unity Daily Word
Growth

I learn and grow in every experience.

If we were never challenged to adjust to new conditions and new people, we would not grow. It is growth that gives life zest and meaning.

When I am confronted with change, I stop and look back over my life. I see every change has brought me new knowledge. Every change has given me confidence and a new perspective.

I have no reason to be hesitant or fearful about my current situation. So I approach change with my mind and heart open to receive the new knowledge, the new confidence and the new vision it will bring.

Free of resistance, I welcome change as an opportunity for growth and development, and my life is enriched.

Put a new and right spirit within me.--Psalm 51:10

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3/1/12 9:05 A

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Thursday, March 01, 2012 - Unity Daily Word
Affirmation
I affirm the presence of God made manifest.

Each of us has the God-given power to create. We use this power, consciously or unconsciously, every day. In thought, word and attitude, we are constantly affirming--speaking into being--outcomes. It is up to us to choose whether we affirm Truth and abundance, love and joy, wisdom and health--or their lack.

Today I choose to affirm God's goodness and abundance in every area of my life. I affirm health; I stand straight and breathe deeply. I affirm the abundance of everything I could possibly need.

I affirm the development of my talents and abilities; I affirm increased opportunity; I affirm harmony and order in all matters. I affirm the presence of God made manifest.

Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me.--2 Timothy 1:13

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2/28/12 1:23 P

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February 28, 2012
Sharing Grief
Opening to Receive Comfort

Grief is part of the human experience, and sharing our vulnerability helps create truly close bonds.

When we experience something that causes us to feel shock and sadness, we may feel the urge to withdraw from life. It may seem like remaining withdrawn will keep us protected from the world, but during these times it is important to reach out to those trusted and precious people who care about us the most. Even with our best information and reasoning, we never know when someone else’s experience or perspective can give us additional information that we need. The universe speaks to us through many channels, and when we open ourselves up to receive its messages, we also receive nurturing care from a loving partner in life’s journey.

Grief is part of the human experience, and sharing our vulnerability is what creates truly close bonds in our relationships. Opening ourselves up in this way gets to the core of our being, past all of our defenses and prejudices. When life seems to crack the outer shell of our world, we are both raw and fresh at the same time. It is then that we discover who is truly willing to walk with us through life. We also see that some of those sent to us may not be the ones we expected to see. Regardless, we learn to trust in the universe, in others, in our own strength and resilience, and in the wisdom of life itself.

Sharing grief allows us to ease our burden by letting someone else help carry it. This helps us process our own inner thoughts and feelings through the filter of a trusted and beloved someone. We may feel guilty or selfish, as if we are unloading on someone who has their own challenges. Although, if we think about it, we know we would do the same for them, and their protests would seem pointless. Remember that not sharing feelings with others denies them the opportunity to feel. We may be the messenger sent by the universe for their benefit, and it is on this mission that we have been sent. By sharing our hopes and fears, joys and pains with another person, we accept the universe’s gifts of wisdom and loving care.


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2/27/12 8:50 A

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February 27, 2012
Regret
The Weight of the Past

Holding onto regret is like dragging the weight of the past with us everywhere we go.

It drains our energy, leaving less available for life in the present because we are constantly feeding an old issue. This attachment can cause illness the same way watering a dead plant creates decay. We know that something new and beautiful can grow in its place if we only prepare the soil and plant the right seeds. We also know that we create our lives from our thoughts, so dwelling on the past may actually recreate a situation in our lives where we are forced to make the choice again and again. We can choose to move on right now by applying what we have learned to the present and perhaps even sharing with others, transforming the energy into something that is constructive and creative for ourselves and others.

Forgiveness is the soothing balm that can heal regret. In meditation, we can imagine discussing the issue with the self of our past and offering our forgiveness for the choice. In return, we can ask for our selves’ forgiveness for keeping them locked in that space of judgment for so long. We may also want to ask forgiveness from anyone else who may have been affected and perhaps offer our forgiveness. By replaying the event in our minds, we can choose a new ending using all that we now know. Imagine that you have actually gone back into the past and made this change, and then say goodbye to it. Release your former self with a hug and bring the forgiveness and love back with you to the present. Since we are usually our harshest critics, it is amazing how powerfully healing it can be to offer ourselves love.

Keeping our minds and our energy fully in the present allows us to fuel our physical and emotional healing and well-being today. This action frees our energy to create the dreams we dream for the future. By taking responsibility and action in the present, we can release our hold on the past.


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2/22/12 10:34 A

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February 22, 2012
Stronger than You Know
Getting Ourselves Worked Up

Often we get anxiety for no reason as we are almost always stronger and more capable than we believe ourselves to be.

Our capacity to cope successfully with life's challenges far outstrips our capacity to feel nervousness. Yet in the weeks, days, and hours leading up to an event that we believe will test our limits, we can become nervous. While we may have previously regarded ourselves as equal to the trials that lie ahead, we reach a point at which they near and our anxiety begins to mount. We then become increasingly worked up, until the moment of truth arrives and we discover that our worry was all for nothing. We are almost always stronger and more capable than we believe ourselves to be. But anxiety is not rational in nature, which means that in most cases we cannot work through it using logic as our only tool. Reason can help us recognize the relative futility of unwarranted worry but, more often than not, we will find more comfort in patterns of thought and activity that redirect our attention to practical or engaging matters.

Most of us find it remarkably difficult to focus on two distinct thoughts or emotions at once, and we can use this natural human limitation to our advantage when trying to stay centered in the period leading up to a potentially tricky experience. When we concentrate on something unrelated to our worry—such as deep breathing, visualizations of success, pleasurable pursuits, or exercise—anxiety dissipates naturally. Meditation is also a useful coping mechanism as it provides us with a means to ground ourselves in the moment. Our guides can aid us by providing us with a focal point wholly outside of our own sphere.

The intense emotional flare-up you experience just before you are set to challenge yourself is often a mixture of both excitement and fear. When you take steps to eliminate the fear, you can more fully enjoy the excitement. Though you may find it difficult to avoid getting worked up, your awareness of the forces acting on your feelings will help you return to your center and accept that few hurdles you will face will be as high as they at first appear.


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2/21/12 1:59 P

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February 21, 2012 (The Daily Om)
Moving through Darkness
The Places We Go

Often it takes something major to wake us up as we struggle to maintain an illusion of control.

In life, most of us want things to go to the places we have envisioned ourselves going. We have plans and visions, some of them divinely inspired, that we want to see through to completion. We want to be happy, successful, and healthy, all of which are perfectly natural and perfectly human. So when life takes us to places we didn’t consciously want to go, we often feel as if something has gone wrong, or we must have made a mistake somewhere along the line, or any number of other disheartening possibilities. This is just life’s way of taking us to a place we need to go for reasons that go deeper than our own ability to reason. These hard knocks and trials are designed to shed light on our unconscious workings and deepen our experience of reality.

Often it takes something major to wake us up, to shake us loose from our ego’s grip as it struggles to maintain an illusion of control. It is loss of control more than anything else that humbles us and enables us to see the big picture. It reminds us that the key to the universe lies in what we do not know, and what we do know is a small fraction of the great mystery in which we live. This awareness softens and lightens us, as we release our resistance to what is. Another gift gleaned from going to these seemingly undesirable places is that, in our response to difficulty, we can see all the patterns and unresolved emotional baggage that stand in the way of our unconditional joyfulness. Joy exists within us independently of whether things go our way or not. And when we don’t feel it, we can trust that we will find it if we are willing to surrender to the situation, moving through it as we move through our difficult feelings.

We can take our inspiration from any fairy tale that finds its central character lost in a dark wood, frightened and alone. We know that the journey through the wood provides its own kind of beauty and richness. On the other side, we will emerge transformed, lighter and brighter, braver and more confident for having moved through that darkness.


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2/20/12 8:25 A

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Penetrating the Darkness
Wisdom of the Owl

Owls are patient messengers, bringers of information and the holders of wisdom and capable of seeing the unseen.

For as long as humankind has recognized animals as teachers, wise men and women have recognized traits worthy of respect in both wild and domestic creatures. The cultural and spiritual significance of certain animals transcends geographical boundaries, unifying disparate peoples. Not so the majestic and mysterious owl, which has over many millennia served as the focal point of numerous contradictory beliefs. Though owls have been regarded with awe and fascination, they have also inadvertently served as agents of fear. Since owls are nocturnal, human-owl encounters tended to occur at night and likely when the bird was swooping silently down to earth to grapple with prey. Yet even as some shied away from the owl, calling it an agent of darkness, others recognized the depths of awareness in beautiful owl’s eyes.

In the classical Greek tradition, an owl could often be found perched on the shoulder of Athena, goddess of wisdom, while owls could ward off bad luck in Roman lore. It is in Native American mythos, however, that the owl attains its own unique identity. Owls are patient messengers, bringers of information and the holders of wisdom, and they are capable of seeing the unseen. With their keen eyesight, they can glance into the soul to discern meaning and motive, and they are totems of truth. Unlike our distant forebears, we may never encounter an owl in the wild, but we can nonetheless internalize the wisdom of the owl by attuning ourselves to its most venerable qualities. Fully integrating the medicine of the owl into spiritual existence is a matter of considering how we might open ourselves more fully to the wisdom that can be found in the larger universe.

Should you find your efforts blocked as you commune with the owl, remember that it was not always revered as an icon of wisdom. This denizen of the nighttime has overcome many prejudices in its long association with humankind. To reveal those hidden elements of the self that impact your life for better or for worse, you must often make your way through the darkest parts of your soul as if you yourself are the nocturnal hunter. There is indeed darkness both inside the self and outside the self, but like the owl you can transcend it by drawing nourishment from the insights you receive when you penetrate it.
www.dailyom.com/

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2/19/12 10:07 A

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Sunday, February 19, 2012
Irresistible
I exude love of life!

I have been around people whose joy was infectious and irresistible. Today I radiate that kind of joy. I am filled with gratitude for the gifts of life--for the clear blue sky of the day and the brilliant stars at night.

Beauty shines everywhere. I see it in the radiance of a smiling face, the liveliness of a bustling city, the stillness of a walk in nature. I am filled with awe and wonder.

Love for life is contagious. Love energizes me and radiates from me. If ever I am feeling stress, I remember with gratitude all that is precious to me. I love life, and I exude love, joy, laughter and appreciation for all that is.

Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then it was said among the nations, "The Lord has done great things for them." --Psalm 126:2

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2/17/12 8:38 A

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February 17, 2012
Below the Surface
Finding Deep Strength

When we look back on our lives we see that we have survived many trials and often to our own amazement.

We have all faced moments in our lives when the pressure mounts beyond what we feel we can handle, and we find ourselves thinking that we do not have the strength to carry on. Sometimes we have just gotten through a major obstacle or illness only to find another one waiting for us the moment we finally catch our breath. Sometimes we endure one loss after another, wondering when we will get a break from life’s travails. It does not seem fair or right that life should demand more of us when we feel we have given all we can, but sometimes this is the way life works.

When we look back on our lives, we see that we have survived many trials and surmounted many obstacles, often to our own amazement. In each of those instances, we had to break through our ideas about how much we can handle and go deeper into our hidden reserves. The thought that we do not have the strength to handle what is before us can be likened to the hard surface of a frozen lake. It appears to be an impenetrable fact, but when we break through it, we find that a deep well of energy and inspiration was trapped beneath that icy barrier the whole time. Sometimes we break through by cutting a hole into our resistance with our willpower, and sometimes we melt the ice with compassion for our predicament and ourselves. Either way, each time we break through, we reach a new understanding of the strength we store within ourselves.

When we find ourselves up against that frozen barrier of thinking we cannot handle our situation, we may find that the kindest choice is to love ourselves and our resistance too. We can simply accept that we are overwhelmed, exhausted, and stretched, and we can offer ourselves loving kindness and compassion. If we can extend to ourselves the unconditional warmth of a mother’s love, before we know it, the ice will begin to break.


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2/15/12 7:53 A

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Trustworthy
I speak the truth and I give my best.

Our world is a network of interdependence. I rely on others to do their part just as others rely on me. I feel good about myself when I am able to speak the truth and give my best effort.

I give my best even when I am trying something new or I am unsure how others might regard me. I give generously from all that is mine to give, knowing I am a channel for God's infinite good in the world.

I speak words that are true and kind. With quiet courage, I speak respectfully of all others. I apologize if I have failed to be my best self or do what I committed to do.

At the end of the day, I celebrate my accomplishments and forgive any missteps, committing to do my best again tomorrow.

You have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things.--Matthew 25:23

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2/14/12 8:50 A

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Loving Heart
I open my heart for a fresh infusion of God's healing love.


The heart symbolizes the center of divine love. Through the love in our hearts we are moved to forgive, to serve others without reservation, to work unselfishly for the good of humankind.

Divine love heals and blesses. In the stillness of prayer, I draw God's healing love into my heart. If I have let hurt or fear build a wall around my heart, I muster the courage to let divine love fill me and deflect any pain or suffering. Nothing can rob me of the joy of giving and receiving love; nothing can block its flow. A heart full of love knows no fear.

I am a magnet for love that draws more of itself to me; I am a mirror that reflects God's love out into the world.

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. --Proverbs 10:12

Sandy H - Leader Meditation Motion & Stillness
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2/13/12 10:36 A

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February 13, 2012 - The Daily Om
Steps to Freedom
Change What Isn'’t Working

If we don't change what isn't working in our lives, we will continually have the same day over and over again.

We have all had the experience of realizing that something in our lives is not working. This knowledge can come as a sudden realization or a nagging feeling of doubt that grows stronger, waking us up to the fact that something needs to change. Some people have a tendency to act rashly and make sweeping changes before even understanding what the problem is. Other people fear change, so they live with the uncomfortable awareness that something needs to shift but won’t do anything about it. Between these two extreme responses lies a middle way that can help us powerfully and gracefully change what isn’t working in our lives.

The first step is remembering that your life is made up of parts that belong to an interconnected whole. Changing one thing can change everything. Because of this, small changes often have a big effect. Sometimes much bigger changes are necessary, but the only way to know for sure is to take the time to really understand the problem. Examine your life as an entirety—your work, your relationships, where you live—and determine what specifically is not functioning the way you would like. Once you have figured out the problem, write it down on a piece of paper. For example, “I am not happy with my relationship” or “I don’t like my apartment.” The next step is to figure out the adjustment you would like to make and how you can go about making this change. If you are unhappy with your relationship because you spend too much or not enough time with your partner, you may want to discuss this problem with them and come up with a compromise. On the other hand, if you realize your relationship is not working to such a degree that it needs to end, begin working through that process. Writing down the truth can be a powerful catalyst for change.

The key to making changes that work is to accept the necessity of change as part of life. As we change, we may find it necessary to fine-tune our relationships, work, and living situations. Our lives are living, breathing entities that reflect our dynamic selves.

Sandy H - Leader Meditation Motion & Stillness
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2/12/12 9:04 A

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Sunday, February 12, 2012
All Is Well
All is well as I open my heart to the free-flowing love of God.

All is well. What a powerful statement! When I affirm "All is well," I am affirming that my life and the lives of those I love are in God's care, filled with divine blessings. My trust is in God.

By stating "All is well," I open myself to a flow of divine energy and everlasting love that blesses me in unimaginable ways. Just as a faucet opens to a free flow of water when it is turned on, I am open to a free flow of peace, prosperity, love and joy when I turn my heart to God.

No need is too great for the power of God within me to resolve. As I affirm "All is well," I am assured that I am forever in God's care, experiencing unlimited good.

Let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, "Out of the believer's heart shall flow rivers of living water."--John 7:38

Sandy H - Leader Meditation Motion & Stillness
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2/11/12 9:24 A

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February 10, 2012
A Magical Potion
Morning Dew

Our very own lives can be magical like the fleeting morning dew on a flower tip.

The world awakens each day from its nightly slumber, transformed by a sparkling layer of morning dew on the grass, on flower petals and leaves, on cars and car windows. These glistening droplets last only a little while, an integral part of what imbues the early morning with its aura of magic. If we sleep too late, we miss the magnificent display of sunlight playing upon an infinite amount of tiny crystal balls. To step onto the dew-covered grass is to anoint our feet with a form of water that comes only once a day for a short time, a rarefied gift of the night air that will soon evaporate in the full light of the sun. If we inhale slowly and consciously enough, it is almost as if we are drinking in this magical elixir formed in the boundary between darkness and light.

In one myth, morning dew is believed to be tears from heaven, and in another, the droplets are poured from the vessel of the goddess of dawn. When we see the earth draped with these shimmering drops, it is easy to imagine fairies bathing in the water, or a sky god weeping from a longing to be closer to his beloved earth goddess. Seeing the sparkling beauty of the earth emerging from darkness, we may understand this longing in terms of our own gratitude; how blessed we are to be here.

Perhaps heaven really does long to be here on earth, and perhaps that is why we are here—as conduits between the divine and the earthbound. As we drink the morning dew in with our eyes, our skin, our breath, it is easy to imagine that it really is a magical potion, a gift from heaven, a reminder of our true purpose, and a daily opportunity to be transformed.


Sandy H - Leader Meditation Motion & Stillness
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2/9/12 9:25 A

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The water in a vessel is sparkling;
the water in the sea is dark.
The small truth has words which are clear;
the great truth has great silence.
~ Rabindranath Tagore

Sandy H - Leader Meditation Motion & Stillness
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2/8/12 9:44 A

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Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Inner Peace
I discover peace within.

Peace is the stillness at the center of a storm. Just as violent storms on the surface of a lake or ocean don't disturb the calm environment deep below, I, too, maintain peace deep within me whether times are tranquil or chaotic.

As I focus my attention on the steady rhythm of my breathing, I calm the rough seas of my anxious thoughts. Filling my mind and heart with the words "Peace, be still," I soothe any anxiety. Fixing my gaze on a thing of beauty or the light of a candle, or simply closing my eyes, I become immersed in inner peace. I gratefully connect with the deep peace within me and offer this gift of peace to the world.

I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!--John 16:33

Sandy H - Leader Meditation Motion & Stillness
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2/5/12 8:25 A

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Sunday, February 05, 2012

Faith

God is the One Presence and One Power active in my life and in the universe.


The wind is invisible, but I can see evidence of its power as it blows a sailboat across the water or turns the blades of a giant wind turbine. As I observe the wind, I am reminded that the spirit of God is also moving in and through my life in seen and unseen ways.

No matter what I am facing in the moment, peace fills my soul as I affirm my faith: God is the One Presence and One Power active in my life and in the universe. I not only proclaim my faith; I live my faith. By holding an expectation of good, I actively help shape my experiences. I recognize that even challenges offer good to be discovered.

My faith in God inspires me to have courage and encourages me to live life fully.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.--Hebrews 11:1


Sandy H - Leader Meditation Motion & Stillness
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2/2/12 9:36 A

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February 2, 2012
The Soundless Center
Silence of the Heart
It takes a sensitive ear to tune in to the silence of the heart, but it is there in each one of us.

We spend a lot of time attempting to put the feelings in our hearts into words, to communicate to others our passions, our emotions, and our love. Often we are so busy trying to translate our heart’s roar into language that we miss the most profound experience the heart has to offer, which is silence. Every poem arises from this silence and returns to it. When all the songs have been sung, the soliloquies delivered, the emotions expressed, silence is what remains. As each wave of feeling rises and falls back into the silence, we have an opportunity to connect with the vast, open, powerfully healing wisdom at the soundless center of our hearts.

Our hearts may seem noisy and tumultuous so much of the time that we do not even associate them with silence. It takes a sensitive ear to tune in to the silence of the heart, but it is there in each one of us, so close and so large that we do not even notice it. We can begin to become aware of it in the same way we become aware of the negative space in a still life, the background of a photograph, or the open sky that contains the sun, clouds, moon, and stars. We are accustomed to tuning in to objects and sounds that are one-pointed, solid, and three-dimensional. Seeing and hearing the apparently empty space that contains these sounds and objects takes a little practice.

We can bring our awareness into our hearts by simply breathing into the general area of our heart. The first thing we may notice is feelings like joy or sadness and physical sensations like tightness or tenderness. We acknowledge these as we continue to breathe and focus, listening attentively. We surround these feelings and sensations with breath and recognize that they are contained and held in an immeasurable substance like water or air, intangible, ineffable, but utterly real. This is the silence of the heart, and the more we listen for it, return to it, and accept it, the more we bathe and purify ourselves in the soundless center of our being.


Sandy H - Leader Meditation Motion & Stillness
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2/1/12 1:36 P

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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Enter

With peace in my heart, I step forward on my life's journey.


It's been said that every journey begins with a single step. Is there a step I need to take in my life right now? Do I need to move forward in my work? In a relationship? In my spiritual life? If the answer is yes, I take that step now. My step may be opening my heart to new ideas and possibilities, looking at creative avenues of self-expression, or discovering new ways to learn, grow and express myself as a spiritual being.

Life is a journey of small steps. Some require great courage and strength. Some only require the desire to move forward and experience something new. With each step, I enter a new experience, one that is mine alone. I take that step now with faith in God and confidence in myself.

Look, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut.--Revelation 3:8

Sandy H - Leader Meditation Motion & Stillness
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