Friday, November 25, 2011

Gratitude and Forgiveness II

Affirmation:  I live a Christ centered life of love, peace, joy, gratitude and compassion.
Thank You!  Thank You!  Thank You! (TYTYTY for short)  Two weeks after I received the “gratitude and forgiveness” message it is still coming in strong.  It doesn’t matter where I turn, the message is there.  I opened two emails I regularly receive and there it was.  I read my daily readings and again, there it was and then, I watched a homily on TV and once again, the message was “praise God in ALL things.”  I took this to mean that I still have a lot of work to do and since I am determined to release all resentment from within and to live a Christ centered life of peace, love, joy, gratitude and compassion, I am fully open to any and all the messages the Universe is sending me.  I am surprised it has taken me this long to absorb this message.  
I’ve been saying the Lord’s Prayer since I learned to talk.  I’ll bet I’ve said it a million times; “…and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”  It’s a simple message, isn’t it?  But, it’s not an easy message.  Obviously, it’s a very important one.  Of all the things Christ taught us, this was a priority.  Was I just saying the words and never listening to the message?  Am I ready now to fully embrace this concept?  I am.  This, however, is not something I can do on my own.  I think this requires a healing of the spirit and for me that demands I turn it completely over to God, to Jesus Christ.  Once again, a simple concept but for me, a life skill I am still developing.  Mind you, I am not being asked to forget, but to forgive. The world can be a dangerous place.  There are a lot of terrible things going on.  Many people suffer great injustices.  How do we let go of those experiences and find the blessings in them?  It is possible?  I believe it’s only possible with supernatural assistance.
I once heard the author of Salvation on Sand Mountain Dennis Covington speak.  He was a reporter at the time and his assignment was to visit the churches that had the practice of handling snakes.  It says in Mark 16:17-18 (NIV) “18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all …” He got caught up in the whole practice and eventually wrote the book.  What I remember most about his story is the question he asked, “What if you truly believed?”  What would you be willing to do?  What would you feel you could do if you truly believed?  What kind of faith is that?  After much thought I came to the conclusion that we all have “snakes” that we handle.  What if our faith was strong enough that we believed those poisonous “snakes” could do us no harm:  cancer, heart disease, abuse, violence, depression & anxiety, betrayal and abandonment?  What if my faith was so strong I could not only trust that God had a plan for my life and this was simply a part of it but also that I could handle it and be grateful for it, without my being bitten or poisoned? 
I know this is an aberration of what the religious snake handlers believe but this is what I decided.  The message is about the strength God gives us should we choose to believe.  It’s not about the snakes; it’s not about what’s happening outside of us.  It’s all about what’s happening inside of us.  It’s how we perceive the dangers and troubles of this life.  It’s not about what happens to us.  Stuff happens.  It’s about how we perceive what happens to us and we are called, for our own sake and the sake of others, to be grateful for all things and to forgive at all cost. 
When a new friend visited me in my home and brought with her the gift of TYTYTY and the message about letting go of all resentment and embracing total forgiveness, she shared a mediation she uses throughout her day.  She graciously agreed to let me share it with all those reading this.
Deep Breath, close your eyes & imagine your crown chakra opening up.  Send white light (perhaps the healing light of the Holy Spirit) through your crown chakra down thru your brain, then filling your sinus cavity, mouth, throat, down down to filling your shoulders, chest cavity, stomach, take time in filling your hip area with the white light, then down down thru your legs & feet down down to the center of the earth.  So now you're connected by the light from heaven to the center of the earth.  Gently open your heart chakra & let the light fill your heart, now the love & energy from your heart mixes with the white light.  Now feel the emotion of gratitude.  Say "tytyty" over & over, turn up the volume, make the pictures brighter, take that emotion of gratitude times 10.  Make n bubble of that mixed energy (white light, heart energy, gratitude) the size of your heart.  Now expand the bubble around you, marinate in the energy for a bit.  Now expand the bubble to the size of the room you are in.  Then expand to how ever big you want.  Marinate.  Then gently open your eyes, notice how much brighter the colors are, shapes are 3-D, smells are stronger.  Take this vibration of 1,000 with you the rest of the day.  Repeat meditation as often as needed throughout the day.  

May you find the tools that enable you to fill all your days with peace, love, joy, gratitude and compassion.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

November 11, 2011

Affirmation:  This is the day the Lord has made, let me rejoice and be glad in it.  Psalm 119:24
Where were you on 11:11 (AM), 11/11/11?  What were you doing?  Who were you with?  What is your memory of this time and day which will never again occur in your lifetime or mine? 
I was lucky enough to be taking a walk.  I was caring for my grandchildren.  Isabelle was fourteen at the time and she chose not to come with me and Owen was eleven and at a friend’s.  So, I claimed some time to exercise and to savor the beautiful fall day.  I headed to the lake near my home.  As I rounded the back-end, I happened to look at my watch.  It was 11:09 am.  My daughter-in-law had spoken about all the predictions swirling around concerning the 11/11/11 date, none of them very uplifting and so I was even more aware of the date.  When I realized how close it was to 11:11 (AM), 11/11/11, I stopped.  I stood still breathed in the cool air and watched the water shimmer and the colors of the leaves glow in the sun.  I was fully alive in that moment.  I felt only a sense of peace and gratitude.  As I stood there two neighbors added to the moment with smiling greetings and I wondered if a moment could be any more perfect and then it was gone, never again to repeat itself in my lifetime or in yours.
As I started walking again, I realized every moment of my life is exactly like that one.  It’s the only one I will ever experience in this lifetime.  Certainly, it would be beyond anyone’s consciousness to be totally present to every moment they live but is it possible to be present to more of our moments?  What practices, disciplines have you developed that bring your mind, body and spirit into unity?  When have you ever felt complete?
That’s the focus of yoga.  It’s the meaning of the word: unity:  a practice that brings together the mind and the body.  Some people find that unity in prayer, others mediation.  I have a friend who tells me it’s when she’s doing plenair painting, another when she’s writing her gratitude list.  I can experience that fully alive moment as I journal in the mornings.  I think once you’ve felt it and choose to practice returning to that state with whatever discipline you have found effective, you will be able to live more fully in more and more of your life’s precious moments; like now, right now.  Take a deep breath, look up, take it all in and know this is the only moment of this time you will ever experience; relish it, glory in it!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gratitude and Forgiveness

Affirmation:  I Embrace the gratitude and wisdom of ALL my life experiences and let go of any emotional baggage. 
Have you ever experienced a barrage of psychic messages coming at you day after day?  Perhaps you have but you didn’t label it like that.  It’s the kind of experience when one concept presents itself and then day after day, the same concept comes up.  It can appear in the form of a person sharing their knowledge or experience.  It can appear in written word.  It can appear in the media in something you just happen to see.  Perhaps your minister or whoever is your spiritual guide speaks of it.  You get the picture.
I have had the blessing of being bombarded with the topic of gratitude and forgiveness.  It first arrived in the form of a new friend.  She met me at a dinner and reached out to get to know me better.  That in itself was delightful and affirming.  But, much to my surprise, she brought all sorts of gifts with her.  Her main focus for her new found joy was “gratitude.”  She spoke about the impact it had on her life.  She then took just a few minutes to share her “gratitude mediation” with me.  How wonderful to have someone visiting who would willingly share her new found passion in such a powerful way.
Of course, I began searching myself and my life for a sense of gratitude.  I consider myself a very positive person, so I didn’t think it would be very challenging.  I had even found reasons to be grateful for breast cancer.  And, I am sure if you speak with many other cancer survivors they will tell you they have accomplished that also.  And then, the message morphed.
I was not only to be grateful, I was also to be forgiving, forgiving of all those events and people who I perceived as injuring me and of course, the most difficult of all to forgive, myself.
The message came at me full speed.  There was nowhere to hide.  It came from everyone I spoke to, it came from the readings at church, it came from any event I attended.  It was in my daily mediation readings; forgive and be grateful.  “Be grateful for every single thing and person that has been in your life no matter how difficult it or they may have been.  Find a way to see the blessings.”  The message was that the only way to be fully alive, to fully embrace my life was to let go of all resentments. 
Oh, this wasn’t the first time I had heard that but perhaps now I was ready.  Wayne Dyer in his Ten Steps to Happiness says “There are no justified resentments.”  And, I actually have printed his ten steps up and have them in a frame on my bathroom counter but this is even more powerful.  Not only am I now being told not to justify the resentment, I am being told to completely release the resentment.
Well, I thought, I don’t really have a lot of resentment towards many people.  I like most people.  Then, I went to a Heart’s Journey retreat.  It was part II on forgiveness.  As far as I was concerned I only had one or two people I needed to forgive.  Well, I didn’t really need to forgive them.  I wasn’t really angry.   I recognized my part in whatever unpleasantness had happened. 
And then, Joan Junginger led us in a forgiveness mediation and people I loved and people I hadn’t thought about in years appeared.  I was shocked.  Was I really holding all this resentment within me?  I guess I was.  What was that about?  Ego!  Who was that serving?  No one!  How was that blessing my life?  It wasn’t!  Actually, it was the opposite.  It was detracting from my sense of peace and joy.  I fully understood what I had been doing to myself.  I had victimized myself.  These people were going along just fine.  They didn’t have a clue I was even thinking about them and they really didn’t care.  And, I let it go.  I released it. 
I woke the next day feeling lighter, feeling healed, feeling wiser.  I decided it was the gift of a lifetime.  I wish I could have absorbed it earlier in life but at least I finally got it.  It makes me smile to realize I will now have the power to go through the rest of my life with my energy focused on love and gratitude and not on resentment and bitterness.  I know this is not a one step process.  It will be mediation, a constant reason for prayer.  It’s something I will need to keep in my consciousness on a moment to moment basis.  But, I want to live a fuller, richer, more Christ centered life.  And, I know, as with all things, it begins with how I perceive my life, how I perceive myself.  And, that is my greatest power; to determine how I want to perceive and so, from this day forward:  I Embrace the gratitude and wisdom of ALL my life experiences and let go of any emotional baggage.  How would you phrase this?  Do you believe it will improve the quality of your life and all those whose lives you touch?  What would be your first step towards healing?  Truly, the first step is to recognize any resentment, especially those towards yourself. Release them, release yourself.