You don’t have to be a Game of Thrones fan to see that winter is coming. The signs are everywhere – leaves blanketing the earth, temperatures plunging, a hint of snow in the air and nature preparing to enter its time of dormancy. Tucked away in these days of increased darkness, is the light-filled holiday season. What better time to share the warmth of the heart?
From the joys of gift giving with loved ones at Christmas to extending kindness at Valentine’s Day – opportunities abound to be love in action during this holiday season. It is an exciting, magical time of the year.
But it is not just about the outer expression of love – equally important is to do the inner healing work of self-compassion and releasing of old beliefs and past hurts in order to move into a greater awareness of who we really are. Carl Jung tells a story about a Taoist master, who was asked by some villagers if he could help bring rain during a time of great drought. He moved into a small hut in the community and spent three days quietly tending the garden that was there. On the fourth day, it began to rain and he was asked how he had achieved the miracle. The master explained that he was not responsible for the appearance of rain. Each day, as he tended the garden, he had let go of any disharmony that he found within himself and when he had achieved balance, the rain came naturally.
And that’s the work. That is what the spiritual path is really about. It may not be easy but the results can be extraordinary. As Teilhard de Chardin reminds us, “Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time, [humanity] will have discovered fire.”
Never underestimate the power of the heart to make change no matter what the outer appearance may be telling you. The dormancy of winter gives the appearance that all growth is suspended and yet underground, behind the scenes there is much going on in preparation for spring’s new growth. In the same way, doing the inner work under the surface – feeling gratitude, radiating love, sharing kindness, releasing judgment and limiting beliefs – is leading to growth and transformation. Wholehearted living is the key to the transformational journey.
Blessings, Gary and Jane
Join Silent Unity on a powerful journey. Beginning today and spanning two weeks, Silent Unity, where many go for prayer support, is posing 14 questions to help you process difficult times. Questions that may help you shift your energy and your outlook, in order to make it through another difficult day. Questions that prompt us take pause and reflect. As stated on their website…
Life doesn’t always go as planned. When the outcome isn’t what you expected, you may experience a sense of grief, anger, fear, or loss. Over the next two weeks, Silent Unity will present a question each day to help transform these thoughts into a more positive outlook. As we begin our journey, please join us in affirming: Today I choose a fresh perspective. I see possibility instead of limitation. I see hope instead of despair. I choose thoughts that build a better world.
Our center is again hosting a Tree of Sharing (TOS) for the holiday season. We have requested 35 gift tags, 10 more than last year because all the gifts were scooped up so quickly last year. Joan McConnal was here today, and mentioned that the TOS received 7,456 gift requests this year! Gifts are modest, with most priced $20 or less. We choose a variety of gift requests from babies, young children, teenagers, adults and seniors.
The TOS started in 1982 as an outreach ministry of Westminster Congregational Unity Church of Christ. It began with requests for 650 gifts through 8 agencies. The program has provided “often forgotten” Spokane residents with gifts at Christmas time through the generosity of families and individuals. Today 57 agencies, like Meals on Wheels, Head Start, YMCA and VOA’sCrosswalk, send in gift requests.
Come in a choose a gift beginning Nov 13, and return it to us, UNWRAPPED, by Dec. 11. Thank you for caring! Thank you for sharing!
Diane Bisson, who heads our outreach efforts at Crosswalk Teen Shelter, had this to say about this fall’s pantry project:
“We delivered a car full of food – items that will provide good nutrition to the hungry kids as the weather gets cold. The support of our congregation always warms my heart as people respond in such a positive manner. The shelves were filled up with canned soups, chili, vegetables, good old Mac-n-cheese, and pancake mix. In addition to the food donations the packages of socks were a big hit with the staff and so needed this time of the year. DeniseDerrickson put her love into making hats and scarfs to warm the boys and girls this winter-and used such cheerful yarn which will bring joy to these deserving kids. I will be shopping with the donated money for items the staff has expressed a need for: small sized deodorant , gloves , and more food to round out all of the lovingly donated items. I thank each and every one of you who have blessed these children either with your donations or your prayers.”
Thank you all for your generous contributions!
Our Unity Choir has been working tirelessly on an amazing musical, Billboard on Bernard. The show is this Friday and Saturday at 7 pm. Sunday’s show is SOLD OUT! Choir members and other church members, like our sound guy, Doug Ladwig, have literally put over a thousand combined hours of prep, planning, promo, staging, set design and rehearsals into this fabulous show. Billboard will feature our choir and other guest musicians performing hit songs from the 1950’s through today.
Our Music and Choir Directors, Tawni & Shawn Wright stopped by the KPBX studio to talk about the event with Verne Windham yesterday. Vern’s program is called “From the Studio,” and you can listen to the podcast HERE.
I am in the habit of walking my talk every evening. What I mean to say is that I take a daily walk through a scenic course of paved hiking trails in our neighborhood, talking out loud to myself into a digital tape recorder. I find it helpful to see what flows from within me when I “speak” to a specific topic or issue I plan to address in a subsequent Sunday talk.
I have never been able to write out my ideas in a coherent fashion nor deliver content based on thoughtful consideration via manuscript, outline or notes. And while I take time to prepare my talks, I never know what I am going to say ahead of time because I speak extemporaneously and note-free, what some might describe as “channeling.”
In recent weeks, I have experienced a new dimension of this routine (walking and talking out loud) that now includes conversations with my Higher Self. I am aware that I can access something in me that is not tethered to the limitations of my current habit of being. In other words, I am aware of another voice in my head that is not my ego, not my limiting self talk, and not my mind’s attempt to impress me with bold ideas or inspiration. I imagine that what I am now experiencing is similar to someone who has just discovered automatic writing. Some greater part of myself is trying to get through, trying to communicate from beyond my established structures of knowing.
One evening last week while walking and talking out loud, my Higher Self chimed in asking that I refer to IT, or rather us, as WE. In other words, when I would say out loud, “What should I talk about…?,” IT said to me: “Say it this way: What should WE talk about?”
Higher Self (HS): How do you want to FEEL?
Gary: What do you mean, how do you want to feel?
HS: How do you want to FEEL after you have finished our talk?
Gary: What does how I want to FEEL have to do with what WE are to talk about?
HS: Since you are talking about the mechanics of manifesting, how you want to FEEL is key. Most people are conditioned to FEEL in response to an outer condition or circumstance believing that HAVING creates the FEELING. Because outer conditions have the power to make you FEEL a certain way, it appears that how you feel is in response to something that’s happening. If you can be emotionally altered by what you are HAVING instead of choosing how you wish to FEEL in spite of what’s going on, what gets manifested is an extension of the unconscious, conditioned aspect of yourself. You are simply rehearsing your past and how you feel is a reflex to what is going on.
Gary: So, by choosing how I wish to FEEL, I can affect what I am having as my life experience?
HS: Yes, by focusing on how you wish to FEEL, you bring an emotional coherence to “how you are being with what you are having”. In other words, you must first FEEL your more than enoughness before you can HAVE the outer experience of abundance, rather than wait for some outer increase before feeling prosperous. You must first FEEL worthy before you can have the outer experience that evokes well-being. You must first FEEL capable before you can have the experience of measuring up.
Gary: So, I must create and sustain an elevated emotion or feeling associated with whatever I wish to manifest in my life, FIRST, and then be on the lookout for it to happen in the outer?
HS: Not exactly, but you are getting there. Your job is to convince your brain that the desired future is happening already. Then, without looking for how or when it can happen, live each moment as if it has already come to pass. Take steps as necessary to give expression to what “wants to happen” given the emotional state you have manifested. Take authentic action that moves you toward your desired good, but don’t be on the lookout for anything as “evidence” that something is working or not. Just focus on sustaining the FEELING associated with whatever you wish to manifest.
I share this conversation as a revelation of sorts as it helps me understand why a Mind Movie visualization tool is so effective in helping to sustain elevated emotions. Part of the Mind Movie process is selecting a song that can evoke strong positive feelings. Music has the power to transport us to another time.
While these selections may invoke thoughts and feelings from our past, the neural mechanism for this phenomenon works the same as a triggering moment. We may reminisce and become conscious of a specific time, place, and circumstance when listening to oldies, we can easily see how our mood or state changes when nostalgia sets in. We readily see how our feelings encapsulate certain mental states or memories or beliefs. When we are triggered and strong uncomfortable feelings arise, we are not as resourceful when it comes to connecting these “neural dots” to our sense of not enough (or other limiting beliefs). Nor are we aware of how or when we took on these beliefs, so we are left with sourcing our discomfort in outer experiences. (The Q Process™ makes conscious the shadow beliefs underlying the triggering moment.)
Now, consider what might happen if we were to listen to a song that could emotionally transport us to the future. New neural pathways would wire together to form the circuitry for new experiences, new perceptions, and new meaning-making, the substance of a new state of being. Next, imagine sustaining these positive feelings by linking them to images, affirmations, and subliminal messages that together comprise a coherent representation of one’s more than enoughness as imaged in the context of fulfilling one’s passion and purpose. This gives you a sense of the transformative power of the Mind Movie visualization tool.
See more from Dr. Gary on his blog: drgarysimmons.com
Founded in 1985, Crosswalk is an emergency shelter, a school drop-out prevention program, and a group of lifesaving and life-changing programs dedicated to breaking the cycle of youth homelessness. In an average year, Crosswalk serves more than 1,000 youth. Emergency shelter is available 365 days a year and all services are free and voluntary.
Most Crosswalk kids (ages 13-17) have complicated personal histories that include:
Crosswalk restores hope and encourages personal responsibility among homeless youth, including those who eventually return to their families, by providing:
Our spiritual center has been providing one delicious and nutritious meal a month to homeless teens at Crosswalk for 30 years. Last year we expanded our ministry to this organization by collecting non-perishable food items to stock their pantry since meals are not provided for the youth 100% of the time.
We are also collecting tube sox for the teens. We are gratefully accepting your donation through OCTOBER 19.
Don’t miss this spirited musical revue, featuring our multi-talented Unity Choir! Bring your friends and family and sing along with your favorite songs from the 50’s through today!
Tickets are $20/each or $75/5 — call today: 838-6518
Proceeds benefit our spiritual center
Unity Spiritual Center (USC) is about transforming lives and helping people to make a difference in their world. USC is both a spiritual community and an organization that is entirely supported by the generosity of our members and friends. We rely upon your financial support to manage the needs and commitments of our ministry.
We had an active summer with lots happening! Classes continued throughout the summer. The Art & Practice class in August included three YOUers, and David’s class, “Who Have You Come Here To Be?” included 31 participants. We received 14 new community members into the congregation. The parking lot was repaved thanks to a generous anonymous donation.
Our revenue YTD at the end of July was $166,723.07. Operating expenses were $187,418.05, leaving a net loss of $20,694.98 year to date 2016. We are so blessed by the tithes and love-offerings that sustain us. We would invite those with the means to help us make up the shortfall. See Terri or Dr. Gary for further information.
Unity in the Community occurred August 20 at Riverfront Park, the largest multicultural celebration in the northwest. It was a chance for us to share our much needed message with our community, and it involved lots of children (and some adults), a sunny day, a game with prizes for all, and a group of wonderful Unity spokespeople. In addition to sharing our message, Rev. Jane did some networking that will open the door to more community support possibilities. These community events excite us to be a part of. Pat White and Gail Hammer loaned a much needed shade tent and many hands participated in our prep day. Many people blessed us with your their presence at Unity in the Community, and they are all amazing!