One of the first things on my gratitude list is California. I know intellectually that everywhere is God’s country but it’s easier for me to believe that God is Infinite Possibility here in my Encinitas, CA.
My parents raised me to believe that anyone who didn’t make the journey from the Dust Bowl to the Land of Infinite Possibility was a damn fool. They left Oklahoma in 1939 and travelled to Pasadena – three adults and four kids in a small coupe. Basically, they abandoned their past and never looked back except to gloat.
They didn’t use words like Infinite Possibility but they seemed to believe CA was the Promised Land. When they talked about their past it always sounded like a dreamy, old soft -focus movie. Never mind that they still lived hard lives. In their movie, the westward move was always their happy ending.
Later, In 12 Step meetings, I heard, “There are no geographic cures”, over and over. I learned many things and I stayed sober but I never really bought that idea. Some places are better than others and a choice to move to a new place can be a very good idea.
I’ve lived a lot of places and they were all beautiful except Trenton, N.J. where I lived on the top floor of the best apartment building. It had a doorman and all the “stuff” of success. Unfortunately, the apartment building was gray, the sky was gray, the people were gray and even the doorman was gray.
My solution in Trenton was to move as quickly as I could. The minute we moved to the PA side of the Potomac, my spirits rose. What’s more, if I found myself in Trenton tomorrow I would definitely start packing.
Altogether, I moved from NJ to PA and back to CA to Oaxaca, MEX, to MA to NY and back to CA. During those years, my family clung to the West Coast and I thought they were stuck – they thought I was a damn fool. We were both right.
Partly because of those moves, I discovered many things. The most amazing was how much beauty there is all over the world. The moves I made helped me to learn I had choices. I also discovered I prefer being close to my beloved family. Most important of all – it feels easier to be my true self here.
On the other hand, wherever we are, we live in the place of Infinite Possibility and Free Choice. Certainly, God lives full power, in all places, all the time. I know that God lives in places that I don’t want to think about, places like Trenton, Boston, Birmingham, Wasalia, Salt Lake City, and Texarkana.
I do believe that we can bloom where we are planted. I understand that God is Infinite Power and Infinite Possibility everywhere – even in scary places like Syria, The West Bank, Calcutta, Juba, Rio de Janerio, and No Korea.
I do pray for people all over the world to grasp the principles of abundance. I do have a distinct and clear vision that the world is connecting and cooperating more each day. Technology is shrinking the planet and that is good. In my spiritual work, I see hands reaching out, over the world, to connect in Love. Like Dr. Ernest Holmes, I believe all shall be revealed and I am happy to wait for the revelation here in Encintas.
This is a very special place. If you believe in vortexes, this must be one. North San Diego County is a magnet for New Thought and there are more than 20 other groups, centers, and churches within a twenty minute drive of our Carlsbad CSL. Deepak Chopra is minutes away. The Holmes Institute and Seaside Church are in Encintas.
Encinitas was created from four separate communities who banded together thirty years ago. I live in Olivenhain which was settled by a German farming commune in the 1880’s. Encinitas has been the home of the Self-Realization Fellowship for almost a hundred years. One in four people who live here follow Paramahansa Yogananda , the author of Autobiography of A Yogi. Leucadia was founded by Spiritualists and all the streets are named after Greek Gods and Goddesses. Cardiff was founded by my daughter’s great grandfather who was an inventor. Encinitas is also called the flower capital of the world and the home of the Poinsettia.
Encinitas has spiritual diversity and great good will. Self Realization followers, Religious Scientists, Spiritualists, many yoga centers, and all the traditional Christian churches are happy in each others company. We have the largest Greek Orthodox Church in San Diego County. We not only have a fine Jewish Temple, but we had a female Rabbi long before it was trendy.
For that matter, all of San Diego County is filled with diverse groups of people who are thriving. Of course we have many Hispanic people and some Afro-Americans and Asians. You might not expect it but there are many people from Ethiopia and Sudan here also.
As I write, I see that I am very pleased to live in a place of such diversity, acceptance, and peace. I believe my town and larger community are a demonstration of Infinite Possibility. People do not have to compete or fight. Life is not a game with winners and losers.
In Truth, we all live in the land of Infinite Possibility because we have the power to make positive choices. For me, the greatest gift of New Thought is the knowledge that we are never stuck. There is always something we can do that will move us toward our dreams.
I am not saying we all need to move to Southern California or make any physical move at all. Sometimes it is better to stay put and work it through. On the other hand, my grandmother repeatedly said, “You made your bed, now lie in it.” She was wrong! You can sleep on the couch or in a new house or the shelter if you need to. You do have always have a choice. You are never stuck.
What I am saying is that wherever we are, there is the possibility for more and better. We can change. We can choose. Our mind is connected to the Infinite Mind and prayer gets us in touch with Infinite Power and Infinite Possibility. We can always move our minds in the direction of something greater.
We can also make active choices. Just taking charge of the small things, like finding time for prayer, going to the gym, spending our time with people we really like, choosing to talk about happy things. These simple choices can make a world of difference in our happiness.
You have a right to be happy. You have a right to pick and choose for yourself. This day, declare your independence from the past and take charge of your NOW choices. You deserve the best!
Do I want anything new?
What would I have to believe to accept it?
What steps might I take?
Where would I begin?
Lori Mac and friends led us in a Sacred Dance Workshop after Sunday service. The dances were from Sufi, Native American, and Celtic traditions. Maybe it was because it was St. Patrick’s Day, or because Lori did such a great job, but I came away believing that circles are magic.
Think about it. We see the image of the circle in Nature, in Spirit and in Art. Consider apple pie, mothers, Easter eggs, gift exchanges, hugging, halos, polka dots, and circle dancing, and you will see only perfection.
The circle appears over and over again in the art of all cultures. Drawing circles begins early and we are such proud parents when our child’s random lines begin to complete themselves and look more like lopsided circles. In my college art education classes I learned that a child’s intelligence can be measured by how early she closes her lines and creates her first primitive circle.
Circle dances are a part of every culture I know about. I love the old movies where the natives are dressed in wild costumes and they beat their drums and jump up and down and stomp around in a circle. Those movies were set in Africa, India or in the American West. The covered wagon pioneers in the Westerns also stomped around in circles but for some reason that was called square dancing.
Shaker dances were mostly circles, so were polkas, and Marie Antoinette’s minuet. The Busby Berkley musicals used circles to illustrate it all; magic, perfection, connection and creative energy. So do the Rockettes of Radio City Music Hall fame.
By the way, Lori was a Rockette for many years before becoming a Religious Science practitioner and ministerial student. And watching our circle dances yesterday taught me why all those Rockettes needed to be regulated for height. Our dance participants came in all sizes so some of the moves between a five foot two dancer and her six foot two partner were quite a stretch.
Dance is not the only art form that depends on the circle. Visual arts abound with circular images.Consider the nudes by Rubens. Those ladies are all soft pink circles. So are the apples and peaches in a Cezanne still life.
The gorgeous mandalas of Asian art are examples of perfection and the connection they celebrate is with Spirit. One of the best known images in Western Renaissance paintings is Mother Mary holding her child; if you reduce those paintings to basic forms you see circles of color and light travelling over the canvas.
Circles are everywhere. In the bullseye target on the archery field, in King Arthur’s Court, in the giant pot that three witches stir as they predict McBeth’s future. Today, just for fun, look around and see how many circles you can count. Start with our shrinking world.
The circle also means means respect and sharing as equals – whether in the tribal council of wise men or the family intervention meeting re: Uncle’s drinking. We instinctively know a circle means equality of responsibility and respect.
Sitting in the round, whether in large or small circles, infers equality of opinion in all times and in all places of the world. I wish more political meetings started in a circle instead of a head table with speakers and an audience. I think the world would be better.
Generally speaking, circles feel safer than rows. Generally speaking, conversation flows easier in circles. Generally speaking, love is easier to express, either silently or aloud. It’s all about the energy flow. Energy moves from one to the other more easily when we are connected in a circle. Loving energy is God expressing through our connection to each other and we need to express and enjoy God. That is our true purpose.
As I watched Lori and my other friends dance, I felt included even if I couldn’t dance. Their loving energy was swirling all around the room and it included we few who were not dancing. None of us was left outside the magical God’s Energy Circle.
I could see the love moving around the room. One of the leaders said, “This is a participation dance, not a performance” and that defined the precious feeling of the event. If someone missed a beat, no one missed a second beat by reacting. No laughter. No frowns. Just acceptance and catching up. I would like to feel that acceptance everywhere I go.Wouldn’t you?
What if we could bring that loving energy to our freeways? Of course, anyone who has ever been on one of those circular freeway patterns in the center of some strange city knows that not all circles are happy places. But the potential is there. That’s good to know. And the seed is planted. Moving on.
Love and cooperation are part of circle magic. Another part is a sense of brotherhood or sisterhood or union with each other. It can be very strengthening to join hands in solidarity. There is magic in standing up for what you believe as a group. The sum instantly becomes greater than its parts. The old hymn, “Let the circle be unbroken” expresses that magic very well.
Completion is inherent in a circle although it does not necessarily mean an end or finish. Actually, a strong circle is never ending and it can have eternal, ever-widening impact on others. I think of the way the Transcendentalist Circle ripples out over our times almost two hundred years later.
Circles are unending and they can also be forever flexible. Our sacred dance circle was able to expand or contract easily. People did come and go and they were accepted and released. My favorite dance was Celtic and we sang the words, “Merry come and Merry part and Merry meet again.” It seemed like a perfect model for relationships.
Circles also mean creation. The religions that depend on the feminine creative principle make much of the circle. It is the Chalice of life, the Holy Grail and the true center of life. Certainly life begins with an egg and although it also requires a wiggling sperm, the circle image is reinforced in the coupling.
I enjoyed every moment of the Sacred Dance Workshop and I thank Lori for bringing it to the Center. It helped me appreciate life even more and I remembered that someone once told me Hindus say that what we call life is actually the Gods dancing. If so, I’m sure they are dancing in a circle.
What are the important circles in your life?
Would you like to expand any of your circles?
Would you like to create any new circles?