Farewell, My Ladies

Cocacola-5cents-1900_edit1It was a happy coincidence that Dr. Gina Ogden and Rev. Dr. Maxine Kaye were visiting at the same time of year and an unhappy one when they departed on the same day.

They are each my long-term friends and although they don’t know each other, the three of us have much in common, including optimistic attitudes and impressive resumes. It’s true that birds of a feather flock together and I’ve noticed that my highflying friends tend to resemble eagles. Nearly all of them are independent women of a “certain age”.

When I met Gina in Massachusetts, 35 years ago, we both lived in the Berkshires. She now lives in Cambridge, MA and travels all over the world giving speeches and workshops. She’s become a leader in her field of sex therapy and has written many books including her first, the classic, Women Who Love Sex.

Gina is a therapist who helps people change and, unlike most experts, she’s not afraid to change herself. She walks her talk.When I met her she had a modest practice and she published a Women’s Newspaper. Her outlook mostly political and she promoted the women’s movement. She was the perfect therapist for me.

Next, she stepped into the role of self-help/psychology  writer with amazing speed. Our friendship deepened because of our mutual writing interests. The next years brought her much success, including appearances on Oprah and awards in her field.

During the last decade or so, she’s opened up to a more spiritual side of life. She studied with a South American shaman for a while. Now she’s developed a wonderful new approach to therapy that considers the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of life. She has a large following in her Isis Network. For more check out www.GinaOgden.com

I’ve known my friend Maxine Kaye for about twenty-five years and I admired her from the day I met her. It is a pleasure to be in Maxine’s company because she consistently sees the bright side of life.

She grew up in the Science of Mind teaching and became a minister at a very early age. Everything about Maxine speaks to the power of a strong spiritual teaching. She is intelligent, beautiful and one of the most loving people I’ve ever met.

Maxine has been my unwitting mentor for many years. As a late-comer to a spiritual approach to living, I had a lot of work to do and I was quite critical but even before I met her personally, I could see her integrity. Maxine’s example was inspirational. She showed me it was possible to truly internalize spiritual living principles.

Over the years we served on many, many Religious Science International committees together, including the Board of Education and Board of Directors. She always saw situations from the best possible viewpoint. She never condemned, gossiped or criticized. I admire her because she also walks her talk.

Maxine and I have travelled our unique ministerial paths as friends. I stayed in the center I founded in Carlsbad and she moved around a bit, but she was always in California. Now she is moving to Boca Raton, FL where she will write her daily inspirations and be a guest speaker and workshop presenter. One Sunshine state loses what another one gains. Whenever Maxine’s in the room, it is lighter and brighter.

She not old enough to retire, of course, so she’s just changing her methods of working. If you want to know how old she is, you’ll have to buy her book because I think of her as a teenager. I will tell you this though – her chronological age is simply numbers. Maxine looks and acts amazingly young. She is living proof that positive spiritual living is truly good for you and for every aspect of your life.

Maxine has written an excellent book, Alive and Ageless and she shares many of her ideas how to stay young. These ideas include diet and exercise tips but everything is truly based on building a youthful, healthy consciousness. You can buy the book from Maxine’s website www.TheConsciousConnections.com, or from http://www.LULU.com or from most Center For Spiritual Living bookstores. Follow her wisdom and I think you will be very happy with the results. You can also subscribe to her daily inspirations, ConsciousConnections.

If you met my friends, Gina and Maxine, you would see they are not much alike. There are many differences but it is the similarities that are important to our new world. They are marvelous examples of an emerging pattern for wise women.

I call Gina, Maxine and most of my other friends the Breakthrough generation. We were born into a world where girls were  supposed to be “sugar and spice and everything nice”. Our goals were to marry young, have nice babies and support our husbands as they built their careers.

Breakthrough Wise Women began as good girls who “behaved ourselves”, but times change and our worlds flowered as we began to claim more of the action for ourselves.We were women who moved ahead of the times.

The women’s movement is taught as ho-hum history these days.  “There was the birth control pill, Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinham, The Sixties explosion and the rest is history”. When we were in those moments, it was terribly personal.

Our journey is quite a story. It took a lot of courage to get from there to where we are now. If you don’t believe me, watch Mad Men.

We lived that history. Whether we were political or not, whether we knew it or not, we were deeply impacted by the women’s movement. For Jane, Maxine and Gina, and most of my other friends, it is very, very personal history.

Although they are several years younger and we are very different people, we share a common experience because we didn’t stick to the expected script. We made choices and we designed lives that were inconceivable when we started out. Think about it. No women ministers. No sexual revolution. No Oprah. No world travel.

Things turned out a lot bigger and better than we expected  because we stepped out on faith.  I love both my friends for many reasons but that shared history is a big part of it. I love it that we designed interesting and successful lives by making brave choices.

Even though I was sad when Gina and Maxine left town, I didn’t want to hold them back. It’s OK to wish people lived closer but it is not OK to try and cage them or to hold back their changes.

These two great ladies have been my friends since cigarettes were sexy and Coca-Cola was a nickel. We have always kept in touch before and we will continue to do so. They will always be in my life even if not in the next room.

I will miss them, of course but I’m glad they are doing what they want to do. I am glad they are living the lives they want to live. I am glad to be a part of the Breakthrough generation.

Ask Yourself

List three major ideas that have changed in your lifetime.

Do you have  friends you miss?

Do you have a friend you want to tell you are proud of?

Do you want to contact a distant friend today?

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God Sends

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When my daughter returned from Africa last week it would have been considerate of me to give her time to deal with jetlag, but my bags were packed. I was “Raring to go!”

I’m out of Rehab and I  love my home more than ever. It is single story and that is a true God-send because I am currently using a wheelchair. I also have a wheel-in shower that I designed for my mother thirty years ago, Another God-send! So is the extra-large, extra-fancy hospital bed I inherited from Rev. Mattie’s mother.

I  have two wonderful helpers and  a loving group of family and friends who want to help me anyway they can. I’m not kidding when I say I am surrounded by God-sends.

The move home is going smoothly. My healing is on-track and I’m convinced prayer helped. If you are a part of the wonderful group who prayed for me, I thank you very much.  Your prayers for my health make you another of my God-sends.

Whether I knew you were praying or not isn’t important. Either way, your prayers went straight to the Subjective Mind of God and they planted the seed of perfect health. You made the prayer and (as always) God does the work. Your prayers set Spiritual Law in motion.

I came away from Rehab even more committed to teaching the power of prayer. Even when I was so unfocussed that I had trouble doing my own prayers, I could feel the energy of other people’s and I was able to accept the love and care from others.

Prayer works even if the recipient of your prayer lives in Tucson and you live in Omaha. God lives everywhere, full power, all the time. God lives in the hearts and minds of every individual whether he or she recognizes it or not.

Here’s a very short sketch of how prayer works in our lives. Spirit is the Creative Energy of the Universe. Spirit created us in It’s image and likeness. We are separate and unique, but we are spiritual creatures and we are connected to God through our consciousness. (Consciousness contains all our thoughts, beliefs, and feelings in this moment.)

Our consciousness is constantly sending messages to Spirit and Spirit responds. God (or Spirit) is Love working through Law in our lives. When we pray, we are speaking directly to God with the purpose of setting Spiritual Law into motion to create new circumstances.

The person praying envisions, believes and accepts the desired outcome. The person we are praying for must accept the goal of the prayer in order to have it work. That is a part of why we never pray for others unless it is requested. When we ask for prayers from others we are depending on, or borrowing their conviction and clarity. Of course, the best thing is for the person requesting prayer to also have conviction but that’s not always at an optimum level.

The reason prayers from unknown people worked for me was that when I requested the prayers, I was already envisioning, believing and accepting the healing at some level. The prayers of others were powerful because they were clear and focused. I needed your prayers because I was, more or less, stuck in the experience of “not well”.

If this all seems complicated and too technical for a blog, I apologize. Remember that you do not have to understand how prayer works, you only have to pray and expect it to work. If you want to know more, you should take a class in your Center for Spiritual Living or on-line.

You can also learn to use prayer more effectively by reading books. My book, Spiritual Mind Skills has individual chapters devoted to each of the steps of affirmative prayer or treatment.  You can buy it from this blog bookstore. You can also find it in church bookstores along with many works by Dr. Ernest Holmes and other New Thought leaders. I especially recommend Treat Yourself To Life by Dr. Raymond Charles Barker.

I wanted to express my gratitude for your prayers. My progress is apparent and I still have a way to go. If you want to help, continue praying for me.  Please see me as walking independently  and getting back to a regular schedule. I am praying for these goals now.

I am not only praying, I am choosing to enhance my prayers with physical therapy, occupational therapy and getting the recommended medical attention. I choose to pursue my healing this way. Others may choose other ways and that is up to them. I choose to do what the doctor orders.

We are spiritual creatures who have a part in creating our lives. We have free will and we always have choices. I believe that getting good medical attention will work well for me. I also believe it is important for me to move forward.

Somehow I had a back injury. Obviously I could choose to look backward and ask myself what caused the problem. I could also choose to believe I’ll be in a wheelchair forever. Or I could choose to blame myself or others and spread anger over my life. I could also choose to feel sorry for myself.

I choose to focus on healing and I choose to move forward. I also choose to take it a day at a time, and start my day with gratitude. Each day, I start by writing and/or saying, “Another day to be glad in.” Then I make a gratitude list. You are on it.

Love,

Jane