Walking On Water

scan024A learned scholar visited some ignorant monks for several days, teaching them about the Bible. As the scholar sailed away from their island home, the monks ran across the ocean waters, shouting, “Come back! Come back! We forgot all you taught us!”

The point of this story is theory is not as important as actually using your learning.

School starts in Centers for Spiritual Living this month and I hope every reader will take a class so that he or she can actually get more of what he wants from life.

You don’t need a miracle. You don’t need to walk on water to benefit from classes. Any class that teaches you the basic ideas so that you can use them will make a great difference in your life. When you change your thinking, you will change your life for the better.

Spirit or God is Divine Givingness and you can use it. Classes really work when they teach you how to pray effectively. God doesn’t give you stuff for being “good” even if that is what you were taught in Sunday School. God is not an Old Man in the Sky. God is the Creative Intelligence of the Universe and it lives in you as well as all around you.

Once you understand that Spiritual Law will kick in and automatically send you any life-affirming goal you envision clearly, actually believe in, and are ready to accept, you know enough to begin. Anyone can learn to pray powerfully.

Classes in Centers for Spiritual Living are set up to teach you how to get what you want out of life. They teach you that prayer has nothing to do with begging or bargaining with a giant Humanoid who does or doesn’t give to you. Prayer is based on knowing about and using Spiritual Law.

Wouldn’t you like to be able to send a message to Universal Mind, and know it will be answered? Wouldn’t you like to connect with God and claim better relationships or more money and have prosperity and love arrive quickly on your doorstep?

One of the reasons I love Science of Mind lessons is that they are based on logic. You can follow the theory and see that it must be true that Spirit comes before any experience takes form.

I love the way our classes are aimed at helping students change their lives by changing their thoughts. Theory is great but practice is absolutely necessary. I believe life changing techniques should be taught from the beginning meeting of classes.

Yes, we learn from living life and figuring stuff out for ourselves. We have all learned and changed because of our life experiences. But experience is never a substitute for knowledge and classes are the primary path of knowledge. Therefore, classes should be filled with information and theory as well as practice and exercises in changing our thinking.

Everyone wants class lessons to help in his immediate life. How is the teacher to balance the need for practice and provide scholarly information?

Teachers usually bend and stretch the curriculum to fit the individuals who have come into their classroom orbit. It is important for the teacher to be flexible and adjust the lessons to the needs of the student.

I think Religious Science instruction is basically as good as the teacher and the students make it. The curriculum is only a starting point for adventures in learning. After seventeen years in public education, and 25 years teaching Science of Mind, I have learned to think of September as the beginning of my year. It is always exciting and it is always fun.

This year I plan to reawaken my Wise Woman materials and develop a class that any woman can teach in the future. My class starts on Sept. 13th. It is a ten week class on Saturday mornings.

This Wise Woman class is all about activity. It is about moving your mind in the direction of your dreams and taking the action you deem necessary to get there. One way to describe the curriculum might be to call it “empowerment” training.

In my younger days, (during the ‘60’s) when the Women’s Movement was in top form, we called our fledgling groups Consciousness Raising Groups. A lot of the discussions centered around getting our husbands to help with the housework.

Times change and today, most women have moved beyond blaming men for their problems. While we still have a long way to go, we have come a very long way and we are proud of it. What’s more, many husbands do help with the housework.

My Wise Woman groups were originally set up so the participants were only allowed to talk about themselves – not their men. The rules included not complaining about others. We learned we didn’t have to create strategies to get people to do what we wanted. We simply made choices for ourselves and let the rest of the world make their own choices. It was an amazing concept!

I look forward to teaching this material again. For many years, I travelled all over the US and Canada giving workshops based on my book, Wise Women don’t worry, Wise Women don’t sing the blues. It was great fun then and this is a different chapter in my life.

I’m not travelling these days, but I am planning to create a workbook that gives leaders what they need to lead groups. I look forward to creating that material during this class. I also have three great assistants to help me and that’s fun to think about.

I also led Wise Woman conferences in Desert Hot Springs for 15 years. I had wonderful co-leaders; Dr. Marilyn Hall, Dr. Heather Clark and Rev. Lisa Stewart. What fun that was! I might consider doing another workshop on the desert this Spring. Who knows?

I am definitely looking forward to my next step – teaching the Wise Woman class here in Carlsbad. It is always a great experience to help women take charge of their lives.

One of the most important concept in the Wise Woman material is the refusal to look at ourselves as victims. Just giving up that one aspect of self-identification can change anyone’s life totally.

Learning to walk on water may seem too difficult but learning to take responsibility for our lives is just as thrilling. I will be taking another look at my life as I lead the September class. I will also invite other women to take a look at their lives.

I wrote the Wise Woman book twenty years ago and times have changed. My life has certainly changed. If you are ready to become a Wise Woman, won’t you consider joining me?

Ask Yourself

Has your life changed?

Do you plan to make more changes?

Do you know what to do and how to do it?

Are you willing to drop the victim role and move ahead?

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Moody Blues

scan020It was a lovely church service. The music was grand. I love the people and many are   my friends. The talk was about Love. Rev. Matti was brilliant, as usual. After that, I talked with someone who requested treatment and then attended Rev. Matti’s workshop on Love Skills. Oh what a beautiful morning!

I was really happy when I left the church. Later, I went to the grocery store and I felt a little sorry for myself as I passed up all the cookies and pies. I’ve still got some weight to lose and I know how to do it after dropping over a hundred pounds, but I wasn’t cheerful about it. Also, I’d forgotten that one should never go grocery shopping hungry.

My week goes better when I go to church but Sunday afternoons often feel empty to me. It’s been that way since school days. I don’t want to work and if I don’t have anything planned, I get bored. Usually, I read and watch a movie and that takes care of the “Sunday blues”.

My afternoon went pretty well considering my Slimfast lunch but at times, my mood slipped into thinking about chores I needed to do or feelings of “not enough”. It reminded me that we all need  reinforcement to keep our spirits up.

Have you ever started out feeling great and then found yourself in the dumps by the time evening comes around? Did you ever wonder what happened? More to the point, did you ever wonder how to keep up your joyful mood?

Most of us do have moods. One time we are up and another time we are down. It is a short trip from knowing that everything is going to be wonderful to worrying about the future or regretting the past. But if we remain vigilant we can avoid the “blues” on Sunday or any other day.

Sometimes moods are associated with special hours, days, months or seasons and we need to be mindful of those times. If Christmas is challenging, you can simplify and prepare in advance. Since Sundays can be a problem for me, I can plan ahead. Next week, I will do something special and organize an Oscar event. Sometimes the anniversary of the death of a loved one is tough. We need to make sure our stress level keeps low and get some extra support for that time of year.

Sometimes mood swings seem random.  There are many ways to lift our spirits. One way is to take a short break and make a conscious decision to change our thinking. Maybe a cup of tea and fifteen minutes with your  favorite inspirational magazine or book is the answer. Or maybe a body stretch or a nap will help us switch gears. Being mindful is key. Then there are many tricks we can use to modify our outlook once we are aware of what we are thinking and feeling.

Sometimes our emotional state and our moods are based on outside events.  Bad news will garner a reaction from even the strongest of minds.We should never fall into blaming ourselves but just take whatever steps seem intelligent and useful to move on with our lives as quickly as possible.

However, our moods are very often  just habits. I know, for instance, that Sunday is my darkest day because I am usually alone and I choose not to work hard. I believe everyone needs a day of rest.  There was a time in my life when I was really struggling just to cope with life and Sundays were the worst. I watched the clock and waited desperately for the 12 Step meeting at 6PM.

Those were very different times. I am not like that woman and when remnants of those dark times   show up on Sundays, I remind myself that my moody blues are just a habit and I can control my thinking and feelings. I can usually avoid the blues but the ghosts of the past can still drift through my mind. It takes a while to completely change but believe me, it is worth the effort.

When we come to Centers For Spiritual Living, we hear, “Change your thinking and change your life” over and over. That  simple instruction is the path to happiness and control of our lives. That is the way it works.

So when our moods drop, we must do something to lift up our thinking quickly, without fuss. Once we recognize that we are “borrowing trouble” by worrying about the future or regretting the past, we simply need to distract ourselves and turn our attention up to more positive things.

Short reading breaks, short body stretches, and a tea break are all good ways to distract ourselves and displace the pattern of negative thinking. It always helps me to sit down and write a short gratitude list. A phone call to a cheerful friend to talk about something light and bright works wonders. You can also stop what you are doing and watch a comedy on TV. A good laugh goes a long way in the dark.

Anything you can find to laugh about and anyone you can find to laugh with, is an excellent treatment for a simple habit of depressed thinking. I make it a point to watch comedies and read books with happy endings just to stay cheery. I certainly stay away from the news on TV if I am  feeling down in the dumps. I also try to only talk with my cheerful friends. Although I know that  helping others can be good for  people, you have to have something to give before you give.

Yesterday, I did a color meditation as I listened to classical music and then drifted off to sleep for about thirty minutes. When I woke up, I was back in the heavenly mood I’d established by attending church in the morning. Of course, it isn’t always that easy, but it gets easier and easier the longer you practice changing your thinking.

Habits are good. They help us maneuver through our days. However, some habits need to be changed. Once we ‘get it” that we are in control of our emotions rather than allowing our emotions to control us, life really is wonderful. I hope that everyone of my readers is aware of how easy it is to manage moods today.

Ask Yourself

How do I lift my moods?

What new techniques would I like to try?

What are my favorite inspirational books?  Meditations?

Do I make cheerful media choices?

Do I make gratitude lists?