My mother, Rev. Dr. Jane Claypool, made her transition out of physical form on 10/31/14. I was lucky enough to be with her, so I know it was an instantaneous event – for which I am grateful. However it was very unexpected, as she had just conquered pneumonia once again. After writing her daily gratitude list, she finished up this blog before deciding to go the emergency room. We had been laughing with a friend about Halloween and were having a good morning. She had a new drawing too…..(I will post more of her drawings later). A lovely Celebration of Life memorial service was held on 11/15/14. Please call the Center for Spiritual Living Carlsbad at 760-434-9579 if you would like more information. The website is http://www.CSLCarlsbad.org. All Love To You…. Kate DuVivier
I’ve been spending a lot of time talking about my life because Amanda, one of my dear helpers, asks me many questions. I suppose any life is fascinating when the audience is sixty years younger.
Amanda can’t imagine growing up without TV. She can’t imagine doing the wash before clothes dryers, or heating up food before microwaves. She is fascinated with black and white movies.
Since I am on a diet of happy stories, we often choose old movies. She loves the 1930 screwball comedies we watch in the evening and says they are better because the stories “have more talking.” I agree.
Of course, the very best movies were made in 1939, when I was only six years old, and Hollywood was at its triumphant height. I’ve told her that my three siblings and I went to the movies every Saturday afternoon and paid 12 cents to be admitted but I haven’t been clear on the dates. I started going to the movies alone in the 1940’s after World War Two. The films we saw as children included nasty propaganda pot boilers. I had nightmares about Germans chasing me until I was a woman in her thirties.
Turner Classic Movie channel skips many of those horribly prejudiced flicks. I use my DVR to skip all the war pictures. We all engage in some form of censorship, I suppose.
I imagine Amanda’s idea of my war years in the movie house is filled with Clark Gable tap dancing in a European castle just before World War Two breaks out. Or maybe her favorite is Cary Grant taking prat falls before World War Two breaks out. Then there is Charlie Chaplin impersonating Hitler just before World War Two breaks out.
We know history is unreliable. For starters, it is written by the winners and winners see the picture from their viewpoint.
Our personal histories are also unreliable. We tend to romanticize our memories. When I talk to Amanda about my early years during the Depression, I don’t remember much but I speak as if it were a charming story. My parents become delightful young kids who struggled to keep their four children alive. I say things like, “They kept us together in the midst of the Troubles. They kept us alive!”
That’s true, of course and it is a fact that plenty of men left their wives and children behind to become hoboes. It is also true that some women starved to death and many children were sent to orphanages because their parents couldn’t feed them.
In the current version of my childhood, there is nothing about the humiliation of poverty and nothing of the shame when relatives brought groceries and deposited them on the table without a smile. That was also there but the story of the Depression years skips straight to a happy ending. World War Two broke out and there were plenty of jobs!
When I told this personal history story during my twenties and thirties, my story sounded very tragic. The reasons why my life was so tragic piled up until they took the form of a long, and twisted litany of despair. In those days I believed I was marked for tragedy.
It is true I had a difficult beginning with the early death of my young husband but it was also true that I had sixty or more years ahead of me. I wasn’t doomed to anything. I had plenty of choices along the way. In my twenties, I thought my story was over but it was just beginning.
That’s a common mistake. We tend to see wherever we are as the end of the story even though the story goes on and on. And on Life is always presenting us choices and if we miss the brass ring the first time, we usually get another turn to catch it again.
One of the most delightful discoveries about my current age is the fascinating changes and insights that present themselves. I’ve enjoyed many personal discoveries as I’ve moved along life’s pathway. In fact, I am now at a place where I understand that life is always presenting possibilities.
There is a famous poem by Robert Frost called the The Road Not Taken and it talks about taking the road less traveled. It ends with, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”
It’s a great poem that says you always get more than one chance. If you have the consciousness to attract a choice of true love, you will have another chance later. Same is true of making a fortune. You’ll have more than one big chance.
I missed my chance to be a famous writer in the 1960’s but the chance returned in the 1980’s. The same pattern was also there in my search for true love. Life is a series of wonderful repetitive choices.
My life still offers plenty of choices. Last week, I wrote a blog about my stay in a nursing home. I had a choice to tell it like it was or simply be grateful to be home.
I might have skipped over the whole experience and written about any number of subjects including gratitude, or the power of supportive friendships. That would have an expected road for a retired minister of a Center For Spiritual Living Center.
When I started these blogs, I promised myself I’d be honest, as positive and helpful to readers as possible, and that my essays would be mostly about Science of Mind.
Most of all, I promised myself I’d be honest. All of those choices would have been honest. However, the stay in the nursing home was top of my mind and I was full of energy about how dreadful that place was.
I had some other choices that would have been slightly less honest; I could lie and say everything was wonderful, or I could write about some unrelated subject.
I chose the road less travelled by! I didn’t want to skip the subject because I was still steaming full of energy about my stay so I wrote what I wrote. You can read the blog, Miss Me?, in the archives.
I had other choices. I could have named the place but my understanding is that it is one of the best so the issues were generic. I could have called the nurses lazy but I could see they were trying hard and overworked. As of now, I have received more comments about that blog than any I’ve ever written. They were all in agreement and several were interested in participating or starting a drumming circle. If you get a chance, take a look at the comments since they are truly honest and intelligent.
Looking back on your choices is always interesting. As I look back on the choice I made last week, I can see that I made a good choice and I’m glad I did. Maybe several readers will work on starting or participating in a drumming circle. I do believe that will help clients, their loved ones and nursing homes.
While we can’t always predict the outcome of our choices, an honest, well meaning choice can be effective. And if it doesn’t turn out well, you always have plenty of other choices to follow.
Am I looking at any difficult choices now?
What do I have to choose?
What do I want to do?
Are my possibilities honest?
Are my possibilities well meaning?
When I heard my friend speaking, I thought she was expressing wisdom that usually comes with age. Eventually, most of us do learn that happiness comes from the inside.
Plenty of studies show older people are happier than youthful ones and I can see it is true for many of my friends. I’m certainly happier than I was when I was seventeen. Aren’t you?
Do you remember the desperate search for happiness you went through in high school? If you look backward for a moment, you may very well discover you are happier now than ever before. We don’t have to wait until a certain age or go through troubles, but we do need to understand happiness is an inside job.,
You can be cheerful at thirty or sixty as well as ninety. Most of us learn things as we travel through life and, if we are observant, we learn that happiness doesn’t depend on what we have. It depends on our inner wisdom, love, and strength. If we are lucky, we encounter a Happiness Teacher early who helps but that’s not as common as wish it were.
Most of us learn as we experiment with getting what we think we want. We figure it out alone. Our journey probably includes letting go of false idols; popularity, success, romance, beauty, social status, recognition, and money. Even good health isn’t the complete answer. The answer lies within our thinking and understanding.
Somewhere along the way, we stop putting our faith in appearances and begin cultivating other, less tangible, but more important values. Look around at your friends and you will see the happiest ones aren’t the ones with the most stuff. Pretty houses and fancy cars are fine but they don’t delight for long. Happiness is based on who we are, rather than what we have.
You don’t have to be any particular age to learn to be happy. Happiness is based on deeper, long lasting values that give us a sense of control over our lives. While it is true that nothing is permanent, the love you feel always stays with you. So does your satisfaction if you choose work you love. So do qualities such as a good sense of humor and curiosity about life.
These ideas are not secret. You don’t need a special guru, a secret code, or a million bucks to grasp the key to happiness. People who learn to savor the moment and feel grateful know everything they need to know to keep on the sunny side of the street. Happiness is a gift and it depends on skills just about anyone can learn. Gratitude and appreciating the moment are two wonderful tools. So is letting go of the need for other people’s approval.
Most of us have to learn these lessons as we go along and we can do it faster if we find genuine Happiness Teachers to help us by demonstrating. Our parents taught us what they knew but many did not know how to be happy. They meant well, but they couldn’t teach what they didn’t know.
Happiness Teachers are all around us. Some are neighbors and some, like Maya Angelou, are on TV. Others, like me, write books and blogs. You can recognize them by the wisdom they share and the fact they aren’t selling you “stuff”. They are happy themselves and they are happy sharing what they know.
If you are happy most of the time, you are a Happiness Teacher yourself. You know how to be content and that is what most people hunger for. Others can learn from you, just as you can learn from others. It’s that simple.
We humans learn naturally from one and another. Look around at your happiest pals. You will probably see they have developed the ability to live mostly in the present moment. You will probably notice how often they express gratitude.
We can all be happier if we pay attention. Some of this extra happiness will be based on a loss of innocence. There comes a day when we must stop believing that a new shampoo or a different mustache brush will make people love us more.
When we stop being true believers in the great American Consumer Creed, we will be happier. When we stop believing the high priests of products and start selecting activities and relationships that are joyful, we will be happier. When we begin to look within for our Love and Light, we will be happier.
I have many friends and the one I quoted at the beginning is an outstanding Happiness Teacher. She doesn’ t offer classes or advice but I’ve learned by observing her. My friend is not a wealthy woman but she has a busy and fulfilling life. She learns new things, meets interesting people and has a lot of fun. She always seems to be happy.
She chooses experiences that keep her interested in life without requiring fancy clothes or expensive tickets. Her life is valuable to others and it suits her well. I admire her intelligence, her resourcefulness, and her creativity. I have learned a lot about available community resources from her. She lives alone, far from family, but she is never lonely.
Two organizations provide the basics for her lifestyle – AA and our church. These two groups provide the spiritual and social backbones for her rich lifestyle. Not only does she meet wonderful people but also she is steeped in the spiritual teachings of gratitude and mindfulness.
Alcoholics Anonymous teaches us to be consistently grateful for the many blessings we receive. . The Spiritual Living Center also values gratitude. The Law of Attraction is a spiritual principle that describes a process for attracting more good. For example, if I desire more friends, I don’t complain. I give thanks for the friends I have. God responds to my gratitude by sending me more friends.You can observe this law in action in your own life if you experiment.
My friend is happy with AA and the church but she doesn’t stop there. Our local library is a place for gentle yoga, interesting lectures and her book club. She not only finds free books but she enjoys a variety of lectures, workshops and classes. The library is a rich source of great experiences. There are many other venues she knows about because she is awake too opportunities. She never complains about lack of any sort. She is busy and happy on a limited budget.
Her life demonstrates how wisdom grows and opens us up. When we stop yearning for things and begin to appreciate what we have, we can achieve happiness. She looks inside for guidance and strength, and makes happy choices. I’m grateful for her because she teaches me how to live well.
Are you as happy as you want to be?
Is there a Happiness Teacher in your life?
Are you a Happiness Teacher to anyone?
Do you have a plan for more happiness?
I’m certain I have excellent physical care and my medical needs are being cared for. I believe my job is to focus on my spiritual care. Thank you, Dear Readers, for the way you have helped make that possible.
In the beginning, I couldn’t remember the steps of treatment but I could remember that God and I are one. I held on tight to God inside and all around me. I was definitely part of the Oneness. I knew God is Love.
I also remembered to be grateful. Even in the hardest times, I remembered to be thankful for my nurses, therapists, doctors, and hospitals. And friends. I was especially grateful for my church friends and family.
It made me happy to know people were praying for me. I have received many messages from colleagues telling me they were praying for me.
Some people may think of me as a “loner” or very independent but that isn’t true. I treasure my friends and this rehab episode has shown me how much I treasure my sense of connection in God and people.
I gratefully depended on other people’s prayers these past weeks and I was very glad for every one of you. It made me feel wonderful to recognize how many wonderful preachers and practitioners are in my life. When they called or visited, I asked for treatment.
I have been grateful for every visitor, every phone call and every card. I feel rich as I recognize how many wonderful people are in my life.
I do appreciate your prayers and I feel confidant that you folks who praying for me are doing a fine job because I am getting better. Thank you very much for all your prayers and visits and calls. Please keep up the good work.
I have learned a lesson about healing that I want to share with everyone. We all need reminders that we are spiritual beings and, at the same time, when we have a sick person in our lives, we may need reminders that we are also human beings.
In the beginning, it felt as though my spiritual practice was disappearing. I know that is not the truth but I did feel very much more physical than spiritual. You were my lifeline and offered me hope. You are very important.
One of the things we say about the practitioner’s work is that he “knows the truth” for the client even when he or she doesn’t know it for herself. I have personally discovered that. I hope you keep up your good work. for me at the same time I hope to show all my readers how important love and prayer and support mean to anyone.
Won’t you please continue to hold the truth and lend me your consciousness? Believe me, even though I am better and I can pray for myself, I still require your help. Our Oneness in God is now a new dimension for me. Your love and prayers are real helpful.
This rehab episode has deepened my appreciation of how much people need each other when they are in trouble. Yes, it is true that we are never alone because we are with God. It is also true that the love of other humans becomes extremely important when we are perplexed and feeling out of touch with life.
From now on, I will see the Compassionate Care concerns of our churches as a very important service we offer. I think it a major function of any center or church. (It is also a major part of being a loving friend.
Teaching people to think and live positively is important all the time. It is the real reason we become centers for positive living.
Our Centers For Positive Living support members and friends in many other ways as well, including metaphysical studies, and social connections. I think Compassionate Care is also very important. In fact, since we are also human as well as spiritual, I am ready to raise prayer and support who are going through hard times to a higher priority.
Many years ago, in a 12 Step Meeting,, I heard a speaker tell a story about the child who wanted her mother to stay by her side until she fell asleep. The mother said, “God is always with you.” The child grabbed her mother’s hand and said, “Yes but I want my God with skin.”
I understand the story better now than I did 38 years ago.
Is there anyone I want to reach out to today?
Is there anyone I want to thank?
I still don’t have a clear picture of what is going on but I am over the shock of the sudden change in my health. One day I was well and the next day I was in hospital. It has all gone well but there is much more to do.
Thanks for your concern and for your prayers and please keep up the good work. I sometimes find praying for others is easier than praying for myself because it is easier for me to see the truth about your perfection, wholeness and completion. I see through your appearances more clearly than my own because it is eaIsier not to believe it.
When I pray for myself, I sometimes get tangled up in wondering what happened and why it happened. I am so grateful for your prayers because, without the prayers of my loved ones, I would not have come this far.
What happened is not the important thing but, in case you are curious, my back was injured and I am unable to stand alone or walk at the time I am writing this.
We hear that challenges present an opportunity to learn and to grow. They also present an opportunity to express gratitude. I am very grateful for this rehab center and the wonderful staff. Everyone is cheerful, optimistic and pleasant all of the time. That’s a big help.
My years of Science of Mind studies also help a great deal. I’d like to believe that my understanding is so great that I never have illness or troubles. Perhaps that will be true some day, but iIn the beginning of this episode, I was in too much pain to help myself much, Knowing that my friends were working for me was a big comfort. It is also true that treatments we do for others are important. I’ve been on both sides of the prayer process and I am living proof. in both ways.
In the beginning, I was in so much pain I was out of it. I relied on the love and wisdom of my family and friends. My daughter, Kate DuViver, and my son-in-law Chuck DuVivier as well as my sister, Anne Seislove and brothers, Mike and John Claypool showed me the love and support that family brings.
Families and friends and spiritual groups all are expressing God in action. I am very fortunate to have a wonderful church family also. Friends and other support groups have helped me. I thank God this is so.
My ministerial friends Mattie Dobbs, Carol Carnes, Lisa Stewart, Lori Mac, Lynn Guilfoyle were all wonderful about visiting, running errands and praying out loud when they were here. Many others are praying silently for me and I am very grateful.
Behind that visible group of supporters is an army of other friends and colleagues who are praying for my fast recovery. Known and unknown well-wishers are making a definite difference in my recovery.
Everyone can see the difference. Recently, one of the nurses told a visitor that I was getting better even though they might not know why. The visitor friend looked at me and smiled. We share the belief that Spirit comes first.
My church is a tremendous recovery resource – the people, the wisdom and the love are very real and I can feel it all. Thank you for your prayers and love. It is all a part of a giant recovery plan that God has given me and everyone else in need.
I also give great thanks for my wonderful medical support that I have found with my primary and secondary medical staff. I am so grateful for Scripps Hospital Rehab and my new Rehab Center here in Carlsbad.
Consciousness comes first, We can waste time asking ourselves what went wrong and how did it happen? Or we can focus on the desired solution. Anything we believe will be a part of our healing process will help.
I believe in traditional medicine as well as spiritual healing. I remember my first Pastor, Dr. Frank Richelieu, saying “All knowledge is God-given.” I believed him then and I believe him now.
Long ago, I decided my job includes selecting the best medical treatment I can find and then following the instructions of my medical advisors plus the healing principles of Science of Mind. Dr. Ernest Holmes, founder of Religious Science, said that it is not a choice between spirit and matter but that everything has its basis in Spirit.
It seems to me that right now, I am in the perfect place to fully accept the spiritual truth of my perfection. I am grateful to be in medical facilities that accept prayer as a healing modality. More than one doctor and nurse has offered the opinion that prayer helps.
I know the most important part of my personal healing process is to use spiritual mind treatment and remember the Truth that sets me free.
This rehab center is a wonderful place and I believe that my getting a private room here is a direct result of my daughter’s prayers. She did the search and God guided her to this wonderful set up. The room is filled with good colors – warm, buttery yellow and soft aqua accents. I am very sensitive to the healing power of color and couldn’t be happier about the color palette.
I am still careful to limit my visitors to a few daily because I am busy with other activities such as therapy. If you want to visit, please call in advance. If you want to contact me, please send cards or well wishes to the Church or by email.
I will try to keep the blogs up more regularly now that I am feeling a bit better. I think it is a service to write honestly, even when things are less than perfect on the level of appearances so that we can all recognize the Truth that sets us free.
Love, Dr. Jane
Last time I was in trouble, what people helped me?
Is this a good time to send them a thank you note?
Can you list 10 people who really helped you get though any tough spot in your life?
Do you want to write a thank you note?
I hang up on from a phone call with a very good friend and I feel full of gratitude that she is well and happy, that I am well and happy, and that we are in each other’s lives. Over the past twenty years we have been though many changes but our friendship has always been there. We have supported each other through good and not so good times. There have been laughs and tears and lots of shared history. My life is richer because of my friend.Good friends are really important and they must be nurtured in order to thrive. When I was a girl, switching “best friends” whenever we got a new hobby was common. So was dropping our girlfriends when we got a new boyfriend and I can remember how that could hurt.
Growing up means treating friends as though they are appreciated. Our good, long lasting friendships are precious. If we are not careful, we forget to tell them how much they mean to us. We should also understand that there are times when we need to be there for a good friend when they are in need, even if it is inconvenient. Friendship is definitely reciprocal if it is to work over a long time.
Treasuring a good friend is a lot different from building a network for our business or social ambitions. It is also different from loving our family because they were born to be our connections. Making friends involves choices and choosing good friends is a consequence of knowing who we are. There are plenty of people on Facebook and they may be listed as friends but it takes time and common experiences to develop a real friendship.
Not all friends from the past need to be carried into your world of today. It is wonderful to keep your friends from high school or college but if you want a healthy balance you will have to develop some new ones along the way. Especially as we age, people’s lives and situations as well as interests change. Some move away, some change, some die, some simply take a different path in life. So if you only stick with your old friends, you can end up with a very narrow world as time marches on.
It seems to me that we should try to cultivate new friends and, at the same time, treasure the old ones. As always, balance is the key to intelligent living. No one can have an unlimited number of close friends but beware the person who insists that he or she must be your only friend. “Best friends” works better in 7th grade than in adulthood.
One of the best ways to meet friends is to find a people you enjoy who have similar interests. These days, most of my friends are people I’ve met in my spiritual activities; once they nearly all came from my 12 Step program. Before that, most of them came from my writing activities. I still have a couple of friends from every one of those previous interests because they are a part of me and my history. Most of all, these treasured old friends have qualities that resonate in wonderful ways.
What kind of people make the best friends? I love the ones who are always there for you. They can be there in times of need and they are wonderful. On the other hand, the ones who make me laugh are fabulous. I also love the ones who are interested and excited about new ideas and activities. And then there are my deep thinker friends and my deep believer friends. It varies from day to day so I guess they are all my best friends.
What old friend can I contact today?
What new person can I get to know better and maybe make a friend?