How’s Your MindSet?

 

GrowI play computer games to keep my memory and  mind alert. Sometimes crossword puzzles take too long because my mind is set in the wrong direction. That can also happen in real life.

         Easy crossword puzzles on the AARP website are not really very easy when I get stuck on a wrong-headed route. If I need a synonym for aged and I’m thinking elderly but the answer that fits is ripe they become Frustrating Crosswords.

I have spent many precious moments trying to fit a wrong word into a tight space. Last week, the clue was sort and my time was doubled because I couldn’t imagine anything but genre or type. Sort can also mean arrange.

My problem is chronic. The word was ruler, and I spent ten minutes searching for a four letter word that meant measuring tool all the while, forgetting about king.

I thought the answer to public should have been crowd and it turned out to be overt. I thought the answer to long should have been stretched and it turned out to be yearn. I think the answer to employ should have been hire and it turned out to be use.

Crosswords are just a game and I needn’t worry about my scores. I have an excellent vocabulary so I don’t worry about that either. However, my tendency to latch onto one idea and hold on so tight it hurts can be a private problem. How about you?

Opening up our minds to new ideas is a great skill. We can look at our earlier lives and see how important the ability to see more than one way really is. When I look backward, I see my youthful relationships could have been simpler if I’d seen love and sex as separate words. I see now that my life could have been richer if I’d known mathematics is fascinating fun.

New viewpoints are often invigorating and helpful. Learning new things keeps us young and healthy. I improved my health when I began to define food to include vegetables and fruits, not just meat and potatoes.

Steadfastness and perserverance are two great characteristics. On the other hand, being willing to explore new aspects of a situation and attach new meanings to words is very rewarding. Opening up to change is a great deal of what we learn in the spiritual classes at the Centers For Creative Living.

Hanging onto one viewpoint is just one more way to resist change. If it is an idea that impacts our decision making abilities, we need to learn to let go sooner. The ability to adapt to changing conditions is one important measure of intelligence.

Think about the ideas you have had to change in your lifetime in order to adapt to modern living. Perhaps there was a time when you thought boys were bad cooks or girls were bad mechanics. If you wanted a relationship that is based on equality, you will probably have modified those ideas by now.

One of these days, as a part of your spiritual practice, make a list of some of the ideas you have changed in your life. You will be pleasantly surprised at the progress you’ve made simply by changing your mind.

Here are a few of my changes:

1, I used to believe I was too dumb for math and now I believe I can balance my books.

2. I used to believe I needed nine hours of sleep every night and now I believe seven hours works just fine.

3. I used to believe comic movies are a waste of time and now I believe they make you healthier.

4. I used to believe TV was an idiot machine and now I believe it is an exciting medium.

5. I used to believe working with a team was difficult and now I believe it can be wonderful.

We all change ideas as we move through life and that is a good and not-so-good thing. The trick is to retain the ideas that are still valuable and discard the ones that no longer serve us. It is useful to take an inventory from time to time just to clean up some of what needs to be changed.

As we inventory our beliefs, we may find we are hanging onto ideas that need to change. For example, you might want to take a look at some of your ideas about work divisions between men and women. Who does the housework? Who mows the lawn? How’s that working? How would you like to see it change?

As you do this inventory, be on the lookout for prejudice. You may have picked up some very narrow beliefs as a child. You know the kinds of things I’m talking about. One ethnic group can’t drive well. Another ethnic group is lazy. One gender is untrustworthy. Another gender is money hungry.

If there are any of these old pre-judgments hanging around in your consciousness, this is a great time to change.

Learning to look at life through a wider viewpoint can make you a more successful, much happier, and more successful person. When you open your mind to different ways of looking at things, you also become more creative.

Much of what we teach in our Centers for Spiritual Living has to do with allowing new ideas and new opportunities to come into our lives. We have a simple statement that we say over and over, “Change your thinking and change your life.”

Our Sunday talks, books and classes help us create better and better lives. If you are interested in knowing more about how to widen your ability to see clearly, check out my book, Science of Mind Skills. It is available through this blog or in your church bookstore.

Do something to build a wider mindset today.

Ask Yourself

List at least five ideas you have changed recently.

List at least three ideas you are considering changing now.

How do you plan to open your mind set?

 

 

 

 

 

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Getting Gladder

dareA friend, who was born in 1908, taught me to say, “Another day to be glad in” the first thing every morning. She learned it from her mother who was born around 1880. I now  teach it to people who were born in the 1990’s. That’s how wisdom grows, expands and evolves.

Some people are certain life is getting worse, not better. They talk about the “good old days” when life was simpler and better. Some believe in places like Shangri-La, ignoring the fact that the old movie is Hollywood fiction. Other people believe in lost islands of perfection such as Atlantis where everyone was spiritually advanced.

Actually, life is getting better all the time because we gain wisdom as we age and we learn from our mistakes. We impart that wisdom to the next generation. Individual lives vary but in general, we are living better now than we did in the past.

Being a caveman or woman makes good reading in the funny papers but there was no fire to keep us warm or cook our possums. And can you imagine childbirth in the Middle Ages? How about illness before we knew about germs?

There were some dreadful side effects to the industrial revolution but we enjoy the inventions the Age of Progress brought. Technology has improved many things. In my lifetime, I have seen so many labor saving and entertainment devices introduced to my home that it is hard to count them all. I once lived without TV and hung my clothes on outdoor lines.

Our emotional and spiritual natures have also improved. There was a time when theologians seriously doubted if women had souls and witches were burned at an astonishing rate. Only men could speak in church and women had to wear hats so their flowing locks wouldn’t tempt the men.

It’s fun to daydream about Somewhere Over The Rainbow where troubles melt like lemon drops but it simply isn’t true. Life was harder in the old days.

We are much better off today. Travel is easier. Food is better. Health is better. Our collective wisdom has improved things. Slavery may not be totally eradicated but it is rare and considered criminal instead of normal. Child labor is frowned on everywhere and usually against the law.  Thank God we educate girls in nearly every part of the world.

I also believe that people are growing wiser and kinder every day.  Think about it.  Aren’t you growing more loving and less judgmental as you mature? Aren’t you more interested in others than you were as a self-centered teenager?When life is longer and gentler, it follows that people treat each other better.

Ancient Egypt was supposed to be the seat of all spiritual wisdom but  it was a brutal place for the average man who  lived to be 35. Longevity enables us to mature spiritually. The phrase “We are one,”  takes on deeper meaning when we have young loved ones. Every age brings special joys.

We tend to glorify childhood but if you watch the park playground, you will notice that children are just learning to share. In fact, sharing is a major part of the kindergarten curriculum. Yes, I believe we are created as perfect, whole and complete and I observe that it takes most of us a while to discover our perfection. Most of us  improve with age.

We love the innocence of childhood but innocence implies the need to learn. Yes, kids can teach us some things but most of the time, we must teach the children. If the Master Teacher really told us to  become like children to enter the gates of heaven, we shouldn’t take that advice literally. No sensible adult aims for a return to childhood.  We call that senility.

It’s  best not to take the Bible literally. I would interpret the phrase “become like little children” to mean releasing the resentment and pain of the past. And the best way to release those old grievances and sad stories is to live in gratitude each day.

Wisdom can be learned and taught and that is how humans fulfill some of their spiritual potential. We are here to express God and the goodness of life and we expand in spiritual wisdom as we remember to be grateful. In New Thought, we define God as an ever-expanding evolutionary principle. Spirit is Infinite Power, Infinite Love, and Infinite Possibility. That word infinite means no limits. Spirit has no limits and neither do we.

We also know that we bring more of what we focus on into our lives. We keep our thoughts as light and bright as we can to bring more lightness and brightness to us. Over the years, I have learned to train my mind toward optimism and to lighten my dark moods.

How about you? Do you start your days with joy and enthusiasm? Do you believe life is good and getting better? Are you willing to learn? Do you want better days?

If you wish for better days but doubt the possibility your life could improve, why not experiment? Start a simple spiritual practice based on thanksgiving. Gratitude is a powerful tool and everyone can use it to kickstart the Law of Attraction.

What works for others must surely work for you because we are one. I’ve learned to use one of the  simplest and most effective spiritual practices I’ve encountered in my many years of study.

Here it is:  Before you finish your first cup of coffee in the morning, write “Another day to be glad in,” in your notebook. Then list ten things (or more) that you are grateful for.

I  believe you will find this is truly a mind and heart expanding practice, especially as it becomes a treasured habit. It will work in any situation. I’ve seen it pull people out of deep depression when practiced faithfully. I’ve often had it turn around  a day that promised difficulty but turned out great. Gratitude is a lot like magic.

There is always something to be grateful for. There are always people you love, natural things you admire, entertainments you enjoy, a some surprise event like a baby’s smile or a phone call to enjoy and put on your list.

Your list doesn’t have to be complicated. Just note the simplest things, like your coffee, your doggie, your petunias, tomorrow’s football game or your favorite aunt’s name.   By making the list, you take control and you will no longer feel so helpless. It will lift your spirits.

We can all control our emotional mindset if we acquire simple techniques such as gratitude lists. It took me a long time to learn that truth but I accept it now. I used to want to blame conditions or other people but I rejoice that I am in charge of my emotional life now.

Wisdom grows through our experience. Because we are intelligent humans, we can also learn from other people’s experiences. Even a simple idea such as taking charge of our emotions can be learned through practice. Sometimes it takes a while to embrace obvious truths but it can be done.

Ask Yourself

What’s on my list today?


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


Class Lessons

open005I taught my first New Thought History class on Thursday. My students are eager to learn.  I’d like more of them because I think our history is absolutely fascinating. The history is also helpful when your relatives ask those silly questions.

We’ve all had friends and relatives who asked questions that tell more about their bias than we could guess.

I’ve heard many questions in the last 25 years. Here are three favorites I can remember. “How can an intelligent woman fall for that hokum?” “How can I visit your church when I’m Jewish?” “What do you guys think about having sex outside of marriage?”

There is  one question that still tangles me up – “Is New Thought Christian?”

Do you get tongue tied when someone asks you if your church is Christian? Do you think Unity and Divine Science answer yes faster? I think it is possible because they were formed in the 1880’s. Religious Science came about 50 years later and I think the answer is more apt to be, “Yes and no.” It may also be a longer response.

Some New Thought people think we are practicing original Christianity because we teach what Jesus taught. On the other hand, some Fundamentalist Christians are certain our answer has to be no. They believe we can’t qualify as Christian because we ignore some of the Bible stories and don’t talk about sin.

New Thought is usually classified as Christian in encyclopedias because it evolved from earlier Christian denominations. That’s what the encyclopedias believe – but not all New Thought followers agree. Some don’t believe they are Christians. I think people in Unity, and Divine Science are more apt to say yes to the question because they were created in the 1880’s.

The founder of Religious Science, Ernest Holmes, was a prodigious student of religious and philosophical ideas. He gives a yes and no answer on PG 4 of our class textbook, The Philosophy of Ernest Holmes. He writes, “…we have roots in a very deep antiquity. …it has drawn its knowledge from all sources; it is not just a Christian philosophy, although it is a Christian denomination.

All New Thought denominations believe that everything comes from God. There is no split between body and soul. There is no battle between light and darkness or good and evil.  The belief in Oneness puts us in a rare stream of mystical teachers (including Jesus) that are all recorded and respected.

New Thought, whether the most modern aspects of Religious Science, or the most Christian aspects of Divine Science, are based on a mystical worldview. In other words – we may or may not be Christian but we are all mystics.

We are called mystics and we are also called idealists. Whether the word is mystic or idealist, we believe that everything comes from One Source – Spirit – the formless or invisible part of life. Although Holmes used his studies of many religious and philosophical sources to create the Science of Mind teaching, he never strayed from the idea of Oneness.

All New Thought uses this Oneness as a tool for spiritual healing. It was built on the knowledge of God or Spirit’s to heal. We recognized the mind/body connection early.

There is no sin in New Thought. We know that in the original Aramaic of the Bible, the word that is now translated as sin meant, “missing the mark.” Or error. We believe that people make mistakes but the essential nature or Spirit is never harmed and we will all eventually come to know ourselves as perfect, complete and whole. We also believe that life is eternal and consciousness continues to exist after what we call death or transition.

Technically, we don’t pray to rescue the sinner or heal the sick. We pray to see the spiritual Truth. The Truth we pray for is already there and we want to realize it through our prayer.  Holmes says the result is not a healing but a revealing.

That is an important thing for practitioners to remember when they pray for others. They are working to know the person they pray for is already perfect, whole, and complete at the level of Spirit. As they pray, the Truth becomes apparent. That is both the mysticism of the Christian mystics and the idealism of the Greek Idealists.

Next week we will explore the Greek roots of New Thought in my class. We will learn about Greek philosophers such as Plato and his follower, Plotinus. My students will also learn that Ernest Holmes had a  brilliant, and inquisitive mind. He was a self-directed student and he knew his classical history.

Holmes knew and loved Emerson who also embraced Oneness and idealism. But that was not all of the story. Emerson and Holmes also knew about Asian religions and that led them to a world view we call mysticism. Mysticism also runs throughout the history of Christianity. Leaders like St. Augustine, Hildegard of Bingham and Meister Eckhart  gain fame as New Thought grows.

Emerson was greatly influenced by the work of one Christian mystic, Emmanuel Swedenborg. He also read  some basic Asian texts. Scholars trace the influence of Hindu and Buddhist texts that on  Clipper ships into the Boston harbor.

This history makes a pattern of Love and Light. Holmes loved Emerson and he also loved the Bible. He ended up with a mystical teaching that was influenced by classical philosophy, Asian religions, and the teachings of Jesus. When Holmes found the work of Thomas Troward, an Englishman who lived in India most of his life, he was able to build a powerful intellectual structure for spiritual healing. He called it Science of Mind.

Some people are disappointed when they learn that Ernest Holmes was basically a synthesizer. He didn’t receive his message from on High. He collected the best from myriad sources and had the ability to weave it together. Actually, I believe that the fact that Holmes took from a variety of sources makes his genius even more rare. The combination of his studies, seasoned by his unique, inventive and magnificent mind, created a thoroughly modern religion.

We are studying the strands of wisdom that Ernest Holmes knit into this wonderful, teaching, philosophy, and religion. I’m confident my students will gain a great respect for using the Science of Mind in their lives.

I’m not so sure it will give them a snappy answer to that Christianity question. But is it important to ask  questions about classifying a belief system?  Isn’t it better to ask, “How do I use this wisdom?”

Ask Yourself

If I believe I am perfect, how will that look?

If I let go of feeling wrong, guilty or sinful, how will that look? Feel?

Do I have any special sources for my beliefs?

Do I have special stories about my beliefs?

What would I like to know more about?


Future Churches?

touchTerry Guilfoyle presented an excellent lesson on social networking to the ministerial class recently. As he talked, I got the image of powerful connections and unlimited information going to isolated humans. Is this the future of our churches?

Can it really be true that the average person spends so many hours on  Facebook every week? Does anyone meet at work or socially anymore? In the near future, will conversation between friends take place solely on Skype? Are Sunday services obsolete?

As I learned more about our future and current technology, I felt a bit like an dinosaur. I can’t use my cell phone in my house. I read hand-held books. I don’t have an MP3 player, and I’m told they are already obsolete. I don’t have a  twitter account.

I do have a blog and a website plus a pretty substantial presence on Google so that makes me an early adapter for my age group. However, my age group isn’t running the show anymore.

Certainly, technology is a blessing. I love getting immediate information and I believe governments will be less brutal because of instant world news. It is good for grandparents who live far away from their grandchildren. It has made my life as a writer easier. I’m hopeful because I’ve seen marvelous technological developments in my lifetime.

Also, I am interested in history and I know immigrants left their native lands to sail to America and were never heard from again. Now, my Korean grand daughter-in- law talks to her parents often and flies home about once a year.

Despite the obvious improvements, I have some questions about the impact of modern technology. My worries  may sound cranky but they real concerns. Does anyone major in philosophy, art or English anymore? Do you notice how short books are now? Do you know any youth who reads books? And, despite our laborsaving devices, where has our leisure time gone?

Mostly, I wonder how people will gain wisdom in this new world? You get many facts on Google but how will young people learn to reason? Facts do not make us wise. Where will we learn to think and draw conclusions? Will we be totally isolated from  wisdom teachers? No dialog?

Dr. Ernest Holmes, author of the Science of Mind Textbook says, “To learn how to think is to learn how to live.” While great wisdom comes from great literature and from great art and great philosophy, we need teachers to help us with discernment. Questions are very important in teaching.

Our parents teach us to love if we are lucky. They are our first wisdom teachers. Grandparents are great for transmitting unconditional love. Some classroom teachers have the ability to believe in their students and they can be a great gift. Think back to your earlier years. Where did you learn your wisdom? The most effective way to attain wisdom is by being with wisdom teachers and soaking up their mental atmosphere.

Transmission of consciousness from teacher to student or grandparent to grandchild doesn’t happen as effectively over Skype. While people like Oprah have made an impact on our culture, the flatness of the TV screen and distance of the teacher greatly lessens the impact. Commercials don’t help. Wisdom implies a transmission of Spiritual consciousness from a wise person to another.

TV is better than nothing, but we need community and union. I fear that online classes will not be the same as a classroom with human spirit. Without true dialog, the ability to ask questions and exchange ideas, our learning will be limited. Will future youth become more and more isolated from wiser humans? I hope not.

Some of my fear may be because the world has already changed so much during my lifetime. I’m grateful for inventions like; polio shots, penicillin, TV, computers, fax machines, microwaves, clothes dryers and automatic transmissions on cars.

Of course, there were also all those war weapons that have not served us well. Technology can be as terrifying as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein predicted. In my youth we feared nuclear war. Today, drones are terrifying because there is not even a human pilot to drop the bomb. Surely it is easier to sit in an isolated computer room and kill than to fly over and actually see the destruction.

We are dealing with lickety-split change and I am told that this is just the beginning. I can’t imagine watching a movie on my cell phone. I can’t imagine being an average person who spends so many hours  on Facebook either. But I do use more and more technology. And I am fascinated.

As a writer, I’ve worked at home, off and on, for many years. It is isolating and it makes me a bit peculiar. I find I need to balance my work with social activity. I am old and wise, so I take steps to stay balanced. Kids who hang out in the basement playing killer video games for hours and hours are not apt to be wise or well-balanced.

More and more people are living alone and working alone. Many are home schooling their children. We take classes on line and we meet our marriage partners on line. Will we be wise and stay balanced? Is Facebook enough social life?

Despite my doubts, social isolation is already here for many and more is coming to all of us soon. Some futurists predict that neighborhood churches are on their way out. They suggest our spiritual experiences will soon come from computers or smart phones. I don’t believe it!

There is no way to replace the love, wisdom, fun, and connection that Sunday church services provide. Every Sunday, I leave my home church feeling blessed by the wonderful community I find in my Center For Spiritual Living in Carlsbad.

I love having recent talks appear as podcasts on our website. I love listening during the week just for a pick-me-up. But I can’t imagine that just watching or listening on the website or UTube is the same as sitting in church surrounded by the warm auras of other humans.

It doesn’t surprise me that researchers say the happiest people are churchgoers. There is nothing that can replace the sense of loving union with God, with life, and with each other.  There is something about the feeling of connection on Sundays and in classes that is so heartwarming, so inspirational, and so loving, that I wouldn’t trade church services for anything on any machine.

A good spiritual experience changes us forever. It is actually the easiest way to get in touch with the Creative Energy that we call God. That interaction of love between us is important and holy. It is irreplaceable.

I look forward to seeing you next Sunday and be sure you turn off your cell phones.

Ask Yourself

Am I alone more than I want?

Do I need a new balance in my life?

Do I need to learn more about technology?


Gratitude Lists Work

magicelephant_n*Note -This post is from 11/11/11 and it’s raining again today. I have so many more readers I thought I’d  rerun it and take a nap. I still  believe every word except the intro. My health is fine and I’m happy. …..  I wake before the alarm but I am not in great spirits. The weather has changed and it is cold. I’m worried about someone I love. My health isn’t as good as it was last year. I wish I had more money saved. Since these were my first thoughts of the morning, my first act is to make a gratitude list.

The first thing I learned in my first 12 Step program 38 years ago was to start my day with a gratitude list. It was a great spiritual practice and I still use it. Since I started, my life has truly turned around and I’ve found that a gratitude list works like magic. It will change my mood almost immediately and I have come to rely upon this simple practice.

Now that I’m a student of Science of Mind, I know that writing a gratitude list is a way of moving my mind as well as lifting my heart with the simple stroke of a pen or touch of the keyboard. It cheers me up to think about things I have instead of things I want. I am happier when I remember to focus on things I love instead of things I worry about.  It also sends a direct message to the Infinite Mind of God that I claim more of the good stuff in my life. I accept the best.

Expressing gratitude for the hundred dollars I have in the bank is a much more effective way to build prosperity than praying for the thousand dollars I think I need because the way spiritual laws work is that what I focus on is what I get. When I focus on lack, I get more lack. When I focus with love on the money I have, I will get more love and more money. Expressing gratitude is very effective way to work with the spiritual law of attraction.

The Universal Mind we call God functions on spiritual law. You attract what you are. If you are wrapped in a feeling of doom and gloom about money and your inner refrain is “Not enough” that is the message you are sending to the law of attraction. You are sowing scarcity and it is impossible for you to reap anything but more scarcity. While not everyone understands this, spiritual laws work exactly the same for us all. God does not take a vacation, play favorites or make exceptions.

Never mistake it, making a list of the things you love in your life is a direct prayer to claim more of that good. The best part of all when using gratitude lists is that you don’t have to believe in it or even be hopeful, you just need to make that list. This simple, straightforward spiritual practice does not require any deep intellectual conviction or religious faith. Just about everyone can find something he or she is grateful for, no matter how bleak things look.

I challenge you to make a list of 10 or more things every morning for a month and see how your life improves. You will obviously be more cheerful. That is a psychological fix that will help but a consistent practice of gratitude will do more than cheer you up, it will bring more of what you enjoy into your life. Keep your list simple and honest and it will work well.

My ten things for this morning? 1. The money I currently have in the bank. 2. The distance my loved one has already come. 3. The weather here in San Diego (even on the bad days). 4. My grandson visits today. 5. My coffee is good. 6. My beautiful home. 7. My new novel to read. 8. I’m going to a museum today. 9. My Science of Mind teaching. 10. My prayer partner. … Now that I’ve made that list I’m in a new place of heart and mind and could go on to list another 90, for sure.

Ask Yourself

How many things can you list that you are grateful for in the next fifteen minutes?

Will you try making a list of ten things you are grateful for every day this week?


It’s All Her Fault!

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I’m amazed! I thought we won these battles a long time ago, yet I see on the evening news that state after state is closing in on women’s freedom to choose. A woman should have a choice about what to do with her own body.  Is this a time warp and it is 1960?…Otherwise there is no excuse for this nonsense.  

For a while, I was a home teacher and one of my students was a shy, lovely young woman who had been told she couldn’t come to school because she was pregnant and might “contaminate” other girls.

She got caught in an unwanted pregnancy and chose to carry the child to full term. No matter what her choices were after the child was born, this was a setback for her and her life plans. It was a long time ago.

We all face setbacks in life and she had the intelligence to manage better than most unwed mothers. If it was her decision to keep her child, she was headed toward poverty, according to the statistics. If she chose to have her child adopted, that was fine although there could be psychological issues. She had some difficult choices to make.

I didn’t know her well and we didn’t talk personally. She was a good student and I tried to teach her well. I remember I thought it was very unfair to kick her out of school but life was very unfair for women. It’s a sure bet that the baby’s father didn’t have to leave.

Abortions were still not legal and I have no idea if she would have wanted one but the point is, she didn’t have a safe choice. Every woman deserves a choice!

That was a long time ago and times have changed. Teens now are usually allowed to finish school and some of the girls are allowed to choose a special school where they also get parenting classes.

I wrote a book called Young Parents once and I learned from the research. If the girls choose to keep their kids, they were statistically doomed to poverty for the remainder of their lives. Of course there are exceptions but most teen parents struggle for years. Almost none have a baby’s father who stays in the picture.

When I taught high school, back in the Sixties, I heard kids say you couldn’t get pregnant the first time. Some of those kids also believed that you had to “really enjoy it” before you could get pregnant.

Those kids  were sixteen years old and it was more than fifty years ago.  United States Congressmen and State Representatives are a long way from  high school. Some of them spouted ideas on the news that were more nonsensical ideas than any I have ever heard from a teenager.

Why are they really against Planned Parenthood? Why are they attempting to whittle away at abortion clinics? I can’t believe they are motivated by religion or they’d be more religious about helping the children who are already here.  I think they must believe that their views will bring them more votes from people who fear change.

These fearful voters are the same ones who are routinely trying to keep poor people from voting. They also want more guns and they are anti-immigration and the list goes on. If dinosaurs ran for office, the change-adverse voters would rush to vote for them. Oops! Dinosaurs do run.

Resistance to change concerns me but I really get hot about the shutting down of abortion centers and the persecution of Planned Parenthood organizations because I have a great long term memory.

In my day, girls were routinely blamed for getting pregnant. We were supposed to know better and understand that boys had “needs” that would drive them to distraction. It was up to us girls, when we went on a date, to keep our wits about us and our knees shut.

During this last election, I heard several political figures spouting the same nonsense. I even heard one candidate claiming that women cannot get pregnant if they are “legitimately” raped. That is probably based on my 1960’s students’ belief that you had to enjoy it before it worked to make babies.

If my news station is to be believed, that is a fairly common belief today. I had never heard that particular canard until recently, but apparently it has been around a long time in the right-to-life circles. Do they old guys still chuckle and say, “If rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it?”

All of this is just another alarming sign of the age-old prejudice against women. Whether it is a judge who blames the rape victim because she wear the wrong clothes or the neighbor who blames the teenage girl for going out with that wild boy, it always centers on the idea that it is all her fault.

How about your family? If you have children and grandchildren, what are you teaching them? Do you tell the girls to be careful and the boys to have fun? I hope not.

As a retired Religious Science minister, I’m supposed to look on the positive side and I usually do. The positive side here is that it will all change despite some people’s attempts to block progress. And I’m positively glad to know that New Thought arose, to make progress and accepting women as equals was part of that forward movement.

Many feminists deny all the traditional teachings as being anti-female and patriarchal. Their interest is in ancient teachings featuring goddesses and that is an interesting development. I’m glad they are doing it but I’m happy to see there are other attempts to the nonsense in the dominant religions.

Some people see the Bible as an old fashioned book that promotes men into leadership positions of power. They say blaming the woman is a common theme in the Old Testament.

True – there are a lot of stories about women enticing men to sin, probably because men wrote the book. Whether it is Eve, Delilah or Jezabel, these Biblical characters are nasty ladies. Some of the traditional churches seem to hang on to those attitudes, stating that women cannot be priests or ministers and the man is head of the household.

But most of the traditional churches are moving away from those beliefs based on stories written thousands of years ago. Protestant seminaries are crammed with women studying to be ministers. We are living in more enlightened times.

I don’t worry so much about what the churches say anyway. If someone chooses to believe that sex without a desire to conceive is a sin and not use birth control, that is personal business. It becomes impersonal when freedom of choice for every woman is threatened.

I think this is a good time to take a good look at the issue of women’s rights in general and check out your own attitudes about sexual behavior. Is it all the woman’s fault in your world?

Ask Yourself

Do I want to change any of my personal attitudes?

Do I want to investigate this issue?

Do I want to tell my legislators how I feel?