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Monthly Archive August 2019

Be a candle in the darkness

by Rev. Elizabeth Rowley,
Spiritual Director
August 9, 2019

See if you can carve out at least five minutes of silence for yourself each day this week. Pure silence, which is to relax into the quiet stillness of the moment. Observe thoughts passing through your mind like clouds in the sky. Don’t be taken away by them; notice them and let them pass by. The thoughts will become fewer and farther between until a moment comes when there is no thought. It feels eternal.

Relax into the vast expanse of the silence as if it were a giant fluffy cloud holding you securely in place. Feel the loving presence of the Divine wrap Its arms around you and hold you in Its gentle embrace. More thoughts may arise, allow them to pass by; they will return. Right now, it’s your time to relax and feel the calmness that lives within you. You are light and weightless, and nothing can harm you.

As you notice your thoughts are beginning to settle like snowflakes in a snow globe, you feel all tension leave your body. Look around and see the beauty surrounding you. Notice the majestic trees and bushes, animals and insects, the sky and clouds. Realize your connection to everything.

You understand there is an entire world within you which wants your attention; just as there is a whole world outside of you, with many things competing for your attention at any given moment.

Give your inner world your attention. The kingdom within you is calling.

We are all feeling the effects of the recent horrific events in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton. Some of our members have asked me where to find God in the situation. I’ve spent some time in quiet contemplation searching for It, and I found It right here where I am, within me. It’s here at the very core of my being. It is there where you are too. I believe we are called to quit searching for someone or something out there to bring peace to us and instead to be the peace we seek.

We don’t have control of others, and we can’t afford to be seduced by the fear and anger being fed to us, allowing it to consume us. We do have control of ourselves, and how we choose to respond to the circumstances and conditions in our lives.

Feel your feelings and spend time in the silence.

Search your heart for what you’re called to do and who you’re called to be in the world, then do and be that. Be a beacon of light and love, shining brightly within your consciousness first, and then out to all. Be a place of peace and calm amid turmoil and chaos. Be a candle in the darkness. Rather than merging with and succumbing to the darkness of the recent horrific events, shine brighter than ever before. What the world needs right now is your light and love.

And so it is.

Grateful, thankful, and blessed

by Rev. Elizabeth Rowley,
Spiritual Director
August 2, 2019

Did you know that gratitude is excellent for your health?  Studies have shown that the practice of gratitude leads to greater happiness, increased energy, improved kidney function, reduced blood pressure, and a stronger heart!  Every night before bed, I list at least five things I’m grateful for that day before drifting off to sleep.  When I wake up in the morning, I list at least five things I’m thankful for in my day ahead, appreciating the blessings in advance, setting my intention for the great unfoldment of the day.  Then I go out and experience my best day ever.

When paying bills, I like to say a little prayer of gratitude as I send off the money.  Thank you PG&E for the gift of light and heat; Spectrum, for the gift of internet access; garbage man, for picking up the waste; water company, for the steady flow all month; AT&T for phone calls, text messages, and more!  Most importantly, thank you, sweet Spirit, for expressing as all of these companies and services provided.

Hot showers and baths, washing dishes, doing laundry, staying warm, cooking, storing delicious healthy food; streaming Netflix, Amazon, HBO, and music; surfing the internet, working from home, checking email and posting to Facebook are all made possible to us because of you!  What a gift!

I am overflowing with appreciation as I bless this exchange of money for the excellent utilities and services provided and joyfully send it forth to heal, bless, and prosper! It’s God in action, and I’m grateful.

You can activate the law of attraction when you sit down and write that for which you are grateful.  The gratitude may come slowly first: one here, one there, then, suddenly the spigot is turned wide open, and everything you’re thankful for comes flooding out, faster than you can write them down.  The grateful hose is unkinked, and you begin to understand how blessed you are.

One beautiful day my beloved and I were hiking a hill behind our condo.  We were talking, laughing, and starting to feel the ache from the hike in our bodies.  We began to share back and forth things for which we were grateful.  We stopped for a moment to drink some coffee.  I looked down on the ground and saw rocks in the formation of a heart.

Before sharing our gratitude, we were just walking on a rocky, dirt hill and feeling the ache from it.  After the gratitude sharing, it was as if we had received a kiss from the universe.  At that moment, we felt connected to all of life. There was a lightness about us, and we practically skipped to the top of that hill.

Try this affirmation on for size:  I’m grateful, thankful, and blessed.  My heart overflows in appreciation for all that is. I am gifted, shifted, and lifted. I’m on the high side of awesome at the top of my game.  Thank you.

And so it is.