Unfoldment – A Unity Talk

‘A time will come when your innermost voice will speak to you, saying ‘This is my path, here I shall find peace, I will pursue this path, come what may’ If you will persist and are patient, and above all never lose faith, your path will lead you unerringly to your goal’

~ White Eagle

My Mom worked nights a lot when I was growing up. My brother and I would make prank phone calls when she was out of the house during some of those evenings. I don’t feel that old, but this was the era after party lines and before caller ID when one could get away with such things. Anyone here remember those days when telephones all rolled thru Ma Bell, looked like a prop in THE MATRIX movies, only came in black & sat on that little telephone table in the corner of the living room where nothing else but a pole lamp would fit? They had short wires, so you had to sit like you were at your desk in Catholic school, dial the number and wait for an answer. And somebody was always home at night, yea?

So me n Joey would open the phone book for a local number. We’d point to a name and one of us would dial – yes, DIAL – a number, listening for that answering voice. We’d already be giggling and shushing each other – this needed quiet to pull off rightly.

“Hello?” would come the nice voice from thru the receiver. In his best and deepest voice, Joey would ask quite seriously, “Is your refrigerator running?” When the puzzled reply came back, “Well, yes, as a matter of fact it is…” he’d deliver the punch line: “Don’t you think you oughtta go catch it?” (Now this was the time when TV was still live, comics never said a bad word, and Ed Sullivan ruled) So I can only apologize for the vast humor we found in such stupid tricks… The next night we might call the same number to ask: “Does your nose run? Do your feet smell?” Sometimes we’d get a squawked “who IS this?” but most of the time we’d get a straight reply. If the poor innocent answered yes, we hollered out together: “You were built upside down!” before snorting with laughter and banging the phone receiver down.

Aren’t you glad the world has changed so much? Aren’t you glad I have changed so much? Or have I? My jokes have gotten so much better, but that’s because I take notes on others’ now.ar

For all our technology, it is still not that hard to take someone’s day apart. It’s just harder to do it anonymously. At the center where we live our truest life as spiritual beings, we are very tender creatures. We need to handle each other with care. We need to handle ourselves with care. But often as we unfold, we rip off the beautiful petals we grow to litter the battlefields where we fight.

All the words spoken on this platform here at our little Unity are about love, no matter what the topic for a Sunday may be. As Unitics, we just don’t muck around in judgment and defamation. Our God is more internalized, less “out-there’ish” Our God doesn’t have to anoint us with oils, for we are ourselves the beautiful essential oils perfuming heaven itself. Our good deeds, our helpful natures, our firm reaction of love in the face of fear all feed the loop that runs from our inner Godself to those of our relationships. Animals, gardens, foods, heaven & earth & especially our bright loving souls form the firmament of a heaven we dream of so seriously. Our conception & hopefully, our perception, of God are not the exclusive of master/subject in either direction. Rather it is the co-creative, procreative, energetic presence of God which infuses our lives with laughter, goodwill, thanksgiving, health & togetherness. If we say, all for one, we mean God at our center. If we say one for all, we mean God at our center. Every day we discover the God in our lives to be closer than we ever thought, deeper than we could ever know, more loving than all the great hero stories we’ve heard. And we love our hero stories, no?

My worst-case scenario is guilt. Hey! I come by it honestly. I was raised a Catholic and my first mother-in-law was Jewish. One day I woke up to a great way to externalize my inward mental yelling at myself. I had asked for a way to neutralize that little drone-voiced, green-shaded accountant in there going, “Uh huh, now you’ve done it!” Whatever “it” was.

I figured out that just about all the people who had yelled at me in my life pointed a finger at me first. So when I yelled at myself, I pointed at myself. Well, this was much like the old jokes I used to pull. It was too funny not to laugh aloud at. So I pretty much overcame yelling at myself for stuff. One of my husbands used to get SO MAD at me because I never apologized. I had read in some book early on that I AM are the God-words, so to say “I am sorry” was giving up in a peculiarly wrenching way. He got over it after the divorce.

Recently a modern-day philosopher I follow, Neil Kramer, said, “We live in a hit and run society.” I found that particularly descriptive. But after years of observing this development, I have also brought about a change in myself and how I play the blame game. I call it “unfoldment.”

Think about it: Your life is all about unfolding. If you watch an infant sleeping, they unfold with every breath. Children unfold almost explosively – they can go from zero to sixty in five seconds. They unfold in the light of a loving parent’s eyes. We grow in the light of a loving Creator who looks deeply, expressively, into our eyes each time we see a relative, a friend, a four-leg, or even a leaf opening on our favorite plant or tree. I watch trees all the time. Delaware is the greenest state I’ve ever been in with lots of open space where green grows. Daily, I drive past fields which are unfolding in a panoply of colors. Daily, I marvel at the face they show me that day. Our magnificent ocean is always unfolding, isn’t it? We call this unfolding “waves.” Each time you go to the beach, there is that moment of kinetic growth – the wave crests – when all unfolds into surrender on the beach. So we, too, rise on currents of lovingkindness to bathe another in our sheer-light beauty – one human unfolding to another.

We keep ourselves from spiritual stagnation – another phrase of Kramer’s – when we do that which is ours to do. Like the lotus growing in a water meadow, the petals of our sacred consciousness unfold. Hindu how-to books will tell you the crown chakra, the spirit connection to higher states of consciousness in the universe consists of a lotus with ten thousand petals. Ten thousand! Do you think that might require some unfolding?

The acorn is assuredly not an oak tree, but it will be when it finishes unfolding. Our DNA unfolds us as surely as our Yoga teacher tries to. Whether we wish to unfold or not, whether we want to or not…the saving grace is to bring humor into it because a laugh will save us faster than anything else.

Unfolding is seen as a guerrilla tactic by the ego which wants everything to stay just the same so it can tell you you’re boring, unbeautiful and ten thousand other untrue things. At this age, ego & I arm-wrestle every day. That’s how I got this crooked elbow, y’see? It’s been hard! But I won every time I got a giggle going and since I’m the easiest person to laugh at I know, it’s been a little less taxing for me along the way, I think.  Ego is so perfect, it wants to run in place. While only showing the good profile side. We get exercised, but we don’t get any new scenery in the viewfinder. Allowing ego to call the shots is like putting an Evinrude in the bathtub. The agitation gives some cheap thrills, but you really don’t get anywhere. Ego serves a purpose, but “serves” is the keyword in that sentence. Ego is the servant of your spirit. If we can keep our ego out of the driver’s seat, we hold the space for our heart to steer the way.

How will you encourage your heart and soul to unfold? What can you do to make it so? What will make you feel bigger, better, faster, more? We all have a personal candle lit inside of us. There’s an old saying that a candle loses nothing when it lights another. Don’t wait for a stroke of lightning to enlighten you. Pick up your journey-staff and walk out to the road to meet the world.

Try it. DO it. Allow yourself to simply unfold into Who You Really Are. It’s just beautiful!

 

 

Talking to Myself

I think I talked to myself constantly as a child, discussing the weather, listing my possessions, reading aloud to hear the story, too. I recall it being a reassuring commentary, full of exclamation points. It was sometimes a litany of guilts to bring to Confession. (No life lives without sin, the Church assured me frequently.) I rehearsed what I’d say to my Mom when I was late getting home. I muttered impressions of innocent passers-by. I used curse words spoken under my breath upon those who stepped in front of my bicycle just as I was getting to speed. I implored saints, angels, God & Mary to help relieve whatever powerlessness currently being experienced…

When sent to my room, I breathed imprecations at life’s unfairness.

Fortunately, now a so-called adult – ahem – senior citizen, I consider aloud all the reasons why I left my shopping list at home while searching the food aisles.

Sometimes people stare sidelong at me when I whisper an emphatic “Yes!” upon recalling some item. But I hear them reading the cereal names out loud while pushing their carts up ahead.

I’m sure I’m on tape everywhere, mouth moving, reciting something or other or laughing at an internal joke.

My morning coffee brings on a lively discussion of the day with the steam rising from the cup. I find nomenclature a great source of satisfaction: enjoying the bright weedy wildflowers out loud as I walk, croaking back to crows, commenting on shapes of clouds. I ask my feet to be careful walking over cattle guards (which mildly freak me out to walk across.) I greet the stone angels as I pass the cemetery.

Oh, Lord. If you’re going to send the guys in white coats, make sure they’re packing a size Large net, ok?

My roommate laughs when she hears me walking to the kitchen “aloud.”

I talk back to the hungry cat, tell the howler next door to “just shut up, will ya?” I sound out my life under cottonwoods while above, the turkey vultures spread their papery wings for takeoff.

Attempts to curb this enthusiasm seem doomed to end unsuccessfully. I’m recorded on every government listening post with some ongoing life commentary. I know the trolls with their headphones are yawning when they hear the tapes. It doesn’t get much more ordinary than me, after all.

Last Friday, I was an hour early for my Yoga class, forgetting the schedule had shifted. When I arrived back home, walking in the door announcing, “I’m home!” to my roomie, I heard her talking away to herself in the shower: “Ow! It’s cold! It’s really cold. OMG, the weather’s changing so fast…”

I rest my case, ladies & gentlemen. Nothing to hear, here, just keep moving along, please.

Miracle Thinking – A Unity Talk

MIRACLE THINKING

When I am asked what I would like to talk about, often the words come from my mouth before I can plan them. When I asked if I could speak on 12/6, the question returned: “What will you talk about?” I immediately typed “Miracle Thinking.” Then I looked at my computer, and said to myself, “miracle thinking?”

But, ya know, I’ve been doing this for a while now. Of course I wasn’t always like this. Somewhere the switch flipped from negative to positive & it ain’t never going back. I know that now. Some years ago you wouldn’t have convinced me of any reality about positive thinking even with a hypnotist in the room waving a watch, saying “you are getting sleepy.”

What’s a miracle? The Spanish word for sight is “mira”, so could a miracle simply be a different way of seeing things? I think it must be. I know once I move out from the surprise, kind of back up with the camera, a really wide angle emerges. When I can get the panoramic view, I have it made. The water changes to wine with a snap! And with all my experience, I’m still surprised to drink from the glass.

Sometimes miracles happen even when I’m clearly not in a state to anticipate them. When I graduated massage school in 1996, I was living with a woman named Nancy. I came later to call Nancy my roommate from hell & she kindly reciprocated by proving that out to me in no uncertain terms. Of course, Nancy was one of my best teachers.

Nancy knew a woman named Ruth. Ruth lived in Montana & wished to open a community for women healers. I had spent five months living in an intentional community in upstate New York & I loved the idea! And I felt I was a healer, hey, I just graduated massage school, yea?

Nancy & I shared a lot of fear & upset on that trip from Albuquerque to Montana. I had a vehicle; she didn’t. She sprained her ankle two days before we were to leave, I could climb on top of the car to pack stuff. She was getting unemployment while I had no visible means of support, having just graduated from being a starving student, to being a starving graduate. So after living together for six weeks in a room in Missoula, Montana, I finally got a job. In my LIFE, it’d never taken me six weeks to get a job. I knew Nancy was running really low on any desire to have me around and our disagreements were escalating. That second day I came home from work, which was third shift waitress at a diner, she said she wanted me packed, out, and gone by noon that day.

I listen to my Divine Planners & even then, I had had an inkling that things were going poorly enough that this might happen. Did I bring on an eviction with thinking those thoughts? Maybe. But my antennae were out & I had investigated renting a room. I just needed more money than I had in hand at that moment. Later, getting thrown out of our little apartment would become the best thing in the world for me, but in the thin moment of her telling me to be gone by 12 & slamming the door to go visit Ruth while I packed, I considered my options. I had $35 that I had made in tips over the two nights I’d worked. I’d given Nancy $5 toward what I owed her – totally a token payment, but I was six weeks without any cash & feeling pretty needy.

When I looked into renting that room, I found out I needed $130 to move in. So, I had $30. Now, one week earlier, before I’d scored my waitress gig, I’d written to a friend in Jersey to ask if he could spare $50 to help me buy gas so I could look for a job.

I was muttering to myself while I packed; I figured I at least had enough on hand to find a campground to stay in. After about ten minutes of mushing my stuff into big gray tubs, there was a loud knocking on the door. I was already aggravated, & got even angrier as I yanked it open, figuring Nancy’d forgotten her key, wanted me out on this abbreviated timeline & now was making me stop packing to let her in. I was astonished to find the FedEx guy outside who handed me a cardboard envelope & that signature device they use. I scribbled my name & ripped open the tab of the envelope. There was a $100 bill inside from my friend; no note, no words, just a Ben Franklin from someone I had not been the kindest to when I last saw him. So how much money did I have? How much money did I need? And I love telling this story because each time I do, I am beautifully assured that the universe loves me enough to rescue me from myself. And up until that moment in time, becoming homeless was my biggest fear in life.

Miracle thinking gets easier each time a miracle happens. I stopped calling it “universe” & started calling it “youniverse” right then.

Randy Peyser has written a great little book called “The Power Of Miracle Thinking.” It’s a book of stories, anecdotes & ideas about how to get over yourself by reaching out for the best that is out there every time. I’m happy to say that just about everything in here is something I’ve practiced at some point. I have had miracles greet me at every turn & I make so many wrong turns my GPS stutters its directions.

Randy’s first notation is choose to be #1. The Japanese call it “Ichiban.” Number one. Are you number one in your own mind? And if you’re not, I hope you feel really guilty whenever someone says, “Well, you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first.” Because that is so TRUE! If you are not coming from a position of personal power that is rooted in personal worth your GPS probably isn’t going to work well at all.

From this internal strength & worth, from this place of belonging in the youniverse, you can ask for anything. If it’s right for you & if the timing is right for you, and if you have asked for it from a deeply felt understanding that it IS God’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom, it’s yours. Where is that worth & worthiness in you? If you had to understand it in the form of a standardized measurement, would you be living at 100%? Yes? No? What percentage are you living at? If you’re at 50%, how do you feel when you get half a miracle? Not me, baby. Recently I was at a dinner & when the hosts said they were having a raffle based on our ticket numbers, my first reaction was a mild, “wonder what I won.” My number was the first called & I won two tickets to ClearSpace Theatre.

Which leads to another of Randy’s premises: youniverse never says “yes…but” We say yes but all the time. We say, “Oh, sure I’d like to win the lottery, but that’ll never happen to me.” Or “I’d love to meet a terrific person in my life, but I don’t want my heart to get broken again.” 50% anyone?

You can’t find a miracle sitting in your easy chair, eating Doritos, watching TV & wishing for something different. Sorry, but you need to get off your duff & get out there & happen to life like you’ve wanted life to happen to you. You’ve gotta find the miracle you want by offering yourself up to it. And you have to allow the miracle. How many times has someone offered you something terrific & you’ve said, “oh, no, I couldn’t accept that!” I can’t tell you the number of times someone’s told me they’re hurting & could really use a massage so I say, “sure, come see me.” And I never hear from them. Of course the first reaction is money; but even when I say, just come see me, no charge! No call. It’s not an insult to be offered a gift. It’s often a need in the giver to even offer it out. I have had to retrain myself to simply say, “Why Thank You So Much!” when I am offered a gift in this way.

I am still learning to be a good receiver & that being in receivership doesn’t mean I’m bankrupt at all. Need some practice? There’s an exercise offered in the Abraham writings by Esther Hicks where Abraham recommends writing fake checks. He says to get your abundance muscles going, work them out by using an old checkbook to write yourself a check for some wonderful amount, say, a million dollars. Then focus your attention on what you would do with a million dollars. Next day, write a check for two million. What’ll you do with that? Make a list! I got up to about 16 million before I simply got tired of giving away money. By then, I had the idea well-fixed that I wouldn’t be keeping much of it, so I figured I was copacetic with the idea. Do this! It will awaken your abundance in a real way that’s also a feel-good, fun exercise! There’s a story told that one night in 1990 when Jim Carrey was a struggling young comic trying to make his way in Los Angeles, he drove his old, beat-up Toyota to the top of a hill. While sitting there, broke, looking down over the city, and dreaming of his future, he wrote himself a check for $10 million, put in the notation line ‘for acting services rendered,’ and dated it for Thanksgiving 1995. He stuck that check in his wallet – and the rest, as they say, is history.

By 1995, Jim had seen the tremendous success of Ace Ventura, Pet Detective, The Mask and my personal favorite, Liar, Liar. His per film fee at that point had escalated to $20 million.

Visualize what you want. Sit still & feel how it feels to have what you want. World Peace? High-heeled sneakers? New golf clubs? How does it feel to be pulling those puppies around the golf course right now? Empower the feeling to bring it alive. Love the idea into being!

Always think in terms of this or something better. When I found the apartment I’m living in, the landlord said he had a few more people to interview before offering it, but he’d be in touch. Well, I felt pretty strongly in my gut it was mine – it’s the ideal size, it had absolutely everything on my list but one thing – remember the list, people? And when I make a list, I include everything on it. I even use a steno pad so I can have two columns. Still, when he said he had to talk to others, all my doubts rose up – did I make enough money? Was I ever going to get my own place? Apartments aren’t easy to come by near the shore, they’re either outrageously priced for a single person or simply not available. As I drove away from this gorgeous place what came into my head was the phrase: “this, or something better.” And I felt great again. I didn’t know what could be better than having an apartment over Derrickson Creek with everything I wanted, but I knew that it would have to be really spectacular. And I was comforted by that thought: Wow! What could be better? All right!

Another story: when I realized I wanted to travel cross-country, I wished for a van. I made a list of everything the van would have. The last requirement was that it be blue b/c I’ve always wanted a blue car. I had a small inheritance from my Mom to use. I focused on the van, I prayed, I visualized myself driving it, sitting up there over the road… no van. Weeks passed & the summer was ending & I had to get on the road soon and…no van. So I reviewed the list. I erased the “blue van” from it. Within a week I had a maroon van & the prior owner was a short man, so I didn’t even have to adjust the driver’s seat.

If you are stuck with a picture of something you don’t want, or if you are experiencing a health challenge, don’t hesitate to ask the Big Eraser to come in. My sister experienced this. When a loved one she knew sustained terrible, disfiguring burns, she went to see him in hospital. He passed away from his injuries, but Teri was left with an awful image of someone she dearly loved. One day when she just couldn’t seem to get this picture out of her head & was again choking up about it, a huge pencil came into her mind, turned itself over & rubbed out the image top to bottom. She never experienced saw her dear one that way again & remembers this person as the beautiful spirit he was. Youniverse will take care of you!

Bring Joy into your alignment with life. Youniverse likes a good target; make it easy to find you. “Hey, over here, good things! Yeah, me! I’m the one living rightly, I’m the happy person who found the pony in the room full of manure…c’mon down, I’m SO ready to be gifted by your presence.”

The best part is youniverse always has a bigger plan for you than you have for yourself. It isn’t about having the right answer so much as it’s about asking the Right Question. Lighten up & just do it: live your joy in life, don’t dip your happiness into the misery of another – that’s like getting the candle burning & dropping it into the sea.

If all this sounds like the impossible dream, stay awake.

So, take a deep breath & listen with both ears as I finish the story I started at the beginning of this talk. Here’s how one miracle fuels another. In the room of the house I stayed in after I left Nancy, there were many things Youniverse gave to me. A calendar of Ansel Adams photos – breathtaking. Books & cassettes which had been abandoned. Most intriguing to me was a pair of really good sneakers, but I’m a size 8 & these were 9’s. I kept them anyway, thinking maybe I could just wear two pairs of socks. These were expensive sneakers, well made, very sturdy. But after I’d been at the house for a few weeks, one day the phone rang & it was my dear friend, Ed & his good friend, Jerry. Ed asked me how much longer I was going to stay in Montana. I told him I had no plans to return – but what I didn’t mention was that it was only ‘cause I was mortally embarrassed to have made such a mess by moving there. Here I was waitressing the midnight shift, barely getting to do any massage. I couldn’t face going back to ABQ to tell my friends how much I had disappointed myself by leaving there. But when Jerry said “Ed, tell her WHY you called” and Ed said, “Carol, I have cancer. I want you to come back to work on me.” I simply said, “Ed, I’ll be there in two weeks.” And I started packing once again. I had lots to think about on those 1,100 miles. And I got to travel back through some of the most beautiful country these eyes will ever see, down through Utah’s Moab Valley, visiting Canyonlands & Arches National Park.

The night after I’d returned, I drove over to La Montanita for some health foods for the larder. A woman was sitting barefoot in the parking lot, begging everyone to give her shoes. “They took my shoes,” she said to me as I walked by. “What size?” I asked. “Size 9,” she replied. “Just a sec,” I said. And walked back to the van to get those sneakers.

I like to think Youniverse offered me the opportunity to be her miracle.

Think love, think empowerment & most of all, think MIRACLES!

Thank you.