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Bringing Our Energies Back to Center in Preparation for What's Before Us


A good affirmation with which to start our day is: "I’m on time, I’m on track and I’m on purpose."


But what about my schedule?

I’m on time, I’m on track and I’m on purpose.


But what about my issue?

I’m on time, I’m on track and I’m on purpose.


It takes great discipline to be when you are, to be where you are and to be how you are, you see, in a world that ever tempts you to be else-when, to be elsewhere and to be else-how.


So, not only have I given you a good affirmation, but I’ve offered you a new vocabulary word. Else-how: the temptation to be anything or anyone other than the eternal essential you.


I’m on time, I’m on track and I’m on purpose.


Week one suggested that you are far more than you’ve imagined yourself to be; that you are not best defined by the body parts you carry and by the years you live but by that eternal essence of you which you bring into your incarnation from that field of pure potentiality that we call God.


It’s Unity’s first tenet, really: There is one presence and one power. As I’ve said so many times before, there are not two forces battling it out for possession of your eternal soul.


And the core encouragement is that you spend time exploring that eternal essence of you. Spend time in nature. Spend time in silence. Spend time in non-judgement. And for those who have been with us, it’s my hope that these practices have continued in your life.


The nature of the spiritual universe is reciprocal as evidenced in the law of giving and receiving. If you want to enrich your receiving, enrich your giving. If you want to enrich your giving, enrich your receiving. There can be not one without the other for these are simply different sides of one indivisible coin.


If you think you’re living prosperously but you struggle to give gracefully and gratefully, you’re not living as prosperously as you could be; at which point your practice becomes giving. Arrive to every encounter with a thoughtful gift, maybe. Allow your bill paying ritual to become one of gratitude. Have you considered the possibility that the sheer ability to write that check is worthy of profound thanksgiving?


And if you think you’re loving fully but you struggle to receive gracefully and gratefully, you’re not loving as fully as you could be; at which point your practice becomes receiving. Stop arguing, deflecting or dismissing the kind words of others as a start.


When someone says, “You are brilliant,” practice saying, “Thank you.”


When someone says, “You are talented like crazy,” practice saying, “Thank you.”


When someone says, “That dress, that purse, those shoes, you have got it going on in a big, old American way,” practice saying, “Thank you.”


When someone says, “You really are a being of light, you know. And, I’m so very honored that I get to share a portion of your journey with you. For the privilege of walking with you today and beyond, I stand in gratitude,” practice saying, “Thank you.”


Week three suggested that in the same fashion that our giving and receiving are bound, our sowing and our reaping are bound. Karmic activity is real. And, in what is most certainly a Unity-parallel suggestion, karmic activity often generates from the subconscious mind so if you suspect something of a karmic debt to be at work in your life (you’re looking for patterns here), start by challenging your automatic pilot.


And if you don’t believe you have an automatic pilot, let me ask: do you really think you chose that hairdo? Did you choose that chair or is that where you always sit? And, how did you get to where you are today? Was it that you of you who intentionally chooses every turn? Or was it that you of you who backs out of a garage, starts making lunch plans and wakes up when your tire hits the parking bumper in the lot?


So, your practice for this week is that in any moment you find yourself ready to respond in a stale, rote, predictable, uncreative way, pause. Take a breath. Check in with the wisdom center of your own heart area. Is there a higher possibility eager to come forth in this?


It’s a funny minister’s thing that life seems to respond to a topic by saying, “So, you wanna teach that? Great! I’ve got some killer stuff that will really help you this week. You wanna teach grief? Great! You wanna teach forgiveness? Great!”


And this past week was no exception. I experienced at least a couple moments in which I did not pause. I did not take a breath. I did not check in with the wisdom center of my own heart area. Oh, there might have been a higher possibility eager to come forth, but I shut him up and pushed him down with a loud dose of stale, rote, predictable and uncreative.


Higher possibility didn’t stand a chance.


Now, let’s say you chose to avoid nature, silence and nonjudgment, because you’re waiting for something easier. Or, let’s say you chose to avoid giving and receiving, or that overdue conversation with your automatic pilot, because you’re waiting for something easier.


I’d like to say, welcome to a good week to keep waiting. Because I offer you three powerful practices which include an acceptance of people, situations and circumstances exactly as they are, a commitment to responsibility and a position of defenselessness (meaning, we are to completely relinquish any need to defend our points of view or to convince or persuade others of the same).


And now I can hear you thinking, “Well maybe that time in nature wouldn’t be so bad after all. After all, I have a lot of convincing to do at home.” Or, “Maybe I’ll take a look at that hoarding tendency after all. After all, I have a lot of persuading to do on Facebook.”


Deepak Chopra suggests that the grass doesn’t effort to grow, the fish doesn’t effort to swim, the flower doesn’t effort to bloom. Rather the grass simply gives rise to its nature, the fish simply gives rise to its nature, the flower simply gives rise to its nature.


The great transcendentalist Emerson said the same thing in different terms: that as nature works by falling – meaning, the ripe fruit falls, the planets fall, even human walking and the miracle of birth are acts of falling – as nature works by falling, it’s only as we align with nature’s ease that we discover real power and strength. It is only as we align with nature’s simplicity that we discover real power.


Chopra calls this the law of least effort bringing us to some obvious questions: what if all of our sweaty-browed effort is overrated? Unnecessary? Even problematic?


What if life is supposed to be a lot easier than it is? What if we make it a lot messier than it needs to be? What if our cooperation with the natural flow requires not more from us, but less from us?


And what might it mean to simply give rise to our nature that we might show forth in beauty and grace? Or, what might it mean to align with nature’s ease and simplicity that we might discover real strength and power?


Well, Chopra suggests that we start with an acceptance of people, situations and circumstances exactly as they are.


Now, this isn’t to condone abuse. This isn’t to ignore injustice. This isn’t to abdicate ethics, to stay stuck or to become passive.


Chopra likens his idea of acceptance to a concept from martial arts in which the master doesn’t meet force with force. Rather, if the opponent pushes, the master pulls. If the opponent pulls, the master pushes. In this way, acceptance is the art of using your energies in the most efficient manner possible.


In this context, acceptance calls us to abandon rigid resistance for the finer skills of intuition and finesse and timing, adaptability, flexibility. It was Bruce Lee who spoke to this concept when he said that, “You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you poor water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. Become like water my friend.”


Acceptance in this context isn’t where change dies, you see. Acceptance in this context is where change starts. Acceptance in this context means we move forward not with pushing but with deep listening.


Next, Chopra suggests that we make a commitment to responsibility. Now, while the mind likes to twist this into a conversation about just how I might have created such and such a circumstance in my life (in other words, while the mind likes to twist this into a blame game), this isn’t a teaching about blame.


Responsibility suggests that regardless of how many serendipities and betrayals and so-called triumphs and failures and everyday choices (whether choices of self or choices of another) conspired to bring you to the life you’re living at this moment, you can either turn without or turn within.


Those are your choices.


Maybe life dealt you a crap hand. You can either turn without or turn within.

Those are your choices.


Maybe life made you a powerful heiress. You can either turn without or turn within.

Those are your choices.


To commit to responsibility is to say that no matter what the world has brought me (no matter what the world brings me today), my ability to respond is no longer for sale.


Frankl said the same thing from his time in the concentration camp, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.”


To turn without is to ransom your power to the world. To turn within is to emancipate your power from the world.


Now, should you find yourself having mastered both acceptance and responsibility say, around mid-afternoon on Monday, consider the third of this week’s practices: a position of defenselessness.


Yet again, life seemed to respond to a topic by saying, “You wanna teach defenselessness? Great! I’ve got some killer stuff that will really help you this week.”


We purchased a gift card to a favorite restaurant. We went to eat. We took friends. We enjoyed a lovely meal. The restaurant declined the gift card.


We paid the bill. The server asked for our phone number that she might have the owner call us the next morning. We gave her our number and left.


The next morning passed. We wrote an email. The owner responded, asking why we would have expected a call when we didn’t leave a telephone number. He went on to explain that they have new and cheaper swipe technology and would no longer honor the older gift cards. Besides, the card was purchased under a different owner.


“So you wanna teach defenselessness? Great!”


And as I navigated this trio of acceptance and responsibility and defenselessness, what occurred to me is that these are all teachings about bringing our energies back to center.

Where we would resist without, let us bring our energies back to center through acceptance.


Where we would blame without, let us bring our energies back to center through responsibility.


Where we would defend, convince or persuade without, let us bring our energies back to center through defenselessness.


These are teachings which would remind us of the transcendent and universal idea that the ego of you would ever spend your energies fixing what’s out there. The spirit of you would ever spend your energies unfolding what’s in here.


I think that as nature brings her energies back to center in preparation for what’s before her, so too are we reminded to bring our energies back to center in preparation for what’s before us.


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