Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What is happiness?

Spiritual resource to share: happiness

Quick on the heels of growing medical studies about the effectiveness of healing through prayer, there is now a body of research being pioneered to determine what constitutes happiness.

In a recent news article, "Researchers seek routes to happier life " the head researcher comments on how simple "exercises" based on gratitude can bring about happiness. For many of us non-researcher types, this has been as obvious as the popularity of Oprah's gratitude journals and has become a regular part of our daily practice (as seen on different blogs of friends).

Gratitude, love, joy -- it's all connected to happiness. The website connects it all this way:

Joy is an essential spiritual practice growing out of faith, grace, gratitude, hope, and love. It is the pure and simple delight in being alive. Joy is our elated response to feelings of happiness, experiences of pleasure, and awareness of abundance. It is also the deep satisfaction we know when we are able to serve others and be glad for their good fortune.

I hope we can see more of this type of research. All things that require a deeper understanding of our spiritual essence are going to help move thought forward from a sensual and materialistic explanation of life to a more spiritual sense of life. And, I am convinced, the more grounded we are in a spiritual understanding of life, the more happy we are.

Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,

The author's medical researches and experiments had prepared her thought for the metaphysics of Christian Science. Every material dependence had failed her in her search for truth; and she can now understand why, and can see the means by which mortals are divinely driven to a spiritual source for health and happiness.

I am also convinced that our primitive natures are spiritual. So, the only thing that truly satisfies us are spiritual things -- found in God - who is our highest sense of what is good, pure and enduring. Here are some more thoughts from Mary Baker Eddy on happiness:

Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind, and happiness would be more readily attained and would be more secure in our keeping if sought in Soul. Higher enjoyments alone can satisfy the cravings of immortal man.

Happiness is spiritual; born of Truth and Love. It is unselfish, therefore, it cannot exist alone but requires all mankind to share it.

May you have a happy day and share it with many!

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

(Photo by Kim)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Need more "mortal measurements"?

Spiritual resource to share: timelessness

With holidays creeping up, finding time to accomplish everything we want can seem to be packed into too limited a time frame. Women in Technology International reports on lack of time:

"Time is finite: 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day and 7 days a week. You can't save it, but you can waste it. The amount of time we have does not matter, but rather the way we use it."

I like this idea about being deliberate on how we use time. But to take it a step further, it is even more important to understand one's God-given dominion over time. I experienced a situation that taught me how to do this, and this lesson stays with me today.

One time, when I was particularly time crunched -- going to school full time and working full time -- I did some serious prayer about time. Mary Baker Eddy defines time as "mortal measurements; limits, in which are summed up all human acts, thoughts, beliefs, opinions, knowledge."

It was interesting to look at Eddy's definition of time as a mortal measurement. With that in mind -- I had to ask myself -- do we need more "mortal measurements"???

When I felt God-directed and inspired, my reports, presentations, exams, and all that needed to be accomplished were done almost effortlessly. However, when I felt that I was being put upon - that is I put the focus on "poor me" - I felt crushed by the weight of all that needed to be done.

The situation was so extreme that I literally felt it when I prayed and when I didn't. There was an immediacy in my prayer - there was release and inspiration when I put it all in God's hands; and conversely, there was pressure and frustration when I felt that the whole situation was up to me to resolve. Like an accordian, I worked and prayed until I could master, to a greater degree, my control over time. And it was understanding the freedom that came with being led by God, that made me able to drop a personal sense of responsibility with its accompanying frustration and entanglements.

I learned an important lesson -- time is a mortal measurement. And when we feel pressed for time, it isn't that we need more of it, but more grace, selflessness and openness to God's abundant provision of ideas.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

(Note: the photo was taken by my son, Gabe, when he was 11.)

Friday, November 24, 2006

ironing out the conflict

Spiritual resource to share: humility with gratitude

Stuck in a crossfire of conflicting opinions? I was recently. And I couldn't seem to get rid of those silent arguments in my head that kept rehearsing and repeating a recent conversation and how I should and could handle it better.

However, the arguments did stop. And what stopped it was my willingness to silence these mental arguments and listen, really listen, to how God may be perceiving this whole situation.

This listening meant to put aside my views, to recognize that I am not personally responsible to make people listen to my side of things, and to understand that God is the only power in control of all Her creation. Humbly, I got to the point where I could accept all that.

Humility saved me. That and gratitude for all this other person did. I can't say enough about how a humble and selfless outlook has saved me from other difficult moments, and have even stirred on more progress and love.

Mary Baker Eddy talks about humility as a virtue that triumphs over the flesh, and is the genius of Christian Science. She writes that humility, along with self-knowledge and love, are divine strengths. Humility is the stepping stone to a higher recognition of Diety. (See "The Way" from Miscellaneous Writings. p. 355).

Later that week, an opportunity came up when I could share with this individual a sincere burst of gratitude that I felt for the work and progress being done. There was a sense of relief. Perhaps we both felt a release from feeling that we needed to uphold a certain position. I know I felt calm and loving, growing in confidence that there is never any situation so out of control that divine Love's tender shepherding cannot bring our thoughts and lives back to our native state of harmony, progress and love.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

honoring our children's journeys

Spiritual resource to share: respect

In one of my favorite families, the parents have a particularly loving and respectful relationship with their children - a son and a daughter. The parents have characterized their relationships as seeing four intertwined journeys, and many times would express gratitude to their kids for having stopped off to spend some time with them on their journeys.

The son and daughter are now grown. But this lesson of love and honoring our children's journeys so impressed me, that it simply blossomed when I had my own sons. It has framed my whole approach to parenting: To be able to see -- right off the start -- that our kids are born with a mission, a journey of their own, and that we have the privilege of being with them for a time of development and discovery.

I remember praying with a Christian Science practitioner when I was first pregnant. We looked at the definition of children in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy described as "The spiritual thoughts and representatives of Life, Truth, and Love." The practitioner then went on to tell me, "Picture God as whispering to you, 'I have a wonderful idea and you have the privilege of caring for this precious idea for your whole life.'" This understanding of God's most intimate relationship to my sons has not distanced me from them, but has given me a clarity as to what my role is in raising them and what their role is in claiming their mission.

I have really held close that my boys are complete, entire, and have God as their Father Mother. My role is to care for them, keep them safe, expose them to opportunities for growth and inspiration and to model, in some way, the great love, tender care and constant provision that their Father Mother God continuously gives them. It's an amazing journey!

How has respect for other people's journeys enhanced your life?

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

(Photo taken by my son, Gabe)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Running the race

Idea to practice: taking risks

Ahh, there is nothing like jumping right into something that you KNOW will make you stretch, challenge your limits and make you bust out laughing, right out loud.

So when my old kayaking and hiking friend suggested that we do a part of the Birkebeiner (the Boston Marathon of cross-country ski races), I said yes.

Yes. I said it. I already committed. And now that I have sent this posting out into cyberspace, I am really committed.

I have learned time and again that challenging myself always reveals newer and higher views of how I understand God, myself and the world. We are part of "Love's divine adventure to be All-in-all."

This piece, written in 1974 by Alex Noble and published in The Christian Science Monitor, has been an inspirational mainstay - I pull it out whenever I am ready to embark on something new and unknown. Enjoy!

Stepping forward

I find that risk toward expansive and creditable goals is essential. While risk is easy to talk about, it is not so easy to practice. When I take a risk, extending myself in a new direction, it is like stepping out onto a frozen lake. The surface looks inviting, open and secure. But there is always the possibility that the ice will crack - the possibility of failure, of making a fool of myself. Whenever I take a risk - toward developing a new skill, toward a new and challenging friendship - I almost always have deep misgivings as to the wisdom of my course. True to each step of the new experience as it opens up before me, I move forward, sustained only by an inner sense of assurance and necessity, even though the surrounding landscape may appear uncertain and even dangerous.

In any risk situation, I try to maintain a willingness to let go of things that are not working out in a natural and spontaneous way. There must be freedom, flow and growth. But a new talent or skill, a new friend, a fresh perspective on my life - these are well worth the soul-searching that risk usually provokes.

Jean Cocteau has said, "An artist should find out what he does best, and then do something else." What is there to gain if I stay safe and warm within the confines of a comfortable, established order? On the other hand, what can I possibly lose by confronting the new, the unknown, where amazing, invigorating, horizon-opening things can, and do, happen? In taking risks, I often ask myself this question: "Is anything done from an impulse of my truest self a mistake, regardless of what might happen?"

What things are opening new horizons for you today?

Would you like to share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further? Please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right. Thanks!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Welcome back!

Idea to practice: being new!

Thanks everyone for hanging in there as I wrestled, prayed, thought and re-thought my website and did a bit of re-design and re-working. So what's new?? Hopefully, some things will be obvious. And, I know that I will be tweaking this site on a regular basis until I get everything I want in place. But, as I thought about what I wanted by website to be, I came up with three concepts I wanted to see included:

  • Practicing healing prayer
  • Community
  • and Whatever and Whatsoever

Practicing healing prayer
I wanted to site to focus on how one can practice healing through prayer -- sooo, my posts will still include stories, but I'll be bringing out the ideas being practiced and encourage others to contact me to explore how to practice those spiritual qualities like love, patience, persistence, and so on ( or ad infinitum)

It has been so refreshing to learn that people from all walks of life and from all corners of the world stop by this site. There are many of you that visit my site regularly and I was wondering what to do about that. And the answer was -- keep going!

Later, I'll try some new things out like subscriptions and set up conference calls on specific themes and see how they go. Stay tuned!

Whatever and whatsoever
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy has THE most radical description of church which defines church in part as "whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle."

And that, coupled with a verse from the Bible "whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" has inspired me to keep ongoing links of things/organizations/people/inventions that are healing, transforming, and moving thought forward.

There are so many progressive and innovative inventions and ideas, strong hearts with noble aims, and successes that unselfishly bless and inspire - I hope to keep samples of sites going, all linked on the right hand side of the site, demonstrating that, in fact, "...progress is the law of God...." ( MBEddy)

All things are become new. I love it. By listening, knowing what I love, and being willing to let go of things that aren't working out with a sense of freedom, flow and growth, I trust that I will be guided by our Father-Mother God who has created all of us to glorify Him and to reflect Her.

So, what is new with you?

Explore this idea further -- you can contact me for consultation or treatment -- click here for my website or call directly via skype!
Call me!

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Please feel free add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Returning November 14th

"Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind....." - Mary Baker Eddy

I'll be returning after November 14th. See you then, Kim