Archive for August, 2011

Artist’s Way Study Group ~ Sept. 21-Dec. 14, 11 am-noon

August 31, 2011

Are you interested in discovering and/or recovering your creative self? Are you searching for the “real you” hidden beneath all the facades you have created? Are you ready for a dynamic breakthrough? Join us for a 12-week study of The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, which is the seminal book on the subject of creativity. An international bestseller, millions of readers have found it to be an invaluable guide to living the artist’s life. Still as vital today-or perhaps even more so-than it was when it was first published one decade ago, it is a powerfully provocative and inspiring work.

This is not a book strictly for those who want to be artists! It is for everyone who wants to creatively pursue their gifts and talents to the fullest.This amazing book links creativity to spirituality by showing in nondenominational terms how to tap into the higher power that connects human creativity with the creative energies of the universe, and guides you through a variety of highly effective exercises and activities that spur imagination and apture new ideas.  Discover how to move through the blocks to creatively expressing  your gifts: blocks such as limiting beliefs, fear, self-sabotage, jealousy, guilt, addictions, and other inhibiting forces, replacing them with artistic confidence, spiritual power, and abundant results.

Tools for this class:

  • The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron (available at book stores, Amazon.com, Kindle, thrift stores, etc.) Here is a link to the book on Amazon.com, which has it available new or used
  • A notebook or journal
  • A willingness to participate fully in this highly interactive study group

11:00 am – 12:00 noon, Wednesdays, Sept 21-Dec. 14 (no class Nov. 23).

USLC, 2604 Carver Street, Durham, NC 27705

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How To Create a 12-Powers Dreamscape

August 19, 2011

What is Dreamscaping?

This tool comes from the idea of landscaping. I have a friend who has his own landscaping business, and he shared with me the process he goes through when designing someone’s yard. It’s quite an involved process, which I won’t go into with detail here. The one step I want to emphasize is the Landscape Blueprint. This professional draws on paper a blueprint of the customer’s yard, and then literally plants the shrubbery and foliage on paper. When he is done, you can look at his beautiful, colorized, detailed drawing and see immediately how the finished product will look. Even if it is a process that will take years to finalize, you carry that finished product in your mind, and you realize that every step is leading you to that final result.

This led me to the idea of creating a Dreamscape. With a dreamscape, as with a landscape blueprint, you take an inner idea and manifest it into an outer reality. I affectionately call this strategy Cut and Paste 101. You are literally cutting out actual pictures, words, and images and pasting them onto tag board, creating a visual picture of your goals and desires. Keep your Dreamscape where you can see it daily, and imprint your goals in your mind and consciousness.

(excerpt from Living at the Speed of Life: Staying in Control in a World Gone Bonkers!, Cher Holton)

What is Twelve Powers Dreamscaping?

 This concept is a “Fig Newton” of my imagination! It takes the idea of Dreamscaping to a more elevated level, by focusing on the essence of a specific “Power” you want to strengthen in your experience. After focusing on the power through some meditation time, you create a Dreamscape that reflects images, color, and words reflecting that specific power. You are not looking for pictures of “things” you want to achieve; rather, you are discovering images that capture the essence of the Power in action!

 A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more. (Rosabeth Moss Kantor)

Preparing for Your Twelve Powers Dreamscape (adapted from activity by  Julia Cameron, Artist’s Way, p. 147)

  • Take a few moments to allow yourself to relax, becoming aware of your breathing. As you feel yourself going deeper into relaxation, ask your Inner Guidance to direct you to a knowing of which of the Twelve Powers would be most advantageous for you to strengthen and develop at this time. Go with your very first impression. Do not try to second guess it, or rationalize yourself into choosing a different Power. Just go with the flow of your first thought, and begin to focus on it. Imagine in your mind’s eye the color of this Power. See that color fill your consciousness. Imagine yourself becoming that color. If you were that color, and that Power, what would you be.
  • When you are ready, open your eyes and write a few quick sentences describing yourself as that color, that Power. Just let the words flow from your inner Consciousness onto the paper. An example: “I am Purple! I am Dominion! I am rich and royal – deeply loyal and honest in everything I do and with everyone I meet. My purple is deep and intense – passionate and energetic! I am Purple – highly connected to the secrets of the Universal Principles, one with God, one AS God! I am Purple, and have Dominion over my world!”
  •  Reflect on what you have written. Thank your inner guidance. Take a few deep breaths. Now you are ready to begin searching for images that reflect the essence of your Power, and creating your Twelve Powers Dreamscape.
    • Go through magazines to find pictures, words, colors that speak to you in relation to your meditation.
    • Paste them on card stock, to create a Dreamscape that connects with your inner Being.
      • A tip: If you want to keep your Dreamscape somewhere you don’t necessarily want others to see it, create it on a colored file folder. That way, you can keep it open in front of you, but if you want, you can easily fold it up and slide it into a drawer. No one is the wiser!
    • Bless your Dreamscape.
  • Once you have completed it, post it where you will see it often through the day, inspiring you to reach for the highest, most elevated level of the expression of that Power!

Art is a technique of communication. The image is the most complete technique of all communication. (Claus Oldenburg)

About the Author: Rev. Dr. Cher Holton is co-minister with her husband, Rev. Dr. Bil Holton, of Unity Spiritual Life Center in Durham. NC. As a Certified Speaking Professional and Certified Management Consultant, Cher brings a wealth of experience to her spiritual work. She is a prolific author, a keynote speaker, and a much-sought-after trainer of trainers and speakers!

What’s Been Going On with Adult Spiritual Education? (July Activity Report)

August 6, 2011

Adult Spiritual Education ~ Monthly Activity Report, July 2011

Sunday, July 10 ~ Armand & Angelina Native American Flute Workshop

Monday, July 11 ~ Armand & Angelina Concert

Sunday, July 24 ~ Integrative Healing Class, Healing from a Unity Perspective, led by Revs. Bil & Cher

===== Other Items of Interest =========

We sent Shawna Donaldson, Director of Youth & Children Ed., to the Child/Teen Ministry Week at Unity Village.

We sent Aaron Evans, Music Director, to Sound Connections conference at Unity Village.

Postings to Adult Spiritual Education Blog.

Prep and planning for August: Coming in August are Science & Spirituality Workshop; Integrative Healing Symposium; and David Hiller workshop.

Also in August: Rev. Cher will be presenting a Webinar recorded live from Unity Village, as part of the Enlightened Leaders program.

Planning for the fall!

Blessings,


Cher & Bil
 
–

Drs. Bil & Cher Holton

Spiritual Leaders—Unity Spiritual Life Center

2604-H Carver Street, Durham, NC 27705-2796

Church Office Phone: 919.471.3504

Home Office Phone: 919.767.9620

Taking 365 Vacations a Year: Creating a Practice of Spiritual Renewal

August 2, 2011

365 vacations a year? Are we for real? You bet! This is the best personal benefit plan you can give yourself! Now — let’s define what we mean by vacation. A vacation, in this context,is anything from a minimum of 15 minutes to a maximum of an entire day where you do something fun, energizing, relaxing, or personally enriching — just for yourself! Every single day! It could be a short walk, enjoying a cup of wonderfully-flavored coffee, watching a movie, reading a book, going for a swim, getting a pedicure or massage, listening to music, dancing, golfing, biking, meditating … gosh, the list could go on forever! The key is to consciously carve out a block of time EVERY DAY just for this personal care: hit pause, and treat yourself to something nice. And remind yourself, “I deserve this, because I am worthy!”

In our recent Sunday Truth Talk, we focused on “Hitting Pause for a Moment.” The idea of taking 365 vacations a year fits right in with it. It is incredibly refreshing and rejuvenating to pause (even if it is only 15 minutes), just for the joy of taking a designated time for yourself at a conscious level every day. But if you want to take this idea up a notch – a huge notch – remember what we shared: we all have a SPIRITUAL Pause Button! When we take 365 SPiritually-focused vacations, we can truly renew ourselves spiritually.

Jesus as the Christ understood the power of hitting pause. He would often go up to the mountain to be alone, rejuvenate, and pray. There’s a great example in Mark 6:31. It’s only one verse, but packs a powerful punch! Let’s look at the last part of the verse first, because it sets the stage. Jesus and His disciples are in a situation which is described this way: “there was much coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.” Sound familiar? Life was busy, they were feeling overwhelmed! But instead of pushing to do more, Jesus instructed His disciples, “Come ye apart into a quiet place and rest a while.” Metaphysically, this means to create time in the Silence to ‘hit pause’ and be still, to distance ourselves from material thoughts and the world of appearance.

Our Spiritual Pause comes in the form of four words: Be Still and Know! Be Still:  hit the pause button – And Know: know that you are God expressing. Know that you have Divine Powers flowing within, ready for your calling; Know that you stand in the midst of Spiritual Principles that never fail.

And while we have these always active and available in our life, we want to suggest hitting spiritual pause for a moment in three particular instances throughout any day.

1. When you feel yourself experiencing extreme stress. When things pile up and life seems overwhelming, allow yourself the luxury of a few moments of meditation, breathing, relaxation – time to call forth your Divine Powers to open channels of guidance and peace. It is amazing how helpful 15-20 minutes of meditation can be in the midst of a chaotic situation. Be still and know that within you is the very center of your beingness, the Divinity that is the very nature of God expressing. The only way to really benefit from the awareness of your Oneness is to Hit Pause for a Moment, be still and know!

2. When you are in the midst of an emotional situation. We all know that when things get emotional, we tend to say and do things we often wish we could get back! But once the words or actions are out there, there is no re-do! The impact has been made. So when you realize you are feeling emotional, make a conscious decision to hit pause for a moment! That’s really all it takes! A deep breath, an affirmation of peace and calm, a moment to behold the Christ as the other person or people involved. A moment to be still and know that you can speak and act from your highest, most elevated level of Consciousness, and contribute to an incredible, more satisfying outcome. Be still and know!

3. This is the “sleeper” – the one we forget about, and yet, it is the one we believe is most valuable! You want to hit spiritual Pause for a moment to celebrate your gratitude! A moment to honor and recognize the Truth of who you are, and the billions of blessings that you experience every single day! So often we reserve our Spiritual Pauses for when we are in trouble, or find ourselves desperately seeking answers. But the secret to getting those answers quickly at the moment of need is to be “Prayed Up” – to use our Spiritual Pause when we are in a “good” place spiritually. In moments of joy and peace, Be Still and Know!

No matter what you are going through, appearing good, bad, stressful, peaceful, easy, difficult – no matter what, make the conscious decision to Hit Pause for a Moment – Use your Spiritual Pause to Be Still and Know – Know that you truly are walking the spiritual path on practical, peaceful, powerful feet.

(You can hear our entire Truth Talk by visiting our USLC Blog.)

The Authors: Combine a flair for the dramatic, a deep understanding of metaphysics combined with the teachings of Jesus, and a zest for ministry, and you have defined Revs. Bil & Cher Holton, the dynamic duo who serve as co-ministers for Unity Spiritual Life Center, Durham, NC. This exciting couple bring their love for Truth Principles to everything they do, and work together to create a center that lives its vision and mission in everything it does.They are prolific authors, and share their metaphysical and spiritual principles through their website: http://www.TheMetaphysicalBible.com


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