Archive for February, 2012

Two Great Love Commandments for Spiritual Enrichment

February 28, 2012

The Two Great Love Commandments:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.
This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is like it:
‘Love your neighbor as yourself.
 

There are many ways to take this scripture to a deeper level. One approach is to consider that this first commandment is actually telling us to use our Twelve Divine Powers at the highest, most elevated level of awareness. Think about it:

Love the Lord thy God: Love, metaphysically, means to harmonize – so this is telling us we need to bring into harmony the aspects of the nature of God that are within us. We use our Power of Faith as the foundation of everything we do and believe. We ground ourselves strongly in Faith, knowing that we know that we know we are God expressing, and we have abundant spiritual principles we can use to experience a life of inner peace, joy, and prosperity. So standing on that Faith, we then “love the Lord thy God” – we harmonize our Christ nature. . .

with all our heart: this is our Divine Power of Love, our ability to unify and attract the highest and best, and to see the highest and best in other people and outer circumstances;

with all our mind:this one calls on our Divine Powers of Wisdom, Understanding, Imagination, and Will. These 4 powers, used at their most elevated levels of Consciousness, allow us to envision, attract Divine Ideas, evaluate and discern what to do, know how to live our Truth principles, and choose to be the best Christ we can be.

with all our soul: This part is relating to our Divine Powers of Order, Dominion, Zeal and Life — all of which help us master this human experience, energize and vitalize through our thoughts and energy, and live with passion and balance in all we do.

With all our strength — of course, this represents our Divine Power of Strength, which is our ability to stay the course, persist, and do what is ours to do. It also focuses on Release, as we let go of everything that is not contributing to our spiritual well-being.

So this first commandment is really kind of hefty! It’s saying we need to harmonize all our Divine Powers so they are in sync together, and working from the highest, most elevated level of Consciousness to express the nature of God that we are. How do we implement it into our daily living? Here’s your Spiritual Adventure for the week (and beyond…):

Two-Part Questioning Meditation:

Part 1: Morning: As you go into a morning meditation, begin by focusing on four questions.

Begin with the phrase “As I go forth in Faith, . . .”

  • What will I do today to expand my Heart Center (Love)?
  • What will I do today to strengthen my Mind faculties (Wisdom, Understanding, Imagination, and Will)?
  • What will I do today to take care of my Soul faculties (Order, Dominion, Zeal, and Life)?
  • What will I do today to increase my inner Strength (Strength & Release)?

Part 2: Evening. Then, at the end of the day, pull out your journal and draw lines to create 4 columns. Label them Heart, Mind, Soul, Strength. Reflect over your day, and identify at least one thing you did that day to take care of each of the four key areas. In other words, you are asking yourself to identify specific ways you are honoring the Truth of who you are, and ensuring you are living from your highest, most elevated level of consciousness. Then reaffirm your faith Power, and spend time in meditation. Here’s a sample:

Heart

Mind Soul Strength
Practiced the Namaste technique; forgave my coworker for claiming my idea was his. Metaphysically interpreted The Good Samaritan parable and related it to me. Created two new affirmations focusing on transcending all patterns of lack and separation. Claimed ease and grace, and used the “Easy Button” to remind myself I can do it!

So that takes care of the first commandment! Whew! But remember there is a second one, which says, Love your neighbor as yourself. From a literal perspective, this seems to mean we treat others with love and respect – but don’t forget those two powerful words: as yourself. This is why last week, I did a whole message on How Do I Love ME … because that’s a prerequisite to loving others.

But again, let’s take it a bit deeper, as we look at it metaphysically – where it is all happening within us. Metaphysically,

  • Neighbor = our physical body and emotions which are affected by our thoughts. Essentially, the “neighbor” reference in this commandment represents our human self. The “Yourself” reference represents our Higher Self, our Christ Self.

The charge in this commandment is to harmonize our human self with our Christ Self, so we are living at the speed of our Christ Consciousness.

So this week, here’s what you can do. I call it the CC Litmus Test. [CC = Christ Consciousness.] The question to ask yourself as often as you possibly can:

“Am I, right here, right now, coming from my highest, most Christ-like Consciousness? In other words, as I being the best Christ I can be?”

If yes – then reflect on what you are doing so you can replicate it!

If no – then ask yourself how you could have responded or acted differently, in a way that would reflect the Truth of who you really are.

While you may not necessarily be able to change the result or impact of how you were acting … the important attitude to have is “Next time…” Next time, how can I handle this type of situation as God expressing?

Bil and I have a little saying, that everything that happens in life is all curriculum! Everything presents an opportunity for learning … a chance to look at it from the perspective of Truth, and use it for good.

This past week, we watched the movie Soul Surfer, which is based on the experience of Bethany Hamilton, a champion surfer who lost her entire left arm to a shark attack at the age of 13. The movie is based on Hamilton’s autobiography, and covers her struggles to deal with losing her arm, and regaining her ability to surf. The pivotal moment for Bethany came when she let go of the expectations and need to control the outcomes, and instead turned her focus to others when she joins a mission trip to Thailand following the 2004 tsunami. Bethany uses her surfing love to help the children overcome their fear of the water, and experience joy again.  When she returns, she rejoins the world of competitive surfing, but from a different perspective. She learns to listen to the rhythm of the water, from deep within her, to instinctively sense the big wave. She was the only one able to catch it, and riding it in, she pulls off a winning performance — only to hear that she stood up after the buzzer sounded, so the ride does not count. But you know what? It didn’t matter. Bethany is at peace, because she knows she has experienced an inner transformation that transcends any need to win.

The real-life Bethany Hamilton has become a source of inspiration to millions through her determination, unquenchable hope, and rock-solid faith. She is now a professional surfer, competing with the world’s best. In 2009 she took second place in the Association of Surfing Professionals World Junior Championships. Even more important to her is her foundation, Friends of Bethany, which supports shark attack survivors and traumatic amputees, works with charities, and serves to inspire others.

We find Bethany’s story to be dramatically inspirational and powerful, and a living example of the two great commandments of Love. In spite of what appeared to be insurmountable odds, she was able to stand strong in Faith, harmonizing all of her Divine Powers, with all her heart, mind, soul, and strength. … and connecting her human self with her Christ Self.

No matter what challenges you are experiencing, no matter what the world of appearance is throwing your way, no matter how fearful, tired, or discouraged you are tempted to feel — simply bring your awareness back to the two great commandments:

Harmonize your Christ Nature with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul, and all your strength – use those 12 Divine Powers to ride above the waves of life circumstances — and unify your human self with your Christ Self. Use the 2-Part Questioning Meditation and the CC Litmus Test to guarantee that you are truly living from your highest, most elevated level of Consciousness — as you walk the spiritual path on practical feet!

 

~ Rev. Cher Holton, http://www.unityspirituallifecenter.org

Monthly Activity Report – January 2012

February 13, 2012

Adult Spiritual Education ~ Monthly Activity Report, January 2012

Jan. 11 ~ Dreamscape 2012, facilitated by Rev. Cher

Jan. 18 & 25 ~ Visions of a Universal Humanity (2-part class), facilitated by Revs. Cher & Bil and Rev. Vi Schonhardt, with Dr. Eric Donaldson

Jan. 4, 11, 18, 25 ~ Continuation of Artist’s Way Book Study Class (facilitated by Robin Heinze)

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

  • Postings to Adult Spiritual Education Blog
  • Prep and planning for February: UN-Service

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

How to Make LOVE Your Decision: Forgiveness and Release

February 13, 2012

There is overwhelming evidence that forgiveness has a positive impact on you psychologically, physiologically, emotionally, and even spiritually. An article published by the Mayo clinic states that: “Letting go of grudges and bitterness can make way for compassion, kindness and peace. Forgiveness can lead to:

  • Healthier relationships
  • Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
  • Less anxiety, stress and hostility
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Fewer symptoms of depression
  • Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse”

Wow! Who wouldn’t want these things? Use this knowledge to inspire you to decide to forgive.

Adventure #1: Forgive & Release: Choose a person with whom you are currently feeling some anger, resentment, bitterness, or grudge … and you know you are hanging on to it. Maybe you are waiting for them to ask for forgiveness .. maybe it is so huge, you don’t feel capable of even thinking of forgiveness. I want to emphasize that this adventure is not for them. It is for YOU! It is an opportunity to get rid of the weight of this emotional baggage, and create a space for love in your heart. Take some time to go into a quiet state of being, and gently, lovingly explore your feelings. Breathe yourself through the process of asking yourself:

  • What emotions am I feeling related to this situation?
  • What specifically happened? I call this “Naming Your Heart Weight.” By describing it clearly, you make friends with it, so it can no longer take power over your consciousness. You are, in effect, loving the enemy of your error thoughts.
  • Now comes the big question – take a deep breath – and ask yourself: How is holding on to these emotions serving me? What am I getting by continuing to harbor this grudge, tell this story, fuel this anger? You might be surprised by the answers that arise. You might get sympathy from others; or attention; or an opportunity to go into a self-inflicted period of rest (as you brood). Perhaps you enjoy the energy of talking about how mistreated you have been. There are lots of side benefits we fail to acknowledge that keep us hanging on to heavy weights.

Once you have answered these questions, it’s time to decide. Ask yourself this question: What if I let go of the weight of this burden? What if I could experience the freedom of forgiveness? Am I ready to let it go?

If you cannot say yes, then I would refer you back to the question: What am I getting from holding on? And then ask, what would I get by letting go?

Then, as you decide to make LOVE your decision, symbolically seal the decision in some way: a bowl burning; bury it; flush it; write in your journal; create an affirmation; draw a forgiveness logo picture … do something that seals the deal.

Then Forgive and Release! Some say forgive and forget, which is totally unrealistic! We say forgive and release – let the hurt go. Now here’s my own experience. When it is something painful and deep – when you feel you have really been betrayed or violated – it doesn’t happen immediately. (Sometimes it can – but usually it takes a real commitment to the process.) This means that every time a thought about the person or incident arises in your mind, you:

  • acknowledge it [Oh, hi! Are you back again? I thought I let you go!];
  • affirm for each person involved that you have forgiven and released them;
  • affirm their highest and best, sending them a blessing;
  • recommit to your desire to forgive and release, and allow the energy of pure love to flow through your entire being, saturating you with the lightness of forgiveness. You refuse to pick that burden up and carry it again!

From a metaphysical perspective, forgiveness means to give up the false for the true. Forgiveness does not mean you condone what someone does; it does not mean you do not hold people accountable for their actions. Forgiveness means you no longer allow their actions to hold you hostage emotionally. It means you are able to see the Christ in and as them, and you are willing to free them to move on.

If you find yourself starting to tell the story, stop! Just reframe it, and say something like “I’m not giving energy to this anymore!”

And now—Adventure #2: Mirror Image: look at yourself in a mirror, and make Love your decision for yourself. Say (yes, out loud!) “I love you! I forgive you for anything you have said, thought, or done that is not the Truth of who you are. In this moment, I now see the Christ in and as you, and I love you, I accept you, just the way you are. You are worthy. You are divine.

[Now make the switch to I AM] I am worthy! I am Divine! I am Love … I live from Love … I bring Love to every situation … I show up as harmony and peace. I am Love. Love is my Decision…

And in love, I walk the spiritual path on practical feet.

About the Author: 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 Rev. Cher Holton, the dynamic co-minister for Unity Spiritual Life Center, Durham, NC. She and co-minister husband Rev. Bil Holton 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.TheMetaphysicalWebsite.com

%d bloggers like this: