Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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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5 Ways to Sneak In a Meditation

July 27, 2011

Do you have a problem making time to meditate? Perhaps you find yourself multi-tasking, even in the midst of a meditation! Here are five quick ways to sneak a meditation into your daily routine, and as a result, experience a transformation in your life! Try each one at least three times, and see what works for you.

#1: Deliberately Move More Slowly. Make a conscious decision to deliberately do whatever it is you are doing at a slower pace. Simply imagine you are on a “Slo-Mo” setting. As you do whatever it is you are doing, begin to notice how your body feels as you move. Become aware of how your breathing changes as you slow your movements down. As you become more consciously aware of your being, spend a few moments in gratitude.

#2: Alphabetically Affirm. Run through the alphabet, creating a positive, affirming word for each letter. For example, Appreciative; Beautiful; Creative; Delightful, Enthusiastic… Then simply put the words “I am…” in front of each word and say it as an affirmation — and say it with FEELNG!

#3: Perform The Smile Exercise. Take a few deep breaths to focus and become consciously aware of yourself. Put all your attention on your face, with particular focus on the right and left sides of your mouth. Create a half smile by lifting only the right corner of your mouth. Notice how this feels. Bring it back to neutral, and lift only the left corner of your mouth. Again, pay attention to how this feels. Bring it back to neutral, close your eyes and breathe deeply. Now open your eyes and lift both corners of your mouth at the same time. Keep going until you have a huge smile, showing teeth proudly! Notice how this feels. Breathe deeply and spend a few minutes reflecting on everything you are grateful for in your life.

#4: Transform a Meal into a Meditation. As you sit down to eat, pause and look at your food. Appreciate the texture and colors of what is on your plate. Notice the way the food is arranged, and experience a sense of gratitude for its journey to become your meal. Eat slowly, with intention, becoming aware of how the food feels in your mouth, enjoying the taste of every bite. Allow your meal to become a time of quiet reflection and awareness.

#5: Make Joy Your Choice. As you become aware that you are dreading something (i.e., a meeting, a discussion with someone who is angry, a project that is difficult, a teacher conference, a home owners meeting, a doctor’s visit), take a moment and breathe deeply. As you become aware of your breathing, begin mentally affirming “I choose to do this with joy.” Continue repeating this mantra until you feel a shift in your heart center. Claim joy as your inner attitude, regardless of what it is you are facing.

These techniques may sound too simple to be profound, but you will be amazed at the difference each one can make as you move through your hectic day. Not only will you feel more centered and connected with Spirit, you will see a dramatic improvement in how effectively you are performing as well!

The Positive Impact of Meditation: Feedback from the class

June 8, 2011

During our Potpourri of Meditation Techniques class, we practiced a Meditative Art meditation. The following poem emerged for Connie Miller as she participated in this activity, and by request of our class, she graciously agreed to allow us to share it here:

Carefree
Release the past
Into the wind
Can't take control
Can't make amends
For what is past
For what's to follow
A bitter pill
Is hard to swallow
Embrace the new
The here the now
Relax, let go
Then you'll know how
To
FIRST START WITH SILENCE
(Connie Miller)

Thanks, Connie, for sharing your spontaneous expression from your meditative art experience.

Here is the technique, for those who would like to try it:

Meditative Art Meditation

 This is an excellent meditative experience, designed to help you better envision your hopes and desires, and gain insight and guidance from your Christ Center.

  1.  Gather together colored paper, pens, crayons, paints, and any other type of art media you desire. Lay them out in front of you, before you begin your meditation.
  2.  Determine the focus for your meditation. It might be a goal you have set for yourself, a challenge you are facing, or a vision you desire for a new direction in our life. Write your  focus in the center of your paper.
  3.  You may want to light a candle to signify your meditation time. Spend 5-10 minutes in silence, breathing deeply as you enter a meditative state, reflecting on the focus for your meditation. Do not force anything; simply reflect on your area of focus, remaining in a state of gratitude and joy as you remain in the quiet.
  4.  As you feel led, simply pick up a pen, crayon, or other art media available, and begin to write, draw, or doodle on your paper, expressing any feelings, expressions, or thoughts that come to you. As you need, add additional sheets of paper to your collection.
  5.  When you are finished, spend a few more minutes in the quiet, in gratitude for the guidance you have received.
  6.  After you come out of this meditative experience, spend time looking at what you drew, and reflect on what it says to you. It is extremely helpful to sit with another person, and describe what you have drawn; you will discover new meanings that you did not realize while you were drawing.
  7.  You may want to write about this experience in your journal, to help you capture the impact of the experience.

Class: Keep a True Lent, March 16-April 20, 7:00-9:00 pm

March 1, 2011

Based on the book, Keep a True Lent, by Charles Fillmore, this class guides you through an experiential observation of the Lenten season, from a Unity perspective. Unity believes we can keep Lent best by denying ourselves of negative thoughts and feelings instead of “things.” Through prayer, meditation, and study, we can enhance and strengthen our awareness of our Oneness, and be the best Christ we can be! Facilitated by Shawna Donaldson.

The text, Keep a True Lent, can be read online at: http://uniticsonline.tripod.com/uni-texts.html

It is also available by ordering through our bookstore, or at Amazon.com.

How to Use the Twelve Powers to PowerUP Your Life!

December 27, 2010

A Twelve Powers Review!

Understanding the purposes of each power can help you know, at any moment, in any situation, which ones to call upon to help you move through an experience with ease, grace, wisdom, and joy. Let’s do a quick review and see how they can help you as you move into 2011.

Deep Blue – FAITH – Call on this power when you need to stand in your Truth in the midst of challenging situations or times of doubt.

Pink – LOVE – Call on this power when you need to bring harmony to a situation or relationship. It is useful when you have difficult forgiving, or find yourself in the midst of chaos or conflict.

Spring Green – STRENGTH – Call on this power when you need to persist and stay the course; when you feel yourself wanting to give up.

Yellow – WISDOM – Call on this power when you need to evaluate or discern what the best course of action is for you.

Light Blue – IMAGINATION – Call on this power when you are looking for solutions to overwhelming problems, or when you are seeking new ideas.

Purple – DOMINION – This is your power to master or dominate. Use it when you want to call into manifestation your good.

Gold – UNDERSTANDING – Call on this power when you need to comprehend how to put what you know into practice.

Silver – WILL – This is your Spiritual Director, in charge of your power of choices! Call on this power to help you take action, choosing the highest and best!

Olive Green – ORDER – Call on this power when you need to bring balance and organization to a situation.

Russet – RELEASE – Call on this power when you need to let go of what is no longer serving you.

Orange – ZEAL – Call on this power when you want to instill passion and enthusiasm around a project or belief, or when you want to inspire others.

Red – LIFE – Call on this power to send healing energy throughout your body, or to bring new life to a project you are involved in.

As you move into 2011, we invite you to spend some quality time at Headquarters, and prepare to practice a very specific adventure that can guarantee you are living life and living it abundantly, as Jesus assured us we could. The secret is actually quite simple … but not so easy to implement! It involves taking one question, and keeping it uppermost in your mind at all times. Are you ready for the BIG question that can keep you on track, focused on living from your Spiritual Center of Being? To ensure LifeWorX at the highest level, we need to always be sure we are energizing and vitalizing our Christ nature.

Here’s the BIG question:

Am I showing up in this moment as my highest Christ self?

A corollary is:

If not, what do I need to change, right this moment, to shift to my highest Christ?

And every evening, as you review your day, invite these questions into your awareness: Did I show up as my highest Christ self in every situation? If not, how could I handle things differently NEXT TIME? And is there anything I need to do to make amends for anything I did today?

Christmas is a time for remembering that our job is to simply let our lights shine! As we celebrate the birth of the Christ Consciousness within us ~ and as we move from Christmas into a new year, let’s take that awareness with us, from a newer, more elevated level of Consciousness, knowing we have these incredible Powers to help us master the art of living, as we walk the Spiritual Path on practical, light-shining feet!

What’s Going On “Behind the Curtain?” Training for Anyone Interested in Serving on the Board of Trustees

August 24, 2010

It seems like people are always wondering what goes on “behind the curtain” at Board meetings! This is your opportunity to find out! If you have any interest in becoming a Board member in the future, or just want to get an idea of what Board membership is all about, sign up for this wonderful one-day workshop, conducted by Revs. Bil & Cher. They have conducted programs at the regional and Association Board level, and now bring their expertise to our own Board with this powerful training session.

Detailed information is available at out Board Blog: Just click here!

(Or cut and paste this url: http://uslcboard.wordpress.com/ )

Date: Saturday, October 2

Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Location: USLC

Reflections from a Spiritual Perspective of The Prodigal Son

August 2, 2010

Here are a few key ideas captured from our recent Spiritual Bible Study class, focused on The Prodigal Son:

The younger son symbolizes our undeveloped awareness of our true spiritual nature, a nature that tends to let our ego get in the way. Like him, we learn Truth principles, use affirmations and denials, experience Truth principles working in our lives, our good manifests, and then we forget about our connection to Spirit. Sound familiar?

We use our inheritance (our manifested good) from our Father (the I AM Presence within us) and go to a “far country” (which stands for our material consciousness). Enticed by the lure of plasma TV’s, expensive homes and cars, Wall Street promises, lotteries, alcohol and drugs, and coconut rum ice-cream, we squander our good because we are inconsistent  in our Truth walk.

Advertisers tell us we are incomplete unless we buy this or go into debt for that. And we believe them! We allow our material appetites to trump our spiritual common sense.

Then we awaken to the truth of who we really are (the prodigal comes to himself) and realize our connection to Spirit (in the story the younger son says: “I will rise and go back to my Father”). When we go to our I AM Presence, we find the happiness, peace and prosperity we seek.

In the story, while the prodigal son is yet far off his Father sees him (God only sees the true us, the spiritual us.  Even though we forget our oneness with our Christ Nature by giving power to outer appearances, God knows us  and welcomes us with awesome abundance once we honor our God-Mind connection).

The older son, who stayed with the father all along, represents our moralistic and judgmental poverty consciousness.  Like him, we lose sight of our abundance because we block our good with our doubts, fears, lack of faith, impatience, jealousy and any other form of lack consciousness that separates us from enjoying the abundance we can have. All we have to do is ask, believe in our worthiness to receive, and enjoy our abundance. But we go to a “far country” instead of Headquarters!

Whether we go searching for our good (like the younger son) or fail to appreciate it when we’re standing in the middle of it (like the older brother), we end up in the same place if we are inconsistent in our meditation, prayer, faith, forgiveness, and tithing.

These are the metaphysical keys to accelerating our prosperity. The sooner we outgrow our prodigal choices and the sooner we make prosperity-affirming choices a habit, the sooner we’ll enjoy the inheritance that is ours, pressed down and running over.

What does this parable say to YOU, about your life experience right now?

USLC Strategic Ministry — Adult Spiritual Education

March 31, 2010

Adult Spiritual Education Ministry

Drs. Bil & Cher Holton (Directors/Liaisons)

This ministry focuses on providing state-of-the-art, high quality educational opportunites for our membership, our community, and people around the world. We are excited to offer a variety of classes through USLC’s Unity University™ ~ including courses focusing on Spiritual Education, Professional Development, Personal Enrichment, and Community Growth. Courses are offered on-site at USLC’s Education Center, and coming soon,  on-line through our website.

We also highly recommend the many programs offered through Unity Institute.


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