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havingfaith

We can let our lives be directed
by the same force that makes
flowers grow.  {…}

To trust in the force
that moves the universe
is faith.

Faith isn’t blind it’s visionary.
Faith is believing that the universe
is on our side, and that the universe
knows what it’s doing.

Faith is a psychological awareness
of an unfolding force for good,
constantly at work in all dimensions.

Our attempts to direct this force only
interferes with it.
Our willingness to relax into it allows
it to work on our behalf.

Marianne Williamson
A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles

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Shortly, I will be gone for most of February.  I thought I might leave you with a few oldies but goodies.  This one always makes me laugh!  There will be more to come!  And when I get back from my training, we’ll resume to our regularly scheduled programming.  Though “regular” is not a term typically ascribed to me :-)….enjoy until I am back…blackandwhite

From here on out, this blog will be in re-runs.  There will be a continual, unending loop of re-posts.  It will be boring, repetitious and worse yet, time will elongate during this period and appear to slow down.  Painfully so.

I’m just kidding!  My point and I do have one, she says snarkily, is that even a word?  Back to my point, the little locally focused me – the one that goes to sleep and thinks she is separate from God/Source/Universe et al.  The one who thinks banging it into place still works.  The one who believes that all forms of fretting will keep any negative surprises at bay.  The one who forgets about resting and trusting in the continually unfolding nature of all things. The one who wants to go it alone and get out there and make it happen.  The one who thinks her hands are the only hands on the levers of life.  The little locally focused me who gets a little crazy even at the idea of rest and trust.  What is little me supposed to do while bigger me is off resting and trusting?  Somebody has to DO something.  We can’t just sit here resting and trusting with a dumb ass smile on our face.  Hurry up, we’ve got worrying to do and plan B’s to execute!

Or do we?  Isn’t all spiritual forgetfulness just a re-run and a boring one at that, stuck in an endless loop with no fast forward button.   Well, I’m not actually in re-runs not literally and not metaphorically because if I were, I wouldn’t be writing about it.  I’d be lost in black and white re-broadcasts desperately searching for my color palette by adding more drama to the mix.  But if I should re-visit re-runs, I hope to remember this.  And especially I hope to recall that nothing very serious is going on here but by now some seriously dull and tiresome re-runs.

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Recently I expressed to my teacher and mentor, Philip Golabuk, that as a facilitator, I could now declare that I was *that* Alice.  I was referring to the movie we have both seen and loved, Alice in Wonderland.  Alice isn’t sure she is The Alice, until far into the movie.  The Mad Hatter knows but she’s got doubts.  There’s a pivotal moment when she no longer doubts, she knows, she is *that* Alice.

And so it goes with being a facilitator, you get certified and then you go on into real life and do the practicum and practice what really is art in motion and its a different work of art every time.  Basically I was declaring I was a practiced artist by saying I am now *that* Alice.  Once I’d declared that, a piece of me felt like high five-ing myself for the courage to be that and to speak it out loud.

A much smaller part of me said: really, we’ll just have to see about that.  Doubt.  Here I had picked up the thread of doubt and like a loose thread on the hem of my shirt, I kept on pulling and unraveling until I was in a heap of doubt.

But, wait, there’s good news here!  If I can grab the thread of doubt, an unwanted feeling, and run with it, then it’s opposite is true!  I can finger the thread and unravel the flip side of doubt.  Hell, I don’t have to pick up a thread of it’s opposite, I can put the whole damn coat on!

Enter the Coat of Many Feelings.  My friend Ahmee inspired me when she spoke of how she puts on the coat of Freedom.  What a concept!

So I took *that* Alice’s coat and I slipped my arms into it one at a time, pulling each end up until it sat upon my shoulders.  I looked down, I was wearing a tawny colored coat, medium weight, high collar, button down (many buttons), fitted at the waist and then it flared out from there.  Finished off at the hem and sleeve ends was fluffy faux fur.  No animals sacrificed here!  It appeared to be Edwardian style.  It was Alice’s coat!  Next I caught the wave of the feelings that went with *that* Alice’s coat.  The feelings I’d already known and felt.  The courage, the complete confidence, the strength, the knowing.  I settled into it until I knew I had caught the feeling again.  Then I took it off; it’s work was done.  And frankly, a girl’s got to move freely when she’s slaying jabberwockies.  :)

Then I thought of all that this could be used for.  How about the coat of creativity and inspiration?  The coat of – I believe in myself.  Or my favorite, the coat of — I am in love with life.  Oh when I put that coat on the whole world shimmers like every day is a sunny, spring day, the world is alive and vibrating, I am alive.  I know the full out joy and the rapture of being alive!

Anytime, anywhere I can put on any coat I want to, so take that doubt sitting over there fingering the loose threads of a hem, I’ve got the whole damn coat!  And more than that I know how to catch the wave of what turns me on, what lights me up, what makes my heart sing, what makes me swoon with delight.  I’ve got the power and don’t mess with me, because now I’ve got the coat, too!!

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Ah well, today I was feeling really grouchy and just wanted a do-over day.  The kind of grouchy where I want to slam doors and snap everybody’s head off.  I wanted to wake up and start all over again and maybe this time with a better mind-set.  I didn’t want to even ask what would Innocence bring to this which is my current daily practice.  Yet I didn’t want to be grouchy either.  I also didn’t want to go down the path of what exactly is it that I am giving myself to that is causing me to feel grouchy.  Just for one dang minute, Beth, can we be “normal” and not go down the rabbit hole of consciousness every time there’s a glitch in the day?

Apparently not.  Once I wake up metaphorically speaking, it’s hard to fall back asleep again.  That really should feel like good news but not when I’m pushing against grouchy!  So what is a grouchy girl to do?  I went into my room, closed (not slammed) the door and opened my laptop and began writing this.  And asked myself — where do I begin?

I met someone at a Field Center conference recently, her name is Lori and she’s from the UK.  I loved Lori.  Lori spoke of one day when she found a lump in her breast.  She went to the doctor and they suggested she be put on the fast track for evaluating the lump.  Lori’s reaction was — clearly I want to have this experience.  And as most people would respond, she felt scared.  And her reaction to that was — I’m afraid, ok, clearly I want to experience this fear, too.

I thought to myself that was the most self-friendly place anyone could ever be.  Meeting yourself with accepting all that you are experiencing, as well as all that you feel, is such a gentle and kind place to be with yourself.  It shimmers with unconditional self acceptance.  It’s so simple that in all that I bring to my practice, I’ve forgotten the simplicity of pure unconditional acceptance of everything.

So, grouchy, yes, clearly I want to experience grouchy today.  Clearly, twisting my panties in a wad is on the agenda for today.  Well, now I am smiling.  I get to be grouchy!!  I get to be!  No judging it, no pushing it away.  I embrace my grouchy self!

And therein lies the peace.  I just felt myself let out a big exhale of relief.  All is well, grouchy pants and all.  And the do over day I wanted; it just happened in real time as I’m writing all of you.

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rorshach21

What we take to be real is that which we believe is true in our world.  It’s the paint that we apply on our canvas, the clay we mold with, what we identify with.  Often they are identity, I am, statements.  I’m not good at that.  I am tired.  Say it often and you lend agreement to it, you give your consent to it.  State it enough times and you own it.  You effectively marry that version of you.

It’s a good reminder to keep handy, any time you find yourself feeling out of sorts about something to ask yourself – what am I taking to be real right now?  It’s a little way of snapping ourselves out of the story of our own making.  Once you see what you are taking to be real, you can then ask: do I really know this to be true?   Nearly always the answer to that question is – no, I don’t absolutely know this to be true.

With two simple questions you begin to wake up to the dream you are dreaming, the script you are writing, the picture you are painting and from this vantage point you get to choose differently.

Isn’t that such a relief to know?  It’s so simple that it’s easy to forget yet practice it long enough and it will become a welcome habit.

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We’ve all had things happen that left us pondering: wow, that was strange or what a coincidence.  Brief events that leave you doing a little double take because of their timing or strangely coincidental nature.  They often leave me asking — wow, what were the odds of that happening?

This week I had four fluke-ish events happen back to back and they all came within a 12 hour period.  Normally I would have mused over how interesting that was and then forgotten about it.  This time they so grabbed my attention that I delved deeper into what is the true nature of this phenomena.

What if the Field (Universe, God, Source) is in conversation with me via these chance happenings?  What if these are love notes from the Field or postcards from the Field?  In my mind’s eye, I took the events and put an image that captured its essence on the front of a postcard.  If the Field is in conversation with me right now through these events, what is the Field trying to tell me?  I flip the postcard over knowing it contains a note from the Field personalized just for me.   Here is what it reads:

You are known.
You are seen.
You are loved.
You are not alone.

I love the beauty in that.  Next time you experience something that left you feeling like it was a surprising coincidence, something so unusual it really got your attention, stop for that moment and take it in. The Field is talking to you, it’s in conversation with you by way of this or these events and it has a message for you.  Just for you.  You’ve just received a postcard, a love note from the Field.  Be ready, open and receptive to hearing what the Field has to tell you.  It’s timing is never predictable.  It will catch you by surprise and wonderfully so!

And a gorgeous postscript to this — I wrote this post and entitled it — Postcards from the Field.  I then did a google search for an accompanying image, typing in the search box “image of postcards”.   The above image came up immediately.  The Field has a sense of humour!  And the message on the back of this postcard:

We are always in conversation with you.
Love always, The Universe

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image locale

Recently someone I consider to be a wise teacher in my life, Philip Golabuk, stated that we are too much with the world and not enough with the self.  I pondered what was the meaning of this statement.  What does it really mean?

I’ve come to see it means I am too much with trying to make things happen in the world.  Too much with believing there are an endless string of things to be worked through.  Too much with giving attention to what I don’t want.
Too much being reactive to the world.   Too much with shouldering burdens I am not meant to carry.
And too much with believing I am in control.

Too much with getting and not enough with letting.

Too much with reacting and not enough with Being.

Too much with the head and not enough with the heart

Stated another way, as Meister Eckhart said: The outward man is the swinging door; the inner man is the still hinge.

Who is this inner man and which self are we not enough with?

Perhaps it is the inner self that doesn’t die.  The inner self that lives in the deepest truth.  The inner self which, when unobstructed, freely finds its way to goodness and grace.  The inner self that rests in calm, still waters.

The self that reaches a turning point and lays down its arms, literally and figuratively.  Knowing now there are no more causes to be fought or won.  Our arms drop to our sides and then, perhaps only then, does the Field/Universe/God take up our cause.

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simplemiracle

This world is full of miracles.

They stand in shining silence next to every dream of pain and suffering.

They are the dream’s alternative, the choice to be the dreamer, rather than deny the active role in making up the dream.

The body is released because the mind acknowledges ‘this is not done to me, but I am doing this.’

And thus the mind is free to make another choice instead.

~ A Course in Miracles ~

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22698moongoddess1Image Locale

Simply do this:

Be still, and lay aside all thoughts of what you are and what God is;

all concepts you have learned about the world;

all images you hold about yourself.

Empty your mind of everything it thinks is either true or false, or good or bad,

of every thought it judges worthy, and all ideas of which it is ashamed.

Hold onto nothing.

Do not bring with you one thought the past has taught,

nor one belief you ever learned before from anything.

Forget this world,

forget this course,

and come with wholy empty hands

unto your God.

~A Course in Miracles~

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kaleidoscope_kids

I had often felt the words: “the world is a mirror” sounded like another spiritual cliche and I would almost bristle at hearing it.  It’s one of those things I asked myself: what the hell does that mean?!

Now I have someone in my life that does appear to be a mirror of sorts.  Let’s call her Rea, short for reality.  I realized she is the outpicturing of me.  The me of two minds on a subject that is near and dear to my heart.

There is the me who believes in the happy ending.  I’ve even seen and felt that happy ending, in my mind’s eye.

Then there is the me who gives myself to the “reality” of what appears to be, in the moment, an undesirable unfolding.  Something that I take to count against my happy ending.  I put my spiritual stock in that other consciousness, the me who gives up her faith in lieu of what looks like the facts before her.

Now my friend Rea is often given to saying things like “let’s face reality here”.  Abraham says don’t face any reality you don’t want to create more of.  I’m sure Seth would chime in similarly and the Field Center states that facing reality is an invitation to counterintend which loosely means to run counter to what you would like to intend about a thing.

I am the one of two consciousnesses, of two minds and Rea is the stark image and reflection, the mirror of what this other mind gives its allegiance to.

Yet I have other examples in my life of people who reflect my consciousness that carries faith in the desired outcome.  But who do I pay more attention to but the one who pisses me off with her “let’s face reality” spewings.  I’m mad that she might be right yet I’m mad at my own reflection, my own outpicturing of one part of my consciousness.  Mad at my own ability to create such a good mirror of myself.

Why is it so easy to be seduced by a mindset I don’t want?  It’s a question I’m not even going to answer.  The why doesn’t matter and answering it won’t provide me with greater consistency.  The practice matters and the consistency of it matters most of all.  If I’m going to be inconsistent, of two minds, I’m going to see lots of people and circumstances outpicturing my inconsistencies.  I should thank them, they tell me exactly where I’m vibe-ing.  They invite me to be restored again to One Mind.  I accept the invitation willingly and gladly.

I am free to be seduced by outer conditions and I am free to remain faithful to that which is not yet seen in the “flesh”.  I’ve seen it in my mind’s eye, I’ve felt it, I’ve lived it there.  It lives, it breathes, it walks, it talks.  This is what I choose to be captivated and enamored with.

No one says it better than Rumi:

Close your eyes.

(see it in your mind’s eye)

Fall in love.

(let yourself fall in love with the ideal, let yourself be captivated by it)

Stay there.

(stay consistent)

And if I should see the outpicturing of inconsistency again, I won’t shoot the messenger.  I will thank them, truly, for the invitation to fall in love again with what I believe in.  Should I be held spellbound by anything, let it be by that which is my heart’s desire.  Let me lose myself inside that inner world where it already exists and let the outer world do what it does, I have my own world to attend to.

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