Tag Archives: shadow work

The Philosophy of Inclusivity

The basic premise of Inclusivity is that we are One. We are not separate from each other any more than we are separate from God.
The implications are huge. Holding this worldview means that we advocate for the whole, rather than for any one part. The truth is, our fates are linked. We depend on each other in ways we cannot see or even imagine. Every action (and every non-action) reverberates throughout the whole. What happens to any one of us, in some way, happens to all of us.
When we practice Inclusivity we recognize that building relationships is more important than solving problems. Inclusivity means we can experience connection, interaction and community with everyone – even with potential adversaries.
So how do we create community and meaningful interactions with those we consider ‘Other’? The first step is to recognize that the underlying issue in any encounter with the Other is fear.

Continue reading The Philosophy of Inclusivity


Have you ever done something that you regret? That you wish you could take back? I know I have, and it has been hard to learn to forgive myself. At other times, I have been on the receiving end of a hurt. People have said and done things that I have spent years coming to terms with, and it has been hard for me to forgive them.
I know I am not alone in these experiences. It seems to be part of being human. The sacred scriptures of the world are full of stories of people trying to figure out how to handle the pain we cause each other.
Unfortunately, in our humanness, we often turn to blame and shame. Sometimes, we are sure others are judging us, and we try to change to please them. Other times, we are the ones judging others. After all, if I focus on fixing you, I don’t have to work on my own stuff. Hmmm. Sometimes, we are blaming and shaming ourselves.
The truth is, all of this human experience arises from the fact that we have forgotten who and what we really are. We are expressions of God. At our core, we are whole, perfect and complete.
What does it mean to call each other and ourselves ‘perfect’?


Universal Benevolence

2016.06.05 Universal Benevolence

By Rev. Lauri Boyd, Minister, Unity of Columbia, MO

“In the simplest language, this practice [of Universal Benevolence] is about keeping your heart open as often as possible.”

Living Originally: Ten Spiritual Practices to Transform Your Life by Rev. Robert Brumet

Universal Benevolence means practicing goodwill and kindness to all persons, and ultimately to all beings. Jesus taught the practice of Universal Benevolence this way – “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (Jn 15:12)

The practice consists of three specific intentions: appreciation, kindness and generosity. When we practice appreciation, we choose to consciously recognize the value of the people and things around us. This recognition leads us naturally to the practice of kindness, blessing those around us through our words and actions. Generosity is kindness taken to the next level. It is grounded in the intention to give abundantly at every opportunity.

So what makes this practice transformational? Continue reading Universal Benevolence

Unlimited Forgiveness

2016.05.29 Unlimited Forgiveness


By Rev. Lauri Boyd, Minister, Unity of Columbia, MO

“Forgiveness means feeling all your feelings for as long as they are present, and doing this without creating a story of martyrdom, victimhood, or self-righteousness. Just feel it directly without adding anything to it.”

Living Originally: Ten Spiritual Practices to Transform Your Life by Rev. Robert Brumet

Forgiveness is one of the most powerful spiritual practices in which we can engage. It is a cornerstone in many of the world’s great religions and philosophies. It was a deeply important practice to our teacher and wayshower, Jesus. The concept of forgiveness is mentioned over 50 times in the Christian testament. The author of the Gospel of Mark records that Jesus taught, “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you.” (Mk 11:25-26 NRSV)

In other words, if Iwant release from anger and unforgiveness, Imust first make the choice to forgive. Consider that Jesus uses the term ‘Father’, not in a literal sense, but as a metaphor for the divine principle of wholeness, the mystical source of all that is. When I am holding onto unforgiveness, I cut myself off from experiencing that wholeness.

Forgiveness is both a choice and a process of healing. Continue reading Unlimited Forgiveness

Deep Self-Acceptance

2016.05.22 Deep Self-Acceptance

By Rev. Lauri Boyd, Minister, Unity of Columbia, MO

“Even if I am unconsciously engaged in an orgy of judgment and criticism, as soon as I become aware, I simply return to the present moment without further criticism or myself or anyone else…I do not judge the judgments or resist the resistance.”

Living Originally: Ten Spiritual Practices to Transform Your Life by Rev. Robert Brumet

When we use the term “self-acceptance” in its everyday meaning, we usually mean something like this:  I have an ideal (or good-enough) image of what a person should be, and I have an image of myself that is consistent with that ideal. Unfortunately, this means my self-acceptance is conditional. Whenever I fail to live up to the ideal, my self-acceptance goes out the window.

The practice of Deep Self-Acceptance, is not about comparing myself to an ideal standard. It is simply, “the unconditional acceptance of my present moment experience, whatever that experience may be.” (p.49) When engaging in this practice, my intention is to be fully present to each experience without resistance, without making up a story, without attempting to control it.

That said, I know that at times I will react, resist, judge and make up stories. When this happens, I simply accept this experience, too. I do not judge the judgments or resist the resistance.

It is also important to consider what this practice is not. Continue reading Deep Self-Acceptance

Radical Self-Awareness

2016.05.15 Radical Self-Awareness

By Rev. Lauri Boyd, Minister, Unity of Columbia, MO

“The seeds of transformation lie within each of us awaiting activation. We cannot control when or how these seeds will come into fruition, but we can develop the conditions that nurture and support the seeds of transformation. We do this through spiritual practice.”

Living Originally: Ten Spiritual Practices to Transform Your Life by Rev. Robert Brumet

When I am engaged in the practice of Radical Self-Awareness, I am aware of myself as an individual, and I am aware that I am aware.

Why is this practice transformative?  As we practice awareness of our body, thoughts and emotions, we begin to notice two ‘voices’ within us. One voice experiences what is – just the facts, ma’am. The other voice interprets what is and tells us what it means. It creates our story.

Let’s look at an example.

Facts – I am walking down the street and I say “hello” to a friend and she ignores me. I feel an instant flash of anger.

Story – I now start making up a story. My friend is rude and inconsiderate. Or maybe she is mad at me. Did I do something wrong?

There is nothing inherently wrong with making up stories. The problem occurs when we don’t realize we are making up a story, and we end up believing the story is the truth.

The Practice of Radical Self-Awareness allows us to separate the facts of our experience from the meaning we have assigned to it. This gives us options. Continue reading Radical Self-Awareness

Walking the Labyrinth – Excerpt from Dark Matters

My own awareness of my shadow began as a battle with chronic depression that started when I was only ten years old. I spent many years battling against this depression, first learning how to survive it, and gradually learning how to manage it. Yet I had no understanding of it as a signal from my subconscious or as an opportunity for deep healing. To me, it was simply ‘the enemy’. Then, in July of 2003, I had a transformational experience during a weeklong retreat at Unity Village in Missouri.

The Vision

It began with a vision during a guided meditation led by Rev. Robert Brumet. What I saw was a vision of myself enveloped in incredible sweetness and light. It was beautiful, true and pure, and it smiled at me with such love. Then, after a moment, the image began to change. It started darkening around the edges. It started smirking instead of smiling, growing ugly. It seemed as though the being of light was a shining mask superimposed on top of a much darker being. I could see the darkness around the edges and through the cracks in the light.

Continue reading Walking the Labyrinth – Excerpt from Dark Matters