Every path I make, every road leads back
This particular song addresses one of the most profound human experiences – the experience of being “called”. A calling is a strong inner impulse toward something greater than our ordinary day-to-day life. It is a mystical experience, whether we feel called to a particular career, to a mission, or to a spiritual path.
If you have ever longed to discover your life purpose, you are feeling the call. If you have ever sought deeper meaning in your life, you are feeling the call. If you have a dream, whether grand or simple, you are being called.
Our calling asks us to live our life on purpose, with intention, with passion, and with wholehearted dedication. When we answer the call, we ourselves are transformed into something more.
How is Spirit Calling You?
In our ongoing series on Wisdom from Nature, today we are taking a deeper look at the alligator. Alligators are perhaps one of the closest experiences modern humans can have with dinosaurs. Not only do alligators have size, strength and razor sharp teeth, they also have thick skin which protects them from would-be predators. Alligators are quite literally armor-plated. Every ridge on an alligator’s back represents a bony plate contained within that area of skin. These bony plates make the skin very hard to penetrate.
This trait reminds me of the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. Agreement #2 says, “Don’t take anything personally.” In other words, develop a thick skin of your own.
Don Miguel writes, “Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally…If I see you on the street and I say, ‘Hey, you are so stupid,’ … it’s not about you; it’s about me.” Nothing other people do is because of you, even if they tell you it is. What they do is because of themselves. They are reacting to something from their own story.
All people are immersed in their own story. As much as we try, we can’t really know each other’s story. We only know our own. When we take personally what someone has said, we make the assumption that they know our story. In fact, you might say we are trying to impose our story on them.
The truth is, If we take something someone else has said personally, we do so not because of them, but because of ourselves. If I take something personally, then it’s probably because, deep down, I agree with them. I might think to myself, “How does he know? Is he clairvoyant? Or, can everybody see?”
So, what someone else says or does, comes from their story. My reaction, comes from my story. There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to us when we take nothing personally. We no longer need to place our trust in what others do or say. We simply trust the divine wisdom within us and let it be our guide.
Abiding in the consciousness of unity, I am identified with God and at one with all good.
In considering the question, “What is Unity?”, the deepest answer lies in our understanding and practice of the relationship between ourselves and God. The first thing a student of Unity learns is that God is absolute good, everywhere present, and that our essence is of God and therefore, we are inherently good.
Our foundational spiritual practice is to establish conscious unity with God. We seek to hold an awareness of our oneness with God, first in our times of silent contemplation, and as we mature, to carry that awareness in our everyday activities. Eventually, we learn to carry the awareness of oneness even in life’s most challenging circumstances.
When we live in the consciousness of unity, we cannot be separate from God. We find that we are in touch with blessings that formerly passed by unnoticed. Our conscious unity with God reveals the energy of abundant blessings flowing all around us. We find strength, creativity, peace and wisdom that we had not dreamed possible before we began this practice.
Let this day be dedicated to unity, to finding your unity with God, to identifying yourself with divine blessings.
At year’s end, the burning bowl ceremony is a powerful ritual — a symbolic release — to let go of anything that no longer serves us.
The burning bowl ceremony is a fire ceremony in which we allow the wisdom of Spirit within to guide us toward what we need to release. We then write a word or a phrase summarizing what we have been guided to release on a slip of flash-paper. As we burn the paper, we symbolically set ourselves free.
We take this opportunity to release old wounds, negative or unhealthy thought patterns, unfulfilled expectations, mistakes, or situations that may be holding us back from living our best life.
The benefits of release include an increase of good in our lives. We release all unproductive thoughts and attitudes from our minds so that we can partake of the ever-renewing life and vitality God has prepared for us.
We release all concepts of lack or limitation and increase our use of divine ideas. God-within supplies us with ideas that lead us in living creative, satisfying lives.
We release all habits that hold us in unproductive, unhealthy life-styles. God’s power working in us and through us is more than enough to keep us living in positive, life-affirming ways. We open ourselves and our lives to the goodness of God.
At Christmas time we celebrate the joy of birth — the birth of Jesus and the birth of the Christ consciousness within us. And yet, in this time of newness, we also find a reminder of the impermanence of life.
The third wise man presented the gift of Myrrh to the baby Jesus. Myrrh was a slightly pungent oil derived from a gum resin. It was used to anoint a body during the embalming process. As such, it is symbolic of death.
Metaphysically, the gift of Myrrh represents the eternal nature of the Spirit. It reminds us of our own dual nature. We are both fully human and fully divine. On the human level, all things are transient, here for a moment or a season and then gone. And on the level of Spirit, all things are eternal and we are eternally alive in God.
The gift of Myrrh invites us to open ourselves to the process of release and renewal. It invites us to honor our conflicting feelings – grief at letting go of the familiar, anxiety at facing the unknown, excitement as we consider the new opportunities opening up, and peace as we remember that we are all eternally One in Spirit.
Let us to come together in love, peace and connection as we support each other through this time of change, remaining centered in Spirit and holding each other in the light.