Every Day is Election Day

dreamstime_xs_58901956I promise, this musing is NOT about the candidates; enough already! And if you know me even a little you can safely guess who I am voting for on Tuesday. This is, however, about voting. I am hoping that everyone consciously votes for the candidate of their choice because the conscious choice is what is most important. And even more important is to remember that we have that same invitation to make conscious choices every day, not just in November. Why… because we are the ones who are choosing our experience of our objectified reality. That is the Law of Consciousness. Sorry, can’t change that because you don’t like what you see. But you can change it by electing to see it differently… every day… in every moment. And the other part of the Law of Consciousness is that you are making these choices anyway… so the question is: Are you doing it consciously or unconsciously?

First you have to shift from unconscious thought. You know, running on automatic, letting your past beliefs and past experience shape your current reality. It requires waking up and looking at the situation from our wholeness and not from our conditioned mind. In each moment of awareness, you can choose how to direct your attention.  You can choose to look differently at your experience and reframe what you see.

If you are a practicing student of Metaphysics, you know this. If you have been participating in our current series/classes on The I of the Storm, you have been practicing this. And we have all been getting lots of opportunities to practice in the political climate of this election. How ripe it is for opinions, judgments, outrage, and then, of course… healing.  ecause we are all being asked to elect a greater perspective, a higher more conscious choice not just of the president we want to represent our country, but the consciousness we want to embody ourselves. It seems clear from the candidates which one we wouldn’t choose to carry forth a perspective of acceptance and a more loving and cooperative approach to life. Are we just as clear with our own thoughts, perspectives, and actions?  Do we choose to be loving and accepting of ourselves and others in every moment? I know I don’t. Sometimes I even forget that I have that choice. I often live from the structures, routines and habits that I have created to feel safe and in control of this wild world.

This election has reminded me, over and over to stay in love… no, not with the “other” candidate’s ego and personality, but within myself. To elect the higher point of view that whatever needs to fall away (within myself) and in the world today is being dismantled and falling away, even though it is fighting (dirty) to hold on.  I know some of the structures and beliefs in me hold on that way sometimes too. So, I trust that what is happening out there is part of the same transformation process that occurs in our inner world. We continue to elect higher thoughts and feelings of love and acceptance and faith and understanding, over and over again because the redemptive power of love will defeat anything unlike itself.

So consciously vote on Tuesday for the candidate that represents the highest ideals to you and consciously vote in every moment for the same ideals to out-picture in your world through conscious thought and conscious choice.  Click on the link below and get started.

Blessings Beloveds,
Rev. Janice


Surrender! Again?

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Surrender is a spiritual buzz word that may still make us shudder.  Actually our soul is buzzed and encouraging us to surrender our self concept, our point of view, our need to be right, our confusion, and our defensiveness.  Wow, that is a lot for our ego mind to surrender, no wonder our human self shudders.

But here’s the thing folks, when we are truly struggling, when we feel that we are in a storm of doubt, blame, confusion, lack and real pain, surrendering is the surest way to healing, wholeness and truly living a life of purpose, meaning, and joy.

And yet…we still hold on.  Even to what is making us unhappy and unhealthy.  Often it takes utter exhaustion and hitting bottom with feelings of hopelessness and defeat before the ego mind finally says, “OK, Enough…You do it!”  One of the subtle misunderstandings in the spiritual community of this kind of surrender is that we may think that “You” is a God outside of ourselves who has an exact plan that we are just to stubborn to see.  When actually, we are surrendering to our own Soul, the individualized essence of God that is within us and does contain the next highest divine ideas that we can choose from to live our divine purpose.  Our Soul essence within us is the fullness of all of the divine qualities that will support us in living our highest life.  That is what we are invited to surrender to and dissolve into.

Surrender in the truest sense is not just turning things over to a God outside of us (in the sky?) and saying, “OK, fix this while I just go about my life.”  Sometimes it feels like a relief to do that,  we think we are practicing the idea of  “let go & let God” and we relax.  This can shift things, for a while.  But I have found, that unless we use this time of letting go to truly deepen our understanding of the Truth and of God, by having a direct experience of that Truth and of God, then we can not permanently bridge the apparent divide between our oneness and the stubborn dualism that characterize much of our common experience.

What is a direct experience of God and Truth?   It is the experience of our Soul essence, the actual place of oneness.  We do this through meditation.  That is what true meditation is, the direct experience of God.  We need to truly experience the peace, calm, wholeness and clarity that is at the center of our being.  Then, and only then should we walk back into the conditions of our life, now with the perspective of our soul and not our self concept.

Very often we come back too soon.  We feel the relief of letting go.  We call on God and our higher self to lead us, to guide us, to direct us, to support us, to care for us.  We may even spend considerable time in the silence and stillness of our soul.  Our ego and intellect gets a needed rest and may even enjoy this little respite for a while.  And then it starts to get stronger again, it gets bored, it feels like it is not doing its job and begins to peek out at the circumstances of our life and doesn’t yet see a change, a shift, or any movement at all.  If your ego is anything like mine, it begins to get loud again…”Well, obviously this is not working! Nothing has changed yet (in one hour, one day, even one week) so I have to take over again because if I don’t it will all fall apart and then where will I be?”  Anybody…or is that just my mind? Those who are still with me will recognize that this is where we jump back in, where we start taking action again (usually the exact same action that got us here in the first place).  And we are back at the circumference of the storm where the winds of confusion, defensiveness, blame and the need to be right blow with devastating ferocity.  Instead of remaining at the center, at the eye of the storm, or as Gary Simmons teaches in his book and our fall series and class, at the “I” of the Storm.  There we are invited to remain centered in peace and clarity UNTIL our intuition, our soul knowing guides us to the next principled step that will bring us wholeness.

In this way we learn to honor the ebb and flow of our lives.  We learn to surrender when it seems that things are at a low point so we can drink deeply from the well of our soul and then return to ride the flow and rise up again to greater heights.  It is all a wonderful cycle and when we consciously engage it, it can be a wonderful ride.

I highly encourage you to join me in this series at Unity to discover the “I” that is your Spiritual Self and to learn the tools that will allow you to remain centered there as you are guided to choose from this perspective.  Join us on Sundays, or keep checking our website for blogs and podcasts.

autumnFor today, I invite you to use the season of autumn to open you to the idea of surrender and engaging the cycles, just as the earth does with the cycles of the seasons.  Let this remind you of how often she opens herself to the dying and rising rotations.  I offer you a part of a Prayer of Acceptance, by Wendell Berry to the Eternal One…

When I refuse to wait with the mystery of the unknown, when I struggle to keep control rather than to let life evolve,

Wrap me in the darkening days of autumn and encourage me to wait patiently for clarity and vision as I live with uncertainty and insecurity.

When I fight the changes of unwanted, unsought events and struggle to keep things just as they are instead of letting go,

Place me on the wings of traveling birds flying south, willing to leave their nests of comfort as they journey to another destination.

Oh, Eternal One, change my focus so that I see not only what I am leaving behind, but also the harvest and the plenitude that my life holds.  May my heart grow freer and my life more peaceful as I resonate with, and respond to, the many teachings this season offers to me.

Amen and blessings beloveds,
Rev. Janice

Keep the Faith

If you have or know a teenage girl, or one that was a teenager in the ’90s, you must have heard them say, at least once (or to some of us parents, many times) AS IF! (insert attitude). When it is used in this way, they mean… “like that would ever happen.”

12-conditions-of-a-miracleWhen we use it as a spiritual principle it actually means… it can only happen if we act as if. This was the 9th condition of a miracle that we explored this week, Acting As If, and I want to continue our exploration because this is a crucial step in the manifestation process that is often overlooked or misunderstood.

When we are working towards manifesting our dreams, creating a new situation or circumstance, attracting greater love, abundance, joy, creativity, restoring our health, living our purpose, any and all desires that we hold in our heart, we know that any change must begin within our own consciousness. This is liberating and also can be daunting. We are told that all things are possible with God, and of course they are, and yet we also know as Truth students, that it is our responsibility to align our consciousness and our vibration with the most high and not with our self concept or mortal mind that cannot see past the objectified conditions of our life. So we learn the steps, we practice emptying, letting go, surrendering, aligning with Spirit through prayer and meditation, imagining our new life, and then we are told to act as if. We are told that acting as if means that we take action in the direction of our dream and that this action is often a big leap of faith.

dreamstime_xs_29965881Ok, here is where some of the misunderstanding may come in. Acting as if is NOT the same as “fake it till you make it.” If we are saying what we think we “should say” and acting in a way that feels inauthentic just because we want to “walk our talk” but we don’t even believe our talk, then it may make us look better to our “spiritual friends” but the Universe only responds to HOW WE FEEL; the Universe only responds to the authentic energetic patterns we are holding. So if we are faking it… you get the picture. What to do? Well, don’t lose faith!

We must not only “act as if” we must “FEEL AS IF,” and we must make this leap of faith in our own consciousness and inner energy field first before we even speak or act. How do we “feel as if” when things don’t feel good? We use some of the same steps of manifestation that we are using to create miracles:

Empty – Turn away from the condition and even how you feel about the condition. Breathe deeply, let go of fear, worry, doubt.

Align – Turn within and connect with God in whatever way works for you.

Feel – Imagine how you would feel when you achieve your desire, whether it is perfect health, a new relationship, a new job, greater financial abundance,  peace in your relationships. If you can’t imagine, then think of something you already have that makes you feel good, connected, joyful, peaceful. But you must be able to feel the feeling of the desire already met.

dreamstime_2559456Then, when you return to objectified consciousness and you still are not experiencing this new condition, you keep the faith. You continue to feel as if it is happening even though the evidence has not yet appeared. Remember, lack of evidence is not evidence of lack (thank you Michael Beckwith for that Truth that I pull out of my “Truth Tool Bag” often).   This is the biggest leap of faith you will take, to continue to trust that God (remember to whom ALL things are possible) is arranging all of the details in the great mystery of life to bring you the greatest life.

It is a big leap of faith in consciousness, one that requires constant diligence and still requires us to act as if. Again, not faking it. If you cannot speak authentically yet, or even act authentically yet, then be quiet and just be. Never speak against your dream or act in ways that will negate the prayer you have made to the Universe. So often, and I can attest to this more than I would like, I have to just not talk or act (both of which I love to do), until once again I can align with the feeling tone of my desire as if it is already here. Then I can move forward authentically with faith and inspired action.

Something to remember… while you are getting to this point, it may often be necessary to work through your doubts and fears with a trusted spiritual friend or teacher; please do that. Don’t deny what you are feeling; just know that you are working toward the feeling that you know you will have and that God wants you to have. Oh, and in the times that you can’t find the feeling at all, feel gratitude; be thankful for all that you do have. That will lift your vibration in an instant.
Blessings beloveds,
Rev. Janice

Watch this video for even greater wisdom from Abraham HIcks about Feeling As If:

Balancing Act

autumnAs I write this on the day of the Autumn Equinox, may the blessings of balance be with you. It’s not easy for me to say good bye to summer, nor is it always easy for me to maintain balance in my life. Since it still feels like summer on this 80-degree fall day, that one is not so hard this year, but always staying centered in my life is a continual practice.

I spend a lot of mental energy trying to maintain balance in my life. On this day of the Autumnal Equinox, I am reminded of an insight I had a couple of years ago, one that I still try to remember when my life feels out of balance. During an equinox, there is almost an equal number of hours of light and dark, as close to perfect balance as we get. But this only occurs two days a year, the other 363 days are “off balance.” So this insight reveals to me that even in nature, there are more times when it appears that things are not perfectly balanced.  Being a perfectionist, this is a relief!

It also reminds me of the mysterious perfection of nature, which does have its extremes (more light-back to equal-more dark-back to equal) and then automatically restores balance by the natural order of things. This is important to remember since loss and change are part of this human experience and things are going to shake our balance. And even more important to remember is that, when it happens, we can seek a different kind of balance, through the natural order of things. Instead of instantly trying to fix things to restore balance or getting upset because every area of our life is not working perfectly, we can apply the practice of equanimity (it even sounds like equninox).

calm woman at sunsetEquanimity is a beautiful spiritual practice where you remain centered, calm and accepting with whatever is happening in your life, be it what you would consider good or bad. You treat all situations and circumstances equally. Yes, I know, sounds crazy right? But this is what emotional and spiritual maturity is all about people. This is present-moment awareness, this is remaining centered in Spirit. This is the beautiful harmony that we see in nature. There are highs and lows; there is light and dark. Without one, we could not appreciate the other. It’s not a matter of controlling life so that we are not shaken up, it’s a matter of how we process the high moments and the low moments.

Balance does not mean that everything in our life is perfectly aligned. I’m not saying that we have to like everything that occurs in our life, but if you want to grow and have a truly rich experience of all of life, then let this realization be an awakening!

Steven Izen did. Who is that, you may ask? Are you wearing a Lokai bracelet, or do you own one or know of them, since they are everywhere now. Well, Steven Izen created them based on this realization which became the driving force behind Lokai, a bracelet that encourages one to be humble through the highs and hopeful through the lows.

So on this day when we let summer slip away, and embrace this new glorious season of autumn, let yourself be with both. Another way to practice equanimity is to embrace everything and attach to nothing. Embrace all the wonderful joys of the passing summer and then release it (that one is for me). Embrace all the wonder of this gorgeous fall, that is already appearing stunningly in Sussex County. Embrace both the highs and lows of your current life circumstances, reap the riches of the experiences. Try not to label them as good or bad. Don’t attach to any of them, because in the natural order of things, they too will pass.

Blessings beloveds,
Rev. Janice

Here is a video about how Lakai bracelets are made:

What Will YOU Never Forget?

Last Sunday was the 15th Anniversary of 9/11. My talk to honor this event was titled Forever In our Hearts, which is not just one of the phrases associated with 9/11 but actually how it is imprinted upon anyone who was alive on the planet that day.  I know for me, that those who lost their lives, the heroes who responded, the outpouring of love, the prayers, the unity, will forever be in my heart.

Another phrase that has become associated with 9/11 is Never Forget. I don’t really think we need a phrase to remind us of this either, because again, it has become a part of the history of humanity and a piece of our individual hearts. What I spoke about on 9/11/16 was a way for us to remember the events of 9/11/01 with the same compassion, respect, love, and unity that we experienced then and perhaps not with the emotions of fear, retribution, and anger that this phrase, Never Forget,  has seemed to gather over the years.

9/11 was an epic spiritual wake-up call. And we were all wonderful first responders, but did we stay awake?  Did we use this unimaginable tragedy as fuel for transformation?  Did we continue to treat others in the world with compassion, respect, love and unity?  Or did we fall back to sleep?  I’m only musing here, what do you think?  I guess we just have to look at the continued wake up calls, the smaller yet still devastating world wide tragedies for a clue. Wake up calls will continue until we stay awake.  They will continue until we allow them to truly transform us and not just use them for a momentary burst of energy and action or even just a momentary softening of our hearts.

But, let’s bring it down a notch and get personal, because that is always where we need to start.  You all know what I’m going to say by now, we must start with the situations in our own lives because the metaphysical principle is that world events are merely a reflection of the dominant consciousness on the planet today.  So, yay, let’s start with our consciousness.

Think about a situation in your personal life that caused you  to feel loss, pain, suffering, or unhappiness. Think of a person that you feel mistreated you, disrespected you and even was the reason (in your mind) that you suffered, even if it was 15 years ago.  Even if it was longer, like someone in your family, or your ex ___(fill in the blank).  Think of any  stories that you may continue to hold forever in your heart that caused you pain (and continue to keep you as a victim of that pain). What about any mistakes you have made or that others have made that you will never forget, let alone forgive?

Of course we are meant to deeply feel and honor our emotions, even painful ones and then to use them as as a kind of raw material to stoke the engines of transformation. Of course we are meant to learn and grow from mistakes and and then we are meant to let them go. Once we use the pain to birth a new experience or conception of ourselves, we have the capacity to forget it. Ask any mother who has given birth if she really remembers the pain or if she glories in the new life. Every experience is meant to lead us to an inner transformation of love, compassion, and connection. That is actually sometimes the deeper meaning for the spiritual wake up calls that feel like a challenge, or a crisis.

The same way that we can choose our thoughts and beliefs to ensure that we have a greater experience of our objectified reality, we can also choose our memories. We can remember the beautiful, loving and wonderful aspects of anyone and everything. We can still honor the memory of those who have made their transition by never forgetting the gifts we received from them.  We can even honor those who have left us or hurt us in relationship, or any past experience by also honoring the gifts we received from them, even if the gift was greater growth and freedom for ourselves.

I decided to honor the 15th Anniversary of 9/11 with acts of compassion and forgiveness in my own personal experience. I did an inventory of these things myself. Wherever I was still holding a hurt, forever in my heart, I bought love and compassion there for myself, which allowed me to forget the supposed injury and forgive. Forgiveness is what leads me to freedom. Isn’t that what we all want? To remember that we are truly free and no one and no thing can enslave us. And to remember that we are not here to enslave others, but that we are all connected. Mother Theresa, the newly canonized saint said, “We have forgotten that we belong to one another.” Let’s make an intention to never forget that.

Blessings beloveds,
Rev. Janice

Fierce Prayer

I no longer prayer politely. Oh sure, I say thank you, but as Eric Butterworth points out, I see gratitude as a causitive energy, not good manners. Prayer for me has evolved from petitioning God to claiming and accepting my good. And yes, in my occasional dark moments, there is still some begging and pleading, but even then I try to remember that the power in prayer is that it is not for God, but for me… for my conscious acceptance of the absolute and unconditional givingness of Spirit.

World Day of PrayerThis week was Unity World Day of Prayer. A day when millions of people around the world request prayer for themselves, their loved ones, and for the world. For 24 hours, there are individuals at Silent Unity and Unity Centers across the globe who align their consciousness with the vibration of God’s highest light and speak the names of those who are open to receive this light so that healing and wholeness can be embodied. It is a beautiful, simple act of love that yields profound and perfect results, if we could each accept and receive the results. I believe that this is one of the keys to answered prayer.

Why do we think our prayers are not answered? There are many reasons and many books written on this topic and I do not claim to have the answer for everyone, only for myself.  When it seems that my prayers are not answered it is usually for two reasons. One, I am not being fierce in my belief that I am worthy to receive this perfect solution. And this still happens to me, even though I conceptually know the truth – that everyone is worthy to receive the unconditional love and goodness that Spirit is continuously giving. The prayer for me then becomes (because it is for my consciousness and not for God) to fully embody this truth and to accept it completely with the deepest willingness to receive it entirely.

The second reason that it seems my prayers aren’t answered is that I am not being fierce in my commitment to align with the vibration of that which I am praying for. It is a metaphysical principle that you can only fully receive that which you are a vibrational match for.

So, when I pray to know prosperity, am I aligning with the vibration of abundance in my thoughts and actions? Am I actively generous, spacious and appreciative? Am I maintaining the consciousness of abundance even when outside conditions appear differently? When I pray for health and wholeness, am I allowing myself to not only eat healthy and care for my body, but also to think healthy? Are my thoughts predominately positive or negative? Fierce prayer requires me to live in faith and trust. To stay open and allow God’s Light to move through me instead of letting fear and doubt have it’s way with me. Fierce prayer is Affirmative Prayer, the way we pray in Unity. Speaking only words of Truth in the present moment, claiming that it is already done and aligning with the positive vibration of this truth in our minds and hearts.

If you feel that your prayers are not being answered, try being fierce with your commitment to feel worthy and willing to receive and guard your vibration. Because the truth is – your prayers are already answered – as soon as you asked, it was given. Once you can really accept this Truth, you can soften, and let it in. You don’t have to be fierce with God, only your own self image that forgot that “ye are gods.”

Blessings beloveds,
Rev. Janice

Who’s the Boss?

If you live in New Jersey and love Rock & Roll, you might answer, Bruce Springsteen.  Well, at least I would as a Jersey Girl and long time Bruce fan. After seeing him in concert for the dozenth time this past week, I am still astonished by his vitality, resilience, and stamina performing for 4 hours at 66 years old with unquenchable joy and mastery. So I stand by my choice. But really what I want to muse about today is how to be my own boss while emanating these same qualities. Because, really, no one is the boss of you except you, and these qualities are inherent in each of us. But until we claim our power and stop giving it away to others and claim these qualities with authority, we can allow other people, ideas and lesser vibratory thoughts, feelings and actions to be the boss of us.

vacationI have been on vacation for the past two weeks. When we vacation, we vacate our ordinary lives in order to relax and recreate. As we have discovered in the Twelve Conditions of a Miracle, the first condition is emptiness. Vacation allows us to create this space where we can then truly re-create. It is important to do this. To let go of the busyness of our lives and our focus on working and doing and simply be. To get quiet so we can hear the call of our soul and the voice of our higher self. I have had a glorious experience in this space and feel the fullness of the abundant Spirit to re-create more love, peace, prosperity and joy in my life. But it did take a turning away, a looking within, a letting go.

Now that I am returning to work that I love, I can also feel the pull to get busy again, catch up, work harder, make sure all bases are covered, fill in the moments with activity. While I certainly do want to re-create a level of competency and efficiency, I also want to create more balance and harmony in my life. In order to do this I must remember that I am the one in charge of what and how much I do. That I must continue to have enough time in the emptiness to fill up on God. That I must keep my attention on the abundant Spirit within that gives me the clarity and guidance to do what is required without. That I must not allow the outer circumstances, conditions, or other people to dictate where my thoughts, beliefs and attention will go. They are not the boss of me. My glorious soul that is already complete and aligned with Spirit  is my true authority.

From this true concept of myself I too can be like The Boss. I can be resilient and take charge when my thoughts go astray. I can have the stamina to stay committed to my convictions for at least 4 hours (when sometimes I can’t remain there for 4 minutes). And I will truly feel the vibration of joy that is my true inner nature.

This is how we can all be the master of our own minds. Since we all agree that our thoughts, beliefs and self concepts create our experience of our objectified reality, let’s get bossy with any thought, any belief and any concept of ourselves that is less than the amazing and awesome individualized expression of Spirit that we are. I have always been told I was bossy, so this isn’t that hard for me. But even this I need to turn within. It is not about actually bossing around other people in our lives — we are not the boss of them — but simply to be our own inner authority. To fine tune our awareness so we catch those errant thoughts before they take over and be bossy with them. To catch our attention before it gets focused and attached to the outer conditions (which are only a reflection of a past consciousness) and be firm in bringing our attention back to God, back to abundance, back to love.

This is the way to truly re-create our lives. Whether you have just been on vacation or not, vacate your habitual way of being, thinking and acting for 4 minutes (or go for the 4 hours) and let the stamina of your soul resonate joy through your entire being. As Bruce would say, “Baby, we were Born to Run.” I say, we were born to run on love and joy! Work on that, and only that, this Labor Day Weekend.

Blessings beloveds,
Rev. Janice

Testing, Testing… Can you Hear Me Now?

Here is one thing that I have found to be consistent on my Spiritual Path these last 20 years: Whatever I intend to be, change or create in my life, the Universe will give me LOTS of opportunities to practice. It happens so quickly now, that sometimes my head is actually spinning. And sometimes it does feel like a test, and I often feel that I either fail flat out or come up short. Since I am vocal about my own spiritual growth, through these musings and my talks on Sunday, it is sometimes quite public when I am presented with one of these “tests” so it is very obvious if I am “walking my walk” and “talking my talk.” Hence, the outright failure or coming up short is also sometimes public. Well, another one of my intentions is not to hide, so there’s that.

And I have learned to put it all in perspective. I am just human. I make mistakes like everyone else. This is part of my growth. I’ll do better next time. All true, but I want real transformation (yes, greater patience is also one of my intentions and I’m still practicing that). I understand that it needs to be incremental initially, and it’s good to celebrate every try againsmall progression, but sometimes I really feel like the Itsy, Bitsy Spider. I work so hard at climbing that water spout (of my consciousness). I am almost to the top, and here comes the rain again… someone says something, does something, or things in my world are not really changing yet… and the doubt rains down again, and my intentions and my dreams are washed out. But just like the Itsy, Bitsy Spider, I am persistent (if nothing else), and so out comes the sun of my Higher Consciousness, the Light of Divinity in me and I start my climb again.

Last week, I mused about family. Many of you related, as you shared with me. Not surprising, because our true beliefs are mirrored in our most intimate relationships. And that is the key… when we are tested, or our buttons are pushed, the real growth comes when we can identify our own belief that is being mirrored by the “button pusher.” That is what we are meant to hear. The parts of ourselves that we have rejected or our most hidden beliefs want our attention. They want to be brought into the sunlight of Divine Love. That is the real test… can you hear your own doubt, your own fear, your own hidden beliefs of lack or unworthiness and bring the light of compassion to yourself? Can you hear that in the midst of what is coming up for you when your attention is on the person or experience outside? All of life is an invitation to go within.

Last week my intention was to give as my gift to the family of the earth, understanding, acceptance, compassion and love. I have been “tested” quite often since making this intention. Not to see if I would pass or fail, but to give me the opportunity to see any of my own hidden beliefs or flaws so that I could be understanding, accepting, loving and compassionate with myself and those parts of me. Then, and only then, I can accept and love others, even when they are showing those same qualities. When we make an intention, we will see all the places in ourselves that are unlike that which we are asking to be, so that they can be healed.  Remember, we can only receive that which we are. We can only give to others that which we are.

Because we are all connected in this beautiful web of life, our consciousness, our beliefs, the actions we take don’t only affect us, they affect everyone we touch. Whether we make itsy, bitsy progress in this web of consciousness or not, every incremental movement affects the whole. The good news is: You cannot fail. It has never been a test of how good you are at life or in life. It is only a “test” of how much more you can accept and love yourself, and even if that is an itsy, bitsy bit more every day, that is miraculous. Be persistent in that and don’t let the rain of perceived failure or unworthiness ever wash away your dreams.

Consciously build a web of new beliefs based on the Spiritual Truth of who you are. Just as a spider creates a web from it’s own body, so too do we create the web of our life from our own body of beliefs.  The video this week is exceptional.  In 3 minutes you can receive 20 keys to conscious creation from Gregg Braden, author of The Divine Matrix (matrix… web… same).

Let it raise you back up the spout of your consciousness.  And thank you for every itsy, bitsy bit of love you bring into the world. I can hear you now!

Blessings beloveds,
Rev. Janice

We Are Family

JaniceBilleraThis is a picture of my actual family: parents, sister, daughter, son-in-law, nephews and nieces. Since this picture was taken, my dad has made his transition and my nephew has had a baby. Families grow and some members go, but the impressions they have made always remain. And most are beautiful, like this picture, right?

But some impressions, well, maybe not so beautiful. Sometimes we call these our “emotional buttons.” I often say that our families push our buttons, because they installed them so they know right where they are. And guess what: We do the same for them. Ram Dass has said, “If you want to see how enlightened you are, spend time with your family.”

So why am I musing about this topic this week? Two reasons. The first is that last weekend I spent time with my beautiful family, all four generations of them, at my daughter’s birthday party. An interesting thing I noticed is how our families still hold an idea of who we are based on the past (and sometimes I’m talking way in the past, like decades) and use it in the present, no matter how much we may have changed.

I am always a work in progress and always working on myself, humanly and spiritually. I also work on not falling into the trap of being affected by someone’s perception of me.  With family, I have found this even harder, because their idea of me is not only their perception, but an old perception at that. And truth be told, I often do the same thing with them (more work for me). The contrast that made this all clearer for me at my daughter’s party was how we all embraced my nephew’s new baby completely, as this amazing brand new being. There is no perception of him except love and joy and the enthusiasm of a new life. That’s when I got it; this is how I want to see everyone!

And this leads to the second reason why I am musing about family this week. Last Sunday, my topic was What is my Gift to the Family of the Earth? I have been contemplating this all week. What is mine to give? How does God want to express through me? This is actually something I think about a lot, and I have come up with things that have led me to do what I do on the planet: teach, preach, etc. But deeper contemplation leads me not just to giving my gift as something that I do, or a role that I play, but what can I really give as a way of being.

I often say (and practice) that if there is something  you want to receive more of in the world, then you must be prepared to give away more of that very thing. Being with my family, whether it is my family of origin or my family of friends or my spiritual family, what I want to receive more of is acceptance just as I am right now (not holding on to the past or projecting opinions). So that it what I must give away. That is the gift I want to give to the family of the earth. And it must start with my own family and it must start with myself.

So here is the practice. Every time I feel an emotional button is pushed, it is an opportunity for love, acceptance, compassion and healing. Where do I begin… by giving that gift to myself. Also by not blaming the “button pusher” but also accepting them with love and compassion in the moment. Further, whenever I see anyone from my immediate family or my extended family of the earth, I want to see them as brand new, filled with love, joy and enthusiasm for life as I see my new grand-nephew Mason.

In my wonderful Italian family, whenever anyone felt bad the gift we offered was…….. (come on you Italians, you know the answer…) FOOD, and lots of it. It’s how we showed love. So what  I want to offer now, as my gift to the family of the earth, is the food of my heart… acceptance, compassion and the present-moment awareness that everyone is doing the very best that they can in that moment. So it is my intention to see them only at their best, succeeding in achieving their best, and accepting whatever is the best they can give. Oh, and to also practice this with myself.

If we could all do this with every person, including our family (bless their hearts), we would all have a great gift to give to our family of the earth, because We Are ALL Family!

Have fun with the video this week from the animated movie, Ice Age. We can all use a blast of “ice age” this hot August day and we can all use the reminder that we belong to the family of the earth.

Blessings beloveds,
Rev. Janice

Seize The Day

I love bold statements! I am always inspired by invitations to “Seize the Day,” “Live your Best Life Now,” “Give your Greatest Gifts.” And I do try to follow these bold edicts by living my life fully and purposefully. However, sometimes I also notice that my ego mind can lead me astray by only thinking that my life is full and purposeful when I am taking really big actions or living an outrageously amazing life. This is when I need to stop and remind myself that to “Be Here Now” is really the boldest invitation and action I can possibly take.

dreamstime_s_3620453To be here now is great when we love where we are. To seize the day when we are on vacation, or with loved ones, or out in nature is easy, we can all do that. But to seize the day when we are at a job that isn’t feeding our soul, or getting a root canal,  yeah… not so easy. Our mind will ask, why would we want to seize that? Instead it will invite us to run away and only come back and be present when we love what we are doing that day. Sorry, it just doesn’t work that way.

Here’s how it works. Every single day is a gift. Every single moment is packed with extraordinary opportunities to see the beauty, magic and magnificence of this most amazing world and we get to be here to experience that, if we are here now in however our life is unfolding minute by minute. Yes, even a root canal can be a gift, when we are looking for what is good. That is how it works, look for the good.  Intend to see the good, because there is so much good available, when we seize the moment and not let it go until we find the beauty and goodness that is there.

We have been talking about miracles this year and creating the conditions to experience them. Very often, we are looking for the BIG one, the one that will heal us and our lives, but while that is unfolding (and I am sure it is),  let us not overlook all the small everyday miracles that are the stepping stones on our journey. When we take our eyes off the final destination, and see every miracle that is right in front of us, our whole life feels like a miracle and a beautiful gift.

So my bold nature has moved me to take the bold invitation, Carpe Diem and make it even bolder, Carpe Momento, Seize the Moment. Yes, I know this isn’t new; we talk about present moment awareness all the time, but I need to be reminded of it again and again. I easily get pulled into the busyness of my day and forget to seize the moments.

One of our beloved board members shared a beautiful story with us at our meeting the other night. She is also practicing being here now in a bold way. That morning at work, she was also being pulled into her busy day, running off to a meeting to arrive on time. As she passed someone on the way, she initially gave them a half-hearted greeting so she wouldn’t be late. And then she had the awareness to stop to be right there, right then, and offered a full-hearted greeting. It happened to be the other women’s birthday and by stopping she was able to appreciate and celebrate her, which made her friend’s day and also filled her heart with joy. That is how it works.

dreamstime_xs_7126993To seize the day in a conscious way, make a bold intention every morning to be present in every moment with awareness, appreciation and celebration. Intention is the key that turns on the ignition switch of the Universe. Since our day unfolds based on our consciousness, why not intend to see the good in all things today. Why not intend to notice the small gifts and miracles that present themselves to you all day, no matter what you are doing. This is how your whole life can become a miracle.

And yes, that goes for the people in your life too. See the good in them! It is there, if you look deep enough. Seize every opportunity with every person you encounter, to see the good in them, to appreciate it and celebrate it. Since we are all connected, you will experience your own good in greater and greater ways. That is how it works.

I found a very cool video this week from the perspective of Judaism… yes we are all connected. Check it out and see the good.

Blessings beloveds,
Rev. Janice