Surrender! Again?


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

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: