Friday, January 3, 2014

Freedom in 2014

Today is the last Sunday in the year 2013 - we may already be looking forward to the new year with anticipation. However... when we look only forward we are missing an opportunity to reflect on what has been. It’s important to take time to mindfully and lovingly look back too – see what we may be holding on to that is no longer beneficial for us. We all carry old beliefs, attitudes, thoughts and feelings from our entire past life experiences. And if we do not take the time to review and evaluate them, we can find ourselves burdened by a whole lot of stuff that is not even beneficial for us any longer. That can drag us down – slow us down. Today’s special service, the Burning Bowl, is to help us let go the baggage of the past – to release negative and limiting thoughts and beliefs that are no useful. In do doing, we CAN move ahead – into the new year – into life - with ease and freedom. The purpose of this service is to take time for a consciousness cleansing. It is a time to let go of old stuff so that we can open up new places in our minds and hearts. I have noticed in my life - some baggage is pretty comfortable. familiar. we hold onto it –even though it is not really working FOR us any longer. We often hold on long after the benefit is gone - at the price of our happiness and freedom. We may think that if we give something up – it means we were wrong in the first place. We have all kinds of reasons for hanging on to stuff – sometimes just habit. Two frogs are stuck in a deep rut in an old hard dirt road. They try and try to get out. One finally succeeds and bids the other one goodbye. Later they meet each other at the pond. “I’m glad to see you, but I thought you couldn’t jump out.” said the first frog. The other frog replied, “I couldn’t, but then a truck came along and I had to.” Often time we change only when we have to. When life squeezes us so tightly that it grabs our attention and we are forced to look deeply within. What we are looking for now is more than change – more than jumping out of the rut. In our spiritual pursuit we are embracing personal transformation. Deep profound change – from the inside out. The first step is to take some time to look inwardly for something we may wish to release. Now often the first thing that comes to mind is a person or situation that we want to put behind us, to move past. The Truth – as much as we would like to release someone from our lives... sometimes... they are still there! at work, next door neighbors, family members. So it is important to remember as we go through this service - we are not releasing people……we are not releasing conditions……We are releasing the energy we have around them - letting go of the feelings or thoughts we have about them. We can release the disappointment …. judgment……… regret………guilt We can release the thoughts and feelings we have because THIS is something we do have control of. This is something we have the ability and power to do. We cannot make a person go away. But we can sure transform the energy we hold around them and as a result feel differently about them. FIRST STEP: spend some time in quiet meditation and contemplation - creating a space in which Spirit may work. Gently allow to come to mind any thoughts and behavior patterns we wish to release. What IN US is standing in our way of experiencing life fully and with joy? SECOND STEP: I will invite you to write a word or short phrase, which describes, or perhaps symbolizes in a way meaningful only to you, the condition from which you desire release. When you know what it is you would like to release, write a word or short phrase, meaningful only to you. THIRD STEP: When you feel so moved, place your paper in the flame of the candle and see it transformed by the flame, releasing the energy and power you have previously given that condition back to the potential for good from which it came. As the fire transforms the energy contained in the paper into heat energy, so you are releasing the seeming power this condition has had in your life. While you are standing at the burning bowl, or at any time you can repeat this affirmation: ‘This is no longer a part of my life. I set myself free’ MEDITATION Loving Spirit, we open ourselves up to your indwelling wisdom. We come before You, hearts open, minds receptive, thoughts still. We recognize that we are in the presence of pure Being, and immersed in the Holy Spirit of Life, Love, and Wisdom. We are filled with all the potential for growth, perfection and transformation. Your Truth is now living within every cell and fiber of our being. Your Love now activates our every thought and word. The joy of Your Life moving through us now quickens our actions. We are here to release negative and limiting thoughts and beliefs and establish a new awareness of Truth within ourselves. We are creating a space within which divine energy may work. The process of releasing begins with recalling the Truth that we are spirit, perfect, holy, and harmonious. In the quiet of this time, it will become clear, what at this moment, I am willing to release. What thoughts or feelings are holding me back from my highest good. What I need to release to feel and experience the freedom of Spirit in my life. Psalm 51:10 “create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me” I give thanks in advance that this work is done, that wholeness is restored in me. Truly this is the best day of my life, for it is an expression of the eternal now. I move forward into each day, alert to its gifts, ready for its transformations, grateful for its lessons. All is well. Amen Take time now to rest in the quiet and allow Spirit to guide you. Remember we allow it to come to us – without criticism, judgment. Like the way we would gently loosen something dangerous from the hands of a small child. Gently, easily, with great care Growing in consciousness - transformation - is a two step process - first clearing out what no longer serves us, then filling in with something new. Every time we clear something out - we want to mindfully choose what to replace it with.