Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Perpetuating Stereotypes

Our thoughts create reality. The more consistently we have a thought, the more likely we are to produce that event or effect. This works in our own lives and what we manifest for ourselves, but it also works collectively - in the collective consciousness of our world. That is why it is so important to begin to change our own minds, but beyond that, to encourage a change of thought in others - because the collective consciousness is so powerful in manifesting what we experience in our world.

It is sometimes said that stereotypes exist because there is an element of truth to them. It certainly seems that some behavior patterns can be true to groups - gender, race, age, nationality, geographic location, or other collection of people. But when I think about how our thoughts manifest our experience, I conclude that those stereotypical patterns may continue, in part, because of our collective thoughts about them. Judgment that we put out about things we disapprove of only creates more of the same...that energy of thought only feeding the situation.

When you look at the child in the ghetto and conclude that they will end up in a path of crime, consider that your thoughts may be contributing to that outcome. Change your thoughts. Put your energy into a path out of that despair - into a prayer that God give them strength to overcome a seemingly impossible situation, into a commitment of your love and compassion. Send gratitude for the fact that it is not you in that place, and RESPECT for those who endure it...because if God doesn't give us anything we cannot handle, then he must have great respect for what those souls are capable of. Give those that you might previously have passed judgment on the respect that God must be giving them through their heavy burdens.

We all have prejudices that have been heaped upon us by society. Because of our varying experiences, we inevitably have differing views of things. That can be a good thing, but we must first choose to let go of our negative views about things we know little of. In doing so and sending love and respect, we contribute to the solution, rather than to the perpetuation of the problems.

In the simple act of changing your thoughts - revisiting your ideas - you can contribute to a more positive collective consciousness, and one that will help change the world for the better. Be conscious of your thoughts, as they hold the key to change. Think in love, and you will be a healer.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Unconditional "Mother Love"

Today is Mother's Day, and I celebrate "Mother Love". It is that unconditional, nurturing love that sees the good in us, it helps us remember our attributes and what we are capable of. Those who have that kind of love from their mothers or others are fortunate, because it is the kind of love and acceptance that makes us better. Let's face it, everyone does not feel that kind of love from their mother, or from the world at large. Sometimes, a mother's love is about their own need to control, or need to feed their own ego.

I raised my children in a wonderful "family friendly" area - where people strove to be the most that they could be, to attain and obtain the best. It was a place where parents were involved in the lives of their children in a big way. In that sense, it was a very nice place to raise kids. But with that also comes the tendency toward "helicopter parenting" that needs to control and maneuver in order to make sure their kids "get ahead"...or the parents whose own egos are put upon the shoulders of their offspring. I will admit it can become contagious. As a parent, I sometimes fell into that trap, of expecting from my children what others expected of theirs, of sometimes trying to make them something they were not, all from the worry that if they didn't do something in the normal way or through a certain path that they would not thrive. I was never really at home in that place, nor were my kids entirely, because something inside told me it did not fit - yet it took me a long time to recognize and declare it.

Within the last few years, I have had many spiritual experiences that reminded me of not only my true nature, but that of my sons. And even though I sometimes wish I could do it over again in raising them, and adjust accordingly, I realize that it is never too late to make those adjustments. I have relearned how to read my sons, how to tune in to who they are rather than who the world says they should be. In my appreciation for my own growth and reconnection to my soul, I am trying to help them find their true selves, blaze their own paths - whether those be conventional ones, or not so conventional. I know that I do not want them to fall into cookie-cutter existences, so I am encouraging a path that might go against the norm. I know that at their young 20's ages, they too are bombarded with pressures of who and where they are supposed to be in their lives, so I try to impart upon them the courage to be different, to be true to themselves, to find their own path and follow their own calling.

Chinese spiritual philosopher Lao Tzu, said,
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be."

Whether we are male or female, childless or with many offspring, the greatest gift that we can give as "mothers," to our own children and to the world at large, is the gift to be love, accept, appreciate, and celebrate individuality in the world. When we give up the need for others to do things our way or see things as we do, we are giving unconditional love, we are giving "Mother Love" and birthing a better world. We are all aware of a loving mother's ability to heal - to make the hurt go away - and we can give that healing daily to those around us - to strangers on the street - and heal them through our compassion and acceptance. If you do not feel unconditional love from those around you, love yourself unconditionally - see your good, celebrate your uniqueness.

Share the Mother Love today. Feel the difference it makes around you. What you put out will be returned to you.

Happy Mother's Day to all those who share their Mother Love with the world!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Nature...God's Real Sanctuary

I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in. ~George Washington Carver

For most of us in Western culture, going to church means gathering in a specific building on a certain day and at a certain time. There can be merit in that practice, and certainly there is sometimes an opportunity to gain inspiration within those walls. I don't attend any certain church. I often randomly decide to attend a specific one based on being moved by spirit as to where to go or when, or how often. I do not automatically attend any place at those "church hours" of Sunday morning, but do my own personal "church" throughout the week.

This morning, when I took my walk and was heading back home, I glanced one direction down the street toward a little neighborhood Episcopal church and felt somewhat called to attend there. When I later went back in that direction, I ended up sitting on a bench in a park across from the church. While sitting there, I heard a loud flutter that sounded like a very large bird's wings flapping. I looked up at the large fir tree beside me, with multiple trunks which gave it a hollowness almost all the way to the top of the tree, and realized that the sound had come from inside that tree,not too far up, and it was likely a large owl near me. I laid down on the bare grass underneath the tree, soaking up the energy from the ground beneath, knowing that is was replenishing me, knowing that this experience was something beyond what my skin could feel or my eyes could see. I "listened" to the owl with my spiritual ears (the ones that require little sound, but are connected to your soul). I felt my heart open. I asked questions...and waited for the wisdom of the owl to wash over me. I heard its wings flutter loudly again. The owl felt me and I felt the owl.

The majesty of this tree...of this owl, hidden from sight but obviously there...the energy and glory of God's creation surrounding me front and center, gave me my sanctuary. I did not need the building across the street, did not need the message from another person, I simply needed to commune with nature, soaking up God by soaking us His creation. Find some time in nature and you will find time that is truly with God. You do not need a building or an organziation to touch fact, you may be missing the truest miracles of God if you think that is the way to Him.

God's sanctuary is not brick and mortar, not steel beams and is in nature and in our hearts. Return to that acknowledgment and you will enhance your spiritual experience, and deepen your connection.