Thoughts Are Seeds – What Does the Garden of Your Mind Look Like?

By Joyce Nowak

(This post is a piece written by our member Joyce Nowak as her final project for the recently-completed Foundations class that was taught at our Center. A photo showing the full expression of this work in words and pictures is included.)

Is your garden full of beautiful flowers or is it overrun by weeds? Have you been attending to your garden or just letting it grow wild? Is your garden looking more like a mass of weeds with some flowers here and there? Is your garden a mix of wildflowers and weeds which looks pretty but a little unruly?

Let’s look at the possibilities for creating the garden of your mind. I see weeds and wildflowers as unconscious thought, thoughts that have no intention behind them. You are planting these seeds without noticing what thought seeds you are actually planting. The more weeds you have, the more unconscious thoughts are creating the garden of your life. You may feel like life is happening to you and you have very little or even no control over it. Does your garden look like a mess like this?

You can look at this in another way that you are not so much planting seeds but seedlings. Seedlings come from seeds planted by others that have already started to grow. I see these as thoughts you adopted either consciously or unconsciously from other people. These could be race consciousness thoughts passed down through the family, society, or religions. These can be unexamined thoughts which are in your unconscious mind or thoughts you may have accepted by choice as part of your belief system. They can be planted unconsciously and become weeds or consciously and become flowers. This will get you a garden with both beautiful flowers and weeds.

The goal is to be planting your seeds or seedlings with intention and to know what you are planting. In order to do this, you need to become aware of what you are thinking. You want to do the work to uncover the hidden beliefs so you are not planting them without knowing it. This way you weed out what you do not want in your garden. You have a plan; you are consciously creating your life, and it is not just happening to you. The most beautiful gardens come from seeds and seedlings planted with intention. You have become aware of the power of your thoughts. You have created such a rich soil for your seeds to grow in, from a place of higher consciousness and your belief in goodness. Your garden is blooming with abundant beauty! You are awake and aware! You enjoy your life of purpose! You are focused on what you do want. You sit back in a comfortable chair and you look at the beauty of the garden you created and you know it is good.

All this planting is done in a co-creative process with the one Creator no matter how you are doing the planting. The Creator takes your seeds or seedlings and grows your garden, the garden of your life. It does not judge how you do it, consciously or unconsciously, with other people’s beliefs you have adopted or your own. It just brings it forth. So it is up to you to tend to your garden and weed out what you don’t want.

Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow? With seeds of intention, the fertile soil of examined beliefs, and knowing it is done!

Joyces Project


The Gifts of Louise Hay Keep on Giving

By Christy Semple, RScP

The remarkable Louise Hay gave many gifts of love and healing to the world through her speaking, counseling, and publishing activities. With more than 50 million copies of her landmark book, You Can Heal Your Life, having been sold throughout the world, she has touched lives across the globe in positive and profound ways.

Louise Hay made her transition from this earthly plane on August 30, 2017, but her love and wisdom continue to thrive not only through the printed word but also through the consciousness of those who learned from her while she was here through her written or spoken words and actions. With her birthday this month on October 8, it is a wonderful time to reflect, remember and look ahead with love and positivity.

Louise Hay’s gifts of love, healing, and understanding keep on giving as people continue to learn and practice with her books, affirmations, and recordings. Many teachers of healing and wellness practices continue to use her materials in their classes. And many practitioners of affirmative healing prayer continue to use her materials for healing ideas to incorporate into their prayer work.

I am a Religious Science Practitioner (RScP) who uses the wisdom of Louise Hay on a daily basis in my Spiritual Mind Treatment (affirmative prayer) work and in the Science of Mind classes I teach on spiritual mind healing. I frequently refer to my (well-worn) copies of Heal Your Body and You Can Heal Your Life to look at the brilliant chart of physical ailments and the associated probable causes and healing affirmations to help eliminate old thought patterns and negative emotions. These references have helped to guide me in dozens of situations to give understanding and direction in establishing a healing consciousness for myself and the others I have been doing Spiritual Mind Treatment for. The affirmations have helped me and many of my students and clients in staying on track with new healing patterns of thoughts and feelings.


The good that has come and continues to come from the wise words and guidance of Louise Hay is immeasurable. Her gifts will indeed keep on giving to the good of the individual consciousness of my students and clients and their experiences and then rippling out to the good of the collective consciousness. I am sharing the wisdom of Louise Hay with my young daughter as well, so I know these healing ideas will be used and stay strong for many, many years to come.

We are grateful for the love, the wisdom, and the beingness of Louise Hay that lives on to heal and uplift us and our world! Thank you Louise…


“I am healthy, whole, and complete.” 


Reflections on Faith

By Joyce Nowak

Recently, I went on two road trips on the back roads of Ohio and Pennsylvania. These roads were curvy and full of hills and valleys. When I was thinking about this experience afterward, it reminded me about faith. On my trips, when I was coming around a curve or about to go down a hill I could not see the road ahead of me. But I always knew the road would be there – I had complete faith. There was absolutely no doubt.

On further reflection, I thought it would be nice to have that complete and utter faith and knowing in other areas of my life too. What if I knew beyond all doubt that the universe always provides for me? What if I had complete faith that what I asked for was already mine? What if I believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that everything that come into my life was for my highest and best good? What if I lived from the knowing that I am a perfect creation of the One Creator? What if I was full of faith in the knowing that God wants me to experience Joy every day?

These are powerful spiritual ideas and my road trip experiences inspired me to think about if I really know them to be true or do I just hope they are? It’s something for all of us to contemplate. Ask yourself – Do you believe you are fully supported in life, just as you believe the road will be beneath your car as you continue down the road, even though you cannot see the road ahead? Do you have complete faith and knowing that God is for you and is always present? What would life be like if we really, deeply, completely did believe this every moment, every day? winding road image

[Let us] daily feel a deeper union with Life, a greater sense of that Indwelling God – the God of the seen and of the unseen – within us. When we speak into this Mind, we have sown a seed of thought in the Absolute and we may rest in peace.  – Ernest Holmes



Press Release: Climate Change Statement and Position from Centers for Spiritual Living, Golden, Colorado


The Centers for Spiritual Living (CSL) stands in support of the Paris Climate Accord (Paris Agreement). We view the recent decision by the Trump Administration to back out of the agreement to be a significant setback for any global effort to curb global warming.

The Paris Agreement was created to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions to help reverse the devastating effects of Global Warming. It is unfortunate that a Nation, which is one of the largest polluters historically, is taking such a step. The United States now joins Syria and Nicaragua, who did not sign the Agreement because it was viewed as too weak.  The Agreement has been signed by nearly 200 other countries.

We believe that God acts through creation, not independently of it. Statements which have been made to the effect that, “God will take care of Global Warming,” fail to recognize that each of us individually and us as a whole are responsible for our own experience – that God acts through creation. If we want a green and verdant planet, we will have to act in ways which support that outcome.

Centers for Spiritual Living believes climate change and environmental deterioration are moral issues and as a spiritual organization, we must take a stand,” said Rev. Dr. Kenn Gordon, CSL Spiritual Leader. “Climate change will not only affect our generation, but our children, our grandchildren, and all future generations of humanity, as well as other forms of life. We stand united with other faith communities in our call to care for the earth and to protect the poor and suffering.”

CSL recognizes the evidence of science: Human activity is the main cause of the climate crisis. This crisis is seen in the extreme weather, changes to seasons, rising sea levels, species extinctions, the melting of glaciers, and shrinking of the polar ice caps. The scientific consensus is clear.

The United States can best serve its own interests and those of all of humanity by continuing to be an environmental leader of the world in reducing emissions. The recent decision to exit from the Paris Agreement moves in the opposite direction. “We recognize that our good is within us, so we awaken to our individual responsibility and empowerment to properly steward our planet. So, let our voices be heard and let our actions speak of our love for our planet,” said Dr. Gordon.

Below find two links where you can get information about how to be good stewards of our planet: 




No One Can Do It for You



Christy Semple, RScP

I was enjoying a class at the gym recently and reflecting, as I always do when I am there, on the helpfulness of regular, continuing practice to both mental fitness and physical fitness. In both cases, ongoing learning of new skills and new approaches helps to facilitate deeper understanding and inspire renewed awareness and productive action. After nearly twenty years of attending both the gym and the Centers for Spiritual Living/Church of Religious Science, I also realized the value of a wise instructor to provide guidance in using a variety of different practices that effectively supported development and strengthening, both mentally and physically.

On this particular day at the gym, however, a different nugget of wisdom stood out. The instructor reminded us that no one can do it for you. “I can give you guidance and direction,” she said, ” but you are the one who gets yourself to move and do the exercises with intensity rather than just going through the motions.”

No one can do it for you – the power of this message and its similar applicability to spiritual growth stood out for me in that moment at the gym and has continued to stay at the forefront of my awareness. Along our spiritual path, we may receive guidance and inspiration from great teachers and we may have a practitioner doing Spiritual Mind Treatment (Affirmative Prayer) for us. It can be tempting to think, “I’ll listen to the wise words of the teacher and let the practitioner do the treatment work and I’ll be fine.” It goes back to the idea, though, that no one can do it for you. While the teacher can inspire your greater awareness and understanding, and the practitioner can know that Truth is revealed in a situation where it is challenging for you to know that Truth, they still can’t do the “mental muscle” work for you, in other words, consistently using the mental and spiritual tools yourself that support Oneness, healing, and change, such as meditation, positive affirmations, and supportive self-talk. The openness and receptivity of your own consciousness is key for the action of Infinite Intelligence to move through you in response to Spiritual Mind Treatment done by a practitioner. Your thoughts and beliefs, such as fear, doubt, and resistance, can block the flow even when some one else has done the Treatment for you.

So, just like at the gym where a great teacher can give instruction and guidance in aerobic routines and strength training, they still can’t do the actual physical actions for you, and likewise great teachers and practitioners can give instruction, guidance, and Treatment for you, but they can’t think the thoughts or feel the feelings that support mental and spiritual change and ultimately change in your outer experience. Truly, no one can do it for you but yourself. And as an expression of God, you have everything in your being to do that right here and right now!

Image from Learning Mind

Subtle Messages (reblog)


by Rebecca Harmon

Have you ever followed a dream, taken a job or chased an idea that felt right in the moment, only to later watch it descend into complicated arrangements, unfavorable circumstances or evolve into a burden instead of a blessing?

Before you deride yourself for making a bad move or write off everyone around you as being a pain in your backside; take a step back and allow your judgment of the situation to be held in suspended animation.

During this process of suspended judgment it is important to be open and honest with yourself and what you’re bringing into the situation. Are you creating negativity and drama? Do you need to lower some defenses and open yourself to more input by others? Do you need to work harder with some of the people around you to appreciate their contributions?

If you have done the hard work of an honest self-assessment around what you’re bringing into the situation and have found ways to love and appreciate those around you, it’s time to listen to the messages you are receiving, and pay attention to the energy that surrounds your day-to-day activities.

If you return to a sense of being in-the-flow after your self-assessment, you’ve done the heavy lifting in the situation. You’re where you need to be and have the tools to course correct if you find yourself feeling “less than” again.

However, if after your self-assessment you feel as though you’re swimming upstream against the current, or you keep hitting your head on a low ceiling, or you feel that someone has locked their arms around one of your legs so that every step forward you try to take is weighed down because you’re now dragging them along with you; it’s time to listen up as it may be time to plan your succession and next moves.

The Universe is always sending messages. These are rarely large, neon billboards. They more often come as gentle and fleeting insights that return with more frequency when you ignore or don’t act upon them. Here’s some guidance on how to proceed when you’ve stumbled upon yet another cryptic message on your journey.

Avoid making anyone the “bad guy”. 

Whether this is a job, a volunteer gig, participation in a social group – whatever it is – allow your decision to move on to be based on you wanting something new or different, period. Resist the temptation to make everyone else wrong so that you can justify your move. Allow yourself to want something different while acknowledging that they’re OK to keep wanting what you don’t. It’s all good!

Leave success in the wake of your departure

If you’re leaving a job, volunteer role or staff position in an organization, leave it in the best position possible to continue on successfully. Good leaders in business begin to succession plan on Day 1. If you’re well past Day 1 you can start today. What do you need to share with others so that the programs and services continue after you leave? How can you coach, train and mentor others to take on things you grew or developed that have contributed positively to the organization? This is also a good way to recheck your self-assessment. If you feel any need to “stick it” to the organization you are leaving, there’s healing work in you that must be done before you make any decisions or take any steps.

Remain accessible

Once you leave it is important to give enough space to those who take over your job and tasks to stand on their own, but this doesn’t mean you need to disappear. There will be questions, and remember: you once believed in the job/organization/mission/group dynamic enough to embrace it as a part of who you were, so make sure you are willing to answer questions, provide guidance and help point the direction to solutions when asked. There is a delicate balance between helping and creating codependence, so be sure you are coaching from a distance and not taking on tasks that they now need to manage.

Leave the past in the past

Once you move on, move on! When the Universe has nudged you to do more, grow further and expand your horizons don’t encumber yourself by living in the past. Avoid conversations about how limited you felt in that job, or about the short-sighted people in the organization or how your creativity was stymied in that position. Let. It. Go. You were given the gift of encouragement to do more, be more and grow. Accept that gift and let go of the past, as it serves no purpose in the here and now.

Understand that much of leaving the past in the past will take place in your head. Learn to discipline your thoughts. When you find your mind wandering down the path of the past, make an intentional turn onto a different path. Bless and release the past, with an extra emphasis on RELEASE!

There’s a uniquely-American fixation on the gold watch after 50-years of loyal employment that seems to stick to everything in the culture. This results in pervasive thinking that if you made a decision to take a job/join an organization/participate in a group,…you’re a member for life or there’s something wrong with you,…  Thankfully, the Millennials have helped to debunk this thinking and continue to teach the country that this paradigm is outdated and irrelevant.

While you’re in that job, volunteer role or social group, enjoy it! Live large, be one with the group and let it be a blessing to your life. Once it no longer blesses you, do your due diligence on the why (cleanse your own energetic and attitude “house”) and if the signs still point to it being “time to move on” – move on in peace and with the happy anticipation of the new adventure that lies ahead.

Take time to listen to your higher wisdom; the subtle messages of the Universe that are always showing up along your path. Pick up the bottle, unroll the scroll, read the message and move forward to the highest and best expression of you in your life!

Out & About: I Rise


by Christy Semple, RScP


I was walking past a bookstore recently and a poster in the window caught my eye.

It read:

I rise

I rise

I rise.

~ Maya Angelou

I had heard these words before, but this time the power of their message stayed with me throughout the afternoon and beyond. At home, I re-visited the entire poem these words came from, known as Still I Rise, in a book of Angelou’s poetry and was more impressed than ever with how profoundly, as one reviewer put it, “Angelou embodies the power, courage, and tenacity of the African American experience.” It inspired me to see how Angelou, as she is known so well for, expresses the wisdom of rising above challenging conditions, experiences, and beliefs, and doing so with tenacity and determination. I got to thinking more about these words and the uplifting approach to challenge that they inspire…

I thought of how I rise, I rise, I rise can be used like a mantra, repeated with conviction, to inspire oneself to begin or continue the practice of rising above an experience or conditions of the past or present to a higher point of view that is aligned with the true nature of the goodness of Life and ourselves. I rise, I rise, I rise helps to remind us to rise in consciousness and keep knowing, I am Good; Life is Good; the Goodness of God is in me; the Wisdom of Infinite Intelligence is in me; the Wisdom of Infinite Intelligence is in all people and all situations.

This positive, productive idea is the approach to healing and change that we learn in the Science of Mind teaching, to rise above the appearances and thinking of a challenging situation of the past or present. In The Science of Mind textbook, Ernest Holmes points out, “If we allow the world’s opinion to control our thinking, then that will be our demonstration! If, on the other hand, we rise superior to the world, we shall create a new pattern,” reminding us of the power of rising in consciousness above thinking that is based in fear and judgement.

Maya Angelou’s words elevate the wisdom of Holmes and guide us to a new way of thinking, with a rhythm that speaks to our heart. As we feel the desire to change the outpicturing of some old, limited ideas in our personal experience close-to-home, or desire to see peace, clarity and understanding expressed in the activities of the country and the world, these words can uplift and guide us to new, expansive ideas of Truth as we engage in our spiritual practices and go about the experiences (and thinking) of daily living.

In the days since seeing these words in the bookstore window, I have spoken them many times in my mind as I align my thinking with Truth ideas in doing my spiritual practices of meditation and Spiritual Mind Treatment (affirmative prayer) and planting the seeds of positive change in my life and the world.

And so, it has become part of my day to affirm: I rise, I rise, I rise!