A Story About Cause and Effect – Thoughts Creating Experiences

bunch of balloons     By Ginny Fox

The following story was written as a final project for the Science of Mind class, “The Essential Ernest Holmes,” taught at the Center for Spiritual Living Greater Pittsburgh. Ginny shares an interesting demonstration of thoughts outpicturing in her experience. The many ways that Infinite Intelligence responds to our thoughts is truly amazing!

I was in a counseling session with a client that I’ll refer to as Sarah. She was very discouraged about our recent process of using cognitive behavioral therapy skills to change her thinking. She could not see any other way to think about her situation. She said, “I know my boss does not like me. I know I can’t get another job now. And I hate my car – it’s always breaking down.”

As much as I worked with trying to reframe these beliefs she was feeling, the session would end up in a circular process, where she would come back to these original beliefs and the seemingly unmovable positions and thoughts about her situation.

I said to her, “In the next session, let’s practice with some thoughts that do not have as much emotional response when you think about them. Let’s try thinking about the Hays Eagles and their eaglets,” (a popular Eagle family in Hays, PA that can be tracked by Bald Eagle Cam). “Think about the eagle parents caring for the single eaglet that has hatched,” I suggested. “Although one egg survived and hatched, this means that one eaglet will have a chance to become strong and will gets lots of food.” Sarah looked at me and said with a sigh, “How could this possibly help me, thinking about eagles and their babies?” I said to her, “I am trying to get you to practice changing your thoughts, and we might as well choose something that you don’t have any negative opinions about.”

I then suggested that she think about balloons floating in the air. “Close your eyes and visualize colorful balloons,” I suggested. At this point, Sarah was becoming visibly annoyed with my suggestions. It was nearing the end of our session time, and I suggested that she consider thinking about what we had talked about about when she went home. She told me that she would not like to re-schedule with me, but the session still ended on an upbeat note.

After the session was over and I completed paperwork for the day, I decided to wrap things up. I recited a clearing meditation to myself and affirmed that all is good. I then started to lock up the office and contemplated taking a drive down near the river on my way home. Just as I locked the office to leave, a delivery person came by and asked about the location of another tenant in the building. I pointed to the office he was looking for and to my amazement noticed that he was carrying a bunch of colorful balloons. I immediately remembered the suggestion for the visualization of colorful balloons that I had given to my client.  Then, I set out for the long drive home in my car. At one point as I was driving down a hill, I noticed emerging from over my car a large adult Bald Eagle, flying in the same direction as I was driving!  As I continued driving home, I felt awe and amazement as I thought about how my thoughts in the form of suggestions to my client had manifested with the balloons and the eagle in my experience.

To this day, I have not heard back from Sarah, but I believe I planted a seed that will connect with her at the perfect time in her future. And the memory of that outpicturing of thoughts in my own experience continues to inspire me!

 

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There is a Flow to Life

By Joyce Nowak

I was taking a walk yesterday and was inspired by something I saw in nature. My photo did not quite capture what I was seeing, but it will be clear in my insight. Since we had had so much rain, the creek along the trail was much higher, which made what I saw more pronounced. I was watching the flow in the creek and at this one particular spot I noticed the creek went off in several directions because of small land masses and debris. It occurred to me that the creek was still flowing but in several directions, and then it all joined back into the one flow.

My thoughts went to the idea that this is like life. There is a flow to life, a divine design of the One Creator. We all have our unique path to travel through life. There are many paths that our journey follows. We are all in the flow but at times we go in a different direction than others. We have a different journey than someone else. It is okay, and it is good that we have different journeys to take. We all end up at the same place in the end. Some of the routes we take are more traveled and some are less traveled.

If we can embrace our journey and the journey of others rather than judging them, that is good. Some journeys are more difficult than others, so if we can support each other and accept each other, life will be easier. Sometimes we may be separated from a friend or or a loved one for a time because our flow is going in another direction. Don’t worry about this because at some point you will be back in the same flow. When you find yourself getting angry at someone for not being in the same place as you, remember, it is alright for them to be where they are.

If we go with the flow of life rather than fighting it, things are a lot more peaceful. If we fight against it or try to take someone else’s journey, life will be hard and stressful. We are all here for a reason, so don’t worry about what other people are doing. Their ride may look easier and maybe it is because they are in their flow. If your life is hard, stop and ask yourself, “Am I in my flow or am I trying to follow someone else’s?” We all lose when we try to be something we are not. There is a plan for you to take your journey. You have your unique place and journey in this world. When you embrace you, the world as a whole benefits.

Thank you for following where your flow takes you. Thank you for being YOU!

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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.

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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:

https://www.citylab.com/equity/2012/03/what-communities-should-do-protect-against-climate-change/1562/

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/climate-change-what-you-can-do 

 

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No One Can Do It for You

 

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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