Out & About: I Rise

 

by Christy Semple, RScP

still-i-rise

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!

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Out and About: Good Vibes, Good Deeds

by Christy Semple, RScPsend-good-vibes

Recently, I was walking past a retail store and something in the display window caught my eye. It was a brilliant blue shirt that had the words Send Good Vibes printed on it. I realized that the store didn’t have my size when I stopped in to check further, so I decided to investigate further online.

It turns out the shirt was a product of the Life Is Good company, a company known for its social awareness and their mission to “spread the power of optimism.” And it turns out the company puts a great deal of energy into this spreading optimism by walking the talk and encouraging others to do the same. But it’s not just by wearing their clothes! Behind the slogan on the Send Good Vibes tee shirt is a belief in the power of this practice and the support of others who practice it as well.

On the Life Is Good website, the company shares the idea that, “We see it when we believe it. Each one of us has a choice: to focus our energy on obstacles or opportunities. To fixate on our problems, or focus on solutions. We can harp on what’s wrong with the world (see most news media), or we can cultivate what’s right with the world. What we focus on grows.” It’s a reflection of some of the same principles we talk about in the Science of Mind teaching.

Elsewhere on the Life Is Good website, the company shares ideas and real-life stories for sending good vibes” and spreading the power of optimism by focusing on good and doing good. On one page, viewers are invited to “Tell us something good that happened today using #GROWtheGood on Twitter and Instagram and you (your story) may be featured here.” Another page is titled “Positive State – Let’s Change the Conversation,” where “positive personal stories from all fifty states reinforce that optimism is alive and well across the USA. Everyday, we can choose to help each other focus on the good. What we focus on grows.”

The tee shirt that I saw in the store window was more than a display of a cool-sounding motto. It is a call to action to participate in the metaphysical idea of raising the vibration of our collective consciousness and actively participating in “growing the good.” It is a wonderful reminder to rise above appearances, s Holmes encourages us to do in his writings, and know that the truth of Divine Goodness is alive and well in our world and we can each do something to help it grow!

Out & About: Finding Joy

taoby Christy Semple, RScP

Joy. It’s a quality that is often sought and sometimes seems elusive. Yet it is actually always part of us.

I was pleased to see the cover of a recent catalog for the Athleta clothing company that honors the essential truth of joy. It pictures a woman of advanced “calendar age” doing a challenging Lifted Lotus yoga pose. Her face exudes a sense of sublime joy. Underneath her picture is a quote, The joy of living is inside you. Live it. Believe in it. – Tao, 98

It turns out, this is Tao Porchon-Lynch. At 98 years old, she is the world’s oldest yoga teacher and an inspiration for people all over the word. She travels the globe together with Dr. Terri Kennedy, a yoga and meditation teacher, and they teach and show how mindful living can help anyone achieve the Power of Positivity. To Tao, the recognition of Oneness is the real power that governs the inner self.

The idea so beautifully expressed through the words and photo on this catalog speak to the true nature of joy. In the Science of Mind, we teach the principle of the Allness, Wholeness and Ever-Presence of God, Spirit, Infinite Intelligence, meaning that the whole of God is present at every point in space and every moment in time. The Allness of God is present at every moment within each of us. Hence, the Allness of the qualities of God, including Joy, are present within each of us at every moment. It is up to us to recognize this and allow its expression.

So, the words of Tao at 98 are wise indeed. They acknowledge this Truth that the Allness of the joy of living lives inside of us right here and right now. These words inspire us to know this, to believe this, and to live it by opening up and allowing the expression of it to flow richly and freely through us.

As a new year begins, rich and full with the potential of new ideas and experiences, we can practice centering ourselves in the Truth that the Allness of Joy is Ever-Present within us, ready to be felt and expressed. It’s up to us. We have the potential to live this Truth and feel joy like never before and enjoy a year that is rich and full, with gladness and well-being shining forth from our face, whether we are doing our favorite yoga pose or walking down our favorite path in the park, and whether we are 8 or 98!

Out and about: the power of One

may-we-be-oneby Christy Semple, RScP

As an ever-evolving student of this teaching, always tuning in to see opportunities to learn and see principle in action, I noticed an interesting message posted on the sign in front of a church in my neighborhood the other day. It read: if we forget that we are One Nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.

The words captivated me and inspired me to pause and reflect.

As a metaphysician, I immediately thought about Oneness. To me, this message was a reminder about the power of both knowing that Oneness is the truth behind all of life and the power of not knowing, and forgetting, this truth. When we do know and trust that we are One Nation under God, we know that we are all connected in the One Mind, that we are divinely united in the expression of this idea known as the United States of America. This knowing inspires and supports a flow of energy to the idea of being united, which, in turn, attracts more support, more energy and more ideas and actions that are in harmony with this truth of being united, such as cooperation, synergy, and harmony. As we learn in this teaching, power flows to and increases that to which we give our attention. And so, when we give our attention and support to Oneness – one nation in the Mind of God, united and indivisible – the expression of this idea naturally expands and outpictures, expressing in a variety and multiplicity of ways, such as harmonious solutions, positive developments, and forward progress, all in support of and alignment with a united country.

On the other hand, when we forget about Oneness and the unity of all in the One Mind of God, and instead give power to the idea of separation – being separate from God – then the idea of separation grows and outpictures in a variety and multiplicity of unpleasant ways that are not in harmony with a united nation, such as discord, division, hostility, obstruction, and delays in moving forward or making progress in outcomes that are harmonious and widely beneficial. Ultimately, when we continue to forget that we are One Nation under God – one with God – and the idea of separation is continually fueled, then we are pulled down by our doubts into the unpleasantness of growing disharmony, and we become a nation “gone under” to negativity, antagonism, recession, and turmoil.

As metaphysicians, we are blessed with the awareness and understanding of the true nature of the unity underlying all and the power of either supporting it in our minds or doubting it and giving in to separation and all of its challenging feelings and manifestations. We know that we are blessed with the power to choose. So, as we move through these final weeks of what has been a tumultuous presidential campaign and difficult time for our country, we can choose to give power to the idea of Oneness and connection with Infinite Intelligence, rather than the idea of separation. We can give energy to the Power of One in our minds and in our conversations with others, orienting our thoughts and words to recognizing and trusting in the Divine Guidance and Harmony of Oneness. In so doing, let us remember the words of Ernest Holmes from My Prayer for My Country, originally published in Science of Mind magazine, July 1953:

The All-knowing Mind contains the answer to every problem which confronts this country. I know that every leader in this country is now directed by this All-knowing Mind and has the knowledge of a complete solution to every problem. Each is impelled to act upon this knowledge to the end that abundance, security, and peace shall come to all.

Kindness Counts!

Kindness

by Christy Semple, RScP

In my practice of mindfully noting the myriad ways that Truth Principles express in daily life, I recently enjoyed a wonderful example of the connectedness of life. It started out as I was driving to the celebration of my high school reunion. It was a beautiful late summer evening and as I drove over the bridge that crosses the great Ohio River, I noticed ripples from a passing small boat moving out across the river in all directions. In the moment, I savored the beauty of the scene, not realizing how the rippling-out effect of life would be brought to my attention in another way later that evening.

At the reunion, I enjoyed delightful and interesting conversations with old classmates that had come to celebrate from near and far. One visit stood out in particular. A girl that I had gone through school with told me that she always remembered my thoughtfulness and consideration of others, which I was touched by and grateful to hear. Then, she said that when raising her daughter, she would mention me as a nice example of someone who was kind and thoughtful and she would encourage her daughter to use similar kind words and deeds “like Christy” in her interactions.

I was deeply touched by my classmate’s  remembrances and the way she was inspired to pass along the examples of kindness she had learned from me back in our school years together. It was a beautiful reminder of the importance of my beingness in the word and a profound expression of how, the Oneness, our thoughts and actions ripple out in the world, touching and affecting one person, then another and another, even when we don’t realize it. It is a wonderful reminder that we can and do make an impact in the world, initiating those ripples out into the web of life. Yes, each of us can make a difference in the expansion of love, respect, and cooperation in our world. Thank you, God!