The Bluebird of Happiness

by Rebecca Harmon* (summarized from her Sunday talk on July 31, 2016)Bluebird (NYS)

In the United States, the bluebird is an ubiquitous symbol of happiness -a symbol that shows up in children’s movies, fairy tales and general cultural lore.

Disney movies aside, this is not an American tradition exclusively, as “bluebirds” are granted special status in many other cultures.

Blue birds (as opposed to bluebirds), likely representing various genus and species combinations, have been viewed as symbols of happiness, wisdom and enlightenment in cultures from ancient China and old world Russia to today’s American (Disney) culture where movies such as “Song of the South” depict the “bluebird on my shoulder” in song as an indication of things going well, to “The Rescuers” where the bluebird represents the faintest and distant strings of faith. Even beautiful Snow White has happy bluebirds flying around her head while she sings outside of her forest home a la Disney.

What does the bluebird of such storied folklore have to teach from within the New Thought perspective?

The CSL (Home Office) facebook page recently shared a photo with the following statement:

“Happiness doesn’t depend on what we have, but it does depend on how we feel toward what we have. We can be happy with little or miserable with much.”

This is a key tenet in New Thought: each person has the opportunity to choose their perspective, their frame of reference. Happiness is a choice in every moment.

Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations with God, acknowledging this choice, reminds us that the Universe (God, Spirit, Creator, Infinite Mind,…whatever name you choose) always and only says Yes! Indeed, in many New Thought churches and centers there are beautiful and elaborate signs that say ‘YES!’ hanging on walls and in porticos to remind us of this spiritual Truth.

Mr Walsch’s sometimes humorous explanation of this concept, captured here on YouTube, is a wonderful companion lesson to that of the bluebird. If the Universe only and always says YES; we control our destiny by what it is that we state, affirm and believe our lives to be. And when we learn to feel gratitude for what it is that we have, we attract that back to us.

We become wise and enlightened when we know this to a level that allows us to respond only and always from a position of contentment. As I write this, many of us in the United States are preparing for Monday morning, the most-dreaded day of the week for a lot of people. In the context of the Universal answer (Yes!), the wise among us have or will change this reaction to one that resonates with what we desire – not what we see in front of us – as we remember that “happiness …depends on how we feel toward what we have“.

When we can be happy in this now, present moment, the Universe responds with a strong YES! and we attract more of the things that make us feel happy in the now, present moment – and on it goes.

And so as we begin the work week anew, may the bluebird of happiness, wisdom and enlightenment sit on your shoulder as a reminder of these powerful spiritual Truths!

And so it is.

*originally blogged on the author’s site

Bluebird charm



Those in attendance at today’s service received a small bluebird bead on a string, to take as a reminder of the powerful lesson the bluebird brings to us.


Out & About: the picnic of the world


by Christy Semple, RScP

As a Practitioner and ongoing student of this teaching, I am always looking and listening to life around me to remind and inspire me that Truth principles are in action all around us every moment of every day. These reminders may be subtle, surprising, or bold, woven into the fabric of life and expressing in a myriad of ways.

Recently, I tuned in to one of these “Truth moments” while I was attending a Fourth of July celebration event in Virginia. On a hot summer evening, more than 5000 people of a range of ages and ethnicities enjoyed food, music and games. The noise was boisterous and the energy was spirited. Suddenly at 9:00, a test firework was set off and there was a hush through the crowd, followed by hurried movement as everyone headed to the blankets they had spread on the ground for viewing. A breathtaking display of fireworks ensued, accompanied by patriotic music.

As I looked out over the captivated crowd during this spectacular show, I felt a powerful awareness of Oneness and a beautiful sense of the collective joy among all. I marveled that God was enjoying Itself through the multiplicity and diversity of all those people on the lawn. In that moment, I was reminded of a wonderful children’s song we had been listening to earlier that day, “The Picnic of the World,” sung by Tom Chapin, brother of folk singer Harry Chapin.

I thought about how this experience was such a perfect expression of the lyrics as some of them ran through my mind…here is an excerpt of the words.

All the nations sitting on a blanket, having a picnic, the Picnic of the World.
There’s Holland and there’s Poland and there’s Iceland and there’s Thailand.
There’s England and there’s Scotland, and America (that’s my land).
There’s Canada and Panama; there’s Sweden and Aruba;
Korea, Tanzania, not to mention Greece and Cuba…

We’re all drinking from the same big thermos, at the same big picnic
It’s the Picnic of the World…

We’re all sitting on the same big blanket
With the same big basket full of problems and annoyances,
But all knowing at the deep down heart of it
We’re all a part of it,
The Picnic of the, Picnic of the Picnic of the World!

I felt gratitude for that moment of awareness and the Truth it expressed. In the following days, I have continued to reflect upon, with a smile, the idea of The Picnic of the World.

Yes, whatever the appearances or misunderstandings, we are indeed all a part of it, connected in the One Mind.

It’s Time to End the Violence 

A Letter from Dr. Kenn Gordon

Let Us Raise Our Consciousness and End This Senseless Violence

Our hearts are broken open once again by senseless violence and unjustifiable use of force against African Americans in the United States. Alton Sterling and Philando Castile are the latest names added to a list that is far too long. Like many, I am tempted to decry a growing epidemic, but in truth this violence is not new. What is new is social media and cell phone cameras that have raised the level of general public awareness of a persistent issue. And let us be clear about what the issue is; this is not a policing issue, nor is it not a gun issue. This is a consciousness issue. Our modern technology is giving us a gift. The gift to see what is really going on. Our social media reveals that which has always been true – that we are all connected. To quote Mother Teresa “we belong to each other.” Through this connection we see the devastating pain and discomfort that comes when we engage in behavior that breaks the bond of that inherent spiritual connection. We must be willing to be uncomfortable and stay uncomfortable. What do we do as we sit in this discomfort once again?
Of course we pray. We pray not to take the pain away, but to enter into it and ask it to speak to us. It is time to come together to feel our collective pain so that we may reestablish our sacred covenant of belonging to one another. Once established in this bond we must act in accordance with it. This not just a call to prayer, this is a call to act. To act in affirmation of our sacred connection with the One Life of all. This is a time to affirm that all life is sacred. That #BlackLivesMatter and to do what is ours to do in helping create a world that works for everyone.  
I encourage you to take time to pray and I encourage you to take time to discern what you can do to add to the awakening of humanity to its spiritual magnificence. There are many resources online to better educate ourselves of racism, white privilege and social action. We all can do something, read a book, take a class, join a movement….and we must. There are no quick and easy answers, there is only the measure of our willingness to create change.  
If you or anyone in your community needs prayer, please seek out a CSL Center, a Practitioner or contact the CSL World Ministry of Prayer:
Advice for White Folks in the Wake of the Police Murder of a Black Person

And for immediate possible action.

Peace and Blessings,

Dr. Kenn Gordon, Spiritual Leader

Centers for Spiritual Living 573 Park Point Drive Golden, Colorado, 80401

A Call to Action

Lights-Camera-ActionCSL Greater Pittsburgh invites you to join our Sunday Celebration service each week to hear great music, uplifting meditations and a message that is always sure to inspire! Sunday mornings beginning at 10:30am at our location, 101 W. Main Street Ste 103, Carnegie, PA 15106.

This week we’ll be exploring within the theme for the month of May as published by the Centers for Spiritual Living home office: Spiritual Guidance and Personal Responsibility.

The topic for this week is “We see a world in which we are called to conscious action“.

Often when we begin to learn of the great power that is available to us as Spirit works in, as and through us, we take the passive path; we sit back and wait for “it” to appear (whatever “it” is that we’re seeking in prayer). More in-depth spiritual study of holy texts as well as teaching texts across many disciplines and belief systems reveals that to be a zero-sum game. We’re very important in the equation of answered prayer.

If it feels that your prayer or treatment work is falling short of your expectations, stop by this Sunday (May 22) and learn about the call to conscious action, and how a simple change can net significant results!

We’ll save a seat for you 🙂

Principles of Plenty & Children

coin-jar         by Christy Semple, RScP

Nurturing an understanding of the Truth principle of Plenty in children is a practice that is helpful to both the parents and the children. Reinforcing the idea that there is Plenty can be done when communicating with your children and with others when they are around your children, like your spouse and friends, throughout the day. You can make a conscious effort to use words and phrases related to “enough” and “plenty” rather than language related to lack and “not enough” when you’re talking about things in all aspects of life.

One specific example that is discussed by many families is a summer vacation, like going to the beach or a resort. Even if at the moment you aren’t feeling prosperous enough for planning such a vacation, you can know that in Truth you are provided in all ways to support a desire like a vacation, not just in money substance but in opportunities that can help in the demonstration of the vacation, like winning a vacation, receiving a gift of a vacation, having offers to use vacation tickets or rentals someone else can’t use, and “happening” to learn about special promotions and discounts. Knowing this, you can speak to your children with confidence, trust, and prosperity-oriented language about planning a vacation, regardless of what the current conditions may show. You can still save money in a vacation “jar” or vacation account and know that this is an expression of the bountiful substance coming to you to support your perfect vacation. You can remind yourself and your children that everything is coming together for the perfect vacation and along with them you can imagine all of you enjoying a wonderful time. You can see it, feel it, expect it, and affirm it with “and so it is”!

(( blog post originally appeared on the previous website ))

Cultivating Peace (reblogged from old site)

peaceby Christy Semple, RScP

As a practitioner, I have been asked the question, “Can we (as Religious Scientists) do anything to help bring peace to a world where there are wars and other conflicts?” The answer is, “Yes, absolutely!” Even one person knowing the Truth of Infinite Love plants the seed in the collective consciousness that can continue to grow and positively impact others. Regularly practicing the Truth idea of Infinite Love in daily activities is a certain way to help Infinite Love expand and deepen in our communities and our world. And, as all is connected in the One Mind, the practice of Infinite Love and the related expansion of it has an impact on peace in our world. Yes, peace in the world can (and does!) start with each of us and our thoughts and actions related to Infinite Love.

We talked with the children in Youth Church about these ideas on Sunday and we did an activity to help them put it into practice. Here are the steps we followed:

  1. Each child cut out five heart shapes about 4 inches wide.
  2. On four of those hearts, the children wrote the name of someone in their life who was easy to express loving thoughts and actions toward.
  3. On the fifth heart, the children wrote the name of someone in their life who was not easy to express loving thoughts and actions toward, perhaps someone difficult or different in a way they didn’t understand.
  4. The children attached these hearts to a strip of ribbon using tape to make a loving heart garland to display. They were encouraged to practice giving loving thoughts and actions to the people written in each heart, including the person who seems difficult, remembering that God is in everyone.

This activity is helpful for adults to do as well to help in cultivating a consciousness of Infinite Love and Peace. While you might not do the craft portion of it (though it is fun!), you can do the activity in mind. Consciously choosing someone you find difficult to think loving, respectful thoughts about and expressing loving, respectful actions toward is a wonderful way to cultivate a peace-oriented consciousness and develop positive thinking habits to nurture and expand it.

The words of Ernest Holmes offer wisdom and inspiration to practice these Truth principles. He affirms, “Kindness and understanding are shown to me. I bless anyone who seems to disturb me,” and he reminds us that, “…We meet Life in everyone. The God in us meets the God in others.” And so it is!