Every now and then, I have to listen to the song by Ginuwine, when he sings “I’m going back to the basics, yeah. I’m going back to the basics.” It’s a definite reminder to take a step back to see the big picture — what we are doing, why we are doing it, what we need to improve upon — to do, and more importantly — to be the people we were called to be in the first place.
Back to basics doesn’t mean returning to the past, it means using the trajectory of what we’ve experienced to catapult into fullness of now. It means back to school, back to work, back to church, back to work-outs, back to goals that we had so clearly intended to accomplish somewhere along the path — in the beginning of the year, last year, the year before last, when we were younger, or before we got too old. Back to basics requires us to dust off our dreams — so that we can move forward with the fullness of all of God’s gifts to accomplish them.
September 11 is a reminder not to take life frivolously. It is a reminder to honor what we are here to do. In January, we take the requisite steps toward the completion of our goals. In the spring, we dive into them wholeheartedly. But when we have nearly accomplished them — summer arrives like a thief in the night. Many of us surrender to the holidays and barbeques — until the coolness of the air, the sun-kissed leaves and the back-to-school sales remind us that we need to take care of business. September reminds us to roll up our sleeves with renewed dedication. Only when we fail to attend to our goals does winter find us in remorse, scrambling at the last minute.
If we would get back to basics — especially when the first leaves fall, we could tap into the vortex of inexhaustible supply and open our consciousness to the Kingdom of all of God’s good. We would realize that we can do all things through the power of God, and that these and greater things shall we do. Oh, if we could just go back to the basics, we would remember to say “I can” rather than “I wish.” We would know to listen to the breath of God within, that is our counselor, and teacher, and guide.
The breath of God speaks in basic terms, in simple words, in straightforward cadence. It does not take an advanced degree in theology to hear the Spirit. We are neither saints nor sinners, we are the “good news” that Jesus preached to every kingdom. We are, as the African proverb says, the wise aiming at boundaries beyond the appearances. We are the anointed — blessed with new visions. We are the faithful — transcending the circle of our beginnings. We are bigger and wiser and stronger in the Spirit than we could ever imagine in the flesh. We are not here to await the return of Christ, but as Rev. Dr. Dale Irvin, President of New York Theological Seminary puts it — we are here to “provoke resurrection.” When we listen, we know that the most important resurrection is within. Christ rises again and again, when we consistently practice the presence of God in everything we do.
We can lift the heavy weights. We can use proper form. We can simplify our tasks. We can walk — without getting weary. We can move out of the way of our own victory. Back to basics is remembering that what is good for us is good for the entire universe.
We can make better choices. We can choose to eat all of the divine vibrations of earth — its green leaves, its red and blue berries, its sweet orange potatoes, its yellow squash, its brown oats. Back to basics is simple science: if we eat well, we become what we eat. We can choose to drink fresh water, get plenty of sunshine and sufficient sleep — all of which will allow us to do the work that we must do in this lifetime.
We can be patient. The work that we need to do will not be done in one day or one week or one year. In fact, it may take forty days, or forty weeks or forty years, or forty lifetimes — or as long as it takes. So we have to regenerate and rejuvenate our body with cycles of rest and work, rest and work. We have to slow down long enough to learn from the Kingdom within. We have to tap in and turn on the messages from the universe through our dreams, awaken fresh to be attentive to Spirit, and listen with our hearts.
Back to basics requires that we remember that we are not made in the image and likeness of man. We are made in the image and likeness of love. Love is the Kingdom that lives in us. We are in love and love is in us. If we remember each day to awaken with love as our teacher, our counselor and our guide, we won’t make as many mistakes, and if we do — we will be loving enough to accept their guidance and their lessons. Back to basics reminds us that love isn’t a religion. Religion may confuse people into believing that they can burn other folk’s sacred books; but love is receptive to all. Religion may wrongly seek to exclude those of different faiths; but love transcends boundaries. Religion may err by turning to hatred; but love is unconditional goodness.
When we begin our day by centering in love — through prayer, silence, meditation, affirmations, journaling, or visualizing — whatever works for you, we open our hearts to the constant connection that God is simply being our most basic self.
Back to basics simply requires that we breathe. Just take a moment, when you first awaken in the morning — and just breeeaaaaatttttthhhhhhheeeeeee. Breath slowly and exhale with your mouth open. Breathe deeply 5-10 times and remember that you are a child of God. You are good news. You are the light that will shine forever. You are the truth and the way.
When Langston Hughes wrote “I’ve known rivers: I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins. My soul has grown deep like the rivers,” he had gone back to basics. He was blessing us with the truth that we are as young as fresh seeds but as old as the eternal soil of endless possibilities that we plant them in.
What we have come here to do here is not our own will but is part of Spirit’s divine plan. The universe will insist that we accomplish each and every one of our desires. If we don’t follow our heart’s desire when we are young, it will find us when we are older. Either then or now, we will have to return to the source of Absolute Good — and put our noses to eternal grindstone of life, and press our ears to the pulsation of our beating hearts or our aching guts — pushing us back in the direction that we must move in.
Going back to basics requires us to be honest with ourselves and with others. Are we being the best that we can be, or are we simply going through the motions? Have we been obedient to God’s plan, or have we strayed off course? Do we know what our vision is or has our true dream been concealed by someone else’s opinion? Do we really believe that God’s channels of good are infinite, and have we taken the time to open them? Can we be brave enough to start again — wherever we are — and trust that the basics are always enough?
About SPIRITMUV: Spiritmuv® is a trans-denominational church, which means that it transcends the confines of religion and teaches unconditional love for one another regardless of race, creed, culture, or religion. At the heart of its teachings is what Jesus taught — that we love one another, as well as the community that Mahatma Ghandi inspired when he said, “I am a Christian and a Muslim and a Hindu and a Jew.” Reverend Cecilia Loving is the founder and creator of Spiritmuv, which was formed in 2007. Services are held for an hour every Sunday, from 2:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M. at the Unity Center of NYC, located at 213 West 58th Street.
Rev. Loving, author of Prayers for Those Standing in the Edge of Greatness, is the sole owner, creator and administrator of God is a Brown Girl Too®, which holds annual retreats and workshops. The next God is a Brown Girl Too Retreat will be held April 1-3, 2011, at the Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center.
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GOD IS A BROWN GIRL TOO®
“CREATING BEYOND THE BOX OF CONVENTIONALITY ” RETREAT
will take place in the Spring of 2011
from April 1 at 5:00 P.M. through April 3 at 1:00 P.M.
Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to enjoy the peace, serenity and creative consciousness of a like-minded group of women of color at the Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center, located at 299 North Highland Avenue, in Ossining, New York. All rooms are single and surrounded by the loving prayers of the Dominican Sisters who own the facility. The cost of the entire weekend, including rooms, workshops and three delicious meals per day, is only $450.00. There is a $100 discount for senior citizens, so seniors pay $350.00.
Registration has already begun at http://www.godisabrowngirltoo.com/or you can mail payment directly to God is a Brown Girl Too, 376 President Street Unit 2H, Brooklyn, New York 11231. But act fast because rooms are selling and there are now only 13 rooms left.