Tag Archives: Breathing

A HEALING PLACE IN THE HEART OF GOD

Paulette Pipe was spirit-led to retreat into the silence for forty days and forty nights.  There, she found a healing place in the heart of God that looked like a cabin in a forest, with a small bed, a kitchenette, a bathroom, and a writing desk.  The cabin had a screened-in porch that was surrounded by tall trees, which she felt held her “in the womb of silence.”  This Shantivanam healingor “Forest of Peace” gave her the space to release, restore and reunite with Spirit.  She dreamed prophetic dreams, moved beyond the appearances of things, and bore witness to the truth.  (See Paulette Pipe, “The Voice in the Silence,” Unity Magazine, July/August 2010, at pp. 20-22)

When we go away and pray awhile, we forge a path that awakens to love and resurrects in the divine within.   By our witness to solitude and introspection, we allow the summer to open new spaces of retreat and  embrace us with the recreation, re-envisioning and re-connection of God’s heart fully open.  We have to rejoice in the time away from obligations — catching our breath in the rhythm of our being.  We need to re-enter the soul with intention, and find there the refreshment, renewal and rejuvenation of our purpose on this planet.   We need to slow down long enough to listen and resonate with the beat of the spiritual pulse that is always giving us direction.

still-3Are you listening?  Or are you standing in the way of your own good?  Are you diving without hesitation into the wellspring of nonresistance and surrendering to the Kingdom within?   Or are you worried about what other people think, caught up in the straight-jacket of  other people’s opinions, limited to appearances of lack and limitation?  Have you stopped preventing yourself from being too happy, too successful, too visible, too loud, too different, too much?  Or are you still worried about people hatin’ on you — because you know and you show that you are the temple of a living God? 

still-4If we cannot love ourselves fully and completely, then we will never transcend the jealousy and envy and hateful attempts to sabotage other people’s success.  The truth is that many of us hate on each other because we dislike ourselves.   The truth is that many people disregard and disrespect each other because they have no idea how to celebrate themselves.   We need to sing our song and dance our dance and speak our speech and take our stand — because the Spirit in us is the most powerful force in the universe.

still-22It doesn’t matter if you are a Christian or a Muslim or a Buddhist or a Hindu or a Jew, we all live and move and have our being in the Spirit.  Our beloved Jesus said love one another.   He said stop second-guessing yourselves: you are the light of the world!  Stop second-guessing the gifts and talents that God is expressing as you!  Put your lamp on its stand, and give light to everyone in the house.  Stop sabotaging yourselves.

There is a healing place in the heart of God.  We have to honor heal9ourselves enough to go there and recognize ourselves in the beauty of infinite possibilities.   We have to honor ourselves enough to release the television and the internet and the cell phones and other electronic devices, and surrender our prayers to the endless ethers of inexhaustible supply and look God squarely in the eye.  We have to honor ourselves enough to forgive, forget, find new beginnings, and plant fresh seed there.

There is a healing place in the heart of God.  But we have to take the heal3time to go there and be a witness to the co-creative power of Spirit expressing as us.  We have to do the work that it takes to peel back the layers of resistance and allow ourselves to surrender to the Kingdom within.   We have to learn to dance again — to the rhythm of the universe that reminds us of the harmony we all share.  We have to learn to walk again — toward the goals that are always giving way to good for all.  We have to learn to write again — by believing that we are here to be the best and the beautiful and the bright shining stars that we are.  We have to learn how to sing again — our own song that knows one lyric — Hallelujah!

healing-10 We have to learn to give again — not because we want something back but because we want to bring happiness to others.  We have to learn to be silent again — and in that stillness — allow ourselves to be loved and delivered.  We have to learn to find that connection with Spirit again — and in that Oneness know that we always in the heart of completion.  And there is nowhere else to go or be — but here.

All of the materials in God is a Brown Girl Too® email messages are copyrighted by and may not be used without the written permission of Cecilia Loving. 

Register for the God is a Brown Retreat this July 16-18, at the Mariandale Retreat Center by going to http://www.godisabrowngirltoo.com.  You don’t want to miss it!

This Sunday, JOIN SPIRITMUV FOR PART VI OF OUR 7-PART SERIES ON TERRIE COLE-WHITAKER’S BOOK, What You Think of Me is None of My Business, from 2:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M., at the Unity Center of NYC, 213 West 58th Street, between Broadway and 7th Avenue.

VICTORY IS MY NAME

god-is-a-brown-girl-too-2010-retreat-161I was at the Mariandale Retreat Center today to ensure that on July 16-18, God is a Brown Girl Too®‘s second annual retreat will provide an awesome opportunity for you to “Awaken to Love,” which is this year’s theme.  I am excited, so excited that I feel like jumping up and down in anticipation because I know that we are going to have a fabulous time.  It is the perfect environment for you to do the work that needs to be done to release and heal, rejuvenate and energize, recreate and resurrect the power and presence of God in you.  So get your registrations in!  You don’t want to miss this powerful gathering of sisters in the Spirit.  We are coming from Washington D.C., North Carolina, Michigan, New Jersey, California, and several other places to center in a new energy, hear a new calling, and receive a new story of the inexhaustible source of God expressing as us.  We will meditate, pray, praise, worship, enter the silence, and receive our blessings in a magnificent way.

I have extended the $100 discount deadline to July 1, so you can register on line and send your check to me to avoid that part of the registration fee.  This amount includes a single room, three meals, powerful workshops, and spiritual grounds to open the mind, heart and soul in a new way.

In the interim, enjoy the words of Victory, one of the voices of God is a Brown Girl Too that was heard at the last retreat:

GBGII CoverI am the time before, the was then, the beginning now.  I am the breath-filled space, the light-filled hand, the love-filled heart, the joy-filled dance.  Prayers call to me, and I anoint believers with the evidence of things hoped for and the miracles of things unseen.  When everyone is looking for God, as something more extraordinary than themselves, they will miss me — even though I am here.

I am the time before, the was then, the beginning now.  I am the breath-breath-10filled space, the light-filled hand, the love-filled heart, the joy-filled dance.  Prayers call to me, and I anoint believers with the evidence of things hoped for and the miracles of things unseen.  When everyone is looking for God, as something more extraordinary than themselves, they will miss me — even though I am here.

If I need you to release your fears, will you open your eyes and realize the strength of your own salvation?  Will you praise the divine creation that you are?  Will you kneel with me at the altar of infinite possibilities?  Will you keep your promise to be the blessing that you were born to be? 

Discover the Power Within ThreeWho am I?  They call me Victory.  What am I?  I am the daughter of the first and the last, the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega — brown as the soil of my mother.  Where am I? I live wherever you shine your light. 

If you are waiting by the healing pool for someone to lift you in; if you are reaching to touch the garment of wholeness; if you are weary in the race and cannot go any further; if you are down in the valley and need some lifting up, then all you have to do is call my name.

breath3I am greater than you could ever imagine.  I am the healing balm, the burning bush, the living water.
I can walk through the fire, cut to the chaise, rise to the occasion. I never lose, never miss, never  falter.
I am closer to you than hands and feet, closer to you than the air that you breathe and the space that you take up.

Victory is my name, and you — made in the image and likeness of God — are all that I am. 

breath-7If you are looking for God, if you are looking for freedom, if you are looking for prosperity — all you have to do is look within.  And there, you will find me.  I am the ground upon which you stand, more than the economy, richer than a stimulus, better than a job.  I am the divine surplus — always giving, always forming, always molding, always shaping, always rewarding, always liberating.

If you have forgotten me, re-discover who you are, taste the wisdom of your highest self, push past your self-imposed limitations, leave the prison of your own mind, and imagine God as simple as a plain brown girl.

Taken from the book, God is a Brown Girl Too, by   Reverend Cecilia Loving © 2010
Pastor, SPIRITMUV  (www.spiritmuv.com
 )

All of the materials in God is a Brown Girl Too® email messages are copyrighted by and may not be used without the written permission of Cecilia Loving. 

Register for the God is a Brown Retreat this July 16-18, at the Mariandale Retreat Center by going to http://www.godisabrowngirltoo.com.  You don’t want to miss it!

This Sunday, JOIN SPIRITMUV FOR PART V OF OUR 7-PART SERIES ON TERRIE COLE-WHITAKER’S BOOK, What You Think of Me is None of My Business, from 2:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M., at the Unity Center of NYC, 213 West 58th Street, between Broadway and 7th Avenue.

 

100 REASONS WHY GOD IS A BROWN GIRL TOO

1.  We are created in the image and likeness of God.  2.  We live and move and have our being in God.
  3.  We are temples of the living God.

4.  It is written in our laws that we are Gods.

5.  We are the first and the last, the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega.

6.  If we, whose mother is older as Lucy’s bones, have become disembodied from spiritual Oneness, then so has all of her creation.

7.  The Kingdom of God is neither here nor there, it is within us.

8.  God is in the Messiah and the Messiah is in us and we are in the Messiah.

9.  We ask and receive.

10.  We seek and find.

11.  We knock and the door is opened.

12.  Spirit lives in us and breathes in us.

13.  God’s infinite possibility is expressing as us.

14.  We have a conscious connection with Spirit that goes before us to do the work that we are appointed to do.

15.   We manifest the right people, who show up to help us when we need help.

16.  Even when we can’t see the finish line, the road rises up to meet us, and shows us the way. 

17.  We make a way out of no way.

18.  We speak truth to power.

19.  The Lord is our Shepherd, there is nothing that we want.

20.  We are the pure potential of God expressing as us. 

21.  We are children of God.

22.  We are heirs to the throne.

23.  We are answers to prayers.

24.  We are  responsible for our lives, moving from where we stand now to experience the best possible moment.

25.  We walk by faith and not by sight. 

26.  We do not fear the terror by night, nor the arrow that flies by day.

27.  We are creation constantly re-inventing itself.

28.  We are beauty in the souls of every beholder.

29.  We are vision moving past pain.

30.  Angels guard us in all our ways. 

31.  Tables are prepared for us in the presence of our enemies.

32.  Manna falls from our heavens.

33.  New stories re-tell our lives from new pages.

34.  There is nothing that we cannot do.

35.  We are the light of the world, a city upon the hill that cannot be hidden.

36.  We are the steps, moving into the greatness that we are.

37.  We are endless potential pulling dreams through infinite possibilities.

38.  Divine Mind is always guiding us in perfect harmony, always praying us in loving grace.

39.       We dance in the dawn of magical ideas, listen to the call of unharnessed love, welcome the realm of inexhaustible source.

40.  We fly with the wings of faith.

41. We know the way, and we walk in it.

42.  We dance with the hips of deliverance, push past the poison of doubt, rise above the fray of appearances, and give with a love that never, ever holds back.

43.  We leave old wineskins and pour ourselves beyond the bottles, boxes and bags that can no longer contain us.

44.  We stand on the shoulders of our ancestors, full of new hope
— finding its way beyond the whispers lost between clasped hands.

45.  We breathe the breath of God. 

46.  We are everywhere and always present. 

47.  We are the light of God radiating back as Herself.

48.  We are the consciousness of Truth, speaking nothing but itself.

49.  We are the fullness and completeness of all that our Mother-Father-God is. 

50.  We are daughters of all beginnings – always pure, always graceful, always dynamic, always blessed. 

51.  We are prophetic voices lifted from the dust of dreams deferred – culminating in divine love awakening. 

52.  We are not limited by flesh, but are glorified by Spirit.

53.  We will do even greater works.

54.  Who is God and what does She look like, if not us? 

55.  We are mountains high enough, rivers wide enough and valleys low enough; we are the center and the circumference. 

56.  We have not forgot the God who gave us birth.

57.  We are as old as time and as young as those who have yet to born.

 58.   We are the pulse and the flavor — the talented and the wise: “How you doing?”

 59.  We are – our past, our present, our future, and our dreams.

60.  They try to bury us, but our bones just keep rising up. 

61.  We are the greater wholeness — always seeking expression.

62.   We are still.

63.  We are endless motion, stretching forward, taking the limits off, and removing the boundaries.

64.  We are the time before, the been has, the was then, the until now.

65.  We are the breath-filled space, the light-filled hand, the love-filled heart, the joy-filled dance.

66.  When everyone is busy looking for God, as something more extraordinary than themselves, they will miss us, even though we are  here.

67.  Just like “I AM that I AM,” we are that we are.

68.  We are the healing balm, the burning bush, the living water.

69.  We are the infinite flow of substance.

70.  We are the wisdom of our highest self.

71.  You live in our heart.

72.  We do all things through the Spirit as us.

73.  We run the race and don’t get weary.

74.  We move mountains with our faith.

75.   We can leap and the net appears.

76.   We bring good tidings to the afflicted; we bind the broken-hearted; we proclaim liberty for the captives.

77.   We are greater than what our humanness can even imagine.

78.   We are the cup that never stops flowing.

79.   We are Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Moslem, Jew — all religions and none at all.

80.   We are ancient wisdom and new thought.

81.   We are all languages and none at all.

82.  We are sanctified, saved, and serene — singing our own sweet song of freedom.

83.   We envision past appearances, dream unlimited possibilities, and recreate ourselves.

84.  We grow from the consciousness that we create.

 85.  We surrender all.

 86.  We stand at the edge of always, in a new season of victory,

a sacred truth that just keeps directing us back to the vortex of our own power.

87.  We are the sweetness in all fragrance.

88.  We are the interpretation of all dreams.

89.  We are the rhythm underlying all motion.

90.  We are the glory in all hallelujahs.

91.  We are the wave in every ocean.

92.  We are the boldness in all courage.

93.  Nothing and no one can contain us.

94.  God’s face could be no more beautiful.

95.  Our power is not the devil; it’s not Satan; our power is the God in us.

96.  The God in us prays and moves her feet.

97.  The God in us knows that all things come together for our greatest good.

98.  The God in us knows that we are worthy.

99.  The God in us allows us to leap — knowing that the net will appear.

100.  The God in us is our constant victory — even before the race is ever won.

 

Namaste,  Reverend Cecilia Loving
Pastor, SPIRITMUV  (www.spiritmuv.com )

(All of the materials in God is a Brown Girl Too® email messages are copyrighted by and may not be used without the written permission of Cecilia Loving. )

JOIN US FOR PART V OF OUR 7-PART SERIES ON TERRIE COLE-WHITAKER’S BOOK, WHAT YOU THINK OF ME IS NONE OF MY BUSINESS

Don’t forget to register for the God is a Brown Girl Too Retreat this July 16-18; see details at www.godisabrowngirltoo.com.

 

 

 

Spiritual Fitness: Exercise Your “God” Muscle

Recently, I asked someone, who had made astonishing progress in their physical fitness, for their secret.   Was it strict dieting?  Water intake?  Extra cardio?  How was she losing excess body fat at such an incredible speed?  To some, her response may be surprising.  Yes, she followed a clean diet.  (A “clean” diet means that she did not eat any processed food and limited her carbohydrates to low-glycemic foods like oatmeal and sweet potatoes; limited her protein to lean sources like chicken breast, turkey and fish; and limited her vegetables to those high in antioxidants, like spinach, broccoli and asparagus.)   Yes, she weight-lifted regularly to develop muscle mass and did cardio consistently each day.  Yes, she drank plenty of water, with her goal being a gallon a day.  But she didn’t attribute her success to any of those things, she attributed her success to putting God first.

We say that we put God first in our lives, but do we really do that?  Are we really starting our day by recognizing that the Kingdom of God is within us, and by seeking first the inexhaustible supply of the universe that is right in our very midst?  Or do we choose to worship the morning news, our cup of coffee, or the increasing demands of our jobs?  Jesus says “seek first the Kingdom of God”  —  which is not the physical, material world that we live in, but the spiritual power within us.  Putting God first is the foundation of all spiritual fitness, and spiritual fitness results in the attainment of all goals — spiritual and physical — with ease and success.

Spiritual fitness is so simple that we fail to practice it because we assume that it has to be difficult.  Whenever we do pray, which for most of us is only when we want something, we actually ignore God by speaking so loudly into our own clasped hands that we drown out the infinite channels of divine good trying to respond to us.  Why would life be as simple as Jesus said, giving us answers to prayers before we even ask?

We don’t even need a gym membership to get spiritually fit, but once we center in Spirit, we will receive the guidance that we need to attain all of our goals — not just those pertaining to the body temple.  Spiritual fitness does not require us to exercise our body, it requires us to be aware of the presence of God; to ask for God’s help in accomplishing our goals — no matter how mundane; to accept God’s gifts by being our best; and to acknowledge God’s absolute good by giving thanks.

Spiritual Fitness Rule One: Awareness

The first spiritual fitness rule is awareness.  You might say, “hey, I’m aware of the presence of God; I know that God exists.”  But are you really aware that God is in the very air that you breathe and the space that you take up?  God is not some place in the distance waiting to be called or solicited through prayer; God is every aspect of who we are.  When Paul says that we live and move and have our being in God, that means that there is no separation between all that we are and all that God is.  Jesus said keep your whole eye single, which means keep your consciousness stayed on God.

We exercise awareness when we tap into and turn on the presence of God that is always within us and around us.  How do we do that?  There are millions of ways, but here is one that is very simple and takes less than five minutes.  As soon as you wake up, sit up in your bed and immediately breathe in and breathe out, focusing on the breath of life as the infinite power of God.  Seek first the Kingdom within your own consciousness, the awareness that the Kingdom of God is the only power that there is, the only strength that there is, the only supply that there is, the only peace that there is, the only source that there is.  Exercise your spiritual muscle of awareness by centering in the truth that in God, every problem is already solved, every challenge is already won, every appearance of dis-ease is already healed.  God’s good is not something that is postponed until tomorrow, it is blessing you in this instant.

Spiritual Fitness Rule Two: Asking

If you’ve taken the time to center in a conscious awareness of God’s good, then you are exercising one of the strongest spiritual muscles that there is.  But the truth is that we all need help.  We’d like to do it alone, but sometimes we get completely overwhelmed by all of the decisions that we have to make, the priorities that we have to set, and the distractions we sometimes give our energy to.  But Jesus said, if you need help, just ask.  Ask, and it shall be given.  He said, I have come so that you may have life and may have it more abundantly, so just ask for what you need.

When we exercise our spiritual muscles by asking, we are not just receiving, we are simply becoming more receptive to giving our best.  We open our consciousness to  trust the universe and find perfect order and harmony in everything that we do because we have cleared the way for God’s gifts to manifest through a consciousness that receives an unlimited supply of God’s good.

How do we ask?  There are as many ways to do so as there are people.  So here’s one method that helps me ask God each day.  Create an affirmation that you can say daily, at least one to four times each morning — that not only asks but affirms that you have already received what you desire (e.g., I am fit.  I have a new job.  My body is healed.  My book is finished).  It can be as long as you want, asking the universe for the desires that God has given you — and if not those, then something better.

If you’re always on the go like me, tape it on your cell phone or blackberry, or create an MP3 and load it onto your iPod.  I listen to my affirmations as I walk down the street because they help me stay focused on what God calls me to do.  There is no dispute that words are powerful.  Asking helps us focus the energy of our thoughts through words into the realization of our goals.  The spiritual exercise of affirming words empowered with faith help us open our consciousness to order our steps by accomplishing the things that are necessary to do what God calls us to do.

Spiritual Fitness Rule Three: Acceptance

The third spiritual exercise requires us to open our hearts to accept God’s good.  Have you ever been in a situation where you asked for something and it came so quickly that you didn’t even want it — because there was this unconscious part of you that wanted to struggle?  Or perhaps something or someone came to you so quickly that you foolishly felt that their value was diminished by their eagerness?  Or perhaps you received your blessing but you believed deep in your heart that you just weren’t good enough?  I’ve come to believe that the reason that we don’t experience our good is our own sense of doubt and fear.  We want change, and yet we have to grow through a “process” in order to accept change because if it came too fast, it would just blow us away.

How do we exercise our spiritual muscles to move our stuff out of the way so that we can accept the good that God is trying to give us?  Once again, there are many ways, but here is an exercise that works for me.   It’s simple.  Start anew.  Right now, in this instant, start anew.  And each day that you wake up, know that you are at a new beginning.  Paul said, I die daily (1 Corinthians 15:31 NKJV).  Every day, every minute, every second, God gives us a clean slate.  There is no need to carry past mistakes into the new realm of endless opportunity.  There is no need to blame anyone.  There is no need to feel guilt.  We can choose to align our movement in this universe with the divine guidance of pure love and absolute good.  There is no need to suffer.  Wear the world as a lose garment.  Do not give your energy to gossip or confusion or despair.  Take care of God’s business in the now.  There is no question that God will take care of you.

Spiritual Fitness Rule Four: Acknowledge

Spiritual exercise lays the foundation for all of our goals.  When we are centered in God, our fitness will improve quicker than we’ve ever imagined.  The right people will show up to help us.  The perfect trainer will appear.  Work-out buddies will support us.  The right eating plan will be revealed.  And in this consciousness of love, we will find that discipline will come easy.  More importantly, we will have begun the most important fitness program imaginable: one that allows us to accept our place in the Kingdom of God and move forward in all of the blessings that God is giving us.  Therefore, we have to give thanks by acknowledging God’s good.

This exercise is also simple.  Just say thank you and be grateful for what you have, as well as for what you desire.  God knows what we have need of before we even ask, so we can be grateful for it before it even manifests.  We seldom appreciate what we have until it is taken away.  We don’t appreciate our muscles until one is injured.  We don’t appreciate our discipline until we falter.  We don’t appreciate our finances until we experience the appearance of lack.  We complain about everything and everyone.  But we have so much to be thankful for.

Gratitude has an energy that awakens even more good and more  thanks.  The more thanks we give, the more we receive.  So try this exercise everyday: give thanks for everything and everyone that you think about.  If it’s an injury, bless it.  If it’s a friend or even an enemy, bless them.  If it’s a goal, thank God for its stimulus in your life.  Just give thanks for whatever comes up for you.  Even as you ask for something — give thanks that God has already heard and begun the process of answering your prayer.

If you do these spiritual exercises, I can guarantee you that you will get stronger and leaner, but most importantly, you will be spiritually fit.  Even doing one of these exercises will bless you beyond measure.  Our life is a continuous process of unfoldment, and the only way to stay in perfect shape is to honor body, mind  and spirit!

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(All of the materials in SPIRITMUV email messages are copyrighted by and may not be used without the written permission of Cecilia Loving. )

GET UP, PICK UP YOUR MAT AND WALK

This morning, I got up from my mat and walked.  And God revealed a universe so remarkable, it was as though I had climbed through Alice’s looking glass.  Just like Jesus told the man who had been lying by the pool of Bethesda for 38 years, I got up from my mat and experienced the beauty of wholeness that was right in my midst.  It was as though I had put a foot in the healing water and then found myself wading knee-deep as the angels stirred in purpose, potential and endless possibility.  All I had to do was get up from my mat of anticipation, and open my heart to receive the absolute good that is always awaiting us.

I walked the streets uphill to Prospect Park, and the sweetness of the sun anointed my face.  I walked the wooden climb of the Brooklyn Bridge, and the symmetry of holy wings suspended me in a heavenly embrace.  I walked the upward path through the open arms of the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, and in the blink of an eye, I saw spring kissing winter good-bye.  In the Gardens, I went through opened arms to an oasis of beauty, serenity and squirrels on a spirit-filled mission of their own.  I walked uphill and downhill with anticipation of new life awakening with springtime, while summer lounged between moss-filled cracks, sleeping patiently.

I walked right outside of the box containing who I once was — magically opening to who I know I AM — weeding out fear and doubt, pulling beyond conventionality, pushing past the ordinary to the extraordinary energy of God.  I walked, baptized by fresh breezes; transformed by choirs of birds; sanctified by swaying trees.  It was as though I could hear Jesus saying, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”  Get up from your contentment.  Get up from your misery.  Get up from your resentment.  Get up from your jealousy.  Get up from your pain.  Be bold enough to step into the present moment.  Enjoy the now.  Release the past.  Celebrate the awakening of a new season in your life.

Walk away from who you used to be.  Walk away from your old stories, and sow a new one.  Walk away from what you wished, or ought, or should, or would have done — and reap the salvation of what you are doing.  Walk away from laziness and procrastination and seize the day to begin again.  Walk away from the boundaries of your self-imposed limitations, and renew your soul with the unlimited power of Spirit.

Walk and see the seeds of prayers wiggling through shoots of green.  Walk and see daffodils dancing praises of deliverance.  Walk and see God painting the landscape with new expectations of tulips and hyacinths and lavender, narcissus, honeysuckle, azaleas, and lilies — all awaiting their bloom.  Walk and see the spaces where the fragrance of roses will ride the air, bless loving kisses, and witness.

Walk between the gaps of time where the Holy Ghost goes before you and awakens the glory of success.  Walk before the hopes that ignite the wind and spread the ideas that create, and bless, and are never seen again.  Days gone by have no space to hold the breath of infinite promises.  We cannot find the future in the past.  The best that we can possibly do is be liberated by the truth that nothing stays the same.

Freedom is the air.  The Hybrid Oak knows it, and reaches its arms out in  hallelujahs.  The Cypress knows it, and bends its branches in humble prayer.  The Shingle Oak knows it, and stands above the others in high praise.  Again and again and again, they welcome us as though they have come to the altar for the first time.

Walking in springtime is a meditation, an anointing, a shout, and a clap.  Come.  There is deliverance in the healing pool.  The angels of nature will stir the waters of your salvation.  All you have to do is take the time to see — really see God’s glory.

Namaste, 

Reverend Cecilia Loving                                 

Pastor, SPIRITMUV  (www.spiritmuv.com )

To subscribe to newsletter, go to www.godisabrowngirltoo.com.

 

(All of the materials in SPIRITMUV email messages are copyrighted by and may not be used without the written permission of Cecilia Loving. )

WHERE IS CHRIST?

Chicken Soup for the Soul tells the story of a priest who was so madly in love with his Christmas nativity scene that he often took a special inventory of his beloved life-sized plaster figurines and doted on his favorite, which was the Christ Child Jesus. So when the priest awoke on Christmas day to find the Christ Child missing from the manger, he almost lost his mind.  He chastised his congregation about the theft, repeating his tirade at each Mass. Yet, the manger remained empty. In order to calm down, the priest took a meditative stroll. Where is the Christ Child? He had to have pondered again and again. What happened? Where is Christ?

In John 14, Jesus said I might not always be with you in the flesh, but God is going to send the Counselor to be with you forever. Jesus called that Counselor “the Spirit of truth”, who Jesus said would live in us and be in us. He said, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”

In other words, Jesus Christ is not really in our nativity scenes, even though we remember him there. Jesus Christ is not really on our symbolic cross, even though we carry him there. Jesus Christ is not limited to plaster or plastic or wood or silver or gold. Jesus Christ did not limit himself to the physical but taught about the oneness of the spiritual realm. He said, I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you — not just in a manger or a scroll or a prayer. He said I am a reality that you touch every day. I am in every breath that you breathe and space that you take up.

In his wonderful book, Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers, Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk, says that Jesus is born every time the Holy Spirit in us is touched. He says that “The Christ within us is waiting for each minute to be born again and again.” Thich Nhat Hanh says that “the Holy Son has been born in you as a baby, but maybe it’s not strong yet. You have to strengthen and cultivate the Holy Spirit in you.” You have to practice your awareness of the Holy Spirit’s presence. Otherwise, you will miss the beauty of the Christ that is right within your midst.

The Chicken Soup story says that the priest — worried about the missing Christ Child — walked through his neighborhood. As he walked, he saw one of the smallest members of his flock — bundled shabbily against the cold, dragging behind him a brand new red wagon. The priest was touched by how much sacrifice the boy’s family must have made to get him a brand new red wagon. So, he quickly caught up with the boy to wish him a Merry Christmas. But when the priest caught up with the boy, he could see that the wagon was not empty. Right there, in plain view, was the Christ Child wrapped in a blanket.

Grimly, the Priest stopped the boy and lectured him profusely: stealing was a sin — and robbing the church of such a sacred image — was an even greater one.
“But Father!” the little boy cried out after the Priest’s tongue lashing was over , “I didn’t steal the Christ child. It wasn’t like that at all. It’s just that I was praying to Him for a red wagon for Christmas — and I promised him that if I got it, I would take him out for the first ride!”

Where is Christ? The Christ left the manger eons ago. The Christ was resurrected in us as the Holy Spirit to teach us the power of the Divine Mind — over the material world, over plaster and plastic, and even flesh. The Christ lives within us in a place that never grows old, never grows weary, never grows tired, never needs surgery, never feels the economic decline or its surge because it is full and complete in the inexhaustible everything of all that God is. Jesus did not leave us comfortless. He is always present as the Holy Ghost — to teach us all things. The great Hindu spiritual teacher Paramahansa Yogananda, in The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You, says that this is not the body but the omnipresent Christ Consciousness present in all creation.

During these weeks of Advent, the time during which many people prepare for the celebration of the birth of Christ through prayer, meditation and other forms of worship, it is important to re-visit our spiritual practice so that we develop a consistent way to tune into the Holy Spirit within us. The most priceless gift that can be given now is the remembrance of this divine connection that unites us all. God is always calling us to greater works than those who have gone before us, always breathing into us the power to do better, create more, and evolve beyond the pure potential of the infinite realm of possibilities. Now is the time to release whatever we allow to block our good and allow Spirit to do its good work. Now is the time to stop chasing the plaster figurines of your Baby Jesus and know that the Christ within you has never left.

Reverend Cecilia Loving
Pastor,SPIRITMUV http://www.spiritmuv.com http://www.godisabrowngirltoo.com
(All of the materials in SPIRITMUV email messages are copyrighted by and may not be used without the written permission of Cecilia Loving. If you want to be included in the weekly audio prayer distribution, please email us with your request. You can also blog atwww.spiritmuv.wordpress.com)

BREATHING LOVE by Michelle Bernard

yoga 3Every time I tell someone that I teach yoga, they respond by saying something like, “I can’t even touch my toes,” or “Do you have to stand on your head?” Most people assume that their body must be pretzel-like before they can do yoga.   What they don’t understand is that the practice of yoga is far richer than touching one’s toes and much more than the mere movement of one’s body. Yoga has been marketed with images of quirky, tattooed, thin, new age, free-spirits sitting in a lotus position, or posing with one leg stretched up to the heavens, or standing contemplatively on their heads.  So many people attend yoga classes hoping to tie their legs behind their necks, tone their bodies without becoming “bulky”, or sweat profusely in the hope of melting away excess pounds.

Western culture has placed more emphasis on the physical rather than the spiritual aspect of yoga, despite theYoga 6 profound transformational  potential of this ancient, spiritual practice on body, mind and soul. I found my way to my first yoga class in 1995.  I was in my twenties and living in Hollywood pursuing the life of an entertainer.  Ironically, I was also battling the demon of depression.  The path my life as a singer no longer felt fulfilling.

I was suffering from  the awareness of dishonorable choices that I had made in my personal Yoga 7life and was unable to free myself from them.  I needed desperately to change my life — both in terms of my career and my personal relationships, but I didn’t know how to begin.  I really didn’t know how to re-direct my energy.  Moreover, I had no idea who I really was beyond the person that I had turned into.

I knew that the latter was not me, but I didn’t know who I was beyond the identity that I’d developed so far.  I was afraid.  Fear devastated me.  I was living in darkness.  And in this darkness, I was blind. But something led me to the Hollywood Y, a place where I could teach step aerobics and stretch classes.  So when I took my first yoga class, I did it merely so that I could  learn new Yoga 12stretches to incorporate in my fitness classes.

The yoga class was held on the basketball court upon a sea of thick, blue and gray Velcro-attached gymnastic mats.  The teacher, a brown man draped in a white, cotton loin cloth and a crown of bound “locks” spoke very little, like a guide. All I remember about the physical poses was standing with my arms at my side and breathing (tadasana, the mountain pose), standing on one leg and breathing (vrksasana, tree pose), and lying on my back and breathing (savasana, corpse pose).  What I never forgot was how the brown man spoke.  He was gentle, calm, compassionate, loving.  He wasn’t speaking to the physical me; he was speaking to my soul.  He was moving in oneness with my spirit.

And for the first time, in a long time, I felt an inner peace, that flowed from my own spirit.  I remember how quiet I became inside.  He guided my mind towards my breath, breathing in and breathing out, in and out.  There was peace in the breath.  There was peace in the stillness.   I found comfort.  I could begin again in the darkness.  I could breathe through it; and it wasn’t as foreboding. When I thought about the transformation that I had witnessed through the love of  breath from my own body, I was moved to tears.  I cried on my walk home.  Ninety minutes of standing, rolling, moving, breathing . . . .  had awakened something. I kept attending the Yoga Class at the Y.  I kept standing in mountain pose, engaged in the deep breath, guided by my teacher.

Through the stillness, through the energy, through the breath, I began to see more clearly — despite the darkness within.   I began to look at life differently, and I began to listen.  And there it was.  An illumination.  Great Spirit was with me, speaking to my soul, and showing me more of my Self than I’d ever seen.  I saw the essence of me.  I saw new courage.  I saw that I was capable of releasing the old Self.  Spirit was breathing in me the strength to uproot and recreate in a direction I had never considered.

I aligned with a deeper part of my essence.  Yoga, I realized, was not simply stretching; it was stillness.  It was the stillness that I needed to go within, the stillness that I needed to hear the Great Spirit, the stillness that I needed to move forward in peace. From those yoga classes, my life changed forever. Michelle Bernard is a licensed yoga intructor and personal trainer, as well as the owner and creator of  exquisite and original jewelry — each piece of which is an original work of art. 

See www.aboutpebble.com; www.thewanderingpebble.blogspot.com  Michelle is also facilitating two Retreat Workshops, “Breathing Love” and  “Transforming the Body.”