Tag Archives: Self-Love

THE BEST BEAUTY SECRET EVER By Cecilia B. Loving

Some of us spend a lot of time at the hairdresser, making sure our locks are locked, braided, straightened, weaved, curled, or extended – not to mention colored, streaked, highlighted, or otherwise anointed by the magical goddess we pay even if we can’t pay for anything else.

We also pay the nail goddess to soak, scrape, cut, carve, shave, wax, paint, glue, gloss, gel, clip our finger nails, feet, chins, brows, upper lips, legs, and extraneous places just in order to polish our appearance.

We also worship the gym god – lifting weights, running like hamsters on a treadmill, crowding the Zumba classes, gazing up during simulated rope climbs, jumping off steps, spinning soulfully, walking, dancing and sweating in 105 degrees of Bikram yoga to carve ourselves into more magnificent beings.

We watch our diets – foregoing cookies, cupcakes, candy, cokes, and chips – and for those of us who are really religious – we eat only lean protein, green vegetables, oatmeal, brown rice and sweet potatoes.  We patrol our portions, pieces and pounds – measuring on digitized food scales, planting apps on iPads and iPhones and other electronic wizardry to ensure that everything adds up – from the oz. of water carefully counted, the step diligently taken – to the minute of sleep that we spend each night on beauty.  But the best beauty treatment has nothing to do with these things.

The best beauty treatment is intangible and invisible to the flesh but it heals our imperfections, smoothes our wrinkles, brightens our eyes, thickens our hair, reddens our cheeks, clears our complexions, washes away our cellulite, flushes our toxins, and releases extra weight.  The best beauty treatment ever is simple: it is the love that we fill our minds with, bless our souls with, and surround our hearts with.  The best beauty secret ever is a love that transcends flesh and form, igniting every aspect of our being with the light of Spirit.

Do you remember in whose image and likeness you are made?  Do you know who loves you with an everlasting love?  John said that “God is love” and “[w]hoever  does not love does not know God” (1 John 4:8)(NIV).   The biblical witness teaches us that “[w]hoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them” (1 John 4:16).  But we never really try to put these words into practice.  We never really see these scriptures as more than poetic frippery for the pious self-righteousness.  But realizing that God lives in us and we live in God is our connection to the love inside of us so that what’s on the inside (our consciousness) can cover what’s on the outside.

We cannot love anyone unless we first love ourselves, and when we love ourselves the light of that love fills the room and others can see it and feel it and be uplifted in it whether they realize it or not.  We bask in the glow of the beauty of our love, and it fills all of our ornery cracks with smooth surfaces and our rough edges with real honesty, real compassion, and real beauty.

Most of the time we spend at the hairdresser, at the manicurist, at the gym and many of the other places where we worship the beauty god, we are not tapping and turning on the true beauty secret of love.

Instead, we are hardening ourselves, aging ourselves, plaguing ourselves with hate.  We are judging how long and thick someone else’s hair is, whether it’s a weave or real.  We are comparing someone else’s girth to our own – their speed, their flexibility, their stamina – and even their strength.  We want so badly for men to accept us as the queens that we are – that we condemn others, knock them, belittle them, and begrudge them their true self-worth because we don’t know our own.

Our beauty treatment starts with a love so strong on the inside that it washes away insecurity, washes away hopelessness, washes away fear and gives an instant makeover of dynamic new energy, amazing creativity and divine strength that is magnetizing and miraculous – defying age and attracting the right loving supportive people onto our path.  This is a beauty treatment that cannot be bought over the counter, scraped by a dermatologist,  blasted by an aesthetician, or revitalized with a makeup potion.  All we have to do is love ourselves deeply and profoundly — without worrying about what anyone else thinks.

We need to stop wherever we are and whatever we are doing — here and now and love ourselves completely and unconditionally, really close our eyes and see the flow of our love filling every cell and atom and muscle and bone of our body — from top to bottom.  We need to love our flat feet, our big hips, our wide behinds, our freckled noses, our small hands, our full bellies, our squinty eyes – the things that make us different and the things that make us alike.

We’ve been looking for love in all the wrong places.  Whether we are with someone or not – real love, true love, undivided, spectacular, awesome, wholesome love starts with us loving ourselves unconditionally.  When we love ourselves deep down on the inside – the fears, the shadows, the doubts subside and the pure potential of our true purpose glows on the outside.  We have to spend as much time as we spend at the beauty salon and the manicurist and the mall looking inside ourselves and saying “I love you.  I am here for you.  I support you.  There is nothing that you cannot accomplish with the love I have for you.  My love is everlasting, and it will not change.  My love will never falter or subside.  I love you from the bottom of your feet to the top of your head.  I love with a soul that only knows eternity and with a spirit that goes before you to smooth the way for your passage.”

We want to make love with the man or woman of our dreams and be worshipped as beautiful and sexy and smart.  We want our spouses, our lovers, our partners to love us more than we spend time loving ourselves.  But someone else’s love will never be as good as the love that we have for ourselves.

We’ve done the do – allowed our better judgment to be seduced by what looks and sounds and smells good.  We’ve entered the flesh – been entered, dared and swung around a few poles of foolishness just to please or be pleased.  But have we ever really taken the time to visit the real love, the true love, the one and only love – the Kingdom of God in us?  Have we ever taken the time to say “God, I know you are in there and I love you.  I love how you shaped and formed my body so that I could move and create and exist and taste and smell the beautiful universe of this right time and extraordinary place that you have blessed me with.  Oh Kingdom of God in me, I am glad that you allowed me to be – that you created me and recognized me and gave me every power that you have.  Oh Kingdom within me, I see you penetrating every cell and bone of my body with your love and I know that love of me.  Your loves heals me, protects me, satisfies me, uplifts me, delivers me, provides nothing but good for me.  Oh Kingdom within me, you are beautiful and glorious and awesome, and I am grateful that you shine as me.”

When we take the time to love ourselves, the power within us soars and the beauty within us glows even more magnificently.  When we really love ourselves, people comment on how beautiful we look, are drawn to our unique energy, ask us if we are going out, wonder what’s going on in our lives, want to follow our aura, feel the impenetrable power of God’s love radiating as us.  This is the best beauty secret ever.  It will charm any woman or man.  But more importantly, it will guide us and shape us and mold us into the incredible beings that we are – so much more in the Spirit than we could ever imagine in the flesh.

Cecilia B. Loving is Pastor of SPIRITMUV, which holds its services each Sunday, at 2:30 PM,  at the Unity Center of NYC, 213 West 58th Street.

WISDOM FROM MIDDLE SCHOOL

The other day, I received some sage advice from a seventh grader. The Pikesville Peak Winter 2012 Edition features a front page article written by my niece Christa Loving, for those “in the middle point in [their] life.” Christa wrote that when you are in the “middle point” in your life, “[y]ou can make it the best time of your life or the worst.”

 

Cecilia and ChristaI believe that this seventh grade wisdom is applicable to your life, regardless of whether you are twelve or ninety-two – or any age in the “middle.” We are all in the “middle” of something, and we can make it the best time of our life or the worst. So I was interested in sharing Christa’s perspective, who wrote that even though she was “new to Pikesville, [she does] know a little bit about how to survive middle school.”

 

In summary, Christa offers the following words of wisdom:

 

What Are You Calling YourselfBe Yourself:  Be your “crazy, original, happy, and loving self.” This rings true for all of us. We have to listen to the inner voice of Spirit and be receptive to whatever makes us uniquely us. We were all called to do something phenomenal.  As Jeremiah taught us, God said “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart” (Jeremiah 5:1).

 

Hold HandsDon’t Let Anyone or Anything ‘Slow Your Roll’:   You can use being bullied and being picked on to “become stronger” and no matter what, “do not let people get [you] down.” Nothing and no one can prevent us from receiving the absolute good that the universe has in store for us. As Paul says in Romans 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

 

doveDon’t Think You Know Everything:   There’s always an opportunity to “learn new things, so don’t waltz into 6th grade acting like you know EVERYTHING ABOUT ANYTHING.” It’s important to
“[c]ome in like everybody else with an open-to-learning mind. No one wants to hang around someone who thinks they are a know-it-all.” (Emphasis in Original)  This is consistent with what Job concluded when he said that “we were born only yesterday and know nothing” (Job 8:9)). We are in a constant state of growth and transformation. As Jesus said, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about” (John 4:32)). We are smartest when we allow ourselves to be fed not only the food of flesh and of intellect but also of spiritual substance – realizing that the Holy Spirit will “teach [us] all things” – more than we can ever begin to imagine (John 14:26).

 

TCreating Outside the Box Oneake Advantage of What You Don’t Know to Make New Friends:   Asking questions like “where is this class” or “can you help me with my locker” are perfect ways to make friends. “[B]e open to meeting new people: don’t stay stuck in a little cult.” You have to “be bold and walk up to people” and “hang out with as many people as possible.” Jesus said it another way, he said “love one another” (John 13:34). When we love one another, we are compassionate about their feelings; we get to know them; we make time for them; we celebrate them; we help them push through the rough spots; we hold their hand when they need companionship; we praise them when they need uplifting; we forgive them when they’ve made a mistake.

 

Windows of HeavenDon’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions:   Don’t worry about being made fun of for asking questions. You are probably asking the question that several other people want to ask. Jesus said “ask and you will receive” (John 16:24).   When we open up our minds and are receptive to the universe, we receive certain questions because they are necessary to push us farther along the path. Our questions themselves are blessings, and if we fail to follow up on them, we don’t open the door to that channel of good.

 

IBible 7t’s Cool to be Smart:   “Bad grades are not cool! Try to be the smartest. So what if people say ‘you’re some kind of smarty pants.’ Take that as a compliment. You’ll be the one who becomes that millionaire everyone dreams of being. If people say you’re a nerd, those people will end up working for you most likely.” In 2 Chronicles 1:11-12, God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.” Wisdom is the greatest wealth we can have. The best wisdom we get is from God, and when we seek first God’s Kingdom, all else will be given – including wealth, leadership and divine ideas.

 

Eagle BayKeep Your Cool Peer pressure is not good. You have to be an independent thinker. At one extreme, peer pressure may cause you to “do something dangerous”; at the other extreme, it can also make you do something like “skipping class” or “hitting someone.” Regardless, “it’s not good. It can get you into serious trouble if you mess with the wrong person. So always keep your cool.” Jesus said “Peace, be still!” (Mark 4:39). Being cool requires us to realize that God is the only leader that we need to follow, in a peaceful, graceful, loving mood.

 

SPIRITMUV5Namaste,

 

Cecilia Loving

 

Join us every Sunday, at 2:30 P.M. at the Unity Center of NYC, located at 213 West 58th Street, between 7th Avenue and Broadway.
REGISTER NOW FOR THE GOD IS A BROWN GIRL TOO RETREAT AT www.godisabrowngirltoo.webs.com — THERE IS A LIMITED OFFER OF HALF-PRICE ($225 FOR THE ENTIRE WEEKEND) FOR NEXT WEEK ONLY.

 

NOT AGAIN By Cecilia Loving

Okay, I admit it.  Just before Christmas, I prayed for snow.  It wasn’t a long or involved prayer — just a mantra that I kept on the edge of my tongue, a vision that lingered at the forefront of my thoughts.  And perhaps just once, I actually said: “I wish it would snow.”  Or maybe I said it twice.  At this point, I can’t remember because now I just wish it would stop.  Yes, I am actually knee-deep in the answer to my prayers sighing — “not again.”

Prayer opens a spigot of God’s good that can’t be turned off at whim.  The Universe wants to give us what we want — especially if there is no harm to anyone else.  Why shouldn’t we want snow?  Agriculturalists tell us that it is an excellent insulator for gardens, protecting natural landscape and animal inhabitants against low temperatures. 

We may get tired of putting on our UGGS, but the wintery white stuff provides the necessary moisture to plants that would be at a risk of injury without it.

My favorite drink is water, which is also what I use in my showers and baths — not to mention for cleaning dishes and doing laundry.  While some may think that 10 inches of snow equals 1 inch of rain, it can actually contain as much as 5 inches, depending on the snowflake’s crystal structure.   Slow snow melts cause trickles that seep into the earth to purify water for drinking.

Calm winter snows wrap God’s grace around us, reminding us to go within.  Beneath the snow, we transform.  We wait.  We learn to ask for what we want and to be courageous enough to receive it.  We remember that we are no more than tiny specks in the cosmic flow of spiritual breath.  We slow down, like each unique crystal dancing from heaven to the ground, realizing that we need to enjoy the process before we melt in the crack of someone’s boot.  Our journey shows us the presence of God in everything: laughter at falls when we know we can get up again; releasing the past when we trust that we just move forward; brushing ourselves off when we discover patience with each step that we take.

Proverbs doesn’t say “not again”; it says “[s]he is not afraid for her household when it snows, for all in her household are doubly clothed.”  When we are clothed in the Spirit, we have all of the protection that we need.  I was outside yesterday when the first flake fell. I saw the Holy Ghost pull the good out of souls, saw them help each other push cars, balance over piles and navigate subway stairways.

Isaiah doesn’t say “not again”; he says “[m]y word . . . is like  . . . snow.  It will not come back to me without results, but it will accomplish whatever I want and achieve whatever I send it to do.”  When we speak God’s word, it always returns a blessing.  When we give of ourselves, God throws “open the floodgates of heaven and pour[s] out so much good that there is not room enough to receive it.”

How are you embracing this extraordinary manna of God?  Are you ready for living water to fall into your life?  Do you stop long enough to grin at the spectacular show of new life unfolding in the air around you?  Watch what you say and what you wish for: words always have a way of returning.  The universal ethers are full of your hopeful longings, just waiting for the right nudge into manifestation.

So when you see the snowflakes cover every shape and form, say with assurance “in God we live and move and have our being.”  When you feel the first flakes melt on your tongue, say “be still and know that I am God.”  When you realize that you are knee-deep in Absolute Good, refrain from mumbling “not again” — just spin an angel out of flapping arms, fashion white balls of cold slush, or step gracefully through the abundance of this season, and say “glory, glory, hallelujah.”

Namaste,

Reverend Cecilia Loving

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.

None of the content herein may be copied or otherwise used except with Reverend Loving’s written permission.

 

Join the Spiritmuv  Community at www.Spiritmuv.ning.com for special postings by Rev. Loving.

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 sellling and there are now only 13 rooms left.

WHERE IS YOUR GOLDEN VOICE? By Cecilia Loving

Ted Williams, “the man with the golden voice,” is teaching all of us something from his meteoric rise to fame.  Everyone seems to be holding their breath for his success.  We pray that he is redeemed from self-destruction because we don’t want an unhappy ending to this modern day miracle.  We pray that God will not only protect him from his own demons but also from the vultures that have lined up, patiently awaiting.

We’ve all been there before — perhaps not in Ted’s infamous shoes.  But when opportunity presented itself, there was something in us that longed to return to the cozy familiar.  Perhaps we resolved to change our lives forever, never to make the same mistakes again.   Perhaps we felt the fresh breath of triumph in our lungs and breathed it as long as we could — until we faltered and eventually needed the strength of something stronger than flesh.  Somewhere in the distance, we heard our golden voice but it seemed to fade, die out, or just not sound like us anymore. 

We were so eager for Ted Williams to tell our story that we summoned him from obscurity to speak with his golden voice.  We root for Ted because we are rooting for our own success.  He can do it — he can do it — he can do it!  Or if we are the negative sort, we moan that he’ll fail, he’s a con artist — or the most inspiring — once a drug addict always a drug addict.  We know that Ted needs help.  Gratefully, Dr. Phil has offered him at least 90 days of treatment at a remote rehabilitation facility.  But the real question is not what Ted is going to do, it is what are you going to do?  Where is your golden voice?  What talents are you allowing to go to waste?  What dreams do you need to dust off?  What resolutions have you made year after year that now lie buried on a journal page?

Ted Williams teaches us a few lessons about using our God-given talent.

First, the gifts that God blesses us with can survive the greatest storm.  Ted Williams had been at rock bottom, strung out on crack, addicted to alcohol and homeless.  But despite the odds, he still persevered and God sent him an angel.  A reporter from The Columbus Dispatch posted a 97-second clip of him on its website, holding a handwritten cardboard sign, which read I have the “God-given gift of voice.”

Second, God opens the doors that need to be opened.  The Columbus Dispatch video was posted to YouTube by an anonymous user.  Within 48 hours, the video went viral, receiving over 13 million page views.   This lead to numerous morning show appearances and potential job offers to do advertising, sporting events and even a potential spot on Oprah’s new OWN Network.

Third, if we don’t put God first, our good will disappear just as quickly as we receive it. Putting God first is a daily process.  It’s not something that we do once and never worry about again.  Salvation is not a one-time experience.  Salvation is an ongoing process.  Being tapped into and turned on to God is an everyday ritual of meditation, prayer, affirmation, study, and silence.  Williams showed us that if we don’t put God first, we will more easily revert back to our old ways.   (He got drunk and fought but hopefully will resist in the days to come.)

Fourth, Ted Williams is proof that we all have a golden voice.  We just need to use it.  By our “golden voice,” I don’t mean how we sound but the inner gifts that we each uniquely bear.  Ted’s children attempted to shame him by asking “where have you been?”  But that is the same question they need to be asking themselves.  We come not from our parents but through them to be the best that we can be.  The irony is that our challenges ultimately become our gifts.  We have the capacity to become better people because of them.

No one tells this story better than Wayne Dyer about his alcoholic father.  Dyer’s father abandoned his family and he and his siblings sometimes lived in foster homes.  But Dyer says that his father’s own dysfunction became his greatest teacher. “Growing up in Detroit orphanages I was immersed in opportunities to learn self-sufficiency at an early age,” Dyer says.  “Of course, so were all the other children around me. It’s just that I was already aware, by age 10, that whatever happened to me, my own destiny was right in my very own little hands and in nobody else’s.” 

Dyer says that true healing comes from making a conscious choice to “live your life based on the notion that there are no justified resentments.”  What a liberating concept: there are no justified resentments.  I do not have the right to be resentful against anyone or anything.  What I do have the right to do is to dance to my own music, create my own rhythm, find my own golden voice.  Dyer said that when he stood at his father’s grave, he didn’t curse him, he sent his father love — and in that instant, he was liberated.

Every day gives us an opportunity to heal and be restored in the righteousness of God.  There is no need to hold onto the past; or worry about what we did or didn’t do.  There comes a time when we have to shake the dust off our feet, and keep on moving.

We send you love Ted Williams.  We know you have been the best that you had the capacity to be under the circumstances.  Now, we pray for you to put on a new self.

No matter what, we are glad that we heard your golden voice.  You are living proof that this is our season.  We are taking shape and creating form in the cosmic ethers like fresh seed falling on new earth.  Just like in the Garden of Eden, the true manna of God Source is all around us.  Thank you for reminding us that we each have the gift to listen to God and to hear a golden voice inside of us.  Perhaps it is singing “I ain’t gonna study war no more.”  Perhaps it is testifying, “I’m gonna touch the hem of Jesus’ garment.”  Perhaps it is praying,  “I’m gonna rise like Lazarus.”  It doesn’t matter.  The most important thing is that we listen, and hear ourselves taking charge in a new way.

Namaste,

Reverend Cecilia Loving

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.

None of the content herein may be copied or otherwise used except with Reverend Loving’s written permission.

Join the Spiritmuv  Community at www.Spiritmuv.ning.com for special postings by Rev. Loving.

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 sellling and there are now only 13 rooms left.

FINDING PEACE IN THE SOUL

This is the season where we tend to lose sight of the big picture.  After all, it’s too cold.  Nerves are jittery.  Santa has a list, and none of us are perfect.  The gifts that just have to be purchased stretch our budgets so far we fear they may snap.  We are dazzled by all of the holiday lights and carols but dread disassembling a tree that took hours to display.  Family celebrations sound so wonderful in principle, but we are quickly reminded that these are the people who completely disregard our boundaries and callously criticize our flaws.  We are easy prey to gingerbread, sugar cookie and red velvet temptations that wreck havoc on our diets.  And if that wasn’t enough, we sniffle right into the hands of some fastidious airport security cautious enough to confiscate our Henri Bendel snow globes.  By then, our stylish new UGGs have wandered so far off the track that we’ve forgotten that this season is not about shopping at all; it’s about the Spirit.

Where were we anyway?  Scrolling through the Tiffany’s catalogue?  Smelling freshly cut pine trees on Smith Street?  Adding to our iPod Christmas collection?  Well, we should have been on the trek from Galilee to Jerusalem, nine months pregnant on the back of a donkey, ready to burst over the rough terrain and through the arid desert.  There, we could hear people talking about us behind our backs — condemning us in the most insidious ways.  Even though they could have helped a pregnant woman carry water from the well, they didn’t.  But our Souls pulled us beyond the trajectory of appearances and made us steadfast in the power of faith to do what God called us to do.  It just wasn’t always easy.

But we could always hold onto what the angel said: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.”  Mary, the mother of Jesus, represents the Soul metaphysically.  The soul is that part of us that is the driving energy and force behind all that we do. The Soul is so connected to Spirit that it knows what we cannot fathom in the flesh, what we cannot reason in the intellect, what we cannot imagine with the mind.  The Soul knows the big picture.

We are always on a journey with the Soul.   It is not inside of us, we are inside of it.  The Soul knows our destination.  It does not allow us to run away from what we are meant to do.  The Soul is that part of us that leads us and reveals to us and guides us through our dreams and our hunches and our intuition.  Jonah in the Bible is a testament that if we don’t follow our Soul’s purpose we will end up in strange predicaments, deep in the belly of stagnation.

The Soul will interrupt our daily routine, push us outside of our comfort zones, end our misdirected relationships, find us a new job, plant a seed in us of a powerful new adventure, guide us to the good that is right in front of our faces, lead us on the path of righteousness, force us to be better than ourselves.

It is the Soul — Mary — who teaches us to expect the unexpected, push past the unlimited, dance beyond the undefined, believe the unbelievable, imagine the unimaginable, demonstrate the impossible.

Through the Soul, we are always pregnant with the infinite possibilities of Spirit.   Through the Soul, we are always on the path of giving birth to God’s divine ideas.   Through the Soul, we are always giving shape to our divine inheritance.   Through the Soul, we can always tap the infinite source of God.

 Through the Soul, we can endure the roughest side of the mountain, map our journey from the evidence of things unseen and know that each adventure brings peace.  When we are in alignment with the Soul, we believe in a power greater than the flesh, a power greater than what any imagination can conceive, a power that is knocking at our door to remind us that there is nothing to fear because we have found favor with God.

Despite all of the hustle and bustle, this is the time to go within, and sing Mary’s song.  My Soul, she sings, my Soul magnifies the Lord.  And my spirit  rejoices in God my Savior.  For God has lifted my lowly state into the consciousness of a believer.  God has planted in me the Consciousness of Christ — and by finding peace in my faith — all generations will be blessed.

My Soul moves me beyond fear, pushes me pass doubt and guides me with renewed commitment.  My Soul comforts me with peace, lifts me in love and blesses me with joy.  My Soul pulls me past pain, delivers me with discernment and anoints me with favor.  Because I am, I know that God is.  Because my Soul does magnify the lord, I will not merely stay the course but I will rejoice with newfound peace that God is using me — and that is all that matters.

Namaste,

Reverend Cecilia Loving

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 Gandhi 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.

None of the content herein may be copied or otherwise used except with Reverend Loving’s written permission.

 

Join the Spiritmuv  Community at www.Spiritmuv.ning.com for special postings by Rev. Loving.

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.

 

A MIRACLE OF FAITH

At church last Sunday, we were blessed with a powerful testimony of faith.

After leaving the God is a Brown Girl Too® Retreat, a number of participants stopped by a gas station on their way through Manhattan.  Between the excitement of saying good-byes, giving directions and jumping back into cars, someone lost their wallet.  She didn’t realize it until she got back into her car and was approaching Brooklyn.

Unfortunately, by the time her attention turned to the wallet, she had been maneuvering through traffic on I-95 and the last time she had seen the wallet was when she laid it on the hood of her convertible.

 A car hood is a vulnerable place to have a wallet sitting on any moving vehicle — not to mention on top of one in fast-moving traffic on a NYC highway.  The steps that one would have to retrace to locate it would be impossible to recreate.  Here, the various scenarios of it flying off into oblivion would be too numerous to imagine, especially because the last point of contact — the gas station — was miles away in the distance.   But after such an extraordinary women’s retreat, only faith filled the hearts of the passengers concerned about the missing wallet.

Charged with faith, one of the passengers called the gas station.  One counseled the driver to have faith that the wallet would manifest.  Another passenger used her faith to pray for a favorable outcome.  And after she was ministered to, the driver decided not to worry about her wallet.  With faith, she continued driving to Brooklyn and left the matter in the hands of the universe.

When she faithfully got out of the car to drop off her first passenger, she witnessed what she called a “miracle.”  Her wallet was still sitting where she had put it — not in a fold or a crease — but right on her hood!  It was as though divine order had converged the centrifugal force of space and time and gravity to suspend the wallet in its right place — so that it was not thrown or tossed, but simply rode atop the car — with all of its contents intact.

Faith is not a power to be taken lightly.

Faith pushes us out of the realm of appearances and posits us in the reality of unlimited good.  Faith pulls us away from the consciousness where we simply ask God — and connects with the super-consciousness where our good has already manifested.  Faith catapults us beyond asking to believing that whatever we ask for, we receive.  Faith blesses us with a patience beyond human comprehension — to know that our good is here.

Faith is one of the 12 powers we are studying.  Although the foundation for our study is a book that Charles Fillmore wrote in 1930, entitled The Twelve Powers of Man (Unity Books), we are now able to expand our interpretation of the 12 powers within according to the teachings of our more ancient ancestors  — who developed a basis for spiritual power centers thousands of years before Fillmore was born.

The pineal gland — located in the brain behind the eyes — is said to be the physical entry of spiritual enlightenment, and through that illumination, it is also known as the gateway to faith.  It is the home of higher consciousness, healing power, and psychic perception.  In her book, Opening to Spirit, Caroline Shola Arewa, an expert on African teachings on the healing power of the   chakras, says that melatonin is excreted by the pineal gland, which encourages receptivity to the creative consciousness of Spirit.  Melatonin levels, Arewa says, are at their highest between the hours of 4 A.M. and 6 A.M., producing the best consciousness to create, meditate, and be more open and receptive to Spirit.

Our Faith Power is associated with deep indigo blue energy, which is said to be the color associated with the deep blue of midnight — an energy that radiates outward and encompasses all things with compassion and connection to all life.  It is in the evening, through dreams that Jacob receives spiritual messages.

The Bible says, in that place called “Peniel” (or Pineal), he “sees God face-to-face” — and his life is spared.  He is reborn in a new consciousness.  In the Spirit, one could say that his Pineal gland was opened.  The Bible says that the sun rose above him as he passed Peniel.  He saw with new light.  When we tap into and turn on the power associated with our Pineal Gland, our Faith organ, we see God face-to-face. 

Peter represents Faith in the Bible.  He sometimes faltered, but he was also more steadfast than the other disciples.  He was the only one who actually tried to walk the water.

Whenever Jesus heals an affliction, he tells the person healed that it was their Faith that made them whole.  Through Faith, we know that God goes before us to make easy, joyous and successful our way — regardless of the appearances.  Through Faith, we can trust — like our sister who recovered her wallet on the top of her hood — that even what seems to have been lost will be restored.  Through Faith, we know that we are blessed and thus realize our blessings.

Namaste,

Reverend Cecilia Loving

 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.

Join the Spiritmuv  Community at www.Spiritmuv.ning.com for special postings by Rev. Loving.

None of the content herein may be copied or otherwise used except with Reverend Loving’s written permission.

AWAKEN TO LOVE: A POWERFUL TIME LIKE NO OTHER

The God is Brown Girl Too® Retreat this past weekend was not a “retreat” at all.  Rather than a retreat, it was as our spirit sister Oza described — a “movement forward.”  The “Awaken to Love” movement was one of those unforgettable moments in time when all of the forces of the universe are in perfect alignment with an idea whose time has come.  Thus, it was in divine order that “Awaken to Love” opened our minds to reach beyond the appearance of physical limitation to the divine rhythm of endless possibility.  Our hearts were freshly anointed to beat beyond the ordinary into the extraordinary.  Our consciousness was newly uplifted to realize the sacred in the simplistic.  Our souls were synchronized in joyous surrender to Spirit by the story of God is a Brown Girl Too, accompanied by the beauty of Malesha Jessie singing Awaken to Love.  We could not have planned a more perfect “movement forward”; the universe did it for us.

The moment we entered the sacred space of the Mariandale Retreat Center last Friday evening, we knew that we would be transformed forever.  Owned by the Dominican Sisters of Hope, its captivating peace and warm embrace is a beautiful sanctuary overlooking Eagle Bay — that does not withhold its endless gifts of gentle breezes, peaceful shade, calm waters, and the everlasting witness of God.

With the convergence of many religions, faiths, perspectives, and beliefs, we rose above the division of differences to celebrate the fact that there is nothing that we cannot do, nothing that we cannot be, nothing that we cannot summon from God as our creator constantly creating.  We carry the universe in our souls, justice in our wombs, and triumph in our magic.  When we come together, we know that nothing and no one can stop us from attaining the good that God is expressing as us.

Auah Tuah Nera Freeman, a powerful actor from Washington D.C. , and I performed part of God is a Brown Girl Too, along with Malesha Jessie, we could feel the magic of the Holy Spirit baptizing us in new waters of faith.  We could feel the incredible and the magical and the fantastic emerging as us.  And we knew that it was something better than a fleeting moment, that it was — as Malesha sang — a change come over us — that would be transformational.

Sonya Johnson sang be Still and Know that I AM God from her beautiful Worship From the Heart CD — blessing us into the stillness and centering us in the wisdom that we must look neither here nor there but to the Kingdom of God within us.

We opened our hearts and witnessed love creating, love releasing, love evolving, love planting, love expressing as us.

Everyone was a divine contributor to our entire body of love and light, including worship leader Celestine Walker who brought the love of her spirit all of the way from Detroit with worship songs, testimony and exaltation of the words of God; healing goddess Cynthia Adams, who reminded us to lay our burdens down by the riverside; gentle touch visionary Bianca Townsend, who healed us with her gift of massage and the beauty of her photography; and Rev. Mari Rodriguesz Ragsdale, who centered us in the heart of ancestral love and spiritual de-cluttering.

Oza Plynton, Spiritmuv’s new Meditation Leader and sister of divine fulfillment, fed us with not only her wisdom but also her extraordinary culinary skills.  If you ever have an opportunity to buy a piece of any of her dishes don’t hesitate to partake.  I see a corner bakery named Oza’s smoothly unfolding.  It is a blessing that a sister who is so open and receptive to Spirit can also “throw down” as a chef.

Aakhu Tuah Nera poured the libation in a way that not only honored those who came before us but also allowed us to stay connected with them forever.

As my mother, Rev. Dr. Myrtle Ross said during one of our circles of light — if we could honor our ancestors the way we praise Jesus, we could tap the full spectrum of power that is always embracing us and unfold our own magic with the help that all of our ancestors — all of whom stand ready to help us.

One of the highlights was the robing ceremony honoring Spiritmuv Prayer Minister Raquiba LaBrie, who is also one of the main visionaries and supporters of God is a Brown Girl Too.  In the physical realm, she is really the spiritual glue that holds our prayer circle lifted in the love and light of God.  Rev. Ross presented her with a prayer shawl on behalf of Spiritmuv and sisters of light stood with Raquiba because as Rev. Ross reminded us — “none of us should ever be made to stand alone.”

Early Saturday morning, Prayer Warrior Raquiba blessed us with an early morning meditational knock at our doors — to awaken us to love, and we were all glad that we did.  An hour later, movement minister Esther Sylvester led us through our love walks through the labyrinth.  Not only was there as celebration of what we wanted but also that we were grateful for Spirit’s immediate response.

Elizabeth Walker, divine diva of organization and beauty, shined her light of love on every crack and crevice of registration, assuring that we would take care of business as seamlessly as she does.  Bayliss Fiddiman was by her side, assisting with all of the details.

It was Bayliss who ignited the passion of the creative Spirit in us as we drew goddesses to celebrate the divine within.  We know that we are the inexhaustible force of an energy that is greater than the human body temples of God.  Bayliss helped us re-discover and express love as us in a new way.  The Creativity Room expanded beyond spaces of confinement and the boxes that we once stepped in were torn down.

Najah Brown reminded us of the importance of youth, tireless energy, and joyful presence.  Both he and my husband Marlon Cromwell are all of those things and more — the men behind God is a Brown Girl Too and Spiritmuv — without which it wouldn’t run as smoothly and effortlessly as it does.

If you missed this powerful gathering of like-minded sisters of Spirit, don’t worry.  There will be similar gatherings for you to participate in.  But after this one, I have one piece of advice.  Register early, and don’t miss it — at least if you want to awaken to the freedom of endless possibilities, divine opportunities, new dreams, quiet healings, and prophetic callings.  Not only did we awaken to love but we also listened.  In the peaceful stillness, we heard God praying us.  We loved and felt beings of light in our midst praying as us.  And in the end, we remembered, and stood proudly on the prayers of our ancestors — lifting us above every obstacle, every fear, every doubt, every hesitation, every appearance of lack.  When we left, there was no uncertainty in our minds, hearts and souls — that we were our Mother God’s creation and our Father God’s child, which at the very least means that we are gods.

Namaste,

Reverend Cecilia Loving

GOD IS A BROWN GIRL TOO® is grateful for SPIRITMUV Member Bianca Townsend’s Photographic Essay of “Awaken to Love.”

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

This Sunday, JOIN SPIRITMUV FOR PART I OF OUR 7-PART SERIES ON THE TWELVE POWERS OF HUMANITY, 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.

WE ALL HAVE EQUAL ACCESS TO GOD

I am grateful for the number of people who have supported the upcoming God is a Brown Girl Too Retreat.  Regardless of race, religion or ethnicity — people of all cultures, ages and sexes have given their support for an organization that dispenses with the notion that God is an old man in the sky and embraces the truth that we all have the Kingdom of God within us.   With the retreat less than ten days away, the commitment from family and friends to honor the fact that we are all made in God’s image and likeness is not something that I take lightly.  In this season of holidays and barbeques, it is sometimes easier to just put our feet up and do nothing rather than make a concerted effort to center in the Spirit within.

But when we want to make a difference in our lives and the lives of others, we have to take advantage of the gift that we all have — to choose.   We can choose to transform our consciousness, choose to move beyond where we are now, choose to move to where we want to be.  It is through divine choice that this country was able to pursue life, liberty and happiness.  It is through divine choice that we have all been called to rise up and live out the true meaning of the creed that we are all created equal.  We all have equal access to God.

Regardless of what we are doing, or where we choose to go ,or do, or be, we can tap into the Spirit that lives in us, that is — as Jesus said — our counselor, teacher, and  guide.  Regardless of what the appearances are in the physical, we all have the same ability to slow down long enough to hear the divine vibrations that are centered in each one of us — as the temple of a living God.  Regardless of whether you are attending the God is a Brown Girl Too Retreat or not — find the space to re-connect with your divine self this summer.

Some of my best meditations are walking along Smith Street in Carroll Gardens, or feeling the breeze on the Brooklyn Bridge.  It was on the subway that it occurred to me that the truth that our so-called Founding Fathers had — is equally available to each one of us — to be pioneers of something wonderful, in mind, body or spirit.  In fact, I don’t believe they had any idea of the magnitude of what they were memorializing in 1776; it was much bigger than who they were in the physical.  The Spirit that led them surpassed  their time-space reality, their own boundaries of socio-political-economic dynamics.  But because they were obedient to their calling, we all benefit from their Declaration of Independence today.

god-will-see-you-through-thirteenWe are only a fragment of what God expresses through us.  In 1942, Mahatma Gandhi said “I am a Christian, and a Hindu and a Muslim, and a Jew.”  I have moved beyond the superficiality of race and religion and class to fulfill God’s divine appointment as an expression of love for all humanity.

god-will-see-you-through-elevenTake a moment in the celebration of sunshine and warmth and plant the seeds of a new story.  The harvest of autumn will arrive before you know it, so center in the consciousness that will restore and recharge you, so that you can move forward re-energized and renewed — ready to reap God’s good as you.

We will be praying without ceasing next week — July 16 through 18 — during our retreat at the Mariandale Retreat Center.  Make a divine choice to meditate with us, move with us, sing with us, shout with us, dance with us, create with us, heal with us.   But most importantly, listen with us.  God is always speaking — everywhere — at once.  And we all have equal access to God’s voice.

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 THE LAST SEGMENT 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.  NOTE THAT SPIRITMUV’S SERVICE WILL BE AT THE MARIANDALE RETREAT CENTER ON SUNDAY, JULY 18.

                                     

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.