A few months ago, I was invited to give my first public talk since I stopped pastoring. There are so many things about public speaking, which make me nervous. It is not that I cannot speak publicly, it was that for the longest time I took others response to my sermons or talks as an evaluation of my message. It was as if I was giving others the power to tell me when I was doing a good job and when I was not. I struggled with my response to others applause and comments, or lack thereof. I was intentionally working on moving to the place where my self-evaluation was unrelated to the evaluation of others, albeit positive or negative. There were times people would clap wildly, jump to their feet, yell out “you betta say that Pastor” or some other expression. I struggled with how much value I placed on their reaction. Read more
This past Tuesday my spiritual granddaughter passed away on her 43rd birthday after a long struggle with kidney disease. It was a day of mixed feelings and emotions. There was the expected feeling of loss, grieving, numbness, sadness accompanied by feelings of regret, compassion, and a whole host of feelings. Then there was joy; joy that she was no longer suffering. Joy that she got to celebrate her birthday with her mother, who had transitioned a few years earlier. Joy I had been able to know her and joy I could grieve her passing.
As I moved through my feelings, I began to realize that joy is a simple state. When I am practicing joy, I am happy, light, and at peace. The grieving and the sadness were complicated. Read more
There are so many ways to practice creating joy in our lives. This weekend I was watching a CNN report of a group of Muslims who brought 1000 doughnuts to a Donald Trump rally. In the midst of people saying derogatory things to them, they came from a space of love and kept offering doughnuts, passing out over 300 to people who had seconds before shouted hateful words about them. A doughnut became the vehicle, which might have a longer lasting effect, then one may realize. Read more
The other day I was having a conversation with someone about flashmobs and the first one that came to my mind was the one we do each year at SUNY Brockport, where I teach part time, in March as part of the One Billion Rising movement. While I was searching online for examples of flashmobs to share with my friend, I came across this one, which captured my heart and reminded me to fill my moment with joy.
It has been a while since I have listened to the final of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125. I had forgotten how it fills my heart and soul with joy just to listen to it. Read more
As we move closer to the holiday season, people’s lives tend to become increasingly hectic. We love the holidays because they are a time filled with presents, food, and time with friends and family and for some people even time off from work. However, sometimes this time with family is not always filled with peace. I was reminded of this recently as an associate shared with me how the holidays are her house quickly turn into a time for arguments and sometimes have been so stressful that she has left and come home. We cannot enjoy the peace of the holiday season when we are arguing with each other and pressing each other’s buttons. Read more
Back in March of this year, so not so long ago, I remember reflecting on an old Beatle song, Let It Be. Yesterday, I was reminded of the importance of those words one more time. I remembered that it is what it is, nothing more or nothing less. In this month, when we are focusing on forgiveness of self and others, I found myself having to practice what I teach. I learned that someone I trusted had failed to tell me they could no longer uphold their part of an agreement. I have to admit, my first reaction was “seriously, you are just now telling me this and you have known for months.” Then the emotional work on my side began as I realized that I was sitting in judgment of this person and the situation and the Beatle song began coming back to me, just let it be.
My conversation with this person had caused me to lose balance temporarily. That did not make either of us right or wrong, it was the Ultimate Creator’s way of helping me in my own journey and maintaining awareness of what the Ultimate Creator was doing for me in that moment. So I had to let it be! Read more
We had just finished healing harbor last night. I was
feeling spiritually fulfilled that we had been able to provide healing to so
many people. At the same time, I was physically exhausted, my body ached from
the rain, my eyes itched from my allergies, and every cell in my being just
wanted to crawl into bed. It had been a marvelous and enriching day and then
one of my healing staff said something, which just made the whole day a little
brighter. “I really like your hair like that.” All I could do was take a deep
breath and say was “thank you.” The funny thing was that I have wanted to shave
it all off again, but Zoe has been encouraging me to let it grow. Read more
During our love and inspiration gathering on Sunday, April 1st one of the women in our gathering suggested that on the 8th (Easter Sunday for those who celebrate Easter) we have a dinner instead of our morning gathering. With the group’s enthusiastic approval, as well as my wife’s endorsement pending my willingness to make my baked ham and seven cheese mac and cheese, we agreed to do so. Shortly after some of our guests arrived and the abundance of food was on the table, one of our guests received a call from a family member in crisis and she needed to call 911. Our guests responded in different ways. One woman asked me for assistance with 911. Another began crying because it stimulated some of her past behavior. A third one felt helpless because she was not sure how to help her niece. Read more
The other night I was watching a commercial with all these people filling their gas tanks. It made me think about how what we put in our car, and the ability to keep the tank full of the right kind of gasoline, will determine how smoothly, if at all, our cars run. If there is no gas in the tank, one is not going anywhere and then winds up reaching out for help.
In some respects, this is like our lives. We are what flows through us. Read more
It’s funny how sometimes those one hit wonders from your past come back and speak to you spiritually. For some reason I have found myself hearing the tune to Don’t Worry, Be Happy playing in my head. It is hard to be fully living when we are spending our time worrying. If I were to write the song today, I would call it Don’t Worry, Live Fully!
I found the lyrics to the song and realized they are just as relevant now as they were then.
Here is a little song I wrote Read more