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What an amazing community you are… last week I shared that I was starting a fundraiser for Rev. LeRoy’s 78th birthday for $780. I am happy to say that in that short amount of time the goal was met and exceeded. YOU ARE THE BEST!!!
What’s in the Way IS the Way has been put on the shelf; however, the lessons from it are long-lasting. Catching ourselves when we are in the clouds, in our story and knowing what to do to return to the meadow.
You learned two key tools to use to return to the meadow…
Tool No. 1 is Going into the Heart. Your Heart is an energy center that “fills your whole being with its wisdom energy.”
Tool No. 2 is Compassionate Curiosity… allows you to watch your thoughts rather than get caught up in them, so you have a choice to unhook from them by turning your attention to what is actually happening not your ideas about it. You can also then move into the wisdom of your heart.
We reviewed the Four Lets from the previous week’s talk…
• Let Life
• Let It Be
• Let It Go
• Let Go
When we Let Life, we are acknowledging we are caught and feeling powerless in the face of the reactions inside of us and willing to ask Life for clarity.
Let it be takes us out of the victim mode of unconsciousness… where the veil parts and we are then able to open into the power of consciously looking at what we are experiencing, which is what Let it be is all about.
Let it go is recognizing when we have been seduced by a spell and softening around the spell and letting it pass through us.
Let go is when we cease trying to control everything and letting it flow.
Mary says, “The greatest mission you can undertake is to initiate yourself back into Life, to see what is before you, to live from the unfurnished eye. This means your awareness is no longer cluttered with the stories of struggle that make up the clouds in your head, obscuring the meadow of your being. When your urge to struggle with Life has calmed down and instead you are willing to show up for the life you have been given, you become a force of healing in the world. Wherever you go, you are here, and a person who is truly here is a focal point of consciousness in this unconscious world.”
This Sunday will start a new series on Mysticism and Mystics. I am excited to see where this leads us.
A few things coming in the next few weeks…
• August 9 – our guest speaker will be Rosie Deer Heart
• August 16 – our guest speaker will be Matt Purinton
• August 30 – Julie Thompson will be sharing special music with us.
Taking a little longer view for what is ahead… the Board met tonight (Tuesday) and had a robust discussion on when we feel it is safe to reopen. We were unanimous that it would be a minimum of eight weeks before it could happen. This is a measure we are taking to keep the community and all of us safe. You and your health is our No. 1 priority. In the meantime, we will take steps to start the planning process of reopening. The first is to evaluate what our audio-visual equipment needs are so that we can continue live-streaming the service as we are now. This is very important. A protocol of what will be required to meet in person including mask-wearing, physical distancing, sanitizing and cleaning will be developed. We will keep you informed as information is available.
You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey
There are some things that never get old or feel burdensome, and writing Heart Thoughts each week is one of those things. I look forward to sharing with you the awesomeness of this community and often-times singling out an individual who has made a difference in our community.
This week that person is near and dear to me… it is our beloved, Rev. LeRoy. On Friday, July 24 he celebrates his 78th birthday. That is special in and of itself; however, it has even more meaningful for us personally as it was on July 24, 1990 that we had our first official date. We met at Unity of Greater Portland in early 1990 and spent many a morning during Lent in meditation with others in the community from 7 to 7:30 a.m. We would then share a cup of coffee with Rev. Audrey McGinnis before I would head off to work.
Our history with this community, now Unity Center for Spiritual Growth, has been a long one and very fulfilling. Although his visibility in the community has diminished somewhat, he still is my confidant and advisor when it comes to church affairs. He holds the long view when I am thinking immediate… he helps expand my vision and will support me in whatever the endeavor might be.
I had hoped to set up a fundraiser on Facebook for his birthday; however, for some reason, I can’t get the church’s name as the non-profit, even though I have submitted the paperwork required. So, this is the second-best way to do it… I am hoping to raise $780 in his name for Unity Center for Spiritual Growth. If you would like to give a gift, please donate and indicate for Rev. LeRoy during checkout.
We are in the home stretch with the book What’s in the Way IS the Way that has taken us through 10 weeks of great material. On Sunday the lesson was the Song of the Heart. I shared a personal experience that I had during the week, of which I was not proud in how I handled it… however, when I read the opening paragraph of the chapter, I could give myself a mulligan. Author, Mary O’Malley wrote: “Will your clouds of struggle dissolve all of a sudden when you recognize what is being offered in this book? That has not been my experience or the experience of 99.9 percent of the people I have known over the years. It is as Stephen Levine once described it, a gradual awakening. When asked by someone how long it would take, he responded by saying, “This is the work of a lifetime.”
This chapter is condensed into “Four Lets”…
• Let Life
• Let it be
• Let it go
• Let go
O’Malley says: “Through the Four Lets, we have been exploring the most important choice a human being has: the choice to use the mind to control or to connect. In fact, this is the only true choice you have. It is either mind or moment. You either give attention to all the stories and spells in your head that make up your clouds of struggle, or you allow your life to unfold, giving it your passionate and compassionate attention, interacting with it in a natural way. There will always be challenges, but Life is a lot easier when you relax into it enough to dance with Life, rather than living from your spells.”
The song of our heart is when we allow our heart to be our guiding force. When we allow ourselves to drop into our heart and live from there, we:
• value being real
• speak our truth
• respond instead of react
• are curious about what is
• seek more time for quiet and stillness
• are present for others and listen
• are not asserting our position
The more our mind gets enfolded in our heart, the more we experience the life we have been longing for. Loving and being loved comes with ease… the joy of seeing Love everywhere.
Next week we finish up with “Awakening for Life.”
You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey
Yes, God Yes! When Spirit speaks to me, my answer will be…yes, God yes. As I am listening to Deana sing this song from her Friday Music Night, it is perfect for what I want to share. A few weeks ago, I shared that Dee Capoldo was ordained. He is not letting any dust settle under his feet. He contacted Volunteers of America (VOA) and has been accepted as one of their volunteer chaplains. As a disabled vet, his heart is with other veterans and he wanted to join in solidarity with them. He is an alumnus of their transitional apartments for homeless vets and submitted a proposal to VOA. He requested that he be able to prepare a meal once a month at each of the two transitional veteran homes in Biddeford. These homes are for homeless vets who have been sober at least 30 days, or homeless and diagnosed with PTSD.
His request was granted. Dee needed to make it safe during COVID 19 and that meant it needed to be outside. He saw the need for a grill and lawn chairs for each house and went right into action. He went to Home Depot and asked for their help. They provided the two grills for free, but the 20 outside chairs and grillware (covers for winter, cleaning tools and grill utensils) were not covered financially. He contacted me and asked if the Unity community could help.
I immediately said yes, so he purchased what was needed and it came to $400. This is such a worthy endeavor and I know you will be willing to generously donate to cover the $400 expense. You can either donate online and let us know it is for VETS or mail in a check with VETS in the memo line. Any additional funds we raise will go to making these monthly meals special. We already have 6 Unity members who will take turns accompanying Dee! You can reach out to Dee if you care to get in the rotation of serving those who served our country and us.
I thank you in advance for your support. These vets rarely get a hot, home-cooked meal…Dee knows this from experience. He had two meals cooked by others during his time in transitional housing. Now, because of our Unity members and Home Depot, the veterans will get at least one a month. I am quite sure that all the vets that will be served will greatly appreciate your donations.
What’s in the Way is the Way is the title of the book I have been using and enjoying! This week was “Life Is for You.” Mary O’Malley, the author, calls this book a practical guide for waking up to life. There are just two more chapters and I am so glad that I have chosen to do this series.
When you watch the service you might think it is December 24th because I am talking about the young girl Mary who is told she will be with child and her reaction to it as well as Joseph’s reaction when he hears the woman he is betrothed to is with child and he is not the father. This story is so poignant to the lesson this week.
Mary O’Malley reminds us, “Life is not a random series of events that happen because you did your life right or wrong. It is an intelligent unfolding that is always speaking to you, always waking you up.”
As we grow spiritually, we often move through a series of shifts in consciousness.
1. Life happens to you!
2. Life happens by you!
However, in both of these we are fighting with LIFE itself. We are trying to change, fix, resist, and control Life, which puts a veil between us and Life.
3. Life happens in you!
4. Life happens for you!
We see that suffering comes from resisting or attaching and trying to control Life. We begin to respond rather than to react to life more and more.
As we grow in using our curiosity to explore life, we see that LIFE is putting us in situations we need in order to see our SPELLS.
5. Life happens through you!
6. Life is you!
These final two phases of consciousness are all about coming home to the meadow.
The more you relax into the flow of Life, the more you experience the joy of “Life happens through you.” As you reconnect with the meadow again, you recognize that “Life is you.”
Your homework this week:
Meet the places within you that you are most afraid of… become curious about them rather than afraid…
As you listen to them they lose their power of you… the bound up energy is released and you find yourself in the meadow.
You have never really left the meadow… all the joy, clarity, and aliveness that you have longed for has been with you all along.
You have been giving your attention to the storyteller however you are now able to give yourself the gift of living from the meadow of your being.
So, next week we end with “The Song of the Heart.”
Have a blessed week and hope to see you at the Friday night dinner from 5 – 6 p.m. in the parking lot at Unity Center for Spiritual Growth.
You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey
You have heard this from me before however, it bears repeating. I am so grateful to be living now and so curious to see what continues to unfold both in my life, the life of Unity Center for Spiritual Growth and in our world. Every day brings new awareness and an opportunity to awaken more to what it means to be a citizen of God’s Kingdom.
Yes, you read that correctly a citizen of God’s Kingdom. In God’s Kingdom is where love, compassion, peace and treating each other with kindness, respect, and dignity no matter the color of their skin, the religious affiliation, their gender, or the sexual preference is found.
Something else I want to say is that we have a strong, healthy congregation and I know that because we have some very generous givers. A recent book I picked up is called Twelve Keys to an Effective Church and there is a chapter on generous giving. It says: For many grassroots persons, leaders, and pastors, generous giving is a way of life. They experience the generosity of God’s grace in their lives. The way they live their life is the way they give. They do not “protect and preserve, conserve and hold their meager financial resources.” They know that God has not done that with them. They know of God’s generous grace with them. They are generous givers because God is the generous giver with them.
During the offering on Sunday Steph Plourde boldly stated that her life changed dramatically once she started attending Unity and that she realized that she had not been giving back in the same measure as she received and was making a statement that she was changing that in the future. I tell you this as a reminder that being a generous giver is not something we do out of a spirit of goodwill. Being generous is God’s gift to us. Here is a way to think about this and it excites me, being generous givers is not of our own doing, it is God’s gift to us. So, we are not losing anything when we give, we are opening for more of God in our life.
This past Sunday the talk was on making everything welcome…the core message of the book we are using What’s in the Way IS the Way is, “Life is set up, to bring up what has been bound up, so it can open up to be freed up, so we can show up for Life.”
The author Mary O’Malley says we are made up of three layers… the first layer is where the storyteller is narrating for us the world it sees. It is all about control…compulsion and resistance…here is where the clouds form and fill our heads.
The second layer is made up of the so-called unacceptable, unmet parts of ourselves. These are the parts we don’t want to acknowledge or don’t want others to see so the controlling, compulsive top layer buries them deep within us. These are the not good enough, not smart enough, the parts of us that are full of despair. They are influencing us from underneath our everyday awareness…
The third layer…or bottom layer is who we really are…it is the meadow of our being. We know we are there when there is a twinkle in our eye…an aliveness in our body…and we are radiating and vibrantly showing up. It is here that we are living in the meadow.
I am excited to say that Todd Glacy is back and will be sharing music with us this Sunday. The talk will be “Life Is for You.”
Also sign up for dinner on Friday evening from 5 to 6 p.m. with Dee. Email him or text him at 207-337-3953. Come and visit whether you decide to eat or not. It is an opportunity to visit with friends while social distancing outside wearing masks when not eating.
Have a fabulous week and spend as much time communing with nature as you can.
You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey
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See you soon!
Our usual schedule:
8 a.m. Early Bird Service
9:15 a.m. Morning Prayer Circle
9:30 a.m. Meditation
10 a.m. Sunday Service
Unity Center for Spiritual Growth
54 River Road
Windham, ME 04062-4047 Get a map
Phone: (207) 893-1233
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