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Looking at Self Esteem from a Different Angle

  Sunday’s sermon I gave was less a talk about the idea of God and more an experience of connecting directly with The Presence. The congregation’s response was lively and hugs were generously flowing as I left the building. In the direct heat of a 100 degree plus morning I was met by an older, stunningly beautiful woman standing next to my car in tears. “I have prayed for thirty years”, she said, “to meet you.” She continued saying she had actively prayed for three decades to see the vitality of God in someone’s eyes and today was the day and my eyes were the eyes. Flattered and humbled simultaneously, I listened to her story. Partway through it she said, “like everyone else, I have problems with self esteem.” I have taken to seeing the world and listening to people talk much like reading a good college textbook. I begin to see and hear some things as though nuggets of wisdom and insight are flying off the page requiring a...

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My Three Favorite Forgiveness Practices

When I am in a state of unforgiveness, my insides feel like a damned up river. I can feel balled up energy acting as an impediment to the flow. The impediment is my perception of how things ought to be and the disappointment within me that they are not that way. That disappointment then is directed toward another person in the form of blame. In other words, I have created the entire internal mess by wanting something to be other than it is or someone to be other than they are. My first favorite practice for deconstructing the damn is pulling out my mala beads and on each 108 beads speaking the following words: “I release ______________________ from bondage. I am free. _______________ is free. I choose love.” The repetition of chanting or affirming these words opens within me a space for love to creep in. Contemplate the word “willing.” Once I am damned up, I often can’t unwind my own mess. To sit with the words “willing to…”...

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This Too is Holy

    One of my favorite teachers, Emma Curtis Hopkins, speaks of the Presence of God as the Go(o)d we are seeking. The God or Good is all there is, seeking me as I am seeking It. Her teachings recommend denying anything unlike the Go(o)d of God as being Real in anyway. This is True; High Truth. However, since All is God, then there is no opposite. All is God. I am called to deeply love that within me that doesn’t feel good, comfortable, joyful, and yet is equally a condition for the unfolding of my Soul. Last week I experienced three solid days of pure, non-stop terror. I’d met depression several times; this wasn’t that. It was far too sharp an energy to be complacent. My insides felt raw, frozen, uncontrollable terror. I experienced panic, fear, angst, paralyzed, anxiety. The sensations, almost debilitating, required lots of breathing and Self Love at a depth I hadn’t yet known. I didn’t try to deny this inner state, push it away,...

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I Like, I Don’t Like: An Insight on Preference

Preferences are such an interesting thing. There are certain foods that I like and I don’t like. And then there foods I may like but my body doesn’t. This insight has come to show me that liking is a conceptual or habitual function. It falls in the realm of opinion. My body, however, in its desire for survival and health talks to me through visceral feedback. Its wisdom is deeper. I remember the day I stopped eating meat. I would like to say I wanted to be a gentler person and not kill animals or that I woke up to the realization that everyone in the world could be fed if each of us ate more plant-based food and less-to-no animal products. Or, point to the environment’s adverse impact due to an overabundance of cow farts (truly, I read a study on this) that influences air quality. But, that isn’t true. I quit eating meat because my body stopped me. Cold turkey (pardon intentional). One day the thought of...

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