1-Minute Inspirations for your day
by Carol Chambers
“Wanting to reform the world without discovering one’s true self is like trying to cover the world with leather to avoid the pain of walking on stones and thorns. It is much simpler to wear shoes.” – Ramana Maharshi
Social Justice is part of every major religion in the world. We all know that peace and joy do not belong to us alone. But from where does the passion arise for the advocating for or participation in social justice activities? Once we know and understand our own stories and come to see how they interact with the stories of everyone in the world laced together with Love and Compassion, we have begun to discover our true selves. We have begun to take off the shoes that keep us separated from the pain and discord that usurps the Love that we are meant to show and be.
Sitting down, taking off our shoes and beginning the journey to understand and claim our own stories will lead us to compassion and concern. And it always will. Namaste
A Treasure within You
By Carol Chambers
“You have a treasure within you that is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.” – Eckhart Tolle
It has simply taken me decades to even begin to wrap my thoughts around this profound insight. Seems so simple, and yet few of us live our lives as if the most precious treasure there is lies within, deep within us. We look elsewhere. We look to others to tell us who we ought to be, who we ought to love, or how both our strengths and challenges define us in the world. Even so, the inner illumination that we so profoundly desire transcends and transforms our lives every second of every day when we connect to that precious treasure that is us. How often do we think of ourselves as "precious"? How often do we truly realize that the only treasure that truly matters lies in our ability to understand that we are not who others think we are, we are the Universe bursting into this realm in all of its glory and grace?
May it be so.
by Jane Nelson
Knowing someone is in your corner makes a difference, doesn't it? A sense of belonging, that you truly matter, being loved/feeling loved really is "enough!" How does it feel to know that the God of Wonders and Majesty is always there for you and for me – no matter what!
Yes, a Power greater than ourselves is present with us – here for us - through thick and thin. May the reality of God’s ever-loving presence sink in as we go about our lives regardless of what today brings!
“Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel: ’Be strong and bold, for you are the one who will go with this people into the land that the Lord has sworn to their ancestors to give them; and you will put them in possession of it. 8 you and will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.’” ~ Deuteronomy 31:7-8
Do Not Be Anxious
By Carol Chambers
Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day.-- Jesus
The reminder to call ourselves back to the present is the foundation of many spiritual and meditative traditions-- and for good reason. Staying present, focused in the only moment that we truly have allows us to fully explore and experience all there is in each of those moments. Jesus tells us to let tomorrow take care of itself; to deal only in what is in front of us today. This call to present mindfulness across traditions brings great wisdom to our day to day living. As we are fully aware and fully focused on the moment in front of us we allow for the complete experience of Sacred Love to envelop and transform us. As our mind drifts away from the present, we call it back, enriching our encounter with the Spirit of All There Is as we drink deeply of that endless supply of Love.
And so it is.
By Jane Nelson
According to Pastor Kris Belfils, “Worship and praise is the purest form of prayer because it focuses our minds and souls entirely away from ourselves and on God. This is ThanksLiving!” Do you limit praise to something you do in church as “worship?” Sadly, I admit I often do. Yet praise and worship are action verbs, are a state of being, and are carefully honed – not just through prayer – but by recognizing God in all of our life experiences. By ThanksLiving! Today may we seek to experience the Divine with praise and worship through Life
at work, with joy and imagination, in our relationships, and as gratitude.
“Through Christ, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess the name of Jesus.” ~ Hebrews 13:15
By Jane Nelson
“After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew
Bethesda, which has five porticoes. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, ‘Do you want to be made well?’ The sick man answered him, ‘Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Stand up, take your mat and walk.’ At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk.” ~ John 5:1-9
But what if it (you, me) is broken? In John 5:6, Jesus asked the lame man, "Do you want to be made whole?" Wow! Do we? Will you and I do whatever it takes to truly heal ... to find wholeness? Rev. Kenneth L. Samuel says, "Healing begins within the mind and spirit of individuals who must recognize their brokenness and possess a real desire to experience life differently."
The Most Beautiful People
By Carol Chambers
The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of
those depths. -- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Living one's way out of the depths is nearly impossible minus three imperatives. First, we must believe that the expression of being we call "me" is worth the struggle-- the absolute terrifying pain and the darkness that we must walk through. Secondly, we must believe that there is a greater purpose for us, not that this is why we suffer; but, because without this belief in an individual greater purpose we simply will not have the strength to fight on. And, finally, we need people who believe in us-- friends who will hold on to us when we cannot hold on to ourselves.
When all those things come together, we begin to find our way home.
May it be so for all of us.
By Jane Nelson
Let’s face it – traditional Western Christianity is different from some of the wonderful, healing spiritual imaginations of our Eastern siblings of faith. For example, I was taught to think of grace in terms of gift-wrapped salvation (the free, undeserved merit of God to bless our lives and to ensure eternal life to come). Eastern Orthodoxy expands our hearts and minds to see grace as "the very energies of God; how God acts in forgiving and spiritual healing!" Grace is "the working of God – not a created substance of any kind – that can be treated like a commodity." God is grace. Today may you and I ponder the reality that we are "energies of God" in our world!
“So that in everything we may be an ornament to the doctrine of God our Savior. For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly,13 while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” ~ Titus 2:10-13
HAPPINESS – By-product of Trust
By Jane Nelson
It’s easy to think of happiness as dependent upon people, possessions, and promises; yet happiness is linked to trust and hope within our spirits (ourselves). Happiness can be achieved. Whether your life (my life) is currently filled with transition in relationships, stress at work (or lack of employment and resources), a tiring project, or our own personal healing ... God is our Source! Life does move forward. May we learn to develop and nurture a sense of happiness by putting our trust and hope in God!
Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help. When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish. Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the strangers and upholds the orphan and widow; but the way of the wicked the LORD brings to ruin. The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the LORD!” ~ Psalm 146:3-10
By Jane Nelson
The gold standard in nursing education is: "See one, do one, teach one!" That's how nurses are taught: 1) watch someone start an IV or place a nasal gastric tube, 2) try it and practice it, and 3) then mentor someone else in learning the skill. Learn by seeing, doing, and mentoring – be a learner, a doer, and a role model. What if we practiced our faith that way? What if words were consistent with actions, and our spiritual practice developed through example, experience, and role models? Hmmm.
“Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing.” ~ James 1:22-25
Looking at Ourselves Honestly and Gently
By Carol Chambers
“The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the
respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.” – Pema Chodran
To see our refusal to look at ourselves both honestly and gently as doing violence to ourselves asks us to be open to what is really playing out in our souls
and hearts. Learning to acknowledge that there are times when our hearts and minds are out of sync with the beauty that is our innermost souls allows us to grow and to live into the very moment in which we find ourselves. This does not require negativity or judgment; it does require courage. Once we accept with gentleness and tenderness the pain or sorrow that inhabits our thoughts, we can begin to heal and be free. This is growth into knowing that place in our hearts where we are truly one with Love. These thoughts and beliefs that come from Life All Around Us have no power over us unless we refuse to hold them lovingly in our hearts until they are fully bathed in the Love that lives within us all.
And soit is.
By Jane Nelson
Rather than blaming God when disappointments, struggles, or tragedy come into our lives, we must learn and accept that heartache is
part of life. May we meet and abide with all Divine Goodness and Guidance that lovingly supports us in all that life brings our way!
“At that place Elijah came to a cave, and spent the night there. Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’ He answered, ‘I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.’ He said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.’ Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.” ~ I Kings 19:9-13
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