LIFE: YOUR EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCE
During the month of August, we have walked the "Bridge Across Time" as we have celebrated and commemorated our personal and individual spiritual growth and expansion.
And as we look back on our lives, we can know that every time we chose to decide, whether we ultimately judged the decision good, bad or somewhere in between, we took a step to where we are today -- to this extraordinary moment.
And so the very first thing I want us to do today . . .
* Before we move into two ideas for making decisions to create an even more extraordinary life and
* Before we have an opportunity to set a powerful intention for our next level of expression,
. . .I want us to celebrate our extraordinary lives right now.
Are you up for that?
1. THREE WAYS YOUR LIFE IS EXTRAORDINARY NOW
So, this is how this will work. Take a moment to reflect. Reflect on your life as it is right now. Now your mind might want to go to some challenge you are having in health, relationships, in the area of finances, etc. If that's where it wants to go initially, well just thank it for the reminder, but DECIDE to go somewhere else, because no matter what may feel like a challenge, there are so many more things that are extraordinary.
So right now, contemplate three things that are absolutely extraordinary about your life. As an example, I would say:
* My extraordinary dog Duchess;
* This extraordinary church that I am incredibly blessed to serve and the extraordinary people who are in leadership of it; and
* I have some extraordinary friends.
Let me hear some of yours. Just call them out. Go ahead, just shout them out. It's OK if you're shouting on top of one another!
Wow. Beautiful. Do you feel the energy here? That is what happens when we acknowledge the good, the extraordinary in our lives! There's a palpable energy.
Acknowledging your extraordinary life is a way to BE HAPPY NOW, and I want to offer you a couple of other thoughts for being happy now that come out of Neale Donald Walsch's great book written a number of years ago called Happier than God: Turn an Ordinary Life Into an Extraordinary Experience.a
2a. GIVE OTHERS EVERY EXPERIENCE YOU SEEK
Let's look at: Two Ideas for Being Extraordinarily Happy Right Now. First: Give Others Every Experience You Seek
The fastest way to have any experience you want to have and to be extraordinarily happy in this moment is to cause another to have the same experience. Whatever you wish to experience in your own lifetime, cause another to experience it in theirs.
If you wish to experience love, cause another to be loved.
If you wish to experience abundance, cause another to be abundant.
If you wish to experience success, cause another to be successful.
If you wish to experience forgiveness, cause another to be forgiven.
If you wish to experience peace, cause another person to experience peace.
And why is this? Well, in Happier than God, Walsch answers that question: ". . . 'because you are the Only One in the Room,' God said. I didn't understand. I said something like, 'huh?' God explained: 'All things are One Thing. There is only One Thing and All Things are part of the One Thing That Is. Therefore, what you do for another you do for yourself; and what you fail to do for any other, you fail to do for yourself."b
And I suspect that at least on an intellectual level, we all understand that, right? But now comes the huge part of the "mystery formula" for how life works. Walsch calls it the Multiplier Effect. By focusing on just yourself, you limit the amount of energy that you output, because in our human incarnation, there's just you. Yet by focusing on others, we multiply the amount of energy we output by the number of others on whom we focus.
If everything is energy (and it is) and if energy creates (and it does) then the more energy we use, the more quickly and magnificently we will create! And everything that we create, we experience. This is because, ultimately, all things that proceed from us come back to us.
And this is because there is "no one else in the room." There really is no one but you, in multiple forms. The very foundational principle of Unity: It's all God, so we are all one!
"There is One Universal Substance whose business it is to take form in multiplicity." And so, said simply, we multiply our good when we help others get what we desire! And this is one way to be extraordinarily happy in the moment!
2b. HAVE ONLY PREFERENCES
The second way I want to briefly look at today is, and this is a biggie, so you might want to lean in so you can really catch it. Poke your neighbor and say "pay attention, this is for you" . . .
b. Have Only Preferences
You heard me correctly. Have only preferences.
We can make ourselves so unhappy, and miss our extraordinary life, simply by finding it impossible to accept life just as it is presenting itself right here right now. But you can decide to celebrate this moment and everything it brings.
Remember one of last week's mantras: "Thank you for everything. I have no complaint whatsoever!"
This occurs when we are willing to shift our addictions to preferences. Now, when we hear the word addiction, we tend to think of big, serious addictions - alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling. But that's not necessarily what I mean here. I mean our "little" addiction to having everything exactly as we want it or we can't be happy.
And how do you know if something is an addiction or just a preference? By the reaction we have if we don't get it. If it's an addiction, we are unhappy, upset, we have a "life stinks and then you die!" attitude.
But if it's a preference, well, we may even be a little bit disappointed, but it does not disturb our underlying happiness, and it definitely does not upset our extraordinary life!
If you are offered a bowl of vanilla ice cream and the truth is that you prefer chocolate, it is perfectly ok (in fact, very healthy) to indicate your preference. "Thank you so much, you are very kind. But is there any chocolate ice cream in the house? To be honest, that's my absolutely favorite."
The result of this kind of honest exchange could be that you wind up with your favorite. And the worse that can happen is that you wind up with vanilla, which is okay too, because your taste for chocolate is a preference, not an addiction.
Transforming addictions to preferences is done by simply taking an honest look at your responses to life. How are you responding? How are you deciding? Remember, you get to!
And so we celebrate our extraordinary lives and make them more so . . .
* By being so aware and so grateful for all that is extraordinary in them right now;
* By giving to others what we desire to get for ourselves; and
* By changing our addictions to preferences.
That takes us to our final work for today and the last element in our monthly theme of creating that Bridge Across Time.
3. WHAT'S YOUR NEXT EXTRAORDINARY DREAM
So, lets explore: What's Your Next Extraordinary Dream that you desire to create?
Here's a really, really, important spiritual, metaphysical teaching. You cannot NOT create. Just like you cannot NOT breath and your heart cannot NOT beat. You cannot NOT create. And because you cannot NOT create, you are either creating by design or by default.
This means that you are either intentionally calling forth what wants to burst forth from you, the next turn on your spiral of spiritual evolution, your dreams OR you are creating by what you see in the world, by your past experiences, by your programming, by your paradigm.
Now when I put it in those terms, which would you prefer to do? Clearly by design.
But, are we doing this? Some don't even think they have the right to create by design. We may have someone sitting here today thinking they don't have the right to have a life by design. I am here to tell you, you do! Let's say together:
"I have a right . . . a divine right . . . to create my life by design."
So if you really want to honor those inner urges, those nudges where the Divine in you is saying "I want to be more fully, more freely, more expansively expressed in this world," then you will need to begin to create by design. And you do that by having a picture - or a vision - of what it is you want to create.
Proverbs 29:18: "Where there is no vision, the people perish."
So, what is your vision for your expanded life? What is your next dream? Are you clear about it? We are here to help you bring it into fruition!
What would you LOVE to do, be, experience? What would bring you joy? If you really have no idea, then just make something up!
Ernest Holmes once wrote: "Consciousness must be conscious of something!"
Write one dream you want to incubate on the form you were given.
"My current dream is (remember, there is no big or small in God - whatever your current dream is right now is perfect)"
And, if you would like personal, tangible support in bringing this dream to fruition, let us know that. Otherwise, you are free to be anonymous, and please know that who we are and everything we do here at Unity of Castro Valley are in support of your dream!
When you are complete, fold it once and our ushers will collect them all. As you drop them in the Dream Incubator wave your magic wand over them.
I will give these to our Prayer Chaplains to pray over and to send to Silent Unity for prayer.
aDonald Walsch Happier than God: Turn an Ordinary Life Into an Extraordinary Experience
bDonald Walsch Happier than God: Turn an Ordinary Life Into an Extraordinary Experience p 110