FREEDOM TO WALK THE PATH
What an amazing month we have had so far as we have explored the ideas of consistently and regularly walking:
* a Pathway of God's Plenty,
* a Journey of the Joy of Spirit and
* a Course of Conscious Creation
And we have used two books, May McCarthy's The Path to Wealth: Seven Spiritual Steps for Financial Abundance and Wallace Wattles' The Science of Getting Rich, to support us in this.
During our time together this month, we have talked about cultivating a deep, personal, regular relationship with our CSO (God!) and about doing what is ours to do and letting our CSO do the rest.
We've explored having daily meetings with our CSO, and I even gave you a 30-day practice having that daily meeting that consisted of 5 things, which are outlined on this orange card. You can find a card in the foyer if you didn't get one. It's never too late to start, and we would love to have you join us.
And then last week we explored the power in thinking and acting in a certain way. I'll remind you of a quote I shared last week from Science of Getting Rich: "By thought, the thing you want is brought to you; by action you receive it."a
Today, we explore an important ingredient that gives us freedom to:
* Walk on a Pathway of God's Plenty,
* Take the Journey of the Joy of Spirit and
* Chart a Course of Conscious Creation
Well, let me rephrase that. Today, we explore an important ingredient that gives us this freedom WHEN we apply it! And it does that by . . .
* paving the pathway of plenty,
* generating the journey of joy and
* clearing the course of conscious creation.
And when it isn't applied, . . .
* it pollutes the pathway,
* it junks up the journey and
* it clogs the course.
I had so much fun finding those alliterations, I want to say them again!
WHEN we apply today's ingredient we . . .
* pave the pathway of plenty,
* generate the journey of joy and
* clear the course of conscious creation.
And when we don't, we . . .
* pollute the pathway,
* junk up the journey and
* clog the course.
In fact, when we don't apply it, our lives can look like I880 at 5:00 pm on a Friday. Nothing is movin'/happenin`! Or at best, it's happening at a snail's pace.
Those who have read McCarthy's book already know what this ingredient is and the rest of you can probably guess because it is not a new idea! We talk about it a lot. In fact, we talked about it the last Sunday of last month because this practice is one of our Divine Nine. But as I said last week, none of this stuff is new. The question is how well have we incorporated it into our lives?
Mike Dooley once said that he often gets people coming up to him after his seminars saying, "I've heard all this from you before. Don't you have anything new? Anything deeper?"
Mike's answer is . . . "This is it, you just have to apply it!"
May McCarthy suggests we incorporate this not-so-new idea every single night before we go to sleep. Just as we begin our day with our CSO meeting, we end it with this, preceded with some outrageous gratitude for the day, to grease the wheels a bit.
So, here is this all-important ingredient, as described in A Course In Miracles, modified a bit by me:
"Do you want peace?
Do you want happiness, a quiet mind,
a certainty of purpose, and a sense of
worth and beauty that transcends the world?
Do you want a quietness that cannot be disturbed,
a gentleness that can never be hurt,
a deep abiding comfort, a flow of abundant good
and a rest so perfect it can never be upset?
Do you want freedom?
All this forgiveness offers you."b
Yes, this key ingredient is forgiveness, forgiveness as a spiritual practice done every night before you go to sleep. And, even though we just talked about this practice last month, today we are going to go a bit deeper and engage in a powerful, powerful experience of it.
McCarthy: "Forgiveness doesn't mean you absolve the person for their actions, or even place yourself in a position to be hurt by them again. Forgiveness means that you recognize that you can choose to not let them or the situation have power over you anymore. You can choose to let it go and become free. You can choose to be powerful and create a wonderful future for yourself. Forgiveness is a necessary part of making this choice. With forgiveness, you are making room for the CSO to work and creating the calm place to receive the direction toward the good that you want, even if you don't necessarily feel like forgiving today. Forgiveness is for your benefit, not anyone else's."c
When you forgive you do it for you, not for the other, because the person, event or experience you have never forgiven . . . owns you!
Let me say that again: the person, event or experience you have never forgiven . . . owns you!
Now, let me demonstrate. (Choose someone from the audience) "Are you willing to just go with it and follow my lead? Good!"
(Hand him/her one end of a rope and take the other end and hold on.) Don't let go and follow me when the rope gets tight. (Then have him/her hang a sign around his/her neck that says, "I done him/her wrong.")
(Walk away until the rope is almost, but not quite, taut.) So, here I am doing my life. Things are ok, not great, but ok. I've got some painful stuff in my past [gesture behind you], but who doesn't, and I just don't want to think about it!
And then I come to this crazy church this month and learn about being on:
* a Pathway of God's Plenty;
* a Journey of the Joy of living from Spirit's Purpose; and
* a Course of Conscious Creation.
And I hear how to do that by creating a relationship with my CSO. I learn about having these daily meetings and I learn about thinking and acting in a certain way. And so I'm ready to move forward; I'm ready to get on purpose and consciously create [walk away some more, but this time he/she has to follow], but I feel a heaviness, I'm not moving forward like I would like. Look back. Oh, it's you! Stop following me. Try to go somewhere else. Go down onto the floor. Run a little. Stop following me!
What did I say before? The person, event or experience you have never forgiven. . .what? Owns you!
But through forgiveness, I can cut the cord, and so in this moment, I do! [Cut the rope with scissors!]d
When our Master Teacher Jesus was asked, "How many times must I forgive, Lord?", his answer was 70 x 7. Seven - a symbolic number of completion. We must forgive until we are complete, finished, over with feelings of hurt, anger, resentment and whatever other feelings come along with unforgiveness. Only then will we be free.
McCarthy writes: "You can think of forgiveness this way: Anything that may be blocking the communication channel between you and your CSO needs to be removed so that you can recognize the intuitive leads that are being sent to you. If your thoughts are consumed with resentment, it becomes harder for the CSO's messages to get through to direct you toward your goals. There is a great spiritual axiom that states, 'Whatever you hold against another you also hold against yourself.' By letting go of these resentments, you free up your energy to receive more of the good you deserve. A great way to do this is by saying a forgiveness prayer each night."e
And, so my friends. This is a topic we could talk a lot about and not make a whit of difference, but one experience of it can make all the difference in the world. So I am wondering if you are willing to have an experience with me? It will be a forgiveness meditation. If so, close your eyes.
Take a few deep breaths and then, in your mind's eye and in your heart, go to a place where you feel totally surrounded by the Infinite, completely surrounded by the Universe of Good. A place where you feel safe, secure and at peace.
Perhaps it's on the bow of a boat in the Caribbean as you drink in the most amazing turquoise blue water. Perhaps it's a field of beautiful wild flowers with a sapphire sky over head or perhaps it's a deep rich green forest lush and rich. Wherever it is, go there in your mind now. In this place, you feel completely and totally safe and secure.
You notice in this space, wherever it is, that there is a door. And that door opens and in walks a person that, for you, is an Avatar of Love. It is a Divine Being of Unconditional Love and Light. A high and holy person. A person of expanded consciousness. It can be anybody. It could be Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi, Mother Theresa, your grandmother. It doesn't matter who it is, just bring him or her in and have this person stand about 5 feet or so away from you, but facing you.
And now I'm going to have you bring other people in and they're going to form a circle around you, standing to the left of the person before them. We will bring in just a few folks. So there your Avatar of Love is, your anchor, that's your first person.
The second person (or it could be an experience or event) you're going to bring in through the door is someone or something that in your heart right now you make the decision to forgive. Remember, it is a decision. May McCarthy says you may not even feel like it, but you do it anyway. Bring that person/experience/event in right now and have him/her/it stand just a couple of feet away on the left from your Avatar of Love. Just let that person or event be there facing you.
And then through the door walks a second Avatar of Love. Someone else who represents to you absolute unconditional love, divine guidance, higher consciousness, illumination. Bring that person in and have him or her stand to the left by a few feet.
And then will come in another person or events that you today are willing and ready to forgive. Make the decision, bring that person or event in to stand a foot or so away from Avatar of Love Two. Remember, you are making a circle around you.
And now a third Avatar of Love walks in, a third person who represents divine love to you, and have him or her stand making the circle which is almost now closed, only room for one more.
At this point you have an Avatar, a person or event to forgive, another Avatar, a person or event to forgive and a third Avatar.
And the last person to come in the door is actually you. In you come, so there are now two of you, one you in the middle of the circle, and the second one taking that last position completing the circle. So the you that is in the middle is the you, the consciousness, that said yes this morning to being here, that said yes to doing this exercise, that said yes to living fully and freely, on purpose and in joy. And the you in the circle is the you that today you are willing to forgive.
The you in the center now turns to Avatar Number One and walks up closely, taking his or her hands if you want, whatever works for you, but have that person look in your eyes and you look back. And I just want you to see the love that is coming at you. And not only see it in your Avatar's eyes but feel it wash over you. Feel it filling your very beingness with love. And in that love is strength, in that love is courage, and in that love is a desire to live in greater oneness and to live on purpose.
And so fortified with this love and this desire, you walk just a couple of steps to your right and you come face-to-face with the first person or event you brought into the circle; that you today are deciding to forgive. And it is okay if emotions occur. Let it be okay. You are loved here.
And so you look at that person or events now and I want you to even notice if you see it slightly differently, perhaps with a greater understanding. Perhaps with some compassion in your heart. Perhaps not; either is OK. I want you to look and simply say to them "I fully and freely forgive you. I loose you and let you go quickly to your highest good. You are free and I am free as well."
And then you take another step to your right and there is your Avatar Number Two, looking at you with deep love and such respect for the work you just did. And so let yourself be filled again, buoyed with this love, divine love, divine appreciation and take that energy and move to your right again.
And come face-to-face with the second person or event or experience that you called into this circle this morning, that you said yes I am ready to make the decision to forgive. And do that right now. "I fully and freely forgive you. I loose you and let you go, quickly, and in peace to your good beautiful work. You are free and I am free too."
You take a few steps to the right and come in contact with your third Avatar who is just glowing at you. Glowing with respect and admiration and love. Filling you with divine light and energy, absolutely empowering you to take that final step to the right. And to look at yourself and all those things that you have labeled flaws, and all those things you have done in the past that you are still holding on to, regretting, beating yourself up about. I want the you in the center to look at that you right now with eyes of love and compassion. Look at yourself the same way you looked at and you were looked at by your Avatars. And simply say to this aspect of you "I fully and freely forgive you. I fully and freely forgive you. I fully and freely forgive you. I am now free."
And one more time, finally to your right again, to Avatar Number One. Just take in the love again and as you're taking in all that love, all those you forgave dissolve. Just like tiny crystals glimmering in the sun, they break up and fade away. As you see the last crystal disappear before your eyes, you realize that you are completely released. They are completely released. And you are set free.
Your Avatars now gather around you in a tighter circle, and they celebrate you. They celebrate this newness that is you. They celebrate the strength that is you. They lift you up over their heads and rejoice in who you are. With this, you feel a new sense of freedom. A new sense of awakening. A new sense of being ready to really move forward on your path.
As they put you down and place you firmly on the ground, you know that you are here on purpose. That you are here to live a life of joy, of freedom, and most of all a life of love. And now you know that it is yours not only to have for yourself but to spread to the world.
And so in this moment you come back into this room reenergized, reinvigorated to be the love that you are. To make the decision to share that love and to receive the blessings of the universe.f And for this we say thank you, thank you, thank you CSO. And we call it good and so it is.
aWallace Wattles The Science of Getting Rich, p. 77
bA Course In Miracles
cMay McCarthy The Path to Wealth: Seven Spiritual Steps for Financial Abundance p. 78
dMay McCarthy The Path to Wealth p. 82
eMay McCarthy The Path to Wealth p. 78
f"Circle of Love" meditation