SPIRITUAL PRACTICES 5 & 6 - NAMING OUR GOOD AND STICKING TO IT!
"Being the Flow of God's Great Good!" This has been our theme the entire month, and thus far, we have been involved in four practices to live as the flow, to live as an expression of the Most High. Today we bring the series to a close by looking at practices five and six. They are:
Being clear about what it is you desire to create and
then sticking to all of the practices with persistence and determination!
So we have a lot to cover today!
1. BEING CLEAR ABOUT WHAT IT IS YOU DESIRE TO CREATE
1. Being Clear About What It Is You Desire To Create
Here's what begins to happen when you start practicing the four Spiritual Principles we've already discussed: The windows of heaven open and a shower of good starts to become available to flow into your life. Now you need something to catch the good with, or it will be lost to you.
Being clear about what it is you desire to create by setting concrete goals creates a vessel/a bucket with which you can catch this eternal good.
Setting concrete goals is our sixth Spiritual Practice.
I want to talk this morning about 4 steps to this spiritual practice called goal setting.
a. Get clear and UNGUILTY about them
a. Get clear and UNGUILTY about them.
Let's look at those separately. First GET CLEAR: Before you can start receiving all the good God has in store for you, you must be clear about what it is you desire to experience and express.
After all, if you don't even know what you want, how can you ask the Universe to deliver it to you?
For example, can you imagine calling up a catalog company and telling the person who wants to take your order, "Just send me something you think I'd like"? It wouldn't work at all. Instead when you order clothing from a catalog you tell the person on the other end of the line what size, color and style you want.
Edwene' story of saying to God, "God, God, I'm your lady, just tell me what you want me to do." God replied to her, "Edwene, Edwene, I'm your God; just tell me what you want me to do."
Next GET UNGUILTY!
Don't worry about whether you "should" want something. If you want it, you want it. In fact, having "desires" is a high and holy practice. The word "desire" literally means "of the father."
So don't be ashamed of what you want or feel that you shouldn't have the desires that you do. Your desires are holy. You didn't make them up. They were implanted in you by God!
Charles Fillmore states that: "Desire is the onward impulse of the ever evolving soul."a
It stands to reason that if we are evolving souls, then our desires -- the longings of our hearts -- are what propel us forward into the life experiences required for an evolution of consciousness.
That's why JUST achieving them can leave us flat. With an "is that all there is?" feeling. Because achieving the thing, the accomplishment, reaching the goal is not REALLY the goal -- an evolution of consciousness is.
So when we combine this open evolution of consciousness with the attaining our heart's desire -- wow, now that's sweet!
So, step one is to realize that those desire planted in your heart are there for the unfolding evolution of our consciousness.
And then to get clear about what it is you desire to experience, be and do in this life -- for now. You can always modify, adjust, etc. Take some time to do this! We often use the first of the year, but there is nothing magical about that. If you missed it this year, do it now. As part of the getting clear process . . . .
b. WRITE THEM DOWN
b. Write Them Down
How many of you actually have written down goals?
Make a list of everything you want to have, do, be and accomplish in EIGHT areas of your life - write it all down. Here are the eight recommend areas according to the book 5 Gifts of an Abundant Life by Diane Harmony:
Love and Friendship
Health & Well Being
Fun & Play
Review list - cull to the 5 or so in each area that really speak to your heart. Let your heart not your fears be your guide. That will be your current goals list. Save the ones that don't make it to this list now to be added later. Perhaps do a story board /treasure map in addition to the list.
c. ASK - AND BE OPEN TO THE ANSWER!
c. Ask - and be open to the answer! - how must I change (what must I learn, unlearn, do, believe) in order for this to manifest.
Writing our goals down, even doing cool heart maps, does not excuse us from doing the work necessary to bring our desires into reality. Remember, what God does for you God must do through you.
Rather, consciously, deciding upon a goal and committing it to paper serves to focus our intention and create an opening in our lives and consciousness for greater possibilities. Then something is required of us.
So once you have clearly set your goals, then let go. And then while you are waiting for what you want to manifest itself, ask again, "Is there anything I could or should do?"
H W Murray (often erroneously attributed to Goethe) wrote: "Whatever you do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it!"c
But do not ask, "Well, where is it?" It's like ordering something from Neiman Marcus. Once you've called and placed an order, you don't keep calling the company back every fifteen minutes saying, "You ARE going to send it, right? Have sent it yet? Now don't forget to send it!" Once you've put in the order, you can trust that it is on its way.
And the only way you won't get it is if you move and don't leave a forwarding address. And how do we move in consciousness? Doubt, worry, fear, belief it can't/won't happen, and inaction toward it!
So here's another question to ask yourself, "What action could I take that would show I mean business?" Then take it. Doing so will send a clear message to your subconscious and your subconscious will say, "Wow, she really means business this time. We'd better get cracking."
If it's a particularly big or scary goal, ask, "What would I do next if I didn't think this was impossible?"
If you knew that you were going to receive a million dollars for the successful achievement of this project or goal, what would you do to go about getting into action?
d. MOVE OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
d. Move out of your comfort zone.
Setting your goals is a great accomplishment, but actually taking practical steps toward them can be scary because that requires you to step outside your comfort zone. And when you move out of your comfort zone, it is highly likely that you're going to have a very specific and probably familiar feeling. What is it? FEAR! After all, fear is the invisible barbed wire fence that keeps us safely and securely within our comfort zone.
But if we are going to live the life that God brought us here to live, we must learn to work through that fear!
When you have the fear and do the thing anyway, you are holding on to the hand of God. Since you don't know what you are doing, you're sure glad God does. The people who succeed are the people who are willing to endure the fear, to act in spite of it and not wait until the day (which never comes) that they feel no fear.
I've heard that Olympic athletes who compete on the high dive say that even after years of training, it is still frightening for them to stand on the edge of that platform thirty feet up in the air. They say that the fear never goes away. Still, they do it.
Because the only way to get the gold medal is by climbing up there and then going over the edge. You can't get the gold medal for diving if you stay on the ground.
Jim Carey was recently interviewed in connection with a new movie he was in and he told the reporter that ever since he was little, he was always visualizing his life and his life is full of miracles because of what he thought up. For example, early on he made himself a check for $1 million, dated 1995, and he got it 6 months before.
He said: "Beyond professional success, we are something formless, we are consciousness, and we are here to be a witness to creation!"d
And it is through our sixth Spiritual Practice -- Goal setting -- that we truly become witness to creation!
2. PERSISTENCE AND DETERMINATION
2. Stick to All of The Practices with Persistence and Determination
And now to our final practice - sticking to it with persistence and determination. I want to set to the tone for this final practice by reading a passage from A Strange Freedom, written by Howard Thurman: "It was above the timberline. The steady march of the forest had stopped as if some invisible barrier had been erected beyond which no trees dared move even in single file. Beyond was barrenness, sheer rocks, snow patches and strong untrammeled winds. Yet, here and there were short tufts of evergreen bushes that had somehow managed to survive. They were not lush, they lacked the kind of grace of the vegetation below the timberline, but still they were alive and hardy. As I looked closer, I saw that these were not ordinary shrubs. They were growing as vines along the ground, and what seemed to be patches of stunted shrubs were actually branches of growing, developing trees."
"What must have been the tortuous frustration and the stubborn battle that had finally resulted in this strange phenomenon! It is as if the tree had said, "I am destined to reach for the skies and embrace in my arms the wind, the rain, the snow and the sun, singing my song of joy to all the heavens. But this I cannot do. I have taken root beyond the timberline, and yet I must. I want to live. I must live. I shall make a careful survey of my situation and work out a method, a way of life that will yield growth and development for me despite the contradictions under which I must eke out my days. In the end I may not look like the other trees. I may not be what all that is within me cries out to be. But I will not give up. I will use to the fullest every resource in me and about me to answer life with life. In so doing, I shall affirm that this is the kind of universe that sustains, upon demand, the life that is in it."
"I wonder if I dare to act even as the tree acts. I wonder!"e
Are you as committed to life as that tree? What's your staying power? How well do you hold onto dreams and visions despite what appears to be a lack of growth or progress? Where do you stand when it comes to doing whatever it takes to follow through on whatever it is that you have been called to do?
Do you have the persistence and determination to bring you to the point of knowing that you LIVE AS GOD!
Because here's what often happens in us. We get fired up with these ideas, stay in the vision and the feelings for a while, but the results aren't showing up. You look at the surface and don't see anything. And then you say the words that, at least, temporarily, destroy it all: "This stuff doesn't work!"
But your dream, your manifestation is just under the surface and ready to pop and that thought, coupled with the emotions of disappointment, impatience, anger all those "bad" feelings, cause it to shrink back.
Did you know that it takes five years for the seed of a bamboo tree to show any growth above ground? And then it grows to a height of 90 feet in six weeks!
Our sixth spiritual practice: Persistence and determination take us to completion.
Think for a moment about the five spiritual practices we have explored this month . . .
Aligning for Purpose
Which ones seem easy for you? Then which ones seem more difficult? Are you willing to be persistent and determined in maintaining those as well as the easy ones? That is what it will take to live AS the flow of God's Great Good!
And remember, my friends, the purpose of all of these practices is not just to get stuff and to have experiences - it is far deeper than that. It is to bring into our conscious awareness and experience that which we already are in Truth!
Remember also Charles Fillmore's statement: "Desire is the onward impulse of the ever evolving soul."f
The purpose of all of this is that we may evolve - more and more and more and more - into our conscious union with the Divine. That we may - more and more and more and more - strip away the illusion of separation and the accompanying doubts, fears, etc. and have a personal and intimate relationship with the God of our Being. That we, in fact, move to the place of the Master Teacher Jesus, who, did not know where he stopped and God started and God stopped and he started. Oneness, Unity, Undivided Connection - that is where these six practices, when used simultaneously and consistently, will take us!
So let us end in affirmative prayer:
Father, Mother, God, I get definite about my good, so that my good gets definite about me. Vast improvements come quickly in every phase of my life now. Every day and in every way things are getting better and better for me now. Today and every day, I except the best. Wonderful things are happening to me now. Everything I do turns into good for myself and others. I am open and receptive to the vast good the Universe has for me now. I am appropriately and richly clothed, housed, transported and supplied with the rich substance of the Universe. I am receiving all the Universe has for me now. Every day and in every way things are getting better and better for me now. I give thanks for a quick and substantial increase in my good now. Good comes easily to me. Big, happy surprises and rich appropriate gifts now come to me, under Grace, for my person use, and I use them wisely. AMEN.
b5 Gifts of an Abundant Life Diane Harmony
cH W Murray
eA Strange Freedom, Howard Thurman