Maria’s Click

Maria found my blog during the break.   Like me, she is also a fan of the teachings of Joel S. Goldsmith.  She sent me the following story of an amazing healing in her life.  She told me in her email that since writing out her story she has lost twelve pounds.  I really believe that miracles can happen when we seek to heal starting with our thoughts and feelings towards ourselves.  Maria’s story is evidence of that.  You can find Maria here and here.

This summer we remodeled our bathroom and we got a full length framed mirror for over the vanity for free.  Since we already had one there, we decided to use it vertically in our bedroom.  I haven’t had a full length mirror for many years.  I was so excited as we mounted it on the wall and I saw the reflection from the window right across and the effect of brightness and openness it was giving to the room!  But the next morning, when I rolled out of the bed and started getting ready for work, I stood in front of the mirror and was so disappointed by seeing a figure I could hardly recognize.  The twelve or so extra pounds immediately snapped at me, my grays stuck out, fluffy arms out of tone, a “life saver” of belly fat, some orange peel on my thighs, blotches on my legs and a height loss (I swear I was taller before)!

A few thoughts ran quickly through my mind.  I haven’t had a professional facial in over fifteen years.  I have no time for working out.  I wish I had money to join one of those weight loss programs.  Oh, I don’t even know what to do to look better-no wonder why I don’t get compliments anymore! As those thoughts and more downfalls like them were spinning in my head, I decided to sit down in prayer and visit my only source of beauty-Soul’s Beauty Salon-for an extreme makeover.

I quieted down, started taking a few breaths, and as I did that I thought, I come to Thee for inspiration.  And as I was “inspiring”, the thought came to me that I invite in the Spirit of Truth that purifies and rejuvenates all things in me.  A sense of peace instantly took over and a flow of refreshing thoughts started occupying me.

“Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest though?”

“Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.”

In that state, I dived into the “FOREVER 23” anti-aging formula:

“The Lord IS my Shepard I shall not want!”

“He restoreth my soul!”

“He annointed my head with oil.”

Right then, I felt I was sitting in Christ’s clinic for a complete and permanent makeover.  I felt mother Love, gently combing my full of strength hair.  I felt my body was full of brightness and grace.  I felt strong, light, and radiant.

“Love restoreth my soul!”

Then the thought about fat reduction came to me.  In the question “what is fat?”  Instantly the thought False Assuming Thoughts or Fake Appearing Thoughts came to me.

There I understood that all belief about fat was an illusion and it was up to me to reduce and eliminate it.  In the thought about extra weight I started thinking what extra weight can mean and then I realized all the “extras” I was carrying for a long time:  thoughts that people have wronged me, thoughts that people have hurt me, self-justification about this that happened 30, 20, 10 years ago or yesterday, guilt and blame.

Right there, as I was sitting in the makeover room, I felt I stood in front of a “burning bush” and mentally threw all the weights I was ignorantly carrying for years.  I saw forgiving every person that abused me since I was a baby, letting go of every sad memory, forgetting all history of me, releasing all resistance for being new and ageless, erasing my story-whater that might be, burning the past and pausing the agony of the future.

I threw in my complaints about the government, the pollution, the dogma, the economy, the war, the pain.  I felt I was doing this for me and for the world.  And as I was doing it for the world, I was doing it for me.  The fire became stronger and stronger as I was throwing more and more things of mortal history and collective thought, but strangely enough the atmosphere felt clearer and clearer, brighter and brighter and me and my body lighter and lighter.  There I knew I was standing on holy ground.

Then I felt going through an exfoliating process, a sense of getting rid of layers and layers of erroneous, heavy thinking concerning all mankind.  That moment I had a glimpse of Jesus transfiguration experience, the understanding of what might mean to be transfigured in the light of Christ Truth.  My figure felt a slim and thin silhouette dancing in the glow of the brightest light.  I felt shaped up in perfection by Soul and sizzled in holiness by Love.  The feeling of beauty was overwhelming.  The sense of grace was un-measurable.  The actual form of me was meaning-less but never the less quiet beautiful and ever refreshed, standing in different heights.

When I went to work that day, I was astounded when the very first question I was asked was “Have you lost weight?”  Somebody else looked at my flat heels and questioned why I looked taller.  And somebody else said “Gee, you look gorgeous today, did you have a makeover or something?”

Living the Questions

Recently someone commented on an old post.  It gave me the opportunity to reread that post and the comments on it.  A friend of mine had left the following quote in her comment.  She’d read it and thought of me.

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions”

I remember that when I read it the first time I had thought It sounds very lovely, but I don’t really get it. What does it really mean to live the questions?

So yesterday I had a very emotional day.  I reconnected with two old friends, one in person and one by phone.  I didn’t express everything that was in my heart with either of them.  I knew that if I’d opened my mouth to actually speak what I was feeling I would just turn into a weeping mess.  The gist is that I realized in talking with them that I had unintentionally and unknowingly pushed them both away.  In the past couple of years I have been so busy seeking the answers, that I’ve let important things and people slip away.

At the end of the day I was thinking more about it and this quote popped into my head.  I had lost friendships and connections because I wasn’t “living the questions.”  I don’t need to have the answers and in fact the harder I look for them the less likely they are to come.  The answers will find me when I am ready to receive them.  It’s just like the quote.  I didn’t get it at first because I didn’t need to.  Maybe at that point I was too immersed in my seeking to appreciate the powerful message my friend was presenting me with.    But now, I GET IT!

Living the questions to me is to ask, expect to receive when the timing is right, and LET GO of the need to know.  Get back to living and loving while the Universe gets to work on the how and when.  The answer will arrive and you will just KNOW it’s time to take action.  I am going to stop acting like the kid in the back seat saying “Are we there yet?”  I am going to be present in my life and have confidence that I’ll be led to the right step when I am truly ready to take it.

(Insert Your Name Here)ism

A few weeks ago I was having a conversation with my friend, Ray, and he brought up an idea he had presented me with before.  It was the “ten years from now plan” and in his picture he saw me as a minister.  I responded by saying that I do kind of like the idea of it, but I don’t really think I fully align with any one particular church or religion.  I mentioned a comment from an old post where someone said I was trying to create my own religion-Lesleeism.  I told Ray that if it was the church of Lesleeism, I could definitely be the minister, but otherwise I’d just have to go with the flow and see where it leads.  He responded with the idea that we all have our own personal religions, he has Rayism, and everybody else has their own “isms.”

Some people might disagree with me on this.  They will promise they are true to their religion.  But what I see when I look out into the world is that most of us straddle the line instead of walk it.  People pick and choose what works.  It’s all about Jesus’ birth at the Christmas Eve service and all about Santa Clause on Christmas morning.  We “forgive those that trespass against us” until we come face to face with someone with different political or religious beliefs.  We remind those around us of the importance of upholding the commandments, as we break them daily or hourly in our minds (which if I understand correctly the bible says is the same as actually breaking them.)  We teach of the power of forgiveness through salvation from Jesus, but we hold grudges that often follow us to the grave.    (It seems all my examples are from Christianity, sorry about that, it’s all I know.)

So what is my answer to this seeming hypocrisy?  OWN IT!!  Admit that religion is not a “one size fits all.”  I don’t think any one person can mold themselves to perfectly into one religion and trying to is simply putting you out of integrity with yourself.  When I was young and was taught about Hell, it absolutely broke my heart.  I just couldn’t rationalize it.  I didn’t get how an evil person could recite the words “I accept Jesus into my heart as my savior” and be admitted to Heaven, while someone good and charitable who may not know or get the opportunity to say those words would burn for eternity in Hell.  It didn’t make sense.  The world is too big and there is too much diversity for that to be true.  Because of this idea and others, I left God behind for years.  When I learned new ideas, one being that we all experience the same thing when we die no matter how “good” or “bad” we are, I could embrace God and spirituality again.  What rang true for me was the idea that our human existence is like school.  We are here to learn and evolve and we keep coming back until we meet the goals and can graduate and return to “God.”  But that one idea, that feels right to me, could absolutely assault the sensibilities of someone else.  And that is OK!  I am not asking anyone to take my words and beliefs as truth, I am suggesting you simply ask yourself what YOUR truth is.  It will probably not be the same as mine and if you’re completely honest with yourself it may not even be the same as your religion’s.

So I encourage you to find your own truth…create your own religion, one that makes you feel loved and happy!  Grab a plate and partake of the buffet of spirituality!

Gary Zukav

Forgiveness is not a moral issue.
It is an energy dynamic…
Forgiveness means that you do not carry the baggage of an experience.
When you choose not to forgive,
the experience that you do not forgive sticks with you.
When you choose not to forgive,
it is like agreeing to wear dark, gruesome sunglasses that distort everything,
and it is you who are forced every day
to look at life through those contaminated lenses
because you have chosen to keep them.

~ Gary Zukav from ‘The Seat Of The Soul ~

Thrown For a Loop

I came across this article on one of the blogs I read regularly.  I took the time to read it and quite frankly, I wish I hadn’t.  It has filled me with questions, or maybe just one BIG question, and a week later, I can’t stop thinking about it.  At this point, you’ve probably yet to click on the link so I’ll fill you in on it’s subject matter.  The article addresses the idea that perhaps a real person named Jesus, who did all those things we are told he did, did not actually exist.  The information that supports this theory is that there is nothing recorded by anyone who lived at the same time that Jesus lived that testifies to any of what we’ve learned.  Everything that we know of Jesus was recorded by people who lived 50 years or more after he died.  So everything we have taken as fact and in some cases based our life upon is at best hear-say (stories passed down through generations) and at worst lies.

For me, I am a skeptic and these days apply common sense first when posed with questions.  I’ve already admitted at least one thing I don’t believe about Jesus’ life and I could probably name a few more.  I don’t accept the Bible as the be all and end all.  I look at it as a piece of literature.  There are many great truths within literature, meaningful messages and even historically accurate settings, but that doesn’t mean we should call the literature a textbook (unless of course we are studying literature).  I had always thought or believed in a historical Jesus, even if I wasn’t sure about all of the stories of his life.  I assumed the facts were there to prove his existence.    This article has thrown me for a loop.

Recently I wrote my first post about Jesus and I mentioned at the end how I feel like I can commune with Jesus.  If I am meditating (or even not meditating) I can ask Jesus for guidance and if I’m listening and aware can get an answer.  So what does this mean exactly, if the article is correct?  With whom am I communing?  Then I had this thought: What if Jesus is a state of mind?

In Hinduism people pray to and call on the power of the various Gods and Goddesses.  There is Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, the God with an elephant head, who is known as the remover of obstacles.  Kali is the Goddesses of death and transformation.  She has many arms and carries decapitated heads in at least one of them.  There are many others, but those two are my personal favorites.  Their stories are myths and metaphors.  That is understood because hybrid elephant and octopus people do not live amongst us.  But still they are prayed to.  When people think of these Gods and Goddesses, they call forth the aspects and characteristics that are represented.  They believe in the energy and they experience it.  So what if Jesus is like the Gods and Goddesses of Hinduism?  What if he is merely a symbol of all that man can be and do?  What if he is whatever we want him to be?  To me, he is unconditional love, compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance.  For someone else, he is salvation and God in human form.

I guess I will continue to wonder about Jesus.  I want very much to be convinced he was a real person who taught all the lessons I have learned.  I want the author of that article to have missed or overlooked something (or maybe someone to send me a link to snopes that says the whole thing is a lie).  There is another thought that goes through my mind though.  Imagine for a minute that our world is destroyed and a new breed of humans arrive to recolonize.  Along with many aspects of our history, they happen to find a copy of Forrest Gump.  After watching that movie and all of it’s historical accuracy, would they realize that Forrest was just a fictional character or would they write him into the history books?


So thanks to my conscious connection group and reading the books, Ask Yourself This and Writing Down Your Soul, I have been posing some serious questions to myself.  Once I decided to do this answers have arrived as well as more questions.

I believe in the Law of Attraction and that if you make requests of The Universe, or Spirit, or God and you truly believe it is yours to do or yours to have, it will arrive in your life.  This is, however, easier said than done.  I have believed for several years now that I am meant to help people through sharing messages and stories.  I dream of a career as an author who also speaks and leads workshops.  This is a vision I created for myself shortly after I read The Secret.  Three years later, I have written two novels and over 100,000 words worth of blog posts and planned a workshop integrating some spiritual practices. I have made great strides towards my vision, but I haven’t reached the pivotal point where the vision becomes my career and life’s work.  After too many rejections from literary agents, I shelved the two novels, and the workshop, back in 08 I scheduled it to be held at my church and then canceled it a month later in response to a fear I couldn’t quite overcome.

Lately, I’ve been working on a new project.  I’m almost to the “take action” part of the plan and I am terrified.  So, I have been asking why?  What do I need to do to be ready?  What I am finding is that old memories are popping into my head.  Most of the stuff I am remembering is not pleasant.  I am reliving embarrassing moments, careless decisions, and times when I was downright hurtful.  Most of the stuff that’s invading my thoughts happened years and years ago.  It’s stuff that I should have moved on from and let go of, but instead I am finding that it is all still there within me.  Then there are the words that were either said or implied about me growing up as “the baby” in the family.  Spoiled and selfish.

I have been journaling about these memories.  I’ve given a voice to my guilt and anger.  In soul-writing you put down your thoughts and wait for spirit or “the voice” (as Janet Conner calls it) to answer you back.  On Thursday evening, I frantically wrote what came into my mind.  I was told that I was loved, that I needed to let go of the past, stop worrying about the future, and that I had work to do and people that needed me.  The messages went on for 3 pages and at one point my writing got so large it was as if Spirit was shaking sense into me.

In the days that have passed since that message, it has become clear to me, that what is blocking my vision is lack of forgiveness.  Today in church, someone was talking about a book on the importance of forgiveness.  The author of this book had led workshops on the Law of Attraction for years and what she discovered was that the people who had the least amount of “baggage” were the most successful at manifesting their dreams.  It is vital that we let go of guilt, shame, and regret in order to become the best we can be.

Yesterday I posted a great quote from Carol Burnett.  It mentioned blessing, praising, and letting your foes go.  My foes are those voices and memories that play like broken records in my mind.  They do not define who I am in this moment.  Without even realizing it I’ve carried them with me.  My goal is to forgive myself and those who have judged or mis-judged me.  I’ve already succeeded in leaving a couple of bags behind, but I will probably discover more down there in the basement.  As I find them I will forgive them, bless them, and gently send them on their way.

Jesus To Me

In honor of Good Friday and Easter weekend I’ve decided to finally write my thoughts on Jesus.  I didn’t go to church when I was very little and by the time we started going, I think Sunday school lessons were beyond the basic bible stories.  I’d also guess that I spent more time mentally rehearsing what I was going to say to Jay (the boy I had a massive crush on) after the service then I did listening to the lesson.  So up until I started going to Unity Eastside, what I knew of Jesus was the story of his birth, his death, and that you were supposed to ask him into your life in order to be “saved” or “born again.”  So in essence Jesus’ birth was a miracle and his tragic, inhumane death was for me and all the rest of us sinners to keep us out of hell.

When I started going to Unity Eastside, I was presented with a whole new idea of Jesus.  One of the first things I learned is that Jesus is a master teacher and way-shower.  He did not come to Earth in order to become THE WAY to God, but in order to show and teach us how to find God.  We were not meant to worship him, but to follow him.  The second idea I was presented with was the Christ Consciousness.  In Unity we are encouraged to embrace the idea that we are all children of God and contain within us the same divinity that was in Jesus.  Jesus reached God Realization to a degree that is arguably “higher” than anyone else (though I’m sure every religious person would say the same of their prophet), but we are all equally capable of that kind of enlightenment.  We all have the “Christ Spirit” within us and it is up to us to decide if we can put the little us’ aside and live from that place which Jesus lived.

Growing up I suppose Jesus was presented to me as God.  We prayed to him and in his name, but he was also the son of God.  It’s all so very confusing and of course very easily explained by the Christmas story.  Because it really makes all the sense in the world that two people who were very much in love and engaged got pregnant without ever having sex and were told by an angel that the baby was actually the son of God.  You see the angel part I believe completely.  I believe that I am God’s child (however you describe God, which to me is the energy and consciousness of the Universe) and so are my children and everybody else on this earth.  If I had gotten unexpectedly pregnant it would be awesome and not at all surprising if an angel interceded to make sure I understood the value of this life within me.  What I have an awfully hard time swallowing is the whole immaculate conception pregnancy without sex thing.  It sounds to me like revisionist history at it’s finest.  Just another way to make sex dirty, because of course the mother of Jesus had to be a clean and pure virgin.  So what I’m getting at (as blasphemous as it may sound to some) is that to me it only makes sense that Jesus was conceived and born just like the rest of us.  It doesn’t make him any less God’s son or any less of a mystic and master.  I think that any truth teaching you come across despite the religion it is based on will acknowledge the powerful life and message of Jesus.

Which brings me to my last point.  Why do we spend so much energy focused on his birth and especially his death, when the real value Jesus brought to humankind was the teachings he presented in life?  I’d say that Jesus has saved me, but he did not do that by dying on the cross.  I do not find comfort in his suffering and painful death.  He has saved me because I have discovered some of his most valuable lessons.  I have learned that the kingdom of God is within me.  I have learned that I do not need to go to a church to find God, but I can sit in silence and connect with Spirit there.  I have learned that I can have a real relationship with Jesus, because we are all spirits and souls and none of us ever die.  I can call on Jesus for guidance and if I am quiet and still I can feel or hear his answer.  I do not need Jesus’ forgiveness to keep me out of Hell, I need to forgive myself and my fellow man so that I am not living in the midst of it.  Finally and above all, I need to strive to live and move from a place of compassion and love for everyone.

*Before I ended meditation tonight I asked Jesus to help me write this.  I asked to be lead to the right scripture to go with this post (remember, I’m not a biblical scholar).  I was led to the following two passages.  The first I believe was a message just for me to address the fear I had in writing this.  The second was for the purpose of the post.

From Acts Ch. 18 9-10 “Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:  For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee:  For I have much people in this city.”

From Luke Ch. 17 20-21 “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”

Love and light to you this Easter weekend….

Be Like A Child

I stopped going to church when I went to college.  I was finally own my own (sort of) and could make the decision without any consequences.  Except for a brief period where I visited and joined the church I would eventually get married at, I chugged a long without the assistance of ministers or Sunday school teachers.  I was happy with that decision, relieved even.  The battle I’d fought (inwardly if not outwardly) every Sunday was now non-existent.

For the most part the people in my life left me alone on matters of religion until I had a baby.  When Bella was born I started to hear “You need to find a church.  It is important for children to be raised in church.”  I didn’t know if they were right or wrong, I just knew I didn’t want to set foot in a church.  When I finally discovered and began attending Unity Eastside, some people were happy for my girls.  Others were not because Unity was not the right kind of church.

This week I started reading “The History of God” by Karen Armstrong.  While reading, this idea (from Jesus) came to mind:   “Unless you become like little children, you cannot know the meaning of Life, for your minds must be cleared of the falsehoods of this realm if you are to be taught Eternal Truth.” Another thought that came to mind was something my friend @darkwulfe stated in a comment a couple of weeks ago.  He said this:  “So just out of curiosity…would this support my theory that God did not create man in HIS image, but rather MAN creates god in HIS image? Would it not indicate that the concept of God is influenced by the ebb and flow of society? Just a thought :-)

I think that young children are about as close to God as you can get.  They are empty vessels, open channels.  They acknowledge the mystery and wonder in things.  They live and love like the only moment is now.  As time goes by they start to learn the ways of the world.  They begin to emulate the people that surround them.  We decide then that we must show them what is right.  We start to teach them about God, assuming they require our knowledge, without even considering they only recently emerged from God.   The problem that comes with this is that everyone has their own personal definition of God.  We create God in our image and then introduce him to our children.

These days, I take my daughters to church because they love church.  The people there are family to them.  The focus in our Unity church is a God of love.  That is what I want my girls to learn, whether they name it God or not.  I want to teach them love, compassion, and forgiveness.  I want my every action to represent those qualities.  I don’t want them living by the rules of an organization, but by the golden rule.  There are certain things I have to remind myself of.  I know that my girls are always watching me, even when I think they are not.  I don’t always get it right, which is of course why I can write about it here…because it is my lesson too.

Dear Amy (my stuff)

I’ve allowed myself one week to write to you and about you on the blog.  Tomorrow I’m going to tell your favorite story and then go back to the old routine, well with the exception of the click stories.  (I’ve received four already and plan to post them on Tuesdays and Thursdays.)  For my last letter I just want to tell you how I’ve felt.

I guess it was nearly a year ago when I made my “25 things about me” list on Facebook.  One thing I thought about including in the list and did say in a comment was “I am not who I used to be.”  I wanted to make it clear to everyone who knew me when I was younger that I was not proud of a lot of my choices.  When you read that though, I think it hurt you.  I can’t exactly remember (see that’s why I need you) if you actually told me or I just got it via Kristin, but I’ll never forget the gist of what you said.  It made you sad that I felt so much regret for that time in my life, because for you it was a wonderful time.  You were right beside me on that journey, picking me up when I slipped, helping me laugh when I wanted to cry, and just simply having FUN!  Somehow I’d forgotten all that fun and chose to focus on the “bad” stuff.  You wanted me to remember it the way you did.  The funny thing is, once I was told what you really thought of me not being who I used to be, I DID start to remember it differently.  I chose to reflect on the good and I began to change.  I started to accept and embrace the past, letting go of all the guilt I’d held onto.  Those little steps of self-acceptance and self-love opened my heart.  Over this past year I have begun to love more deeply and more passionately and I believe you had a big role to play in that.  I thank you so much for the gifts you have given me over the past 18 years.

I also want to tell you that I’m sorry.  I’m sorry for moving so far away.  I’m sorry for missing so much over the years.  I’m sorry for crawling into my own little world and forgetting to reach out to those of you who had invested in me for so long.  I’m sorry that you only met the girls a few times.  They would have loved you so much and you them!  I’m sorry for not sending pictures of them.  I’m sorry for not staying with you when I’d come to NC for visits.  I’m sorry for not expressing enough gratitude for all the lovely gifts you sent me and my family over the years.  I’m sorry for not telling you I loved you enough, but glad I at least said it recently.  I’m sorry for dumping my drama on you and not taking enough time to ask you how you were doing.  You have taught me so much about living and I’m sorry I am only realizing it now that you have made your transition….

Here are a few things I’ve learned from your example:

1.  When you find people you connect with, stay connected.  TALK ON THE PHONE to the people you love! (I’m easing in to this one, you know I’m not a phone person.)

2.  There is nothing wrong with asking for what you want and expecting to get it!

3.  Be generous and helpful.  Reach out to people in need.

4.  Life is short, make the most of it.  Have things, do things, and be with people that feed your soul!

5.  Seek your own answers, make up your own mind, and don’t let anyone ever pressure you or guilt you into doing/being something you DON’T want to do/be.

I’ll probably think of more lessons later, but those are the ones that stand out to me now.  Thank you for the biggest gift of all (that came in the tiniest little package): YOU and your beautiful friendship!!!

I know you loved 80’s music and singing Karaoke.  This is the first song we ever sang at Rainbow Deli!