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“He who has put a good finish to his undertaking is said to have placed a golden crown to the whole.” ~Eustathius

Monthly Archive

 

June, 2017

Nothin’ but Good Stuff.

Perspective is everything.

 

 

Perspective governs our lives, and yet much of the time we are completely oblivious to that. Hurtling our way through our days, we react to people and circumstances around us as if the whole truth is contained in how WE see things.

 

This Sunday Debbie Jump will share the children’s book at the the second service. She will be reading a book called They All Saw a Cat. It is a beautiful visual illustration of the way a number of different animals see the same cat; obviously, their perception is based on their own size, nature, and perspective.

 

We recently watched a video about the incredibly transformative experience astronauts had upon seeing Earth from space. Their whole lives were changed by that new perspective.

 

We live in a very visual society; many of us are overly reliant on our physical vision to define how we view the world. But if we base our perspective on physical sight, we lack true vision. That’s one of the reasons Helen Keller (whose birthday was yesterday) inspires me so much. Her capacity to live fully, to empathize deeply, to see truth vividly, challenges me to broaden my perspective. To expand my vision. To “see with my heart.”

 

Shoni Labowitz, a wonderful mystic rabbi, invites us to love our limitations, “as though they were the gift of a new perspective, wrapped in a beautiful package that is now available to you.”  ~out of her book, Miraculous Living

 

Perspective is everything.

 

Love,
Peggy

 

Quote to ponder: The eighth-century Chinese Zen master P’an-shan had his first satori (enlightenment-glimpse) while walking through a marketplace. He overheard a customer tell the butcher, “Cut me some of the good stuff”; the butcher replied, “Hey, take a look – nothing but good stuff!” This was just the catalyst P’an-shan needed. He took a look, perhaps, at the ground, the sky, the people in their bustle of buying and selling . . . and everywhere he saw nothing but good stuff. 
Dean Sluyter

 

 

 

 

 

Peggy Christiansen is the Spiritual Leader at Unity of Fort Collins. She has over 25 years of ministry experience working with diverse populations, a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a special interest in helping people find and/or develop their unique spiritual paths. Listen to podcasts of her Sunday talks.

 

June, 2017

The Healing Power of Laughter.

Last week I talked about the incredible power of small things. About how much our words and our actions matter. How WE matter!

 

 

But of course, we live in paradox. So this week I am going to talk about how nothing matters!

 

 

Well, that’s not totally true. But I do want to focus on how much more whole we can be, how much richer life is, when we can let go of taking ourselves too seriously. I especially want to talk about the healing power of laughter.

 

 

It’s amazing how a really good laugh can loosen things up and change our perspective. It can wash over us like an infusion of grace. It can bring us into a space of deeper compassion for ourselves and others. It can help us celebrate our blessed humanness.

 

 

Love,
Peggy (just another Bozo on the bus…)

 

 

An invitation:  “Laughter is a holy thing. It is as sacred as music and silence and solemnity, maybe more sacred. Laughter is like a prayer, like a bridge over which creatures tiptoe to meet each other. Laughter is like mercy; it heals. When you can laugh at yourself, you are free.” — Ted Loder

 

 

 

Peggy Christiansen is the Spiritual Leader at Unity of Fort Collins. She has over 25 years of ministry experience working with diverse populations, a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a special interest in helping people find and/or develop their unique spiritual paths.

June, 2017

The Power of Small Things.

 

In planning my talk for this Sunday, I realized that I have never given a Father’s Day talk at Unity. Coincidentally that has been since my own father died (the day I gave my very first talk at Unity on January 202013). So it feels appropriate to me to honor him this week by sharing some of the life lessons he taught me.

 

 

When I think about my dad, I remember the definition of integrity: “doing what you know is right even when nobody’s looking.” I think about a person who treats everyone with respect whether they are talking to  – or about! – the custodian or the president. I reflect on the incredible power of small things.

 

 

“Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” can be great as an antidote to perfectionism and an invitation to lighten up. However, there is tremendous power in paying attention to things that matter that may seem small and insignificant. It’s kind of amazing how those things add up to a life well-lived.

 

 

As Mother Theresa said, “We may not always do great things but we can do small things with great love.”

 

 

Dawna Markova wrote a poem (below) the night she found out her father died, expressing her sadness about the way he had lived and vowing that she would live differently. I hope you will join me in reflecting on these themes on Sunday. Whatever your relationship with your own father, I wish you a weekend of healing blessings.

 

 

Love,

Peggy

 

 

“I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.”

 

 

 

Peggy Christiansen is the Spiritual Leader at Unity of Fort Collins. She has over 25 years of ministry experience working with diverse populations, a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a special interest in helping people find and/or develop their unique spiritual paths.

June, 2017

Making Room at the Table.

How big is your “we?”

 
 
What an important question for us to ask ourselves. In our “Deeper Paths and Practices” class, one of the articles we read was called, “Making Room at the Table,” by Kikanza Nuri Robins. The article describes a continuum of inclusivity – both culturally and spiritually – that challenges us to look more deeply at our own awareness, acceptance, and ability to honor differences.

 
 
William Sloane Coffin said, “Diversity may be both the hardest thing to live with and the most dangerous thing to be without.” 
 

 
To celebrate the diversity in our unity is not about political “correctness.” It is about our health and well-being on every level. To recognize, honor, learn from, and cooperate with our differences, is to create heaven on earth.

 
 
I invite you to reflect with me on ways we can stretch our comfort zones a bit as we co-create heaven at Unity of Fort Collins.

 
 
Love,
Peggy

 
 
A quote to ponder:
“In order for peace to come in our world, 
don’t we have to come out from behind the walls we have created 
around our hearts 
and around the group we belong to, 
to discover the beauty and gifts of those who are different 
and, together, discover our common humanity?”
— Jean Vanier

 

 

 

 

Peggy Christiansen is the Spiritual Leader at Unity of Fort Collins. She has over 25 years of ministry experience working with diverse populations, a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a special interest in helping people find and/or develop their unique spiritual paths.

June, 2017

You are My Beloved.

One of my grandson’s favorite shows to watch is called “Phineas and Ferb.” The theme song includes the words: 

There’s 104 days of summer vacation
And school comes along just to end it
So the annual problem for our generation
Is finding a good way to spend it…

 
 
The song goes on to describe all kinds of possibilities, which the hilarious characters (including Perry the Platypus) proceed to carry out, like climbing up the Eiffel Tower and discovering things that don’t exist.

 
 
It’s a wonderful exploration of creativity and living life to the fullest. It is also a great example of the Unity 3rd principle:  We create our life experiences through our way of thinking.

 
 
To further explore “our way of thinking,” I will be focusing my talk on committing to self-care and deepening our love for ourselves. This is not narcissism or egotism or greed or conceit – those are actually obstacles to authentic self-love. I am talking about abiding in the vast sanctuary that is God’s heart, where we KNOW ourselves Beloved. 

 
 
It is not just a place to visit occasionally. It is a place to live!  Please join me in reflecting on how that could be. How it is!

 
 
Love,
Peggy

 
 
A quote to ponder:
“In time you will see that self-love is also a spiritual matter. It’s not just learning to treat yourself better, it’s also learning to see and feel yourself as one of the threads in the vast human shawl, as deeply, indeed, unconditionally received by a caring and beautifully ordered universe. It is when you embrace this connection that you can truly love yourself. This true, felt sense of yourself as a precious part of the universe is really the ultimate source from which you can love others.”
— Daphne Rose Kingma

 

 

 

 

Peggy Christiansen is the Spiritual Leader at Unity of Fort Collins. She has over 25 years of ministry experience working with diverse populations, a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a special interest in helping people find and/or develop their unique spiritual paths.