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“Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.” ~Anne Lamott

Monthly Archive

 

August, 2017

Back to School.

 

“More shall be revealed.”

 

 

I think those four words contain all the wisdom in the world!

 

 

It is the beginning of yet another school year. My grandson is not happy about it. That makes me sad. It also makes me stop and think again about the true meaning of education.

 

 

Maria Montessori had a profound understanding of the educational process. Today is her birthday.

 

 

One of the things she said was, “Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.” She also told teachers in training, “You yourselves must be filled with wonder.”

 

 

She understood that learning is a never-ending process. Learning calls all of us to truly show up, to be present, to pay attention. “Pay attention!” says the teacher. But what is it that they are asking the student to notice? And to what is the teacher paying attention?

 

 

In The Courage to Teach, Parker Palmer says, “To educate is to guide students on an inner journey toward more truthful ways of seeing and being in the world.” That is surely a lifelong process! Blessed are the teachers who awaken a love of learning in their students. Blessed are the teachers who also learn.

 

 

“More shall be revealed.”

 

 

Hope to see you Sunday to reflect on going “back to school.”

 

 

Life school, that is.

 

 

Love,

Peggy

 

 

 

 

 

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.

August, 2017

Measure in Love.

Last week we sang, “I am opening up in sweet surrender to the luminous love light of the world.” I can’t stop thinking about the profundity of those words.

 

I love the word “luminous.”  “Love light” is pretty wonderful, too. (Some online reviewers have complained that” luminous love light” is redundant. We could have a heck of a lot of fun psychoanalyzing that response, and I could go off on another of my ridiculous tangents, but I will resist!)

 

This week the words, “I am opening,” have been speaking loudly to me. Those words are confronting me with my old tendency to want to close and barricade and shut down in response to any turmoil that might be going on.

 

Closing down and guarding ourselves, hiding behind doors of sarcasm and cynicism, putting walls around our hearts (and our country)…

 

these things that bubble up from our reptile brains, are not what’s needed in these times. Counter to those ancient instincts, we are being called to OPEN ourselves.

To compassion.
To understanding.
To the luminous love light of the One/world!

 

If you’ve never visited the StoryPeople website, it’s great! A recent Story of the Day says: “On the day you decide to open up your arms to the whole world, don’t be surprised when every person who comes along fits there perfectly.”

 

See you for the ONE service at 10 AM on Sunday!

 

Be in Love,

Peggy

 

 

 

 

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.

August, 2017

Enlightenment in the Shadows.

 

I love all the excitement about the upcoming solar eclipse – and I am having even more fun thinking about all the life lessons and spiritual metaphors that an eclipse experience offers… 

 

Carl Jung said that we do not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. Exploring our shadows is a necessary part of our journey.

 

There is a Ute saying: The secret of life is in the shadows and not in the open sun; to see anything at all, you must look deeply into the shadow of a living thing.

 

Another aspect that strikes me is how fleeting the dark shadow is. It reminds me that when we feel completely lost in darkness, it can never last. The laws of the revolving heavens teach us that this too shall pass.

 

Paul Chubbuck has written a beautiful “Eclipse” poem; unfortunately he won’t be here on Sunday to share it, so I have asked his permission to include it here. Enjoy!

 

Much love,
Peggy

 

 

Eclipse
                by Paul Chubbuck
 
I have a date with the Sun and the Moon
at a place where mountains climb.
The Sun and the Moon will not be late
as they speed their journey cross time.
They speed in their journey cross time.
 
Earth, Sun, and Moon have so long danced,
for millennia this meeting was fated.
A great shadow midday looms o’re the land.
The Day When Sun And Moon Mated.
That fateful day Sun and Moon mated.
 
Ages ago such unions wrought fear
of dragons consuming our light.
Today we celebrate and cheer
to watch with awe and delight.
to see the day turn to night.
 
We’re proud to have knowledge of orbits and spheres,
not ignorant as were our forebears.
Yet other great shadows still eclipse our hearts
and senselessly spread grief and fears,
and needlessly spread rage and tears.
 
Darkness and shadows still cross our way.
Superstition still darkens our door.
With veils of the mind we hide from ourselves,
while burqas our hearts obscure.
The veils round our hearts obscure.
 
A man is different in dress, speech, or hue.
A woman speaks firmly her mind.
Do we righteously rise with the need to accuse
those we judge not of our kind?
Those to whose hearts we are blind?
 
No judgments, no blame will sooth our unease.
No cross or church burnings or bomb.
No critique of our lover nor slap of a child
will restore our bellies to calm.
Our tender bellies aren’t calm.

But sadness and dread may ever be brought
inside our own heart’s compassion.
Our painful shadows need light of day
to tenderly refashion,
to once again find passion.
The shadows which eclipse our sun,
the darkness hiding our path
invite us kindly to embrace
our grief and fear and wrath,
bring balm to our fears and wrath.
 
We have a date with the Sun and the Moon
to watch day turn to night,
and to notice what happens afterwards:
that shadows pass from our sight.
We hail the return of the Light.

 

 

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.

August, 2017

On Being Real.

The July/August Daily Word contains a reflection by Gregory Barrette, which talks about how the soul is always in process. He says your soul is not a noun, but a verb; in a sense, it is a conjugation of the verb “to be.”

 

 

I have really enjoyed sinking into the images and feelings that come with knowing that I AM pure be-ing.

 

 

I love the paradoxes of life (even though sometimes they drive me crazy!). Like the idea that we never actually ARRIVE. We just keep changing and growing.  And yet we DO arrive.  Every moment. We are where we are.

 

 

I am.

Being and becoming.

Be-ing in every moment.

 

 

Sunday I want to explore these ideas and to take them a step further. My talk is on being real.

 

 

St Frances de Sale said, “Be who you are where you are.”

 

 

And Nisargadatta Maharaj said, “Don’t pretend to be what you are not, don’t refuse to be what you are.

 

 

Authenticity is where it’s at.

 

 

Unpack that for fun (and don’t get stuck on ending a sentence with a preposition).

 

 

Love,

Peggy

 

 

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.

August, 2017

The Mind as the #1 Catalyst for Change.

 

This Sunday we will have Unity member Barb Wade as guest speaker. Barb is a Speaker, Author, and Coach who has been on the leading edge of Transformational Coaching for over 15 years. Barb works with high-achievers who, despite external accomplishments, are finding themselves yearning for more freedom, joy, and meaning in their lives. Barb herself knows that “hole” of quiet desperation that can exist even though achievement is high.

 

 

 

Join us as she helps us navigate the journey from critical, negative self-talk into a more loving, self-accepting, nurturing inner voice to fuel our personal and professional growth, peace, and happiness.

 

 

 

“Be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening.”
~Lisa M. Hayes