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“Like cathedrals and forests, metaphors of the psyche, we are never finished though always whole.” ~David Richo

Monthly Archive

 

May, 2018

Having an Outbreath.

In a recent conversation with Franklin, he described a situation where he finally got to relax after having been under pressure for a while – and used the phrase, “having an outbreath.”

 

That phrase really struck me, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

 

What a great way to picture letting go.

 

Release.

Relief.

 

Often I don’t even notice how much tension I am carrying until I stop and get quiet. Once when I was going to sleep, I suddenly realized that my shoulders were up to my ears with tightness! It’s a little challenging to drift off in that position.

 

When my dog is totally relaxed, she rolls over on her back, lies with her feet in the air, and looks totally ridiculous. Sometimes we need animals to remind us how to relax!

 

Let’s get together Sunday and have an outbreath!

 

Happy Summer!

 

Peggy

 

“To go out of your mind at least once a day is tremendously important. By going out of your mind, you come to your senses.”

–Alan Watts

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

May, 2018

Holy Imagination.

 

This week I will talk more about expanding our understanding of prayer, focusing on the creation and use of rituals, and the power of imagination.

 

“Holy Imagination” is the title of a chapter of One River, Many Wells, by Matthew Fox. In it he talks about art and ritual as paths to mindfulness. He speaks of “digging deep into the imagination and honoring the images that are there as gifts of the Holy Spirit, gathering them up and releasing them into our work and the world.”

 

There are endless ways that we can – and do – create rituals. These rituals, too, are prayers. Writing and saying affirmations, setting intentions, and bowing and saying “Namaste” to one another are obvious examples.

 

One action that almost always reminds me of my connection with Source is the simple lighting of candles.

 

Memorial Day is a societal reminder that we need prayer rituals that honor our losses and life transitions. We also need rituals to connect more intentionally with our hopes and dreams.

 

In many ways our modern lives have lost touch with the power of imagination, and we have forgotten how the ancients expressed their relationship and faith in the mysterious Life processes through all manner of rituals. It is profoundly nurturing to the soul to discover and recover our holy imagination!

 

I wish you a lovely weekend, and hope to see you Sunday!

 

Love,

Peggy

 

 

For reflection:

Prayer is a living relationship that can never be

pinned down and analyzed;

prayer is a breath of the soul that has passed

before we can seize hold of it;

prayer is a reaching out of all that is deepest within us

towards all that lies infinitely beyond and around us.

 

 

“Prayer is not something we do, but a way of living, in growing awareness of the greater reality, in which we live and breathe.”

The Gift of Prayer: Embracing the Sacred in the Everyday by Margaret Silf

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

May, 2018

One River, Many Wells.

 

One of my favorite prayer stories is about a child saying her prayers and the grandmother saying, “That’s not prayer! That’s just saying the alphabet over and over.” The child’s response is, “yes, this IS my prayer!  I don’t know the words, so I give God the letters and God puts it all together.”

 

Our 4th Unity principle talks about how prayer and meditation connect us with Spirit. This is the way, the road, the path, to experiencing what we say we believe:  that there is a power of goodness in the universe, bigger than our individual egos that brings us into the wholeness of who we really are.

 

Prayer connects us more intentionally to Source.

 

But prayer is not a one-size-fits-all formula. If we can expand our understanding of prayer, we discover that there are at least a gazillion ways to pray!

 

The next two weeks I plan to explore a few diverse practices. My hope is to inspire you to step outside your prayer comfort box and embark on some new prayer adventures of your own!

 

This Sunday we will also receive the gift of Amy Augenstein singing the prayer, “Hands,” in her golden voice.

 

Have a beautiful week-end.

 

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.

May, 2018

Your Amma Nature.

 

Often people make references to one’s Christ nature or one’s Buddha nature. But I don’t recall ever hearing a reference to one’s Amma nature, so I’m inventing the term!

 

Amma is an intimate word for mother or mom or mama. It implies immense tenderness and compassion.

 

There is a woman, a spiritual leader, who goes by “Amma,” and she is known as “the hugging saint.”  Amma receives people by the thousands — sometimes tens of thousands — hugging and blessing each one individually, answering their questions and wiping away their tears. Regardless of a person’s race, health, wealth, education, religion – or lack thereof — each person is accepted with the same fierce, motherly tenderness. So far she has embraced over thirty million people.

 

When asked about her religion, she says simply, “My religion is love and service.” She reminds me of Jesus and Buddha.

 

She also says, “always remember that your true family is the family of humankind.”  Her compassion is visible, palpable, shining.

 

The theme this Sunday is compassion. The intention is to connect with our Amma nature as we celebrate Presence. I look forward to our time together.

 

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.

May, 2018

Collateral Beauty.

Unity principles infuse our lives. I recently read through an old gratitude journal of mine. I had written it years before my transition to Unity of Fort Collins and was delighted to find that these principles were working in me even before I was ever introduced to them.

 

This Sunday, Mike Hawes – along with Gerald Gates – will be sharing a couple of personal stories that illustrate beautifully the power of the principles – especially Principle 3.  To paraphrase, we create our life experiences through our thoughts, attitudes, and responses. Where we choose to focus our attention guides the direction of our lives.

 

As a congregation, we are incredibly rich. Lavishly, abundantly blessed. Daily, I am inspired by the personal stories of the people in our Unity community who practice and embody these principles in all kinds of circumstances.

 

Please join me on Sunday, as we reflect with Mike and Gerald on the beauty in this life, recently called “Collateral Beauty” in an impactful movie.

 

In lavish gratitude,

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.