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“…And I, infinitesimal being, drunk with the great starry void, likeness, image of mystery, felt myself a pure part of the abyss, I wheeled with the stars, my heart broke loose on the wind.” ~ Pablo Neruda

Unity Blog

 
Moving at the Speed of Guidance.

August 2, 2018

 

 

Unity recently put out a little booklet called, “Courage to Imagine,” in which I have found a great deal of inspiration. In an article by Rev. Patricia Bass on the topic of guidance, she says, “Guidance is not something for which we have to grasp. It is something to which we attune.” I love that!! Guidance is something we simply tune in to!

 

She goes on to quote a book called The Seven Whispers by Christian Baldwin, who says we need to slow down and move at the “pace of guidance.”

 

“Speed is some guy running through the airport shouting into a cell phone. Pace is going around the block with a 3-year-old and noticing everything the child is noticing. When we move at pace, we have time to question and time to listen for answers before moving on. When we move at the pace of guidance, it occurs to us to wonder what plans the Divine might have for us, in the midst of the plans we have for ourselves.”

 

What a great message for many of us! I look forward to sharing reflections on the idea of “moving at the speed of guidance” on Sunday. How do you tune in to your inner guidance? How do you discern your “next right thing?”

 

Happy August!

 

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.

Extended Family of the Heart.

July 26, 2018

Jan and JD will be our guest speakers/musicians for the one service at 10am.

Jan Garrett and JD Martin will be doing the service and music for us. Jan Garrett and JD Martin are multi-award-winning singer songwriters who live and create their music in the mountains of Colorado near Aspen. Both are seasoned performers and creative guides who teach with a twinkle, and inspire by example.

Jan and JD

They call their 23-year partnership “The Heart of Harmony” not only because they are happily married to each other, but because they get to write, record, sing, and play their music for appreciative audiences around the country—and beyond.

Their music is rich and intelligent, a velvet-hammer wake-up call as satisfying to the soul as it is to the ear…songs to open the heart and refresh the spirit.

It is What it Is.

July 12, 2018

When I was younger, I was obsessed with asking why. It made me crazy when my parents said, “Because I said so.”  And I really disliked it when I asked a question in Sunday School and the teacher would say, “Well, some things just have to be taken on faith.” (In my secret heart of hearts, that still bugs me!  🙂

 

But as I have gotten older, I have learned a lot more about my various motives behind questioning why. I have also become more humble. I’ve learned that sometimes asking why is actually about wanting to have some sense of control.

 

Many things happen in life that leave us feeling baffled and powerless. If we could just know “the reason,” we think maybe we wouldn’t feel so overwhelmed by those things.

 

People love to say, “Everything happens for a reason.” Maybe. Maybe it happens for many reasons. Or for no reason at all. In my current way of looking at things, I think that Reality might be too vast for Reason to comprehend.

 

The “3rd injunction” in Brugh Joy’s book, Joy’s Way, is:

“Delete the need to understand.”

 

This isn’t saying don’t seek to understand. Rather, it is addressing the need to understand, which can get in the way of experiencing, without encumbrances, what is. Sometimes the compulsion to know why or to have a label or a diagnosis is a way to distract ourselves from simply being with what is. And sometimes it’s because of a need to be “in the know” or to be right.

 

During a question-and-answer session following one of Suzuki’s lectures, a student said, “Suzuki Roshi, I’ve been listening to your lectures for years, but I just don’t understand. Could you please put it in a nutshell? Can you reduce Buddhism to one phrase?”

Everyone laughed. Suzuki laughed.

“Everything changes,” he said.  “Next question?”

 

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.

Trading Judgment for Grace.

July 5, 2018

Imagine your having no need at all to judge anybody. Imagine your having no desire to decide whether someone is a good or bad person. Imagine your being completely free from the feeling that you have to make up your mind about the morality of someone’s behavior. Imagine that you could say: “I am judging no one!”     —Henri J. M. Nouwen in Here and Now

When I read those words, I can actually feel myself relax. Mentally, emotionally – even physically.

The “2nd Injunction” in Brugh Joy’s book, Joy’s Way, is “Make. No. Judgments.”

Just like making comparisons, judging seems almost ingrained in most of us. For me, judging and comparing seem to go hand-in-hand, and it is absolutely delightful to let go of the need to engage in them.

One of my least favorite phrases is “constructive criticism.” To me it is often a cover for plain old judging. People sometimes ask for support and/or feedback – in editing a document or planning a speech, for instance. They might ask their doctor for better health ideas and practices. Or they might ask their counselor how to more constructively handle their emotions. We might ask a close friend to gently tell us a hard truth we need to hear.

But “constructive criticism,” more often than not, comes from the incessant judging mind – and is often not asked for. And it can be about constantly evaluating other people’s appearances, behaviors, choices, words, etc.

Imagine living a life free from that exhausting practice. Imagine living a life loving what is, a life free from the compulsion to criticize, judge, condemn, retaliate. I feel lighter just imagining it! How about you?

Ram Dass in One-Liners said: “Let’s trade in all our judging for appreciating. Let’s lay down our righteousness and just be together.”

Ah-h-h-h

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.

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall.

June 28, 2018

 

It starts even before we are born. Our mothers are told, “the baby is in the 50th (or whatever) percentile for growth at this stage.”

There it is.

The “stage is set.” We emerge and our parents measure us against what our sister did at this age:  “She was one of the earliest walkers in the group, what’s taking this one so long?!”

For the rest of our lives, comparisons will be constant, both external and internal.

“Compared to other kids his age, Johnny is a slow reader.”

“My friend grasped meditation right away. What is my problem?”

“How come I can’t get decent employment when Georgina (who’s not nearly as smart as I am) can just waltz in and snap up any job she wants?

“Those people have no idea how lucky they are. They just go along with their little intact nuclear family, and their children do great and life is just hunky-dory all the time.”

Comparing is insidious. It sneaks its way into our lives like a slow-growing disease. If not stopped in its tracks, it eventually takes over and blinds us to our own wholeness.

Brugh Joy was an M.D. who went through a profoundly healing spiritual experience and then became a well-known healer and teacher. In his book Joy’s Way, he tells the story of a woman who had a mystical experience and was introduced to what Brugh calls “The 3 Injunctions:”

Make no comparisons.
Make no judgments.
Delete the need to understand.

Notice the first one is “Make. No. Comparisons.”

I hope you can join us on Sunday, as we reflect on what life is like when we let go of comparison and instead practice gratitude and presence.

I am blessed beyond measure. And so are you.

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.