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“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” ~His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Unity Blog

 
Acornology: Thoughts on Courage.

June 21, 2018

 

It takes a lot of courage to live fully, especially if we are hampered by self-doubt, responsibility, guilt, shame, and all those other odiferous (stinky) bugs. We need regular exposure to more melliferous (sweet-as-honey) creatures!

 

I know I am getting carried away—it’s summertime and the mosquitoes are getting to me!!

 

What I’m trying to say is that encouragement and inspiration are a big deal in life. Sunday I will be exploring the topic of courage. Someone said to me recently—about a painful situation we have in common—“I think we deserve Purple Hearts for this.”

 

This is not at all to minimize what soldiers face on the battlefield and have earned, but rather to recognize the courage it takes to face life’s off-the-battlefield challenges. A scary illness, a crippling addiction, loss of a beloved one, the daily “news,” even letting go of an old belief system… these are just a few examples of things that happen in our lives that call for our great courage.

 

There is a verse in the New Testament that says, “We are perplexed, but not driven to despair,” because we know there is a Power greater than our worries and our fears. Courage is not about feeling no fear; courage is when we choose to face the fear and keep on keeping on.

 

The title, “Acornology,” comes from a metaphor in a book by Jacob Needleman about the courage called forth from an acorn when it goes into the ground and cracks open its shell.

 

As always, I look forward to being with you Sunday.

 

Love, Peggy

 

For reflection:

The idea that “we are that”—the Divine in expression—is central to Unity teachings. We are not broken but blessed. Our thoughts, words, and actions are creative. When we can crack open and go into the ground of our being, a world of growth and possibility opens before us.

~from a Unity booklet called, Courage to Imagine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

A Letter to Bodhi.

June 14, 2018

I was surprised by fatherhood. At 39 I was pretty sure that my only paternal experience might be that of stepfather, but within a few years I’d found Monica, and two kids had been born.
Sarah, our first, died at only 10 days old. Before we had even begun to recover, Bodhi was born. Two years later I was in the hospital and not sure if I was going to be around for my new family.

Over the next couple of years I started writing letters to my son that were intended for him to read as he got older. I’ve continued to write them, even after my health returned. They are the things that I would want him to know about me if I wasn’t here to tell him.

Grounded for Life.

June 7, 2018

 

Have you ever thought about how ironic it is that parents “give consequences” to their kids by saying, “You’re grounded!”

 

These days that often means not being allowed to be on their electronic devices for a certain period of time. For some kids that’s a really big deal.

 

I have noticed that it’s a big deal for a lot of adults, too!

 

Have you ever taken a break from your devices for a while and discovered that you actually have a body? And that there is a whole world happening right where you are?

 

Felix (my 10-year-old grandson) and I were talking about this recently, and I was telling him about what a positive thing it is to be spiritually grounded. (He got it, by the way, but he still didn’t think it was cool for his dad to take his screen time away.)

 

Let’s get together Sunday morning for a good grounding!

 

Have a beautiful week-end.

 

Love,

Peggy

 

 

For reflection:  Living in a world of telescopes, televisions, and telephones — “tele” means “distance” — we might turn our attention toward the heart as often as possible to give it the closeness it needs to sustain a life of beauty, relatedness, and mutual regard.

— Thomas Moore in The Education of the Heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Having an Outbreath.

May 31, 2018

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.

Holy Imagination.

May 24, 2018

 

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.