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“Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.” ~Kahlil Gibran

Unity Blog

 
The Healing Power of Laughter.

June 22, 2017

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.

The Power of Small Things.

June 15, 2017

 

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.

Making Room at the Table.

June 8, 2017

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.

You are My Beloved.

June 1, 2017

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.

Mending the World.

May 25, 2017

 

Memorial Day week-end is upon us! Lots of folks will be celebrating with picnics and potlucks (including the one everyone is invited to at Arlene Brown’s house on Monday). Some folks will be visiting loved ones’ graves. There will be parades and ceremonies of various kinds. People and communities have their own diverse understandings of what the day is about.

 

The history of the holiday is a bit mixed. One very important story goes back to May 1, 1865, when up to ten thousand people participated in the re-burying of 257 Union soldiers – and then cleaning and decorating the graves in a proper cemetery setting.

 

 

Ten days prior to this “Decoration Day,” the men in the town, mostly ex-slaves, worked to prepare the new memorial graveyard which they named “Martyrs of the Race Course.” They also built a large fence around the area and built a formal archway welcoming visitors to honor the fallen soldiers (Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory, by David W. Blight).

 

In a 2011 article in The Sun Chronicle Online, the Rev. Ron Gagne, director of communications for the LaSalette Communications Center in Attleboro, Massachusetts, notes that the original purpose of this special day was reconciliation. At the end of the Civil War, it was a time for coming together to honor those who had made the ultimate sacrifice.

 

My talk this Sunday will focus on that theme of reconciliation. How can we build more bridges in our divided societies? How can we engage in “mending the world” (the Hebrew concept of Tikkun)? How can we treat each other with more respect, even while we acknowledge our differences? How can we tell the truth about the “isms” we have allowed to be perpetuated in our nation and world and how can we work to heal those wounds? How can we do our part to create what Desmond Tutu calls “the rainbow nation of God?”

 

What makes the rainbow beautiful is seeing the colors coming together in a perfect arc while each one retains its own pure magnificence.

 

In Love,
Peggy

 

Peggy Christiansen is the Spiritual Leader here 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.