RSS

Monthly Archives: October 2011

More about being holy….

October 31, 2011

More on How to be Holy!!!

First a quote from Ellen Grace O’Brian:

See all of life and every experience as supportive of your highest good and it will be.”

I’m back again…..

Well so far I’ve suggested that it’s important that we have a relationship with our Creator, which I choose to call God. This God of mine and yours, does not care what you call Her/Him. What ever image works for you it what matter most. I love to think of God as Father/Mother God. That brings up images of my parents for me,  They were loving, caring, special people. But that’s another story!!!

 

But I also have the image and all the stories about Jesus that are very dear to me and who’s life is a model for my life….I fall short on a regular basis but I have this as a goal. To be like Jesus and follow His teachings is how I try to live my life. When I don’t forget, which is often I ask, “What would Jesus do?” or “Jesus, what do I do next?”

 

So image is important. If you don’t have an image of someone that is loving and caring and wise…..make one up. In the 12 step Programs they tell people with out an image to use the group or even….this sounds silly but it works, use the door nob until an image is revealed to you.

 

Acting as if works very well. I use that concept when I’m need an attitude adjustment. Believe it or not sometimes I wake up or in the course of the day I end up disgruntled and unhappy. When I remember before it gets too bad, I “Put on a Happy Face,” and act as if I’m happy…. and lo and behold, by the grace of God my attitude changes.

 

Now that’s being holy in my opinion!!!

 

O.K. O.K. having said all that…Just a reminder…… in order to have a relationship with your Creator, I think you need to spend time talking and listening to that Creator. Remember you are created in the image and likeness of your Creator….so just act like it.

O.K. so Meditation is key. It’s key because it helps you to start your day on the right foot. It helps you to develop the habit of turning to the “Energy of Love” within you. And……. over time, little by little you’ll find you do it more and more often during the day.

Second……Stay present to what is….Pay attention to your thoughts…

Third……. Think holy be holy,

Fourth….Pick an image that you love and call it whatever you want to call “IT!”

Remember to feed your soul!!!

Stay tuned I’m on a roll….I’ll have more soon.

Love and Blessings Galore!!!

Anne

 

 

 

Advertisements
 
2 Comments

Posted by on October 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

More: “How to be holy!!!”

How to be holy!!!

Already this morning I was tested big time. This is what I wrote on Facebook.

Well….the devil tried again to ruin my day and by the grace of God I’m laughing….laughing hard so I won’t blow my top #$%#$%%!!! There I was combing my hair when all of sudden the toilet started making loud noises. As I stared down that hole of loud bubbling water with an inquiring stare, my attention was brought to my shower….oh my God!!! The shower was backing up with vengeance with all kinds of yuck floating around. The plumber will be here between 10 and noon so there goes my plans to go to church. Oh by the way it did stop before it overflowed in my bathroom and Bob’s. Oh yes his toilet and shower were threatening to do the same thing…..I’m going shopping when this is over….look out Nordie here I come.

So, here I am sitting at my computer licking my wounds with “JOY” in my heart because I am not angry….I am not crying…I am not letting this incident rob my joy.

So I don’t get to go shopping. Bob had to take our grandson to his football game. He left at 10:00 and won’t be home until 2:00. so far…no Mass and no shopping.

These are my disappointments for today….

1. I was not able to go to church….I love going to Mass on Sundays and was looking forward to hearing one of my favorite Jesuits give a homily.

2. Also my plan….the operate word is “my” was to go shopping afterwards and to treat myself to lunch at Nordstrom’s,

3. Then at 2:00 go see “The Story of my Life!”

Here’s what I’m thankful for:

1. Because I did not go to church I was here to receive a call from a dear friend that I’m not heard from in a long time. That’s a blessing I did not expect. Grace of God for sure.

2. The plumber arrived at 10:30 and assures me he’ll have it in working order before the day is over.

3. He will be able to tell me how extensive the work will be soon. It may be that they just have to clean out of our pipes for about $1400.00  Or it could involve the major work of replacing the sewer line from our house to the city’s line for about $6,000.00…… No matter what I’m grateful we have the money to pay for all of this and am especially grateful for Bob’s reaction …whatever needs to be….NEEDS TO BE DONE!!! So be it!!!

The plumber is digging up the section in front of my porch. I’m praying he doesn’t have to destroy my brick porch to get to the sewer line,  however it’s going to take at least another hour or 2 to dig in the very hard clay soil we have that’s been planted and has thousands of roots to dig through. So I have to leave not knowing what I’ll find when I get home.

4. I’m thankful that I still get to see “The Story of My Life.”  Bob agreed that I should leave at 1:15 no matter what and he’ll get here as soon as he can.

5. Grateful that I’m able to stay calm. Grateful that I had some delicious left overs for lunch.

So for me this whole experience is a holy one. It’s an opportunity to experience the grace of God. It’s an opportunity to focus on the good stuff that is happening. I’m also looking forward to the awarenesses that will be reveal to me as the day goes on.

Already I’m amazed and grateful for my ability to act instead of react. I prayed, looked in the phone book and found the perfect plumber. I’m grateful for Bob’s support and encouragement that all is well. And….this company “The Rooter” guarantees their work unconditionally.

That’s it for now…..stay tuned.

“Remember to feed your Soul” and….know that God loves you more than you can imagine. Give Him/Her the opportunity to show you.

 

 

 

 

 
7 Comments

Posted by on October 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

How to be Holy?

I am a recovering compulsive overeater. For the most part my compulsion is in remission…. so to speak. I pay attention to what I’m thinking and do not let my mind or body, for that matter, dictate what and when I’m going to eat.

I realized a long time ago that it all starts with a thought, “Oh remember there’s ice cream in the refrigerator, just one spoonful would be nice and then after 25 trips to the freezer the 1/2 gal of ice cream would be gone or I’d think Just one cooking or piece of cheese or whatever…. Always without any warning the behavior would take off and I would end up eating way too much, too often. Then I would regret eating it and would swear I would not do it again.  I be on the old addict;ts merry-go-round. No fun at all.

For the first 49 years of my life, I’m guessing I managed to put on and take off about 1000 lbs. Always off a diet putting on weight or on a diet taking off weight. I knew how to lose it I did not know how to be moderate and maintain a healthy weight.

Working the 12 steps which include prayer and meditation, talking with a sponsor, sharing my progress with others and giving service are all part of the healing process. Making a commitment to have a plan of eating and being willing to do whatever it takes not to respond to those “eat what you like” thoughts, praying instead helped me get to where I am today. For the most part I do not over eat. I failed many times over the years but I claim imperfect abstinence from compulsive overeating for over 29 years and my weight has not varied more than a few lbs. up or down all that time. Thank you God.

Today the compulsion is in remission. It was a very long road filled with all kinds challenges and lots of pain but also my road to recovery is full of miracles.

This morning while in prayer I was thinking about “How to be holy?” the answer I got was, “Think holy, be holy!” Then I asked the question…..”How do I apply what I’ve learned and experienced during my healing process of compulsive overeating to my periodic, disgruntled attitude in general and my character defects of being impatient and rude?” Just like my compulsive overeating was out of hand…..it seems now, there are times I am totally powerless over my mouth. Dang it anyway!!!

The answer I got was…..”Focus more intently on your thoughts all day long and…. discover what thoughts get you to the place that ruin your day and everyone else’s.” In other words…..practice what you preach and….STAY PRESENT TO WHAT IS!!!

Stay tuned there is more coming!!!

I’m not perfect because God is not finished with me….I’m a work in process and so are you!!! Have a wonderful day.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

We are called to be holly…..how?

So how do we respond to this call to be holy?

To the best of our ability we respond by, “Being Present!” That’s it! Sounds simple doesn’t it? Well it is simple however it is not easy….not easy at all. In order to be present we need to start with being present to our “Self.” That part of us that is one with all.

Here’s a piece I wrote September 2, 2005 about “Being Present” on a regular basis through meditation I call it “Taste the Silence….How Sweet It Is!

Most people cannot sit still and be quiet for a short time, let alone for twenty minutes every day. Just the thought of sitting still and listening to their inner thoughts is very uncomfortable. In fact, for some of us it is torture worse than listening to a dripping faucet. Yet this simple discipline when committed to and practiced correctly on a daily basis is one of the most powerful ways to enhance life. This simple practice of sitting and being quiet, with the intention to grow up and wake up can be the vehicle that empowers us to make changes that allow us to be all we were created to be, do all we dream of accomplishing, and to experience who we really are. Some teachings call this process meditation or contemplation, others call it centering prayer, the Zen Master Tich Nhat Hanh calls it mindfulness practice, some people just call it their quiet time. I call it meditation, call it what you like but, do it…and see for yourself what happens.

Although my primary purpose for learning to meditate was to improve my conscious contact with God, I also wanted very much to change and grow. Everything I read told me repeatedly about the benefits of this practice. Such things as stress reduction, strengthening of the body’s immune system and enhanced appreciation for living, were just what I needed at the time. Jon Kabat-Zinn, in his book Wherever You Go There You Are, says, “Meditation is empowering as well, because paying attention in this way opens channels to deep reservoirs of creativity, intelligence, imagination, clarity, determination, choice and wisdom within us.” WOW…all of this and more is what I wanted and to a great extent, can say I have achieved.

I was told to start with five minutes. I thought, “I can do that!” I was surprised…five minutes was very difficult, but I gritted my teeth and stuck it out. I was committed to a daily practice of five minutes every day. Then one day to my surprise I sat for 20 minutes in what seemed like five. This experience was encouraging and helped me keep my commitment. Today I sit for 20 minutes daily most of the time, sometimes longer, sometimes twice a day and whenever possible I attend a silent weekend retreat.

When I meditate I simply turn my attention inward to that place within me that Jesus called, “The Kingdom of God.” For me the “Kingdom of God” is at the inner core of who we are, which in my opinion is our natural state of being, filled with peace, love, and joy. When I sit with the intention to connect with God, I am giving the Holy Spirit permission to change me from the inside out. I am giving the Holy Spirit permission to minister to me and change me in ways that are not possible at any other time, in any other way. Meditation for me is an act of surrender and says loudly, “Thy will be done.”

For over twenty years now I’ve practiced meditation. This simple act of surrender with faith in this process has improved my life immensely. The results are that I am no longer self conscious, afraid to write, do public speaking or travel alone to name a few ways I’ve changed. At the age of 70 I earned a Masters in Divinity. Twenty years ago I would not have considered a master’s degree possible for me at all. These changes, although important to me, are not as profound as the fact that…I no longer worry about anything! Peaceful is my state of mind most of the time. Prayer is my tool when I am not. The peace that passeth all understanding is how I experience “The Kingdom God Within.” That peace comforts me because I know my prayer was heard. With peace like this comes the assurance that my prayers are answered and forth coming in ways beyond my imagination.

Our number one responsibility for this process is to set aside time on a daily basis to sit. It’s important that we make a commitment to practice daily and not let anything get in the way. If you live alone, turn off your phones. If you live with other people ask them not to disturb you. Most teachers recommend first thing in the morning as the best time to meditate. Although this may seem difficult, it is really the best time of day to guarantee regular practice. Go to bed a half hour early. Believe me, it is worth it. I go to bed early, get up early, brush my teeth, put on the coffee and go sit.

Claim a private place in your home that you can call your own for the twenty minutes you will practice. Be creative. I know one person who has a walk-in closet that she uses for her sacred space, others I know use a corner of their bedroom, living room, or like myself, an office at home. You can use a bedside table or living room end table or some other piece of furniture nearby for an altar. An altar, although not necessary, is a way to claim the space sacred. It can be a very simple altar with a candle, a flower, or special statue or picture to inspire you.

Choose a chair that fits you comfortably so you can sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor. Keeping your back comfortably straight will help you stay alert and fully present to the process. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and let your whole body relax. Then simply be aware of your breath as it moves in and out of your nostrils, watching your thoughts go by. When you catch yourself thinking, that is, rehashing a recent conversation or making a grocery list, you simple bring your attention back to your breath. Please, no judgment or criticism just lovingly come back to your breath. So basically what you do is watch your breath…catch yourself thinking, go back to watching your breath, catch yourself thinking, go back to watching your breath, no judgment, no criticism, just go back to watching your breath. There will always be thoughts to watch or to let go of, but there will also be times when you’ll notice that you are not thinking and, of course, then you will be thinking about not thinking. The space of time before we realize that we are not thinking is one of those special times that we are truly open.

Deepak Chopra, in his book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, calls this time “the gap.” He says, “The gap is your connection to the field of pure potentiality.”  In other words, this is the time that we are fully in the present moment, open to our real (spiritual) Self connected to the Holy Spirit of the Universe. At this time we are letting the Holy Spirit have its way with us, purifying our hearts and minds preparing us for the next step in our life. Reverend Ellen Grace O’Brian in her book, Single Blade of Grass, says, “To dwell in silence is to drink from the holy well, to be renewed by the living water of Spirit. Drinking from the soul’s well each day yields satisfaction and contentment. People spend almost all their time trying to fulfill desires and needs. But time spent in prayer and meditation cultivates an inner magnetism that draws whatever we need. God knows what we need before we ask. So why pray? Because through prayer, we become receptive to divine grace and divine guidance. First we turn to prayer. Then prayer turns us.”

I think there is a part of us that already knows how to meditate, and when we sit, we are just providing the opportunity for the experience. There’s no wrong way to meditate. You will be guided along the way…just trust that part of you that knows how. Many books and articles such as this one have been written about this process. I’ve shared my thoughts and experience, I’ve shared what some other people think, but to try to learn about the experience of meditation is like trying to learn what an orange looks like and even more difficult what an orange tastes like, just from the written word. Just as you need to taste an orange to know what it tastes like, you need to taste the silence and learn from your experience and…..how sweet it is.

Here are quotes from two of my favorite teachers…………….

The divine qualities that are inherent to one’s being are naturally revealed in apeaceful, uplifting environment. Don’t underestimate the influence of environment…….Ellen Grace O’Brian

Also remember: God offers Godself to us even before we invite God into our lives. All we are asked to do is be present and open…… Fr. Richard

Remember to feed your soul

With Blessings from Anne

 
7 Comments

Posted by on October 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

What if I told you that we are all called to be Holy?

Before I tell you what I think it takes to be holy I have a request. Please…..to the best of your ability……. let go of all your old ideas about who and what is holy and take a risk and act as if you KNOW you are holy. Or at least be willing to know!!!

From that place, let us first remember that we were all created in the image and likeness of God. Yes! Everyone and everything in the world was created in the image and likeness of God. But take it a little further and think about what that means. For me that means that at our core we are sacred and already holy. I think everything is imbued with holy energy. I believe that the more we acknowledge this holiness in ourselves and in every person, place and thing in the world, the better chance we have of experiencing this holiness first hand. And just imagine if everyone realized this to be true for them. What a different world this would be.

Set this idea of knowing that you and everyone else in the world is holy as an intention to be willing to know…. and know that between you and your intention….Grace happens. Grace is everywhere like the wind. All we need to do is setup our sails and one way to setup our sails is by acknowledging the sacredness of everyone and everything.

We have all been taught to believe in a dualistic world when in fact there is only One Life,. Each of us together makes up this One Life, we are all connected in our holiness, in this One Life.

I challenge you to act as if everything is sacred. Act as if there is no right and wrong, no good and evil. Realize and acknowledge that these concepts come from our perception. And our perception are based on what we’ve been taught and what we’ve been taught came from other people’s perception of what is true. I love what Steve Jobs said about this. He said, “Don’t be trapped by dogma —which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.” Please, please question my opinions. Keep asking questions. Test what I say, take what you like and leave the rest.

We are all good and evil, right and wrong, full of light and darkness. All of these traits exist within us. We are all capable of doing all the horrible things that we see in the world. But we are also capable of doing wonderful things as well. It’s all by the grace of God and our willingness to do the right thing that we do wonderful things. I believe that it is in God that we live and have our being.

Just try and change one thing within yourself. I did that lately…again! I made up my mind I was going to be more patient, kind and loving…..well guess what? I wasn’t up one hour until I blew it. I don’t know how many times I have to fall on my face before I’ll wake up to the fact that, all I can do about my character defects is be willing for God within me to change me from the inside out.

But…..accepting the truth…….that of myself I am nothing, is in actuality a necessary bottom line to accepting my humanness.

We can not be holy if we do not accept our humanness. We are wholly holy and wholly human. We are spiritual beings in a body. Let’s start paying attention to our spirits.

That’s it for today. I’ll be sharing more about how to be holy in my next blog. Remember these are my thoughts and opinions….what are yours?

May God continue to bless you and all that you do and may you realize and live in your holiness.

“Remember to feed your soul.”

Anne

 

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

What if I told you that we are all called to be Holy?

This post is taking me a long time to ponder and write about. I started several times and was led to start over. Just be patient with me and the Holy Spirit that guides me. Love, Anne

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Feast of St. Francis…

Today is the feast of St. Francis of Assisi….here’s a quote from Father Richard about Franciscan thought.

NATURE AS MIRROR
Tuesday, October 4
Feast of St. Francis of Assisi
I think what modern men and women lack is a deep sense of belonging.
That sense of belonging is given to you by God from your very birth, and
then it is mirrored to you in the natural world—if you are looking and
listening. In nature you can overcome your sense of separateness or
alienation—and know you are a part of the whole. If Franciscan
spirituality means anything it is founded on a very positive image of
human nature and all of creation, “original blessing” instead of
original sin.

There is a kind of therapy that I’d like to call “proactive”
therapy, in which you don’t try to heal your wounds afterwards.
Instead, you rely on your inherent connection with everything and are
healed ahead of time into a kind of “hidden wholeness,” as Thomas
Merton called it. I call it “the Unified Field,” or as Gerard Manley
Hopkins called it “the dearest freshness deep down things.” Inside
of the Unified Field you find that it is a good world and you also are
inherently good, not because you are independently perfect (you never
will be!), but because you belong to the Whole—that is always and
deeply good and perfect in its Wholeness (the pleroma, or “fullness”
of Colossians 1:19-20 [1]). To live inside of such fullness is what it means
to be a Franciscan.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 4, 2011 in Uncategorized