My Blooming Heart
My plants are blooming! I have two poinsettia plants that have survived since last year. I usually throw them out because they lose all their leaves, and that's it for me, but I have babied these two plants and kept them in the sun, watered them, etc. They have put out an abundance of green leaves going all over the place, and now at the end of each stem they are putting out small red flowers again. I have never seen that happen before under my care! The plants are starting to look very pretty again. They are looking like keepers for this season.
My second plant that is blooming is my pink cyclamen plant. Also a plant that usually dies on me, but this one has lasted for a few years now. It went dormant for quite a while. It loses leaves, and then I am reminded to take care of it, and I water it, and the leaves come back, but now there are 21 little baby buds growing on it. I can't wait to see pink again.
And lastly there are my two Christmas cactus plants. One is almost 30 years old and was my husband's, but I have been taking care of it for quite a while. The other one is newer and hasn't really put on a show, but now they both look like they're ready to bloom in full.
What makes this all so meaningful is that the same day I discovered 21 buds on the cyclamen, it had been 21 days since my husband left the house following my decision to end our relationship that had become very toxic. And now all of these signs of new life! I know this is a sign that my energy and the house's energy has changed for the good. I'm really enjoying this demonstration of the "blooming of my heart" that I didn't realize until I looked at the buds on the flowers. Those flowers definitely had a message for me that they didn't want me to miss.
I am so excited and grateful that I can see this demonstration and that it quietly happened all by itself, with faith and trust and love and light. It just is. And so it is. -- P.F.
Abundance of All Kinds
Two days after beginning the Unexpected Income Program earlier in the summer, I got a check from my dentist. His office had switched to a new software program which discovered an error in my favor of over $200! I had a lot of little financial gains along the way, but that one was a biggie.
More so than increasing income though, my intention was to open myself up to a different kind of abundance, particularly with friendship. It has been eight years since my husband and I lost our son, and sometimes I feel isolated and alone. We moved away from Newark to a house in Oxford where we can keep our horses – something I had always wanted for the three of us, but now we have it without our son. We enjoy it but there has been that missing piece of someone additional to share it with.
Five years ago I got hurt and lost my nerve for riding. I had a riding instructor who was helping me get back into it, but then she wasn’t able to come out any longer. I was telling a neighbor acquaintance about my situation – that what I really needed was a friend to ride with. She has a 13 and 11 year-old daughter that ride, and now I’ve formed a close relationship with her and the children. It’s fun and nice to have the kids around. We needed some new blood around here! Our friendship has given me a real boost.
I had been subscribing to the Science of Mind magazine and reading other New Thought works for years, but I hadn’t found a group or center. I’m glad I finally did. It’s funny – CJL [now CSL Delaware] is located five minutes from where my husband and I used to live, before we moved to Oxford. I have a lot going on, but I feel better than I did when I started at CJL [now CSL Delaware]. I’ve made some connections and I look forward to going to service on Sundays – I never felt that way about a church before.
Each time I go to the Y, I make an effort to talk to one new person. I wouldn’t have done that before going to CJL [now CSL Delaware]. I’m more open to possibilities for friendship than I used to be. I know that I have to reach out, to be there for people, then they’ll be there for me. -- M.S.
There is No Fear in Love
When I first entered the Center for Joyful Living [now Center for Spiritual Living Delaware], I was immediately struck by the upbeat vibe of the greeters. As the service went on, I was impressed by Rev. Kathleen’s inspirational sermon and touched by the warmth extended by the congregation. I decided to jump right into a class, and I was just in time to join Foundations, the prerequisite for many of the other core classes.
My decision to take the class was supported not only by the way I was absorbing the Science of Mind teachings but also by the profound discoveries I was making about myself. During one of the classes, Rev. Kathleen made two statements that hit home for me. She said, “If you want to see what your beliefs are, then look at what’s happening in your life.” I was aware that my thoughts were impacting my life, but I had never considered that my beliefs were creating my experiences – many of which I would prefer not to have!
Another important statement Rev. Kathleen made was, “Worry is a prayer for what you don’t want.” I realized that my past hurts and disappointments had led me to look at life through eyes of fear rather than of love. By worrying about the outcome, I was creating the very situations I feared.
When Foundations ended, I signed right up for the Visioning class, to learn how to catch the vision God has for my life. During our first in-class visioning session, I felt blocked. The only images coming to mind were of Africa, jungle animals, and someone riding an ATV. I couldn’t make any sense of it! Rev. Anna Marie said we should just write down whatever came to mind, without filtering, but I just felt like the process wasn’t working. A few days later my boyfriend and I went to the movies, which we rarely do on weeknights because of his work schedule, and we saw Blended – which takes place in Africa. A scene came up and I knew it would end with a man riding an ATV! There were other synchronicities in my life this past week too. I hardly know what to think, but I am excited to see how it unfolds.
I am currently a work in progress, but I know that I am progressing in a more loving, joyful, peaceful, and prosperous direction and embracing the life that is my birthright. And so it is! -- K.O.
I am going in for hip surgery at the end of the month. Because of my not being at 100% physically with a sore hip, neither of my part-time employers will give me work. I meditated, prayed, reminded myself that God provides. I woke up every day with a positive attitude. In the past I would get stuck in ‘poor me,’ full of gloom and doom. But that got me nowhere. The more I reacted that way, the more stuck I became in what I didn’t want. CJL [now CSL Delaware] has helped me so much to get out of that rut, that same old story. I turned my thoughts into positive ones – the glass half full rather than half empty. I put my faith and trust in God. I know God provides. I let go and let the day flow.
Things started opening up for me! I got a call about a pet sitting job and two other calls from people who knew someone who needed a caregiver. I’m attracting more and more work to myself. I had made flyers advertising my companion services, but I only got a bunch of bogus requests. Nothing was coming to fruition. I didn’t get discouraged – I would listen to the birds, to a storm outside, just lie there and be at peace. I let things happen. I was surrendering and going on instinct. Music resonates with me, helps me to know that everything is going to be all right. I have this knowing now. When I try too hard, I block something. I relaxed and the calls started coming in.
I called back a friend of my sister who needed help with her ailing mother-in-law, and the situation is perfect! The woman is light, so even if I have to lift or move her occasionally, that shouldn’t be too hard for me, even with my bad hip. When I told the friend my rates, she insisted on paying me more! It’s almost double what I made with the last patient I attended. She said my services are worth it. I’m worth it. God is working through me, and I’m letting it happen. -- B.P.
A Reminder of How Far I’ve Come
It’s very odd – the synchronicity of it all – that I would be contacted to give a testimonial for this newsletter on the same day I found myself at a place where I had contemplated suicide over ten years ago. At that time I had been lying on the ground, looking up at a pine tree with dead branches all along the bottom. The tree seemed to sum up my life to that point, and I got really discouraged. Suddenly I realized that I was lying on a ledge, and I was tempted to throw myself over; I was so despondent. I heard my own voice say, “What would be the point of killing yourself – no one would care anyway. It would just be a waste of time.” So I didn’t do it. I had been engaged at the time, but I didn’t tell my fiancé. I knew he wasn’t someone I could talk to about this, which is probably why I didn’t stay with him. I needed help though. By chance I learned of a meeting led by recent graduates for people with bipolar disorder, and while that wasn’t my disorder, I did reach out and was treated with some anti-anxiety medication.
I found myself at the same spot, but this time I didn’t feel anything negative. I had the thought ‘Drama D---’ – that’s who I used to be. I am more integrated and connected now, calmer. It’s my reminder of the difference between being connected to or disconnected from Source. I’ve signed up to begin practitioner training, and seeing that tree again made me look at how far I’ve come. After all of the ups and downs in my life which included sexual abuse and violence – having seen and lived through them – I know the difference being connected to Spirit makes. CJL [CSL Delaware] helped me to find that connection.
I am sure that becoming a Science of Mind practitioner is a turning point in my life. It seems scary and I feel resistance, but something in me is telling me to do it. It is something I need to do for myself and for others. It’s the new ‘Drama-Free Donna!’ I have life; I have a body, and I even still have my wits about me! Practitioner training is very important to get me to the next level. -- D.S.
Free to Be Myself: It’s Never Too Late
The Self-Mastery class really taught me to dive in and learn more about myself. One of the things that came up was that I had had a fear of men as a child; it was so deep-rooted that it hadn’t even come out in the earlier Foundations class. Even though I had forgiven the men in my life, the fear was still with me, but now I have truly forgiven them and let it all go.
Before this I would be very quiet around the father figures in my life, wouldn’t share, especially with my grandfather. When men raised their voices I would be very afraid. Now I’m better able to accept people the way they are. Knowing about the God qualities helps me to move past any negative emotions. Now I am more open to talking to my stepfather and to other members of my family. I really truly feel so much freer. I never had many male friends before but now I do. The class greatly improved my self-esteem, and Science of Mind principles have really strengthened my faith.
I was in a basketball tournament last weekend for the state championship in Special Olympics. We’ve been practicing since January, and my confidence has grown a lot. For this tournament I was really able to step up for my team, as a defensive player and a leader. I blocked several shots that might have been points for the other team and stole the ball from my opponents several times. We won the final game in double overtime! I pumped and revved my team up – I told them I had a ribbon from last year but that I was getting a medal this year! Overall we came in third place for the state. My coach said we were the best team she had ever coached. It was wonderful. Several friends from CJL came to watch the first game. I dedicated it to L.E.’s son Isaac, and we won, and that felt really good.
In 2012 I accepted having a learning disability, and once I did, I was able to achieve greater things. I didn’t begin participating in the Special Olympics until I was 42, and it has absolutely changed my life. I had never been in any sports before and now I am having so much fun. -- E.P.
My God is So Good to Me
I am grateful that I found CJL [now CSL Delaware] when I did. The support my son Isaac received helped him to deal with his illness on a spiritual level and just overwhelmed him with love. He was so excited that Rev. Kathleen called him every day, and he was just tickled when Rev. Linda would have lunch with him and the ladies at the nursing home. He had diabetes and was waiting for a kidney transplant, but it was actually pneumonia that took his life. He was tired – the diabetes had ravished his body. Often, the skin of black people gets much darker during dialysis, as Isaac’s had. But after his transition, his skin color went back to normal. I’d never seen that happen before. It was a miracle for us to see him as we’d always known him.
The day before he died, his breathing was very labored. I asked God to heal him on this side, but I guess God needed him more on that side. I miss him, but I’m okay. I’m grateful for the 30 years I had with him, my first born. I find comfort in the knowledge I’ve gained from CJL [CSL Delaware], from my other reading. I know there is no death. Isaac is even closer to me now than he was in life; there is no longer a physical body to restrict him. I trust God - I know without a shadow of a doubt that God gave the final okay and told Isaac to come home.
Both of my parents died when I was 18 years old and a freshman in college. I questioned God about why they had to leave me that way. ‘Seek and ye shall find.’ I met my husband who brought a lot of the answers. He was interested in New Thought philosophy, and our life together was a matter of study and of knowing our place in the universe. We met when he called my dorm room looking for an African student who used to have that number. Somehow we got into a spiritual conversation, and he kept calling back! Eventually he came to meet me.
That’s God – I never could have worked that out by myself. My husband passed away in 2008, but we had a wonderful marriage and three beautiful children – I can’t complain. We’re good. We’re good. -- L.E.
The Center for Joyful Living [now Center for Spiritual Living Delaware] is my Spiritual Home!
New thought principles have been my mainstay and focus for many years. Revealing the Truth of me, to me, has been a wondrous and sometimes stressful process. This process is the peeling back of the onion, layer after layer, and I know that as long as I am here on Earth's plane, this process is an ongoing mystical journey. There always seems to be another layer to review and release. There is always more to discover, to uncover, to learn, to accomplish, and to express - that's what my life is - being open to continue to unfold and to give back to others from my acquired knowledge. And in turn I learn from others; everyone is a teacher and a guide!
My primary guide, however, is the Center for Joyful Living [now Center for Spiritual Living Delaware]. It is my Spiritual home! Here I feel totally and completely supported; I am encouraged, acknowledged and embraced. Affirmed by my spiritual family, I know that whatever I choose to be and whatever I choose to do are absolutely perfect and blessed. Through this caring, love, and strength, I embark on my new adventures with great joy! I know that through my experiences and constant willingness to expand into areas of the unknown, "out of my comfort level," I am able to grow in ways I never thought possible before. To stay on target and to manifest my intentions, I embrace meditation, journaling, affirmations, visioning, and spiritual mind treatments (affirmative prayer). They work! Because I have grown, I am more able to understand, give, and support others which is a great feeling.
Years ago I asked a guru what I could do when I was feeling down, and he responded, "Serve others.” It works. That's my intent. -- L.P.
Praying Away Insomnia
I have four children and six grandchildren to take care of as well as an elderly aunt. It gets pretty stressful, and I’ve suffered with insomnia for about two years. I had Candace and the practitioners praying to help me de-stress and sleep better. For my 35th wedding anniversary, my husband and I were taking a two-week trip to St. John’s in the Virgin Islands, and I really wanted to enjoy every minute of it. I did - I slept like a baby every night! It was amazing, so great, so relaxing. I was able to leave the stress behind. I focused on radical self care as Rev. Kathleen advised us a few weeks back, and it was a very healing two weeks.
N. P. told me about CJL [now CSL Delaware], and I went for the first time in August 2012. I haven’t stopped coming since! I went because I wanted to try meditation to quiet my mind, and I ended up finding my spiritual home. I love the fellowship and community; I’ve made incredible friendships. I remember one of the first times I ever went to service, Rev. Kathleen had each of us look at the person next to us and say, “You matter.” That was so powerful! I believe what Rev. Kathleen says, that we are ever-evolving. I take notes on all of her messages and buy the audio CD of the service to listen to during the week. I appreciate that she explains the ancient wisdom of Biblical passages in a way that has meaning for my life.
My mother used to say that those who volunteer are the pillars of the community. I am a member of the hospitality ministry and of the congregant care team at CJL [CSL Delaware]– it thrills me to think that I am a pillar in my spiritual community! -- A.O.
About two years ago I was working out at my gym. I was putting weights back on the rack when a man came up to me and asked threateningly, “Do you have a problem with me?” I hadn’t even noticed him until he approached me. “No, I really don’t,” I answered. “Then why are you looking at me that way?” I told him that I hadn’t realized I was looking at him that way and walked away from him. I was really disturbed by the incident; I’d been going to this gym for a long time and this man seemed to have some kind of issue with me, but I didn’t engage.
Recently I was at the gym lifting weights when I saw the same man come in again. I got a sick feeling in my stomach and thought, “Oh no, here we go,” and braced myself. The man walked up to me and said, “Do you like to watch tennis?” I was floored. Here I was expecting a confrontation and he asked me if I liked tennis! The man said he’d never seen me there before, so he introduced himself and we shook hands. I couldn’t believe it – two years ago this man was itching to take my head off and now he wanted to be friends!
I asked myself what had changed about me in the two years, what was different now. It had to be my spiritual practice! I must have been vibrating at a lower, more abrasive frequency back then, and now, with my attendance at CJL [now CSL Delaware], fellowship, and work in the courses, I was vibrating at a much higher frequency. I was attracting more positive experiences into my life, grounded in love rather than fear. I learned at CJL [now CSL Delaware] that I am a child of God (‘COG’ for short) - whole, perfect, and complete exactly as I am. It makes all the difference. -- E.W.
Giving Birth to a Dream
Before coming to the Center for Joyful Living [Center for Spiritual Living Delaware], my wife and I lived comfortably but in a constant state of anxiety. Money was tight and I was always in fear that I might lose my job. I wasn’t living in faith, wasn’t trusting the all-providing abundance of the Universe. Participation at CJL [now CSL Delaware] has led to changes in my consciousness and my behavior – now I rest in the knowledge that God is always present and has the best in mind for me if I am willing to see it.
During a visioning class with Rev. Kathleen, I was inspired to create a charter high school for students interested in STEM education (concentrating on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). We have been successfully fundraising to make the school a reality. Recently, we realized that the funds we had raised so far would not be enough for us to apply for charter authorization this year. We decided to delay the school for one year while we raised the money necessary to complete the process. It was very disappointing, but I knew that everything was unfolding perfectly and that I could relax in the assurance that this school would come to fruition. I started planning out the next steps for the upcoming year.
The next day I received a call from a company that was so interested in our project, they agreed to supply the remaining seed funds to get the charter school application in this year. With this, our application is moving forward! At times I feel nervous about the amount of work ahead, but I rest in the fact that this school is needed, that the Universe has preordained it, and that I am to give birth to it. I am the abundance and prosperity of God.
I use the tools of Religious Science often – meditation, spiritual mind treatments, affirmations, visioning, and tithing – to remind myself that I am one with the infinite resource. -- B.T.
Everybody’s Got a Thing
I’m so grateful for the miracles that have occurred in my life as a result of attending CJL[now CSL Delaware]. “Everybody’s got a thing” as Stevie Wonder says, some trouble to deal with. I am the mother of two sons, B. and D., and for the last two years in particular, my nineteen-year-old D. has really been challenged by drug abuse. It’s put so much chaos, such a dark cloud of ‘Italian drama’ in our lives. I was so fearful that I made myself sick. I wanted to fix his addiction, but I finally learned to accept the 3 C’s: I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it, and I can’t cure it. I prayed, reached out to the community at CJL [CSL Delaware], worked with the practitioners. I took the class ‘Radical Forgiveness’ which really helped. D.’s struggle isn’t over, but now he is in a recovery house, a halfway house, one which he chose to go to. He’s been there 2 ½ months now and is doing really well. I’m so grateful that he’s safe on his path to recovery. When I finally let go, I visualized myself wrapping him in a white warm blanket of love and giving him to God.
Because of this crisis, I was unable to continue working on my own business as a health coach. My son has had problems for the past four years or so; he’s been in five different rehab facilities which took a huge toll on our family financially. With D. entering this most recent rehab facility, I felt strong enough to work again and wanted a part-time job in a doctor’s office, counseling patients on healthy eating. I found my dream job! Seven years ago when I was getting started as a health coach, I heard that a local doctor used a holistic approach, so I went to see him about working in his office. He already had a dietician working on staff, but he suggested that I attend a specialized training on mind-body medicine that was being held in DC, which I did. Fast forward to a few months ago – I received a call from a healthcare company recruiting a health coach for a doctor’s office in Delaware. I went to the interview and it was the same doctor I had met years earlier! He remembered me, and I told him that I had attended the training he suggested. After we talked a bit, he hired me on the spot! Now I have over 50 clients and am working with a wonderful doctor who shares my belief in a holistic approach. I needed a miracle, and my perfect job arrived!
I can’t express enough how grateful I am for the support of CJL. As Stevie Wonder sings ‘Everybody’s got a thing,’ but faith and prayer can make all the difference. -- T.T.
A few weeks before I graduated from nursing school, my father was put into a nursing home. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to move back to Tennessee. I was starting a new career and could find a job there just as easily as I could here, while my nursing skills could really assist my mom who was living alone. My brothers in the area had been looking in on my parents; I thought I could help while developing a closer relationship with them. My nursing license was transferred without my having to retake the exam, and I found a New Thought center 20 minutes away. Everything seemed to be falling into place!
With an open, loving heart, I made my first trip to get things set up. I was shocked by the anger and resistance I met from my brothers. My older brother basically told me not to come, that they didn’t want me there. He accused me of wanting to get my mother’s house and money. My younger brother, a religious zealot, proclaimed me a sinner and condemned me to hell in front of my mother. He had found out that I’m gay, a confidence I hadn’t shared with him or my mother previously.
His attack led to a miracle moment with my mother. When he walked out, I waited for her to berate me for my lifestyle or chastise me for not telling her myself. Instead she said, “He doesn’t know how to act. When you love someone, it’s unconditional.” I never expected to hear that from her. We hadn’t always had the best relationship, but after our conversation that day, there was no longer anything between us. I know the love I feel for her radiates right into her heart and back to me.
My mother said, “I want you here, but they’re not going to allow it.” All of the arrows seemed to point to my moving home, but now I know that this is not the right time. I wouldn’t be able to function in a loving way to myself. The experience caused a lot of pain, but I had to make the decision to go there to get that relationship with my mom. It truly was a blessing. -- R.F.