Who I Am…

I adhere to a philosophy called Science of Mind.  For fifteen years I’ve studied, taught and tried to practice the principles of Science of Mind.  I say “try” because I have years of old recordings in my mind that need to be erased and unlike a computer program in which I can hit “select all” and then “delete’, I have to work with the recordings one-by-one as they surface in my conscious mind.

Science of Mind teaches that God, or Spirit, is All – everything was created by God and everything comes from God. It also teaches that God doesn’t judge or condemn; It only sees the good that It created.  (Yes, I said It, because Science of Mind teaches that God, as Spirit, has no gender.  At the same time, because It is personal to anyone who approaches, It is Mother/Father/God.  Both Comforter and Creator.)

What drew me to Science of Mind is that it is both a deeply spiritual philosophy and a practical spirituality.  If a follower wants, she can go deep into the heart of God, learning more and more of her unity with the Divine.  At the same time, it has principles that, when practiced, can lead to a happier, more full-filling life.

One of those principles is the Law of Attraction.  Is there anyone today who hasn’t heard of the Law of Attraction?  Simply put, you draw to yourself how you are.  Many advocates of the Law of Attraction make it as simple as “thoughts become things”, which is one part of the Law of Attraction.  Science of Mind does teach that thoughts become things, but it goes further.  The Law responds to our feelings, which are created by our thoughts.  Even further, our thoughts and our feelings created beliefs and it is the beliefs that actually create our lives.  This is where the erasing of the old records comes in.

Beliefs are the old records.  We start to have beliefs about how life is or should be when we are old enough to understand speech and body language, though we’re too young to know this.  When we’re very little, we learn how to behave by the expressions on our parents’ faces, by the tone of their voices.  At an early age we begin to understand that when mommie or daddy is upset, we need to be very good, if we want to be fed, or loved, even.  Beliefs are starting to form.

Overtime, beliefs learned at the early age become engrained.  We don’t even realize that any responses we have are because of our beliefs.  We live almost as automatons.

Some of us are fortunate; for some reason we begin to realize that life isn’t going the way we want.  We start to question.  Questioning leads to introspection.  Little by little we begin to understand that we’ve been living with beliefs that no longer serve us.  This is when the magic happens; this is the beginning of enlightenment!

Enlightenment isn’t something that boom!  happens one day.  You don’t wake up one morning and think, wow!  I’m enlightened.  It’s a process; little by little we let go old beliefs, about ourselves, about life, about God.  Out of the void a new belief grows.  One of my gurus says, “Meditation isn’t about what goes on when you’re meditating; it’s about who and how you are in the world.”  It’s the same with enlightenment; you don’t even realize that you’ve changed.  It becomes who you are, how you are.  You live and love and experience the world in a new way, a way that is softer, and yet stronger at the same time.  You know who you are.

Knowing who you are…that’s when you truly begin to live.  For me, it began with Science of Mind.

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Veer Right…or Maybe Left?

A few days ago I was driving up Highway 47 to Albuquerque. From my house it just makes sense to take 47 to I-25, even though the road takes me down curving roads and the drive is slow, especially in the summer, because of farm vehicles. Some say it’s faster to drive through Belen to I-25 (it isn’t, I’ve clocked it), but I prefer tree-lined 47 and it’s lush, green summer fields. In the fall the beautiful old trees blaze gold against a cerulean sky.

As I was driving I looked down at the compass on the car’s control panel. I was driving true north.

On a compass, as in life, True North isn’t always so clearly marked. Many times I’ve thought I was heading in the right direction only to discover I was off course, sometimes so much so I thought I had lost my way. But when I stopped and took my bearings I was able to find my way back. I’ve discovered that I enjoy getting off course, because I’ve gone places and had experiences I wouldn’t have if I traveled true north all the way.

Exploring country roads and strange cities on your way to your destination can be fun, if you’re not in a hurry or anxious about being lost. When my youngest daughter was still at home we often took road trips. Inevitably I’d find myself wandering through an unknown city. My daughter, anxious about being lost, always insisted we stop and ask for directions. I, equally insistent, said, “We’re not lost; just haven’t found our destination yet.” (Recently she gave me a t-shirt with the inscription, “All who wander are not lost.”)

I like exploring new cities and unexpected turns. However, when it comes to my life’s purpose – the big questions of “Why am I here?” and “What’s my purpose in life?” – I’m not as easily entertained by detours. I’ve always had an inner urge to “get on with my life,” feeling that life was passing me by.

However, I’ve discovered – this is my life! Whatever I’m doing in the moment, this is my life. If what I’m doing in that moment is something that I don’t enjoy, then I need to look at it, but at the same time, realize, this is my life. No matter what I’m doing, if I’m doing it with joy in my heart, then I’m living my purpose. True North can have many different facets, many twists and turns, but we will still arrive at our destination if we stay the course.

All my life, one thing has been a constant: I wanted to write. I lost sight of that desire in my younger years. I veered left when my inner compass said go straight. I listened to critics or my own inner critic who suggested I either didn’t have the talent or I’d ask myself, what would I write and who would read what I wrote?

Our True North is an internal voice that will always lead to our destination, if we listen to it only! How do we know if we’re listening to our own Inner Guide? By paying attention; there are clues, particularly in our bodies. There are many studies today that verify that the cells in our bodies have intelligence. Remember that old “gut feeling”? Turns out, it’s true, we can trust our gut feelings. In 1998, Dr. Michael Gershon, a neurological researcher at Columbia University in New York, studied the enteric nervous center. His, and other research, show that the network of neurons lining our guts is so extensive that some scientists call it our “second brain”. This brain, this mass of neural tissue filled with neurotransmitters, partly determines our mental states and plays an important part in some diseases.

Researchers are revealing the mind/body connection, how our minds affect our bodies. Our “gut feelings” are big indicators of whether we’re following true north. You know when you’re off course or have taken a wrong turn, when you’re trying to find a physical location. If you’re using a GPS, the programmed voice will immediately tell you. If you’re off course with your life, you’ll know if you pay attention to your gut or other areas of your body. That flu bug you caught? That may be your Inner Guide trying to tell you something. Do you have a new ache somewhere? Pay attention; your body may be trying to tell you that you need to change direction.

There are clues to True North in your body; listen, pay attention. True North is the only way to happiness and happiness is the bottom line for all of us.

What’s Your Passion?

Mark loves food, he loves to eat and he loves to cook. He also loves to grow what he cooks and eats. Mark’s dream was to live on a farm and grow everything he ate.

It was in his junior year, Swathmore College in Pennsylvania, that Mark’s love of food and cooking began to formulate as a desire to grow his own food, when his biology teacher took the class on weekend field trips to innovative local farms. During his senior year, Mark bicycled across the United States, working at farms along the way. After graduation he worked as an apprentice on farms around the world; Mark traveled from Venezuela to India to learn about farming.

Mark’s passion for good food led him to his life’s work. After traveling the world to learn about farming, he came home to run a Community Supported Agricultural (CSA) farm. It wasn’t long until he began to long for his own piece of land where he could farm. He started looking for land on which he could build. When he was looking for a farm to build his dream, he never wavered. His dream was to have a big piece of land on which he would grow not just vegetables, but also dairy cows and beef cattle, chickens for eggs and eating, pigs, and any other animal that would provide food. A big piece of land. Some might falter – this was a big dream – but not Mark. He expected to have the land and he expected to have the land for free. All his life, he said, good things had happened to him. He believes he has a magic circle around him that attracts good things. His belief in his magic circle worked; nine months after he began looking for his big piece of land, a man walked into his magic circle and offered him 500 acres of land in upper state New York, with a year’s free lease.

Now into its eighth season, Mark lives his passion – living and working on a farm that provides everything he needs to eat all year and enough for all the members who buy shares.

Mark’s magic circle is his intuition or inner guidance. Everyone has a magic circle, but not everyone has the courage or bravado to believe in it. Mark’s passion for good food led him to discover his purpose in life. An inner knowing kept him from deviating from that purpose. Though his fiancé (now his wife), friends and family might not have understood or shared his belief in his dream, he didn’t let that deter him. He had a dream and knew it would be realized. Today he and his wife and two daughters live on a farm that sustains them and many others. Mark lives his dream, his purpose.

There is no trick or secret to finding your purpose, your passion. All that is required is to listen. Have you been with a friend who never stopped talking? When you parted, you felt as thought you knew a lot about your friend, but you came away feeling letdown. The “conversation” was one-sided; your friend monopolized the conversation. You listened, she talked. That’s how most of us are. When we’re trying to find our way, we talk…”This is where I want to go; this is what I want to do; this is what I want…”. We’re so busy exclaiming what we want, we never stop to listen to what our hearts, our inner guidance, is trying to tell us. We need to listen, not just with our ears, but with our hearts.

How do you listen with your heart? Scientists now believe that the heart is a highly complex system with it’s own functional brain. Neurocardiology, a new science, shows that the heart is a sensory organ and a sophisticated center for receiving and processing information. In addition, information about a person’s emotional state is communicated throughout the body. Emotions change the rhythmic beating pattern of the heart. The Institute of HeartMath has discovered that the heart’s energetic field plays an important role in communicating physiological, psychological, and social information.

Neurocardiology gives ample support for listening to and trusting your heart. Pay attention to the rhythm of your heart. You know that your heat beat speeds up when you’re excited. It affects your entire body. When you think about, or are doing something you enjoy, how do you feel? When you think about how you will spend your day, how do you feel? Pay attention to your feelings and your heart beat. These will guide you to your passion. When you’re living your passion, you’re living your dreams. Living your purpose is living a passionate life.