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Don’t mind me if I preach for a minute..

I was in a yoga class once when a teacher said this:

Comparison is the thief of joy.

I have repeated this many times since then and I believe it to be true.  We really should not look among the branches for what should be in the root.  And the root is always LOVE. You are so unique and wonderfully different from everyone who was ever created.  God has blessed YOU with certain special gifts and a vision that, if you have the courage to pursue it, might satisfy your longing to be different.  Don’t spend time comparing your journey / process / experiences / progress to others.  This steals your joy and might even make you a downright miserable person to be around.

Don’t blame others for your misery. The journey goes down.  Root down in who you are and deepen in that. Learn to love everything about you and what you have to offer to the world. The more that you love you, the more that your capacity to love others grows. You are pure LOVE. That is the truth.

Abide in that.

The Truth

You are pure Love. That is your essential nature and it cannot be changed. Anything that you put out that is unlike love – maybe a fear based manipulation or an attack – is the ego. The ego is trying to protect you and it thinks you need to do these things in order to survive in the world. You don’t. This is learned behavior. Anything that you put out that is unlike Love makes the truth of who you are something that you need to learn to remember.

Last night as I was preparing for my Spirit Flow Yoga class, I decided to check the Revised Common Lectionary to consider the selected texts for this week.  The Gospel text was John 2:1-11, the story of Jesus turning water into wine:

Jesus was at a wedding with his mom.  His mom alerted him that the wine had run out.  He instructed servants to get six barrels and fill them to the brim with water.  By the time the servants returned to the wedding with the barrels, the water had become wine.

This story is interesting because most people know of it; even people who really don’t know much about Jesus seem to know that at some point her turned water into wine.  It’s also interesting because it doesn’t seem to have any noble purpose – no sick person is being healed.  Jesus is seemingly just keeping the party going.

I felt compelled, last night, to research this Scripture to better understand the point of it. What struck me as I was reading is that those barrels were said to have been able to hold between 30-40 gallons of water.  I never considered the size of the barrels.  I’d always envisioned a few carafes, to be honest.  But this was A LOT of water (six 30-40 gallon barrels) turned into A LOT of wine.  And the barrels were said to be filled to the brim.

What I said about it to my class this morning is that maybe this story has something to tell us about abundance.  God wants us to live abundantly.  And the thing about abundance is that its not always good.  Abundance doesn’t mean good, it means full.  We are supposed to have full lives; to learn and grow from every experience.

If things are wonderful for you right now, abide in that.  Don’t feel guilty about your happiness or do things to sabotage it because you’re used to something different.  If life is challenging in this season, let it all happen. Let yourself be done. Ask – what is this experience requiring from me?  What can I learn here? How can I grow?  If life is boring – find 100 things to be grateful for right now.  Take out a notebook and write them down.

We’re not meant to hide from any aspect of our lives.  We’re meant to live abundantly – God wants our barrels to be full.

 

Merry Christmas!

All month long and through the season of Advent, I’d been teaching about hope in my yoga classes. I talked about hope being powerful and fragile, how we need to model hope for future generations, and about finding joy in hoping.

On December 23rd I taught from the Gospel of Luke. I read a story about Mary going to visit her friend while she was in the early stages of her pregnancy with Jesus. Her friend, Elizabeth, was also pregnant and the child in Elizabeth’s womb lept inside of her when she encountered pregnant Mary. It was a joyous moment and in the exchange Elizabeth said:

“Blessed is she who believed in the fulfillment of what the Lord had spoken to her” (Luke 1:45)

In this season and always, believe that what the Lord has spoken to you will be fulfilled. And trust God’s timing, it’s perfect.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 15:13)

 

 

 

 

On Shifts and Miracles

“Who do I have to be in order for this problem to be transformed?”

This is the question that Marrianne Williamson says that we should be asking ourselves when we encounter our problems. We should look introspectively at our participation; ‘how did I participate in this?’ When we change the cause, we change the effect. The miracle happens when we make that shift that leads to a more positive outcome.

When I traveled in Sri Lanka a few years ago, I saw these ancient trees that had fallen over and re-rooted.  It reminded me of a time when I was housesitting at The Country House during Hurricane Irene.   There had been a great Mulberry tree on the front lawn that had up-rooted and fallen over during the storm.  I called the owners overseas to tell them and they were devastated.  The tree was pronounced dead. They grieved and had it removed from the lawn.

But these trees in Sri Lanka had fallen and not died.  Instead, they re-rooted from the new position that they were in.

Imagine if we could do that?

I spoke on this in my yoga teachings last week and my friend Kate Corallo said something profound  to me after class: ‘Those trees know how to fall and re-root because they have had to do it over and over throughout history.’

of course.

I suppose this applies to us as well.  Stop resisting. The more we allow ourselves to fall and re-root, the better we become at it.  What an interesting life that could be..

Let it all happen.

Sometimes you encounter a human being that touches your soul.  This is how I feel about Mike.  Mike was father of the bride at a wedding that I officiated yesterday in Binghamton NY.  He is also a recent widower and so had to complete the task of pulling off his daughters wedding alone.  He said that the wedding was one of the things on his list of things to complete before he joins his wife in eternal rest in 10-years.

It was a beautiful wedding.  On an apple orchard beneath a canopy of apple trees and everything flowed so wonderfully, not a detail was missed. Mike really did a good job.  He didn’t do it alone, he said.  “When your love dies somehow the two become one.”

Mike looked off into the distance a lot as if he were contemplating the greater meaning of things. His talk was never small.  He talked about big things like love.  “The philosophers got it all wrong,” he said.  “Here they were seeking for truth and none them mentioned love.”   “God is Love and so is the essence of the soul – pure love.  So we must have God in us.”

1 John 4:16 affirms this.  “For we know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.  God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.”

We don’t have to desperately search for love or be starved of it.  Its here.  We just need to relax into it and re-member.  Thank you very sweet, Mike.

Mike