Tag Archives: Affirmative Prayer

I Love the Skin I’m In!

With creating my page on “gofundme.com” I feel like I’ve written a lot lately about my experience of dis-ease. So much so that I had to really take a look at this note a friend posted on Facebook (not sure who was being quoted):

“Never Own a Disease.
Reduce the amount of time that you talk about being ill.
Refuse to allow illness a place in your consciousness.”

I do not own this disease. I claim health and wholeness. Yet, I also know that it has been extremely important to honor the experience my body is having. It takes a lot of energy to resist something, and if I’m busy sending energy of resistance to the experience my body is having, then I’ve given it a place in my consciousness and the disease owns me.

It’s much like when I first owned the statement “I am an alcoholic.” I had to acknowledge that I was powerless over the disease, and in that surrender I opened the door for true healing to take place. It has been important to take the time to be fully in the consciousness out of which the illness was created so that I could let go and move from that consciousness into what I know to be True.

One of the most important tools I can use on this journey is affirmative prayer. We condition our consciousness through what we focus on with our thoughts and feelings—and if we are focusing on illness we are conditioning our consciousness to express illness. In order to change the experience we must change the conditioning. Let me give you one simple example. On this journey I have now released over 80 lbs, and in doing my due diligence to be aware of what I was holding in consciousness, I realized that I was freaking out about the extra folds of skin. This focus was getting in the way of me releasing further weight. During a conversation with Lovey Jane Van Benthusen about this she suggested loving my skin. I followed her recommendation to purchase a natural brush, which she suggested I use to brush my skin several times a day. What a wonderful new focus. Haven’t made it to several times a day—however this has been one of the most transforming experiences I’ve ever taken on.

keep-calm-and-love-your-skin-5I started off with the simple denial and affirmation while I was in the shower. As I brushed off my skin (denial/release) I affirmed “I love the skin I’m in.” Fairly quickly this became a song that has become my mantra, conditioning my consciousness to truly rejoice in the gift of this physical body. Did you know that the skin is the largest single organ in the body? I had learned that at some point—however I didn’t realize the impact that truly, consciously, joyfully loving the skin I’m in would bring. Try it sometime…you won’t be disappointed.

Within a week of living with this song running through my life “I love the skin, the skin I’m in…I love the skin I’m in” people were stopping to tell me that whatever I was doing it was making a positive difference. This has become about more than loving the outer covering of this physical body. It has become about loving being IN this skin and affirming that right here and right now I am an expression of health and wholeness, whole and complete in every way.

Does that mean I don’t still have to deal with the symptoms of dis-ease that are moving through this physical, mental and spiritual body? No. It does, however, give me a whole new perspective and tools to deal with whatever I may experience—to transform any dis-ease I may be experiencing. This morning at the gym I was half way through my cardio and felt the resistance. I wanted to stop. I began to sing “I love the skin, the skin I’m in…I love the skin I’m in.” Next thing I knew I had surpassed my goal and felt great, too!!

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Life of Pi

As with most people this time of year, I’m finding myself reminiscing on what a year this has been…and realizing once again the creative power of the stories we carry with us. This has been a year focused on healing and resetting a foundationlife_of_pi_20121210 of health and wholeness in every area of my life. An important part of my healing journey has been to go even deeper in understanding what my story is…what have I been carrying with me (consciously and unconsciously)? We each have a deep desire to be the hero of our own story—yet I began the year with part of me feeling more like the villain who was bent on sabotaging my unfolding life story.

If you’ve read previous posts in this blog, you know that I began the year with an overwhelming amount of medical bills and a medical diagnosis from Mayo Clinic of Erdheim Chester Disease—and the story the world tells about that disease is that it is a very rare disorder whose difficulty to diagnosis makes it so that the life expectancy of those diagnosed is limited. That isn’t my story. I just returned from another week at Mayo Clinic and all signs point to a long and healthy journey ahead.

I began this blog as a venue to share my process on this journey of transforming my life—calling for my own Myrtle Fillmore experience. After all, I am an ordained Unity Minister and this amazing movement began when Myrtle so wonderfully demonstrated the healing power of affirmative prayer (http://www.unity.org/resources/articles/words-myrtle-fillmore).  I haven’t been posting here as much as I expected in the beginning, as I haven’t been ready to share…hopefully you’ll be hearing from me more often.

In my previous life experiences as an event coordinator and marketing director, I was very aware of the powerful impact stories have at so many levels of marketing. As a Licensed Unity Teacher and Religious Studies major in college, I have been fascinated by the power of our collective myth-making and storytelling. As a Manager, I’ve understood Appreciative Inquiry as an affirmative means for building upon the power of storytelling. Throughout my life I’ve been passionate about telling story through creative and performing arts. In ministry I’ve understood that our sacred stories are the foundation upon which lives are built (and destroyed).

“The world isn’t just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no? And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no? Doesn’t that make life a story?”   ― Yann Martel, Life of Pi

Today I’m fascinated by the concept of storytelling as the act of living life—and realizing how unconscious most of us are about the story we embody. True joy in life comes from being more conscious of choosing our story.

On Thanksgiving I enjoyed the gift of going to see the movie “Life of Pi” in 3D with family. I found it to be an extraordinary storytelling experience—one that touched my heart on many levels. I’ve intended to go back to experience it again, though I think I’d like to read the book first. Not sure if it will happen in that order…we’ll see how the story unfolds.

Throughout the entire movie I kept hearing one of my professors in seminary, Rev. Dr. Thomas Shepherd, saying over and over “there are no tiger gods where there are no tigers.” Humans have always created our understanding of God out of our own experiences. It’s what we do as the meaning making machines we are. We have a myriad of understandings we call God—yet God is One—and we are each an expression of that Oneness (not the totality).  Our experience of the world informs how we perceive Life—thereby informing our story about God. This is not new information, yet I absolutely loved the metaphysical experience of this throughout the movie.

Let’s talk about a few things in the movie—starting with the lead character. He is named after a swimming pool in Paris. We could have quite a conversation about the metaphysics of water prevalent in this movie—though right now I’m more interested in the name he chose for himself and what it says about our ability to change our lives—to change the story unfolding in the world around us. His classmates do as children do—they created a very unpleasant nickname for him. His name is Piscine Molitor Patel— and they begin to call him “Pissing Patel.” He doesn’t accept it and chooses a new nickname for himself. It’s a powerful choice that speaks volumes. He also claims his new name with the same affirmative power that Myrtle Fillmore claimed her new awareness—“I am a child of God, and therefore I do not inherit sickness.”

He boldly claims the name “Pi” for himself—even while being ridiculed and mocked—he knows his Truth and claims it. He embodies his new story. Proving the existence of pi is something that has fascinated mathematicians and philosophers for several millennia. Mathematically it is defined as the ratio between the circumference and the diameter of a circle. Pi is referred to as a transcendental number—a number with infinite non-repetitive digits to the right of the decimal point—and no matter the size of the circle the number will never change. There is no experience too large or too small for the new story he has chosen for himself.  He is also staking his claim as an expression of the Infinite One.

This is a foundational understanding that allows Pi to see God in places that others question—though it is interesting that his family is fine when Pi’s experience of God is informed through religious teachings and not so fine when they feel it is uninformed about the world at large. I appreciated Pi’s vision—his ability to take it all in and make it his own. He told his own story, and let others choose to find God in his story…or not. It was their choice, their life, their story.

The transformative power of story embodied by Pi is infused in the affirmative prayer taught by Unity (and demonstrated by Myrtle). When I was first introduced to affirmative prayer I experienced a great resistance to incorporating it in my life—somewhat like the children who made fun of Pi’s name.  Affirmative Prayer requires we walk in the footsteps that Pi walked in. That we claim and embody our Infinite Oneness. This transcendental Truth is the center of our Beingness. The author interviewing Pi in the movie claims that he was told Pi’s story would show him God. Many have understood him to be referring to the bengal tiger.  Richard Parker (the tiger) is not the totally of God. He represents the collective story we have told about God and Pi’s struggle with that collective story in coming to live his own Truth.

The moment when Richard Parker stepped on dry land and walked away without looking back was heartbreaking on the surface—and very beautiful. When we are no longer invested in the story as others have told it we can truly embrace our story. Live our own lives. Claim who we are here to be. We can truly live as the expression of the Infinite desiring to express through and as us. Richard Parker did not disappear from Pi’s life, he entered into Pi’s heart.

As we mature spiritually we integrate our stories, we did deep into our being and embrace the struggle to embody the understanding that all things are working together for our highest good. Does that make my disease good? No. It does mean that the Infinite Oneness that I call God is expressing through and as me in the midst of this experience. I have a valuable opportunity to embrace this Truth and go forth joyfully into this New Year with an open heart. I know that the power of Divine Faith is guiding me every step of the way.

God bless and Happy New Year!