Archive for Theology

Just as a snake sheds its skin – Jack Kornfield

lena-sokol-water-snake

My words for meditation today:

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“Just as a snake sheds its skin, we must shed our past over and over again.”

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“The knowledge of the past stays with us. To let go is to release the images and emotions, the grudges and fears, the clingings and disappointments of the past that bind our spirit.”

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“When we let go of our battles and open our heart to things as they are, then we come to rest in the present moment. This is the beginning and the end of spiritual practice. Only in this moment can we discover that which is timeless. Only here can we find the love that we seek. Love in the past is simply memory, and love in the future is fantasy. Only in the reality of the present can we love, can we awaken, can we find peace and understanding and connection with ourselves and the world.”

– Jack Kornfield

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Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

– print by Lena Sokol

via Just as a snake sheds its skin – Jack Kornfield

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“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: …” – Paolo Coelho

I find it amazing how often the SAME things come back into our lives for us to work through!

My biggest obstacle has always been fear; and primarily fear of rejection (i.e. what others think of me) and fear of failure.  These past couple of years, however, I have overcome all of what I know to be my greatest fears and have thusly felt liberated and vindicated!  It kind of blew my mind a little to realize (while meditating yesterday) that sure enough I was allowing those SAME things to sabotage me yet again.  How did they manage to creep back into my brain so stealthily?!  I am grateful at least that I have gotten to a level where I can identify these harbingers of self-sabotage and work them out to a point of respite and resolution.  In this light, here are my words for meditation today:

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“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

– Paolo Coelho

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“Something did happen to me somewhere that robbed me of confidence and courage and left me with a fear of discovery and change and a positive dread of everything unknown that may occur.”

– Joseph Heller

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“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”

– John Lennon

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Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

Source: Harbingers of Self-Sabotage

Your Mind Is Complicit

My words to meditate upon today on how we truly are the authors of our own reality, whatever that reality may be. If that reality is shame, or fear, or even hatred … we each personally have authored that. We become our own worst torturers … don’t allow the actions of others to turn you into an abuser yourself. Don’t give them that power … instead be the author of love, compassion and forgiveness.

Shift … and you will find happiness.

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“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”

– Nelson Mandela

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“If someone succeeds in provoking you, realize that your mind is complicit in the provocation. Which is why it is essential that we not respond impulsively to impressions; take a moment before reacting, and you will find it easier to maintain control.”

– Epictetus

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“Without self-respect genuine happiness is scarcely possible. And the man who is ashamed of his work can hardly achieve self-respect.”

– Bertrand Russell

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Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

Source: Your Mind Is Complicit

Garden of You

20120704-192134.jpg

Always struggling,

manipulating,

brainstorming,

conniving.

Always the energy

sent into the ethos

after the goal in mind

from my point of view.

I acknowledge it now;

I let go my selfish yearnings.

I replant my best intentions

in the Garden of You.

In meditating on my prior post, “Reflections of your Being”, I was forced to acknowledge what the last line of that incredible quote says:

“… people are not ready to surrender that much. They want the other to surrender; then it never happens.”

Even when you have the BEST of intentions. Even when your love and giving feels pure; free of negative energy. Even when you sacrifice. Even then … the seed of self interest takes root. We want our love – our investment of time, energy and Soul – to be rewarded with the validation of being returned.

It’s natural … we really can’t help it! That is why it takes the very active mindset of constantly grounding ourself in God … pruning back those probing tendrils of selfish hope, and planting them back in the Divine.

Unconditional Love is neither easy or natural … it is the great adventure of open-hearted fragility … the indomitable strength of letting go, and trusting God with ALL things.

Going against one’s learned nature is difficult … don’t get discouraged … just open your heart, and God is there; it’s that simple … no penance required. You simply are THAT Loved.
——-
Picture credit: gardenwebs.net

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Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

Source: Garden of You

What Defines You?

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What exactly is it that defines you?  Is it your family, or your nationality?  Your career, or your dreams?  What is that one, specific thing that defines you as a person … completely?

This is what I found myself meditating on today (from my prior post, “Forget the Pose“).  Early on in my life, as I suppose would be the case for most people, it was my family.  When you are a child, what else is there that could possibly define you more than that?

When family was taken away from me, in my teenage years, I was adrift in the vacuous void of aimless depression … so I suppose that depression defined me.  In my twenties it became self-liberation and my dreams … going after the things I was passionate about, and letting nothing stand in my way.

Over time what I have chosen to define me has changed several times: a couple of times it became people I fell in love with, another time it became avoiding rejection at all costs, and at one point it was religion as well.

Here’s the thing though … ALL of those phases I described are exactly that … PHASES!  They don’t define me any more than a Magnolia flower defines the tree.  I made the decision to make them define me though … I wanted to be in control, because being OUT of control was way too scary a thing for me.

Now, I am at a new place … God defines me.  The old things keep clawing at my mind to find their way into control … but I don’t even have to fight them any more.  Once they get in?  They come face to face with a Loving and Living God within me who has lit my Soul on fire … nothing else can take up residence in that place any longer.

Of course, that takes a certain amount of work as well.  It’s not enough to just say that God defines you … you have to put in the work to make that reality.  For me that means spending at least an hour or two with God each day.  It was work for a while … now I find that I am loathe to leave God’s presence.  Today was like that … an hour went by, and I automatically thought, “Okay, time to get up and go about my day.”  Then I simply decided to just stay there … and spend some more time connecting with God … soaking in that Divine presence and Love.

So, yeah … there still are things that try to wrest control away … home life, love, the future and all the vagueness that entails.  My mind struggles to try and DEFINE something, so that I can be in control.  It’s like I needed all of those things, or people, to be there to take care of me in some way … so that I could be good enough … because it is clear that I obviously have been thinking that I am not good enough, or worthy enough.

God told me this today, “YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH.”

THAT is something to define me … that with God at the center of my being: I am good enough … all things are possible with Love ablaze in your heart.  I can let go … there is no need to fight, or cling, or push … just let go, and BE … whoever, and wherever, and whatever it is that God guides me to be.

~~~~~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

Source: What Defines You?

Changing Your Destiny

journey

Below are my words to meditate upon today … on being the author of your own reality. We each are creators, made in the image of the Creator, and we create our own reality every second of each day … we create our reality based on how we view, perceive, translate and understand the world around us. If you take on another person’s perspective … suddenly your reality is different.

I strive to make my lens for viewing life simple: always having an open heart that is connected to God and follows wherever that leads. Still, many times every day I fail … I sense my heart being closed and must open it up again. The mere fact that I am doing this however means that I am actively CHANGING my own reality and altering my perception of the world around me. I am authoring a new reality … and we all, each and every one of us, have this ability.

If you are unhappy, you can change that … if you are fearful, you can change it. It might take some work, but there is hope … never give up, go forth and create!

Peace and Love

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“What we call our destiny is truly our character and that character can be altered. The knowledge that we are responsible for our actions and attitudes does not need to be discouraging, because it also means that we are free to change this destiny. One is not in bondage to the past, which has shaped our feelings, to race, inheritance, background. All this can be altered if we have the courage to examine how it formed us. We can alter the chemistry provided we have the courage to dissect the elements.”

– Anaïs Nin

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“I can’t wake you up. You can wake you up. I can’t cure you. You can cure you.”

– John Lennon

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“God provides the wind, Man must raise the sail. ”

– Saint Augustine

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Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

Trust – a conundrum

trust-fall

Trust – belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, etc. (Merriam Webster).

It’s an enigma of a word that just sort of hangs there … looming in the nebulous future that is never very far away, but never seemingly arriving either.

People use the word a lot as some sort of comfort, like “You just need to trust (or have faith).” As if that is supposed to be comforting … somehow it actually makes things more uncomfortable.

I think the reason for this is that Trust seems sort of undefinable … what does it actually MEAN when you are supposed to trust?

Specifically … what does Trust mean when it pertains to God?

For me Trust seems uncomfortable because in my mind it has always had something to do with waiting … just sort of sitting around twiddling my thumbs while I “trust” the hell out of whatever it is.

I had a breakthrough around this yesterday in my time of meditation. Trust must come as a result of some sort of action. Sure you can sit in a room and say you are trusting that you will find the love of your life … but if you never actually leave the confines of that room it ain’t gonna happen.

So we can’t really say that we are actively trusting God unless we are out in action on the Path that we feel God has guided us to. There is fear and uncertainty along that path … and THAT is where the Trust comes into the picture, but if we never get on the path then we are just wishing on a pipe dream … not having faith or trusting.

Living in Trust or Faith is kind of scary … because you are putting yourself out into the unknown and trusting that God has a plan and reason for asking this of you … and usually this plan is completely unknown and only makes itself evident in hindsight.

There are times where we question the guidance that brought us here, times we feel like giving up and times when we are simply fed up and angry and want to end it all. THOSE are the times when Trust comes into play.

So here’s the good news … if you are feeling any of those feelings and yet you know you are where God wants you to be?

Congratulations! You are actively displaying the tremendous courage it takes to be living out of Trust.

God is good … and the time will come when you will look back in amazement to see how it has all come about.

Peace and Love.

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Image by Gabriel Cyrus

~~~~~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach