Spiritual Leader's Message May 1, 2020

Dear Hearts,
How enjoyable I’ve found this time of sheltering in. When the mandate was first put into place, I imagined that I would have lots of free time. Interestingly, I find that I am busier than when I work at the church. Or so it seems. My work feels different, though. I spend more time writing. I let my mind drift to creative ways to keep us connected as a congregation and to keep us safe when we once again gather together. I work at a more relaxed pace and feel connected to the work in a different way. I take pauses and walk in my garden or sit and watch the birds. Sometimes I take a longer break and walk on the Lema Ranch breathing in the fresh air and feasting my senses on the wildflowers and ducks aimlessly swimming on a pond. When I return to my tasks, I do so refreshed and with renewed energy.
I find many gifts these days. This slower pace of life fits who I am. Living with slow intention is where I feel most nourished and supported in life. Yet during my adult years, I’ve worked in positions where timelines are important, accomplishing goals is important, and where I thought what I was doing was more important than self-care. My hope is that at this later stage in life with the mandated slowing down, I will truly integrate how good it feels to move at my natural pace. One of my daughters once said to me, “You are a Type B personality who tries to live like a Type A.” She was young at the time but spoke wisely. Now, when we have our daily conversations, she says, “See, see how it feels to be yourself?” More wisdom!
Somewhere along the line, I began to judge certain activities as creative and others not. Doesn’t our second Unity Principle say that we co-create our lives with God? And certainly on Sunday mornings I’ve often said that we create and recreate our lives in every moment and with every thought. In his book Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, Richard Bach wrote “We teach best what we most need to learn.” Occasionally I listen to one of my talks that has been recorded. Often my first thought is, "how did I know that?" The second, which comes immediately, is, "I really need to practice what I preach!" I know that when I give my talks God speaks through me. I rarely know what I’m saying. When I listen, I know that as I speak to you, God is speaking to me. Clearly Spirit reminds me that I’m always creating.
Sheltering-in has provided me time to express more of my creativity. I write. I play the piano. I create collages, and I’ve even written some poetry. I do more creative cooking than I’ve done in years. I garden. I daydream and look at clouds seeing pictures in the sky. I marvel at the richness of life. Another gift of slowing down is taking time to love myself more. I eat more slowly, take more time to prepare myself for the day, contemplate the Daily Word message with greater intention. I nurture myself by reading different kinds of books. I know that when I take time to love myself, I am more patient with and give more attention to others, enjoy my work more, recognize with my whole being how much I love life. I know with greater assurance than ever that God is good and is good all the time. I feel blessed beyond measure.
When you read the talk titles and descriptions for this month you may wonder if the focus of our church has changed, because all the talks are about Jesus. No, we are a metaphysical Christian church who chooses Jesus as our Way Shower. I use the wisdom of Jesus and others in the Sunday talks. Over the past several months, though, I have studied as much as we know about the historical Jesus, about the times in which Jesus lived, and how various Biblical scholars interpret Jesus’ life. I decided that I would like to share that with you. I am taking a leap of faith believing that you will enjoy learning just as I have. In his book Resurrecting Jesus, Adyashanti says, "In Jesus, the quality of divinity is obviously important, but the quality of humanity is important as well." It is my desire that by the end of this series of talks, you will know a more well-rounded Jesus and perhaps form a different relationship with him.
You can see that with more time to spend writing, this eNote is longer than usual! I will put boundaries on myself so that I respect your time. My great desire is to reach out to you and not to inundate you with too much. With that in mind, know that I love you and hold you in my heart and prayers. You are all very precious to me and enrich my life more than you could know. Take pleasure in using this sheltering-in time to recognize the creative being you are!
Rev. Carolyn