This is Week 3 of our series called Love in Action in which we have been exploring what it is to have a consciousness of abundance and prosperity. Two weeks ago we began with the commitment to bring ourselves to life in a greater way – because how we bring ourselves to life helps determine what we receive from life. My challenge to us all was, for this 7 weeks, to give more of our time, talent and treasure: time means hours set aside to nurture our spiritual growth; talent is how we serve others with our unique gifts; treasure is sharing our financial resources with those who nourish us spiritually. The challenge was to intentionally move beyond our comfort zones in order to feel more deeply that our presence on this planet makes a difference
Last week we talked about having a new vision for our lives – moving past the small and limited picture we hold of what's possible for us and embracing a greater possibility. We explored the different areas of our lives: our health, wealth, relationships, work and spiritual growth. Through a visioning meditation, we turned inward to find our personal vision of a fully abundant life. The challenge was to repeat this practice often until our vision becomes so vivid that we can feel its call to a greater life.
Today we're going to talk about what stands in the way of that vision and how to move beyond it. Our tendency is to think that our mental and emotional blocks are the truth about us … when actually our vision is what's real. Our vision is our soul inviting us to reach higher. It comes from the Infinite Intelligence within us calling us to live a more expansive life. It is the intuitive awareness of who we were meant to be and the life we were meant to live. We cannot force our vision into manifestation … that’s not our job. Our job is to get out of our own way.
So … what does stand in the way of our vision? Well … limiting beliefs, of course … false beliefs … about who we are and what we deserve out of life. Beliefs about what the world is like … about what other people are like … about what is possible for "regular" people like us.
In New Thought, we understand, at least intellectually, the power of our beliefs. We know that we co-create our life experience out of our belief system. We all have an unconscious set of concepts that comprises our view of life. Our beliefs shape our thoughts and our thoughts shape our feelings. Then our thoughts and feelings shape what we talk about and how we act. Day after day … conversation by conversation … choice by choice … action by action … we manifest more evidence that our beliefs are the truth.
While most of us would say we understand this, few of us really own it. We don't really own that our perspective on and experience of life … is not the truth … but rather the product of our belief system. I suspect that the main reasons we have trouble owning it is that we don't know what to do about it. Well, here’s a way to start: When a challenging situation arises, NOTICE what you’re thinking about it … what you’re making it mean … how you’re interpreting it. Then QUESTION that interpretation. In other words, DON’T AUTOMATICALLY BELIEVE THAT EVERYTHING YOU THINK IS TRUE.
My personal action plan years ago was to get a therapist to help me dig down deep into my subconscious mind … uproot my unhealthy beliefs … look them squarely in the eye and change them. Logical right? If the lack and limitation in my life was the product of false beliefs, I should just uncover them and change them. Then my life would be a success. I worked diligently at this for a long while … until I realized that the supply of false beliefs in my subconscious mind was pretty much endless … and so much a part of the fabric of my being … that changing them was going to take more than this lifetime … not to mention most of my money.
I learned a lot from all this personal work, but since then I've realized that there’s a more direct way to know what my belief structure is, and that's to look honestly at what's showing up. Because the bottom line is that the quality of my life is a direct reflection of what I believe -- no getting around it. I have also come to realize that, while owning my false beliefs is hugely important, it does not automatically lead to releasing them. Eventually I understood that healing would require something more than good psychology … it was going to take a spiritual awakening. Over the years since, Unity principles have guided me along the path to this awakening … many awakenings in fact. Unity principles offer something much more powerful than beliefs … and that something is Truth.
Not truth in the sense of another dogma to swallow whole. But Truth with a capital "T". Truth that is universal and unchanging. Truth that our founder Charles Fillmore called the "golden thread” running through all the world's great religions. Truth that lands in my soul and satisfies some deep longing. Truth that the heart immediately recognizes … something it has always known. Today I KNOW with every fiber of my being that Truth is the most powerful thing on earth, and that the awareness and integration of Truth is the most important work any human being can undertake. Because ONLY Truth has the power to set us free from our false beliefs … and therefore from fear, lack, and limitation.
Dr. Ernest Holmes, founder of The Church of Religious Science, said: Truth KNOWN instantly demonstrates. What he meant was that once our understanding of Truth moves from our intellect into our hearts … where we not only know it but KNOW that we know it – our lives automatically change. Greater Truth, once integrated in this way, automatically overrides more limited viewpoints, expands conscious-ness and brings about a greater experience of living.
So it is not necessary to unearth every one of our false beliefs. Instead, when we see evidence that one of them has taken charge, we can simply turn toward Truth. In Unity we know that what we place our attention on grows. So, instead of focusing our time and energy on what is false … we focus our attention on what is True, and allow Truth itself to free us from our stuck places.
David Owen Ritz, in his program Keys to the Kingdom identified 7 Spiritual Truths of Abundance. These are not new ideas … they are ancient. As you hear them this morning, listen with your heart … see if they resonate within you … for this is the litmus test of Truth.
Know this … if and when your soul resonates with these principles … you will not be the same. Because they will not let you go. Truth has enormous and compelling power. A return to your old way of thinking and acting, will set off a major inner conflict. To some extent, this upheaval is inevitable as our false beliefs are confronted with greater truth. Just take heart … seek support if you need it. This is part of the transformation process.
Don't worry about remembering these 7 principles … you will find them on an insert in your bulletin. So let's get started:
Truth Number 1: GOD IS THE ONE AND ONLY SOURCE OF OUR GOOD. God is the Infinite Whole … the creator and the creation … the essence of everything … the substance of everything.
Now, this is a very challenging thing to integrate because material prosperity does not appear to be connected to God. It appears that our good depends upon people and/or circumstances, right? And it appears that we often have little influence over these people or circumstances. It seems like life just sort of happens TO us … like what happens is completely separate from our thinking. It's not apparent that life happens THROUGH us -- that our consciousness … the combination of our thoughts and feelings about life … is a magnet drawing to us whatever is in sync with these thoughts and feelings. The great illusion of material life is that everything is separate from everything else. But the Truth is that everything is inter-connected.
When we look at the flow of abundance through our lives, we see many channels. We get money from our job, investments, pension, business, partner's income … and other things. And we think that these things are the source of our money. But this is not True. God is the Source. Our job, partner, investment … these are just the channels through which God's good flows into our lives.
To live this Truth is to teach ourselves to continually look to and depend upon God for our good. Now this does not mean we should do nothing but sit and wait for our good to show up. But, if we continue to look to our jobs, partners or investments as our source, we are saying to the Universe … this is the only way I can accept my good. When we KNOW in our hearts that God is the One and only Source of Unlimited Supply, we are able to trust that if one channel dries up, another will open up. This faith keeps our eyes and hearts open so that we can see the new path when it opens before us.
Truth Number 2: ABUNDANCE IS A HERE AND NOW REALITY. It's not someplace other than right here … it's not something that will come in some far distant future. It is HERE and NOW. We are, at this very moment in this very place, immersed in lavish abundance. Can you look around this room and feel that?
Walk on the beach at night some time and look up at the sky. There is an infinity of stars up there … walk on the beach in daylight and look out into the ocean … count the grains of sand. Do you question the infinite abundance? Everywhere we look … from this room to the beach … to the mountains … to our own back yards, there is an abundance of God-life going on … in endless variations. We need to KNOW that, like everything else in nature, you and I are being continuously fed by God's infinite stream of abundance.
We often don't realize this. We overlook the abundance in which we already live because with confuse Truth with facts. The fact might be, "I'm broke right now … I look in my wallet and it's empty." But being broke is a temporary condition so it cannot be the Truth. Facts change … Truth does not. When we accept temporary facts as Truth, we separate ourselves from the Greater Reality in which the possibilities are endless.
Here's an analogy that makes it easier to understand the relationship between the fact of lack and the Truth of abundance. It is very similar to the relationship between light and dark. Light is an eternal reality. This Universe is flooded with light. Yet, we can experience darkness can't we? If we turned out the lights in this room, put blinds on the windows and closed the doors, we'd be in total darkness. We'd be sitting in darkness in a Universe full of light. We'd be sitting here saying, well, the Universe can't be full of light because it’s dark in here. Well, that darkness is a temporary, local condition that has been created by our shutting out the greater reality of light. Correct?
Light is real. We can talk about light in terms of waves and photons, and measure the speed of light, and turn on a light bulb at night and dispel the darkness. But can we measure the speed of darkness? Can we turn on a darkness bulb in the daytime and dispel the light? No. Because darkness is of itself nothing. It is only the absence of light. And so it is with lack and abundance. The eternal reality of God's creative abundance is all around us. Yet, we can experience a life of lack by confusing the temporary and the permanent - or facts with Truth.
To live this Truth is to affirm the presence of abundance even in the face of appearances to the contrary. The wallet being empty does not mean that the flow of abundance has dried up. It may mean that some false belief is temporarily blocking the flow. To override the block, we look beyond the temporary condition and focus on the Truth that ABUNDANCE IS A HERE AND NOW REALITY.
Truth Number 3: ABUNDANCE IS INEXHAUSTIBLE. One of the most pernicious of all false beliefs is that there is only so much good to go around. Well, this is not true at all. Creation is an ONGOING activity. Just look around … renewal is always happening. A flower seed germinates, grows, blooms, goes to seed and then dies. These seeds germinate, grow, bloom, go to seed and die. One person dies … another person is born. Everything in the Universe is caught up in the ceaseless activity of Spirit's creative process. Everything is continually moving from the invisible realm of life (Possibility) to the visible realm of life (Material Expression). Then moving back again. This is the continual, limitless dance of Spirit.
We think we'll have abundance by grabbing on to temporary forms and holding tight to them. But this is a false belief. Unlimited abundance is the result of knowing … with absolute confidence … that we are standing in the flow of Spirit. Abundance is inexhaustible because Spirit is always expressing Itself in greater and greater ways. Whatever we spend … give away … lose, there will be something more coming right behind it. Contrary to all the fear-mongering we hear today, our supply cannot run out because we live in the flow of Spirit.
To live this Truth is to rejoice in the flow of good in our lives. It is practicing non-attachment to temporary conditions and generously sharing our abundance. Whatever we give away … in faith and trust … with a joyous heart … will return to us somehow, somewhere, some time – this is the Law of Circulation.
Truth Number 4: GOD IS MEETING OUR EVERY NEED AT EVERY MOMENT ACCORDING TO OUR OWN ACCEPTANCE. So … here’s the thing … if we are walking around with unmet needs, it is not because there is a lack of supply; it is because, for some reason, we are unable to accept our good.
Contrary to popular belief, our level of acceptance is not determined by our psychological state or level of self-esteem. It is determined by two things: WHAT we give to life and HOW we give it. The WHAT is our time, talent, financial resources, energy, love, attention … all the good that we can bring to life. The HOW is the attitude … the energy … the intention out of which we give these things.
For example, think about the tasks or work you do each day. It's not enough to give time and energy to the work. We've got to give it with creativity, joy and a generous spirit. These are the attitudes and energies that deserve AND draw rich compensation. It's not just the things we do … it's the spirit from which we do them that draws abundance to us.
To LIVE this Truth is to GIVE ourselves fully to life … without looking around for the payoff. Live and give in every way you can with joy, generosity and abandon. Relax and let go. The Universe will faithfully fill the space we create by our giving and see to it that our needs are met.
Truth Number 5: EVERYONE DESERVES ABUNDANCE. Looking around the world today, it’s obvious that most people do NOT believe in the reality of unlimited abundance and do NOT believe that everyone is equally deserving of abundance. If we did, this world would be transformed. We would create whole new systems and ways of manifesting that belief. What we have is an abundance of scarcity thinking and distribution systems that favor one group of people over another. And so … the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
As our collective consciousness evolves, we will develop more equitable systems, but you and I don't have to wait for the world to awaken. We can change our lives now by knowing that we deserve unlimited abundance and claiming it.
Maybe we can't bring everyone we know into a consciousness of abundance. But every time one of us rises to this level of conscious-ness and the heartfelt understanding that everyone deserves abundance, we create a little less of the problem and little more of the solution on this planet. We can know that abundance generated out of spiritual understanding and a pure heart, cannot possibly subtract from the good available to others. And we can know that our prosperity helps to raise the prosperity consciousness of the world.
To live this Truth, we is to love ourselves unconditionally. This may require some self-forgiveness work in order to change the negative opinions we hold about ourselves and let go of regret over our past behavior. We'll talk about this in more depth later in the series. But for now, we can remind ourselves by affirming on a regular basis that, by virtue of the fact that we are made of God, we are deserving of all good things. Everyone is.
Truth Number 6: OUR VISION IS THE INNER AWARENESS OF OUR NATURALLY ABUNDANT SELF. You know that vision we started building last week … well, we're not making that up. It's the part of us that has not been discouraged, disillusioned and made cynical by our false beliefs. Perhaps we've kept it a secret from ourselves to protect our hearts. Our vision is a tender, sweet part of ourselves that our souls want to keep untainted by the world, our negative past and our lack thinking.
Our ego wants to tell us that our vision is "pie in the sky" … unrealistic … imaginative storytelling … but the truth is that our vision comes out of the truest part of us. It is our soul's invitation to the greatness that is our potential and our inheritance. Our vision comes out of our instinctive understanding that because we are made of God, anything is possible for us. And here's the most fabulous thing … the vision we see today is only our next step. As we move into that vision, a greater vision opens itself to us. Because, as our ability to accept the Truth grows, our vision expands. We only need to accept what our imagination can see now … and step into it. Then a new vision will come … we'll step into it … over and over again … until we KNOW without doubt how truly great we are.
Living this truth is being willing to risk personal greatness. It is being confident enough to step out and let others see who we are. It is being WILLING to risk prosperity and abundance. I’d love to talk more about this over lunch today. What is the RISK of prosperity and abundance?
I recently heard Mike Bloomberg say, when he was really frustrated by continuous attacks on him for being rich, I refuse to apologize for being successful. Right on! But haven't we all seen or even felt this negativity toward abundance. So, I want to ask you this morning … are you willing to risk being prosperous and having an abundant life? If so, give me an AMEN! Well, that was a little weak … let's try again. Are you willing to risk being prosperous and having an abundant life? Thank you!
And finally, Truth number 7: OUR INNER GUIDANCE WILL LEAD US TOWARD THE FULFILLMENT OF OUR VISION. Now remember, our vision is not really ours in the sense that we did not create it. It was planted in us by the Creator. It is our Higher Self, our Christ consciousness saying, this is what I'm really all about. This is what I was meant to be. Your Higher Self knows what it's doing.
To live this Truth, is to be willing to follow our inner guidance. It will show us how to manifest abundance. It will tell us what to do next. Now inner guidance is not usually a voice per se. It is found in the fabric of our lives … in the synchronicities … in the people and situations that cross our path. It is our intuition … our gut feelings. Pay attention to these things. Our vision carries with it an intelligence that knows what to do. It carries an energy that draws guideposts into our lives. These are not accidents … we're supposed to listen, to hear, to let go of argument and follow. Other people are not experts on what is right for us. Our Higher Self is.
So, these are the 7 spiritual laws of abundance. Would you take out the blue card from your bulletin please? Let’s close by reading each of the laws and the affirmations together. Ready?
1: GOD IS THE ONE AND ONLY SOURCE OF OUR GOOD.
Affirm: God is the one and only Source of my good.
2: ABUNDANCE IS A HERE AND NOW REALITY.
Affirm: Abundance is right here, right now.
3: ABUNDANCE IS INEXHAUSTIBLE.
Affirm: Abundance is inexhaustible.
4: GOD IS MEETING OUR EVERY NEED AT EVERY MOMENT ACCORDING TO OUR OWN ACCEPTANCE.
Affirm: God is meeting my every need at every moment according
to my own acceptance.
5: EVERYONE DESERVES ABUNDANCE.
Affirm: I deserve abundance. Everyone does.
6: OUR VISION IS THE INNER AWARENESS OF OUR NATURALLY
Affirm: I am naturally abundant.
7: OUR INNER GUIDANCE WILL LEAD US TOWARD THE FULFILL-
MENT OF OUR VISION.
Affirm: I trust my inner guidance to lead me toward the fulfillment of
my vision for a totally abundant life.
Be A Blessing
Allowing our minds to relax and turning our attention within, we reflect on the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 6, Verse 38:
Give and it shall come back to you - a good measure - pressed down, shaken together and running over. For the measure that you give shall be the measure you get back.
No need to be concerned with how much love we have to give – the flow is limitless. We are instruments playing in total harmony with the Source of all that is. We simply allow Spirit to act in and through and as us. Our prayer is only to be a blessing for all who come in contact with us. We let go of all other concerns.
And so, as we enter a time of silence, let us allow the mantra: It GIVES ME GREAT JOY TO BE A BLESSING. In the Silence.
I leave this place today knowing that I am an expression of God’s infinite love. In this awareness I stand in the flow of Goodness – a conduit through which the Holy Spirit pours itself out into the world. What greater purpose could there ever be! What greater joy! Thank you God. Thank you God. Thank you God. AMEN