Category Archives: Conscious Evolution

N.O.W. I See

N.O.W. I see. Do you wonder what it is that I see? Or do you wonder what is different NOW that allows me to see what I could not see before? What I see is the omnipresence of God, the face of God in loved ones, neighbors, strangers, and yes, even in those whose actions I find disheartening. In the NOW I find the place between past and future, where time does not exist, and where Nothing Obstructs Wholeness

NothingObstructsWholeness

This past week has presented us with a kaleidoscope of images and feelings. The decline of new cases of COVID-19 and the conclusion of many Stay-Home orders has been juxtaposed with curfews, violence, looting, and military force all across the United States. And at the center of it all another black man, George Floyd, murdered by hatred and racism. When the world presents us with such disturbing physical images, it is easy to lose sight of the omnipresence of God.

Omnipresence, however, means everywhere present; God is present everywhere, all of the time. It cannot be otherwise. But there can be a disturbance that produces the illusion that God is not present. Yet we can create a window through the disturbance when we choose to see from the place where Nothing Obstructs Wholeness.

see-no-evil-editedA Buddhist teaching depicted by three monks, one with hands over the eyes, one with hands over the ears, and one with hands over the mouth tells us to “See no evil. Hear no Evil. Speak no Evil.” This does not mean to pretend what our physical eyes behold is not there. It means to see above & beyond the disturbance to the omnipresence of God. It means to hear the voice of Spirit more clearly than the words of anger or hatred or their source, which is always fear. It means to speak only Truth, that which Spirit whispers in your ear.

To See No Evil is to See Only Truth
A few years ago, I discovered a company that makes special corrective lenses for people with color blindness. People who are color blind see the world in muted colors with a spectrum as much as 90% less than those who are not color blind. Imagine witnessing the brilliance and beauty of color for the very first time. It would no doubt be an exciting and perhaps an emotional moment.
Perhaps that’s the kind of excitement that occurred for the man born blind that Jesus healed. Jesus heals from the N.O.W. He discounts the idea that the man’s blindness is caused by the sins of his parents, or anything in the past. He says, instead, that the man is blind so that he might make God visible!

Jesus asks the man to make a choice. He says, “Do you want to be healed?” It’s your choice. You can keep being blind, or you can choose to see. Of course, the man says. “Yes. I want to see.” Then Jesus spits on the ground, makes a poultice of mud and rubs it on the man’s eyes.
Then, Jesus tells the man to wash the mud (earthly illusion) from his eyes. The man removes the mud as directed, and suddenly, he can see. He then tells everyone he meets how listening to Jesus (the Christ Mind) has caused him to see.

It is vital to our individual and collective well-being that we choose to see the Truth. And, we must listen to the inspiration of the indwelling Christ Mind and wash the illusion of separation from our eyes, for it is not enough to See Only Truth. We must also Hear Only Truth.

To Hear No Evil is to Hear Only Truth
We hear the Truth most clearly when we quiet the inner chatter through meditation and by paying attention to the many ways that Spirit speaks to us. You may hear it as a quiet voice somewhere within you. Or you may recognize it in a song that pops into your mind. Or perhaps a billboard message will speak to you. However it shows up, you will know the message is from Spirit because it will be grounded in Love. And it will inspire you to speak the Truth.

Speak No Evil is to Speak Only Truth
The words we speak affect what we create and what we experience. It’s easy to get caught up in the illusion of separation and use our words in ways that further divide us. But be mindful that your words carry great power. Will you use your words to create a greater disturbance? Or will you use them to create windows in which the face of God can be seen? Speak Only Truth and then step into that Truth with inspired action. In other words, Do No Evil.

To Do No Evil is to Act Only from Truth
Some people suggest there ought to be a fourth monk depicting Do No Evil. To Act Only from Truth is to let every action be inspired by the Christ Mind. The blind man would not have been healed if he had not taken the action inspired by the Christ to wash the mud from his eyes. Imagine a world in which everyone acted only from the Truth that we are all one with God and with one another.

Our world is in the process of a spiritual evolution. But humanity cannot evolve without shedding what no longer fits the vision of wholeness written on our hearts. That we see hatred, anger, and violence is not surprising – they are there. But are they there because we’ve failed? Are they there because of something done long ago? Or, are they showing up because it is time to bring them into the Light and wash them away? Are they coming up to present us with an opportunity to make God more visible, to take inspired action toward our collective spiritual evolution?

The question is not, “Is there hatred and racism in the world?” The question is, what will you do with them? Will you Let them lord over you? Cause you to be blind to the power of Spirit within you and within all beings? Or will you use them as a reason to practice the N.O.W. and to see the face of God in everyone? Will you use them as a reason to listen more fully to what Spirit is saying to you. Will you use them to speak only Truth and to shower the world with actions inspired by Love?

The world is presenting us with images that can, if we let them, obscure the presence of God. But we can choose at any time to enter the place in mind where Nothing Obscures Wholeness, where we can see above and beyond worldly illusions. In the quiet solitude of the N.O.W., we open our inner ears to the voice of Spirit and Hear Only Truth. In the N.O.W, we are inspired to Speak and Act Only from Truth.

See only Truth; Hear only Truth, Speak only Truth and act only from Truth, and you will clearly see the face of God and be the face of God you are intended to be.

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© 2020 Eileen Patra

Eileen Patra, is an author, ordained Unity minister, and inspirational speaker. She is the author of The Mystical Ark: A Vessel of Blessings, released in July 2019. In 2014 Eileen received the Ruth M. Mosley Award for Outstanding Achievement in Ministry while serving as the Senior Minister at Unity of Livonia, MI. Prior to her call to ministry, Eileen earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. She has published dozens of spiritually-themed articles in local periodicals, online journals, and via this blog 

To view Eileen’s full length talk “N.O.W. I see” visit http://bit.ly/SLC-LiveStream
Talk begins approximately 20 minutes into the video.

The Wonder of You!

As the celebration of Christmas grows near, so too do the signs of the Wonder of Christmas; lights, nativity scenes, shopping and wrapping of special gifts, trimming of trees, and the look of wonder in the eyes of children. It is, as the song suggests, “the most wonderful time of the year.” Until it isn’t.

A day meant to fill our hearts with joy, and hope often gets lost in the stress of meeting expectations, our own and those of the world around us. For some, the day itself may be associated with painful memories or the loss of loved ones. “Where is the wonder?” Your heart may ask.

The Wonder can still be found. It lies in a deeper and richer understanding of the nativity story itself, one that goes beyond the words transcribed on the page. Historians and Bible scholars debate the facts and authenticity of the story. Dates and times do not align with the scarce bits of recorded history from the time. The story seems to be purposeful in connecting Jesus to the lineage of the House of David, which causes some to speculate its intention. But the Wonder is not to be found in aligning historical facts or scriptural prophecies. It is found in the deeper meaning of a story rich with symbolism.

Jesus taught through parables, stories that symbolized elements of the human experience, its challenges, endeavors, and divine potential. His followers would have done the same. They would have incorporated this compelling, symbolic story-telling into their work and embedded it in the most magnificent parable of all, the birth, life, and death of their Master and Way-shower, Jesus.

What then, are the characters and elements of the nativity story trying to tell us? Could each of them be an aspect of our own consciousness giving birth to an expression of God? Could they represent a recognition of ourselves as both fully human and fully divine? Could they describe the seeking of something greater, of hope and faith and joy, found not in a stable but in a humble place within the human heart?

Most of this spectacular story is found in the Gospel of Luke. But an additional, wonder-filled story is relayed in the second chapter of Matthew, where we find wise ones from the east following a star to an unknown place in the west. A songwriter calls it the Star of Wonder. And no doubt it was a wonder.

Imagine what kind of star or sign would cause you to embark on a lengthy and dangerous journey wrought with spitting camels, narrow mountain passages, desert storms, thieves, and a dubious, deceitful king. It would have to be a great sign, a wonder on par with perhaps the Seven Wonders of the World. Bigger than life. Awe-inspiring. Overwhelming. Beautiful. Perhaps an inkling of something wonderful being born, leading you to a place of perfect peace, hope, and wholeness.

This awe-inspiring light, one that would encourage you to traverse all obstacles to discover its source lies within you. The star represents a glimmer of light, an inspiring thought that stimulates the wise ones, the Power of Wisdom within you that sometimes lies dormant. The Star of Wonder is the great light of Spiritual Understanding, offering clarity and guidance.

Where there is light, we can see what we could not see in the darkness. Our way is made clear. This Light of Understanding within you continually guides the wisdom in you through the challenges and difficulties of human life to a place where you can lay down the worldly gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh in exchange for the spiritualized gifts of Infinite Abundance, Divine Love, and a recognition of the eternal nature of the Essence of Life in you and all around you.

The gifts of the wise ones represent capacities that are always within you but are spiritualized or spiritually empowered when brought under the direction of the Christ or Higher-self. These wonders within you are most accessible when you make the journey from your head to your heart, where the Christ of you is continuously born anew and awaits your return in consciousness.

The Wonder of Christmas is not lost. The Wonder is you. You, as an expression of the eternal, all-pervading Essence of Life. Now that is a Wonder that can never be lost, only hidden. Breathe in the glow of the inner star and be guided in all that you do to the peaceful place of absolute wholeness with you.

Have a Wonder-filled Christmas, and enjoy a spectacular new You.

© 2019. Rev. Eileen Patra.

Eileen Patra is an ordained Unity Minister and the author of The Mystical Ark: A Vessel of Blessings. She is currently serving as co-minister at the Spiritual Life Center in Troy, Michigan and guest speaking at a variety of Unity churches. She is currently working on her second book, Living as the Ark. Learn more about The Mystical Ark at themysticalark.com

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A Council of Nine

I heard these words this morning as sat in prayer for our planet: A Council of Nine. The words coincided with this question: What if we stopped fighting globalization and embraced it? What if we stopped trying to make one country or another great and made our planet great? Becoming one global community is the natural progression of an evolving species able to recognize their common ground. The constant battle for who is right and who is the mightiest must give way to a recognition of our common source, common needs, and common desires.

What if we stopped? Right now? What if we stopped this insane cycle of victim and victor consciousness and stepped into an elevated awareness? The goals, the desires, the deep needs of our hearts can never be met while this cycle continues. It is only in letting go of those childish ways that we mature as spiritual beings. As human beings, for that matter.

It is time to embrace one another. To honor one another’s history, to respect one another’s spiritual beliefs – or lack of them – and recognize we are one people. living on one planet, amid infinite universes. Together, we are strong, alive, and living our purpose. Divided, we step out of the rhythm and harmony of life, and we fall.

What is the Council of Nine? I’m still allowing those words to meander through my mind. Does it represent the seven chakras with an additional one for the earth and one for the sky? Perhaps. Do they represent nine aspects of human consciousness common to all sentient beings? Possibly. Does it represent nine highly evolved human beings, each representing a group of people here on earth – seven continents, one ocean, and one connecting the earth to the universe? A concept to ponder to be sure.

For today, I sit in an awareness that I am a spiritual being having a minimum of seven spiritual centers actively moving throughout my physical and energetic bodies, each connecting me through the ethers to all other beings. I focus too on the energy center below and the energy center above connecting me to earth and sky. I affirm my oneness with all that is and seek to find the subtly expanding light of individuals awakening everywhere. The threads of light connecting us create a great web of life, love, and universal harmony. This is the greatness upon which we must turn our attention. We are one, though some may not know it yet. We are one, and all is evolving and unfolding in perfect divine order.

© 2019. Eileen Patra.

Eileen Patra is an ordained Unity minister and the author of The Mystical Ark: A Vessel of Blessings available at www.themysticalark.com and other fine retailers.

In the NoThingness

What I Found in the NoThingness

As I tried to change my Facebook cover this morning, something went – well – seemingly, wrong. I was trying to post something profound and comforting in response to the 911 anniversary, and my Cover went completely black. An error message came up, and both my previous photo and the ones I was trying to add were gone. I was using my phone to access my page, and nothing seemed to work. My FB cover would show Nothing until I was able to get to my computer and an internet connection. 

However, it was in this apparent mishap that something profound was actually revealed to me. While my FB Cover was showing Nothing, I realized that it is in the NoThingness that we find the SomeThingness that makes all the difference. The Truth is, there is no statement, no picture, no words to convey that make sense of what happened here in the US on 911. But in the NoThingness, we find the SomeThingness, the All-ness that makes sense of EveryThing. We find our connection with our Source, the Essence of Life that breathes us into existence.

Life, in its wholeness and in its Source is eternal; growing, multiplying, and being continuously fruitful. In our humanness, wholeness is not always what we see, or feel, or express. Attached to the things of life more than that which breathes life into existence, many experiences seem fruitless, pointless, and even downright evil. But in the NoThingness, the Breath of Life appears, and suddenly, there is no separation between you, and me, and all that is. In the NoThingness, we find the SomeThingness that makes sense of EveryThing.

Once this Truth was revealed to me, I was able to post the quote I had planned for my FB Cover this morning.

“May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may my thoughts, words, and actions contribute in some way to happiness and freedom for all.” 

~ Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

Although the words do not make sense of the nonsensical, nor do they replace the sense of security that was lost that day, they do tell us the consciousness we need to hold to make our world a place that more fully expresses the All-ness that gives us life. This is the consciousness that will help us co-create a world that works for and honors the SomeThingness in All.

© 2019. Eileen Patra

Wake Up! It’s Time to be You!

Wake Up! It’s Time to be You!

I was a typical, rebellious, and always-in-need-of-more-sleep, teenager. My mother had a heck of a time getting me out of bed in the morning – or even the afternoon on weekends. Perhaps you can relate. Perhaps you can hear that voice that called you repeatedly, “Wake up. You’ll be late for school.” Or, as I would often hear, “Wake up. The early bird catches the worm.” Like I had any intention of eating worms!

Today, I wake up before the sun rises. It’s something that happens to some of us as we enter our golden years. Maybe they’re golden because we’ve started catching those worms. I don’t know, but I do know it’s time to wake up. Not because it’s time for school. Not because there are worms to catch. But because it’s time to be you.

“I am awake.” You say. How could I be anything other than me?” You ask. But are you truly awake to who you really are? Are you awake to all that you are intended to be? Are you awake and catching the unique and glorious role you play in the grander scheme of life?

You are an individualized expression of the Divine. You are an integral part of a greater whole. Everything you think, do and say is vital to the life and well being of the whole. It is impossible to be separate from this wholeness. But you can, and many of us often are, asleep to it.

We live in a world that functions on separation. What we see with our physical eyes and experience with our physical feelings tells us – no – convinces us that we are alone, completely independent from one another. But this is not the truth of you.

I watched a video yesterday of an aerial view of trees moving in the breeze. It was a fascinating image. The trees moved in such unison they appeared to be one organism, breathing in absolute harmony. In essence, they are exactly that; one organism breathing in harmony. Yet, from our everyday perspective, each one appears to be a separate tree.

So it is with our human expressions of life; one organism appearing as separate beings, having unique shapes, sizes, and personalities. Yet, from a higher perspective, all are one living, breathing expression of the Essence of Life.

When you are truly awake to your role in this magnificent whole, you can no longer feel alone. You lose the desire to judge, to fight, or to be better-than. Instead, you desire and exude harmony. Your harmonizing efforts may seem small at first, unimportant, unproductive. But every thought, every movement, every action stimulates a reaction in the whole. Like a tree responding to the wind, its movement creating an additional breeze influencing the movement of the one next to it, what you do stimulates a response from the person next to you.

Our world has been moving in a state of disharmony long enough. Nothing that you do in this life is as vital as recognizing the power of the Divine within you and living from this awakened state of being. When you reawaken every single day, every single moment and breathe this harmonized thought into expression, you make a difference in the world around you. As harmony is reflected back to you, your understanding and desire for unity increases and you move in even greater harmony. The feeling and awareness grow.

It’s time. It’s past time. Wake up and be you. The world needs you right now.

© 2019. Eileen Patra. All rights reserved.

Eileen Patra is an author, inspirational speaker, and retired Unity minister. She is the author of the life-changing metaphysical and visionary novel, The Mystical Ark, available from retailers and wholesalers everywhere including:

IndieBound        Amazon        Barnes & Noble         Ingram          Scribd    Kobo

From Dream to Reality

The Making of The Mystical Ark

Eileen with first copy of The Mystical Ark

I had an idea once. I thought there might be a deeper meaning to the scripture commonly known as The Ten Commandments. As a student at what is now known as Unity Worldwide Spiritual Institute, I learned to interpret the Bible metaphysically, meaning beyond the physical. I found this view of scripture fascinating as the words on the page opened up to reveal an underlying story that made so much sense it brought tears to my eyes.

I learned that the name Moses means “drawn from the water,” and that water represents a sea of consciousness, in this case, a consciousness of bondage and limitation. Suddenly, this story was not about a group of people that lived thousands of years ago. It was a story about you and me; a story about being drawn out of a sea of negative thought and freed from limiting beliefs.

It was from this expanded perspective that the first seed thoughts of The Mystical Ark were planted in my mind. The theme first emerged as a series Sunday school lessons titled, Seekers of the Lost Ark. The Indiana Jones movies were popular then, and the allusion to the Lost Ark film made the lessons more engaging for the kids. Years later, the idea took shape as a series of Sunday sermons, followed by a collection of essays that I was determined to make into a book.

Progress on the book was painfully slow, and the distractions were many. A half-written manuscript sat on my shelf for a year or two. But the idea would not go away. I would move on to something else, and then someone would ask when I was going to do the next talk in the series or when I would publish the book. Spirit seemed to be using people around me to encourage me to get busy with the book – and soon. So, I planned a writing binge; a weekend with the house to myself, no distractions, and forty-eight hours of nearly non-stop writing. Surely, I would complete this project before Monday rolled around. It was a great plan. I had lots of enthusiasm for it, but it didn’t happen quite that way. That weekend writing spree turned out to be just the beginning.

The morning I was to begin my writing marathon, I was awakened by a lucid dream. In this dream, a small group of explorers sat in a circle around the Ark of the Covenant. They were dirty. Their clothing was torn and spattered with blood. They tried to open the box, but it repelled them. They were all unable to touch it – except for one member of the team. When she approached the relic, her hand slipped right through the invisible force-field that had deterred the others. Then, the box opened, revealing a passageway to another realm of being. The entire team was pulled through the opening into a mystical experience that would forever change their lives.

The dream clung to me in vivid detail. I tried inserting the scene as a fictional forward to my exegeses of the Ark. But that didn’t work. The fictional scene was engaging – but the shift to the essays was abrupt and disorienting. It was as if two different books had been glued together rather than one leading gently into the other.

It seemed this book was destined to be a work of fiction; a story with relatable characters that would draw the reader into the experience. Writing a fictional novel was something I had never considered. I wasn’t even sure where to begin. What characters would I need to create? There was the small group of explorers in the opening scene, but I didn’t know who there were or what they would represent. What I did know was that I had to write this book. It would not leave me alone. It permeated my every thought. The Mystical Ark wanted to be born and was asking me to be its midwife.

But how does an author of spiritual essays and inspirational articles successfully birth a fictional novel? I was about to find out. The next two years would be spent putting the principles of visioning and positive thinking into action, developing a disciplined writing routine, reading every book on writing I could get my hands on, researching everything from geography and anthropology to the genetics of hair color – and oh – writing!

What began as an idea and a dream planted in my mind and heart blossomed into reality. The book is now published, and available from retailers around the world. The characters I created and lived with for the past two years are now engaging and entertaining an expanding group of readers. It is a deeply satisfying experience, and I look forward to sharing more about the steps I took to turn that dream into reality in blog posts to come.

© 2019. Eileen Patra

Eileen Patra is the author of The Mystical Ark: A Vessel of Blessings and an ordained Unity minister. She is currently guest speaking at a variety of Unity churches and working on her next book, Living as the Ark. Learn more about The Mystical Ark at themysticalark.com

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Is There Room in Your Closet?

Does your closet sometimes get so full that you have trouble locating what you would like to wear? This happens to me more often than I care to admit. An overflowing closet might be exciting if everything in it were something I actually wanted to wear. But no, many of the items just take up space making it difficult to find what I am looking for.

A closet is not unlike the human mind. Like a mind, it stores necessary things as well as those that are no longer useful. Even when not conscious of the items held there, they sit, waiting, taking up space. And like a closet, the mind is unlikely to relinquish the things it holds unless there is a conscious the choice to let them go. We often hold thoughts and ideas about ourselves, about others, and about the world that are no longer useful, that in fact, cause so much crowding in our consciousness that little space remains for the creative thoughts that would cause us to thrive.

Think about that old tattered shirt in your closet. It’s there every time you open the door. You know the one; the one you push out of the way over and over again trying to find something more appealing. You know you would rather wash an entire load of clothes than wear it, yet there it hangs, taking up space, mocking your inability to surrender it to the giveaway bag. What thought, idea, or belief is lingering in your consciousness taking up space like that tattered old shirt? What belief about yourself is filling your consciousness day and night leaving little room for the peace and joy you seek?

If you are seeking joy, but holding thoughts of anger, fear, guilt, remorse, or regret, there is little room for joy to seep in. There is of course nothing wrong with having these thoughts or feelings. They are a part of our human experience and often helpful in defining ourselves. But holding onto them until they become a tattered memory squeezing out the joy we seek is counterproductive to a life that thrives. You are intended to thrive. You are intended to experience joy. You were meant to “be fruitful and multiply.”

Whatever that thought is, you really don’t need it anymore. You know you don’t. Take it out of there right now. Take a good look at it and realize it does not define you. It is not who and what you are. It is just some fleeting idea that crossed your mind one day and decided to settle there. Let it go. Drop it in the giveaway bin or set it on the porch and call the universe to come and pick it up. You haven’t needed it in years.

And now quickly, before it wanders back in there, replace it with something else – perhaps its absolute opposite. It might feel strange at first, but over time the new thought will become a comfortable part of your attire.

© 2019. Eileen Patra

God Has A Scathingly Brilliant Idea!

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Photo Credit: Alexas_Fotos

The phrase “scathingly brilliant idea” continuously filtered into my mind as I prepared my final Sunday talk as senior minister at Unity of Livonia. The phrase, always a favorite of mine, comes from the infamous words of Mary Clancy (Hayley Mills) in the movie “The Trouble with Angels.” As I pondered the intention of my talk, I questioned the word “scathingly.” It seems that Webster’s defines scathingly as “critical” or “harsh,” and that didn’t, at first anyway, seem to fit my intention.

But the word persisted, and when a word or a thought persists, I am compelled to go deeper. What does scathingly mean to me? In the movie, “scathingly” seemed to indicate something out of the ordinary, exceptional if a little risky. Mary Clancy (Mills) and her friend Rachel (June Harding) were two adolescents who had been sent to an all-girls, Catholic boarding school. These so-called scathingly brilliant ideas generally earned them a stint in the kitchen scrubbing pots and pans. Was scathingly really the word I wanted to use?

Critical can mean something derogatory – but it can also mean important, vital, or crucial. Harsh, as in criticism, can mean unbridled, unlimited, or unadulterated. Hmm… now we were getting somewhere. These definitions seemed to fit my intention more closely. You see, I believe that God has a Scathingly Brilliant idea – and the idea is YOU!

You are an idea, a crucial, unlimited, and brilliant idea in the Mind of God. In your most unadulterated essence, you are a perfect spiritual idea taking form and expressing God as you. In this earthly experience, there are many twists and turns as we endeavor to fully express this scathingly brilliant idea. At times it may seem our endeavors or the experiences of our lives have us scrubbing pots and pans when we were planning something much more exciting. Although Mary and Rachel spent a great deal of time scrubbing pots and pans, they also spent a lot of time growing and evolving. They grew in compassion. They grew in their sense of purpose. They discovered their own gifts and they learned to appreciate the talents of others. 

Changes, twists and turns, pots and pans, are all a part of our spiritual evolution. Evolution is another scathingly, brilliant idea in the Mind of God. Everything is always changing, growing and evolving. Evolution is the activity of Life, and it has a crucial characteristic – something is always falling away to allow something new to emerge.

The new year is a perfect time to reflect on what is falling away on its own and what you will intentionally let fall away. It is also an excellent time to focus your attention on what is being called forth from you. What is Life calling you to be? To do? To let fall away?

The New Year is often marked by resolutions for being or doing something better than before. Usually, these intentions focus on diet, exercise, habits, and behaviors. This year, why not set just one resolution, one that will inform and strengthen all the others? Let your resolution for 2019 be this; to allow no one and no thing to hinder you in expressing more of the Scathingly Brilliant Idea in the Mind of God that is YOU!

© 2019. Eileen DeRosia Patra, OUM

Eileen Patra is an ordained Unity minister and the author of the soon to be released book, The Mystical Ark: A Vessel of Blessings

What will you leave behind in 2018?

freedom-2053281_1920-2The close of a calendar year is a traditional time for reflection; a review of the year’s finest moments and its challenges. In preparation for a new year there are often a number of things we choose to leave behind. Perhaps you’ve experienced a loss, a physical challenge, a relationship issue, a career bump, or a financial upset. Then there are the things we experience together; divisiveness in government, hurricanes, out of control fires, tsunamis, terrorism, and mass shootings. Who wouldn’t want to leave these things behind?

It is unlikely anyone would want to take the challenges of 2018 into the new year, but perhaps the truth is 2019 will present its own challenges. The question is what will you leave behind that will better equip you for the year to come. What gift will you discover in your experiences that will allow you to walk through the obstacles that appear with ease and grace?

Although we may want to leave behind the events themselves, we would be better served if we could determine the underlying emotions that caused the events to disturb our peace. The most common are fear and anger.

Fear has its purpose. It is a physiological response to danger – but it does not know how to differentiate between real danger and imagined danger. Leaving behind unwarranted fear would allow us to face what comes before us with a greater sense of balance and clarity. To leave fear behind it must be replaced by something greater. Perhaps that is a knowledge that nothing can harm the Truth of you – that you are an eternal spiritual being having a physical experience.

Anger also has a purpose. It is an energy that causes us to initiate change when something appears to be out of order. Yet anger can be detrimental when it is not directed toward positive change. It can consume our energies and greatly disturb our peace. Leaving behind unproductive anger would make room for focusing our spiritual nature toward positive change. This would allow us to tune in to the more harmonious energy of Love and project a higher vibration into the world. Love is far more powerful and initiates long lasting transformation.

What will you leave behind as the new year approaches?  I choose to leave behind unwarranted fear and replace it with knowing God within me is more powerful than anything that comes before me. I choose to leave behind anger and replace it with Love.

Perhaps you would like to join me this Sunday, December 30th at 10:00 am for Unity of Livonia’s Burning Bowl service. We will explore the things we choose to leave behind, write them on a special ashless piece of paper and place them in the burning bowl flame. In the twinkling of any eye they will disappear and give us an opportunity to create an affirmation to carry into the new year. Hope to see you there!

What does a 21-day complaint fast mean to me?

woman-954785_1920-1It means taking care with every thought and word I express. Although an adverse thought is not necessarily a “complaint,” it does require carefully acknowledgement and often a shift of consciousness to expressing it in words or actions.

Conversation takes on a much quieter character as we carefully consider our words before speaking them. Likewise, expressing thoughts about what is happening around us, particularly the news, becomes an activity for deep contemplation. If what we focus our attention on is what we create and experience, careful reflection on our thoughts, opinions, perspectives, and responses becomes critically important to our own well-being and that which the world experiences too.

Today, after a brief setback earlier this week, I continue my fast. I notice that there are a number of positive things happening in the world. I give thanks for those and consider them answered prayer. As I look at the things occurring that still cause my heart to ache, my mind to contort my inner Christ to remind me to ‘shift that thought!” I choose to keep the words of complaint and judgment to myself. I express the facts and specific needs, but not the judgement. I take positive action where possible and I choose to look at challenging occurrences in a new Light, one of spiritual unfoldment, and a evolutionary movement within the heart of humankind that leaves no stone unturned, no dark place hidden so that we might release, transform, and ascend to greater heights.

© 2018. Rev. Eileen Patra. Rev. Eileen is an ordained Unity Minister currently serving Unity of Livonia in Livonia, MI. You can view her Sunday messages online at http://www.unityoflivonia.org