Tag Archives: Fear

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!

Let Me Be Light

bright red flash

Where there are shadows, let me be Light. Though we may bury them deeply, it is not uncommon for us to carry a shadow or two with us that can be triggered by some outer experience.  Shadows are nothing more than perceived obstacles or unresolved fears.  They block the Light but they do not extinguish it.  Things that trigger our individual and collective shadows merely make what was buried visible. A shadow that has become visible is something that can be resolved. It can be dissolved and released. Dissolving the shadow is a matter of being Light. Being Light is a matter of allowing Divine Light to shine through. It is a matter of thinking, feeling, speaking, listening and acting from the Divine inspiration to be the Light of God in the world.  God loves. God speaks with the vibration of Love. God listens, hears and responds.  God forgives.  God includes.  God shares.  God is the Light and Harmony we seek.  Today, where shadows appear let us Be Light.  

(c) 2017. Rev. Eileen Patra

The Pursuit of Happiness?

pursuite of happinessThe pursuit of happiness is not fulfilled by the freedom to express hate. Hate is a derivative of fear. One hates what one deems an enemy, that which one fears will somehow hurt them or diminish them. Hate is an aspect of the “fight” response to fear.  Only when fear is acknowledged, soothed and brought into alignment with the assurance of Divine Love can there be an experience of true happiness.  All else is but a shield to assuage a perceived fear.

Fear, disguised as hate and anger is often triggered by a perceived loss. ‘Someone is taking something away from me.’ In Truth, there is no loss. All that we see, all that we experience are manifestations of Light and energy which is never lost. It simply moves and transforms.  When we finally recognize that we are inextricably connected to one another and therefor own everything, yet own nothing, will we know there is nothing to fear, nothing to lose.

When you say you are losing some piece of your culture or your history, what is it that you are losing? Are you losing the grace and beauty of the fertile grounds that fed your ancestors? Are you losing your history of charm and hospitality? Or are you losing the false illusion that those you saw as heroes are not really heroes at all.  Were they heroes because they stood for something they believed in and laid their lives on the line for it. In a sense, a very human sense, I suppose this is so. But when you expand your perspective to recognize that what they stood for was something deeply hurtful and harmful to the fabric of humanity can you see their actions as something other than heroic? Can you begin to see them as the leadership of a fear that saw masses of God’s children as less than human?  Can you see that as you hold them dearly in your clinging to a false image of grace and charm that you hold yourself in a false reality in which some of humanity is worthy of God’s love and some are not?  That some therefore are worthy of your love and some are not. Only when you let go of these false images of heroism can you begin to heal yourself.  You didn’t know you needed healing, did you?  But yes, you do. You see you too are a part of this fabric of Life.  And while you reject portions of it from your fear of what is not manifesting exactly the same way as you are, you pull at yourself, you separate the essence of your being from the whole. You cause yourself to be isolated from the outworking of God. You cause yourself to be outside of the wholeness of Divine Love. The happiness that you pursue will never bring you what you truly seek, which is to be one with that from which you come. While you reject any part of this you remain outside of it, alone, afraid, fighting and hurting. 

Could you, for just one moment, let go? Let go of your judgments. Let go of your need to cling to what is not even real. Let go of what you fear? Could you for just one moment allow Love to fill the fearful parts of yourself. Could you consider that it is fear that causes you to cling to what is not whole, what is not loving. Could you for just one moment look deeply into the eyes of those you see as different or less than, and see and feel the face of God?  Could you for one moment look deeply into those eyes and see the pain, the fear that is so much like your own? Could you look for one moment into that opening that draws you one to the other and see that you are one? Could you reach across the fence of fear and embrace the other as yourself?  For is this not what our brother and Wayshower, Jesus taught us? To love one another as ourselves?  Is this not the teaching of other faith traditions and spiritual philosophies as well? You do not have to be Christian to understand that it is Love that brings us together and Hatred and Fear that pull us apart.  For just one moment, open your eyes wider than they have ever been open before. Reach out and embrace the other whoever that might be for you.  You will open in you a flood of Divine Love that brings you a greater experience of happiness than you have ever imagined. And this, no one can ever take from you. Namaste’

© 2017. Rev. Eileen Patra

Conquering Crocodiles: Living the FEAR-less Life

cc.crocodile.6972761985_b3dd85a42e_oThe crocodile trainer uses a distraction to maintain a safe distance from its powerful jaws.  He enters the pen and throws the croc a piece of rope to chew on while he maneuvers to a safe place from which to feed and appease this fearsome beast. 

Fear, like a powerful beast, can grip our minds and hearts in its jaws and pull us into a downward spiral.  Unattended, not managed, it often develops into anger, hatred and exclusion.  Managing or treating the extended symptoms of fear is a temporary and inadequate response for it fails to resolve the underlying cause. 

Fear is a tool of the human psyche meant to preserve our physical safety.  Its only job is to alert us to the possibility of danger.  The problem is in its primitiveness.  It cannot discern between the real and the unreal.  It does not sense the difference between that past, present and future.  It cannot see beyond the physical senses.  It sees but has no vision.  It hears but cannot listen.  It feels but cannot touch. The response is up to us.  The typical responses; fight (anger), flight (leave) or freeze (apathy) are inadequate, for they fail to create a sustained sense of safety.  They do not appease the aspect of consciousness that raises the symptoms of fear.

So, what to do then? A completely new response to fear must be implemented if we are to transcend its grip and evolve as a collective consciousness.  Facing fear and its extended we bring them into the Light of greater understanding.  We recognize the underlying cause as fear and we shine the Light of Love and Harmony.  We create for ourselves and safe space sheltered by the shield of Divine Love that transforms and harmonizes the energies of hatred and fear.  From the shelter of Divine Love we open our hearts to forgiveness and inclusion.  We refuse to engage in hatred. We refuse to respond with anger.  We allow a greater wisdom and peace to transfuse our minds and hearts and we become the beacons of Light.  We hold an image of Love and Light that transforms every fear-filled soul into a vessel of peace and harmony.  We listen with our hearts and we respond with Love.  We hear the crocodile mind speaking from the back of our humanness and we say Peace, Be Still. The Christ in me is awakened. Thanks for the warning but God and I have got this. 

© 2017. Rev. Eileen Patra. Rev. Eileen is an ordained Unity minister currently serving as pastor at Unity of Livonia in Michigan.

Paint A Miracle Today

paint-ccPAINT is a magical, miraculous substance capable of changing the color of an object.  A vast variety of pigments and tints can be added to this liquid substance to create a coating of the desired color and hue. Easily changed or even removed in its liquid state, PAINT becomes fixed when it dries.  Metaphysically, PAINT represents the thoughts and energy we project into our world and our experiences.  We can PAINT our thoughts or experiences in the color or hue of our choosing.  We can choose a color that vibrates with joy and harmony. Or, we can choose a color that constricts or vibrates with fear or anger.  Thoughts and energies held for long periods of time become fixed and require one or more coats of a new color, or new thoughts.  If I have been holding thoughts of fear or anger for a long period of time, it may require numerous affirmative thoughts to change the picture I have allowed to become fixed in my mind. Today, I paint a miracle. I paint the world with shades of Love, Healing, Acceptance, Forgiveness, Faith and Joy and they become fixed in my mind and in my life.

© 2016. Reverend Eileen DeRosia Patra

Rev. Eileen is an ordained Unity minister currently serving at Unity of Livonia in Livonia, Michigan.  

A Positive Side of Fear?

fear-cc-2406378075_568feb9133_q-jpgFEAR is not usually considered a miracle.  Yet, FEAR has two very different sides or characteristics.  There is the FEAR generated by the ego and fueled by outer conditions, past experiences and the collective stream of FEAR consciousness. This FEAR is destructive, immobilizing and is a very long way from what one might consider a miracle.  But there is another side to FEAR.  FEAR in its intended expression is the voice of inner guidance, intuition.  It is a higher awareness calling out and keeping us from walking into the path of an approaching train or speeding vehicle.  This FEAR moves us gently out of harm’s way and reminds us to seek inner guidance.  It reminds us that we are never alone and that peace and harmony are just one thought, one dimension away.  This FEAR reminds us to close our eyes to appearances, close our ears to resounding gongs and clanging symbols, and seek the shelter of Divine Love where wisdom speaks with clarity, harmony and oneness.

© 2016. Reverend Eileen DeRosia Patra

Rev. Eileen is an ordained Unity minister currently serving at Unity of Livonia in Livonia, Michigan.  

A Miracle A Day, Day 49

cloudsTHOUGHT is the miraculous evidence of consciousness. I think, therefore I am.  Or, perhaps the opposite is true.  I am, therefore I think. THOUGHT is more than electrical impulses receiving and interpreting information. THOUGHT is a part of the creative process evident in all that takes shape and form.  Thoughts create our experiences.  Thoughts generate energy that can influence our feelings and behavior, and can even influence those around us.  Have you ever walked into a room and simply known there was an energy to the thoughts of the people in the room?  Thought generates an energy that can be felt, an energy that influences behavior, outcomes and experiences.  Sometimes the energy can almost be felt.  Imagine, if our thoughts were like the jet streams across the sky, creating a trail relative to the energy they carried.  Happy positive thoughts would leave a trail of light and puffy billows that skipped across the sky.  Angry, fearful and hurtful thoughts might leave a trail that was dense, heavy, and not so pretty.  Our thoughts may not be visible, but they do indeed create a stream of energy that enfolds our world.  Happy, loving, caring, nurturing thoughts – happy, loving, caring, nurturing earth.  Angry, judgmental hurtful thoughts … Well you get the picture. Let our thoughts be the miracle they are intended to be and create a network of loving energy encircling our earth.

© 2016. Reverend Eileen DeRosia Patra

Rev. Eileen is an ordained Unity minister currently serving at Unity of Livonia in Livonia, Michigan.  To view the entire Miracle A Day series, visit her Facebook page.

A Miracle A Day, Day 48

courage.jpgCOURAGE is the miracle of a heart that is strong in Spirit.  The word courage comes from the Latin word “cor” which means heart.  COURAGE is the ability to say or do or stand for something in spite of any fear that may present itself.  Usually associated with acts of physical bravery, the COURAGE to speak one’s mind, to stand in one’s Truth, to live the Truth in a world that contradicts Truth is an even greater expression of this very spiritual attribute of humankind.  COURAGE draws together the powers of Love and Strength and expresses them as a steadfast Faith in wholeness that lies beneath appearances.  Fear is ultimately a result of a belief in separation from one’s Source. COURAGE denies the validity of that fear and rests in the wholeness and oneness of Spirit.

© 2016. Reverend Eileen DeRosia Patra

Rev. Eileen is an ordained Unity minister currently serving at Unity of Livonia in Livonia, Michigan.  To view the entire Miracle A Day series, visit her Facebook page.


The Apple and the Tin Man

As I reviewed a clip from the Wizard of Oz last week I observed something I had never noticed before.  Dorothy discovered the Tin Man as a result of chasing an apple.  She had been picking apples when the trees came to life and refused to give away their fruit.  The brainless scarecrow developed a scheme to trick the trees into throwing the apples at them.  Chasing after the discarded apples, Dorothy discovered the Tin Man.

An apple is symbolic of many things.  It is a tasty fruit ascribed with the power to “keep the doctor away.”  When cooked in a pie it is has come to be known as “all that is American.”  But to the spiritual seeker one cannot help but recall the symbolism of the forbidden fruit.  An apple does not appear in the story of Adam and Eve, but it has come to symbolize the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

God warned Adam not to eat of this tree “…for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” But who and what die? Adam and Eve do not die.  They do however find themselves naked, without cover, fear and doubt made visible.  They find themselves outside of the place of wholeness in which the Tree of Life grows.  They find themselves not dead, but disconnected from their Source.  They feel empty, alone, hollow.  What has died is their sense of wholeness.

Chasing after the ill-gotten fruit, Dorothy discovers a man made of tin.  He is hollow, not truly alive.  He is apparently without a heart, the life-giving organ that circulates blood, oxygen and vital nutrients to the whole body.  He is made of tin, a pliable metal, not easily corroded. Yet the tin man has been frozen in time, rusted and unable to move.

To eat something is to take it on, to make it a part of you.  In eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, knowledge of what is divided or not whole becomes a part of one’s consciousness. As spiritual beings it is not possible for us to be outside of the wholeness of God. But it is very much possible to perceive that we are outside of God.  It is possible to listen to an inner voice that seeks an ill-gotten fruit, nourishment from the outer sense consciousness.  It is possible to put on a clothing or identity that is metallic in nature, resistant to the flow of Spiritual life.  It is possible to believe ourselves as hollow, empty, imperfect, unable to give or receive love.

But the heart is never missing.  We may have allowed fear or ego to close the heart.  But opening the heart is a simple matter.  It begins by breathing.  Yes, I said breathing!  Paying attention to our breath, we bring our focus to the area of the physical heart and the heart energy.  Here, we draw our attention away from whatever seeks to cause us pain.  Here we allow God to breathe through us.

God breathing through us is like the oil applied to the Tin Man.  It loosens our stuck parts.  It allows us to rediscover our authentic voice.  It allows us to open our hearts to God’s presence in us and in all things.  It allows us to leave behind the story that has frozen us in time and begin an inner journey to wholeness.  As you breathe right now in this moment, imagine that it is truly God breathing through your heart.  As God breathes through you all your parts, all your thoughts are oiled and renewed. The heart opens wide to let God in. The heart is never missing.  It simply needs to be opened to the inflow of God, the Tree of Life.

© 2015 Rev. Eileen Patra

Seekers of the Lost Ark, Part 1

In the course of human evolution there comes an ever-expanding understanding of the One Power, One Presence, One Activity we call God, the Good, Omnipotence. Our understanding of God as a judgmental, superhuman ruler shaping the individual lives of humankind has expanded.  Many of us have grown to understand God as the absolute wholeness of Beingness; not All-Powerful, but ALL-POWER. Not loving, but the ESSENCE OF LOVE. NOT a patriarchal entity but a Mother, Father, Everything God in which (as the apostle Paul tells us), we Live, Move and Have Being.

As we grow to understand God as Spirit, as Jesus foretells in his conversation with the Samaritan woman, our understanding of the covenant between God and humankind must also expand. In this three part series, Seekers of the Lost Ark we will explore the mystical significance of the Ark and the Ten Commandments or “agreements” which it contains.

As we look to the deeper meaning of the words engraved upon the tablets we discover that they are more than a list of “shoulds” and “should nots”. Although still relevant today as rules for living together in harmony, an expanded understanding reveals another dimension to the words. They are in fact the “Blessings” of a Mother, Father, Everything God, the very source of our being. Much as a biblical father would bestow his blessing upon a son venturing beyond his father’s house, Spirit bestows upon us these spiritual blessings.

The blessings of Spirit begin with the words, “I AM the Lord YOUR God, you shall have no false gods before me.” I AM is a reference to God’s name, “I AM that I am”… unlimited, infinite possibility, the pure presence of beingness that cannot be limited to a single name. I AM the Lord YOUR God. I AM the essence of life and I am YOURS; personal, immanent, indwelling. Nothing false, nothing that lies before you or outside of you shall have power over YOUR God, the God that dwells within you. This is a blessing. This empowers us to live without fear knowing that there is One Power, One Presence, One Activity that permeates all of life and dwells within us.

This first blessing is then reinforced with the words, “you shall make no carved or engraved images of anything.” In other words, no image, no imagined thing that you engrave in the world shall have power over you. You cannot limit the power of Spirit by creating in your mind or in your life a limited image of what is infinite… try as you might. Another blessing.

“You shall not take the name of the Lord YOUR God in vain.” As a child I understood this to mean I should not swear or curse. And although there is great benefit in keeping our words pure and positive, this statement also blesses us. “You shall not,” means you will not, you cannot call on God in vain. God knows your needs and your desires before you know them yourself. When you call on God it is never in vain, for your prayer, no matter how stated, is heard and answered before you even ask.

You are blessed because God dwells within the mystical ark of your heart. Your work, is to know your oneness in Spirit and then be blessed once again by resting into the Sabbath of the pure presence of being; to Let Go and Let God be expressed through you and as you.

Intrigued? Be sure to read part 2 coming soon as we explore how more of the covenants between God and humankind are blessings upon us.

© 2015 Rev. Eileen Patra