Tag Archives: Inner Growth

A Miracle A Day, Day 36

color pencils.dreamstimefree_218525ART; visual, musical, written and performing, all are a MIRACLE that allow one to express their innermost feelings, beliefs, ideals, pain, questions, wonderings, hopes and dreams in a way that lets others in.  Through the many forms of ART, we create openings to one another’s soul.  We catch a glimpse of the Divine through another’s eyes.  When we can see through another’s eyes, we reinforce the invisible network that is our connectedness in the whole of consciousness.  We are all artists, creating the masterpiece of our lives through our thoughts, our beliefs and our actions.  The palette we paint from is infinite in possibility and potential.  It is the wholeness of God allowing us to choose what we will express in each moment. Will we choose one color or frequency of light over another? Or will we combine a selection of colors, an array of harmonious thoughts and energies that lift us and others to a higher expression of the whole?  ART is a glorious and miraculous means of sharing the innermost Truth of beingness.  What will you paint next?

© 2016. Rev. Eileen Patra

Rev. Eileen is an Ordained Unity Minister currently serving Unity of Livonia in Livonia, MI.  To view the entire “A Miracle A Day Series” please visit Rev. Eileen’s Facebook Page

A Miracle A Day, Day 34

understandingUNDERSTANDING is one of the “Twelve Faculties of Man” defined by Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity.  UNDERSTANDING is the miracle that allows us to tune into an unexplored concept, to truly consider another’s perspective and to embrace or take on a greater awareness of something.  Ideas, information, new revelations unfold before us every day.  Teachers of all makes and kinds pass through our lives, each offering an opportunity to learn something new or acquire a deeper UNDERSTANDING of something already in the periphery of our awareness.  UNDERSTANDING is a spiritual power activated by our willingness to open our minds and hearts to the activity of God in every moment of every day.  Open and receptive we continue to awaken and expand this spiritual faculty and our UNDERSTANDING of who we are and what we are here to be also increases. UNDERSTANDING is a miracle that expands in us and through us every day in every way.

© 2016. Rev. Eileen Patra

A Miracle A Day, Day 28

butterfly.dreamstimefree_72904An exquisite demonstration of rebirth, BUTTERFLIES always bring a special joy to my heart. Delicate, brilliant messengers of Life, they sip on nectar and carry life generating pollen from flower to flower.  BUTTERFLIES also remind us that change can be uncomfortable but the end result is one of beauty, purpose and freedom. The caterpillar no doubt believes it is the end of the world just before she emerges as the miraculous winged creature she was destined to be.  I greet this day with joy and anticipation for whatever miraculous essence of me is emerging.  I recognize that in each and every moment there is a winged being in me continuously coaxing me to be the spiritual being I AM.

© 2016. Rev. Eileen Patra

It Never Hurts To Ask

As infants we cry and most often our needs are fulfilled. As we mature, however, this vital step to receiving is sometimes conditioned out of us and we must be reminded that “It Never Hurts To Ask.”  I often heard this from my mother-in-law.  Olga was never afraid to ask.  When she purchased a matress that was too firm, she asked for another.  When the next one didn’t meet her expectations, she asked for another. When the woodgrain of her new dining room table didn’t line up with the leaf inserted, she asked for another. And another. And another.  Olga was persistent in asking until she received what she desired.

Persistence is is embedded in Jesus’ teaching, “Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened.” (Matt 7:7-8) His words illustrate for us a three-part, persistent prayer process assuring us whatever we ask for, God will give us. 

But this is not always our experience.  I know personally, I’m still waiting for the pony I asked for when I was five!  It seems that some things we ask for are given and others are not.  How do we reconcile this assurance with our experience?

First, let’s look at what we are asking for.  Are we asking for what we truly need or for something that we think will fill an underlying need?   Perhaps our true desire is freedom, security, happiness, peace, love, and a deeper connection with Spirit. Additionally, asking is not intended to stand alone.  It is a first and essential step in a three-part prayer process.  Asking in prayer quiets the ego invoking a deeper connection with the Divine.  Asking clarifies our needs in our own minds and informs those who might be able to fulfill them.  

Part two is “Seek and you will find;” another assurance that God will provide.  What we are looking for will show up.   In the Gospel of Thomas, however, Jesus says “Seek and do not cease seeking UNTIL you find.” Seek UNTIL you find encourages persistence. In affirmative prayer, we seek or see only the good; only the answered prayer until it is made manifest.  If we are seeking peace, prosperity, or healing, what are we seeing?  What image are we holding?  See yourself as whole, healed, and peaceful UNTIL it is what you are experiencing.

Part three, “Knock and the door will be opened,” suggests a sound must be made. A knock is a loud noise announcing our presence.  To knock is to AFFIRM the truth in our own minds and in the universe.  It sets the stage for a door to be opened. But what is opened? Is it door number three where the pony is hiding? Or is it the door to our hearts and minds that opens allowing the creative power of God to flow through us?   

 It never hurts to ask. In fact, asking is the first and most vital key to invoking a connection with God and opening our hearts and minds to receive.  When combined with seeing only the answered prayer and affirming it as done, every door within us becomes open to receive. 

© 2016.  Reverend Eileen DeRosia Patra

Rev. Eileen is an ordained Unity Minister, currently serving as the senior minister of Unity of Livonia, Livonia, MI 

Planting Me

plant.dreamstimefree_194667At times, Mother Nature seems to play tricks on us.  Just when we think its planting time she throws a fresh blanket of snow on the emerging crocuses and sends us running for our winter coats.  And such is life when we find ourselves ready to plant a new habit, or newfound spiritual idea in our lives.  We’ve just attended the most amazing workshop or read an outstanding book, or visited with a great spiritual teacher.  We’ve kicked some old habit or limiting belief.  We greet each day with a newfound sense of balance and harmony and authenticity.  Then wham! A fresh blanket of snow falls.  Some unexpected circumstance has us seeking the old worn out coat, the old habit, the limiting belief, and we can barely believe the words being uttered from our mouths.

Despite the erratic climate, it’s time to think about planting; whether it’s crops, or flowers, or a more authentic version of ourselves.  ‘Planting Me,’ is showing up as the most authentic version of self; becoming embedded in that; and living, growing and thriving from that consciousness.  ‘Planting Me,’ is planting my highest self in the garden of consciousness.

The earliest spiritual writings utilize the metaphor of gardens, seeds and trees to illustrate the infinite, eternal nature of life and the role of humankind in it.  The Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) contribute to our yearning to explain the beginning of the finite world with the story of the Garden of Eden, filled with lush plant life and various trees.  Two of the trees are named; The Tree of Life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

The Tree of Life, God suggests, humankind should use for nourishment and sustenance.  It is the tree that represents life, wholeness and harmony.  The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil however, is the most well known in the Judeo-Christian culture, and the one that humankind chooses to taste.  It is the perception of Good and Evil that leads us out of the experience of wholeness to one of  judgment, division, separation and conflict.

As the story goes, the gates of Eden are then closed to humankind and guarded by angels.  However, if we see recognize angels as divine ideas or messengers of God, we find that the return to wholeness is just a divine thought away.  Like a seed that falls from a tree, we contain all of the characteristics of our Source.  To plant an authentic version of ourselves in the garden of consciousness is to return our thoughts to the image and likeness of God imprinted upon our very being, and to embed that in every thought, every word, and every action.

By turning our thoughts to the wholeness of God, our own minds and hearts are opened.  Eden, the Tree of Life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil are within us.  The choice from which to eat or be nourished is ours in any given moment.

© 2016.  Reverend Eileen DeRosia Patra

Rev. Eileen is an ordained Unity Minister currently serving at Unity of Livonia, Livonia, MI

The King In Me

crownA king is one who has ultimate authority in a kingdom, a domain or a consciousness in which one lives.   Here, there are often two would-be kings vying for our attention.  One represents the personal will, the personality or ego consciousness.  It is often fearful, ready for battle and rules from a limited belief system.  It relies heavily on the five physical senses designed to process information and to keep us safe.  But these senses are limited and often misinterpret the information they gather.

The other would-be king in us has a much more sophisticated intelligence team with the additional senses of intuition and telepathy.  This king sees the unseen and feels the interconnectedness of all things.  This king is the spiritual consciousness, the “I AM” of us.  This is the consciousness or Mind that was in Christ Jesus.  It is this King that the residents of Jerusalem recognized on Palm Sunday laying down their cloaks and palms.  Metaphorically, removing one’s cloak would be like removing the persona that we wear.  Laying down the cloaks for Jesus to walk upon represents a willingness to lay down the personal will and allow a greater, Divine Will to be the authority in our minds, hearts and affairs.

In the Jewish Festival of the Booths, palms were twined together with willow and myrtle.  The bundle was waved in the six directions; north, south, east, west, up and down, acknowledging the presence of God in all directions.  Laying down palms as Jesus entered Jerusalem was highly significant.  It meant that they recognized God embodied in this gentle soul who taught peace, love, kindness and the transcendence of the physical senses.   This was a pivotal moment; for God now dwelt among us and in us.  Jesus conveyed it this way, “… I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.” John 14:20

Jesus was much more than the King of the Jews.  Jesus is the Christ in us.  He represents that aspect of consciousness that draws out our greater spiritual being.  The Christ is God expressing in, through and as us.  Jesus demonstrates this higher consciousness in us, the one who would be King.

In an old Cherokee legend two wolves are fighting.  One represents darkness, despair, fear, anger, hopelessness and separation.   The other represents Light, hope, love, kindness, and oneness.  The story presents the question, ‘which one will win’?  The answer is, ‘the one you feed.’

There are two would-be kings in us.  They are often in conflict, fighting for our attention.  It is our choice, which one we feed; which we will crown.  When you feel conflict of any kind in your mind; gently move your attention to your heart. Take a moment to be still and hear the voice of the Christ in you lifting your awareness to higher consciousness.  Giving your attention and allegiance to this greater aspect of you, you crown the Christ in you; your hope of glory.

© 2016.  Reverend Eileen DeRosia Patra

Rev. Eileen is an Ordained Unity Minister currently serving Unity of Livonia in Livonia, MI


Living From An L-Evated Consciousness

Everyday objects viewed through a microscope reveal what could not be previously seen.  What seemed quite ordinary appears extraordinary.  Absorbed by the details however, we may miss the greater view.  A kernel of corn for instance resembles human blood cells under a microscope. It is an interesting image but the likeness of a kernel of corn is completely lost.  Looking at that same kernel from an expanded view we may see the corn stalk, the cornfield or even a crop circle.  From an aerial view the corn is no longer visible but we see an array of other details that surround it, houses, roads, trees, distant lakes.  From a space station view, even the roads and trees disappear and we see the earth in all its glory. The kernel of corn is still there. It is still an integral part of the whole. But there is so much more to see.

Seeing our lives and experiences as more than the minute details requires a shift in viewpoint. Like the microscope, telescope and space station cameras, we can adjust our view. We have the ability to see beyond the micro view and envision ourselves as an integral part of a much greater whole. Seeing our self, our experiences and our relationships with one another from a higher perspective requires moving to a higher frame of reference, perhaps an L-evated consciousness.  In an “L”evated consciousness we Look, Listen, Let Go, Learn and Love.

To see, one must LOOK. Looking within and without we see ourselves more clearly. Examining our inner state and our outer condition expands our view. LOOKing for a greater good reveals what might be invisible from the micro view.

To hear, one must LISTEN.  When we truly listen to others we gain perspective on their experience and their view of the world.  To listen and truly hear, we must stop talking.  We must quiet the inner chatter.  Remaining quiet we open access our intuitive nature and a deeper knowing is revealed.

To change our view, one must LET GO.  You cannot see the cornfield while still focused on the microscopic view of the kernel. Letting go of a limited or judgmental perspective expands the view and allows previously invisible possibilities to be revealed.

To make change permanent, one must LEARN. LEARNing requires practice.  Learning to adjust our view and responses takes time.  Like physical training, muscle is built up over time. As we practice listening, expanding and acting from a higher perspective we build new neural pathways that over time will become a new way of being.

To truly expand in consciousness, one must LOVE.  LOVE is the harmonizing and multiplying energy of the universe. LOVE looks for the common thread and weaves together a fabric of peace and harmony. LOVE is patient and kind, allowing time for true change to unfold. Love does not judge.

Open your eyes and see a higher vision. Listen to what Spirit is telling you.  Let go of the micro view and learn to respond from an expanded view. Live from an “L-evated” realm where love guides you in new and greater ways of being. Change your view and you change your self and you change the world.

© 2016. Rev. Eileen Patra

Rev. Eileen is the Senior Minister at Unity of Livonia in Livonia, Michigan

Fully Human, Fully Divine

There is a deep and burning desire within the heart of humankind that calls us toward the Divine. Jesus teaches us that the Divine, the Kingdom of Heaven, the immeasurable Source of all life whom He called Father, was within us. Jesus was both fully human and fully divine. Through his teachings we discover that we too are both fully human and fully divine.

In our search for this indwelling divinity, we spend a great deal of time and energy trying to be more spiritual; trying to attain or utilize the Power of God within us. As we focus our attention on attaining spiritual power we tend to affirm a false belief that it is outside of us, that to be more spiritual we must become less human. But perhaps, to be more Divine, we must first become more fully human. Becoming fully human is to reach our FULL human potential; it is to unfold to one’s Divine nature; to develop and integrate the innate spiritual Self into all aspects of being.

Cindy Wigglesworth, author of “SQ21: 21 Skills of Spiritual Intelligence” tells us that Spiritual Intelligence differs from Spirituality. Spirituality is inborn. It is the Divine Potential within each of us. Spiritual Intelligence however is developed over time just as we develop other human skills and areas of intelligence. Each of us are hardwired with the ability to develop Spiritual Intelligence just as we can develop other types of intelligences; such as mathematical, linguistic, musical and various others.

In her book, Cindy identifies four key intelligences as essential for a happy and meaningful life. The four areas to be developed in our quest for becoming more Fully Human are Physical, Cognitive, Emotional and Spiritual. Development of these intelligences is sometimes simultaneous but they are largely built one upon the other.

As infants, our first task is to develop our Physical Intelligence. The early months inhabiting these human bodies are focused on simply learning to control the body and grasp the environment. Cognitive skills form simultaneously as an infant learns how to have its needs met. As time goes on Cognitive Intelligence moves to the forefront; as we learn to think, reason and make choices. Emotional Intelligence follows as we learn to understand feelings and develop skills such as empathy allowing us to understand another’s feelings. The stage is then set for developing Spiritual Intelligence.

The ministry of Jesus encompassed all four of these key intelligences. Jesus ministered to physical needs. He healed the sick, fed the hungry and encouraged us to clothe and care for those who were in need. Jesus stirred our cognitive skills by provoking a deeper level of thought through untraditional statements and teachings. Jesus opened the emotional hearts of those with ears to hear embracing those who were different; the Samaritans, sinners, tax collectors, and sentries. The ministry of Jesus was ultimately spiritual bringing the concept of God from an invisible, judgmental ruler to a deeply personal, loving and indwelling presence. “The kingdom of heaven is within you.” “The father and I are one.” “The father is in me as I am in you,” words that affirm the indwelling nature of God; that God, the Divine is in us.

We have been marvelously made. We, like Jesus, are fully human and fully divine. If we are to follow the teachings of Jesus and unfold to our innate Divinity, we would do well to become more fully human. For in becoming more fully human, we lay a foundation for the Divine in us to be more fully expressed.
© 2016. Rev. Eileen Patra

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

Living In Color: The Metaphysics of OZ, part 1

In preparation for ministry, Jesus told his disciples if they entered a house and were welcomed there to stay and bless that house. And, if they enMINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAtered a house that did not welcome them, they should leave that place and shake the dust from their feet. This is practical advice. Who has not tried to influence the mindset of another who does not welcome your ideas? And how successful has that been? How much energy was expended?
          A house is more than a building in which we live. It is a mindset or consciousness. If we enter a mindset that is unwelcoming or discordant, we are advised to leave that place too. Leave that mindset. Leave that consciousness behind and shake off the cosmic dust. Yes. I said cosmic dust; the energy and thought patterns that cause our Light and energy to feel dull, clouded and heavy.
          In the film, The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy shakes off the dust of the black and white house, and steps into a world of Living Color. This is a very different place. It’s not the dust bowl of  Kansas anymore. In the center of this strange new land lies a golden path, an expanding spiral that leads Dorothy on a journey of self discovery.
          When we are willing to let go of  black and white thinking; the idea  that something is either/or, right/wrong, better/worse, my way/the highway, we expand. We  create a space in mind for a new idea. In the midst of obstacles or the cyclones of life we may feel an urge to run away. But being willing to step into new ideas or greater thoughts we open ourselves to, infinite possibilities.
          Dorothy grows on her journey and discovers her own inner power. Each of us have a Dorothy within us. We have a desire to grow and expand, to reach beyond limitation and feelings of  powerlessness. We have a desire to find our true home, a place in consciousness where trouble melts like lemon drops. We can learn from Dorothy’s adventures and the steps she takes along the yellow brick road.
          When Dorothy races the cyclone back to the farm, she finds the cellar door locked. Seeking shelter she goes  to her room where she sees her challenges and attachments passing by  through the window.  She  sees them from a new perspective. They are a bit smaller in the window.  We open a window in our minds when we go to our room to pray. When we go to our inner sanctuary to pray we reconnect with the Power of God  within us which is greater than the obstacles before us.
          When Dorothy opens the door to a strange new land she leaves behind the dust and enters a  new and colorful land of possibility. We enter a place of infinite possibility when we release what is not in harmony with our true selves. We step into a path of expanding consciousness when we say yes to new ideas and spiritual stirrings. We expand when we let go of what we’ve always done, thought, and said to embrace a new way of being. We expand when we shake off the dust of judgment, shame and  blame. We expand when we release the belief we are powerless and step into authentic power.
          In this house we are welcome and empowered. In this consciousness there is peace and harmony. Here we discover that troubles melt like  lemon drops. Clouds dissolve revealing the Light of God shining through us  and whatever we dare to dream we have the power to make come true.
© 2015 Eileen Patra