“There are no differences but differences of degree between different degrees of difference and no difference.” William James

Growing Up Spiritually

If you are familiar with my writing or follow this blog, you are aware of my penchant for spiritual things. I like to think of myself as a Contemporary Mystic. Unfortunately, mystic is a word that has been misused and maligned in the modern era. If someone says “she is a Mystic”, usually they are thinking in terms of occultism, delusion or psychotic episodes! This is an unfortunate fact. This causes many who are growing spiritually to be uncertain about sharing their experiences and growth for fear of being judged or misunderstood.

Mystic as defined by Oxford Dictionaries is; a person who seeks by contemplation and self-surrender to obtain unity with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute, or who believes in the spiritual apprehension of truths that are beyond the intellect.
‘the poetry of the 16th-century Spanish mystic, St John of the Cross’

As a Christ believer, I have had more than a few heated conversations or rolled eyes when sharing my growth. It is what it is. The ancient writers like St. John of the Cross, who fervently sought after The Lord through meditation and contemplation experienced the same incredulity or worse, among family and peers. Many of these seekers were priests, rabbis, learned men and women of theology, yet their descriptions seemed out there or other worldly to some. They desired intimacy, to know God for themselves. To know that they knew what they knew. Or something like that!

For example, you meet someone and you are attracted to them. You decide that you would like to get to know them better and you seek to spend time with them, to develop a relationship. It’s all surface knowledge initially but the more time that you spend together, the more you learn about them. However, during this “get to know you” period, that individual’s true personality-who they are- is somewhat of a mystery. Even though, you have looked up there info on the internet and paid for the background check (lol), this is still surface information. The only way to truly know them is through personal experience.

Growing up spiritually is similar. We read the Holy Scriptures, attend church, temple or other designated place of worship to hear and learn so that we may experience God for ourselves. Much of what we observe is a mystery, at first. It is our seeking, though prayer, meditation and taking the personal time to ”get to know “that we begin to develop a relationship that leads to intimacy.

26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Colossians 1

The question is; How far down the rabbit hole do you wish to go?

Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity. Hippocrates

Beauty and wellness is the main objective at So Beautiful Ministries International. Spiritual practice such as prayer, meditation, mindfulness, all these are components to living a happier and healthier life.

Healing is a component of spiritual practice or as I call it “Beauty from the inside out”! Last year, I incorporated Aromatherapy into my beauty practice and I am impressed with the positive impact of essential oils on my clients emotional and physical health. Emotional health has a direct influence on beauty. When you are anxious,stressed or depressed-it shows on your face! Anxiety and depression also affect your health, such as high blood pressure, headaches and a host of other maladies. Prayer and meditation enhances mental function and supports physical health.

This year, I decided to go deeper into Beauty from the Inside Out and it has been awesome! I have completed training in Reiki and by combining it with Aromatherapy, it has increased the healing benefits from stress reduction to increased happiness!

What is Reiki?
Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It can be administered by palm healing or non-touch methods. It is described as “life force energy” that flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. My personal practice has helped me to understand this energy as the same flow of the Holy Spirit that I experience through personal meditation and prayer.
The word Reiki is a combination of two Japanese words – Rei which means-God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power and Ki which is life force energy. This is the energy that flows through all living things. Reiki is defined as “spiritually guided life force energy.” A treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that relieves stress and helps the body return to homeostasis thus promoting physical healing.

When you feel good, you can’t help but look good!

“Delay not to seize the hour!” ~ Aeschylus

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“For with You is the source of life, and in Your light we shall see light.
Extend Your kindness to those who know you
And your righteousness to the upright of heart.”
(Psalm 36: 10:11)

The Light is in us. When we are in prayer we are connecting to that Light in us. This is why prayer is so important. It is an intimacy like no other. When we think of intimacy, it is usually sexual union. Yet, the union between a man and a woman pales in comparison. However it is the marriage union that mirrors intimacy with God, as in a prayer filled life.

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh”. Gen. 2:24

That word “cleave” is the Hebrew word dabaq, which means cling or adhere; figuratively, to catch by pursuit- to abide.

Prayer is how we can abide in The Lord; to dwell in God.

We abide in our homes. Our homes are protection from the elements, how we protect our possessions from thieves and how we provide a safe haven for our families. Prayer is like living in him every day!

With that in mind, how good is your housekeeping?

Are you taking the time to keep house? Or are you so busy that when you are home, it is only to sleep and eat? Many of us live to work and work to live, but never truly enjoy the benefits of all that working.

Sure we buy things, but so many times we are off to buy something else while our last purchase is still in the bag!

A life without prayer is like that. We are blessed beyond measure, though we seldom realize it. First of all we are alive! It’s only when the sh*&t hits the fan that we remember to call on the name of The Lord.

Let’s not wait.

Choose Wisely!

Heart
14 “Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
Joshua 24:14-15 ESV

When on a path of spiritual growth, we will encounter obstacles. At the start, we may be very enthusiastic to enjoy the abundant life and we have every intention to follow the voice of the Holy Spirit in us

However, we live in the world. We watch television, we’re on the internet, we listen to music, read books, etc., etc. Imperceptible, at the onset, we may not recognize the compromise going on.
Society, cultural and peer pressures influence us. We do not wish to appear odd or fanatical, so we bend a little around our friends and colleagues. We begin to compromise, just a little a bit. Until finally, if we are not careful, we find ourselves repeating those acts and having those thoughts that are contrary to living in the Light.

The admonition of Joshua is something to bear in mind as we seek to grow in the spirit. What am I suggesting?

Practice the presence of God daily! Listen to your heart. Think thoughts of gratitude throughout the day, thankful for what The Lord has done. Whle you are listening to a lecture in class or consulting with a client, think of God’s presence with you at that very moment.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7

To know Him is to love Him

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Trust. It is a word that carries a lot of weight. When someone says “Trust me”, it is not always easy to acquiesce. Especially if we do not know them well.
Walking as the Bride in the Kingdom of God depends on trust. Yet how can we trust The Lord if we do not know Him?
This “Walking”, describes a concept that I came across. It was revealed to me, through scripture, inspired teachers, but most exclusively from inspiration found in my study of the Book of Esther. My posts in 2014 will catch you up. It describes a set of actions or beauty treatments that will help you develop an intimate relationship with The Lord. If you know Him better, you will trust Him. More.

Many of us say we trust The Lord. However, if someone was to look closely at our lives, the trust is not clearly evident.
We doubt. We question. We change our plans, all because we are only giving lip service to entrusting our lives to Him. I’m not preaching outside the lines here, I have my struggles. Nonetheless, the idea of “Walking as the Bride” is to help us know Him. It has improved my life so much and yet I have hopped off the Potter’s wheel from time to time (control issues, let’s be real). I return to my old ways of thinking; anxiety, self-doubt, etc.

The Holy Spirit is present to remind us, if we are listening. The still small voice asks, “Do you trust The Lord”? I will say, “of course I do”! The response will be, “So why are you in bed eating a quart of ice cream at 2 am”? No, I do not hear voices! I pray you get what I mean.

We all have our ways of dealing with stress or worry. I tend to eat. Too much! Since implementing these tenets, much of what I used to do , I do not do and there have been positive changes in many other areas of my life. Still, it is the “walking” that makes this work. It is active. It is a life practice. It is about a love relationship. Not to sound corny or to question your intelligence but God is a person. Not like you or I, certainly. I am just saying there is a Person to know. I will stop here.

Lol! I am chuckling because I imagine there are some reading this who are humming the theme to the “Twilight Zone”. That’s okay too. If this is meant for you, you will get it.

Trust and Rest when all around you
Puts your faith to stringent test;
Let no fear confound you,
Wait for God and trust and rest.

Trust and rest with heart abiding,
Like a birdling in its nest,
Underneath His feathers hiding,
Fold your wings and trust and rest.

Unknown.

Abundance Flows Freely Through Me!

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19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silas and Timothy—was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.” 20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 1:19-20 NIV

Yes is a foreign word to most of us. We have been hearing no from the day we arrived on this planet! Most of the time, it was “No” to protect us from doing something that might hurt us. As toddlers or as we grew older, it was to make us aware of what was considered wrong or bad manners in our social structure. However, having grown accustomed to hearing it since the beginning of our lives, many of us have been conditioned by the word, no. We expect it.

So, when we begin to walk in the Kingdom mindset it is almost like when we were 1st toddling about as babies. Except as babies we had no previous instruction, clean slates. By now, we have had plenty of instruction. No is in there deep, so much so, we are not even aware. As such, taking steps in our Christ mind can be very timid, or it takes ions between steps because we are so certain NO is just ahead!

Try something new. For the next few days, think yes. Not a random, I hope so, but an emphatic yes! For everything that is a positive for your life, think yes. For the large and the small. Yes! Yes! Yes!

I am writing on this subject because I have been looking at the “no” in my life. Of course there are times that no is necessary. The problem is, when you show up with no on your mind that is what you get.

The objective of this exercise is to evict no from your expectation!

For example, the other day I was running errands and ran out of money but I was hungry. As a foodie, you know that I am against hunger! I drive over to a fast food restaurant for a cheap burger to hold me over and as I am approaching the drive-thru I realize I have exact change but I like tomatoes added which is extra. I am rarely charged the tomato charge, maybe once-which is how I know about it. Anyway, I’m thinking “I do not have enough for the tomato charge, I hope they do not say No. Guess what? They said no. I had to go without tomatoes! Silly? Sure, but I missed out on tomatoes because of my thinking. My expectation of no, made me miss out on juicy tomato slices for my burger.

Moral of the story? Don’t miss out on tomatoes because of stinkin thnkin!