Monday, October 31, 2016

Reflections on The Power of Word Pictures

Reflections on Word Pictures Friends, readers, writers, thought you would enjoy another essay that will be in our new book, Reflections: Journey to God. Our book is going through the editing process with Christian Faith Publishing. We will keep you posted on the progress.

For me there are many ways to connect with the Divine. In particular, I enjoy writing and creating word pictures about nature, which places me in the spiritual zone of the now. Here is my meditation about Yachats.

Word pictures bring me into the moment. If you have problems getting yourself centered, here's a little exercise I've learned that helps me be present. I ask myself, "what do I see?" (for instance, the ocean); "what do I hear?" (for instance, the ticking of a clock); finally "what do I physically feel?)" the cool arms of the chair I'm sitting in.

I close my eyes and ask myself these three things very slowly. If done correctly, at the end of the third repetition I'm perfectly centered.

I have another way I center myself to get into the moment. I first heard about it from Reverend Jim Lee (Unity Minister from Detroit). He says to breathe in and out slowly to relax your body, and then think of something that brings you true joy, something that makes you smile. At the end of only 10 seconds of pondering your joy, you will be centered.

So, let me paint some word pictures for you. They don't necessarily have to be from nature. It can be a photo of a grandchild, a picture on your wall or desk, or a vase of flowers on the table. Anything that speaks to you.

Nature speaks to me...

To read more, just follow this link:  More Free Essays Here

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Reflections on Innocence

Hello Everybody!  Today Gary and I thought we'd blog about Innocence... what it is and where it takes us.

Innocence is purity.  It is us completely wrapped up in God, knowing He is always there.  Even though we may be too young to speak the words (or, for that matter, too old), we feel that Loving Spirit guiding and protecting us.  Purity is joy.  Purity is a joyful life lived to the fullest, unafraid of what's around the next corner, because we know, whatever it is, we will have the tools to handle it (be it prayer, meditation, love, gratitude, forgiveness, surrender, etc.)

Sometimes we make our lives just too complicated.  Our cognitive mind and analytical mind, along with ego, can convince us we are separated from Spirit.  Remember what Jesus said about innocence in Matthew 19:14 "...but Jesus said, "Let the children come to Me, and do not hinder them!  For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."  (Seemed He was pretty adamant about it, doesn't it?)

So what does this mean for us.  First of all I'd have to say, even though we feel we've lost our innocence, we haven't.  How often have you marveled the flight of a dove?  Or the true joy a baby expresses when  you smile at him or her?  How many times do you celebrate just feeling good?

You are expressing your innocence during these times.  Often, however, we hold back on what we want to do to express our joy.  I have often told people, "You have such a pretty smile!"  I can see the joy come into their face.  They are in their innocence.  Or, I compliment someone on their clothes, or cologne, or how well they take care of their pets.  I, too, along with this person am sharing innocence.

It's these little things that bring joy to us and those around us.  It is the innocence of a baby trying to feed herself for the first time, or trying to walk.

It always seems new, because it usually surprises us.  A neighbor's cat curls up in our lap while we are there for a visit.  We feel the cat's heat and her heart beating.  And, this cat had never paid any attention to us at all!  Our innocence brings us joy.  Or how about opening the front door getting ready to take the dogs for a walk expecting rain, only to see a beautiful rainbow. 

Innocence is all around and in us.  We just have to be watchful and present not to miss these moments.  They teach us wholeness and love.  They teach us that God is ever present, and it is His great joy to give us these innocent and beautiful moments.

In Love and Innocence,
Gary and Susan Eby

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Reflections on Stress

Reflections on Stress The car won't start; the baby won't be calmed; your boss wants more from you than you think you can give; the test in school seems overwhelming.

Stress is all around us... or can be.  Stress leads to arguments between partners, frustration at work and school, when we believe we can't do what's asked of us.  But, this doesn't have to be true.

By living in the moment we are able to feel God's presence in every situation.  No matter how much stress we are feeling at specific times, we can reach within to find that serene place where God dwells.  We find ourselves drawing in a deep breath, giving ourselves over to the peace that passes all understanding.  We let go of the problems with the car, and call a mechanic to fix the issue.  We call a friend, who lives close by, for help with a colicky baby.  We realize that God is with us when the boss lays too much on us, and we realize while studying for the test that we know most of the answers already.

Stress and frustration seems to come at us from all corners, but it doesn't have to.   When we live, centered in the moment, and embraced with God's everlasting love, we start to do what comes naturally to us.  The answers begin to flow in... our problems don't seem insurmountable.   However, if we stay with the frustration and stress other issues in our lives become magnified as well.  When this happens we tend to act out.  If we have an addiction we turn to it for relief, if we have a spouse we may turn on them, even though they have had nothing to do with the problem.

I remember when our son, Jason, took his final test in nursing school.  When he got home I asked him a lot of questions:  How do you think it went?  Did he get questions he was expecting?  Did he feel he had done well?  He turned around and yelled at me.  "I failed, Mom!  I failed!

Needless to say, I was shocked.  Jason is a pretty easy going man, but he was holding so much tension and stress from the test, he yelled at me.  He turned on me because he wasn't in the moment.  He was in the past and future at the same time.  He was exhausted from all the studying, and stressed out because he thought he had failed.

He went to his room and slammed the door.  I turned around to Gary.  He said, "Don't worry, honey, we know he passed."  Later on that day, the test scores were sent out via email.  He had passed with flying colors.

He apologized to me, and it was over.  I had held back my need to try and comfort him, I let God do His work.

This is why, even in the direst of situations, when we feel completely stressed out, we turn to God.  We stay in THIS moment, breathe, say an affirmation (for example; "I know I did well on the test.")
When we do this that still, small voice comes to comfort us and give us ideas of what to do.  It works, it truly does.

Practice listening for that still, small voice of God and you will have all of your answers.  Your stress and frustration will simply melt away, for you are lifted by the most powerful process of all.  The Love of God.

In Peace and Prayer,
Gary and Susan Eby

More Free Spiritual Coaching Here

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Reflections on Magnificence and Love

Magnificence and Love Greetings Friends: Susan is taking a break today. She said I can write whatever I like. So I thought I would share with you one of my favorite topics, "Magnificence."

(What is Magnificence? And how can we experience it?)

Jesus spoke a lot about magnificence. Remember he said, "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." (1 John 4: 7,8. New International Version).

Dr. Eben Alexander, renown neurosurgeon, prior agnostic (who had a near death experience while in a coma), goes on to say, "Love is the dominant force in the universe."

Anita Moorjani, who also had a near death experience and healed from a horrible form of terminal cancer, actually coined the term "Magnificence."  She describes it as being in a state of pure, absolute, Unconditional Love."

Ed Rubenstein, PH.D, author of The Way of the Spiritual Heart, I believe, was talking about magnificence when he said, "True Source, Our Source of Love and Light, always wants to give the best of the best to all beings..."

For me, magnificence personifies that state of being and feeling connected to Unconditional Love. It is our Christ-Self, Soul-Self, God-Self, in complete alignment with the Infinite Presence, God, Source of all Good.

Now one might ask,  how do we enter this Kingdom of Love (Magnificence) that transcends the mind and lives in our heart?

There are many names for God.  There are probably many spiritual pathways to Truth. You are completely free to reject all of my suggestions. My beliefs are not that important. What is important has to do with what gives your life joy, happiness, fulfillment, and peace.

To enter the zone of Magnificence...complete Love, I start off with a simple affirmation: "I am light and love; and I am always connected to the Source of Light and Love."  I say this over and over.

Next, I breathe in the Light and Love, holding the breath for at least three seconds. I breath out slowly for six seconds all that is contrary to Light and Love, like frustration, fear, anxiety, and any form of negativity.

I then let myself see Golden Light...sometimes purple, blue, green, or other rainbow colors, completely surrounding me. I feel the warmth, heat, and comfort of the Light.

I go on to place my hand over my heart, sometimes touching other energy portals.

Now, it's time to let go of the affirmations and the cognitive process. I return my breathing to normal. I slip my consciousness into the Silence, surrendering to the Source of Love and Light deep within my heart.

I feel the Love; I accept the Love; I let the Love shine!

And you know what happens? I feel very, very happy! All is well no matter what appears to be going on around me in this physical realm. And I ask God, "Lord, how can I serve you today?"

That is what Magnificence means to me. That is how I live a better life today: I feel the Love; I accept the Love; I let the Love shine!

Also thought you might enjoy our meditation about magnificence at this link:
More Free Spiritual Essays

In Gratitude, Joy, and Love,

Gary and Susan Eby

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Reflections on Consciousness

Hello Everyone... No... we haven't been here everyday, but we get here when we can.  Glad to see you haven't given up on us!

Today we're going to write about the levels of consciousness.  These are our interpretations of consciousness written about in Jack Ensign Addington's book: "The Hidden Mystery of the Bible".

Mr. Addington speaks about the three levels of consciousness people move through as they grow spiritually. He uses Bible stories to make his case. 

The first stage is the physical.  As children we need to rely on others to feed us, clothe us, take care of us.  As we grow older we become capable of taking care of our needs independently.  Eventually we grow up and move out of our parents' house and into a brave, new world.

But, some people get stuck in this physical realm.  They feel incapable of taking care of themselves.  They cling to the past when everthing was done for them.  Perhaps, the people around this person gets some sort of satisfaction by meeting all of this person's needs.

This person is stuck in the physical.  Even those who do move on (as society expects) can get stuck in this material world.  For these people (and a lot of people do get stuck in this place) the physical means everything.  The biggest house, the most beautiful or most handsome spouse, the better, higher paying job.  They chase the all mighty dollar and it consumes them.  "How", they may wonder, "can I get more"?

Eventually their physical space doesn't seem to fit too well.  They become restless, maybe they move to another house, or get a divorce, or buy another car, but they are still not satisfied.  They realize they are feeling depressed, lost, angry... but, why?  Looking for answers they turn to the mind.

The may start reading books on self-help, or topics of the great literature in our world.  They may turn to ancient philosophers for answers, or church.  It is a restless time, but most continue through it.
They discover there are many things in this world they have yet to learn, and, so throw themselves enthusiastically into their new studies.

Some find what they need is church, but many are disappointed at what they find.  The books they read, including the Bible, start to reach their innermost thoughts.  They begin to think for themselves, realizing they are spiritual beings.

This is usually a great time of healing for people.  However, they will find themselves slipping between the physical and the mental parts of their being.  This is normal.  We all want to hang onto certain things (i.e. people, addictions, status, money).  And, we also are intrigued by the new world opening up to us through our mental capabilities.

We believe, the final stage of consciousness is the most wonderful and satisfying.  It is the mystical.  In the mystical stage there is no fear, because the connection between God and the person is complete.  God becomes everything.  The physical and mental realms are not nearly as important as this new and powerful relationship with God grows.

This doesn't mean we still don't vacillate between the physical, mental, and mystical realms.  This is because we are human as well as being divine beings.

Our point in writing this particular blog is to let you know wherever you find your self between these three states of consciousness, you are right where you are suppose to be.  Do not criticize or ridicule yourself.  Take  your consciousness to the highest realm you can reach right now and love and honor yourself.  Look how far we have come?

I didn't believe in God.  If He existed why would he let me suffer?  I've gone from hate and anger toward quite a few people, to love and forgiveness.  I could never have gotten there if I hadn't gone through these stages (a little raggedly to be sure, but I'm still trying to live in the mystic.)

Gary had a more intellectual relationship with God.  It slowly evolved into a deeper heart-centered experience of the Divine.

Gary and I believe in these three stages (along with many other beliefs).  The body, or physical self,  the mind, the thinking self, but most of all the Heart, where we will find true Joy and Harmony.  This is where we try to live our lives: Joy, Harmony, and Love.

We highly recommend Jack Ensign Addington's Book, "The Hidden Mystery of the Bible".

Also, for further discussion on this topic we would like to refer you to our essay on spirituality at this link.Reflections on Spirituality

Yours in Joy!
Gary and Susan Eby

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Reflections on Diversity

Each of us is different.  Each of us speaks, moves, looks and sounds differently.  The reason for this is that each of us is a spark of Divine Mind.  We reflect these differences, because God needs us to.

God is in all and everything... sunsets, rainstorms, and other natural experiences we have.  God is even in inanimate  objects.  God is in us.  God moves through us at every moments, however we don't often feel it.  We are disconnected.  Being too trapped in our day to day living, we rarely take the time for prayer and meditation, which brings us instantly to God.  (I'd like to say here that meditations don't have to take a long time.  For instance,  Jim Lee, a Unity minister in Detroit, speaks about the 10 second meditation:  He says to breathe in, close your eyes and relax; think about something that gives you true joy and makes you smile.  Harmony is in this moment and we begin to find clarity.  Rev. Lee says you will be renewed and refreshed and totally connected to Source, ready to go about your day.)

When we are connected to God we understand the diversity of all things, especially people.  We understand since God is working through us (not against us) that we can easily tap into all of His grace and love.  We pass on these qualities to others. 

Here's what we do know:  Political, economic, religious and cultural systems have not brought us closer together.  Unfortunately they separate us into different camps.

We believe it is time for a shift in consciousness.  Since we are one with the Father, we are connected to each other and all forms of life on the planet.

Let's celebrate our diversity, keeping in mind that together we can do amazing things.  Such as putting love into action, healing our hearts and minds, being grateful, accepting abundance with an appreciative heart, and beginning to see and know that everyone we come to meet is but a part of our self, part of the whole.

You might ask yourself, "so how do we work together for the common good given all our diversities?"  Come join us and participate in the Global Oneness Day Summit on October 24th. Check out this link to register for this amazing and free program that can bring us all together. It will be an wonderful opportunity to make that shift in Consciousness. For we are all One. Global Oneness Day Summit 20

In Oneness, Beauty, and Light,
Gary and Susan Eby

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Reflections on the Ocean

Our new spiritual book, Reflections: Journey to God, will be a collection of essays that you can read at your leisure. You don't  have to read the book cover to cover. Just select an essay that sparks your interest: ponder it for awhile; mediate a little; even read it out loud. Then see if the light from the word pictures helps you on your journey to God like they do for us. Here is an example of one of these essays entitled, "Letting Go."  It's all about the ocean, nature, and feeling connected to the beauty around us, which can help us let go of all stressful thoughts and emotions.

Crescent City, California

 I am worrying about getting my retirement pension finalized through the National Guard. Negative thoughts are challenging me.  I needed to gain freedom from my oppressive thoughts and obsessive thinking.

 I am parked in my Hyundai with the windows down and the sunroof  open, looking at the ocean from a roadside turn-off in Crescent City, California. I just had a marvelous lunch at the Harbor View Grotto.

The ocean is calm on this early afternoon. Small whitecap waves roll in over the cream colored sandy beach, which kisses the crescent shaped, green peninsula framing the bay area.  Some people are walking along the surf line. A few are flying multi-colored kites. Others are playing with their dogs. Several couples lovingly stroll hand in hand.

I turn my eyes and thoughts back from the beach to focus on the power of letting go. This process isn't as easy. I'm worried and obsessed because the paper work for my twenty year military retirement has not been cleared by National Guard Headquarters in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They have acknowledged receiving the forms I mailed to them, but they haven't returned my last four phone calls to confirm the status or progress of my pension.

Can you relate to obsessing about a person, place, or thing that seemingly doesn't have a resolution? 
Presently, sunlight is beaming through the top of my roof of my car. Soon I will need to join the beach walkers. For a few more minutes, I ponder the lunch at the Grotto: fresh baked, beer-battered cod fish and chips, nippy coleslaw, sour dough bread and the best clam chowder I have ever experienced.

I get out of the Hyundai and follow my first step, which is to realize there is a problem; that I don't feel quite right, that my mind feels full of negativity and anxiety, that I'm not quite comfortable in my skin. 

Many times we try to mask these uncomfortable feelings with other things.  We push away our true feelings, not wanting to deal with them, sometimes turning to drugs, alcohol, food or other negative coping skills.  We need to push through these addictions to begin to realize what's really going on is we're not facing our uncomfortable situations and turning them over to God.

To let go is to get my mind off the problem for a while. What I need, once I have identified the issue, is to let God start approaching me with solutions to the problems I am facing.  There are many ways to do this, and on this day, for me, I turned to nature.

The trip to Crescent City beach is about an hour and a half drive from Grants Pass, Oregon, on Highway 199 that eventually merges into 101 South.  During this drive, I paid particular attention to the scenery surrounding  me and the word-pictures they invoked. In this way I was able to turn to my inner, higher self, letting go of my more human nature of worry and frustration.

During the drive on the two lane highway, which wound like an enormous African Python encircling an ancient spectacle, I saw brown and black lava mountains stretched beside the shallow, clear, stony waters of the Smith River.  It all culminated through an almost endless forest canopy populated by majestic Redwood trees.  It was easy to pretend I had entered a land of enchantment, complete with, fairies, giants, hobbits, and wizards.

This experience of the natural world illustrates a releasing of all that is negative. I allow myself to embrace a form of meditation in motion, which comforts my spirit and releases my mind to embrace a blissful now.  I start to feel my body relax as I contentedly slipped into that place where all answers are found - within, with God.

As I concentrated on breathing slowly in and out, I  stayed with the comforting, life affirming, mind- pictures, and  found myself merging with the nature around and in me. 

I hold onto these thoughts with me to my parked car, knowing  it is time to walk the hundred feet forward. I know it's time to get personal with the mesmerizing sea waves.  This mind-picture is not over yet.

I set up my little carry on beach chair, admiring for a moment the names people have etched in the sand. The waves drum a staccato beat.  The rise and fall of white, foamy, turquoise water begins to mesmerize me.  A little, dirty-white miniature poodle (the size of my foot) causes me to laugh as it runs through to me, trying to get in my lap. His master nervously apologizes by waving the empty dog leash in his hand. I let him know it's okay.

Feeling calm, I challenge the negativity with a mighty denial, "I AM a child of GOD, all GOOD, and ALWAYS present!"  I lift my head up high and scan the sky.

Sitting in my chair I spot five hawks circling above. What do they represent?  Perhaps peace, serenity, joy, love and prosperity? There is a slight, cool breeze in the air, the temperature is about 68 degrees. I have on my jeans, and my jogging sweat-shirt, which keep me quite cozy. I notice a sea gull standing in the surf, at absolute peace despite my own personal challenges and anxieties.
I ultimately turn to my source of faith, my Higher Power, to handle all fears, doubts, concerns, and obsessions.  I clench my fists hard and then slowly release them and in doing so I feel all problems melt away.

Consequently, now physically and metaphysically free, I take up my folding chair and put it in the carrying case. With the case slung over my shoulder, I comb the beach in Crescent City, California.
There is still one hawk circling above. The ocean symphony hugs my soul and lifts my spirit. Dogs chase after sticks and balls thrown by their human guardians in the surf. Lovers walk hand and hand at the water's edge.

The problems with the National Guard will get worked out. Today, I choose to be at peace.
 Today, you have a right to let go.  Fear and negativity have no power over neither you, nor I, for we are, at last, One with the Source.

Did you like this essay? Why not purchase our collections of spiritual essays, "Reflections: A Journey to God"? Keep it close on your nightstand. Let these meditations and contemplations comfort you and strengthen your faith. "Reflections" available on Amazon

Still not sure yet?  More reflections on nature and spirituality from our first essay, The Chetco River

In Light, Joy, and Peace:
Gary and Susan Eby

Monday, October 3, 2016

Reflections on Family

Sometimes it's difficult to get along with other family members.  They may want something from us that we either just don't have, or wish to give to them (for instance, money).  Sometimes family members can be rude, obnoxious, and critical or hurtful.

We've found this especially true when it comes to adult children.  Not all children get what they need during childhood.  Maybe they feel they weren't loved enough, or got enough 'parent' time.

Whatever the reason families can be hard to get along with sometimes.  But, we know how to handle this... we pray for their peace, and our peace.  We become willing to let them have their own feelings.  We allow them to ask us questions about the past that may help them heal their own wounds.

I remember holidays as being some of the worst days of my life.  I still get anxious when Thanksgiving and Christmas roll around.  Being around family can bring up a great many mixed  emotions.  How I handle it is to try and stay in the moment.  If an intrusive thought from the past bubbles up, I quickly stamp it out with an affirmation: "I am a child of the Creator."  When I take a moment to reassess the reality of the moment I see clearly.

I am no longer a child.  I can no longer be hurt the way I once was.  I am free, because I AM a child of God, and I know I am full of love, forgiveness, and gratitude, that I, and members of my family, have changed.

Sometimes we have to end our relationship with members of our family for our own physical or mental health.  It can be very difficult to do.  But, as Emmet Fox tells us in the Golden Key, in moments like these we need to focus on God, and not on the problem.  It can be very difficult to do, but with practice it becomes easier.

Whatever your family situation is, it can be healed, or made better, by turning to God.  Feeling God first, before we speak, before we fall into old habits, or before we fall apart emotionally, we find the power to put love first.  Then the words are not harsh; then we don't fall into habits we have struggled to overcome; then we feel safe to be around those we care about.

One of the hardest family challenges occurs when we receive an emotional rejection from someone dearly loved by us. This can be exceedingly painful, overwhelming, and unfathomable. It helps a little to understand we can not control the thoughts, feelings, and actions of others. Most importantly, relief begins with faith and conviction that God is in control, and Spirit will ultimately handle the problem for us. Moreover, we can shine a Light around our loved-one who is making some hurtful decisions about us. See this person enfolded by Love Light and know that whatever the outcome, the Father loves and cherishes all of us unconditionally for eternity.

When this process of releasing the problem to God, clicks, then it is possible to forgive ourselves and others for mistakes that were made. We can also go within and ask the Inner Voice, "How can I handle this Lord?" Then simply go on with our life and follow what we are guided to do.

When we remember we are all, everyone of us, God's Children, we can successfully move through the maze that is sometimes called family.  God will never let anyone of us down, when we turn to Him.

In Love, Light and Peace!
Gary and Susan Eby