Centering Prayer

For the past 6 months, every Wednesday night at The Mercy Center in Madison, Connecticut, I’ve been attending a meditation circle, a cenetring prayer group.  

 

As is always the case the first time I do anything there is always a bit of apprehension.  However with meditation, the anxiety quickly slips away.  The whole concept behind meditation is to leave your thoughts behind.  As can be seen from my category at Wisdom and Life on meditation, this has been an ongoing practice of mine for years.  I’ve only just begun practicing with a group.

 

Image from:
Pixabay

There is much to be said about meditating and silent prayer with a group of people instead of doing so on your own:
For those who find it challenging to set aside time, this forces you to go.
–The energy in a group is far higher than doing anything by yourself.
–Seeing the same people every week draws us closer, thus increases the spiritual energy that surrounds all of us.

 

–If you find it difficult to set aside time to meditate on your own, having someone to go with can be all the motivator you need.  As with exercise, it helps to have a partner to be that extra push.  I’m thankful that I have such people in my life who push me to do these things.  Once I develop a routine however, it’s always easier to maintain.  Meditation is no different.  This Wednesday Night group has now become part of who I am.  I highly recommend finding a group if you are just starting out.  It will help you develop that practice.

 

–When meditating with a group, you can feel the energy around you expand, if though you’re all in contemplative mode, if you concentrate you can feel the positive energy surround you.  The more you are around these same people, the deeper the connection will become and you’ll find your spiritual energy exponentially increasing each week.

 

You’ll also find it easier to slip into meditation on your own.  This is such a healthy way to spend part of your day:
–Meditation can slow down your heart rate.
–Meditation can relax you do you’ll find it easier to sleep at night.
–Meditation can relieve stress in your life.

 

All helpful reasons to make it part of who you are.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

Talismans

Everyone has their own talisman; something they carry with them that offers their own form of protection.  Whatever it maybe, no one can deny having one.   Mine is a Saint Christopher Medal. I’ve had one most of my life.

The first medal I owned I placed in my maternal grandfather’s casket after he transitioned to provide him safe travel to the next plane.  Saint Christopher is the patron saint of travelers.  He provides safety for all who travel anywhere.  I wanted to provide my grandfather’s soul safe passage and I understood that I could replace my medal.  However this was the only opportunity I had to give my talisman to my grandfather.

I like to think that I’m not superstitious, however I can tell you, those first few weeks when I didn’t have Saint Christopher around my neck I was quite uncomfortable.

I was more than happy to give mine up because as I said above I understood that my grandfather needed the protection more than I did.  It was still odd not to feel the medal against my chest when I went to touch it.

I’ve gone through two other Saint Christopher’s.  One I left in New York and was never able to recover and one slipped off my chain and I didn’t realize it was missing until I went to bed that night. Now you’re probably thinking:
If he went through the day without any knowledge that the medal was gone, then surely the fact that he THINKS he needs it for protection is in his head.

You’d be right to think that.  In fact, I completely agree with you.  The fact is, the knowledge that I need this talisman, the knowledge that ANYONE needs a talisman is entirely in our heads.  Just because we believe we need something to keep us safe however, creates the reality that we need something to keep us safe.  You our of course aware of my worldview that states:
Our thoughts create our reality.
It is this very reason why believing something makes it real in our world.

Last week, while shaving, I heard a clink and looked down to see my current ST. Christopher Medal lying in the sink. The medal had fallen off my chain.  I once again felt vulnerable. I know.  That sounds crazy, right?  I can’t help it.  ST. Christopher has protected me for almost my entire life.  Without that medal hanging around my neck, I did not feel safe.  Once out of the bathroom I went to my bedroom and in my night table I found a second medal, I attached that to the chain as best I could and waited a week before I could get tighter fit on the medal.  Whether you believe in talismans or not is beside the point.  The fact is, I do and ST Christopher has been mine in name as well as in reality.

Do you have a talisman?
No!  Scratch that question.  Seeing as it has already been established that everyone has a talisman, let me rephrase the question:
What IS your talisman?

Let me know in the comments below.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Sleep is one of the most important physical things you can do to stay healthy.  Are you getting enough?  How can you feel more refreshed in the morning and make sure you are getting enough sleep during the night?

 

Image from:
Pixabay

–Exercise.
Meditate an hour before bed.
–Make sure you have proper bedding.
–Consistency.
–Use a smart alarm clock.

 

 

 

Exercise has been shown to improve your sleep patterns when done consistently,  In fact, some studies have even shown that exercise can reduce the possibilities of getting sleep apnea.  The more you maintain a regular schedule of walking, aerobic activity, running or biking, the better you will sleep at night.  I understand that for those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere it can sometimes be a challenge walk, bike, hike during the dead of winter.  However, you have to weigh the benefits of sleep vs the hindrances of dealing with the colder weather.  Dress warm and use the concept of layers.  Instead of ONE winter coat, use several layers, a shirt, a long sleeve cotton shirt, a sweatshirt, THEN your coat.  Make sure you wear a scarf to protect your neck from wind and cold getting into your body and ear muffs if like me, you don’t like wearing a hat.  If you’re consistent with the amount of activity you pursue, you will see a positive change in your sleep patterns.

 

Meditation is one activity where you won’t have to wait to see results.  If you turn off all electronic screens at LEAST one hour before going to bed and sit in darkness with soft instrumental music playing in the background and simply let your mind drift away, by the time you crawl into your bed, all the work of relaxing will be complete and you’ll find yourself falling asleep much quicker than before.  This practice takes adherence, and again here comes that word:
Consistency.

 

You can’t expect to meditate once a week and think that you’ll sleep well every night.  This must become part of who you are.  Meditate every night for a week and you’ll see a direct positive result.  You’ll fall asleep faster and you will wake feeling more refreshed.  Once you see the results, I believe you will continue to do this every night.

 

Speaking of Proper Bedding.  It is important that you have a bedding that fits your sleep patterns.  By bedding I mean not just your mattress but your pillow as well.  In December 2012, I wrote a column here about selecting the proper pillow for the way you sleep.  It is definitely worth a read through again.  As I wrote in that column:
I used a soft down pillow for YEARS. It wasn’t until I experienced neck pain that I realized I used the wrong pillow.  Read the column linked above to discover why.  The other important factor to consider in the proper bedding category is this:
Your bedroom should be used for ONE THING and ONE THING ONLY:
Sleep.

 

You should NOT be reading in your bedroom.
You should NOT have a television in your bedroom.

 

All these things become a distraction and they take away the reason FOR YOUR bedroom.  You use your bedroom for what it is named for:
Your bed.  

 

By having other experiences in your bedroom, your mind will think that room is used for reading, for watching television, for doing anything other than sleep.

 

Consistency once again.  This time the word is used to say, it is important to maintain a regular time to go to bed.  If you go to bed at different times during the week, your body won’t understand the inconsistency and you will find that you won’t fall asleep until the latest time that you go to bed.  My bed time is typically by 930 and I do my best to maintain that schedule.  It is so important to make a schedule for your bedtime and stay within that time period as best you can.

 

Finally the other tool I’ve begun using is a smart alarm clock.  If you have a smartphone which many people now do, you can find a smart alarm clock app.  What this does is that it listens to you as you sleep and it will wake you within a time period that you choose in which you are in your lightest sleep.  Instead of blasting an alarm it will wake you to any number of sounds that are available.  I use Sleep Cycle, because I found that it is the ONLY app that you don’t have to keep in bed with you.  I keep the phone on my nightstand.  Sleep Cycle also keeps track of how well you sleep while it monitors your sleep.

 

If you follow these simple steps, I believe that over the course of a few months you will find your sleep patterns improving.  As I said earlier and often, you MUST remain consistent.  Otherwise nothing will change.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

Vision Boards

You have sole ownership of your vision. And the Universe will give you what you want within your vision. What happens with most people is that they muddy their vision with “reality”. Their vision becomes full of not only what they want but what everybody else thinks about what they want, too. Your work is to clarify and purify your vision so that the vibration that you are offering can then be answered.

Abraham-Hicks

 

I’m going sideways with this quote today and talk about what your vision is and how to create the life you want, the career you want, the relationship you want.  I’m sure since you’re here at Wisdom and Life, you are at least tangentially aware of what a vision board is:

 

Image from:
Pixabay
I remember in 1984 when I attended Mohegan Community College in Norwich, Connecticut.  I took a psychology class and one of the tasks we had to undertake was creating a vision board, although, at that time it wasn’t called a vision board.  It’s been so long now I don’t recall what the professor called the project.  Nevertheless, that’s what I created.  I cut out pictures from magazines of a woman holding a fishing pole, someone with a camera and someone sitting down with a pencil writing.  You can see even in 1984 that some of my interests then are the same I have today.  The woman holding the fishing pole?  Well at the time I wanted a relationship with someone who had some of the same interests that I did.  Fishing was an obsession in the 1980s for me.

 

The next time I came across the subject of vision boards was in Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret.  This is a powerful tool to use when wanting to create the life you want.  It’s like the Law of Attraction says:
Ask
Wait
Thank.

 

Ask:
Create your board and make it as specific as possible.  Find images that show what you want.  If you want a boat, paste a boat to your board.
If you want a mansion, find a picture of a mansion.
Whatever you want, find an image that correlates with your vision.

 

Wait:
Once your board is created, put it away and forget about it.  Don’t go looking at it every day.  It needs time to percolate.  If you’re constantly referring to it, the board won’t have time to work its magic.

 

Thank:
When the things you want start coming to fruition, it is absolutely important to thank the Universe, thank the Divine, thanks God.  Remember:
Being grateful is possibly the most important factor in practicing Law Of Attraction.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

Carrie Fisher/Debbie Reynolds

Mother and daughter passed within a day of each other.  Some may say Carrie Fisher’s mom, Debbie Reynolds suffered a stroke because of the stress of losing her daughter.  That’s an explanation people will be able to accept.  But there’s another esoteric interpretation of the events that happened at the end of December.  It’s one that I prescribe to:
Predestination

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Carrie Fisher:
Wikimedia
Image Debbie Reynolds
Wikimedia

 

That concept that says we decide our fate when we choose the life we will live in transition hall.  What’s transition hall?  You may ask:

Transition Hall is where we go to choose our next incarnation.  I understand that some of my worldview may sound a bit esoteric.  However, for someone steeped in the paradigm, it is all simply one piece to the puzzle.

 

In Transition Hall, we choose not only the life we will lead but we also sign a contract that states all that will happen during our latest incarnation, from when we will incarnate and into what kind of life we will live to when we will transition once more back to our soul groups.

 

So what I’m saying here is that I believe that predestination tells us that there are certain aspects of our lives that simply can NOT be altered by the contract that we sign:
Our incarnation date and out transition date are two such things that can’t change.  

 

Unless we take matters into our own hands with our transition.  If we do that then we don’t return to our soul group.  That will cause a one way ticket back to humanity.  This is not a punishment as I’ve written here countless times over.  It is simply a spiritual law, a karmic law.

 

Perhaps during Carrie Fisher’s and Debbie Reynolds’ time in transition hall, they decided to pass together.  They obviously had a contentious relationship during their latest incarnation; another thing they chose when they incarnated.  They seem to have finally resolved their differences however.  Because they became family again, only to have their time cut short, perhaps, Debbie Reynolds DID need to be with Carrie and maybe that was in the contract Reynolds signed before she incarnated:
That if they were able to set aside their differences, Reynolds would transition with her daughter.  

 

I understand this is a delicate topic and I’m in no way making light of this tragic event.  I’m simply giving my own explanation for why I THINK mother and daughter may have passed together.  An esoteric reason I know.  Because I’m steeped in the paradigm I’m in, I find my thoughts naturally going in that direction.  May Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds find peace in their passing and we can celebrate their lives.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

End of an Era –The Madison Coffee Shop

Please pardon an unusual column this week.  A long time business in Madison, Connecticut has shuttered its doors, somewhere I spent many mornings before heading to work.
I made many friends there and now everyone has scattered.

 

The Madison Coffee Shop closed its doors for a final time on Saturday, December 24th 2016, leaving a hole in the lives of its loyal customers.

 

Image from:
CJP Photos

Here’s a different perspective from Dan Mulvey:
The Madison Coffee Shop: Where Everyone Knows Your Name
an English Teacher at Daniel Hand High School in Madison, Connecticut when I attended.  The Madison Coffee Shop became like a second home to me over the course of its existence, but especially in the last ten years.  So many experiences I had there over the years.  

 

–The business changed hands three times since I started visiting when I moved to Madison in 1978.

–The front window being decorated for each holiday and season.

–Halloween especially turned first time visitors heads.  Hanging from the ceiling over one of the counters, a life size boat with a mannequin lying down and one arm over the side.

 

You know that saying:
Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda?

 

I wished now that I’d taken pictures of that.  At the time however, my focus was less on photography.

 

–And oh man. During the second ownership while I’d been going, who could forget having to wear your winter coat in the middle of summer?  Ice cold with the air conditioner pumping at full throttle.  As I’m writing this now I THINK I FINALLY understand why:
The heat in the kitchen must have been as unbearable as the cold in the restaurant.

 

–Meeting up in the morning with my friends.  (We all picked out our own places to sit and returned there each morning like homing pigeons.

 

That’s what I will miss most:
The gathering.  

And the convenience of the location.  Just across the street from the Scranton Library where I work.  I’d park behind the coffee shop in the morning, go in for about an hour have a quick bite to eat when I didn’t eat at home and sit and talk with all my friends.  With the Madison Coffee Shop now closed, there is no easy place downtown to grab a breakfast sandwich and walk across to work.

 

Everyone will adjust and we’ll find a new home but at the moment I feel displaced. Change is inevitable.  Embrace it or be defined by it.

 

Thanks to Wayne and all his wait staff who over the years worked to help their customers feel at home:

 

Images from:
CJP Photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

A Work In Progress

What are your resolutions for the new year?

Image from:
Pixabay

It’s one of my least favorite things about New Years. Everyone wants to know what changes you plan on making. New Year’s resolutions only set us up for failure. Harsh, I know.

 

 

But you tell me how many of us actually follow through on ANY of the resolutions we’ve sworn to keep?

 

Yet we continue to create the façade. We continue making these pronouncements that THIS year will be different. It’s why I’ve decided to get off that ride. I know longer make resolutions. I want to continue being happy throughout the year and continue doing what I love.   By making resolutions I do not keep, I continue that pretense and set myself up for disappointment.  Why not change your habit and do something different?

Why not stop making resolutions you won’t keep?  Be happy with who you are today.

 

One of the stories I love recalling is when a teacher asked their student what they wanted to be when they grew up and the student said:
Happy.

 

No.  The teacher said.  You don’t understand.  What do you want to DO?  The student smiled back and said:
You DON’T understand.  I want to be happy!

 

The student was right.  It’s the teacher who received a lesson on that day.  Being happy is much more important than our career, which is what the teacher aimed at asking.  Why not be happy with both?

 

Isn’t that what we all want?
To be happy?

 

We are all a work in progress and there is no perfection. We should all be aiming for happiness and abundance.  Abundance of all types.  Not just monetary wealth, but joyful wealth, friendship wealth, spiritual wealth.  The Divine doesn’t EVEN EXPECT perfection, only that we strive for it.

 

So no more New Year’s Resolutions for me.  I think there are simply too many pitfalls waiting to happen.  I’d rather, as I said previously, continue to be the happiest person I can.

 

Doesn’t that seem like a much better use of our time?

 

Happy New Year’s to all those who celebrate it.

 

Next week’s column will be something different.
A remembrance of a local establishment that has
recently shuttered its doors.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

Editing my Manuscript

I’ve been editing my manuscript:
Taking Off a Coat: Ruminations on Transitioning for the past couple of weeks.

Image from:
Pixabay
writing

Hence there will be no traditional column today.  I hope to have the final rough draft of my manuscript done by the middle of December.  I originally thought it would be complete at the end of the week. However, I need to have a BIT more time to go through the document and make sure that it is as complete as I can make it.  

 

My typical month long hiatus from Wisdom and Life is starting a couple of weeks earlier this year so I can devote more time to writing and editing my manuscript.  So, today’s column will be the last one until the middle of January 2017.

 

Be Happy! Be Well! Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

 

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

 

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying. For there truly is no end.

I See Everything by Faith

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.

C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis, as with many others has been in inspiration for me for countless years.  I may not have used his quotes here often, however it doesn’t mean that I don’t respect him.  His spirituality has always been in conjunction with mine.  I feel a common thread with Lewis especially after reading several of his books.

Image from:
Flickr
cslewis

When someone mentions the name CS Lewis, I THINK the first topic that comes to mind when anyone hears his name is The Chronicles of Narnia trilogy.  At least that’s where I discovered him first.

The above quote resonated deeply with me, because this is EXACTLY how I see my faith.

“Because by it I see everything else”

An interesting turn of phrase because as I’ve also said at Wisdom and Life, my faith is part of who I am and if you take away my faith then I cease to be who I am.  I see everything, as it appears Lewis does, through the lens of my faith.  EVERYTHING that happens in my life is due to God.  Both positive and negative.  You only have to look through my blog to see this is true.  Look at the category:
Connections to see how much this is true.  Every column in that category will prove my point.

I’m using Christianity and faith as interchangeable even though they are not.  I have Christian beliefs and I have spiritual beliefs.  Some of my worldview would seem anathema to Christianity.  For example, my belief in reincarnation, past lives.  It doesn’t mean I don’t consider myself Christian, because I surely do.  I just don’t affiliate with any particular denomination.  I carry on my own spiritual conversation with God…

…ALL THE TIME!

“Because by it I see everything else”

I measure my faith, my Christianity by my own standards and while some may doubt my belief, the only person that has to believe is myself.  I see God everywhere I go.  

–I believe, because my life is lead by my belief.
–I believe, because I’ve seen too much.
I believe, because I’m here.
–I believe, because my faith and God kept me here (as can be seen from the above link.)

I owe a debt of gratitude to God for saving me countless times.  My faith has saved me so many times.  God has saved me countless times.  I believe in Christianity, I believe in my faith because without it I surely wouldn’t be here.  I may not even be walking.

 

 

Be Happy! Be Well! Be Positive!
Blessings to you.
Chris

 

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;


We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying. For there truly is no end.

Thanksgiving Week

As I’ve always maintained, the quickest three months of the year are September to December and now here are at Thanksgiving Week

Image from:
Public Domain Pictures
thanksgiving

So one of my big things as a result of learning about Law of Attraction, is being grateful.  So seeing as we are at the start of Thanksgiving week, I will ask:
What are you grateful for?

 

 

 

 

Be Happy! Be Well! Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

 

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

 

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying. For there truly is no end.