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Sunday, 28 January 2007
Spirit, Communit, Gettin realy
Mood:  on fire
Now Playing: Bob Charnes Reflections
Topic: Hope & Strength
From: Bobcharnes@aol.com

spiritual transformation: letters & prayers, with verses

(letter to a friend, 'the Vision', from 10/29/02):
...I pray that the power and truth of these words draw us out of our confusion and lethargy, and into the Love of God, so we may overcome our veils and join together and unite through the blowings and waftings of this Spirit. We only need to feel it in our hearts, plant it in our minds, and breathe in the breaths of the Truth and power of these words. Then we will be led to the gardens of delight which our soul cries out for. But, yes, we must persist and be vigilant and keep the Vision ever before us.
... Only the pure love of God seen and felt through a pure heart will satisfy us. This is a truth time will prove. May that time be now for all of us....

...I am trying to encourage cell groups of a few people who trust each other, and feel comfortable with each other, to begin to explore the areas in their lives that need transforming and spiritualizing. We need to empty our worldly egos and the roles and acts we play for the world, and begin to access and receive the Holy Spirit through the Word and through prayer
There needs to be a powerful force, or movement in the community-- a wave of the Holy Spirit radiating from one, two, or several souls. These souls will ignite others, and the fire will spread

... There's a lot we can do. I have my own personal goals and vision. I will enlist any I find who are compatible with my goals, according to my gifts and talents, and their gifts and talents. We have to link people together. If we can't get everybody together, at least we can get together those who are already friends to begin to become more focused on God, on the Word, on prayer, on transformation. So if you get together for coffee, or a movie, how about instead talk about the spiritual world, of what problems you're having that prevents you from experiencing the love of God. We have a lot of layers of worldly conditioning to work through. It is purification and cleansing. Sometimes only tests will serve to motivate the person to cut his attachment to something, or impel him to turn to God with fervent prayer and supplication, or stimulate his deeper consciousness, or cause him to attempt to look at himself and life from a different angle.
There are levels of consciousness in each one of us which are untapped and which could provide limitless experience of the divine. Some of these levels cannot be tapped unless we are inspired in a group setting with spiritual music and devotions. Then we must hold onto it, nurture and cultivate those higher awarenesses of God, and ourselves. We must not be afraid to look into ourselves, our egos--our identity--what do we show to the world--how can that be different if we had support systems that nurtured true spiritual growth, instead of the present system, which nurtures worldliness and comformity and separation and hiding our feelings and playing roles for this world. Inside is a mine of gems suited for a new world, which we must work together to create...

(letter to friend, from 5/30/05, 'face feelings' ):
____, I feel stifled in certain environments that don't honor and acknowledge deeper feelings, including the hidden needs, fears, hurts we all have inside, and also the physical needs and bodily sensations. These environments are focused on intellectual disciplines and methodologies to the exclusion of body and emotions. This is the influence of our culture--it is not balanced nor holistic. I am interested in redressing the balance, and bringing in awareness of and working with the emotions and the body, so that we have complete humans who can experience all of what God has given us to experience.

,,,, I guess I have my limits, and if I spend too much time with certain people in certain environments, I lose my focus, my connection with God, and I can't be loving or helpful anymore. I needed to take a walk in the park and get back to God, and FEEL my feelings, and breathe through my body, and feel and experience more parts of my God-given vehicle for the life-force--the spirit-body. I had to take my negative energy, and just feel it inside without projecting it onto others, and just talk to God and let myself feel the feelings of need, aloneness, hurt and how I just want love and connection with people and with God. I acknowledged my remoteness from God and that I was not loving, and that I want love and I want to feel love and peace and joy. I just felt my feelings, let them flow, did not project them or blame anyone else for my suffering. When I did this, I felt God's presence--I did the work of facing my feelings without blaming--I guess it is called 'owning' my pain. Then I felt transformed and free. I could not do this in the other environment. Then I felt that I wanted to share this and I wanted companionship, but then even that is a desire, and I was closer to God then, so I could work with those painful emotions more easily. It is a constant dance and unfolding...

(letter to a friend, with prayer and verses, 'experience it', from 12/7/00):
"O thou handmaid aflame with the fire of God's love! Grieve thou not over the troubles and hardships of this nether world, nor be thou glad in times of ease and comfort, for both shall pass away. This present life is even as a swelling wave, or a mirage, or drifting shadows. Could ever a distorted image on the desert serve as refreshing waters? No, by the Lord of Lords! Never can reality and the mere semblance of reality be one, and wide is the difference between fancy and fact, between truth and the phantom thereof.
Know thou that the Kingdom is the real world, and this nether place is only its shadow stretching out. A shadow hath no life of its own; its existence is only a fantasy, and nothing more; it is but images reflected in water, and seeming as pictures to the eye." ('Abdu'l-Baha, Fire & Gold pp184-185)

...We need meetings which are more than intellectual rhetoric, and more than an old world order attempt to create a spiritual reality. We need to actually have the spirit, and that takes authentic human beings who are in touch with the spirit, quickened by the Spirit of God-
Please heal this community, and bring great blessings upon us, please, and unite us soon!! Keep us close to You, Lord!!

...I was raised to be open-minded, and accomodate all kinds of people--the poor and lowly included. These outcasts from society have a lot to teach us, if we could only get past thinking in terms of outward appearance, ego acts, and external worldly status. It's important to teach our kids that there is value in every human being--even if we have to mine deeply to find the jewels. But often the jewels are apparent, it's just that we are not looking in the right place in the person. Many people with good hearts struggle in this world, because this world is designed for people with big and fancy egos, who can accomplish a lot of worldly things to keep this system-machine churning out its illusions and false promises. This culture is going down, baby--down to the ground! And we Baha'is are here to build up a new system based on love for all, unity of the human race, solidarity and peace. We have so much to work with--God has invested us with intellect, feelings, senses, and hearts with which to worship and adore Him, and all the creatures of this planet! I feel so much love right now as I listen to this tape. I want to play music and give love to people, and cause them to know the Love and Comfort of God, so they can join us in building a world based on love, tolerance, and spirituality. We have a lot of work to do in building this world. Will you join me, ____?

Posted by hi5/unite at 4:50 AM HST
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Thursday, 16 March 2006
Keys to Happiness
Mood:  chatty
Topic: Hope & Strength
article 4 blog

Abraham Lincoln once said, "Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be."

A recently posted article gave me some food for thought...

It stated that:
"Psychologists have recently handed the keys to happiness to the public, but many people cling to gloomy ways out of habit, experts say. Polls show Americans are no happier today than they were 50 years ago despite significant increases in prosperity, decreases in crime, cleaner air, larger living quarters and a better overall quality of life."

Sonja Lyubomirsky of the University of California at Riverside has "discovered" that the road toward a more satisfying and meaningful life involves a recipe repeated in schools, churches and synagogues.
It involves cultivating certain

GRATITUDE-- make lists of things for which you're grateful in your life:
Notice life's small pleasures

SERVICE-- Practice random acts of kindness

FORGIVENESS-- forgive your enemies, or at least bging daling with your anger towards them

HEALTH-- take care of your health

THOUGHTS-- practice positive thinking

HOME & HEART-- time and energy into friendships and family. The happiest people have strong friendships, says Ed Diener, a psychologist University of Illinois.

"Lethargy holds many people back from doing the things that lead to happiness.
Easterbrook, also a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institute, goes back to Freud, who theorized that unhappiness is a default condition because it takes less effort to be unhappy than to be happy.
"If you are looking for something to complain about, you are absolutely certain to find it," Easterbrook told LiveScience writers.
"It requires some effort to achieve a happy outlook on life, and most people don't make it. Most people take the path of least resistance. Far too many people today don't make the steps to make their life a more fulfilling one."
== From LiveScience article

This sure reminds me that HEALTH is so one of the major keys...

Looking at the state of health of most Americans, and what they put into their bodies on a daily basis, its no wonder we are lethargic. With a 40 hour (coffee-induced) week & keeping up with the homefront, most people are drained. I've also seen a major connection, little acknowleged connection between mental illnesss and exhaustion.
Many of us dont even realize our true and weakened state as we are constantly encouraged to push themselves, and taking time for rest makes us feel guilty or useless. A whole society is in denial, and reliant on caffiene and other stimulants, which prod us into action and fool us into thinking we're "OK".

For more good information & to read the full article , go to:

More from this article:

The Keys to Happiness, and Why We Don't Use Them
Robin Lloyd Special to LiveScience

Diener has collected specific details about happiness and says that most people are "moderately happy to slighly unhappy", not "unhappy", according to testing and self-evaluations.
His research states that people who positively evaluate their well-being on average have stronger immune systems, are better citizens at work, earn more income, have better marriages, are more sociable, and cope better with difficulties."
" Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has found that one route to more happiness is called "flow," an engrossing state that comes during creative or playful activity, Athletes, musicians, writers, gamers, and religious adherents know the feeling. It comes less from what you're doing than from how you do it.

" Happiness does not come via prescription drugs, although 10 percent of women 18 and older and 4 percent of men take antidepressants, according to the
Department of Health and Human Services. Anti-depressants benefit those with mental illness but are no happiness guarantee, researchers say.
Nor will money or prosperity buy happiness for many of us. Money that lifts people out of poverty increases happiness, but after that, the better paychecks stop paying off sense-of-well-being dividends, research shows."


Saturday, 4 February 2006

Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Hope & Strength
]]Exercise can boost mood of depressed patients

Anybody else enjoy walkng as a re- balancer for mood & a relaxin meditation?

A brisk 30-minute walk has an immediate positive effect on mood, University of Texas researcher John Bartholomew says. His study backs up a growing body of research that has found consistent exercise, along with medication and talk therapy, can help people overcome depression.
Another small study found that just 30 minutes of brisk walking can immediately boost positivefeelings in the depressed, giving them the same quick pick-me-up they may be seeking from cigarettes, caffeine or binge eating.

"Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin found that people suffering from depression who walked on a treadmill for 30 minutes reported feeling more vigorous and had a greater sense of psychological well-being for up to an hour after completing the workout.
Those patients and another group that sat quietly for 30 minutes both reported reductions in negative feelings such as tension, depression, anger and fatigue. But only the group that exercised said they felt good after the session, according to the study, published in the December issue of the journal, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
"Lead researcher John Bartholomew said the study reinforces past research that has found consistent exercise, along with medication and counseling, can help people overcome depression.
However, Bartholomew's is among the first to show that exercise can have a positive effect right away.

"It's not something you have to do for 10 weeks and it's not something you have to do at a high intensity," said Bartholomew, an associate professor of kinesiology and health education. "You should derive a benefit very early on in the process, and hopefully that is the kind of thing that will motivate them to continue to engage in the behavior."

Posted by hi5/unite at 8:12 AM HST
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