Coming out of Hiding to Let Prosperity Find You

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I am in love with Tonya Parker. Read her post and find out why. Give it the time it needs to receive all the abundance you can from it.  Hers are power words. Please receive these powerful words and use them.


I delivered this sermon on Sunday, March 5, 2017 at Takoma Metaphysical Chapel, an interfaith spiritual community located in Silver Spring, Maryland. I have been a member since 2006, and have served on its Board, various committees, and healing and message-bearing teams. Our Senior Minister is Reverend James (Jim) Webb, esteemed minister, author, spiritual life coach/counselor, psychic intuitive, channel, and one of my spiritual mentors. We use many sacred texts as part of our services, classes, and workshops, and the book A Course in Miracles (ACIM) is one of our primary sources. “Rev Jim “leads a weekday morning ACIM call, and I have been in regular attendance on the calls for the past three years. I have come to truly appreciate the teachings of ACIM, published by The Foundation for Inner Peace.  Per its website, ACIM is “a unique, universal, self-study spiritual thought system that teaches that the way to Love and Inner Peace is through Forgiveness.” I pray that the reader receives a blessing in this message Spirit guided me to speak:

Last Sunday Rev Jim spoke on Preparing for Prosperity by clearing our mind, clearing our heart, and clearing our energy. As we pray, today we call on the most high Mother, Father, Everything God, great creator, great healer, dwelling within us all. We invite you further into this space, asking for your loving healing grace in clearing our mind, our heart, our energy to prepare for prosperity in its many forms, including the message you would have me share today. We are open to receive, as you shower us with the blessings of your love, your light, your wisdom, your grace, and all else we need to come out of hiding to shine brighter to reflect you. Let it be so, and so it is.

Frank Kafka wrote, “All that you are seeking is also seeking you.” But what if what we seek or desire—we’ll call it–our prosperity–is having trouble finding us?

Anyone ever have that feeling? Somehow, there is some barrier, some cloaking technology, some bushel that is blocking our prosperity from seeing us clearly and finding us. And, contrary to popular belief, suppose that barrier is not because of something someone else constructed. Suppose…we are the source of that barrier. We built it ourselves. And prosperity cannot find us because we have hunkered down behind that barrier. We went into hiding. Anybody in here know about hiding?

I’ll speak for myself. I’ve spent years in hiding! The barriers we construct may look different depending on the person or the circumstances. For some, it may be a moving barrier, as we run away, ducking and diving for cover when light shines our way. For others, it’s being silent as we quietly put on a cloak of invisibility…we can hide by not stepping up, and letting others step into the limelight…we also hide when we live a lie, allowing others to see an incomplete or false representation of our true selves…and still others may hide through playing small, playing safe, playing in the comfort zone.

Well, I confess I’ve done them all. Trying to be nice. Trying to be a people-pleaser. Trying not to rock the boat, tip the boat over. Trying to stay humble and not get a big head. Trying to allow everyone else to shine. Trying to play it safe. Trying to ignore the call of the wolves. Trying to ignore the voice of Spirit. Over and over and over again. Listening to the tapes recorded from childhood and adolescence, through various schools, from various jobs, relationships, and experiences over the decades of life. Adding layer after layer of covering over my Light.

I’ll dare to say that we all have hidden in some way at some time in our life.

And when we hide, H-I-D-E, we Help Insanity Dictate our Experiences…instead of let prosperity find us.

Before I share some insights to help us come out of hiding, I’m going to share with you a couple of personal examples of my hiding. When I went off to the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia my initial GPA may not have shown it, but I was an overachiever. Over the course of 10 years there, I earned four degrees: a BA in Sociology, an M.Ed in Agency Counseling, an EdS in Professional Counseling, and then what I thought was the most important–an MRS. Yep, I snagged me a husband from the law school there and got married in the chaotic midst of the blizzard of ‘93, with a plan for my happily-ever-after as Mrs. Tonya Parker-Hopkins. However, there was one little problem. I was running away from, and staying silent about my attraction to other women. Just a little hiding, a little helping insanity dictate my experiences. So, I did what many of us do. I swept my feelings under a rug. When you keep sweeping things under a rug, they don’t go away. What happens? You just get a pile that grows bigger and bigger until it’s impossible to ignore.

I began to learn the lesson: that which we resist persists. Remember that if you have on CNN 24/7, and follow every move of the President, and curse him and call him names on social media. Energy flows where attention goes, so you are feeding an energy and helping it grow, or perpetuate. But I digress. I was feeding an energy, helping it grow and perpetuate. My pile under the rug grew so big that first I kept creating new paths to move around it. But that still fed it–because actively trying to avoid something is still spending energy on it. And then I began to trip over it, because it was constantly there. That was no fun, either. After the death of my father, I did some soul searching, some healing work, and acknowledged it (me), learned to honor it (me), and made a choice to come out of hiding, live my truth, and let prosperity find me. No more helping insanity dictate my experiences—at least in that situation.

Here’s the second example of my hiding: When I was a senior at Rappahannock High School in Warsaw, Virginia, we took one of those career inventories. I received three results based on my interests and aptitude: social worker, landscape architect, and minister. I followed a social work-related career path for many years—as a children’s case manager, a mental health therapist, a prevention specialist, and a crisis worker. Now, I never did go into landscape architecture, but I certainly have fed my affinity for Earth mother through foods, herbs, essential oils, and crystals. What about that minister thing, though?

My mother’s father was a minister—both my grandfathers and my step-grandfather transitioned before I was born, so I never felt that connection with my maternal grandfather. Essentially, it was a fact written on a genogram–like a therapeutic family tree–for my Marriage & Family Counseling class.

That minister thing kept trying to show up, though. I would scratch my head when my former officemates kept turning to me to pray at our countless potlucks. No big deal–not everyone is comfortable praying out loud. Other little clues popped up over the years, but I was good at looking the other way. Let’s fast forward to 2007, when, I began cooking for Iyanla Vanzant, Rev. Jim and the faculty of Inner Visions Institute for Spiritual Development. For most of the three years I cooked, different faculty members would strongly invite me to enter the program. And I had checked in with Spirit, and was clear, I wasn’t to do that. At some point they stopped trying to recruit me for the program and started telling me, “You’ve now completed your first year, your second year, your third year. But I wasn’t listening to all those spiritual folk. I had enough on my plate juggling being a healer, a teacher, a writer. A minister?? Ain’t nobody got time for that.

But at some point, I realized everywhere I went, someone was calling me Minister Tonya or Reverend Tonya. I always corrected them. I once even had a gentleman walk up to me at Pathways Natural Living Expo, bow and pronounce “high priestess.” Not listening. Even when my partner entered and graduated from University of Sedona and became a minister, bringing it into the house, I still was running and hiding.

Then Spirit decided to be a bit more obvious. When we don’t listen to the whispers, Spirit responds with a roar. So when I attended our Psychic Fairs and received readings, I was called to ministry, or reminded that I have been doing the work for years, and it was time to stop hiding, acknowledge it, and own it. Very shortly thereafter, on what seemed like a random day in July of 2016, I heard it was time. It reminded me of a Monopoly game—you get the “Go straight to jail card”: “Do not pass Go, Do not collect $200.” I was instructed: do not enroll in Inner Visions, University of Sedona, The New Seminary, or any other seminary or program—various paths taken by sooo many of my beloved friends and spiritual family members. Unless I really wanted to. I was to look online and be guided.

Sure enough, I was guided to Universal Life Church, and right then and there, released the resistance, and with a few clicks of the keys, said “yes” to becoming Reverend Tonya Parker. And then said nothing. Maybe it was embarrassment at my online ordination—essentially buying a credential without doing the work. But that argument didn’t hold up, because Spirit reminded me that there’s nothing about my life experiences, education, training, and mentoring that remotely relates to not doing the work and receiving the anointing. Therefore, I was still hiding—helping insanity dictate my experiences.

Now, I eventually told a few people, hid it in my monthly newsletter, updated the blurb hidden on my Tonya D Parker fan page on Facebook, and still hid in plain sight. That is, until October 15, 2016 when I got a reading from Rev Jim at the Fall Festival. We filled his house that night and had amazing healers and message-bearers. Rev Jim was one of mine. There we were, in his master bathroom, and Spirit spoke through him, calling me out as a minister, basically telling me to come out of hiding, stop covering my light with a bushel, and be the minister that I am. God got jokes. I fessed up to Rev Jim, and the jig was up.

Next thing you know, he is on our morning A Course in Miracles Call saying “Rev Tonya” even when I haven’t introduced myself on the call in that way. But nobody seemed to pick up because he had been one of the ones periodically calling me Rev Tonya in the first place. But I got a little bolder, told a few more folks, and allowed myself to be introduced in that way in a couple of settings. But still small.

So, we come to a month ago, when Rev Jim called me and said it was time for me to deliver the message here at chapel. The Tonya of the past would have said, “Well, if Rev Jim believes I’m ready and I can do it, I must be, so I’ll do it–kind of like he broke through my resistance to teach Reiki back in 2011.” This time, Rev Tonya, Tonya of God, Tonya who remembers, and acknowledges the Christ-light within, knew it was time to come out of hiding. I said yes, not because he knew I could do it, but because I knew I could, and it was time.

Since saying yes, prosperity has been able to find me, because I am no longer hiding my light. Doors of opportunity have been opening left and right, and I am so grateful for the blessings that come when we say yes to our Divine light. Thank you God for showing up over and over again in a myriad of forms and a multitude of people. All that I was seeking was also seeking me–I just had to cast off the bushel that was hiding my light, and align myself with Spirit, so I could be found. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a soul like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found. Was blind but now I see!

There are so many feeling lost right now, so many blinded by distractions, parlor tricks, alternative facts etc. It’s creating a cloaking, a darkness that can be hard to see through.

This current social, political, and cultural environment is now calling for us to come out of hiding.

It’s time to stand firmly in place, speak up, step up, live our truth, and BE the great light that we are so that we can shine through the darkness and attract prosperity not just for ourselves, but also for our sisters and brothers.

As metaphysicians, we know that we are all connected. We know that we are part of a collective consciousness. We know that we are One with Mother-Father God, Great Spirit, the Universe, Infinite Intelligence, the I AM essence. So, when others suffer, we all suffer. When others are oppressed, we all are oppressed. When others are denied their rights, we all are denied our rights. When others have barriers placed, blocking their prosperity, we all have barriers placed, blocking our prosperity. We need to understand that we are not just our brother’s keeper–we are our brother and our sister! ACIM says God’s will for me is perfect happiness, and it can feel so hard attaining that happiness in full when we look around and see and experience isms and injustice, prejudice and pain, phobias and fear, hate and harm.

I don’t know about you, but that feels more like haplessness, helplessness, and hopelessness rather than happiness. That’s why I call on ACIM yet again and ask God to HELP me see things differently! Help ME see things differently. Help me SEE things differently. Send in the light. Send in the lights. Help us Shine bright and show we are ready to attract our collective prosperity.

Prosperity is more than what’s in our bank account. I am a writer, and I love words! I am always looking up synonyms in a thesaurus. When I looked up the word, “prosper,” two of the synonyms spoke to me: to bloom, and to flourish. Of course , since we are in the month of our Spring Equinox, I began to think about a major element needed for flowers to bloom and our plant life to flourish. Light! When green plants receive light, a process called photosynthesis is triggered, using sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water.

In basic terms: Add light, create sustenance. Add light, create growth. Add light, create abundance. Add light, create prosperity.

When we come out of hiding and are in alignment with our truth, when we are aware of our light, when we take off that bushel and reveal that light, we begin vibrating at a level where we become One with the divine flow, and are able to attract our highest good. We are able to bloom, and flourish.

We attract the type of love we desire, we attract that ideal work experience, we attract the home we want, we attract the funding for our projects, we attract the contacts needed to take our creations to the next level. We attract whole health and vitality, and yes, we attract MONEY–My Own Natural Energy Yieldcurrency—an energetic flow into our bank accounts, our gold accounts, our bitcoin accounts, our stock portfolios.

And in this lightened, enlightened state of prosperity, we touch people in ways we can’t imagine. We move others from inaction to action. We inspire others to step into their light. We lift others up on our shoulders and prosperity can see them more easily. And like attracts like, and light attracts light, and if enough of us are moving in this pattern, dancing this dance, tripping the light fantastic, vibrating at this level of consciousness, we reach a critical mass, creating a tipping point into this state of prosperity for all. Envision this world where we all prosper, we all bloom, we all flourish in a multitude of brilliant and beautiful ways, as varied as the flowers blooming and flourishing over in Brookside Gardens.

Let’s be clear, not everyone is able to see through this lens. Some will continue to see separation–from God, from our fellow humans, from nature, from herself. But all we need is for that unknown great number to awaken and come out of hibernation, to come out of hiding.

So how do we do this? I have three points.

First, we must remember and acknowledge the truth of who we are and whose we are. Second, shine our light into our internal cracks and crevices. And third, just let our great light shine.

  1. Remember and acknowledge the truth of who we are and whose we are. How many messengers does it take to change a light bulb? Rather, how many messengers need to be sent to this Earth plane for us to remember our Divine light? Buddha, Mohammed, Jesus? How about every person we’ve encountered in our life? As quoted in the beautiful responsive reading by Sri Swami Satchidananda, whom I had the pleasure to meet years ago before his transition, “God, Help us see that same Light, the same spirit dwelling everywhere in everything…as everything.”

I grew up in the Baptist tradition, and was told the light was something separate, residing in and represented by one person—Jesus. Jesus was an amazing lightbearer and way-shower. However, I now know the Christ light dwells inside us all. Even in the Hitlers, the Jeffrey Dahmers. In the Trumps and Pences. Even in you, me. It may be cozily residing in some deeply hidden cracks and crevices, but it’s there.

Many of us grew up and came through life putting on a pedestal those we considered holy. We had an amnesia of sorts in which we lost sight of the truth of who we are. We bought into the belief that we are sinners, wretches, abominations—lowly men and women who needed saving. We seem to have this attitude about presidents, too—waiting for someone to save us. Well in case you have forgotten, I will remind you. YOU are holy! You are the light. You are the savior. And so are THEY. Because they hold up a mirror and give us plenty of opportunities to see our EGO at work, where we are Edging God Out. Thank you God, for helping me see things differently, using those we often see as other to be our teacher.

So, In case you have forgotten, I will remind you. In case you have forgotten because the trauma of going through the birth canal was too much, I will remind you. In case you felt your memory was stripped away along with your innocence, I will remind you. In case you’ve forgotten because you’ve been repeatedly bruised and battered by words, fists, or circumstances, I will remind you. As Rev Jim reminded us last week on our ACIM call: There is an indwelling power of God that connects each of us to the Universal power of God. So, I will remind you, if this Universal power of God is full abundance, and we are connected to God, then therefore so are we. We are abundance. We are abundance. We prosper. We bloom. We flourish. It is in our spiritual DNA. As Rev Jim says, there is no lack where God is at. It’s not grammatical, but it’s right; there is no lack where God is at. The Christ light dwells inside us all.

Now, a word of caution…Just because we remember who we are doesn’t mean we acknowledge it. Many are still in hiding, as Marianne Williamson wrote in A Return to Love:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

When we come out of hiding and remember who we are and whose we are, and acknowledge our light, prosperity will have a better chance at finding us, AND our sisters and brothers.

  1. Now that we remember and acknowledge our light, let’s Shine that light into our internal cracks and crevices.This is powerful healing work that ain’t for the faint of heart. And we’re being called to do the work. No longer can we point a finger at others—we know too much—we know we’ll have three fingers pointing right back at ourselves. Shining the light within not only allows us to closely examine our stuff, but also heal our stuff…and take responsibility for what we have been creating.

Thank you Donald Trump for becoming President. Because in the ensuing darkness, we are being forced to turn on the light, and shine it within. What we see reflected is that the devil didn’t make us do it. Our parents didn’t make us do it. Our boss didn’t make us do it. Our boo thing didn’t make us do it… Looking into your internal cracks and crevices, what do you see just waiting for healing light to transform it? Is it pain? Lack? Shame? Doubt? Judgment? Abandonment? Fear? Not enoughness? Too muchness? Is it a belief that God is so far away and doesn’t have love for you?

Just breathe… connect to the God within…and send light to that hidden place of hurt. Invite this mistaken belief to come out to receive even more light, more love, more healing. Do this once, twice, as many times as you need to in order to transform it. Talk to it and remind it of the truth. Talk to God, and pray for the healing. Write a request and leave on your altar for your ancestors, angels, and guides to help heal. Work within your energetic system and shift it through tapping. Work with a coach or therapist. Pay attention and affirm everything unlike it that appears—once again, energy flows where attention goes. And be in gratitude for it. We can more fully appreciate the beautiful, glorious light when we’ve been in a place of darkness. So shine that light in those dark cracks and crevices, and give thanks.

  1. Finally, just let your great light shine. It’s not a little light. Trust me, I can see from this vantage point an amazingly brilliant light emanating around you. That’s why we will sing this great light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Speaking of songs, Elton John sang “Turn on your heart light, let it shine wherever you go.” I learned this lesson—I had on my heartlight and let it shine. Others knew before I did that I didn’t have to call myself “Rev” to minister. Neither do you. We are all the ministers of God. We are beautiful, unique, individual manifestations of the great light. And when Dominion Power, Baltimore Gas and Electric, and PEPCO lose power, we don’t. No matter what circumstances we encounter in life, we got the power to keep shining our light. Turn on your heart light, let it shine wherever you go. If you work in the Post Office, shine your light! If you work in real estate, shine your light. If you fix cars, shine your light. If you counsel others, shine your light. Shine your light as you take classes, walk in the park, write books, do hot yoga, go grocery shopping. Every breath is an opportunity to connect deeper, shine brighter, and serve as a beacon for those who are seeking more. Every breath is an opportunity to connect deeper, shine brighter, and serve as a beacon for prosperity to find us. And when it finds us, we shine brighter, and attract more light to us, and create a world of spiritual photosynthesis where when we add light, we create sustenance, in many different forms.

In closing, let’s all Come out of hiding and no longer Help Insanity Dictate our Experiences. Let’s remember and acknowledge our light. Let’s all shine that light in our cracks and crevices for healing. After that, it will feel effortless to just shine our great light wherever we go. And when we are shining our light, we help create a world where we all bloom, we all flourish, and there will be no need to seek prosperity —it will be able to clearly find us.


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Tonya is a holistic healer (her alias is the “Throat Chakra Shaman”), teacher, writer, radio host and gourmet nourishment master who lives near Baltimore, Maryland. I met and received healing from her at a gathering there one Spring Equinox a few years ago. Her blog is here. Her book, Diary of a Witch’s Daughter is here, or click on the title. And Tonya’s CD, Meditative Morsels…Prayers & Meditations for Feeding Your Mind, Body & Soul is here, or click on the title.

Clarity is a Moving Target

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Image by Andym5855 of James Wright’s “Target.” Uploaded to Flikr, accessed via Creative Commons Search.

I was talking with a client soul-colleague last week about gaining clarity. She quoted me in an interview I gave here about gaining clarity and it felt like she was using my words to flog herself about not being clear. So I got clear–and honest. I said, “Clarity is a moving target! I get unclear all the time! And then I have to get clear again!” She said,

Ah-ha!

and that’s when I realized I had a blog post on my hands–and that I had better ‘fess up. Clarity IS a moving target! There’s no other path to RAISING CLARITY than to keep getting clear. It’s a process, and you do get clear–and then something changes, and you have do to it again.

This isn’t a pitch for more business for us; our work is deliberately long-lasting because we teach you the tools of how to get clear for yourself, we don’t hoard them. It’s a pitch for compassion for yourself.

Here are the steps to RAISING CLARITY:

  1. Make a mess of something.
  2. Realize you’re totally confused.
  3. Realize you know where to get help.
  4. Work with us–a little or a lot.
  5. Specifically, do a dreamtime or discussion session with us, or both, helping you see where you are unclear and how that’s making you make a mess.
  6. Get a bit clearer.
  7. Take a week to use your new clarity to see into the mess.
  8. Perhaps do another session with us–or use our tools yourself.
  9. See more clearly into the mess; watch the mess dissolve.
  10. Repeat.

Do you see these as concentric circles? I do–the concentric circles of a target!

That’s because the more clarity we see, the more there is to see.

Increasing clarity is PROGRESS. It’s not a bad thing to see you need more of it: it’s a great thing. It’s intrinsic to being organic, moving, growing creatures not just that we change, but that as we zero in, we see more–and then can zero in again to a new clarity, and so on. With this commitment to increasing clarity, we can take responsibility for more and more in our lives, and have more and more “peaceful progress with plenty of support,” as I say in our one and only video.

This is what we’ve noticed and what we’re good at helping people with, especially but not limited to money and work issues. It’s the juicy game we call the Divine Curriculum: how the Cosmic Something or our higher selves work with us to become better people through our money and work issues! Let’s play this game with zest for the process.

Offered with love,

Beth, RAISING my own CLARITY!

 

 

Educate, Generate!

RAISING CLARITY blog readers will remember Arianna Groover-Landis. She and her friend Bella Zucker co-star in this post about fundraising. When Arianna hired me for guidance on her fundraising campaign Educate to Generate a Better Future, I immediately knew you’d be fascinated to hear what she was up to at the ripe old age of just barely 14!

For me, what’s most exciting about these two young women’s fundraising campaign “Educate to Generate a Better Future” is that Arianna and Bella
Arianna Groover-Landis and Bella Zucker

Arianna Groover-Landis and Bella Zucker. Photo by a fellow Mountain SOL School student.

came up with the desire and the idea to do it just because

they love the environment, and education, and what their chosen beneficiary Mountain Stewardship & Outdoor Leadership School (Mountain SOL) is doing for kids and the environment.

I asked each young woman to tell us a bit about herself. Here’s what they shared:

Arianna wrote: My name is Arianna Groover-Landis and I live in Terra Alta, West Virginia, on a farm. I love to be outdoors, hike, play in streams, music and read. I am homeschooled and in 8th grade. Some of my future goals are to be good at archery, trapping, and tanning pelts. Some of my achievements are that I can herbally treat wounds and I am a walking calculator (most of the time).
Bella wrote: My name is Bella Zucker, I live in Morgantown West Virginia and I love music and the outdoors. I am homeschooled and in 8th grade. Some of my future goals are I want to go to medical school, play piano with an orchestra and I want to travel to all seven continents. Some of my achievements are that I ran a half marathon and I can speak part of 6 languages.

One cool thing I want you to get from this post is that

if they make fundraising look easy, fun, and like anyone could do it with a little stick-to-it-iveness and simple organization, that’s because it is! This is our view of fundraising in a nutshell. The more simply you’re organized, the easier it is to put the fun back into fundraising and the better your campaign will work.

Of course my first question about their campaign was what made them want to take it on?

We both want to help the environment and we decided that the best way was to raise money to donate to a local environmental organization that educates people so we decided to have this fundraiser.

And I thought we should know a few basic things. For example, the name of the campaign is

The Educate to Generate a Better Future Campaign

Their campaign starts today–March 8th, and ends on May 31, 2017.

They intend to raise $2000.

Arianna and Bella at first considered splitting donations they raised among five different nonprofits. I asked why they chose just one organization:

We chose just Mountain Stewardship & Outdoor Leadership School because it is a new organization and we want to help it grow and it is a meaningful local organization. All of our donations will go to them. Here is a link to their website. It is a local organization that focuses on the education of kids of all ages on the environment and builds their love of the outdoors through hiking, backpacking, tracking, climbing, and much more.

I think they’re going to be wildly successful, so I asked what happened if they raised more than planned?

We will give all of the donations to Mountain SOL.

And I asked what they’ll do if they raise their goal before May 31st,  which I think is likely?

Still keep fundraising until the 3 months are up.

I wondered why they had chosen Mountain SOL. Bella responded,

We chose Mountain Stewardship & Outdoor Leadership School because it is a new organization and we want to help it grow. Mountain SOL School has been a part of my  life for 3 years now. It has taught me countless things and helped to develop my love for the woods and sense of duty towards protecting the environment. It has done the same with all of the other students that are a part of it.

Arianna added,

Likewise, when Bella told me about this program, I wanted to go and see it. They bring out the adventurer in kids and teach kids to be leaders. It is a program that teaches kids to love the environment and learn to live in it and make the most of nature without abusing it. This program helps kids be the best they can be.

These are beautiful reasons to want to raise funds. We can learn from this example to do it too!

If you are interested in donating to The Educate to Generate a Better Future Campaign to benefit Mountain Stewardship & Outdoor Leadership School, you can do so by check or credit card. Here’s what you do:

1. Please make checks out to “Mountain SOL” and send to

c/o Arianna Groover-Landis

1771 Oak Grove Rd

Terra Alta WV  26764

OR

2. If you would rather donate by credit card, click on the link below:

http://www.mountainsol.org/about/donate/

When you get to the box asking where you heard about Mountain SOL, say

“Arianna and Bella”. 

Fixing What’s Broken

Broken

I actually snapped this picture myself, on my very simple cellphone. Thanks to my sweetie for emailing it back to me after I forwarded it to his fancier phone!

The Beloved Community is clearly broken. We are divided from each other.

You may only know about the Beloved Community from our blog. Or you may have been deeply committed to the term and its manifestation for decades.

The term’s fame comes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The term itself was coined over a half-century before he used it by a little-known philosopher who spent a whole book describing how it worked. The craziest and most powerful thing he wrote about it is that the Beloved Community gets broken all the time by all of us–but can be repaired at any time by any of us. We are all members. The Beloved Community is universal.

Any member of the Beloved Community can repair anything another member broke.

This is liberation from wrongdoing.
The point is this: the way you can tell you’ve fixed a break in the Beloved Community is this.

The world, as transformed by our creative deeds is better than it would have been had all else remained the same.

Isn’t that what you want? More than just resistance? Resistance is not enough, not nearly enough, not ever enough. We cannot live in resistance. We can barely survive in resistance, and clearly those we resist know this.

Just saying: about a month ago, I wrote

If we want to be a FORCE for CHANGE, we need to remain ACCOUNTABLE for the NEXT FOUR YEARS.

And I proposed a Beloved Community Accountability Group, and described it.

It’s simply sane to seek support for not becoming bitter and burned out in the next four years. I’m using these four years to build the Beloved Community.

How are you going to use them?

How are you going to use these four years?

Join us. I don’t care how much you pay me. I care that you and your world are better off in four years than you are now. I know that’s bold. That’s RAISING CLARITY.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Face to Face with the Tyrant

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Emotion. Alternate title: Angry Clown with Frog Hat. Image by Scott Robinson, who says, “This started as a photo of a flower. I was just playing with the paintshop tools….That’s when this fellow jumped out.” Accessed on Flikr via Creative Commons Search.

I’ve blogged a lot about the Tyrant. Always in connection with money, however. For years, I’ve explained the difference between the unhealthy Tyrant and the healthy Warrior archetypes by using Donald Trump as an illustration of the Tyrant. There’s a lot of confusion around healthy moneymaking and investing, and healthy fundraising. I knew no one wanted to be thought of like Trump when it came to money.

My Tyrant has become President.

Tyrant energy rules right now. Perhaps you’ve noticed it in yourself?

I certainly have. I’ve been exceptionally angry. Underneath that, I’ve been extra-fearful and underneath that, sad. Maybe you can see this in yourself, if you look. Maybe you’ve already begun. Or maybe you long ago made friends with your Tyrant.

I’ve behaved badly to people I love. Deeply badly, and yes, this is an apology to you, B and to you, S.

I have always been terrified of the Tyrant. I can sense a Tyrant at 20 paces. The Tyrant was the one type I let myself loathe freely. In a crowded room, it was the one person I let myself flee.

But no more. I find I am not fleeing and I’m not loathing. Nor am I confronting or making friends. I am simply face-to-face, being-with. Acknowledging, learning, watching.

I sit, face-to-face, with the Tyrant.

I no longer run.I no longer hide.

More than any other thing right now, getting comfortable with the Tyrant is TRANSFORMING ME. I am not afraid! Of myself. Or President Trump. Or what he and his are doing to my planet, my economy, my friends. I am not afraid.

I do not dramatize, I do not blame. I do not flee or loathe or shy away. I act, and I rest. I stick around. I resist–and do much beyond resistance. I experience pain but not suffering.  I keep open. I keep alert. I keep face to face because:

The safest place for a Tyrant is face to face.

No one wants to be thought of  like Trump when it comes to power. The shadow of the Tyrant is loneliness. Don’t leave the Tyrant alone.

Register Yourself Now!

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The Coalition sponsoring the One America Registry. For more information, click here! For stuff you can do to help in addition to signing, click here!

President Trump’s proposed Muslim Registry is goofy and RAISING CLARITY’s not afraid to say so!

As a Jew by birth, it’s more than mildly terrifying to picture the family tree I saw on my auntie’s wall with all its blank spaces because we and many, many others were “banned” by the Nazis just decades ago.

As an Islamophile, the Registry hurts me personally. It hurts my friends + their friends + families + exponentially.

My local is global: the Registry hurts my world.

Maybe you feel the same. Maybe you remember Japanese internment in the US. Maybe you think the Registry’s just plain wrong, hurtful and stupid. Maybe it gives you the creeps. Maybe you feel it’s a gigantic misuse of precious resources and that misuse harms our flow of abundance. Maybe you’re tired of being an Ugly American. Maybe you’re disturbed at the Registry’s violation of the separation of church and state that’s US bedrock.

As we wrote in our first (but not last) post on the Beloved Community, RAISING CLARITY is using the next four years not simply to resist but to BUILD the Beloved Community. The One America Registry is a creative idea we endorse–in fact, we’re proud to be one of its launching organizations as you’ll see in the announcement below!

Sign up now and read on…


 AMERICANS OF ALL RELIGIONS & RACES SUPPORT ONE AMERICA REGISTRY

Over 50 Diverse Groups Announce Campaign to Counter President Trump’s

Immigration & Terrorism Policies

NEW YORK CITY – In a collective move,  over 50 groups representing Americans of all backgrounds on Tuesday launched the One America Coalition.  In line with its diversity of makeup, the One America Coalition encourages all Americans to sign and join its One America Registry as a way of recalling the unique and incomparable nature of the modern American identity whose very foundations are diversity and immigration.

Not only does the One America Coalition repudiate President Donald Trump’s unconstitutional policies on immigration, but also, on a broader front, seeks to combat an emerging vision of America relinquishing its long-held moral high ground among the community of nations.

The One America Registry at https://oneamericaregistry.org/ is a nationwide campaign to inform Americans about the harmful consequences of these policies and provide ideas, action items and materials for individuals to help defeat them. Such policies include a domestic Muslim registry, faith-based bans on refugees and visas, mass deportation policies and attacks on U.S. sanctuary cities. The One America Registry will also serve as an organizing tool for future actions to counter policies that undermine our essential and historic American values.

Imam Malik Mujahid, the President of Sound Vision (a co-founder of the One America Coalition) and Chair-Emeritus of the Parliament of World’s Religions , called Trump’s actions “dangerous, discriminatory and unconstitutional.”

“The One America Registry is a powerful way to show President Trump that he cannot divide Americans so easily. Americans of all races and religions, men and women, young and old, we stand together as one America in opposition to divisiveness and hate.”

Imam Mujahid said the One America Registry campaign expects to conduct upcoming events to offer opportunities for Americans to come together and celebrate what it means to be an American. The One America Registry campaign also will disseminate key information to immigrant communities about legal resources and guides, along with helping people decide how they want to participate in future actions against Trump’s policies.

Daniel Mach, Director of the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief , said: “We are proud to join this campaign and to resist bigotry and discrimination. Our nation is stronger when we stand united to embrace the great American promise of religious freedom and equality.”

“The NAACP New York State conference is joining this campaign in proud partnership. During these uncertain times, it is important that all freedom-loving Americans stick together,” said Dr. Hazel Dukes, President of the NAACP New York State Conference.

The One America Coalition includes:

  • ACLU
  • American Constitution Society for Law & Policy
  • Americans for Democratic Action
  • Arise Chicago
  • Asian Law Alliance
  • American Friends Service Committee MidWest
  • Action Sprout
  • Better Georgia
  • Better Boxball
  • Black Institute
  • Colorado Fiscal Institute
  • Compassionate Atlanta
  • CounterAct
  • Charter for Compassion
  • Chicago’s Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights
  • Dragonfly Partners
  • Daily Kos
  • Equal Justice Society
  • Equality California
  • EveryLibrary
  • Georgia Alliance for Social Justice
  • It Must Be Us
  • Interfaith Center of New York
  • Immigration Equality
  • Interfaith Paths to Peace
  • Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta
  • J Street
  • Justice For All
  • K-12 News Network
  • Keystone Progress
  • Michigan Muslim Community Council
  • Money-Mindfulness
  • Muslim Americans for Compassion
  • Muslim Peace Coalition
  • Muslim Public Affairs Council
  • New Hampshire Labor News
  • New Media Ventures
  • NAACP New York State Conference
  • Our Family Coalition
  • Public Citizen
  • R Strategy Group
  • Ruby Zandra’s Blue Jazz Society of Hope
  • RAISING CLARITY
  • Students for Sensible Drug Policy
  • Silicon Valley Progressive Faith Community
  • Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference
  • Ted Terry, Mayor of Clarkston, GA
  • Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
  • Upaya Zen Center
  • UNAC
  • Voto Latino
  • Workplace Fairness.

PS: If you want to do even more than sign up, click here to see all the ways you can multiply the Registry!

Convincing Yourself Is the First Step–You Might Need a Frame

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Framed. Image by chedder uploaded to Flikr, accessed via Creative Commons Search.

Last week, one of our beloved soul-colleagues commented as we sat down to work together (in a phone session) that

“sometimes you need to convince yourself that what you’re doing is important”

and sometimes

“you need a frame”

and he felt that’s what meeting and doing homework with RAISING CLARITY provided.

I was so moved by the ease with which he described something I have a hard time describing: what I do for people, what RAISING CLARITY does for people. I asked if I could share it with you, and he said I could.

I also asked if I could share the website for what our soul-colleagues on this project are building: an income-sharing intentional community called Cambia that hosts a sustainability educational center called the Living Systems Exploratorium (LSE). Here is some juicy description of the community that includes the LSE; I also love this page about the culture being realized at Cambia.

What RAISING CLARITY does indeed is set aside time with you to discuss, refine and empower your work. We create a frame around your  work for self-reflection that helps you see clearly, with detachment and love. So you can change more easily and also so you can appreciate how beautiful your vision is and how amazing your accomplishments are to date. Even if you think they are small. Perhaps especially if, outside the frame, they seem small. After a while, you don’t need us to show you or help you, you are simply a soul-colleague building out your corner of the Beloved Community right along with us building out ours. And you can even pass on what you have learned about the importance of seeing your work truly with detachment and love to others.

Is this coaching? Is it consulting? Yes! It’s both. It’s why we’re changing the description of our work to interweave both aspects. Of course we do fundraising, promotion and Board training for organizations. And we do moneycoaching, life coaching, and healing the flow of abundance for individuals. But underneath there is one thing we do. And it’s described here. Thoughts on how to improve our description are always welcome!

 

Nothing Wrong with the Way You Love

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Love: A heart-shaped patch of rusted metal, showing through cracked and flaking paint; a metal wall, near railway tracks. Image by and uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by Chris Sanderson.

My sweetie says he used to call Valentine’s Day “Halloween II.” I think that’s funny! And reveals a truth: we think we don’t already have love. We think there is something wrong with the way we love. Valentine’s is one of my favorite holidays because it’s all about love, and love is all there is.

I mean: we are made of love. We can’t not love, or have love, or give love. Our only work is to remove the obstacles to love.

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
(Rumi)

This may sound easy.

This may sound hard.

How does it sound to you?

Have you tried it?

“Nothing wrong with the way you love.” That’s the message of this post. I received it for myself and for you as I awoke from a dream this morning to write this post.

It can be challenging to remember who we are. In a way, RAISING CLARITY supplies only clarity. We can lead you to water but we can’t make you drink.

Can you drink? Can you let love in?

 Thomas A Kempis writing 500 years ago sounds a lot like Rumi speaking 700 years ago about becoming one with love:

For who is there, that approaching humbly a fountain of great sweetness does not carry away some little sweetness?

Or who standing near a great fire, does not receive some small heat from it?

And You are a fountain always full and overflowing; a fire ever burning and never going out.

What is your source of sweetness? Where is your fountain? Can you find your way back to the great fire? Or have you not lost it? (Rumi burned so strongly that one anthology of his in English is called simply, I Want Burning.)

There may be a problem with the way we unlove. But there can be no problem with the way we love. 

In my work as a moneycoach, I teach all eight of Deborah L. Price’s archetypes. Five are weak and unhealthy. Three are healthy and strong.* It is so much easier to help people strengthen what’s strong than to chip away at what’s weak! Argh! This approach–chipping away at what we don’t like–is so common. And it works much faster and better to heal the weak parts, in my years of experience.

Let’s agree that what we do well is where we focus.

If what we focus on is what we get more of, let’s focus on what we do well. Let’s do more of it. Let’s love the ways we love.

Do you even know how you love? Have you ever thought about it? How do you love?

Me, I show love through cooking, words, work, shared time, and worrying which I conscientiously turn into prayer because as they say, “if you pray, don’t worry and if you worry, don’t pray.”

I even show this love to myself when I have behaved particularly badly. It helps me take the badness apart and look at it carefully, kindly, quietly and slowly, then heal, which means “become whole,” like the word integrity means “wholeness.”

Sometimes I show love through upset. Finding love in the middle of all those tangled vines of upsetness becomes my focus. Slowing down to take the time to look finds it. It is always there, if I will remove the vines, carefully, kindly, quietly and persistently and then:

Nothing wrong with the ways you love.


*Alongside the healthy archetypes of Warrior, Creator/Artist and Magician, the weakened ones are the Innocent, Victim, Martyr, Tyrant and Fool. If you click on each archetype, you’ll be taken to a post exploring it. Or find the whole series here.


I am always willing to negotiate a price for my work with anyone serious about change.

Trump Takeover Feel Like It’s Taking Over Your Life? Four Sanity Strategies for Humans and Nonprofits

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Flikr image by Wade M accessed via Creative Commons Search.

Nonprofits: the italics are for you!

Today, I tallied them up: in just the past 5 days, I’ve received 18 emails asking me to

as well as

  • Donate (6 emails, two from the same organization, all of whom shall remain nameless). I believe in asking for and giving money. But right now it’s like the Christmas season never ended, plus a whole lotta trauma. Combining action alerts + fundraising in the same email might be a smart strategy.  I also got an email today from MoveOn telling me specifically what they were going to do with more money right now–rather than assuming urgency and emotional turmoil would do the trick.
  • Revel in progress!  Nonprofits who do things differently really get my attention just now. Miracle of miracles, Jewish Voice for Peace (which I just joined because they are Jews, like me by birth, who love and support Muslims, as I do too, sent me a totally inspiring list of early progress just since the election without a request for money. They’ve done a good job welcoming me as a member at this traumatic time without overwhelming me even though they send a lot of emails because they keep it emotionally real and treat me like I pay attention and am smart.

I’m also in receipt of a fabulous response by fundraising’s fairy godmother Kim Klein to a question from a small local arts organization about how to keep donations coming in the door at this time of national turmoil.

Basically, in Times of Attempted Time and Money Takeover…

You know from my “getting organized” posts that we need to set aside time. Yes, s–t happens, but if we want something other than s–t in our lives we need to set aside time for it.

In a world in which we schedule everything, nothing unscheduled ever gets done.

So, I mean schedule (especially now): time to meditate, time with loved ones, time for reading and writing and art and art-making, time for self-care, and time for what you really enjoy with apologies or accounting to anyone.  Each of these is as important as time for work and political action.  “Bread AND roses.”* 

Time is our true wealth.

Four Sanity Strategies

  1. Set aside time for action: I responded to all of the above 9 action requests to call my senators, email them as second-best, or on occasion, sign a petition (petitions aren’t cutting it anymore, it seems). My senator’s staffer said he recognized my name, we’ve talked so often. (And I hope because I always talk to him like he’s a real person.)
  2. Streamline: Put your senators on speed dial. (Your representative too, for that matter!) AND if you have three things to tell a legislator, keep a list, then call once about all three.  It’s allowed: they work for you! It builds your sense of power and accomplishment and is easier for you than making three phone calls, which also means you’re more likely to take action on more things!
  3. Refuse pressure to give: Set a budget for giving, and keep it. I have not given any money during the past 5 days because I keep a budget and I have used it up until I make more money to put in it.
  4. Set aside time for inaction: give yourself breaks from the news, including Facebook and other social media. Consider using your breaks consciously and intentionally to counterbalance news with equal time to restore self. Make sure you are keeping up with your day-to-day responsibilities that may not be as dramatic as the news; earn income, ground yourself in your work of service. This, too, builds the Beloved Community. Finally, set aside times to support others. This gives us strength.

Last week, I mentioned a Beloved Community Accountability Group. Many people over the next four years may need a space to check in, get support, gain strength, recover from grief, and take action.

Try out the BeLOVEd Community Support Group in a telephone session this Sunday, February 5th at 8pm Eastern, 5pm Pacific.

It’s a conference call, no Internet needed. The call-in number is 641-715-3276. The access code is 187944# .

I’m taking suggestions of ways RAISING CLARITY can support right now. Write in with suggestions; join us on this Sunday’s call; join the Beloved Community Group if you like. Find out more about how it works here.


*Judy Collins’ is my favorite version of the song by this title.

Trumping Trump: Proposal for Beloved Community Accountability Group

npg-donald-trumpGreetings, Beloveds! It’s all very well for us to march…

If we want to be a FORCE for CHANGE, we need to remain ACCOUNTABLE for the NEXT FOUR YEARS.

RAISING CLARITY is creating an accountability group for the duration of the Trump Administration to anyone who wants help keeping personal promises during this time.  Below is our proposal. We’ll be announcing the group soon and promoting it widely but first we’d like to know: what do you think? Please tell us!

The Beloved Community Accountability Group’s purpose is to help you keep your promises to use the Trump Administration to BUILD your corner of the Beloved Community in whatever ways you are moved to do it.

Proposal

  1. The group is open to anyone who wants in, anywhere
  2. cost to join is on a sliding scale and negotiable
  3. members get space to honor pain and challenges without getting stuck in them
  4. members get support and accountability coaching for “big stuff” like new projects or more powerful existing projects AND “small stuff” like acts of solidarity with at-risk of-being-targeted groups, making friendships across political lines, dissolving hatred from your life, taking quiet time daily, filtering the news, responding effectively if you are targeted
  5. the group meets once/month by phone + in writing if desired (for example, via a closed Facebook Group)
  6. the group is small–10 people max, to be able to speak and listen to each other well
  7. participants can join at any time
  8. participants can leave at any time
  9. there is always an open group you can join, new groups are added as needed
  10. 10 max friends can ask us to facilitate their group
  11. anyone can take this idea and create their own group, with my compliments!
  12. I coach and facilitate each group but speak less than most participants; my job is to help members stay accountable to their vision of, and commitment to doing their “stuff” to build, the Beloved Community.

Are you in? Any changes you think we should make to the design of the group? Group(s) will begin in March.


Backstory: I began researching the Beloved Community in 2013. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is deservedly our most famous Beloved Community organizer. It’s believed Dr. King encountered in seminary the Beloved Community’s conceptual creator, philosopher Josiah Royce, who wrote that the Beloved Community works by redeeming betrayal through creative acts of reconciliation inspired by the betrayal. This calls us to such an outrageous reframing of ourselves that I believe it is why Dr. King (and I) fell in love with it. Details:

  1. The Beloved Community suffers betrayal on a daily basis. (The Trump Administration, for many, is just such a four-year-long betrayal. On the other hand, Trump was elected by people who also felt betrayed.)
  2. How to heal betrayal when it happens?  Any member can heal any other member’s betrayal! We are all, in different ways, betrayers and betrayed. The Beloved Community is universal and includes ALL humanity.
  3. When betrayal happens, “the community can find no reconciliation. But can it create one?” 
  4. “It is the traitor, and it is not the community, that has done the deed of betrayal. But new deeds remain to be done. These deeds of reconciliation are made possible by that betrayal.”
  5. “The world, as transformed by our creative deeds is better than it would have been had all else remained the same, but had that deed of treason not been done.”* THIS is our challenge. This is what our Beloved Community Accountability Group exists to support.

In other words, we use the Trump Administration to BUILD THE BELOVED COMMUNITY.


*I have changed Royce’s wording slightly. Source: Josiah Royce’s The Problem of Christianity.

Image: This beautiful, engaging Portrait of Donald J. Trump by Michael O’Brien is owned by the taxpayer-funded Smithsonian Portrait Gallery and modified by Beth Raps using a copyright-free golden arrow.