Married? I am and so are you!

I know – the title says I’m married, but you may know me as single.  I’m single and yet, I’m married too!  What, you ask?  That’s not possible, and yet it is.  I’m single in the sense I’m not in a committed relationship with a man, but I am married to God.  Now some may think that sounds a bit strange, but Merriam-Webster defines “marry” as “to unite in close and usually permanent relation.”

My relation to God, and yours too, is most definitely close and always permanent and filled with good!

A spiritual thinker and author, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote in her book, Miscellaneous Writings, “… marriage shall be found to be man’s oneness with God, — the unity of eternal Love.” I love that idea that we are at one with God in a unity of love – a unity that cannot be broken – it is inseparable!

When people struggle with relationships and marriage, it seems at those times that it is wise to turn to the enduring and inseparable marriage/relation we have to God to find the answers we need to bring about healing of strife and conflict in the human relationships. Or when they are in happy relationships, it is good to remember that that happiness stems from the good and permanent relation each person has in their individual marriage to God.

On the other side, when people struggle with being single and want that human connection with a “dating friend” or marriage, then it is time to look first at their relation to God – how strong, blessed, harmonious, full, and complete it is and how enduring it is. When those of us who are single can see that single does not mean “alone,” but rather, “all-one” with God, then that brings amazing fulfillment and love and reveals to us our innate completeness as God’s beautiful child and always married – married to God – married to Love itself! Now that’s pretty cool!!

So, take a moment today and cherish Love, God and cherish your marriage/relation to Her/Him! It’s bound to bring about harmony, peace, joy and love in your relations with others!

preapringforwedding1

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Feel Loved

Feeling loved is something we all want to feel and many of us do, but sometimes we never know truly how much we are loved until someone does something for us or gives something to us that is so completely unexpected – until we are open to receiving love in unexpected ways.

Recently, I created a “gofundme” campaign for myself to help garner some funds for me attend a life coach training session in Atlanta, GA in early June and I’ll be honest, I expected maybe a few people would give $10, $15 and maybe $20 donations to support me as a friend.  Never in a million years did I expect people to give so incredibly generously as they have.  It humbles me, awes me and to be honest, sent me to tears a few times in the past few days since I created it.

I’ve always known I’ve been loved by many and it isn’t the money donated that shows me how much I’m loved, but it is the unexpected nature of the generosity compared to my expectations.  Perhaps I need to change my expectations, be open and ready to receive the love I know is there for me in unexpected ways.  ;-)

I truly feel this line from a hymn – “Gracious Father, in Thy love,
Send Thy blessings from above; ….”  God is providing me with so many blessings and just keeps doing it!  His blessings made manifest through the unexpected love and giving from family and friends makes me so grateful and so very much-loved.  dailylovec

Truly a lesson for me to be open to receiving love!

Thank you, Father-Mother for your continuing love, support and provision!

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10-things-i-want-my-daughter-to-know-about-working-out – a spiritual take away

 

Disclaimer – I do not have a daughter, but back on August 2, I posted this article  on Facebook (see link) and a friend questioned me about it because she felt it lacked the spiritual component I so often share on Facebook, so I responded to her by email about what I saw spiritually from this piece.  She suggested I share on Facebook so I did and I decided to share here too and this is the take away I sent her with some edits.

http://wellfesto.com/2013/11/19/10-things-i-want-my-daughter-to-know-about-working-out/

My Take Away:

First, the author wrote this:  “…when it comes to exercise, I want her to grow up seeing it as a joy, and not a utility…as a gift, and not a chore…as an opportunity, not an obligation.  I want her to do it for the love of it, not to fit into a dress.”

Yes, we start from God and that is the most important place to start!  However, we do live in a word that focuses much on the body and how it looks in a dress.  In this line, she is rebelling against that standard, she is wanting to show that exercise, or movement – whether to me, it is dance, lifting, hiking, skiing, whatever activity one chooses is joy – it is a gift from God to move, to live freely.  Sometimes I do wish I had more “exercise,” as this author refers to it, or simply activity when I was growing up.  I’ve reached a place where I enjoy it and that is God’s gift to me – a way to express Life.

 

1.  Strength = self-sufficiency – yes, she uses the scenario of carrying one’s own luggage, but I look at the title of that section – Strength – where do we get it – from God – is being able to live Life without anyone else humanly.  I think it is important for women to know they are strong – spiritually and physically.  I see a number of women in the gym who don’t think they are strong and yet, my complete reliance on God tells me we each are strong and can do all things God gives us to do!

2. Fit Opens Doors – She’s talking to me about opening the doors to the world.  Fitness starts with God, but to be honest and speaking from experience, it does open the door to the world.  For the past 6 years or so, the doors have been closed to me to see the world.  Why, you might ask?  Well, first I was struggling to be spiritually fit, but also, physically fit – when one isn’t physically fit, one can’t ride bikes for any length of time, one can’t even fly in a plane if they are being considerate to the person that would have to sit next to them when they overflow the seat, one probably won’t be invited to go on hikes because their pace is so slow and quite honestly, society thinks larger people are not fit and unable to do many things.  So, the author uses physical examples and doesn’t bring in God, but her point of being fit extends, to me, beyond physicality which is how I took it and read it!

3. The bike is the new golf course – she makes a good point and it is commonly true, but more importantly, one’s ability to network does extend beyond the office doors – my being willing to immerse myself in a form of movement I love is helping me make connections with people who are bringing me closer to securing a new career position – networking is opening up because people see me and get to know the good and spiritual person I am and thus they share with me, encourage me, and make space for me and they can look beyond my size and see me for the fit person I am, that I’m more than the body.

4. Exercise is a lifestyle, not an event – okay, so I’d re-label this – Activity, Movement is a lifestyle, and to be honest, it is and it is a lifestyle Mary Baker Eddy (MBE) embraced.  She embraced always being active.  The Christian Science Practitioner friend, who shared the article first, has said she often compares her 1 hour of aqua workouts per day to MBE’s one hour carriage ride every day.  It’s an hour to be out – to be active and involved and seeing people for the ideas they are.  I guess you could say, I have been given the opportunity to see a lot of wonderful ideas of God at the dance studio and I sometimes verbally and always silently have the opportunity to encourage and support spiritually others in embracing activity and movement.  It doesn’t have to be running on a treadmill or biking – it can be dance, a walk in the park, a hike, going skiing – but something that lets us move with joy, grace, agility, flexibility, energy which first we accept in thought as possible because they come from God.

5.  Health begets health – On both levels – it is true – both physically and spiritually and there is nothing wrong with taking care of the body we have in this plane of our journey.  It’s just a body, but it’s good to take care of it.  We don’t ignore it – we love it and cherish it for the ways it allows us to express God, to express the true health of our being which comes from God.

6. Endorphins help you cope – okay, she’s completely physical on this one, and yet, don’t the spiritual highs we exercise daily lift us and allow us to come out from the doldrums?  And can’t movement we do, while praying along the way, help us do that too?  I find myself often praying while dancing or lifting, etc. and whatever was bothering me falls away, melts into its native nothingness if you will.  I know that came through the prayer, but the physical felt good to be doing too.

7. Working out signals hard-working – I wish this wasn’t the case, but it is a well-known societal belief.  Is it true?  Not necessarily.  A lot of people can work out and not be hard-working in the office or school, but there are also a lot of people who don’t work out and are more hard-working than others.  For me, working out is working out thought which translates into movement and activity and when we work out thought spiritually, we are more apt to move our bodies more to express all God is and how he made us!  He made man to move!

8. If you feel beautiful, you look beautiful – this is very true – when we feel beautiful, which starts with our thought, it manifests itself on the outside.  So often the saying is when we love ourselves, others will be attracted to us and love us.  People know when we aren’t loving ourselves and they see it, feel it and it makes it hard for them too.   Yes, physically speaking, feeling strong and fit feels beautiful – there are days when I feel more beautiful when I am dancing or boxing, so much I forget what the body looks like, but the inner glow radiates forth because I am feeling that way on the inside.

9. Nature rules – it’s true you will see more of the world – like in point #2, if you can move with more ease.  I do very strongly believe movement starts with prayer and seeing our ability in God moves us, but it helps if the body is a pure representation of the thought.  I’m still working on that one!  There is much I would love to do – zipline, parachute, etc., but because of my weight, I cannot because there are limits, so living a spiritually and physically fit life go hand-in-hand.

10. Little eyes are always watching – not only the physical stuff, but the spiritual also.  Take me – I certainly embraced and live Christian Science – picked that up from mom first and then made it my own.  Physical stuff wasn’t so apparent in my home growing up – is that to say that is why it has taken me so long to embrace an active lifestyle, no, not necessarily, and yet I do think children pick up a lot from what they see, so starting with prayer and love is the best thing and being active is also a good thing.  It doesn’t have to be going to the gym and being a gym-rat, but it is about moving and doing and not just channel surfing.  There are of course times when channel surfing is okay, but not all the time!

This article to me is helping people move thought from off the body to the bigger gift of just enjoying movement and activity in life without being overly metaphysically.

 

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Godly Practices – Important for any Goal!

What type of practices have you been engaging in lately?  Material practices or Godly ones?

One of the goals I have this year and beyond requires the use of some Godly practices – wisdom, temperance, and honesty.  Many people may feel these are human or material practices, but I find they relate to God and living a more spiritually full life; and I have come to realize I wasn’t completely living these Godly practices in regards to my goal.  But I am doing a better job now.  What do I mean?

I have pretty much always used wisdom when it comes to making decisions in life – listening to God’s direction, but there have been two areas in my life where that seems a struggle, and yet I am doing better in one area.   I have been making healthier choices that will lead me toward my goal and one of those choices, which has actually been a life choice, is to continue to approach life’s challenges from a standpoint of prayer, of nurturing my relationship with my Father-Mother, God.

One way I can nurture that relationship is by expressing more wisdom in all things.  The Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote in her seminal work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “Know thyself and God will supply the wisdom and the occasion for a victory over evil.”  Knowing myself means knowing me as God knows me – beautiful, whole, healthy, complete, kind, loving, etc.  And as I do this, I am not only seeing what God sees and nurturing that relationship, I am also receiving more of His wisdom to challenge evil and claim my victory over sinful behaviors.

Temperance, abstaining or having moderation or self-restraint in the things one does is another Godly practice.  God wants me and each one of us to abstain from sinful behaviors and to incorporate more balance in all things.  I find myself learning how to live with moderation and balance and it is absolutely necessary to reach my goal.  Am I depriving myself of anything?  Absolutely not!  Am I using wisdom in expressing temperance?  Absolutely Yes!   In II Peter in the Bible, it says we must add “to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; ….”  How great to know I am not doing anything without the knowledge (wisdom) of God and without patience!  In fact patience leads to godliness, so I’m also learning the Godly practice of patience.  Some goals may require more opportunities to grow and learn and thus seem to take a longer amount of time, but as long as they are full of Godly practices, we have nothing about which to worry.

The third Godly practice is honesty.  I consider myself extremely honest, only I’ve been learning that although I am honest with others about various things, I have not been honest with myself and it is high time I am.  Eddy wrote in Science and Health that “Honesty is spiritual power.”  When we are honest with ourselves, we have the power of God on our side to see ourselves as She sees us.  We have power to achieve whatever is right for us – whatever task or goal God has set before us and we can do that not only without lying to ourselves, but with confidence and strength.

We can do that with the living of more Godly practices!

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Day 14 – Guest blog article – Put a “Be” before Healthy

For today’s contribution, I’m  sharing a blog written by a friend of mine, Ingrid, who also happens to work with the Massachusetts media and Legislature correcting misunderstandings about Christian Science and ensuring it is included in the public conversation.  She has a blog entitled “Breaking Bread” where she either writes or asks guest authors to write on topics that “leaven thought on health and spirituality one slice at a time.”

Today’s blog piece was written by Ingrid and is entitled, “Put a ‘Be’ before Healthy.”  She opens the blog by writing, “So often the emphasis is on the ‘doing’ not the ‘being’ when it comes to caring for one’s health.”  And later she wrote:

“As someone who regularly practices spiritual care from what I’ve learned through my study of Christian Science, I’ve gotten used to thinking about maintaining health as a ‘be.’ My daily prayer practice (which to an observer can look a lot like I’m not doing anything) involves quiet contemplation of the spiritual and biblical principles that support good health.

“I’ve discussed many of these guiding principles on this blog–and they’re ones others, including medical practitioners, recognize for their health value as well. Practices like choosing forgiveness over resentment, patience over anger, calm instead of stress, happiness instead of gloom. I’ve found that having a deep conviction in Spirit as a guiding power and presence in my life allows me to express these qualities with consistency and confidence.”

I agree whole heartedly with her sentiments!  So often, I might look like I am doing nothing, but I am really “doing” a lot by choosing the “being” of living.

I urge you to read the entire blog!  It is quite good!  The link is above.

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Day 13 – Health Giving Books (Book Report)

The prompt today to do a book report on my favorite book and how it ties to my health or life is pretty easy for me!  I actually could do a report on two books and if you’ve read my posts, you probably could name them fairly quickly.  They are The Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

Both books give answers to every question you might imagine asking about health.  The Bible addresses things directly – just look at Jesus’ healings of those with palsy (paralysis), blood diseases, blindness, deafness, leprosy (skin disease), lack, lameness, death, etc.  How did he do this?  He went to the One Source of all creation, God and asked how he was to see each person and God said as only good.  So if Jesus only saw good and healed from that basis, then it makes sense that you and I can do that too.

Yep, it will and does take work, but it is possible!

Science and Health brings spiritual clarity to the ideas outlined in the Bible.  For example, it addresses the point above, where Eddy wrote, “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals.  In this perfect man the Saviour saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick.  Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy.” (page 476)

I love the idea of being pure and holy and the likeness of the all-good God!  It is uplifting, health-giving and preserving and makes my life so good!

This article from someone in CA describes a healing she had of stomach cancer through her study of these books and work with a Christian Science practitioner!  It’s quite telling!

There is so much good in both of these books and they continually bring me healing and good health!  Feel free to read them for yourselves to find a bountiful harvest of healing ideas just waiting for you!

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Day 12 – Love extravagantly!

The prompts today did nothing for me, so I’ve chosen my own – love extravagantly!

I was on a conference call this evening to share metaphysical ideas with other Christian Scientists in preparation for a free talk we are sponsoring and cherishing which will be held on December 8th at the Franklin Park Conservatory at 11am.  It is entitled, “Harmony and Healing: The Enduring Gift of Christmas” and is open to the public.

One of the ideas shared by the speaker was a that she likes the version of the Bible from “The Message” and how Peterson interprets I Corinthians, chapter 13, specifically the last two verses.  It says:  “… we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation:   Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly.  And the best of the three is love.”

I was struck by the phrase, “love extravagantly.”  As the speaker pointed out, we typically think of extravagance as being sometimes a bad thing – overindulgence, if you will, by those with lots of money.  But what struck me is how each one of us can love with such an abundance and richness that that love has to bring comfort and healing to all it rests upon.

Love, God, is a power that nothing else can trump and as children of God, Love, I believe we all are not only receptive to the good health that Love brings to each one of us, but that we can love as unconditionally as Jesus did, as God does.  We can work the works of God simply by loving extravagantly!

So, I challenge you to give to your own health today by loving everyone you meet extravagantly, openly with no reservations, no limitations and thereby witness the wonderful fruits of that love!

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Day 11 – Favorite things improve life!

One of the prompts today for the health blog community I have contributed to was to “write about your favorite thing that is not health-related but likely improves your life.”  As I sit here thinking about it, I think everything is in someway related to health, whether good or bad.

I love to cook/bake and sometimes that is good for health or could be considered bad for

Family “Tea-Ring”

health, but for me, it is good for my mental health anytime!  And although perhaps not good for the weight, I really love baking a family favorite – Tea-Ring (see picture).  Why?  Because it reminds me of all the family holidays – such special times with my mom, dad, brother and sometimes extended family.  And keeping memories close to the heart is good for my mental health!  It keeps me uplifted and not down-trodden.  The recipe was passed down from my dad’s mom and it takes all day to make because of all the “rising” involved, but it is mucho delicious!

Another activity I love is music.  I love to sing and am a part of a community choir and some may say that is not related to health and yet, I think it is.  It relates to my mental health – keeping thought engaged and uplifted in activity as well as my being.  Anything that keeps us active, mentally or physically, is thereby related to our health.  And in fact, singing proved to be an activity that prolonged my dad’s life for several years.  Long story, but it was health related! :)  And if you’re in a marching band, like I was in high school, then music can be physically active too and good for health!

A painting I did!

I’m slowly immersing myself in more art related activities – like photography and painting and although I simply enjoy them, I think they too are related to my health.  For example, a painting I recently did brought such joy and allowed me to express my God-given talent and Jesus pointed out in a parable that we should not waste our talents, but invest them and use them and in that way we gain so much more!  (Matthew 25)

And photography – well, I think it brings me closer to God and allows me to immerse myself in God’s beauty that is all around us.  It teaches me patience, which we all can improve, because sometimes I have to wait for the right moment to capture a wonderful image.  For example, this past spring/early summer we had a feral momma cat in my apartment complex and she had some babies and they

A wild baby kitten – capturing this took patience because the kittens were so scared.

were so cute, but so skittish and scared of people, so to capture some images of them, like this one, was a lesson in patience, but it brought joy to my heart to watch these little ones and talk to them.  And joy is essential to good health, if you ask me!

So, have you done something fun for yourself that perhaps you never thought related to your health?  I bet if you look hard enough at it, you might find it does relate to your health!  I hope it relates to  the goodness of your health!

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Day 10 – Laughter is Medicine!

Okay, so I am not really good at writing humor, although I certainly believe laughter is one of the best forms of medicine!  It breaks the mesmerism in thought about whatever the problem happens to be that one is facing.  

Here are some quotes I found that support the importance of laughter or humor as it relates to health.

  • “Always laugh when you can, it is cheap medicine.” –  George Gordon Byron
  • “Laughter is the closest thing to the grace of God.” – Karl Barth
  • “Humor is the contemplation of the finite from the point of view of the infinite.” – Christian Morgenstern
  • “A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • “Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.” – Bill Cosby

In person, I have been told I am very humorous and have great timing.  The other day, a friend of mine told me I should be a stand-up comic.  I don’t see it, but glad I am helping others laugh! :)  I think my humor can be quite sarcastic at times too, so it takes people who get sarcastic wit! :)

I would like to share an incident in my life where laughter broke the mesmerism in my thought of being down and out and not really caring about anything or anyone.

When I was a junior in college, I became quite ill and didn’t know what was wrong with me.  My mom and dad dropped everything in their lives – work, social functions, etc. and came to my college to pick me up and bring me home. (As an aside, I always knew my parents loved me, but this was the first time I think I really understood how much – that they would drop everything to be with me.  How grateful I was and am to have had them in my life.)

I ended up in the hospital, having never been to one before.  I had always had healings of physical challenges through prayer alone throughout my childhood.  While there I became sort of lost mentally – wouldn’t really talk to anyone, felt miserable, etc.

My mom had hired a Christian Science practitioner to pray for me and he was.  However, at one point she asked him if he would call me (usually patients call the practitioner).  He agreed and called me while I was still in the hospital.  The first thing he said was, “Hello, this is your Majesty speaking.”  Imagine this with a British accent!  I have to tell you, the line itself may not be funny, but it struck me as funny and made me laugh and that was enough to break the mental funk I was in.

From that moment forward, I was upbeat, looking forward to leaving the hospital, craving the spiritual truths as found in the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, asking my mom to read to me, listening to healing hymns from cassette tapes (yep, that is what was around back then) and generally experiencing healing with such rapid progress that the doctor didn’t know what to make of it. You see, he had never met a Christian Scientist before and my joy and cheerfulness and speedy recovery was foreign to him.  But, I think Dr. Vara learned a “vara” lot that day and over the days and weeks that followed, as I had to go in for a couple of follow-up visits.

Martin Luther King, Jr said, ““It is cheerful to God when you rejoice or laugh from the bottom of your heart.”  So, have you laughed today?  Try it and let it bring some healing to your life!

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Day 9 – Care Package for you!

As I sit here thinking about what a care package might look like from my perspective as a Christian Scientist and as it relates to health, here is what I would send to someone if I couldn’t deliver it in person.

1.  A box of chocolate chip cookies made by me and friend of mine, also a Christian Scientist.  Don’t we all need some comfort sweet food when we aren’t feeling tip-top?! :)    (When we were in college, she used to make cookies for our care facility and I would join her and quite often help.  We talked about how we would be making cookies together when we became grandmas.  She’s further along toward that goal as she has children, but I think we’ll someday share that moment!)   :)

2. A copy of the Bible – there is nothing better or more powerful than going to God to bring health and healing!

3.  A copy of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy – this book elucidates the Scriptures with so much clarity.  It makes them relevant and practical  and for me so many of the ideas presented also bring healing!

4.  A copy of the Christian Science Sentinel– this is a publication compiled and distributed by the Christian Science Publishing Society that shares everyday examples of how bringing any situation to God’s attention brings healing, resolution, answers, etc.

Cover of most recent edition of the Sentinel.

5.  And if I could deliver this in person, I would first give a hug and just love the person sharing verbally healing truths and making sure the person was comfortable and had all the comfort amenities they needed – from a pillow, blanket, chicken soup, etc.  Compassion can never be overlooked when someone needs help!

So, since I cannot deliver this, just know I am sending e-hugs ((((((((((((((  insert your name here ))))))))))))))))) and affirming that “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  (John 8:32)

PS – if you’ve read my posts and have wondered where online you might find out more about Christian Science healing, check out the official website here.  You can also email me – my email address is on the “JoJo’s Metaphysical Work” page of my blog!  Happy to talk/exchange emails with you.

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