Religion and Spirituality

Loving In All Ways – Breaking The Silence

Today, I was out on Facebook, responding to people and wishing my followers “Happy Birthday”, and came across a posted link from a friend of mine.  It read:

WELCOME TO OUR HOMOSEXUAL DAY OF SILENCE| Culture Wars Right Side News (www.rightsidenews.comDay of Silence by homosexuals in our public schools promotes un-natural life styles and targets Christians as bigots.

Because I am the mother of a gay man, and friend to hundreds of LGBTQSA, and a huge proponent of unconditional love, I connected to the link even though I recognized I would be saddened by it.  Once I had read it and knew exactly what it said so I could be factual in my response AND I went out to the Day of Silence website to make sure I was accurate in my understanding from the LGBTQSA side of the conversation, I felt I could respond with truth.   On the home page of http://dayofsilence.org  – here is the statement: 

On the National Day of Silence hundreds of thousands of students nationwide take a vow of silence to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in their schools.

The following “conversation” took place between my friend and me. 

Me:  Unfortunately, J., this is a cruel and bigoted article. The Day of Silence is not about “sex on demand” or “the right to engage in whatever sexual practice feels right at the moment”. It is about being able to choose who you love without fear.  It is about being able to live your life just like everyone else – in a home with your spouse, your children if you are fortunate to be allowed to have them, have BBQs in your backyard, take your children to soccer, work in a job without fear of losing it because of who you love, and rent an apartment without fear of being kicked out because of your spouse’s gender.  It is about being able to walk down the street without fear that you will be beaten, or even worse, killed.  It is about freedom from bullying and harassment.  It is about mothers who love their gay children not having to live in fear because they are shot at through their kitchen window or have a fire bomb thrown at their house in the middle of the night because their son is gay.  It is about love for humanity.  This article is about hate and bigotry, and if people identify with it because they are Christians, I would challenge that fact.  Jesus did not teach us to hate.  He showed us how to love.

J:  Sexual behavior should not be promoted in school

J: I am for love of all people, however my God deems certain behaviors sinful

Me: Perhaps, but I would encourage you to support being factual rather than hateful.  Sexual behavior is promoted in school along the continuum of sexual orientation by all kids, not just by gay kids.  In fact, it is most blatantly promoted by those who are straight.  Get to know what the Day of Silence means before you take the opportunity to demean it.  Some of the gay people I know are the kindest, most loving people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.  And, many are Christians.

J:  Why not a day of Prayer then otherwise people who disagree are hateful!

Me:  Disagreement does not automatically translate into hateful, J. I am disagreeing with you, but I’m hopefully not being hateful. I like you – you are a good man. I’m just sharing my feelings that the world would be a much nicer place, if you would take the stance of being a loving man. How about a day devoted to unconditional love – that way no religions or spiritual paths are being stepped on, and no judgments are being made about worthiness?

Here is what I know.  I was judgmental about the article, Christians who buy into this kind of rhetoric, straight kids who are in to public displays of affection, and J for not being more loving.  That was not loving behavior on my part.  This I know because I was finally able to detach from the outcome of the conversation, and check my own behavior.  I expressed my feelings and my values, and I am done.   I forgive myself for my judgmentalism – I am still working on my ability to love unconditionally – I am human.  What J does with my thoughts is up to him. 

So, why am I writing this blog?  Because I have more to say about unconditional love – without it being wrapped around my passion and love for LGBTQSA everywhere. (BTW – just so you know, LGBTQSA stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Questioning, Straight, Allies).

For those of you who know me well, you know that another of my passions is looking at the differing religions and spiritual paths for commonality and for understanding.  In addition, I am an avid reader.  Recently, a friend of mine gave me a book called “Love for No Reason” by Marci Shimof. There is a section in that book that pulled me in, and made my heart sing.  It begins by saying that love is our true nature, that it is always there; it is our essence. This meshes with the core value of Love agreed upon by our church recently, and this is perhaps why I felt as strongly as I did when I read it.  The book goes on to say that all the world’s spiritual traditions speak of this larger, more expanded kind of love.  It is this I would like to share with you.

In Christianity, the term that’s used for this highest and purest forms of love is agape, a word borrowed from the Greeks.  In the New Testament, agape is the love that God has for man, and that He commands us to have for each other.  It is selfless, generous, and healing – the foundation for a good life.

In Hebrew, the word for love is ahavah, and for Love for No Reason, ahavat chinam, literally “groundless love.”  Rabbi David Thomas, describes ahavat chinam as “the love we show to a fellow human being without regard to our own interest, simply because we are human and we see the humanity of another.”

The Buddhists call this love metta or lovingkindness, love that makes one want to help and to give of oneself for the welfare and well-being of humanity.  They consider this love the ultimate source of strength and power.

Hinduism uses the Sanskrit phrase parama prema (supreme love) to describe a state of love that is full, with no conditions, and that brings a person to the truth of life.  And, in the sect of Islam called Sufism, the word ishq expresses this quality of unconditional and Divine Love.

What is present in all traditions is the certainty that God is love and that each one of us has access to that love inside.  It’s only clouds of stress, negative habits, ego, and fear that block this pure state of love and prevent us from experiencing it.

As humans, all we can do is be willing to act on our belief in our ability to love unconditionally.  Ever since we were children we may have been shown negative behavior, ego and fear by our families and friends that get in the way of knowing who we really are.  We may have been taught these same things by people we know we should respect and have reverence for – our teachers, ministers, and leaders.  A measure of our growth is in recognizing that these people, and circumstances, are not always right.  They, too, are human, and what they are teaching has been written and interpreted by humans.  And, because of that, by our repetition of the words, thoughts and ideas they may be sharing with us, we may not be right either.  All we can do is examine our values, and consciously and meaningfully take action on our willingness to be loving in all ways. 

Today’s affirmation: 

Just for today, when I interact with others, I will focus on them with love.

 Just for today, I will speak well of myself and others, always. 

Just for today, I will engage with others to create a culture that deepens relationships.

 

Who are you willing to be, today?

Georgia Feiste, President of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth and leadership coach, writer, and workshop facilitator.  She is also a Usui Reiki Master and EFT practitioner.  Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life.  You can also find Georgia on her website, Collaborative Transitions, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.   Georgia may also be reached at (402) 304-1902 if you wish to schedule a 30 minute complementary consultation.

 

Overcoming Fear and Limiting Beliefs – New Offerings

It has been a beautiful week here in Lincoln, Ne.  The weather has been pleasant and the atmosphere around the Feiste household has been peaceful.  Slowly we are getting the spring cleaning in the yard and around the house completed in preparation for our daughter and son-in-law to arrive in early May.  We have plans in action for a baby shower in mid-May, with the Omaha aunts gearing up to provide a feast of fun and food.  Lord Byron, Alaskan Malamute, was interviewed for a position in a household of teenagers, and was rejected in favor of a much younger candidate (we laughed that ageism is alive and well, even in the dog world).  Karl submitted his request for retirement, so it is official and slated for September 30 of this year.  And, of course, I continue to delight in my encore career of coaching.

I am going to step off the beaten path a little bit here today.  I’ve been experiencing some convergence of the classes I’m teaching, the clients I’m coaching, and the work I am doing on building some additional classes and facilitating the Spiritual Growth Groups I hold on a monthly basis.  When this happens, I know there is something there I need to pay attention to, and share.

Some of you are aware that I am a Usui Reiki Master.  I was recently asked to teach a client Reiki so they could bring that energy into the building of their veterinary career.  I was delighted to take this on, and have been flying through the development of manuals to be used in this endeavor on an ongoing basis.

This week, another client asked that I hold a class on “Manifesting A Career that Works For You”.  Interestingly enough, I’ve been working on a book and workbook on this very topic.  It occurred to me that it would be helpful to hold some classes to “beta test” the exercises, and concepts – and now the request.

Dr. Heath Harding and I are about half way through the Create Change with Ease and Grace class, and we have a request to offer it again as two half day classes on Saturday.  This class is focused on discovering what prevents us from creating positive change in our lives, and how this prevention comes about through fear and limiting beliefs.

And, finally, our Spiritual Growth Group is discussing “Why Is God Laughing?” by Deepak Chopra.  One of the main topics of the book is fear and limiting beliefs.

If you are scratching your head, and trying to figure out where this is going, I understand.  The convergence that is occurring within these four areas, as I see it, can be wrapped up in three words:  Fear, Judgment and Resistance.  And, based on what I have learned over the last 50+ years, how we should be living our lives – Fear NOT, Judge NOT, and Resist NOT.  This gelled for me in the last week or so as I was reading a book called “How to Read the Akashic Records”, by Linda Howe.  (For a deeper understanding – please check out the blog links at the end of this article.)

So, I’m going to take a leap of faith here.  One of my limiting beliefs, and as a consequence the basis of fear, is that most people I know look to me for my pragmatic and factual view of the world.  They don’t see me as a deeply spiritual person.  And, I believe they would roll their eyes when I talk about the healing power of scents, herbs, homeopathic remedies, meditation, energy medicine, Reiki and EFT.  For the most part, I have not talked about the spiritual work I have been doing for years, and my strong belief in the ability of the unconscious and subconscious to manifest our fears and beliefs in amazing ways – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  We self-sabotage ourselves in so many ways by living our lives based on these fears and beliefs, and we do a REALLY good job of it.  Most of us are masters at it.

And, so I have been asking myself (and keep asking myself) – what if we knew what these were – what if someone could help us discover all the nuances of our belief system – what kind of life could we live then?  What if we could really pay attention to our values, strengths, talents and gifts, and bring those to the forefront every single day?  What if we could experience a major shift in the fear based spirituality many of us have grown up with, and begin to believe and trust in the essence of God (or whatever name you choose to call it – The Universal Source, Allah, Yahweh, etc.) that resides in all of us?  What if we had the deep and abiding faith to help us when things get tough to know that it only becomes harder when we resist, so if we just relax, it will get easier?  This was the beginning of my desire to become a coach, and it is what keeps me going as a coach even when my practice does a stutter step and I’m fearful it will never get off the ground.

As a consequence – even though I am fearful because of my own limiting beliefs, and I have been resisting for a while now – I am going to begin offering:

  • Reiki classes for those who would like to learn and experience more. These can be taken in a small group or on an individual level.
  • Reiki sessions for those who would like to experience the stress-relief and lessening of their resistance to life’s challenges.  Sessions can be solely to experience the benefits of Reiki, or can be used to augment personal and spiritual growth coaching sessions.
  • EFT classes for those who would like to learn and experience more control and understanding of their emotions.  These can be taken in a small group or on an individual level.
  • EFT sessions for those who would like to experience the stress-relief and lessening of their resistance to life’s challenges.  Sessions can be solely to experience the benefits of EFT or can be used to augment personal and spiritual growth coaching sessions.
  • I will begin offering half day sessions and individual coaching on “Manifesting A Career That Works For You”, a mixture of discovery of who you are REALLY, and pragmatic steps you can take to move forward in your job search.
  • Dr. Harding and I will be offering another “Create Change with Ease and Grace” class in a couple of months, and again in the fall.

All of these endeavors are wrapped in my belief that each person I work with is perfect just the way they are – and much of what they need is to shed their self-judgment, fears, and their resistance to who they are and the lessons to be learned in order to see that perfection.

 Sending love, joy, and gratitude for you, always!

 Georgia

Georgia Feiste, President of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth and leadership coach, writer, and workshop facilitator.  She is also a Usui Reiki Master and EFT practitioner.  Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life.  You can also find Georgia on her website, Collaborative Transitions, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.   Georgia may also be reached at (402) 304-1902 if you wish to schedule a 30 minute complementary consultation.

Related Links:

Guidelines for Living Life, Fear Not

Guidelines for Living Life, Judge Not

Guidelines for Living Life, Resist Not

The Power In You

I have been spending some time reading Unity thought books over the last several months.  The teachings speak to me in ways no other teachings have done; I resonate with their message.  One particular book, Mind: The Master Power, pulls me in intellectually, and tweaks my heart.

In this book, Charles Roth speaks of “five talents that each of us possess right now.  He challenges us to see them, invest in them, and double them.  In doing so, you develop your potential for peace of mind, harmony in all aspects of your life, and an increase in health and resources.”  I know, you are anxious to find out what they are, aren’t you?  I won’t keep you waiting.

  1. The talent or ability to think.  Most of us have this ability.  Only the very severely disabled have limited capacity to think.  The key is in how you think.  You have choices – negative or positive thinking.  When you choose to think positively, all things are yours; your life will be enhanced and you will be joyful.  If you choose to be negative, all will be taken from you.
  2. You have the ability to believe.  You choose what you are going to believe.  You are what you believe.  How do you see yourself?  Do you see yourself as a victim?  Do you point to situations and issues as proof, as fact?  The facts are what they are because you have accepted them as your belief system.  When you accept you are a child of God, and because you know that God is within you, you will believe you are a remarkable person, a successful person, poised and confident.  What will you choose to do with that?  Are you going to use it constructively to believe that God is working through you in everything you do – and things will work out in wonderful ways you didn’t even imagine.  “As you believe, so be it done unto you!”
  3. You have a wonderful and powerful imagination! Remember, thought equals form.  Charles Roth tells us that “imagination is called the “scissors of the mind” for that very reason- your imagination works on the unspecialized substance of God all around you, and that substance becomes to you just the form that your imagination gives it!”   See yourself standing tall, poised, confident, successful and strong.  See yourself as you want to be seen, and you will become it.  “What thou seest, man, become thou must.  God if thou seest God; dust if thou seest dust!”
  4. You have the ability to give praise and thanksgiving.  Use it well, don’t keep it to yourself, holding your tongue out of fear of what others might think.  When we are grateful, we create the connection between ourselves and the good God has on hand for us.  If you are not connected to all things, people and situations, God cannot easily send that good to us.  Be grateful for everything in your life, because gratitude acts as the catalyst for your good.
  5. Pray.  Pray quietly within yourself, and recognize that you are one with God.  Talk to God as you would your best friend.  And listen for the response.  Create a dialogue of bantor back and forth with your creator.  Prayer is total surrender to the realization you are one with God.

You are remarkable.  Each of you are uniquely you, basking in the strengths, gifts and talents God has given you.  Paul wrote to the Corinthians “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?  (I Cor. 3:16).  Remember this.  You are capable of doing and being more that you ever dreamed possible.  Step into your power.  The Christ light within you, walks wherever you are, and gives you the power to express the spiritual potential that resides in you.  The Truth is that you are a spiritual being – ageless, deathless, all-conquering.   Step into the power within you.

Georgia Feiste, President of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth and leadership coach, writer, and workshop facilitator.  She is also a Usui Reiki Master and EFT practitioner.  Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life.  You can also find Georgia on her website, Collaborative Transitions, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.   Georgia may also be reached at (402) 304-1902 if you wish to schedule a 30 minute complementary consultation.

The Most Powerful People on Earth

Forbes published an article a couple of days ago where they pulled together a list of the most powerful people on earth.  I understand, of course, their linear thinking about wealth, number of followers, whether they wield their power, and if they are powerful in multiple areas.   My heart tells me, however, that they missed the mark.

I believe that you are the most powerful person on earth, and you, and you, and you…  We all have the power to leave our mark on the earth.  We receive multiple opportunities each day to say a kind word, to gently touch someone’s heart, to listen attentively to what others have to say, to let people know they have value. 

The interesting part about this is that you don’t need wealth and you don’t need a large number of followers.  You are, however, wielding your power, and if you take advantage of the opportunities you are presented, you are powerful in multiple areas.

If you do this often enough, you may get a large number of followers.  And the wealth you receive will come to you in multiple ways, not just money.

One of my clients was telling me the other day about when her mother passed away.  Her mother was a simple woman.  She did not work outside the home, and did not participate in the social stratosphere.  She was a quiet and gentle woman.  As she lay dying, her mother’s biggest fear was around holding her funeral service in the large church sanctuary and being able to hear the echo of the pastor’s voice as he gave the service – she didn’t think anyone would show up.  Her family decided to use the sanctuary anyway because they knew how much she loved the services in the old church, and knew that her soul would be at home despite her fears.  Much to their astonishment, the sanctuary was filled to overflowing.  With people from the local supermarket, the drugstore, the craft store, the church, and neighbors for blocks around their mother’s home. 

Do not underestimate the power you wield by being who you are.  By treating people with love, compassion and understanding. By letting them know how much you value them as people.  Don’t hesitate to tell yourself –

I am one of the most powerful people on earth.   

Georgia Feiste, owner of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth and leadership coach, writer, and workshop facilitator.  She is also a Usui Reiki Master.  Georgia specializes in career, business and personal life transitions for people seeking change in their life.  Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life.  You can also find her on her websites http://www.collaborativetransitions.com and http://www.rainbowbridgecoach.com .  Georgia can be reached at (402) 304-1902 or you can schedule a 30 minute consultation via Automated Appointment.

National Forgiveness Day

Forgiveness takes a lot of Faith

That faith comes more easily if we are not fully buying into the system of separation. But it also has to do with the heart.

Often it is an intuitive flash that tells us that not forgiving, but holding vengeful, hateful thoughts, is actually more damaging to our own system. This poison of hate and resentment will also affect the person we are projecting those thoughts onto, but in the end it is going to hurt us more.

So forgiveness is the willingness to let go–of our self-importance, our pride, our hurt, our resentment, and the feeling that we have to get our pound of flesh.

Deep inside us we do know the truth, that we are not separate and that we are love. When we awaken to the truth, about our real self and thus to love, we do not proudly and self-importantly pamper and cherish ourselves. We love ourselves in a much more respectful way, all the while knowing that our and others’ baggage does not matter. It does not have to be important. That is true nobility of soul.

As Alexander Pope said, ‘To err is human, to forgive divine.’ Learning to forgive is the very real awakening of our divine nature.

October 30th is National Forgiveness Day

The Center Of Unconditional Love (COUL) is dedicated to creating as awareness and understanding of the power of love and the joy of forgiveness in producing good health, happiness, and stress-free living in the lives of individuals and in our home, work, and worship environments.

With this mission in sight, we celebrate October as Forgiveness Month, the week of Oct. 24-31 as Forgiveness Week, and Saturday, Oct. 30, on the 5th annual National Forgiveness Day.

Volunteers and organizations such as yours will celebrate the joy of forgiveness by publishing/printing/distributing/sharing forgiveness information and copies of the “Power Of Love Joy Of Forgiveness Health & Wellness Plan” with as many people aspossible by email, newsletters, publications, worship center bulletin inserts, flyers, word-of-mouth, etc.   Please enjoy www.unconditionallovelive.com.   The goal is to reach 5 million people this year.

Georgia Feiste, owner of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth and leadership transition coach, writer, and workshop facilitator.  She is also a Usui Reiki Master.  Georgia specializes in career, business and personal life transitions for people seeking change in their life.  Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life.  You can also find her on her websites http://www.collaborativetransitions.com, http://www.rainbowbridgecoach.com , and http://www.georgiafeiste.com.  Georgia can be reached at (402) 304-1902 or you can schedule a 30 minute consultation via Automated Appointment.

Seeking Truth, Not Religion

 

 I read with interest the article from the Los Angeles Times reporting on a Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life survey that was released last week.  Many people have no doubt identified me with Unity, but I am also a member of the Unitarian church here in Lincoln, NE.  There is a distinct commonality between the churches in that they both are founded on the principle of a search for truth and meaning.  The difference is that there are many agnostics and atheists in the Unitarian church, whereas Unity believes in God, the Universal Source. 

After reading the article, I was struck with the following statements: “American atheists and agnostics tend to be people who grew up in a religious tradition and consciously gave it up, often after a great deal of reflection and study. .. These are people who thought a lot about religion.  They are not indifferent.  They care about it.  They also tend to be relatively well-educated, and atheists and agnostics outperformed believers (in their knowledge of religious beliefs and history) who had a similar level of education. “

For me, it is about the willingness to live in the question.  Never pre-supposing that I know the answer, but looking for the truth from all angles, not just my own.  Because of that, I am deeply interested in all religions, both modern and ancient, and what they have in common.  I believe when I get to the core of these religious studies I will be closer to the truth than I ever have been before.  And, as I study, I develop a deep sense of respect for those who believe, but are open to other thoughts and ideas. 

I agree with Rev. Adam Hamilton, a Methodist minister from Leawood, Kan., who said in the article“the survey may reflect a reluctance by many people to dig deeply into their own beliefs, and especially into those of others… for many Christians, they accept their particular faith and stop examining it.  And, because it is their truth, they don’t examine other people’s faiths… That is not healthy for a person of any faith.”  This practice leads to intolerance and ignorance, and if carried far enough, war.  While I believe in God, the Universal Source, I will not, and do not, discount other people’s belief systems, for they have their own names for their inner power.  Their Source.

So, I guess I’ll continue to hang out with the people I am comfortable with – those who are willing to look beyond the covers of a book, a news reporter, or the minister in the pulpit, and really seek understanding and truth.  These values and intentions are guiding lights – even for agnostics and atheists (some of whom I count as dear friends)!

Georgia Feiste, owner of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth and transitions coach, writer, and workshop facilitator.  She is also a Usui Reiki Master.  Georgia specializes in career, business and personal life transitions for people seeking change in their life.  Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life.    You can also find her on her websites http://www.collaborativetransitions.com and http://www.rainbowbridgecoach.com.  Georgia can be reached at (402) 304-1902 or you can schedule a 30 minute consultation via Automated Appointment.