unity

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.

Unity Principle No. 5

The fifth principle of Unity is the principle of Action.  Many love to read, study and discuss Unity thought and principles, and while this is inspiring, it is not enough.  We must walk our talk by living the principles of:

1.  Knowing there is only one power and one presence. 

2.  Recognizing that we are created in the image and likeness of God – that there is God in every (wo)man.

3.  Focusing on what we want to expand in our lives, i.e., the energy we put out acts like a magnet and draws to us like energies.

4.  Utilizing the tools of prayer, meditation, denial and affirmation to redirect our thoughts and consciously connect with God.

This is God in Action, as us.  This principle is the hardest for me, because it requires me to stop judging myself and to live every moment as it comes to me.  It requires me to know that I will do my best, with what I know at that point in time.  And, that is good enough.  This is the self-love that all of the personal growth gurus talk about – that we find so very hard to do.  But, when we remember that God is within us, and give ourselves over to that, there is nothing to judge.  We may make mistakes when our ego takes over, which it WILL do, and it’s important for us to look at them and learn – forgive and move forward. 

Some people I’ve talked to think that when it is suggested that we surrender to the soul’s journey, it means that we no longer need to do anything but sit and wait.  This is furthest from the truth.  When you allow, or surrender, to the journey, opportunities and truths come your way – and the joy is that you are paying enough attention to see them as opportunities for action.  Unity teaches that Jesus showed us what we are capable of being.  And, until we experience the power of that truth, our lives will remain unchanged.

Unity Principle No. 4

This principle is about prayer, meditation, denial and affirmation.  These are methods we use to step away from the way we perceive our world to be, and step into conscious contact with Spirit. 

Unity states that within this principle we deny the power of how things appear to be, and affirm the truth of our divine nature (even if we cannot see it).  This helps restructure our subconscious mind and false beliefs we may be holding.  Prayer and meditation allow us to talk to God and listen for guidance and experience our divine connection to Spirit.

For me, this principle has guided me to look at how I see my world, and look for the truth in my beliefs to determine whether my perceptions are simply an illusion.  I have felt encouraged to look deeply to see who I really am, and to endeavor to live more genuinely out of that knowledge.  The more that I am able to do this, the more comfortable I become with the “who” within me – the heart and soul of me.  I feel less angst over mistakes that I might make, and feel the freedom of less self-judgment.  In coaching language, that means fewer “shoulda, coulda, woulda” conversations with myself.  I also have fewer needs I am striving to have met.  This enables me to live more from my values in everything I do.

Prayer and meditation are good times for me – I share with God my thoughts, and I ask questions.  Often I do this within my journaling, and sometimes as I am sitting quietly on my deck listening to the birds, or walking through the neighborhood.  When I am still in my heart and my mind, I find myself listening to the guidance from the Spirit within me – that knowingness that is always there.  

I was speaking to my dear friend Stella today, just before she left to complete her move to Montana.  She was telling me her story of the day she was out walking.   She was feeling rather low – having given up her home in Nebraska, and was living in a camper in Montana until the house was sold and they could buy another.  She came upon an elderly woman who stopped to pet her dog, and speak kindly to her.  This gentle and wise woman said quietly, “Enjoy life.”  How simple, and how profound.  Even when we perceive that things could not get any worse in many areas of our life, it gets so much easier when we simply enjoy the time we have, release the need to control and the power the situation has over us, and recognize that each moment is precious.  

How do you apply this principle in your life?  I would love to hear from you.

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.

Unity Principle No. 3

This principle is the Law of Mind Action and is similar to the Gold Rule:  Do Unto Others As You Would Have Others Do Unto You (Matthew 7:12).  This has been said in many other ways:

  • What you put out comes back to you multiplied
  • Thoughts held in mind, produce in kind
  • What you sow, so shall you reap
  • What goes around comes around

Unity teaches us that the energy of thoughts, intentions and actions that we put out to the Universe acts as a magnet and draws to us like energies.  What we focus on expands… therefore, if we want a life filled with love, we must intentionally extend love to others and to the world.  Hatred never ceases by hatred.

Even the song we sing every Sunday morning speaks to this so very clearly:  Our thoughts are prayers, and we are always praying…

So much of what I talk about in coaching is wrapped around this concept, and all we have to do is look around us to see the truth of it.  Let me give you a couple of examples:

One of my clients is a teacher.  She loves the arts: the fine arts of painting and sculpture, theater, books.  She draws a great deal of joy and pleasure from browsing through art galleries, going to plays and movies, reading books, and talking to authors, playwrites, etc. When she brings that joy into her teaching, and draws on that experience and love, her classes are deeply entertaining, insightful and inspiring.  When she doesn’t let that part of her show in her classroom, her classes can be somewhat dreary.  Now that she recognizes this – her love of teaching has expanded, and it shows.  There is a demand for her classes, and they are enjoyed by all who attend.  Opportunities and people have come into her life she would not have dreamed possible just a short time ago, creating even more beauty and joy on an ongoing basis. 

An acquaintance of mine lives very deeply in fear of a scarce money supply.   His fear creates scarcity in his life that runs much deeper than money.  It takes away his joy in living by not allowing him to eat the things he loves to eat or do the things he loves to do.  It destroys the beauty around him by causing him to horde and to not maintain his home, cars or even relationships at the same level he received them.   It drives away his family because his fear compels him to tell others what they should be doing rather than acknowledging that they are happy with where they are.  This fear would be understandable if he was living in poverty, but he is not.  However, he does not believe in the abundance of the Universe, and is obsessed with the idea that he must live in a bare bones environment in order to save money.  This fear has created a bare bones environment lacking in joy, beauty and family. 

This principle asks us to look at what we think about on a regular basis and take note of what that draws into our life.  We can change our thoughts – by being conscious of them and intentionally taking action to change them in the direction of who we would like to be and what we would like to receive.  We can retrain our brains by mapping new neuro-pathways that will pull us toward the vision we have of our lives.

By changing our thoughts, our actions will follow, as will the results of those thoughts and actions.

Georgia Feiste, owner of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth 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. She is uniquely skilled in providing support and encouragement as her clients set intentional goals to attain their desires, holding open the space they need to stretch and grow. Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life. Her websites are http://www.collaborativetransitions.com, where you can find her blogs about business and career, http://www.rainbowbridgecoach.com , where she and many other coaches blog about mind, body, spirit and emotion, and http://www.georgiafeiste.com where you can catch her thoughts on a wide variety of topics. Georgia can be reached at (402) 304-1902 or you can schedule a 30 minute consultation via Automated Appointment.

Unity Principle No. 2

Thanks to all of you who said you liked the blog last week on Unity Principle No. 1.  I promised you No. 2, so here it is along with a beautiful video entitled Nameste. 

The second principle is Divinity of Man.  I love this principle, and it’s one that Rev. Carole Lunde speaks of often in her lessons on Sunday.  We are reminded of it each Sunday as we greet other members with hugs and share beautiful energy with the greeting of “Namasté”. 

This principle teaches us that we are created in the image and likeness of God…there is that of God in every man, and it is known as our Christ Spirit within.  Since our intrinsic essence is of God, our true human-spiritual nature is inherently good.  We all have the potential to follow the example of Jesus who shows us how to perfectly express our Divine nature just as he did, and become a clear conduit for the flow of God’s Love in the World.  In addition, we are always connected directly to God without needing anyone to interpret or act as mediator for us.  We can receive guidance directly from God if we can still ourselves enough to listen.

Of all the principles, I think this is the one that causes those individuals in some of the mainstream religions to dig in their heels, and often creates the most confusion for those attending the church for the first time.  The discourse I have seen that surrounds this principle with negativity is based on several verses to be found in Matthew 24 where Jesus warns his disciples to beware of persons claiming to be false “Christs”.  Those who disagree with Unity go on to say that if this Unity Principle states that by asserting  that we have the potential to follow the example of Jesus the Christ that we are negating the divinity of Jesus.

Personally, I much prefer to think of Jesus the Christ as the “way shower” in that he revealed and taught to his disciples and others the potential of the human race.  In John 14:12 he said “the works that I do shall you do also; and greater works than these shall you do…”  This fits in so closely with what I teach in my coaching classes at church, and enjoy acknowledging in my clients:  We can all go farther, can stretch higher, and can embrace the incredible and amazing capability that has been given to us, and we can do it because we have been shown how to do it.  We must believe in ourselves and in humankind.

I also think this is the hardest principle to remember and celebrate.  Most people in our culture today forget to love themselves and because of that, they find it difficult to love others.  If you can’t recognize the Divine spark within you, how can you recognize it in others? 

When I was undertaking the definition of my life purpose/mission, I had a dream of our earth enveloped with spots of light connected by an interwoven web of pulsating energy.  That web, for me, represented the vibrational heart strings created by the connection with others who have come to know their own divinity.  Those who are continually stretching to be the best they can be, and endeavoring to do the great works we are capable of doing.  Other spirits clearing their hearts in order to become a channel for the flow of God’s love.

Georgia Feiste, owner of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth 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.  She is uniquely skilled in providing support and encouragement as her clients set intentional goals to attain their desires, holding open the space they need to stretch and grow. Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life.    Her websites are http://www.collaborativetransitions.com, where you can find her blogs about business and career, http://www.rainbowbridgecoach.com , where she and many other coaches blog about mind, body, spirit and emotion, and http://www.georgiafeiste.com where you can catch her thoughts on a wide variety of topics.  Georgia can be reached at (402) 304-1902 or you can schedule a 30 minute consultation via Automated Appointment.

Unity Principle No. 1

I was at church today, and was surprised to hear people who have been part of Unity for a very long time say that they didn’t know what the five Spiritual Principles of Unity were.  And, because I was pretty sure that I knew, I went out to find them to validate what I was thinking.  I write an article for the church newsletter on a monthly basis, but thought I would also document this in my blog so I could go back to it over and over again to continue my thought processes and spiritual growth.

The first principle is one power and one presence.  The Universal Power is the Source and the Creator of everything.  Unity calls this God, other religions and beliefs call this power by many other names.  This power is Love at work in the universe. 

Within this principle, Unity teaches that there is not a struggle between two powers of good and evil.  This is a paradox created by man and is simply a belief in the separation from God, and is caused by our fears and our propensity toward judgment.  There are many books that have been written about this particular concept, one of which intrigued me, called the Disappearance of the Universe.  A second, which I believe I could probably study for the rest of my life, is A Course in Miracles.  Briefly, we are taught that we have never separated from the Universal Power, it flows through us in everything we do.  When we remember this, and forgive, we move strongly into love, both for everyone around us and for ourselves.

Georgia Feiste, owner of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth 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.  She is uniquely skilled in providing support and encouragement as her clients set intentional goals to attain their desires, holding open the space they need to stretch and grow. Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life.    Her websites are http://www.collaborativetransitions.com, where you can find her blogs about business and career, http://www.rainbowbridgecoach.com , where she and many other coaches blog about mind, body, spirit and emotion, and http://www.georgiafeiste.com where you can catch her thoughts on a wide variety of topics.  Georgia can be reached at (402) 304-1902 or you can schedule a 30 minute consultation via Automated Appointment.