The Truth That Sets Us Free

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20

Reverend Carolyne MathlinOn January 3, I led our annual White Stone Ceremony during the 9 & 11 am services. No new name was coming to me, so I thought I would help Spirit out and started playing around with some phrases or qualities. But that didn’t feel quite right either. Then, just as I was about to bring us out of meditation at the 11 am service, it dropped in like a lead weight of Truth that could not be denied or ignored: “Holy Temple.” I didn’t want Holy Temple. That seemed to imply some kind of action. Action that I have been intuitively knowing I need to take for a while and haven’t.

In the meantime, I had already asked a good friend for an exercise consultation for my birthday and Christmas present. I was exercising but not seeing the results I was looking for. So I thought that a little more information would be helpful. As a part of my consultation gift I was asked to submit my blood work over the past 10 years. Imagine my surprise when, instead of a consultation on exercise, the focus of our conversation shifted to my elevated cholesterol levels. I was handed the documentary Forks Over Knives and a couple of whole foods, plant-based cookbooks and sent off to do my homework.

We make so many decisions every day of our lives and most of them don’t have immediate consequences. Yet over time all those mini-choices contribute to a field of feedback. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, our life changes. We don’t always get the early warning signs of trouble ahead. But really, if I’m honest with myself, I often do. I meditate, I have a fair amount of intuitive connection and I am observant to both my inner and outer world. As I lean into the Truth, Reality is often there giving me exactly what I need to know. The question is, do I lean into that Truth to the point of responding or do I choose to ignore the signs and hope they go away. Whenever I’ve counseled with people who have had major surprises in their lives, if they are really honest and lean into the Truth, they have intuitively known a change was brewing and just not wanted to acknowledge it.

The most precious gift we are given as humanity is the gift of free will / choice. It is what distinguishes us from every other manifestation on the planet. It’s what makes being human so powerful, because how we show up is not automatic or coerced. It is our willingness and consciousness that is joined together with intention and action that create a spiritual power that truly does move mountains. The tragedy is when we don’t recognize our own power. Or have the courage to lean into the Truth that is manifesting with every breath.

I’ve been reflecting a lot on the embodiment of love, especially in regard to my own body and how I am choosing love at a very concrete level. I am faced with the question, how much do I want to be ‘surprised’ later in life that I have heart disease or diabetes or something else? Or do I want to make the choice now to love my body and do something different. My choices might or might not make all the difference; however, to ignore the Truth that is presenting itself now as helpful feedback doesn’t seem sane.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve made a decision to cut out (mostly) all animal protein and increase my exercise. I remind myself that love is a choice with every minute. It is the choice to love myself as the Holy Temple of the living spirit of God. It doesn’t mean that I won’t ever have animal protein again. It does mean that, for now, there is a consciousness of presence that is informing my choice. It’s not just automatic pilot. There is active participation in the field of love that surrounds the Holy Temple of my being.

I could apply this same level of conscious presence and choice to many aspects of my life. There are so many areas that I am probably ignoring feedback from. This is where discernment comes in. Our spiritual responsibility doesn’t include being vigilantly offensive in all aspects of our life so that nothing ever surprises us again. Can you imagine? We’d be so hypersensitive to everything we’d create more problems than we’d ever solve trying to preempt all potential sources of pain. This is where trust and faith come in. We live in a loving universe that directs our attention and consciousness to what we need to most pay attention to. Ignorance is not bliss.

This is your Reality check. Is there an area in your life that you have intuitively or concretely known you need to lean into the Truth about? Through deep love and a sense of connection with the Divine, I encourage you to do it. Perhaps our meditation retreat in Rancho Palos Verdes would be the perfect container for you to do some of that work. However you are called to lean in, I invite you to join me in developing the willingness to listen and to lean into the Truth that sets us free.


A Campus of Love and Compassion

Nevin ValentineThrough the years, Unity of Tustin has been known as a campus of consciousness.  Recently, Gail Hamley described Unity of Tustin as a campus of love and compassion.   I was happy to hear her include these additions because I see glimpses of love and compassion everywhere in our Youth and Family Ministry.

I see love and compassion between siblings on their first day in Sunday school class.  Often the Unichildren siblings will be asked by the younger siblings to stay with them in the Unitot classroom on that first day.  The compassion in the eyes of those Unichildren for their little brothers and sisters as they say yes to this request truly melts my heart.

Another example is near the end of the morning when we come together for music with Jim and Christy White. When the Unitots enter the music room, they often run to and hug their older sibling.  And, the Unichildren will find their Uniteen and Y.O.U. siblings to sit with too!

I see glimpses of love and compassion each Sunday morning as the teachers meet in the gazebo to pray together before Sunday school classes begin.  As we share our prayer requests and highest intentions for our children and youth’s Sunday experience, we all feel the open-heartedness we have for one another.

Each month during our prayer circles with Lisa Huett, I witness the love and compassion within the words of the children and teens’ prayer requests for family, friends and pets.

I witness love and compassion expressed during our teacher meetings, as we decide the best practices for teaching and make curriculum choices.  I see glimpses of love and compassion as the teachers support one another in their sacred roles as teachers of our children and youth.

Our community shows their love and compassion when they support our Youth and Family Ministry Fundraisers. I see love as teens and parents wash cars side by side, when generous members of our community provide pledges and donations, and in the eyes of our community as they drive up to have their cars washed.

I see love and joy as the MUTs sing and BBQ during the July Family Picnics and as we play games together. I see love and compassion when the Unity of Tustin Board of Trustees visits our Sunday school Classes and gets to see first-hand the amazing team of teachers and experience the outstanding lessons.

I see love and compassion in our Unity of Tustin community each time they hear our children sing the Peace Song or The Prayer for Protection. I treasure the moments during these times when I see parents watching their beloved children sing for the congregation.

I see glimpses of love during our Christmas party, when our beloved Arnie Bazensky appears as the most real Santa Claus in America!  He exudes love as he poses for photos with the children as our elf Madison hands out candy canes.  I see love on the faces of the children as Pam Bazensky reads The Night Before Christmas, year after year.

I see glimpses of love as we join in the circle dances with Jim and Christy during the holiday party!

I see glimpses of love and compassion as I look out into the Children’s Garden and see children joyfully playing together while their parents talk, long after Sunday school has ended.

I see glimpses of love and compassion each day as I serve our beloved community with Rev Carolyne Mathlin, Mary Jeanne Haas, Darrell Holdaway, Amy Jahn, Meredith VanSteenwyk, Conchita Castro, Marco Bella and Lori Randolph, as we support one another in serving our beautiful community and campus of consciousness, love, and compassion.