Sacred Endings and Blessed Beginnings

Reverend Carolyne Mathlin

On December 30, 2015 I turned on my phone and opened my Daily Word app from Unity Headquarters. On the screen was the word for the day: Reflection. The affirmation: I am guided to an amazing new year. In the text was this reminder:

I become still and turn within, opening my heart and mind to answers from the spirit of God within me. I prayerfully consider which steps are mine to take and remember to be patient with myself as I bravely try something new. Change happens one step at a time.

As I read the day’s invitation and message, I felt inspired. Yes, 2015 is ending and 2016 is beginning. I love that this time of year naturally calls me, and you too, to reflect on what this past year has meant. For me the themes of 2015 were challenge, emergence, growth, and sacred transitions. It has not been an easy year. It has been a powerful year.

One of the most challenging transitions for me personally and for our community is that our beloved Staff Minister, Gail Hamley, Licensed Unity Teacher, has decided it is time for her to move on from her ministerial role at Unity of Tustin. On Sunday, December 27, she shared with our community about her inner journey and we blessed her for all she has meant to us. Gail has served our community on staff for almost six years and been a member for twenty years. Her legacy of prayer and healing will be a blessing to us all for many years to come.

Sacred endings can be hard, even when they are directed by Spirit and we know they are part of a bigger plan. It is so important to honor what has been and recognize what is ending. When we leave things in a space of recognition, if not gratitude, that energy carries us into the next experience ready to manifest in our life. There is a certain momentum of good that becomes available to us. There is no block or residual energy from a past experience or even a past year.

I experienced this most acutely when I made the decision to not continue in the Evolutionary Collective (EC) with Patricia Albere in 2016. I felt deeply called to participate in 2015 and am so grateful for how I was able to serve in the developing of a new paradigm in mutuality and collective spirituality. It was a very difficult decision to not continue. I went back and forth and delayed making the decision for many months. And yet, as I really sat with the big picture, it was clear that I would not continue in the program for 2016. Sometimes what we say no to becomes a greater yes to something else. I feel and know that truth as my reality for this 2016. Seven of our community members are continuing and I bless them in what this next year will hold for them. I know their participation in the EC will continue to support our ministry at Unity of Tustin.

One of the benefits of traveling is that I get time to read because I’m on a plane and there isn’t much else to do. Because I traveled a lot toward the end of 2015 I had the opportunity read several wonderful books. One of which was Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (available in our Timeless Wisdom Bookstore), I was so inspired by what she offers in that book that we’ll be using it as the foundation for the first part of 2016. In it Gilbert writes:

The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them. The hunt to uncover those jewels— that’s creative living. The courage to go on that hunt in the first place— that’s what separates a mundane existence from a more enchanted one. The often surprising results of that hunt— that’s what I call Big Magic.

 And while the paths and outcomes of creative living will vary wildly from person to person, I can guarantee you this: A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner— continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you— is a fine art, in and of itself. Because creative living is where Big Magic will always abide.

 I’m seeing that 2016 holds Big Magic for us all, if we are willing and have the courage to “remember to be patient with ourselves as we bravely try something new.” In Unity we see that creative living is our natural state of being. We are always creating. The question is how conscious we are of it. How much are we intentionally accessing our higher self to guide and lead what is being created? We will go through Gilbert’s book as a template for access the jewels inside us that are ready to emerge so that you are living a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, a more contemplative life. Whatever those jewels are calling for, that their light be reflected in the outer manifestation of your life.

On January 3 I’m going to talk about how we as a community will be invited to participate together in this expedition into the creative. Much of what we offer from January to March will be in service to the expression of living a creative life, an expanded life. Stay tuned for more. In the meantime, I wish you a sacred ending to that which is ready to fall away and a blessed beginning to the new.