Most lessons I have to learn more than once. When they first come, I see the truth. I get it. And then I forget. Judgment of others is a mirror for my own inadequacies. Right action is that which is not attached to the outcome. Insanity is performing the same behavior and expecting a different result. I know these things, but I forget because the world gets busy, the noise gets louder, and the distractions win. I forget because I’m human, and humans forget. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Fear and anger cannot grow in a garden of gratitude. Karma trumps dogma. I forget so I can remember. There is no joy in mowing a short lawn or vacuuming a clean rug or washing a spotless dish. The satisfaction of the scythe is in the tall grass. Nothing exists other than right now. The opposite of love is not hate; the opposite of love is fear. The path to awakening leads through the heart, not the head. Faith is knowing that what we learned once is never lost, and it will return when we need it. These three remain: faith, hope, and love, and the greatest is love. What we put out comes back to us multiplied. Love is all you need. © 2020 Deb Moore, All Rights Reserved
It’s usually through a series of otherwise unconnected but often chronologically proximal events that the Divine chooses to send me messages. A theme emerges. A thread becomes spiritually visible. A connection is made. And the message is undeniable.
Item 1: A few years ago, I was part of developing a new theme at the Unity church where I attend and am involved in leadership. The theme was “authentic transformation.” It was what I felt I was undergoing and what I believed to be core to the spiritual journey. Every Sunday morning in my roll as “platform person” at Unity of Music City in Old Hickory, TN, I say something to the effect of “Welcome to Unity Music City, a place of authentic transformation. It’s who we are. It’s what we do.”
Item 2: A year or so ago, I had the privilege of meeting Michael McRay when he was speaking at Unity of MC about his reconciliation work in Israel and Palestine. I saw him again at a workshop for Narrative4, a story-telling reconciliation practice he facilitates. I saw him a third time just a couple of weeks ago when he conducted a Narrative4 workshop at the college where I teach. What strikes me every time I hear Michael is that he is a very young man (28? 29?) who is able to clearly communicate his purpose. Michael will state in no uncertain terms “This is my purpose, and these are the ways I express it in the world.”
Item 3: During a recent Wednesday night class at Unity of MC, the idea of purpose entered the discussion. My dear friend and minister, Denise Yeargin, said, “I know my friend, Deb, is a teacher, and a darn fine one, but I also know that is not her purpose. Am I right?” And she looked right at me. I said, “You’re right.” It was as if the Universe was saying, “You’ve danced around this for a while now; it’s time to turn it into a declarative statement.” I hesitated for just a moment, and then I said, intuitively, “My purpose is enthusiasm. My purpose is to help others find enthusiasm in life.”
Item 4: I went home that night and looked up “enthusiasm” once again. I had looked it up before, and I knew that it meant something akin to “God within.” But when I looked this time, I found a more definitive translation from the original Greek that I don’t remember ever seeing before. It was “possessed by the essence of God.” Oh, brother. That about brought me to my knees.
Item 5: I posted something on Facebook about a successful teacher moment. For me, a successful teacher moment is when a student expresses some newfound enthusiasm for their journey because of something that happens in my classroom. In the comments on the post, one of my former students, from way back in my second or third year of teaching, said this, “You’re a transformational educator . . . always have been. Thank you for your heart, mind, and spirit! You are one of the best to ever do it! #thankGodforTSU #freshmanhonorsenglish #myfave #abetterwriterforit” Okay, so that totally rocked my world, but what really stood out to me was that word “transformational.”
The last meeting with Michael McRay, the Wednesday night class, and the former student’s comment happened within 10 days of each other.
And it all brings me here:
My purpose in life is to teach the transformational power of enthusiasm. My purpose is to show how transformational it is to be possessed by the essence of God. I do this through teaching, through singing, through my work at Unity of Music City, through my work in the classroom, through my one-on-one encounters with students, through my work as a chaplain in the pastoral care ministry at Unity, and through every conversation or thought I have.
I do this by living a transformed life with enthusiasm.
And so it is.
(Image: “The Energy Flow of Meditation,” by giorjoe. Source: DeviantArt)
This post was supposed to be about politics. I made a few notes over the past couple of days with the intention of writing about politics as our national religion. One note said, “Until politics is no longer our religion, until our party is no longer our sect, we will continue to wage a holy bipartisan war with each other.” I had several pithy comments rolling around in my brain about the altar call of biased media, the evangelical fervor of party leaders, and the heaven or hell choice each side paints the positions to be. I was chewing on a truly remarkable idea about the crucifixion of conscience while a herd of Pontius Pilates washed their hands and a gang of Judases counted their money. It promised to be a jeremiad of legendary proportions.
And then I went to church.
Today we installed the new leadership council at Unity of Music City. Fifteen people (fourteen of them women) stood on stage holding a candle and singing, “I am a light in this world.” It was a moving and transformative experience. Describing it cannot do it justice, for what was most profound was the energy in that moment. Our entire spiritual community is focused on being a force for good in this new year, and I was privileged and humbled to be standing shoulder to shoulder with those who would hold the sacred space for that vision to become action.
I was, quite frankly, riding a little high. I came home from church and checked the mail I had ignored since earlier in the week. Inside was a present from some good friends, and they don’t yet know how perfect it was. As I was walking into my apartment, I received a text message. It was from my decades-long BFF who I don’t really see anymore and who I rarely talk to, but I know is always there. The text said, “Just wanted you to know I was thinking of you. Love you.”
Then I meditated.
Now I’m baking an apple pie.
Do I really need to close the circle of logic for you here? I have absolutely no energy for a discussion of politics. Not even a detached, enlightened one where I play at being observer and not participant. Not even a theoretical one. Not even a funny one.
In churches and schools and clubs and organizations and movements and NGO’s and various other tribes the land over, people pick up the mantle of leadership and love and duty and calling every single day. In any given moment, a significant army are devoting themselves to be a force for good. Those are the people I want to talk about.
Let me make one thing clear — this isn’t about burying heads in the sand and ignoring reality. Being a force for good means you are ready to stand and march and advocate. But I know that I know that I know that attention is the fertilizer of reality. What we focus on grows.
So I’m not writing about politics. I’m writing about love and intention.
There is another note I have in my journal. My good friend and minister, Denise Yeargin, shared this with us this morning in church. “No matter how dark an experience might be, I look up and experience the light.”
I have the choice. I choose the light.