Springing into Action!

 

Greetings,

We hope that March has been an exciting month for you thus far.

Our year started with a few changes to our team, which has caused us to rethink our vision for ICL and prompted us to seek out supporters who truly understand our mission and vision. Throughout this process, we’ve had the opportunities to meet many people in our conversational interview process. These experiences, has brought us to one thought that “There are so many who are willing to shine their lights to help to heal this our human planet.”

In the coming weeks it is our desire share with you the new members of our summer intern programs, and that of our part-time senior minister/lecturer who will assume this role currently held by Rev. Charlotte. This change will allow Charlotte global opportunities to provide vital research and program development in multifaith resilience and community initiatives, while mentoring other Light Leaders in Colorado and the world.

As you can see, our year has started off wonderfully with much discernment as we continue our planned programming efforts.

Here are some highlights:

  1. Our multifaith sacred circles continue on a monthly bases until we have a part-time minister and lecturer in place to resume the bi-weekly to weekly circle offerings.
  2. We’ve offered many programs and trainings through our International Light Leaders learning forum.
  3. As an extension to our Cognitive Care team, we’ve invited two partners to our circle of healers; Rachel Parsons and D. Feketa. These two individuals work independently as an extension to spiritual and life development growth. To learn more about who they are, please follow this link.
  4. We continue to work with our serving Director of Holistic Care, Melissa Ravenstar in her effort to provide alternative healing modalities grounded in the ancient traditions of many spiritual frameworks.
  5. We carry on in building our educational platform, through the creation of our Spiritual Directorship Certification program being offered this Autumn, 2018. If this is of interest to you, please join our free informational call on March 22nd, 2018 at 7pm MST. You an access the link here.
  6. Our desire to obtain accreditation for forthcoming programs and classes has never left us as we remain in motivation to seek out ways to make this process as seamless as possible.

These highlights have simply been our primary focus for the last 3 months. As we move into April, we encourage you to visit our calendar to know about other interesting forthcoming programs and initiatives.  They are created and offered to you as areas of connection, learning, and healing.

We hope that you can participate in any of our upcoming programs, whether they are at our brick and mortar location, technology driven, or socially. If you’d like to know more interesting aspects of our work, please contact us or consider joining our monthly newsletter audience.

We wish you infinite blessings on your journey.

Be well,

The ICL Team

Harvesting the Good: Five Steps to a More Peaceful Holiday Season

 

The Holidays, as they are celebrated in most American cultures, are right around the corner. Lights, music, tasty foods, and beautiful fashions are often more prevalent during this time. Some people stress about impending weight gain, while others may search for a greater sense of purpose and well-being, which, depending on their state of affairs, can be impossible to achieve. When difficulties in coping occur, are these apprehensions for the holidays based on our own inflated expectations? And, are we neglecting realism, even though some are quite aware that the family dinner often ensues with a level of drama far exceeding historical achievements?

From a spiritual context, we know what we should do to prevent family and holiday burn-out. However, when caught-up in celebratory magnificence, comfortable and daily practices are occasionally pushed back until the first of the year. At least this is what we sometimes tell ourselves. All will be good in January, we say. Even so…the Good in you, to serve self and others, still remains, and we must discover and rediscover primary opportunities to consistently harvest it.

Let’s touch on a few…

Restorative Sleep

One of the first steps for daily well-being is acquiring sound, restorative sleep. A recent study in the journal Sleep, showed that poor sleep patterns cause inflammation in the body and can be directly connected to several types of diseases. On the flipside, the same study showed that too much sleep can also produce certain forms of illness. Finding balance is indeed an important element.

One of my recent guest in his 70’s shared with me that without daily exercise, he is unable to experience a good night’s rest. One other acquaintance swears by essential oil of lavender in her diffusor each night. Another, believes that 8ozs of fresh carrot juice often can do the trick. Drawing the line to what we would try, may simply mean that we must find our own paths to rest…to rest the mind and the body for some of the psychological and physical responsibilities the holidays may bring, could be beneficial to experiencing peace.

Maintaining Healthy Routines

Next we must consider eating a healthy diet. Not only will this boost our immune systems, it may also help to balance the upcoming holiday meals patiently awaiting us. If you know that you will have a holiday event at the end of each week, try balancing your food intake prior to this time. Check with your doctor or nutritionist to learn the most ideal way to do this.

Self-Talk

Third, practicing self-talk can also be a powerful tool. The little engine in the train said “I think I can, I think I can.” Well, pretend your heart is the little engine, and continuously tell yourself the same, relating to any trepidation you may hold.

Smile

Forth, when faced with occasional challenges or challenging people, adjust your self-awareness to smile inside. In these situations I tell myself, “This is clearly not about me, I am poised and smart enough to know this.”

Implement a Personal Mantra

Fifth, when you are uncertain about your own abilities to be able to skate through the next few months, tell yourself “I’ll show you” and use this as your personal mantra toward motivation to help to rid yourself of uncomfortable, stressful, and, “I’d rather be home than doing this“, moments.

Harvesting the good during the holidays is like the daily work of a farmer. We must plant the seed, water it, and patiently watch it sprout. With proper care it grows and grows into this wonderful nutritious element that sustains us for one season, and perhaps many others.

You matter! Take care of yourself. With consistency, you can accomplish more Good for yourself to then peacefully transmit onto others.

If I can assist you in any way, please reach out. I am available for spiritual consultations every other Friday. Available dates, here. 

Enjoy this most beautiful time of the year!

Rev. O

 

Reference

Drummond, S.P.A. (2017). The sleep research society (SRS) is excited to be part of the evolution happening at Sleep. Sleep, 40(1), 1. doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep.zsw078

Nurturing Habits

 

We often speak of the importance of being grateful, though not too many of us can say that this is consistent in our day-to-day lives. When the unexpected appears, at times we forget to say thank you for the lessons. Instead, we can become angry, upset, and may shut-down all together. However, what we fail to realize is that there is always someone who could very well benefit from a positive spin.

In a recent conversation I had with a dear friend who is currently going through a few trials, she shared with me about the importance of her saying “Thank You” even if someone literally steps on her toes.  I listened and marveled by our congruent conversation of openness and deeper understanding. This led me to think about what it means to be in full gratitude in every moment, which can be boosted through the implementation of Nurturing Habits, a program we consistently use at ICL.

Here at ICL, Nurturing Habits is a name given to the way we use words to genuinely connect with people to build stronger relationships. Simply put, the words offer a deep connection to who we are as spiritual beings despite some of our human experiences.

All spiritual texts profess the importance of the Golden Rule. To touch on a few, in Buddhism, it is said “Treat not others in ways that you yourself may find hurtful.” In Christianity, Jesus said “In everything, do unto others as you would have them do to you.”  And, in Hinduism it is said “This is the sum of duty; do not do to others what would cause pain if done unto you.”

Nurturing Habits is a form of abiding speech. When in use, the Golden Rule can  become a simple act of everyday grace. So try saying these words more often:

  • Thank You
  • I Love You
  • What Can I Do?
  • I’m Here to Listen
  • How Can I Help?
  • I’m Here For You
  • I’m Sorry
  • I See You
  • You are Important

Faithful speech allows us to become wiser in understanding the needs of those in our spiritual communities and in our everyday living systems, and to be grateful for their presence in our lives.  It offers trust and support when needed, and helps to build the emotional well-being of others. Try practicing Nurturing Habits in your own environments, and share your findings with us.

May you have a fruitful August!

 

Rev. O

 

Source: Golden Rule (Buddhism): Udana Varga 5.18

Golden Rule (Christianity): Matthew 7:12

Golden Rule (Hinduism): Mahabharata 5:1517

Spiritual Independence

July is a month I often view as a time that we as a nation can give thanks for our independence from the country that bounded us. It also affords me with a time to reflect on my own notion of independence, specifically in a spiritual nature.

Growing up in a country in Central America, I was tied to one faith, the faith of my father. After my migration to the United States, though still deeply embedded in this faith, the veil was slowly lifted from my eyes. In my home country the environment was a melting pot with many religions and spiritual adaptations, which I was allowed, by my mother, to partake in through experiences and lovely relationships. Yet, my spiritual comfort was always in my personal relationship with God.

This changed, as I moved into adulthood living in America. My inquisitive nature was risen by my drives through quaint neighborhoods and the vision of crosses, golden steeples, Ganesha, and the like. I was curious about what happened in these buildings of intrigue. Fear was released and I entered each to learn more and to be more. This began my first steps to what I now perceive as my personally crafted spiritual independence where I view God as the Great Mystery. The One, I know from spiritual guidelines, and yet, the one I long to know more intimately. My spiritual independence is an open book that allows me the opportunity to understand God in many contexts, grounded in cultural identities and spiritual variations.

Today, as a minister trained in interfaith principles, I am finally home. My spiritual freedom encompasses all that is right, intriguing, just, and humanly-fair. My daily walk provides me the opportunity to live in principles that were practiced so many years ago, while still honoring this God I’ve known all of my life.

Whatever you believe, I honor you with no judgements. Continue your walk of harmony and peace. The world needs you!

 

Rev. O

The Awakened Equinox

The unusual warm days in Colorado has placed some friends in a spring fever kind of mood. It is contagious as it is welcoming. I especially appreciate conversations that are historical in nature based on childhood experiences and how some of those same experiences are incorporated into present lives through the events of our children.

For many, current happenings have led us into deep reflection and a bit of concern. Yet, we know that despite setbacks, we can move forward. The spring equinox is a perfect place to start as we seek out simpler and more enriching lives; for ourselves, those in our circles, and those we continue to serve.

It is my belief that it is through our own knowledge, skills, and awareness that we can dismantle tribal divisions that separate and harm. Within this framework, ICL continues to offer classes and programs that can break down walls of misunderstandings, hate, and untruths.

Spring is truly a time of awakening, so let’s take advantage of the many facets of its veracity. This season, whether you are motivated to take a class with us, plant seeds, connect more with those who know your roots or simply just be still and wait for answers; know that we support you in whatever path you take. All we asked is that you do so with kindness and generosity, while acknowledging each person you meet as truly an element of universal presence. Consistent work on these minimal things can offer us such satisfying medicine to our souls.

Rev. O

 

Autumn Greetings, 2016

As we move into the season that leads into what is sometimes known as the season of chilled darkness, I am led to reflect on what Christopher Hill pointed out in his writings. On fall, Hill shared that “…the dynamics of the fall of the year have the sweep of a great symphony or an epic poem.”

As for me, I approach this time of the year with sweet gestures and pure thoughts in the knowing that this season offers me a time to rest from my garden, catch up on projects around the house, do more crafting, allow myself more time to minister to and with those in need, enjoy and appreciate every snowflake, share with friends of different faiths the many observations they hold, and meet new acquaintances toward lasting and rich relationships. The epic poems I think about and write upon are so often depicted by these common and gentle experiences.

The autumn season provides us with moments of balance, of letting go of those things and occasionally people that no longer serve our higher good, and to declare transiency; for life and heart are always evolving just as the trees know when to rest. Be still and embrace it all during this time. Make these your light in times of darkness.

As we move into this most wonderful time of the year think of what Cynthia Kneen shared in her beautiful creation Awaken Mind, Open Heart.

“When you are brave and have an open heart, you have affection for this world – this sunlight, this other human being, this experience. You experience it nakedly, and when it touches your heart, you realize this world is very fleeting. So it is perfect to say ‘Hello means good-bye.’ And also, ‘My hope, hello again. ”

Today, I say goodbye to summer 2016, with hopes that I may say ‘hello again’ when winter is gone and light comes so easily once again.

InJOY~

Rev. O

References

Hill, C. (2003). Holiday and holy nights. Wheaton, IL: Quest Books

Kneen, C. (2002). Awake mind, open heart: The power of courage and dignity in everyday life. New York, NY: Marlowe & Company