Category Archives: Practitioner Talks

The Masks We Wear

“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson

Halloween is next week, a holiday for wearing masks, and there is a variety of masks for different characters. When I was a child, I thought the Frankenstein mask was the scariest. As an adult, the Phantom of the Opera mask was my favorite. This Halloween is different because we have already been wearing masks for several months to protect us from COVID. I have acquired a few different masks. I started out with the plain N95 mask, but later I purchased different color masks to match my outfit, and my favorite is my mask with cat whiskers.

We are all wearing masks to protect us from COVID, but I’m aware of another “mask” that we wear to hide our true self that protects from us from being vulnerable.

In Brene Brown’s book, Daring Greatly, she says that people have told her vulnerability feels like “Taking off the mask and hoping the real me isn’t too disappointing.” Examples of protective “mask”:

• Not being truthful to a friend or partner that something is bothering me
• Not sharing my true feelings and interests with others; hence, they don’t get to know the real me
• Not sharing my accomplishments or positive things about myself for fear looking like a braggart

For me, I’ve used the “mask” of shyness to avoid criticism or rejection. When I first joined Toastmasters in 1992, I attended several meetings before I had the courage to participate in table topics. The first time I spoke, I held onto the lectern because I thought my knees would buckle. With the encouragement of my fellow Toastmasters, I kept doing speeches and practicing until I became more comfortable. It paid off to let myself be vulnerable.

When I decided to become an Animal Minister, I was reluctant to share it with others because some people would think the idea was crazy. But I realized, so what? I knew it was something that would give me fulfillment and provide a service to fellow animal lovers. There is no magical solution to overcoming fear. Just do it. There was a book by Susan Jeffers, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. The rewards of stepping out of my comfort zone far exceed anyone’s disapproval.

When you celebrate Halloween, have fun with your costume, keep a physical distance, and chose a festive mask. Wear a mask to protect your health but take off the invisible mask and reveal your true self! As Marianne Williams said, “let your light shine,” and allow others to do the same!

Emerson said, in his essay Self-Reliance, “What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think.” 

It takes more energy to trying to be someone I’m not, just to impress people.

Affirmation: I open my heart and share who I am.

Reverend Kathy Lyons

Mid-Year Check in on Those Resolutions

At the beginning of the year I made a promise, I suspect we all did. We made some resolution that was meant to help us stay in the present glorious moment, being perfectly we in our divine uniqueness. We may have made a promise to put ourselves further down our spiritual path.

Now it is mid-year.

I always have to remind myself when I make my resolutions that we were always perfect, from the very beginning. Perfect in our absolute imperfection. Our imperfections, our quirks, our seeming flaws, our weird-nesses, our unique and irreplaceable flavors, are what makes us so love-able, so human, so real, so relate-able. We learn to love the mess of our lives, its constantly changing nature, and its unpredictability.

There just are no problems because we know ourselves as the infinite space of God. Even in our glorious imperfection, we are always a perfect expression of life, a beloved child of the universe, a complete work of art, unique in the world and deserving of all the riches of life. It is never about being a perfect ‘me’.

It is always about being perfectly Here, perfectly ourselves, in all our divine strangeness.

But now, months after we made those resolutions, something gets in the way.

Here is what Howard Thurman says about keeping resolutions, from his book, The Inward Journey.

“Despite the dullness and barrenness of the days that pass, if I search with due diligence, I can always find a deposit left by some former radiance of my resolution.

But I had forgotten. At the time it was fully-orbed, glorious, and resplendent. I was sure that I would never forget. In the moment of its fullness, I was sure that it would illumine my path for all the rest of my journey. I had forgotten how easy it is to forget.

There was no intent to betray what I seemed so sure of at the time. My response was whole, clean, and authentic. But little by little, there crept into my life the dust and grit of the journey. Details, lower-level demands, all kinds of cross currents — nothing momentous, nothing overwhelming, nothing flagrant — just wear and tear. If there had been some direct challenge –a clear-cut issue — I would have fought it to the end, and beyond.

In the quietness of this place, surrounded by the all-pervading Presence of God, my heart whispers:  Keep fresh before me the moments of my High Resolve, that in fair weather or in foul, in good times or in tempests, in the days when the darkness and the foe are nameless or familiar, I may not forget that to which my life is committed.”

Let us keep fresh before us that we are committed to being perfectly Here, perfectly ourselves, living the life of God.

Thank you!

This blog post is from a 5 Minute Talk by Rev. Jessica Fish at a Wednesday night or Sunday service at Center for Spiritual LIving. 5 Minute Talks are always given by a Licensed Practitioner or Minister, and convey observations and experiences of using the Science of Mind teaching in day to day life. For more creative thoughts like this and to learn more about the teaching, read more on our website or attend one of our services.

How To Develop Intuition- with our Healing Support Group

My daughter recently drove non-stop to Dallas, TX for a book lovers convention. She was gone for about 10 more days and did the non-stop drive back from Dallas. Nowadays, with cell phones, texting, and posting on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, I pretty much knew what she was doing and that she was OK. But we’re never out of touch because of something else- Mother’s intuition.

Intuition is about knowing without a rational explanation. We all have it. It is installed in our DNA.

Ernest Holmes says that spiritual intuition is that part of the human mind, which knows without knowing why it knows, and without being able to ex­plain why what it knows is so. Science of Mind teaches that our conscious connection with the indwelling Spirit opens avenues of intuition.

Intuition is nothing less than God in us, silently awaiting our recognition and cooperation.

Intuition is not a psychic gift. It has nothing to do with reading thoughts, cards, runes, or channeling. Although, Ernest Holmes admits that psychic ability increases as a person deepens their spiritual practice.

Intuition is not a byproduct of enlightenment- it is an instantaneous and spontaneous insight that is revealed to us directly from the Mind of Spirit.

Every person has the ability to commune with Inner Spirit and every person receives his or her unique intuitional answers because the mind we use is the mind of the universe. That is God and it is only through that Mind that we understand it is God. It is God speaking and God answering, in a ­certain sense.

Each one of us has immediate access to the Intelligence of the Universe. Divine Mind has placed an inner guide at the center of everyone’s being, an intuition that causes us to feel, with complete certainty that everything will be all right.

In our teaching we have a tool that strengthens our intuition- visioning. It is one of the three tools we use in our Healing Support Group, which happens every second Sunday of the month in the Sanctuary at 1:00 pm.

There is one side of us that has never entered the shadow of doubt. I invite anyone who has an issue that they are struggling with to come to the Healing Support Group for the opportunity to connect with direct perception of truth of the situation.

There is a light in us that knows the answer — and that is intuition. It is a space where we can be free from all our perceived obstruction and know that we are one with God.

And with God, all things are possible.

Thank you!

We’re here to WAKE UP

I was talking with one of my practitioner classmates yesterday. We talked about how far we’ve come in our spiritual practice. Specifically we talked about books, like our Science Of Mind textbook, that we read 15 years ago, highlighting the passages that spoke to us back then and how different the teaching feels now.

Fact is that spiritual principle does not change. IT is what I believe about spiritual principle that changes, deepens with my years of spiritual practice.

Our life purpose is to wake up- realize our true nature. That is why I love Centers for Spiritual Living- because the basis of our community is to AWAKEN TO OUR SPIRITUAL MAGNIFICENCE.

We use the Science of Mind teaching to put structure around what already is our life- God, love, life. We’re in it for the higher consciousness.

Science of Mind is not about manifestation or condition changing. I know that but several months ago, I tested positive for a condition (myasthenia gravis) that I don’t like, I don’t want. I admit I did many spiritual mind treatments wanting to change the diagnosis. I even made them retest me.

But here’s the deal- My life is not about condition. There are glorious parts of my life that I like and some pretty messy juicy parts that I don’t like. Today I know my life is loving God. I love God- That is my life. That is our life- God’s life.

I have a diagnosis, I am not that diagnosis. I have teeth, I am not my teeth. I have lived 60+ years on the planet, I am not old. Etc., etc., etc. You get the picture.

Our life is the life of God, Buddha nature, Christ Consciousness, Divine Solar Presence, Atman. Whatever we call it. Ernest Holmes says we should just call it you. When I first came to Science of Mind, that idea was kind of scary- we live the life of God – in and through us. I was used to having a middleman!

But that’s not it- our life is about waking up to the reality that we’re surrounded by magnificent love, by God every moment of our lives.  We’re here to be love, to be whole.

We’re on this spiritual path to grow up fully, to absolutely realize our Oneness with God. We wake up to connect with the Divine Intelligence that we already are. It’s not like some intelligence that’s going to be transplanted into us.

When we wake up to our wholeness—which can be described as being completely at home in our world no matter how difficult the situation—it’s because we allow something that’s already in us to be nurtured.

We wake up to our conscious awareness that GOD IS ALL THERE IS, we allow it to radiate, instead of all the time shielding it and protecting it and keeping it buried.

Trungpa Rinpoche says, “It’s not about cultivating one part of yourself and rejecting another, but about simply looking openly at ourselves just as we are.” Knowing that “JUST AS WE ARE” is the flow of God, never separate from God.”

When Jesus asked, “Will you be made whole?”, we answer- YES!!

When we awaken to our spiritual magnificence, when we realize we are a Divine Idea, always have been a divine idea and always will be a divine idea, we are restored to a condition of wholeness that we already are.

Thank you!

INSIDE OUT- Changing Core Memories

I saw the PIXAR movie, Inside Out, the day it came out. The brain, science tell us, is one of the most complex things in all of creation, and the movie’s depiction of it is a thing of genius, a mix of fantastic animation and sublimely delivered wisdom, all of it connected to the emotions and thoughts being experienced by the main character- an 11 year old girl.

When I got out of the theater, I remarked to my daughter that the movie felt like a Science of Mind because it showed how core memories affect the present.

I remember grappling with a negative core memory of mine several years ago as I pulled into the Palmdale Medical Center parking lot to meet with my Retinologist for the first time, for vision issues I was having.

I realized I still had a deep core belief/memory about my eyesight. Here it is: I have bad vision, I will always have bad vision, AND there’s nothing that can be done about it.

YES! I was attached and still carrying around what had been told to me since I was six years old, which was way back in the last century. And even tho’ it had been proven to me with my cataracts surgery that my vision could be improved a thousand percent, I was at the effect of something that was told to me several decades ago.

Let’s review… What do we teach in Science of Mind?  It is very simple:  God is all there is. I am ONE with God to the extent that I believe. But REGARDLESS of my thinking, GOD is all there is.

Emma Curtis Hopkins in her book Spiritual Law in the Natural World tells it like it is:  “When we know that it is true that we are one with God, and that God is everywhere, there is no disease anywhere in anybody. Our realization of being one with all health is so strong that it heals.”

I kept that in mind n the Retinologist’s office where they took all sorts of imaging of my eyes. Finally I’m sitting in the room and Dr. See comes in. (YES- my Retinologist’s name was Dr. SEE!) He puts up the images of my eye with cross sections and dissections and the interior views and exterior views.

Dr. See points to the cross section of my macula in my right eye and says, “so we saw the smooth complete surface here in your left eye, here is your right eye, there’s a hole…,” and he goes on to explain how the hole formed, and I feel a crescendo building-  I have bad vision, I will always have bad vision, AND there’s nothing that can be done about it.

He’s still talking but in that moment just when he’s explaining the good news that it is not a disease, but a mechanical function that caused this hole- In that split second when I’m ready to hear “AND there’s nothing that can be done about it,”

I CHANGE MY THINKING and allow myself to hear, “AND there’s this surgery we can do to close the hole and restore your vision.”   AWESOME, RIGHT?!?!?!

It was Jeff Foster’s poem manifested:  Remembering who you really are Involves a subtle shift of attention From a tense present To the present tense.

Yes, it is the present moment that we feel the Oneness- not what we remember of the past or what we imagine in the future.

Now, a year after having the retinal surgery, I went from having no central vision to having 80% central vision in my right eye. Just by allowing a core memory/belief to change, I changed my life!

Thank you!