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Rev. Chris

With this new adventure, HeartSpace is excited to provide a ‘non-Sunday’ opportunity for connection, spiritual growth, support and laughter. SpiritGroups will meet monthly beginning in May, and each group will be autonomous in deciding when to meet and what spiritual topics to explore. Groups are scattered around the DFW Metroplex in order to serve our far-reaching community.

HEY! But first…

The launch is actually in April, and groups will meet weekly in April only and deep dive into our month’s theme: Where Humanity and Divinity Meet — The Gospel of Thomas. This gospel, ahem, didn’t quite make it into the New Testament, and in fact was stashed away in the desert, only to be discovered over a thousand years later. When you see and understand what it says, you’ll know why , but suffice it to say that Thomas’s Jesus wants us to know for ourselves who we are by going within and discovering our own divinity. Sound intriguing? Here’s the rest of the details.

April groups will meet weekly for 1.5 – 2 hours in

  • Far North Dallas – Mondays
  • Old East Dallas – Wednesdays
  • Ft. Worth and
  • (possibly) Murphy

Everything is provided, so all you have to do is show up. Each week’s gathering will build on material from the Sunday message. No worries if you’re not a Sunday attender or you miss a Sunday, because the talks will be available on our YouTube channel first thing Monday mornings. Alternatively, you can join us virtually via Facebook Live each Sunday at 11am.

Once April ends, you can keep with your group, or opt out if it’s not your cup of tea. If you have questions, please shoot us an email here. If you wanna see me talking about this, go here. Thanks, y’all, and happy travels.

Head’s Up: If you want to skip the emotion-dump, my prayer is at the bottom.

What Appears to Be Hell

Today, September 21, is the International Day of Peace, designated by the United Nations as a yearly observance of the possibility of peace on our planet. Right. I can’t find it in me to feel it. That’s unusual for me because I’m an eternal optimist, a person that can find my way through to the Eternal Presence (aka Spirit or God) at the darkest of times. But not this year. I realize my last post was awhile ago, and in the midst of my Dark Night of the Soul, and I run the risk of appearing like a doom-sayer or debbie-downer. I don’t care.

Here in America, two more black men were killed by police this week. What I want to know is why the pattern is hard for so many people to see. At what point can we look it in the face and, in plain speak, say the way things are is not working for people of color? (Truthfully, it ain’t working for anyone, but some are more aware and more directly affected.) When can we quit taking personally the idea that we’re all infected, karmically so because of America’s history, and get on with a damn cure? I don’t want to bitch or try to present the facts. I’ve learned it doesn’t help. Those who see don’t need persuading and those who cannot see can’t be swayed, not until something shifts inside of them. And that brings me back to an essential truth, thank god: My job at this moment is to shift what’s inside of me, to restore my own self to right seeing, right thinking, right action. I can be restored through spiritual mind treatment, or affirmative prayer, so without further ramblings…

 

Proclaiming Heaven

Life is undivided wholeness. Love is omni-Presence. Light is an undimmable reality. Known by many names and yet un-nameable, this Life-Love-Light is Spiritual Essence, is G-o-d. This Presence is more than my awareness, truer than my doubts, and it indwells me though I rage at its apparent absence. There is but One Life and that life is my life now.

I speak my word and proclaim heaven in the midst of what appears to be hell, to stand firmly in the idea that there is more than what I see right now. I embrace my deep knowing that before, between and beyond the violence, injustice and upheaval that appear on the world stage, there is something more powerful, enduring and harmonious — Spiritual Truth. In this moment, I allow that Truth to have its way with me and restore me to peace, poise and power. Breath by breath, I am remembering; I am surrendering…… I. Am.

In the center of the center, I affirm that divine right action is revealed to me by my innermost Self. What is mine to do is, even at this very moment, becoming clear to me. Restored to my right mind, I am impelled to act in accordance with my most deeply held spiritual truth, and I become a way shower unto myself, my community and my planet. And it is enough; I am enough. My words are wings, and a balm across the Earth.

Truth known fully is truth demonstrated, and upon this I build a house of love, upon the bedrock of goodness. I. Am. That. I. Am. And I am made whole.

And So It Is / Ashé / Amen / Aho

 

My beloved spiritual teacher told me a couple of weeks ago that I’m experiencing a classic dark night of the soul. It wasn’t news to me, but in an odd way it was comforting to hear her say it.

Despite the fact that I’m a preacher-chick with a pretty good understanding of the path and its peaks and valleys, like many spiritual travelers I’ve met I tell myself the ridiculous story about how if I were more spiritual I wouldn’t feel the way I do, wouldn’t be struggling, blah blah blah. It’s a lie, of course. I remind myself of these terms: spiritual journey; the path; a closer walk with thee. It’s not like one is supposed to find some level of understanding and faith and then build a house there. No, the point is to deepen, evolve, be on the journey. Anything else is known by another name: rut.

Anyhow, my teacher and I were attending the Circle of Love Gathering at Ghost Ranch in northern New Mexico. (If your path is New Thought with an emphasis on the heart-way, this retreat is exquisite. You can find out about it here.) I spent a good bit of time in contemplation of my surroundings — a spaciousness the high desert conveys to my soul — and another good bit of time focused inwardly, on the cycle or wheel of the breath.

And that’s when it came together, became very real and intimate for me in the metaphor of the breath: The in-breath is not fully possible without the out-breath. The in-breath is that time of filling and newness that leads to fullness, and it’s beautiful and life-giving. But it can only happen after the exhale — that time of emptying that rids us of what is stale and fetid and no longer serves.

I’m breathing now. I’m allowing the breath to remind me of how important this dark night, this time of emptying, is. I know that what awaits me once I’ve fully surrendered to this part of the process will be the embracing of a fuller, deeper, more grounded version of myself. For now, I’m in the exhale.

I have been ill for a week. Flu. Awful. Now that I’m recovering I join countless numbers of folks around the world in being sick, heartsick. How can a human being as alive, as vital as Prince be gone from this planet?

With not much more to do than follow the public grieving over the loss of Prince Edward Nelson, I have been moved at the widespread tributes to the man and his music. Countless landmarks, municipal buildings, and public works have been turned purple in his honor. Social media feeds are filled with tributes, video clips, and personal sharing from people acknowledging how much his music touched them. In response to this public outpouring of grief there is, as always, the public scoffing. You know, those people who say things like, “Jeez, you didn’t even know the guy. Enough already.” Clueless, they are.

I’ve asked myself what it is about the loss of Prince that has affected so many, so deeply. Here’s three reasons that come to the fore.

His music was, for many, the soundtrack of  some part of their lives, and losing him is like losing a person who was there, in the moment and in the flesh. Crazy high school rides in dad’s convertible, top down and music blaring. Prince. Salty, sultry sexual encounters. Prince. Dance parties featuring soaring air guitar solos. Prince.

Personal and artistic integrity. The guy definitely brought forth the unique shape of his soul and it was fully reflected in a presence that defied categorization. It seemed he was so true to his individuality that we didn’t even question it, and that is an uncommon clarity of consciousness. How rare is that, especially in a world that seems bent on calling out the freaks among us and shaming them (us) into conformity? I suspect we’ll hear more and more over the coming months about Prince’s quiet activism and generosity, which will further illuminate how the man stayed true to his own values and causes, his own call.

Finally, although most of us did not personally know Prince, his loss has profoundly affected us because, well, he helped us to know ourselves. He revealed our longings, our sensuality, our courage, our joy. And he did it all by embracing and embodying his own and then putting it on display. In other words, he showed up in all his glory and mirrored ours for us.

In the long run the ultimate testament to Prince’s life will not be all the beautiful purple lights, the words we say about him, or even the tears we cry. The ultimate testament will be whether we embrace and reveal our fullness to the world. I think we should try. Good night, Sweet Prince. I know you’ll give the afterlife a good jolt of your purple reign.

I talk for a living and that’s a good thing. I love to talk. It’s something I can’t not do. Writing? Not so much. See, something happens when I write that doesn’t happen when I talk. When I talk, the words just sort of fly out of me — poof, they’re out there — and there is no time for me to ‘erase’ them or judge them or edit them (and yes, this is sometimes an issue). But when I write, that small lapse of time between the thought forming and the reproduction of that thought onto paper is just enough time for the infernal, internal critic to make her presence known. I could tell you all the things she says, but really, I’m sure you have your own version of her and one is definitely enough. The currency of the critic is fear, and man is she rich.

All that being said, this whole blogging thing… I’ve managed to put it off for three years now. Three is a nice number, a number representing wholeness, so I’m declaring that I am wholly finished putting this off and that I shall, dammit, I shall blog regularly, happily, and truthfully. I’d be pleased if someone actually reads this. But here’s what’s true: It is a spiritual practice for me to actually do something that I’m afraid to do, and the joy is in the overcoming of the fear, not in anyone’s recognition of it.

One more thing about doing something that you may be afraid to do. A brilliant teacher of mine once told me, on an occasion of great personal fear, that I should celebrate that fear. I thought she was nuts but had just enough respect for her to listen to her reasoning. She went on explain to my doubting mind that fear is a sign that we’re out of our comfort zone, and so when we feel it, we’re growing. It made sense then and it still does.

In a mostly outdated evolutionary sense, fear meant “Stop! Danger ahead,” and it served us by keeping us out of harm’s way, keeping us physically safe. But something has gone haywire, and our brains still tell us there’s danger even when there’s not. Actually, the real danger most of the time is that fear will keep us stuck and miserable, and the very mechanism that was meant to keep us safe now keeps us unnaturally frozen.

There. I’ve done it scared. I’m growing, and my spirit is a bit more free than it was thirty minutes ago. I hope you’ll try it; the freedom is worth it, and so are you.