A basic tool

I’ve been in a management/leadership position for many years now, and have had (and continue to have) the opportunity to sit with people who need advice, some coaching or more (sometimes counseling for disciplinary reasons).

Often, people come to me because they’re miserable about their career prospects, their current job assignment, someone they work with, or their boss. My studies in metaphysics have helped me become a better listener, and that alone has added great benefit to my ability to assist people. Beyond that, however; I employ some simple tools that not only get results in the workforce, but would find a comfortable home in most metaphysical churches or centers.

One favorite technique of mine is to take a small, dollar store notebook and use it as a journal. Let’s take the person who comes to me because they dislike their job, but are stuck because they need the money, and aren’t having any luck finding a new job.

I hand them one of these mini/pocket notebooks (I keep a stash in my office for just these times), and ask them to take a few minutes each morning and date the top of a page, and write down 3 things that they appreciate about their current job or employment situation.

Each day they need to come up with 3 new things. I tell them to start with the things closest to them: the paycheck, the people they DO like, the free parking. I recommend this exercise at the beginning of the day because as they work, they will recognize OTHER things for which they are thankful, and they can keep a running list to use over the next days.

This activity first thing each morning also helps to reset any feelings of misery or resentment, making a way for a better experience throughout the day.

This process is so simple it seems like an impossible “fix” for anything, but I can tell you that it works. Appreciation in any circumstance is a healing balm, and this exercise helps us to return our attention to the whole host of little things that make a good life.

This works for a relationship, a job situation, neighborhood issues, family challenges and more. I’ve written before about the way I turned a miserable job situation into one that I truly enjoy by focusing on a ~$2 cup of fruit and the ability to take a walk around a suburban campus in the afternoon. Some weeks I struggled to find anything else to appreciate, but I stuck with it, and before long I had a long list. Free parking (I paid more than $100/month to park in my job at the University), time to listen to audio-books on my commute, a list of good and decent people who were also fun to work with, reasonable expectations, great benefits, interesting work, support for continuing education, generous vacation package, relaxed dress code,… and much more.

There’s not really any “magic” in the mini notebooks. They’re simply a hands-on tool for practicing gratitude; for changing our thinking so we can change our lives. I’ve found in working with people over the years that giving someone a concrete tool to use works much better than quoting sometimes-obtuse spiritual principles.

This time of year finds many churches and centers offering prosperity classes. If you’re struggling with prosperity, this tool can be a help to you as well.

Go get a mini notebook (you can get 4 or 5 of them for $1 at most Dollar stores). Each day write down 3 things about your financial situation that you appreciate.

Think broadly: remember when you 1st got the job or the benefits that are coming in now. Feel the relief and appreciation you felt when this money first came into your life.

If you are not working, and wish that you were; look at the things you can do without a job that would be hard if you were going into work every day. Sprinkle appreciation all over your days and activities. Bless the help you get from benefits or others and be grateful for it all.

The key to any of this is to look for the Good – no matter how difficult it may seem. It’s here, now – even if it appears to be hiding. Stick to it and keep looking, keep SEEING it all around you.

Finding the Good in whatever situation we’re in is a life-changing exercise, and it’s as close as a 25-cent notebook.

Give it a try – you’ll be glad that you did 🙂


(C) 2020 Practitioner's Path

Understanding life’s seasons

I attended college at a University in a traditional healthcare program with about 20 other classmates. Like many people, I look back on this period as a positive time in my life. At the end of our baccalaureate studies, my classmates and I added a degree and credential to our resumes and went on with our lives.

Today, more than 2 decades have passed, and I have more knowledge and wisdom in this field of study than I could have imagined at that time. I have worked in this profession in various roles and am now considered to be an expert with deep knowledge and good insights in the profession – often sought out for my counsel and wisdom on things related to the business.

From this perspective, I would find little to no value in returning to the “Introduction to Health Information” classes that I took in the first semester of my college studies. Not only would that contribute little to my knowledge base; but listening over and over to lectures on the basics would be boring, aggravating and a big waste of time.

I do attend annual conferences in my profession and sit in on specialized seminars intended for the working professional. I find many of these to be of value and attend when I can. I consider myself to be a walking/talking example of the extreme value that can be derived from the undergraduate program when the basics are taken and applied in a larger context of the industry. But as this walking talking example of success, I don’t need or want to sit in the introductory classes over and over.

I had been thinking about this a few weeks back when I recognized a former classmate in a college watering hole where I was picking up some favorite carry-out food. Although well past his college years, he appeared not to have moved much beyond the activities of those days.

He still sat at the bar and drank way too much as he ogled the now much-younger women. It was upsetting to see someone I had once viewed as having great potential in this seemingly stunted condition.

This reminded me that most of the circumstances and situations we are in right now (today!) are intended to be seasons – not permanent states of being. Remaining as we were in our college days is not only sad and ridiculous – as I observed in this former classmate’s behavior; but boring and of little value – as in attending an Intro college class over and over.

Students coming into my profession learn about the history of medical records, the first Medical Records Librarian and how she convinced the physicians of the day (1928) that proper medical documentation was an important aspect of patient care. Students learn about the various early milestones and how they all contributed to the foundation that is the profession today. It’s a couple of slides in one of the first lectures, and it’s not touched on again after that initial introduction.

The reason? There is little to no value in rehashing these stories over and over and over. It’s information that is nice to know but has very little relevance to anything today – other than being a part of our history. It also is not critical information for those wanting to come into the profession. Instructors can leave that information out of the introductory classes and the impact to the profession would be minimal if at all.

In this regard, no one in this profession – or any profession outside of history academics – would pay for meetings, conferences or continuing education that only rehashed old manuals, founders’ statements and other old “stuff”.

Active professionals want to know how to work in today’s world, with the tools available and the circumstances experienced today. They want resources that are relevant to their lives in the 21st century as Directors, Managers, Supervisors and other professionals in the health information field. In addition, anyone who wants an opportunity to speak in front of hundreds of people at a state or national conference needs to understand this – or they’ll never get the invitation.

I don’t think this general trend is unique to the Health Information profession but is instead a universal truth. Anecdotal observations in my profession and the larger healthcare industry also suggest that it is more pronounced in the culture of the 21st century than it was in earlier times. It comes down to the question of value and today more than ever before; people are value conscious.

There is a zero value proposition in an experienced and accomplished person sitting in class after class of “Introduction to ___ . Organizations that understand this are likely to find success, while those that do not have less certain futures.

This truth, in combination with another reality that is often missed or not understood (and that I will cover in my next blog post) presents a particular challenge to spiritual organizations. Once people learn “how to use It“,… there’s a diminishing incentive to come around and listen to the same thing over and over.

Mitch Horowitz wrote in his Foreword to Harv Bishop’s book, New Thought (R)evolution,

“New Thought, in its churches, books, and internal dialogues, has failed to mature.”

He goes on to suggest that:

“What New Thought needs, I believe,… is a refined, broadened, and matured intellectual culture, which takes into account developments in politics, science, psychology, and the overall human crisis in living, and then turns back on itself to ask: what can we offer?”

I believe that the churches and centers that are successful have had robust programming in place and strong communities that have been able to weather the storms of time. They have developed that “refined, broadened, and matured intellectual culture” and they’re likely to remain intact as long as their leadership remains competent and they have the bandwidth to offer the introductory materials as well as more advanced studies.

In closing, I will share some observations I made at a number of workshops and seminars hosted by famous (nationally and internationally known) spiritual teachers. For context, I’ve never attended more than 1 workshop offered by any particular guru.

In chatting with fellow attendees over the years, I discovered a large percentage of them could be classified as “frequent flyers” at these events. They were able to quote line and verse what this teacher taught and what that teacher recommended, and in small groups they competed with each other about who had attended MORE of this guru’s workshops or that guru’s retreats.

What I found most fascinating was that for all their bragging rights, none of them seemed to have learned enough to apply the principles in their own lives. To a person (or couple – there were a number of frequent flyer couples), these peoples’ lives had not embraced the “change your thinking, change your life” mantra.

These folks seemed to be stuck on the bar stool, like my former classmate – mired in an early developmental stage and seemingly incapable of maturing into applying what they had learned in their lives.

These concepts aren’t hard, and they don’t require graduate-level aptitude.

They do require personal discipline, self-control and initiative. But it’s much easier to sit in workshops and daydream about how easy it would be to live by applying the principles than it it is to actually get up and do the hard work to apply them.

(C) 2020 Practitioner's Path

Coming next: understanding incentive

Against the odds

The story of the showdown between King Ahab’s idols (Ba’al & Asherah) and Elijah, prophet of the God of Israel is a story of prevailing against all odds. I mentioned it in a previous blog, and have added it to my collection of Metaphysical Bible stories.

Elijah prays for fire to be sent from God

As the story goes, there had been a great drought in the land of Israel and things were getting desperate. Elijah, whom King Ahab had been hunting for some time, came out of hiding and challenged Ahab’s belief in the idols.

Perhaps it was the extended drought; maybe Ahab was intrigued with Elijah’s boldness – we don’t know why but instead of capturing Elijah and imprisoning him, Ahab agrees to meet him at Mount Carmel and bring 850 prophets of his idols for a showdown of the gods.

The Ba’al prophets went first and prepared an altar, laid wood on it and the sacrifice (a bull) on top of the wood. They “… called upon the name of Ba’al from morning until noon” but to no avail. There was no answer from the gods of Ba’al.

Elijah jeered at them, and as it became obvious that no fire was forthcoming from Ba’al or Asherah, Elijah prepared his altar.

In addition to the wood, and the sacrifice (another bull), Elijah dug a trench around the altar, and soaked the wood on the altar with water, 3 times so that the excess water flowed off of the wood and into the trench. Then Elijah prayed to the God of Israel.

“O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. 3Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.”


1 Kings 18:36-38

According to the story in I Kings, as soon as Elijah had finished his prayer, fire came down from the heavens and consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and dried up the water in the trench.

The metaphysical lesson in this story is the lesson of not believing false prophets. False prophets, or false beliefs about who we are; the power we have over our own lives and our core goodness.

The false prophets are the beliefs that we are victims; that we are helpless and at the mercy of others. The story of Elijah and the prophets of Ba’al reminds us that when we know who we are, and walk an inspired path – or as Wayne Dyer would say, we walk “in Spirit” or in the recognition that Spirit is ever present – miracles happen.

The story is one of triumph of Truth over false beliefs and it is a powerful reminder that regardless of what “everybody says” (the 800+ false prophets versus Elijah) – God has the last word. It can be an especially powerful lesson for children who can feel ostracized by classmates, or are struggling with dysfunction in their family or home life.

Whether child or adult, we can all use a reminder that God is all there is; that there is indeed a power for Good in the universe that we can use for Good in our own lives, and that when we walk in Spirit, truly – all things are possible.

(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

Elijah and the False Prophets kids sheet is free to use with attribution.

Practical Matters

Wisdom

It’s hard to believe that it has been more than 10 years since the movie The Secret came out and brought talking points into mainstream conversations that were once reserved for a small group of New Thought adherents in religious science and similar churches.

I remain ambivalent about the balance of positive and negative in regard to the movie. It was most certainly a gateway to a larger spiritual understanding for many and offered freedom from some of the more egregious old school religious dogma for others.

On the flip side of the issue, it presented some simple-but-not-easy spiritual principles as being so simplistic that they led to more than a little disappointment for many people.

Today I want to address the counsel offered in spiritual prosperity studies that I have often seen misinterpreted and misapplied: the advice to live “as if” your desired goal is already here.

This is a critical piece of the prosperity puzzle, but it holds within it the risk that we will place ourselves in greater financial peril if we misinterpret the advice.

So the question becomes: can we utilize spiritual principles to manifest real life abundance into our lives?

The short answer is yes.

The longer answer is that we have to take care not to be idiots in the process.

Living “as if” we have more abundance is too often interpreted to mean that we should go out and shop as if we had a bank full of money. This is not only wrong-headed, but it is a path of peril that can lead to more credit card debt, bounced checks and less money for things like housing, food and transportation. This path leads us further away from prosperity – not towards an increased experience of it.

Living “as if” works best when it takes the form of our feelings and our beliefs. Living as we would if we had the abundance we desire in our lives does not require that we have anything tangible in our hands. It does require that we THINK differently; that we react and speak in new ways about our circumstances.

We don’t have to spend anything additional to think differently when bills come in. We don’t have to check the balance in our bank account to speak positively about our financial circumstances. We don’t need to worry about the credit limit on our credit card to react in a calm and peaceful way to money-specific situations that arise in our lives.

We can bless the bills that come in – feel real gratitude for the things they represent in our lives.

Are you paying student loans? Feel the gratitude for the learning you achieved and the opportunities that your education has enabled for you. Pay the bill each month with gratitude and appreciation.

As you pay utility bills, housing (rent or mortgage), car payments and insurance – stop and think about the GOOD that these things bring into your life. It’s 15F tonight in Pittsburgh, PA and I’m very grateful for the natural gas that powers my furnace; for the electric that powers the lights, the blower on the furnace and the stove and microwave that cook my food as I hunker down indoors this weekend.

I am grateful for the many entertainment options I have from my cable company and for the connection I have to my family and friends through my cell phone.

Last weekend I took my Jeep into the garage for the annual inspection. It’s a 9-year old vehicle and I knew there were a couple things going on. I left the garage after paying $729 for the inspection and repairs. Instead of complaining or being miserable, I told everyone who asked that I was GRATEFUL for the garage, and THANKFUL that the repairs were made. I recognized that the bill for inspection and repairs represent less than 2 months of car payments (I own my Jeep outright). There was a LOT to be thankful for wrapped up in that $729.

2010 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

The REAL secret – one that is much less sexy than gazing at a gold necklace in a window and having it show up around our neck – is that getting our HEAD where it needs to be also requires action on our part.

We must act by intentionally feeling grateful for things in our lives. We must act by resisting the urge to spend money we don’t have. We must act by cultivating the knowing that all is well, and by remaining open to opportunities that come our way and being willing to take the job; take the extra work or accept the offer.

It’s important to remind ourselves that we will not realize expanded prosperity if we poorly manage the financial circumstances in our lives. And we will not realize increased abundance in our lives without any inputs from us. There are indeed no free lunches and Newton’s 1st Law applies to finance as well as physics:

Every object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force.

Our financial experiences will remain as they are today unless we are willing to change: our thinking, our attitudes, our behaviors, our actions.

If we want a new experience of prosperity but we are unwilling to act in accordance with our desires, we get what we deserve. We must take care that we are not praying for abundance while shopping ourselves into poverty – all in the name of “feeling prosperous“.

We can change our experience of abundance using spiritual principles and practice when we remember that the most POWERFUL prosperous feeling comes when we are in control of our finances: physically, emotionally and mentally – and it doesn’t cost a cent.

(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

Metaphysical bible story #7

SMA-2 (color)In writing about the story of the 3 Hebrew teens, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah I remembered the imagery from the story that I learned as a small child in Sunday School and carried with me all these years. I knew that it would become my next Kid’s Sheet or metaphysical bible story activity sheet.

Like the stories of Daniel, Abraham & Sarah, David & Goliath, Jonah and the Whale, Elijah and the Widow and the Widow and the Oil – the story of Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah (better known in Western culture as Shadrach, Meschach and Abednago) teaches simple but profound spiritual Truths.

The imagery of the golden idol, the angry King, the hotter-than-hot furnace and the miraculous emergence of the 3 teens without so much as a hair on their head being singed is a strong tool for teaching children that no matter what they are facing in life, they are never alone and that staying connected with a strong faith in the Divine can work miracles in the face of what might seem like certain doom.

While the teachings of Ernest Holmes, Ralph Waldo Emerson and other New Thought giants are wonderful for the adult crowd, there’s nothing like a good, old-fashioned Bible story with the rich imagery of the Hebrew Scriptures or Christian texts to create a connection to a universal Truth that will persist over decades.

Today’s kids face increasing awareness and access to “scary adult stuff“. Providing spiritual tools they can use to know the Truth is the best gift we can give – and it’s a gift that will last a lifetime.

Here’s a copy of the Kid’s Sheet for the story of Shadrach-Meschach and Abednago (kids sheets). 

Like the other Kid’s Sheets, these are free to use with attribution (please acknowledge this website/blog): www.practitionerspath.com

If you use this or any of my other Kid’s Sheets, I hope you’ll share your feedback (here’s my email)!

(C) 2018 Practitioner's Path

 

 

Being a pebble

beach-nature-rock-pile-tranquil-pebble-809305-pxhere.com

The phenomenon may be uniquely American, or it may be more an artifact of the faster-paced, digital world we live in regardless of country; but we’ve lost touch with a number of simple truths in this culture and that disconnect can cause sadness and a feeling of failure if not checked and viewed in the proper context.

My journey to discovery of this began when I was a University professor, and discovered that although it was the 21st century and the steel mills that once prospered the region had been gone for decades; there were still numerous families sending their children to college to get a degree – ANY degree – because their paradigm was still that ANY education was better than none.

Unfortunately, that might have worked in post-WWII America but a lot has changed in the world since then – including the cost of said sheepskin. Today, intellectually incurious individuals who invest in an expensive education without the depth to leverage the education after graduation are often left with the same career options that they would have had otherwise – plus some over-sized student loan debt. And still families and individuals are borrowing record levels of debt to make sure they are on the fast-track to the corner office.

We’ve taken this concept of “exceptionalism” too far – to the point that the average person believes they need to be a superstar or a millionaire, or risk feeling that they have failed at life. And if I were to be brutally honest with myself I would confess that I, too, have found myself judging my path’s progress against what is posted on Facebook, Instagram or elsewhere in the public sphere.

In the world of spirituality, one of my criticisms of spiritual prosperity teachings has always been that they are usually taught without acknowledging this cultural truth. Too often we fail to recognize that the students who come to expand their prosperity consciousness are rooted strongly in the instant millionaire culture. When they take a Mary Morrissey seminar or attend an Edwene Gaines lecture they want to apply those principles today and manifest enough prosperity to quit their jobs next week. Anyone in these teachings (who’s being honest with themselves) knows that these principles absolutely work – but for most of us they work when we play the long game. Few of us are walking on water or manifesting an immediate feast for 5,000 from 5 loaves and 2 fish.

In my own learning journey, I have had a number of opportunities lately to see this emerging truth, even as I worried a bit about my own success trajectory. Sure, I’m doing well in my profession, but I’m not yet a VP or a CEO. I’ve self-published a book on career happiness, another on job satisfaction and recently ventured into fiction with a mystery short story but I have yet to see any life-changing traction on any of the titles. And still the Universe has been whispering in my ear to help me see that while I may not be a VP, CEO or best-selling author, I am making a difference all the time.

I have written before about being the answer to an elderly man’s prayer, and in the right place at the right time to facilitate a miracle of sorts. Yesterday I stumbled into another “nudge” by the Universe that there is another way to measure success.

I was attending an event that celebrated successes in reversing Veteran homelessness in the area and I ran into a former employee of mine. He had worked for me as an administrative clerk while trying to finish his MSW (Master’s degree in Social Work). I came into the job (new) and brought with me a desire to support people who were striving to do more with their careers, whether that meant training or formal education.

He was working for a Supervisor (who reported to me) who had no formal education, and had no interest in spending any of his time or energy to re-work schedules to accommodate anyone’s need for class time or clinical internship attendance. I couldn’t fathom this behavior in a Supervisor and so I intervened and the clerk – who was a stellar employee – was able to flex his time, finish his degree and soon after, transition into a new role as a Social Worker, which is where he truly belongs.

He now works with homeless and at-risk Veterans and I know he is making a difference every day in the lives of multiple people. When I ran into him this past week I asked how he was doing, and commented on the nice event that was celebrating the successes of the organization. We chatted for a few minutes and he turned to me and said:

“I was thinking about this the other day, and I really owe you a debt of gratitude. I love what I do, and I wouldn’t be here without your intervention. I tried and tried to get (the former supervisor) to work with me on my school/class schedule, and he just wouldn’t. I had almost given up, and then you came on board and just like that – I was able to finish. I can’t thank you enough for what you did for me…”

I was temporarily speechless. I knew that he was out there in the trenches every day working with people on the edge; talking people away from a life in the streets, counseling and referring people who are desperate and at the end of their ropes; assisting people in seeing that they CAN live a normal, full life and that it’s worth holding on to – and yet here he was, thanking me. He was, in essence, telling me that I had a small piece of every human victory that he achieved because I had made it possible for him to finish his education and follow his dream of serving Veterans as a social worker.

I realized in that moment how very blessed I have been to be a part of so many seemingly small miracles – some I have seen clearly of late; others that I am sure I don’t recall but were no less impactful. This realization resonated with me as I looked again at my life on a Friday evening after a long week at work.

We are not here to strive for the corner office, the job title or the salary but to do good in the moments that are in front of us in the right-here/right-now. I absolutely may achieve a VP position or CEO title; I may also end up selling so many books that I can retire and go on the road Wayne Dyer-style.

OR,… I may spend my life showing up in seemingly small ways for fellow travelers who need a miracle in that moment. And at the end of it all, if that’s all I have done, I know that it will have been enough. I will have made a positive impact on the world like a small pebble in a pond where the ripples echo out across the water.

Instead of striving to be the top dogs in the larger world, perhaps we should all work on being small pebbles that, here and there, make little waves that travel outward in every direction for the Good of many. I think we’d all see more success in ourselves, and the world would move another step closer to working for everyone.

It might be a single stone, but a thousand waves come from it alone – stretching out, for miles around. Where you gonna touch down? How you gonna reach out? 

~Denise Rosier, “Touchdown

And so it is.

(C) 2018 Practitioner's Path

Elijah and the Widow

009-elijah-widow

It is always interesting to teach children about Abundance and being “provided”. Due to their innocence and unfiltered view of the world, kids are not only great teachers of spiritual Truth, but they easily grasp the concepts of spiritual lessons when we share them.

One of my favorite stories to share with children is the story of the prophet Elijah who in his travels (he was running away from angry King Ahab), came across a widow who was gathering sticks to make a fire.

He asks the widow for some food, and she tells him that she has only enough food to feed her son and herself, and that they will likely starve after that. In other words, she has just enough for their last meal.

She offers to share it with him, but he says to her:

13 And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. 14 For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.’” 1 Kings 17

I have written before about the relationship between giving and the abundance found in daily bread. You can read that blog here.

This simple but powerful lesson about God’s provision is another great lesson for children. It has the wonderful imagery from the Hebrew scriptures of a dry, drought-stricken land where there is no food -AND- the appearance of a seemingly-every-day miracle. One piece of the power in this lesson is that Elijah does not promise her that a giant caravan will stop by and unload enough supplies to last her through the drought. He promises her that her jar of flour and flask of oil will not run out. He promises her “daily bread“.

This is also a wonderful lesson to share when working with young children on doing Treatment for the things in their lives. Especially in our instant-gratification, 24/7 American culture, children can benefit from learning the concept of being provided with “daily bread”.

Children as young as elementary-age can also talk about what it might be like if all the stores in our neighborhoods closed and there was no food. This is what the widow and her son were facing when Elijah asks them to feed him first. What a step of faith this widow took when she used her last bit of flour and oil to feed this man of God.

Her faith is rewarded, though and she and her son survive the long drought as God promised.

The dual spiritual lessons of giving and its relationship to receiving as well as God as the source and substance of all our Good come together to create a wonderful lesson for kids of all ages.

For older kids, the teachings of Florence Scovel Shinn may be introduced as she writes extensively in an easy-to-read style about God as our Source.

As always, these Kids sheets are free to use with attribution.

(C) 2017 Practitioner's Path

The Widow and the Oil

Widow and oilIn an earlier blog I wrote about the role of our expectations in receiving our Good and shared the story of the widow whose husband had left her with so much debt that creditors were coming to take her sons as payment. She reaches out to the prophet Elisha for help in her hour of need.

At the core of this story, we find the important role of expectation in life. This is another great story to share with children as it has wonderful biblical imagery combined with an important life wisdom lesson on the importance of our expectations.

A quick recap:

Elisha asks the desperate woman what she has and she tells him – a little oil in a single flask; only enough oil to anoint herself.

Elisha tells her to go borrow as many jars from family and friends and neighbors as she can. She gathers every available empty vessel and Elisha instructs her to pour her oil into the empty containers.

She begins to pour and the little amount of oil she had flows and continues to flow until she has filled every available container.

The empty containers represent our expectations. Her supply met with her expectations.

Many people who are “glass-half-empty” personalities begin this pattern as young children. Teaching our kids to see things from the perspective of Good is the antidote to lifelong negativity. This lesson is a simple one with wonderful imagery to share and plant the seed of expectation as a way to experience more good in life.

As always, these are free to share with attribution to this site.

Peace & blessings.

(C) 2017 Practitioner's Path

 

Metaphysical Bible Lesson #3

Abraham-Sarah-IsaacPatience is one of the hardest things to learn along the spiritual path. And it’s not an artifact of our technological, digital age. Abraham and Sarah – early figures in the biblical canon – struggled with the same issue.

Teaching children how to “let go and let God” can be a challenge, but the story of Abraham, Sarah and Isaac is a great way to begin.

I’ve blogged about the larger context here. Young children don’t need to get into the mess Sarah created by sending Hagar to her husband to have a child; but they can understand that Abraham and Sarah asked God for a child, and then Sarah got in a hurry and tried to “help” God answer her prayer. The result was a situation that made Sarah sad and was NOT the answer to her prayers.

Older youth may be able to maturely discuss the implications of this action and the pain and hurt it created, which is an important aspect of this lesson.

I have also included a graphic that makes 5-step spiritual mind treatment (affirmative prayer) easy to share with kids. I learned this concept of using hands to teach 5-step treatment from Rev. Iris Sauber of the Center for Conscious Living (Thank you Rev. Iris!).

In each Kids Sheet lesson there is a summary of the spiritual Truth and an affirmation (here it is from Lesson #3):

Here’s what the story of Abraham, Sarah and Isaac teaches us:

  • When we pray (do Treatment) for something, we must release it to God and trust in the outcome for our highest Good.
  • We let God worry about the “how” – we simply know that we are provided and wait patiently for the demonstration of our Good.
  • Releasing requires faith! Don’t interfere – learn to be patient and “wait upon the Lord (Law)” – (It works!)
  • Affirmation: I let go, I let God and I know my Good is on its way.

 

You may also want to share the song below by Michael Gott (“I Will Make a Quiet Place”) which reinforces the concepts of releasing, letting go and waiting for God.

As with Lesson 1 (Daniel in the Lion’s Den) and Lesson 2 (David and Goliath), these are free to use (please attribute to this site).

(C) 2017 Practitioner's Path