Category Archives: Environment

Moving an Alzheimer’s patient

Instead of trying really hard to heal spiritually, I’ve learned to stop myself. I’ve decided that If God is healing, then God is healing all the time. Nonstop. I don’t make healing happen. I don’t need to look for something to heal.

Instead of praying for healing, I pray to see God healing. It is right in front of me, part of my experience.

As the cloud’s shadow passes over me when out in the woods walking, or as an idea enlightens my thought, healing results.

???????????????????????????????Months ago, I’d planned to help husband/wife friends move from Arizona to Washington State. The husband has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and was in a wheelchair. The wife told me, “Cheryl, he responds to you without confusion.”

The morning before I needed to fly to Arizona, I got sick. Food would not stay down. My husband told me, “This healing is here because you are the one for the job.”

We were staying at my husband’s sister’s house and she nursed me with mother love. By that afternoon, an hour before my scheduled flight, I was well enough to pack. My brother-in-law took me to the airport early and we both agreed that if I felt I should cancel my traveling that he’d return to pick me up at the airport and take me back to their house for rest. “I don’t mind one bit,” he said. His trust in God, through his Latter Day Saints faith, held a purity I could feel.

Healing continued and I traveled to Arizona. The husband and wife were ready and waiting to travel and move to Washington. The flight went without a flaw.

I was grateful that the husband did respond to me. Though the airports were hectic and loud, he was calm and hopeful.

I pondered “spiritual Alzheimer’s,” living in the past with confidence, yet easily angered when asked to do more than what the limited perspective expects.

Then I read from Matthew 4:1, 8-10:

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry…[Then[ the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”

Though I believe that in spiritual reality there is no devil, there is a devil to contend with humanly. The devil of Alzheimer’s will be cast out and until then we can prove it step by step. The devil was rebuked during our travels and we did worship God, Love, resulting in a gracious experience. We hope to continue.

The newness of prayer

My husband just returned from a trip out west. In Seattle, Washington, he boarded an airplane after 6 a.m. and was in Albany, New York before 6 p.m. Seattle clock time was 3 p.m.

A nine hour trip that took him 3,000 miles. Doug went from sixty degrees Fahrenheit to one degree. From flowering rhododendrons to shimmering frosty trees and three feet of snow on the ground. Kinda funny.

Two hundred years ago, this reality was  not experienced.

Today, people take travel excursions regularly and know to take a winter coat to wear over their shorts and t-shirt when they arrive at their destination.

When we are praying, take this disparity into account. Too often our prayers don’t work, or wander around aimlessly, because we are trying to repeat a prayer that was experienced yesterday. We are only taking into account what the physical senses say now.

Prayer is to experience the glorious ever-expressing God. Prayer is to be prepared for a God expressing more gloriousness, more life, more love, more truth.

I think the Buddhists glimpse the importance of “being quiet” in order to stop the interrupting human mind trying to direct our prayers. “A coat will only make you sweat,” says the human mind.

The Science, or knowledge of Christ, Love is directing our prayers and revealing the newness and beauty and balance we need today. It’s our right to experience the new.

rhododendron_vulcan frost trees snow

Summer is not surprising us…

Poets have written for centuries about the effect of spring. In year 1922, T.S. Eliot penned:

-April is the cruellest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.

Winter kept us warm, covering

Earth in forgetful snow, feeding

A little life with dried tubers.

Summer surprised us…

The Wasteland

Thoughtful poetry aside, I’ve found no one here in upstate New York carrying an element of “surprise” in regard to upcoming warmer weather. More like, “We’re ready, get on with it Mother Nature.”

But people are keeping their spirits up.

We trust nature to turn the tide. Spring and summer can’t be stopped. Interestingly, with the added human inventions of heat and lighting, I also find many people have been very busy during the winter.

Inside projects and renovations are getting accomplished, baking, painting, scanning seed catalogs and ordering plants.

Activity is normal and we learn to balance our physical and spiritual activity, both in the winter and the summer. Although the seasons come and go, God loves us all and we can maintain a sense of purpose and hope.

4_seasons-1600x1200

Exfoliating my mind

While living and working in the desert my skin would get dry. I didn’t think about much other than I purchased jugs of skin lotion and applied the lotion all over my body, every night after a shower.

Somewhere along the line I heard an expert say that dry dead skin is constantly falling off our bodies. The dead skin, however can cling to the body and make it difficult for the skin lotion to be absorbed.

I looked at my skin and found flaky dead skin all over. The dry skin was an impediment. Basically, it blocked the lotion I applied from reaching the skin. I scrubbed harder in the shower to get rid of dead skin. I also applied less and less lotion until I got to the point of rarely needing it.

I think back on this experience from a metaphysical view and can glimpse how thoughts of fear, envy, and anger are dead thoughts. Negative thoughts do me no good. And if I let negativity cling to my mind, they can even stop me from absorbing good (moisturizing) thoughts that come my way.

lotion

Get a divine perspective

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a space-based satellite system that provides location information. My husband has a GPS gadget in his truck to tell us where we are and where we are going when we are in unfamiliar territory.

The GPS system is based on a rather large view of the world, from outer space.

But it still has its limitations.

The other day, a large delivery truck driver was following directions from a GPS and he turned onto a narrow road, in upstate New York. Snow, snow, snow everywhere on the backroad. The poor guy slid and the truck tipped over.

Although out in a rural area, the emergency services were there quickly and no one was hurt thankfully. We can follow the GPS, with its large world view, however the shortest route is not always the best route.

The incident reminded me not to lose track of following divine guidance.

Divine guidance comes from a divine view, seen and heard as I heed intuition. The divine view involves hope, faith, understanding. It’s not afraid to ask for directions from the locals.

“Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.” Ps. 66:5

gps

Flipping positive thinking

Life in America wasn’t easy in the 18th century.

America was carving out its new identity. Science and medicine were floundering in guesswork. Religion was preaching fiery sermons on damnation and hell.

Thinkers mobilized in the 19th and 20th centuries to enforce more scientific, compassionate organization. Not that there is a perfect system today in the 21st century, but much of what these old-time thinkers did, brought us to where we are today.

Author, Mitch Horowitz’s book, One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life, tackles the history of a national movement that echoes in statements such as, “Hey, you need to change your attitude.”

Most of us know the “change” referred to is a more positive attitude.

Positive thinking has its benefits, but it also holds a strong suggestion that people can be responsible for their fortunes, or misfortunes. If the status-quo of positive thinking people isn’t challenged, broader social problems can be marginalized and blaming fingers get pointed where they shouldn’t. The privileged have better results with positive thinking.

I will admit, I like myself better when I have a positive outlook on life. However, in my study of Christian Science, I’ve learned the “positive thinking coin” must be flipped. I need to not just think positive, but I also need to “unsee” the problem.

I can’t just ignore problems. It’s foolish to deny problems as if they aren’t real. But, I can un-see them, just as humankind was able to un-see a flat earth.

The technique of un-seeing is mental.

For example, years ago I had Strep. It included a severe ear pain. There was no positive thinking on my Shepherd-and-sheep-2part. I begged God to take away the pain. I called a friend from church for help with prayer, but felt no relief, so called her back and told her I was going to call someone else. Within fifteen minutes it felt as though a pump went on in my ear and puss began flowing out, to my blessed relief.

My husband took me to the doctor who confirmed Strep and prescribed me antibiotics for 10-days. The doctor didn’t have much hope about my hearing returning to normal.

I only took a few of the pills because even the doctor admitted I was on the mend. And, by now, my life picture had broadened.

The bigger picture: At the time I got sick, our young family was moving to another job, home, and community. It was exhilarating yet scary and the stress got to me.

While resting and praying, I could see God in the popular Biblical depiction of a Shepherd. My trust in God as Love to guide me and my family with wisdom and safety solidified. The fear lessened.

What I’m about to write now, sounds totally contradictory, but I saw more clearly, that Strep wasn’t a part of God’s shepherding and this helped me un-see the disease.

I didn’t try to get rid of Strep. I didn’t try to create God. I saw life, and myself, as an image of divine Spirit, Mind.

I didn’t even have a positive human mind of my own. I was image of God. My ear healed quicker than predicted and my hearing returned to normal.

Although I try to have a positive attitude, I don’t rely on it as a source of guidance.

I often seriously scrutinize problems to unsnarl their purpose and makeup, but this mental work is grounded on the fact that the physical body and mind are temporal while I believe God’s mind is substance and eternal.

The Lord Is My Shepherd

A Psalm of David.

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
    He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
    for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

Walk with spiritual thoughts

For some reason, a walk in the woods clears my head. So, I try to walk each day.

Yesterday, snow was gently falling during my walk and I felt an idea gently fall into reason.

Thoughts come and go. Sometimes, I think the thoughts “are mine.” I think the thoughts are absolutes, true, unchangeable. But, time and experience show me otherwise.

Then it dawned on that some of the absolute aren’t even my own opinion. They are thoughts I picked up from other people or the world’s mass consciousness.

“A mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and in all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably with the circumstances of life, knowing that in this world no one is all knowing and therefore all of us need both love and charity.”
Eleanor Roosevelt, It Seems to Me: Selected Letters

deer in snow fall

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