Rev. Arlene’s Blog

Rev. Arlene Meyer, our Minister, posts mid-week messages on this blog. Come back often to read her inspiring and thought-provoking posts. Learn more about her.

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From Rev. Arlene

The idea of looking at challenges in life as an adventure or an opportunity, rather than just a challenge, can help make life fun and less stressful. All obstacles are just gifts that allow us to become creative. We can find a way to go over it, or we can find a way around it. We can, also, decide to do nothing, to stay where we are and allow the challenge to keep us from moving forward.

From time to time I like to give myself a challenge as a way of keeping life interesting and not allowing it to become too stale. Some of these challenges have been more difficult than others, but each one has allowed me to stretch beyond my comfort zone and continue to grow spiritually, emotionally, mentally, or physically.

This time the challenge is to enter a chili cook-off with Christopher right here in our town of Tustin, California. Having moved here shortly after last year’s cook off we had no idea of what we were getting into. It turns out this is a big event with over 40,000 people attending! Also, unknown to us at this time, we have to make 20 gallons of chili rather than the two gallons we planned to make!

Making a lot of regular Chili is a pretty big undertaking, as it is, but we are entering a raw plant based chili – something that is kind of contrary to the whole idea of chili. This is going to be much more complicated and expensive than we originally thought (we just bought 150 avocados! And we have a rather small kitchen!). But rather than deciding not to do it, we became determined to look at the whole experience as an adventure.

Not doing anything is no longer an option for either Christopher or myself, and so forward we go! What will be the result, we are not sure, but one thing I am confident of – it will be an adventure and one that will stretch me and, therefore, be another growing experience.

Stay tune for next week’s message to find out what happens!

Quote of the Week
“Life is either a great adventure or nothing.”
Helen Keller

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From Rev. Arlene

What do Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs and Michael Jordan all have in common?

They all had failures before they became successful.

Thomas Edison tried many (some estimate 1,000) materials before he discovered the right one for the filament for his electric light. Walt Disney was told by a newspaper that they were firing him because he could not draw and lacked imagination. Steve Jobs was fired from his own company only to go on and create NeXT computers, Pixar Animations, was rehired by Apple, and then changed the way the world looks at electronics. Michael Jordan went home and cried when he did not make his high school basketball team only to be a 14 time NBA All Star, five time NBA Most Valuable Player and six time NBA champion. etc. and is considered by some to be the Best Basketball Player to have ever lived.

We can learn from these, and countless others, not to give up on our dreams, to be courageous and preserver, to be resilient and not give up. We can use our failures to build a strong character that can withstand whatever obstacles we may have to face.

If we want to be successful in life, and by success I mean a life that is worth living, a life that is filled with wonder, joy, wholeness, and abundance, then we have to learn not to see the bumps in the road as obstacles, but as training tools so that we may truly become all that we were meant to be.

Quote of the Week
“Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.”
Napoleon Hill

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From Rev. Arlene

Who are you?

To many, the answer to this question, may seem easy.  If asked who they are, they would give their identity based on their job, their marital or parental status, or their religion, nationality, ethnicity or sexual identity.  We often confuse who we are by what we do, where we come from, or our role in life.

This is all well and good but what happens when, what we identify with, changes?  When we lose our job, when our children move away, when we change our marital status or move to another county we can become confused and frightened because all of a sudden what we were is no longer what we are.

When we understand, however, that in Truth, we are much more than our physical identity, when we are not defined by our jobs or relationships, we can handle any changes in our life.  When we know we are part of the Universe and that we are so much more than our job, no matter what changes happen in our lives, we adapt, we move on, we grow and we evolve.

Try answering the question – who am I without using labels.  Try going within and asking the question instead, who was I created to be?

Quote of the Week

What a liberation to realize that the ‘voice in my head’ is not who I am. ‘Who am I, then?’ The one who sees that.                                                                Eckhart Tolle

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From Rev. Arlene

How is your relationship with God?

This past Sunday was Mother’s Day – a day when children make a special effort to remember their mothers.  We need days like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day because, often in our busy lives, we forget to acknowledge the people that have meant the most to us.

The same is true with God/Spirit/Divine Mind/Higher Power.  We are often so busy trying to manage our lives that we forget to first establish our relationship with God.  We forget to seek the inner wisdom that comes from within when we are trying to make a decision.  We seek things on the outside to help us feel better about ourselves, to feel more loved, or to have a deeper peace.

But that which we seek from the world around us is already within us.  Just like a part of a mother is within her child, part of Spirit is within each of us. We forget this because we do not take the time to connect with our Spirit.  In a very real and spiritual sense, He/She is our parent and we are His/Her child.

Let’s do ourselves a favor – tomorrow, before we head out of the house, let’s take some time, even if only for a few minutes, to be in The Silence and see what a difference it makes!  We just might find the guidance and love we have been seeking has always been available to us because it’s here, within us, every step of every day.

Quote of the Week

“Peace comes from within.  Do not seek it without.”  Buddha

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From Rev. Arlene

If we want to move forward in our lives, it is important that we set an intention on where we want to go.  If we don’t, we’ll wander and become lost.   Imagine going on a trip and not having any idea of where you are going, how you are going to get there, or even why you want to go there.

Yet, that is how we often live our lives.  We just spend our lives reacting to events, rather than focusing on what we want or where we want to go.  We live our lives as victims of external situations or people and then we wonder why we are not happy, peaceful, or contented.

Many people we respect such as Oprah, Gandhi, Carnegie, were not born within the best family or the best education.  They were not handed things on a silver platter.  What they all have in common is that they were focused on wanting to do something, to be something, and then they took the actions necessary to change their lives in spite of their background.

Try waking up in the morning and instead of complaining, ask yoursIMG_1141elf, “What is my dream, where do I want to be in 5, 10, or 20 years from now, and what can I do today to move my life forward”?  It might be something small such as looking at the classifieds for a job, cleaning out the excess from your life that is weighing you down, or meditating on what it is you can do to make this world a better place.

The important thing is to not give up – on our dreams, our hopes.  “Today is the first day of the rest of your life”, so why not make it count!

Quote of the Week

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

 

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