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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Richmond, VA

Merry meet Friends!
Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light!

"Learning is finding out what you already know.  Doing is demonstrating that you know it.  Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you.  You are all learners, doers, teachers."

"Like attracts like.  Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright.  Automatically, as we shine who we are, asking ourselves every minute is this what I really want to do, doing it only when we answer yes, automatically that turns away those who have nothing to learn from who we are, and attracts those who do, and from whom we have to learn, as well."

"The only obligation we have in any lifetime is to be true to ourselves."

"Only a few people are interested in what you have to say, but that's all right.  You don't tell the quality of a master by the size of his crowds, remember,"


"The simplest questions are the most profound.  Where were you born?  Where is your home?  Where are you going?  What are you doing?  Think about these once in a while, and watch your answers change."  
All quotes from Richard Bach; Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

This book was assigned reading when I took classes to become a Religious Science Practitioner with Revs. Dwight and Thelma Smith.  Along with his other book, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, I learned more about faith and trust than I had known previously.  The journey to one's true self is not always an easy one.  There are many trials and tribulations on the path.  However, if we believe that Spirit has spoken to us about our path, then we must go forward. Sometimes we are misunderstood when we say or do things as directed by Spirit.  People may think that we are a little crazy; we may even think it ourselves.at time.  

In 1999, I felt I heard from Spirit to get a nose ring.  What I actually heard was that Spirit wanted to get rid of some mindsets that people had about ministers.  At the time I wasn't one!, at least not an ordained one. Spirit has a sense of humor.  I went into the shop 4 times before I finally allowed the woman to do it.  Various people told me it was the worse pain.  I have a high threshold but no, I didn't want to do it.  I didn't feel a thing.  The young woman was a medical student and knew what she was doing.  I needed to trust Spirit and not what people said.

Isn't that the way of it though?  We hear Spirit but we listen to other voices. John 10:5: "My sheep know my voice and the voice of another they will not follow."  In a conference at Lakewood church in 1986, Billie Brim, a female prophetess, said Spirit spoke that scripture to her and said: "But we are not another."  She was saying that we are one with Spirit and and that we when we truly listen to our spirits we will not be led astray.  I have been guilty of not truly listening and have paid the price for it.  I have learned in the process for every thing is a learning experience.

I love learning and I love to share what I learn.  I realize that not everyone will receive what I share but that's ok.  It is my journey after all.  I get so excited when I learn something that I had forgotten I knew (we do know all things) that I want to share it with all I encounter.  I don't adhere to everything that I learn but it is in the sharing that bring new insights from others.  We learn from each other.  One of the above quotes says, "we are all learners, doers, and teachers."  I learn and I share which is teaching.  I sometimes have trouble in the "doing". Trusting what Spirit says and having faith that Spirit is in control is an area that I sometimes will fall short.

It is all a learning process and I am constantly learning.  Being true to myself as I learn who I am changes my consciousness.  Changing my consciousness changes the answers to the questions that Richard Bach posed.  This may also change the people who are in one's life. Sometimes there are people who can not learn from us or we them, at least not then or maybe never.  The people who are meant to be in our lives are there for the time allotted.  Cherish those moments. Nothing is ever lost, every one, every thing has a lesson and I believe an opportunity for something greater if we pay attention.

When we do actually listen to Spirit and follow through on what's being said, it does not mean it will always be easy but it we continue to persevere, we will overcome.  Philippians 3:14 calls it "pressing toward the mark of the high calling in God through Christ Jesus".  Henry David Thoreau says it this way: "If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."   Persevere, in spite of and despite all odds, and you will succeed.

I leave with quote from Thoreau: "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."

Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again,
Blessed be,
Gypsi Mama MIchelle



Sunday, January 24, 2016

Richmond, VA

Merry meet Friends!
Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light!

"There are two paths of which one may choose in the walk of life; one we are born with, and the one we consciously blaze.  One is naturally true, while the other is a perceptive illusion.  Choose wisely at each fork in the road."  ~ T.F. Hodge, From Within I Rise: Spiritual Triumph Over Death and Conscious Encounters with "The Divine Presence"

"They thought that it would be a disgrace to go forth as a group.  Each entered the forest at a point that he himself had chosen, where it was the darkest and there was no path.  If there is a path it is someone else's path and you are not on the adventure." ~ Joseph Campbell, The Hero's Journey: Joseph Campbell  On His Life & Work

"When you find your path, you must ignore fear.  You need to have the courage to risk mistakes.  But once you are on that road...run, run, run, and don't stop til you've reached its end." ~ Jose N. Harris, MI VIDA: A Story of Faith, Hope and Love

"The path to our destination is not always a straight one.  We go down the wrong road, we get lost. we turn back.  Maybe it doesn't matter which road we embark on.  Maybe what matters is that we embark."  ~ Barbara Hall

My musings this week, as one can tell, has been about paths; expected and unexpected ones.  Most of my life I have been consumed with "what to do".  I wanted to be sure that I was on the "right" path for my life.  So, naturally there have been many false starts, right starts, no starts; yet all of them have been "right" because all of them have been a part of my journey.  As I awaited the doctor's call this past week, I was at peace because  I knew that whatever the report, it was my journey.  I was ready to walk down whichever path I was led.  I would say to anyone that I was fine no matter what.  The thing is that I really meant and mean that.  (My only concern was my youngest daughter's upcoming wedding.  I didn't want her mind on anything except her wedding).  Whatever the doctor said would be the same for me.  Malignant or benign would be equal.  The doctor called me on Tuesday, January the 19th and said the calcifications were benign.  I thanked her and gave the news to my coworkers who were overjoyed.  So were my family and friends.  I felt tremendous love and relief from everyone and I am grateful for all prayers, well wishes and thoughts.

Even though any news had emotional equanimity, I thought about what I wanted to do with my life in the event the report said malignancy.  I felt, because there were so many and the breast was already smaller than the other, that it would probably demand a mastectomy and chemo this time.  I began to ponder what was truly important in my life; perhaps that is the point of all of this.  I want to experience living life fully; being totally in the moment, whether washing dishes or discovering a cure for cancer.  I wish to embrace each second as sacred because it is.  Yet I still want to answer the longings of my heart and heed the cries of my soul.  Gautama Buddha said, "If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading."   Selah!  

What's important to me?  What do I really desire?  What's important to any of us?  Do many of us take the the time to ask that question and wait for a response?  Are we afraid of what the answer may be?Are we afraid of where it might lead us OR from what it might take us?   Family and loved ones are always important to us, without question but what is hidden in your soul?  What are your dreams? Where do you wish life to take you?  Maybe you're already there. There is sacredness and fulfillment in every day living.  I know this to be true yet my soul still cries for "else".  Sarah Ban Breathnach has a book called "Something More: Excavating Your Authentic Self".  I read that and her first book, "Simple Abundance" in the 90's.  She was one of the first authors that I encountered on my "search for self".  I know myself better today than I did then yet I am constantly evolving into the person I was born to be.  So I guess I can say I know me at this stage of my life, the now me.  I am still excavating the authentic Michelle Marie.  

It is my desire to live in a higher state of consciousness than I have previously.  I'm always working on myself.  Sometimes I don't like what I see but I look at it directly.  It can't leave if I ignore it.  "This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man."  ~ William Shakespeare   We must ask ourselves the hard questions.  We must explore the attics and basements of this house that we inhabit.  W e must dig deeper and deeper in order to know ourselves fully so that we may "be" ourselves.  

There is always something that triggers a change in our lives: illness, divorce, death of loved ones, birth, marriage, loss of income, etc. Something happens that gives us pause; that makes us rethink where we are headed.  This is the second time that the threat of cancer has caused me to take a look at this temple in which I live.  I need to honor it more than I have.  It's like a pet really.  It needs to be fed, exercised and loved.  Sometimes we treat others better than we do ourselves.  Exercising the mind and nourishing my spirit is equally important.  I've been quiet in my spirit since the doctor called on Tuesday.  I am contemplating and meditating on what's next for me. I believe that this was a wake up call for me to, well, wake up!  This quest for me is never ending and I'm glad.  Wherever I am led on this journey, this path of life, I hope to embrace it with all that I am and all that I have.  The point is to embark.

Until next Sunday,
Merry pat and merry meet again, 
Blessed be!,
Gypsi Mama Michelle   


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Richmond,VA

Merry meet Friends!
Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light!

"What you deny or ignore, you delay.  What you accept and face, you conquer."  ~ www.livelifehappy,com

"Bring acceptance into your nonacceptance.  Bring surrender into your nonsurrender.  Then see what happens."  ~ Eckhart Tolle

"Accept the situation for exactly what it is instead of trying to manipulate it into what you think it needs to be." ~ unknown

"Acceptance is having the faith, despite the circumstances, that all is well." ~ confidential coaching

"Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.  Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow.  Let reality be reality.  Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.  ~ Lao Tzu


I shared last Sunday that I would be having a biopsy on Friday, the 15th due to an increase in calcifications in the same breast.  I had the biopsy as scheduled.  The nurse said that I would get the results in three business days but the doctor said I would know on Monday evening.  I can say this with absolute certainty: NO MATTER THE OUTCOME, I AM FINE!  I am whole and healed which is our divine right.  None of us knows the what or why of things happening in our lives.  We can and do make plans; sometimes they come to fruition and sometimes they don't.  Life is full of changes as Lao Tzu said in the above quote.  We can resist or we can let things flow.

This morning I heard the news that the Pastor who first ordained me had made his transition on last evening.  He ordained me before I attended seminary.  I knew he was going to do so before the head elder told me.  He and I had a connection and we seemed to know each other's thoughts.  We read many of the same books and would discuss our thoughts.  Before I became a member of his church and once I knew my time was up, I spoke with him.  He said that he knew I had not come to stay.  We were both sad. 

Life is so uncertain, with its ups and downs, twists and turns, peaks and valleys.  We can change some things and some others we can not.  I realize that it is hard to accept certain things.  We would rather that "the thing", whatever it might be had not happened.  I'm discovering in my own life that sometimes it is "the thing", that makes us stronger, more compassionate, more loving.  We are all on a journey.  We may take different paths and end up in different places but the journey is the same.  We all walk it alone.  That's not saying that people aren't with us on the path at times but we still walk it alone.  Ultimately the journey is ours and ours alone.  

Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again!
Blessed be,
Gypsi Mama Michelle



Sunday, January 10, 2016

Richmond, VA

Merry meet Friends!
Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light!


"..this, I believe, is the crucial question upon which all creative living hinges: Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?,,,I...believe we are all walking repositories of buried treasure.  I believe this is one of the oldest and most generous tricks the universe plays on us human beings,,,The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them,  The hunt to uncover those jewels - that's creative living."  ~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magi (courtesy of One Spirit Interfaith Seminary)

"You matter.You are important.  There is a reason for your existence.  You may not see or understand how this is true, but truth doesn't cease to be truth because of doubt, blindness, or ignorance.  
And the truth is -- you matter."  ~ Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, & Grumblings for Every Day of the Year

"We each carry with us unique gifts, recognized and unrecognized.  We long to harness those gifts in a way that gives life significance and helps us to matter more in the lives of others."  ~ Tom Hayes

"A little porch light from a distant farmhouse dimmed, feeling alone and unneeded until his smallest spark of illumination snuffed out entirely.  The night fell as dark as it was quiet.  Meanwhile, every secret eye within the vicinity ~ from insect to animal to human wanderer ~ stopped to blink, suddenly blinded.  Their guiding light had vanished, extinguishing hope in the hearts of many.  That little light had mattered, but he knew it not."  ~ Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, & Grumblings for Every Day of the Year

Happy New Year!  I hope the New Year and the New Moon on last night had everyone setting intentions for the remainder of the year.  I wish prosperity, peace, joy, love, divine health, abundance and laughter to you all.

My oldest son is a recovering drug addict.  He's clean today; I can say that each day that he is.  He has said to me on more than one occasion and most recently this week, that he wants to do something of which I can be proud.  He was very sentimental and speaking about how proud he is of his sisters and brother.  He shared that there was something he always wanted to do; something that I could point to and say: That's my son.  I told him that I am equally as proud of him as I am the others.  To quote a hymn: "Each victory will help you some other to win".  I went on to tell him that it wasn't too late for him to do the thing he wanted to do.  Age is not a factor in everything.  I want him to do whatever for himself, not for me. 

Later that night I spoke with him again and recounted something out of "Conversations With God" by Neale Donald Walsch.  Neale, in conversation with God, asked God about a person's life amounting to nothing.  God gave this reply:  If a person has basically done "nothing" (quotations mine) with his life and then at 70 writes a sonnet that influences and inspires multitudes, has his life amounted to nothing?  I, personally, believe that all of us matter.  Perhaps it is what an individual experiences, that appears as nothing, that creates the sonnet, the book, the art, the musical masterpiece.  I heard new life in my son's voice after I shared that with him.  It is still up to him, as it is with us all, to renew his mind and discover the gifts within.  No matter how small and insignificant we think we are, we all have gifts and a purpose.  We don't always know whose lives we touch.  

On December 22, 2015, I celebrated 65 years of living on this plane. I often say to myself that I am not "doing" anything to make my children proud of me.Maybe we all at times have a comparison complex.  We look at others lives and compare them to our own.  We don't know that person's journey and what it took for them to get where they are.  Perhaps if we focus on "being" who we are, we would fare better.  What is the world waiting for you to create?  It's not always something that will make one famous.  Perhaps it's a safe haven for your family or warm meals for neighbors.  I don't know but I do believe it is up to each of us to find it and give it.

As you know, I am a breast cancer survivor.  Every 6 months I have a mammogram.  I had one in June, 2015 and I had another on January 4, 2016.  The doctor came in to see me and shared that I needed to have another biopsy of the same breast.  The reason is that, there are calcifications which have increased since June.  Most are benign but since the cancer that was removed in 2013 was a calcification, a biopsy is needed.  Better safe than sorry.  The biopsy is Friday, January 15th. I, of course, don't know what the outcome will be, I just know that I am fine regardless.  I do know that I wish to discover more fully the gifts given me by Spirit and act on them. Will you do the same?  Let your consciousness be saturated with the truth that YOU MATTER!  You always have and you always will.

Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again!
Blessed be,
Gypsi Mama Michelle