UNITY in the UK IS introducing a new and creative way to experience GRATITUDE! Tap into your artistic skills, because everyone can draw!
A fun and practical class:
Take part in short meditations to become more present and aware of the blessings in your life.
Watch fun videos on how others approach Gratitude.
Listen to wonderful songs to find inspiration for your creative journaling practice.
Create a piece of colourful artwork related to what you feel grateful for that day, to generate more of what you are thankful for in your life.
FREE introductory sessions on the 12th and the 19th of September, 7-8pm on ZOOM.
Leading to a 6-week CREATIVE Gratitude ART-Journaling Class 26th September- 31st October 2022, 7-9pm, £50 for the 6 week course (concessions available) 26th Sept, 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st October
Each weekly session addresses a different aspect of Gratitude. It will also support you in deepening your expression of Gratitude towards the blessings in your life. Along with that, your creative side will have an opportunity to come out and play.
When I feel at one with God, I am aglow, shining the light of spiritual truth. Like a candle flame, my inner light makes the divinity of all the world’s people visible to me. Beholding the Christ light all around me makes my heart expand, making me ready to share the love I’d previously held inside or reserved for those closest to me.
Today I keep my mind on God and let my divine light shine everywhere. As I remember that God is absolute good, everything else falls away. I am God’s beloved child, and the light within me is pure and strong. I am bright and brilliant, the light of God uniquely expressing as me. With love and in peace, I bless others with my beaming positivity.
Mine is going pretty well. Rather interesting! Honestly, it is beyond my expectations!
I am once again surprised at what different focus means. Just by setting an intention to ‘release’ any limiting beliefs during this season, suddenly, I am made aware of different patterns that I run within myself that do not serve me.
During my contemplations this Lenten season I became very clear of a pattern that I learnt as a child and also a pattern that I developed as a child in order to protect myself.
When I was a child under the communistic and socialistic ideology of a central European country, we were basically drilled to become soldier like creatures. The first and most important qualities of a human being were to be obedient and disciplined. We had to recognise authority, especially the authority of our superiors and the leaders of the party. We were even discouraged to think for ourselves but blindly follow command.
As a result of that, I became resentful but I still adopted to a great extend to the belief system of my environment. On the other hand, however, I became painfully aware that I was not a good soldier. I simply did not agree with the way we were treated. And so, I became rebellious in an artistic way which meant that I was troublesome and was in constant detention.
As a response to that, in order to protect myself from the constant scolding, I adopted a ‘service like’ attitude towards my main carer or people in a ‘caring’ position, figures of authority, so to feel safe in the world that seemingly detested me for who I was.
As my ‘service’ to those whom I needed to take care of me, I allowed to let their fears, frustrations and other unmanageable feels down on me. I basically became a punchbag.
I suspect that I felt strong enough to take it all on. At the same time, I am sure that I was also afraid of being rejected from society and from the groups of my peers because I wasn’t able to get in line with all the other silent sufferers.
So, the other day, I had this painful experience where I noticed how I actually go about running this pattern. I found myself in a situation where I was in disagreement with a figure of authority whom I felt, I was dependent on for something. I noticed, how I made the conscious choice to allow him to run his fear and disagreement down on me using abusive language. I also realized that I am doing that in order to smooth out the discord between us. I hurt myself so the other person can feel better, hoping that this way he would accept me and support me.
I lived most of my life with this limiting belief and behavioural pattern.
On one hand, my learning is to know and understand that people have the ability to deal with their own issues, problems, fears, and challenges and I don’t have to step in and ‘save the day’. On the other hand, it is time for me to let go of the fear that I can be harmed or I won’t be taken care of, just because I think differently or disagree.
So this is my Lenten season revelation so far. As my release and renewal affirmation, I affirm that
I let go of my need to feel safe by diffusing situations with figures of authority. I let go and release feelings of inadequacy the drives me to take on more than my share in any situation. I embrace myself knowing that I am good in God just as I am. I am lovable, acceptable, and I don’t need to take over any additional burdens in order to be loved.
Knowing that I am a powerful spiritual being and heir to God’s abundant good keeps my focus on the positive. When I remember that God is good all the time I am not disturbed by anything that is happening in or around me.
I remain fully aware of the happiness and sadness, the triumph and turmoil that comprise the human experience. I don’t deny the existence of life’s more unpleasant realities, but I do commit my focus to what is in my power to change, namely my thoughts and feelings.
My positive focus keeps me upbeat in all circumstances. Others notice it and feel inspired by my example. Sharing my optimistic focus is a blessing in itself for which I am grateful.
He is your praise; he is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things that your own eyes have seen.—Deuteronomy 10:21
Rule 10 The quest for love changes us. There is no seeker among those who search for love who has not matured on the way. The moment you start looking for love, you start to change within and without.
This week I will be contemplating on the the POWER OF LOVE. How I have matured as a result of my quest for finding LOVE. Not the idealized posture of Love between humans but the Love that …
“… Love that overthrows empires. Love that binds two hearts together come hellfire and brimstone.” Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 1 Corinthians 13/1-4
LOVE that Rumi sang so beautifully about, LOVE between the Lover and the Beloved.
Throughout the day, regardless of circumstances, I maintain a composed countenance. I stop, take a deep breath, and envision a still, quiet pond. My mind is tranquil, and my soul trusts that all is working together for good.
My calm and steady manner brings peace all around me. My faith is strong, and the peace of God that passes human understanding fills me. I see any discord as an opportunity to demonstrate my tranquility through my calm bearing. With a relaxed and rested body and peaceful mind, I take unexpected developments in stride. I am grateful for the ability to choose harmony even in inharmonious circumstances.
I end each day in peaceful, thankful prayer. I rest in blissful stillness, feeling the warmth and presence of God within me.
Rule 9 East, west, south, or north makes little difference. No matter what your destination, just be sure to make every journey, a journey within. If you travel within, you’ll visit the whole full World and beyond.
Rule 8 Patience does not mean to endure passively. It means to look at the end of a process. What does tolerance mean? It means to look at the thorn and see the rose, to look at the night, and see the dawn. Impatience means to be shortsighted as not to be able to see the outcome. The lovers of God never run out of patience, for they know that time is needed for the crescent moon to become full.
Rule 7 Whatever happens in your life, no matter how troubling things might seem, do not enter the neighborhood of despair. Even when all doors remain closed, God will open up a new path only for you. Be thankful! It is easy to be grateful when all is well. A Sufi is thankful not only for what he has been given but also for all that he has been denied.
I really loved RULE7. It is really hard for me to remember that the way something appears is not the way it actually is. I easily despair and drift off. When my life or an aspect of my life appears to be off-course, I easily decide that God has forgotten about me and deserted me and now I am struggling and failing alone.
It takes me some time to sit and observe and REALIZE how wrong I am. What I perceive to be lonely is often just ‘disconnectedness’. I lose sight of God’s ever flowing good and loving. As a result, I feel alone and disconnected. This is when I take out my Gratitude Art Journal and draw away. I jot down everything, even those events or mishaps when I felt lost.