By Diane Donovan-Vaughn

Sermon 11/10/2017

Amnesia prevails with humans. Do you ever wonder why you discover some magnificent truth and then have to rediscover it over and over like in the movie “Ground Hog Day?” If you haven’t ever seen it, then just think about doing the same day over and over, learning over and over the same lessons. It sounds like life. At least in the movie, when he woke up on the same day, every day, he remembered he was repeating the lessons he learned from his experiences, and had a great outcome! It took a long time.

But hey, in this life we remember too. Maybe we forget between lifetimes but for now we just often forget over and over about the lessons we are creating and even breakthroughs we have had. Then, when the same lesson appears a few times or hundreds of times, we hopefully slap our forehead and decide to remember and to change. Not to worry though because if we have multiple lifetimes, we have time to repeat them over and over and over.

Change is challenging to humans. We think we want something new but to let go is a major obstacle for achieving a new direction. To make matters tougher we cannot even trust our own brain and reactions. The brain, in fact, will micromanage our emotions, feelings and body sensations, explaining it all to us with lies. Our patterns that we desire to change reside inside our memory, are reinforced with our beliefs and thoughts. Patterns or lessons can be like crystalized forms of energy that feel like it would take dynamite to move and even threaten our very existence to change.

I love this new generational title, “Woke” for helping to remember who and what we really are. They say they are awake. What if you stayed awake, never forgetting and never going back to sleep to the reality that what you have been seeing and hearing are illusions, that who and what you are is Oneness. The mind bucks surrender like a bull at the rodeo and you are its rider. Surrender is scary to the mind. It says, “What if…” The thought “What if…” triggers the release of our survival system and fear takes control of your mind and body. Each of us reacts in our own unique way to fear but basically you become obsessed with damage control.   In this case, the damage control is simply for the matrix of a thought and not even real. And uh oh! You are asleep again, recreating the lessons and patterns that you remembered just a moment ago were illusions.

Awaken! Maybe if we cannot stay awake, we could have a practice to help us wake up more effortlessly than with a sledgehammer from the universe?

Surrendering the need to know is one of these practices for staying awake or for waking up for longer and longer periods of time. Observing your own body, mind, thoughts, emotions and feelings is how you can notice that you are not surrendering and that you are sleeping in illusionary self-created realities. Stopping thoughts with a nice red stop sign in the mind can give you the pause to remember that you know nothing. Remember, that your emotions, body and feelings are actually more accurate but the mind overrides their wisdom with explanations and actions. Believe me when I say that if you were in true danger, you would not be thinking because your body will then take over and try to save you before your mind knows what is happening. The body is wise and it is always communicating with you.

Generally, when you are triggered by your lessons or beliefs it is best to be still, to notice how you feel and to practice my Duct Tape Rule (Diane Donovan-Vaughn) and stop talking until you can awaken to the reality that you need a mirror. The brain is often very busy blaming someone including you for your triggers. Redirect it to your mirror and remember that this is your lesson, your landmine for someone to step upon. Surrender to your path of lessons here on earth. What is the theme of your beliefs and lessons? If you examine them very carefully, you will find that underneath all the drama, lessons are simply teaching us to love, to embrace the oneness and to allow the universe to fill us. Every time fear takes over, our flow is blocked, we live in our defensiveness, our happiness is squashed and we repeat the same lessons over and over and over.

Surrender is the key. Let go of the need to know! Quit holding onto cherished self-righteous beliefs and let go of looking at yourself like a bug under a microscope because the mirror is simply to remind you that you are the source of your issues not the place to live. We all know that talking and talking and talking about our issues does not change them. Only surrendering to a power greater than the mind can do that.

Continue or begin looking into the mirror and saying, “I am the love of my life.” Happily, after months of this practice, I see miraculous changes in those who do it. Jump into the abyss. Surrender, giving up fear and embracing love will change the madness, and we will find ourselves awake and living in love.

Todays’ compassion lesson and practice from <em>A Year of Living with more Compassion – 52 Quotes and Weekly Compassion Practices </em>(Edited by Richard Fields) pp. 59-61, Chapter 19 is by Elisha Goldstein beginning with this chosen quote: “I’m afraid sometimes you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win ‘cause you’ll play against you.” This quote may sound familiar because it is found in the book the Places You’ll Go! By Dr. Suess (1990).

Let’s Practice. Close your eyes and inhale deeply through the nose and exhale deeply through the mouth. Place your attention on the center of your chest, your true self or soul. Imagine that you are in a deep sleep. You are dreaming that you are unlovable, that your have lack in your life, that life is hard or you can add your own limiting belief like women or men are untrustworthy and unavailable, technology is against me or it is too hard to change! You can imagine that you are dreaming many self-limiting beliefs. Breathe deeply, in through the nose and exhale deeply out through the mouth. Relax as you watch yourself sleeping and dreaming from the center of your being. Gently reach over and kiss yourself awake. As you see your sleeping, dreaming self slowly awakening, look deeply into your own eyes and say, “I am the love your life.” Namaste.