Monday, November 28, 2016

Gratitude and Wholeness

As the last few days of November yield to the coming of December, I have been reflecting on the vast field of emotion that has occurred over the last month. From the anticipation and the outcome of our Presidential election, to the magnificent celebration of Thanksgiving Eve at our Center, my heart and soul has been moved to tears.

The children in our community have been along for the emotional ride too. They are my greatest teachers. Their resiliency to remain present in the now moments of life and the joy and hope that bubbles from their precious beings is inspiring and uplifting.

Our Sunday mornings together for the past few months has been an exploration of transformation and wholeness with attention and awareness to what we are grateful for. We've created our own universe's and filled them with things that make us happy. We've grown God trees with strong branches filled with leaves of all the words and ways in which we express the Divine. We've recreated the magnificence of the colors of fall through a fun coffee filter craft that became mobiles to remind us of the beauty of nature all around us. We created gratitude wreaths that represented the many gifts in our lives and we read stories together that expanded our understanding of how deeply connected we are with All of Life.

Gratitude and Wholeness, two aspects of being that when explored reconnect us to what really matters in life. They weave a thread through the chaos and division our thoughts sometimes create and bring us back to our heart space. May we all continue to be reminded to live from our hearts and that aspect of our divine nature which connects us as One. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Raising the consciousness of Generosity.

Every Sunday, when I was a little girl, my Mom and I would attend mass at the Immaculate Heart of Mary in my hometown of Hanford, Ca. It was the largest building I had ever been in as a young child, with beautiful stained glass windows and a high ceiling that filled me with a sense of awe and reverence.

It was there that I first learned of the practice of tithing/giving. Mom would give me a few coins so I could place them in the basket when it came through our row. I can still recall the sound of my coins mixing in with the other gifts and the feeling of generosity and inclusion it gave me to be able to contribute. It wasn't until later in life that I realized that simple act of giving raised the consciousness of generosity that lives in me today.

As a young mother I did what I could to instill the value of generosity in my son. I'll never forget the evening he and I were to attend an event together. We had stopped for dinner and before we left he asked me if I was going to finish my meal. I thought he might be hungry and wanted to finish it himself, but he picked up my plate and his and created a care package with our left overs then took it outside to a homeless couple who were near the parking lot. Again I was in awe and I knew in that moment a consciousness of generosity lived in him as well.

In our Youth Ministry classrooms at the Center we also have a giving practice. Each week we recite the same giving intention statement that is spoken in the sanctuary. We then pass a heart shaped basket around our circle. Most of the time we twinkle our fingers over the basket giving it our energy and a blessing or share a verbal statement like "Today I give my Love and I receive Peace" and every now and then someone will contribute a small amount of coin or cash.

As a community we are actively engaged in our Giving Intention month. While it might be easy for us to give on behalf of our children, I am inviting the families of our Center to consider doing for your children, and teens, what my mom did for me all those years ago, share a few coins with them so that they may participate in and contribute in a giving practice. Let's raise the consciousness of generosity together and see what grows out of it. You too might find yourself in a state of awe.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

October is off to a great start!

Over the first weekend of October a few members of our Santa Rosa teen group, joined with approximately 50 teens (and 11 advisors) from 7 other Centers at the Oakland Center for Spiritual Living for an epic teen overnight. For 24 hours we took over their location and doused it with teen excitement, love, laughter, love, workshops, love, blessings and oh yeah...LOVE.

Our moments together seemed to fly by quickly and move in slow motion all at the same time. Spending a day together reminded us of how grateful we are for our spiritual teaching and how much we enjoy sharing with each other. The effortless way we are able to create a safe, supported, loving environment that allows us to go deep and remember that we are loved even when we aren't in each others company.

These events take a lot of planning and preparation. The Oakland teen team, led by Kristine Anderson, put a great deal of thought and attention into creating a safe and welcoming place for us to gather, share, learn and connect with each other.  They did a fantastic job and we are so very grateful to them and Rev. Jeff Anderson, for opening their Center to all of us.  We are so blessed!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Creating to beautiful music.

On August 28th our youth classrooms were treated to the wonderful sounds created by Jewel Shield on her Celtic harp and singing bowls.
It was a gentle way to wrap up our month of exploring creativity, art and nature.
Our students had the opportunity to quietly listen to the resonance and vibrations of the singing bowls and the mystical sounds of the harp. They were encouraged to imagine colors and waves of movement in there minds eye. We then took ourselves quietly to tables that were set up with a variety of creative projects and activities, to create our inspired visions.
It was fun to see what the children created and while most of the items were taken home a few are on display outside Room 1.
Thank you Jewel for sharing your joy with us! We look forward to your next visit.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Where is Spiderman?

There is an ongoing game in my office at Center for Spiritual Living Santa Rosa, called "Where is Spiderman?" It involves a small spiderman action figure that was left behind in our youth classrooms years ago that went unclaimed.
The action figure had been a fixture on my desk for quite some time until someone (or a group of someone's) decided to play a game with me by leaving me notes that say "Where is Spiderman?"
He has been found sitting in the lap of a Buddha fountain, within a paper lotus flower in the windowsill, perched atop of  a painting, peeking at me from behind my computer and most recently, looking out of a decorative mask on the wall. Look closely in the photo and you can see him looking out.
It's all good fun and I have a blast trying to find him when I receive a mysterious note. It reminds me that my inner child needs time to play too. I can only imagine what fun it must be for the person, or people, who are playing this game with me and I am so very grateful for the levity.
We can all benefit from a little play time in our lives and when we include the young people in our lives in our play time it magnifies the experience. One way to bring this to your home is to plan a family game night. Turn off the TV, make some popcorn (or other fun snack) and play a board game together, or have a family paint night or on the next warm day, play squirt gun tag. Play a little or a lot. What you do isn't so important, it's that you do it together.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

We are family!

The definition of Family expands in several ways at teen camp. We have Center families, Cabin families, Camp families and today we have an Empower-Me families. We are also beyond the mid point of the week and it feels like it's all going a bit faster. We are supporting each other in love in beautiful surroundings. This year our Santa Rosa crew includes a teen from Dallas Texas and an Advisor from Long Beach (All of us are pictured below) We took our annual group picture, as well as our goofy one yesterday. All of us are having a great experience. We are so grateful for the love and support of our community, both here and at home. Sending Love to ALL remembering - We are all Family!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, July 11, 2016

CSL Teen Camp

Each year, for one glorious week in July, the CSL Teen Camp takes place on the beautiful ground of Buckhorn Camp in Idyllwild, Ca.
This is that week. Our camp theme is Your God is Showing, and so far it's been Amazing!!!
We have a film crew on site that will be creating a documentary about all the wonderful things we do. In the meantime, here are a few photos of our first few days. More to come...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Peaceful Yoga

We started the month of June exploring our perfect patterns and wrapped it up with some Yoga. All designed to remind us of ways we can choose to free ourselves from upset and discord. Shout out of Gratitude to Kai Harris for gently leading us through the moves and giving us new tools to reset our mind, spirt and body. Ahhhhh.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Patterns of Perfection

Throughout the month of June our youth and teens are learning ways to recognize their Divine nature as a way of practicing freedom from Discord. Each week we gather together and have discussions that are in harmony with the topic being discussed in the adult services. In this way, we are creating an opportunity for families to carry forward the discussion with each other and at home. Each of us contribute in our own way to this glorious thing called Life. We all contribute our unique pattern of perfection.

Answering the Call to Serve in our Youth and Family Ministry

There are many ways in which we each answer the call to lend support to our spiritual community. Every day I am at the Center I meet and greet volunteers who are in service, supporting our community in the way in which they were guided to say yes. For me personally the call was loud and clear to support our youth. And answering that call has led me to becoming the Director of this amazing Ministry.

Recently we put out a call to the community for new volunteer teachers and assistants to serve the needs of our youth ages 4-12 and the applications are flowing in. It is such a beautiful thing to be on the receiving end of so much love and support.

So far this month we have welcomed Tamarya Hulme and Nikki Buckstead to our volunteer team. Tamarya will begin teaching in our 8-12 classrooms in February and brings with her a wealth of experience and spiritual practice. Nikki has already begun assisting in the classrooms and will also be lending some administrative support to our Ministry sharing her many talents of organization and program development. We are grateful to each of them for answering the call to service and look forward to growing together.

If you have felt the nudge to be in service, yet haven't acted on it, the door is wide open. Listen to your inner calling and find your Yes. You'll be so glad you did!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

New Year Intentions in Youth and Family Ministry at the Center

Nothing says fun like a crazy party hat. At least that's where we started in the preparation for setting our New Year Intentions in Youth Ministry. After a year long practice of… Practice, we are excited to step into our Power in 2014.

One of our Intentions for 2014 is to attract new Teachers and Volunteers who love our teaching and would like to share in the journey of spiritual growth with a youthful perspective. While it's true we do like to have fun, we also like to learn and we have lots of room to grow and learn together. If you are interested in joining us on our journey of spiritual growth, contact Susan Robinson, RScP at for more info.

In the meantime we wish you all a Happy, Healthy and wildly Prosperous New Year!

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