Friday, December 30, 2011

Church Talk - Full Text

My talk went well. The chapel was full and the music was amazing, so that helped. I recorded the talk, but the sound quality was not great, so I am just going to publish it as I spoke it below.  I wrote it once and it was not so good, but then I decided to write it again so that a 5-year-old could understand it, and it was much better. I had a dream the night before that I forgot to print it out, so I spent most of my dream trying to remember my talk, so when it came time to actually give my talk I had most of it memorized. I hope you enjoy it. Happy New Year!

Mary and Elizabeth
Good morning and Merry Christmas. My name is Felice. And I’m new to the ____ ward. I would like to honor everyone for being here today on this beautiful Christmas Day. And I would like to invite everyone age 4 and up, (because this talk is for all ages,) to put down whatever you may have in your hands, unless it’s a baby,  place both feet on the floor if you can, and take the deepest breath that you’ve taken all week. And whatever it took you to get here today, just let that go, and just listen as I read you a poem:


4. Mary’s Visit with Elizabeth

It all went well from the very start,
Although sometimes when climbing she was aware
Of the amazing thing far inside her body.
Then she would stop, and breathe, on the top of a high
Hill in Judea. It wasn’t the land around her,
It was her own abundance that surrounded her.
As she walked she felt: No woman will ever
Have any more largeness than I have now.

And she recognized a longing to place her hand
On her cousin’s big belly, farther along toward birth.
The two women bent toward each other;
Each touched the other’s dress and touched the hair.

Each one, full of her own holy treasure,
Found a safe place at the side of her kin.
Ah, the savior in Mary was only a blossom
But the joy of it roused the little Baptist
In the womb to hop and leap about.

That was from Rilke.

And now, I have an important message for everyone here. And it is that you are all smart and good and you have within you the ability to achieve beyond your wildest imaginings. And because it’s December, and the New Year is just around the corner, perhaps you have already been thinking about some of those dreams or resolutions for change and that you’d like in the New Year.

Well, what I am here to tell you, is that what you project onto the future, is actually here now. In this moment. The dream or change that you desire, has already entered your heart and is no longer even there any more. It’s now in your blood stream.

I shared this part of Rilke’s poem from The Life of the Virgin Mary, because I love the image of baby Jesus as a little blossom in the womb. And how Mary is just beginning to feel the wonder and awe of her pregnancy and the changes to her body.

We know, but we sometimes forget, that Mary did not become Christ’s mother at the moment of his birth. He had to grow inside her, underneath her heart for 10 months, just like all babies get here.

And that is how almost everything works. Almost everything grows inside of us, and then is born. In fact. Rilke, the same poet who I just read, is famous for saying “Everything is Gestation and then birthing.” Gestation, for the kids who are listening is just a fancy word for pregnancy. And when he’s saying that, he’s not talking necessarily about human babies. But we grow and birth other kinds of babies all the time--like, a beautiful art project, or a book, or a change in behavior. All these things grow in our hearts for a while before we may actually make the art piece or decide to get baptized or to get married or become a superhero.

My daughter, Phoebe, told me 9 months ago, when she was 4, that when she grew up, she wanted to be a prophet. And so I asked her if she knew what was involved with prophet work. And she said no. So I told her, that according to the Bible Dictionary prophets (not to be confused with THE prophet), prophets teach righteousness, and they testify of Christ, so any of God’s people can be prophets or prophetesses. And she thought about that, and she realized that she was already doing that, and I agree, she is a great prophetess.

Phoebe also wants to be a mom when she grows up. And even though she doesn’t have a real baby. She is such a good momma to her kids.

So whatever your intentions are for the new year. I’d love to invite you to embrace the idea of how you already are, or do or have what you want and hope for.

We know that Jesus Christ, as a wee little baby, did not know everything about of his divine mission at first--the scriptures say “from grace to grace.” But that didn’t change the fact that even as an infant he was the Savior of the world.

Another example is Adam and Eve? Both Adam and God, when they were talking about  Eve, called her the mother of all living, before she ever had a baby.

And thousands of years before Jesus was ever born and did his Atonement for our sins and sadnesses,-- everyone on earth including Adam and Eve, could use to the benefits and power of the Atonement, as if it already happened.

When I think about the young Virgin Mary, I’m sure that that the angel’s visit to her was the beginning of her relationship with Jesus. She had to have already known that he would come, and loved him.

Just like even though my daughter is 5 years old. My relationship with her has been much longer than that. And, I was an author long before I ever published a book. And I was a healer, long before I ever knew I would become one.  

I think it’s wonderful, that even though we know Jesus was really born in the spring time, that we celebrate His birth in December, just a week before the birth of a new calendar year when so many people decide to be better. And it’s because of Christ and his life, that we can do that.

Birth stories are magical and inspirational (especially the ones in my book). And I think it’s no mistake that one of the most powerful and most told stories in the Christian Cannon, is a birth story. And that baptism, that first ordinance that gets us in the door to Christ is likened unto birth.

If I could have one wish for everyone this Christmas day it would be that we could all take that pure, wonder and awe and miracles-are-possible spirit of Christmas with us into the New Year, and remember that everything is gestation and then birthing. And whatever your goals, even if you can’t tell the birth story of that goal yet, remember each step of the journey has value. And by appreciating each day and each step, you honor the pregnancy as well as the birth. And if you ever feel stretched or heavy along the way, perhaps you’ll stop on a hillside to breathe and recognize that you are carrying holy cargo, and perhaps it is not heaviness, but abundance that surrounds you.

And if I could have a second wish it would be that we can all recognize in each other, the good fruit we are each gestating. And have joy for each other and for what we are becoming, like the little John the Baptist, who hopped and lept about for joy in Elisabeth’s womb.

And I say all of this in the name of our savior Jesus Christ, amen.



Thursday, December 22, 2011

Volunteering for a Church Talk

I just moved to a new ward a few weeks ago and I am loving the energy there. I don't have a calling yet and last week I was wondering what they might call me to do. As I was lying in bed thinking about it I had this feeling that I would be speaking in church on Christmas Sunday. Well, I thought, I guess that makes sense, I have been writing a book on birth for more than 3 years so I guess I can talk about Jesus' birth.

But they hadn't asked me yet, so I decided not to worry about it till they did. I had another speech to write for the AHA conference. But I kept having the feeling that I needed to volunteer to speak--that I should call up Sean, who is a friend of mine, and in the Bishopric, and tell him that I want to speak on Christmas day.

But you just don't do that. I kept thinking. Besides, what do I have to say?

I ignored the weird urge to volunteer for a talk I wasn't asked to give and went about my business. After my Saturday AHA speech was over I went to our ward Christmas Party that night. As an aside, it was one of the best ward Christmas parties ever. We invited the Mt. Olive Baptist Church to join us (our ward has been tutoring kids at their church for a year). Do I even need to say it was a hoot nanny? Perhaps you can imagine what happens when Mormons and Baptists get together to celebrate Baby Jesus. No? Imagine a road show with some gospel music thrown in and plenty of "Amens!" and a north pole visitor.

At the party, I saw Sean and said, "Hey, who is speaking on Christmas day?" He told me that one person from our ward and one person from the other ward (with whom we are combining with for Christmas), would be speaking. Whew, I thought. They have it covered. I guess I shouldn't have been so presumptuous to think they wanted me to speak.

But the next day during sacrament meeting Sean got up and said, "Everyone knows that I am a very important person and I'm really busy and sometimes I am forgetful. So could you please raise your hand if I asked you to speak next week?" 

No one raised their hand, but guess what? My hand went up. He looked at me as if searching his memory. Nope. Blank. He narrowed his eyes and said. "We'll talk later."

I told him that he must have been sending me telepathic messages. Or God was, while Sean was being forgetful. 

So that is the story of how I volunteered to speak on Christmas day. As of this writing I am still not exactly sure what I will say, but I also think that I have been working on it unconsciously for a few weeks now. Gestating it. And I think it's about to be born tonight.

Apparently I need to be the one to say it, and I'm sure God will let me know what it is. I'm sure I will learn from it. And since Phoebe will be there, I hope she learns something too. I can sometimes get really deep, but I am going to try to write it so that even a 5 year old can understand. Because ultimately, the gospel is really simple. Just like birth is simple. You just have to trust in the Great Love and keep moving forward. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful the that hour just before sunset when everything is golden. For beautiful beaches so close to me, and for great uncles who like to play with Phoebe.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thankful Thursday. On Friday

I am thankful for my blog reader, Tori, who invited me to do Thankful Thursdays a long time ago and who didn't take it personally when I didn't. You see, I don't always like to be committed to blogging on a certain day or on a certain topic. But gratitude is not something that is far from my mind at any time, so I am going to try to incorporate it into my blogging schedule. It might not always be on Thursday or every week. But here goes:

Last week I took my daughter to the temple (in my heart) and prayed about what to do to be the best mom to her, to mitigate all the negative messages out there, etc. I am grateful for the answer I received. The answer was make art of the temple and hang it in your home. So I spent a day making this collage out of an old Book of Mormon, foreign money, magazine pages, a travel guide of Italian cathedrals, and blue paint. I am going to hang it inside a big naked frame with the wall behind it as a the matt.


My rendition of my beloved Los Angeles Temple

Phoebe thought it was the coolest thing ever when she came home and saw me finishing it. This is what she delivered under my bedroom door the next day.

 
I heart the way God works in simple ways. I think I was expecting to be guided to some parenting book or something, but instead, He said, make art.

Sigh. Heart.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

You Can't Test Courage Cautiously - PTL Diaries Pt 4

Annie Dillard is one of my favorite writers. In fact, her memoir An American Childhood is my desert island book, after the scriptures. I read it over and over again and sometimes just pick it up at any page and start reading. The other night after dinner and Halloween shopping, one of my PTL dates and I ended up back in my living room reading aloud some of my favorite passages from Steve Martin and the aforementioned Annie Dillard masterpiece. I love it when spontaneous readings like this take place, especially on a date.

When I opened An American Childhood that night it fell open to one of my favorite chapters. As I read, I realized I was reading my mission statement, if not for Project True Love, then for life. I could try to paraphrase, but why do that? Here are the excerpts that winged off the page for me.

"I was running down the Penn Avenue sidewalk, revving up for an act of faith. I was conscious and self-conscious. I knew well that people could not fly--as well as anyone knows it--but I also knew the kicker: that, as the books put it, with faith all things are possible...."

"I ran the sidewalk full tilt. I waved my arms ever higher and faster; blood balled in my fingertips. I knew I was foolish. I knew I was too old really to believe in this as a child would, out of ignorance; instead I was experimenting as a scientist would, testing both the thing itself and the limits of my own courage in trying it miserably self-conscious in full view of the whole world. You can't test courage cautiously, so I ran hard and waved my arms hard, happy."
I love this. Anne and I are both scientists. When I first started Project True Love I got a few miffed comments from men who basically said, "Any man who would agree to be part of your science experiment has no self respect." To them, I have to say, that if anyone is being expirmented on, it is me. I am the scientist and the experiment, the observed and the observer. Of course I can't help observing them, too. And my observation is that the idea of me openly calling for many first dates or even calling it "Project True Love" triggers things in some men. Even one man who took me out last week called PTL "silly." I thought about that word for a while. Perhaps it is silly. But here is what Annie and I think about silliness:  

"Up ahead I saw a business suited pedestrian. He was coming stiffly toward me down the walk. Who could ever forget this first test, this stranger, this thin young man appalled? I banished the temptation to straighten up and walk right. He flattened himself against a brick wall as I passed flailing--although I had left him plenty of room. He had refused to meet my exultant eye. He looked away evidently embarrassed. How surprisingly easy it was to ignore him! What I was letting rip, in fact, was my willingness to look foolish, in his eyes and in my own. Having chosen this foolishness, I was a free being. How could the world ever stop me, how could I ever betray myself, if I was not afraid." 

I find it true that acts of faith often appear silly in the eyes of others and ourselves. Relationships and family are a faith-based work. It is not courage but faith that is the opposite of fear. So if a person is to take a "leap of faith" as the cliche goes, then why not leap with all the joy one has. After all, "What's a heart for?"
I always love the outtakes best.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Project True Love Diaries Part 3

Read parts 1 & 2 if missed 'em.

Last night I wrote a blog post with some details about Date # 2-6, with pictures and everything. And then this morning I didn't feel right about publishing it. I'm still not sure why. I think because it is not what I was supposed to share. I have been learning a lot lately about letting the Spirit guide my conversations and that when I am trying to say something and it's not coming out right or I forgot what I was saying, maybe that is a sign that I'm not supposed to share that, and I should go with what's coming. I have always noticed these dynamics in conversations, but thinking about it as the Spirit guiding the conversation never occurred to me till my friend Christi mentioned it. I guess blogging is also a sort of conversation.

So I am wondering what I am supposed to say about PTL, and I think it is just to share some of the spiritual insights I have learned. It has been a whirlwind of learnings. The first thing I learned is that there are plenty of good men. I knew this, but I relearned it again. Meeting them makes it less of a platitude. I learned to give everyone a chance and enjoy myself even if the man didn't seem like he was for me. Because it's just a first date, and as Tamara says, "he may have friends." 

I also started to observe myself and my thoughts on and after these dates, and I realized that I was telling myself a few stories that weren't true and that were limiting me. For example, one story I was telling myself was that certain kinds of men didn't see my value. But I realized that all men see my value, of every faith, ethnicity, profession, etc. Figuring out why I told myself these fictions was a real exposure for me. Because you can't change something if you don't know it's a problem.

I realized that I was putting walls up around having what I wanted most. Why would I do this? I hated to admit that it was fear. Fear of having what I want. Fear that I wouldn't get what I wanted so don't try anyway--that kind of thing. Once this all became conscious I saw the silliness of the logic. But of course, I was operating from a place that doesn't use logic. It was a conditioned response. So I used some of my hypnotherapy tools to reprogram my mind to allow myself to be happy. What an amazing concept--to say YES! to the things you want in your life. I love it.

As soon as I did this, the very next date I had an experience that changed me forever. I'm not saying he's true love, although it was a magical date. I learned that God is aware of me and who I am and what I need in a partner. Though I had enjoyed all my dates up to then, what I reflected on after this date was that he was the first person I had gone out with in the last few years that I didn't feel that I needed to teach him anything to help him understand me. I don't mean that to sound egotistical. I just have a difficult time sometimes because being LDS and a hypnotherapist often means that whatever crowd I am in, people don't totally understand me. If I am with other hypno-dorks, they aren't usually LDS (though most are v spiritual), and if I am with LDS people, many don't understand the power of the mind to transform our lives (or to limit them) and I often have to teach people something. I'm okay with it. It just gets tiring sometimes. But I didn't feel like I needed to explain any of that to this date, because he had a first hand and deep experience with the Atonement and transformation. We talked for hours about all kinds of subjects under the full moon and I felt deeply glad for everything.

After the date I observed my mind being excited when I thought of him and wanting him to call me, but I also felt deeply that if he didn't it would be okay. I felt full of hope about the future because I know if God can make that out of a person, he can do anything. Since then, I have been on more awesome first dates and a few second dates. I continue to learn things. But that is all I want to share for now.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hearer

Yesterday I opened my scriptures to see what I could learn about healing. My profession falls under the healing arts, and I am always trying to learn more and be more in this area. So I decided to look in the guide to the scriptures for "healer." I opened instead to "hearer." In that moment of dyslexia, I realized what God wanted to teach me--that hearer is only one letter away from healer. This is a lesson I needed to relearn. I have so many wonderful tools in my toolbox as a hypnotherapist that I sometimes forget that it's not about doing tricks or handing out tools. True healing begins when people feel deeply heard.

I love the way God teaches me. In this realization I felt a measure of healing, because I knew my prayers on how to be a better healer were heard. He guided me, much like I guide my clients to realize the tools were already within. Sigh. I love that.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Project True Love Diaries Part 2 - Date Quest

Phase One of Project True Love is duty dating. It has also been nicknamed Date Quest, by my friend Jonathan, who runs a geek website. "That's what the geeks would call it," he said.

As I said, there are a lot of good books out there, and Katie and I decided we really liked Patricia Allen's book, Getting to I Do. Her wisdom on the masculine and feminine energies and how they need to communicate with each other resonated deeply with both of us. (It think this would be valuable for so many married couples to reveiw). She also breaks the dating process into 4 clean phases. But before you can even get to phase one, you have to do what she calls duty dating. The thing about duty dating is that it doesn't sound fun. You just have to go out with people, even if you don't want to. Who wants to do that?

So we decided to make it more fun and awesome. The person who brought the fun back into duty dating is another writer named Tamara Duricka Johnson. Tamara and I met online years ago and then fell out of touch and then one day earlier this year she ended up in my Writer's Mind class when she was finishing 31 Dates in 31 Days, which just came out in October. It is fabulous by the way. I think I am going to make it required reading for PTL. 

Leading up to the release of her book, she challenged a bunch of people to do their own version of 31 in 31. I decided to take her up on her challenge. Since I’m a mom and a business owner, I decided to try 21 dates in 42 days. In reality, this has turned out to be about one to two dates/week so I stay sane and can still work and be a good mom.

Tamara had her own reasons for the project and so did I, so I set my own rules. Here there are:

Rule #1: I like being the feminine energy in my relationships so I require that the man asks me out on the first date and that he pays. I feel like most men love to be the giving masculine energy and so why not let them? You might ask how I got these dates if I wasn’t asking? I put my rules online and sent out an email to friends and then hounded them till they set me up or had their friends call me. I am still bugging some of them.

Rule #2: I made a no kissing rule. This was my a personal rule I didn’t tell the guys. My reasons: a) If I kiss one, he will think I kiss everyone. b) Kissing messes with my clarity. I wanted to think and see clearly.  

Rule #3: No second dates till the end.

Rule #4: No alcohol. Obvi none for me, but none for them either on the date. (I told friends to set me up with anyone, but they had know I was LDS and be okay with that.)
Rule # 2 and 3 got broken pretty early. But let’s begin earlier. Before I even started.
 
Pre Date-Quest: A man I had been flirting with for six months--we’ll call him Joe (because he doesn't know he is being blogged about)--decided to make a move. Joe is more than a few years younger than me and I had decided he was a just a friend that I flirted with. I figured it would never become anything. However, as soon as I told him I’d be going out with 21 dudes in the coming months, he decided it was time to lay one on me. After all those months of shamelessly flirting and trying not to think about what it would be like to kiss him, it was nice to diffuse some of that tension. But then immediately afterward my mind started to think of why it was not a good idea and how to call it off. My mind was literally doing acrobatics until I mentally shouted, Sheesh! Can’t you just enjoy the moment?!

So I did. I realized it was just a kiss and it was fun and it didn’t change my mind about anything. I did ask myself why I magnetized this right before I started a dating project. My analysis: I think part of me was afraid of what PTL might bring into my life and I wanted one last fling.

PTL Date #1: Date number one ended up being a married guy. Ok not really. I think Date #1 couldn’t handle the pressure of going first, so he bailed. We had met online and I get the feeling a lot of people online are not really ready. They just put up a profile to prove to someone or themselves that they are ready. So the day I was supposed to begin PTL I ended up at breakfast with my workout buddy Jonathan, who happens to be married. We talked about comic books and other geeky stuff. Jonathan runs a website called Geekscape.net. It is pretty awesome. He was supposed to be one of my pimps for this project, but he told me that he wouldn’t want to set me up with any of his geek fans. I didn’t understand his logic, because he is one of them. In fact he is their king, but oh well. Jonathan is not Mormon or from Utah, but for some reason he is a crazy about the Utah Jazz (basketball team). He keeps hoping I’ll date someone who is also a Jazz fan so that we can all hang out and he can have a basketball man friend. I will see what I can do, Jonathan. 

This blog post is now super long and so you will have to wait till the next one to hear about the real dates. I promise it's good.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Elementary Christianity

Recently, I had, what was for me, a profound epiphany. For a few months I have been thinking about switching wards. Because of where I live and the fact that I am single, I can choose between two family wards: the one I live in, and another one where all the mid-single adults in the stake are invited to attend. I have never felt any desire to go to the other ward, because my support network has been in my home ward for years now, and I have no problem meeting single people. I don't need to switch wards to do that. But lately I feel like I am needed there. It has been a gentle spiritual nudging and last Sunday I felt I couldn't ignore it any more. In fact, the talk in church was about giving service in the right time and place and acting immediately when called. Hmm.

But switching wards is a big deal, I kept telling myself. Okay maybe not that big of a deal. They meet in the same building, and at a more convenient time, and Phoebe already knows half the kids in their primary and as many of the adults. I think she'd be fine. I realized my biggest hesitation was about the bishop, which is funny, because it took such a long time for me to warm up to my current bishop. He is so quiet and awkward and difficult to read. I used to find it torturous to meet with him. But over time, I became used to our one-sided conversations. His not knowing what to say makes him a good listener. And it makes me listen more when he does say something. I have also learned to read the subtle signs that he does care, and learned to get his very dry sense of humor.

The bishop of the other ward is the complete opposite. He's very chatty and social, and I didn't like the idea of such a dramatic change, nor the idea of "starting over" in my relationship with a new bishop. But as I pondered it last Sunday evening, I had this overwhelming feeling that spoke to my heart. If it had spoke in words, they would have been, "everything is going to be okay, because they all represent me." I realized that the bishop is really just a representative for Christ. Believe it or not, I had never thought of that before. When I thought of it that way, I could see through their different personalities and flaws and vulnerabilities and realized that I would not be starting over, because my relationship with Christ was ongoing.

Then I thought of my home teachers--the two men that visit me every month to bring me a spiritual lesson and see if they can serve me in any way. Though no one will ever be as awesome as Josh, (the home teacher who was with me through my pregnancy, divorce, and the first 3 years of Phoebe's life) they all represent Christ. In fact, that is what the home teaching program is all about. Christ visiting each home. I thought about visiting teaching. When I visit teach I also represent Christ, too.

Then I had probably the most elementary realization ever, and it was that all Christians represent Christ at all times in our lives. This was very deep, and yet, so basic. Primary stuff. That's what I love about the gospel is that even though there are depths upon depths of knowledge to be had, it is also at its core, so simple. And I'm humbled and grateful that I got to relearn this. A few days later, I had to go to court (I would rather go to Iraq) and I noticed that everything was different this time because I was seeing everyone as a child of God and treating them the way Christ would. I think that the entire plan of salvation can be boiled down to Christ's statement: "Follow me and do the things that you have seen me do." (2 Nephi 31:12)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Project True Love Diaries - Part 1

A few months ago when we finished the first draft of the book, I decided it was time to shift some of my focus to a different project. I call it Project True Love. Project True Love (PTL) is exactly what it sounds like, and a bit more.

I'm not sure when it all started, but at some point, I realized it was time. Sure I thought it was time many times before, but about 8 or 9 months ago I realized it was really time. I had graduated from hypnotherapy school and started my practice. I felt happy, deeply grounded in self-love, radiating and attracting wisdom and light.

Spiritually I began to notice some things, too. Little nudges, perhaps. When we were working on the birth book, I kept trying to delegate the Strengthening Marriage essay, but the inspiration kept coming to me. Many of my friends were coming to me, too, for advice on marriage. What's that all about? I thought. Perhaps because they know I'm not likely to judge them.

Not only was I advising married couples, but single women too, on how to attract a complementary opposite and make it last. Of course, I have great tools to share--about communication, about behavior, changing behavior, intimacy, etc. There is so much good information out there if you look--in books, online, at seminars--but the problem is that most people can't take all that good information and put it into practice. It's too different than their life script, and they sabotage or fall back into old patterns almost immediately.

As I know well, this is the missing element in most forms of self help--they need that deep change on the subconscious level. I talked this with over with my best hypnotherapist pal Katie. And of course I tend to think really big and my first thought was: we need to put together a hypnotherapy/dating program called Project True Love that will revolutionize not just a few women's lives, but possibly the world as we know it. The fun part is that we would get to do it ourselves first--just to prove it works. Because I recognize that it's easy to know everything about relationships when you are not in one, when there is no one triggering you.

So that's how it began. It's time. I have love enough to share and I welcome the triggering. Now you know that there are both selfish, altruistic, spiritual, and educational motives behind Project True Love.

So what all does PTL entail? As of right now, PTL is a project in five phases. I am now in Phase One, which involves a lot of first dates. Thus far, it is a thrilling and educational phase. Oh the things I have learned! That's what you'll be reading about if you care to eavesdrop on my life. I won't tell you everything, though. Just the parts I feel comfortable sharing on a blog. Which might not be much, so your imaginations might have to fill in the rest.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What She Wants to Be When She Grows Up

This is a re-post from my other blog last May. And part of the inspiration for the title of this blog. 

A few weeks ago my daughter said to me from the back seat of the car, "Mom, do you know what I want to be when I grow up?"

I said, "What?"

"A prophet."

My first reaction was to laugh, but I withheld. Laughter is sometimes the unconscious mind's first response when there is an incongruity. Meaning, it was not what I was expecting to hear. I was honestly expecting "taxi driver," because I have been telling a funny story about a girl who wanted to be a taxi driver when she grew up.

I said, "That's great. Do you know what a prophet does?"

"No."

"They testify of Christ. They teach righteousness."

"Oh." She seemed to be thinking and then decided that she could begin being a prophet right away.

I tried to correct her and tell her that she was a "prophetess" not a prophet, but she had a harder time with that word. (She's not yet five and doesn't understand feminine and masculine word endings.) So she still says prophet if you ask her. It's really cute, and it's 100% sincere.

I told a few friends about it, and their first response was laughter, but then, thoughtfulness. One of my neighbors, after looking up prophetess on his iPhone to see if it was in fact a real word said, "Well, they don't come around that often, so maybe she is one."

I love that he said that. (He has his own kids, too.)

While he was reading wikipedia and his wife was looking up prophetess in the dictionary, I opened my Bible Dictionary and shared a few things with them:

"The work of a Hebrew prophet was to act as God's messenger and make known God's will.... He was to be, above all, a preacher of righteousness...."

I remember studying up on this a few years ago after I had a very interesting priesthood blessing wherein, one of my oldest friends blessed me with "the spirit of prophecy." I was sure he was speaking craziness, until I read the bible dictionary and this story in Numbers 11, which is now one of my favorites.
24¶And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the Lord, and gathered the aseventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle.
25And the Lord came down in a acloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy belders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they cprophesied, and did not cease.
26But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp.
27And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp.
28And aJoshua the son of bNun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them.
29And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord’s people were aprophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!
I love Moses's response. "Enviest thou for my sake?"

The very last line of the entry in the bible dictionary for Prophet says: "In a general sense, a prophet is anyone who has a testimony of Jesus Christ by the Holy Ghost."

Even though the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church (I think) that believes in a living prophet who presides over the church and can receive revelation for the church, we also believe that we can all have the spirit of prophecy. We can all preach righteousness, and uplift, edify one another, declare truth, and receive inspiration from the Holy Ghost.

As for my daughter, I can attest that she is already a prophetess. At her baby blessing my father blessed her that she would find out her mission early in life. I feel humbled, but up to the challenge of helping her remember it.

Of course, she is also still an almost-five-year-old--which makes for some fun times.

At lunch last week at the Sikh Ashram, where I like to eat yummy vegetarian Indian food, a woman came and sat by us because she said she was drawn to Phoebe's light. When she asked Phoebe what she wanted to be when she grew up and heard her response, she was not at all surprised. She couldn't believe her luck. She asked Phoebe to say a prayer that she could have a baby. She had just turned 40 and was trying to decide if she should have one of the men she knew impregnate her or if she should go to a sperm bank. She really wanted to have a child.

Phoebe said, "Okay." She turned to me. "Mom, I'm going to take a walk." Phoebe took a walk around the courtyard to say her prayer and then came back. The lady asked if Phoebe would say another prayer so that she could have 2 children.

Phoebe said, "Okay. Mom, I'm going to take a walk. I'll be right back." She took another walk and came back. "Okay. It's done," she said. "But you are going to get fat."

!!Laughter. Then, "Can you say a third one that I won't get fat?"

"Don't worry. It's just baby weight," said Phoebe.

I have no idea where she get this stuff.

So the follow up of this story is that yesterday, when I went to lunch at the Ashram I saw this woman again. She told me that prophet Phoebe's prayers were answered.

"I met the man I'm going to marry and we're moving in together and I'm meeting his parents in two weeks and we're going to try to get pregnant and plan a conscious wedding." All of this spilled out of her mouth as she showed me a picture of her new man. Cute. Good DNA. And she told me what a serving, loving person he is.

This all happened in a week. Yikes. But why I am I not surprised? For her sake, I hope she's right and that he is fabulous.

Back to the weightier matter of raising little prophets and prophetesses. This is no small task. But here's the kicker. It is not so much about parenting skills as it is about getting over your stuff--your own personal stuff and your relationship stuff--so that you install as little as possible of it in your children. That way they can find and start their missions sooner.

When I say get over your stuff, I'm not talking about the sort-of-trying, thinking-about-it, small steps you may have been taking toward positive change. Small steps are good. But I'm talking quantum leaps. These are the last days. And the fact that you are here now today parenting these children means that you can quantum leap every day. If you are not already growing and transforming and healing from your past every day, then ask God how. Lay down all your old stories, including guilt about not being there already. Just move forward. Any time a woman does something to raise her own vibration, the entire family benefits. You know this to be true. When you are grouchy, the whole family follows. When you are joyful, they also trail along like little puppies.

Ask God where to look and what to do so that you can grow more each day than you ever have before. Pour your heart out to Him. Then be prepared to follow inspiration. This requires releasing attachment to what growth should look like. Ask your children to pray for you, too. Then get ready.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Parenting Affirmations

Since I recorded my first hypnosis MP3 for relaxation and spiritual attunement, I haven't don't anything else in the studio. But now I'm getting ready to record some parenting affirmations and I am wondering if anyone has ideas or thoughts or suggestions you think I should add.

Here are some examples of what I have written already:

  • I enjoy parenting.
  • I choose to parent with intention.
  • Every day I choose to connect with my children.
  • I feel confident in my ability to offer what what my children need.
  • I always trust my intuition and only go along with activities that feel right to me.
  • I can say no and still be respected and cherished.
  • I marvel at the aliveness of my children. 
  • I have a great desire and curiosity to drink deeply from this experience. 
  • I always choose to nurture my body, mind, and spirit, because I know that in doing so, my whole family benefits. 
  • I am loving and responsive in my relationships with my children and others. 
Flip
    If you have thoughts or ideas, please comment. Also, if you'd like a free copy of my hypnosis mp3, just join my mailing list.


    New Blog

    Yay. I decided to start a new blog and this is my first post. To find out why and why I chose the title, please read the About page.