At our men’s Renewal (retreat) a few years back we explored the topic of Active Spirituality. We went deep learning and sharing with one another, and it is fair to say we all came away changed in some way.
Pema Chodron makes a good point related to self love in her own humorous, down to earth, thought provoking and spiritual way in this short talk. I invite you to take 5-minutes to consider her message. Walk the Walk
Reflection on the Renwal Weekend by Gary Carlile: NOT DEFEATED
I am still soaring and reeling from this year’s Men’s Renewal. And, the hits just keep on coming!
Rev. Steve’s talk on the phoenix and its application to our lives ended with each of us receiving a token of the phoenix rising from its ashes. The reverse side was blank and we were asked to write our own “rising.” My first thought was something gushy and I immediately discarded it.
Reaching deeper, the words NOT DEFEATED came to the forefront of my thinking. Looking at the past two years of my life with Unity and the Men’s Fellowship and all that has been a part of my life, I realized the struggles I’ve been through has left me a bit stronger, wiser and more mellow. I was NOT DEFEATED.
After thanking Spirit for the gentle reminder I wrote the words and placed the token in the watch pocket of my jeans. There it stayed for the duration of the renewal and each time I felt it, I was reminded I was NOT DEFEATED.
When I got home Sunday and prepared for the task of laundry I removed the token and the words NOT DEFEATED were erased. I was a tad upset. I immediately started thinking of a way to permanently keep the words on the token.
In the midst of planning, that still small voice once again spoke to me.
“Yes, it said, you are NOT DEFEATED. You are also NOT something else and even better, you ARE something. Take the blank side and let each day’s meditation bring to your conscious awareness of what you no longer are and more importantly, what you are BECOMING. Inscribe that and carry it with you.”
I was excited again! I have a living token of what my life can and will BE. As each affirmation becomes reality, I anticipate it will fade and another will move to the fore for as long as I need it, to assist in evolving into the man I will be.
She was an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She’s best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. She was respected as a spokesperson for black people and women, and her works have been considered a defense of Black culture. She’s Maya Angelou and here in video are her Top 10 Rules for Success, and her famous poem, Still I Rise.
1. Just do right!
She became a poet and writer after a series of occupations as a young adult, including fry cook, sex worker, and nightclub dancer. 2. Be courageous
She was an actor, writer, director, and producer of plays, movies, and public television programs. 3. Love
In 1982, she earned the first lifetime Reynolds Professorship of American Studies at Wake Forest University. 4. Laugh
She was active in the Civil Rights movement and worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. 5. Be a blessing to somebody
Beginning in the 1990s, she made around 80 appearances a year on the lecture circuit, something she continued into her eighties. 6. Turn struggles into triumphs
With the publication of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou publicly discussed aspects of her personal life. 7. You are talented
Attempts have been made to ban her books from some U.S. libraries, but her works are widely used in schools and universities worldwide. 8. Learn to say no
She made a deliberate attempt to challenge the common structure of the autobiography by critiquing, changing, and expanding the genre. 9. Always do your best
Her books center on themes such as racism, identity, family, and travel. 10. Keep rising
She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees.
After his wife died, Rick Rigsby was ready to give up. The bare minimum was good enough. Rigsby was content to go through the motions, living out his life as a shell of himself. But then he remembered the lessons his father taught him years before – something insanely simple, yet incredibly profound.
These lessons weren’t in advanced mathematics or the secrets of the stock market. They were quite straightforward, in fact, for Rigsby’s father never made it through third grade. But if this uneducated man’s instructions were powerful enough to produce a Ph.D. and a judge – imagine what they can do for you.
Join Rigsby as he dusts off time-tested beliefs and finds brilliantly simple answers to modern society’s questions. In a magnificent testament to the “Greatest Generation” which gave so much and asked so little in return, Lessons from a Third Grade Dropout will challenge you while reigniting your passion to lead a truly fulfilling life.
After all, it’s never too late to learn a little bit more about life – just ask the third-grade dropout.
As the life story of Paramahansa Yogananda — who is often referred to as the Father of Yoga in the West — this book has touched the hearts and minds of millions around the globe. Translated into forty-five languages, it has served as an ambassador for India’s ancient science of Yoga, introducing countless readers to the methods for attaining God-realization that are India’s unique and lasting contribution to world civilization.
Hailed as a masterpiece from its first appearance in print in 1946, the book was honored in 1999 as one of “100 Best Spiritual Books of the Century.” Today, this story of a life of unmistakable greatness continues its success in opening to the public a realm of liberating spiritual knowledge previously accessible only to a few.
Finding Meaning in the Second Half – Jungian psycho-analyst James Hollis believes it is only in the second half of life that we can truly come to know who we are and thus create a life that has meaning. In Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life, Hollis explores the ways we can grow and evolve to fully become ourselves when the traditional roles of adulthood aren’t quite working for us, revealing a new way of uncovering and embracing our authentic selves. Offering wisdom to anyone facing a career that no longer seems fulfilling, a long-term relationship that has shifted, or family transitions that raise issues of aging and mortality, Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Lifeprovides a reassuring message and a crucial bridge across this critical passage of adult development.