March 3, 2012 Edition

"It is not the answer that enlightens,
but the question."
-- Decouvertes

To Awareness

A Note Of Gratitude

How encouraged we are by each of you who are finding through your own gratefulness the inspiration to act magnificently in spite of all odds in these days of uncertainty. That's what's so important in the times we are experiencing and that's what today's issue is here to stress. Let me begin by saying that we are encouraged by you and thank you for the honor of choosing us to help remind you each week how you can use the spiritual practice to change the world for the better each day.

We constantly try to encourage you to be grateful ... to count your blessings ... because we know that all our daily acts of kindness and courage add up. Know too that they add up even more considering that you are not alone in trying to live in the spirit of hope. More than 2,000 of you receive this newsletter and our annual web site visits number in the thousands.

The hope that we harbor is realistic as well as uplifting, and it is needed more than ever, These cannot be considered good times when people cannot even travel to see loved ones without being considered a potential terrorist. We can't stop weapons from “flowing" on a planet jittery with security suspicions. And this doesn't even mention the economy, poverty, ecological disasters that we continue to experience. As our shaman friends tell us, 'to change the dream has become of paramount importance.'

We are most grateful for whatever you input to alter the mass consciousness through your own expression of gratitude ... for the more we express our own gratitude to others, it makes them think of their own blessings and the more grateful they begin to feel in their own life.

With all that's going on, let's launch our own revolution in this 'Age of Self Empowerment' ... let's listen to others’ gratitude and express our own ... a revolution that is needed toward a higher consciousness that puts at a premium the simple act of counting our blessings and sharing them with others. What could come closer to the true spirit of spiritual awareness or to what it means to truly 'being' human?

Go ahead, in a gentle way, join us in
shaking the world through gratitude
and a dose of kindness.
Mike & Sandy
the Center of Light & Serentiy
Who ran to help me when I fell,
And would some pretty story tell,
Or kiss the place to make it well?
My mother.

~ author unknown


I Am The Center Of My Universe
~ author unknown

I am the center of my universe,
But I do not live here alone.
Each move I make creates a ripple in someone else's ocean.
Each breath I take affects the air all around me.
Each word I utter falls on someone else's ears.

That which I touch is felt by another.
That which I do will certainly affect another.
That which I do not, will also affect another.

We never know how far reaching something
we say or do really is until it returns to us.
And it always does..
Whether we see the circle or not.

It is within the consciousness of
Oneness that you will observe,
see and feel all that is occurring
at each moment of awareness.
It is within this consciousness
that your awakening soul
begins to re-connect with its true self.

Tiamo, Master Angel of Love

It's Time To Stop The Cycle Of Hate
by Michael Bonamassa, Sr.

In light of the hatred and violence I've experienced in this life ... from the small personal happenings to the experience of being an active participant in the Korean War, I have learned some important lessons about life. Perhaps one of the most important ones that I'd like to share with you is that true fulfillment comes from the heart ... from reaching out to others and learning that none of us are the center of the universe, but rather a magnificent part of it. Yes, life is hard and it hurts sometimes, but it is good, too!

The bottom line is that it's everybody's business what is happening "out there". The fact is that none of us are immune from tragedy, from danger, from life. We're all human and our actions may speak otherwise, but there's no denying we're more than just a body with parts.

I don't think I'll ever understand why we can't learn that hate and ignorance can never be solved by more hate and ignorance. I believe that tolerance and respect must be taught early in life and that it should not only be incorporated into home life, but as part of school training as well. Actions speak louder than words, and if our children hear us say one thing, but we speak or do otherwise, an important message is sent ... and an important message is lost, too.

Much of society's problems these days are a result of hate, ignorance, and a narrow-mindedness. It's time to stop the cycle of hate and it's everyone's responsibility. We must become more conscious of our own actions. We can't sit around complaining about a situation ... we must take constructive, not destructive, action. It's time that we searched for solutions amid our pain, and in the process, we can heal and help ourselves and others.

It's time for us to become brave enough to confront our own mortality and ask ourselves what is truly important ... what we really hope to accomplish before we die. This means that we must not only preach kindness, we must practice it. We must embrace life and all it encompasses ... we must look at our differences and reduce our prejudices ... we must put our fears aside and reach out to help those who are hurting ... we must look for ways to be helpful ... we must look for ways to make a positive difference ... and last of all, we must not close our eyes to the realities that are staring at us in the face today.

The challenge of life is living in a world with many different people, different traditions, different tastes, and different feelings. That's how America was built. We need to respect these differences and really listen to what the others are saying. It eventually comes down to respect. If we truly respect ourselves, then the thought of harming another becomes absurd and self-defeating. That doesn't mean we excuse inappropriate behavior ... but with free will comes choices and consequences. We can't control anyone's actions except our own, but we can look for ways to turn a bad situation into one of those life's lessons that eventually make us all stronger on the inside.

Nothing is gained by responding to hate or prejudice with more hate or prejudice. The Law of Attraction is "like attracts like". Thus, hate attracts more hate and prejudice attracts more prejudice ... period. It definitely gives you something to think about. America is known as being the "home of the free and the home of the brave". We should use this 'bravery' by being brave enough to take a stand and look for solutions that are not just temporary.

We humans all have a need to feel understood, to be loved, to be accepted. What would happen if we all practiced some decent human kindness towards each other? Sounds very simple, doesn't it? You say it will ever happen? Maybe not. But consider this ... the person you laughed at today may take their pain out on someone else. That's a lot of responsibility, huh? Have you made crude remarks about someone like that overweight person ... that "fatso"? Have you made fun of the kid who cant walk or talk right ... or ever used the term "retard"?

My dear friends, for every action there's a reaction. We must rid ourselves of such sayings as "an eye for an eye" ... "fight fire with fire" ... "respond to cruelty with cruelty". Think about it ... have you or someone you know or have seen ever hated with such passion it scared you? With such thoughts, everyone loses! A successful person isn't one who has the best job or nicest home ... success comes from the inside. It comes from living. To be successful, means to live in a world where both good and bad exist, and still strive to become the best we can, despite what is happening all around us.

Those who are winners don't give up ... ever. They may try different strategies, but they always try. Sometimes it takes a lot of perseverance and work ... it involves a lot of compassion ... it involves thinking with our own minds and not simply going along with the majority way of thinking which is usually out of fear ... out of the "ego". Fear holds us back, while truth sets us free ... and yes, it takes maturity.

And, finally, as we continue through this year of 2012, what are you going to do to make this world a better place?... to alter our collective consciousness from hatred to love? It starts with you and I, you know ... and the many, many others who want nothing more than peace and love. Our world has been changed by "small" people with big hearts and big dreams. Never underestimate the power we each have to make a difference.


that it is not our task to seek love ...
but to seek all the barriers within us
that are preventing us from receiving it.

the Center of Light & Serenity
with the Center of Light & Serenity

We Are Indeed Our Brothers' Keeper!
(Received in an email from a subscriber)

In September 1973, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket. Their father was gone. The boys ranged from three months to seven years; their sister was two.

Their Dad had never been much more than a presence they feared. Whenever they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway they would scramble to hide under their beds.

He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy groceries. Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but also, no food either.

If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it.

I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new, put on my best homemade dress, loaded them into the rusty old '61 Chevy and drove off to find a job.

The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small town. No luck.

The kids stayed crammed into the car and tried to be quiet while I tried to convince, who ever would listen, that I was willing to learn, or do, anything. I had to have a job. Still no luck.

The last place we went to, just a few miles out of town, was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in that had been converted to a truck stop. It was called the Big Wheel.

An old lady named Granny owned the place and she peeked out of the window from time to time at all those kids. She needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in the morning. She paid 65 cents an hour, and I could start that night.

I raced home and called the teenager down the street that baby-sat for people. I bargained with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night. She could arrive with her pajamas on and the kids would already be asleep. This seemed like a good arrangement to her, so we made a deal.

That night, when the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers, we all thanked God for finding Mommy a job. And so I started at the Big Wheel..

When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent her home with one dollar of my tip money ... fully half of what I averaged every night.

As the weeks went by, heating bills added a strain to my meager wage. The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and began to leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again every morning before I could go home..

One bleak fall morning, I dragged myself to the car to go home and found four tires in the back seat. New tires! There was no note, no nothing, just those beautiful brand new tires. Had angels taken up residence in Indiana? I wondered.

I made a deal with the local service station. In exchange for his mounting the new tires, I would clean up his office. I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the tires.

I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn't enough. Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money for toys for the kids. I found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting some old toys. Then I hid them in the basement so there would be something for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning.

Clothes were a worry too. I was sewing patches on top of patches on the boys pants and soon they would be too far gone to repair.

On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the Big Wheel. There were the truckers, Les, Frank, and Jim, and a State Trooper named Joe. A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and were dropping nickels in the pinball machine. The regulars all just sat around and talked through the wee hours of the morning and then left to get home before the sun came up.

When it was time for me to go home at seven o'clock on Christmas morning, to my amazement, my old battered Chevy was filled full to the top with boxes of all shapes and sizes. I quickly opened the driver's side door, crawled inside and kneeled in the front facing the back seat... Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box. Inside was whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10!

I looked inside another box: It was full of shirts to go with the jeans.

Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes. There was candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries. There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes. There was pudding and Jell-O and cookies, pie filling and flour. There was whole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning items.

And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful little doll.

As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on the most amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude. And I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that precious morning.

Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December. And they all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop.

It's time to return to THE POWER OF PRAYER which is beyond our imagination; for it is my believe that the source of all that is only gives three answers to our prayers:

1. 'Yes!' 2. 'Not yet.' 3. 'I have something better in mind.'

I'm writing this for those who are going through a tough time right now ... for you to know that you will soon be blessed in a way that you cannot imagine ... all you have to do is BELIEVE and TRUST.

The flame that burns the brightest
is the light of our eternal human spirit ...
a beacon of love, justice and peace
that will never be extinguished.

the Center of Light & Serenity

You Are Perfection

You are all perfect in God's eyes. It is often difficult for you to recognize and understand this perfection. And you find yourselves comparing your life and situations to those of others. Your are asked to not compare yourselves to each other, we on this side of the veil see the perfection in each of you. But rather, if you must compare yourself, you are asked to compare yourself to the person you were the day before. Our blessing for you is that you eventually see this perfection in yourselves and in everyone and everything.

When you compare your choices to others you send doubt into the universe. Your choices are yours alone. If you are unhappy with what you've created, then change it ... make new choices. Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will be different! Feel gratitude for what you have and you will attract more things to be grateful for.

Be conscious of the light within each one of you. It is the beautiful flame that burns with God's love. When you are seeking answers and solutions to life's challenges, go no further than within yourself. Know that you are perfect in every way ... know that you need not change a thing about yourself to know God and the angels. In God's eyes, you are perfect. See beauty first within yourself and then in each person ... for love is all there is, and you are love. Put aside any judgments of yourself and of others and see only perfection.

Today look for beauty in yourself ... see the beauty of God's creation from your hair to your toes. You are unique and you are love. Cast aside any negative self images. In each other ... when you bring joy to another, feel God's presence surround you in blissful joy, like wings enfolding you.

You may call upon your angels and guides to assist you in attracting joy, harmony, beauty, and love in all your relationships. We will give you strength to move past negative feelings toward yourself and others to only see the light within that burns with the flame of love. With your intention, you may increase this flame so it fills your body. The warmth of God lies within each one of you. When we are near, feel a tingling in your body like the sweet sensation of first love. Happiness will embrace you. Seek God out and feel joy.

Intend to be a better person today than you were yesterday ... intend to see and understand your perfection. Remember, in God's eyes, you are perfect already.

A Special Blessing to You and Yours ...
Until next issue ...
These things, we warmly wish for you-
May They Whisper Wisdom In Our Ear.
May They Touch You When You Need.
May They Remove From You Each Trace Of Fear.
And May They Keep You From Feeling Greed.

Love and Light, Mike & Sandy

A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle ...



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