The living tradition, which we share, draws from many sources:
Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces that create and uphold life.
Words and deeds of prophetic women and men, which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love.
Wisdom from the world's religions, which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life.
Jewish and Christian teachings, which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves.
Humanist teachings, which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.
Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions, which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.
Focusing on Friends and Family
The start of the holiday season can cause many people to struggle - family relationships can leave you feeling depleted and unsure of your next steps. Familial relationships can be some of the most confusing and complicated that we'll ever experience. Difficult relationships can be great teachers, but there comes a time when we just need peace. Peace can look different to all of us depending on our circumstances.
First, know that the "perfect" family doesn't exist - in this age of Internet perfection where many things are faked and photoshopped, don't fall for the belief that perfection exists in every family but your own. In reality, every family can have drama - it's up to US how we respond to it, because we only really have control over our OWN responses.
Learn how to recognize if you're being emotionally sapped by another person and take practical action to protect yourself against people who are not good for you. A favorite meditation can help you stay centered and calm.
Protect yourself from common "control dramas" that arise when people are feeling defensive - recognize the behaviors of the intimidator, the poor me, and the interrogator, and prepare in advance what you want to say to maintain your calm and enjoy the holiday.
Get past denial and distraction and learn the wisdom of forgiveness. Unwind and release the limiting beliefs that aren't true and learn your life and soul lessons with gratitude.
Learning and implementing these skills and the knowledge you'll gain is indeed hard work, but you'll continue to improve your life and shed the old - just in time to start the new month with increased joy, confidence, and strength.
Adapted from Madisyn Taylor, DailyOM
Same Choices, Same Results
“A change in perspective, behavior, or response can do so much more to help us move past issues left unresolved”
- Madisyn Taylor, DailyOM
May 26: Douglas Wilson - The Beatles: Their Genius, Their Love, and Their Influence
Douglas Wilson was the Executive Director of UU Rowe Camp and Conference Center in Rowe, Massachusetts from 1974 until December 21, 2012. He’s a Unitarian Universalist minister, writer, political activist, amateur comedian, wise guy, collage artist, and philosopher.
Douglas fir Wilson was born in Vancouver, B.C. in 1946. From age five until twenty he lived in Santa Barbara, graduating from UCSB in 1967, a full-fledged hippie and peace activist. At age 20 he went to Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley and in 1971 he was ordained in the First Unitarian Church of Brooklyn. That summer he was the assistant director of UU Rowe Camp, where he was deeply moved by the impact these three weeks had on the campers. After leaving Brooklyn in 1973, he walked 2000 miles on the Appalachian Trail, landing back at Rowe Camp, which had just bought the neighboring farmhouse. In 1974 he started Rowe Conference Center in the fall, winter, and spring, which returns to being Rowe Camp in the summers. He calls himself a writer, political activist, amateur comedian, wise guy, collage artist, philosopher, and non-profit entrepreneur, his favorite oxymoron. He retired on December 21, 2012 and wants to become a writer and an artist and a philosopher who talks about life and death and everything.
May 19:Reverend Richard Kellaway
Rev. Richard Kellaway served for 25 years as the minister of the First Unitarian Church in New Bedford, MA as a Minister in First Parish Unitarian Church in Medfield, MA, and continues to be active in the community. He also is one of the founders of the New Bedford Art Museum, and is a regular speaker at UUCN, bringing many years of experience and wonderfully thought-provoking sermons.