Success!

Success... we all want it, right?  But the word means many things to many people.  To some is means a lot of money, a big house, a fancy car and big title at work.  To others it might mean perfect hair, an athletic body and  a gold medal.  To others it might mean sobriety, self-acceptance or freedom from disease.  It's up to you.  How you define success is directly related to your personal core values and mission in life. In many Unity and other New Thought communities, prosperiy teaching and classes are part and parcel of the educational offerings.  One aspect that is sometimes overlooked in the participant's zeal for "success" is the spiritual component.  Or, sometimes it is given mere lip service as in, "Oh, yes, I put God first, but gosh what I really want is to manifest that shiny new car and trip to Hawaii!"  But the scriptural admonition in Matthew 6:33 to "seek first the kingdom" is of utter importance.  What does this mean?  And how do I become successful  at attaining this way of being on a regular basis? In short, to "seek first the kingdom" is another way to encourage engagement in regular spiritual practice of connecting, knowing, feeling one's oneness with the divine.  This regular practice ideally will be part of one's day, much like eating and sleeping.   There are all kinds of practices that a person can use to center him- or herself in the awareness of the divine within and without.  The simplest is a basic sitting meditation.  One practice I use from the tradition of Ignatian spirituality is to examine my day and ask questions such as, "For what am I grateful today?" "How did I encounter God today?" "What am I feeling, and why?" "What am I thinking, and why?" "Was there a particularly meaningful experience today, and why?" I find that as I give my energy and attention to these things - and in this manner "seek first the kingdom" - my appreciation for what I already have grows, and my receptivity to  ideas of how to manifest the desires of my heart increases.  The net result is that I find myself feeling successful already and trusting that future successes are already in the process of manifesting. Here's how the Message version of the Bible (modern English rendering of the Bible) puts the words of Matthew 6:33.  I like it's laid back approach... “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.  [source:  Biblegateway.com]   So, don't worry about missing out... your success is guaranteed! Peace be with you and namaste, Rev. Russ