Mission-Centric Ministry Coaching Program™ Overview

The MMCP™ is a three-year coaching program where the COACH (Dr. Gary Simmons) agrees to provide the CLIENT (ministry) with program facilitation and coaching for transitioning the CLIENT from a minister-centric ministry practice to a mission-centric ministry practice. In addition, the MMCP will include coaching an ASSOCIATE (See Modules section) within the CLIENT ministry to replicate processes as necessary for long-term sustainability of cultural shifts.

The delivery of the MMCP™ happens both onsite and as a virtual (web-based) coaching / training process facilitated by the COACH in conjunction with monthly, and quarterly virtual coaching sessions with the Senior Minister, key staff, key teams, and the Board of Trustees as necessary over the term of this proposal. The frequency of facilitation and virtual coaching diminishes as the CLIENT progresses through the program. See MMCP Process Map.

All onsite processes will consist of the COACH facilitating transformational modules specific to transitioning to the mission-centric model of ministry. Virtual sessions are aimed at providing real-time coaching with respect to:

  • program module implementation
  • the training of team leaders
  • providing clarity and guidance to leadership for communications
  • data tracking
  • problem solving
  • support in crafting the narrative necessary to sculpting the mission-centric conversation with the spiritual community

In addition, virtual sessions will provide support to the Senior minister, associate ministers, staff, Board, and others impacted by the program.

Program Modules:

The following is a partial list of the modules integral to the successful implementation of the MMCP™. Keep in mind that transitioning is a polarity of “hospicing” what needs to be released and “midwifing” what needs to be actualized or birthed as a new cultural imperative. Some of these modules are facilitated onsite, while others are coaching protocols necessary to bring mission-centric imperatives on line. In addition, all modules are interdependent.

Note: All trademarked () modules are the intellectual property of the COACH or The Q Effect, LLC. Other modules incorporate materials developed by Unity Worldwide Ministries in consultation with the COACH. The COACH is also a certified facilitator of SpiritGroups which is owned by Infinite Connections.

  • The Q Process™—Transitioning to a mission-centric paradigm requires a high degree of emotional maturity. People in any given spiritual community are in different places on the emotional maturity spectrum. The Q Process provides community members with the same powerful tool for managing personal, interpersonal and organizational discomfort without projecting their issues onto others. In addition, when the entire community masters the same tool for dealing with discomfort or drama, a high level of coherence emerges that creates a cultural tipping point. The Q Process must become a cultural norm before significant progress in transition to mission-centric ministry is possible. The COACH will support the CLIENT in integrating the Q Process principles into all aspects of community and organizational life.
    • Integral Wizardry™ —This module helps the Board engage organizational stress and discomfort, not as problems to solve, but as evolutionary drivers. It presents a coherent understanding of the cultural change process. In addition, provides a whole-system context for dealing with ministry challenges and introduces 2nd Tier leadership strategies. This module is a prerequisite to the Q Process for Teams.
    • The Q Process for Teams™ —This is an advanced application of the individual Q Process that provides leadership with the capacity to engage the shadow issues of the organization. For instance, if the Board is dealing with money issues, it is not uncommon for individuals on the Board to be triggered by the church’s experience of not enough. Board members tend to manage the church’s not enough the same way they try to manage their own personal experience of not enough. This actually prevents the Board from dealing directly with the church’s issue and results in exacerbating the problem unnecessarily. The Q Process for Teams helps individuals to differentiate their own personal discomfort from the discomfort associated with the organization issue. Once this differentiation has taken place, the Board is able to deal directly with the church’s issue in the context of the church’s shadow and Q card.
    • Q for Kids™This module introduces kids to the same tools that manage triggering moments as the adult Q Process program. Imagine the potential of introducing your youth to a process that empowers them to effectively manage the issues and challenges of growing up in today’s world.
    • Genogram Activity™—This congregational process results in identifying the ministry’s shadow and limiting beliefs as an effect of the minister-centric model of ministry. The process also presences unresolved issues that would otherwise derail the transition process to mission-centric ministry. It helps the entire community understand the church’s story in the broader context of ministry’s effort to fulfill its purpose. From this activity, the church’s shadow and Q card is generated—a foundational module to the Q Process for Teams.
    • Integral Membership System™—This phased approach to governing (voting) membership is implemented in conjunction with the Welcoming System, SpiritGroups, Spiritual Gifts Discovery, and the Q Process. When fully implemented, it is a seamless and intentional pathway from first-timer to competent leader. The Integral Membership System intentionally cultivates ownership, resulting in a more sustainable pattern of funding the organization.
    • Requisite Structure Module™ —This module maps every structure, practice, and system within the organization. The essential question of this module is: Why do we do THIS this way? If any structure, practice or system cannot be linked to an intentional aim of the organization (mission), then these structures, practices, or systems can be a source of energy leakage. The module also addresses what is counted on in the context of organizational and community roles. The output of this aspect of the module is the creation of explicit roles and what is counted on when someone says YES to fulfilling a specific job or service area. This module dramatically enhances the “soundness” or integrity of the organization and minimizes interpersonal difficulty.
    • Evolutionary Council—This team is an appointed body comprised of diverse community members representing various perspectives of the ministry’s culture including those in the culture of ownership, staff, leadership, and some Millennials. Recommended group size 10-20 members depending on ministry size.
    • Conscious Conversations—This module involves the entire congregation in a heart-centered dialogue of what is moving, evolving, and emerging within community members. A team is trained to conduct group and individual interviews. It is not a survey or an attempt to find out what makes people happy or supportive, but rather is a process of mapping the heart of the ministry. It is a strategy for deepening the culture of ownership within the ministry by reaching out and hearing what is arising or bubbling and how people feel engaged or empowered in their relationship to the ministry and its impact on their lives. People share what they value and what would help them be more connected and engaged. The themes that emerge from this process are shared with the community and informs future planning efforts. Conscious Conversations are facilitated by members of the EVOLUTIONARY COUNCIL.
    • Mapping What Is—This module makes the operations and status of the ministry more transparent to the community. It involves community members in an owner’s perspective of the ministry and reveals the picture of what is to later be compared to the emerging picture of what is wanting to be created. The process of mapping the ministry’s organizational reality assists in identifying the degrees of integrity among all aspects of the ministry—leadership, culture, social dynamics, and organizational practice. The Mapping What Is process is facilitated by the EVOLUTIONARY COUNCIL.
    • Integral Board Training™—This module is a facilitated “aware-apy” session for Board members to stimulate an increased awareness and movement toward the principles of the Mission-centric model of ministry. Because the Board sets the resonance field for the dynamic of coherence and with respect to the community and the organization (as above, so below / as within, so without) this module is intended to inform the Board member recruitment process.
    • SpiritGroups—This small group ministry program is a delivery system for transforming lives and helps drive the restructuring of the organization toward mission fulfillment. The MMCP supports SpiritGroups implementation and sustainability. SpiritGroups, when introduced in the context of transitioning to mission-centric ministry, shifts the focus of impacting people’s lives from the Sunday worship experience to small groups. This has great appeal to Millennials and cultivates greater ownership with the desire to give back to the ministry.
    • MindMovies—This module leverages technology and brain science for creating powerful shifts in consciousness within the community. Used in conjunction with manifesting a greater good (for the individual as well as the ministry) the MindMovies system enables people to create a personal program for transcending their own limiting beliefs. The goal is for everyone in the ministry, who wants one, to have their own movie to use in conjunction with a transformative spiritual practice. Once the MindMovie module is fully implemented, a new congregational visioning process is possible resulting in the creation of the ministry’s MindMovie that everyone in the congregation uses to assist in manifesting its purpose and passion.
    • MindMovies for Kids™—This module is currently being field tested at Unity Spiritual Center, Spokane, and will become available as a MMCP module this fall. More details to follow.
    • Story Crafters—This module captures personal accounts of community members’ experience as the ministry transitions to a new paradigm of ministry. The objective of this process is to intentionally leverage the power of emerging new narratives around personal shifts, successes, authentic tension and potential for change, and breakthroughs over time.The Story Crafter module becomes a ministry team within the community collecting stories in the most compelling, clear, and authentic fashion using one of three outputs: written narrative; spoken story (live or recorded); or digital (video) storytelling. While collecting stories is an important element of tracking the effectiveness of transition initiatives, the effort to document and appreciate people who have demonstrated or embodied the ministry’s mission results in greater ownership of the transition process.
    • Associate (Optional)—The COACH will mentor a qualified lay leader selected by the CLIENT and approved by the COACH for the purpose of replicating core modules beyond the term of this proposal. (Minimum qualifications for Associate candidates provided upon request.) This individual, hereafter referred to as ASSOCIATE, will be trained by the COACH to facilitate and support ongoing efforts to sustain cultural shifts as well as serve as assistant to the COACH for onsite processes and trainings. In addition, at the completion of the MMCP the ASSOCIATE may become eligible for certification by the COACH to facilitate the MMCP™ in other New Thought ministries. More details to follow.
    • Transformational Shifts Survey™This is a pre-mid-post assessment of the MMCP™ that polls the community at large regarding their perception of progress in four developmental arenas: Leadership, Culture, Social System, and Organizational Behavior. The COACH will provide the survey to the CLIENT and support the Leadership’s process of evaluating responses.

Onsite Facilitation & Training

Certain modules require onsite facilitation of the community, leadership and/or the training of key teams during the course of the MMCP™. It is recommended that each onsite visit be scheduled and structured in such a way as to maximize the impact of the module. Onsite facilitation or training happens on a weekend, typically Friday evening, and all day Saturday. In some circumstances, it may be necessary to include a Sunday activity. In addition, these visits often work with multiple groups (i.e., meet with Board, train key leaders, facilitate congregational process).

 Virtual Coaching & Training

All modules will be supported or facilitated via the virtual coaching and/or training process. The COACH uses the Zoom.us platform for video conference and training sessions. Virtual coaching is between the COACH and various leaders, leadership groups, key teams and individuals as necessary to further the aims of the MMCP.

 

What the MMCP Does Not Include

  • Services NOT included in this proposal are:
  • Strategic Planning facilitation
  • Conflict Management / Peacemaking services
  • Transition Ministry Services (ministerial transition consulting)
  • SpiritGroups Host training

Should these or other programs / services be necessary during the course of the MMCP™, the COACH will assist the CLIENT in sourcing competent support. 

Projected Costs to CLIENT

Costs are based upon a reasonable projection of time and effort in the implementation of the MMCP™ via:

  • Onsite visits
  • coaching / training
  • managing the unique dynamics that arise during the transition and the cultural change process.

The actual costs and timing of the MMCP™ modules is dependent on various factors including the CLIENT’ S capacity to fulfill the necessary elements associated with each task, project or program integral to the MMCP™. Implementation is an organic process that necessitates living into each developmental milestone.

Costs are scaled to ministry size and complexity. To request a confidential price quote for the three year MMCP™contact me at 816-813-3399 drgarysimmons@gmail.com.

Blessings, Gary

The Mission-centric Ministry Coaching Program™

Beginning next month, I will be launching my new coaching practice. Detailed information about the three-year Mission-centric Ministry Coaching Program (MMCP) will  be posted here soon.

The delivery of the program happens both onsite and as a virtual (web-based) coaching / training process in conjunction with monthly, and quarterly virtual coaching sessions with the Senior Minister, key staff, key teams, and the Board of Trustees as necessary over the term of the program. The frequency of facilitation and virtual coaching diminishes as the CLIENT progresses through the program. See MMCP Process Map.

All onsite processes will consist of facilitating transformational modules specific to transitioning to the mission-centric model of ministry. Virtual sessions are aimed at providing real-time coaching with respect to:

  • program module implementation
  • training of team leaders
  • providing clarity and guidance to leadership for communications
  • data tracking
  • problem solving
  • support in crafting the narrative necessary to sculpting the mission-centric conversation with the spiritual community

In addition, virtual sessions will provide support to the Senior minister, associate ministers, staff, Board, and others impacted by the program.

To give you a sense of the shifts that are created by the program, check out these survey questions that are a part of the process. The survey is administered as a pre-mid-post resource. It is intended to both track the progress of the program as well as delineate its aims. Imagine your congregation being able to say YES to the questions. The MMCP is designed to bring on line all of these potentials.

Transformational Shifts Survey

Survey respondents will be asked to answer YES only if the statement is broadly true; SOMEWHAT if the statement is partially true; NO if the statement is not broadly true; or DON’T KNOW if the statement is not relevant to their experience.

UL Consciousness Quadrant (Leadership Intentionality)

  1. Our Board and Leadership Team intentionally inspire and develop other leaders into greater participation and ownership of the ministry.
  2. Our Board and Leadership Team embody the principles of living with nothing and no one against them, and each is obviously committed to doing their own shadow work as an aspect of their spiritual practice.
  3. Our Board and Leadership Team model what it looks like to be the ideal church member.
  4. Anyone who is called to leadership or service in this ministry knows exactly what they say YES to when they commit to serve.
  5. Our Board and Leadership team model the fulfillment of our mission.

LL Cultural Quadrant (Church Centrism / Identity)

  1. It is clear what the church stands for, why it exists, and the difference it is here to make.
  2. Issues of the past no longer influence or interfere with the ministry’s efforts to fulfill its purpose.
  3. The majority of the congregation embodies the mission of the ministry.
  4. I am aware of all the ways our church community is involved in sacred service beyond the ministry.
  5. The identity of this ministry is not linked to who the minister is or has been.

LR Social System (Relationships)

  1. People do not project their issues onto each other in our ministry.
  2. There are no parking lot conversations or triangulation in our ministry.
  3. People are held accountable for how they show up in our ministry.
  4. The support and care of people in our church is the responsibility of the broader community, not the minister or staff.
  5. People take responsibility for their emotional well-being, consequently there is little or no drama here.

UR Organization (Structures, Practices, & Organizational Systems)

  1. Everything we do—every structure, practice, system, and organizational role is intentionally linked to the fulfillment of the ministry’s values, mission & vision.
  2. People know exactly what they say YES to when they volunteer to serve.
  3. We have a coherent, well defined plan for the ministry’s future. People can see themselves in the ministry’s future.
  4. There is always a clear narrative accompanying any publication of the church’s finances. We know the story behind how the resources of the ministry are used to fulfill the mission.
  5. Our membership process is a seamless pathway from first-timer to competent leader.

I am looking forward to working with five client ministries this first year. And, I am especially excited about the possibility of training an in house ASSOCIATE  from the client ministry that I will mentor within the program so that transformational shifts are deepened and sustained beyond the three year program. Down the road, I will also be creating a MMCP™ Certification Program for colleagues and other professionals wishing to use my materials in their own consulting or coaching practice.

I have a lot of passion for this work and my ministry.

Blessings, Gary

You Can’t Sleep Through Your Awakening–by Rev. Dr. Jane Simmons

Hot off the press! Ready to order from Amazon or Kindle. Please write a review after you have experienced your awakening.

Click Here to Order

 

This book is designed to help you:

• Awaken to areas where you are being run by unconscious cultural/social programming

• Find ways to free yourself from the limiting beliefs underlying unconscious behavior

• Learn a method of healing using the FACE Formula of Forgiveness, Appreciation, Compassion and Embodiment, in order to “face” life in an awakened state

• Learn to “re-author” unhealthy myths, messages and beliefs that are running your life

• Learn to take care of your own unmet needs

A combination of personal memoir, shared stories, psychological study, scientific learning and spiritual discourse, You Can’t Sleep Through Your Awakening is an exploration into what it actually means to wake up, and includes tools that contribute to the awakening process.

Love and Blessings, Gary

Are You On the Transition Team?: Part 2


As many of you know, I inadvertently published my previous blog post before it was complete. If you are just joining this blog, click here to check out Part 1.

Here’s how Part 1 left off:

If we cannot know what a better world will look like, and if we cannot fix what’s broken, and if we cannot judge what is happening or right what is wrong necessarily, what, then, is the Transition Team to DO in the world that can make a difference? And, if hospicing and midwifing are the transformational practices that can help us to evolve, how do we progress? How do we apply these tools? And, with what aim in mind?

A Both/And Perspective in an Either/Or World

Before I dive too deeply into what’s next, let me just remind you that I am suggesting that hospicing that which needs to be released, and midwifing that which needs to be birthed, is a transformational polarity. And since most of us really want to DO something about what’s happening in the world, our actions must be within the context of 2nd Tier imperatives. This means that our work is to primarily align our thinking, our intentionality, and “how we are being with what we are having” with a holistic and transpersonal context that sees beyond appearances into the heart and soul of human evolution. In addition, 2nd Tier imperatives help us to move away from “either/or” characterizations and move toward a “both/and” perspective in order for the desired and undesired to co-exist. This welcoming of seeming opposite and contradictory perspectives is necessary for the deeper work of integration, reconciliation, and awakening.

There are two arenas in which our DOING has relevance and impact, and also informs how we work with the transformational polarity – hospicing what needs to be released and midwifing what needs to actualized or brought forth. The first arena focuses upon our inner world. This includes aspects of ourselves in need of hospicing and midwifing with respect to our internal processes: how our thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, meaning-making, and states of being (how we show up with what we are having) may move transition work forward or impede it. The second arena deals with our outer experience and most specifically with respect to aiding in the evolution of consciousness. Stay tuned for more
information about the second arena in upcoming blogs.

In order to fully appreciate the importance of presencing the dynamic of our inner world and the need to address this arena first becomes apparent in the context of our third Unity principle – we create our personal reality through our thoughts, beliefs, and states of being. Each of us, as individuals, contributes to the collective consciousness underlying the current outer landscape. The outer world is an effect of mind. Duality is the dominant context for most of humanity. If we, as Transition Team members, engage the issues of the world with the same mind that feeds the current reality, our efforts will be ineffectual or unsustainable. Consequently, the aim of transition work in the first arena becomes evolving ourselves into people who no longer feed the beast we are ostensibly trying to vanquish.

Consider this: Is your attention and awareness (and therefore your meaning-making) under your own dominion or is it informed by external circumstances, limiting beliefs, or unconscious life patterns? We need to remember that we co-create our own personal reality and that the issues and circumstances that trigger us (such as what is currently going on in politics) are mirroring something within, that we need to own and ultimately address. Although we believe our discomfort over whatever is bothering us is linked to outer events and circumstances, in truth it is arising from within us. It is only possible to feel diminished or otherwise triggered when there is an incongruence between who we truly are in our heart of hearts and who we are being in the moment that gives rise to the uncomfortable feeling.  In 2nd Tier consciousness, we understand the relationship between how we are having our life and who we are being in the moment, and we seek to resolve this issue before trying to reconcile the outer injustice or problem.

Until we understand that our power to transform our outer experience is dependent upon our emotional and spiritual maturity, it is easy to work the problem from the outside in, rather than from the inside out. Just saying.

Give Yourself What You Need

So before taking any outer action to try to transform an outer situation, first the action needs to be addressing the inner issue. Simply put, the midwifery aspect of transforming our inner world is a matter of giving to ourselves what the outer world is not capable of providing. Just as our feelings of discomfort can lead us to discovering an unconscious limiting belief that is running us, these same experiences can also point to an unmet need that we have otherwise sought to fulfill outside of ourselves.

Five Core Needs

Here are five needs that every human being has that when unmet, can create incoherence and suffering in the field of human engagement: A sense of abundance; a feeling of safety or security; an experience of love and connection; a sense of innate value and worth; and feeling empowered. These are five core needs that those of us choosing to join the Transition Team must first demonstrate in our personal lives in relationship to whatever experience we are having.

When we are being run by unconscious behavior that springs out of not having these needs met, we are completely out of touch with the deeper resources within us. We are expressing not as who we have come here to be but as the person that we have been conditioned to be. To override this conditioned behavior, we must midwife a new dimension of resourcefulness that coherently links us to the actualization of our Higher Self.

Whatever action we take should be aimed at addressing the need that was unmet during our triggering moment. The reason we can address the need is because within us we have the antidote – whether it is a sense of abundance, worthiness, self-love, empowerment or safety – that resource already exists within us as potential. We actualize it by thinking of people, places and/or memories that can bring forth the feeling of abundance, safety, connection, worthiness or empowerment. Then we let the feeling arise and take action from that feeling.

If my need in a triggering moment is safety, for instance, what I can do is to make a list of all the people, events, places that have given me a sense of safety and then imagine being there, feeling the safety and asking what actions I take when I am feeling safe. Maybe it’s my grandmother’s house as a child and the action can be to bake the cookies we used to bake back then together. We want to bring forth the felt sense of this memory as we take any action in the outer. Only after the sense of safety is restored do we take action toward the outer circumstance.

Here is a story from Rev. Dr. Jane that illustrates this process beautifully:

Every morning I was waking up around 3 a.m. or earlier, and I would immediately start worrying about the day before and all of the things I should or shouldn’t have said or done. And then I’d fret about what I didn’t get done and still had to do, feeling stressed out because of not enough time. I would be filled with anxiety almost immediately upon waking up. I found my mind going over every nuance of the day before and stewing about the mistakes I had surely made. Then I would feel like I was in trouble of some kind. It didn’t matter if the day before had been stellar – these worries, criticisms and put downs would be waiting for me as soon as I woke up. The more I tried to push them away, the tighter my resistance tied me to them. I started thinking of them as gremlins living under the bed that I had fed after midnight. The gremlins were stealing my joy.

The way I kept trying to fix it was by getting out of bed and getting online or reading as a way of distracting myself. Until one day, I decided I needed to take a different action.

As I considered what was missing for me, I realized it was a sense of safety and security and it was linked to the past. I was transported back to early school years and could feel the insecurity rising up. Then in my mind, I went back in time, so to speak, to my younger self and showed up as her future self. I held her in my heart and imagined wrapping my arms around my 7-year-old self and I started telling her how it was all going to turn out for her. I told her that it was going to get so much better, that she was safe and secure – that I would be with her throughout all of her years. I showered her with compassion, telling her that she was deeply loved. I told her to keep on with her creative writing – and that she was going to become a speaker. And her surprise and delight was palpable. I felt relief and some real integration take place and I realized I was giving myself what I needed as a child.

Then I considered how I might meet that need with those nocturnal visits from the gremlins. I made a list of all of the events, people and places that brought forth a feeling of safety for me and I immersed myself in the memories of them until I felt safe and secure. Blanketing by that feeling of safety, I asked my heart what my action should be. As I stayed still and listened, the answer became obvious – I should invite in those gremlins with compassion. Instead of trying to push them away, I decided to make friends with them and welcome them in.

I suddenly remembered a beautiful poem by Rumi called The Guest House and I was inspired to go and read it. One of the more poignant lines in it reads:

“The dark thought, the shame, the malice. Meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.”

So, every day when I woke up, I sat with the feelings of anxiety and I welcomed them in. Like a friend. I let them come up, met them with love and compassion, and in the safety of that melting pot, they subsided. And that became my joyous action every morning – welcome whatever is showing up. That turned out to be the wizard’s wand that changed everything.  My early morning internal state shifted to being very peaceful, calm and friendly. The anxiety dissipated.

I did it with a feeling of playfulness. I moved myself to the viewpoint of a playful person and felt the playfulness rise up as I welcomed in the feelings. Almost like a child opening the door to friends and saying let’s play.

By going back in time in my mind and heart, and assuring my younger self that I would be there for her, I had showered her with the safety she needed. And it translated into being able to open the door of my heart in welcome to current issues.

Instead of my mind using its creativity to think up worries and problems for me, now it became an ally. The gremlins became supporters. When I welcomed them in, they stopped running wild in my psyche and began to provide me with all kinds of wonderful, creative ideas, but without the judgment and fear that had previously accompanied them. Now, they were infused with playfulness, inspiration and creativity.

I discovered something else – when I showered myself with compassion and made my internal space a safe and welcoming one, I became a safer person for others. They could feel the compassion and the safety and could share their hearts with me knowing it was safe to do so. In effect, I began giving the world what I had needed. A tiny little shift with powerful effects.

The Abundant Life

If this is all making sense to you, I hope that you can also sense the transformative power that arises as you discover how to meet these core needs. It could be said that the capacity of meeting these core needs is what constitutes The Abundant Life that Jesus proclaimed was our Divine inheritance. Now here’s the secret sauce: once you discover that you can meet any of these needs, you can’t help but want to teach others how to do so for themselves.

Can you see how all of this translates into something quite different going on in your life? Can you also see how essential this capacity to fulfill your own needs is for everyone on the planet to possess? Think about what might be possible, in your own personal life, in the lives of those you touch and beyond.

To learn more about how to do this process, go to www.theqeffect.com.

Love and Blessings, Gary

RE: Are You On the Transition Team?

I pointed out the obvious to my congregation the other day–the world is changing. I wasn’t just referring to the political landscape and the ramifications of a divided country, nor the challenge of honoring the diversity of perspectives and viewpoints regarding current issues, (especially when speaking from the pulpit). I was speaking to the deeper unease regarding the loss of what has seemed to be a predictable, coherent, and meaningful movement toward a more stable and humane society. (What ever happened to the age of Aquarius?) Understanding that every millennium has had its share of unsettling circumstances capable of ripping apart the very fabric of civility and any notion that the world can work for anyone, seems to be a vision without sure ground.

And so, why should WE be surprised or even shocked at the chaortic dissidence of these times knowing that what is out of integrity, misaligned, untrue, dishonoring, etc. has to surface or otherwise be exposed before a more integral and conciliatory context can emerge within our human family and body politic?

Independent of a world that we seemingly cannot control nor insulate ourselves from, the issue becomes whether or not we will consciously engage this chaortic “field” or become “modulated” to it. In other words, are you on the Transition Team yet? 

The Transition Team is what I call those who feel that these times precisely call us into a new level of consciousness and emotional and spiritual maturity. And, perhaps most emphatically, want to DO something about it.

“Many are called, but few are chosen,” Matthew 22:14

You are either on the Team or not. You are probably on the team if you do not see the world changing as against you, but calling you to engage, to become conscious and to take on two distinct roles: hospicing what is dying, and mid-wifing what needs to be born.

When we look at hospicing and mid-wifing as a transformational process that leads to an evolutionary tipping point in consciousness, we are fundamentally describing a way of managing a polarity that can help us get to the next level while helping to evolve our world. The “catch” is that we must refrain from making the discomforts of what is arising “as a changing world” as something that we need to personally fix. There is nothing about dying that needs fixing nor nothing amiss with birthing a greater reality. The initial effort for is to suppress the tendency to vilify or otherwise judge the dynamics that underlie the issues that
touch us so personally. As hard as that sounds to do, the next step is all about aligning with the field. The field in this sense is the energetic dynamic that gives rise to the felt sense of whatever bothers us, threatens us, or otherwise displaces our sense that all things are working toward a greater good. Aligning with the field cannot happen if we are caught up in a “story” about what’s happening to us or to our world.

Let me just say that we are not discarding, discounting, or abandoning the stories that arise in our struggle to be both in this world and not of it. Rather, I am suggesting that we suspend our impulse to move from: feeling an uncomfortable feeling to creating a story that explains WHY we are feeling so moved. And then, believe the our story as if it is our truth. Instead, we need to use our emotional state like a Geiger Counter, scanning for limiting beliefs.

By aligning I do not imply that these conditions need to be tolerated or even minimized before transition can occur. In my book, The I of the Storm, I mention that the purpose of getting to the “I” of the storm is not to make conflicts go away, but to be able to be present to the conditions which support the storm of conflict without being diminished by it. In the same way, we need to become present to the conditions that support a divided society before we can
help to evolve them (the conditions). And, while the outer manifestation of craziness or even cruelty screams to us “Do Something!”, what often comes to the “outer oriented mind” is fixing what appears to be broken or to vanquishing a seeming evil. Rather than fixing what seems to be broken, Transition Team members instead use the discomfort of crumbling systems and hierarchies as evolutionary drivers. What needs to die, to be released, set aside, transcended, or integrated; and, what needs to be birthed, lived into, awakened, brought online, conveyed that can give rise to a second tier consciousness for a new world and social order to be born into?

Part of the challenge of being on the Transition Team is that no one really has a clear picture or vision of what’s its going to look like when the transition has happened (or at least made the beginnings of a difference) in the world. To be clear, our conditioned awareness seeks a greater good by moving AWAY FROM any discomfort. The tendency, therefore, is to create a vision of a greater good that is the antithesis of what we dislike now or what we fear might emerge. This is what Transition Team members must avoid. We must release any investment on how things need to look or feel as evidence of progress and rather stay focused on the our Team’s work independent of what happens in the outer. Since “transition” implies moving from here to there, from where we are now to where we want to be, etc., we need to keep in mind that this work is done in consciousness and that from the consciousness “context”, there is no “out there” from which to gage our progress.

It has been said that things often need to get worse before they get better. As with all evolutionary processes, the outcome is an effect of a synchronicity of complexities coming together to reveal a “new ground” or in our case, a New Earth. At best, each of us will glean glimpses of what is possible, but only to the degree that we let go of our individual perspectives.

If we cannot know what a better world will look like, and if we cannot fix what’s broken, and if we cannot judge what is happening or right what is wrong necessarily, what, then, is the Transition Team to DO in the world that can make a difference? And, if hospicing and mid-wifing are the transformational practices that can help us to evolve, how do we progress? How do we apply these tools? And, with what aim in mind?

(I hit publish in error, so this blog is not finished yet. To be continued)

Blessings, Gary

Princess Leia and Me–Guest Blog by Rev. Dr. Jane Simmons

The end of 2016 was rapidly approaching and as typically happens, I was looking back over the past year and ruminating. However, my deliberations were not the usual “what shall I release and what shall I envision” type. They were mostly feverish reruns of the past, due to a rather nasty bout of the flu that gripped me from the day after Christmas and threatened to continue into 2017.

A whole week off of work with nothing but fun activities planned – dinners with friends, lunch out with a girlfriend, parties, open houses – it was all looking so promising on Christmas Day when I finally finished all I had to do for the holiday season.

Then all of it shot to hell the very next afternoon. I woke up feeling fine but as the day went on, got the unmistakable scratchy throat, headache and flu symptoms making themselves known. And that was the end of the celebration.

If there is any consolation, I guess having a full week to recover was a gift. And not planning to travel anywhere ended up being a good thing. I could never have made it on a trip. The worst part of all was my husband also became equally sick at the very same moment. That has never happened in our years of marriage. One of us has always been standing. But not this time. We were both at the mercy of whatever was happening in our bodies. Shuffling back and forth zombie-like from commode to couch. Neither one of us strong enough to care for the other.

Did I immediately go to a place of realizing that all sickness is illusion and that ultimately there is only God going on? And did I eagerly look for the gift in it?

No.

All I wanted was for my mommy to be there, rub my back and bring me flat ginger ale like she used to do when I was a kid. But mom died nearly a decade ago. So it was just me – and my hazy, wacked out memories, earworm snippets of my least favorite music endlessly echoing through the canyons of my mind, random reflections, and crazy mixed up thoughts all jumbled together, that accompanied me through that hellish week.

I slept through most of it. Well in two-hour segments at least. And whenever I woke up, my mind was buzzing as I found myself feverishly editing my latest book in my mind, going over past, unresolved issues, off in a La-la land that felt more like a weird carnival-like house of mirrors than a pleasant dreamland. And each time, I awoke to the ongoing headache, coughing fits and for the first few days, intense nausea. It was truly a delightful week.

In the midst of it all, however, I did receive a gift – a huge, unexpected gift of a major aha and wake-up call that came with the death of Carrie Fisher. A woman I have admired for many years for her talent, wit, and spunk, as well as her kick-ass ability to walk through the fire, drag herself back from the edge, send a few postcards, then get up again and keep on going, very similar to the iconic character she portrayed in Star Wars.

Two days later, her equally famous mother, Debbie Reynolds passed away and because I was flat out on the couch, I did something I most certainly would not have taken the time to do otherwise. I watched a 40-minute interview with the pair of them on Oprah, recorded in 2011. During that interview, something struck me right out of left field.

I had something majorly in common with Carrie Fisher.

No, I don’t have two best-selling books out. Yet. And while I have a pretty good sense of humor, I don’t think it is in the same league as her biting wisecracks. I did my share of dabbling with the drug culture – hey I grew up in the 60s – but it was more of a tiptoe around the fringes rather than a deep dive like Carrie did. Nor have I had a bout with a diagnosed mental illness. The key word there being “diagnosed”, who’s to say what sane is, in this crazy world – but that is another story. And no, I have never starred in a blockbuster movie, grown up with famous parents or had my father leave my mother for Liz Taylor.

So on the surface, it would seem we had little or nothing in common. Except one thing. One really, really big thing.

We both grew up in the shadow of a beautiful, talented, glamorous mother. For Carrie, it was a very public growing up. Her mother was a well-known, well-loved actress and singer. Beautiful beyond measure. I heard Oprah ask Carrie what it was like to grow up with a gorgeous mother. And her answer?

I felt like a thumb.

Wow, I shot up and took notice when I heard that sentence. I could relate exactly to what that felt like! The thumb is a very useful, functional part of the body. Helpful for peeling oranges, deftly squeezing the toothpaste out of the tube and taking the lid off of the peanut butter jar. It is not the ugliest part of the body, but it is nowhere near the glamorous parts. And I understood. I understood Carrie and her words.

My mother was a strikingly beautiful woman, who interestingly in her youth, was always being compared to Debbie Reynolds in her looks. Not only that, but she was glamorous. She was a platinum blonde and owned a dozen wigs. She loved putting on make-up, wearing beautiful clothes and jewelry. And truly, she could literally stop conversation when she walked into a room.

I, on the other hand, could not.

Don’t get me wrong, I adored my mother. Everyone did! And I understood why. She was larger than life, her smile lit up a room, her distinctive laughter was a precious sound that could get any party started. She was beautiful inside and out. She loved to host large gatherings, had a dramatic flair for fashion, hospitality, design and decorating, always made things special. And I miss her to this day.

But I can’t tell you how many times someone would meet my mother, then turn to me and blurt out – “What happened to you?” Even if they didn’t speak it out loud, I knew what they were thinking. The question was written all over their face. And the sad part was I wondered the same thing. I didn’t look anything like my mother. I didn’t get the beautiful eyes, the perfect cheekbones, the classic nose, none of it – but later in life, I had to admit I was the spitting image of my dad. Now, he was a right handsome fellow. But if I had my druthers, I would have gone with beauty over handsome any day.

Her light never dimmed, even later in life with the decline of her body’s health. She continued to glow despite the ravages of aging, weight gain, alcohol use, chemotherapy – even through all of that, those sparkling eyes still retained their almost other-worldly beauty.

So when Carrie Fisher said she felt like a thumb, I got it. It seems Carrie and I may have struggled with some similar demons. It is a difficult thing to be the daughter of a beauty queen and not be one yourself. One of the casualties from that is that you can’t help but take on the belief that you don’t measure up in some way, that somehow you are defective, a disappointment and maybe even an embarrassment. My mother would have vehemently denied that, as all loving mothers should – but somewhere in our history, I am sure that there was a moment where that thought – bidden or not – had to have emerged.

There is a happy ending to all of this however. As a young woman, Carrie’s beauty began to shine through. And so did mine. I acquired my own style – it was much more of an earth mother look. Glamorous beauty queen just never cut it with me. I stopped wearing make-up in my early 20s, I let my brown hair grow down to my butt. Although I never attempted the donuts on the side look, I probably could have rocked the Princess Leia hairdo in those days. Glasses gave way to contacts and I finally succumbed to the blond streaking craze. I felt okay about my looks although in my mind, they never did measure up to my mother’s style and grace.

But there was something else that was said in that interview that also unexpectedly moved me in a different way. Debbie Reynolds said at one point with great pride, that she had now become known as Princess Leia’s mother and she was delighted to have the tables turned.

I was suddenly transported back to my very first ministry and I recall watching my parents beaming in delight, as they became known as Jane’s mom and dad. Then I remembered being in a women’s sharing circle ceremony with my mom, and having her introduce herself as “Jane’s mom.” I thought at the time in a somewhat disdainful manner, that it was not the least bit descriptive of who she was, but I held my tongue. When I heard Debbie Reynolds’ words in the interview, I was suddenly glad I had kept quiet that day, as I realized that at some point in her life, my mother left behind glamor for relationship. And did so happily.

During my grandmother’s funeral, I later found out that women who had been my mother’s childhood friends but had not had occasion to see her in decades, seemed to delight, one after the other, in walking up to her and callously sharing how shocked they were to see how much weight she had gained over the years. With no regard, it seems for the deep grief she was experiencing with the passing of her mother.

I remembered upon hearing this news of feeling outraged and being stunned by the level of such cruel behavior. And I realized then that years of being seen as a glamor queen carried a steep price, namely serving as a target for others’ projected self-loathing and insecurities. I think that a lifetime of trying to live up to an image was a great burden on my mother, one that I was thankfully spared. And I never got that, not until the day I watched the interview.

An acupuncturist named Sarah Fields wisely noted that, “Hate is just a bodyguard for grief. When people lose the hate, they are forced to deal with the pain beneath.” And as I considered this, I was overcome with deep compassion for all of us, who feel like we don’t measure up, or have had our own light somehow eclipsed by another’s. I felt sadness for anyone who has had hurtful comments heaped upon them at an early age and I realized the painful consequences to our individual and collective psyches. We have all experienced it to one degree or another.

So Carrie, thumb to thumb, even though we have never met, I think of you as a soul sister, I feel your struggle and can understand just a little bit of what your life was like. And I want to thank you for your courage and your authenticity in standing up and speaking out about the challenges that came from growing up in a household overshadowed by your mother.

I know that your role as Princess Leia defined you in such a way that you carried it around like an albatross around your neck for the rest of your career. But I hope you see that by playing the inspiring, archetypal role of the warrior woman, you helped pave the way of the rising up for others like me, who had yet to discover our gifts and shine our light. What I learned from you was that it’s okay for a woman to have beauty, brains and balls. I grew into a warrior woman myself, coming into my own, later in life, getting a black belt in karate, going back to school in my 40s, changing careers, becoming a speaker and a writer.

You were a beacon of light for me as a young woman and even more so quite unexpectedly, in a week of fever-induced madness. And I thank you for it. I can only imagine that the chorus of “may the force be with you” that is wending its way heavenward right now, must be eliciting at the very least, a spiritual eye roll from you or maybe even a plea for divine intervention to make it stop.

So I will spare you the greeting, break with tradition and instead give you the Vulcan “live long and prosper.” God speed, Carrie, enjoy the sweetness of life beyond the veil, may the years of pain be washed away leaving only the love and the peace that eluded you so much in life.

Enjoy the time in the afterlife with your mom. Oh – and if you spot a woman who looks an awful lot like her, with eyes as deep as the moon, please give her a “thumbs up” and a hug for me, and above all, let her know how much I love her and miss her.

Blessings, Jane

Soon to be released: You Can’t Sleep Through Your Awakening, by Jane Simmons. Subscribe to this blog to find out more.

 

 

Mission-Centric Ministry: An Emerging Paradigm

There is a lot of confusion regarding exactly what a “mission-centric” ministry really is and even more regarding the process of transitioning from the minister-centric (Pastor / Flock Model) to a purpose-focused ministry practice. I use the word “practice” to emphasize that it is our way of doing ministry that determines our centrism, not what we say, but what we do and how our organization is structured. Also, how mission-centric ministry is funded is quite different from the Pastor / Flock model of ministry.

The HAVING of a mission statement does not make your ministry mission-centric. Embodying or BEING your mission that leads to the DOING of your purpose is the arena of mission-centric ministry.

MINSTER-CENTRIC

Most ministries have a mission statement that is typically created in conjunction with a congregational process of discerning and formulating a ministry’s values, purpose, vision and strategic plan. In the minister-centric paradigm of ministry, tithing is centered upon the principle: give to the source of your spiritual nourishment. This sets up ministry leaders to monitor whether or not people feel spiritually fed—because it impacts the ministry’s income. As leaders, in this ministry practice we are easily triggered by the church’s sense of not enough. It is natural for us to wonder if people are happy and feeling that the ministry is meeting their needs. While there is nothing inherently amiss with this concern, it perpetuates the myth that the source of one’s abundance or well-being is outside of him or herself. When funding is linked to tithing practices that externalize Source, people’s sense of not enough eclipses their capacity to know that everything they have is their abundance. This is an unintended consequence of the minister-centric dynamic.

In addition, since the minister-centric paradigm of ministry is most fundamentally linked to the Sunday service as being both payday and the primary focus for impacting people’s lives, this ministry practice competes with the growing trend where on Sunday, worship is not the only game in town. Just check out the soccer fields and your nearby Home Depot parking lot on Sunday mornings. With 9 out of 10 ministries in decline, mission-centric ministry is being seen as a more sustainable ministry practice, in part because it is funded differently than through the principle of tithing to where you are spiritually fed.

MISSION-CENTRIC

Transitioning from minister to mission-centric ministry is a “whole system” (all quadrants) process that takes 3 – 5 years to bring forth. It is the doing or practice of your mission that leads to creating community and organizational coherence, and creates the tipping points necessary to transform your church culture (the identity of the ministry). It also entails the reconfiguring of organization structures, practices and systems for “mission delivery” beyond the Sunday worship experience. Simply put, in the mission-centric model of ministry, the entire community embodies the fulfilled state that the mission statement describes. People’s experience of the mission becomes the ministry’s identity in the mission-centric model rather than the role of the minister being the glue that holds everything together. In addition, the entire organization becomes structured for purpose of “mission fulfillment.” In other words, the mission is fulfilled via multiple avenues far beyond the Sunday gathering.

OUR MISSION STATEMENT

Since Jane and I assumed spiritual leadership of Unity Spiritual Center (Spokane) twenty months ago, we discovered that, while the ministry had a mission statement, and had been in the practice of repeating it on Sundays in the past, no one, not even the Board, could tell us what the mission was when we arrived or how it was demonstrated. (A mission and strategic plan fading into obscurity is a common phenomenon in the minister-centric model of ministry.) This was actually a blessing for us as we were hired to transition the organization to a mission-centric practice.

Soon after, we introduced a “practice” mission statement, explaining that before we could craft a new mission, we had to initially experience what it means to BE on purpose. We need to first experience what happens when there is coherence surrounding who we are and what we do as a spiritual community, which is very different, than just identifying values and goals. It becomes our way of “praying without ceasing” so to speak, and a method of “walking our talk. “

Our practice mission is Transforming Lives. It’s that simple and powerful. No one needed it explained. What’s more, since over 200 people in our community have been through the Q Process™ over 90% of our congregation has experienced a profound and personal transformation. They are embodying our mission. There is no gap between what we practice and what is our shared experience. Our entire community now uses a common practice to both experience and demonstrate our purpose: transforming lives.

Now, it is not Jane’s and my intention to “tell” the congregation what its mission is, but rather help them have the felt sense of what it means to be on purpose as a community and in their individual lives. And so, we are now aligning our organizational structures to support transforming lives.

SUPPORTING STRUCTURES

If “transforming lives” is the mission, then how is that best accomplished? While the worship service is often inspiring, uplifting and engaging, it is rare that the Sunday experience alone transforms lives, birthing a greater reality among individual congregants. We can add classes to the effort, but unless a specific curriculum is linked to growing emotional and spiritual maturity, it might not be transformational. What about small group ministry like a Fall Faith program? Now you are getting warm. Studies have shown that transformation happens most profoundly in small group ministry. Yet, in New Thought, small group ministry is typically a “bolt on” program rather than the centrism of the organization.

SPIRITGROUPS

For us at Unity Spiritual Center, the SpiritGroups small group ministry program developed by Mendhi Audlin, LUT, is accelerating our transition to an entirely mission based organization. Why SpiritGroups? Because it is a coherent year-round program for mission fulfillment when the mission of the ministry is linked to transforming lives. Here is a link https://www.spiritgroups.org/p/garysimmons to a keynote talk I did at the 2016 Small Group Leadership Summit held at Unity Village prior to our national convention last June. In the video I speak to how SpiritGroups can drive the transition to mission-centric ministry and answer more detailed questions about funding.

A lot more can be said about transitioning to mission-centric ministry. For instance, the role of the minister and board change in this new paradigm of ministry. The minister transitions from being ostensibly the “parental figure” of the family system to being in the role of “spiritual or life coach.” The Board’s role moves from managing to modeling and from leading to developing other leaders. Integral to the entire long-term process is the integration of the ministry’s shadow material and the emotional and spiritual maturity of the entire community. Absent of the resilience and capacity to manage change and overcome the collective “sense of not enough” the transition to mission-centric ministry is unsustainable.

Finally, the context for tithing in a mission-centric ministry is to make a difference—to tithe AS source, not TO the source of one’s spiritual nourishment. Rather than focusing on supporting the ministry, we invite people to tithe as SOURCE to the mission, transforming lives. In a mission-centric ministry practice people give to make a difference, and this difference (the context from which they tithe) makes all the difference in how the ministry is financially sustained.

In 2017, we begin our third year of implementing the mission-centric ministry practice as I have described it above. Everything we are doing can be replicated. Please contact me for more info: drgarysimmons@gmail.com.

Blessings, Gary

From WTF to OMG: Guest Blog by Rev. Dr. Jane Simmons

This timely message will warm your heart and give you hope. (MindMovie Visualization Tool series will continue after the New Year.)

I have always had a fascination with the concept that a tiny piece of straw, weighing merely a fraction of a gram could have the potential to crack the spine of a camel or that during a heavy snowfall, the weight of one tiny, single snowflake landing on a tree branch can be the tipping point that separates that branch from the tree.

The reason I find it fascinating and, in fact, hopeful is because I like to imagine the prospect that a world of peace, justice and compassion is possible and maybe – just maybe – what is needed to make that a reality is one more voice to speak or one more action to be taken to reach critical mass for change and transformation. Maybe it is time for me to stand up and say, “I will be the change that I seek!”

We live in “interesting times” as the famous Asian blessing/curse reminds us – a time of political corruption, rampant misogyny, fear-based xenophobia, homophobia, racism and poverty. Prisons have become highly profitable and people of color are part of the marketing plan. They are being incarcerated at an alarming rate – it is the new Jim Crow.

Then there is terrorism, environmental degradation, species extinction, genetically modified food, prescription and illegal drug abuse, addiction, sweatshops, and toddlers with guns. Corporations gain human rights while humans watch their rights dwindle. Fake news abounds and unreliable corporate-owned media can no longer be trusted. Delusional twitter rants at 3 a.m. become the headlines.

Take a breath.

Looking from this perspective, an overwhelming sense of hopeless, powerless despair rises up and threatens to engulf me. It leaves me wrestling with a modern version of the age-old question – WTF? What kind of insanity has gripped the people of this world? Are these the “end times” as foretold? Could this actually be the final curtain call for life on Planet Earth?

Paraphrasing Eckhart Tolle’s observation in his book, A New Earth – if humanity’s history was being examined by a mental health care professional, the human race would be deemed an incorrigibly violent, murderous, insane, psychotic psychopath.

Although Tolle shares it in a semi tongue-in-cheek manner, his point is a valid one. We can think of humanity’s past as a rather sordid record of an ego-based, shadow-driven world.

While it is important to be informed about what is happening in the world, this line of hopeless, doomsday thinking is clearly counter-productive to bringing forth any measure of peace, insight or change. In fact, it just adds to the problem. To overcome this hand-wringing sense of “hell in a hand basket” thinking, I set out to transform my inner state from one of WTF to OMG. I began by writing down five good, positive things that could conceivably come out of this messy time.

  1. The so-called Cultural Creatives finally get out of our complacent bubbles and off our complacent asses, find each other and mobilize.
  2. People take on shadow integration work as a way of life, realizing that all of the world’s ills stem from and in fact, are mirroring our own individual ego-based, shadow-driven behavior.
  3. Sleeping Beauty, aka the intuition, wakes up in every heart – and she is no damsel in distress. Turns out that taking authentic compassionate action is the awakening kiss.
  4. Wholehearted Living lovingly encompasses egoic thinking in “transcend and include style”.
  5. Second tier integral consciousness finally emerges.

And we all sing Kumbaya.

Hey, it could happen. Maybe this can become the dawning of the Age of Aquarius that the boomer generation has been anticipating for so many decades. Perhaps the harmonic convergence lines up for real this time, and the Indigo children are ready to launch.

There’s no reason why a transformed world can’t emerge. It begins with a transformed mind and the first hurtle I need to clear, is the belief that it can’t happen. As my best friend in seminary used to be fond of saying to me – get past yourself, Jane. Get past myself. It’s always about that, isn’t it?

That’s the work. The face in the mirror won’t smile at me before I smile first. If I really believe that the outer world mirrors what is going on within me, then I have some work to do.

So what if I released the belief system that says it’s never going to happen and made these five possibilities actual, personal goals of mine?

I know the drill.

So as we are poised for a brand new year to begin, here is my to-do list for ringing in a New Clear Age of transformation:

  1. Let go of the belief it can’t happen.
  2. Visualize what you want to see come forth.
  3. Feel the way you will feel when it comes to pass.
  4. Saturate your heart in gratitude.
  5. Surrender to the Greater Mind. Let it lead. Stop interfering with the flow of life.
  6. In a state of total expectancy, gratitude and excitement, say yes to whatever is showing up on the path as the next step to making the new vision a reality.
  7. Be ever mindful of the critical voice and shadow beliefs as they surface. Then shower yourself with compassion.

Aaaaand, repeat.

It is time for all of us to find within ourselves what we want to see in the world and then express it. You think the world needs more compassion – be it. More integrity? Be it. More kindness? Be it.

What if my voice and my action could be the proverbial straw?

What if it’s yours?

Is the final snowflake wending its way downward and poised to alight?

Blessings, Jane

Dr. Jane Simmons is an ordained Unity minister, and holds a doctoral degree in Theology from Holos University Graduate Seminary. She is the author of I of the Storm for Teens and the co-author of, Who Have You Come Here to Be, 101 Possibilities for Contemplation. Her latest book, You Can’t Sleep Through Your Awakening will be published after the New Year.

Jane is the co-founder of The Q Effect and is a powerful speaker, writer, workshop facilitator and educator with a commitment to heart-centered approaches to personal transformation. She resides in Spokane, Washington with her husband and co-minister, Dr. Gary Simmons.

 

 

 

MindMovie Visualization Tool: Part 5

Click Here for a short video of the retreat: https://vimeo.com/191558509
Click Here for a short video of the retreat: https://vimeo.com/191558509

Since my last blog post Jane and I have returned from a 5 day retreat in Cancun with Dr. Joe Dispenza. It was at this Advanced workshop that we learned how to use our mind movies as a tool for programing our subconscious mind to live into a new future (as depicted in our mind movies). Our challenge was to “inhabit” each scene in our movie while in a trance state in order to bypass the “gap” between our conscious mind’s resistance to what seems “make believe” and the subconscious mind’s imperative to “produce” after its own kind (to make what we believe become our reality). This seeming paradox, that on the subconscious level our mind does not know the difference between a real or imagined object, becomes a point of leverage for what I will call “the quantum wizard” within us all. At some fundamental level, our higher self (by whatever name we would call it) is the foundation of BEING, the Zero Point Field from which all things arise. Consciousness or thought is the sole arbiter of the manifest world. Mind, therefore, is the medium by which “thought as a system” is aligned to the process of manifesting our personal reality. The problem is and will continue to be: lifting our consciousness out of the very “system within which it (consciousness) thinks and knows itself”. In other words, we need to transcend our own mind (as a thought system) in order to access a greater mind that is not encapsulated by our own mental models of reality. This means we must break the habit of being our selves–of being our predictable selves–of being our past. Using our current mind and its “thoughtful resources” is like trying to find a solution using the same thinking that created the problem in the first place.

The mind movie, while programing our subconscious to align the body / mind to a vision of a new future, as a transformational tool has as two purposes: 1) to help us understand the mechanics of manifesting and how we create our personal reality, and 2) to help us transcend the obstacles that keep us tethered to a time-based and out-sourced reality-making process.

Dr. Joe often says that when you know the “what” and the “why” of something or of some process, the “how” becomes easier. When you know exactly “what” changes you are seeking to affect in your brain while meditating, for instance; whatwhyhowand when you know “why” getting beneath your analytical mind (moving from beta to alpha brain waves) is integral to accessing higher states of consciousness, the specific practices (how) of directing attention and awareness become more doable. He eliminates all of the guesswork in the process of transforming one’s personal reality and brings it ALL into the arena of spiritual practice (meditation) rather than spiritual bypass (reframing or translation).

Another favorite saying of Dr. Joe’s is a quote from Albert Einstein, “The field is the sole governing agency of the particle.” The “field” being referred to here as the quantum field or the context of observation (the observer effect). The particle waverefers to the manifest experience (matter / form). What shows up in our life is not only an effect of how we see things and the meanings we affix to our perceptions, it is also a byproduct of the consciousness within which the thought, idea, or notion is conceived, i.e. the context or the field of observation. If the context or the field is a sense not enough or insufficiency, then what gets manifested is lack. If the context or field is wholeness, oneness, love, or more than enoughness, then what gets manifested (first in consciousness) is the awareness that everything we HAVE is our abundance; (and then in form) allowing us to USE what we are having to bring forth a greater good.

Another important principle is that of coherence. A laser light is an example of a highly coherent light source. All of the photons are super-aligned and aimed at a single point. An incandescent light such as a night light or a fluorescent light is an example of an incoherent source. The photons are scattered and go off in all directions. Our bodies emit and receive electromagnetic energy from the field that surrounds us. This field is filled with energy and information. The higher the energy (frequency) and the purity of the signal (coherence) translate into optimal coherent_lighthealth and immune function. When the energies that surround us are of a lower vibration and incoherent, what we take in from the field diminishes our energy and the vitality of our energy centers. Therefore, it could be said, when we consciously raise our frequency and create a high degree of coherence within our energetic field, we are optimizing a “whole-being” capacity for intelligent transformation — transformation that is aligned with our soul’s intent to bring us into ever greater expressions of wholeness, love, and more than enoughness.

The importance of all of this becomes evident when we consider the practice of using the mind movie as a systematic process of living as if we are more than enough. Once the movie is made and becomes a community-wide spiritual practice, each individual uses her movie to: 1) reprogram the subconscious mind to a new future, 2) sustain elevated emotions of the felt sense of one’s future state, 3) raise one’s energetic frequency, 4) break the habit of being one’s limited self, and 5) attract into one’s life greater abundance and well-being.

To date, we have had two MindMovie Production Team (MMPT) meetings comprised of volunteers who have said YES to:

  • Learning the MindMovie making process by creating their own Mind Movie
  • Attending MindMovie Production Team meetings to debrief the movie creation process
  • Co-creating guidelines for those in our congregation that need assistance in creating their own movie
  • Volunteer to create 5 – 10 movies for community members (for a love-offering)
  • Meeting personally with members to create their mind movie

we-are-thrivingEach MMPT member received their own MindMovie.com account purchased by the church. Each MindMovie account costs $97. We raised over $2700 allowing us to purchase ample accounts to manage the congregation-wide project of providing everyone with their own personal mind movie.

Next week, everyone in our congregation who wants to work with a member of the MMPT will meet to discuss what each individual needs to bring to the mind movie making process (personal pictures, upbeat music, affirmations, videos, etc). For those in our ministry that do not have devices (for playing their movie) or have physical disabilities (blindness, hearing loss, etc), a special effort will be made to accommodate each person with some suitable adaptation to the mind movie experience.

It is too soon for me to report anything substantive with respect to the impact of the project thus far. As momentum and enthusiasm for the project builds, we expect that the New Year will be filled with an abundance of transformative stories and testimonies as a result of our efforts.

Blessings, Gary

MindMovie Visualization Tool: Part 4–It’s My Time

not-good-smart-etc-enoughIntegral to the life changing power of the mind movie visualization program is using it as a tool for transforming the sense of not enough. Otherwise, the entire system is simply a high tech treasure mapping process. There is little benefit for people to manifest a greater good in their lives if it is for the purpose of resolving some discomfort associated with their current life circumstances. (How to use discomfort to transform the sense of not enough will be discussed later.) If we can see that the discomfort we experience with what we are currently having as our life situation arises from our sense “I am not enough” it is evident that to “get more” of something at best only provides a temporary reprieve from what is otherwise a mirror unto our own internal insufficiency.

To be clear, there is no problem with the HAVING of anything. The problem is when our HAVING has us. When in the having of something we want or in the not having of something we don’t want we can become emotionally altered, feeling either diminished or self-important, what we HAVE has become a part of our identity. This happens because HAVING is almost always experienced in the context of our sense of not enough.

IF I have to HAVE things be a certain way in order for me to feel okay about myself, I am living from my sense of not enough. In this sense, what I HAVE, has me. This is a kind of “spiritual incongruence”–when HAVING equals BEING. What we HAVE becomes an extension of who we are and therefore, what we DO arises out of our need to feel better about things or to minimize our discomfort.

The HAVE, BE, DO incongruence arises out of our sense of not enough. It bedohavereframes what we are HAVING into the context “I AM this that I am having.” Think about all of the things that you have–your body, your job, your story, your beliefs, etc. When you confuse yourself with what you have, living as if what you have is who you are, you suffer.

If spiritual congruence is BE, DO, HAVE, then it is our BEING that informs what we DO with what we are HAVING. This order of principle arises when our more than enoughness becomes the context of our HAVING. It is our more than enoughness that uses whatever we have as a mechanism of fulfilling our purpose and passion. It is our more than enoughness that sees EVERYTHING that we have as our ABUNDANCE. When our context for HAVING is our more than enoughness, everything that we have serves the greater purpose of moving us into a transformational relationship to life. We are free to desire anything we can imagine, providing that it becomes something that we USE to fulfill our purpose and passion, otherwise, whatever we draw into our life will eventually HAVE us.

ProsperityWhen HAVING is experienced from our sense of MORE than enough, everything we have becomes our ABUNDANCE.

For the longest time people have been saying to me that I am “ahead of my time.” I am just coming to realize that being branded as “ahead of my time” has really played well into my sense of not enough. The years I have spent trying to aid in the evolution of the New Thought movement, while appreciated, has left me empty when my effort is described as misaligned or ahead of my time. There was a “time” when I wondered if my advocacy was even worth it given what I have to show for it, career wise. I mean, if my work was really relevant and of value, why do I feel like I am pushing the river, rocking the boat, or otherwise a prophet crying in the wilderness in his own country and sometimes without much honor. (This is my sense of not enough running my thought process.)

Most of us have been waiting for something. I have been waiting for my work to matter and for it to translate into some tangible evidence of my worth. I have been waiting something to happen in the outer for confirmation that I matter, that I make a difference.

So here’s the hideousness of my sense of not enough: My life is filled with countless moments of praise, letters, calls, thoughtful and heartfelt acknowledgements of how my work and my presence has helped others. But my sense of not enough won’t let me take in all in, to my core, in part, because my good deeds have yet to translate into more income and a greater capacity to manage my retirement goals. My sense of not enough has caused me to push away the very evidence I have craved that gives me the sure and certain knowing that I am more than enough.

Enter, stage right…the mind movie visualization tool. Here is my movie: (https://youtu.be/15PU5CUOfMw)  Pay particular attention to the words of the  song: It’s My Time.

The moment I began working with this song I noticed that the music invoked in me the “felt sense” that IT’S MY TIME! I started listening to the music over and over as I took those words into my consciousness, It’s My Time. It’s MY time!

And then in a moment of insight, I realized that my higher self was singing to me:

There’s a feeling inside of me, it’s telling me that I can be more and more of who I am, it’s a power that says I can. Open up to the passion in me, it’s a call to rise that’s calling me to wake up to what I want to be; it’s my time to claim my destiny. Time to let go, get ready to fly, open my heart and reach for the sky; starting today I know the reason why there’s nothing I won’t try.

I’m not holding back, I’m not giving in. There are choices to be making, it’s time to begin the journey that never ends, I create the space that I am living in. My imagination is pulling me; I’m on a path toward success and clarity, I’m in the its-my-time3flow of life for all to see. My intentions are guiding me. Time to let go, get ready to fly, open my heart and reach for the sky. Starting today I know the reason why there’s nothing I won’t try.

When I commit to integrity you know what flows from me is authenticity and I will follow my heart because it’s telling me; it’s my time to claim my destiny. It’s my time to let the world know that I can stand up and declare just who I am.

These words transported me to the realization that I had been waiting for something that has always been available to me, the awareness that I am more than enough, right now. And, if that is true, then this IS my time! It has been my own sense of not enough that’s been the real issue over these last 18 years, not the value or relevance of my work. I get that now. What’s more, the awareness that it is my time has become a “state of being” that carries with it the felt sense that I am more than enough. My mind movie helps me to sustain these feelings and the images that I have chosen form the substance of what connects me to the FEELING of more than enough.

Now this is important. The movie is NOT for the primary purpose of attracting something into my life, but serves to help me sustain the elevated feeling of my more than enoughness state of being. To be sure, it is likely that the visualization tool will help me to manifest a greater good, but it is my FEELING of more than enough that is the focus of the process.

Recently, I had some people ask if I am okay with not manifesting as much follow-your-heart money as I have visualized in my movie. My response is: That’s not the point. The transformative power of the mind movie process is not with respect to what happens in the outer, but rather what happens within me right now, today, in this moment. How I feel as an effect of a more than enough state of being with whatever I am having is the critical issue. Can I be with whatever is arising in my experience (HAVING) from the context of my more than enoughness? To the degree that I am able to relate to what I am having as my abundance is the degree that this now moment is a stepping stone to the fulfillment of my purpose and passion. And, it is this FEELING that I want my entire congregation to experience as evidence of their magnificence and worth. It is from my more than enoughness that I want everyone in my ministry to experience what I am now HAVING.

As my more than enoughness continues to inform my thinking, how I see things, what I do, and what I choose to empower, I see that my new found state of being requires practice to sustain and expand. Our more than enoughness remains dormant until something in our life activates it. Then it is necessary to teach our brains how to see from the context of more than enough because our brains have been conditioned to see our life in the context of limits and obstructions. It is necessary for us to create new neural pathways surrounding our more than enoughness in order for our body / mind to have easy access to what is a growing sense of our innate worth. Once the “state of being” of our more than enoughness becomes well established, our HAVING is an extension of our capacity to make each now moment a connecting link in the causality chain that brings forth a greater good that is a blessing to the entire world. We USE what we HAVE to make a difference.

In Part 5, I will share our plans for getting our entire congregation involved in the project and how this coherence will aid in the shifting of our culture to the mission-centric model of ministry.

Blessings, Gary