I mentioned in an earlier blog post entitled “Not Feeling Spiritually Fed?” the principle I am a localized point of Source. I also wrote about shifting from tithing to where you are spiritually fed (tithing to Source) to tithing to where you want to make a difference (tithing as Source). I wish to share how this shift has made a difference in Jane’s and my practice of tithing and how we will approach the dynamic of teaching prosperity classes at Unity Spiritual Center.
Let me just say we plan to introduce a very different approach to thriving in ministry that blends shadow work, self-compassion, gratitude, and generosity teachings with practical personal money management skills as a basis for integrating the sense of not enough that manifests as both personal and organizational lack. We will not be teaching the traditional tithe to Source approach. We will however, promote tithing as a spiritual practice, including valuing the avenues of spiritual nourishment, but not in the context of tithing.
We will also be field-testing a new program that Rev. Doris Hoskins has developed called An Integral Approach to Sustainable Prosperity. This is not a tithing program. It is, however, a comprehensive approach to emotional and spiritual maturity regarding money matters. Doris does a great job of systematically bringing an individual into a conscious awareness regarding spending patterns and the distinction between needs and wants. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
So here’s the background for understanding how we got to the I am Source context. Since 1997 I have been working with embodying Unity’s foundation Principle: There is only one presence and one power active in my life, God the God, Omnipotent. Using my own terminology: Nothing and No One is Against me. Nearly two decades later, I have made it my daily practice to live consciously with nothing and no one against me with the result being an immediate awareness and recovery whenever I become triggered or defensive.
The culmination of this focus produced the Q Process™–a 21 day self-directed aware-apy system that helps people identify and integrate limiting beliefs (shadow qualities). Central to the Q Process™is the understanding that the source of one’s discomfort is not “out there” in external circumstances. Our conditioning, however, in addition to how our body-mind constructs its representation of reality creates the illusion that life is happening to us. Forgetting that perception is really projection, the true source of both our discomfort as well as our well-being is always within.
For some reason, I began to listen to myself more deeply and profoundly when I would remind people (and myself) that we are Source unto our own lives. Then, I was able to see that most of my discomfort was self-inflicted–an effect of trying to remedy an internal incongruence with an external fix. This subtle shift of context (I am Source instead of Source being external to me) revealed with blinding clarity, that if the Source of my well-being AND my discomfort is within, then any attempt to predict and control immediately translated into greater anxiety and distress. I could only find peace and resolve when I abandoned the external fix (like I stopped buying lottery tickets, damn!).
Here’s what Jane and I put ourselves through: While we knew that the sluggish housing market was not against us, we still needed to sell our house in Lee’s Summit and our rented house in Fayetteville, Arkansas. While we knew that the needed repairs and updates to these properties and the expense of readying the houses for listing was not against us, we still needed to augment our limited funds with a heavy dependence upon our credit cards. While knowing that the myriad of details associated with moving across the country, finding a house to rent that could accommodate my airplane project, and dealing with tons of other relocation issues was not against us, we still needed to settle in to our new surroundings, open bank accounts, register vehicles, get drivers licenses and health insurance.
Knowing that our life is always for us and that there is just God going on doesn’t necessarily grant us freedom from ourselves and our old patterns of worry. Having mounting credit card debt with two houses still on the market and months before our new salaries would commence, we tried our best to affirm Divine Order and maintain a positive attitude. But to be honest, our indulgence of fearful concerns was locked in mortal combat with the persistent awareness that we were doing a number on ourselves. We did not have to suffer.
Then Jane and I began to go “all in” on the principle I am Source. We started with the understanding that whatever we HAVE is our abundance, regardless of how our perceived needs seem to eclipse this truth. We then began to tithe as Source, giving to wherever we sought Spirit to blossom. We focused on aligning our perceptions and meaning making with seeing that each moment contained both promise and possibility and that in the presence of uncertainty and ambiguity, we would simply focus on who we have come here to be and enjoy the unfolding.
Within days of this shift, our houses went into contract, then sold and so many of the uncertainties faded from relevance. With credit cards paid off and everything in its place, we have acquired a renewed sense of purpose and confidence in our approach to sustainable abundance. Just remember that whatever you have is your abundance. Then tithe as Source. Try it.