The following is my Unity of the Valley sermon from February 3, 2013:
The Art of Allowing by Rev. Sherry Lady
Over the past year, the circumstances of my life have made it necessary to make changes in how I do things. I’ve had to stop being someone who thinks they have to be the one to make things happen, get with the program. I’ve had to stop pushing hard to fill the spaces of my days with the zillion things I love to do on top of what I’ve agreed to do, volunteered to do, or have been asked to do. It hasn’t been easy.
I have seen the days of my years fly by and the number of days in my past increase in number with tremendous speed and my bucket list of things that need doing filling faster than I can keep up with. Alongside that particular bucket is the one that holds the list of the things I still want to do and many of those are things I always wanted to do but never got around to – yet. I know many of you can relate.
I have had to “unfill” the pages of my days and let them get filled from another direction. This doesn’t mean I have become passive or inactive, Far from it. It just means I have to know what it is that needs doing, then ask – and trust – the universe to bring it to me in more reasonable amounts and speeds. (Lucy and the chocolate wrapping line) I had to choose to have the events be more like savory wine-tasting unfoldment. First lift the glass, let it be filled – only part way – savor the aroma of the energy and sip slowly to get the full body of flavor. (I was surprised when this metaphor came to me because I do not like wine – any kind.)
Charles Schultz (Peanuts strip): “I think I’ve discovered the secret of life. You just hang around until you get used to it.”
I think I am finally “getting used to it.” The most useful and productive way to live is to know that: Everything you could ever want always works out – if you will only let it.
There has been some frustration in this, especially when it became evident that even with that knowing I often felt like I can’t keep up with it all. I can’t find room for everything in my life – the things that need to be done and the things I want to do. They are outrunning me. It brings to mind that saying, by the man who says to bystanders as he runs swiftly down the street, “Did you see them? I am their leader and I don’t know which way they went.” The ducks in my row were being very mischievous and wandering all over the place.
One day, in the quiet of my car, in a parking lot where I was waiting for someone, I gave myself a good talking to and then, when the answers were somewhat garbled, I said to myself, “Self – there must be a way to do this better.” Then I took a deep breath and got still and let Spirit do the talking. Spirit’s voice has a way of sounding a lot like mine, but the words are none that I could have come up with on my own, so I know it’s something else. Then I breathed again, using my favorite form of breathing – Ki breathing, which I learned from my favorite meditation teacher.
I heard “allow this moment to teach you the better way for your life today.” The word “allow” was the key – allow. Allow this and every moment to be the one in which you are fully present. What needs to be done by me now? And in that moment it came to me. A nap! So I did that – for about 20 minutes. It felt so good that I knew I would “allow” that to happen again sometime.
Then the person I was waiting for tapped on the window and the thoughts came flooding about what was to be done next and next and next and would that be ok with them, and did they need anything…..I felt my body tense up. “Breathe! You are here now, there is only this moment ”words I read somewhere – and let’s make it smooth and fun. So I did, with more lighthearted conversation, more laughter at amusing things, and taking an alternative route just for the fun of it. It felt so good I let that be the pattern for the rest of the evening. And, the next day, and the next evening. When I shared it with an especially influential spiritual teacher of mine she said “that is the art of allowing.” “I’m in,” I replied.
Alice Roosevelt Longworth gave good advice: She said – “I have a simple philosophy – fill what’s empty, empty what’s full and scratch where it itches.
I don’t know who said this, but I’ve come to like it: “The Art of Allowing is deliberately choosing thoughts that feel good, with an ear to how the thought feels as it evolves within you. It is wanting so much to feel good, that no matter what you are doing or what life requires of you, you are deliberately looking for the best feeling thought that you can find. Then you practice it until it becomes a sort of natural feeling within you. Then that which you want flows to you.”
Once you understand the power of though, you will joyously experience your own freedom to express who you are and to be as you are – and all the time you will be willing to allow all others the same freedom. As more of us reach this state of being, it will be a time of peace and a time of contentment and a time of wondrous joy upon our Planet Earth.
Allow your inner being to be your guide. Take it with you everywhere you go. If you do, the food you eat will be received perfectly by the cells of your body. Every word you speak will benefit someone. “Allowing” is always having your inner Being present. The everything else is well orchestrated perfectly by the Law of Attraction and attracted to you are the things that are yours to do – and no one else’s.
Letting go enough to allow life to fill your cup is not easy. It can be like a man named Jack who accidentally got too close to the edge of a cliff and fell. On the way down he grabbed a branch, which temporarily stopped his fall. (How many times in your life have you felt as if you were dangling and just barely hanging on – I have) But, the valley floor was almost a thousand feet down.
He couldn’t hang on to the branch forever and there was no way to climb up the steep cliff, so he began yelling for help, hoping that someone passing by would come to his rescue.
He yelled for a long time and was about to give up when he heard a voice “Jack. Can you hear me?
“Yes, yes, I can hear you. I am down here.”
I can see you. Are you ok?
Yes, but who are you and where are you?
I am the Lord, Jack. I am everywhere.
You mean GOD?
Please help me. I promise that if you get me down from here I’ll stop everything and become a really good person.
Easy on promises Jack. Let’s get you to safety, then we can talk. Now here’s what I want you to do.
I’ll do anything, God.
Okay – let go of the branch.
I said, let go of the branch. Just trust me. Let go.
There was a long silence. Finally Jack replied: HELP! IS ANYONE ELSE UP THERE?”
The deeper, and spiritual aspect of allowing has to do with trusting – and trusting some more – being patient and having faith that what you want to manifest, create and experience will show up in your life as it is meant to – let them unfold without having to manipulate, dominate or control other people or situations to make them happen. If you have a tendency to be a control-freak at times, this can be incredibly challenging.
Allowing takes faith, patience and trust – I offer this once again. These three things are essential for your own peace of mind and well-being, but are often not the things we focus on. Allowing is an art and it often goes against the grain, running contrary to society’s norms and pressures. Remember – we’re human beings – not human doings.
Here are a few things to think about and practice as you being to live from the place of allowing:
- Ask yourself how you relate to the concept of allowing. Can you relate to it at all. Can you allow others to be who they are and not let them have free rent in your life, but honor and support them in being who they are?
- Pay attention to what you focus on in your biggest aspirations. Focus on fulfillment rather than success.
- Create an allowing practice: prayer ,meditation, quiet reflection.
- Reach out to others for support, guidance and feedback
- Have fun with all of your life.
So – have I had to give up anything? No – in fact I have found that I can actually accomplish more and be less tired and more satisfied when I allow my inner knowing to guide me—naps, side-trips, and so much fun watching what comes next that, without efforting, my goals are reached. People ask me: How do you do so much. I don’t. I just respond to what comes my way – allowing works.
Again – anything and everything you could ever want always works out if you only let it.
But even bigger – and more challenging is making peace with what is – regardless. That is allowing in its highest, most blessed form of participating in life. Letting go, and letting God,
Story: “The Carpenter.” (Allowing at its most profound expression)
Hear Sherry in person at Unity of the Valley, 3912 Dillard Rd, Eugene, OR 97405, call for times (541) 345-9913.
Learn more about Sherry Lady at http://godshealinggift.com