Holy cow, I've missed writing this month! It's been a wedding extravaganza over here, which is fabulous because I got to see so much family and watch that family expand and expand, but it also means we've been a little crazytown. And that's okay sometimes. Ready to settle back into a schedule that allows writing time, though.
Last month I wrote about how I was told to make my new moon intentions focused on making Christ bigger in my life. I'd never made new moon intentions before, but now I can recommend it wholeheartedly, because who doesn't need more opportunities to reflect on how we can be better? Instead of having a whole year to become completely forgotten and dusty, these babies are over and done with (as much as intentions can be "over") in 28 days. I really enjoyed the concept. The results have been fabulous.
With two simple--simple doesn't mean easy, of course--goals to 1) make Christ bigger and 2) crush the ego, it was hard to forget my focus from day to day. The simplicity of it was wonderful, as I can tend to get rather grandiose and complicated. After a few days, I realized that making Christ the center of my life would automatically reduce my ego, so I pared it down even further to turn my whole focus on Christ. Why this had to be a special intention is unfortunate, because that's the whole point, isn't it? But I'd forgotten.
I started looking for Him everywhere--in the scriptures and at the temple, in my relationships and in nature, and in meditation or other quiet moments when my mind would be wandering. Wonder of wonders, seeking leads to finding. Jesus is literally everywhere. I tried to remember to turn to Him when I was angry or offended or sad, to hand over all the junk and allow myself to be Love, instead. I wasn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but as I practiced, it became easier, and Christ started showing up in places that surprised me. Again... Jesus is literally everywhere.
We just got back from a week in California, and while I was there, my aunt took me and my mom and cousin to a kundalini class in Encinitas. They were all newbies, so that's always fun to see what reactions are, plus the teacher and the kriya (exercise set) were pretty high on the weird scale, and I loved it. During the final relaxation bit, he said something that my whole body responded to: "Take everything you label yourself with, all that negative garbage you attach to yourself, and let it go. In this instant, let it be transformed into mastery and light--there's no more time for any of that anymore. Take all the yuck and just let it go. There really isn't time for that now, because it's time for you to be excellent."
I think part of the reason I reacted so much to it is because it echoed what I'd been learning for myself last month: it really is that easy and that hard. We're out of time for the self-pitying and the wallowing in all our bad habits and the meanness we show to others and ourselves; these are the Last Days, according to multiple religious traditions's prophecies, and we need to be ready to go and do. That means we can't still be distracted by the inanity and depravity around and inside us; our hearts need to be knit together in love, and we need to see eye to eye. We need to have clarity and conviction. We need to recognize God in ourselves and in everyone around us.
It's a huge task. It's 100% impossible on our own. Luckily, it's 100% possible simply by handing the burden over to our Lord and Savior who's already taken care of it. And if we forget that we already handed it over and fall back into certain habits of pride now and again, we can remember and do it again. He doesn't mind. He waits for us to decide we want to be happy. He rejoices when we finally do. And what I'm learning is that when we decide at last that we want it permanently, He can give us that, too (Mosiah 5:2 gives one example of this happening to an entire society, not to mention the City of Enoch). The only thing holding us back is our own reluctance to receive.
About a year ago, I started doing a study of all the names of God in the scriptures. I quickly realized I was in way over my head, because there are a gajillion of them. Now I just have a running list on my phone that I add to as I notice new ones, and they are so beautiful. Speaking specifically about Jesus, he is the Good Master, he that is mighty, the consolation of Israel, one mightier than I, servant of rulers, the Lord that is faithful, and roughly a thousand others. He is the Anointed One, the Shepherd over all the earth. Names tell us so much; shepherds guard and protect, of course, but their purpose is to lead the sheep to a desired destination. Christ leads the earth to God and godliness, and I love him so dearly for it. I love how he teaches and forgives and surprises and delights and loves. I love his sense of humor and his gentleness and his desire to transform me into something miraculous and breathtaking. He is patient and merciful and kind and willing to rescue from even the darkest places. He is my Savior and Redeemer, and I am so grateful to be able to praise his Name.
Look for Jesus in everything. If you do it with real intent, He will come to you and show you who He is and what He can do for you. And you won't even be able to believe it, because it's that beautiful and that amazing. The choice is always ours. May we choose God and receive that change of heart that enables us to "desire to do good continually." The time is past for trying out all the other choices ; )
Exploring the spiritual side of things. Brevity is not my forte.