God is a Brown Girl Too®

celebrating the divine within

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Reverend Loving blogs through the love and wisdom of the kingdom within.  Many of the earlier postings were taken from the SPIRITMUV and God is a Brown Girl Too Blogs, posted at www.godisabrowngirltoo.wordpress.com.  See the LINKS page for more information.

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THE "HELP", OR HOW WE CAN HELP OURSELVES By Cecilia B. Loving

Posted on August 9, 2011 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (5)

I was at a salad bar in New York City recently – that was so trendy there was a line salivating for chopped greens, cheese and chicken that extended down the street. As I stood in line watching the mating ritual between young blonds and brunettes, I could not help but wonder where the sisters were. We eat salad. We take lunch breaks. But when I looked around Manhattan (not everywhere but as far as the eye could see), I saw very few of us representing the well-heeled corporate work force.

Oh I see more of us in Carroll Gardens cast in leading roles as "The Help" -- strolling down Court Street with our noses held high. Haughtiness is sometimes a coping mechanism for those who have the decent but thankless task of caring for white babies who will likely grow up to remember "the help" while refusing to hire the brown children left to raise themselves. (I've heard one -- which was one too many -- say that the only thing we can do for them is clean their houses.)

My mother and a good many mothers and grandmothers were "the help," so that we could get advanced degrees and earn the right to good-paying jobs that gave us the opportunity to contribute the "book sense" education gave us and the "good sense" our parents gave us – informed by the "God-sense" the Holy Spirit gives us. But when I look around, I see fewer of us in the big city at the big company holding down the big job. So what happened?

Well The National Women's Law Center says more black women lost their jobs than any other segment of society since 2007. Even during the so-called economic recovery period (2009-2011), the unemployment rate for women actually increased rather than decreased. Black women, the Women's Law Center reports, who are at the head of the black workforce and at the head of most black families, continue to lose jobs. At least 475,000 sisters have lost their jobs since 2007 and those are only the ones who had one in the first place.

Few of us went to go work for Oprah. Even the one who was hired to run OWN (meaning Oprah's own network – not yours) was kicked to the curb. Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming O for not doing for us what we can do for ourselves. She's a living testimony that we have the power to build our own empires.

The surveys indicating no job growth for sisters never give a real perspective as to whether we fell on our behinds, got pushed to the edge or kicked to the curb. It seems to project the behavior that one white male New York Times writer urges: use the "recession" as an excuse to do what you never had the courage to do in the first place (e.g., fire people you want to get rid of and perhaps never wanted to hire).

But God is a Brown Girl Too is not about what other folks can do to help us. It teaches that we have the power to help ourselves. So the challenge this current dilemma blesses us with is figuring out how can we "help" lighten our load, help ease our burden, help enlarge our territory and help step into our greatness. The question carries within it the assumption that whatever we do for others, we do for ourselves – and vice versa. I help everybody; it doesn't matter what your ethnicity is. But my sisters and brothers are definitely at the top of my list because I know that we need help the most.

This is the first part of a seven-part series on what we can do to "help" ourselves: help us reach our goals, help us recreate ourselves, help us build the empires that we are destined to build.

Put God, Love, Jesus, Yahweh, Allah, Buddha, Krishna, Ra, Divine Mind, Universe, Source -- or Whatever You Call the Kingdom Within -- FIRST

This is not about semantics. It's not even about religion. There will be different religions as long as there are different personalities. I don't argue religion; it's a losing proposition. But I do urge us all to realize that we are here to love one another.

If you call yourself a Christian, a Muslim, a Jew, or affiliated with any other faith, you should know that God is Love. We have to love ourselves because in so doing we realize the presence of love as us, reverberating through every aspect of our being. We can only be as loving to others as we are to ourselves.

Love is the only thing that will heal every wound, ease every pain, and conquer every enemy.

When we put love first, the universe (love) puts us first and we receive the good that we desire.

This means that we can't be hard on ourselves. We have to love every inch and every cell of our beautiful bodies – every delicate hair on our heads. We have to love our minds and all of its attention to detail and memory.

We have to love our souls and our mission, our purpose here on earth. This sounds more simple than it is. But if you see, hear or read anything in the media, it does not support our love of ourselves. Black women are marginalized or even demonized rather than celebrated. We are not cast in most television shows or movies. We are seldom in books. And most of the images of us are not flattering. We are usually denigrated as less than, unworthy, lusty, nasty, addicted, assimilated beyond recognition, or just "the help."

That's why I love what Toni Morrison said: write the book you want to read. Tell the story you want to hear. Make the movie you want to see. Otherwise, you won't be starring in it -- unless you're The Help. (Footnote an exception to this is my all time favorite Halle Berry kicking butt as Catwoman and making love to Benjamin Bratt -- I know why some folks didn't like her strutting her stuff, for the same reason I watch it everytime it comes on -- cheering Halle on through every powerful butt-kicking scene.) We suffer from fibroids and high blood pressure and diabetes and so many other ailments – because society has blatantly kicked us – the "help" to the curb and we are so busy celebrating our starring role that we fail to realize the joke is on us.

We kick ourselves to the curb -- repeatedly foresaking our own power rather than embracing ourselves with so much love that our uniform falls off. We need to love ourselves enough to at least realize we don't need flat butts or skinny thighs or blond hair to be beautiful. We were all born as beautiful children of God.

We just need to start loving one another -- as well as ourselves without a single ounce of contempt. There never has been any room for hatred -- especially in this so-called enlightened age.

If you don't love yourself – with all of your imperfections and your hopes and your wish lists, you cannot love your sisters, brothers and all humanity.

[To be continued in Part Two . . .]

A PRAYER FOR THE HOUSEKEEPER'S MIRACLE By Cecilia B. Loving

Posted on June 7, 2011 at 8:19 PM Comments comments (0)

 


When I read news accounts about former International Monetary Fund Head Dominique Strauss-Kahn relaxing in a plush Manhattan apartment after being indicted of seven counts of sexual assault on an African housekeeper at the Sofitel Hotel in New York City, I am reminded of the sins buried in this country's soil. We know but seldom speak of the past rapes and sexual assaults upon enslaved Africans by predators not so different from Strauss-Kahn: criminals whose only defense is their own self-aggrandized status. We watch with sickened dismay as one judge trumps another's remand of Strauss-Kahn to Rikers and sends the elitist French man home with his wife. His wife even rented an apartment just for him to wear his ankle bracelet. With these shenanigans, miracles seem far beyond the grasp of African hotel housekeepers from the Bronx and only within the reach of millionaires who can afford them. Where are the stats, I wondered, on the frequency with which poor folk are indicted and then sent home to await their fate in the projects. But then I remembered, Rikers Island is full of accused people who can't afford the 24-hour watchman, $1 million cash bond or $5 million insurance bond that Strauss-Kahn purchased.

Perhaps the miracle is that law enforcement even managed to pull Strauss-Kahn, who was a potential candidate for the President of France, off Air France two minutes before his plane took off. He appeared to be fleeing.

Perhaps the miracle is that a judge presided over the initial bail hearing who had the foresight to remand Strauss-Kahn before he escaped to his vacation home in Marrakech. "Remand" means go to jail. If she had not sent him there immediately, it is likely that he would not have hung around for an indictment. He could have lived outside America's jurisdiction in either France or Morocco. That means he would have never been tried for the indictment now issued by a Grand Jury.

Perhaps the miracle is that a young woman who managed to escape the horrors of her native Guinea, where rape is widespread, gained asylum in America where she at least has some recourse against attackers. Perhaps the miracle is that Strauss-Kahn's DNA was collected swiftly enough to match the samples taken from the hotel housekeeper.

Staring in the face of overwhelming evidence, Strauss-Kahn's legal team is counting on the miracle of a consent defense. But the "she-wanted-it" defense seems preposterous in view of the housekeeper's steps to report the attack without delay. Or perhaps it is only preposterous to those of us who seriously doubt that a hard-working woman, a religious woman, a woman single-handedly raising her daughter had the luxury of engaging in Strauss-Kahn's consensual game. Supposedly, he had tried, without success, to gain the attention of other hotel staff who apparently – like the victim – rebuffed him.

Perhaps the miracle is that the cry of rape took so long to catch up with Strauss-Kahn who has a reputation of attacking women. Apparently, he did not limit his inappropriate attacks to the staffs of hotels. But his crime, if convicted, would be consistent with the reports of many housekeepers concerning the unsavory misconduct of hotel guests. Only a notorious man could be used to shed light on such a notorious abuse of service. After all, we're not just the maid – not just another statistic to add to the abuse of domestic workers worldwide. Perhaps the miracle is that for now, some semblance of justice prevails.

But we live in a world where common decency depends upon miracles and blatant misconduct can be bought by a good lawyer. So this is what I am praying for: that good does ultimately triumph, that justice does prevail and that we open our eyes to see the marginalization, denigration and mistreatment of women everywhere. The miracle that I am praying for is that the housekeeper is able to transform her life completely by moving from victimhood to victory. She has served so many for so little; it is time that the system serves her. The miracle that I am praying for is that not only does she win her criminal case but that she wins a civil case against the accused – if he is found guilty.

I pray that all of those who suffer at the hands of racism, sexism, classism and all of the other –isms are vindicated for their suffering. I pray that we offer our collective consciousness to the deliverance of systematic brutality, violence and abuse of women everywhere. I pray that we all grow to respect ourselves as the gods that we are and stop limiting ourselves by the confines of second class citizenship that someone else has created.

"Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead," they say. "Jesus turned water into wine. Jesus made the blind see. Jesus expelled demons from the flesh. Jesus made the lame walk. Jesus multiplied fish and bread." But Jesus taught us that our ability to experience miracles is commensurate with our faith. He says again and again, "by your faith you were made whole." If we have faith that no one is more blessed than us, or is more gifted than us, or has priority or preference over the miracle that God manifested as us, then every decision we make will bring us closer to the realization that we are our own miracle. We can then open our eyes and see God for the first time in everything that we say and everything that we do. We can accept the good right within our midst. We can be brave enough to do onto others as we would have them do unto us. We can be extraordinary in the ordinary spaces of our life. We can open the door and not be dragged by our hair but step into the power of all that we desire to take shape.

Perhaps the miracle is that we actually second-guess God when we know that Spirit loves us and protects us and liberates us from attackers with justice. Each one of us is blessed to carry out a divine purpose – known only to us, etched somewhere in the divine ethers of our soul – patiently waiting for us to manifest – to perform, to be, to do what we are called to demonstrate. The Prophet Jeremiah teaches us in the 1st chapter of Jeremiah that God said: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations."

It is miraculous that we know that we are doing the right thing – what we were called to do – because the desire is so deep and so nagging and so insistent – that we won't be satisfied until we accomplish it. We are here to trust our own anointing – to push ourselves beyond the boundaries of where we wanted to give up.

The miracles in our lives say – yes we can. Yes we can experience life the way that we want to experience it. Now is the time for each one of us to realize that we have the power to be the good that we were called to be; and the miracles that we need are already here, waiting for us.

In the Bible Joseph survived to become a leader after his brothers sold him into slavery and told his father he was dead. In Genesis, Joseph told his brothers, "you meant it for evil but God meant it for good." Those are the words of miracles. Perhaps Strauss-Kahn's evil will result in good. Perhaps a nameless housekeeper will be able to achieve better dignity, respect and protection for many others in that industry. And so, I say, let us become the housekeeper's prayer. Let us pray for those who serve us and for those of us who serve. We need to believe today that we have the power and strength to overcome any challenge and defeat any outlaw. Let us see ourselves winning as her – that witness in ourselves that lives to stand strong and be obedient to the Great Spirit. Let us gird her with the inexhaustible supply of the universe deep within our souls and remember that we are divinely connected.

Let us summon the ancestors to right this wrong, to reveal any attacker as the criminal that he is and spare us from the arrogance of those who believe they are above the law.

Remember, this is our season.

This is our miracle.

This is the time for our own magic.

Namaste,

Reverend Cecilia Loving

About SPIRITMUV: Spiritmuv® is a trans-denominational church, which means that it transcends the confines of religion and teaches unconditional love for one another regardless of race, creed, culture, or religion. At the heart of its teachings is what Jesus taught -- that we love one another, as well as the community that Mahatma Gandhi inspired when he said, "I am a Christian and a Muslim and a Hindu and a Jew." Reverend Cecilia Loving is the founder and creator of Spiritmuv, which was formed in 2007. Services are held for an hour every Sunday, from 2:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M. at the Unity Center of NYC, located at 213 West 58th Street.

Rev. Loving's new book is now available God is Brown Girl Too, as well as Prayers for Those Standing in the Edge of Greatness.

Copyright 2011 by Cecilia Loving.

None of the content herein may be copied or otherwise used except with Reverend Loving's written permission.

Join the Spiritmuv Community

at www.Spiritmuv.ning.com for special postings by Rev. Loving.

 

 


SEE WITH A NEW LIGHT By Cecilia Loving

Posted on June 7, 2011 at 6:37 PM Comments comments (0)

This is an excerpt from the GOD IS A BROWN GIRL TOO Book.
God is speaking as a black woman . . . Listen.

 


She sings melodies from psalms
only she can hum,
Galilee on her tongue.
speaking from that city on a hill,
singing "this ‘lil light of mine --
I’m gon’ let it shine."

 

***

Many of you have been telling the same stories for so long that you no longer know truth from fiction. By that I mean, you have no idea who you really are versus the you were in the past. The "you" who has been hurt, abused, neglected, rejected, or condemned has been given a starring role in your life story, while you have taken a back seat. You will never be able to see me, if you keep holding up the past to impair your vision of all who you are. The only way you are going to see me reflected in your image and likeness is to tell a new story. Throw away the mess you've been wading in forever and start looking at yourself with a new light.

 

You are not who you were yesterday. Let me say that again, the you who just opened this book is not the "you" who did all of the things that you believe held you back from accomplishing your goals. You are different; you are reborn; you are free. Begin to see yourself with a new light.

 

Read the Book of Matthew, Chapter 6, Verse 22. It says that "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." It is providing you with a new vision for seeing all of the circumstances and people that I have placed before you in this life. The things in the flesh are around you but they are not of you. I am the only thing that matters. Look only to me. Seek first my kingdom. Wait upon me.

 

If you see with a new light, you will know that I am in the midst of everything and everyone, and you will be able to discern my presence. But you can't have it both ways. You can't see me half the time and get stuck in a rut the other time. Your eye must be single and focused on me. Otherwise, you will multiply your errors, lose your perspective, and do foolish things. You will say what you later regret. You will waste time that could have been well spent in a more focused, productive, enjoyable fashion. You will act out of negative emotions rather than with confidence and purpose.

 

When you fail to keep your focus on Spirit, you will find yourselves like that beggar on the roadside -- blinded by your lack of faith. Remember what Jesus told the blind man? Jesus said your faith has made you whole. The blind man's faith in me had made him see. If your eye is single, your whole body shall be full of light. But if you are not centered in my light, your direction, your intuition, your divine compass will be off, and you will find ourselves stumbling in the darkness. Without my light, it's difficult to recreate a new story for yourself because you cannot see who you really are.

 

Spirit is the light that unifies you in consciousness and centers you in peace, clarity, creativity, joy and abundance. Only when you are centered in me do you realize your oneness with the entire universe. If you achieve this going forward, you will not be limited the way that you were in the past. You will realize that the heartache or the pain that you experienced can be release and you can stop re-living it again and begin to recreate who you want to be rather than who you used to be.

 

One way of centering in my presence is through the third eye, which can be accessed by focusing on the center of your forehead. The pineal gland -- located in the brain behind the eyes -- is said to be the physical entry of spiritual enlightenment, and through that illumination, it is also known as the gateway to faith. It is the home of higher consciousness, healing power, and psychic perception. Some say that this is the place where you see God face-to-face. When you practice looking deeply into your third eye, you will behold my light emanating from infinite source, what many of you call a cosmic vibration.


When you are centered in this divine light, you can be even more open my presence -- beyond words and thoughts. When you focus your spiritual eye, your inner eye, your third eye on my presence, your entire being -- mind, body and soul -- will be filled with light. This is the energy and the concentration that will also build and develop your faith -- so that you don't have to spend a long period in tapping in or tuning in to me.


In our connection, you will feel the super-consciousness of absolute good and trust that whatever you ask for has already manifested. With a single eye directed to divine source, you will be catapulted beyond asking to believing that whatever you ask for, you receive. You will be able to walk by faith in me, which is more important than mere physical sight.

***

Copyrighted 2011 by Cecilia Loving
All Rights Reserved.
Nothing can be reproduced without Ms. Loving's express written permission.

GOD IS BLESSING US RIGHT NOW By Cecilia Loving

Posted on April 28, 2011 at 3:23 PM Comments comments (0)

Right now, in this very instant, God is blessing us with so much good, so much joy, so much love, so much abundance, so much success, so much wisdom -- that we cannot even begin to imagine it. Right now, right here, we are living, moving and having our being in unlimited source, infinite possibility and inexhaustible supply. Right now, we have the choice to move beyond the confines of fear, beyond the belief of lack, beyond the limitation of doubt to be the expression of God that we desire. So the real question is -- what are we waiting for?

We are all guilty – at one time or another – of wanting to postpone our good for another day – perhaps after our knees get better, after the pain stops, when we get that new job, when we connect with a lasting soul mate, when we lose 50 lbs. But the truth is that God has never stopped blessing us. The only thing that blocks God's blessings is our lack of receptivity to them.

We block the flow of God's good with doubt. Doubt is that nagging suspicion that God seems too good to be true. Doubt is that feeling deep in our hearts that we really won't succeed. Doubt is that feeling that the illusion of the barriers that we have placed around ourselves will confine us forever. But we create the insurmountable mountains that we see before us. The things that we believe limit us are really an illusion.

God, however, is so extraordinary that these illusions bless us as well. Even doubt serves to teach us the difference between what is false and what is real. What is real is not our past – it's gone, or our future – it's awaiting our creative energy. What is real is the sacredness of each present moment. What is real is our oneness here and now – with the pure potential of Absolute Good. It's so good that it's hard for us to name it. We call it God. We call it Love. We call it Spirit. We call it the Holy Ghost – but what it really means is that right now – we have all that we need. We have an Inexhaustible, Infinite Power that breathes as us – a power that creates as us in each moment.

Meister Eckhart, a 13th century mystic, said "There is no greater obstacle to God than time." We don't need to wait for Jesus – as Jesus himself taught – I am in the Father, and you are in me, and I am in you (John 14:20). We don't need to wait for the Holy Spirit. Jesus taught us that the Holy Spirit lives in us forever as our counselor, our teacher and our guide (John 14:16-18). We don't need to wait until we get to heaven because Jesus taught that right here, right now -- the Kingdom of Heaven – the Kingdom of God -- is in us (Luke 17:21).

Doubt should be like a companion that we have outgrown. That means that we have to bless the doubt that tries to remain in the cracks and crevices of our lives and release it because it has served its purpose. It taught us to believe in God more than ever. Doubt was simply part of the wrapping that we had to remove in order to see the gifts that await us.

In the space where doubt used to be, we can welcome a new energy of excitement. We can feel a new commitment rushing in – filling us with new understanding, new compassion, new direction, new hope, new love, and brand new creativity. In the moment that we release doubt, we can be filled with the truth that what we ask for – we already have. We really are in the endless stream of God's good. Manna really does pour into our life each moment. The door of God's good really does open for the accomplishment of our deepest desires. We really are blessed.

When we tear off the wrapper of doubt and release worry to the wind, we begin to see the glimmer of a diamond in the rough – that glows around our souls with new hope. We begin to know that we are more radiant than we ever imagined. We open our eyes and see that God really is here.

We don't worry about mistakes. We don't worry about failure. We know that we are healed. We surpass the expected. We stop being afraid to walk the water. We realize that we can multiply fish and bread. We realize that we can call it all good. Nothing but good is paved on the road before us. Doubt was just a stepping stone. Overcoming our fears just pushed us further along the path. The challenges that we faced merely served to make us open the doors to our good.

I empty my heart of doubt today so that I can dance to the edge of pure potential right now, so that I can fly with the wings of new hope. I lay my burdens down by the riverside. I study war no more. For the first time, I cross over Jordan, and I get to the other side because I know that God is blessing me right now.

 

Copyright 2011 by Cecilia Loving

(Nothing from this site may be used without Rev. Loving's written permission.)

I AM HERE By Cecilia Loving

Posted on April 4, 2011 at 10:08 PM Comments comments (0)

When we are confronted by the adversaries of life – be it the pain of healing, the worry of making ends meet, the maintenance of a roof over our heads, the struggle to forgive, the challenges faced by our loved ones, the demands of time commitments, or even the fear of our journey into the unknown – it is important to remember that the Kingdom of God is neither here nor there, it is within us (Luke 17:21). Jesus taught us that a comforter called the Holy Spirit is within us, always providing the wisdom that we need, always directing our passage (John 14:15-17). He reminded us that our own laws say that we are gods (John 10:34). His beloved Paul also teaches that we live and move and have our being in the Spirit (Acts 17:28). We are so connected to the Divine that if we put our doubt and fear aside just for a moment, if we listened to the silence, if we stopped trying and simply learned to "be," we could hear God saying "I am here."

 

"I am here" with you at your crossroad of crisis. "I am here" with you in your deepest desire.

"I am here" with you on your bed of affliction. "I am here" with you in your acceptance of new love. "I am here" with you in your career change. "I am here" with you in your fundraising efforts. "I am here" with you on your marketing campaign. "I am here" with you on every blank page of your life and endless circle of light where you stand ready for redemption. "I am here" opening infinite channels to your Absolute Good.

 

If you take a moment and listen, you will hear God saying, "There is no place where I am not."

 

At Spiritmuv, each Sunday we anoint ourselves with the realization that God is everywhere. We move beyond the cracks and crevices of limitation and find salvation in the ordinary and the sanctity of our ability to believe that we are more than good religion, we are the greatness of God expressed as us.

 

When we listen to the God within, we climb outside of our boxes of convention and tradition and normalcy, and we step up to the plate of trusting the Divine Within. I know that we say that we love God, trust God and are believers, but we don't always exhibit our love. We often stop short of our true selves and lose ourselves in someone else's bad vibrations. We often forget that we are heirs to the throne. We often forget that we are temples of the living God. We often stop listening to what the Psalmist calls "stillness" and turn a deaf ear to God always reminding us, "I am here." But not April 1-3, this past weekend, at the God is a Brown Girl Too Retreat. This past weekend, we opened the door to honoring the goodness of God forever by fully exploring the Kingdom within for three days at the Mariandale Retreat Center, and we found Endless Possibility.

 

We

We were drawing and painting and stitching and sewing and evolving and being and dancing and singing and igniting and liberating and moving beyond limitations – when we suddenly realized our Endless Possibility. And neither rustle nor stir, tree nor sky, bush nor bird, mountain nor molehill could dispute the rumblings of hallelujah in the air to welcome us. Suddenly, we could hear the silence between thoughts; we could feel the impossibilities lifted beyond despair; we could sense the release of the stuff that we didn't really need; we could rejuvenate ourselves with restored freedom to pursue old dreams and new revelations.

 

Endless Possibility anointed us as new sweetness in our fragrance, new movement in our forward; new dazzle in our genius; new sparkle in our eyes; new force in our energy; new boldness in our courage; new glory in our victory. No one and nothing could contain us.

 

We moved from the confinement of our boxes to the present moment – always evolving and always breathing God as us. We were able to laugh again, be free again and triumph over struggle.

 

We told a new story that now speaks us in the wind.

 

The prophecy of Quilt-ologist Pamela Jones, the healing hands of massage therapist Bianca Townsend, the visionary vibrations of prayer warrior Raquiba LaBrie, the artistry of actor Rahima Wachuku, and my own God is a Brown Girl Too guided us to wholeness.

 

We realized that the soul of the Motherland is in us – and speaks through us and sings as us; that we are all woven from the same cloth, the same secrets, the same love.

 

We each have beautiful patterns to create and colors to draw upon and lift up and share as the incredible, the miraculous and the strong.

 

We remembered that God does not merely braid our thick soft hair but puts a million tiny universes in a single strand, covers us with stars and bathes us with living waters. We opened our eyes again so that we can see the eternal in everlasting locks and twists, rivers and streams, paths and purposes.

 

We We discovered that we are sweetness and trust, gingersnaps and vanilla wafers, laughter and butterflies, answers and prayers, magic and miracles.

 

We began yet another chapter to the story of God is a Brown Girl Too® and heard with lasting clarity "I am here."

 

Namaste,

Reverend Cecilia Loving

 

© 2011 Reverend Cecilia Loving

 

About SPIRITMUV: Spiritmuv® is a trans-denominational church, which means that it transcends the confines of religion and teaches unconditional love for one another regardless of race, creed, culture, or religion. At the heart of its teachings is what Jesus taught -- that we love one another, as well as the community that Mahatma Gandhi inspired when he said, "I am a Christian and a Muslim and a Hindu and a Jew." Reverend Cecilia Loving is the founder and creator of Spiritmuv, which was formed in 2007. Services are held for an hour every Sunday, from 2:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M. at the Unity Center of NYC, located at 213 West 58th Street.

CREATING OUTSIDE THE BOX OF CONVENTIONALITY By Cecilia Loving

Posted on March 25, 2011 at 10:22 AM Comments comments (0)

It's easy to say God is good but more difficult to be good to God. Being good to God requires us to be good to the divine ideas that God gives us. Being good to God requires us to tap into the Universe's unlimited potential – expressed as our gifts and talents. When we don't share our gifts and talents, they dissipate. A singer who doesn't sing loses their vocal ability. An artist who doesn't paint loses their technique. A dancer who doesn't move loses their flexibility. Pamela D. Jones, Master Quilter extraordinaire, is a perfect example of someone who is good to God because she shares her gifts and talents. Her phenomenal quilts are exhibited everywhere – from Ethiopia to Detroit to Dallas – and will be a perfect complement to next week's "Creating Outside the Box of Conventionality" Retreat at the Mariandale Conference Center.

 

When her brother, the late jazz poet, hip hop-ologist, author and journalist Kenneth Jones, used to sit behind me at Cass Tech in 1972 and pull my pony tail, I had no idea that his little sister was at home designing doll clothes. Detroit has an extraordinary creative energy, a magnetism of vision that vibrates even deeper than Motown, even more profound than futuristic car sculpting, even more daring than Xhibit's sonorous voice or David Alan Grier's genius – as it keeps expanding into endless forms of artistic expression. Pam's artistic expression first took shape in her wearable art fashion line called “Fashions for Sisters with Attitudes Today” which was featured at major department stores and praised by the Michigan Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune and other papers. But when she began quilting, she was hooked.

 

A new "quilt-ology" emerges from this registered nurse and Masters of Divinity candidate at New York Theological Seminary. I call her work "quilt-ology" because it blends healing, regeneration and Spirit into cloth that not only covers us or hangs for our pleasure but also anoints us, prophesies for us and summons us to see as well as listen. Ms. Jones' quilts force us to go within and realize that God is here because we witness in them the craftsmanship of the Kingdom. We know the divine moves through her quilts because they sing scripture and they dance devotion and they even shout hallelujah through color, imagination and intricate, delicate stitching.

 

Her quilt called “Awakening” was featured on the cover of “The York College Commemorative Quilt” book. Her “Women of Masi” was featured as the promotional quilt for the Citicorp Quilting and Art Exhibition. Harvard University School of Divinity, the Black Christian Women’s Conference, and the State Office Building in Harlem are just a few venues that have recognized Pam's amazing talent through display. She is Chair of the Maafa Quilters at St. Paul Community Baptist Church in Brooklyn who shares Pam's passion for healing deep wombs of oppression and liberating souls from suffering. She is also the lead instructor for "Black Men Who Quilt", the only known Black male quilting guild in the country. My favorite collection is Pam's “Living Waters: Women of the Bible" series, which consists of 20 quilts depicting some of the women in the bible and their stories. I love her work because it buries victimhood and celebrates triumph. She creates outside of the box of tradition through a soul that resonates with victory.

 

Pam's quilts tell a new story of victory. Her witness testifies through texture and shape and form to preach the parables of creation, love and hope in a way that doesn't just inform us but delivers us. She says "Art is instinctive to me. It is a talent, which I feel, is best expressed through my quilts. I enjoy painting but prefer letting the various fabrics I use be my color pallet, expressing the boundless contemplation and evolution of divine ideas. Spirit always leads me to a mixture of fabrics from hand dyed to African prints, as well as more traditional American fabrics to blend the tapestries of my ancestral inclusions from Native American to Africa."

 

She says "beadwork and shells embellish my quilts and work along with embroidery to add dimensions and life to them. Sometime I also use paint to for added dimension as well." Each quilt magically anoints the viewer with a positive and peaceful state, in part, because Pam often creates them as she recites scripture. These quilts wear the blessing and bring it into new shape and form and texture. "When starting a new piece, I never really know what it will look like in the end," she says. "I see each one emerging like a mystery novel. I must keep reading – keep adding fabric – in order to reach the end of the plot. Most times the true meaning of the piece is not revealed to me until it's finished. Quilt design is my way of allowing my imagination to soar."

 

In the book God is a Brown Girl Too, God reminds us to let our imaginations soar – to embrace each moment with poems, hugs and twitters, to radiate new joy, solve new equations and fulfill new prophecies. When we are daring enough to go with the flow of wherever creativity takes us, we find ourselves giving shape to form and substance well beyond convention or norm – to the miraculous and the genius and the divine. Being made in "God's image and likeness" means that we, too, are co-creators with light, energy and power. We carry the notes of the musician giving birth to new music, the harmony of the rapper reaping hip hop beats, the whisper of the writer typing word magic, the ministry of the sculptor shaping faith from blocks, the prophecy of the painter blending answered prayers, the stitch of a quilter moving beyond ordinary squares to extraordinary surprises. When we take time to listen to Spirit and allow it to direct our path, we realize that the things we devote most of our time to are not the most important. We have to bold enough to move beyond the margins, to bend them into something beautiful, to create a master-piece by coloring outside the lines. Creating outside the box of conventionality is what really sustains us because we are here -- not just to be good for ourselves but to be good for God. Being good for God only happens when we allow God to use us – in the basic, simple, honest, most extraordinary ways.

 

If we listen, we can hear God saying move out of your way: "I will open new doors. I will send new ideas. I will bless you with the wisdom that you need. I will lift you to dance into and leap out of my realm of infinite possibilities."

 

Artists like Pamela Jones remind us that using the gifts that only God can give us is a starting place, a foundation for a triumph that will flourish so much, it will become the ground upon which we stand – but only when we give way to it.

 

© 2011 Reverend Cecilia Loving

 

About SPIRITMUV: Spiritmuv® is a trans-denominational church, which means that it transcends the confines of religion and teaches unconditional love for one another regardless of race, creed, culture, or religion. At the heart of its teachings is what Jesus taught -- that we love one another, as well as the community that Mahatma Gandhi inspired when he said, "I am a Christian and a Muslim and a Hindu and a Jew." Reverend Cecilia Loving is the founder and creator of Spiritmuv, formed in 2007. Services are held for an hour every Sunday, from 2:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M. at the Unity Center of NYC, at 213 West 58th Street.

WHAT ARE YOU CALLING YOURSELF? By Cecilia Loving

Posted on March 16, 2011 at 9:42 PM Comments comments (0)

The rise of negative name-calling – not only in reference to other people but also to ourselves – made me raise a question that should be considered by everyone: what are you calling yourself? So often we use words and phrases that are popular without considering what they mean. How many people really internalize what they mean when they scream "I'm not worthy"? Why does a woman who strives to be strong and independent call herself a "B-"? Can ABC really succeed with a television show called "Good Christian B—s"? How can Kim, the blond housewife of Atlanta, call her assistant "b--h" – and even more questionable, how can the twenty-something black nanny/personal secretary answer such a call – without protest? What we are calling others is a reflection of what we call ourselves. Profanity and phrases like "poor thing" and "poor me" are equally offensive. We raise a ruckus over taking God's name in vain, but aren't we temples of a living God?

We may not use the b-word, but we still blaspheme the kingdom of God within us if we call ourselves or our sisters and brothers less than what God is. We still blaspheme the divine within if we undermine the unlimited power of God or fail to embrace Spirit's inexhaustible supply. Since we are the image and likeness of God everywhere present, we need to be careful about what we say about ourselves, as well as other people. What name-calling ultimately boils down to is what we are affirming about the power in us.

In Luke 12:32, Jesus said, "It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom." But have your words provided the opening for your consciousness to receive the kingdom? Have you used words to decree God's good in every crack and crevice of your life? Or have you used nay-saying, negativity and nastiness to deny the existence of Absolute Good? Are you speaking words that undermine or uplift your greatness? Are you taking your divinity in vain?

Jesus says in Matthew 12:36 that you shall give an account on judgment day for every careless word that you utter. But when is Judgment Day? It's every day. It's the period of reaping what you sow in thought, word and deed. You do that every day. Every day you choose whether to embrace a vibration of love or hatred. Whatever you speak, you decree. If you talk about being poor, then you wallow in the energy of poverty; you decree it. If you focus about illness, you create a connection to sickness – and inevitably, you decree it. If you linger in the toxic vibrations of bad relationships, you give them life through your decree. If you get stuck in the pity party of insecurity, loneliness or lack, you decree them in every word that you speak about them.

God is a Brown Girl Too decrees power. It's one of those books that are courageous enough to refute negativity and strife to shift the paradigm with a new story. It dares new seeds to be planted in the vortex of unlimited possibility. God speaks, saying "Quit pretending that you are less than your true worth. Quit trying to play the universe with false bravado. . . . Now is the time for your own magic . . . . [I] did not give [you] a spirit of timidity or fear; but a spirit of power . . . . The sooner you recognize your power, the sooner you accomplish your goals, the sooner you step up to the plate and do what you were called here in this lifetime to do [and] make this world a better place."

God says "There is power in your words. Everyday declare what you want in your life. Wake up and declare it. Go to bed and declare it. Stand up in your office and declare it. Look out your window and declare it. Walk down the street and declare it. Your words are where you take responsibility for what you want to see manifest in your life. . . . [W]ords are fertile; they contain the essence of life – [I] travel through the breath of each spoken word. The aborigines would say the tongue of Great Spirit resides in all things . . . . Power is your ability to celebrate who you are and what contribution you can make to this beautiful existence that you call life. It gives you the honor to take charge of you."

But you must be inventive enough to tell your truth – a truth that exudes love rather than fearful name-calling – a truth that praises rather than condemns, a truth that knows fortitude rather than failure, a truth that realizes victory rather than defeat, a truth that exudes courage rather than caution.

God says "Only those who do not know the truth would call themselves or any of my sons and daughters less than who they are. I have given you the power that you need. When you stand on my shoulders, your spiritual roots will reach down to the belly of the earth – without stopping there. Speak from the depths of your soul with boldness and conviction. Reveal your awesome beauty. Listen to what you are calling yourself."

Namaste,

Reverend Cecilia Loving

About SPIRITMUV: Spiritmuv® is a trans-denominational church, which means that it transcends the confines of religion and teaches unconditional love for one another regardless of race, creed, culture, or religion. At the heart of its teachings is what Jesus taught -- that we love one another, as well as the community that Mahatma Gandhi inspired when he said, "I am a Christian and a Muslim and a Hindu and a Jew." Reverend Cecilia Loving is the founder and creator of Spiritmuv, which was formed in 2007. Services are held for an hour every Sunday, from 2:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M. at the Unity Center of NYC, located at 213 West 58th Street.

LEAP AND I WILL CATCH YOU By Cecilia Loving

Posted on March 7, 2011 at 6:02 PM Comments comments (0)

You are the breath of the wind. Your freedom is inside your soul.  You leap in and out of spaces wearing the songs of endless creations.  You cannot be measured, defined or contained.  Your season is here.
***

You are enough -- right where you are. You are beautiful enough. You are rich enough. You are creative enough. You are wise enough. You are good enough. You don't have to find your so-called "soul mate": I AM your soul mate. Nothing in the external world completes you. Your job doesn't complete you. It is but one of many paths to give and grow in consciousness. Your cars don't complete you. Your clothes, bags, shoes don't complete you. Your titles don't complete you, nor do the degrees, nor do the trophies of life that you collect. When you let go of all of the stuff that you use to validate who you are, you will begin to see that your mission, your calling, your deepest desire will always be enough to sustain you. All you have to do is leap, and I will be there to catch you.


I AM your season. I am not based on the economy. Quit shaking from the illusion of instability. I am the only stable force that there is. Release the material. Be courageous enough to recreate your life with a new consciousness. You are emerging from old wine skins simply because they can no longer contain you. You are new wine.


Your new wine is bold, unrestricted, imaginative and daring enough to walk, dance, step, leap beyond the person that you thought you were to express the infinite possibility that I AM calling you to be. You have not yet begun to taste the joy that my Spirit is blessing you with, the good that I long to unfold through you, the light that the universe needs to shine as you.


Your new wine pushes you outside of complacency -- to unfold a new vision -- one that no longer compares you to others but realizes that I made each one of you wonderful, unique beings, blessed with the abundance of inexhaustible supply.


This is your season. I am calling you to let go of everything and everyone, to leave the mediocre, the mundane and the material, and to stand fully and completely as you are -- aware of your greatness. When you are in tune to me expressing as you, you will find yourself above the fray. Your gifts and talents will be expressed in greater ways than you can yet imagine. You will give more. You will be better. You will know that you are one with a power that is stronger than anything in the physical realm. This awareness is the only thing that you need for wings. You are the blessing that you seek.


Even if you feel pressed, pushed against the wall, blinded by the debt of defeat, now is not the time to fear, or worry, or wallow; now is the time to be the children of God, the heirs to the throne, the greatness that you are. Now is the time to know within every aspect of your being that you are made in my image and likeness, and that right where you are standing is holy ground.


Right in your soul is a love without boundaries, a love that beckons you to experience who you really are instead of who you used to be.


You may be forced to discard old jobs, old conditions, old circumstances, old relationships, old places, old doubts. But your release of the old is merely allowing you to take a leap to new heights.


You don't need a big space to take off from. All you need is the space in your heart to trust that I am not simply inside of your prayers. I am inside of all that is -- appearing in the vortex of your clasped hands. I am the air. I am the sky. I am your wings.   All you have to do is leap, and I will carry you the rest of the way. 


All you have to do is leap, and I will carry you the rest of the way.


© 2011 by Cecilia Loving from the book God is a Brown Girl Too

LOVE WITH A NEW HEART By Cecilia Loving

Posted on March 1, 2011 at 1:12 PM Comments comments (0)

I bless you with the power of regenerating love and by so doing, I ask that you love with every aspect of your new heart. Your new heart does not carry condemnation. Your new heart is only filled with love and its presence and its power. With a new heart beating as me, you will breathe love as your breath, love as your energy, love as the me that you exude, radiating exquisite beauty.

Your new heart will remind you of who you are. Your true roots are not of a place or a people; they are the energy out of which you were formed and made – and that energy is love. You are not limited; you can shape and mold and create out of anything that I give you.

Your new heart will not allow you to sit on the power that you are. That's what is creating the shake-up that you are experiencing in the physical realm right now. You have given your power away. Balance will not be restored until you love with a new heart – by using your ability to create, to manifest, to produce, to generate. The universe needs you.

I am not talking about romance. I am not talking about sex. I am not talking about the glitz and glamour of your exploitation of the gifts that I have given you. I am talking about the deep penetrating love that you must have for yourself, for your proper place in my kingdom. All of my children must stand hand-in-hand, side-by-side in the deliverance of this world. Only the harmony that you create will calm the raging seas and stop the global shifts, not to mention the pointless wars, the hunger, the health epidemics and the despair.

You have become complacent consumers – collectors of stuff – someone who just lives to purchase shoes and bags and designer wigs – forgetting your own callings. You have become lazy couch potatoes, zoned out internet surfers – greedy, selfish, and foolish enough to think that someone else should create for you and be loving for you – instead of tapping into the deepest powers of the universe that are always there – awaiting your instruction.

You are the love that you seek. You do exist to give without an agenda. Your love is secure. It has no need to scheme because it is not here to take – or to profit from anyone. You love is here to give.

But you have forgotten who gave you birth. You have forgotten your parents. You have forgotten that the world around you in the flesh is an illusion because you really dwell in one place, and that is in my heart. You are not separate from the infinite force and inexhaustible source of creative energy that called you into being to express the love that I AM – everywhere present and emanating from every pore and every divine vibration and every spirit-infused idea that gives shape to you. How can you refrain from being anything less than the love that created you. When you emanate in the powerful energy of all that Love is and allow yourself to be its co-creative channel of good – it will open way to all that you need, and all that you want, and all that you desire. When you love with a new heart, you will always be filled with my good.

When you shine your light as Love, the love that you seek CANNOT be withheld from you. If someone is bothering you, send love their way and watch what happens. If you have an injury or an ailment, send love its way and watch what happens. If you have a desire or a dream or a goal, keep sending love its way and watch what happens. If you want a divine partner, send love to the universe and the right person will manifest for you. Love cannot withhold from you what you need. Withholding your good defies the very nature of all that love is; it cannot happen. The good that you seek through the power of love will always be radiated back to you. Love cannot help but attract the right people, situations and circumstances to you.

If you love with a new heart, one that doesn't hold back, it will infuse you with a bliss that you have never felt before. Because you won't hold back, neither will I.

© by Cecilia Loving 2011 excerpt from the book, GOD IS A BROWN  GIRL TOO.  Order on this website.

HEAVEN IS HERE -- THE TIME IS NOW by Cecilia Loving

Posted on February 22, 2011 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Brown girls uplift each other as women, 

celebrating their victory as gods. 


Their Mother God is here. 

Their Father God is here. 


The ancestors that put flesh on their bones, 

hope in their hearts, 

and love in their souls are here.

 


If times appear difficult and you experience one struggle after the next, it is only because the time for your transformation is here. The days may appear bleak but your challenges are your blessings. Spirit is always here to pull you through the rough times -- to encourage you to surrender to its limitless supply and inexhaustible source.


There is no need to wait for a "9/11" or for some catastrophic event to take place in order for you to know that God has your back. You don't need to wait to experience the Kingdom of Heaven in the hereafter. Jesus teaches you that it is here and now. Heaven is a consciousness that is always available to you.


The word "heaven" used in the Bible means expanding. Your dreams, your goals, your commitment to doing what Spirit has called you to do is part of your expansion. Heaven is always expanding to embrace you. You expand by releasing lack, frustration and despair and believing instead in the omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence of Spirit in you.


You lost your job? So what. You lost that opportunity you had staked your hope in? So what. God is trying to make you realize that there is something better in store. God is trying to make you aim higher than before. You can wear the biggest hat, hold the most prestigious position, and kneel in a temple made of pure gold, but it means nothing if you don't recognize the Kingdom within.


The time to move away from appearances is now. The time to move away from confusion is now. The time to move forward as a full expression of Spirit is now.


Take the road that makes a difference by looking at yourself in the mirror and telling you how much you love you just the way you are.


If you don't love yourself, then no matter what road you take, you will be lost. There is so much in you that wants to be and needs to be loved. But part of loving who you are is being honest about what you need to do to be your best.  


Ask yourself: How can I feel even better about myself? How can I slowly begin to take the steps that make me appreciate who I am? How can I slow down long enough to connect with the Divine Source that will lead me in the right direction? How can I enjoy each aspect of living and moving and being as part of the seamless energy that makes me uniquely me? How can I be about my business -- without worrying about what anyone else thinks? How can I trust the love leading me -- from my own heart?


When you begin to see the truth for yourself -- that you hold the map to the best path and you can follow your own faith to the Kingdom of Heaven -- you will find that place where all of the power, all of the peace, all of the joy that you need is already expanding. Trust me, and allow heaven to expand in you. There is no need to wait for a new season, the time is now.


[Paraphrased from the new God is a Brown Girl Too book, which can be ordered on this website under FEATURED PRODUCTS.]


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