December 6, 2009

Samuel: Hello, dears.

Hello, Samuel.

S: All right, you have just passed your Thanksgiving holiday, yes? So, what are you thankful for?

I’m thankful for many things, but what came to my mind was for many months you’ve been starting the meetings with, “What have you done to make somebody’s life better and brighter?” I’ve learned a lot from that. Today I was driving out in a shopping area and it came to mind. I was driving near where the stores are and the people would walk out in front of me so that I’d have to slow down or stop so they could get to the store or get from the store back to where there car was. And I realized what a different attitude it was for me, rather than thinking, “Oh, I have to slow down for this person,” to think “I can make their day better and brighter by slowing down and making it easy for them.” And it’s such . . . it makes my day better and brighter when I turn the things that I’m doing into conscious gifts for other people rather than things I’m being forced to do because they get in my way.

S: Nice. Very nice. Steven, and then Angela, good, good, and apparently Hapi has one. And then Lakshmi.

I’m thankful for the gifts of this year. As we near the end, I’ve looked back, and there’ve been so many changes. And I’m grateful that this is the best my life has been and the best me in this life so far.

S: I am, too.

You said it would be a great year, and it really has been, amidst the trials and tribulations, but so many positive changes. And that I can see those and claim them, I’m thankful for that.

S: Aye.

I feel that in a lot of ways. I think I’ve been more onto myself this year than ever. And I’ve always tried to be onto myself, but it’s come a lot easier this year somehow. There’s still a lot of chaos going on, always, but I don’t feel like I buy into it and let it run me as much as I used to.

S: Yes . . .

So I’ve been finding a place of peace more often. Yes, it does get to me sometimes, the chaos, but I just really recognize that it is not me, that I’m not necessarily part of it, but I can be in the place of peace because I want to. Part Two to that is I’m really grateful in recognizing that I get along so beautifully with my birth family. We’ve had some issues, and probably still do, but I visited them at Thanksgiving and it was the most wonderful gathering we’ve ever had. It was so friendly and so easy, and so filled with joy and with love that I totally cherish it as a gift. And I feel the same way about my family here. I feel blessed to have so many dear friends that I can really call friends. And I know they’re here for me, and I’m there for them. And it’s easy. It just has been a full year of all kinds of wonderful gifts of hearts joining. And I’m really happy that I can say that at this point.

S: Good work. Good work.

Lakshmi love.

I’m grateful for many gifts in my life, and it’s easy for me to list the mental, spiritual, emotional gifts, but what I want to share is the physical. Ever since my surgery one year back, my body has changed a lot. And with the diet changes I have made, it’s cleared up a lot more, and there’s so much more energy for me. What I realized is that when my body is as clear as it is now, it’s much easier for my mind to be clear. I have energy to do the things I want to do, like come for toning, or the things that I should be doing or that I want to do. And there is great joy in doing them because I’m not pushing against my body. And since I have started honoring my body more and more, it talks to me more and more. I picked up a cup of coffee this evening after a long nap I had. I thought I needed it to wake me up. I took one sip and my body said, “No, you don’t need it. You’re already awake.” And I said, “OK.” And I poured the coffee out. My body was very happy. It was a separate—not that my mind was happy but I made the decision, but my body was happy. And for me, that . . .

S: And that she knew that is very important. That is a leap that everybody needs. Sorry.

. . . that was a big milestone for me because it’s easy to say, “Oh, you think so but I need the coffee,” and I would drink it. So that would come with not trusting my body’s wisdom. And the more I trust and the more I feed it with what gives it life, the more I trust it and the more I am happy to be here. I’m happy to be in this body, and I am just having a great time in this body.

S: Lovely. Lovely.

So now it’s December. Your last month of the best year of your life. It represents the turning down of many things. Better way to say that perhaps—the finishing up of many things. And if you would stop and think for a moment about things that are closing up, finishing up, ending for you. I want you to realize that, of course, this month, being the end of the calendar that you use, itself has no magic that all of a sudden means everything is going to just finish up at that time of year. In fact, there is such a thing as a fiscal year. Is that correct? A fiscal year, and that could be anytime. Then you have a lot of work closing things out as well. It’s not that the magic is that this is December; it is that for so many pretty much across the world, there is the same thing being done. The winding up, the magic, isn’t “It’s December.” The magic is there are many people doing the same thing. And that is very important. As an individual, there is very little you will do now and in your future. It’s not about one. It is about what happens when one shares the vision with One. When one is doing the same work as One. When one is thinking the same thoughts as One. Because power goes into that action, that vision. In your coming year, more than any other, you are going to see the world recognize the importance of being of One Mind., of working together to make something happen. For very, very many of the years that this work has been going on, my beloved Sallie has been right in there making it happen. And I am grateful for that. Thank you, love.

I’m grateful for the opportunity.

S: Ya ain’t done yet. And it is with the opportunities that have come about to learn from each other, to learn as you work together, to learn as you serve together, that you continue to make the biggest changes in your life and in the lives of those around you. In your upcoming year, you’re going to see what you already know getting out there. Now, how would I know that? Because it’s already happening. And as you already know it, that puts you a step ahead. And what that means, anytime you are a step ahead, is you have a responsibility to turn around and offer a hand and help the one coming up behind you. You know how this works. So when you find yourself in situations in which a group’s not working together very well, be the one that steps in and provides the leadership, because you know how that works. You know the power of one with one with one. So help it be a smooth transition.

So where you are right now is December. And what’s December? Well, as a for-instance, there was a reason for all of the lights around here.

The solstice.

S: The solstice. The winter solstice. […] The Festival of Light . . . more . . . Christmas Eve.

New Year’s Eve. Birthdays.

S: How many of you have a birthday in December? Well, there are quite a few birthdays, aren’t there? Aye. And what else?

Hanukkah and Kwanza.

S: Good, good. And Yule, and Christmas. You mentioned the eve.

And it is the time of year that I enjoy doing a December story for you. So this story is probably one that as you’re listening to it you’re going to begin wondering, “What the heck is his point?” And I think part of the story is the result of seeing Lakshmi dressed up in “please the client” clothes. How many of you have your corporate uniform? It does matter if it’s corporate as in Wall Street, but you have your clothes that you wear that are your work clothes. Yes? Not everybody. It doesn’t count if you don’t work, you know.

Once upon a time there was a very dear being who grew up knowing that he was going to go in his father’s footsteps. It was what was expected, and I think some of you know the kind of pressure that comes with that. But in this case, it was also what was wanted. As he grew up, because his father had an important job, children were, as they can be sometimes, a little harsh, looking for opportunities to point out when he’s done something wrong, because then of course he wouldn’t be good enough to follow in his father’s footsteps. Or make fun, or bully. And I know that some of you know how that is, too. This bright and beautiful boy felt lonely though he grew up surrounded. Felt afraid to disappoint and as a result of that, are very fearful of making mistakes, because if you make a mistake, it means you’re not good enough. So better to not try. Better to just step back, in the background. And that’s pretty much what he did. He more or less grew up in the background, learning what he needed to learn to be the best he could be while it did seem to him he was different, unwanted, misunderstood. The good news in this rather sad upbringing—which as a quick aside, I want to remind you again that many of you can relate to parts of. The good news in the story is that he was very bright, learned very quickly, did very well. Very well. Not that anybody really took notice. One of the things that Earthlight said amongst themselves, while in San Antonio, was that they are with people who never ever want to know how they are, what they’re doing, how things have been. It’s just talking about themselves. Well, that’s how this boy—by now, young man—probably felt: that he was there, but maybe invisible. As happens so many times in life, you stay somewhat invisible until you’re really needed, and that was the case for this young man.

Finally the time came that he was needed, and his boss, who was a little bit worried about whether or not he would be able to do what was needed, came to him and said, “I really need you. Can you do this?” And he did. He did it, and literally, literally, saved the day. And of course, all of a sudden, he was popular, and had lots of friends and a lot of decisions to make. He did exceptionally well and is thought about and known to many even today. It is a story about how being a bit different doesn’t mean you’re not useful and does not mean you won’t succeed. It’s a story about being there and willing to give it a try at a time of need, and it’s a story of the old staid boss willing to step outside of the box. Do you know him? Frank?


S: It is the story of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. And I told it in that fashion particularly for you to see that little song that you don’t even think about anymore from a different direction. Because that, that, is what the Christmas story is all about: seeing from another direction, thinking outside of the box, and here we go with it. Of all of the holidays, I’m choosing the Christmas one this time, and the Christmas story starts when?

Twenty minutes ago? [Laughter]

S: It starts with an angel, doesn’t it? An angel while young Mary—and when I say young, I mean really young—young Mary is sleeping. And can’t you just see it? That grand blazing angel—maybe turned it down a few notches so that when she awoke it wouldn’t startle her too much, blind her right off—standing at the bedside saying, “Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!” And Mary wakes up. If you’re going to wake up with someone standing next to the bed staring at you, let it be an angel. And that angel had to say, what?

“Fear not.”

S: “Don’t be afraid.”

“I bring you good tidings.”

S: Thank you! Somebody went to Sunday school. “Don’t be afraid. It’s all right. I’ve got something I need to talk to you about. Mary, you’re pregnant.” That’ll wake you up, won’t it?

Mary had serious doubts about the biology classes she had.

S: In fact, what she said was not, “Who are you and what are you doing here?!?” No, not that. It was, “No, you must be mistaken! That’s not possible. I am, well, let’s see . . . ” I think that very politely your scripture says, “I have not known a man.” But it was more like, “I . . . I am . . . right, engaged to Joseph and it’s true that an engagement amongst our tribe does indeed mean that we can be closer than we could have otherwise. But let me tell you, there is no hoochie-coochie. None. None! What you are saying is impossible!” The angel said, “This isn’t a child that is from the father Joseph. The father of this child is God.” Mary did question what she ate that night.

“Oh, right. How am I going to explain that one?”

“I told you, do not fear.”

Meanwhile, the night continues, Mary wakes up; she goes to Joseph, she says, “I had a very interesting thing happen last night. I woke up. Standing over my bed was a great flaming angel.” Well, all right, you don’t see them that way. “And that angel told me that I was going to have a baby.”

And Joseph liked that idea. “Of course we are, Mary, sweetie. We’re going to have lots of babies.” I’m telling it from the time.

“No, no, this one said I was going to have the Son of God made flesh.” Now what do you think Joseph did? Just gave her a big hug, embraced her, and said “Don’t worry, honey. We’ll get through it somehow.” If you think in all of his great religious knowledge he immediately said, “Fine. All is well, I trust you,” you’d be absolutely wrong. Not so far from what many of you would say, he said, “What?! The son of what?!” Now, I don’t know that except amongst perhaps the highest scholars it’s necessarily known or particularly thought about that what we are talking about at that time is a tribe, a tribal group that had essentially, as an extended family, settled in an area that later became called by a city, as if it was a city. But we are not talking a city, we are talking a tribe. We are talking a tribe that bluntly speaking was not particularly religious. Run to the synagogue fifteen kilometers away? I don’t think so. Run to the greatest teachers? Most of them never talk to the greatest teachers. It simply wasn’t the kind of deeply religious experience that seems to be assumed. What it was, was a spiritual one. A spiritual experience because, sure enough, Mary did know something was going on. You can tell before too long. Joseph was afraid. That the fact that Joseph was afraid is mentioned there should tell you something. You would call it resistance. So what happened to him?

An angel came to him.

S: And said what?

“Don’t worry about this thing. It’s all okay”

S: This really is what she said. “This really is the Son of God being born into your line.” Puff starts happening from that. “Well, that’ll look good, won’t it?” What did the family say when Mary started looking pregnant? Do you think she had a sign that said “Son of God here”?

“Savior on Board.”

S: Messiah would have been—Messiah on Board, yes. Well, what do you think they did? Some absolutely believed her and some absolutely did not. And of course there were a whole lot in the background going “[makes snickering sound], we know what that’s about. Is that what you call it now, Joe?” Of course there were those who shunned them, those who took a deep breath and embraced them, and those who got it. It was very likely a huge relief when it was time to go pay the taxes at the county seat because it was going to mean a long journey away. The bad news of course was that she was great with child. Which is different than great with children. She was “great with child and her time was nigh.”

So let’s roll it a bit forward. We’re going to bypass the whole—well, no, we’re not going to bypass it; I think it will work with it. They finally get to . . .


S: . . . and they start looking for a place to stay. Unfortunately, it’s a very busy time because there’s a whole bunch of others who’ve come to the county seat to pay their taxes as well. So they finally are at the last hotel. They go to the innkeeper and they say, “You got a place?”

The innkeeper says, “Nothin’.”

“But look, my wife’s water broke a kilometer down the road. We’ve got to be somewhere quickly.”

“Well, I’ll tell you what, the best I can do for you is to put some fresh hay in the stable and let you sleep there.” Now, that was not as bad as it might sound. It really wasn’t. Certainly compared to the accommodations between the county seat and home. So off they go to the stable, fluff up the hay, maybe muck a couple of stalls, and wait.

In the meantime, on a hill far away, there are shepherds watching their flock, right? Now, the shepherds are minding their own business. It’s probably nighttime, because they saw the blazing glory, and you usually do not see an angel’s blazing glory in the day. Into the sky, all of a sudden, it is filled up with heavenly voices saying what? […] “Something wonderful has happened. You must go! Go see! The heavens are celebrating. And you live here at this time! Go! Go, see!”

The shepherds of course hopped right up and trotted right on off, didn’t they? Are you kidding? Have you ever met a shepherd? A lot more likely to just lay there and say, “Wow, what did I eat? Do you see that?” And even if they absolutely believed it, there’s a whole lot of work to do to leave your flock. Oh, wait, in all of the stories the pictures show that they just come with the lambs. So, in this case, we will just say all right, they just rounded the herd up and took them into Bethlehem. They were on a hill faraway, so it was a bit of a walk, but they made it to Bethlehem. Now, they didn’t actually make it there for the birth, they didn’t actually make it there right after the birth, but not all that long away from it. Nonetheless, shepherds in attendance.

On another hill, a whole lot farther away, you can see in the distance . . . I don’t know why they always say three; there were more than three, and they weren’t together, they weren’t travelling together.

But back to it. You see in the distance the silhouette of three camels. And on those camels, very elaborate seats. Have you ever been on a camel’s saddle? Very high, otherwise you are going to be constantly shifted by the motion of the camel. Do you know how a camel moves? It moves like this, not like this [demonstrates]. So that saddle’s very high so you bypass that.

So there in the silhouette, three camels. Got it? And three people high up off that camel. The shepherds are saying, “Whoa, man, are they levitating over those camels?” The . . . obviously I am referring to the three wise men. We’ll say the three kings, all right? The three kings who were coming because they recognized in their astrology . . . Now, Egyptian, eastern astrology, and more or less pretty much all around the world in early cultures, was very accurate. Right up there with Harvey. And they recognized something very special was happening. And they recognized that there was something new in the sky that had not been, and that was a beautiful star. Now what was the last star you had that you could look at?

A comet.

S: It was a comet, but you have names for them. Halley, Hale-Bopp, something like that? So in the sky they see a star that keeps moving and, if the tellers be true, stops. So they got together and they said, “Let’s go see where it leads us. Maybe it will give us some more information about what’s going on.”

All right, separate version from that one, this one and that one, and this one, and that one, and there were not three; there had to have been more than a dozen, less than twenty, who were seeking information, knowing that something very important was going on, not knowing what it was. One or two had a really good idea of what it might be. Most were joyriding. What do you call it? Road trip!! But eventually, there they are. “Star, stable, holy cow! We’re here!” Now, I thought that was a lot funnier than you did!

So they go to check it out. Well, probably by this time the baby Jesus came to check them out first, because it takes a while. But still, there they are, and there you have Mary, and there you have a manger, and there you have Joseph, and here you have a cow, and there you’ve got some sheep, and, oh gosh. They’re just letting anybody come in. There are the shepherds. “Well, we’ll come, too.” Now, I also thought that was pretty funny, too. Here is Mary, here is the manger, here is Joseph . . . Anybody in here who has ever had a child knows it did not look like that. It was more like, “Oh more people, what are we going to do? Look, here comes some more, on camels no less. It’s your turn, Joseph. You go take care of them. I’ve got to feed this baby. Again!” Right? And that pretty little manger, all swaddled up in it, well, that’s only a temporary borrow, you know. They wore their babies. They did not leave them lying out there for the cows to sniff. The child was swaddled and nestled right here, because that’s what you do. There goes all of those Christmas songs. They brought gifts of gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

Now, Mary and Joseph are pretty smart people, you know. Not just any choice those angels took; it was Mary and Joseph. They are smart. So they get gold. Nice, helpful, thank you so much. Frankincense and myrrh. They look at each other because you don’t give those gifts unless you’re old and going to die, because that’s what’s rubbed all over the body to help it smell better while it lies out. They’re giving this baby the death ointments. Mary and Joseph just looked at them and said, “Oh, thank you so much.” I doubt it. I’m pretty sure it was much more like (Samuel makes a face) “Um . . . OK, we’ll put this somewhere safe for later . . . much later . . . much later, much, much later.” And thus the Christmas Story ends. This one does.

What you may not realize that I believe is one of the true miracles of Christmas is this, a story from start to bottom all about thinking outside of the box. It’s about shifting out of what is familiar and being willing to see something a new way. Mary wakes up and the angel’s standing there. All right, frankly speaking, half the time you don’t see angels because you don’t believe in them anyway. “Yes I do, I want to see angels, I want to see blazing glory.” They’re there.

Mary sees the angel, and the angel says to her, “Sweetheart, you’re pregnant. Don’t worry. It’s God’s baby.” She can lose her mind. She can be in constant denial. She can step outside of the known and say, “Something’s going on.” The family, those who shun her, which was really a gift to her because what they should have done was stoned her and killed her, but just shunning her was cruel enough. Those who embraced her but kept away, and those who said—usually the closest amongst them—”She’s a good girl. She says this hasn’t been something between her and Joseph. Instead, I will accept.” The first is the one who could not step out of that kind of group mind that sees the worst. The second wanted to trust but wasn’t quite there, and the third said, “All right.” And of course in your life, that’s pretty much the countdown of it, too. About a third of the people that are a part of your tribe, that are those that you deal with on a regular basis, about a third of them are wishing they could stone you. And that’s not the shepherds. And about a third of them really don’t know what to think but they’ll be nice to you. And then there’s that third, the miracle, who love you and accept because of that love. One thing that might tell you, get as many people to love you as you can. At least a third of them will be on your side.

It’s hard to shift out of cultural norms, to think unlike everyone else, to act unlike everyone else. Joseph wasn’t ready. It took an angel visiting him as well. “Really. Settle down, Joe. It is all right.” It’s true. And he had to shift. “Samuel, if I woke up and there was an angel in my bedroom, my thinking would be a lot easier to shift.” The fact of it is that’s not true, because you see what you believe. And if for whatever reason you don’t think that kind of intervention is possible, or you don’t want to know about it, you won’t. A third will deny it in hand. That’s it, a third will say, “What the heck was that?’ Then it becomes a dream. “I had this really weird dream. What did I eat last night?” And a third will say, “Thank you.”

The innkeeper had to think outside of the box: no room at the inn, how about the stable. The shepherds had to think outside of the box, or the flock. “Should I leave them? Should I remain here? What was that, anyway? I heard it, did you? No, no, yes.” The kings, or the wise men, had to think outside of the box., not only to move out of their place of comfort and take a journey not knowing what they were looking for, but they had to think outside of the box once they got there. “What?!”

The miracle of Christmas is all about being able to move out of your comfortable little cultural satisfaction. You get up in the morning, and you eat some breakfast, and you go to work, and you come home, and you eat some dinner, and you—what?—you watch some TV and you go to bed. And you get up in the morning and you eat some breakfast . . . And that’s what life’s supposed to be if you’re lucky. Oh, goody! What a gift! And yet, there is nothing more to those who don’t need any more. Thinking out of the box happens because you’re hungry; you’re tired of hitting your head up against the wall because you no longer believe pain means gain. Or maybe it happens because it’s an awfully cute baby, could be God.

This world is dying, and it will be saved by those who think outside of the box, who are willing to get up, have breakfast, go to work, come home, just like everyone else but with a difference. And the difference might be they don’t see it as a job that pays the bills; they see it as an opportunity to change the world one co-worker at a time. They see it as an incredible opportunity to learn new things and expand horizons that would not have otherwise been expanded. They see it as anything but a drudgery. Saved by those who see the signs and don’t think it was what you had to eat last night. Who recognize the power of living love in this world and what a magnet it makes you. Who know the joy of creating a family, a tribe, of those who also see things differently. It’s going to be healed, and held, and saved by those who know that, indeed, they are as was written, the sons and daughters of God, but with a little shift, that shift being the recognition that what you are, what is in you, what that means—you’re a son of God? That what that means is you are one with Source.

And there is a reason that you are here. Your parents may tell you that it’s so there will be somebody to take care of them when they get old. But really, when you look outside of that box, you recognize that there might be another purpose—that you’re here because the world needs you. And right now, beloved one, right now you need to be the great gift from God into the world. You need to be the function of Source in this world. You weren’t born yesterday. It’s easy to stay a baby. Now and again I wonder . . . never mind. The stories of Christmas are about the birth. But this Christmas, let’s allow birth to mean an awakening to a new world.

Jesus’ life—you don’t have a whole lot of information. More than you’d think, but not a lot. It’s sort of like: born, buzzed along doing those earthly things, and all of a sudden hitting what is considered a generation—thirty, thirty-two—everything changed. Jesus had always been a bit of a rebel, in charge, because he thought outside of the box and would question, “Wait, that doesn’t make sense.” And when he reached his full adulthood, you could say he most definitely thought outside of the box and, as a result, changed a spiritual slavery that had gone on for a thousand years.

Thinking based on a bigger picture, thinking outside of the box, will change you. And it will change your world. And that’s what it’s about. The gift for you to give this world now that you’re born, now that you’re—some of you getting a little beyond thirty—the gift of the holidays is to see this world from a different perspective. Can you do that? And will you? Do your best to not get caught in the tradition and traditional thinking that says, “Here is how it’s always done. Here is what that means. Here is who you are,” because you’re not. You are a miracle and you are a gift. And everything in your world is accelerating and you will get passed if you insist on living in a box. Change your thinking, change your life, change your world.