I was realizing recently in how many ways the Universe is thrusting positivity onto me.  And at the same time, I struggle with how negative I can be at times.  My critical monkey mind can be ripping and tearing at something at the same time that my heart is lapping it up.  I'm also convinced that my weight is very involved with negativity.  As the weight comes off, the negativity comes up.

For example, my Weight Lady gave me some tapes from the Living Enrichment Center in Wilsonville, Oregon.  It's a fancy name for a church.  Many of the tapes featured a woman named Mary Morrissey.  They are unrelentingly positive, and I mean that as a complement.  Having lived for decades without a church, I joined a Methodist church when I came to California, and enjoyed the experience of having a community of fellow seekers, inclusive and for the most part quite pleasant.  Unfortunately, several years ago I woke up one day (and I'm being quite literal here) and realized that I was absolutely certain that I had been on this Earth before.  This was good news and bad news.  The good news, and it was very good, was that I discovered myself to be certain that I had a soul that would survive death, and was just "wearing" my body for a while.  This was a lifetime first for that belief--I had been willing to accept it as a working hypothesis as a Methodist, but now I knew.  The bad news was that I had to do a lot of filtering when I went to a Church service.  A lot of filtering.

Over the next year, I found that I was coming more and more to accept Jesus' message, while rejecting more and more the church's interpretation of it.  Much of the New Testament started to sound to me like a rather shrill infomercial on the Shopping Channel for "the only faith you'll ever need!  You can throw out all your old faiths, step right up, and ..."  You get the idea...

So the core message--love God (who is a still small voice in all of us), love your neighbor, do good to others, clean up your own house first--tended to get lost, not just in the mundane world of annual fund drives and picnics and missionaries to India, but in the politics of the church--gay clergy, sex or not before, or outside of, marriage, making the church friendly to all races and people.  And doctrine.  Luckily, the Methodists don't suffer all that much doctrine (although they manage to get pretty worked up about what they do have).

And am I the only person in the world who gets antsy praying in a group?  As I have become more spiritual (and, despite the tone of the last few paragraphs, I really have in the last few years), praying in a group increasingly feels to me like a group of people trying to masturbate at the same time and all reach orgasm together.  Extremely difficult, and ultimately pointless.  (see what I mean about negativity!  enough!)

So I approached these Living Enrichment Center tapes with some real trepidation.  And, more than anything I have ever experienced on the spiritual side, I found that the filters and screens that I have to keep up in conventional churches to keep from causing a ruckus just melted away.  Mary Morrissey makes things very simple, not in the dumbed-down sense but in the get-to-the-core sense of the term.  I found I could just turn off my mind, open my heart, and let the message in.  It was wonderful.  If I lived in Oregon, I'd become a member (my Weight Lady drives 60 miles each way every Sun. to attend, and now I see why).

Well, I won't continue to go on about this--they have a web site with a ton of neat stuff on it, and I discovered that I can get them on Sun. with my Direct TV dish.

More positivity.  Sam has gone bonkers over IBI (Income Builders International), and I'm beginning to see why.  I'm going to their one week "free enterprise boot camp" (my term) in Aug., and Diana and Eson (and probably Yson) are going in June.  So I got their set of four tapes that prepare you to go.  Again, totally positive.  They say some things that I've believed for a long time.  Competition is a myth in business--if you are competing, you are making a costly mistake.  You should chose a market where your product is so compelling that you have no competitors.  If you actually have competitors, you either have the wrong product or the wrong market positioning.  The key to successful business is cooperation, not competition.  And it starts with the founding team that puts the business together.  IBI tells you to bring your dreams, polish them, and they will help you figure out how to make money doing what you love.  How positive is that!

And the personal development workshop I've been assisting with.  We have reached the stage where people start looking different.  The tense uptight people start looking relaxed and are giving everybody hugs.  The barrel-chested bully has suddenly developed a boyish grin and a twinkle in his eye.  The "daddy's little girls" start looking like women.  And so much of it is by getting rid of the negative, the messages that they were screwed up, that there was something wrong with them, that they were incompetent, unimportant, unlovable.  Dump that load and they shine.

And my relationship with Diana is well on its way to a new level, too.  As I better separate my attraction, my response to the fun we have together from my fears of the future, the positives are looking better and better, and the fear just that--a fear.  One of our trainers said the other night:

When a baby learns to walk, how many times does it fall down?  But it wants to walk.  So it keeps getting up and trying again.  Imagine what would happen if the baby had the same attitude most of us have as adults.  Try to walk, fall down.  Then say to yourself "to hell with this walking business.  I'm too clumsy and stupid to ever learn to do it.  And besides, there's nothing wrong with crawling.  After all, you're closer to the earth!"

The heads were nodding all over the room.  Including mine.  So have a positive day!

Thank you for reading.

Copyright © 2001 Pete Stevens. All rights reserved.