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Jan. 29, 2022

Pioneer of mindfulness based stress reduction, John Kabbat-Zin

suggests that when we slowly ride the wave of the impulses from

our own life, we awaken to full catastrophe living. For me, full

catastrophe living does not mean that our life is a disaster. Life takes

us for a ride. We could also say, our interpretations of the stuff of

our everyday life takes us for a ride. The role of faith acts as a

catalyst for us to have the courage to expand our container and

accept the truth of the moment. According to Charles Fillmore, we

first accept that truth with our intelligence. That intelligence can

come from the mind, the heart, or the body depending on who we

are and how we function best. The metabolizing of that experience,

once embraced from our innermost intelligence becomes a living

faith. And this is the way our wisdom traditions inform us that the

just live.

What makes this way of full embracing, accepting, embodying, and

expanding special is that it differs for all of us. So faith isn’t a blanket

statement; faith is an individual reality. It’s a lived experience. Our

tolerances may vary, and our ability to expand in the moment can

also vary from person to person. My personal tolerance level may

differ from the next person, but it doesn’t mean that I’m less than

who I’m comparing myself to. I think that the comparison feeling is a

trap also. On an individual level, learning to feel where you are and

recognize what it takes to make it through the next moment

connects you back to your own inner experience of what you need

most. And that is what faith is: it is a container where we place our

hopes. Those hopes can be of an even greater freedom in this

moment, in the next moment, or in the next week. Nevertheless,

wherever you find yourself- be wherever you are for as long as you

can. If you need to take a break, step back from the moment and

take a break if it gets too intense. But come back to the moment-

the coming together and falling apart are both natural processes of

life. Sometimes things come together and other times things fall

apart. Faith as a container, helps us to go to pieces and see those

pieces of ourselves as seeds for the next moment, where other

possibilities can emerge. Yes, faith is the substance of what we hope

for, but you shouldn’t judge yourself if what you hope for is bigger

than the container you can place it in that day. So yes, life takes us

for a ride- but you are always the driver, and you can go as fast or

as slow as you need to go.

Rev. Jesse Eugene Herriott, M.A. is the Spiritual Leader of Unity of Birmingham, AL. He is a writer and spiritual teacher whose work explores the soul of what it means to be human, through the lens of spiritual practice & western psychotherapy. He is an ordained priest in the UAIC Interspiritual community and currently is in the process of completing Unity’s Special Dispensation program to become a licensed Unity Minister. He completed bachelor’s and master’s from the University of South Carolina and Keiser University, respectively. He also holds post grad certificates in Geropsychology, Organizational Psychology, & Clinical Trauma Support. In 2015 he was selected by Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA to be inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. Collegium of Clergy & Scholars. To find out more, join us online via facebook, or meet us in person for our Sunday Morning Celebration at 11am Central at Unity of Birmingham.

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