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As I sat to begin some long overdue journaling, I wrote that it always seems that my first question deals with how to make the best use of my time. Then, I asked, "Is there something else? Am I following through with that question?"

"There is always plenty to do, but I don't always follow through with my heartthrobs. The necessaries get done and then sometimes, frequently, I don't dig deeper.

What is in my 'deeper?' Meditation, yoga regime, hand-journaling, and significant writing.

These deeper desires I listed can all be considered as openings for spiritual growth. I am growing. I can sense it through some communion on the internet. I just finished writing the book, Listening and Connecting as One, that expresses that. Where is my expression, even to self, of what I do believe? That is one of the areas I don't take *time* to define. Right now it seems very expansive, possibly undefinable in a few words. Could I define it in the length of a book? The fun part of that is that by the time the book reaches completion, my beliefs will have expanded more."

And with that, this book was initiated. It has been pure delight to go back through the years and observe my progress, remembering those dear souls who have offered opportunities along the way. I thank each of them for their integral place in my life and I thank you for being at that place in my now.

My purpose in sharing my beliefs with you is to offer the opportunity for you to ponder your beliefs. I am sure they will differ from mine so consider this book the encouragement for you to discover what lies beneath the surface. What are your beliefs?

Why expand?

Isn't the gate supposed to be narrow? "Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leads to life..." - Matthew 8:14. The gate may be narrow, as I have been taught, accepting God's love through Christ, but the road does not stay narrow, after entering. Once I came through that gate, I realized the panorama of endless fields and meadows here to be explored. I could choose to stay in familiar territory, sit down in the grass and enjoy just what I am aware of in my surroundings. For some, that may be fine. My dominant nature has always been one who delights in exploring new vistas. I love to travel!

Defining one's beliefs by putting them into words definitely offers limitations. My spiritual awareness is expanding daily. For my own pleasure and as my guideline, I will attempt, here, to define where my beliefs are in this moment. To do this, I define how my beliefs have evolved.

They began in a healthy Christian home environment, where I was shown the meaning of Love. This was strengthened through learning experiences and loving support through my church family, as well.

By college years, I felt free to question, within the realm of Christianity, such issues as predestination, how I could use principles of Scripture personally, and how to share my beliefs with others. I was not ready yet to be exposed to metaphysical possibilities. I was quite liberal, however. When a friend at our Christian college decided to begin studies with a Quaker group, my reaction was that this was what was right for her at the time, although it received much opposition from her other friends.

During my first marriage, conversations with friends frequently became Christian debates and even Christian defense, on my part. As I expressed my beliefs, these beliefs were strengthened within.

When I left my first husband, there was no bitterness, just an understanding that we were on different roads of life. Staying in that situation could have prevented my expansion.

Upon meeting Bill a year later, I was in California, where society consciousness was a bit more open for new possibilities. Bill's knowledge of Atlantis, Cayce's works, Cabala, and other areas that were new to me, proved fascinating.

My apartment manager at the time became my sister in spirit through a growing and loving relationship through the years. She was also exploring her faith. We began exploring together through first playing Oiji, then Tarot and visiting a channeler. I was fascinated.

My seeking nature continued through exposure to books by Kahlil Gibran, Napoleon Hill, Richard Bach, Jess Stearn, as only a few.

Another experience in taking a Tarot class brought a lasting friendship with our teacher. Through her, I was introduced to Unity School of Christianity.

After we were married, Bill was employed with cross-country truck driving for several months. During that time I found, or the Spirit found me with Trinity Broadcasting Network, a new charismatic Christian television station, located only a short distance from our home. I began doing volunteer work at the station and met many devoted, beautiful people. This was a ministry that emphasized finding and making use of the gifts of the Spirit. Being surrounded by this energy, I did discover that I could pray in "groanings too deep for words" and the enthusiasm of living Christ every moment began to flow.

Shortly thereafter, we were transferred away from the metropolitan lifestyle to the Mojave Desert at the foothills of the Sierras. By now, I was beginning to explore my purpose in life and learning through journaling. I did not like the idea of living on the desert and, even though we lived there for sixteen years, I never totally accepted it. I did know, though, from the beginning, that it was a spiritual haven and a place for me to grow.

Soon thereafter I was introduced to Terry Cole-Whitaker's ministry on television. I read her books and listened to her tapes. More expansion!

By this time, we had a son and I knew from personal experience the importance of nurturing his spiritual growth. We began attending the church denomination of my youth and I once again participated in leadership roles dealing with youth.

My beliefs for being a parent include offering healthy guidance, being there to discuss questions that might rise, always listening for Spirit responses as I share my philosophy with my son, and providing him with healthy peer and teacher stimulation.

When Shawn was of school age, we decided to offer more healthy spiritual roots by enrolling him in a Christian school. I am forever grateful that we did this. He received abundant, healthy nurturing and experienced genuine love from his teachers and classmates.

Later, when we moved to another geographical setting, before his teen years, we encouraged him to participate in a boys church youth group. We currently support him in attending a high school youth group at a non-denominational church. He is not a follower, is developing his own philosophy and offers challenges to others. This offers me a great delight.

While Shawn was still small, as I became involved with the leadership roles in my church, I was again introduced to metaphysical study by attending a Science of Mind service during a weekend personal retreat, away from home. It felt warm and offered new inspiration. Back home, I made contact with the Science of Mind group.

Meeting Agatha, the minister, was an experience. I joined study groups there and was challenged in my beliefs many times. I discovered what areas were taken for granted, where I was willing to expand and where I wasn't willing to budge - yet.

Through the class experience, I continued with my writing and shared each week's happenings with my sister in spirit. I questioned and listened to what I wrote. More expansion.

I was also giving myself time for daily meditation, journaling, yoga and quiet time for reflection.

When my Science of Mind mentor knew it was time for her to travel on in her path of expansion, we received the opportunity to make a geographical move. My necessity for living on the desert was at an end. A new frontier awaited.


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