09.15.2021

Conscious Luck

Wednesday, September 15, 2021
Featuring: Rev. Richard Rogers
Week #1 of a 5-Week Series

Click HERE to download this transcript.

Rev. Richard Rogers: Alright! So I want to acknowledge everybody's that's watching us online, wherever you are in the world. Thank you for being a part of our ministry. And thank you for your support.

Alright; I want to play movie trivia! I'm going to give you a line; you're going to tell me the character's name and the movie. You ready? You can do this!

"You've got to ask yourself a question: Do you feel lucky? Well, do you, punk?"

[Congregation shouts out answers] What's ... "Dirty Harry!" And what's the character's name? [Congregation shouts out] Clint Eastwood ... but that's the actor! It was Harry Callahan. Right?

And so the question that I want to put before you today is: Do you feel lucky? [A few congregants shout, "Yes!"] One ... two. Because what I want us to really look at is this whole idea of luck. Right?

For most of us -- for most of us, I would say -- luck doesn't really feel like a spiritual quality. Right? It just doesn't! Right? Luck is defined as "chance; considered a force that causes good or bad things to happen, like 'Luck was with me.'" Or something regarding bringing forth good or bad. As a noun, it's: "Success or failure, apparently brought on by chance rather than one's actions."

Now, from a spiritual point of view, we don't really believe that! You know. In Unity, we don't believe that things are kind of capricious or out of our control. We believe that our inner life creates our outer world. That we don't believe in pre-destiny; we believe that we have free will and that our good works actually come back to bless us. Right?

And so there's this idea of luck. And from a spiritual point of view, I've always looked at it as the opposite of that -- or the other side of that -- was blessed. And then one of my favorite authors, Gay Hendricks -- who wrote "The Big Belief" -- wrote this book called "Conscious Luck." And if it was anybody else who wrote that book, I would have just walked right by. Right? But he wrote this book called "Conscious Luck," and he makes a case for being lucky. And it really kind of stopped me in my tracks!

Because I have a colleague, a friend, and she's a Unity minister, and she and her husband go to Las Vegas a couple of times a year. And according to them, they're very lucky! Right? And when they go to Las Vegas, they usually win enough, not only to cover the cost of the trip, but rarely do they come home without more money than they went with. And I want you to begin to ask yourself: Would you be willing to be more lucky? Right?

Because what I want you to begin to see ... I want you to say this with me: I am lucky; I am blessed; grace fills my life. Will you say that with me? [With congregation:] "I am lucky; I am blessed; and grace fills my life.” Right?

Just say with me: I feel lucky. Will you say that with me? [With congregation:] "I feel lucky."

Now, I want you to say the opposite of that, right? And I want you to see how that feels. I'm not lucky. Right? Will you say that with me? Now, all you ... Yes! Just try it once! Right? [With congregation:] "I'm not lucky." [Laughs] Some of you won't even say it!

And what I want you to see -- and why this is so interesting for me -- is: I believe that, when we entertain the idea of feeling lucky, that our joy goes through the roof. Like, if you think of yourself as a lucky person ... Like, I believe that I am blessed. I did a whole class last year called "Wildly Blessed." And I believe that I am wildly blessed! I believe that I am so blessed that it's fabulous. But there's something different about saying, "I'm lucky." There's a level [laughs] of joy that comes with feeling that you're lucky that's different than when you say you're blessed!

So we're going to try it one more time. [With congregation:] "I'm lucky." One more time! [With congregation:] "I'm lucky." Right? I'm lucky!

Because what happens is: Our joy goes through the roof. How many of you have seen the episode -- the Oprah episode -- where she gives everybody in the room a new car? You remember that one? Not that any of us are old enough to remember that! [Laughs with congregation] Or maybe we're all too old that we don't remember it!

But there's that episode, and the energy in the room goes through the roof when they think they've won a new car! Like, if you win a trip to Hawaii, like, would that ... Would your joy go up? Yes! Right? It would! Right? And, I mean, I've been to Hawaii several -- maybe many -- times, and a free trip would make me happier! Right? It would [laughs] just make me happier!

And so what I've been entertaining is this idea. It's like, "Richard, you might need to get off your high horse." Right? "Because sometimes you get a little too spiritual." Right? "And maybe you just need to open a space to really entertain that it's okay for you to be lucky."

Because those of you who are lucky know that you're lucky! You're the people who buy two tickets and win five things in a raffle. Like, I don't know how you people do it, because that's never been my experience.

When I went to Las Vegas … [Laughs] I've been there once, or maybe twice. Right? When I go to Las Vegas, I have a certain amount of money that I set aside, right? And I tell myself that I set aside this money, not as a fund to double or triple it ... I tell myself, "This is how much I can lose!" Right? That doesn't really inspire a lot of luck if, mentally, I'm planning this $100 -- or whatever it is! This $100: I'm going to lose it, and I might as well just hand it to them as I walk in the door. [Congregation laughs] Right?

Because my mental picture is that I'm not lucky. I'm blessed, and I've always believed that I was blessed! But I'm not lucky. But as I begin to play in this book, I've been willing to take on this idea: I am lucky! And it just makes me happy! Like, it just makes me happy to entertain that idea that I'm lucky!

You know ... [Laughs] I got here as a minister in Phoenix in 1991. And I worked about six months straight without any time off. And finally my wife said to me, "You have to get out of here for a while. You need to take some days off." [Laughs]

So we went to Las Vegas. And we went to see a show, and we had some friends there that watched some kids. And we went to a show -- dinner and a show -- in Las Vegas. It was very nice. And when we got there -- now this is so long ago that the Luxor Hotel was virtually brand new. Right? The pyramid, right?

So we walk in the casino, and I've got my daughter kind of in my arm, and my little two-year-old at my side. And we're kind of walking into the front desk to check in. And at the time -- and remember, this was 100 years ago. At the time, they had -- in the basement of the Luxor -- they had this boat ride. And it only lasted six months, because it was dumb, right? But it was this boat ride where you go and see this little Egyptian pictures, and it was kind of like a bad version of Indiana Jones, right?

So I'm six months here at Unity of Phoenix, and this is my time away. I'm in Las Vegas; I'm feeling a little racy. [Congregation laughs] Taking the family to Las Vegas! Right? Woo hoo! [Congregation laughs] Right? I look over the safety wall that kept you from falling into the water below, and a lady shouts -- stands up in the boat and shouts -- "Hey! That's my minister!" [Congregation laughs] I'm going, "Jack, I'm going home." Right? Like, my little "sneak-away" to Las Vegas and play my luck and see how I do ... I'm not in the casino two minutes and a woman shouts at the top of her lungs, "Hey! That's my minister!" It's like, oh! This is not going well! [Laughs with congregation] This is not going well!

And so I've had some scarring experiences. [Congregation laughs] Right? [Laughs] I've had some experiences that always didn't make me feel lucky. Right? And as I go through this book -- as we do these next five weeks -- I'm going to invite you to join with me in a new mindset.

Have you ever created a new mindset in your life? Like, you go from a limited mindset or a broken mindset or a wounded mindset, and there's something that happens that you just begin to entertain an idea or a possibility that you've never held before. Right? And as you begin to entertain this idea, you actually begin to live into it. You actually expand into that possibility. Even though that possibility was always there, you never really took it on for yourself. You really never internalized it, right?

With all the seriousness of the world right now, I want to take on a spiritual principle that is silly. That's kind of trivial, right? It may not change the world. But what I believe is: If we can change your mindset, and you embrace a higher degree of feeling lucky, I believe changing that mindset can really change multiple areas in your life.

Because if you can change that thought -- if you can change that belief; if you can change that experience -- then there's a realization within our soul that we can change anything! There's no thought, there's no belief, there's no experience that you can't transform!

And what I love about living lucky is [laughs] it just makes you smile! Like, if you start winning things out of nowhere, right? Is that going to take your joy from here to here? [Raises hand high] It is me! It does! It's just happier to feel lucky.

And there's some great quotes, right? James Vila Blake, who was a Unitarian minister from the 1840s, said this: "Luck, good or bad, is the invisible play of mind upon affairs, the effect of mental aptitudes and habits which are not in sight, but which work and bring forth their due issues." Right?

Dr. Tina Seelig from Stanford University said this: "The key to understanding that luck is rarely a lightning strike or an isolated dramatic event, but a wind that blows constantly. Sometimes the winds of luck blow lightly, and sometimes there's gusts, and sometimes the direction isn't what you expected. Therefore you need to build a sail made of tiny behaviors to catch them. If the wind is, it will slowly guide you toward a new objective. And, when the winds pick up, get ready to soar!"

So I want you to begin to entertain the idea -- for the next five weeks -- that you're going to take on the mindset that you're a lucky person. And that, whatever level of luck you have in your life right now, we're going to exaggerate that. We're going to extend that. We're going to take that up a notch. So that, when you get up in the morning every day, you're looking for luck -- the blessings, the good -- that's going to come to you that day.

Because if you wake up every morning, and you believe you're unlucky, how willing are you to get out of bed? Right? It's a challenge, right? Who wants to get out of bed if you're unlucky? Because you know that, if you're unlucky, every bad possible thing ... I had an aunt that was ... If a bad thing could happen to her -- or to anybody -- it happened to her. And it was hard to watch! But the opposite is also true. When you see somebody who everything is working together for their good, and they're just moving from blessing to one good thing after another, it changes you!

I'm lucky! Will you say that with me? [With congregation:] "I'm lucky!"

So in this book, Gay Hendricks gives us a couple exercises that I want to share with you. Because the first thing he says is that the simplest way to create abundance on all levels of life is to change your luck. The knowledge that you can change your luck consciously is one of the most important, valuable assets that you have. Right?

Chris Prentiss said this: "People who believe that they have bad luck create bad luck. Those who believe they are very fortunate -- that the world is a generous place filled with trustworthy people -- live exactly that kind of world."

So what Gay said, and the idea is: The first step in becoming a very lucky person is to make the commitment. See, I want you to be a VLP: a very lucky person. [Congregation laughs] Right? That's who I want you to be! That's what I want you to identify with! And I want you to make an inner commitment ... because all change starts with making an inner commitment! I want you to make an inner commitment that you're willing to be a very lucky person.

Now, one of the exercises Gay gives in this chapter ... Let's put up the second slide. Give me number two. Right? Can you see it? [Powerpoint shows] Is it there? Great! 'Kay. So we're going to say this statement together, and you're going to put your name where it says [YOUR NAME], okay?

Let's say it together! [With congregation:] "I, Richard Rogers, make a sincere commitment to being lucky now and forever."

Now, what he suggests to do is to write that statement four times. Right? Now, if you want to take a picture of that. Take a picture of that on your phone. Or if you can write it down. I mean, it's not that long of a sentence, right? Write it down:

So … [with congregation:] “I, Richard Rogers, make a sincere commitment to being lucky now and forever."

But what he suggests is that the first time you write that, you write it with your dominant hand. Right? Because your dominant hand is connected to your conscious mind. He said the second time write it with your non-dominant hand. For me, that would be my left hand. And, literally, it took me five minutes to write that one sentence in cursive with my left hand. And I was sweating. It was like making my hand go [laughs]. It was hard! And then the third time, you write it with your dominant hand. And the fourth time, you write it with your non-dominant hand.

'Cause the science shows that, by getting both your conscious and your unconscious -- the right side of your brain and the left side of your brain -- on the same page, you actually change the ground that you stand on. So we're going to say that one more time.

Together [with congregation]: "I, Richard Rogers, make a sincere commitment to being lucky now and forever."

And I want you to actually ... This is part of your homework! I want you to actually do this exercise tonight before you go to bed. I want you to make a new commitment. Because, can you imagine that that simple sentence: you could change those words for anything in your life. You could change those words to apply to a healing or a new job or a new relationships. That, once you become a very lucky person, you could take these same skills and apply them to any area in your life. I want you, tonight, just to have a fun way to do it.

One more time! I am a very lucky person! Together! [With congregation:] "I am a very lucky person!”

Let’s go to the last slide. Give me the last one. Can you read that? Kind of. Okay, here we go. So what it says is: "I acknowledge that, through the power of my commitments -- both conscious and unconscious -- I have created my life as it is now. I now choose to use this power to create my life the way I consciously want it to be. I am lucky."

Let's say that together: the whole thing. [With congregation:] "I acknowledge that, through the power of my commitments -- both conscious and unconscious -- I have created my life as it is now. I now choose to use this power to create my life the way I consciously want it to be. I am lucky."

So here's ... So what's the teaching in this, right? The first thing that he really brings out in this paragraph is that our life -- exactly the way it is right now -- we created. That's really, for some of us, a hard thing to get our arms around. Because, at some level, we want to be victim to circumstance. We want to say that our life the way it is really isn't our fault. That we didn't do anything; it was just happened upon us.

But if we're really going to take on these ideas, and really use them to transform our lives, we can really begin to look at that we created our life just the way it is, both consciously and unconsciously. That sometimes we created things in our life unconsciously that weren't really enjoyable. That weren't fun. That weren't kind. That weren't beautiful. That weren't abundant. And, as we begin to change our thinking -- both consciously and unconsciously -- we begin to go in the right direction.

When I was in college, I rowed crew. Do you know what crew is? Eight guys in a boat - stroke, stroke, stroke? Well, when you're a baby in this sport, it's very difficult to get the starboard and the port side of the boat to pull at the same level. Right? Now, there's eight guys -- all the guys on my team were over six feet: big guys -- right? And if one side was pulling harder than the other side, can you see, over a mile-and-a-quarter race, how that could become problematic?

Right? 'Cause you've got a rudder that's about this long; you've got a boat that's about 60 feet long. You've got eight big guys. And you've got a mile-and-a-quarter to try to go on a straight line. So pulling at the same length -- or the same strength and the same way -- actually adds to the power of the boat.

What I want you to see is that, when your conscious mind and your unconscious mind are pulling in the same direction, there's nothing you can't do. And we're going to start tonight by just working on something a little silly. But the principles that we're teaching aren't silly at all. That, in your life -- when your conscious mind and your unconscious mind are going in the same direction -- there's nothing you can't accomplish. That you can truly create the greatest life possible!

So let's say it one more time together. [With congregation:] "I acknowledge that, through the power of my commitments -- both conscious and unconscious -- I have created my life as it is now. I now choose to use this power to create my life the way I consciously want it to be. I am lucky."

Let's take that into prayer:
I want you to open your mind, your heart, to a new reality. A new possibility. A new way of you being in the world. A way where you feel more blessed, where you feel more alive, where you feel like life is working for you with a level of ease and grace. Where you know deep in your soul that you are lucky.

That you're lucky to be alive. That you're lucky to be healthy and whole. That you're lucky over and over again, day in and day out. And we claim a higher level of luck for every area of our life. In the name and through the power of the Living Christ, we give thanks. And so it is. Amen.

Copyright 2021 Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center/Rev. Richard Rogers

 

CLICK HERE to view Rev. Rogers' guided meditation from the service.

Location and Contact Information

Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center

1500 E Greenway Pkwy
Phoenix, AZ 85022
Phone: (602) 978-3200

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