09.22.2021

Release the Barriers

Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Featuring: Rev. Richard Rogers
Week #1 in a 5-Week Series, "Conscious Luck"

Click HERE to download this transcript.

Rev. Richard Rogers: Alright, you ready for tonight? I want to do a shout out to everyone who’s watching us online; you know, over the last 18 months, so many of us have been online — getting the spiritual food online. And, for all of you that are supporting this ministry in all the ways that you are online, thank you; thank you; thank you! We so appreciate it.

So everybody got a small piece of paper, right? If you didn’t raise your hand, and one of the ushers will bring you one. We’re going to have a little activity later, and I want to make sure you have it.

Okay, so last week we began a five-week series on luck. And what’s interesting is: Some very spiritual people have a hard time with this whole concept of luck. Right? And the idea is that we believe in consciousness. Right? And we don’t see that the Universe is arbitrary; we see the Universe is run on spiritual principles.

And last week I shared with you my own kind of spiritual journey or understanding of luck. And the thing that is just absolutely true for me as we entertain this idea of luck … What I find to be true is that, as you affirm, “I am a lucky person,” your joy just has to go up. Like, there’s … Luck! There’s so much joy woven into this spiritual idea of being lucky that — when we affirm, “I am lucky” — what I want you just to begin to see is how high your joy rises. Okay?

So let’s say that together: “I am a very lucky person.” Together: [with congregation] “I am a very lucky person.” Now, if you say it and you don’t believe it, right? What I want you to see [laughs] is that your joy doesn’t change! [Congregation laughs] Right? So if you say, “I’m a lucky person,” but you don’t really believe it — [in a despondent voice] “Bah, I’m a lucky person, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah” — right?

But if you say [laughs], “I’m a lucky person!” and you actually believe it, I want you to see how much your joy bubbles up! Right? And I go back to Oprah, right? Oprah … I think it was 1986 — or maybe it was 1989 — where she had all the people in the studio. And she comes out and she says … You know, the lady wins the car. And then she says that, “We have a car for everyone in the audience,” and [laughs] the energy in that room goes crazy! Right? That the joy was just overflowing!

And what I want you to see is that, as we entertain the idea of creating the consciousness of luck, that our joy goes up. In fact, the book that I’m using as the foundation of my teaching for the next several weeks is Conscious Luck by Gay Hendricks.

Now, I told you last week that if Gay hadn’t written this book, I probably wouldn’t have read it. Right? But I love this author! I love his stuff. One of my favorite spiritual books is his book, The Big Leap. I just think he’s fabulous; if you haven’t read any of Gay Hendricks’ stuff, please avail yourself to it. He is … He is quite a soul. Alright?

One more time: “I am a very lucky person.” Together: [with congregation] “I am a very lucky person.”

So do you believe that your words have power? [Congregation: “Yes!”] So your words have the power to change consciousness. Your words have the power to create and bring to you higher and higher levels of good.

Mark Bennett said this about luck. He said, “You can create your own luck just like a cloud can create its own rain. You create your own luck by the way you act, think, feel and talk. If these ingredients that you’re using to create your luck are distorted, then what will follow is bad luck all the way, like a thunderstorm. But if you’re especially careful to watch how you think, then the sweet aroma of good luck will rain down upon you almost everywhere you go.”

How many of us would like the “sweet aroma of good luck” to rain down upon us wherever we go? I would! Like, sign me up for that, right? If I could live a life filled with luck, or I could live a life where I feel profoundly unlucky, right? Because there are individuals who wake up every day, and their dominant realization — their dominant feeling — is that they are unlucky! Right? If you believe that you’re profoundly unlucky, how excited are you to get out of bed? Like, if you believe that you’re profoundly unlucky, it is better to stay in bed than it is to get out of bed! Because, if you get out of bed, you’re just going to be unlucky all day long!

And what I want you to see is that: That’s a mental choice you make based on what you believe. And, as you change your beliefs, you change your reaction to life. And, as you change, the way life responds to you is different. That I really want you to think about making a commitment to begin to view yourself — if you haven’t already — as a very lucky person.

And if you can’t see evidence that you’re a lucky person, I think you’ve missed the point. Because if you can’t see the blessings of God filling your life, opening doors of possibilities for you, I think we’re not really paying attention.

One more time: “I am a very lucky person.” Together: [with congregation] “I am a very lucky person.”

So tonight we’re going to talk about removing the barriers. And we’re going to talk about removing all the barriers that we might have to accessing all the good that God is. And a barrier is defined as something that limits access or movement within our lives. Right?

And so sometimes, as individuals, we set boundaries with others. Right? Have you ever had a friend or a family member and, because they were making such interesting choices, you had to set a boundary with them? [Laughs with congregation] Right? Right? And it’s like, okay; so, with what’s going on in your life, with the choices you’re making for yourself, you need to set a boundary. And a boundary is something that you do; you set … And it’s for you; it’s not for them. Right? It’s for you. You set boundaries for yourself that allow them to better understand and respect you. Right?

Prentis Hemphill said this: “Boundaries are the distance at which I can love you and me simultaneously.” Like, some people in our life: they just need to be a little bit further away for you to really show them a lot of love. [Congregation laughs] Right? The closer they get, sometimes the harder it is to love them and yourself at the same time!

And so what we’re going to look at it today is removing the boundaries that we have between us and God. Because the reality is that you were given free will. True? So, because you have free will, God can’t make you do anything. God can’t make you have anything. God can’t make you change your mind, change your beliefs, change your attitude. We all have a God-given right to be as miserable as we need to be. [Congregation laughs] Right?

And that’s free will! Free will is: You get to be a stick in the mud for as long as you want to be a stick in the mud. And God will just love you! God will just bless you and love you until you’re willing to go through a transformation, and open up and receive.

And so tonight what we’re going to look about is removing those boundaries so that we can be far more blessed, and we can open to a whole ‘nother level of life! So let’s look at barriers. And I want to look at barriers from four different levels. Because it’s helpful, right?

 So, from the spiritual point of view, can you ever separate yourself from God? The correct answer is, “No.” Right? From a spiritual point of view — because you’re created in the image and likeness of God –you’re of a spiritual nature. That God is Spirit. Your spirit and God’s Spirit are of the same matter. It’s spiritual. You’re created in the image and likeness of the Spirit of God. So, from a spiritual point of view, you can never be separate from God.

Now, this is going to be interesting for some of you. But I believe that, from a physical point of view, you can never be separate from God. Because you were created — you exist. And you exist in the context of the kingdom that is all around you. So, because you exist — because you’re alive — you will always … You cannot physically separate yourself. Even if physically, you no longer existed — even if physical form, you were no longer in physical form — you still exist. What we know about energy is that energy cannot be destroyed. It can only change forms.  So from a physical point of view, you cannot separate yourself from the Creator, from Creation. Because you exist, you will always exist.

Now, what bout mentally? Mentally, can you separate yourself from God? Absolutely! Right? Mentally, you can create beliefs and ideas and constructs that separate you from God. Right? Now, spiritually, you’re always one. Physically, you’re always one. But mentally, we have this ability with our mind to separate ourselves from God over and over again. Right? And when we separate ourselves mentally from God, life is harder, because we feel disconnected. We feel shut off. And it’s just harder to live when we mentally feel separate from God.

What about emotionally? Can you separate yourself from God emotionally? And, again, I would say, “Yes!” That you can feel separate from God. You can feel that life is hard. You can feel a goal is impossible. You can feel discouraged. You can feel overwhelmed. You can feel separate.

So mentally and emotionally are the areas in life that I want to work on tonight, because those are the areas when we can have set boundaries — or barriers — that have separated us from the goodness of God. And, as we heal those things, we actually heal it all.

In the Book of Acts it says, “For in Him we live, move and have our very being.” So you can’t actually — in any way — separate yourself. But only in your mind, and only in your feelings can you feel disconnected, can you feel separate from God.

This is from the book. Gay Hendricks. “Our old mental patterns become stubborn, tenacious default positions that we slip back into quickly if we are not paying attention. To get a consistent flow of good luck in your life, make a point of noticing how often you revert back to an old concept of yourself as unlucky. When you notice that your thoughts are gravitating back to the old — ‘I’m an unlucky person’ — gently redirect your mind to your new commitment: ‘I,’ and then your name, ‘make a sincere commitment to being lucky now and forever.'”

Let’s … Is that up on the screen? Let’s shoot it up on the screen, will you?

So: “I” — and then you can fill in your name; if you want to put in my name, please. You can affirm for me whatever you want. But the idea is to affirm for yourself. And we’re going to say that together. You ready?

[With congregation]: “I, ________, make a sincere commitment to being lucky now and forever.”  One more time like we actually mean it! One more time; ready? [With congregation]: “I, ________, make a sincere commitment to being lucky now and forever.”

Now, the reason that I like this series so much is that all of us — most of us, anyway — have a lot going on in our life right now. And what we’re doing is using “lucky” as a process to teach spiritual principles. But if you look … Let’s put that slide back up, will you?

But if you look at that statement, you could take “lucky” out of that sentence, and you could drop in anything. Right? You could say: “I, Richard Rogers, make a sincere commitment to being healthy now and forever.” Would that be spiritually valid? Sure! Right? “I, Richard Rogers, make a sincere commitment to being prosperous now and forever.” Is that an accurate spiritual statement? Yes! Right?

You could say healthy, prosperous, loving, enlightened … You could make any … You could pull “lucky” out and make any spiritual statement, and that statement would be 100% spiritually valid. So we’re using the word “lucky,” just because it’s fun. Right? And sometimes we take our spiritual life so serious that we don’t give ourselves opportunities just to have fun with it.

And I actually believe that, as you allow yourself to be lucky, you actually open to the greater level of God’s good. That, when you feel lucky, you’re more open to the grace of God. You’re more open to being blessed. You’re more open to be an instrument for all that God is. Right?

So the point here is that, every time you feel unlucky — mentally feel separate from God — I want you to go back to that statement. “I, Richard Rogers” — or whatever name you want to put in there. I happen to enjoy Richard Rogers, but whatever name you enjoy. “I

“I, Richard Rogers, make a sincere commitment to being prosperous now and forever.” Is that an accurate spiritual statement? Yes! Right? You could say healthy, prosperous, loving, enlightened … You can make any … You can pull “lucky” out and make any spiritual statement, and that statement would be 100% spiritually valid.

So we’re using the word “lucky,” just because it’s fun! Right? And sometimes we take our spiritual life so serious that we don’t give ourselves opportunities just to have fun with it. And I actually believe that, as you allow yourself to be lucky, you actually open to the greater level of God’s good. That when you feel lucky, you’re more open to the grace of God. You’re more open to being blessed. You’re more open to be an instrument for all that God is. Right?

So the point here is that, every time you feel unlucky –mentally feel separate from God — I want you to go back to that statement. “I, Richard Rogers,” — or whatever name you want to put in there. I happen to enjoy Richard Rogers, but whatever name you enjoy. “I, Richard Rogers, make a sincere commitment to being lucky now and forever.” And just move it back!

How many of you have read The Golden Key? It’s one of Unity’s fundamental little books. It’s only, like, five pages long. It literally takes you less than 10 minutes to read it. And it is a phenomenal little book. Five pages; really, you could read it in, like, 10 minutes.

And, in The Golden Key, the whole premise is that your mind can only focus on one thing at a time. And to notice when your mind is focusing on the problem, and not on God.

And The Golden Key says that the transformation can only happen when you’re not focused on the problem, but focusing on the possibilities of God. And the shift is a simple process of just moving your focus — because you can only think of one thing at a time — off the problem and on to God. Off the problem and on to God! And the moment we make that shift, there’s infinite possibilities that become available …. the moment we move our mind off the problem and on to God.

How many of you have ever had a puppy? We have two at our house. Most of you know that; most of you’ve been praying with me on and off the last 13 months about Knucklehead #1 and Knucklehead #2. [Congregation laughs] And I love ’em! I love Gracie and Avery; they’re adorable! They’re golden doodles. She’s smart; he’s nice. [Congregation laughs] [Laughs] They are; they’re adorable! You see me in the neighborhood: just pray for me. Right?

And the idea is: When they’re puppies, it is so hard to get their focus off of what they’re focused on. When they’re puppies … We have a cat that they fixate more than anything else. And it’s such a challenge to get little Gracie to focus off the cat and on to anything else: treats, toys, play … whatever it is. Because that cat is so intriguing to her.

And what I want you to see is that, for many of us, our mind is not helping us. A couple of weeks ago, I did a talk on mind management. And the whole premise is that most of us need a little bit more adult supervision when it comes to our thinking. Right? Because most of us: Our mind is focused on thoughts that aren’t altogether helpful.

And this shift from focusing on the problem to focusing on the possibility is a shift that literally changes our life. That, when we just do that little “golden key” and shift from the problem to God, that everything becomes possible. Right?

Let me read again from Gay Hendricks. “You, like everyone else, have a default position of old mental attitudes that beckon newly awakened parts of your mind to come back asleep again in the safe confines of your limited beliefs.”

So let me kind of paraphrase that. So he’s trying to make the point that we have thought habitually of thoughts that are less than our highest good. Can you think of a thought that you’ve held about yourself or your world or your situation that wasn’t always good? That wasn’t always enlightening? Right? And because we’ve held that thought so often, we have built a mental apparatus, if you will, that makes that thought part of our dominant thinking. And, as we think that thought over and over again, it only supports us in staying where we’ve always been: in a stuck, mental place.

Two: “To judge and condemn that faulty thought, with its limited beliefs, only keeps that thought in place.” Right? So, when we notice that we’re thinking that faulty thought, and then we move into resistance — because we don’t want to think that thought — all that does is empowers us to stay stuck in that faulty thought. Right?

Then he goes to three: “You need to cultivate a new art form: the art of gently letting go of your attachment to the old patterns and shifting to a new commitment to a better pattern – to being lucky, now and forever — as easily as you slip into a perfectly fitting pair of shoes.” Right?

So we’re going to practice for the next several more weeks this idea of callig forth a new experience with life by entertaining a new idea. This is a simple little, almost silly, idea. But that you can apply to your life in such a way: if this works, you can swap out “lucky” and put in any other spiritual idea, and it will transform you!

So let’s … Is it up there? Let’s put it back. Let’s say it one more time.

[With congregation]: “I, Richard Rogers, make a sincere commitment to being lucky now and forever.”

And I want you to hold that! And every time you think that life isn’t working for you … Every time you’re not feeling lucky … Every time you’re not feeling blessed … I want you to practice over and over and over again, without resistance – with a light, gentle touch — just moving your thought process from where you don’t want it to be to where you do want it to be. Because when you learn to take mastery of your mind, everything is possible. But when your thoughts run amuck — when your thoughts are all over the place — it’s very hard to take control of your life.

“I, Richard Rogers, make a sincere commitment to being lucky now and forever.”

Alright. So that’s the mental side of it. Now let’s deal with the emotional side of it. The emotional side of it he gives us [laughs] this really interesting activity. In fact, I had my wife, Jill … I use her sometimes as a test guinea pig. I said, “I want you to try this exercise, and I want you to see if it works.” Right? “Because it’s really working for me, but I want to make sure, before I launch it on a whole room, that it works for somebody else other than me.” Right? So what he gives … Pop it up there.

So what he gave us was a lucky timeline or an unlucky timeline. And what I’m going to invite you to do now is: I want you to think of a time in your life that you felt profoundly unlucky. Where you felt profoundly unlucky. Right? And he gives you some things to look at: before you were even born; before you could walk; before you went to elementary school or in elementary school; or junior high, middle school, high school or after school. Right?

I want you to think about a time — and maybe you don’t have one, but then you can help your neighbor with theirs. I want you to think of a time where you felt unlucky: really profoundly unlucky. And I want you to take that little piece of paper that we gave you — half sheet — and I want you to write a one-sentence description about that experience. And we’re going to change the energy that you have attached to that. Right? We’re going to move that energy off of that experience and back to this moment. Right?

Because what we know to be true is that, when we have a wounding experience, we tend to hold on to it much longer than is necessary. Like, if I ask you to pick up a hot pan, how many of you could hold that hot pan for maybe a year? Right? How many of you have ever held a deep emotional pain longer than a year? Right? So, at some level, our body is smarter than our emotions! Because we won’t hold on to anything that physically hurts us any longer than we have to. But emotionally, we’ll hang on to pain for years and years and years.

So I want you to think of one time when you felt profoundly unlucky. It could be your first prom date … right? [Congregation laughs] It could be that you got socks for Christmas. Right? I don’t know what yours is. But I want you to think of a time when you felt really unlucky. Really, really unlucky; profoundly unlucky.

And I want you to write one sentence about it. And if you don’t want to play now, well, you can play whenever. But I want you to try this exercise, because it really, really works. And if you don’t have something to play with, you’re not going to find out if it really works.

So I want you to write just one sentence about a time in your life where you felt unlucky. About anything. It can be silly; it can be important. One time when you felt unlucky. And what we’re going to do is: You’re going to take out your magic finger. [Holds up pointer finger] Let me see it! Your magic finger: get it out.

And you’re going to point to your piece of paper in that sentence. You’re going to touch it, right? Because at Unity, we don’t tend to hold on to things; we want to let them go. So you’re going to touch that experience, and you’re going to say, “That was then; this is now.” And you’re going to touch your heart. And we’re going to do that 10 times.

And what’s going to happen in this process — if it works; and I think it will! If it works, you’re going to move all the pain that you have attached to that situation … You’re going to move it from that situation, and you’re going to move it to today. Because, the reality is that God is the only thing in the Universe that is so pure it can never be polluted. So whatever painful experience you give to God, it instantly purifies and comes back to you as grace.

So we’re going to do it 10 times together. You ready? Get your magic finger out, right? Here we go; we’re going to touch the thing and we’re going to go, “That was then; this is now.” [Repeats 10 times]

And we’re going to do one more for good measure. “That was then; this is now.”

How many of you could feel the energy shift inside of you? See, what I want you to begin to look at is all the times in your life where your energy is stuck in a situation from your past. And I want you to bring it back. I want you to literally move that energy off of that painful experience out of your past, and I want you to bring back to this new moment. Because you can’t create from the past; you can only create in the “now.”

 And every time you move your energy off the past and you bring it into the now, you become a more powerful creator. And there’s no limit to what you can create now if all of your energy is available to you! But if all your energy is scattered out over years of woundedness, then it becomes very difficult to create in the moment, because all your energy is all over the place.

And, over and over again, every time you think of a wound or a problem or a challenge, I want you to say to yourself, “That was then, and this is now. That was then, and this is now.” And I want you to see that — every time you do that — you become a more powerful expression of God. Your energy becomes more available to you in this moment to create the life that you want. That we really can’t afford any longer to be out there all over the place, wounded from the past and just kind of going through the motions of life.

“That was then; this is now.”

And as you come back to yourself — as you bring the energy of God back into this moment — you begin to create a life where you are a very lucky person.

“I am a very lucky person!” Will you say that with me? [With congregation]: “I am a very lucky person.”

Let’s take it into prayer:

I invite you to open your mind, your heart, your soul to the activity of God that is right here, right now. And that you are a very lucky person, because you claim yourself to be that. Because you’ve made the decision to be a very lucky person. And, over and over again, that is the way life works: you are who you say you are. You can do what you say you can do. You can open the doors that you claim to open. That the power of God is within you. And, truly, all things are possible. With God, all things are possible. So in the name and through the name 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 during 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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