By Pat Samples
I’m asking myself these days how I can keep myself well-rooted, straight and strong amidst the raging storms of pandemic, racial unrest, and climate catastrophe.
As a Unity prayer chaplain, I’m clear that prayer is the ground I’m rooted in. I also have twelve innate powers that faithfully feed and water my roots. These powers rise up naturally within me, providing the guidance and nourishment I need to spread my branches and bring forth seeds and fruit. Drawing on these Twelve Powers, identified by Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore, I can grow tall and straight in my purpose and help to bring about our Unity Minneapolis vision of a transformed world.
What does this mean in practical terms?
After I wrote the above paragraphs, I picked up a copy of Twelve Powers In You (by Richard Knapp and Unity ministers Gay Lynn and David Williamson) for some guidance. The book fell open to the affirmations at the end of the chapter on one of the powers — Strength. Here are a few of them:
“I weather the storms of life by being flexible and strong.”
“I am committed to bringing light and healing to the world.”
“I make my life count for something.”
“I have a strong ‘backbone’; I stand up for my convictions.”
“I have a lot of nerve to do all the good that I am guided to do.”
Whoa! Just from reading these affirmations, I could feel my roots sinking in deeper to the Truth I have come to know from Unity teachings. My spine sat more upright. I stepped out of fear and into trusting my inner Strength, capable of taking inwardly guided actions to transform the world.
Then I flipped to a specific section in this chapter — about the body. The section title was “Spine and Nerves Are Tree of Life.” It began by talking about how a tree survives a storm by bending rather than breaking and by being “resilient enough to always comes back to its center and keep on growing.”
Now let me repeat: I did not read these book excerpts that mention trees and storms and spine until after I had written the prior sections of this blog piece. I don’t know what you make of this, but what I’m seeing is divine guidance at work. What was planted in my mind and heart was immediately reinforced by what I found in this book. This, in my mind, is how these Powers work in us. They prompt us into action and offer the supports we need. My commitment is to call on these Powers with confidence, day by day, as I meet the massive societal storms swirling among us.
I’m very grateful that the Twelve Powers will be the topic of study during Sunday talks and Tuesday evening workshops at Unity Minneapolis in June. I believe we need to understand and call on these Powers like never before. Let’s listen, let’s talk about them on Tuesday evening, let’s welcome their emergence from within us. As we become familiar with these innate Powers, we can grow in our confidence and our ability to be a leader — in big ways and small — in transforming the world through love, peace and compassion.
An added bonus this month is Reverend Toni’s class on Crucial Conversations. We can’t enter the storms of conflict to talk about quarantines or police actions or climate deterioration without a good dose of Wisdom, Love and Understanding. I’m guessing we can develop these and some of our other Twelve Powers more fully in this course.
I’m glad to be part of this church community with its bold vision and its recognition of how much power for good we each contain within us and can bring to the world.