being positive

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Angelina, me and Rachel

Photo-on-4-18-15-at-4.43-PM1Angelina, me, and Rachel. Just girls having fun. And get this—Rachel lives 6 blocks down the street from me—we’re neighbors, friends again!

These beautiful ladies gave 20 years of their lives to AMCTC. Twenty years! And you think I have stories—I hope they tell theirs!

Rachel was excommunicated to the shed shortly after I. We went through a lot together. “It was like a nightmare,” she says. But in the end, she wasn’t kicked out on the street like I was.  God let her back in. So she gave antoher 15 years of her life serving Lila and Jim Green’s god, and then one day she breaks, and decides she’s had enough. Finally she leaves for good, she wakes up.

We were so unaware—all of us. We were naive, dependent, and as Rachel puts it,  “stupid.” But our intentions were never to join some crazy cult. We were seekers looking for purpose in life, for significance, looking for someplace to belong, for something greater than ourselves to live and to die for.

We thought we were in it for God.

IMG_4820Abe, my daughter Rebekah, Angelina, and Rachel. 1987. They’re all out of there now!

authenticity

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The key to changing the world, to changing your life, and to empowering those around you is authenticity – the willingness to be yourself – the willingness to be vulnerable – the willingness to feel – the willingness to live. I’m simply reminding you of who you truly are, supporting you into self-love and acceptance by eradicating the judgement that you’ve imposed on yourself and society has imposed on you.” Panache Desai

It’s so obvious to me. Embracing authenticity is key to change. Only then will we try less to be like someone or everybody else, and just be who we are. We all have our own unique experiences, perspectives, personalities, gifts, dreams, our own DNA—our own unique piece of the puzzle that makes up the global pie, no one piece ever alike. Our differences needn’t divide us—they can be our strengths! 

It’s debilitating living in a cultish environment of judgment, where everything is painted black and white, with no shades of grey, and no color. In this space there’s no encouragement to be who we are, but rather to conform. You’re either in or you’re out. It’s a world of sacrifice, beginning with yourself and your family—sacrificing everything you think, believe, have, and foremost, everything you love.

the flip side of mindfulness

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I think the flip side of mindfulness is to ignore or turn off our inner voice, our conscience or consciousness, our mind, our voice of reason, our heart, and instead turn on someone else’s. We let someone else tell us what to think, what to believe, and what to do with or lives, forfeiting our own investigative rights, suspending our judgment, and putting our destiny into his or her or their hands. There is little freedom and no authenticity in that.

Leaving the Fold

An outstanding book for anyone questioning or leaving their faith.

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This book by psychologist Marlene Winell provides valuable insights into the dangers of religious indoctrination and outlines what therapists and victims can do to reclaim a healthier human spirit…. Both former believers searching for a new beginning and those just starting to subject their faith to the requirements of simple common sense, if not analytical reason, may find valuable assistance in these pages.”

Steve Allen, author and entertainer

becoming aware is a process

keynote templete.001Becoming aware is a process. It starts with letting our questions in, with opening wide the doors that someone else has shut inside our minds, then greeting with openness the things on the other side. We step outside, we take in some fresh air, and we learn to be free a little.

It works wonders. Stepping out gives clairty with new, fresh perspectives.

It’s not that hard, nobody but you and the God you believe in need know, and if the divine source of life is love, then what’s the problem with questioning what we believe?

There’s no fault in that. The fault is in fear. Fear is what binds, what blinds, and there is no love in fear.

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question anyway

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an open mind

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only love can drive out hate

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Freedom of Mind: book

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Another book by Steven HassanAvailable through Amazon Prime:

Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 11.24.07 AMJust now purchased this on my kindle (along with a lot of other books). If it’s anything like another book of Hassan’s I’ve read, Releasing the Bonds, then it’s going to be good.