October 2023 SOLI Newsletter Article
The Masks We Wear by Rev Jim Toole
With Halloween approaching, many will go out to find costumes to make them look like one thing or another. The costume is frequently an alter ego or someone or something that is a fantasy or dream. In our everyday life, are we aware of the “mask” or “costume” of our image that we portray every day? Now that fall has arrived, it is a good time to not only to look in the mirror, but look within, to see who’s looking through the masks we wear.
In our neighborhood on Halloween, most of the residents set up tables and decorations near their front door or in their driveway. Hundreds of children and adults make their way past our door as one of their stops for the night.
I am always fascinated to see reactions, especially from the children to the costume or mask that I am wearing. I realize as they’re staring at me they believe what they see is real. They look carefully, trying to understand what they are seeing and who it is. I will frequently lift up my mask and watch the change in how they respond to who I am when I reveal my true self.
Each of us have chosen a mask that we wear that portrays who we think and believe we are. It is influenced by many things that we hold close to our heart, in our mind, emotions and in our awareness. All of these are important, and yet, what we really are is determined by the pure, perfect expression of our heart and soul. The Spirit behind the mask.
We can take a look at how we’re showing up in our life and in the world by looking in the mirror further than the image we portray of who we think we are. We can allow the inspiration and illumination of our Spirit to help us remember our True Self. From this vantage point of the soul, we can determine whether we are using our mask to hide behind or we are living authentically by reflecting our true purpose and passion as our presence in our expression.
Let us take the time to come face-to-face with ourselves and recognize that true freedom and fulfillment come from letting go and allowing our hearts and souls to inspire us to see the Truth behind The Masks We Wear.
September 2023 SOLI Newsletter Article
We Are the World by Rev Jim Toole
The cycles of life continue. It is different for each of us individually, unique in our own lives, and yet, universal as a collective as humanity on this planet. Every moment we have an opportunity to be a part of the ever changing landscape of living.
Our personal cycles begin at the core of us. Our souls urge to express their inspiration and illumination and to fulfill their purpose and is the origin of the spiritual experience of each of us. This creates a flow of presence that is the opening through which we are an expression of the infinite.
As this reflection of our soul begins to show up as our life, it begins to have an influence on more than just ourselves. This is where two or more are joined starts to make a difference for each and all of us. At this point personal responsibility (our ability to respond to life), becomes important.
Although it may seem when we are making decisions on how to personally approach and live our lives it is all about us and those close to us, it is the beginning of the world as we know it. Everything we are and do contributes to the whole.
In every cycle of life there is contraction then a turning point toward expansion in order to return to balance and harmony. We are at that key turning point in the evolution of humanity and the world, our country, our communities, and our lives.
Conscious Living (living guided by our inner knowing and truth) is vital to how each and all of us are going to experience life as we know it. NOW is the time for each of us to trust the deepest and most pure inspiration of our soul, let the unconditional love of our divine hearts guide our decisions and actions, and open the floodgates of our expression of All That Is.
We have been physically dispersed and this has affected the way we see our connection as a community. I invite you to take the time to revisit the importance of spiritual intimacy, the closeness our hearts and souls share when we remember our eternal oneness. To begin to reach out energetically and literally to one another and as a spiritual family.
Let us all create an intention of bridging the distance that may have been created by the circumstances we have been facing and begin the reunion of community with our safety and well-being in mind. Let’s close the distance by beginning to interact more often online, on our phones, and in other ways, sharing virtual fellowship until we are able to be together in person again.
We are the world. Let’s make the best of who we are and what we have to make the world, yours, mine and for everybody, a better place to live. Find your Truth, embrace your Love, reflect your Light, live as your Spirit and BE the Inspiration that is the difference that makes the difference for each, all, and the world.
Be well. Be safe. Be conscious. Blessings to all of you.
August 2023 SOLI Newsletter Article
The Tides of Life by Rev Jim Toole
We are truly living in a time of transformation. Like the ever-changing tides of the waters of our world, the circumstances and situations on a global level are different each day. It is not about fighting the tide or flowing with it. It is about choosing to be the influence that makes the tides of change what they are.
Like the expression and experience of our lives, the tides ebb and flow from low to high. Sometimes it feels as if life is retreating from us, like the waters of the low tide flowing back into the gulf or the ocean. At times life feels like it’s rushing in over our head like a flood tide.
Our first instinct may be to try to control the waters, like we do our emotions that sometimes seem to be flooding into our lives and washing over us. As with so many things in life, it is not about trying to use force to make things what you want them to be. It is about going to the Source of the cause instead of wrestling with the effect.
Like the moon and its lunar energies influences the tides, It is our Spirit, our purpose and passion, that is our source as a catalyst of change. To “be the change you wish to see in the world”, it is key to start with the inspiration and intuition of your soul. This is how the tides of your life can be most powerfully affected.
It is a very important time to look closely at our hearts desires and our soul’s purpose. It feels as if the tides have returned to the oceans of life and the shores of our world are empty and barren. It is up to us how the tides can return to our lives, for each other and for the world.
Although it is admirable to support something you believe in, the changes we need will not occur by fighting for them or wrestling with them. The way we can make the difference that is needed is to BE the difference. This starts with our own intuition and inspiration, fueled by our purpose and passion.
It all begins as it always does, with each of us, right here right now. Let us start today by clearing away the past, letting go of what we’re holding onto so tightly and open to allow our inner knowing and being to change the tides of life.
Let us not only look to our own inner source, our Spirit, let us open as an expression of Source, God, Spirit, the Universe, All That Is, to bring a flood tide of encouragement, loving kindness, inspiration and support For ourselves, each other and for the world.
July 2023 SOLI Newsletter Article
Deeper Into Freedom by Rev Jim Toole
Blessings of safety and well-being to each and all of you. Know that you are cared about, loved and supported. We are all part of spiritual family and community. Let us all find and experience our freedom even in these circumstances that seem to limit and restrict us.
Each day we wake up to another news release, broadcast or set of statistics. Possibly another event that has occurred that reflects our separation rather than our unity. Another guideline, recommendation, or mandatory requirement in order to simply carry out our everyday lives.
With all that is going on it can be hard to interpret that we live in the land of the free and home of the brave. I will say with all that we have to face, walk-through and experience it requires courage.
I’m not just talking about the kind of strength that makes things happen. I’m talking about the kind of inner strength that moves mountains. I’m not talking about the kind of courage it takes to go into battle. I’m talking about spiritual courage.
Inner strength and spiritual courage are not developed by going to the gym or exercising your will with force. I’m talking about tapping into the pure, perfect power and presence of your inner knowing and truth. I am speaking about accessing this in a deeper and stronger way than you have before.
With all that we are trying to understand and decisions we are trying to make, it’s more important than ever to have clarity of who we are and where we’re coming from. We find this knowing and truth at the core of who we truly are, our heart and soul.
June 2023 SOLI Newsletter Article Rev Jim
The Difference Diversity Can Make by Rev Jim Toole
I find it amazing and wonderful how so very different every one of us are. You would think that the many different ways that we each look at and approach life, diversity would create separation between us instead of making our lives better. The truth is, diversity without unity creates a wider spectrum of experience but keeps us from experiencing the difference it can make unless we share it with one another.
To add to the equation, there is both a practical and spiritual side to everything, including us. From a practical point of view, each day we make decisions and take actions necessary to deal with the circumstances and situations that arise. We look at what we need to do, need to have and need to accomplish. Much of this is determined by our review and analysis of how things have been, how things are, what we believe is possible, what might be available, all the tangible aspects of life.
Although we are having thoughts, feelings, making decisions and taking actions, we are not a thought, a feeling or our physical body. It is our consciousness that recognizes we are thinking, feeling, choosing, and our body is the vessel through which we live our life. Our consciousness is the experience of our Spirit, our spiritual experience. Because we are Spirit, having a Spiritual Experience as a human being, this is where it can all come together within us.
By choosing to be directed or guided by our highest, deepest and innermost knowing, our Spirit, what we think, how we feel, what we choose and how we act becomes an expression that serves us for the highest good. By doing this with unconditional love, we bring the expression of our Soul as our Spirit into our lives. This is the first and key point of unity that can make a difference in the world.
As each of us walk on our own spiritual path, we discover and establish our truth. We are drawn to different ways of life, philosophies, religions, etc. This is what we, consciously or unconsciously live by. When we look closer at these different ways of being in life, we find they all seek to create love, joy, peace, beauty, harmony, balance and freedom in our lives. It is through unity that we can consciously share the gifts each of us are to make the difference that is needed right now.
With so much going on in our world that has us questioning what to do, how to do it, the best way to move forward, it is vital that we recognize the importance of dissolving barriers and creating bridges (keeping social distancing) that allow us to share the most precious part of who we are, our heart and soul. It is by sharing the brilliance and beauty of our individual essence and light of our soul with our unconditional and boundless love, we can benefit from who each and all of us are.
During this time a powerful evolution within humanity, let us look even higher, deeper and further within our spiritual and human being, to establish our truth, Be it, share it and make a difference, in the unity of our diversity, by being the I Am, We Are, where two or more are joined. We Are the World. Let’s make it a better place for each and all of us to live by being the gift given and received of our diversity.
Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there!