Men + Myself + God

Tag: god

God is an Octopus (& so are you)

by P. Braithwaite

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We fail each other. Human beings fall short. We hit when we mean to hug. We bite when we mean to beg. We kick when we don’t know how to cry. Human beings see themselves where they should see one another.

The illusion of separation harms the whole.

Lately, I’ve come into experiential knowing that we are all manifestations of the divine. God isn’t just in us…God IS us. We are God. Every one of us is God — walking around with bad breath, attitudes, and dirty draws.

We are The Universe and The Universe is us. There is absolutely no separation between us.

How does this change our interactions? What does it mean to both be God and see God as everyone we meet? If I see you as God how can I slap you in the face? If I see you as God how can I talk behind your back? I should fall to my knees in awe and reverence. I should write poems and invent words with which to praise your majesty. I should sacrifice my life to help you live your own because your life is my life and mine is yours.

We live because of and through one another.

When I see you as God, I honor the core of myself. When I see myself as God, I honor the deepest part of you. The two are not mutually exclusive. To see us all as God, unites us all.

At the core, we are made of the same stuff.

Humans fail each other. We expect people to change in all the ways we desire, and beg them to stay the same in ways that suit us best. We want others to manage emotions we can’t handle within ourselves. We beg each other to love our flaws when wep can’t sit with our own ugly. We rely on egos because we can’t trust our own souls.

We blame each other.
We bet on artificial things. We treat other creatures like objects and iPhones objects like living beings. We try to grasp for things beyond our reach — always looking elsewhere to fill ourselves. We repel, ignore and neglect one another. We repel, ignore and neglect ourselves. We’ve lost the ability to hear each other. We’ve buried the ability to hear ourselves. These illusions make life difficult, but also really fu*cking exciting. But I think it may be time to reassess.

I don’t think we’re very happy anymore…

Sometimes, I imagine God as a giant octopus (or squid), and every living creature is a leg tentacle. We, two tentacles on the same octopus, bump into one another without knowing we’re connected. We fight, get entangled, and see each other as separate — but we are all part of the same octopus. We are all appendages of God.

God is an octopus and so am I. We are the tentacles of God. We are the hands and feet of God.

My dream for myself is to embody this so completely that I stop being mean, sarcastic or snarky to others…to know this so completely that I give more kindness to myself. I want to know this so completely that all jealousy, anger, and disappointment fade away. There’s nothing to resist if we’re all one. No one can take anything from us, it’s simply transferring from one hand to another.

We are all sharing this space together. We are the very space we inhabit.

Humans fail each other, but thank goodness we are God. Gods bow in recognition of their oneness. So while we fail and hurt each other; that’s okay. We maim each other and separate, but by and by we always heal.

And, in time, we touch the God within as we remember to take a breath and forgive each other — as we learn to exhale and forgive ourselves.

And so it is.

My Awkward Sunday Sermon is on THIS Sunday! Register here.

Reflect, Transform, Love

50 Shades of Cray: An Invitation to my Awkward Sunday Sermon

by P. Braithwaite

20131025-014930.jpg Okay… I’m hosting my first telephone party! It’s actually called The Awkward Sunday Sermon and you basically call in and listen to me give a really inappropriate spiritual sermon for 20 minutes (this priceless experience is…free). It’s like a blog post that you don’t actually have to read! If you’re already convinced that this is, quite possibly, the best thing ever in the history of life, sign up here. If not…don’t worry, I explain it better below. My business coach says people like when things are easy to understand, but I like telling you guys stories, so I’ve gone back and forth about how to invite you all. In the end, I’ve done both: super simple details/FAQs are below, and there’s a story at the end.

I hope you guys register and call in on November 3rd @ 7:05 (EST). It’ll be an awkward good time.

What is The Awkward Sunday Sermon?

The Awkward Sunday Sermon is a super short sermon where I will read a short passage from a spiritual text, and I’ll share a spiritual lesson. In this case, the text is 50 Shades of Grey.

Date: Sunday November 3rd
Time: 7:05 – 7:30pm (EST)
Place: Your phone.

You register here to get the call-in number. On November 3rd, you’ll call in and for 25 minutes we share good vibes. I will send you a reminder email so you remember that I exist. This experience hopefully helps you go into Monday morning lighter and happier.

That’s my intention, at least.

So wait, is it like a podcast, or Google HangOut, or something?

Nope. It’s an old fashion telephone call. When you register here, I send you an email that has the call in number. I’ll also send a reminder on the day of the call. You call in on Sunday Nov 3rdth, and you get to hear me wax poetic about the relationship between God and Christian Grey (or something). It’s literally like a blog post that you don’t actually have to read.

Happy Sunday.

Is it true that you sound like a man?

Actually, that’s only partially true. When I’m most comfortable, I sound like I’m taking testosterone injections, and sometimes when…I’m less comfortable it bounces back and forth between squeaky and deep. During our sermon, I will try my best to sound like a phone sex operator…or something.

You’re welcome.

I like Jesus. Are You Going to read from The Bible?

No.
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Jesus and I have a really great understanding where we both regularly see other people. It works for us. To that end, I will not be reading from the Bible or any other overtly religious text. Instead, we will explore a passage from EL James’ 50 Shades of Grey. Here’s a synopsis if you’re interested (I assure you, my sermon will be no less spiritual as a result):

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him…Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires. (via Amazon.com)

Register now. You know you want to.

You’re really weird. Why are you doing this?

I’ve had the privilege of receiving divine insight everywhere: on buses, on clever t-shirts, primetime television, on Twitter, and in smutty books. I’m a better person for it. So, I’m really into encouraging everyone to look at life with new eyes. There are so many messages that we miss because they’re sitting in the strangest places.

No, why are you really doing this. What do you hope to accomplish?

There are lots of reasons: I’m trying to take more chances. I’m trying to face some of my fears. I’m hoping to test my own theory: there spirituality in everything. I’m experiementing with how to build my business in ways that are actually authentic and…well, human. Interactions where I use my voice feel like a nice start.

Ultimately though, my intention is to serve in the way I know how. I’m a deeply spiritual being having a decidedly secular human experience. I watch cable tv, I’m building a business, I’m addicted to social media, I hate The New England Patriots, and I love the Kardashian franchise. It’s always a challenge to fit all of these seemingly disparate parts into a body that is routed in service…in love…in Godliness. I don’t like to take anything too seriously, but The Awkward Sunday Sermon feels like a way that I can serve others…as myself.

Okay, are you done? We like you better when you tell stories!

Sure, here’s the story behind the sermon…

When I was in silence, I had lots of thoughts to keep me company. In fact, the image that I conjured to visually express the way my mind works is the following:

Three fuzzy blonde kittens playing with purple yarn. They get tangled in it, and then the maneuver their bodies to get out. Then they get tangled up again. There’s also a black cat named Hector the projector. He has a Spanish accent and he distracts the cute kittens with disturbing images of other people. He’s also pretty harmless, but his projection machine is huge. I like yarn and mischievous kittens. My mind is a strange but benevolent place.

I digress.

I came up with the idea of The Awkward Sunday Sermon while I was in silence. Why? Because the thought entertained me. I’ve been sitting on this idea for a good month or two when, one day after church, I saw a homeless man taking a shit on the side of the building. He was seriously bare-assed, pants around his ankles, copping a squat against the front of the church.

A few thoughts came to mind:

  1. What…the…fu*ck????
  2. Am I bad person? I come out of church full of love and then I’m disgusted by this homeless guy?
  3. Oh God, what does this all mean?

Here’s what I suspect it means: There is spirituality everywhere. There is spirituality in the profane, and profanity in the scared. There’s as much God in the church, as there is in the poop smeared on the building.

Divinity and Grace are everywhere.

So that’s how I knew it was time to try out The Awkward Sunday Sermon. It’s time to start uncovering the sacredness that exists in the profane. It’s time to start finding the spiritual lessons in the seemingly secular, because it’s all spiritual. Every fucking moment is designed to bring us into the awareness of the divine. This I know…for sure.

So join me…on November 3rd & 7:05 pm (EST). It’ll be over before The Colts face The Texans.

Okay, so I missed the other 400 links. How do I sign up for this ridiculousness?

Click here: www.awkwardsunday.eventbrite.com.

It would also be helpful if you invite your friends and share it with others.

You are the Offering

by P. Braithwaite

offering-plateOn a whim, I decided to head uptown for what I like to call, hippie church. The actual name of the church is Sanctuary NYC, and it is a truly non-denominational church that draws on all wisdom traditions and spiritual contexts. Sanctuary is on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and I live more than an hour away these days (also, it’s football season), so I don’t often attend.  On this day though, while still in Brooklyn, I got the urge to get on the train and head there.

So I did.

Typically, if I actually plan to go to church, I bring a few dollars to throw into the collection plate (hippie church is still church; there’s still a collection). This time, however, I’d forgotten. I’d decided to go on such an impulse that I didn’t really prepare (those who know me in real life know I rarely carry cash).

I jumped on the train without being completely aware of my destination, and got there just in time for a meditation on listening to your intuition and choosing to ‘stand in your mission.’ This was very apropos since I’d followed my gut when deciding to jump on the 1 train. I walked in and the Reverend came over and shook my hand. Though I’ve been attending on-and-off for two years, she seemed to mistake me for a new patron. The church is in the process of changing location (as hippie churches tend to do), and the reverend was drawing on the community to figure out the next step.

Lo and behold, when it came time to do the offering, a tall bald man with a broad smile shoved the collection plate in front of me. I felt embarrassment crawl into my face. I shook my head and told him I had nothing to offer.

It gets worse.

For some reason, the reverend was enamored with me throughout the entire service (seriously, this never happens, but she said my name into the microphone several times). She spotted me, came over and ushered me toward the altar.

“Patia, we do a walking offering here,” she said as she gestured toward the altar.

There was music blaring and people were dancing. Luckily, no one was looking at me.

“I know.” I replied. “I don’t have any cash.”

I shrugged as if to apologize with my body.

She touched my shoulder.

“Go down and tap the plate.”

“You are the offering,” she added. “Give yourself.”

In this face-paced income driven world, it is so easy to forget that you have intrinsic value. You are the offering. You are energy. You are good intentions. You are good vibes, and possess the power of prayer. Money is amazing, but it’s just energy. Hugs, real all-encompassing hugs, are energy too. Hugs are probably rarer and more valuable than cash.

There are other sources of energy that make a difference.
There are other ways to affect change in the world.

Use your body.  Be the offering. Contribute with balanced mind and open heart. Show up everywhere completely present and as an offering to the Universe. The Universe can work through you.

If you let it.

More and more I’m learning about how I can be of service without worrying about money. This is not an easy (or comfortable lesson), but I’m learning. I’m also learning to receive in exchange for the energy that I bring. So today, as I meet with my business coach and get lost in the morning bustle, I remember the truth: presence is a present. You are the true offering. We are the true blessing. Our value extends far beyond the monetary realm.

We are a vessel for God’s love in the world.
We are love made manifest.

And you know what else,..

I love you with all my heart, and so I pause in this moment, open my heart and humbly offer you great love and blessings for the week.

You’re worth it.

And so it is.

 

How can you be the offering in your own life?