We the Church of the Living Spirit are celebrating our 35th year as an Independent Spiritualist Church here in Lily Dale. Traditionally celebrated with the gift of Coral, an ancient organic gemstone now endangered.
What a blessing it was to see all our remaining founders of the Church of the Living Spirit, Emmy Chetkin, Patricia Price, Jan Cooke and Sherry Lee Calkins gathered together at our August Community Picnic. It was their combined dreams, visions and fortitude that has made us the strong, vibrate Church we are today.
How fitting that Coral would be the gift of 35 as it symbolizes happiness, longevity, and immortality. Our Church prides itself on promoting unconditional love, and a cheerful, happy atmosphere. The fact that we are celebrating 35 years, proves our longevity, and of course we as Spiritualist believe in eternal life.
The pink and orange colors of the Coral are also relative as pink hues represent spiritual growth and mental awareness, along with love and affection. Orange is often associated with spiritual practices including meditation & compassion.
In numerology, the number 35 relates to personal growth as well as the ability to make sound decisions in hard times. The number 35 represents freedom from fear and doubt to assist you on your spiritual path.
Let us all embrace everything that 35 grateful years of the Church of the Living Spirit means to each of us as we move forward, onward, and together in time, space and through eternity.
Namaste’ Nancy Lombardo
Labyrinths are an ancient archetype that date back over 4000 years. Consisting of a single circular path that twists, winds, and turns one direction eventually leading you to an ending center. I, myself, had never walked a labyrinth, but did indeed try it one day. I was told to slowly take one step at a time, intentionally and purposefully. To mindfully go inward with each step allowing, listening and being open to whatever thoughts and feelings may arise.
And so I began at the beginning, my slow walk, my one step at a time, my one foot in front of the other. A walking meditation, I began to feel a sense of inner calm, a balance, an awakening. I found myself pondering my circle of life, my life journey; the avenues I had taken, and where they had led me. I found myself feeling all the range of emotions that life brings us from the happiest of times, to the depts of despair. I felt a sense of grounding, yet I was floating from above as I watched my life played itself out like a movie. All how it was meant to be.
Sometimes we find ourselves saying, “if only I had”, or “I wish I would have”, or “if I could do it all again, I would have” No, not me. Every part of my life from birth until now is just as it should be, just as it was meant to be. Every step has taught me a lesson. Every step has brought me to a place I needed to experience.
I am who I am because of what I’ve been, because of what I have learned, because of the decisions I have chosen. I am who I am through each step I have taken. I embrace each step. I cherish each motion forward in my life. I will continue to walk my circular infinite path, that although reaches a center, it never reaches an end.
What have your learned from your walk in the labyrinth of your life?
My love to each and every one of you this holiday season.
I had just returned from the celebration of life service for Janet Nohavec in New Jersey. The next day, I was having one of those really bad days that we all have once in a while, but this seemed much harder than most. I had taken one of Janet’s prayer cards at the service and was putting it away in my photo album; but before I did, I kissed her card and asked Janet “please help me, I need your help”.
I got dressed and went running, hoping it would put me in a better mental space. I had just finished my run and was walking back in the gate and along cottage row, when I heard music coming from my cell phone that was in my pocket. I thought “what in the world is that”? It was not my cell phone ring, nor music that I had ever heard before, but what was playing was absolutely beautiful. I took the phone out of my pocket and looked at the screen and saw an exquisite picture of a sunrise I had taken at the ocean some time back on the entire screen. I continued to watch as a slideshow then began to show imagine upon image of the many stunning sunrises and sunsets I had captured and had taken over time, including the many photos of the Lily Dale sunsets. The song that was playing in the background was “Here Comes the Sun” by James Taylor.
I watched in disbelief. Is this real? Am I really seeing this? Where did this come from? How is this playing on my cell phone that was locked in my pocket?? I’m so confused. I continued to watch these slides as I heard the words “here comes the sun, here comes the sun, and I say, It’s alright”. In that exact moment while almost dropping to my knees crying, I knew Janet was with me and had heard my prayer, delivering to me the most profound message through a clear visual, verbal and evidential expression of love and care. It was the most significant proof of the continuity of life that I had ever received and I will forever hold this experience close to my heart. I consider this to be my own little miracle.
God bless you Janet Nohavec as I know you will continue helping thousands from the other side.
“Here comes the sun and I say It’s alright”
I Love you all,
Since around November of 2021, we here at Lily Dale became engrossed in an unexpected Transformation of sorts that began with new gas lines being laid. This was soon joined by new water lines that were now dug on the opposite side of the roads. One by one, street by street, house by house, we watched as our streets were tore up, our home landscapes and gardens disturbed, and our public grounds dug up as this “transformation” began and continued. Ask anyone who lives here, and they will tell you that one could literally feel the energy stirring as our ancient land was moved. What was being released? What was being moved? We know that Lily Dale sits on sacred grounds. What were we to make of this enormous shift of energy and transformation we were going through? I can honestly tell you there were days that I was sick to my stomach as I watched and endured and wondered. Transformation; “a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance”
Change is never easy. Yet, this change was certainly needed in replacing 100-year-old water lines and updating dangerous gas lines. As our spirits were unearthed and rich history exposed, how will our Lily Dale feel when the dust settles, the hostas bloom again and we walk the streets of our newly paved roads. What never was lost, shall never be lost. We are eternal. Lily Dale is eternal.
When you see people running through the airport, it is usually never a good thing. It always seems to be those people that aren’t used to running and are out of breath and in a panic about missing their flight. And if you are one that doesn’t fly or frequent airports, then I bet you can surely imagine and picture this. I witnessed this more than once at the airport on my recent trip to Florida and it got me thinking….Do we always have to catch that connecting flight? Why are we always in such a hurry? How much would our life be disrupted if we had to unexpectedly change our plans?... Maybe we aren’t always meant to catch that flight? And this doesn’t just happen at airports either. We miss so much when we are focused on what is exactly in front of us. Many of us live our lives wearing those constant blinders that give us “tunnel vision”. As a Police Officer, I was trained to always be scanning and watching. I would encourage all of you to slow down, to breath, to observe, to learn. We need to appreciate the signs both seen and unseen that are given to us each and every day. How many of us can see but are actually blind to not only everything that is immediately around us, but to the external vast universe. The next time you find yourself running from point A to point B, I ask you to stop, think, and consider the possibilities. It might be exhilarating to walk, to miss that flight and see where you end up at? It might just be the best thing that ever happened to you!
With Love, Namaste’
Change; “the act or instance of making or becoming different, alter or modify, replace (something) with something else”. Change is difficult for most of us. As the saying goes, “we are creatures of habit”
I often wonder what it is about the human spirit that keeps us in our “daily routines”, keeps us in our familiarities; like eating the same thing for breakfast or driving the same way to work, stopping and getting that same cup of coffee. I have the same route that I like to run, and sometimes when I decide to change it up, it makes me feel uncomfortable and out of sorts. Why is that? When we make a conscious decision to make a change, we can become and feel extremely overwhelmed and frozen in fear because it is very uncomfortable to do things differently. If we think about how many times we have let fear stop us from decisions that may have changed the trajectory of our life, we might be surprised by that number.
Change takes courage, courage takes strength and strength takes fortitude.
And so, as we move into 2022, let us take this opportunity to make a sincere effort to change something up, if only one thing. Let this New Year be cause to celebrate you embracing “different”. We will never be vitally alive if we remain in our complacent days. We must embrace change with enthusiasm, wonder and eager spirits. Heck, I may just change it up and hike some of the Appalachian Trail this year!
It can become an extraordinary moment of empowerment to make a change in your life.
In Love, Namaste
If you have ever come to one of my yoga classes, you will know that at the start of each class my students are placed in a resting position where they can begin calming themselves and bringing their awareness into the room and their practice. As they are in a quiet meditative state, I often tell them during the mediation that if there has been anything today, yesterday, this past week or several weeks that has not served them in a positive way…. to let it go. Letting things go is almost always easier said than done.
As we approach the end of another year, I challenge each of you to take notice of this past year and really examine things in your life that no longer serve you. When something no longer serves you, it is no longer helping you move in a forward direction or the path that you now wish to proceed. It is sometimes as simple as letting go of a thought or dream, or it can be much more complex as in letting go of a friendship, toxic relationship, or maybe a job that you are unhappy with. These attachments can sometimes have such a stronghold on our lives that they feel impossible to ever let go of, even if we know it would be for the betterment of our life and soul. We find ourselves gripped and frozen in fear of the thought that if we let something go, that void may never be filled again. But the truth of the matter is, if we don’t let go, we will never have the inner freedom, liberty and choice to allow ourself the opportunity to find ourself in a happier, more desirable and rewarding space and place.
And so, I say to you again, take a deep breath, take some moments of time and truly go inward and seek that which no longer serves you. Acknowledge that it is time to let it go, honor and bless it for the purpose it served in your life and……. let it go. The vast horizon of your uncharted universe awaits you.
Wishing you a safe and blessed holiday season. I love you all.
Like so many of us, I have recently lost some special friends quite unexpectedly, which has caused me a great deal of consideration and contemplation on the question of, are we more prepared for our transition if we have prior knowledge of our imminent death, or are we just as prepared if it happens suddenly? I don’t know why, but it always troubles me more when someone dies unexpectedly. I find a constant thought going through my head, “If they knew today would be the last day of their life, would they have done anything different”? As a Police Officer who carried a gun to work for 29 years, I accepted the fact that on any given day or shift, it might be my last day and I may not make it back home. Therefore, I feel I had an advantage over many because “the last day of my life” was contemplated perhaps much more than others. However, I believe this caused me to always strive to live my best life, to love thy neighbors as thyself, to do unto others as you would like done to you. With so many people passing this past year, I know many of you have had these same thoughts and questions. It is in the actions we take with these thoughts that make all the difference.
My dear friend who recently passed stated “we are not human beings with souls, but spiritual beings with temporary human bodies”. We as spiritualist believe our spiritual progression is eternal and infinite. Therefore, whether we pass suddenly or with prior knowledge, make no mistake that it was all in divine time as it was meant to be and with all our flaws, accomplishments and unfinished business, our spirits will seamlessly flow into our next beautiful perpetual being.
On Tuesday June 15th, 2021, it was announced that New York State was lifting most of the Covid Restrictions after 472 days of lockdown. During the last several months of restrictions, I took this opportunity to obtain another 200-hour yoga teacher certification. For those of you that are not familiar with yoga, the “Lotus” pose is one of the fundamental yoga postures. For some reason, when this announcement was made, my mind went to that of the Lotus Flower. A cherished symbol across Eastern traditions and other cultures, this flower grows naturally in ponds. The Lotus grows by rooting in mud and murky water until it breaks the surface and in time blooms in the sun to a whole and most beautiful flower of shades of pink or soft vibrate whites. The Lotus Flower, because of its unique transformation is a symbol of enlightenment, purity, triumph over obstacles and rebirth. The Lotus Flower, a striking parallel to all that we have endured during this pandemic. The Lotus blossom is the embodiment of our spiritual awakening that fills us with hope, strength, love, and wisdom. Like the Lotus Flower, we have emerged with significant insight, knowledge and understanding of this life and beyond. May we always remember to open ourselves completely to the fullness of our own blossom knowing that everything we want, we already are.
I hope to see you in the fall at the Assembly Hall. My love to you all.
Believe it or not, our most inspired moments are often found in the depths of our deepest pain. As a child, I found myself at quite a very young age suffering from depression, sadness, and feeling isolated. I could have very well become one of the statistics of childhood suicides that are presently increasing across the country since the pandemic. A self-taught guitar player by the age of 6 and writing poetry and songs at 9 years old, I found great solace in words and music. I found relief from the pain I was in through tapping into other sources that gave me a sense of inner happiness and freedom.
Since the pandemic, I have once again found myself dealing with bouts of depression and sadness and feelings of isolation, as I know many of you have too. The CDC states that one in 4 adults have struggled with suicidal thoughts since the coronavirus hit. So rather than just hide these feelings as I did as a child, I choose this time to speak out loud about it, speak out loud about it to you…. because there is no shame in exposing our weaknesses and vulnerabilities. At a most complicated and confusing time of our lives, I understand that several of you also suffer with the disillusion of our current reality. I know many of us still sit in disbelief as to whether this is real or just a really bad dream that we can’t wake up from.
Without even realizing it, I once again turned to poetry, words and music. Through my sadness, I find inspiration to write, listen and hear my inner voice, and it once again gives me comfort in my time of need. I even bought a beautiful Native Flute that I am learning to play and create sounds that calm and soothe me.
I share my story to let you know that you are never alone, even though at times you may feel as though you are. In the depths of your deepest pain, I challenge you to find what will inspire, ignite and awaken you to face the light and beauty of another day.
I love you all
President of the