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
March will be a year since it all began, this pandemic. A year later and with over 2.5 million deaths worldwide to date, something none of us could have ever imagined or predicted. In thinking about this and knowing I wanted to write about this epic “anniversary” of sorts, one song kept coming into my head…… “Both Sides Now”.
“I've looked at life from both sides now, from win and lose and still somehow, it's life's illusions I recall, I really don't know life at all”
Joni Mitchell wrote this song back in 1969 and stated that when she wrote this, she was going through a difficult time in her life. She describes the song as a type of meditation on reality verses fantasy. An idea that seemed larger than life itself. This song reflects a feeling of deep retrospection, of how our own child’s eyes saw things far differently than our adult eyes do today. The reality that each and every one of us has been living in this past year does indeed seem quite unreal. We have taken it day by day, but many questions and uncertainties arose. Should there ever be a time in our life when we should stop interpreting what we see, when we should stop searching for questions to our answers especially amidst a pandemic? Our pioneers of spiritualism have taught us to hold present beliefs open to restatement as growing thought and investigation reveal new truth. This past year, when we have been stripped to the barest of truths within ourselves and have truly witnessed “Both Sides Now”, we must believe that new truths will indeed reveal themselves as we all discover our own answers. I say to you this day let us see the clouds as “ice cream castles in the sky” and beyond and let us learn and bask in them while we can.
I love you all
Our new routine of wearing masks; all of a sudden, our faces are covered. You walk through stores and buildings and all sorts of venues and we are all wearing them and so much has changed because of masks. People do not seem to make eye contact with you anymore. There is no reason to say hello or quietly smile when you walk by someone. I have heard so many people say, “I don’t even recognize people with their masks on”. We all may look alike but we still understand that we are innately different.
As ironic as it seems, masks also gave some people the strength and ability to speak out and rally for causes that they may never have had the courage to express before. Masks gave timidly shy people a sense of security in public that they may not have felt before. Masks allowed our prejudices to loosen and our intuition to unfold. Masks forced us to recognize people not for their physical appearance, but for whom they genuinely are at the core of their being.
Masks are a constant reminder to us that we are vulnerable people whose lives can end at any given moment; however, masks can also be a reminder of how resilient each and every one of us can be and how adaptable we can become to any circumstance.
Let us never choose to hide behind our masks. Let us always remember to find our voice, say hello, speak our truth, purpose and spiritual belief.
Someday when the masks come off, may we never forget all the lessons we learned during this time our faces were covered. Let us remember how we were able to look beyond the masks we wore and saw humankind with more clarity than ever before.
As the holidays are quickly approaching, we are keenly aware that these holidays will be unlike any of the recent past. Usually a time of Thanksgiving and Celebration, I’m sure there will be many of us that will struggle with this. With over 230,000 deaths to date this year from the Coronavirus, many of us experienced the loss of a family member or friend. Many of us felt the impact of unemployment children out of school, empty shelves and raging cost of goods. However, amidst a pandemic that brought with it a complete change of lifestyle, as we knew it, the larger lesson perceived through all of this is the resilience of humankind against all odds. We adapted, we learned, we became more sensitive to each other’s disparities. In spite of everything we are facing today, we really do have plenty to be thankful for and to celebrate. We are alive. We are breathing. We are living, experiencing and growing. For when our masks finally come off, I truly believe we will find a better version of ourselves revealed because of it all.
On Behalf of The Church of the Living Spirit, I’d like to wish each and every one a Safe and Blessed Holiday Season.
Nameste’ Nancy Lombardo