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    • Kelly Isola
    • Rev. Kelly Isola, MDiv, is a dynamic evolutionary leader, speaker and writer, with a passion and commitment for awakening and inspiring individuals worldwide to a greater realization of their own divinity.

      She is well-known for her work and teachings of living the two-fold path of an engaged spiritual life – embracing the inner path of wisdom and spiritual healing, as well as demonstrating the outer path of compassionate service.

      Kelly holds a Masters of Divinity degree from Unity Institute. She is certified in Spiral Dynamics and Integral Theory, and co-hosts with Rima Bonario her own radio show, “The Minister and The Mother” on BlogTalkRadio. As a Certified Peaceworker and Transitional Consultant she partners with spiritual communities and non-profit organizations to help them understand their past, make peace with it, and co-create a shared vision for their future. She works with individuals, churches, boards and youth groups using conflict coaching, mediation, Spiritual Direction as well as leadership and organizational development.

      My mission: To be a creator of beauty by inspiring and awakening individuals into a greater experience of their divinity through the wholeness of the human experience.
      Through her continued education and training, as well as her personal practice of meditation, she continues to learn to embody the spiritual practice of conflict transformation. Kelly is is also a BePeace Trainer, Healthy Congregations Facilitator, Spiritual Intelligence Assessment coach, and certified to present the Awakening the Dreamer Symposium. She is an adjunct faculty member for the Spiritual Enrichment & Education Program (S.E.E.) at Unity Institute. and a certified Q Process Facilitator and a member of The Q Effect Associate’s Team.

      As an ordained Unity minister, she is a master at creating transformative retreats, rituals, ceremonies, alternative services using music, storytelling, laughter, tears and meditation as catalysts for spiritual transformation. She also facilitates board trainings and leadership development workshops and retreats. Kelly is sought after as a captivating, funny, inspiring and charismatic speaker and teacher. She is also the co-author of the bestselling book, “Who Have You Come Here To Be: 101 Possibilities for Contemplation.”

      Kelly is a citizen of the world, having spent her life visiting and residing in many countries around the globe, in the Middle East, Africa and Europe. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Archaeology and draws from these rich and varied sources in her numerous forms of ministerial work.

      She lives with her cat Murray in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

Above All, Love

The other day I was talking with a friend and jokingly he said, “Well you know, sometimes love lives in the hallway cupboard, in the dark.” We both chuckled for a moment, as we thought about the people who are hard to love and the times you just can’t summon the requisite “love” needed for the moment.

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Pebbles and Gemstones

We are a little bit obsessed in our culture around ideas of worth and value. We spend so much of our time running after something, what we might call the “gems,” or running away from other things, the “pebbles,” in the hopes of having a sense of belonging, feeling worthy and valuable.

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When I’m Hard to Love, Love Me Harder

Love can be a tricky business because it’s not a feeling – not really. We may have desire or longing or other feelings that we equate to love, but I believe love, or loving someone, while certainly is inherent, is largely something we have to learn, like a skill.

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Don’t Be Distracted My Friends

Don’t be distracted my friends. Take a deep breath and remember your inherent goodness.

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Is There Desire in Your Prayer?

  A prayer without desire in it, a prayer without sincerity in it, a prayer without soul in it, a prayer without Spirit in it is a fruitless prayer. – Charles and Cora Fillmore, Teach Us to …

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Finding the Smile

Ultimately, faith is no more than the willingness and bravery to be ultimately concerned, fueling that fire of concern with everything that matters. The mystery is that taking the risk to be so ultimately concerned in itself makes us more whole.

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To Open Or Not To Open

Houses of Worship all over the world are discerning how and when to open.

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Children’s Church – Getting Through It Together

Taking a cue from “The Day the Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt we can learn what it takes to get through anything together, when we see that everyone brings their gifts to every situation. And by remembering that when lots of things change, there are a few things that never change: GOD, LOVE, JOY, GOODNESS and laughter!

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Open to Receive While the Doors Are Closed

During this time of unprecedented change, how can we create maintain and create greater financial sustainability?

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Praising the Grayness of Life

But like all things – life finds a way. I took my ennui and fogginess, I watched what was going on around the world, and decided the complete “grayness” I was feeling was to be my focus. But I was tired of feeling gray – you know that disheartened, powerless, helpless, frozen kind of feeling?

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Shine a Light on Your Story

Tell your drama and listen to others. Teach each other to to live out loud. Be a drama addict with me and we will heal, living what is real – in service to all. We will each spring forth, being wonderfully dramatic, writing renewed lives filled with sheer joy and light.

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Happy Birthday Charles Fillmore – This One’s For You!

It is Charles Fillmore’s birthday today, he would have been 165 years old. So I offer this essay about “the Silence.” His meditation practice was referred to as Practicing the Silence, and then there is the Silence itself, a state of consciousness.

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From the Inside Looking Out

I had always thought of myself as tough, like one of the people who could survive almost anything. I have a time or two wondered if I could be as tough and strong as someone like Elie Wiesel was, while in a Nazi concentration camp. But more often than not, I’m not so sure.

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Don’t Try This Alone

About 600 years before the writers of the Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke penned Jesus’ Parable of the Mustard Seed, Buddha told a parable of a mustard seed.

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Why Observe Ramadan? A Unity Minister Answers

When was the last time you participated in something sacred with 1.5 billion people? The thought of that may sound exciting or possibly a little daunting, but I can tell you it is enlightening and deeply rewarding.

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Gratitude: Maturing in the Ocean of Experience

Most people are familiar with Meister Eckhart’s, 13th and 14th century philosopher, theologian and one of the great Christian mystics, statement on thankfulness… so simple, yet not always easy to really live. “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” Think about this for a minute… how many of us and how often do we think of “thank you” as a prayer? And an even bigger question for me is, “Is this true? IS it enough?”

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A Paradox of Peace

Peace is one of those seemingly intangible, shape-shifting things in life, such as love, that molds our lives so intensely. It’s not necessarily something I can hold in my hand or perhaps physically give to you, and there are no words to adequately define the experience or even give a “correct” definition. Yet it is the foundation for all sacred wisdom. We continually seek the healing power and expression of peace because, at some level, we recognize this is where life is nudging us, and we are being called to live it more fully.

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Peace is Like Warm Syrup

I think each of us is born with a place of grace, a spot free of regret, disappointment, fear, shame and loneliness. To me it’s that untouched place from which is birthed love, joy, compassion, kindness and peace. Throughout our lifetime though, this place can become clouded over and we may lose touch with it from being wounded and hardened by life. Yet this place of pure grace remains untouched. Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, defines peace as harmony and tranquility derived from the awareness of the Christ, or unitive, consciousness. I believe it is known by many names including what is called Atman, Oneness, Buddha Nature, Tao, and what Jesus called Love, and we embody it when we become aware and awaken this consciousness, known as our Most Noble Self.

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Maybe God is Too Big

Belief is giving of one’s mind, faith is giving of one’s heart – this is focusing on the smallness of God. Like I said, maybe God is too big sometimes. If so, then start practicing the smallness by the giving of your heart – to yourself, to a loved one, a stranger, and the one unrepeatable moment just barely in the peripheral vision of your world.

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Darkness In The Light: Depression During the Holidays

Regardless of whether it is seasonal, situational or clinical, the experience is one of disconnection – from life. You identify as the Outsider, not belonging anywhere. The brain says you “should” feel differently, but you don’t. There is nothing more bleak than being alone “in the cold,” left out, hungry and lost in the dark while you look around and see others are gathered around the fire – the flames of life – sharing happiness, family, joy, peace and friendship.

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The Courage to Imagine I Am Blessed

Say these words out loud – I AM BLESSED.

Now say it again with a pause in between each word. I. AM. BLESSED.

Now one more time with a longer pause, and with your most powerful voice – I… AM… BLESSED. Even as I write the words, a smile emerges slowly across my face, my breathing slows and the my shoulders drop. Just saying the words alone, activates the imagination of the blessings already in my life, knowing many are not in my present awareness.

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Did I Just Say That?

Do you ever hear words emanating from your lips, and instantly while the words break from your mouth you think, “Did I really just say that??” You are still in the nanosecond of surprise, when you discover you probably have a small list of sentences or phrases you could never have imagined uttering. If you look back on those experiences that were the catalysts for such words, you notice a powerful tapestry – threads that make life sometimes unbearable and yet at other times so amazingly awe-inspiring – and everything in between.

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Being the 12: Peter, Andrew, and James

I am sitting here imagining the last supper. It’s 1st century Palestine, in a room with a simple, wooden, rectangle table where Jesus and 12 disciples are seated. There are no chairs, everyone is sitting on the floor. It’s a dirt floor, the room has a low ceiling and a narrow doorway.

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Out with the Mold, in with the True

Every spiritual truth is a paradox. Life is precious, beautiful and filled with joy, and it is painful, dark and lonely. A short time ago a vicious predator came into my life and took my breath, and didn’t ask permission. It forced me to surrender the only thing I had. Life. This demon penetrated its way into me, and now I am a troubled stranger lingering between hope and desperation. Yet simultaneously, I sit here demonstrating life in its most simple, precious, gracious, funny and authentic way by laughing and crying about my moldy refrigerator. I think we need both of these experiences -our joys and our sufferings are indeed our wholeness.

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The Gifts of the Magi Are Always Here

Myths are traditional stories told in every culture, oftentimes with much of the historical basis lost over time. Myths are our collective story of what our lives mean and how to thrive. Jean Houston, scholar, author and philosopher active in the “human potentials movement” says, “Myths are more than old tales; they are ‘codes and roads and maps.’ Where we wind up on life’s journey depends on the map we carry with us.”

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Bubble Up Faith

Perhaps adding bubble blowing to your spiritual practice will help you remember that doubt is a part of faith, and allow yourself to glimmer and gleam, like bubbles, as you move through life.

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Reverence and Relevance – First Sunday of Advent

On this first Sunday of Advent, consider the new that is coming. Take some time to discover what you are most missing in your life – and then give that thing away. Where you long for a friend to support you, instead be the friend who calls another to find out if they are well. When you long to know peace, instead be the non-anxious presence during times of tension. Where you long for community and connection, be the heartbeat of whatever group you are with. When you long to feel less afraid, be the hand that reaches out with generosity. When you long to know your presence here matters, be the gift of welcoming.

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Words I Don’t Want to Say Together: Active Shooter & Church

It seems horrifying to imagine that the places we have used for worship, sanctuary, community, fellowship, love and connection, places that for millennia have helped define our own identity are now having to be prepared for violence and death. I can’t even believe I am having to write these words. It pains me to know that shootings happen everywhere, every day, more frequently than you may realize, yet most go unreported in mainstream media.

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Spiritual Care During Times of Disaster

Spiritual health can often be a casualty of war in times of unprecedented upheaval and change. There are a number of shifts that occur in times of disaster in regards to an individual’s faith, beliefs and spiritual practices. I think sometimes this can get neglected or overlooked, especially by mainstream media coverage, and yet it is every bit as important as our emotional and physical well-being. People not only seek the basic survival needs – shelter, safety, water, food, sanitation and sleep – but they also yearn to make meaning of what is happening in relation to God and in relation to each other.

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Yin Yang Dance of Faith

Faith is a funny thing. I can recall being seven years old, asking my mother theological questions about our faith, and her telling me with great conviction that some things we weren’t meant to know or understand. Needless to say, that answer was less than satisfying. Eventually she told me there were “man made” rules and “God made” rules, and I needed to pay attention to the “God made” rules. That worked, at least for a little while, until I was old enough to begin a new line of theological inquiry.

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Jesus Speaks to the 12: Simon, Thaddeus and Judas

Part 4 of a 4-Part Series

Part 4 of a 4-part series leading up to Holy Thursday. Each day 3 disciples present at the Last Supper are highlighted. It is partially inspired by the Unity teaching of the Twelve Powers. Part 1 sets the context and Jesus speaks to Peter, Andrew and James. Part 2 is John, Phillip and Bartholomew. Part 3 is Thomas, Matthew and James son of Alphaeus.

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Jesus Speaks to the 12: Thomas, Matthew and James son of Alphaeus

Part 3 of a 4-Part Series

Part 3 of a 4-part series leading up to Holy Thursday. Each day 3 disciples present at the Last Supper are highlighted. It is partially inspired by the Unity teaching of the Twelve Powers. Part 1 sets the context and Jesus speaks to Peter, Andrew and James. Part 2 is John, Phillip and Bartholomew.

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Jesus Speaks to the 12: John, Phillip and Bartholomew

Part 2 of a 4-Part Series

Part 2 of a 4-part series leading up to Holy Thursday. Each day 3 disciples present at the Last Supper are highlighted. It is partially inspired by the Unity teaching of the Twelve Powers. Part 1 sets the context and Jesus speaks to Peter, Andrew and James.

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Jesus Speaks to the 12: Peter, Andrew, and James

Part 1 of a 4-Part Series

Part 1 of a 4-part series leading up to Holy Thursday. Each day 3 disciples present at the Last Supper are highlighted. It is partially inspired by the Unity teaching of the Twelve Powers.

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Welcome to My World

Often, during times like these of great suffering, upheaval and uncertainty, the question arises “Where is God?” But the question I would put before you today is not “Where is God,” rather I would ask “Where is humanity? Where are you?”

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Advent is Always Arriving

A Not So Obvious Message

For instance, most everyone I know contends that the mustard seed parable (Matthew 13:31-32) is about faith. I think that’s an easy route to take. When you read the parable, on the surface it’s about something tiny growing into a large tree or bush, and it seems to make sense why someone may think it’s about faith. For me the power in Jesus’ teachings is that he posited the NOT SO OBVIOUS, in order to short-circuit and dismantle our conventional ways of thinking and being.

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