A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 11: Self- Control

When we put our highest selves in charge, our inner joy and understanding grows. Children can learn to feel for the right direction within and to recognize that every impulse is not the right one simply because it is there. Every time we remember to put our highest self in charge, the more inner joy and freedom we experience.

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 12: Stillness

Taking time to be in stillness is important for physical and mental well-being, and it is absolutely vital if we want an inner experience of spirit. It is not easy to quiet the storms of excitement and learn to be comfortable with stillness. Providing opportunities to practice is a priceless gift we can give children.

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 13: Learning Patience

The slow-moving currents in the ocean depths move in a rhythm untouched by the ever-changing surface of the sea. As we tune into patience and learn to feel a deeper rhythm, we discover that the eternal currents of the cosmic ocean of energy also flow unchanging, despite the storms that blow in material realities.

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 14: Service

Through service we find love and truth in action. When we serve with love and compassion, those whom we serve become brothers and sisters, not the others.

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 15: Being an Instrument for Blessing

Finding ways to be a blessing to others is the best way to avoid doing harm. The idea of non-injury or harmlessness extends beyond our actions to our words and thoughts as well. We don’t want to burden children with guilt about their thoughts, but we want to offer opportunities to infuse their hearts and minds with thoughts of blessing and peace toward others.

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 16: Practicing Humility

Humility does not mean self-abasement — it means recognizing an infinite power greater than our little self. Where does humility come in when self-esteem and self-confidence are valued so highly in our society?

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 17: Non-Greed

To be anxious and fearful of our own needs means we are forgetting who we really are. Spending all of our time and energy acquiring possessions means we are looking outward for satisfaction and neglecting the only source of true happiness — our eternal identity as spirit.

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 18: What is Success?

True success means growing in our ability to love and to experience inner happiness.Outward accomplishments are fun, and we want to
always strive for our best. But worldly achievements will always lead to disappointment. True success lies in an ever-increasing experience of spirit in all circumstances

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 19: Willpower

Willpower is our willingness combined with our power, applied with concentration and determination. Applying our willpower to achieve goals is really a discovery of the divine power and guidance that lies within all creation. We discover that willingness opens the gate to infinite possibilities.

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 20: Courage

Courage does not mean fearlessness and is a quality that exists within all beings and can be accessed at any time. We need only to turn inward to face life’s challenges with the courage that is already ours. Feeling anxious or fearful of new outward circumstances is normal for most people, but finding the courage to face those circumstances means recognizing that our divine nature is perfectly equipped and we have the inner resources to handle challenges.

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 21: Filling Our Minds with Goodness

The more we choose to see beauty and goodness, the more we will live in happiness and joy.
High-mindedness is looking at life’s experiences from the high ground, where beauty and joy can be seen beyond ugliness and hardship that can cloud our vision. It is a conscious choice to keep company with positive thoughts and to be happy. High-mindedness is not pretending ugliness does not exist; it is really a celebration of divine goodness everywhere.

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 22: Opening Our Hearts in Prayer

One way we can build an awareness of our inner wisdom, as well as create a spiritual life, is through prayer. God, the Divine Presence, the Spirit of Life and Love — whatever names we use for this Mystery permeating and holding all things in existence — comes to visibility in the human reality we are … Prayer is the means to deepen awareness that we are intimately connected and bonded with our planet, our universe and all that is in this Presence. It is the means to accept our responsibility for making the Presence of God visible and effective in the human species. Prayer is a way to express our commitment to give the best possible expression we can to this sacred presence. Prayer has to both encourage and challenge us: we pray to be better than we are. Prayer is not about words expressed to an elsewhere God. Prayer is about reflection on life and the interconnectedness of everyone and all things within God’s Presence. Prayer is an affirmation of this presence and of our dignity.

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 23: Accessing Sacred Guidance

>We all have moments when we have to make tough decisions quickly, and sometimes the way is not clear. How will we recognize the highest good when split-second decisions are needed? And how do we prepare children for the inevitable difficult decisions they will face? The answer to both questions is practice. We can’t expect to understand inner guidance in a crisis if we haven’t listened for guidance any other time in our lives. Every day presents opportunities to feel for the right direction. Every decision we make should be made with soul intuition and not just mental reasoning. Children can learn to feel for inner guidance and use that understanding in all life’s challenges. Your true self is a spiritual being housed in a human being. If we can access the voice of our true selves, the guidance we are looking for will always be available.

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 24: Infinite Possibilities in Each Moment

Most people would define work as something that is hard to do and creativity as something fun. But when we are open to the sacred guidance that is abundant in the universe, work and creativity become the same thing. The most creative and inspiring work can be accomplished when we are open to all possibilities.
Being open to infinite possibilities means letting inspiration flow freely — and not blocking that flow with thoughts of what we want to happen or what other people might think of what we are doing.
Children can learn to feel for the right direction within and to recognize that every impulse is not the right one simply because it is there. Every time we remember to put our highest self in charge, the more inner joy and freedom we experience.

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 25: Expanding Awareness

Deep within our hearts, we all long for an expanded sense of self. We long to feel oneness with the universe, with spirit in all things, and with the infinite spirit that created everything that is. Each time we experience a sense of connection or a hint of freedom from our ego self-definition, we become more aware of the Sacred that is always in us and around us. Jesus may have called it the “Kingdom of God.” Some scholars believe, however, that “Queendom” or “Sacred Unity” is a more accurate translation of Jesus’ words when he spoke about this realm of God which is always available to each of us.
Children naturally look for how they are a part of the world around them. They notice sameness and feel oneness more readily than adults who have been gradually trained to see only differences and separation. As we grow in our awareness, we learn that there is nowhere we can go and be apart from the constant, unchanging presence of God. We are never truly separate from anyone or anything in the universe. All that we do affects the world and everyone in it, like a ripple in a pond.

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 26: A Heavy Load

It seems to be human nature to weigh down our hearts with the past and project our minds into the future. Jesus admonished his listeners to forgive, to love, to be merciful, and to give up worry about the future or the past, long before “living in the moment” was an over-used phrase.
Every true spiritual teacher tells us that the joy we are seeking lies within our hearts now. The past cannot be changed. The future is unknown. Letting go of regrets and worries frees our energy to be focused on the infinite potential of the present moment. To make the choice to live joyfully in this moment is true freedom — the freedom to be who we are.

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 27: Forgiving and Healing

There is abundant love within each of us, but even when we try to act as messengers of love in the world, we often mess up the message. Like the old game of telephone, where a message is passed along and completely mixed up by the time it reaches the end of the line, we mix up divine love with our own desires, confusions, and misunderstandings and end up hurting one another. Then we must forgive.
Getting children to say the words, “I forgive you,” is not enough. True forgiveness is inward and will actually remove the hurts we have from our hearts, like pulling weeds in a beautiful garden. Forgiving is not simply a gift we give someone who has wronged us, either; it is a step in our own spiritual growth that will enable our hearts to blossom as intended.

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 28: Security

When our identity is defined in outward ways, we are going to feel insecure because outward definitions always change. If we understand our identity as changeless spirit, then it is easier to let go of our attachment to our physical self. Jesus and other spiritual teachers have taught us that a spiritual path and our experiences on that path will lead us to a deeper understanding. It isn’t enough to just read the words or have the beliefs — we need to act in harmony with those beliefs in order to be more aware of who we really are.
The world will tell us that our security depends on money in the bank or the right clothes or an important job, but we know all those things are temporary. True security that lasts forever comes from discovering the reality that we are spiritual beings. With that knowledge, we can face anything, even our fear of death. We can’t force children to feel secure, but we can encourage them to find that truth within themselves and live from that experience. We can also talk about death in a way that is not fearful. Our Western society does much to teach fear of death. We may not know what happens after we die, but if we are secure in the knowledge that our true self does not die, it only grows and evolves, then we need not fear death or any outward physical changes that happen to our human body.

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