Wednesday, November 23, 2016


“Be grateful in all things.”

So the scriptures say.

“Be grateful in all things."

Grateful in all things? Really? What about that pesky physical symptom? What about the annoying neighbor with the blasting music? And what about the inability to locate a human being to which you can speak to resolve the reoccurring banking issue? How about those sugar ants? The person who has fourteen items in the ten or less? You say I should be grateful in all things? ALL? Are you kidding?

I know from deep and personal experience that this is one of the most profound practices that we humans can ever engage in. While the surface mind and the personality self will go into a spasm of argument and contradiction there is no more transformative practice than that of gratitude. Gratitude in all things, my friends. Gratitude no matter what may be happening around you. Gratitude for everything that is happening within you. Gratitude for the pure experience of gratitude. Gratitude for the ability to choose gratitude. And it is indeed a choice. When we are spiritually awake we dwell in a spirit of thankfulness. When we are spiritually awake we can bless and thank all things from a contextual level. The astounding truth is that as soon as we choose to bless and thank all things from a contextual level a miraculous and mystical activity begins to occur within us. We begin to see a different and transcendent reality. With gratitude as the prescription in our perceptual lens we see God everywhere and in all things. And things literally then begin to change. For good.

The key is to be grateful contextually and unconditionally. This requires commitment and it requires practice. It comes in waves and unfolds in layers. We must fully and honestly acknowledge when we are not feeling grateful. We must own whatever resistance and defense are present. As we own these energy blocks we bring a sense of heart-based prayer to them. We pray the willingness to see differently. We pray the Grace to be grateful beyond preference. And then we open to the movement of Source-Blessing within us. Source-Blessing is the deep knowing that all is well regardless of appearances. To bless is to know the inherent Divinity in all things. And when Divinity is acknowledged as every-where present then what is not to be grateful for?

And so be grateful in all things. In all things, even that.

I, Taylor E. Stevens, being of somewhat sound mind and body, commit to being grateful in all things.

And so it is.

Saturday, November 5, 2016


I have always believed and espoused that in order to love someone you had to respect them.

That is a hypothesis that I have been questioning deep down in my being.

I guess in the broadest sense it is still true. It is most certainly more nuanced than it is has ever been before.

Our current political climate has been the primary container from which I have begun to question the inseparable relationship between love and respect. Social media has been the screen upon which the evidence has presented. I have read numerous ideological statements from people I love for which I have no respect. These statements and positions have deeply challenged some of my most preciously held values. I could barely believe that the name under which these repugnant opinions were bannered belonged to the same individuals I have known and loved. It really led me to question whether or not I had ever known these people at all. How could what they are saying be so out of alignment with the spiritual positions they share and claim to believe and operate from? How could they be so out of synch with Principle when it comes to stating policy? How can the denigration and defamation of any living being be a part of any authentic spirituality?

It is that last question that began to light my way to the connection between love and respect. If I am remaining in horror and judgment of these individuals I claim to love then I am the one with deeper work to do. I can well choose to respect the freedom of choice, position, ideology, and expression without respecting the position being taken. I can respect the deeper level of the person without also respecting the politics being espoused. I can love the person without loving what they may currently be representing.

While I still believe in an intrinsic connection between love and respect it has become more deeply explored and integrated due to what I have been observing lately. I have had to personally work with the feelings moving in me in response to what I am seeing and reading. I have had to massage my own level of relationship with these ideas and take a stand for the values I hold true and sacred. I will not let these issues cast asunder the love and essential respect I have for people, though I strongly disagree with what they are choosing to represent. And I am experiencing a deeper level of self respect for how I am showing up in this heated climate of hateful rhetoric, what I am choosing to and not to say.

So regardless of your position or politics I respect and love you as a fellow expression of the One Source. I will not agree with what you are saying but I will always ensure you have the right to say it. Your heart is far more important than some of the words that are coming out of your mouth. It is from my heart to yours that the bridge between love and respect is trod.