Encouraging Words...: Articles & Essays that Prove Who You Are Matters

Encouraging Words...: Articles & Essays that Prove Who You Are Matters


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As a writer, I know that words are important at the beginning of any creative process; they become the tools used to convey ideas—to paint a picture that holds relevance and meaning to the reader and hopefully finds a home in their heart. Between the covers of this book are many words which are intended to offer you encouragement, irrespective of who you are or where you are on this sometimes challenging, sometimes confusing, sometimes exhilarating journey we call life.

My personal vision is "Guiding People to Purpose." It is my belief that we each have a purpose for being on this planet or we would not be here; we all matter. In this book you will find a compilation of articles I have been privileged to write for Science of Mind magazine, as well as a number of essays I have written as blogs over the years. As you read these articles and essays, may you be open to receiving the love and respect intended in each one. The content of this book is innately spiritual, and meant to be so, because that is what you are—a spiritual being having a human experience. When it is time for you to return to the place of your spiritual origin you will be asked two questions: Did you learn to love well . . . and, is the planet a better place today than it was the day you arrived because you were there? As you read this book, may the answer to these questions become a litmus test for the balance of your life that encourages you to live an exquisite, fulfilling life. Know that who you are and—equally important—what you do with who you are, matter.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780917849626
Publisher: Center for Spiritual Living
Publication date: 09/08/2017
Pages: 266
Sales rank: 464,865
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Throughout his lifetime, Dennis Merritt Jones has been on a quest to inspire and lift people to a higher expression of life. His personal vision is to guide people to their purpose, knowing that when we fully awaken to who we are and why we are on the planet, we begin to naturally share our gift with humankind, and in the process, create an enriching life for ourselves and the world around us. Dennis has been a Science of Mind minister since 1985 and received his Doctorate of Divinity in 1996.

Dennis is the author of the award-winning books, The Art of Uncertainty: How to Live in the Mystery of Life and Love It and The Art of Being: 101 Ways to Practice Purpose in Your Life, as well as Your (Re)Defining Moments: Becoming Who You Were Born to Be, all released by Tarcher/Penguin publishing. In addition he is the author of How to Speak Science of Mind, published by DeVorss and Company. Look for his latest book, The Art of Abundance: Ten Rules for a Prosperous Life, to be released by TarcherPerigee/Penguin Random House Publishing in 2018. Dennis is a columnist for the Huffington Post and the Science of Mind magazine, as well as various print media. He is also proud to serve as a consultant and spiritual mentor to organizations and individuals in many parts of the world.

Dennis believes we each have the capacity, and ultimately, the responsibility to contribute something positive to this world, leaving it a better place than it was when we arrived—concepts reflected in his writings and seminars. He uses his understanding of universal principles to draw upon wisdom from both Eastern and Western philosophies. Dennis believes that the consciousness of unity, cooperation, and reverence for life on the planet will be one of the most significant influences upon society as we approach the challenges and uncertainties of twenty-first-century living. Visit him at www.DennisMerrittJones.com.

Read an Excerpt


There Is Only One of Us Here

As we recognize our Oneness with Infinite Intelligence, we are set free from uncertainty and pain. As long as we realize that our heart is a living center, through which the Love of God flows to bless eternally, not only our own lives, but the lives of all whom we contact — as long as we realize this, our heart cannot be troubled.


Often when the subject of "the heart" comes up, I flash back to 1992 when my dad was guided to go to the hospital because of chest pains, and within thirty minutes was under the knife receiving a quadruple bypass for an extreme heart condition known as "the widow maker." He went on to live another twenty-nine years in great health, ultimately passing at ninety-five years of age. While Dad had always been a spiritually grounded person, having his chest cracked open and his heart exposed to the "Light" deepened his sense of Oneness with Life. As a student of Science of Mind teaching for thirty-five years, he told me once there was never a doubt in his mind that while the doctors were mending his heart God was doing the healing and that the two worked together as One. Let us be clear: in this context, to "mend" is to set a broken bone, remove or repair a diseased organ, or stitch skin together. "Healing" occurs when the Infinite Life Force within is realized and revealed, and it is always an inside job. Simply put, "healing is the revealing" of God's presence at the center and circumference of an apparent condition. My dad knew that it was Divine Intelligence working in, through, and as the minds and hands of the doctors (as well as his own body) that did both the mending and the healing of his heart.

But, this is not just a story about my dad's heart. This is also about another heart that is in great need of mending and healing — the heart of humanity. When Ernest Holmes stated that the heart is a living center through which the Love of God flows to bless eternally, he was speaking of our human heart and the heart we all share — the heart of humanity. In either case, it is the vital pulsebeat of Infinite Intelligence operating at Its highest vibration — Love — that keeps the Life Force flowing. When that Life Force is blocked it is never good news for the patient ... in this case, the patient being humankind. To contemplate something as etheric and yet as palpable as what we refer to as the heart of humanity is rather mind-boggling and it beckons the questions: What exactly is the "heart of humanity" and where is it? Once we find it and awaken to its need to be mended, how do we facilitate such a massive healing? These are exacting questions because they invite us to become conscious participants in removing the blockages that stand between us and our collective well-being as a species. Many of us are aware that the heart of humanity needs our attention; we just don't know what to do about it. The good news is, metaphorically speaking, there are plenty of surgeons on standby to do the mending, and if you are reading this book you are most likely one of them.

To find the heart of humanity we need look no further than our own deepest knowing that affirms there is only One of us here.

The heart of humanity is a universal heartthrob — it pulsates at the center of every human being — it is that place within each of us where God has personalized Itself as unconditional Love. It knows it is one with something infinitely larger than what we see gazing back at us in the mirror. From a spiritual perspective that "something" is the One Infinite Intelligence that permeates the essence of all that is. From a secular perspective, the heart of humanity is the connective tissue that binds us to one another as sentient beings who are conscious that we all share a common home called planet Earth, and that what affects one of us surely must affect all of us.

Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu, Buddhist, Sufi, or Zen. Not any religion or cultural system. I am not from the east or the west, not out of the ocean or up from the ground, not natural or ethereal, not composed of elements at all ... I belong to the beloved, have seen the two worlds as one and that one call to and know, first, last, outer, inner, only that breath breathing human being.


The challenge, it seems, lies in mindfully applying the wisdom of Rumi when there is so much going on in our personal lives and in the world that appears to contradict our Oneness with each other. As we enter the relative world every day we are confronted with a collective consciousness that exists horizontally on the surface of life where duality reigns supreme, manifesting as judgment, hate, fear, anger, frustration, envy, resentment, prejudice, superiority, inferiority, and so on. The "inhumanity" that humanity is rendering to itself goes beyond any words to describe it; it truly is heartbreaking. We need look no further than our own communities and the world media to witness the heartbreak. The irony is that only humanity can mend its own heart. This is where we come in: by mindfully taking the vertical plunge to go within, below the surface of our horizontal life, and connecting with the sacred heart of the true Self that knows It is one with Life, we can consciously bring an awareness of Its presence to the surface where we integrate It with everything we say, think, and do. This is where our sacred "Being" merges with our human "doing" and it is how we each can do our part to help mend the heart of humanity. The practice is to remember that even though we do the mending, it is an awareness of God's presence in the moment that does the healing: we remove the blockage of our beliefs that impede the flow, separating us from one another, by remembering we are each the sacred arteries though which God's Love flows indiscriminately.

Reviving the Heart of Humanity with a New Kind of CPR

Mending the heart of humanity sounds like a daunting task, but if we are willing to be proactive and act mindfully, rather than react mindlessly (or hopelessly), it can be revived. We must each become experts at administering spiritual "CPR" (Compassion, Patience and Reverence) to every person with whom we cross paths on a daily basis. This includes our face-to-face encounters — both intentional and by chance — as well as the countless people we may connect with via the Internet or see on TV while watching the world news. Distance does not matter; because we all share the same name — Human Being — we all share the same heart.


If we are conscious we know there is something within us that is called to respond to the pain, fear, and suffering of others, be they our next door neighbors or strangers on the other side of the planet. How could we ignore them when we know we are all living branches, intertwined with one another on the Great Vine of Life? Compassion is the capacity to imagine what it must feel like to live in another person's skin and take appropriate action to help alleviate suffering when possible. As Desmond Tutu put it, "My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together." When we embody true compassion, the differences between us disappear and reveal that which we have in common — a bridge that supersedes language, religion, politics, and cultural barriers, because it connects hearts with hearts.


Healing the heart of humanity is the outcome of each of us realizing and revealing the presence of God in the present moment. Mending the heart of humanity is the process that gets us there, and it is one that may require time because it is our consciousness we are mending — we are reshaping it to hold a larger idea. Patience is the ability to breathe and be with what is in the moment, trusting that as we continue to mindfully mend our own hearts, one day at a time, the collective heart of humanity is also mending. The practice is to be patient with ourselves and all others, remembering it can take time to mend a broken heart — especially one that belongs to seven billion human beings.


If we are willing to look deeply into one another, getting past all of our perceived differences, we will be able to see what we have in common; we'll remember there is really only One of us here. To practice reverence is to look past the form and see the sacred presence of God therein. Contained within the wisdom of this awareness lies the potential for the healing of the heart of humanity. How could we possibly conspire to do harm to another when we see ourselves and the living presence of the Divine in them?

After my dad's surgery, his life became a daily mindfulness practice of paying attention to what went into his body and his mind; he took the personal actions necessary to mend, heal, and, quite literally, keep his heart open. Our call as a species is to now do the same. Don't think for a minute that who you are and what you do with who you are doesn't matter. We are each stewards of the heart of humanity. Perhaps Dr. Holmes gave us the clearest message about how best to do our part in an affirmation he wrote in The Science of Mind:

God in me is unified with God in all ... I am one with all people, with all things, with all life As I listen in the silence, the voice of all humanity speaks to me and answers the love that I hold out to it ... I AM ONE WITH LIFE. wait in the silence while the Great Spirit bears this message to the whole world.

As a mindfulness practice, consider printing this affirmation on multiple pieces of paper and posting them throughout your home. Then each time you see it, pause, take a deep breath ... listen in silence to the beat of your heart and know there are seven billion other hearts pulsating with the same Life Force at that very moment ... and then smile, knowing you have just touched the heart of humanity.



If someone is "pushing your buttons" you might want to take a moment and explore how they got installed in the first place.

Who Is Chafing Your Chaps?

Projection always hides a feeling you don't want to look at. If you examine any negative trait you insist is present in another person, you will find that same trait hiding in yourself. The more you deny this trait, the more strongly you will have to project it.


Recently in a radio interview a call-in listener asked me how to deal with certain irritating, objectionable people at the workplace. I responded by saying one doesn't even have to go as far as the workplace to find objectionable people — they are all around! We'll find them at the grocery store, on the freeway, on the street corner, over the backyard fence, on the television, and even in our own family — and they are there for a reason. It is the Universe offering us an endless supply of people necessary to help us see some aspect of our own character we may not necessarily see or like. Now, let us be clear, I am not talking about terrorists, despots, embezzlers, career criminals, or people who do horrendous and unspeakable things to others. I am referring to those common, garden variety, everyday folks we all know who just "rub us" the wrong way; such as someone who constantly complains, talks incessantly, gossips, tells white lies, is selfish, controlling, passive, opinionated, a braggart, abrasive, unkempt, perfectionistic, unreliable, perpetually late, irresponsible, or __________ (fill in the blank). In other words, who is chafing your chaps? Having one's "chaps be chafed" is an old cowboy term for an irritation caused by too much friction between one's derrière and the saddle. While this is a colorful metaphor it clearly describes how we allow certain people we perceive to be a pain in the butt to get under our skin. The question is why? The irony is — if Chopra is right — we can run but we can't hide from ourselves. By means of the law of attraction these people will continue to show up in our lives until we learn the lesson. The sad part is many people will go to their grave having never learned the lesson because they are not willing to be honest with themselves by exploring their own inner emotional landscape. It takes courage and compassion to be willing to see a reflection of ourselves in those we don't like and mindfully respond rather than react to them. I am reminded of what one of my early spiritual mentors would say whenever I became chafed and overreacted to what he was saying: "While I may push your buttons, I didn't install them — you did." The good news is, with mindfulness, one can skillfully uninstall those buttons. But the first step is to become aware they are there.

How will we know when we are projecting?

The practice is to be present enough in the moment to witness the emotional response that bolts through our physical body when that certain person says or does something that pushes our buttons. What I have noticed personally is that when I come across such an individual, my first reaction is to want to withdraw — if not physically, emotionally. With mindfulness the awareness that arises in that moment is that this individual may be offering me a gift by serving as my mirror. It helps to remember that the more a person chafes us, the deeper the trigger point (trait) lies within ourselves. If this were not so, that person's presence and actions would have no effect on us. There must be some point within us that resonates with that trait in order for us to see it in another. The good news is the same principle holds true for the positive and lovely things we see in another — it too is a projection of what lies within ourselves.

When another person pushes our buttons, perhaps the gift they offer us is an invitation to practice tolerance, non-judgment, or patience with ourselves. Have you ever felt intolerant of your own capabilities in some area of your life? I certainly have. Do you ever feel impatient with yourself? Oy ... that is a hot button for me. When was the last time you looked in the mirror and judged yourself for being less than the perfect physical specimen you want to be? LOL! I won't even comment on that one. Suffice it to say, the egoic self doesn't like to attack itself so it will project our perceived shortcomings on others and use them as moving targets.

So, in response to the person who called in to the radio program asking how to deal with certain irritating, garden-variety, objectionable people, the answer is quite simple. While we may have to coexist with them at the workplace or even in our own home, we can mindfully choose to cease allowing them to push our buttons. How so? From a spiritual perspective, while we can't change other people, we certainly can change our perception of them. If you find that others are pushing your buttons too often, rather than reacting to them, consider taking a deep breath and silently thanking them for the reminder to pause and look within. For it is there, and only there, that you'll find the owner's manual for instructions on how to uninstall those buttons. In other words, inquire within and push "reset" by affirming "Everywhere I look I see the face of the Infinite One." In the process you'll be amazed at how it changes how you see yourself and, therefore, all of those beautiful souls who, up until now, have so effectively chafed your chaps.



Is it possible to truly be immersed in perfection when the human condition is subject to so many things that appear to be far less than perfect?

The Sacred Practice of Being Perfectly Imperfect

This Original Life is Infinite. It is good. It is filled with peace. It is of the essence of purity. It is the ultimate of intelligence. It is power. It is Law. It is Life. It is in us. In that inner sanctuary of our own nature, hidden, perhaps from objective gaze, nestles the seed, perfection.


One of the blessings of living in Southern California is that I seldom have to drive to the market to buy citrus fruit because we have lemon, lime, and orange trees growing on our property. Recently, I went to gather a few lemons and I was not disappointed. Right there waiting to be picked, hung a plethora of perfectly packaged, beautiful, ripe and ready to use, tart treats directly from God's great garden. Then I saw it. I couldn't miss it because growing right in the midst of these beautiful lemons was one that was oddly different; compared to the other lemons it appeared to be deformed. After closer inspection it was obvious that this misshapen lemon was, in fact, several lemons that had somehow grown into one another, morphing into one, large, bulbous, bumpy, awkward looking piece of fruit. After picking it, my first inclination was to toss it because — not only did it appear far less than perfect — it was just plain unsightly. I thought, this one doesn't belong in the fruit bowl with all these other beauties. It was then that my inner voice gently nudged me saying, "Whoa! Judge not according to appearances — there is more here than meets the eye; take a breath and look for a deeper truth." It became obvious to me that this was the Universe inviting me to deepen my awareness that my eyes don't always report the truth. Too often our eyes are on a mindless mission to find fault with something rather than focusing on what is inherently right and good about it.


Excerpted from "Encouraging Words ..."
by .
Copyright © 2017 Dennis Merritt Jones.
Excerpted by permission of Spiritual Living Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Dedication vii

Foreword xi

Introduction xiii

1 There is Only One of Us Here 1

2 Who Is Chafing Your Chaps? 9

3 The Sacred Practice of Being Perfectly Imperfect 13

4 The Art of Receiving is Different from the Act of Taking 21

5 On a Mission From God! 25

6 Accepting What Is 35

7 The Deeper Meaning of Compassion 43

8 The Mystical Marriage 47

9 Conscious Choice 55

10 Honor the Rhythm of Life 59

11 Mindfulness Matters 63

12 The Blessing of Your inconveniences 71

13 The Many Faces of Grace 75

14 Is Your Timepiece "Keeping" You? 83

15 The Art of Balancing Your Humanity with Your Divinity 89

16 The Anatomy of Anger 99

17 Could Music Help Heal the World? 103

18 Expand Your Vision of a Life Worth Living 107

19 Being impeccable In Our Word 115

20 A Life Worth Living Doesn't Follow a Straight Line 121

21 The Art of Being Kind 125

22 The Power of Paying Attention 129

23 The secret to Going the Distance is Really No secret 137

24 A world That Works for Everyone Works Through Everyone 141

25 The Mirror That Never Lies 149

26 Earth School is Open-Are Our Minds? 153

27 How to Let Your Inner Elvis Out 161

28 Up Close and Personal with "The Thing Itself" 165

29 The Wisdom of Patience 173

30 Stand Guard at the Temple Gate! 177

31 Living Life with Reverence 183

32 The only Way out Is In 187

33 Of Course, You Already Knew That! 193

34 Stillness 197

35 Just Do It! 205

36 Joy is an inside Job! 209

37 Honk If You Love Harmony on the Highway! 217

38 The complaint Department is Closed! 221

39 Before You can Stand in Your Power You Have to Know Where to Look for It 225

40 Stand In Your Vision and Look Up! 233

41 The Ride of Your Life Doesn't Start Somewhere Down the Road 237

42 One Vine-Many Branches 241

43 And in the End 247

About the Author 249

Recommended Reading 251

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