2021 Annual Theme and monthly sub themes

How to Stay Centered, No Matter What

 

12 Tools for Achieving Inner Peace in a Chaotic World

When we feel our inner peace persistently challenged, Unity offers an answer. Unity teachings include the awareness of our own innate power. We were born with the attributes of the Infinite, and our life’s work is to develop and express them.

Each divine faculty offers a way to view the world and to stay centered, no matter what comes our way.

Our theme, “How to Stay Centered, No Matter What,” is based on a system devised nearly a century ago by Unity cofounder Charles Fillmore.

Fillmore defined the 12 powers—attributes that he believed formed the basis of our Christ consciousness. The more we develop them, the closer we are to expressing our true being, our divine nature.

The 12 powers provide the subtopics for this spiritual resource program. Each month, you’ll find a section of new resources related to one specific power, with ideas for using it to stay centered.  Here is a free booklet about how to stay centered - NO MATTER WHAT!  Booklet Link

February 2021

 

Strength—I express the strength and vitality of God.

 

Your inner strength takes many forms, from perseverance to the ability to ask for help

 

A treasured gift from my congregation is a silver bracelet inscribed: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV).

The scripture about strength was particularly meaningful to me. Years earlier, before my ordination, I had randomly chosen Andrew, who symbolizes strength, as the apostle I would represent in a two-year discipleship program at my home church.

Did choosing Andrew, I wondered at the time, mean I had strength or needed strength?

“Both,” my minister affirmed.

As I reviewed events in my life, I concluded that, yes, I had been strong in many situations. But the strength I would need in the coming years, I couldn’t begin to imagine.

Strength in Perseverance

 

Strength is the “ability to endure, stay the course, last, be persistent, persevere, and be stable,” according to Rev. Paul Hasselbeck, D.D.S., and Rev. Cher Holt, Ph.D., in PowerUp (Holton Consulting Group, 2010), a book about the 12 powers.

Hearing a doctor pronounce, “You have breast cancer,” is enough to send almost anyone reeling, and I was no exception. How would I have the strength to get through this?

As a student of Unity, the use of affirmations resonated with me. Affirmations are not to make something come about but to deepen our conscious awareness of what is already true about us as expressions of God’s divine presence.

So I affirmed: I rest in the knowledge that God is my strength.

And rest I did. I never lost a night’s sleep after that diagnosis. “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15).

Remember that strength is not something you have but what you are as an expression of God’s divine presence.

Strength in Dependability

 

Another aspect of strength is dependability, or as Charles Fillmore says in Keep a True Lent (Unity Books, 1953), “It is the force or power to do, capacity to accomplish.”

When we are dependable, we use our spiritual strength to do what we commit to. We follow the course we’ve set for ourselves, and spiritual strength allows us to do so with clarity, focus, ease, and grace.

Using our power of strength for spiritual awareness, we choose to focus our attention and thought energy on the possibility of positive outcomes in our own lives, the lives of others, and the world.

Facing a world made radically different by COVID-19 required us to adjust to physical separation, loss in its many forms, and uncertainty about the future. In such circumstances, how do we remain centered and muster the strength and courage to act responsibly through our fears and misgivings?

One way to face challenges that call for strength or courage is to be aware of ways we’ve demonstrated strength in the past.

What have you believed you could never do that you not only had the strength to face, but afterward knew you had grown spiritually as a result of it? Focusing on such situations and writing about them can offer you a deeper appreciation of your own strength.

Strength in Community

 

A little boy was trying very hard to lift a heavy stone. His father said to him, “Are you using all your strength?” “Yes, I am,” the boy exclaimed impatiently. “No,” the father replied, “you are not. You haven’t asked me to help.”

Being spiritually strong doesn’t mean we have to go it alone, that we don’t need assistance from others, or can’t benefit from the upliftment we receive from those who are ready and willing to help.

In meditation and prayer, especially this month, recall anew your successful use of your power of strength. Envision yourself filled with God’s unlimited strength, able to stand firm, to be courageous and still in the midst of chaos; to be resilient and endure; to be persistent and steadfast.

In difficult times, remind yourself that no matter the situation, God is ever present.

It may also help to remain centered by identifying situations that increase your anxiety, stress, or worry, and to the greatest extent possible, avoid or limit your exposure to them.   

Remember that strength is not something you have but what you are as an expression of God’s divine presence. Consider frequently using affirmations of strength.

God’s presence within guides me and lifts me up.

I express the strength and vitality of God.

In every decision you are called to make, in every challenge you face, your power of strength carries you through, radiating from God’s presence within you.