Sermons by Rev. Bonnie
Magic Wands: Not Just for Fairy Godmothers Anymore
October 19, 2008
Many of us were brought up on fairy tales and fairy godmothers using their magic wands. Cinderella had a very talented fairy godmother who turned pumpkins into a fancy coach and mice into horses. And Cinderella herself went from a poor house-servant into a beauty fit for a prince.
Other magic wand users?
How about the good witch of the north in “The Wizard of Oz”? She waved her wand and the ruby slippers went from the dead wicked witch of the east under the house to Dorothy’s feet. There are some folks I know who wave the Hitachi magic wand and experience their own miracles! And, even in today’s movies, such as Shrek 2, there is a fairy godmother who waves her wand and says:
“With just a wave of my magic wand
Your troubles will soon be gone
With a flick of the wrist and just a flash
You’ll land a prince with a ton of cash”
Florence Scovel Shinn was an early 20th century metaphysician. Scovel Shinn’s metaphysical works began with her self-published book “The Game of Life and How to Play” It in 1925. Her book “Your Word is Your Wand” was published in 1928 and “The Secret Door to Success” in 1940. Scovel Shinn’s writing usually included quotes from the Bible and real-life anecdotes to explain her understanding of God and humankind. Her philosophy centered around the power of positive thought and the use of affirmations.
I will focus on some of the thoughts in her book “Your Word is Your Wand”. She begins that book by stating (and note I will be using her language where she uses “man” to mean both women and men):
“Man’s word is his wand filled with magic and power! So man has power to change an unhappy condition by waving over it the wand of his word. In the place of sorrow appears joy, in the place of sickness appears health, in the place of lack appears plenty.”
Well, this all reminds me of a story…
Cinderella was now 75 years old. After a fulfilling life with the now dead Prince, she happily sat upon her rocking chair, watching the world go by from her front porch, with her cat for companionship.
One sunny afternoon, out of nowhere, appeared the Fairy Godmother. Cinderella said “Fairy Godmother, what are you doing here after all these years?”
The Fairy Godmother replied, “Well, Cinderella, since you have lived a good, wholesome life since we last met, I have decided to grant you three wishes. Is there anything for which your heart still yearns?”
Cinderella is overjoyed, and after some thoughtful consideration and almost under her breath she uttered her first wish:
“I wish I was wealthy beyond comprehension.”
Instantly, her rocking chair was turned into solid gold.
Cinderella was stunned.
Cinderella said, “Oh thank you, Fairy Godmother!”
The Fairy Godmother replied, “It’s the least I can do. What do you desire for your second wish?”
Cinderella looked down at her frail body, and said, “I wish I were young and full of the beauty of youth again.”
At once, her wish became reality, and her beautiful youthful health and figure returned.
Cinderella felt stirrings inside her that had been dormant for years and long forgotten vigor and vitality began to course through her very soul.
Then the Fairy Godmother again spoke. “You have one more wish, what will you have?” Cinderella looked over at her cat and said, “I wish you would transform my old cat into a beautiful, and handsome young man.”
*** POOF *** there before her stands a young man more handsome than anyone could possibly imagine.
The Fairy Godmother again spoke. “Congratulations, Cinderella. Enjoy your new life.” And, with a puff of smoke, she was gone.
For a few eerie moments, the young man and Cinderella looked into each others eyes. With a smile that made her knees weak, he sauntered across the porch and held her close in his young muscular arms.
Then, he leaned in close to her ear, and whispered, blowing her golden hair with his warm breath, “I bet you regret having me neutered now, don’t you?”
The moral of that story? Be very very specific what it is you want—or the universe will give you what it hears!
Where have we hard this before? The Law of Attraction — the principle by which we attract into our lives that which is in vibrational alignment with our consciousness, our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes. Like attracts like. So our words and our actions create experiences for us that will keep us in anger if we are angry, or joy if we are joyful.
This is a lesson that I too have had to learn. I was a pretty angry young woman. I was angry at injustice, at sexism, homophobia, racism, anti-Semitism —- you name an ism and I was upset by it. My breeding ground for all of this was my undergraduate years at a place in Ohio called Kent State University. Kent State’s infamous claim to fame was that in 1970 four students were killed and nine injured by the Ohio National Guard as they peacefully protested against the Vietnam War. I wasn’t there for that incident, but I was there in 1977 when the University decided it wanted to build a gymnasium over the site where the national guard maneuvered before they fired on the students.
I was outraged by what I perceived as insensitivity, callousness, and blatant disregard to the memories of the students who had been harmed by “the establishment”. I marched and I protested and I participated in taking over the land where the gym was to be constructed. After the arrests of hundreds of people, the gym was built. I was bitter, angry, hurt, disheartened. I remember chanting “We will never forgive—we will never forget”.
I couldn’t understand how anyone could disagree with our cause. I took away lessons about power and money and privilege that sat in me for the next twenty years eating away at my sense of inner peace. I became a professional victim. I wore my victimhood as a badge of honor. And I looked for ways to cause others to know and feel the hurt and marginalization that I chose for myself.
Now, of course I didn’t know I was doing all of this at the time. I had “righteous anger and indignation”. I judged those who weren’t equally as incensed at what I identified as injustice. I felt it was my purpose and my responsibility to “fight the powers that be” and I did that with gusto and determination. And when I moved to Maryland almost 25 years ago I became involved in gay rights issues—yet again picketing and protesting—although this time I also lobbied and testified before elected officials. I was still angry over inequality. I won the grand prize for self-righteousness!
Two things resulted from this fight. The first was that I did some very important activist work and won a number of “victories”. The second was that I had a hardened heart and felt depleted. Metaphysically I now know that we are not here to ‘fight against’—that energy flows where attention goes. Scovel Shinn puts it more succinctly when she states, “the thing you dislike or hate will surely come upon you, for when man hates, he makes a vivid picture in the subconscious mind and it objectifies.” My vibrational level was not on par with Gandhi, Jesus, or Mother Theresa -— I did not surround my enemies with love, and did not speak kind words. The words of my wand were bitter.
I finally realized that I could not continue on in that angry way —- to constantly fight against. I was exhausted, cranky, lonely, and confused. I raised my internal and external white flag of surrender. I had to do something to move out of the rut of sorrow and despair that I had dug for myself. I was engulfed in bitterness and it felt poisonous.
Digging myself out wasn’t easy. I didn’t know yet about how to visualize the change process as ‘easy and effortless’. I had missteps and false starts. And I was clear that I had to change in order to keep my health and my sanity. What were some of the things that worked for me as I changed my condition with the word of my wand? I’m glad you asked!! Let me share three steps that helped me to move from fear to love and from lack to abundance.
1. Release victimhood and know that we are One with God. As long as I continued to think of myself as a victim -— I would be a victim. As long as I laid blame at someone else’s doorstep for what I was experiencing I was going to continue to experience it. It was so easy to blame men for sexism and heterosexuals for homophobia and non-Jews for anti-Semitism. What I wasn’t doing was taking responsibility for what I was creating for myself. And I realized that to be a victim was to give away my power and to live in fear. I opened my heart to a new way of being. The word of my wand became “I am a beloved child of God. I am loveable, perfect, whole, and complete.” Scovel Shinn suggests the affirmations of “I am harmonious, happy, radiant; detached from the tyranny of fear” and “I love everyone and everyone loves me. My apparent enemy becomes my friend, a golden link in the chain of my good.”
I sure wish I had been privy and open to her wisdom lo those many years ago. I took responsibility for my own condition. I chose to be in and of peace and not to allow the outer environment to impact my internal balance. I consciously moved to the vibration of Divine love. I put a stop to allowing myself to be defined by the limitations of others and allowed myself to be held by the limitless love of Spirit.
So, Step #1 for me was to release my victimhood and embrace my Oneness with my Creator—thus opening me up to love and peace.
2. Seek forgiveness.
While this step is a sermon or two in itself, for me, seeking forgiveness really meant forgiving myself for ways that I had judged myself and others. I was one tough cookie. If someone disagreed with me, I would dismiss them with a condescending “They just don’t get it.” I realized, over time, that how I judged others was really how I judged myself. Truly, I was the one who just didn’t get it. It was time to retire my old Kent State chant of “we will never forgive, we will never forget”. I have learned that forgiveness is a continuing process and as my heart continues to unfold, so does the ease with which I can release past hurts and disappointments. As I learn to love myself I find it easier to forgive.
So Step #2 forgive yourself and others.
3. Find a teacher, a coach, a mentor.
Finding this Chapel and going through the Inner Visions program were life changing occurrences for me. I was seen, heard, and held in ways I wouldn’t and couldn’t have previously imagined. When I was unable to hold heart space for myself, I knew it was being held for me. When I was unable or unwilling to let go of any of my stories or drama -— I knew my teachers already saw me as perfect, whole, and complete. And, they didn’t just throw me a fish —- they taught me how to fish. I learned how to ask for help and how to receive it. I experienced God’s unconditional love through the teachers and coaches that aided me on my journey. As Scovel Shinn writes, “God works in unexpected places, through unexpected people, at unexpected times, His wonders to perform.” This Chapel and the greater Washington DC community is blessed to have so many capable teachers, coaches, and spiritual guides. Asking for help might just be the most positive gift we will ever give ourselves.
And, my final step (yes, I know I said three) -— which always is a part of any change process -— Give Thanks and Praise to the One who brought us this far. Praise is truly a magic wand, it sets a vibration of gratitude and gratefulness. Praise reminds us that we are in partnership with God and that without that partnership we wouldn’t have made it this far.
Our words are filled with wonder and power. Our words create our reality. Our words put thoughts to action.
When our words are less than honest, they create situations that are less than honest. This reminds me of a story…
A cabbie picks up a Nun.
She gets into the cab, and notices that the VERY handsome cab driver
won’t stop staring at her.
She asks him why he is staring.
He replies: ‘I have a question to ask you but I don’t want to offend you.’
She answers, ‘My son, you cannot offend me. When you’re as old as I am and have been a nun as long as I have, you get a chance to see and hear just about everything. I’m sure that there’s nothing you could say or ask that I would find offensive.’
‘Well,’ says the cabbie, ‘I’ve always had a fantasy to have a nun kiss me.’
She responds, ‘Well, let’s see what we can do a bout that:
#1, you have to be single and #2,you must be Catholic.’
The cab driver is very excited and says, ‘Yes, I’m single and Catholic!’
‘OK’ the nun says. ‘Pull into the next alley.’
The nun fulfills his fantasy, with a kiss that would make a hooker blush.
But when they get back on the road, the cab driver starts crying.
‘My dear child,’ says the nun, ‘why are you crying?’
‘Forgive me but I’ve sinned. I lied and I must confess, I’m married and I’m Jewish.’
The nun says, ‘That’s OK…… My name is Kevin and I’m going to a Halloween party!’
Our words are filled with wonder and power. Our words create our reality. Our words put thoughts to action. Let us use our Magic Wands to bring about our desired reality. Realities filled with love, faith, gratitude, abundance, happiness, joy, and prosperity. We don’t need a fairy godmother for this. We simply need our words and our vision of heaven here on earth.
© 2019 Bonnie J. Berger. All rights reserved.