Spirit Home

This book is written for you. It may be the biggest step you ever take in helping you and others stop the incessant searching for why we have come to planet earth and how we go home.

Spirit Home is a new spiritual compass that leads readers to the destination we have ALL searched for. It provides us the joy in knowing we finally have an answer to life’s biggest question: Why are we here?

If you are a spiritual being (and we all are) and have a strong desire to understand how forgiveness and love are the tickets to your train home, then this book is the answer. Through easy-to-understand language, Spirit Home will help clear the way for you. The veil between life and death is lifted and your lens on it will not be obscured anymore.

The ancient key to the doorway is here—Spirit Home.

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Forgiveness, Love, and the Way to Home…

For most of my forty-eight years, I have been searching for the answers to the same questions we all ask. It has been a crippling journey for me as I have moved from religion to religion, spirituality to spirituality.

Recently, on my seventh eye injection to keep my left eye from going blind, I decided I was giving up and becoming an atheist or the “kinder gentler” agnostic. If God or the Holy Spirit or Source or place your word here, _____ , was going to give up on me then to hell with it. I was giving up prayer and all the things I thought were true in the ever-loving presence. I cursed God over and over again (said the “F” word a lot) for not showing up for me as I thought I had shown up for him for forty-eight years. How dare you, God, for forgetting me? How dare you continue with this so-called life of struggle after struggle? It’s a vortex!

I lasted about thirty-six hours.

I found it was harder to give it all up – hope – than it was to keep holding on to it. Bottomline: I stink at giving up on God and the Holy Spirit.

Which brings me to this universal piece of apple pie. As a student of A Course in Miracles, (even though I almost tossed the book out), I have come to find that there are certain things about this world that are, well, just not true.

Drum roll…(short list of questions and answers)

1. How could a beneficent God create a world that allows for the 24/7 suffering we see? Take a look at the airline disasters, Israel and Palestine, the Holocaust, 9-11, Stalin’s regime, tornadoes, tsunamis, mental illness, mass school shootings, political corruption, murder, rape, rage, and crippling fear.

Answer: He did not. See A Course in Miracles for further clarification.

2. If God did not create this world? Who did?

Answer: You and me buddy. We did. (see above reference to ACIM – it ‘splains it all)

3. How then do we get out of this illusion of an awful world and get to the real one?

Answer: Forgiveness (first yourself – you did nothing wrong). Forgiveness of yourself and each other is the bridge to our real home. (See A Course in Miracles for more on that).

The Course teaches that conflict and confrontation (inside your thoughts/mind and “out”) is always asleep (even if you use your fear to kill that spider). Peace is always awake. Look at your brother with kindness and forgiveness and the rest will take care of itself.

Prayer is part of the ladder home. Remember, again, none of us did anything wrong – we are all going home. We just have to completely (split my infinitive) reverse our thought system which has gotten us here in the first place.

Here’s a mind blower: time and space do not exist. We live in our minds outside of it. (See the reference for more info).

There are many paths to One. A Course in Miracles is one. Confrontation is never right on any level – especially in your thoughts. Allow the anger to pass away…(it all starts with you).

I will not be judgy – as best I can. Even when things don’t go my way. I look at my brothers and sisters in their cars, at CVS, at the grocery store, at the eye doctor’s office and silently say, “I forgive you. I love you.” Then I leave the rest to the Holy Spirit – our link to God.

I taught over a thousand students in Henrico County Schools over the course of ten years. I taught in the prison system for a short stint. I trained people at a telecom giant. Now, I am working at St. Thomas’s church in Ginter Park and was proud to find out that the founder of the church, Grace Evelyn Arents, was a big old lesbian. I think for fear of being found out, she hid from the public eye. But, much of the 20 million dollars Lewis Ginter gave her went to building many of the churches in Richmond today. Her “companion” Mary Garland Smith outlived her by 42 years. They did wonderful things for the conservative town of Richmond. See Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens for more information on that. I forgive them for hiding but understand.

Fear of being who you are is never the right answer. See Harvey Milk for more on that one. I hid, too. But enough is enough.

I digress as usual. What I am trying to say is that we need to practice compassionate self-forgiveness. Fear is the opposite of love. And, love, of course, holds no grievances.

It bears repeating: Love holds no grievances.

Today, I will stay at home with my cold. But I will not turn on the TV much and watch the sadness. Instead I will forgive and love all the people I have ever met in my heart. This is the place where my soul abides. And, where my soul abides – so do you.

Love,

Ruth

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Tag: I’m it…Susan X Meagher is next…

Bev Prescott is playing with me. I love it when we girls get together for a game of tag. This weekend, I’m it – more on that in a bit.

First, a few words on Bev. An environmental lawyer by day and a novelist by night (and when she rides the train), Bev is a charmer. She has that certain je ne sais quoi quality like Mary Stuart Masterson did when she played Idgie in Fried Green Tomatoes: smart, funny, and endearing. She is the author of two books, Step Into the Wind and My Soldier Too, which are available all over the planet: google her and you’ll see. Or, you can go to http://www.bevprescott.com. Her latest enterprise is a book called, Blowback , and it is coming this summer. We became friends this past year and, meow, Bev has a cat named, Lilliput. I love it.

Okay, drum roll…now to what we “blog tag” tour bus people are doing. Imagine we are talking heads on the Writing Channel. Here are some questions Bev posed and here are my answers.

Numero Uno:
What are you working on? (As in writing)

Right now, I am taking a break. My sixth book, Spirit Home, is in the hands of a cogent editor at Bedazzled Ink and it will be published, I think, in June. I have had some eye issues which has forced me to take a break from editing and writing. So, I picked up the guitar and am trying to learn three songs:
“Country Roads” by John Denver (the chords are easy).
“Romeo and Juliet” as sung and played by Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls. (Hard – but what a song, right?).
“Me and Bobby McGee” by Janis Joplin (chords are easy but you don’t want to hear me sing this one…see my dogs for details on this one).

Numero Duo:
How does my writing differ from others of its genre?

Well, this is my first nonfiction spiritual book. How does it differ…hmmm. It doesn’t really. I write as if I am adding my voice to the arsenal of knowledge and pontification that already exists. Nothing separates me from anyone else. It’s just my word choice and the way I say it.

Numero Three-o:
Why do I write what I do?

The same reason a painter paints, a bricklayer lays bricks, a carpenter builds, the seamstress seams (is that a verb?), a singer sings – it’s just a part of you that wants to evolve and you have to answer the call – otherwise, you die a slow and painful death from doing all the other crap you don’t have any interest in doing. Mine is vacuuming.

Numero Four-o:
How does my writing process work?

It works when I do as the great Ray Bradbury once wrote to do:
Relax. Don’t think. Write.

That, my friends, is it.

So, those are the questions and answers on the “tag you’re it” blog tour bus. Next up is my friend, Susan X Meagher. She has written a hundred books, okay, maybe a few less than that. I swear she must type at the speed of sound. It comes through her like she channeling Sappho herself. Maybe…hmmm…maybe Susan has a little of the Sappho in her. She lives in New York with her spouse, Carrie. I bet she knows:)

I love Susan and consider her quite the force in our writing world. She is on deck. Check out how she answers the four writing questions next week. Here’s her site in the meantime: www.susanxmeagher.com

Peace!

Ruth

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Jeremy Gentry: Heaven has a new Superstar…

On Friday, May 2nd, my former student, Jeremy Gentry, passed away. He was only 37. When I heard the news from his brother, Josh, in the parking lot of Martin’s yesterday, I was shocked, stunned, and I found myself repeating to myself and my partner: he was so handsome. He was just so handsome. What?

He was so beautiful. He was a ball of love energy. Jeremy’s thoughts, words, and actions contained the kind of love that rocketed through his heart to everyone around him. A supernova of love. It was as if God picked him out prior to his arrival on this planet and said, “Jeremy, you are going to show up and steal people’s hearts with how and who you are. People will gravitate to you because you are wise and your words carry an essence, a magic that will help people on their journey. You are a superstar and you will change the world with what you represent: love, joy, peace, verve, empathy and style. Jeremy style.”

I can imagine God saying that to Jeremy and Jeremy saying back to God, “Got it…Hurry up already.” And, beautiful young Jeremy did come and I am sure his parents and brother Josh and sister Amy always wanted him around. I can imagine he helped his mother and wanted her to do things and create books. He, I am sure, helped his brother find the right path and his sister, in some way, too.

I met Jeremy Gentry when he was a young teenager attending J.R. Tucker High School in Richmond, Virginia. I remember him clearly in my mind as if it were yesterday. His bright flash of a smile. His energy emanating my classroom with a verve and a flair that made everyone’s day brighter and better. Jeremy walked into my classroom and we bonded immediately. I, the closeted gay teacher…and he the young gay bundle of energy. I introduced him to John Irving and he immediately bonded with the character of Owen Meany. In many ways, Jeremy was like Owen – a small, slender yet muscular build. And a larger-than-life voice.

Jeremy found me a year ago. He found my website and sent me a note and we exchanged fond memories of our past together. His email to me was long and riddled with passion and a kind of poetic transcendental light that characterized his spirit, his soul. Jeremy was a gifted writer. I believe he always wanted to write the novel he was born to write. Yesterday, Josh told me that he was half way through his manuscript. This, of course, makes him an author. I should know. Once you write as many words as Jeremy can write, then it constitutes his novel of life and love and joy.

I loved and still love Jeremy Gentry. He is glued to my heart as many of the nearly one thousand students I taught. Jeremy stands out. He claimed his victory…no doubt on Friday. Now he is standing behind his parents, his brother and sister, and all of the people he touched and is rooting them on…every minute of every day. He wouldn’t have it any other way. He’s a man’s man. And, I will always cherish him for that.

I love you, young man. Now go…and change eternity so that we may join you one day and laugh and laugh and dance the dance.

You were and still are a bright shining star. We see you in rainbows, butterflies, music, and each other.

Love,

Ms. P.

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Trains are Thundering — Spirit Home is coming to YOU!

Trains are Thundering — Spirit Home is coming to YOU!.

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Trains are Thundering — Spirit Home is coming to YOU!

My spirituality group that meets on Monday nights is quite the band of traveling misfits. This, I’m sure, would make them laugh. We laugh a lot. A doctor and his wife, a nurse, an IT gal, a mystical mother, and an older couple who natter and nag at each other: one is a pastel artist, the other is retired and spends some of his days writing to prisoners in New York and telling them jokes. He is a card. I love them like they are my family and I barely know their stories.

We laugh a lot because life is insane. Our days of repetition are insane: checking email, texts, Facebook notes, Insta-blam of this and that. It’s the showering, the brushing, the shaving, the needy co-workers, the vet, the store and what the hell is for dinner? Then it’s the kids — the picking up, the dropping off and did someone feed the dog? Our days can be filled with this and, at times, if you are breathing and have a pulse, you may ask, “Why?” I do. I ask why all the time. I won’t get into the news or politics . . . I’ve gone rogue on myself . . . that is spiritual-rogue and it is booming, thundering like a train through me to you.

I was led to this group via my love for many of our spiritual leaders of the day — notably Marianne Williamson, Wayne Dyer, Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, and others whose words have guided and shaped me and molded me. When I got to the Course in Miracles group, I was introduced to Helen Schucman and her cohort in miracle crime, William Thetford. I am reading her biography now and am amazed that a Jewish-Catholic Atheist could have scribed what she scribed from 1965 to 1972. The work has saved me.

So, two years ago, during a particularly difficult time in my life — I had lost a good friend to cancer and my gifted therapy dog, River, to the same disease. I was also losing my eyesight. I was losing two days a month to migraines. Something had to give.

I began to meditate in earnest and writing them down. It saved my life along with my new love for A Course in Miracles. One of my classmates said, “a miracle is a correction in perception.”

I know now, I will never be blind. I have my mind to thank for that.

Two years later, I am proud and elated to say that my sixth book is almost here. It is called Spirit Home. It is a nonfiction spiritual book told through the lens of anecdote and description. I use a train as a metaphor for spirituality and have written in stories so anyone who wants more information on spirituality and what this life means can find a springboard. A simple train to find a seat on. Spirit Home is it and my new publisher in California is only about an hour from the Foundation for Inner Peace. How cool is that?

Next week, I will be signing books and reading from a few of them along with my new one: Spirit Home.

So, on Thursday, March 6th from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Artworks (320 Hull Street, Richmond, Virginia) I will be reading from Spirit Home . . . feed the dog first.

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A Course in Miracles: Conflict is Asleep – Peace is Awakening…

In A Course in Miracles, it slowly but surely–like a wise prince was once told–paints a vivid and compelling argument that has changed my course in the platitudes of relationships and situations and the events of life. I thought I was on course but I am afraid not. My ship has still not left my harbor. At 47, I am thinking I should have gotten to the first channel marker by now. Nope.

Here’s why I am anchored.

On page 468 of the student workbook — that’s me, back in school — the book lays out seven words I have become quite attracted to. It states very clearly that “conflict is asleep and peace is awakening.” What does this mean? Well, it means that peace is here. How cool is that, right? Peace on earth? Uh-huh. How do we know for sure? Well, my studies and my experiences (experience is key) are that when I do peaceful actions, like look lovingly at the flowers in the garden, or when I forgive a family member for not living up to my expectations of who they should have been, Jesus! or when I find a lost dog (my own) and don’t berate her or use malice, or when I am patient in line at CVS waiting for the elderly lady to get her eight boxes of candy canes and her box of wine and don’t pass judgment because I don’t drink anymore–breathe, Ruth–all of these tidbits create peace. Even just thinking peaceful thoughts means that we are all awake to peace.

The sandman: conflict’s drug of choice. We all fall asleep in our consciousness when road rage appears, or that bristle in our stomachs churns when someone is anti-whatever-you-don’t-think is right. Any irritant is an example of how I (you) are asleep. When we fight against anything small or large, it is a way of showing that we have fallen asleep. Just the other day, I was talking to a friend who went on and on and on about how that person did this to that person and then she did this and then she did that on top! I just couldn’t believe it! Can you? I thought. Peace. Peace. Her racing thoughts and emotional vomiting were a prime example of what we do daily at the office. Sound asleep. Her actions and words were full of conflict and fear and jumpiness. Unconscious on the floor. I forgave her for her sleepiness. It was all I could do because that’s all I am suppose to do. Forgive and Love.

Nelson Mandela’s jailors were asleep. When Mandela invited his jailors to the front row at his Presidential inauguration, I am not sure what they were thinking or feeling. However, the symbolic gesture of forgiveness to invite your jailors is akin to me inviting Anita Bryant over for a glass of orange juice. In my world, at least. Mandela was released and so were his jailors…released from the sleepiness of conflict. Had he done anything untoward to his jailors, Mandela, too, would have been still asleep. Conflict breeds conflict. It lives in our sleepy unconscious minds even though it does not appear that way. Which, of course, is a whole other lesson.

For today, during this time if you can take seven words and apply them to your heart and mind. Conflict is asleep and Peace is AWAKENING. I will put it even better. Just live as if you were awake in peace every step of your day. Awake in Peace. Three simple ones.

We have seven billion people or more on this earth. Some are very sleepy. Some are awake, rowing their boats gently down the stream. Today, I untether my harbored boat and go gently down the stream in the hopes I won’t forget and begin to beat against the current…float, Ruth, float.

On a personal note, I’d like to say that Nelson Mandela was still in jail when I was twenty-two years old and had my first poem ever published in the VCU newspaper’s literary section. It was a poem about him. A spin on the Lord’s Prayer called, “A Man Dela.” I wasn’t sure if they would take it…when I opened the paper in 1988 to see my first poem published, Madiba released me from my shackles of writing fear.

I pressed on.

Merry Christmas. Peace on Earth — for everyone.

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