The Abundant Life: What this Means and How We Can Embrace It
by Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer
When I envision the holiday that November is identified with, I picture a table, both long and spacious with enough room for anyone who chooses to settle in. I imagine the people already seated moving the chairs around to create more space for those on the outside to join in their festivities. Instead of them rushing to claim a fixed number of spots, I foresee inclusion and expansion—a table that stretches to accommodate the whole human race.
In my purview, this is what Thanksgiving embodies—a reminder that our lives are enriched, sacred and blessed, an invitation to manifest abundance rather than allowing the fear of scarcity to intrude. The more gratitude and generosity that emanates from within, the more conscious we become of the abundance that is ours for the taking, sharing and experiencing.
As this season of thankfulness approaches, I find myself craving a deeper immersion into abundance which has inspired me to seek the wisdom and acumen of Rev. Dr. Sharon-Elizabeth James, pastor at the Cosmic Center of Spiritual Light here in Sarasota. Below are highlights from our conversation which I hope will refresh your spirit—and broaden your table.
Natural Awakenings: One of the central themes in this month’s issue focuses on how to manifest abundant living. Could you describe how integrating a spirituality practice in one’s life can bring about this abundance?
Rev. Sharon-Elizabeth: Abundant living, which exceeds finances or material possessions, is rooted in spirituality. This means abiding from the standpoint that our universe is eternally abundant. When you are spiritually anchored and balanced, your intuitive abilities are enhanced. You become more sensitive to subtle energies which surround and connect all of humanity to a Higher Guidance that seeks to foster abundance, happiness and peace in all areas of life.
This prompting motivates you take action on a thought that enters your mind, or instills within you a higher discernment of situations you might find yourself in, which influences the positive choices and decisions you make.
NA: How does the Cosmic Center encourage and nurture spiritual unification within the Sarasota community across all different faiths, practices or disciplines?
Rev. Sharon-Elizabeth: The Cosmic Center advocates just one dogma—unconditional love. No matter the religious or spiritual tradition you follow, our ultimate purpose here is to foster love. The foundation of each religious and spiritual practice is based on our Creator’s love for this world and its inhabitants. This message of love is the common bond which unites all traditions.
It does not matter which path leads you there because unconditional love is the universal aspect of a Creator that connects all humankind as one loving creation. The Cosmic Center is based on this all-embracing truth that we all hold a spark of the Divine.
NA: Can you enumerate on how spiritual living has awakened more abundance, fulfillment and inspiration in your own life specifically?
Rev. Sharon-Elizabeth: In my own spiritual unfoldment, I became aware there was more to this world than what my physical senses could perceive. The more I tapped into this Higher Awareness through my spiritual journey, the more Higher Guidance I received through dreams, insights, synchronicities and hightened intuition. This consciousness reached a point where I began to realize what the Avatars of Light have proclaimed: “You are in the world, but not of it.”
I became aware that my feelings about a given situation were more accurate in the moment than just my mental process alone. Moreover, this mental process would eventually align with the truth my heart had already communicated to me. So I honed the skill of being connected to this Higher Guidance and made choices that facilitated more abundance in each aspect of life.
I also noticed that when I was not attuned to this Higher Guidance, due to the distractions of this modern world and even my own ego, I learned from those lessons too—oftentimes in painful and difficult ways. But on this spiritual journey, I have nurtured wisdom and mastery and the knowledge that being of service to others is the highest expression of love.
NA: What advice would you offer someone who is drawn to a spiritual practice, but might feel intimidated based on a wounding experience or preconception about certain belief systems?
Rev Sharon-Elizabeth: Always coming from a place of integrity, it is crucial to represent your most authentic self and to follow your own unique path. You will be drawn to experiences and encounters that you innately resonate with, and you should explore these as a threshold beckoning you into a personal spiritual journey.
This will teach you to follow “spiritual breadcrumbs” that empower you to become your truest self—a wondrous creation of the Divine. Ultimately, that is the path to discovering and actualizing your Dharma, the purpose you came here to live out. Through this process, you can learn to manifest a peaceful, joyful and abundant perspective on this life you are given.
The Cosmic Center of Spiritual Light embraces the new paradigms of our awakening consciousness to serve Sarasota and Manatee counties and the world through healing, education and enlightenment. The shared vision here is to collectively create a place of gathering where all are welcomed to participate, exchange and create harmony with one another. The Center offers Sunday services, weekly classes, meditations and special events that are educational, uplifting and transformational for spiritual seekers. The Center is located at 5041 Ringwood Meadow, Bldg. G-25, Sarasota. For more information, call 941-371-9333 or visit CCOSL.com.