Rev. Donna Baranyay
While I like summer, July holds some tough days for me as well as joyous ones. I have friends who celebrate their birthday in July and several years ago my family and I celebrated my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary with a 2-week trip to Alaska and Seattle. July also holds some sad days for me. 18 years ago I got married and unfortunately the marriage didn’t last. I was heartbroken. A few years after my divorce I met someone who became incredibly special to me very quickly and we started thinking about a future together when he died suddenly just 10 days before his 43rd birthday. Another change that occurred in the month of July for me was a change in jobs. I started with a wonderful non-profit called Pathways as an intern when I was a Human Services student at Cypress College. I worked with children and teens who were grieving. After my internship ended I was invited to stay with Pathways as a volunteer. I loved my time with Pathways. Over the course of many years I worked with Pathways as a volunteer and then as paid staff serving as their volunteer and client coordinator. Once I became a chaplain I was hired by a hospice, Haven as a chaplain and bereavement counselor. I left Pathways in July of 2008 after having been with them in some capacity for almost 10 years. Pathways remains near and dear to my heart to this day- they gave me my start on this amazing, transformative journey that I continue to travel. All of these events happened in the month of July – different years but all in the month of July. Some of these changes were for happy reasons and others sad. So for me, July is a month of transformation, choice, and freedom. I invite you to look at the changes and experiences in your life and maybe see them in a new light, from a new perspective.
I share all of this because I am reminded that what happens to me is not as important as how I respond to what happened. I am free to decide how I will respond in any given situation. Metaphysics teaches that we are empowered to choose our thoughts and how we respond to events in our lives. I trust and know that the Divine is always in the midst of my life experiences. Being active in spiritual practices strengthens my deep connection with the Divine within. I am free to be me. I am free to practice that which I believe, teach, and love- metaphysical principles as taught by the Science of Mind. What I have experienced in my life has reminded me of the importance of being compassionate, grateful, and loving. I look for the good in the world, have an expectancy of loving experiences, and remember to create moments of laughter and joy.
With love and appreciation,
“Life is not just something to be endured. It is to be lived in joy, in a fullness without limit.”
– Ernest Holmes
Rev. Donna Baranyay
Rev Donna Baranyay has been a licensed practitioner with CSL for 17 years and a practicing Religious Scientist for over 33 years. She is proud to serve our beloved Jewel by the Sea. She is also a minister, hospice chaplain, grief counselor, and coach focusing her work in spirituality, grief, and end of life care. She also maintains a blog on her website Oursacredjourneys.net.