ReUnited at Unity Village
I don’t remember what happened, but somewhere between Fairfield, Iowa, and Kansas City, Missouri, we had a meltdown. I said something. Michael reacted. I got upset. By the time we arrived on the campus of Unity Village, we weren’t speaking to each other. Not to worry though, divine powers were already conspiring to bring us back to love, however…it did take a village.
What you need to know about Unity: Unity Church describes itself as “a positive, practical, progressive approach to Christianity based on the teachings of Jesus. Unity honors the universal truths in all religions and respects each individual’s right to choose a spiritual path.” But, bottom line, Unity is all about the power of love and the power of prayer.
If you like prayer, you want to come to Unity Village. There are prayer chapels galore and around the clock prayer vigils. Someone is praying on this campus 24/7 and you can feel it.
There are Daily Word readings. As a child, almost everyday, my mother read to us from a little book of prayers and affirmations called The Daily Word. It wasn’t until I was much older that I learned these bi-monthly Unity publications have been going out for over a hundred years..and they’re still growing strong. Nowadays you can get a Daily Word app on your smart phone.
But…do you know about Silent Unity? Did you know that you or anyone can call or send prayer requests to this great prayer center and someone (a real person ~sometimes the entire village) will pray just for you. Every day, 24 hours a day, for over 120 years, a huge staff of prayer associates pray for hundreds of thousands of people ~ from all over world. Think about the power of all this prayer.
Silent Unity is here at Unity Village. You can visit it. When I first walked in, I cried. You could feel love all around. It seemed as if we were being divinely guided back to love. Even the Sunday Service was about loving relationships. Ever felt like someone was talking directly to you? Surely it was a sign.
Sometimes You Get Just What You Need
In addition to being the campus for ministerial training, Unity Village also hosts workshops and seminars for everyone. We began our visit with a 4-day yoga/meditation program. Sarah McLean is a master meditation teacher and her Soul Radiance retreat is well worth the time and effort. She calls her training program Simple, Easy, Everyday Meditation. And it is. It was amazing to watch 50 beginners become deep practitioners in just 4 days. See the video for a short introduction to Sarah’s program. Patricia Gray’s yoga classes set the perfect foundation for our newfound meditation practices.
While we thought we were getting a course on yoga and meditation, what we really got was an unexpected course and demonstration on how to be more loving and forgiving in relationships. Sarah brought her husband, Marty Birittiella, along to teach us a process he developed called the FREE technique ~ a technique for dropping judgements so we can truly love each other more. Another lesson just for us?
. The Inner Journey
from loving relationships with others
and meaningful service
that connects us with the divine.
~ UNITY magazine
These lessons are not just for romantic love. This is about finding love in our hearts for everything ~ for ourselves, each other, and our world. We have found love everywhere on this trip and we have fallen in love with so many people.
Michael and I spent the last five days here working the Nehemiah Retreat. If you ever have a desire to do some giving/service work, check it out. I highly recommend everything about this experience .
How many women does it take to paint one fire hydrant?
Paulette and Sharol were my work partners on the paint crew. We kinda stunk at painting but we got it done. We looked like a government crew. I have never laughed so much or had more fun.
It was exactly what Unity Village needed and what we needed. After riding in the car so much, it was wonderful to do some physical labor. It’s hard to say who was helped more? But the icing on the cake ~the most obvious sign of all ~ was when, out of this large group of people, Michael and I randomly pulled each other’s names to be prayer partners for the week. What are the odds of that?
My Thoughts on the Last 9 Days
Road Rule #1: Never get into a disagreement with your partner as you get in the car for a 5-hour ride to anywhere. Five hours can be a very, very long time!
Unity Village: What a beautiful place filled with loving, caring people. I continue to be overwhelmed with all the radiant souls that we keep meeting on our travels. It really fills me with hope. I also think the lack of TV, especially “the news”, has let me relax and be open to what is really happening in most of the world.
The Meditation/Yoga Retreat: This retreat helped me enrich and improve both of these practices. Our group of 46 women and 4 guys was amazing. So many beautiful stories, and I know I keep saying it, but so many caring people. I hope more guys will start to participate in these kinds of retreats. We have something to add and so much to learn.
A Revelation: The big surprise for me was when Marty, Sarah’s husband, did the exercise called The Free Technique. It hit me right between the eyes. I realized a basic story that I had been carrying all my life and that has gotten in my way. Most recently, the disagreement as we started “the five hour drive”. Doing this process allowed me to get past my story and see things as they are. Everything then became easier and more peaceful.
The Nehemiah Retreat: This has been the best experience on the trip so far…and that is saying a lot. It was hard work but we approached it as a team, encouraged each other and laughed often. We had the satisfaction to see that we had given something back to this holy place called Unity Village. I feel that I have made wonderful new friends that I hope to see again.
My beautiful wife, Kathy: I love Kathy today more than ever. Going through the “five hour drive”, then the retreats, and finally talking it all through with respect and mindful listening, I think we have both deepened our love for each other. Unity Village and all the people there gave us the perfect place to reconnect. I am so grateful.
Today, after a long road trip, we arrive in Boulder, Colorado, to begin The Nature Trail part of our journey. So far, we’ve been visiting spiritual and meditation retreat centers, now our plan is to take a tour of the natural beauty in this country ~ from the majestic Rockies, to the Grand Canyon, and up to Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Tetons, and Glacier National Park. It is in these places that we will seek the silence and the power of the divine. We’ll send some pictures.
Join Us on The Journey
We hope that throughout the year you will keep clicking through to see where we are. We are requesting input and feedback from all of you. Tell us where you’d like to go. Make suggestions for us. Ask us to check some places out for you! We are also hoping some of the places we visit and the experiences we share will ignite your life and maybe even set you off on your own spiritual journey. We’d love to hear from all of you. And if you know anyone who may be interested, please share our blog.
14 Responses to “ReUnited at Unity Village”
To all the Mothers and people who have Mothers….Happy Mother’s Day!
It was such a pleasure to meet you! And honestly, your story about the car ride came at a perfect time to remember, we all have struggles. Your an amazing lady. James had told me about you and I was so glad to meet you!
I know about those five hour drives. That’s how far it is from here to Seabrook. Whew!
When y’all get to Glacier, please hike to Iceberg Lake. There are no bad hikes there, but this one is extra special and in a most magnificent
Take care my friends,
How do I miss thee? Let me count the ways.
P.S. Happy Mother’s day!!
Kathy and Michael,
I have really enjoyed reading about your travels. I do not know if I would have had the patience with the meditation and yoga retreats but now that you are entering the “Nature and Beauty” of the earth << thats me!! Would love to see and experiance the sights you are about to see!! (Loved the Niagra Falls video)
Yes please send photos and more stories of your upcoming adventures.
Have a wonderful week …. Robin Hill
Hey Kathy & Mike!
Thanks for taking the time to share these rich experiences. It’s the kind of journey Leyla and I will take some day. Guess it’s not really a learning adventure until there’s a breakdown. You’re both valiant explorers.
As a 35 year practitioner, it’s interesting the role Yoga is playing in your process of discovery. Happy trails.
I have loved reading all of your stories! Thank you for taking the time to share your journey. Especially this one-it makes me light hearted to know that all couples have these silly disagreements and always at the most inopportune time. Look forward to hearing more from both of you.
Hhhmmm, waking up to your journal on Mothers Day was very enlightening as always…It is like the doors are opening up to “The Plan” in my own life. I know meeting you in the store that day was for a reason. Thank you for this new awakening. Through you we all will step back and take each step from here on with new meaning….Stay safe and i look forward to more of this journey.;)
Thank you so much for sharing your adventure with everyone. I am so glad we met at Unity and will always pray for the pineapple picker.
Blessings, love, and always laughter
Thank all of you for your comments and your love. Jack, we will definitely hike Iceberg Lake. I love all the new people we’ve met and who’ve joined us. Paulette and Anne, my new girlfriends. We love you Pat and Leyla. We’ll have to do a yoga retreat together one day. We’re off to hike in Boulder today and go to Aspen tomorrow, and yes, Robin, we will take pictures….
Kathy & Michael – it was a pleasure to meet and get to know you during the Nehemiah Retreat. Michael, BTW worked very hard, lifting logs, filling up the dump truck with branches, and making many trips with the wheelbarrow of mulch. Thanks so much for your good energy. I love your blog. Inside I wish that i could do a trip like this…Good for you that you are following a dream. See you again….
Meeting the two of you was wonderful. I miss Unity Village. It was so nice seeing the smiles, getting the hugs, and listening to one -another. Kathy I loved your wonderful book. IT provided me with a new perspective and wonderful new insights. I wish you and your husband a wonderful future.
thank-you. Mike- It was fun working together. Your energy was great and we all made a fantastic team. Have a wonderful trip and continued safety.
Kathy and Michael it was a blessing to share time with you at Unity.
Kathy, I have been reading (and journaling) your book “Your Possible Life”. I love your writing style. It is as if you are there speaking to me. You are a treasure.
Wishing you and Michael much joy in your travel adventures.