Sunday, November 1, 2015

Seeing Through the Illusion of Self-Identity

What holds you back from identifying primarily as your Divine Self rather than your personality self in this body?  Intellectually, we may believe that we are all One, all connected through the same energy source, and yet may find that we are still attached to our identities as individuals.

You are God expressing as Jane or Bob, not Jane or Bob who is allowing God to express through you.

The language seems subtle but the difference is profound.  We are very accustomed to our identities as physical beings:  I’m a tall man, I’m a long-haired woman, I’m a mother, I’m a husband, I’m an accountant, I’m an athlete.  All of these descriptions carry some level of expectation and belief as to what they say about us.  They can also limit us.  Any of these phrases may describe your current form or role but they are not who you are.  You are God. 

“I am” is a very powerful statement.  In the Bible, God identifies as “I Am” or “I Am that I Am.”  No descriptions or identifiers.  No qualifiers-  simply I Am.  It might be time to take a look at the language you use when you declare “I am."  How you identify yourself and the language you use may be re-enforcing old patterns, old beliefs, old energies and limitations.  Even our identities as members of a spiritual community can be limiting: I am a teacher, I am a healer, I am a visionary.  You may have come to be a teacher or healer and share your gifts, but it is still not the sum of who you are. 

Identifying these roles can be a very useful tool in getting clarity on what you came here to offer as your service, but to the extent that it holds you in the belief that it’s who you are or that it sets you apart from others, then it’s just another limitation.  Take a look at all of the labels you ascribe to yourself and ask if they are still useful to you.


Try seeing yourself through the eyes of your Divine Self; not as a woman or a man, not as an American or a Russian, not as a husband or sister or daughter, but simply as a bright, beautiful aspect of God.  Because from the spiritual perspective we are pure energy.  We are all One.  We are all God.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Spiritual Alchemy

Al-che-my- noun- a power or process of transforming something in a mysterious way
Most of us have heard of the practice of alchemy- most notably as the medieval science of transmuting base metals into gold.  There is another definition of alchemy- a power or process of transforming something in a mysterious way.

When something changes in nature, there is a corresponding action to create that change.  The fallen tree must give way to rot in order for the new growth of mushrooms and ferns to be supported by it.  When pressure builds along a fault line, one edge gives way until a slab of earth juts up and creates a new mountain. Once we understand the laws of nature and what goes on behind-the-scene, the outer changes we observe are really not so mysterious or miraculous after all. 

Likewise, once we understand the spiritual laws, manifesting new things in our lives is not so mysterious, either.  The new relationship that blossomed when you met that new partner “by chance” is actually the result of a lot of inner preparation to be ready for that relationship once the time came.  The sudden success in your career is not that miraculous once you remember all the things you learned in your previous jobs and the confidence you gained to prepare you for that exciting opportunity once it did come.  Whether you were conscious of it or not, you became a new person through your own choices along the way and thus attracted to yourself new experiences that reflected those changes.

But we don’t have to wait for the realization to come in hindsight.  We can consciously create change in our lives by consciously creating change within.  Take a good look at the changes you’re wanting to make in your life, or perhaps those which you’ve started but are struggling to bring to completion.  What needs to give way within you in order to make room for that new change?  What base metals are you still holding onto that are ready to transform into gold?

Perhaps it’s an old habit, an old belief system, an old way of perceiving yourself that needs to change.  Perhaps it’s the goal itself that is no longer the right fit for the direction of your life.  Are you ready to  create change within to support the changes without? Are you ready to practice spiritual alchemy and be your own powerful force for change?

Monday, August 31, 2015

Surprise Gardens

Have you ever experienced a situation where the plans you carefully laid out just didn’t go as planned and the times when you just decided to wing it went far better than you imagined?  I call that the difference between being in the mental body and being in Divine Flow and Joy.

Back in early Spring, I planted some sunflower seeds outside my south facing window.  I thought they would be a nice sunbreak as well as a bright spot of color.  I waited and waited, but nothing came up.  After a while, I assumed the squirrels who reside in the nearby trees probably had a little feast and that was the end of it.  A few weeks ago, I noticed some green stalks triumphantly pushing their way up right in the location where I had planted the sunflowers.  “Eureka!” I thought.  Maybe they were just slow starters.

However, as I watched them grow and mature, I realized that these were the funniest looking sunflowers I had ever seen.  Instead of being wide, flat and round at the top, they were oblong.  Hhhmmmm.  I kept watering and they kept growing until I finally recognized their shape. I have corn stalks!  I looked up and realized what had happened. Above that same window, I also keep a bird feeder hanging and some of the corn seeds in the bird mix had managed to land on the ground and take root.  Just by following the joy of watching the birds outside my window, I had unwittingly created a whole new garden!

I started thinking about my other gardening adventures and I realized that some of my healthiest, most productive plants are ones that I took home spur-of-the-moment “just to see how they would do.”  Meanwhile, some of the areas that were more carefully plotted out according to which plants should do better in what amount of sun, haven’t done nearly as well.   Hhhmmmm.  Could it be that the line about following your joy in the moment actually has some truth to it?  When the heart is truly open, the Divine speaks to us most clearly and those seemingly inconsequential inspirations are often the Soul leading us to some new creation we never imagined.

As I expand the metaphor to my other “gardens”, other creations in my life, I see the lesson for me in truly trusting those thoughtless little moments of joy.  With less thought and more heart, I look forward to many more surprise gardens in my life.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Happiness Just Is

When I was young, one of my favorite books was Happiness Is A Warm Puppy, which featured all of the Charlie Brown characters sharing their simple pleasures in life.  Whenever I think of that book, it takes me back to a time when happiness just was.  There was no searching for it or trying to figure out all of its components; it was just there.  So, how did we lose that as we got older?

I recently saw two films which, though very different, had a similar key theme.  The first was a wonderful movie by Pixar called “Inside Out,” which featured the inner thoughts and emotions of a young girl.  The Joy character was always trying to make things better and happier by pushing away the experience of other emotions like sadness.  She eventually came to realize the value that comes from not pushing away other emotions like sadness, but honoring them.  Acknowledging sadness allowed for a rich opportunity of compassionate connection with others which ultimately brought about…. Happiness.

In “Hector and the Search for Happiness,” a stuck-in-his-ways psychiatrist goes on a global adventure to search for the keys to happiness to help his patients.  He keeps a notebook of all the things that might bring people happiness.  In his final revelation, he understands that true happiness is a combination of all his emotions and experiences, not just one.  In other words, once he accepts the whole of his being unconditionally, without trying to engineer a specific situation or experience that he deems to be his source of happiness, he actually feels happy.  As one of the psychiatrists in the movie puts it, we don’t find happiness when we’re actively searching for it but when we go about our lives in a way that’s connected, present and engaged.  In that state, we realize our happiness.


So, maybe one of the keys to “finding” happiness is to understand that we never lost it.  We may have gotten distracted, sidetracked, or maybe thrown a little off-course, but it was always there.  We began to believe that we had to “do” something to get what once came completely naturally to us.  In those moments of childhood wonder, there was no laundry list of things to do and no worrying about finding the meaning of life.  If you felt sad, you cried and then were done and went back outside to play.  Kids can get really enthusiastic about their tears and then get really enthusiastic about something else just as quickly.  There is no judgment, just allowing the feeling to flow through.  And that state of total acceptance of what is in the moment, is happiness.  So, there really is no magic bullet or trick to any of it.  There is no “one thing” that will bring us happiness.  If we relax and accept all of it, we find that happiness just is.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Celebrating the Freedom of Oneness

As we celebrate our nation’s independence this month, I have been reflecting on the spiritual meaning of the word “freedom.”   The concept of freedom is often filled with images focused on what we get out of it- personal freedom, financial freedom, religious freedom and freedom in our relationships.  Freedom has taken on the connotation of not being answerable to anyone or anything.  I am free to do what I want.  So, how does freedom fit into Oneness?  Where is the “we” in “free”?

The founding fathers of this nation created a unique document guaranteeing each citizen a number of freedoms.  But we are also free to discern which freedoms to exercise and in what way.  I may be free by law to draw any satirical cartoons I desire, including ones picturing certain religious prophets, but does that mean it is in the highest good of all that I exercise that particular freedom?   Does drawing such cartoons come from the genuine belief that it is the best way to support other oppressed groups in being free, or is it done just to prove the right to do it?  How we choose to express our freedom is as significant and precious as the freedom itself.

In order to be a citizen of this nation, we agree to give up certain personal preferences in the name of what benefits the community.   It might be personally expedient to drive as fast as I want when I’m late to work, but I don’t because it is against the law and is not safe for those on the road. It might benefit an industrial company to be able to use certain cheaper chemicals, but that company doesn’t do so because they are banned and would do far greater environmental harm.  We surrender certain personal freedoms, but we do so in the name of the greater good and because it allows us to enjoy far greater freedoms that come from being part of a larger community.

True spiritual Freedom requires true Surrender.  In order to be free to be in Oneness, we must first be free of our old selves, our separate selves.  We must allow ourselves to be free of “me” in order to enjoy the greater spiritual freedom of the “we.”


The Spiritual Hierarchy might take Kennedy’s famous quote, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” and kick it up a notch with “Ask not what the God/Goddess can do for you, but what you can do for the God/Goddess.”  In other words, rather than looking at all the benefits of freedom to ourselves, let’s start focusing on gifts we’re able to give because of the freedom we enjoy.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Finding the Beauty Within

Ever notice how a smile instantly lights up someone’s face?   Details of physical appearance fade away and you just see the light within shining through.  Definitions of physical attractiveness may vary between cultures, but smiles are universally beautiful.  That’s because the love and joy from that person is reflecting out.

Recently, I was gifted with a very nice spa package.  I’d never experienced a spa day, but I looked forward to the experience.  When I arrived, the facility was beautiful, the staff was helpful, and I could tell that attention had been put into every detail of physical comfort.  Later, sitting on a sun-covered porch, I listened to the soft sounds of a waterfall, watched the hummingbirds play around me, and took in the expansive view of a mountainside.  I realized that everything I saw matched how I felt.  Everything seemed so peaceful.

Yet, if I wasn’t relaxed and at ease on that sun porch, the tinkling sounds of the waterfall could easily have been annoying, the activity of the hummingbirds distracting, and the view of the mountain would likely have seemed not nearly so spectacular.  But feeling beauty inside, I looked out and saw…more  beauty.
 
I used to frequent a massage place that was located in an older building.  It didn’t have the latest d├ęcor or all of the frills, and could easily have been termed “quirky” in its general appearance.  But everyone there truly loved their work, and they were dedicated to supporting inner healing as well as physical healing.  I loved going there because it felt so good.  I saw beauty because that’s what was reflecting from the inside.  So, what if we spent as much time polishing our inner selves as we spend polishing the outer?  What if we focused on the beautiful mountain view within each of us?

Maybe it’s time to schedule yourself an inner “spa day.”  Take some time to reflect on where you are in your life and what is beautiful about it.  Make a list of what is beautiful about you (and let it be a long list!)  Then allow yourself to really feel the truth of that beauty and you’ll find that it’s reflected everywhere you look. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Divine Success

Most of us have a lot of ideas about what makes us successful.  Some are more concrete markers, and others are more intangible.  Whether we’re conscious of all of them or not, those thoughts guide our direction and choices in life so that we can meet those goalposts.

I’ve recently experienced some successes in several areas of my life, meeting several milestones which I’ve been working toward for quite some time.  At first I allowed myself a pause for some celebration.  It’s perfectly divine to acknowledge our accomplishments!  And then I got back into the flow of my life, encouraging the momentum of my accomplishments as they continued to unfold.  I was really enjoying myself and the ease with which everything flowed.

However, after a while I began to feel a sense of anxiety and pressure.  The joy in my successes was fading.  The momentum seemed to be ebbing.  I felt a little directionless and unsure of my next steps.  I realized that I’d been operating by the old goalposts for so long, I hadn’t really taken time to set up any new ones.  My mind began to race about future possibilities, new projects I felt that I should be working on.  But that didn’t relieve the anxiety or bring back the joy.  Instead of inviting creativity, it just created pressure.

As always, the key was to go within for guidance.  The answer is always there when we open up to our inner wisdom.  And my answer to the question of what my new goalpost should be: there is no new goalpost.  My new goal is to let go of my need to have a new goal and allow myself to enjoy the flow!

There will come a time when it is appropriate for me to have a little more structure about my direction again and follow some concrete action steps.  But if I try to force that too soon, it will come from a place of frustration and it won't take me forward.  In truth, the real success all along was the joy and flow I was feeling.  The goalposts were just a means to get me there.  And from that continued place of joy and flow, my new vision will naturally take shape and carry me forward to new successes.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Driving Slow in the Fast Lane

Got projects?  These days, it seems like most of us are juggling several balls in the air in various areas of our lives almost constantly.  The reality is that with nearly instant communication available 24/7, the pace of modern life is just fast.  So how do we, as Lightworkers, balance the need to still operate in this world without getting caught up in it?

I recently took a trip to downtown Denver on the I-25 corridor and that gives new meaning to the word fast.  The road twists and turns through the center of the city with at least four lanes of traffic all jammed next to each other and just about everyone seems to be traveling at least 10mph over the speed limit.  I don’t make the trip often, but it’s a great opportunity for me to practice being slow while traveling really fast.

As I drove, I noted my tension rising (and my grip on the steering wheel tightening!)  I kept wanting to drift over into the right lane where the entrance and exit ramps were slowing down traffic.  But a little voice suggested that I didn’t need to go slow, just to feel slow.  So, I did some deep breathing and re-focused, so that I cleared my mind of anxious chatter.  The inner peace and calm became my experience, and the speed of life around me became mere blips on my radar screen.   I no longer felt fast (even traveling at 70 mph) and the pace of life felt calm and relaxed because what I was feeling came from within.

My little car trip reminded me that I can apply this same principle anywhere else in my life. I realized that I had allowed all of the projects that I am currently working on to create feelings of stress and a desire to constantly put on the brakes by delaying and even canceling some of my projects.  But the projects weren’t the problem.  By getting caught up in my anxiety over deadlines, I had allowed my inner speed to match the outer speed of life, which felt too fast.  I was trying to slow down the outer by putting on the brakes instead of focusing on the inner. 


Once I began approaching my projects from a place of inner slowness, I found I could still work through them very quickly and make rapid progress.  I was able to get back in the fast lane, while still experiencing life from the slow lane.  I still feel as if I have all the time in the world, while outside life is speeding up all around me.  Now I’m back to asking my Soul with confidence, “Got projects?”

Monday, March 2, 2015

Divine Consensus

Many Lightworkers hold a vision for achieving Oneness, but have you ever asked what that really looks and feels like?  Recently, I’ve been involved in group projects in several areas of my life, each requiring all participants to come into consensus before we move forward to the next step.  Working on these group projects has really just been practice for coming into Oneness!    I’ve enjoyed the camaraderie and community spirit of collaboration, but I have also struggled with differences of opinion on how to work together to accomplish a project.  How do you move forward when you don’t agree?

During this process, I’ve realized that one of my greatest fears about coming together in Oneness is that we’ll all end up being the same; that in order to work in unity, we’ll have to meld together into a bland, cohesive blob without creativity or originality.  And yet, the ocean of Oneness is not a lifeless blob at all.  Each drop in the ocean is indistinguishable from the others when merged as one body, and yet they are expressing very differently.  Drops at the bottom of the ocean express themselves as slow motion in the cold and dark, while drops near the top are often dancing around in a frenzy of activity.  They all carry the same properties of the ocean, while manifesting those properties in unique ways.

So, the question of how to be “we” and also be “me” is best answered by looking within to the “why.”  If you ask a group of people the best way to get to the top of a mountain, one person might say Route A since it’s the most scenic, while another might suggest Route B as the most direct, and a third might prefer Route C because it’s the safest.  When we are working toward the same goal, such as reaching the top of the mountain, we can see that how we get there is really a matter of stylistic difference.  Attachments to how we do it fall away when we focus on why we do it.  Because in the end, the “why” is what really matters.

True consensus is about following a common inner vision.  That common goal still allows for creativity in how to express the vision on the outer.  Android is currently showing a fun television ad campaign that illustrates this concept.  One ad shows unusual pairings of animals who have become close buddies- such as a dog and an orangutan hanging out together.  Another ad shows people of very different backgrounds giving each other versions of a “high-5.”  They are all celebrating their originality while honoring their commonality.  When we work together in Divine Consensus, we can work in harmony and cooperation while still being unique.  As the tag line for the ad campaign says, “be together.  not the same.”

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Return of the Prodigal Child

Do you remember reading the parable of the prodigal son, perhaps as a kid, and wondering what it all meant?  The story (Luke 15:11-32) is rich with messages of Love for us, and yet I often struggled with its deeper meanings until I began to see that it truly holds the keys to going Home, uniting in Oneness with the God/Goddess/All That Is.

At various points in my life, I have been guided to work with this story from the different perspectives of the 3 main characters.  Initially, I identified with the “good son” who stayed home and conscientiously worked the fields.  It did not seem fair that a wayward brother should spend years squandering resources and then come home to receive the same wealth.  But from the Divine perspective there is value in everyone’s experience.  As we come back together in Unity and Oneness, each of us has key pieces of Wisdom to share from our unique experiences in this experiment of separation.  God/Goddess places no greater value in one path over another.  There is no right or wrong way to do Love.  It is simply our choice of what to experience.

 At other times, I worked on pieces of unworthiness, seeing myself as the lost son, the wayward supplicant who erred so greatly during this Experiment that I was undeserving of being truly welcomed home with open arms and must “earn” my way back into the Garden of Eden through toil and struggle.   I began to see myself through God’s eyes- to see the inherent value within myself without judgment, independent of what I had created, and to be willing to accept the Unconditional Love of the father (God/Goddess/All That is).  The Garden of Eden, the experience of Heaven on Earth, is truly our birthright and is never lost to us.

More recently, I have been working with this parable from the perspective of the father, who sees no difference in his two sons, no preference of one over the other as better.  For the father in this story, there is no demarcation between what is his and what is theirs.  They are family, they are One, and what is his just as equally belongs to his sons.  There is no judgment or expectation of any kind, but simply the understanding that the abundance and riches of life are available to us all who allow ourselves to partake.  He never forced one son to stay and work hard to prove his worth, nor did he deny his love to the other son who left to follow a different path.  In the father’s eyes (God's eyes), there was never any separation.

                The door back to the Garden of Eden and Oneness with the God/Goddess has only one lock- and that is on our side of the door.  We are the ones who place ourselves into the struggle or deny ourselves a warm welcome upon our return.   The moment we have the realization that we are One, the resources of the universe are ours.  Past deeds, “good” or “bad”, fall away and the only relevance is in this one moment of Love.