Healing Journey: Develop ~ The Long View

March’s post for the fine folks at Nourishing Storm.  I usually post these way after the fact but in honor of the anniversary of the Hinkie Manifesto, the inspiration behind this post, here it is early 🙂

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Development isn’t something that just happens.  It is a process. It’s not a one and done deal. It requires vision, trust and time.

These days we want everything now. Technology has offered us so much so fast.  And our culture pressures us to move as fast as technology can take us. We may be tempted to trade the opportunity of manifesting our entire vision for one piece we can touch right now.  If we truly believe in our vision, we are willing caretakers of its evolution for however long it takes.

Time is key to the quality of all we seek to develop; whether it be a photograph, a story, an NBA basketball team, a life.  This post took time to develop as I let the theme marinate and its meaning to me evolve. Had I wrote what first came to mind, I would have written a few pages about old school film development.  But sitting with it, the pages boiled down to one metaphor. We had to wait for the full richness and complexity of the light captured on this photographic paper to reveal itself, all the while not knowing if we got the shot we desired.  Trust and time.

We never can be fully certain of the outcome of any of our efforts.  But we can be sure of the integrity of our efforts. If we can shift our focus from the outcome to the process, we begin to see more ways there come to light.  Ways that would have never been seen had we not held the view long enough to see them.

“We’ve been on a path to build something special. We’re planting seeds to have an orchard. Some would have us go out and buy apples. But we want to build the whole orchard.” ~ Sam Hinkie

I am somewhere in the middle of my life story and I’m still painting my masterpiece.  I’m still building my orchard.   By the world’s clock, I’m behind schedule. But what vital wisdom, insight and experiences might I have missed had I tried to force myself to become me on the world’s time instead of my own?

Trusting the process and taking the long way home gave way to the collateral cultivation of a sustainable source of patience, grit, and tenderness in my soul.  All things that have enriched my life in ways I never really stopped to consider until now. I still don’t know for sure how things will unfold for me or for anyone else.  But I do know the end will be revealed in its own time. And that we are worth the wait.

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Healing Journey: Freedom – None But Ourselves

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Freedom cannot be given to you and neither can be it be taken away. It isn’t a right or a privilege. It cannot be granted. Not true freedom.

True freedom has nothing to do with politics, religion or money though there are some who may hope we believe it does. Holding on to true freedom in this world requires a constant bravery. Exercising true freedom requires a commitment to truth and integrity. And understanding true freedom requires a deep reverence for all life and a deep respect for ourselves. Freedom cannot be bought or sold, it cannot be taught or learned. But like all precious Truths, freedom must be realized.

In the discovery that we are each our own, we find our freedom. When we realize we are not like anyone else and our freedom will not look like anyone else’s, when we understand that we are under no obligation to be anything but ourselves, that is freedom. An empowering freedom because it is completely our own. No one can take it. No one can wake us up to it or bring us to our fullest potential either.   And there are some who may feel more powerful if we stay asleep.

When we realize our freedom lies within and we open up to it, we open to the true power of being ourselves. The power in being willing to follow our hearts and souls through this life. When we are not preoccupied with others’ perceptions or judgments we can be fully occupied with our own inspiration and imagination. And suddenly, our whole world may change. For true freedom lives where the liberated mind and courageous heart unite.

If, right now, you feel alone and unfree, if you have not discovered your freedom, I beg you to look again. In some place deep within your boundless soul, you know you are your own. Maybe it was hidden away, maybe you let it slip or maybe you were told it does not exist for you. But it is there. This untouchable place where you know you are whole and you are enough. Where you understand that you are the stars. It is there. Look. Within you.  When you find it, you will know that all that has happened to you, all that has been taken from you, all that you have survived, my dear, is all just part of your story. And if or when you have fear for what comes next, remember it is you who holds the pen. It is you, with your own heart and your own mind, who gets to decide.  When you remember this superpower of yours, you will understand your freedom.   

Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu: May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.

 

 

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Women and Apples and Serpents. Oh My!

Another of September’s posts for the good folk over at PsychicsForetell.

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I had a Christian upbringing.   As I grew older I started to realize there wasn’t much going on with the women in Christianity.   In fact, it felt a bit disempowering to read the stories.  Yet still I found Truth in the religion when I saw this faith practiced with great Love.  But I couldn’t reconcile it against what seemed so very out of balance when it came to the feminine side.

The women of the Bible seemed to either playing a supportive role to some guy or they were straight evil.  To listen to the story of our very creation, I have to believe that I have been cursed by my creator along with all other females because of Eve. I don’t buy that bit though.  I don’t think I’m made to be subservient to man either.  I believe something was lost in translation and it suited some people in power to keep it lost.

So I am going to offer an alternative interpretation of the Garden of Eden that makes more sense to me using the symbolism already present.  These were after all just stories that had to be colorful enough for people (who mostly could not read) to remember and pass along. So the stories of the time were rich with symbols and visual metaphors.  And here is how I read these symbols.

So the Heavens and the Earth came to be created by God, or the source of all the life, of all the energy, in the world.  From this Earth, the dust, life evolved into many things all the way up to a HUman, made in God’s image or conscious like God.  Life wanted to keep evolving and the human presented the Creator a way to experience his creation.  I think the first “man” was neither male nor female.  At this point, man is conscious and aware but not self-aware. Then the feminine, earthy aspect (the bone/rib)  was taken to separate humans into a feminine and masculine to further the experience and allow the creation to become the creator.

Along comes the serpent, which in most symbology represents the continuation of life.  He tells Eve to eat the apple from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, which will give all the knowledge that God possesses, or allow the creation to create.  She accepts and offers some to Adam and they become conscious and aware of themselves and all that is around them.

Here is where the Creator and Creation come together, in my opinion.  The snake (life) is offered to the feminine creation.  The female is the portal to this world, to this experience.  She is given the power to create a body in her womb for the next soul to enter into this world.  So of course it is she who then offers the fruit to Adam, offers him the experience of life in all its qualities, good, bad or indifferent.    Each soul is given a choice on whether or not to take the apple and come to experience this world as both creator and creation.  And each soul must be born through a woman.

Our souls are eternal, our souls are of God.  And the earthly experience offers us all the good and evil we can take.  We get a temporary life on this Earth, a temporary experience where we strive to find our own balance within the ever-flowing energies of this world.  When we get it right, we advance to a higher level.

As part of this adventure we have each accepted, we all must experience death.  Which is why, in my opinion, God told Adam if you eat of this fruit you will die.   If you choose to have an earthly experience, you will die.  That makes better sense to me than God just lying and trying to scare Adam into listening, though as a parent, I’ve been there…

And as for us being born with sin, I think that is just totally mistranslated.   The original word means to go in the wrong direction.  I believe we all chose to be here and that is our “sin” that separates us from God.  We chose to experience this world physically – moving us away from a subtle existence into a bodily one, moving from ether to earth, from the collective spirit we are all a part of to an individual experience.  Once in this physical existence, we will experience joy and pain and love and hate and everything in between.  These experiences, that offer all the knowledge of things good and bad, may pull us further from our source or closer.  It is up to each one of us alone to find our way back to our source by finding our way to live in harmony with Truth and Love.

That is my take.  Or I’m totally wrong and we should take the Bible literally.  Which means I have cramps every month as a reminder of Eve’s blatant disregard for God’s rules.  And since Adam (who totally sold his wife out once he was caught, by the way) ate the fruit, we have thorns and thistle on the Earth making it necessary to work the land to get food.  (side note: Ladies, if you are working the land, you are taking up Adam’s punishment so in the name of all that is righteous, stop.  Food is Adam’s territory! Until he takes our cramps, he can take care of the food!)  Oh and apparently snakes once had arms and legs until the apple incident put an end to that.  Does that makes more sense.

Nah, I can’t buy that.  So how can I know what the good book is trying to say?  Maybe I can’t ever be sure.  But I do know my God is a living God so I’ll get my answers directly from the Source.  My heart will discern the truth.  And your heart will discern yours.  Of that, I’m sure.

What are your thoughts about our creation?  How do you understand the stories of our beginning?

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Life on Purpose

The first of September’s posts I wrote for PsychicsForetell

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There​ ​is​ ​nothing​ ​more​ ​beautiful​ ​you​ ​can​ ​be​ ​than​ ​your​ ​authentic​ ​self.​  ​It​ ​was​ ​what​ ​you​ ​were​ ​made to​ ​be.​  ​It​ ​is​ ​that​ ​simple.​  ​And​ ​that​ ​complicated.

We​ ​all​ ​seek​ ​meaning​ ​and​ ​purpose​ in​ ​ ​our​ ​lives. ​ ​Unfortunately,​ ​so​ ​many​ ​of​ ​us​ ​are​ ​locked​ ​into what ​ that​ meaning​ and​ ​purpose​ ​is​ ​supposed​ ​to ​ look​  like.​  We’ve all​ been​ sold the same idea of what​ a​ ​successful​ life should​ be.​​   ​And​ ​we​ ​spend​ ​a​ ​lot ​of​ time​  ​and money​ trying​  ​​to ​get ​that life.​  ​But how​ ​can​ ​the​ ​world​ ​know​ ​our​ ​purpose​ ​in​ ​life?​ ​How​ ​can ​ the​ world​ ​ ​know ​ who​ we​ are​ ​supposed​ ​to​ ​be​ ​when​ ​we,​ ​each​ alone,​ are​ the​ only​ one​ of​ ​us​ ​there​ ​is?

That​ ​realization​ ​can​ ​be​ ​terrifying ​ or​ ​ liberating​ depending on​ the​ light​ ​we ​receive ​ it​ ​ in.​ When​ ​ we​ realize ​ that​ no​ one​ can​ tell​​  us our ​ path,​ ​not​ truly, we have the opportunity to take back our power.​​  ​Some​ ​can ​​help​ ​us​ ​find ​our path.​ ​ ​And ​some​​ ​can’t.​  ​Because no one ​ knows​ who or what we​ are​ supposed​ to ​ be.​ ​ They​​ ​can’t​ ​know.​ ​Only​ ​we ​​can.

Somewhere​ ​deep​ ​in​ ​our​ ​hearts​ ​we​ ​have​ ​always​ ​known​ ​our​ ​Truth.​  At​ different​ times​  ​​and ​places​ in ​ our​ ​ lives​​ I’m​ sure​ we​ all have ​ honored​ ​and​  ignored​ it.​  ​We have​ ​had ​ ​times ​we have listened to our ​ heart​s ​ because​ we​ knew​ ​we​ ​​couldn’t​ ​live​ ​with​ ​ourselves​ ​if​ ​we​ ​didn’t.​  ​And​ ​we​ ​have​ all​ had​ times​ ​that​ ​we’ve ​ ​quieted​ ​our​ ​heart’s ​ song​ ​ so​ we​ could​ try​  ​to​  make​ ​ something​ that​ didn’t​ ​ fit​ ​ us​  work. ​ Because​ we​ thought​ it​​  ​was the​ right thing​ ​ to​ do.​  We​ ​have ​ all done​ things​ ​that​ ​we ​knew  weren’t​ ​true​ ​to​ ​us ​ because​  ​ it​​  was​ easier​ than​​ ​disappointing ​​another.​  ​And​ ​sometimes​ ​on​ ​our path ​ we​ feel​ like​ if ​we​ ​could​ ​ ​just​ ​deaden ​that​​ feeling​​ ​that​ ​we​ ​were ​​meant​ for​ ​​something​ ​else,​ ​we could ​ be​ content​ with​  ​what​ ​​we have.

We​ sometimes ​allow ​ the​ ​ opinion​ of​ ​others,  well​  meaning​ or​ not, to​ shape​ ​us.  ​At times, even contort ​us.    ​All​ ​the​ while ​ our​  hearts​ ​ whisper,​   ​“Follow me​ ​instead.”  When​ ​ we​ ​finally ​  ​listen ​ to​  our​ ​own  ​good counsel, ​ we​ start to remember who we are and recognize who we are not and understand through it all we are still learning and evolving.​  And ​ in​ ​ that​ space we​ can allow ourselves to be ourselves.​  And that alone is our​ ​sole​ ​purpose.​  ​That is our​ ​soul’s​ ​purpose.  To be.

“The Soul is its own purpose and end.” ~ Thomas Moore

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Speech and Breathwork and Why Kindness Matters

Another August post from PsychicsForetell blog.

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Don’t waste your breath.  I have probably heard that a thousand times.  Up until now, I never really thought about it in depth though.

Most of the time I would hear this advice from a friend telling me not to bother saying another word to someone.  I thought of it more like an insult to the other person, like they aren’t worth the effort to speak.  As I am trying to step up my pranayama game (yogic breathwork), I am understanding the importance of breath.  Especially the mindful breath.  And the fine art of breath control.

Really talking is breath made audible.  So it is probably important that my speaking breaths be the most mindful breaths I take.  When I see it in that light, it takes me to a new level of awareness.  It helps me to stay true to one of the four agreements from Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, to be impeccable with my words.

My breath is my life.  As much as is within my control, I want my life to be filled with integrity, grace and kindness.  So my words should be a reflection of this.  Sometimes this means choosing not to speak in times of heat knowing the place I speak from is not in line with my values.  Now I’m not saying I don’t dish out some verbal beatdowns every now and again.  I will never be perfect.  So I can always be better.

When I see my words as extensions of my life force, I see it goes beyond choosing silence over verbal weapons.  It also is a recognition of the perspective of the people I am speaking to, knowing when someone is not open to meeting me in the space between us.  Knowing when my words are falling on deaf ears and knowing it isn’t personal that they don’t want to hear it.  So in these instances, instead of creating an opportunity for feelings to be hurt, I can just let it be.   I can choose to save my life force for something else.  No harm, no foul.

Beyond being mindful of my own speaking breaths, I must also be mindful in my listening. When I view all speech as audible prana it becomes easier for me to respectfully listen and respond with care.  Even if the words spoken are meant to belittle me, they are only reflections of the speaker.  The words are only expressing the energy from which they were born.  Their power in my life is decided by me.  If I respond in kind, I have chosen to accept that energy, whatever it may be.

My words are born of my breath.  My breath is my life.  I have a great responsibility to myself to use my life energy in ways that support and express my truth.  I’m sure I’ll be needing some grace in exercising this responsibility from time to time.  There will be some tests I may not pass.  But I will save more breaths than I waste from this moment forward.  I will make a conscious effort to only give breath to words that speak to my truth and integrity.  And whenever there is an opportunity, I will breathe and so also speak with love.

Your words express your life.  They are divinely linked to your breath.  In what ways do you ensure your words reflect the truth of your soul?

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Understanding Ego

Another of my August posts from PsychicsForetell

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So often I hear people talking about ridding themselves of their ego, as if it is not an inseparable piece of who we are.  We are told by many that the ego is bad and we need to shut it down. Then we hear messages about a “healthy ego” and wonder if we heard wrong when we were told we should ditch it.  It is confusing.  So what’s the deal with the ego?

My studies of Ayurveda have given me some personal clarity on the subject.  The Vedic philosophies tell the story of the evolution of man from subtle to gross and then the involution of man to reconnect to his/her subtle nature.  When seen through the Ayurvedic lens, I feel the ego is more clearly understood.   The following is my breakdown of what I have studied.

In the beginning there was just consciousness without awareness (God, The Force, insert whatever name you have given the be-all-end-all of life).  This consciousness is without awareness because  it was all there was, so there was nothing else to be aware of.  No separation, no division, just pure consciousness.

At some point, awareness was born.  I like to think of the infinity symbol (like an eight) and believe at some point consciousness folded upon itself and in the friction of that touch there was a vibration born.  This created the first division that allowed consciousness to be aware of itself. In the ancient texts, this vibration was Aum (or Amen – the word of God).  While still very subtle in nature, the first gross aspect (Prakriti or primordial matter) was realized and the union of the primordial energy and this matter became Mahat (universal intelligence, Holy Spirit).  The flow of this intelligence is called Prana.    Mahat, when realized on an individual level, is what is called the Buddhi.  This would be the state of being attained when we are consciously aware of life without any attachment to it, just witnessing. We can access this space but we cannot live there and maintain our earthly experience.

Below Mahat and Buddhi is Ahamkara.  This is the ego.  It is the birth of self.  It literally translates to “I am”.  This is where individuation truly begins.  This is where the “I” becomes the center which has to mean our boundaries have been defined.  After all, there can be no center found if our edges are not established.  Since this is a universal principle, all that is created must have an ego.  We are then part of a collective ego of the Earth and, in our individuation, we also have an ego of our own.

Life breaks down further into all of the universal attributes: the mind, the elements, the forces, senses and body.  But for this post, we are really just concerned with the ego.  It is the ego that makes us our own individual being.  It is the ego that gives us our identity.  Without the ego, we have no earthly experience.  So by my understanding,  we cannot rightly seek to rid ourselves of the ego.   If we did, the experience would have to end.

So then what’s the deal with all the down talking on the ego?  I believe, it is when we seek to define our experience solely through our individual ego and limit ourselves by believing our perspective is the only true perspective that we get into trouble.  When we have no regard for the collective and universal principles that we are born from and possess within, and believe the collective experience should just a mirror our own individual view.  This is where we falter and limit our experience by isolating it.

The ego is the process of differentiating us from the rest of the universe, but it is not a separation from the universe.  All that ever was is still within us.   The ego just fixes us in time and space, gives the subtle frame for the body to form around.  It is what allows us to experience this place.  So just as the body is the temporary vehicle that allows us to explore the world, the ego is the temporary vehicle to explore the universe.  The problem is when we get entrapped within our earthly egos, when we have allowed them to become larger than life. Above our egos, we realize we, as individuals, are just a drop in the cosmos but we, as part of the cosmos, are boundless.

So we need to nurture the ego, not beat it up.  We need to feed it in healthy ways to establish ourselves within the context of our experience.  We need to allow the ego to be rigid enough to maintain our personal integrity and to prevent another from diminishing our experience.  But still soft enough to understand, at the core, all life is one.

This is my understanding of the ego.  And I am hoping others may share their understanding with the community.  We all have unique perspectives.  What is yours?

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Heavenly Soul in a Material World

Another summertime post for the folks at PsychicsForetell.

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I have had one of those life cleaving events.  Those that make all those truths pour out of your soul, truths that force your acceptance or denial.  Truths that, if accepted, will shift the way you perceive everything.  And if denied, become limiting factors in your character.

You know the experience, the kind that makes those things that once weighed you down so ridiculously small and life itself so incredibly large.  The kind where the universe makes so much sense while the world does not.  Where universal truths become clear and individual beliefs are tested to their breaking points.  Truths that can show you how resilient the heart can be.

Yeah, so one of those kind of events has occurred in my life.  And I am now moving through my shift and witnessing others as they move through theirs.  And this is where I’m at in my shift:

Right now the material world does not make sense to me, not stacked next to my truths.  I see things differently.  The worry that has occupied my mind over things I now see will have no real value when I come to my end.  Things like appearances and money.  The subliminal and blatant perceptions in media, marketing and mainstream thinking that try to shame me into conforming to some look or way of life.  The thinking that deems me worthless if I can’t make it within the systems in place.   I have no interest in those limited ways of looking at life.

I realize I may very well sound (be?) crazy.  But somewhere down the line somebody must have told us that our worth is a tangible thing to be calculated when our worth is immeasurable.   Our worth is as infinite as our being.  For what is more valuable than life itself?  And that is all we are.  Beings of life.

Now that I have awoken to this truth, I have to find forgiveness for these systems that have failed far too many souls.  I must forgive the systems so I am no longer tied to them.  And then I must take on the responsibility of living a life that speaks to the truths I have found so far.  And I hope do it in a way that empowers others to do the same.  I don’t know what that way is, but I trust my new compass.

I have been awakened.  Well, re-awakened. And I believe I know what life is about.  It is to allow my infinite soul to walk in this world with love as its true measure of wealth and joy as its currency.   To live with a sense of abundance born of gratitude and a sense of integrity that allows my entire self to engage with all parts of my life.  I know this world isn’t all there is.  And I’m guessing whatever is next won’t take cash or credit.  I’m investing my life in love and I have faith that I’ll have all I need.

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