“When we talk about God, we’re like a school of fish, discussing the possible existence of the sea.”
PS: Happy Halloween!!
Over a week ago, I was on my way to meet my spiritual mommy, Mildred. I had myself completely wrapped in negativity as I drove to the coffee shop. I was thinking about how I hadn’t been meditating and doing my spiritual “work.” I was thinking that I didn’t deserve the time, love, and energy Mildred gives to me. I was thinking of how unmotivated and flakey I’ve been for too many months now. I was thinking of how idiotic it was of me to ever think that I was special and had any sort of divine purpose here. I was doubting my talents…thinking of the many others who are more talented and more importantly – more disciplined.
I’ve read and written about being the watcher. I know that I am not the egoic monkey mind that squalks like a madman. The truth of me is that I am the one behind all that who sees it, hears it, and knows better than to listen. Sometimes that part of me can stop the madness and bring me back to truth. But on this day I really couldn’t. Something else had to do that for me.
When Mildred and I sat down with our coffees, she pulled out a little book called “Creative Thought” (another Daily Word type thing). She opened it up and handed it to me. She said that she’d read it that morning and thought of me. Within the passage she had highlighted the following two phrases:
That which may have restricted my freedom to unfold is now released.
I declare I can be all I choose to be.
Another phrase that jumped out at me was:
My destiny is Divine.
Spirit chose to set me straight that day by using my sweet friend Mildred. For the rest of that day, my monkey mind shut up. I was once again reminded of the many ways God speaks to us. If our ego is too loud to hear the still small voice Spirit will send us a voice we simply can’t deny!
I’ll leave you with one more message I got this week through my sister’s Facebook page.
Some time ago, maybe two years, I reached out for spiritual answers through “automatic writing.” This is a much more woo-woo way of saying soul-writing or journaling. It was at a point where I was quite certain I needed a spiritual teacher. I’d been informed by various people that everyone needs a real-life teacher. You can’t get there with books alone. I asked my journal, or asked God through my journal, who would be my teacher. The answer that came into my head and onto the page was JESUS.
At that time I’d just bought A Course In Miracles which is supposedly a curriculum by Jesus (through Helen Schucman). I started reading the text but didn’t complete it and didn’t even begin on the student workbook. The book is a lot to grasp, I’d say in parts it is as tricky to decode as the Bible. And to some extent I was as skeptical of it as I am the Bible. After reading over 700 pages of it (it’s over 1000 pages) 400 pages of the almost 700 page text, I put it aside and have only thought of it on a few occasions. (One of those occasions was when I was bringing the blog back and I considered making it an ACIM themed blog.)
So the idea of learning from Jesus through A Course In Miracles has been a seedling in my brain for a while. This week I read the last two books in the Reflections of the Christ Mind series by Paul Ferrini. Just as Helen Schucman before him, he feels and claims that the content of his books came directly from Jesus. When you read it you feel as if you are having a modern day conversation with the Savior himself. The teachings are exactly what resonates with me and nothing like what I heard in the Baptist church that reminded us again and again that without accepting Christ we’d suffer for eternity in Hell.
The last book in the series mostly came from Paul Ferrini himself. He talked about how he came to accept Jesus as his teacher. He was raised Jewish and wasn’t necessarily open to the Christian concept of the son of God. But in a moment of darkness in his life, a voice came to him and guided him. Later he would realize this presence was Jesus. Along his path he found A Course in Miracles and although skeptical of it’s origin found that the teachings were in line with the Christ he knew. Through reading what was in essence his testimony, I came to understand the true meaning of accepting Jesus Christ as your savior. It is not a process in which you take a vow and start going to church. Instead it is about going within, asking Christ to guide you, and being open to that guidance without inserting your ego into the mix. We really can know Jesus.
I had such an experience some time ago (of truly feeling Jesus was with me). I’d had an encounter with someone who had accused me of worshiping false Gods and being a voice for the devil. But what I felt in my heart was that I’d learned that I could commune with God and Jesus in silence. I’d even felt that a lot of what came to me through meditations, books I found, and people I met were messages about Reality from God. So after this run-in, I wanted to prove to myself that Jesus was with me too. That night in bed I asked Jesus for a sign. It may have all been in my head but I swear that I felt the palms of my hands and my feet tingle. In the next moment I heard “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Since that night I’ve still struggled with my relationship with Jesus. Because of the religious influences in my life it is often hard for me to separate the loving, forgiving brother and wayshower with the God up on the cross that I am supposed to bow down to. In my attempts to analyze this I’ve even questioned his very existence at all. This week I had the opportunity to hear a call in the form of those books. It reminded me that there is a teacher out there for me and all I need to do is commit to finding quiet time to commune with him and follow the example he set. The Christ is within all of us, it’s just up to us if we want to meet him there.
I’m so excited to have Pauline back to the click stage. She sent me this amazing post the other day. I read it and it brought tears to my eyes. Please take the time to read it and visit Pauline’s blog here.
I woke up at 6:30 and was still rushing to get out of the front door by 8:30. We had a 15 minute drive ahead of us to make the bus for the pumpkin patch, our lunches were packed, and Buttercup was sitting pretty on the couch watching TV while I rushed into the bathroom to pull my mexi-fro into a pony tail. I glanced at the clock as I walked by. It was 8:15. We were going to cut it close, but we would make it.
I had just put my head in the sink for a quick wet down when I heard Buttercup call me from the living room.
“Mama, I’m making myself beautiful now,” she sang out.
I turned the faucet off and hurried back to the living room on high alert, already knowing what I was going to find. Buttercup had been dressed for hours, her curls pulled into a little pony of her own, since 7 that morning. “Are you excited for your first field trip?” and “Don’t mess up your hair,” had been repeated on a loop from the moment I declared Buttercup adorable and ready to go. We’d been late for pre-school too many times because I’d turn around to pack her lunch only to come back to the little stinker leaning over the sofa rubbing her head into the cushion, fro-ing out her previously ballerina-worthy top knot. I had ten minutes on the clock and my kid was going at the couch with her head like most cats use a scratching post.
“Dammit,” I sighed. “M’ijita! Why’d you go and mess up your pelo? We’re gonna be late now!”
Her face fell. “But I made it beautiful,” she said, reaching up to touch her crown of fuzz.
“Just sit down, I’ll be right back to fix it in a second.” And I hurried back into the bathroom and back with hair products and a brush, and sat Buttercup down to fix her fro, my own still dripping and out of control.
“Yes, baby?” I had one eye on her hair and the other on the clock. I had five minutes to get us out the door.
“I was just trying to make it beautiful.” Her words were a mere whisper.
“I know, babe,” I said. “I know.”
She turned to face me, reaching up to smooth the kinky spirals I’d cut, straightened, and hid under weaves (which I in turn denied were weaves) because I was so determined to keep my hair from being the conversation starter with strangers that always ended with me explaining that yes, indeed, i was Mexican and not mixed. “I was just trying to make my hair beautiful, like yours.”
She thinks my hair is beautiful…
My breath caught in my throat and I kissed her hard. “Mama loves you, baby. Mama loves you more than you’ll ever know.”
She stood there smiling while I hurried to smooth my hair back into the world’s fastest pony-tail and we dashed out the door. I hadn’t bothered to check the mirror.
I didn’t have to. I had already seen my reflection in my daughter’s eyes.
Over the summer we had RSVPed to a wedding in St. Pete Beach. I was very excited about the decision to go. It felt right. A couple of days before the trip Mark noticed a tropical storm on the radars heading straight for the place we were going. He asked me if we were still going to go. I said yes. I felt yes. On the drive there the weather continued to look gloomier and gloomier. As we got closer Mark asked if I was sure. I was. As we crossed the bridge from St. Petersburg to the shore the outgoing traffic was unbelievable. Mark wondered aloud if they knew something we didn’t. Were they evacuating? Maybe we should turn back? I paused and tuned into my body. There was no anxiety or fear there. I told Mark it would be fine, if it wasn’t going to be fine I’d feel it. We crossed the bridge. It rained on and off the rest of the day. The next morning the skies cleared and the weather was beautiful. We spent the day playing on the beach and in the evening we attended the outdoor wedding that went off without a hitch. I guess the tropical storm just fizzled out before it reached us and I was extremely grateful that I’ve learned to feel through my body the right way to go.
This past weekend had originally been blocked for us as a Disney World weekend. The girls were out of school on Friday, the deals were good, and our season passes are always burning a hole in my pocket. But a few unexpected trips arrived on our calendar as well as a couple that were already planned. It didn’t feel like the right thing to do. It was less than a week before when we made the final decision not to go. My neighbor was going and a couple of my Facebook friends were too. I’ll admit that I felt super jealous but still felt we made the right decision by not going. In the end Bella ended up getting really sick on Saturday. As I write this (on Tuesday) she is still sick. We wouldn’t have enjoyed Disney World very much and I was glad I’d trusted the way I felt.
Mark has said to me before that when I really want to do something, we do it. To some extent that’s true, but I’m realizing it is more about the way I feel about doing it. There are places I’ve wanted to travel to or events I’ve wanted to attend but just haven’t felt the incentive to push forward and make plans. There have also been times (like a trip I have coming up in November) where something has seemed impossible but so necessary that I will find a way to work it out. I will let you know how this trip in November goes after all is said and done, but a perfect example of one of these trips was the girls’ weekend I went on with Amy just months before she died. It took quite a bit of planning and organizing to get that done but it felt right and it most definitely was.
Your body is actually a quite brilliant navigation device if you put it to use. I know I’m not alone in saying that I feel when things are right or wrong. One of my goals is to always use those feelings to guide me to just the right places and experiences for me!
Today is October 25, 2010. Last year on this day I experienced the first real loss of my life…the death of one of my best friends. It was a loss that came out of no where and taught me a lesson in uncertainty. There are deaths that you prepare yourself for (or at least as much as your imagination will allow you to prepare). In adulthood, as your parents and grandparents age, you watch their health carefully and become more aware of their mortality. When people you love get serious illnesses (such as cancer), as much as you want them to overcome, you realistically know anything could happen. BUT you never expect that a young mother could deliver her twin babies on a Friday and die unexpectedly on Sunday. Amy was the picture of health, finally embarking on the journey of motherhood she’d longed for. I had plans for Amy… so many of us had plans for her.
This weekend, I was reading the book “Embracing Uncertainty” by Susan Jeffers, Ph.D. Amy was on my mind as I started the chapter called “Embracing the Learning.” In the chapter she talks about how everything is a learning experience and the key is to remember this fact during the bad times and the good times. She included an exercise where you make a statement and follow it with the phrase “I can learn from this.” She gave these first two vague examples:
“I lost my job…………I can learn from this.”
“I lost my relationship……………I can learn from this.”
The next example she gave was this:
“My best friend died……………I can learn from this.”
That last example was so specific that it felt like it was just for me. I’d randomly picked this book off the shelf at the library and just happened to have started reading it the weekend of the anniversary of Amy’s death.
So what have I learned from my best friend’s death?
I learned that there are no guarantees in life and just because you make plans doesn’t mean they will come to fruition. You have to let go of expectations because clinging to them only causes suffering. I learned that my husband is the best thing that ever happened to me and I want to spend as much time as I am given making sure he knows that. I was reminded that experiences are better than stuff. The memories I have of the fun and love-filled times with Amy mean so much more to me than anything I could have (whether related to Amy or not). I learned that I want to live life to the fullest because again there are no guarantees.
As I make the list of things that I learned I realize that time has shifted my energy. The only thing good about experiencing such a shattered heart is that it has to remain open for a time. When your heart is open, you feel more and can really live those lessons. They permeate you (or can if you let them). But over time the wound closes and you don’t always remember what you knew in the fragile moments. Although I often think of how amazing and important my husband is, I don’t tell him nearly enough. I’ve gone back to making plans and hoping, praying, clinging to outcomes. Over the past months I’ve thought about the future far too often, instead of being present and full.
So on this anniversary, I will spend the day living fully, experiencing life, and possibly making memories to cherish. I will tell my husband and my daughters how much I love them now. I will wonder about our future but I will also embrace the uncertainty of it all.
The Master Key System Part 23 Number 22:
“This week concentrate on the fact that man is not a body with a spirit, but a spirit with a body, and that it is for this reason that his desires are incapable of any permanent satisfaction in anything not spiritual. Money is therefore of no value except to bring about the conditions which we desire, and these conditions are necessarily harmonious. Harmonious conditions necessitate sufficient supply, so that if there appears to be any lack, we should realize that the idea or soul of money is service, and as this thought takes form, channels of supply will be opened, and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that spiritual methods are entirely practical.”