Dystopic Preoccupation

I guess maybe I’ve been watching and reading too much Sci-Fi lately, but the end of the world is on my mind.  I look at where we, humanity, are right now and I wonder where there is left for us to go?  Just how many years will it take us to nail this coffin shut?

If I believe in a second coming of Christ, it is the one Yogi Amrit Desai spoke of some years ago.  He said that “Christ” would come again through the consciousness of the masses.  I like that idea and in New Age circles it’s pretty popular.  It’s the theory that something will happen that will cause a great shift.  Like magic our hearts will open and compassion will spread through the land.  Then we will be back in the garden once again.

But what has to happen first before we get there…if we get there?  We are abusing our earth and her creatures so mindlessly.  I myself am guilty of it.  I read a book that tells me in detail the pain and suffering animals endure so that I can have eggs and cheese, yet I can not summon the willpower to give up those products.  I push it out of my mind so that I can enjoy pizza and omelets.  Everywhere you look people take more than they need, hoarding or throwing away the leftovers, while other people are hungry and homeless.  The only thing that seems to pull a community together is tragedy.  It’s only when tremendous loss is endured that people realize how much they need each other.

In the US especially we’re entrenched in a society of greed.  These wars we’ve been fighting since 2003 are no longer about September 11th (if they ever were), but simply about oil and profits.  The soldiers who come back are forever changed by what they experience there-whether physically or mentally.  On the education front, we’re saddling our young people with enormous student loan debts while many of them won’t be able to get jobs when they graduate college.  CEO’s are overpaying themselves and setting up shop in other countries where labor is cheap.  But the kids keep going to college and they stay hopeful that education will guarantee them a job…maybe even a good one.

So, I read books like Oryx and Crake, where a young man with a God-complex creates a disease that wipes out humanity because to him humanity has reached the point of no return.  Or I watch the show Dollhouse where human-beings are turned into slaves by erasing their original personalities and programing them with new ones.  Eventually the technology falls into the wrong hands and the “dolls” and real humans are literally killing one another.  Then there is the movie The Book of Eli where everyone’s illiterate because the written word was destroyed in lieu of technology that is, of course, non-existent in the post-apocalyptic world it is set in.

Most of that fiction sounds far-fetched, but when I realize that just this week I communicated with friends in India, Spain, California, Canada, and the Netherlands on the internet without thinking twice about it…anything is possible. (I remember a time when I couldn’t even talk on the phone to my friends from church because they lived 20 miles away and it was long distance.)

So if there is an apocalyptic event on the horizon (and man I hope it doesn’t happen in mine or my daughter’s lifetime)…we ought to get back to the basics-community.  We might really need each other one day, so we should start now reaching out, connecting, and loving one another.  Forget about the money and the stuff, what we really benefit from is each other.

Emotional Intuitive

Today I started reading Sherrie Dillard’s Discover Your Psychic Type.  The book (and Sherrie) have been on my radar for a long time and finally I have the opportunity to read it.  I just finished the chapter that totally gave me one of those “clicks” I used to write about.

I had pretty much guessed my type was Emotional, but the quiz score verified it.

Back in February my parents came to visit for Bella’s birthday.  It was a lovely weekend and when they left I felt sad.  In fact I felt more than sad.  I felt grief-stricken.  I couldn’t do anything that day but lay around and stare off into space.  At some point in the day I knew something wasn’t right.  I love my parents and miss them dearly, but this feeling was too much to bear.  It was then that the idea popped into my head that I was actually feeling my mother’s sadness.  It made sense seeing as she only sees me and her two precious granddaughters about twice a year.

Last week I was with a friend having coffee.  She was telling me about helping family members through difficult times.  As she talked to me I just started tearing up right along with her.  Even though she gave me no details, I could feel the pain around the situations.

Another day last week a friend told me they have a serious illness.  The news should have upset me but it didn’t.  Later I tried to figure out why I hadn’t cried (like I’m so inclined to do) or felt sad and I realized it’s because my friend is very optimistic and I could feel the optimism.

My relationship with Mark pretty much revolves around sensing his feelings.  Only recently have I realized that though.  If he is stressed out, I feel it.  If he’s happy, I am too.  I can sit in a cluttered house all day long and not notice it but the second he gets home I look around at the “hot spots” and get antsy.  Today he accidentally ordered the wrong flavor of ice cream and I was so disappointed about it.  Our relationship is the strongest and most loving one in my life, because of this when he goes out of town, I feel incomplete.  The love he has for me literally fills me up and when it’s not close by I’m depleted.

Those were a few examples of my emotional intuition. It explains why I have a hard time being in crowds and why I get so excited every time I go to Disney World (even though I’ve been there about 20 times now).  I loved what I learned in the emotional intuitive  chapter.  So much of it described me and the goals I have for my life.   And I have to admit I was crying even as I read the first paragraph.  That was a indicator it resonated.  This is what it said:

Emotional intuitives travel the path of the heart.  They are driven by the desire for transcendental love, connection, passion, and service to others.  They are in tune with the soul’s quest for a purpose-driven life and for the perfect union, which may be the union of the soul with God, the soul mate, or the twin flame, who is another person or entity that is their soul equivalent.

No Defense

I have literally sat down at the computer tonight without knowing at all what I would write about.  A few days ago I re-read The Four Agreements and I definitely want to touch on some of that in a post eventually, but not tonight.  What popped into my head after that was something I read in A Course in Miracles this week.  Here it is:

Truth needs no defense.

In this world of polarized viewpoints in so many aspects of our lives, but especially in Politics and Religion, this is something that if I can take down to my heart just might set me FREE!  I don’t need to argue why I believe what I believe.  I don’t need to attempt in any way shape or form to pull you to my side.  At the end of the day Truth stands whether we’re there with it or not.

Next time I start to argue my point of view, I’m going to ask myself why I need to do that.  If my ideas are so shaky that they need me huffing and puffing, then maybe I need to go within and ask to see the truth.

What I have decided is that when I get to a place, especially with Religion, where I can hear a different viewpoint and not feel attacked, then I have truly begun to live what I know.  In the end, what you know intellectually can only get you so far, it is only when you are changed by it that you know it is Truth.

Judgment Day

We’ve all heard the story before.  When you die, you’ll go up to the pearly gates and God (or somebody) will discuss your life with you.  You’ll look at the good deeds and bad as well as the various religious decisions you made.  At the end you’ll be given your sentence: Heaven or Hell.  OK, so I don’t know if this is how it really goes.  I suppose it’s in The Bible somewhere but I’ll admit to never actually reading about it, that I can remember.  I’m sure there is some variation of this story in each religion.  I mean without Judgment Day how in the world will we control the masses?  Of course I also think it has to be more than just an issue of control.  If so many people and organizations believe some version of it, then some version of it is probably true.

Today, I’m going to share with you my version.  Over the years I’ve read a lot of spiritual and woo-woo books that have helped me formulate this idea.  I do believe there is a Judgment Day, but the person doing the judging is us or rather the divine part of us.  I believe that before entering our bodies and lives we create a contract.  We have various challenges we must work through and qualities we must work with.  I think we make pacts with other souls to help us meet our goals.  If there is someone in your life who presses your buttons, you better believe it’s in their contract to do that.

With that being said I believe that when we die our souls leave our body and ascend to the other side (Heaven if you’d like).  Once there we are greeted by a soulmate-spirit guide, angel, or deceased loved one-who leads us to our life review.  During this life review we see and experience everything we did in our human life at a whole other level.  (Does the phrase “my life flashed before my eyes” ring a bell?)   We feel the pain we caused others as well as the joy.  We understand at a deep level what affect our decisions had on the world around us.

When the review is over we evaluate ourselves and how successful we were at achieving the goals set forth in our contract.  In some cases we may have reached the level intended and can ascend to the next Heavenly stage.  In other cases we see that we still have much to learn and after some rest we get started on planning another life on Earth-which some might consider Hell.

What I believe is that our souls are of God.  That is the image and likeness within us.  When we emerge into life it is God’s wish to experience the realm of humanity.  The devil we encounter in this human world is that of free will or ego.  It is the gift we are given by God to learn,  make choices, and live.  We cannot truly experience anything unless we have felt it’s polar opposite.  So we are both God (soul) and the Devil (ego, free will).

At the end of our life we will be judged, but not by any man in the sky.  We will experience and judge our own experiences, based on what God intended for us to give and take from this life.  The only Hell we can possibly experience is that of leaving Heaven and our limitless form to return to a body on Earth.

So, that’s my take on Judgment Day.  If it feels good to you take it as your own, if not please leave it behind and find what feels like truth to you.  We are all on our own paths and must search within ourselves for the answers to these questions.  This is just an answer that makes sense to me.

 

Spirit-Led

The month of December is here.  Another year is winding to a close.  Crazy!  Time is moving so fast these days, my brain can barely keep up.  2010 did not bring big changes the way 2009 did.  I think that is for the best.  There is only so much a girl can handle.

My 2010 vision board was filled with spiritual pictures representing prayer, meditation, and contemplation.  My 2010 tarot card was The Hierophant which to me represented a spiritual teacher (whether finding one or being one).  I found a teacher in my friend, Mildred and I did become a teacher to the kids at church.  To an extent though, I let my ego take the wheel back this year.

I meditated less this year then I have in the last three.  What had been a disciplined twice-a-day-every-day practice became a sometimes event.  I let anxiety creep back in at a level I haven’t felt in years.  I spent a lot more time with my thoughts on the future or the past then on the present moment.  Basically, I lost sight of the most important resolution I made last year.

In the coming weeks, I should receive in the mail the letter I wrote to God last year at church.  We do this every year so that we can see what our intentions were and whether or not we allowed them to manifest through us.  I’m pretty sure my intention was to simply let God lead the way.  I wanted to surrender fully and become an instrument.  It’s the same request I made and released into the fire at the Goddess weekend back in June.

Ever since my busy summer, I’ve found that things have been too noisy inside my head to hear that still small voice of God.  I get ideas and I don’t know where they’re coming from.  Is it my ego trying to make something happen or God encouraging me to let something happen?  I really can’t tell!  There was a time when I wrote so assuredly about listening to inner wisdom and knowing the right thing to do.  These days, I don’t seem to know anything.

At the beginning of this week I sat down to meditate.  These days when I do that a thousand thoughts bombard me, but in this particular session I found ample silence to hear something.  It was a pretty clear message that I should have written down because right now I can’t quite recall it.  The gist is that I have tuned God out lately and it’s time to tune back in.  I need to listen with my whole being in each and every moment.

Committing to a spirit-led life isn’t a one time promise you make, it is a daily, hour to hour, minute to minute practice you engage in.  At the end of this year it is ever clear to me that I must re-engage!

Missed Opportunities

After my trip I have been thinking a lot about “callings” and purpose.  I still believe that our highest purpose is to connect with God.  Beyond that though, we have contributions that only we can make.  I wonder how often we miss these opportunities because we are trying to label ourselves or fit into a box.

The last few days I’ve been thinking of my passions, or the things that light me up when I think about them.  I get really excited about the lessons I plan for the kids at church.  I’m not incredibly organized and struggle a bit with putting them together in a lesson format, but the ideas bring me to life.  In December, we’re going to discuss the metaphysical symbolism in the Christmas story.  In January we’ll be doing the metaphysics in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  After that I’m going to create my own unit on the red letters (the words in the bible supposedly spoken by Jesus).

But here’s where the label comes in.  Because I find myself drawn to the teaching idea again I am trying to make a predictable path for myself.  I’m scared to let God lead me so my ego is butting in.  Yesterday I came up with a plan.  I’d go back to school, get that History degree I’m only 3 classes shy of, and teach middle school Social Studies.  Luckily I know how to listen to my body these days and couldn’t ignore the sick feeling in my tummy when I visualized that plan.

I wonder how many people ignore their guts, go against their dreams, and choose the “sure thing” path?  I wonder how often opportunities for finding your purpose and embracing your calling are missed because money, stability, power, or reputation seem better?

I Am The Way

The following post is written in response to a request from a friend.

I think that at our core we all have the same purpose in this life.  We know we have a purpose and we think it’s a number of things.  We go to school, get training or education, we find jobs, get into relationships and marry or co-habitat with those partners, we have children, we buy houses and cars, travel and take up causes.  Sometimes we are lucky enough to do everything we wanted to do and yet we find ourselves still feeling like we haven’t achieved our purpose.  That’s because we probably haven’t.  What I believe we were put here to do is to know and experience God, which is the underlying love and order behind everything in this world.

That brings me to the title of this post.  Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  Where does that statement fit in with my belief that we were all put here to experience God (again as the underlying love and order behind everything).  I know a lot of people who would say that they are experiencing God by accepting Jesus as their savior and worshiping him.  To me that’s just a less devious way of breaking the first commandment.  Jesus was a son of God just as I am a daughter of God.  He was not God, but he did what most of us will never do and that is came to fully know and experience God.

All true mystics and spiritual teachers, no matter what religion they label themselves, will agree that Jesus was one of the most God realized individuals.  He reached the level where he was living from that place within himself that is Divine.  The human Jesus was cast aside when he reached enlightenment.  So there are two ideas as to what he meant when he said “I am the way.”

The first is that he was speaking not as Jesus, but as the Christ.  Perhaps he had his hand over his heart as he spoke and was emphasizing that the path to God is found within the heart.  Maybe if we’d been seated at his feet he would have reached down and touched our hearts.  I imagine Jesus as a very humble man, I can’t imagine him standing on a pedestal and insisting that the only way to meet God is to come to him first.

The other idea which was presented in Paul Ferrini’s series is that Jesus wasn’t saying come to me, but instead he was saying to follow my lead.  Do as I do, live the way you see me living, practice forgiveness, keep an open heart, and love even your enemies.  The more you live from that heart space, where love and forgiveness preside, the more you are living as God.  The “way” is not to come to Jesus and hope that he will do something for you, but allow his actions and words to lead you to do something for yourself.

My spiritual journey is all about seeking the God experience.  And to me that experience is felt as love and comfort.  When I can shift an angry reaction to a loving one, I am connecting with God.  Jesus paved a pathway that I can walk along.  I can seek his guidance through books and meditation.  I can do the same with other mystics and spiritual teachers that are no longer here in human form.

Ultimately it is all about what makes each of us individually experience the love (God) which is present in us and all around us all the time.  If believing Jesus is God allows that love to fill you up than that is your truth and your way.  For me, I am comforted to know that following the example Jesus set will bring me closer to knowing God from the inside out.

Facing Fears

I am writing this on Halloween afternoon/evening.  I have exactly 30 minutes to crank this out before getting the girls ready for trick or treating.  It seems like an appropriate day to talk about fears.

Today at church the title of this post was the theme of our lesson.  First I had the kids write down their fears on a slip of paper and put them in a basket.  We went around the room and drew slips, reading each fear.  We put the fears into two categories – Real or Irrational.  Our list looked a little something like this:

spiders, roaches, being trapped, falling out of a plane, losing all my friends, heights, failing in school, missing school

With only one exception (which I could argue still didn’t necessary belong in the “real” category) we put all of the fears into “irrational.”  We decided that even the ones that seemed very real, like losing all our friends or failing school, were still very much within our control.

I had chosen the bible verse Isaiah 33:6

And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.

I had spent some time with this verse trying to decipher what I felt it meant.  This I think is an excellent way to read the Bible.  Instead of counting on those newer editions which include someone else’s easier or shall I go as far as to say “dumbed down” translation, try to come up with your own.  I’ve been doing this myself for the past two lessons I’ve taught and I’ve had the children do it in small groups.

To me this verse means that using my wisdom and knowledge will bring me stability.  I can save myself a lot of anxiety if I apply logic, common sense, and history when I am facing a fear or worry.  When I’m in tears driving over a high bridge (because I’m the one who listed fear of heights), I can logically remind myself that it is incredibly unlikely that my car will suddenly tumble off.  When my husband forgets to call while he’s on a business trip, I can settle myself down with the thoughts of all the times he’s traveled and returned home safely. I can find strength in that as well as the respect I have for the Omnipresent and Omnipotent force guiding my life (fear of the LORD).  I know that whatever comes my way is a bridge I’m meant to cross that will make me stronger.  The divinity within will lead me through.

So much of what we fear is change itself.  We’re often afraid to make a move because success or failure are equally as scary.  But I do think that in many cases our fears are meant to be pushed through.  We can either dive into them and make those life-changing decisions or we can sit back and wait until we are dragged along.

So take a moment to let go of one of your irrational fears, imagine it inside of a balloon and release.


The Ways We Are Spoken To

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.

A Few Days With Jesus

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.