Everything Serves You Directly (OR)

Would you agree that claiming that ‘everything in your life serves you’ is a pretty bold statement?

It certainly feels that way to me and if you read my last post, you’ll recall that this is exactly what Lia (a loving voice of god) told me.

I thought, there has to be a catch, some loophole or fine print, after all, don’t each of us experience dozens of things that would defy this idea? I could easily come up with many from my life and from observing the lives of others.

Just to name a few there are wars, diseases, oppression, famine, natural disasters and then there are additional challenges that may affect us more personally, like a car accident, the loss of a loved one, having our job eliminated, a house fire, or being homeless. The list seems practically endless.

I wondered what Lia could possibly mean and approached her, asking for an explanation. To be honest, the way I phrased my question felt more like a demand, then a request to me, but she didn’t seem to mind in the least. I felt her love cover me over and sat back, now prepared to hear what she had to say to me.

Lia spoke these words, “It’s important to choose the right frame of reference in order for this idea to make sense to you. The first thing that would help you recognize the truth, is that everything serves you either directly or indirectly.”

Examples always help me, so I asked Lia to explain something that happened to me last week, where my car suddenly overheated, forcing me to pull off the road. How did that ‘serve me’? She responded with a question of her own, “What happened next?”

“Well,” I said, “I pulled into a Hoffman’s Car Wash/Quick Lube station and a man came out to see what I needed. He consulted with me and offered a few helpful suggestions. I spoke to a very nice woman at AAA who set me up for a tow. The tow-truck driver, who was also extremely helpful, came by and brought both my car and me to my Service garage. I was told that since they were really jammed up, it might take 1 ½-2 weeks before they could fix it.

Shockingly, I was calm throughout this whole sequence of events, even realizing the delay in fixing it would greatly complicate my life. As it turns out, my mechanic was able to fit me in the next day, due to a cancelation in his schedule.

Lia listened attentively, then asked a follow-up question, “So, how have you been served by this incident?”

I thought for a moment before responding with this, “There were at least four different individuals who offered to help me (five counting my wife who picked me up, and when my car was fixed, dropped me off). I never felt alone or helpless. And I allowed myself to go with the flow, rather than get upset, scream at my car, and become angry at the cost of the repairs, which (sad to say) would have been my normal reaction.”

I could sense Lia smiling at me.

“Okay,” I said, “I get how there are some direct ways I was served, because I believe I’ll carry a more positive attitude into my next challenging situation and I recognized how grateful I am for the presence of other wonderfully helpful people in my life, which makes me want to be one of them for someone else.”

I hesitated and asked, “But what about the indirect ways you mentioned?” I admit I find it baffling some days to make any sense of the ‘big’ things. Maybe you do too.

“It requires a shift on your part, a change of reference points. You are accustomed to thinking in terms of good and bad, labels you use based on your cultural perceptions. This forces you into seeing only the ‘small picture’ and limits your ability to see the ‘big picture’. To fully understand the ‘big picture’, you need to shift from your earthly perspective to a heavenly perspective.”

“Wait, what?” Obviously, we have more to talk about because I want to understand how my life works. Clearly Lia is interested in answering my questions, but it’s going to take more time. So, if you’d like to know more, please stay with me and read my next post.

How To Settle In

Have you ever heard the expression, ‘getting up on the wrong side of the bed’?

In case you haven’t, it is commonly understood to be the cause for waking up in a bad mood. You can’t think of any particular reason, but you know you’re sad, angry, testy, or otherwise unhappy.

I wondered about the origin of the saying. A little research produced a popular explanation based on superstitions that getting out of bed on the left side is bad luck. I presume that it originates from a time when beds were narrow and you had a choice of getting out on the right or left, without having to crawl over someone. It made me wonder, what if you always sleep on the left side of the bed…would you always start your day in a grumpy mood? Hopefully not.

Recently I woke up and felt as if I’d ‘gotten out on the wrong side of the bed’. For no reasons that I could think of, nothing felt right to me. My body ached and was uncomfortable, my mind was disjointed and there were lurking tasks to be completed, which I had no energy or ambition to accomplish.

Ordinarily I love getting up and doing my exercises, then journaling, before I come downstairs for breakfast.

But not that day.

So, what was I going to do about it?

If you’ve been with me on this journey for a while, you can probably guess. I opened up a conversation with god, in this case, Lia, a clear, beautiful feminine voice of grace and love who is always with me.

She explained, “There is an ebb and flow to life and your energy level, as there is for everyone. Accepting this reality fully will ease your mind and you can allow it to settle into you. Once you do this, your feelings will pass. If instead you decide to offer some resistance, like saying to yourself, ‘that it shouldn’t be this way’, your feelings are likely to persist. They can in fact pick up steam every time you invoke the word ‘should’. Trying to tell yourself you are some sort of victim, decreases your energy and power. So, if you’d like to do yourself a favor, allow whatever comes to you, to pass through you.”

This sounded like extremely good advice and yet I had a question about how I could ‘settle in’ to feelings I did not want to feel. I did know that resisting would be counterproductive, but what I needed to know was what alternative(s) were open to me.

So, I asked for more guidance and receive this, “You tell yourself it is okay to experience whatever you are experiencing and encourage yourself to accept whatever comes your way, knowing that once you do, the feelings will begin to recede and light will begin to enter you.”

Lia went on to say that each and every thing I encounter in my life is there to ‘serve’ me.

I balked a little at this. “Really?” I could hear myself say and then wondered if my constant questioning ever ‘bothered’ her.

“No,” was her reply, “never. I love you no matter what you choose and nothing you ever say to me will change that. Please remember that my love for you is eternal.”

I was reassured, but I still had a nagging question. I understood that by feeling my feelings, then releasing them, rather than holding on to them or resisting them, I could contribute to my own peace of mind and heart. What I could not understand was how she could say that everything I experienced in my life was there to ‘serve me’.

Lia explained that this is how our lives are structured, but that we often do not understand this because we don’t see it from a distance. We are too close to observe the whole picture, but that once we do, we can find the clarity we desire.

Lia told me we could have as many conversations about this as I needed…and so, I’d like to invite you to join me for my next post to discover more about how my/our experiences always ‘serve’ me/us.

Wedding Vows

This post is a little different from what I ordinarily offer because it’s an invitation to lean into an unusual wedding ceremony and to taste a bit of the sweetness between two very special people in my life.

Along with the offer to read this, I invite you to share it with anyone you think might like to adopt it for their own wedding ceremony.

It comes from Little Buddha Book Four, which is part of a series of spiritual fiction books I’ve written. This particular chapter revolves around two of the main characters, Janine and Sam and their families celebrating their marriage. It happens that Janine’s father, Bright Sky and her nephew, Michael, both Native Americans from the western part of the United States, are officiating the ceremony. The narrative is from Sam’s point of view.

Here is the passage I’d like to share.

“We are here to celebrate and give thanks to the Great Spirit, and to witness the merging of two hearts into one as Janine and Sam choose each other for their earthly lifetime.”

Bright Sky nodded, took our hands in his and shook them upwards toward Father Sky, then downward toward Mother Earth, then released them.

Janine and I turned slightly and faced each other.

“Sam, I freely offer you all that I am, knowing we share one spirit and one source. We came from love and will return to love. While we walk this earth, I stand with you. I breathe your breath and will sing with delight, even when sorrows visit us. No thing that happens on our journey together will change my love for you. I rest inside of myself, knowing our connection is forever. I welcome you into my heart and my spirit and choose to walk our path, always as one.”

I looked deeply into her eyes and knew all that she said was true. I’d always known it.

“Janine, I freely offer you all that I am, knowing we share one spirit and one source. We came from love and will return to love. While we walk this earth, I will stand with you. Forever, I am yours. As it was before, so shall it always be. I offer you my heart, which you claimed the moment I first saw you. I offer you compassion, trust, faith and hope, and the best of me, at all times. I know humans falter, but I rest in the assurance of our love, that no thing that happens on our journey together will change my love for you. I welcome you into my heart and spirit and choose to walk our path, always as one.”

Michael came to stand next to Bright Sky. Each bowed to us, then walked around us, stopping at each compass point, while quietly repeating words I did not understand.

Their revolution complete, they took hold of the blanket and gently pulled it from our shoulders. They held it up for us to see our names and the two red hearts, then turned the blanket around to reveal one single white heart.

I don’t know if Janine already knew about this, but it was a complete surprise to me.

I loved the image and the idea and smiled broadly, nodded my head, and mouthed, ‘so beautiful’, to Michael and Bright Sky.

After showing the blanket to our guests, they wrapped Janine and me in it and placed their hands on our shoulders.

Claire, Michael, and Bright Sky gathered in front of us and spoke in unison.

“We witness the spirit of love which joins your lives as one.”

Claire held out two matching rings and Janine and I took them and placed them on each other’s fingers.

“With these rings always choose love for each other.”

Bright Sky said, nodding his head, “This completes the ceremony, for you are now one.”

NOTE:

If you’d like to know more about their story, please feel free to obtain your own copy of the series. Little Buddha Books One-Four are available in print and eBook versions from Amazon.

Leave It, Or Not

I doubt a day goes by that we don’t experience some statement or command given us by someone in our lives.

Seriously, can you think of one day where you got the chance to do exactly what you wanted, and no one suggested or told you to do something else?

I think it would be pretty rare for this to happen.

And if this is true for humans, imagine how much truer it is for animals.

Have you ever watched one of the shows on TV where they spend time training a rescue dog, getting it ready to become a member of a new family? Well, if so, you’ve probably heard there are seven basic commands; sit, down, stay, come, heel, off and no.

According to some trainers there are a lot more and in one case I saw twenty-one commands noted. Wow, tough to be a dog.

One of my favorites is, “leave it”. It’s mostly used on walks to keep the dog’s attention focused on moving forward and not becoming distracted. This can be especially difficult with young dogs or those with active imaginations (curiosity), the ones who are all over the place.

My childhood dog was like this. We’d go for a walk which I thought might take thirty minutes, only to spend twice that amount of time snooping around the neighborhood. I wished I’d known the command, “leave it” back then.

Recently I watched several dogs and their humans walking by our house and noticed that some of them moved in a straight line, while others wove back and forth, with the dogs clearly in charge.

It made me wonder about how the humans acted when they were by themselves. Did they wander about or make beelines directly where they were going?

I’m not suggesting there is any right or wrong pathway to travel, merely observing the choices they were making, and it got me to wondering about what decisions I make.

Am I often distracted and easily put off my path? Could I benefit from saying to myself, “leave it”, putting a little oomph in the verbal command?

I know that it can be challenging to try to set things aside and focus on the main mission. I also know that I learn a lot by wandering aimlessly as long as I keep my eyes open.

If you thought about it, when would you tell yourself to “leave it”?

Are there certain things that you know don’t benefit you, but you do them anyway? If so, do you have any idea why? I often don’t unless I take a moment to consider them.

As you’ve noticed by now, I ask a lot of questions. I find it’s one of the most effective ways to grow. The questions challenge me to rethink some of my decisions and force me to reconsider some of my actions.

Using the idea of “leave it”, provides me an opportunity to consider things in my life which may not be good for me, like another piece of blueberry pie, or watching a violent TV show before bedtime or criticizing someone’s actions without understanding anything about them or the situation they’re in.

Given a little time, I am able to create quite a list of things to consider “leaving” and maybe you can too.

I think I’ll keep this command in mind for a while and see what happens and where it takes me.

Patterns

Are there any recognizable patterns in your life or is everything a mystery? Do you ever wonder if there is a rhyme or a reason to what happens in your life?

Sometimes I wonder if readers ever see the pictures that precede my posts. I try to carefully select them to either give a clue about the meaning or provide a spark of interest in what might be coming.

In case you can’t see the picture for this post, it’s a nautilus shell, which has a repeating interior pattern that becomes more intricate the closer it gets to the center. It’s a fascinating shape and one of many repeating designs in the natural world.

According to one website I found there are four distinct repeating patterns: symmetries, fractals, spirals, and Voronoi. Each are unique and represent different ways of developing according to a plan.

Symmetries are organized around the principle of identical halves, like the feathers of a peacock or the wings of a butterfly or dragonfly. Fractals are detailed patterns that look similar at any scale and repeat themselves over time, such as snowflakes, tree branching, and ferns. Spirals occur in curved patterns on a center point and then form a series of circular shapes revolving around the center point, for example, pinecones, pineapples, and hurricanes. Voronoi patterns provide clues to nature’s tendency to favor efficiency. They form from a seed point and extend outward like the skin of giraffes, corn on the cob, honeycombs, and leaf cells.

Okay, so why the science lesson and what possible difference can this make in my life or yours? Do you see any clues that could shed some light on this?

I admit I am fascinated by how nature evolves and the patterns that occur, so it seemed a logical step to me to wonder whether our lives develop according to any sort of natural patterns, and if so, what could they be?

It turns out scientists have studied this quite a bit. They believe that humans recognize patterns as a way of allowing us to predict and expect what is coming. The process involves matching the information we receive with the information already stored in our brains. The idea is that we benefit from remembering and being able to use patterns to help us navigate our lives.

So, I began to wonder what patterns I see that aid me and what additional possible patterns would make my life better.

My first thought was recognizing how easy it is to fall into non-productive patterns. To think the exact same thing about someone or something, merely because I’ve experienced it with someone else. I’d call this my ‘assumption pattern’, expecting the same outcome without any valid reason.

The next thought to arrive was how easily I gravitate toward putting things in separate buckets in my mind, or to give it a name, my ‘labeling pattern’. Oh, that person arrived late, they go in the ‘can’t get anywhere on time bucket’, I wonder why?

As I got started, it became easier and easier to discover the host of patterns I have, most of which are not beneficial to me, except to recognize I need to take another look and make some changes as to how I see things.

Each of the patterns I came across exist for my convenience, so I don’t have to think about and decide what to do with all the new experiences I encounter. Choices are made quickly to place things in categories and then I’m done.

One of the beautiful things about seeing so many different patterns in nature is that they serve as a reminder to me to make conscious choices about my own human patterns. To take myself off autopilot and look more carefully at what goes on in my life.

It takes some effort, but it is well worth my time and energy.

Making Someone’s Day

Do you remember the last time someone ‘made your day’ and how you felt inside?

Can you remember a time you made someone else’s day? Was it something you said, perhaps some kind words. Or maybe it was something you did, like an unexpected, good deed.

Did it happen naturally, without any forethought or was it a conscious choice you made and planned?

Did any part of you wonder what you might get in return or was it an altruistic act, kindness for the sake of kindness?

One of the interesting things about either, making someone else’s day or someone making your day, is how deep the love feels. I’ve often experienced feeling intensely touched by the actions of others. Their actions don’t even need to be directed toward me. Just witnessing love in action is wonderful, no matter where it’s found.

This past Sunday, while driving on our way home from the local food co-op, my wife and I were approaching a traffic light and it turned red, giving me a chance to make a roadside donation. That’s my phrase for offering some money to someone by the side of the road. In this case, it was a couple. I handed the folded twenty I keep in my car door for this purpose, to the young woman standing closest to our car. She reached for the money and offered me a grateful smile and their thanks in return. The traffic light remained red for a long time, which gave her the opportunity to explain that she and her husband were on their way back home to Louisiana and this would be very helpful.

I know some folks think giving money to ‘pan-handlers’ (the term most often applied to someone asking for money by the side of the road), isn’t a very good idea. I respect their point of view, and yet have come to a different conclusion and from my experience it’s a sure way to ‘make someone’s day’, no matter what they use the money for. I have offered myself a lot of practice in fully releasing any strings I might have wanted to attach to the money and so, both the giver and receiver in this exchange can share in making each other’s day.

Awhile back, a friend of mine told me she reads a book I’ve wrote (Little Buddha Book One) every night before she goes to bed. She told me it makes her happy, calms her from her day and allows her to drift off to sleep smiling. These kind words not only made my day, but they brought tears to my eyes. As a writer, unless someone tells you, you never know if your writings mean anything to anyone, so it was a very precious gift to me.

Knowing how good making someone’s day feels, I wonder why I don’t do it more often. I need an answer to this question.

What could it be? Is life so filled with ‘necessary things’ that I don’t have any time left over?

I immediately poked a hole in this theory. The two exchanges I’ve mentioned in this post account for perhaps four minutes in total, which easily tells me I DO have the time.

So, what’s the real reason?

I think it’s pretty simple actually. It’s a lack of focus on my part, an absence of attention to things that could matter greatly to me in my life and to others I come into contact with. I don’t say this to criticize myself (or you by proxy, as a reader). I say this to myself to heighten my awareness of what is, or can be, important and deeply meaningful to me in my life.

Sometimes all it takes is a moment of recognition that making someone’s day is a pathway for love to enter the world. A simple, direct, heart touching way and it’s free for anyone who wants it.

What a blessing.

Releasing Needs

Every so often I get stuck in a thinking loop and can’t get out.

Has that ever happened to you? Something seems to keep playing over and over and won’t let go, sort of like when gum gets stuck on the bottom of your sneaker. Ugh!

In this case, it was more of a ‘phrase’ that got attached to my brain. It repeated and forced me to consider it in more depth, even though I just wanted to get past it.

The phrase was, ‘as soon as you don’t need it, it can happen’.

There wasn’t any particular ‘it’ that I was thinking about. ‘It’ was just a general thought and could stand for anything.

I wanted to dispatch this notion and move on, but I couldn’t, so I surrendered and began to pick the phrase apart.

I was shocked by the depth this statement held for me and wondered if it might hold some value for you, as well.

My temptation was to read it quickly, as if I would inherently understand its meaning. As I struggled with it, I tried inserting different things for the ‘it’, for instance; ‘as soon as you don’t need others help, it can happen (they will help you).’

Hmmm, did that fit at all? My response…not really. There didn’t seem to be a direct connection I could see.

I tried another one, ‘as soon as you don’t need money, it can happen (money will appear)’. There were a couple of things wrong with this. First, who doesn’t need money? Second, if I didn’t need money, what difference would it make if it appeared?

Something was definitely missing, but what?

I tried other substitutions without any success. Perhaps I was going about it the wrong way. Maybe the value was in deconstructing the phrase, so I picked it apart, starting with the word, ‘need’. That seemed to be the key.

‘Need’ is a deep word to me, representing a statement of what I think or feel I want. But why do I want something? Where does the ‘need’ come from?

Clearly, ‘need’ represents an acknowledgement that I am missing something in my life. Whatever word I use in a sentence that follows the word ‘need’, becomes my focus. It represents a lack in my life.

So, what’s the connection that gives rise to meaning here?

After some more struggle I realized, I was trying too hard. I was overthinking. When I do this, I have to coach myself to step back and look at things from a distance. So, I closed my eyes and slowed my breathing and after a few minutes I came back to it.

And there it was, right in front of me.

‘Need’ for me is a loaded word. Every time I use it, it places some distance between me and the object of my need. The mere usage of the word prevents my need from being filled.

‘Need’ acknowledges ‘not having’ and ‘wanting’. It is self-fulfilling and all I end up with is a greater sense of ‘needing’, as if my initial ‘need’ creates more every time I think about it or say it. ‘Need’ blocks access and saps my energy.

Initially, I didn’t understand the ramification of this. It was only when I reached deeper into it that the meaning arose.

The phrase, ‘as soon as you don’t need it, it can happen’ became two sentences, not one.

And it offered me this…surrendering my ‘need’ frees me to receive and it unblocks my way forward. It allows me to think about things from another perspective, one that is creative and energetic. I can rephrase and direct my attention to helpful ideas and solutions that benefit me.

I’m glad I worked my way through this pesky phrase and hope it offers you some meaning too.

Choosing Your Ingredients

A funny question came to mind recently.

But first, a little background information.

In 1973, in an effort to standardize the food industry, the United States began requiring that packaged foods provide nutritional labels spelling out the number of calories, grams of protein, carbohydrate and fat and the percent of the US Recommended Daily Allowance of specific ingredients.

Then in 1990, the USDA mandated that all food companies were required to make consistent claims and include a detailed, standardized nutrition facts panel on all products intended to be sold.

This resulted in the nutritional labels you now find on almost every food item sold and additional changes are planned for the future.

My question is, what do you think it would be like if every human had a label attached to them listing their ingredients, like the food products we eat?

I’m not talking about the percentages of the most common chemicals found in humans; like oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon, calcium, and phosphorus.

What I mean is, what if we came with a label identifying the contents of our hearts and minds? A label that provided insight into our feelings, thoughts, and beliefs.

In one way it might make it easier to understand each other.

And perhaps there would be warnings on our labels, letting others know which topics were most likely to trigger negative reactions before conversations began.

The idea also made me wonder, if we could see our own label clearly, would we still want each ingredient to be inside us? Or perhaps we’d recognize that one or more of them do not make us happy, fulfilled, or joyful. That some of our contents create misery and suffering.

If we knew in advance that some of our ingredients were harmful to us, we might make better decisions.

Well, what if we started over? Is that possible?

If you answered ‘yes’, what would you consciously choose to place inside yourself, if you could begin again?

I found the question intriguing and needed to sit back for a moment before answering.

I tried to clear my mind, which is quite a task some days. I think there are lots of ingredients that would be good to start with, but I ended up choosing ‘love’. Love for me and love for those around me. Is there any way that could ever go wrong?

But an important part of me asked what that actually means. How does love work? After all, there are so many difficult and challenging situations we all face. Is love really the answer to them all?

I sat back again, awaiting my own answer.

I came to an immediate conclusion…yes, love is the answer to everything. It is the main ingredient. With it firmly in my heart I see everything else fitting together. Love allows me freedom. It makes it possible to see through fear, sadness, anger, and all of the other warnings I might encounter.

And if I want to add other ingredients, love works with them all in unison, courage, compassion, bravery, generosity, empathy, faith, trust and so many more.

If you decide to start over, I hope you choose ingredients that serve you well.

Returning to Heaven

If you are a believer in the concept of heaven, do you wonder how you will get there and what it will be like upon your arrival?

In my last post I shared with you the ‘crossing ceremony’ that happened as I left heaven to come to earth. I asked you to imagine something that is far beyond words and tried to use imagery as a language to convey what the ceremony looked and felt like.

I know you may have your own ideas and I want you to know I honor them. It is not my purpose to ever try to convince you to accept anything I say as your own truth.

I do however feel a strong desire to share my experiences with you, in the hopes that they may provide some value to you. Perhaps you may catch a glimpse of something that has been just out of reach. Perhaps you’ll discover a connection that brings insight, peace, and a sense of love you’ve been longing for.

I realize my words may exceed what you’ve been told during your life and stretch the limits of your acceptance.

I ask only one thing, that you read it and then decide. See if any part of it ‘feels’ true to you. Does it find a way to your heart?

This rendering of words came during a deep meditation. I had no expectations or at least none I was aware of. I sat and melted into a state of openness and drifted without aim.

This is what came to me and surrounded me. I was offered a chance to visit heaven. As best I can, here are the ‘words’ that entered me.

Admitted to Heaven

During my meditation, I gave permission to all of my spiritual guides to come and stand behind me,

Immediately, guides were there, then there were hordes of them, pushing and shoving to stand around me,

A great crowd arrived, and one of the beings said to another, “they’re emptying heaven to stand behind him”, and still more came,

I was crying so hard now, and they lifted me up, and held me over their heads effortlessly on hands of light, and passed me around, as if I weighed no more than a feather,

It was the most beautiful thing,

And I heard many shouting, “He’s back, come see, he’s back”, and heaven lit up,

And I could feel it, they all loved me, truly loved me, an overwhelming love, so beautiful, I never wanted to leave,

I asked, “Can I come home any time I want to?”, “Yes,” they all said.

I lingered there with these beautiful essences, reveling in the bountiful feelings of their love, never wanting to leave.

Their answer to my last question, about whether I could return home any time I wanted, was essential to me. I had to know if I would be able to leave earth and cross over into heaven. I had to know.

Their assurance made (and makes) all the difference to me. I know I am welcome there anytime. I belong there. It is my home and when this earth experience is complete, no matter when that is, I will return to their loving, waiting ‘arms’.

I believe this will happen for all who choose it.

Imagine knowing this deep inside you, that you return home to the heart of love. For me, that changes everything about how I view this world.

The Crossing Ceremony

This is my 198th post. I mention this because I hope you know me by now and that what I choose to write about is personal to me.

I’ve chosen to share the depth of myself and my connection to spirit. I do this so that you can see inside my world and also in the hopes that my sharing may free you to open and allow others to know you, to see you, to learn from you.

We all have so much to offer each other. And the glimpses we choose to give hopefully provide a connection between us, one that increases our awareness and one that builds and cherishes the love we share.

It is in this vein that I invite you to come with me for a spectacular experience. One you likely have forgotten, but will hopefully remember, if it feels true to you.

I remember being in heaven before I came to earth. The memories are shadowy, but enough lingers to connect me. I call it the ‘before life’ and it’s very different from the ‘after life’ that many folks talk about.

I’d like to share one memory with you…the ‘crossing ceremony’.

I need to set the stage a bit, beginning with what heaven feels like. It is ‘bliss’. Since there are no words available to describe it, I’ll use images as my language. So…

Imagine looking out at the dazzling ocean. Imagine being able to use the most incredibly small eyedropper and sliding it into the ocean, then drawing out one single drop of water. If you squeezed the eyedropper, the water would come out and fall back into the ocean, becoming one again. Each of us is a part of this ocean. Each an individual essence and yet part of the one.

Each of us has the free will to remain in heaven where all answers are known before any questions are asked or we may choose to come to earth, to create and experience duality and exercise our free will.

When an essence makes the choice to come to earth there is a ritual that is held called the ‘crossing ceremony’.

So… imagine yourself as an energetic shell in essentially the shape of a human being. You are lying on a surface surrounded by a vast multitude of energetic essences, all crowding in to be an intimate part of the ceremony. These are your closest ‘kin’, and they will always be with you, both in heaven and on earth. While on earth some may appear to be adversaries, but this is not the truth, for there is only one single entity in existence…love.

There is a sound like the beating of a drum, which grows and grows in intensity and then transforms into your heartbeat. You ‘watch’ as your body shell intricately forms a web of impossibly rich interweaving energy connections. As they form and touch, you ‘flesh’ out, and are endowed with the gift or free will, the ability to choose your path, so that whatever you decide becomes possible. You accept all the energy you need in order to accomplish what you choose to create and experience during your earth life.

You begin to develop physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually and you form a ‘spiritual blueprint’, which lays out a moldable, adaptable life plan which is always available to your spiritual self. And lastly, you choose an ego, so that you are protected and can establish boundaries, so that you know where your earth self begins and ends.

You rest a moment then become aware that you still know the answers to all questions and must make a decision before coming to earth. Will you choose to remember or choose to forget what you know. In all but rare cases, essences coming to earth choose to forget what they know, so that their experience of earth life is completely open. This is called ‘the great forgetting’. In many cases there are pieces that remain, and some things are still remembered.

What stands out the most is the overwhelming intimacy of the ceremony. You feel completely and totally infused with love. You are love made real.

In my case, I remember an image of one essence touching my heart and sending me on my way to join my kin in this magnificent place we call earth.

PS

If anyone else remembers this, I’d love to have you leave a comment.

Releasing Expectations

Recently I noticed that I’ve been feeling like a prisoner, held captive by some of my expectations.

Have you ever experienced this? Has one of your expectations overwhelmed you, making it difficult to concentrate or focus energy on anything else?

I find this feeling very challenging and perhaps you do as well. I wondered what I could do about it and decided to ask Lia (an ethereal feminine voice of god that comes to me whenever I have questions I’d like answered). I felt I needed a breakthrough and wanted to know what she would tell me.

Her clear voice sprang forward, “It would be helpful for you to know that the basis of all your expectations comes from your cultural upbringing. As you grew up, important folks in your life placed expectations upon you, sometimes specifically and sometimes generally. Depending on your performance you received either rewards or punishments but were never entirely sure which it would be.”

I thought about this for a few minutes and decided that she was absolutely correct.

Of course, my next thought was, what can I do about this? I wondered what my options were and asked for some further guidance.

“At some point in your life, you came to the conclusion that decisions and choices were now up to you. You’d essentially grown past having to be told by others what direction to take. And yet, instead of rethinking setting expectations according to your own rules, you chose to continue your cultural training, allowing these preset decisions to guide your life.”

Yikes, that didn’t seem like a wise move on my part.

I couldn’t deny the truth of her statement. Surely it would be smarter to make reasonable and conscious choices about what to expect from myself and it would be a sound move to strip away any defaults that cause me stress and unhappiness.

So, how is this to be accomplished?

Lia chimed in, “Within each and every expectation there is the existence of that which serves you and that which does not. The simplest way to tell the difference is how they make you feel.”

I wondered, is it really possible to use ‘how expectations make me feel’ as a legitimate barometer? After all, is it truly possible to rely on ‘feelings’ as a measurement of success and forward movement?

I received a resounding “yes” from Lia.

And then this, “It is all about what you are aiming for. Ask yourself, what is most important to you?”

I came up with several answers.

Lia asked me whether my answers came from my feelings or my thoughts.

“Feelings,” I responded.

“It matters what you choose to release and what you choose to embrace. When you release others’ expectations and their attached rewards and punishments and consciously embrace your own softly held expectations which align with what is most important to you, your life will change enormously.”

I liked the sounds of that. A lot.

I needed one more clarification. “Softly held expectations?”, I asked.

“Yes,” Lia said, “softly held implies you allow for a range of outcomes and accept whichever occurs, knowing that each holds some value for you.”

I am so grateful for the release I feel. I am no longer a prisoner and can move about freely, knowing I have a choice. Thank you Lia for your wisdom.

The Power of Choice

Do you believe that you have a choice?

Not everyone does believe this. They maintain that they are limited and although they may at times have a choice, they don’t always. They believe that there are defined limits that cannot be exceeded.

I wanted to know where I stood on this question, so I began exploring this idea of choice. I wondered how far I might be able to go with my ability to make choices.

Could I for instance, decide in advance, how something could or would turn out?

One thing I discovered early in this process was that if internal fears were present, I felt very limited. I found that fear very effectively blocked my way forward. It didn’t matter which fear was present, they all seemed to have the same effect.

I also encountered an interesting dimension to fear. It has an amazing ability to alter reason. Despite the presence of facts, fear has the uncanny ability to sidestep them and create projected outcomes, some of which don’t even make sense, but appear very believable.

I wondered how do I, how does anyone move beyond this, once fear is present?

A voice appears inside me offering an answer. As usual, it is Lia’s voice (an ethereal feminine voice of god that comes to me whenever I have questions I’d like answered).

She offers this simple solution, “You just decide. That’s what you are always doing. You make a choice and then take action steps.”

Sounds easy enough. But then it occurs to me that there are many different kinds of choices, and they feel different to me, making me wonder if her solution applies across the board.

There are subconscious choices (my default choices), conscious choices (that I make either proactively or reactively), spontaneous choices (made immediately in the moment) and, at least for me, spiritual blueprint choices (ones I just ‘know’ are a part of my path).

Lia reacts saying, “As you explore the world of choices, it is helpful to keep in mind that nothing happens TO you. You are not the victim in any experience. All things that happen, happen THROUGH you. Everything is a part of your spiritual blueprint (those events you came to earth to experience), and each serves you, either directly (moving you forward) or indirectly (pointing your way forward by sharing that they are not the way).”

That statement was going to take me a minute to absorb.

I ended up telling Lia that I could use some additional clarification, so she went on to say, “There is a wealth of possible choices, and they exist inside your mind. Some of these you view as threats. You extrapolate these threats (fears) and create ideas in your mind which you ‘believe’ are true, but they are just ideas (thoughts), and you have the choice whether to believe them or not. No thought has any true independent power. They receive their power only if you choose to believe them. Without this power they are empty.”

This all made sense to me, especially as I brought to mind some of the idiotic fears I’ve created over the years.

Her wisdom continued, “Rather than focus on your thoughts created by your fears, it will benefit you richly to realize that you have other choices you can make, ones that do serve you.”

She went on to encourage me to find a way of shifting.

Here’s what I came up with. “I release any choice I do not wish to experience and embrace (choose) those I do wish to experience. I acknowledge my perfect freedom to do this now and at all times.”

Letting go of my fear thoughts allows me to shift and choose thoughts that directly serve me, ones that bring love and joy into my life. It’s a constant kind of thing, but I now feel equipped to make good choices and experience life in a positive way.

Beneath the Healing Experience

Do you wonder why some folks are healed and others are not?

If you do, you are not alone. It would seem surprising that any one of us has escaped the need for healing, whether it be physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual.

No doubt there are many ideas, strategies and therapies that are available to treat any condition, but how does one know which is most likely to work?

Perhaps the simple answer is…we don’t know.

Professional health care workers, social and psychological therapists, energy workers, spiritual counselors, everyone associated with any field of study or practice, may not know.

Maybe this is because we are so complicated and the nature of our illness or discomfort crosses barriers. Maybe no one in the healing professions can treat us effectively because they may not understand our full picture.

So, you may be wondering, where do we go for help?

I leave to you that decision, but I offer you this.

I believe all healing happens within us. I also believe that help is always present to me. In my case, it is Lia, a part of god, I call upon. Lia is an ethereal feminine voice that speaks to me with sweetness and wisdom. Not only is she available to me, but she is also available to you. She waits for you to ask for her presence and once you do, she appears.

As I experience illnesses and discomforts, I wonder how I will ever be restored to health. I am a person who likes answers. I am a person who needs answers and when I am without them, it adds to my challenges.

So, I reach out to Lia for help. And she comes and speaks to me.

In the Bible, Jesus is said to heal others. There are lots and lots of stories and they center around folks who were unwell before their interaction with Jesus, but then become well.

How?

I want to know. Maybe you do too. So, I ask Lia about it, and this is what she told me. As always, I leave it up to you to feel whether there is truth in her words for you.

“Yeshiwa (Jesus) never healed anyone. They came to him with the power to heal themselves already inside of them. Yeshiwa recognized this and offered them the choice of believing and having faith in being restored to health. He saw within them those who were ready and those who were not. He knew the outcome through knowing this.”

Stunning and not at all what I was expecting.

Lia continued, “Yeshiwa asked what those who came to him were seeking so that they would confirm their desire for healing. And once they did, once they made the choice to be restored, their faith made them well.”

I was still stunned but now I understood. And yet, I wondered, how does this apply to me?

Lia heard my thoughts and said, “Choosing health and wellness is up to you. Imagine for a moment that one day you choose health, but the next you choose doubt. And imagine it goes on and on like this. Do you suppose that you will experience only wellness?”

Ouch, that kind of hit home. What it also did was open my eyes, my mind, and my heart. If I am never consistent with my thoughts and beliefs, how can I expect the outcomes I say I desire.

My answer is…I can’t realistically. I have to shift.

Since I have the power within me to heal, I see the need to make the same choice over and over again, without diluting it with contrary feelings and doubts, because once I do, my power is lost.

I need to choose to believe in the healing power I possess and to choose it each time it comes to mind. I need to choose it with my mind, my heart, and my spirit. It is only then that I will be healed.

Thank you, Lia, for your divine wisdom.

Not Holding On

Here’s a question for you.

Do you think there is a difference between ‘letting go’ and ‘not holding on’?

When the two statements jumped into my mind, I initially thought they were interchangeable. But the more I thought about them, the more unique they became, and their differences made quite an impression on me. So much so I thought I’d share them with you.

For me, ‘letting go’ implies that I already am holding on to something and that I’ve accepted it as important enough for it to become a part of me. To release the idea would require me to make a conscious decision. I have a choice whether to keep the item or let it go.

The concept of ‘not holding on’ turns out to be very different. Something has been or is being presented to me. There is an offer on the table and so I must choose whether I want it or not. I recognize I am considering something ‘other’, something which does not belong to me, at least not yet.

Sometimes I confuse these two concepts. As a result, the clarity with which I make my decisions is affected. I need some benchmarks to help me.

One comes to me. It is that I am never required to accept anything offered to me. It is always my choice. This happens to apply whether I am reconsidering my ‘ownership’ or deciding whether to accept something new.

The reason I say this is because of my absolute firm belief in free will. It is one of the most precious gifts I have.

Maybe you’ve been told otherwise. Perhaps there are people in your life that demand, negotiate or attempt to bribe or reward you to choose whatever they offer you. They wish for you to meet their expectation, rather than allow you to exercise your free will and choose for yourself.

When this happens to me, a question pops into my head. Why? What is their motivation? Do they truly have my best interests at heart or their own? I think it’s a fair question.

A second idea comes around a corner into my vision. What is the idea or concept ultimately offering me? I confess it’s not always easy to tell.

I sharpen an edge on the question and ask it another way. In what way(s) does what’s being offered to me serve me?

The words, ‘serve me’, may be unfamiliar to you as a way to decide anything, so let me try to clarify.

For most of my life I approached my achievements in a convention way. Get good grades in school (which I didn’t), go to college, get married, get a job, move up the ladder, have children, save for retirement…I think you get the picture. I took all of these things and absorbed them. Everyone I knew talked about them and strove for them. They became my internally accepted and expected goals and I gave them little conscious thought. I don’t want you to think I don’t appreciate all these things because I do. They’ve given my life indescribable joy and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. But it is also true that I never really seriously considered other choices.

I didn’t know I could make independent choices. Does this feel at all familiar to you? I know I’m not alone because many others have told me variations on this theme.

Enter the new concept of what ‘serves me’. The fundamental idea is that I have the power to make all of my own choices. And, that if I pay attention, I can tell the difference between choices that ‘feel’ right to me and those that do not. The ones that feel right align with where I want to go in life and what I want to do or accomplish.

The beautiful thing is that I can exercise my free will to make choices that align with my spirit, that feel right to me, that ‘serve me’. I can do this both with ‘letting go’ and with ‘not holding on’.

And the good news is, so can you, if that is what you choose.

Not Guilty

I suspect there might be numerous claims as to the culture or entity that has the most ‘guilt’ associated with it. Do you have an opinion about this? Perhaps your very own cultural upbringing would be your answer.

When I think about it, guilt is one of the most potent and destructive forces in the world. I have yet to come across anyone who does not know its powerful and invasive affects.

As a curious person I wonder about guilts origin. Where exactly did it come from? Does it serve a purpose in our lives? Do we get to decide, to actually choose whether to participate in feeling guilty or not?

No doubt we each have our own version of our guilt stories.

Lately I’ve been wondering how to give my ‘guilt story’ up, so I decided to go on my own self-guided ‘guilt trip’. Rather than taking the normal journey at someone else’s prompting, I chose to allow whatever feelings of guilt to come show themselves to me.

I asked for only one thing during this process…clarity.

Okay, so off I go.

But wait, where are my answers going to come from? Of course, for me, it will be Lia, that part of god that speaks to me in an ethereal feminine voice of love.

Question 1.

Where did all my guilt come from?

A rather simple answer came my way as Lia spoke, “All guilt comes from the world around you and is absorbed within you the moment you accept it as true for you.”

Well, maybe not so simple after all, because it is really easy to accept what others tell you as your own truth.

Question 2.

What purpose does guilt serve?

And after a moment, Lia’s sweet voice responds saying, “Others desire to have their wishes followed, so they choose to employ guilt to make you decide to accept them and their ways. They work diligently to control your actions and decisions and provide penalties and punishments for any noncompliance on your part.”

Wow, that’s some clarity alright! I needed a follow-up question, so asked, “Lia, I see how utterly correct you are and am wondering how what you’ve told me in the past can be true in this case. You’ve said that ‘all’ things serve me. It feels so awful to suffer the pangs of guilt, so I’m wondering how guilt can serve me?”

I am instantly rewarded with an answer that makes sense to me, because Lia told me this, “You assume that all things must be seen or felt to be ‘positive’ in order to serve you. This is not the case, with guilt or with any other thing. Both ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ experiences serve you because they both point the way forward.”

Well, I surely want to move forward, but still wondered about her words.

Of course, she knew this. She always knows and since her love for me is whole and complete, she answered the question that was in my mind before it reached my lips.

She went on by telling me what I needed to know, “Beloved, guilt is your choice. No one can make you feel what you do not choose. No one. So, use what is offered to you to define your direction. The words ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ are concepts, but more than that, they are guideposts. They offer you choices and what you end up choosing creates your life experiences. If you desire to live a joy-filled life, release any guilt offered you and know that it is and always will be your choices that defines your life.”

I needed to sit back and reflect for a minute and let her words sink into me. When they did, I understood that by releasing any guilt and embracing that which offers me love and connection, I can choose to live the joy-filled life I desire.

Clarity About (god’s) Role

Do you ever wonder whether (god) is playing a role in your life? And if so, what it is and how it works?

I’ve placed “god” in lower case letters inside a parathesis on purpose. My reason being that the use of capital letters seems to give the impression of distance in the relationship we have with our divine self and creates a formality. I don’t believe either of these things exists.

Over my twenty-five years of intimate, two-way conversations with (god), there is no such thing as distance and certainly no formality, unless I create it for some reason.

We talk regularly and (god) has many voices, all of them sweet and meaningful to me. There is a voice of a loving father (abba), deeply caring mother (na’a), wise brother (yeshiwa) and ethereal, compassionate sister (lia, love in action). And lately there is the emergence of a new voice who is offering me an incredibly rich depth of understanding (essence).

I wonder what (god’s) voice sounds like to you. If it is harsh, judgmental, and dispassionate, I offer you this opportunity to choose differently. To release this sense of (god) and choose a different view, a loving, caring, compassionate view.

I want to invite you to see (god) through my eyes for a moment.

I’m prepared to accept that each of us has received cultural training which has created our set of beliefs, neither inherently ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, but ever present within us.

I’m also prepared to accept that what each of us has absorbed contains a great number of contradictions making it almost impossible to know the ‘truth’ about anything.

One of my biggest questions is what role (god) plays in my life? Perhaps you wonder the same thing. You may even have strongly conflicting feelings, at times sensing (god) is withholding from you or overshadowing your desires.

So, I asked and the voice that belongs to Lia and she answered me. Here is what she told me.

“You can ask for my help with anything, and I will provide it for you. I will never circumvent your free will because it is sacrosanct. I always listen to everything you think and say, and I always have. Please try to understand that you have asked me for many things during the course of your life, many of which are conflicting statements and requests. You do not remember this, but I do. It may seem to you that I am not listening, but this is not the case. I am always listening, always available, always loving you.”

There have been so many times that her words have helped break something open inside of me and this was one of those times.

I understood immediately that she was absolutely correct. I had asked for millions of things during my life, and I realized that many did conflict. How could it even be possible for my wishes and desires to happen since there was no consistency in my asking.

Had I been (god), could I have helped fulfill my requests, when I wanted so many different things? The simple answer was, NO.

I realized that I needed to clean my slate.

Do you remember a toy called an Etch-A-Sketch? You could twist the two knobs and a line would form on the screen. If you were very good, you could make a design and when you wanted to start over, you held a lever on the side and pulled it downward, which completely cleared the screen, returning it to blankness.

Magic. You could now begin anew.

Well, you can do the same thing. You can clear your requests of (god) and start over. You can choose the role you would like (god) to play in your life, and you can decide what you would like help with.

Lia explained to me that it is her fondest desire to assist me in all things. Listening to her words I came to understand that for me to experience what I say I desire I must be consistent and unambiguous. It is only then that she can aid me since there is a clarity to my thoughts, feelings, and requests.

I am so grateful for her presence in my life and her words of wisdom.

Grandchildren Teachers

I confess, I thought I would be the teacher when it came to interacting with my grandchildren. But spending time with them has enlightened me and I have come to realize it is I who have much to learn from them.

Recently, my youngest granddaughter, Tessa, who is about to turn four, and I were in my basement and about to begin painting. My wife had purchased three wooden crabs and a variety pack of acrylic paints. Tessa had her smock on and was ready to go, claiming two of the three crabs and placing them in front of herself. We opened all of the paints and started in. She dipped her brush in and began spreading paint all over her crabs.

I selected my colors and planned out which color would go where and started carefully painting.

Tessa looked down at my crab, then up at me, and with lightning speed swiped her orange paint laden brush across my crab’s face and laughed. I was totally surprised. Then she took her blue paintbrush and did the same thing. She starred up at me to see what I would do.

I knew in that instant that it would matter a great deal to her what action I chose, so I laughed ‘with’ her and told her how beautiful my crab now looked.

I know that three- and four-year-old’s think that everything is theirs and that they are free to explore their world in any way they choose. What a valuable lesson for me to remember. I can shift my view of confined expectations and limited choices and encourage myself to expand and explore and have FUN.

When my grandson Evan, who was three years old at the time, and I were in the car together on one of our outings, he called to me from the backseat, “Bompa (his pet name for me), could you put two hands on the steering wheel, you’re making me nervous.”

I swear it’s true, even at three, he was a back-seat driver.

I was taken aback by his comment. Really?

As I thought about it, it became apparent to me that not only was he in touch with his feelings, but he was also able to express them openly and honestly. What a terrific role model for me.

I assured him I would do better and grabbed the steering wheel with both hands. This apparently pleased him because I could hear his little voice saying, “that’s better.”

Because of this simple gesture on his part, I’ve tried to pay attention to my actions and how they could be affecting him. And I’ve tried to be more honest with myself about what I’m feeling and share it with others, so they know and don’t have to guess why I’m doing the things I do or acting in a certain way.

After retiring I was able to assist with babysitting our oldest granddaughter, Kirsten, who was almost four at the time. She would come to our house and stay for the day until her mom picked her up after work.

I decided that Kirsten and I would embark on grand adventures together and set aside an empty journal to keep track of the things that we did. I told her we could do any project she wanted and if I didn’t have the right materials, we’d go to the store and get them.

One of our first experiences was making soft pretzels from a box mix and having them for a ‘second breakfast’. All went well with the mixing and baking process, and we managed to not make too big a mess. I came up with an idea she liked, and we made frosting to cover the pretzels as an extra touch. They were so GOOD.

While eating I said that I was thirsty and got up to get myself a drink. Kirsten said, “You can get water Grandpa, no one is stopping you.” Later Kirsten said to my wife, “Grandma, Grandpa is an interesting man.”

Kirsten’s journal is now over 230 pages long and is filled with memories we share. She has taught me about the value of spontaneity, courage, creativity, curiosity and so much more.

My life has been blessed by my relationships with each of these beautiful light beings and I look forward to everything that is yet to come with them.

Any Open Window

I find it mysterious that there are certain defining moments that have occurred in my life without my notice. An event will happen, and I’ll have an awareness that something of value is present but without connecting any dots, I fail to recognize its importance to me.

And yet, under the surface of my life, a switch has turned ‘on’ or turned ‘off’. I’ve learned that these switches create default settings inside me and that every time a similar event occurs, my auto settings generate my response.

I’d like to think I am more in control than that, but most of the time I’m not.

I’d like to share an example with you and maybe it will trigger something inside you that will provide clarity or insight.

A small warning. This does require a bit of bravery, but the reward is so worth it. When you recall events in your life, please allow yourself to be strong enough to know you will be okay. Better than that, you may find a treasure of great worth that you can keep for the rest of your life.

When I was young (perhaps 9-12 years old) my parents would tell my sister and me that we were going for a car ride. There would be no discussion about where we were going nor how long we would be away. And, we were given no choice about participating, so we got in the car and off we went.

My parents immensely enjoyed driving and within minutes we were in the country and traveling rural backroads. This was a ‘hobby’ for them and a torture for my sister and me, held captive in the backseat.

To get an accurate picture of this experience, here’s what would happen. We would slow down every time we came within sight of a house, and they would begin their conversation about what they would do with the property if they owned it. Mind you, the houses we looked at were decrepit run-down disasters. Broken windows, doors off hinges, partially collapsed walls, roofs caved in disasters. I am not kidding!

The worst part was I thought they were serious. They sounded serious and my father being an architect, I knew he could eventually resurrect the shambles we looked at.

At my age, this was a traumatic situation and without consciously realizing it, a big switch clicked ‘on’ inside me. The switch label read something like this: you have no real choice (only they do), you will likely be forced to move (not being able to take care of myself), no friends will ever be able to find you or visit you (no matter what your parents tell you), you will be isolated (at least until you go away to college) AND, you cannot trust your parents to be concerned about your feelings (they are not considering the impact of this ‘game’ on you).

I found that this switch was connected to another switch. The label on this one read: since you are going to be isolated (you had better become self-reliant), since they may force you to live in the country (you need to become resourceful), AND since they have no regard for your feelings about moving (you have a decision to make about how much trust you will give to them).

Of course, all of this was happening below the surface of my awareness, but it set the stage for what was to come in my life and my feelings of not being ‘safe’ here.

It was only recently that I offered myself the opportunity to revisit these parental outings. Some part of me knew there were truths to discover. The first one to appear was that I was never meant to rely solely on my parents, nor on myself, for that matter. A greater truth shined forth about my true nature. It is something I wished I knew then.

I am part of the divine and am always loved and connected, cared for, and protected and SAFE. I am inseparable from my divine nature and can communicate at all times. When I do this, I feel whole again and when earthly disappointments and challenges come my way, I reach out and talk with the sacred within me. I open my heart, mind, and spirit to be filled with love, for love is the treasure.

And I allow all of my switch setting that no longer serve me to go out any open window, released and set free. I am only captive if that is what I believe.

Fortunately, it is not what I believe, nor is it something you need to believe. We are always free to connect with our divine, sacred, inside self where all answers reside.

Precious Hearts

I’d like to share something personal to me. That sounds kind of funny to me since these posts are all personal to me.

What I mean is that I recently wrote a poem as a way of ‘feeling my feelings’, which is a profoundly personal experience. In my earlier life I would not permit myself to go very deeply into this adventure, but I now see the wisdom of it.

Here is the poem that came through me.

precious hearts

i want to know

what is love

made of

i wonder

who can tell me

can you

is it possible

that it can be said

with words

or

is it only possible to be felt

with the heart

i wonder

who do I have to be

to understand

how one comes

to feel loved

we are not always

kind to each other

we bend

in the wrong places

and snap

and sometimes

our dreams shatter

into broken pieces

and our hopes

fall by the wayside

left strewn

on deserted roads

when these things happen

how are we to know

we are loved

i want to tell you

what I have found

i have found one

who answers

my questions

a divine one

a collector

of redemptions

a reassembler

of scattered things

one who makes them

whole

a channel

who restores vision

and polishes the mirrors

we use

to see ourselves

a truth teller

who hears

all that we have not

given voice to

i have found

a divine one who listens

to our stories

but

does not believe them

for the divine one knows

they are just

stories

perhaps

the truth is

the divine one

found me

and felt my wounded

heart

and

sang a new song

into me

i believe

the divine one

can do the same

for you

if

you open your precious heart

and

ask to be filled

with love

I hope you find something of value in this and that if you are suffering in any way, that you open your precious heart, so the divine one can sing a new song into you.

Suspending Judgement

I’d like to ask you three questions.

Here are two simple requests before I do, which are really the same thing stated two different ways:

1. Please don’t THINK about your responses and

2. Be SPONTANEOUS.

When was the last time you felt judged?

For some, this might have happened a minute ago, for others it might be longer. For some unfortunate folks, their response might be, “it happens all the time!”

Okay, question two.

When was the last time you judged someone?

We’d probably prefer not to answer, or we might be tempted to give ourselves some latitude with our answer. This type of judgement can happen so quickly we’re not even aware we’ve done it.

And lastly, question three.

When was the last time you judged yourself for something?

This might be the most difficult to answer. It can be challenging to give ourselves a pass and not find fault with our actions. In addition, we’re pretty good at repeating patterns that have been taught to us, where judgements have been placed upon us so often that it’s no longer necessary for someone else to initiate them, since we now do it to ourselves. Regrettable, self-judgements can become one of our automatic responses in life.

I’m curious. Which of these three questions was the easiest to answer?

Question one often permits us to blame folks outside of ourselves, question two offers us an awareness of our role in the judgement process of finding fault with others and question three focuses on self-criticism.

I wonder how often our patterns run on autopilot. I also wonder what amount of time we accept others judgements versus create judgements about others. Perhaps they are part of a circle of judgement where they run together and become almost unrecognizable to us.

When I get wrapped up in this process, I find it difficult to stand back, even while knowing I need to observe it all from a distance. On my good days I stand far enough away to see that all forms of judgement hurt everyone involved, both the sender and receiver.

So, I ask myself three new questions, why do we do it, who does it serve and how does it prosper anyone?

My answers to these questions seem simple enough to me…we do it because we allow it to happen, it serves no one and it prospers no one.

The truth hits me hard, I judge as a way of placing myself above others, as if I am special and others are not, as if they are less somehow than me, therefore subject to judgement. It’s a terrible feeling and I want to make changes, but how?

I believe for me that it starts with a clear view about who we all are. We are co-journeyer’s, all from the same heaven, all returning to the same heaven. But while we are here, we’re having different experiences and making different choices, some more challenging than others.

What if I recognized that everyone deserves consideration, no matter what? What if I realized that I know virtually nothing about someone else’s inner life and therefore their outer actions? What if I could give them (and myself) the benefit of the doubt that they are doing the best they can at the moment, whether I can understand that or not?

Ultimately, these decisions will impact me and also everyone I come into contact with. If a goal of mine is to experience a joy-filled life I’m sure that suspending any judgements will assist me greatly.

Why Did You Come Here

Why did you come here is a deep question, potentially prompting many more questions in its wake.

At first glance, it implies that there is a reason, or perhaps multiple reasons, but does not suggest that you consciously know what they are.

So, I’m wondering, do you think your being here is random OR part of some grand design OR through a choice you made OR because some part of the divine wanted you here?

I believe our answer(s) go a long way toward how we experience our lives while we’re here.

If you think your being here is just a random act, you may be likely to view the rest of the world in the same manner. This might mean you feel a complete lack of control over anything in your life, because after all there are no guiding principles at work.

You may believe that there is a profound grand design to the entire world and that you are playing a part in it. Your part may be small at times, moderate or incredibly important, at least to you and those surrounding you.

On the other hand, it may feel to you as though you made the choice to come here to earth for the awesome adventure it can be and that somehow some part of you was able to consciously select the time and place for your current existence on earth.

And finally, of the options I listed, which are simply not complete, you may believe that the divine (god, by whatever name you use), decided that the world needed you here and that you have a purpose or many purposes.

I’m curious, what do you believe about why you are here?

What do you hope or plan to accomplish? Are there specific things or experiences you want from this earth adventure?

It’s a lot to ponder and you may have already done some thinking about it. What conclusions have you drawn and how have your answers shaped your life here?

I also wonder, if you’ve decided a few things you want to achieve or experience, do you have the skills, money, and time to accomplish them? Do you think you would have come here without them or the promise of them?

Okay, enough questions for now.

I’d like to share some thoughts with you, ideas that have expanded my views about this life. Ideas that have come ‘from the inside out’, meaning that I was previously unaware of them, and they did not arrive by intellectual means, but rather from spiritual insight.

I share them with you, as considerations, not expectations. One of my firmest beliefs is that we each choose our own path through life. We share what we think and believe but leave it up to each other to decide what to accept and embrace.

When I dive deep into my spirit there are always answers to my questions. I’m positive the same can be true for you, should you decide to go inward.

What has come to me is that I am here to remember my truest nature, that I am love. Deep joy is revealed when I am in alignment with and centered in love. I am here to share the awareness that we are all made of the same love, that we came from it and return to it. I am here to assist any others who choose to be a part of this revelation. This is in fact the reason I write books and posts, to broaden possible views and open windows into a more loving world.

I am here to encourage others to share their love in their own unique, special, magical ways because that is what makes for a beautiful world.

Not Falling

When is the last time you fell? Was it more like a stumble and you caught yourself or did you go down spread-eagle and land flat out?

I’ve fallen several times over the years. The most recent time was down the stairs. Well, I should say, down the last stair. It easily could have been avoided. You see, I was carrying something in my arms and couldn’t see the bottom step. I thought I was at the landing, but no, I still had one more step to go. I lost my balance, dropped what I was carrying and couldn’t recover quickly enough to catch the railing. So…down I went. Of course, I fell on top of what I’d been carrying, to add insult to my injuries.

My fall also created a commotion because my family was concerned and came to discover me at the bottom of the stairs, splayed out and more than a little upset.

Worse still, there were many suggestions about how my fall could have been averted. Yes, I knew that already.

Later when I was calm and reliving my adventure, I realized that had I not been carrying anything or had I arranged what I was carrying so that I could see forward and downward, I would not have fallen. As we used to say when I was a kid, DUH!

So why had I carried this armful of stuff and risked a potential fall?

The best I could come up with was, ‘I didn’t even think about it, I just did it. I picked up the stuff and started down the stairs, assuming all would be well.’

Here’s the thing. Had I arrived safely I would not have had to consider my actions, but because I’d fallen, I needed to see if there was a teaching in my experience.

I strongly believe there is a teaching in every single action in our lives. We are so often blissfully unaware of this, but if we took a moment, we might see there could be truth in it.

Case in point.

I sat back and considered, could it be that the same thing happens to me emotionally? Am I carrying too much with me, making it hard to see where I’m going?

If I am excessively thinking about or stressing over something in my life and allowing it to overwhelm me emotionally, is it possible that it results in my falling?

My answer is an unequivocable ‘yes’.

Is it possible we all do this?

I can certainly see how I can lose my balance and become unsteady when I am worried, angry, overtired, jealous, distracted or any other emotional state.

Some of these are very heavy loads.

Might it not be a wonderful idea to release some or most of what I carry with me, especially those things that block my view? To let go of or set down objects or thoughts or habits which take up so much space?

The world offers us an overabundance of concerns. How many can we carry without losing our balance and falling?

It’s a difficult question to answer.

I also know it’s an important one for me. Perhaps it is for you as well.

I think I would be wise to consider releasing anything that feels too heavy, knowing it could cause me to fall. Here’s just one example.

There are those in my world who believe I should stay informed. I should read the paper, follow a news feed on my phone or watch the evening news, so that I stay abreast of world events. They don’t seem to understand the cost of this to me. I feel deeply for what others are going through and it weighs on me, heavily. It overwhelms me and pushes me out of balance emotionally and spiritually. And the truth is, there is little, if anything I can do to remedy the world’s situations.

I must choose what to carry with me and what to set aside. If I want to live a beautiful life, I benefit from paying attention to what I am carrying and whether it allows me to stay balanced.

Sadness to the Source of Love

This morning I gave myself permission to feel disappointed. I didn’t fight it or try to tell myself I shouldn’t feel this way.

I am human and I want to feel loved. Part of this, for me, is that when I give love out, I hope for it in return.

I don’t give love with an expectation or at least I try not to. I don’t want there to be any strings attached. I try to let love overflow through me, as naturally I am able.

But once it is given out, I recognize there is some part of me that waits to see if any of it will come back to me and I admit, this part of me is sad when it doesn’t.

Do you ever feel this way?

The permission I give myself allows me to lean into the sadness, recognizing I cannot outrun it. By leaning in I hope to discover something, perhaps something worthwhile enough that I can keep it with me for the rest of my life.

I sense there is value beyond the sadness, a hidden treasure for me to find which is even more powerful than the love I’d hoped would be returned.

Even with this open permission it’s hard to see through my disappointment, as if it shrouds everything in a dense mist.

I ask to see through the mist and some of it clears away, but not enough.

I wonder, what else can I do?

A question forms…what are my intentions? Once I’ve accepted and embraced my sadness over the love I did not receive, what am I hoping to experience?

A mysterious answer comes to me in the form of two questions. They echo over and over. Do you feel emptied by this act of overflowing love? And do you feel a need to be refilled?

My quick response is ‘yes’ to both.

I sit back and realize; I have attached strings. Thick, strong, tight strings.

A dawning happens. My disappointment and sadness are present to help guide me to seeing more clearly this inescapable truth about myself.

I am looking outside of myself for love.

I know that I am not alone in this. I see it everywhere I look. It is as if we were taught that we are not enough and need others love to be whole.

Hold still for a moment and see if there is any truth in this for you.

My admission seems earthshaking to me…’I am not enough, therefore, I must be filled by others’. This of course makes me reliant on others, as much as a baby is reliant on its caregivers for its every need.

The analogy is not lost on me, and I wonder how far I have actually grown.

Another question forms…can I find within me an inexhaustible wellspring of love that will forever feed me?

This idea overtakes me and offers to shatter my dependence on others to be filled from their love. This idea guides me to the truth I seek, that I am a part of the divine; whole, complete, and holy. That I am never emptied of love because the divine lives within me. That I am connected to the divine, the infinitely deep, inexhaustible source of love.

I am incredibly joyful to have given myself permission to feel my feelings and to follow them from disappointment and sadness to discovering the truth that I am a part of the source of love.

The High Road

You may be unfamiliar with the whole concept of ‘the high road’, so I’d like to share my definition with you.

Contrary to the Oxford Dictionary which lists the definition as, “a morally superior approach toward something”, my version is “simply speaking your truth in a way that supports and encourages you and others”.

My concept begs that a question be answered first.

What does ‘speaking your truth’ mean? And perhaps before you are able to answer this, there is a prior question that is necessary, ‘what is true for you’?

Do you feel forced to respond to questions from others or situations you face in a certain manner? Do you feel compelled to stay within the expectations of those you’re talking to or interacting with?

These are very big questions, so it might take you a few minutes to answer.

For me, the temptation is to respond in a way I believe others will find favorable. It’s part of my people-pleasing personality. This of course does not serve me well and I’ve spent quite a bit of time shifting away from it, to approaches that do serve me. But every so often, I observe myself either responding this way or being tempted to.

It takes a lot to resist this immediate impulse and I am still lured into it, though much more aware than I used to be. I’m happy each time I catch myself because this means I’m growing.

Often it takes my full awareness to wait before I let my voice come to the surface and speak what feels like the truth, especially when I know it’s not what someone else wants or expects to hear.

For me, this is part of taking ‘the high road’.

I constantly coach myself to be sensitive to other versions of the truth, to acknowledge the potential value they may offer me, but not be overwhelmed by their expectations or speak half-truths in response.

It’s hard for me to confess/admit but I am not here to please others, although when I come from a place of love, this is often what happens.

Walking ‘the high road’ means several practical things to me.

It means searching for multiple answers instead of choosing the easiest one.

It means before acting, that I consider my choices and which one(s) represent who I am and who I want to be in this world.

It also means that, because so many others are important to me, that I take the time I need to feel comfortable with my decisions, realizing I want them to support me first and then others to the extent I am able.

And it means spending time looking inside myself and sensing where the path of love is guiding me.

I am aware enough now to recognize I can’t do all of this by myself.

I need help.

I believe we all need help.

Sometimes help comes from friends, or family or a wonderful counselor. Sometimes it comes from someone who challenges us or annoys us or threatens us. Despite how hard it is to recognize this; it is often still the truth.

And there is another source of aid. It’s one I speak of often, so you probably already know. It is the divine, by whatever name you use. For me, the presence of the divine is not theoretical. It’s personal and tangible and magnificent and only one request away. For me and I believe, for you, the presence of the divine is always waiting patiently, ready to support you, encourage you and love you.

So, a final part of the process of taking ‘the high road’ is talking with the divine and coming to know within myself what is the truth for me. It’s also what you can do if it feels right to you.

Heaven on Earth (Part Two)

Hopefully you’ve had a chance to read Part One of this post about heaven on earth. If not, please check it out, as it will make this post more meaningful.

This is a continuation of an assignment I gave myself several years ago where the challenge was to create my best version of life here. In essence, to offer myself and the world an opportunity to come together, connecting and sharing our lives, in the hope that we could join forces and find a way to live a life of love.

Here is part two of my Heaven on Earth assignment:

(picking up from where I left off with ‘forgiveness’)

And

We would find that “community” happens naturally when we touch, hug, care, love and forgive each other- and that once we build community there will always be support for all of us- no one would ever have to feel alone or separate, that there would always be someone to help, to comfort, to teach, to encourage our dream, to reward our contribution, to love us.

And

There would be abundant and gentle humor, not filled with anger, envy or harm- a kind of humor that includes, rather than excludes- a kind of humor that joins us in laughter and connection- a kind of humor that increases joy.

And

There would be creativity of all kinds; art, music, writing, building- and everyone would be encouraged to participate, no matter what their skill level was, because creativity is individual and it would grow in a loving environment- where imagination would be given life and seen as an extension of heaven to be appreciated- a place where you could lose yourself in abandon.

And

It would be a place of “potential peace”, sometimes utterly peaceful where everything is at joyful rest; balanced, centered, open, deliriously right and when the world turns to chaos, fear, anger, worry and hurt, there would exist an awareness that peace is still possible, and people would see those in pain and come to their aid, to listen, to hold them, to help them release their fears, to touch their spirit and show their love and in this act, provide balance for both giver and receiver- a kind of sacred harmony.

And

There would be a feeling of freedom within each of us, a certain knowing that we are loved, wholly and completely by the divine- so that there would always be a center of hope within us, a light that cannot be extinguished, a flame that kindles our own love and that connects us to everyone else, our sacred family- so that joy is always present. (the end)

So, sit back for a moment or two and see how this strikes you.

Is it at all realistic? In your opinion, could it ever happen?

I confess that despite how much I wish that things could be this way, I have my doubts. Mostly, this is because each of us has received the precious gift of ‘free will’, the ability to decide for ourselves what beliefs we will hold and choose what actions we will take in the world. It seems too difficult for me to believe that every person would sacrifice their own ability to choose, regardless of how much it might benefit everyone in the process.

From what I’ve seen during my life, there are always those who will take from others. Their need or desire is so great, and their rationalizations are so strong that they feel it is right for them to enhance themselves, even at the expense of others.

If I’m entirely honest, could I say I haven’t done this myself?

This question forces me to consider my own nature, which is not an easy thing to do, once you’ve come up with a beautiful plan for creating heaven on earth.

So, where do I go from here?

As with absolutely every decision in my life, my choices create my experience. I feel it necessary to ask myself, what is the most important experience for ME? I guess this may be the same question you’d need to ask yourself.

When I feel connected to the divine, love is my choice, and it is this I hope to always choose.

Heaven On Earth

What if I asked you to tell me how you would create heaven on earth? Could you do it?

Let’s say you answered yes, where would you start?

Several years ago, I was contemplating this very question. Once I began to write my response, I realized it was far more challenging than I thought it would be and that it would demand a great deal more thinking on my part.

Also, my version of heaven on earth seemed to come in stages.

I’d like to share what eventually formed inside of me, in the hopes that it sparks something inside of you. What I would really love is if we could compare notes, and perhaps change our worlds together. I’ll leave that up to you.

Since mine turned out to be pretty long, I’m breaking it up into two parts, so please stay tuned for my next post as well.

Here then is my Heaven on Earth assignment (Part One):

My first thought/feeling is that you would be able to hug another person for as long as it took to feel balanced- that you could send love outward to them and receive love in from them- and all of this would be considered normal- that it would be so filling, rewarding, enlivening that everyone would want to do it- that it would not get confusing for anyone.

And

We could all say to each other, “I love you” and it would feel “right”- there wouldn’t be awkwardness or uncomfortable expectations attached- that saying it would be an extension of our hearts recognizing, appreciating, and connecting with each other.

And

We would feel free to give each other gifts- both large and small and it would happen spontaneously, from a center of love, not based only on acceptable events, but anytime- the gifts would not have to be equaled or paid back, they would feel good to receive and perhaps we could gain a sense of comfort with the concept that there will always be enough for everyone if we share from the heart.

And

We could cherish each other because we care and want to support and enrich each other’s lives, because we realize that it is just as important and necessary as when we were first born to be held and caressed and know we mean something to someone- that we would realize that touch fills our life with love, creates connection, expands our hearts, increases our immunity, focuses us outward, gives life and creates life.

And

We would know the beauty of giving from a calm, generous, loving heart- which raises up the giver as it supports the receiver, we’d know it is beautiful to be both giver and receiver, that it balances us, connects us- that we could give without thought of need of receiving, but just for the pure joy giving contains within itself- that we would grow in opening our hearts till it became our nature, our first action, our expanding from love.

And

We would see how forgiveness sets us free and invites others to do the same- we would open to know that everyone hurts, everyone lacks, everyone needs, everyone is in pain and that their unkind actions come from these lacks- from the lack of love, such that only love can fill their empty space- and forgiveness is born from love, the kind of love that recognizes the choice of sacrificing our own sense of pain to fill another with love- and surprisingly, in the process we are also healed.

There is so much more to say, so please join me for my next post.

Note: The entire Heaven On Earth assignment also appears in chapter three of my book, Little Buddha Book One, where one of the characters, Sam, is given this as an assignment to complete for his growth by Claire (Little Buddha).

This book is available in both print and
eBook versions on Amazon, along with the other books in the series.

Silence

When was the last time you found silence?

After a few minutes thought, I couldn’t remember my last time. You see, I believe silence is far more than the absence of noise. It is deeper and more profound. It is a gift beyond measure.

I can only hear silence if I give myself a chance to listen, to pause for my heart and my ears to be still. I need a space inside me to open for quiet, and for where everything seems to be at peace.

I wonder sometimes, do I understand silence?

Our world is so noisy with an incredible array of sources; cars, trucks, buses, planes, people talking, shouting, singing, birds, insects, wind and water, lawn mowers, clocks, chimes…the list is so long. And even if these all fall away, there is the sound of my own heart beating.

Inside me, I feel a strong need for silence. There is an indescribable value in it, beyond what I can explain with words. Perhaps you sense this too.

I wonder, how long could I sit and appreciate silence before it might become too much for me? I ask myself, what does ‘too much’ even mean? Do I need some form of noise in my life at all times?

When our children were young, they could watch TV, do their homework, and carry on a conversation, all at the same time. It seemed natural for them. Easy. I realized quickly I could never do that. It’s too much noise for me. I need breaks between periods of noise. I need a place to get away.

I wonder about this, and something comes to me.

It’s hard to explain, but I want the silence of ‘home’, which is the sound of heaven.

Silence, but not silent.

You may be asking, what does that mean, thinking that it makes no sense.

For me, it does.

Silent is the act of not speaking, while silence is a state of being, a place of peace, the essence of bliss, and yes, the sound of home, heaven.

There is movement, energy and love radiating in the silence.

This may sound appealing to you, and you may want to know how this kind of silence can be found.

The simplest answer I know is, it’s found inside of you.

My last post was about feeling loved. In it I shared that I have an intimate relationship with aspects of (god). That I invite (god) in and I ask (god) to be present and so (god) comes and sits with me, keeping me company, listening deeply to me, hearing me in a way unlike any other relationship.

It is here I find silence, in between our thoughts. It is here that bliss baths me.

It is here for all who choose it, no matter what name you choose to use for (god).

I’m reminded of the saying, ‘silence is golden’. It’s meaning for me does not come from the absence of noise in our busy world, but rather from the bliss of heaven, the magnificent place of peace that rests within each of us.

If you are searching for silence, consider going inside and asking for (god’s) presence to lead the way back to heaven.

Feeling Loved

I wonder, did anyone ever tell you that you would be loved, no matter what?

I suspect someone may have said this out loud to you, but did it turn out to be the truth?

When you did something ‘wrong’ and were punished for it, did you feel loved or was this the beginning of your concerns about the world?

It’s only in retrospect that I’ve been able to see the truth in this for me. And it led to several other conclusions. I understood in a new way, that the world is not safe. And I came to believe that I could not fully trust others. I wanted to, but I couldn’t.

We are all creatures who observe. Not only do we hear what others say, we see what they do. We watch as they role model for us and then, we decide how to act. But I wonder, is it really a decision or is it a reaction?

If we want to feel safe and loved, aren’t we likely to act as others want or expect us to behave? That certainly feels true to me.

What also feels true to me is that I use this same reactive thinking and apply it outwardly to the rest of the world in all my relationships, the work world and everywhere I go.

My beliefs are formed around the principle of whether I feel loved. Beneath the surface I worry about whether I am meeting others’ expectations of me. Am I doing enough for them to love me?

This is what has been modeled for me.

There is no blame here. I don’t resent those who placed this expectation on me, and I don’t blame myself for accepting their expectations. Neither of us know any better. We’re just passing along what we’ve been taught, from one generation to the next.

I pause for a moment to consider.

How is this to change? What enlightenment will come into my life to show me a better way?

I know an answer, one that works for me, and I want to share it with you, in the hopes that it might work for you too.

I’ve talked a lot about it, if you’ve been reading my posts.

It is my relationship with (god). I bracket the word (god) because I want to distance us from standard definitions. To me, (god) has many forms and feels. For me, there is abba (father), na’a (mother), yeshiwa (brother), lia (sister) and essence (the foundation of all heavenly bliss),

When I invite them in, they come. They do not force their way in, ever. They wait for my invitation, then come and share their wisdom, insight, and love with me.

They are reflections of (god), each a part of the divine for me.

Yours might be different. I honor that. We all see and feel the truth in different ways. What seems important to me is that (god) is available to each of us, waiting for our decision to reach out with an invitation.

As soon as I open and ask and prepare myself to be quiet and listen, (god) appears. We now have two-way dialogues whenever I ask. Wonderful, honest, personal conversations.

It is here I know I am loved. It is here there are no expectations, conditions, or requirements. No matter what I have done or left undone, I feel loved.

Please know this relationship is yours as well, whenever you decide to choose it.

NOTE: If you’d like to know more about my relationship with (god) and how you can have your own, please feel free to read my book, talking with (god), available on Amazon in print and eBook versions.

Deserving

Do I deserve to experience what I want in this life? Do you?

I don’t believe this is a simple or straightforward question. The concept of deserving is far too complicated for that.

I need a place to start.

The place I’m choosing has to do with whether I deserve to lose weight, but you can substitute any other objective or goal if you’d like.  

So, do I deserve to lose weight? Actually, the better question is do I believe I deserve to lose weight? If I can’t answer ‘yes’ to that question, it’s doubtful I’ll ever achieve what I’m setting out to accomplish.

I also need to focus on what the word ‘deserve’ means. Here’s what the Oxford dictionary definition says, “to do something or have or show qualities worthy of (reward or punishment)”.

So, to me it’s an action word requiring me to essentially earn a reward. I feel there is also an implication involved that I must give something up in exchange for the reward, in this case, most of the foods I enjoy.

And what I hear myself say is that if I can’t or don’t do this all the time, then I don’t deserve to lose weight.

What a terrible idea to hold on to.

I sense there is a part of me that is keeping track of everything, especially those things that relate directly to my stated goal. So, whenever this part observes me thinking that I ate some forbidden treat, the obvious conclusion is that I do not deserve to lose weight.

I believe the mere thought (belief) that I do not deserve to lose weight creates its own reality, despite any of the other positive things I have done.

I call this process, ‘putting on mental weight’. And I’ve noticed it results in also putting on physical weight.

Does this make any sense to you?

I wonder, might this same principle apply to other areas in my life? To my relationships, finances, mental health, work life or family concerns?

I wonder too, is there a part of me that has already established criteria based on some form of a ‘deserving model’ that I’ve built or accepted?

It takes only a moment to decide the answer to this question.

YES, clearly over the course of time I’ve created numerous models that rest firmly under the surface of my life. I’m sure it would be enlightening if I understood how they were formed, but I’ve learned from experience that to uncover them would be time consuming and ultimately not worth the investment.

What seems far more important is what I choose to do right now, which leads me back to my original question about deserving. Do I or don’t I deserve to lose weight (or anything else in life)? After a few moments, a one word answer comes to me…sometimes.

That’s a terrible answer and it leaves me hanging.

Fortunately, I hear another voice inside me. It is insistent, yet gentle and commands my attention, drawing me in. It is Lia, a part of god who speaks to me in an ethereal feminine voice, and she has come to tell me the truth.

“You are a radiant being filled with love and light. This is your true nature. You can accept what the world tells you, if you choose, but nothing it says will change this fundamental truth. There is no such thing as deserving or not deserving. It is merely an arbitrary decision, a reflection of what the world views as real. If you decide to abide by what the world tells you, you will suffer needlessly. I encourage you to release all thoughts and beliefs that govern or limit your decisions and grant yourself the freedom to experience your life fully. This is why you came here, to live a full life, unhindered by self-limitations and with all things open to you.”

After a pause, Lia added these words, “Whether it is your weight, or any other aspect of your life, you may experience it in any way that you choose.”

I sat, blown away by the grace of this.

Ideas

Here’s a mystery for you to consider.

Where do ideas come from?

Sometimes I am overwhelmed with the number of ideas that come to me. Far more arrive than I feel I can actually accomplish, despite wanting them all to become real.

At other times, no single idea stands out. There is just a swirl of activity inside me, but no clarity whatsoever.

It’s hard to make sense of this phenomenon.

Recently I was experiencing a wave of wonderful ideas and wondering what to do with them all. I found it very challenging to prioritize them or organize them in any meaningful way.

Maybe there are times when this happens to you too.

As usual I decided to ask my divine guide, Lia (which stands for Love In Action), a part of god who speaks to me in an ethereal feminine voice, to help me understand what was happening.

She told me to think of ‘ideas’ as menu choices and to choose the one (or ones) that most appeal to me. The ones that deeply absorb me or that I feel drawn to create or simply find the most joy in.

She went on to say that it was very important to realize that I might feel a sense of obligation or stress or some other negative emotion during the process of bringing an idea to life. She counseled me to release any idea that produced these feelings.

I guess Lia felt it would be helpful to provide an example that would stand out for me, and she did.

She said it would be like my going to a delightful restaurant and ordering liver and onions, which I can’t stand, and forcing myself to eat it. Ugh! Point taken.

Lia went on to say that all of the ideas I receive are flowing ‘to me and through me’ to have a voice in the world, if I choose to give them one. And before I could respond, she added, that if I chose not to act on any of the ideas, they would travel on and find a ‘home’ elsewhere. No worries.

This prompted a question in my mind about the nature of ideas.

“So, all these ideas are on a journey of their own, headed into reality, but not necessarily by or through me?”

Lia responded, “Yes, ideas have a life of their own and will seek out those that wish to bring them to into reality. Remember, even though you don’t like liver and onions, someone else thinks it’s a wonderful meal.”

This put an entirely different spin on things for me. I’d been feeling pressure to give every idea that came my way a life. And here was Lia telling me that it was not necessary, nor even beneficial for me to feel this way.

She encouraged me to consider how often it happens that the same movie or book themes take center stage or that the same invention happens, but in different countries across the globe.

Lia explained that ideas are energy in movement. They seek out those that are likely to be receptive, sometimes appearing once and other times coming back repeatedly.

I confessed that, at times, I feel so limited and can only help a few ideas become realized.

Lia responded by saying, “This is not true, you are not limited, but if it feels true for you, it becomes true for you. I encourage you to allow yourself the emotional freedom to give life to what moves you with joy and release anything that does not come from joy. When you use this principle as your barometer, all is well.”

Good Commands

There seems to be a battle going on inside of me and perhaps this happens to you as well.

It seems to center around the role of my ego, which spends a great deal of time feeling conflicted. On the one hand it wants to expand and grow larger and on the other hand, it wants and needs to protect what it has created.

As it expands, its defensible area requiring protection grows, creating more pressure. In effect, by its very nature, it is making its life (my life) more challenging with each expansion, no matter how small the bite.

It feels like a losing proposition, and I wonder how I will ever gain any sense of peace, if this continues?

I want peace in my life. I want to feel whole and complete and release any need to protect myself from everything around me.

I imagine you may feel the same way and that you too probably want to feel a sense of freedom.

I recognize I need help and I know where I need to go for it.

So, I ask my divine guide, Lia (which stands for Love In Action), a part of god who speaks to me in an ethereal feminine voice, for her counsel.

Her presence warms me immediately. I know she will help me find a clear path, so I begin to calm and slow my breathing.

She tells me it is up to me to make decisions about my way forward.

I want to know more, so she offers me this advice.

“Nothing happens in your life without you choosing it. It is important to remember that ‘choosing’ is a ‘command’ word to your whole being (essence), therefore, as you use it, you must apply it to all parts of you, including and especially, your ego.”

Lia tells me that her use of the word, ‘must’, is not meant as a requirement, but rather is used to note what I ‘must’ do, if I want to experience a certain outcome.

As usual, I need some clarification, so Lia continues, “What I am saying is that, if you believe and desire to feel whole, complete, happy, joyful, or any other feeling, you must ‘command’ (choose) that this belief is your reality.”

She knew I still needed more, and went on, “You do this all the time, as with so many other decisions and it becomes who you are, no longer who you want to be.”

She asked me if this made sense to me.

I responded, “Yes, and it would seem that this is what affirmations do, when they are honest, true and believable commands, from my inner to my outer self.”

“Exactly,” Lia agreed, “as you speak it (a choice which is commanded by you), so it shall be (what you accept into your life and experience in the world).”

“It is within this practice that all things come forth in your life. Without any conscious commands, nothing happens. You remain motionless, which allows all your defaults to appear and guide your direction.”

I began to understand what she was really saying. I am the maker of my life. Because I have so many programs running in the background, my life can run on autopilot.

I have enough experience with this to know it does not create the life I desire, so it is up to me to consciously choose what to command in my life.

This makes me fully responsible for the life I experience and as difficult as that may sound, it is exactly the way I want it to be.

I am grateful for her presence in my life and tell her so.

No Missing Pieces

Do you feel as though you are missing something in your life, that there are pieces of you that you need in order to make your life work?

And perhaps you are wondering how you are ever going to be at peace within yourself?

There are periods in my life where these questions have confused me and circled me and found a home inside of me.

One of these periods happened this morning. But unlike my past, I did something rare and incredibly worthwhile.

I asked for help.

I asked my divine guide, Lia (which stands for Love In Action), a part of god who speaks to me in an ethereal feminine voice.

She told me I was trying too hard, which was no doubt true. It’s what I usually do, especially when I can’t seem to find an answer that fits.

Lia said to me, “A shift that would help you is to think of yourself as ALREADY WHOLE and that nothing you can ever do will make you MORE whole.”

What a stunning statement, if I could find a way to believe it. I imagined the amazing changes that could make in my life.

Already whole. Wow, does that take the pressure off!

I told her that sounded wonderful, but from my current mindset, I asked how could I come to believe it and accept it as my truth?

There was a moment of silence. I knew what this meant. It was time to clear my mind of distractions. I don’t know about you, but I cannot hear anything from the outside, if my inner dialogue is too loud. So, I paused and waited.

Lia felt me slow into stillness and spoke again, “As always, you CHOOSE it as your reality and once chosen, you repeat this (thought/feeling) as your reality. You do this over and over again.”

She waited a moment, then continued, “I know you tend to think there has to be some bigger, more extravagant concept or practice, but there isn’t. It is this simple. Try to remember, the best things in life are all simple.”

Being a slow learner sometimes I wanted to paraphrase what she’d said to me, to ensure I really understood. “So, I CHOOSE to tell myself I am WHOLE already and once I accept this and live this truth, I feel whole, and this changes me?”

A simple one word reply, “Yes.”

“But” I said, “I find this choice difficult to make when I don’t believe it. How can I when there feels like there are missing pieces to me?”

Clearly, I needed reinforcement, which is what I received as Lia spoke again, “Missing pieces are figments, mental mirages, but not the truth. You are seeing/observing the ‘outer’ layer only. It is your ‘inner’ layer that is your truth and where you are whole.”

I questioned, “So, I have to look deeper inside?”

She told me, “Yes” and I asked another question, “But what about my outside?”

Lia allowed me to settle down, sensing my inability to fully grasp what she was saying to me.

“Your conscious choices define your experience of everything in this world, both inner and outer. Your inner world already knows this and has used this power to create your magnificent life. Your outer layer, that which sees, but fears the world, needs to know that there are no real missing pieces and that you are already truly and completely whole. This happens through your ‘choosing’ to see the truth. The proof you seek happens every time you make this choice and believe the results. It really is that simple.”

I sit back and try to absorb this message to me, and it becomes clear, I will only know the truth if I give myself to this simplicity.

A Simple Act of Caring

Do you usually dream at night?

When you do, do you remember them or do they just disappear, leaving a trail that’s too hard to follow?

Sometimes I remember them, but they don’t make any sense to me. They’re so full of places, events, and people, all jumbled together.

Recently though I came across a fantastic book titled, Infinite Purpose by Liv Lane and Lori Portka. One chapter is devoted to dreams and the emphasis it focused on surprised me. Rather than attempting to decipher all the parts of an individual dream, the suggestion was to take the dream as a whole and follow the theme to see where it led.

The authors recommended that you try it for a week and see what you experience.

I decided to take their suggestion and discovered a whole new world. I was able to capture the essence of the dream and find some profound insights.

This morning I woke up and was able to remember an entire story. Many of the details remained fresh and clear, but it was the central theme that was important to me.

There was an elderly lady who was conducting a transaction, perhaps in a bank and she was extremely dissatisfied with the service and the outcome and demanded that her voice be heard. A meeting was scheduled for the next day to attempt to review her transaction and a member of senior management was called in for support.

The meeting time arrived, and all were assembled. At first the staff tried to explain, but soon discovered the elderly lady was not interested in hearing their rationales. A different tact was taken, and a more general conversation ensued. This pleased her and it soon became apparent that she had no desire to discuss the transaction from the prior day. What she did seem interested in was being heard and seen, as a person.

Toward the end of the conversation, she became very quiet and closed her eyes. Her breathing slowed, then ceased.

The staff were concerned and tried to wake her, but she did not respond. One attempted to take her pulse, but there was none. It was then that they realized she had died.

One staff member looked at her carefully and was surprised to find she’d died with an enormous smile on her face.

I’m sure there could be many interpretations for this dream, but what jumped out at me was this…everyone wants to be listened to, to be valued, to matter to someone, anyone, even if they have to be angry and demand attention to make it happen, as the elderly lady did.

All she really wanted was to be seen, heard and at a deeper level, loved.

There is a powerful message in this dream for me, one I would have previously missed.

During my working life I was involved in two ‘relationship’ fields, the first in banking and the second in human service. One thing they both centered on was recognizing the inherent value and worth of each individual. Demonstrating caring, support and encouragement meant everything to the customers and folks being served.

Simple acts of caring feed both the giver and receiver.

I try to remember this and am often granted opportunities to show caring, whether it’s reaching for a product on a high shelf for an elderly person, opening a door or looking into the eyes of someone I thank for their service. There are a million ways to connect and each one offers tangible ways to care, should we choose them.

How It Can Be

I have to admit it. I’m sad about a lot of things happening in the world right now. I suspect you are too.

Do you wonder what can be done? Does it seem that one person’s actions are lost in the shuffle and that change is unlikely to ever happen?

I’m certainly catching that sense.

The magnitude of events feels overwhelming, and I need to find some balance. I need to catch my breath. I wonder, where am I going to go for some answers and direction?

I put myself on pause, to give myself time to consider.

My answer becomes obvious.

Inward.

Inward into my spiritual home, to a place of divine connection.

I ask, “Where has it all gone wrong and how is it ever going to change?”

The answer I receive astounds me.

“It starts at the beginning.”

I don’t know what this means, so I ask for more details.

What I receive takes four whole pages to write, more than I think you might want to read at this time. I need to summarize it, for you and for me.

I hear words that make me think about how our lives are not the same, from one person to another, from one place to another.

There are disparities in justice, opportunities, resources, and all of the basics in life. How can there be peace when this is the case?

Since we are each given free will, we are offered the choice to map our own direction, regardless of how it impacts others. So, the strong are able to take advantage of the weak, those with money and power are allowed to decide for those with little or none. Those in command are able to set up all the rules, most of which favor themselves.

My head shakes at all of this. I am only one person, what can I do about any of this?

The divine pulls me back to the present from the faraway place in my head.

“Start with you.”

“What do you mean?”, I ask.

“You cannot solve the problems of the entire world. What you can do is be your best self. You can do what you think the world ought to do. You can shift your mindset, your heart-set and your actions.”

I need to know what this really means and ask for more.

“You know the ‘answer’ is always ‘love’.”

I know I’m supposed to understand this. To know exactly what that means I ought to do, but I don’t. I find it challenging to apply the concept of love to practical things.

“You are making this too complicated. The answers you seek are always simple, even this, especially this. Ask yourself one question.”

“And what would that be?”, I respond, desperately wanting to know.

“What would serve all equally?”, was the response.

Wow, I wasn’t prepared for that.

I am struck by the idea of equality and how much of it is missing in this world. I wonder, how much of it happens because of me. And for a moment, I imagine the radical changes in the world if equality existed for everyone.

And I see within this, the heart of ‘love’, that the divine brought into focus. It makes something real that was cloudy.

Every day I can choose to use my voice, my words, my actions to speak for me. I can use my heart as my guide. I can give freely, vote for ideas that create sharing opportunities, support those who propose changes to make all lives better. And hundreds of other real, tangible ways I haven’t even thought of yet. And I can choose to encourage others to do the same.

How can it be?

Any way we all choose.

Everyone Is Valuable

Do you love to read? Or are you more of a writer?

Or perhaps like me, you are both.

Some part of me has always wanted to write. At first, I felt as though I needed to conjure up a story, but as time went on, the stories came to me, often unbidden.

When my grandmother came for visits, she slept in my bed, and I moved into a room off my parent’s bedroom, where my mom did all her sewing. It had the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept on. We called it the slab-lounge.

This tiny room is where I wrote my first story, a real ‘page turner’, titled, The Case of Shootist McRowan. At age nine, I was all about the FBI, so of course, that’s the subject for the story. Shootist Mc Rowan was the leader of a gang of really bad guys, and it was up to the FBI to hunt him down and capture him. The ‘good guys’ won, as you might expect. I probably still have the story somewhere.

When I was in college and supposed to be studying and attending all my classes, I was out in nature.

My favorite places to explore were the streams that ran down into the river from the surrounding hillsides. The water ran wild some days, and it was pure challenge to stay upright and dry. It was and still is, one of my most ‘happy places’.

One day while wandering along one of the closest streams to me, a vision came and a story. It took me quite by surprise and I had no idea where the story was leading me. But that’s part of the joy of being a writer, you get to share the mystery and the magic.

I’d like to share the story with you.

Jamie

Jamie is wandering aimlessly down the path, carrying his stuffed bear with him. Small tears of wonder formed in the corners of his eyes as he gazed at the newborn leaves. He saw in them, faces, smiling, gentle, little faces.

On the path there was a brook that went splashing, gurgling, babbling down the hillside, cold and bright. It caught Jamie’s eye and brought him closer and closer, until he stood at its edge. He leaned forward and peered into the water. All those bubbles bouncing off the rocks. He watched and watched, being carried down the brook several times until he burst in the orange light upon the banks. One time when he burst, he spread into the air and floated away with the wind, listening to the tales of the birds.

Once again on the path, Jamie walked, almost faltering on a broken tree limb. Shivers grew on Jamie’s back, his only sign of the cold.

White frosted ghosts hurried down through the air past Jamie’s face. He turned his head upward and there grew a snow petal tree; each branch coated with soft, clean white petals. One petal dropped and wove a pattern, gliding to the earth. Jamie watched, reaching out his hands, hoping. And, as though the petal was a part of him, it tumbled softly down into his loving hands. He kissed the petal and bending, rested it in a special place among some purple flowers.

The path was ending and ahead at the gate stood Jamie’s nurse. She strode out through the gate and taking hold of his hand, she led him home.

Though Jamie turned twenty-seven last week his heart remains full of the wonder and awe we all so often miss. He is often called by many names, none of which are who he is. He cannot be housed neatly in a category or diminished by a definition.

I see him as unique. He has a special value to me because he views the world in a way I so admire. He sees the simple, obvious treasure of ‘being’ here on this magnificent earth.

I am so grateful for the story he told through me.

I loved him then and I love him now.

Conversations with Past and Future Selves

Would you like an opportunity to speak with yourself, either from the past or the future? To have things revealed to you, to make your life easier or to offer you a chance to avoid pitfalls.

That’s the question that came to me recently.

The event that created this was the purchase of a new bed for our upstairs bedroom. In order to make space I needed to relocate all the storage bins I’d shoved under the old bed. I’d really packed them in and basically only had a vague idea what they contained.

I made myself a promise to sort through every bin and make decisions regarding what was worth keeping and what needed to be thrown away.

My discoveries were very enlightening. There were all sorts of interesting things covering several different time periods in my life, some from college, some from my early working years and a few things that were more recent.

I found a lot of journals I’d written and decided to leaf through a few. I was struck by the life events that concerned me at the time I wrote them, some of which remain with me today, while others have long since been resolved.

A question popped up.

I wondered how my life would have changed if the ‘current me’ could go back and have a conversation with the ‘past me’. What could I have learned? And would I have listened and changed course?

I’m not sure.

Some part of me believes I wouldn’t have paid attention, and gone ahead and made the same decisions, despite the sound advice I received.

I don’t know about that either.

What would you have done; listened or ignored your ‘future self’? It’s an interesting question to kick around. Certainly, I’d have liked to avoid many of the problems in my life and taken an easier route.

But would I really?

The reason I ask is, would I still be the same person that I am today if I’d made different choices? And if I had, what would the consequences have been? Suppose the advice given me by my ‘future self’ altered the decisions I made that led me to a new friend, or a better job, or a wise investment?

How can anyone know the right path to take so that they experience the outcomes they most desire?

Something twisted during my musing about this.

I wondered, what would my life be like if the ‘current me’ could talk with the ‘future me’?

What if that were possible? What questions would I ask?

A few came to me quickly. How long will I live? Will I lose those closest to me? What will my day-to-day life be like? Will the New York Giants ever win another Super Bowl?

I sat with all of these questions and more for a while before deciding that I don’t really want to know.

I think it would spoil the surprise. And I think it would change every moment of my ‘current life’ because I’d be thinking about the ‘future me’.

I also think my life would lose its spontaneity, its spark, and its sparkle.

So, despite how much I might learn, I would choose just to wave to my ‘past’ and ‘future’ selves from a distance and go on about living my ‘current’ life.

We can still be friends, but for now, I choose to live in my present moment.

Emotional Breathing

Have you ever heard of emotional breathing?

Do you wonder if it might help clear some of the excess emotional feelings you have that are weighing you down?

No doubt there are many situations in life where emotional breathing would be extremely helpful. In my last post I wrote about one of these, overeating, but this is just the start of a very long list.

I’m not sure why, but I was surprised to learn from the internet that there are numerous sites devoted to all sorts of breathing techniques, and many include the same themes and practices.

Most appear to focus on inbreath and outbreath, the timing and sequence of breathing, and physical movements or lack of same. They all offer promise and hope and surely many folks use them to relax and improve their daily lives.

I’m happy they all exist.

What came to me recently was a different version and one I’d like to share with you.

First though, I’d like to ask you to consider doing something.

Could you stop for a moment and sit back, close your eyes, slow your breathing and rest? Then, when you feel some calmness wash over you, gently encourage yourself to scan your body for any places that feel painful or uncomfortable. Sit with each of them and give yourself an opportunity to see if they hold emotional weight.

If you discover a place that does, ask yourself how it feels to you. Do any emotions arise? If so, what are they? Do you remember anything, as you hover over the area? Are there any images that come up? Can you describe them?

Take note of your observations. It’s not necessary to write them all down, but you certainly can if you want to, and this might be helpful for later. 

For now, though, choose one area that stands out and focus on the part(s) of your body where you feel the presence of emotional weight.

Allow yourself to recognize the emotion and know you have a choice whether it exists or not. No one can force you to feel something against your will unless you allow it. Open your heart and know your original nature is pure and believe you deserve to return to this state, unencumbered by any emotional feelings that others have given you or that you’ve taken on without knowing.

Find a comfortable space where you won’t be disturbed for a period of time. Choose whatever posture you like best. Set a peaceful mood in whatever way appeals to you, such as soft lighting and music. Close your eyes and slow your breathing until you feel calm, then bring your attention to one part of your body where you felt emotional weight. Remain here and allow it to speak to you. Listen carefully and once you feel you’ve heard its message, rest again for a moment.

Now, while in your comfortable position, take a long slow breath in, imagining love filling you. Then, while feeling the emotional weight of the area you’ve chosen, let out a long slow breath, imagining the release of all that you are holding. Continue alternating, loving in breaths and the outbound breaths and the release of emotional weight. 

It may help if you add words to this process. On your in breath you could say, “I breathe in joyful, loving feelings to feed, heal and support me” and on your outbreaths you could say, “I breathe out, release and surrender whatever is weighing me down.”

When I do this, it takes a while for the impact to be recognizable. The first few times is like priming the pump where not much water comes out. But as you continue, and your breathing relaxes and lengthens, it can be positively wonderful. And there can be a blessed sense of emptying and release of emotional weight, anywhere from a lightening of the load to a mystical sense of weightlessness.

I hope that you find this a blessing.

Overeating

Overeating is a complicated affair.

Personally, I find that it happens to me when things are really challenging in my life. Part of me believes that I need more food and that it will help soothe me or satisfy some craving I have.

But what occurs instead is that I gain weight, experience painful acid reflux, and have very poor-quality sleep. You’d think these results would be enough to prevent me from continuing to overeat.

They aren’t. They don’t.

Another part of me enters the picture. I think to myself, this has to be easy to resolve, I’ll just eat more fruits and vegetables and fewer snacks and treats. Surely, this will make things better for me.

And perhaps this would be true if the part of me that wants to overeat wasn’t resistant. But it is.

There is a constant war of sorts between periods of control and excess.

I find it strange that while on vacation, I give myself permission to eat whatever and whenever I want. This of course leads to weight gain, but never as much as I would have anticipated, probably because my activity level is so high. So, maybe if I maintained this same level of activity after vacation it would be okay.

I don’t know about you, but this doesn’t work for me.

I ask myself, what’s really happening here?

I am struck immediately by one obvious answer. I am at peace on vacation. I don’t have hundreds of things I’m thinking about and feel the need to accomplish. I’m not emotional taxed on vacation.

This leads me to another observation and a more important set of questions.

What other reasons are contributing to my overeating? Are they emotionally based? Are they resolvable?

Am I hung up with my looks and how I see myself? Am I thinking about how others see me? Do I seek or need or want their approval? And if so, why?

To a degree overeating feels circular to me. There is a cause-and-effect riddle that faces me and asks to be addressed.

I’m tired of the game and want answers, so I decide to plunge in. I realize everyone’s situation is different and that you’ll want to substitute your own emotional clues, if mine don’t make sense to you. But it might prove helpful to read along and adjust where necessary.

For me, I believe overeating is emotionally based and arises inside me from different directions.

Judgements. The judgement process might begin with others, but over time I find that unless I’m very careful, I internalize others’ views and criticisms of me.

Comparisons. Whether initiated by others or ourselves, any form of comparison is damaging and unfair. We are all unique people and have our own paths to travel.

Ideals. Self-created or adopted from others, having specific ideals of exactly how we ‘should’ look, act or feel is extremely limiting and offers us no true way to feel good about ourselves.

Having considered these words, I am now more aware of their emotional impact on me and sense they are driving some of my emotional weight and desire to overeat.

If you give yourself a chance to sit and listen to your emotions, body, mind, and spirit, perhaps you’ll discover some reasons of your own.

In my next post I’d like to offer you one possible way to release any emotional weight you carry, whether from overeating or another source.

Love As A Prayer

I admit that I have felt quite challenged about the whole nature of prayer. Perhaps you do as well.

When someone asks you to pray for them, what does that mean to you? Do you think they mean for you to request a specific outcome to occur in their life? Are you comfortable with this?

I confess, this has plagued me for a long time.

Of course, I want them to experience their best possible life. I want them to be free from painful obstacles and difficult and challenging decisions.

But how can I possibly know what the right choice is for them?

Even on my best day I do not possess enough insight for this.

It seems to me that part of our cultural training includes the idea that we can pray for someone and that our prayers will create the specific desired outcomes. And what I hear most is that when we pray to God (or the universe) the expectation is that God will listen to us and bring about the resolution of whatever problem(s) we’ve brought to God’s attention.

This approach seems to imply that there is only one ‘right’ outcome, the one the requester of the prayer wants to happen.

What if there is more to it than this? What if there is an even better answer?

There are problems with this whole approach, because should the prayer not be answered in the way requested, the requester is left wondering several things. Is my prayer not worthy of God’s attention or approval? Or perhaps, God is not listening to me. Or that God wants me to experience this difficulty, despite my prayer and the prayers of others.

It is easy to end up feeling like a victim if the specific prayer request is not answered.

Add to this the cultural phenomenon where there are two teams competing to win a game and folks praying for each side to be the victor. If you were God, how would you grant both prayers?

So, where does this leave us and what is God’s role in granting answers to prayers?

What if we looked at this from a very different point of view?

If you’ve been reading my posts for a while, you’ll know my beliefs can border on the radical, so be prepared.

Imagine that God does not take sides, nor does God have a stake in specific outcomes. Since God has given everyone free will, God does not listen to one prayer and ignore another, nor dictate particular actions and outcomes.

So, what does God do and who is God?

What has been shared with me, which is of course up to you to decide for yourself, is that God is unconditional love. And unconditional love is the purest form of energy. It gives and supports all of life. It is non-directional and non-judgmental. It is open hearted, free, and available to everyone at all times.

God, as unconditional love, lives inside each person and is always available. Its pure energy can be offered and shared with anyone at any time.

And once given to another, it combines with their energy and creates sparks to help them light their path, so that they can see more clearly.

This non-directive, non-judgmental, open hearted, unconditional love supports and encourages the receiver, giving them strength and insight to move through whatever situation they are facing. It allows their spiritual plan to unfold, no matter what challenges appear on the surface.

When I am asked now to pray for another, I pause to remember this and dive deep into my heart and offer unconditional love as my prayer.

I Am My Dad Today

Has anyone faded away from you?

I know I am not alone. I know there are many others who share the loss I feel because someone they love is fading away from them.

Whether the reason has a name like dementia or Alzheimer’s or is nameless, whole parts of them seem to be missing and it creates a huge hole in their world. And my world too.

To watch this happen, whether bit by bit or all of a sudden and know there is nothing you can do to stop it, brings a cascade of tears.

How are we, the ones left empty and dry by their departure, to sit with this sense of loss?

I can only answer this for myself, but perhaps by sharing a part of me, there might be something valuable for you.

I write.

And through the writing, I allow my heart to bleed words onto the page.

For me, this is a way to vent the grief I feel and once it is outside of me, I can breathe again. I can let go of what I’m holding inside that rests on my chest and smothers me.

By writing, I open to wisdom and peace and let words flow through me into the open air.

Here is the poem I wrote.

I Am My Dad Today

I am my dad today.

At least that’s what my mother thinks.

She calls me by his name, her only connection to this world.

She asks me (him) where she is. I tell her but it doesn’t sink in.

She asks again.

I offer another answer and it falls into the same dark hole with everything else I say.

For a moment, I am not my father, and she asks me who I am.

I brace myself and tell her, I am your son.

A look crosses her face.

I wonder, could it be recognition?

She looks up at me and tells me she has no children.

I guess that makes my sister and me orphans. It’s certainly the way a part of me feels.

I wonder what string attaches her to this earth. I can’t see one. It must be some sort of magic.

It’s time for me to go. I tell her I need to go home to make dinner.

She asks me when she will see me again.

I try to calm myself.

I tell her that my sister, her daughter, will be with her tomorrow and that I’ll see her again the next day.

She turns away.

I walk out of her room wondering who I will be to her then. I cannot possibly know.

The one thing I do know is she will still be my mother.

I try to find some peace in this.

I love you mom.                             (end)

I know that I cannot change what is happening to her or to me, but I need to find a way to live in this new space.

I’m sure that others who have experienced this might be able to shed some light on this for me, but I want to know what god has to tell me.

So, I ask.

My answer comes from a part of god I know and love. It’s a part of god I know as Lia, which stands for Love In Action. She has a distinctly feminine voice and always speaks loving truth to me.

I try to calm myself and let go of the distractions that surround me. I breathe in and out, slowing and softening, so I can hear her voice clearly. When I find some peace, she speaks.

“The solace you seek comes when you release and accept.”

She continues, “Yes, of course, you feel deeply for the living loss of your mom, who is both here and not here. Rest easy and remember this…when she is with you, she is yours AND when she drifts beyond you, she is mine. She slips past the veil between worlds, and she comes to be with me. We sit together with the most precious love surrounding us and we rest in this beautiful state of bliss.”

I take heart and she tells me more.

“I know that all you see is a woman you love who appears to be here with you, but you cannot seem to reach her, and she seems disconnected and far, far away from you. I encourage you to see beyond this surface view. I ask you to accept my blessed assurance that she is with me and is always covered in my love.”

I sit with this revelation and let it fill me with peace. I do still feel the loss of connection with my mom, but something deeply profound has change inside of me and I now know she will always be taken care of, not by me, but by the sweetness of the divine.

Why Are You Here

I’d like to propose a radical idea for you to consider.

Here it is.

You are here to experience JOY.

Sure, I know that sounds crazy. You could say to me, look around, don’t you see what’s happening these days? It’s a fractured world. There’s climate change, political upheaval, war and the resulting horrors, drastic economic shifts.

You could ask me; how do you expect me to be happy and feel joyful?

And then you could say to me…are you mad?

Part of me is likely to respond that I can’t find much joy in this life either. I have my own list of prohibitions to joy and a host of prerequisites before I will allow myself to honestly answer that I feel any ongoing sense of joy.

But another part of me refuses to give up on this idea. It asks me to look deeper within myself and reveal a greater truth than what appears on the surface.

Yes, I see the challenges. I feel the pressures to perform, to possess, to acquire, to say out loud that I am happy and fulfilled. I fully sense my limits, physically, emotionally, financially, and mentally. And they weigh a ton. I know they do.

I’ve come to recognize that so much of what I see in the world is driven by fear and it forces me to ask the question over and over again…why am I here?

There is a strong part of me that wants to know my answer, or is it answers?

Each time this happens, some sort of list appears, as if completing it will provide satisfaction, a sense of completeness or elemental clarity for me.

It hasn’t. It doesn’t.

Maybe the same thing happens to you. Maybe you also associate ‘what you do’ with ‘who you are’, so that the more you accomplish, the better you can feel about yourself. Maybe you too seek to answer the question of why you are here with specific goals you set and meet. And perhaps you are just as unsatisfied with this approach as I am.

Perhaps you are ready for a shift in perspective. And maybe it will take something radical to make this happen.

Well, here’s something you may want to consider. Since fear doesn’t work, how about trying love?

The love I’m talking about is expressed through a genuine sense of joy. I’m not speaking about happiness, which can be fleeting and easily overcome by the world. Instead, I’m speaking about a profound inner belief that we are each here to experience and express joy.

What does that mean?

My personal answer is that it will be different for each person because what brings joy to one is not the same as what brings joy to another.

Then how is joy found?

Here’s a shocker. I don’t believe joy can be ‘found’, because this implies it is OUTSIDE of us, hidden somewhere, waiting to be discovered.

What feels like the truth to me is that joy is INSIDE each of us and is revealed when we center on love.  I see that fear is only a messenger and it guides by showing us what does not work, but it cannot tell us why we are here, because only love can do that.

So, what is the radical path I am suggesting?

It will take a little time, but it will be worth it. I promise.

It starts like so many other paths, with breathing in and out slowly, deeply, quietly, allowing your body to relax. It starts by closing your eyes and letting the world fade away, and then opening your heart and saying ‘yes’ to going deeper inside yourself (your self) and asking what brings out the joy in you? What makes you feel the most alive? I suggest the answer to these questions are also the answers to why you are here.

I’ll share some of my joys to get you started…I am here to help others find their own path. I am here to speak my truth (each of my books and these website posts are my attempts to share with you). I am here to connect deeply with family and friends, and to both give and receive love. I am here to get lost in the beauty of the natural world and I am here to live as an extension of the divine for as many days as I walk this earth.

If you give yourself some time, I believe you will reveal the truth about why you are here and how joy creates the spark for all things to happen in your life.

Ego Wants a Role

My most recent post focused on Free Will and its relationship with God’s Will. This brought up several questions for me, so I decided to investigate further, which means asking Lia, a feminine voice of god, to share some insight with me.

One of the most perplexing questions I encounter is how active god is in my life. I wonder how the relationship takes shape between my actions and god’s actions. Are they always in some kind of harmony? Is my free will always the action that counts the most and takes precedent?

So, of course, I asked god (in this case Lia) about this, saying, “How are you active in my life, especially in relationship to free will?”

Lia responded, “It’s less complicated than you think. You and I are connected. It can truthfully be said, we are ONE, because we are inseparable, except that you can agree to make it ‘appear’ as though we are not.”

“This ‘appearance’ happens when you accept the illusion of an earth life, but keep in mind, that beneath this illusion is the truth, we are one and inseparable.”

“While living the ‘agreement’ of the illusion, you accept that your EGO will assist you with the creation and maintenance of a state of awareness called and known as YOU (insert your name). Ego works diligently to manage this state of YOU, which includes a belief that you are separate from others and that you have observable boundaries.”

“If those boundaries appear in jeopardy, ego goes to work to reinforce them and reacquires its comfort zone. That is its job, and it takes it quite seriously.”

“Occasionally, ego becomes relaxed or is forced into surrender, either voluntarily or involuntarily. When either of these happen, it creates a unique state, one where you will/can experience life outside the ego walls.”

As interesting as these insights were I still wanted to know how active Lia is in my daily life and how her action relate to my free will.

In reply she said, “As an earth essence, you are always free to do or experience anything you choose. You cannot do otherwise. This is a fundamental truth. However, since we are truly ONE essence (you and I and all others) you could say that WE have free will. WE are in relationship, always and forever, part of the same fundamental truth.”

“When you ask the question as you did, your reference point becomes a statement that there is separation…a you and a me, two entities.”

“When you view us as separate, you are forced to confront the idea of two entities, each with its own free will, which creates a conflict because it implies, we could want two different things. Unless you surrender to the truth, this will not be solvable- ever.”

I’d been listening very carefully, but wanted to make certain I heard her correctly so I asked, “Are you are telling me that, if I shift my beliefs, I will be able to see the truth, that we are not now, nor ever were, nor ever will be, SEPARATE and as such, WE have free will?”

Lia answered, “Yes, and there is more to it.”

I wondered what else there was to know and asked, “Since we are ONE, how do I make sense of my life as it appears?”

I was surprised by Lia’s response, “That depends fully on how much you want to wake up and remember.”

Some clarity was seeping in, and I responded, “I see. That’s the dividing line, isn’t it? If I truly desire and choose to wake up, all will be known to me.”

“Yes”, Lia answered.

“Then why am I afraid of this? Do I think it will end the game of life?”

Lia’s wisdom and insight shone through clearly for me as she answered, “Your ego is concerned that it will not be able to protect you if you choose to remember. There is no truth to this fear (worry, concern)…none at all, but it feels real to your ego and that’s all it takes in order to want to stay put in your current understanding.”

“How can we allay ego’s concerns?”

Lia said, “Ask ego what it has seen during your life, as you’ve expanded, that creates an uncomfortable feeling for it.”

The truth is plain now. I need to know more about what my ego has to say before I can move forward. It is certainly time for a chat.

God’s Will

Are you familiar with the concept of God having a ‘will’ for you?
A specific plan for things God wants you to accomplish? A way to move through your life according to a long list of do’s and don’t’s?

The folks that seem to talk about this give the impression that you should know what God’s will is and comply with it, because after all, it’s God we’re talking about.

The incredibly tricky part is that although you are supposed to abide by God’s will, there are almost never any clear indications of precisely what God’s will is for you. This leaves you in a powerless position and opens the door for others to be the authority and speak on God’s behalf.

How can one person know what God’s will is for another? What source of wisdom allows them the clarity to inform and dictate what another person is to do with their life? Is their claim that God speaks directly to them and provides specific insights about all the people of this world and what each one should be doing?

You may have guessed by my questions and word choices that I don’t see life this way.

I’ve had many conversations with god and am a true believer in one of god’s greatest gifts, ‘free will’.

Free will is an open invitation from god to experience everything possible in this life. No are no exceptions, expectations, demands, requirements or strings attached. Free will is pure.

I believe logic would like to have a say in this discussion. If one of the tenets in life is that we each have ‘free will’, how can it be that there is another force called God’s will? The two would be mutually exclusive by nature, since surely there will always be conflicts, and any override of free will, voids it completely.

What proponents of God’s will have to offer is that God’s will is supreme, therefore, any instance where we use our free will in opposition to God’s will, must be abandoned or relinquished.

Of course, our free will allows us to make choices that create pain and suffering for ourselves and for others. It also provides us with the power to make choices that create healing and loving actions.

How we use our free will is entirely up to each of us.

I fully recognize there are dilemmas involved here.

How is anyone to know the truth?

How is anyone to know what God’s will is for them?

How does free will work if it conflicts with what one is told is God’s will? How does God’s will work if it is in conflict with our free will?

The answers depend greatly on what one has been told during their life and their willingness to explore new territory. If there is a strong belief that God’s will is sacrosanct and that someone else has been given the wisdom to explain what it is, there may be little room for an alternative view.

However, if one has been told these things but has never felt comfortable with them, there may be an open door to enter to consider the importance of free will.

Ultimately, I believe that having your own conversation with god, whatever your concept is for god, is the pathway to your own certainness.

I am a firm believer that sitting in stillness, breathing in and out, until a calm center is reached, and opening our mind and heart creates an opportunity for divine connection.

This is the place where all is known.

Heading Into The Storm

It seems human nature to try to avoid challenging situations in life, almost like we’re hard-wired that way. Perhaps some internal awareness is operating, attempting to save us from having to deal with things we wished were not a part of our life.

When a difficulty presents itself to you, what are you inclined to do? Do you shy away or pretend it’s not real or solicit for help from others? Or do you face it, recognizing it’s unlikely to be resolved without your direct intervention?

There are of course lots of other strategies, but most seem to come with potentially uncomfortable consequences.

You may be thinking this very moment about something you’re facing and wondering how to proceed. Or you may want to arm yourself with a new approach for when the time comes for your next challenge.

You might already know that I am a writer. Afterall, you are reading something I’ve written right now. But I write more than these posts. I am wholly engaged in a series of books that all go by the title of Little Buddha, and I’ve just completed Book Four. In it there is a story about a young man, Max, who worked in the western part of the America doing an internship with the US Forestry Service. This gave him the opportunity to observe nature and experience her wisdom.

Although he learned many things from the Forestry workers, a Native American by the name of Black Elk, was the one who taught him the ways of nature and filled him with a living wisdom he could carry with him. More than this even, Black Elk taught Max how to observe and understand life for himself. Certainly, a most precious gift.

Perhaps the most valuable teaching of all came one day when Max was observing a herd of buffalo and watched as a massive snowstorm swept toward them. He paid as careful attention as he could, trying to see what each of them would do. In the chaos and blinding snow too much happened for him to notice it all. He wanted to understand better, so he asked Black Elk to share his wisdom.

Black Elk, whose normal approach was to teach through asking questions, decided to explain through the use of his own observations.

This is the story he told Max.

“Many, many years ago there was a Sacred Buffalo. All the other buffalo watched the Sacred Buffalo and followed the Sacred Buffalo everywhere it went, always finding enough to eat. One day, a great storm arrived. Many buffalo turned away from the storm, charging as fast as they could, trying to outrun it. Others watched to see what the Sacred Buffalo would do. The Sacred Buffalo snorted and stamped its great hooves upon the earth. Then, giving one great cry, it glanced at the herd and ran full speed into the storm, disappearing in a wall of white snow. All the other buffalo followed stampeding behind where the Sacred Buffalo had disappeared into the whiteness. A short time later all the buffalo emerged from the storm into a place of stillness and there, grazing peacefully, stood the Sacred Buffalo.”

After some more discussion Max came to understand the value of heading into the storm. He accepted and embraced the story and shifted his life, recognizing the wisdom of the Sacred Buffalo.

In my own life, I’ve seen that trying to avoid or run away from my problems has caused an enormous amount of pain and suffering for me. I’ve allowed all those scary, fearful, difficult decisions that have come to visit me too much reign over me.

The essence of Max and Black Elk’s story enlightens me. Opening myself and allowing courage to come forth, then acting swiftly and boldly, heading directly into the storm of any problem, I now see as the wisest path forward. It shortens the length of the storm and leads me into a place of peace.

In the story Black Elk gives Max a carved wooden buffalo that had been bleached white by the sun as a reminder for his travels through life.

My hope is that I remember the teaching of this story.

Should you wish to read more of the story, you can order a copy of the book, Little Buddha Book Four by Rob H. Geyer, on Amazon in either print or ebook format.

Choosing Your Memories

If someone asked you to share one of your memories, what would you choose to tell them?

Now imagine the same person asked you to share five or ten or fifty, how many of them would be ‘good’ memories?

If you were given a day or two to conjure up as many memories as you possibly could, how long would it take before you mentioned a ‘bad’ memory?

It fascinates me to consider what my answers to these questions would be. It feels like some sort of subtle test, a way to measure my satisfaction with my life.

I had an occasion recently to investigate this idea up close and personal. As my mom’s power of attorney, it was up to me to sign all the mortgage closing documents on her recent house sale.

I’d promised myself that I would walk through the house before the closing. I wanted a chance to capture the living memories I felt were stored there. I wanted to sweep them up and bring them with me. To store them somewhere safe inside me so that I could hold them, perhaps forever.

As I walked in the front door, the floodgates opened. I can’t recall the very first time I entered the home I grew up in and I that I have been a part of for over sixty years, but so many things stood there in front of me.

The house has so many interesting features and every inch of space is utilized. There is a shelf inset into the wall in the foyer. One of the shelves used to hold a small wooden ship I carved for my father. It had toothpick masts and thread rigging and it took me a long time to build. It’s not there anymore. I have no idea where it went.

I walked into the living room. A place where so many joyous family gatherings were held. A place where a mounted deer head rested above the fireplace. I’d bought it at a garage sale for 25 cents. I thought it was a great deal. I’m willing to bet the seller and his wife thought they’d made a profit. The deer head is gone now. I have no idea where it went.

On into the dining room, where all our family dinners happened. My mom was an excellent cook and I remembered many of the meals we ate there. If I stretched a bit, I could almost taste them. It became my mom’s reluctant bedroom, when it wasn’t safe for her to go up and down the stairs any longer.

Going from room to room brought more and more sweet memories. Words, sounds, feelings. The comings and goings of six decades. All the games, conversations, fears, hopes, and dreams. All the wonderful cookies after school, fresh out of my mom’s oven. The mad crazy ping pong games with my father in the basement, which was too short for our smashing forehands. All the imaginative games with my sister, one of which was pretending to be radio disc jockeys under the dining room table. Don’t ask me why that was our station headquarters. It just was.

Upstairs I walked down the hall to my bedroom. I could still see it as it was when I was a child, the placement of my desk and chair and bed, the Hopi Indian wall hanging, even the closet that had a sort of secret compartment where I stored my prized possessions.

My memory lane is long. The savoring, both touching and sweet.

Perhaps you’ve lived and lost some parts of you, a house, a family member, friend, favored pet or a lessening of your skills and senses. It happens.

What I think matters most to me is what I do with my memories.

Do I let the ‘bad’ ones overtake me, bringing me down and crushing me into silence and grief?

Or do I sift through them until all that are left are the golden, glowing, shiny memories. The ones I wish to keep and hold near to me.

The beautiful thing is, we each get to choose.

What Is Your Stride

What is the distance between your feet as you walk? Do you take generously long strides or tentative short ones?

What do you think it says about you?

What messages are you sending to yourself?

It strikes me that there is something quite valuable to learn from spending some time observing this simple physical phenomenon.

I find that I take very long strides. I can gobble up distances quickly, especially if my pace is intentionally fast. The other day I wondered why this was. It seems to be my default. But why? And what, if anything, does it mean to me?

I had to sit with these questions.

As you probably already know, sitting with questions can be somewhat uncomfortable. I find I want to know the answers and am not always patient enough to wait. I’m inclined to want to move on to something I can solve.

Well, there’s a pretty big clue for me!

Perhaps one of the reasons I take long strides is because I am impatient. That feels very familiar to me. I think I’ve told myself this before. And this answer seems to link automatically to another insight. It’s the one about ‘running out of time’.

There is an internal time clock running in the background somewhere inside my head. It prompts me to move and suggests I need to move NOW, or risk running out of time to get done what I say I want.

And the clock is connected to a list, identifying all the tasks and accomplishments I seek to complete. Tick tock, time to move and take some more long strides.

It’s interesting to me, that when I take long strides, I find I often lose my balance. Could it get any more metaphorically obvious?

The sheer act of walking too quickly affects my balance.

Hmmm.

When I’m conscious of this, I try to slow down and shorten my stride and give myself an opportunity to consider the path I’m taking. Would it enhance my life to be more careful and more patient?

I wonder too, where am I going in such a hurry anyway?

I’m not sure exactly. And this observation feels important too.

I encourage myself to stop and sit for a while and consider. Where am I going and how do I want to get there? And how do I want to feel once I arrive? Each of these questions seems worthy of answering.

So, here’s a question for you.

What is the length of your stride?

Is it slow and thoughtful? Is it just the right amount of slow, or is it so tentative that you risk never arriving anywhere?

Does it vary? Does it change whether you’re going uphill (facing hardships or challenges) or downhill (when everything seems easy, and nothing is out of place)?

I wonder whether, like me, you’ve rarely thought about this. I wonder too, whether now that a seed has been planted, what will happen next for you?

For me, I believe it’s time for some changes.

I’m going to try to shorten my gait and stay in balance more often. I’m going to give myself a break by releasing the inner need to beat the clock ticking away inside my head. I plan on hitting the pause button, so that I can find a new sense of balance, without the misplaced belief that I will run out of time. And I’m going to pay attention to the length of my stride and listen to see if it wants to share a message with me.

Resurrection of Love

This is a companion to my previous post, One Path to Love.

On Good Friday in 2018 I spent three hours, from noon until 3:00pm, standing, sitting, and walking around the sanctuary of Unity Church in Albany (NY) with the hope that I would be able to connect spiritually and come to a greater understanding of the events surrounding Easter.

I sensed a strength, peace and clarity and felt a ‘knowing’ arrive within me, as if I were present during that time. It felt intimate and real, and I wanted very much to capture each of the stories so that they could be shared with the world. Over the next several weeks I received the words you are about to read. But more than the words, I received the beauty, grace and Yeshiwa’s (Jesus’s) loving heart that was and is the center of each of these stories. The full text appears in my book, Nine, a Holy Week Story of Love.

I do not ask you to believe me. I ask only that you read the words and let them reveal to you what truth they have to share.

This part of the story tells of an encounter between Yeshiwa and Mary Magdalen at Yeshiwa’s burial site following his resurrection.

Chapter Eight: Resurrection (excerpt)

Yeshiwa’s narrative:

I watched from afar as the one I loved most sought after me. She approached the tomb where I had been laid, trembling with fear. Fear that I had been taken and would be lost to her forever.

She touched my burial linens, so lovingly placed upon me by Joseph after I’d been taken from the cross. She traced every impression and quietly sang a sweet song to the memory of me.

One of my angels came and spoke to her asking her, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”

His garments shown with brilliance, and she fell back away from him. Then gathering herself, she said, “I am searching for my master. I wish to honor and anoint him. Please, if you know where he is, please tell me.”

The angel’s heart opened to her, and he said, “Fear not, for all is well. Your master has risen, as he told you he would. Go and seek, so that you may find him.”

She left, her heart quickening and her love revived. And she came and found me, and we held each other’s gaze and she said to me, “Oh beloved, I was so afraid. I remembered your words to us, yet still did not believe you would return. Please forgive my faithlessness. You know my love for you, and you know my great joy at seeing you, you the most precious gift to us all.”

“Mary,” I said, “there is no need for forgiveness. You have wronged no one, least of all, me. Come to me, heart of my heart.”

And she came and we embraced. As we parted, I gently held her face in my hands and looked into her eyes and placed the wholeness of my love deeply into her heart and because it was her greatest desire, she came fully awake.

I spoke to her, “My beloved, it is yours now, to teach as I have taught. To sow ripe seeds among the many. To guide the sheep and the shepherds. To you I have given the keys to the kingdom, that all might inherit everlasting life. Know that my love for you is eternal, remember me in each moment and in each breath.”

She gazed at me, and tears fell from her eyes and down her cheeks. “I will do as you ask. I will be mother to all and servant wherever I stand. I will feel you in each moment and remember you in each breath, you my master and beloved.”

“Go now and tell the others. Tell them I will meet them on the road. Remind them of my words and my promises and my love for them.”

She leaned back into me and softly said, “It will be done as you ask. I will tell them, and their hearts will rejoice.”

Then Mary and the others with her departed, running, that they might bring my good news to all who loved me.

These words show the love between Yeshiwa and Mary and the bond they shared. While channeling them, I was surrounded by their love and knew beyond any earthly knowing that this love belongs to every one of us. Freely given, offered with no expectations or demands. Ours without exception.

I hope that within these words there is something of value for you, something worth keeping for the rest of your life.

One Path to Love

On Good Friday in 2018 I spent three hours, from noon until 3:00pm, standing, sitting, and walking around the sanctuary of Unity Church in Albany (NY) with the hope that I would be able to connect spiritually and come to a greater understanding of the events surrounding Easter.

I sensed a strength, peace and clarity and felt a ‘knowing’ arrive within me, as if I were present during that time. It felt intimate and real, and I wanted very much to capture each of the stories so that they could be shared with the world. Over the next several weeks I received the words you are about to read. But more than the words, I received the beauty, grace and Yeshiwa’s (Jesus’s) loving heart that was and is the center of each of these stories. The full text appears in my book, Nine, a Holy Week Story of Love.

I do not ask you to believe me. I ask only that you read the words and let them reveal to you what truth they have to share.

This part of the story tells of an encounter with one of Yeshiwa’s tormentors who was present during his whipping.

Chapter Six: Path (excerpt)

Yeshiwa’s narrative

And I was given over to the pain of men. To men whose hearts had long ago left them, leaving them free to release all of their harshness upon me without limit. And yet in their desire to exalt over me, they suffered as I did, with every lash and cruel word, as they brought more pain into their lives and mine. When they had exhausted all of their strength, they dropped their whips and let me lay upon the coolness of the earth.

I could feel the emptiness of their spirits and I wept tears for them, for their lost lives. One, a man named Aaron, came over to me, grabbed my hair and pulled it back, so that my face tilted up toward his. I knew he meant to mock me further, but when our eyes met, he found he could not move or speak. In that single loving moment, his heart came alive. Came back fully to him. The light that had left him was born anew and was fanned into full flame and he fell down beside me and wept until he was as dry as the desert.

He gazed at me beseechingly and said, “I am so sorry master, so very sorry. I know I deserve nothing good, for I am a most wicked man, but please, please forgive me.”

I placed my hand over his heart and looked into his eyes, holding his gaze, and said to him, “My son, you are forgiven, go in peace and show love to the world. Show them the love I have shown you.”

He bowed at my feet, continuing to cry, and said, “Thank you my lord, this I will do all the days of my life,” and he helped me to my feet and walked the path to the cross with me.

—-

The words above flowed easily through me, channeled in a way I cannot fully comprehend, yet believe without even a shadow of a doubt. Each time I read them I cry tears when Aaron’s heart is changed and becomes alive again.

What a wonderful thing, to have your heart revived, to have your life changed, to want to share what you received with others, to give away your gift.

To me, this is the radiant message here. It is the redeeming nature of love. A free gift, available to everyone who chooses it.

That is what channeled through me and stays with me. I hope there is something here for you too.

Dementia’s Song

I’d like to share a very personal story with you, one that may resonate with your life experiences if you know someone with dementia.

No doubt this condition takes many routes. Some happen quite quickly. Others occur in a slow ebbing spiral, descending almost without notice, until one day the stark differences become painfully obvious.

It demands a very high emotional price, certainly from the one personally experiencing it, but also from those surrounding them. Watching the progression can be numbing, knowing there is so little that can be done.

Each person living through the changes must face their own emotional challenges, which of course are impacted by physical, mental, financial, and spiritual concerns.

I’m guessing that no two experiences are alike, but that there can be help and healing through sharing. That’s why I’m writing this post. I cannot know what assistance it may provide, but saying it here helps me and I hope it opens some doors for you.

Recently I awoke at 4:30 in the morning with a poem inside my mind, waiting for release, asking to be written. I hadn’t been expecting it, and yet it was there. So, I rose and wrote it down and felt a strong urge to put it into the world.

Here it is.

Dementia’s Song

I hope she knows me today.

My mother sits in her chair.

More than half faded from this life.

I cannot tell if she knows me.

And her stare gives nothing away.

I am left to wonder.

Is any part of her still here with me?

Once so sharp.

Now

With so few words.

Is there any promise for tomorrow

Or is that hope gone,

Like the sun winking out

At the end of the day

On the far horizon?

I wonder

Can I surrender

This fantasy inside of me

That I have any control

Over her staying?

I wonder too

Will her love remain

Here with me

When she finally leaves?

Perhaps that is for my heart to decide.

I want it to be so.

I hope she knows me today.

This was written after I’d visited my mom only to discover she didn’t seem to know me anymore. It left me fully disoriented, my world upside down. How could we have had such a good interactive conversation just the day before? Hours ago, that’s all, just a few hours.

I watch her trying to assemble words into sentences. The words will not come. They are like a skittish kitten hiding under a bed. The more you try to coax them to come out, the further they retreat from you.

Something obvious occurs to me.

I have no control. I cannot do anything to change this. I feel helpless.

And another thing occurs to me. Perhaps she feels the exact same way.

I wonder, how am I to deal with this?

A word shines brightly inside of me, grabbing my attention.

Acceptance.

It doesn’t mean I don’t try to help or be supportive, but it does mean I accept the reality we are experiencing. The wisdom inside this teaches me to accept all outcomes. It alerts me that my suffering is caused by my resistance to accept what is.

It is important for me to feel my feelings, to dive headlong into them, rather than trying to avoid them, even though I know it will be painful. By now, I know that it is far less painful to acknowledge my feelings, rather than a prolonged avoidance or resistance to letting them come into the light.

So, I will try to sit with no expectations and just be with her, accepting what each of us is experiencing and centering in love, as best as I can.