One way to help integrate ("into-great") the energies we perceive as "light" and "dark" is to stop labeling them as such. Notably, our language reflects our belief systems. If we can simply perceive things and notice what is without judgment, we open our consciousness to Oneness. The All That Is includes both "light" and "dark" energies, and it is typical (reactive) for us, as humans, to assume light is "good" and dark is "bad." Yet, take a moment to think of the numerous life situations where the opposite is true. (Mushrooms, sunburns, viewing stars at night, and so on.)
Nature herself honors, utilizes and accepts both "light" and "dark - as she is both - so why don't we?
When we can allow all energies to be loved within us (both our gifts, let's say, as well as our shadows), we can learn to allow them to exist in others. In so doing, our judgments of others' lives and choices begin to dissolve and we find compassion (which is not a righteous pity). Love allows seemingly "polar opposites" to find harmony and balance within and around us, and perceptions of duality disappear.
When we send anything Love, it raises its vibration to higher frequencies. Imagine sending all aspects of ourselves Love. Imagine sending everything outside of us Love. Judgment, on the other hand, is an aspect of separation. We can choose, "Do I want to Love or do I want to judge?" Both are perfectly understandable options, so there's no "right" or "wrong" answer (unless, of course, you perceive one); simply neutral choices.
As duality shifts into neutrality, we free ourselves from worrying about the "dark" overcoming the "light" ...and vice-versa.
AND, if we choose, we can stretch our minds to perceive (actually allow our hearts to remember) that ALL IS LOVE. However, for now, most of us have a knee-jerk fearful reaction to such a bold statement... but, not to worry, it's perfectly human.
When we reach a certain point of enlightenment, we begin to wonder, “Is this it?” Perhaps apathy creeps in and we notice an emptiness, or even a loneliness, in and around us. Sometimes we feel like it’s all one big joke… and we’re the ones being laughed at by the Universe.
What has happened? Why this odd stage of disconnectedness?
As we awaken to Oneness, we begin to merge with our remembrance of the All That Is both intellectually and spiritually. Our thoughts understand the concepts of Oneness (to a degree) and we think, “Wow! That’s what I want, to feel One with all things!” Yet, the experience can be uncomfortably different.
In Oneness, there is no discernment. Duality, and thus the ego, begins to dissolve. And, this ego, this part of ourselves that has been “driving the ship” most of our lives, begins to lose control over the body and mind. Fear arises as the ego crumbles into neutrality.
Neutrality is just that – neutral. It is neither good nor bad, light nor dark, speeding ahead nor dragging behind. Yet, as seekers, we've had a desire to speed ahead into the light with good intentions only to stumble face first into neutrality! For the human ego, when duality has reigned and stirred up intense feelings within us forever and a day, neutrality can feel like completely nothingness. How do we define ourselves and our feelings in neutrality? It feels much too benign to be “evolved” or “mystical” or “enlightened.”
Again, like the concept of Oneness, our minds have defined what we think these mere words will be like. And, yes, they are mere words.
You may doubt yourself, or the point of it all, or wonder if it is just a joke, AND you can allow yourself to simply experience the emptiness, apathy and neutrality without judgment. Let it be, let yourself be and soon – believe it or not – you will be laughing WITH the Universe at this incredible cosmic joke!
Is there a reason for the negative experiences I am going through?
If my life is hard, does this mean I'm not spiritual enough or on the right path?
What are the metaphysical meanings behind my physical reality?
What's the purpose to all of this?
We all want some kind of "spiritual answers" that make us at least feel okay about our uncomfortable situations. Yet, regardless of what we feel, believe, or experience, we are WHOLE, PERFECT BEINGS RIGHT NOW. This is the "lesson" so to speak.
Metaphysically speaking, we choose life simply for it's experience. We set up parameters, have "ideas" and intentions, let's say, and then we are born. As our lives unfold, we experience the fullness of being by experiencing a spectrum of thoughts, feelings, challenges, blessings, and so on. We react, act, expand, contract, sleep, eat and love.
As humans, there are certain "agreements" or "rules" we have accepted - like we really do have to eat and breathe if we want to keep our bodies. Yet, we are both human and spiritual, so we instinctively play with the idea of spirit with our human experiences, and our own "remembering" of this aspect.
To really feel human, we take on duality - in thoughts and experiences - some taking this on to a greater degree than others. Yet, the only way to experience duality is through judgment. Again, this is perfectly human. We judge ourselves, others, life, experiences, EVERYTHING. And, it's actually something that has served us all of our lives.
However, as we "shift" into a higher, more awakened consciousness, we are "collapsing" into the experience of Oneness, where the illusion of duality merges into wholeness.
So what experiences are we having that reflect this shift in the collective consciousness?
Our own judgments of life, ourselves and our beliefs are bubbling to the surface during these changing times. This can be quite challenging and even painful.
Therefore, I simply suggest to breathe. To allow yourself to have the doubts, the insecurities and feel what you are feeling. Breathe into the moment. As your fear arises, if you can be with it, you will find it will settle down and disintegrate. You'll find that you were fully present with you in that moment, and thus allowed yourself to experience life as you. My guess is that at that moment, the moment after the fear faded, you felt bliss and contentment and realized that your physical reality didn't really matter... at least not in that moment.
So, little by... oh, maybe it's brick by... or wait... perhaps it's major issue by major issue, you will begin to experience more and more of the bliss as you experience more and more of the NOW. It takes practice, patience and willingness, but it's actually all there is.
YOU ARE THE ALL THAT IS. You are simply re-membering it. You are whole, holy and worthy - ALWAYS.
Many years ago, I read a book by Sarah Ban Breathnach called Simple Abundance: A Day Book of Comfort and Joy, and absolutely loved it. It was a time in my life when I felt like I didn’t have very much, but desired desperately to feel abundant. In times of economic uncertainty, we are all feeling those pangs of desire for both simplicity and abundance, I’m sure.
Over the course of mothering my four children, I have found that simplicity actually creates a sacred space for abundance to flourish. I have not had any credit cards since 2000, I don’t have a cell phone or laptop computer, I own a modest TV which is only used for an occasional movie rental (and doesn’t even work for television), and I have gone without a microwave for at least six years. By refraining from some things people nowadays consider “basic”, I have experienced the “comfort and joy” in not having these modern day conveniences. In the simplicity of my lifestyle, it has been easier for me to remember and connect with the things that are truly important to me.
Living without a television in my child-filled home isn’t as difficult as people might think. “What do your kids do?” people wonder. They play, read, go outside, or do nothing at all. To watch a child be in the nothing at all space can be uncomfortable for adults who are so used to doing, doing, doing in the name of productivity. Yet, it’s in the nothingness that all things are born. With the simplicity of space and imagination the world is infinitely abundant in the hearts of children at play.
What would you do with your time – for relaxation, play or entertainment – if it wasn’t being filled with something that isn’t truly important to you? How does it feel to you to do nothing at all?
Although I may not be able to find a pay phone when I need one, I have found the generosity of strangers instead. Inevitably when I walk into a store, library or other venue and ask, “Is there a pay phone around here?” the person behind the counter offers me his or her cell phone to use. In this way, I have made more than the connection I was originally seeking.
What ways do you most enjoy connecting with others? What would it be like to experience dis-connection for a day or more? Who do you connect with in your life?
Taking the time to cook our family meals takes no more time than using a microwave. I always found it odd to see the directions for “Microwave Use” vs. “Stovetop” to be only a matter of tiny minutes. The taste (not to mention conservation of nutrients) is worth the wait; it allows time for my children to help set the table before our family sits around it, blesses our food and eats together.
What would it be like to slow down and savor your life? Who would you spend time with? What do you bless every day?
In this time of rapid change and uncertainty, we yearn for stability; it’s a natural response. If we remember that true stability is offered by a good foundation, we can begin to evaluate, and perhaps rebuild, the foundation of our lives with things that are most important to us. Whatever we add to the foundation is up to each of us, of course. In my own experience, keeping things simple (by not adding too much) has kept me closer to my foundation – my family – which allows me to feel both its stability as well as its abundance.
What’s most important to you in your life? What do you want to build on that foundation, and will it bear the weight of what you are adding? Is there anything you can do to create more stability, or do you notice that it is already strong and abundant?
I surely don’t want to write about fear… I’m too afraid! Geez, what do I have to say about this topic, since, I too am constantly trying to avoid fear?! “Surrender,” I hear, as I begin to write…
As human beings we are hexed with fears! By agreeing to incarnate on Earth, we took on this thing called fear. It has been said that FEAR stands for “False Evidence Appearing Real.” This is fine and dandy when we are talking about monsters under our beds, but what about those REALLY Real fears?
What about Reality?! War! Bankruptcy! Injustices! Betrayals! Survival!
I don’t have a television, nor do I read any newspapers, or listen to the radio long enough to hear about happenings in the real world – thank goodness! Am I uninformed? Probably. Am I in denial? Maybe. Is this disconnection from 3-D reality a bad thing? No – at least not for me.
My primary reason for not staying connected to the world through the media is because of fear! Yes, I am afraid of what is happening in our world, and I am certainly not interested in having my fears amplified with media influences. I have plenty of pesky fears gnawing around my own house, thank you!
So what do I do to cope with my fears, great and small?
Empowerment, detachment and surrender are keys to releasing this human experience known as fear.
Empowerment can come in many forms. When we recognized where we have power and take action accordingly, we can alleviate some of our fears. For some people, media news gives them a sense of what is happening in our world, empowering them with information. Many people are motivated to create changes; perhaps politically, monetarily or through service.
Personally, I empower myself by NOT receiving information about the world through the media. I best function and stay empowered by maintaining my connection to the “Higher Realms” through my spirituality. Politically and financially, I support areas that align with my beliefs and pocketbook. In terms of service, I love to empower others, including my four children, so they can live more joyfully and have positive influences in our world.
Clearly, there isn’t one “right” way to empower ourselves, yet it is beneficial to come from a place of Love rather than fear. When we act out of fear, we align ourselves with denser energies (you know, the “lower realms”).
Sometimes it can be hard for us to discern when our acts come from Love or fear. Do I care for my family out of Love or protect them out of fear? Likely, we do both. Personal love – for our family, the earth, ourselves – is a more positive impetus than fear. Yet, when we address our fears from a place of personal love, our attachment seeks a desired outcome. Generally speaking, we want to remove the “problem” because we believe it is causing our fears! We can spend a lifetime trying to eliminate our fears through this method.
Love with detachment – a.k.a. Unconditional Love – enables us to live fearlessly in spite of our problems. Through the eyes of detachment we can see a greater picture. This empowers us to remove the hook from our personal agenda and simply witness What Is. Some of us experience this in small instances at unpredictable moments (then, of course, we want to hold on to it!). Achieving detachment takes practice, to say the least. We do not need to become Buddhists to learn detachment, though this spiritual path offers us some enlightening perspectives.
In “reality”, I encounter many issues that try to lure me down the path of fear. Many times I go – dramatically, habitually and, of course, fearfully! Yet, the more I tune into the higher frequencies of Love and Oneness (rather than the media), the easier I find detachment. Yes, I still may need to call a friend, take a deep breath (or two or three) and do some journaling, but I find detachment to be a powerfully comforting tool.
I would like to note, however, that de-tachment implies that there was an attachment. Some day I would like to master non-attachment so I can avoid the hook altogether. In the meantime, I am practicing the art of surrender.
While some may equate surrendering with dis-empowerment, it actually takes a good deal of courage and faith. Although surrendering may not change or impact the original “problem” or “reality” that prompted our fear, it can help diminish the fear itself. Perhaps we humbly realize that even though we can see a greater picture with detachment, this greater picture is much bigger than our human eyes can behold. We release trying to see it, or understand it. We surrender to it. When we surrender, we move into our fears (not necessarily into the "issue" itself), which gives them less power to frighten us.
In this rapidly shifting reality, we are facing challenges on many levels. Some challenges we handle with grace, while others rattle our fears to the core. The Truth is we are human beings trying to re-member Oneness! Ironically, this process scares us. Hidden deep in our unconsciousness, is a tiny “ego” trying to fight for its own survival. It doesn’t know that when it surrenders to the Oneness – to that which most frightens it – it will expand into a Grandness beyond its wildest dreams! Instead, it is plagued with fear because it doesn’t Trust what Source is trying to bring it.
For the most part, I find that surrender isn’t a one stop completion point; it is often an ebb and flow between my ego and my Soul creating an interesting dance. Sometimes I watch with detachment, other times I join in. What I am learning, however, is that my Soul has much more endurance, smoother steps, and is a better teacher. Plus, it brings me joy to dance with my Soul!
Whether we are dealing with those pesky everyday fears, or the major catastrophes of living in today’s reality that trigger the REALLY Real fears, if we fully and completely surrender to Trust, we may discover what Source is trying to bring us and perhaps realize there was nothing to fear after all.
Are you willing to expand into a Grandness beyond your wildest dreams?
“Surrender,” you hear, as you move toward that which most frightens you…
Maybe you, too, are ready to dance with your Soul.
"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."
Sometimes we can get caught up in the day to day doings; we forget about the present moment and lose touch with simply being. Yet, in each moment, we have the opportunity to tap into our own essence and experience our being. This does not imply that we should sit in stillness or in meditation and do nothing else but “be” all the time. However, when was the last time you gave yourself permission to stop and do nothing at all? Or at least slow down and experience what it is you are doing.
Even meditation is initiated by a doing action and can feel burdensome or invoke feelings of guilt if we decide to play the shame game. And, yes, sometimes when we “make” ourselves do something “good” for us, even when we didn’t really feel like it, we experience the joy that comes with the follow through as well as the results of our task. How many times have you found yourself grateful for actually eating all of your vegetables, making your bed or any of those other “shoulds”? Why did you feel grateful; because the task was done or was “good for you”? Or did you enjoy the experience itself?
Unfortunately, there are no hard, fast rules in self care. Generally speaking, we can assume that if we do things that are “good” for us, we will be happier, healthier, and perhaps live longer. Yet, we have all heard stories of the 101 year old man who drank and smoked all his life and loved every minute of it. Fair or not, self care is only an option with no guarantees.
Regardless of the results, perhaps self care or doing things that are good for us can actually offer us something while we are doing it. In other words, the endeavor can be just as valuable as the end results if we allow ourselves to experience it fully… or shall I say, if we allow ourselves to experience our being while we are doing. By being present with our task, we can deeply connect with ourselves on both a human and spiritual level.
Simply bringing our awareness to ourselves and what we do in each moment is a basic, yet profound, way to indulge in self care and it doesn’t have to take the form of a sitting meditation. So whether you are cleaning your bathroom, running on the treadmill, or brushing your teeth, I invite you to try doing your task with your full attention and see what it’s like …just because.