I have tried to seek balance most of my life. Er... I'm a Libra.
An astrologer once told me, "Most people think Librans are balanced. That is actually not the case! Librans spent most of their lives swinging the pendulum from one extreme to the other trying to find balance."
Or, perhaps I am an extremely diverse person with lots of interests and intentions.
Regardless, balance in my daily life and mind looks somewhat mundane, yet peaceful and simple.
In my heart, balance means living in joy without my day's or mind's parameters.
Ah, yes! That is what I seek! A life filled with joy without limitations!
If there were no tasks to get done, no schedule to adhere to, no places to be, or no outward obligations, then perhaps I could float from one joy to another without worry of seeking balance.
I so look forward to the collapsing of time.
The mind has created this funny thing called time.
Although it helps keep things "in order," it has become a ball and chain we allow ourselves to drag around and believe in its necessity.
Again and again, I have contemplated on how to release this ball and chain.
Ah, meditation! In the quietude of my soul, I have escaped the sands of time into the nothingness of bliss and eternity.
Dreamland also allows my soul to fly free and clear into other realms and dimensions.
Some, in this three dimensional, masculine, doing-oriented world might call me "lazy" or "dreamy" or far too idealistic.
Though I believe in the value of work, I know in my heart the value of play...
joyful, imaginative, creative, pointless, expressive, boundless play!
Yes, by being incarnated onto this earth, in this day and age, we have agreed to the "rules of the game."
We follow the "laws" of gravity, time, space, and have bought into the "reality" of duality.
And, as a new age unfolds, we are beginning to break those laws.
Or, perhaps more accurately, we are allowing our minds to release the perception of these laws and bring the reality of who we are into three dimensional focus for all to see... and - more importantly - for us to enjoy!
What is darkness? What is light?
Oftentimes we use these words to describe spirituality. Yet, in essence, neither one exists. The spiritual reality is there is no duality, no separation. Only One.... the All.
Yet, on this earthly plane, we experience light and dark in our lives. We can be in a dark room, and turn on a light, or vice versa. Instinctively, our human selves tend to be more comfortable with the light than the dark.
Why is that?
In darkness it is harder to "see", so we don't feel as safe. There is a vast unknown in darkness.
Spiritually, when we refer to these seemingly polar opposites, we tend to equate light with love and dark with hate or fear. Ah... so even spiritually, our souls gravitate to the light.
But what about the darkness? Why is it that some humans and souls are attracted to the dark, or hate or fear? Is it their conditioning, upbringing, own fears, or is it their essence?
In my practice, I find, again and again, a pattern in which “doing the right thing” and “doing what we are supposed to do” can lead to a big, hard wall.
From the time we are small children we are taught rules. They help form us, keep us safe and even “on the right track.” Rules attempt to create order out of chaos. Or, perhaps prevent perceived possible problems (say THAT five times!).
Yet, what I am noticing is how many people, especially women, have spent their entire lives following “the rules” and doing everything “right” only to come crashing into the hard, cold wall of misery. Okay, some haven’t hit misery yet; some are scraping alongside discontentment. Either way, they are discovering that although they have done everything by “the book” and have followed the “rules”, life hasn’t necessarily rewarded them with their dreams or even Joy.
Why not? They wonder, “What have I done wrong?”
Nothing. They haven’t done anything wrong, and life isn’t what they wanted or expected it to be.
I remember when I first began working as an Interior Designer at a large architectural firm in Sacramento; I was fresh out of UC Davis and my internship had turned into a real job. Before long, I was calling my mom in tears about all the “unfairness” of office politics. She shared with me information from a book she had read which noted how girls are taught that if they behave like a “good girl” and “do what they’re supposed to do” then they can expect to get “good grades” (which they then translate into rewards, promotions, etc.). Boys, on the other hand, are taught that they should do “whatever it takes to win the game” (i.e. cheat, if necessary!). Thus, the moral of the book – and my mom’s advice, it seemed – was to “toughen up” and “learn how to play the game.”
I never really liked sports, I never read the book, and I never learned how to play office politics. I believed, and wanted to believe, in “doing the right thing.”
So why is this pattern emerging? Why is it that when people do “what they are supposed to do” to create their lives they aren’t finding happiness?
To address this question, I’d like to take a giant step back – okay, some of you may need to take two or three giant steps back – in order to have a greater perspective.
As we move from duality to Oneness, we are finding blurry lines everywhere, including that line between “right” and “wrong.” In the example above, about living and creating our lives, people have spent much of their time doing what is “right” according to a belief system that may be completely “wrong” for them as individuals. They go to college, get a degree in something they enjoy and/or offers great earning potential, get married, and so on, because they believe it’s what they are supposed to do in order to be happy. Yet, even for those who wanted all these things, Life has seemingly pushed them up against this same, hard wall! Why is that?
I have said this many times: It is our BIRTHRIGHT to live in Joy!
That wall of misery and discontent only asks us to seek out our birthright; to ask ourselves, “What truly brings me Joy?” And, more specifically, “What is it that I – on a Soul level – want to bring to the world and do?”
Many of us, however, don’t give ourselves permission to ask such questions, let alone seek their answers. Instead, we follow our parents’, society’s and other’s rules which we have completely bought in to and now own – pink slip, and all!
Once, a client asked a question that had something to do with her marriage and her happiness. When I acknowledged her deep misery, her response was, “My husband is very old and he will probably die much sooner than me.” In that moment I saw how completely bound she was to the “rule” about what it meant to be a “good wife.” She had a similar question about her job, but was just as clear that she was “doing the right thing” because, as she noted, in another ten years she’d have her retirement.
Another “rule” we believe is, “If I do what is ‘right’ for me, then it may not be for the good of all.”Interesting belief! If what the Universe wants for you is to remember that you ARE Joy, and is urging you to step into that place, then why would becoming more of who you are and acting accordingly be harmful to yourself, others or the planet?
As perfectly human beings, we have done nothing wrong by following these rules we were given. We can continue to do nothing wrong – or better yet, we can stop perceiving that we ever DO anything wrong. We can stop judging ourselves and get there is no “wrong” and therefore no “right.”
Stepping away from the belief in “right” and “wrong” allows us to observe our “rules” and recognize that we always have, and thus make, choices. We can continue to stay in marriages and jobs that make us miserable, or we can decide to make other choices. It can be empowering to release our rules; it can also be frightening. Like a cage, these rules are the bars that keep us contained. They can make us feel trapped and they can make us feel safe. Acknowledging the rules we have set for ourselves is the first step toward loosening the bars on our cage. Perhaps removing, or even softening, a few of them will help us breathe a little easier.
What do the bars of your cage look like? How free do you want to be? Are you afraid that you would harm someone if you were let out of your cage?
Perhaps you are afraid of your power.
At this time of awakening we are being asked to bring forth our power; to reach deep within ourselves to discover, and hence bring forth, our magic and our gifts. When what we thought we wanted isn’t bringing us Joy, or even manifesting, we can choose to let that hard, cold wall of misery stop us. We can also choose to rest, gather our composure, and look beyond it.
Have you hit any walls lately? If so, are the walls of misery or discontent asking you to call forth your deepest dreams, desires and gifts? Do you dare reach that deep into your Soul? Do you dare not?
If you thought you were moving toward what you wanted, and it still is not working, I believe it is because the Universe wants so much more for you than you can imagine! Our little minds and egos cannot comprehend our own Grandness or the Joy that lies within us. How do we discover this Grandness and Joy?
To begin with, I invite you to move from Form to Formlessness; to allow yourself to soften your rules, structure and rigidity so you can discover the possibilities that lie within your creativity, emptiness and potential. I invite you to rest, breathe, meditate, just be, and – lo and behold – break as many of your rules as possible! And, finally, I invite you to trust. Trust that you don’t even need to “know” what your gifts are; you simply need to call upon them to emerge and create a safe space for them to materialize.
As we awaken to who we are, we are bumping up against many of our core beliefs and thoughts about our world and ourselves, including the various labels we have taken on. We believe, "I am an excellent employee (or business owner)" or "I am a dedicated and loving spouse." These labels are based on both our self-perceptions as well as our experiences.
But is it really who we are or merely an expression of our Divinity in form?
It is both. To pick "one right answer" keeps us tied to duality with an either/or view of the world and ourselves.
Our Divine Self wants us to experience more of ourselves well beyond that which can be limited by labels. Since our divinity is limitless, its grandness is bringing expanded perceptions to our human consciousness. This is part of why we are experiencing significant "challenges" in our lives that make us question and wonder, "Am I an excellent employee/business owner?” or "Am I a dedicated and loving spouse?"
It is by asking questions that answers can reveal themselves. If we find ourselves challenged with situations such as a job layoff, business closure or the end of a long marriage, we may begin to question our identity (or self-perceived labels) as well as our worthiness. The greater challenge is not whether or not we will find success once again with a new or improved job, business or spouse, but rather learning to feel good about ourselves if we don’t.
If we loose our labels – especially those positive adjectives that we attach to them – can we still feel good about ourselves? Can we find inner peace in not attaching to a specific identity that we desire to be?
Perhaps if we continue to bump up against these core beliefs about who we are we can release our more limited views and begin to see the greater picture of our magnificence. Perhaps, then, we will simply say, "I AM."
The word judgment can feel like a loaded word, and rightly so, because judgment can weigh us down if we have emotional attachments to whatever judgments have been made by ourselves or by others. One day our words may have less duality and charge in them. For now, however, there are very few words (especially words associated with spirituality) that reflect neutral experiences and expressions of life, much less words that are free from connotations. Thus, judgment as a word and as a verb express this duality in our language and our world.
We use our judgments to make choices, and if we experience desired results, we conclude we made the "right" decision and likely feel good. Conversely, if our results are not what we expected or wanted, we usually assume we made the "wrong" choice and negative feelings can consume us.
If we choose, we can learn to perceive all choices as neutral. Conscious or not, we make choices at each moment in our lives (even if we don't choose anything at all) and we experience the consequences of our decisions. Most of what we experience in our instantaneous and on-going cylce of judgment-choice is actually quite neutral, leaving us with little or no feelings regarding it, and the pattern goes unnoticed.
You can brush your teeth before your shower, during or after it. You can wear the comfortably worn outfit or the newer, crisper one. You can pet your dog before your cat notices, or put your dog outside and spend a few minutes caressing your cat.
Choices like which handrail we hold when we go down the stairs usually don't have a great impact in our lives. Yet, when we encounter what we think is an "important" decision, we assume there is a "right" or "wrong" way to proceed. We make a judgment, a choice, and hope we picked the correct option. And, because we have a vested interest, we probably have an emotional attachment to the outcome.
If our results are favorable, we experience good feelings and continue down our paths with gratitude. If, however, unpleasantries result, we can find ourselves feeling bad about our choice and bad about ourselves. Sure, we may wonder and worry about others judging us too, but it's our self-judgment that affects us most.
What if we simply saw everything we did through the eyes of neutrality? What if we plainly remarked, "Interesting," with no judgmental thoughts or opinions about the choice, the end result, or ourselves? This does not imply this is a more "noble" or "correct" way of perceiving, merely a "what if?"
If we began to make our choices without the hooks of "right" or "wrong" embedded in them, then the experience each choice leads to could be just that... an experience. Maybe even an interesting one.
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.