One of the challenges of a highly spiritual human being is to live within the realms of both “heaven” and earth at the same time. For example, we may observe our ego’s personal issues, have profound insights about the “laws of the universe” – thus feel complete trust about Divine order within our soul – and still not have the everyday “answers” to our dilemmas which can cause frustration and doubt.
“How is it that I can commune so clearly with Source and still not be able to (insert challenge here)?”
"We must eradicate from the soul all fear and terror of what comes towards us from the future. We must acquire serenity in all feelings and sensations about the future. We must look forward with absolute equanimity to everything that may come. And we must think only that whatever comes is given to us by a world-directive full of wisdom. It is part of what we must learn in this age, namely, to live out of pure trust, without any security in existence - trust in the ever-present help of the spiritual world. Truly, nothing else will do if our courage is not to fail us. Therefore, let us discipline our will and let us seek the awakening from within ourselves, every morning and every evening." ~Rudolf Steiner
Fear can be sparked by anything; money, natural disasters, illness, and – interestingly enough – thoughts of the future. Where some might respond with fear, others may be mildly entertained, have no reaction at all, or have an entirely different reaction. Yet, there are common responses to life’s challenges (or perceived dangers), and fear tends to be a typical one.
When people respond to circumstances with fear, it can leave a deep impression in their soul. This impression can be so embedded, they can become fearful about things that might happen. Rather than looking to the future with hope, or even neutrality, they look to the future with fear.
In these times, as the economy continues to plunge, Mother Earth helplessly bleeds oil, and wars rage on, fears can certainly arise for all of us. Many wonder, “How am I going to get through all this? What’s going to happen to my money/life/our planet? What does our future hold for us?”
Last night I decided to attend a group called "Psychics in Action." The group, facilitated by Aureya Magdalen, MFT, gathers one evening per month and usually focuses on a theme. I attend sporadically; maybe two to three times per year. Last night's theme - Trust - was the primary motivation behind my willingness to drive an hour to get there.
It was a good session and, in terms of how we approached Trust, completely different than I expected.
As usual, we were lead into an individually-focused meditation. Over the decades of practicing guided visualization I have learned, 1) to drop into the desired state extremely fast, 2) to simply observe what unfolds, rather than try to force things to happen, and 3) to refrain from over-analyzing the images or thoughts that come to me.
Well, during last night's meditation, the latter skill was a bit more challenging than usual. The images I received were so "dark" and felt so "opposite" of me that it was almost shocking. Thus, my judgments, questions and analyzing met the shock with a great desire for understanding.
Fortunately, I have been "deciphering" images and downloads for most of my life. Within a short time, the information neutralized my perception of negativity.
Soon, we were lead to the end of the meditation and I found myself so deeply embedded into the Oneness, that leaving the altered state was excruciatingly difficult. Explaining what I experienced is even more so, but I will certainly try.
Did you ever ride Disneyland's Space Mountain? This roller coaster is in full darkness - the twists and turns are only mildly perceived with the help of human senses. Eyes, somewhat adjusted to the dark, make out the structural framework of the roller coaster which seems to be much too close to the vehicle itself; only daring folks (hopefully with short arms) are crazy enough to hold their hands high above their heads! Ears can hear the train's contact with the rails and perhaps detect which direction the coaster is heading, although the screams of other riders are far more audible. Bodies feel the climbing, dipping and swerving of the ride and instantly try to anticipate its next sharp move; there's some pretty good wiggle room with only a lap belt to keep you in the car. Spiritual senses, such as intuition, are often left in the dust as the rocket launches full speed ahead!
No, we are not at Disneyland, and no, we aren't riding Space Mountain right now.
However, as the economy dips, relationships swerve and hardships are the only things that seem to be climbing, you may be wondering how to get off this unpredictable ride - or at least shed some light on it so you can see what's ahead and perhaps brace yourself.
First and foremost, getting off the ride is not an option. Your vehicle is moving much too fast, you are wearing a lap belt and there are far too many obstacles. And although it may seem like an eternity, in the greater scheme of things, this particular ride will end soon enough - every ride comes to an end. And, you have to trust that if you were really in danger, the ride would stop, the lights would turn on, and you would be escorted safely to the nearest exit.
Lights can be helpful, but in the case of Space Mountain, the point of the ride is not to see or know what's coming next. Perhaps in our human and spiritual maturity, we've ridden all the other types of roller coasters and we were bored. We wanted something new and unpredictable. We trusted that we could handle the intensity of a roller coaster in the dark.
Whether or not you can see what's ahead, your body automatically reacts to the intensity life hands you. Seeing may help, but really, how would you brace yourself?
Some folks - usually in a fearful state - hold on tightly and try to keep their bodies firmly in place on roller coasters. Yet, most of the time, too much bracing - in a desire to resist every bump and turn - can be counterproductive and whiplash may result. Perhaps lifting our arms above our head in the dark isn't the best choice for this particular ride, but flowing with the vehicle as it twists and dips is not only more gentle on our bodies, it implies we are skilled riders. After being beaten and jostled due to our own rigidity on roller coasters past, we have learned how to ride with grace and ease.
Screaming, of course, is always an option. Some laugh, some yell, and yes, there are those who were not fully prepared for such intensity who cry. All of these reactions are releases for the body and spirit during stressful - even joyfully stressful - situations.
Although our senses are here to guide us, it is a primal instinct to use them for our survival. We listen, watch, feel, smell and taste whatever necessary to ensure our safety. When times challenge us, we may even be on ultra-alert and hyper-sensitive. This doesn't always serve us, however. For example, we might receive an adrenaline overload, run into the face of danger or freeze completely. So, perhaps, it's better to have some of them disabled at times? Maybe not seeing what's coming is better for us in our current situations?
Since we cannot see what's ahead on Space Mountain, it requires a huge amount of trust; hence skilled riders know how to surrender to the ride and simply go with it. When your physical senses "fail" you, maybe it's actually for your own good.
And what about those spiritual senses? Our physical senses are strongly linked to our intuitive senses, and these, too, are set on self-protection default. It may not be able to see and predict what's going to happen, or when, but it can guide you. Learning to tune into your own intuition is simply a matter of paying attention to what you are already receiving with your other senses. Then, by careful "listening" to your inner voice and "seeing" with your inner sight, you will likely get other information to guide you. Maybe you won't know the next turn, but you sense - physically and/or spiritually - that the ride is about to turn left and drop downward. Sometimes you turn left and drop downward, and other times you are surprised to find a sharp right instead.
However, if you are fully surrendered to the roller coaster, which way it turns really won't matter too much.
All in all, however you choose to ride your current roller coaster of life, just remember that it's just one of many in the amusement park. There are lots of rides for lots of personalities. If this one isn't to your liking, trust that it will end soon enough, that you will be able to safely get off it, and know you can go find another ride. And, since you did fork our a chunk of change to get in the park, and you did get in line (even begrudgingly) for that darkened roller coaster, you might as well try to have fun!
In an action oriented society, we are often compelled to DO, DO, DO. We set goals, make to-do lists and create objectives for just about everything. (In metaphysical circles we set "intentions.") Most of us are in perpetual motion toward our future as we climb, achieve, accomplish, step forward and create the life we want. Our walls are lined with diplomas, awards and credentials validating our ability to do that which we have set out to do. And, to keep the motivation and momentum going, we have vision boards, manifesting groups, motivational CDs, how-to books and classes to support our intended successes.
Can you feel the anxiety creeping in as you were reading that first paragraph? (Or do you feel the excitement of an adrenaline rush?)
For a moment, stop and take a deep breath in and then release it with a great big sigh! Ah.... that's better.
Let's begin by looking at the basics of who you are and why you are here so we can put this energy of DO, DO, DO into perspective.
You are human-spiritual being who came to planet Earth to experience life. Sure, we all came for different reasons, but essentially we all came to experience life on Earth. As a human being, you are hard-wired for growth, you didn't need to "intend" or set a goal to physically grow up; it simply happened. And, of course, nourishment and support of your human body were required to consider this growing up a success. As a spiritual being, you are infinite and ever-expanding. Again, the "forward" momentum seems to be hard-wired. Thus, in both these realms, it makes sense that this desire to grow and achieve is completely natural and in alignment with who you are.
However, there is an underlying energy which we often forget. In our humanity, we are also mortal beings; our physical growth eventually stops, even appears to move backward, then we die. So, although it is natural to move forward, moving forward eventually leads to our human death. Spiritually, however, the infinite essence of ourselves is somewhat of a paradox. In reality there is no time or space, so the movement of "forward" or "expanding" (which imply a direction moving across time and/or space) doesn't actually exist either!
We have spent most of our lives dealing with our human selves, and as we become more conscious and connected to our spiritual selves, we are experiencing the discomfort of this paradox. Here we may find confusion reigning over both the body and the spirit. The awareness of our spiritual expansion fuels our inner drive to "move forward" and do that which our souls came to do. Unfortunately, frustration can couple with the confusion if we have no idea what that is. To make matters even more challenging, as the energy expands within us, our physical bodies are feeling so tired that we can't seem to get off our tails to do anything anyway!
Understanding what is happening is helpful, but doing - and even not doing - some basic things can make the journey into this next phase of awareness easier to "accomplish."
Pressure! Are we getting tired of the pressure!?
As we awaken, or shall I say "give birth to ourselves as more awakened beings", we are experiencing the pressures of the contractions of life. Each squeeze activates energies in us to awaken; each time allowing us to release old energies that no longer serve us.
These pressures are in our best interest (believe it or not) as they help "form" that which we are becoming.
So, what do we do to relieve these pressures?
First and foremost, breathe! Take deep, slow, gentle breaths to help you remain in the present moment with as much integrity and patience as possible. However, maintaining integrity and patience can be a challenge. Thus, allow yourself to "let off steam" if you have to in as safe a way as possible. Perhaps you "scream" into the pages of your journal, vent to a close friend, or go for a long walk, run, swim or bike ride.
Another way to relieve pressure is to find something to "get your mind off" of your situation / life. This, for some, can be an escape into a dangerous or not-so-healthy addiction. If this is your concern, know that you ALWAYS have options. You can find something CREATIVE to do instead. Painting, singing, dancing, and creating other artistic expressions can be great ways to take your mind away from your "issues" and help relieve the pressures you are experiencing.
Next, allow yourself to PLAY. When we release all inhibitions of what we "should" do and simply allow ourselves to play - like a child - we open portals to graceful living. This is critical to creating pathways into the newer, higher realms of living here on earth with grace, ease and joy!
Joy is not going to come knocking at our doors as we brood in our misery in front of the television. We must learn to cultivate it - in spite of our pressures and fears - to call it into our lives.
Trust this process that is happening. Allow its gifts to come to you! In the meantime, seek out ways to reduce the pressures and begin summoning joy once again!
A sleek red car curved around the freeway off ramp until the loop ended at a “T”. It tightly hugged the corner of the stop sign as it signaled to turn right. The car moved, but – both swift and awkward – it made a sharp left turn instead. Within a few yards, the driver swooped the flashy car into a gravel spot of emptiness and parked – a sure sign she was lost.
Perhaps she had an old-fashioned paper map, some scribbled directions, or maybe even one of those high tech GPS systems. Maybe she simply pulled out her cell phone to connect with someone waiting at her destination. Though she was lost – and the likelihood of one of her resources would get her to where she was heading soon enough – it was certain she knew where she wanted to go.
Life offers us a multitude of sign posts when we are lost, but what do we do if we don’t even know where we want to go? Does anyone take Sunday drives any more, just for the sake of the scenery? In today’s world, most of us only embark on journeys to get somewhere specific.
Right now in our lives we are finding more and more reasons to feel lost. Many of us have lost our jobs, marriages, houses, and even our identity. So, as logic would have it, we start to seek out resources – guidance, support, information, and so on – only to discover the discomfort in no longer knowing where we want to go!
Oddly, perhaps, things you thought you wanted are suddenly appearing along your path, but you may now lack the finances, time or even desire to pursue them. Why is this? We have spent most of our lives wanting, planning and moving toward our desired destinations, utilizing whatever resources we could to get “there.” We had a sense of direction and, thus, purpose.
In our current spiritual shifts, however, our windows to our future seem to be fogging up and that darned defroster isn’t working anymore! We not only can’t see our way, but when we pull over to evaluate our next turn, we realize we somehow lack the inner drive to get anywhere because the fuel of desire is on empty.
At this part of your journey, perhaps you sit and rest and allow yourself to go nowhere at all. Simply enjoy the quiet time in your own vehicle as throngs of cars whiz by while you forget about getting “there” and experience your time being “here.” Maybe you find the local Starbucks and take in an iced tea or coffee (since they are on every street corner, you can always find one!). Why feel a sense of urgency when you have no clue where you are going? What would you be late for, anyway… your own life?
Your life is happening now. It is the uncertainty, the rest, and the cup of tea, not just the final destination.
There are really only a few places we drive to anyway; an obligatory errand, a desired destination that we’ve selected, or a place we have been invited to attend. Given that we are well stocked in the errand category, and the desired destination is unclear to us right now, then maybe the Universe is offering each of us an invitation… or will be soon.
In order to receive an invitation and attend an affair, we need two things; to be receptive and available. So, rather than worry and hurry into the future without a clue, perhaps we clear our calendars and wait for our invitation to arrive. As we experience more of the now – the present – we gain trust that the Universe only offers invitations to the most grand of events. And, to think, we don’t even have to go out and buy that present to attend the occasion of our lives!
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."
Right now you are likely feeling completely split over just about every decision in your life. Do I do THIS or THAT? You listen, ponder, analyze and even wait for a sign from the Universe. Yet, the “answer” is far from clear and confusion reigns with an iron fist!
As we move closer to Oneness, we find ourselves more confused than ever as we try to find the “right” way to live our lives. We want to make more conscious choices, listen more carefully to Source, and help, in some way, contribute our gifts and/or services to the betterment of Life. A beautiful offering; so, why are we utterly confused about how to do this?
Upon agreeing to awaken, we successfully passed the threshold of making more conscious choices. And, generally speaking, this has been a reward in and of itself. Thankfully, most of us feel we have been Divinely guided along the way. Sometimes it was our intuition, other times we prayed for the answers, or maybe a friend or two helped in our decision making processes. Likely, we used a combination of methods to be really clear about what to do next.
These days, however, Life seems to be a bit more foggy. Decisions seem to be demanding our attention and many of them are pretty big ones at that! Our intuition is on summer vacation, praying has turned into begging for an answer to knock us over the head, and our faithful friends are just as baffled as we are and offer conflicting advice! For some unsettling reason, we seem to have lost our “guides” and feel we are all alone as we try to make these conscious and important choices.
Did I mention the importance of breathing? As you feel the anxiety around all of this, just take a nice, deep breath – and even another one, right here, right now – before reading on. (Ah, that’s better.)
Well, the good news is, we are not alone! We still have Divine guidance; and as we awaken to our own Divinity, we are being asked to “fine tune” our inner listening skills and strengthen our trust in ourselves. And, it is helpful to note, as we release duality “either-or” decisions become much harder to make! Increasing trust in ourselves includes realizing the perfection of any choice we make and releasing the beliefs around “right” or “wrong” decisions. Although we may understand this on a deeper level, we always want to do what is “right” anyway!
As the pendulum swings from the Divine Masculine realm of analysis, logic and linear thinking toward the Divine Feminine realm of intuition, knowing and feeling, our souls are urging us to expand these inborn gifts in ourselves. We do not have to abandon our tried and true left-brain activities; we do have to nurture the right-brain ones, however, if we want to create more balance in our lives and have an easier time with those looming decisions. There are a number of ways to cultivate our intuition, creativity and emotional energies including (but not limited to) free-form journaling, dance, music and art; as well as more structured formats such as intuitive skills classes, learning through books, heart-centered group gatherings and numerous healing therapies.
Trusting ourselves can be a life long pursuit; it can also be highly developed to allow more ease in our lives. One way to develop any skill is through practice; the more you practice, the faster you develop the skill. And, it can be very helpful to have a teacher along the way. Teachers come in all forms: ministers, therapists, parents, friends, spiritual counselors, and life coaches to name a few. They can also appear as self-help books or other inspirational sources. Allowing someone to support us can be an empowering step toward self trust.
During this time of rapid expansion, when decisions can often overwhelm us, it is important to be gentle with ourselves. Here are some simple guidelines to assist us: