Love On…

Love on I wanted to call this post “you are what you hate,”  but then I was reminded — as usual — to keep it positive.  By the same token that you can “be” what you hate, you can also “be” what you love.  Well, to clarify, it’s not that if I hate cauliflower, I become cauliflower.  But if I hate it so actively that I rail against it at every opportunity, then perhaps, while I don’t become cauliflower, I can become so consumed by hatred that hatred’s exactly what I radiate.  Of course, cauliflower might not have been the best example.  

We live in contentious times, or so it seems.  Indeed, some time-honored ways of looking at things have changed.  And this always causes stress and strain regardless of your political beliefs.  During times of change and when our experiences begin to chafe against our beliefs, it often becomes easy to deflect our beliefs onto others by making statements grounded in guilt and shame when we think what someone else believes poses a threat to what we believe.  It happens on social media all the time and while that might not seem important, the average Facebook user will encounter quite a few opportunities to practice restraint of pen and tongue over the course of a few days.  What is happening nationally is often played out personally and locally over the internet through social media.  For example, for a few days after the Supreme Court ruling on Marriage Equality, many folks changed their profile pictures to an image of them covered in the rainbow in order to show their support.  This, compounded with other national events, caused an almost equal and opposite reaction of profiles with confederate flags in them.  

Although I’ve touched on politics, that’s not  exactly my point with this entry. Our beliefs might or might not be in agreement, and we might end up deciding to “agree to disagree” which has a range of meanings from no emotional attachment to something not unlike Soviet/US relations throughout the 1970s: détente. So in this space, we will leave that alone while we take a good look inside ourselves.  

Lessons in patience come mind.  Just as I get to be where I am and believe what I believe, everyone else is entitled to that right as well.  And just because people are in fight or flight mode doesn’t mean I have to arm myself for battle.  I do better when I observe what’s going on without participating. Generally speaking, it would take a considerable amount of energy for me to change your mind about something even if it were possible.  As people on all sides of the never ending abortion debate can attest, when it’s about something that’s supposedly important, it’s just not likely to happen at all.  

Again, it’s the same old story of looking for everything external to make us ok — does it strengthen my belief to tear down yours?  We often hear the phrase, “Hate the sin; love the sinner.”  That statement gets trotted out anytime some folks can’t reconcile their love for a person with what they believe are “errors” in their conduct.   But, really, why hate at all?  The object of my hate is never what I think it is because the things I hate are never the problem.  The problem is that I hold hatred deep inside me, and I’m expressing it at the things that bring me discomfort.   The things I hate are but a symptom of my hatred problem, not the other way around.

What could happen if I just sought to love other people and let their “errors” self-correct?  Or if I claimed freedom for you to believe and act as you feel is appropriate in the same manner that I insist upon for myself.  

My disapproval rarely changes anyone’s behavior but the constant recognition of it does IMG_6434cause great discomfort inside of me.  Instead of hating anything, I seek to love what I love more fully.  Isn’t life generally what my friend Royce calls a “self-cleaning oven?”  It’s self-correcting.  

My father knew a great deal about this.  He always said, “Don’t ever kill an ant. Whenever one ant dies, 100 come to its funeral.” My father had all sorts of sage wisdom couched in the form of little stories like these. It was a sly way of saying that when you use all your energy and direct your passion against something, you’re in essence strengthening it and energizing it; calling it out only promotes more awareness of the thing you’re wanting to stop.

Again, “focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want.” “What you resist, persists” and all those other borrowed aphorisms I often spout.

That’s why I generally will not take on the Facebook haters.  It’s the reason I will rarely engage when I hear something similar in line at the grocery store or at the gym.  I am in the process of accepting that your beliefs don’t really have anything much to do with my beliefs and as long as someone is not impinging upon my civil rights, it doesn’t much matter to me what you think about.  Everyone is entitled to his or her own reality, or so it seems to me.    

Today, I seek to love more fully and to express that love with compassion toward everyone I meet.  

Even toward the the folks I don’t agree with…and especially toward the ones who don’t agree with me.

Yes, I realize it’s “axiomatic,” but when I feel “convicted” to call out what I think is your “bad behavior,” I really am, after all, the one with the problem.

It’s all an inside job, this. Beams and specks.

Fear Factor; Or, My Teacher With Eight Legs

IMG_1938A while back, I decided to make peace with spiders. I always joke with my mom that she caused me to be afraid of them but I know better.  She didn’t mean to make me afraid of spiders, so there’s absolutely no judgment and no blame here, mom, if you’re reading this…someone did the same to her — just one of those things. Besides, I’m an adult now with a fair amount of insight.  I couldn’t exactly get away with truly blaming her anyway.

Spiders are always with us.  I used to have great fears of seeing one pop out unannounced, and I have been known to have those sorts of fears lots of people have about spiders taking a clandestine prowl through my bed while I am supposedly safe and sound under my covers.  I finally had the idea that my fear of spiders wasn’t doing anyone any good — especially the spider who would often give up his or her life due to our encounter.  So, I’ve been doing my best to leave the little ones alone that I see in the corners of various places I go (although I had an impulsive moment at my office a few weeks ago) and just doing my best to recognize their right to be and their perfect place in the ecosystem.

There had been a rather small one near the stairwell in the building where I live in a very nondescript corner that the building folks would never see. He was what I’d call a simple, basic little corner spider; the web was not very complex, at least from my perspective, but he appeared to be young and I kept track of his progress as I’d come up those steps.  Every time I walked by, I noted the spider and tried to honor it. Then I kind of forgot about him (seems to be a him). I looked every so often, but eventually he appeared to be gone.

Last night, he emerged as a medium sized wolf-spider almost blending in with the greyish/beigish carpet. Clearly, he was no longer just a non-descript little corner spider.  I have to admit, that familiar, almost comfortable fear started rising within me.  I GOT SCARED…and began the old stomp-stomp routine. But he outsmarted me (easy to do when I’m acting out of fear)…and got away long enough for me to gather my wits and honor his presence once again, if in a somewhat forced way.

I’m grateful for this little reminder of the fear I still hold, not just around the idea of spiders of course, but around other things…. I’m grateful for the lesson of how I behave when I get scared. Scared of spiders…scared of whatever…I will often act out.   There’s always looking inward for me to do when I consider my fears.   What do I want that I’m afraid I won’t get?  Or what do I have that I’m afraid that I will lose?  The answers are usually not rational at all, and I’m not sure they’re expected to be.   It’s an exercise in powerlessness pure and simple.

With fear, we assume the energy of the thing we dread may happen.  Of course, we can’t ever really know what exactly will happen, but our fears allow us to go ahead and feel it as though it’s already here in the present tense.  Fear is the medium by which we sacrifice today’s peace by claiming the alleged bad thing of tomorrow.  Fear can cause me to act out, lash out, hurt myself, hurt others and/or just be all around impossible to live with inside my own skin.

For many years, I suffered from hypochondria.  I was always afraid I was on the verge of getting a virus or that I was on the verge of a dreaded disease and that the doctors would most certainly not find it until it was just beyond the point of being cured.  This went on for years.  When I would come down with, say, the stomach bug I would always note that the actual duration of the illness was never what I so worried it was going to be.  I always got better.  Quickly.  And I finally realized that all the fearful thoughts were making me feel worse than the diseases I wasn’t actually getting.  I realize now that perhaps I was “sick” but it wasn’t in the physical sense.   The fears I was holding onto made me sick, though, with worry, and those fears kept me having those worry symptoms for many years.

Left unchecked, fear can manifest itself in other ways.  Many years ago, it was discovered I had an elevated liver enzyme.  There were no other symptoms but this specific enzyme was elevated.  As you might imagine, this was a Budding Hypochondriac’s dream.  Years of routine liver function tests would show this slightly elevated enzyme that no one but me seemed particularly worried about.  But I did worry.  I was convinced I had Secret Liver Cancer and that I might soon turn yellow and die.   Note that my fears always represented the worst possible scenario.  Ultrasounds given through the years revealed nothing wrong.  Finally, my healthcare provider at the time decided to send me to a gastroenterologist who was determined to find out the problem.  The first test revealed an unspecified something on my liver, so I was sent for another test, the MRI, which revealed an unspecified something on my liver just like the test before, so to get to the bottom of it, I was sent for a liver biopsy.

By the time the biopsy rolled around, I’d begun to immerse myself into my chosen spiritual program, and I got enough clarity and rationality on my fears to see that if this were truly something, I would probably have had symptoms, and if this had been something terrible, it would probably have shown up on the preceding tests.  I got to spend some time taking an honest look at my fears concerning my health.  What was it inside me that made me sacrifice today’s peace by focusing on something that probably wasn’t going to happen, at least not in the way I presented the outcome to myself in my mind?  Holding on to the the notion that energy follows thought, I began to realize that all my obsessive thinking upon the state of my liver could very well have caused its disturbance in the first place.

I’ve heard this often:  False Evidence Appearing Real.  Using false evidence leads me to erroneous conclusions.  And I bet you can count on one hand the number of people you know personally who’ve been bitten and harmed by spiders, can’t you?   My liver turned out to be mostly fine.  What showed on the imagery was a small fatty deposit, but he explained it was a rather common phenomenon and probably not the cause of the elevated enzyme anyway.

The real evidence I see today is that all my greatest fears do come true, not because the content of my fears is always realized but because I make myself absolutely miserable anticipating an unpleasant outcome.  The misery I allow is my believing that the false evidence is true.  As an adult, I’m always learning that I’m responsible for my own thoughts, and when I find something no longer tenable, I am able to change and to grow.   Today, I learned it from a creature with eight legs.

Eight.  Isn’t that wonderful?  In addition to it being an infinity symbol, the number 8, from a vibrational standpoint, is about balance.  When I am operating out of fear, I am operating from the position of imbalance.   And I know when I am out of balance, I operate about like my washing machine does when it’s out of balance.  It’s noisy, inefficient and likely to leave a big mess if I don’t attend to it.   Spiders get stomped.  Livers act up.  Unpleasantness abounds.  By looking closely at my fears and by becoming willing to make changes based upon new evidence, I become more balanced as I sort through what’s valid for me today and what’s not.

So, thank you, Mr. Little-Medium-Sized Scary Wolf Spider. I honor you as my teacher today.

Affirmation:

“As I refute the false evidence of my fears,  I honor the natural balance that returns to my life.”

The Call to Be

We had seveIMG_1504ral snow days this year, and I have to admit I enjoyed every one of them.  I drank coffee. Slept in.  Watched a lot of documentaries.  Texted friends and pretended it was far too treacherous to do anything.   Like most people, when I’m off work, I like to find things “to do.”  Granted, I didn’t “do” much but I stayed pretty busy at it.  And then, when it was over, I begrudgingly went back to work and felt behind on all my projects.  I could have made the choice to work some from home if I’d wanted to, but I’ve been doing my job for a long time, and I know the pace of it. And I know what can wait and what’s truly emergent.  I got back to work and I got busy, but I was equally busy while I was away.

What interests me the most about the snow days was how each person in my office had different ideas about the time we were off.  Some of my colleagues enjoyed the days off.  Some of them were happy to be off but were getting bored.   A few of them said they were starting to “feel guilty” for not working, and one of them decided to go in anyway even though the projects could certainly have waited.  We are not slothful people, my colleagues and I.  We each talked about all the things we busied ourselves with while we were off, and the common point we shared was our seeming need to do things.

I found that very instructive.  It seems like it’s awfully easy to get into the trap of doing things for the sake of doing things. Going here. Going there.   Finishing this or that.  Running from boredom by electing to clean out the refrigerator or catching up on the ironing.  Taking on new commitments and feeling like saying no is not an option because of our beliefs about “idle hands” as the “devil’s workshop” or something like that.   Esther Hicks and Abraham would call this “efforting.”   Efforting implies the type of striving and doing that we often feel is necessary to get through life and to be “successful.”   We are told we are to be “productive.”  And, of course, to a degree, doing things does bring us pleasure, until that moment that we’ve accumulated so many tasks to be done out of obligation that we begin to get a vague sense of mounting resentments.

My snow days — or maybe I mean my response to my snow days — led me to consider the idea that while we often speak of being created in the image of God, perhaps we’ve lost our way and become detached from the “I AM” and found ourselves in the place of “I DO.”   We often become “human doings” at the expense of our very being.  Through this, as it becomes increasingly difficult to reach that point of centered stillness, we try to make up for it through activity.  This is the kind of activity that often perpetuates itself.    Activity without a degree of mindfulness often leaves me feeling unfulfilled and empty.  And sometimes I even go from activity to activity and can’t even remember the particulars of it.   During these times, I will often obscure what I call my “point of being.”  My “point of being” is that place inside myself where, stripped of everything I do, I am able to see myself as one with all and part of the whole of creation.  I’m not saying I am able to arrive here every day but it is a place I enjoy being when I’m able to achieve it.

This is certainly not an argument for sloth.  I’m not even so sure what laziness is if I start to think about it; there is no superiority in declaring this or that laziness anyway.   I have not found sitting on a log to be any more enhancing to my being than say riding my bicycle if I approach my biking with the appropriate mindset.  Sitting on a log, after all, is just another thing to do like any other thing to do and sitting on a log swatting gnats is a picture of resistance at its very best.

Many times, however, we stay in a state of “doingness” until we exhaust ourselves, and we ignore the thing within us that connects us spiritually to source and to one another.  I wonder what would happen if before I automatically went about my business, as I am prone to do, I asked myself to be more mindful.  Why am I doing this particular thing?  Do I really want to do this thing?  If the answer is yes, then could I get more meaning out of it if I elected to be truly present while I was involved in the doing?  And, even better, if the answer is no due to some kind of obligation that cannot be avoided, could I observe myself and find my point of being there as well?

The lesson for me is about remembering who I am as a child of the Creator.  We arrive here on this earth plane, and it becomes difficult to remember who we are, and we forget that it’s not through our needless motion that we regain our connection to our Source.  It’s when we get quiet and reach that point of centeredness in our hearts and minds regardless of what we are doing.  The point at which we become still in that way is the point that we realize our connection to the I AM.  Our connection to Divinity comes through recognition of who WE ARE, that at our core we are part of “being” in and of itself.

It has nothing to do with what “we do.”

Affirmation: Today, I will listen to spirit’s call to be.

calltobe

Special thanks to Kimberly Crowder for help with this entry and for the wording of the affirmation.

The Long Way Home, or New Adventures in the Path of Least Resistance

IMG_1438It was recently race weekend here where I live.  I don’t really know much about the whole NASCAR culture, but I do know when all the race fans come around,  Bristol, Tennessee,  becomes a miasma of congested traffic. It wouldn’t matter much to me at all except that the Speedway is on the main thoroughfare I use to get to my Sunday morning piano gig. Race weekend is a huge deal in Bristol.  It boosts the local economy, and people from all over the U.S. come to watch the spectacle of it all.  As you would imagine, there are lots of belief systems in play in a tradition such as this.  The one that stands out the most is “race traffic.” If you live in the area, you have learned not to go near it, and you will go to great lengths to avoid it at all costs.  And that’s what I want to write about today.

I think I said this in my last entry here: a belief is a thought form that has been reinforced and accepted as truth over time.  Over my past five years of playing for this congregation, I’ve consistently and “successfully” avoided race traffic by using the detour so faithfully given to me by the people who attend the church.  It involves turning down a country rode several miles before the speedway and meandering around some farm land near Boone lake and then reconnecting with the highway somewhere above the speedway — or at least I think that’s right.  I am always slightly unsure those two times a year I go this way.   But I noticed something Sunday morning that has stuck with me. My “detour” that was to ensure that I got where I was going pretty much on time actually added 10-12 minutes to my commute.   Because I generally always run a bit late on Sunday mornings (though not late enough to be really late — more along the lines of just cutting it close), I didn’t find this shortcut particularly palatable.  Thus, I found my experience butting up against my belief.

I decided to experiment with this on my way home because I really didn’t have anywhere to be very early in the afternoon and because I, in the final analysis of my shortcut, did not find it to be any shorter but in fact longer than what I wanted.  My experiment was not exactly scientific, but knowing that race traffic is allegedly just a bit worse right after church, I decided to see what could happen if I drove right through what was the supposed “worst of it.”   My findings confirmed my hunch.  Driving back through the middle of race traffic added a total of 10-12 minutes to my commute home.  That is, the detour and the thing I was allegedly detouring to save time ended up taking roughly the same amount of time by the time all was said and done. This really got me to thinking about several things.  The first thing it smacked of was how my aunt used to clip coupons all the time and would often drive to a store 20 miles away just so she could save $.50 off Raisin Bran.  It also got me thinking about how often I will avoid having a so-called painful or undesired experience to the extent that I’ll create an equal undesired experience through my very avoidance.  In this case, the beliefs I held about something I perceived as “bad” (driving through race traffic) led me to have another experience that was essentially the same so far as the outcome was concerned and with the same effect as the very thing I was trying so hard to avoid.

What I’m trying to say is that sometimes our beliefs create a “reality” around a certain thing that takes on a life and mythology all its own.  I will say it again:   a belief is a thought form that has been reinforced and accepted as truth over time. The belief that race traffic is to be avoided at all costs is not unlike a belief about, say, drinking soda with sugar in it.  Except perhaps my belief about race traffic is benign whereas my belief about sugary soda pop is potentially not.  What would happen, then, if I were to allow, through a slightly open mind, my experience to butt up against my beliefs in such a way that I became willing to question those very beliefs? To see if they held weight through the very experiences I was trying to affect by having those beliefs? Perhaps it is like the person who wanted to avoid sugar by seeking refuge in the taste of aspartame.  Say the aspartame is a trigger for migraines.  This person has traded one undesirable effect for another. Note that I mentioned a slightly opened mind.  Believe me when I say that I can be as set in my beliefs as the next person.  And 50,000 Bristol, Tennessee, residents can’t be wrong about how long it takes to get through race traffic, can they?  Can they?   Just as the Diet Coke folks swear by its health benefits. So what am I getting at here?

  • As a free-thinking adult, I’m free to look at my beliefs and see if they still serve me like they used to.  With race traffic, I agreed to the viewpoint of many folks in Bristol, Tennessee, who adopted the belief many years ago that the road through that area was overcrowded and difficult to pass.  This was likely established when the road was two laned and before traffic around the racetrack had been re-directed to a neighboring highway because of the very problem I was trying to avoid.  New information can help me change my beliefs if I’m willing to have a look.  But only if I’m willing.
  • In spite of new information, I often won’t be willing to make a change unless I am uncomfortable.  Not until I became intolerant of the 10-12 minutes extra it took me on the shortcut did I even consider making the change.  Please keep in mind that I’ve been driving this route during race time for at least 5 years now which equals about ten cycles of races.  Only after all this time did I become uncomfortable enough to consider making a change.
  • With only a slightly open mind about having a look at something, I was able to make a change. Said change will allow me to make a more direct route to church on race weekends, keep my peace of mind about not having to remember the re-route and gain new wisdom about how my beliefs about any given thing have an effect on my reality in a very real sense.

  Affirmation:  I alone am responsible for my beliefs.  It is safe for me to examine my beliefs and to make changes based upon new insight and information.  

The Frequency of Your Broadcast

IMG_1329I wanted to talk more about the idea of how we often bring into our lives the very things we don’t want.  That sounds like a particularly negative slant from someone who tells folks to focus on the things they want and not give energy to the other, but it bears discussion.

Why is it that folks who say they’re insecure in their dealings with others always draw the folks into their lives to help them enact their insecurity?  That’s the kind of thing I want to talk about today.  This seems to come up over and over as I talk to friends, work with clients and accidentally listen to folks talking on their cell phones while I’m out grocery shopping.

Let’s think about it this way:   Think of your thoughts as broadcasting at specific frequency.   Different types of thoughts have different frequencies.  Let’s say you have security issues — you’re broadcasting at that frequency as though you are a radio station.  The frequency of insecurity.  So what do you attract?   You’re going to attract the very folks who can pick up that band of frequency,  the very folks who have their dial tuned up to your signal, the folks who will test you and allow you to work those issues out in real time and so on.

The problem is that we often get stuck in patterns that we repeat without learning the lessons.  This accounts for the folks who marry multiple times to essentially the same person with the same issues as the one prior.  This accounts for why folks with alcoholic parents often marry alcoholics.  Or how alcoholics always seem to attract an enabler-type into their lives to “manage” the general  unmanageability of their lives.  The lie we tell ourselves is that we’ve had bad luck.  Something closer to the truth is that we are stuck broadcasting a certain type of signal and only the folks who are tuned in to that specific signal are the ones picking up the broadcast.  The problem is in us and not in the other person.

The question then becomes, how do we change our signal?  Seeing the patterns in ourselves is a good start but that’s often not enough.  The diagnosis is not the cure.  We usually have to go deeper and that means taking an honest look at our beliefs around the things in which we are stuck.  A belief is a thought form that has been reinforced and accepted as truth over time.   A friend of mine keeps changing jobs because she says no one treats her with respect, so she keeps finding a new job and believe it or not, she keeps not getting any respect. It was not until she took a look at why she didn’t feel worthy of respect that she began to get some freedom in this area.  She began to realize that the problem was not her employers–she had been saying that “employers just didn’t treat people well in this day and age” but she outgrew that kind of statement when she looked at that belief.   The real problem was that she didn’t feel she had much to contribute in a work environment and so she broadcasted the signal that her ideas and her presence weren’t of value; she communicated this through her very essence. She went even deeper into her history and remembered incidents in her childhood where, coming from a large family, she never felt like anyone ever heard her and she felt lost in the shuffle of it all.   It helped her to see this.  Only then did it become easier to work it through when these things became more apparent and she was able to think more rationally about what was happening and how her perceptions were skewed toward a certain unfavorable outcome for herself.

Bringing the beliefs we hold about a thing to conscious awareness is a huge step toward getting relief from being stuck.  When we look at the belief systems surrounding the things that consistently repeat in our lives, it’s not as easy to stay trapped.  Otherwise, we will continue safe in the awareness that our problem is other people, and we will remain baffled.

 

Affirmation– 

“I am consciously aware of the frequency of my broadcast and I am able to adjust it to attract the persons, places and things that feed my soul and nourish my spirit.”

 

 

Mirror, Mirror

IMG_1260

So, I’ve been reading a lot of the Seth material.  For those who don’t know of Seth, Seth spoke through a woman named Jane Roberts.  Seth was allegedly a non-physical being.  If you’re familiar with Esther Hicks’ work with Abraham, it’s a very similar process except that Seth is usually more erudite, and Abraham has a more marketable person in Esther Hicks than Seth had in Jane Roberts.  But don’t get too caught up in that.  I want to talk about the quotation above.

What I like about the quotation above is the notion that if I want a barometer of how I’m doing inside myself, I need look no further than how I’m feeling toward other folks — my interactions with them, the very way that I see them through my lens.  I note that  if I’m in the place of simply allowing folks to be where they are, then I feel considerably better.  I can’t decide if I feel better because I allow that or if I allow that and I feel better.  I’m not sure it matters that much anyway.   Bottom line: when I stand in judgement of others, I find that I’m not in a good place within me.  Which is only tangentially related to the person I’m judging, after all.   When I allow myself to get worked up over what you’re doing, I’m the one who feels the effect.   One example I saw the other day was when I heard two people at lunch getting downright angry because some ball player didn’t stand during the national anthem.  Their anger certainly wasn’t hurting the ball player but their faces were getting red and it seemed they didn’t enjoy their lunch whatsoever.  They probably went back to their offices and wrote about it on Facebook which fed their anger and probably incited a few other folks.

It’s been suggested elsewhere, and indeed it is axiomatic to say that when I have a problem with you, I am the one with the problem.  But it really does work that way.  Whenever I see something in you that I don’t like or I see you doing something that’s not to my liking, it’s really not about you.  It’s about me and the conditions I’m putting on you for my own happiness or peace in any given situation.  I am depending on you for my happiness, comfort and peace of mind anytime I get worked up over your beliefs or conduct or whatever it is I think you ought to be doing that you’re not doing.  It reminds me of the colleague I had who felt it was her job to police the ice trays in the office refrigerator.   It wasn’t that folks left empty trays.  She just felt there was a specific way the trays should sit in the freezer.  She checked it least twice a day.  It sounds crazy, doesn’t it?  Makes you feel crazy when you do it, too, right?

And then I was reminded of a scripture.  Matthew 7:1 to be specific.  This was in Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain which begins, “‘Judge not, lest ye be not judged’.”  Perhaps the idea here is similar to the Seth quotation.  It’s not that when we judge others that we are likely to be judged in return by them (though that certainly happens) or judged by God.  It’s more along the lines of when I exact judgement upon you,  I cannot do so without taking on the feelings that judgement brings, whether it be a feeling of smug superiority  or self-satisfaction in the idea that I’m “right” and you’re not and so on.  It seems to follow, then, that when I’m judging you, I’m really judging me, and I get to carry around all that negativity in my energy field, which hurts me first and foremost.  This is because in fact you may never know that I’m judging you.  Any negative thought forms I might send to you originate in me and cause me the distress of feeling those thoughts.

Finally, I seem to do much better when I step out of the role of judge and remember that what you’re doing is what you’re doing and it probably does not concern me and my experience after all.  This is the moment I realize that this is all just a giant procrastination for me looking at my own stuff.  Moving beyond that gives me an opportunity to detach and allow both of us just to BE.
It is in that place of being-ness that I arrive at the position of loving more unconditionally.

What We Allow In

Over the winter, it became even more clear to me that it’s very important what we allow into our lives so far as the media is concerned.  Back in early January, I had a mild fender-bender at the gas station that sent my car to the body shop for several weeks.  I was given a decent rental by my insurance company, and boy was I grateful to have a car during that time.  Unfortunately, the rental car didn’t have SiriusXM to which I’ve grown quite accustomed.  In case you care to know, my favorite channel is The Bridge which plays a certain brand of mellow-ish 1970s rock in the vein of Carole King, James Taylor, Neil Young and Jackson Brown among others.  I don’t listen to much on the traditional radio these days.  But, without my usual fare and because I kept forgetting to load up CDs to take with me, I was pretty much forced to listen to the regular old radio.  There’s a specific local talk channel that I used to listen to pretty regularly before satellite radio.  It’s programmed for audiences like me, geared toward my preferred politics, demographic, etc.  I tell you that because it’s important that you know I was listening to a station whose viewpoint is generally the viewpoint that I share.

But…well, you know, there’s a lot of stuff going on today that’s not exactly what you’d call “good news.”   Congress is fighting this, the Senate is blocking that.  A murder here, a chemical spill there.  I began to pay close attention to myself while all this was on.  I was getting worked up.  Granted, it only takes me a very short time to get from my condo to my day-job at the university, but that was still enough time for me to get about half-angry and annoyed at whatever was going on.  In fact, I remember thinking, boy,this is driving me crazy and I’d like to scream.  Well, I didn’t scream and I didn’t exactly load up the car with inspirational CDs either.  I continued listening.  I realize now that by allowing this information in and allowing myself to get worked up over it, I was blocking my communication center.  This became a throat chakra issue for all of you who are into chakras.  Then it happened; I got sick.

Keep in mind that I do have some seasonal allergies at times, though very little, but I don’t generally get the respiratory stuff that goes around every year.  But there I was on a certain Tuesday morning, waking up with no voice whatsoever, feeling generally unwell and coughing because my throat was so irritated.   It resulted in a doctor visit, which did not make me happy because it had been some time since I’d seen a doctor because I was actually sick.  Of course, I got better.  And lest you think I am so spiritual and smart that I immediately noticed the problem, let me tell you it was a few weeks before I made the connection.  There is a strong correlation between what I allowed myself to get worked up over and the resultant respiratory issue.

I mention this to raise our awareness level so that perhaps we will all be more mindful of this than I was.  A couple of weeks ago at the gym,  I was on the elliptical that I love so much and right there in front of me was the TV, tuned to a certain news station that I don’t generally prefer.  It began to happen again.  I caught myself getting annoyed, and then I noticed stomach acid beginning to come up into my throat.  I knew better this time.  I diverted my attention to something else and replaced the negative emotions with conscious positive thoughts and affirmations.  I calmed down.  The stomach acid issue resolved immediately.

None of this is to suggest that we tune out everything and live our lives in a vacuum.  That’s not possible anyway.  What I am suggesting is that we learn ways to minimize its effect.  For me, sometimes it’s just as effective for me to read headlines to get the gist of what’s going on.  If there was a murder in Texas, I don’t have to hear all the gruesome details to send out compassion and healing to those who are hurting.  I can do that, and then I don’t get bogged down in the problem itself.  But, of course, sometimes I want to learn more about what’s going on specifically, but that’s my excellent opportunity to learn to detach in such a way that I don’t come to feel so powerless over an outcome for which I can never be responsible.

When No Means Yes

There is only “yes” energy.   There is no “no” energy.   In energetic terms, a strongly felt and reinforced “no” yields a strong “yes” to the thing you’re to which you are saying “no”.  IMG_1211

That is:  the universe responds affirmatively to your thoughts even if you focus on not having something in your experience.  You are, in effect, creating conditions for that very thing to come to pass–if only at the level of feeling.  Affirm that you have the things you want while you are wanting them.   Feel those things.  Feeling is central.  Through your feeling, you create conditions conducive to achieving what you want.

Most people have trouble feeling as passionate about the things they desire as they do about the things they wish to avoid.  What might happen if we were to focus on the things we’re FOR and let the things we are against take care of themselves.  At the very least, we would feel better.

When you attach focus to  feelings related to what  you don’t want, you amplify the speed at which those very things you don’t want are brought unto you.  Have you ever noticed how people with “trust issues” always seem to have relationships with people who break their trust?  This isn’t to say of course that if you are going to cause your partner to cheat just by being suspicious.  That may or may not happen at the level of 3d reality; but by staying in a place of constant worry, you are feeling as though you’ve been cheated on already.  Strong thoughts and feelings amplify whatever is in front of them. This is especially and painfully so when you are inveighing against the things you don’t wish to experience.  It’s like all the negative political posts people share on Facebook.  People who engage in doing this essentially spread the message of the thing they are against.  And they get so worked up over things that work them up that they get more and more worked up and the cycle continues.  Instead of promoting the things you hate, try promoting the things you love.

Many folks are so concerned with being overweight and feel so much guilt and shame associated with it that they keep that very energy trapped within them through their emotions.  Guilt and shame are strong feelings. Guilt is what you feel if you’ve done something you’ve considered bad.  Shame is the feeling that you ARE bad based on what you’ve done.  If folks could focus on how good it would feel to be at the appropriate weight, and if this feeling were just as strong as guilt and shame, “losing” the weight would quite likely become easier.

Again, there is only “yes” energy.  When you turn your focus to what you don’t have, the universe responds affirmatively by giving you more of the lack.  And then the more you try not to have it, the stronger the thing you want not to have becomes.

You hear people talk about “manifesting.”  That’s a fancy new title for what happens when the thoughts you are thinking become reality. Your thoughts are always creating and you are always “manifesting” something either in this 3D reality or at the level of more thoughts.

Be mindful of what you are creating by being mindful of what you’re thinking.

Minding Expectations

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Often, I can’t live up to my own expectations for myself.  Why should I expect so much from you?

“When we became mindful of the expectations we placed on other people, we began to realize that we, in essence, were like the person who was trying to buy new tires.  From Starbucks.  Only then were we able to devote our time and energy to focus on others in love and acceptance rather than forcing them to be something they could never be.”

Today, I’m going to focus on giving both of us a break.