Monday, March 31, 2014

The good, the bad and the ugly...

To look at the world is to look at ourselves. We see who we are. It's not that we are crime, corruption, and failure. It's that we are fearful, insecure and selfish. If we see these traits in others, if we see it out there, we are recognizing something of ourselves. Just as when we see progress, opportunity and collaboration and we recognize our capacity to create, our strengths and our charitable spirits.

We see ourselves in nature, in our daily interactions with others, in what we find missing, in the attitudes of people around us, in what makes us smile and what bothers us. When we understand this we realize that everything that we interpret is a conception of us, of what we are capable of. We act in harmony with our view. This is important to realize for what we see and what we feel stem from what we perceive. We then act accordingly. If we feel the world is cruel, we act mercilessly. If we feel there are no opportunities, we don't prosper. If we feel we live in abundance, we share, contribute and progress.
Today is a good day to release your judgment. When you look out there, know that you are looking at how you think and feel. This is your interpretation, which emanates from your past experiences, upbringing and current state of mind. Being aware of this allows us to reconsider what we see and to act from a unifying view rather than disconnection, division and separation. This change in view can change the way we act and so change our circumstances.

We are what we see–the good, the bad and the ugly.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

In the tide

Over the weekend we went away to a place we have come to love on the west coast of the island we call home. We try to go there once a month, and every time we go we not only spend quality time together, but quality reflection time as well. It seems we all bring back a personalized lesson from the beach or a stranger or an experience we have along the way. This weekend my lesson came deep in water, laughter and family playtime. The three of us were tossing a Nerf ball while in the water. Each of us would swim to where the ball would fall–fighting, struggling and swimming against the current–for my son would call out a prize or a dream and whoever caught the ball would win whatever he called out. I had no chance against the two of them, so I stopped trying to get the ball...but then kept getting it! The waves would bring it to me. No kidding.

I am not surprised. This is my experience in life. A lesson I keep forgetting. It is the Law of Least Effort. When I am on purpose, clear on what I want, willing and aligned with my Highest Self, everything falls into place. Everything comes. Sudden realizations, synchronistic events, helpful information, materials, money, collaboration and more flow into my life and I am able to accomplish my goals. I have a desire and the Universe supports it. Struggling tells me that I am going against my purpose.

Today is a good day to accept what is. Don't fight it. Don't resist it. This is where it all begins. Stay attuned to your inner self and follow your intuition. Achieve what you want without struggle. Don't fight the wave. What you want is in the tide.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I am...

I am. That's it. That is all I am. It is everything I am. Whatever else that you think that I am or that I think that I am, is not who I am.

For practical and conversational purposes, I do say that I am a mother, a writer, a guide, and a manager, among other things. Yet the truth is that all of those things are just my functions. Those are the things that I do.

Sometime ago an editor told me not to say that I am a writer. He spoke with authority. He was a writer, he said. Then what should I say? I was miffed. Just...say you write. He believed that he had attained a state of being that was different, special and exclusive to only a few. My ego took a blow. If he didn't consider me a writer, then what was I? What if others didn't consider me a writer either?


I still am.

And he is right. I write. I function as a many ways, everyday. I get paid for the work that I do. I collaborate in literary projects and have works of my own. Yet if any of that ceases, if I never write again, I still am.

Life becomes more joyful, light and spontaneous when we do whatever we do in order to fulfill our functions rather than doing what we do in order to fill our egos and sense of identity. Human interaction and relationships improve when we recognize this in others as well. Who you are and what you do, have, know and your story are not the same thing. What you do, what you have, what you know and your story change according to your circumstances and emotional state. Who you are is changeless. There is no definition for this, although we could simply say that we are a being. That's it. We don't need to classify, categorize or qualify for anything else we try to define ourselves as is a role, an opinion, an attachment to an idea and creates a separation between us and others. It also further fragments our sense of being. Not defining ourselves as one thing or another, offers us freedom, lightness, and peace. We don't have to fill expectations–ours and others. We feel free to enjoy what we do. We are free to be.

Today's realization is simple–I am. You are. We are.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The weight of words

Everyday I read several things. In my course of study I include mainstream literature, spiritual essays, new age material, translated ancient texts and blogs, among other things. Many of the readings I come across teach me something, they make me think. Some are very inviting. Some are quite confusing. Those that speak to me the most tend to be written in simple prose. These texts comfort, create curiosity, and invite to further reading. This is what words have the power to do. In spoken language, the weight of words has a similar effect.

Anyone who has met me knows I am no prude, especially when it comes to language. I can make grown men blush. I have learned, though, that just because I have a talent for foul language, I don't have to exercise it all the time. There is a time and a place for everything and a way of communicating certain messages in a connatural way. In matters of spirituality, especially, the words we use become conductors.

I recently read a few entries of a spiritual teacher and therapist who, trying to give therapy and spirituality a twist, wrote some of my favorite dirty words in her social media entries...and missed the mark. In our culture, certain words have a connotation that are evocative of attack, confrontation, disregard, resistance, vulgarity, anger and attitudes of selfishness and brattiness. Words have a charge–as in an energy charge–and sway the air between us, affecting those who are reading us, in conversation with us and our collective selves with positive or negative energy. Words have a heaviness to them. Words establish a mood. Words create an environment. The words we use to say anything can deliver our message or put defenses up. The words we use can enlarge or diminish our capacity to reach others with our message, they can strengthen or weaken our connection. In this writer's entries, she came across as having a limited capacity to teach–unaware, uncreative and inexperienced. I have a feeling that is not the case, but it is the heft left by the words she chose. Her choice of words prevent others from taking her seriously, from listening to her message.

Let us use our words as a medium for uplifting each other. Let us choose those words that will build us up and invite us into reflection and conversation. Let us be creative when we write or speak. The words we choose can be a burden, separating us, or they can be what holds us together, allowing us to understand each other and share what we learn along the way.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Snip, snip

In the last few months I have let go of twelve inches of hair. I slowly realized that letting go of something I am so used to has helped me enjoy life much more. Having long hair did not bother me. I liked it. I considered it part of my personality. That is until I felt that letting go of it didn´t change me, it just improved me.

The same thing happens with habitual thoughts. We keep them around because we are used to them–prejudice, criticism, negative notions, thoughts ridden with anxiety, anger, paranoia and manipulation. Yet once we let these reactive thoughts go, a lightness comes over us, an openness to life. Less concerned with what we cannot control, what weighs us down, what really doesn't make a difference–the opinion of others, our opinion of others, the mistakes we made in the past, grudges, resentment, regret and our ideas of how things should be–we become free of our own self-imposed psychic burden. We then come to realize that we add these thought patterns to what we believe we are, but that what we really are is something else, beings independent of these.

Let us cut the excess. You don't have to cut your hair, but you can begin by trimming the worry, the anxiety, the concern for what has passed and what you cannot control. Cut, let go and enjoy a lighter version of you and of life.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mood swing

I thought I was in a bad mood about not being able to finish what I wanted to. It felt like a bad mood. Yet, it wasn't. I realized that I was feeling sad about something that broke my heart days earlier. I had dismissed it as a "such-is-life" episode, but dismissing the sadness, not consciously thinking about it and not acknowledging it, did not make it go away.

In a world in which efficiency and productivity are expected of us, stopping to feel is not encouraged. There's no time for it. Yet it is dealing with our feelings that will clear the way for us to be efficient and productive. Feelings need to be felt through, honored is some way, for that is how we know about ourselves, grow, develop empathy, loosen up and open up psychic, mental emotional and spiritual space. In the rush to get it together, we never really heal. Trace emotions from feelings we ignore affect our frame of mind, our temperament and our subsequent feelings.

This is not about holding on to what has already passed, but about acknowledging our feelings and validating what makes us vulnerable and human. If we do not listen and attend to what hurts, excites, moves, angers and saddens us, to what makes us jealous, happy, joyful, regretful, compassionate and enthusiastic, then we are not able to let go and be fully present, to receive and enjoy goodness, to offer the best version of ourselves. Today is a good day to swing our mood in the other direction. Let's stop for a moment and name our feeling, learn from it and then let it go.

Monday, March 17, 2014

You are here...

I love those maps on the wall of buildings I am not familiar with that show me exactly where I am. Getting to where I need to go starts with knowing where I am. After that, all I need to do is go...pick a path and go.

We tend to wait to be at a specific place in order to get to where we want to go. Just like we tend to wait for what we consider to be the right conditions for us to do what we want to do, and we wait for a certain set of circumstances to be what we want to be. Yet what we must do when we feel a little lost, when we feel a little insecure, when we feel a little hesitant is to go, to move in the direction of where we want to be. Going has a miraculous effect. When we go we are saying we are willing, we trust, we want to. The Universe then responds with help, encouragement, direction and guidance and supports us with what we need.

Today is a good day to begin where you are. Begin to walk, to create, to be happy. Every step you take has meaning and purpose. You will reach your intended destination, but that will not happen while you wait for your situation to change, for others to understand you, for everything to be just right. You are go.

Monday, March 10, 2014

We are celebrating!

Our soulcerer is celebrating her birthday. Please excuse our absence yesterday, today and tomorrow while we celebrate. We will return Wednesday. In the meantime, we send you light & love, The Soulcerer's Apprentice

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Tough love

He was in first grade when he first met Bob*. During that year, my son came home from school several times shaken in some way by the little boy. Bob would push and bug him in the school yard. He was mean. Even Bob's siblings had a hard time playing with him. After another aggressive and menacing incident, I finally asked my son why he kept playing with Bob. Who else is going to be his friend?, he answered. Oh boy.

This is tough love. 

It has been years since this episode. We have since moved away and my son has made new friends in our new home. He has kept this tough-love quality about him. He chooses his friends without considering peer pressure or unsolicited opinion. As a mom, I am grateful that his friends appreciate him. I also love the fact that my son is not blinded by his friendships. He has a great awareness of who is who, their greatness and limitations. I should be so aware. 

We sometimes fall into the trap of not acknowledging our acquaintances and friends entirely. We blind ourselves to their shadow qualities. We form expectations and then are disappointed or hurt when they can't fulfill our expectations for them. We then sever our strings. We stop actively loving them because it is tough. Some of us refuse to love those who are complicated, difficult and problematic. The problem is that stopping the flow of love stops the love from returning to us. Tough love is not being tough with the ones we love, but loving those who are tough to love.

What if the one who is tough to love is me? What if it's you? Maybe what we find tough to love in another is what is tough to love in ourselves. What if today we extended a little kindness to someone we feel is tough to love? 

*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the children. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

It's not that I don't remember...'s that I forget.

In the middle of an argument, I want to be right, I want to be heard, understood. Mostly, I don't want to be hurt–not my heart, not my ego. And it is in this very moment that I forget.

I forget that what I know is very simple–I am loved and protected. I forget that the being across from me, the one that I am arguing with, is also loved and protected. I forget that people act according to their own level of awareness–whatever it is that they are feeling at this moment flows into what they say and what they do. When hurt by what someone else does, I need to remember that the other person perceives me through the net of their experiences, feelings and thoughts–things I have no control over.

So what do we do in the heat of the moment? We breathe. We think one thought of love, of appreciation. This changes the connecting energy. We cannot hold a grudge and good will at the same time. When we bring in the love, everything changes. Peace is possible. Understanding happens. When we are willing to let go of I am right, Hear me, Understand me, we remember loving and being loved, offering peace and being at peace. When we are willing to let go of anger and of self-righteousness, we are propelled forward by Spirit, aided, loved and protected to heal an argument and the potential of hurting and being hurt.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

This is a test...this is only a test

I was working from home a few days ago and mid-way during the morning I stopped for a break. I brewed fresh coffee and turned the tv on for a few minutes. Shortly after choosing a channel, a loud, annoying continuous beep blared from the tv. It ruined my break. It was a weekly test of the Emergency Broadcast System. This harsh, jarring noise broke the silence violently. It seemed to last forever. I was now in a bad mood.

After attempting to work through my bad mood, I finally thought Wait a minute, this was only a test! How many times do we take a bad moment, an annoyance, something that doesn't go exactly right and turn it into something bigger than what it is? We tend to turn issues into crisis, we panic or go full-out with emotion for things that frustrate us but that are of no real consequence. Some of us exert all of the sadness, or the anger, or the frustration we are capable of when we are inconvenienced, when something doesn't go according to the plan, when something goes wrong. What do we save for real emergencies? 

During these times of displeasure, it helps to remember that this is only a test. We can use this moment to build up our characters, our problem-solving skills, our discerning intelligence and our capacity to manage the stuff of life. When moments of real distress and difficulty come up, our energy and our power will not have been depleted. When a real emergency develops we will be strong and capable of handling it. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Nothing's happening

You sit there with your eyes closed, fidgeting. You wonder how long you have been sitting in lotus, how much longer you have to sit there and why you are more anxious than when you began. You take long-breaths in, long-breaths out, you repeat. Nothing's happening.

Nothing is supposed to happen in meditation. This is all about making new mental connections and those don't happen while we watch. For some, things do happen in meditation. This is fine. What will happen will happen. Being quiet and still has a different effect in each of us. If nothing is happening while you meditate, then you are doing it right.

When I first started to meditate, I became more frustrated and anxious. I expected results. In time though, I came to crave my still and quiet moments. This was the only result I was seeing, the looking forward to meditating. Then I started to feel a recalibration of emotions throughout the day, a serenity when sorting out my busy schedule, a low-key way of seeing things, a milder perception of people and events, an ability to be in the present moment, and so on. After a while, while I was meditating and my eyes where closed, I started seeing flashes of colors, single eyes and other forms. I even feel energy about me. This doesn't happen all the time. When it does, it's fine. When it doesn't, it's fine.

Meditation is a practice. It is personal. It is different for all of us. If something is happening while you are meditating, then this is your experience and it is the right one. If nothing is happening, then your mediation experience is the right one as well.