As you move along this path of remembering who you really are, it can be tempting to judge your own progress or compare yourself to others. Sometimes it can feel like you're sliding backwards in your evolution. Sometimes you might think that others are "ahead" of you, or that you've suddenly leapt forward in awareness, leaving others in the dust. This kind of comparison leads to jealousy and insecurity... or superiority, and untimely "teaching moments"... none of which is Love. And as my friend Howard likes to say, "If it's not Love, it's not me."
Your Healing is My Healing, is Everyone's Healing
Temptation Number One: Comparing Yourself to Others
Years ago, I struggled with feelings of insecurity. I had several close friends with whom I engaged in games of unspoken competition. One of us would have an epiphany, a moment of awakening to some eternal Truth. And of course, her relationships suddenly flourished... she felt happy, peaceful and alive... her creativity flowed, she moved forward with her life's purpose... and she gushed about her newfound clarity to the others. And the others felt diminished. Less than. Jealous. Not at all supportive or happy for the one who was experiencing the joy. Certainly there was no gratitude that one of us was evolving. In private, we talked to each other about how each of us rode the rollercoaster, with highs of personal success that bottomed out in feelings of resentment, separation, jealousy, longing and depression.
I remember one of these friends riding her high and saying that she was so close to enlightenment.
But there is no end point. This whole life experience is one long process. The state of enlightenment is one that may be experienced again and again and again, but there is no final moment when we have arrived. No line to cross that says we are finally "done."
And no real point in comparing ourselves to others. One of the coolest things I know is that when any one of us heals a wound or wakes up to some truth, every one of us is affected. Particularly when we're in close proximity, drawn into each others' lives, magnetized into relationship. Knowing our connectedness, there's room for compassion for a person's experience. Here, there is gratitude for a friend's awakening. They are doing that piece of work for themselves and for us. They are contributing to the whole of our shared experience. We're all connected, you see... and when I heal something in me, you will feel the effects, simply by my being. When you heal something in you and your authentic presence is offered, I too will transform.
Your Beingness is the Teacher
Temptation Number Two: Becoming the All-Knowing Preacher
You are likely to see things about others that they are not yet seeing. Maybe it's not a lesson you need to learn, or maybe you've already learned that lesson. You've been there, you've suffered, you've come out the other side, you have a moment of awakening, you have a new vantage point... and you're ready to tell your friend what they need to do in order to transform. You pause and breathe, then bestow upon your friend your vision of what they're doing wrong, what they're not seeing, and how they can fix it. It feels like a courageous, loving act to you, with the good of your friend in mind... but the point is either missed, or the interaction results in emotional distancing. Sound familiar?
You might also remember being that friend. A time when someone else tried to clue you in. And how long it took you to actually have a fully embodied aha! experience.
Our eyes open at the exact moment that they are supposed to.
No sooner, no later.
The best thing we can do for our friends is to live what we know. Be who we are. Connect with others through our compassion. Be vulnerable about our own experience, without hidden teaching motives. Simply by your being - and holding the vibration of the transcendence you have experienced - you offer your friend a hand.
It's All Forward Movement. All of It.
Temptation Number Three: Judging Yourself
Some days you feel simply amazing. You feel joyful, connected, useful... you know who you are, and you experience freedom. Some days you feel kind of dull or depressed. Not at all connected. Like a shadow has moved over your being. And you wonder... what happened? I was doing so good. I thought I was moving forward.
As your awareness grows, you're likely to notice these ups and downs more clearly than before. Life will continue to give you the very examples you need in order to continue to refine your vantage point of understanding. In other words, the plummets you feel aren't backslides; they're opportunities for awareness, healing and refinement. The darkness usually carries within it a bright light.
This morning I watched myself flow back and forth between the pure experience of Oneness, and intense moments of fear regarding my physical safety. At first, I got completely wrapped up in the fear. But breathing into it, I eventually started just noting the fear. Hm. There's that again. Ok... oh, there's that. Hello. Ok. I realized that fear is an illusion. There was nothing for me to figure out, no judging myself - only the witnessing of the waves as they rolled in and out. It felt right, and brought me again and again to who I really am.
Look what happens to the scale when Love holds it.
It stops working.
I hope this is useful to you in some way. Thank you for drawing these words out of me, and for your loving attentiveness to your own experience. Your healing is my healing, is her healing, is everyone's healing.
Blessings, Friends. May we all live with reverence and humility in the presence of deep transformation. May we each know the truth of who we are, and may we live that knowing with love, grace, acceptance and compassion.
As I continue on this path of knowing and experiencing Oneness, my purpose and my life in service becomes more and more clear. What I know is refining itself. This probably isn't as refined as it will be, but it's what I know today. Some of this might resonate with you, some of it might not, and all of that is perfect.
Each of us has manifested into what we experience as "me" or "myself." At the same time, there are multiple aspects of the self. Each of these parts of us has the opportunity, in every moment, to choose to think, speak, or do what we know is true for us... or to not follow that knowing, and choose otherwise - acting from fear, insecurity, superiority, lack, etc.
Choosing to think, speak or do something that isn't in alignment with who we really are brings separation from ourselves and others. We feel discord internally, which could manifest as depression, anxiety or illness. We might experience relationships and situations that are painful. But when we choose to think, speak or do something that is in alignment with who we really are, we feel at peace, inspired, connected, joyful, at ease. We feel "in the flow," and we see the results of that in the situations and relationships we encounter.
Whatever we choose, we affect all aspects of ourselves, and all aspects of ourselves feel the impact. When we live from our truth, we positively affect and change our "fragmented selves." Likewise, all other manifestations of our spirit - "past lives" - are affected, as are all aspects of self of each of those manifestations. This is why we might suddenly feel depressed or elated - or experience deja vu - for no obvious reason. We are being tugged vibrationally by the experience of another part of ourselves.
That's big. But it gets bigger.
We are not only affecting ourselves;
we are all connected to each another.
My choice to think, speak or do something that is in alignment with who I am will affect you, as will my choice to think, speak or do something that is out of alignment with who I am. You've felt this before - you walk into a room and your friend there is angrily expressing her judgment, or she's collapsed in insecurity... and you are affected mentally, emotionally, energetically, or physically. Or you enter a space where someone is expressing love just by being solid in themselves, and something in you feels invited to be free.
So who am I? Who are you? And why is life so hard sometimes?
We are each a Divine manifestation of Oneness, which is love. We are each perfect. The consciousness that we are has intentionally chosen, with each physical manifestation, to place ourselves in situations and among people that will clearly show us who we don't want to be, who we aren't, what we don't want... so that we might remember who we are and what we do want. Our task is to become aware of the process, so that we can consciously choose to live our truth. It's designed to be enjoyable - the glimpses we get of truth and alignment feel good in order to attract us to it (ie. resentment feels bad, gratitude feels good) so that we want to make our choices based on who we really are. In doing so, we positively affect the whole.
Despite many of our people and leaders continuing to make choices that separate people from one another and negatively affect the whole, there is a huge and growing number of people around the planet who are becoming aware, step by step, and who are living a life of Divine truth, which is affecting each one of us. This is the now that we live in. I believe that eventually, we will all come to know our connectedness. We will, in ourselves and with each other, become a unified whole. We will live in love. We will live in peace. It may not be tomorrow, or in what we perceive to be "this lifetime", but it will happen. There is no other outcome. Our individual and collective integrity continues to grow. We are currently living in the most awakened time that has ever been. And we are each a part of it.
As I said, all of this will continue to be refined.
I am dedicated to living a life of truth, based on love, and to supporting others to do the same. I am doing it for me and for you, for the Oneness that we are. I support you to be this truth, so that you can ignite truth in others. I am not a guru. I am not the answer. But I am an essential and powerful piece of the puzzle - just as you are. I have chosen to live in service to this end: that all beings come to know the Oneness of who we are, so that we can return home to our essence while manifested here as human beings, so that we can truly live in harmony. That is the vision I hold.
I want you to know who you truly are. This is why I'm here. I've always told people that I'm not "doing" anything to them during our sessions. What I mean is that you are in your process of healing and awakening. I am not doing it. You are. I am here to see the truth of who you are, and gently, care-fully shepherd your realization. My true job is to stay aligned so that Spirit can do the healing through me; and to stay clear of mind in order to use various tools and methods to serve that process. Thank you for allowing me the honor of serving you. Thank you for your courage. I see you. I love you.
There is no one right spiritual path. No religion, no text, no practice that is The One Way. This is something I've always known, but in the last year it's really hit home.
I used to judge my partner's path. Not in a big, outward, critical way, but something in me judged him for not being drawn to the same practices I was, in terms of spirituality and evolution. I was unsure he'd ever "get there" (as though there was somewhere to get to). Over time, I began to really focus on my own healing. Really long story short: this led me to more authenticity and truth - and to valuing authenticity and truth in others. And then...
... through the practices that work for me, I began to realize the Earth's desire is not only to sustain us with food, but to heal us through her presence and her medicines - trees, plants, stones, all of it. And not only the Earth, but the air, the rain, the sun, the water. I began to exist in loving relationship with our planet, its inhabitants, and the elements... which blossomed into a new love and way of being with other humans, and in life in general. I understood in a new way that with our greed, superiority and entitlement, humans have blatantly and mindlessly disregarded and harmed the Earth in spite of the nurturing, loving, healing, generous home and food and medicine that she is for us. This disrespect has led humans into separation from the Earth, from one another and from God... not to mention the mass destruction of our planet and her atmosphere, our home. I pray for the Earth's forgiveness, and for us to learn how to be in right relationship with her.
Then I truly saw my partner. He lives in relationship with the Earth, the plants and animals. His worldly work revolves around sustainability and eco-consciousness. He is most joyful when he has his hands in the dirt, when he's gardening, creating art from natural elements, tending wounded animals, or delighting in the birds that visit our land. He is an emotional bridge-builder, a loving support for people in need, a wise and humble man. Without following any of the practices I follow, he has lived in that place where I finally arrived.
My way still looks different from his. We still engage in different practices. They'll never be exactly the same. And the path, the healing and awakenings continue to unfold in new directions for each of us. What's important is that there are commonalities between us in terms of service, spirit and relationship. The foundation for all of it - our practices, our commonalities and differences - is love.
I recently went to a Foursquare Church service. The sermon was focused on Jesus being the Way, the Truth and the Life. The speaker very pointedly said that Jesus is the one and only way - that the path to God is very narrow, it is forever, and it is Jesus. That there is nothing else that leads to God. It was implied several times that any way other than Jesus is an attempt to "be cool," and is misguided. That is not my experience. I love Jesus. I feel his presence, and I know him more truly than ever. I know him as part of my always-present unseen tribe, one of many ascended masters, a healer, a being who exists in love and service, and a beautiful model for who we really are. My spiritual journey did begin with him - he was indeed the doorway, when I met him at age 16. But the neverending Way, the infinite Truth and the eternal Life is in no way narrow, or singularly focused. It is expansive. Wherever there is love - this is the Way. This is the Truth. This is Life with God.
So. What I'm trying to say is that your spiritual path will not look like anyone else's. It can't. And that is perfect. If your path does look exactly like someone else's, it's likely that you're actually serving your ego - rather than using the brilliance of your ego to support your truth.
You may find that your path is art. It might be meditation. It might be yoga, or dance, or other physical practices. It could be kirtan, or prayer, or shamanic ceremony, or walking in the woods, or walking in your neighborhood. It might be reveling at sacred music festivals, or it might be sharing a picnic in the park with your community. It might include seeking guidance, or it might be your own private experience. Your true way might be in service as a nurse, a counselor, a gardener, a teacher. You might practice being vulnerable and transparent, and supporting that in others. You might relate with others from a state of mindfulness and compassion, in a workplace that otherwise has none. You might challenge yourself to complete an obstacle course, physically and emotionally supporting and being supported by your team every step of the way through muck and mud and pain and exhaustion and success. You might find yourself truly enjoying being with your friends and family. There is no one path to God. The Way, the Truth and the Life is Love.
And Love, my friends, is no narrow path. It doesn't wear blinders. It doesn't judge. Love includes and accepts. Love trusts. Love sets appropriate boundaries. Love knows what is truly right. Love is humble and empowered. Love works, and love rests. Love has feelings. Love knows peace.
I pray to exist in Love.
I pray for you to trust yourself, to allow the voice of your truth to speak to you, and to follow the spiritual path that is right for you. I pray for you to exist in Love. I pray for your acceptance and your joy. May your Divine purpose be fulfilled.
So now I'm thinking about how each of us is in a different place on the path, and how easy it can be to compare ourselves to others. More on that soon.
There is nothing wrong with you.
Every piece of your life is happening exactly as it is supposed to – your relationships, your feelings, your choices, the way you experience life. You are the creator of your experience; everything in your life is there by your choosing – consciously or unconsciously in this human lifetime, originating in your mind, your heart, your energetic vibration; and more importantly, your Higher Self chose everything you are experiencing in order to allow you the experience of complete separation – so that your journey back to Oneness will be all the more sweet.
You are, in fact, drawing everything in your life to you. Some of what you’re experiencing may bring you suffering. It can be that way, if you choose - and you might choose this separation for a long time. Another route would be to know who you really are, live from your heart (not your mind), feel your true feelings, and bring your awareness to your experience. In doing so, you create the opportunity for you to return home to the Oneness, choose what is the highest good for you and for all, and to manifest your heart’s desire.
I’m not talking about manifesting yourself a shiny new car – although abundance may bring you a form of transportation, if it is what you truly need. I am talking about living a life that is based on the presence of Love in you. Loving and caring for you and for all beings. Fulfilling your Divine Purpose. Living a life that is for the highest good of all, with you as its Creator.
May Love be the foundation for the existence of all beings. May all beings come to know themselves as Source. May Oneness be truly known and experienced by all.
More to come...