Four Dimensions of Forgiveness

This article is Part 3 in a series prompted by my second Saturn return and reflections on a painful turning point in my life. You may also want to read Part 1: Defining Moments, or “How I Lost God and Found My Way” and Part 2: Soul Contracts and Forgiveness.

Part 3: Four Dimensions of Forgiveness

I used to think that forgiveness should come in a flash, in which the whole thing is instantaneously healed. But that hasn’t been my experience. For me, it’s been a process that has unfolded over time and on multiple levels of my being. Here are the four dimensions of forgiveness that I’ve experienced:

  1. The Wounded Inner Child
  2. The Rational Self
  3. The Soul
  4. Unity Consciousness

These four dimensions span a continuum from the less-conscious (Level 1) aspects of ourselves to the more-conscious (Level 4). However the forgiveness process doesn’t necessarily proceed in a linear fashion, from Level 1 to Level 4. My process has involved diving in here and there, at different levels, at different times. I find it most helpful to move between the layers, interweaving them into a seamless tapestry. All of it is held within the compassionate awareness of Unity Consciousness. Self-love and self-forgiveness are important ingredients, every step of the way.

In my own process, forgiveness in the four dimensions looks something like this:

The wounded 12 year old inside me needed to have a safe place to express her feelings of pain and rage, without holding back.  It wasn’t safe to do that with my parents, but eventually I was able to vent those feelings in therapy and through Voice Dialogue Process. My Wounded Inner Child needed to be heard and seen by a non-judgmental witness. I needed to take her out of a dark hiding place within my psyche, embrace her, and let her know that she’s safe. She still holds tightly to some last shreds of fear and resentment. I forgive her for believing she still needs to defend herself in this way. I also realize there are other facets of the Wounded Inner Child that are still crying out for love, and so I continue my healing process.

The rational part of me chooses to forgive because it’s in my own best interest. Forgiveness isn’t meant to excuse someone’s hurtful behavior nor deny that it felt really shitty, at the time. Forgiveness is meant to free me.Prayer of release I want to forgive because holding onto a grievance hurts me. It makes me feel contracted and stuck and closed off from people. It keeps me feeling like a victim…small and powerless. It’s a heavy burden to carry anger and resentment around all the time. I want to let it go.

The rational part of me is able to step back and see my mother from a more neutral, and even compassionate, point of view. I can see and understand the fears and insecurities that drove her angry reaction. I can see that I triggered some of her wounding, and she lashed out at me, unconsciously. A Course in Miracles says that every experience is either an expression of love or a call for love. My mother was having a “call for love”. So was I.

From the level of my soul, I see there is no one to blame, because everything that happened in the story of my “Defining Moment” was part of a soul contract…an agreement between my soul and my mother’s soul. I am grateful that my mother played her part so beautifully. The reason my mother’s proclamation, “You don’t know what you think”, triggered me so deeply, is because it struck a nerve. “I don’t know what I think” was a false belief that my soul came here to unravel. I needed that false belief brought to the surface of my awareness so I could investigate it and come to realize that it’s not true. I do know what I think. I can trust my own perceptions. I can share my point of view with authority…my inner authority. Even at 12 years old, I was guided by a trustworthy inner knowing.

Words are inadequate to describe the experience of Unity Consciousness. Therefore, it is challenging to describe my experience of forgiveness, at this level, without it sounding abstract or merely philosophical. Yet, Oneness is truly an experience, not a concept. As I continue to awaken and experience life, more and more, as the experience of Oneness, there is no longer a completely solid and separate “me” and a completely solid and separate “other”. Oneness means that, despite all appearances to the contrary, there can never be two separate beings in conflict with each other. There is just one thing going on.

As it says in The Way of Mastery, “Each relationship or each moment is a ‘holy encounter’ because there is only wholeness showing up as that One thing. Existence is not really two beings coming together and having an forgivenessexperience. There is only the One Thing, which is the experience of itself.” All appearances of separation and conflict dissolve. The whole drama is seen to arise within, and dissolves back into, unconditional love. Who is there to be blamed?

Within the vast, open, spacious awareness of Unity Consciousness, all things are allowed to be as they are. The Wounded Child is embraced with compassion and presence. She is seen and felt. No need to resist or fear her. No need to fix or change her. Simply being present with her.

My whole drama is a wave of energy, arising and falling away, in the ocean of Oneness. All is forgiven. There’s nothing to forgive.

As I share my process with you and describe it in terms of these four dimensions, please keep in mind that it’s a fluid, organic process, and I’m still in process. It’s not a 1, 2, 3, 4, step-by-step process, and it’s not an intellectual process. It is experiential, and the experience moves through my emotions and thoughts, as well as through more subtle and intuitive aspects of my being. Last but not least, remember that the forgiveness process calls for a generous dose of self-love and self-forgiveness. Be gentle with yourself.

Please leave a comment and let me know what has been sparked within you, by my description of the forgiveness process and these four dimensions.


Soul Contracts and Forgiveness

This article is Part 2 in a series prompted by my second Saturn return and reflections on a painful turning point in my life. In Part 1: Defining Moments, or “How I Lost God and Found My Way” I tell the story of leaving behind the religion of my family lineage to set forth on a solo quest for Truth.

To recap: I was 12 years old when I broke the news to my mother that I didn’t believe in Judaism. At that age, I didn’t have the inner resources to deal with the conflict that followed. I was too afraid to stand up to my mother’s authority when she told me, “You’re too young to know what you think”. This statement hurt me deeply, and in an unconscious attempt to protect myself, I shut down. I held on to my hurt and anger for a very long time, and I saw myself as a victim in this scenario. Now I’m taking a new look at my old story.

Part 2: Soul Contracts and Forgivenesssaturn_1509887c

The first glimmering of forgiveness toward my mother came when I began studying astrology. One day, I read about Saturn in Sagittarius (which is where Saturn is in my birth chart). The astrology book said, “People with Saturn in Sagittarius are often born into a family with a dogmatic religious orientation. They need to learn to find their own spiritual path.” I suddenly saw my rejection of Judaism and my conflict with my mother from a cosmic perspective. I saw that it had all been perfectly designed by a higher intelligence for the benefit of my spiritual evolution.

From this perspective, my painful experience was not my mother’s fault. It wasn’t Judaism’s fault. It wasn’t my fault. In fact, it wasn’t a “fault” or a mistake or even a problem. As Byron Katie says, “Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon, nor too late. You don’t have to like it…it’s just easier if you do.”

Astrology taught me that my deeply personal story (being born into a conservative religious family, longing to be close to God, becoming disillusioned, and setting off to find my way, alone) was also the archetypal story of Saturn in Sagittarius’ quest for Truth. I knew intuitively that having Saturn in Sag. was no coincidence. I saw that my soul chose to come into this religious family for a reason. My religious upbringing gave me something to push against, Saturn wall quotewhich gave me the impetus to start searching for another way…a way that would truly feed my spiritual hunger…a way better designed to wake me up…a way that I would need to forge, myself, without an outer authority telling me what to believe or how to express my spirituality.

When I realized that my painful experience had a higher purpose and that on some level I had chosen this experience, it became clear to me that my parents were simply playing the roles assigned to them. They were not against me, they were actually FOR my spiritual evolution (although they weren’t aware of this, consciously). We were all in cahoots in creating and enacting this drama. It was a soul contract between us, and we’d played our parts perfectly. How could there be any blame?

opening door w sunNow there was a huge crack in the solidified and entrenched belief that I was a victim. Through that crack, the light of forgiveness began to filter into my mind. I wish I could tell you that this first light of forgiveness completely dissolved my long-held anger and resentment. Over the years, I’ve worked with forgiveness lessons from A Course in Miracles and The Way of Mastery, I’ve taught others about forgiveness (we teach what we’re learning), and I’ve worked on this with The Work of Byron Katie. I’ve been in psychotherapy and even did a mother-daughter workshop with my Mom, many years ago. All of these things have been helpful, and I still have some forgiving yet to do. For me, forgiveness is many-layered, and I’m still in process.

Understanding that things don’t just happen to us, randomly, and that we have soul contracts with the major players in our lives, helps me accept and value my challenging relationships. I’m curious how this notion of “soul contracts” sits with you. Does it ring true for you, at an intuitive level? Does it affect your ability to forgive? Please leave a comment, below.

Writing this series of articles has prompted me to go deeply within and continue working with my forgiveness process. Click here for Part 3: Four Dimensions of Forgiveness

Click here for Part 4: How I Came Back to God


Defining Moments, or “How I Lost God and Found My Way”

As I sit here at my second Saturn return, I’m doing some life-review. This article is Part 1 in a series prompted by my reflections on a painful turning p0int in my life and my deepening understanding of the nature of Saturn, how it shows up in the sign of Sagittarius, and the gifts of the second Saturn return.

I’m looking at some of the defining moments in my life. Defining moments are not always joyful and triumphant. The greatest realizations are often hard-won, and their full meaning is often seen only in hindsight. Can I share one of my defining moments with you? It’s a story I’ve told time and time again, but now I see it from a broader perspective. This is the story of an excruciating moment that turned out to be the moment I was set free. I set myself free to follow my own path, claim my inner knowing, and find the Truth for myself. Here’s the story of How I Lost God and Found My Way.Torah

My hunger for spiritual experience started to surface when I was 11 years old. That summer, I went to sleep-away camp. It wasn’t your average camp with swimming lessons, Capture-the-Flag, and bunk beds. We did have all those things, but we also learned Hebrew, celebrated Shabbat, and fortified our Jewish identity. By the end of the summer, I had an intense desire to be more religious. If I did it all just right, I’d earn God’s approval. Or so I hoped.

During my second summer at camp, I had a profound experience. As I sat quietly by the lake, immersed in nature,lake I felt a sense of connection to something greater, something deeply peaceful  and vastly beautiful…something that can’t be confined within the walls of a synagogue, nor bound to ancient symbols on parchment, nor limited to a particular religion. It was a glorious feeling…connecting with the Divine through nature. By contrast, following all the rules and performing all the religious rituals had left me feeling rigid and empty. I fell tumbling into a well of disillusionment about Judaism and the notion of God as the angry father.

At the end of that summer, I gathered up my courage and broke the news to my mother:  “I don’t believe in Judaism, and I don’t believe in God.” My mother reacted with an anger that shocked me. “How can you not believe in God?” she yelled. “lock 3You’re too young to know what you think!” I felt deeply hurt and angered by her dismissive, authoritarian reaction. Knowing that my father would be even less receptive to this news, I decided never to expose my precious awakenings to them, again. Door slammed. Locked shut.

In that defining moment, I abandoned my religious heritage and set path in desertmyself on a solo journey guided only by my inner compass. It was a huge, lonely step for a 12 year old. This turning point separated me from my family. Yet it aligned me with my soul’s desire for direct spiritual experience and led me on a quest to find The Truth.

My circuitous path took me from Judaism to atheism to studies of Buddhist philosophy. At another twist in the road, I met Jesus (a life-changing experience, which is a story in itself). That opened the door to A Course in Miracles and other non-dual teachings, which led to a major awakening in 2013. Through years of seeking, I came to find my True Nature.

As I look back from today’s vantage point, I see that I had to find my own way. I had to leave the confines of traditional religion and the limiting perspectives of outer authorities in order to find the Divine, in my own direct experience. What about you? What painful, messy, tragic moments in your life have made you who you are? What dark nights of the soul have propelled you to grow and evolve?  What financial disasters, failed relationships, or bad career moves might you choose to look at from a new perspective? Take some time, look deeply, and consider the strength and wisdom formed in the crucible of your mistakes, your losses, and your disappointments.

(Click here for Part 2: Soul Contracts and Forgiveness)

(Click her for Part 3: Four Dimensions of Forgiveness)

(Click here for Part 4: How I Came Back to God)


The Call of My Soul: Go to Nepal

In the spring of 2013, my soul called me to make a big life change. It began with subtle promptings and intuitions, which I followed like invisible threads that drew me irresistibly onto a radically new path (read more). I moved across the country to take root in the Land of Enchantment. Here, my work took on a new clarity and focus…helping others to heed their souls’ callings. Of course I continue to listen to what my own soul has to say, and most recently I got the call to go to Nepal.

Soul callOur souls call to us all the time. The call may come in big, earth-shattering moments of upheaval in one’s home-life, relationships, health, finances, or career. It may show up as a crossroads in your life…a time when you feel pushed to make a momentous decision. Sometimes it seems but a faint whisper, and other times, a loud and insistent voice demanding change. As Bill Plotkin says in his book Soulcraft, “Soul embraces and calls us toward what is most unique in us.” I would add that soul calls us to embody the essence of our unique self in ways that are more and more highly evolved. It is an ongoing process…a creative, evolutionary process.

When I recently came upon the following quote in Soulcraft, I had to smile at the synchronicity: “The pull toward soul feels like an earthquake in the midst of your life.” In my case, it was an actual earthquake. IMG_0161The April 25, 2015 earthquake that shook Nepal cracked open some unknown place in my heart. No other natural disaster has moved me so deeply. I wept for the loss of lives, the homes reduced to rubble, and the suffering of survivors who were receiving no aid. I looked around at the incredible abundance in my life…a stable, peaceful home; delicious food; good health; and the exquisite beauty of a magical Taos spring. At first, I felt guilty experiencing so many pleasures while thousands of people in Nepal were hungry and homeless. Then I began helping as best I could. I started donating money to the relief efforts, and I sent waves of deep peace and calm to the people in Nepal, knowing that we are all interconnected.village kids

One reason the earthquake shook me up is because I have a friend in Nepal, Dhwoj Gurung, an amazing plein air watercolor painter. Fortunately he was unharmed during the quake. Called into action by his soul, Dhowj made heroic efforts to bring food, medical supplies, tents, and tarps to his ancestral village, near the epicenter of the earthquake. The village is very remote, roads were blocked by landslides, and no relief was being dispatched by the government nor any of the large aid organizations such as Red Cross. So, my friend took it in his own hands to come to the aid of his community. What he discovered when he arrived was the destruction of all the homes, eighteen people had lost their lives, and twenty more had serious injuries.village 3

While the quake and its impact on me were totally unexpected, I can look back and clearly see that my soul had been sending me messages since the beginning of this year. The first hint came from my experience re-reading Autobiography of a Yogi. Every time the Himalayas were mentioned, the word seemed to leap off the page and pull on a forgotten cord in my heart. It seemed I had always dreamed of going to the Himalayas, but it was a dream ignored. Then, I met Dhwoj, online. Seeing his gorgeous paintings and photographs of Nepal and her people, the ancient dream woke up within me. It dawned on me that I’m not getting any younger. Best to go hiking in the Himalayas while I still can!

On the New Moon, April 18, 2015, I wrote in my journal: “I now set the intention to go to Nepal in 2016”.  I told Dhwoj I wanted to come and trek, and he offered to be my guide. 2016 seemed perfect…it would provide a reasonable length of time in which to strengthen the foundation of my business and generate sufficient funds for the trip. One week later, the earth shook and my plan was replaced by God’s plan.

A few weeks after the earthquake, Dhwoj was back in Kathmandu, having led several relief missions to his village. He called and asked me to come to Nepal, not in 2016, but this coming fall, to help his community. He wasn’t asking me to come and rebuild houses, he was asking me to help with the process of emotional recovery.Without hesitation, I said, “Yes, I will come.”Rescue_teams_reach_communities_in_earthquake-hit,_Chautara,_Nepal.kids

I will leave my coaching and astrology practice for two months to volunteer my time facilitating Creative Movement and other Therapeutic Arts Activities in Ghyachchok village. Upon my return, I will need to get the momentum of my business going again. There are many unknowns about the project in Nepal and how it may influence my life, going forward. When I feel anxious I remember this  quote from Fritz Perls: “Anxiety is excitement without the breath”.  And so, I breathe! And I am so excited!

I feel called as if into an initiation, the exact nature of which is a mystery. I know I will not be the same when I return. And I sense that my work will not be completely the same either. My astrological transit chart for the fall has ‘ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME’ written all over it. My soul is calling, and my answer is “Yes!”

How is YOUR soul calling you to move forward with your evolution? How will you answer?

Get support for your soul journey. Schedule a session, now, and you will also support my offerings in Nepal. 

Photo credits:
First two photos of Nepal by Dhwoj Gurung   (1) smiling kids; (2) damaged house
Bottom photo of kids in Nepal by Jessica Lea/DFID

Are You Selfish Enough?

 Let’s re-frame the word “selfish”

When I was about 20 years old, I read a book titled, “When I Say “No”, I Feel Guilty”. That book was an eye-opener for me.  As a shy college student, I wanted to be liked, I wanted to think of myself as a nice person, and I was afraid to deal with conflict.  I thought saying “Yes” was the nice thing to do.  Eventually, I got the hang of saying “No”, but I must admit the temptation to feel guilty can still rear it’s ugly head. Loving myself enough to be “selfish” is an ongoing process.

DON'T BE SELFISH.framedA lot of us were taught to believe that it’s “selfish” to ask for what you want, or say “No” to what you don’t want. But stop and think about it: Who was the first person to accuse you of being “selfish”?  It was probably a parent or maybe a sibling. As very young children, we learn that we’re supposed to play nice, share our toys, and let Johnny go first.  These are important lessons for a 3 year old. But as an adult, if you ignore your own needs in order to play Mr. Nice Guy, you lose.  You lose your self-respect, your power, and your autonomy.  It might make everyone around you happy, but are you happy?

Here are five clues that you may not be selfish enough:

1) You’re more concerned with what’s fair to others than what’s fair to you.

2) You attract people who are very focused on themselves.

3) You’re afraid to ask for what you want.

4) You’re not sure what you want.

5) When you say “No”, you feel guilty.

Let’s turn it around.

  • Give yourself permission to be selfish.  Give yourself permission to be self-loving.
  • Listen to your gut feelings. Is your gut saying “Yes” or “No”?  If someone asks you to do something, check in with how you feel. Does the thought of doing it make you feel heavy or light?
  • Know that if you say “No”, the other person is free to react however they choose, but you don’t need to feel guilty about being true to yourself.
  • Take time in solitude to listen deeply to the prayer of your heart. What is your heart’s desire?  Then, have the courage to ask for what you want.
  • Take some steps, however big or small, to create a life that makes your soul sing.

As Jeshua says, in The Way of Mastery, “Self love is the love of the Creator. You cannot love the Creator while rejecting the Creator’s creation.”  Self love.WOM.lily

So, it turns out that loving yourself is actually the spiritual thing to do!  Who knew?

Leave a comment and let me know an act of self-loving-kindness that you did today.

 


Who is the Authority on You?

Confused

Consider these scenarios:

  • When a student said “No” to the sexual advances of her teacher, the teacher responded, “You need to learn about spiritual surrender.”
  • After a young woman told her ex-husband that she didn’t want him to come by the house, he yelled, “You’re just reacting out of fear, and fear is an illusion.”
  • A man received an unexpected letter from an angry friend who pointed out all the mistakes the man made in raising his son, and blamed the man for the problems in his son’t life.

As you read these scenarios, it’s probably obvious that there’s a lot of manipulation going on here,  But, in real life, when you’re in the heat of an argument or you need to confront an authority figure, the emotional charge of the situation can cloud your thinking. It can be difficult to see yourself clearly, when someone tries to convince you that they are RIGHT about you…when they claim to be right about everything you’re doing wrong.

Who is the authority on you?  You are!  As Wayne Dyer says, “What other people think of me is none of my business.”

pointing fingerBut what if you get thrown off balance by other people’s judgment or criticism of you?  You might feel especially vulnerable when dealing with someone in a position of authority. For example, if a spiritual leader, a teacher, parent, or someone you consider to be an expert has a negative opinion about you, you might be tempted to value their point of view more than your own. This can also happen with friends, your spouse or partner, or even an enemy.  You might get “hooked” by how they feel about you and how they see you.

If you find yourself going into confusion or self-doubt, and you’re wondering if maybe the other person is

right about their negative perception of you, here are some red flags to watch out for:

Does the person…

  • Use spiritual ideas to make you wrong, shame you, or put you down
  • Analyze your actions and tell you exactly how messed up you are
  • Tell you, directly or indirectly, that you don’t know what you’re talking about
  • Say you shouldn’t be setting the boundaries you’re setting
  • Deny your feelings
  • Claim to know, better than you do, what is best for you
  • Blame you for the pain they are feeling

All of the above are tactics for undermining your sense of your own integrity and inner authority.  Don’t get hooked!

No one can tell you who you should be, what you should believe, or how you should be feeling.

*Please leave a comment and let me know how you keep yourself from getting sucked in to other people’s judgments about you.


Looking in the Mirror

window reflection

In each and every moment, you cannot be a victim of what you see, and nothing is outside of you. What you experience, you have directly and deliberately called to yourself. If you hold the thought, “I do not like what I have called to myself,” that is perfectly fine…Merely look with the wonder of a child, and see what it feels like, and ask yourself, “Is this an energy I wish to continue in, or would I choose something else?                                  -Jeshua, The Way of Mastery

When I was first exposed to this idea, through A Course in Miracles, I felt a lot of resistance.  “What do you mean, I’m responsible for what I see?!?”  I protested. “I certainly didn’t ask for the emotional abuse I experienced in my first serious relationship. I didn’t send a request to the universe, asking for  a neck injury. I didn’t put in my order for an unbridgeable rift between me and my father.”

I wanted to push these painful experiences away.  I wanted to dis-identify with them. I wanted to believe that these things just happened to me, but they weren’t connected to something within me.

I know I’m not alone in having this kind of reaction to the spiritual principle of “taking responsibility”.  I’ve seen many spiritual seekers struggle with, and reject, this idea. The reason why it is so difficult to accept is because, when we’re first introduced to the idea that we’re responsible for what we see, the following thoughts tend to arise:

  •  If I’m responsible, then I lose the option of seeing myself as a victim. I cannot project blame outside of me.
  • If I’m responsible, then somehow I’m guilty…guilty of creating these distressing experiences. That leads to a downward spiral of self-blame. People often ask, “Why did I create that?” with a tone of self-condemnation.

Please, don’t go down that spiral. Instead, let’s take a few steps back. Before we can gently and graciously accept responsibility, we must stand firmly rooted in the awareness of our innocence. At times, we all make mistakes. We all act from unconscious patterns. We all let fear guide many of our choices. Yet our True Nature is innocence. Our True Nature is love. Our True Nature is beyond the personality, and even beyond the soul.

IMG_6675

Take a few moments and let yourself rest into that feeling of your innocence. Let your awareness expand, out, beyond your body and your personality.  Identify with the fullness and spaciousness of your True Nature.

Breathe in the love that is your very Being.  You are perfect, whole, and complete. You are loved and loving.

Now that you’re rooted into who you really are, let’s take another look at the idea that you’re responsible for what you see. I encourage you to look at this from the perspective of the soul’s evolution: We each come into this incarnation with old baggage, old conditioning, which the soul carries as an energetic imprint. You might call it a “pattern” or a “vibration”. This energetic pattern attracts to itself relationships and situations that are in resonance with it. Mostly, this happens on an unconscious, energetic level. We do not consciously think, “I want to have painful and distressing experiences.”

What drives this process is not so much our thoughts, nor our behaviors. It comes from a much deeper place. Our unsavory experiences reflect aspects of the old, stuck patterns and false beliefs we’ve brought in, on a soul level. The good news is, we’re not doomed to eternal repetition of these patterns. Taking responsibility, by seeing that what we’re experiencing is a reflection of our own soul patterns, is what gives us the power to choose again…to choose for something different.

The evolutionary purpose of this reflective process is to show us where we’re still stuck, so we can disentangle ourselves. Our undesirable manifestations are there to show us what we don’t want to keep repeating. We get to see what we’ve believed, which isn’t really true, so we can let the false beliefs go. Our experiences serve as a mirror to what’s going on within our own unconscious, including the things in the shadow, that we do not want to see.

shadow is an illusion.web

When we know we’re basically innocent, when there is no investment in either guilt or blame, it is empowering to take responsibility for our own experience. When the old patterns are seen through, as mere shadows from our conditioning, we realize they have no power to hold us back. Then we can let them go, and choose again.

And don’t forget, you’re responsible for all the cool stuff you see in your life, too!

Please leave me a comment, and let me know how this lands for you. Do you feel resistance? Empowerment?  Bewilderment?


Beware the Inner Critic in Disguise

angel costume

It is definitely a trick, and not a treat, when your Inner Critic shows up at your door, disguised as your most Angelic Spiritual Self.  She seems quite believable, while she rattles off an endless list of everything you’re not doing right. She’s acutely aware of what you should be doing to elevate your consciousness.  But you’re not.  If you’d only listen to her, you would become a much more holy, enlightened, and perfect being.  She cracks the whip on you, trying her damnedest to get your lazy-ass self to evolve. “You should be more compassionate”,  she says.  “You shouldn’t judge people.” “You shouldn’t get so angry.” “You shouldn’t keep repeating those same stupid patterns.”  She rants on and on, day and night.

Now, hold on just a minute.  Does this seem like the way an angel or an evolved being would treat someone?  She’s mean to you.  She puts you down.  She makes you feel like s–t.  No, that’s no angel.  That’s the same old Inner Critic that’s been beating you up and shaming you for decades.  It’s just that now, she has an agenda for your spiritual life, too.

If you catch your Critic wearing angel’s wings, realize she has good intentions.  She really does want to help you improve yourself and your life.  It’s just that she’s going about it in a way that’s not helpful.  It’s hurtful.

Your True Self is already who you are, but it’s hard to see that when you’re under the spell of the Inner Critic.  How about calling forth your Inner Compassionate One, instead?  Ask her to talk to you. What would she say about you?  How does she see you?  How can she support you in seeing through the negative, false beliefs about yourself?  Let her embrace you with love, as she lights the way to remembering who you really are.

 


Feeding the Soul

Now that I live in a place where the landscape and natural beauty make my soul sing, I see that inspiration is an essential part of my daily life.  It is food for my soul.  Just like I need to eat yummy, nutritious meals every day, I also need my daily dose of inspiration. It nourishes me at the deepest level and expands my sense of what I am.  It’s like taking in a deep breath of fresh air, and feeling your lungs and chest expand.  It’s the “Ahhh” and the “Mmm” and the “Aha!”

As I hike the trails near my house, I sense that every rock has a message for my soul, if only I have ears to hear. I’m reminded of a lyric in the musical, Jesus Christ Superstar, “The rocks and stones themselves will start to sing…”

So, I listen.  Some I pick up for closer communion.  Some go in my pack and ride home with me. Most remain firmly in place and continue their timeless, solid support of the chain of life around them.

The beauty, mystery, and ancient stories of the rocks, boulders, and cliffs speak to me in a language I yearn to understand.  Each rock holds magic…a hidden potential power.  “What are you saying?”

One little rock, dark and unobtrusive, called to me.  As I picked it up, I noticed a small band of pink on the water-smoothed stone.  Suddenly, a burst of love surged through my heart.  Somehow, this small stone seemed to carry the very essence of this mountain that I love so dearly.  That little one walked home with me, caressed lovingly in my hand.

the el salto stone

I admit it…I’m a rock lover!

What inspires you and feeds your soul?


Would you rather be right or happy?

When under the influence of the Sagittarius Moon, you may fall into the trap of wanting to be “right” about everything.  If you’re politically minded, you may try to convince everyone that your political opinion is the right one. You could find yourself standing on a soap box, yakking away, with no one listening.  If you’re a spiritual seeker, maybe you think you’ve got the correct spiritual philosophy.  It’s amazing how quickly our minds can shift from being open and accepting to being fiercely dogmatic when someone challenges our beliefs.Smith_Wigglesworth_preaching  If you’re a smarty pants, you want to be right about facts and figures.  You  try to prove that your point of view is the right way to see things.  You’ve probably had Google races with friends and family, to see who is first to get the “right” answer when a question comes up in the midst of casual conversation.

When you win the Google race, or when your friends admit that you were right all along, there can be a feeling of victory.  “I’m right!” But after your little  happy dance is over, what are you left with?  Being right can get in the way of being truly happy, because being “right” assumes that someone else is wrong.  Being right sets up an opposition, which can lead to arguments, judgments, and grievances. Not only does the need to be right create separation between people, it also causes inner tension. What if I’m NOT right?  Then what?

The bottom line is that being self-righteous doesn’t really feel good. Being right is a precarious position. You can be knocked off the top of the hill at any moment, because you actually could be wrong.  Being right calls for constant vigilance and defense of your position. It’s also lonely up there, because it pushes people away. In our rush to be right, we sometimes stumble past the reality of what’s actually true.  You can argue with reality, but reality wins every time.  Being in conflict with reality is very stressful.

What if you don’t know all there is to know?  What if you’re not right about the things that make you miserable?  What if your opinion is just one way of seeing things, and some other perspectives are just as valid?  Being willing to be wrong makes your mind open and supple. It makes room for God’s thoughts.  It makes room for the reality of “What is”, and that’s where peace resides.

Harris_Hawk_in_flight_3_(6022357849)True happiness lies in the mind that knows that it doesn’t know. Happiness is an open mind that is willing to see different points of view, because no one point of view grasps the whole picture.  Only God sees it all, knows it all.  With our limited human perceptions, we can’t absolutley know what should or shouldn’t be happening.  So how can we judge anyone or anything?  It’s not that we shouldn’t judge, it’s that we can’t judge.  And that’s good news!

At this full Moon, the Gemini Sun illuminates the pitfalls of  Sagittarius’ need to be right, and reminds us of  Sag’s desire to be free…free to fly high, and see more and more dimensions of “What is”.  Forget about being right.  Let’s be happy, instead.