A lot of you are experiencing anxiety and fear as you face extreme weather in the U.S: floods and hurricanes in the south and east, the forest fires covering so much of the west. Many other devastating problems, other places in the world.
So many of you who are sensitives and empaths feel all of this so deeply.
In the past, you might have wanted to leave, to hide away, to pull away from the rest of humanity to reground and regroup your own sense of self.
But there isn't any escape, is there?
We can no longer "go" anywhere or get away, as we might have decades or year or even a month ago, to escape weather or to escape each other. Now, when we see a victim of Harvey, we realize even if we were not in that flood, our Oneness shows us what this person suffered. When we see the blankets of smoky air filling our forests in the west, our Oneness shows us we are all affected.
We are feeling what each other feels.
Understanding this is the first step toward having a new spiritual view of the situation.
There is no place to go.
There is no way to hide.
We are in this together.
We are not separate, and trying to get separate is no longer a solution.
Separation: hiding out, finding your quiet space, was the solution of the past.
It was the sure bet for sensitives, introverts to regroup.
But now, we're invited to simply show up with full recognition of our Oneness.
This is a new phase for humanity.
If you're feeling unmoored, stressed, freaked out, If you're feeling like getting separate isn't working any more. If you're unsure, if you sense that things are building and you don't know where they're building too... well, you're right.
It isn't about politics or weather, although these are reflections of our collective inner change. It's about the newness of Oneness,
A new understanding in the human collective.
Difficult and uncomfortable now.
Once we get used to it, a true evolution.
P.S. Want to learn unconditional self love? Try my new DailyOM course: Overcoming Body Shame.
It has been heartbreaking to watch those in Texas struggling with the trauma of Hurricane Harvey and the displacement of extreme flooding.
Other parts of the U.S. are also suffering right now too—for example, there's a 300,000 acre wildfire burning in Oregon today. Other parts of the world are also suffering from natural disasters and extreme weather right now too.
It's about climate change, of course. But it is also about Gaia, our earth, reflecting our collective soul.
We are not many separate souls. We are One soul.
This doesn't just apply to human souls, either.
Are sentient beings (living and non-living) are part of the collective soul of Gaia.
Humans, animals, plants, minerals, weather systems.
Whatever we think, whatever stress we feel, whatever crushing situations we are under as humans, are all reflected in our group thought, which shapes the energy of our collective soul.
Do you recall how sometimes a person you know, will reflect your shadow right back to you?
Right now, many of our political leaders are reflecting our shadow.
And right now, Gaia is also reflecting our shadow..
Gaia is not separate from us, we are not separate from Gaia. Gaia is a collective consciousness that we are part of. What we feel, Gaia feels and vice versus.
Extreme weather is not punishment for our "sins." It is true, we have not been good stewards of the earth, and we're finally starting to figure that out. But there is no punishment here. Instead, Gaia is simply reflecting to us, and we are reflecting to Gaia, the extreme shadows we are working through, as collective soul.
It's not always stress, trauma, pain.
The weather is not bad every day.
Please remember this, as extreme weather plays out at the end of summer. Sometimes, in fact many times, this world and its weather give us the most beautiful, gorgeous, profound, life-changing experiences we will ever have.
The good, the bad, the all of it: this is what we are, and this is what we create as One with each other and with Gaia.
Be at peace. Send peace to all. Understand there is no separation from each other or from the earth.
P.S. The Red Cross is taking donations at www.redcross.org
Most of us are Householders: people walking the spiritual path while deeply immersed in work and family.
We work jobs of all kinds.
We take care of children, partners, parents.
We take care of extended family.
We take care of others in the community around us.
Some of us are healer and teachers, helping in one way.
Others are practical helpers, helping in other ways.
It’s all valid, and all valued.
And even though we have our hands full with this entire helping and supporting and lifting up of those we love, we want to do more.
We want to help the world, but we don’t know how.
Here is one suggestion from The 33 Lessons in my book Writing the Divine:
“The true hero quests within.There is no dragon to slay. There is no war to win. There is not mountain to climb. There is only the landscape of what is within, which is you in the Universe. Which is you as one of the now of the Now. Which is also you, as an earth being, with an earth heart, Surrounding and infinitely connecting to all living beings. Thus, the hero’s quest is for no chalice, no sword, no banner. The hero’s quest in this time is for connection; it is for compassion, it is for love. This is the task of this world you are in now.“—The 33 Lessons
When I channeled The 33 Lessons in my first book Writing the Divine, there were some things that didn’t make sense to me back then.
But over time, I’ve come to understand the Lessons in the light of what we are facing now as global community, and what we are emerging into as collective soul.
For example, one of the Lessons states:
“Jesus said turn the other cheek, and by this he meant not to receive more pain, but instead to turn away fully, to refrain from participating, to allow no more of this dark force. By this he meant to shun the experience.
Other great beings have brought this message. These great messengers and teachers all chose the path of nonviolence, the path of love, the path of turning the other cheek—not to receive more, but to show that they do not participate in these acts of violence, anger, the hot steaming energy that prevails so much in your world.” —The 33 Lessons
This is the great question we face today as souls, and that we have faced many times, in many lifetimes.
If you are hooking in to darkness—if you are playing attention to drama and crazy and rage, you are invited to instead to turn the other cheek.
Recall: what we give attention expands.
Thus, what if we were to not clamor against darkness in our own rage and fear? But instead, to shun darkness? To not feed it? To turn the other cheek—away from darkness, and toward Light?
Back when I was a kid watching Star Trek every afternoon with my best friend Judy, there was an episode in which Spock goes amok: Amok Time.
In it, Spock does things like gets in fights, tries to steer the Enterprise to Vulcan instead of stay on course, and creates general chaos. He gets violent and weird and acts in definitely non-Vulcan ways.
Spock has gone amok.
And the reason he’s amok? As all you hard-core Trekkies already know, Spock was suffering from his need to fulfill pon farr (which basically meant he must mate or die.)
Spoke went amok, because his needs were not met.
It seems to me, no longer watching afternoon TV in my parents’ basement, but now instead observing an endless stream of Twitter and Fox and Morning Joe and Huffiest, that we’ve all gone amok.
For the same reason: our needs have not been met.
It’s easy to point fingers and place blame and get depressed and be in rage about how things are moving backwards, not forwards; about how the most basic things we need: human rights, a healthy planet, healthcare, peace…. are being reduced to rubble every day.
And here we are, looking at all of this gunk—this non-conscious way of living—and we are realizing just how much work we still have to do. How amok we have become.
Almost everyone is feeling this amok time.
Empaths feel it especially.
And if this is so for you, here is a suggestion:
Don’t be a part of the crazy, the hate, the rage.
Stop going amok, take a deep breath and remember:
You're an infinite soul.
Hold your Light high.
Many people are going through a spiritual awakening right now.
It’s like consciousness, going viral.
Yet while awakening sounds so exciting, when you’re suddenly in communication with guides, angels, the Departed— it’s not easy to integrate that experience into your perceived reality.
If this is happening to you, understand that the road to awakening extends perfectly, and contains all the time you need to shift, change and transform your consciousness.
In my own situation, it took a full eight years from the time of my near death experience in 2000 to my full spiritual awakening when I received and wrote The 33 Lessons.
I was reluctant, very determined to hang onto the idea that I could control things.
It took a lot of heartache until I could finally let go of those ideas. Even now, nearly 10 years later, I am still opening, deepening, growing.
It’s a life journey, this stuff.
One you’re awake, you can only go forward.
So much better to stop fighting, stop being in fear.
Just aceept you’re a soul—that this is who you are.
Take the next step on the journey.
Maybe you've just finished dinner and are getting up to wash the dishes, and an understanding will suddenly fall upon your shoulders:
Here I am. This is my life.
Or maybe you're waiting in line at the espresso stand, and it hits you:
Some day I’ll die. I'm soul in body.
Or maybe you're in a deeply passionate moment with a lover, and it arrives to you:
I'm here now. This is what I’m experiencing.
You have a moment of understanding outside of ego or identity that arrives without anticipation or expectation. You just open up into it.
And you understand yourself as soul in body, and you feel this as awe and gratitude, that this reality is yours.
These moments of consciousness happen all the time. You don't have to do anything special. Just pay attention, and notice what is.
This year, Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere will take place on June 20 at 9:24 p.m., Pacific Time.
There will be people all over the world celebrating the Solstice, and by celebrating, I mean paying attention to Light.
Summer Solstice is the one of the two major turning points of the year, when we suddenly shift from days becoming longer, to nights becoming longer.
This can seem scary, but it's not. In fact, it might even seem that we've hardly even begun to bask in all this glorious Light, when the changeover begins!
And yet, so it is.
We are people living on a planet.
Earth turns, the seasons change.
Earth turns, we change.
On Summer Solstice 2017, I would invite you to do three things:
• Be outside at 9:42 pm (or whatever the time is in your time zone). Watch the sky. Be in joy.
• Take a look back at what you were doing last year, at this time. What has happened since then?
• Take a look all the way back at the 9 Year Cycle we talked about with our 2017 Forecast. What are you beginning now?
I get to work with people from all over the world, and many of you live in places where there are lots of options for spiritual community.
Some places in the world, especially cities, are brimming with yoga classes and mediation groups and community healings and lovely workshops and so on.
If you live in this kind of place, you can wade in knee deep: you can go to ecstatic dance on Sundays, yoga on Mondays, talk circle on Tuesdays, mindfulness on Wednesdays, and so on.
And wow! You can create quite a spiritual practice, and have the joy and support and fun of spiritual community, easily available to you.
If you’re someone living in this kind of place, I do hope you are appreciating where you are!
Because more of you don’t live in these kinds of places. Lots of you live in conservative towns where it’s frowned upon if you’re not part of the dominant religious affiliation or political culture.
In these kinds of places, it can be really scary to say you might be interested in spirituality or psychic opening or past lives or meditation or anything other than what the main culture is doing.
In fact, you might be in hiding: you might feel like you have to keep your beliefs secret, or you might not want to mention your beliefs to your family, friends, neighbors.
Many of you have written to say that you can’t talk about your beliefs with your spouse, partner or friends, and most certainly not your family of origin.
Many of you have written to say there is community in your area: there is no wellness center down the street, no lovely workshop you can easily attend.
And this is not just in America, but all over the world.
Which makes me incredibly grateful to be doing this work at this time. One of the most important aspects of what I offer is my courses, books and podcasts, and the reason these are important, is because they allow you to create your own personal spiritual practice and be a part of spiritual community, no matter where you live.
You aren’t alone, even if you’re living in a place where you feel your beliefs aren’t accepted or recognized. We’re all this together, and there are many, many of us, and it’s still early days.
My work is just one tiny piece: there are so many beautiful teachers, bringing Oneness and Light to the world, and moving us to next stage in human evolution.
The darkness will eventually give way.
Until then, let’s hold Light together, and connect in all the ways we can, from wherever we are.
If you’re in a place where you can open the windows and let the breeze in, where you can wander outside frequently… do this!
Being outdoors changes us.
In summer for example, when we are up and out more: walking, biking, swimming, getting up early with the birds, staying up late and watching the sun set…. all of this expands us.
Our skin needs to breathe real air.
Our bodies need to be in light.
We need to feel the diverse and diffuse vibration that only nature can create.
With the longer days of summer, we experience pure delight, and this is because we can be outside more and more hours of the day.
We do better, as humans, when we honor our bodies, our true animal selves: when we can be in extended periods of contact with nature.
That’s because we are nature too.
We are also nature.
Decades ago, when the building I worked in was one of the tallest and newest in Seattle, I was a file clerk for a big insurance company.
My sole duty was to push a metal cart around the office, stop at each of the endless agent desks haphazardly scattered in one enormous room, collect all the files stacked in their out box, and then go file them in the dozens of metal filing cabinets that filled the back room, in alphabetical order.
Arthur comes before Atura
McNab comes after Macnab.
Brighton comes before Broghten.
Calumus comes after Caluminus.
I became an expert alphabetizer, during the nine hours a day, five days a week I did this job.
The work days were all the same: the agents yakked on their phones, and clattered on their typewriters and pounded their staplers and smoked up a storm of cigarettes. Back then, almost everyone smoked, everywhere.
And then, after exactly three hours and forty five minutes, the round, white clock on the wall would do that little clicking sound, and everyone would stand on cue and file out for their break.
Every four hours.
We punched out with a little card.
Then everyone herded over to the break room with its metal chairs and one free phone, and proceeded to smoke as many cigarettes as they could in 15 minutes.
I lasted about two breaks in that room, yellow with smoke and depression just as acrid, and then I started sneaking away: misfit, miscreant, I hung back from the pack and rode the elevator down to the ground, where I stepped outside and turned my face up into the Seattle rain.
I didn’t last long at that job, expert alphabetizing skills notwithstanding.
I wish I could say that I quit, but I didn’t: I needed the money too much.
Besides, that’s what most jobs were like back then.
But I didn’t go back in the break room, and soon after I did get laid off. Thank you, Universe.
It was decades ago. Those were different times.
But it’s good to remember how silly we were, how stunted, how numbed, how unaware. How we’d put up with something like sitting in room smoking our entire break, our entire life away.
It’s good to look back, and see that we have made some progress.
A while back, I was at my doctor’s for a checkup, and because I have a tendency to show for appointments early, I got to hang out in the waiting room.
Over the years, there’s been a steady upgrade to more comfortable waiting room chairs, better magazines, a complementary coffee bar along the wall.
There’s even music piped in now: it’s not quite country, not quite pop, a soft and steady stream of almost Christian-but-not-quite rock that suits the demographic of our region perfectly.
Just enough to distract you.
Just enough to uplift you.
We all know how music heals, and while this particular music was not the most healing I’ve ever heard… it was better than nothing.
I choose a chair in the corner where I could carve out a little private space, and I settled my body in a relaxed position and closed my eyes and started meditating just a little bit. Whenever I find myself in a situation that has a good chance of being chaotic, such as going to the doctor or the Department of Motor Vehicles, meditation can really help.
I simply detach from outer distractions and pull my awareness in and connect with my guides.
It is a beautiful thing to rest in their steadfast support!
It is wonderful comfort, to connect in!
For here is where we can always find Light, levity, the opposite of gravity, and when you are in a place where things are a little dingy or darker or harder, it’s a great comfort.
So, there I was, in this slightly radiant state, when a man shuffled in.
I say shuffled, because that’s the only way he could walk: his hands were shackled in front of him with handcuffs, there were chains going around his chest, chains around his legs, and he wore an orange T-shirt that read Oregon Correctional Institute and flimsy bedroom slippers: the kind of thing you couldn’t run in, if you tried to run.
On either side of him were two burly security guards, armored up with bullet-proof vests, visible guns, bully sticks and tasers.
The man sat down a few chairs away from me, a guard on either side of him, and immediately, the energy changed in the room.
A titter of shock and fear and disgust rose up from the other folks waiting in the room, and this energy gathered like a wave, building momentum as each person noticed who was now amongst us.
It built and gathered and rolled over to me, the person sitting closest to him, and I just looked at this man who was a convict, and these other two men who were guards, and I just let all that energy go.
I’m not saying I wasn’t a little bit unnerved, because I was.
I was a little bit scared.
I was a little bit worried.
I didn’t want him there.
But I rejected those feelings.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have room for low vibration in my life.
I most certainly have not cracked this code.
But at the very least, I have been working on, and you also have been working on, this idea of rising up out of low vibration and expanding our Soul selves.
And this means that instead of contracting down into shock and fear and disgust, we expand out. Beyond fear. Into compassion.
Well, as I was thinking about all of this, the man started to bounce his foot in time to the music.
He connected to the music as a way to pass the time, and I went right back into meditation and I connected in to all the Light I could find, and asked it to come into the room.
I wasn’t trying to fix anything, or heal anything, or shift the energy in the room. I just connected into the Light, and hoped the Light would do its thing.
And what happened next was really pretty simple: the energy seemed to smooth out, and when I opened my eyes, I saw that the man now had his eyes closed, and he was in a relaxed state, and he was listening to the music streaming in to the room.
And the other people had gone back to their devices or whatever. And one of the guards picked up Outdoors magazine, and started leafing through it.
We all relaxed, when the Light came in.
We all just calmed down.
We moved out of separation, and back into Oneness.
I want to point out, I didn’t do anything special: I just called upon the Light. You can do this too: anyone can.
We all share energy.
We are all empathic to each other.
When one of us gets upset, the others feel it.
When one of us remembers we are Light, we are all lifted.
We have more control over our shared energy, than we often remember.
People say to me “I know you’re really busy,” and I have to laugh, because I don’t feel busy.
In the last few years, I’ve committed to living a life in which I don’t feel rushed; I’ve committed to doing my work in a way that feels spacious, unhurried, calm and most of the time, enjoyable.
I have gotten to this place, by letting go of my schedule.
If you looked at my calendar, you’d find I keep my schedule much emptier than most.
There are core things that I show up to: writing and teaching and recording.
There are family things that I show up to: taking care of my kids and kin.
But the rest of it?
In the desire to live in the spacious, unhurried, unrushed way, I needed to let go of a lot of busyness and distraction.
As I stared to pare down the “shoulds” on my calendar, I found that most of the “shoulds” weren’t important.
They were someone else’s idea of how I should fill my time. They reflected what mainstream society said I should do. They stemmed from some old guilt I had about needing to be busy all the time.
I let it all go, and I haven’t missed any of it.
Instead of being distracted, rushed and exhausted by all this constant transition of one thing to the next to the next, I now have big blocks of time in my schedule in which I can have intensive periods of concentration and focus. Intensive and complete attention to what matters most, which right now is my clients and students.
I’m working incredibly hard and with incredible attention.
And at the same time, there’s…
No sense of rush or hurry.
No sense of plowing through a to-do list.
No overwhelm at trying to be in seven places at once.
No slavery to calendar or clock.
If you know what you really want to do in this life, paring down your schedule to nothing else except that, can help you begin to live that life.
If you don’t know what you really want to do in this life, paring down your schedule might help you figure it out.
It is very easy to get so busy or so distracted, that you neglect to make time to be with the person you love most.
For example, let’s pretend you’re a hamster, monumentally in love with another hamster: all you want to do is nestle in the wood shavings and be cozy.
But one day you wake up from hamster bliss, and find a hamster wheel in your cage.
Pretty soon, you or your hamster soul mate tries it out, and starts running.
A little while later, the other one of you tries it, and pretty soon, the distraction of the run-but-don’t-get-anywhere hamster wheel starts to take over your lives.
I mean, it’s a good thing to not just lay around in the wood shavings all day!
It’s great to have things you want to do!
It’s great to have interests you want to engage it!
But in this example, we’re not talking about deep purpose, life’s work, meaningful stuff.
We’re talking about a hamster wheel: it’s all momentum, no real moving.
It’s just a distraction.
And it’s a very addictive one, because it makes you think you’re moving forward, even when you’re not.
So, anyhow…. one day it so happens that one of you wants to snuggle in the wood shavings, but the other one is like “uh, I’ve got three more laps, honey.”
And boom: there begins the cycle of distraction-neglect-loneliness-distraction instead of intimacy.
If you’re a human, your hamster wheel might be overscheduling, busyness, social media, go-go-go, do-do-do. All the stuff that keep us running, without really getting anywhere.
You might find yourself saying things like “I’m craaaaaaazy busy!” and over time, this addiction to busyness makes it harder and harder to connect you’re your partner.
Now this is fine, if you want to stay in the cycle of distraction-neglect-loneliness-distraction.
But, if you are committed to connecting with your Beloved, then you are going to need to get off the hamster wheel and start connecting.
And it’s scary, because it can be very vulnerable to engage with another person. It’s much easier to be busy, or on to the next thing.
This hamster parable isn’t about sex either, although that’s part of it.
Sexual intimacy is one of the ways we can get the very closest to another person, the way we can reveal ourselves at the deepest level. But general intimacy: being there, talking, listening, holding hands, sitting near each other, hanging out with each other… those are big parts of intimacy, too.
If you’re craaaaaaazy busy, always running around and wondering why you’re feeling lonely and unsettled… check which hamster wheel you’re on.
Usually, slowing down and opening up makes every relationship better.
FOMO. Fear of missing out.
In which everyone runs around trying to do what everyone else is doing, because they are afraid that everyone else is having a better time than they are.
FOMO has been around since Caveman A made fire and Caveman B wanted a piece of the action, but it’s been exacerbated by social media and this new 24/7 connection that we now have with anyone, anywhere in the world.
It used to be that FOMO paced slower: we’d read about celebrities and their glamorous lives in magazines, but issues came out monthly, so there was a lot of downtime.
Sure, the A-List was something to aspire to, but it didn’t seem real: they were Them, and we were us, doing our humble little lives of non-celebrityness.
Nowadays, everyone’s a celebrity, everyone’s out doing unique and exciting things. Even a Subaru commercial is more exciting that most people’s day-to-day!
And it’s not that all these FOMO events are all that exciting: there’s a lot of press on Kim Kardashian taking her kid to ballet class, for example, and believe me: I have taken kids to ballet class, and it is not all that it’s cracked up to be!
So here we have it:
Everyone looks like a rock star or an artist or a model, even if they’re not.
Everyone seems super interesting, even if they’re not.
Everyone looks like they’re having way more fun than you are.
And this causes most of us to feel this intensive, anxious, FOMO.
Like, what if my life isn’t cool enough?
What if my friends aren’t interesting enough?
What if my trip to the grocery store doesn’t look like a cool trip to the grocery store?
And so on.
If we take it a step further, FOMO makes us afraid to get out of the game, because downtime is boring, isn’t it?
And take it a bit further, to where we’re really at:
Will I even exist, if I am not in this continuous swirl of group energy?
Will I even exist, if I am not constantly tethered to group thought?
Will I be anyone, if I stop being everyone?
Welcome to Oneness. We’re all One, all the time, and we’re just getting use to the idea. FOMO is one way we feel pulled by the energy of Oneness: we feel the urge to merge with everyone, and we’re afraid that if we aren’t in group energy, we won’t exist.
If you’re feeling FOMO, relax. Oneness doesn’t go away. We’re in it, the cosmic energy soup of everyone and everything, always, whether we want to be or not.
The bigger truth is this: we can’t get separate, even if we wanted to.
When you are trying to live a life of balance and peace, there is nothing more challenging to deal with than a crazymaker.
Julia Cameron used the term “crazymaker” in her book The Artist’s Way, when she wrote about how chaotic personalities can derail artists.
However, crazymakers are equally destructive for all of us sensitives, empaths, intuitives… all of us who feel everything all the time.
As sensitives, we empathically feel the energy of a crazymaker, and this energy does not make sense to us, because its vibration is chaos, and sometimes it is chaos mixed with darkness.
There are crazymakers who aren’t dark: they’re flaky and inconsistent and self-absorbed, but they’re not malicious: they’re just off in their own little world.
These types of crazymakers are annoying, but if you have good boundaries, they won’t affect you much. You might feel slightly anxious or even nauseated when you’re around them, but it’s not intentional. They’re not trying to hurt you.
But dark crazymakers, often lumped under the broader categories of narcissists and sociopaths, are another story.
These folks work hard to bring chaos to your life. For example, some politicians are crazymakers; they’ve learned to use crazymaking as a tool to distract from what they’re really doing.
There are crazymakers in your own life who also take delight in creating chaos: maybe a family member, a partner, a friend, a colleague.
The thing is, crazymakers love empaths, sensitives and intuitives, because we’re so easy to tweak!
Empaths, sensitives and intuitives are often way too nice for our own good; we put up with the bad behavior of others because we are too polite to say “no.”
Yet there is no reason any of us have to be in energy that is chaotic, destructive, demeaning, dark, or evil.
If you haven’t said “no” yet to the crazymaker in your life, today is a great day to start.
You’ve probably heard the saying “familiarity breeds contempt”?
Yet in the tiny Oregon town where I live, I’ve found that familiarity breeds respect.
It’s not about homogeneity or cultural sameness, either. The people here don’t get along because they’re similar to each other.
In fact, they’re not similar at all.
Race, religion, background, belief—whoa! It’s all a very big mix in this farming/college community an hour south of Portland.
But because every one knows each other in a familiar, day-to-day way—as neighbors, workers, families—everyone gives each other a lot of leeway.
We give each other space.
At the town pub, our diversity shines out.
The pub is trendy, because we’re a commuter town to Portland, and all that Tumblr rubs off. The pub serves trendy things like micro brews and cherry ketchup and hemp burgers, and the waiters wear hipster clothes: vests and watch chains and long curling waxed mustaches.
It’s hip, it’s happening, a gathering place!
So here we all are, bringing our great diversity, all our differences…
We mix it up. We give each other space. We pass the cherry ketchup.
And we blend and mingle and create a vibration that’s so much more interesting than homogenized sameness.
P.S. Will you be coming with me on the 2018 Beyond Words Cruise?
So many of you tell me you were raised Catholic—from the most casual mass-at-Christmas-and-Easter, to the most devout parochial-school-with-nuns-or-priests.
Nowadays, many of you are still Catholic, or not Catholic at all—or maybe you're not really sure where the formal religion of your childhood intersects with your new spiritual beliefs.
I have my own Catholic experience.
I was raised by non-religious parents who sent me to the local convent—which mean nuns wearing dimples, mass daily, fonts of holy water in the hallway, and statues of St. Frances Assisi everywhere.
Lots of folks didn't have great experiences at Catholic schools, but I did. I converted to Catholicism as an adult, and practiced for many years until my near-death-experience—when everything changed.
In any case, I am familiar with the Easter energy that many of us are feeling now.
Easter Week is hugely emotional: Maundy Thursday is somber and incredibly sad. Good Friday brings hope. Easter Vigil, which begins Saturday night and at the parish I use to attend, included a blazing bonfire, a swinging vessel of incense... and many, many (did I say many?) hours later, the baptism of all new members of the church in water and chrism. Easter begins during the wee hours of the vigil, and continues on till morning.
If you have these Easter memories hardwired into your system, you're going to be feeling stuff this week, whether you want to or not.
Religion has been wonderful for many people.
Religion has wounded many others.
We each have our own experience.
But it all comes back, every spring.
For me, what's best it to acknowledge that the energy swirling around us this week is there, and it affects us.
So just feel it... feel it all... and let your feelings be released.
Then take a look around you.
Today, the daffodils are out, and very soon the tulips will be here.
And be in awe.
Some days you wake up and Destiny does not greet you.
You’re not filled with any sense of meaning, or any sense of momentum, or you’re not sure why you’re doing any of it anyway.
When you feel this way, feel it.
Don’t try to get all pumped up and productive!
Don’t try to get all motivated and mojo’d!
Just let it be. Let yourself be, as you are feeling right now. Go adrift for a while, and let yourself admit that you don’t know:
• Who you really are.
• What you’re supposed to be doing.
• Why you’re living in this place.
• Why you’re living with that person.
• Why you’re doing this work.
• What it’s all about, anyhow?
Everything seems like a weird dream. Nothing makes sense. It all seems so strange, it’s all an illusion.
Let yourself go adrift from your particular identity: this body, this personality, this life, this work, these relationships, and recognize that you are multifaceted, and that you have many desires, and that many parts of you are not expressed, even if you are living a very expressive, authentic, creative life.
And especially, if you are not.
Just go adrift, and allow yourself to detach from all that identity, that personality, that ego, that “must do,” that “this is how it is” and just take a deep breath and smile and say, Maybe that’s how it is.
Or maybe it’s not.
When we go adrift, we free ourselves from the thinking pattern of this is how it “must be.”
Whereas of course, there are lots of ways to be and live.
Going adrift, for a few hours, for a day, for a series of days to get your head clear: all this helps you come to the understanding that how you live, who you live with, what you think about… nothing’s set in stone.
It’s all your choice.
P.S. Try our self-study course, Moving from Stuck to Flow.
My favorite middle-eastern restaurant is family run: the people are friendly and the food is fantastic: home-made hummus, baba ghanoush, falafel.
A few days ago, I headed in for lunch. Near the counter, a worker appeared to be fixing something on the floor.
He wasn’t a worker.
And he wasn’t repairing anything.
He was the restaurant owner, a man in his late 50s, kneeling on a prayer rug behind one of the dining tables.
He was doing his spiritual practice as is consistent with his Muslim faith: answering the call to prayer. For 1400 years, the devout face east and pray five times each day:
• At dawn, before sunrise
• At midday, after the sun passes its highest
• In the late part of the afternoon
• Just after sunset
• Between sunset and midnight
It was midday. Thus he was praying.
He allowed nothing to stop him. Not the customers in his restaurant watching him, not the demands of a busy workday.
He was praying in public.
And most interesting to me was that even though he was in the midst of his devotions, at the same time, he was fully of this world.
Thus, when I entered the restaurant, he stood up, smiled and welcomed me, mid prayer. When I sat down, he stopped mid prayer and filled my water glass. When he was done with his devotion, he rolled up his prayer rug, smiled again, and came back and took my order.
His devotion was fully integrated. His spiritual life was enfolded into his regular day.
To witness this: a person praying in public, a person who did not separate the Divine from everyday… this was a beautiful thing.
I don’t know about you, but I sometimes find it hard to find a consistent time to meditate or pray. I get busy, or have appointments or life gets in the way.
Or does it?
Witnessing this man praying in public, reminded me that nothing is more important than connection to the Divine.
Each in our own way. Each with our own beliefs and traditions.
Spirituality not as a separate practice, but as our way of being.
P.S. Our March course of the month is Learn the Practice of Channeled Writing.
Do you remember when you were in kindergarten, you had to be separated from certain kids, because you distracted each other too much?
If Ben sat by you, you couldn’t focus on your coloring.
If Linda sat by you, you couldn’t focus on your reading.
If you and Ben and Linda sat together… total chaos ensued!
You were distracted by others, and they were distracted by you.
Your boundaries were blurred, which is common for children.
As we grow, however, we start to understand that our purpose is not to be distracted by the actions of Ben or Linda… or by any of the people in our lives.
We are One, certainly.
But as souls in human form, we are each here to accomplish specific tasks and learn particular soul lessons.
If we’re so busy paying attention to what other folks are doing, or being concerned about what other people are learning, we lose sight of our own path.
It’s all about being responsible for our own soul path.
If you find yourself overly involved in what other people are doing, or distracted by everone else’s drama… pause for a moment.
Distraction usually means there’s something you don’t want to look at.
Breathe deep, and look at it anyway.
P.S. Sign up now for Learn the Practice of Channeled Writing
Lately, I've been up in Seattle helping my mom get her condo ready to sell.
It's a big job, and it's very sentimental for me, because Seattle is where I grew up, where I went to school, where I lived until I was 28.
In other words... I know that town.
I know the Space Needle and Ballard Locks and the troll-under-the-bridge.
I know Gas Works Park and Greenlake and that secret back road near University Village.
I know Matthews Beach and Golden Gardens and the Ferry Terminal.
I know Nordstrom and Uwajimaya and Pike Place Market: when I worked downtown, I ate there every day.
A lot of memory, held in that city.
And with my mom moving to a new place, it's likely I won't be in Seattle very often again.
There's a sense of loss, but there's also a sense of appreciation.
For even as I help my mom, I'm also experiencing a life review of all those years, in which I was a part of that place: who I was, what I was doing, what I was learning.
A lot of you are having this experience now, as you help out your older parents. Returning to old places, and feeling all the feelings that arrive.
From soul perspective, this is a soul lesson in which we are asked:
To remember it all.
To hold all of it with love.
To allow all emotions.
To feel everything fully.
To detach from clinging and grasping.
And to trust, that more joy is even in this moment, winging its way toward us.
P.S. It's time to sign up for Intuition University Spring 2017.
When we finally move through a soul lesson, there comes a day when we notice that whatever we’ve been working on, isn’t with us any more.
The anger we had toward a certain person has dissolved.
The fear we had about a situation had left us.
The worry we had about something in the future isn’t there.
The shame we had about something has disbanded.
We were one way, wrapped up in our thoughts and emotional drama and hurt and blame… and then, suddenly it’s all just gone away.
We’re just not there any more: we’re not in relationship to that person or situation or thought like that any more.
Sometimes we release it.
Sometimes we are cleared.
Sometimes we have been working on it so long, we grow past it.
As you move through your life, you’ll find yourself facing these sticky things: anger, fear, worry, shame… around people and events and situations in your life.
Until one day, you’ll be moseying around doing something ordinary, and you’ll think of this sticky thing, and you’ll find… it’s not there any more.
You’ve worked through it.
You’ve moved past.
You’ve let go.
There is not longer any trigger! It’s not there any more! And sing sweet halleluiah, for yet another soul lesson moved through!
We can get very far with our expansion when we try.
Right around now, people are already burnt out on the kale and the gym and the futile resistance to chocolate/booze/shopping/internet... whatever it is for you.
We are all in the habit of making New Year’s resolutions: “I hereby solemnly proclaim I will lose X pounds, eat clean, live within my budget”… whatever it is for you.
The thing is… making a New Year’s resolution seems so lofty.
But from soul persepective, it's a proclamation that you don’t love yourself as you are.
It’s saying “I’m not enough”.
I’m not enough with my extra twenty pounds.
I’m not enough with my addictions.
I’m not enough with my distractions.
Yes of course, it is useful to live a more clear and balanced life.
But overall, the Universe doesn’t care about your habits.
The Universe cares about your expansion.
If you (and I) were to stop trying to control the symptoms (the addictions, the distractions) and instead sink deep into spiritual practice where we have daily connection to our soul… well, eventually, over time, all the symptoms would go away.
We would love ourselves as we are.
We would understand that we are works in progress.
We would be gentle and kind and compassionate to our selfs: beautiful humans, far from perfect, walking the path.
Instead of making a bunch of resolutions this year, consider making un-resolutions.
Resolve that you’ll first attend to your soul.
The inner work always shifts the outer.
That’s the place to start.
P.S. Have you experienced The 33 Lessons?
Every year, I write a forecast for the new year.
2017 is especially interesting, as we are not only entering a new year, but a new nine-year cycle.
As you remember, 2016 was a "nine" year, The Year of Completion. Hopefully, you spent 2016 tying up loose ends, letting go of what didn't work, cleaning up your act… all the ways we complete what is finished.
Take a moment now, and recall what you were doing from 2007 to 2016. Anything that is still left over from that time is now finished. Let it go.
In 2017, we Begin Again. 2017 is numerologically a "one" year, which brings us all of the qualities of the number "one" (the demanding "me" of the child, the need for individuation) that we are seeing in current politics.
2017 is the start of the next nine-year cycle. But we do not start from scratch. Instead, we do another pass through of what we've been working on: same lessons, at a more advanced level.
For example: when you transition from elementary school to high school, you don't just stop doing math and english. You keep studying math and english, but at a more advanced level.
Thus, in this new nine-year cycle, the Universe is going to test us on each lesson and see if we've mastered it. For example, in the last nine years:
• Was your money stable or instable?
• Were you working, not working?
• Were you living in the same place, moving or relocating?
• Were you in a relationship, starting one or ending one?
• Were you in school, graduating? What were you studying?
• Did you travel? Where? What happened?
• Was your health good, or did you have challenges?
• Were there changes in yoru family? New additions or empty nest?
• What were you afraid of our anxious about?
• What were you angry or bitter about?
• What else?
Expect to a repeat of what we’ve aready been working on, both individually and collectively. The goal is learn fast and "test out" of a lesson!
Please note: There is no punishment or failure. This is what we're here for as souls: to learn and grow!
As for world predictions? The writing is on the wall. There arehard lessons ahead with the new administration. In times like these:
• Listen to your meditation, instead of to the media.
• Now more than ever, commit to your spiritual practice.
• Let go of fear. It might seem like the sky is falling. But things find balance quickly.
• Don’t underestimate the power of the Universe to correct man's mistakes. Corrective forces are already in motion. The Universe is still here. Universal laws still apply.
• The lesson for 2017 is We are One. What affects one, affects all. The lesson for the nine-year cycle is: United we stand, divided we fall. Not just for America, but the whole world.
• The small group that is trying to take us backwards? They don’t know it is only possible to go forward. What has been opened and expanded cannot be closed or shut.
Put your intention to peace, harmony and the happiness of all beings.
Work on your stuff.
Live from your soul... and begin again.
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