Wednesday, July 25, 2012

That Sneaky Ego!

A Course in Miracles states that every day of our lives we are constantly choosing between love and fear. It says that our natural state is love and joy, but we have "fallen asleep" and forgotten this, we have "detoured into fear." The voice of the fear is our ego. To paraphrase Marianne Williamson; "The ego is like a virus in the computer that attacks the core is like a gravitational force field, built up over eons of fearful thinking. It is our mental power turned against ourselves. It is clever, smooth-talking, and manipulative. It counsels us to look out for ourselves, at the expense of others. It teaches us selfishness, greed, judgement, and small-mindedness."

The main goal of the ego is to keep us believing we are separate from everyone else, so it can keep us isolated, fearful, and powerless. It will use whatever tricks necessary to do this. It is the voice in your head that tells you that you aren't good enough, encouraging you to judge others as "less than" so that you feel better about yourself. The ego always emphasizes what someone has done wrong so that we have reasons and excuses to push them away and keep them at an arm's distance. Encouraging you to point out the faults of others is one of the ego's sneakiest tricks. It even goes so far as to tell you that you are "helping"them by doing so. When we try to change someone by "helping them see" what they could do better, or what their issues are, we are not respecting them. We are basically saying "I don't think you can figure this out on your own, I don't believe in you." The ego creates this dynamic to keep them away and you separate. To understand that there is no separation, except in our thoughts and mind is death to the ego because it takes it's power away. It rules through fear. If we are One, then there is only love, and fear ceases to exist.

In actuality, the best way to help someone else to grow and ascend is to reflect back their own magnificence. We do this by giving unconditional love, which releases blame and judgement. Holding the highest vision of someone else; their true nature as a being of pure love, their innocence, their potential, makes you both a mirror and a light. "We help another person access their highest by accessing our own. Growth comes from focusing on our own lessons, not on someone else's. When we choose to join with them, through approval and unconditional love, the miracle kicks in for both parties. The ego doesn't want us to see that our pain doesn't come from the love we weren't given in the past, but from the love we ourselves aren't giving in the present."

I am working on detecting the tricks of my sneaky ego. That voice is so strong and so deeply ingrained though, I have to really pay attention. I monitor my thoughts and continually ask myself "Am I thinking with love, or am I thinking with fear?" It never fails that when I am thinking with fear I am simultaneously experiencing negative feelings, such as depression, anger, guilt, and shame. When I am thinking with love, I am always experiencing feelings of happiness, joy, and peace. Gabrielle Bernstein writes in her book "Spirit Junkie" that laughing at your ego is " the spiritual equivalent of martial arts", it takes it's power away. I've started picturing my ego as the "Wile E Coyote" on the "Roadrunner" cartoons. It comes up with the craziest schemes to "get" me and make me think unloving thoughts! Now when I catch my sneaky ego in action, like the roadrunner I just laugh at it and go on my way, and like the Coyote, it slinks back off to it's cave to plot until the next time. It takes constant watchfulness, and hard work, but I am learning that I can change my thought patterns. I can choose love, not fear. And this is what makes miracles happen!

Love and light to all.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Quest for Perfection

I realized recently that I've lived most of my life under the impression that I must be perfect in order to be lovable, and loved. I know now that I picked up this idea in childhood, due to some misinterpreted events, and I think it's actually a very common theme for many people. Children are by nature egocentric beings, believing that everything that happens around them is about them and because of them. Many of us made similar "decisions" about ourselves, and unknowingly have lived the balance of our lives believing this to be true, on some deep subconscious level. I think most people feel some degree of imperfection, or "not enough" in some way. And we worry that if people saw who we truly are, no one would ever, could ever possibly love us.

As a result, we spend a tremendous amount of time and effort chasing perfection (especially women), some idealized version of what we perceive perfection to be. We hold ourselves up to standards that are essentially impossible to achieve, setting ourselves up for certain failure. In relationships it manifests as trying too hard, hiding who we truly are, and defensiveness when someone points out something we could do better. We tell ourselves that if anyone ever saw how imperfect we really are they would leave us, then we set it up so that's exactly what happens! It's time to stop the madness.

I've decided to stop trying to be perfect. I've decided to love myself exactly as I am. In the words of Dr. Suess; "Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind!" People who truly love you will love you in spite of, and in some cases, because of your flaws. I've decided to focus on being the best, most authentic version of ME as possible, and to let "perfection" go. What a relief! The truth is, we are all angelic beings of light who have incarnated in human bodies, in order to have the human experience. As such we are just as we are meant to be. We are imperfect by design, which makes us perfectly flawed, perfectly human. And that's good enough for me!

Much love and light.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Letting Go of the Future

"There is no problem in the world that does not have a spiritual solution. Problems arise in the first level of spiritual awareness, called "contracted awareness". This stage is like being in a totally dark room, with only a little candle, trying to find your way through an obstacle course, bumping into things, stumbling, tripping. The second level of spiritual awareness is "expanded awareness". It is like being in that dark room, but this time with a flashlight. You are able to see that everything you thought was an obstacle is actually an opportunity, that everything you thought was a "problem" has a purpose. The last level of spiritual awareness is "awareness without boundaries" or "pure awareness". In this stage you are in the room, but you can see that the walls, floor and ceiling are made of glass, the sun is streaming in, and you can see that all you have to do is step out and the whole universe is your playground. At this level there are no problems, therefore no need for solutions." Deepak Chopra

The past 6 months have contained some very challenging moments for me. Unlike most people who have to be dragged kicking and screaming into change, I am one of those weird ones who readily volunteers for major change on a regular basis. The simple explanation is that I get bored easily, but actually it is because I have a deep need to feel like I am learning and growing. Getting out of your comfort zone is the best way to accomplish this. So in January I made a huge leap of faith and moved to Hawaii, following my heart and my dreams. And the lessons and growth have been directly proportional to the degree of the scariness of this big change. But one of the best "gifts" I've been given through this experience is that I am beginning to have some understanding of Mr. Chopra's quote, above. For many years, I think I have been in the second level of awareness, able to see (usually in hindsight, not when it was actually happening) that my "problems" always arrived with some gift for me in their hands. If I was open to it, there was always some lesson to be learned, some opportunity for growth. But thanks to the experiences of these past few months, I am just beginning to see a little glimmer of what that level of "pure awareness" might look like. The past 6 months has taught me that no matter how horrific the situation might be according to my 5 senses, everything will work out in the end, and it will work out for the best. Even when I can't see how it can possibly work out well, it always does! I don't know who said it, but I can tell you it's the truth; "Everything always turns out alright in the end. If it's not alright, it's not the end."

I've discovered that I spend (like most people) an inordinate, unhealthy amount of time in my head, and in the future, a time period that doesn't even exist yet! I'm planning, worrying, trying to control what is actually completely beyond my control. What a waste of effort and energy! I heard recently that "Worry is negative prayer." Amen! We create our reality with our thoughts. Where your attention goes, your energy flows. Why spend all that energy feeding negative "oh my god, what if..." thoughts? I discovered that I spend a lot of my time telling myself scary, worst-case-scenario stories. Since I know our thoughts are very powerful in creating our reality, I realized that it is high time to STOP self-sabotaging. I decided to see what would happen if I literally LET GO of the future, completely. Yes, I still have goals and dreams, but I let go of trying to be in control of and worrying about the future. I decided to focus my energy right here, right now, in this day, this moment, to keep taking one step and then another, and to trust that the divine order of the Universe would sort out the rest. The big news? IT WORKED!!! I just show up every day, do what I can, and the Universe does the rest. This has been an incredible experiment, and such a gift to participate. It has changed my view of life completely. "Take one step towards Spirit, and Spirit will take 1,000 steps towards you."

This has been so liberating, and an amazing opportunity for growth. Learning this lesson hasn't always been pleasant, (it's been hard, messy and bloody, a bit like giving birth!) but I've come to see that all our challenges, or "problems" do have a spiritual solution. It takes trust, that there is a divine order to the Universe, including me, and my life. I trust that just as the planets revolve around the Sun, and the rain makes the flowers grow, the Universe is prepared to give me everything I need. It requires showing up in my life every day, with an open heart, ready to love, ready to work and do everything that is within my power. But beyond that I can let go, and everything will be alright. In many cases, things are turning out way, way better than I had envisioned them! I am beginning to realize that if I will just loosen my grip, I give the Universe permission to bring those things to me, and more! In letting go of worrying about "how" it's all going to come together, I am opening the space for it to happen. I am starting to see that the world really is designed to be our playground, all we have to do is step out of the "fear-box". To be in the present moment and to realize that right now, this very minute, everything is fine. In actuality, it's usually way better than fine, it's wonderful! How liberating to discover that we hold the key to our freedom, in our own thoughts and minds.

So if you are able to make that leap of faith, to reel your mind back in from all the scary possibilities of what the future might bring, I think you will find that problems as we know them don't actually exist anywhere but in our own heads.  I think you will also see that the sun is shining, and the Universe is a very beautiful place. I look forward to seeing you on the playground!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Love Is All Around Us

"I feel it in my fingers,
I feel it in my toes.
Love is all around me,
and so the feeling grows.
It's written on the wind,
it's everywhere I go...."

Like the lyrics to that old song, I believe love is all around us, it's the only thing that's real. Everything else is a hallucination, a dream created by our ego and our human psyche. For years I've been finding heart-shaped things, everywhere! Heart-shaped rocks, leaves, and lately, clouds. When it happens, I feel it's a message from the Universe; You are loved. A "love note" from Spirit, what a gift! On Valentine's Day last year I was walking to my car at Raleigh studios in Hollywood. Lying precisely next to my car in the parking lot was a piece of dry-wall, used in set construction, in the shape of a perfect heart! It was the best "valentine" I ever received, and I still have it. I think these messages are around us every day, if we are only open enough to receive.

In the last year or so I've begun doing a creative visualization where I am floating on a river of divine love and light, safe and gently supported, the flow taking me to where I am meant to be. Yes, there are rapids along the way, and sometimes I do bump up against a rock or two, getting an awakening of some kind, but I am always guided safely out of danger in the end, if I allow the river to take me. I've been doing this visualization daily for many months, it's been very helpful in this scary-I'm-not-in-control period of my life. (And really, let's be honest, how often are we actually IN control?? We just like to think we are!) But finally it hit me; the river of love is not only all around me, it runs through me! I am not separate from the flow, I am part of it, the way a drop of the river cannot be separate, and a wave cannot be separate from the ocean. I am a "drop" of divine light and love, as we all are, flowing together, and it's impossible for us to be separated from our source, or each other. It is only our ego, our human side that wants us to think we are alone.

Love is all around us, because we are love. As such we can never be unloved, we can never be unlovable. Our greatest fears are a lie! Love is all around us, in the winds that caress our face, the ocean that washes us clean, the rain that blesses us, the animals, even the rocks and trees. This is why being in nature is so calming and healing. If you stay awake, present in the moment, you will feel this love, this divine flow. You will start to see signs, all around you, everyday. And you'll realize how truly blessed and loved you are. You are loved. You are love.

Much love and light to all.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Remembering Des

Desiree Hoaka Anderson-De Thierry passed away 3 months ago at the age of 35. They say she died in her sleep, but I think we are the ones who are asleep, dreaming a dream of an illusionary world. She’s merely woken up from that dream. I only knew her for a month or so, but she was such an incredible spirit that she really touched me deeply in that short time, as she did so many people. She was a beautiful soul, pure love and joy, always smiling, always laughing, always singing. To know Des was to love her, and I am forever changed by knowing her. Obviously, many people knew her much better, and longer than I, but I am a writer and it's my way of processing, to put down what she meant to me. Losing her was such a shock, such a sudden blow to the heart that it’s taken me these 3 months to know what I wanted to say.

I believe we enter this world with a soul-contract, a divine purpose or actually, many divine purposes. We come to this plane to have the human experience, to live, laugh, and to learn how to return to our divine essence; pure unconditional love and joy. I believe that we can’t be taken from here, we are virtually indestructible, until we’ve finished what we came here to do. I believe Des did it, she accomplished her mission, and has gone home. She had succeeded in becoming the embodiment of divine light and unconditional love. She welcomed each new person not just into her life and her arms (with the best hugs in the world!), but into her open heart as well. Just as small children come into this world still in their purest state, knowing nothing but love and joy, so was Desiree. She never met a stranger, believed only the best of everyone, and showed by example what real love looked like.

There is a reason “only the good die young.” They have already come to understand that we are all divine sparks of love, and that like the flames of the fire, we cannot be separated. We are truly all One. Desiree was such a bright flame, it was impossible for her to stay in human form for long. She was so light-filled that she simply slipped the bonds of the body, it couldn’t hold her any longer. Now she’s able to do what she did best; love and care for those nearest and dearest to her. Now she’s able to be everywhere, all the time, watching over us, helping us even more from the other side. When I think of her I am reminded to live in the moment more fully, to laugh as hard and often as possible, that music brings joy and lifts the soul, and to live with my heart open as wide as possible. Her legacy is to remind us that life is short, and love is all that really matters. It’s the only thing that’s real.

Desiree spent time here in Hawaii, meeting her “rainbow ohana”, and was given her Hawaiian spiritual name; “Hoaka”. The translation of this word is “flash of light”, and it suited her perfectly. She truly was a flash of light, incandescent love, and spiritual inspiration, illuminating our lives, striking our hearts, and changing us. And then like the lightning bolt, she was gone. We are made up of energy, and science has proven that energy never ceases to exist, it only changes form. She has not left us, she’s merely transmuted and transformed into pure light. She is everywhere now, and although our human eyes can no longer behold her, if you use the eyes of your heart and soul, you will find her. She’s the light that dances on top of the ocean waves, the diamond-sparkles on fresh snow, the brilliant colors of the rainbow. She’s the joy I feel in my heart when I think of her. Now she’s forever “sweet”.

Mahalo Des, for being part of my dream. Much love and light on your journey, beautiful Sister.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Random Thoughts on the "Grand Plan"

For many months leading up to my move to Hawaii, my intuition told me that this big change in my life would be an important part of my spiritual journey. I felt very “divinely-led” and supported in making this leap of faith, so many circumstances occurred in just the right way, things lining up almost miraculously, allowing it to all fall into place almost effortlessly on my part. One of my friends said, upon welcoming me “home”, that he thought living here would make me “more myself” than ever before. After only 6 months here, I am already beginning to see that he was right. I feel as though I am growing, expanding, and relaxing into being the most authentic version of myself yet, and it’s all occurring at a very rapid rate. That same friend introduced me to my “Kumu” (teacher) of the ancient art of lomi-lomi, and the Hawaiian spiritual principles that are an integral part of it. In the time I’ve spent with her, she has given me many gifts, but perhaps the most precious was helping me to understand a small part of my divine purpose in this lifetime. She told me that I am a “bridge” between this world and the world of Spirit, and that I would help people to find their path, discovering their own light and divine purpose on the way. I have no idea exactly how I’m supposed to do this wonderful thing, but I am trusting that Spirit has a plan, and all will be revealed in time!

In the meantime, I’ve been feeling very inspired to share all the amazing experiences I’m having by writing this blog. Perhaps I will help others who are on a journey of expansion and growth in some small way. I’ve also felt led to offer Tarot readings, as I’ve been doing them for friends and family for years, and the cards have been very helpful in my own life. I’m able to “hear” the messages they offer, and intuitively interpret them for others. I truly believe that we all have the gift of intuition, that small voice in our mind, often accompanied by a physical “gut feeling”. But I think that for most of us our emotions, particularly our fears, often drown out that voice, or our so-called “rational” mind denies our abilities entirely. The results of these readings have been so rewarding. So often I am saying things that the client already “knows”, but they need an impartial confirmation. I get so much joy and fulfillment from feeling like I have helped shine the light in the darkness, and provide some clarity in difficult situations.

When I moved to Hawaii 6 months ago, I thought I knew how things would work out....I was so wrong. Things have actually turned out so much better! As Oprah says "The dream you dream is big, but the dream the Universe dreams for you is SO MUCH BIGGER!" Sometimes you gotta let go and let Spirit do it's thing. I think of life as one of those “line drawings” the ancient Nazca people created in Peru, that are mysteriously only visible from a mountain top or airplane. When you are down in the trench, digging the ditch every day, following the twists and turns, you can’t really see the design that‘s emerging. It’s only when you allow yourself to be lifted up, and often in hindsight, that you can see why things had to happen the way that they did, and you can see what a beautiful piece of art you have created. I guess I can’t worry about what the “grand plan” for my destiny is. I can only show up one day at a time, listen to my internal guidance system and keep digging the ditch, with as much love as I can. I trust that the Universe has the plan, and that in the end I will see the beauty and meaning of what we have created together.

Sending light and love.