Friday, April 29, 2011

The Seeds of Conflict

There are so many conflicts in the world today it seems a natural way of life. Individual fights, wars and even politics are constant reminders of how different we truly are. Still, deep in our hearts we long for peace and wonder if it is even possible. As the solution to any problem lies first in understanding its source, it is important to understand where conflict comes from: the thought that I know (and am) better than you.

This is the ego-based mentality--the mentality that asserts its individual self and believes it has all the answers. What answers the ego does have are those that are best for self preservation, regardless of the benefits or problems to others. Because the ego knows what is "best", the ego has no problem asserting itself in situations that threaten its status quo.

Take a look at politics. We have all these politicians floating around with various ideas about what will "fix" the ecomony. This conservative politician wants to "fix" the economy by giving tax breaks to wealthy corporations in order to spur new job creation. These new incomes will supposedly bring more money to the overall economy. While in theory this might work, what really happens is the people who run big corporations (and also have most of the money) benefit the most from keeping the money close to themselves--within big corporate banks being used for their big corporate friends. What they fail to show is that the money does not get into the hands of those really creating the jobs--small business owners. Because small businesses don't have the money to pay for the political clout, their needs are not met. The egos of big business create conflict with the "little guy" because they limit the "little guy's" ability to create wealth for themselves. The fight ensues. 

The other extreme of politics is that we have liberal politicians who think they know better than the rest of society and want to "help" society by making new rules for them to follow.  After all, most people just don't know what is good for them (again, the ego talking). Regulating what they do will insure they behave appropriately. In return, these same politicians will make sure the peoples' physical needs are met--money, housing, internet and cell phones for all! The egos of these liberals create conflict by limiting our free will through limiting choices. Again conflict when the masses rebel against the control.

The fact of the matter is, nobody has all the answers. Those who do are either dead or ascended! When we place ourselves above others, we are not coming from a place where all are considered. We are coming from a place where the ego is in control. When we accept that everyone has a purpose--that all are important--we begin to drop the pretense that we know all. When all are seen as equal, the ego loses its control. The seeds of conflict begin with the assertion that you have something others don't have but truly need. The seeds of change begin with the idea that we are truly One. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The New Mentality

I had an interesting conversation with several Facebook friends who were discussing the planetary ascension process we seem to be going through at the present time--this time of increased problems but also increased understanding. So often in our day to day experience, it is easy to get discouraged about all that is taking place. We see people who ought to "get it" do stupid things which seem to undermine the planetary growth, setting us back hundreds of years (or so it feels).

I just don't see it that way. Sure, there are a great many ignorant people out there. Sure, the great majority of people in the world today are bent on controlling the lives of as many others as humanly possible. The thing is, there are also those of us who are realizing that fighting and control are futile--that the only ends which will come about by all the continuing conflict is our earthly demise. And there are more and more of us every day!

More and more often, another person is converted to the masses who believe struggle for control is not the answer (although if you're looking to see this in politics, forget about it!). The key to our survival lies not in standing up for our beliefs. It lies in allowing others to control their own destinies--to choose the lessons they came here to learn. It is only by allowing all that IS to occur without hindrance that we will be able to rise above the conflict and create a world based on ONE!

This Oneness of heart and of mind and of purpose is the new mentality! The very act of manipulation/control is the block which stands in the way of global peace and harmony! When another is raging for a fight, don't engage him! Love him! When another tells you that you've lost your mind and need to be stopped, love her back! Fighting won't stop the battle. It can, by its very nature, only increase it. Accept and go about with your purpose in life. They will learn their own lessons in their own time.

The impact of your acceptance will be much more powerful than you will ever know! The old saying "Actions speak louder than words" is true. When you are peace and love, others will understand and imitate. It is this mentality that will sway hearts. It is this new mentality that will change the world. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Support Unseen

I don't share this story often. For a long time I suppressed the darkest part of it because it was just too painful for me to remember. I share it now because I feel called to let others know support is always out there for all of us. I don't share this story as an endorsement of Christianity. Your spiritual path is your own and not for me to dictate. Just know help is always there, even when you least expect it.

I've experienced a lot of depression in my life, but never more than when my first husband left me. Looking back, I know it was a very unhealthy relationship for me, but at the time my identity was so enmeshed in his the break was devastating. I remember exactly how the split occurred. I was sitting in my parent's living room in Georgia, and he told me he no longer wanted to be married.

My pain was so great I didn't want to be a part of this world anymore. I wanted to end it all, and my mind went to the quickest way in which to do it. I knew my husband, who was a cop, had brought a gun with him in his suitcase. The TV was on and the kids were playing. After sitting there and letting the words sink in, I quietly got up, walked to the bedroom where his stuff was, and locked the door. I went to his suitcase and pulled out the gun, unlocking the safety. I sat down with my back against the door with the loaded gun in my hands, wondering what it would feel like when I died. It didn't take my husband long to realize where I was or what I was doing. He began pounding on the door, telling me how important it was that I be there for our children, my parents. Somehow, his words got through my devastation. I unlocked the door. He quickly took the gun. I didn't think about the incident for years. It was just too painful.

Fast forward fourteen years and a second marriage later. I had purchased the book The Healing Codes, by Alex Loyd and was working through the process it describes in order to heal old emotional wounds. As I worked on my issues, this scene with my now ex-husband began to appear in the forefront of my mind. It did not come back all at once. It took several times working the Healing Codes process in order for me to fully remember because it was just that painful and traumatic. I believe that the process reduced the pain of the experience enough for me to be able to look at it instead of overlook it, which I had been doing for years.

Several days after this experience, I once again found myself in that bedroom of my parents' home. However, I was not sitting on the floor with my back to the door, as I had on previous visits. This time I was standing in the opposite corner of the room looking at myself sitting on the floor. I saw my personal angels/spirit guides in the room with me, not far away. (For more about my interactions with these personal helpers go to: ) What amazed me most though, was who was standing right beside me--Jesus.

Growing up Christian, I had known Jesus my whole life and I felt I had a personal connection to him. I looked at myself sitting there, gun in hand, wanting to end it all. I never felt him. I never knew he was there, but there he was anyway. On the darkest day of my whole life, my friend Jesus had taken the time to stand with me, doing what he could to comfort me even though I was too far gone at the time to even notice.

The point is, there is always unseen help available, even if you can't see it or feel it or hear it. We are all given personal helpers who accompany us on our daily walk, and we even have access to those spiritual beings (like Jesus)  we are taught to treasure through our various upbringings when we need them. In our darkest hours, we are never alone. You can count on it.     

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Shades of Gray

If there's one thing I've learned throughout forty-five years of existence, it's that there are no absolutes. Just when you think you understand how the world works, life hands you a problem and you find youself once again wondering how you arrived back at the beginning. This happens because life is not black and white but varying shades of gray.

Judgment and the "right and wrong" way of thinking come about through the teaching of the world. Look at the issue of prostitution. In most countries on this earth, it is considered a crime (and a sin). People in this profession who aren't condemned by the law or religion may be ostracized by well-meaning folks in their communities. Still, there were ancient cultures where temple prostitutes were a means of celebrating the seasons and the gift of rebirth. In these cases, prostitution and the sexual act were considered sacred. The point is, the society you live in teaches you its values, and you are judged accordingly.

Life is not about learning one set of values. We are here to feel, to experiment, and to express our own uniqueness in various ways. We grow, we discover and we learn, all in an effort to understand the many layers of ourselves and the world.  The challenge of this life comes in being able to express our own individuality, even when society says we don't fit the mold. Society does not like people who live outside the box. (That is, after all, why they killed Jesus.)

Life hands us problems so we don't become complacent with how things are and conclude we have all the answers. If you have attained all the answers in life, you should already be dead (or ascended). There is no more for you to learn, case closed!

If by some miracle you find you are indeed still alive, ask yourself what it is you need to learn. The answers may well surprise you! There are no absolutes in life, no black and white issues. Life is that much more rich for its many layers, for its varying shades of gray. Be willing to see beyond what society teaches to discover the depth your life was meant to have!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Eastern Religions, Nonduality and the Bible

Sometimes, inspiration strikes in the most random ways while doing the most mundane tasks. Tonight was one such night. I was driving to the local convenience store to run a quick errand, not really thinking about anything more than the task at hand. All of a sudden, I heard a voice in my mind's eye quoting scripture (a throwback from all the times I listened to my father quote scripture as a child).

The quote is from the book of Genesis in the beginning of the old testament. "God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness." (Gen. 1:4 NIV) When I heard the statement, what really hit me was the fact that it says God separated the light from the darkness. In other words, in order to create the earth God had to separate the elements of dark and light. Prior to this, light and dark would have been one and the same!

Christianity teaches there is a good and a bad, a right and a wrong, a dark and a light. These things are clearly defined in detail in the Bible. Sinning is thought to be making bad or wrong choices (whether intentional or not). This separateness seems to be at the core of many Christian values and beliefs. Because of its two-sided nature, Christianity is sometimes called dualistic.

Eastern religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, teach something other than separation--the concept of nonduality. This is the idea that everything is ultimately One. The goal of life is thought to be to progress to the state of Nirvana, or Oneness with the Divine. These religions recognize life on earth is dualistic in nature. The goal is to rise above it to obtain a state of peace and wholeness.

Look at the problems facing the world today: wars, genocide, poverty, greed. Yes, these problems create untold misery for countless people. How do we choose to deal with these problems? We pick a side and stand up for it or fight for it. Does this stategy work? Do we still have wars, genocide, poverty and greed?

The problem with choosing sides is that keeps us in a state of separation. Choosing sides fortifies the belief we have to fight. Choosing sides inherently creates problems. Albert Einstein once said, " We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them", yet when we choose sides that is exactly what we are doing!

Duality came into being when the earth was created, but that is not our natural state! We came from a place of nonseparation according to the Bible--a state of Oneness. As Christians, it seems to go against everything we are taught about right and wrong, but that is exactly how we need to go about solving the problems of today.

There may be some concepts worth learning in eastern traditions after all.      

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spirit/Mind/Body Connection

Taking my early morning shower today, I found myself contemplating the insights which often occur while in the shower. Although I don't know exactly why this seems to happen, I feel it has something to do with that physical connection to water. Water's connection to us is obvious; we need water every day in order to sustain life. However, from the dawn of time water has been worshipped on a more spiritual level. Water is an elemental force. In some respects, water is a physical connection to our life force.

We don't always recognize the connection between spirit and body, but it is there nonetheless. It is a little easier to see the spirit's connection to the mind as both are nonphysical, less quantifiable entities. Because the body is seen only in terms of the physical in the Western world, making the spirit/mind/body connection can difficult.

Don't believe what the world tells you about this connection! Judge by what your own experience has taught you! Think about those times you have been inspired, both spiritually and mentally, by wading in the ocean, listening to a symphony or watching a beautiful sunset. Sometimes inspiration even comes from more mundane things like cleaning out the clutter from your office. The physical is much more closely related to the spiritual and mental than the world would give it credit for.

With this in mind, pay attention to how your treat your physical body. The old saying "Garbage in/garbage out" applies here! Take time to eat healthy foods, get plenty of sleep and stay active. You cannot abuse the body and expect it to allow your mind and spirit to operate at optimal levels!

Just as there is an energy that flows in and through all things and connects them all, there is an energy that flows between our spirit, mind and body and connects them to each other. It is this spirit/mind/body connection that shapes us into who we are. Nurturing all three aspects will strengthen the whole.   

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Square Peg

Ever feel trapped by life--like you're going through all the "right" motions and still not getting anywhere? Time and time again, we try to conform to those standards the world has taught as are appropriate and end up more frustrated than when we started. Why does this happen? Because we are square pegs trying to squeeze into round holes!

Look at the old saying "Square Peg, Round Hole". When you have a square shape, no matter how much you try to squeeze yourself into that round hole it is never going to happen to your liking. Either you are going to squish yourself in and wear off some of your square nature, or you'll fit but there will be a lot of empty space around you. Neither choice is comfortable, nor do they help you like yourself very much.

Life has a way of getting much easier once you acknowledge your "squareness". You begin to look for new things to do--new holes to fit into. No longer do you look for a space with rounded sides, but you look for straight edges. You even begin to appreciate the beauty of that straightness and consequently yourself. Fitting yourself into that square hole is painless and effortless.

A few years back, I realized I was never going to have the life that would allow me to fit comfortably in a round hole. It has caused me to look for new solutions to my problems, and in the process new doors of possibility have opened up for me. My life is not always easy, but my problems are always solvable. I am a square peg, and I am proud of it! Acknowledge your squareness, and step into the life you were meant to live! 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Of Words and Truth

My husband and I have a communication problem. The vast majority of what I learn from the world comes through what I hear. Consequently, when I express myself I try to use very precise words in an attempt to be as well understood as possible. My husband, who is slightly deaf, learns more about the world through his senses of touch and sight. He is not as concerned with the precision of his words. Our communication problems stem from the fact that we often use the same words in very different ways--in different contexts with different meanings. This can lead to misunderstandings when we fail to realize we are using different words to promote the same ideas. Ironically, what we think of as truth is usually the same.

I believe communication problems in our world lead to a great deal of fighting and separation. We try to express the truth as we understand it with our limited vocabularies and expect others to exactly understand the concept we are talking about. The point is, human language is limited! Misunderstandings occur when we fail to convey truth through imperfect words.

Look at an orange. You can try to describe an orange to someone who has not seen or experienced one. You could say it is round, orange, and covered with small dimples. You could talk about the softness of the peel, the splatter of the juice as you pull it apart, the sweet-tart taste of the center or the bitter taste of the pith. You could use the best, most precise langauage possible. The person you are describing it all to might have some understanding of what you describe, but until they actually have an orange in front of them they will never know the reality--the truth--of it. Until they actually experience the concept of an orange it holds no real meaning.

Truth is much like the experience of an orange. You can describe it with words you know, and maybe the person who hears it will come away with some increased awareness of the concept and what to look for when it shows up. However, until they actually experience the truth--feel it with their being--they can never truly understand it.

It is ironic that many of us experience the same truth, but because of the words we use to describe our understanding we end up fighting about it. Truth is universal. Words are not. Remember that the next time you assume someone else is wrong in their understanding. Be open to getting to the heart of the matter--to understand the experience they are trying to convey instead of your interpretation of their words. You may find you are much more in sync than you originally thought.

May the truth make you One. May the truth set you free.   

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Allowing What Is

As human beings, we are often under the impression it is our job to change the world. We see someone doing something ineffectively and we become hellbent on helping to resolve the issue. Many of us work effortlessly in the attempt to "fix it". Often we become disappointed or frustrated because our efforts don't seem to yield the results we were looking for. Maybe it isn't a problem with the actions as much as a problem with the thoughts. When we see a problem, we automatically assume something is wrong, but is it really? My current philosophy is to assume all is right with the world--to allow what is to exist in its perfection.

Perfection? Wars, genocide, greed, poverty, betrayal, etc. are perfection? My simple answer is "Yes!" How can I view them as perfect? I don't believe the purpose of life is to stand around worshipping a just, all-powerful (albeit loving) God. (Do you really think God is so into Himself he needs to be constantly worshipped and adored? Not a trait I particularly like in humans!) I believe our goal as humans is to learn and grow. Problems, be they big or small, are the vehicles we use to do this. Think about it. Where has the most growth occurred in your life? Was it when things were sailing smoothly along or when the storms of life threatened to overwhelm you?

Problems exist to enable our development. When we try to fix another's problem ourselves, we are limiting their opportunity for growth. Often, we become frustrated because the Universe knows better and continues the problem until the person it is designed to help learns the lesson. Sometimes, our interference in the process will even prolong the problem because we get in the way of what the other person is trying to learn! (Hence our frustration!)

For example, look at the issue of codependency and the alcoholic. The alcoholic comes home drunk, gets sick all over themselves and passes out on the floor. If another is codependent, he/she will clean up the mess and put the drunk to bed. The alcoholic will wake up in the morning and not realize anything bad has happened. Consequently, he will go out again and repeat the negative behavior. It is only when the other person allows the alcoholic to wake up dirty and on the floor that the alcoholic begins to become aware of the problem and will work to change it.

People need to fix their own problems. If they ask for your help, help them if you feel so led! Otherwise, focus on your own life purpose and do those things you feel are your calling. Acknowledge that problems are there and they exist for our growth. When we allow all that is to exist--including those things we judge to be "bad"--we allow others to have the growth experiences they came to earth to achieve. When we allow what is, we acknowledge that everything is as it should be. Everything is already in its perfection. Be happy in the knowledge the Universe has everything well in hand.


Thursday, April 7, 2011


I have two regrets in life. You might think I should have more, but two is a good number. I have long given up regretting mistakes I have made. Sure, there are many things I could have done much better if I had done them differently. The thing is, I am convinced I needed that time and those growth experiences to become the person I am today. The two regrets I have stem from experiences I could have lived and purposefully chose not to. I believe part of our human opportunity involves exploring our feelings and expressing them. My regret involves opportunities lost.

The first regret goes all the way back to high school. My high school did a play every year--something I participated in from my first year at that school. During my senior year, the director chose the play "Lil' Abner", a musical based on an old comic strip. As a singer and one of the most active play participants at my school, I had my heart set on playing the role of Daisy Mae, the beautiful lead character. I knew this would be a problem because the director was notorious for type casting, and I was not the blond bombshell type. However, I fearlessly tried out for the part nonetheless.

During tryouts, I acted out a scene with a friend from previous plays, Tab Bettis. In in the scene, we played the roles of Mammy and Pappy Yokum, Lil' Abner's parents and the comic relief of the play. We both did a really good job with the scene, and we ended up getting a standing ovation from some of the people sitting in the audience. I knew in that moment (call it my intuition or my God connection) that I could earn the role of Mammy Yokum if I chose to pursue it. At the time, I was just proud enough to not want that sort of comic relief role. I avoided any more acting that involved playing the part of Mammy Yokum.

Needless to say, I did not get the part of Mammy Yokum. I also did not get the part of Daisy Mae. I eventually decided to quit the play in favor of another project, although I did end up as part of the stage crew when the play was eventually performed. My friend Tab did get the part of Pappy Yokum. He did a magnificent job and totally stole the show in this role. I regret letting my pride get in the way and not experiencing this event with him.

The other regret is much more petty and involves an opportunty lost when I went through the demise of my first marriage. Our marriage had not been good for quite some time, although I was in total denial of it. My husband came home from a "business trip" with a pair of boxer shorts from the Hard Rock Cafe in LasVegas. He gave me some lame excuse about them having been given to him by a friendly waitress, which I bought because I wanted to.

My insides were screaming (again, my intuition). I had the insane urge to destroy the boxers by cutting them to shreds. I thought the actions were crazy at the time, so I fought the feelings and did not follow through. In the process, I denied myself the release I would have gained from actually going through the motions. Looking back, I also lost the opportunity to let my husband know, if in some subtle way, that he was not really hiding anything from me.

The past is what it is. I do regret choosing not to allow myself to feel these things--to explore these aspects of myself. I don't spend time dwelling on it because I don't want to waste time feeling when I could be doing. These experiences are important to me though. They serve as reminders of what can happen when I don't take advantage of opportunities when they come along. In this respect, even regret is a useful tool on this human journey we call life. Regret spurs us into action and allows us to make better choices. Regret paves the way for new opportunities in the future.