Every Effort Matters. A Journey of Fulfillment: Day 13

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Your Self wills to create. Your Fulfillment is Creation.

Your Self wills to share. Your Joy is Sharing.

Your Self wills to extend itself. Your Peace is extension.

 

 

I try to think on this. I feel distracted. These affirmations that allude to Oneness and One Will feel distant, out of reach.

My mind is orbiting the earth, while I am trying to think about the guiding thought.

I think, “How can anything good come of this?” “How can I say anything meaningful about this?” “Being pre-occupied is not being a good role model.”

But, being real is being a good role model. Being “where I am”, where ever that is, on this Journey is why I am here, laid bare and honest about the struggle to connect with the Truth of my Self.

Sometimes I’m not ready for this, but I work on it and keep going. Lots of times I don’t understand, but I keep going.

Deep down, I know it’s OK. I know that if I struggle with distractions and preoccupation, other people do too. That’s why it’s up to me to keep going and figure it out.

When I recognize some hindrance, then share what I do about it, my hope is that if you come up against your own blocks you might be able to approach them in a new way, and not get as bogged down as you might have otherwise.

Here is what I am doing about it:

  1. First [defining the problem to the best of my ability]: I feel disconnected from the Truth of my Self. I could try to figure out how I got here—what did I do or not do that created this feeling of separation? But: that would not be very productive. What I want is the remedy. I want to solve the problem.

2(a). What solves the problem? That’s easy: Love. And, in a way, this also answers the question, “how did I get here?” I thought-or-did-or-willed something unloving. As I look back over my day, I can confirm: there was one situation that I kept thinking about angrily, feeling used, abused, and disrespected.

2(b). Since it’s not always easy to just shift into the solution (love), I’m taking a moment to forgive myself for feeling angry, used, abused, and disrespected, and also take a moment to forgive the person/people/situation that brought about those feelings. I may need to do this several times until I am clear. In the meantime, I can move on…

3. Be open to the solution, and be willing to accept it. The concept of the solution is easy, “just love”. But actually doing it? Why is that hard? Sometimes it is for me, anyway. Sometimes I think, “I don’t know what love is.” Sometimes I feel, “how does love feel in this situation?”

I don’t want to feel what I think I am supposed to feel; I want to feel what’s real…and I don’t always know what that is.

Most of the time I don’t get there; I don’t get to a place of certainty about Love…and certainly not when I am trying. Most of the time I am just waiting, trying to be open to Truth and True Love. Anger and frustration get in the way, and I don’t like it.

I am reminded of and encouraged by these sentiments, written by Simone Weil, the French philosopher:

Never…is a genuine effort of attention wasted. It always has its effect on the spiritual plane and in consequence on the lower one of the intelligence, for all spiritual light lightens the mind…

But it is certain that this effort will bear its fruit in prayer…Certainties of this kind are experimental. But if we do not believe in them before experiencing them, if at least we do not behave as though we believed in them, we shall never have the experience which leads to such certainties. There is a kind of contradiction here. Above a given level this is the case with all useful knowledge concerning spiritual progress. If we do not regulate our conduct by it before having proved it, if we do not hold on to it for a long time only by faith, a faith at first stormy and without light, we shall never transform it into certainty. (Weil, Simone. Waiting on God. Translated by Emma Craufurd. Collins-Fontana Books, 1973. P. 67-68)

In other words, every effort I make on a “higher level” bears fruit on the lower level. But, I need to act in accordance with my intention, even if I am not seeing results, or if I am not experiencing things the way I think I should. When I do (act in accordance with my intention) the effort will strengthen my faith in the “higher level” and vice versa—the ensuing faith will strengthen my effort.

Keeping on!

 

Including Everything. A Journey of Fulfillment: Day 12

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Invite, welcome, and receive the effects of Divine Love now… and be truly grateful.

Experience Divine Mind as you experience these effects.

Allow Divine Presence to confirm itself in your life, activities, and affairs.

 

 

Receiving the effects of Divine Love presupposes the presence of Divine Love. Divine Love is abstract, but its effects are concrete. This is why/how Divine Mind is experienced through/in the effects.

Divine Mind takes the abstraction (vast and infinite) and shows you something (specific and limited) which your mind will be able to accept. The form presented is merely a shell that houses infinite content. The gratitude is not for the effects themselves but for their Source: Divine Love.

In this guiding thought, we focus on the effects because a) our minds need something tangible to recognize and “work with” b) our minds need a slow-introduction to the idea that Divine Love, Divine Presence is always communicating itself to us through effects.

Everything we experience (see-hear-smell-touch-taste) has Divine Love as its Source.

Through this guiding thought, we are inviting our minds to recognize Divine Presence in our lives—we are informing our minds, “Hey, it’s here; start looking out for it.” So our minds start scrutinizing every situation, evaluating, comparing, questioning (this is just what our minds do), asking, “Is this Divine Love? Is that Divine Love?”

The thing is: if, after your mind evaluates a situation, it decides “Nope, that’s not Divine Love; there was no Divine Presence there…” it has made an error. Divine Love is always expressing itself. Your mind has mis-perceived or misinterpreted, because Divine Love is everywhere, just asking for you to recognize it, accept it, tapping you on the shoulder to say, “HEY! I’m here!”

This guiding thought asks us a) to understand that whether we see it or not, Divine Love is “behind” everything we see—as Source b) to be grateful for that behind the scenes presence and power c) to look for it d) to accept it and, by accepting the effects, to acknowledge the Presence behind them.

Everything “contains” the infinite-eternal Source of Life.

Copyright 2014 Brad Vanlandingham
Copyright 2014 Brad Vanlandingham

The human mind filters things out; it evaluates, judges, and decides what to include and what to exclude; then it decides what it all means.

Through these consciousness journeys you are teaching your mind to include more of the infinite and to exclude less of it. You have set the meaning already (if you have forgotten, look at your intention statement again).

God (Infinite Divine Mind/Love) is inherently inclusive. When the human mind excludes anything, the default interpretation is “not God”. Therefore, “not Love”. Therefore, “not Divine Presence”.

You are teaching your mind to be inclusive, to see God/Love in everything, and to experience your life as an inherent expression of Divine Presence. Pretty cool, huh?

 

Fulfillment: a Fact. A Journey of Fulfillment: Day 11

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Everywhere fulfillment is, you are.

Fulfillment is everywhere.

Fulfillment is.

You are.

 

One of the main ways to use these guiding thoughts (or any guiding thought) in order to really “get at” a deeper, broader meaning is to dismantle it; to take it word by word, phrase by phrase, line by line and think it in pieces.

I went through the guiding thought in total, picturing different people and saying it to them. Then I went through it in pieces, taking it apart, and putting it back together.

First, I said the guiding thought to you– you reading this right now: Know that you are filled full. Wherever you go, whatever you do, fulfillment accompanies you. Fulfillment accompanies you as certainly as you are…and…you are.

Then, I gave the guiding thought to someone with a lot of money. I thought, “Let’s see what it feels like to give this to someone who does not seem to need it.” The feeling or impression I “got back” –that I saw in response to this giving—felt like impatience, distraction, like this person had no time or need for my good-wishes of fulfillment. I thought this was curious. Fulfillment is about having material needs met, but it is also so much more than that. The impression I got was that this person equated material success with fulfillment, and so did not have time to be fulfilled in other ways. I did not feel my time wasted.

Then, I gave the guiding thought to someone who is very spiritual. The picture I got in response was an abundance of sun, sand, and water and the feeling associated with it was, “yup, I have everything I need!”

Thinking about comparing these two, it occurs to me that one of the things I have been mentioning throughout this journey is the idea of being overflowing or filled full. There was definitely a different feel in this regard between these two. Do you see it?

Finally, I just went through and gave the thought to different people—friends, family members, people I’ve never met. My choices are not quite random, but they are not specific or selective either.

Then I moved on to dismantling the guiding thought.

I started with (obviously), “Everywhere fulfillment is, I am”. “OK”, I said to myself, “where is fulfillment?” And I started looking for it. It was sort of like that children’s book, “Are You My Mother?” where a lost little bird is going around asking everyone/everything “Are you my mother?”. Every response was “no”…until…well, you’ll just have to read the book….

Author P. D. Eastman, IllustratorP. D. Eastman Publisher Random House Publication June 12, 1960 (renewed 1988)
Author P. D. Eastman, Illustrator P. D. Eastman
Publisher Random House
Publication June 12, 1960 (renewed 1988)

Anyway, I was “going around” asking things “Are you fulfillment?” I asked my dog…”no”. I asked my big toe… “no”. I asked a dollar bill… “no”. I asked some trees… “no”. So where is fulfillment? And if I can’t find fulfillment, where am I?

(Moving on to the next line of the guiding thought) Fulfillment is everywhere.

Well…that changes how I understand the responses from my dog, my big toe, the dollar bill and the trees. None of these things could tell me, “I am fulfillment”; yet, at the same time….they are.

There is a fairly common metaphor that tries to explain God, using ocean imagery. The corresponding words are basically, “God is the ocean, and you are a drop in it; the ocean/God surrounds you, and you are part of the ocean/God.” I am a drop, you are a drop, we are all drops that make up the ocean, but we are also all individual drops, retaining our unique “dropness”.

Any “trying to understand God”, though a worthy pastime, has its limitations. But, I have been trying to use this imagery to understand, and it has been difficult. I have just never quite gotten how God surrounds me, is me, and I am part of God in the way that a drop is part of the ocean.

But now, thanks to my dog, my big toe, a dollar bill, and some trees, I think I have a better understanding.

Neither my dog, nor my big toe, nor the dollar, nor the trees could say, “I am fulfillment”, when asked directly.

Just like a drop of water cannot say, “I am the ocean”.

Just like I cannot say, “I am God”.

But my dog, my big toe, the dollar and the trees can say, “Fulfillment and I are one”.

Just like the drop of water can say, “the ocean and I are one”.

Just like I can say, “God and I are one”.

Every part is exactly a part and exactly One with the Whole while remaining a part.

From this perspective, the statement “Fulfillment is” becomes simply matter of fact. It becomes solid, tangible, un-questionable. “Where is fulfillment?” “Everywhere.” “It just is.”

Where is Love? Everywhere. It just is.

Where is Oneness? Everywhere. It just is.

Where is Peace? Everywhere. It just is.

Where is God? Everywhere. It just is.

Where am I? I am…Everywhere…One with Love, One with Oneness, One with Peace, One with God. I just am.

 

 

 

The More Beyond Words. A Journey of Fulfillment: Day 10

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

I am light. My body is light. I am free. I know my fulfillment: I feel it rise within me, expand out from me.

 

Like many things in the realm of God, the meaning of the word fulfillment goes beyond words or rational understanding. It’s like I have a sense of it (as yesterday’s article attests), yet even with all those words and definitions, there is something more.

What is the more?

Again, I have some words, ideas, and definitions. And again, those are insufficient.

The more of fulfillment is letting go—really letting go, trusting in life, trusting God, trusting my Self, and trusting myself.

When I think about it, I say, “of course I trust God; of course I trust my Self (the Self who Knows).” Then I realize it is myself that leaves me in doubt.

This makes sense to me. Myself is the part of me that is so close (indeed—IN) the immediacy of the material world, so the physical world surrounds me all the time. I can’t get out of it. Even the dead remain in it, in a different form.

The physical world holds my attention and it takes a real effort to move my attention to the non-physical. Then it takes more effort for the non-physical to hold my attention. Then it takes more effort for me to see/understand the effects of the non-physical in the physical world.

With all that effort, it makes sense that I can doubt or that I do not rely on the self-of-me that is making that effort.

[Two quick notes about this phrase, the self-of-me that is making that effort: a) I would like to acknowledge the possibility that there is no self at all, that the self, the “ego” identity, is an illusion (as in some philosophies and/or religions) b) I’d like to point out that there are ways to ease this effort (whether or not you believe in the self as real or as an illusion)—like the practices of earth, air, water, fire, mind, and Love.]

Which brings me back to the letting go…

Since I know I trust God, and I know I trust my Self, it is the self that is so close to the material world that I need to let go. I need to let go the effort, let go the struggle, let go the need to see/understand, and decide to give my attention to my Self; decide to listen, decide to trust (after all, I say I do trust, right!?)

OK. That was part of the what is the more. What else?

Fulfillment is freedom.

But I don’t mean freedom like “I can go anywhere, do whatever I want” kind of freedom.

Fulfillment’s freedom is more like lightness, absence of cares, worries, or burdens. How would it feel to have “not a care in the world”? That’s part of it.

How would it feel if I didn’t have bills to pay, always knew I would have food when I am hungry, always know everything is just taken care of? That’s part of it.

How would it feel if my body always felt expansive, supple, and flexible?

How would it feel if I were just content all the time? Really content and happy and satisfied… all the time?

Here’s the thing: I have raised the quality of my thoughts as I have worked on letting go the self of me that is invested in the physical world (refer to above). As I have learned to listen, connect with, and be directed by God, through my Self, I have experienced what I am describing as freedom—I have been Light and carefree and expansive…I know how this feels, and it is blissful! Can you think of a time when you have felt this way?

So why don’t I feel it all the time? Why don’t I feel it all the time, even after 25 years of doing the work of unraveling and letting go? Because there must be a lot to do! But it’s great to see progress and be optimistic about what is possible.

This is the work now; these journeys are the work, and the reason I share them. I have glimpsed, I have felt, I have been—for moments-hours-days—in a state of blissful freedom of joy and peace and gratitude, that I know is accessible to everyone.

I want that experience more…and more…and more. And I want it for you too.

I want you to Know fulfillment beyond words, to experience it so deeply that you have no words. I want you to feel my words as more than words—as who you are: the essence of fulfillment.

 

 

 

Life Itself is the Essence of Fulfillment. A Journey of Fulfillment. Day 09

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

May those who seek, help others find;

May those who sorrow, be compassionate;

May those who are lost, light a path for another;

May those who question or doubt, give guidance;

May those who worry, lift the burden of another;

May those who hide, see their own light in the eyes of a stranger;

May we all give peace, no matter what.

 

Fulfillment is Joy and Love and Peace, and listening to the still voice within that Knows and guides appropriately, always appropriately.

Fulfillment is knowing with total satisfaction that I am in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing. Fulfillment is being confident in the choices I make…or in the choices I refrain from making.

Fulfillment is a feeling of satisfaction, a feeling of accomplishment—whether or not I’ve done anything to “deserve” it.

Fulfillment is human-connection, whether a brief glance of “Namaste” with a stranger, or a two-hour Skype conversation with a friend or loved-one (or anything in-between).

Fulfillment is watching the doubts-fears-uncertainties waft by, knowing they have no foothold.

Fulfillment is hearing the nay-saying (in my own head, or from the mouths of others), and knowing it has no power, knowing there is another voice cheering me on, guiding me, directing me, leading me, while being my biggest fan.

Fulfillment is knowing that LIFE is not my job or my income, not my family or relationships,  not the car I drive or the house I live in, not my health or my diet or my future.

Life itself is the essence of fulfillment; Life lives as me!

Life fills my bones and my marrow, fires my neurons, wiggles my toes, thinks my thoughts, feels my feelings, fills me up to overflowing with the essence of Source—the source of the universe, the cosmos, of all.

I just experience it all and enjoy the ride.

 

The Quality of Thought. A Journey of Fulfillment: Day 08

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

My motivation is my choice. My intention is my choice. My will is my choice.

In Peace, I listen within for guidance so that my actions are motivated by joy, my intentions are love, and my will is simply to share Joy and Love.

 

There are three really “big things” going on today through the guiding thought. The first one is acknowledging that I am “in control”, so to say. This isn’t saying that I can control things or people. No, it’s saying I can control myself. Behaviors and actions begin as motivation, intention, and will. By choosing in advance what motivates me, and the attitude with which I want to approach a life experience, my will is enacted to accomplish those results.

The second thing going on is recognizing that I have complete and total free will—I have choice, I make my choices, and I am the only one who makes my choices. That’s very liberating! But it also implies responsibility—I am the one responsible for my outcomes. Don’t like your outcomes? Change your mind! Do you want to emulate someone’s behavior? Do you have a role model you admire? Emulate their thoughts, mimic their mind!

(And, by the way, you will never “lose yourself” if you emulate or mimic someone else. The information you gain from someone else will only enhance and raise – assuming positivity – the quality of information you have already accumulated, which is totally unique.)

Continue to increase the quality of information that constitutes your thoughts and the quality of your outcomes will increase.

I choose and I have free will. These things imply that I can make poor choices. In the context of fulfillment this means things like disengagement, withholding, numb, disconnected, and uncaring. Because what fulfillment means is to be in tune with creativity, to be accepting and acceptable, and to attract all the wonderful experiences life can bring.

The third and final big thing in the guiding thought is that I have help/assistance in making better choices. “In peace I listen within for guidance”. “Guidance” implies it is possible to become lost. Guidance implies there are many choices, some better than others. Guidance implies I may not know my own best interest.

But there is a part of me who knows! And I can connect with that part in the peace and stillness of my own mind. That part of me will assist me toward the better choices and help me direct my mind to the fulfillment of Joy and Love.

Doing What Comes Naturally. A Journey of Fulfillment: Day 07

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

My joy unifies! Accepting my own joy, acknowledging it, sharing it, and expressing it heals me and others. To be wholly joyful means to be wholly love…means to be wholly my Self.

 

I’ve noticed that I’ve been in a better position to compare/contrast life experiences since beginning this journey. I have a better idea of what it means to be fulfilled: feeling expansive joy, feeling more ease, enjoying work, people, relationships, and feeling connected. Admittedly, I can’t claim to feel “whole love” or “wholeness” (but I am still working on it!). But what I do notice now is just…nice. I feel a sense of naturalness, of being able to relax with no tension.

I realized this because I had a contrasting experience.

I was in a situation that I’ve been in many times before, but this time the thought just popped into my head, this is unnatural. So I stopped…and felt…and wondered…and compared. Yeah, I feel isolated (unnatural); Yeah, I feel tense (unnatural); Yeah, I feel uncaring (unnatural).

I know I am a loving, caring, giving person, so to notice myself withdrawing and withholding was significant. But I was able to notice…and that is also significant. Unless I notice, I don’t know where to begin to make a change.

Truly, the deepest part of me wants to be joyful, wants to give and share that joy, wants everyone to know and to be and to have that joy. For a moment I really “got” this.

For a moment, the words, the ideas expanded in my chest, radiated from my mind, became solid and tangible…and I know this is true; this is right, this is who I am and what I want.

And so I plod on, deepening my understanding, broadening my awareness, knowing there is a part of me that knows—that gets it.

The guiding thoughts lead me on a journey to that part of me—the real part, the natural place, which truly is wholly joyful, wholly giving, wholly whole.

I do my best to keep up.