Waking Up to Life (Again and Again). A Journey of Fulfillment: Day 40

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.

 

 

I was thinking about the metaphor of waking up as it applies to spiritual consciousness, this morning as I was waking up in my physical body.

We all know what it means to wake from sleep. We can talk about waking up in terms of being “jolted awake,” about being “rudely awakened,” about being “half awake (or half asleep),” or “barely awake.”

We know what it feels like to wake up well-rested or wake up restlessly.

Some of us wake up slowly, and barely feel alert after 24 ounces of our favorite caffeinated beverage; sometimes we bounce out of bed, rejuvenated with no other inducement than the joy of life.

Sometimes we wake up, but want to go right back to sleep. Sometimes we lie there in a half-dream state, neither asleep nor awake for lengths of time.

Sometimes we are awakened by someone else, a noise outside, by an alarm, a pet, a bug, by being too cold, being too hot, having a pain in our shoulder or hip, by having too many worries.

Sometimes we just wake up with no stimulus, no apparent reason.

But the point is…unless we are dead, we ultimately wake up. So too, it is, with our spiritual consciousness. All of the language applied to a physical waking up can be applied to the waking up of spiritual consciousness.

Everyone is just waking up, and doing it in different ways, at different speeds, with different methods, different prompts, agitators, stimuli—some internal and invited, some external and unwelcome.

I like to think that every stimulus enters into our consciousness for the purpose of our inner awakening and ultimately for the awakening of All into spiritual consciousness—a consciousness of Love and Unity.

Sometimes a spiritual prompt can come as a jolt (like a near death experience) or an unexpected (perhaps unwelcome) surprise (an illness, the loss of a job, an unexpected pregnancy). Sometimes they are slow and steady, like relationships—especially relationships with parents and family. Sometimes they are aspects of experience that ebb and flow, like learning how to be responsible with money, learning to take care of another person, learning about health and well-being.

We do not, however, experience life in nice, neat little compartments. It’s not like I leave my health and well-being while I take care of money, nor am I suddenly out of a relationship just because I have entered the office where I work. Every moment, ALL aspects of life experience are with us. We may experience circumstances in linear time, but in our minds, everything is there every moment—the house, the relationships, the parents, the money, the health; those things don’t just go away when we are someplace else.

Similarly, spiritual consciousness does not just go away after I have done my little contemplation/meditation.

Waking up means bringing the meditation—the feeling of Fulfillment—into life experiences. Expanding spiritual consciousness is very practical. It means maintaining an attitude of Love, Peace, and Unity (or Forgiveness and Healing, where I am not yet awakened to Love, Peace, and Unity) into relationships, situations, and circumstances. It means being aware of the effects of my thoughts on situations that are not immediately happening (they don’t just go away). It means bringing an attitude of awakening to every situation, allowing it to work on me, to give me the gift of waking me up—even if it is a rude awakening.

I am at the end of this 40-day Journey, and I feel like I am only just now waking up. That’s what happens sometimes. Each 40-day Journey lifts me, but then it’s up to me to integrate the effects. With each integration, I start anew, waking up a little bit more…then I start over.

Thank you for joining me. I’ll be taking about a 7 day break while I do some thinking/integrating, and will be publishing some final thoughts on the journey in about a week. Feel free to email me or comment with your discoveries, insights, or experiences on this journey. I’d love to hear from you.

May you be Joyfully Fulfilled while you continue to awaken!

 

 

Worth Every Minute. A Journey of Fulfillment: Day 39

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.

 

 

I felt such gratitude this morning. It poured out of me, washed over me, seemingly emanated from me. I didn’t think about it; I didn’t ask for it or conjure it; I wasn’t trying to feel grateful; I didn’t invoke it. It just happened. I thanked God for everything I could think of, and more just kept coming. All of life was included in my gratitude.

The words of my friend Sean Reagan came to mind (paraphrased): “We practice to be lifted; the practices lift us.”

Spontaneous gratitude, joy, and love are one of the reasons I do these practices—all my practices. Through the doubt or the struggle or the questioning, the practices work on me, work with me, work through me. They change me, they change my mind; they lift me to a new understanding, and thus to a new experience.

Sometimes it takes moments, sometimes, days, sometimes weeks. It depends on the idea, and how resistant I am, and how much “stuff” is in my way.

But I just keep plodding, learning, clearing, inviting, allowing, and accepting while focusing on the Truth of Oneness or Love or Unity. These things lead me. And they never fail. My Joy increases. My Love increases. My desire for your Love and Joy to increase increases.

Yes, you were included in my gratitude this morning. Thank you for being here.

Spiritual work has deeply practical value. What is more valuable than experiencing joy, knowing peace, or loving your neighbor? Especially when it just shows up out of the blue? It’s the best reward, the best motivation. Loving life, loving being here, loving people, is the only thing that gives meaning to all of my activity.

Results don’t “just happen”. Results are for a reason, a reason that is created through focus and attention. Where is your focus and attention? What are your results?

Knowing Love in my whole being and not just as a concept, an idea, or a desire is worth every minute of practice.

May you Know Peace.

May you Know Joy.

May you experience Oneness with all you meet today and every day.

May Love descend upon you and fill you with the Joy of its being.

May all that is beautiful enter your life experience.

May you experience the perfection of Divine Harmony.

May all you encounter reflect a Celebration of Life.

Choosing Between… A Journey of Fulfillment: Day 38

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.

 

 

I read the Guiding Thought several times. I felt like I was missing something. It’s too simple, I thought. All it’s saying is that I need to remember to choose my actions based on joy, my intentions on love, and allow those to lead my will.

I almost felt like this was “a no-brainer”, duh.

There’s got to be more to it. So, I read it again several more times really trying to see what I was missing. While I did, echoes from yesterday rang in my head, particularly the very last line, “I follow what Divine Love chooses.”

  1. Yeah. I was missing something.

I missed the insinuated paradox that something is “my choice” yet, then saying “I listen within for guidance”. “Within” still implies that is it within me, and therefore “my choice”, but it also indicates that there is more to it than just me deciding.

In fact, the implication is that looking within is the only way my actions are motivated by joy and my intentions by love. Or at least “real Joy” and “real Love”.

That, in turn, implies that the choice is between joy as it’s understood by my guidance within and a different joy that is understood by me (without guidance within).

“My will is my choice”, but also, my Will—which is the union of “my” will with the will of my guidance within—is to share Love and Joy. This brings together the idea that there is only One Will.

Yet I think I have a “choice” because I live in a world of comparisons and discernment. I have to “choose” to have the same will which is the only will, even though that choosing is, in itself, an illusion. But choosing makes my brain happy, gives it contentment, makes it feel useful. I just need to make sure (by choosing) that it is being useful in the way that is the ONLY way it can be truly useful.

 

 

 

 

Words for Feeling. A Journey of Fulfillment: Day 37

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 myself and others. To be wholly joyful means to be wholly love…means to be wholly my Self.

 

 

There are few words today. After the past few days, I bet that’s a bit of a relief! I have been very wordy lately.

After all, we still need the words…for now.

But today, it was all feeling. Sometimes when I read/meditate/pray I feel certain energies in my body. Today I felt the energy in my lower spine and coccyx. I focused on joy, on unity, on healing, on expanding.

I saw myself as light, expanding.

I affirmed that I am the expression of Divine Love, and that I am in service to Divine Love.

Here are some of the affirmations that came to me. Read them. Feel them. Embody them.

I intend for my life to be beautiful within and without.

I now create life experiences that reflect my inner beauty.

My physical surroundings are simply beautiful.

I create a life of aesthetic beauty and balance.

I love being creative! I love creating beauty. I love creating beautifully.

I celebrate life!

I feel life’s higher, Divine energy flowing through me, directing me to All good.

I praise and thank life for supporting me, and I relax in its process.

Trusting life allows the flow of Divine wealth and energy to come in and through me to bless All.

As the Divine Source energy increases and intensifies within me, I am able to express more Love and Service to All.

As the Divine Source energy increases and intensifies within me, my physical body increases in strength, health, and youthfulness.

Through my physical body, I bring Divine Light and Love to the physical universe; every day I am lighter and lighter!

I step gracefully into expansive, unlimited, harmonious, Divine being.

I am an expanded body of light and sound.

I heal unresolved issues through thoughts, words, emotions and become lighter and lighter.

I bring light to all I have denied, and heal my past-present-future NOW.

I allow my physical body to experience itself fully as light. My physical body embodies light.

As light, I move as light, perceive as light, behave as light—being everywhere, permeating everything, expanding infinitely, unifying everything, healing all.

All things are possible.

My heart is whole, complete, and healthy.

My life blooms fruitfully; my open heart willingly loves passionately.

My heart connects powerfully with my own inner Self-love, bringing me intuitive wisdom and compassion for All.

I follow what Divine Love chooses.

 

 

Beyond the Body. A Journey of Fulfillment: Day 36

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

Why would I choose to limit my Self? To limit my reality? All of reality is mine, and mine to give! In giving and sharing, my joy increases, expanding my Love, expanding Life!

 

 

“Self” and “reality” are kind of like “Truth” or “Love”.  None of these need my belief, my approval, my acceptance, or even my cooperation for them to be what they are.

But…what are they? What is reality? What is Love? What is Truth?

Words are mere symbols for a concept, which is a representation of an idea of a construction of something I have perceived, interpreted, and put together in a certain way in my head from my experiences of my own little life.

Yes, I meant that to be intentionally wordy, lengthy, and a bit confusing.

One of my beloved Professors once said to me (I was reading a lot of German Philosophy at the time), “You have to read the English translation as though it were a German sentence (German philosophers’ sentences are almost always about 4 lines long…): In the German, the subject of the sentence always comes last. Read the sentence backward first, to find out the subject that is doing the action.”

It’s a good trick for lengthy sentences in English too, even if the subject is upfront. The point is to break it down “into its constituent parts”.

Read the above sentence again. Backward-ish. My experiences of my own little life are put together in ways that I have constructed through my own interpretation of my perceptions, which become representations of concepts that I then turn into symbols and use as words.

Now, break it up and simplify it:  I experience my own little life. Those experiences are perceived by me. Once perceived, I interpret them in a certain way that is unique to me and my outlook on life. I then use those interpretations to form concepts and turn the concepts into words. The words sum up and simplify a concept that is a culmination of all of those experiences.

Each way of “putting together” the sentence sheds a bit of light on it in a different ways.

What does this have to do with the guiding thought? Hmmmmmm…

Why would I choose to limit my Self? To limit my reality? All of reality is mine, and mine to give! In giving and sharing, my joy increases, expanding my Love, expanding Life!

I think that I don’t think about whether or not I am “choosing to limit” myself or reality; I am just living. But I think that “limiting” does happen and is a product of…hmmmmm… A) Experiences B) Perceptions C) Interpretations D) Concepts E) Symbols F) All of the above.

  • F) All of the above.

For as long as humans have wonderful physical bodies that have experiences through sense organs that perceive and brains that interpret, they are prone to limitation.

Yet…humans have wonderful physical bodies that experience, sense, perceive, and interpret!

And we have choice.

If we choose the sensations and perceptions (and subsequent interpretations) of the body to be the whole of our experience, the whole of our being, then—truly—we have chosen limitation.

Reality and Self are not of the body. To “see” Reality or to “see” my Self, I must look beyond the body. I must learn to choose in a way that appreciates the body and its experience, but that also acknowledges a larger Reality, a larger Self that encompasses and enfolds all of Reality, all of my Self, all of Life, beyond perception, interpretation, experience, concepts, or symbols.

It’s Coming Together. A Journey of Fulfillment: Day 35

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

In Divine Mind, I am already filled full! In my mind I see mere shadows, slight glimpses of true fullness. I remember how much I do not Know! I am determined to fulfill my purpose, to know my Self as Divine Love, and to share the fullness I am.

 

 

Caveat Lector! Let the reader beware! Today’s sharing is SO long I’ve divided it into two parts. The first part gives context to the second part, but they can be read independently of each other. Read what suits you, skip the rest, either way– enjoy!

Part 1

I am not a story-teller. I am not a novelist. I do not write narratives, piecing together characters, scenarios, and dialogue. In fact, it feels overwhelming if I were to think about doing that (though, between you and me, I’d like to give it a try sometime).

I wonder: Do novelists know what they are going to write, how it is all going to turn out before they start? Do they have their story line? Do they know how the characters will develop?

I have heard that some novelists create the story as they write it, that, in a sense, the characters and scenes become alive and speak to the novelist. They write the story through the author. The author sits at the page and opens him/herself up to the act of creation and allows the story to come through.

I am not a story-teller, but I am a creator/creative, in my own way—a very left-brained creator! In a sense, I allow these Journeys to be an act of creation, telling the story of the movement of consciousness.

I allow whatever my consciousness is at that moment, the moment of writing, to come out and express itself. This, to me, is the transparency of process. (I have just coined a new term…an act of creation in the moment!)

Too many people don’t like to show the process. The process is messy. It’s erratic. It’s chaotic and confusing, and there is doubt, uncertainty, vulnerability and WTF’s…I’ve had a few of those this Journey.

Too many people want to show the polished side of being spiritual, of being human. They like to tell people how they got there (and “how you can too!”); describe all of the beautiful, wonderful details of their insights and glowing meditations. In this, of course, the WTF’s are edited out. In fact, often, the whole process is edited to show only the stuff that is in the appropriate light.

But to me, showing the process is what is so necessary, and what is so lacking in a lot of spiritual teaching. When I meet someone who “has” something that I want to learn, I want to know how they got it. What did that person go through? What if I feel >this or that way<?  How did that person handle it? Do other people feel lonely and lost? (Yes!) What do they do? (Do other people get mad at God? (Yes!) What do they do? What do people do when it seems like they are running in circles? Etc., you get the idea.

The point is…we are all in this in some way. Maybe my transparency will help you work through your own Journey. I dedicate this moment, this day, this thought to your conscious evolution for the benefit of All. We only reach enlightenment together; we reach enlightenment only together.

Oh, and my story of the movement of consciousness? It’s coming together, in amazing ways, actually. After 30 days of messy, erratic, chaotic, confusing…doubt, uncertainty, vulnerability, and WTF’s, the pieces are writing themselves into an ending that is letting me know…I’ve transformed. I haven’t arrived, but I’m changed.

 

Part 2

I have a book called “The Gnostic Crucifixion” (by George Robert Stowe Mead; a Public Domain book), which I opened randomly yesterday and found this passage:

“It is [the hidden Divinity] within which returns, and so causes them to turn or repent. It is obedient, that is—audient, to the Voice of the Self…He who not only hears, but hearkens to, or obeys, the sweet counsels…becomes this Upper Nature consciously; and therefore it no longer is what it was, for it is conscious within man, and so the man is above men of the lower nature.

These mysterious sentences all set forth the state of true Self-consciousness. So long as man is not conscious that he is Divine, so long is the Divine in him not what it really is; the “lower” “limits” the “higher”. Union is attained by “hearkening,” by “attention”. Then it is that the man becomes his Higher Self and that Higher Self becomes in its turn the Self, having taken his self in separation into his Self as union.” (p. 34-35)

First, a disclaimer: I have not really studied Gnosticism. I do not know the work of G.B.S. Mead, so I do not know the context or inter-relatedness of his thoughts regarding the above passage. That said, I do not know the value of his entire body of work (which seems significant), but I did find value in the passage.

I was talking to an M.D. recently who had just gotten back from a conference on pain management. He said, “I knew and understood everything the presenters were talking about, but sometimes it’s just good to hear it in someone else’s words.” That is kind of how I feel about the above passage—and I find it interesting that I found it at the end of yesterday. It’s really a great segue from my sharing yesterday about cooperating with the Laws and Statutes and today’s Guiding thought about knowing my Self as Divine Love. In fact, in my opinion, it is the perfect bridge between yesterday’s thoughts and today.

Here, I’ll break it down for you:

  • “It is [the hidden Divinity] within which returns, and so causes them to turn or repent.” (From G.B.S. Mead)
  • “In Divine Mind, I am already filled full! In my mind I see mere shadows, slight glimpses of true fullness.” (From A Journey of Fulfillment, day 35)

These sentences are both saying very similar things. They both acknowledge the Divinity within, while also acknowledging that there is “something in the way.” In the first, there is something in need of repentance, in the second, there are “shadows” and glimpses. Repentance is the feeling (of being sorry) that induces penitence: change. In this case, the change is one from lower consciousness to higher consciousness. 

  • “It is obedient, that is—audient, to the Voice of the Self…He who not only hears, but hearkens to, or obeys, the sweet counsels…becomes this Upper Nature consciously.” (From G.B.S. Mead)
  • ‘“I” need to cooperate with my Self, because my Self Knows. My Self wants me to fulfill my purpose and release my joy, but… I have to cooperate to allow that to happen. My Self can’t do it without me. It wants what I want. I have to actively say “yes”’. (From A Journey of Fulfillment, day 34)

Does this need explanation? Using different words, we say similar things; that people must not only hear “the voice”, but do the actions that lead to fulfillment. We must cooperate with our own higher intelligence. What I like about how G.B.S. Mead says it is his use of the words, “sweet counsels”—that really hits home (without being blatant) that the counsels of Divine Mind are truly aiming us toward that which is joyful, fulfilling, loving…sweet.

 

  • “And therefore it no longer is what it was, for it is conscious within man…These mysterious sentences all set forth the state of true Self-consciousness. So long as man is not conscious that he is Divine, so long is the Divine in him not what it really is; the “lower” “limits” the “higher”. (From G.B.S. Mead, italics added)
  • “In this expansion, I experience uniting with All, joining with all in the experience of Oneness. I have relinquished the idea of limiting my mind; I have let go of the idea of separation; I am Whole, because I am One with everything.” (From A Journey of Fulfillment, day 30)
  • “Knowing myself as One invites the feeling that made this possible; I welcome love in my experience. This is fulfillment. Here is peace.” (From A Journey of Fulfillment, day 30)
  • “Why would I limit my identity to something other than this? Why would I limit my Self? In these sensations of boundlessness, I gain more of my sense of Self. I release more barriers to my Self. I perceive myself, and my body, as beyond the physical. My awareness expands.” (From A Journey of Fulfillment, day 30)

Day 30 seemed to be a day of acknowledging the bounds I place on myself, and of really breaking through those to become One with a new state of Self-consciousness.

 

  • “Union is attained by “hearkening,” by “attention”. Then it is that the man becomes his Higher Self and that Higher Self becomes in its turn the Self, having taken his self in separation into his Self as union.” (From G.B.S. Mead, italics added)
  • “I want my entire consciousness to Know the Truth of being Fulfilled, of being whole, and therefore encounter every experience or person from an internal knowingness of my own (and everyone’s) total-perfect-completion.” (From Why a Journey of Fulfillment)
  • “The theory lies in the words, “we are One”. The reality lies in its practice. The guiding thought today tells us how to live the practice, enacting Oneness.” (From A Journey of Fulfillment, day 29)

One main aspect of these Journeys is to give “attention” to a particular thought or idea—in this case, fulfillment. In giving attention to this aspect, of yourself, which is of your Divine Self, it brings that aspect more into your awareness; you begin to “see” it in your experience of Life. You bring more and more of your True Self, your Divine Self, the Self of you that Knows Oneness and Knows its Fulfillment into every aspect of your experience, you live as the Divine Self you are.

 

 

Something About Cooperation. A Journey of Fulfillment: Day 34

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

My Self wills only to extend itself. Extending, sharing, creating as Divine Love, through Divine Mind, is my sole (soul) purpose. My Self knows its fullness in Divine Love and wills only to liberate me to fulfill my purpose and my joy.

 

 

My mind is a little distracted today. I’m seeing just fragments of thoughts. It’s hard to pinpoint any one thing that stands out for me as a theme today. Here, though, are some of the fragments:

1)      I intentionally added >soul< to the Guiding Thought this round. I had intentionally left it out of the previous rounds, allowing the play on words to work at different levels. I feel like it has “sunk in” more deeply today: there’s just more of a glimmer of understanding that my soul purpose (which my Self wills) is my sole purpose. …another angle of Oneness…

2)      “People need help.” “People want help.” I’m not sure how this applies to the Guiding Thought, except maybe the importance of service to humanity as part of my divine purpose, but these words just kept coming up while I was reading through the Guiding Thought. These words, this thought about people needing/wanting help is relatively new for me. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to help people; it’s more that I didn’t realize how much people need help, or that I have something to give. I need to let this thought mull and work itself into greater awareness and understanding.

3)      Something about cooperation… This is lurking in the shadows and not well thought. But it has to do with understanding/realizing/accepting that “I” need to cooperate with my Self, because my Self Knows. My Self wants me to fulfill my purpose and release my joy, but…I have to cooperate to allow that to happen. My Self can’t do it without me. It wants what I want. I have to actively say “yes” (or something like that….).

4)      This kind of follows from #3: there are things I can do that demonstrate (bring me to) cooperation. They are both shifts in my mind/consciousness as well as doing the practices that bring me to Purpose and Joy. The words “Laws” and “Statutes” kept drifting in and out of my thoughts as I was contemplating the Guiding Thought. It’s like there are Laws of Joy and Laws of Fulfillment. If I follow (or cooperate with) the Law, I will naturally be Joyful and Fulfilled. This raised questions/thoughts/feelings of Free Will, choice, and resistance. If it’s a law, where is my free will…don’t I get to choose? Who says I have to obey the LAW? (Do you hear the rebellious child in me?) Underneath those questions though, there was another voice that was like, “…but you want the Law…the Law is your will, because it is Divine Love. Use your free will and free choice to choose the Law, because that is all you really want anyway.” In other words, I felt like the “voice” was saying, “Just get over yourself. Do what you know you need to do.”

Am I ready for that?