Why a Journey of Freedom 2017

Hello my beautifuls! I feel so very good to be beginning another Journey! And a Journey of Freedom at that! Whooo hoo!

Today begin to think about why a Journey of Freedom may be important. Today is not a day for answers; it’s a day for looking at what might be sought after, what might be achieved, and why those things might be important. This is the setting up the intention day.

It is important to begin each Journey with an intention.

Without an intention, there is no focus. This is a basic concept in goal-setting. When the intention is set at the start, it becomes the measure, the standard, for every interaction: Does this interaction live up to my standard? Does this interaction help or hinder my goal?

The first Journey of Freedom that I did back in 2015, my intentions were very detailed and intricate. I admit, I think that I was “right on” in writing that intention, and it serves as a good example of “how to”, if you are new here. (There were two articles here and here, but I warn you: it’s good stuff, but long with just a wee bit of Western philosophy.)

This Journey, I am practicing K.I.S.S.S.= Keep it simple, silly Susan. In case you haven’t heard, there is a lot a going on during the month of August (at least that is what the astrologers say, with a lunar eclipse and a solar eclipse…and something about Saturn, and something about Uranus, and something about planets at 28 degrees… I don’t know really, but I know it’s supposed to be a bit of a swirling kind of energy month). I feel that it is prudent to simplify and focus only on what will be reasonable expectations for myself.

Thus!

My intention for this Journey of Freedom is to free myself of attachments to judgment, and judgments themselves. Let’s approach the swirling month of August with neutral eyes.

Here is the impetus whereby I arrived at this intention, from A Course in Miracles (this is a bit philosophical, if you’d like to skip down a bit, I give more of a personal reason for my approach a bit further down…):

God did create the Soul in His own Thought and of a quality like to His own. There is nothing else. Perception, on the other hand, is impossible without a belief in “more” and “less.” Perception at every level involves selectivity and is incapable of organization without it. In all types of perception, there is a continual process of accepting and rejecting or organizing and reorganizing, of shifting and changing focus. Evaluation is an essential part of perception because judgments must be made for selection.

What happens to perceptions if there are no judgments and there is nothing but perfect equality? Perception becomes impossible. Truth can only be known. All of it is equally true, and knowing any part of it is to know all of it. Only perception involves partial awareness. Knowledge transcends all the laws which govern perception because partial knowledge is impossible. It is all one and has no separate parts. You who are really one with it need but know yourself, and your knowledge is complete. To know God’s miracle is to know Him.

Forgiveness is the healing of the perception of separation (full text here).

When human beings perceive, there is an automatic judgment that takes place: this is not that; red is not blue-orange-green-purple-whatever; that skin is darker or lighter than this skin. Whenever a judgment based on a perception is made, it automatically sets up a dynamic of accepting some things, and rejecting others. This is how the brain categorizes and sorts. There is nothing inherently wrong with it, it is part of being human. (There are however ethical implications, when people use such judgments to decide something is better (like light skin) or worse (like darker skin), and create systems and institutions that enforce the “better-worse” belief, to a disadvantage certain people.)

However, as evolving humans, we can get beyond judgments, beyond the perception of either/or, beyond the human inclination to separate ourselves from every other person, place, and thing, by calling it “other” or “not me”.

This is learning a new belief system–one that encompasses the Allness of Life, the Oneness of All, the Beingness of Love, “Knowledge transcends all the laws which govern perception because partial knowledge is impossible. It is all one and has no separate parts.”

So, you see: Journey of Freedom, seeking to be free of judgments, is both about releasing perceptions which prevent me from experiencing/knowing/being Oneness-Love-God-Knowledge, and of accepting a state of mind, that is inclusive, equal, and at One with All.

Now, here’s the more personal reason: I mentioned that August is gearing up to be a bit of an energy-swirling kind of month…I want to be in a mind-frame of non-judgment as I experience that. If the energy is such that many people will be caught up in a riptide of energy, or a whirlpool, or waves crashing around them, I want to experience it from my buoy floating in the water: I may feel surges, but I am safe on my buoy.

I really don’t know what to expect; I can see several areas in my life where there is the potential for chaos and drama to erupt, if the cast of characters is caught up in their own drama/riptide/whirlpool. I can see the potential for situations to appear to be “bad” or full of strife…

And so, release judgments! I release all judgments associated with any perception I have during this journey. All things are equal, there is nothing “good” or “bad”. I accept all things as images on the screen of life, coming and going, playing their part. 

I think this will help. I really do. Join me with this intention, or write your own. Either way, it’s going to be a fun ride.

 

 

Journey of Creation – Afterword

Tomorrow we begin Journey of Freedom! But first…a bit of an assessment regarding Journey of Creation.

  1. How do I feel, now that I have done an intense, 40-day study of creation?
  2. What do I think I have accomplished?
  3. What do I like about what I did / what would I change next time around?

Let’s just take these one at a time, shall we? (and I encourage you to answer these, or similar questions for yourself about your recent Journey of Creation).

  • How do I feel, now that I have done an intense, 40-day study of creation?

I definitely feel a sense of accomplishment with this Journey.

I think there may be a level of “self-fulfilling prophecy” that occurs with the Journeys, generally speaking. When I am on a Journey, I am aware that I am doing something to bring more >fill in the blank…Creation, Healing, Abundance, Fulfillment, etc.< into my life, and so I then do something which actually fulfills this.

For this Journey, the self fulfilling was a combination of Journey of Beauty, and Journey of Creation: I did things that created more beauty in my life. I painted my fence (beautiful!), made a new gate (beautiful!), painted my bathroom (beautiful!),  cleaned off my porch (beautiful!), started adding nutrient intense foods in my daily menu (health is beautiful!), loved and cultivated my (beautiful) tomatoes… For each of these, both Journey of Beauty and Journey of Creation were in the forefront of my mind.

  • What do I think I have accomplished?

I think was answered to some degree above. However, what I note above represents only the physical aspect of what I accomplished. There is always a deeper level on these Journeys (in case you hadn’t noticed).

So, what did I accomplish within myself?

On day 13, I said this:

With the first repetition, I was immediately drawn in by the double meaning of the first sentence: Choose only to create with Perfect Love. The first meaning is that I focus on my own vibration or energy, and do my best to lift myself to a vibration or energy of Perfect Love, then from that place interact with my world, designing and building with Perfect Love.

I rarely actually remember what I write, on a day-to-day basis. Despite the fact that I wrote this, it was not something I thought about beyond that day.

And yet…

In the past two weeks, you know what I have been focusing on? Lifting my vibration or energy to that of Perfect Love.

In fact, my affirmation or reminder to myself has been, “Raise my vibration. Trust God.” My responsibility is to keep my energy in a vibration of Joy, Love, Gratitude, etc. That’s sometimes all I can do. And if I do it, the best I can, then I just have to trust God with the rest. One day I received an email with some news about a situation, which I had hoped would turn out differently (“better for me”). I found myself feeling sad, questioning, doubtful, insecure, disappointed, among other things. Then my reminder popped into my head, “Raise your vibration. Trust God.” My reminder pointed out to me that I can’t say I trust God, then get disappointed when things don’t go how I want them to–that’s not trusting God. I was able to put the news aside, focus on raising my vibration (and I have to say, it was not easy; I ended up focusing on a task that took a lot of physical/mental energy, which I dedicated to the Divine), then let it go. My sad/disappointed/doubting/insecure has not returned.

  • What do I like about what I did / what would I change next time around?

I like how focused I was on this Journey.

I like that I did the self-fulfilling prophecy thing, and that I incorporated (whether intentionally or not), very physical things that corresponded with the Journey. In fact, this is something I am going to remember to strive for with every Journey.

I like that the connection between Creation and Beauty was so clear and easy. Beauty continues to remain in my awareness; I am so happy and grateful I decided to create a Journey of Beauty.

And that reminds me: Journey of Creation was created during Journey of  Creation. That is an accomplishment all on its own!

  • What would I change next time around?

Since this was the very first-ever Journey of Creation, I do think there is room for improvement, as far as how I approach it.

One thing I will change logistically, is I will have the Guiding Thoughts printed out, or otherwise easily accessible for myself (like on Kindle, or Google Play books), so that I can review them and write about them more easily before I get online to write.

I think, perhaps next time, I will have some projects in mind before I begin which will focus the Journey. However… I may not. I really like the serendipitous nature of these Journeys, when things just show up that are absolutely right, perfect, and totally aligned with the Journey, without any foresight.

Thank you all, so very much for being on your own Journey, whether or not you utilize the Journeys I provide. Your life, your mind, and your evolution are important to all of us–we’re all in this together; as one is lifted, all are lifted. You bless me, when you approach your own life with intention and striving for being a better person. Thank you.

Journey of Freedom begins tomorrow! Begin to think about what freedom means to you. In what areas of your life do you feel free? In what areas of your life would you like to experience more freedom? What is your ideal–if you could picture yourself as completely and totally free…what does that look like for you? Tomorrow, we’ll write about these things…then we’ll begin to explore your inner depths! I look forward to trekking with you.

I love you,
susanwithpearls

 

 Journey of Freedom begins July 31!

Begin to think about what freedom means to you.

In what areas of your life do you already feel free? In what areas of your life would you like to experience more freedom?

What is your ideal? If you could picture yourself as completely and totally free…what does that look like for you?

On July 31 we’ll write about these things…then we begin to explore our inner depths on a 40 day Journey of Freedom!

You’re already on the great Journey of Life…why not proceed with conscious intention?

I look forward to this Journey with you. Love, Sus

Oh So With the Flow: Journey of Creation – Day 40

Copyright Tam Black 2017
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

It’s the last day! I feel like celebrating! I feel more accomplished and successful after 40 days of this Journey than I have in a long time. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you for sharing this Journey with me. Thank you for love, support, and encouragement. I feel it…and I do thank you, deeply. We walk together to the Light.

I’ll be doing one more post about Creation, as an assessment, with hindsight. That will come in the next week or so…then we move on to Journey of Freedom! Oh Joy!

The Light, the Light, the Light is everything!

Guiding Thought

There are no degrees of Love. Love is Whole, Full, and Perfect. Love in action is Creation; Love’s creations are Whole, Full, and Perfect. When I express Love, I am being creative in its Truest sense. Creativity is Love in action, and produces activities, relationships, and experiences which are Whole, Full, and Perfect.

Reflection

I’ve mentioned several times over the course of this Journey the changes that I’ve been making, the different choices I’ve been making, the transformations that I am enacting in and for myself, many of which are physical, regarding my nutrition, appearance, and work.

The work I’ve been doing has been quite appropriate for a journey of Creation. There is definitely a correlation between the physical expression and the mental/contemplative work.

The Journey has kept me on track in my head–keeping my mind focused on the highest possible outcomes, the ideals that I am striving toward.

What has been very interesting to me is that I have really experienced a kind of back-and-forth validation between my mind and my physical circumstances.

What I mean is that it seems that when I focus on Love, and bring that focus into my activities, something opens up and my experiences are better somehow.

It’s kind of hard to explain, I just feel better. My body feels so good. I’ve had warm and open interactions with people I’ve never met. When I sit down to get work done, I don’t have anxiety about “how much I need to do”– and the same has been true recently about all the house maintenance and cleaning I need to do; “normally” I am making lists in my head, then trying to figure out what my priorities are, and how much time I have to do something, then wondering if  I have all the materials to get it done. But now, my mind is lighter, freer, unburdened…and I’ve still been getting things done.

The words of today’s Guiding Thought are so appropriate to how I am experiencing this mental-physical validation/interaction: Love in action is Creation; Love’s creations are Whole, Full, and Perfect.

I don’t know how these Journeys do it. I really don’t. I just know they work. With every Journey, my life has gotten better. Maybe it’s just self-fulfilling prophecy in action–maybe…or maybe I am working with the flow of Love in my life, and–you know–it’s so much better to go with that flow than against it.

 

Gliding on: Journey of Creation – Day 39

Copyright Tam Black 2017
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

In the Light of Truth, perceptions and non-reality dissipate as fog in the sun. Only Truth is True. When I am aware of my reality in Truth, I understand how flimsy and meaningless are my perceptions. Only the Oneness of the Knowledge of Truth brings Peace.

Reflection

As this Journey nears completion, I have been thankfully realizing more and more how much creation is part of my everyday life. Everything I do is contributing to creating. Everything I think is contributing to creating.

The trick is to be aware of it, and direct the creations, by directing my mind and my actions. I see that now. I mean, I had an inkling of it before, but now I feel like I understand it on a deeper level. Every moment affects my future.

Creation happens now, but shows up in the future.

This is why it can get a little harry, I think. There is that dang time-lag between what I do/think now, and when it shows up. More than that, since I am not a master yet, I do not always know how it will show up, so I don’t even know what to look for. And since I don’t always know what to look for, I do not know what thought/action created which result–there is no direct correlation that I can see directly.

It’s like the rule that if you are going to punish a dog (or child?) for bad behavior, the punishment needs to come within 3 seconds of the behavior, otherwise, the dog has no context for the punishment, and it can seem random, and the dog then never learns what is “bad” behavior”, or what to avoid in order to avoid punishment.

Wow that was a really long sentence.

I believe that there comes a point in creation, where I will be able to pinpoint the mental/physical cause-effect from a spiritual perspective, thus be able to duplicate with consistency spiritual cause. I’m not there yet, but I can see the potential.

It may take several more Journeys of Creation, for me to get it.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep gliding forward.

Values Assessment: Journey of Creation – Day 38

Copyright Tam Black 2017
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

What do I value? How much do I value it? When I clarify these questions, I establish the value of my goal. I then consciously bring this value to all my thoughts and actions, measuring my behavior against the criteria set by my values. The means for accomplishment reveal themselves as I clarify my intentions.

Reflection

The answers to these questions will be different for everyone. Here are mine:

What do I value?

  1. All Life
  2. Relationships
  3. My relationship with the Divine
  4. Service
  5. Doing my best to find and fulfill my Divine Purpose
  6. Work
  7. Health
  8. My home
  9. The material things in my life that sustain me
  10. My mind
  11. My body, which allows me to do the things I do
  12. Quiet / stillness
  13. Books and literacy
  14. Music
  15. The work of others which contributes to my own and/or others’ up-liftment
  16. Clean air, water, vegetation
  17. The earth, our home

How much do I value it. (As I was thinking about the list above, I thought, “shouldn’t all these just be a 10 on the scale of how much I value them”? Though this may be true, I am going to assign not-all-10s, so you can see how I value them relatively, and in relation to one another, more or less based on how much time and effort I actually put into each one) 1=least value  10=most value

  • All Life- 10
  • Relationships- 10
  • My relationship with the Divine- 10+
  • Service- 9
  • Doing my best to find and fulfill my Divine Purpose- 10
  • Work- 9
  • Health- 9
  • My home- 8
  • The material things in my life that sustain me- 8
  • My mind- 9
  • My body, which allows me to do the things I do- 8
  • Quiet / stillness- 8
  • Books and literacy- 7
  • Music- 6
  • The work of others which contributes to my own and/or others’ up-liftment- 6
  • Clean air, water, vegetation- 10
  • The earth, our home-10

This exercise is not about judgement, like, “Oh, I only gave music a 6, why don’t I value music more…maybe I need to do something  to show that I value music more…” No.

We all have limited resources of time, energy and attention (until we reach the state of unlimited Being…but I sure am not there yet). We cannot give 100% of our time, energy and resources to 100% of the things we value 100% of the time.

But I can strive for 100% at any given moment. When I listen to music (which honestly is not that often), I absolutely love listening to music. I value it fully, and find as much pleasure as I can in it.

This list is for observation and self-awareness.

For example, when I listed, “my mind”, I thought about the attachment that I have to my mind. I love my mind. I love my thoughts. I love my thinking process. Am I too caught up in my own mind? Who would I be if I did not have my mind–how would I be able to define myself, how would I have an identity? These questions came up as points of awareness, without (too much) judgement. Now I have more self-awareness.

With this self-awareness, we now also have a tool to proceed with the next part of the Guiding Thought: I then consciously bring this value to all my thoughts and actions, measuring my behavior against the criteria set by my values.

This next list gives you an idea of how I think my behavior measures up to what I say I value. In other words: Do my actions represent my values? A scale of 1= least congruency between value and action 10=most congruency. Please note… I always think I can do better…

  • All Life- 6

I am getting better. The things I have been doing recently [within the past 3 months] are: 1) I am at about 90% vegan, as I believe the food industry is basically a system that is cruel to animals 2) I’ve stopped buying leather (a by-product of the killing of an animal) 3) I had to kill ant colonies and some wasps this summer. I felt terrible about it, but I honored their lives, and thanked them for transitioning to a different state to help me maintain my house and yard. 4) I have started thanking the birds and critters I encounter. Or sometimes, I just say, “hello, beautiful!” when a bird, rabbit, praying mantis comes across my path.

  • Relationships- 7

I had to really think about this. Within the past two years, I have intentionally ended two relationship (friends, not partners), with people I have known for more than 10 years. This would not signify valuing relationships. But, I think in both of them, the releasing of these relationships gave priority to a) my relationship with my partner and b) my relationship with my self. Letting go of friends gave value-preference to my two primary relationships.

  • My relationship with the Divine- 9

I do pretty good on this one. Consecutive 40-day Journeys dedicated to the Divine. And that’s only what you see here…

  • Service- 7

My number here reflects more what I want than what I think is. I am very service oriented. I just want to do more.

  • Doing my best to find and fulfill my Divine Purpose-  6

Ugh. How do I know? I just do the best I can. The number reflects my lack of self-assurance that I am doing everything I can to fulfill my Divine Purpose (even though… consecutive 40 day Journeys, dedicated to the Divine…)

  • Work- 6

I have to acknowledge what I said above, and forgive myself: I currently have limited resources of time, energy, and attention. I can only do so much. If I could, realistically, I would work 20 hours a day. I love to work. Do I do it? Not so much.

  • Health- 7

On this, I have been making recent improvements. I’ve increased my whole food and nutrient consumption, I’ve been eating predominantly vegan (which, aside from opposing cruelty to animals is also generally better for health), I’ve increased my water consumption (2-3 qts/day), I’ve really been working on exercising daily.  I have a bit to go before this will become  an 8 or 9, but I am on the right track, with a plan.

  • My home- 7

More or less the same as health. I’ve been making improvements, I’m on the right track, and I have a plan.

  • The material things in my life that sustain me- 5

I still have trouble with the daily maintenance of life: cleaning, washing, changing the oil, etc. I do OK, and I’ve improved over the past 5 years, but I am far from where I want to be.

  • My mind-8

Daily reading and contemplation, usually mantra. on track.

  • My body, which allows me to do the things I do- 7

See “health”

  • Quiet / stillness- 8.5

I live in a quiet house. There’s outside noise, but for what is within my control… I am happy with the quiet in my life.

  • Books and literacy- 7

You should see my library! But there is so much more out there to read!

  • Music- 8

See my comment above about music in my life.

  • The work of others which contributes to my own and/or others’ up-liftment- 5

I do value this. I do not know how to demonstrate how I value it. Thus… a 5.

  • Clean air, water, vegetation- 7

I bless water. I do not use insecticides or harmful chemicals, except when I killed the ants. I apologized to the earth and the ants for my use of the insecticide.

  • The earth, our home- 7

I do the best I can in a modern western world. I recycle. I compost. I have an organic garden. I generate as little trash as possible. I re-use bags. I do everything I can think of to reduce my footprint. …but I live in a modern western world. what can I say?

Now, you see, I have an idea for where I need to go. I have clarified my values and how much I value them, and assessed a need for improvement in some areas. I can now strive to improve even more, and look for means to do better.

Laughing at Myself: Journey of Creation – Day 37

Copyright Tam Black 2017
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

I use my free will joyfully to create the good, the beautiful, the Holy, and the Perfect. This is appropriate use of my mind and will, and directly in-line with Perfect Love. As I experience my Holy creations in my life, I strengthen my conviction to Truth, and to my ability to co-create with my Divine Self.

Reflection

“Someday we’ll look back on this and it will all seem funny” – Bruce Springsteen

“Every five years or so, I look back on my life, and I have a good laugh” – Indigo Girls

“I need only look back 30 days to laugh at myself” – susanwithpearls

30 days ago, I was pining and worrying about whether “I’m doing it or not”. I said:

Do I?
Do I use my free will joyfully to create the good, the beautiful, the Holy, and the Perfect?

I would like to think I do, but as soon as I read that line, I did not know if the statement was a fact or an ideal, a hope, or an optimistic goal that I am moving toward but have not yet achieved.

It was as though I had no confidence whatsoever that I was doing it. It was as though I still (after 3 years and 15 Journeys) do not understand the concept of the Journeys: Everything is the Journey. If you are here, you are doing it. If you are doing it, you are never not doing it while you’re doing it. I gotta just laugh.

I really had forgotten this, and definitely for much of this Journey.

Now, I look back over the past 36 days, the last 88 days, the last 6.5 months, and I can see very clearly that I am doing it. Everything is the Journey. 

I have done some amazing things in those time frames; relating to the Journeys this year:

My Gratitude has increased exponentially.  Yesterday after mowing the lawn I found a praying mantis and told him how beautiful he was, how blessed I was by my interaction with him, and how thankful I was that he came into my life. I realized in that moment, that I have been doing such things (thanking the birds, thanking the water, thanking people, thanking God, etc.) a lot over the past few months.

Part of my brain, is now more attuned to the beauty in my life, and the things that I can do to make beauty in my life. (And I have been ever so grateful for this new dimension of my awareness!)

…and particularly, relating to Journey of Creation:

I have been working on my books, my business, and my house and yard, building, fixing, creating stuff. I’ve been so productive!

Here are some lessons I’ve now learned pertaining to this new awareness–most of which are lessons I have repeated throughout the Journeys (but am now understanding at a deeper level):

  1. Awareness matters. It’s the absolute foundation for increasing how I perceive the Fullness of Life. Thirty days ago, I questioned whether or not I was, or had been creating. Now, it’s crystal clear to me that everything I do is creating. Energy expresses itself. I am energy. I express myself. Expression creates. My energy expressing itself creates. My mind and my intention focus that energy. When my mind and intention are focused on the Good, the Beautiful, and the Holy, then it is not just what I create, it is what I experience, when I am aware of It. Through that awareness of my Holy creations in my life, I strengthen my conviction to Truth, and to my ability to co-create with my Divine Self.
  2. I and my life really do change naturally and easily. I say this throughout all the Journeys, but I have to admit…it is still sinking in–changing into your best self is natural and easy. The idea is if we really are the expression of Perfect Love, and if Perfect Love is all there is, then when we direct our energy toward It (see #1) and are aware of ourselves as that Perfection, then our lives embody and reflect that Perfection. I can now see how I have implemented the concepts of the previous Journeys; the ideas are not foreign, I accept and believe them with only minor resistance these days (it’s only taken 3 years and 15 Journeys…). I do not have to think about being grateful, or looking for beauty. Those things are occurring spontaneously from within.
  3. Creation happens all the time. Here’s the catch: there’s a whole lot that happens behind the scenes; I do not see the results of what I am creating in some big, bombastic flare (until I do). When I come across what someone else has created, I see the final product. I do not see the process, the time, the work, the effort, the struggle, the hurdles. Everything I see (what writers, business people, etc., have produced) appears polished…because it is. When I feel angry or guilty or inadequate because I don’t have something that is polished, I am undermining my own process. I have to remember: I am doing it. This is the process, the time, the work, the effort, the struggle, and these are the hurdles. The Journey does not stop, that is why it is in my best interest to be as aware as I possibly can, every step of the way (refer to #1).

Thank you for being here. I appreciate you so much, as you traverse your own life, on your own journey.