The Dunking Booth (Heart- 1.1.17)

Journey of the Heart – Day 17
©Susan Billmaier for susanwithpearls

Guiding Thought

Focus your heart-love in the service of others. As you serve others through your deepest heart-love, your own love expands and becomes amplified. There is always more love to share, to give, to experience! Joy and gratitude fill you, when you open to your heart’s love!

Play the Guiding Thought here (loops automatically).
Journey of the Heart audio created by Brad Vanlandingham for Susanwithpearls-

Sharing

You know the dunking booth at a local carnival or fair? A local celebrity or teacher (at least at the fairs where I grew up) would sit on a weight-balanced seat over a vat of water. Fair-goers then throw softballs at a target; there was always the inevitable heckling from the person on the seat, to distract the person throwing the ball. Upon a solid hit of the target, the person on the seat is dropped/dunked into the tank of water. What fun! Especially for school kids who want to have good clean vengeance against a teacher. There’s usually a volunteer running around collecting the softballs, and another helping the person out of the tank, and re-setting the seat for the next throw!

This is a metaphor for how I have–a couple times– perceived/experienced “reality” recently. Most of time, I am on the seat, above the water, and no one is even throwing softballs at a target. I can look down at the water, and know it’s there, maybe even dip a toe into it, but I am safely perched above it. This is how I experience “reality” most of the time: hanging out, no worries, life flows.

Recently, I felt like I was dunked, and I didn’t even see it coming. The dunking was as though into frigid water, and I was thrashing, unable to get to the surface. I was “dunked” into a vat of emotions of panic, anxiety, uncertainty, apprehension, unprotected. Since I spend so much time on the seat above the water, I felt like I could look up at the seat, knowing that this dunking was temporary. In other words, I could feel overwhelming emotions, but not feel trapped by them; but I admit, for a while, it was really hard to keep my bearings, as though feeling pulled down, unable to reach the surface of the water.

Somehow I felt intuitively that this was a metaphor for being dunked into the energetic chaos going on in the world today. This is how lots fo people feel all the time. But they can’t all distinguish between just being dunked and being in “real” life. For many people, the feelings of panic, anxiety, uncertainty, apprehension, unprotected are real life–at least for now. I did re-surface and all was well, until…

It happened again, though it was not as severe as that first time. The emotions were not as intense, the feeling of not being able to reach the surface was not as drowning, but the immersion lasted longer. This time, since I was underwater longer, I feared losing sight of my seat above, feared that this immersion into uncertainty and anxiety would overtake me, feared that I would lose my ability to remember that there is a seat above, and all I have to do is climb out of the water.

When I am on the seat, above the chaos, it is easier to be in the service of others; I prefer that vantage point not only because it feels better, but I like to be in the service of others. I can’t save a drowning person, if I feel as though I am drowning. Most of the time, I have the love and assistance to give, to help pull others up out of the tank. But then, sometimes I am feel like I’ve been dunked; sometimes I feel like I’m drowning.

Right now, there are more people in the tank than out of it. That means a lot of giving and serving for those of us who know how to climb out. And a lot fewer people to help us, when we get dunked.

Imagine that there are people in your life who have been dunked. Maybe they know it, maybe they don’t; maybe they are drowning. Can you be the person at the edge of the tank, holding out a hand to help them up, help them back onto the seat?

 

 

 

The Question is the Catalyst (Heart- 1.1.14)

Journey of the Heart – Day 14
©Susan Billmaier for susanwithpearls

Guiding Thought

How can you deepen and expand your relationship with your beautiful, blissful heart? How can you give your love, your wisdom, your compassion more openly and  freely? How can you know your heart of love, as yourself?

Play the Guiding Thought here (loops automatically).
Journey of the Heart audio created by Brad Vanlandingham for Susanwithpearls-

Sharing

As I was doing the picture, hearing these questions, I felt as though just asking the questions connected me to the answer; it’s like a part of me (let’s say the part of me that knows the answer) opened up, and I was able to feel the answer. If I hadn’t asked the questions, there would have been no prompt for the opening.

So, it’s not like the question is the answer, but it’s more like asking the question taps into the answer that is already there. The question is the catalyst which begins a process of opening and connecting to answers that are waiting for me.

I’m going to have to think about this more…and see how this new thought applies (or if it applies at all) to “giving is receiving” or “Seeking is finding”. Who knows what I’ll come up with…but if I don’t ask…..

(Non-) Representation (Heart- 1.1.13)

Journey of the Heart – Day 13
©Susan Billmaier for susanwithpearls

Guiding Thought

Follow the guidance of your heart and experience life anew! Express love, and experience love everywhere. Find new ways to love. Recognize new depths and  nuances of love. Be patient. Be kind. Be wise and respond to life with love, as love.

Play the Guiding Thought here (loops automatically).
Journey of the Heart audio created by Brad Vanlandingham for Susanwithpearls-

Sharing

I felt like there was way too much in the Guiding Thought to represent in a picture–not that the purpose of the picture is to represent the Guiding Thought. Sometimes I want to though. Sometimes I am feeling/seeing so much from the Guiding Thought that I want to express it all on paper.

Rarely does that work out! It’s always better for me to feel, and draw, than to feel  and try to draw. Very little works out the way I want it to when I try to do something–this is generally true in life, as well as drawings/coloring.

I kept it simple.

Today we have one clockwise spiral and one counter-clockwise spiral, (representing >a-hem< Following the guidance of your heart [an “inward spiral”] and Expressing love [an “outward spiral”]). The colorful lines represent all of the variations of Love–the depths and nuances.

Expressing Love brings awareness of those nuances and depths. Without the experience of Love, Love would be in a void; there would be no way for us to explore it. Expressing it is key. As we express it (through patience, kindness, wisdom, etc.) we respond to life with that which is the very substance of life itself–Love. Life can only give back to us that which it is, which we now can recognize, because we have explored our own being through the expression of It.

Letting the Heart Lead (Heart- 1.1.12)

Journey of the Heart – Day 12
©Susan Billmaier for susanwithpearls

Guiding Thought

Today, decide to give your heart reign. Trusting in love, assured with its gentle comfort, invite your heart to lead you with joy and peace to joy and peace. Surrender your mind and will to your heart’s love.

Play the Guiding Thought here (loops automatically).
Journey of the Heart audio created by Brad Vanlandingham for Susanwithpearls-

Sharing

As I was doing today’s Journey, my mind was distracted, anxious, irritated. When such things happen (that is, when I am experiencing discord that seems to be interfering with my connection with the Journey), I had to remind myself of this (written on the first day of the Journey):

Why Journey of the Heart is very simple: begin a conscious relationship with yourself, through the heart; take the steps; begin. Each day, connect with your heart, invite your heart-energy to inform your choices, and open to its direction.

Allow it to be simple; allow the opening to be at a pace that is comfortable for you. Too much, and fear may step in, too little and you may not notice. There are many who need to heal their relationship with their heart; it takes time to open, listen, and trust. Be gentle with yourself (and I remind myself of that too!) as you move through the 40-days.

Thus reminded, I was able to let go of whatever those distractions were, and settled in to just doing the picture.

I don’t know what the picture means…I don’t know how to interpret it…I don’t know if it’s telling me something or reflecting something. I just know that the very fact of doing it relaxed me.

This is “how it works”, this Journey of the Heart–doing the work, drawing the pictures, opens something…even if you don’t know what it is, why it is, or what it means. The heart leads when you let it, and your relationship is strengthened all around.

A Dramatic Juxtaposition (Heart- 1.1.11)

Journey of the Heart – Day 11
©Susan Billmaier for susanwithpearls

Guiding Thought

Your Heart knows how to love. Everything is energy. The most potent energy is love. As you learn love, invite the most powerful energy to express through you, to live as you, to be you! Your heart is Love’s abode. Your heart teaches only love. You are a willing and joyful student!

Play the Guiding Thought here (loops automatically).
Journey of the Heart audio created by Brad Vanlandingham for Susanwithpearls-

Sharing

Welcome to round 2! The pronouns change from “I” to “you” for this round. For more information, see this page.

One purpose of these Journeys is to give people (myself included) the standing realization of our identity of and with Love. Love is who we are. It is our deepest/highest Self, our true identity, our most natural (and therefore easy) mode of being.

But, we have to remember (and keep remembering), realize (and continue realizing), and allow ourselves to be who we are–naturally and easily.

There is a poignant passage from A Course in Miracles which describes what it is like to live not as the Love you Are:

What could [the world] be but vicious and afraid, fearful of shadows, punitive and wild, lacking all reason, blind, insane with hate?

What have you done that this should be your world? What have you done that this is what you see? Deny your own Identity, and this is what remains. You look on chaos and proclaim it is yourself. There is no sight that fails to witness this to you. There is no sound that does not speak of frailty within you and without; no breath you draw that does not seem to bring you nearer death; no hope you hold but will dissolve in tears.

Deny your own Identity, and you will not escape the madness which induced this weird, unnatural and ghostly thought that mocks creation and that laughs at God. Deny your own Identity, and you assail the universe alone, without a friend, a tiny particle of dust against the legions of your enemies. Deny your own Identity, and look on evil, sin and death, and watch despair snatch from your fingers every scrap of hope, leaving you nothing but the wish to die.

Ok, maybe it’s a bit dramatic and extreme.

Yet, there’s a part of me that understands what it’s saying. I don’t always feel frail, depressed, friendless, fearful, blind, or insane. But looking around the world right now, it’s tough not to recognize those things everywhere, somehow.

Sometimes I need a severe juxtaposition to understand how far I have yet to go–until the world is healed fully, I still have a job to do. And it feels like a long way to go.

Here (on the Journeys), I get my daily dose of realization/reminder of my true identity, my union with Love (the most powerful energy!). Here, I counter the frail, depressed, friendless, fearful, blind, insane world, for whatever I can see “out there”, is also “in here”; when I heal myself, I heal the world. Is there a better gift to the world than freeing myself from it?

They must await your own release. They stay in chains till you are free. They cannot see the mercy of the world until you find it in yourself. They suffer pain until you have denied its hold on you. They die till you accept your own eternal life. (full text here)

 

 

Like a Rock (Heart- 1.1.10)

Journey of the Heart – Day 10
©Susan Billmaier for susanwithpearls

Guiding Thought

My heart-love establishes my inner-peace. Solidly grounded in my own inner-peace, I approach all of life with love, compassion, and wisdom. I live as my Self, shining with the beauty of the Love I AM.

-Play the Guiding Thought here (loops automatically).
Journey of the Heart audio created by Brad Vanlandingham for Susanwithpearls-

Sharing

What do I feel, and what do I want to feel? Who am I, and who do I want to be? Who (or what) am I becoming? What is the highest version of myself right now?

Love, peace, compassion, wisdom are who I am. When I feel assured of this, when I am able to recognize these qualities as my natural state, when I know myself as these qualities, there’s no problem.

But if my esteem is low, if I doubt, if I lose confidence, then my mind and emotions feel conflict.

Part of becoming is integrating the qualities of Love into yourself so thoroughly that there’s never any doubt, loss of confidence, or low esteem. The Love really is just who you are.

Solidly grounded.

In A Course in Miracles, there is the concept of denying the denial of Truth. Too often, what we deny are our qualities of Love, peace, wisdom, and compassion. Too often, we affirm guilt, powerlessness, fear. These things are the denial of the Love we are, the Truth of our Selves. Using denial to deny those things that deny the Truth of ourselves is correct use of denial.

Stop denying your self of Love, and start denying your self of fear.

We have a lot of practice denying our highest Self, and living with doubt, no confidence, or low self-esteem.

Enough!

Solidly ground yourself in the Love and Peace you are. Don’t let anyone shake you.

Not even you.

 

Energy Transfer (Heart – 1.1.16)

Journey of the Heart – Day 16
©Susan Billmaier for susanwithpearls

Guiding Thought

Listen to your heart and with your heart. Your heart pays attention to others, listening to their inner voice, their unspoken words. You care, and attend with love to their deeper, silent needs, asking their heart, “How may I strengthen you and raise your energy?”

Play the Guiding Thought here (loops automatically).
Journey of the Heart audio created by Brad Vanlandingham for Susanwithpearls-

Sharing

Do you remember as a kid making birthday cards, drawings, paintings, or even macaroni art for a loved one, and being excited about giving it to them to show you how much you love them?

Are you a parent or grandparent who has received such a card? And cherish it? And know that through that card, the child is giving you love?

Kids have this way of transferring love into those cards. No skill, just earnestness to share the love.

Somehow there’s an energy transfer.

That was my reminder today. It’s not about the drawing, it’s about the energy transferred into it through the exercise of connecting to my heart.

Do I know what these drawings “mean”? No. But I know they are full of energy from my heart.