Life is a process of self-discovery. We embrace All of Life, for All of Life is who we Are. As we embrace Life as our Self, we come to understand Life as ourselves. Life embraces us gently and joyfully in return.
Contemplation / Reflection
My best friend lives on a river in the Midwest. The river has crested at its highest levels since she moved there. Her street and her entire yard are under water. Fortunately, her home is dry, an island. But she can’t go home until the water recedes. Her new mantra is “thank you for keeping my home dry, thank you for keeping my home dry”. When she sent out a request on social media for anyone who had a guest room available, she received offers from Colorado, Washington state, Texas and even the United Kingdom. This is an amazing statement about the oneness of us all. Open homes and open hearts. What a wonderful demonstration of Life embracing us gently and joyfully!
Journey of Courage is now available as a free book.
You no longer need to wait for the Guiding Thoughts to be posted here daily–you may move at your own pace. This link will take you to the document in Dropbox; you may download it from there.
Welcome to round two! I do believe we are off to a good start. I am feeling a bit corny today, and I have Peace Train rolling around in my head. In particular, it was these lyrics that got me to that song, Now, I’ve been happy lately–Thinkin’ about the good things to come–And I believe it could be–Something good has begun.
Listen, if you like:
Now, in round two, the subject of the Guiding Thought changes from “I” to “you”. Pretend that you are speaking to someone else (“teaching” them the wisdom of the Guiding Thought), or that a wise teacher is speaking to you, transmitting the wisdom of the Guiding Thought to you. (For more details about the Rounds, click here.) Onward!
You are Love. You have infinite Love to give; therefore, you are able to give Love infinitely. Filled with Love, your energy is vibrant. All of Life responds to your inner State of Being with mutual harmony.
Peace Train, although optimistic and hopeful on the one hand, also recognizes we have a long way to go.
Now, I’ve been cryin’ lately
Thinkin’ about the world as it is.
Why must we go on hating?
Why can’t we live in bliss?
‘Cause out on the edge of darkness
There rides a peace train.
Oh, peace train take this country.
Come take me home again.
It’s hard to stay hopeful with the violence in Las Vegas, the divisions in the US because of racial injustice, and the dismissive, uncaring attitude the US administration has shown to US citizens in Puerto Rico.
I’ve been cryin’ lately.
It sure feels like the edge of darkness.
But then, right behind the darkness, there has been so much light. Everywhere there are stories about people helping each other, people speaking out against injustice, people sending money and resources to help those in need.
Tragedies highlight the worst in people, and bring out the best in people.
My question is: when will we no longer need tragedies to bring out the best in people? When will we help each other “just because”? When will the systems and institutions have built-in support for all people, for those who cannot help themselves, for people who come into misfortune? When will we no longer need the darkness as a reactant, for us to spark our light?
I am not just optimistic that this particular historic moment of darkness will pass. I am optimistic that it will pass and leave more light shining than the world has ever seen. I am confident that people are using this particular historic moment of darkness to finally decide that we are done with the hatred, done with the discrimination, done with the violence, done with apathy, done with bigotry.
The reason I can be this optimistic? Because I know each of us has infinite Love to give; therefore, we are able to give Love infinitely. When we really realize this…when we know this…there is nothing we cannot do, no one who will be left unloved, uncared for, overlooked, forgotten; we can love and help each other infinitely, because we will not be afraid of losing what we have–because we have All within.
What do we value? How much do we value it? When we clarify these questions, we establish the value of our goal. Then, we consciously bring this value to all our thoughts and actions, measuring our behavior against the criteria set by our values. The means for accomplishment reveal themselves as we clarify our intentions.
How many times have I contemplated the phrase, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you” (Christian Bible, Luke 17:21)? Dozens? Hundreds? Probably thousands.
I became aware of this passage in the early 90’s through the work of John Randolph Price. The phrase that often accompanied this one was, “As above, so below; as within, so without”.
The concept embodied by and promulgated through this passage has become fairly mainstream (it was not mainstream in the 90’s): Introspection is the doorway to higher truths.
For most of you who are doing any kind of personal or spiritual development work, this should be fairly familiar, exemplified in these now-common ideas:
The answers are within you
Your thoughts (within) create your reality (without)
Remember who you are
Come home to yourself
If you meet the Buddha on the Road, kill him (in other words: you are your own guru, your own Buddha, don’t look to another)
Looking within is the gateway to discovering deeper truths, ultimately revealing The Kingdom of Heaven.
During the first two rounds of these Journeys, the Guiding Thoughts encourage this type of introspection. Contemplation begins with the self.
During the third round, the “we” round, the Guiding Thoughts point us toward a collective, and our interconnectedness with a group. How big you imagine that group is up to you; some people see a small group of 3 or 4, others imagine whole communities, networks, cities, nations, or our global community. (Ultimately, We is the Oneness of All…)
Today’s contemplation did two things that almost made my head explode.
Combined with something I learned yesterday, it turned my understanding of the Kingdom of Heaven upside down.
It gave me an incredibly clear, stark picture of the practical implications, relevant for today, of this Guiding Thought.
Broken down, here it is:
What I learned yesterday: The phrase the Kingdom of Heaven is within you is a poor translation of the original Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke, and even of the Greek. A better translation is the Kingdom of God is in your midst, where “your” is plural, referring to a village or community.
The Kingdom was based on a community’s acceptance of the poor, the hungry, the bereaved, and the shunned. (Chilton, Bruce. Rabbi Jesus: an Intimate Biography. Doubleday, 2000. p. 137)
Applied to today’s Guiding Thought, the values and goals become our collective values and goals: what do we value? Moreover, how do we want our culture and society to reflect those values? What are the means for accomplishment?
This lead to…
2. The we is identified as everyone in the United States (or whatever country you are from), everyone in our global community, and every living being that makes up life on planet Earth.
What do we value?
In the US we are figuring this out rapidly, en masse, through observing and experiencing the consequences of behaviors, attitudes, and decisions of our leaders which we do not value.
As a society, we are being given the gift of a spectacle showing us how old, outdated, and destructive our past values have been–after all, as a society, we bought into everything we are seeing today for decades, though on a much smaller scale. Now it’s all erupted and in our face, so we can see clearly what we have created through our past values.
As a national community, we are rejecting those values, and collectively embracing new values.
We are in a transition, and experiencing the turmoil that goes along with the clash of values. The old values still have power in our collective consciousness, and we, collectively, have not come to a mass agreement about what the new values should be (much less the systems or institutions to reflect those values). We are rejecting the old values with nothing concrete yet to replace them.
The same transition, is occurring on a global scale, with a backdrop of a global crisis of diminishing eco-systems and resources, and an increase in pathogens (affecting the most vulnerable humans: women, children, the elderly).
Through the spectacle and foibles happening in the United States, other nations are sharpening their clarity regarding what they value; political societies are questioning the value of economic systems that oppress people and destroy the earth in pursuit of “wealth” represented by numbers in a computer.
People are questioning the value of political leaders who sell out the citizenry and natural resources to the highest bidders.
People are questioning so called “human” values, when our systems, institutions, and social structures promote violence, war, racism, degradation, and other “inhumane” activities. Who are we as a people, as a race? What do we value?
We got ourselves into this. Time to get ourselves out.
Energy Masters are those who wish to fully access more of their inherent power to not only be personally freer of the collective weight, but to also experience the greater freedom of being human, and then to deliver and share their divine action with people and ALL energies on this Earth. -Lee Harris
Love is always with you. Focus your whole Self on being entirely with Love. Tune out distractions and place your entire focus on simply being with the Love that is always with you. This is the return. This is eternal Comfort and Peace: Being with Love, as Love is with you.
“Tune out distractions”… There is a lot going on in the world to distract us these days.
Most often, when I do this day, this Guiding Thought, the distractions have to do with my own mind, how it spins, and goes on tangents, and generally “has a mind of its own”. Today, this Guiding Thought speaks to me of everything going on in the world.
There is a lot of opportunity to be pulled away from Love, if you pay attention to politics, culture, the environment, the economy. Collectively, especially in the United States, we are seeing a lot of anxiety, near-panic or panic, distress, uncertainty, fear.
I know, I’ve been feeling it too. It took me some time, but I came to understand that very few of the charged emotions that I am feeling are mine. There is a collective anxiety rippling around the world, especially in the United States. It comes, it passes, another wave comes, and they just keep coming. Do you feel it?
In this environment, the Guiding Thought takes on a whole ‘nother dimension and meaning. Those ripples and waves of emotion can distract you from what’s real–Love. The distractions are just on a larger scale than when you only have the distractions in your own mind. Being with the Love that is always with you, as the collective emotions are heightened, is simply an opportunity to expand and strengthen your practice, strengthen your relationship with Love.
There are upheavals going on all around the world. How do we make it through this?
We matter. This work matters. Being with Love matters. Love is always with us.
If you have anxiety, uncertainty, panic…first ask yourself if it’s yours. You may be picking up on the collective mind. If it’s not yours, observe it, name it, talk about the feeling as something flowing through you, not something you are.
Your healing matters. Whether the heightened emotion is yours or not, help to heal it, transmute it, release it. Your practices are so important–they will keep you anchored and steady, as you return to them during this time. Whether it’s prayer, yoga, meditation, taking a bath, or painting, or working with me through these Journeys, use your practices. Heal. Release. Intend Good Will for all. Keep going.
If all you can do each and every day is show up, and offer yourself to Love, in Its service, THAT is not only enough, it is exactly what the world needs.
If any of this resonates with you, I encourage you to click the link above to Lee Harris. I had never heard of him before today, but he has some (in my opinion) wise and comforting words on that page.
It’s sometimes hard to explain, when I feel the words of the Guiding Thought flowing through me, giving me a sensory experience of their meaning. I hope, perhaps, today, you will feel it with me.
Gratitude makes all things new! When I am aware of my Source in Love, I see its activity everywhere. It is the Substance of Life itself! I am in the flow and create and expand with Love, in Life!
There are so many people doing enlightening (in-light-ening) work. There are so many people learning to do the work of healing, forgiveness, caring, compassion, loving, reconciling. People are waking up; Love is bustin’ out all over! Thank YOU for your contribution.
Whatever brought you here, whatever your self-perception is, YOU are one of these people. You are waking up; you are enlightening yourself and others; you are a necessary and important part of everythingthat is happening in this world; your light contributes to everyone’s light, to my light. We bless each other. We support each other. We encourage each other…even if we don’t know each other, ever meet, ever talk, or ever interact at all.
I see its activity everywhere.
Even when there is nothing obvious, like when I can see (or understand, or feel) how we enrich each other, without knowing each other, I can see its activity everywhere. This is a hint of the seeing that I have been writing about.
I feel SO thankful for you, for us, for our being here, now. I feel such Love for you, for us, for our being here. Does it matter, “which comes first”, the love or the gratitude? Do I tap into the love, because I feel such gratitude, or do I feel such gratitude because love fills me?
I feel so excited about the work we are doing. I feel optimistic. There are SO many amazing people doing the work, doing their work, shining their light. What’s not to be excited about? (I guess to answer that, all you have to do is tune in to the political conversations, but…even despite those conversations…I am excited!)
Speaking of the political climate, I should say: Now is a time for us to continue with full dedication and commitment to our Purpose, to being the Love we are, to bringing in the Light. We need each other. The world needs us. Dig deeper. Be more focused. Commit more time. Stand up. Do the work. Shine your light. Be the Love you are.
Thank you, for being.
Highest Vision for the World (what’s yours? Tweet it! #pearlsofvision)
Hands reaching out to help. Everyone helps everyone, or anyone. No divides, no divisions. Just willingness to be there for another human being.
May those who hide see their own light in the eyes of a stranger;
May you give peace, no matter what.
In the spirit of the helping others, please take a moment to give compassion and love to the people in Haiti, where almost 900 people have died in Matthew and it’s aftermath, and also the people in Florida and North Carolina where 5 and 3 people have died, respectively.
I am now fully conscious of my own Loving Presence which seeks expression through me. My own Loving Presence Knows my heart and Knows my happiness. It Knows how to fulfill my heart and bring me joy by placing me in right situations, with right people, at right times where I may fully express my purpose. I submit my mind and heart, all my thoughts, words, actions to my own Loving Presence to be lifted to her/his vision and plan for my life.
My sister sent me this text this morning:
After some more texting back and forth, and reading a couple of articles, I found myself really thinking about whether or not I would try bullet proof coffee (or BPC, as it is being marketed).
I decided “no”, and the decision-making process was illuminating in the context of today’s Guiding Thought.
There are so many fads out there that people try. There are so many fads out there because people try them; there are food fads, exercise fads, spiritual fads, even scholarly fads (although, they’re called “trends” in scholarship).
I began to wonder why people are looking so hard, why is there so much opportunity to create a fad? The answer that came to me was, “People seek. You have sought, you know what that is like. Lots of people are seeking. This is how and why those fads are marketable, and why so many come and go. People are looking for something, until they find it, they keep looking.”
As with the BPC, it seems to me that people are looking for something to help them live better. BPC claims to give energy and mental acuity, as well as help people slim-down. Who doesn’t want that? That’s why I entertained the idea of trying it–I would love greater mental acuity.
This is representative of many fads: whatever “it” is, it will give you something you’re missing, something you’re lacking, something you want. Why not try it??
It’s true, I’ve done my share of trying things out. There are things that I have tried and have completely discarded, there are things I have tried and still use intermittently, and there are things that I have tried that have become foundationally incorporated into who I am and how I live. It’s this last part that is so important: what have you incorporated into your life such that you don’t have to look for anything anymore?
As I considered trying BPC, I began doing one of those inner-outer comparison things, I’ve talked about before (A Circle Has No Beginning, No End: Journey of Gratitude). It went like this:
-BPC offers (apparently) more energy, particularly in the morning…
–I have really good morning energy most of the time; I don’t feel the need to improve that….and, I am not convinced that BPC could improve upon my morning energy.
BPC offers (apparently) increased awareness, and mental alertness…
–I already have really good awareness and mental alertness. I don’t feel the need to improve that….and, I am not convinced that BPC could improve upon it–I am highly satisfied with where I am with this already.
-BPC offers a slimming effect…
–I drink a green smoothie 4-5 of 7 days per week and have noticed a slimming effect. Why change to drinking fats if what I do already provides the same thing?
I looked at the possibility and compared it to what I was already doing; I was not convinced it could measure up. I am not saying there’s not something out there that could make an improvement in these areas of my life; I am just saying BPC isn’t it, and since I am overall highly satisfied with where I’m at, I don’t need to look for something different.
This lead me to think again about why so many people are looking. They don’t have enough satisfaction; they haven’t found those core foundational things that allow them to say definitively, “This works for me; I don’t need to look for anything else”.
I am so lucky I have that! In so many areas!
Two things come out of that. A) since I am highly satisfied with how I am doing things, I can just do them, and happily approach situations and people through that satisfaction–I am not looking for them to fulfill anything, so I can accept what gifts I find, where I find them. B) I have a basis upon which I can improve, without feeling a need to improve. I can compare, I can choose, I can reject, I can accept slowly, I can try things… but I have baseline for comparison. It’s good to be highly satisfied.
I can tell you…most of the time the fads don’t live up to my expectations; I’ve already got it pretty good.
The world awaits your expression! You are here to align with your purpose, participate with life, and share your Self. With each moment spent cultivating your Own Loving Presence to be attuned with Inner Divine Mind’s expression, the more you encounter the Perfect Spiritual Idea in your life activities. Choose to be aware! Choose to understand! Choose to know! Choose Life.
We’re halfway through! Today is a day for celebration. Welcome to day 20!
I spent my weekend doing mundane things and feeling normal. I cooked and cleaned, worked in the yard, did laundry, walked the dog. I intentionally did very few practices–of course I did the Journey, and took my baths, but I did little mantra, no kirtan, no fire, no abundance practice with my alter bowl, very little Jharra. By Sunday evening, I felt relaxed and unburdened in a way I remember feeling unburdened and relaxed. It was so familiar and comfortable. It felt good, like I was back to my (old) self again.
I knew it was a comfort like an old pair of shoes that have been in the “throw away” pile for months, and you just can’t stand to actually throw them away. I actually have a pair of shoes like that. I’ve been meaning to get rid of them for a couple of years; I never wear them. But every once in a while, I put them on…every time I put them on, I think, “I just can’t get rid of these”. But I never wear them; they are worn, torn, and frayed, and I know that I am holding on to them because of the memory of how great they were. I have equal and better shoes now. I should just throw them away, but I love them…or at least I love how wonderful they were.
I knew the comfort of my old self was like that: I just wanted to “put it on” one more time, before I (really, this time) leave it behind. I know that I am changing and evolving, becoming new and better, but I wanted to feel the comfort of my old self. Unlike my shoes, I know that my old self really is leaving, transitioning away (not being thrown away). I really am leaving that self behind, happy to accept the new.
Today’s Journey confirmed this for me. Like yesterday, I was all in reading the Guiding Thought. “YES”–my whole body-mind-emotions affirmed every word of the Guiding Thought. I felt the truth behind the words, I felt my own eagerness to comply.
Can you feel it? You are here to align with your purpose, to participate with life. Feel that! “…to participate with life.” The life in you is the life around you is the life that is you, and you are here in it, with it, being it. You are LIFE. Life is YOU. We are here together in LIFE. And life is amazing!
But it is kind of stressful, this constant working to move myself forward. It’s nice to be able to revert to old comforts, if only briefly. Maybe I can put my old self in the pile next to my shoes… I can always get rid of it later, right?
Of myself I am nothing, yet in union with My Inner Divine Mind, through My Own Loving Presence, I am everything and have everything. As I infuse my consciousness with Knowledge of my Inner Divine Mind, my activity expresses this Union and I experience life. I breathe in this life. I smile with Joy and gratitude, and I affirm: I LIVE.
I never get tired of this work. I never think, “oh I want to do less…” it’s always more like, “I need and want to do more!”. But I do get tired of not knowing, tired of feeling like I’m not getting anywhere, tired of wondering what my results are, what it is I am bringing forth, what effect any of this is having.
What am I doing?
On the show Talking Dead this week, Chris Hardwick asked Lauren Cohan, “How does Maggie remain so kind and understanding through all this, through all she’s been through?” And Lauren responded, “All the more reason tobe kind…” (paraphrased)
I wish more people had that attitude. People need kindness today more and more and more. We are not living in a zombie apocalypse, but the world is in crisis–the environment is in terrible shape; people are so disconnected; this disconnection is leading to more and more legal and non-legal drug abuse; there is war and famine and disease and destruction. Aren’t these reasons to be better people, to learn how to make things better, rather than as an excuse to be cruel to one another, to the planet, to animals? Do we collectively just not know any better?
Yes! That’s it! Collectively, we don’t know any better. That is both why this work is important (why every drop matters) and why I get tired of wondering what the results of these efforts are: there are a lot of people collectively who are not even thinking yet about “doing it better”, so the results are making the smallest of dents in the collective consciousness.
Each in their own way, little effort by little effort, we lift each other up. After all…we got ourselves out of the dark ages, and look how far we’ve come since 1400! There’s just more to do!
There are many who are working at it, working on themselves, helping to lift us all up–and to them I am truly thankful. To you for being here, working with me, I am truly thankful; to those sincere spiritual seekers, to the environmental warriors, to the leaders who want true peace, justice, and equality, I am truly thankful. To anyone working in their own way to be a decent and kind human being, I am truly thankful.
I am also thankful to my friends and family who contribute to my personal life with wonderful, loving, kind, motivating, healing, energy and interactions. It is my friends and family who are my constant supply of hope–It is possible for people to live with love and harmony every day; my life shows me this constantly. I lift me, they lift them, they lift me, I lift them…and so we rise.
Love is unconditional. Choose to be unconditionally devoted to the Love which is unconditionally devoted to you! Embrace life in Love as your True nature. Connect with All in Love. Stand boldly in your heart-center, unwavering in your dedication to Unity of Life in Love.
I am so thankful for the Love that is unconditionally devoted to me!
I see my shortcomings and—recently—instead of beating myself up, I have thought, “…but Love loves me!”
It’s a small shift, just a small thought, but it has been freeing! I feel like Love accepts me as am I and works with me how I am, regardless of my shortcomings.
I had an inkling of worry that this will make me lazy or complacent, accepting my shortcomings and not trying to grow out of them. If Love always loves me, why should I work at it?
I watch the show How to Get Away with Murder regularly. In a recent episode, Annalise told Nate, a man who she has betrayed repeatedly, “I want to tell you the truth, you deserve that…I want to change, I don’t want to be that woman anymore.” However, the audience, the viewer can see the words are merely another rendition of her repeated lies…we know better.
I wondered how many times I’ve said to Love, “I want to tell you the truth, you deserve that…I want to do better, I don’t want to be that woman anymore” and not really meant it.
The difference is that Annalise was saying those words fully knowing she did not mean them, fully aware of the manipulative effect they would have on Nate.
I don’t think I’m capable of saying something like that to Love without some sincerity. I may be aware of my own hindrances or delusions; I may think those things “block” Love’s love or acceptance of me, but there is always also a part of me saying, “See, this is the stuff in the way. I want to do better, but first I need to get through this stuff. Do you want to help?” The sincerity is always there; sometimes I am simply unable to access it at the very deepest level. With that, I’ve pretty much dismissed the inkling of worry.
In fact, I’ve realized that instead of wanting to be complacent, feeling Love’s love has motivated me to do better! I want to live up to what Love sees in me, even if I don’t see it in myself (yet). I want to be devoted unconditionally to the Love that is unconditionally devoted to me. I want to return what has been given to me so generously.
Love does not give of itself for itself. It gives of itself for us. We only gain through Love, and Love knows it.
I repeat: I am so thankful for the Love that is devoted to me unconditionally!