What is inner Beauty? How do you recognize it in others? How do you recognize it in yourself? How do you cultivate inner beauty, especially when there are questions about what it is and how to recognize it?
Reflection / Contemplation
It has been for some time now, years it seems, that I have had this deep yearning about being and knowing my own light, even deep within my cells. My closest friends have been privy to these desires, and conversations have ensued as to how best to attend to them, not only for me, but for them too. My name, Lita, even carries this energy of light. It is now with this project that I see the overlay of Beauty with my preoccupation with light.
In addition to rocks, I am a collector of phrases. It is amazing how synchronicity shows up, especially now with my attention to Beauty. This sound healer I keep mentioning states this phrase on the most recent cd I am listening to. “Sensory phenomenon are radiant displays of energy which arise from pure Consciousness.” In this instance, he is describing what can arise within the meditation he is soon to lead.
I am becoming more inclined to believe that this is exactly what Beauty is: the radiant displays of energy which arise from pure Consciousness. And somebody else just put the words in my mouth.
The light which I so crave to connect with is not so much that, as it is my desire to connect with pure consciousness and have that translate into my life here and now. We can substitute the words Light or Beauty, the Divine, God. I have this inkling that when we recognize it within ourselves that we can start to see it in those around us.
The cultivation piece is to stay hungry and aware.
Journey of Beauty 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.
Apr 18 Preliminary day Introduction: Why A Journey of Beauty (02.10.0) Apr 19 Preliminary day Commitment and Dedication (02.10.00) Apr 20 – 29 Days 01-10 Round One (02.10.01-10) Apr 30 – May 9 Days 11-20 Round Two (02.10.11-20) May 10 – 19 Days 21-30 Round Three (02.10.21-30) May 20 – 29 Days 31-40 Round Four (02.10.31-40) May 30 – June 8Reflection days Gently care, de-fuse, and write one day of reflection on the Journey (02.10.41)
I am aware, I allow, and I accept What Is. I go within to my silent Self which Knows and follow my Inner Wisdom to Truth. I practice Divine Balance in thought, word and action. I Am! I Am my Self! I Am my self of Love.
Contemplation / Reflection
Allowing What Is, is sometimes a very difficult thing for me. If the only thing permanent is change, why can’t I focus my Self of Love on changing the things I don’t “like”? Then I remind myself that you first have to love, or at least accept, What Is. Yes, I can accept or allow What Is, sometimes reluctantly. But if things truly are What Is, I may as well accept or allow. In the moment, What Is may be an illness, lack of financial resources, high levels of homelessness, political circumstances that I’d rather be Is Not. What Is, is in the now, in this moment. And by the time I write this, it’s already What Was. Hmmm, gotta love that!! Well, yes, gotta love what is, as well as what is not. I don’t really understand what I’m experiencing around this Guiding Thought. One wisdom teacher in my life, though, said understanding is the “booby prize” and “confusion is a very high state of being”. With this one, I’m choosing to accept What Is, that I don’t have all the answers and it’s okay to allow myself to live in the open question. As for this response to Day 10, it is what it is!
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.
Become a Guest Contributor
If you think you might possibly like to be a guest contributor at some point for a future Journey (taking your next courageous step!), as Mary is doing now, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. We can talk. Smooth. Easy. No pressure. Just take that step and we’ll see how it goes from there.
I go deep within my inner stillness, and feel Divine Mind’s presence within me. I hold out my empty hands, symbolic of leaving preconceptions behind, symbolic of seeking True answers, and I ask, “What is the essence of healing?” These words resonate within me, as though in a vast cavern. The word essence reverberates with these thoughts, “For what do I care most deeply?”; “What is my own essence?”; “What is my Truth?”; “Where is my deepest hurt, my pain, my sorrow, that all may be healed?”
Round four is here; the Journey is coming together! If you’ve been following along, you may see it. But hopefully you are paying more attention to your own Journey, your own connections, and your own progress than you are to my process.
Let me lay it out for you, so you can get back to thinking about how the Journey is coming together for you.
I would say that day 22 began the coalescence. It was that day that I went into my heart (Dicrysahe), and asked questions from a deeper, more focused place. Asking questions with the heart is like laser-beam energy going right to the “heart of the matter”. The insights come with the same kind of focused energy; all of a sudden, there is an answer that just makes sense.
After that, there were six days of being in this “healing fog”: unassociated stuff coming up, going out, clearing up, moving through. The fog is not what I would call fun, but it also was not deeply dramatic or intense. It was more like watching a bad movie–I just kind of sat through it, being aware of not really enjoying myself, but getting through it. And at least I had the Journey, as well as some signposts to clue me in to what was going on, so that I could have some understanding sprinkled in.
Then just three days ago, the fog lifted. Apparently enough stuff had cleared out and it was time for the next step (or layer or something).
Two days ago I wrote about being broken, rebuilding, and the strength that comes from that process.
Yesterday, I associated being broken with letting go of all the stuff that inhibits a person from following Divine Will–and that when we allow ourselves to be rebuilt in such a way that we align with Divine Will, we step into the Truth of our Selves, which is Whole, Holy, Healthy.
Yesterday, I wrote this, “But, each time I arrive at the feet of my Father, I give up more of my lower-self”
And we arrive at today…
This morning, as I was waking up, I found myself at the feet of my Father–there’s this place I “go to” in my mind, where I meet with Him; usually I have to think about it, and imagine it; this time, I was just there, without thinking, in Dicrysahe. I was laying everything at his feet, and I realized for the first time (one of those, “how did I miss this?” moments) that I have more “worldly cares” than I realized. It was like one of those magic tricks, where the magician just keeps pulling things out of a bag: “oh, and there’s this” and “oh, and here is that”…I pulled out everything–health stuff, financial stuff, job stuff, projects stuff, family stuff, worries and cares, worries and cares. And I just said, “I don’t know what to do with all this, so I am giving it to you (and literally laid it at His feet). Please take it, and use it however you need to, to benefit All. Only You can do this; only You can orchestrate how this will be used for a Loving purpose”.
Several hours later, as I was doing the dishes, I felt (again Dicrysahe) this: “Know everything is what it is supposed to be; all is going as intended; have faith“.
Did I get a True answer? Maybe.
At least for me, now, the answer to “What is the essence of healing?” is: have faith.
And I can say that I have current answers for the next questions as well (following from the past 10 days):
“For what do I care most deeply?” Truth, my relationship with God, Divine Will
“What is my own essence?” Peace, stillness
“What is my Truth?” My heart, my relationship with God.
“Where is my deepest hurt, my pain, my sorrow, that all may be healed?” Find it, lay it at the feet of the Father, be free!
You are the Light of Love. Light saturates your mind and body, surrounding every thought, and radiating out to All. Everything radiates Light in return. Everywhere is Light. Rest in Peace, in Being Light.
“Rest in peace” is a blessing for the living, not the dead, because rest comes from waking, not from sleeping. Sleep is withdrawing; waking is joining. (A Course in Miracles)
Do not underestimate your power.
it’s not really “yours”, is it?
Do not underestimate the You of you.
Do not underestimate the power of Love and Light.
Yes, you are “just one person”.
So, what can you do?
You can be.
You can be who you are.
Do not underestimate who you are.
Do you know who you are? Do you know the depth, beauty, power, of You?
If you do not have an inkling, the tiniest bit of awareness or understanding of the enormity of Love and Light that is You,
then you are asleep, withdrawn from All that You Are.
But there is a part of you that does have this inkling. There is a part of you that nudges you, pushes you when It can,
to be more of Who You Are.
to be It.
You know this.
You are not asleep.
But neither are you awake.
Remember that “yoke” means “join together,” and “burden” means “message.” Let us restate “My yoke is easy and my burden light” in this way; “Let us join together, for my message is light.” (A Course in Miracles)
This is the day I provide a bit of an assessment about the “results” (if you will) of the most recent Journey– Worth. First, a recap:
I began the Journey with the intention of having a closer/better relationship with the Holy Spirit/Shakti Energy/Divine Mother, to develop a life worthy of the Holy Spirit
There was a lot of emotional turmoil (panic, anxiety) during the Journey
Some themes throughout the Journey were:
Holding on/release: when there is change and transformation, there is an inherent letting go of something in order for it to transform into something else. Regarding the panic episodes–I became aware of what I was holding onto, and not wanting to give up.
Connection, having to do with Unity and Oneness.
How did I do, and where am I now?
The more Journeys I do, the more I see that the Journeys are both linear…and not. Like a “real” journey, they are full of unplanned places to explore, unexpected stops, meanderings, surprises, and adventures that lead to places previously unknown.
For example, on a “real” journey—let’s say—to visit my friend in Clonmel, Ireland—the linear part of the trip would be getting from point A (Newark) to point B (Dublin, then Clonmel), and visiting with my friend. This would be like working through the 40 days of a Journey, from beginning to end. But once in Clonmel…there’s so much to see and explore!
Those things constitute adventures, which may have their own unexpected stops and meanderings. In the same way, while on a Journey of Worth, I detour for a day or two to explore something like faith, or connection, or letting go. These small stops and detours do not detract from the overall journey, they are part of it, and each new experience enhances the overall trip.
It’s become common for me now to expect the detours, surprises, and adventures while on a Journey. But these things make it very difficult to evaluate a Journey, or assess it, or explain what I’ve learned, how I’ve changed, or how I “got” here.
What did my panic and anxiety teach me about worth? Do I now have a better relationship with the Holy Spirit? Do I have a deeper understanding of Shakti, the Divine Mother? What do I know now about Worth, because of what I’ve learned about Unity and Oneness? Have I changed?
Contemplating answers to these questions does not bring me solid answers. But I can tell you what I feel might be the right direction for the answers:
What did my panic and anxiety teach me about worth? My panic and anxiety were a way of letting go of things that are worthless. On day 23, I said this: “You see, there’s this “thing” that I want. And I never want things. I always, always want God and spiritual right-mindedness more than I want things. I cannot even think of a time when I wanted something like this. It’s not like desire, or envy, or possession, or clinging to some-thing. It’s like there’s so much at stake, so much that hinges on this thing; I have so much invested in this thing.” My panic and anxiety were because I was invested in wanting things my way. I did not get it–and that was part of the learning and the letting go. Letting go of things that are worthless makes room for things that are invaluable. Also, in this lesson, I have had to reinvigorate faith.
Do I now have a better relationship with the Holy Spirit? I think so. I believe so. If the Holy Spirit is the power or force behind all things manifest, then I have always had a relationship with the Holy Spirit–we all have, because we interact with the manifest all the time. The difference is having a conscious relationship with the Holy Spirit: recognizing the Divine Power in, through, and around everything. This is what’s new. I am at the very beginning, but I have been praying and seeking this conscious recognition and understanding more and more…and I want to continue.
Do I have a deeper understanding of Shakti, the Divine Mother? Yes. I have been very intentionally acknowledging and learning about the Divine Mother. But also see the answer to #2, as it is very much the same here.
What do I know now about Worth, because of what I’ve learned about Unity and Oneness? On day 16, I wrote this:
There is no living thing (even the little self) that does not share the universal Will that it be whole. Here’s how I currently understand this:
Oneness is “that place” (that is not a physical place, but more like a mental place) that is beyond the senses, beyond the body, beyond all material reality.
Oneness is (simply, ha) a shift into non-perception, into Knowing, also known as salvation or moksha or freedom.
This place can be called (and even has been called) Pure Consciousness, Pure Love.
It is “Oneness” because in that place of no-perception, Everything is simply Known asEverything.
But here on planet earth, we live with senses, in a material reality, with brains that like to categorize and think, and discern, and judge.
So we have to teach our brains to go beyond, to let go of perception, discernment, judgement, and all of its divisions.
This is (one of the) the role(s) of healing and forgiveness. In a moment of healing, we “perceive” ourselves as whole. In a moment of forgiveness, we unite with another person.
We can do this again and again and again, with every moment, with every perception: heal and forgive, heal and forgive, heal and forgive.
The more we do this, the more our little brains expand into broader perceptions of wholeness and unity. But it takes time, because our brains like to work how they work (separating, categorizing, etc), and we do not really insist on shaping our brains in a new way. The more we practice heal and forgive, heal and forgive, heal and forgive, the more our brains evolve, the faster we get beyond perception.
In other words: Oneness is the only thing that is worth anything. In Oneness is Knowing; in Oneness is Freedom; in Oneness is Pure Consciousness.
5. Have I changed? Yes. It’s a bit intangible, but I have changed. Here’s how I know: I am not thinking as much. Literally. My mind is quieter, I am not thinking about what needs to be done, I am doing…what seems right to do…and everything is getting done. I am differently motivated. In doing without thinking, I want (am motivated) to do. Doing now feels like an expression of something that is coming through me, not that I am initiating. How do I know? Because I have no clue, nor do I want to have a clue, about the results. I am not “doing something to get something”; I am just doing, and the results will be what they will be. I’m not invested in “how things will turn out”–I think this this is another effect of “having” to work through and release things associated with the anxiety and panic. I have a different relationship to Faith. When I went through all that panic and anxiety, then did not “get” the thing that all the fuss was about, it was as though something in me gave up and surrendered. The panic and anxiety began (now that I think about it) when I told God I could not do it on my own, that He had to help me because I did not know what to do, much less how to do it; I had tried everything I knew, and I did not have any clue what else I could do. All that panic and anxiety: it was God giving me what I asked for, releasing me from the last holds I had on “doing it my way”, clearing the path for Him to make things right. Now it’s up to me to keep that recognition, keep my mind right, and allow (hold on to Faith) Him to do it.
What’s really cool is that all of this leads right into Journey of Healing–which begins later today! Check in later to see those insights…
We are ALL One. We are not alone. Alone becomes All One in Unity and Healing. We are that which I am, which you are, which we become, together. There is no separation— through healing and forgiveness, we unite: At One there are no limits, at One there are no boundaries. At One we are free—together.
What are your spiritual goals? What do you want to attain? Why do you seek? Why do you pray and do practices? What do you think “spirituality” is all about? What do you think life is all about?
When I was a kid…
I wanted to be an apostle. I wanted to be “chosen”. I wanted the holy spirit to descend upon me.
I wanted to heal–both myself and others. This was inspired as much by Jesus’ healings as well as the phrase, “physician, heal thy self”.
I wanted to be good–as in “pleasing to God”.
I wanted to know the Truth–the Truth of God and the truth of myself (Know Thyself!).
I wanted to be light, to transfigure literally from physical matter to light energy.
Of these things, I did really strive to “be good”–this was one of my earliest goals that translated my spiritual beliefs into material actions. I was a good kid, and I worked at being a good kid.
I also have always been a good thinker, so knowing myself, and thinking about what the truth is, came easily to me, also.
The other things on that list were a bit harder to figure out. I would pray, and “meditate” and do breathing practices without knowing what I was doing. When I got hurt, I would naturally calm my breath, and think about bringing light to my injury. But it wasn’t like I was practicing, because I didn’t know what I was doing. It was more like I was playing–I was a kid, after all, but I also knew that I was figuring something out, somehow.
It seems like it got more complicated as I became a young adult, and was exposed to things like Reiki, Gurumayi, the Hare Krishna faith, and Reverend Sun Myung Moon when I was in college. I had to begin to discern what resonated with what I had established in my mind as the path I wanted to be on, and what was discordant with that path. There were a lot more choices, and I had to trust myself to make the right ones.
It hasn’t gotten simpler for me. A Course in Miracles, Buddhism, Hinduism, Quakerism, Sanatan Dharma, Jharra, Mantra, Orthodox Christianity, to name just a few of the writings and belief systems that have contributed to my total understanding of myself and why I’m here.
What are my spiritual goals? What do I want to attain? Why do I seek? Why do I pray and do practices? What do I think “spirituality” is all about? What do I think life is all about?
Part of me wants to be a kid again so I can stop thinking about all this. What does Oneness mean, anyway? and even if I understand it, how do I do it? What do I do for Unity, and Healing? …Freedom feels like such an important concept–but is there more to it than breaking the birth-death cycle? What is True Freedom–and how do we achieve it together?
I love myself for the Truth within me. The Truth within me Knows me for who I am—Pure Love, Only Love, beyond all valuing of the world. In Love all are equal, for we are One. This is how Truth Knows me—Pure, One, and Free. This is my Truth; this is our Truth; this is the Self I love.
I do love myself for the Truth within me! I can feel that in my heart, radiating outward, and I can feel it deeply in the fibers of my muscles, in the marrow of my bones.
There was a period of time when I was doing a lot of physical-emotional work; the language we used in one of the processes was, “Where do you feel that (anger-guilt-sorrow-etc) in your body?” The body holds onto those emotions and as we feel something, the body reacts to the feeling. At the time, I had a lot of subconscious anger–the kind just under the surface: seething, fuming–that is hard to put a finger on consciously. But when prompted, I could identify where the anger was located in my body (bicep to bicep, right across the chest…), and work through it from its physical side, instead of relying on my brain to figure it out.
It occurs to me that in that work, we never did the flip-side; we never asked where joy or peace or motivation or enthusiasm was located. Now I am doing it, and now I have something new to pay attention to!
This Guiding Thought is a little sneaky. Do you see it?
It starts with the hook, the feel-good moment, “I love myself for the Truth within me”–you can see from my first line that I swallowed it. Who could be opposed to that? If it stopped at simply, “I love myself”, some people could object; the little voices of self-negation, self-loathing, self-hating, would be able to object. But those voices can’t object to “I love myself for the Truth within me“. Someone might be able to deny the Truth within them…temporarily, which would lead to disagreeing with this statement. But anyone doing this work recognizes the Truth within them to some degree–and wants to love themselves! Gotcha. Hook, line, sinker.
Then, instead of going into more about loving myself, it goes into how the Truth within me sees (Knows) me. Pure Love. Only Love. Beyond all valuing of the world. And this feels so good. By what standards can the world judge Pure Love? The Truth of who I Am is so much bigger than anyone or anything in and of the world will ever understand. Finally. Someone sees me for me.
Then this feeling, this Self-valuing gets extended to everyone. This is the check on any narcissistic, selfish, little-self propensities. In Love all are equal, for we are One. I love myself for the Truth within me, and I love you for that same Truth.
The last line is what I was referring to as being a “sneaky”. This is my Truth; this is our Truth; this is the Self I love. It starts saying “I love myself for the Truth within me”, referring to the little self, capturing the attention of the ego, drawing it in, giving it a boost of the attention of love. Then in the last line >kaboom!< it’s not the little self at all; the Self I love is the only Self I AM, the Self of Pure Love.
But by the time I get to the last line, my little self is already invested: I do love myself for the Truth within me! I can feel that in my heart, radiating outward, and I can feel it deeply in the fibers of my muscles, in the marrow of my bones.
Even the little self wants Pure Love, the Truth of itself.
There is no living thing (even the little self) that does not share the universal Will that it be whole, and that you do not leave its call unheard. Without your answer is it left to die, as it is saved from death when you have heard its calling as the ancient call to life, and understood that it is but your own. The Christ in you remembers God with all the certainty with which He knows His Love. But only if His Son is innocent can He be Love (and this is why we have a little self in the first place: feelings of guilt have usurped our natural Pure Love, and we be believe in our guilt more than our Love). For God were fear indeed if he whom He created innocent could be a slave to guilt. God’s perfect Son remembers his creation. But in guilt he has forgotten what he really is.