Why would I choose to limit my Self? To limit my reality? All of reality is mine, and mine to give! In giving and sharing, my joy increases, expanding Love, expanding Life!
Last night I watched the first episode of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, a comedy based on the literary work of Douglas Adams. It was smattered with references to interconnectedness, quantum entanglement, and the broad purposefulness of everything, including coincidences (which means nothing is a coincidence, and everything is interconnected).
There were many profound ideas bandied about in comedic dialogue, but the most noteworthy was not one of the higher-mind, physics-spiritual-truths that are so often referenced these days (earlier in the week, Blunt Talk also referenced quantum entanglement).
The most interesting part of the dialogue for me was when Dirk (played by Samuel Barnett) said to Todd (played by Elijah Wood), “You’ve been making decisions out of desperation for far too long! Take control, make a real choice, and everything will change.” (This is a bit paraphrased as my memory of it may be flimsy).
Now that is an insight. “You’ve been making decisions out of desperation…” wow! At the time I thought, “I can’t say that I’ve been making decisions out of desperation…I’ve done pretty well making conscious choices…but dang if that doesn’t speak to me.”
This morning I figured out why it spoke to me. Let me paraphrase Dirk Gently, using the Guiding Thought as a basis: “You’ve been making decisions out of limitation for far too long! Expand Love, Expand Life, make that choice, and everything will change.”
That I can relate to. I can see how my internal and external circumstances can (and have) limited the choices I am making. Wasn’t I just talking about “leaping” last week?
The thing is—and this is where I get hung up recently—how? I can see the limitations. I can see what I want beyond the limitation. How do I bridge those?
This, in my humble opinion, is a classic “hang up”. How do I do it? I don’t think I am the first, or only, person who has thought this.
There is the want, the desire, the vision, the goal, even the skill or ability—all of this is in hand, ready for that accomplishment. But…how? How do I get there? What do I do? How do I make something happen? There’s always the leap, but leaping is scary, and in the meantime, there are bills to pay and a roof and food to provide.
With all of this, I can—again—emphatically shout this Guiding Thought from a mountaintop: Why would I choose to limit my Self? To limit my reality? All of reality is mine, and mine to give! In giving and sharing, my joy increases, expanding Love, expanding Life!
I feel it; I agree with it, I claim it!
Except, when the shouting is done, although I agree with all of it…where does it get me? It still doesn’t answer my question, doesn’t show me the answer.
You know that’s why I love this stuff. I have to figure it out. I know I have the answer. I know I am figuring it out. I love the puzzle. I love putting pieces together. I love working at these questions from lots of different angles. In a way, Dirk Gently is my hero. He solves crimes by following his intuition, being aware of where he is and where he’s going, and doing nothing except what’s in front of him, just knowing that everything has a purpose, and everything is interconnected.
I now invite, welcome, and receive the effects of Divine Love, and I am Truly grateful. I experience Divine Mind as I experience these effects, and Divine Presence confirms itself in my life, activities and affairs.
Sometimes you only realize how tough something was once you get through it. Then, with a feeling of accomplishment or freedom or relief, you can then admit how hard you worked, how you stuck with it, how you overcame, survived, or “made it”.
The three examples that come to mind are:
Going through an application or interview process and being selected
Finishing high school, college, or earning a Ph.D.
Leaving an abusive relationship. leaving any unhealthy relationship
This only comes to mind because now that we are in Round 4, I realize how hard Round 3 was. The “we” of Round 3 was virtually inaccessible to me. I was too steeped in “me” to think about “you” or “we”—and I apologize. I did the best I could with what I had, with “where I was”, but it was not nearly what I am capable of… I’m better now.
In some ways, the ease-or-difficulty of focusing on “we” is a barometer for me and where my mind-emotions are.
When I am high with Life, filled with Love and Joy, overflowing, and knowing my Oneness with ALL, focusing on “we” is SO easy. Of course you are included! I LOVE YOU! Why would I not want you to feel and know the beauty of Life and Love? ALL I WANT is for US to KNOW this JOY TOGETHER.
On the other hand, when I am steeped in my own self, when my emotions overwhelm me, when my body becomes painful and uncomfortable, when the minutia of daily life become stressful, I retract and constrict. I need to take care of myself. I feel like crap, how do I make it through this day? I can’t breathe, I’m being suffocated—survival dictates that I breathe before I can do anything else!
When I started writing this I was feeling a bit judgmental toward myself…just a bit (you can “hear” it when I said “I’m better now”—as though there was something wrong with what I had experienced, because I knew I was performing “less than” what I am capable of).
But now, through this reflection, I feel only that I am learning. This process is pointing something out, something I am now aware of, and something I can now pay attention to in a new way.
Much of the time I use words like, “expanding”, “growing”, “sharing”, “extending”, words that are BIG, and outward, and inclusive. But today, to describe how I felt during round three, I used words like, “retract” and “constrict”, words that decrease space, reduce involvement, exclude.
Do you see how I’m only going through a different part of the cycle? It’s all part of the process.
What’s more, I see the duality (“expansion” vs. “retraction”) in a new light, thanks to the book I mentioned yesterday:
To turn back from the multiplicity of relativity and return to our original unity we must center our awareness in that primal impulse to duality which is manifesting most objectively as the process of our physical inhaling and exhaling. These seemingly two movements are in reality one, inseparable from one another, and together are capable of leading us back to their – and our- source. Through our full attention focused on the entire process of inhalation and exhalation, we become immersed in the subtler levels of that alternating cycle, moving into deeper and deeper levels until we at last come to the originating point. Then transcending that dual movement, we regain our lost unity. By continual practice of that transcendence we will become established in that unity and freed forever from all forms of bondage. (Breath of Life, p. 8) http://ocoy.org/original-yoga/how-to-meditate/the-breath-of-life-the-practice-of-breath-meditation/
The quote frames “duality” as the inhale and exhale of the breath. But, as you well know, duality can be found pretty much anywhere in material reality. For my purposes, I am substituting my current experience of “expansion” vs. “restriction” as the duality to be aware of, to pay attention to. “We must center our awareness…in duality…which is manifesting…objectively”. Duality manifesting objectively shows us a path to return to our original unity. Wow. Thus, I can think of these two aspects of my process as “in reality one, inseparable from one another, and together capable of leading” me back to my source.
Everything I experience has the potential to lead me to Source, to “the originating point”. Everything is here to teach me transcendence, to lead me to awareness of Unity. Once we “arrive” at the point of Unity, our natural state, we will look back on this life of duality and wonder why we made it so hard.
We know fulfillment and can feel it rise within and expand out.
I’ve never been one to be superficial or to interact disingenuously or inauthentically with others. For a long time, one of my internal-development goals was to be authentically me, true to my highest self, true to others. I don’t have to “work at it” as much anymore, but I do “work” to maintain this as part of my integrity.
That’s part of what processing myself through these Journeys is about: maintaining clarity about who I am, what the measure of my personal integrity is, and what is authentic and real for me. One of the points about these Journeys is to share difficulties, to share struggle, to share the weight, with the hope that our burdens become lighter, and that you might not feel alone, should you be struggling as well.
…After I wrote those two paragraphs for today’s Journey, I had a spontaneous online therapy session, which brought out EVERYTHING I wanted to say regarding authenticity and personal struggle. It even ends appropriately for what I wrote above. Since it just nails it, I share with you now my online therapy session (some details have been changed to protect the innocent). After you read the “session”, I’ve added a note about the relevance to the Guiding Thought today.
**Online Therapy Session**
Susan: I feel really pissy.
Online Therapist: why are you pissy?
Susan: well, which philosophical framework would you like me to expound, then refute against for myself?
Online Therapist: wow…that’s loaded. pick one, I’ll try to keep up
Susan: there are SO many “unreal” reasons that I am pissy….and I know it’s all just “my own making” “in my head” “karma” whatever….. It’s just all this illusion
Online Therapist: karma?
Susan: could be
Online Therapist: really?
Susan: there are sometimes situations and people, created in past lives that come up, without any relation to THIS life. but that have to be worked out
Online Therapist: are you feeling undervalued?
Susan: sure, that’s part of it
Online Therapist: and
Susan: DONE, I feel done, and I want to be done with this…. but…I have to wait…so I think about “Waiting on God”
Online Therapist: frustrated
Susan: Yes….and “I need do nothing”…but those don’t help
Online Therapist: breathe
Susan: I am… I did… this morning
Susan: then I think about “desire” and if I could just let go of “what I want” then that would dissipate
Online Therapist: you JUST had a huge step!
Susan: I know
Online Therapist: And you’ll be taking another huge step very soon!
Susan: and now I am impatient; impatience is part of it
Online Therapist: I understand those feelings
Susan: I know you do. I think about you, in relation to this, what you experience
Online Therapist: well, you know you can express this stuff
Susan: yeah… been thinking about that too, lol
Online Therapist: you can VENT, if you need to vent…and sometimes it’s a good thing to do
Susan: when it gets to a certain level, I just go deeper down (not talking), and I know that’s not healthy, but i don’t realize I’m doing it until I’ve done it.
so… I’ve done it LOL, TAAAA DAAAAA
Online Therapist: LOL…..venting helps prevent that
Susan: idk, it’s like I don’t want to TALK about it. I just want to FIX it…and I don’t know HOW…. and that’s part of the frustration
Online Therapist: well, you’ve taken some steps toward that recently
Susan: Cause I’m DOING ALL I CAN DO, and it hasn’t worked… or at least it doesn’t FEEL like it has worked
Online Therapist: and now you’ve taken a HUGE step, and you have another one coming
Susan: yes…. I know, so…. really, I am not sure WHY I’m pissy like this
Online Therapist: and now you’re talking out the writing situation…again…lol
Susan: talking out the writing situation?
Online Therapist: Yes, how to get it “out there”
Susan: yes, I am always thinking about that…. thinking/doing
I feel like I need to leap…. that was why I was frustrated yesterday
why don’t I leap?? other people leap.
Online Therapist: probably the same reason other people don’t
Susan: other people make a living doing this stuff
Online Therapist: what are your fears concerning leaping? what does leaping look like to you?
Susan: fears: money
leaping: walking away from this job and dedicating 100% to my writing/speaking/healing
fears: not being able to take care of my family the way my family needs me to, roof over our heads… food, bills… money
Online Therapist: that’s true
Susan: idk, I feel like so much of my time is wasted “working”…and…. maybe I would feel that anywhere I worked
Online Therapist: maybe
Susan: but I feel at an impasse because I HAVE to work… until I get an income to support us through doing OTHER work, but I have a hard time doing OTHER work, because I HAVE to work
Online Therapist: so, what would it take for you to be comfortable enough to “leap”?
Susan: There’s SO much I could do if I had the time/space to DO it
Online Therapist: what things would need to be in place?
Susan: it could look a variety of ways, but the main thing is roof over our heads, bills paid, enough food and computer and internet to “get stuff out there”…. I don’t know how much personal interaction I “need” with others for income
…that’s the other side of it…I feel like there is SO much to DO, and how do I prioritize ALL THAT toward income generating?
and I go to work, and it’s soul crushing, and I feel immobilized
but if I get another job that isn’t soul crushing, there will be less time to get stuff done…all around
less time, more complications.
another job is going to be a lot more demanding of my time
Online Therapist: well, let’s not make assumptions
Online Therapist: we don’t know what’s going to happen or where yet
Susan: I know
Online Therapist: the future is wide open
Susan: is it?
Online Therapist: of course it is
Susan: I feel crushed
Online Therapist: it, like you, is full of possibilities
Susan: and I feel pissed off that I’ve let it get this far, and I feel pissed off that I’ve let it get to me like this, but I also feel pissed off that I’ve felt like I’ve been continually defending myself for over 4 years
Online Therapist: you’re not in this alone. you’re always surrounded. don’t forget
Susan: That’s kind of funny, because in the little bit that I wrote today, I said I am writing so people know they are not alone
**end of session**
I hope that was at least entertaining for you. I hope that if you ever feel frustrated, impatient, pissed off….you have someone to vent with. I hope you know you’re not alone.
The reason this is relevant to the Guiding Thought today, is that the Guiding Thought was HARD for me today. Light? Free? I could not begin to “get there” today. Today, I felt, “crushed”, as I said above.
I have never-ever-never been in this particular emotional-mental-psychic state. This is new territory for me. I am getting through it, and all is well. I know all is well. I know that the way to get through it is to GET THROUGH IT. To stop just means I have to pick it back up another time—I might as well use this momentum to get me through. I know that once I am through there will be a level of freedom I’ve never had before. I know that when I get through I will be able to handle SO much more than I ever have. For now, though… one tiny concrete-laden step at a time.
Our Self wills only to extend itself. Extending, sharing, and creating as Divine Love, through Divine Mind, is our sole purpose. Our Self knows its fullness in Divine Love and wills only to liberate us to fulfill our purpose and release our Joy.
Yesterday, I introduced you to Samuel, the Hyatt employee who was amazing. There was much more to the conversation than I mentioned yesterday. I asked him a LOT of questions about his “amazing”. He said he feels amazing because he’s a people person; he just loves talking with people, so he feels amazing.
So I asked, “But you said you wake up feeling amazing, so do you bring it to your work, or do you get it when you’re here, talking to people?”
He was pretty sure that he wakes up feeling amazing and brings it to work with him. So I asked, “Do you cultivate it? Do you do something to be amazing?” He said, “This is who I am, I’ve always been like this.”
I asked, “Do you have a personal philosophy? Is this something that you are very aware of within yourself?” He said, “Yes, I definitely have this as a personal philosophy, and I’m aware of it as who I am.”
So I asked, “Have you thought about teaching it? Sharing it with other people?”
He said, “Yes, but I don’t really know how or what to do.”
I said, “I see you on stage with a microphone and a power point presentation telling an audience how they can be awesome and inspire others.” He said, “Yeah?” I said, “Yeah. It would be work, but I can see it. You need a venue and a platform.” So we talked a bit about venue and platform.
Apparently, he already has a venue and a platform—he just didn’t realize it. People tell their friends about him. They say, “Go to the Hyatt…talk to Samuel.” The friends come and seek him out; they tell him their friends sent them…he said that has happened dozens of times.
And I’m telling you, he is amazing and worth seeking out.
At the end of the conversation (I had been working on an article for this website), I showed him the site and introduced myself as Susanwithpearls. I told him that what I do naturally, as who I am, is to support and encourage people’s journeys of self-discovery; he and I were there, totally doing and being who we are naturally,together, at the same time, with each other.
Now, that was amazing.
I thought, wouldn’t it be “amazing” if this were how the world worked? Wouldn’t it be an amazing life if we could all just go around being who we are naturally with each other, on this beautiful journey of self-discovery?
Do you, maybe, by chance, see how all of that fits with today’s Guiding Thought?
Our Self wills only to extend itself. Being who you are naturally is YOU, sharing yourself, extending your Self.
Extending, sharing, and creating as Divine Love, through Divine Mind, is our sole purpose. How do we know that extending and sharing the Love we are is our sole purpose? Because it feels amazing; you meet amazing people; there is energy and love and appreciation and synchronicity—you know it’s right.
Our Self knows its fullness in Divine Love and wills only to liberate us to fulfill our purpose and release our Joy. There is freedom and Joy to being the Love you are, being who you are naturally. The freedom and Joy make us want more—more love, more joy, more freedom. How do we get that? By sharing and extending ourselves.
What is fulfillment but knowing our Self as an expression of Divine Love? Our Self wills to create! Our Self wills to share! Our Self wills to extend itself! Our fulfillment is creation; our joy is sharing; our peace is extension.
Over the past 48 hours, I have met some amazing people. My trip to Chicago started with observing the beautiful interaction at the train station. And that energy seemed to continue throughout my entire trip. I was blessed by so many people:
Victor: the guy who dropped his baggage claim ticket, which I chased down to make sure he had it—he gave me such a beautiful, appreciative smile.
My cab driver to the hotel: an American-Romanian, who had been to Seminary in Romania and almost became a priest, we had an interesting talk about the Philokalia.
Christian: The woman at the hotel desk, who put everything right.
Everyone at the University: Jessica, Annie, Luke, Chloe, Aaron, Abigail, Francey, Viviana…and all the rest. EVERY single one of the people I have EVER met who are associated with the Newcombe Fellowship are amazing people: intelligent, caring, thoughtful, disciplined, attentive, gracious…beautiful people; this group was no different.
Sandy: my waitress at The Promontory who was helpful and cheerful—I know that it was her “job”, but there are some qualities that you just can’t fake.
Samuel: The guy cleaning the counter at the Hyatt; an amazing human being. I asked him how he was, he said, “Amazing”. I said, “Are you always amazing, or is something unique about today?” He said, “I always wake up and feel amazing.” He had a natural ease and generosity of spirit about him. His amazing was infectious. We had a nice little conversation about that… he said, “This is just who I am, what I do”.
Jevary and Oscar: the shoe-shine guys at the airport. Oscar lent me his stool—he was so generous and gracious; Jevary, who was just…sweet.
Jonathan: my new friend. We ended up on an uber-Uber-adventure together after both getting on the wrong train. Who knew I had to go to Chicago to meet a really nice young man who lives 5 minutes from me?
The Uber Driver who picked up Jonathan and me (I don’t remember his name): This was another gentleman with a gracious spirit, firmly established in the gift of life. He was shot 3 times about 2 years ago, and thought he was going to die. He said, “I laid there looking up at that beautiful sky, looking at my blood pooling around me, the blood on my hands, and I prayed to God, ‘Just let me see my son one more time’”. There’s something powerful about talking with someone who has had an experience like that and who understands on such a personal level how valuable life is, how valuable people and relationships are, how beautiful life is.
One theme from A Course in Miracles is how important it is to see the Holy Spirit within others—this is how it grows within you. Once you begin to see it in others, it is reflected back to you, and you see/experience It more strongly in yourself. Then, I can imagine, it’s like standing in between two mirrors and the reflection continues infinitely.
The trick is to extend yourself first. THEN you see it in others. I really believe that I experienced all of these people as beautiful, amazing, sweet, generous, and gracious because I have been doing this work, the work of being aware of extending the Divine in myself. They and I are we and me.
I look forward to meeting you one day, if we have not already, and seeing how amazing you are. What exquisite beings we are.
I now invite, welcome, and receive the effects of Divine Love, and I am Truly grateful.
I experience Divine Mind as I experience these effects, and Divine Presence confirms itself in my life, activities and affairs.
What a way to start a Journey. I feel like I should apologize to you, for starting the Journey on such a down note yesterday. Spot, my dog, did die last night, by the way. I am trying to wrap my head/heart around my grief as a part of Journey of Fulfillment.
Everything is the journey.
As we move through time, through life, we experience fluctuations. How do we reconcile these types of fluctuations (grief, sorrow, pain) with the activity of Divine Mind? If we were really living in Divine Mind, as Divine Mind, we would always be joyful, happy, and at peace, right? This question is like the personal version of, “If God is all good, why is there so much violence, hatred, and destruction?”
I do not have the answer. But I can tell you that Spot’s death is definitely helping me to learn an answer, or at least get closer to one. Understanding is part of expanding consciousness. And the contrast of an All-good and loving God against destruction or painful emotions is a tough concept to understand.
There is a lot written about this. You can find numerous teachings on “relative reality and ultimate reality”, which explains the contrast between the movements of the mind (relative reality) and the stillness of the Eternal (ultimate reality). You can find a lot of writings on just the question about “If God is all good, why is there violence?”
But these Journeys are not about seeking answers through someone else or through books and intellectual discussions; they are about finding the answers within. Through the Journeys, I feel my feelings, and I feel my feelings in the context of the Guiding Thought, in the context of the topic of the Journey (in this case fulfillment).
In this way, I am doing my own research, getting my own answers. My feelings correspond to “relative reality”; the Guiding Thoughts correspond to “ultimate reality”. When juxtaposed through the Journey, I experience life with an awareness of this juxtaposition, which in turn helps me to see/understand that every moment and every experience is within the ALL of Life, the ALL of existence.
Everything is the Journey. I cannot step outside of existence. Life is the Journey; existence is the Journey. Everything that is in Life, every experience, every feeling, every bit of All that is, is the Journey. I am learning. Life is my teacher.
The Divine Presence of Love is the most natural energy in the world and beyond. Through the wisdom of Love, I understand Love as True wealth as an expression of my Divine nature, to be cultivated in my consciousness, expressed, and shared. My love is infinite. My wealth is infinite. I realize this as my reality and circulate wealth with joy and gratitude.
I get it. It all comes together today. This Guiding Thought really is a capstone. I’ve never “seen it” before, but I see it now, thanks to the past several days. Welcome to day 40! You made it. How are you “seeing things” today, or lately?
I’m going to save “what I see” today for my summary in a few days. There is too much hearkening back to the past 40 days, which would take too long now if I tried to explain it.
But, I do have two thoughts to share.
First, last night, as I’ve been doing recently, I had the words, “ALL in All is Love is ALL in All is Love is ALL…” going through my head. They made no sense to me.
It was as though each word was completely isolated and without context. As I repeated the phrase silently in my head, I had no clue what I had seen or heard in these words recently. Everything seemed lost—all of the depth, dimension, connections, feeling, etc., gone.
I told myself, “This happens sometimes, you know that. It happens that the brain, emotions, or ego regresses, rebelling against your learning”. I knew that was true, so I was not too, terribly upset (but I was pretty frustrated about it).
I also knew that I had seen/understood the meaning and connection of the phrase very deeply, and with strong feeling. I cannot lose it. It is part of me now. I’m not saying I don’t have to continue to work at cultivating it (“True wealth as an expression of my Divine nature, to be cultivated in my consciousness…”), but I have definitely moved into a new (natural, effortless) understanding (and therefore expression) of Love and wealth.
My encouragement to you from this is: Stay encouraged! Sometimes it feels like two steps forward, one step back. Sometimes it feels like you’ve gotten nowhere, like you’ve forgotten or lost something you had just a day or two before. Trust that when you get something, that you have gotten it; that it is part of you now. Trust what you feel. Trust that there is a new depth now from which you are growing and expanding. You’ll never be the same again…and that’s a good thing.
Second: When you get something (that is: have a new, expanded understanding), acknowledge it, and even pat yourself on the back. Because, here’s why: each little growth anchors you for the next one. When you feel yourself learning something in a new way, in a deeper way, in a more-expansive way, then that is what is becoming your new platform, the new solid place which is yours unquestionably, without thinking about it, without effort. As each growth-experience becomes integrated into your consciousness, into your Self-identity, the next growth starts from there. If you don’t acknowledge it, accept it, and anchor it, it is easy for it to float away—the brain will step in and fill your head with thoughts that counter it, make it seem unreal, make you question yourself…you must trust yourself and your growth enough to claim your Self and your growth. Accept what you are becoming as what you are.
I’ll be posting my summary-reflection in the next week or so. Then Journey of Fulfillment begins September 18!!! I am so excited! (I’m such a dork.)
Also—something new is coming! During these short breaks between Journeys, there will be guest articles! In the Spirit of the With Pearls Foundation (501c3), which supports and encourages journeys of self-discovery, there will be new voices, new experiences, and new perspectives from others who are consciously taking steps on the path! If you’re interested in writing a guest-article, see this page.