Following the guidance of my heart, I experience life anew! As I express love, I experience love everywhere. I find new ways to love. I recognize new depths and nuances of love. I am patient. I am kind. I am wise. I 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:
“Yes, yes, that’s true”. I felt assured in my contemplation.
It’s one thing to read the Guiding Thought and feel disconnected from the words or their meanings. Sometimes that happens. the words are like the lyrics to a song that I don’t understand, so I hum the melody, as gibberish runs through my mind.
It’s quite another to read the Guiding Thought and not only feel connected to it, but feel like it applies. These are the best kind of affirmation: when I agree with the thing that I am affirming, when there are no dissenting voices sabotaging and undermining the statements of truth.
So, today, I received connection, affirmation, and assurance. With deep gratitude, I accept this gift from my heart! (Always a good idea to acknowledge, accept, and give thanks…this lets your heart know you want its gifts, and you take it seriously).
“If you are not really living, this moment, you are not really living.” -Random internet quote
Life is beautiful. There is nothing other than Life. Life is within me; Life pours out from me. Everything everywhere is Life. Life is Being. I am Life. All that I am, I offer in praise and thanks to all of Life.
Can you hear my boisterous laugh?
I saw the quote above about “not really living” and thought, what a great contrasting quote for today’s Guiding Thought. I mean… how can anyone be “not really living” in any moment?
Yes, I know, I get it… it’s supposed to be a motivation to live life to the fullest in every moment, or something like that. But, it sounds as though there is an alternative, when there isn’t. When you say, “you need to eat” it’s not like you can say, “hey, you need to eat, but you can’t swallow your food”. Or “we want you to pre-pay after your purchase”. It doesn’t work that way.
Life is. You are. Life is FULL. You are FULL. You are Full of LIFE. You are always Living. There is no alternative.
Stop thinking that you are not “really” living. You are. This is life, you are in it, start seeing it. (there’s that seeing again).
However, I acknowledge “the gap”: If you don’t feel like you are “really” living; if there are parts of your life that you “really” don’t like; if you look at a picture of someone living in a treehouse, on a yacht, or travelling the world, and you think “now that’s really living”, then there is something missing from your experience of Life. The gap is between what you think life is, and how you experience it.
It feels like, it seems like, it appears as though there is a life that would be better, think about what message that sends to the life you are living: “Not good enough”. “Dissatisfied”. “Never enough”. Think about how those messages limit Life from fully expressing through you.
It’s not about having life, or having a life. It’s about being life.How can that ever be less than, or not good enough?
Pearls of Vision (Join in on Twitter, #pearlsofvision)
Keeping with today’s theme: May we all Know ourselves as FULL, and as Life, and as Full of Life!
How does one contemplate? What does it mean to contemplate? Does contemplation feel like anything? Is there a difference between contemplation and just thinking?
I lift my mind and heart to the Truth of Being, to all that Is, to All I Am. I accept my Self in Truth and offer my Self to All in gratitude for Its Being.
If visualization is intentional imagination, and if prayer is direct communication (with dieties, buddhas or boddhisattvas, angels, saints, etc), then, I would say that the way I use contemplation here is intentional, direct communication and imagination, with myself, with the addition of seeking understanding beyond the words.
This is what it looks like for me with today’s Guiding Thought:
I lift my mind and heart to the Truth of Being: I imagine lifting my mind and heart to the Truth of Being. I do not need to know what the Truth of Being is, nor to understand it. I simply use a symbol (a focused, bright white light that encompasses all) to represent what I neither know nor understand. I “send” my mind and heart to this light in my imagination.
At the same time, I ask my mind to wonder, “what is Truth?”, “what is Being?”. I do not need to have the answer, I do not need to know, I simply ask the questions, and allow my mind to wonder about the answer. I keep my mind focused on the words, on asking the questions.
Sometimes, a thought can feel like it’s telling me something important…
to all that Is, to All I Am: “Somehow”, my mind thinks, “all that Is is related to Truth of Being. Is the Truth of Being also All that Is?” I do not make a decision about the answer to this question, I simply continue contemplating. “Somehow”, my mind then thinks, “all that Is, is related to All I Am. Am I all that Is”? Again, I make no decisions about the answer–if I make a decision, then I will not be open to alternative answers, or “add-ons” to an answer. Decisions cut off other possibilities, so I leave myself open.
With those thoughts, I let myself imagine what if. What if the Truth of Being is All that Is? What if All I Am is the Truth of Being? If the Truth of Being is All that Is, and If All I Am is the Truth of Being, then I Am All that Is.
By now, my mind feels a bit confused. WHAT? I don’t know if this is right…I don’t know if there is more…I don’t know how or what I understand about this, but my mind and heart have lead me to these thoughts, to these imaginings, so I go with it. And I let my mind stay confused, because there is part of my mind that is shifting (I can feel it); there is part of my mind trying to figure it out, and (if I were to use neuro-science language), it’s building new neural-networks.
I accept my Self in Truth: My mind thinks, “I accept myself only in Truth. The self I accept is the Self of Truth. I reject, the self that is not True.” “That sounds harsh”. “Well, maybe, but what if that is correct use of denial”? Here I catch myself, and draw myself back to the Guiding thought, and simply be aware of the thoughts my mind thinks. I do not need to think about the thoughts that come up regarding the Guiding Thought. I stay focused on the Guiding Thought.
and offer my Self to All: The only Self that I want to offer to All is my Self of Truth. Now, it begins to feel like the only self I want to acceptis my Self of Truth.
But, if this were the case, that would mean rejecting the self that is not True…but again, I can’t make a decision about this, I cannot decide I know, or think that I have found an answer, because if the Truth of Being is All that IS, and I am All that Is, then I can reject nothing, because it is me. There’s more to it than I can see…
At the same time, my imagination is “seeing” me offer my Self to All. The way this looks to me today is symbolically holding my mind and heart in my hands, lifting them up, into the atmosphere, where they disperse around the earth, to All.
in gratitude for Its Being: “Am I giving gratitude for my Self, or for All? What is the Its in this phrase”? By now, I’ve gone through the Guiding Thought a dozen times, slowly allowing these thoughts and imaginings to evolve. By now, I feel like “my Self” and “All” are the same thing, so my question does not even make sense. I offer my Self to my Self, I offer my Self to the Truth of Being, I offer my Self to All that IS.
To what am I giving? My Self–the Truth of Being–All that IS.
For what am I grateful? My Self–the Truth of Being–All that IS.
What receives my gift? My Self–the Truth of Being–All that IS.
What receives my gratitude? My Self–the Truth of Being–All that IS.
All that is given is received. Anything given is received by All. Anything given returns from All. Imagine that.
Invite, welcome, and receive the effects of Divine Love now… and be truly grateful. Experience Divine Mind as you experience these effects; allow Divine Presence to confirm itself in your life, activities, and affairs.
Conscious union with God. I have to remind myself sometimes what these Journeys are all about for me, and why I am doing this. Conscious union with God is what came to me, as I was reminding myself. That about sums it up.
For me, the question, “Why am I doing this?” can sometimes have the existential weight of similar questions, like, “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” Fortunately, unlike those larger questions, I only need to answer for right now, this moment. I don’t need to find an absolute answer. This helps me on a daily basis, because the answer can change on a daily basis—why I am doing this can change, and as long as I understand and have a daily (or even momentary) answer, it’s enough to keep me centered and balanced, and to continue.
Conscious union with God is a pretty big answer though, isn’t it? That’s ok for today, and besides, it fits quite well with today’s contemplation.
If I say I really want conscious union with God, what better way to go about it than to invite, welcome and receive the effects of Divine Love? I urge you to do this right now, if you too are interested in a deeper relationship with God. Invite Divine Love to be the Source of the effects in your life. This is what you do if you want someone to come over for dinner, or out for a drink, right? The invitation comes first: Invite Divine Love.
Then once you’ve sent out the invitation, the person shows up on your doorstep…what do you do? Welcome them. So, welcome Divine Love, give It a virtual hug at the doorstep of your heart! Open the door and usher It in.
Then, receive Divine Love. You have the greatest guest in your house you can imagine. Don’t just sit on the couch and play World of Warcraft, checked out and not paying attention to your guest. Have something special planned, like Turkish coffee with that beautiful set of cups and saucers that you almost never use. In other words: do something unique that demonstrates you acknowledge the presence of Divine Love.
Sometimes I think that traditions and rituals are really good to give people a role-model for approaching the Divine, but at the same time, I also think it can be a simple, small gesture from the heart that, for you, genuinely conveys your recognition of and appreciation for the Divine in your life. If something is complicated, or if it doesn’t “feel right” for you, you may not do it. Divine Love loves you! No matter what! How can you show It your appreciation, in a way that is unique and right for you?
When you think about having That Amazing Power and Presence right there, where you are, how can you not feel anything but gratitude? And Love? How can you not want more and more?
As you go through this, more and more, you open yourself up to recognizing the gifts of Divine Love, the effects. Sometimes they show up in your life, sometimes they show up in your heart. Keep looking. Keep recognizing, keep appreciating. Divine Love and Divine Presence know no bounds; your conscious union with Divine Love also need know no bounds.
For the past few days I have been ruminating on the overall “achievement” or “accomplishment” of the Journey of Worth, because I knew eventually, I would be writing a post script. (Of course, “achievement” and “accomplishment” aren’t really the right words… more like—“afterthoughts” or “what did I learns”). The phrases above are what continued to enter my mind as I contemplated what the post script would be about. I didn’t really know at first what to make of those lines, but they continued to enter my mind, as I thought about this post script.
Here is how my thoughts progressed, with the sentences above at the center:
This is supported by day 05, “there is only One Will”:
“I want what I want in Truth.” My will only wants the Truth; it wants what my Self wants, and that is Truth. In other words, I agree with my Self. My Self Knows the Truth, and wills the Truth; that is what I want too (despite my self-sabotage, obstructions, or barriers; despite obscuring the Truth from myself; despite having to pluck SO many weeds to understand)… all I want, all that is worthy in my life and affairs is the Truth. This is what I want; this is what my Self wants for me.
So, if I want it, then, I can (and do) Will it, because it is who and what I am: Love. Peace.
“I Will what I want, in Truth”. All of this is about worthiness, because what exists in Truth is really all that exists, and (conveniently!) all I care to have in my experience. Since there is only one Will, and “we” “both” want the same thing, then, I am Willing what I want in Truth. This was powerful at first— I have the Power to Will Truth into being.
But then I thought, but wait a minute…
If There is only one Will and…
If We are One, and…
If my Self is established in and by Love (Guiding Thought 07) and if I extend the Love that I am (being aware, understanding, and Knowing my will as Love, Guiding Thought 09), then… I AM what I want in Truth.
And if this is correct, then, my Will wills only what I want, which is what I AM in Truth, so the second line becomes, “I Will what I AM, In Truth”; and the saying becomes transformed:
I AM what I want in Truth.
I Will what I AM, In Truth
And since I am what I want, there is no reason to want.
Since I am what I will, there is no reason to will. So the first two lines become simply: I AM.
Throughout these thoughts, and this process, I continued to “feel” the truth of the progression. This is why “I AM” makes sense, in the “I AM that I AM” way. There is nothing to want; there is nothing to will. There is only the beingness of Self.
I am not saying that I continue to “get it”. But in the moment, as I was coming to understand the progression, I understood. I Am.
Throughout the progression, I was repeating the three lines, as they appear at the top (until they transformed, as outlined); the third line, “I present what I want and will to True Authority for guidance, in the service of Divine Love“ is what (I think) carried me through to a new understanding. Wants and Wills and desires and attachments and this job or that car or this house or that relationship carry us away from our Self; carry us away from True Authority. It’s easy to think about wanting or willing—especially when it comes to worth—in a worldly sense. It is for me, anyway; I am still not certain of what Worth is (I will be doing this Journey again!). But, as I offer (present, give as a present) my wants and wills to a True Authority for guidance, and do so with the intent to serve Divine Love… then, well… True Authority guides me.
This journey concludes today, October 20, 2013, with this article. A postscript to this Journey will be posted on Thursday, October 24.
The next journey, “A Journey of Healing”, will begin Monday November 4, 2013.
If I am to be my Self in the world, I must be for others as well as myself. There is no other.
I am willing to be receptive to the Infinite Love of All. I am willing to understand how I must rise above the struggles and pains of the world. I am willing to rise again and again with each call for help, each outstretched hand. I am willing to be the one to choose to change. I offer my pain, suffering, guilt, and blame up for transformation, into the light of Love that I may see and give only the light of Love always.
“There is no other”. In the Guiding Thought, this statement takes on two meanings. It means both that there is no other Self –the Self that I am is the Self that you are, is the Self that resides in All—and (precisely because of the first meaning) there is no other—All is One.
So, “I am to be my Self in the world” means that I must have an attitude of acceptance of All as One, as my Self. Everyone is equal, All are equal to me; I am equal to All, for we are all One.
And we know that this All One is only Love. Thus, I am one with Love, equal to Love; you are one with Love, equal to Love.
In Love there is not struggle or pain; if I feel struggle or pain, I have forgotten that I am Love. When I remember Love in order to rise above struggle and pain, my effort opens the space for you to rise above struggle and pain (though, in Love there is really no “you” or “I”).
This is why I am willing to rise again and again, why I am willing to answer calls for help, why I am willing to choose to change: because we are equal in Love, any effort I give to “you” is being given to “me”.
This is why I offer my pain and suffering, guilt and blame, up for transformation: because “my” transformation is “your” transformation.
I extend the Love that I am, for that is all I truly am. As I learn to be aware, to understand and to Know my own will as Love, and make choices according to that will, my life experiences become worthy of me. Expressing my Self that is wholly Love and United with All is the only choice that is worthwhile. It is the only thing that brings me satisfaction, the only choice that allows me to experience my Self—the Love that I am. My-your-our- freedom depends on my right choices, depends on my choosing what is worthy and what is not.
This guiding thought encapsulates several central concepts that are foundational to moving beyond worldly thought, expectation, and experience.
First, the Guiding Thought states that” I am Love and only Love”. This has been a theme throughout this journey, as well as it was in “A Journey of Purpose”. Here, it is stated as an accepted premise, it is not asking you to believe that you are love; it presumes that you already know it.
Second, the Guiding thought states that it’s not just that “I am Love”, but that “I will Love”. Willing can be either a decree (“This will be done”) or an acceptance (“I am willing to do this”). We must first accept ourselves (the second sense of the word) as Love before we can “will Love” (the first sense of the word) as our Selves.
These are pretty intense concepts, and may be a lot to handle for a consciousness that is not already attuned to these ideas (or if there are blocks, obstructions, or disturbances in the way). So, the Guiding Thought takes this into account and basically says, “No worries… you may not be ready to embrace your Self as Love, and will as Love just yet. That’s ok, because this is just about allowing your-self to learn to do so. You don’t need to Know, you are learning to Know, and you are doing that first through awareness and understanding. Just take one easy step at a time.”
Third, expressing myself as Love, as the will of Love, allows me to experience myself as Love. It’s not just internal, it’s not imagination, it’s in my experience; I can feel it and know it because I experience it.
All I have to do is choose. But choosing can be overwhelming too. So, it says I don’t even have to Know how to choose; I am learning that too! Learning to choose comes after or with, but not prior to, learning myself as Love (and being willing to do so), and thus willing Love.
My Self as Love is very gentle and patient with me. It understands seeing Love that is infinite and eternal can be confusing, intimidating, and overwhelming for the “me” who is in this limiting body and world. Goethe said, “If you would know infinity, take a step in every direction”. My Self as Love helps me do just that, slowly…one step at a time. It asks me to start just by being willing, and as I remain willing, my Self as Love leads me, because I am accepting it as my will. With little steps, I walk toward freedom!
I am worth the effort it requires to move my mind to Love. I am worth the time of waiting, in patience, for Knowing to arrive. Every moment, every second that I open to simply being willing for Love to enter is a moment offered to Eternity; a moment offered to healing, a moment offered to Unity.
Love does not announce itself with trumpets and cymbals. It simply settles slowly, quietly, gently, beyond sense-perception. So I must wait in patience and take the effort to move my mind to join the quiet stillness of Love. Here I rest. Here is Peace. Here is all I want and need.
Every thought of Love from any one is for All. With/in Love, the words “all for one and one for all” really apply. Every thought of Love ripples infinitely and eternally, through all existence.
When we have all cleared the dross, plucked the weeds, blown off the chaff, so only Love remains in every moment, we enter eternity together; we live in the infinite presence of Love.
There—in infinite eternity—Love already exists as the only reality, as infinite ripples of itself in and through all.
There—in infinite eternity—Love waits for us as we plow through time. With each thought of Love, we join Love where it is.
That’s worth this effort. I am worth that effort. You are worth that effort.
I claim who I am, the essence of my Self, established in and by Love. My Self shines with the strength, beauty, and power of its essence, Love. As I open to my Self, accept my Self, and Love my Self, the Life of Unity infuses all my activity and transforms my consciousness. Life as my Self renews my Joy and restores my trust in it.
I’m finally, after 36 days, beginning to feel the Guiding Thought on a deeper level. Finally, I was able to feel myself claiming my Self, feeling the enormity of my Self hovering, waiting, ready to be accepted into my consciousness.
Finally, I was able to visualize my Self shining through me with Beauty and Power. I was a bystander as I simply watched it shine, knowing my Self was coming through me.
Finally I saw, that when Unity pervades life’s activities, Unity reflects an understanding of Oneness and how Unity transforms consciousness, while joyful activity feeds the understanding of Unity. It becomes a perpetuating cycle—Unity feeds consciousness which feeds Joyful activity…which feeds consciousness…which feeds Unity.
We are ALL One. I am not alone. Alone becomes All One in Unity and Healing. I am that you are that we become together. There is no separation—we mend the pieces: At One, there are no limits, at One, there are no boundaries. At One I am free—with you.
Oneness is one of the harder concepts for me to wrap my head around. Well, they all are, really. What do I know of Love, of Peace, of Purpose? I have momentary realizations, fleeting experiences, moments of deep understanding…but most of the time, I contemplate and strive—or fumble, as it feels. I like to think that my effort results in the realizations, experiences, and moments that I do have, and I can confirm that I have those moments much more often than I did five, ten, or twenty years ago. I feel much more settled than I was five, ten, or twenty years ago and I can pull myself out of emotional distress or disturbance more easily (and the moments of distress and disturbance are fewer than years before).
With all of these concepts, especially Oneness, it’s like I know somewhere deep inside that these words (Peace, Love, Joy, Purpose, Oneness, etc.) mean something I have yet to really understand in a full, consistent way. I can’t understand these concepts like I understand the concept of “breakfast”. Even when the concept of breakfast changes (“Oh, we’re having fish for breakfast! That’s odd, but ok.), the change can still fit and make sense within what I already understand. But with words like Peace, Love, Joy, Purpose, Oneness, I don’t even have a baseline for understanding, for “fitting” things in to. Even though I have had experiences that feel like these concepts, they don’t linger (neither the experience nor the feeling). I want immersion, consistency, fullness of these experiences, so I can really understand.
The knowing and understanding is right there, so close…but still hidden, or maybe just on the very top shelf, just out of reach.
That’s why I am doing these Journeys—to remove what is hiding my understanding, to build a step stool to reach it.
What does it mean to be at One? If I look at myself, then look at you, all of my sense-data says you are you and I am me. We are two, not one. So what is Oneness?
Buddhists talk about “one mind”, Christians talk about the “Christ mind” (“May the mind that was in Christ Jesus be also in you”).
So, Oneness has to do with our minds (?). Our minds are united (is unity different from Oneness?). There is one mind, a “Christ mind”, which permeates all of us, all of existence (?).
Experience counters this, though. That’s another reason these concepts are difficult to wrap one’s head around. When people look outward, they see people and objects… not one anything. People can say “that is not me”, “I am different from them”, or “we are separate”. These thoughts are the only conclusion the human brain can come to with the sense-data that it perceives and receives.
If there is One mind, that mind must be able to perceive itself and to know itself. Wouldn’t you think?
If that One mind is in me, then I can perceive/know it.
How do I do that? How do I counter the sense-data and how do I perceive/experience Oneness?
This is what I’ve come to in response to these questions:
Willingness: I must be willing to see the One mind with the One mind within me.
Openness: The One mind within me wants me to Know it (this is an assumption, but I am accepting this as a premise). I must be open to receiving information/data that pertains to the One mind within me. I must be open to this information/data coming from somewhere other than my five senses.
Practice. If we are of One mind, then at the deepest level, we share goals and interests. If I bring that attitude to all my interactions, that is a step toward experiencing the One mind within me in my daily activities. When I see our interests as mutual, and act in a way that supports your interests and goals (at the deepest level), as equal to my own (at the deepest level), then I am practicing the attitude (or mind) of Oneness.
With every day of the Journey, with every round of the Journey, the concept teaches itself. When I am willing to be open to the teaching and confirm my sincerity through practice I gain understanding, bit by bit. These concepts are Infinite…my journey is infinite.