“The Big Exhale”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 40

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

I am light. My body is light. I am free. I know my fulfillment: I feel it rise within me, expand out from me.

Sharing

Ahhhhhhh! Can you feel it? The light. The lightness! “I am free” takes on a whole ’nother meaning on day 40, doesn’t it? It’s a feeling of relief, completion, and “thank God I made it” all rolled into one big exhale.

What a beautiful day. What a beautiful Journey.

The thing about small steps is that progress or change happens almost un-noticeably. What did I do for the past 39 days? What was relevant? What was important? What moved me?

I don’t know the specifics. I can’t identify the what. But I am changed; I am fulfilled. How do I know? Because I love more. Because I am relaxed and enjoying my life, my friends, and my family. I am feeling deeply appreciative for everything. Because even with my car breaking down, several “high-intensity” interactions, several unexpected insertions (“there are no coincidences”), I have been open and flowing (buoyant!).

Life is beautiful. I am fulfilled. I am experiencing being fulfilled—through everything, with everything. This feeling is not coerced or imposed; it’s not affectation or the façade of an underlying desire. It “just is”. And that’s how I know it’s right and it’s real. I haven’t done anything to “make it happen” (except, of course, spend the last 40 days with some bit of attention focused on uncovering it, cultivating it).

This is the power of just a bit of attention every day: small changes which, in the end add up to a shift that is so gradual it’s practically unidentifiable, yet also amazing and powerful. Who I am, when I am being, is not noticeable. It’s like breathing—it’s so natural, you just do it, you just be it, be you. That’s why being is so powerful—you don’t even notice it, yet you live in such a way as that deep, strong, real part of you comes out simply, easily.

I hope that you experience this for yourself. I hope that you have placed some attention on your Inner-Self of Fulfillment, just a bit! these 40 days. I hope that you feel your Inner Self in a new way, in a way that is natural, in a way that is easy. I hope that you know yourself as buoyant, even as anything and everything unexpected comes up. I hope you have experienced the interconnectedness of coincidences. I hope that you love and live and be and know your freedom, your light, your fulfillment.

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I’ll be back in just a few days with the Afterword!

The next Journey is Journey of REST. It could also be called Journey of Recuperating, Journey of Integration, Journey of Relaxing, Journey of Gearing-Up-For-The-Next-Journey. Take your pick. See this page under the header Step Back, Relax, and Rest for more information about why this is important.

Rest does not mean idle! I’ll be here, staying in touch, just probably not every day. If you are interested in guest-blogging over the next 2 months, let me know–here’s your opportunity. See this page for more information.

 

“Pea-Shooter v. Iceberg”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 34

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

My Self wills only to extend itself. Extending, sharing, and creating as Divine Love, through Divine Mind, is my sole (soul) purpose. My Self knows its fullness in Divine Love and wills only to liberate me to fulfill my purpose and my joy.

Sharing

I think one reason that I am able to do “this work” and be honest about my doubts, skepticism, “negative” experiences, or struggles, is because at a deeper (much deeper) level, I feel assured that those doubtful, skeptical, “negative”  thoughts or struggles have absolutely no “real” basis. In other words, at that very deep level, I trust the Truth of Love, which cannot be diminished in any way, especially by my small doubts, etc.

For example, when I read the Guiding Thought, some part of my always knows that it gets at a Truth stronger than anything I can overcome or vanquish. My doubts, my insecurities, my small thoughts about me in my little life are like trying to chip away at an iceberg with a pea-shooter. It just won’t happen.

I’m safe. I can’t assail the Truth. There is nothing that I can do to the Truth which will overcome the Truth.

Since I am safe, I might as well just be honest. I might as well take hard looks. I might as well ask questions. I might as well throw every doubt, negative thought, worry, anxiety at the iceberg of Truth. Truth is not going to go anywhere. It’s not going to be impacted by my mushy pellets.

The only thing that will happen is that I will open myself to the Truth to teach me of itself.

Why is that? In using my pellet gun against the iceberg, I willingly expose what is going on within myself.

Or, to switch metaphors: I willingly open my hidden-places to transformation. I shine the flashlight in my own darkness.

You see, Knowing the Truth is as simple as allowing Truth’s light to shine within you. When you keep things hidden, you keep out the light. The hidden becomes less scary to face, when there is assurance that Divine Love is always with you. Divine Love always cares. Divine Love loves you always. Confident in this, I can willingly, at my own pace, in my own time, with my own intensity, shine the light, learn the Truth, reveal the Truth within me. Better that I do it willingly, of my own accord, because Divine Love will bring me to the Light. Better I use my choice, my free will to begin to approach Divine Love within me, to begin to allow Divine Love to be the Truth within me.  Better that I use my free will to go willingly; I can’t change the course of an iceberg, might as well join it or it will pull me in and carry me with it whether I like it or not.

“Fate’s Breadcrumbs”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 06

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

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 my Love, expanding Life!

Sharing

I’ve had an interesting mix of emotions and experiences in the past week. On the one hand, there have been intense emotions around grief and letting go, on the other hand, there has been an almost-perfect synchronicity in how life is moving me forward joyfully—I’ve been following breadcrumbs life keeps leaving me, and the path is leading me home. I met some wonderful new people this weekend, found a meditation group that feels “right”, and though I miss my little guy in my daily routine, I am not overwhelmed with sadness.

As I’ve been experiencing this letting go on the one hand, and forward-propulsion on the other, I find myself wondering more than usual about “fate”, determinism, or destiny versus free will, or indeterminism. How much of life do I really control? How much of life is predetermined, and I’m just along for the ride?

At times like this, I am inclined to think I am along for the ride: I did not, and could not, control the death of my dog. Why did he die now? What series of circumstances came together at this moment for his passing? What did his passing open in my life? What has become available now that was not before when he was alive? I am along for the ride.

On the other hand, I suppose I did have a choice about whether or not to pick up the breadcrumbs that were left recently: the book, which lead to another book, which lead to a meditation, then an invitation out of the blue from a friend to go to a group doing that very meditation, and a special commemoration for a man whose life has been an example to me.

I could have chosen not to follow these clues, these hints that lead me from one place to another. In this I did have a choice. But not really. When I am in the flow, following the current, to swim against it just doesn’t feel right…and I do my best to do what feels right. So, was I just doing what I was fated to do all along, or did I choose to take the steps that lead me to that meditation, that place, those people?

Do choice and fate work together? Are some things chosen, other things pre-determined, with delicate balance between them?

This is not a day for answers! I don’t know that any of these questions have answers. I find it interesting to watch, to observe, to think about, to wonder, to look at what fits together (if I can).

I can tell you that I do feel that I have expanded this past week. Or, perhaps, rather, Life has expanded me. I have felt sorrow and joy equally, yet without attachment to either. My heart holds more today than it did a week ago. The love and appreciation that I have for Spot fills me fully, though I’ve let him go, and now there is room for more, with more to give.

“Self Fulfilled”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 05

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

 In Divine Mind, I am filled full! All are equally filled full. All are equal in Love. I fill my mind with thoughts of fulfillment and remember what I already know. I am determined to fulfill my purpose, to know my Self as Divine Love, and to share the fullness I am.

Sharing

In Divine Mind…I exist in Divine Mind. Like a grain of sand in the desert, like a ray of the sun, I am a thought-drop in the ocean of pure consciousness, the Source of all existence. Existence surrounds me, is me.

I am filled full! …How can it be any other way? Pure consciousness thinks me, and surrounds me with Itself, as existence. What is there that could cause me deprivation? I am within Source, surrounded by ALL.

All are equally filled full… All exists in ALL. Despite the perception that “you” and “I” are separate, we are simply as blood cells coursing through our vessels: We are the bloodstream and we are in the bloodstream.  There is no stream without us. We are the stream of consciousness, and we are in the stream of consciousness. As the stream, we are the same, equal. Consciousness is (and provides) ALL.

All are equal in Love… When I am aware of your role in and as the stream, I see there is no stream without us. You are as I am, yet not me, yet united with me. How can I not know us as equal? How can I not love you?

I fill my mind with thoughts of fulfillment…We are in ALL! We exist! Life is made up of us, for us, as us!

And remember what I already know…I am in Life. Life is in me. Life Loves me. I love Life. All I could ever want, anything I could desire is already fulfilled in the Life I am.

I am determined to fulfill my purpose… Life wills to Live, to expand, to grow, to evolve, to be. United with Life, my purpose is to allow Life to be, and to fulfill Its purpose through me.

to know my Self as Divine Love, and to share the fullness I am… Naturally and easily, I know my Self as Life, as Love, which naturally and easily shares Itself as fullness through me.

A Journey of Fulfillment: Afterword

I use terms like “simmering” and “stewing” a lot when referring to my thinking process. To me, they thoroughly sum up what is going on in my head: in cooking, simmering and stewing take items and cook them down, condensing them, allowing the flavors to blend, so that the final product is full of complexity and nuances of combinations of flavors integrated together. The finished dish is more than each individual ingredient, the flavors contributing separately, but coming together to form something completely different.

40-day Consciousness Journeys work in a similar way on my consciousness. There is input (each of the guiding thoughts), that has an individual impact or “flavor”, which then interacts with all of the other input. When simmered, they mix together to achieve a nuanced complexity that is absent from the individual pieces and only present after some time of co-mingling.

This is why I wait at least a week before trying to put it all together. And even now, I don’t think I am done cooking.

I’m not kidding about the subtleties and nuances, either. More than anything, I just feel different. More than any other Journey, so far, I feel like this one has worked mostly within my subconscious and energetic bodies—those areas that are just below the surface, where I can sense a shift and change, but not put words or identifiers to it.

If I had to guess, I would say the shift has grown out of the whole conversation with myself on day 16 in which I realized I needed to relax.

Relax. As in: let go, stop trying to control, predict, designate, pre-conceive. Relax. As in: Have faith, feel your higher purpose, work with your Self, rather than with yourself. Relax. As in: Trust. Trust what is; trust love; trust that the infinite intelligence at work from the microcosm to the macrocosm supports the perfection of my little life.

I have had some astounding realizations and interactions this past week—all a product of relaxing (as I have interpreted them).

First, I had a conversation with friend in which I said these words (which I had not pre-thought), “It’s about the Law of Attraction…but most people conceive the Law of Attraction to be, ‘I want THIS; manifest NOW!’ Instead, I want not to pre-determine what the ‘this’ is—I want to attract whatever is, whatever is highest, whatever divine is and simply allow THAT to manifest.”

Then, while doing some online research, I found a book and some mantras that I had never come across before. I started listening to the mantras right away, intending to just let them seep in slowly. One just blasted me, though. It says,

“As with all things in the Universes,

True Joy can only come from Deep Self-Realization;

Awareness and Love of the Other

Can only come from Deep reflective Self-Love.

And the Essence of All Living

Comes when one lets go of one’s life, needs, goals, and path.”

That last line was like a bugle waking me up, saying: “You need to just forget about what you think your path is. You don’t know.” In addition, the second line resonated with the beginning of what I had written at the beginning of the Journey: I intended True Joy, the Joy that is beyond the physical/mental/emotional, a Joy that is real and everlasting. I felt like this book and these mantras were helping me to shift into what I really want. I felt assured I was on the right path (whatever that is).

Then, while doing Si va na ta, I realized I do not do anything for the sake of itself. Nothing is “an end unto itself.” In other words, everything I do means something in addition to what it is. I don’t just do stuff. Everything has a meaning, a purpose that I bring to it, usually with full awareness. In fact, I try to bring as much as I can to every action; I bring as many layers as I can—mental (japa/mantra), emotional (awareness), physical (the action whatever it may be), spiritual (tuning in to the energy). I tried (yesterday) to just do stuff without bringing meaning and purpose to it. I tried just doing the dishes for the sake of doing the dishes, rather than as an act of service; I tried painting without having mantras running through my head; I tried interacting with people without bringing caring, giving, sharing to the interaction.

My day felt all wrong, I felt impatient, frustrated… until I let myself be myself again, until I relaxed into my Self.  It was what I have talked about before, about needing to compare/contrast actions and attitudes to see what works, what feels right, and then making a new choice—for me, making a choice for evolving into something better.

When I let myself be my Self again, that is, when I chose to allow myself to be caring, giving, sharing, involved, attentive, loving, etc. I again got a “message of re-assurance” (although, I do not know if there was a direct cause-effect relationship here).

A stranger, who I just started talking with, talked about the history of Christianity and about reading scripture in the original Greek and Hebrew. He said, “When you read it in its original language, you have to throw out everything American Christianity teaches.” I found out he is working on his Master’s Degree in History of Religions; he talked about how one little grammatical mark can change an entire meaning, and many translations did not take that into account, and therefore were faulty translations. He talked about Jesus preaching against the Pharisees and the Sadducees; he talked about trusting God, walking in Faith, knowing he was always exactly where he needed to be.

Out of the blue, this wonderful conversation happened. It was an interaction of connection, sharing, expanding, growth, and enthusiasm for being in the Divine Flow. And it was a message for me to trust, to have faith, to be open to Love, to continue to follow the voice that only my third ear hears.

In the past week, all of the ingredients of my Fulfillment Stew condensed into a few interactions and realizations. Trust my Divine Self. Trust that I am on the right path. Meet life with Love, openness, trust, listening, and acceptance. And most of all, relax.

The stew is in the pot. I think it still needs to simmer…for months, perhaps years. But when it’s done, it will be oh so Filling!

 

 

 

Waking Up to Life (Again and Again). A Journey of Fulfillment: Day 40

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

I am light. My body is light. I am free. I know my fulfillment: I feel it rise within me, expand out from me.

 

 

I was thinking about the metaphor of waking up as it applies to spiritual consciousness, this morning as I was waking up in my physical body.

We all know what it means to wake from sleep. We can talk about waking up in terms of being “jolted awake,” about being “rudely awakened,” about being “half awake (or half asleep),” or “barely awake.”

We know what it feels like to wake up well-rested or wake up restlessly.

Some of us wake up slowly, and barely feel alert after 24 ounces of our favorite caffeinated beverage; sometimes we bounce out of bed, rejuvenated with no other inducement than the joy of life.

Sometimes we wake up, but want to go right back to sleep. Sometimes we lie there in a half-dream state, neither asleep nor awake for lengths of time.

Sometimes we are awakened by someone else, a noise outside, by an alarm, a pet, a bug, by being too cold, being too hot, having a pain in our shoulder or hip, by having too many worries.

Sometimes we just wake up with no stimulus, no apparent reason.

But the point is…unless we are dead, we ultimately wake up. So too, it is, with our spiritual consciousness. All of the language applied to a physical waking up can be applied to the waking up of spiritual consciousness.

Everyone is just waking up, and doing it in different ways, at different speeds, with different methods, different prompts, agitators, stimuli—some internal and invited, some external and unwelcome.

I like to think that every stimulus enters into our consciousness for the purpose of our inner awakening and ultimately for the awakening of All into spiritual consciousness—a consciousness of Love and Unity.

Sometimes a spiritual prompt can come as a jolt (like a near death experience) or an unexpected (perhaps unwelcome) surprise (an illness, the loss of a job, an unexpected pregnancy). Sometimes they are slow and steady, like relationships—especially relationships with parents and family. Sometimes they are aspects of experience that ebb and flow, like learning how to be responsible with money, learning to take care of another person, learning about health and well-being.

We do not, however, experience life in nice, neat little compartments. It’s not like I leave my health and well-being while I take care of money, nor am I suddenly out of a relationship just because I have entered the office where I work. Every moment, ALL aspects of life experience are with us. We may experience circumstances in linear time, but in our minds, everything is there every moment—the house, the relationships, the parents, the money, the health; those things don’t just go away when we are someplace else.

Similarly, spiritual consciousness does not just go away after I have done my little contemplation/meditation.

Waking up means bringing the meditation—the feeling of Fulfillment—into life experiences. Expanding spiritual consciousness is very practical. It means maintaining an attitude of Love, Peace, and Unity (or Forgiveness and Healing, where I am not yet awakened to Love, Peace, and Unity) into relationships, situations, and circumstances. It means being aware of the effects of my thoughts on situations that are not immediately happening (they don’t just go away). It means bringing an attitude of awakening to every situation, allowing it to work on me, to give me the gift of waking me up—even if it is a rude awakening.

I am at the end of this 40-day Journey, and I feel like I am only just now waking up. That’s what happens sometimes. Each 40-day Journey lifts me, but then it’s up to me to integrate the effects. With each integration, I start anew, waking up a little bit more…then I start over.

Thank you for joining me. I’ll be taking about a 7 day break while I do some thinking/integrating, and will be publishing some final thoughts on the journey in about a week. Feel free to email me or comment with your discoveries, insights, or experiences on this journey. I’d love to hear from you.

May you be Joyfully Fulfilled while you continue to awaken!

 

 

Worth Every Minute. A Journey of Fulfillment: Day 39

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

May those who seek, help others find;

May those who sorrow, be compassionate;

May those who are lost, light a path for another;

May those who question or doubt, give guidance;

May those who worry, lift the burden of another;

May those who hide, see their own light in the eyes of a stranger;

May we all give peace, no matter what.

 

 

I felt such gratitude this morning. It poured out of me, washed over me, seemingly emanated from me. I didn’t think about it; I didn’t ask for it or conjure it; I wasn’t trying to feel grateful; I didn’t invoke it. It just happened. I thanked God for everything I could think of, and more just kept coming. All of life was included in my gratitude.

The words of my friend Sean Reagan came to mind (paraphrased): “We practice to be lifted; the practices lift us.”

Spontaneous gratitude, joy, and love are one of the reasons I do these practices—all my practices. Through the doubt or the struggle or the questioning, the practices work on me, work with me, work through me. They change me, they change my mind; they lift me to a new understanding, and thus to a new experience.

Sometimes it takes moments, sometimes, days, sometimes weeks. It depends on the idea, and how resistant I am, and how much “stuff” is in my way.

But I just keep plodding, learning, clearing, inviting, allowing, and accepting while focusing on the Truth of Oneness or Love or Unity. These things lead me. And they never fail. My Joy increases. My Love increases. My desire for your Love and Joy to increase increases.

Yes, you were included in my gratitude this morning. Thank you for being here.

Spiritual work has deeply practical value. What is more valuable than experiencing joy, knowing peace, or loving your neighbor? Especially when it just shows up out of the blue? It’s the best reward, the best motivation. Loving life, loving being here, loving people, is the only thing that gives meaning to all of my activity.

Results don’t “just happen”. Results are for a reason, a reason that is created through focus and attention. Where is your focus and attention? What are your results?

Knowing Love in my whole being and not just as a concept, an idea, or a desire is worth every minute of practice.

May you Know Peace.

May you Know Joy.

May you experience Oneness with all you meet today and every day.

May Love descend upon you and fill you with the Joy of its being.

May all that is beautiful enter your life experience.

May you experience the perfection of Divine Harmony.

May all you encounter reflect a Celebration of Life.