Questions-Answers-More Questions: Journey of Courage – Day 02

Copyright Tam Black 2015 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2015
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

When I attune my mind to the Oneness that is All of Life, I understand my place in Wholeness. I am the very Presence of Life, and this Presence of Life is me. I am blessed through this understanding. In return I bless all I encounter.

Sharing

This Guiding Thought speaks to me of stillness and friendship.

“All of Life”! All of Life! I look around and see life everywhere—my dog, my cat, my partner, the birds outside. These beings most certainly have life, are life. But then I look closer and imagine their hearts pounding, beating blood and the other cells throughout their bodies; this is life, too.

Then I look at the furniture, walls, the fireplace, and I imagine the molecules vibrating, and all the elements that comprise them; this is life.

Then I listen. All sound is life: cars, birds, branches scraping against the roof.

I extend my imagination to New York City with all its motion and commotion, sounds, movement of people, vehicles, and lights. That, too, is life…

Then I take my imagination to the other side of the world, to mountains framing a savanna, lone trees, giraffes, insects…all of this is life. All of this life is connected to all of the life in New York City…and in my home.

Every moment, every breath, every vibration, every everything…All is Life…and I am here in it…

It is Awe-some! I am here! In it!

Without me, all of this is incomplete. Without you all of this is incomplete.

The Life that is expressed “out there” is the same life within me.

How can everything and everyone not be my friend?  We are all part of the same wholeness, incomplete without each other. “Friend” here does not mean intimate talks over tea, but more like being in a state of accepting familiarity. When I see everyone as sharing the same life that is within me, it evokes a very simple appreciation. I appreciate their place in life, as I appreciate my own. Life is as incomplete without everything in it, as it would be without me.

This is the understanding that offers blessing. And whether others know it or not, they bless me!

Yet, again, I must ask myself: what has this to do with courage? Is it courageous to see past individuals into wholeness of life? Is it courageous to see strangers as friends? Does it take courage to trust the life within to support and move my experiences without?

So far on this Journey, I have more questions than I have answers.

 

 

An Exercise of Acceptance. A Journey of Fulfillment: Day 01

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

Everywhere Fulfillment is – I am.

Fulfillment is everywhere.

Fulfillment is.

I am.

 

 

In all the places fulfillment fills, I am also there. And Fulfillment is everywhere. There is no space, no point, where fulfillment does not reach.

Fulfillment does not think or wonder or inquire; it simply exists. It does not have to do anything, does not have to prove its existence. It just is.

In the same way, I need not think or wonder or inquire. I can just be. Or, rather, if I do think or wonder or inquire, I am still just being behind the thoughts, musings, and questions.

Today’s Guiding Thought is very simple and matter of fact. It acknowledges the existence of fulfillment and me. There are no definitions, no extrapolations, no correlations, metaphors, inferences or interpretations. There is only simple, straight-forward acknowledgement.

I did, however, find myself thinking about “everywhere”, picturing it as best I could. I went outward and thought about fulfillment existing in the oceans, in the sharks and jellyfish, in the water and salt and rocks.

On one level, I thought, “this makes no sense; how does fulfillment exist here?” But I let that go and pictured tundra, deserts, plains, and acknowledged that “fulfillment exists here, too”.

Then I went inward, into my body, and pictured cells and nerves and synapses and hormones and enzymes and acknowledged that –even if I don’t feel it—fulfillment exists here too.

Then I thought, “Fulfillment even exists here in my thoughts.” And I waited. Then the thought came to me, “Fulfillment even exists here, in the space between my thoughts.”

This was not an exercise of trying to figure anything out. This was an exercise of acceptance.

A Journey of Fulfillment: Intention and Dedication

Declaring your intention for this Journey is a very important part of this practice. The 40-day Consciousness Journeys are a means to an end: the goal is to move the consciousness to a new state of awareness, acceptance, understanding, and knowledge of a particular aspect of the truth of Being, the truth of your Self, and yourself.

This goal is the general goal of these jouneys  that I invoke for all who choose to participate; the guiding thoughts are structured and designed to achieve this goal.

But every person has an idea of what fulfillment means to them. Each person is doing this journey for more awareness, understanding, and knowledge about his or her particular expression or experience of fulfillment. Getting clear about your own conception of fulfillment and what you want as an outcome creates your intention. Those thoughts and ideas set your standard, by which you may assess all your experiences. Does your experience meet your standard? What can you do/change so that it does?

Sometimes change means shifting perspective, outlook or expectations; sometimes it means ending or beginning a relationship, changing jobs, moving, etc. (there are many tools available to assist a person in shifting into a higher consciousness, too– I use the practices of earth, air, water, fire, meditation, mantra, prayer most frequently). Infinite Divine Mind works with you in the highest [most loving, of benefit to all, with absolute free will] way possible to meet your standards. Here is where we set those standards.

Begin by thinking about why a journey of fulfillment for yourself. You may have already begun this! Just think or write, or whatever you need to do within yourself to get clear about how you currently think/feel about fulfillment.

As I was doing this, the point of clarity in that exercise came for me when I realized, “I want my entire consciousness to Know the Truth of being Fulfilled, of being whole, and therefore encounter every experience or person from an internal knowingness of my own (and everyone’s) total-perfect-completion.” But since then, I have realized there is more to it for me as well. That statement is a metaphysical statement, and it is true for me. But it states a goal that is primarily in and of the mind–it refers to a state of consciousness, then gives a very general effect: ” encounter every experience or person from an internal knowingness of my own (and everyone’s) total-perfect-completion.”

The thing is: in Divine Mind, I already do this. Divine Mind-Divine Presence-Divine Being knows only perfection and total completion. I am not directing it anywhere. It’s already there.

I live in a physical universe. Matter, material goods, money, services, modern conveniences all of this stuff is also part of my Divine existence. It’s not necessary to shun it, think matter is evil or unspiritual, or think somehow I am compromising my spiritual values if I want or use material goods or services. For me, however, it is necessary not to subordinate the spiritual to the material, to be intelligent about the material universe, and to use it as a spiritual teacher, and continually work to bring absolute integrity into any and all material experiences, from my spiritual aspirations–in other words, doing my best to align my consciousness (words and thoughts) with my actions-deeds-relationships. Yes, “walk my talk”!

Next, once you have thought about what fulfillment means to you, take that information and declare boldly your intention (write your own, or use this as a template): I, Susan, declare from my heart, mind, and soul that I intend to increase my awareness, understanding, and knowledge of spiritual and material fulfillment. I intend to increase the goods and services I offer to others, which bring me joy, love, and a sense of purpose, and which also help people to increase their own fulfillment. I intend to approach all my life activities and relationships with spiritual intelligence, doing my best to be aware of inherent Oneness, Unity, Love, and Divine Purpose in all.

Finally, dedicate this Journey to at least one other person. Then, as you do this Journey, do it for him/her/them, in addition to doing it for yourself: I dedicate this Journey of Fulfillment to all who are on their own journey toward fulfillment, whether aware of it or not. To all who yearn, to all who desire, to all who seek, may my actions and intentions on this journey assist you toward your own Fulfillment, that we may know our Oneness, Unity, Joy, and Divine Perfection together.

A more simple, direct dedication that may also be used is: I dedicate this Journey to >name<. I know s/he has been struggling with some issues (name them, if you want), and I want to help. May my effort on this journey assist in bringing peace and understanding to >name<.

For tomorrow, we begin!

Why a Journey of Fulfillment?

I confess: I don’t know how fulfillment feels. At a very basic level this is why I am doing a Journey of Fulfillment. In fact, at the moment, I’m not even sure what fulfillment IS.

This is very unlike the first three Journeys—a Journey of Purpose, a Journey of Healing, and a Journey of Worth—because with those, at least I know (and knew in advance) something about purpose, healing, and worth. Those Journeys were to deepen, broaden, expand, get me more in touch with qualities that were already familiar.

Fulfillment feels unfamiliar. And I feel embarrassed admitting it.

In the previous journeys, I approached from a place of “I have forgotten”—indicating that at least I knew, or had learned, at some point. With fulfillment, I don’t even feel like I’ve learned it—so it’s not as “simple” as just remembering. It’s more like building from scratch… no, it’s more like collecting the raw materials, forging them into something useful, figuring out how they fit together then building from scratch.

And that’s kind of exciting! What is the outcome…what am I building? I am now looking forward to how this journey turns out!

In the spirit of collecting raw materials…what is fulfillment?

The two things that come to mind are babies and the Peace Corps. Mothers (so I’ve heard) say that having children is a fulfilling experience; people who do humanitarian work seem to find great fulfillment in it.

From these, I gather that fulfillment is more than mere satisfaction, but it includes satisfaction. It also seems to be directly associated with an experience, which raises the question: is it the experience that produces fulfillment? Or is it a quality the individual brings to the experience that simply becomes expressed in the experience? Or is fulfillment in and of itself—not experience or quality? Or is it something else altogether different?

‘Cause here’s the thing: I don’t want my fulfillment to be contingent on, reliant on, dependent upon some external factor—a situation, another person, a job, etc. I do want Fulfillment to be. Fully. I want my entire consciousness to Know the Truth of being Fulfilled, of being whole, and therefore encounter every experience or person from an internal knowingness of my own (and everyone’s) total-perfect-completion.

Wow. Where did that come from? Maybe I have a better idea of what fulfillment means to me than I thought.

Maybe these two verses (which I play in my head wondering what they mean, which I have done for years) have finally started teaching me about themselves (of course… it’s really me, ready to listen):

1) From Psalm 23, “my cup runneth over”
2) From the invocation of the Isha Upanishad, “This is full, that is full. From fullness comes fullness. Take away from fullness, fullness remains.”

I have thought, “What does it mean for ‘my cup to runneth over’?” “How does that work?” “What do I need to do for my own cup to overrun?”

Think about that! King David was so FILLED that he poured out blessings on his enemies, and his cup ran over. I just picture him full of love and kindness and good will; the presence of his enemies did not even faze him…and he had more to give! And it was so real and certain within him that he knew he would feel this way all the days of his life.

That’s what I’m talking about. How do I do that?

And then, the Upanishads…there are many translations of this verse. Some use the word “infinite”, others the word “total”, still others the word “complete”, but they all convey a sense of both expansion and indestructibility. “From fullness comes fullness”—in other words, when fullness gives of itself, what it gives is equal to itself. The sharing of itself produces only more of the same—fullness. “Take away from fullness, fullness remains”—in other words fullness is never diminished. Even if something is done to try to reduce or destroy fullness, it can’t be done. Someone (anyone) could take and take and take and take and fullness remains to give and give and give.

This means…there is only fullness. If I’ve experienced or perceived anything less than fullness, I’ve been mistaken. I have mis-conceived. (AaaaHHHH-HHHHHaaaaaa! Understanding just entered my little mind! That’s why this is a consciousness Journey!)

It’s not that I have forgotten. It’s that I have been mistaken. I have -. Now I can move forward. I can begin to change my perception.

“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

 

A Journey of Purpose: Afterword

So often over the past 50 days I have thought a lot about “letting go”.  After making a decision to move forward in anything, there is at least a tacit internal agreement to leave something behind. A Journey of Purpose began with a strong commitment and conscious decision to move forward, to accept my highest purpose, and to live to the best of my ability in alignment with that purpose. At the beginning, I didn’t think about what I would need to leave behind to fulfill this commitment.

Moving forward means changing; changing means dropping things (habits, emotions, behaviors, beliefs), transforming things (ideas, thoughts, behaviors), or promoting/enhancing things (the new ideas, habits, and emotions that are being cultivated).

There is a tension between the old and the new. What no longer fits with where it is you are going? What if I like that part of me, that thing that I may need to leave behind? What about this idea that I have had for the longest time—I need to change it?!? How do I allow Divine Mind through when that jerk cuts me off?

There is one thing in particular for me that has been very difficult to think about leaving behind. It was something that I have for many years been very attached to, something I have given my heart to, something that I have cultivated and cared for, something that I built into part of my self-identity (that’s the “little s” self). It was just something that was very, very important to me…but I could feel it no longer fit. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to make it fit: maybe if I do…. If only this would happen…. I can put this here and that there and then do this other thing…. But with every scenario, every attempt at figuring it out, I knew none of the outcomes would be right, they just would not fit with where I am going, and who I now want to be. I knew I had to accept that it needed to go. Out. Gone. Buh-bye. I even had to let go of thinking that it might come back (if you love something let it go….)—even that thought was holding me back.

I have a friend who had worked at a company for 20 years, literally starting at the bottom and working her way to the top. She did the equivalent of building a local empire, of which she was the benevolent and democratic ruler. Her subject-employees loved her. In a period of two years, after what could be described as a “buy-out”, her empire was dismantled around her and she was demoted in practice, though not title. It was only a matter of time before she resigned.  I thought about this friend and the forced-need to let go, and I thought of the Rudyard Kipling poem If: “if you can watch the things you gave your life to broken, and stoop and build them up with worn out tools…”

The similarity between my friend and me is that we each gave our hearts to something that was important to us; we cared for and nurtured their growth. The difference is that I have a choice to let go; she did not.

I wonder: which is harder?

On the one hand if I choose to let go, I feel almost despairing, like I am abandoning this thing that is part of myself, something I have raised and “given life” to. I love it! I don’t want to let it go! But on the other hand, if staying made me miserable and I had to watch the destruction of something I loved, as my friend did, that would be pretty hard too.

I believe that people are all aspiring. We all aspire to Love. We all aspire to be happy. We all aspire to relax and trust life. So Love pulls us to itself. Life wraps us in its current. Love and Life want us to be happy, and they try to take us there, by pulling and wrapping and moving us. Sometimes we have a choice, sometimes we don’t.

There are infinite ways to cooperate with Life and Love; there are infinite ways to aspire!  There is no one way, there is no right way. Everyone has a Purpose. Just keep going. Live Life! Love! 

Mission Possible. A Journey of Purpose: Day 40

Copyright Tam Black 2013 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2013
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

This journey concludes today, February 11, 2014, with this article. An “Afterword” to this Journey will be posted in the coming 7-10 days.

_______________________________________________________

The world awaits my expression!  I am here to align with my purpose, participate with life, and share my Self. With each moment I spend cultivating My Own Loving Presence to be attuned with my Inner Divine Mind’s expression, the more I encounter the Perfect Spiritual Idea in my life activities. I choose to be aware! I choose to understand! I choose to know! I choose Life.

“Your mission should you choose to accept it”…

That’s how I feel. For the past 39 days I have been accepting and solidifying the acceptance of my mission.

But more than that, I’ve also been discovering what my mission is, just what particular expression the world “awaits”.

And even more than that, I’ve started the expression—I’ve started it!

There are at least three different layers to the expression:

– The end of this journey…

– While this is the ending of a 40-day journey, it is also the beginning of new life expression and a continuation of the journey. Life purpose doesn’t stop just because the journey does. There is so much yet to learn!

– There is really only one journey. Whatever I call it, the journey is to total peace, one love, life. These 40-day consciousness journeys are segments of the road, you on your road and I on mine; learning together who we are, accepting, giving, and sharing.

Thank you for joining me.

Breaking up with old habits. A Journey of Purpose: Day 39

Copyright Tam Black 2013 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2013
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

I am. I am Love. I am kindness. I am filled-full. I have all I seek, for all I seek is within me. Now I can be who I know I am. I share my Self with all and hold nothing back; I give All Love. The Fullness of my Self returns to me as every form, person, situation, circumstance, and event that renews my fullness. I need not worry or think about what may be…my Self Knows and orders my life for my perfect fulfillment. All I need do is remember my Self…and smile, and breathe, and live.

I began doing these readings/writings with the stipulation it should be done once per day for a minimum of 5 minutes, preferably 15, then I would write what comes to me. I have followed this. My reading/thinking on the Guiding Thought averages about 20 – 25 minutes.  The writing averages about the same.

According to one school of thought, when conditioning or training the mind, it’s best to do an “exercise” at the same time every day. I have, in the past, adhered to this school of thought. It creates a rhythm, a flow, and an expectation within my consciousness that underpins my sincerity, my commitment. I understand this way of thinking, and most of the time, feel as though (for me) having a consistent time is most beneficial. Most days I wake up, make coffee, and spend about an hour in contemplative thought and writing.

But for this journey, since I stipulated only that it be done once per day, without a specific time-of-day commitment, a few days I have waited until the evening. I have learned some new lessons from this.

First, I now wonder about the prudence in sticking to one specific time of day. A habit is a habit; a rut is a rut; a pattern is a pattern: what patterns, ruts, and habits am I encouraging in myself when I commit to doing something at the same time every day, even if it is expanding my consciousness? Isn’t that a bit of an irony? “Expand your consciousness, but only do it at this time.” Intentional or not, I am setting up a pattern of limitation within my mind. It’s not that I can’t expand my consciousness at other times, but my mind is not thinking about doing it at other times. It’s like the difference between running on a treadmill and running over terrain. On a treadmill, I know what to expect with each step; over terrain, I must be prepared for each step to be different and adjust my balance, my footing, my pace, my landing with each step. I want my consciousness to be trained to be prepared for whatever comes along—not just doing what is expected of it.

Second, I have learned that my brain-response is different in the evenings. I am a reasonably intellectual person who must strive to merge and unite feelings, imagination, and creativity with logic and rationality (it’s not a difficult thing, but I must pay attention to the balance). I know of other people who are reasonably creative, feeling, and imaginative who must strive (if they want it) to pay attention to the balance of logic and rationality. Mornings, when I have just woken up, I am most easily closest to the feeling of things—I feel easier, I visualize easier; my heart and mind open to the unity of life more easily. So when I did the Guiding Thoughts in the evenings and they were more logical, more rational, I had some doubts about whether or not I was doing it “right”.  At one point, I note:

“Now, after having gone through the day, my brain being turned ON, my thoughts are harder to focus, harder to calm down. When I think about the flow, I am able to see it, but it’s more like being an observer than a participant. Am I cheating? Am I copping out? Am I slacking? Do I need to think about why this is happening? Do I need to change my focus? Or is this all just fine and part of it?”

I finally decided this is just “part of it”.  This is expansion. This is another aspect of how I relate to myself and my thoughts. This is another lesson in being willing to be attuned to my purpose in any frame of mind. This is breaking out of a habit, acclimatizing myself to a different layer, experiencing myself as infinite in a new way. With this new understanding, I smiled and breathed relief and acceptance…and went forward in life.