Journeying through Shadow

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog, so I want to start with a special thank you to those who so lovingly and generously supported me through the Thomas fire incident in California that halted my employment for several months and affected so many in my area.  Your support was invaluable in more ways than I can mention here and I am forever grateful.

As the cyclical nature of life continues to move us forward, there are green grasses sprouting on the blackened mountains, and the renewal energy of spring is readily apparent in the blooms of nature all around us.  There are longer cycles of our collective consciousness and humanity’s evolution, however, that are bringing forth daunting challenges.

With our shadow consciousness fully exposed on a global scale, denial is no longer an option, and numbing ourselves has escalated to levels that are killing us in greater proportion than we’ve seen before.  The prevailing dynamic of attacking others through acts of violence or words spoken, is painfully disturbing.  Highlighting the precarious and dangerous nature of life these days, this hostility is generating a great deal of anxiety and it’s a lot to bear.

So how do we journey through the shadow that we must face?  How do we navigate our daily lives in the midst of world distress?  How do we deal with all that is arising in our own lives as part of the greater change in consciousness that is occurring?

I think we must recognize the warriors we are, to be alive right now.   Rather than soldiers of war, we are spiritual warriors and healers, here to assist in the birth of a higher consciousness that enables flourishing sustainability in harmony, and with respect for all life.  Our rules of engagement are radically unconventional and often disregarded, yet demand the same disciplined practice and training required of any conventional warrior.

Compassion has to lead our way and must be generously extended to ourselves and one another.   Awareness of the shadow aspects of thought and behavior that create disharmony must be recognized in order to change them.  Challenging our conditioning to determine its value or worthlessness is necessary to then choose a practice of higher truth in mind and action.  Asking for help from higher dimensions of consciousness (which some call God, Spirit or Higher Self), enables the transcendent power needed to break the embedded dysfunctional patterns, and allows us to realize our innate potential as spiritual beings.  Utilizing our infinite capacity to love unconditionally, we heal the wounds and come together to create from the higher ground we attain through these efforts.

As we all work to recreate our lives in response to the urgency of transformation that’s upon us, we’re simultaneously facing endings in many ways.  We are witnessing death daily and globally through media, and many of us are experiencing the death or illness of loved ones, or going through it ourselves.  There is a tremendous amount of processing and grief taking place.  Maintaining respectful and open communication, dropping judgments of ourselves and others, offering love and forgiveness, extending support and those random (and conscious) acts of kindness every single day, will make our journey easier.

Wars have been fought to enforce a change in consciousness and laws have been made to sustain those changes.  We’ve seen how far that can take us, and now we are carrying it forward differently.  We’re on the front lines every day as we strive to clean up and transform our own thoughts, emotions, bodies, relationships, and environment; as we dare to see with greater vision and love with greater might.  It’s incredibly hard work, but as our inner light grows exponentially through our efforts, it will shine the light on our path and illuminate the way for others.  Our collective shadow may be reflecting the journey of humanity thus far, but Our light reflects the possibility of where we are going.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Consciousness, Grief, Growth, Healing, Inspiration, Spirituality, Transformation | 3 Comments

The Nature of Life

A lot has changed for me since my last blog.  The Thomas fire in Ventura, California was born on December 4, and still rages through the mountains and valleys with only 15% containment as I write this one week later.  In Malibu, where I live in a tiny cottage on a horse ranch, we remain on high alert, prepared for evacuation on a moment’s notice given the tinder-dry conditions and fierce Santa Ana winds.

There are half a dozen other fires burning in the surrounding areas and counties, but having worked at the Ojai Valley Inn for the past five years, I am most affected by what’s happening in the Ventura fire.  Clients, co-workers, and friends are evacuating two or more times as the fire continues to expand in the areas they flee to.  My job there provides a large source of income and was abruptly and indefinitely halted during the most lucrative time of year for my work.  Stores and streets normally bustling this time of year are strangely barren.  And as all disasters force us to do, we are confronting death and loss square in the eyes.

Synchronicity is always at work, but at times like these it’s more pronounced, along with our intuitive, instinctual knowing.  Signs and signals appear in order to lead us through and guide our choices.  The demand for instant prioritization is accompanied by the immediate and forceful stripping of attachment to everything except life force energy.  Death does that.  As the beautiful forms of Earth life die, as humans and animals die, we are transformed inwardly and outwardly.

This is the nature of life, though we often turn it into suffering through our denial, resistance, and lack of training.  The investment we have made in building upon our illusions of safety and compelling desire to control that which is uncontrollable, can understandably render us helpless in times like these.  But the falling away of those illusions can reveal the  honorable and courageous stewards of life we are meant to be, and infinite possibilities are born of our unity and compassion.

The cover of the November issue of Lion’s Roar, a Buddhist magazine, boldly states:  “Death – The Greatest Teacher – Why awareness of death is the secret of life”, and a telling line in one of the articles explains, “To put it simply, impermanence is the Buddha”.

I’m comforted when I read Buddhist wisdom because my soul resonates with its truth and the rest of me comes into alignment.  It speaks to what we need to learn about in order to be in harmony with our existence, environment, and one another:  the nature of life.  Birth, death, regeneration, and the cyclical nature of life… all hold the keys to our understanding and the journey of acceptance.

In the experience of this fire, I witnessed the aspect of myself that immediately wanted to cling to thoughts of loss and victimhood, and I witnessed the part of me that paused to ask Spirit what this was about, and heard the reply, “opportunities”.    I witnessed the part of me that feared for my livelihood, and the part of me that remained curious about what could happen.  I recognized greater patience and wisdom in waiting for clarity, and greater trust in my Source and inter-connectedness.

Whatever we are in the midst of, is our teacher and our friend.  Training to accept the nature of life and cultivate our inherent strengths, capability, and resiliency is an investment that is never too late to begin and always leads to a greater demonstration of higher truth, creation, and well-being for oneself and for all.

While I wait to resume my work at the Ojai Valley Inn and offer my services to those affected by the fires, I am gratefully accepting donations of support.  If you are moved to contribute, you can use the button at the bottom of the page.  Thank you to everyone for connecting through this blog, supporting me so generously, and being just who you are.

Approaching the year’s end in, perhaps, unexpected ways – I wish you miraculous blessings of peace, health, provision and love, and look forward to sharing more as we enter the beginning of a New Year; a new cycle of growth and adventure, together.

Namaste

Posted in Buddhism, Enlightenment, Grief, Healing, Inspiration, Spiritual Counseling, Spirituality, Transformation | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Infinite Capacity

With the holidays upon us and 2017 coming to a close, it’s a good time to remember who we are inwardly, as the dynamics of transformation propel us forward with sometimes seemingly impossible speed and intensity.   It’s easy to lose sight of our infinite capacity to create, love, be resilient, and grow beyond our former limitations.  It’s easy to forget we are connected to unlimited resource and can invoke what we need to go forward in wholeness, peace, and joy.

Old forms are collapsing all around us and there is relentless challenge in viewing the appearances, conditions, and egoic determination within all that is being exposed.  What we are witnessing can be as disturbing as it is inspiring.  These pressures are also meant to stimulate internal recognition and relinquishment of that which no longer serves us, and to face this consciously can be daunting.

We’re in more serious times and it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the holidays, but it may mean we find our enjoyment differently.  I was recently sent this video, which beautifully illustrates where and how true happiness abides, and how we can return to the appreciation of the gift of life:  https://www.ted.com/talks/louie_schwartzberg_nature_beauty_gratitude?utm_campaign=tedspread–a&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=tedcomshare

In remembering, we can continue to shine our light, dare to dream, reach out in love, extend our talent, and create anew.  And within the added pressures of the holiday season, we can also take the time to pause, release our grief and frustrations, rest our minds and bodies, connect to the Earth and Spirit, and reflect on deeper truths to see us through.

Life is an amazing journey that holds all of the brilliance of creation itself.  We are that brilliance, and I wish for us all a true reflection of our beauty and infinite capacity to be here in the light, and as the light, of the most high.

May you be blessed with all you need to give and grow, and know how appreciated, cherished, supported, and loved you really are.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Consciousness, Coures in Miracles, Enlightenment, Healing, Holidays, Inspiration, Intuitive Readings, Spiritual Counseling, Spirituality, Transformation | 2 Comments

Imagining

I rejoin with you today on a New Moon, an auspicious cycle for planting seeds and taking steps to create greater fertility in our lives and in the world.   But in the midst of countless tragedies (from environmental disasters to mass shootings) and a precarious and volatile presidency in the U.S., many of us feel heavy in our hearts and tired in our bodies and minds.

Given the pervasive impact of recent events and the collective consciousness itself, I wanted to acknowledge the vastness of what we are all processing and help to reignite our capacity to create through imagining beyond the evident.   Albert Einstein spoke often of the power of imagination:  “Imagination is more important than knowledge.  Imagination is everything.  It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”

How true that is!  But our minds are so conditioned to imagine negative possibilities that it has become difficult to imagine hopeful ones.   Worry comes from imagining what we fear and most forms of media we are exposed to on a daily basis, infect and promote the fear-based mind.  This is why it is so critical to practice meditation and regularly supply the mind with materials that reflect higher truths and our higher selves.

So on this New Moon (or any day you come upon this blog) despite your own fatigue or difficulties, consider the power you have been given to create through your imagination, and determine to lead your mind rather than be led by it.  Here are some tips that can help.

Replace worry with wonder:  “I wonder what I’ll be inspired to create today.   I wonder how much love I can share and receive today.    I wonder how I’ll be supported today.   I wonder how many ways money can arrive in my bank account.   I wonder how the world will support my children today.   I wonder how I will be healed.   I wonder how we can all heal and come together in peace.   I wonder what I can contribute.   I wonder what I really want.   I wonder how many ways I can have fun today.   I wonder how brilliant and capable I really am.   I wonder how this can change.”

Be curious instead of afraid or judgmental.  Curiosity inspires wonder, innocence, and trust.  We can all relate to getting angry when we’re driving because someone has been careless or traffic is jammed.  What if we got curious first?  “I wonder what’s causing the hold-up?  I wonder what that person is going through to cause them to drive in that manner?  I wonder how I can handle this frustration in a better way?”  In any hurtful or painful experience, try being curious first.

Pray ahead the day.  Check in with yourself to be aware of how your body, mind, heart, emotions, and spirit are doing.  Based on that check-in and knowing your general plans for the day, imagine how you want to be – how you want to act – how you want to feel.  See yourself in that way until you feel the accompanying emotion, and pray for the help to realize and sustain it.

Re-training our minds to use our imagination for the highest good is like exercising our bodies.  It takes commitment and practice and the more we do it, the stronger we get and the easier it becomes.  We don’t have to succumb to the effects of the collective streams of consciousness that are fear based and fake news (sorry!).  We are all creative beings who can command the ability to imagine our passions, lives, relationships, and world.  We are all creators through the thoughts, actions, and choices we make each day.  And we can all learn to be conscious and direct our imagination to create our dreams of a flourishing, loving, healthy humanity and earth.  And by the way…. it feels wonderful!

P.S.  For anyone wondering what a spiritual counseling session/intuitive reading with me is like, this podcast is an excellent, entertaining description and introduction to two fabulous women writers I had the privilege of working with recently – Liz Craft and Sarah Fain.  Enjoy!

http://happierinhollywood.com/episode17/

 

 

Posted in Astrology, Changing Consciousness, Enlightenment, Healing, Imagination, Inspiration, Intuitive Readings, Meditation, New Moon, Spiritual Counseling, Spirituality, Transformation | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Opening to Nurturing Love

The summer solstice June 20/21 and super New Moon in Cancer on Friday, June 23 opens the cosmic door of our hearts to replace the wounds of the past with nurturing and love, and return to our tribal connectedness through the embrace and expression of the feminine.

This is a fantastic time to set intention about nurturing yourself, while observing the emotional processing that arises.  As old memories connected to family, the feminine, and hurtful experiences surface, observe the stories as if you are watching the movie of your personal journey, noting what no longer serves you.

Journaling can be helpful in sorting things out and having a place to express your emotions.  Time in nature will connect you to the healing and instinctual elements of the feminine that we have disregarded to our detriment.  Prayer will link you to the spiritual awareness and insights that support your transcendence.

Along with the prompting for deep inner reflection, there is an invitation to experience a stronger connection to the divine, so the practice of spiritual ceremony and ritual can be especially beneficial.  The stimulation of higher mind and new direction is there for the asking, so be sure to query the Universe.

All religions and indigenous cultures have stories of the power of going to the Earth and seeking God, and there is truth in that.   Sit with Mother Earth (the embodiment of the sacred feminine and your true mother in the physical dimension) and reflect upon her nature.  Ask how you can nurture and be nurtured, and openly express yourself to Spirit.

Neptune’s influence in retrograde during this super New Moon can affect tides and tectonic plates, as well, so entering stillness through meditation and connecting to Mother Earth can bring the alignment and perceptions to keep us safe and in harmony with our environments.

We also have a Saturn/Chiron transit going on all year that is bringing up difficult physical challenges for many.  It’s not just the healing of the physical condition that’s involved, it’s the transformation of associated patterns of core subconscious beliefs, and we are forcefully being pushed to clear self-imposed limitations and illusions.  As our deepest wounds and fears are revealed, so is the potential to feel victimized or helpless.

For me, it’s come in the form of life-altering spinal degeneration, pain, dealing with a dysfunctional health care system that has tested every nerve, and then recently taking a fall in a gopher hole and fracturing an ankle.

Facing the aging process, financial issues, and these physical conditions has brought up old patterns of aloneness, abandonment, the perception of failure, and a stark review and inquiry of this particular incarnation, among other things.  It’s also revealed my unfailing commitment to serving others, my devotion to Spirit and humanity, and the infinite resource of my soul.  Wisdom comes from all experiences, and resiliency grows in facing them.

We are all being stretched and tested, but what is different now, is making the emotional connection that opens our hearts to be more compassionate with ourselves and others, and more freely feel and express love.  In any problem I’ve faced, it is the expression of love and care; the helping hand that’s been offered; the person that’s shown up for the smallest and largest task; and my connection to Spirit that has seen me through.

Every open heart can be a vessel for a miracle, and I hope you will have the courage to open yours even wider now.  Forgive yourself, forgive others, forgive the whole world.  The Course in Miracles states:  “Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love” and “All expressions of love are maximal”.    As we heal and grow together, may this New Moon inspire you to be the love that heals, inspires, and illuminates – and may it bless your life abundantly!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Astrology, Change, Consciousness, Coures in Miracles, Empowerment, Enlightenment, Growth, Healing and Spirituality, Inspiration, Intuitive Readings, Love, New Moon, Spiritual Counseling, Spirituality, Summer Solstice, Transformation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Finding our Way

My last blog was about the Women’s March, an event I was passionate about participating in, and this is the unexpected story that transpired.  I had canceled a day of work to attend, and rose at 5:00 a.m. to be on the road by 7:00 a.m. in hopes of getting to downtown Los Angeles early enough to score a parking space and a good position.

My body was objecting in aches and pains, but I slapped on the pain patches and was happily driving along the wide open freeway under clear blue skies, when I heard the unmistakable sound of a flat tire.  In disbelief, I looked at the cars around me hoping it was someone else, but within seconds it was all too clear I was driving on a rim.

My heart started sinking as I pulled over to call AAA and find the nearest tire store.  While waiting, I began what became an endless recalculation of time assessment that day.  Initially, I stayed present in the conviction and faith that I would still make it.  I had a lovely conversation with the tow truck driver during the forty-five minute ride, and called ahead to ensure prompt service at the tire store.  By the time the car was deposited on site, I surrendered as I stood at the back of a long line of customers, and the recalculation resumed.

Tears were now welling as I sat down with my paperwork to wait for another forty- five minutes.  “If they are done by 9:15, I’ll go anyway” I thought, though the march officially started at 10:00 a.m.  When I heard my name called, I leapt out of my chair to the service desk, only to be told there was a problem.  “Houston, we have a problem”, I heard in the back of my mind.  The one replacement tire they had in stock had a manufacturer’s defect and didn’t fit.  We renegotiated a temporary tire and I sat down to wait and recalculate.

By the time the car was ready, the march had started and I still had an hour’s drive ahead of me.  Not able to reconcile giving up, I decided to go anyway and drove speedily toward the city.  Eventually, I joined the sea of 500,000 or more people in stop-and go-traffic until it became quite clear there was nowhere to park and the mission had to be aborted.  Now I understood why no one had agreed to car pool with me.

When I finally arrived home after the nearly five hour escapade, I couldn’t bear to turn on the news and see what I had missed.  My back was killing me and I looked for the most depressing movie I could find, hoping it would make me feel better.  I ended up passing out in a deep sleep until evening.

In the aftermath, upon reflection and meditation, here’s what stood out.  The tire that blew was brand new.  I’ve been dealing with the physical pain of a spinal condition and an exhaustive effort to heal it, for years – and my mind was overriding what my body could handle.  Despite my clearest conviction and strongest determination, I was not meant to be at that march.

Also, I WAS at that march.  My heart was in it, my spirit was in it, and my body was there even if on the peripheral.  What I gleaned as I examined my inner thrust for action in change, is a spiritual and mature understanding that at this time in my life, I do not have to be on the front lines physically.  There are countless ways to participate, and sometimes our foundations have to be stabilized before we leap.  Sometimes we have to grow our roots deeper and broader to sustain the growth and expansion of the changes at hand.

As the outer world inspires us to take action, our inner world shows the way.  For many, including myself, 2016 was largely spent in the painful process of releasing many aspects of ourselves and our lives that have imprisoned us.  Rather than impatiently lunge ahead (especially when driven by discomfort), our individual path becomes clearer when we assess our resources, fulfill our current commitments, and stay open to divine guidance as we re-determine our values and priorities.

The signs and signals are always there for us, and we learn from the choices we make.  The beauty of this universe is that it is always responsive (we are co-creators), and just as a GPS system instantly offers an alternative route when we veer from its guidance, we are given every course correction we need to find our way.  When we remove any judgment, it becomes a sacred and joyous journey of discovery and growth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Consciousness, Enlightenment, Healing and Spirituality, Inspiration, Meditation, Spiritual Counseling, Spirituality, Transformation, Women's March | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Women’s March January 21, 2017

Though our nation has elected a president that speaks to a demand for economic change,  we cannot sacrifice respect for one another and human rights in the process, nor do we have to.  Women are uniting in cities throughout the United States on January 21, to march for “human rights, civil liberties, tolerance of diversity, and compassion for our shared humanity”.  I can think of no greater power than that of women united in our heart’s truth that we must care for one another, we must nurture life to sustain it, and there can be no tolerance of domination or dictates that designate any human to be of less value than another.

Since the first Women’s Rights Convention in our country at Seneca Falls, New York in 1898, women have had to fight for equal rights and in 2017 we are still fighting.  Our united voice cannot remain dormant at this critical time of political challenge.  Once again, we must stand in solidarity and make our presence known. We must show that we have the courage and conviction to be a voice for ourselves, humanity, and the planet we share.

We don’t have to have all the answers to achieving unity and well-being, but we do have to come together and demand that we find them.  We do have to stand for love, for peace, for the awareness that we cannot endure the levels of violence and destruction that are so frequent in our daily lives as to numb our minds and hearts.

Women have long been confined by inequality, and in the U.S. we have succumbed to an over-investment in our physical appearance as a necessary and primary value of our worth.  This is an historic opportunity to emerge beyond those facades and demonstrate our inherent power to live and create in unity and respect for all life.  This is a chance to be a global voice of strength as women unite for One and for All.    Whether man or woman, you are invited to march.

In Los Angeles we will be meeting at Pershing Square downtown, marching from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (arrive by 9:00 a.m.), with events in the park taking place until 3:00 p.m.  For detailed information, go to https://womensmarchla.org,  or visit their facebook page www.facebook.com/events/1211228062281167.  For other cities, simply google “women’s march January 21, 2017” to find information on the march in the city nearest you.

As our nation awakens let us march in peace and pray in faith.  Let us be more compassionate as we demonstrate that our power together in love, is greater than any threat to divide.

 

 

 

 

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