Not Knowing What Comes Next…

Wind Flowing

Once in a while I don’t have a topic to write about, so it comes as a gift and a surprise when a topic flows through my willing fingers.  I don’t worry about what to write about.  Rarely do I think much about my topic until I get ready to write.  It all comes to me in perfect timing and never do I have to stress about the words, my ideas, how I’m going to format my paragraphs, or who I’m reaching.  I write because I love to write.  I trust in my writing and where it’s taking me.  Most days I write something that reaches inside of my soul and gives me insight to something I wasn’t aware of an hour before I touched my keyboard.  I write because it helps me understand things in a way that overrides the common confusion of simply being a part of the human race in this foggy world we live in.   It’s where answers to my greatest questions reside.  It’s such a damn beautiful thing.

The beauty of creative writing is in the not knowing ahead of time where it’s taking me.  Even when I write books my process involves a lot of trusting myself in knowing what comes next.  I don’t do outlines, nor do I necessarily know how the book is going to end.  Writing for me is about faith.  It’s a knowing that what I’ve got to say is right at the tip of my fingers.  If I was born a writer, then there should be no struggle to write (right?).  It’s all a matter of longing to write and being disciplined enough to do it.

When I was confused about who I was and where I was going with my life, the one thing I always knew without doubt was that whatever direction I went in, there would always be a book in me needing to be written.  This is still the case and I have no intention of ever stopping writing.  I even go as far as to think about how I would write if I were stranded on an island without a pen and paper (thanks for the tip, Tom Hanks in ‘Cast Away’).  I think about how I would write if I were locked in a cell, or lost in a desert.  There are ways.  I’ve thought of ways.  And then there’s the awful thought about what I would do if I lost a hand, or my ability to actually sit down and write.  Well, thank YOU Steven Hawking for showing me that nothing can stop you from being who you truly are.  Even a motor neuron disease, which has nearly paralyzed this dynamic man, has not stopped him from having his own television show and telling the world how the universe works.  He can’t talk, but he has found an alternative way to communicate – with the world, mind you.  There are no excuses for me not to ever write.  Bury me with a pen and paper.  My corpse will probably stir with the need to write.  It’s that innate within me.

I meet a lot of people who tell me they don’t know what their passion is while they are constantly taking photographs, or raving about what they cooked for dinner last night and how their spouse loves every meal they make.  Some mothers I’ve met are incredibly talented as mothers.  There is an actual art to being a good mom.  It’s not something we think of often, but I’ve known women who actually say that they were born to be a mom.  I know dads who nurture in ways that I am lacking as a mother.  They are a dad because they love being a dad.  I’ve had teachers that trump the general teacher card because they knew exactly how to keep my interest and to make learning exciting.

Everyone has a gift, or several.  The thing we have in common is that when we are experiencing that gift organically, the last thing we are doing is thinking about it.  It just flows through us.  This is a spiritual experience.  Spirituality is simply the opposite of physicality.  It’s the wind that blows through us without worry of an obstruction of a building or a mountain.  It gets through because it has no thought, opinion, idea, worry, judgment or care other than moving through you.  If the experience of your gift gets stifled, it’s because you’ve gotten in its way with your thoughts, opinions, ideas, worry, judgment and cares.

What writing is teaching me – is how to be. It’s showing me the way.  It reminds me to be present.  If I am not present in my writing I’m not going to get very far, or make much sense.  My words will be a maze of confusion like my tricky mind.  If I could only trust my entire life the way I trust my writing process, I would be a feather floating in the gentle path of the wind; detached, carefree, open, willing, un-opinionated, brave, completely trusting of my life experience.  How do I do this?  How do I get to this place where I am not hogtied to my conditioned way of thinking?  I want to know.

I had no idea what I was going to write about this morning when I poured my cup of coffee and opened my Microsoft Surface.  I only knew I wanted to write.  Perhaps if I go about this day with this knowing, and with this faith of being present, my life will eventually become a masterpiece… or perhaps not, but at least by being present, there are no limits to what I do, where I go and who I am. Not knowing what comes next is a life without limits. A life without limits… what a brilliant way to be!

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The Most Difficult Thing to Ever See is Yourself

Hypocrite

“Clean up your side of the street.” – AA

“You hypocrite!  First take the plank out of your own eye so that you can see clearly, and then you can help remove the spec in your brother’s eye” – Jesus

It’s funny how clearly I can see other people’s problems while avoiding my own.  This is universal.  In the grand landscape of life, the most difficult thing to see is yourself.  I know now when I am judging another person, that I am most likely avoiding something in myself that needs immediate attention.  I could waste hours stewing over another persons “lack thereof” or I can quickly turn the tables on myself and look at where I need to do some major inside renovations.  When I start cleaning up my side of the street instead of trying to give that other person a broom and a scolding, I realize that my side of the street is pretty filthy.  I can sweep all day long and never quite finish.  It also relieves me from the burden of carrying around and pointing out that other person’s “issues.”

Self-righteousness comes in forms of “I would never do that,” or “that’s not how I would ever do that,” or “if that was me I would… (fill in the blank).”  We have a tendency to look down on other people’s choices, often forgetting where we came from.  It’s nearly gut-wrenching hysterical that I (the former self-destructive alcoholic) can be so judgmental of anyone else, but I catch myself being self-righteous more than I want to admit.  It’s so ignorant of me, but at least (most of the time) I am aware of it.  I know when I’m experiencing myself get angry, annoyed, frustrated or controlling over another person’s way of being, that I need to grab a broom and dustpan immediately.  As painful as it may be, it’s a really good time to do some internal plank pulling.  It’s embarrassing how big my plank truly is – but a good reminder of humility.

People don’t change when you point out their shit anyway.  It just offends them and usually hurts them.  Most people are not in recovery, so they aren’t working on themselves or trying to change their behaviors in order to remain sober.  Most people (I’ve noticed) don’t want to know the truth, but it is difficult when you begin working on yourself to see other people’s behaviors so clearly.  It’s frustrating to watch a person make mistakes that you’ve made in the past, but important to recall what it was like to be so blind and limited in your hindsight.  It’s like Holden in the book ‘The Catcher and the Rye’ – he just wants to catch the children and save them from corruption.  When we are working on ourselves, we have this inner need to want to change others, but this is not our job.  We need to continue working on ourselves and reminding ourselves that we still need a lot of work.  Everyone is on their own path and unless they ask for your guidance, it’s important to give them the space, compassion and your acceptance while they are on their journey.

When I begin cleaning up my side of the street (removing the plank from my eye), the focus is quickly taken from the other person – to  me.  It’s kind of a relief actually.  I honestly don’t have the time or energy to worry about others.  I have enough on my plate as it is, and also it causes me to get out of alignment with my center when I am focused on another person’s issues.  When I am out of alignment it seems like everything goes wrong for me.  Remaining centered is important to me because it brings me to my wholeness.  Although I have things to work on, I can work on myself while remaining balanced.  If I am worried about other people and what they are doing, I immediately feel my balance waiver.

Being blind to our own self is the human condition.  Jesus could have very well used an analogy of having a plank in your heart, or your foot, but he spoke of the eye because as human beings, we are very blind – especially to ourselves.  It is easy to see another person’s problems, but to see our own is like seeing the world behind us when we are walking forward.  It takes a lot of effort and self-discipline to see ourselves, but when we do stop to notice ourselves – all that self-righteousness falls to the ground.  Handling that ole plank is a good place to be.  It’s a great place to remain.  It keeps me from feeling frustrated with other people.  It helps me remain balanced.  It teaches me to lighten up and to relax.  It is never another person that is frustrating me.  It is ALWAYS me who is experiencing frustration because I forget to see myself.  I forget all the time.  I constantly need a reminder, which is why I wrote this today.  It’s more for myself than for anyone else!

P.S. To my loyal readers, I wrote a children’s adventure novel about the human condition, and so far, the adults love it just as much as the kids.  It just underwent a major facelift, both inside and out.  Here is the link for downloading, or you can get it in paperback:  http://www.amazon.com/MAJESTIC-WONDERBREAD-Earthbound-Seeking-Treasure-ebook/dp/B00DGZPXPI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1411997419&sr=8-2&keywords=majestic+wonderbread

Suffering is NOT a Rite of Passage – You Don’t Have to Suffer

Surrender

Feeling lost is a common hindrance among people.  Feeling lost and harboring a terrible void that seems unfillable is what it often feels like to be human, yet we keep wandering and doing everything we can to divert ourselves from that emptiness.  I know it all too well.  There are temporary oasis’s from this great human dilemma.  Religion, money, relationships, having children – all of these things outside of ourselves seem to ease the pain and misery, but what happens when these things aren’t going according to plan?  What happens when we are left alone with ourselves?  What do we do when religion doesn’t fill all spaces of the endless cavern within, or when the money gets boring, or when the romance dwindles, and the children become independent?  What next?  I mean we have a whole life to live, so why not find out what that void is really about, and admit wholeheartedly that we feel completely lost?

Suffering does not have to be part of your human experience.  I’ll say it again – Your human experience does not have to include suffering.  Suffering is a choice.  It is not a mandatory rite of passage.  Suffering is very simple to treat.  Another word for suffering is called resistance. To ease your suffering the only thing you need to do is to surrender. Whatever circumstance is causing you to suffer is what you need to surrender unto.  Say aloud, “I have no control.  I cannot do this any longer.  I am in pain.  I am tired.  I am angry.  I am hurting.  I am afraid.  This is beyond my scope of expertise.  This lifestyle is not working for me.  I have no control over this person, place or thing.  I am completely lost and I need help.”  Whatever it is, it’s time to relinquish an idea that you will feel better if you can obtain whatever it is you are grabbing at in order to fill the void.  The void is unfillable because it isn’t really a void at all.  It’s your SELF that is longing for you to come home.  It’s begging you to enter into the sacred space of yourself that knows all, sees all, and is all.  There is nothing outside of you that can take the place of YOU.  Everything you need is deep within yourself, but it will not be still until you stop ignoring it.  Take a day or two, or three – or six months – to hang out with the void.  The void will show you that it’s not out to get you.  It won’t make you disappear, or take away from who you are.  It will do the very opposite.  It will show you that who you are is not what you present to the world.  Who you are is so much more than you are trying to prove to the world.

Ego is a funny thing.  It’s really sly, cunning, baffling and powerful (sound familiar, fellow addicts?).  It wants you to think that you’ve got your life all figured out, and that you are doing everything right, but if you pay close attention you will notice how afraid it is to be found out.  And when you are afraid to be found out (whatever that includes) this is a good indication that your ego is in full control of your life.  Even if your ego pays its bills on time, works hard, is honest to a fault and keeps its appearances, it is quite afraid of you letting your guard down.  It will resist people who come into your path and see your ego-mask very clearly.  Those who see through you – you will most likely resist.  This is when you know your ego is ruling your life, and it is a good thing you can see this, because it is the first step in becoming awake.  It is an opportunity to come face to face with yourself and to relinquish the mask, which is keeping you from experiencing your life in its fullest.  The ego does not want this because it is afraid that it will disappear and that it will be a boring nobody.  This is what the ego tells you so that you don’t go searching for truth.  It wants to be the center of attention you see – or for those of you who give so much of yourself that you lose yourself, your ego likes the idea of remaining a martyr, so it will tremble in the face of being discovered.  If you are no longer a martyr, you will have to learn to trust the world, and this probably terrifies you.  Giving so much of yourself that you lose yourself is a way to be in control, you see.  But it is the same thing with those who have a need to be the center of attention – it is a way to be in control of not losing yourself.  Deep down, we are all afraid to lose ourselves, but the funny thing is – to lose yourself is to fully discover who you are.  This is the irony.

Stop being afraid to lose yourself.  It is a lie your ego tells you so that it can remain alive and in control.  Once you relinquish control, your suffering will cease.  You will become vulnerable and open, and then you will see there is nothing to fear.  Everything is working for your well-being, but not until you let go will you understanding this to its fullest.  The ego is not a bad thing.  It is there for a reason.  It is part of the human experience, so to reject it is to cause an imbalance.  Just like everything else, we must acknowledge and accept our ego as it is, but the key is to be aware of it, and to see past its illusion.  We must move through the manipulation of the ego with grace, and also with gratitude for an understanding of its role in our experience.

If you feel lost today, and if the void feels like it is eating you alive – be not afraid to stand before it and acknowledge it with a spirit of surrender.  If you want to live your life not feeling lost and afraid, then you must face these things in yourself.  This is where the great journey of spirit begins.  It always begins with surrender.  You can either do it willingly, or the universe will find a way to do it for you, which usually includes some kind of shock or trauma.   I chose the latter, but you don’t have to go my route.  I’m giving you the key to living a dynamic life.  Simply surrender, my friend.  It’s literally that easy.

Why Giving Is Receiving – You’ve Heard This, but What is the Truth Behind It?

Giving is Receiving

When we think of giving as receiving, many of us think because it feels so good to give, that we are getting something out of it, or we think of karma and how we are setting the wheel in motion.  Both of these things are true, but there is something even greater in the act of giving when you offer your money, your time, your kindness, a gift or charity to another human being, and even to an institution to pay a debt.  I’m learning this in such a big way that I feel like I am finally being set free from a static hold in my life that has been keeping me at bay from the bigger waters of giving and receiving.

How many times do you find yourself holding back from paying a bill right away so that you can use your money toward something else?  Perhaps something that would make you feel happy, or that feels more worthwhile of your hard earned money?  What about in April – for those of us who have to pay the IRS?  We do it begrudgingly.  Most of us put it off until the last week.  We hate to give our money away, especially to certain places.  But here’s the secret – it doesn’t matter where or to whom your money goes – the source of everything (of abundance, of life, of all creation) is all made by the same hand. 
There is a great illusion that some things are bad while others are good, but this is only our perception.  Nothing is born outside the hand of Source.  Even institutions like the IRS have been brought forth from a creation of man, which was first given breath by that single source (or God – whatever you wish to call it).  All energy is brought forth from one place, so nothing is apart from that source energy.  We are all one, and if you haven’t given much thought to this, or come to this understanding, then this blog won’t make much sense to you.  The one source has become all things, living and non-living.  It is all created from the same energy, so when we give preference to one thing over another, we experience an imbalance in our experience, often manifesting as financial blockages.  There is nothing better than another, although it appears so.  When we get to a place of knowing that all things, people and places are equal (no matter how corrupt, evil or backwards they may be), we become incredibly open to an acceptance that is pretty much otherworldly in nature.

I had a super-conscious experience a couple of years ago that gave me a clear understanding that I was each person I encountered.  I was sitting on a bus in Emeryville to Berkeley at the time.  Each person on the bus, although very different from me, I saw very very clearly, as ME.  For 24 hours I lived with this cosmic insight.  It is only a memory now, but it still effects the way I see people.  When I get frustrated with others, I remind myself of the few moments in time where I was that person.

When Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” he really meant that “your neighbor is yourself.”  There may be two different bodies, and two different homes, and two different minds, but in essence, we are one and the same.  We come from the same source of energy, therefore, we are all of equal value.  Each creation that man has developed is of equal value.  The imbalance of our world is our own distorted thinking that we are separate from God, or from our source.  This is why we have a really messed up planet, with institutions and evil people who believe they are not “of God.”  Evil comes from the idea that we are separate from our source.  Many people defy God, trying to BE God, and this is how things become very screwed up and unbalanced, but no matter how screwed up people, places and things are – they are still from that single source of energy (of love, of abundance, of all that is and all that every will be).  When you decide to partake in this understanding, you will suddenly see a shift in how the universe works for you.  When you give with the knowing that all things are from one source, without preference for one thing over another, you will understand that you are ALWAYS giving unto yourself, no matter where the money goes.  It is always going to one and the same thing and there is plenty to go around because there is no end to that abundant source of energy.

Give with an open heart, no matter who you give to.  Pay each bill with a knowing that it all goes to one place, therefore it is pretty much being given to YOURSELF.  Your-Self (your higher self) is of that one source.  There is only separateness in your perception of being separate.  It is not truly so.  You are of God.  God is of you.  Each person you encounter, along with the institutions you pay, are also of that one source.  Your preferences of one person, place or thing over another, is the cause of any imbalance or financial blockage in your life.  You see, nothing truly comes from any other source, therefore even evil is an illusion.  It is a “forgetting” that we are of God.

Once your perception has be opened to this revelation, you will understand that no matter who you give to, you are always giving unto yourself, so there is never a lack of money or of anything.  The lack of money comes from your idea that when you give it away, it is gone.  NO – it is just being transferred to another version of YOU.  The money is always available because it is never apart from that limitless source, which is you in essence.  It is only your distorted perception of separateness that causes money to lack in your life.  This is the problem that most of us have.  This is the essential problem that causes poverty and the imbalance of some people having more than others.  If you don’t believe me, just try this understanding on for size, and notice how quickly you feel open to writing out your monthly checks.  I just began doing it, and even with things like sharing my food (which I’m really selfish about btw), I am much more open to giving because I’m beginning to understand when I think this way (that everyone I give to, is myself), I will never not have enough.  There is plenty for all because there is no end to the source that is everything and expansive.

Think of Jesus out there on the mountain with the two fish and the loaf of bread.  He never ran out of food even though there was a multitude of people.  Jesus never once gave thought or succumbed to an idea that there wasn’t enough fish or bread.  He understood its source and knew without doubt that its source was abundance.  This was a beautiful demonstration of how when we give openly, there becomes a limitless abundance.  There is no end to this abundance, but the first thing we all need to do, is change our thinking.  If you give wholeheartedly, the universe also gives wholeheartedly unto you.  We create our experience of money by how we think about money.  If you hold yourself back from giving anything because of the idea that there is not enough, then the universe naturally balances itself out by giving you an experience of not having enough.  Once you change your perception, you will open yourself up to life the way life is supposed to be lived – in abundance through the source of all that ever was, all there is right now, and all that ever will be.

Why I LOVE ‘Finding Nemo’ (“Stay Awake,” “Keep Swimming” and “Let GO!”)

Finding Nemo

The Hero’s Journey is the template formula for most movies, especially ones where you find Heroes, but ‘Finding Nemo’ has a special quality to it so prolific that I wonder why it hasn’t been examined in depth for its true meaning.  I’ve looked online to no avail.  Not even Pixar reveals its secrets of the movie.  If you’re on the path of the Hero’s Journey, you may have caught these spiritual fish undertones, but perhaps you don’t dissect movies the way I do, so allow me to indulge myself today.

First of all, something terrible happens in Marlin’s life, which causes a great shock.  He loses his wife and children, except for one.  This one child has a disability, which Marlin seems to think of as a drawback in Nemo’s life.  Instead of practicing gratitude for his son, he becomes attached and overbearing.  Nemo is an innocent and doesn’t dwell on his disability, but Marlin is constantly focused on this little fin and even worries himself sick over it.  He is so attached to Nemo that their relationship is unbalanced.  He nearly stifles Nemo over his disability and (because of his attachment), but Nemo defies his father and ends up lost in the great big sea of life.  The conflict is that now they are separate, and Marlin’s worry grows even greater.  There is much fear in his search for his son (his innocence).

You see, the Hero’s journey, or to be “born again” usually begins with a shock in one’s life which causes a great surrender.  Many of us resist the surrender and instead hold on too tight in life in fear that we will lose ourselves.  When we begin The Hero’s Journey, there is truly no going back.  The universe will support the movement forward, but many people will continue resisting the path.  This is what Marlin did in the beginning after the great shock, but because Nemo defied him, he was forced to carry on.  He had no clue on how to find his son, but nothing was going to stop him, and throughout the journey, he was constantly being guided.  Along his path came Dori, who represents intuition or Spirit.  He rejected Dori over and over, but she refused to depart from Marlin, even telling him he “felt like home” at one point.  Marlin represents the ego, or the flesh, or the left side of the brain, which is logical, analytical and conforming.  Dori represents Spirit, or the right side of the brain which is intuitive, creative, nonconforming and guided by something other than logic.  She is forgetful because the spirit being in the human form, constantly forgets its source.  It forgets that it is part of a great whole, which is (in essence) God.  This element of the movie was a great clue to me that there was something rich being played out in a cute little story about fish.

Fear is evident in Marlin’s journey, but everything he feared, Dori ended up facing and nothing could stop her.  She moved Marlin through his fears, and though he often pushed her away, he always came back to her because he felt almost empty without her.  Without him, she was lost, and without her, Marlin was lost.  The spirit needs the human body to find its way back to its source.  This is the journey of the soul.  It gets lost in its human form, so that it can find its way back to source, which is “innocence” or “Nemo.”  When a human being finds its way back “home,” it discovers the innocence that it has left behind in the wake of its running.  This path is all too familiar to me.  Probably all recovering addicts will relate here, or anyone who has lost everything in life just to discover that they ARE everything.

Even more profound are the meaning of the three names, Marlin, Nemo and Dori.  This will blow your mind if you are even the least bit interested here.  Marlin means “little warrior,” which is the very definition of what a true hero is.  A spiritual hero is considered a warrior.  Dori’s meaning is “gift, or gift from God.”  (Blown away yet?)  Nemo’s name is even more profound.  It is “Nobody, or no man.”  Nemo is without identity, which is what the hero’s journey is all about.  When a person takes the path of Christ, or goes on the hero’s journey, he loses his or her identity, which is the ego self.  Once a person faces their fears, follows their intuition and re-discovers their innocence which is lost in the identity of being human, he becomes a “No-Body.”  He is no longer being led singly by his mind of fear and in the mainstream way of conformity.  He is now harmonized with his mind, his spirit and his body (the three in one) – the trinity.  (Marlin, Dori, Nemo).  He finds his true balance.  Along the way, there was always guidance for Marlin.  This is what I have discovered in my own spiritual journey when I “Let go, stay awake and keep on swimming” – three very clear messages and profound lines in the movie.

How amazing is THAT?  I find it so moving that I have watched this movie several times over, only to discover how “deep” it really goes.  There is so much more, but I will let you have fun with the movie if you decide to watch it again after reading this.  If you have watched this movie and discovered more meaning than I have laid out, please post it in the comments.  There are so many other movies that have prolific messages, such as ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service,’ ‘Harry Potter,’ ‘Ratatouille’… The list goes on.   The Hero’s Journey is a constant in movies.  Once you know this, you will see it very clearly.  Way to go Pixar – keep um’ coming!  I’m a HUGE fan!

Do You Believe in Magic?

Magic

About four years ago I went into a thirty-day treatment program near my hometown, which did me absolutely no good for keeping me sober, but what it did provide was an opportunity for laughter and play – something I hadn’t experienced in several years.  I went in there terribly depressed, you see, and left the day a rainbow appeared across the land in the west.  Perhaps it was my sign to go west (which I have) but at the time, I thought of it as the universe’s way of saying that I’m being guided (and I am).  The day I left, the counsellors gave me an opportunity to stand up and share something with the large group of recovering addicts.  I was not afraid to stand up and share with them what I had gotten out of the program.  I was well accepted in there, which was a strange thing because many of them were federal prisoners and others were from parts of town that I would have avoided when I was younger.   I am white as white can be with red hair and freckles.  I was the minority in this setting.  It was a rough group, but I managed to make short-term friends and to have fun while I was in there.  The one thing about being in recovery is that it levels us out.  As a whole, we are quite accepting of others.

Because there was a rainbow spread across the sky, which everyone admired that morning, I decided to use it in my speech as an opening and also in my conclusion.  My memory of the speech is vague, but I do know I told the group that all I wanted in life was to become the best possible version of me.  I said that it was important to me to live my life to its fullest, and to see how far I could go.  This is what recovery has always been to me.  Recovery isn’t just learning how to live sober.  It’s learning how to LIVE.  To BE.  To GIVE.  To RECEIVE.  It’s becoming completely OPEN.  And TRUSTING – not only the universe, but TRUSTING MYSELF.  It’s WALKING THE TALK.  It’s being WHO I TRULY AM, which is not a sloppy drunk, or a lazy dreamer who takes no action.  When I left my group of peers that day, I received a lengthy applause.  I made an impact, and it was time to mean what I’d spoken, so the journey began, but little did I know that I would drink heavily again and end up in another treatment center that taught me HOW to do everything I decided that I was going to do that day.

The magic wasn’t the demonstration of the rainbow that morning, but the way I felt when I saw its glory – how humbled I was in that moment of knowing that I was being guided.  It appeared at the exact right time – when I needed humility most.  The magic wasn’t the people who applauded when I spoke in the thirty-day program, but the ones I met in the six month treatment facility who rolled their eyes and brought me down to reality, teaching me that I was no better off than anyone else in the groups we attended.  The magic was the anger that arose when my counsellor spoke truth to my haughty ego, and the rage I felt when I didn’t get my way.  The magic was the constant scoop of humble pie, and the understanding that I was human.  The magic was me in the making, not the outside of myself that seemed like it was the real deal.  I was the real deal.  Inside of me was the whole universe, but I had yet to learn to navigate from within, rather than surviving without.

We often go through life trying to achieve what we think we lack, may it be love, money, truth or stability.  We try to rid ourselves of the things that we don’t like, forgetting that the source of EVERYTHING is one single mass of energy.  Nothing is created outside of this single source of energy, including the stuff we don’t like.  We forget that we are that very source of life, of love, of abundance, so we go out searching, misguided by the idea that we are here to obtain things, rather than to simply experience life as everything. We are everything, you see.  When we label the world by our preference of people, places and things, we discover ourselves lacking and longing, but when we walk in the world knowing that all things are created equal from that one source of energy, we understand that we lack nothing.  There is nothing to lack because all that is, is from one single source.  Once we stop discriminating and preferring, we become open to receiving the abundance that always is and always was.  When we stop resisting our experiences (because we tend to prefer happiness over grief), we understand that it is all one and the same.  We trust that all we experience is part of a greater whole, so we accept the anger as well as the laughter.  This is what recovery is becoming for me.  It’s not trying to reach my goals, but learning about myself during the journey.  It’s not becoming a best-selling author.  It’s simply loving my life as I’m writing.  I no longer prefer to be a millionaire over being a struggling artist.  I’ve only struggled when I’ve believed I was lacking something.  This, right here, right now – is lacking nothing.  It is full of emotion, of experience, of gratitude.  This right here is being present, rather than pining for something that seems out of reach.  This is what recovery has been for me.

The magic is never the illusion of a rainbow (which is only there because our eyes reflect light and images).  It is the wonder that is felt when we notice the rainbow’s presence.  It is never the person that offers us love.  It is simply the love that the person brings forth into our experience.  The magic of being human is feeling human.  It’s being so aware of who you are, that nothing outside of you can bring you anymore happiness than you already are. This is what recovery has been for me.  It’s simply been me, finally knowing ME.  And I’m not anywhere near a point of arrival in my recovery.  Everyday gives me opportunities to find out who I am, what my limits are and where I need to improve.  Every day is a great adventure into my own being, a practice of giving and receiving, and a playground of self-discovery.  I always thought when I became sober, that I would finally be happy because I would travel the world, but what I am learning, is that the world is right here, right now.  That’s the goods right there!  That’s the greatest understanding that recovery has offered me.  Acceptance of where you are right now and what you have right in front of you, is knowing abundance.  It is lacking nothing.  It is bringing forth everything you need at the exact right time.  It is where the magic resides!

I Am Awake. Are You Awake, or In the Common Dream State?

Downstream

I was reading something the other day about how when water encounters a rock along its path, it naturally and gracefully moves around the rock without stopping to observe, or making any kind of judgment about the rock.  The rock may be blocking the water’s pathway, but the water is always headed downstream, so no matter how big or intrusive the rock is, the water will find a way around the rock to continue moving downstream into a bigger body of water.  Sometimes the water must trickle its way around the rock because the rock is quite large, but regardless, the water is never in resistance of the rock.  It knows its path and cannot be broken, divided, confused or halted.  It can be re-directed, but it will never turn around and go backward, freak out, or head in the opposite direction just because of a rock.  It always finds its way to the bigger body of water.  This is a metaphor for the journey of the soul, which is always headed downstream to its source.  The only thing blocking the soul from its beautiful journey to its source, is the vessel in which the soul travels (and that means YOU – your thoughts, your behaviors, your ideas, beliefs, opinions, addictions, judgments, etc…).

 I’m writing this today because I recall a time in my life when I was so concerned about the way things turned out in certain situations.  I held on to people so tightly that I discovered myself disappointed with them more often than not.  I worried about being cheated on by my partner, job security, what others were saying about me, how each person was behaving and what they were achieving, and if I was doing enough to impress the people around me.  As I look around and observe people in their “dream state” of not knowing that their soul is constantly in motion toward its source, I understand with complete clarity now, that anything goes in the “real” world.  I mean, nothing that occurs is any kind of shock to me now.  Life is not random per say, but people’s behaviors certainly are.  When people do not know they are a temple of their downward streaming soul (which is most people btw), the situations that occur as a result of this can be chaotic, ridiculous, comical, stagnant, and sometimes tragic.  To observe it all with eyes so open now to the fact that most people are clueless about their soul journey, I can hardly fault anyone for their reasoning.  I mean, if you’re not clear on your path, there is going to be a LOT of reasoning and straying and misbehaving.  It doesn’t matter what all of that includes.  The further away from the knowing, the more in depth the insanity. 

We had this one counsellor in treatment who used to giggle about people’s behaviors when they were not aware of her observation of them.  She would look at me and say, “People are so funny, aren’t they?”  I squinted my eyes and tilted my head trying to figure out what she meant.  I was still one of those funny people (I still am in so many ways).  I didn’t know that most of my behaviors derived from being asleep along my soul journey.  I was involved in little dramas with my peers, and I got caught up in all kinds of scenarios.  My soul was travelling downstream toward its source, but I was a boulder of thoughts, of ideas, of confusion about my life, and still always trying to impress people.  I hammered myself and judged myself for every mistake I made, instead of allowing myself to flow freely and openly.  I bought into the soap operas and sitcoms occurring all of the time, rather than smiling and noticing that it was always just a performance of people not knowing they were on a beautiful soul journey.

 “All of this ‘soul journey’ stuff is just a philosophy…” you might add right about now, and perhaps you are not wrong, but allow me to explain that this “philosophy” is the only that makes any sort of sense to me in the grand scheme of my life.  I spent 35 years suffering with confusion.  Nothing flowed.  Nothing made much sense.  I was an enigma on a planet with seven billion other enigmas.  I felt worthless, except for once in a while when I happened to make some kind of achievement, which quickly faded and then I was back to being an enigma always trying to reach another achievement, or impress another person, until I eventually gave up altogether.  Suppose most people don’t care about what life is about, and they just go along with the mainstream way of thinking.  Fine for them – this was not me.  I often wish it was.  It would be so much easier.  But honestly, when you really talk to most people, they are not living a life of fulfillment, and most people who are, usually find their fulfillment because of another person who they have fallen in love with.  Fine.  Beautiful – but if that person dies, or gets really sick, or decides to cheat on them, they would be devastated, and then what?  The fulfillment is gone.  The joy has been dissipated.  You see, this always crossed my mind when I fell in love, so I kept searching for something that was more sustaining.  Humans are human.  They cannot be counted on – I don’t care who they are.  Even Jesus, Buddha and Gandhi left the planet – leaving us behind to discover our own path.  You cannot attach yourselves to a human being without one day discovering yourself at a complete loss when they are gone, or when they make a mistake.  So this philosophy of the soul journey, which opens up my perspective to a much better understanding of my life, is the only thing sustaining.  It’s the only thing that has made sense for me, which is a really big deal considering I spent most of my life in a desperate state of suffering and confusion.

With this understanding of the soul journey, you can always find a way to flow with life.  It does not matter what occurs, or who comes along your path, or who leaves or disappoints.  If you understand that you are always in a state of constant movement toward your source (God), you will always discover a way around each encounter, experience, and obstruction.  You will gracefully learn how to flow (although often clumsily at first). You will not take life’s dramas and sitcoms too seriously.  People buy into the physical realm because it is tangible and it has mass, but when you begin following your intuition, life expands into something much more intensely sustainable.  It feels guided and full of love, peace and joy.  This is the real deal – philosophy or not.  It works for me and for many others.  You can’t prove it, yet when you begin flowing downstream, it becomes an innate knowing. 

 How is that for a little food for thought?  Flow with your life today.  Smile at the boulders along your path and continue moving downstream.  Nothing can stop your soul from its natural flow except for the vessel in which it travels (and that’s YOU).  Let go of opinions, beliefs, attachments and desire – because without these things, the journey is so much more fulfilling and the happiness is sustaining.  If you don’t believe me – I challenge you to try it and prove me wrong (wink)!