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No need for labels

No need for labels

With the Fourth of July holiday upon us, my friend, Marsha Hankins, suggested a few books by authors who explored their inner freedom even in the midst of physical imprisonment. Viktor E. Frankl, a Nazi holocaust survivor, tells his story in Man’s Search for Meaning. Immaculee Ilibagiza, a Rwandan holocaust survivor, writes her story in Left to Tell. Both Frankl and Ilibagiza describe the deprivation of the circumstances they survived in the physical realm.  Both authors speak of what they were able to withstand physically because of the transformation within. We can look to these people as role models for finding inner peace and freedom.

Frankl writes, “ When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.”

Ilibagiza, a Rwandan who spent three months in 1994 hiding in a small bathroom with 7 other women states, “I found a place in the bathroom to call my own: a small corner of my heart. I retreated there as soon as I awoke, and stayed there until I slept. It was my sacred garden, where I spoke with God, meditated on His words, and nurtured my spiritual self…I spent hours contemplating the meaning of a single word, such as forgiveness, faith, or hope.”

These are beautiful thoughts and feelings during two of the most violent episodes of the twentieth century.  Most people know that 6 million Jews died during World War II, but might not know that 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and 10,000 Batwa died at the hands of their Rwandan countrymen, the Hutus, over the course of three months in 1994.

Besides the underlying fear and hatred that precipitated these genocides, the divisions of the culture into ethnic and religious, as well as other categories, allowed for the identifiable markers to permit such mass action of neighbors against each other.  Separating ourselves and others into categories helps dehumanize the “other” from ourselves. It might even allow us to see a different group as the cause for our current problems or potential scapegoat for issues in the future.

The Nineteenth Century Danish Philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, said, “Once you label me, you negate me.”  Not only does labeling negate who we truly are, but it is the seeds for incivility, discrimination, and ultimately, labeling is what leads to the divisiveness that has allowed hatred between groups and the consequences of violence against each other.

As with the Nazi and Rwandan Holocausts believing that the labeling of a person or a group as a basis for how they should be treated, is a slippery slope to civil wars and conflict all around the world.

What labels are you allowing to guide your thoughts, fears and prejudices currently?

Do you label yourself or others as liberals, conservatives, republicans, democrats, independents, gay, straight, male, female, or other? Do you label yourself and others based on education, religion, union membership, management, haves, have nots, 1%, or 99%? Do you label yourself as the ones with God on your side and the others with evil on its side? And then, do you use those labels to draw battle plans, determine who is right or wrong, demonizing them without discovering the issues or circumstances that make the others feel differently than you feel? Many of us take the label as the short cut for action and belief instead of taking the time to understand the human with the human fears, potential frailties and needs and desires, similar or different from our own.

Depending on which source you read, humans, chimpanzees and bonobos have 95% – 99% similar DNA with each other. If we are so similar to our animal brethren, why do humans label each other with abandoned disregard to the aspects that are similar within our own species? If we want to label ourselves, why not find common ground labeling like: air breathers, water drinkers, earthlings, sun revolvers, universalists, or unique expressions of Source. Aren’t these the qualities that we all are and need to cherish?  Would the differences in our approach to policies be minimized if we saw the bigger picture, the “Bigger We” and used language with less rhetoric and hyperbole and more civility? Kierkegaard also stated: “People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for freedom of thought…”

As we celebrate the birth of our nation, can we still hold the words of the Declaration of Independence to be true, to be self-evident? “That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Can we change the trajectory of the slippery slope of demonizing someone else because of cultural, religious, ethnic, political or orientation label? We cannot wait for the “other side” to become civil.  We must examine our fears, our lack of feeling safe and secure, and our need for someone outside of us to protect our rights and to heal these issues within ourselves. We need to encourage our internal wisdom, power and strength. Then, as guided, we may take action in the outer world for the issues we believe are for the highest good of all, but we will do it based on inner wisdom, inner power and inner love.  We must look, as Frankl and Ilibagiza did, to changing ourselves to recognize who we truly are: Unique Expressions of Source. No labels, no divisions, simply Source.

 

 

Happiness

Happiness

I am writing today from a position and attitude of happiness. I would love to be able to tell you why I am happy – but I am not sure I can either quantify or justify why I am feeling this way. Which of course, makes it difficult to write any inspiring ideas as to how you might feel this happiness, too.

I could tell you it is the mild and beautiful weather in Colorado that is making me happy. I could tell you it is this fun dance community that I dance with that is making me happy. I could tell you that my husband and my dog have great dispositions and living with them makes me happy. I could tell you that I love how I serve humanity and mother earth, and that makes me happy. I could tell you that I have some cool adventures and travel plans for the rest of 2018 and that makes me happy.

All of these statements are true. But, I don’t think they make me happy. These details definitely allow for the possibility of happiness, but in the end, aren’t these just the results of my inner happiness shining through? My outer world is reflecting my inner world.

What does your outer world say about your inner world?

If you like what your outer world is telling you, that is great. Keep up that great energy! If you don’t like what your outer world is telling you, what do you need to change to bring into fruition what you really want to create for yourself? As Within, So Without. This is not just another platitude or punch line. I believe this is a universal truth. Our outer world can only be as great as our inner world is. As my teacher Kris Duffy use to say, you can’t heal the pimple by putting make up on the mirror that you use to see the pimple.

The Standing in the Light® Programs and the other blog entries here can help you with intellectual knowledge if you need reminders as how to take concrete steps to manifest your inner and outer world.  Standing in the Light® Level 1 classes provide you the opportunity to learn how to manifest consciously.

5 Steps to Conscious Manifesting:

1.       Learn how to align and connect to your own inner wisdom, your own guidance.

2.       Learn the 3 R’s of manifesting: First “R” – Receive the Vision

3.       Second “R” – Release / Clear the blocks to creating the vision

4.       Third “R” – Resonate the vision and learn a 5th Dimensional healing and clearing technique.

5.       Take Action Steps to bring Your Soul’s Vision into Fruition.

Use the energy of this summer to make any changes you want on the inner so that by fall you may see the changes on the outer or you are comfortable enough with the inner world such that what the outer world shows you doesn’t define who you truly are.

Again, I ask, what does your outer world say about your inner world? Create it consciously. 

   

Spring Cleaning: Living Conscioulsy and In Joy

Spring Cleaning: Living Conscioulsy and In Joy

With spring fully upon us, many people feel like it is a good time to tackle cleaning out our closets and picking up our desks. Tax season is over. Time to decide what documents to file away, which ones to throw away and which ones to place in the hallowed box waiting for the statute of limitations to run!  

A friend of mine recommended a book on a decluttering system by Marie Kondo. Kondo’s book is called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. As with all self-help books, some of the ideas resonate with me and some of them don’t. I always try to see what fits my circumstances and personality. At a minimum, I like to use the knowledge as a catalyst to do something. Any movement in this area is a step forward, for me anyway!

What I like about Kondo’s approach is that the whole idea is to motivate us to determine if the things in our lives are bringing us joy. If they are, make room to keep them. If they aren’t, find a new home for them or throw them out. Kondo suggests that we become more conscious about why we have certain things in our lives. Why do we hang on to the clothing, the books, the paperwork and the mementos? She is not suggesting we have judgment regarding if we do keep it, just asking ourselves consciously why we do. Then, allowing for the conscious self to determine if this item is still a good fit for us.

Kondo has three insights that struck me as particularly wise.

Her first comment is “One of the magical effects of tidying is confidence in your decision-making capacity.” This is definitely not one of the benefits I would have expected from a decluttering philosophy. However, I think she is right. The more we make decisions that help us to feel free and alive, the more we are going to be confident in all our decisions and in all our choices.

Kondo’s second insight is “…when we really delve into the reason for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future.” Kondo is applying this philosophy to help declutter things, but this statement actually applies to us decluttering events, energies, old patterns and “what ifs” in our lives. We can discard our old belief systems, old resentments and discordant emotions just like we can throw away that holey t-shirt that no longer serves us. Detach from past actions and events. Start to live more consciously, in order to move into the future without fear.

The final insight that really struck me was, “The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.” Wow, that is really powerful. Again, this is a great principle for determining what things you want in your house, but it is also a guide post for other aspects in your life. What are we willing to own as our belief systems? What are we willing to own in our relationships? What are we willing to own in our relationship with money, with mutual funds, with other investments? What are we willing to own in our energy fields? Do these things and situations bring us Joy? If they do not, should we change how we look at them or throw them out? Maybe we only need to make slight modifications and maybe we need wholesale changes. Asking your inner wisdom if something brings you joy and serves you and your goals well and then acting on that wisdom, will allow you to continue to live more consciously and more joyfully.

Take the opportunity to use the energy of the spring to move forward into a more joyful life.

 

 

 

Transfiguration of Jesus, Transfiguration of Ourselves

Transfiguration of Jesus, Transfiguration of Ourselves

This time of year, we observe the most sacred day the Christian calendar: Easter – the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. It is a celebration of the spiritual essence of Jesus, as well as his physical body. In the enthusiasm to celebrate the renewal of life that is a hallmark of Easter, we may forget the symbolism and underlying meaning that we can take away for our own lives – the divinity of our own physical body.

I have heard friends say that they couldn’t wait to no longer be in body because they feel like the body is a limiting format – a great vehicle for helping us to learn what we came into this existence to learn – but still limiting.

What if in our zeal to be renewed in spirit, we look not to Easter but to the Transfiguration of Jesus that is spoken of in the Gospels of Matthew (17:1-8), Mark (9:2-8) , and Luke (9:26-38), chronologically weeks prior to Easter.  The Apostles, Peter, James and John, are with Jesus on a mountain when Jesus is filled with radiant light.  This transfiguration is considered a miracle by Jesus and yet is unique among miracles because this miracle happens to Jesus himself.

What if we take a page out of Jesus’ play book and look to allowing miracles within our own physical bodies. Of course, transfiguration into full light sounds like the quickest way to handle any aliment! What if we start with smaller miracles, smaller transformations and transcendences and work up to full transfiguration?

Let’s first recognize that the physical body is divine and is a blessing not a curse. Sometimes the physical body gets a bad rap with sayings like “sins of the flesh” or being told to deny sensual pleasures because they are sinful or ungodly. In some philosophies, dancing is a sin and in others a divine gift and a vehicle to getting into a meditative state. 

Instead of denying physical comforts and delights what if we start honoring our physical body with its unique abilities and its fabulous healing capabilities. Instead of blaming our physical body for the state of our “sorry existence” we allow ourselves to rise up through the emotional, mental and spiritual union that is represented in physical form with our human bodies.

Let’s resurrect our essence of awe and wonder at our own human body. Know our beauty and strength and allow it to shine through us to those around us with the ease and peace of transformation, transcendence and transfiguration. Know yourself as light, know yourself as divine, know yourself as transfigured. Know yourself as the physically divine being that you are. You are your own miracle creator. Create your own miracle. 

 

Unity with Steve

Unity with Steve

In a world that seems as divisive as ever, 2018 is a great year to focus on Unity. If not now, when, right?

As I have been focusing on Unity, I have had some frank discussions with myself. Ultimately, we want to be in Unity with our own internal wisdom and the Source that we know we truly are. That is a tall order. However, I sometimes feel like being in Unity with other humans, especially those who I might still be judging, no matter how I try NOT to judge them, is even harder. I know it is appropriate to be able to discern whether other people’s actions and beliefs are my truth and in the highest plan for me without judging that other person.

With this goal of not judging anyone in mind, I asked my inner guidance how I could stop judging someone like Steve Bannon.

Late last year when there was a lot of talk in the news about Steve Bannon, the chief strategist for the White House and close confidant to Donald Trump, I was trying to clear my judgment of Bannon. I asked my soul what I needed to see to clear the judgment.

I have mentioned in this blog before that I love attending the Soul Kitchen Dance free-style conscious dance group. One day at the Soul Kitchen Dance session, a man who could have been Steve Bannon’s twin came to dance. The Bannon doppelganger was moving to the music, dancing with his friends, getting into his groove just like the rest of us. He had a huge smile on his face. This put a huge smile on my face and I heard from my soul, “every time you see Steve Bannon on the news in future, remember this dance, remember this smile, and remember the Bannon doppelganger getting into his groove.”  Sure enough the next time I saw Steve Bannon on the TV, I saw him in the divinity of the dance, the smile, the joy, the unity.

Tapping into and seeing the higher versions of each and all of us is how we move ourselves further into Unity with all. The energy of the universe is bigger, stronger, more plentiful than the energy of 7 Billion people on the planet. That universal energy is what we focus on, that we merge with. The energy of the universe, the energy of our brother and sisters of the light, the energy of Source. We focus on being in unity with that energy. We need to focus on being in Unity with the divinity of each other.

Steve Bannon is Divine, just as all of us are. For now, that is the aspect and energy that I focus being in unity with.  

Then, when and as our brothers and sisters from the human race awaken to know themselves as we know ourselves, our unity will be felt by more and more of the 7 Billion inhabitants of this planet. The merging into the Unity will be felt by more and more until it is felt by all.

Thanks to Pixabay.com for the picture!

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