I had the wonderful opportunity to live in England for three years. As an American, one of the first things you learn is the old saying that the United States and England are two countries divided by a common language. Idioms are different, spelling and pronunciation of words are different. Even the influence of the proximity to France means that some of the words the English use are different than what the Americans use to describe the same thing. For instance, the English use the word aubergine for the purple vegetable that most Americans call an eggplant. I found all of these differences to be charming.
The only one that I found harder to grapple with was the collective or group nouns. In America, we say, “The crowd goes wild.” However, in England, they say, “The crowd go wild.” The American interpretation is that the crowd is a singular entity, a singular force, maybe even a singular mindset. In the English version, the interpretation would be stating that the individual aspects within the crowd are individually going wild. A bunch of individuals with individual mindsets all going wild at the same time.
This may seem like a distinction without a difference. However, when I was meditating on Unity and Oneness, this was the analogy that came to me to further explain the nuance of what it really means to be in Unity and Oneness.
To truly and completely feel and know yourself as One with Source, One with the All That Is, we must have the knowingness and experience of the singular entity, the singular force, and the singular mindset. Knowing and experiencing this singularity does not mean that we all must be the same. It just means that as unique expressions of Source, we are all part of the singularity of the essence of what it means to be Source. We all have the same opportunities to tap into the Divine Power that is Source, the Divine Love that is Source, the Divine Wisdom that is Source. We are the essence that is All That Is. When we master this understanding of Unity and Oneness the crowd really will go wild!
I am 3 days late getting this blog posted. I’m also quite behind on several other projects which have their own deadlines. But over the past two days my house has been cleaned top to bottom, and I have re-organized closets, cabinets, shelves and drawers to sparkling, immaculate perfection. Ahhh! It feels so good to look around and see everything in its place. So, why was it a piece of cake to organize my house, but I can’t organize my thoughts enough to write a single page?
Try though I might to keep December a quiet, introspective month, it quickly ballooned with numerous commitments, appointments, meetings and various other deadlines. I was busy, and appropriately so. There were things that genuinely needed to be done in that time frame, all in divine order and perfect timing. But in all the activity, I lost my balance within. I veered too far into doing mode and kept on going without checking back in with my inner compass. So, when I tried to write, I was coming from a place of complete inner dis-organization, regardless of how well my house was shaping up.
As I sat here, laptop perched on my lap and waiting for words of wisdom to flow, I realized that while it may be fun to go to The Container Store and fill your cart with cute baskets and trays to get your life in order, it won’t last if you don’t have a strong foundation of organization and balance within. By next week, my house could look as disheveled as it had for those weeks in December. So now it’s time to get my insides back in order.
It’s not always easy putting the brakes on a train that has built up its momentum to a strong cruising speed. Proceed gently, applying the brakes a little at a time until you regain your balance between too much action and not getting anything done at all. We are still physical beings and there are things which genuinely need to get done. But, of course, we want to find that sweet spot of perfect flow between divine inspiration and taking action. So as I write this, I am holding the intention to come back into alignment with the present moment as I find that balance between the stillness of deeper meditation time and the next action steps for my other projects.
The good news is that once we bring our intention to something in our lives, the re-organization can happen rather quickly and effortlessly. Intention is key. We all have that point of balance and divine order already within us. We just have to remember where we put it!
Many of us are working to overcome our judgment of ourselves and each other. We know that the Christ explains to us in the Standing in the Light® classes that Judgment is THE block to knowing ourselves as God. However, we may not have taken the time to look at our beliefs around “competition” to see that competition is another form of judgment.
Many people would look at the concept of competition as “good” but from the perspective of the Spiritual Hierarchy and the idea of Oneness, competition is divisive.
There is some validity to the idea of wanting to be the best version of yourself you can be, but we normally measure it at the expense of someone or something else. When we are in competition, rarely are we focused on being the best version of ourselves.
I am reminded of a scene from the movie Caddyshack. Ted Knight’s character, Judge Smails, who is always trying to feel more superior to everyone, is asking Chevy Chase’s character, Ty Webb, who is a rich entrepreneur with a lot of time on his hands, what his golf score is. Ty, although an excellent golfer, doesn’t feel the need to keep (or at least not to discuss) his score. Judge Smails asks, “How do you measure yourself against other golfers?” Ty’s reply is “by height.” It is a funny scene and of course, Ty’s wit is notable because he is taller than the Judge. The point is that even when we aren’t directly playing someone else we are keeping score. And if we aren’t keeping score on a game, we are on height, or we are on weight or looks or money in the bank. We are always in competition.
Many people run marathons to see if they have the drive and stamina within them to run 26.2 miles. But, even when they say, I just want to break the 4-hour mark, if they are honest with themselves, they also don’t want to be the last one to cross the finish line. And the one who is the last one to cross the finish line will probably console themselves with the idea that there were others that didn’t qualify at all, or who had to drop out due to injury or who were not fit enough to try in the first place.
As someone who has never run a marathon nor had the running of a marathon as a goal, I do admire those who have the drive and stamina to run one. However, most have the comparison to others as part of the reason for running.
So what is “wrong” with competition? First of all, there is nothing “wrong” with anything. It is simply a matter of looking at the intention instead of the action, alone. Let’s look at the saying from Kris Duffy. “It’s not the what, it is the why?”
If a business is trying to make a better car, one that is more efficient and safer to drive and they are looking for bright new ideas to help with that goal; great. But we know the multitude of stories where the rush to market or the need to be better than the other car company overshadows the goals of simply using less fuel and being able to brake on slick roads faster. Sometimes this leads to cutting corners on the quality of the product or mistreatment of employees. The need to have higher revenues or get to market sooner than other companies to undercut their share of the market is too prevalent to be ignored.
Competition is an All-American ideal that allows us to be divided into different camps / teams / parties instead of being united to pursue “the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” as our forbearers wrote in the Declaration of Independence.
When we are holding Divine Non-Judgment, our goal is the altruist goal of being the best we can be without making another feel less and without lauding our success or “score” over anyone else. We can be in the perfect balance point between arrogance and the belief of ourselves as unworthy. In Divine Non-Judgment, if we were to run the marathon it would be to feel alive, to know we can set a goal and achieve it, to better our own fitness level without being discouraged if we are the last one to cross the line or even if we don’t cross the finish line at all. We would see the journey and the experience as the goal, not the finish line.
Sticking to athletics as our example, some like to look at the Olympics as a wonderful way to unite all the world’s nations through competition where cultural exchanges will bring the nations closer together. If that were truly the intention (“The Why”) then the daily medal count would instead be the “friends made” count or “better understanding of another’s point of view” count.
We may look at some of the events and say, “Wow, I just want to see Usain Bolt run fast. I don’t care that he isn’t from the same country as me.” Or “I don’t mind that there are no American teams left in the Pairs Skating finals, I just want to see some beautiful and talented performances.” And of course, all of that is probably true…as long as the daily medal count doesn’t reflect too badly on my particular country!
These same ideas can be applied to high school sports, little league teams, college, and professional teams. The joy of playing well in order to help with our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing and to lessen our stress level is not usually the goal in organized sports. It is about winning and for college and professional teams, about the money and sponsorship potential.
Ultimately, the competition keeps us in separation from each other. It also keeps us looking at the illusion and believing what we see in the illusion is what is valuable and real. Instead of looking at the illusion to see what we still need to heal in order to continue to evolve.
We can set our intention for 2016 to eliminate the judgment of competition and come into the Oneness of knowing we are all worthy and we are all Source.
It is that time of year, again. The time when all of us start to scratch our heads as to what gifts we can get for our families! If you are like my family, where my brother, sister, and I start to email each other at this time of year to see what we should buy for our parents for Christmas, for their anniversary (which is in December) and for Mom’s birthday (which is in January). We are defaulting to our usual gifts for them (flowers for the anniversary, gift card to the local hardware store and to Olive Garden, etc.) Every once-in-awhile we come up with something a little more off the beaten path, but the standbys are standbys because we know they will enjoy them. The rest of my family’s gifts are equally easy and appreciated and my husband and I usually give each other a few nights at a ski resort for our gift to each other.
With my family Christmas shopping list filled out and it isn’t yet December, I have some time to ponder what I could be giving to the other beings that are important to me. I am being guided to send distance healing to the other entities who matter to me whether I know them personally or not.
The true gift of energy healing is the ability to send it to those people, plants, animals and situations around the world who may not even know they are open to receive the benefits of the higher vibrations. The miracle of the energy healing is being able to send Reiki or other energy modalities to a whole group at one time. Maybe you are guided to send energy to all the children of the world, or all the water (ocean, seas, lakes, glaciers and even the water within our bodies) or to all the world leaders, all who vote for the world leaders, and all who are in systems where voting is not how the government is formed.
In the Reiki energy tradition, a person learns how to send Reiki at distance using the symbols learned in Reiki II and in other advanced classes. In Eminent Reiki™, we are taught that you can ask The Reiki Masters to help you send energy to whatever group or situation you would like to send it to regardless if you have not yet taken Reiki II. Eminent Reiki™ also teaches that you can ask The Reiki Masters to help you set programs to repeat the sending of the energy as you are guided at specific intervals, say every three hours for four days, etc. Other modalities have techniques for sending energy to each other and situations all around the world, too.
Don’t let a lack of formal training stop you sending higher vibration energy like love, joy, peace and goodwill to whomever and whatever you are guided to send it. If you like working with a particular ascended master or with an Archangel, you can ask them to help you send higher vibration energy to loved ones or world situations. Because we are all part of the Oneness, you can simply tap into the energy all around and ask how best to send love, joy, peace and goodwill to all who need it, regardless of any particular technique. There is no way to do this incorrectly! There are many paths, many modalities and many customs that are forms of healing that are available to us all.
Finally, since we are part of the Oneness from which everything stems, the most intrinsic way we can help heal Mother Earth, our brothers and sisters around the world and all the situations we see playing out locally and globally, is to heal ourselves. This year, give yourself the gift of self energy healing, in order to have more energy leftover to send to others but more importantly because raising your own vibration will raise the vibration of all those with whom you are connected and with whom you are One, which is everyone and everything. Energy healing is the gift that keeps on giving. I urge you to expand your gift giving list to include this wonderful present for us all.
We often think of gratitude as something we give to another as a thank you for a gift or a kind deed, an appreciation for someone’s presence in our lives. But why not allow ourselves to see it as a gift for ourselves, as well? Someone once said that love is the most selfish thing we can do for ourselves, meaning that we have the opportunity to get so much out it, receiving exponentially more in return than we give. And the same is true of gratitude. In the giving, we automatically receive tenfold and that is true grace.
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day rush of things we need to get done. We each have our lists of what we need to accomplish today, so that everything that throws us off our schedule becomes more than just an unexpected event but a challenge to our goals that we must battle into submission. The car cutting us off in traffic, the slow person checking out at the grocery store or the chatty neighbor who waylays us on our way to the house can either be hindrances or help depending on how we choose to experience them.
The car cutting you off and making you miss the light gives you those few extra minutes on your way to work to set intentions for the day and arrive energized and focused. The person taking his time at the grocery checkout allows you to strike up a conversation and make a connection. The neighbor who always wants to talk reminds us of the value of community when someone is willing to check on your house while you’re gone or loan you a lawn mower when yours goes out. Suddenly, the day that could have felt hassled and harried is a day full of small gifts and kindnesses- gifts that you gave yourself by being in gratitude.
The grace of gratitude is not a grace that we must ask to be bestowed upon us by some outside force. This kind of grace is an inside job and well within our power to grant to ourselves by allowing the goodness and richness of life in everything. This season, grace yourself with the gift of gratitude, and its effects will radiate out far beyond what you can see.
What holds you back from identifying primarily as your Divine Self rather than your personality self in this body? Intellectually, we may believe that we are all One, all connected through the same energy source, and yet may find that we are still attached to our identities as individuals.
You are God expressing as Jane or Bob, not Jane or Bob who is allowing God to express through you.
The language seems subtle but the difference is profound. We are very accustomed to our identities as physical beings: I’m a tall man, I’m a long-haired woman, I’m a mother, I’m a husband, I’m an accountant, I’m an athlete. All of these descriptions carry some level of expectation and belief as to what they say about us. They can also limit us. Any of these phrases may describe your current form or role but they are not who you are. You are God.
“I am” is a very powerful statement. In the Bible, God identifies as “I Am” or “I Am that I Am.” No descriptions or identifiers. No qualifiers- simply I Am. It might be time to take a look at the language you use when you declare “I am” (insert word). How you identify yourself and the language you use may be re-enforcing old patterns, old beliefs, old energies and limitations. Even our identities as members of a spiritual community can be limiting: I am a teacher, I am a healer, I am a visionary. You may have come to be a teacher or healer and share your gifts, but it is still not the sum of who you are.
Identifying these roles can be a very useful tool in getting clarity on what you came here to offer as your service, but to the extent that it holds you in the belief that it’s who you are or that it sets you apart from others, then it’s just another limitation. Take a look at all of the labels you ascribe to yourself and ask if they are still useful to you.
Try seeing yourself through the eyes of your Divine Self; not as a woman or a man, not as an American or a Russian, not as a husband or sister or daughter, but simply as a bright, beautiful aspect of God. Because from the spiritual perspective we are pure energy. We are all One. We are all God.