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.
Here in the United States, we are currently seeing some of the more colorful human traits played out every day on our TV screens as at least 17 people vie to be the next president. Trying to embody Shakespeare’s words from As You Like It, that “all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” might be the way to allow and detach from the frenetic pace of dialogue between various candidates. If we can see the stage for what it is, a mirror to our own issues, then we can look to what messages we need for ourselves and aid our own enlightenment.
One of the issues that is definitely being played on this stage that may have mirrors for us, or that pushes our buttons, is the idea of arrogance. The term “arrogance” and the superlative of “best” have definitely been bandied about this election cycle.
In order to look at what we might learn from the discussion around arrogance, we may want to first look at the word humility and the strength and peace that can be found in perfect humility.
Humility is a word most of us would not associate with strength or peace, but in its truest sense, in its divine sense, the feeling state of divine humility carries power, ease, and a sense of self of who you truly are as a creator and co-creator with All That Is.
In English, many of us think of the word “humility” in a negative way. Instead of humility, which is a noun and which most dictionaries define as “the state of being humble”, we confuse the meaning with the verb “humiliate” which means to cause a person a painful loss of pride, self-respect or dignity, or to mortify.
Being humble is all about being and feeling modest. It is free of vanity, egotism, arrogance, boastfulness, or great pretenses. None of these words imply that you have no strength or power when you are humble and modest. These words have more to do with how you speak, act, or feel about yourself than it does about your talent or proclivities and what you have to offer the world.
In true humility, you stand at the balance point of knowing you are powerful, but knowing everyone else has equal potential for knowing and feeling their own power, too. The Master who holds humility in perfect balance does not feel him/herself as better than another, nor does he/she feel lesser than anyone else, either. We are all unique expressions of Source / The All That Is. It is impossible to be more or less unique; to be more or less All That Is. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, “unique” is an absolute which we all are! All are unique which just means all of us are different, but not lesser or greater. Simply unique. The Master who knows that can speak to his or her qualities, proclivities, abilities, and what his/her service is without making another person wrong or belittling the other person.
In true humility, the Master is neither arrogant nor falsely modest; the two opposite sides of the pendulum swing. When you know who you truly are and feel comfortable in your own skin, the sense of peace and well-being will be transformational. Try the ultimate litmus test—watch some of the presidential debates. If you are able to see yourself as the Divine Being and the Divine Light that you are, and see each of the candidates as the Divine Being and Divine Light that they are, then you have probably mastered Divine Humility. You don’t have to agree with the candidates, you just need to not make them wrong for holding the opinions they hold or explaining their opinions in a way you wouldn’t explain it.
Standing in my own humility, I can tell you that I have not yet reached this level of mastery! I strive for it and am positive that finding this level of mastery, this level of strength and peace through Divine Humility, is possible while still walking on this beautiful stage we call Earth! But, I am not there, yet!
President Teddy Roosevelt is credited with saying: “speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” I would paraphrase by saying: speak softly and carry a true sense of self; you will be unlimited.
Many of us on a deliberate spiritual path work every day with the resonances or states of being like Peace, Love, Wisdom and Compassion. These are wonderful energies to bring in and allow ourselves to feel and become. I sometimes find that I don’t allow these resonances to take hold as much as I could because I don’t feel worthy. Maybe I am beating myself up for my acts of commission, like being sharper in my retorts with a loved one or being flat out belligerent or mean-spirited. Maybe I am beating myself up for my acts of omission, like not showing kindness to others nor kindness to myself in my self-care. I may also beat myself up for intellectually knowing that I am One with All, but not quite being evolved enough to hold that Oneness 100% of the time. My belief in my lack of worthiness makes it difficult to hold Peace, Love, Wisdom and Compassion.
Enter Grace and Gratitude! When I am feeling less than 100% of the aspect of the Divine that I AM, when I allow the human self-talk to get in the way of my spiritual self-talk, I turn to the healing energies of Grace and Gratitude.
Grace is the intellectual knowingness and then the feeling state that we are part of the Divine, part of The Source of ALL THAT IS and nothing can change or deny that Spiritual Truth. All That Is is truly All There Is…so there isn’t any way we can be from outside of it or any way to be cast outside of it because of our actions. There is no way to be outside of the whole of existence. We can only be a part of the whole. We may have beliefs that we are abandoned, cast out or beyond the whole, but those are just our human self-talk and false beliefs.
In the Protestant Tradition of Christianity, Grace, God’s Grace is what saves humans. Regardless of whether you are Protestant, Christian or religious at all, allow yourself to play around with and feel Divine Grace, the Grace of the Source of All That Is. Feel, even if it is just for a fleeting moment or if it is for hours on end, what it feels like to know you do not need to Do Anything or Be a certain way in order to feel, understand and hold the powerful energy and knowingness that your birthright is the Peace, Ease and Flow of knowing you are part of Source, no matter what. You are Divine, no matter what. You are Divine regardless of your unaccomplished to do list. Your list of self-failures and self-judgments are only your own judgments not that of Source, Your True Divine Self. Source, who simultaneously created us and is us, sees all the negative evaluations that we have for ourselves as what they truly are: simple experiences and opportunities to learn.
Try this exercise. Start to breathe in the energy of Grace until you are completely filled with it. Or allow yourself to find Grace in your heart and let the feeling grow until it encompasses you and your whole field without reservation. Feel yourself as entitled to and with the self-given right of Divine Grace.
As you feel and work with the energy of Grace, you will start to feel more gratitude for everything in your life. You will feel more gratitude for the simple things in life like viewing the full moon, having hot water at your fingertips, having good food to eat or a friend to share the moon, hot water and good meal with! As you hold more Grace, you will also start to feel more Gratitude for the experiences and opportunities to grow which before looked to you like obstacles or pain. Remember the wise saying of “Change your belief and you change your destiny.” If you can change, even just slightly, how you look at a situation, you can change the attitude at which you address the situation which will shift the energy to more positive, more loving approach. This will help the outcome to be more loving, as well. This, in turn, will allow you to feel more Gratitude.
As I find more Grace, I feel more Gratitude, which allows me to believe more easily that Grace is my birthright, for which I am grateful. It is a Blessed Circle of energy that allows for more and more energy!
I find that working with the energies of Grace and Gratitude in unison creates shifts of energies and attitudes that really help me to feel the Self-Worth and the Self-Value that my Inner Voice continues to urge me is My True Self, My Divine Self. After a while of filling with Grace and Gratitude, I get tired of arguing with that Inner Voice that I am less than the precious Child of God that the rest of Creation knows that I am, just like the rest of Creation knows that you are, too.
Know and feel Divine Grace. Know and feel Divine Gratitude. Know and feel yourself as Source, a part of All That Is.