Someone Moved

We moved to Phoenix in mid-June. I don’t yet feel at home. The oppressive heat has been wearing on me, but I can see an end to the furnace-inspired onslaught soon. I find ways to stay positive and adapt.

I like the skies here. 

Last night, a dear friend from Mount Shasta called.

Before I could even lament the heat, he said, “I know you’re homesick. I know it’s hot there. But if you were here, you’d have to deal with the heat AND the smoke. When the winds are from the north, it’s smoke from fires in Oregon. When they’re from the south, it’s smoke from Redding.”

The fires have been giving me a strong case of survivor’s guilt. My heart is still firmly planted in Mount Shasta. What happens there matters a lot to me.

And yet, the wildfires of the last few years were a deciding factor in my decision to move. I really never wanted to leave. But three summers of intense smoke were getting too much to bear. Watching Alex suffer through the smoke while he was so sick last year was really the last straw.

Some compromises were made after housing searches near the coast were proving unfruitful. A visit to Phoenix in May opened a lot of opportunities. We’re renting and not quite sure if we’re permanent valley residents quite yet. People tell me to hold on, hang in there, by fall I’ll love it here. I am surrendering to that.

I like that I can find anything and everything I want here. 

August was to be trips to the coast, and I was holding out for that. One small problem: the Phoenix area school year starts August 8. Not even kidding. I suppose I should have checked on such things. But honestly, every school district I’ve ever known starts sometime near Labor Day. I thought perhaps with the summer heat, school might not start until mid-September. How naive, non-Arizonan!

With the pain of inevitable growth and loss hanging overhead as I stretch out of comfort zones, I catch glimpses of good things on the horizon. Though it is hot, I am venturing out and about and meeting new people. I’ve found volunteering for things that I like makes a new place so much more interesting and fun, so I am doing that.

And writing.

This blog has languished. And I’m getting strong intuitive messages that it’s time to up the commitment to this space and maybe even another. I switched some design elements around and I’m diving into the WordPress Gutenberg editor. Again, more staying positive and adaptation to my environment.

I like Lake Pleasant is close. There are pools everywhere and I don’t have to take care of any of them.

The move has been hardest on me and Max. We both loved our mountain enclave. I miss my neighborhood, my neighbors, my friends. I miss my morning walks through quiet forests. The desert is so different.

Mark much prefers here, and Claire is embracing change and new opportunities.

So, we adapt.

Fun things:

  • I visited Saint Louis and attended WPCampus as a representative for Defiant. I had so much fun with this group of very passionate and connected higher ed WordPress users.
  • The kids and I took a trip up to Sedona. Max asked why we didn’t move there instead. He has no idea of my lifelong Sedona fascination, and yet somehow he knows. He enjoyed it rather a lot.
  • I have all but given up on Facebook. Long story. Privacy, usability, a community of hateful commentary… I’m done. I still use it to check in on some things, but it’s starting to feel like AOL 1999.
  • Work is fascinating. Every time I think I’ve done all I can do and have mastered my world, a new challenge shows up to pull me out of my comfort zones.

I like that I can smell opportunities everywhere. 

And finally, some photos.

Arizona sky
The skies are beautiful, especially with monsoon season.
Max in Sedona
Sedona got this teenager out of the car and taking pictures.
pyramid mountains
Though it’s not exactly Black Butte in Mt. Shasta, it has the same pyramid like feel. I like these hills.
bodhi and sven
The fur-enabled beasties are either adapting or plotting my demise under the kitchen table. 

This post was written and organized using Gutenberg. So far, so good. Here comes the future. 

 

Create Your Life

I want to share a process with you that I have personally used multiple times to change my life dramatically.

The first time I used it, I tripled my income in a matter of months. That was over 20 years ago. The last time I used it, I shifted quite a few things I never thought possible in a matter of a week.

Life on planet earth has changed a lot in the last 20 years. Our manifestation efforts are rewarded much sooner as we become less dense. Time appears to be speeding up, but really, we are the ones speeding up. Time just seems to reflect back who we are. Our spiritual selves are awakening to who we really are, and that is ensuring that our reality reflects our beliefs much more quickly.

It means that when we worry, we create more of our worries. When we delve into anger, we create more of our irritations. When we entertain our fears, we see more that reflects danger. It’s made the world look a lot more wobbly and messed up, but again, we see, hear, and feel what we are.

But this shift also, of course, presents an opportunity. It presents an opportunity to create more of who we really are, more of what we really want, and more that brings us joy if we’d only allow ourselves to go there more often.

And because we live in a forgiving and safe universe, it doesn’t mean that we have to hold those states permanently. We’re allowed to wobble.

It’s kind of like working out… you start, and it hurts and feels uncomfortable. But then after a few weeks, you feel great and you can’t wait to work out. First, we allow ourselves to go to the place where all is perfect in our world. After a while seeing our world reflecting back that experience to us, it becomes much easier to maintain that state going forward.

So, here’s the process of consciously creating what you want. You’ll need to customize the process for yourself.

Determine how you create. Do you write? Paint? Draw? Scrapbook? We’re all creative somehow, as we’re all co-creators with the Divine energy that flows through us. It is entirely who we are. Decide how you’re going to create.

For me, I create in words. I write at least 1,000 words every day, sometimes for myself, sometimes for others, sometimes into the 3 books I need to finish. But I am a writer. So for me, I write.

For my good friend the artist, drawing and painting is a better creative outlet that allows him to get into that flow state where time and space disappears.

For another friend who is hyper organized and scrapbooks for fun, that’s her modality of creation.

There are many ways we can get lost in creation. I can also get lost in gardening, cooking, or even making natural deodorant and toothpaste. But for this process, choose something with computer, paper, or canvas. It is more about finding and maintaining that creative state and less about what you create. Immersing ourselves in that creative flow is what we’re looking for.

Imagine your perfect life. We’re creating a representation for our creation in the medium of words, pictures, or drawings, but that creative force of our desires resides within our imagination. Don’t limit it, don’t think about practicalities or how it might happen. Just imagine what happens after the perfect experience has come into your life. Here are some areas to think about, but also focus on the area that scares or worries or makes you feel sad the most.

What does your perfect life look like? Think about:

  • your finances
  • the car you drive (if you want one)
  • the house you live in
  • the area of the world you live in
  • creative opportunities you have to explore
  • the relationships you have with friends, children, family
  • that intimate relationship
  • your great job (if you want one)
  • your business
  • your body and your health

get creativeCreate the story of that perfect life. It’s just a story, just a picture, just a drawing, just a scrapbook. You get to have as much fun with this creation as you would like. Allow yourself to get really lost in the creative feeling, that blissed out place where you feel slightly altered. Write whatever comes to mind. Draw whatever comes to mind. Just let it flow and keep working on it. You might need multiple pictures, or maybe just one. You can go through magazines or internet searches to find pictures of the things you want, the experiences you want. Don’t think too much about how you will get things, or what needs to happen, or who needs to do something, just imagines that it has already all been done for you. It already exists in your mind just because you have imagined it. Now you’re creating the plan, the blueprint, the model for what comes next. Remember, it is less about exactly what you find and create and more about the state you are creating for yourself. How does it feel to create that? How does it feel to see your perfect life? How do you feel while you are creating? Really allow yourself to feel that.

Quiet the critical mind. The critical mind is the part of you that wants to keep you safe. It’s the part that tells you things need to be written a certain way, or that something is out of proportion. It tells you thinks could be better, or thinks of what others might say. Thank your inner critic for its feedback, but remind it that this is just play for you and that it doesn’t have to be perfect. Words can be misspelled, and sentences can be repeated. You can jump from relationship to finances and back again based on whatever is flowing and coming up. There is no perfect process, only a perfect vision. Trust that the process that flows from you is good enough.

Let go. After 10-20 minutes of creating, when the words or pictures are not flowing anymore, put it all away. Save the document, file it away, or get it out of your mind and immediately change into a different activity. If you think about it too much, you can end up sabotaging your creations. You have to let go, trust the universe, and stop thinking about whatever is happening now. You’re creating something new. When you’re done, you’re done. Go back to your life, and live it. Stay present as much as possible; don’t think about the process, just live and use that state of creativity to be in your now.

Allow the wobble. You’ll start to see some rather interesting activities reflecting back to you that something has changed. Allow the wobbling to happen, and don’t fret too much about it. Just know that the universe has heard you, and that your manifestations are coming. You might get some negative feedback from someone that is comfortable with where you are and wants you to stay that way. Forgive them for their fear, and trust that even they will be okay.

Repeat this process no more than once per day, but only when you have a few stress free moments to allow yourself to go into that carefree, anything-is-possible state.

I’d love to hear how this process works for you. It’s done wonders for me, multiple times. And it’s working rather quickly for me these days.

Remember, we’re only limited by what we believe. If you believe that you can’t, you cannot. If you believe that all is possible, you’re absolutely right. Enjoy the journey!

 

Love

The question of healing came up recently when someone wrote to Mark about one of his meditations and how it had helped them heal back pain. I started thinking a lot about healing, and why meditation and focused thought can create such dramatic shifts in our experience.

I’ve experienced some strange healing over the course of my lifetime. When I was first attuned to Reiki quite a few years ago (I’m actually a master trainer of Reiki), I experienced quite a dramatic healing. I was sick for about a week prior to my Reiki attunement, but afterward I was healed.

Since then, I’ve experienced quite a few healings that seemingly came from nowhere. And after learning about ho’oponopono from Mark, I have come to a deeper understanding of what heals. Healing is the release from everything that we aren’t. Illness and pain (whether physical or emotional) are not our natural state.

So what is? As so many religions and spiritual traditions teach us, love is all that is. God is love. Spirit is love. We are all love. So, I believe that love is our natural state.

Yet, it is one of those things that no one really wants to talk about.

What is love?

(Oh dear. I hope I didn’t get that Haddaway song in your head.)

I remember when I thought love was getting men to like me. I probably read way too many issues of Cosmopolitan magazine as a teenager and in college. After having a few altered experiences, and after a number of ill-fated and failed relationships, I know that love is a lot more than that.

With all of this life experience loving, there is one thing I can say for certain:  relationships and the games we play in them aren’t love.

Love is much simpler than that… it is all that we are. It is our attention and appreciation without agendas or games. It is rather simple in experience, yet it moves mountains and heals pretty much everything.

Love is our natural state — underneath all of the beliefs, thoughts, emotions and patterns we think define us.

That’s right, love is not an emotion. It’s not a belief or a thought. It’s not a pattern. Emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and patterns are all transient experiences that come into us for a short time, trash the place, and then move on. We are not our emotions or thoughts, and learning to meditate and separate from our emotions and patterns is highly valuable in the exploration of the self.

Love is a force that exists within us that we can’t be taught about in school, at work, or even in relationships. It’s something we have to explore on our own. I can’t even tell you much about it; it is something you have to experience for yourself.

If we want to be loved, we have to love. We have to feel love for ourselves and others before we can really understand what love is. We have to discover the love that resides within us before we can understand someone else’s love. And honestly, the love we feel from others is a reflection of the love we feel for ourselves.

Why we never learn how to love ourselves

Ever notice how many broken people are walking around on the face of the earth? I see them sometimes, and I study their energetic patterns and find so much sadness. There is no self love or appreciation, only patterns of hurt and protection surrounding a broken heart. There has been so much hurt and heartache in life, and it can take a lifetime to heal from it all. We’re all zombies at times, walking around with these patterns that don’t serve us and just create more pain.

So many broken people seem to perpetuate more broken people. Parents want well-behaved children, and it’s usually the loud, vibrant, and passionate children who are more full of love. Schools want us to sit, listen, and learn. Work wants us to produce and follow rules. Even shopping has its rules that we’re not supposed to break.

Where in life do we learn how to love? Where do we learn how to sing, dance, and feel passion? Where do we learn how to find out what makes us happy? Why isn’t that a part of how we teach our children?

The reason we never learn how to love ourselves — or others — is that there is no real motivation for anyone out there to teach us how to really love ourselves or others. And that’s a darn shame. We’ve got all of these people running around poking each other with their broken pieces, creating more hurt and sadness, and no one really taking our hands and fully loving.

I am guilty of a lot of this, too. It’s not that I have it all figured out, but I am getting more and more glimpses of how I would rather be.

How to discover true love

The only way we really figure out love — no matter if our goal is to find more passion in life, a better relationship, or just better experiences with the people in our lives — is to explore the love that we are. It is all inside of us, waiting to be discovered. It really is our natural state outside of our beliefs, thoughts, patterns and emotions. We really are, no matter our age, those passionate happy children who just want to have fun all day with whatever makes us happy.

Be as little children… and discover the happiness, passion, and love that resides within us. It is our birthright, and it is our natural state.

But how…

I recorded a short exercise to help with that experience. So many of us are disconnected from our heart center that we aren’t aware that the love we seek resides inside of us. The exercise is rather simple and easy, and with most meditative exercises, it is simply the focus of attention. Have a listen, and start exploring the love that you are.

 

Forgive Yourself

Do you have that one person who drives you absolutely nuts? They push your buttons every chance they get. You forgive, you forget. You move on with your life  — but the next thing you know, they’ve done it again.

A lot of new-thought teachers that teach gratitude and love as the most powerful forces in the world. And I agree that they are. But you cannot put a band-aid of love and gratitude on top of negativity. The negativity seeps out, poisoning the well again and again until you do one thing.

Forgive yourSELF.

I was standing in the kitchen washing dishes. Mark came in and cracked a joke. The kids started cracking the same joke. No one could tell that my feelings were really hurt. I mean, seriously hurt. It was all in good fun for them. Had it been about anything else in the world, I would have probably laughed along with them. For some reason, this “joke” brought tears to my eyes.

The stark difference in their experience and my own experience was telling. I allowed myself to feel the emotion, knowing it was only a pattern and that it wasn’t really me. And then I asked myself how I could stop this pattern from bringing me to tears.

Spirit, which can be rather loud and unmistakable here in Mount Shasta, spoke.

It said, “Forgive yourself.”

I immediately got a higher-self impression of a past-life experience. A part of me that I did not understand or even know felt guilt surrounding this experience, and as such I have chosen a pattern of karma to balance that experience in this lifetime. That’s all it was.

Now, I cannot tell you specifically what that lifetime was. I don’t know. I cannot even tell you specifically what the pattern was or how it balances that guilt that a part of me is feeling. I don’t know why this dropped into my experience at that time, but I do know that I am supposed to write about it and share it with you.

In that split-second moment of awareness and understanding, I got a massive gift. I got a clear understanding of how and why ho’oponopono* works, I got a clear understanding of the teachings of the Buddha, and I got a deep understanding of what Christ said when he said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”

(*Ho’oponopono is a ancient Hawaiian practice of “making things right.” It heals past hurts in relationship and cultivates forgiveness. It’s a powerful process, but it really is simply cultivating forgiveness and love. Mark has more about it on his blog.)

Forgiveness of the self, all parts of the self, all parts of creation, is the key to our freedom.

The Buddha’s primary teaching was that Nirvana was not something outside of us. It is within. He became his own guru, sat under the bodhi tree, and became enlightened, discovering the clearing of karma that is Nirvana. This awakening, this enlightenment, was not something he learned outside of himself. His search as Siddharta for his guru was fruitless. And for all of us, the path is similar. We look within. It is all within, because our experience is all us.

If it comes into our awareness, it is our own creation. The exterior is a mirror reflecting all that is within us. Yes, it is even reflecting parts of ourselves we don’t yet fully know. And the more we clear, the larger our sense of self becomes.

We do not need to ask the Divine to forgive us. We do not need to ask anyone else to forgive us. We don’t even need to forgive another person. We simply forgive ourselves for whatever is happening and however we brought it about.

The basis of most spiritual teachings is about taking personal responsibility for everything. If it shows up, you clear on it. Clearing is forgiveness. It is allowing whatever shows up to be what it is, but letting go of whatever is showing up with forgiveness.

As this new awareness came in, I began meditating, asking my Inner/Higher Self for guidance in what parts need forgiveness. And I forgave those parts of me. I let them go. Let go of your own hurts caused by others, and claim responsibility for whatever karmic balance is bringing this experience to your attention.

Forgive yourself, all parts of yourself, and know that all is right between you and others. Nirvana is within you. We simply must let go of all beliefs, thoughts, emotions, and patterns that stand between you and the enlightenment that is waiting for us to open to it.