Where I live, spring is just around the corner. This morning I’m getting a taste of it as it is an unusual 64 degrees. My windows are open & my cat is purring in front of me. She’s already been sitting in one of the open windows. Some winters, I live for spring & this has been one such winter. I plan on sitting out & soaking up the sun later today. This is a really good time to write about awakening as soon the natural world around us will be waking up.
I want to share an experience of “awakening” that happened unexpectedly on Monday night. I had gone to bed but was not yet asleep when I felt pressure on my root chakra. It literally felt as though the round edges of a can was being pressed against me & was about that size in diameter. Just as the pressure was beginning to get too uncomfortable, it began easing up & then disappeared altogether. I was puzzling over this phenomenon & wondering what it was & what it meant when suddenly there was a sudden & rapid “whoosh” sensation from my root chakra up the center of my body & out the top of my head. It was over in a second followed by a feeling of heat. I immediately recognized this as what is classically called Kundalini Awakening or Kundalini Rising. I am not an expert in the Hindu & Yoga teachings which are the main source of information for understanding this experience but you can go to Wikipedia for more information which is where I went the very next morning. You can also simply enter “kundalini” or “kundalini awakening” in your favorite search engine.
This morning when I awoke, it happened again, suddenly & spontaneously, without the pressure on the root to warn me. It paused in several chakras on the way up & with each one I heard & felt an intense purring like a cat’s purr in that area & then it “whooshed” up to the next. I don’t know how long it took but it seemed pretty fast & was again followed by heat. Although, it did occur slowly enough that I had time to worry about it. I know enough to know that if you have blockages in any of your chakras, it can get unpleasant as the energy builds up to clear the blockage. This is probably the reason for the “almost pain” in the root chakra that I felt the previous time. So far today, I seem fine just really tired.
The purring in the chakras felt like the action of the energy working to clear that chakra & when clear, it moved on to the next. The fact that the first time through only caused pressure on the root & the subsequent time was working on other chakras indicates to me that this energy was clearing different levels. In other words, the first level of the chakra system was relatively clear so it went through without resistance but the second level required some clearing. You can also think of levels as bodies.
As a side note to others interested in spiritual phenomenon, I must warn against trying to force this experience. Even as I lay there after the second experience (& knowing better!), I contemplated seeing if I could cause it to happen at will & I no sooner had this thought when I heard the voice of one of my mentors warning me against doing so, so of course, I didn’t. In case I haven’t already mentioned this, it’s important to have a spiritual group in the physical & especially a mentor to help you on your journey here – an individual/group with experience, discernment & caution who questions & weighs everything, even Spirit, as not all of spirit is clear just as not all individuals are clear.
Blessings on your journey,
There is so much to say about the dream state that I hardly know where to start. This may take several posts but at the risk of losing my readers, I think I will need to start with the dream state as real & literal. The typical understanding of the dream state & dreams in general is that they are the result of the subconscious & the brain playing out & processing all that has happened during the day. I don’t dispute this at all. Test subjects, deprived of dream state sleep, quickly become psychotic. Another understanding is that dreams are a way for your subconscious to communicate to the conscious mind via symbols or metaphors. Again, I agree. I own a dream dictionary entitled simply “Dream Dictionary” by Tony Crisp that is decent (although not my favorite.) I recommend that everyone have a good one in their personal reference library as a dream interpretation book is an excellent tool for discovering yourself. Not only is it useful for interpreting dreams but I also use it to interpret the happenings in my waking life as well. I firmly believe that spirit uses our waking life just as easily as our sleeping life to talk to us. Other books useful for this purpose include: “Heal Your Body-the Mental Causes for Physical Illness” by Louise Hay, “Permanent Healing” by Daniel R. Condron, “Feelings Buried Alive Never Die” by Karol K. Truman, “Love Is In The Earth” by Melody & both of the “Animal-Speak” books & “Nature-Speak” by Ted Andrews.
To consider the dream state as real & literal is a little bit farther out there, so to speak. You may not think of dreams as being about or taking place in actual literal places, planes of existence, other dimensions, other lives but consider how often you hear of someone receiving a warning in a dream that comes true or having a dream about an event that then happens in the physical. You can probably remember an instance in which this has happened to you or someone you know. I’ve had many such dreams of prophecy. Of course, I realize that such dreams can be explained away by the idea that your subconscious is aware of things & is communicating them to the conscious mind via dreams. However, I’ve relived & experienced past lives in my dreams. I’ve visited family members that have passed over. I’ve woken up in my dreams. There is a book that I still have entitled “Lucid Dreaming” by Stepen LaBerge. I first read it more than 20 years ago & immediately began having dreams in which I was “lucid” or “awake”. In such a state, you feel completely awake, aware & physical in your dreams which is the most amazing thing as it’s nearly impossible to tell that you aren’t awake in the physical. The basic idea in the book is to ask your self many times during the day if you are awake & then test the question by choosing to float. If you are unable to float then you know that you are awake in this 3rd dimensional reality where it is not possible to float but if you float then you realize that you are actually dreaming & it is this realization that has the potential to wake you up in that dream. By asking your self these questions during the day when of course you know that you are awake, eventually you will think to ask your self during a dream. Waking up in a dream is not the same thing as being aware that you are dreaming. It is very possible to be aware that you are dreaming & yet not actually wake up in the dream. To wake up in a dream, is to be fully present in the body that is in that dream. You will know when you have succeeded because you will feel completely physical & the dream will feel completely physical. What I have noticed about waking up in a dream, once you have realized that you are dreaming, is a feeling of being drawn forward into the dream & into your body in the dream. Alternately, as you become more proficient, you may simply be awake in your bed one minute & awake in a dream the next & move from one dream to another fully awake & present in each. Typically, this tends to cause me to wake up in bed multiple times in between or during the lucid dreams.
So, how does lucid dreaming illustrate that dreams are possibly real experiences & literally taking place in other dimensions, realities or planes of existence outside of our physical awareness? Well, experiencing a lucid dream is pretty convincing by itself but what clinched it for me, was many years later after my first experience of lucid dreaming, when I began to have Out-Of-Body-Experiences (OOBE’s). In an OOBE, you experience the process of leaving your physical body in another body, usually traveling to another place. OOBE’s feel equally as physical as lucid dreams & once out of my physical body, I could not discern any difference between them. Everything that I’ve experienced during a dream or a lucid dream, I have also experienced during an OOBE. I’ve experienced past lives in my dreams as well as during lucid dreams & OOBE’s. Likewise, I’ve visited family members in all three formats. These experiences led me to wonder if lucid dreams are actually OOBE’s minus the awareness of leaving the physical body. And I wonder, also, if dreams are experiences taking place somewhere that you experience in a less conscious manner than OOBE’s or lucid dreaming – like watching a live soap opera on television versus actually being in a play on stage.
If you accept the possibility that your dreams are real experiences just as your physical life is a real experience, then you can see that your dreams need your prayer & healing just as much as your waking life. In fact, I feel that your dream life can often illustrate your wounds even clearer than you could be aware of otherwise. By treating your dreams as your own true experiences & doing your work to heal them, you heal yourself & possibly prevent those undesirable prophecies from coming true. The dream state is a magical place & is much simpler to heal than here. Anytime I wake up from an unpleasant dream, especially, I pray: “I ask for the Complete Cleaning Clearing Healing Restoration Protection Forgiveness Prayer * for this dream & for all persons, places, things, events, circumstances & situations involved & I surrender this to the Holy Spirit & specialists to be done for me through grace in Christ’s name. Amen.” It is often a good idea to interpret the dream both symbolically with the help of a counselor &/or a dream dictionary & also literally & heal with prayers & forgiveness work. By doing your spiritual work on issues illustrated by your dreams, you probably prevent them from becoming reality in your physical life & lessen the problems you already have. For those who do not remember dreams, I recommend saying the above prayer every morning when you awake with the following added to it: * “for all of my dreams & everywhere I’ve been at night during my sleep & for all persons, places, etc.” & continue as above.
To encourage your remembrance of dreams, it is helpful to leave a pen & notebook by your bed with the expectation that you will write down any little glimmer. As you commit to writing what you do remember, you will be encouraging your self to remember with more detail until you will be good at dream recall. Another trick to recalling your dreams, is to not move when you wake up as remaining in the same position that you were in while dreaming seems to help you recall the most recent dream. Rather than immediately moving or getting out of bed, lie there for awhile & see what you can remember. It’s not unusual for it to take several minutes for the dream to come to you. I have a theory about this as well. I have often been aware when returning from an OOBE that while I (my consciousness) has returned to my body in bed immediately, the body that I (my consciousness) has been traveling in, is much slower to return. It seems that body has the memory & sometimes I don’t consciously remember anything until I feel that body rejoin my physical body. It’s a very distinctive subtle feeling of humming. I have also noticed this humming when awakening from dreams & not just after OOBE’s. Once the humming stops, I can suddenly remember the dream or the OOBE.
Are our dreams actually OOBE’s? I don’t know for sure but from my experience it certainly seems a possibility. I would love to hear about your experiences of the dream state.
Live, Love & Laugh in the Light of God 🙂
I’ve been feeling stressed lately. For over 3 years now, I have had to deal with a family member who is convinced that I am not family & who has been very vocal & aggressive about it. It has not been pretty. It has been pretty nerve-wracking & worrisome because their perception of reality does not coincide with mine. This situation has brought up a lot of fear in me that I’ve worked on pretty regularly for the last 3+ years through my prayer & emotional work. It has caused me to question my version of events, my truth, my beliefs, my perceptions. I have feared that I am creating negative consequences for myself & for others by my continuing to interact with & participate in this discord. Like Job, I have feared that I must have done something wrong since this is happening to me. I have feared that my version of events, my reality is wrong since someone else has such a different version. At times, I have feared that I am crazy. Believe me, there is nothing more crazy-making than having someone in your life who is convinced that what you think is reality is not real! I’m pretty sure I’ve seen more than one movie using this ploy in the script.
While this is an unusual example, you can probably think of times you have been anxious, worried or fearful when, like my situation, it was not due to an animal attack. I bring up animal attack because this is the classic example given when describing fear & the “fight or flight” stress response of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). The ANS triggers the “fight or flight” stress response which readies the body to fight or flee from danger. There aren’t too many animal attacks happening in the course of most people’s lives these days but we still seem to experience plenty of anxiety, worry, fear, stress & the resulting ANS activation. Most of us are not daily fighting or fleeing for our lives but rather dealing with long term, low level stress due to intractable people & situations such as my own example above.
Now you may be wondering why I am talking about fear & anxiety under the heading of “Our Mental Selves” rather than “Our Emotional Selves” so let me digress & explain where I’m coming from. While fear is an emotion & therefore more a part of our emotional self, anxiety can be thought of as a mental emotion or state arising from our mental self as can despair, probably. Generally, for the purpose of our discussion, consider that ideas, beliefs, perceptions, thoughts, words & some attitudes & emotions are a part of the mental self.
Today, people are more likely to experience unrelenting, long term worry & anxiety versus temporary outright fear for their lives. So, while the emotional self’s fear of impending doom can definitely trigger the “fight or flight” stress response of the ANS, so can the mental self’s experience of worry & anxiety. Worry is an activity of the mind & the mental self that often triggers anxiety & fear & therefore the stress response. What you may not realize is that worry & anxiety over something currently happening, something that has already happened or something that might happen in the future will all have the same effect. While you may realize that what you’re worrying about isn’t actually happening right now, this minute, your body does not & will activate the ANS as though you are being chased down the street by danger. This is what makes the long term, low level stress of the mental type especially destructive because there is no immediate resolution as there would be with a single, sudden, frightening event. The mental type of stress & resulting ANS activation could literally last for years instead of seconds. A lot has been made of the self-created stress of the “Type A” personality but I’m pretty certain that whether or not you are a “Type A” doesn’t matter nearly as much as the length of time you are stressed. A typical “Type A” blows up & moves on – the mental equivalent of being chased down the street by danger. As long as this isn’t happening on a daily basis, probably not beyond the ability of the body to recover. But what about the family members of this person? Not too many people can take the blow-ups of others & move on so they are left with stewing over the previous blow-ups & worrying about & dreading the next blow-up, walking on eggshells trying to prevent it.
So what is the solution? Quit worrying! The upsetting thoughts rattling around & movies playing over & over again in your mind/brain/mental self are completely unproductive & usually move you no closer to any sort of resolution. Instead, surrender them to the Holy Spirit in prayer each & every time you find yourself back in the rut of fretting & worrying. I have also in contemplation, gone before God with a basket or apron full of eggs & one by one handed them over naming the person, worry or upsetting situation that each represents, letting go & letting God. I figure putting all of your eggs in one basket is a good thing if you are handing it over to God. This technique works especially well at bedtime before falling asleep. Another thing you can do is forgive each thought as it occurs. Since your thoughts direct your energy (energy follows thought), by forgiving each & every thought you have that isn’t best, over time you create an energy of peace & quiet within yourself. The negative thoughts die down & what you are left with is your divine self that God created you to be. An amazing side effect of this is that you will have created the space within you in which the Holy Spirit can be present & communicate with you. This is infinitely more satisfying than the out of control fear, worry & anxiety & the resulting stress & ill health that thinking negative thoughts & scenarios creates. This is what will resolve the stressful problems in your life. This is what will move you forward into a better life.
Live, Love & Laugh in the Light of God
In 2005, I began noticing that I didn’t feel right. I remember explaining to my doctor in the summer of that year that something was going on because I didn’t seem to be handling stress well. I couldn’t pinpoint it any better than that. He made some suggestions that helped for awhile but by Thanksgiving I was sick. And six months later, I was just as sick. I couldn’t stand up to take a shower but sat on the shower floor. For months, I couldn’t even drive a car. I still remember the last time I drove before I fully realized this. I was needed to drive a second car home & was following my husband. It was terrifying how much obsessive focus & energy was required to follow him. I was leaning forward with a death grip on the steering wheel struggling to keep my attention on what the car in front of me was doing. So, from then on for months, others did all the driving. It didn’t really matter, though, that I couldn’t drive anymore because it soon became apparent to me that I couldn’t be out in public by myself, anyway. Especially shopping. I could handle going on errands with my husband which I did just to get out of the house. I could go into a store by myself, briefly, to pick up something while he waited in the car. If, however, I actually tried to shop by myself in a store, I would walk out exhausted & empty handed in 30 minutes because I could no longer keep my focus, think or function. I would then require days on the couch to recover.
The physical recovery from this ordeal has been long & difficult. Six years later, I can now stand when I shower, clean my house, drive myself & work from home although I can only handle a limited number of client appointments a week. My husband still does all the grocery shopping but I can run in for a few items without any trouble. I can run errands by myself as long as I don’t go into more than 3 or 4 different places. Longer shopping trips such as clothes shopping is still much easier if I’m not alone. I can exercise as long as I’m careful to keep it easy & brief. A day of over-doing, such as a full day away from home, no longer requires days on the couch afterwards to recover from but just maybe one day. As you can see, I’m not exactly well yet. Although on most days, you wouldn’t know it to look at me. I’m no longer a yellow-gray color, my eyes no longer look empty. Half the year, I lay out in the sun as often as possible for vitamin D so my skin has color & my new diet has resulted in about a 20 pound weight loss.
Why am I telling you about this? Because you or a family member could be me in 6 months, a year, 5 years or longer. I think of myself as the canary in the mine. Canaries used to be taken into the mines to warn the miners to evacuate if the canary died from lethal, undetectable gases. You could say that I have succumbed to the lethal gases of 20th & 21st century living. What!? Well, let me tell you. My mother suffered with Pica when she was pregnant with me. She craved dirt. This is now known to be a classic symptom of severe mineral deficiency. She was 5’8″ tall & 100 pounds & the doctor told her she could only gain 15 pounds during her pregnancy. This was standard practice at the time. She dutifully obeyed the doctor. Luckily for me, I was born weighing 6 pounds with only minor birth defects. Luckily for me also, I was one of the few babies in my generation to be breast fed by my mother. Regrettably for me, I was fed table food from just a few weeks old which was also standard practice at the time. Most infants since my generation have not been breast-fed. The infant digestive tract is designed to handle breast milk & nothing else. Then there was the onslaught of antibiotics every time I got sick followed by no probiotics to replace all the good bacteria destroyed along with the bad. The Standard American diet at the time did not include any sources of probiotics such as yogurt, kefir, raw saurkraut, kombucha tea. For good measure, there were plenty of other stresses: Eye surgery, 2nd & 3rd degree burns requiring hospitalization, a couple of cross country moves, my parents divorce, several more moves among & also away from family members, loss of my mother when I was 6, physical, emotional & sexual abuse, ear surgery, many infections & allergies, late term miscarriage of my first child at 6 months due to fetal distress (do you see the word ‘stress’ here?), cesarean section delivery of my second child, infertility, fertility treatments, many more moves around the world & country, exploratory abdominal surgery & the usual complement of deaths, births, marriages, divorces & job stresses. I’m sure this is not a complete list but you get the idea. Not exactly standard fare.
Now add to the above mix of stresses: silver (mercury) amalgam fillings in nearly every molar, chemicals & petrochemicals in my food, water, body care products, home care products, clothes & furniture, days spent indoors in unnatural light, nearly continuous exposure to electro-magnetic field radiation & other sources of radiation, air pollution, sunscreen, nightlights, vegetarian diet, low fluid intake, prescription drugs, microwaved food, root canals, genetically engineered food, food irradiation, vitamin & mineral deficiencies due to poor quality food & intestinal damage, refined & hydrogenated oils, refined carbohydrates & sugars, high carbohydrate & low protein diet, petrochemicals-coal, gas & oil, nuclear energy, frequent emotional upset, inadequate sleep (which for me was anything less than 10 hours), deadlines, school. All of these & more would be the lethal gases of the 20th & 21st century that I know I have been been exposed to. Ways of living that have never been known or experienced by humanity until just the last few centuries. So we are all canaries in the mine & it’s probably only a matter of time before you or someone you know succumbs.
I know this post sounds pretty doom & gloom but I think this is necessary sometimes to help people think about what they are doing & choosing. I wish someone had pointed out to me over & over again until I woke up & became aware of what I was doing to myself. Maybe I wouldn’t be sick now. So, all subsequent posts of “Our Physical Selves” will be dealing with these gases of modern living that I have mentioned above plus lots others that I did not mention. Meantime, think about what you are choosing! Is it natural? Is it found in the natural world or or is it man-made? Is it a practice that is healthy & life affirming? Is it something your ancient ancestors would have partaken of or done in the natural course of their lives? If not, what can you do about it? Many things listed above are within your power to change or do differently so think, question, experiment, read & relearn some of the old ways of your ancestors.
Live, Love & Laugh in the Light of God
Change is difficult for many, which is ironic, since it has been said that the only constant in life is change. By extension, if we can’t change & go with the flow of life easily & effortlessly then we are going to find life to be pretty darn difficult. This is what I’ve seen in myself & in others. Refusing to change & fighting change makes our lives more difficult & unhappy. I’m pretty sure God’s path for us is meant to change us, to make us dig deep & reveal more of ourselves & our good, both to ourselves & to others. Fighting change means fighting against our path & what God wants for us which in my book makes this a pretty futile fight, a banging-our-head-against-a-wall type of futile. We will not come out ahead in this kind of fight. I say pick your battles. This would not be one to take a stand on. 🙂
My family has weathered a lot of changes, both large & small, just as many have & as a result have shown me both good & not so good ways to handle change. For example, my grandparents who raised me. My grandfather made a good living selling advertising & later had his own business selling insurance. He used his money to buy farms & rental properties. He did very well until the president or vice president, (I don’t remember which) of the Savings & Loan that his mortgages were with, ran off with the money. I believe it was the FDIC that then stepped in & foreclosed on all the outstanding S&L mortgages that couldn’t be paid off in full. My grandfather was denied loans by the few banks that he went to & long story short, he eventually lost everything except his home. This was literally heartbreaking for my grandfather. About 10 years into the long, slow, torturous loss of everything, he died of a heart attack. Two things stood out for me from this: First, he gave up on himself. Second, he & my grandmother were unwilling to accept change.
Several years into this process, a friend of my grandfather’s who was the president of a bank in a nearby town, heard what had happened & called him. He asked, “Why didn’t you come to me? I would have covered all your loans!” Why did he not? He gave up on himself. When change happens, we assume that it’s bad. That the change is coming against us or that we are being punished for some imagined, known or unknown past mistake or sin. For my grandfather, it was a sign or proof of failure. He was humiliated by it & felt he must deserve it & so he stopped asking for help, even from his friends.
Lesson #1: When faced with the prospect of overwhelming change, don’t give up on yourself.
My grandparents were unwilling to change. They were probably quite set in their ways by this time as they were in their 60’s. They had worked very hard all their life & everything they’d worked for was being taken away. To save themselves, they needed to think outside the box, to be flexible & changeable. Instead, they did everything they could to cling to what they’d had. Clinging to what has been will not prevent or stop change. They chose to file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy thinking that this would give them time to bail themselves out which it could have if they’d used the time to sell off everything but they did not willingly sell or let go anything. Any offer they received was met with the attitude that the potential buyer knew they were desperate & was trying to rob them blind. If my memory serves me correctly, they lost all their properties one by one to the bank/government. I’m not sure they managed to sell even one, but not for lack of offers.
Lesson #2: Learn to let go when it’s time to let go.
Like my grandparents, many today are being faced with the loss of their jobs, their lifestyle, their homes & possessions. If this is you, don’t assume that the universe/God/others have it in for you, that you are a failure or that you are being punished. Rather, assume that this is a learning, growing experience that will lead you into a better life. Assume that God wants something better for you than what you think you had or have now. As for my grandparents? They had bitten off way more than they could chew & were incredibly stressed by it. My grandmother had a stroke. My grandfather had diabetes & associated complications. They should have been retired or semi-retired but they could not afford to stop working. From my perspective now, I would say that God was trying to save them from themselves & their possessions. All that they owned was owning them – possessing & dictating their lives. They were drowning in debt & in things, for while my grandfather was busy collecting properties, my grandmother was busy filling up their home with things she would then never let go. My grandmother grew up in poverty & then she experienced the Great Depression which I think contributed to her hoarding things. Our things are meant to serve us & not the other way around. When our things no longer serve our highest good, we need to let them go or they may need to be taken from us.
I have gotten in the habit, from moving frequently early in my marriage, of annually going through everything I own & asking myself: Does this still serve my highest good? In other words, do I really need & want it? Do I use it regularly? Does it have a place in my home? In my life? Do I really love it? Is it really important to me? Can I afford it? Is keeping it or maintaining it costing me more time, energy or money than it’s worth or that I can easily afford? Anything I’m unsure of, I actually ask Spirit if it is time to let it go & I wait for an answer. Yes, you will get an answer. These are also good questions to ask yourself before you bring home anything else. If, at any other time during the year, I begin to feel overwhelmed by my things then I take that as a sign it’s time to let something go.
Now, it might seem that “don’t give up on yourself ” & “let go” are mutually exclusive. Spirit would call this the dance of life. The Gambler would say, know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em. This would be the part of digging deep inside of yourself & discovering & revealing to yourself & others the good that you are really made of & that God wants for you.
May You Live, Love & Laugh in the Light of God
In July, I was watching a movie called “Gladiator” starring Russell Crowe. Near the beginning of the movie is a scene with his character, Maximus, kneeling before a makeshift altar after battle holding carved wood figures of his wife & child left behind at home. He begins to pray. “Ancestors, I ask for your guidance. Blessed Mother come to me with the Gods desire for my future. Blessed Father watch over my wife & son with a ready sword. Whisper to them I live only to hold them again. Ancestors, I honor you & will try to live with the dignity you’ve taught me.”
I am only vaguely familiar with ancient Roman beliefs but I was really touched by the devotion I could feel in this prayer & it brought tears to my eyes. Especially Maximus addressing his “Blessed Mother” which probably referred to his physical mother who had passed over since it appeared that this prayer was addressed to his ancestors. As I didn’t realize this at first, I thought he was addressing his prayer to God as his Mother & to God as his Father. This resonated deeply in my heart. I have been raised in a primarily patriarchal culture that views, addresses & worships God as Father to the exclusion of God as Mother despite the fact that we are all created in God’s image & likeness & half of us are female. Hearing Maximus address God specifically as his “Blessed Mother” with so much respect, humility & devotion made me realize what I am missing in my prayers & in my relationship with God. For while I usually begin my prayers with “Dear Mother Father God,” they are still primarily addressed to God as Father since that is how I have been raised to think of God. My adding “Mother” to the address has been my effort to counter the limitation that I have felt for a very long time.
I remember the first time I saw a picture of God. Well, not really God but someone’s vision of Melchizedek who is spoken of in the old testament bible. He was depicted with deep piercing blue eyes & glowing white hair & figure. I recognized him immediately. This was the God of my childhood. This was the God I’ve known as long as I have memory. This was the God I’d seen as a child. I imagine we all have images of God. Unfortunately, our images can limit our perception of God & therefore limit our prayers & our relationship to God. This is possibly one of the reasons for the commandment to not make graven images. If only it were that easy! What images of God do you carry around? How do your images control or limit you & your relationship to God?
For myself, this movie made me look at my images of God & decide that I have missed out on a fuller experience of God by unconsciously assuming that God is only my “Blessed Father”.
In my home, I have an altar area in a corner. Hanging above a small table on the left is my favorite depiction of Jesus the Christ in a gold & black frame, below it hangs an ornate gold & black cross. On the right is an equally ornate silver, gold & ivory cross above a framed prayer. I have been aware for many years now that the framed prayer is simply holding the space until the right picture to replace it comes along. I have looked for this picture for years. Temporarily, I found a black & white picture of Mother Mary cut out of the local newspaper that I particularly liked so that has been stuck in a corner of the prayer frame. Well, exactly a month after “Gladiator” aired on TV, I finally found the right picture in a gift shop at St. Mary’s – Mary in an ornate gold antiqued silver frame. Am I Catholic? No, but for Christians, what better role model than Mother Mary & Mary the Magdalen. Both of which this picture perfectly captures as well as what I felt when Maximus prayed to his “Blessed Mother”. Have I replaced my old image of God with Jesus the Christ & Mary? No but I feel that I have finally begun to expand my perception of God.
May You Live, Love & Laugh in the Light of God
Greetings from Dawn!
It’s been quite awhile since I’ve posted. Occasionally, life has a way of carrying me off temporarily. On April 30, 2011, I greeted my second grandson into the world. That was exciting & scary at the same time. Coming into the world & leaving the world are momentous occasions that many of us are not equipped to handle. It seems that we resist & fight against both coming & going! My last post was the end of March & it seemed that the month of April was spent getting ready for the baby’s arrival & the months since then have been spent adjusting the family & him to his arrival. No, I did not misspeak, that’s exactly what we’ve been doing. His arrival heralded a lot of changes for him & for us, his family, on so many levels. It’s amazing how much can change when someone arrives. I’m more accustomed to the adjustments required when a family member leaves than when they arrive but I’m not complaining! It’s definitely a lot more fun & joyful. It just rather took me by surprise. Naively, I was expecting that since this was a second not a first child /grandchild that there wouldn’t be as much change for all of us as there had been the first time around. Silly me. Of course change, even good change, is stressful so the blog got put on the back burner. I’ve lost a great many family members over the years & so the birth of grandchildren is especially sweet. God’s promise that life is going on despite the many that are leaving or have left. After so many years of family passing over, it’s very joyful to be greeting family coming back.
I have to share with you that Spirit gave me a peek at my grandson a week before he was born. I was in bed one night, falling asleep, when I heard my name being called which of course immediately woke me up. This is what usually happens, very annoying. After all these years, you would think that by now I would have developed the ability to stay in that in-between state when I get called but it never happens that way. For some reason, it wakes me up which of course takes me away from where the action is happening! So, I lay there, puzzled as to why I’m being called, asking questions of Spirit if anything is wrong, etc. Not finding anything wrong, I decide it must be nothing & begin to fall asleep again. Just as I do, I see a man’s arms holding a swaddled baby out towards me. The baby has big blue eyes, soft red hair sticking up on the top of his head & he is grinning ear to ear at me as if to say “Hi, Nana, I’m so excited to come home!” He looks like an impish little elf. His left side is towards me & I catch a glimpse of a dimple somewhere before I pop out of the in-between state. I was concerned at first because this is the kind of thing that happens when someone is about to pass over in my family. But a few questions to Spirit relieved my concern that he wouldn’t make it here safely. He arrived a week later. He is now 2 months old & is finally looking like the peek that Spirit gave me. A blue eyed, grinning, elfin baby & after I gave him a proper bath in the sink with baby shampoo last weekend, his hair even stands up on top. Oh, & the dimple is only in his left cheek. 🙂
Our Subconscious Self encompasses that part of our selves that we are not aware of consciously. This aspect of our selves can be seen in others, however & this is one of the blessings of our relationships. Sometimes, others are in our lives to show us our subconscious selves & issues as well as other aspects of our selves so that we can heal them. Otherwise, we would be clueless as to what lies there & therefore clueless as to what is causing some of our problems. So, embrace your relationship challenges for they are here to serve you & your healing journey on this planet. Oftentimes, we strive to ignore what is bothering us in others because of feeling guilty about how we feel about them. Once you recognize that they are you in a way, in a level of you that you are unaware of, then you can be grateful to them for showing you your self. How would you know otherwise? Make a list of everyone in your life that you are uncomfortable with, can’t stand to be with, are upset with or disagree with & then look at each one on the list & accept that they are you at the subconscious level or in some aspect of your self, showing you your self. Be grateful that they are in your life showing you your self & pray for healing for them for as you do you pray for your self. This is one of the more difficult concepts to understand & accept. All of us walking around in different bodies makes it look as though we are completely independent of each other, completely separate from each other, completely different from each other. It obscures the reality that we are all one.
A few years ago, I was in meditation. It was a guided meditation led by a mentor but within just a few minutes of starting, the Holy Spirit took me in a different direction. I don’t remember how the meditation was meant to begin but what I saw was a clear glass bowl of water upon which appeared a paper origami swan. Suddenly the bowl disappeared from view & I was looking down onto the surface of a body of water at a living swan. I began to be moved backwards toward the sky & as this happened what I could see in my field of vision expanded. What had been a bowl of water now looked to be a pond & then a lake & then an ocean & then I began being pulled back ever more quickly as the United States came into view & then all of the Americas. This continued on & there was the planet earth & the moon. The sun & solar system soon appeared. The feeling of rushing back intensified as I continued to be pulled away. Soon the sun began to look like a star just like all the other stars in the cosmos & then I could see our galaxy & then it became smaller as other galaxies came into view. Finally, in my field of vision, all I could see was an infinite black field filled with galaxies & as I continued to move backwards, farther & farther away, all of the galaxies converged to became just a single spot of light before me. It was at this point that a very deep voice reverberated through me, saying “ALL ONE.” I wish I could convey the intensity of this experience fully, especially the voice of God at the end. I’m glad for the opportunity to write about it, to remember it again. It’s all too easy to buy into the false appearance of the physical that we are all separate, different, disconnected & independent from each other. This spiritual experience was a reminder to me that, despite what appears to be the truth in the physical, we are one.
By accepting that we are one, you open the way to healing your self & your subconscious self. You may think that what others have done to you is unforgivable & that you could not possibly be guilty of doing to anyone what they have done to you. I’m here to tell you that it is possible. We wear our issues like the clown that has the sign on his back that says “Kick Me!” We attract to our selves what we have said, done, thought, felt or believed whether we can remember it or not & whether we are aware of it or not. This is where others play their part & come to our rescue by reading the sign & kicking us! So if others are doing unto you what you don’t want done, then more likely than not, you have only yourself to blame & believe it or not, this is a good thing. The alternative is that you are just unlucky, cursed, being unfairly picked on or a victim. Taking responsibility for all that happens to you & your reaction to it puts the ball in your court. What’s even more amazing is that when you take full responsibility for your self, the universe moves to deliver you from what you are holding that has been attracting all the abuse. My favorite way of taking responsibility is through prayer & forgiveness work (Emotional Attunement). These two methods have proven themselves over & over again to be effective at removing the “Kick Me” signs no matter the cause or the source of them.
What you will find when you have fully forgiven yourself & others for their part, is Divine Unconditional Love, Peace & Healing. You may think this is not possible because of what has been done to you. You may feel that others don’t deserve to be forgiven. You may believe that it’s not in your power to forgive but I tell you that it is in your power because in doing so you release yourself from bondage. You also help release others from their bondage. When I was little, I was molested many times by my grandfather. Fortunately for me, this was not the grandpa who raised me. As I got older, I got better at avoiding him & preventing further abuse. He passed over when I was 16 years old, much to my relief at the time & I have not seen him until just recently. Needless to say, I had years of traditional therapy as a teenager & in my 30’s interspersed with a lot of nontraditional forms of therapy through the years. A few years ago, I realized that I had finally healed from the abuse, had fully forgiven him & let it go. I thought no more of it until about a month ago when I saw him in the dream state when I was visiting my grandma (his wife). She passed over a little over 20 years ago & I’ve visited her in the dream state many times but she was always either alone or with other family members. I was completely shocked, therefore, to see my grandfather with her this time. This was the first time I’d seen him in over 35 years. He was almost unbelievably transformed – loving, happy, healthy & whole. What was even more shocking to me was that, as I stood before him, I realized that not only had I forgiven him (which I already knew) but that I loved him! Not at any point when he was alive, did I ever feel that I loved him. I hugged him then & told him I loved him & in my mind I told him that I’d forgiven him. I didn’t say that I’d forgiven him aloud because I’m never quite sure what is remembered, known or understood by others at that level.
I am not sharing this to show how enlightened I am, to gain sympathy or to impress anyone but to impress on you that forgiving others is in your power to do & to point out that if I can forgive my grandfather then you can forgive those who’ve hurt you as well. I know that forgiving him transformed me, did my forgiving him transform him as well?
I’ve been a self-professed health-nut since I was a teenager, 15 years old to be exact. I remember the exact age because it was the first school year that I managed to only get sick once. Growing up in a household with Grandparents brought health issues to the forefront, as my Grandpa had diabetes & my Grandma had high blood pressure. They took medication & followed a special diet. My grandpa also had a bottle of huge, horse-pill sized multi-vitamin/minerals called Myadecs, I believe. When I was 15, it occurred to me that he was sick & took these pills & since I was always sick, maybe I should take them, too. So I did. Lo & behold, a winter with minimal sickness. I was very impressed. This eventually led me to think about everything that I put into my mouth, not just supplements. In the subsequent years since then, I’ve experimented with supplements & diet. I’ve read & researched everything I could get my hands on. I was an avid subscriber to “Prevention Magazine” which was probably the first & only health magazine in the 70’s. I’ve been on every diet from A(tkins) to V(egetarianism). I’ve taken literally hundreds of different supplements. I’ve been my own guinea pig for the large majority of my life & I’ve gotten to be quite an expert on what my physical body needs. I’ve also gained knowledge & experience along the way, concerning the physical body & it’s needs, in general.
You probably don’t have to peruse this site extensively to guess that, for me, vegetarianism was a disaster & Atkins was a blessing. I’ve never been vegan, as my many years of vegetarianism (10 years) brought me into contact with a lot of vegans & I could see that, in general, they didn’t seem very healthy, especially the women like me, of child-bearing age &/or who were mothers. I figured that any diet that couldn’t serve everyone well must have something wrong with it. Eventually, however, I realized that my health was deteriorating on my vegetarian diet as I inexplicably gained 30 pounds & developed symptoms of thyroid dysfunction. Since my main reason for being vegetarian was for it’s well-advertised health benefits, I moved on once I realized the diet wasn’t delivering. I know that for many vegetarians & vegans, animal cruelty is the main reason for following this diet & if this is you, I commend you for walking your talk. As you know from my previous post, I am big on living your life in alignment with your principles & beliefs, so keep it up if it’s working for you.
For myself, even the latest government food pyramid is a disaster. It has way more carbohydrate than I can tolerate, so upon leaving the vegetarian way of eating, I eventually adopted the Atkins way of eating for the most part. This worked well for me for many years until 2005 when, due to multiple causes, I hit a wall. I got terribly sick with what appeared to be the flu or maybe mono or maybe it was bronchitis/pneumonia? The doctor at the time didn’t seem to know. Six months later, I was still just as sick. Many years, tests & doctors later, it has been determined that I developed autoimmune thyroid disease & probably have what has been variously labeled Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, Dysautonomia, Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome, Fibromyalgia or Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, etc. I think I’m forgetting some of the other labels but you get the idea. These labels all identify a large cluster of symptoms that have no definite known cause & the difference in labels being which symptoms are in the forefront in any given individual. Others may disagree with my perception & conclusion but after going through the tests, the doctors & my own research, this is how it looks to me.
It hasn’t been all bad, though. Going through this experience has taught me a lot about the health-sickness spectrum, diet, lifestyle & especially about myself. I’ve discovered that I’ve got allergies to mold & some foods & that I’m gluten intolerant causing malabsorption which was, also, probably behind the sickly childhood. Gluten intolerance & Celiac disease appear to go hand in hand with autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) & doctors are now beginning to recommend that anyone who has been diagnosed with either disease should by tested for the other. I also discovered that I was anemic & had several other deficiencies despite many, many years of good diets & supplements. I’d hate to think where I’d be now if I’d not been into diet & supplements. So, it has answered a lot of questions for me.
Over the last few years, I have slowly been healing my physical body. Right now I am following a paleolithic/hunter-gatherer type diet, specifically “Neanderthin” by Ray Audette. This is arguably the strictest one of it’s type & not what I would have chosen for myself but I have learned my lesson & let my body choose the diet it needs rather than the diet I think should work, the one that I want or the one the “experts” recommend. I have a few dozen diet books, all of which I pulled off the shelf, piled randomly & had someone I know muscle test me as I held each in turn behind my back. I held them behind my back so that I wouldn’t know what was being tested. “Neanderthin” won by a landslide. Prior to testing my body for the best diet for me, I had been following a gluten-free diet for about 2 years which made a big difference in how I felt. I then cut out all sugars when I realized they were the cause of my migraines. After that, all grains were cut out as they turn to sugar in the body & I definitely have trouble with sugar. This move lead to further improvements. So, by the time I tested so well for “Neanderthin”, I only had to cut out most dairy (I still eat whey, butter & full-fat cream which are all low in milk sugar) & all legumes (dried beans & peas, peanuts, cashews), vinegars, potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes & winter squash. I know you’re thinking, “what’s left?!” All meats, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, all vegetables that are edible raw (not that you have to eat them raw), teas, herbs, spices, fruits & raw nuts & seeds which I soak & sprout or dry. Don’t feel sorry for me. I actually like my diet & I feel so much better that I’m rarely tempted by the foods I’ve cut out. I’m pretty sure that this is my lifetime diet & I’m good with that. The majority of foods that fill the grocery store shelves are mostly “franken foods” anyway, as a few books I’ve read have dubbed them & not fit for human consumption so I’m not really missing anything. Now, in case you’re thinking that I’m only feeling better because I’m eating more Vegetables & Fruits or less junk food, I’m not. Remember that I’ve been a health-nut since… forever. My diet has not been filled with “franken-foods.” I’ve avoided hydrogenated fats, refined (white) grains, refined (white) sugars & junk food for as long as I can remember.
“Neanderthin” could be considered a monosaccharide diet similar to “The GAPS Diet”, “The Specific Carbohydrate Diet” or “The Body Ecology Diet” which are all very healing &/or helpful for many illnesses & nearly all the gut & digestive disorders, the Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADD/ADHD & psychological disorders. In fact the author, Ray Audette, put his rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disease) in remission with this diet. So, I’ve been pleased with the diet my body chose. Not that I was pleased the first few weeks. This diet, like the others mentioned, can cause what I term “die-off”, initially. Others have called it “carbohydrate withdrawal” which I’m not sure is actually what’s going on as I didn’t go cold turkey off of all carbohydrates. I think anyone who has been eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) or more carbohydrates than their body can handle, harbors a lot of bad bacteria & yeast in their system which depend on a continuous supply of sugars from these carbohydrates. As you cut down on these sugars, they lose their food supply & begin dying off which causes flu-like symptoms as your body & immune system has to clean up the resulting excess toxins & wastes – symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, insomnia, headache & just general all-over-achiness. At each level of diet restriction, I experienced a die-off reaction that would last for a week or two. In other words, I experienced die-off every time I cut out a source of complex sugar &/or starch, first the sweeteners, then the grain sugars, milk sugar & legumes. I’m still not on a low-carb diet by Atkins standards, as I eat quite a bit of fruit, vegetables & even dried fruit, so carbohydrate withdrawal doesn’t reveal the full picture here. One explanation that I’ve read that feels right to me is that the digestion of complex sugars, such as those found in starchy foods, requires enzymes from the tips of the villi lining the small intestine. Any insult to the intestines causes damage to the villi tips & they quickly lose the ability to produce the necessary enzymes to break down these complex sugars, i.e. starches. These undigested sugars cannot be absorbed by the villi & therefore, remain in the intestines becoming food for bad bacteria & yeast in the small intestine & later in the colon. This is why a monosaccharide (single-sugar) diet is helpful as most of the sugars in this diet are easily absorbed & do not become available to the yeast & bad bacteria. Honey is usually allowed on these types of diets as it would have been naturally available throughout our ancient history & the sugars have been pre-digested by the bees. I don’t eat honey because of the migraines. I haven’t actually tested honey, specifically, to see if it would cause a migraine but I threw it out along with all the other sugars once I realized the connection. I will someday work up the courage to eat honey & see if it does give me a migraine.
Well, I think this is my longest post so far. Sorry! I hope I’ve not bored everyone with my personal health history & diet technicalities but I couldn’t pass up the topic of “Our Physical Selves” & not talk about diet & my experience of it. Our diet is the one thing that is in our control, here, from the physical level of our experience & brings so much to bear on the health & well-being of our bodies & consequently our lives. So, go muscle test different diets & see what your body needs.
P.S. Click on the “Nourishing Days” site above in the blog roll entitled “My Favorite Health Sites” to read more about healing with monosaccharide diets in her posts dated 3/15/11 & 3/16/11. You can also check out “Marks Daily Apple”, “Neanderthin”, “The GAPS Diet”, “The Specific Carbohydrate Diet”, “Elana’s Pantry”, “Paleo/Primal/Caveman Recipes”, “Paleolithic Diet Nutrition Page” & “Protein Power” for more recipes & relevant info.
For me, sometimes, living in the physical has been like standing in the bottom of a very deep, very dark , very empty well yelling, “Hello! Is anyone there? Can you hear me?” And all I could hear was the sound of my own voice echoing back at me.
Other times, it’s been like having one foot in the physical & one foot in spirit, feeling homesick, torn, divided & separated between the two.
Occasionally, it’s been like heaven.
There is very little guidance for most of us on how to heal & unify our spiritual self & our physical self. How to bring our physical lives into alignment with our spiritual lives. How to live a spiritual life in the physical. What does that even look like? Maybe saying prayers before bed as in our childhood? Maybe saying grace before meals? Going to church on Sunday? Is that all there is to living a spiritual-physical life? Probably not. I suspect that very few people walking the planet today have fully integrated their spiritual self into their physical life & body. I suspect that all of our lives would be very, very, very different from how they are right now if we were fully living as spiritual beings in the physical. It has been one of my personal goals in life to work on this conundrum. I know that I can tell you that I have struggled with it for almost as long as I can remember. Maybe you have, too. Or maybe you gave up long ago. Whatever the case may be, stick around awhile longer & lets talk about our spiritual self & what it means to live a spiritual life in the physical.
I can look around & tell you what living a spiritual life is not about. My daughter woke up one morning recently to the sound of a car crash. She ran outside & a neighbor told her that someone had hit her car & driven off – a hit & run. Thinking that the other car might not have made it very far, my son-in-law went walking & sure enough, there it was about a block away with a tell-tale gas cap embedded in it. Oh, & did I mention that it was also sporting the Christian fish emblem on the back? I’m pretty sure that if the driver had stopped & asked Spirit, “WWJD?” the answer wouldn’t have been “RUN!” Why did they run? They were probably drunk & didn’t want to get a DUI. Or maybe it was a joy ride & not their own car or maybe they’re here illegally or they were driving without a license, without insurance or the car had stolen plates. Whatever the reason, I can tell you that living a spiritual life means walking your talk, even when it’s difficult, inconvenient, expensive or uncomfortable. This is an extreme example but it illustrates the physical-spiritual split that exists in the day to day lives of many people. What’s the solution? Well, if you can’t live up to the dictates of your chosen religion, then you might want to choose another one. Choose another one?!!! Yes!!! It’s more important for your insides & your outsides to match than it is for you to fit in with your culture, your family or any external standard, expectation or institution. It’s nearly impossible for you to heal & integrate your spiritual self & your physical self if they are at odds with one another. Bring them into alignment with one another & you can move mountains.
Of course, this may be easier said than done. There are a lot of factors involved in aligning your insides & your outsides as I so elegantly call it. What feels right on the outside may not be right on the inside & vice-versa. As with other aspects, believe it or not, your spiritual self can be wounded & damaged. There is an idea that gets thrown around in some circles that offers an explanation. “Any degree of separation (from God, self, source) can leave an opening for darkness.” Darkness, negativity, evil, interference, wrong-doing, mistakes, lack, limitation, misunderstandings, distortions, etc. can all be seen as different sides of the same coin. The end result is the same – problems in the physical. In fact, you can look at your physical body, life, experiences & relationships to determine the nature & current state of affairs of any or all of your aspects including your spiritual self. Many times, by simply healing the different aspects of yourself, you can greatly improve all aspects of your physical experience. That is one of the blessings of being physical. You get the opportunity to perceive what’s wrong & also the opportunity to do something about it! So, you’re wondering, how do you heal your spiritual self? I’m glad you asked. First off, you need to learn to discern your spiritual self.
Think of your spiritual self as a body very like your physical body that is not confined by physical laws, gravity or 3 dimensional reality. This part of you has the ability to span time, distance, space. It has the ability to be with God. I tend to think of the spiritual self as almost like a bridge between the physical & the spiritual realms. It is a part of you here but is also a part of God, therefore, making time to connect to God connects you with your spirit. Pursuing spiritual practices will also nurture your spiritual self. I would go so far as to say that just simply taking the time, daily, to acknowledge & pay attention to God & Spirit would increase your awareness of your spiritual self, strengthen your connection to your spirit & lead you to incorporate more of your spirit into your physical experience. You will possibly never perceive spirit if you never open your self up to the possibility of perceiving spirit. All it takes is willingness on your part. I know Spirit is just waiting.
Many techniques that heal other aspects can be used to heal your spiritual self such as meditation, prayer & forgiveness work. These spiritual practices, & many others that have evolved over thousands of years through thousands of religions & spiritual traditions, are now at your fingertips. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to locate what is right for you. You could go to a different house of worship every weekend of the year & probably not run out of religions to explore in your area. Explore on the internet. Attend classes at the local library & check out spiritual & religious books, videos, CD’s & DVD’s while you’re there. Look everywhere with the expectation that Spirit will help you every step of the way. Open your self up to God & Spirit by assuming that you are never alone & talk out loud (or in your mind if others are around!) to Spirit. Ask questions, ask for help & expect that you are being heard & that you will be answered. You will know when you have found what you are looking for because it will bring you joy & peace. Your spiritual practice & belief system should feed & nurture you physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually & energetically. You should not have to force yourself, be bored or unduly stressed by it. It should naturally flow as a part of you because you are a unique child of God, having a unique relationship with Spirit, walking your talk as only you can.