Hope Held in the Doorway of an Election Day #nhprimary

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Photo Credit: Pixabay

I’m a little surprised that my heart is filled with hope and not despair on this auspicious day. That instead of focusing on the outcome, I am thinking of the opportunities. I believe that life is given to us so that we may find our own paths to Truth and Love. Sometimes we get off track and decide to linger inside the darkness of the shadowlands of the self, but eventually the light inside points us to home.

Today is primary day for the presidential election in New Hampshire. It’s also the eleventh day of the month. A doorway date. Today, the doorway feels rimmed with hope. The doors present before us to open as wide as we choose through the hands of our hearts.

I voted just a short while ago. The parking lot in our small town was crowded with cars, yet each waited patiently for their turn. Inside the voting hall, people queued into lines, while others greeted those who may be confused where to go. I was one of the confused ones, until a kind selectwoman guided the way. As I stepped into the empty line blocked from view by the one beside it, a couple discovered they had followed, unknowingly, the longer queue of bodies. I stepped back, and ushered them ahead of me.

I think they were grateful, the seemed so. It didn’t matter really, because it was the right thing to do. I was in no rush, and they had been waiting longer than I. I watched as they took their ballets from the smaller stack of red before I took mine from the blue. I looked around, noticing the tables that seemed to all share smaller piles of red than blue.

It’s okay, I thought as I marked my choice and sent it into the ballet machine, I had voted with my heart. It’s okay, I thought, if the election, in the end, turns out contrary to what I hope for. It’s happened before. It may happen again.

It’s okay, because that is how Life works. I cannot still the hand that votes, or guide it to another choice. I can merely guide my own, in the best way I can, toward Love and Truth. In the teachings of the mysteries and of yoga, the individual journeys not just toward Love and Truth, but toward non-judgement. Of the self, and of others. Realizing, as s/he journeys, that there is, in essence, no separation.

As I journey through the spiral, taking yet another circle inward, I find that I have been offered another lesson in acceptance. It is not a giving in to futility, though, but a giving into hope. The heart opening, rather than shutting off. Resisting the impulse to pull open the doors I may think others should walk through, I find myself returning to the doors around my own heart. Who am I to judge the best outcome for humanity and the world? The ego reigns with fear in so many forms when we succumb to its seductions.

The body grows tired with restriction and the holding in of tension. So does the mind. So does the spirit. Life breathes freely through love. Pure and simple. It seeks always the one true path. We are the keepers of our own souls. The body, their house for a time, is kept clean or cluttered with debris by the individual housed inside of it. The choice is held within.

I look around at the gray winter day knowing that the light outside my home is only veiled by a cover of clouds. Eventually it will break through and the sky will spread wide its blue expanse to the sun. It may not be today, or even tomorrow, but the light, eventually, and always, breaks through the darkness.

 

The Light Behind our Story #ChooseLove

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Today’s messenger calling for transformation and the return to the unfettered soul

If you choose to, you can see an outer world filled with terrible things. A world on the brink of, or perhaps even over-flowing, with chaos. A world where fear, and all its ugly faces, rules each action and reaction.

Or, you can see a world whose essence is love. A world that, despite pockets of darkness dominated by fear, has at its core only light. If you breathe into the core of Earth, the mother of your body and your home for this life, deep through the multilayers of soil, stone, and water, you will reach a core of light. If you breathe into the layers of your own body, through the skin that sheaths your essence, through the tissue and the bone, you will reach your core of light. A light that is a seed of the very same light in the core of Earth, and of the very same light that exists in the core of each being. Its essence is love. The energetic vibration of creation.

Yet, the mind and body that would encompass this essence easily traps fear. Fear that nestles into tissues and creates the density of disease, distrust, hatred, and paranoia. Along with the false belief that the “me” is separate from the “all.” A fear that breaks apart the light so that its vast web looks as though it is filled with darkness.

We are each so much more powerful than this fear we like to hold onto. This fear that creates separation in a struggle for self-survival. It is but a mere shadow of our true self. And, like all shadows, it is a mere illusion of the truth. Fear looks for separation, love is defined by union.

Instead of holding onto fear, and losing oneself in the shadow of its darkness, why do we not reach inside to find the light of truth? That pure essence of love that threads through each and every one of our beings? Why do we fear who we are? Why do we fear love itself? Why do we fear the true, vast, and limitless expanse of our being that continues on past the death of the layers that would contain it?

Why do we fear the free, unfettered soul?

Perhaps the why is not as important as the habit it has created. Overtime we develop a pattern of holding onto traits and behaviors whose origins we cannot always fully recover. Instead, we simply adopt without consideration of why we are continuing in a pattern that is destructive of the self and the whole. It becomes comfortable, like a tattered and worn blanket we refuse to give up from our childhood. Or, an old coat we’ve worn for so long, we cannot imagine stepping outside the comfort of our home without it. Even though the coat, like the blanket, is no longer of service to us.

Do you ever dream of being naked? Or of lifting your feet into weightless flight? Do you fear one and not the other? It’s a funny thing, this holding onto what our soul calls us to let go of. This returning to the unfettered essence of love that we are is so simple, yet complex in the unraveling it requires and all the letting go of habitual patterns and behaviors. False beliefs dying to the one truth that is you.

Why am I writing these words, calling for love? For the simple turning inward instead of outward as we try to navigate our way through the layers that appear to trap us in density? Because we are in the midst of an age of upheaval. The repetition of the old patterns of fear have repeated to a level of accumulated density in this world that we choose to share, causing a hold of fear that is seemingly tighter than the love that binds.

The Earth and each one of her children is crying out for reunion. For the return to love and unity. It is not my intention to talk of the ephemeral. Of some ideal that will never be achieved. My words are simple, their truth not complex. Nothing is ever gained by fear and hatred, but more fear and hatred. We can cower and ring our hands in dismay, or we can start turning inward to the truth and allowing that reflection to mirror back to us each time we turn our eyes outward. We can simply be, each day, ever more present to the truth of our essence, or we can move that truth into action, rippling the energy of love through our words and movements. Righteous indignation is still fed by fear, even if the outward display of it is for a greater good. Fear feeds fear. Anger feeds anger. Love feeds love. It’s simple math and physics.

Years ago, I found myself lying on a couch for three hours halfway in another realm as I listened to the words of my essence. We all have this voice within us, and it behooves us to listen to it, at least now and then. The words that stayed with me, that haunt me each day are these: “You can always find the light behind the story. Find the light behind each story.”

As I looked through my lives and the greater life around us and ahead of us, I realized these words were not intended for my survival, but for the survival of each and every one of us. If we choose to hold onto our collective fears and all the trappings that have bound us and harmed us, we will get more of the same. There is always light behind the shadow. There is always that core of essence that is love, waiting to be seen, grown and illuminated.

 

 

The “I Need to Be Special” Syndrome Vs. Greta Thunberg’s “I Don’t Care About Being Popular” Approach to Life

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Photo Credit: Pixabay

It’s likely most of us suffer from it, to lesser or greater degrees. Soon after birth, the ego discovers its individuality and realizes that separation can be a threat to its survival. If I am not considered special, the ego decides, I may not be fed, taken care of, and loved. First the individual ego fears the rejection of his parents, then later learns to extend this fear into the wider world of siblings, teachers, coaches, peers, and employers. No one wants to be cast aside and forgotten.

So the ego searches for specialness. It decides, if I am attractive enough, I will be loved. If I am smarter than my peers, I will never fail. If I am fast enough, I will always win. And in that striving for specialness, angst sets in. What will happen if I  am no longer considered beautiful? Will I no longer be loved and cherished? What if someone smarter than me comes along? Will I be rejected? Overlooked in favor of another? What will happen if I lose this race? Will I no longer be a winner?

You cannot fault the individual ego who as a young child hears the words, “You are so cute” by his parents and translates this to, “I am cute, therefore I am loved and wanted.” Soon after birth, the child begins to learn the skills admired by her world, discovering in the process that accolades, hugs, and smiles accompany her feats of mental and physical acuity. She will likely hold onto these words and decide as an adolescent that the words “You’re smoking hot” translate to being worthy of love by another. If she doesn’t hear them, her self-worth may be severely questioned, as the insecure ego has learned to strive for specialness. And so this extends to all areas of life for each individual who grows in a world fixated on specialness. Each of us becoming, in the process, unconsciously obsessed with what separates us from each other, instead of what unites us.

We lose, in this process of striving for a specialness that separates us from each other, both inner and outer joy. Separation is the opposite to unity, and the constant striving for this separation from each other pulls us apart from what unites us. This encompasses the inner and outer unity, as there can never be contentment if there is a constant struggle for separation. Inner peace arrives only when the ego learns to exist in a state of balance with the body, mind, and heart-centered soul. It exists only when there is the realization that striving for the outer ideals created by the world around it are false ideals. That in fact no one individual can truly be more special than another. Instead, the individual must realize that this striving only creates separation. Separation from the true self.

I have been thinking about this pervasive syndrome of specialness obsession that many of us get pulled into early on it life. God knows I did.  My need to be accepted by my parents led me to swallow my words and emotions and bury my true identity. By the time I reached adolescence, I discovered that being different meant rejection by my peers, and so I struggled to stand out in more accepted ways. Although I won awards for academic and athletic excellence, as well as the affections of handsome boys who didn’t know my past, I existed inside a sea of inner turmoil. True connection with myself only became achievable later in my adult life after I began to let the outer ideals slip away.

Last week my son tried out for the school’s baseball team and didn’t make it. He took the rejection by the coach hard, at first. And, one of the comments he made was, “what will people think of me now?” He is in the eight grade. That stage in life when the ego is acutely fixated on identity. It is heartbreaking to hear these words come out of the mouth of your son, knowing the struggle for identity that he is going through. Yet, it is also an opportunity to teach and learn. To grow and overcome. To help discover that the perceived rejection of the outer is really just a superficial interpretation. The self secure in its identity will realize that there is no true rejection or separation.

Yet this process can take time. It can take much learning, or rather unlearning, to discover that the outer ideals so cherished by a culture premised upon ranking will eventually topple. It will create inner and outer wars, as we have seen over and over again. We are in the midst of this right now. Racism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia, and religious discrimination have raised their fearful heads in a quest for dominance. On our thrones of leadership we have placed false demigods who thrive upon the ego’s “I am special” syndrome.

But, in the midst of the ego’s struggle with fear and supremacy, there are those shining voices of truth singing songs of unity. Some of them have not yet reached the age of adulthood. I am thinking in particular of Greta Thunberg, who at the age of 16 has been nominated for the Noble Peace Price.  When she was 15, Greta began protesting outside of Sweden’s parliament in an effort to inspire a more radical response to climate change. “I do not care about being popular,” she fearlessly declares when she speaks in front of a panel of rule makers. She lives through her heart supported by, and not ruled by, the strength of her ego. You cannot help but feel the power of her words. Never having, perhaps, caught the “I need to be special” syndrome, Greta shines in the light of a universal truth as she seeks to bring awareness to a global crisis that affects not just her, but all life on Earth. She speaks of unity and not division and has no care for whether she is liked. Yet, through doing this, she epitomizes true greatness.

During my conversations with my son over the weekend, we discussed the difference between striving for individual greatness driven by the ego’s quest for specialness vs. the larger calling of the soul ruled by the heart. Although he enjoys playing the sport of baseball, my son does not feel that a life centered around an ego-centric competition is for him. He has no intention of playing professional baseball. Instead, he realizes that he has his own unique strengths, which may lead him down a path that is not so much about letting the ego shine, but allowing the truth of the soul to shine. It gives me hope, just as it does seeing Greta standing sure and true in her convictions to inspire a better, cleaner world for us all.

 

 

“I was wrong about you” #yoga #nonjudgement

 

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Image Credit: Pixabay

It was like any other Tuesday morning, only it wasn’t. No two are ever exactly the same, just as each moment passes by us changed from the one before, whether we are aware of it or not. This Tuesday morning, though, was memorable in unexpected ways.

It began with a small mishap, a yoga mat de-potting an African violet that had been repotted after another de-potting from Millie-the-kitten-almost-cat a few days prior. Poor plant. Yet, accidents happen, and after a quick few swipes with the vacuum order was returned, or so I thought. Yoga with said mentioned kitten-cat Millie, and her side-kick Zelda-the-fifty-pound-dog, is never what I would call orderly. It’s a combination of laughter/hatha/kitten/dog yoga and one ever knows whose mat is going to be chosen for the Millie v. Zelda wrestling match yoga competition practice. This morning, though, Millie decided she’d rather spend the bulk of the class prowling the perimeter and upending every crystal and figurine in sight, while stealing peacock feathers and fishing in the water fountain for more rocks and crystals.

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Millie-the-kitten-cat resting after yoga class
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Millie’s side-kick, Zelda, who loves her like a daughter despite their obvious differences

But, I am digressing from the true purpose of this post, which is about what happened after class had formally ended and the collective “Om” had been uttered. Often, instead of a scurrying out the door to get to the next destination for the day, there is a lingering behind and sharing of the thoughts of the mind. Some days chatter is light banter, but today it rose from the heart. That place that reminds us we are all, in essence, the same. Reminding us we are each, in our individual way, trying to find our place in the world as human beings. Trying to live each day to the best of our abilities in this existence we call life.

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Photo Credit: Pixabay

Life that can morph and change at any moment, both within our own existence and beyond. A fellow writer had shared her news that she would be appearing at a local bookstore the next day to discuss her book about childhood depression. A deceptively small work of fiction based upon her own life experiences as a mother with a child who went into the darkness of life at an early age.

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More about my friend and her book can be found on her website

 

When we open up the stories inside of our hearts, our shared humanity emerges. The energy of compassion and empathy pours from our beings and outer differences are ignored. I knew my friend’s story, but the others in the room did not. From her story flowed another, equally poignant. One that I had never heard before. We often interact with others without really knowing who they are. Their triumphs and sorrows, as well as those more mundane moments are not widely known outside the space of the home, or even the individual being who may tend toward introversion. And, although we may guess at other’s thoughts, and think we can read them on their faces, we can never truly know them unless they are shared from the heart.

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Photo Credit: Pixabay

When my friend shared her book and her story, another member of our yoga class shared hers story about helping a different boy through his darkness. A boy, who was between childhood and adulthood, who needed someone to see him for the gift he was. They had almost overlooked him when he asked for a job because of the reputation of his family. Now, they are his primary guardians. Although he is not by blood, he is by any other definition their son. They have given him shelter, nourishment and love. They have also given him unwavering support and guidance to see his gifts come to life. Yet, he was almost dismissed.

Five words changed everything. For him and for them. “I was wrong about you,” his foster father confessed after fed him a much-needed meal and opened his ears to hear the stories in his heart. After realizing that a false judgement had been placed upon this young teen, the couple opened their door and their hearts to him, giving him a chance at a life he was not endowed with by birth. From his place of darkness, a new and brilliant light had dawned.

“I was wrong about you.”

How many times do we place judgement upon another throughout our days. This tendency of the human mind to make assumptions about other living beings has likely been a key part of our existence since the earliest stages of humanity. In some ways it helps us to survive, but it doesn’t always help us to thrive.

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Photo Credit: Prexel

We are at a stage in our evolution where polarization appears to be triumphing over unity. The false belief of the “other” that is somehow lesser than ourselves appears like a virus that we carry through each generation. Sometimes it lies latent, and other times, like now, it flares in all of its diseased desire to win and overcome us.

 

Later in the morning, after the rest of the yoga class had left, my fellow writer friend and I lingered a little longer over cups of tea while she told me about her night at the same bookstore with her husband. And as she talked, more hope sprung within me. There had been a discussion, which is part of a larger movement taking place across this country. It’s starting small, less than a dozen indie bookstores are doing it at this time, but I have a feeling it will quickly grow. Its basic premise, to bring together seemingly different viewpoints and spark a conversation to find unity. That common ground that is in the middle of polarity.

The store had been filled to capacity, and I wonder how many had left with a different mindset than when they had arrived. How many had said, either out-loud or in the privacy of their minds, “I was wrong about you.”

Living with Spirit

I wasn’t a child who saw ghosts, or maybe I was, but I don’t remember ever seeing a specter. I talked to fairies, but I don’t remember them talking back. I looked for winged beings in pools of sunlight, and peered in search of their forms under tiny white flowers, but I don’t remember seeing them. I didn’t go to church, and knew very little about religion. Despite growing up in an atheist household, I held within me an innate knowing that Life was not a mere compilation of flesh and bones.

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Still, if you had known me before the age of around 25, you would likely be surprised with the turn my life has taken. Or, maybe you wouldn’t be. I went from adopting my childhood teachings that anyone who claimed to talk to spirits, or see them, was a fraud, to thinking in my early adult years that so-called psychics, mediums and those who can be grouped into the woo-woo category, are just that, a bit woo-woo. Despite this, for the last decade or so, I have been traveling, quite willingly down the path of Living with Spirit.

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I now believe, with every fiber of my being, that Living with Spirit is the very essence of Life itself. We all do it, whether we are aware of it or not.

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Sprit is our essence. It moves through all Life. The blade of grass is sustained with the same Life Force Energy that courses through you and me. The only difference may be that the blade of grass, or the butterfly that lands upon it, accepts this as Truth, whereas you and I may doubt the very essence of our existence.

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So what does Living with Spirit mean? It is, in essence, just that: the state of being open to the awareness of the energy that moves through you, and is constantly trying to communicate with you. You may call it the Divine, God, Soul, your Higher Self, etc. It is all of the Whole that is the Source of all Life. It can be expressed outwardly in a myriad of forms. It can take on many aspects, as life does here on Earth. These aspects have been given names such as Spirit Guides, Angels, Archangels, Animal Guides, and Light-beings. Just as Source is called God, Allah, Krishna, Shiva, etc. We open ourselves to Spirit in the way that works best for us. Some of us hear, see, or feel Sprit, while some of us just know of its ever-constant presence.

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Although I do not believe we are all here to be mediums, healers or physics, I believe these gifts are within all of us, in the myriad forms they can take. A gifted painter channels spirit through her mind and body, just as the writer does, and the healer. As does the olympian and the mathematician. The more we get out of the way, and allow our hearts to receive and send, the closer we are open to Source, and the wisdom it encompasses.

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I believe that we are all more alike than we are different. That we are all a part of the energy of Source, and that our journeys ultimately lead us back to this Source. I believe that it can take many lifetimes, and although we all come from and are a part of the same Source, we are not all here to walk the same path to get back Home. To live the individual journey with Spirit, though, is Life at its very essence.

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Alethea channels spirit through writing and healing. To learn more about Alethea and Inner Truth Healing, please visit: https://aletheakehas.com