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17 May 2013 2 Comments

LG #74: Spiritual Guidance & Belief

LG #74: Spiritual Guidance & Belief

Spiritual guidance can be a thorny topic because it tends to be riddled with beliefs. Beliefs can be like passionate opinions. Differences can bring up conflict, sometimes even when people are basically in agreement but use different words.P1000954

Hand-me-down beliefs based on learned concepts differ in nature from beliefs that express our responses to direct personal experience.

When belief results from life experience we are less likely to get wrapped up in whether or not other people agree. We can allow belief to morph and change along with unfolding life experience.

Spiritual affiliations or alliances are connections we feel with teachers, saints or masters, paths or traditions, and related individuals and groups. These vitally alive connections can stimulate insight, inspiration and transformation. Involvement may feel karmic; a special link to a deeper and more meaningful life.

Established spiritual affiliations are like brand-name nutritional products. Some work quite well, others not so well. Some work well for some individuals and poorly for others, depending on their specific needs. Some work well for a period and then the person needs a different product in the same line, a totally different brand, or a break from that particular type of stimulation.

If we become too attached to an affiliation we can get caught up in avid involvement like the hype and structure of a multi-level company. There is nothing wrong with intense involvement, and some involvement spans a lifetime. Investment can, however, impair objectivity. It can make us unreceptive to feedback about whether or not the system works for others, or to other input.

Direct experience thrives through open observation. This does not preclude profound spiritual affiliations. It just means being able to stay with our actual experience instead of ritualizing our involvement. We stay AWAKE in spiritual involvement instead of going to sleep within its structure. This means bringing ourselves to practice fresh instead of making assumptions or functioning out of habit.

Spiritual affiliations are also like exceptionally dear friends. We may speak of them with love. Someone else may take inspiration hearing about this love. It does not follow that it serves this person to adore them as we do. This person may have an intense need for the kind of deep connection we feel. While it is possible that they could join in our friendships, it is more likely that they need to explore and develop their own alliances.

Does spirituality necessarily enter into Guidance? Not necessarily. I think this depends on our personal orientation to spirituality. From the standpoint of spiritual Oneness, all of life is spiritual. Any type of experience can be used to learn and grow.

Guidance springing from instinct, body or energy sensations, and intuition regarding people, places and events are based on direct personal experience. They need not involve belief. Spiritual Guidance, in contrast, carries a belief that human life has purpose and persists beyond the duration of the physical body.

We will focus on Spiritual Guidance and I will share more about my spiritual process over the next few posts. These experiences shape the context of my extensive relationship with Guidance. I have no interest in drawing you in to my particular path. The energy from spiritual experiences can be inspiring, and the material may provoke reflection.

As a guide, my personal affiliations are rarely directly relevant to my clients. Skilled guides serve others to become who THEY are, not who WE are. Very occasionally a client has been naturally and appropriately drawn to my spiritual sources. If their interest shows a true fit, I neither obstruct nor emphasize potential involvement.

How do YOU feel about established spiritual paths or traditions?

Does spirituality require a path or tradition?

Can you sense any underlying fears or judgments that color your attitudes?

What does Spiritual Guidance mean to YOU?

10 May 2013 0 Comments

LGS #73: Do You Judge Judging?

LGS #73: Do You Judge Judging?

During a workshop on Conflict Resolution I was looking at an overhead slide listing internal states and conditions prerequisite to effective conflict resolution. On this list was “A non-judging mind.”

I sat there wondering how one was to begin if he or she did not possess such a mind. I can’t claim to.

It’s easy to unconsciously view such an ideal as a condition we must and are unable to meet. In this example, this response places the possibility of conflict resolution out in the future. It goes something like this: “When I can be non-judging, then I will practice this resolution process.” Or: “I am not able to stop judging so I can’t effectively do this resolution process.”

Remember that judging is an emotional reaction, while discernment refers to clear and neutral assessment.

I judge sometimes. My discerning mind can flip into judging. I used to judge myself for judging. This type of resistance creates a loop. The loop generates energy that blocks real feeling and flexible response.DSC00125

The ideal of not judging others intensifies judging if we judge ourselves for not being able to actualize it. What to do?

Suppression of judgmental feelings is not the answer. In the Conflict Resolution workshop, I had a wonderful conversation with a handful of bright and insightful practitioners. Someone asked, “How do you feel about ‘making nice.’ ” Everyone expressed frustration and annoyance about being in situations in which people pretend to be nice instead of presenting themselves as they really are. This duplicity creates complication, stuck energy, and unclear social signals. It retards resolution of issues and prevents sincerity.

Resisting feeling just keeps it stuck in there. Being honest about judging works better than pretending it isn’t happening.

You can intentionally become rather indifferent to your inner soundtrack, with full awareness of it, the way you might observe your mind during meditation without being drawn into it. It’s like noticing that a dog is barking without reacting or resisting.

I want to make this more concrete. I’m asking myself how I deal with it when I start to judge. Suppose I enter a session with a client and a negative judgment comes up in my mind:

  • I notice my feeling of judgment.
  • I do not “run” it in my mind or body.
  • I do not judge myself for it and create a loop.
  • I do not recoil from it or bury it.
  • I relax and stay in my body.
  • I focus on my heartfelt intention to bring myself into the present by fully committing myself to being of service.
  • I place myself in the client’s court, to operate in his or her behalf.
  • My thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, judgments and opinions become unimportant to me. They are irrelevant to the session.
  • I do not fight with them or ignore them but allow them to recede and to become unimportant.
  • During the course of the session, as I come to know the client’s inner workings, my judgment almost always evaporates, leaving compassion in its wake.

An astute client had a breakthrough insight: “I realized I do not need to be able to love myself all the time to stop my pattern. I do not need to be perfect. I do not need to know that I will never do it again. There are no preconditions–I just need to stop and do something else in that one moment. And do this in every moment I can until it becomes habit.”

Effective conflict resolution requires compassionate self-observation and acceptance. This holds for internal conflict as well as conflict with others. By learning to acknowledge, accept, and remain present with our internal conflicts, we become able to hold space for others to be fully vulnerable and process their conflicts. Effective work hinges on being able to hold our own conflicts and remain constructive. Self-awareness is king.

Becoming aware of it when we are judging and accepting ourselves allows us to move toward the ideal of non-judgement instead of disqualifying ourselves or placing the ideal in a receding future.

What do YOU judge the most in others?

How skilled are you at noticing the ways you do the same thing yourself, and how you feel when you do?

3 May 2013 6 Comments

LGS #72: Ideals: Help or Hinderance? Principles as Guides

LGS #72: Ideals: Help or Hinderance? Principles as Guides

Some of us use ideals as goads. We may even try to beat ourselves toward perfection. Some keep ideals passive like wishes. We may hope to be different some day and dream about what might be, without extending sincere effort.

Maintaining ideals can be like the proverbial two-edge sword.

Ideals are about moving toward your very best horizon. The guidance they provide takes the form of inspiration. You are inspired to become your best self.

The problem we run into with ideals is that when we cannot live up to them in the moment, we may criticize or judge ourselves, or give up for fear of failure. This is a misuse of ideals.

Principles are a little different. What is the difference between principles and ideals?

A principle is an inner decision, boundary, or code of conduct. A ideal is a vision of what life could be at its best.

Holding principles means establishing personal guidelines for our own behavior. These guidelines function as boundaries for ourselves. They speed up our response time in challenging situations. When we consider acting in ways that cross our own lines, we remember decisions we have already established. We have thought out what we will and will not do. Keeping to these decisions helps us feel good about ourselves and move through life smoothly. We don’t have to do a lot of processing or soul-searching to decide how to act in ethically challenging situations.

Ideals recede before us like the horizon. We work toward them, taking inspiration while knowing we will always be a work in progress. Principles are operational. They help us to operate in the moment, without getting flummoxed by temptation or emotion.

Examples of ideals:P1070508

  • To have perfect boundaries so you are always socially graceful
  • To be able to be loving and balanced in every moment
  • To be completely attuned and surrendered to Divine Will
  • To take perfect care of my body
  • To be completely responsible for myself

Holding responsibility as an ideal, for example, reveals over time that our concept of responsibility unfolds and develops as we grow in awareness. We discover over time that it is possible to take responsibility in ways we never dreamed of when we began carrying the ideal. Taking responsibility for our energy boundaries, for example, may be new. As we grow personally our ideals led us to new realizations.

Examples of principles:

  • I don’t touch another person in anger
  • I aim to be as fair as possible in all my interactions
  • I am not willing to patronize industries that cause grievous environmental harm
  • I do not buy food to which I am allergic

Note that ideals have an abstract quality that is often beyond what is humanly possible in the moment, while principles are decisions we can keep to in the moment.

The example of being fair is abstract. It could be taken as an ideal, or used as an operational principle–a decision to structure action. It is certainly possible to pause during an interaction and set a clear intention to deal fairly with the person in front of us. Our assessment of fairness develops over time, while the principle remains a guideline.

Developing clearly-defined, workable principles helps idealist people to live closer to core values. Clear principles form an actionable bridge between human capacity and inspirational ideals. Use ideals for inspiration and direction, and principles for day-to-day or moment-to moment decisions.

Principles we paste on from the outside do not belong to us or express our essence. A principle that originates from someone else is merely a code of conduct or a rule. We feel a sense of limitation, righteousness, or superiority when we import and enact external codes of conduct.

Real principles spring from within and express our authentic values. We feel free and alive when we express them through action. They enhance our sense of living with meaning.

As we deepen and develop it is occasionally necessary to revise and update our principles. They increase our happiness when we choose them and keep them alive instead of sinking into habit or becoming rigid. Take time periodically to review your principles to make sure they express your real values.

Do YOUR ideals tend to inspire you or have they become co-opted by emotional programs that make you feel bad about yourself?

What principles form guidelines for you, and how does expressing them make you feel?

26 April 2013 5 Comments

LGS #71: Several Direct Experiences

LGS #71: Several Direct Experiences

Following from the previous post, here are several examples of direct experience, without much burden of belief:

On a beach, I noticed that I could easily ascertain whether or not muscles on the rocks were alive. When I gently grasp and wiggle it slowly, an alive muscle responds by tightening its shell and binding, like it would do in a strong tide. This piece of information is theory until you try it. Once you do it, it becomes direct experience.

Esoteric experience is less direct, and may not be possible to repeat, but once we have a clear experience, it becomes a fact of life, whether or not we believe something about it.

As I walked slowly along the beach with a friend, my heart suddenly began to feel strange. It began laboring and started to pound. My chest felt pressurized, and my lungs felt as if they were working hard.

P1070009Up to this point I did not realize that I had allowed my energy fields to expand, enjoying the spaciousness of the wide beach. Looking around, I noticed, way off to my left, a moving figure 5 or 600 feet down the beach. As I focussed I saw that this was a man, running. As he got a bit closer I could see that he was aging, moving awkwardly. His shoulders were rotated forward, creating pressure on his heart. I was sensing his heart as he stressed it.

The man slowed to a walk as I watched. My sensations slid away and vanished. I found it curious that I felt his sensations so vividly before I even noticed him. Another man was running, closer to me on my right. I felt nothing.

Reflecting later, I realized that the friend I was walking with had been on my left. He tends to partially dissociate from his body. We were in conversation. I am guessing that linking with him to communicate breached my fields on my left. This is an hypothesis, not a belief.

I’ll contrast this experience with one occurred several days later:

Over the phone, a well-known client was saying that she feels my presence and influence with her as if I were there during her important life experiences. She also is linked with and at such times senses my spiritual lineage, delighting when she feels this profound connection. She spoke about the way this energy sometimes spreads through her to people she encounters who need it.

As we spoke, I felt the lineage keenly, experiencing myself as a way-station or conduit for that particular resonance of loving guidance. The energy felt like core essence, soul purpose, and direct connection with the stream of life. The keynote of this experience was loving influence. This type of influence had nothing to do with ego, power or even personal expression.

By ‘soul purpose’ I am not talking about a concept of who I am, what I need to do in life, or how I need to function to fulfill myself or my karmic exigencies. My direct experience centered on a simple, powerful sense of belonging, and inherent meaning. I did not attempt to make it mean something about my future, or to talk myself into or out of something. I just noticed it and let it be.

The energy boundaries within this second experience were more diffuse than within the beach experience. I find it interestingly that these boundaries were comfortable, even though I was blending in to the larger Whole. I felt a clear sense of Self. At the ocean I was less expanded, but my boundaries were initially insufficient.

Do your beliefs create your experiences, or do your experiences lead to beliefs?

What happens inside if you experience something you do not have a belief about or do not consider possible?

19 April 2013 0 Comments

L G Series Part 70: Belief Versus Direct Experience

L G Series Part 70: Belief Versus Direct Experience

Are you an “I’ll see it when I believe it,” or an “I’ll believe it when I see it type of person?” Or do you allow life to surprise you and gradually rework your beliefs to accommodate what experiences that don’t fit your previous models?

Advantages of Direct Experience:

  • Promotes observation and exploration
  • Directly engages with what is going on in life
  • Allows for growth
  • Encourages flexibility
  • Does not limit life to what we have in our heads or have learned in the past
  • Creating new insights is more exciting than reliving previous insights or memorizing the insights of others
  • We feel more connected with life as a whole

Being guided by direct experience does not preclude committed spiritual affiliation. Instead of doing it because of something you think, you do it because you notice results.

Disadvantages of Direct Experience:

  • Potential to become subjective in self-serving ways if lacking reflection from others
  • Possible lack of commitment and/or direction
  • Being too flexible can limit utility and clarity, since there are advantages to structure
  • The personality may remain superficial and avoid deeper exploration, which could be stimulated by an ongoing group
  • Requires confidence in your own process and path

Suggestions for Balanced Orientation:

  • Allow yourself to move lightly, courageously, and organically between belief and direct experience, exploring life and allowing experience to impact what you believe.
  • Allow belief to be your friend, not your master.
  • Carry operational beliefs, premises, or hypotheses as long as they support growth, insight and action, and allow them to change as experience dictates.
  • Do not cling to belief but allow it inform you
  • Maintain clear, intentional principles that you believe in for yourself, because they make you feel good about how you are in the world. Make them fully your own, independent of belief. For example, if you choose to maintain good karma, do it because it feels good to you, whether or not you believe in Buddhism or reincarnation.
  • Avoid making what you believe an opinion-party based on what your friends think.
  • Invite input from trusted advisors, with whom you have developed respect.

Advantages of Balanced Orientation to Belief and Experience:

  • Promotes neutral and objective observation and exploration
  • Side-steps the disadvantages of belief and of being overly mired in your own process
  • Allows for transformation through direct engagement and response to life events
  • Graceful interface with people who hold different belief systems
  • May help keep the ego slimmer and trimmer–if we’re not too self-congratulatory about it
  • Increases acceptance of other people
  • Invites the individual to refresh and renew values and release the past
  • Supports Presence


  • There is no distinct club
  • Requires a degree of independence

Do YOU feel comfortable modifying your beliefs? What keep your belief in place?

Do you tend toward belief, direct experience, or a hybrid between the two?

How happy are you with your principles? Did you determine them for yourself, or accept them from someone else?

12 April 2013 0 Comments

L G Series Part 69: Advantages & Disadvantages of Belief

L G Series Part 69: Advantages & Disadvantages of Belief

Some believe that we do not experience things unless we believe in them. In my observation, belief is a hinderance to direct experience. We’ll explore this shortly.

Belief is extremely personal. For a client to be safe exposing, exploring and updating his or her beliefs, a practitioner must recognize the potential impacts of wielding influence. Imposing personal beliefs into sessions with clients is often inappropriate. Avoiding assumptions and focusing on what serves the client is more appropriate than becoming entangled in similarities or differences of viewpoint.

Let us note that resisting belief is in itself a set belief. Atheism, for example, or belief in science can be set stances that serve the same functions as other types of belief, and can be equally as rigid. By “belief,” I am talking about using specific ideas or concepts we consider true as a basis for the way we respond to life. This can involve getting the idea out ahead of our experience, biasing our experience with the idea.

Another approach to life is to give direct personal experience greater weight than concepts, ideas, and learned beliefs. We will contrast these two approaches.

First let’s consider the advantages and disadvantages of focusing on belief:

Advantages of Belief:

  • We feel safer and more secure
  • We get to think we’re right
  • Easy to find people who share similar beliefs
  • Set belief systems with groups offer support and education
  • Strong belief supports intense and passionate involvement
  • Helps beginners to dive in and explore new things
  • Potential for deep involvement and relationships with other followers

If you experience Purpose in leading or serve by contributing to a particular sect or school of thought, limiting exploration to related beliefs can be an advantage. The concentration and depth of experience gained through commitment to a particular course of action works like digging in one spot until you reach “water” rather than digging a lot of shallow holes.

Disadvantages of Belief:

  • Defined beliefs interfere with open life-exploration
  • Set beliefs compromise objectivity. We may need to shed them to move forward. This can be painful when we are deeply involved with a group, and they may seek to interfere.
  • “Truths” we discover become less inspiring and spiritually useful once they have become crystalized, making your process less alive
  • Risk of becoming rigid and judging those who believe differently
  • Risk of seeking to impose belief on others
  • Potential to feel superior to others, which closes the heart
  • Strong identification with beliefs or groups can intensify fear of change and retard spiritual growth
  • We may set up ideals as standards and judge ourselves or beat ourselves up instead of developing compassion

Devotion is a state of heart. Fanaticism is an expression of ego involvement in belief.

In the next blog we explore the advantages and disadvantages of pursuing direct experience rather than using a particular belief system as a guide.

What have YOU noticed about your relationship with belief?

How do you use belief in your life?

Do your beliefs tend to expand your life or limit it?

How do you feel about the way your beliefs limit your life? Is this an advantage or a disadvantage at this point in your personal process?

5 April 2013 2 Comments

LGS 68: Die Before Death: Excitement is Over-Rated

LGS 68: Die Before Death: Excitement is Over-Rated

At a spiritual class we were talking about “dying before death.” This means learning to let go of identity, rigidity, and resistance the changing actualities of life while we are still alive. Contemplating “dying before death” is a powerful way to practice living more fully and with an increased sense of significance.

The evening’s class leader asked what we might regret on our deathbeds. One friend said he might regret holding himself back; not expressing what was is in his heart and his mind.

I considered whether this applied to me, then said, “I don’t exactly regret holding back what I need to say. I say it. What I regret is expressing what is on the surface; expressing the things that are habitual to my personality.”

I saw some blank looks in the circle so I went on. “If I am this,” I say, showing a circle with my hands, “and I express this,” I show a pie slice of the circle, “I am not expressing this, this or this.” I’m adding slices. “I may say what I think or my initial reaction and then realize I have deeper, more important feelings and insights. Habitual personality takes up the airspace. For example, maybe I try to help people out of habit, and what I really want to express at that moment is more receptive, like my inner feminine part or a quality of Beauty.”

The group voiced understanding. I said, “Letting in new experiences and giving expression to the parts of ourselves that personality often covers up can be a gentle death. We think of death as letting go of things but bringing forward things we don’t usually allow is a death too.”

Class next practiced and discussed the energy related to generating new life. The leader asked, “What do you want to do while you’re still alive?”

This is a great question! I ask myself and my clients regularly. A few people spoke. One woman said she wanted to play more. I do too!

The leader prompted: “What gets you out of bed in the morning? What are you excited about?” No one said much.

I’ve been tired of that question lately and got busy formulating a fresh response. Stalling, I said, “I get out of bed because I have to pee.” I heard laughter.

The senior teacher in the room chimed in: “Well that’s one form of life,” meaning the life of the body.

I looked at the class leader and said, “I don’t want to be contrarian, but excitement is over-rated.”

The senior teacher heartily agreed, while the class leader laughed and told me he’s comfortable with my ways. We’ve had an easy friendship for over thirty years. He held space for me to continue. I said again: “Excitement is over-rated. I’ll go for full engagement.” Curious looks from the class.

“Excitement is a kind of intoxication with life events. It’s okay to be enchanted, but the wake-up call of reality can be fierce–like disappointment. And excitement uses so much energy. Full engagement means bringing myself to life just as it is and being okay with it, whether or not l like it. I’m trying to practice that.

“For example, I didn’t like words of the dance we did a few minutes ago. I didn’t want to participate. I gave myself permission to step out. Then I challenged myself to fully engage.

“I tried using the same intention with different words. Then I thought, What would my Teacher do? We have all seen him participate when people led dances that might be ridiculous. He finds a place in himself from which he can bring himself to it in sincerity, surrendering to the reality and bringing inner beauty to it. That is a deep practice! I did that for a while.”

The senior teacher said, “It was fun to watch you go through that!”

I’m thinking Oh no! I SHOWED?! But then, only to those with eyes to see.

A friend beside me said, “I can I tell them what you did next?”

I turned just my eyes her way, suddenly shy, and shrugged okay.

“She I changed the words after ‘I’m not who I think I am,’ from “I am That I am,’ to ‘I’m a buttered yam.’ It was hilarious!”

It felt good to move from resistance into play by participating fully in my own way.

What do YOU want to cultivate within yourself or your life, to increase your satisfaction?

How do you stop yourself from doing it?

29 March 2013 1 Comment

LGS 67: Taking Guidance from Death

LGS 67: Taking Guidance from Death

Death is a staggering agent of change. It is a force that carries far-reaching influence. Becoming more comfortable with death brings beauty, grace, and depth to life.

Here are a few simple examples (names changed) of taking guidance from death:

Debbie recently went through the loss of two grandparents within ten days. She had been stress-wrapped around her job for a long time. A temporary staff change challenged her to work with a stubborn and irrational boss. After memorials for her grandparents Debbie came into my office regal, open, and relaxed. She had decided to take a six month sabbatical to travel and enjoy life.

Judith worked long and hard to prepare herself emotionally for the loss of her Mother. As her Mother was actually departing her body, Judith had an astonishing mystical healing experience. Integrating revelations that accompanied her experience is actively transforming her responses in many facets of her life.

Timothy consolidated his personal power and learned to carry his dignity and clarity while managing end of life issues with his Father and family.

Patricia was responsible for the care of two declining parents.
Their needs gradually escalated until she was feeling crushed and overwhelmed. She had not stopped to evaluate the impact on her own life. She could not imagine a way to lessen her load.

“What if you were dead?” I asked Patricia. “Who would take care of them?” I felt space opening up inside her as she considered this. When she had fully taken it in, I added: “What if you were fully alive in your realization of what you need to do in your own life?”

This brief contemplation changed Patricia’s posture. Her head came back over her shoulders, which dropped, allowing her to breathe deeply again. Her face and eyes softened.

Death is not just a clinical fact. Death shakes down relationships, memories, habits, old wounds, hopes, fears, beliefs, spiritual orientation, and emotional patterns. We are drawn to examine how, what and when we give, and what motivates our giving. We have an opportunity to rectify selfishness, or to release a need to over-give.

There is a break-point between what we need to do for others to feel correctly balanced. We give care partly to feel okay about ourselves. We give partly for our own benefit, so we will feel okay when people pass. Sacrificing ourselves beyond our inner sense of balance can be like draining a vital life in service to another’s death. When we feel called to do so, a sacrifice can be pure grace. When we are not, we suffer in it.

Sometimes the life lesson in a death consists of learning to support our own boundaries, and physical and emotional health by releasing inappropriate responsibility. Finding this break-point and sensing just how much to give is a highly personal affair.

A dear friend who does bereavement counseling and death midwifery says, “We do not die for ourselves. When we die we die for our community.”

The momentum of a death touches and changes the lives of those who have a part to play in the in the inevitable crescendo of necessities and events. Whether related, involved, or total strangers, people are cast together around the event called death. Each participant, to the extent that they allow themselves to be moved, carries some of the energy of change into their life, and impacts their relations.

With intention and compassion, we can bring beauty and grace to situations of impending death. Whether that death is of loved one or anticipating our own, we dignify this passage by bringing forward actions and expressions that usher in love, soul-deep healing and transformation. What we bring impacts the transition of the passing soul, and the lives of the other people who are connected through this death.

Participating with intention in the transition of death is an amazing chance to grow spiritually, get in touch with core truths, and commit ourselves to living in alignment with our deepest values.

From an esoteric standpoint, being fully alive IS dying. We have to LET GO and surrender our opinions of ourselves, all that we cling to, our habits, and our fears to fully enter the moment. Letting go of everything to be fully open to the moment is truly refreshing. We can begin to practice this skill now.

Learn to embrace the process of death, to take guidance from it. Allow death to motivate real change. Use it to remind you to live as you truly want to live.

Has a death or the idea of dying inspired YOU to live differently?

What realizations, life changes, convictions, or important plans arose through exposure to death and dying?

22 March 2013 0 Comments

Life Guidance Series 66: Unexpected (but Excellent) Company

Life Guidance Series 66: Unexpected (but Excellent) Company

It’s fascinating when energies we do not expect make a clear appearance in our lives. Surprise events help us to remember that life is more amazing than what we habitually take it to be.

I was finishing up a healing session with a client. Let’s call her Sara. (Shared with permission.) I had been overriding exhaustion to give my best. Seated beside the massage table, I had my left hand near her heart and my right resting gently over Sara’s hand.

As I flexed my legs to stand, my Guides said, “Just keep your hands where they are and stay open.” I was surprised. The session was technically over, and I hadn’t been working with Guides. I sharpened my attention.

I sensed into the room and felt something unusual. The energy I felt was so strong that I was sure Sara would be feeling it too. I asked. “Feel that energy in the room?” She nodded but looked a bit uncertain. “It feels really clear and bright,” I added, “totally open, and incredibly compassionate.” Sara nodded with certainty, staying unusually still.

“I think it’s an angel,” I said. I had felt angelic energy before, but nothing so vivid and direct.

The Being corrected me: “Archangel,” it told my inner ear. I repeated this aloud.

“How is that different than an angel?” Sara asked.

“It’s a more comprehensive order of Being, like an umbrella of energy that encompasses what people call angels.” Neither Sara nor I had any particular belief about this topic.

I extended intention to keep from closing off to the wonder of this unexpected visitation. Sensing Sara beginning to think I said, “In a bit, your ego will kick in and try to block the experience. That’s what happens; it’s what we do. It’s okay. Just relax and see how long you can maintain your openness.”

Our experience intensified. To keep Sara focused I said, “Listen to the quality of the silence right now. Can you hear that high frequency pitch in the room? That’s part of the energy signature.”

I was directing the archangelic energy–grace–down and through Sara’s body. Tears ran down her cheeks. Her tears were especially significant since she’s a mental person. She and I both tend to rationalize excessive sweetness. As the energy began to subside I said, “It’s amazing how much can happen despite one’s cynicism!”

I made this comment to acknowledge yet head off any tendency to downplay the experience. I am not of the opinion that one must believe in things in order to experience them. Amazing things can happen as long as we don’t take our beliefs and opinions too seriously.

At the door as she left, Sara told me that she felt different in her whole body. Her manner was gently inward.

I felt lighter and felt good for several days. A refreshing sense of positive energy remained, regardless of circumstances.

It’s important to let experience happen without getting tangled up in interpretation, holding experience hostage to understanding, or trying to fit it into a particular formulation. If we limit experience to what we already know about we are not open to transformation.

Ego makes trouble when what we think takes priority over input from life. Identity fear is one such trouble. It goes something like this: “If this experience is coming from me then I’m not the me I know any more. And if it’s not from me I’m being influenced by something I don’t know about and can’t control.”

It’s fairly simple to relax out of that kind of fear by participating with experiences that feel right, without identifying with them. This means we don’t make it MEAN something about OURSELVES. If we identify with a mystical experience we can get a big head about being the person who does this and that. Then we have to repeat the experience over and over to prove ourselves, or cling to our story about it, making it iconic instead of moving openly.

I have had hundreds of different kinds of intuitive experiences. Their variety, and the fact that many are one-time occurrences, make it easy for me not to get into any particular trips about them. I find a balance point in allowing and enjoying these experiences while keeping them in perspective.

What shakes up YOUR preconceived ideas and reminds you that the universe is bigger than your usual way of thinking?

How do you respond when something you consider abstract asserts itself as a reality?

15 March 2013 3 Comments

Life Guidance Series 65: Following Guidance on the Hoof

Life Guidance Series 65: Following Guidance on the Hoof

One more story about following Guidance . . .

Studying for Neurology Board exam, I was getting headaches from additional mental exertion at work. Studying in Maui prior to a workshop I planned to attend was more likely to support brain function. The idea was to relieve stress, regain balance, and study a lot.

My seat on the plane was near a woman with a brain injury and a retired neuro nurse!

Exiting the plane I visualized bowing low to the spirits of the island. They are strong and active, and it’s wise to be respectful. I asked them to accept my presence and help make my stay transformational, spiritually aligned and healing.

My trip got off to an intense start. I was exhausted. The rent-a-wreck had almost no gas. Chunks of bumper chipped off when I put in my luggage. There were no directions to the rental place. The phone number on the bumper sticker didn’t work. My hostess at a B and B acted as if I had crawled up out of a drain. Grudgingly, she googled the car place, in an obscure little town 40 minutes away.

I did spiritual practices as I drove, trying to soothe myself. My guidance seemed clear and solid despite awkward events. I sensed that these events were to alter the course of my stay and sharpened my focus.

Backing out of a driveway when I had to turn around, I spied The Death Store, tucked back off the road. I was amazed. The Death Store sells simple caskets and urns. It belongs to Bodhi, who would lead the upcoming workshop. It was closed.

The car place did not show from the street. I parked to find it on foot. No one was there. When I called the phone number over the door the guy asked me to come back the next day. It was only 4:20.

I saw Bodhi walking across the parking lot, stepped into his open arms, and cried for a minute in release and relief. I felt on track now, and sensed that I needed to stay open for more changes.

We opened The Death Store. The atmosphere bathed me in exquisitely subtle, nurturing acceptance and grace. A lovely, polished camphor wood urn smelled divine.

Bodhi had me call a naturopath friend who let out rooms nearby. The woman where I was supposed to stay became more strange. She was psychic but also paranoid, and kept misconstruing things. When I came in she was on the phone having me checked into. My cell phone wasn’t working, so she thought I might be a criminal. I’ll skip the gory details, but I almost slept in the car. She said I must leave by seven in the morning to accommodate her plans.

I noticed a strange portal in the corner of her living room. The woman said her house was on an old burial site. Discarnate Beings came to her for help transitioning into the light. They interrupted what she was doing, demanding to be taken care of immediately. Her spiritual teacher long ago had told her to set the radio station in her car between two frequencies, to practice listening to more than one conversation at the same time. This practice helped her focus when real people and dead people talked at once.

About 2 AM I woke up feeling as if she were sitting on me with her great bulk. I was trying to find a boundary, or a way to feel my own energy signature distinct from hers. She told me in the morning that she had been doing energy work at night to bring in and smooth out some of the energies coming onto the planet.

The next few nights I stayed at the naturopath’s. The room had been booked up, but the person who’d planned to stay had a heart attack and the room became available.

The house was a Buddhist sanctuary, and the naturopath’s partner was healing from a brain injury. I felt at ease there. I got to practice neurology for my exam, and to help out.

Travel can magnify and reflect the way we create in the world. It can be harder to bring ourselves as openly to everyday life.

When you travel, do you leave yourself open to life or keep yourself insular?

How does Guidance play into the way events unfold?

Can you make yourself available to synchronicity and change within the structure of your daily life?