Tethered to Love

heart-treeOne of the best things in life is when a scent transports me back to a comforting memory. I especially savor the moments when I’m whisked into a holy instant of unconditional love and acceptance. Do you know what I mean? I hope you do. It’s that place where time is suspended and the soul is lovingly held in the arms of the Divine. It’s where I’m not good or bad, just completely loved. It’s amazing to think that a smell can do all that!

Sometimes, though, an odour provokes a primal response in me so overwhelming that I get sucked into a black hole of hopelessness and despair. Feelings of anger and rage begin to surface and memories that I try to avoid show up uninvited. What do I do?! Do I feel deeply or do I run away and slam the door on a healing opportunity?

For years I’ve been the queen of distraction when this comes up for me. I read, do the dishes, take a shower. I’m very good at shifting my state of mind into a more positive place, which is a good skill, but not when it’s used as a form of avoidance.

I’ve finally learned to allow myself to descend into that black hole, aware that I’m tethered to the infinite love of my Divine Parent. I can allow the hurt and rage to purge itself knowing I can’t get stuck because I have a lifeline back to Love.

Now, I didn’t always know or believe this and there was a time when I would get stuck in the black hole. I needed real, live people in the form of counselors or healers to join me and teach me how to tether myself back to Love. If you find yourself in this position, then please know you are exactly where you are meant to be on this journey. Allow yourself to be guided and nurtured by others as you heal and grow.

Wherever you find yourself today, may you be blessed to always find your way back to Love.

Scent

Should My Ego Educate Yours?

arguingThe question was asked in church the other day, “If someone doesn’t believe in sin, how can you help them see its reality?” My stomach turned. I could feel something in me push back at that this, but I wasn’t quite sure what. As I took time to unravel it, this is what I discovered…

I’m a mediator. It’s not just my job, it’s who I am. Not that I do it perfectly, but it’s my role and my personality in this fleshly existence. I do make judgements, because it’s my egoic nature to do so, but many times I sense a check in my spirit when I have. That check is an invitation back into neutrality and openness with Holy Spirit.

One of my biggest hang-ups with church and Christians in general is this idea that it’s our moral duty to educate others on what the truth is. I’ll address that duty in a moment. First, let’s talk about what usually happens when my ego decides it should tell someone else’s ego that their perspective is wrong and mine is right. Naturally, people get defensive. As soon as you put someone on the defensive, you’ve lost the argument no matter how good or valid your points are. You might’ve proven your rightness to yourself and other like-minded individuals, but you’ve most certainly pushed the other person further away from seeing your take on the truth.

Truth is not revealed to others by egos educating egos, because our flesh-nature is completely out of touch with God and doesn’t know God. Therefore, truth isn’t revealed through opinions, arguments and apologetics. Truth can only be revealed through the Holy Spirit or that part of me that’s deeply in tune with the Spirit called my human spirit.

Here’s the paradox: your human spirit will never feel the need to educate someone on truth. It will only serve to point them to the Divine for revelation. When we walk in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control, people will naturally be guided to the Spirit when they’re around us and they’ll find their answers there. They’ll also own these revelations because they received them directly from the Source.

When I’m coaching someone or working with parties in dispute, it’s never my place to tell them why I might perceive that their ways are flawed. Trust me, I wouldn’t be very successful with that approach! My job is simply to ask questions and share positive insights that’ll help them understand themselves more deeply and that lead them to God for answers.

I Am Not the Holy Spirit (And Neither Are You)

Do you know how many times my ego has secretly thought it knew exactly what someone needed to hear from God (moral base and apologetics included) only to find out later I was completely off track?! I’m embarrassed to say. Think about how many biblical characters made what seemed like bad choices to begin with, only to have it revealed later that they were on the paths that were right for them? Jonah, David and Paul come to mind…just to name about 1% of them.

My children have probably taught me this lesson most deeply. That’s because I judge them more than anyone else, poor dears. Most people jump to the conclusion that kids can’t adequately hear from the Holy Spirit in order to make good choices for themselves. Christian parents tend to take on the fear-based role of being some sort of replacement or interpreter for the Divine in their kids’ lives, telling them how they should behave or think according to God. (Hint: anything you do out of fear is not of God.) In many cases, kids are more in tune than we are. We just don’t give them a chance to demonstrate this.

These days I try to teach my children through imparting principles and concepts, not should’s and shouldn’ts. I try not to interfere with how Spirit is leading them. This lends itself to a lot of judgement from nearly everybody because it’s not a popular child rearing method in the Western World. Fortunately, I don’t mind what people think much anymore.

The bottom line is this:  I am not the Holy Spirit. You are not the Holy Spirit. But when we are in sync with the Spirit and living out of the fruit that this life-style yields, we will always be helpful to others in the best way. You’ll know when you’re walking in righteousness because you won’t feel angry, fearful or like you have to prove a point, you’ll just feel awesome and full of unconditional love!

Replacement

Why Judging Others Hurts You and How to Stop

illusionPerceptions are predicated on judgements. I judge all the time. It’s an automatic thing.

When I came into the world, having the ability to judge kept me alive because it helped my little infant body to discern pain, hunger and appropriate body temperature. As I got older, adults taught me that doing things that made them feel uncomfortable, fearful or reactive was called ‘bad’. I expertly learned to transfer this concept onto everything around me and before I even started school I lived in a world that had been clearly delineated by good and bad.

Challenging Perceptions

Every once in a while I would have profoundly questioning moments in my childhood. Was my hand really called a ‘hand’ or was a word actually irrelevant to the object it represented? If I called it something else, would it still be what it was? Do words really  mean anything and if yes, who decided what they should mean? What if I decide to change their meanings or give things gibberish names?

Sometimes this idea of perception would lead me into seeing a completely different world around me. Even my body didn’t feel like I belonged to it. I’d look at my arm and experience it like something disconnected from myself. If I tried to share my mystical musings with a friend I was sure to get a weird look. I wouldn’t have dreamed of disclosing my thoughts to the adults in my life.

Humor me for moment and give this some consideration: What if some people were time transported from 700 years ago into the present day? Let’s say we did a social experiment and nobody gave them any information about the new and strange things they were seeing. What would they name objects and places and what would they think the functions of these things are? Would they eventually start to see things the way we do or would they come up with completely innovative uses for them?

This little experiment would expose something very interesting about how we judge and perceive. You see, we can only judge something when we have past experience with it. In essence, we are projecting suppositions we formed in the past onto what we see before us now. For example, we judge someone as being ‘fat’ because we know what this is from past experience. And then we take it a step further and judge their character based on how we’ve perceived overweight people before. I use this example because I think nearly everyone can relate to it (just being painfully honest here).

Now let me challenge you…

Changing Perceptions

In the gospels Jesus clearly admonishes people to ‘judge not’. This used to make me feel like a chastised child. I finally realised that Jesus was trying to communicate something much deeper than a simple warning. Let’s explore this a bit.

What if we asked Holy Spirit to guide us in seeing our world  with the eyes of our heart rather than the ones in our skull? In particular, what if we could see people in a fresh new way with no past attached and a clean new slate every time we were with them? How would that change our experience?! No judgements, just pure unconditional love. Impossible you say? Not so. I’ve tried this. With people who’ve hurt me deeply. Guess what? It’s transformed my relationships with them.

When we hold people to their past through judgement and unforgiveness we don’t give them the opportunity to heal and change. This is because we keep treating them in ways that elicit the same unsavoury behaviors from them. We literally reinforce the neuronal connections in their physical brain that cause them to act the way we hate. Basically, we’re part of the problem we think they have.

On a physical level, our bodies completely regenerate themselves every 2 years except for our brain cells. Even though brain cells don’t regenerate, current scientific research has proven that the brain is highly plastic, that means easily changeable! The way you judge and perceive actually follows patterns in your brain and you have the power to change them by choosing (forming a habit) to think differently. These changes, in turn, actually cause the brain to direct changes in the body on a molecular and cellular level. Transformation. This is how mental and physical healing occurs.

Jesus knew that the way we think and judge affects not only our social and emotional well-being, but our individual and collective physical health too. 2000 years ago he gave us a formula to create better lives, but most people never implement it. Will you choose differently? Judge Not.

Automatic

Why You Should Stop Trying To Save People

think-colorfulIt’s sneaky the way filters clog up on machines. You can’t usually see them without first taking things apart, but it’s important to notice the signs of a blockage before the system starts to fail.

The mind is a filter for a machine called the ‘body’. Malfunctions of the body are like the engine light in your car turning on; they’re a warning. The crazy thing is that rather than clean or change the filter, we’ve been trained to believe that we just need to throw some more chunks  (like medicine or maybe surgery) into it and everything will be ok. Really?

Lately I’ve found that my mind-filter is getting clogged with a gunky belief system about obligations. Growing up Christian, I’ve become a professional at depriving myself of blessings, joy and abundance in the name of service to others. What I hadn’t truly considered until now is that every single person on the earth has access to the same infinite, never-ending, Eternal Resources that I do. The scriptures are plain and clear about that.

The Holy Spirit speaks to everyone, regardless if they’re Christian or not. Everyone, on some level, ‘knows’ that God exists. The infinite, all-powerful God of the Universe didn’t assign me the role of being the Holy Spirit in someone else’s life, but oh, how my ego likes to think it did!

For example, I still feel like I need to save my sick, dying father, a man who has chronically shut himself off from Holy Guidance. Consider the insanity of this; if Holy Spirit hasn’t been able to get through to this man, what makes me think I can?!

As my body begins to show wear and tear under this heavy burden, I feel compelled to rinse the filter of my mind so that I can come back to my senses! Literally…my senses. Have you ever noticed that when you’re living out of false duty and not your spirit that you begin blocking out what your senses are trying to communicate to you?

Headaches, sore joints, lethargy, lowered immune system, fear and anxiety are screaming at me to “do something!!” and I’ve not been listening. The filter is slowly, insidiously, getting more and more clogged.

NO! We are not asked to sacrifice our blessings and health so that someone else can be well. God is infinitely abundant and there is more than enough for everyone. We can’t make choices for others. Thinking that we can somehow change or save other people is vain, manipulative and misguided. Wash that gunk out of your filter right now!

Let Holy Spirit do the work in others.

Let Holy Spirit do the work in YOU!

Filter

Simple Life Hack: How to Ask for What You Need!

Do you avoid asking for what you want or need? A lot of people do. I was reminded of this common human behavior yesterday when askI received several urgent texts from my 10 year old. At first I didn’t take it too seriously:

“I hate school!”, “Can I be homeschooled?”, “I can’t take it anymore!”

When I realised that her distress was genuine, I made arrangements to pick her up for lunch so we could unravel her challenges and come up with some solutions. She was clearly experiencing the frustration that accompanies unmet needs.

What follows is a simple method I like to use in these types of situations You can use it to help others and even yourself:

  1. Listen to the story. Ask questions. Stay neutral.

People usually need to tell their story. As a person speaks, their state of mind will begin to shift. Ask them how they feel, how they wanted things to be, what made them most upset and what needs didn’t get met. Don’t get caught in their drama by making judgements.

  1. Problem Solve

Help the individual figure out exactly what it is they wanted or needed. What would be the most effective method for making those needs known next time? Who should they ask and when? How should they articulate the need or suggested solution?

  1. Role Play

Invite the person to dialogue with you the way they would with their teacher, co-worker or whoever they will approach to help resolve the problem. Coach them this way :

  • Clearly state the problem and how it makes you feel
  • Clearly state the solution you would like

Role play this interaction several times until they have each part down to a few sentences and sound strong, articulate and polite.

Putting It All Together

After spending time sorting out my daughter’s story, I discovered that a key issue for her was feeling ‘left out’. We figured out who the best teacher would be to ask for help and how she could lead the conversation. I explained that she may get exactly what she asks for or it may be a good start to negotiations around improving her situation. In any case, taking action would definitely be a better approach than not even trying and staying miserable.

When people aren’t used to standing up for themselves and asking for what they need, it’s important that they start learning this ‘asking’ process with those who are safe and understanding. We want them to have positive, empowering experiences so that their self-confidence starts to build.

People who learn how to effectively ask for what they need or want tend to be more successful in life and therefore, happier. Sure, they experience rejection sometimes, but they open themselves up to countless more opportunities for receiving then they would if they did nothing.

Go forth and ask!

Simple

10 Simple Morning Practices for a Great Day!

happy-flowerGetting a positive start to your day is easier than you might think. Try a handful or all of these super simple practices:

  1. Drink a glass of water before your feet hit the floor
  2. Take 8 slow, deep belly breaths
  3. Make a hot beverage and read or listen to something uplifting
  4. Take a warm shower
  5. Stretch
  6. Pray/ Meditate
  7. Take a walk (in nature preferably)
  8. Spend a solid 2 minutes giving gratitude for all the abundance in your life
  9. Do something silly with your family (or love on your pet)
  10. Play energising, inspiring music while preparing your breakfast

Blessings for an abundant and joyous day!!

Ten

Soul Flow Is the Best Way to Grow

angel-devilSince God is omnipresent there’s no place we can go to escape from Love, right? This can only mean one thing: God’s not just up in Heaven, but everywhere!

Can somebody please explain to me why we ‘invite’ God to be present in church services or say we need to find our way back to God?! If you are standing next to me I don’t need to send you an email asking you to come on over. You’re already here.

On the same token, Apostle Paul was really clear that we can’t be separated from the love of Christ. Christ is ‘present’ everywhere at all times. The only time we feel the absence of Christ is when we are not present. Oh, so the problem’s not with God then, it’s with us?

As dichotomous beings we have a flesh nature (our ego) and a spirit nature (our soul or human spirit). I’ll use these interchangeably. One is intrinsically connected to God, the other is not. Can you guess which is which? Of course you can. The scriptures teach us that all people have an internal ‘knowing’ that God exists. The trouble is, most people in this world have dissociated themselves from that part of who they are. Their human spirit is asleep and this causes a lot of problems.

If your human spirit is that part of you that is inextricably intertwined with the Holy Spirit, Jesus and God (Greek: perichoresis), then your flesh is the part of you that is not. Flesh lives in fear. Soul thrives in unconditional love. Flesh plans, strives and resists. Soul is inspired, content and allows life to flow.

When people get off the rails and feel like God isn’t present it’s because they’re living out of their flesh or ego in that moment. That’s how most of the people in our world operate and that’s exactly why it’s such a mess. Flesh makes. Soul creates. Flesh destroys. Soul builds up.

Let’s face it, you know when you’re flowing in your human spirit; you feel free, loving and connected. People make good choices and want the best for others when they are joined with God in their spirits. When we are operating out of our flesh we feel competitive, jealous and separated. We want to hurt others and believe that we lack what we need to survive and succeed in life.

This year I’m making an intention to only ‘create’ when I know I’m in the flow of connecting with God through my spirit. From experience, I know that this is a gazillion time more productive, not to mention blessed, than when I plug away at forcing stuff to happen using my ego.

What do you do to switch from being in flesh mode to soul mode? It’s worth figuring this out. Think of ways to intentionally shift when you feel yourself being sucked into the black hole of the ego. Maybe it’s listening to a song, going for walk, praying, getting out in nature or hugging someone you love. Whatever it is, do it!

Connect. Abide. Love.