Devotion: Bringing the essence of every fiber of your being into this moment, presencing your energy into that which fuels the Divine Spark. In this place, I experience a nestled completeness among it all – a totality of being Grace. This is my current experience of Devotion.
Devotion has always been a challenging practice for me. Frankly as a child, I hated the idea of it. Devotion got me nowhere and nothing. Being at choice about who or what I was devoted to, well, there was no choice. Catholicism, my experience of it anyway, dictated devotion. I was supposed to be devoted to my parents, teachers, to my education, to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit; however none of this nourished my little soul.
I was told to love, honor and obey as part of a practice of devotion. I’ve never found I could love, honor or obey what or who I couldn’t trust. Not really. I couldn’t be devoted to what rang as an untruth.
I was told to trust. I learned how to warp my thinking so that I could trust even though I didn’t. I got sick, depressed, and suicidal because I taught myself not to listen or to trust my own knowing; only to trust others, regardless of their lack of honesty, integrity and lack of accountability. Listen to all grownups was the message.
When I married – the first time, though I wanted to experience devotion to my husband, that didn’t work either. In my second marriage, I was getting the hang of the practice of being devoted. I was getting out of my own way and wasn’t so fearful of letting go of fear, anger, control and manipulation. I practiced being vulnerable. It took time and attention to be present to all the ways I interfered with such a deep practice of love and then open to new ways. I feel I made progress, though, inevitably the marriage dissolved.
Only through the devotion to my children did I begin to receive the lessons taught through a practice of devotion. What is the quality of being devotion? It’s an expression of love, commitment, presencing. My whole being becomes one with this thing or being. Every waking breath serves to express the grace found in the practice of devotion.
As I’m writing, a thought arises: The practice of devotion led to the demise of my role as the primary caregiver of my children. My devotion led me to give custody of my children to their father, in service to their highest good. It was my devotion to my own truth that led me to find right livelihood and a home on the far reaches of the continent. It has been my devotion that continually leads me to be diligent and vigilant in the practice of releasing any and all unnecessary practices – actions and thinking, so I am free of all excess baggage that once I thought to be me.
I’m devoted to my clients, students and to my writing practice. It’s much the same experience as with my children. There is a thirst that is quenched, a meeting of hearts; a harmony and communion that is beyond words.
Currently I sit on my couch and come to explore a devotional practice to Oneness, Universal Source of all that is. I’m at the beginning just as I was as a young child. This time I get to choose for myself to what and to whom I bring devotion.
I believe that I lost my soul through my initial attempts at being devoted to the Church, parents, education and husbands. Because of my failings, the interpretations were that I was a sinner, that God ignored me and that I was a bad person, a bad student, and a bad daughter. Well, I understand now that devotion – true devotion — has no promises or guarantees attached. You don’t be devoted to get something in return. There’s no wining or failing.
Perhaps all of this was just rites of initiation – To experience what felt wrong and distrustful, then to undergo a process of unlearning in order to come back to the very knowing I had as a child.
I now experience the practice of devotion as a practice of being my essential self in relation to Self. It’s mindfully discovering aspects of self which are not aligned with my WHOLE, COMPLETE SELF. It’s being devoured and consumed in the Oneness, the totality of the experience.
Devoted to truth and trusting; that I can discern what is true for me better than anyone else. My devotion is to the fullest expression of my essential self through whatever I’m engaged in now. This practice of devotion is a practice of refining the facets of self that define me in all my forms. It has become a practice of only looking inward to find right-relationship with my Self, in relation to all aspects of the world.
As is inevitable, I come to this practice that is in complete juxtaposition to the practice I was taught as a child. Though saddened to have embarked on such a long and arduous journey that has it appear as if I was lost, alone and inadequate to cope with life, I am grateful for my arrival here, to this moment, as I found my way, and I found my Self.
Today is the Day!
This is the day I’ve been waiting for all of my life. Actually, it’s the day I’ve been preparing for all of my life. I thought it would be different – bands playing and a lot of whoop-ti-do. But, no; it’s just me and Gracie on the mountain, overlooking Crow Valley, clouds rolling by with the sun peeking through on occasion.
It sounds like a normal, run of the mill day, but something dramatic has shifted: I’m happy!
I used to think happy was a vacuous, mindless, blissful state. I’ve realized how much effort it takes to be happy – I mean what it actually requires is a huge amount of mindfulness.
I realize too that happy and peaceful are constants in my life. Over this lifetime, I’ve actually been creating unhappiness in so many ways – it’s ridiculous. Through imagining the future, where I hope my life will be happy and fulfilled, or remembering either when things were good or not so good; the inevitable belief underlying all my daydreaming is that something is lacking in my life.
Thinking about what I had in the past but I don’t have now, or waiting with intolerance for what has yet to arrive – well, of course I’d be frustrated, disappointed, suffering and barely surviving – not to mention full of worry and anxiety! This moment couldn’t possibly be fulfilling – could it?
I check off the items on my to-do list and wonder what value is being served by any of it. I’m finishing the re-design of my websites and wonder what’s the point! Is it really going to make a difference in the number of people who call for coaching, who buy my books or invite me to be a keynote speaker? I have no doubt that it will contribute little to my financial well-being. So why bother?
On the other hand, financial well-being aside, my life is great! And, the creative process of the website, logo, tagline and content has been a process of refining the essence of my work – the essence of me. I’ve come to define my sweet-spot in my work and resonate more clearly with the quality of the experience available when I’m in that sweet-spot. I’m now allowing myself to pick and choose my clients and students much more carefully. I have no idea whether there will be a future; and, A Course in Miracles, Oneness and other spiritual writings all say the same thing: Do what you love, let go of the attachment to the outcome, don’t worry, be happy! So, more often than not, now I’m not worrying and I’m happy!
Most of you, over the past year or so, who have been reading my blogs, know that there’s been a lot of deep work that goes into experiencing the simplicity of life in this moment. Excavating and removing lifetimes of patterns of beliefs and assumption, and all of the emotions and behaviors associated with those beliefs – well it’s damn hard work. I don’t blame people who are busy distracting themselves from personal and spiritual evolution. I say “GO FOR IT! Cause, when Spirit is ready, she will find you; and that will be the end of that! Once Spirit’s got you in her grips – well, you can’t run but you can’t hide!
I’m as creative as ever, I’m as productive as ever, and though I’d like my financial well-being to catch up with all the other ways I’m in well-being, well, it’s just a big fat be-with, and it’s a great area within which to let go, let God and continue leaping in faith. An interesting fact: Money influences our happiness by only 10%. We don’t know how little it contributes to our happiness until we have that money and find it’s not really making all that much of a difference.
This may sound depressing to many of you – because it appears as though, no matter how hard I try I just can’t get ahead. In our current paradigm, I would totally agree. However, as the paradigm shifts, the reality I once lived in is no longer the one I reside in now. I had no choice but to surrender my grip on what was, in order to embrace what is – now – in this moment. I had to let go of a belief that something was lacking in me, in my life, in the world at large. This has made room for the cultivating of awareness of a reality where nothing is lacking – in me, it or the world. In such a practice, I find peace and happiness regardless of my circumstances. And, like the Hokey-Pokey – that’s what it’s all about!
Experiencing the Resonance of ME
Sitting on the side of the mountain in my little trailer overlooking paradise I still wonder when things will shift; when I’ll get that phone call that says my life, as I’ve imagined it to be, is beginning NOW; that the moment has arrived – I’ve finally hit the Jackpot!
While sitting on the side of the mountain in my little trailer, overlooking paradise, I realize, to greater and greater degrees, that it doesn’t work that way – it being ME-ONENESS-UNIVERSAL SOURCE OF ALL THAT IS! My job is to learn about me in order to learn to be me. My way of learning about me is to sit on the side of the mountain in my little trailer overlooking paradise and notice when I’m anything but peace and in resonance with harmony. I notice when I’m in angst because the phone isn’t ringing, the emails aren’t coming and the bank account is thinning. I notice when I’m not living into my truth; when I’m pretending to live in my truth while I’m still practicing living in fear. Being me is the practice of experiencing the moment within which I exist. I experience the human me learning to release attachments to desired outcomes, learning to relinquish life as I imagined it – untethering myself from beliefs I made up when I was four years old – ones that said I needed someone in my life that would do the hard stuff for me – that I couldn’t do it on my own. It, in this case, is to live happily ever after, in the fullest expression of myself, with or without a partner, with serenity and joy.
Anyone who knows me and has worked with me as a coach knows that I’m all about empowering people to be it; be that individual who experiences the fullness of their being and is willing to live happily ever after in a reality perhaps totally different from the one so far imagined. So, if I don’t walk my talk; if I don’t experience the very essence of being that I want for others, well, I wouldn’t be able to go the full distance with you – I mean, those who are on the path – maybe that’s you, maybe it’s not you.
There’s very little time for navel-gazing going on here on the side of this mountain. Working with the books Oneness, and A Course in Miracles means studying me/Me. Rather than just reading the texts, I’m studying the phrases, absorbing the wisdom in the words; then looking within for resonance and dissonance, then choosing to practice living in resonance.
The other day, I read a passage about experiencing the resonance of harmony. I felt into it and asked myself “what is the experience of resonance of harmony?” All day I practiced living into that; that, being the vibrational resonance of harmony. I make that distinction because, through this practice of self-realization/self-actualization I know that what no longer resonates vibrationally will have to skedaddle, if it hasn’t skedaddled already, which translates as purging cellular memory, and other stuff too, out of my system, it will be coming through any moment. What doesn’t match the vibrational resonance of whatever you are being with – well, something has to give and you are the decider of what’s going to give – either the denser, fear-based vibrational stuff or the higher vibrational stuff. As I said, you get to decide.
This process can often be quite cathartic in nature – not always easy, comfortable and enjoyable, however every process like this has been excruciatingly rewarding, especially because it is the most elegant and raw way to experience me being ME.
A new client of mine, Nancy requested coaching from me because she’s been experiencing resistance in the area of building her business. Basically, she wanted a “How To” session so she won’t have to deal with the resistance. I wasn’t very helpful to Nancy, because I wasn’t willing to support her in avoiding resistance as if this was a part of life that we can easily skip over. Resistance is a giver of many gifts – my favorites are the gifts of self-exploration and self-awareness. Without resistance, few would stop to explore what it is that brings them to this moment in time; what beliefs, thoughts or judgments are in place that may be keeping them from taking that next step towards whatever it is they desire. The reason I bring Nancy into this picture is because, like Nancy, many of us experience a resonance with resistance more so than a resonance to prosperity or to other things we desire. We are held captive by the vibrational field of resistance until we figure out that it’s not the resistance but the vibrational field of self-awareness that we are in harmony with. It just feels like resistance. I know, it sounds confusing!
I’m as anxious to be successful in my business as anyone. And, I express my frustration everyday for things not being the way I expected them to be. It’s not suppose to be this hard, or take this long, or be so complex, or need so much self-discipline and vigilance. But, the truth is that sometimes it takes all of that and much, much more.
What I know – really KNOW to be true is that, it isn’t what I do that’s going to make the phone ring or the emails arrive. It’s that I be in the fullest vibrational resonance that I can be with ME. I don’t stop doing what I do, but I’m no longer attached to a desired outcome that I hope will come from the actions I take – the things that I do. I do them because I do them. They are in harmony with the ME that I am. I get to practice being my highest vibrational self within the doing and enjoying the moment of realizing that and nothing more. I know this sounds weird, yet I totally get the truth in the experience of being and in exploring this process with – with you as my witness. I’ll keep you posted!
No Peace on Earth!
There will never be peace on Earth. Never! Not as long as humans put themselves in charge of the rightness and wrongness; the goodness and the badness, prosperity and poverty. Nope: It ain’t gonna happen!
Peace will come when we give up doing unto ourselves and others what is hurtful, harmful and destructive. I drink coffee and alcohol, use sugar and eat meat and wheat – all of which are destructive to my system. I use electronics, drive a fossil fueled vehicle and count on many of those organizations who contribute to destruction of the planet, to keep me safe and provide electricity, etc for my comfort. Like the majority of individuals on the planet, 70% of my thoughts are negative. This also contributes to an internal environment that is not peace-full; it is actually dis-eased. I’ve been in relationships with people that cause me constant frustration as my expectations have me distance myself, withdraw and withhold. I feel victimized and want to get back at the individual who broke promises and ignored agreement. Yet, I want peace.
I have come to realize that the world doesn’t need fixing – no peace required. It is perfect and faultless in providing an environment within which we learn and grow through the trials and tribulations of the circumstances we are presented. That is the whole deal with coming into human form and to Earth University; make all the classes easy and effortless and the learning disappears. Therefore, we need the world the way it is, until we need it another way, and then, it will miraculously become that!
From this Universal Consciousness/Spiritual Intelligence perspective, all corporations and business environments are also perfect for getting the learning we’ve come to get. Perfection is always and everywhere. It’s up to us to get smart enough to recognize such perfection and utilize it for the very purpose for which its presented itself.
My perspective, in this moment, is that we are here, enrolled in Earth School – from nursery school to post-graduate work. We are here to become enlightened to greater and greater degrees. There is no end to which one can become enlightened; learning opportunities just keep on coming. It’s as if the more conscious and enlightened we become the more the Universe creates a greater array of challenges for our species. Eckart Tolle said that never before could a species consciously choose evolution. Evolution: Hmmmmm. Is there ever an end to evolution? I dare say there is none!
How do we evolve? We evolve only when we are at the edge of our comfort zone and are pushed or voluntarily push that edge to include what never before was possible, what could never be imagined and, what now is only a twinkle in our creator’s eye! There is no limit to our evolution as long as we keep ourselves in the game.
Okay, so that sounds as if we can take ourselves out of the game. No, we can’t. And you may think you want to because the game in some ways seems to be getting bigger than you, and scarier than you planned on. It may be; however, what’s important is to focus on what’s yours to do. What course are you currently in and what are the objectives of this particular learning opportunity? No, you can’t take yourself out of the game, because, like Dalai Lama’s hotdog, you are one with everything.
I believe that most of us have some investment in saving the planet – that somewhere in our personal or professional vision statement there’s a word or phrase that reflects this compelling desire to do something to make this a better place for all of us. In the world of business, it’s no different. Yet, we are challenged to do the job we are hired to do, at the same time attempting to cultivate an environment that is healthier to work in. At times we throw up our hands and whine “Is there no peace?”
As I began so I shall complete with “No; probably not.” This doesn’t mean that life will be full of despair, frustration and depression – not anymore than it has been up ‘till now. So, learn to be peaceful within, though the circumstances around you are not to your liking; find what causes a lack of peace. Ask yourself what would be valuable to learn, discover or practice in situations within which you feel out of control – this is how you cultivate peace – at least for moments at a time.
I retired from saving the Earth and all the people and beings that live here too. Sometime I forget that I retired, but when I remember it becomes clearer that what’s mine to do, and what’s only mine to do is to let myself off the hook for being only human, which often includes being less than perfect, not fulfilling other people’s expectations and feeling guilty and shameful about my inadequacies and unworthiness. What’s mine to do is to practice kindness to myself and others and to be mindful of what I do that could be harmful, trying to minimize my impact of the earth.
I love peaceful moments and pray that all of us can share peace – if for only moments at a time. They are exquisite!