Good Listening

“The secret to good listening is simple.  Unless I’m willing to be changed by you, I’m not really listening.”  Alan Alda

I came across this quote from Alan Alda in a New Yorker article by Howard Fishman (https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/what-mash-taught-us) and it really rang in my awareness.  In fact, it still rings within me.  What got my attention was that I could immediately identify the deep open feeling of real-listening-willing-to-be-changed, compared to the more superficial feeling of not-willing-to-be-changed.  But once I got past the “Yes! I know what you’re talking about!” reaction, I started to wonder a bit more deeply……

When am I willing to be changed?  I’m willing to be changed when I’m listening for information, an answer to a question I have asked.  I’m willing to be changed listening to someone I feel safe with, or someone I have interest in, where I want to go deeper….And there are other kinds of listening, to guidance, while writing, or while painting, or with clients.

And when I’m not willing to be changed?  What’s that?  That’s when I think I know better than whoever’s talking…or when I feel weak or depleted and not ready to give it up.  When I want my constructed world to be the right one…otherwise known as when my ego rules, and I’m just not open to what I then think of as “being wrong.”

What kind of change are we talking about here?  There’s taking in new information and allowing it to expand awareness and action….which could be as simple as listening to a friend’s story and learning from it, either what to do or what not to do.  Or, at a different level, listening to guidance and inhabiting, even if only briefly, the expanded perspective the guides offer.  And then there’s listening to one’s self, to acknowledge thoughts and feelings that have been kept within, maybe not previously noticed, which certainly changes our being both within and without.

This is not just a question of gathering information, like leaves in a basket.  This is about being willing to change the pictures we live with, and to accept that change in the fabric of who we recognize ourselves to be.....which changes the world we perceive.

I think it has to do with where we are listening from….listening from the intellect, what changes is the information in the filing system.  Listening from the heart and being willing to “feel with” brings changes in one’s capacity for compassion and emotional holding.  Listening from the neutral heart, the Big Space, can bring change in the size of the world, as information comes in from the void, beyond what we have believed ourselves to know.  Is one of these "better" than another?  No, we need all of them and more....more listening, less talking....more allowing of others, so that we can get how glorious it is to listen to, connect with the person in front of us.

At dinner last night with a dear friend, we talked about everything in our worlds; books I’d read, movies and shows he’d seen, my expectations of a course I’ll be taking from him, our different experiences of walking with hiking sticks, heart rate variability and how to be more aware of it….you know, “stuff.”  There was really nothing arcane about it, except maybe some of the thoughts on the dimensions that I’m still in process with.  And yet, all through the meal and way after, there was a current of love flowing between us, below the surface of talk, weaving through it in all directions.  So no way could I keep any kind of old story going about what father, lovers, husband couldn't give me, and how the deprivation ruined me.  Clearly not.  Clearly no ruin has happened, nor can it.  Who am I without that story?  More will be revealed later, but I can tell you, it's great so far!

Now, we've had other dinners that didn't get me to here, so what was different?  It  must have been my listening, a new willingness to be changed, the willingness to drop into that richly textured open space and let go.  The awareness that any and every conversation could be an opportunity for change, though some more than others, and all I have to do is to listen as well as I can in the moment.

What might not be evident from Alda's instruction is that it's two-way listening.  It doesn't work if I throw myself away to hear another.  I have to have an ear on myself, so to speak, at least enough to be present.  He says, "If I'm not willing..." so the I really counts, and the willingness really counts.  

It all really counts.

 

Old World, New World

I’ve been reading what I call “subversive literature”—books that offer an alternative to what we have all accepted as our history—and I came across a description of a galactic civilization that has really rocked me.  These books rely on channeled information, which may or may not be “true,” but given the way I’ve been living with what I read, it hardly matters whether it is truth or metaphor.  By the time I can’t stop thinking about it, it has become imperative that I recognize it as some part of my truth.

This particular book is You Are Becoming a Galactic Human, by Virginia Essene and Sheldon Nidle, published in 1994.  In a chapter on Galactic Human Civilization, it describes the culture and civilization of Sirius and the culture that began on Vega, from the constellation Lyra,  as an example of galactic human civilization.  

Six million years ago the humans of Vega developed the beginnings of an interplanetary culture, based on two main principles:

The importance of the personal growth in consciousness of each individual, exploring one’s higher soul, and also giving service to others.

The uniqueness of each soul as a valuable piece of the united human family.  It is the duty of friends and family to bring each soul into the full expression of brightness.

So…personal consciousness work, so that the service we offer benefits not only others, but ourselves as well.  This is very different from the slave idea, where service benefits others, but the self is excluded.  And the idea that friends and family are there to support growth, as they are also supported….That’s the basis of the culture, not just some radical ideas held by a minority in opposition to the rest.

Furthermore: The origins of galactic civilization evolved from what are called the galactic and inter dimensional Spiritual Hierarchies.  These spiritual lords of time and space established within their realms (galaxies and star systems) a distinct series of unique physical presences.  This enterprise was done because planets, stars and other energy forms needed a complementary physical guardian to aid them in establishing the white light of creation throughout the physical universe.  To this end, the Spiritual Hierarchies created special life forms ( various humans and nonhuman of high sentience).  These life forms were established as part of a guardianship that would act with the Spiritual Hierarchies to enable the energies of creation to operate at maximum efficiency through physical creation.  

This concept of planetary and star system stewardship is what is called the guardian nature of all human culture. (p. 160)

So it was intended that we be guardians, not only of ourselves and our little civilization, but of “planets, stars and other energy forms.”  

Each being believed he/she had a sacred reason for existence—a specific gift— that would aid not only self, but also the group, the civilization, the planet, and star system—the whole of existence. (p. 164)

Children learned that humans are a guardian species created for the purpose of aiding the universal Spiritual Hierarchies of light and love, and of bringing order and light to the physical universe….A key part of learning about guardianship was a daily meditation ritual performed upon arising from a mid-morning nap.  All humans were required to perform this ritual in order to maintain the biosphere. (pp.167-168)

This culture was practiced on Earth nearly two million years ago, by a group of semi-etheric beings called the Hyborneans.  Their culture lasted a million years, was destroyed by the Dinoid/Reptoid Alliance a million years ago, and re-emerged in Lemuria about 900,000 years ago.  So there is a back story, and it exists as part of our history…possibly.

Is all this true?  It doesn’t matter if it was true, it matters that it could be where we are going. 

As I come into a greater awareness of, and interest in wholeness, I realize the possibility of seeing the world as an entity that includes the stars, the planets, all of creation.  There is Gaia, the soul of the Earth, but there are also her relatives who hold the consciousness of other cosmic bodies.  What would my life have been like if I had grown up with this awareness from childhood?  In a culture that supports that awareness, instead of one that is opposed to it…. My mind boggles, my heart longs….Well, never mind, what matters is what happens now, now that I have been exposed to this possibility.  Where does it take me?

For one thing, it brings me an imagining of where we might be headed….a future glance.  I’ve been telling people for months that we need to be looking at what we want, where we might go, instead of being mesmerized by the news reports of the various disasters happening now.  Which isn’t the easiest thing, given the densities we live in.  So now I feel like a handrail has appeared, as I try to climb through the clouded sky.  I have to say, it feels wonderful.  What I feel is that part of me is familiar with this  ethos, and has been familiar with it from early childhood.  It expands the space I stand in now, as I realize it in some portion of my being.  So many parts of me were yelling “YES!” as I was reading…and that’s not anything to discount.

And what if on awakening from any nap, mid-morning or otherwise, I brought my awareness to the biosphere with gratitude and appreciation?  What if that was a morning prayer, or an evening prayer?  What if that became a habit?

So I’m sharing this in case it affects any of you the same way.  There is the possibility that it will be too far out for some, but I don’t care about that.  The ones that need to be aware of this information will receive it, the rest will write it off.

We desperately need a vision that will hold, a vision built on regard for all beings, whether in body or not, and regardless of the shape of the body.  Yes, this is about rocks and trees, and water and air, and all the nature spirits and the devas, and all the blessed angels, dragons, and ascended masters who come to help us when we request their presence.  The great part is that it’s also about us, all of us, the advantaged and the disadvantaged alike.  How many centuries have we been embedded in slave mentality, thinking that service goes only one way, from us to higher beings, and our welfare is of no concern to them?  There are various accounts in galactic history of how that situation came to be, but what I’m sure of is that it is time to begin to look outside that box.  

What if there was indeed an earlier time, that our quantum cells might remember, when we were living as guardians, caring for and cared for by an entire civilization?  What if that life existed in a parallel bubble, an arm’s length away, and we could connect to it to gather strength for what we are creating here?    It’s like getting a food parcel from home when you are away from your family….and of course I want to share it with all my friends…..Please, enjoy the vision, the imagining, and go wherever it takes you!

 

This painting gig...

The minute I heard about this painting class, I knew I wanted to be in it.    Spontaneous abstract painting?  Being in the moment, with tempera paint and newsprint?  Taught by Ellen Mc Kay, an artist who is living in many dimensions, and who can absolutely hold the space for others to enter their own new worlds?  Sign me up!

And so I went to class.  The first exercise, after choosing 3 colors of paint, and 3 brushes of different sizes, was to experiment to find out what each brush could do.  As the exercises went on, the instruction was to find out what each brush liked to do, and that’s when the door started to open for me.  These brushes were far from pristine; they had been used, for many paintings, likely for many years, or so it seemed.  They were natural bristle, and a bit on the funky side, and the sizes varied from wide flat house painting type brushes to a long thin floppy one (one of my particular favorites).

What each brush liked to do…what would fulfill this particular brush, what would feel good to both me and the brush?  And then I began to understand that we were in partnership, the brush and I….and of course, it didn’t stop there.  The brush, the paint, the paper and I were all partners, engrossed in a continuing experiment to find the moves, the gestures that would be most pleasing to all of us, leaving traces of the exploration on the paper with color and shape and line and texture.  What would fulfill this brush?  An open-ended question that completely bypasses the mind and everything it thinks it knows….

I know this space…or rather, when I work, I know this space….but there are some big differences.  For one thing, when I work with quantum healing modalities, there is no immediate physical trace, no trace that can be seen by physical eyes.  There are traces on the inside, traces that I’m following, but they do not show up in physical reality.  My client may notice a difference, but it’s likely to be on the inside, not immediately available to the 5 senses we use in the 3D world.

Painting, it’s all there right in front of you.  Marks are made, lines are drawn, colors are claiming their own space.  Blue wants to be here, and maybe a little trickle of yellow over in that area….But the manifestation is not subtle, it’s VISIBLE, and PERMANENT, and it has to be DEALT WITH.  It doesn’t just disappear the way the subtle stuff does.  OK, I get it, this is another chapter of “Wendy Meets the Earth.”  It’s very specific, this painting gig.  Once you make a mark, there it is, and it stays there until you do something to change it.  Earth plane, definitely earth plane.

So there I was, happily exploring the brush and the paint and the paper, having a lovely time, and then Ellen said, ‘The next exercise is called I Make My Mark,”… and it felt like an earthquake….  What?…. Who does what?….  See, in all the previous exercises, I had lost or given up the sense of “I,” and I have to say, I wasn’t missing it a bit.  Was she telling me I had to get it back? (No.)  And now I was in a whole new exploration.  If it wasn’t the old “I”, then what, pray tell, is the new “I”?  There had to be some kind of “I”, after all it was my hand on the brush, right?  But this “I” was more of a follower than a leader.  It seemed to operate in an infinitely large open space, unconstricted by previous experience or knowing, or for that matter, previous anything at all.  There was no previous, I was in the moment, and unencumbered.  And yet, still my hand on the brush….and in fact, making marks.....I also didn’t understand “my,” from the space I had been painting in.  How is this “my,” when there is barely an “I” at all?  I couldn’t hold that at all, and so I put it aside until later.  (And haven’t gotten to it yet!)

So now I’m aware that there is a different “I”, blooming into my awareness.  It’s partly individual, partly not; partly specific to me, partly embedded in the wholeness of the All.  And it seems that the way to explore it is connected to this painting gig…..So I went to an art store and bought paint (and brushes, and paper, etc.).  In for a penny, in for a pound, I told myself.  I also bought a kitchen table, so that I would have room for the big paper.  Earth plane…with all the many questions that arise, like how to store the paints, the paper, and the paintings.  A portfolio to carry to class, so that I can bring home the paintings when they are dry.  The specificity of the earth plane.

What do I think is going to come out of this?  I don’t see myself as an artist…it’s not about the paintings I make….what am I doing?  What I see so far is that spontaneous abstract painting is expanding my visual vocabulary, so that what I sense in meditation can take more form, without the constriction of cultural reference points.  I can more easily calm down when I “see” interiorly something I’ve never seen before, or something that is only partially in form, or maybe not in form at all.  And it goes both ways, in the sense that I can look at paintings and feel them and the space they describe in a new way….maybe as a map to a new awareness.

All I know is that the door is open, and I have the sense of a path leading deeper…both into the world, and out of it, at the same time….and all my “I”s are ready to go.

If this speaks to you, starts a longing for exploring with paint, here’s Ellen McKay’s email: studioellenmckay@mailnew.com. Website: studioellenmckay.com.  She has an active schedule of classes.  And yes, the illustration on the July 2018 Newsletter is a painting I did in class. 

A Moving Experience...

Well, I’ve moved!  I’m reasonably certain I can say that, though it seems that the experience itself  cannot be confined to a particular date or time.  It’s true, the movers showed up on the 21st of May, as arranged (Man with a Van, from New Paltz) and they were wonderful, moving everything out of the little cottage, taking it to the bigger cottage and arranging it, leaving me a little dazed.  But that was not the end, nor was it the beginning.

The beginning was the closing, mid April, after which I could start to pack, if I didn’t mind living with a lot of boxes, and no access to what I had packed.  No, that didn’t appeal to me.  So, not yet packing, with the specter of “having to pack” hanging over me.  After awhile, I realized that I could pack the books on the shelves, without seriously missing anything, and that’s when the influx of boxes began.  It raised the question of “what is it that I’m accustomed to that I don’t actually need to have available?”….and so, more packing, and all yarn and jig saw puzzles to the storage unit.

The packing thing, the making space thing…that all started the end of April.  Then there was the painting thing…I thought I was going to be the one to paint the walls, but I hadn’t reckoned on the ceilings, and even with help it was clear that it wasn’t going to work the way I’d thought.  I’d been in some kind of Marie Antoinette fantasy; she and her ladies played at being milkmaids.....so not the truth!  And neither was I a real painter, regardless of what I had painted in the past. So I got a painter, who had to be done in time for moving in on the 21st.  And he too was wonderful!

At this point, I was getting used to not exactly living anywhere…or living in two places at once, one in physical reality, and one in my imagination.  The thing was, there was so much to do and pay attention to on the physical plane that there was not much opportunity to indulge my imagination.  So what I’ve been calling “the tyranny of the physical” got a really good start.  I had to deal with the physical world, and the specificity of it.  Everything I touched was in one specific place, and had to be moved to another specific place (into a box), in order to finally land in another specific place (which I had no sense of as yet).  And because there was no peace in either cottage, I had to keep doing until it was done…I found that my mind wanted to stop several times before my body did, but it was a physical time, my body was dominant, and I kept going.

I’m pretty clear that this whole scenario is just a part of a larger work called “Wendy Meets the Earth.”  After all, now that I’m “settled” so to speak, I see that I have a garden, with all kinds of perennials already planted, and plenty of room for annuals….I’m about to go out and have an experience with mulch!  There’s so much to learn here…..

The house is pretty quiet.  I’m down to the arranging of shelves and drawers, which can easily be put off until the annoyance factor moves it higher on the list of What Has to Happen Now.  I’m getting used to my new beautiful surroundings, and I now have some patterns of movement that are taking hold.  There is rest here….I’m almost home.

So what’s missing?  Why is it “almost home”?  My living space is surrounded by pictures and statues of goddesses, the place is practically a temple.  But I haven’t yet found my participation with the unseen, here in this new space.  Granted, the physical had to come first, at least for me it did.  I’m satisfied with the results of my efforts, but not quite ready to launch my consciousness into the realms of the unseen…not ready to talk with the guides, or even to circle the dragons.  And so it feels like I’m here by myself….delicious in a way, but not really the whole truth.

The cards that I drew for myself today remind me that I am involved in an act of creation, a continuing act that is brought forth from my individuality, in exactly the way that is particularly mine to do.  They also remind me that I have allies in this process.  These allies do not require ritual, they are easily available to me once I allow my awareness to recognize their participation.  Is it really that easy?  And why not, why shouldn’t it be that easy?  In our wholeness, are we not connected to all other life forms?  Even the ones that do not seem to have a stable form?  Perhaps what’s needed is “participation with”….

Perhaps, as I go about the house, tweaking and straightening and organizing, I am reaching for (already in connection with?) the energy beings who hold a greater coherence, or coherence at a higher level. Maybe that’s why I’m tweaking, straightening and organizing.  I certainly feel the parts of myself that are content to “just let it be,” but there are other parts that are just not satisfied, and urge me on to greater awareness of what I have and where it might best be placed.  I can feel when I go out of coherence, looking at the muddled contents of a drawer or a shelf.  And the act of making it right takes great attention and focus.

Is that creation?  Am I involved in a creative act when I clear up the confusion of physical objects?  Sorting the sock drawer?…Well, yes, I suppose that it is.  It’s not different from the process of art, where the painter must choose all the elements of her painting; the colors, the shapes, the textures, the space.  Just as much an individual choice, and just as much a connection to coherence.  And if I decide that what I’m calling greater coherence is a connection to dimensions beyond the earth plane, then that is also part of my creation, and is worthy of honor.  What changes for me in that is that I can more easily sense myself in connection, I can recognize that I am accompanied.  I have brought my participation into the realm of other beings by simply allowing them to be part of the world I call mine….

Well.  I guess that settles it.  Time to get on with the desk drawer.

How come? and where next?

Recently, I heard of a Trump supporter’s declaration that she feels “politically satisfied” for the first time in many years.  How can this be?  I feel politically horrified.  How can it be that there is such a split in perspective?  It seems clear that Trump supporters are not seeing the same thing that I’m seeing….They are not seeing the cruelty, the corruption, the lies, and the anti-knowledge stance.  All of that either looks different to them, or they don’t see it at all.  What is going on here?

The split in the country is so profound that various channelers have maintained that some will ascend and some will be “left behind” or taken to a different environment where the vibration is more suitable for the experiences these folks are dedicated to.  That may well be true, in fact I’m not sure that it isn’t happening already, but it’s not so helpful for those of us whose dedication is to wholeness.  Besides, the other half is still there; we are not by any means homogenous.  How am I to make sense of this, in a way that shows a path to increasing awareness?

I already know, in an intra-personal way, that exiling the parts of myself I don’t like or can’t deal with is more of a problem than a solution.  If what I am after is increasing freedom and an abundant ability to love, I can’t go around shoving stuff out of my world because it is discomforting.  Somehow, acceptance is the key…but does that mean that I accept whatever is in front of me uncritically?  Like cruelty and corruption?  That can’t be right, it feels so wrong.  It must be time for a spectrum……

I first learned about “spectrum” as an organizing tool in the late 80’s when I was working on my MA degree in Transpersonal Psychology & Counseling.   I was locked into a battle with Freud, and I could see that there would be no winning for either of us.  If he won, the world would be too small for me to live in, and if I won, I would have failed to understand something important about his contribution (even if it made me grind my teeth).  I was saved by Ken Wilber, with his book No Boundary.  In it, he was inquiring about how come there were all these different therapies, some of which worked for some people and not for others.  He decided that self-identity was the determining factor, that there was in fact a range of therapies that were each ideally suited to specific levels of a spectrum.  Your place on the spectrum was determined by your answer to the question “Who am I?”  What you accept as you, what you reject as not you.  The highest reach of the spectrum was unity consciousness, the lowest reach was persona/shadow.  So then I could understand where Freud was, and where I was, and the mismatch was no longer so uncomfortable because there was more room on the spectrum.  It all had the effect of introducing me to the idea of “true, but partial.”  Freud…true but partial…Yay!  Even me….true but partial.  Just knowing that there was a spectrum, with room at the top, so to speak, made me very curious about what could come next.

In the present circumstance, I had already been reading some of Wilber’s later books, some of which were more understandable than others.  Then I saw that he had written a new slim volume, Trump and a Post-Truth World.  Really, it was like my intellectual White Knight had returned to save me from what I could not yet understand, in a way that would take me to the path I was looking for.  The gist of his message:  Yes, we must accept rather than condemn, but we don’t have to be stupid about it, and it is crucial that we don’t refuse to look….and look with compassion, rather than with condemnation.

He talks about the movement of evolution, the increase in complexity as wholes are transcended and included by larger wholes.  As in the increasing complexity of sub-atomic particles to atoms, atoms to molecules, molecules to cells, cells to structures.  All of these bits are whole in themselves, but each becomes part of a larger whole, which transcends and enfolds them.  This is natural evolution, and it naturally goes on in all realms.  When we take this to human evolution, we start with the infant who has the opportunity to evolve through 6 to 8 or more levels of awareness in the course of its human life.  There is also the opportunity to get stuck at some level.  Of course, Wilber’s scheme is more complex than I’m describing, but I’m hoping that by simplifying, I can get the point across without making your eyes glaze.

The point is, whatever level of awareness you’re at, you can’t see the one above you, it doesn’t exist for you yet.  You do not have the mental structures that would allow you to perceive it, much less live from it.  The infant cannot perceive “Mother” as a separate being; the young child cannot see another’s perspective…that all comes later, in the normal course of growth.  Later, the question becomes “who is part of my world, and who is not?”  For some, their world is their family, and who is not part of that family doesn’t count.  “Family” is preferred; who is “other” exists to be killed, enslaved, or dominated.  At that stage there is no ability to take on the perspective that the whole world counts as family; it just plain doesn’t exist, you can’t see it, feel it or hear it.  (If it helps you to see it in an inner sense, what have you done with awareness of the parts of yourself you don’t like, can’t abide?)

There’s quite a bit more in Wilber’s slim Trump volume, but let’s stick with this for the time being.

“Transcend and enfold”…. which means not rejecting the earlier stage, even though one has gone beyond….Organ structures do not, cannot reject cells.  Without cells, no organ structures.  Without molecules, no cells, no organ structures.  But do the molecules value cells?  they don’t actually need them.  They can go on being molecules if cells never show up.  Do the cells value organ structures?  They can go on being cells if organ structures never show up.  So it’s clearly the higher that can see and appreciate the contribution of the lower, not the other way around. 

If you want to see this in human activity terms…a five year old child has no ability to be an adult at five years old.  But (in a perfect world) no adult will make the child wrong for not being more than five.  In fact, it is the adults who are capable of enjoying the five-ness of their child….if not the parents, then certainly the grandparents.  And that loving grandparenting can make quite a difference to the way the child learns to see itself.  Maybe it’s the grandparents who can really appreciate the joyfulness and vitality of the child, more easily than the exhausted parents.  The child may respond to the loving gaze, but what it can return is not the same thing.  So what?  We’re not talking about equals here.

And maybe we shouldn’t be talking about equals across the board either.  Maybe we’re stuck in a romantic view of equality that has led us to believe that we must treat all people as though there is no difference between them.  So we think that everyone is at the same level, and are just choosing to be contrary.  Next thing you know, we’re descending to the level of less development, and the country is split in half with hatred.

Maybe we could recognize difference without judgment….otherwise known as discernment…. Maybe we could understand that not all people see the world the same way, but they can only be where they are…. Maybe we could recognize the contribution that the “family as world” folks have made: the safe container that a family could be, providing a space from which to grow.  And yes, there are plenty of families that have failed at that, which has affected all members, but that’s where the healing comes in.

We’re going to have to learn how to see the gifts of the levels we came from, and honor those levels, those gifts, so that no one feels left out or unheard.  We’re going to have to catch ourselves despising the ones we don’t agree with, and find another way to perceive their value.

This is where the question about Hitler comes in….He was certainly tribal….feeling not only free, but obligated to eliminate who he saw as the enemy….If you were at the same level he was, you would have felt compelled to do the same thing to the enemy of your choice, because that’s what happens at that level.  Once you have the ability to be critical of his actions, then you are no longer at the same level.  If you can see it, you’re not in it.  You can’t see up the evolutionary line, you can only see down from where you are.  Then the challenge becomes how to limit the damage from the actions of the less inclusive, while offering compassion to the being who is imprisoned in that smaller awareness.  The smaller spaces are more troublesome, more besieged, more limited….less free, less inclusive, with less opportunity to love more. 

So the value of Hitler?  the value of Trump?  So far, my thinking is that both are really extreme examples of what we don’t want, up in front of the world on a huge billboard.  As Abraham-Hicks would say, providing contrast, and with luck, a wake-up call.  So had we best start thinking about what we do want?  Oh yes, and a step beyond that: we need to start living from the bigger space that can see more clearly…not only what is wrong, but also what is right.  As organ structures, we’d best learn to love the cells, and molecules, and atoms we are made of.  And all the stages of awareness we’ve gone through, on the way to where we are now.

(There are some really important ideas in Wilber’s Trump book, and I’m hoping that some of you are interested in reading it.  He makes it as accessible as he can, and in the Note to the Reader, encourages you to ignore what you are not interested in.  I imagine that more of his ideas will show up in my thinking and writing, but don’t count on me, go get it for yourself….and then we can talk about it!

The Space of Waiting....

I’m in the space of waiting, and it isn’t an easy space to be in.  Two months ago I got an email from my friend George letting me know that there was a cottage available for sale in the little community he lives in.  There were pictures in the email, and I was immediately taken by the look of this little place.  More space than I have in my current rental, better kitchen (!!!), more light, and a 2nd bedroom!  Plus, it’s a community!  

I went to see it the next day, and fell in love with it.  I had just learned the week before that I might have access to the money required, and now here was the perfect little cottage.  There have been plenty of hurdles to clear, and I have cleared nearly all of them.  However, we still don’t have a closing date, and there are financial factors that are out of my hands.  Hence, the space of waiting…..

So I’ve had the somewhat disquieting sense of living in two places at once.  Imaginally, I’m living in the new cottage, and yet I’m not actually there.  I’m still here at Buck Rd.  My mind has jumped ahead to the future, but the present will not be denied.  And so, in the present, I’m waiting.

But what is this space?  Immediately I see that it’s not a comfortable one, but how much of that is my own doing?  Nearly all of it, I figure.  The spaciousness of the present moment is totally obscured by my wanting it to be different.  “I don’t want to be here, I want to be there…”  And I have to say, it is not easy to bring myself back to what’s here now, as my mind and I are having such a good time imagining the future.  “OMG, cooking in a real kitchen, OMG, I’m going to have a dishwasher again, OMG, enough light for houseplants!”  And then the most unanswerable question (for now)—“What colors do I want, and where do they go?” (OMG, I get to PAINT!)  Exciting as this is, it makes the space of waiting burdensome and frustrating, uncomfortable enough that I see I have to pay attention to what I’m doing—and do something different.

Yesterday my friend Kathy and I went for a drive in the country.  We went up the mountains, past Windham, such beautiful land to ride through.  We got out of the car to stretch our legs by Schoharie Creek.  I’d drawn some cards from the Sidhe deck that morning, and one of them was Alliance with Nature, a hint I decided to take.  I stood above the bank of the creek, watching the water rush past, looking at the landscape and the trees, bare and bony.  Yes, there will be sprouting of tender leaves, and burgeoning growth, but not yet.  What there is right now is the bones of the trees, unobscured by what is to come.  The waters of the creek were full of motion, rushing from left to right from my vantage point, from “past” to “future”— with lots of ruffles as they encountered interruptions in their flow.  And the trees remained still.

Nothing to do but to take in the peace of it all….  Plenty of room for both the rushing waters and the sentinel trees….Plenty of room for contrast and diversity.  Nothing exiled, nothing preferred.  Exhausted by wanting, of course I’d rather focus on the trees and their stillness.  But the sound that filled my ears and my being was the sound of the rushing waters.  And so I accept my rushing mind, even as I focus on the space that holds it all, the space of waiting…..

Neutral is where love lives.....

What a radical crazy idea!  Doesn’t “neutral” mean not caring?  How can a state that is free of the wanting, and the passion, have anything to do with love?  Think of all the time wasted on worry about loved ones, if it were really wiser to inhabit a neutral state…Could we really not do that?  Not wrap ourselves around our loved ones with all our conditioned fears of loss and everything else that goes with it?  I’m sure that’s asking too much, but how about not being so attached to our worry and our fear?  How about leaving some space for a benign unknown?  Will the joy still show up, in the space of non-attachment?  (Yes, and probably more freely.) 

The space of human love…so packed up with everyone’s unmet emotional needs that there’s barely any space at all.  All the history of past, present, and parallel lives, and then all the expectations and projections that come with the architecture we create from that history.  We’re building all the time—creating from the raw material of our thoughts and feelings, which tend to take up all the air in the room—what we think, what we feel, what we judge.  We identify ourselves with our thoughts, feelings, ideas, concepts and contexts every time we say “I.

But what if that is a stage?  Not an always/only kind of being, but a stage of being, a stage of awareness….what if there are other possibilities?  For most of us, it’s enough to navigate that stage.  It certainly isn’t easy.  Rubbing up against other people, and all of what they carry, plus the conditions of life on this planet (work, home, family, money, health, etc.) is a full time job.  It’s life in 3D, maybe 4D as well.

Now I and many others are standing at the edge of that stage, a transition point to the next stage, which promises to be strange, new, and different from what we grew up with.  I am exploring this new space, what I can perceive of it, and I’m wanting to report on what I’m seeing…. There’s a big difference between the space of human love and the boundless field of Divine Love, and I’m interested in building some kind of bridge.  I’m sure I’ll have more to say about this later, but here is where I’m starting out, for now.

“Neutral” means not being attached to preferences, outcomes, or conditioning from the past.  It doesn’t mean not having preferences, not recognizing that past conditioning is leaning me towards a specific outcome.  But from a neutral space, I can be easy about what actually happens.  Not so attached to the old ways.  Having space for God knows what….literally.

I’ve been working with quantum modalities for 7 years, which means that I have been learning how to access information beyond what I know, how to travel through time to affect earlier/later experiences, how it is that we really are all connected, and how much easier it is when time is no longer linear.  I have abandoned the idea of “this is caused by that” in favor of “I don’t know, let’s see what shows up.”  I have come to appreciate the space that is created when I don’t use labels, preferring instead to use what I experience to guide me.  I’ve learned to see conditions as patterns; many things look to me like a constellation of stars, which makes it easier to imagine them changing.  I have also given up the thought that I am the one who changes them, so that change comes through me rather than from me. When I’m working, there’s not much sense of “me” at all, and I don’t miss it.  I have certainly become more sensitive; I can easily feel the difference between “crowded” and “spacious,” with a distinct preference for the latter.  All of this learning, these experiences with myself and with clients, has informed a new architecture in me, in which I am endeavoring to live….and it all happens in a neutral space.

The architecture changed again this last summer when I took Lindsay McGowan’s Telepathy class and increased my communication with various non-physical beings.  That it was not hard, and seemed to be quite diverse prompted many questions around “who are we, that this is so possible, and so beneficial?”  The information that came through was always different from what I already thought, it always came from a higher wider space than the one I’d been living in, and it always brought me to a better space.  It is easy to feel my love for the guides and dragons, and their vast love for me in the space of connection….which is a neutral space.

One night, last April, I was talking to a dear friend on the phone who was going through an experience of deprivation of love.  I had been reading cards for her, so I was still in an expanded space.  I could feel the pain in the experiences she was recounting, and because I love her so much, I couldn’t bear for her to stay in it.  (Yeah, I know, not exactly neutral….so sue me). I was expanded, so I could see that it wasn’t the Truth, though it had certainly been real enough.  I said to her, “What I wish for you is that you live in the blossoming of love, so perfect, so intense, that you cannot see or feel anything else—that nothing else exists for you, only love—the sure knowledge that you are loved, and that you are love.”  She asked me to write it down, but I was too blasted, said I’d do it in the morning.  The guides woke me at 3 AM, with an elaboration on what I’d said, and by the way, dropped me into that field of Love myself.  Unmistakeable.  Definitive.  And clearly a space other than regular human love.

And so what do I know (think I know?) about Divine Love?  I’ve read that it is boundless, has no edges.  I’ve experienced that, and when I’m in it, there’s nowhere it isn’t.  There is no “not that,” no contrast.  (3D/4D is the realm of contrast.)  It is everywhere, and everything is filled with it…spilling over, in fact.  And even if I only get one glimpse, I can’t deny it, can’t say it doesn’t exist.  I have to now know that it is a real dimension of awareness, even if I never experience it again.

So what now?  What have I learned?  Apparently, Neutral is the gateway to a whole other expanded world.  What does it feel like?  It feels like I am whole, complete, needing nothing, and open to what shows up. The quantum work depends on it as baseline; if I can’t get to neutral, the work won’t happen. For me, getting to “the big space” is a quiet joy, kind of like walking on the Reservoir, surrounded by physical big space.  It feels like the right size, especially when daily life gets too small.

How to get there?  There are many ways, but try the guided meditation on the first page of my website (spaciousheartguidance.com, if you’re not already there) which will take you into the heart space (Neutral).  Notice how it feels to you, notice what’s different, notice what’s absent.  Make friends with it, so that it becomes real to you, and you can accept it as part of who you are.  Notice how that changes your interpretation of what happens to you.  If you knew you could easily get to a space in which you felt whole, needing nothing, how would that change your relationships, including the one with yourself?

Learning from the Flu

The first thing about illness is that it takes away everything.  Once I was really sick, I had no awareness of anything else; no higher consciousness, nearly no consciousness at all.  And no energy at all.  I managed the body aches with ibuprofen, but that was the limit of my ability to cope.  I did get some wonderful help from an acupuncturist friend, who rushed over with needles and Chinese herbs, but still….Yow!

I’ve always regarded the flu as a major detox opportunity.  My immune system is on the job, which is why I feel so lousy, but it’s doing the best it can against viral invaders, and hopefully, anything else that might be construed as unwanted.  I could feebly wave a flag to cheer on  my immune system, at least in my imagination, but that was all I could manage.  It took me almost two weeks before I could even start to think clearly about all this.  It’s not just the flu, it’s the recovery period, with its very few ups, and major downs, still feeling like “I got nothing.”

A wise man reminded me that all illness comes from mistaken beliefs, and once the beliefs are cleared, the illness cannot remain.  Yeah, I said to myself, that may well be true, but…with only “illness energy” available, one is calibrating so low that there’s not much chance of being able to see anything clearly.  The world is black, grey at best, and no light shines.  That’s part of being sick.  Your energy is being used at a lower frequency to deal with the physical (?) invaders, so a lower frequency is what you have.  I knew that what he told me was true at a higher level, but making use of it?  Not so much.

Still, it reminded me of David Hawkins’ book, Healing and Transformation, in which he talks about healing himself of a long list of difficult and life-threatening illnesses.  He has some wise and helpful things to say about focusing on the experience of the ailment, and dropping all labels and words.   His work is based on muscle-testing to find out what’s true; we test strong in the presence of the truth, weak in the presence of untruth.  He suggests an affirmation that rejects error and points to the truth, as follows:

I no longer believe in that.  I am an infinite being, and I am no longer subject to that.  I am subject only to what I hold in mind.

So I tried it.  I could feel my strength increase when I said “I am an infinite being, and I am no longer subject to that.”  For me, that seemed to be the guts of it, so I said it a bunch of times.  By this time, it was not the flu that was claiming my attention.  I was more interested in what I imagined to be a whole filing cabinet of old beliefs that I was earnestly hoping that my immune system would get rid of, along with the flu virus.  Not that I knew what they were, exactly, but I knew they were old, outmoded, and likely a drain on my life and energy.

I went to my guides for help, and they said:  The first and most important thing for you to know is that there is unending love for you in the universe.  It is true that all your experiences are for your benefit, even including the flu.  Now you are looking into the underpinnings of healing and creation in a way that you have not, up to now.  You may expect wisdom to camp on your doorstep as you embark on this journey.  Be ready, there is a lot of writing ahead, mostly because it is your chosen method for seeing and organizing. 

Yes, write down the old thoughts, with their settings—how and when you took them on, if you can remember.  If you can’t, then make it up.  This will bring you into closer connection with the frequency of the thought, which will then make it easier to let it go.  You’ll know that you and the thought are no longer a match, and relegating it to the realm of “I no longer believe in that” will be natural.

So I did what they said, and they were right.  To be more specific, I started with relationship, as a category of beliefs that are largely untrue.  I thought it would be like a listing, but that’s not the way it came out.  I wrote out whatever beliefs came to mind in a bulleted list, then the affirmation in boldface.  That seemed to open something, so that I could reflect on where these beliefs came from.  It was a process of following the thoughts that arose, and then inserting the affirmation as needed.  I did have to sit still and wait for the next paragraph, or the next list to show up, but it didn’t take long.  At the end, what I wanted to hold in mind came easily, as another bulleted list, and I could feel that it was real.

I did it again the next day, with a different topic, and it was the same.  The day after, though, the end result of what I want to hold in mind did not appear.  Just couldn’t get it.  So I left it, and when I looked the next day, I got that sometimes I just have to get that I have some dysfunctional beliefs that I choose not to act on.  It’s all part of the wholeness.

So I’m continuing with the process, and taking what comes to mind as what to work with next.  My energy level is much better, and I seem to have more mental space.  The knee-jerk reaction of “No, I couldn’t possibly….” is gone.  I may not know how or when to proceed yet, but I at least have space in which that knowledge may arise.

So what if this is a hot idea?….what if we thought of all illness as an opportunity to clear old beliefs, instead of some dire thing happening to us?

The problem, as mentioned above, is that when you’re in an acute phase of illness, you don’t have the awareness available….I wonder, if I’d started saying “I am an infinite being and I am not subject to this” a lot earlier in the process, would it have made a difference?  Just saying it would require less energy than going to the medicine cabinet for the ibuprofen (not that I have anything but gratitude for the ibuprofen).  I wouldn’t even have had to believe it, just say it and see what effect it might have.

Certainly, this was a lovely pursuit for the time after, when I didn’t have enough energy to even want to do anything, though I did have some curiosity about how I could support the process of divestment.  It might also have been a good preventative measure, taken when I felt my energy level starting to slip over the holidays……

But isn’t there also a place for that profound drop that illness brings?  I could imagine that when I was at my lowest, that all my energy was going to the level of the microbial beings in 2D….below my ability to perceive, yes, but maybe real anyway.  What could be useful there?  Were the microbial beings getting more energy, since there wasn’t much anywhere else?  Was it a preparation for change coming on the microbial level, first in countering the invading viruses, then in looking around to see what else could be jettisoned?

That was the image I was holding….and I knew that I’d better get on the job of letting them know what to throw off.  If my mind is the director of what happens in my body, then I have more of a responsibility than I’d taken seriously so far.  Plus, there was a desire to clean out…I felt invaded, and I could feel the invader in the phlegmy quality that persisted and persisted and persisted.  I wanted to empower my immune system to do the most thorough job it could, and it seemed that getting rid of whatever old baggage I could find would certainly help.  “You guys keep rowing, I’ll get rid of all these dead bodies.”

What was unexpected was the ease of the process.  The clearing affirmation took me to a stronger, brighter place immediately, so that all I had to do was pick a topic and start writing what I had believed about it.  Inserting the affirmation just widened the gap between where I had been and where I am now.  “I no longer believe in this” was a statement of fact, and I could feel it.  “I am an infinite being, and I am not subject to this” made me feel stronger still.  “I am only subject to what I hold in mind” opened the doorway to clearer beliefs that hold more Light, when it did.  Even when I got stuck, it cleared up a few days later, and I was able to allow some truer thoughts to come through.

It might be a seasonal thing…both the flu and the cleaning out process.  We go into the dark at the Winter Solstice, and maybe this is just what happens.  Bringing more awareness to the process, though, seems like a good thing.  What if we are preparing the ground for the new seeds that we’ll be planting soon?  What if we are turning over the soil, getting rid of rocks, and bringing in better nutrients, to foster better growth and yield?  What if we had to get down into the dark earth to do it?