Category Archives: Musing

Creating

Making an effort to create what you want in life, obviously, assumes want.

Aligning the conscious mind to the whole self, whole mind, inner being-ness, that is the All That Is in expression, releases want.

From here, creation is direct and clear. Whatever is created is wanted. Whatever is wanted has already been created.

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It’s All Holy

Last week I attended a course at Arthur Findlay College (AFC) in Stansted, England. AFC is a Spiritualist college, and Spiritualism is a religion based upon the knowledge that we are more than our physical bodies. I can’t say that I agree with all their principles or beliefs, but it’s an interesting place. I won’t say more about it now, as it isn’t the point of this essay. What I’ve been thinking about all day is a quick little snapshot that took place within about twenty seconds of my week at AFC.

One evening at dinner I asked a man at the table where he worked. We had been talking about some business subjects that Harry appeared to be very knowledgable about. Before telling me the name of the company that he worked for, he squirmed and looked uncomfortable for a moment. As if apologizing, he explained that this job of his was just a job. It had nothing to do, really, with his spiritual life or his exploration of spirit.

The noise level in the dining hall was so high that I didn’t do anything more than wave a hand at Harry’s apologetic explanation at the time. But I’ve thought about what he said quite often since that evening.

We draw such strange mental lines between the physical and non-physical. Yet these strange lines are arbitrary and imaginary.

Everything that we do is necessarily “of spirit.” We are non-physical beings having a physical world experience … we are All, and so doesn’t it follow that everything that we do is an expression of All That Is? How can anything that we do not be a beautiful integration of the non-physical and the physical?

Only our own human-mind beliefs mask the fact that there are no lines between the physical and non-physical. Not one thing that exists is not “of spirit.” And if it is only our own thoughts that say otherwise, our own awareness, then shifting awareness is all it takes to experience everything we do as “of spirit,” “holy,” or whatever words one wants to use.

(Those words with religious connotations – “spirit” and “holy” can create a layer of separation, implying something beyond our little selves. Don’t buy that … own the holiness. Make it your own – lighten it up. Add laughter and irreverent goofiness to it. Add awkwardness and curiosity. Add embarrassment and tentative not-knowing. Make it real.)

best leavesEvery single thing about this existence in the physical is an expression of the non-physical One, the All That Is. So it doesn’t matter whether we’re selling IT systems, washing dishes, building strip malls, cussing at the dog, styling someone’s hair, slogging through a marsh, duck hunting, riding the Metro, creating a painting, or staring at the ceiling. These things are no less momentous and meaningful than talking with dead people, bending spoons, or traveling out of body.

It’s not what we’re doing, it’s what awareness we carry while we’re doing it. Try thinking “this is holy” when doing something mundane, something that you never really thought of as an expression of the non-physical All. I wonder what will happen … ?

That’s what I wanted to say to Harry.

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Thoughts on Difficulties, Challenges & Perfection

A pervasive misunderstanding says that when someone becomes “enlightened” they cease to have problems and challenges in their lives. Related to this, when we have problems or challenges that we struggle with, we criticize ourselves or are disappointed and feel defeated … This isn’t supposed to happen to me! There must be something wrong with me … or What am I missing? … or Why am I not happy? … or When will I ever get there (inner peace)?

2013-02-map-basrah-300Everyone has challenges and difficulties, whether considered to be an “enlightened” person or not. The quality or state of mind with which you view the challenge and difficulty is, in my opinion, what differentiates “enlightenment” from the “normal” mindset.

I put the word “enlightened” in quotation marks because I dislike the word. It implies that this person is in the light, and that person is not; this person is wise and wonderful, and that person is not. In fact every single person on earth is “in the light” – is an essential and beautiful part of the Universe, God, Source, Allah, Jehovah, All That Is, Goddess, whatever name you want to use. We can’t be otherwise. You cannot lose that no matter what you do or experience. And we all have the wisdom within us, it’s just a matter of learning to access and accept that, which is in large part (or totally) learning to love and accept ourselves exactly as we are at any given moment. We all have that capacity, too. We each have the capacity to know ourselves, and to answer our own best questions, step by step.

So I’m going to switch from using the word “enlightened” to using the phrase “inner peace.”

Challenges and difficulties … if we think of them as problems, why do we think that? What beliefs are supporting that self-criticism, that self-judgment, that subtle violence against ourselves and our experience? What expectations did we have that make us judge this experience as “wrong” or “imperfect”? What if we used the word “adventure” instead of “problem.” What would that imply? How might that change our experience?

Emotions are not changed without changing the perspective (thought, belief) that gave birth to the emotion. If you want to stop being unhappy, look at what beliefs or thoughts support that that emotion.

The people that we judge as at peace (inner peace) only use a different perspective to look at challenges and difficulties. They don’t avoid them, they don’t resist them, and they don’t NOT have them. They practice a different perspective. They might say, “Here is a difficulty. I may not want to experience this, but here it is so I’ll try to find or create value in it. Who I am is not defined by this difficulty. I am a whole and complete, perfect being having a difficult experience. How will I handle this?”

They may not always be able to do this, but they try. They practice it.

They have released self-judgment, and set aside expectations. Their idea of their own perfection (affection and compassion for, and forgiveness of themselves) is not dependent upon not being human or upon not having human experiences. They understand that their perfection is never diminished by difficulties or challenges (- or by experiencing anger, frustration, envy, disgust, etc). They understand and accept that there will be moments when they’ll shine, and moments when they’ll feel they’ve fallen short, acted from what looks and feels like less than perfect inner peace. They understand that even that is perfect. That the expression of themselves through this human experience in this physical world is not always going to be some ideal version of perfect, yet it is always perfect just as it is.

An inner peace comes with accepting yourself whether you live up to your own expectations or not … or better yet, letting go of expectations. It comes with liking yourself no matter what experience you’re having. And that inner peace is a practice.

Very few people have one overwhelmingly transformative experience, an instant of profound enlightenment … and people who have that sort of profound experience still have to practice what they’ve learned.

Practice: 1. the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method as opposed to theories about such application or use. 2. repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it.

Sound bytes and inspirational sayings and advice from religions, philosophies, dogmas or theories can be useful reminders, but just sucking up all the wise advice one can find is not going to change one’s life. Trying to be who we think we should be is unlikely to bring us inner peace – it may just cause us to criticize ourselves and judge ourselves all the more. Transformation and change and ease comes with making the core precepts (which are based first on accepting yourself) your own through practice. Application. Experience. That will change your life, your mind, and ultimately your experience.

No one lives a perfect life free of challenges and difficulties, but if we begin to take a little quiet time to ponder our own experiences, to apply these ideas to our own thoughts, expectations, and to our language, we may find that we begin to become acquainted with ourselves in a new way. And as we do that, we may find affection and compassion and even amusement for ourselves. And as we do that we may find that forgiving and understanding ourselves is easier. And then we’ll find moments of inner peace and within that, some answers.

The beliefs that support judgments of experiences as good or bad are not true. Every experience has value. When that idea is applied, practiced, there is the possibility of quietly and privately recognizing our own divinity, our own perfection (joy, happiness) even when we’re in the midst of difficulties and challenges. We’re all perfect even when we’re acting fucked up.

Happiness: accepting our own perfection – and accepting even our inability to always express that perfection within our human experience. Accepting that we may not always feel happy, and being okay with that.

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Fairies, ETs, & Beliefs

The subject of extraterrestrials has come up quite often for me over the past few weeks. And today the subject of fairies was introduced twice, catching my attention. The words (ET or fairy) carry connotations that immediately set the fairy and the extraterrestrial into the realm of fantasy or delusion for me. I don’t let that close down my mind any more, but it’s curious to me that those defaults do still exist.

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The power of belief. Sometime long ago I seem to have absorbed some definitions (beliefs) about extraterrestrials and fairies. Having accepted the definitions (beliefs), I filed them away to be referred to when needed. They became a conclusion, so that I didn’t constantly have to wonder, “what do I think of these things?” I could just refer to my reference file. The beliefs haven’t consciously been reexamined with any attention lately. So there they sit, just below consciousness.

I have many beliefs like this, as do most of us: old absorptions and trainings implanted or absorbed over the years. Largely unexamined. Never fully re-imagined.

When I look at these sorts of “fantasy” beings from the perspective of expanded awareness, I find myself in what I sometimes call the between-time. From there, these beings are real, and my beliefs become obvious as not-real. Here’s what I find when I look at this from an in-between time.

Consider that our physical awareness perspective is a relatively narrow band of frequency access. When that frequency access is expanded, either through manipulating our own awareness or through various structural energy configuration possibilities (the energy structures that organize the “reality” of our reality), it becomes possible to experience or see or hear or sense other realities. They occupy the same space, so to speak, that we occupy, they’re only on a different bandwidth. From the perspective of our physical world experience of time being linear, in our cultural ‘past’ more people retained awareness of a broader frequency, which allowed more overlap of some of these other bandwidth realities. Fairies, ogres, unicorns … now these are fairy tales, but in the past they were simply names given to be able to talk about the beings that people encountered.
Personally, if I refer to fairies as “the tall, light, gentle, highly intelligent other-than-our-physical-world beings often encountered in quiet places,” the mental beliefs stay still, allowing me to explore without the encumbrance of beliefs.This is one perspective that I perceive, an analogy that may work to make this comprehensible without being precisely true in its details or totality.

If I set aside the word “extraterrestrial” or “alien” and find a description of my own for these beings and what I know about them through my own experience, they lose the fairy-tale/delusion assumptions. They become a piece of reality that I tend to describe differently from the description available as a cultural norm. And even if I haven’t closely encountered them in ways that others describe, I consider them real, interesting, and weirdly grouped under one cultural heading. I have opened my mind. I’ve short-circuited a belief long enough to gather information from my own experience and own inner knowing. If nothing else, this allows for a willingness to maintain an open file on the subject rather than slamming the door shut without thought.

What if we don’t always easily perceive extraterrestrials due to our own and probably sometimes their own frequency bandwidths? Not to mention the perceptually limiting nature of our beliefs? If I believe ETs are not real, then its possible that I’m walking right past them, or not seeing their lights in the sky, or not hearing their communications. Our minds filter out nearly everything in our environment – background noise, what the chair feels like against my arm, what the rug smells like, et cetera. Filtering and ignoring input that doesn’t make sense or isn’t immediately useful is a generally unconscious mechanism, certainly necessary to avoid overload or insanity. If we encounter something that simply does not fit anywhere in our mind’s construct of reality, it seems likely that the information will most often simply be passed over. Ignored. Not always, but probably often. Our beliefs will often filter out what the mind has no comfortable place for.

The point of this ponder is the power and potential limitation of unexamined beliefs. Its been said that we spend our childhood learning many things, and our adulthood unlearning them. What do we know and what do we believe? How often do you think that you know something, but upon examination find that you only believe it? How many times do we even pause long enough to ponder and wonder about this distinction?

Research has shown that people trust their instincts, and that their instincts most often prove out to have been mistaken. Our unexamined beliefs can be powerful, but that doesn’t mean that they lead us well.

We may believe that this is good and that is evil. We may believe strongly that this is right action and that is disaster. We believe that we’re right and the other is wrong. We believe that the chair we touch is solid and that dreams are not real. We believe that our lifestyle is more responsible than another’s, or less interesting. We believe that we cannot create a cat or a cloud or a mountain. We believe that we’re wiser or more valuable than another, or dumber and more worthless. We believe it’s more valuable to know than to not know. We believe that dogs are real and fairies are not.

But what do we truly know? What do we know through our own inner knowing and through our own personal experiences?

And what if even our knowing can change?

Becoming more aware, paying attention in a new way, begins to open doors in the mind. Opening doors in the mind has the potential to lead to understanding ourselves in a new way, thereby changing our experience. One gateway to opening awareness can come from paying attention to those nearly unconscious default beliefs. Re-imagining perspective. Pondering things that we thought we knew, and being willing to sit in the wobbly space of not-knowing, content to observe without conclusion.

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What is Water

Here is the beautiful, rough & raw voice of David Foster Wallace talking about applying impossible things in the everyday world … What is Water

It can be unimaginably difficult, as Wallace says … on the other hand, our own expectations are sometimes what makes choosing our awareness seem difficult.

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Practice … if we don’t expect to get it right every time, if we’re kind to ourselves and gentle with ourselves even when we can’t get to that place of choice in awareness while we’re enduring the tedium and frustrating petty annoyances of the world, … if we can accept ourselves without judgment even when we fall short of our goal, perhaps our inability to be “perfect” becomes sacred as well.

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Guidance: Other or Other Aspect of Self?

I’ve received a question so many times now, I’ll try to answer it here. The question has come in two forms:

“You’ve said that you don’t know whether the information that you receive when you channel comes from another being, or another aspect of yourself. Can you explain that?”

“You’ve said that during a ‘soul retrieval’ you might be retrieving parts of yourself. What do you mean by that?”

yupo painting2First let me say that I, like each of us, am limited in one way or another by my beliefs. Although my beliefs about reality may be much broader than many, I still have some limiting programs running, and those beliefs color how I perceive and understand reality, information I receive, and who/what I interact with in other focus levels or dimensions. This must be taken into account when you read this, because while I may seem to have clear access to information, I really have an access that is as clear as I can make at any given moment.

With that in mind, when I perceive other beings, whether that’s during a reading, when I’m channeling, or when I’m helping disincarnates, I perceive them as separate from myself, as other. A conversation is like a conversation with another person in this physical focus in that it’s back and forth exchange, and what the other person/being ‘says’ is often unexpected, or information that I’d have no way of knowing. I do perceive them most easily as Other.

In my understanding, however, my perception of them as one thing doesn’t mean that’s true. It could be only accurate as far as it goes. My perceiving us as separate doesn’t guarantee that they’re not also aspects of my Self, or that I’m not an aspect of them.

We assume that we are the individual conscious awarenesses of personality that we’ve been taught to understand ourselves to be within the thought systems of our cultures. I am this. It seems possible to me, however, that our definition of individual is just one choice of understanding or perception, and based on perspective. Change the perspective, and the definition of individual might also shift. I am also one part of the consciousness of “Woman,” “American,” “Sudman,” “archeologist,” or “writer.” I may be one one part of the consciousness of “anger,” “amusement,” “healing,” or “pig-headed.” Pig-headedness as a consciousness may think it’s pretty funny that I think that I exist and can function as an individual without the Pig-headedness consciousness, just as we would think it were pretty funny if our left hands all decided they were individual and could function and be individual even if separated from our arms.

That’s one awareness that I bring to Me or Other. I’ve experienced it in two forms, and so it sits. I don’t really understand it intellectually, but I feel it.

Another awareness that I have is that we attract or connect with that which resonates with our “chord” or energy signature. If I focus on a “place” where I connect with people who have passed over, I’m unlikely to be led to or drawn to or find disincarnates who are resonating at a frequency that I’m not holding. Or at a harmonic of that frequency. So far in my experience, whomever I encounter is likely to reflect an aspect of myself. I seem to connect with a lot of soldiers and other war-related disincarnates, and emotionally abused women and children and animals, those with an amusement and bemusement about themselves or their situation, those who are rather indifferent to their fate and are content to sleep or tune out or hold some state of suspension, for instance. In connecting with these people, I also connect with aspects of myself.

Are these people other or are they me? They may be both. That’s difficult to conceptualize because our learned perspective is that something is one thing OR another. I am this individual, Natalie, or I am other. Moving between worlds, I’ve often encountered situations where something is both this AND that, contradictory in our view of reality, yet making perfect sense outside of our perspective.

When I channel information, I perceive other – a being or beings who are giving me information, or actually speaking through my body. When I help disincarnates or interact with disincarnates, I perceive them as being separate and distinct from me. That’s what I’m most comfortable with from the perspective of being Natalie, and that may be what my beliefs support. Yet I try to keep my mind open to the awareness that my perspective is one limited perspective that may be accurate as far as it goes, without being true.

I may be holding the elephant’s tail, unable to perceive the whole elephant of my Self.

Our inclination is to find definitive answers. Our culture and science encourage and value definitive answers, definitions, proof, a big theory of everything. I’ve found that there’s value in sitting within not-knowing. Allowing myself to wonder without demanding or requiring a definitive answer allows me to expand my perception, open up to something I may never have imagined or something that defies my beliefs. Pondering without requiring full understanding or systematized definition can lead to experiences that expand my perception beyond current limits.

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Who’s in Charge: Application of Responsibility

We are each our own Spiritual authority, and it seems of paramount importance to me that we each maintain an awareness of that.

I don’t have the definitive answers to the questions people ask me when they’ve read my book. I often answer the questions – sometimes because they’re fun to think about, sometimes because answering them helps me to think something through in my own mind. I don’t expect people to just take what I say as gospel truth, though. I would hope that they don’t. I would hope that each person will understand that what I say is just one person’s idea (mine). If they’re then inspired to think through some idea on their own, open up to a new possibility of experience or perspective, examine their own experience or be inspired to ask new questions and perhaps look for an answer in a way they hadn’t considered before… great. The circle moves – others’ ideas have done that for me too.

But I’m not anyone’s spiritual advisor or guru.

I was doing a psychic reading for someone awhile ago. I saw what looked to me like a job involving metal, electronics, high tech, with this client in a position within this environment but moving between individual people, interacting with many of them on a rather brief and superficial level. That is generally how I described this scene to the client. I then went on to say that this appeared to me to be some sort of position in a company that dealt with computers or some equivalent high tech. When I said, “does this make sense to you?” the client said no. I asked them to think about it, and moved on.

Later in the reading this client told me that they were considering a job as a flight attendant.

Look again at the raw description that I gave this client: job involving metal, electronics, high tech, with this client in a position within this environment but moving between individual people, interacting with many of them on a rather brief and superficial level.

If this client had been maintaining her own authority over what she was taking in, would the client have said no to my asking if this made sense? The pieces were there for both of us to put together into the flight attendant. Yet all the client responded to was my incorrect interpretation of the information that I was receiving – they gave up their own authority of interpretation, going right along after me in my mistaken summary of “computer industry.” If I’d been walking toward a cliff, would they have ignored the clues in the environment and followed me over the edge?

(I learned something from this experience – that was exciting for me!)

We each have our own perspective from wherever we happen to be standing at this moment or in this lifetime or in this Whole Self. I think we ought to own that place, wherever we are at the moment. In order to responsibly take in and digest or pass on by what someone tells us, we ought to pay attention. We have to pay attention on behalf of ourselves. Don’t give up your own authority to someone you think is wiser or more experienced just because they seem wiser or more experienced, or just because they have wisdom or experience in an area that you don’t. Don’t walk off a cliff after them. Pay attention to what you know too, not only what they seem to know. Ask questions but be willing to ponder the answers; take in information but be willing to reinterpret it if necessary; look for answers to your questions, but be willing to get the answers in unexpected places or ways, or one small slice at a time, or all by yourself. Don’t give up your own authority. Don’t give up your power to me or anyone else.

She said authoritatively – ha!

Some young soldiers that I know are a constant inspiration to me. When they want to know how to do something, they ask someone how it’s done. They take a shot at doing it themselves, think about it a little, then they ask more questions.

They don’t need to be proficient the first time, and they don’t expect someone to give them all the answers. They’ll try it on their own and see if they can figure some things out without help. If someone gives them bad or useless advice, they don’t get angry or treat that person disrespectfully (at least to their face!), they thank them and walk away, looking for someone else who might have an insight that they can use.

They’re not looking for a guru, just a teacher. They’re not abdicating their own authority, they’re engaging the information. They’re taking it in and evaluating it, trying it out, and then either practicing it until it’s their own skill, or dropping it and moving on.

There’s nothing wrong with asking what others think, what they know, or looking for inspiration or insight in others’ words and ideas, or in books, nature, music, wherever … there are lovely ah-ha moments available there. We often learn and grow through interaction with others. But learning does not mean a flat out submission. Real learning requires engagement – an interaction between what you already know and the new information.

My advice: Don’t give up your authority over your own spiritual life. Take responsibility for shaping it. Shape it consciously and with attention and respect for yourself. It’s your journey: no one else can say what the best route or the best speed is for you. Only you know that. Only you.

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