Tag Archives: spiritual

Inner Story

inner storyPaul Rademacher (A Spiritual Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Universe) has just premiered a new electronic magazine called Inner Story.

Inner Story Magazine publishes tales of ordinary people encountering mystery and wonder beyond normal awareness. These stories of transcendence, dreams, wisdom, enlightenment, guidance, and more seek to expand the readers’ concept of what is possible and emphasize the importance and frequency of expanded perception. In these first-hand accounts, readers will also find validation of their own non-ordinary experience, tips for integrating expanded awareness into everyday life, and will also be able to connect with a supportive community.

Inner Story has beautifully written articles and essays, thoughtful interviews and more … worth checking out. This is a well-thought out and beautifully executed magazine. (Might make a nice Christmas gift.)

Currently, Inner Story is only available on the Apple iPhone or iPad, but Paul and his team hope it will also be available on Android devices during the first quarter of 2014.

To read more or to purchase Inner Story for an iPad or iPhone click here.

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Why or How, Which Is The Question?

A number of clients lately have been asking me the same question: “Why is this happening (to me)” The implication or follow up questions suggest the assumption that if one can figure out why something is happening, one can then stop it or turn it in a different direction.

A more valuable question is often, “How do I best handle this?”

It’s easy to get tangled up in psychobabble and left-brain analyzing when hunting for a “why.” It’s possible to create more difficulties and confusion than one started with due to the tendency to pick oneself apart, criticize, judge and doubt.

Sometimes when I dig for a “why,” I end up sinking myself in the past, in events or interactions or relationships, hunting a solution. But they’re past. They require no solution, or letting go may be the solution, or the solution lies in a new choice of action or reaction now.

When I say to myself, “It is what it is; how do I best handle this?” I’m offering myself a choice: do I act or react in the way I might usually act or react, or is there another choice. There may be a choice that leaves me feeling better about myself, or an option that feels right even if it seems to run counter to logic. If I sit with the question for awhile, I may find that I’d like to do X but fear the outcome. This gives me a chance to practice following my inner knowing, letting go of the outcome, allowing myself to trust myself. Trust myself to experiment, learn through experience, even to fuck up … the experience will still be valuable even if it turns out not to have been the best choice. I’d have tried. Or not – maybe I go ahead and do the not-scary thing this time while I begin to let go of that particular fear by practicing on decisions and choices that seem small and less scary for awhile, building my confidence and honing my skill with this new way of expression or interaction.

If a “best” choice isn’t clear, why worry? Make a choice and let go of the outcome. Consider it an experiment. Pay attention to what happens inside and out, then next time you’ll have a little more information to go on. Because there is no end, it’s all good even if it doesn’t look so from this physical world point of view. Pat yourself on the back for living, exploring, experimenting consciously and with attention.

Often the “why” is answered in experiencing the “how.”

That’s my reminder to myself today.

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Filed under Explorations, Musing

A Fun Story of Success from a client

M wrote this note to me a couple of weeks after I did a reading for her over the phone. The note explains some of the topics that she was concerned with when she called me. She has graciously agreed that I could post this – thank you, and woo-hoo, M! You’re rocking it … !

“I just wanted to tell you that I got a job!!!!!!!!!!!

“This all happened very quickly.  I saw an ad on LinkedIn last Thursday for a [job position] with a big A/E/C company of 6,000 employees.  I responded, fill out a questionnaire from their HR Recruiter, and also on their website.  Turns out their Director of [X] was in [my town] for a few days, and wanted to meet with me.  I interviewed with them last Friday (4 people), and it went very well.  Over the weekend, they asked for references, and salary requirements.  I got the call yesterday that they want me to come onboard!!!!

“I have to tell you a few things:  First, I found out yesterday that my extended unemployment benefits are ending this Saturday, July 7th.  This is a state-wide mandate.  I had read about this happening a few weeks ago (when we spoke) but thought it would end in September for me.  I had no idea this was going to happen so quickly.

“Secondly, I had a bout of fear last Weds.  Bad.  Got really upset about things not moving forward.  And then I remembered what you had said…that my spirit had a few jobs lined up for me, and all I had to do was open the door.  I starting thinking about what that really meant, and what came up was all this fear about working again, because I had lost a few jobs in the recent past, and went thru the mill emotionally with it all.  The last f/t job I had I was fired in, which turned out to be a big blessing in disguise (terrible company), and justice was served to the people who tried to do me in… they got fired, too, 6 months later. 🙂  I realized that I had to own what I’ve done in the past, in terms of accomplishment… that I really was good at it, and that I had to blow through my fear and nail this job.  I also went to church that day and prayed for help in doing this.

“And when it came time for my interview last Friday, I was determined to nail the interview.

“I think that’s what you meant by opening the door, Natalie.  Being ready.  Knowing I can do it, and wanting it to happen.  Up to that point, I had been ambivalent, and wasn’t addressing it properly.

“So… the Universe heard my requests to stay in my home, help me find a decent job, and to find it fast.  And OMG, was this fast!!!!

“Natalie – God bless you.  I have shared this story with a few of my friends, about our reading, and they are blown away.  I am now a FIRM believer of all that is possible, but more importantly, in trusting and in knowing that the Universe is trying to always help us.

“I cannot get over the perfect timing of all this.  Uncanny, and not of this world.

“You gave me many tools to help my life move forward, and I’m using them. And becoming very aware of how to push fear aside and trust.

“Bless your heart.  And thank you. xox”

***

thanks M – very cool story of creating your world by applying “impossible” things 🙂

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Related shameless promotion: For a reading, call 520-686-1391 or email inyantrace@gmail.com to request an appointment. Cost: $50/half hour, $100/1 hour

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New Art

 

Instead of writing, I’ve been painting … check out the new work on …

http://www.nataliesudman.com

 

Available through Davis & Cline Galleries, Ashland Oregon

http://www.davisandcline.com

 

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Filed under Current Affairs

The Object of Our Attention: Perspective

This morning I opened the garage/studio door early in the morning to give baby seedlings light. (My garage serves many purposes – perhaps another story for another time.) I left the garage door open while I went back indoors for a couple of hours. When I had reason to go back out to the garage, I found a hummingbird flying around near the ceiling. The hummingbirds have been flying into my garage lately, looking around. They usually fly right back out.

When hummingbirds are frightened or confused, their escape route is up. If trapped in a garage, up doesn’t get them out. Sure enough, as I stood and watched, the hummingbird made its way all around the ceiling of the garage, stopped to rest on a shelf, then took off to try the same loop again.

So I went and got the red glass feeder that hangs near the front door. Standing under the hummingbird’s resting spot on a shelf, I held the feeder about six feet off the ground.

It only took a few seconds for the little bird to see the feeder. She flew right down and began to drink. As she hovered with her beak in the feeder, I slowly lowered both the bird and feeder until they were about three feet off the floor so that when the bird was through drinking (and panicking), she would see that big garage door escape route easily.

And she did. She flew right out the door and across the desert.

At one point while I was lowering the feeder, the hummingbird stopped drinking, perched on the feeder and looked around. She looked a little bit ruffled, and was breathing hard and shaking just a little bit.

 

Fear is such a strong blinder. One whole wall of the garage is open to the wilds, yet this bird couldn’t see it. I’ve watched a hummingbird fly frantically around under the peaked roof of a picnic pavilion for more than forty-five minutes, only eventually escaping by perching on a long stick someone held up high. When the bird rested on the branch, the branch was lowered to the ground. That bird had four open directions to choose from, but it couldn’t see any of them.

Hummingbirds are wired to go up to escape, and apparently they’ll go up until they collapse or die.

I think that we do similar things. When we look for an escape from a situation or event or issue in our lives, we look where we’re wired to look. Whether we’re wired through socialization, through conscious learned behavior, or just through the quirks of our personalities, I think that we sometimes miss an obvious route because we can’t even see it. I know I’ve stood in one place beating my head against a wall more than once.

Robert Monroe, an engineer and businessman who traveled extensively out of body (Journeys Out of the Body, Far Journeys, Ultimate Journey) tells a story of leaving his body, having some adventures traveling fast and far, eventually coming up against a wall. (I probably don’t have the details right, but the idea is accurate.) While investigating the wall, he began to feel his body calling him back.

Monroefelt absolutely certain that the way back to his body was in the direction of the wall. Home, his body, lay beyond the wall. So he tried to get over the wall, under the wall, around it this way or that way. He tried to go through it. He wasn’t able to do any of those things. He was stuck. He called for help, increasingly desperate. He screamed for help, sobbing. No one came to help him.

Eventually, exhausted, he collapsed against the wall. He was still feeling desperate and frightened, but he decided to apply some logic in spite of his fear. He thought, “If I can’t get around it or through it, I’ll have to turn back. I’ll have to go away from the wall.”

As soon as he thought that, he was whisked back to his body. 

The way home for Monroe was available all along – he was just focused on a different direction.

When I hit a wall in trying to solve something that I consider a problem, or when I’m trying to understand the best course of action, or what something in my life means, I’ve found that it’s  sometimes useful to notice how I’m thinking about it, then ask myself questions.

I’ll give an example of what I mean, though this example will be based on someone else’s story (details changed enough that it’s just a story).

A woman wakes in the night to find her grandmother and grandfather standing near her. They tell her it is “time for her to go.” She thinks they mean she is going to die and must go with them. She’s frightened – panicked. She refuses to go with them, and argues with them about it for a long time. Finally the grandfather agrees, telling her they’ll return later.

The person who told me the (a vaguely similar) story wanted to know what this experience meant. She was (we’ll pretend) fixated on the fear that they would come back to take her away.

I couldn’t tell her what the experience meant (or didn’t look – I wouldn’t have told her even if I’d been able to see it). Instead I asked her questions. I asked first whether she felt the story turned out well – she had talked them out of taking her, right? What are the implications in that – free will respected, or she has more power than they do, or orders are negotiable, or something else?

Then I asked her whether she really knew that they meant that she would die, or was that an assumption on her part? I suggested that the point of their coming might not have been to actually take her away, but to incite her to argue for staying – to get her to notice that she wanted to be in the physical world. Perhaps within that was a chance to notice what about death frightened her, or what about life was of such beautiful value that she would fight to stay, or some other message that I wasn’t seeing but that she might.

I said that maybe in thinking about these questions, she would find some other questions or notice other things that I hadn’t thought of, and through that process she might find the meaning of the experience on her own.

If she asked someone else what the meaning was, if I told her the meaning of the experience for instance, then she would have two questions: What is the meaning of my experience? And: Can I trust this person’s interpretation?

I didn’t want to pick her up and shove her out the garage door. I thought it would be more valuable to her if I only tried to nudge her in another direction, letting her notice a new view on her own. Maybe she would notice a crack in the wall and prefer to go out that way instead of out the garage door. Maybe it was of value for her to go out the lower right corner of the garage door instead of the center I would have shoved her through.

She was, like the hummingbird, perfectly capable of flying out the door on her own. She just needed a little help getting herself off the ceiling. Sometimes we all need that.

I can’t always find the right questions to ask myself, the questions that will open up a new way to think about an experience, event or issue. Most of the time, though, if I stop panicking and just sit down, take a breath and empty my mind in spite of the fear,  sooner or later I’ll either notice that gaping garage door or something or someone will nudge me toward it.

Sometimes all it takes is a little different perspective.

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What to ask the Dalai Lama

If you could meet the Dalai Lama and ask him any question that you wanted to ask, what would that question be?

This question floated into my mind today while I was playing in the studio. It could have been asked of any teacher, healer, wise wo/man: Jesus, Madame Blavatsky, Mohammed, Saint Theresa, the Buddha, whoever (why am I having trouble finding wise women’s names?? That is wrong). The Dalai Lama just happened to come to mind, I suppose because many people that I know revere him and either have met him or would like very much to be in his presence.

While pondering an answer to the question, I had to admit that I don’t care if I never meet the Dalai Lama. I don’t feel a strong craving to touch famous people, be that person Jesus or Johnny Depp. Well, okay, there are reasons it might be fun to meet Johnny Depp … yet if you meet a famous person only once, what’s the point? They won’t remember you five seconds from now. It’s not as if their ‘magic’ will rub off on you. Their magic belongs to them.

The few times that I’ve embarrassed myself by craving the touch of a famous person, it was because I felt that I was missing something in myself. That wasn’t true – I wasn’t missing anything. But I believed I was, and I think on some level I believed that by touching the famous person I would somehow become valuable.

If I still believed that I was missing something, perhaps I’d want to meet the Dalai Lama. Does it sound arrogant or ignorant to say that I don’t think that he knows anything that I don’t know? I don’t think that he knows anything that I don’t know. Or anyting more than is available to any of us. He only knows where to find it within himself. And even that is something that we all have the ability or capacity to do – find our own answers within ourselves and our own experience.

I don’t think that I would learn anything by being in the Dalai Lama’s presence unless I created that something myself.

I imagine thousands of people ask the Dalai Lama weighty questions: What is the meaning of life? How can I solve this problem? How can I heal? What is reality? How do we save the planet?

When I try to imagine asking these questions of him or anyone, I’m left feeling dead inside and slightly depressed. The questions sound meaningless, empty and desperate, when asked of another person. Why would you ask these questions of someone else? If they told you the answer, you would still have to find a way to believe them.

 

I would rather sit in silence and wait for the answer to come to me. Even if it took the rest of my life. Then when the answer came, I would really know it, not just believe.

If the Dalai Lama and I happened to be introduced, I’d be pleased to meet him.  I suspect he’s a kind and interesting man.  That’s something different than having a longing or strong desire to meet him, isn’t it?

Here is what I’d really like to ask the Dalai Lama if we happened to be introduced: Would you like to go with me to feed the ducks?

I think that he would enjoy feeding the ducks. It would be a nice relaxing break from all the Big Heavy questions.


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Review of Application of Impossible Things

Jim Szpajcher Book Review: Application of Impossible Things by Natalie Sudman

I read this slim volume, which on the surface of the text was an account of her experiences while in an expanded state of consciousness as a result of being in an IED blast in Iraq. She packs a lot of data into her few pages, and offers a lot of food for thought about the way that humans, as spiritual beings, interact on many levels of consciousness. I would rank this little book on the same shelf as Bob Monroe’s “Journeys Out Of The Body” in terms of exploratory scope. If she were to continue on with her work, I would not be surprised to see her model/ construct become better defined, in much the same way as Monroe did in “Far Journeys” and “Ultimate Journey”. As a study in altered states, Sudman offers a contrasting study which compares (favorably, to my mind) with Michael Newton’s “Journey of Souls” and “Destiny of Souls”. Sudman’s book is not light reading, but it is definitely worth the effort.

 

(Thanks Jim!)

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The Heart & Heart Chakra, Part 2

We now speak of the mind in the heart. Is this an optimal residence for the mind? Of course it is, and of course it is not. The mind, or awareness, will not be confined to the heart, nor is it necessarily wise to move entirely from the point of view of the heart at all times. Would you choose to move through life with the mind primarily residing in the shoulder blade or the knee? This sounds nonsensical, but we assure you that seating the mind in the heart, at all times or primarily, is equally pointless. The heart is no more the natural seat of the mind than it is the natural seat of love. Or the heart is no more the natural seat of the mind or of love than is the big toe or one hair on your head. It is no LESS love than any of those other points, either. They are all one, all equally aware and connected, of and creating and crated by the All That Is, which is Love.

That said, there are different perspectives of awareness that may be gained by moving the mind around from one point to another, be that within the body or outside of it. This you know, for you do it constantly, shifting from here to there, in and out, around and through. The heart has its perspective; neglecting its awareness would be a pity, but moving from it at all times would cause one to be missing other perspectives. There is a possibility of becoming imbalanced.

Some that profess to be wise in the ways of energy have said that if you are always in your head, you will become out of balance, and urge people to move from the heart. Well, a place for the heart is necessary. Yet we would say that if one is always in the heart, is it not obvious that it too will create a certain imbalance?

We would suggest that one move around, to and through many points, aware of that movement, becoming acquainted with their expressions within one’s own body and existence in the physical. We would suggest that one try this and choose it or not for themselves. As one comes to know (be well acquainted with) the perspectives, one may also begin to become adept at utilizing the heart at this time, the knee at that time, the head at another, the hand in that situation, appropriately and to one’s benefit (and therefore the benefit of all – and All.)

If, once acquainted with many, one person is then most comfortable moving primarily from the heart, that is well. It may be that “moving from the heart” serves that which this person chooses to explore and expand in this incarnation. If, however, this person then believes that this is the way and the truth for all, they are mistaken, for each finds his/her own path and they will not be the same paths as each other.

 

(To Be Continued …)

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Filed under Channeled Info

The Heart & Heart Chakra: Part 1

What follows is a conversation about this subject that I had with my gang of friends who currently occupy the non-physical levels … (who might just be me, or aspects of me, who knows. I’m just not sure yet.)

My request: Talk to me about the heart, and the heart chakra.

We know where you would prefer start, but let us begin in another position and work our way to it. We would like first for you to see from one perspective, then another, with the implication that there are yet other viewpoints, and all of them complete and valid.

The heart, as a physical (ahem*) entity, could be viewed as a manifestation of the Whole Heart. In other words, all are one heart, and that one is a consciousness in and of itself, as well as being many (all) hearts. This is not quite Truth but is accurate. Neither is it quite the understanding of those who speak of “one heart” but they are close enough to work with this.

From this perspective, it matters not whether you “open your heart” for that is a nonsensical instruction. Your heart cannot be anything other than what it essentially is, which is an individual heart, and also a participant in the One Heart, which is of All That Is. The heart is always “open,” for it can be nothing but by its nature. What people mean by this is not to open the heart, but to open the conscious mind to the awareness of the heart.

And so, through “awareness ” … we meet the mind. The current cultural picture, whether individuals realize it or not, is that the mind resides naturally (sits most naturally, works most naturally) in or through the brain, or in the head. This is an erroneous assumption. As you know from experience, the mind can be anywhere – anywhere within the body, anywhere within the world, anywhere outside of the world, for it is Whole, it is consciousness, limitless. It is at home anywhere, for it is everywhere.

(to be continued …)

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Coming on Bio & A&E this summer …

A couple of weeks ago I participated in a program at The Monroe Institute (TMI) that was filmed for a new show coming on Bio and A&E channels this summer … here’s the  TMI blurb … I’ll let you know when the show will air as soon as I find out!

The History Channel spends a week at The Monroe Institute!

On March 9th, a group of young cameramen arrived at Robert’s Mountain Retreat to spend the week capturing the experiences of thirteen participants during the Lifeline program.

UnXplained is a new series that is featured on the Biography Channel, as well as A&E. After Executive Producer Russ Stratton, attended a Gateway Voyage Program several years ago, he immediately knew that it was important to share this experience with the world.

After years of planning, he brought his film crew of five cameramen to capture this process in action during a Lifeline program.

For the entire week, thirteen participants from all over the world, were filmed as their journey through the Lifeline program unfolded. Belief systems were reframed, parts of Self were reclaimed, and many experienced assisting souls to the light.

By the end of the week, the crew had become part of the group and even listened to a few of the exercises with the participants. The participants got great enjoyment in the excitement on the their faces as they explained what they had experienced.

Over 100 hours of footage were taped during the week. Now editing and confirming data is in process, the finished film to air possibly this summer.

The bond created between participants and the film crew was nothing short of amazing and some crew members are very eager to return as participants themselves!

The episode is scheduled to air late-July or Early August. Stay tuned for the official date so you don’t miss out on the premiere of a very exciting week caught on film!

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