Align with your soul.
Connect with your higher self.
I often wonder what people are talking about when these words are said/written. After all, who is it that is doing this aligning and connecting? I would want to know all about that part of me!
However, it seems that people identify as being a personality and see that personality as the central point when referring to themselves, not soul. In this case, I define personality as the way you present to others, including talents, shortcomings, personal tastes, and choices.
I would like to suggest to you that personality is not the sum of who you are. Soul is the real you, infinite, eternal, and vast.
According to the Cayce Readings we as soul were all created at the same time, along with all other energies. You can find a wonderful description of how we made it into bodies in the appendix of There is a River by Thomas Sugrue, if you are interested.
We also hear people saying “you are a spiritual being having a physical experience,” but then go on to write as if the physical experience and personality are the primary perspective.
I would like to say again, You are Soul, an energetic being.
The body and brain have their own agendas and often do their best to shut out your guidance. Also, when we identify with personality, we see these ways to rebuff soul's guidance as our personal shortcomings, shadow self, etc. As you can see from the graphic below, there are many ways the body/brain use to rebuff the energy coming from you.
What we have to do is to bring the body and brain under our wing, so to speak, and express ourselves through them. The graphic below is a brief overview of what life is like depending on which is primarily in the driver’s seat during a given lifetime.
People learn to be soul at A Place of Light.
Ownership is a western concept that, along with power, causes a great deal of anxiety and trouble. Ownership is, after all, tied up in power. “This is MINE, and you can’t have it,” is an often-heard opinion from many a two-year-old; and, unfortunately, those who are much older.
Ownership and the desire for it are the cause of many a war. I-want-your-land/oil/riches-and-I -will-have-it-one-way-or-another. During the 1960’s Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter wrote a song about this level of ownership.
Ownership creates attachments, what the Buddhists say is the source of all suffering. Some people actually define themselves by what they “own,” rather than their spiritual way of life: money, land, businesses, cars, etc. Yet when the floods, fires, and winds come, they discover how fragile their “ownership” is.
The entire western economy is based on feeding the notion of ownership. Buy this; buy that. If you have this particular thing, you will be happy and fulfilled. Yet, in reality, people are feeding the hungry ghost within, a being representing a need that has a huge belly and a tiny mouth and neck. It can never be full.
Even worse is when people think they own other people. Even parents, because they see their children as “theirs,” have been known to impose their dreams and desires on their children rather than allowing the children to be their own selves. If you are interested, Kahlil Gibran offers us wisdom on the alternative. On Children by Kahlil Gibran - Poems | Academy of American Poets
What if we could take a look at the indigenous way of practicing our relationship with other entities? In the indigenous way of life, we are only caretakers. We take care of what is in our lives until it is time to pass it on to someone else to take care of it.
What if all of nature was something we needed to take care of? What if all the objects present in our lives were something we needed to take care of until it was time to pass it on to someone else?
Minimalists say that we only need 100 things in our lives. If you're like me, you have that many things in one of many “junk” drawers!
Take some time to consider ownership and how it plays out in your life. Far too many people are themselves “owned” by the hungry ghost of ownership.
What about you? Are you free?
Power can be so dangerous
Power is a terrible concept when it comes to relationships between sentient beings. It is also a western world idea that has wreaked havoc on our environment and international relations.
The word itself dates back to around 1300, coming from the French word, pouer, meaning "ability, ability to act or do; strength, vigor, might" especially in battle.
So, from the beginning it had to do with conquering. Conquering is not acting in harmony with the energy of the universe, which itself always seeks to balance. The energy of the universe is always shifting between forms (think of a sun and a supernova). Energy follows certain laws of physics that play out to create and shift between forms and formless. It is not about power; it is about laws that may result in powerful transformations.
I always shudder when someone asks "well, what powers do you have?" My answer is always none which confuses people given what I teach. People have the ability to work WITH energy, but they, in and of themselves, have no powers. When we work with energy, we create a third thing, which may be knowledge/wisdom/insight, healing, movement, or some other change.
While all of these can make you feel very powerful, it is not about us. It is about us working WITH energy. For example, anyone who can read a recipe with confidence can bake a cake. But it is not us baking the cake. Rather we combine certain ingredients and put them in certain conditions. The ingredients react according to the laws of physics to produce a cake. If we do not put these ingredients in the right conditions, we can end up with a sodden mass or a burnt ember.
Sometimes when we work with energy and do not have the right knowledge (recipe), we can end up with a dangerous situation.
Thinking we have or attempting to use power puts us out of alignment with the natural order of things; and thus, we are eventually doomed to fail. Power is a thing of the brain, and the brain is concerned with control. While the brain is wonderful at its job of controlling bodily functions, with everything else, we must have the brain working with whatever we have at hand.
Practice removing the word power from your vocabulary. We do not have power over anything outside of ourselves and nothing has real power over us. Instead, think about how you can work with people and the environment so that everyone wins.
Also, remember that you are never powerless; but that is a topic for another blog.
My Experience with the Chakras
I sat in meditation with the chakras.
Feeling of nothingness, empty space all around. The beginning is the breath, inhaling air into the belly.
Breathing out, a grounding exhale connects to Mother Earth. I feel Her energy fill to the bottom of the Spine.
Sitting in this warmth is feeling like sitting under the sun on a bright sunny day. The orange color is turning brighter into a beautiful yellow color. As yellow and bright as the sun, it brings with it passion, intent and power with more continued breaths. I feel the intense desire to bring this passion to life, the feeling of creativity. This yellow is getting calmer... the feeling as if a seed has been planted.
The green is calming and turning into a beautiful blue color. Blue and calm energy like that of a trickling stream or a babbling brook.
Feeling the water, there is a sense of trust. The blue color is getting louder and now feels vast like the Ocean. The Ocean, wanting to be heard, crashes its waves back and forth, loud and passionate with force for all who listen. Crashing against the beaches and rocks on the shores.
As I continue to pay attention to this beautiful and intense purple shinning from the lighthouse, with each continued, slow breath it gets brighter and brighter, turning lighter and lighter in color. The feeling is as being birthed from mud, pushing up through the water into a beautiful lotus flower. Feeling the lotus bloom, awakening every sense from the mud to the air and continuously circling as it expands into the Universe with its perfect expression of being, carrying my consciousness with it.
The weather is changing. If we watch closely, we can see the flowers turning to seeds, the fruit dropping to create new life in the ground, the chipmunks hoarding seeds in their burrows. The squirrels making winter homes in our attics… (well, I hope the squirrel thing is NOT happening!)
It is a time of harvest. The warmth of the summer’s sun has been made available to us in the fruits and vegetables of our gardens and farms. In this part of the world, we are gathering to prepare for the cold days coming ahead. We can do this more easily because we are assured that those days will end and spring will return in some fashion.
The world is transforming. New colors seem to appear overnight in the trees and bushes that will have only quiet, unadorned branches. Flowers that had become little bits of fruits are not full and ready for us to store for the days ahead. The trees either have adapted to the cold or shut down so that they might survive the cold.
We know it is coming, so we prepare in our city ways. Some of us stack wood for the wood burning stoves; others of us make sure our furnaces are cleaned and safe. We find our winter coats, may even hopefully checking for the change or bills that were left in the pockets from last winter.
Some of us may preserve what came from our gardens. Others of us just lament the lack of relatively inexpensive fresh fruit and vegetables. We make sure the snow blower is working or that the handles of the show shovels are still attached.
BUT we prepare. WE know what is coming. It will be cold. It will be harder to get around. There will be real work to be done just to get out of the house at times. But we also KNOW it will end, so our time of winter is not overwhelming. Spring will come eventually.
Did you know that some seeds need to be frozen in order to germinate?
Likewise, some of our strengths and realizations of deep truths only become germinated in the winters of the soul. Only when we are stripped bare of all our adornment can we see our true selves.
And within the core of each of our true selves, there beats a life force that is always below the frost line. It does not go away.
That force is the thing that Americans found for a few weeks after 9/11. It is the thing that makes us jump into rivers to save people we never saw before. It is the thing that makes us forget all our societal concerns and only know the force that makes us alive. It is what makes us cry at sunsets and be in awe every time a baby is born and every time someone draws the last breath. It is available to us at every moment; we only need to look for it.
How do evergreens stay green even in the time of winter? They have learned how to take care of themselves! They have developed chemicals within their leaves that make the freezing point much lower than what they encounter during the season. They have developed needlelike leaves to keep from dehydrating. Thus, because their leaves stay with them, they can produce food throughout the winter.
We have to decide what we believe in. And then we really have to believe it, live it. Beliefs are not something to wonder or talk about. They are to be part and parcel of our every word, thought, and action.
So, we find a way to help ourselves to be reminded of what we believe. If riding a bike calms us, then that is what we do, even if it is just an indoor bike. For some it is singing. For others it may be painting. For another it may be prayer.
What works is not important except that it is action and not numbing our despair. What is important is that we find a way to center ourselves and practice it so that the winters of our lives do not freeze us in despair.
What is your way?
This is an especially difficult time for those of you who are empathic as the combined moods of everyone may well affect you with bad dreams, overwhelming fear, and/or anxiety. Here is some valuable information as to how you can help yourself on energetic, dietary and safety levels.
I want to remind you to stay grounded. Here is a video that can help you practice this.
At the end is a grounding exercise that has proven helpful to many. When we are grounded, energy cannot affect us as much.
I also want to remind you of how your diet can help you. The Cayce Readings tell us that we cannot get sick if our system is alkalized. Here is a link to help you identify which foods will help your body to alkalize.
The Readings recommend that 80% of our diet consist of these foods. I can testify that in following this diet for decades, I do not get sick with colds or flu.
Some more helpful information is also around prevention.
If you are finding yourself overwhelmed with feelings, please contact us. We will work with you on this without charge.
We are conducting our classes and events online whenever it is possible and postponing the events where this is not possible.
We are all in this together and all of us at A Place of Light are here for you.
Take care and remember that while the danger is real, fear is a choice.
On Feeling Free
Feeling free is essential to enjoying life and to receiving intuitive messages. I find I can best express this in poetry rather than prose!
tonight i hold it gently
gently, so it won't spill out
gently, so i can drink in its intoxicating joy and flow with the
universe and soar,
soar back to my dream and become lost in the celebration of the reality of my existence
and my perception of the goodness of living
for life is a treasure, and this moment is a treasure.
This poem came to me after I felt this way sitting in the backyard swing under a weeping willow tree at twilight when I was 15. It is a feeling I never wanted to lose and have clung to ever since, even though there were times where only the slenderest of threads connected me.
But that was enough. I kept my focus on that enormous freedom and wove other threads to the single connecting line until the connection was once again strong.
When in the midst of this kind of freedom, everything is possible. The trust in the immutability of the laws of the universe is supreme. The trust that all will be well if one lives in harmony with those laws is unshakeable no matter how much society suggests otherwise.
For me, joy is equal to feeling free.
Yet, you might wonder what is this way of life free from? Another poem, written when 17, explains this
Mama – tell me – what is the devil?
Ah, child, such questions, but I shall answer.
The devil is what makes us
smile and say “it’s just a stage” about that which we know to be evil
place more importance on the end than the motive
measure success with material things
desire an A, not knowledge
comply so others will accept us
say, “you can’t change the world; you have to accept it as it is”
afraid to cry out, “Yes, I can change it; and I am.”
But, Mama, that’s what teacher calls society.
Yes, child, that’s what teacher calls society.
Mama – tell me – what is God?
Ah, child, such questions, but I shall answer.
God is what makes us
do our best and nothing else
demand and expect only from ourselves and no one else
know that what we are and have is ours uniquely by our choice
want to give to whomever sees fit to receive
strive to the heights of any dream we dare conceive
But Mama, that’s what teacher calls self-worth.
Yes, child, that’s what teacher calls self-worth.
Mama – tell me – what am I?
Ah, child, such questions, but I shall answer
You are only
what you want
what your mind conceives
what you choose to learn from others and hold as being worthy
what you can accept as being yours
what your self-imposed limits allow
what you dare to be.
But, Mama, can it be real? Is it possible?
Knowing the Truth
This meme is a powerful reminder to me about one of the primary beliefs I hold.
Truth is an exacting master. It stands alone and cannot be changed. However, when we are not equal to the totality of it, we only see bits and pieces. The mind attempts to interpret what is seen from what we know and almost always gets it wrong.
A graphic example of this is our knowledge of the truth of fire. If we are only equal to its truth of burning, then we will indeed be burned when in contact with fire. However, if we are equal to fire itself, then it cannot burn us (think Daniel in the fiery furnace) for we become one with it.
In another example occurs when we see a flash or get a symbol intuitively, we have to wait for the truth to reveal itself. We almost never do have the patience for it to be made known to us. Instead we jump on Google to find out what someone else has to say about it, which is seldom if ever the truth of its meaning for us.
Only in the silence of our minds can we hear truth’s voice.
How do we know when we have perceived a truth? Most people get a physical feeling. I have heard it called getting goosebumps, a washing, a flow, prana, Kundalini energy,, and "me tingles" (the last from a British, Spiritualist friend of mine). That is when we know what we have either heard, said or thought is a truth.
Yet there are different truths. We each have what we perceive as the truth for us, and that perception creates our world.
Yet there is also the truth of each entity. This is what we teach in class here at the center… to know each entity as it exists before words, before someone has laid a meaning on it that may or may not be a truth.
Returning to the meme, we can only see in others whatever truths we know. If we grew up in a family of liars, it is very difficult for us to believe someone is telling the truth because we are unfamiliar with it. If we grow up in a family that is exceedingly honest, it is very difficult to detect a lie for we do not see that as a possibility.
Most of the time, whatever we say about others is simply a reflection of what we know about ourselves. We cannot see what we do not know.
The closer we align ourselves with the truths that come from the place before words, the more harmonious our lives are.
I woke up one morning sort of in a funk. Eh...maybe not a funk...that might be too strong of a phrase. I wasn't sad, tired, or upset...but I was something and that something was enough for me to take notice and acknowledge it.
Whatever it was, I didn't like it. I didn't want that to be how my day started. Now from here I didn't necessarily consciously do something specific. If anything I guess I just kind of mentally made a resolve and released it out into the universe...that whatever this feeling was, it was not welcome.
As the morning progressed I seemed to be running into delays. Nothing major; I just ended up leaving my place later then I wanted to, having the gas gauge remind me I had to get gas, etc. Because of all of these things, I consciously thought, "Ok, I'm gonna relax and slow down. It's not like I'm really late for anything."
While I'm pumping gas, I looked up at one lone tree across the street. Its leaves were in the process of changing color. What really struck me though was as to how...dull the tree looked. It wasn't this full, bright, vibrant autumn yellow, but rather a pale-yellow, faded-green, orange-ish collage. I thought to myself how pretty it was even though in a more traditional sense it may not be the most picture worthy scene.
As I'm driving on the highway, I couldn't help but notice the glory that is Autumn in New England. The trees were all sorts of beautiful shades of Fall.
Thinking about it now, that whole scene could be viewed as a macrocosm of the tree I saw earlier...but that would lead to a whole different discussion
Anyways, from that point on, the rest of my day was great. That moment of simply witnessing my surroundings and perhaps experiencing something larger then myself really seemed to take away whatever that feeling I had from the morning.
IT IS NOT ALWAYS WISE TO LISTEN TO ONE'S THOUGHTS
This story is a favorite of mine; I have forgotten from where I heard it.
The rain was coming down furiously and the man received a flood alert on his phone. Calmly he went about his business, thinking "God will save me."
The rains continued and the river at the foot of his property, approaching the second floor of his house. As the man looked out his second story window, he saw some people in a rowboat calling urgently, "get in, we don't have much time." The man shook his head and repeated, "God will save me."
Now, having climbed up to the roof, a helicopter above him dangled down a ladder, but still the man shook his head and thought, "God will save me."
The man drowned.
When he met God, he asked God, "why didn't you save me?"
God responded, "what do you mean? I sent you a flood alert, a rowboat, and a helicopter!! What are you doing here?"
Now, what happened to the man was that he was paying total attention to the world his thoughts were presenting and not to what was actually happening around him.
I have another real life story about this. I was recently rear ended and when the other driver explained himself, he said, "I did not think you were going to come to a complete stop."
He believed his thought created reality rather than what was actually happening in front of him.
The Buddhists say that this is the source of all suffering, and I am inclined to agree. We develop expectations and perceptions of certain people or events and pay attention to that rather than to the actual person or event. Thus racism, sexism, phobias and all other misunderstandings arise, making us feel angry, fearful, and other sorts of unhelpful emotions.
What is more helpful is to take a real look at exactly what is happening, exactly who this person is and respond in a helpful manner to that. If the situation is awful, then we focus on a solution rather than how awful it is. None of us would want a first responder who is weeping, wailing and/or panicking over the circumstances we lie there broken and bleeding!
So let's see ourselves as a first responder to all our present moments. We calmly assess what is happening, who this person is in his/her heart, and respond from a place of love and compassion. Our lives would be much simpler.
The words found here were written by the caretakers of APOL and students