Saturday, April 25, 2015

Create or Discover?

We don't discover our life purpose, we create it.

Often we know what we want to do, but allow interference because the interference allows a reason for postponing action. Going forward takes courage, so the reluctance is simply a fear of failure.

If we have thought about resuming something that we once were good at and we felt good about, then doing that again will inspire us and stimulate good feelings about ourselves. So why not do it?

If we have been thinking of writing, playing an instrument or taking dancing lessons for some time but not acted on it, what stops us, fear that we might not be great? True, not everyone will be great, but with practice, we can be good, good enough to entertain ourselves and others.

And what if we have often had thoughts of starting our own business? If we take steps in that direction, doing what needs to be done and perhaps starting by doing a few small projects before tackling bigger ones, we can find a way to manifest our dreams.

Thoughts that keep coming back to us are ways that our spirit guides communicate with us.

Whether it is about expressing our creativity or starting a business, we already have a feeling about what we really want to do. We already have a feeling about those things we are good at or want to be good at. We know that being good at those things and going ahead with our dreams will also be helpful to others and enhance our relationships with people, so it is not that we do not know that.

We just have to act on those thoughts. Yes, there may be times when we have to give some thought as to what is next, but once we have that vision, the next thing to do is act on it. This is how we create our life purpose.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Our Foolish Experiences

I feel the vibrations of life moving along faster all the time. I know that many of you are feeling it too. It seems as though we are inspired to make decisions quicker and take action on things we have been postponing. All this is good because it clarifies our focus.

Some who have undergone a sudden shift in careers are still adjusting. Some who have been muddling along in relationships that are unsatisfying have decided to opt out and search for a relationship that is more spiritually and emotionally aligned with their persona.

During these times of transition, we may often catch a glimpse of old traumas, feelings and thoughts  that need to be healed so that we can move on to greater freedom and happiness.

Times of turmoil often present us with opportunities to find out what we can do. Challenges force us to dig deeply into our perceptions of ourselves and our situations to discover ways to resolve our difficulties and discover talents, skills and abilities that have been dormant. Once activated, we find that we are able to see things differently and recognize opportunities that we had not previously seen because our previous circumstances may have obscured our vision.

When difficulties have interrupted our life, we may have let that instance make us feel like a failure, but that is not the truth. What appears to be a huge setback can actually be a way for spirit to get us to stop, step back, take a deep breath and examine other options which can lead us to an evolved state of consciousness.

Consider for a moment the character of The Fool in the tarot. Although the first impression of many viewers is that this character is foolish, stupid, childish. Not necessarily. The dog is warning him or her not to fall off because he or she is busy letting his mind wander rather than watching where they are going.

However, the image could also be that he is stepping to the edge to enjoy the view. I once had a hiking buddy who would sit on the edge of cliffs, with his feet hanging down, eating a sandwich while taking a break. That was a bit too edgy for me, so I sat back on a rock and enjoyed the view without sitting on the edge.

Another thing we see in the picture is that the fool travels light, with only a small bag. He is out to experience and enjoy life. For a large portion of history, people would live and die within 20 miles of where they were born. Some still do. My mother has lived in the same house her entire life, while I have lived in several different parts of the country, learning new terrain, different customs and traditions and making new friends. When travelers are about to set out on their journey, the ones who are staying put often warn them that "it is dangerous out there. You don't know who you will meet or what will happen to you." This is true, and not necessarily bad.

Of course, many of our journeys that are more introspective cause people to think that we are foolish. Friends, relatives, lovers and others may question why we would want to learn about past lives, reiki, dreams, runes, tarot, psychic development and other subjects they view as "far out." But the journeys we take by reading metaphysical books, taking classes, or participating in groups stimulate a different kind of growth that comes from exploring our own inner resources. Some people simply have only learned to see things one way.

For example,back when I took up drumming as a spiritual tool, I bought my drums from a drum shop, and the owner of the shop asked me if I was in a band. When I told him no, he looked puzzed. "Then what do you want to buy drums and rattles for?" he asked. I told him that I like to play drums in circles with friends and that anyone who wanted to join in with us was welcome and I brought more than one drum to the circle both to experience different kinds of sounds and also so that people who didn't have a drum could borrow one. He responded that he had never heard of anything like that before and asked why we would want to do that. "Just for the fun of making music together, and building connections with new people, a simple way of creating unity with a bunch of strangers." Eventually he came and checked it out for himself and he really liked it, becoming one of our friends, and gaining new customers. I smile whenever I remember this because originally he could not imagine what we were up to because it was a whole new world view for him.

Another view of The Fool as depicted by different artists, is that he is a very powerful character because even though he has learned many important life lessons through his variety of experiences and his life journey, he knows that he does not know every thing. Our life journey is both internal and external. For all the lessons we may have learned, we know that there is still more to learn.

One of my favorite illustrations of this principle is the World Card from Ciro Marchetti's Tarot of Dreams. Here we see the fool, further along in his journey, still the fool, the adventurer, the traveler, the explorer, with many miles behind him, yet many more to go. This is an example of why some scholars say that the fool is numbered as zero, because he or she is both the highest and lowest card in the deck. The fool can pop in and out of sequence at any time to learn lessons and then continue on to the life journey which is never ending.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Why I Like Stand Up

Laughter certainly is good for us, and it feels like it. Comedy is often hard to recommend because one person's idea of funny may be totally different from someone else's.

I think that stand up is the highest form of the art because when a person is doing that, they are engaging the audience and entertaining using nothing more than their wits, their voice, and their body language to put on the whole show. They have to be sharp and dancing on that razor's edge or else the audience will know it right away.

The best are always coming up with new material and the ones who show up and simply repeat what they have already released on video will disappoint the audience.

I have also noticed how some who are great at stand up can become stale and boring in sitcom type shows.

And on the other hand, some comedians tear up those sitcoms and crack us up so hard that the audience wants more and we really get to see them cut loose on the road in a stand up role.

I appreciate these performers who can crack us up on laughter using only their wits. I think that is what keeps them sharp. I think that one of the reasons that sitcoms can get boring is that they have these scripts that crawl from the set up to the punch line and sponsors who may want to make sure that none of the jokes are too edgy. Sometimes they depend on the music, the sidekicks, straight men and props to carry the moment which can bury the real comic genius under a blanket of fluff.

Listening to a bit of stand up can lift the spirit and mood of a day pretty quick for me, and then I can always share the good times by retelling the jokes to someone else. What a great way to spice up a day or a conversation.

Ernie Banks & Picasso

When Ernie Banks passed away recently, I had this sudden recall from my youth because when I was growing up, I was an avid Chicago Cubs baseball fan and Ernie was for years, one of the most outstanding players on the team.

Later on, back in the 1970s, I worked for one season as a security guard for the Cubs. And that was a fascinating experience from a whole different angle.

Memory works in strange ways some times, because the incident my memory landed on was this.

Back in the 1960s, Chicago like other cities, was adding art to public places, so of course, going for a big name since they are a big city, they hired Picasso to create an original work of art.

I was at the unveiling, and I remember people in the crowd looking at the Picasso saying "what an ugly piece of shit! What a hunk of junk! We should have put up a statue of Ernie Banks and it would have cost a whole lot less."

There are a lot of us who still agree with that assessment.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Inspiration in the Atmosphere

I am working out every day, getting fitter and healthier all the time. I am motivated and will not allow myself to get lazy. And I notice that by doing so, I develop a rhythm to my days.

There is something I notice, and perhaps you have noticed this too. When I am working out and there are lots of other people working out, the whole place has an elevated energy level, so that even though I am doing different exercises than they are, I feel more energy from the whole atmosphere and it pushes my performance up a notch. That's a good feeling.

It is inspiring to know that I am succeeding in my goal and at the same time notice that other people are working to improve themselves too. We all have goals and we are working toward them, going about it differently in the shared space and there is a common sense of determination to do what it is we came here to do in the company of like minded spirits.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Keeping the Faith in Ourselves

One of the trickiest parts of achieving our goals and dreams is not to give up when we hit a speed bump or someone throws us a curve ball. If we keep the faith in ourselves and the goals we set, then we focus on our vision and keep moving into it.

The most important principle to remember is that all things come from either fear or love. When we choose from love it is always our best choice. Choosing from fear is always a lesser choice.

During my time developing my business, I have frequently been tested in this way. For example, when an opportunity came my way that I felt was not quite right for me, I passed on it, and within a day, other opportunities came my way. This has happened several times over the years. I keep reaffirming my vision and that energy of “like attracts like” brings more good developments my way.

Aligning with your vision is a very important thing. There are practical actions we can take to make our dreams come true, such as putting up a good website so that people know what we are about and what we have to offer. Handing out business cards to people we meet and attending events that appeal to like minded people are certainly positive steps toward bringing our dreams into reality.

Whenever we find ourselves presented with a choice that does not really suit us but we fear that if we do not take this option that we may not get any other good offers, then we are letting fear make our choice. Times in the past when I gave in to those fears and did something that didn’t really align with my vision, I usually regretted it. Time wasted acting out of fear is time not spent in a more positive way, in alignment with our dreams.

Notice how when we choose from love, even if the progress we make is small, we feel good because we know that we are making progress. When we choose from fear and people see us doing something else they begin to wonder if we changed out minds and we wouldn’t really rather be doing something else. So the signals we send out can start to put out a “like attracts like” message in a way that leads us away from our goal rather than towards it.

Obviously, some visions take a longer time to manifest, and we may be heading toward that goal by taking small steps at first. So whether you are at the stage of taking small steps rather than big ones still keep reaffirming your vision. Eventually small developments lead to bigger developments.

Another important thing to remember about this process is that sometimes we may discover that the way we make progress toward our goal may vary from the original plan. The important thing is that if our goal or vision for ourself is something that we really want then we will find a way to get there. The thing is that we may be provided a different route than the one we originally planned. As long as we see it leading toward our goal, rather than away from it, this change will serve the purpose.

Sometimes it is hard for us to keep the faith in ourselves because we may have a belief that we are not smart enough, strong enough or good enough to achieve higher levels. Perhaps others have said things like this to us in the past. That does not make it true. If we accept these judgements that others have put on us, then we are allowing these obstacles to block our path. We have the power to remove these self imposed limitations. We have the power to change our beliefs about our selves.

Notice what happens when you give yourself permission to succeed. Notice how all of a sudden this person who was told that they are not a good dancer is suddenly dancing and enjoying it. Notice how this person who was told that they were not a good singer way back when they were younger, all of a sudden is standing there singing and other people are enjoying hearing it. Notice how the person who thought that they didn’t have what it takes to be a salesperson now sees no obstacle being a great sales person now that they are selling something that they really believe in. Notice how a person who didn’t think that they were strong enough or creative enough to start their own business is now running their own business and making a living with it.

When you keep the faith in your own vision, you are giving yourself the gift of a happier life. And doesn’t it feel better to choose from love rather than fear when aligning your thoughts and actions with your vision? Remove those self imposed obstacles. Keep the faith in your self.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Interwoven Fabric of Reality

We all have those moments when we look back at our life and try and second guess the choices we made. We wonder how our life would have turned out if we had taken this job instead of that one, or if we had chosen to form a relationship with this person instead of that one.

Yes, there certainly are things we have done that were triumphant, brilliant and beautiful and there are other things we have done that were mistakes, errors in judgment, and screw ups.

Thinking like that is nothing more than indulging in fantasies because we are who we are now because of the sum of all the choices we have made in our lives. We can start over fresh right now by making new choices, we can refocus and rededicate ourselves to setting out on a new path now.

In my own personal journey, my path took turns that I had not planned on. For example, years ago I worked for a corporation that transferred me to different cities to work. These were raises and promotions for doing excellent work. However, personally it meant moving to places where I had no friends, no relatives, nothing but the job they sent me there to do.

So during the weekends I looked around for interesting things to do and meet new people. In one city, my best option was to join Sierra Club, go to their meetings and go hiking with them. That opened up a fresh perspective in my life, not just getting out and getting some great exercise, but also seeing other perspectives on the world that were totally separate from anything I did in my work. I began to notice more aspects of nature than I ever had before. I got a close look and listen at stuff that usually would not have captured my attention, and found that extended experiences like that were very calming.

In another city, I went to my first psychic fair and had my first readings. I had no expectations because it was an entirely new experience for me to be in a room with a whole array of different kinds of readers and healers. I not only got my horoscope chart done for the first time, but I also started getting massages regularly. Who knew? I didn't grow up in a world where people did these things. I had been experimenting with doing tarot readings myself before then, but I regarded it as a hobby or experiment. I didn't know that there were all these kinds of people doing this stuff professionally all year round. And I was amazed at what I discovered.

So I began to assimilate these new experiences into my life on a regular basis and little by little, the old me evolved into a new me. The old me that used to like to go to bars for drinking and dancing was eventually replaced by someone who liked to take long walks, do more readings with tarot cards get astrology readings and massages.

Then later on I was working in advertising and just to add a little variety to my life, volunteered to write articles for a metaphysical magazine, a music magazine, an arts magazine and a book review magazine. I craved other assignments besides writing ad copy and brochures. Then one day my mentor at the metaphysical magazine died and they asked me to become the editor and take his place, and I got paid to do it. So my life changed again. Who knew that fun would turn into a work opportunity?

So then my whole schedule became busy with meeting and interviewing all kinds of people, trying different things, going to workshops and talks, experiencing rituals and experiments in living that I had not known about before and being totally immersed in a world where all this was normal every day. I was always learning how to do new things myself because of this. And then I was responsible for giving other people assignments that changed their lives and mentored them as they changed. I helped create events as well as publications. Who knew?

As I look back, I could have taken different career turns, moved to other parts of the country, formed relationships with different people. But I did not. I made my choices, and that is why I am here now.

When I was younger, I never had any inkling that I would ever make a living reading for other people or doing healing work for other people. On another level, these arts that we choose to practice may stir something undefinable up inside us, something that hints at deeper meanings, profound lessons, and realizations that emerge out of the fog and darkness.

The level of communications from spirit, we are in a zone that electrifies our senses. There is a quickening and excitement of suddenly getting a flash that lets us see in a different way.

Reading cards, healing with reiki, doing house blessings, mentoring writers, reading without any tools, helping to mentor people as they shift into more positive thinking and exploring possibilities, our visions expand as our horizons expand. There is an aphrodisiac quality to it all, to be in love with life to be able to go beyond the immediate to the other currents that swirl around us and energies that flow through us. There is a beauty to the way art opens the soul and touches our core.

Sometimes there is humor as the meanings unravel themselves, and sometimes there is sadness at the changes. Whatever the specific answers to specific questions, there is always a mystery to the process as we unwrap these gifts from spirit.

And who knew years ago that the path we were on would lead us here now? When it looked like our path was defined and there was a track to follow up ahead, we thought we knew. Then when we shifted our path, whether by design or by accident, everything changed. Even our mistakes became opportunities.

This is what synchronicity means. There are no accidents in life. We are just not always able to see the pattern until someone else helps us see, then the whole world looks different and we change the pattern of our life.

I am happy to be where I am now. Are you happy with where you are now?