Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lifetimes Within Lifetimes

Tonight is a time when some spiritual traditions remember those they know who have crossed the veil this year, and for me this year, the veil opened a long time and stayed open. I could sense the opening earlier than usual, and more powerfully than usual.

During this time, there has been a growing influence in my reading sphere, opening the way even deeper. Saying farewell to those who have crossed always feels like it brings the closure to just the right note.

Since this is a perfect time for reflection, it often seems as if there are lifetimes within lifetimes. When I think back on certain segments of my life, it feels as though I have lived more than one lifetime in this lifetime, and that it might actually have been some other person who lived through some of those other chapters, since I no longer feel or look like that person now.

Have you ever noticed how often when you listen to a recording of your own voice, you ask, "Do I really sound like that? Is that really my voice?" Yet how many times do we look in the mirror and ask, "Do I really look like that?" Photographs really startle us at times, when we do not easily match our photos with our memories.

It is almost easier at times to recall past lives and match our experiences and feelings to those long ago stories. Oddly, sometimes it seems easier to believe scenes of a life hundreds of years ago in a different time and place that it is to believe what we were doing 20 or 30 years ago. Sometimes we may feel strongly that we wished we had made a different choice at various turning points, but of course, it is never possible to go back and change them. All we can do is choose to proceed with full focus from where we are now to where we would like to be next.

At each juncture, we have the power of free will and free choice, and so if we have drawn wisdom or inspiration from our past, our powerful positive or negative motivations can shape what is next in our life.

What a perfect time to reflect on our past and peer into our future. Just as the colorful fall leaves give way to reveal the skeleton of the tree underneath, so our colorful stories give way to reveal the essence of our life.

I love pumpkins, pumpkin pie, violin music, red wine, smoke and colorful leaves. And I love all the stories, all of the stories, the magic of how the same story you have heard or told before may mean something different to you this time.

It is magic, isn't it?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Navigating Through the Scary Parts

When we have come to a turning point in our lives, and our plans must change, navigating by our feelings proves to be our most reliable guide. As we tune into a consciousness other than the everyday consciousness, we can see openings that we did not see before. Pathways appear and open. As part of this process, we find ourselves letting go of our previous plan.

Courage is what are calling on when we proceed even in the face of fear, going ahead even though we have doubts. That is why taking risks causes us to get goose bumps and opens our senses to a hyper-aware state. Every breath awakens us to a more intense state of awareness. Our eyes open wider, our hearing becomes more acute, our sense of the energies all around us becomes fine tuned. It is love that that gives us the strength to face fear and embrace change. Fear may give us a jolt and make change necessary, but it is love that allows us to proceed along our path to nourishment, healing and success. Our heart is the true center of our body and soul, and our feelings are the heart's messengers.

Knowing that does not mean that we do not feel fear. In fact we feel it deeply, because it is the other motivator in our lives that is as powerful as love. At times, those two power sources can run side by side, propelling us through the gates of our next peak experience, over the top of our next threshhold.

If we follow our feelings from the jolt, we will be able to find our way through the scary parts and manifest an even better future. Radical change is like that lightning bolt that illuminates, electrifies, and spurs us into action.

If we have lived a life where we are used to getting what we want, we can become scared when we are jolted into change. If we have lived a life where we are not used to getting what we want, it can be scary when we manifest what we do want. Either way, we are summoned to continue our journey.

Halloween costumes and haunted houses can be scary, but not nearly as scary as setting off on a new path and making radical changes in our life.

Whether we are putting on or taking off costumes and masks, moving forward on our path may require yet another change in identity. Which of these identities is temporary, and which is permanent?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Journey of the Heart

Our heart is our center in so many ways. It is the midpoint of our energy systems. It is our source of courage and strength. It is the symbolic heart of our love life, our relationships. It is where our feelings are most powerful. Giving and receiving love keeps us alive and vibrant. When we feel pain or joy, it can be felt there most powerfully. How can a person live without being in touch with their heart center?

Do we have reservations about opening our heart? Past experiences can cause that. In our heart is the memory of our love life. In our heart lives the record of our feelings. We may have even forgotten specifics over time, we navigate by these traces of the maps of our lives. Over time, some of the images and pathways have faded, but being human, we pursue the paths to joy and make efforts to avoid the paths to sorrow, although these can never be completely separated. Love and loss are intertwined. Healing comes when we follow the strongest paths to love most of the time.

Love can move us along pathways that we did not know were there before. At times we are explorers discovering parts of our own map of our bodies and souls that we did not even know were there.

We may have been operating earlier in our lives on the theory that there are certain ways that love is always expressed. And sometimes, rather than lose our contact with love, however tenuous, we search every corridor of the heart, looking for ways to keep it alive.

Some bonds, once forged, are so durable that they are indestructible. Part of our life experience is this journey of the heart, feeling our way along these pathways, knowing what we know by having lived through every moment, and moving along, step by step, in the flow of life, whether or not we can see where we are going. It is about the journey.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

You Are Enough

How many times in your life have you faced the thought that you are not good enough, smart enough, beautiful enough, or desirable enough?

How many times have you wondered if you are not enough because someone else was chosen for the job, the relationship, or whatever else it was that you were seeking?

How many times have you wondered if either your best years were behind you and that your best opportunities have already come and gone?

Fortunately, none of that is true. That is fear talking.

You are always enough.

Perhaps if you chose a different goal, you would get exactly what you want. Perhaps you have been defining your success by someone else's standards and that is why you allowed yourself to feel that you were not enough.

Are you working from your own definition of a good relationship or someone else's? It is possible that you can have a good relationship even if it does not look like what your friends, neighbors and relatives are doing.

Are you working from your own definition of a good job or career choice, or someone else's? When you have felt like you were not enough because someone else got the jobs you wanted and were well qualified to do, perhaps it is time to set a new direction. Perhaps it is time to see whether that hobby or special interest of yours can become the source or a source of your income.

If you redefine your vision of relationships, you can find yourself in the position of plenty and have gratitude for your success, rather than feeling like you are not enough.

If you redefine your vision of what you do to make money, you can find yourself in the position of joy and success because you are setting your own standards instead of trying to live up to someone else's.

Never give up. Let go of the idea that you are not enough. You are more than enough. You have more going for you than you realize.

Let the love come through you as you affirm that you are enough. You always have what it takes to have joy and love in your life.

This is love talking. Listen. Now feel it. You are enough.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Power of Making Love Visible

Healing often takes place in forms that we do not recognize, because our tendency is to think of healing as more obvious and physical.

When feelings need to be healed, there are many ways to go about it. Often it is the love, compassion, kindness and cooperation that help heal.

But healing can also come through flirting, gentleness and creativity. Healing that needs to be done is often the common kind, the residue of divorces, end of relationships. Death presents different kinds of losses to heal, as do losses of career or jobs.

Loss of feelings is something that is sometimes visible on a person's face and body language, but some people are good at hiding it, and you cannot tell that they are in the process of healing too.

So here is a suggestion. Whenever you are in a position to be helpful to someone else, just do it because you can, and because it circulates good energy in the world.

Reiki and other forms of energy healing certainly do help with emotional healing and usually once a person tries it they can feel it.

For those of you with a partner, try expanding that feeling of warmth, gentleness and softness to your lovemaking. Make time to include this and notice what happens. Feel how the sexual healing expands and nurtures.

For those of you currently without a partner, try making more eye contact with the people you meet. See their souls light in their eyes. Offer them heartfelt compliments, and encourage them in any way you can.

Let go of the limiting notion that there is one perfect person for you but they are hidden somewhere. There are many people in the world with whom you can share good feelings, good experiences, joy and love. Viewed in that light, the world is abundant.

If we keep viewing our lives as some kind of a challenge to meet and marry the perfect person, we may be doomed to a life of searching for needles in haystacks.

Healing hurt feelings is a function of people extending love, joy, compassion and cooperation to as many people they come into contact with as they can.

We do have the power of making love visible. How often do we use it?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Reading Within, Reading Without

Today, I was thinking of a situation and was going to draw some cards to read on the matter, but then I remembered I did not have my cards with me. So I did what came to me automatically, and just focused on the subject and let the answer come.

Of course, I have done this before, and it is always part of my readings that what comes through is not always what exactly is on the cards. Many people understand that the cards are gateways through which messages can come. Some people see them as visual prompts, focal points for the person requesting the reading to focus on and let their mind start to work on their issues even before the reader speaks.

There are times when I tell a person something, they ask me what cards told me that, and sometimes the answer is that it was not coming from any card, but rather from one of my spirit guides who told me to give you this message. Of course, there are also times when the literal interpretations of the cards do convey exactly the right message for this person at this time.

I have noticed recently that more people are asking me questions that do not require the cards, and in fact, for some answers, the cards are not needed at all.

Of course, you know that there are many psychics who do not use cards, runes, pendulums, I Ching, crystal balls or any other kinds of tools to connect with spirit and relay messages to clients. Mediums, channelers and straight psychics are other names for working this way. When messages come through touch, it is called clairsentient, when it comes through hearing, it is called clairaudient, and when it comes through seeing it is called clairvoyant.

Our comfort with using tools is both for the comfort of the client who might like to think that there is a logic and methodology to what we do. And there is to a degree, but there is also a lot coming through that psychic connection, which is not about logic, and is more deeply rooted in an ability to feel or sense.

The more we attune ourselves to be the tools, the more reliable our connections to our sources. For the reader, the tools are often familiar props that serve to set the stage until the senses connect and take over.

We go within in order to go without. I always affirm before a reading that I will bring through something that is useful for this person at this time.

For readers, learning to work within and without is part of the necessary development of really being a reader. It takes practice and it is not always easy to learn, but if you truly want to be able to do good readings, it is essential to learn. Like every other talent or skill, some will be born with more than others, but for the most part, it is the refinement of the skill through practice that brings the readings to life.

You have to read within in order to read without.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Is Your Mask and Costume Temporary or Permanent?

Right now, the weather feels perfect for the mood and the time. Leaves are turning colors, it has been a bit rainy and overcast. Samhain and the Day of the Dead are approaching, and our thoughts turn to wishing those who have crossed the veil a good journey into their next phase of life in the spirit world.

That task is one that feels so right to do. It is good to honor those whose company we have enjoyed in this life. It feels like something we need to do in order to move on and let them move on.

Of course, the mood is not all somber. There are fabulous parties where people create costumes and masks and enter into the altered state induced by the trance of the change in appearances. For that brief time at costume parties, we get to be someone else and see how it feels to view the world from a different perspective and have the world see us from a different perspective.

In these brief windows when we don masks and costumes, part of the persona that may be kept hidden much of the rest of the time, suddenly is brought out to play. There are dreams that lie dormant most of the time, when we want to be someone who lived in a different era, a different world, played a different role.

Sometimes, these expressions are nothing more than a flirtation with a fantasy, but then there are times when we can make these our reality.

If you can imagine a different life for yourself, that is the first step to realizing it. So is your mask and costume representing a temporary or a permanent change?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Give Me Patience, But Not Too Much

With our desire to manifest becoming more and more urgent, patience seems to be a step in the opposite direction. Patience is not easy for me.

Of course, this duality is always present. Sometimes the things we dearly want take a while to happen because certain things need to happen before we achieve our goal.

There are skills and arts that take time to develop, and so that is a form of patience. And these are necessary for success. You have to be good at something.

A related principle is that sometimes you hold things close to your chest until you are ready to share that heartfelt desire with the rest of the world. Sometimes the power of your dreams can be diluted if you talk about it too much.

At the same time, dreams must be shared with others if you are in need of their support.

Patience is sometimes that dull looking sharpening stone that brings a fine edge to the knife. Not glamorous, but necessary.

Then there are other forms of patience, like waiting for a call. That can really drive a person up a wall. To deal with the impatience, you simply have to let go and let the response come in its own time.

Although it seems like conflicting advice to act to manifest your dreams now and having patience, think about how these two seeming opposites fit together.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Our Free Will

Did you ever consider the mystery of our free will? It is the essence of why some people are atheists. The logic is there, because if we have the free will to decide what to do with our lives, what does the existence of some divine beings matter?

I am not arguing for atheism, simply looking at the topic from many angles. No matter where we are in life right now, for better or worse, it is a result of our free will. Our choices.

I personally do believe in the divine, the supernatural and believe that there are mysteries in life we cannot explain. And the whole question of what life will be like after we die is something we will never know until we get there. I don't know what to believe abou all those stories, but I certainly am not worrying about them now.

Beliefs are powerful things. They are motivators for us. We draw courage from them. Some people draw fear from their beliefs, and guilt. Other people draw joy from theirs. Whatever your beliefs, they will propel your actions.

So our free will represents our ability to either act on one set of beliefs we have formed and stick with it, or since our beliefs can also change over time as a result of our life experience, then our free will is our expression of our beliefs.

When we look at our own life, what we are seeing is the result of our free will choices and where they have brought us. Now consider that we can always change our beliefs and our free will choices, and thus we can change our lives. Right now.

We always have free will, both in wonderful situations and desperate situations. It is interesting to observe how sometimes our free will choices seem to contradict our beliefs, but of course, that is never so. Our free will choices can be nothing other than our acting on our beliefs, and our expressions of our selves. And, of course, we always have the ability to change both beliefs and free will. Most of us have. Some by a little, some by a lot.

How do you see your choices?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Eyes Have It

The light in your eyes reveals the joy in your life. See how the reflection comes back from the eyes of others? What does it take to light the fire?

Notice the people who have joy in their eyes. See how they sparkle? It is the light that is coming through, the light that shows the vision, the beauty, the joy.

Notice how when you meet someone who has that light in their eyes that you feel good about the interaction even before anything is said.

How is the light in your eyes? Do you smile at people with them, happy to be alive? Do you see a bright future for yourself? Do you see a world full of possibilities? Do you see reasons to celebrate life? Do you see other people as basically good?

There are many ways to let the light shine through your eyes. Just pick a reason, any reason, to let your eyes light up.

Do you know the way to bring the light to the eyes of those you meet? Do you enjoy trying to share that light? I know I do.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Drinking in the Music with Your Body

Music is the world. All of the world around us is sound. All of it forms a music, although we may not hear it unless we tap into it. It is in the quiet rhythm of a rainstorm. It is in the wind that moves through the trees and rocks. It is in the crackling of a fire as it reaches through the wood and builds to a roar, then settles into the glow of embers. It is the water that runs in a stream. The relaxing, enchanting sound of these elements moving through a natural course, drawing our ears into the patterns, be they subtle, and soothing or loud and exciting.

That is why sometimes I can feel comfortable just listening with no sound system on. It is also why sometimes a recording that establishes gentle rhythms and sweet sounds creates an environment conducive to a peaceful evening or a graceful awakening, where another music might bring forth an edgy feeling, or a nervousness, an anxiousness, while others simply make you feel like dancing or singing.

There is a kind of music for every kind of feeling. As our tastes change over the years, we come to prefer one or another, even though in the past we may have chosen differently.

When we are doing something that establishes its own rhythm, a task we are doing, music can help create a harmonious groove that supports that work and makes everything feel efficient. Work becomes a dance with the right choice in music.

When preparing for something that requires concentration or enhances a mood, the choice in sound makes all the difference. It can help create a good mood or destroy it.

When you notice the rhythms of your body, can you hear the music you make? When you notice your choices in music, do you notice what that is reflecting back to you? If you make your own music, or if you play a drum, can you feel what is coming through besides the beats or notes?

Can you hear what you are creating? Every breath is orchestrated, every movement is synchronized with something. Are you aware of what that something is? When you choose to drink in a sound and savor it, are you aware of how it is affecting you?

Listen. There is magic in the air. Can you hear it?

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Living & The Dead

This week someone asked for my help because a person they knew had been missing for several days.

After visiting places the person had been, touching some of the things he had worn, and then reading using the pendulum, tarot cards and runes in addition to just tuning in, I got a very clear hit that the person was dead and that it was violent, not a natural death.

Of course, this is not the message that his friends were hoping for. Yet, I sensed a sigh of relief as well as sadness.

The woman who was close to the man who was missing later confided that she at least felt free to accept the truth rather than stay stuck in the hope that he would return and that everything would be fine. Once she was able to be open to the other outcomes, she was able to begin her grieving process instead of being stuck.

Today, my reading was confirmed. He is dead and it was not a natural death.

Readings of this type and rituals for those who have crossed over are for the benefit of those who are living, the ones who are still here. Of course, we wish the spirits well on their journey, however the solace is most necessary for the survivors.

When people ask for the truth in a reading, it may or may not be easy to accept, depending on the subject. And sometimes when there is denial, it is not to say that the reading is wrong, it could just be that the truth is hard to accept.

The greatest mysteries of all are those of birth, death, life and rebirth. We may not always understand these changes and why people enter into them the way they do.

Those of us whose services are engaged to see, convey what we see and when a clearing, blessing or healing is requested, we do that for the benefit of all concerned. Understanding why a person did what they did may not always be easy to grasp or accept.

When we pause to acknowledge death, we are performing an essential act of being alive.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Joy of Living

The joy of living is not something you find. It is something you create.

Anybody can be happy when you are making buckets full of money and everything is going their way. It takes a person with a positive disposition to feel joy and find happiness when everything is not going easily.

Try this. When you feel like you are in a difficult situation, and you know that it is one you do not control, release your futile attempts at control. Notice how the burden lifts off your shoulders. Don't you feel lighter already? When things are out of your hands and they are ridiculously bad, just laugh. I just look at some of these things and say, OK, whatever. I keep on redefining my future instead of letting someone else define it for me. There is joy in that.

We all need to do whatever we can to move in the direction of our dreams. We can make wise choices about how we use our money. We can associate with people who love us, or at least like us, and will help us.

We can be optimistic about what comes next.

Now I have times when I feel the deep dark funk, the soul searching lows and down times as much as anyone else, but I realize that they are just part of the ebb and flow of life.

If you think that joy is something you have to search for to find, try this. Just decide to share a joke, sing a song, be optimistic about what is happening, and keep doing what you love, what moves you in the direction of your dreams, what makes your heart sing.

You will be surprised at how fast things will turn around. Joy is not something we find. It is not like we lost it while we were carrying in the groceries from the car or digging through old paperwork. Joy is something we intentionally create.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Excitement of What We Don't Know

Why are the things we don't know so exciting? People always come to readers to either validate something they know but want confirmation on, or they want to know about the unknown.

Actually, since the beginning of mankind, people have wanted to know what they don't know. From the cavemen who cast bones to find out how the hunting would go or how they would fare in battle with their enemies, to the ancient Greeks who made pilgrimages to the Oracles at Delphi to Nostradamus and Madam Lenormand to Jeanne Dixon, Linda Goodman, Sylvia Brown, James van Praagh and John Edward to your favorite neighborhood tarot reader, palmist or astrologer, people want to know what they do not know.

This, to me, is an endlessly fascinating part of human nature. For many of us, it is not enough to simply get up every day and do whatever we have to do, with no end in sight, no dream to move toward. If we thought that all there was to life was to have a job, pay the bills and have some food and entertainment in between, then we naturally find ourselves asking if there is not something more exciting, amazing or great that we are destined to do.

It just seems too limited to think that there is not anything greater or more mysterious going on here. We all like to think that there is a special purpose we serve, or a special task that we have to do before we die, or some other great adventure that is just around the bend, whether it is the love of our life, writing the great American novel, making our own independent movie, playing and singing in a band or whatever. There must be something coming up for us that is more than just our every day job.

The notion that amazing and exciting developments can happen to anybody, with just a twist of fate, is the very root material of most popular movies and novels. The idea that life can present us with something really jazzy just up around the bend, is what makes people want to take a look around that bend, so they ask a reader to help them see.

Sometimes what they see inspires them to do something different and change their life. Readings can let people know they have other choices that they may not have seen. Readings can help people recognize patterns in their life that they were unaware of until the reader pointed them out.

Precisely because a tarot reading, astrology, runes, palmistry and other kinds of reading are considered by many people to be mysterious, people are willing to open up to the experience. After all, it takes a different kind of seeing to see what our normal sight cannot see.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Validation, Not Fortune Telling

People sometimes come to me for a reading to get validation about something going on in their life, rather than revealing something they do not know. That may sound simple, but it is very valuable. Why?

Many years ago, when I started reading at fairs and festivals, I would often wonder why a total stranger would come to me and ask if they should marry the person they are thinking about marrying.

Consider the situation. Maybe all of her friends are telling her to go ahead with it because the guy is good looking, has money and a big house. But something inside her might be warning her off. And perhaps I am the only person who tells her that the match might not be a good one.

Of course, her free will makes the decision whether to marry this person or not.

There are other situations in which this is valuable as well. Sometimes people want a validation about a career change and when a reader simply uses their abilities to identify something that would agree with the querant's own research and decisions, once again, the validation feels real good. A neutral source just confirmed that you are on track.

Other times it may even be in the area of an activity a person enjoys just because it lifts their spirits, such as music, writing or some form of art. If a person gets validation that this really could be a good way for them to express themselves, whether or not it is about making money, that also validates their feelings about what works for them.

The important thing is that sometimes we feel like we might be crazy, especially if someone else is telling us we are because we know something we cannot prove. That validation tells us that we are not crazy. And that feels good.

Especially if the reader is neutral and does not know all the people involved or have any inside information, then the reading simply draws on the reader's abilities and the help of their tools, such as their cards.

I have seen many occasions when simply receiving that validation let the person feel supported in going ahead with what they were going to do anyway. And there is value in that.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Soothing the Throat

This evening my throat was feeling a little raw, so I knew that I needed to do few things to address it. First was the old standby, gargling with warm salt water. Then there were cough drops, cough syrup and then a few mugs of hot tea.

A hot bath with Epsom salts, eucalyptus oil and hyssop oil really felt good as well. Then I felt like something a bit more gentle for the spirit would help as well, so I chose a biography of the author and Trappist monk Thomas Merton to watch, and kept getting these little surprises throughout when they featured comments by Buddhist monks he had dialogue with, Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama.

There was also a sequence that made me smile when Merton's publishers said that they were not sure that his books would sell, and they were amazed at how well they sold. That shows a difference in the way commercial publishing works these days. Then, if the publisher thought that the author had something worthwhile to say, they would publish it even if they were not sure it would be popular. Today, the trend in publishing is to try and only print what is popular. But that does not always prove to be a winner either, because the public's taste can be fickle and ephemeral.

It was also interesting that some people who knew Merton commented that people were not always happy with what he wrote when he spoke out about subjects like peace. He had the clarity of mind to point out that his church had no problem taking a hard line stance on abortion, because they see it as the death of a person, yet they took no stand against using nuclear weapons which could kill millions of people at a time.

There, of course, were also people who had to stretch themselves to understand how or why a Christian monk could find such common ground with Buddhist monks.

In some way, the peaceful spirit emanating from this story helped calm my throat as well. I finished off the evening with some classical music which was very soothing, and then it started to rain, which is always a healing sound for me.

There are a lot of ways to help soothe physical discomforts, using resources from within and without. Healing often works in mysterious ways.

It is important to do more treatments of this sort tomorrow as well, since I will be talking a lot Friday, Saturday and Sunday, doing readings and giving a talk. My voice is important in my work.

So this is a time of charging up the batteries for a large amount of activity, so that I am ready when I need to be.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Peace of Mind

There are many ways to get peace of mind. There is a certain feeling that comes to a person finally achieves something that was difficult for them to do. When something we have worked hard on proves out. Satisfaction.

There are also times when we feel vindicated because something we advocated or predicted came true.

We can also achieve peace of mind by simply not worrying about things so much. Sometimes what we worry about turns out alright and would have turned out alright even if we had not worried about it. Notice how the power of something that had us worried often dissipates quickly when we just quit worrying about it?

Another way to peace of mind is when we simply resign our self to a situation that is not of our liking rather than fight a tremendous uphill battle. Some battles are absolutely worth it, because a great wrong has been righted. But there are other battles that would not win us any great victory, maybe just the hard feelings of others. So maybe we get to feel vindicated, but we do not win any prize.

The wise person chooses their battles and avoids as many battles as possible if there is another solution.

Peace of mind comes through wise choices, not just sitting quietly. Meditation and reflection are good. So is conflict resolution. There are so many ways to get there that I am sure I will think of more as soon as I post this piece.

In a word I guess you could say that common sense makes peace as well as anything else. Peace of mind is not as difficutl to achieve as it might appear at times. We just have to remind ourselves to stay on track.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

How We Relate

Often, we find ourselves hooked on forms that we follow because they are familiar, even if our own experience with them has not been successful.

Often times when people have relationship questions, they are thinking about getting married or divorced. It is common for a person to be looking for a third marriage even if they have been married and divorced twice already. But if your experience has been that way, a new idea might work better.

One woman came to me for a reading and when the question of two lovers came up, she announced that she would not choose between them, she would simply keep them both. Of course, some people might not agree with this approach, but trying something different is for the person looking for a different solution.

Last week, when a famous movie star died they noted that he had been married six times. And I am sure you have also read about other actors and actresses who have been married that many times. You would think at some point they would just acknowledge that that model of relationship is not working for them and stay single. But I think what is happening there is that they are really so used to seeing relationships through the context of that form, that they cannot imagine a relationship in another form.

I have met other people who are not movie stars or pop stars or celebrities who also have a track record like that, so the idea is not just about famous people.

Some people who travel a lot for their business end up separated from their partner for frequent or long periods of time. Some people enjoy it that way, some just accept that it is part of the job, and others don't like it and it ends up tearing at the fabric of the relationship.

Once again, it is how people relate to the forms. Where one person might find the absences intolerable, another welcomes them.

We are at a time when many different kinds of relationships exist simultaneously. Within this article I am not trying to discuss all forms of relationships, just the most common.

Expanding our concepts of relationships seems to be necessary. About 1 out 2 marriages ends in divorce, but 50 years ago, getting a divorce was considered a disgrace and could prevent you from getting invited to certain groups and events. So the divorce rate was lower, but that was because some people stayed in a lousy situation rather than fight the social stigma.

Today, we have more choices. In most cases, people would not think twice about whether a person is divorced before inviting them to a social event.

Now when people are meeting and discussing themselves, disclosing that they have been married and divorced before is no big deal.

It all has to do with how you see your possibilities. Years ago, it just came to me when I was filling out forms that asked me about my marital status, I thought about checking divorced again. Then I thought that choosing that word to define myself is like saying that my status is all about my failed marriage. But that is not true. I now choose the word single whenever I have a form to fill out.

Why? If you are legally divorced and available for dating again, doesn't the word single define your current state?

Use a parallel example. Would you define the rest of your life as the person who used to work at XYZ Corporation but lost their job to outsourcing, or would you present yourself to new people as what you do now?

Certainly presenting yourself as who you are now and what you do now will further you progress in creating a new career path.

So give it some thought when you consider your options and what works for you. Maybe just continuing to date will serve your social needs better than another marriage. Maybe we have set stumbling blocks in our own path if we fail to consider other options.

Maybe the woman who chose to keep both lovers is going to thrive with her choice, instead of letting one go and marrying the other.

What made me think of all this in the first place? The idea of a person having six marriages. Plus the fact that so many people express a desire to marry again even if they have had a number of unsuccessful previous marriages.

We all have to make our own choices, it's just that sometimes we offer ourselves to limited a range of choices and then insist that it must be that way.

Perhaps the person who allows themselves more or different choices will cope with the ebb and flow of life and the ebb and flow of relationships better than those who confine themselves to the limited options.

That is for each person to decide. I am just offering this observation.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Love Lessons

Why are some people in our lives? Why is it that there is a sense of destiny in some relationships? Karma? Maybe. Or maybe there is another word for it.

Because of the chemistry between individuals, some are uniquely suited to teach us lessons about love. Others may be uniquely suited to teach us lessons about wisdom.

To be a teacher of love takes a special strength because sometimes the lessons we may present our teacher would make another person run and hide. When that person mirrors back love to us, there is a resilience and determined open heartedness that shows us the true nature of love, forgiveness, and kindness that is always possible, but not always practiced.

Those lessons are really the lessons that all of us can use, but because sometimes we are stubborn or thick headed, we might only be able to accept those lessons from some people, not others.

In a perfect world, I guess everyone could be a teacher for everyone else, but realistically, we have to be open to receiving those lessons. And the chemistry between us and other people might not inspire us to be open.

Some teachers might go so far as to say that all lessons are lessons about love, even if the lesson is about wisdom, or craftsmanship, business or relationships, the lesson is always about love.

To some degree that is true. If you love your work enough to do it well, that is craftsmanship. If you love the people you do business with, you show them love. If you care enough to study a subject to learn it well, that is also a labor of love.

And relationships? There are some people who insist on showing us love even when we screw up, either deliberately or accidentally. That love is quite amazing to behold and to experience.

Are those people who can show love born with that ability or do they learn it? I would say both, although it is fair to say that we all at least need to be reminded once in a while, and pick up a lesson, whether it is the hard way or the easy way.

Babies are born simply as givers and receivers of love. What they learn along the way in life influences how fluently they continue to give and receive love. There seem to be millions of variations in how much people are able to give and receive love. Since we are not all uniform in any other way, I guess that is just natural.

This piece is to thank those people who showed me the way to know this.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Written in Stone?

Last night I was listening to an interview on the radio with John Anthony West who has done a lot of controversial research on ancient cultures. For example, he says that the sphinx was actually created by some civilization the preceded the Egyptians and that the erosion on its exterior was done by water, not wind. Of course, people who have a vested interest in their theory of the past don't even want to discuss this.

This type of reaction is not new. I was raised in the Catholic church and went to Catholic schools. We were taught that Catholicism became as big as it did because whenever people were introduced to it, they regarded it as so superior to whatever came before it, that they just abandoned those old ways and joined it. Of course, later in life when I read other history books, I discovered that this was not actually how it all happened.

Göbekli Tepe, located in Turkey, is the site I heard them discussing, so I looked it up and saw the photos. It appears to have been an ancient temple made of stone pillars 10-15 tons each, carved in raised relief with figures of various animals and people. Ground penetrating radar shows that there may be 18 more similar structures adjacent to the one that is unearthed. They estimate these sites to be older than the pyramids of Egypt or Stonehenge. Much of this work was done under the direction of the German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt.

Such a huge endeavor had to be organized and directed by a powerful person. A powerful vision must have been behind this work, and either the people agreed with this vision and worked toward it, or they were forced to work on it. The other obvious fact the stones give us is that these people had to be very skilled to carve raised relief figures into the stone columns at a time when other historians and archaeologists would not credit people with having tools to do such work.

Now the next amazing thing about this site is that someone then buried it under tons of dirt, which actually helped preserve it.

So the question we are facing is this. Why would people spend the immense amount of time and energy necessary to build such a complex, and then cover it over with dirt and abandon it?

A possible explanation could be this. Perhaps the political or religious structure that caused its creation later fell out of favor and people moved on.

Compare that to the structural changes in our society right now. At the beginning of the US, everyone was a farmer, craftsman, merchant or trader. Cottage industries were how most people made their living.

That was until the industrial age, when factories became the major employers and people quit working on farms or in home based businesses to go to work for the large employers. And that structure stayed in place until our present time.

However, as we now see major corporations closing down their US factories and offices in order to hire cheaper labor in other countries, the US workers are now left to create new ways of making a living.

Some people have gone back to farming, some in specialized organic farms or farms that raise heirloom varieties of plants that can command higher prices. Other people are inventing and marketing their own products. Others are creating specialized services that they can personally offer.

Although some people may be forced into these roles because they cannot get other employment comparable to what they used to have, it is, in essence the return of cottage industries, or home based businesses. Self employment and small businesses will be the wave of our future.

In a way, this may be like the ancient people covering up their old constructions once they have decided that they have moved beyond that model. Just a short time ago, people in the US grew up thinking that getting a job working in a large corporation was their career, their livelihood. Now people are looking at creating their own work, their own business, as their path in life.

Religions are following the same path as many of the churches which used to be full to capacity are now being shut down for lack of attendance, or hobbling along with a fraction of what they used to have. Meanwhile, although there are new megachurches replacing some of these, there is an increasing percentage of the population that chooses to not to belong to any organized religion, as many as one quarter of the population according to some surveys. There too, as individuals no longer are part of large organizations, their spiritual path or religion may be a self directed, home based activity.

These archaeological finds, contrasted with our current situation suggests that human history and the evolution of our societies and civilizations has been more of a rise and fall than a steady forward march. These excavations clearly show that humans were capable of great feats during the time of hunter gatherers, predating the rise of agricultural societies and the changes they engendered. Then after demonstrating they could do such things, people chose to abandon them.

We are now riding the cusp of another rise and fall era. Old structures are falling and new ones are rising. How we proceed from here will be the result of millions of individual decisions, which may look more organized to people looking back on us many years from now.

We can choose to ride this cusp coming from either love or fear. Be aware of what motivates your choices. We are already inhabiting new forms. Can you feel it? How are you navigating this ride?