Thursday, August 28, 2008

How Can Needs Pull Us Away From Our Purpose?

Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Lately, I've been more aware of the ways I can distract myself from what I am really here to do. At the same time I am noticing the ways people I work with distract themselves from what they are here to do. It is so darned easy to get sucked into the need to be needed, or the need to succeed, and completely get absorbed into a drama rather than fulfilling our purpose.

My challenge is in being distracted by people who seem to be in need of emotional support. It is too easy to let their needs take priority in my life. What I have realized is that helping someone else deal with their emotional fire, allows me to feel needed, which in turn provides me with a temporary sense of meaning and fulfillment, but it is only temporary, because that is not my true work.

How do I know it is not my true work? When I finish I feel good for having helped someone else, but minutes later I'm feeling guilty because I have not made progress toward my own dreams. In reflection, I know I could have spent much less time and given much less energy, encouraging them succinctly, yet compassionately to step into more of their own power. In essence, I gave more than they needed, and I know it. My excessive giving easily creates a dependency on me for answers and disempowers them in fulfilling their own purposes. I have kept the wheel of life out of balance by giving more than they needed. I know the same out of balance nature would be true if I gave too little, and for me personally, the individual I give too little to is me.

I have been observing this with mothers, and I know I can easily slip into this tendency with my adopted daughter and grandchildren. It is just too easy as a mother to think we need to do more for our children than is truly appropriate. How are our children supposed to spread their wings and fulfill their purposes if we are trying to do it for them? How will they ever learn to overcome their fears and triumph in their own spiritual freedom and relationship with the Divine if we are constantly trying to soften their lessons?

I also notice that some of my women friends are hiding their spirituality or not practicing their spiritual beliefs, or fulfilling their true purpose because their husband or partner wouldn't like it. I can't help but wonder how this benefits anyone, when we turn our partners into gods, whose beliefs are more important than fulfilling the promises we made to Divine Source? How do we become our full selves when we give our power over to men or to our fear of being rejected? Isn't something seriously out of balance when we would rather feel needed by a man for what he wants us to be than experience the fulfillment of living our true spiritual passion and purpose? And if we don't have the courage to fulfill our own purposes, how will we ever bring balance to the planet?

With male friends, I notice that the need to make money, be successful, and provide can absorb them in a need to suceed that is not always in alignment with their purposes. Grinding away at jobs they hate, working excessive hours, allowing themselves to be taken advantage of—all in the name of I must provide, I need to be successful, I need more money to live the life I want.......all the while complaining and this any way to live? How is suffering today for tomorrow's potential happiness living in the Divine power of now?

And too many of my male friends are so caught up in the drive for success—practical, concrete action in the world, they won't avail themselves of the incredible spiritual power living within their reach if they would only get still for a while; if only they would have the courage to open the mystical doorways of meditation, ceremony, and quests. Those spiritual insights are the very awarenesses that would catapult their true success in recognizing and fulfilling their Divine purposes. What is the value of material success if it costs in misery today? How does a man's misery and bitterness in his reach for success make the world a better place?

The need to be needed and the need to succeed are energies that on the surface can look as though we are doing such important work. But when we look deeper, they are often actually keeping us from the true work we are here to do. We feel the the fulfillment of our need to be needed when we are in the true service we have come here to offer. We experience the fulfillment of success when we are making the difference we came here to make. And when we are in the flow of being true to ourselves, all else comes — money, influence, happiness, right relationship, all comes because we are alive and vital, living our true lives. We attract our deepest desires because we are living the best path to our fulfillment.

If fulfillment of your purpose can be facilitated through broad-based spiritual ministry or ceremonies for women, our Apprenticeship Programs for Spiritual Ministry and Women Keepers of the Water Ceremonies begin on September 1st. For more information, visit the home page of our web-site and scroll to the end of the page.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

If It is Meant to Be, the Money Will Come—Does it work?

Some years ago, I discovered how to focus my energy to create the means to do what I need or want to do. I actually discovered this way of focusing energy when I was quite young, but didn't realize what I knew. It wasn't until the death of a friend, that I understood how often I let opportunities slip by, simply because I was saying to myself, "If it is meant to be the money will come."

When I decided I wanted to go to a four year college to get my degree in education, I had no more than a few hundred dollars in the bank. My father and mother were raising six children on a meager income, so they weren't going to be able to put me through college. If I had made my decision about college based upon the dollars available, I would have given up and taken a job doing anything to just create some income.

But I knew I needed to become a teacher. I wanted it with every bone in my body. So I began talking to the college counselors at the community college I was attending. I had been working enough to pay for my room and board and my community college classes, and assumed if I could get myself through my first two years, there must be a scholarship or grant available to help me complete my education.

I was right. And by the next year, I was enrolled in an education program in a university in my home state. Because I received a unique grant that reduced my loan every year that I taught special needs children in low income areas, within only five years after receiving my degree, I was in the fortunate position of having no loan payments to repay.

Fast forward about 25 years. An elder I had met had been sending me psychic messages to visit him. I liked this elder very much and respected him greatly. I could sense there was an opportunity for me to receive some good mentorship from him. I told myself if it was meant to be the money would come. The money never came and I assumed that meant it was never meant to be.

If I had taken this approach when I was ready to go to college, I would have never gotten there. A few years ago, this wonderful man was on his deathbed, and finally I made the decision to go see him. Although I could have argued I didn't have the money to spend, I went anyway, but he died before I arrived.

I was thinking about this some weeks later and realized I was much wiser when I was younger. Instead of giving my desire to the Divine as though it didn't matter one way or another, the creation magic works much better when I have told the Divine I am willing to fulfill my purpose and I am choosing to engage in this decision in order to do it. Then, by telling the Divine what I need and when I need it, the Divine flows through me in creative and attractive ways that get me to my goal.

Remembering this lesson, I receive an invitation to what was for me a very expensive weekend conference. I knew I needed to attend. Instead of withdrawing completely or telling the Divine and myself, the money would be there if it was meant to be, I said a different prayer. I told Spirit I wanted to attend and was open to the creative inspiration that would help me get there. I then sat down to my computer and requested a scholarship, along with an offer to share my sound medicine with the conference coordinator. She accepted my offer and I attended the conference in trade.

"If it was meant to be, the money will come?" in my experience sends a wishy/washy intention to the Divine and the Universe that has not gotten me very good results. However, if I know I have been led to something and I feel in my bones I need the experience I'm being drawn to, I am now more inclined to say, "This is meant to be, show me how to make it happen."

Friday, August 15, 2008

Can Mistakes Be Part of a Bigger Plan?

Well, we are going to have to get some netting or chicken wire over those window wells because four bunnies have now fallen down there. Each one has taught me a valuable lesson, and after this last one, I think it is time to learn those lessons without any trauma for a bunny.

The latest one apparently was injured in the fall. I found it just as we were getting ready to leave so the realtor could show the house to some potential buyers, and I didn't want to traumatize it by trying to get it out in a big hurry, so I put some lettuce out for it and left. When I again remembered the little one was out there, it was getting dark, and if indeed it had been chased by a predator when it had fallen down the window well, it probably happened at dusk, so again, I didn't want to traumatize it any further by lifting it out at that time. So I brought out a box for protection from the rain, a towel to cuddle against and more food.

The next morning, my husband and I went out to retrieve the bunny, but it was very sick and not moving. It may very well have dehydrated and finally I realized the poor thing was injured. I cussed at myself for not doing what I know to do as a healer the moment I found it—to slow down, scan its energy field to check for injury, and check in psychically to see what it needed, rather than what I thought it needed.

Immediately, I gave it some sound medicine and nursed it with dropper-fulls of water. It received both, but I wondered if I was too late. Animals usually respond very quickly to sound medicine, but this little one seemed to be using the medicine to make its crossing rather than to heal. By late afternoon, I felt its spirit leave its body. When I sang its crossing song, I saw it in the spirit world. It turned to look at me and I knew it had wanted to die at my house. I could sense it was doing something for me, but beyond the lesson to create more room for intuitive guidance, even when I'm in a hurry and to balance intuition with logic, I wasn't sure what else it had done for me. I was please to see that its spirit was happy as it hopped into green woods. And I was surprisingly happy too.

That evening, my husband suggested this may have been one of the bunnies that fell into the window well earlier, that we had rescued. "Maybe it was supposed to die," he suggested, "and we delayed it."

"Hmmm. Maybe you are right," I answered. "Maybe my mistake in not tending to it was necessary in order for it to die as was intended. I can see a truth in that, and yet, in the future I will check my intuition in addition to my reason. I would have liked to participate in this more consciously."

The next day, as I reflected on our little friend, I once again noticed how happy I was feeling. I do believe, our rabbit buddy took something with him—some old pain or guilt or something I had been holding on to. I couldn't name exactly what it was and didn't feel a need to define it. Sometimes when such an energy is gone, it is simply better not to name it, so that one doesn't start thinking about it attracting it back in. But, I did offer a big prayer of thanks.

In Cherokee tradition, I was taught by an elder that rabbit represents fear. If my little friend had taken some fear of mine with him, then I knew I had been greatly blessed. Can mistakes be part of a bigger plan? I'm pretty sure they can. Some would say everything is in perfection. I'm not as sure about that. I do think it is good to notice the lessons that come to us and to receive the gifts that are given.

In honor of the gift my little friend gave to me through his very life, I find will remember to continue to surrender my fears and to live a happy life.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Grabbing the Hand of a Bear

It happened again. Another bunny fell down our window well. That means in the past two months, three babies have fallen about 5 feet down to an enclosed area, where they could have died if we hadn't found them. In order to live, they had to accept help from a human. When I shared this story on the phone with a couple of friends, I equated the experience of the bunnies to that of a human stuck in a cave with a bear extending its paw out to help you. Would you let it touch you? Would you let it help you out?

Well this little bunny was far more fearful than the first one and it was not going to let me touch it, medicine song or not. No song was going to help it relax enough to let me lift it up out of the well. Quite honestly, if I was in its position, I don't know if I would let an animal help me! Since, I didn't want to traumatize the little thing, I put some lettuce in the window well along with a towel for it to cuddle against during the night and left it alone.

The next day my husband had an idea about using a box as an elevator. So I brought the baby more food and sent it visual images about being very carefully lifted up in a box. When it was time, my husband and I went to the window well together. The bunny was against the wooden frame of the well, being very, very still. My husband gently scooted the box underneath it, with the open side of the box solidly against the wooden frame. We thought for sure the bunny would be leaping all around the inside of the box, but instead it settled in quietly. My husband slowly lifted the box up to the top, where finally the open end of the box was exposed to the ground. The bunny got out the box slowly, then turned around and looked at him for a few seconds before it bounded off into the woods behind our house.

Having just gotten home from SpiritQuest, I laughed as I told my husband that the word must be out in the neighborhood about rites of passage opportunities for bunnies. I figured the new test of becoming an adult bunny might very well be based upon your willingness to fall down a window well and see if you are rescued. If you let the lady sing to you and lift you up, you have earned your right to be considered an adult. And perhaps now they would add that if you let the man lift you up in a box, this is also worthy of a young bunny's passage into adulthood. We laughed together at the idea that we were now intercessors for rites of passages for bunnies.

Then I got serious. In the rites of passage ceremonies I have personally experienced, I discovered within me a willingness to be humble enough to 1) surrender completely to Spirit, 2) receive help however it comes—from within or without, and 3) die to a fearful part of myself so that I can experience the Divine in more of my life. So I pondered, what it was that I could learn from these bunnies, and what I have deemed their rites of passage experiences.

I wondered, how often Spirit sends help to me that I don't recognize as help? How often am I too afraid, because of all my prior conditioning, to recognize that help may not look like anything I could have ever imagined before. I asked myself, "What if help looked like a bear putting out its paw for me to grab?" "Would I grab it?" "Would I recognize help when it was being offered?"

"Hmmmm," I reflected. "Do I have the courage to take this even deeper?" "Where in my life would I rather do it myself and die trying than receive help—specifically, the only help Spirit seems to be sending?"

Have you ever gotten to one of those questions in your life where you didn't have a fast answer? Well, that's what this question did to me. When I don't have a quick response, I know I'm on the edge of discovery about myself that is going to be very significant. Well, this one must be really important because I am still reflecting on it.

So how about you, is there a bear in your life?