Friday, January 29, 2010

Spirituality and Money

February 14 is coming up and it is a time to celebrate Chinese New Year (and the prosperity of the New Year). I have received a few of these red envelopes and it is quite fun and meaningful!

This is the explanation of the red envelope that came with this photo. "In Chinese and other East Asian societies, a red envelope or red packet / red pocket is a monetary gift which is given during holidays or special occasions, such as weddings or Lunar New Year. The red color of the envelope symbolizes good luck and is supposed to ward off evil spirits."

Someone wrote to me this week, challenging me to take a look at my views around spirituality and money. What they couldn’t have known is that in recognizing that my soul purpose centers around facilitating people in their journeys of spirituality and healing, I have needed to search my heart regularly about this topic. I wrote a rather lengthy letter in response because this is a challenging issue during challenging times.

Like me, you may be finding yourself called to serve others with spiritual messages and support, and you may find yourself being asked to work for little to no money in the name of spirituality. After years of struggling with my own ethical views about this, I have finally come to some decisions about what I need to do at this time in my life. Here is the story of my journey with this issue that I shared the other day in regard to spirituality. I expect you have your own opinions and I welcome a discussion about this topic.

Those who know me well, know that I spent 10 years of my life sharing my gifts and living only from the modest donations given to me. If anyone knows what it means to live very humbly and to give freely of my gifts, I do.

I was privileged to serve a few wonderful people. I have no regrets about that time and I limited my ability to serve because I had a limited perspective about the value of my work. Because I am living in a world where we do not, in general, know how to exchange in balance for what is freely given, I was choosing to play by a set of rules that did not serve me well.

I had a difficult time fulfilling aspects of my calling because I rarely had enough money to support my purpose. In my struggle, I prayed for clarity and Spirit brought me a vision where I saw an ancient ceremony in which a curse was made that the people of Spirit would give too much of themselves. They set this curse into motion because they knew those of us with great hearts and willingness to give, would do so without making sure our own needs were taken care of. They knew we would give to excess and that would become our weakness.

I knew I was being called to make a change that would be difficult for me and difficult for some of the people I served. I chose to begin charging for what I believed was the true value for my services.

Then a second vision came. In this one, I realized that each of us has within us the Divine spark that allows us to see for ourselves, heal ourselves and become our full potential. I realized it is each person’s own responsibility to awaken our own powers. If a person receives help, then they are truly blessed, but in truth, the responsibility to awaken is each our own.

What I realized then was that it is up to each of us to decide when and how we will help. Personally, I have been helped for free and paid significant fees. I have never assumed someone’s help was greater or less because the help did or did not have a price tag associated with it. I never assumed they had done something wrong because they offered their gift to me freely or asked me to pay. It is not mine to judge.

In an age when spiritual traditions and practices around money, healing and spirituality are coming together, as each of us creates our own unique spiritual journeys, I believe each person must determine for themselves what lessons they are here to learn, who they are here to learn them with, and how they are going to learn them.

Each person must decide for themselves the worth of their gifts. Each person must determine for themself what they are willing to give in return for the help they receive. Each person must decide what gifts they will offer freely and to whom, and what they feel needs to be remunerated in exchange.

The majority of my writing (some of my most significant service) is absolutely free. I speak on the radio regularly for free. I sing daily for people in need and have facilitated many, many ceremonies for which I was and am not provided for financially. I answer e-mails out of my care and love, and share many insights without ever asking for anything in return.

It is my belief that no one NEEDS a reading, a healing, or a class from me in order to further their spiritual journey into Divine consciousness. If they feel strongly about receiving my services or I feel strongly about serving them, and they do not have the means, we work something out together.

Gratefully, I am now privileged to serve many, many more people. Each day, I must make decisions about whether to share more of my time serving a few people one-on-one through private sessions, or many more people through writing and classes. I am the only one that can determine what that balance needs to be for me. And you are the only one that can determine what that balance needs to be for you.

Sign up for Reverend Misa and New Dream Foundation's weekly free, brief and inspiring guided meditation to uplift you in your journey of health, wealth, passion, and purpose: New Dream Foundation

Friday, January 22, 2010

From Bliss to Anger in the Spiritual Process

The other night, Dr. Valerie Olmstead invited me to join her on her BBS program, the Enlightened Medicine Show to talk about the Importance of Gratitude in the Ascension Process.

I thought we were going to be talking about gratitude and healing, so minutes before the program I was scratching my head, thinking, “Oh, my gosh, what the heck do I know about the ascension process?”

But I promised to show up and I have a profound trust that Spirit will guide me if I open up. So there I was on the air, listening to Dr. Valerie introduce me, wondering what on earth I had to contribute.

Fortunately, I’ve learned to let go and let guidance come through. Dr. Valerie started talking about out-of-body experiences that had occurred for her and some of her clients, and suddenly I was at home. This was at least a realm in which I had my own experiences.

I don’t have any authority to say such experiences are happening with more frequency for people as consciousness expands on this planet, but I do know they happening for me and for some of you. They can be wonderful and they can be challenging.

One phenomenon I find myself meditating on and talking to clients about is the transition from blissful, out-of-body experiences and deep meditations, back to this reality with all of its limited energies. Have you had the experience of leaving a luscious other-worldly experience only to come back to this reality feeling cranky?

I’ve caught myself more than once thinking to myself, “That’s real spiritual, Misa! Open your heart wide in compassion during your meditation and then, in this world, get critical with someone when they are trying to do their best.”

Oddly, these instances seem to occur in proximity to the end of my meditations and dreams. When I realized this, I knew I needed to understand what was happening emotionally, and made quite a realization.

Being in meditative, out-of-body or dream-time states are very vulnerable conditions. I would leave my vulnerable, open-hearted state and immediately become psychically bombarded by the critical thoughts, fears and negativity all around me. As wide open as I was, that negativity could be occurring in thought forms half-way across the planet and I would be sensing them.

Further, I realized, I was disappointed in what I sometimes experience in this reality--it is often not as cool. I like being a bliss bunny in the other realms. I don’t necessarily like coming back to the challenges of this dimension on earth. The challenges can frustrate me.

There we have it. I was disappointed, frustrated and empathically picking up a lot of other people’s disappointment and frustration. What do you do with that kind of dilemma? Stay in meditative bliss? Never go there to begin with, so you never have to feel disappointed?

Good answers are rarely found in extreme reactions, so I asked myself what I needed to do or understand in order to have smoother transitions. Once I asked the question, I realized I was making a choice that could be altered.

I let go of the bliss I was experiencing in altered state because I was letting go of that feeling within me when I crossed back over into third dimensional reality. The opportunity is to be that vessel of love and happiness, and to hold that love within me regardless of what reality I’m in at the moment and what is happening around me.

The adventure before me is to face this challenge by being the sacred vessel I know I can be all of the time—as I walk in other realities and dimensions and as I walk in this sacred dimension.

What does that mean practically? When I feel frustrated angry or disappointed, I touch my heart and invite it to open. The journey from bliss to anger or anger to bliss is a choice.

Years ago, at the pinnacle of my illnesses, I chose to move myself from profound depression to happiness. Now that I enjoy happiness, I invite myself to the next step—ongoing bliss.

To hear the radio program, visit here and listen to the program for January 19: Enlightened Medicine

Friday, January 15, 2010

Dream Your Life or Someone Else Will

This last weekend, some of our initiated women elders came to my house to hold a visioning retreat for the benefit of humanity and the world. As a part of our sacred family, you may actually be feeling some of the benefits that come from being held in their vessel of their unconditional Sacred Feminine love, without conditions or predetermined ideas about what we need or should do. I certainly am!

While they were here and talking about what they were experiencing as they held that unconditional loving space for all of us, one of them reminded us about an aboriginal concept that I thought might be helpful to pass along to you.

Here is the gist of it: “Dream your own life for yourself or someone else will do it for you.” 

Then as if to emphasize this concept, within a couple of days a dear friend and shaman, Maria Mar, posted this on her Facebook page: “The question is not what your dream is. The question is: What dream are you?”

I’ve decided to post this statement and question on my office wall and just watch what happens during this next year.

We are born from dreams. Then we drop into these bodies where there is a veil of forgetfulness between earth and the other side, and we spend our lives attempting to remember our dreams—and then, remembering that we are the dream itself.

Our own passions, propensities, talents and spiritual abilities are the dream awakening itself within us. In some ways, there is really so little to remember, and yet it can take us a lifetime or multiple lives to do so.

Yet, as we awaken—if we awaken with greater love and compassion—imagine its reverberation throughout the universe. From the densest reality to the lightest—there we are unfolding a collective dream that touches the very corners of creation. The density of earth itself is part of the magic.

Consider this. If you put a cotton ball in a sling shot and pull the sling shot back, letting the cotton ball fly, how far do you think the cotton ball will go? Now find a well-weighted stone and put it in the same sling shot. How far will it be able to go?

And so it is with the density of earth. As we awaken the dream that we are, and do so with our great capacity for compassion, that love is like the stone flying from the sling shot to its intended destination. It covers great distance, touches the air with clear purpose as it flies, and reaches its goal.

Living on one of the most dense realities in the universe gives us a distinct advantage in the matrix of creation. It means that as each one of us lovingly awakens to the dream that we are, the whole of creation is affected in a most direct and profound way.

As you awaken your dream this year, if you find yourself wanting to put into words the intentions that emerge, I’d like to recommend a methodology that is very close to the one I teach my clients. Evolution E-Zine

Those intentions are the voice and intentions of your dream emerging. May I suggest, as you tickle yourself awake to the dream that you are, remember, if you don’t dream yourself, someone else will.

Sign up for Reverend Misa and New Dream Foundation's weekly free, brief and inspiring guided meditation to uplift you in your journey of health, wealth, passion, and purpose: New Dream Foundation Reflections

Saturday, January 09, 2010

What’s in Spiritual Fashion for 2010?

It is time for my annual report on what’s in spiritual fashion for the coming year. Each new year, we have an opportunity to clear out our spiritual closets and dress for better success in fulfilling our purpose and living in harmony.

The numerology for this year is a “3,” which means it is a fabulous year for manifesting and creating. This is the year to get out into the world. Develop friendships and build your social connections.

You may find yourself challenged when it comes to organization, focus and taking responsibility. Don’t let the ups and downs of the current financial fluctuations depress you. Three is about creativity, so live and be creative in developing positive habits and responses to challenges.

It is also a fabulous number for inspiring the Sacred Feminine, so consider the various ways in which you could better get to know your spiritually feminine side!

With this numerological awareness, here are my four top suggestions for spiritual fashion in 2010 (and by the way, I get a lot of my ideas by watching what spiritual garments you are already trying on):

1) Assume people are doing their best. Turn off the critical mind. Since this is a year for creativity, criticism (and I don’t believe constructive criticism really exists) tends to be heavy and depressing. Who on earth looks good wearing someone else’s criticism? This year, toss criticism out of your wardrobe, and spark some creative expression. Assume people are doing their best and just watch how soft and gentle their features become when you approach them with compassion and understanding.

2) When something is not happening the way you want it to—you didn’t receive the product you ordered, or it was defective, or you are waiting in line because a business is short-staffed—revert to suggestion number one. Assume people are doing their best. Then step into your kindness, slip into some patience, and reach out. Ask politely for what you need without judgment. Most often, you are going to find out that a business was struggling, or a person had an emergency, or a computer crashed….you get the idea. So kindness, patience, and politely asking for what you want are three hot trend-setters for getting what you need this year.

3) When someone else grabs your idea and does it before you get a chance, I suggest you throw off any jealousy and celebrate them. Let’s face it. Creative ideas are floating around in the ethers. We recognize and run with them at our own rates, and some people will simply get there ahead of you. So what! This is the year of creativity. If it is still yours to do, use the same idea, adding some unique accessories or a fashionable twist to the idea. Or rummage through your closets and pull out some old, yet still trendy ideas that have been waiting for their time. Celebrate their success and then create something of your own worth celebrating!

4) The world is full of amazing and wonderful people that don’t know yet how incredible they really are. So pay some compliments this year. Everybody loves to hear how great they are looking and how special they are. When you have taken the time to wear a bit more love or kindness, don’t you like to hear that someone has noticed? Others love to hear it too, so don’t be shy. Notice the unique and beautiful qualities that adorn people and make them radiant. Then tell them just how beautiful they really are.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Celebrating Our Humanity

Over the holidays, my sweet husband took me on vacation to a resort in Jamaica. The timing was perfect as I had been called to do some meditative energy work on Christmas day, and there I was surrounded by the enduring ebb of the ocean, as I settled into a heart-filled meditative space.

When the energetic gift had been given and my meditative day was over, I delighted in observing how this small island, and even more specifically the resort, had attracted people from all over the world. The next day, as we walked to the restaurant for breakfast, we heard Japanese, Italian, French, English, German, and Patois—the language of Jamaica. And over the days we were there, we met new friends from England, Canada and New York.

We enjoyed the antics of children, and ooohed and ahhhed at babies from various cultures. What I love about babies and small children is the way that they remind me how similar we are when we come into the world, regardless of the race, creed, or politics of our parents. Oh, certainly we each have our own unique personalities, but when we are very young, we have not yet adopted the beliefs that separate us from each other.

Babies of every culture cry and coo, tug at their toes, put everything in their mouths, and cuddle up to their mommies and daddies. Young children hold on to someone’s fingers when they are learning to walk and later find great joy in running around. They like to sit on Dad’s shoulders for a lift and call for their Moms when they get hurt.

Only later, do we begin to even conceive that our cultures, spiritual and religious beliefs, income, and politics make us different. In our great zeal to feel good about ourselves, it also becomes easy to make ourselves right or better, and those “other” people wrong or inferior.

Growing a bit older and hopefully, a little wiser, now when I have the opportunity to meet people from other cultures and places, I like to get to know them as well as I can, not so that I can measure myself against them, but so that I can celebrate the uniqueness of their thoughts and perceptions. I also love to discover the ways in which we are more alike than we might have first realized, and that discovery is most consistently found in the similarity of our feelings.

We all yearn to be loved, understood, accepted, heard, seen, known, and respected. We all laugh when humor has tickled us. Laugh, dance or sing together, and suddenly there are no differences—no others—only us.

I remember having a dream last year that touched me forever. The devil was with a group of people and me. He kept trying to get me to do things rather inappropriate for me. Initially, because they were rather harmless choices, I went along with him. Just as he was about to ask me to do something that was really going to cause me to measure and choose what I truly believed, someone in the group cracked a joke. There were the devil and I standing next to each other laughing uncontrollably. For a sweet moment, there was no separation.

We separate in our need to be more right or more special than someone else, or to presume we are better than anyone else. We separate into us and them when we think that our culture, religion, ideas, politics or economic status are more important than our humanity. We separate when we further our own betterment at the expense of others.

It is possible to be in our separateness without discrimination and manipulation. We can enjoy and be in joy with our separateness as unique expressions of the Divine. The joy is unifying while also allowing us to discover the individual experiences the Divine is having as it flows through us. Separation does have its place along side unity. What matters most is how we choose to be in our uniqueness and oneness.

I am not saying we will never experience tension as a result of our unique expressions. I am suggesting it is through our humanity that our deepest needs to recognized as special, to be loved, respected, seen, heard, and understood will actually be met, for people of all races, creeds, economic status and beliefs.