Thursday, January 27, 2011
Last week I talked about the end of the age of secrets and how many of our personal and institutional secrets have led to a pervasive belief that “the end justifies the means.” This premise has become the rationale for atrocities against humanity and justification for causing personal harm to others. In a world where deceit for the benefit of the greater good has become accepted practice, we can be sure that those who suffer the repercussions of this belief will eventually break faith in search of ideas based in deeper truth and respect for all.
The problem is that we become so numb to deceit, we hardly think of it as a crime until it slaps. Some years ago, I made the mistake of exiting a toll road without realizing I needed to pay a $.50 toll in order to leave the highway. I fumbled around in my purse and couldn’t find any change. All I had available were bills, and the machine only accepted change, so I drove on knowing I’d be fined. About a week later I received a very intimidating letter in the mail indicating that I had incurred a $70 fine. That’s right, $70 for not paying a $.50 toll.
Fortunately, I have a dear friend that is an attorney, so I called her asking her what the heck this was about. We chatted for a bit and she encouraged me to call the phone number on the letter, explain my situation, and ask for a reduction. The woman I reached on the other end of the phone was cheerful and kind as she told me the fine for a first offense was only $7.00 and where to send in my money.
I was flabbergasted. If I had not called that number, I would have expected I was required to send in $70. Now I had $70 at the time, but what if I hadn’t? What would have happened if I hadn’t called the number? How would I have interpreted that notice if I hadn’t had a friend who was an attorney? All of this was over $.50 I would have gladly paid. Luckily, even though $7 on a $.50 toll was still outrageous, the outcome turned out okay. But I felt abused. I felt abused because I had been deceived—intentionally.
Deceit tears at our relationships and ability to trust one another. Living on guard, in a state of self-protection is a good way to stimulate our survival responses of flight or fight—or in other words—stress. Ongoing stress erodes our health and eventually affects our abilities to make good decisions. Stress can and does shorten our lives. So in essence, when we deceive, we sacrifice long and happy lives for everyone involved with temporary gains for the good of a few. Isn’t it ironic that the outcome of deceit is the greatest deceit of all? We trade long-term happiness for short-term gain, all the while thinking that we are somehow getting the upper hand.
I know this pattern well, because I spent a lot of my life living in some form of deceit, whether it was acting like I knew all about some topic I knew very little about, or pretending that my life was fine when I was an emotional and physical wreck. Each time I was deceitful with others or myself, I was eroding my ability to trust in what was true. I was destroying my own ability to be happy with who I really am, as I am.
In order to find peace with myself I had to find compassion. I would not have been able to face the ways in which I had been deceiving myself and others, without lovingly understanding that I was using deception as a survival mechanism. I wanted to save face because being knowledgeable and being healthy were how I perceived my life had meaning. Deception had become a lifeline—not a very secure one, but a lifeline nonetheless.
Instead of developing my meaning and purpose, I was actually losing my sense of self—feeling lost, depressed and hopeless about the value of my life. I thought my deceptions were giving value to my life, when all along they were destroying me. When I had finally had enough despair, I made a commitment to find happiness, and with that commitment I discovered I needed to let go of my pretentions and settle into knowing the authentic me. That was difficult and painful to do at times. Sitting with my deceptions required great humility, but I found an unlimited supply of self-compassion was available if I allowed myself to understand the erroneous thinking that accompanied my choices, and how I had come to accept those limited perceptions.
Divine love for us is limitless, so if we concede our lives to limited perceptions based in our deceptions, we restrict the flow of love. Compassion frees us from the bindings of the lies we tell ourselves and others. If we allow ourselves to be lovingly present with our discomfort and limited perceptions, the distress dissolves in the compassion. We then create an opening for experiencing the limitless love that we truly are as expressions of the Divine.
In the awareness of such exquisite love, you naturally shed the impulse to figure out how to manipulate yourself into safety, value, meaning, and survival. It doesn’t cross your mind to attempt to provide for yourself at the expense of another, because you know that Divine love is universal and everyone is an expression of the Divine, worthy of being attended to with the same regard with which you would attend yourself. You live with regard for all of life, not just a chosen few.
In the arms of our own compassion, telling the truth becomes quite easy. In truth, we do indeed find our freedom—freedom to experience the exquisiteness of Divine love. If we choose, this is our time, our age, to embrace truth. This lifetime is our opportunity to replace the separating belief that the end justifies the means and to live from the truth of our Divine awareness with a willingness to be present to all of life with the depth of our compassion.
If you would like support in having deeper experiences within the compassionate arms of the Sacred Feminine, you can receive free weekly meditations taking you into the love of the Sacred Feminine here: http://www.newdreamfoundation.com/register.htm
This is very breath of the Sacred Feminine—to recognize life as Divine and hold each of our choices, even the deceptive ones, in our love, so that the destructive, harmful motivations can die peaceful deaths, and we can live in the truth of limitless Divine love once again. Truth is our hope and the source of our joy for today and for our future.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Secrets have their place. After all, a surprise birthday party is not surprise if the secret gets out. One of the joys in receiving a gift is in not knowing exactly what is inside the box. Bedroom secrets between lovers create a special bond between them. With the wink of an eye, sheer delight can pass between two people as they smile about a private joke shared between them. Making a “surprise” breakfast in bed for their parents is exhilarating and fun for the little secret keepers cooking in the kitchen. The enjoyment of surprise and the pleasures of intimate moments are often wrapped in packages of secrecy, and appropriately so.
Then there are the secrets of our hearts that we write in our private journals, share with professionals in therapy sessions or discuss with our ministers. Through our private writings or conversations, we are attempting to better understand ourselves before making any kind of public declaration or decision. When such privacy is respected, we are safe enough to explore ourselves deeply and honestly.
There are also secrets that protect. For example, during World War II, some Jewish people were kept alive, or their lives were extended, because friends kept secrets regarding their whereabouts or their identities. If someone has been seriously abused by someone else, there can be great wisdom in keeping your identity quiet and your location unknown, as a means of protecting yourself, or perhaps, even your family.
And then there are secrets that harm. Many of us grew up in families, during the early to mid 1900’s, where we kept harmful secrets by refusing to acknowledge or discuss the effects of a family member’s abusive behaviors. We didn’t disclose embarrassing information about our family histories that would help younger generations understand themselves better. We pretended that everything was okay, when clearly life was out of balance. We overstressed our significance or we underestimated our abilities. We hid behind our shame and our wounds at the expense of others and ourselves. Some of us left our families, looking for more honest relationships and some of us are still caught in the family secrets.
Institutional secrets perpetuate a belief that it is acceptable to deceive, and we knowingly or unknowingly live with those deceptions. Churches have created doctrine based on selected scriptures, and then taught that the chosen writings provide the only spiritual truth. People have been put in prison because they challenged the false premises upon which justice was practiced. Or they honored the true intent of the law, but not the letter of it, and were penalized for their faith in justice.
We spy on and manipulate the politics of other countries, but torture, imprison or kill those that would manipulate us. We deceive our customers and ourselves, sacrificing greater good for the sake of greater profit. We conduct tests on people and use people without asking their permission. Institutions that have based their existence on lies or partial truth continue to function, as long as no one lets out the lie. And if someone does tell the truth, their life may be at risk, or at the very least their career or well-being.
Yes, we keep many secrets. Some of them are good for the delight and well-being of everyone involved, and some of them cause harm for the benefit of a few and the hazard of many. “The end justifies the means,” we have been told. But no one mentioned that there is no end. There is only the life that we are living here and now, and the future we are impacting by the results of our decisions in this moment. If we want a world deteriorating in distrust, then deceiving others and ourselves will certainly get us there. But if we want to know the limitlessness of Divine love on earth, we will need to let go of our attachment to secrets.
When we deceive with intent to get what we want at the expense of others, we hold ourselves separate in an attempt to prove to ourselves that we are better. We are in essence making an assumption that someone else is not good enough or worthy, and we have neglected to acknowledge the Divine within them. As long as we continue to deceive, we keep ourselves separate from the greatest and most important spiritual truth for all of us—our Divine origin.
Many years ago, when I was first taken on a Divine journey into the Sacred Feminine, I experienced myself in profound compassion for all of creation. I did not experience greater love for one human over another. Quite the opposite was true, I experienced limitless love for every human regardless of the choices they had made in their lives. In other words, there was no less love for a serial rapist than there was for a minister of faith. In those hours immersed in the womb of the Sacred Feminine, I understood that we are all born from the same Divine origin and are all loved unconditionally.
Does this mean that we should accept all behaviors, no matter how heinous? I don’t believe this visionary experience was giving me, or anyone, a message that we live without necessary social boundaries. However, I do believe that it provided an awareness that we can choose to live in the understanding that every individual regardless of their choices is an expression of the Divine. It is possible for us to live without the deceptions and secrets supporting the perception that the end justifies the means, and therefore, gives us permission to use, take advantage of, or even abuse others for our personal gain.
Ending the age of secrets begins with each of us. It is far too easy to point our fingers at other family members, friends, co-workers, bosses or institutions, without taking responsibility for our personal deceptions. Imagine what our world would be like if each of us chose to end the age of secrets long enough to discover the truth lying beneath the deceptions— that we are of Divine origin and loved limitlessly.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Last weekend several women elders gathered at my home and virtually, via the telephone, to be in meditation for three full days in response to the many needs of humanity and our planet. These beautiful elders receive no payment, accolades or acknowledgment for their gift. They do it quietly and with great love.
What makes this meditation challenging is that throughout the three days the women do nothing for humanity and the earth. They set no intentions, send no energy, and say no prayers. Rather than engage in doing, they allow themselves to become the very essence of the Sacred Feminine—they hold us in love.
This sounds really simple, until you sit down to simply be love as you witness others in their pain and struggles. Throughout the three days, people, animals and nature from around the world will find their way to the women, where they will be given the opportunity to simply be held in love. If people choose to be held energetically in love by these women elders, they will experience no judgment for their choices or hope for how they should be. They will simply be loved for who they are. To discover more about this practice of holding, learn more about the Creation Meditation at: http://www.newdreamfoundation.com/forums/index.php?board=29.0
Certainly, there is nothing wrong with holding people accountable for their actions, nor is there anything inappropriate in desiring a better life for someone. But the elders know an ancient secret about what happens when we are loved completely for simply existing. When we are loved, without conditions, we relax and soften, and ultimately surrender to the Divine love that we are. From that awareness of Divine love, we are reborn or re-emerge, to engage life from the perspective of one that knows he or she is fully loved.
So the elders lovingly hold whoever enters the energetic field of their sacred space, whether they are child victims or adult perpetrators, refugees or mercenaries, abused or abuser—all are held in love. Each person is accepted as an expression of Divine Consciousness born from the primordial womb of all life. As such, each person was born from Divine love, though we may struggle as individuals to remember the perfection of that love. By holding each person, regardless of their choices, in the embrace of the Sacred Feminine, it opens a doorway of awareness to our Divine origins, and once again we are free to express our lives from and in that love.
This is equally true for the animals and elements of our planet. We, as humans, tend to forget we live in symbiotic relationship with nature. The animals and elements of nature also carry blueprints of the Divine. When we are struggling to make our choices from a place of Divine love, they reflect our struggle. We become selfish and abuse the resources available to us. We stop taking care of ourselves and stop taking care of the gifts from the Mother. We choose to care for one element of nature but not another. We wait for someone else to clean up our messes and nature pays the price for our lack of stewardship. Recognizing this, the women hold the animals and the elements of nature in their love as well, so that the Divine love that created all things is honored in all of life.
To be able to hold purely, without interference in another’s life or decisions, is a great challenge. Women elders are invited to this meditation because they have consistently demonstrated a capacity to meditate at length, and to enter into the essence of the Sacred Feminine that can love unconditionally. Many of these women have devoted years of their life to devotional practice that has prepared them for these three days in the heart of the Divine Feminine.
We call it a Visioning Ceremony for the world, not because the elders are holding an intention and vision for the world, but rather because they are holding us and we carry our own visions and intentions. By holding each of us in Divine love, we emerge with a clearer sense of self and sacred purpose. In this clarity and in this love, our natural and pure visions for the world, effortlessly emerge—in health, happiness, wholeness, and fulfillment.
Thursday, January 06, 2011
My friends, for anyone committed to spiritual growth, 2011 is likely to be a hot year for dramatic changes in the spiritual fashion scene, because this is the pre-cursor to 2012. No, I do not believe we will be wiped off the face of the planet 2012. I do believe that the Mayans were absolutely right about time speeding up, coming to a climax in 2012. So, if you thought you could barely keep up with the trends last year, wait until you see the runway for this year.
Spiritually, 2011 is about letting go of any heavy bags you have been carrying around, including judgments, greed, resentments, guilt and regrets; and if you are willing to open to the Divine grace within you, there is a good chance you will enjoy 2011 immensely. You can literally ride on the momentum of the trends that have been accelerating gradually for thousands of years. On the other hand, if you hang on to those old bags, you may be in for one of the most challenging years of your life. You can’t gracefully glide down the runway with one arm weighted down by a heavy purse or man-bag, refusing to surrender to your greater self.
If you are wondering why I included greed and none of the other 7 deadly fashion sins, it’s because, like the early Egyptians, I see greed at the root of spiritual fashion problems. Spiritual fashion sins are the places where we tend to miss the mark, because our focus is in the wrong place. We are thinking about ourselves and our desires, exclusive of anyone else, and as a result we are not allowing ourselves to experience the incredible fulfillment, limitless love, and peace of the Divine. In our attempt to become fulfilled by focusing on ourselves, we ultimately become unfulfilled. Fashion in the future is about clean, honest lines; creative approaches that include many points of view, and intuitive sensibilities in designing your wardrobe.
Here are some specific trends, if you want to be spiritually vogue in 2011.
1) Dress for fulfillment through creative involvement with others. This is not the year to strike out with your own look, constantly trying to be different from anyone else. This is the year to discover what you and people you play with want to express together. Create your wardrobe from shared interests, dreams, and talents, but don’t limit your spiritual fashion this year to the drawing board and wishful thinking. Enjoy creative engagement with other people and bring your fashion dreams to life. This is the year for fulfillment through creativity and inclusion.
2) Be decisive about what new creations you are going to add to your wardrobe. You are probably going to get some urges about how cool it would be if you could create a such and so. Here’s the deal. Time is moving fast and windows of opportunity are getting smaller. So if the desire is real, create with zeal. If the desire isn’t profound or you just can’t seem to pull all the right garments and accessories to together, let the idea go entirely. Send the idea back to the universe so that someone else can see what they can do with it. There are limitless ideas available, so keep your creative juices flowing and see what clever innovation comes to you next. Then remember, invite your posse and design a new look that you and many others will enjoy.
3) While you are adding some new, fun and useful clothes to your wardrobe, remember to think about others while you are shopping. Are there people you know about that need warm clothes and decent shoes? Remember that there are a lot of folks out there that can’t afford the basics, let alone the trendiest garments. For every new piece of clothing you buy, consider sharing a piece of clothing with someone in greater need. It’s good to clean out the closet once in a while, and recycling clothes you are no longer using is a great way to help someone else.
4) Intuition is in. We call it by many names, but making your fashion choices by listening to that little bird on your shoulder or that little voice inside you will be rewarding. Your intuition will lead you to the greatest satisfaction and best bargains with the least amount of effort. So, listen to your intuition and then kick up your heels on your way to ultimate fulfillment.
5) With so many views about clothing and accessorizing on the scene, it would be easy to assume your fashion sense is the best, and others just suck wind. This is really not the epitome of good spiritual fashion. Everyone has their own creative expression. That’s what makes the world so colorful. In spiritual fashion there is room for compassion. You don’t have to understand someone else’s choices to demonstrate a little courtesy for their preferences and compassion if they are struggling or feeling challenged.
6) The Sacred Feminine is chic. Listening, understanding, being compassionate and tolerant of others needs and choices is the style of choice this year. Follow your intuition to the best of what you can be and practice kindness along the way. A person glows in kindness. It radiates from the soul outward. Be sure to let go of any beliefs that you are more radiant than anyone else, and really look around you. Everyone is beautiful in some way, and when you are looking through the eyes of the Sacred Feminine, you’ll see the beauty—your own and theirs—without any need to compete with anyone else’s radiant presence.
Those are the spiritual fashion tips for 2011. I hope they help you enjoy a truly wonderful year, enjoying your splendor and that of everyone you meet.