|October Newsletter: "One Autumn Morning"
"Change arrives in nature when time has ripened. There is no jagged transitions or crude discontinuities. This accounts for the suredness with which one season succeeds another. It is as though they were moving forward in a rhythm set from a continuum."
- John O'Donohue
Now that it is cooler, every morning after I wake up, I peek through the closed curtains to find out what kind of morning it is. The first thing I do is take Petey and Sophie for their morning walk. The other morning was misty and damp. A low fog was lifting and if I had bothered to look past my own street, I would have seen some blue sky poking through. To find out how cold it is I step into our closet. Our closet, separated from the bedroom by two swinging doors, is my barometer. If I walk in there and my skin prickles and toes curl with cold, I grab a jumper (sweater) and maybe a scarf and definitely a cap or hat. That morning, the closet was, to my surprise, pleasantly mild. No need to bundle up, a t-shirt and a hoodie would do just fine.
Setting off, the air smelled clean and the leaves glistened like a movie set that has been hosed down to make the colours brighter. As I walked along, repeating my morning mantra;
"With every step and every breath I take, my body returns to its natural state of health and wellbeing",
I felt the familiar lengthening of my spine, a deepening of my breath and a spring making its way into my step.
New Jersey Autumn
After a ThetaHealing session with a client several weeks back, an idea had occurred to me. We were working on beliefs related to change –to welcome and accept change, to understand the higher perspective of change, to know that it's possible to change and so on. Positive change, I came to realize, is simply a returning -a returning to ones natural state of wellbeing. As I repeated my morning mantra-ic affirmation, I noted with satisfaction that it reflected exactly that.
Every day, our higher selves and our bodies strive to bring us back to health and wellness. We know how well we're doing by our emotions. Our emotions are what Abraham (see Esther Hicks) calls our navigation system. If we are feeling good –happy, content, excited, motivated, and passionate, then we are most likely on the road to wellness. Conversely, if we are angry or frustrated, blameful or critical, resentful or guilt-ridden, fearful or anxious, we are resisting. What are we resisting? We are resisting wellbeing. When something happens that evokes a negative emotional response, it's a signal that our ego "I" and our Divine "I", or Higher Self, are at odds –not eye to eye as it were. Forgive the pun. Maybe you were rude to someone. You feel guilty and angry at yourself and them. Why were you rude? Because they were rude to you? Why couldn't you ignore it? Maybe you were tired. Maybe you need to treat yourself better and get more rest. When we notice we are feeling not-so-good feelings, we are being called to make a change that will make us feel good again, in this case to take a relaxing bath and go to bed early. By becoming masters at emotional awareness, we begin to view our emotions with detachment, through detachment we are able to do what is necessary to make the positive change required so the not-so-good feelings evolve into better-feeling feelings. Through this process, bit by bit, our "I"s move into alignment.
The reality is that many of us are afraid of change. Change is difficult for us –even change that is good for us. It is the reason why we find it so hard to take that trip overseas, change jobs, stick to a diet or workout regime, or maintain an ordered desk or new relationship. Change is an ‘unknown' and we fear unknowns because according to our ego mind, "unknowns" are unsafe. Our ego "I" is like a loyal dog guarding us from harm. The misguided creature works hard to keep us safe from whatever it considers a threat. What it considers a threat depends on individual life experiences. For instance, if you grew up with parents who fought constantly about money, and you heard again and again, "Money is the root of all evil." Or, "Money doesn't grow on trees", your ego "I" might be spending a good deal of its time protecting you from this evil, unnatural thing called money, so no matter how hard you work, or what brilliant deals you pull, money stays beyond your grasp.
While our ego "I" does have our interests at heart, it really has no clue as to what is good for us because its perspective is so narrow. It would be like your child, using their limited experience, taking over every aspect of your life with confidence and gusto asserting with authority that they know what's best for you. Ridiculous, isn't it? Another way to think of it is to imagine our ego mind as a low-flying entity. Its concerns are earthbound and survival oriented; keeping you clothed, housed, fed and loved. Your Higher Self is ethericbound and spiritually oriented. It concerns itself with helping you love, serve and create.
Your Higher Self is huge. Its electro-magnetic energy field starts above your head. Go ahead and reach your arms up over your head. (If you're reading this in your office, pretend you're stretching). That's it. Reach up high. Above your head. Where you finger tips end is where your Higher Self, your Divine "I", begins. Where it ends for any given individual is impossible to say. Among New Age thinkers, the pineal gland is considered to be the physical channel through which your Divine "I" communicates with you. The Pineal gland is sometimes associated with the Sixth chakra, or the Third Eye and is thought to be the seat of intuitive thought. Descartes, in his day, called the Pineal gland the "Seat of the Soul".
Pineal Gland in the Brain
While our Higher Self works hard at bringing us to joy, ease, love, gratitude, and fun, our ego mind, albeit with the best intentions, thwarts us. The ego "I" is predominantly a defensive creature, so anytime we attempt to make positive, empowering change, the ego "I", perceiving its survival threatened, retaliates by sabotaging the change. However, as you consciously follow your feel-good emotions and thoughts, your Divine "I" inevitably gets more airplay. You notice that your thoughts are governed more by intuition than logical weighing up of pros and cons, and eventually, your ego "I" will have no choice but to join forces with the Divine "I", and when that happens, you have returned and without a doubt you are changed.
As I continued on my walk that morning, nature reminded me that change is constant and inevitable. The tops of trees had turned brilliant colours as they always do at this time each year, a cold front, I knew, was sure to come, followed by rain, and then for a few weeks leaves of brilliant oranges, reds and musty pinks would snow down until the trees stood naked and barren, which is exactly what has happened since this walk.
When the days were still warm, I refused to look at any of the Fall decorations popping up in store windows. I threw away catalogues unopened (an act completely at odds with my OCD self who can not throw away any junk mail without first looking through it) because on the covers models were bundled up, wool-clad and boot-donned. When we feel change coming as individuals and as a community we dig in our heels. We can see this pattern in the upcoming election, and we have seen it in our distant past like when Galileo found himself before the Inquisition because he proclaimed the century old Copernican theory that the sun was the center of the universe not the earth. I wonder how different life would be if we were all secure enough to become friends with change, to release expectations of how we think things should be, and be accepting as to how things are. It's this lack of accepting of how things are that creates the discord in ourselves where we want change but find it so hard to bring about the very change we desire.
Coming over the hill on the home stretch of our walk that morning, I noticed a shimmering spot of light on the road. It was as if someone from a great distance was shining a luminescent spotlight right in my path. It wasn't very big –maybe a meter round, but it caught my attention because the mist was still low and, from what I could see, light wasn't streaming anywhere else. At the pace I was walking, before I knew it, I had passed this precious spot. I looked back wanting to hold onto what I'd seen but it wasn't visible from my new point-of-view. I thought about going back but I knew Petey would resist me, so I carried on feeling a little sad that I had passed by too quickly and had missed it. Then, as I turned the corner towards my house, to my delight, I was greeted by a cacophony of light rays pouring through the glistening trees. It was as if Creation was shining a torch through Her own hands. Then, inside my head as if someone spoke out aloud, I heard, "An opportunity is never missed. There are always more and often greater opportunites to come." I realized that many of us may feel as though we have missed opportunities in our lives. We may look back, as I did, wishing to turn back but I can see from my own life that the Universe presents us with new delicious opportunities all the time. And it's ok if you choose not to seize them because you might not be ready, or you might be so ready that there's a better opportunity right around the bend.
Know that your purpose here is to change and create change, so muster your courage and choose to see new opportunities as invitations instead of a threat.
Now, Here we are at the place where I give you fun things to do...
While we hope for positive change, sometimes change can mean illness, suffering or loss, but still each carries with it opportunities to learn and grow, so I offer you this thought before I go:
||Take a walk! I know it's getting chilly but if you haven't done so recently, take a walk in a park or around your neighbourhood -early morning if you can. Wear a scarf, gloves and hat -you'll be fine :). Be mindful in your walk. Notice your surroundings. Take deep, even breaths. When you hear your thoughts drifting to what to eat for lunch, or things you have yet to do, return your attention back to the walk. Smell the air, look at the leaves and greet other walkers with a smile. In addition to exposure to primordial sounds (wind blowing, leaves rustling, birds singing, water running) which help us keep in rhythm, walking has many benefits: Energy moves through your joints in a gentle even way, releasing tension and stagnation. Walking is grounding. If you're feeling flighty, taking a walk outside will help you get centered.
||Love the change you're in! Change is constant which means it's happening right now.
Change can be fun! You might think, "I'm out of shape"; or "My job sucks", but what if those thoughts inspired and motivated you instead of struck you dumb with despair? We live in a universe of endless possibilities, which means you are only limited by habit and thought.
Let's imagine you can be whoever and do whatever you put your mind to. Take a couple of minutes now to imagine what that would be like. Who would you be? What would you look like? Who would be with you? Where do you do your work? What kind of work is it? See yourself. Feel what it feels like.
When you're done, use this Louise Hay affirmation to seal the deal: "I am at ease with the changes in my life." In the morning, repeat this to yourself out loud in the mirror 10 times, and at night, write it down 10 times before you go to bed.
Do this for three weeks.
||Life is full of opportunities. Release the notion that it is possible to miss an opportunity. If you ‘missed' it, you probably weren't ready for it. Your Divine "I" wants you to succeed. Also, there is little point looking back with remorse or regret at opportunities you think you have missed because 1) there is nothing you can do about it, 2) it is a distraction from what is to come or what is already here, and 3) It is not real. It is a distorted view based on an emotion-skewed memory.
The only time focusing on the past helps you is if the memory ends up motivating and exciting you. Otherwise, stick to focusing on where you are and where you want to go.
"Embrace change with faith and trust."
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