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Unconditional Love – Healing and Discovering Pristine Peace and Happiness -Part 2

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Trust and Unconditional Love – Expressions of our God-ness

We recently visited a Matrix Energetics practitioner as part of our search for answers to a mysterious malady that has been the focus of the past two months. As the health issues originally surfaced when we attended a Matrix Energetics training weekend, we felt that an exploration in this same arena might reveal solution. We got waay more than we hoped for….. More than anything else, we were returned to consciousness – a consciousness that included the truth that we have dominion over our state of well-being because we are intimately connected to the quantum field of all possibility. It was one of those “knock yourself on the head and say ‘I could have had a V8’ ” moments — of course we are both the navigators and experiencers of our path….of course we can shift any field of belief to which we have been subjugated by the limited perspective of others to whom we have given our power and…..of course we are God.

How is it that we more often forget these tiny little facts more than we remember them? How is it we forget to trust in our indestructible connection to our quantum soul? What is it about trust that is so difficult to depend on?  Time and again I forget that I have a partner in this physical life with whom I am traveling our trajectory and with whom I share the blessings and challenges of everyday living. I forget to remember that I am not alone as I lay awake in the night digging deep for resources to continue to maintain our established lifestyle…as if I alone am responsible.  I forget to remember to trust that support is as close as opening my eyes to all that is before me waiting to be invited to participate. I forget to trust in the bi-directional nature of unconditional love as the foundation upon which my life is built.

Here is a great story to illustrate:
Continue reading

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Unconditional Love – Healing and Discovering Pristine Peace and Happiness -Part 1

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Getting to the Heart of Unconditional Love

One of my favorite “fiction”  books is Running From Safety by Richard Bach.  The tag-line declares it “an adventure of the spirit”. The back-jacket poses this enticing question: “If the child we were asked us today for the best we learned from living, what would we tell and what would we discover in return?”

The book chronicles the author’s healing journey as an adult through a metaphysical encounter  with himself as a child.   Richie, his 9 year old child self, emerges from imprisonment within the psyche of the author and through thoughtful and honest dialogue, Richie begins his journey to integration as part of Richard’s present life. It is a sensitively told story of universal experience about our journey to wholeness. As we gather the parts of us we have abandoned at various times in our lives, we begin to live more aware and conscious of all of who we are and to remember that at our core we are both wise and infinitely loving.   As Richard unfolds this message,  his life transforms. He unravels the knots of restriction that had paralyzed his heart and he exhales into self acceptance,  his infinite potential for connection and the safety that comes from trusting the eternal presence of unconditional love.

Activating unconditional love through unconditional giving – the relationship issue

Activating unconditional love in our lives is really a two-step process – letting go of past grievances and making the conscious decision to actively love every experience. In a very powerful handbook, Your Body Speaks Your Mind, author Debbie Shapiro suggests that we have a choice to be thankful and loving always. She indicates that opening our heart to love and allowing love into “every crack and crevice of our lives enables us to take risks and embrace the unknown”.   In my opinion, that means always being ready to give and that is where the rubber meets the road in this quest to be unconditionally loving. It asks for selflessness. It requires taking risk. It suggests that if there is a decision to be made between holding back our love or giving it, that we choose for the latter.

The arena where this practice can be most exercised is in relationships – primary, friendships, co-workers, with our children – all relationships. In our culture the perceptions around relationship more often are about ‘ keeping score’,  fulfilling a list of how the other person should look, talk, act, and having our personal needs met  than it is about true connection and regard for the other.  We seem to be so ‘on guard’ for fear of losing  something of ourselves in relationship that we forget to give! We often place an inordinate amount of importance on our egoic identity as if loss of that is certain death. Yet if you think about it, giving isn’t giving away parts of ourselves. It is simply honoring our mutual humanity by respecting the needs of the other. Besides, we (the we that really matters and that is our true ‘us’-ness)  always was and always will be completely intact. Our soul and vitality cannot be broken.  It is in giving that we live active unconditional love. Giving is the hallmark of trust that we won’t break and that we will be taken care of if we follow our heart’s bidding.

The eternal pool of giving – the place of absolute, undisturbed peace and happiness

I recall in meditation one day struggling with this notion of measured love versus walking the path of unconditional love. Past experiences cause a shutting down of our hearts in the false belief of protection against hurt and it is an understandable reaction to loss. Yet this safe way has never seemed the whole answer…it seems more isolating than healing. In that meditation I was ‘handed’ the message that the pool of giving is infinite – we don’t run out of giving – we simply just need to return to it and replenish our giving Selves. The image of that infinite pool of giving stays with me and I return to that pool often. It nourishes me, soothes me and accesses that place of absolute undisturbed peace and happiness. It is my buffer against the judgments and admonishments of the cultural norms that suggest there is a limit to giving and to love – give too much and you lose. …. not so! It is about connecting with the heart of the other’s heart…the place of unconditional love that sees only the light of love and regard that exists there.

I watched a friend lovingly make a full array of delicious food for his daughter’s graduation celebration. He spent the whole evening engaged in his labor of love – that is uncondiitonal love. It is when you ask for nothing in return – love is not confined to a balance sheet. It is not a bank account that eventually is spent to deficit. It is an open space that embraces  every opportunity to be a source of giving. Unconditional love is giving without reservation, without expectation, without fear of loss. Does this kind of love have risk – yes – by its very nature love is risk but it is measured against the constant flow of contact with that endless pool of giving we are always  connected to…..our happiness and well-being is connected to the amount we give, not the amount we get.

Living today from unconditional love

Again, quoting from Debbie Shapiro’s book – When we open our hearts and give with love…”We do not need to turn our backs on our neighbors because they are a different race or practice a different religion; we can accept the differences while recognizing our shared humanity. In place of fear, see a challenge that can be met with creative awareness. Fear contracts and pushes away; it holds tight and denies change or movement. Love is expansive and all-embracing; it welcomes change as an expression of all life.”  Perhaps we all could use more love and acceptance of each other especially in the caustic climate afoot in America today. It is fear at its most destructive!

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If you want to understand the true nature of unconditional love, see this movie – Grand Torino. It will make you laugh, cry and understand how it is that opening our heart unconditionally changes everything.


‘You’re going to burn in hell’………meeting our ultimate fear

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” YOU’RE GOING TO BURN IN HELL! “

……Those damning words floated into the sleepy sanctity of our condo this morning. The condemnation, uttered with such conviction, was part of a longer ‘sermon’  delivered as the speaker made his way down the street outside our window apparently warning invisible parishioners of the perils of sinful living. This fiery delivery was received in our domain with a wry and humorous comment about the glory of living downtown where all manner of humanity intermingles and shares their particular view of this existence.   But it did get me thinking about the conviction of truth from which those words were uttered and it did get me remembering what it felt like to hear those same sentiments as a young child growing up Catholic and wide-eyed with terror at the prospect of being consumed by flames because I did not obey and God was not pleased. Then, it was my first introduction to fear and the concept of Divine retribution. Today,  as a rational adult who has reconciled with logic, I realize that a punishing God is an oxymoron. Yet I am still amazed that  sentiments like the ones which arrived uninvited in our bedroom this morning are still afoot in our supposedly sophisticated culture. Do we really believe in ‘hell’? Really? Still?

As I pondered the question, I considered how much of our existence is centered around our cellular fear of dying and ‘burning in hell for all eternity’ because we are flawed and at our core, reprehensible.  So our fear of  annihilation sends us seeking safe harbor from death in any way we can.  At the heart of our individual, national and global conflicts is fear in some form.  Continue reading

Dance with the Denver Nuggets -in the Present Moment

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I admit it – I am a fierce Denver Nuggets fan. I love watching them play especially this season. They, collectively and individually have matured and become a cohesive team whose persistence and passion are inspiring to watch.  Yesterday they played the first game of the second tier of NBA playoffs. And they won a decisive victory over Dallas. One particular scoring caper stands out – JR Smith receives a pass near the basket and back passes to Carmelo Anthony who dunks it — so fast, so precise such a pretty sight to see. It was one of those important ‘in the moment’ opportunities. In order for it to have happened, everyone needed to be right there right now…not off in the ozone of unconsciousness. The potential in that moment was fully realized because presence -that moment- was all there was.

In the latest issue of Spirituality and Health there is an interview with Jill Bolte Talyor, Ph.D., a neuroanatomist and author of MyStroke of Insight. This book was written to recount her incredible eight-year recovery from a stroke that literally shut down the cognitive functions of her left brain. The book is worth the read as it shares some of the most profound insights into the function of our innate connection to Divine Joy. In response to the question ” What sort of techniques would you recommend for turning off the endless loops sometimes found in the left cognitive mind?” she shared this:

“…consciously choose to bring your mind to the present moment. How do you do that? You decide that you’re going to see what your eyes are looking at; you bring your consciousness to the present moment. When you are going up the stairs, you look at the steps, you look at the handrail. Most of us unconsciously climb the steps, can’t even say what the color of the carpet is, if there is a carpet, because we’re somewhere else. Pay attention to the present moment. Bring your mind, bring your ears to the present moment, start savoring the awareness of the information you perceive in the present moment, and let that grow. And it’s like with any circuitry: the more you concentrate on it and experience it, the more it will develop itself.”

How many times have I missed noticing someone as I passed them on the street, or driven by the mountain goats grazing on the mountainside and not seen them, or rummaged through a tool box not finding what wrench was right there before my eyes….this simple concept of looking, paying attention and “seeing what your eyes are looking at” brought into consciousness the deliberate actions needed to embody that ethereal and well utilized directive to be in the present moment. Interesting how you never really get it until it is time!! So from now on I will see what I look at…I will appreciate even more the brilliance of that choreography in the Nuggets game….I will engage all my senses and awareness with every step I take….

When you turn off the internal noise maker by  focusing, really focusing  on one thing in this present moment,  everything opens wide and you get to play in the field of possibility. You also get to experience the unbridled joy that waits to be invited in to your life…I want some of that!!!!

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Persistence

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Lately, it seems that the mettle is tested in persisting with personal vision and focus –

In addition to being constantly bombarded with information about national struggles of epic proportions that invite fear and panic -the latest being the potential swine flu ‘pandemic’,  our national shadow emerges as we learn the heinous details of how we tortured prisoners (we really did torture? America? the beacon of freedom and compassion in the world? We torture? ).  And closer to home, illness and incipient illness of loved ones who embody vitality, strength and eternal mentorship surface and remind me that this reality is illusory and time-bound.  The view from this burdened perspective also includes a sense being eclipsed by the capabilities of others and thus the perception of struggling to measure up to some obscure standard that has suddenly caused vulnerability.  Lately,  I find myself aware of the constant call to vigilance in charting a responsible, authentic personal and professional path – one that is free of  current dogmatic precepts. And I am painfully aware of the seeming absence of that ubiquitous need for instant gratification (the nurture upon which we were suckled)

….the load feels impossibly complex, unruly,  mysterious and self-defeating.

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Seize No-Thing; Utilize Every-Thing; Discover Holy Love

This morning, as I was performing the daily ablutions required to emerge into public view acceptably, I realized I was bored. I was tired of routine, of negative and fearful rhetoric and the snail’s pace of growth that our business seemed to be taking. Where is that ‘fairy godmother’ when you need her? Where is the magic fairy dust to transform desire into reality?  With a deep sigh, I clearly recognized this descent into despair … just in time to also become aware of something else present – a choice. I could go down this well-traveled road like a whiny, rebellious teenager and lament present day circumstances or I could catch a ride on a different train.  As I captured awareness before it went unconsciousness – I bought a ticket to somewhere else, hopped the train and began to inhale the new scenery. Oh how the landscape and my attitude changed. Good choice!!

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That is how things have been evolving lately – greater and greater perception of the vastness beyond the smallness….I often see the cracked open doorway and more often venture through it into new perspective. Where did this begin? Actually with the post about my winning at gambling – “Save this day for Future Reference”.  As I sensed then, something opened up in that moment of success…the letting go into the flow of guidance was an unmistakeable milestone of awareness. Continue reading

Ecopsychology – The Human Factor as Healing for Global Warming

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Global Warming Crisis and Ecopsychology

That the earth is in crisis is not new news. Issues of war, poverty, natural disasters, rainforest depletion, polar ice caps disappearing….is the stuff of front page news. Economically, politically, socially and environmentally we face monumental  challenges. Planetary malaise is evident in the quantity and magnitude of natural disasters experienced recently: tsunamis of mega proportions, massive hurricanes, raging forest fires and intense earthquakes that provide mounting evidence that something is out of balance.  There are viable scientific explanations for these crises – global warming as a result of ozone depletion being the prime reason. But that is one perspective only.  Human culpability in the plight of our ecosystem is another aspect of this destruction. It  is the realm of a relatively new discipline called Ecopsychology which investigates this human involvement and offers a way out of the complex maze in which  we find ourselves embedded.

The Human Factor – our disconnection from “the living planet that nurtures us”

The large human footprint of civilization has exacted a huge toll on nature and disrupted the harmonious balance between all beings on this planet. Our consuming compulsions escalate at alarming rates despite global economic downturns. We drive gas guzzling vehicles that deplete fossil fuels. We pollute our atmosphere, our rivers and streams with industrial and household waste from our bloated living. Through our disruption of the innate order of nature, the vital  diversity of numerous species of  animals and flora are ravaged to extinction.   Environmentalists have admonished such behavior and pointed out repeatedly our collective shameful conduct. Yet we act as if we are immune to and isolated from the consequences of our behavior and  that we are deaf to the warnings. What is at the bottom of such insanity? What is the compulsion  that drives our behavior to the brink of our own destruction?  Can we change in time to reverse the effects of our unconscious behavior? Is change the answer?

In his book, The Voice of the Earth, Theodore Roszak, founder of a new environmental discipline called Ecopsychology,  points to our disconnection from “the living planet that nurtured us” as the cause of our irrational conduct. Through the deifying of technology, science and materialism, we have become disconnected from our ecological unconscious which he defines as   “the living record of cosmic evolution, tracing  back to initial conditions in the history of time”.  He is referring to the very beginnings of our universal existence, our primordial connection to Gaia –a connection that our ancestral cultures intimately honored and respected for the vitality and harmonious existence  it provided.

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Power Over vs Co-operation

Our industrial-social heritage has embedded a pejorative view of nature in the human psyche which calls for a stance of ‘dominance over’ in our relationship with the natural world. Such a frame of reference allows little room for  any meaningful, respectful and equal interaction with the cosmos and invites conflictual, anxiety-driven interface with nature, Gaia and in fact, with God.  We are closed to “the true ‘doors of perception’, [and] there is so very much we can no longer ‘see’”.   Roszak offers that “Our sense of being split off from an “outer” world where we find no companionable response has everything to do with our obsessive need to subjugate and conquer”.  This is indeed what we see in the insatiable appetite to consume. People admit when they are given the chance to reflect on their behavior that they feel better when they buy a new electronic gadget, car, clothing. It is not so much about deliberately  deciding to destroy the environment as it is about the momentary sense of  having some power and control over their world that brings  tranquility and fills a nebulous void.  But much like an addictive ‘high’, the feeling is not sustainable as the law of diminishing returns encourages escalation of the behavior and actually models the deeper problem of  disconnection.

The Multi-Dimensional Perspective from modern madness to ecological sanity

From the perspective of Ecopsychology,  consumerism and its devastating consequences is  not a physiological issue that can be filled with material possessions and satisfied by our perceived ability to hold power over our environment. It is a spiritual problem whose solution lies in a loving and compassionate reconnection to nature that in turn heals and fills the inner void with true sustenance. Ecopsychology  seeks to homogenize the imperatives of the environmental movement with the technology of our modern heritage. It suggests a synthesis of  psychological and ancestral perspectives to  provide a pathway through our modern madness to personal and ecological sanity. From the view of Ecopsychology, the two are integrally connected – when we find our personal sanity, ecological sanity will emerge. Roszak suggests that although modern psychology is in service to science and is disconnected from its ancestral roots, the historically philosophical nature of this discipline has as its essential purpose the healing of the wounded soul  and thus it is the obvious tool to use.  By healing the individual wounded soul, the pandemic of unhappiness, discontent and fear that is reflected in our insatiable consumption and results in environmental disequilibrium has potential for healing.

“…when we know ourselves, we know the universe…”

In his book,  Quantum Mind, Dr. Arnold Mindell  explains our intimate connection with all that is around us and in us:   “…when we know ourselves, we know the universe and when we know the universe, we know ourselves.”  Thus, when we change our internal relationship and come to know more of ourselves, we  expand our knowledge of  the universe.  What then would we project  onto our external reality in the world?  If we experience self-honor and self-respect and are at peace with ourselves, would we not  give and receive that in the world?

The possibility to turn around the degeneration of our ecology comes not from the arrogance of our belief that we as humans have the potential to externally change the course of global evolution but from our potential and capability to recognize that we have the personal freedom to enter into a new, respectful relationship with our external world…and in particular, nature.  We can choose to hear Gaia in a new way and make new choices that are in harmony with her needs for sustainability on a global scale. In so doing, we play in the quantum field of universal harmony and surface lasting change that is good for all.

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When we re-vision our relationship with multidimensional reality we emerge a natural desire for greater simplicity and no longer need to consume to fill our emptiness and engender a false sense of happiness. What surfaces in this new connection with ourselves and source is an authentic happiness that is both sustainable and healing…..there is choice and we are the purveyors of that choice – what do you choose?