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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Letting Go

I was walking to work today thinking about all the things I need to let go of so I can change my life and make me a better person. Coughing slightly because of grief that has settled into my lungs, a seeming boundless grief that knows no relief, a deep one that seems to encompass and reflect many lifetimes.

A few of the items I was thinking needed changing were the:

  • notion that I can significantly help anyone but myself
  • idea of the loss of my once youthful physical body
  • tendency to worry about the illusory real world of diving economies, increasing warfare and hatred, and global disease
  • fear of my own death (which equals the fear of my own rebirth)
  • belief that sex, drugs or rock & roll can help me escape the illusory real world by providing an alternate illusory real world that is somehow better

And as I am thinking these noble thoughts, a man comes up to me with his arm outstretched. He seems to be of Everyman descent and he has a sparkle in his eyes that indicates he is coming directly from visiting God/dess (or, as my mother would say, on drugs).

"Help me," he says, "I'm hungry and have no place to go."

"Sorry," I say to him without even blinking.

And then I have passed him.

I look back a minute later and there is no evidence of the beggar. And all at once, I am wracked with guilt, fear, concern, and a thousand forms of sorry.

  • What if that man actually is God/dess?
  • What if it was a test?
  • Suppose he wasn't just a hustler like me in my younger days?
  • Maybe he was telling the truth!
  • How pathetic that I want to change my life and can't even help one poor Soul?

And frankly, my ego loves to play these imaginary games with me.

One minute I was thinking about giving up the "notion that I can significantly help anyone but myself" -- and the next minute my ego tosses a needy soul in my path. What better test of my own resolve than to feed me my own fears in concrete, physical form?

Yes, the beggar was no doubt real; but the shear coincidence, serendipity even, of his appearance in my life at that moment was truly cause for pause and suspicion.

After all, I create my own reality -- good, bad, and neutral. Maybe I even manifest "tests" for my own guilty, grieving conscience.

This apparent truth is another reason for me to let go of the very illusions I create or allow others to create for me.

And so it seems (today) to be.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Sarah Palin Opportunity

"Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are."
-- Bernice Johnson, American Historian and Musician

As you can see from my previous post -- dated August 30, 2008 -- the Sarah Palin Opportunity had a profound and paralyzing affect on me. Why this is so, I'm not sure, but the entire illusion called the 2008 Presidential Elections threw me into a tailspin. This in spite of a promise I'd made to myself to not get caught up in it all. Then, almost self-destructively, I engaged in the entire circus. And even though I (sort of) didn't really care who won the election (I was leaning heavily for Obama); I just wanted George and his cronies out of the People's White House.

The delicious illusion of it all, though, grabbed me early on. Against my own self-promises, better judgment, and inner vision, I began watching MSNBC early on -- two years ago, in fact. Each night the news pundits would fire me up -- or, more accurately, I would invite them to fire me up. And each night I went to sleep with their inflammatory and toxic notions on my mind. And the truth is, it wouldn't have mattered whether I watched Fox News or MSNBC. The results would have been the same. Restless dreams filled with endless worry. And for what? An illusory coloring book marked in with imaginary crayons.

And then Sarah Palin entered the picture and, whereas everything up to that point seemed dully insane, the mere fact that anyone like her could be placed anywhere near the Office of the President of the United States of America made my brain cells curl. What madness had infiltrated John McCain's head? Could greed and vision be so clouded and twisted to result in this?

And so, it seemed, it could.

(I have always said I am not a politician or minister or doctor or business man, and that those areas of life are best left to people more suited for them than I am -- more knowledgeable. But John McCain's decision to utilize the governor of Alaska stymied me and had me second guessing my own convictions.)

I knew some veil of reason had been breached.

After I wrote the previous post, where I laid out a fabulous scenario where McCain was utilizing Palin as a ruse to appease the Powerful Right -- and that once that was done, he would dispose of her in some way -- by hook, crook, or plain politics -- make her vanish, possibly allowing Mitt Romney to come in as his second choice for V.P.

Well, I was obviously wrong on all counts. And Palin, at least in her own mind, is here with us for a while. And McCain -- well, who will remember him for anything but being a courageous Vietnam war veteran who ran the weirdest and possibly most negative campaign for President in United States history?

Still, something about the negativity hooked into me -- or, more likely into my ego. My ego, so easily sated by fear, the only thing -- in fact -- that makes it smile. And I, woefully, was off to the races.

Normally, I drift in and out of life's little power shifts like a fish gliding through water. The contractions come, I take a deep breath, and then they go -- followed by a period of well-being and, sometimes, bliss.

But this Palin affair pulled me out of the water, threw me upon a giant rock on the shore, and left me lying there to bake in the sun of disbelief, fear, and confoundment.

And that was where the opportunity of it all became apparent.

Because, fortunately, through it all, I continued to pray, meditate, do yoga, attend spirit-based retreats, and generally stay On Point some of the time. And when the sun broke through the clouds on the evening of Election Day, I came home to where God/dess resides and where all is well.

I imagine that when the day comes for me to once-and-for-all shed my earth skin and Go Home, these cycles of contraction/bliss will make some sense.

Until then, I just have to have faith that everything really, really, really is exacty as it needs to be.

And so it is.
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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Intuitive Sense

I am not one to harbor political thoughts because I do not consider myself brainy enough for that process.  Ditto on financial matters, affairs of business, or even Heady God Stuff.  However, I do have intuitions -- often bordering on paranoia!

I alway sensed that Mitt Romney was going to be president.  Not later down the road, I mean during this particular incarnation of madness we call the 2008 elections.  Anyway, yesterday -- with the choosing of gun-toting hockey mom, Sarah Palin -- John McCain proved my intuition completely off-base.  Now, when my intuition gets thrown off base, I do what any self-respecting writer does: I move into fiction mode.

Imagine if this entire Sarah Palin thing was a well-thought-out political scheme.  One in which McCain chooses a woman who just happens to be pro-right-to-life who just also happens to be a member of the National Rifle Association who just also happens to be a fundamentalist Christian.  Then, as part of the plan, this woman -- who is really just a decoy -- is forced to step down from her role a few weeks later (due perhaps to a political scandal, say, stemming from, maybe the firing of a state official who may or may not have been sacked by her for refusing to possibly fire her own brother-in-law from -- oh, let's say, the state police).

And that once Palin resigns or steps down or is told to leave, McCain is placed in the difficult position of finding someone quickly.  Someone who is not a woman and not as conservative and who maybe even disappoints the religious right just a little.  But, poor John McCain, what can he do?  At least, he is able to say he tried to do the right thing in Sarah Palin and find a person who satiated the conservatives.  And now, with time running out, etc. blah blah, he's forced by circumstance to pick a less desirable candidate for VP like Joe Leiberman (hopefully not that less desirable) or ..... ummmm ..... Mitt Romney.

And now the ultra far right, though unhappy, can make believe they're somewhat appeased and John Boy has shown he deserves the Independent votes and the women's votes and the Good Old Boy votes and, hey, by the way, what a total maverick he is, etc.

Don't you just love fiction devolved from intuition gone wrong?

(Note: Now how Mitt Romney goes from being Vice President to President is too far outside my realm of intuitiveness and/or fiction-weaving skills.  And it's just too darn scary to think about, anyhow.  And yeah, yeah, I know: don't give up my day job!)
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Unsettling Dream

I am living in a New York City apartment -- or staying at a New York City hotel.  My sisters and maybe my mom are there, too.  We hear explosions and yelling, so I look out the window.  Up in the sky, I see what looks like the Mayan Calendar drawn in the sky in blood red jet streams.  But then I realize it is a circular image that includes words.  The words are slogans -- things like "Peace is at hand" and "Joy through the World."

I call my mother and sister to the window and they also have a look.  I have a souring feeling in my heart because it seems as if something important and wonderful is happening.  I sense there is joy everywhere.

Then, all of a sudden, I notice that one of the cars going by has a passenger with a gun.  He points it at a person in one of the neighboring windows and pulls the trigger.  I don't see what happens because I get out of the window and duck down.  But a dark realization quickly filters into my brain.  I yell for my family to get out of the window and duck.  They do and we hear gunshots ringing out.  Then there is a really big explosion and the window blows in.

It seems as if Doomsday has come in the guise of peace and love first.  I wake up feeling pretty sad and disillusioned.
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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My Light Side

One of the marvelous things I’ve noticed about my life these days is an awareness of the approach of darker moods.  I’ll have periods of light and joy that can last for days or weeks, followed by a more contracted period during which I feel heavy and burdened, moody and even haunted.  The marvelous thing, the true miracle, is that I’m actually aware of the dark period and cognizant that it, too, shall pass.

 Better still, the dark periods are lasting a shorter and shorter period of time.

 (And to think, this is the stuff I used to take prescribed medication for – "correcting" or avoiding the normal cycles of my life!)

 I am SO GRATEFUL.

 I think that I am very fortunate – blessed – to be on the life path I have created.  So how are some of the ways I help to ensure that my blessed life path stays (more or less) even keeled?

 Well:

  •  Each day I do a form of yoga for an hour.  I say “form of yoga” because – to date – I have no formal training and merely utilize my own intuition to do “poses” that my body enjoys, desires, or needs.  In addition to “yoga” I also throw in some push-ups and crunches.
  • When I remember to – or when I am stressed that I am driven to – I meditate.  I practice Transcendental Meditation because that is the method in which I was initiated (in the early 1970s).
  • Though I don’t really pray, I do use affirmative thinking and shamanistic techniques to assert a fine reality (and/or to accept the reality I find myself blessed with on a given day).
  • I try to remember that “bad things” don’t happen to me.  Rather, they are offered up to me by Spirit (God, Goddess et al.) as opportunities to learn.  Practice makes perfect. Okay, a LOT of practice (hopefully) will make perfect one day!
  • For my diet, I rely on the Atkins/South Beach approach.  This is a good diet for me because I tend to be compulsive with sweets (e.g. I can’t eat one Pepperidge Farm cookie – I have to eat the entire box in one sitting!).  So if I cut out the carbs (noodles, potatoes, rice, pies, etc.) I do much better.  (And for those who are wondering, the cravings for those items actually go aware more or less completely after about two weeks into the diet.)
  • I make a concerted effort to constantly practice staying focused on the joy of living.  I do this by staying aware (conscious) (hint: read the Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment and A New Earth: Awakening to Your Higher Purpose by Eckhart Tolle) and by watching the more upbeat movies and reading the more upbeat books.
  •  try not to watch the news or read the newspapers.  Like sugar, I have a tendency to over-indulge in the media circus.  I’m better off laying off the junk altogether.  (Plus it’s kind of fun in a wicked way to see all the chaos you missed during a one period away from the “news.”  People die, get thrown out of office, scandalize themselves and, what’s worse, this stuff gets dragged out day after day after day for human consumption.  I remember one time I found out the Pope had died, then died again (they only thought he had died the first time!).  When you step away from the “news” – you realize just how much madness it contains, how much negativity it reinforces, and how unimportant most of it truly is in the long run.
  • Alcohol is a plant medicine that has a negative spin for me.  Though, in general, I'm not entirely opposed to imbibing once in a while, it tends to leave me feeling darker in mood and spirit than when I avoid it.  I'm not obsessed with its use or non-use, but I am extremely aware that it opens up portals to darker places in me.

I know that a lot of these items make me look and sound like a prude or just plain dull.  So be it.  I know that I’m not – and I also know that I lived a non-prudish, exciting life in my “past.”  Given the choice between the two, knowing what I know now, I’ll take prudish and dull anyway.

And so it is.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Poke Um'

I was just thinking this thought coming back from lunch and thought I'd better jot it down ...

If Spirit calls me back now -- at the ripe young age of 55 and nearly 11 months -- please don't cry for me. And if anyone you know who knew me cries for me, you have my permission and encouragement to poke them sharply where it hurts. Make her or him cringe.

Why?

Because these days I have been so happy and so amazingly content with my life that I can't imagine how it could have ever been different. Today I understand that everything that has ever "happened" to me -- every good and so-called bad thing -- has been something I chose. Nothing was a mistake and each and every thing was a lesson. Not always gracefully learned, I admit, but a lesson just the same. Each illness, each "tragedy", and each calamity was something I yearned for so that I could evolve through and beyond it. So that I could witness my ego creating all sorts of stories about the event(s) so as to tie myself in knots. And then learn to unravel those knots through meditation and other spiritual practices.

Now, knowing what I know of life and the reason(s) I came here (that I am not simply myself but my Self and that I am here to learn and cleanse/release my soul), I am so grateful and deliriously happy.

Now when I die, I know I'll be returning home. To think there is anything bad in that is simply foolish and naive.

And so it is. Share this post :
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Thursday, July 24, 2008

And the moon!

This morning -- actually moments ago -- I walked outside my home, running a tad late as usual, expecting a blast of hot air when I opened the door. (It was rather warm inside my apartment.) Instead, I was greeted with cool air and a brilliant blue sky.

And the moon!

At 9:20 a.m., I am greeted by cool air, a blue blue sky, wispy clouds -- and the moon!

And at that moment -- just moments ago -- I am filled with a mixture of gratitude and awe and love ... and more gratitude. It is as if the universe paints these moments for me, offers them up like some delicious morsels on a crystal platter, overflowing with an energy sauce (Source?) made by the gods.

Of course I am gushing here, to say the least. But I can't help myself. The silver-gray moon in the sky, back dropped by brilliant blue, seems to be smiling like one of my ancestors. A look of knowing-- shear understanding -- lies across the moon's face. At that holy moment I know that all is wonderfully well.

The day before me -- the great unknown -- suddenly falls into place, like a puzzle part just realized as The One Piece -- even though you've been staring at it, seemingly, for hours.

Quantum physics, religion, mathematics, geometry ... they all at once make sense.

Why do the make sense (you ask)?

Because they are all the same, ruled by the same beautiful forces that greet me as I leave my home -- just moments ago.

The air,
The sky,
The clouds,
The moon,
Realization.

The universe understands me,
and that's all I'll ever need. Share this post :
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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

States of Remembrance

I believe we enter this space-time realm, commonly called life, with an agenda. This agenda -- or purpose -- is provided to us or chosen by us to help our soul to learn how to clear itself of incompletions or to balance out wrongs we have committed toward other souls in past lives. When we're physically born, we arrive with a set of unconscious beliefs, prejudices, and other baggage.

During our time on the planet Earth (if we're lucky), we create (manifest) experiences that will enable us to remember who we are and to afford ourselves the opportunity to rid ourselves of some of the baggage. Sometimes they are in the form of feelings of déjà vu; sometimes they result from physical or psychological trauma; and sometimes they spring forth as we encounter something pleasing in nature. A beautiful sunset, a cloud moving past the sun "just so", or the feelings that emerge for many as dusk settles into night.

Then, suddenly, we are aware. Our eyes open briefly and a small, still notion speaks. It probably isn't in traditional words, but rather a slight, twinkling of recall. Brief, but strong enough to shake us to our roots. Then this remembering might vanish for years.

For some, grace or tragedy or prayerful meditation will bring these states of remembrance on. Then, through diligent practice, they can be experienced more consistently. Through perseverance, this can turn into a more grounded knowing. The realization (or making real) of the idea that this state -- once a fleeting feeling -- is home.

Once we arrive home -- once we pass through that portal -- there is no turning back. Never again do we see Mother Earth quite the same way. Now, all of nature is brilliant and beautiful. All the things we once saw as fearful are recognized as illusion.

The universe, of which we are a part, now conspires with us rather than against us. The scales of fear and falsity drop away and each day seems a fresh start.

This is the way once you have returned home.

This is the way it is.

This is love. Share this post :
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Plant Pillars and Tree Fountains

(15 July 2008)

I'm walking home at dusk
here in Washington, DC
And each tree I see, and each
plant -- are nodes of
         intelligence
               and beauty.

Fountains of knowledge and insight;
     attractive pillars,
          spraying upward and outward,
               green till brown till dust.

     Words, images, and
          deep, infinite knowing --
               available and free
     to those who look
          and listen
               and desire.
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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Dream Time

Last night I dreamt that I was a writer with a large circle of like-minded writer friends, a secure sense of myself, and a creative life-buzz that vibrated through me like nobodies business.  In the dream, I had taken a nudge from my muse and compiled a bunch of my diary entries and blog ramblings and sent them to a publisher.  In this dreamscape, I was celebrating the publication of my very first book.  So impressed were my circle of like-minded writer friends, that they were doing the same thing with great success.  I was enCOURAGING them and they were enCOURAGING them.

I awoke half an hour earlier than usual feeling as if my life was a dream and my dream was my life.  

I hope I dream tonight that someone comes in and cleans my apartment for me.  Now that would be a well-rounded life.
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Thursday, July 10, 2008

In the Flow

Do you ever feel like you're so in the flow that you want to scream out for joy. A little like that feeling you get just as a roller coaster hits the top of the top and you just know the thrill that is about to come. Good and bad all rolled into really good?

That's how I feel today. And really, you'd think I'd feel the exact opposite.

After all:
  • Several weeks ago me and mine decided to become special friends
  • Last week I switched from my Toshiba Windows-based laptop to an Apple MacBook Pro with OS X Leopard, and
  • Today I actually released the latest edition of my newsletter, DREAMScene -- only about four weeks late (it was originally supposed to be the June edition)

And in spite of all those things -- or maybe I should say thanks to all those things -- I feel marvelous.

It's as if I'm finally learning to accept change and chaos with quiet dignity. Accepting that it's all very good, even the stuff I used to think of as bad. As if a door to a realm of peace and surrender suddenly opened up to me. As if ...

Oh, the heck with it. I just feel really grateful to be alive and One with this amazing world I live in. Mother Earth, I salute you!

And so it is.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

8 July 2008

I am loath to admit how human I think I act sometimes.  Which, of course, is a ridiculous statement, in and of itself, because I am human and that should explain it all.  No thinking need be involved there.  I am human therefore respond to life like humans do.

But sometimes this incenses me.  Because I never wanted to be human and never really felt kin to other humans.  In this newer age this might brand me as an indigo child, something to be nurtured and watched over with adoration and understanding.  But back when I was a boy, especially in the home I grew up in, I was just an incorrigible little brat.

So be it -- being a brat then may explain my peculiar response to life now.  I don't know -- maybe yes, maybe no.

Anyway, the point of all this -- the point I was trying to convey, anyway --  is that in spite of all my perpetual attempts to be closer to God and to act the way I think enlightened beings would/could/should act, it all falls by the wayside when the reality of who I am collides with the reality of who I think am wanting to be (at a given moment).

Take, for instance, what happened twenty minutes ago.  I am walking down the street when I encounter an imbecile who has his bicycle situated sideways on the sidewalk.  During this less than brilliant maneuver, he is chatting with two babes.  I know they are babes because he is young, and dumb, and obviously heterosexual.  And as such, these innocent bystanders are also in my life's way.

So in one unholy instant -- one swell foop as it were -- I have taken a brother in this life and transformed him into an imbecilic, straight, self-centered clod.  All because he is, himself, being human in a fashion I find annoying and totally intolerable.

Thank the gods there was no spiritual mirror present then and there, because if there had been I would have seen myself as I truly was (then and there). 

An arrogant, impatient, hetero- and age-a-phobic weenie.

A Child of God, yes, but a weenie nonetheless.

And I might have dissolved into a blurr of self-loathing.

Fortunately, I do carry my own portable spiritual mirror with me all of the time -- and was able to catch my present mentality (IE, spoiled brat) almost immediately (well, within sixty seconds).  

(Sometimes it seems my ability to pull out the mirror is on a kind of time-delay; it's almost as if God wants me to experience this crap just long enough to feel sheepish about it.)

And with the mirror out I was able to see myself while hearing the small Voice I've come to know and love.  The voice, which in so many words, said, 

"Leave him be, Michael. I need him to be there, in that 
way, straddling the sidewalk, exactly as he's doing."

The Voice might have added, "And I don't mean maybe." -- but fortunately, didn't.

Then, in that moment, I realized -- my spiritual mirror outstretched before me -- that every instant is exactly as it should be.

Tiny and judgemental me, fragile human that I am, can let go of the holding on.  Holding on to irritation; holding on to annoyance; holding on to the  "This is my world, people, try to make it operate the way I think it ought." 

So, graciously, I said a prayer for the young man, for his wayward bicycle, and for the babes.  I even said a few quick prayers for the street people in the doorway of the library across the street.

I was on a spiritual roll.  All the world and all my brothers got my blessing.

And as an after thought, I threw some forgiveness my own way.

Somewhere, I'm sure the merry eyes of Spirit were twinkling.

And so it was.
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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tues of Day

Last night (Monday), a series of dreams, most of which are gone.  But there was a theme that ran through them which involved the entrance to my home.  It seemed like a home that was located both in a city (like New York) and a beach town (like Provincetown).  I am on the top floor and in the back and ... 

[This dream is not new.  I'm recalling that I've lived in "this place" in other dreams.]

... There is apparently a staircase, made of aged southern pine that has seen better days.  Planks have fallen away and even the small three by three landing is just about gone.  I can see the ground below.  As the dream progresses, all the wood falls away and by its end, there is nothing there.  I know that as I climb the stairs, it has become more and more dangerous.  Now, at dream's end, I am feeling haunted and afraid.

I wake up and thank God/dess for my amazing life and ponder the mystery of the dream.  So haunting and cryptic.  What does it mean? (I've never been very good at self-dream analysis -- so feel free to send your own thoughts!).


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Monday, July 7, 2008

Thouhts for Monday, July 7, 2008

I feel pretty sheepish about my gung-ho declaration re my need to write daily and using this blog as a means to do that. Here it is a week later and only my second entry. Perhaps I should change the name of this blog to

Thoughts for This Monday.

Ahh, well, no beating up of myself permitted. I've had a million reasons for not writing -- most of them pretty darn good. A very special person in my life and I decided, after what seemed like trying everything possible to make it work, to change the status of our relationship. We're friends now -- and you'd think that would give me a zillion things to write about. But instead, it's had the opposite affect.

OK, but that's just one reason. Another is the guilt I've been holding over my own head because the next issue of my newsletter, DREAMScene, is late. Mostly because it's such a great issue with so many cool articles ... but still. My Long Island upbringing demands a keep a little guilt on the back burner at all times.

But hey, I'm definitely getting better. A lot better.

I will write again, the newsletter will come out (probably this week), and all is well. All is always well.

So walking to work today, I passed this enormous tree --or what used to be a tree. All that was left was the stubble of the original life form, a mere trunk sawed off at ground level. At least on a visual level that was all that was left. But this tree had been so powerful that its energy still remained exactly as it was before its physical form had been shorn away. I could see the outline of the tree that used to be -- it's energy was that strong.

Was this my fantastic imagination or was the energy really there? Am I merely a creative writer who thinks he sees this stuff, makes it up, writes about it?

Well, those acquainted with me (and who often humor me or just put up with me) know I believe say that the energy of the tree is definitely real and that when you're attentive to and open to such things, they make themselves known to you. In fact, I am forever amazed at the things that I am aware of once I remove the illusion of "reality" from things.

What a blessing it is to know this tree; to have known this tree; to know this tree as it will be one hundred years from today.

And so it is with me.

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Monday, June 30, 2008

Thoughts for Monday, June 30, 2008

I decided a few days ago that I need my own personal "blog." Some place for me to actually write daily. Whether to make this public or not ... well, I'm not sure yet.

OK, so I'm going through another one of my contractions -- one of those energy pulses that affect most humans. Sometimes there seems to be a breathing in of the universal energy (universal energy = me); sometimes there seems to be a breathing out of the universal energy (universal energy = me). Often times I feel that my own contractions resonate with the universe, other times it feels as if I'm fighting against the flow. Today I feel like I'm resonating.

All seems to be well.

Anyway, it occurs to me that I'm watching way too much television -- particularly the news segments. I already know that the networks sell us negativity because it's the thing that generates the most money. Audiences get addicted to fear (a response to illusions) and then want more. It happens to me all the time (being one in the audience) -- usually during my seeming negative contractions.

So now I'm thinking I need to:

  • to watch less television
  • meditate more often
  • advance my yoga program
  • utilize this blog daily
  • love myself more
  • be more of a channel for Spirit to help people
  • worry less

Anyway, meditated on the Metro today -- on the way to work. Coming back to this realm after about 15 minutes, I opened my eyes. I was thinking about the things I just mentioned (above). I take about a minute to clear my mind and eyes. As my eyes focused, I saw the following sign in front of me:

"You're gonna be alright."

Just what I needed to know!

Spirit works in mysterious ways, Its wonders to perform.

More later ...

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