Revisit tips for the holidays: people skills

For some years I posted some tips for coping with the holidays every year and then I drifted away from it. Thought I’d re-issue one with some links to others:

dont beat drum quote

Every year at this time I post about a teaching from Kahuna teacher Serge King that has had an enormous impact on my life.  Serge likes to keep it short and simple, so the basic principle is:  “People are who they are and they do what they do.

I believe that if everyone in the world learned this one and lived by it, peace would soon follow.  As with many of his seemingly simple teachings, if you started exploring this one you’ll find it has tremendous depth.

The greatest source of disappointment, frustration, and anger toward others arises from having your own agenda/expectations about who you want them to be and how you want them to act/what you want them to do..The deep reality is that people are who they are and they are going to do what they do based on who they are.  You can wish or will others to be somebody else as much you want.  You may even occasionally manipulate someone into doing something that’s not what they want.  But in the long run no one can be anyone other than who they are.

Your best defense, if you want to avoid being disappointed or upset by others, is to know them well enough to know who they are.  Know what they do.  Expect them to be who they are and do what they do.  You’ll never be surprised by anyone’s behavior if you really know them.

And then realize who they are and what they do isn’t about you.  Pretty much ever; even when someone attacks you, the attack has everything to do with who they are and nothing to do with you.  So Don Miguel Ruiz’s advice, “Don’t take anything personally”, fits very well with this teaching.  People are busy being who they are and doing what they do and none of it has anything to do with you.  So don’t take it personally.

Is Aunt Murgatroyd going to tell unfunny jokes at the annual gathering, as always?  Of course she is.  It’s who she is and what she does.  Is your cousin Snagglepuss going to bore everyone AGAIN with stories of his really dull job?  You bet.  Who he is, what he does.  Is your overly protective dad going to criticize you like he always does?  If his way of showing care is to fret and pick apart anything that doesn’t fit his view, then yup.  Gonna do it.  If he’s an unhappy guy who criticizes to express his dissatisfaction with the world, that’s who he is…  gotta figure he’s gonna do it.

If you walk in with a chip on your shoulder because you know the irritating behavior(s) are going to arise but you’re secretly hoping it will be different, you’re going to get what you’re expecting:  unhappiness and dejection.  A lot of times we enter these situations knowing what they’ll do and expecting to be angry because of it.  And you’ll pretty much get what you’re expecting — ongoing cycles of them being who they are and you being angry.

If you expect anyone to do anything other than what s/he does, you’re doomed to disappointment.  When you can walk in knowing they’ll all be there being themselves and doing what they do, you’ll get what you knew you would.  Know that nothing they do is about hurting, irritating, upsetting or disappointing you.  They’re just being themselves.

When you can step aside from the behavior, know that it’s about them and not you, and stay centered, you can defuse most of the emotional turmoil that can make the holidays stressful.

The question we’ll explore in the next post is:  can you love them anyway?

Love Them Anyway

Communication

Recognizing Love When It is Offered

More from the healing front…

Every time I’ve thought it was done there’s been another chapter.  After the main final “block” in my head let go last month (see post) the unwinding started moving along much more quickly.  But about a week before my next scheduled (monthly) appointment with Hanna, I noted that it seemed kind of stuck again.

Sure enough last Friday when she worked on me, she found a pattern still in the remaining muscles.  Another tangent related to the whole witch’s curse story still held on, this one holding muscles related to opening my third eye, which has been a central piece of this story from the beginning.

She spent almost the whole appointment working on my head.  The pattern was very resistant and I was interested to hear her sense that it was entirely ancestor-placed, nothing that I did.  Eventually it did let go and the muscles are back to a fast pace of unwinding.

The cool thing since she released that block in October is my head feels more free and the unwinding doesn’t have the constant feeling of something tugging back hard and trying to slow down or halt progress.  But the few remaining pieces are a core of strands from several different muscles that have intertwined and glued themselves to one another so tightly it’s still tough for them to loosen up.

A couple of nights after the new release, the opening in my head set off a bunch of opening all down my left side and a huge pop released a tight little pattern that’s been in my left knee forever it seems.  Gone.

It’s still unbelievable to me that my muscles could have been so badly twisted, pulled out of place, wrongly-intertwined and glued together to take SO INCREDIBLY LONG, but it sure has. I like to remind everybody because even though you may not have it as bad, if you have tight patterns there are more interconnections and ever-deepening issues than you probably imagine.

The longer muscles remain twisted, the more they pull other muscles into the twist and misalignment.  You can wind up with pain in your right knee that’s actually caused by knotted muscles in, say, your left shoulder.  They’re all interconnected and the longer a pattern goes untended the greater the portion of your body it will pull out of balance.  In my case where there were multiple accidents and origin sites, various patterns wound up locked up with one another.  Take care of your body sooner rather than later!

In the meantime, these last weeks have been amazing as I feel the lightness and feel some slow shifts happening on the energetic level beginning to peep out in daily life. Quite a ride I’m on!

Something’s Calling?

Barbara Franken of Me, My Magnificent Self has invited a third round of posts on Awakening Experiences which will be made into another e-book. This entry is perhaps more about the next stage of my journey than awakening, but I see it as describing another step forward in awareness.

As indicated in my last post I’ve been sporadically contemplating “What’s next?”. The question crops up periodically as I’ve been tired of this healing thing for a long time and ready to move forward. But to what?

It’s not that I hang around constantly fretting over the future. But this whole journey started as a way for me to learn not only to live a happier life but to find a career path that felt like me after a lifetime of trying to please everyone else. I rarely liked the choices made for others and I’d lost any sense of who I was and what I wanted to do. So I do have an interest in moving forward.

I’ve joked many times, if I’d realized at the beginning the journey would lead me into so many deep hollows and twisty byways I probably wouldn’t have started. Along the way, the spiritual tools my early mentors handed me wound up adding spirituality to the journey; I admit it was not part of my original quest. The spiritual side leaves me aware there’s a flow and life is easier when you connect with it. And I keep getting glimpses — “knowing”– or flashes of insight about where the current is heading, so I’m trying to interpret and understand.

Called to Teach?

Early on writing felt like my calling and I spent a long time working on unlocking my inner writer. Something I did easily and naturally as a child and teenager eluded me. While I pursued the idea of writing fiction, various prescient teachers intertwined with insightful flashes of my own to suggest a different path.

In the mid-90’s, several of my spiritual teachers started dogging me about how they knew I’m a leader and here to teach. A couple of them bugged me periodically about getting out there and teaching. I could sense the core of truth in their reading of me but also had no idea what to teach nor, as it turned out, how to teach 🙂

Eventually I decided that maybe teaching through my writing answered the calling, got help creating a web site and started posting “Tips for the Spiritual Journey”. Which was fun to write but led nowhere, to no audience…

Called to Journey for Peace

Moving ahead to the mid -aughts, a friend with awesome right listening skills gently probed with ever more deepening questions until I realized I felt called to work for peace. Some time later my “Journey to Peace” class was formulated. I’d also been trying to teach some right speech classes.

Many of the people who took the classes said they got a lot out of it but I rarely drew more than 1-3 at a time. It took several years to learn enough about the rhythm and flow of teaching to structure the classes with a good mix of lecture and practice. But the classes were costing me more often than they made any money and I was reaching so few people it seemed pointless.*

In the meantime I’d developed my movement classes — which began purely as an aid to my own muscle issues — and taught yoga and my own movement stuff to the same pitiful results. The efforts reached a point where almost simultaneously the unwinding muscles in my head reached a debilitating pinnacle and I threw in the towel on teaching classes.

Somewhere in the midst of that, I wound up guided to start this blog and thought perhaps it was my teaching path. And then when I collected a crowd of lovely folks who already know what I’m teaching but didn’t seem to reach anyone else, I gave up thinking of the blog as the conduit for teaching.

Ahead of the curve

Several years ago I had a breakthrough three-hour session with local healer Osunnike. One of the most profound moments I didn’t completely understand at the time, except that it was key and I’ve kept coming back to it.

In my memory she actually stopped for a moment when she picked up on this piece but it may have just felt so important to me that I ceased noticing her ongoing healing. Suddenly she started telling me she could see how far ahead of the curve I am on a lot of things and how hard it is for me to be trying to get it out there when most people don’t understand my message. She sensed great loneliness and sadness that few were understanding what I could see clearly. And she told me the day was coming when people would be ready to hear me.

At the time I was working on getting my movement classes out there and feeling this area wasn’t ready for it, so I asked if that was what she meant. She said it was only a part of it; there were many ways in which my teaching at the time was ahead of general understanding. I wasn’t sure I understood, partly because calling myself “ahead of the curve” sounded arrogant or beyond where I could see myself at the time.

When I wrote about the experience I didn’t say much about that piece of it because I needed time to let it sink in and to understand it better. Lately, as the muscles blocking my third eye have been opening, I’m getting more flashes of “knowing” and moments of sudden insight.

Among the insights I’ve been sensing: (1) the bigger part of what Osunnike meant referred to my efforts on what it takes to move toward peace; and (2) my writing here about peace and some of the things I’ve been trying to say about women in my women’s issues series will soon be understood and this long spell of feeling like an unheard failure will be over.

Near the time of these insights, I spoke to fellow blogger Linda, of litebeing chronicles and she mentioned my writings on peace. She told me she follows lots of blogs on spiritual topics but nowhere else did she see a discussion of peace quite like mine. And she encouraged me to writing about it. It dovetailed with my growing sense of being “out there” in what I’m saying. But I could also see if I keep on writing then when people are ready to hear this, a big body of work will already be there for them.

All of this has me contemplating the blog again and ruminating on peace and what we can do from here. I’m seeing this as fulfilling the teaching path so many mentors foresaw long ago. And connecting Osunnike’s insights to the “leader” part of their insights. The threads of teaching and writing joining the thread of thinking ahead of the curve…

Right now I’m just still moving through the last stage of the healing journey. Impatient, obviously 🙂 But I like the sense of direction as I flow toward the next phase. Maybe the exact place I’ve been meant to head all along?


*A few students have told me the class affected them deeply and continues to be an impact so I also reflect on the possibility those few were the only ones I was meant to teach at the time…

Privilege and Expectation

We’ve been experiencing some outage problems here in the Bluegrass which have me reflecting on life in the first world and how demanding we’ve become.  A huge storm blew through last Friday, knocking down trees and limbs which in turn brought down wires, etc. and took out electricity for over 80,000 people in the area.

By Sunday I was catching headlines on my cell phone about people being angry and impatient at how long it was taking to restore service.  Personally I was pretty grateful when they got ours back on by late Sunday afternoon (our longest spell, due to ice storm in 2002, was nine days without power…).  A couple of hours after the electricity came back our TV, internet and phones went down.  Someone at the company called it a catastrophic outage when I called in and we’re now at four full days since that went down-and counting.

When I hunted on line to see if I could get info about the outages and estimates about when services would be back, I saw more people complaining about the length of time this one is going on.

I’ve been observing this phenomenon and pondering it since the Northridge Earthquake in 1994.  The damage was truly catastrophic and a few days later people were bitching and moaning that they had to wait in long lines to sign up for disaster aid and it was taking too long to bring life back to normal.

I remember thinking, “what about disaster are you not understanding???”  It began a long fascination for me with the degree to which Americans (a) don’t want to pay taxes or ever have a tax hike but (b) expect the government to wave a magic wand and restore damaged houses, torn up electric grids, etc. in a blink – and presumably without any tax money…–every time there’s a disaster and (c) want government really to take care of everything in general, from road repair to creating jobs… without being taxed for it.

Similarly, each time we’ve had a major blast from Mother Nature here in the Bluegrass, people have wanted everything back to normal within 24 hours and start bellyaching if it goes on any longer.  It’s not that I can’t see it’s a pain in the butt or even that I don’t feel upset or frustrated by long spells without the things I’m used to.  But I also get the magnitude of some events just requires time to get things back.

I also try to have perspective.  Think of Haiti, where YEARS later they’ve never been restored to normal.  Think about the multitudes of people around the world who live 24/7 without electricity or the internet or television, etc.  Think about the long span of history when no one had any of those things.  From that view I find it insignificant to suffer for a few days without some services I like while living in a nice house, having plenty to eat, etc.

This time I really kept trying to look for the up sides and finding many.  For a long time I’ve kind of enjoyed the first bit in a power outage because there’s such a beautiful quality of silence when all that stuff is off and the house isn’t buzzing from all the appliances, etc.  It feels like a gift from the Universe to be able to relax into the quiet for a while.

In this case we were pretty lucky because the storm cooled it down so we didn’t miss the A.C. and since it’s summer, we had plenty of light for reading and hanging out till 9 p.m. so not too much wear and tear on our battery-powered lanterns or our candles.  On Saturday I piled my Fire tablet, cell phone and laptop into a bag and headed off to the library, where I was able to charge everything up and get some stuff done on the internet.

So many places on the planet don’t have electricity at all, let alone the internet, etc., I have trouble whining about how terrible I have it that I have to go to the library to go right on using all the stuff I’m used to…  And since the electricity is back on and I’ve never unhooked the DVD player, I’ve been able to watch some movies and do some binging on Gilmore Girls.  Plus while on the library wi fi, I’ve downloaded some Amazon Prime content on my Fire and some Netflix stuff onto my laptop so other things to watch are available.  Seriously, how is all that a hardship?

Would I prefer to be able to watch what I want to watch and surf the internet any time of day or night?  Of course.  It’s not that I can’t understand people feeling a little frustrated, but I’m perturbed by the sense of privilege that makes so many people so angry every time something untoward knocks them off the normal game plan

We’re all pretty out of touch with Mother Nature and her cycles in the modern first world, but even knowing this I find it hard to fathom being so out of touch you can’t understand natural disasters can and will happen and life as you know it may be off kilter for days or weeks or months or years after.  And it isn’t the government’s fault or the electric company’s fault or the cable company’s fault, etc.  It’s just what is.

So I’ve been toting up gratitudes and today, as I sit in the overly air conditioned library in a perfectly comfortable chair while using free high speed internet, I’m thinking I’m pretty darn lucky.

Circling up the spiral

In the last year or two I’ve been encountering more and more material about the earth moving from 3D to 5D.  One of the characteristics many assume will be present is an easy flow to manifestation.  It has felt right to me at some deep level.

It took a while for me to see that as funny, given the early stages of my journey.  The language is different enough that I didn’t quite get they’re really saying a lot of the same stuff teachers in the 80’s were spreading about manifesting what you want by thinking about it.

New Age teachers like Arnold Patent, Shakti Gawain, and Jack Canfield came out of the woodwork,telling us that if we created a vision and said some affirmations we could create anything we wanted.  Fueled by my reading of a number of Jane Roberts’ channeled works — mainly The Nature of Personal Reality — I jumped on the “I create my own reality” bandwagon.

Affirming and visualizing brought me some great manifestations, like my job at the Governor’s Office of Consumer Services and a straightened left leg (bone twisted since birth moved), but eventually the successes slowed and frustration set in.

Thanks to the deep work at Nine Gates Mystery School,and following it up with the Fisher Hoffman process with then-Nine Gates teacher, Ellen Margron, I began to see how old beliefs and issues can block the path of creation.  Attracting what you want could only work as easily and effortlessly as claimed if you had done the work.  It’s an ideal if everything is operating on the level of energy without blocks in the physical operating.

Over the next few years more teachers started including the idea that some amount of psychological help and clearing of beliefs is part of the package.  But then in 2006 The Secret came out and spread the same “it’s easy” teaching as the 80’s crowd.  The great gift to me from The Secret was seeing how negative thinking impacts our lives, and having learned my lesson, I wasn’t seduced by the “it’s easy” part..

Examining my own thoughts, I realized I might say a few positive affirmations a day but for the other 23 hours and 45 minutes thousands of negative tapes ran through ceaselessly.  Around the same time a lot of teachings about the impact of ancestors led to seeing how negative thought patterns can be passed down through many generations.

So my next phase became lots of work on ancestral patterns and on changing the negative tapes to positive.  I’ve cleared giant amounts of material and I’d say I’ve reached a point of leaning more to the positive in my thinking.  Don’t know that I’ll ever be done, but progressing…

And now I find myself having moved a round or two (or a few) up the spiral along which we progress, circled back to the “it’s easy” place where I began.  When I read assertions that in 5D manifestation will become easier I sense into it, a calm, definitive “yes, that’s true.”  Enough of us have been doing all that clearing and raising vibrations, etc., it makes sense to me we’re on the verge of moving into a place where it’s easier.

There have been Indian gurus over the years who could survive without eating by manifesting energy.  One of my favorite tales involves someone I became acquainted with years ago through my friend Gay.  Hari (now Babaji) had fairly newly arrived back in Marin after going home to India for study with a guru.

He’d been instructed to go back to California with just the clothes on his back.  When I first met him he’d quickly manifested house to live in, places to teach yoga and a following of students; I met him because he came to the attention of Nine Gates and has been teaching for Nine Gates ever since.  Now he’s the leader of the Sonoma Ashram, which has a large tract of land/buildings/gardens in Sonoma and an ashram and a school in India.

Paramahansa Yogananda did it too but I like Hari’s version since his long association with Nine Gates meant meeting him many times.  I can’t quite imagination the faith in abundance required to make such a journey with nothing.  But I feel the power with which such faith creates a world.

When I sense into the 5D, I feel abundance so easily acquired that all our beliefs in the need for financial planning, jobs we hate, careful budgets, etc. will seem old-fashioned and unnecessary.  We may reach a place where we can picture a loaf of bread and then find one in our hands.  And better yet, a world where we can focus on peace and find peace.

Faith comes knocking

For many years now I’ve lived in two worlds when it comes to faith.  On the one hand, I’ve moved more and more into a space in which I feel the energy of all that is and how we’re all connected to one another and the big energy of the Universe.  And I believe the Universe operates on love and wants the best for us.

On the other, when it comes to certain aspects of my personal life, i have no faith at all in a benevolent God or universal Energy that specifically looks out for or assists me.  I realized quite a few years ago I lost faith as a small child when my family was working hard at shutting down the essence of me and I felt God abandoned me.

I’ve been working ever since I noticed its absence on finding that faith while pretty much unsure how you do that.  Doing my practices and lots of affirmations have helped move me in the direction of finding faith.  And to be honest, it’s been a while since I’ve given it a lot of thought.

Then late last week I had two posts about Jesus in my feed on the same day.  Jamie at Sophia’s Children reblogged Defiance, Introducing Mark’s Jesus (which I then reblogged here).  Cynthia Sue Larson posted an interview she did with Gardner Sylvester on his book, The First Great Commandment, concerning his research on the secret code of the Bible through Jesus’ words.

These lovely pieces arrived at a time when I’ve been feeling increasingly put out by the folks who call themselves Christians but quote only the Old Testament (and often mistakenly think Jesus said those things) and seem unfamiliar with the New Testament.  Which is kind of odd since I wasn’t that into it when I grew up Presbyterian…

But my spiritual path has included Unity and the notion of Christ Consciousness as well as explorations of the Gnostic Gospels and other similar teachings, all of which has led to a strong feeling about the presence of an energy in the Universe associated with Christ and love.  And somewhere in there I keep thinking being Christian should be based on love.

It felt so heavenly to read those two posts with their beautiful takes on the love and kindness of Jesus and what it means.  Hours later I reflected on the synchronicity of having them both show up a short time apart and how something fresh breathed through me.

As I contemplated the great loving presence of Christ Consciousness and then the Christ grid Steve Nobel brings down from the sun so often in his meditations, I felt that light fill and surround me as a palpable presence and in that presence I felt safe and protected and understood how it feels to be “in faith”.

I can’t say it is now a permanent state.  But I keep being able to tap into that presence of light and remind myself I am safe and protected.  There are issues of self worth still to heal and I’d say a vestige of the “God abandoned me” issue.  But I’m working.

Today I found another, fairly new, Steve Nobel meditation for clearing fear.  One of the most powerful meditations I’ve done.  I particularly like that he goes through a number of different clearings several times each.  Felt like I shifted a lot of energy, moving even closer to the place of faith where fear can’t dwell…

 

The need to look beneath

In the aftermath of Kate Spade’s and Anthony Bourdain’s suicides I’m seeing a spate of articles and info pieces on suicide prevention.  The thing that always strikes me when I see analyses of not only suicide but also opiate abuse, addictions or other types of “dis-ease” of any sort, is that no one wants to talk about what I think is the heart of the matter.

In the “first world” we have cut ourselves off from nature, from our essential divinity and thereby from connection to our own souls. Spiritual types talk about it sometimes but the “experts” in these fields talk about these issues as problems with reasoned solutions, instead of ever acknowledging how broken we are by our basic culture.

Some 30 years ago, when I realized how much alcoholism there is on my family tree (not in my immediate family but at the level of aunts and uncles and great grands of various levels…  rampant) I attended a few al anon meetings to explore whether I might have been affected.

At the time, immersed in examining how we create reality, I was horrified at the constant repetition of negative affirmations throughout the 12-step programs.  “I am a drunk.” “I am a liar”.  “I am powerless…”  But even more, I was perturbed by the lack of acknowledging soul and our ability to tap into our own spirit and be transformed.

Over the years, as I have explored ever more deeply into spirit, I have also noted how wounded so many in our society seem to be because of being cut off from nature and its cycles and thus from their own connection to All That Is.  I’ve kept waiting for the “experts” to understand how central that disconnect is to so many of our so-called diseases.  I see the same issues deep within a lot of mental health problems.

So many solutions seem to just side-step the real issue; even to obscure the real issue by providing distractions from ever looking into the true heart of the matter.  Our hearts need healing.  Our souls need healing.  And they don’t heal without a long tough journey through the stuff we don’t want to see.

I’m not sure how we nudge that change into being.  But always I come back to knowing we all vibrate in the same web of being.  Every time one of us heals something in our own hearts we add to the healing of all.  Be the love.  Be the peace.  Heal your own heart.