Sunday, September 18, 2011

Following the Path

The Fool card --

The Fool card shows a man and his dog. All he carries is a small bag of belongings and a rose. He is on the edge of a cliff. His dog is warning him to take heed. His next step is the unknown. Will he land safely on his journey or will he go over the cliff? Notice his confidence that all will be okay -- he doesn't even seem to look down. The rose he holds symbolizes his innermost desires but the rose is white representing purity and perfection. He knows it is time to set out on his journey and he trusts that his next big step will be the right one. However, every card has a positive and negative aspect. The Fool card can also be a warning to take care not to act out of folly and, if you do, to take responsibility for your actions.

There will be a time in everyone's life where they get a message to act. Others will judge, criticize, condemn, but if the desire is divinely driven, we take that leap of faith. No matter how trite, no matter how ridiculous it seems, if it is in our heart and soul to do, we follow with complete trust in our steps and that all will be provided for us. The Fool card is the first card of the tarot. It originally was assigned the number "1" but was changed to the number "0" because the "0" is the number connected with God. It is the all -- the continuity -- the cycle of life.

The flipside is the arrogant one -- the person who sets out on the self-serving path, running over everyone in his way. The person who cares for no one but his own selfish self. He operates in a manipulative, unloving fashion. There are some who feign coming from loving light, but are truly dark. They are called "Brilliant Darkness" or "Dark Magicians." Beware for they walk among us. In fact, they are everywhere to be seen -- TV, books, public speakers even healers. They earn a lot, dole out some useful information, perhaps help some -- but they are out for the glory -- be it money, fame, or reputation.
This doesn't mean all those in the limelight are this way but the ones who truly do the deep work and connect to 100% loving light and universal consciousness will be more inclined to remain quiet and hidden. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, they are serving in the true name of divine and have let go of their own ego desires. All they do is for the grace of God and the furtherment of mankind and they don't choose recognition as there is none when we are all One. The other reason is that some believe that the darkness will always do what it can to hold back the light so these special beings serve humanity secretly yet more powerfully because of their true connections.

How can you know when it's time to set down your path? How can you know if you're serving mankind or your own selfish self? How can you trust when it's time to take that leap of faith? Ask your own higher self -- ask God -- know your truth about what feels right inside. Does it feel right to cheat others, to lie, to steal, to hurt? What feels right to you? Are you shrouded by illusions and distortions and justification for your actions? Or does it feel more right to know that you are following your heart in a way that will serve everyone?

Even if we are the selfish person who goes the "wrong" path, we can all turn back. We all are forgiven. We can all make amends. God -- Love -- it's all the same -- there is no judgement. Some believe in Heaven and Hell but, no matter what happens later, we chose to create our own Heaven and Hell here on Earth simply by our choices. It's never too late to "come back home," correct our path, find our truths. We all have the license and invitation to connect to 100% loving white light at any moment in time.

And is it appropriate then for us to be rewarded for our endeavors? Everything is an exchange of energy. With that said, we receive help and we pass it on. We must live -- pay our rent -- eat. Money is a form of energy. It is okay to exchange spiritual help for money if that is your livelihood and you're helping others. In fact, there are many who would easily take advantage all the time were it simply free. It is important that they give back in some way -- whether to the gift giver or to someone else that needs help, too. Those down the divine path don't focus on the materialism but they know and trust that they will always be provided for due to their "work."

So we must all dig deep within ourselves to find out our truths. We must take a good look constantly at our own dark masks. Cleansing ourselves and giving from our hearts is the way to better the world. We do this and our paths become revealed, we open our hearts, we trust and we take the steps that set us on the way to joy, happiness and, most important, peace on Earth.



Words spoken by the Ascended Master Kuthumi which were channeled to, and transcribed by, Krishnamurti (Alcyone).

Chapter IV -- LOVE -- Pages 66 to 73.

Three sins there are which work more harm than all else in the world -- gossip, cruelty and superstition -- because they are sins against love. Against these three those who would fill their hearts with the love of God must watch ceaselessly.

See what gossip does. It begins with evil thought, and that in itself is a crime. For in everyone and in everything there is good; in everyone and in everything there is evil. Either of these we can strengthen by thinking of it, and in this way we can help or hinder evolution; we can do the will of the Logos or we can resist it. If you think of the evil in another, you are doing at the same time three wicked things:

(1) You are filling your neighborhood with evil thought instead of with good thought, and so you are adding to the sorrow of the world.

(2) If there is in other persons the evil which you think, you are strengthening it and feeding it; and so you are making them worse instead of better. But generally the evil is not there, and you have only fancied it; and then your wicked thought tempts them to do wrong, for if they are not yet perfect, you may make them that which you have thought them.

(3) You fill your own minds with evil thoughts instead of good; and so you hinder your own growth, and make yourself, for those who can see, an ugly and painful object instead of a beautiful and lovable one.

Not content with having done all this harm to themselves and to their victims, gossips try with all their might to make other people partners in their crime. Eagerly they tell their wicked tale to others, hoping that they will believe it; and then they join with them in pouring evil thought upon the poor sufferer. And this goes on day after day, and is done not by one person but by thousands. Do you begin to see how base, how terrible a sin this is? You must avoid it altogether. Never speak ill of anyone; refuse to listen when anyone speaks ill of another, but gently say: "Perhaps this is not true, and even if it is, it is kinder not to speak of it."
Then as to cruelty. This is of two kinds, intentional and unintentional. Intentional cruelty is purposely to give pain to another living being; and that is the greatest of all sins -- the work of the devil rather than a human being. You would say that no person could do such a thing; but people have done it often, and are daily doing it now. The inquisitors did it; many religious people did it in the name of their religion. Vivisectors do it; many schoolmasters do it habitually. All these people try to excuse their brutality by saying that it is the custom; but a crime does not cease to be a crime because many commit it. Karma takes no account of custom; and the karma of cruelty is the most terrible of all. The fate of the cruel must fall also upon all who go out intentionally to kill God's creatures, and call it "sport."

Such things as these you would not do, I know; and for the sake of the love of God, when opportunity offers, you will speak clearly against them. But there is a cruelty in speech as well as in act; and a person who says a word with the intention to wound another is guilty of this crime. That, too, you would not do; but sometimes a careless word does as much harm as a malicious one. So you must be on your guard against unintentional cruelty.

It comes usually from thoughtlessness. People are so filled with greed and avarice that they never even think of the suffering which they cause to others by paying too little, or by half-starving children. Others think only of their own lust, and care little how many souls and bodies they ruin in satisfying it. Just to save a few minutes' trouble, an employer does not pay workmen on the proper day, thinking nothing of the difficulties this brings upon them. So much suffering is caused just by carelessness -- by forgetting to think how an action will affect others. But karma never forgets, and it takes no account of the fact that people forget. If you wish to enter the Path, you must think of the consequences of what you do, lest you should be guilty of thoughtless cruelty.

Superstition is another mighty evil, and has caused much terrible cruelty. The person who is a slave to it despises others who are wiser, tries to force them to do as he does. Think of the awful slaughter produced by the superstition that animals should be sacrificed. Many crimes have been committed in the name of the God of love, moved by this nightmare of superstition; be very careful therefore that no slightest trace of it remains in you.

These three great crimes you must avoid, for they are fatal to all progress, because they sin against love. But not only must you thus refrain from evil; you must be active in doing good. You must be so filled with the intense desire of service that you are ever on the watch to render it to all around you -- not to people alone, but even to animals and plants. You must render it in small things every day, that the habit may be formed, so that you may not miss the rare opportunity when the great thing offers itself to be done. For if you yearn to be one with God, it is not for your own sake; it is that you may be a channel through which his love may flow to reach your fellows.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What Is Wealth After All?

Wealth, prosperity, abundance – it’s all the same.  What is money?  Money is an exchange of energy really – do you think money always existed?  In the old days…very old…if I had chickens on my farm and you had cows and I needed milk and you needed eggs, we figured out a fair trade.  Later on, it got too complex and we didn’t need each other’s goods so we created a system to represent what we had to offer.  This is money.  Money is a symbol of the energy of our services.

Wealth is so much more!  You can have a wealth of knowledge, a wealth of health, a wealth of love to give and have very little money.  Wealth and prosperity are indicative of the good in our lives.  You can have lots of money and very little wealth and lots of wealth and very little money.  The idea is to find balance.

The truly spiritual person trusts that as they follow their heart, help others, work on themselves, change their lives and let go of the need to control, somehow, they are prosperous in the riches of life.  Somehow, the Universe provides and somehow they make it through the tough times.

Tough times – “they” tell us to be afraid, fight for our lives, each man for himself, times are tough.  Yes, it is true – these are challenging times for all – even myself – as a Licensed Massage Therapist – my clients see their body care as a luxury and don’t want to spend their money on massage especially when they’re too busy putting food on their table or gasoline in their car.  Somehow, we make it through – we find other ways, we explore, we better ourselves and are forced to create.

We have unlimited creativity in our hearts.  Some people have the fire to create all the time and love it.  Others have it within themselves and have to have it forced out by life.  Perhaps, you have always wanted to become a nurse, a teacher, etc. but got settled in a job at an early age and the idea of going back to school does not thrill you.  Perhaps, now, with the economy suffering and jobs at a rarity, you finally give in to your lifelong dream and pursue it.  Starting from the beginning is always challenging, but the rewards in the end are plentiful.  Your soul knows deep down what it wants you to do to express yourself from the heart…follow the lamplight in your heart and you will be a great success.

Success is about accomplishment of the soul – it’s not just about money.  Again, money is the symbolism of the energy you are putting out to the world.  Success at the cost of selling your soul is not success and money earned at the expense of others will never make you truly happy – only superficially happy.

You ask – well, this is all fine and dandy, but we have to eat – we have to pay our rent – we have to live.  I say – Pray!  Prayer really works but pray as if your prayers have already been answered.  Pray as you lie in bed at night, pray first thing in the morning.  The big issue is to be careful of what you are praying for!  Your words are so important and how you phrase things even more so – watch how you pray and the words you use because you will get exactly what you expect!  I say “expect” because you might pray for success or pray for huge piles of money but deep within yourself you are already expecting to be poor or expecting to fail.  Perhaps, you really truly despise rich people, are envious of what they have, etc. – you cannot have what you secretly despise – clear that up and you will be free.

And always pray for others to find their peace and happiness – for what you wish on others, comes back to you many times over.

Opening Doors to Growth

Doors open opportunities but I didn’t expect that I would learn some of my biggest lessons about growth by opening (and closing) doors. Here’s why...

Many years ago, long before I had any knowledge of my spiritual path, I would find that two things would happen around doors: (1) I would get upset when I held open a door for a stranger and they didn’t say “thank you”; and (2) I would get upset when a stranger would let a door slam in my face as I followed them through it.

I spent years getting frustrated and as I started to pursue spiritual growth, this frustration led to a wonderful enlightenment.

There are many lessons when someone forgets to say “thank you.” To start, are we holding the door out of the goodness of our heart or are we doing so just for a “thank you”? Holding a door becomes a conscious responsibility because we understand the outcome if we let a door slam in someone’s face. The spiritual person knows that “karma” exists and that every action has a repercussion and that if they were to slam a door in someone’s face and break their nose that would be adding to their own bad karma. On the other hand, taking the moment to hold the door to prevent a negative outcome is worth the time for both their sakes.

Also, holding a door without appreciation doesn’t matter because that positive energy goes somewhere. Although the recipient of the good deed forgets or neglects to say “thank you”, it’s okay because, that energy – that positive, warm, kind energy – does go out into the world and somehow, somewhere will get passed along. The recipient, who normally would have allowed a door to slam, might next time actually hold a door without even knowing why. Subconsciously, they are learning about being kind.

There are lessons on forgiveness, too. If someone forgets to say “thank you”, they might be a spoiled, arrogant, nasty, selfish person – after all, aren’t we all in some way or other – and, hopefully, trying to correct that with self-work. However, perhaps, they are just going through a bad spell in life. Is it possible that someone they care about has just passed away, or they just lost their job, or they just had a fight with their best friend. Perhaps, it’s just the stress of life, financial problems, aggravation getting them down. Isn’t it best to forgive others for the cleansing of one’s own soul?

If someone slams a door in my face, I still get upset – but not angry – I actually feel sad that this person is so self-absorbed that they have lost their connection to others and, ultimately, divine. The more selfish and self-absorbed we are, the less we understand that we are all connected. What we do to others, we do to ourselves which explains the true law of karma that what goes around, comes around. Karma is real! Sometimes karma is immediate and sometimes it is delayed but it is something that we all need to consider.
Holding a door for the sake of expecting the next person to hold the door for you might, on one level, seem manipulative because you’re expecting an outcome from your behavior. Yet, how and why do we start to change and grow spiritually? The negativity we feel deep within ourselves stems from the dark actions of our past so, if this is the case, doing something (such as holding a door) for the sake of the knowledge that it is the “right thing to do” should be enough for the beginning of the transformation of the soul. The understanding that “what goes around, comes around” is the second half of the equation and that, too, is done at the soul level.

Finally, there’s the simple joy one gets in holding a door for someone in need. There was a Pediatrician where I was living and the mothers would come in and out of the main door with their strollers. When I was exiting or entering, I would always hold the door for them – it gave me great pleasure and joy to help them in this way. Did I always get a “thank you” – no – but it didn’t matter because I felt the joy of helping another human being.

As for others slamming the door in my face, well, I can only hope that – for the sake of their own happiness and if, by some miracle they are reading this, they awaken to the joy and understanding that this article hopes to present!

Finding Peace In A Stressful City

Have you ever experienced Fairway? (Fairway is a famous supermarket in New York City that is packed with New Yorkers on the go -- very stressed, very pushy, no-nonsense -- keep out of the way).  Talk about stressful – just walking in the door, fighting over a basket, weaving through the myriad of carts and stock personnel. We are lucky to come out alive.

Driving and parking in this city is just as stressful. First it was finding a parking space. Then it was cab drivers and delivery bicycles. Now, it’s the pedestrians who don’t wait on the curb as they should but in the middle of the street. We watch the alternate-side-of-the-street-parking parade of cars following the sweeper to get their good spots.

Life in this big and wonderful city is challenging – people commute, deal with office politics, clients, bosses, family, financial issues. Then they come back and have to deal with crowds while they shop, problems with neighbors, broken pipes, landlords. When we go outside, everyone vents their problems on each other. We are all in the same boat – stressed out – but we can change this! How can we all find peace in this city? It would be wonderful to walk around a city where everyone was centered, balanced, kind to each other versus rushed, stressed, pushing and shoving.

Believe it or not – it is possible. Here’s the secret: peace comes from within! An escape from stress can be a moment away. It’s all in your head. We can make a huge shift in this city – and even the world – if we all started to work on shifting ourselves.

Since we live in a city, the answer lies in nature. Nature is pure and sacred. It brings us back to our roots. When you’re stuck on the subway, close your eyes and envision a meadow or nature scene in your head. Listen and you can hear the birds chirping, the water flowing. See whatever you feel drawn to see. You can still be conscious of your surroundings but relax into this peacefulness. Working hard at your computer is also stressful. Take a break the same way. It will revive you.

Go out and take a walk in the park or by the river, escape to the countryside when you can, take a bath, buy some fresh flowers, get a pet! These all bring us back to nature but there are other ways to bring nature to you.

Feng Shui (“wind water”) is the art of how energy affects you in your home. It is based on the same elemental theory that Acupuncturists use to help you with your body. Polarity Therapy is a lesser known modality of bodywork. When I first studied Polarity, I had no idea that it was related to the four elements of the zodiac: Air; Fire; Water; and Earth.

We are made up of these elements but they are never completely balanced. We can change this through bodywork, nutrition, yoga, meditation, and Feng Shui. Here are some ideas for adding elements to your home to help you to find balance within:

Air:  Rearrange furniture to create more space; open windows; add windchimes, music, CDs of chirping sounds or real birds; add artwork depicting the sky. Air relates to our mental state and helps us think more clearly, however, too much can make one feel spaced out and turns one into an “air-head.”
Fire:  Let in sunlight; turn on lights; burn candles; use reds since red is the color of fire. Our inner flame drives us to create, gives us power and passion, but too much can either bring up anger or when we’ve exhausted ourselves, make us feel “burnt out.”
Water:  Buy a fountain; take a bath; hang paintings of water; play music with waves; use blues; get fish. Water helps us to go with the flow but too much can leave us feeling depressed or “blue” (the color of water).
Earth:  Buy plants, flowers and crystals; use earth tones, paintings of the countryside. Earth energy is grounding but too much can leave us unable to make changes in our lives and “stuck in the mud.”

So go ahead and bring nature to you in this stressed out city! You’ll be much happier and much calmer – even when you go to Fairway!