A Day in a Life: A Journey Of The Utmost Importance

Who are we at our core?

“In the shamanic world, what you went through is preparation for living a different kind of life, and that kind of life can be had when one is ready to view one’s life as a journey of the utmost importance.”

Chuck spoke these words to me when I was in the midst of recapitulating my childhood sexual abuse. They were transformative words, words of light in the midst of deep personal agony, for they focused me on the intent of my journey through this life. Why am I here? What am I supposed to learn about myself? What is the greater meaning of all that happens in this world? Once again, these words rang through me as I contemplated what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School last week.

I believe that we are all on journeys of the utmost importance, whether our lives are long and fulfilling or cut short. So, what are we to make of the senseless shootings at Sandy Hook? What meaning can we find in that tragedy, in the deaths of so many young children and the educators who dedicated their lives to engaging and teaching the youngest members of our society, a most important job?

We must face ourselves. We must face the world we have created. We must take this senseless act as a final wake up call and we must not go back to sleep. We must all take a journey of the utmost importance now and change ourselves and our country.

We must allow ourselves to feel every aspect of this most horrific act of violence, really feel it, and be guided now along a new path. We must all partake in creating a new society, not one based on fear as we did after 9/11, but one based on compassion and caring for all living things.

We must not wipe the tears from our eyes and then go out and buy more guns to protect ourselves, arm teachers and bus drivers, as has been suggested. Had I been a gun owner I would have wept and then immediately destroyed my guns. Why is this not happening? Why do we still contend that to be armed is our right and our need? It’s not a need at all, it’s a contention based on fear. And so we must ask ourselves what we fear and why?

In countries where there are few guns, in places where even the police don’t carry guns, there are few shooting deaths as well. It’s a no-brainer. But here, in a society rampant with greed, we have become like complacent animals. Locked in our cages, we are fed more pills, more food, more poisons, than we can possibly need. So drugged are we by the ideas that we need more things, more protection, more guns, that our brains have numbed. We are no longer capable of independent thinking, feeling, and action. We are mere cattle crowded into feedlots, long ago having forgotten that we are free beings, on journeys of the utmost importance.

In the wake of this tragedy, it’s time to wake up and stay awake, to take up not guns but a new weapon called compassionate change that is based on what is universally right for all living beings. Are we a nation of killers, or are we a nation of good, of kindness, compassion, and love?

Change happens slowly and it also happens in an instant, as the shootings at Sandy Hook show us so clearly. If we are truly on journeys of the utmost importance, it’s up to each one of us to take up the cause of personal change now—right now—to instantly turn away from violence, hatred, fear, and instead become truly caring beings. But we can only do this by facing our own deepest fears, by challenging ourselves to stay awake and really confront what lies at our deepest core, to question what is holding us back from becoming the truly amazing and loving beings that we are meant to be.

The shots at Sandy Hook were heard around the world. And now the rest of the world is waiting to see what we will do in the wake of so many truths so loudly declared, that is: that guns kill; that we had regressed into an angry, entitled, fearful nation; that we are no longer the shining star to look up to for guidance. How many times must we make the same mistakes? How many wake up calls do we need?

We must all face what we have become and take full responsibility for not only where we now find ourselves—those overfed cattle in the feedlots—but for our own thoughts, actions, and deeds as well. In our complacency we’ve let a lot of things happen, but now we are being rallied to really change, and to change drastically. If we are truthful, we will look at our world with open eyes and truly see that there is so much that is going in the wrong direction, and that each one of us has a duty to get on the bandwagon of change, in whatever way we can, and turn it in a new direction. But first, as I said, we must begin by changing ourselves. We must investigate our own attitudes, fears, and prejudices by asking ourselves why we feel so entitled, and why we continue to fear, judge, and criticize others rather than face ourselves.

Do we have to face yet more jolting wake up calls? Or can we take up a new cause now and take our journeys of the utmost importance in a new direction, to a higher level of conscious awareness and action so that those who died last week—those who gave us this most frightening wake up call—will not have died in vain. Let their journeys be considered journeys of the utmost importance by truly taking action to change ourselves and our country, and show the world that what lies in our hearts is what now leads us forward.

In sympathy,

Readers of Infinity: Be Energetically Conscious

Light a lantern for peace…

Dear Jeanne, please guide us.

Acknowledge first that you are human and as a human being you too are fallible. You too are capable of brutal acts. You too are due to do wrong at some point in your life. Do not dismiss the truth of evil within the self, for it exists as surely as the good exists within the self. Now look at the self as a spiritual being. Note that the same considerations must apply, for even in spirit are all beings capable of good and evil alike.

As conscious citizens of the world, it is your duty to remain conscious of good and evil at all times. Question the self constantly as to whether the thoughts you put out are harmful or not, whether the decisions you make are contributing to an energy that is good or bad. Use your energy wisely, for all of you are responsible for the world you live in. Do not leave it to a few to make the decisions that affect the many. Everyone has energetic impact.

In your own hearts you know right from wrong, love from hate. You know that your energy is powerful. Now is the time for you to use it powerfully in all that you set out to do. Abide by the laws of love and kindness, compassion and good. Be citizens of a new energetic morality that springs from the eternal knowledge of life as energy and each of you as energy as well. Elect a consciousness of good, and live with a gentle presence in the world. Elect to be compassionate and loving.

Elect to change the self now more fully, for there is no time to waste. Do not look outside the self for change, but look within. Society at large will not change until each one of you turn inward and rout out the dismal enemies that you carry within; until you purify your being, body and spirit; until your energy flows freely and lovingly toward all beings; until hatred is eradicated from you and all beings are accepted as energy too.

Change the self constantly. Confront the self constantly. Move into simpler life now, as you embrace the needs of a nation and a world for greater change.

Each of you matters in this process. If it is to have lasting impact, each one of you must be involved in an energetic shift away from excess and greed to the real deal, which is that life is precious. You have it for such a short time. Do something magnificent with your time there. By setting your intent to do so, you will have an impact on the shift that is now so necessary.

Be gentle and loving in thought, word, and deed—inwardly, to the self—as you face your deepest issues and deal with those. Get to your own roots and eventually you will get to the roots of everything and everyone, for the same roots grow through all living beings.

Be aware and conscious as you take your heart’s speak seriously. Take it more fully into your world now, for you and the world need it.

Thank you.

Chuck’s Place: Becoming Your Own Best Father

Chuck’s father playing taps for FDR on the day of his death…the day the nation lost its father…

When father appears in dreams or active imagination, look beyond personal father; look to the rules, judgments, beliefs, and attitudes that inwardly dominate your personality. Though he may bear the image of personal father, we all have an inner father that is our own, separate and distinct from the father of our conception.

Ego self is the child of the father. It remains for the maturing ego to confront the father’s rule. This takes the form of discovering the beliefs, attitudes, and judgments that govern perceptions and rule behaviors. This process can be quite challenging as the edicts of the father may be quite contrary to how the ego views itself and wants to be in the world. The energy and sternness of the inner father may be quite a formidable force and young ego might feel itself quite incapable of taking charge.

Sometimes ego self elects to blindly be ruled by the constraints of the father. Sometimes ego self identifies and emboldens itself with the opinions of father, never daring to discover its own true nature. Sometimes ego self, like a young Nero, assumes the emperor’s throne, assuming power with childlike exuberance and entitlement, becoming a little self-indulgent tyrant. This immature grab for power refuses to encounter and discriminate the wisdom of the fathers before assuming control, an obvious recipe for disaster, like the burning of Rome that ended Nero’s reign. Ultimately, ego self must assume the journey of true self-discovery, the Hero’s Journey, or remain forever a child, governed by the commandments of the almighty father.

It’s true!

Kronos, King of the Titans, ruled the heavens without challenge, as he forced his wife Rhea, to deliver each of their children directly to him upon their births for his consumption. Finally, Rhea, fed up with him—no pun intended—cleverly substituted a stone which she gave to Kronos instead of her next baby who upon birth was named Zeus. Ultimately, Zeus defeated his father and a new era was allowed to be born. Here is the obvious lesson of ego self taking control and ousting the father so that new life may flourish unencumbered.

As the Mayan calendar comes to a close, we too find ourselves on the brink of a new era, where old judgments, attitudes, beliefs, and rules are giving way to a new order. The signs are everywhere. The demise of the old Republican party protecting unbridled greed is one sure sign, as is the truth of global warming coming to the fore, as we face what we humans have done to our planet. In addition, gay marriage is now the law in many states; a Black president has been reelected, his rule no longer an impulsive fluke of the electorate. A woman president is undoubtedly next. These are all outward changes to appropriately wresting power from the domineering father of old and establishing new guidelines for a healthy and fulfilling life.

The Hero’s Journey requires that we venture beyond the father’s reach, that is, go beyond the conventional wisdom we’ve internalized that dictates the conclusions of our mind. We must be ready to accept full responsibility for discovering and taking charge of the truth, inner and outer, becoming like Zeus and defeating Kronos within us. We must also be prepared to accept the shattering that catapults us from the comfortable confines of socialization and the known; the shattering that is inevitable if we are to disengage father from our beings. We are not who we think we are; our minds are not our own until we make them so.

We must take ownership of our inner father, and become like Zeus defeating his father’s vicious entitlement. Ultimately, what that means is that we must confront all the beliefs and attitudes that have comfortably ruled us and protected us from our deeper truths and the greater unknown, both within and without. We must face our own destinies as individuals on our own journeys to fulfillment.

A new inner father breeds contentment…

Only through taking the Hero’s journey now, at this most energetic juncture in our lifetimes, can we participate in the world renewal and transformation that is indeed imbued in the energy of 2012. It’s a personal thing as well as a global thing—one massive interdependent whole delivering itself from the anachronistic father, into a new era.

On time,

A Day in a Life: Solstice Balancing Act

Change comes in every sunrise and moonrise…

I am aware that I am fully responsible for myself, for my mental, physical, and spiritual health. I am aware that life on this plane, on earth, constantly offers every opportunity to experience all that I seek. I am also aware that life constantly offers the opportunity to change myself, and my circumstances, but that it’s up to me to take the leap, to decide that now is the time to take a leap of faith and trust that life and the universe will support me.

Through a great part of this life I sought something outside of myself to bring me into balance: a lifestyle, a partner, children, a career, a spiritual practice, nature and the surety of the unfolding of each day as each sun rises and each moon sets and each moment leads to the next. All of these things are positive and important events in the life of an evolving being seeking wholeness, but as I journeyed further I began to discover that I no longer needed to look outside of myself so much anymore, for I held much of the balance I sought within. But even so, as I journeyed on, new things constantly arose, blips on the horizon that signaled something coming into my world, perhaps good, perhaps bad, perhaps nothing important at all. But I still had to decide what to do with what approached, whatever it might be.

What approaches most significantly now is anticipation itself, a restless wondering. It has been on the horizon for a long time now, in the coming of the Winter solstice on 12/21/12. We’ve all heard about it, as well as a lot of hoopla about the world ending. On the other hand, I cannot dismiss that hoopla, for I understand how important it is, how even hoopla can wake us up so that we take notice of something. Even hoopla offers opportunities: to regroup, to get into balance, to face the truths of ourselves and really change, finally becoming who we know we really are, allowing what we are capable of at the deepest level to emerge and fully live.

I also know what holds us back: FEAR—fear of making a fool of ourselves, fear of failure, fear of facing the honest truth of the choices and decisions we’ve made and why, fear of what others might think of us, fear that we are doing it all wrong. Fear that someone outside of us will judge, condemn, ridicule or taunt us burdens us so greatly that we let lots of opportunities go by. Oh, I couldn’t do that! What would people say!

What do we fear and why?

If we take all that energy that is going into being afraid, into wondering what will happen on 12/21/12, and instead of projecting it outwardly decide to focus on ourselves, we might begin to feel that great anticipation in a different way. If we pause and sit with what is inside us, as Jeanne suggests in Monday’s message, we might realize that our spirit is indeed anticipating change, eagerly awaiting our decisions. And not just on that date, but in general, for we live in a time of great change all the time. Jeanne has told us this many times and this statement is repeated often, not only among the spiritual communities, but in the mass media as well. It all depends on how you elect to interpret what that means. Does it mean someone else is responsible for that change? Or does it mean, as I am suggesting, that we are all responsible for daring to change ourselves. Now is a good time to sit and contemplate the change that our spirits might be anticipating, actually yearning for.

The solstice marks the ending of one season and the beginning of another, and it happens every year, twice a year to be exact, in summer and winter, as the sun reaches its highest and its lowest points relative to the equator. This is a natural occurrence that marks a shift; it always has and it always will. That’s nature working as nature does. Have we humans become so disconnected from nature that we don’t naturally feel this shift anymore? And why is this one supposedly so different? Is it in fact any different from this year’s summer solstice, or last year’s winter solstice? Is it only different because we’ve been told it is? Do we have to be shaken out of our complacency by the anticipation of something big occurring before we dare to take responsibility for ourselves, for thinking for ourselves, for acting independently in our best interests as citizens of the natural world, and as spiritually interconnected beings?

What is on the horizon for us all?

Many of us go through life afraid to change. We must be forced into it. Forced change comes in many forms: illness, divorce, death, birth, accident, loss, sudden and unexpected shifts in our world. In my case, forced change came in a barrage of unrelenting flashbacks that I could no longer ignore. Those flashbacks were synchronistically supported by the universe presenting me with all kinds of situations and truths. And so I knew that the only relief I would get was in facing my deepest issues and releasing myself from the hold they had on me. That was the catalyst to my doing a shamanic recapitulation: I could no longer hide from what was naturally occurring inside my own psyche! The psyche in imbalance, just as nature in imbalance, has its own ways of alerting us to change.

This is the other aspect of what we are all facing now as 12/21/12 looms on the horizon: the truth of the great imbalance that we humans have wrought upon this earth. We are out of balance with nature and have been for a long time. And yet, this natural phenomenon, a yearly solstice, portends to shake us up. The hoopla around this event is created by us, but in order to balance all that hoopla brewing outside of us, we must dare to face what is rising up inside of us first.

Keeping in mind that we are responsible for our progress in life—for our maturity, our spiritual growth, our ability to successfully navigate life—and if we remain open to changing ourselves now, we might succeed in giving ourselves the catalyst we need to make this next step of change really matter. Begin where you are. Begin where you are in your inner world and in your personal outer world.

I have long sought balance, achieving it quite successfully for long periods of time, and yet life does not let us get complacent. It seeks to shake us up. How many times must it shake us awake before we realize that it’s offering us the answers we’ve been seeking, and the only way to receive the gifts that life offers is to trust that they will be there for us? It’s an ethereal thing, this life, for in reality it’s nothing more than an illusion of moments, piles of moments. What makes those moments important and significantly meaningful is what we choose to do with them. Do we choose to face our issues and accept them as our catalysts to change? Can we all accept 12/21/12 as our personal wakeup call, no matter what happens outside of us? Can we dare ourselves to take the next step to a new level of existence, coexistence, mutual consideration and caring for all beings, and bear our truths, just as we ask our planet to bear what we have done to it?

It’s time to beat a different drum…

If we change ourselves, part of the world has changed. The more people who elect to change themselves, the more the world will change. There is power in that kind of change, in numbers of people electing to change themselves for the right reasons: because all living beings are equal, because our planet is a living thing too.

The solstice will arrive. I suggest trusting nature and the universe to guide us, to show us the way to true balance, as we each acquiesce to our own truths and take full responsibility for ourselves as individuals and as citizens of the world. Nature balances by constantly giving and taking, in tension and release, in yin and yang, in contraction and expansion.

What must we take and what must we give up in order to regain our personal balance, to relieve our personal imbalance? The only way to truly figure this out is to pull inward and release what is holding us back from our true experiences as living beings.

Remember, it’s a process, so don’t be too rigid; keep in mind that balance requires flexibility. Nature is challenging us to get in balance, because it’s time.

Yinning and Yanging,

Readers of Infinity: Seek Balance

Seek to balance the self…

Dear Jeanne: What message do you have for us today?

Notice polarity and tension, notice imbalance in your lives and seek to remedy these most unnatural states of being. Notice how your lives present you with so many options and yet how you gravitate to the same ones.

Becoming part of the natural balance of all things requires that awareness of self and surroundings be keen, that your place in the grand scheme of things be a priority. In this adjustment of self in the universe—in your own home universe of body, mind, and spirit first—you will eventually be led to a new balance in relationship to all other beings and the universe-at-large. Relationship that is mature, grounded in nature, and that flows through you in a life that is lived in simple balance—as you learn how to both give and take within the natural balance of all things—is the key to happiness upon that earth.

All beings will benefit if each one of you correct your personal imbalances—your extremes, your polarities. With your desires checked, your inner balance calm and accepting of all you do as part of a process of growth, so will your journey through life be rewarding. This process entails constantly learning what it means to be in balance with all living beings, while at the same time letting go of self-discrimination and judgment, freeing the self of old ideas, while simultaneously accepting full responsibility for the journey you are on.

Nature constantly adjusts…

Seek balance in the middle way, traveling the middle road, taking the middle path, for that is where the Earth itself constantly seeks its own balance. In between birth and death, between light and dark, between near and far, between inner and outer is there always a midpoint where all contentions, disagreements, externalized projections and internalized disputes will find a place of rest and contemplation.

This place of rest upon the middle road offers mature and sober distance from the polarity of everyday contention—inner and outer—offering clarity and insight not otherwise achieved, and thus the balance required for full commitment to a path of growth and change in balance with all living things may be gained.

Be conscious of the self today as you experience the energy outside of you. This is the place to start. The outer energy may be experienced as quite powerful, and so balance will be found in turning deeper inward, as you ask the self why you feel drawn toward that outward pull, knowing full well that it is extreme and will only lead to imbalance once again. In inward contemplation will you discover that the outer tension will soon dissipate and balance be regained.

Contemplate the middle way…

Gaining personal inner-outer balance is the first step to gaining better balance overall and this is what I suggest doing today: Question everything you are pulled to, pausing for a moment to determine if it is right or wrong for you to engage in. Make your decisions based on what you know already by your previous experiences and on what comes to you during this pause. This is where balanced guidance comes from, from deep within the self. Though its voice may be hard to hear at first, the longer you sit with it, the better you will hear its words of wisdom.

You will experience a new mature self in balance with nature and all living things more often as you do this practice. The energy of this new mature self has the potential to spread into the lives of all other living beings upon that planet, for you are all part of the greater universe. Your true wisdom lies in gaining balance so that you may tap into its healing power and its knowledge of the far greater unseen energy of a universe in balance, all aspects traveling along the same middle road.

Thank you to Jeanne for this most inspiring message, especially as we come into a time that is traditionally a time of extremes, with overconsumption and overspending being the old way. The world needs us all to do something different now. What will our choices be as individuals and as a whole? I think it matter greatly.

Most humbly channeled with my deepest gratitude to Jeanne and all of you for being part of this journey. -Jan