Knowing

What happens when you “Know” something but there are no words or rational proof for what you know? In our language we struggle to convey the description of emotions and feelings. We struggle to find words for smells or tastes. Even defining colors can be difficult. Even worse is to take a strong position regarding something that you “know” to be true but can not prove to someone else. People have different opinions about things and so build different factual foundations to assure themselves that they are “right.” This is why “Nationalism” and “religious beliefs” can start wars.

When I was a young college student studying psychology a philosopher challenged me with the statement, “For every Truth, the Opposite (opinion) is equally True.” There are facts, even research, which back up almost any point of view. We are still arguing about whether Global Warming really exists or, even, whether Darwin’s theory on Evolution is more true than the view of Creationism.

We learn from personal experience. Things we read in books or see on TV or spoken of in class or church, are often NOT true until we actually know this through experiencing it. I have learned from personal experience that losing my parents to death by stroke was not nearly as difficult for me as losing my wife (and my chosen partner for 28 years) to Ovarian Cancer. Before my wife passed, I thought I could more easily handle her terminal diagnosis and death because I had gone through the loss of both my Mother and Father. Boy was I wrong! However, the greatest learning I have experienced in my life has come from the coping with my wife’s illness and her death. A Blessing, which I would NOT wish on anyone else! A Blessing which I would not change, even with my pain. Which brings me to the real topic of this Blog Rant.

One year after my wife passed away, I was “Guided” to meet with a psychic/intuitive person on my travels to find a new life on my visit to Tucson, AZ. She “channeled” my wife in a way that I was convinced was true and accurate. (A great story by itself. Gripping.) The psychic told me these words which were coming from my wife, “I am in a better place. It is bigger and better than you could ever imagine.” A jolt of “Knowing” went through me. Not from these simple words but from the intuitive or emotional reaction that went with them. The “Knowing,” which I know I can not find great words to accurately convey my deepest feelings, was that she dwells now in what some people call “Heaven” with the Divine Spirit. She is not constricted by time or space. She is “One” with all souls. She is basking in the warmth and light of “unconditional love.” She is tapped into all wisdom. This moment and these few words changed my life by being able to feel this “knowing.” It felt like it was not a coincidence that I met this psychic in Tucson or received this message. I had been “guided” by my wife to have this encounter and to learn this lesson.

Knowing for me can be a very strong and life changing experience. It is my purpose to share this story and this learning. Maybe it is better said to share this “Remembering” because it felt familiar, as if I was experiencing information that I already knew, at some deeper level. It felt like I was tapping the collective unconscious and this particular experience is not unique to me.

Thank you for spending time with my ranting stream of consciousness. The point is that we all have “knowings” that can not find an easy form to share but are as true as any rational, researched, fact that exists. We are all Masters and have wisdom from life’s experiences within us. We simply need to remember this wisdom and find ways to share it! This is your purpose! This is what YOU are supposed to do in this life.

Blessings to you on your journey. Where possible reach out and take the hand to assist fellow pilgrims along your way. Go out and do GOOD in the world!

The Masters of the Journey is community forming to offer resources and support to everyone who is on their path, whether they know it or not, that they are Masters. Find your way to connect with other pilgrims and share the wisdoms you have been gifted to receive.

Prayer for all Masters of the Journey

God smiles upon all, as we are the pure essence of life itself.

Be we seemingly simple or complex and multi-faceted expressions, each is gifted with the extraordinary nature of the divine. 

To live our gifts, abilities, inclinations, radiance, nuance, and sparkle, is the purpose of life. 

It glorifies the unlimited forms of divine fragrance.

All carry the Masters’ beauty and power and love.

  • * * *

Each are given the divine map leading to eternal communion with the Great One where we rest.

Walk upon the path of discovery, tasting, savouring in the mystery of your destiny. 

Fill your heart with the immense awe and splendor of the universe.

Rejoice and uncover the secrets within each experience you encounter upon your way. There is no limit to the depths and heights that can be realized. 

  • * * *

You carry magnificence and uniqueness that is indispensable to the whole.

You are a Master among Masters, upon a journey unique to you, driven by your true divine nature to express beauty and love. 

  • * * *

Thank you for sharing the gifts you radiate upon your path, it benefits us all along the way.

 

Namaste.

Paula Forget, author of “Guided to the Higher Realms

Member of and Content provider for: Masters of the Journey: A Transformational Community

Your Tribe: You Are Not Alone

Why do so many of us not feel “Connected?” When your heart tells you to follow your “Bliss,” why is there no one around to support you? For thousands of years, humans lived in a Tribe which was much more than a family. Every daily activity was performed for and with other members of the tribe. For survival, all tribe members looked out for each other. For the educational and spiritual development other members offered support and, when needed, guidance. In today’s “modern” world, we are much more “on our own” to figure things out. There are churches and religions but many seem lacking in actually being able to support the individual’s spiritual search, though, indoctrination is often well cared for…

For thousands of years our ancestors sat around the campfire. They told stories and shared information about their history. The wisdom of the elders was passed down to the younger generations. The elders were respected in ways that seem to be lacking by many “modern” cultures. They sang the songs and chanted. They gazed into the fire in a way that was meditative and grounding. The importance of the “simple” things of life was celebrated and honored. If news came into the tribe it was often shared around the fire and the tribe considered any necessary changes with respect of the elders and their history. People considered “marginal” or mentally challenged were often appreciated differently if they were “in tune” with a different reality or “connected” to a different psychic perspective. Though we still innately love to share time around a campfire with family and friends, our tribe, we do not honor or respect this experience as the ancient cultures have done.

When you had your questions regarding the meaning or purpose of life, where did you turn and what was the outcome? When you wanted to know what your ancestors believed about the transition from life to death, what information did you receive and did you find resonance? When you looked for the Divine Spirit within you, what did you find and what support helped you find guidance and direction?

Where can you find your “Tribe?” Where are the non-judgemental people who lovingly support your quest and help you to overcome the spiritual challenges we all must face? These are not easy or simple questions. So many of us feel isolated even in our families, at work or school, and certainly from the society which worships youth, so long as they are good consumers… It is difficult to question the artificial standards that are laid out for us, and, these seem to have no roots and so are ever changing.

It is often difficult to see and feel the wisdom which bind us all together when our culture rallies us to “be different” and polarized in our individuality. Our history and our genetic code actually says we have more in common than we do not. Our souls and spirits are connected to the same Divine Spirit, even though many religions survive by beliefs of separation and unnecessary judgements. Now, more than ever before, we need to pull together and release the judgements which separate us from all consciousness and life itself.

It does not feel “right,” “healthy,” or “satisfying” to find the differences and judge when we, ourselves, lack perfection and “pure” consciousness. It feels better to serve with love and caring rather than to lash out from fear and with hate. It feels better to reach out and steady the pilgrim beside you as you walk the path through life. It feels good to simply smile or find a simple way to acknowledge the efforts of another seeker. We are ALL in this together. It is a blessing to know that your are not alone and that there are other supportive people who can support your search.

The world is getting too small to ignore other cultures. Though it may seem daunting, the time is right to look to build healthy supportive tribes. If you have not found your tribe, make it your intention to connect and  use whatever technologies you have to find, and then bring, the supportive people you may require to build your consciousness and to expand your remembering of the deepest wisdom within as you better connect with the source of Divine Spirit.

Blessings on your path.

AND, go out and do good in the world!

Masters of the Journey: A Transformation Community

Sharing Wisdom and an Act of Service

In our spiritual community, Masters of the Journey, we practice a “Triad” process. This is a small group sharing of experience and the wisdom gleaned from living through the challenges of life. The purpose of the Triad is to gather three people into a conversation based around the “story” of one participant known as the “storyteller.” We are all “Masters” and have wisdom to share. If you have lived your life and survived to this age, you have learned from experiences and are moving along your “path” on your pilgrimage through this life.

As an example, the “storyteller” may share a story regarding a treasured experience with a personal mentor. It may have been a special college professor or a wise uncle/aunt or supportive coach who offered you some life changing information that set you on an important direction at one of the cross roads of your life. The lesson was a personal one yet it holds wisdom that can be used by other fellow travelers. The willingness of the “storyteller” to share and the active listening by the two other members of the Triad can make this a moment of “service” for all involved.

In the Triad process, the “storyteller” offers an experience which is heard by a focused “witness.” The second member of the Triad quietly and with focused intent, listens to the story. Using strong listening skills including good eye contact and “open” body language seeks to fully experience the story. Little or no verbal feedback is offered unless a clarifying question is required. The “witness” offers appreciation at the end of the 3-5 minute story. It may be appropriate to communicate what the value of this story has been for the witness. (A key is for the “Witness” to not interrupt or offer their own story but to allow the speaker to share their perspective until offered feedback at he completion of their story.)

The third member of the Triad is the “Observer” who focuses on watching both the “Storyteller” and the “Witness.” The “Observer” feels for the connection and rapport between the “Storyteller” and the “Witness.” When the “Observer” offers feedback, she/he may share information regarding the skills of the “Storyteller” to communicate their story and also may give feedback regarding the skills of the “Witness” to fully serve by observing the story. These are skills that carry over into relationships in life beyond the “Triad” process.

The act of witnessing is a powerful act of service. Focused listening and demonstrated “caring” can be therapeutic for the storyteller. In my training as a counselor for children, the theory of psychotherapeutic counseling was often less important that the act of “connecting” with the child. When these children were fully heard, respected, and Loved (Cared about) by the counselor the positive bond was created and the therapy could be effective. Outside of counseling, each of us can be of service by developing our skills to listen more fully, connect with the speaker, and then to share the wisdom of the experience of this sharing. The simple but powerful act of sharing a story and having it fully appreciated by the witness creates moments of learning for both sides of this experience. If you believe that we are actually “one” with all other living beings, then the respect and appreciation for another person’s story is a deep respect for yourself and the Divine Spirit within you (and every other soul.)

Do not take it lightly. Your witnessing of the lesson learned raises the consciousness of all the souls which are participating. Raising consciousness in all is the purpose which we all share. This common bond brings us closer and we can find the connections which offer positive learnings. Treat others with the respect of knowing that they are part of a much larger consciousness and though it may be difficult to see, every person has God within them. We may benefit from the raising of consciousness so we may better “remember” that we are all one and that each one of us is a Master with the wisdom of the Divine Spirit within our souls.

Blessings to you and all the fellow pilgrims you, and serve, along your path.

Namaste.

Masters of the Journey’s website and connections are found at: www.mastersofthejourney.com

Masters of the Journey: a Transformational Community

We are all masters. We are all on a journey. We can all benefit from a safe and supportive transformational community. Let me explain. When I say that we are all masters I am speaking about the expertise that we all have in knowing about our lives. There is no one who knows more about you than you. If you believe that life is filled with lessons and our primary goal in living is to learn and to develop, then we need to be prepared to share our learning, our experiences, and our acquired wisdom. To truly master something you need to teach it. To assist other people along their journey, we need to support and honor our fellow travelers. We need to realize that none of us are alone and that we are all interconnected. We can benefit from knowing the bond of unconditional love, caring, and support that we feel for all other people who are learning the lessons of this life.

The journey that I speak of is the process of all of the acquired learning that we can do in our lives. From the moment we are born until the moment when we die, we are exploring the lessons and experiences of this life. There are some people who believe in the philosophy that we are choosing to live in the bodies and in the lives that we currently have. We have exercised this choice because of the specific lessons that we must learn. The philosophy may also suggest that we choose the people that surround us in our life as a way of learning our lessons and resolving our issues. Whether a person has their eyes wide open to the fact that they are traveling down the road on this journey or whether they are naïve, or even blinded to the fact, that our purpose may be to be as conscious and aware of each step along the way as we wind our way through the journey of this life.

The concept of being a part of the Masters of the journey is to take conscious responsibility for the learnings and the lessons that we have in this life. It is for people who realize that for us to gain in our consciousness we must support and reach out to help all of those people that we can touch and allow them to develop their awareness and consciousness so that we all grow and develop together. The transformational community allows us to have unconditional loving support as we share with the people around us. Celebrating the lessons and experiences that we gather, and must learn from, on our path through this life. We can do this face-to-face and in person. We can do this through our writing of articles and blogs, books and other resources. We can do this by joining together on conference calls or in webinars to share and interact with other people from our community, even those around the world. And there will be times when we can involve ourselves in intensive retreat programs where we can interact in a safe environment which can enhance the growing and learning process as we move on our own individual journeys.

Many people are trapped in believing that they are only students and not really the Masters. Many of us are learning the lesson of our own individual insecurities about being willing to step forward and share our deep feelings, experiences, and secrets. We can benefit by realizing that we all have much to say and we all have much to offer. Sometimes our roles will be as listeners and witnesses to other people sharing. This, in its way, has great value. It has value both to the person who is speaking and sharing their experience, their knowledge, and possibly their wisdom. It has great value for the witness as they learn from a personal story, valuable lessons and experiences which can contribute to higher consciousness. The bond between the speaker and the listener can demonstrate the support and the unconditional love both sides can feed off as they follow their individual paths on their journeys through life.

I ask you, are you willing to share from the knowledge you have gained? Are you open to listening and participating in the sharing by other travelers on the journey? Are you interested in creating a community which strives for higher consciousness and awareness? Are you willing to bask in the connection and the unconditional love and support from the community of fellow travelers? Can you feel the value of being a master who is willing to share from the experiences that you have had? Would you like to connect with our transformational community?

No matter what you think or how you feel, please take good care of yourself. Consider that every interaction you have will be able to assist another person who is on their journey to enlightenment. Some of you will take this responsibility very seriously.

Please let us know what you think. If appropriate, please share this with anyone who is a seeker. Remember, that we will all benefit by helping the other people in our community.

Some questions to ask yourself:
Who was the most influential person in your life and why?

What were the three most difficult lessons you have learned from so far in this life?

Have you ever felt a deep sense of bond and connection with another person? And who would that be? What did it feel like? And what did you learn?

Have you ever helped another person? How did it feel to help them? What did you learn by helping them?

Have you ever really listened to another person? Has anybody ever really listened to you? How did that feel? Was the connection that you had with that person a valuable lesson for you?

Have you ever experienced unconditional love and support? Did you bask in the beauty of this experience?

Notes: We all have our lessons and purpose. We are all perfect and moving along on our journeys. We are all one and support each other’s progress. We are all pilgrims on our personal journey of self-exploration through life. Pilgrims often have reverence for their journey and appreciate the experiencing of the lessons learned along the way. Self-identified pilgrims are more vigilant to these lessons along the way. The “trip” is the “point” and has the value… Hone your skills of vigilance as a pilgrim on your sacred, spiritual quest and reach out your hand to assist other pilgrims along the way. Be present as you take the steps along your way. Look for your connection to all others things and bask in the unconditional love that can be found…

Please “Share” this blog with other pilgrims who are actively in the search of higher conscious and a supportive community. Thank you.Masters of the Journey’s Facebook page

Achieving Nirvana

Do you know your purpose in life? Are you living your life with the intention of getting to Heaven or reaching the highest form of consciousness labeled “Nirvana” in the Buddhist tradition? The Buddhists believe that achieving enlightenment is the goal of living and they believe that we live and are reborn to learn the lessons that will lead to enlightenment. The concept of rebirth and reincarnation is known as “Samsara.”

In researching this concept I came across the following definition in Wikipedia:
“Samsara is uncontrollably recurring rebirth, filled with suffering and problems (according to Kalacakra tantra as explained by Dr. A. Berzin). In this sense, Samsara may be translated as ‘Wheel of Suffering.’ The Buddha taught that there are six realms that one can go to through this cycle of Samsara, though Buddhists differ as to whether the realms are actual places or figurative states of mind. Many believe that when one goes through the process of rebirth that they are the exact same person when they are reborn, but this however is not true according to the teachings of Buddha. Beings bear many similarities with their former selves but they are not the same person: this is why many Buddhists use the term rebirth instead of reincarnation. The term reincarnation implies that there is a transfer of one’s soul to the new life, but Buddhists believe this is not the case in Samsara, rebirth is generally considered to be a stream of evolving consciousness. A good example to better understand the transfer of consciousness is like a billiard ball hitting another billiard ball. While nothing physical transfers, the speed and direction of the second ball relate directly to the first. This explains how the previous life has a direct impact on the next life”

So, where are you in your evolution of higher consciousness? Are you living your life in preparation for achieving Nirvana? If this is your life’s purpose, how are you going about this?

Not everyone chooses to follow Buddhism or to meditate daily. Can we all connect with a deeper spirit of consciousness on whatever path we choose? We can learn to trust our intuition and do “right” by others with the highest level of tolerance and without the fear death. We can practice acceptance and offer unconditional love, with no strings attached, to other people struggling to learn the lessons of life. We can choose to volunteer and look for the good in others rather than, through fear and distrust, looking for the things that may divide us. How prepared are you to accept the ultimate transition that we must all face of death (and then face the possible return to learn more lessons in a future life?)

My sister asked me to read a book, The Instruction by Ainsley Macleod. He offers an interesting perspective on living your purpose and developing higher consciousness. It is a basic guide with information and exercises that can assist in the process of spiritual development without subscribing to religious dogma.

No matter how you choose to find and embody your life’s purpose, I support your efforts. Along the way, I encourage you to reach out and assist others in their quest for awakening as we may all reach the end point together. My wish for you is that you may bask in the light of unconditional love and acceptance. Here’s to knowing you in Nirvana!

My colleague and I are founding a new community of support for all who seek higher consciousness through non-denominational spiritual development. We have chosen the name “Masters of the Journey” because we are all Masters with insights to share and experiences that can be valuable learning tools for others on this Journey. This is a Transformational Community welcoming the participation of open-minded members who wish to share wisdom and unconditional love. Please share this blog and join us if you wish the support of this community on YOUR Journey.

Masters of the Journey

Have you ever considered your consciousness and wondered whether you could learn techniques to increase your awareness? Or, have you ever considered connecting with the “higher power,” knowing the “oneness” that we have heard about?

We are bringing together experiences that will allow you to develop deeper insights and “connection” with the Source of your Spirit. Learning lessons from loved ones who have transitioned and studying the stories of those who have reported NDE’s (Near Death Experiences,) we have found tools that can assist you on your journey toward higher conscious living. We intend to create a community which will support mutual growth and provide a forum to increase awareness for the participants.

Among the many lessons and experiences that I have been blessed to encounter was a very clear meditation that I had in my early 20’s. During my meditation I was shown the “River of Life” which was flowing golden from my right to my left. It was moving in a slow, deliberate way from the mountains to the sea. It was golden because it was made up of molecules of water that represented all living things. It swirled down to form the Circle of Life. I experienced myself as a single molecule of water surrounded and connected to all other living things. I felt myself bathed in “unconditional love” and acceptance. I knew that I was a part of the much larger Universe and yet I was not alone. I knew that I was a part of the Source of all knowledge and wisdom… or Pure Consciousness. I loved this feeling and can remember the sensation and image as if I were having the vision right now.

Our purpose is to be of service. We intend to build community through connecting with other like-minded people to mutually learn lessons and to raise consciousness. Please consider joining us in this process of acknowledging that we are all “Masters of the Journey,” and in creating a “Transformational Community.” With all that we must do in our busy lives, we encourage you to take time to be present: take a slow, deep breath and find the best way to connect with your own soul/spirit. Know that you are never alone and that you can tap into the pure Source of unconditional love.

Would You Be More Successful if Your Were Authentic?

What is “Authentic,” “Genuine,” and “Real”?

Would knowing who you really are allow you to be happier and to make better choices in your life?
When we are talking about people and how they comport themselves in the world, I have wondered whether many people would pass the test of being “authentic, genuine, and real?” Now that I have posed that question, I also wonder whether people really care about how they behave as they choose to live their lives. For me, the search for answers begins with finding the definitions of these words based on internet dictionaries… (Most relevant to this article are definitions which are emboldened and underlined.)

Please work your way through these definitions and the article will continue on the other side…

Definition of AUTHENTIC Webster’s
3. not false or imitation : real, actual
5. true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character

Or au·then·tic adjective
1. not false or copied; genuine; real: an authentic antique.
2. having the origin supported by unquestionable evidence; authenticated; verified: an authentic document of the Middle Ages; an authentic work of the old master.
3. entitled to acceptance or belief because of agreement with known facts or experience; reliable; trustworthy: an authentic report on poverty in Africa

Definition of GENUINE
1 actually having the reputed or apparent qualities or character b : actually produced by or proceeding from the alleged source or author c : sincerely and honestly felt or experienced d : actual, true
2 free from hypocrisy or pretense : sincere

adjective
1. possessing the claimed or attributed character, quality, or origin; not counterfeit; authentic; real: genuine sympathy; a genuine antique.
2. properly so called: a genuine case of smallpox.
3. free from pretense, affectation, or hypocrisy; sincere: a genuine person.
4. descended from the original stock; pure in breed: a genuine Celtic people.
Synonyms
1. See authentic. 3. true, unaffected, open, honest, forthright.

Definition of REAL:
Real describes something that is true and authentic or something is very important or significant. (adjective)
1. An example of real is an actual designer purse as opposed to a fake.
2. An example of real is a serious problem.

re·al adjective
1. true; not merely ostensible, nominal, or apparent: the real reason for an act.
2. existing or occurring as fact; actual rather than imaginary, ideal, or fictitious: a story taken from real life.
3. being an actual thing; having objective existence; not imaginary: The events you will see in the film are real and not just made up.
4. being actually such; not merely so-called: a real victory.
5. genuine; not counterfeit, artificial, or imitation; authentic: a real antique; a real diamond; real silk
Or
1. a. Being or occurring in fact or actuality; having verifiable existence: real objects; a real illness.
b. True and actual; not imaginary, alleged, or ideal: real people, not ghosts; a film based on real life.
c. Of or founded on practical matters and concerns: a recent graduate experiencing the real world for the first time.
2. Genuine and authentic; not artificial or spurious: real mink; real humility.
3. Being no less than what is stated; worthy of the name: a real friend.
4. Free of pretense, falsehood, or affectation: tourists hoping for a real experience on the guided tour.
5. Not to be taken lightly; serious: in real trouble

Definition of SNARKY (Why “snarky”? Because many people attempt to behave in this way and seem to be opposite to actually being “real, authentic, and genuine”.)
adj. snark·i·er, snark·i·est Slang
1. Rudely sarcastic or disrespectful; snide.
2. Irritable or short-tempered; irascible.
adjective: Informal touchy, short-tempered, irritable,

Everyone seems to be able to achieve the status of being authentic, genuine, and real a part of the time. The amount of this time varies greatly based on how important it may seem to be real as opposed to being in a “role” of being the type of character (or person) you may need or want to be seen as. I believe that too many of us spend too much time “acting” or pretending to be someone else because we are not comfortable being who we actually are… I also believe that these “roles” are so comfortable and prevalent that we often do not have a good idea of how to be authentic, genuine or real because we DO NOT KNOW who we actually are… In fact, this lack of self-knowledge, self-acceptance, personal insight, and authenticity is common, accepted, and often preferred by both the person playing the role and the people whom they encounter. Perhaps it is simply easier than being real or genuine.

What would the advantage be to being authentic, genuine, and real?
Would this make life more satisfying?
Would this help to make relationships more solid or real?
Should people strive to be more demonstrative of whom they really are?
And, how do you get to be more authentic, genuine, and real, and live in this true form?

When you meet a person who is genuine and real do you find that you can “TRUST” that person more easily because they do not seem inauthentic? Do relationships benefit from moments when the people in the relationship achieve an interaction which is sincere and genuine?

When we are born, we are genuine, authentic, and real. But, things get complicated and we develop filters by which we begin to experience the world. These filters may be cultural, or from family values, or political, or burdened by religious teachings. We then evaluate and “judge” other people and interactions based on these filters and we often find ourselves acting in character from the filters which we have adopted. Babies are not born as: “born again Christians,” or Muslin Extremists, or “right-wing” angry conservative Republicans, or “left-wing” “bleeding-heart liberals,” or drug addicted “street people,” or over-educated intellectual snobs, or rabid football fans, or tattooed, NASCAR enthusiasts. Babies are exposed to these philosophies and adopt these characteristics from the role models they live with. With that said, are these developed personalities authentic, genuine, or real?

How does common sense, or the lack thereof, play a role in living as a genuine person?
Is the definition of “phony” (or acting “fake”) the opposite of authentic, genuine, and real?

When the time comes that a person realizes that they are not as authentic as they may want to be, how does a person find their way back to an authentic self? And, how will they really know that they have gotten to that internal place of being genuine, real, and authentic? (Is it a feeling of insight or can it be understood by an evaluation process?)

Does being “real” allow for unfiltered, inappropriate, snarkiness and uninhibited impulsivity? In this day and age, many people express themselves through a cynical, sarcastic, and caustic style that seems to be in vogue with many celebrities and pundits who are allowed vast amounts of media exposure. As a society, the tolerance, acceptance, and celebration of this style of behavior appear to communicate the insecurity and need to be condescending toward fellow citizens. This lack of tolerance and respect seems endemic in our culture. Why do we have to put other people or concepts down just to aggrandize ourselves or our opinions?

Also, is there a time in people’s lives when they realize that they have been chasing a dream or expectations that may prove unsatisfying for them? When we are young do we impulsively strive for a cultural expectation of “success” that during “mid-life” (mid-30’s to late 40’s) changes dramatically causing dissatisfaction and unhappiness which can cause dramatic changes in career choices, relationships, and lifestyles? Would better self-awareness with authenticity allow for greater life satisfaction before, during, and after these mid-life travails? Does the desire for mid-life change denote a need to strive toward greater self-awareness, authenticity or genuineness?

It has been a common belief that self-realization gives you power because you know and better understand your own strengths and weaknesses/flaws. If you can remove yourself from being a victim to your expectations or unconscious characters (the roles we assume should bring us happiness or success), then you can make better life choices and find your path to satisfaction and happiness. It may prove difficult and confusing to wade through the old self-concepts and roles that may be getting in your way, however you can achieve self-awareness and a greater sense of being “authentic, genuine, and real.”

If you wish to explore how to become more “authentic” or genuine, with the possibility of increased self-acceptance, consider coaching from the Stress Education Center at www.dstress.com The Stress Education Center offers a coaching process which offers increased self-awareness, personal control, and a self-realization that will allow greater success and life satisfaction.
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Basking in the Light of Self-Acceptance

Can you allow yourself to bask in the light of Self-Love and Self-Acceptance? Can you see and accept both your strengths and your flaws? Can you find a way to break from being a “victim” of your challenges and your lessons?

Life would be easy if the answers to these questions was “Yes.” For most of us, we are in the struggle called “living” and can not find the time and energy to even ask these questions, let alone, develop the answers. These are questions that people have asked and struggled to answer since the first humans had enough consciousness to realize that they were more than just animals attempting to survive in a difficult, dangerous world. The lessons of consciousness that we historically struggle with are often ones like: What is my purpose? or Why am I alive? or Is there a God? or What happens when I die? or How can I find Love? or How can I keep the faith even as the storm of humiliation and disappointment surround me? There are no easy answers… but for each of us the process of discovery along the path to finding these answers is what our lives are all about.

I believe that each one of us is connected to a higher consciousness and our goal in life is to learn from our flaws/challenges so we can get a less filtered view of this pure consciousness. We are trying to connect with the God within us and to bask in the light of unconditional love and consciousness.

At some point, we must acknowledge our imperfections and find a way to accept these challenges as the lessons we have to learn. By accepting these flaws and giving up the “fight against them,” we can free our energy to find a better way to our life’s purpose and our goals. By giving up being a victim to our weaknesses or imperfections, we can invest our time and energy in moving more freely to the light of higher consciousness. Why is it easier to accept other people and their imperfections, than it is to accept our own? Accept and celebrate your flaws, especially if you wish to find a way to move in more positive directions.

Along the way, find and celebrate the God within you. You may be surprised to find how surprisingly familiar this supreme consciousness really is. (For me, God is not a religious term. It is a word that symbolizes unconditional love in the purest form and the highest consciousness that connects all living things.)

Basking in the Brilliance of Spirit

What feeds your spirit? What activities connect you with your spirit? How often do you seek to develop your spiritual nature? When we speak of “spirit” or spiritual development in this article, we are not speaking about learning religious philosophy or in practicing religious rituals. Instead, we are speaking of the deeper connections with the brilliance of love and light that comes from deep within every living being. In doing so, there is no exclusion of spirit due to different philosophical or religious beliefs or attitudes. There are no qualifications or exclusions from connecting with spirit. One of the main understandings regarding this celebration of spirit is that “we are all at one” with all other living creatures. We are all “connected.”

Time and space (place) are less of a division in the world of spirit. Spirit may be more a feeling rather than a thought. For people who have been able to bring these feelings back from a spiritual experience often describe a feeling of “oneness” or a sense of deep connection. There may also be a feeling of “unconditional love” which can also be described in some religions as a feeling of connection with the religion’s God, but not necessarily with all the morale or cultural beliefs.

People will visit a glorious natural environment and feel the power of connection with natural beauty that has the power to create calmness and sometimes healing. When learning to connect with your spirit it is good to be reminded that you can get there more easily if you “Quiet your mind” and control your expectations. (Neither of these is easy to do when getting started but can come more easily with practice.) It is important to be “still” and to let “it” come to you. Chasing the spirit can make it more difficult to do. A final reminder: Be Open… You may not experience the process in the way you think you might need, but actually get the experience that you will best learn from…. If, you are open to it.

I am reminded of a time when I was in a late afternoon meditation on a cliff that over looked the waves churning unto a beach in Sonoma County, CA. With my mind reaching to be in “neutral” (no extra thoughts), I found myself listening to a dialogue in my head. One voice seemed to come from the perspective of a “guide” in the form of a seagull who was describing the birth of the winds as a power to consider. The Voice suggested that the winds were created by the difference in temperatures of the ocean and the land. As the land heated up and warmed the air over it, the air would rise and the cooler air over the ocean would rush in to fill this void, so creating a breeze. Waves are generated by the movements of the wind and their force is respected for the great power that this force of nature manifests. The Voice asked me to consider harnessing the power of the winds as seagulls do as they soar, almost effortlessly, by using the currents of wind. A part of me listened to the dialogue with fascination. Another part of my mind was asking where this Voice was coming from and where the information of this Voice was coming from. I considered the experience as a connection with the “collective unconscious” described by many famous psychologists and philosophers. I felt blessed to be allowed to share in this mind expanding experience.

Another late afternoon meditation created a powerful but not uncommon learning experience. In my visualization, I imagined that I was sitting by a river with my back against a tree. I pictured myself meditating and seeing the transformation of the river in front of me into the “River of Life.” It was golden in color. It flowed from my right side to my left, slowly and evenly. I “knew” that the waters would eventually empty into the sea. Each golden molecule of water represented a living soul. The molecules of water would evaporate from the sea to form golden clouds which would lead to a golden rain high up in the mountains. The molecules would join other molecules to form small streams flowing downhill to join larger rivers until the “cycle of life” would be repeat by following the path of the golden river of life back to the sea, once again. I saw myself as a molecule of water swirling downstream occasionally being caught in an eddy and swirling in circles to learn my lessons. Most importantly, I felt myself “connected” to all other living things in this river of life. I knew that I was never alone or separate from other living beings as we struggle to improve and move forward with our lessons of life. Though this meditation happened for me almost 40 years ago, I remember it and I feel it as if it was happening right now… This type of connection with the oneness of consciousness is far from unique. It has happened before and will happen again in some form or another for people who are open to this transformative experience/lesson.

Please consider taking time to connect with your spirit and celebrating the learning that you can achieve. It will change your life.

For life balance and stress management, it is important to maintain your ideal state of mind, body, and spirit. Too focused attention on any one area, over the others, may provide an imbalance that will not allow the best quality of life. Please take good care of yourself.

Please comment on this blog if you are so moved.