What if we are all like individual cells? And humanity is the “body” that we create together?
That’s exactly what this guy thinks. And he says we’ve got a serious case of auto-immune disease in the body.
What do you think?
What if we are all like individual cells? And humanity is the “body” that we create together?
That’s exactly what this guy thinks. And he says we’ve got a serious case of auto-immune disease in the body.
What do you think?
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
― Anaïs Nin
How about with the mystery of coincidence? As I began this month of spiritual intention, I knew from experience that I would be encountering “coincidences” connecting that which would be growing in me (you can’t not grow when you sincerely seek truth) and what I encountered in the world around me. I knew this because it is true that we see things as we are. If we are watching with our spiritual selves we begin to detect the amazing spiritual synchronicity that surrounds us and even seeks us out. If we are watching with our physical eyes only, those synchronicities aren’t so obvious.
Sometimes these coincidences are unmistakable. Sometimes they are almost imperceptible. Today I experienced both. The first was blatant! In a recent prayer time, I was repeatedly reminded of the newness of each moment, including my own newness moment by moment. I saw the truth of newness differently. It made more sense to me. And there was a scripture from Revelations that was embedded in my heart for the next few days: “Behold, I make all things new.” Then today I attended a service at Agape Spiritual Center in Los Angeles, a wonderful trans-denominational center that I have not visited in almost a year. The title of the monthly theme, as it turns out, is “Ever True — Ever New,” and what scripture do you think the speaker kept returning to? That is the kind of synchronicity that will make you sit up and listen.
But today also brought a smaller and for me sweeter coincidence. I was reading a story to my 2 year-old niece before naptime. She picked out a book called, “Scaredy Squirrel.” The last time I read this book was, again, almost a year ago.
As we nuzzled on the floor reading, I got to the part where the agoraphobic Scaredy Squirrel is finally forced to leave his comfort zone, jump into thin air, only to discover that he is “no ordinary squirrel” but in fact a flying squirrel! (What better analogy for enlightenment could there be?!)
The illustrations, the words, even the sound of my own voice as I read sent a rush of spiritual acknowledgement through me. It was the feeling of connection. This particular connection was to a vision that I experienced last week during prayer. In this vision I myself had taken a plunge off a cliff and found myself not falling as I expected, but swimming through the air. I was without limitations and unshackled from all fear. I had to smile as I read this page and saw Scaredy Squirrel embrace his newfound identity with great joy. I am no ordinary squirrel! (And neither are you, by the way.)
All of this to say that the big and little coincidences that cross our paths are worthy of our attention. They emerge in the most unexpected times and places, and yet if your intention is to see them then you bet you can expect them! And what are they after all? I am convinced that they are NOT coincidences but something more. They are the infinite speaking to us and guiding us on our odd and mysterious ways. They are signposts. Listen and watch and you will know what they mean.
Well, get ready for more of these types of posts in the upcoming weeks! How can I not share them? In my life, I have found the pursuit of truth and communion with the divine to be the most exhilarating and excellent pursuit. Uncontested. And my great, great amount of gratitude for being able to take part in that pursuit silences me quite often in my times of communion.
I wish you all a blessed week. May yours be full of signposts to bless you and remind you that your journey is important.
And don’t forget to like us on Facebook for more frequent doses of encouragement and connection.
Since these last two posts that introduced my HERE I AM! plan, I have heard from a number of you telling me that you also will be writing your own list of intentions. I just want to say how honored I am to be included in this exciting and sacred journey that you are embarking on. Whether there are big changes ahead for you, small steps that you will take, or simply increased awareness about your life, I send you all my encouragement and love. I’m right there with you and look forward to hearing about your experience.
After writing about my HERE I AM list in yesterday’s post (don’t forget to read it!), I was left wondering when I should write my list. As soon as possible? January 1st? Midmonth? I left the questions to answer themselves. (A good thing to practice, by the way.)
And then a friend pointed out to me that tomorrow is 12/12/12. She said that she is planning on writing out her own HERE I AM! list of intentions tomorrow because it “feels like a strong spiritual day.” I couldn’t agree more! It was a lovely coincidence because my sister and I were planning on being together on the evening of 12/12/12 and after reading the post, she said she may feel inspired to write one as well. What a beautiful evening it will be then! And yet a third perk for choosing tomorrow: I will now have an easily remembered date on which to rotate to a new intention. January 12th, February 12h, March 12th…and so on.
So that was decided. Tomorrow night, there will be a special little ceremony as we listen to our hearts, write our lists, and bless them with some words of kindness, gentleness and faith. Then begins the first month of
HERE I AM!
Out of curiosity, I did want to see if 12/12/12 had any special spiritual meaning. Oh, the things you can find on the internet! But instead of summarizing them here, I am instead going to tell you: make the day what YOU want it to be. Celebrate, pray, love, panic…..in the end, what you expect is probably to some extent what you are going to get. So choose wisely! I know I am.
Have you ever been so submerged in a problem or a struggle. It seems like there is no way over, around, under or through the surmountable task before you? There have been times when I have implored, “I need a different perspective! NOW! I’m blinded by circumstance!” Well, it may not be a complete paradigm shift…it may not be enlightenment…but here is a little message from me to myself. From me to you, as well. From Carl Sagan to all of us. Maybe from God to you if you feel it is so.
So take some deep, slow breaths. Let your awareness, or just your imagination, rise into the galactic level. Feel the universe humming with energy, vibration, connection between all things that are held together in some kind of mind-boggling, miraculous harmony. Now glance down at our little, wonderful world and see yourself there. Smile and wave at yourself. Tell yourself, “It will all be okay.”
“What wouldn’t I give now for a never-changing map of the ever-constant ineffable? To possess, as it were, an atlas of clouds.” —David Mitchell
I’ve been gone for a little while, but let’s not dwell on that. Following a very tough August and a September of emotional recuperation I’m back!!!! Yay!!! And you know what I could use? A really good movie.
Perfect. Because today I saw the trailer for the new movie Cloud Atlas which is scheduled to be in theaters October 26th. Have you seen it? It looks…mmm…complicated. Like somewhere between Memento and The Tree of Life. But still, the trailer was intriguing, and the film looks potentially beautiful. It is based on a 2004 book by David Mitchell. I read a few quotes from the book and am looking forward to reading it as soon as I can. I’ve been looking for a new read after zipping through Hunger Games a few Saturdays ago, so this comes at a perfect time. I think that a little dose of fiction that gives a hopeful and positive message is just what the doctor ordered.
But the trailer caught my attention for a few other reasons…….
First, the movie was directed by Tom Tykwer who directed Run Lola Run, along with Lana and Andy Wachowski who wrote The Matrix. Talk about crazy creative minds working together! I mean, just look at them! I think with that team doing the screen adaptation, the producing and the direction, there is a very good chance this film will be a mind-bending IMAX adventure with a deeper takehome message than you’ll get from the average blockbuster.
Then you add the cast! Tom hanks and Halle Berry carry the lead roles. I rest my case. Not enough? Okay, let’s add Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, and on and on.
Next, need I point out that it has nothing to do with the presidential campaigns?
Finally, and most importantly to me, one of the main themes that is explored in the film is connection. The tagline is, Everything is Connected. The film follows 6 tales that intertwine through past, present, and future and reflect all the inevitables of the human experience (love, hate, birth, death, etc.) while countering those inevitables with our own power to impact the boundless spaces and times. (Could it be Crash spread out over 300 years??) One quote reads, ”…And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.” As you know, we are interested in the same ideas at Life As a Wave. Connectedness…. plus a dash of romance and a dab of special effects…we’ll be there!
A quick postscript for all of our wonderful readers: Life As a Wave is now on Facebook!! We would love for you to join us there.
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Big love and big thanks!!
~~~your Life As a Wave writers~~~
As promised, I wanted to follow up the previous post with a brief description of the book, Manifesting Michelangelo, which I read about 8 months ago and reread last weekend. It is written by Joseph Pierce Farrell who is an energy healer. He is unique though because he works closely with Western medical providers to foster “integrative healthcare” that includes mind, body, and spirit. He founded Global Health Institute which is a “medical education and research foundation that is composed of a cross-disciplinary group of healthcare professionals.”
The book, though, isn’t about his current work so much as it is about how he got to where he is. I reread it because I recalled that in the last few chapters of the book, he gives advice about finding and following your calling. Here is what he had to say about “callings” :
Our true nature, the sacred inheritance I have talked about throughout this book, is what we need to bring forth so that we can identify with it and I’ve lives that are aligned with who we are on the deepest level. By doing that, we not only make ourselves happier and more fulfilled but also spread that happiness to everyone around us… The second reason…is, of course, to repair the world, or what is called in the Jewish tradition tikkun olam.
Last weekend, I updated you on my current in feelings about my calling. In short, I feel some discontentment with what I am currently doing with my time and energy and I am keeping the faith that my true (or perhaps, next) calling will blossom in time. So I was curious. What did Farrell say about the steps he took to find, or to maintain, his connection with his “true nature?” (Granted, he had something of a Saul moment where an inexplicable light overtook his every faculty and he was swept into a trancelike state before reemerging with new understanding, enlightenment and healing ability. Does anybody else out there ever wish something like that would happen to them?? *hundreds of hands raise* heehee.)
But no matter what the vehicle, Farrell emphasizes that:
Many of the world’s spiritual traditions teach that each of us possesses a divine gift inside, a gift that we were born with. This gift takes many forms, and our task is to locate and identify our inner passions and dreams, because when we do that we will discover what we’re supposed to be doing in life.
In the final chapters of his book, Farrell offers 5 steps for finding your life’s purpose and changing the world by just being what your soul longs to be. As I list and describe them, I challenge you to think about which steps you have taken, which ones have you yet to take, and which ones maybe need a tune up.
Step 1 is Look. By this he means:
Be alert to whatever messages come to give you a clue from your soul to your true calling. The clue may arrive at any time and in the most unlikely place: sitting on a bus, walking or driving to work, watching television, taking a shower, or sitting on the john in the morning.
Step 2 is Decide. Farrell encourage us to listen to “deep within” to decide the steps to take toward our calling. Once you have decided to step toward your dream–possibly leaving a more comfortable path–people and events will come into your path to encourage you along.
So one you start paying attention to your subconscious or strong emotional responses to people and events, what do you do? First, see if these messages connect back to some with or desire for change that you discovered while working on Step One. After you look…you will probably identify one or more areas for possible change, either in yourself or in the larger world.
I love the next step. Step 3 is Connect, which as you know is a concept so near and dear to the hearts of our authors. Farrell’s sense of connection here refers to connecting with a higher power, or what he calls Source. Farrell does this through meditation, qigong, and other practices. It is in these moments of connection that Farrell encounters the unconditional love and compassion that he then transmits to his patients through his thoughts, hands, and intentions. For me, this connection to God is where I find the clarity of thought, the insight, and the wisdom to understand and accept where I am while believing that the future is unwritten and full of promise.
The most important thing to keep in mind is this: that the journey to connect to Source is not an intellectual pursuit. You don’t connect through your intellect. … One way to begin opening the heart center is by sending out feelings of gratitude for all that you have received. … So you allow your heart to swell until it expands to the ineffable presence of the Divine, and in that moment you are connected to the Divine. …At that point, I am no longer doing anything. …I become a conduit and surrender to a higher power. … Once you acknowledge the force and begin to play with it, you can master it and use it for many things. One of those uses, of course, could be healing individuals of physical ailments. but you can use the same force for healing social ils or the pody politic, changing where you live or the kind of work you do.
Step 4 is Act. Someone reminded me recently that sometimes when we have come a long way in our growth, the universe allows a big challenge to be put in our path in order to get us up to the next level of growth. I can sense that my next “act” is beginning to peck its way out of its little egg. Farrell says that taking action is crucial not only for personal fulfillment but also, and more importantly, to repair the world we live in.
We have all been given gifts. What we decide to do with those gifts is our gift to God, but how we act on them is our gift to humanity. We all have a choice to stand by and watch or to be among the noble spirits who manifest change on this planet for their larger family.
Finally, Step 5 is Manifest. This step has to do with the “wakes we leave behind” that reach into the lives of others that we may never meet.
What we need to understand is that we all have that same potential to create wakes that can smooth the way for others and leave lasting benefits. Sometimes those others may consist of our families, our local communities, our colleagues at work, or maybe just one other person — a spouse or partner, a parent or child, a friend in need. But as we manifest our change, the wakes we leave behind spread out just as a boat’s wake does on the surface of the water. We start out by changing our lives and the lives of loved ones, and then they change someone’s life, and the effect ripples outward until many more people are affected by what we have manifested.
Revisiting these ideas even as I now write has reinvigorated me and reassured me that, just like each of you, I am right where I need to be. That’s why I love the blurb that I included at the top. It reminds me to be grateful to be me. I hope that this has given you some food for thought. And I hope you will join me in taking steps toward meeting and walking in our highest calling.
The Memorial Day weekend is off to a great start! This month is now officially the most-viewed month that ~~~Life As a Wave~~~ has experienced since our grand unveiling in October. Okay…maybe not what might seem like a great many visits in a month – 531 – but enough for us to feel blessed and excited as we start this process and see where it takes us. With many of you who are now following our posts I have felt a strong togetherness in our thoughts, philosophies, and visions for ourselves and our world. It has been amazing to encounter you and we look forward to more connecting with you and growing because of you. Here is an Emerson quote that is dedicated to YOU today!! Thank you, as always, for reading. Thank you for subscribing. Thank you for being you.
My friends have come to me unsought. The great God gave them to me. By oldest right, by the divine affinity of virtue with itself, I find them, or rather not I, but the Deity in me and in them derides and cancels the thick walls of individual character, relation, age, sex, circumstance, at which he usually connives, and now makes many one. High thanks I owe you, excellent lovers, who carry out the world for me to new and noble depths, and enlarge the meaning of all my thoughts.
~~~Emerson, Essay VI, Friendship
It has been interesting to look back at some of the posts I’ve written relating to animals and to compare them to our mission statement. Sometimes my attitude when writing about animals doesn’t quite reflect the magnanimous tenants that those of us on Life As a Wave believe in. I think to myself, “Will people read the mission statement and then wonder how I can be hating on the king of Spain or factory farm workers?!”
I know that at the gut level it is hard for me to feel anything but disgust toward people who are exploiting or abusing animals; it is next to impossible to feel that I am connected to them on some metaphysical level as two waves of the same grand ocean. Yet from time to time I am inclined to step back and ask myself to check in with that contempt and judgment that I harbor for them. Are those people not me? Am I not them? Don’t I exist only as part of their existence?
Hold on. That’s too deep for right now…It’s almost 1am for goodness sakes. Let’s start again.
Basically, it is good to love. So yes, I love animals. I can love my loving neighbor. I can love my family. But can I love the (alleged) enemy in this scenario? Can I love the people who are performing vivisection? Or who are skinning animals alive for fur? Are they really even my enemy? (By the way, sometimes when I see my own writing style I think I should just rename this blog, The Blog of Important Rhetorical Questions.) When I step out of my gut and get into that place of higher self I realize that there is love in me for them. It takes work to plug into it and it may be just a fraction of its potential, but it is there. I don’t like what they do and I would take action to make them stop but I don’t hate their essence…because I truly think it springs from the same source as mine. We are not so different.
I can feel compassion and sorrow for them. I can acknowledge my ignorance of their experiences and pains. I can wish for them better. I can hope for them joy and peace and happiness…just like I hope those for myself. It does my soul good to remember all of this. It stirs up my Love. And I want to act out of Love. I don’t want my advocacy to become aggression, neither mental nor physical. And I don’t want my compassion to diminish. I don’t want to vilify.
I recently heard a sermon given by Ishmael Tetteh in which he used the following analogy to describe our existence:
“Every wave comes into being by the collective power of the entire ocean.”
One wave would not be, were it not for every other wave. And every other wave would be be were it not for that one. Obviously this reminded me of our blog. And thinking about our mission statement–about what it means to live this life as a wave–is what led me think about all of this that I’m now writing. My new mantra, solemnly taped to by bathroom mirror, is:
“I come into being by the collective power of the entire universe.”
This is true moment by moment and eternally. I believe it. I believe I come into being through connection to every other person, galaxy, drop of rain, tree, animal, and ocean wave. So I guess it’s not too deep after all to ask about people “Don’t I exist only as part of their existence?” My best conclusion right now is, Yes.
Excuse a brief diversion from animal rights for a moment. Let’s zoom out to the larger question of compassion at large…….
I work in Hollywood. Today there was a man walking down the street 2 blocks from my office building. He pulled out his gun and began shooting into the air. He shouted, “Kill me!” Then he began shooting at passing cars. This was at a major thoroughfare in downtown Hollywood…Sunset and Vine. The police were called and the man was killed in the street.
Everyone outside was abuzz. Police were everywhere and the area was blockaded all day. But besides the “what if’s” that we all talk about in these situations, there are other great concerns that this incident brought to my mind. You see, yes, I’m horrified that someone would do this. But I’m also horrified about this human crying out and demanding to be killed. Tell me, what leads to that?? Is it just me, or is that horrifying? When I hear about this kind of thing, part of my compassion goes to the offender himself as well as to the offended. Some might say a person who can draw a gun and shoot at strangers doesn’t deserve compassion. Who gets to decide, then, where the flow of compassion stops? I certainly don’t want that responsibility! I would rather heed the compassion that I feel inside my gut and follow it where it takes me.
In this case, it took me to wondering about our society. Wondering how people can go from uncorrupted and guiltless babies to men and women wailing for their own demise through voice and vice. I fear that if we see our middle class disappear anymore than it already has, we will be bracing ourselves against more “kill me” shooters, senior robbers, identity thieves, safe surrenders of babies, on and on and on. In other words, more individual and group desperation leading to more poverty-related acts including crimes. What is it called? The strain theory? More socioeconomic strain –> more anger –> more crime.
If I truly believe that I am connected to every Other, then I am intertwined not only with Gandhi, with Martin Luther King, and the heroes of 911, but also with the men who killed them. I am intertwined not only with the man who robs a bank to feed his starving family but the man who robs a bank to feed his heroine addiction. I’ve heard of a man who lives in Colorado, named Ed. He is debilitated, maybe homeless. He is probably repulsive to most and very likely lonesome. He’s a genius though. He used to work as a physicist. If I am happy to consider myself connected to the Ed of the past—the educated scientist—am I equally happy to be connected to the Ed of today? Are you?
I remember in 2004 I was living in Chicago and heard of a young woman who attempted to kill herself. She was driving on Dempster and accelerated through traffic, crashing into other cars. She lived, but others were injured…possibly killed, I can’t remember anymore. I felt such compassion for this girl thinking of the desperation she must have felt. Others thought her evil. I understand why they say that, but I cringed to hear it. Each of us has the potential to fall into such desperation that we have no twig on which to clasp our groping hand. No one expects to be there when they are beginning out in this world. How many of the 45 million Americans living in poverty planned to be there? Were I to be in that place of desperation I would hope that someone would be there to take hold of my wrist.
Where has the compassion gone in our politics? In our budget? In our worldview? How did one man end up so tormented, lost, desperate and/or angry that he asked to be killed in the middle of the street on December 9th?
I will keep stirring up that compassion in myself even when it seems misplaced to others. I have a feeling this world is going to need it one day.