Yesterday I had the opportunity to go see the immersive Van Gogh exhibit. It made a huge impact on me. I am still in awe. I’m in awe at the artist himself, and I am in awe at the technology it took to put together such an exhibit. At the beginning of the exhibit there was mention of the merging of the digital and the classical to merge with the work, to “vibrate with it.” That happened for me.
Van Gogh not only left us a huge body of work, he left us lessons. Here was a man who knew what he was and how he wished to express it, and he did, no matter what. In the exhibit, it said that he wished to communicate with his fellow humans, and he used painting to do it. He paid some heavy prices, but he never stopped painting. As I stood in that exhibit and experienced his work, I felt that communication. I felt life, in all it’s forms. I felt beauty. I felt awe. I felt despair. I felt discouragement. I felt joy. At one point I said to my friend who came with me, “do you feel the ‘awe energy’ in the room?” And she said, “yes.”
There are great examples of what it means to live Fearlessly Feral, and Van Gogh is one of them. He exemplified what I envision for people: to know who and what we are, and to live that. To express it. To do it. To BE it, no matter what.
This is the first day of a new month. It is the perfect time to contemplate such questions as who and what we are and how we wish to express that. Are we living our truth? Are we expressing that truth in ways that serve us and the rest of the world? Or are we simply showing up day after day, not even knowing what our truth is? Or maybe we have lived our truth for a long time, but now, perhaps who and what we are has changed and it is time to be and do something else. That happens you know.
I believe we are here to express as Spirit in the physical. As such, and by extension, I also believe that we have a responsibility to ourselves and to the world to really know who and what we are, and to live that and express that fully and completely. No matter what. Just like Van Gogh did.
I remember the aha moment I had when Kim Kaiser, then Dean of Holmes Institute, said this to me. I had been reporting to him all the losses I had experienced, and how well I was coping with them. And he said, “Karen, metaphysics does not operate at the level of making lemonade out of lemons.” And for the first time ever, I realized that I did not need to lemons to get the lemonade. I didn’t need loss and change and icky stuff in order to experience good in my life. I could just, simply, willy nilly, experience the good! What a concept! Except it wasn’t that simple. Because in order for me to do that I had to have an inner shift in consciousness. I had to change my belief that one succeeded in life due to how well one coped with loss and change. I had to change my belief that I really wasn’t worthy of simply experiencing my good, just because. So I went to work on changing that belief. Today, I know and feel I can just simply experience my good. But once in a while a reminder is good.
Hot off the press! A BRAND NEW daily reading, written just this morning! WEEHAW! And a first: for the FIRST TIME EVER I had to resort to pulling a photo off a royalty free photo site to use for my meme. Up to this point, all the photos I’ve used for my memes are mine. But I’ve never taken a photo of grapes, believe it or not. So I had to go find one. I like this one and it illustrates my point nicely.
Here’s the reading, I hope you enjoy it:
Ernest Holmes: “It has been said that we can know God only in so far as we can become God.” Gary Zukav, from Seat of the Soul: “ It is impossible for you to come full circle in this way of empowerment without prayer. It is not enough to want or to intend or to meditate. You must pray. You must talk. You must ask. You must believe. That is partnership.”
Gratitude Relaxation Altitude Peace Excellence
Eat your grapes today!
I just had a conversation with my prayer partner, during which I was voicing to her to qualities of spirit I wished to embody for today. And we realized we had the beginnings of an acronym! So we went with it and came up with GRAPE!
Now, if you remember our wonderful form of prayer called treatment, or affirmative prayer, then you might also remember that while it is perfectly ok to pray for outside stuff, my personal preference is to go within and pray to embody qualities of spirit, which then create the outside stuff.
So today I am embodying gratitude. Gratitude for all that is. For the miracle of modern medicine. For the miracle of the power of our minds to create our reality. For my surroundings, my life, my beingness. And I further embody relaxation, simply being still, and knowing. And I also reach high, into great altitude, knowing that there is always something greater in store for me. Always higher. And I feel that grand glorious sense of peace flowing through me. And I know excellence. Excellence in living through and because of spiritual principle. Excellence in embodying those qualities of spirit I just mentioned. Excellence in living. Period.
I have a bit of a routine in the mornings after I feed the critters. It always begins with meditation, then a period of self inquiry and contemplation. Lately I’ve been noticing that during my self inquiry there are a lot of teary type emotions. I’m concerned and sad about the events of the day. A peer shared that whenever another mass shooting happens, he goes into a period of reflection, rather than immediately reacting. That seemed like a good idea to me, so I did that. And I came up with a couple of ideas that I am still kicking around, as to how I want to respond, but in the meantime, I wanted to discuss this thoughts and prayers thing. Yeah, people are tired of it. As they should be. But I want to propose that perhaps it isn’t the thoughts and prayers that we are tired of, but the ways in which we think and pray. Sending thoughts and prayers is really just a bandaid, designed to temporarily make the person sending them feel better in a horrible situation. The problem is, like most bandaids, they only work for a little while and do little to address true healing. I believe that if we keep thinking in the ways we have always thought, we will keep getting what we’ve been getting. We need to change our thinking, both as individuals and in society as a whole. And I believe prayer is something entirely different than asking for something from something outside of ourselves, in other words a beseeching to an outside entity, and when viewed the way I am going to propose, this type of prayer can lead to healing and action, which is what is needed. So, prayer, I propose, is not a beseeching to an outside entity. I believe in, and teach, New Thought, which teaches that prayer changes the mind of the one doing the praying, and that if we can change our thinking, we change our lives. This. This is what thoughts and prayers are about, or could be about. Prayers are affirmations, not asks. Furthermore, they are never directed outward. In other words, I don’t pray to crystals and candles, the great spirit out there, the guy in the sky, the universe or any other outside thing. Yes, I love my candles. I use them a lot to set the tone for things, or change the ambiance of a room. I almost always have a rock in my pocket because they remind me of wonderful things. But I never think that rock, crystal or candle or universe or great spirit or universe is going to do something because I ask it. That is not what prayer is for. Prayer is me affirming that I change my thinking so that I can better deal with what life is presenting to me. Because that is really, in the overall scheme of things, the only thing I can change. Once I change that, then I can venture out into the world and take action in the areas in which I wish to take action. Whether it is to work to educate people about racism and misogyny or host a talking circle or do a workshop or a retreat. Life happens from the inside out, always. So I go within first, get in touch with what I am really feeling on any given day and proceed from there. Sometimes I need to allow the sadness, the grief, the anger. We cannot go into spiritual bypass with that stuff, for it gets locked up inside and festers and then pops out in inelegant and sometimes ugly ways. But I’ve learned those kinds of feelings will not kill me. Once I am through those feelings, then I can inquire of myself, asking what in my thinking wants or needs to be different so that I can live even more successfully than I already do? And I always have to add this, because for some strange reason when I’m speaking to people about this, 99% of the time they go to a place of shame behind what was. No. What was worked, there is nothing wrong with it. But life is always for expansion and growth, and the only way we can do that is to change our thinking. No shame, no blame, just ever expanding and changing thinking to accommodate life’s desire to be more. So, prayer changes the mind of the one doing the praying. Today I joyfully affirm that I am always using life’s events to go within and change my thinking in the ways that result in my expansion. And I affirm that for you too.
Today I am thinking about more. One of my favorite expressions is, “but wait, there’s MORE!” Always more. More life. More wisdom. More good yummy stuff. Because I believe there is always more, I am always striving. Always driven to BE the more. This is the way I have set up my life, purposely. For me, this is the way to nirvana. Enlightenment. Peace. Prosperity. I am always striving to reach that, and yet I’ve already reached it. Yes, it is a paradox of sorts. Like the commercials where the sales person lays out all these wonderful benefits you will get if you buy the product, then says, “wait! There’s MORE!” There is nothing wrong with the product. There’s just more. There’s nothing wrong with my life. But there is always more. I am always amazed at the thinking that seems to say that if one strives for more it means that whatever is going on now is somehow deficient. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Nothing is wrong. It’s just that there is more. When I am thinking in terms of more, I’m not thinking that what has passed before in my life is wrong or bad or shameful. Just that there is more. There is an inner calling that I feel strongly. An invitation. Some folks call it a whack with a two by four upside the head. And yes, if I ignore that calling it does get stronger and stronger. Because there is something within each one of us inviting us to more. Loss is ultimately about more. Change is ultimately about more. Even without loss and change, I would strive for more. Because I believe that each of us is a manifestation of Spirit, and each of us is the way that Spirit experiences the physical. Each of us in our human form is a little Godling, strutting around on this earth. If this is true, then yes, there is always more. That is why we are here. Not to do more, but to BE more. To shine our light greater than ever. To show up in our own unique and wonderful ways. To dye our hair all the colors of the rainbow if that’s what we are called to do. To create a niche for ourselves to earn a living in a way that no one else has ever done before, if that is what we are called to do. What on earth is that inner calling for, if not for us to honor it? Society says we can’t do that. I say, go ahead and do it. Society says we can’t BE that. I say go ahead and BE it. Then society judges us. I say that judgement says more about the folks doing the judging than it does about us. Ignore the naysayers. Ignore the judgers. Go within, connect with that inner calling, that inner invitation, and honor it. Accept the invitation. BE MORE.