blue anthropocene
The world I knew was gradually getting away from me. It was slowly dying. I didn’t see it that way at first; I didn’t see it. I didn’t realize that with all the job losses, some abrupt and unexpected, the relationships that had ended – also abruptly and unexpectedly — and with the continuing hit to my finances, mind, and heart, that I was inside of my own Anthropocene. I kept expecting and believing that things would turn around as soon as I got my next job, but that job never came. Then I lost my home – the sweet home that had provided shelter and warmth and happiness for me and the rescued felines I had loved and nurtured for many years, the home where I had developed additional credentials, made professional connections and friendships and which held so many memories and so much of my life. Boulder, Colorado is a beautiful place and though I lived there a long time, if truth be told, I always felt as if I were somehow overreaching in an attempt to prove that I belonged in Boulder as much as anyone. In some secret place at the back of my thoughts I understood that my tenure was always temporary. At any moment an unexpected event could overturn my world beyond which I could right it again.

We don’t like to think about it, and we may not want to accept it – but we live with the unexpected. The unexpected is regularly woven into the routines of our organized lives. It appears, again and again, inserting itself into our spreadsheets and carefully maintained portfolios. And just as the unexpected reminds us that we cannot escape the cyclicity of chaos, the weather or the seasons, it also reminds us that dying is an inescapable fact of life. Dying is as inevitable as it is natural. It is eternally woven into the profound coil of life, fathoms past fathoms deep, as inextricable as a mountain’s heart. There is not a single one of us that has not been, or will not be, affected by the loss and permanent separation that is the uncontestable signature of death. And yet, even these permanent separations are an integral attribute of the larger cycle that is life and we know this not only because we have been told this, but because we have personally witnessed it. We have lived it. Despite our losses, life will always emerge. Life will emerge and renew itself again and again, despite death, and because of it.

But then there is the death that is unique to the Anthropocene. Our current epoch is characterized by certain inarguable material realities. We are choking in energy depletion, environmental degradation and economic meltdown. We are at a crucial tipping point: we have created death zones in the ocean. Nuclear waste is everywhere. Glaciers are melting at unheard of speeds, floods and storms are decimating communities, species extinctions and loss of biodiversity accelerate maddeningly, shortages of food and water intensify daily, and the extents of these are not truly grasped collectively.

So here we are, in the midst of a mega-crisis. This Anthropocene is our own modern apocalypse, constructed through acts of unyielding power that brooked little or no compromise with its agenda. Would that it were a tale belonging to humanity’s ancient history or to previous cycles this planet has endured. Would that it was a chilling story passed down from the ancestors and told to those gathered safely around an inviting campfire. But it is not. We are living it now. We are living with dying where dying means the permanent loss of life, of plant and animal species, of oceans and rivers – of a geography and a geology that is never coming back. We are looking at the permanent loss as well of a way of life, of how we habitually carry on in a world that we assumed would forever acclimate to our desires. This is the permanent death that is extinction.

The term Anthropocene * was coined in the 1980’s by ecologist Eugene F. Stoermer and widely popularized by the Nobel Prize-winning atmospheric chemist, Paul Crutzen. It describes the present geological epoch – some say from the time of the Industrial Revolution; some say from much earlier. We can say that from about 1760 to the mid-1800’s our species no longer relied solely on the energy from animals and our own sweat. We were able to access fossilized energy from coal, petroleum products, and gas. This unleashed a new era which saw dramatic population increases, GDP increases, and increasingly heavy resource consumption. Human dominance of biological, chemical and geological processes began to significantly impact the environment. Then World War II led to accelerated changes in how we organized ourselves and how we lived. Along with the population explosion came tremendous economic changes which opened up its own Pandora’s Box.

Officially, we’re in what is known as the Holocene epoch (a long warm period dating back 11,700 years), but the informal nomenclature is the Anthropocene. Perhaps when the prominent geological societies formally rename this epoch, it will be the final sounding to which we must respond. The term Anthropocene inherently recognizes the irrevocable damage wrought by industrialization to Nature. Truly grasping the significance of the Anthropocene will result in deep emotional trauma which will include great grief, great fear, and a sweeping loss of identity. After all, the social and cultural foundations to which we tethered our sense of who we are in the world, our sense of our value, our achievements and status and all the power and recognition that goes with that, will no longer be the same.

Years ago I lost my husband and my best friend when I voluntarily left our marriage. In the years that followed I came to greatly regret the loss of that friendship. That friendship had brought into my life a loyal ally who saw my gifts before I even knew I had them, who encouraged their development and who stood by me when others insisted on misinterpreting me. I also lost the sense of safety that comes with alliances. It was more certain that with two of us, rather than each of us alone, that we would have a greater chance of keeping the roof over our head. But I didn’t care then about safety. I didn’t think about it. As much as I needed this man’s extraordinary friendship and kindness, as much as I needed the insights our conversations delivered, as much as I loved this remarkable and selfless being, I needed even more the freedom to experience the world on my own terms. I longed to dive deep, deep into the recesses of my soul to dredge up, once and for all, what I was truly made of and who I was born to be.

In the years that followed I chose a path that would take to me to the profound core of what it meant to be independent and self-reliant in a world where there were no guarantees of another dollar or another meal. It was a world that showed me the devil in all his ugliness, his rotting teeth exposed by a dank triumphant leer. I had become another of his prisoners via the tangled web I had unwittingly constructed, with the unintentional consequence of making me supremely vulnerable to the whims of others’ choices. Nevertheless, I held tightly to an imaginary sprinkling of fairy dust. I hoped it would be enough to negotiate saving my life.

Losses which tear out the heart and for which there are no words are the initiation into the liman of deep emotional trauma. Once we’ve entered this muddy lagoon – we will slog out a path forward or write ourselves out of the future. In this space of total vulnerability, we don’t know if we will live or die. Death of the life we knew is the end of the current story. There will be no resurrection of what was and it is here, inside the maw of uncertainty, that we have unprecedented opportunity to weave a new story.

It will become necessary to master emotional resiliency. We will need resilience to survive the personal and collective unraveling which will come of the post-industrial, post-petroleum, post-technological collapse. To be able to bear up under change for which we have no words, and for which there is no map or guidebook, we will have to learn to rely on ourselves and each other. What is emotional resiliency? It is the ability to recover from shock or great loss. Even in the face of permanent change or damage, resilience is distinguished by the capacity to come back from the edge of despair, reeking with vulnerability, and still embrace life and move forward. How do we get there? We seek out those things that encourage and develop emotional resilience.

Push through the fear. Do it anyway – take the leap. Muster the courage to imagine a post-industrial world. Allow yourself to envision a world in extreme stages of collapse. There are plenty of post-apocalyptic movies and TV series that can assist you with picturing this. Imagine yourself as a character in any of those scenarios. Notice your grief and fear. Allow yourself to open up to these difficult emotions and be present with them. Notice if there’s anything you may want to change about the way you currently live your life, and in the way you think. We will not be able to create alternatives to living if we succumb to fear.

Develop a conscious relationship with death. This means deepening your awareness of the precious life force that runs through all beings, the very same as your own, and how fragile and temporal life truly is. We have all experienced the death of careers and relationships. These deaths won’t necessarily kill you, but they are an initiation into loss. Allowing yourself to feel into these losses can make you stronger and can prepare you for the greater losses of the death of pets and persons we loved. Surrendering to loss by death means remembering who they were and who we became because of them. We allow our memories to flourish, remembering our joy, but also allow ourselves to dive into the depths of our grief. In this way we will develop greater capacity to be with loss. A heart that is able to contain the profoundest depths of grief is a heart that can adapt.

Allow yourself to feel the grief.
Your little boy has so much rage, and you sent a lot of it my way.
Despite that, my heart opened to you even as the black storm of your anger
gathered itself behind me and broke right through my chest.

My heart split wide, over and over
as the great writhing wind
of all your loosed despair knifed its way through,
slashing, slashing, and wailing.

Maybe I should have felt some sense of violation,
bewilderment, or surprise, or anger.
I felt none of these things.
I felt only compassion, and a profound connectedness.
I have known much of the ugly futility for so many others.
The impotence and the impotent rage, the able to do nothing
but wait and wait and wait
for the day when the world changes, when glorious epiphanies are immanent
and it really is Christmas forever.

I have known that deep and nameless struggle,
the irrevocability of loss, and the implacable beyond belief,
It deepens and it deepens, and sometimes
you cannot breathe.
And if one could only speak the Word, none of this
would ever have happened, and we would be two
shiny-haired children playing in the sun.

Access a higher state of consciousness. A higher state of consciousness is about understanding the impact of your thinking, your values, and your lifestyle, and most especially, the legacy you will leave behind as a result of what you thought, did, and modeled. A higher state of consciousness also includes awareness of your connection to all things, past, present and future. Here you are aware of your greater responsibility to those who come after you. Instead of giving in to the imminence of catastrophe, you realize the need to be strong and have a clear vision for what will create sustainability in the now and for the future. It is from a state of higher consciousness that you can find your courage and be able to inspire others to step up and embrace the higher possibilities for their own lives that have always been there.

Get with your tribe. I cannot underscore enough the importance of being with people who see who you really are, and who love and respect you for that. It is very, very difficult to hold up under tremendous stress and the worst thing you can do when the chips are down is to isolate yourself. It is too easy when we are alone to rationalize that we have no value and nothing to offer. Those who see your gifts, especially those who have benefited from them, will be the ones to pick you back up and remind you how much you are needed.

Focus on creating happy experiences. We need humor, friendship, play, self-care and rest. Spend time with those who see you and love you. Indulge in activities that bring you joy. Write poems and stories. Share them. Write plays and produce them. Put an orchestra together. Be in a choir. Sing robustly. Preen that solo voice. Play your favorite instrument, even if you’re not very good at it. Contribute your gifts for the well-being of others, and have fun. Remember fun? Put that life force energy out there, in a big way. And rest.

Make your thoughts and actions count. Can we make our personal and collective Anthropocene a fruitful period? Are we being given unprecedented opportunities to create a new self, a new human, and to create a civilization based on an entirely new vision and a new set of values? I believe we are being asked to focus with laser intensity on what is essential to support life. This is the core guide to what is worth doing, and for what we must do. For each project we need to ask ourselves if the process of undertaking it observes sustainable principles, and if the results will create sustainability where it does not now exist. And this applies to your personal life as well.

Believe in yourself. Believe that you have a right to be here. You have as much right as anyone to be here, and to find your right place in this world. As the world contracts and collapses around you, ironic as it seems, it is even more important that you believe you have a right to be here. It will not help you to think of yourself as a victim, and neither will it help anyone else. Although you will likely be required to be even more dexterous and to leap ever-widening fissures with the best of them, this does not mean your role and your contribution is no longer valid. It is more valid, and your skills and insights are needed more than ever. Therefore, in these times and because of these times, it is critical that you find your soul’s calling and bring it to life. These are the times that take us out of ourselves and then draw us back in, more deeply than we knew was possible.

Many are feeling the call to draw from their souls a much deeper and richer understanding of who they are, and of their world. They realize they must become someone completely other than who they have been. We are being initiated into depths of fear, anger, despair and grief that go much beyond what we ever expected to encounter in the ordinary course of an ordinary life. Business as usual is over. The soul of life itself is asking us to let go of who we were and to be willing to discover a new identity informed by the deepened self. This requires a great deal of courage; you will now have to see who you are and what you are really made of. And then decide if you can become that.

When I left my husband, I blasted myself far from my comfort zone. I plunged forward into the unknown and into terror because I needed to take a stand for my life, for my right to find and live the life I had chosen before I ever met him. Along the way I discovered that the universe is infinitely willing to share its secrets as long as I am willing to make the journey to unveil my true self. Despite the fact that I could die trying. There was a caveat: I had to go naked and I could take nothing with me. When I started down that road, I didn’t have tools. I was naïve and lacked knowledge and skills. But I went anyway, driven by the need to know what was out there, and who I could become. 

What is calling you at this time? Are you paying attention? Are you in the process of responding to your calling and changing your life accordingly? Who is in your community and how are you sharing your calling with them? Our world desperately needs the gifts you brought to this planet. It is imperative that you honor your calling – the one that will not leave you alone, and see what new material in the way of insights and practical, sustainable applications for a different way of being can emerge – from you and your community.

Resilient people make use of their losses. Resilient people have learned to make use of their losses because they have trained themselves, mentally and emotionally, to think with detachment and with a minimum of fear. When we manage our fear of the future and stay in the present, it is possible to enter into a space of clarity. It is from here that we gain access to the creative source from which we can imagine, and then make, real solutions.

* From the Greek “anthropos” meaning human, and “–cene,” indicating a geologic period.

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Copyright © 2014-Current | Gloria Constantin | All Rights Reserved |

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At the Threshold

At the Threshold

There’s an article on this website where I talk about the deep survival crisis the protagonist of Cast Away is plunged into when he is stranded on an uninhabited island. After four years of persevering and adapting to a harsh environment, he is able to free himself from the extreme confines of an isolated, ascetic life. In this article I explore the primitive and intimate process of being inside the reality of moving through severe challenges. ~ Gloria

In the Liminal Zone, we are eyeless, voiceless, and without skin to cover our bones

We are wanderers in the land of the dead, a stark desert buffeted by howling winds. If you listen closely, you can hear the shrill whispers of its discarnate inhabitants – those unwilling to move on, unwilling to let go of their grief, and those who will not leave until they understand, from their most profound depths, WHY.

When you’ve lost your job, your spouse, your child, your beloved pet, when you’ve been forcibly and permanently separated from who you loved and what you need to live, the grief and shock are overwhelming. You’re not having a debate with despair, loneliness, or terror – you are those things; they live inside each cell of your being, roiling through your guts in an endless loop of horror. You are now inside the cruel universe. This is about your absolute powerlessness to do anything about being swept away, tugged under violent waters, and thrown against sharp rocks and jagged reefs. And it all happens without your consent while you choke, unable to scream or protest.

And then – miraculously – you are flung to the surface and you gasp madly for air.

Unknown depths stretch endlessly before you. If you want to live, you must now tread through them. You have entered the Liminal Zone, the bridgeless chasm between the life you had and the one that does not yet exist. You are in the space between the stories of your life. When we’re in that space, we don’t know if we will get back to our former life, to our worn but comfortable story, or if we will find ourselves on a different track in a new story, or if will get back at all. And therein lays the unassailable terror and invitation of the Liminal Zone. It is here, at the threshold of scathing unknowability, that we have the opportunity to wrestle personal limitations made even more potent by the inscrutable environment we find ourselves in. The story of your life as you knew it is in its death throes.

In this space of complete vulnerability, we don’t know if we will live or die

Death is the end of the current story. Resurrection of what was is not a likely option, so what will the new story be? We don’t know. We can’t know. We can only guess at what’s possible. We can try to calculate the odds, taking into account the external resources available and the capacity of our ingenuity, including the state of our mental and physical health. It’s possible, too, that although the apparent horizon holds no promise for it, life could change for the better. Some unplanned-for event or resource could unexpectedly appear. But if we want to live one thing is certain – we have to stay focused. We do not have the luxury of displacing this primary focus with endless philosophical queries and metaphysical excursions into WHY. We must make our peace with what is and proceed. If we want to be able to write ourselves into the future, we have to be the authors of our lives in thought, word, and deed. But to get to the future we will have to go through the Liminal Zone.

Once inside the Zone, your former identity is unceremoniously shed

The attachment to your accomplishments – to the “Great Work” you put out in the world – becomes irrelevant and dissolves into a lack of meaning. After all, it cannot sustain you here. The identity you established in your former life is violently hacked right off your bones. Your persona is altered beyond recognition. It is here, in the Zone, that you are dismembered. You have become Liminal.

Now you must put yourself back together, and acquire a new body, a new identity, and a new story.

In 2013 I wrote When You’re Going Through Hell Keep Going where I talked about the deep survival crisis the protagonist of Cast Away is plunged into when he is stranded on an uninhabited island. After four years of persevering and adapting to a harsh environment, Chuck Noland is able to free himself from the extreme confines of an isolated, ascetic life.

Navigating the Liminal Zone

When Chuck’s plane went down into the South Pacific he was thrust into the Liminal Zone. What did he reflect on during those long lonely days and nights, especially when he knew that he might never see his family or friends again? He knew he could die of illness, starvation, and exposure. What kept him going, despite the loneliness and the acute unknowability of his future? Although he made several attempts to end his life, he continued to push forward into and through the Liminal Zone, eventually making his way out.

But how did he do that? How did he make his way to the other side? To begin: he was still in his body, in one piece. There were no immediate ways available to end his life other than returning to the ocean and intentionally drowning. But such an act is counter to the body’s instinct to survive. The innate tendency is to preserve one’s life for as long as one can. And that is how Chuck moved forward; he looked for ways to preserve his life. Although there was a huge learning curve in understanding his new environment and learning to master it sufficiently to stay alive, his perseverance, combined with enough success, encouraged him to continue to make the effort to live. That is not to say that he did not have frequent nightmares that this was how life would be for the duration or that he completely ceased to entertain taking his own life. I believe he walked between the chafingly disparate worlds of wanting to live and needing to die, and sometimes his need to die created pressure so abrasive that it was only his greater need to quell his hunger that saved him. His continuous dialogues with despair and hope were companions as inescapable as his breath and as inevitable as the blood that ran in his veins. Nevertheless, he pushed forward – driven by hunger, hope, and despair – and in doing so, stretched his capacity to wait, to be patient, and to be resilient inside the unknown.

When you are in the Liminal Zone, time is experienced differently

In a sense, there is no time. No schedule dictates how long it will take to break the trails that will lead you to your new story. It can take weeks, months, or years. Your body, your spirit, and your will are the gifts and tools that will keep you going. The Liminal Zone gives no quarter; it demands that you commit to yourself.  This is the gift of the Liminal Zone – comfort may be hard to come by while you’re in it, but you are nevertheless offered the possibility of a new life.

Copyright © 2014 – Current| Gloria Constantin | All Rights Reserved |

The Thing Is by Ellen Bass

to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.

The Thing Is by Ellen Bass, from Mules of Love.

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These are facts – job loss and long periods of unemployment are experienced by millions in this country, and not just once. It can happen, unbelievably, over and over. I personally have experienced layoffs multiple times, and so far there is no such thing as real recovery when I have found employment again. For many, the financial losses that accumulate in periods of unemployment have yet to be made up. After your savings are gone – if you were lucky enough to have had a salary where you could put something away – the next phase in the downward spiral is to accumulate increasing debt. How else to make ends meet? Unemployment benefits are a pittance and require that you choose between paying your rent or eating – if you want to avoid maxing out the credit cards. Realistically, this is not a choice. Even when employment is found, most have accumulated so much debt that recovery of their original situation is as likely as finding a ring lost in a lake. There are those who believe – and sometimes insist – that personal responsibility or even karma are the causative factors in job loss. This may be true in some cases, but not for the majority. Look up and observe the reality of the bigger picture. Unemployment and resulting poverty is a historical issue of such magnitude, sweeping across race, gender, education levels and more, that it eclipses personal responsibility, pointing to a much larger, vastly more powerful origin. What most conversations on self-reliance fail to include is the context in which each of us thrive, or fail to thrive. The assumption behind self-reliance is that focus and hard work is sufficient to ensure conventional success, yet it is clear that the myth of the rugged individual who need only rigorously apply himself has failed the majority of those who have, in all sincerity, done just that.

What bears witnessing here, obvious as it is, is that it is not our personal efforts alone that get us employed. Each time we present ourselves for a paying position, we engage in a dialogue with those who ultimately must advocate on our behalf if we are to get the full benefits of the effort we made in pulling ourselves up by our “bootstraps.” As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.  

My Personal Story

Towards the end of 2010, I was laid off for a period that turned out to be 14 months long. In that time, I applied to over 300 openings, all of which I could reasonably fulfill, at least from the job description. Out of those 300, I was offered only two interviews. The first did not result in a job offer, but the second landed me a position in a law firm where the advertised job description and the actual job duties bore no resemblance. Unfortunately, the downgrade in job duties was not to my liking or a benefit to my resume, but after 14 months of looking and severely diminished resources, I was grateful for what I had. At the end of a little over a year I was laid off, ostensibly due to the firm’s economic restructuring. This was another in a series of layoffs that began for me in the early ’80s.

In my quest to understand how things had gotten to where they are, I sought input from others about the possible causes behind my current dilemma. Well-meaning persons volunteered various insights, most of which were expressed as “Your circumstances are the result of karma that you are now paying back;” “This is happening because you have consistently run from what you agreed to do with your life,” and “It’s a wake-up call – better figure out what the Universe is telling you before it’s too late.” All of these perceptions awarded me 100% responsibility for having created my situation, but the upside of being the creator of so much discomfort is that I surely had an inimitable capacity to manifest far more joy and abundance.  And have at least a little insight into what the “Universe” was allegedly calling me to do that I couldn’t do by keeping my job.

What is Karma?

I want to take some time to explore the feedback to my question, “What do you think might be going on here?” and we’ll begin by getting on the same page with an understanding of karma. According to Hinduism, karma is the reaping of what was sown previously – in the current life and/or a previous one, and perhaps even several previous ones. It’s a cosmic principle that you will not ultimately get away with stealing what rightfully belongs to another, especially those things which are needed to keep that person alive (food, clothing, shelter, funds) and which also enable their well-being (education, reputation, health) such that they are able to live the life they agreed to and have a right to live. Stealing someone’s foundation of support is akin to stealing their life force and can be akin to murder (where all choice is removed). It is a major tear in the matrix of both personal and universal balance that must be repaired by being paid back at some point.  No one really has a choice about eventually returning what does not belong to them. You may get away with putting it off for several lifetimes, but the irresistible force behind the immovable demand for balance through restoration will compel you, sooner or later, to do the right thing.  Whether you want to or not.

Karma is magnetic. When you are in the vicinity of someone to whom you owe restoration (or who owes you) you will feel drawn to them. Often you will feel an overwhelming attraction. The intensity is not easily dismissed. This is necessary in order to create the relationship that will provide the opportunity for resolution of past painful interactions.  Note that there is also attraction with dharmic agreements (but perhaps without the burning intensity of karma), such as teaming up to perform a mutual task. Follow the yellow brick road as it were, and the purpose of the connection will eventually be revealed. In both cases there is a mysterious pull that you will want to explain as “that person is really interesting” or “that person is really attractive” or “they have something to offer that I’ve been looking for.”  In any case, your karma has hooked you – or your dharma is calling.

Sometimes karma takes on the form of direct payback. What you did to another will be done to you by that same person. In this instance, the other person is forcibly taking back what belongs to them rather than waiting for you to graciously return it. This is far less pleasant than engaging a relationship that may have other mutually rewarding aspects, but lacking gracefulness as it does, it gets the job done, and you are released from that karma. This is the form of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but more advanced souls prefer to avoid such literal payback. It is far more pleasant to heal the broken connection between you by offering gifts that serve the same purpose as returning stolen goods. This also opens the opportunity to take the relationship to a higher level, one in which you mutually find ways to assist each other’s journey. The willingness to do this will depend on the severity of the original theft. It will be much harder to accept someone who previously murdered you as a friend you can trust. It can, however, be done.

Often karma works like this: instead of being drawn to a person or a situation (place of employment, organization, course of study, educational institution, and so on), you find yourself the surprised and unwilling recipient of a series of unpleasant and life-altering events. Bewildered at how and why these events have occurred to mess up your life, you may begin to search, not only for the cause behind those events, but for the meaning that might be behind them. In this scenario, you are experiencing what it is like to have crucial support taken from you, allowing you to know intimately what you did to another when you stole what they needed to live a flourishing life. This type of karma is sometimes referred to as self-karma because it is not brought about by the direct manipulation of another person but by an agreement you made with your higher self to understand the ramifications of undermining or destroying another’s life options.

Unemployment as Prima Facie Evidence of Karma

Applying the understanding of karma as above described to my current status of joblessness/ lack of cash flow, I could conceivably draw the conclusion that I am in the throes of self-karma. If it isn’t self-karma, I could be receiving direct payback from those who hired me to work there, assuming they suffered the termination of employment as a result of actions I once took against them. In either case, applying the belief that stressful circumstances are always indicators of karma at work, finding myself unemployed is the direct result of a forced restoration – where my employers took from me what at one time I took from them – much-needed livelihood. And that is one answer to the question “what is going on here, or why did I lose my job?” There are other perspectives, of course. Perhaps karma was being made against me, or perhaps personal karmas play no part at all. The immediate reason why something happens, downsizing in this instance, can point to greater complexity than can be explained away by one simple cause.

How to Know If It’s Karma

How do we determine when karma is at work? I don’t believe there is any way we can know beyond the shadow of a doubt that we have entered karmic territory, but when you feel as though you have stepped into the twilight zone – meaning that the status quo of your life peels away unbidden to reveal strange images, dimensions or new insights, or time seems to slow down and even freeze, or there’s nothing you can do to convince the other party of your good intentions, then you might be in the zone of karmic payback. Other things may also be going on that have nothing to do with karma and which are not the subject of this discussion, but suffice it to say that karma can feel like what I’ve just described. However, the proof of release from the karmic pudding ultimately comes down to this: you will know when a karmic tie has been released when the charge of the situation is gone. You no longer feel compelled to remain in relationship with someone, or at a job that was replete with unsolvable issues because after the restoration has occurred, you begin to feel calm, balanced, and neutral about the whole thing – that is, after you are done processing your human reaction. It is as if you have awakened from a long nightmare, and you know you are now in your right mind because the fever that once held you in its thrall has finally broken. At this point, it is a matter of choice whether you walk away (assuming you haven’t been irrevocably dismissed), or stay to create a new, healthier configuration which all parties agree to take to a higher level.

Signs of the Times

Sometimes it isn’t the karma of the immediate parties that is in play. It could be the signs of the times, that is, the historical context which everyone is inside of, and which is the common denominator to which everyone across the board, regardless of station, status, creed, race or gender, is subject. According to a July 28, 2013 article, Survey: 4 in 5 face near-poverty, no work (published online at TPMLIVEWIRE by Hope Yen), “Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream. Survey data…points to an increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend.” From another article: “The vast majority of people in the United States will experience poverty and economic insecurity for a significant portion of their lives.” For the statistics behind that statement, see Gary Lapon’s article, Poor Prospects in a “Middle-Class” Society, August 18, 2013, published in the online magazine Truthout.

Without too much argument, I think we can agree that national and world affairs are an inextricable superimposition into the course of our lives, mixing their enormous bandwidth into the much smaller frequencies of our own. We barely need to raise our heads to see that fracking, the broken nuclear reactors of Fukushima, the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, ethnic genocide, human sex trafficking, and many, many more life-ravening actions have a reach and impact far broader and deeper than any personal karma could hope to claim. These acts are karma against the entire planet, generated intentionally on an incomprehensively large scale by the abusive politics of power.

The Global Karmic Pandemic of 2020

In 2020, the entire planet soon found itself at the mercy of a pandemic brought about by a new virus, the Sars-Cov-2.  I believe this virus was cultivated through the horrific imbalances resulting from the cruel and unconscionable ways human beings treat animals and the environment.  The extreme physical cruelty that caged animals in wet markets and factory farms  endure affects their immune system.  Forced to live in filth, and lacking health and freedom, they become easy hosts to bacteria, parasites, and viruses which quickly overwhelm their bodies. These malefic entities easily pass to humans (and then the animals get blamed and subjected to inhumane wholesale slaughter.) When you consider that these beings have emotions, live in constant terror and endure horrific pain, it is clear that the damage done is multi-dimensional with far-reaching effects, and is nothing short of sacrilegious.

There is a tremendous disconnect and regard for life generally, and for living beings specifically, including tremendous ignorance about the impact to our planet of continuing to act as though individual actions do not reverberate across the entire matrix of life.  I believe this novel coronavirus is a manifestation of the “butterfly effect.” The butterfly effect is the idea that small things can have non-linear impacts on a complex system. Of course, we now have a monstrous impact from a powerful yet microscopic virus that likely began with an assumption that it is OK to do as you please, regardless of the consequences. And this assumption has been repeated innumerable times through the innumerable actions of millions of people around the world.

The effect of this virus, whether one wants to call it karmic or not, is nevertheless karmic in its impact.  When I first wrote this article in 2013, the numbers of people suffering from unemployment were far, far fewer.  Yet each one of those people suffered no differently from those whose multiple sufferings are directly related to unemployment.  At the time the numbers were not enough to influence change in federal and state policies.  Now the numbers are striking — off the charts — and yet Congress must argue and delay taking obvious action to do what needs to be done.  It is imperative that they do their job and take care their people, or add yet another straw to the unraveling of the structures that support the lives and well-being of human beings. Not doing what you have been tasked to do with the explicit power to do so, especially at the level that can make or break civilization, creates karma.

Karmic Impact, Delays, and Detours

It is not sustainable to be repeatedly knocked down in the name of paying back karma. It doesn’t make sense to continually remove a person’s livelihood from them such that they are unable to carry out their life task and agreements. In other words, it may not be karma that is at work. When we painstakingly created the agenda for the current incarnation we agreed to address our karma – working through past unbalanced painful situations with others, the working out of our own self-karmas — as well as our dharma  –through the continuing expansion of our souls. We do this by surrendering to experience, including specific life tasks, agreements, facilitating and mentoring others, relationships, upgrading old skills and learning new ones, and stepping up into a larger (or smaller) game, to name a few.  To do both karma and dharma we bring through the themes of a half dozen or so past lives that are consonant with the themes of our current life.  The goal is to more fully realize who we are.

But things don’t always work out as planned. Sometimes we have to fill in the gaps, creating and re-creating from scratch. We can get delayed, detoured, or taken out. Sometimes there’s a deliberate abdication by those who agreed to help us. And, life isn’t set in stone. The best-laid plans of the wisest souls are still subject to the slings and arrows of unpredictable fortune – accidents and other people’s choices.

When your efforts to make yourself at home are repeatedly obstructed, it could be because you are presenting yourself for membership in a tribe whose tasks and agreements are not in alignment with yours. They will not recognize who you are or what you have to offer. This is true even if you can function competently in their environment. The phenomenon that occurs in these instances is the lack of familiarity at the soul level and the lack of agreements. It makes one a foreigner. And although foreigners can be seen as attractive because they are different, those same differences can be seen as threatening, and even repulsive. If you find yourself in a workplace where you experience constant abrasion, and the tribe is busy creating “evidence” to support their low opinion of you, it is time to leave. It is not likely you will be able to convince anyone of your value. You may consider that what is at work here is a form of self-karma in which who you are is ironically mirrored back to you by reflecting who you are not.

Finding yourself in situations like this doesn’t always mean that you are working against your own agreements. It might mean that, or it might mean that your community of agreements is not available, and your creativity and willing participation in wherever you find yourself is needed to keep the seams of your life from unraveling.  Sometimes it is necessary to make things up as we go. The upside is we develop mastery in flying by the seat of our pants, using our own initiative and wits to keep body and soul together.

The Larger Context

All of us live inside a context that has been written and is being written by, capitalism gone wrong. Those of us who know better make no bones about this – human beings have created a political and economic civilization that is built on the belief of power-over, competition, and “survival of the fittest.” This paradigm is pervasive, and even if one does see right through it, we as individuals are still left to deal with its fallout. Without a cultural belief that embraces the right of everyone to the tree of life, which includes making available the financial resources and opportunities to allow the individual to bring forth his or her best contribution, each one of us is on his/her own. Some of us have family and friends who can from time to time help bridge the gaps, but many do not. Even so, without a larger societal support structure that recognizes the grave reality of unemployment and resulting poverty, the suffering of millions will continue. These comments are also meant to include the handicapped, the aging, the lesser skilled, and those who suffer from debilitating physical or mental issues. Their entry into the “game” is even more severely circumscribed.

The reality is that for most of us, our voice is limited, and our contributions undervalued. Still, we cannot give up or surrender. We must believe in our right to be here, and the right and necessity of carrying out our unique agreements. We must also believe that there is universal truth in this: without our full participation, the evolution of life and of the Tao Itself will be impeded. These times call for collective courage and digging deeper to manifest it.  They call for us to be conscious of the ways in which we personally contribute to injustice and inequality, the places where our words and deeds are thoughtless or cruel.  Individually, we must do all we can to consciously live righteous lives. In so doing, we can stem the fallout of individual and collective karma. 

These times also call for the creation of community that takes its directives from an ideology that fearlessly declares: We are all one; it is unthinkable to leave anyone behind

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I wrote this piece because I wanted to look at a few perspectives regarding traumatic events that result in life-altering circumstances. I also wanted to touch on how we might work with irrevocable alterations to our lives such that we stay engaged in life. Additionally, I wanted to look at the questions that arise when our life path is derailed: was it an accident, or was it planned?

The following discussion is limited in its exploration of these ideas, but I believe it offers a beginning. ~ Gloria


If I do what I agreed to do (follow my soul intentions), will my life unfold smoothly?

This is not the astral plane where it is impossible to give or receive injury. On the physical plane, your creations and the creations of others frequently collide. When they do, there can be conflict and disagreement which sometimes results in acts of destruction. Obviously, under these circumstances, things do not proceed without a hitch. While you are pursuing what you believe to be the reasons you are here, you will encounter those who are not in alignment with your vision and who may even express contempt for you. While this may not feel very good to you, it should not be a reason to change course. It is important to stay on track with what you believe is your unique purpose.

In other words, if you follow your intentions it does not mean that you will be admitted to a zone where there is no longer a need for hard work and focus. Hard work alone may give you a reason to run in another direction, but if you do, you will also give up the meaning and purpose your soul craves. When you are tracking your purpose, your choices and actions will be based directly on what you believe in, and what will support your goals, rather than on what you think others expect of you. When you are faithful to what you know to be true for you, you will have an increased sense of clarity that you are on the right path, along with the deep satisfaction that comes from that.

Your soul intentions will cause discomfort

It is true that following your soul intentions will from time to time cause discomfort, but unless you feel discomfort, you are never going to leave the nest. Unless you feel discomfort, you will not seek solutions to get out of that discomfort. When you are chafing, you will be automatically inspired to seek ways to get back your comfort. Although seeking comfort is not in and of itself going to lead you to your highest good, it will get you moving! It will shake up your inertia because you will be forced to engage with your own life in order to save it. In the process of seeking solutions you will exercise your creativity. Life is not meant to be easy, but the truth is that all creation comes from tension. If you are too comfortable, the likelihood is that you will remain on idle, creating nothing of consequence until you are forced to act when your security and well-being are at stake. This is how life’s intrusive barbs can serve you. By kicking your ass, they can breathe life back into your creativity and your reason for being.

What if my world explodes even though I’m doing what I agreed to do by following my soul intentions?

Every now and then life throws us some serious curve balls. Every now and then we enter a field of unexpected and unprecedented dramatic shifts. I will use the 2000 film Cast Away, starring Tom Hanks, as the launch point for this discussion. In the story, protagonist Chuck Noland is faced with a deep survival crisis when he finds himself stranded on an uninhabited island after his airplane crashes into the South Pacific. At the time of the incident, Chuck is a federal express employee with an established life. He has a girlfriend who is about to become his fiancé, and his network of co-workers, family, and friends, are solidly in place. Suddenly he is cast into utter isolation, cut off from his loved ones, and completely dependent on his personal resources to survive. This period of his life will last an eternity of four years.

A hypothetical exploration of Chuck’s soul choices

Holding up a lens which looks at the events in a life as the direct result of soul choice, some questions (far from exhaustive) come to mind about Chuck’s life-transforming event:

  • 1. Was he following his original soul’s agenda before he crashed into the ocean, and was the course of his life untimely ripped by an unforeseeable accident?
  • 2. Or, was he reminded, by harsh intervention, to route back to the original intentions for his life? In which case, what might they have been?
  • 3. Or, was the life-changing event of living on the island simply the next phase in the story of his unfolding life plan?

Before I go further, let me state that I do not know the definitive answer to any of these questions. I pose them because the process of giving them consideration may offer insight into what provokes the unexpected to come calling, and how we might handle the resulting harsh and permanent repercussions.


Question 1: Was Chuck following his original soul’s agenda before he crashed into the ocean, and was the course of his life untimely ripped by an unforeseeable accident?

Scenario 1: As an employee of an international company, Chuck was doing what he came here to do. He was developing leadership skills, skills in managing others, skills at managing time, skills at relating to co-workers, supervisees, friends, and intimates. He was successful at his job – he accomplished his goals and he was competent, trustworthy, and reliable.

He was planning to get married. He was planning to have children. He planned to support his family emotionally and financially. He had developed a high level of maturity with his capacity to deal with stress and accountability to multiple relationships. He was living the life he came to live, one that was mindful that time is a limited resource. His future was set.

Then his tightly crafted, intentionally designed life was completely derailed by a horrific accident.

This accident functioned to destroy his existing agreements with others and with himself. He was called on to re-invent his life. He was called on to make it up as he went, ad hoc’ing and creating every moment of his new life. What could he bring to bear on this unexpected major shift in his life’s journey? In a nutshell: everything he knew, and everything he was physically capable of.

Chuck could have died in the ocean, but his raft drifted to an uninhabited island. Perhaps he was guided there, or perhaps it was just another accident.

If he was guided, it would seem that there was a higher intention for his life to continue despite it being thrown so completely off course. If it was an accident that he landed on a shore, he was still faced with the choice to give up on his life, or to do whatever he could to survive and find a way to return to the life that had been ripped from him.

Do we choose to give up or persevere?

Whether or not there was a higher force that guided Chuck to the island shore, he still had a choice to make. He could continue living, or he could find a way to make an exit.

When we find ourselves stranded and isolated, we are always faced with the choice to give up or to surrender, applying everything we are to chillingly unfamiliar and hostile territory. Isolation and limited resources are superlatively daunting circumstances and they will pulverize the faint-hearted or catalyze your courage to reach for new life – even if you have no clue what that life will now look like, or how you will get there.

Although the horrific experience of ripping Chuck out of his life was not planned, he was nonetheless confronted with the urgency to do something with it if he wanted to live. He was being asked, should he choose to do so, to continue the act of his own creation by creating his life without the support of community, peers, or comfort. He was on his own, absolutely and irrevocably. If he was to live, he had to become the Creator and stand in the shoes of God.


Question 2: Was Chuck reminded, by harsh intervention, to route back to the original intentions for his life? In which case, what might they have been?

Scenario II: As a successful employee, Chuck was not doing what he came here to do. Yes, he was exercising leadership skills, skills in managing others, skills at managing time, skills at relating to co-workers, supervisees, friends, and intimates. Yes, he was competent at his job, but this was not what he had agreed to work on for his life. Chuck had already polished his current skill sets and was relying on them to get him through life comfortably without having to do the grinding work of developing mastery in a completely different area.

Sometimes we ask for wake-up calls

The truth was that Chuck had resisted taking on new skills and relationships in his previous incarnations, and now his resistance had come home to roost. In fact, he had asked that this time around, if he failed to track his original purpose, that he be reminded in no uncertain terms that a change of course was required. Enter a horrific accident. Now his tightly crafted life was completely and intentionally derailed – by his own design.

This accident functioned to destroy his stale agreements and relationships. He was called on to re-invent his life. He was called on to make it up as he went, ad hoc’ing while creating every moment of his new life. As daunting and traumatic as this new situation was, it was exactly what Chuck needed (and had asked for). Without being forced into circumstances that stripped him of reliance on his habitual way of being, Chuck would not have made the effort to reach deep within and begin to cultivate new skills, nor would he have had any incentive to step into becoming the person he now needed to be. The person he needed to evolve into required a new mindset, new tools, and a new perspective on what his life was about.

What does the soul want?

Who was this person that Chuck needed to become? It was the person his soul required him to become. The soul wants to be fully present and engaged. The soul needs to have experiences that challenge it to expand and grow new anatomy. It is inherent to the soul to be creative, and to be dynamically so. As sparks of God, we are each god in our own right. God is the mastermind par excellence of Exploration and Creation, and when he/r incarnational expression spends too much time going over the same lesson plan, the soul will endure boredom only so long.

What was included in Chuck’s new lesson plan?

• Self-reliance.
• The courage to persevere in the face of an unknown future.
• The courage to persevere without external aid from tools or others.
• The courage to tend his own wounds.
• Profound creativity in designing new applications for otherwise mundane objects.
• Learning to deal with, and accept, severe restrictions and limitations.
• Learning new skills.

What else did he learn? He came to know his heart’s desires. He understood what was truly meaningful to him now that he was removed from the din of his former noisy and hurried life. He came to be in far greater alignment with his soul.


Question 3: Was the life-changing event of living on the island simply the next phase in the story of his unfolding life plan?

Scenario III: As an employee of an international company, Chuck was doing what he came here to do, but there was more he had agreed to. He was developing leadership skills, skills in managing others, skills at managing time, skills at relating to co-workers, supervisees, friends, and intimates. He was successful at his job – he accomplished his goals and he was competent, trustworthy, and reliable.

The truth was that Chuck had resisted taking on new skills and relationships in his previous incarnations, and he had asked for an intervention that would require him to make a radical departure from life circumstances that no longer offered his soul either challenge or excitement. However, he still wanted to polish his abilities to handle the challenges of high-level leadership demands, and so included those in the first part of his life. When the time came that he had achieved sufficient mastery, he wanted to be given an opportunity to step up to new life skills. And so it came to pass.

When Chuck was finally returned to his former life, he had a medicine bag bursting with new skills and self-knowledge. With these hard-won and intrepid tools under his belt, his capacity to handle whatever life brought him had increased by magnitudes. Whether or not he had asked for training in new levels of mastery, he was nonetheless given a stark and unprecedented opportunity to do so.


Additional Reflections

Sometimes life gets out of hand, taking unexpected twists and turns. Sometimes we don’t have much in the way of resources or know-how to deal with unknown territory. What can we do? We can find help where help is available – usually in unexpected places. We now have a genuine opportunity to reach deep within ourselves and beyond to seek solutions that will give us the momentum for getting unstuck from dark places. Not only do we seek for solutions, we seek courage to face our terror. We find hope in each breath, and we receive messages and guidance from sources that were previously hidden from us. In extremity, our senses intensify, giving us the ability to understand the language of signs and symbols that were previously invisible and incomprehensible.

Aligning with our souls

There are some exquisite gifts to be attained in the process of standing for our lives. The more difficult the challenge, the more ferocious we must be in our resolve because that is what is required if we are going to live. The more difficult the challenge, the more ferocious we must be with our intentions to live the lives we agreed to live. The more difficult the challenge, the greater the demand to find the creative solutions that will get us clear of the breakers. And why should we live? We must live so that our souls can continue to experience more love, more beauty, more joy, more knowledge, more connection, more excitement, and more anticipation of what is yet to come and what we can yet become. There are some exquisite gifts to be attained in the process of standing for our lives. The biggest one is that we become more aligned with our own soul. And when we are aligned with our souls, we know intuitively what our right lives should look and feel like.

We will infrequently remember or truly grasp the reasons for life reversals. While we may have asked for intervention on behalf of our souls, it is also possible to be thrust helplessly into irrevocable life shifts that were not part of the original plan for our lives. Despite being cast away – whether or not of our own choice and design – we can still forge our way forward in reliance on the most powerful intrinsic attribute each and every one of us possesses. And that is our legacy, as chips off the old block that is God, to be the Creators of a new life.

When you are expressing your unique piece of the Tao, your life will be a beautiful reflection of who you are because you will be being who you came here to be, and doing what you came here to do.

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Finding Hope Again

Carry on my wayward son
There’ll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don’t you cry no more

Carry on, you will always remember
Carry on, nothing equals the splendor
The center lights around your vanity
But surely heaven waits for you

~ Kansas

You are already whole. The part of you that is manifesting in the here and now – the physical plane as you call it – is a much reduced, though still beautiful, expression of you. That expression may be functioning at physical and emotional peak, or it may be experiencing wear and lack of recovery. You may even be under attack.

However, no matter what is going on, only part of your spirit has come along for the ride. There is an aspect of your spirit – your essence (or higher self) – that never incarnates, and it is this essence that monitors and makes adjustments to the part of itself that is your soul. It is also your essence that retains its original wholeness no matter what you are experiencing. In fact, your essence/higher self extends all the way to Source, giving you the power to negotiate and endure even life’s extreme challenges. Because of its constant connection to Source, your essence always has access to limitless recuperative capacities.

That’s quite the claim, you may be thinking. How can anyone possibly believe that we are always connected to our wholeness given the depth and volume of unspeakable atrocities that are engaged in daily, and have been engaged in, for hundreds of thousands of years? Not to mention our own myriad personal sufferings! How does one summon the courage (or entertain the stupidity) to believe that we can still experience a state of wholeness at the hands of unmitigated evil? Or even more ridiculous – believe that we never left the state of grace, that we are still inside of it?

Let me spend a few moments reflecting on the nature of the human spirit. This spirit demonstrates a persevering quality of indomitability and resilience, and despite unbearable physical and emotional circumstances, asserts its vitality again and again. History is replete with persons of tremendous courage and spirited resilience. There is a great deal in our experience of being human that is beyond bearing, and yet, there are those among us who do not accept great pain or defeat as the ultimate truth of who we are or what our lives are about. A few examples of those who battled the demons of racism, oppression, and general disregard for life: Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Mother Theresa. They did not surrender to despair, but to what they believed in. They pursued their truths despite the tsunami of opposition and a heaping plateful of personal sufferings of every conceivable kind.

How did they do this? What kept them going?

They accessed their eternal Spirit. They believed in a cause larger than themselves. They believed in the need to take action, knowing that if they did not take action, conditions would never change. They understood that they were here to act on their truth and that if they did not do so, their truth would never be made manifest. They remembered their original purpose, and even if they did not remember it in so many words, they were nevertheless compelled by the truth behind that purpose.

How do you keep going if it’s just you?

You cannot take on every cause that’s out there. You must follow your guidance and discernment. The strategy in dealing with the overwhelm of multiple causes is to stay on your own path. This is about manifesting your unique soul purpose – and that comes of following your dharma. As well, you are not expected to carry on solo! You cannot turn back the tide on your own. It is unreasonable to expect this, or to demand it. But you can join with the efforts of others. Seek out those organizations devoted to the causes that call to you. There you will find your mission mates.

How do I know what my dharma is?

What have you fallen in love with? What are you in love with? What do you care about? Look there for your dharma. Look at what your gifts are, and use them to everyone’s benefit. You were given these to assist with the unfolding of your dharma. What are you compelled to bear witness to? What is it that loosens your tongue to speak the truth? Therein lays your dharma.

To do the work of strategizing on how you can be of service to the needs of social justice, it is important to have a community that you regularly meet with to share ideas and reflections, and to encourage and uplift each other to be channels for grace. You cannot face evil without being in the field of Grace. Grace is active in the world through us, and through the Divine. How do you become a channel for Grace? Respect yourself as a sacred being on a mission from the Divine. See yourself as the Sacred Will of the Divine acting through you. Grace is the supplement from heaven that will support your spiritual immune system. It is the force and field of life that is the breath of God, and the mystical force that unfolds in service to your life path.

It’s all an illusion anyway.

Since we are already whole, is it correct to state that the horrors of the world are an illusion? Some new age schools of thinking have no issues with making the statement, “It’s all an illusion, anyway; everything is perfect as it is.”

Tell that to the Syrians who are being turned out of their homes and massacred.

Tell that to the victims of Sandy Hook.

Tell that to the 27 million women and children who endure bestial treatment in the enforced slavery of sex trafficking.

Tell that to the victims of the Holocaust.

Tell that to the Vietnamese who were decimated by the murderous ideology of “Kill Anything that Moves.”

Tell that to the women of India, who have been raped and murdered, many generations over.

Tell that to the Native Americans.

Tell that to the Native Americans who walked the Trail of Tears.

Tell that to the slaves of African ancestry.

Tell that to the undocumented workers.

Tell that to women who have been subjected throughout history to violence against their gender.

It’s a worthless debate, isn’t it? It is most especially worthless when we are the ones in the midst of great suffering.

How can you be whole and maimed at the same time?

Your ultimate self exists in wholeness. The part of you that is experiencing life in the current dimension is the one doing battle and sustaining sometimes excruciating wounds. Connect to your Spirit Body and ask it to heal your Physical Body. Then ask it to heal your Emotional Body, and again, your Mental Body. You are ready to remember the promise you made, and your obligation to live up to that promise. Why did you agree to come here? Who did you come here to be? What service or contribution that is uniquely yours to make is not being made because you’ve forgotten your courage?

Now, use the tools that will bring heaven to your aid. You are already holding them.

What are these tools?

Grace. Prayer. Community. Friendship. Self-reflection. Self-care. Connecting with your heart. Remembering. Bending, but not breaking. Staying strong. When you have plenty of energy to draw on, it’s much easier to take on the devil.

Grace is what compels us to go out and live life boldly, despite the terrors. Will grace protect you? It cannot protect you from every encounter, but it is set up to protect you so that you can carry out the great measure of your soul intentions. The field of Grace is always present. Grace is in action in the world. You are still here, are you not?

What if you’re too depressed to take further action? What if you’ve given up in overwhelm? How do you transform your condition?

The real question is how do we transform the darkness?

Refuse to surrender to the belief that darkness is more powerful than light.

Refuse to surrender because you do not accept that darkness, no matter how powerful, how painful, or how savage, is the ultimate reality.

Refuse to believe that you have nothing of value to contribute.

Bear witness to your own suffering.

Continue to act on what you believe is the greater truth.

Connect to the eternal flame of the peace within, the peace that passes all understanding.

Stick to your dharma.

Know that your spirit has what it takes to be in this world. You would not have been put here otherwise.


Choose your actions based on what will serve humanity. You never want to say to yourself, “I should have.” It is always a good time to step into your higher self, to open fully to your Divinity, and take it on with everything you’ve got. The truth is this: you have the power to be and do what you came here to do if you set forth your intentions and follow them. This is a basic rule of life. Develop your talents to their highest degree and then use them to make the greatest contribution you can – you have no idea what you are capable of. You have the capacity to move heaven and earth.

On Grace: “I never know where I will find You or how You will speak to me. Some days it is through a new person and other days it is through a new experience. Each day I become more aware of something I did not understand or realize before. I knew I should be grateful for all that I have but now I realize I should also be grateful for all that I do not have. For I do not have traumatic war memories and I do not have scars from being a refugee and I do not have the fear of a homeless person. I am grateful for all I have and for all I do not have. If I am grateful for having been spared a suffering, give me the grace to help those who are suffering. Amen” ~ Caroline Myss

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Do they have insurance on us?

Do they have insurance on us?

The title of this article is inspired by a statement Liza Long made in her post of December 16, 2012 at, “I am Adam Lanza’s mother. No insurance plan will cover this kind of thing.” In a lyrical and riveting narrative on the troubling spectrum of her son’s behaviors, Ms Long writes about the December 14 tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. Raising her brilliant and disturbed child was a profound challenge for her. She goes on to say, this problem is too big for me to handle on my own. Sometimes there are no good options. So you just pray for grace and trust that in hindsight, it will all make sense.

On Sunday, December 16, in a presentation at an interfaith vigil in the town of Newtown, Connecticut, the President said, “These tragedies must end, and to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and it is true. No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely we can do better than this.”

When Caroline Myss, a New York Times best-selling author and dynamic teacher of spiritual psychology, is asked for her insight on the cause of illness or the reason for tragedy, she admonishes that there is never any one cause which leads to a specific result. There are always many causes or reasons that are ultimately behind any situation or effect.

As long as we believe that others who are “high maintenance,” that is, the poor, the mentally ill, the homeless, the uneducated, the chronically depressed, the elderly, the jobless, the terminally ill (and the list goes on), are not deserving of compassionate and ongoing intervention and assistance (because they should somehow have done something to have helped themselves), we will only have inefficient and inadequate social programs to address these issues. And there will be no reason to have insurance plans that cover the gaps or pick up the slack of inadequate social programs – because we don’t think they’re necessary. As long as we believe that any underachiever, addict, or down-on-their-luck person just needs to exercise more self-responsibility and all will be well, I assert that we also need to have programs and funds and housing and food and transportation and clothing to assist them with climbing out of their pit. Human beings cannot improve their lives and develop greater sufficiency without resources. Period. How long would any of us last in the desert without food, water, and a tent? Or how about just without our current utilities infrastructure? As long as we expect that the burden of care for the high maintenance among us must be borne solely by individuals and their families whose tents are only so big, we will collectively continue to pay dearly. It’s worth stating here that any misconceptions and even arrogance we have regarding the “lessons” of those in trouble should consider that there is never any one cause for a single effect – and we are all subject to the same physical laws.

Mental illness, like poverty and accidents, will likely always be with us. It is inherent in our lesser nature to default to an incomplete and imbalanced understanding of all the factors that create these conditions, and to understand justice through the lens of polarity rather than through the heart of compassion. When human beings take the leap of understanding and beyond that, accept that we are all in life together and that is it our divine obligation and desire to care for those with whom we do not share familial DNA, then we can build a vision of collective family. From this vision, different structures, legal processes, and programs can emerge.

What can we do that is surely better than what we have done? We can create new systems, but in order to create new systems, it will be necessary to step outside of our known experiences. Perhaps what we need is to create new paradigms that take us to places in our consciousness that we have never been to before – to think way out of the box in the most extraordinary and exalted ways!

I believe it’s possible to call in a future that is in far greater alignment with the real values many of us subscribe to. If we believe that everyone should have a roof over their heads, and should be able to pursue the education that will develop their innate talents and create their ability to contribute, then we find or create the means  to make this happen. If we believe that there should be universal health care, then we envision the systems that will bring this into being. And while we do so, let us not ignore the organizations already in place, and that depend heavily on donations. We can bring these into the mainstream, making them an integral part of the culture. The shift here is that these organizations can be empowered to be far more than charities.

Let us put on our best strategic minds in service to a more beautiful and just world, one that engages our many different skills and talents. It is our collaborative and cooperative efforts that are the insurance plan that can cover many different kinds of claims. The vision and the value is this: each one of us has the right to claim, and indeed must claim, their highest and best expression. Imagine a community where everyone is contributing at their peak! In the meantime, we can continue our support of organizations that support others, and continue to reach out to each other in humility and without judgment, as there is not a single one of us who has been deprived of the foundation of support that enable us to become who we are now.

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I am my soul’s legacy.

I wrote this piece because I wanted to begin the process of understanding what Spiritual DNA is. The term seems to have been introduced relatively recently – perhaps in the last few years – though the more general idea of spiritual inheritance is as ancient as the concept of a Creator. It was from the Creator that all things emerged, as s/he was the One who breathed into life innumerable aspects of he/r own Divine Being. Our spiritual inheritance is older than the dust of ages, yet to reframe it as Spiritual DNA points to an evolution in our understanding of how the soul develops, and perhaps compels us to explore this further.

This reflection is far from comprehensive; it is just an overview as I understand it. ~ Gloria

~ *~* ~

What is Spiritual DNA?

Just as our biological DNA transmits inheritances of the body, spiritual DNA transmits the legacy of your evolving consciousness. It contains information on the trajectory of your soul, which describes how you have come to be who you are. Spiritual DNA serves a similar function in transferring those identifying elements of your soul from one personality to another, but this does not include a genetic code that randomly mutates and evolves haphazardly. Michael of the Michael Teachings system states through channel Dave Gregg that “Spiritual DNA is a densely-packed conglomerate of TAO-stuff, distilled to absorb the experience of life without contamination from other sources in the Tao. To give a simple explanation, think of the substance from your childhood known as “Silly Putty.” When you first remove the putty from the container it is in its purest form and untainted by outside elements. As you roll the putty over your Sunday’s funny pages, it absorbs the exact colors and outline of the cartoon. This manner of assimilation continues from one lifetime to the next. Thus, the coding of Spiritual DNA is not genetic so much as it is experiential.” 

Who you are is comprised of your incarnate experiences, all of which contribute to the evolution of your consciousness, as well as your experiences between lives. All of these experiences can be found in your spiritual DNA. The encoding is from soul to personality.  It is likely that the codes transmitted from spiritual DNA to physical DNA primarily include those necessary to support the focus for a particular incarnation.

As said, the legacy of consciousness incorporates the body of experience gathered from both the incarnate and discarnate planes. Each of these realms offers its unique educational context. How we interpret our classroom time informs our beliefs about life in the physical as well as life in the non-physical. In the physical, for example, we might have the opportunity to understand what it is to be black or female or gay in a time and place in history where these classifications are seen as inferior, and sometimes even as an abomination. We form beliefs around our experiences of rejection and hostility, and these beliefs impact our personality. Similarly, we form beliefs about life when things go well for us. Because the personality is so good at creating false beliefs about its value, the soul is continuously tasked with neutralizing and then dissolving those beliefs. The process of shedding those beliefs affects the entire field of energy that has been wrought of those beliefs – the field that held distinctions for perpetrator and victim is cleared each time a soul can penetrate beyond the negative incarnate experience to reconnect with agape.

What is the mechanism of transfer of Spiritual DNA?

The soul has its own genome; that is, it carries a template of traits that it has developed through the incarnational process, and it also carries, within that same template, the original slate upon which was written its unique identity. Understand the implication here: the soul genome, whose template is constantly expanding over the course of incarnations, contains, in the form of quanta of energy, innumerable bytes of information. Spiritual DNA imprints itself onto physical DNA, and it imprints those attributes that are needed for fulfillment of the soul contract for that incarnation; as well, these attributes will also guide the person via their exerting influence. We will be drawn to be and do those things that are encoded in our DNA.   The soul genome expands its template through energetic form. Perhaps these are waveforms; perhaps they are holographs. In any case, the substance of this template is not material; rather it is a biofield that is inherent to a soul’s unique constitution, and therefore cannot be separated from the soul.

Spiritual DNA does not have to be directly inherited

Spiritual DNA is not solely inherited through your soul’s original genome. It isn’t a requirement that a soul learns only from direct experience to continue evolving. A soul may choose to attach itself to a specific strand or stream of spiritual DNA outside of its own experiences by associating with groups of souls that are aligned with certain teachings and perspectives. Thus, spiritual DNA can be absorbed by immersing oneself in other cultures and learning from them. We also transmit spiritual DNA to other souls when we educate, teach, and mentor them. Just as the biological components of genes are passed from body to body, understandings shared through group experience become encoded in the soul’s DNA. However, only those experiences that contribute to the evolution of consciousness become part of our spiritual DNA; that which is strictly physical remains behind on the physical plane when you die.

Your Spiritual DNA compels you

There’s a force inside you that compels you towards those things you want to accomplish. We have often heard it said, and perhaps it began with Joseph Campbell, that we should follow our bliss. Following your bliss is what helps you to identify the reason you chose to return to time and place. It is the force inside you that compels you to seek your purpose, and ultimately your identity – your reason for being here now.

We understand that physical DNA contains the codes and keys that determine your biological inheritance. Similarly, what the soul inherits is contained in its spiritual DNA. Your spiritual DNA holds the key to your origins, and to those experiences which contributed to making your unique legacy. It also holds the codes to what you came here to create and express, for each incarnation. Your spiritual DNA will ignite in you special excitement and the desire for certain experiences. This is your cue that you’re on the right track! Does your spiritual DNA change from lifetime to lifetime? It will never be the same since the combination of soul and personality is unique to each lifetime. Your spiritual DNA is encoded with information regarding your soul purpose. The cumulative history of your soul is dynamic and continually expanding.

Why is understanding what Spiritual DNA is important?

Your spiritual DNA is what allows you to see yourself in the much larger context from which you originate, exist, and create. The more you understand your origins of being, the greater your grasp is of your unique role in the history of your consciousness, specifically what your purpose and contribution are intended to be, along with what it can become. Your spiritual DNA contains a vast storehouse of information about who you are. This includes where you’ve been in your travels, and how you have developed as a result of those travels. When you become aware that you carry within you, via your spiritual DNA, the direct answers to your questions or the means to get them answered, you can access everything you need to know about who you are and what you came here to do. Another way of stating this is that your soul intentions are encoded in your spiritual DNA.

The consequences of accessing your Spiritual DNA

It can be terrifying to realize that the context of our consciousness is infinitely large. It is terrifying in part because this is incomprehensible, but also because it speaks volumes of the kind of power we have to create our lives. Caroline Myss says that every human being is terrified of becoming empowered. We fear this, she says, not because we fear success, but because in becoming more conscious of who we are, we will then have to take responsibility for managing our truth. We will see much more clearly what it is we came to do, and realize that we can no longer sweep our yearnings under the rug, or pull down the blinds and say that what is happening outside is not our problem. When you accept your truth, and accept that it is you who must manage that truth, you will also be able to identify your real agendas for your life; you will know what motivates you to get out of bed. When you become empowered your relationship to life changes. You are now the one calling the shots for your life.

~ *~* ~

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This conversation is a continuation of a previous discussion titled Are You Living Life Too Small?. In that essay, I challenged the notion that living a “small” life is indicative of not living your purpose. In this reflection, I address the confusion that a number of us are feeling about the connection between the amount of money we earn or have and how that is often held as a mirror of our value.

All around there is an overwhelming cacophony of voices challenging us, almost accusingly, that we may be living small lives. These voices are most recently found in the superabundance of coaches and mentors to coaches. Their question, “Are you living your life too small?” seems to declare that if we are living a small life we are not living our purpose. We are, they say, born to express our greatness. The obvious implication is that if a life is small, then we are not being all we can be. It is the life of “greatness” that we should pursue and that is worth living. But what if you don’t have the desire to pursue greatness? Is it possible that a “small life” can be capable of giving expression to its dharma and expressing its greatness in that way? And how does a person measure whether or not they are living their life in just the right size? To begin to answer this, it is helpful to look at what living one’s greatness might really mean.

Is it about living an exalted life, that is, one where you are famous and glamorous and impressive and influential and make lots of money? Or could it be about what your life looks like when you authentically follow your bliss?

Living your greatness may mean that you live a celebrity-style life. It may mean that you share your gifts in a very public arena. It may also mean that you share your gifts in smaller, simpler, quieter and less visible ways. Maybe you do your best work as an anonymous guardian angel. Being human, we have a tendency to be literal in how we evaluate acts of benevolence, measuring their greatness directly in proportion to their size. But consider how grateful we are when we are offered a glass of water when we are thirsty, or a piece of fruit when we are hungry. Think of the deep nurturing we experience when we are listened to and seen for who we are. Reflect on how important it was for you to be cared for as a child, or when you were sick. Reflect on the fullness you feel when you nourish the grieving and hungry.

Could living your greatness be about carrying out your soul intentions, in other words, your soul’s purpose?

Everyone Has a Unique Purpose
Each person has a unique purpose that is encoded within them. Bear in mind that if what we do does not come from the heart we can get hooked by our negative ego, who wants plenty of worldly recognition. As you know, purpose is not limited to what we do; purpose is also about being, about presence, and reflecting your light. We come in with different agendas – some agendas are large, and some are small. We will not have exalted agendas in every life. Some lives are meant to be quieter; some lives are lives of rest. Our work is to give our gifts to those who need them. Our specific gifts are inherent to our soul’s purpose for the life. Whatever our gifts, they will always improve another’s condition or situation. Living our lives in just the right size comes with the appropriate giving of our gifts. Spirit will take care of the size of the venue or arena in which you are to express and contribute your unique gifts.

Be the person that you were meant to be. You do this by paying attention to the desires of your heart. These desires hold the clue to your soul intentions. Fulfillment comes when you create from your heart. You will know your purpose when you experience a deep sense of personal fulfillment; you will know, from your sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, that this is what is right for you. Your soul intentions are not about a career; they are not about making lots of money or being famous. Your purpose is something you do whether you get paid for it or not. Your soul’s need to carry out its intentions is the motivation.

Your Soul Purpose is your True Calling
Your soul purpose is your true calling, and when you are aligned with that calling, you will find the level for its appropriate or natural expression. It’s mythical thinking that you can find your soul purpose by listening to other people’s ideas or opinions about what that should look like! Be wary of claims and suggestions that the VALUE of your soul’s work is directly tied to the amount of money you make.

Your Soul Has its Own Signature
Every thing has its own rhythm, and moves and breathes according to its own nature. Every thing contains its own unique spiritual signature. You are unique. You come from the Tao; you are a unique aspect of the Tao. Now, what would you like to do as Tao? Do you want to rest? Do you want to sit in the garden? Do you want to make soup? Do you want to provide a home for a shelter dog or cat? Do you want to explore the mysteries of the quantum field? What do you, as the Tao, need to create in order to express your unique “greatness?”

You’re here to manifest your unique spiritual signature, whatever that is, whatever it looks like. To believe that you first have to be great or “live your greatness” before you can express your uniqueness can be confusing and misleading – not to mention – can ultimately stop you dead in your tracks. Forget about being “great;” focus instead on getting in touch with your unique spiritual signature, and then on expressing that. When you are expressing your unique piece of the Tao, your life will be a beautiful reflection of who you are, and you will be living who you came here to be, and doing what you came here to do, and the “size” of that expression will be in sync with your soul’s intentions. That size could well change over time, but to attempt to create a size based on pressure from gurus who tell you that you are living your life too small, that living your soul purpose is directly tied to your income, and that the size of your income is a direct reflection of whether or not you’re living your purpose, is to completely ignore your own soul and to buy into a false understanding of what it means to live your greatness.

Assigning Value to a Soul
The notion that the size of your income is a direct reflection of being true to your soul intentions is based on assigning a VALUE to SOUL. Let’s go ahead and do that. What is the dollar amount your soul is worth when it is fully expressing? Is it $50 an hour? $450 an hour? Is it 400K a year? 5 million? Since we are pieces of God’s own Soul, perhaps it would help to consider the value of God’s handiwork. What is God’s value? How much is s/he worth? If God were to demand an annual salary for maintaining and sustaining the Universe, what would that come to? What amount should be awarded to God for having created the Universe? And since God has been working for an eternity, what is s/he retroactively owed, including interest and those well-deserved bonuses?

It’s impossible to answer these questions. We can see how ridiculous it is to try to assign value to your your soul or its purpose. On the other hand, I believe that we can, with complete conviction, state that when we’re lined up with our soul intentions, we are as powerful as God. Because God is in all of us, we are all uniquely qualified to express he/r purpose. How we give expression to God-in-us is inevitably sacred and holy. How can we judge the value of what is sacred and holy? Acts of service to others are acts of service to God. And if these are all worthy before God, how do we begin to define what a life of greatness looks like?

Maybe your soul purpose is to make money, or maybe your soul purpose will have the outcome of making money, but don’t assume that making a buck is the soul’s primary purpose for being in a physical vehicle. What is most important is that you create a life that satisfies your soul and provides you with a sense of genuine accomplishment and makes you happy. That life may be quiet and obscure or in front of thousands, or even, millions. The goal is to allow your soul to step forth and express its uniqueness. That uniqueness includes the style, manner, and size with which it expresses. Soul intentions are not tied to the material world, though they will inevitably express inside of it. The soul is not about hierarchy or ego, or competition. The soul is about sharing, about giving and receiving. It is about coming from love and being fully present in love.

Be Present to the Moment
Focus on being present in the moment – to yourself, to your guides and Higher Self, to those around you, and to the Earth and all her inhabitants. When you are present, you are in tune with all that is, and can far more readily act in alignment with your dharma and be available to respond to the needs of the moment. When you are fully present, connected with your Higher Self, and consciously following your guidance, you are being true to your soul’s purpose. Deep satisfaction comes from the benefit to others of the natural flow of your gifts. When you are in flow, you can see your purpose in action. When you are expressing your soul, you have found your true identity and there is no longer any reason to compare yourself to others or to pursue activities that do not fulfill you. At this point, you are present to your life and fully engaged, and your very presence uplifts others simply because you are being yourself.

Follow your true nature to find out what size life is right for you. Congruency is attained when who you are, what you say, and what you do are in alignment. When you are aligned in thought, word, and deed you have mastered how you direct your energy. When you have mastered how you direct your energy, you are able to fully manifest who you are in the world. You are powerful.

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I’m too small for this!


These days I hear a great deal about living life too small. I have come across it again and again, mostly from the plethora of coaches and mentors for those seeking to find their purpose. The question, “Are you living your life too small?” has impressed me at times as almost accusatory, as if we may not be doing everything we can to be the best we can be, and perhaps even hints that if we are living a small life we are not living our purpose. The not-so-embedded implication is that if a life is small, then it has lesser value than a life that is big and attention-getting. It might also be implied that you are lazy or lack drive and focus. If we accept as a truth that life can be lived too small then we must find ways to make life bigger!

We live in a culture that values, with perhaps the exception of body size, more and bigger over lesser and smaller. Stronger and flashier is definitely better. Power over many is regarded highly, and revered – as well as – feared. Be that as it may, the word on the street is if you’re not making a six figure income from your god-given talents, then you may not be living your life purpose, and you’re likely living life too small.

A life lived small is conventionally characterized by its lack of notable achievement. A small life is not excessively creative or well-funded, and it probably doesn’t contribute much to the advancement of the person or society – because – well, it’s small. A big life is pretty much identified via status, visibility, ample financial resources and a significant following. It requires focus, drive, and continual marketing. While it may not be exactly restful, I’ve been told that living your life in this dynamic state is exciting and exhilarating. There will definitely be challenges along the way – issues of self-doubt will come up and those nagging false beliefs that you aren’t worthy, but if you can stay the course despite the challenges of seeking your greatness, then go for it.

On the other hand, you may not have any desire to pursue greatness. Then what? A question that comes to mind for me is – despite its bad press – is a small life nevertheless capable of giving expression to its dharma? And how does a person measure whether or not they are living their life in just the right size?

Perhaps the answer is found in the identification of your soul intentions. I believe that your yearnings assist with identifying your soul intentions. Some examples of yearnings include: a yearning for strength, a yearning for love, a yearning for beauty, a yearning for achievement, a yearning for creativity, a yearning for adventure, a yearning for structure, a yearning to fit in, a yearning to be different, among so many other yearnings.

Your yearnings are very useful pieces of information. It’s important to know what will give you emotional satisfaction. If you want to be happy, you’ve got to tune into your yearnings and follow them. I believe that if you follow your yearnings and also allow for their expression, they will, because they demand a certain kind of focus and experience, lead directly to your appropriate way of being (or expressing) in the world. In fact, whether or not you are conscious that you carry an internal agenda for your life, you will connect more and more to your soul intentions as an inevitable act of following your yearnings (or bliss).

If you follow your yearnings, then you may find yourself shaping a life that is in sync with your soul intentions. When you follow your authentic yearnings, the shape and size of your life will gradually come into congruence with your soul intentions. The size of your life is completely unique to you and will be found by following your heart; in each moment act on what calls to you. As you consistently do what feels right, you will find that you are living out your soul intentions or your life purpose – in all its appropriate dimensions.

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Two Little Souls Taking Life In

Two Little Souls Taking Life In

(This is a continuation of a discussion that began with Soul Intentions, Part I – A Reflection on Soul Purpose. Part I can be found in the November archives.)

Soul history and how history and intentions create soul trajectory

At the simplest level, soul history refers to what you have been up to in each of your incarnations. At a more complex level, soul history also includes your role within the groups your soul has associated with over its many incarnations. These groups, or communities, are formed around intentions for a specific vision that require everyone’s cooperation. Soul groups themselves create trajectories, and over time you will move easily between several groups, learning from the primary focus of each one. Some groups focus on breaking down what no longer serves; others have agreed to protect and preserve the culture, and still others build bridges that connect cultures to each other. These are just some of the foci that groups can rally behind; there are more. Over time, soul group intentions (or their failed expressions) make their mark in history, and where they have failed, much work and attention is required to repair, reinvigorate, or even create new forms that will support the original intentions. These experiences inform and define your own trajectory.

A trajectory is the arc described by the progress of your soul as it creates, with each incarnation, its unique history across time and space. Your trajectory is characterized by how you have lived your life. If we were to assign a thick ribbon of light to a life well lived and a thinner ribbon to a life handled less well, a soul trajectory could show increasingly thick ribbons connected to thinner ribbons and then again to thicker ribbons, as it etches its record through time. Or, we could graph a trajectory using a 100-point system with the highest points given to lives well lived and fewer points for lives handled less well. The graphed trajectory for a life that went back and forth could show some dramatic rises and dips. We can do well in some lives and then find ourselves taking the proverbial two steps back in subsequent lives.

Of course, one could reasonably argue that if one does well in a life, overcoming obstacles of desire for revenge, for example, and generally rising above fear, the trajectory should improve, arcing higher with each life. In lives where the heart expanded with unconditional love and a person’s actions were informed by that expansion, the graph would spike. Or, using the ribbon of light analogy, the ribbons would increase markedly in thickness. It is true that some life circumstances will be far more challenging and require more “light” to manage, but over time your soul’s trajectory will reveal its unique pattern.

A trajectory is not created randomly. It is created by the soul’s intentions. These intentions are the only reason to take on incarnate form. As we stated in Part I of this discussion, soul intentions are created for the purpose of fulfilling your agreements to your self and to others. Their agenda is driven by what your soul desires to experience, and also what the erring personality may need to release or delete, most often from a former life. This introduces another factor which influences trajectory. We do not always live out our soul intentions; there are many lives in which we become decoupled, in whole or in part, from our original intentions for incarnating. When we lose connection to our soul’s vision, we disconnect from higher guidance and our purpose for being here. We are eventually tasked with the responsibility of addressing the karmas that were created when we separated from our intentions, while also striving to live our dharma – that which we came to be, to express, and to contribute.

One soul’s history and how that history demonstrates how a soul might seek to express its intentions

Now we will look at the trajectory of a young woman, Emily, who sought to understand the origin of the pain in her heart. Emily is seated before her Council of Elders. She is deep inside Spirit territory, in a regression process that has already taken her through a past life in which she died by her own hand. Emily tells the Council she is experiencing pain in her heart. She believes this pain is from her attachment to a man she loves. This man, Brian, is much older than she is, and he is also married. The Council is gathered in what appears to be a bright open meadow. Emily is feeling optimistic. She knows that she is going to get the answers she seeks.

Emily asks how she can let go of the powerful attachment she has to Brian, and how she can fulfill her highest purpose. The Council tells Emily that Brian is connected to her purpose, but she has to be patient. There are things yet to unfold. She asks again about the pain and wants to know – what did she agree to do with this life? First, the Council begins with a review of her past life connections to this man.

A Council Elder speaks: This soul is not a member of your core soul group. He is, however, part of a neighboring soul group. You first met approximately 4,000 years ago. This took place in the desert; it looks like Saudi Arabia. You were a member of a nomadic tribe that lived in the desert, moving from time to time when the water sources dried up. The tribe had sheep and goats. You were a small girl when a group of marauders traveling on horseback raided the camp dwellings. Their way of life was to plunder and destroy, to take what they wanted of supplies, food, and women. The man you are currently involved with was a young teen then, and his heart did not truly embrace the violence of this way of life. Nevertheless, it provided him with survival, skills, and companions. The young teen intervened on your behalf, saving your life and henceforth, he cared for you. This was the beginning of the love that grew between you, although it was not an easy love. This young man did the best he could to raise you, but it was a hard life for a woman, and you died at an early age, still filled with grief. This is the originating source of the pain in your heart.

The next life where Emily and Brian meet is in Oregon, in the late 1700’s. They were siblings. She and her brother were very young. They were playing by a creek when they were shot with arrows by an Indian who was angry about the white “invaders” who were settling in Oregon in greater numbers. As the souls of Brian and Emily departed, they promised to be there for each other the next time they incarnated together.

Emily and Brian meet again in rural England, in the early 1800’s. Retaining the same gender as before, they marry and live out their lives on a small farm. They have two children – a boy and a girl. They live a happy, though hard life, caring for each other and their children, and they die in their 50’s. They had a strong and loyal connection, and supported each other in every way. The heart bond between them increases with each successive life they share.

The Elder shows Emily one more life where she and Brian again find each other, this time in London. Brian is well-off and entitled. Emily is poor, and lives outside the city. They occasionally see each other when Emily goes to the city to purchase supplies. When they first see each other on the streets, they experience a sense of familiarity and are drawn to each other, but do not act on this. Their interaction consists solely of glances. Emily, ten years younger, would love to approach Brian, but she cannot do this outside of an appropriate social context. And given that she is not his equal, the meeting will never happen. Not having much to do, Brian hangs out in the saloons, drinking and gambling. To Emily’s sorrow, Brian eventually marries someone of his social standing. He later dies in a saloon brawl, shot through the chest. Emily sees him in his last moments, as he lies dying in the streets. This life where each was forced to keep their distance, not able to explore their real connection, added to the pain in Emily’s heart.

Emily’s and Brian’s heart connections to each other were initially forged from circumstances that were deeply painful for her, while at the same time Brian experienced an opening to compassion despite his warrior-marauder perspective. The plight of the small girl whose parents were murdered offered him the opportunity to rise above the lawless, insensitive ways of his band. As the Elder revealed, Emily’s heart-pain around Brian had its origins in that life. After that life, the souls of Emily and Brian saw a spiritual opportunity to apply the lessons of the open heart and so made the decision to explore these through incarnating together. As we can see, the pain in Emily’s heart is complex. It began with great anger towards him for 1) what he did to her desert tribe so long ago, and is also complicated by her appreciation of his efforts at saving her life. In summary, Emily’s heart bonds to Brian further include: 2) her love for her little brother, 3) her love for her husband, 4) the unrequited love from the London life and 5) the current situation in which Brian is not available to live his life with her.

In this trajectory, successive incarnations between Emily and Brian do not necessarily create increasingly better connections – at least as we understand these from the level of personality and what most of us would like to see happen. There is a difficult beginning through forced contact where Emily learns to love her enemy and then a series of lives where there is familial bonding. However, in their most recent lives they are prevented from sharing the profound affection they genuinely have for each other. Personality would much prefer a story where the lovers are happily and permanently reunited each time, but the soul – like the heart – has its own logic and more importantly, its own higher purposes.

Now the Council is ready to answer Emily’s question about why she chose the current incarnation. Don’t you remember? You came here to be a peacemaker. We have formerly told you the best way to bring peace to this world is to help individuals find it inside themselves. You are going through this struggle with Brian so that you can learn peace in the midst of personal turmoil and uncertainty. The best thing you can do at this time is to stay connected to spirit, to trust the process, and to be joyful.

Emily is also told that each of their souls is working to manifest their individual purpose. She is told that the path of joy and love is the one that she needs to commit to. If she can do this, her attachment to Brian will diminish as her focus turns more and more to accomplishing her unique soul intentions. She is encouraged to pursue her studies in psychology and meditation. They tell her: Yours is a peace-making soul; it is also an illuminator for love. Healing vibrations for others emanate from your heart when it is open, and you are following your path. These soul gifts are able to be expressed through the venues you seek to study and work in. When Emily asks again about the possibility of a future with Brian, she is again reminded that it is the path of love and joy that she must pursue. It is best to understand that this is the highest approach to living your life. The path of heart is the path of wisdom. The future cannot be foretold; you make your destiny by the choices you make in each moment. The more your choices are informed by your soul’s intentions, the more joy and fulfillment you will have.

Through her incarnations, Emily’s soul was specializing in the path of the open heart. A heart that is open will be broken, but the power of a broken heart that is navigated well is its ability to create an expansiveness that can hold space for the brokenness of others. It also teaches by example that the gifts of an open heart lead to wisdom and compassion. The cumulative influence of her incarnations created a gentle, approachable personality that others find safe and welcoming, and her successful passage through some difficult experiences gave her the insights and tools for showing others how they can do the same for themselves.

Understand the ways in which we can recognize our soul intentions

Emily’s need to understand the purpose of her current life is indicative of her desire to align with her original soul intentions. Emily’s natural interests in meditation, psychology, reincarnation and harmonious connections with others have been persistent and strong this life. She received validation from her Council that these are areas where she could fruitfully focus her professional efforts, but they also observed that while these approaches to fulfilling her purpose are appropriate, there are other ways she could express her soul gifts, and suggested that she might want to further explore this. In other words, Emily should follow the general warp and weft of what she seeks to accomplish because this will allow her to discover additional ways her objectives can be satisfied. She will be surprised and delighted to find that the spiritual path she is committed to is richer than she realizes.

“What is it I need to do in order to fulfill the requirements of my intentions, and what is my next step to getting there?”

Pay attention to experiences with which you especially resonate as this will assist you to identify and remember what you agreed to show up for. Pay attention to your emotions as these will guide you. Letting go of the paths not taken and the roads not fully traveled, begin here: live each day as if it were your calling. Without excessive attention to detail and over-thinking, choose those activities that seem the most right or important. And instead of demanding immediate results, revel in the quietly unfolding intrigue of each moment. Take small steps, one at a time. There is no need to offer up arguments or resistance; simply do each step, improvising as you go. You do not need to know the next step or the next action – by responding to the choices that call to you, to those impulses that seek expression – your life plan and purpose will reveal itself.

As you faithfully listen to the call of your intuitive knowing, you will become more adept at discerning the next right action. You do not need to wait for inspiration. Simply take actions that reflect best what you know to be true for yourself, and you will steadily regain footing on your course as you remember your passions, which will re-connect you to your soul intentions.

For a session on finding your purpose, see Life Purpose

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Copyright © 2011-Current | Gloria Constantin | All Rights Reserved

Italicized segments this last section courtesy of Shepherd Hoodwin

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When we speak of soul intentions, we are referring to those plans that were made by you prior to incarnating. Soul intentions are created for the purpose of fulfilling your agreements to your self and to others. These agreements have their basis in your soul history. Their agenda was formed in the annals of your past; they are not formed arbitrarily, or on the basis of a passing whim. A soul intention is not about glibly asking the question, “Hmm…what would I like to do next?” It is not about waking up one morning and lazily considering whether you will have muffins or French toast for breakfast. Soul intentions are driven by internal directives to pursue specific goals as well inherent desires for them. It will be helpful, by the way, to pay attention to information with which you especially resonate, as this will assist you to identify and remember what you agreed to show up for. We will rephrase the question: “What is it I need to do in order to fulfill the requirements of my intentions, and what is my next step to getting there?” Before we offer our reflections on this, let us first consider the origins of soul intentions.

Each time you incarnate you choose a series of tasks which are aligned with what you plan to accomplish for the life. How do you decide what you will focus on for a particular life? This is the million-dollar question, so to speak, but it is not actually that much of a mystery. Your life plans are based in what you have previously experienced and assimilated – as well as what you did not complete. Those experiences with which you feel complete – that is – those in which you mastered, for example, a certain skill, or where you came to know the painful limitations and joyous capacities of the body, and where you incontrovertibly understood the extent to which your assumptions expanded or contracted your opportunities and choices, etc., will not call to you in the same way they did when you were eager to test your mettle in these areas. Once you have gained depth knowledge in a curricula and the critical self-knowledge that comes with exploring the unknown, you are ready to move into a different arena.

At this juncture you will want to review the wake of the actions you engaged to master various skills and have certain experiences. On the way to mastery, actions are sometimes taken that are detrimental to another’s choices. As you can see, the purposes behind re-entry into the physical form of existence are complex. Let us examine an actual past life and review the original plan, the goals of the plan that were actually accomplished, the actions still needing to be taken because of lack of completion, and the desire to explore new territory.


Here is a brief portrait of a young woman who lived in Kansas in the early 1900’s. As the scene to memory opens, Helen, about 31 and petite, is driving a buggy along a dirt road in the country. She is wearing a plain black dress and a white scarf. The horse is dark chestnut with red tones. The landscape is flat, but the surrounding fields abound with growing crops. A storm is coming; she hurries. She is carrying a small bottle of medicine. It is for her elderly father, who is ill. She drives past a round barn to the house, and is greeted by her teenage son Eli. Her father, Elijah, is in bed. She gives him several spoonfuls of the medicine.

We find Helen at her father’s burial, out on the farm. Several farmhands are assisting with lowering the casket into the ground. It is raining out, and the ground is extremely muddy. The farmhands’ clothes are soiled and worn. Eli is weeping. Helen does not seem to feel much of anything.

In the next scene, Helen is talking with a tall, gaunt man who appears to be a caricature of someone in the legal profession. He is formally dressed, and Helen is arguing with him about being forced out of her home. Apparently she is going to be turned out because of unpaid rent on the land. Despite what seems inevitable, Helen is arguing confidently and seemingly holding her own – for the moment.

Helen has taken residence in a boarding house where she works long hours at grueling labor to earn her keep. She spends her days washing, cooking, and cleaning. It is hard work, and though she is only 33, her body is breaking down. Her son attends a one-room school where she wishes she could teach. Helen finds some peace through reading, and keeping a journal. Some of her journal entries comment on the lack of opportunities for women. Helen recalls her experiments with humane farming, and how her neighbors looked upon her and her family with suspicion. They kept to themselves as they did not resonate with the community. Helen also had an interest in astronomy and owned a telescope. She and her father were kindred spirits.

The boarding house is located in a town that is essentially lawless and dangerous. Men ogled her as she walked by, and they were base and ill-intentioned; an appropriate husband was not to be found among them – not that she sought one. She kept to herself, and her primary concern was caring for her son.

Her son is scapegoated and hung in public for a crime he did not commit. After, his corpse is tied to a horse and dragged through the town to hostile jeering. These were deeply disturbing brutal acts, and they drove Helen to a bloody suicide. The hostility of that lawless community was not surprising, given that she and her son were never accepted, again being seen as suspiciously eccentric.

** ** ** **


In Helen’s original soul intentions for this life, an unusually active and inventive mind was integral to what she wanted to accomplish. This goal is also a carry-over from a previous life in which she, then male and an extremely talented musician, had planned to spend most of his time composing epic works for orchestra and piano. However, that goal was short-circuited when family business matters unexpectedly demanded that he take the lead in running them, effectively thwarting his intentions. In the life as Helen, she would apply her creativity to inventing useful objects that would have positive impact on her rural society. This setting would not support a musical life, but it offered sufficiently compelling components to make it a life worth living. She could, in another life, follow up on her intentions to compose. In reviewing her agenda with her guides for the Kansas life, it was additionally thought that a greater challenge would be had if this task was undertaken in the body of a woman. It was felt that, given Helen’s advanced soul level, she would benefit from the challenge. Helen was also to experience the lifelong love of her husband and son. Helen’s husband was to have lived a longer life and to have provided her with protection. She also did not plan to wear herself out in the dreary boardinghouse, nor was it in her plan to witness such a heinous end to her son’s life, another soul who had agreed to be in her support system.

The aspects of Helen’s life plan that were met, at least in part, involved the execution of some of her inventiveness. She was handy. She made lightning rods that were unique in design and highly ornamental. She designed humane environments for the farm animals and treated them well. She was also an accomplished, if unknown, amateur astronomer. The plans for this life were interrupted when her husband died, leaving her with fewer resources and without the protection he would have provided. Her son was brutally murdered, a karma-making act that would later need to be paid back to her and her son, and that also led to unbearable grief and the decision to take her own life – which was not part of Helen’s original soul intentions.


As the intentions for this life were severely abbreviated, Helen’s essence will likely want to create another life in which there are opportunities for the experience of loving, lifelong relationships, a friendlier neighborhood, more time for creating, and a stronger probability for remaining in the home of her choosing. Other situations that now need to be worked into future life plans will involve the healing of severe emotional trauma. Some of the trauma will also be addressed in the between-life state. In fact, shortly after Helen’s arrival at the Gateway (immediately after her death), she was met by a Specialty Guide who showered her with healing light.

Prior to this life, Helen did agree to allow her creativity to be on open display in a society where intelligence from a woman was frowned on. It turned out poorly, and she will likely wait for a better setting before she again attempts to push this far into conservative mores. Helen also understood that part of the challenge of her life would be to offer her soul the opportunity to forge a path through obstacles, and despite them, find a way to navigate a course for the most positive outcome. Because there are no guarantees once we are in body, we are encouraged to flow with the unpredictability of the way a life can unfold, and to understand that the choices of others will also have an impact on our capacity to carry out our soul intentions. Much growth and wisdom can be gained from this, and will also subsequently inform the soul intentions that we create, as well as the circumstances we set up to support them. Please note that your plans are made not just for the next life, but for the current life in progress. It is not at all uncommon for a life to be lived in ad hoc fashion when the supporting structures you planned for have failed to materialize, or when you are (for a variety of reasons) cut off from them. Even when support systems are in place, it is often necessary to make adjustments on-the-fly to compensate for unplanned situations. This is the challenging, exciting, and sometimes hazardous nature of fulfilling soul intentions inside of palpable dimensionality – but where else to fulfill these? Most importantly, do not forget that you are never left without guidance for the shoals.

For her next life, Helen chose to surround herself with a loving family and with opportunities to allow the intrinsically inventive nature of her soul to express itself in a far less limiting environment. With the assistance of friendly souls with who she has a successful history, she was able to create a home with a far increased probability of remaining there for the rest of the life. In this way, she was able to carry on her soul intentions. Helen had wanted to positively impact her society, and in the new life she has been able to do that by providing forums where many can meet to share ideas and information. In addition, while Helen’s soul was healing and planning the next life, she decided to expand her interests in creative writing and try her hand at novels that challenge prevailing mores with provocative and controversial leading edge themes. This time Helen returned as a male.

For a session on finding your purpose, see Life Purpose

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** ** ** **


• look at soul history and how history and intentions create soul trajectory;

• review another soul’s previous history and how that history illustrates how the soul expresses its intentions through a life;

• understand the ways in which we can recognize our soul intentions, and

• conclude with reflections on the query “What is it I need to do in order to fulfill the requirements of my intentions, and what is my next step to getting there?”

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Love asks great things of us.

This is not so much about your willingness to sacrifice the ego’s demands

for certainty and reassurance, or

for validation of personal worthiness.

This is not really about giving up your shirt or sandwich, your plate of pasta, or even your bed.

It is about saying yes and stepping into the wilderness with open arms and

 no guarantee.

Love asks us to show up and do what needs to be done. Spend more time with those we love. Listen to what others are asking of you. Pay attention to what others need. How can you be of service? Pay attention. The information is in the request. Pitch in at the homeless shelter or the humane society. Volunteer to deliver a meal. It doesn’t matter if you feel ready, or if you believe that you have prepared sufficiently. Your willingness to do what needs to be done, to be directed if and as necessary, to welcome the experience of a learning curve, and the courage to engage the curve, are some of what becoming an activist for love needs and requires.

Love asks us to show up and do what needs to be done. The Occupy Wall Street revolution in Zuccotti Park is a profound example of this. Love one another; Love thy neighbor as thyself; Do unto others as you would have others do to you, and Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me are some of the phrases that precisely describe the phenomena of love manifesting now in New York and as well in dozens of other cities across the United States. Thousands are showing up to do what needs to be done. And what needs to be done? We need to pick ourselves up from the floor of our despair and shake off the trance of powerlessness. We need to stand up to injustice and to those who have benefited from it. We need to organize around fairness. We need to be selfless, offering our skills and talents to each other. We need to share our shelter, and our food. We need to re-vision ourselves and our paradigms, not just for our sake, but for the sake of the world – our world. Personal sacrifices may be necessary to alleviate the tremendous injustices that are all around us, inside of every minute of every day, but with perseverance, we will succeed. Love is and always has been on our side.

For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.

Love demands courage. Love demands that we connect to each other. We are required to be brave in the face of uncertainty. When we give of ourselves, we do not know how we will be received. We do not know if the outcome we seek will come to pass. We do not engage out of love because we have a stake in glorious end-results; rather, we actively engage our minds, hearts, and bodies to the extent of what we have been called to do, using every ounce of our gifts, talents, and endurance to bring to bear what love requires. When love calls, you will not always feel ready. You may feel that your research is incomplete or that you have not spent enough time practicing. Sometimes we feel deficient; we are not quite up to the task. Sometimes we are literally deficient, but not necessarily in a way that would prevent us from showing up and participating.

Here is one example. At youtube you can find the story of a young Iraqi man, a hopeful singer, who was made an Australian citizen through adoption. He and his brother were found in a park, in a shoebox, by nuns who then delivered the babies to an orphanage not far from the war-ravaged area in which they had been found.

Neither of these infants had identification. Moreover, they were deformed and maimed, as both were missing substantial portions of their arms, and at least one of them was also crippled in both legs. Even so, because of the love of their adoptive mother, an Australian woman, they were nourished in both heart and body, and released to express the gifts of their souls. In the interview that precedes his audition, Emmanuel tells his story. When he speaks, his face is radiant. It is only as he walks the wings of the stage to center that the camera reveals the rest of his body. His arms are stumps, his legs are not the same length, and his walk is crooked.

It doesn’t matter. Emmanuel is filled with hope, with possibility, and with the love of his art. He has been immeasurably nurtured by the love of his mother. Though Emmanuel is physically not whole, love has made him whole. And here is the magic of love: showing up does not require that you arrive on the scene perfectly polished and complete. It is in the process of opening yourself to love that you are healed. Love itself heals you.

For his audition, Emmanuel chose John Lennon’s Imagine. This song expresses a vision for a world in which the circumstances of Emmanuel’s early life, the same circumstances that countless live in, cannot exist because the fear and greed that created them do not exist. A world in which there is nothing to kill or die for is a world that has been transformed by love. Emmanuel made of his personal story and condition of body a powerful and moving icon for the truth that love does not require our perfection, but only our willingness to show up on love’s behalf. I do not know if Emmanuel went on to win fame and fortune, but the brave work he did, of showing up as he was, no doubt inspired many to reach for their potential. This is what love, allowed to express through imperfection, can do.

The greatest thing that love asks of you and that you can do on behalf of love is to show up and participate. You don’t have to look good. You don’t have to be good. You do not have to be perfect in your delivery; you just need to show up. So you don’t achieve all your goals one day. So you didn’t execute perfectly. Don’t let that stop you. Don’t give up. Do not seek personal rewards. Do not look for pre-conceived results. Be patient with yourself and others. Be kind to yourself and others. Love is, after all, patient and kind. You will, through the humble act of opening your heart so that love can work through you, make the personal discovery that love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. You will find strength you did not know you had. Come as you are, and get ready to receive the blessings of love: when you open to love you reconnect to who you are, you are connected to others, and you will remember your purpose. Love asks great things of us but also gives them back.

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When you expand your heart beyond its normal boundaries you are able to incorporate the needs, concerns and even wounds of another, or an entire group of others. How can you do this without also afflicting yourself with the wounds that you have taken into the expanded space of your heart? To begin, you must understand that the purpose of creating an area of expansion around your heart is not to heal wounds that do not belong to you. When you expand your heart and offer that space to others, what you are doing is creating a container where others can rest safely, knowing that here they will not meet with judgments or resistance. In this place, all the anguish associated with what they have done to others or what others have done to them is allowed to be and to expand, and to express in all its magnificent agony as it releases, evolving to a new vibratory state or form. This is how holding space assists others to heal themselves.

You might ask how it is that the heart is able to 1) expand, and 2) bring others into that expansion. We are not speaking here of the physical heart per se, although this is indeed the locus from which the expansion moves outward. As you know, all form and the components that comprise form are vitally alive as dancing energy imbued with the life force of Creation. At its source, form is pure potential, and so has the capacity to be directed by intention. When you direct your intention at pure potential, suffusing its formless state with the content of your imagination, will, and desire, you have caused a shift in its essential energy. You have now created an expansion into a specific identity that displays the attributes of your original intention. Of course, it takes practice and belief to truly achieve the results you seek. The point of this discussion is to illustrate that, with intention alone, you can expand the energy of your heart infinitely.

In the same way, you can direct this expanded energy to embrace those who seek solace and acceptance, bringing them in close to your own heart. In the meantime, your heart has opened itself to love so that you and everyone you hold space for are directly connected to Source. This is how you can maintain a holding space or container for others without debilitating or damaging yourself. It is not actually you doing the holding; it is Spirit in its aspect as Love. You have only volunteered to be the facilitator or link using your heart as the mechanism which connects you, and everyone you hold, to Source.

Offering your heart space to others has tremendous benefits not just for them, but especially for you. Consider the analogy of volunteering at a soup kitchen. You have direct access to all the ingredients that will make a substantial meal for the hungry: spices, vegetables, grains and proteins. As you chop and sauté, blending and cooking various foods into sauces and stews, it is your responsibility as chef to sample portions of your meal as it progresses through its stages to completion. In this way, your service for the nurture of others has also nurtured you.

The call to be of service comes first from service to self, a corollary of love of self. You cannot offer genuine service to others without first having offered it to yourself. It is imperative that you learn to hold space for yourself, for without having experienced deep self-love, your efforts on behalf of others – even those with the best of intentions – will be incomplete, similar to a soup that could have used more sautéed onions and salt. This is because you did not know enough to know how to take a soup from bland and mediocre to great. However, make note of this: as you surrender into your desire to be of service, you also open yourself to improving the quality of that service, and over time you will develop mastery of the forms that call to you. This is because you have expanded your capacity to understand firsthand what makes them delicious, and so you can deliver them from a solidly anchored holding space.

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Looking back

Looking back

I have been drawn to understand who I am through the journey of my own soul. I still vividly recall standing in front of a mirror when I was four and the awareness that took me by surprise that the little girl reflected there was a mere aspect of a much larger self. That was the beginning of my personal journey to uncover the mysteries that were hinted at in the mirror. As a result, I pursued formal and informal studies and systems which I hoped would give me information on who I was, what I was about and for, and how that person was connected to everything and everyone else. This was no small journey as you can imagine, and has ever been the underlying thread and motivation of my life, regardless of what I’ve needed to do to keep body and soul together, and has also influenced how I’ve conducted my relationships and the life choices I’ve made – particularly as I’ve grown older and gained greater insight.

Speaking as someone who has certified in Regression Therapy, I will begin with observing that the function of Past Life Regression (PLR) isn’t to find out if you were famous back when. Additionally, the role of the regressionist is not to tell you who you were. The regressionee does that, for himself or herself. The regressionist may or may not be a decent psychic, but feeding information to the regressionee about who they were is a completely different process and modality than PLR, and in my opinion, has NO place in it. Instead, the regressionist holds the space by creating a container of emotional and psychic safety, and then by guiding the regressionee’s journey with a meditation or induction and appropriately focused questions. The journey belongs to the person experiencing the PLR – no one else. The regressionist’s only motive and interest should be to provide the support and conditions for someone to be able to enter into past life recall. Most of the time regression journeys are sought to obtain additional insight and information about issues that are currently affecting the person. Students of the soul’s journey understand that our current incarnations often carry over themes from past lives that are seeking clarity and resolution, and that may require us to do more work in a certain area.

PLR allows a person to relax into their deeper self, which allows the life themes they are currently dealing with an opportunity to arise to conscious awareness, and as a result, to take on clarity. It assists us with getting in touch with what’s going on for us now, for what is asking for our attention. If those themes come through in a story about a life that may not be completely accurate in every detail, it doesn’t matter. The details don’t matter. Not that you would necessarily know if you were making it up, but that’s not the point. What is important is the emotional truth that we experience – the insights we receive about self. We inevitably get a sense of the bigger picture that we are always living from, and this helps to contextualize things for us – no small boon. If these insights come to us in the form of a myth or allegory or fairy tale, then we can consider ourselves blessed. In my experience, Spirit often speaks to us in symbols rather than literal pictures, as symbols are far richer in what they can convey, and are actually more in concert with our multi-dimensional makeup. The insights we receive via a PLR can help validate our taking a course of action that is appropriate for us now. Of course, in many, many cases, there is a strong sense that the memories are real, and we want to honor this as well.

Our historical trajectory is the story of the development of our soul, and taking the time to explore this history offers us tremendous opportunities to embrace and refine our life tasks for the current incarnation, and to get a sense of our broader overarching mission as the unique sparks of Tao that we are. This mission includes not just who we are individually, but who we are in the far larger context of everyone and everything else. Ultimately, these cannot be separated. Our actions and interactions are our contributions, for good or ill, to the course and development of humanity and I also believe, affect as well the course and development of other dimensional and non-dimensional worlds. For me, the aphorism that we are all in this together has a vastly encompassing reach.

In sum, I believe that the purpose and function of PLR has to do with attaining clarity about our life path through the insights and emotional truths we receive inside a journey, and from this, we are encouraged to take responsibility for not just the course of our lives, but for the universal impact that our choices and actions have on the flourishing of life and consciousness everywhere.

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beautiful souls
The lives of good and beautiful souls, that is, those who strive daily for authenticity, accountability and integrity, are nevertheless peppered with disappointment and loss. To have a deeply developed capacity to integrate a broad spectrum of experience does not mean, however, that we won’t feel tremendous pain when our good intentions and open hearts are met with scathing and ridicule. But because we understand that all is not as it seems, and that we are always inside of the much larger context of our higher selves, our resources are great.

Though this is a plane of illusion, we know that the illusion has impact, and that its power is in its ability to create separation between persons, tribes, and nations. Its tools are the tools of the false ego and its false beliefs which would have us give homage to the hierarchies of better than, smarter than, more beautiful than, richer than, and therefore, more deserving than, those who are “lesser” in these and other categories. Once we give our allegiance to separation, we are forced into operating from the belief that there is only so much of – you name it – to go around. Therefore, we cannot ever truly let our guard down. We cannot ever truly trust in life. Coming from a place of scarcity, it will be difficult to see that we have a purpose for being here, and a unique path to follow. The most debilitating separation that illusion creates is its capacity to separate us from our own souls.

Despite the pain that living life with an open heart can often engender, we have no choice if we are to actively remain on a consciously evolving path, fully expressing who we are as embodied souls. We do not want to live from a place of limitation, believing that we are only our bodies, our relationships, or our current life situation. There is much terror in holding a lens that equates what seems to be to what is, and so we can have compassion for those who cannot see beyond it. It has been said that when we reach the end of our mind’s capacity to strategize our way out of a challenge, this is a prime opportunity to remember innocent curiosity and expect miracles. From nothing, everything comes.

To take radical responsibility for our own continuing transformation and healing, we must have compassion for those who choose to act from the weakest parts of themselves, and for the pain they cause by doing so. We must have compassion for those who are perpetually stuck in dynamics which obstruct their ability to receive. As you know, we can only take responsibility for our own emotional responses and physical actions; there is nothing we can do to convince a closed heart to accept our desire for right relationship. There is nothing we can do about the choices other people make, but surrendering to the highest good will make us more spiritually powerful. Continue to honor who you are and why you are here so that all the special light you carry radiates love, joy, and compassion. These are the lives of good and beautiful souls.

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Each of us began our immigration from reaches unknown, and places only vaguely remembered at best. Although we may not remember the specifics of our origins, those beginnings nevertheless follow us in our dreams and in our imagination, sometimes haunting us in the way of a forgotten melody, sometimes spurring us to reach the tantalizing wilds on the other side of the horizon.

Just as the pulse of our first heartbeat continues to thrum its way through each of our incarnations, our beginnings are never separate from us. That long-ago first coming-into-consciousness propelled us unerringly forward into exploration of myriad unknowns – beautiful and ugly, ecstatic and painful – all of which have seen to it that we will ultimately give a shape and a name to our souls.

What’s the next step? Where do we go from here, and who do we need to be in order to get there?

These questions are a constant for me – they have no end; only beginnings. As soon as I’ve rounded the corner of what was once teasingly distant and mysterious, the questions return afresh. Irrespective of what I’ve uncovered and resolved to conquer, there will always be unknown territory to explore – infinite, ever-revolving facets of self, soul, and consciousness. The universe is infinitely available and willing to share its secrets and insights as long as I am willing to take the journey – despite the terrors that are inherent to it. And the truth is, I won’t have all the equipment I need at the outset – because I can’t know what’s ahead. It is only in experiencing the terrors of the unknown that I can find and develop the resources to face them down. I did, after all, show up with the inbuilt capacity of infinite possibility.

The blueprint for our lives is not set in stone, and we are encouraged to re-create our irrepressible divinity as we go. This is your most basic birthright and talent: the capacity to evolve and adapt as you wish, and as you need.

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Copyright © 2011-Current | Gloria Constantin | All Rights Reserved

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Will the weather ever change?

Will the weather ever change?

How we recover from disappointment, shock, and loss has everything to do with the meaning we make from those experiences. If we believe that we are powerless, that we are victims and that life is against us, we will recover slowly, or not at all. If we believe that our choices for personal and professional happiness have come and gone and that we have nothing to look forward to, we will recover slowly, or not at all.  We may eventually get out of bed but there is a world of difference between resignation and a life that is filled with the joy that comes from having something to look forward to.

How do you go from resignation to passion? You have to have something to live for. You have to believe that there is something worth living for. You must be drawn by a vision that expresses your highest calling. You believe that you are the creator of your life and that the field of life itself is personally seeking your partnership for co-creative endeavors that need your assistance to manifest.

But, you say, I don’t have anything to live for. I don’t have anything to look forward to. I’ve explored my interests and taken them as far as I can, given current circumstances and resources. I’ve looked around, and I really don’t see anything that compelling anymore. Been there, done that. All right, then. Now it’s time to take a new approach. But first you need to find your power so that you can revive your passion.

Let us begin here: from where you sit, what would you say you have too much of? What do you have too little of? What would you enjoy having more of? What would you like to have less of, or be rid of altogether?

What skills and capacities do you need to cultivate in order to have more of what you desire? What disciplines will you need to exercise in order to eliminate excess?

Answering these questions will help you. As you look more closely at what you need to let go of and what you need to bring in, you will see what it is that disempowers you and what empowers you. As you become more empowered, you will also feel passion. You will feel  your passion compel you to embrace your life. Whatever your passion, it will lead you back to yourself. When you have passion, you can connect to the creative impulse  that is bursting to express through you. You have now found your fire, your desire, and your power.

Now, it is possible that you no longer have much interest in pursuing anything. Your fire burned out long ago. As you say, you’ve been there and done that, meaning you believe you have made the effort to explore your appropriate path and then applied your resources to it. If the results were less than stellar, then it is likely you have given up and now spend most of your time in resignation and inertia. And while you manage to pay the rent and feed yourself and your pets, there is not much about your life that is exciting.

So how do you make the leap from a lack of desire to active participation? Letting go of the paths not taken and the roads not fully traveled, begin here: live each day as if it were your calling*. Without excessive attention to detail and over-thinking, choose those activities that seem the most right or important*. And instead of demanding immediate results, revel in the quietly unfolding intrigue of each moment. Take small steps, one at a time. There is no need to offer up arguments or resistance; simply do each step as an improv. You do not need to know the next step or the next action – by responding to the choices that call to you, to those impulses that seek expression – by degrees both subtle and sudden your life plan and purpose will reveal itself.

By listening to the call of your intuitive knowing, you will become more adept at discerning the next right action. You do not need to wait for inspiration per se. Simply take actions that reflect best what you know to be true for yourself, and you will again be on course as you remember your passion, which will re-connect you to your path.

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Copyright © 2011-Current | Gloria Constantin | All Rights Reserved


Posted in Being With What Is | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment


At the Periphery

At the Periphery

It seemed I dozed on the periphery for a long time, observing the coming and going of weather, of the seasonal hum of insects and flowers and the blooming and withering of all things; of all things, that is, that I could see and had the capacity to comprehend.

There was time when I believed that I had very little say about my life. There was a time when I believed I had no authority to confront not just the challenges, but the horrific experiences I endured as a child. As a child I believed that’s just the way things were; that’s just how life is. Later, as the daughter of impoverished immigrants who did not speak English as their first language, I continued to find numerous reasons to support my impression that I was a victim of circumstances, and that my lot in life was destined to be one of severe limitation. As children we are dependent; we have not come into ourselves, and we do not possess the same powers of self-awareness, intellect, and ferocity that we do as adults, so it is easy to make meaning about what life is, and to hold on to that meaning because it made so much sense at the time. I did, however, come in with an insatiable curiosity to understand both etiology and causation, and it was this deep need to KNOW how everything comes together that was compelling enough to keep me going where I might have otherwise given up. This is not to say that I do not, from time to time, retreat. Inevitably, something always kicks my ass and forces me to get up off the ground.

I was compelled to engage. After all, I had to eat to live. I had to dress for warmth and protection. I had to go to school and interact (to some greater or lesser extent) with the other children. At night, I entered the realm of dreams and created relationships and strange connections with the inhabitants of other worlds and dimensions. Bit by bit, all my experiences, those from the vantage of quiet observation and those from intentional participation, merged and integrated and offered me perspective, a handle I could grab, a kind of anchor I could attach myself to. By simply being – whether here or in other less tangible locations – I was led inevitably to carve out a consciousness unique to me.

And that unique perspective, that consciousness, this idiosyncratic way I have of perceiving and holding experience and then of communicating it back, is what led me to exactly where I am. Because I chose to stay alert and aware – kicking and screaming some of the time to be sure – no moment I spent sleeping or awake has been wasted. The sum cumulative of all I have gathered, and all that has blasted itself against me, is what I bring to this moment. It is the same for all of us. These are the things that give us shape and form and that bring us to who we are.

Over time I awoke to the realization that I am an integral, inseparable part of All That Is, and that the All That Is is the most powerful and dignified, the most ultimately infinitely creative and loving force that holds all possibility, and even if I possess just one drop of that power, just one morpheme of that capacity, nothing can stop me from becoming. For I am Tao’s pioneer, Its very own reconnaissance agent.

And so how can I not see myself as the Source of my experience? The more I accept full responsibility for being the creator of my own life, the more I download my true inheritance. The more I can flow with what is, with what happens, not just deflecting blows but dancing with them, the more I can step into my capacity to create my life. Even though there are many events that truly appear to be the result of other people’s choices, it is most empowering to be willing to be wholeheartedly accountable for all of it. By accepting unconditional responsibility for everything that has ever happened to us, we become the master of our own lives.

Now it is time to step into who I am, to open to fully embracing the next level of beingness that life wishes to express through me, and to take it on with everything I’ve got. I have only a glimmer of what I am about to embark on, but I am filled with desire to pursue this journey, for I know that in this process, all of who I came here to be will have the opportunity to be unleashed. Welcome the unprecedented for my life.

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Copyright © 2011-Current | Gloria Constantin | All Rights Reserved

Posted in Being With What Is | 5 Comments


At the still point of the turning world we are still,

Shooting threads of light, finer than rainbow gossamer,
diaphanous and delicate beyond measure,
yet stronger than this life we know–
by far.
And these threads are a matrix of interwoven endless

that breathe and move and dance,

twining themselves through and beyond
universes beyond our imaginings.

But there is so much more that we cannot begin to grasp.
There are worlds beyond our knowing.

There are mysteries
beyond our ability to experience.

And if we were to experience those mysteries,
we could not,
as we currently are,
grasp them.

It is important to live in the here and now,
in the moment.

For it is in the moment that infinity speaks,
and we hear our own god voices.

In the cracks and interstices of no past, no present,
and no future,

we come to know ourselves.

Coming into the zone of time, we then forget.

We are defined, described, prescribed and re-scribed as we
make our way through the palpable form of living days.

We breathe the dust.
We are the earth.

We lose our trust in things eternal
mesmerized into believing
this is what we are,
this is all that is.

Even so –
we are shaped and formed into palpable,
dimensional existence. And then,
waves and vectors sweep our way, casting us out, drawing us in.

Probabilities come and go.

The pending sometimes never arrives.

We are ordered from chaos,
made up in part by
human design,
soul age,
essence role,
and so on,
and so on.

Each of these bring us to our lessons; they give us our unique
perspectives and our talents.

These energies humble us, shake us up, and wake us up.
We can remember who we are because of them.


They are the props in our personal play.
They cast us in a special role;
one we’ve longed to play, one we’ve died again and again to play,
so that we could re-unite with our ultimate selves.

But they are only our lessons, our path for the now, and our glory for
and through

the Zone of Incarnation.

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At the risk of sounding like a complete heretic of the prevailing cultural paradigm (the one that says you aren’t somebody unless you look like this and have measurable status, money, and power and have achieved so much and so many laud you and confetti you with accolades and seek your mentorship and particular brand of wisdom and counsel and wish to step into your path, if not your shoes), let me share with you some of the observations and explorations I have made concerning life purpose – or – a life with purpose.

First and foremost, this is a place, a plane (dimensionally speaking) of limitation. L I M I T A T I O N. Because things are palpable here, and because actions have consequences, and choice always has results, the tendency for consciousness-in-a-body is to seek the most supportive ways of receiving positive recognition, safety and security. And because things are palpable here, it is easy to be seduced by the illusion that only palpable things matter. That is, what can be materially touched, tasted, felt, (and worn and displayed), is what matters, and what will save us.

Being physical can be wonderful if our physical needs are met – when we do not have to concern ourselves with having plenty of money, all the education we wish, the best place to live, the best job to have, the most compelling relationships and connections and vacations…it is most often when our needs are NOT met that we are thrown into a process of self-review and self-rebuke, wondering how it is that we do not yet have enough of any of these things to support us so that we can participate dynamically in the external world. And yet, it is this fork in the road, where we are by circumstances forced to pause, that leads to tremendous potential for inner wealth.

Some say the world is incontrovertibly made up of winners and losers. And if you’re a loser, well…make better choices next time, honey. (And if you want to get right down to it, why did you pick that weak body? Did you think you’d get more sympathy that way, or maybe just get out of some of the really hard work the rest of us have had to put in to get where we are, or WHAT?) What WERE you thinking? Well, good luck to you. Or better luck next time, but I have a life to live, a yacht to sail, and some VIPs to gladhand. Well, have a good one. Get some beauty rest or treatments. Or something!

Wait a minute. Are you saying that I have to earn my worthiness or right to be here, and that the only way to do this is to go to the same schools, wear the same clothes, frame the same diplomas, and have exquisite cash flow? Are you saying that if I don’t have the same physical prowess or constitution or material support that I might as well leave now and hope for a better start later?

If this is the truth that many are working with, then perhaps that is their personal truth. But it is not mine. I have a different take on things. The life I have lived veers from the mainstream because my life task and soul agenda have led me on an exploration of a lesser traveled path, yet I am far from alone in this.

Everyone has limitations. These may be material, these may be the expectations of others, and these may be pronounced pressure from family and other influential beings to carve out a certain life. It is just that the limitations differ, and they can differ so vastly as to create confusion and cause real angst-driven issues of viability, survivability, and worthiness so that we are compelled to either stand up or fall down.

What is apparent via the givenness of things is not necessarily what is. What is – is your experience of life. How you live it, what you make of it. THIS IS YOUR LIFE. And how you interpret your life and the actions you take as a result, are the gifts, the insights and the meanings that you make for yourself and for others.

While we are connected, we are also diverse. We are none of us the same. We are deeply unique and individual as souls, and what we have to offer is unique. Not everyone came here to get an MBA or PhD or become an Olympian athlete. Not everyone came here to invest in real estate or to facilitate corporate mergers or lead tours in Europe. Not everyone can sing opera. Not everyone is an artist. Not everyone expresses fluently. Not everyone gets, or seeks, attention. Some of us are gardeners. Some of us save cats. Some of us just live quiet lives and lend a hand when we can. But all of us are invited – no, compelled – to engage the journey of our soul. Some of us will take that to places far and astonishing and deep. And the treasures that we find there are the treasures that will leave an indelible marker for all.

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Copyright © 2011-Current | Gloria Constantin | All Rights Reserved

Posted in Being With What Is, Transformation | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments


Heaven will let me know!

Heaven will let me know!

I lived with this question for years, but I didn’t know I was asking it. Later, in my studies of transformational tools and principles, I was told that “Something unique wants to express itself through you – something that only you can give birth to.”  I thought this was, at best, a nice sentiment. It was very egalitarian as it left no one out, and it even made everyone special.  But I had also heard the phrase often enough, expressed somewhat less loftily: You are special. There is no one like you. By the time I heard it again I was already seriously inured to it and perhaps even somewhat cynical.  Of course, we’re unique; who isn’t? And that’s where, for me, the whole concept of personal uniqueness distilled itself to not having any significant meaning.

So, for quite a while, I succumbed to the enervating perception that uniqueness in and of itself is not unique. Since we are all uniquely distinguished from each other, what’s the big deal? You’re tall; I’m short. You’re muscular; I lack definition. You have red hair; I have black hair. Your eyes are green, and mine are brown. You excel in tennis, but I can sing. You’re great at math and I write more clearly than you. What’s to get excited about? Now, if you’re handy, I’m feeling some excitement. But I digress.

At some point it occurred to me that I was looking in the wrong direction, on the wrong concept, and that I was stubbornly myopic.  I decided to challenge my habitual perception of uniqueness by changing my stance that uniqueness is a common attribute with no benefits.  In a departure from my earlier pronounced state of jadedness, I asked: What exactly is it that is unique to each of us? In no time, a realization asserted itself with incontrovertible clarity: It is our soul’s longing and the agenda contained in that longing that leads us to our purpose. Our specific longings show us the paths we need to take and who we can become. So what makes us unique? What makes us who are we? So what makes us unique? What makes us who are we?

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad IV. 4.5 tells us that it is our deep, driving desire.

You are what your deep, driving desire is.
As your desire is, so is your will.
As your will is, so is your deed.
As your deed is, so is your destiny.

Here is the beginning of knowing your soul purpose: identifying your deeper truths through your deep desires.  Therein lies our uniqueness and our destiny: in our desires.  In those things that awaken our passion. What comes of following our desires? Everything.  When we base our actions on following our unique desires, we will feel compelled to seek what is correct for us. And what is correct for us also nourishes us. And there is even more to be gained from following our true desires: we will attract what we need so that we can become who we are meant to become. And the best thing of all is, by following our soul’s longing we will inevitably express our soul purpose, and there is no greater fulfillment.


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Father Mother God, Creator of all beings

Unparalleled Lover from Whom emanates boundless capacity for love,

for eternal care;

from Whom issues all balms to soothe and heal all wounds,

Who has known and suffered through us and with us all wounds that are possible –

that have ever been –

and Who has received these many hurts into His-Her Heart, speaking peace to them

holding them

caressing them

acknowledging them

accepting them

feeling their pain with them

suffering the deepest of nameless agonies with them.

Father Mother God, Creator of all beings, release us to our deeper truths, and to our highest, most majestic expression of all that is good, and right, and beautiful.

In the name of Father Mother God, we pray that all that is wounded is healed, now and forever.


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lonely shore

No matter how much we live our lives with integrity, we are going to take hits. No matter how self-actualized we are, and how many tools we have to get us back to center, we still need to slog through pain from time to time. It’s part of life here. We can’t avoid it. So I’ve put together a process for navigating pain. I hope you find it helpful.

* * * * * * *

While we understand that our access to power and transformation comes from truly loving ourselves and having healthy boundaries, taking a stand for our right to exist and to co-create with all of life will not in and of itself eliminate life’s painful experiences, or quickly sweep away the pain that we must then process, as a result. Here are some suggestions for getting through the intense emotional pain that will, from time to time, invite itself into our lives for an often undetermined stay:

• Stand before the pain; see it and feel it without resistance and create a container that is deeper and wider than the pain itself so that you encompass it. From here, embrace it, pulling it deeply into yourself. Allow yourself to fully experience the pain.

• Acknowledge the pain as an entity separate from yourself which also has a vital, energetic existence with its own purpose and its own evolutionary process.

• Do not judge the pain; have compassion for it, if you can. If you can, express love to it.

• Do not judge yourself for having the experience of deep, and seemingly endless, pain.

• Understand that pain has a purpose higher than itself, and than your self.

• Expect a breakthrough of insights as a result of allowing intimacy with the pain.

• Believe that Divine Grace is a big enough container to hold all of you and your pain.

• Open to the creative possibilities that can be generated from deep disappointment.

• Believe that life is on your side; that you are loved by all of creation; from here, begin to gently anchor yourself into a sense of a bright and happy future.

You are encouraged to develop

• a self big enough to contain the pain; try stretching your personal energy body (field) to the parameters of the room you’re in, and even outside into the world as much as you are comfortable. Your field will stretch as far as you command it to. There are no limits here.

• a profound connection to the Source Mother/Father/God that birthed you; you can begin with prayer. Talk to God/ Tao/ Highest Source. Open the line of communication with audible conversation. This is easier than quieting the mind.

• a sense of your own Divinity.

• a sense of how expansive and big you really are inside the context of your past, present and future.

• a deeper connection to all of life.

• your unique place in the web of life.

• a deepening sense of the fragility, tenderness, and profound beauty of life.

• a connection to the remarkable capacity of life to remake itself, and to transform any experience into something more/ higher.

• a capacity to see pain as the spice among the many ingredients of which the delicious soup of your life is made.

• your capacity to see the fruits that can be harvested from the pain.

• the skills and capacities that will keep your life aligned with your North Star (that is, your highest, overarching intention for love and service).

• the capacity to be still, and to be silent.

* * * * * * *

It is also important to talk to your trusted friends. They see you and love you, and they will witness your pain with you.

You might consider engaging a professional counselor, therapist or coach.

Know that devas, elementals and spirit guides are available to you; they are energy masters and can transmute energy. Give them permission to assist your transmutation with their particular expertise. You can talk out loud to them, letting them know you appreciate them. Tell them of your troubles, and ask them to help you, using their unique resources. From here, listen to your intuition, and watch for signs and messages. These come from everywhere, and from unexpected sources.

Soul retrieval can return those pieces of you that have fragmented off or been stolen. If you do not know how to journey, a Shaman can do this for you. In fact, I recommend this.

Energy work (chi gong, Reiki, massage, etc.) can break the stagnation of stuck energy; movement and flow will restore happiness.

Focus on deliberately creating happy experiences – spending time with those who see you and love you; doing things that bring you joy, such as your personal forms of creative expression, your fun activities, and your service to others.

Repeat to yourself this healing HO’OPONOPONO mantra:

I’m sorry, [your name] Please forgive me
Thank you
I love you


I’m sorry, [the name of another person, others, or situation] Please forgive me
Thank you
I love you

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Posted in Transformation | Tagged , , , , , , , | 38 Comments