Saturday, January 03, 2015

I Assume You

Dear friends and family,

I hope you have all enjoyed the holiday season, whether you spent it alone or with family and friends. I always learn more about myself when there are others around and when I become open to the idea that they are a reflection of me.

For example, I had this realization that nothing has any drama to it unless I give it drama. I'm referring to the drama that is often prevalent in human relationships and interactions. Someone can be acting upset about something, but them being upset is just my inference based on their voice, body language, accumulated judgments, etc..  Our story about what's going on makes that the only reality we can see, but our story is built upon a pile of incorrect assumptions. Assuming basically means that I presume to be you, or momentarily assume your identity, in order to understand you better. I think I know what you think, which is why to assume is to make an Ass out of U and Me.

I realized that one way you can test this theory for yourself is to remove all of the vocal inflections from a person's speech to see what is actually being said, which may be easier to see in an interaction between other people at first.  Take a statement like, "You never listen!" spoken very loudly with an accusatory tone. Typically something like that would trigger a bunch of stored up "stuff" (or Pain Body as Eckhart Tolle would say) in us that could make us defensive and possibly retaliatory.  Then take that same statement and remove the tone and mannerisms that make you believe this is an attack.  What you would be left with is a flat out statement, 'You never listen."  That is simply a statement about how the other person feels, and not something that needs to be refuted or taken personally.  An exasperated sigh, becomes just a sigh unless I say it means something other than an exhalation of air. An exclamation point (!) becomes a period.

I give all things their meaning.  This is why it's been said that when you wake up (become enlightened, etc.) you take everyone else with you.  When you wake up you stop believing all of your assumptions about yourself and others, and become open to how things really are before you assign a meaning or add the overlay of a story. I create drama in a situation by adding a story about what's happening, and I become at ease when I interpret things simply as they are, without a story.

As I had this realization, while spending time with some family, I realized that the peace didn't stop with me. That is to say, interactions between other people lost any emotional charge that I would have believed existed before.  For example, person A and person B have a history of conflict, and there is typically a heightened sense of anticipation when they are together, in effect there is an expectation of a snide comment to be made.

However, once this realization settled over me, their interactions lost the story I had crafted based on their history. This is why the present moment is where the peace that surpasses all peace can be found. Stories disappear when you drop your attachment to the past because the past is what makes up our beliefs  Beliefs are layers of thoughts that filter what we see into a complete fiction that only we can see, which is why no two people hear or see the same thing during a given situation.  Each person's story of what's happening is like a snowflake -- totally unique.

Part of what fueled this evolution in my consciousness was the recognition of a false assumption I made.  Based on hearing just a snippet of a conversation, I found myself going to the story of, "He must be feeling upset about what's going on right now."  How arrogant of me to assume I know how someone else feels based solely on vocal tone and their past.  I realized that I had no way of knowing, so I revisited the situation with no interpretation by viewing it from a "monotone" perspective.  Then, the self-imagined charge was gone and there was just a conversation between two people who were simply stating things.  In short, there is no conflict between other people unless I decide there is.

The ongoing challenge now is to remember this realization during interactions with everyone in every situation. The idea of stripping the vocal tone out of potentially charged conversations seems like a good pointer for me.  At least for now.  I encourage you to give it a try.  It means setting aside your beliefs for a moment, but the result is well worth it.

I always like to remind people that the inventors of the English language inserted hints here and there if we are open enough to notice.  For example, the word "believe" has the word lie built in -- be-LIE-ve. There is no such thing as a true belief, but don't take my word for it. It can be messy to determine where our beliefs begin and end, so I recommend The Work of Byron Katie ( as one method you can use to help undo the fictitious stories you have separating you from what's really real.

But you don't need The Work to try this out for yourself. Just drop your interpretation of what's happening when it feels like there is tension in the air between yourself or others.  Then remember that you are the one creating that tension and that it's all in your mind.  There really is no "other" unless and until you create them in your mind's eye, and your mind's eye is always uniquely flawed.  This is why spiritual teachers refer to all of this as a dream, and that waking from the dream is what brings peace to a world of chaos. That's not a belief but something that you can see for yourself if you are open enough.

I wish you all a happy and wonderful new present moment, regardless of what the numbers on a calendar say :)


Monday, November 10, 2014

Life's Invitation

Life is constantly inviting you to explore and rediscover your True Nature.  She is sending messages in every moment, regardless of what form it takes, inviting us home.  Attention. Here. Now, she says compassionately with every breeze, every step, every encounter. "Notice the Beauty of Simply Being," she says, knowing full well that it's impossible for people to do, until it isn't.  We're so immersed in the waves of the ocean that we can't see the sea.

When we realize we are being beckoned, through one of Life's clever tactics to get our attention, Grace has stepped in leaving an open mind and open heart.  That opening may contract and expand as we continue to engage in Life's never ending message -- Wake up!

You have been lovingly invited to
the Greatest Party of All Time -- LIFE

Date: Never ending
Time: Now
Location: Here

Turn Left on Inner Body Street
Take a right on Who Am I Really Avenue
Be Here Now will be up on your right
Stop when you get to the bridge (it doesn't really exist, and it leads you into a dark Abyss)
Words of Wisdom will come to take you the rest of the way In because it gets a little tricky at that point.

Once you get Here, take a look around to see what hasn't moved at all.  You were Here before you left, and you're still Here.  You were also Here the entire trip. Since Life never stops moving for long, there is only the trip itself -- Here and Now.  The trip is all there is, which is a wonderful relief when you embrace the whole experience of every moment.

The invitation is to awaken to, and live, the invitation with a never ending "Yes!"  

Be alert to where Fear takes you.  Fear, too, is a wonderful guide, but you need to be aware of the root of it during certain life situations.  It will disappear on you, but know that it has led you on the right path. There are no wrong turns, which scares Fear off.  And who wouldn't want to experience being free of Fear after living from it for years?  That feels a lot better than never knowing Fear at all, I guess.  Fear wants to be compassionately embraced, just like we all do. Give fear a thanks for all it has done to protect you all of your life.  You don't need it Now, and it's always Now.

Hugs Heal,


Friday, October 17, 2014

Riding the Wave of Realization

It's been quite a while since my last blog post.  Our little girl is two and a half now, and we've all been very busy.  However, I finally had some time to type up all of the scribbled on pieces of paper I have.  Below is the result of transcribing those notes.  I'm sure much of this has been written before, but these words came through me at a personal level for what I was experiencing at that moment.  My hope is that you will find some of these snippets beneficial in your search for what ever it is you search for :)

Much Love,


Riding the Wave of Realization

I realized lately that my default operating system is one based on Fear of Being Judged

Ego has to know exactly what's going on now, and wants to know what's going to happen next.  In order to do that, it has to search out all of the possible outcomes mentally, latching on to one that sounds the best (or worst).

This is what Life wants for me, right now.

The only one judging you is you. So what if you're nuts?  We all are, we're just too afraid to show it.  Which makes us totally nuts - cut off from our freedom.  Like Life in prison with no chance of parole.  Be true to yourself.  Be the Light that says, "This is the way it could Be for you if you are willing to be free." 

Dance with reckless abandon :)

The teacher is the taught.

Stories wanting to be told. Recurring thoughts and feelings wanting to be met. What do I say to them, calling for my attention?  Come, you are welcome here.  Allow it, but don't believe it.  What's it really saying?  They're all just saying I love you and want to be with you.

In order for anything to exist, there has to be more than One.

MaryJane has been an extremely powerful spiritual teacher (as is intended) in my Life, because she has shown me that EVERYTHING has been a powerful teacher in my Life.

Hopping on a Plane Alone (poem)

The play of Life.
Watching it all unfold.
InJoying every minute of it.

Fear of judgment from supposed "others," changes my behavior to adjust to what I think they think.

Vegas on My Mind

There is no such thing as a dark cloud when seen from above.

They are all on their own little adventure.  Question your thoughts on what they "should" be doing?

Open Mind Test
Change a belief for 30 seconds.  Believe the opposite for a moment.  See what it feels like. Then step back into your old belief and see how that feels.  Don't get analytical about it.  Just feel it, without judgment.

A fear of loss accompanies each feeling of joy.

Words that mean nothing
Being written by my hands
Shapes coming together
So you can understand
It means nothing

Judgment is neither bad nor good.  It just is.

It functions by itself, without m doing.  I watch with wonder and curiosity. Where is this thing going?

The wisest people know nothing.

I set the tone for everything I experience.

MaryJane - Effects - friendlier, kinder, light hearted, alert. Desire to mellow, meditate, move around, watch TV, be present with what is in an accepting way. 

Curbed only by compassion.

Contemplate, "Stripped of aspiration."  Feel it.  There is nothing wrong with experiencing it for a moment or two.

The ego is afraid to ask questions.  Heart knows there are none.

When you find yourself judging yourself, notice and laugh.

It's all unraveling as it should.

Agree. Appreciate. Acknowledge, Accept.

Normalcy blinds.

Worrying about what others think hurts physically and emotionally.  Being okay with it heals.

I don't know how to Be in this space when fully present.

Action vs. Thought - Which comes first?

Ask yourself, "What does Spirit feel like?"  Look at that animating force.

Life is full of necessary distractions.

Take a breath and shake it off.

What if it's not an insult, but stating a fact.

Cause of Seizures
Pleasing others
Feeling conflicted
in short, All Stories

Intentional struggling.

Like it or not.

Riding the Wave of Realization: Fear, Doubt, Love and Trust

My wish for my Daughter - May she grow to know the True Self

Escape into reality

Why am I thinking?

Trying to make it look new, when it already is.

Don't have a preconceived notion about what it "should" be like.

Chasing demons, like the fear of being present.

Chasing newness.  Look away and then back. It's new again.

Isn't it trippy?

The story makes it so.

Fear can turn into Bliss

Even if you think it has failed you, trust in Life.  It never ended up like we thought it would, and we're still here.

Teacher - someone who shows you something you didn't know, or didn't know that you already knew.

You made that happen by coming to that conclusion in your mind.  The mind sees what it wants to see.

With no story, it doesn't exist

Work related reminder - They'll just have to deal with it :)

Stop thoughts to see what is to be seen.

What if it doesn't happen on its own?  Am I helping?

The ultimate surrender is the ego's final recognition that is is a Lie.

Ego is past.  Balled up beliefs that shape a personality.

Belief - BeLIEf

I'm along for the ride.

Don't be the DJ of your life. Be the witness of the DJ.

Sadness - losing touch with what you thought reality was.

Trying to suppress our own happiness.  For what?

Accomplishing things makes me feel good, but to remain happy I would need to keep creating tasks to complete.

A sense of obligation keeps us stuck.

Recognize that All is perfect, first hand.  Your birthright is to know this.

You must become who you hate to know Love. You must love them for they are you.  And you're the only Love we've got.

Hide and Seek with God - Hiding in plain sight, pretending not to know for the pure Joy of finding.

That's just another manifestation of me.

You take your perceived judgments of others to be who YOU are.

What do "they" see without "their" judgments of you?

Stop pretending that they are judging you at all.

There is nothing spiritual about finding happiness (or seeking it). It's just a spiritual experience when you find True Happiness.

Spend some quiet time by yourself when you get a chance to get in tune again with silence.

We keep coming back to the old way of doing things.  We've been taught to communicate that way.  And we rejoin people where they are, pretending to be something we're not.

Meet yourself in another.

Be still.  Don't follow thoughts.  Listen.  Breath.  Smile.

Poof - you're awake :)

Am I a spy?

This is a highly intelligent body.  It's been keeping me alive for years without me.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Curiosity Killed the Ego

I've been reading (digesting really) this great book called, What's In the Way IS the Way, by Mary O'Malley and have really enjoyed her fresh take on Awakening.  The book is beautifully written, and has many places to stop and experience what you're reading throughout the book.  I've also been re-reminded about the power of just putting a question out, without looking for an answer, and allowing an answer appear.  As a result I've become more comfortable with letting Life do the driving (that it's doing anyway).

But I think one of the most powerful part of the teaching is the art of bringing compassionate curiosity to your present experience.  This sheds light on those stories that have been running us for so many years by honoring them.  Curiosity is a very powerful tool for self inquiry, so just using that nonjudgemental curiosity puts awareness back on itSelf.  Though Mary doesn't come out and say it, this is why curiosity kills the ego.  Unlike the cat, though, satisfaction ensures it is dead :)

I love this book like I love Power of Now and Loving What Is (I'm a big Tolle and Katie fan).  Hopefully you'll pick up a copy and check it out.

I had the great pleasure of interviewing Mary recently and would like to share it with you.  My apologies in advance of the quality of the video as I was experiencing some connection speed issues  I have also included the audio version of the interview.  I hope you In-Joy.

Mary O'Malley Interview (MP3)

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Mountains out of Mole Hills

I hope you are enjoying the long days of Summer.  I love seeing the sunset at 9:00 at night and it feeling like room temperature in the evenings.  Anyway, I felt compelled to write something that might help someone in some way.  I hope you enjoy.

"Don't sweat the little stuff." What great advice.  How do you know if it's little stuff?  First, ask yourself, "Will this be important tomorrow?"  If not, then it's probably one of countless fleeting moments in a day that does not need your stress to fix (as if stress ever fixed anything).

Getting fixated on the little stuff is very habit forming, and possibly life shortening if the negativity becomes prevalent throughout each day.  We can't really help it, though.  Our past conditioning leads us to act in certain ways that feel familiar, even when they are destructive.  Many people, who have been exposed to frustration since they were young, are subconsciously looking for the least little thing to make a big deal out of because that's what they know.

One way out of making mountains out of mole hills is to pause before reacting.  All it takes is a few seconds, which may be difficult to do at first, but that brief pause may let in just a tad bit of clarity.  If the pause is long enough to look at the situation at face value, then that's all the better.  When there's room for a question in that pause, try a few different ones to see what suits you.  It may be highly situational, but here are a few that might help.

Will this matter later? Does this even matter now?  Is it that important to get upset over?  Will reacting this way make any difference?  Does this situation even need a response?  Would it hurt to remain silent?  What if I just let it go?  What if this situation is actually for the best?  Am I over reacting? Is anyone really being hurt by this?  Am I making things worse by reacting this way?

Don't forget the old saying, "There's no sense in crying over spilled milk."  Being upset about something that's already happened can't change a thing.  But if you can pause before a reaction, you might be able to change everything.  Even if you have already reacted out of habit, you can go back to these questions after the fact to see if your reaction was disproportionate to the event.  Hindsight is 20/20 and you can learn a lot from your mis-takes that will affect how you deal with similar situations in the future.

This only works if you are open to change and willing to entertain the idea that you may be making a big deal out of nothing from time to time.  It may take a close friend or loved one to tell you that, and it may not be well received.  But if you're feeling stressed out a lot, let me be the one to tell you that you are taking things too seriously.  Don't be so hard on yourself/others.  We're all doing the best we can, and that's not going to change regardless of what you do about it.

Take it easier :)


Monday, June 30, 2014

11:11 - You're Headed the Right Way

I've been seeing a lot of repeating numbers lately, on clocks and various other places (i.e. 11:11, 2:22, 5:55, etc.). It has been going on for quite some time, but has escalated recently to around 5 times a day. Rather than ascribe a superstitious meaning to it, which there may very well be, I use it as a reminder. My reminder for the last week has been, "You're headed the right way." We're always headed the right way, even if it seems as though we're lost. This is just a nice tool to enjoy a Life that is encouraging rather than fearful. Since Life wants me to feel that Love, it's giving me more signs that she can be trusted (hence the escalation of repeating numbers). Now that I've been doing it a while, every time I look at the clock I remind myself, "You're headed the right way." Then it doesn't matter what the clock says.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Judge Not

Dear Family and Friends,

I've been wanting to put something out about judgement lately to shed light on this quote from the Bible, "Judge not, that ye may not be judged (Matthew 7:1)."  Interpreted one way, this implies that "God" is very judgmental (a common theme in Christianity), but, looked at another way, it actually has to do with the mirror effect of Life.  When you judge another, you are actually judging yourself, for what you see outside of yourself is just a reflection of what's going on inside of you.  Another popular analogy involves the use of a pointed finger with the illustration that when I point my finger at another there are still three fingers pointing back at me.

We live our lives in fear of being judged poorly by others (or God), mainly because we started being judged from a very young age.  A lot of it happens when we are enter school and begin being tested, scored, looked at for certain aptitudes, etc.  Often times these forms of judgments carry negative outcomes, which guides us in the direction of trying to please others.  The trick is that we never really know how others see us, so we try to predict or interpret how we "think" others judge us to be.  But we can never really know what's going on in another person's mind.  Even if they tell us what they think, that's being filtered through their own fear of being judged.

We have a few key figures in our lives, such as partners, family members, etc., that we think we know so well that we are absolutely sure what they will think of something we do or say.  But that person is actually a figment of our imagination based on our past experience with him or her.  We see our judgments about him or her instead of who they really are, and we put our self judgements in their mind so that we're seeing a shadow of ourselves in others.

In addition to the key would-be judges in our lives, we also have generic shadow figures that are conglomerates of different segments of society.  These shadows represent people of similar or different nationalities, sub-groups, personalities, etc.  We craft an identity for them based on our judgments of them and ourselves.  "Knowing" how another person sees us, based solely on past experience, gives us the ability to respond accordingly.  The response is basically defending ourselves from negative judgment, whether that means we try to better ourselves or we lash out in a defensive manner to protect the ego.

The fear of being judged is so ingrained in us that it's barely noticeable.  It's almost like each move we make is instantaneously judged by ourselves and our shadow people.  This also explains why God has been seen by many as judgmental.  We created God in our image because that's all we knew.  We can't see what we don't know, which is why there has to be an element of ourselves in everyone we see.  But, rather than debate what God really is, my hope is to shed light on one of the core dysfunctions we share as human beings.

So, "What's the solution to this dysfunctional thinking?" you might wonder.  First, know that you are projecting on another when you judge them in any way. If the finger pointing trick makes a good reminder, by all means use it.  

Then, when you notice yourself judging, stay out of a "judgement loop" where you judge yourself for being judgmental.  That's like beating yourself up for being human.  Instead, you can learn a lot about yourself through your judgements of others.  

Also, be open to the possibility that you are completely wrong as you examine your judgments about others and how they might be judging you.  The end game, so to speak, is the realization that you are completely safe from judgment.  Even if a person openly states a negative judgment toward you, they have just told you something about themselves that they haven't realized yet.  But that's for them to discover on their own and not your job to point out (unless you feel like an argument).  In other words, you're the only one capable of judging yourself and everyone else is just running around judging themselves, too.

Basically, don't take anything personally and don't assume you're right about everything.

Namaste (I bow to the Divine in you),