Being human certainly has its challenges. Our bodies manifest patterns that present in unlimited forms. Sometimes the symptoms are obvious, and other times the patterns remain hidden from our awareness. It seems to me, there is always some sort of message being sent through our bodies.
The messages may be something simple and mundane like: feed me, don’t eat that, get out of the sun, sleep more, or your body is changing. On an energetic level, we may be sensing intuitively and receiving information regarding our selves, our lives, and others. On a psychological level, our reactions and behaviors create consequences for every level of our existence. For example, stress can easily spiral out of control, and the underlying message can range from simply taking better care of ourselves to dramatic change being required.
When I look at ongoing patterns in my life, I try to evaluate a series of symptoms, events, thoughts, feelings, and experiences that seem to weave together. Initially, we may not even recognize any connection between things that are happening. The variety of signs can easily be confused and seen as unrelated events. However, that is rarely the case.
Image by Kecko
As I attempt to recognize patterns, I use a holistic approach. I try to back up, see the overall picture, and balance various aspects. Like the crop circle above, it can take some distance to see the overall pattern. Embracing a holistic perspective allows for both the details and a broader view.
A holistic life style embodies a multidimensional process: Spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical. I have to admit, this can turn on me. I can easily attribute more responsibility than is appropriate to the non-physical aspects. Sometimes, fatigue is hormonally driven in spite of me thinking that “I am over that.” I push and berate myself for not being more motivated and active. I blur the details. My perspective is out of focus due to part denial, wishful thinking (hoping I really am over it), and simple lack of awareness. Eventually, there it is: The undeniable pattern. The fog of confusion lifts as the clarity of recognizing what is familiar comes through.
This time, the physical pattern is simply a surging of hormones that I thought was long gone. As I move into acceptance and process my awareness of the last days, I also have to acknowledge the other pattern: How easy it still is to take the road that leads to spiritual oppression due to lack of physical energy.
As I lift myself up from the oppression, I can also see how the pattern is not quite as solid as it once was. There is healing. Yet, healing embodies a tremendous amount of acceptance. Accepting that we are not born human to be perfect, have healthy bodies free of the effects of aging and illness, and nothing is permanent.
So, what is the message of the recent cycle? Maybe it is simply to be kinder and more patient with myself. A gentle reminder to not get caught up in expectations and illusions that doing is more important than being regardless of how being may be taking shape and form in the moment.
Image by Pilottage
It can be a fine line between staying grounded in the present while opening to a glimpse of the future. I am grateful for what I have, yet I also know that change – big change – is inevitable. I want to appreciate where I am, what I have, and enjoy the opportunities of my life as much as possible. I try to use the awareness of change – unknown transformations – that lie ahead as an opportunity to cherish the moment. Yet, the challenge remains: How do we focus on a potential future in order to manifest and take responsibility for our lives, and still remain present? Or, maybe the real question is: How do we look ahead from a soul perspective while grounded in physical reality?
Maybe it’s easier for some, but in my experience the tendency to shift into grasping can be strong. My monkey mind starts swinging through the trees in search for the what, when, where, and how of what the future holds. It’s as if I can support anything as long as I have an idea of what “it” is.
The truth is; all that leads to is pain and suffering born from an attempt to avoid fears of the unknown. I’m not referring just to what may or may not happen physically. I talking about the underlying feelings of inadequacy, unworthiness, and behaving irresponsibly that chasing details and structure serve to avoid.
Often, we just aren’t aware of the genuine opportunity that the universe is presenting. Our defenses convince us that we “should” pursue our futures with diligence, commitment, and passionate force. Otherwise, we are irresponsible and slackers according to a lot of societal and cultural messages.
Manifesting is not something that can be forced into existence. Genuine being, abundance, well-being, and quality of life are not born from desires to “make something happen.” The deeper question is: What does my soul want – not what our doubts and uncertainties seek to calm hidden fears. Manifesting our dreams happens when our souls are aligned with our lives.
Fortunately, I have been through the process of radical change enough to recognize the desire to take off and track what lies ahead. Now, I know better. The future will not manifest better, brighter, and more peacefully by knowing what will unfold. Trust, faith, and patience will guide me ahead in the most genuine and direct manner.
There are always signs that help us glimpse a change in our path. It’s a matter of whether we allow ourselves to see them. Synchronicity presents messages that are initially discounted or denied, and signs can be easy to miss. Sometimes what is taking shape and form exceeds our dreams, and we are so conditioned that it can be like only seeing in black and white instead of full color. Limiting perspectives can easily drown out authentic guidance and support.
Embracing the unknown is scary business. The reality is: Even when we attempt to manifest a bright and shinny future, it is still unknown. Authentic psychics and clairvoyants frequently say how the future is still in flux. Just because they “see” it, doesn’t mean that is what will manifest.
As I attempt to catch a glimpse of what the future holds as a guide, I try to stay patient. Instead of giving into fear of the unknown and trying to force some vision into my consciousness, I simply open to the abundance of possibilities. Opportunities mean choices. Choices mean freedom. Freedom to allow our paths to unfold while opening to guidance and nudges along the way. Centering in soul awareness enables me to appreciate the abundance of possibilities that lie ahead instead of chasing them down.
(This blog was originally published on June 30, 2011. Due to a program crash, I had to re-post. All rights reserved by Sallie Odenthal)
I admit it, lately I’ve been feeling a bit lost. So, I looked to my bookshelves for inspiration. It never ceases to amaze me how we can “randomly” pick something and it seems as though it was written just for us at that moment. I have a book called Handbook for the Soul. It’s a collection of short writings from well known teachers. I closed my eyes and opened to: Passion and Soulfulness by Nathaniel Braden, Ph.D.. What he wrote summed up some issues that I’ve been contemplating lately.
One point that the author made is that when he is away from something he loves for too long, he feels “discouraged, or at least, dispirited.” This caught my attention. I realized that maybe what I’ve been feeling lately is in part because I’ve been away from creative expression. In other words, absence does not make the heart grow fonder; embracing what we love does.
For me, I would say that discouraged and dispirited are a good description of when I feel lost. Life is a journey and a process. The road can lead us in endless directions. Sometimes we feel lost, other times, we find our way. Life events unfold and present us with an unlimited variety of motivations, experiences, and options. Whether physical like illness, emotional reactions, mental ruminations, expanding awareness of all that is, or a combination of all of the above, the realities of our being shift and steer us on or off course.
I realized a couple of things: One is that I had gone off road for a while and that had left me feeling discouraged. Going off road in this case means that I have been away from creative activities that bring me satisfaction and nourishment for too long. The result is that I’ve been struggling to get back on track creatively and energetically.
It's a Bumpy Road by Vicky-D40
The other thing that I realized is that instead of waiting for motivation to magically manifest as constructive action, like writing for me, I need to just do it. Stop waiting to open my eyes and be back on smooth pavement. Instead, drive on the bumpy road that leads back to the highway. My conditioning says to push if I need to, but in reality I know that what I really need is to stop pushing. Stop pushing my expectations that I need to write something wonderful, entertaining, helpful, etc. which is beyond my level of development anyway.
So here I sit typing: Trying to find my way back to a happier, healthier, and more balanced sense of self. As I write, the process alone starts to serve as a marker that gently guides me out of rougher terrain and into hope. Feeling dispirited opens to faith and trust as I attempt to balance action and stillness. I acknowledge the suffering that conditioning and expectations create and simply let the underlying pain be seen and felt without needing to “do” anything about it.
Observe, breathe, let go, move on. Where I was is not where I am at. I am sure that I will feel lost again, but I also know that I will be found because we are never truly lost. Our souls, guides, and all that is are patiently waiting for us to find our way back and to create space for our souls to be heard.
Finding my way back isn’t fast and easy. I’m still on the dirt road, but I’m off the gravel and can sense the highway ahead. I am simply allowing my thoughts to unfold with keystrokes that serve to steer me home. Funny, once I finally started, it was easier than I thought it would be. As usual, the joke is on me, and the journey can be fun potholes and all.
Oprah said something on her final show that caught me by surprise. She mentioned that she was fortunate to be blessed with her calling aligning with her ability to earn a living. It wasn’t the message that surprised me; it was the realization that I was harboring an illusionary belief that triggered a reaction. My first thought was “why would I think that one’s calling and ability to earn money would be aligned?” Silly me, I thought. In reality, there are very few beings on this planet that know the luxury of manifesting their calling in a way that supports them financially. I realized that I have consciously and unconsciously been making choices regarding my life style and earning money with this underlying illusion – or what I call a belief – for my entire life.
There are plenty of layers to the formation of beliefs relating to working, money, doing what you love, and finding your calling. Bookstores are filled with self help messages that espouse finding your calling and the money will follow. From motivational teachers to self help gurus, there is an abundance of guidance that implies that if we follow our bliss, find what we love, and just do it, the money will manifest. Our path will become aligned with all aspects of our selves and the wonderful harmony of earning a living without really being focused on the reality of economic gain will magically unfold as we are transformed into a life of prosperity. Cinderella will never have to return to the horrible life of poverty, lack, and chores. Let’s face it, if we could change our lives that easily in 10, 12, or however many steps are put forth, we’d all be happier and wealthy. In my opinion, it’s never that simple.
The Winding Path to Serenity by tibchris
On a more personal level, we have the role modeling of care givers – or takers – that slowly form into an unconscious belief system. For example, I had multiple people in my life that seemed to convey that working brought misery not reward. Consequently, the prospect of having a job just to earn money seemed like selling my soul. Of course, there are times when needing to earn money is required to clothe, house, and feed our bodies, but to what degree? At some point it becomes relative. I’m not referring to those who are struggling to minimally survive and/or cope with crisis, but to those of us who have the comfort of choosing a simpler life in order to get by on less. I still ask myself: What do I really need to be happy, healthy, and well, and do I need more money to accomplish that? I guess it’s a bit obvious given my eclectic and sporadic work history that my answer is almost always “no, money will not bring me what I genuinely desire.”
So what do I genuinely desire? My hope is to be of service, to find my calling, and trust that I will provide for my well-being on an economic level too. The tricky part is balancing the realities of what it takes to find one’s calling with the necessities of surviving as a vulnerable human being in a community that requires money in order to exist beyond primal needs alone. Sometimes, we will need to earn a living that is not aligned with our calling. If we’re fortunate, as I have been, we are able to find our calling in spite of not experiencing economic gain as a byproduct. I do not think that there is some universal law that says: Do what you love and the money will follow. Prosperity and abundance may still manifest, but the source may not be directly related to your life’s purpose.
I prefer a more holistic view. I ask questions like: Is my life working? Are my well-being and the well-being of those that I share my life with being served? Am I growing, expanding my awareness, and healing? Are my doubts fueled by genuine concerns or are they the by product of conditioning? I trust that I am more than who, what, and how I was taught to be. I let go of the expectations that my search to manifest my calling – to find the vehicle in which to voice my soul’s purpose and to move out into community – will automatically bring financial gain.
I have spent decades searching for my calling and life path. I’ve read books, processed my past, let go of limiting beliefs, and tried to open to whatever presents to my awareness. What I now realize is that I have questioned my path because I was confused about how to earn money. I am still confused. But, my realization that money and finding your authentic expression are not necessarily linked creates more breathing room. Maybe letting go of the assumption that my life path will bring economic gain in a painless manner (in spite of learning curves and bumps along the way) will open the door to change.