Such gratitude I feel in this moment now. I could say it’s because it snowed last night and the scenery fills my heart, and I feel the happiness of the soil. But I imagine I would feel this way anyway, just being.
This post is in answer to Barbara’s True Awakening Experiences Part II. Several bloggers participated in the first one, two years ago, and she created a free downloadable e-book. She may do that again. Though I wasn’t a blogger 2 years ago, I am honored to participate this time. Thank you, Barbara.
My first memories are of our 3 acre woods in Maryland, where I grew up. The very first memory is in the garden with my beautiful mother, as she lovingly showed me “spit bugs” in the small branches of certain plants. She was kneeling, and I only came up to her arm pit, so I must have only been about 2. I loved her. I loved the dirt and bugs and frogs and snakes and flowers and bunnies and birds and squirrels. I just loved. As I grew, I followed creeks, caught salamanders, brought home tadpoles and watched them turn into frogs, spending almost all of my time in Nature.
We went to the Episcopal Church, where I was baptized as an infant and confirmed at 12. There, I was taught that God was Love. I still know that.
My mom used to sing me to sleep with a little prayer song, Jesus Tender, Shepherd Hear Me. I sometimes sing that to myself in my mind if my inner child can’t get to sleep at night.
When I was 10, my mom got sick. It was 1963. Though she wouldn’t admit it, the angels told me she was dying. When she did, I wanted to go with her. I was 12.
Several months later, I was laying on her bed, longing for her. I noticed a little pamphlet. My brother had left it there. He must have been doing the same….longing. He was 14.
It was written by C.W. Leadbeater, and put out by the Theosophical Society. The first paragraph said, “You have lost by death one whom you loved dearly, one who perhaps was all the world to you; and so to you that world seems empty and life no longer worth the living. You feel that joy has left you forever, that existence can be for you henceforth nothing but hopeless sadness, naught but one aching longing for the touch of a vanished hand and the sound of a voice that is still.”
Well, he had me at “You have lost by death!” He knew just how I felt. He went on to talk about how there really is no such thing as death. He talked about reincarnation and that we are Spiritual Beings having a human experience – that what we think of as our life, is only one day in the life of our Soul. Every word rang true to me as if I was remembering, rather than reading.
I talked to my brother, David, and he shared that he had found a wealth of spiritual information through our cousin, who started taking us to the Theosophical Society to hear lectures. They also had a library, and I read every book I could get my hands on. So, that’s how it all started. Nature, church and my mother’s death
When I was 16, I found the Edgar Cayce Foundation and spent some time there, learning about all kinds of metaphysical things, like astrology, numerology, intuitive healing, chakras, auras, etc. My cousin took me to New York to get my first Karmic Life Reading by Dr. Neva Dell Hunter. The day after I graduated from high school, at 17, I went to New Mexico where Dr. Hunter lived. She had a metaphysical center there. I stayed with my cousin, who did numerology for the people at the Center.
I went to the community college there, and met some wonderful people. I moved in with a friend. We discovered hallucinogenics. Wow. To me, they were very spiritual, and I enjoyed experiencing them outdoors. I really got what everyone at the Center was talking about – that we are all One. Everything is One. I went far away from my body and ego mind. I didn’t know my name. As thoughts of friends passed through my awareness, I couldn’t tell if they were from this lifetime or another. I looked at my watch and had no idea what it was. Time didn’t exist. It said 12. I knew that was the middle of something, but I didn’t know what. I saw exquisite patterns of lavender, blue, purple and pink webbing, connecting everything. I didn’t know if I was awake or asleep or dead or alive, and it so didn’t matter. I could see sounds, and smell color. I have to admit, I ate a lot of magic mushrooms over that period of time, both alone and with deep friends. I would hang out in the Collective Unconscious, sometimes scary parts of it, and sometimes very beautiful. I had to faces fears, and call on the Light to get me through the hard parts. I always prayed for protection during a trip.
Soon, I learned of Ram Dass. He had taken a lot of psychedelics and had come to realize that you could get there through meditation. I followed his teachings for a while. I love him still. He taught me a lot about Divine Love and to Be Here Now.
I read, listened to talks, meditated, but also started to not take care of myself very well.
I got really sick, died a couple of times, and had blissful experiences in that place. My healing process led me to massage school that had a spiritual aspect to it. I also went to a psychotherapist, and did intense ego work and inner child work, for a couple of years, forgiving myself and others, as well as learning to love myself again. I was a massage therapist for 5 years, which led me to the desire to be a psychotherapist, which led me to my first Master’s program in Spiritual Psychology. It also led me to Psychosynthesis, which is the modality I used most, which is quite spiritually oriented. Both the Master’s program and the 2 year Psychosynthesis training involved a great deal of inner work. As Ram Dass and also John Bradshaw say, “if you don’t do your ego work, it will pull you back.” I didn’t want that!
My career mostly focused on spirituality, personal transformation, death, dying and bereavement. I continued to grow spiritually all along. Elizabeth Kubler Ross and Steven Levine were big influences then. For the last 20 years, I have been doing SpiritWalks, which I developed. They involve working with people outside and letting Nature metaphor their issues. Nature always shows up like magic. Spirit is always present.
Since I was doing a lot of personal ceremony with people anyway, I became a minister through the Universal Life Church so I could legally marry people.
Throughout my life, I studied many different spiritual concepts, belief systems, religions and shamanic studies. I took in the parts that rang true, let the rest go, and formed my own eclectic belief system. It changes a little here and there, but I still come back to the same thing. God is Love. I feel Spirit the most in Nature, and in relationships with people I love. My inner child has also remained strong.
These days, I am focused on the present moment. I am focused on Happiness, Gratitude, Love and Light. I have been learning Tibetan Tai Chi over the last 5 years, and try to practice that every day. My main spiritual practice, though, is being outside in Nature. Meditating there. That is where I feel closest to my Self and closest to God…which are One. In Nature, I feel One with Source. I AM.
I love this WordPress Community, and my other close friends, sharing our journeys with each other.
My challenge, as most of you know, is how we are treating the planet. My challenge is in finding that balance between activism and just being. From a higher place, a Soul place, I can Love everyone. In my not so high place, I judge and blame and spew anger vibes to those other people that are causing all this chaos, and rape of my Mother. If we truly are all One, we are those people. I know I contribute to the chaos with angry thoughts. It doesn’t help.
My desire is to imagine everything whole and well for the Highest Good. Not putting my head in the sand. Believe me I know what is going on. I have many soap boxes I like to stand on and rave about, from corporate greed to how we treat children, how we treat animals to what we are doing to wildlife, climate and to Gaia.
But imagining it fine and perfect is putting the vibration of that thought and emotion into the ethers, where they glom onto other like vibrations. My desire is to only Love. What would Love do in this moment? My desire is to be in a place of gratitude and happiness, and putting that vibration out there. I Love this planet. Loving Her is what I am doing these days. I mostly feel like just Being, and Creating more Love in the world. Loving myself, Being my Authentic Self. My Higher Self knowingness, wisdom and intuition guide me. Nature guides me. My Inner Child guides me. My Heart Guides me. The All That Is guides me. Divine Love guides me.
So, I have unfolded gradually like a spiral.
I do what I can, balancing activism and harmony. It doesn’t help to be furious. Maybe we are all in the caterpillar stage, devouring everything in our path. Chaos. Maybe we will go into our hypothetical cocoons and all of life will emerge like a butterfly. Maybe chaos has to happen for an emergence. I don’t know. I really don’t. I just AM.
It looks like the next person is Vicky, but her address isn’t up. Check out Barbara’s site to read all the other stories.