Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Are You Following Your Inner Guidance...or Everybody Else's Ideas of What is Right and Wrong?

Many religious teachings tell us that we must continuously 'fight against our sinful, unclean nature.' Is it any wonder that we live in such a troubled world?
Even the Ten Commandments are based upon what we shall NOT do... there is nothing in them that even hints that we, as human beings, are less than prone to corruption. Sort of a guilty before proven innocent type thing.

Am I suggesting that if it weren't for the instilling of religious dogma, that we would have no worries and woes in this world? ...No, but they are, perhaps, the heaviest of all the contributors -- especially Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
It starts when we are infants. If we succeed in swallowing, without gagging, that little spoonful of Gerber's liver, we are rewarded by Mommy's big smile and a hearty "Good girl!" If we slept all night without crying for a feeding, it means we were a 'good baby.' In early childhood we were programmed by the use of the words "good" or "bad." Our 'reputation' depended upon what our parents, elders, and other authority figures thought was 'good' or 'bad'. This is how they had been trained. When we became teenagers, we weren't rewarded with 'good boy' or 'good girl'...because by then The Lectures and Rules were in place...after all, at that age we REALLY needed to be controlled. Most of us, during those years, truly experienced the Art of Resistance...or we simply learned to lie and be sneaky... and then, of course, God would take over and his mysterious ways were a constant threat. It was then we began to understand, however, that the main objective of our lives was to agree with and please others. Naturally, not all of us rebelled or reacted in the same exact way. We still don't. Thank goodness. That might be a bit frightening.
Most threats leveled at us, coerced us into 'behaving' or 'conforming.' They were most generally based upon religious interpretation of what is Right or Wrong. We emotionally felt the concepts of Heaven or Hell long before we intellectually conceptualized that scary theory!
Sadly, and usually unrecognized, much of our training was fear based... Even the most loving and caring of parents found it easy to warn us of the dangers and pitfalls of talking or acting in such a way that was not pleasing to everyone else... rather than pointing out that if YOU feel good about yourself and what you have done... this is truly how you serve others happily and well.
Loving parents want their children to 'do well' and to be treated well and admired -- because they believe it will reflect directly back on their parenting skills. They hurt when their child hurts. So I'm not saying parents or other authority figures are ill intended. But to many threats, admonitions, lectures, warnings, suggestions, etc etc etc...are fear based. Some fear is good. It IS a good idea to teach your child not to run into the street without looking.
There is a big difference, however, between the kind of 'useful fear' that is based on physical survival skills ...and the kind of fear that has to do with worrying about the reactions of how society might or might deem you 'a successful person.'
I've talked before about people who are continuously making it known about what they do not do..."I do NOT smoke, drink, cuss, do drugs, spit on the sidewalk, and!-- I definitely do not like rock 'n roll or sex." Etc. I'm sure you get the picture. They are 'purists' who believe they have 'god's approval' by what they do not do. Also referred to as self-righteousness.
One could categorize these "don'ts" under the umbrella of: fear and guilt conditioning. Even if its all for 'one's own good.' It is assumed, we don't know what is best for us and others do, including some religions idea of 'god.'
Imagine growing up believing you are basically a good person who in self empowered, knowing he or she creates their own reality, and can follow his own inner guidance...should be the ultimate goal of every parent, teacher, or authority figure in a child's life. If that seems too idealistic and very unrealistic... than what is the solution? Pass more laws, be more strict, be more punishing, be more religious, keep declaring war on, etc etc etc ... We all know how well that works.
Imagine being taught to trust yourself and your feelings! Imagine 'getting caught' doing something kind and helpful for others -- and then hearing "When I do that, I feel so good!"--rather than "that makes you a good child." Imagine sharing your feeling experiences instead of making demands that are not to be questioned. Imagine actually telling someone 'I respect your right to your opinion even though I don't see it that way.' Imagine telling children 'You can just walk away--you don't have to argue or fight.' Oops, then we might not have any wars...
Imagine raising children without constant threats of 'getting into trouble'. There is nothing more frightening to many people than the blatant honesty of a child. They are the bane of control freaks. Imagine a child free of worrying he will displease crabby old Aunt Bess and be punished. Imagine a child thinking he is not committing a sin because he dislikes tuna casserole-- in spite of 'all the starving children in the world.' Imagine allowing a child to think for himself and assure him that he will learn what feels good and what makes him feel badly. A conscience is not formed!--its been there all along. This kind list could go on and on and on and ON!!!!
By the time we are adults we need no more training. We have been thoroughly trained in what 'other people' expect. We know how to act and what to say if 'we want to get ahead in life' and be an exemplary citizen of society. I realize there are exceptions... I also realize that what I am saying prompts a lot of "yeah, but's" and "what about THIS?!" or "That!?" We have become AFRAID to take chances and believe what we KNOW in our hearts we are capable of.
When we start to Awaken to our true potential (not talking 'financial success stories' here!) --we do so in many different and diverse ways. When we begin to become Aware on a metaphysical level, we start finding our own paths to find freedom from all the ties that bound us so tightly to the expectations and 'rules' of the outside world -- some of which we have never questioned before. When we first initiate believing in ourselves, learning to trust our instincts and intuition, and start allowing ourselves to believe in our own innate goodness, --we find this can be very difficult., The Era of the 60's gave rise to a new consciousness, a new independence of thought and action. It went, most naturally, from the one extreme to the other. It had to. But what gave rise to that new consciousness was the bravery of those who dared challenge 'the system' and firmly believe that there were things that were so much greater than the old beliefs we dared not question before. Hence--the motto: Question Authority came about. Not out of disrespect -- but borne out of the need of waking to our own Inner Power -- and not blindly submitting to all things outside of us that are always other people's ideas of what is Right or Wrong.
When enough people agree within themselves to abide by the second line of the Rede: and adopt an attitude of perfect love, and perfect trust ... those of us who are wanting to see the change this could bring about... will see it. Again, as always, it is the Law of Attraction at work. What we focus upon is what we will get more of. The whole world does not have to heal before our own worlds heal... but that is how it starts. Like the journey of a thousand miles beginning with one step. Without worrying about what anybody else is thinking or doing or believing...we only need give our loving and trusting attention to the person whose face we see in the mirror.
As in John Lennon's song "Imagine": "Some say that I'm a dreamer...but I know I'm not the only one..." I know many of us are right there...with each other. And as Mama Cass sang: "There's a New World Comin'...and It's Just Around the Bend."
The following article is based on the One Law of the Wiccan Rede...and The One Law according to Seth. I hope you'll read it, too. I think its fairly liberating! :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Do Whatever You Please

Imagine being told you could do whatever it is you wanted to do. Let's just, for a moment, ignore "An it harm none"... What do you think a typical reaction would be to that suggestion of 'doing what you please'.. Do you think most people would be horrified--their first reaction or response would be that chaos and destruction would then rule supreme? ALL of us, someplace in those little unrecognized areas of our subconscious might also think that 'do as you please' is a ridiculous idea. Could this be because we (good ol' enlightened us!) possibly do not truly believe in the innate goodness of mankind and in the Divine Order and Unfolding of everything??
According to Seth there should be but ONE commandment: Thou Shalt Not Violate. ....'violate' meaning the same as 'harm.' Seth further says: Thou shalt not violate against nature, life, and the earth... which pretty well covers everything... But, we must be careful not to over simplify -- this one 'commandment.' Viewed through some of our troubled filters, beliefs, and ideas, we can misunderstand and start judging. Our Inner Being, intuitively does know what it means and how it applies.
An It Harm None would require having an attitude of allowing towards others whose ideas and beliefs might be different from ours. Do What Ye Will doesn't mean we are free to rob a store in order to get money so you don't have to work. Or to smack somebody upside the head because we dislike what they have done or said. Justifiable as it may sometimes seem...that is still a violation. An It Harm None also includes doing no disrespect to yourself...not just others.
Doing as we will does imply that we have a right to not listen to or adhere to the rules of the status quo... We do not have to conform and be like everyone else. Dressing in a way that is purposely offensive to others can be harmful...Not necessarily inflicting physical harm...but doing mental and emotional harm to another with the intent to debase or humiliate them; showing no respect. Neither can we claim a 'violation' against us just because those crazy Goth kids are all dressed in black. Wearing a bikini to a funeral is pushing towards the violation catagory! Even if we find that someone else's demeanor may be 'insulting to us' ...Remember the Four Agreements: Don't take it personally. Judging others is NEVER honoring ourselves.
When it comes to our personal choices, be it what we say, do, or how we 'act' --it all comes down to one thing. Intent. We inwardly know if our intent is based in love (allowing) and well meaning or if we have an unrecognized or not admitted to hidden agenda.
Abiding in Love is not about being 'goody goody'... but allowing...and trusting that the Guidance from within is really there for us. If we intend to harm none it means we are willing to listen to the voice within. It is important that we Intend is for our Highest Good and The Highest Good of All Concerned. If we have ill WILL come back to us....What we give out is what we receive... I'm not positive about the 'times three' ...but times once...yes indeed.
What Seth is saying, and what is meant by the Rede, is the same thing that Abraham talks about. "You have to stop giving a fig," as Abe says, "about what other people think," --about what others expect from you, and what other people say about you. We have got to do what makes us genuinely and sincerely happy. We still have jobs to go to, chores to do, etc etc and even though we may be overly thrilled each and every time, we make 'our appointed rounds'... If its a real struggle, maybe things need to be re-evaluated.
When we follow our heart, we FEEL our connection with Source...and amazingly, when we are feeling that connection...the Love and Joy spreads to others. They then benefit from it!...if they so choose. Serving others can only 'work' when we feel genuinely happy about what we are doing (or how we are serving)... and not by being motivated by fear, guilt, or the word 'should.'
This means letting go of so much of what we have been taught is the 'right thing to do according to everybody else.'
This may all sound selfish...but its a good selfish. It's honoring the self. We can't give away what we don't have....including love for ...and acceptance of ...self.
We cannot expect from others what we deny ourselves. It's amazing how upset we can get over even the tiniest things that others may say or do. But don't we do the same thing to ourselves at times? So much of it is simply learning to Let Go ... with with the spirit of love and trust. I recently found out the true meaning of the words Letting Go...because of the crossing over my much loved cat, Rowan. Letting Go sometimes means giving up all reasoning and intellectualizing... and just turning it over to the Source and believing and trusting in the Divine Order of things.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Being Willing To Let Go of we want to?

I am not real sure about how much that cute picture will relate to this article...but I think I can make it 'fit.' Nerd Actually, I think it will work pretty well.
We don't always want to let go of our problems. Like the kitten--we cry WAIT...I'll fix it...but maybe 'later'...not right now.
One of the memorable scenes out of any movie I"ve ever seen was done by Robin Williams in "Moscow on The Hudson" in which he painfully explains that he doesn't want to let go of his misery. "It is part of me. It is familiar to me. It is home to me. I know every inch of it...I take comfort in it" etc, and without it, he would be lost and vulnerable.
We have a tendency to develop a sort of co-dependant relationship with some of our problems. It took me years to stop fostering certain negative daydreams in which, I, naturally, was always the misunderstood and unappreciated victim. I would especially do this at bedtime. Many a tear fell on my pillow (sounds like a C & W song, eh?) but that did not exclude the daytime when I had a moment or two to 'stop and think' about it!
Repetitive negative daydreams or holding a problem in the foreground of one's mind is more 'habit' than anything else. Our minds are SO computer like...much more so than we realize, and unless we do occasional mind-checks, its easy to get swept away by how we have actually programmed our minds to respond.
What I am loosely calling 'problems' means any situation in our lives that we see as giving us pain, grief, worry, stress: be it circumstances or relationships.
Do we hang onto our problems on purpose? Part of the time, yes...some of the time, no. Some people seem to form an 'identity' that is centered around certain of their problems. Enters Here: The Law of Attraction. What we focus on...we get more of. The part of the mind that is easily programmed is rooted in the frightened ego. It demands constant attention or reassurance. Unfortunately, we tend to believe the part of the ego that we ourselves have unconsciously trained!--and then we end up believing: 'this is who I am...this is what happened to me...this is how I always react...this is 'just me.'... This is what Buddhism refers to as Attachment. What we are attached to (negative OR postive) is what we mistakenly believe we are. Being willing to give up our problems means being willing to give up that kind of thinking about oneself ...AND...know and believe it can be done.
Sometimes we would rather stay attached to a 'bad memory'-- thinking "it is the only way I can hold on to that person," which is a false sense of closeness. Attachment wears many masks.
The mind will eventually develop a craving (addiction) for certain misery-laden emotions and being willing to Let Them Go seems like 'betrayal.' It's a bit like alcohol. Nobody with normal, functioning taste buds LIKES the initial taste of alcohol,,,but one can coerce the self into 'liking it' by constant repetition and determination... Sometimes, sadly, that 'acquired taste' takes one over.
Some people believe their problems and stories make them interesting to others. They like the attention they get when others are 'helping' them. The 'helpers' get their dividends, too.
Dwelling on ANY kind of a problem or 'bad' situation--makes it worse. It eventually becomes a mind-set (or system of beliefs)...What we keep repeating to ourselves even in thought... becomes a 'belief.' And it IS done, unto us, according to our beliefs... like it or not.
I recognize, in myself, how I have a tendency to do this with money. And even with the so called logical or realistic facts or 'yeah but's' I could muster about a financial situation -- it will only ADD to my 'problem.' Again, ever present LOA at work.
Facing reality is NOT always the best idea if one takes the idea that 'nothing can be done about it.' ... Whenever we say 'that's the way it is' or I can't help it and there is nothing I can do' all w e do is reinforce it and make it worse. This is attachment to a it or not.
Accepting what is, or 'making peace with what is' -- is different in that one can look at 'what is' as something one has manifested...either deliberately or unconsciousnly. Accepting what is, in the moment, doesn't imply I'm Gonna Hang Onto It Forever! .... It means 'owning it', accepting what you have helped to create, not resisting it, giving up the blame, and truly wanting to get back in alignment with who you really are. The only thing that holds ANY manifestation into place, whether it be an illness, a financial problem, a relationship, any kind of situation -- is the unchallenged, deeply accepted BELIEF that "The PROBLEM IS THERE and Will Stay There forever and ever, amen...." Hanging onto blame is another form of attachment.
I know it isn't always easy to UNattach oneself from any kind of 'realistic problem.' I can honestly say, in my own case, that if would determine (choose!) to adjust my thinking, be willing to accept new and better beliefs, and ALLOW the universe to help me... I could solve any number of 'problems.' This would require me to quit identifying with the problem just because 'the facts' support it.
It's easy for us to be spiritual on an intellectual level... but as Lazarus would tell us... Choosing and implementing new beliefs require Faith and Trust. He described Having Faith and Trust as l walking off the edge of a cliff in the dark... believing and knowing you will be supported. Seth said to us we will always 'land on a pillow'... we just have to believe it, then recognize it.
I believe this is something we all need to work on...but hey!--I see us making SO much progress!-- by leaps and bounds. So what if we fall down occasionally~! That's when the learning takes place... And besides, It's SUCH a good feeling to get back up again!! Nice to have the pillow there, too~! Nerd