A Little Happy Over and Over Equals a Good Day

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The sun on my driveway makes me happy, and so does the one bumble bee coming and going from my Creeping Rosemary plant. Today, I got out the View-Masters for Elliot, and it made me happy when he sat in my lap to check one out. It’s rare that he’s stationary, and I enjoyed watching his little finger slide the lever down frame after frame.

This writing is completely boring. It’s not meant to thrill, because I think that’s the problem. I would love a day of thrills, of exciting news over the phone, of emails that propose new ventures and projects. That’s not where I am though. I am a woman who sits on the driveway, in her dress pants, and helps her son try reel after reel. It’s not big, bold, and newsworthy, but it is my life. I’m tired of looking around and thinking things would be so much better if –.

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Our standards for “good” have gotten a little out of wack. Well, I don’t know about you. When I had my child, I wanted to go back to work. I put effort into writing, and I kept waiting to be found. It’ll be great when somebody sees me. It’ll be great when I can show people what I am really about. I’m getting lost again. Let’s head back to the driveway.

There are valuable lessons to be learned on this concrete slab. There are beetles to identify. There is the proper amount  of time to suck a popsicle before it falls off the stick. Don’t put the garden hose in mama’s exhaust pipe. Do let the neighbor’s puppy give you a little lick. All in all, it’s not loud. It ain’t the sweet breath of recognition from Oprah. It’s my beautiful boy not thinking about yesterday or tomorrow.

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Coming Out With Your Spiritual Gifts

IMG_4320There are lots of people who want psychic abilities, but ask yourself who you will tell when you sharpen them? You’re astounded by the miracles and mind-blowing phenomena in your head, around your body, and in your world, so who are you going to tell? I picked one or two people at first. Experiences were the exception rather than the rule, and a few glasses of wine did well enough to get them off my chest. Well, let’s say wine and a few thousand emails. It’s haunting at worst and ecstatic at best. No matter which way the pendulum swings the weight of what is happening to you can not be ignored. It’s like being alone in a movie theater, and it gets lonely when no one’s around to see the good parts too. So, I’ll ask you again: Who are you going to tell?

I began to mentally arrange the people in my life based on how well they dealt with my spiritual anecdotes. To me, these events had nothing to do with religion (an impolite conversation topic, I hear). Spirituality is of our own bodies and souls. Religion doesn’t need to be involved. Still, the very mention of spiritual matters left some of my friends reaching for big SCRABBLE winners like: cool, awesome, and freaky. This was a let down, because Value Meals are cool. I am getting information from other dimensions of consciousness. It’s worth more than two syllables. But it seems that two syllables are the mark for things we don’t understand. Take for example: oh shit, and no way. I wanted more though, because stuff was happening to or through me more and more.

I found it freeing to tell my mom over the holidays. She’s not religious or spiritual, and to my relief she was intrigued. She asked some questions. She understood that it was a significant happening in my life. It shook my perspective on things as much as motherhood. I talk to my sister and aunt, and a few close friends, but there was another issue. At some point you always need a label. You can’t bore the drawers off people with every other-worldly event. For one, it invites people to pick them apart. If you simply want people to understand the general situation you start hunting for your own words. Uh, psychic? Spiritualist? Intuitive? My favorite is a friend who claims I have the shine. I don’t mind psychic, but my husband suggests I don’t use it. There are too many fake psychics out there. Intuitive sounds more inclusive. I like that, because I believe we all can work to improve these latent talents.

The other day, I met two former customers of mine in a garden center. We caught up for a while and then I dished my big skeleton. Only, I built it up a bit. Before I came to my big reveal, my friend said, “As long as you’re not going to tell me you’re talking to God or anything.” Well, no. Close! “I’m psychic,” I said and relayed the story of my first experience as a medium. Her response was, “Have you seen a neurologist?” I wasn’t hurt, but she went on a shelf with some other people I know. It’s not that I have anything against those people. I just know they don’t want to discuss it. Okay, I mean discuss it, but not debate it. There’s a difference. I know, because I love debates. What I require is discussing the experience not whether it actually happened.

Whatever you choose to do, it is important to find balance. Not everybody wants to talk on that level. You don’t want to hear everything about everyone either. What you can do is learn to self-validate. Don’t undress the sacred in your life to make others comfortable. Don’t be obnoxious about your spirituality either. Find where it works to celebrate it and do so. Don’t punish yourself by wearing that feather boa where it’s not appropriate.

Worth Work

IMG_4297 The bumblebee to the left does not feel unworthy of the pollen it needs to survive, and this carefree attitude spreads throughout the animal kingdom. Robins don’t struggle over whether they deserve the juicy worm. A lioness doesn’t stalk a choice wildebeest and then give up the chase, because she feels unworthy of dinner that night. It is only at the top of the food chain where we consider our worth before acquiring what we need. In fact, we compound the problem by evaluating ourselves and then evaluating the need itself.

Raising consciousness on the planet means that we are facing ourselves like never before, and this worth issue is being magnified like never before. It’s visible in the old and very young. Not dealing with it leads to depression, addiction, violence, and even poverty. To use a gardening term, it is a dampening off of our species. It has kept generations from reaching the fullness of their heart’s potential, but the point is not to defend or disbelieve. It is to recognize the pathogen that stunts our growth.
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Worth work begins when we identify what emotions we aren’t allowing to land. We become air traffic controllers for the sunlight, the rain, the fertilizer. Forgive me for getting out of hand with the garden metaphors. You might know the former as love, respect, validation, safety, and contentment. In our private worlds we become so efficient at gatekeeping that we do it on auto-pilot. We swat away what we need with no effort at all and without the awareness that we’re doing it.

The honest look that leads to progress gets scary. Conscious living means stepping through the muck of our own constructs. You would think when the things we need get close to us, we would relax. It would feel easy and good. Not so fast. It’s like the hands of God tearing away your root ball so you are no longer pot-bound. Do you see here how your foundation was growing in a big circle again, and again, and again?

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We don’t have to force an angst-filled upheaval to make positive changes. With a spoonful of initiative, and maybe some confiding in a good friend, we can flip a switch. We can flip the whole of our suffering right on its ass. This is possible because the construct of our worthlessness wasn’t made by other people. We made it. We planted it and watered it. Opening up to tearing it out can work wonders. You see, our constructs are not sturdy pillars. They are Twizzlers that we treat like 3,000-year-old trees. It can take a trusted pal to point out a new perspective.

My favorite part of Oh, Holy Night is the mention of the soul feeling its worth. A weary world rejoiced, because it is exhausting and binding to feel worthless. It’s easy to say, “I don’t feel worthless,” but look at your life. See where things are moving as well as you’d prefer.

I’m trying this with myself, and it’s a simple exercise that changes the feeling in your entire body. I want to be a published author, but that goal is lofty. I tell myself I don’t write fast enough. I don’t have the advances so many writers had to live from in days of yore. I tell myself if I self publish, how will I ever find the time to market it? With every proclamation I seem less worthy of being on the Best-Seller’s list. My new trick is to tell myself: You already have a best-seller. I’ve written it, and thousands and thousands of people have it on their nightstands. A strange comfort fills my heart and moves out toward my extremities.  I did it once, and I can do it again. There is no fear, and I feel worthy. I can write from this place, this consciousness, far easier than the former.

What can you tell yourself to make that shift and remove the weight of worthlessness?

  • Everybody loves me. (Even if this isn’t the case, it’s worth it to take that worry from your mind.)
  • I’ve tackled my finances.
  • I make an impact when I do what I love.
  • What I have to give the world fills a need.
  • I’m partly responsible for the respect, love, validation, gratitude, etc. I don’t feel, and that is due to what I believe and tell myself.

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Why Evolving During Sleep Makes Sense

These aren't representing your Vitamin C needs.

These aren’t representing your need for Vitamin C, unless that’s C for Christine.

Having an epiphany during the sleep state is widely accepted across the boundaries of nationality, religion, and economic circumstance. While wars are fought on behalf of religion, as humans, we don’t get our feathers ruffled  by the concept that a benevolent force might be trying to tell us something. If we’re okay with that, then we accept that a benevolent force or entity can affect us in a positive way. Angels? Helpers? Guides? I believe they are available to us, and why shouldn’t the sleep state allow them to get more good work done?

I think you know what it takes to change, but this photo should make it crystal-clear. Change is a goat in a petting zoo once you’ve run out of food pellets. Change makes me want to gnaw baseboards like a parrot that’s just found the floor. The hardest changes to make fix problems we haven’t fully identified yet. We haven’t explained them to ourselves in a way that makes us go, “Oh, shit, you’re right.” When you feel stupid, your clementines shrink. When your clementines shrink, you feel weak. When you feel weak, who gives a flying Rinpoche about change? He could be sailing over the Super Bowl, and you’re like: Dude, you see the state of my citrus. I ain’t got it in me.

When we achieve a certain state, a certain sleep state, we are anesthetized. We are no longer attached to our issues energetically. If we are suffering loss, and keep mindful of that loss, we’re holding onto it energetically. We may have been  justified, but our heartbreak starts to be a loop. It starts to feed itself. It starts out light, but it begins to get used to itself. It’s a dog running a race track into your back lawn while you pray it wins the Iditarod.

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If change is to happen on our mental landscape, we are the ones to permit it. When we struggle, when our intention is there, when we feel the goat getting anxious for us to move forward, and we are still lacking fruit for discovery, surprises happen. Shifts occur. We fall up the tree. We stumble into the flow; bump into who we need: each other.

Do You Like What You’re Thinking?

If given the opportunity to choose between a pleasant thought and a negative thought which would you choose? Would you choose the thought to be angry, afraid, and sad or would you make the thought a foil-lined box of candy? Would you make the thought chop your legs off or launch you to new confidence?

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I’d choose the happy one, the one that soothes. You probably would as well, but there is evidence of many, many, thoughts out there. There are people full of fear, rage, and various degrees of discontent. Looking at how we charge ourselves with these feelings, the way we do our cell phones, is interesting.

Frustration is a good starting point. In a simple cause and effect world something happens and we respond. If that event is frustrating, a good idea is to let our frustration out and move on with a clear slate. A lot of people were frustrated by the national media coverage of Atlanta’s response to this week’s snow storm, but we don’t just let that out and go onto to pleasantness. We keep reminding ourselves how frustrated we are about it.

6:30A.M. – News coverage of the weather.

6:35A.M.- We want to spit our Captain Crunch. “This isn’t our fault! Typical, find somebody to blame! Atlanta couldn’t win either way, blablabla. I hate the media! I hate Twitter with ever cell of my body. Does this coffee taste funny to you? Screw you, Al Roker!”

10:30A.M. You’re in the car, in a city far away from Atlanta, and you get in some traffic. You start thinking about the situation there anyway. Frustration brews again, and radio reports add to it. You could change the station, but you don’t. You ride that frustration into the front window of Walgreens. “I have to get some Advil. My head hurts.”

Most of us revisit the same thoughts over and over, and it doesn’t matter if they are pin pricks to our body. When you feel frustrated, your muscles clench, your comfort decreases, your blood pressure rises, and only a medical expert could tell you what happens on a cellular level. We do know that our bodies recall trauma.

Why We Do This

We don’t like feeling frustrated, but we keep charging ourselves with a frustrating tonic. We combine frustration with self-righteousness which feels good. We’re tired of feeling wrong, being unable to affect what we’d like, so a dose of feeling right hits the spot. Every time we argue a point to the vacuum, we charge ourselves with righteousness and accept the frustration as a side order that doesn’t do damage.

Talk to someone who has anxiety. Ask them why they feel anxious, and they cannot always name a direct reason in their environment. “I don’t know why I feel this way. I’m here petting my cat.” In cases of chronic anxiety we have to ask ourselves whether the thoughts of yester-year have been running on a loop. It’s a radio broadcast that we’ve got so used to that it’s now a din. All we really are aware of is the angst in our physical awareness. Our bodies don’t feel right. We start feeling a victim to what our bodies are doing. We adjust our lives according. We either try and escape the sensation or we treat without looking deeper.

If we separate our identities from  the thoughts, if we see them as a passing train outside ourselves, maybe we could choose better cars to visit. Maybe we could endeavor to notice the good more often than the bad. Maybe the good would make our bodies feel better and even inspire us to add more happy cars.

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When we own our thoughts as permanent limbs, it’s easy to see how negative ones hurt. They make us hate who we are, because who could love someone who hurts himself all the time? Guilt builds up very easily around food and careers. We want to enjoy eating. We want to enjoy work where we spend the bulk of our time, but we tell ourselves that’s a wrong impulse. We deprive ourselves with diets until we feel guilty about every bite. Poke, poke, poke. We tell ourselves to tough out bad jobs, because it should be “the grind.”

Our bodies know that when we pick up a cupcake, it’s time to feel guilty. Our bodies know that when we smell the air freshener in the office, it’s time to start the “whatever” you feel about your job. Carry this through your day, and who do you want to be: the pin cushion or the little strawberry out in right field?

Multi-Dimensional Travel

On Monday morning, just before I woke up, I had a vision that I was sitting near the front of a classroom. A young Asian man, maybe in his late twenties, stood looking toward the back of the room the way a teaching assistant would do in college. The room had brown paneling on the walls. I was aware that the class was full, but all I saw was this young man. Murmurs came from where he was looking. People were exchanging greetings in a language I didn’t understand.

“We’re going to see what you know about politics,” an older man’s voice said. I look, and it’s the teacher, and the teacher is the Dalai Lama. “We don’t need charts and graphs,” he continued, “we’re just trying to see what you know.”

I ask somebody, anybody within earshot,”What class is this?”

“Post-Modernism in an Aeronautical Age,” a voice near my right ear says.

“Well, if you’re expecting me to know anything about politics,” I think, “you’re going to be very disappointed.”

The voice by my ear seems to relay my thoughts. That’s when his Holiness speaks to me.

“Christine Lucas, you’re a surprise guest with us here today,” he says.

You know that feeling where you’ve crapped your pants in front of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama? Well, I didn’t have it, because I couldn’t imagine any consequence to being myself.

“I am,” I heard my voice ask. My tone was: Come on. Don’t bullshit a bullshitter.

“You’re an astral projectionist,” His Holiness says.

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Public Domain WiKimedia Commons

This is news to me, because, in my twenties, I read Robert Monroe books, listened to Art Bell, and meditated for hours trying to pull that off. I didn’t even make it to QuikTrip for an astral cappuccino. I want to ask questions. I don’t want to interrupt again though.

“Where are his robes,” I ask that voice to my right. “For that matter, where is his body?”

All I saw was a head, the Dalai Lama’s head, and a couple of sheets of loose-leaf paper on my desk.

His Holiness says, “A distinguished classmate is helping you.”

The class continues and my ear buddy tells me that I don’t have to react to anything there anymore. I still hear the class, but it’s like I’m in the back of the room. There’s something else. My eyes are open. I’m awake, and I’m watching my husband get ready for work. I hear the television playing the Disney Channel, and my son calls out for juice.

“In what dimension is this classroom,” I ask.

“Eighth,” my helper says.

I get up, and the sounds of the classroom fade like lowering the volume on a radio.

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The last thing I hear is, “You’ll meet many sentient beings if you open your heart chakra.”cloverheart

Self-Talk: The Mean Girl Inside

I am not a super competitive woman, but I find that I compare myself to other women a lot. It isn’t that I need to be better than everyone. I just want to know what you are doing that is working for you. I like you. We’re alike in many ways, but it feels like you are more accomplished. It feels like you are getting stuff done better than me, and I want to know why?
IMG_0491For many years, I have assumed that you have more discipline than me. It’s why you go to the gym more often. It’s why your house is cleaner, and why you have more money. This is my self talk on a light day.

My best friend, a woman I’ve known since we were both 14, is very different than me. She has a graduate degree in business. She has a very good job that pays well, and she has a happy marriage with two healthy kids. I admire her accomplishments so much. What in the world could a woman like that include in negative self talk? What was a woman doing so much right telling herself was wrong?

  1. She never gets everything done. This makes her unhappy.
  2. She wishes that she had enough time and money to give 100% to her family, work, home, and friends, and charity. She doesn’t. This makes her unhappy.
  3. She wishes she could enjoy watching her two children enjoy a movie. She can’t, because she’s worried about what should be getting done during that time. This makes her unhappy.

But wait, she’s getting stuff done better than me. Her mind is tearing it down though. Her thoughts are running the show, and  they are providing the entertainment for an ego that chews self-worth like a garbage disposal. But she’s got a Master’s degree, and I’m just a writer with a B effing A degree?! Her laundry smells better. Whatever. It doesn’t matter. Her internal dialogue is needling away, just like mine. Where are we while this is happening?

We’re not in there. We cannot experience joy, otherwise known as peace, when we are absent. Imagine your body on the couch. Your family is gathered around for movie night. There is popcorn, a sleeping bag unzipped on the floor, the smell of butter in the air. The kids have wet hair from their baths, and you have a lap full of their bare feet. You aren’t really mom though. Your body is there,  an empty tennis ball can. You are the tennis ball. It’s up rolling around the laundry on the bed. Next it rolls down to the kitchen and the dinner dishes. Next it rolls to the bills on the ledge. Next it rolls out to the car that needs to be cleaned out. Next it rolls to the husband that hasn’t truly had your inner goddess in who knows how long. You roll under the furniture and see the dust, the forgotten areas, failures. By the time you’re back in the can, you’ve missed out and fed your ego a seven course meal.

Your self talk is now a tennis ball machine firing other people’s voices at you, those of your family, friends, coworkers. All you wanted to do was watch your kids watch Cinderella. Now you understand that you’ve been rolling all over the place. It’s time to work on staying present. Stay where you are and experience it to its fullest.

Stay tuned for the next lesson:  You aren’t even the ball.