I used to think that my anxiety, or what some know as panic attacks, had real life corollary events or causes. Similarly, I expected that some change in the world of manifestation would be the remedy. Wrong on both counts apparently. I have witnessed and weathered terrible crises with remarkable aplomb, collapsed into helplessness when absolutely nothing averse was occurring and experienced no perceptible shift inwardly at all when conditions improved or deteriorated. Now that’s just weird if you ask me!
I do have a strong preference for equanimity, even cheerfulness. And I am willing to adjust whatever is necessary to restore my equilibrium. But sometimes the only thing that seems to work is a pill, prescribed by someone credentialed and taken according to directions. I’m not sure why that should be for me an occasion of shame; Ernest Holmes said there was as much God in a surgeon’s knife or a pill as in a prayer, and I have believed him on everything else.
So I hereby admit there are times when I weep uncontrollably for no apparent reason and times that I tremble with dread and other times when I am vicious in speaking to my most dearly beloved. But not today. I saw it coming and took the pill. I will return to reading (Fire and Fury, nothing upsetting there!) playing Words With Friends, listening to it rain on our metal roof, making beef stew and cornbread for dinner and gently responding to the dear man around whom my life revolves with good humor and gentle affection. I guess that makes the little pill a bloody miracle, huh?
Sometimes those of us who practice applying the Law of Attraction are accused of blaming the victims. I avoid this unnecessary and unproductive unkindness by not speculating on how your life is going or why. It is only useful when I apply my knowledge and understanding of this Law to myself and my own experiences. When I share what I learn, I become even more clear about it. If that resonates with you, then you can use it. If not, leave it. I don’t claim to know what’s best for anybody else. With that disclaimer in mind, here goes…
As that which is seen is made up from that which does not appear, or, since thoughts really do become things, I get that my life is my consciousness writ large. I don’t actually know or monitor my thinking carefully enough to be consistently aware of it, so it is helpful to me that it shows up in form in an ongoing fashion. And since the process of creation always moves from ideation to manifestation, it is true that “body is the last to know!” This time lapse can obscure a shift in consciousness that hasn’t made it into physicality yet, while my body is busy acting out a previous and unskilled mental attitude. This discrepancy, if not acknowledged, can lead to misinformed and counterproductive self-criticism. If I allow for the limitations of the space/time continuum and acknowledge that I am progressing nicely in my enlightenment process, I can nurture rather than impede my own growth.
So the appropriate question for me to ask myself is not: “Whatever was I thinking that brought on THIS?” but rather: “Isn’t it lovely I am releasing an old worn out idea and have moved on to something more elegant?”
Happy New Me!
This is when, in the Pacific time zone of the United States, we join together with people all over the planet in meditating for world peace. We began this annual practice many years ago while we were serving our church in Carson City, Nevada. We lived at Lake Tahoe then, a good half hour up the mountain. The winter snows have often begun by this time of year, and I remember one time when our son was quite small and not feeling well. We decided my husband would stay home with our sick child and I would drive down the hill to church the previous evening in order to outrun an anticipated winter storm. When I arrived, I unlocked the building, placed chairs in a circle around a little candle, set my Baby Ben alarm clock brought for that purpose to 3:45 and curled up with a pillow in the corner to get a few hours of sleep. The alarm rang, I awoke and lit the candle, then looked outside to see a beautiful blanket of fresh snow about a foot deep! I sat in the circle of chairs by myself and wished I was home with my family. No one came. That was the last time we scheduled an “event” at church for 4:00 in the morning! We would remind everyone the week before New Year’s Eve Day to set their clocks and join in meditation wherever they happened to be, but I never knew if anyone did. Now, more than thirty years later, we go to sleep so early each evening that waking at four happens easily quite often! Today I awoke with a sense of purpose at the appointed hour and began my quiet practice of centering and focus. And here, alone with Gil in our little motorhome, nestled in the forest of the foothills of the Sierra in California, suddenly I felt the community of souls worldwide, in blissful collective attention. We are not alone. Now, more than ever, there is a groundswell, not just of longing for peace, but actually expecting it to break out, burst forth and flower in our lifetime, before our very eyes. You see, we have to think it’s even possible and to feel our connection with one another in order for it to manifest. And I know it today with more conviction and celebration in my heart than ever before! I bid you Peace!
Not long after we began our motorhome adventure we discovered that the refrigerator door was going to be a problem. If it was not closed with great awareness and intentionality it would fly open while we were driving down the road. This phenomenon led, no doubt, to the equally disconcerting experience of having either the top or the bottom hinge give way completely whilst accessing the interior…sometimes both. After wrestling with this we learned that two fairly short screws were all that held the door in place and that they were simply coming apart for no apparent reason. My beloved, who is a phenomenal improvisational jazz musician, but who has never been a particularly talented handy-man with fixit skills, went to the hardware store and bought two small “C” clamps (in black no less, to match the hinges) which he used to secure the screws and prevent them from working loose. Brilliant! This worked for months. Then we began to notice random pieces of broken black plastic on the floor of the kitchen, near the refrigerator. We looked everywhere but couldn’t see from whence they’d come. We didn’t save the several inch long sections as it was obvious they were never going to be reattached to anything. Then the bottom hinge failed altogether, even with the little clamp. Note: have you ever paid attention to how often every day you open and close your refrigerator? Count them sometime, just for fun. It’s a lot! Okay. So then getting cold food out of there became a complicated process of supporting the door and finding what one wanted at the same time. It was safer if we did it together, one holding the door and the other getting or replacing food, but that wasn’t always convenient. What emerged was a chronic sense of dread, a readiness for disaster to strike at any moment, a hyper vigilance that is exhausting. Why didn’t they just get it fixed, you might ask. Well, Gil was so proud of his fix with the clamps. And they did work, for a while. So we finally had the RV fixer people order new hinges only to find out that the hinges weren’t the real problem; the bottom of the door frame was breaking apart. That’s where those little plastic pieces came from. So then they ordered us a new door only to discover it wasn’t the right one. Before we moved on to our next destination I got the correct part number and then called other RV fixit people in our new location. We picked up the new door this week and came to visit family where there is a real wizard with all things mechanical who installed it for us yesterday! Problem solved! Finally… So why does my whole body tense up and I hold my breath every time either one of us opens that door? Interesting! The expectation of impending doom has become habituated. As a lifelong metaphysican I can see where this goes, if left unaddressed! I hereby choose to notice and challenge any anticipation of difficulty, disease or disquietude I find rising in my consciousness and replace it with the awareness that all my needs have always been met and calm confidence that they always will be! Einstein reportedly said that the big question to answer is whether or not the universe is friendly. This is, indeed, fundamental to how we live our lives; it is the context within which our entire life story unfolds. “God didn’t bring me this far, just to drop me on my head now!” “There’s got to be a pony here someplace!” “It’s not important whether the glass is half empty or half full; it’s refillable!” Today my lesson is trust. Relaxing, allowing, turning it over is only possible when I first decide that the game is indeed rigged, in my favor! Yours too! Deciding that benevolence is the universal organizing principle is my first, maybe only, job! Today I’m thanking my formerly broken refrigerator door for bringing me back home to a really big, and deliciously good, God!
“Come To The Manger” is a Christmas song written by my dear friend, colleague, mentor and first piano teacher the Reverend Doctor Lois Ruth Bartel. Over the years I sang her song at quite a few Christmas Eve Candlelight Services at our church, both accompanied by various wonderful pianists and once, terrifyingly, a cappella when our musician couldn’t make it through the snowstorm! It’s haunting melody and message fill me still with the wonder, mystery and magic of this sacred time. I share it with you this Christmas morn, before the sun even rises on a brand new day, hoping it finds your heart as open and filled with love as mine is for you … ❤️
Come, come to the manger
See the sweet infant there,
See the beautiful lady
Watch with loving care.
Come, come with the humble
Hear the choirs above,
There, yes there in the manger
Is found the only true love.
Have you searched and searched the world around
And never found true peace?
The come, come, come to the manger
Or your search will never cease.
Where, where is that manger?
Where, oh where do you start?
You can find it your own way:
Just say a prayer with your heart.