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Tag: inspiration

Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder

Rumi

Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. –Rumi

On New Year’s Eve, I was asked if I’d made any New Year’s resolutions, and I mentioned this quote from Rumi that I’d recently seen and loved.

I think that mostly I’m a lamp, and sometimes a ladder or a lifeboat–but it’s difficult to accurately assess your own contribution, or anyone else’s, for that matter. It’s often impossible to know what impact we’re having, or will have. But it is possible to know whether I’m creating light, or darkness … that much I can tell.

I remember a coworker from years ago who told me she volunteered at a suicide prevention hotline. I’m not sure whether it occurred to me then, but it certainly does now, that she must have had a very particular reason for choosing that volunteer opportunity. She was a lifeboat.

We can, though, be lifeboats without ever knowing it. I’m reminded of an account in Michael Newton’s fascinating Destiny of Souls, which I’ve written about before. (Michael Newton’s story is somewhat similar to Brian Weiss‘s. He was a highly skeptical hypnotherapist who was into science, not new age stuff, when he accidentally regressed a subject to a time frame he didn’t even believe in–one prior to the subject’s current life. His work is different than Weiss’s in that he focuses fairly exclusively on the period between lives, from death to reincarnation.)

In the account I’m thinking of, when the subject completed his life, he learned that one of the most important accomplishments of his lifetime occurred when he stopped one day on the street to comfort a woman who was crying in despair. Had he been asked to list his accomplishments, that day wouldn’t have even crossed his mind–but on that day, he was a lifeboat.

How we interact with other people is key, but I believe being a lifeboat applies to all sentient beings, such as the many cats and dogs who cross our paths. I brake for squirrels and birds, and the life of every lizard in my garden is important. Caring for animals who need our help, even keeping an organic garden, is another way to be a lifeboat.

Being a ladder is, I think, a bit tricky. To me, it is saying, Here’s a possible next step, a higher vibration, love rather than fear, a way to lift yourself higher, to move forward. But in every case, the choice to see by the light of the lamp, to step into the lifeboat or onto the ladder, is not ours. People, even animals–who in my experience are often easier to reach–can and do refuse the light and the help at hand.

Even so and nonetheless–be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder.

There will be days when, to put it bluntly, it will seem that no one is interested in your light. There will be days when people overtly choose the darkness. That can be heartbreaking–but shedding light in darkness is its own reward.

If you persist, there will also come a day when you find out you’ve made a difference–that someone has seen by your light, stayed afloat, climbed a rung of your ladder. That is a truly wonderful day.

Whichever kind of day it is, each day of this new year, I want to be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder.

This post is illustrated by the SoulCollage card I made today.

SoulCollage® cards are for personal use, and are not for sale, barter, or trade.

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So safe, and so loved

Safe

Last night, late in the evening, we had a thunderstorm–and my dog Gracie hates thunderstorms. She runs around barking at the storm, and she is not kidding; she gets an adrenaline rush and her heart beats faster. I completely get this. I know she lived outside for awhile before she came to me to be fostered–and never left. (She had been seized in a 5000-dog puppy mill raid. She had escaped the wire cages inside, and was living with other dogs outside. Virtually all the other dogs were bigger, as the mill specialized in Huskies and Beagles, and all the outside dogs were fed and watered from two bowls.)

I have read the advice not to comfort dogs during storms, and I believe it to be (and this is putting it mildly) utter nonsense. Gracie had nestled into a spot next to me on the soft quilt on my bed, but I decided to pick her up and hold her (she’s a very small Sheltie) while I reminded her that now, she is so safe, and so loved, and has nothing to fear from storms. She rested her head on my shoulder, and as the thunder continued in the distance, went to sleep and began to dream animal dreams.

As I held her, having recently reflected on the year now gone, I had a sense of being held myself, in the arms of the Universe, angels, guides, and ancestors. I think we are all, ultimately, so safe, and so loved.

This post is illustrated with the SoulCollage card I made today, So safe, so loved.

SoulCollage® cards are for personal use, and are not for sale, barter, or trade.

Beaming love to the world

Heart 2

In recent meditations, I’ve been getting some intimations of what’s next for me in the new year. One of the primary things I’m expecting is a (figurative) expansion or enlarging of my heart. Today I made a SoulCollage card (above) to represent this idea.

On Christmas evening, after all the festivities were complete, I was shuffling a stack of books on my ottoman to get to a reference at the very bottom, when I was drawn to another book in the stack, Sonia Choquette’s Ask Your Guides. I flipped it open and read a few chapters, one of which was about light beings. (Each chapter of the book addresses a different type of guide.)

In this chapter, Sonia writes about encountering light beings who encourage her and her audiences to help raise our planet’s collective vibration from fear to love–a change they characterize as necessary for our survival.

I’m sure you’ve noticed the rampant fear that often surrounds us, in the form of negativity, prejudice, judgment, war, existential dread, hoarding, lack of generosity, and many other forms of ugliness and unhappiness. At Christmas time we refer to the spirit of fear as Scrooge or the Grinch, but it’s with us all year round. Perhaps you’ve wanted to do something about it. Maybe you’d like to see more optimism, sharing, positive solutions, openness, acceptance, peace, and flow in our world. If you’re reading this, I’m pretty certain you do feel that way.

Here is something you can do about it. I have begun doing this as part of my meditation practice.

To get started, place your hands over your heart, and imagine the energy of your heart chakra arcing clockwise through your hands, around your heart, and back again. You can ask for the support of all light beings who are interested in helping us raise our vibration in this little corner of the universe, to strengthen this energy. After a few minutes, extend your hands in a way that’s comfortable for you, to beam this energy outward. Feel the loving energy flowing through your hands.

As in the lovingkindness meditation, you can direct your loving energy first to specific people, and then to larger groups, ultimately sending it to the world in general with the intention to raise our collective vibration from fear to love. Remember how much stronger love is than fear. Allow the energy to flow for a few minutes, or as long as you like.

If you try this, please feel free to share your experience below.

SoulCollage® cards are for personal use, and are not for sale, barter, or trade.

A winter’s quest

Follow clean 2

This time of year it seems we’re encouraged to either scurry about buying things rather frantically, or settle in for a long winter’s nap.

But perhaps something really important is happening in our lives as we approach the solstice. All seems quiet in nature now, as the last leaves fall, and tender, frostbitten plants collapse back into the earth–but perhaps much is really happening below the surface. The same could be said of us.

What if, instead of holiday bustling or napping, we were being called to set out on a winter’s quest? What might your quest be? If you followed your heart right now, where would it take you?

This post is illustrated by the SoulCollage card I made this week, Follow your heart + Winter’s quest. It was inspired by Cat Caracelo’s 12 Nights of Solstice meditations–and it’s not too late for you to join in.

SoulCollage® cards are for personal use, and are not for sale, barter, or trade.

An amazing creator of contrast

Contrast

Contrast is the basis of expansion.

This is a contrasting moment, but more important, this is a defining moment.

… I am clearer now about who I am and what I am wanting.

–Abraham-Hicks

You know how some people light the way? I’ve been noticing that there are also those who “dark the way.” They are what I’ve been calling this week amazing creators of contrast. I have one in my life right now, and perhaps you do too.

If you’re not familiar with contrast, it’s an Abraham-Hicks term that means a blast of what you don’t want that you can leverage to recognize more clearly–much more clearly!–what you really do want.

Useful, right?

Contrast might be something agreed on as being negative by many people, or it might simply be something that many people do prefer, but you do not. For example, someone spitting in your face would be agreed on as contrast by nearly everyone. A sizzling steak would be greeted with pleasure by many, but would be considered contrast by many others. Contrast is the key to discovering your own personal preferences, whatever they may be.

Contrast can arise anywhere, from anything, but there are people who delight in creating contrast for others. (Of course, this is rather bad karma.) It’s the amazing creators of contrast of this world who undertake the genuine service of strongly inspiring us to demand something better from life, right now!

I have felt supremely motivated this past week (thanks to my amazing creator of contrast) to create the changes I need in my life. I could easily have gotten angry about the contrast I experienced; I could easily have complained. But I  was able to appreciate the clarity of the defining moment. I chose to channel my feelings about the contrasting experience directly into fuel for taking action to create more of what I want, and less of what I don’t want. (I was thrilled that I was able to respond this way, and attributed it directly to the grounding work I’ve been doing recently.)

I complain considerably less now than I did when I was younger, thanks to finally realizing that negativity begets negativity, but my experiences this week led me to wonder whether any amount of complaining may be too much. I’m beginning to suspect that complaining, even just mentioning dissatisfaction to a confidante, has burned off considerable energy that I could have been using to turbocharge the creation of the change I need.

I’m sure you’ve heard these popular sayings …

Don’t get mad, get even.

Living well is the best revenge.

–Folk wisdom

One interpretation of these sayings would be to take the energy, the rocket fuel, you could use to get mad, and instead use it to power the creation of the life you really want.

That is exactly what I intend to do.

What about you … have you experienced any contrast lately? Is there any change you’d like to bring about in your life that would allow you to experience something different, something you do want? Can you use the contrast in your life to fuel that change?

This post is illustrated with the SoulCollage card I made today, Contrast.

You may enjoy this brief Abraham-Hicks recording about contrast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t06lToUgCYQ

Friends in high places

Angel

I clearly remember how my mind was blown when I first picked up Doreen Virtue’s Archangels & Ascended Masters in the bookstore. As I write, it’s here next to me on the sofa, just where it usually is.

I was raised Protestant, so unlike my Catholic friends, the idea of asking a saint or Mother Mary for help was completely foreign to me. At the time I picked up the book, I still thought of, say, asking St Francis’s assistance with a pet as pure superstition to be pitied–one of the relatively few childhood-taught beliefs I still held.

So when I picked up this book containing a mixture of angels, Biblical figures, saints, deities from various cultures, and so on, with information about the specialties of each, a channeled message from many of them, and the author’s statement that she had worked with and had a purely positive experience with each entity, it was absolutely mind-blowing for me. If this were true … I could practically feel the final walls of my childhood mental model of how everything worked falling, like the walls of Jericho. (There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a model … you just have to be ready to let it go when a better model arises.)

Today, all these years later, not a day goes by that I don’t ask an angel or ascended master for help. Sometimes I’m asking for help with something lovely and elevated, but more often, I’m asking for help with something like keeping my cool in a potentially difficult situation, or for cooperation when dealing with some corporation or other. I did this recently before calling my corporate mortgage holder because my annual escrow statement made no sense, and I was simply amazed. The person I spoke with was truly knowledgeable, flexible, and really helped me get exactly what I wanted, as well as teaching me new and helpful things I didn’t know about my online banking.

Angels and ascended masters, according to several sources I’ve read, all operate according to the Law of Non-interference. This means that unless our lives are in danger of being cut short in an unplanned manner, they allow us to go about our business unless asked for help–at which point, I’ve found, they can really make an amazing difference.

These are some of my very favorite angels and ascended masters–the ones I return to again and again.

  • Hardly a work day goes by that I don’t ask for Solomon’s assistance. I find that when I do, I’m wiser, calmer, more measured, and make very few mistakes. My judgment is enhanced.
  • I always invoke Archangel Haniel prior to social situations, or an interview or meeting where I need to make a good impression. I always feel more at ease and have more fun.
  • According to Doreen Virtue, Archangel Raguel oversees all of the other angels, ensuring their harmonious and orderly cooperation. I’ve experienced some truly stunning turnarounds with uncooperative people after invoking this archangel. Try it and see (unless you don’t know any uncooperative people, in which case move along!).
  • I always invoke Archangel Gabriel prior to writing or creating art. If I’m trying to decide among ideas, or looking for inspiration, I ask for her help with that too. I find that when I do, my writing flows effortlessly, and I’m able to complete my projects with an absolute minimum of angst and friction. No doubt some of this is due to an awful lot of practice, but a great deal of the credit goes to this archangel. I can easily prove this to myself by starting a project without asking for her help–but I don’t feel like proving it very often.
  • Archangels Raziel and Uriel help with enhanced psychic insight and communication with guides. If I have a question I want an answer to, I generally invoke one of these archangels before meditating on what the answer might be.

Now maybe this is a new concept for you, and if so, please don’t take my word for it. I’m a big believer in “whatever works” (and not a believer at all in things that don’t). I would suggest that if you’re interested, choose whichever angel or master most appeals to you. Next time you find yourself in a situation where you could use their sort of help, just ask for it. I like to invoke an entity as I meditate for 15 minutes or so … for me, that seems to make the invocation more powerful.

I hope you’ll try it, and I’d love to hear about your experience.

This post is illustrated with my SoulCollage card Angel + Guide. This card is the second one I made, hurriedly and with limited materials at a workshop–but it is not incomplete 🙂

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