Getting What We Really Want

We usually do not ask the Universe for what we really want.We ask for what we think it looks like, so when we get what we ask for, we are disappointed.

We usually do not ask the Universe for what we really want.We ask for what we think it looks like, so when we get what we ask for, we are disappointed.” Once we have made a commitment we have focused our energies that focus creates a clear direction for the Universeto interpret and help guide us towards.Focus brings clarity.Once our desiresare focused we are clear.Once we are clear our goal is understood and immediately the Universe begins to work. Having this focus means trusting that the Universe will guide our steps, even if it is not where we think it should be. It may not even be where we want it to be.The external world dominates our thinking and we make our plans based upon its rules.The Universe does not act in terms of physical categories, or forms, it acts in terms of the need to be filled on a soul level.

A position may appear before me, or someone may speak to me regarding a particular career and I will decide that it is what I want.This position or career stimulates within me a feeling of satisfaction, or accomplishment.That feeling is why I want that position, and so it is the feeling and not the position that the Universewill bring to me. The position is only the form that I assume will provide the feeling.It is the boxthat I assume contains what it is that I really want. This understanding is critical.

The Universemay not bring me that particular position because in actuality that position was not going to give me what I was really looking for.It is that underlying need, that underlying feeling that Universe will bring me.So when we focus, it must not be merely on the outer appearanceof what we desire, but primarily on the feeling we anticipate that it will fill us with.

The ego is a bag with a hole in the bottom.What is fed through the ego empties into the soul.The problem is that food for the ego is waste for the soul.The ego cannot be satiated, that happens in the soul.Do we want to feel secure, or is it the sense of achievement that we desire? What does our soul receivefrom whatever it is that we are going after?When we see ourselves with whatever it is that we seek, how does it feel?We may seek the physical form of something but it is really the essence that we perceive is contained within that form that we are after.When we are attracted to the physical form what is being drawn to that form is the ego.The ego sees the thing, the person, or the position as a way to satisfy a craving.Yet, when we attain what the ego is attracted to, we are still empty within.When we override the ego and connect with the feeling of it, we are closer to the truth.Truth is what the Universe will at all times bring to our lives.

I may think that I want John, but in fact I want what I imagine being with John will feel like.It may very well be that what I think I will feel with John is not in any way what I would actually feel from him.He may not be who I think he is.I am.However if I focus on what it is that I want to feel, and open myself to any possible way that it may be brought to me, I am in a much better position to have my real needs met.When I am clear on what qualities I am seeking in a mate, even if I am hoping it is John, it will be those qualities that the Universewill provide.If I do not get John that does not mean that I will not get what I am seeking, it only means that what I am seeking is not John.

The Universe is constantly answering our prayers.It is we, who are not really in touch with what we are actually praying for.We may have an idea of the form that we imagine it will come in, but we need to leave the knowledge of the actual form up to the Universe.We need to trust that we will get what we really want.When we obtain what the egoseeks, we temporarily scratch an itch.When we obtain what the soul is seeking, we remove the cause of the itch.If we let go and have faith, we will get the enduringquality that our soul is seeking.

This is a lesson that may take us forever to learn.Very often the Universewill give us exactly what we ask for, and often when that happens we are disappointed because it is never what we thought it would be.The egosees a box, wants the box and gets the box.The soul opens the box to get what is inside and beholds that it is empty.The ego does not look inside.It does not even comprehend the meaning of inside.To satisfy the ego at the expense of the soul is to put a piece of tape on a hole in the dam.It will not hold.The satisfaction of the soul fills the hole with the same materialthat the dam itself is made of.Therefore, there is permanent repair.

What we do not realize is that the Universemay have presented us with exactly what we really wanted many times over, but we didn’t know it because we didn’t like the box.Each time that it appeared before us, we simply passed it by without noticing. Our egowas in the way.The Universe gives us what our ego asks for so that at some point we will begin to realize that the problem is not what we keep getting, but what we keep asking for.

We may be so entrenched in what we expect to see that we miss what is before us.Finally we learn that perhaps we need to look deeper to findwhat we really want and rephrase the request.It is valuable to go inside and dig beneath all of the layers of what we want to find out what we need from it.We need to find the feeling we are seeking.What is the experience meant to satisfy on the deepest level?Once we know what we need to feel, we will be able to focus clearly upon what it is that we want.When we can focus, we will find that we do get exactly what we want. There are as many ways to express love as there are people to express it.

There are certain things that are very difficult to recognize as adults if they were absent in childhood.If we were not given the love that we needed as children by either or both of our parents, we find it almost impossible to recognize love as adults.Love is an invisible energy that is transmitted through even the most trivial action.If you were not loved, you do not understand this.And so, you look to the world outside for almost Shakespearean expressions of love.Loving and grand shows of affection are two different things.A person who was taught to say, ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, who was trained as a child to always call home, to always ask about someone’s health and well being is a person who was taught to be polite.My daughter is extremely dramatic.When she was young, she would exhibit dramatic shows of affection.It didn’t even mean that she cared, it just means that she is a drama queen.A person can be impolite, inconsiderate and unemotional and still love deeply.I have known many extremely well mannered people who went through all of the ‘shoulds’ but really didn’t care about anyone.I have known too many people who have gone through life feeling unloved, all the while turning away those who love them because they did not recognize the form that it came in.

These people, desperately seeking love, were attracted to individuals who were natural at presenting a façade of loving or even caring when in fact their actions and words were empty, or self-serving.And it is easy to fall into this because if you don’t know what it feels like – you go after what it looks like.Unfortunately love looks like air, so since we can’t see it, we search for what we normally find containing it, a balloon, so when we think that we have love, often times all we have is a balloon.One of the greatest gifts that I have received is this particular understanding.I have learned that the value of a gift lies in its value to the giver, not to the receiver or to the general public.I know that some people love me because they give me the hardest thing for them to give and that is trust.I know that other people love me because they won’t go away no matter what I do.My father never did one thing that would fit on the list of expressions of love – but I knew that he loved me when he stopped at the Howard Johnsons to have pancakes with me when I went to work with him.

Sometimes getting what we really want requires taking the time to go inside and find out what it is that we want from it.If we do this, we will find that what we want from it may be in it, or it may not be in it at all. Knowing what we need to receive from what we want to achieve will give us a far greater chance at satisfaction.It removes the appetite from being the decision maker so that we may be really nourished. If we can attract to us that which we believe we want, we will cut out a great deal of disappointment and suffering if we are not focused on what we believe that we want but we believe that we want is what we also know that we need.When we know that what we want is a box and what we need is not the box but its content, then we can accept that only God knows which boxis right for us.


 

Changing our lives

To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.
Confucius, BC 551-479, Chinese

We may not like the course our lives have taken and feel that a radical change is needed. Perhaps we decide that we need to change our economic level, or that we need a change in our lifestyle. Then we pull out our affirmations and/or our prayers and begin the process.

While it is true that we manifest our own reality, we do not accomplish this in a vacuum. If we are going to survive in these times ahead of us, we will have to understand that it takes two halves to make a whole; there are two forces at work in the accomplishment of every task. Everything that you do whether it is acting from an inner thrust will or reacting to external occurrence – is one half of the equation. It is the act of throwing the ball, of placing the mail in the box, or hitting the send key on the computer. The other half is the energy which guides our action to a given destination. By destination I mean outcome. Some of us never act, whatever we do is an automatic response to stimulus that we either brought with us into this life from past lives, or were conditioned by a repeated act in the past of this life.

If, for example in your past life you suffered deeply from conditions of poverty – in this life you will act towards money and material possessions as though you had experienced this suffering yesterday. You might instinctively hoard, regardless of how generous you would like to be. After a past life regression, or simply a conscious act which is counter to your instinct, then you are actively taking control of your own actions, so, although you are not now, master of your life – you are master of your actions. Many people have past lives in which they were murdered or tortured for speaking out. If that happened to you, you would find that when it comes time to speak up or speak out, you are gripped by an overwhelming fear. In fact, any time that we find ourselves in an outwardly nonthreatening situation and feel overwhelming fear or anger – we are reacting to something that has no relevance in this life but came from the past. Understanding this motivation and acting upon it will aid us in acting consciously – it will not, however, change the fact that the outcome is not a direct result of our actions alone.

There is mounting undeniable evidence that we come in to each life to fulfill a plan that if not chosen was at least understood and accepted by each of our souls. I liken it to a giant mechanical clock with infinite gears. Each gear revolves and as it does so it turns many other gears. Those gears in turn cause the turning of many other gears. Yet each gear is not the same size and does not revolve exactly like every other gear. It is that difference, however slight it may seem, that makes the every gear from the tiniest to the largest equally critical in the functioning of the whole clock of Time. Each of our lives is made up of experiences and the totality of our individual experiences becomes our gear. The specific turning of each gear, in essence, turns the entire clock. We are able to incarnate when our needs and the needs of the whole are a match. Our experiences connect the gears and not our actions because it is the experiences which connect us to others. Soul growth comes as our experiences change our perception of life, but the whole clock, of which each gear is a part manifests our physical reality based upon the outcome of our experiences as we as a whole perceive it.

Because each outcome is equally necessary regardless of the size of the gear that generates it, each outcome is determined by the Source who is able to see and know the purpose and destiny of the entire clock. That higher Presence determining each and every outcome is influenced by the growth of the all of the souls in gear during a cycle of incarnations. What this means is that as each of us change our attitudes that energy combines with the energy of other souls in the process of the same change and all of the outcomes begin to evolve as well in a higher direction.

Our lives are always lived in context. As children, our lives are lived within the context of our families, whose lives are lived within the context of their community, which functions within the context of the nation and so on. We can only change our lives within the context in which they are playing out. What we can change is the way in which we live our lives. Today, we must all acknowledge the economic, social and environmental context in which our lives are playing out. When we seek a change in our lives, what we are seeking, all that we are ever seeking is happiness. It cannot be found if we are hungry, in physical pain or lack shelter , but if we are not lacking in those basic needs, happiness is available in abundance. It is as simple as beginning with a glass that is half full rather than half empty. Happiness will never become a state of being until we are satisfied, until we have enough.

So long as we seek more, we will be dissatisfied with what we have. As long as we are dissatisfied with what we have, happiness will elude us. Within the context of the world today, we must change our focus from having more to becoming more. What we have falls into the category of ‘outcome’. It is not a result of what we have created, or earned in the material world, all of that is only what we have been given. Who we are, who we have become and who we will become is the only outcome that is totally within our control. As we become greater human beings by increasing our reflection of the spiritual being within, we infect others with our growth and they in turn grow. As we grow spiritually we change the context of the world in which we live. Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and Bobby Kennedy were faces of the Civil Rights Movement. But the changes that occurred were the result of changes in the hearts and souls of hundreds of thousand Americans who, regardless of race, felt a need to move in the direction of truth. It was a subtle change in the hearts of many that moved the country in a different direction, from separatism towards a greater union. This was not the result of technological or material growth, but of spiritual evolution. It was this Spiritual growth, led by a few great leaders, who would have been unable to lead had it not been for that vast number of individuals who had already become in their hearts, the change before the leaders led to manifest in the world. Change in the whole is accomplished through the inner changes of thousands, perhaps even millions. We cannot be led into evolution, it is an inner process. Just as we cannot change our lives without the inner process being complete. Otherwise we just change place.

We are seekers by nature. We are creators by nature. It is our nature to love, because our true nature is that of God. The energy of fulfillment, of happiness, of self-worth comes to us through the strength and power of our creations. Our creations feed us as we ourselves feed our Creator. However, that sense of happiness, of fulfillment eludes us when we seek it through creations in the material world. There are three reasons for this. The first reason is that when our creation is material, it is perishable. It makes no difference if we create a business, an empire; a better paying job, an invention, wealth, higher social status or a new and improved body, everything in the material world has a shelf life. The second reason is that whatever we build becomes the launching pad for someone to build it better. In the material world that which does not fade on its own will be destroyed by the competition. The third and most important reason is that deep within our souls, in that same place where we ultimately find our happiness and sense of fulfillment, lives the knowledge that we were not really in control of the final product. The true credit for the outcome belongs to some power other than us.

Our actions reflect who we are. What we seek reflects what we value. What we hold on to reflects what we treasure. And whatever we cannot live without becomes the master that we serve. One day I decided to run away from home with my friend Beverly, we were about eleven years old. When it came time to go, she changed her mind. She said that it didn’t matter where she went, because, “Wherever I go – I go”.

Changing our neighborhood, changing our social or financial status, changing our marital status are all illusory changes. They may change the view, but not the perspective of the viewer. We tend to need what we have, rather than have what we need. So whatever we have we become dependent on. Material things go from ‘it would be nice to have’ directly to ‘can’t live without’ the moment that we have them. That which we cannot live without possesses us.

An actor needs a role in order to perform. A role needs a play in order to exist. And as each role is essential to the evolving plotline of a play, each role is in some way essential to the evolution of the person as an actor. We are all souls inhabiting roles in the play called life. The role that we play cannot just change or end because the actor has lost interest. However, an actor can change a role from within, changing a villain to a sympathetic character without changing the lines, only by changing the delivery. This subtle, inner change of the character can open up new directions for the character that may alter not only the actor’s experience of the play, but the way in which the other actors play their parts, and finally the experience of the audience. The ending may be the same, but these subtle changes could take the sequel into a whole new direction.

For us to change this we must fully understand the reason that we chose the role that we are living. It is not that we cannot change our lives; however, it is not something we can do without true knowledge of ourselves, and the reasons for our choices. Most of the time, we are not working with the knowledge of, or the Spiritual reasons for, where our lives are at this moment. Without that knowledge, how can we change? We do not change our lives from the outside in, but from the inside out.

For us to change from the inside we must understand what is going on inside. Why were these experiences set up in the first place? The truth is, that when the work is done, the lessons learned and the understanding lived – we need no more for ourselves than food, water, and shelter to be as happy as the laughing Buddha. Once we have completed the work, we no longer want for ourselves. Usually, we tell ourselves that happiness must be there – simply because it is not here. Obviously, if it’s not here – it’s there. But the truth is that here is the only place that happiness and all of those other things can ever be because we only move from one here to another.

So it is incumbent on us to know, first, why we came here now, then what the particular circumstances of this’ here’ and this ‘now’ have within them for us, because there is a strong chance that whatever we are searching for is here now, and if it is not, then the key to opening the box that contains it definitely is. The Universe does not waste. Every drop of rain contains an answer for anyone willing to take the time to look. It is only through the challenges that we have faced and will face ahead of us that we can find the treasure we came to unearth. If we perceive that life just happens to us, and that is all that we get from it, we will never know where we are.

There is no punishment and no reward on earth from above. Life is not about punishment or rewards from the standpoint of the Creator. It is about experience. When things go well, we are not being rewarded for past good actions and when things go wrong we are not being punished for past bad actions. In either case, there is something that we have to learn, something that we have to pick up and include in our treasury of knowledge and growth. If it were that simple—either punishment or reward—then all of those who we consider good, would have good things happen to them and all those we consider bad, would have bad things happen to them, but, as we well know, that is not the case. How many times have we heard people say, “Bad things happen to good people.” Life is neither fair nor unfair, it just is. When we are in school, there are no fair subjects and no unfair subjects; there are no fair tests or unfair tests. The fairness of a test is based on the perception and level of preparedness of the person taking the test. It is the same with life. Things are unfair when we are not prepared to handle them and fair when we are.
To change our lives effectively, we must understand them thoroughly, and be prepared with the knowledge obtained through each experience both good and bad. This requires being conscious and not a victim. It requires a willingness to examine life, not just experience it. If we keep being hit with balls that come from out of nowhere, we must learn to catch them or learn to duck—something must be learned. If we are being taught to catch and we keep ducking, the balls won’t stop coming. If we are being taught to duck and we keep catching, the balls won’t stop coming. If we don’t take time to figure out why the balls keep coming, we cannot stop them. But, if we do figure out why they are coming and either master the lesson or make a conscious soul connected decision to put it off, we can change.

If we are not this, if we are not these bodies and these egos then these bodies and these egos must have some symbolic purpose. That is the way it is with our lives. If we want to have a different set of experiences, then we must discern the original purpose; the original function. If we want to change the play, the story, we must first understand our own role in it. Then we must change our approach to that role so that change will transform the approach of the other souls to their roles and to the character that we play. This change will travel forward until ultimately the play becomes a new one.
When children are born, we are struck early on with the realization that there is a very well defined personality in there. There are reactions based, at the least, upon some innate set of beliefs defining the world. Babies have responses to people and to outside stimuli that are not just like every other baby. Some babies respond to the world in ways that just could not have been observed in the limited environment in which they exist. We bring into each life a core belief. It could be what we died in our past life believing, it could be imprinted from many lives of being stuck in the same pattern, it could be exacerbated or just reinforced by the thoughts and feelings of the mother during pregnancy, or it could be an innate Spiritual knowledge. We could bring in the lessons learned at the end of our last life rather than the reaction to the experiences. Wherever it comes from, it is the preamble to our life’s story. It is the filter through which we interpret the world around us and the experiences that we have. It is the key to understanding our perception of and our responses to the world and our experiences in it. Often it is difficult to uncover because it is imprinted in our psyche in the womb, or at least before words. So it is like a knee jerk response, hit the knee the leg goes up, no thought required, and because no thought is required it cannot be filtered.

My father suffered from Parkinson’s disease from before I was born. It went untreated until my mid-teens when my father finally acknowledged it. However, it had been slowly breaking down his ability to think, he lost large periods of time which we never knew of because he had never been in the habit of coming home every night. When I was fourteen he had very little money left and we moved from a large house with five bedrooms to a small house with two. My sister’s core belief was “who a person is – is based on what a person has. One’s chance of survival is in proportion to one’s image”. So, she carried this in from her past life, and in the womb she knew that she was not wanted by my mother who tried everything that she could to accidentally miscarry. Coming in with this belief, reinforced by her experience in my mother’s womb, added the belief that the world was not safe for her. The fact that my mother fell instantly in love with her the moment that she was born, had no effect on her core belief. She saw every experience through the filter of a threat, and responded as one would to being threatened. She relied on the façade of wealth that she was born into to intimidate or impress. She never worked in school – never sought to be anything because her belief was that on her own merits she would fail. When our family moved from having more than many to having less than most, my sister, at the age of ten years old, was pushed her over the edge. Her life deteriorated and she just went from one bad situation to another. It did not matter where she was or what opportunities were ahead of her, she saw the world as chairs being moved around in the same unsafe room, and reacted accordingly. Perhaps she could have sought help, but you can’t seek help when you believe that it is your image of superiority and nothing more that keeps you safe. To seek help would be to admit imperfection which in turn would invite destruction.

Our core beliefs are not simple; they are as intricate as the myriad of past experiences which created them. Still, there is a theme. One theme may be that the opposite sex can’t be trusted; another theme may be that to be seen as standing out in any area is dangerous. It could be that the soul brought in the belief that survival depended on being in control. Some souls are not as influenced by past lives as they are influenced by their core spiritual selves. Whatever these beliefs are, they are the colors of our lives for better or for worse. Everyone walks the same streets our experiences of those streets are personalized by the colors that we bring to them. My core belief – the one thing that I have come to realize that is written in stone for me is that the Source, All-That-Is, the Presence, the energy that we often refer to as God, is Love itself, it is Goodness beyond measure, and the only and ultimate source of all wisdom. I believe that it is the energy and ultimate creator of every experience that we have for eternity. For me, this has always meant that although my life has had a plethora of disappointments, losses, rejection and apparent failure, I have sailed through each storm unaffected because the water under my boat has been calm. I have faced every challenge as an opportunity to gain something that would outweigh the price. Even when, as now, I wonder why I have been so blessed as to have been given such an overflowing reservoir of growth opportunities, my mind is immediately guided to see how much love has entered my life from unexpected sources.

When my parents lost everything I like my sister, had to confront the loss of face. After the immediate feeling of a knife in my gut at seeing our new home, the thoughts that ran through my mind were of how much stronger I would feel in my skin after this test. The most crucial step in changing our lives is asking ourselves what feelings, or fears motivate us. What do we believe causes us to be accepted and what causes us to be rejected? What does our world look like to us? What does it feel like to us? What possible reasons could one continuously end up in the same bad situation if you remove deserving it, earning it, poor judgment, and bad choices? What do we believe will happen if we do _____________ and why we believe that? Every experience under the sun contains a gift, and usually the difficult experiences contain an opportunity to see our own power, an opportunity to see that we are loved and therefore worth loving, that love is love from wherever it comes, or an opportunity to once and for all free us from past, outdated beliefs that constantly limit us.

When my sister finally lost everything that she hid behind, including her ability to maintain her façade, her only choice was to walk through her fears, for the sake of her children, and to attempt to build a life on her own with only who she is and not who she was with, or what she had. With each step she found that who she was seemed to be much greater than she ever believed. From here, she was free to finally step in the light as herself. Even having fewer things than she once had, she has what she never had before and that is herself. It did not happen because she changed her life, it happened because life changed her view. More often than not, if we do the work, we find that we can only change places and change circumstances so many times before all places and all circumstances feel the same. But if we are willing to change our view – then we automatically change our living, and if we change our living our lives move to new heights.

The Secret – The Real Law Of Attraction

By Denise Gibel-Molini

Sometime in the 70’s I came across Norman Vincent Peale W. Clement Stone and Napoleon Hill.  Both of these men were amazing motivational teachers.  They taught what today is called the “Secret”.  Then it was the power of the subconscious mind.  Later in the 90’s I had a Spiritual Book store and I began seeing different books on the various “proven” laws of success.  These were more steps to achieve the same goals as were promised by Napoleon Hill and Norman Vincent Peale.

I believed, and still do to this day that there is an enormous power in positive thinking within the individual.  I remember that my year spent in “network marketing” was spent in hours of motivation and the power of positive thinking.  During that you I didn’t make money.  However, I never even caught a cold, I was never tired, and nothing could break my spirit.  It changed my life for the better – just not in the way that I was looking for.

I have a problem with all of these secret, hidden, special, scientific methods of attaining ones dreams.  They could never pass the kinds of tests required in order to state that a product or a drug was proven effective.  I know many many more exceptions to this rule than those for whom the rule has worked.

My cousin is the poster child for the anti-law of attraction, or the law of repulsion.  The more that she wants something, the more she is convinced to the core that she will never have it.  She focuses daily on visualizing her life – long and miserable in failure and loneliness.  Yet, after an entire year of this dedication to the negative – in rode prince Charming on his white horse to whisk her away to love and bliss.  In fact, most of the people that I know who focus all of their attention on the miserable trick that the universe has played on them, are the exact ones for whom success and opportunity seems to pop up out of no where.

Of course, there are those, such as Barack Obama, for whom living in the visualization of being President and sitting in the oval office did work.  Then, there are John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and scores of others who also lived “the Secret”, who lost the race and the chair that they each saw themselves sitting in day after day.  Yes, there is a law of attraction, but it is greater than we could every imagine, and it rules.  You could call it the attraction of fate, or simply the power of the greater plan – the soul’s plan for each of us and for the world.

According the today’s science everything is nothing, or energy, consciousness – fields.  Various fields of consciousness.  So, some believe, and this is what I believe, that the soul is a kind magnetic field.  Before it incarnates it programs itself to attract to it the people, places, and experiences that will facilitate its personal goals and the goals set by the accumulation of all souls incarnating in a certain time.  We, our fields, are all woven together to form a divine personal and universal tapestry.

We attract, and are attracted to only what we chose as souls.  And for the soul all experiences are parables.  All experiences have within their essence a moral lesson teaching love, faith, compassion, forgiveness, and placing the spiritual above the material.  We can find this in each story that we tell of an incident in our own lives.  Sometimes it may take years to “get it”, but when we do – we understand the lesson.

Part of this process is the ego.  The ego is made up of an accumulation of all of our lives on the earth past and present along with all of the emotional experiences that imprinted on it and lie buried within the database of our subconscious mind.  “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” W. Clement Stone.  This is true, however the kind of belief that is necessary is not belief held in our conscious minds, or our imaginations – it is belief held in our subconscious minds.  You see, we live in a world that is neither solid nor three dimensional.  It has no time.  That is fact, but it is not the belief that is held by our subconscious minds, otherwise we could not share this earthy experience.  So belief, is deeper that imagination – it is deeper than reality.

To journey into that realm of the subconscious through hypnosis or through deep meditation, is a journey to what is in essence another reality.  It is a journey in which we leave our ego behind.  What we find when we do, is that this plan, or this series of plans are purposeful and fulfilling in ways that are eternal and not limited to societal programs or past life understandings  of what we should our should not want in this one life.

What we find, is that the path, however it appeared in our conscious state seems to be a path to joy.  Even if we enter into this state to attempt to rewrite the script.  We come back knowing, believing that there can be no better script for our lives than the one written.

Some of us come into life with a burning desire to be rich and famous.  That burning desire comes from the fact that it is the journey written by the soul.  And when these people enter that path to wealth and fame – they find that it was nothing that they had ever imagined, in no way free of pain or suffering, in no way self-validating, and that lesson is the moral of their parable.

I have a ability to visualize, not so much a persons path, but the purpose of the path – the types of experiences that will bring the story to its true gift.  There is a good friend of mine who is a visionary photographer.  His work will take people to great places one day.  Consciously he is fully aware of the unique beauty in his pictures.  And he is frustrated that he cannot sell enough pieces to pay he rent.  Although people are taken aback by the beauty of his work, it is not selling.

We have done past life regressions.  In each life he rose to a different position of social prominence.  In each life he was very focused on his career, on his good name and his status in the community.  And – in each life he died in deep spiritual and emotional pain because he had passed up his chances for true love and emotional fulfillment.  His soul vowed that in this life he would balance both.  He was told by his guides under hypnosis that he had to learn that God gave him two hands and he could have fulfillment in each.

The last time that we spoke, it came to me that although his material success and public recognition were immanent, his soul would not attract them to him until he was balanced within himself.  Until he found his inner power, his inner love and was able to manifest that love in the world as a part of who he was – the material success would remain just outside of his grasp.  The purpose of this being that if his material success were to come first, he would then become caught up, as in his many past lives in that alone.  Once again he would miss the thing that eluded him life after life.  He had to find himself now, to avoid the risk of never finding it, and living a life of emptiness.

There is a law of attraction that is at work in our lives from the day that we are born, but the attractor is not our conscious mind but the spirit that lives within us.  When we want something and do not get it, it is because it is not something that we want from within our souls.  It is perishable.  The soul seeks that which is permanent and continuously giving.  When we do not get what we want, however badly we believe that we want it, however hard, we believe that we have worked for it.  The cause is not our personal failure – it is the success of the soul.  We don’t generally know what we really want, we only know what we really want to feel.

Society tells us that what we want to fell is in box number one.  But if we cannot open box number one, it is because what we want to feel is not in it.  Society, those things that we are programmed from childhood to believe are the keys to happiness, are only part of the superficial, impermanent world around us.  They are not part of the real and permanent world that is within us, the world that contains the true power.  Jesus says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all else will be added unto you.”  This means seek for the joy that lies within you.  Seek first the foundation that lies within you.  Seek first the soul and its treasures that lie within you.  Once you have found all the glory that lies within, all else will come.  All else will be attracted to you.  This is the Law of Attraction.  This is the real secret.

Whatever we find before we find the kingdom that lies within, will be empty.  And if we seek that first, it will consume us to such an extent that we will remain empty for the rest of our lives.  No praise, no adulation, no recognition that we may receive from the world, will give us the fullness of self that we are really seeking unless first we seek and become grounded in the foundation that lies within.

Leaving The Past Behind

Clogged with yesterday’s excess, the body drags the mind down with it.—

Horace, BC 65-8, Italian Poet

I have been drawn to the saying, “Today is the beginning of the rest of my life”, but that still implies an attachment to the last part of my life, which does not allow me to let it go. What today is—is the beginning of my life. At the moment we are born, we enter into a situation that is ongoing. We enter a family, an environment, which is an accumulation of the beliefs and experiences of our parents. Whatever our parents believe, whatever they have to work with, whatever mistakes they feel they have or have not made is the setting for our entrance into this world. That is the form or the foundation on which we build picture of the world and our place in it. We are not responsible for anything that has occurred prior to our birth. It is not a reflection of who we are, or even necessarily who we once were, it contains the tools that we will take with us and the base that we will forever move from.

We are to take what we need from that environment, and to learn that it belongs to and was created by our parents. We incarnate to move forward, and to do this, we must face forward. In whatever way our parent’s beliefs or actions affected us, we only carry with us the necessary tools for our journey forward. It is our launching pad into life. Why it is that way is not initially important. This is where we begin our journey as souls in this human experience, but it is where our parent’s journey has brought them to that point. How our ego has formed during our past lives to this point, and what gains our souls hope to make through this experience determine our reaction to this environment. Throughout our lives we will constantly hold this time as the baseline from which we judge everything else, including ourselves. It is the country into which we are born. It establishes the world view through which we develop the means to satisfy our needs, in order to survive. It a world view, but for the rest of our lives, we will journey to the understanding that it is not our world view, and not the best or the only true world view. It is in the first home that we learn to maneuver, learn what and where the things are that we need and need to avoid, it prepares of for our entrance into the greater world. Based upon the needs of our souls and the condition of our egos, we decide whether or not we will react to life in the way that our parents did. They are teachers for us. Whatever experiences we had as children were a part of our learning and not a part of our being.

We will encounter many things in our first home. Most of our experiences here are designed to help awaken the wounds that we entered this life to heal, and to develop the resources necessary to function creatively in this incarnation. Age does not automatically imply wisdom, it implies experience. One soul can gain as much wisdom in the first seven years of life that another takes eighty years to gain. Our bodies are born from the genetic material of our parents, our souls are not. Wisdom is within the soul, not the body. We are not here to be carbon copies of our parents; we are here to examine who they are and take what is relevant and leave behind what is not. Our parent’s reality is an important experience. It is the foundation for our major in this life. But like a school, or a certain curriculum it was there before we decided to major in a subject for which it was a prerequisite. It was not designed for us or by us. It was a home designed and built out of the materials of our parent’s experiences and beliefs. It was created before our arrival into the material world and has no place in our identity.

Our childhood experiences are for information only, not to weigh us down. It may be an extension of their identity but it is not ours. When we are babies, the things in the house around us give us an immediate impression of the world. That impression is that it is far greater than we are and that we are powerless before it. All of the things that service the grown-ups just tower over us. We have high chairs, kiddy tables, playpens, walker, carriages, toys, etc. As we age, we grow. Along the way our view of the world around us changes, we get larger and our kiddy furniture gets smaller, our toys lose their appeal. While at the same time we begin to reach the big people’s table and chairs. Our view of the physical world around us changes as we grow equal to, and then greater than the things in the world.

As we journey away from that original home, we must be willing to see what no longer fits us and let it go. We must be willing to see what will never fit us, and let go of trying to force ourselves to fit into it. Being unwilling to let go here, is like being unwilling to let go of sitting in the highchair, or sleeping in the crib. It becomes uncomfortable and even painful to continue to reference the past while in the present. We learned how to move around that home, how to maneuver the squeaky floors, get around the furniture, find the food, etc. But when we go out into the world believing that it is the same as the one that we left, we find that everything is in a different place, and when we try to deal with it in the same way as we dealt with our childhood home, it doesn’t work. So, when we decide that we will not approach life the way that our parents did, it makes no difference if we still believe that life is as they taught us. Our lives will not work. And if we decide to approach life exactly as our parents did, that too does not work because the life that they designed, only exists in their space. We find that we are facing a strange new world and their approach today may not get the same results. When we live in our parents worldview, we live in a house where everything is as they placed it. When we leave and go out to build our own lives, we enter a house where nothing is where our parents put it, and nothing works like it did in their design. The world for us is new. We must design it ourselves. Only by letting go of what worked then and there, can we ever hope to find what works here and now. And most importantly, what works for us.

A child born into poverty will emotionally identify with that condition, will see himself as poor, and his life and choices as limited to those of his parents. If his parents saw drugs or crime as the only outlets, these will be imprinted on the child as well. A child born to parents of privilege will expect the world to offer the same service to them as they experienced while in their parent’s reality. When this child takes this worldview out into his own world, he could be crushed by the refusal of the world to comply with his expectations. Each child, for reasons of the soul growth, will be born into that chapter of their parent’s lives as the point from which to grow.
How our parents reached the point in their lives in which we incarnated is their history. We study history to better create our future. We cannot identify with our parent’s history because it is not ours. The only part that is ours is that it is where we came from. It in no way describes who we are or where we are going to. I recently saw a woman on television that had been used as a child in the twin studies of Auschwitz. She said that she no longer lives in hatred of the Nazi’s because to do so forces her to also remain a victim of the Nazi’s. She refuses to remain a victim because she said that victims have no hope, no future, no freedom, and no life. She chooses to master her life. When we hold on to experiences of the past, we remain victims of that past, we live facing backwards, with no future and no control. It does not matter what it is that we need to let go of, or move beyond if we do not free ourselves from it – it becomes a broken record that plays the same song over and over and over again throughout our entire lives. If it was a time when we were happy, the reason we can no longer be happy is because that party has ended, but we haven’t left. Until we leave, until we let go, we can never find another time that is happy. If it is a situation that caused us pain, we will remain in that pain so long as we continue to refer back to that painful experience. We close off our options because we refuse to leave the pain behind.

Where we are now may either be looked at as the result of our past actions, or the starting point of our future. Whether or not we are where we planned to be, our ego becomes attached to either being the creator of that situation or the victim of it. We have the power within us to heal ourselves. We do not have the power to heal our experience. Our lives are not in need of healing, or of growing, they are stations along the train’s route. We go in, we get what we need and we come out. We do not become the station because we stopped there. If the station has heartbreakers in it, our hearts will be broken, not because we deserve it, and not because we don’t, but because this is the route that our soul’s planned out for their growth and this stop on the path happens to have heartbreakers in it. The only reason that the soul incarnates here is to learn what it feels like to be…, what it feels like to have____, what it feels like to give _____, what it feels like to take _____, and what it feels like to lose_____. Each stop on our journey teaches one of those things. From each of those experiences, we are meant to find a way to love better, to have more compassion, to embrace more, and to give more____. As we return to the train, we should leave everything behind except the lessons we learn.
We are not our experiences. They do not define us. We are not the baby who could not reach the chair. We are the baby who grew into the child who reached the chair and the adult who stood above the chair.

It is much easier to let go of the past if we do not identify with it. Our lives consist of stations on a route designed by God and the soul. We always return to the train when it is time to leave the station. Sometimes we don’t want to return to the train, and at those times, we are returned by circumstance. It is not a mistake, it is not because there is something wrong with us, it is because the train keeps its schedule and so do we until we reach the final stop and find that we are Home. What we learn from each stop along the way determines the next stop. If we leave too much of ourselves behind, or identify ourselves with the station we are in, we will find that the train may move, but we don’t go anywhere – we don’t go forward and we can’t go back. We move to a better station when we let go of the old, and take with us only the ticket, which comes in the form of what we have learned. When a baby closes his eyes at night, a life has ended for him. When he awakens in the morning, although his surroundings may remain familiar for him, life has begun anew. Yesterday, when he stood, he fell. Today, when he stood, he walked. Tomorrow, when he stands, he will run. The only connections between each of those days are the ability, the lesson, and the new starting point.

My younger daughter had a difficult time with accepting authority in pre-kindergarten. She told her teachers off, even attacking the assistant teacher when she threatened to call her father. Each day, when we picked her up from school, she was scolded and told to remain in her room while her brother was allowed to play outside. Finally, on the last day of the week, when I told her to be good and listen to her teachers, she said. “Forget that bad girl mommy, she’s gone!” Her history was that girl, who had tantrums; she soon learned that they were not worth the price. She did not attach emotionally to what that girl did, only what this girl learned from it. She knew instinctively that she could be whoever she wanted to be on this new day in this new life. She never felt that she had to incorporate the emotional baggage into her being, justify it, or even give it a second thought, that was then and this was now.

Sometimes, when I see where I am today and where I could have been had I turned left instead of right; I begin to beat myself up. Then I think, “If only I could go back to that moment and do it differently”, and I realize that to go back means to be who I was and know only what I knew at the time. I would never do it differently so long as I was who I was then and believed what I then believed. There would always be a left or a right turn to make without foreknowledge of how it would turn out. It is easy to make the correct turn when we have a map. And I believe that if God meant us to know where to go, He would have given us a map. I also believe, that just as a parent child-proofs a home so that a child will not venture into any areas where it is not meant to go, the universe limits the directions that we may go and choices that we may make so that each turn, whichever it is that we take, will give us the chance to learn the lesson and receive the gift that is ours. And so I accept that I am richer for the life that I have led, and I expect that life will give me as many opportunities to use what I have learned as it gave me to learn them. Learning how to stand was hard, but I learned and I took that learning with me when I had to learn to walk. Now I believe that I am, finally, ready to run.

Life is always moving forward, and, as a part of life, we too have the opportunity to move with it. In front of us, naturally, is empty track. That means that before us lie unlimited possibilities. Behind us is the past, it is devoid of life, devoid of nourishment – whatever we carry with us is rotting away. Whether it was good or it was bad it is rotten and will contaminate whatever it comes in contact with. If we remained in the victory of standing up for the first time, we would not move to the victory of walking. If we remained in the pain of the first time that we fell, we would never have experienced the victory of taking the first step.
We need to always have our hands free, our hearts and minds open in anticipation of what awaits us, and our eyes alert for the lessons and the gifts that are here for us. Life begins anew each day, as do we. We are not defined by our past, anymore than we are defined by the stations along the journey. We cannot be defined until we reach the end of the journey, until that time we are in the process of defining ourselves. We are always becoming. We are not becoming what the past has made us, or given us but we are becoming what we ourselves have set out to become. It doesn’t matter what we begin with, we can turn empty pockets into full ones, and copper into gold. We can make whatever we have into whatever we want, and whoever we were into whoever we want to be, so long as we let go. The past is behind us and it will always prevent us from seeing where we could go. It will always prevent us from being who we could be. When we hold on, we are full of what we are holding on to even though it has no more nourishment for us. Whatever we hold on to uses up the space that we need for happiness. We are not alone because no one will love us; we are alone because we are so filled with past pain that we have left no room for love. Just let go of the past and you will find that along with the past, you have released all that ever limited you.

Choosing Our Own Way

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Viktor Frankl

Often, we decide what the right direction is for us based on what it is for others. Then we find that we are stuck with a goal without the necessary desire to reach it. A person may decide to go into his own business because he does not like authority. He does not consider how much he hates paperwork, long hours, paying people from money that he has not yet earned, and that he can’t do it all by himself. Instead of looking within to find what the real problems are and what the personal solutions might be —he looks outside to see what others had done.

This is the kind of confusion that we are faced with when we try to follow guidance from outside, and not of from within. When this choice becomes difficult, instead of seeking a different solution, most people just stick with the plan but find any number of obstacles to place in their paths to prevent its completion. They tell themselves and others that it is not that they won’t do it; it is just that there are too many things going on which currently stand in their way. What is really in their way is that it is not their goal. They do not have the passion to walk the chosen path. If we have no passion for what we do with our lives, we cannot do those things well or for long without getting sick, or off balance in some way.

This causes us to consciously face a direction that we are unconsciously running away from. This results in deadlock. I have seen many people in this position one way or another. They complain that everyone else gets opportunities except them; something always gets in their way. Or it is their karma to fail. That is just not true. What they are doing is building their lives from the plans of others. They are making choices based upon the successes of others. It is easier to walk the beaten path than to pave ones own. There was a time when that it worked for most people. Now, we are in an age of individuality. Difficult as it may seem, we are being forced from an inner need for satisfaction from a constant lack of external reinforcement to forge our own path to our own goal.

We have traveled far from that sacred connection to our true selves. Instead of deciding at which place we want to arrive, we first need to decide what inner satisfaction awaits us there, how much we are willing to sacrifice, and most importantly, before we follow another’s path, we must be certain that where others have gone holds the same treasure for us. Once we know the price we are willing to pay, and what it is that we really expect for that price, we have something that we are capable of working with. There really are two different soul paths: those for whom the destination justifies the journey and those for whom the journey is the destination.

It is not a question of one being the right way, and one being the wrong way. It is a question of which way is right for each individual. Some of us become workaholics because we want more and more; we do it for the prize at the end. Others become workaholics because their joy comes from the work they do. Again, neither is right nor wrong. To try to develop the attitude that others say is right, or to attempt to see the truth as others see it, can only lead to miserable and unfulfilled lives, if it is not our own way. There is a difference between what feels right and what others say is right. In these times, we are being asked to find that difference for ourselves.

Those who live their lives based on what works for others cannot remain committed to what they do. Who we are is what dictates what we can do well. We can only do well and for a sustained period of time, that which is in alignment with who we are. Otherwise self-esteem suffers; either we feel like failures, or we feel unsatisfied which leads us to feeling that we are defective because we are missing what we have been told is the obvious.

This is a time when personal truth, rather than conformity is needed for our own inner well-being and for the wellbeing of the whole, every aspect of our living must reflect the inner self. The Native American names such as: Lone Eagle, Running Bear, Night Watcher, are given based on the persons own unique qualities. They are invited to live their lives in fulfillment of those names. There was a time when we all took names that mirrored who we were. We were once in touch with ourselves and with our environment. We are being asked by our souls to return to that ancient spiritual center. We are being called from within to live who we are, to love who we are, and to do what reflects who we are. This is the dawning of a new age, an age of truth. We neither find happiness, nor satisfaction in living anyone else’s life. No one ever stands in the way of those who know where they are going. We have to go where we know from within.
When the world was disconnected, and there were such a things as distant shores, the structure of society was much stronger. The strength of a society or a religion to influence its members or followers rests strongly on the limitations of outside information that could otherwise be an influence or create choices that do not exist within the structure. The rules worked, not because they were right but because they were the only rules and pertained to everyone.

Since the end of WWII, slowly but consistently distant shores have become neighbors. Members of completely different societies have been unable to prevent the exchange of information. The world of yellow and the separate world of blue remain intact and self-fulfilling so long as yellow remains separate from blue. The rules of right and wrong, and even cause and effect work for all members of the yellow society or religion as they do for the blue although they may be in total contradiction with each other. However, when the members of the blue group and the members of the yellow group begin to mingle and share beliefs and information, a new green group emerges which inevitably destroys both the yellow and the blue. It does this because suddenly there exists and option, a choice, a way not previously known to either yellow or blue. In actuality it does not destroy the two separate groups but instead it is what they become, the product of their evolution.

The internet has completed the erasure of true borders, the world has now become a melting pot, and so, we can no longer look to any external governing principal for our lives, and how we live them or the direction that will work. We must now look within. There are too many truths ‘out there’ to find the one that will work; we must now journey deep into our own hearts and our own souls to find the truth that supersedes contradiction. This is the inner truth.

Mankind has mastered the lessons of leadership and brute force in the Age of Aries; it mastered the lessons of the herd mentality, the pain, suffering and fear of standing outside of the group, and the manipulations of power in the age of Pisces. It has now entered the school of equality through individuality. In this course, pain and suffering will come from inside when we feel our sense of self diminished. These are the ultimate challenges and lessons of the Age of Aquarius. It is not the energy of the individual merging and losing itself into the group but rather the group growing and becoming greater through the distinctly unique contribution of each individual. We are beginning to suffer depression and illness – not from being isolated from the group, but from being isolated from the self. Many of us think to ourselves, ‘I have what everyone says that I should have, I do what everyone says I should do, my life contains all of the pieces that everyone says should make me happy, yet, the pieces will not fit and I am slowly dying’.

Most people are too embarrassed to admit the panic and confusion that overtakes them when someone says, “Just be yourself”. The truth is, very few people know how to do that, or who that self is. So our first step in finding a fulfilling direction is finding the self that is seeking fulfillment and becoming an expression of that true and unique self living within each of us.

Changing our lives

To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.
Confucius, BC 551-479, Chinese

We may not like the course our lives have taken and feel that a radical change is needed. Perhaps we decide that we need to change our economic level, or that we need a change in our lifestyle. Then we pull out our affirmations and/or our prayers and begin the process.

While it is true that we manifest our own reality, we do not accomplish this in a vacuum. If we are going to survive in these times ahead of us, we will have to understand that it takes two halves to make a whole; there are two forces at work in the accomplishment of every task. Everything that you do whether it is acting from an inner thrust will or reacting to external occurrence – is one half of the equation. It is the act of throwing the ball, of placing the mail in the box, or hitting the send key on the computer. The other half is the energy which guides our action to a given destination. By destination I mean outcome. Some of us never act, whatever we do is an automatic response to stimulus that we either brought with us into this life from past lives, or were conditioned by a repeated act in the past of this life.

If, for example in your past life you suffered deeply from conditions of poverty – in this life you will act towards money and material possessions as though you had experienced this suffering yesterday. You might instinctively hoard, regardless of how generous you would like to be. After a past life regression, or simply a conscious act which is counter to your instinct, then you are actively taking control of your own actions, so, although you are not now, master of your life – you are master of your actions. Many people have past lives in which they were murdered or tortured for speaking out. If that happened to you, you would find that when it comes time to speak up or speak out, you are gripped by an overwhelming fear. In fact, any time that we find ourselves in an outwardly nonthreatening situation and feel overwhelming fear or anger – we are reacting to something that has no relevance in this life but came from the past. Understanding this motivation and acting upon it will aid us in acting consciously – it will not, however, change the fact that the outcome is not a direct result of our actions alone.

There is mounting undeniable evidence that we come in to each life to fulfill a plan that if not chosen was at least understood and accepted by each of our souls. I liken it to a giant mechanical clock with infinite gears. Each gear revolves and as it does so it turns many other gears. Those gears in turn cause the turning of many other gears. Yet each gear is not the same size and does not revolve exactly like every other gear. It is that difference, however slight it may seem, that makes the every gear from the tiniest to the largest equally critical in the functioning of the whole clock of Time. Each of our lives is made up of experiences and the totality of our individual experiences becomes our gear. The specific turning of each gear, in essence, turns the entire clock. We are able to incarnate when our needs and the needs of the whole are a match. Our experiences connect the gears and not our actions because it is the experiences which connect us to others. Soul growth comes as our experiences change our perception of life, but the whole clock, of which each gear is a part manifests our physical reality based upon the outcome of our experiences as we as a whole perceive it.

Because each outcome is equally necessary regardless of the size of the gear that generates it, each outcome is determined by the Source who is able to see and know the purpose and destiny of the entire clock. That higher Presence determining each and every outcome is influenced by the growth of the all of the souls in gear during a cycle of incarnations. What this means is that as each of us change our attitudes that energy combines with the energy of other souls in the process of the same change and all of the outcomes begin to evolve as well in a higher direction.

Our lives are always lived in context. As children, our lives are lived within the context of our families, whose lives are lived within the context of their community, which functions within the context of the nation and so on. We can only change our lives within the context in which they are playing out. What we can change is the way in which we live our lives. Today, we must all acknowledge the economic, social and environmental context in which our lives are playing out. When we seek a change in our lives, what we are seeking, all that we are ever seeking is happiness. It cannot be found if we are hungry, in physical pain or lack shelter , but if we are not lacking in those basic needs, happiness is available in abundance. It is as simple as beginning with a glass that is half full rather than half empty. Happiness will never become a state of being until we are satisfied, until we have enough.

So long as we seek more, we will be dissatisfied with what we have. As long as we are dissatisfied with what we have, happiness will elude us. Within the context of the world today, we must change our focus from having more to becoming more. What we have falls into the category of ‘outcome’. It is not a result of what we have created, or earned in the material world, all of that is only what we have been given. Who we are, who we have become and who we will become is the only outcome that is totally within our control. As we become greater human beings by increasing our reflection of the spiritual being within, we infect others with our growth and they in turn grow. As we grow spiritually we change the context of the world in which we live. Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and Bobby Kennedy were faces of the Civil Rights Movement. But the changes that occurred were the result of changes in the hearts and souls of hundreds of thousand Americans who, regardless of race, felt a need to move in the direction of truth. It was a subtle change in the hearts of many that moved the country in a different direction, from separatism towards a greater union. This was not the result of technological or material growth, but of spiritual evolution. It was this Spiritual growth, led by a few great leaders, who would have been unable to lead had it not been for that vast number of individuals who had already become in their hearts, the change before the leaders led to manifest in the world. Change in the whole is accomplished through the inner changes of thousands, perhaps even millions. We cannot be led into evolution, it is an inner process. Just as we cannot change our lives without the inner process being complete. Otherwise we just change place.

We are seekers by nature. We are creators by nature. It is our nature to love, because our true nature is that of God. The energy of fulfillment, of happiness, of self-worth comes to us through the strength and power of our creations. Our creations feed us as we ourselves feed our Creator. However, that sense of happiness, of fulfillment eludes us when we seek it through creations in the material world. There are three reasons for this. The first reason is that when our creation is material, it is perishable. It makes no difference if we create a business, an empire; a better paying job, an invention, wealth, higher social status or a new and improved body, everything in the material world has a shelf life. The second reason is that whatever we build becomes the launching pad for someone to build it better. In the material world that which does not fade on its own will be destroyed by the competition. The third and most important reason is that deep within our souls, in that same place where we ultimately find our happiness and sense of fulfillment, lives the knowledge that we were not really in control of the final product. The true credit for the outcome belongs to some power other than us.

Our actions reflect who we are. What we seek reflects what we value. What we hold on to reflects what we treasure. And whatever we cannot live without becomes the master that we serve. One day I decided to run away from home with my friend Beverly, we were about eleven years old. When it came time to go, she changed her mind. She said that it didn’t matter where she went, because, “Wherever I go – I go”.

Changing our neighborhood, changing our social or financial status, changing our marital status are all illusory changes. They may change the view, but not the perspective of the viewer. We tend to need what we have, rather than have what we need. So whatever we have we become dependent on. Material things go from ‘it would be nice to have’ directly to ‘can’t live without’ the moment that we have them. That which we cannot live without possesses us.

An actor needs a role in order to perform. A role needs a play in order to exist. And as each role is essential to the evolving plotline of a play, each role is in some way essential to the evolution of the person as an actor. We are all souls inhabiting roles in the play called life. The role that we play cannot just change or end because the actor has lost interest. However, an actor can change a role from within, changing a villain to a sympathetic character without changing the lines, only by changing the delivery. This subtle, inner change of the character can open up new directions for the character that may alter not only the actor’s experience of the play, but the way in which the other actors play their parts, and finally the experience of the audience. The ending may be the same, but these subtle changes could take the sequel into a whole new direction.

For us to change this we must fully understand the reason that we chose the role that we are living. It is not that we cannot change our lives; however, it is not something we can do without true knowledge of ourselves, and the reasons for our choices. Most of the time, we are not working with the knowledge of, or the Spiritual reasons for, where our lives are at this moment. Without that knowledge, how can we change? We do not change our lives from the outside in, but from the inside out.

For us to change from the inside we must understand what is going on inside. Why were these experiences set up in the first place? The truth is, that when the work is done, the lessons learned and the understanding lived – we need no more for ourselves than food, water, and shelter to be as happy as the laughing Buddha. Once we have completed the work, we no longer want for ourselves. Usually, we tell ourselves that happiness must be there – simply because it is not here. Obviously, if it’s not here – it’s there. But the truth is that here is the only place that happiness and all of those other things can ever be because we only move from one here to another.

So it is incumbent on us to know, first, why we came here now, then what the particular circumstances of this’ here’ and this ‘now’ have within them for us, because there is a strong chance that whatever we are searching for is here now, and if it is not, then the key to opening the box that contains it definitely is. The Universe does not waste. Every drop of rain contains an answer for anyone willing to take the time to look. It is only through the challenges that we have faced and will face ahead of us that we can find the treasure we came to unearth. If we perceive that life just happens to us, and that is all that we get from it, we will never know where we are.

There is no punishment and no reward on earth from above. Life is not about punishment or rewards from the standpoint of the Creator. It is about experience. When things go well, we are not being rewarded for past good actions and when things go wrong we are not being punished for past bad actions. In either case, there is something that we have to learn, something that we have to pick up and include in our treasury of knowledge and growth. If it were that simple—either punishment or reward—then all of those who we consider good, would have good things happen to them and all those we consider bad, would have bad things happen to them, but, as we well know, that is not the case. How many times have we heard people say, “Bad things happen to good people.” Life is neither fair nor unfair, it just is. When we are in school, there are no fair subjects and no unfair subjects; there are no fair tests or unfair tests. The fairness of a test is based on the perception and level of preparedness of the person taking the test. It is the same with life. Things are unfair when we are not prepared to handle them and fair when we are.
To change our lives effectively, we must understand them thoroughly, and be prepared with the knowledge obtained through each experience both good and bad. This requires being conscious and not a victim. It requires a willingness to examine life, not just experience it. If we keep being hit with balls that come from out of nowhere, we must learn to catch them or learn to duck—something must be learned. If we are being taught to catch and we keep ducking, the balls won’t stop coming. If we are being taught to duck and we keep catching, the balls won’t stop coming. If we don’t take time to figure out why the balls keep coming, we cannot stop them. But, if we do figure out why they are coming and either master the lesson or make a conscious soul connected decision to put it off, we can change.

If we are not this, if we are not these bodies and these egos then these bodies and these egos must have some symbolic purpose. That is the way it is with our lives. If we want to have a different set of experiences, then we must discern the original purpose; the original function. If we want to change the play, the story, we must first understand our own role in it. Then we must change our approach to that role so that change will transform the approach of the other souls to their roles and to the character that we play. This change will travel forward until ultimately the play becomes a new one.
When children are born, we are struck early on with the realization that there is a very well defined personality in there. There are reactions based, at the least, upon some innate set of beliefs defining the world. Babies have responses to people and to outside stimuli that are not just like every other baby. Some babies respond to the world in ways that just could not have been observed in the limited environment in which they exist. We bring into each life a core belief. It could be what we died in our past life believing, it could be imprinted from many lives of being stuck in the same pattern, it could be exacerbated or just reinforced by the thoughts and feelings of the mother during pregnancy, or it could be an innate Spiritual knowledge. We could bring in the lessons learned at the end of our last life rather than the reaction to the experiences. Wherever it comes from, it is the preamble to our life’s story. It is the filter through which we interpret the world around us and the experiences that we have. It is the key to understanding our perception of and our responses to the world and our experiences in it. Often it is difficult to uncover because it is imprinted in our psyche in the womb, or at least before words. So it is like a knee jerk response, hit the knee the leg goes up, no thought required, and because no thought is required it cannot be filtered.

My father suffered from Parkinson’s disease from before I was born. It went untreated until my mid-teens when my father finally acknowledged it. However, it had been slowly breaking down his ability to think, he lost large periods of time which we never knew of because he had never been in the habit of coming home every night. When I was fourteen he had very little money left and we moved from a large house with five bedrooms to a small house with two. My sister’s core belief was “who a person is – is based on what a person has. One’s chance of survival is in proportion to one’s image”. So, she carried this in from her past life, and in the womb she knew that she was not wanted by my mother who tried everything that she could to accidentally miscarry. Coming in with this belief, reinforced by her experience in my mother’s womb, added the belief that the world was not safe for her. The fact that my mother fell instantly in love with her the moment that she was born, had no effect on her core belief. She saw every experience through the filter of a threat, and responded as one would to being threatened. She relied on the façade of wealth that she was born into to intimidate or impress. She never worked in school – never sought to be anything because her belief was that on her own merits she would fail. When our family moved from having more than many to having less than most, my sister, at the age of ten years old, was pushed her over the edge. Her life deteriorated and she just went from one bad situation to another. It did not matter where she was or what opportunities were ahead of her, she saw the world as chairs being moved around in the same unsafe room, and reacted accordingly. Perhaps she could have sought help, but you can’t seek help when you believe that it is your image of superiority and nothing more that keeps you safe. To seek help would be to admit imperfection which in turn would invite destruction.

Our core beliefs are not simple; they are as intricate as the myriad of past experiences which created them. Still, there is a theme. One theme may be that the opposite sex can’t be trusted; another theme may be that to be seen as standing out in any area is dangerous. It could be that the soul brought in the belief that survival depended on being in control. Some souls are not as influenced by past lives as they are influenced by their core spiritual selves. Whatever these beliefs are, they are the colors of our lives for better or for worse. Everyone walks the same streets our experiences of those streets are personalized by the colors that we bring to them. My core belief – the one thing that I have come to realize that is written in stone for me is that the Source, All-That-Is, the Presence, the energy that we often refer to as God, is Love itself, it is Goodness beyond measure, and the only and ultimate source of all wisdom. I believe that it is the energy and ultimate creator of every experience that we have for eternity. For me, this has always meant that although my life has had a plethora of disappointments, losses, rejection and apparent failure, I have sailed through each storm unaffected because the water under my boat has been calm. I have faced every challenge as an opportunity to gain something that would outweigh the price. Even when, as now, I wonder why I have been so blessed as to have been given such an overflowing reservoir of growth opportunities, my mind is immediately guided to see how much love has entered my life from unexpected sources.

When my parents lost everything I like my sister, had to confront the loss of face. After the immediate feeling of a knife in my gut at seeing our new home, the thoughts that ran through my mind were of how much stronger I would feel in my skin after this test. The most crucial step in changing our lives is asking ourselves what feelings, or fears motivate us. What do we believe causes us to be accepted and what causes us to be rejected? What does our world look like to us? What does it feel like to us? What possible reasons could one continuously end up in the same bad situation if you remove deserving it, earning it, poor judgment, and bad choices? What do we believe will happen if we do _____________ and why we believe that? Every experience under the sun contains a gift, and usually the difficult experiences contain an opportunity to see our own power, an opportunity to see that we are loved and therefore worth loving, that love is love from wherever it comes, or an opportunity to once and for all free us from past, outdated beliefs that constantly limit us.

When my sister finally lost everything that she hid behind, including her ability to maintain her façade, her only choice was to walk through her fears, for the sake of her children, and to attempt to build a life on her own with only who she is and not who she was with, or what she had. With each step she found that who she was seemed to be much greater than she ever believed. From here, she was free to finally step in the light as herself. Even having fewer things than she once had, she has what she never had before and that is herself. It did not happen because she changed her life, it happened because life changed her view. More often than not, if we do the work, we find that we can only change places and change circumstances so many times before all places and all circumstances feel the same. But if we are willing to change our view – then we automatically change our living, and if we change our living our lives move to new heights.