Don’t Think Green OR the Secret to Immortality

RadiallyDon’t think green.

Did it work?  Or did your mind immediately flash on the color green even though you specifically told it not to?

The thing is, it flashed on green specifically because you told it not to.  It’s not being rebellious.  Your mind is not being a teenager or a terrible two.  It would have also flashed on green if you had asked it very nicely, “Please think green.”

The subconscious mind does not understand negatives.  It only hears whatever it is the words ARE – i.e. green.  That is why, if you’re trying to calm yourself down saying “Don’t be afraid, don’t freak out,” your subconscious hears “be afraid, freak out.”  That is why in those situations it’s better to use positive language, such as “Just relax, breathe.”  Can you feel how much more effective that is?  Even reading the words feels more relaxing.

It’s kind of like the ads I put on my blog a few weeks ago.  There is a computer program that is designed to automatically detect reoccurring words and place ads that are similar to the content of the blog, so that the ads might be of interest to the people reading the blog.  Makes sense.  However, it’s kind of like the subconscious mind.  Somewhere there is a computer brain that is processing the words but not understanding negatives, satire or even unity.  I noticed once I posted about how engagement rings are a scam, ads for brilliant-earth-antiquediamond rings started popping up.  That is ok, they are for some earth friendly jewelry company, not the evil De Beers, and at least they have pretty pictures.  But even worse, when I first put the ads on, the program started picking up on all the references to Jesus, Christianity and Islam and there were all these ads about converting to one religion or another and about how this prophet or that savior is the only way.  This is the exact opposite of what I stand for and what I write about!  So, I had to go in and block those ads, in a sense reprogramming the subconscious computer brain to not associate religious words with religious division.

This is what we need to do with our own minds.  It is, however, a little more tricky.  It’s not as easy as just clicking on the “block” button.  But this is where we train ourselves to focus on what we DO want, instead of what we DON’T want.  I.e. – if wanting to manifest a new job, make a list of characteristics you want in the job, like ‘flexible hours, good benefits, at least X/hour’ etc.  If you make a list of what you don’t want, like ‘no jerk for a boss, no crappy pay, no awful hours’ then you’re more likely to get a job with at least some of those crappy characteristics.

This is the basis of such personal development systems as Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), Est and the Forum.  Big name self-help guru Tony Robbins uses elements of NLP in his success seminars and the practice of affirmations and positive thinking have seeped into our popular culture.  And there is something to be said for being conscious of how we use our words and what it points to in our subconscious mind.  However, there is more to it than just words.

NLP-BubblesIn general, I believe that everything should be done in moderation, even moderation.  And NLP can get a little extreme at times.  I’ve had friends get so into it that they tried to eradicate ALL “negative” words from their speech.  They would twist and turn and speak in all kinds of round about ways simply to avoid saying the word “not.”  Back in my Asheville days I worked at a massage school and one day when I answered the phone, it was one of the assistant instructors essentially calling in sick – but instead of saying he wasn’t feeling well and he would not be coming in to work he said “I am in the process of healing and I am choosing other than to come to work today.”  That’s just silly.

The most important thing to remember when dealing with positive language, NLP or affirmations is that the only reason we are using words at all is to relate to the FEELING we have inside.  It is the FEELING of our hearts that creates our reality – that creates us being happy or sad or confident or insecure or scared or relaxed.  The words themselves don’t mean anything without the feeling behind them.  You can use all the positive words you want but if you still feel negative and grumpy inside, you won’t create a positive outcome. Anyone who has written affirmations on the mirror to no avail knows that.

I saw this Gregg Braden video (which I have on my Meditation and World Peace page) where he talked about a friend that had all these post-it notes all over his house saying “I am attracting a wonderful loving woman into my life” and the like.  He asked his friend if he was really attracting a wonderful woman and his friend immediately responded “Of course not, no wonderful woman would want to be with me.”  So, even though he had all the words plastered all over his house and even in his car, his underlying feeling about himself had not changed.

In fact, this is how affirmations can misfire.  People think that simply by putting up post-it’s they can change, but what they don’t realize is sometimes those post-it’s just get the subconscious mind to sass-mouth the post-it and it aggravates the negative feeling even more.  Every time that guy looks at his post-it’s about a wonderful woman, instead of it ee85e279ff1a413cf53822c0804ac0c9having the intended effect, his subconscious mind says “are you kidding? she would never be with someone like you,” magnifying his negative subconscious feelings and working against him.  Instead of using post-it’s with words on them, it is much more useful have post-it’s reminding you to sit for a few minutes and focus on the FEELING you want to create.  Instead of calling in and saying you are choosing other than to come into work today, just call in sick like a normal person and then spend some time resting in bed focusing on the feeling of being healthy.

Before we get too nit-picky about what words we use and run around yelling “cancel clear!” every time we say a negative word, as if it’s a cosmic delete button to ward off accidental manifestations of “not,” just breath and remember it’s more about the state of our feeling self.  Our manifestation consciousness is not so much centered in our verbal mind, it is centered in our feeling heart.

Now, here is where we get to the Secret of Immortality.  I know you’ve been waiting for that.

The Tom Robbins book ‘Jitterbug Perfume’ is about all manner of people searching for the Secret to Immortality.  Some people believe it is in some extraordinary combination of scents to be found in a blue perfume bottle embossed with the image of a goat-horned god.  There are others in the book, however, that believe the Secret to Immortality lies in completely eradicating any and all words or idioms involving death or dying in our language.  These people believe that every time we say “I was scared to death” or “that is so funny it just kills me” that we are creating our own eventual demise.  They are part of a society that is aiming to neuro-linguistically re-program our biology from death itself.

Back to Godhead - Volume 12, Number 10 - 1977

Journey of the Soul through life, death and reincarnation.

However, I posit that the Secret to Immortality is not in NLP or ‘never say die,’ it is in FEELING that you are an eternal soul.  Immortality is not only saying the words “I am a soul” or even believing that you are a soul who will live forever.  Those are important steps.  Immortality is in feeling that you are an eternal soul.  It is about internally identifying as a soul and experiencing your every day life with that knowingness as the ground of your being.  Immortality is in even your subconscious mind knowing and accepting that your consciousness is timeless.

As an example, if someone were to ask me, ‘have you ever been to Peru?,’  I would think – not with this body in this lifetime, but I’m sure I’ve been there at some point.  The “I” is my soul.  Of course, I’m not obnoxious and I simply reply like a normal person, answering the question in the way it was intended – ‘No, I have not been to Peru.’  The person wasn’t asking for a treatise on immortality and past life remembrances.  They just want to tell me about a cool hotel they discovered in case I ever go there.

So, whether you are wanting to get over a cold, manifest a wonderful woman or discover the Secret to Immortality – remember that you can use positive language, verbal reminders and post-it notes, but the essential part is in how you feel.  Do you feel that your immune system is strong and capable of healing your body quickly?  Do you feel that you are a good loving person who deserves to have a wonderful loving woman in your life?  Do you feel that you are an eternal soul and that the consciousness of all time is available to you here and now?

eternal soul portraitAnd as in all things, it’s important to remember that Divine Grace supersedes it all.  If you don’t want to worry too much about what words you use or what your subconscious mind is doing – just pray for Grace.  No matter what you are wanting to manifest, not enough can be said for praying with full feeling in humility and adoration. Loving God will take care of most things.

God is a Better Manifester than I

grandcanyon700Yesterday I posted my first post about the popular topic of “manifesting.”  I stated it’s not something I think a lot about, but I guess to correct myself I’ll modify that to say that it is something I have been witnessing quite a bit lately.

My one secret to manifesting (if it is even possible to have secrets about something that is a natural function for all human beings), is to not focus on it too much.  Many many years ago I had a friend tell me “I just focus on God and I find that God takes care of the rest.”  I have found this to be true.   If I can just stay in a state of gratitude, focus on being happy and giving as much love to the world as I can and loving God with all my heart, manifesting takes care of itself.

main-bgGod is a much better manifester than I will ever be – just look at the Grand Canyon, Mount Everest or Koh Pipi!  I find that if I just focus on being grateful to God for all the amazing blessings I have been given in my life, God keeps giving me blessings – and God knows what is best for me much better than I do.

A few months ago I was in the midst of a huge life transition.  I had left the path I had been on and I was asking God, what next?  I wasn’t trying to figure it out from my own mind.  I wasn’t trying to manifest the best future I could come up with.  I was praying for God to show me.  I was asking God where do You want me to go?  And this is the incredibly true (and somewhat long) story of how God manifested everything perfectly for me.

I had been staying with my sisters, alternating between their two houses, asking and remaining open to what was next for me.  One evening I was sitting on the couch with my sister Charlotte after we had tucked her children into bed and I remembered this neat little town of St Augustine that was just a couple of hours away.  When I tuned into the feeling of it, I felt excited, so I decided to go there the next day.  I drove up and checked into a hotel, the best deal I could find on the internet. I walked around the downtown and walked by the fort and I was overcome with a feeling of peace, a deep calmness in my being and it felt good.6a00d8341d171f53ef00e54fb149888834-800wi

The next morning I woke up and across the street from my hotel there was a Wednesday morning farmer’s market.  Delighted, I walked over.  The first booth I came upon was Bob’s books.  The lady there had written two children’s books about God, which I bought for my nieces and nephews, and we talked about the honoring of all religions and the importance of compassion and peace in our world.  I didn’t realize it until months later, but this woman is the founder of Unity & Peace, the non-profit organization that I am now the chairperson of.  She was the very first person I met in St Augustine and it was an answer to both of our prayers – she had been praying for someone to continue the work of Unity & Peace and I was praying for my next assignment.

So – even though I didn’t know it yet – I had my purpose for moving to St Augustine.  What about housing?

Later in the afternoon I was driving around looking at different areas of the town.  I was driving down Marine Street and out of the corner of my eye I saw a sign on the side of a house that said “St Francis Room.”  I LOVE St Francis, he is one of my very best friends, so I pulled over and parked in front of this house to find out what made it a St Francis room.  It turns out it was just a name for a rental room because nearby is St Francis street.  Disappointed that it did not contain a holy shrine to my favorite little saint, I was about to get back in my car.

A pedestrian walking down the street approached me and inquired, “Are you looking for a rental?” I told her “well, I’m thinking about moving into town but I haven’t decided yet.”  I thought perhaps this woman was a landlord or a rental manager, but it turns out she was neither.  She just came up to talk to me because she thought she might be helpful.  She had just found her rental and knew the in’s and out’s of finding a good one in St Augustine.  She told me she was writing a series of books inspired by the Archangel Gabriel and we spoke of spiritual things.  Then we exchanged contact info and I was again on my way.

shrineI continued to pray and be open to receive the answer – was this to be my next place on earth?  As I carried on my exploration I went to the shrine at Nombre de Dios – the “Name of God” mission, which I found interesting because I love chanting the name of God so much (though the Catholic church who built and maintains this shrine might not agree with the exact names I sometimes use).  As I walked up to Our Lady of La Leche shrine, the teeny stone chapel covered in ivy, I spontaneously burst into tears.  The simple holiness, the healing energy of Divine Mother, the peace of St Francis, the sweet serenity of devotion – these were all the things my soul craved and here God was giving them to me with a big bonus dose of Grace.

I called my new friend and said “OK, I’m moving here and I want to live next the shrine.”  She said to me “Oh, well just two days ago I met the person who lives right next to the shrine” – as in literally the very first house next to the shrine.  I asked her if she would go and ask if they had a garage apartment for rent or something and she thought I was a little weird but she, being a little weird as well, agreed.  Given that she didn’t actually have a phone number or email for these people, she walked over to the house beside the shrine.  As she walked up, the people were just heading out of their driveway.  My new friend told them she had met someone who wanted to move to St Augustine and wanted to live next to the shrine – did they happen to have a garage apartment?  They said no and then they drove off.  So, was that it?  No, a minute later they came driving back and said they didn’t have a garage apartment to rent, but they did have a rental house just a couple of blocks away in the neighborhood across the street from the shrine.

My new friend called me and gave me the address.  The owners couldn’t meet me for a couple of days but I could go by and take a look from the outsi2014-01-24 15.23.18de.  I went over immediately.  The house was a cute pink little concrete square and there was a gate into the enclosed back yard, so I entered.  It was a little bit neglected and overgrown, but sweet with a beautiful canopy of trees overhead.  Over in the corner there was a lump of concrete amidst some ferns.  It looked like something had fallen over.  I went over and lifted it straight and all of a sudden found myself holding St Francis’s hand.  I once again had tears rolling down my face as I could feel him leading me into my new home.  This is where God wanted me to be – could it be any more obvious?

A couple of days later I met my new landlords – a very sweet Catholic couple who love the shrine and who love God with deep sincerity.  They had meant to put the house up on Craigs list but hadn’t gotten around to it yet.  The previous tenants include a seminarian and several groups of novitiates and nuns visiting the shrine on pilgrimage.  I could not have dreamed up a more perfect little holy abode for my next home.

The one thing that perplexed me was the size.  It was huge, especially for one person.  It is essentially a 3 bedroom house with an additional office space.  In my last living situation I had been through 15 years of community living and I really felt like I needed my own space – my own little nest to make into my own little home.  I felt it was an emotional necessity.  So I had been picturing 1 bedroom apartments or a small little studio.  Why was God laying this huge house in my lap?

So, I prayed about that and asked God – why is this house so big?  And within a day I realized that God knows me much better than I know myself.  I only needed my own space for the first 2 or 3 months, just to make it my own and have the privacy for my own healing process.  But when I contemplated the long term, I didn’t want to live alone.  So, God took care of that for me, too.

I didn’t want to post something on line and have a bunch of strangers to contend with – I was feeling pretty vulnerable.  So, I told my new friend from church that I was looking for a room mate.  She said she knew a friend who might need a place.  Meanwhile, that friend, an entrepreneur and business owner, was talking to her employee about her moving up to St Augustine to be a more active part of the business.  The entrepreneur said she would pray about finding the right place for the employee to live and went straight into her daily Agnihotra ritual.  After her fire and prayers she got back to her computer and had received the email from my new friend from church asking if she knew anyone who needed a place to live.  And voila, my perfect room mate was found.  So, 4 months after moving in – in fact just one week after I started feeling like I didn’t want to be alone anymore – my new room mate moved in, and she is the sweetest most harmonious house mate I can imagine.

p550098514-3I could never manifest or orchestrate all these things on my own!  I could never even come up with knowing what to ask for as perfectly as God has given me all the wonderful parts of my new life.  All I had to do was to pray with sincerity, stay in a state of trust and gratitude and be open to receive.  And God can manifest a much better and more beautiful life than anything I can dream up.

 

 

Manifesting: You Only Need One

concept, money tree on grassI don’t think a whole lot about “manifesting.”  It might be because I have gone to too many new age type “spiritual” gatherings only to find an imbalance of focus – not so much on love, compassion or God and a bit too much on “manifesting abundance” for ourselves.  But I have had a few realizations in the last few months and I will share them over the next few days as part of my NaBloPoMo daily postings.

One realization is that you only need one of whatever it is you are looking for, for the most part (except for shoes).

My house mate is currently in the process of looking for a job and the other day someone was saying to her that St Augustine is such a small town that there just aren’t many jobs, there isn’t a huge job market like there is in a big city like Jacksonville.  But in thinking about that I told her – just remember that you only need one job.  You don’t need there to be a huge job market, you don’t need lots and lots of jobs, you only need the one job that is right for you.

That evening, in order to drive this point home, the universe continued to demonstrate this for us in the form of parking spots.

Parking in downtown St Augustine is notoriously scarce – the nations oldest city was built before there were automobiles so parking was not an issue considered by the city planners back then.  Downtown St Augustine on Halloween is notoriously busy – busier than almost any other evening of the year with costumed people meandering about like the whole downtown is one big block party.  Yet, when we drove into town with our friends we said “we only need one parking spot” and lo and behold, that one car was leaving and giving us that one parking spot just as we drove into the plaza.

Our next stop was the Ice Plant, another business notorious for their small parking lot, and right in front of the main entrance there was that one spot just waiting for us.

An hour later we again ventured back to the downtown where there were pedestrian traffic jams in certain areas and again, that one parking space just a block away from our destination.funny-tiny-car-parking

The next day we drove up to Trader Joe’s and it was packed – as we drove into the parking lot my room-mate pointed out the cars that had illegally parked in the grass on the side of the building because it was so full – but as we pulled up there was that one parking spot exactly in front of the automatic sliding doors.

At this point we were both amazed.

I found this to be true in my own job search a few months ago.  I was told by several people how hard it is to find a job in this town: new friends I just met, some lady petting my dog and a waitress where I was having lunch.  I thought to myself – well, I know I was guided to move here and so there must be the right job for me. I didn’t want to buy into any kind of limited thinking.  I was too busy being grateful for this new life I was creating for myself in this new town I loved to have time for fear or worry.

I looked at the on-line job postings and there wasn’t much that seemed exciting to me.  But instead of being discouraged, I just looked on-line for the businesses or companies in town I’d like to work for and I made a list.  I stopped by to introduce myself and drop off my resume whether they were hiring or not.  One holistic healing clinic I went into said – “oh, you’re the first response to our ad.” Apparently they had just posted a job opening that morning.  Another business wasn’t really hiring but they liked my resume so much they started trying to create a position for me – but then I got a call from the local college, the first choice on my list, asking if I’d like to take a temporary job for two months while someone went out on medical leave.

So – I started at the college thinking that this “boring” temporary position would lead me to a permanent job in a more “interesting” department within the college.  Maybe I could infiltrate the Religion and Philosophy department.  Maybe I could work with college events or the literary journal or the art museum… I just kept moving forward, knowing that of course God had something good in store for me – after all, He had given me my first choice of employer within a couple of weeks of me looking.

It turns out my permanent job is actually the “boring”  position that I started out in, and it’s perfect.  It is not a job I would have sought, it’s not one I would have gotten excited about applying for if it had been posted – but it is the perfect job for me.  I have zero stress, I have evenings and weekends to spend time with my nieces and nephews, to blog and to focus on Unity & Peace.  In short – it is the perfect job to give me the most amount of time and emotional energy to focus on what matters to me most in life.  And God knew that.  I didn’t.  And I didn’t need St Augustine to have a huge booming job market, I only needed the one perfect job for me.

woman-field-sun_0Some of my friends and acquaintances in town are amazed at how quickly I found such a good job in this little town.  The same is true for how easily I found such a nice place to live (“It’s so hard to find housing in the downtown area, things go so fast.”), which is the topic of tomorrow’s post (yes, it’s a link to the future! Actually, it won’t work until tomorrow).  And I’ve heard the same thing on many other topics – “it’s so hard to meet a good man in this town, there are so many more cool spiritual women than there are men,” but I really am not a polygamist and I don’t need lots of cool men, just one.  “It’s too hard to find a meeting place for peace meditations in the downtown area, it’s so expensive and restrictive,” but when I called the city the very helpful woman told me the beautiful grassy fountain area in front of City Hall is free speech space and is not only available but free.  “It’s so hard to find a good room-mate, there are so many college students who are flaky and unreliable,” but I am not living with so many college students, I only need one room-mate and God found me the perfect one.

So no matter what limitations are presented to me as just “how it is” – my answer is, I only need one.