Confirming Three Times: Is This The Best Way Forward?

confirmingThere have been times in my life when I have had choices and not known which way to go forward. A bit like me being at a roundabout and looking for the right road to my destination. Until I connected with my Guide Team I would stumble forward. In a sort of hit and miss way I would get to somewhere. But now I have a better way. My team are happy confirming if my choice will suit me. So long as I have made a choice!

It has helped me a lot. Confirming my direction, once I have taken a first step, allows me to  go forward with confidence. Of course they leave the decision up to me. After all there are always many roads to the top of a mountain. And many down the other side too. But when I choose a route my Guides will let me know if it’s going to be an easy one or not. However, a habit I developed when I began working with my Guides has stuck with me. I like them to confirm important directions three times in three different ways. In this way I can listen to my intuition, do what I feel is the right thing and then make sure I have done the best I can.

I don’t do this with everything in my life. There are decisions I can easily make for myself. That’s part of being responsible for myself. However, every now and again I come to a point where there are options and the way ahead is a bit foggy. Once again I like that my Guide team, by confirming what I am debating, help and inspire me to my choices. Like little nudges that get me looking at things from a higher perspective. And checking that I am not getting lost in my Ego Mind. After all, I want to live by my spiritual beliefs and to do that I have to be in my Intuitive Mind. I want to come from a place of compassion and honesty in my dealings with the world. So sometimes my choices surprise people. I will gladly explain them if I am asked.

Actually, my blog is a way of making my choices transparent. So often when I sit down to write it it turns out to be a confirmation that a decision was the best one in the circumstances. Or I get a chance to argue with myself over which path to take. And in behind it all the time are my Guide Team, confirming the pros and cons, dropping debating points into my mind and reassuring me that I don’t have to worry about unexpected outcomes. I am a Spirit in a human body doing the best I can.

Day 850 of my blogging challenge

Fallen Angels? Soul Essence?

One of the Bible stories that made an impression on me was about Fallen Angels. Those beings who loved God so much they somehow fell out of favour and out of heaven.

I was confused. I had been told that all angels were good. They helped me. I had a Guardian Angel. If I needed anything the angels made it happen. Except that it seemed there were some who were bad. Not just naughty. But very bad because God had thrown them out. He stopped loving them apparently. It was a conundrum my child’s brain couldn’t solve. When I asked I got a lot of stuff about Lucifer, Satan and demons. All fallen out of love with God apparently. In fact it seemed that everything bad in the world was down to the fall of Lucifer and the rise of Satan.

When I began to research other religions the troublesome question about fallen angels kept reappearing. Had humanity made up these dark beings to excuse our own inner nastiness? Certainly being able to blame my dark side on an influence existing outside of me sounded like a good idea. At first. Because there is a lot of stuff about being tempted. But the temptation happens inside when I make my decision. Action only follows some sort of internal choice. No matter how much I would like to push the responsibility onto others. or to say it was a lack of thought. Even to say my feelings got the better of me. In reality I am the one who is in control of my mind and body.

Why then the idea of fallen angels? If I am the decision maker why do I need to absolve myself of what I have done?

Round and round went my inner debate. Every time I worked with someone who chose not to see that their actions had consequences. Every time I excused my bad behaviour by blaming it on others. All the times I fell into ‘the devil made me do it’ moments. For a long time this moral dilemma spun on whilst I got more confused. Then I met my Guides. Who were very keen for me to understand the practical difficulties of being a Spirit in a human overcoat. They helped me by showing me that I had fallen to Earth too. My choice to reincarnate was so that I could experience the absence of love.

And here is the really interesting bit. The angels chose to fall too. They removed themselves from the intimacy of Divine love. Not because of some bad behaviour. Or because they were any less loved. The fallen angels jumped of their own accord. With a very particular aim in mind. To bring the Divine Love as a Light into the world that was just forming. They volunteered to be in the here and now so that humanity would share that Love. Otherwise we would have begun in a total absence of love. And might never have evolved further. What a cold, dismal world it is when there is no inner or outer love. Yet each of us can still access the Love of angels.

The fallen angels fell from their dimension into ours as a gift. I remember that fall. So do quite a few of us.

To get this world started, to get humanity of the blocks so to speak, many Energy Beings came to this dimension. They came with gifts. I am sure that our ‘junk’ DNA contains those gifts. I’m also sure that the essence of these Energy Beings is still with us. I am part of a Soul Group who share the angelic essence. It was the gift to that group. It’s why the angels have always been real to me. It’s also the reason I can work with their energy comfortably. These ‘fallen’ beings continue to help us. They want us to recognise our soul essence and connect with out intuitive gifts. Not to temp us onto some sort of Ego path. But so that we can be more effective in listening to our Spirit within.

Somewhere along the line Ego corrupted our understanding of our connection to fallen angels. Religion became about power and control. I believe that is when our helpers became the Beings we blamed. Like a small child or an angry teenager it was all their fault.  I know it’s time to look again at our belief that evil is inspired by a Being outside of us. Time to take full responsibility for all I have said and done. Because it’s mine. Not the product of temptation. I am learning to love myself enough to own that. And to love other people when they still want to push the responsibility outside of themselves.

We are the fallen. We have fallen out of Love and need to find our way back. When we really grasp that we will be ready to change our world.

Day 498 of my blogging challenge.

Put Down The Burden

I’ve been doing mentoring and healing today. Both kinds of work relate to the burden I feel we all carry. The sense of responsibility we all feel at some time for ourself and one another.

I believe that human beings have a natural sense of caring. The desire to support and love one another. Along with the understanding that we have to support and love ourselves too. However, over time this sense of community is overtaken by a sense of responsibility. Perhaps even a deeper drive to rescue not just take responsibility. However I know that we have all been encouraged to take more responsibility for others than ourselves a lot of the time. It comes through in our social structures. In the way we teach children to look after others. Sometimes at the expense of themselves. I notice this especially with feelings. And how they burden us.

I remember being told to ‘play nice’, to be polite, tactful, not to speak out or complain. In my working life I was part of a team, constantly told to think of others, help others, do my bit for everyone. And in my spiritual life I was encouraged to believe that helping others was a selflesss purpose that would eventually bring it’s own reward. Whatever that meant. It took me a long while to recognise that whilst I was doing all of this I was also being encouraged to ignore my own feelings. My needs had become secondary. So much so that to say anything about what I needed was classed as making waves.

Then I became a parent. And the responsibility landed firmly on my shoulders. That’s when I realised what a burden all the other responsibility had become.

When I had to take responsibility for someone who actually couldn’t take responsibility for themselves it seemed I had lots of other people who needed me to look out for or look after them. Or their feelings. Even their lives. I wondered how it had happened. Because it had been well hidden from my inner eyes. And I wondered if I was supposed to keep being responsible. It seemed obvious that my child needed me. But what about the others? Could they take responsibility for themselves? That was the point when I realised that I could put my burden down.

Strange as it might seem, or perhaps not, I felt incredibly guilty. It took me a long time to work through why that was. Finally I understood that being part of a community is about caring and sharing. But that there had to be a giving and receiving too. Eventually I began to spend time on my own. The solitude helped me to work out who was responsible for what. It also helped me to recognise that my first responsibility was towards me. To contribute I needed to be fit and able to do so. When I realised this I stepped back from the burden of expectations too. It became possible for me to look after my own needs before considering someone else.

The burden of responsibility that I most need to put down is the one I place on myself. The one that says I have to be everything to everybody. And forgets that I also have to be something to me. Now I try to help others put down their burden too.

Day 491 of my blogging challenge.

Shaking the Tree Again

imageSometimes I wonder what I’ve let myself in for. Especially when it seems I can’t do right for doing wrong. Throughout my life I’ve been told so many times that I’ve said the wrong thing, caused someone hurt or been unable to empathise with other people. I’ve come to realise that what I’m very good at is shaking the tree.

I used to stop myself being myself because I was worried if people would like me or love me. For many years I ended up doing what other people told me I should do. I took responsibility for everyone’s feelings and never let mine out. If anything went wrong I took the blame. I allowed people to say it was all my fault. I even believe that it was for a very long time. My nurturing streak seemed to automatically put me in the Mother role for all and sundry. Yet I always ended up being put in the Bad Mother category when it came to shaking the tree. You see, we all think our mothers are bad when it’s time for us to fly the nest.

I know that when I was a teenager I kicked against my Mother’s rules. It’s true I pushed at the boundaries she set. At the same time I really felt frightened about who I was and what would happen to me in the big, wide world. It’s often called teenage angst. That mix of confusing, emotional rebellion linked to trying to stay safe in old habits. But I also thought I was an adult already. I felt like the rules shouldn’t apply to me any more. Some of our battles were loud and turbulent. Through it all she held her line. She kept pushing me firmly but lovingly out of the cosy nest she had built for me.

Shaking the tree is all about letting the fledgling bird learn that it can fly by itself. When I finally understood that I started to be the person who is really me.

As a mother I have had to push my own daughter out of the nest. I’ve done it as firmly and positively as I can. She may not agree with me about that but it’s ok. At some other part of her life she may decide that I did ok. I know my mother did. She was more than ok. She was the perfect mother for me since she encouraged my independence and loved me, no matter what I did. So when someone tells me that I’ve upset them, or hurt them or I’m at fault I think about my mum. What would she say about the situation?

My mum was a great believer in taking responsibility for yourself. She worked on the principle that everything you did was a reflection of your inner world. I remember her pointing out that talking peace but going ahead and waging war was a hypocritical situation. When I was training to be a therapeutic counsellor her wise counsel came back to me time after time. It’s not unusual for the person supporting some one through emotional issues to end up being the one identified with blame or responsibility for the ills of the person being helped. It’s a pitfall that I used supervision to work through. Because it’s easy to identify in the challenges from a client some of your own personal issues. And that’s the heart of the issue.

When I end up shaking the tree who’s feelings matter? And what can be done about them?

If I’m not careful I can take on the responsibility for the feelings of others. Yet the reality is that they feel what they choose to feel. They identify in me something that they need to recognise in themselves. So they may not like the mirror being held up to them. But it is only a mirror. I am not the person who they think they see reflected. Turning the feelings around and saying they must be mine, or that I’m somehow projecting my stuff so the feelings they are expereincing are not really theirs, provides a way to deny those feelings. I can’t cause feelings in another person. Even my energy can’t cause feelings. Unless the person concerned wants to take what I say, or the energy I hold in my aura, and turn it into uncomfortable feelings for themselves.

That’s an important point. My feeling are mine. I take full responsibility for what I feel and think. Your feelings are yours. You must take full responsibility for what you feel and think. It’s a key part of my approach to spirituality. I know it’s a tough line. I expect people to behave towards me as they expect me to behave towards them. Or, to put it another way, to put their money where their mouth is. When I feel something I’m honest about it. But I may choose not to express what I’m feeling. I may choose to reflect on why I’m feeling that way. On what other stuff is tagged into that feeling. And why something I have experienced has made me feel that way. It’s even more important to understand this when I consider the energy I give out.

What we feel is reflected in our aura. The energy we dump out into the world is a much truer reflection of what we feel than what we might say. That’s because we aren’t very good at being authentic. At taking responsibility for ourselves.

When someone tells me I have made them feel a low vibrational feeling I pause. I check out what they are saying. Is my energy ‘off’ in some way? Has something from another part of my life stayed with me so that my energy is cloudy? Why are they seeking to pass the responsibility for their feelings over to me? Has something I have pointed out, probably as a general comment, hit home. Is their tree shaking? And do I have any responsibility to do anything about it? In the end, nothing I can say or do will alter the way someone wants to feel. I can radiate loving, healing energy out to them. But if they want to feel a particular way that is their choice. If it is easier for them to see me as Bad Mum right now that’s ok.

In the end it’s not my energy that is affected. It’s theirs. One day I believe we will all take off our masks. If we can do that I am sure that we will love our authentic selves much more than we love the masks. We will stop making excuses for accepting the hand outs that sustain our dramas. Instead we will be ready to seek out the hand ups that are all around us. Then I won’t be shaking the tree. Each one of us will recognise that flying the nest is a wonderful part of our growth and development. We will be brave, strong and persistent as our emotions are accepted as a matter of individual choice. Finally, I believe, we will have found our adult wisdom.

Day 298 of my blogging challenge.

Taking it Personally? Not me

quote-when-we-really-see-other-people-as-they-are-without-taking-it-personally-we-can-never-miguel-angel-ruiz-59-9-0904Sometimes it’s hard to step out of a situation and look at it from the outside. Whilst angry, harsh, defensive or blame words are flying about the emotional content of what is being said it top of the agenda.

That’s a point my Guides have worked with me to recognise. We all have an agenda. A list of things that we would like to have that make our world how we want it. Or a set of expectations about what we have to do and how others should fall in with them. When the energy of change is round and about it’s much easier to take things personally. Usually because we are off balance from the changes that are happening. It doesn’t matter if the changes are inward or outward. Emotions are on the rise.

I know that much of the difficulty with agendas is that they are in my head. And the head of the other person too. Yet the agendas may be very different. I might want a quiet life – you might want a loud party. If you are my neighbour there is a potential for disagreement if you do hold your party. Perhaps we will both ignore the noise at the first party. What about the next one? Or the one after that? And what if you want to party every night and I want quiet. It could quickly become a personal grievance between us. If we were taking it personally perhaps the word and actions we used would fracture our neighbourliness even more. Before long we could both be entrenched in our positions. Both of us miserable. Both of us fearful.

Of course, there are difficult neighbours. We only have to look at the state of global relationships to see how agendas take rational, reasonable people into sometimes quite extreme positions. How do I make sure that my agenda stays positive and constructive?

One of the techniques I use is to step outside my mind. By that I mean that I recognise that I have both fixed and fluid ideas about what would make my life the way I want it. Fixed ideas are the bits of my agenda I’m not prepared to change easily. The fluid ideas are the ones where I can react from an ‘Am I bothered?’ point of view. So if my neighbour has noisy parties only once in a while I am much less likely to get into a situation of taking it personally. However, if I have very sensitive ears so all noise is an intrusion then I might actually want to stick to my point of view. And it might be impossible to resist getting drawn into some sort of dispute.

Whether the issue challenges my fixed or fluid expectations when I look at it outside of my agenda I find I have other choices too. For instance, like going away for a few days when the party is being held. So the next thing I try to do is step outside of my feelings. I ask myself why I’m feeling this way. Is it because I feel disrespected by my neighbour? Or am I upset because the noise scares my cats? Maybe I lived next door to someone who partied all night, every night, and the occasional party now brings up all the old feelings? Understanding why I’m feeling a particular way, perhaps even recognising that my reaction is a bit extreme, I can help myself not to take the issue personally. I can do that by releasing the feeling in a deliberate way. Often a physical way.

Perhaps I go and bash my pillow for a bit. Or stomp on the empty cardboard boxes to crush them (this is good for the recycling anyway!). Or I go for a run (no, not seriously but it’s an option).

I’m always amazed at the way a good physical effort will release any pent up emotions. Sometime a good yelling session accompanies the physical exercise. Mainly in a field or by the road on a quiet bit of moor. The words can fly out, free to be recycled by the wind into positive energy. It’s important to me that the words do not get aimed at anyone. Words are such strong energy and I know that they can do a lot of harm to someone’s aura if said with enough intent. Especially if that person is wide open in their energy. Learning to protect my own energy has been a great way to step out of the energy of words aimed at me. It’s my final way of not taking things personally.

Of course, it also depends on who is speaking to me. Or about me. Those closest to us find it hard when we change. It means they have to change too. I try my best to align my agenda with theirs but it’s true – I can’t please all of the people all of the time. So I don’t take it personally when they are unhappy with me if I’ve done my best to explain. Not necessarily to fit with their agenda. We may have to agree to disagree about the way the world is. There is one type of agenda I definitely don’t take at all to heart. I don’t even give it any of my time or attention. It’s the one based on gossip.

If someone wants to dream up stuff about me, or knows me so little that they want to spread rumours or just wants to cause an argument they are welcome to get on with it.

Gossip is a source of negativity. If you want to know anything about me all you have to do is ask. Of course there are some things that are private and I won’t open them up for discussion. However, if someone can waste their time and energy manufacturing or magnifying situations it’s their loss. I won’t respond. I don’t take it personally. The people I care about know who I am, what I’m likely to do or say and that certain things are so unlikely that what is being said can’t be true. My focus is on positive things, supportive words, compassion and love. Of course I’m not perfect. No one is. Keeping my attention on my own agenda, being mindful of my thought and feelings I’m far less likely to deal with situations as if they are a personal attack.

I dream that in the near future everyone, every country across the globe, learns the benefit of stepping out of taking it personally and into personal responsibility.

Day 268 of my blogging challenge.

Accountable. Who me?

imageI’m retreating from the world again tomorrow but before I go I have to file my accounts.

One aspect of running my business is to keep track of money in and money out. Otherwise how do I know if I’m able to meet my commitments. Bills have to be paid, even if it takes some time and effort. I also have to be accountable for any taxes due, legal requirements and local taxes. Lots of ‘red tape’ so to speak. The up side of looking at my accounts is to see how much progress I’ve made in offering services that people want. Especially since a chunk of what I can offer is given for free.

I find that is one of the hardest parts of running a spiritual business. Balancing the income that keeps me able to work at what I love with my desire to make things accessible for everyone. I know I think about it often. After all, it’s up to me if I charge or not, what is charged for and when. Even how much I charge. That is where doing my accounts help me make decisions. I’m back to making sure I can pay the bills for my work space.

There is another kind of accountability though.

One of the Spiritualists principles, channelled by Emma Hardinge Britten, relates to compensation and retribution hereafter for all the good and evil deeds done on Earth. It links with another one which is Personal Responsibility. Both of these suggest that I have to consider how else I might be accountable in my business. Or life, for that matter.  Just as I balance my financial books I also need to balance my ethical books. Everything I do creates a consequence. Not only for me.

The people I offer my services to matter too. If I am giving messages from Spirit then I am accountable both to the sender and the receiver. It’s important that I do my best to work honestly, clearly and giving as much evidential information as I can. Operating my business I also have to work honestly, clearly and giving as much information as I can. Working with others it’s important that we behave as positively as we can to each other and anyone who visits us. Creating a pleasant and safe space is my responsibility but not only mine. It’s everyone’s.

Taking this wider into life I am also accountable for how I relate to myself and others.

Being mindful of my own personal ‘stuff’ I need to make sure that the energy I put out into the world supports the way I choose to live my life. I am ready to look at the big picture of my life when I get to the Afterlife. I am sure there will be some actions I have taken where I will need to make reparation. Yet I am also equally sure that there will be some actions where a balancing out will occur. Where it will turn out that I have made a positive contribution to someone or something.

Remembering that I am accountable has another purpose too. I often pause, consider and sometimes rethink my reactions to situations and people. It doesn’t matter how people react or respond to me. What I have to do is accept my responsibility for my choices. Then make the best ones I can based on my current level of understanding. It means I have no hiding place but since I have nothing to hide I’m happy to be called to account.

Day 252 of my blogging challenge.

Modern times – a moral maze

imageThere is a spiritualist principle Personal Responsibility. It was given through the channelling of Emma Hardinge Britten over a hundred years ago. It refers to our need to take responsibility for our energy, feelings, thoughts and actions. I often refer to it as the ‘what you give out you get back’ principle. As a moral statement it asks us to consider how we are and interact in the world. It doesn’t tell us what our moral stance should be. There is no direction to a right or wrong action. We are expected to work that out for ourselves. Then we are expected to follow the path we have determined with love & mindfulness so as to fulfil our Spirit’s mission here on the Earth.

Taking personal responsibility for yourself can lead you into a moral maze. Is it right to consider how your actions affect others? If so, how much do you consider their needs as opposed to your needs. Is there a point at which you work out what is for the greater good? And who says what that point is? When do you go along with what others want? At what point is it easier to go with the flow or even do nothing? Even in our smallest decisions we are deciding matters of personal responsibility. Should I take that seat on the bus if there is someone standing who is infirm? Or a mother with a couple of kids? Will it offend the infirm person if I offer? Is the mum only going a few stops?  What about the teenager who is many years younger than me but hasn’t budged off his seat? Should I ask him to stand up? Working this kind of stuff out can get me in many dead ends, everyone has probably got off the bus and I’m still wondering if I did the ‘right’ things. Yet the decision to stand up & offer my seat on the bus is really a very simple moral situation.

What about if someone is entering my work building to use one of the rooms without permissions? And what if more than one person is doing it? On a regular basis? And making a mess or being destructive? What if they are teenagers? Tonight I ended up in just such a dilemma. A hundred or so years ago (not that I’m really speaking from personal knowledge – I’m not that old!) those teenagers would most likely have been in work helping to support the family. Or off fighting a war of madness. Even fourty or fifty years ago those teenagers would have been working Saturday jobs to get spending money to buy the latest technology – records (I remember doing that). Modern times are very different. Teenagers tend to have all the technology going – including state of the art  phones, Facebook accounts and games consoles. So why the need to enter a building that belongs to someone else? And to make a mess? I saw one of them. As he ran further into the building I called out to ask why he was there. I heard other running footsteps and comments. No one came back down the stairs to say sorry, or give an excuse or even to run out of the building.

Unsure of who & how many people there were in the building, concious that there had been an incident the afternoon before, I ran out of the building myself and locked the front door. I called the police. I stood in the doorway so that the intruders couldn’t leave. After a short while 3 teenagers appeared. Rather than being shamefaced & apologetic they were busy filming me on their mobiles. They wanted to come out so that they could run away. I wouldn’t let them. They were a bit bemused that I wouldn’t let them out. And got upset when they realised I had called the police. They ran up & down the stairs a few times. Finally it seems they decided to kick open an internal door and leg it out of the fire door. Perhaps forgetting that the building has CCTV. Or that by spitting all over the floor they had left their DNA.

Whilst I was standing outside the building someone I knew came past. Relieved I asked him to stand with me because I was a little bit shaken up. As he stood there he saw the teenagers and began asking me to let them out. He said they may have wandered in in error. He said it may not have been them who had been damaging the building. He felt they might have a reason to be in the building anyway. As I listened to his comments I realised that he thought my decision was an over-reaction. He didn’t seem to appreciate that there would be consequences from this for myself and the other tenants of the building – not least that our ability to have our visitors enter the building freely was likely to be restricted. It seemed the needs of these teenangers had a priority that my needs hadn’t. Since they were safely behind glass I have no idea if they were carrying any weapons. They couldn’t rush at me or push me. Yet what if I had opened the door?

Lost in the moral maze of the experience one thing was clear to me. A question that I asked this passer by and he choose not to answer. Would I be happy to have random strangers walk into my home at any time they pleased, pull up a chair and start messing about? Of course I wouldn’t. I suspect neither would he. Why is my place of work any different? In either case I would feel that my space had been violated. I would want to do something to make sure it didn’t happen again. My personal responsibility was to choose the action I took. I didn’t let that violation pass without comment or notice. I didn’t get a weapon and lash out – not even verbally. I called for the people who would be best placed to ensure that the consequences the teenagers had earned would be delivered. If nothing else their parents would be aware of what their sons were doing. And the teenagers might have learned a valuable lesson. Not everyone is so paralysed by the moral maze that they let things slide. Or for fear of a kick back that they sidestep their responsibilities.

It’s all to easy to turn a blind eye. To slide away from any responsibility. To set an example for younger people that lets them believe that life has few or no consequences. We all do stupid things. We all end up making mistakes. That’s not enough of a reason to ignore when someone is overstepping a boundary. When their actions have direct or indirect consequences for someone else. I have no issue with kids doing stupid things. I did myself. However, I also learned from those stupid things never to do them again. I learned because the things I did ended up having consequences and I was fortunate enough to have adults around me who made sure I suffered consequences too. I finally learned that I had to be responsible for my life, my choices, my consequences. It was a hard lesson but makes moral decisions much easier. I didn’t open the door because I felt that my decision to protect my ‘home’ and self was the best one I could make in the circumstances. My needs were at least equal to those of the teenagers. And I’m happy with that decision. I can return to my Centre and feel safe in my building because I’m sure those teenagers would think twice about returning any time soon!

Day 117 of my blogging challenge.