There's no excuse for having a blog and not chiming in more often. Or is there? Maybe there are better things to do - like live life. But it's been since August or September of last year. It's March already! Maybe it's because I mainly check email or post crap on facebook. Well anyway you cut it, when it comes to blogging I'm about as much on a routine as jogging. Ok more than that - I don't jog. But it rhymes. I bet there's somebody somewhere who blogs while they jog and jogs while they blog. It's a big crazy planet.
So - where have I been? Oh sweet Jesus I wish I knew. Life is oddly fascinating isn't it? We go through so much every day of our lives and it can never fully be captured or documented in any way. It can only be interpreted through art. And which art interprets life most effectively? Most folks would probably say film. I would. Although it's more accurate in it's depiction of experience as we know it - can enough be said for music or painting? Sculpture or theater? Literature or dance? These subtle links to shamanism are always here for us to tune into whether as observers or participants, expressers or absorbers.
One thing that has continued to fascinate me about this confounding experience of living is the relentless and infinite change that surrounds us, engulfs us and thrives within every cell of our being and every pulse of our aura at all times.
Change. That's the name of the game. We are all changing all the time. Every millisecond of experience forever yields more and more change - more unchecked growth. More universal and divine expansion into unknown realms constantly breaking down limits and divisions. So where are we heading? Does anyone know? Can anyone predict the future? Will the sun rise in the east? Well I have the answer. It's change. Constant, limitless, unrestricted, boundless, ever-expansive change.
There are two points of view that I have been lucky enough to encounter in recent years that have had so much to do with my perception of life. One was reading a book by a guy named Michael Newton called "Destiny of Souls" and he also wrote "Journey of Souls". If you can get past the titles, and open your mind, this man's work is eye opening and life changing. His writing regarding the research he has done in the area of regression hypnotherapy has completely altered, in a positive way, my view of death. He hypnotizes folks - not only into their past lives - but into the spaces between lives and the continuity of the events that his subjects relay to him is truly convincing.
Skeptics who are even still reading at this point have plenty of room to step out. I understand if it's not for you. But if it sparks your curiosity then I highly suggest reading one of his books. These are case studies of hypnotherapy sessions. Did he manipulate the results to write a more picturesque volume? I suppose it's possible. History can be considered a fraud as well. But I take his work for what it is. And if my entire perception of the death experience can be shifted to something beautiful then it's a benefit to me.
What I took from his research and writing is that its not a big deal. You've been here before and you'll be here again. When people in his books recounted their death experience it sounded like a really great mushroom trip. The were sort of sucked up into the light (we've heard that before a la "near death experiences"). I thought the way they described this was interesting though. They said they just let go and had no control as they were drawn in a specific direction and traveled for quite some time before arriving at a "place" where they were greeted by their spirit guides - who they immediately recognized as the beings who would greet them after every death they have experienced. They eventually all rejoined their "soul groups" where they might see folks who they knew in life as their relatives, friends, shopkeepers or neighbors. But not all of their family or friends would be in their group. They might see the others but they would eventually be separated from them into their own soul groups. There were giant books they looked through at some point in which they saw a sort of film of their life. They watched the main points of their life experience unfold before them. There was some measure of "well, maybe you could have done that differently" imparted to most. They would go off to a sort of schooling and meet with ascended elders until they were ready to be thrust back into the physical realm via birth. And interestingly enough, they did not join the fetus at conception but well into the pregnancy - some souls arriving mere moments before birth!
Okay - so I know there are folks reading this who think I've lost my marbles and everyone knows that any statements regarding the aspects of afterlife are speculation. But here is a doctor who has been doing these regressions for decades and the accounts are fascinating. To me, it seems legit. It feels believable. But to each his own. You choose what feels right to you.
Another wealth of information that I have come across which has greatly effected my life in a myriad of ways comes from the writings and lectures of Jerry and Esther Hicks. The information that they present is based on a principle that has become quite popular in recent years: the power of attraction. Its the premise that "like attracts like" - that what you focus on expands - what you think about becomes your reality. The movie, "The Secret", was the first big exposure of this information - although its easy to argue that the film's presentation was as cheesy as a spray can of velveeta. Its too bad really. Presentation is everything because if you scare away your audience with something they can't relate to, then you lose them. (I wonder how many I have lost by this time yapping about past lives:) But long before "The Secret" broke the news, Abraham (Jerry and Esther) Hicks had been bringing this message forth in a much more eloquent fashion.
What I heard first were some of the live lectures that Esther spoke at where she took questions from the audience - people looking for a way to change their lives for the better - to bring the things they desire into their experience. When I heard her speak, I understood immediately that she knew what she was talking about. I will not attempt to paraphrase her because there is an incredible level of articulation that she achieves in presenting this message. The books are great, the videos are fun, but the audio versions are what really worked for me and I listen to them on a regular basis. They have taught me how to shift my emotional state. When the pressures of life mount and there feels like there is no hope - this is the most important time to change your way of thinking - moving from doubt and fear to power and positivity. Their message is basically that the only way to improve your life is to learn how to shift your emotional state - even if its just a little bit. If you can move from depression to anger then you are making an improvement. She warns against "putting a happy-face sticker over your gas gauge when the tank is empty". Clearly this doesn't help at all. But when you learn how to focus on the good things - to really seek out the positive aspects of a situation - then you can shift the way you feel about things and eventually change the outcome. The way you feel is everything. (Okay - now I am paraphrasing.)
The most powerful exercise that I have gotten in the habit of doing on a daily basis is one they call "Rampages of Appreciation". I had heard them mention it several times but never bothered to try it. One time when I was listening to the audio recordings of the live Abraham lectures, a guy came up and said that he had been doing these "rampages" and they were so effective that his life had changed immensely. At that point I decided to give it a try. I got a notebook and put it by my bed and every morning when I woke up, I would write down all of the things I appreciated. They mentioned that the most important thing to do is to feel good about what you are writing. So you think about the things that you have that you appreciate and, with a strong positive feeling, you write down each and every one. I found that I was writing really fast at times and dashing handfuls of exclamation points after every sentence. And after a while, of doing this every day... I did notice things starting to change!!! All of the good things I had been asking for in my life started coming to me. I would write things like, "I'm so thankful for my family and friends and all the opportunities that come my way and it feels so good to know that all I really need to do is focus on the things I want in my life and feel good about them and they will come to me!!!" And the content just flows. You almost feel at times as though the pen is writing on its own.
It just reinforces what we all already know... thinking positively and dedicating yourself to a steady routine are what make good things happen. Life is funny. You never quite know what's coming. But if you can learn to feel good about things - to see the good in things that may seem horrible at first - then you are prepared to face just about anything. Of course there are some situations and stories I have heard that I can't imagine dealing with or even living through and I really feel for people who have to go through them. It takes complete mastery of these principles in order to move through such events. But for most of us, life is really not that bad. We have emotional issues that drag us down from time to time. Triggers that set us off and send us spiraling down into the abyss. For me its always finances, taxes and things like that. Food and sex can also be really tricky and confounding subjects as well. But we usually find, that when we pass through such a challenge, theres something gained at the outset. We find that in spite of the unbearable agony of our experience, once we have emerged from it - and in some way it was worth it. Looking back it seemed there was almost no hope for it to end. It seemed like things were going to be that way or much much worse FOREVER. But we get through it and we learn from it. Besides - what's the worst thing that can happen? You die? Well, if you listen to Abraham or Michael Newton that doesn't even seem like such a bad thing.
Abraham says, "If you only knew what a delicious experience dying is..." Well, people do always say, "At least they are in a better place," when someone passes on. Do you think they mean it? Of course they mean well, but do you think they actually believe it? If so why all the mourning? Many non-western cultures celebrate death. But here in the western world we are so obsessed with our physical bodies that we can't bear the thought of leaving them. This whole thing of embalming a corpse to keep it from decaying and dressing it up and putting it in a fancy casket from Costco... What's the point?? The spirit is gone. What are we - Egyptian kings? Why not bury all of our earthly possessions with us as well? I guess some folks do.
Anyways I don't want to go on ranting here and insult people's religions (even though I think religions can be ridiculous things that cause more pain and suffering in the world than good) - oops I did it again. Sorry (sort of). But I do want to make a point. We are moving into a new age and there's little sense in resisting it. There's not much sense in clinging to traditions and antiquated ideas about things. In discussing the current practice of ancient religions, Abraham has a brilliant illustration that (yes) I will try to paraphrase: Your house is on fire and the firemen come with their trucks and hoses and break through your windows and spray water all over the place to put out the fire. And they douse the blaze and you are so thankful. "What an appropriate reaction they had," you say. "It worked so well. Thank you!" But if one day you're sitting at home peacefully enjoying yourself and these same firemen crash through the window again spraying their high pressure jets of water everywhere - and there's no fire? Does that help? The point is, things change and the same solutions are not always appropriate for different problems - especially when these problems may be centuries apart. What they are suggesting is that maybe the time has come for us to look past the men with funny hats reading from dusty books and find our own spiritual path in our own way. Sure, there is good in all of it - somewhere. So why not take what works for you and make it your own - based on your own life experience and the understanding of things that you have come to know?
When I began writing this I had no idea where it would lead. It feels good to just let your thoughts spill out of their own volition. Life is good. There are always challenges but we always make it through them and that one time when we don't? Then we are on to something bigger and better, right? Sounds like a win-win situation to me. It all depends on what you believe. Its quite possible that this is not the way things are. Or its possible that what you personally believe is the way things are. Either way, what have you got to lose? If the method I'm proposing is that, in order to have the life you want, you have to learn how to feel better about things, then isn't that a step in the right direction? Isn't feeling good the best thing we can ask for anyways? All anyone ever wanted since the dawn of time was to be happy and feel good. So that's a pretty good place to start. Let the means be the end. Use joy to take you to joy. Is it really that simple? Sometimes.