Gratitude vs. Reverence

I wanted to share with you this image that I found in my camera today. It so perfectly reflects how I feel about all there is to give thanks for: The beauty and grace of nature, the magic of light and space, earth and water. The mystery of all that we are given.And the capacity for reverence of the human soul.I had an insight today thinking about reverence. I saw that Reverence is the deeper dimension of Gratitude.

While being grateful for our material and mundane blessings – having enough to eat, a roof over our head, physical health – is a huge step forward in realization of the things we normally take for granted, reverence goes one step further in noticing the mystery that such things exist at all, and noticing that we did nothing to earn our blessings.

Gratitude keeps us from being cavalier about our blessings.

Reverence humbles us before our blessings.

So gratitude is being conscious of our blessings, while reverence is being conscious of the SOURCE of those blessings. It takes us to an even more profound relationship to our life.

May you be blessed and safe this holiday.  And may magic, mystery, and reverence always have a place to live in your heart.

Healing Money Wounds

We all have money wounds – have you noticed?

Often we think we’re the only ones. If we feel inadequate about money – as many people do, especially women – we generally keep it to ourselves.

Money is one of the main things people feel shame about, and naturally we hide that shame. We all tend to think everyone else has it together, and we’re the only ones “pretending.”

Actually, our culture is wounded about money, so how could we not be?

Most of our wounding we inherit from our families, often passed along from one generation to the next. We absorb pain and anxiety about money as we grow up, maybe hearing our parents fight about it, or being scolded for wanting something they can’t afford.”I’m not made of money,” I used to hear as a child.”Money doesn’t grow on trees.”

Or maybe it’s the opposite problem. Perhaps we were indulged and given too much by our parents, who either lived on credit cards, or were determined to give their children everything they had lacked. Either way, we wind up not knowing the value of money, perhaps even feeling weakened, not developing the muscles of self-reliance that come  from making one’s own way. By being given too much, we have been robbed of something essential we truly need – our own strength and confidence.

There are so many wounds around money. Some of them are universal. Nearly everyone in our culture believes that they don’t have enough – even rich people feel this way, I’m told. And the more you have, the more you can fear losing.

Even though the saying goes that “money can’t buy happiness,” we act as though it can. And we’re encouraged by the media to want more, to crave things, to engage in a feeding frenzy of acquiring.

We’re taught to measure ourselves and value our worth by our money and material goods, and to compare ourselves to others. Our insecurities are exploited by advertisers to get us to spend money to feel better about ourselves. Hence money becomes equated with what will heal our ills, what will fill our lacks. By this very function of money, it becomes associated with our woundedness.

And the spiritual creative types among us, who reject material values, are just as wounded. We suffer deprivation, feel disempowered, and often lack the respect that our more outwardly successful neighbors get.

None of this is our fault. We can’t help being conditioned by the world we live in. It’s hard to find the right balance, to achieve a healthy relationship with money in our culture.

What is needed is a balance of the spiritual and the material, an awareness of gratitude for all that we have, and a dedication to serve the world in the ways our soul came here to do – and to be recompensed for our service.

Humanity is growing and changing. Our relationship to money, both individually and culturally, collectively, are among the focal points of that change.

What will the new world look like in regard to money? The decisions we make today in our awareness, our actions, and our relationships, are contributing right now to that new world!  What choices are you making? How would you like the new world to look? What choices can you make to create greater health and balance in the all-pervasive area of money in our lives?

Akashic Records: Finding Balance in Change

I asked the guides of the Akashic Records how we can keep our balance and equilibrium in the midst of disruptive change. This is what they said:

You are receiving daily downloads of transformational energy into your etheric soul bodies, whether you know it or not.  This is happening now on the Earth plane, and all who have prepared their vessels even partially are receiving enormous help from the forces of light who are bolstering your amplitude so that you can adequately receive the future downloads that are coming.

That is part of the instability you are feeling at times. There is an adjustment process that is happening in all of your cells and your energy bodies that is a quickening process, You are being asked to charge and recharge your energies in a way that is unprecedented in terms of the rapid changes happening – again, not just external forces at work in your world, but internal changes happening in your own fields of consciousness and soul-light energy.

Therefore, be of good cheer throughout this process. Know that you have much help on all sides surrounding you, far more than you could calculate or perceive.

Because space does not exist in the higher dimensions there is actually a magnitude of engagement and support beyond what would even seem possible, based on your human experience.

Allow yourself to be unmoored a little. That way you will float with the tides and not be thrown by the currents. It is all good and we wish to remind you, you have all agreed to be part of this great and beautiful journey.

Get ready to embark for new territories. You will not be sad to leave behind the constraints, no matter how familiar, of a constricting world once you step foot into the expanded new reality that is ever-approaching.

We send you our deepest love, blessings, and salute you for your courage and willingness to be part of the Great Game.

After the Storm

This photograph is a hoax – a manipulation of two separate pictures perhaps passed off as real. However, to me it’s a work of art – a powerful image that is both an evocation and a metaphor.

I live in New York City. I am fortunate to live on high ground, in upper Manhattan. We didn’t lose power. The fierce rain and howling winds last Monday night, and the downed trees I saw the next day are tiny compared to the extreme and protracted suffering of so many of my fellow New Yorkers who live in more afflicted areas.

The storm wasn’t the only blow I’ve had recently, either. In completely unrelated events, I learned of the deaths of three people I have been close to, just within the past two months.

Now, I’m a firm believer in the continuance of life – vibrant life at that – after a person sheds their physical body. Yet I not only grieve my personal loss, but notice the pulling away of some of the underpinnings of my seemingly “solid” world.

By that I mean the familiar, the unquestioned conditions I’ve simply taken for granted – can you relate?

When things change it disturbs our equilibrium. We lose some of the foundations of our sense of safety and well being – which we didn’t even know we were relying on. The loss of these “unconscious supports” can make us feel strangely destabilized.

The supports I’m talking about could be my assumption that I can always pick up the phone and call someone – that they’ll always be there. Or my feeling of invulnerability because I think I live in a region that does not get dangerous weather.

That picture of the storm over the Statue of Liberty suggests to me the unexpected, threatening the security and freedom we take for granted – whether the threat comes as a storm, as a personal loss, or even in the form of political events that could radically  change our landscape.

I think it’s universal that we humans crave security, and so project permanence onto what is by nature going to change. I see myself doing that again and again, whether it’s with a relationship or even my own moods (go figure!).

How do you see yourself doing that? Have you suffered when you lost some form of unquestioned support? Can you think of conditions you “project permanence” onto now?

It is hard to hold the perspective of impermanence that the Buddhists prize so highly. The longing for stability lulls us. Our desire for that security goes back to being an infant in our mother’s arms – it is that instinctual and basic. We really can’t help it!

And yet, Buddhism also tells us that this is one of the chief sources of suffering. What can we do?

What I take away from this contemplation are two main lessons:

  1. Savor and cherish the fleeting, changing, sparkling, impermanent world, and allow the poignance of knowing it must pass increase its sweetness for you.
  2. Seek and find that which is not fleeting, that which is eternally present, from which all life and movement continually arise. Spend time abiding  there, in meditation and awareness.

The more deeply we are anchored in the ground of our being, the more joyfully can we surrender to the dance.