One day recently, I had a big upset. And it was so painful, I kind of shot out the other side. I honestly became delirious, endorphins even from pain are still kind of awesome, when you can imagine things are ok. The angels, who I work with daily, were really frustrated with me. I was wild, and free and probably acting pretty silly. 

I figured it out later. The angels weren’t so interested in me discovering how to metabolize pain, they were more interested in me kind of growing up. If I’d had a more mature outlook, this whole bag would have been one of those things we so easily brush aside. “Its them, its not me, Im fine, you didn’t hurt my feelings.” Instead of the two year old temper tantrum. Its kind of embarrassing to be my age and still have that! And yet who among us doesn’t have their past injuries that can be activated by a situation that looks unkind, even if it isn’t meant to be that way.

In this realization, I could see the event that had triggered me wasn’t so unkind. I was looking at something benign, a sandwich on the counter. The sandwich is not good or bad, big or small, right or wrong. Its only a single thing, by itself, never huge in the scheme of a week or month or year. It has no overarching significance. 

I’ve told myself a story, “I’m irritating to people, I’m rejected and it’s my fault for being so pink and loud.” It’s not a helpful story. It maintains my injury, and I tell it to myself when I think it’s happening again.

Like that story I tell myself, that sandwich is just one element of my life experience. Like that story, the sandwich isn’t out to get me. The story is my way of teaching myself and preventing myself from being pink and loud and getting hurt for it. I have chosen to pick up the sandwich, believe it is poison, and carry it forever. If it’s a story of how I’ve been hurt, it’s almost impossible to resist! But if it were a sandwich!? 

So its a process, picking thru the stories as they come up. They are simple. They happened, and like a sandwich, they are what I describe them as. “This sandwich has carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, protein and vegetables. It’s vital for your body.” Or I can change the whole experience by saying, “This sandwich has wheat, a known allergen, beef with hormones added, addictive quantities of sugar.” I can describe the same sandwich as, “A fun time for family and friends to share this celebration of taste,” Or I can say, “This sandwich has 4,000 calories!! No one should eat this thing! It’s made to block your arteries!”

It’s a relief to slow down, to remember this idea. That past, it’s just one sandwich after another. I choked on them forever ago, the story can rest there, where it belongs, in the past. And I can look at them and redefine them completely. I can make a story I want to carry.

The old memories come up and my tears rise. I can heal this truly devastating thing I lived through, every time I see it, and allow myself to say, “Oh, there it is again. It was awful.” But the conclusion doesn’t have to be that I caused it by being too pink. or too loud. That story is no more than a sandwich. I think I’d rather say, “The angels are right, it was all about them. I am vibrant, I am loud and joyous. And my pink is just right for me.”

 

By Cleo Buchanan

I was recently listening to a lecture about intuition. The lecturer described how accuracy could be developed. He suggested admitting failure was a vital component. He said he felt many intuitives had elaborate explanations for their inaccuracies, excuses for their intuitive hits being wrong.

I also teach intuitive development classes.

I’ve had students many times show up and have a natural source of information in their experience that I don’t have any experience with. Their entire practice is based on something I don’t understand and may have dismissed in myself as my imagination when it cropped up for me.

I assure them that their intuition is real, that their gifts are a very real path for them to follow and develop. And I try to open my tiny perspective again. I find it is so different for everyone.

My formative experience when I was a child, five years old, was seeing spirits, walking in my bedroom at night. My parents told me very angrily that this couldn’t be real. That I was wrong, making it up, it was just my imagination. 

So I lived in terror of those who had come to console and nurture me; the spirits I still see and now am able to accept.

In my younger years, I lived in a continual barrage of wild feelings that I couldn’t explain and often found baffling and inexplicable. When I was thirty I met my first energy worker. She taught me how to create energetic boundaries for myself. She explained that I had none, had been born without any. 

With this one change, I went from chaotic and confused to suddenly feeling separated from the endless noise for the first time. I felt safe. I felt silence. At the end of two weeks, I felt so much a stranger to myself, so suffocated, unable to sense anyone around, that I tore the boundaries down. I spent the next twenty years building them and removing them, adjusting, searching for the balance.

The lecturer, speaking of intuitive development, spoke extensively about intuition as being the sense of something right, the sense of something wrong, the urge to do something different than planned. The sense we have when we meet someone.

This is exactly what I gave up on, pulling information from my impression of a person’s energy . The entire practice the lecturer described, I gave up on years ago as meaningless noise for myself. For me to open the doors to such energies is overwhelming.

Yet once again I am asked to recognize someone else’s experience. Whether I understand it or not, I am asked to suspend my disbelief or confusion, and recognize their power. I salute their bravery to cultivate their gifts, whatever they are.

 Any hesitation might be natural, as I remember the old scars, of my parents angry disbelief in my childhood. It’s good to remember those scars, so I can avoid inflicting them on others with my crass disbelief, to prop up my own importance. It’s good to see how diverse we are as a community of intuitive, so similar and still so strange to each other. 

When I allow others intuitive arts are as substantial as my own, though I am mystified by their description, I am free to find those gifts as well.

If I walk into a new boardroom, with strangers staring, words written on the whiteboard that are strange, I am searching the faces for a sign. I am scanning for some sign I’m safe here. Do they like me, am I welcome, am I in the right place?

I can be repelled by the offer of a coffee, because it’s not my habit. I am soothed and feel recognized when offered my favorite hot tea. I’m embraced  by each of their smiles. I’m wired to their shifting in discomfort. I sense the room’s atmosphere.  Maybe The whole group is soft and easy like I’ve been here before somehow. I can recognize the energy as familiar and if I have a gear I’m ready to be in, snap, nothing to it. I KNOW, I belong here.

What if I walk into that same board room, and I embody myself? I keep all my energy in myself, solid, whole. I don’t search for a sign of safety. I am safe in myself. I don’t look for comfort or seek a friendly face or a sign. I smile so much and am so comfortable in myself, the people around me who are comfortable smile in recognition. The nervous people are soothed. Anyone too nervous walks away, they can’t dampen my weather.

 I can observe, I like this room, I like the big windows, how enjoyable. Feels prickly? My how alert everyone is! 

I carry faith in myself. I hold solidly all my truth, broken and whole, in embracing acceptance. And then, when I walk in that new place, I accept them. I have faith in them. Belonging arises naturally. I already belong everywhere I go, I belong to myself. Now, in this new place, full of what they can’t offer or withhold, I am willing to allow them to belong to me.

Imagine you invested your life in a failing effort. And I mean big, big risk, big effort, big flop. Now on top of that pain and humiliation, add a nation of 70 million people posting ridiculing videos, jokes, tweets, facebook posts, songs, famous personalities come out as “for” or “against” you.

Imagine you are President Trump, sitting by yourself on a sofa, eating a whole half gallon of icecream. That’s what I would do. Lets face it. He must be feeling terrible. 

We see school shooters and study in earnest how these people became lost souls.

One thing that shooters share is the sense they have been humiliated when they are down. We can see in their lives, wholesale rejection, a sense of being shot to the moon on a rocket of persecution. 

I think it’s only fair to say we are creating something much worse than what we’ve seen so far. If youmake a hilarious video ridiculing Trump and his supporters, I think it is important to stop and consider. What future do you want for our country? 

I heard a friend talking about their shock after the election, reading the posts on facebook that lamented the outcome of the election. People saying viscous and biting things, promoting scandals that have been disproved in courts of law. My friend admitted to unfriending these people. 

While I know this has become the American way, and is seen as compassionate rather than attacking someone for their beliefs, there must become a new American way. 

We created Donald Trump with our inability to listen to each other and truly address the ails of our country. If we wish to be promoting equality and a world view, we must listen to the pains that our friends and family experience as the cost of those ideals.

There has to be space for the voices of everyone, or the dreams of equality are illegitimate. We are ready to march for black rights, latino rights, but not uneducated white rights. We are willing to lie down before a bulldozer to save trees, but not willing to educate those who live off the harvesting of these beautiful ancient beings. 

We need to see we are capable of having a conversation. We are capable of understanding that someone could in fact be so frightened as to carry beliefs we don’t understand yet. We can expand, we can become the person who heals this divide, and ends this uncivil war.

I can walk down the street confidently, waving to all my neighbors equally, calm, smiling, saying hello to each.

I realized, the day of the inauguration, that as I walked and waved, I could see some neighbors were elated and bubbly. Some were subdued, quiet, unsmiling.

And I realized, I could see it, all around me. The blatant showing of which of us stood where, politically. This unmentionable topic, which keeps us raging on facebook and silent in our community.

I swallowed my eager, “Gosh isn’t today just the best day! Don’t you feel great? I am so optimistic!” I might offend. The other fifty percent is right there, in my neighborhood, and conversation over the lines is simply verboten.

Who talks politics? The people who are in a room with one type of person. We complain to our own kind. We share victories with our own kind. There isn’t space for more, yet.

We have to create that space. We are the leaders, at the grassroots level, who need to be willing to step into that uncertain place. To listen to our neighbors rant, have faith that there is more in the world than my view. I need to look thoughtful, and try to find some kind of tolerance. 

If we meet our neighbor from the opposite side of the aisle, and allow them to speak and hold our judgement for even ten minutes, a fascinating thing happens. 

All that nastiness online suddenly appears as what it is. Undisciplined disrespect. It is the rant of wild children. The most intellectual of it renders itself petty and childish.

I listen to the news and am suddenly aware of how it would offend my neighbor. Even powerful news media I have relied on for their impartiality, now discuss the facts of the days news and regress into emotional judgement, excluding fifty percent of the population.

How can we be united? 

We must allow that we can end the uncivil war.

I think mostly the teacher who taught me Ho’oponopono is my son. He has an incredible level of resistance, in life. He carries anger, frustration, bitterness, though we are sweet and kind to him. His pain in his body, in his soul, has to have release. Probably most people who know him might have a hard time believing what a volcano he can be. Perhaps we are far different than others see on the outside.

So I recognized, this is me, how do I have this same principle active in myself? I started looking at this familial woundedness, where did it come from? What did it want? And though I have the ability to find the roots, see and re-experience the roots of past lives, of both myself and my son, I found this gave me information, but not answers.

I found these injuries felt wronged, unheard, belligerent from lifetimes of rejection and hurt. And I was taking a Ho’oponopono course at the time. I discovered the principle of Ho’oponopono  – that I can apologize for anything, any wrong, known or unknown, a lifetime ago or yesterday. I can offer the compassion of god to these pains. The prayer brings validation, recognition, and release to pains that could otherwise remain festering. 

Psychologists believe and offer that all our foibles are resulting from this lifetimes experiences. My work is about the previous lives, and the psychology of those experiences that linger in us, when we might not be able to understand who we are, without knowing those past selves. Ho’oponopono offers a solution above and beyond this endless rooting in the past, searching to unplug from pain by addressing it over and over.

Ho’oponopono offers that we can dissolve these memories, this data, that we have accumulated. It offers to access divine energies directly, to allow these past damages to fall away. Each time we use this method, we strengthen in our own ability to embody our responsibility for our equivalent stories, which again fall away with the prayer, with cleaning.

My son will be boiling with the indignity of bath night. from experience, I know well the futility of arguing the necessity, the normality, the argument that Dad takes a bath every day, that the Prinipal of the school takes a bath everyday.

If I sit and ask him, “Tell me everything wrong with this idea.” I listen. He bursts forth with vitriol unlike what you might imagine anyone could feel about bath time. I listen calmly. Sometimes I repeat it back. “It’s not like the pool. Yes. I see. It’s not like the pool. Can’t we take shampoo to the pool? I see. Don’t you think the swimmers might be a little grossed out? (smile!) Yah. ICK! “

I am so humbly grateful for the Ho’oponopono course and all the many epiphanies I have experienced. How liberating for myself, to see the rude, angry darkness inside myself, and find a path that leads both myself and my son, to ta brighter place.

Mask wearing has its challenges. I ask myself, does anyone know I’m smiling? Are they smiling? How do I connect with anyone?

My son and I went shopping and we did our best to enjoy all kinds of things we might have taken for granted or been grouchy about in the past.

Snack time? Let’s indulge! Buying shoes? Lets go to the store where someone will wait on you and bring out the shoes instead of a self-serve place.

What a joy to discover the shoe salesmen were respectful and treated my son like an adult. They helped him find everything he wanted in a shoe and then in socks too. This is a task which in the past my son has blatantly refused to participate in. Buying shoes became a wonder, to speak to someone who cared, who wanted to know his preference.

Every generosity seemed huge. Every moment we could find something special, we reveled in. Paintings in the mall became a stage for us to photograph each other.

by Cleo Dunsmore Buchanan

You’ve probably heard about the mythological figures, the Greek muses.

Artists and poets and authors of all kinds invoke their assistance when whipping up a project. All creatives face similar challenges: the difficulty of living up to our potential. 

We wrestle with writers block, artists block, stage fright. There are blank canvases staring at us, cursors flashing patiently on an empty word processor, vacant stages with two hundred people in the seats, staring at the opening curtains. We have closets full of paintings unshared, we have binders full of stories no one has read. We may be able to produce and unable to reveal it.

The muses deliver the component we seek- the divine connection. 

The divine takes responsibility for the work out of our hands. When flooded with the divine inspiration, we can focus on the work. Suddenly this act of creation is not selfish, or a reflection of us and our worth. 

Some writers claim they only listen, and write what the divine whispers to them. Some creatives insist the frenzy burns if they cannot reach their materials, and only releasing the fire into a creation can they calm and live in their bodies. 

A muse might seem mythological. However the act of drawing down lighting from the divine can be painful, frightening, and overwhelming. Each creative has their time alone with the divine. Accepting this connection to something so great and powerful requires us to accept our worthiness to rub shoulders with God. We must even be Co creators, able to say, “Divine – I can improve this. Blue is better than green here.”

 When a person has this ability, and draws down more than their own inspiration, they might find their mission is to deliver that spark to others. Then there is inspiring confidence. How can each of us remember our divinity so powerfully as to accept the lightning when it comes? How can we accept our power so we can welcome the opportunity to co create with God?

A muse is someone who believes in us so powerfully that we can’t help but catch their belief. When we meet a muse, we might be afraid, their acceptance of who we are challenges our own limits. They see in us so much more than we have ever been. They see our glory before we have dreamed of it. They are eager to walk with us, thru both heaven and hell, to witness and celebrate our journey, for no more than the joy of being near us.

Suddenly time with the divine becomes our responsibility, in our partnership with our muse. We are no longer are alone on our journey. We have someone to share with and someone who needs our faith to remind them of their divinity as much as we need them. 

It is our nature to wallow in abundance, far beyond our imagining. In partnership with our muse, our cups run over, and we shall not want. Thru this gateway we are led to the divine, again and blessedly again.

by Cleo Dunsmore Buchanan

Some faiths, I learned, have a tradition, called tree wounding. When a person is suffering from a great injury, like the death of their child, or some other catastrophic life event , they may be offered the idea of healing themselves with a tree wounding. So the individual goes and beats on a tree, hard as they can, with a knife, or hatchet. And the tree bleeds sap. 

The tree Suffers. 

Accepts. 

The person returns as often as they can to see this tree and to witness the process of what the tree experiences in healing. 

At first, it is a hacked fresh injury. Then as weeks pass, the wound dries. The wound doesn’t appear to change for a long time. Eventually the tree begins to create a lining around the injuries, where the bark is growing to encapsulate the injury. Each visit reaffirms, “I shouldn’t be done yet. My injury is this fresh. My tree is still alive, it is still there, it is still hurt and still growing. Just like me.”

When I prune my beautiful bonsai tree that has been my friend for thirty years, I am cutting it to pieces. I think reverently, I am pruning it. It will be better. I put it back in its pot with fresh soil and hope my friend will recover. I am loving. Like a friend who is telling you the painful truth. It hurts, but it is meant with loving kindness, to help us to be better.

Beautifully, the tree accepts these injuries. Magically, the tree survives. It does not die. It pauses for a week or two, just maintaining. Then slowly new sprouts appear. And I witness again the joy of its rebirth, and see myself in this mirror. I can lose a huge amount of stuff. It can feel brutal, to shed so many pieces of myself as if they were meaningless. It can seem impossible for me to change so much of who I thought I was. 

I was pruning bushes outside, and I uncovered a flowerbed that the bushes had covered with their lanky thick branches.

As I cut these away, I thought I was doing the work. This is what I am cleaning, I am cleaning this flowerbed, and neatening up these bushes.

Then I found all my pruning had uncovered masses of deadwood and tangled growth. I had uncovered far more old material that was asking for clearing. 

And as I cut out the wood, I prayed. Thank you god for this opportunity, for this healing. I prayed for myself, for the tree, for my friends, all of us in our transformation. 

I recognized the healing that I object to and fight and rebel against. The healing opportunity is there waiting for me, and I reject it.  I can’t have that cut out of me, I can’t disentangle this wood I grew thick so long ago! These scars and deadwood, from my most painful experiences, these are the foundation of my whole personhood. Then to have my dearest friend hack into this place and prune until light and air are in this place instead of my certainty of who I am, all my efforts, my life’s meaning – how dare anyone go there, and expect this of me?

And this noble towering shrub taught me with its humble acceptance, yes I can shed this living part of myself. Yes I can shed this old deadwood at my core of myself.

It showed me joy, it felt the air deep in its core and felt the space for new growth after so many years of suffocating and smothering the neighboring plants. 

Soon it will be bursting with buds and new growth. In its awkward shape, so empty and lacking, it will be pushing to fill those spaces with gratitude and enthusiasm. The bush welcomes the emptiness and recreates itself in peace and joy. 

Imagine your physical experience, everything you see and hear and touch, the three dimensional world as you know it,  is a house.

You have lived your whole life in the house and it’s very straightforward. Sometimes things can be heard outside, but it’s not really an issue. If you’ve seen some shapes passing the windows, “There is something out there!” it might gives you chills, or a moment of joy and wonder. You might save up those experiences, treasure them, or you might dismiss them as coincidence. Still there is no tangible connection with the outside.

Then one day, there are knocks at the door. Lots. And they don’t go away. One day, there are voices at the windows and doors, asking to come in. And finally, someone walks into the front door. Even if it is a glorious light being, its a stranger walking into your space. You could be elated, inspired, or afraid. 

Somehow, there are people who can open your door, and it isn’t you. Even when the spirits visiting are kind, it’s disturbing. 

This experience is common. It’s called by many, the awakening. It’s exciting and a wonderful widening of our world, and it can be intimidating. 

This is when a class in meditation, particularly developing your abilities to open and close the door to the spirit world, is so helpful.

Now imagine that same house. And when someone knocks, they can’t come in unless you open the door. Imagine that all the messages arrive when you need them and not randomly, they are no longer invasive and overwhelming.

You have the ability to open the door and ask for assistance when you need. And now you’re free to go outside your house, travel, meet others, make friends, and explore the energetic landscape.

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