The Sandwich Theory of Living

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.”

 

Intuition

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.

Belonging

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.

The New Unity

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.

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