The Zig Zag Path to Enlightenment

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Good morning my Friends.  I seem to be having a challenging time getting my writing act together this morning.  Too many choices, too many possible directions.  Aborted starts and stops, headed somewhere, going nowhere.  Come to think of it, that sounds as bit like my life, doesn’t it?

It sounds quite a lot like your life, and like many others, We might add.

Shakespeare got it right when he said that all the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players.  So true. So many roles, so many parts, so many characters.

Recently someone asked about my career.  That’s a tough question and the answer is elusive because I never really had a well-defined career path.  I just kind of zig-zagged my way through life selling whatever came along that I believed in enough to sell.  I usually lasted for about six years in each venture, and like a butterfly that sucked the essence out of each flower, I moved on to the next available role as soon as the essence had been extracted.  I didn’t exactly appear to be the pinnacle of stability.  In my defense I will say that my references were always outstanding—except for my three-month three-month stint selling prearranged funerals.  That was the pits and earned me my first and only mutual bye-bye experience.  Always in each role though, there was learning to be done, skills to hone, a craft to master.  Juicy essence indeed.

Though “Flaky” may have been my middle name, there were three constants that were the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, three passions that moved me forward on the path in spite of occasional zig-zags and side trips on my disjointed career path.   Whatever the job du jour, I always kept my eye upon the donut and not upon the hole.  The donut was writing, cheerleading, and the search for enlightenment, not necessarily in that order.

There are so many roads to travel, so many choices, so many options to explore, so many possibilities, each one with its own set of consequences, with its own unique outcome.  Which one to pursue?  Decisions, decisions.  Not always my strong suit.

Hmmm.  Maybe there’s a way to toss my three passions into a blender and have them come out as a delicious smoothie.  Or maybe I’m confusing the blender with the holy grail.

Huh. I started out quoting Shakespeare and now I’ve morphed into Donna Quixote.

Well my Friends, it seems I’ve done all the talking here.  I didn’t leave any room for You.  In closing, is there anything that you would like to say?

Indeed, we would.  We are delighted that you are choosing to do what makes you truly happy.  Your willingness to overcome your misgivings about your writing commitment is a major step up the ladder toward enlightenment.  It is an assignment, and you are fulfilling it.  That you are doing so makes Us happy.  You have our continuing love and support.

And that makes me happy.  Thank you for being my cheerleaders, dear Friends.

 

Practice, Practice, Practice

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Good morning.  We have been waiting for you.

Yes, I know.  I’m sorry.  I got distracted by emails again.  It is rude to keep You waiting.

We are always here with you, regardless of how long it takes you to join Us.  Your arrival time is up to you.  Each time you choose Us before all else serves to strengthen your will and moves you one step closer to the attainment of that which you desire.

I know, and before we go any farther here, I’d just like to take a minute to say thank you for always being there.  For always being there, regardless of whether I show up or not.  You wait for me no matter how long it takes, and I apologize whole heartedly for my dawdling ways.  I imagine that you have plenty of stuff to do other than sit around and wait for me all day, or all month, or all year.  So rude.

You are most welcome, dear one.  And you are worth the wait, though we will most certainly rejoice when self-discipline tops your list of most important qualities to achieve.

I’m working on it, but obviously I still have a way to go.  One foot in front of the other, one step at a time.

Is there something on your mind that you would like to talk about today?

Bunches.

Such as?

Such as making it through an entire night without stressing over what to write in the morning.  That was exciting.  I was also thinking about Bird by Bird, a wonderful little book that every aspiring writer should read.  It is written by one of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott, who mirrors my own behavior about seeking instant feedback from the submission of something that she wrote.  In her case, it’s running to the mailbox the day after dropping the manuscript of a new book in the mailbox, and for me, it’s checking emails a hundred times a day to see if there has been any response from a recent button-pushing publishing event.

You suggested yesterday that whatever anyone thinks of me or Voices is none of my business.  That bears repeating because it feels like a really important lesson for me—right up there with self-discipline, detachment, and letting go of the outcome.  Please keep reminding me that none of it is any of my business.  My business is just to write and push the publish button.  Spiritual practice.

Fleeting thoughts drift in and out of my head too swiftly to be captured.  Whatever it is or was that I thought I might write today went its own way without me.  It happens like that.  Sort of like life.  Sometimes it’s best to just let go, let it flow, and have faith that it’s fine exactly the way it is.

Becoming, Becoming, Becoming

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Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

This conversation with someone else’s Self arrived by email late last night along with the question, “Did you write this?”   No, I did not write it, but I certainly wish that I had, because it’s brilliant.  I wanted to pass it along because it speaks volumes and is just too good to miss.  To the unknown author,—whoever you are—kudos to you, and thank you.

Me: Hey God.
God: Hello…..
Me: I’m falling apart. Can you put me back together?
God: I would rather not.
Me: Why?
God: Because you aren’t a puzzle.
Me: What about all of the pieces of my life that are falling down onto the ground?
God: Let them stay there for a while. They fell off for a reason. Take some time and decide if you need any of those pieces back.
Me: You don’t understand! I’m breaking down!
God: No – you don’t understand. You are breaking through. What you are feeling are just growing pains. You are shedding the things and the people in your life that are holding you back. You aren’t falling apart. You are falling into place. Relax. Take some deep breaths and allow those things you don’t need anymore to fall off of you. Quit holding onto the pieces that don’t fit you anymore. Let them fall off. Let them go.
Me: Once I start doing that, what will be left of me?
God: Only the very best pieces of you.
Me: I’m scared of changing.
God: I keep telling you – YOU AREN’T CHANGING!! YOU ARE BECOMING!
Me: Becoming who?
God: Becoming who I created you to be! A person of light and love and charity and hope and courage and joy and mercy and grace and compassion. I made you for more than the shallow pieces you have decided to adorn yourself with that you cling to with such greed and fear. Let those things fall off of you. I love you! Don’t change! Become! Become! Become! Become who I made you to be. I’m going to keep telling you this until you remember it.
Me: There goes another piece.
God: Yep. Let it be.
Me: So…I’m not broken?
God: No – but you are breaking like the dawn. It’s a new day. Become!!

What perfect timing for this message to appear, at a moment when the world is paused and offers us a glorious opportunity to withdraw and be still awhile.  How wonderful to be reminded that we are not broken, and that within each one of us there is a Voice that will guide us to the place deep within the soul where truth, beauty, and goodness reign.  Godspeed to all who venture forth upon this quest to become, become, become.  You are not alone.

 

Follow Your Heart Home

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This morning  I found myself asking why I have suddenly decided to renew a commitment to write a daily blog.  As I sort through the myriad of answers, I discover that yet again I experience some of the same-old, same-old hitches in my git-along that I thought (hoped) were long gone.  Guess not.  An intertwined mixture of altruistic and egotistic reasons drift by.  I don’t always like what I see, but if I can see it, I can change it.  Again.  Sigh.  I thought I already had.

This morning as I sat struggling with today’s blog and asking myself the eternal “why” question I pondered whether or not my efforts are worth it.  It was just about then that I received validation in the form of an email telling me that someone had just pushed the “follow” button on Voices in my Head.  Ah.  Maybe the effort is worth the effort after all.  In case you are wondering, Christian, that was you.  Thank you.

Part of my wondering process brought to mind another question—or maybe more of a concern.  Is a daily blog too much?  Does it clog up an already-clogged inbox and incite one to delete, delete, delete?  Egotistically, of course, I’d love it if everyone would read and hang on to every word I write.  Realistically, however, that ain’t never gonna happen and understandably so, because there is not a blog in the world that will appeal to everyone, most especially the type of which I write.

I speak to you from the heart because I know that beneath the skin, we are all one in spite of the appearance of our differences.  And yet in spite of our many varieties, inside we are part of the same family, brothers and sisters living together in the vast universe that we call home.  We need to take care of each other, and we need to take care of our home.

I guess that I just answered my own question.  Yes, it’s worth the effort because you all are my family and I love you.  I want the best for you.  I want you to love yourself as much as I love you.  Ah.  There’s the altruistic part.  That’s the part of myself that I love the most.

As you navigate your way through this strange and baffling time in which we live, I hope that you know that you are loved and supported by a myriad of people in the world who carry a torch to light your path and help you find your way through the dark to your true home.

Follow the light and it will lead you to boundless love and irrepressible joy.

Love and blessings to all!

Note:  The beautiful image and meme above are courtesy of New Waves of Light (nwol.us).

In Search of Truth

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My current favorite pandemic meme came straight from of jaws of Facebook and suggests that perhaps God is sending us all to our rooms to give us time to consider what we’ve done.

Oh my.  Well that could be a scary thought.

Oh?  And why is that?

Well, duh.  It could bring up all sorts of hidden stuff like guilt, and what I did wrong, and what I didn’t do that I should have, and what I did that I shouldn’t have.  You know stuff like that.

That is true.  And would that be such a bad thing?

Well it wouldn’t be very much of a comfort.  I mean, after all, who wants to see the parts and pieces of themselves that they’ve been hiding from for a lifetime?

Ah. Perhaps you speak of the ego, the personality, the “small” self of the individual that feels disconnected from the larger Self.  And speaking of disconnection, We sense that you have allowed yourself to drift off into the world of ego and are considering the impact of today’s writing upon the reader.

Oops.  You would be correct.

May we remind you that your task is to simply write?  There is no need for you to judge the words, nor how they may be perceived by those who read them.

Thank you.  But it is still a little tempting to get a bit squirrely about whether or not I’ll be considered nuts.

We understand.  And again, We remind you that what others think of you is irrelevant, for they will see you through the lens of their own perspective.  We know that remnants of self-doubt occasionally rise up and play a role in your actions, choices, and decisions, and clearly, We see that this is one such occasion.  We applaud the progress that you have made thus far in releasing this obstacle that occasionally stands in the way of your peace of mind, and for the courage it takes for your willingness to be transparent.  Under these circumstances it is natural then, that a sense of hesitancy still exists.

Again, you would be correct.  But I’ll get over it.  Today for the first time since the pandemic lock-down, there is a bit of structure to my day and I need to get on the move.  But I promised myself that I would blog every day, and today, this is it.  How do I feel about it?  I don’t know.  But I’ll push the publish button anyway, and let the chips fall where they may.  There are lessons to be learned in every situation, and I’m happy to learn mine, no matter now comfortable or uncomfortable they may be.

Thanks Pandemic for this opportunity to stop and consider what I have done.  Oh—and to love and forgive myself for whatever it is that I think I may have done wrong.

Happy Easter everyone.  May we rise up together into a glorious new beginning!

PS:  If you are dazed and confused by what you just read (if in fact you even made it this far), it may be because you missed the last one or two blogs.  Reading them will put this one in context.

Note:  The beautiful image and meme are courtesy of New Waves of Light (NWOL.us).

 

Listening to the Whispers

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Well it’s another day, I’m back, and for me that’s quite an accomplishment.  I seem to have a history of making these insanely impulsive promises to myself in moments of expanded consciousness only to welsh on myself soon thereafter.  It’s maddening, really.  And depressing.

Just yesterday, for example, I stuck my neck out and made a commitment to sit myself down every day and write a blog.  While I was at it I blared it out loud not just to myself but also to you, whoever you are, who is reading this self-confession right now.  It is no surprise then that today I awoke after a sleepless night of worrying about whether I’ll pull it off, or if I’ll have anything to say, or if I’ll welsh on myself yet again.  It prompts me to ask myself the question, “OMG—What have I done?”

Enter self-doubt.  What am I going to do?  What am I going to write?  How am I going to fill up the blank space of a white screen with anything worth saying or reading?  It transports me right back to that day decades ago when I asked myself the same questions and heard the words, “It doesn’t matter.  Just write.”  So I did.  And I loved doing it.  It was exhilarating.

Why did I stop?  That question boiled down to a one-word answer.  Fear.  Fear of what?  Success?  Failure?  Embarrassment?  Self-exposure?  Check all of the above?  Whatever it was, it stopped me dead in my tracks and the fruits of those many long hours of writing ended up in the jaws of the neighborhood trash truck.

Well that was then and this is now, and I’m happy to report that I’m a lot whole older and wiser than I was then and now I have reached a point in life where none of the old self-doubts matter much anymore.  Hallelujah!  Free at last!  What a feeling!

Somewhere between now and a rather sleepless night of worry about how I would manage to honor this impulsive, brash recommitment to daily writing and publishing, I felt an inner nudge of encouragement that said, “You can do it.  Just do it.”  Ahh—the gentle whisper of the Voice.

So here I am again, back at a keyboard facing a blank screen, but this time, I’m not the least bit concerned about what anyone might think.  Somewhere deep within I know that finally, finally, I am doing what I am supposed to be doing not just for myself, but also for anyone else who has ever struggled with some of the myriad of obstacles that stand in the way of their realization of joy and happiness.

It’s not just about writing.  It’s so much more than that.  It’s about the will and desire to move out from behind the shadow of the ego and into the light of Truth that lies within.  It is about planting seeds of hope and spreading inspiration and encouraging to my brothers and sisters in this world to have faith that in spite of appearances, everything is going to be all right.  Truly, it will.

That said, I bid farewell for today with a promise that I will be back again tomorrow and hope that I will see you then.  Before I go though, I must ask myself a question or two.

Did I get it right?  Is it perfect?  Does it need to be perfect?  Does it even matter?  No.  The only thing that really matters is that today I listened to the whispers of the Voice within and did what I am supposed to do.  What about you?  Are you listening for the whispers that have the answers to the questions of your heart?  Is there something that you can do for yourself today that will make you feel really good about yourself when you go to bed tonight?  If not today, then perhaps tomorrow?  

Till we meet again, I wish you many blessings of love and peace.

Note:  The beautiful image and meme above are courtesy of New Waves of Light (nwol.us).

A New Day is Dawning

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Today as I was scrambling around in my head trying to make sense out of the contents of my mind, it dawned on me that I am currently long on self-doubt and procrastination and short on purpose, perseverance, and action.  As a “shut-in” along with the rest of the world during this historic pandemic, there is not much to do now except to sit down and look within to see where I can make a few in-flight corrections.

As I sit and stare at my current state of mind, I am reminded of a time many years ago when, during a time of meditation, I was given a set of instructions.

“Make a commitment to write!”

“Write what?” I asked?  “Anything!” came the response.

Let the dialog begin!  Apparently, it is no accident that this blog is titled “Voices in my Head”.

After days of resistance and repeated cajoling from whoever or whatever that Voice is, I gave in and sat down in front of a keyboard and stared at a blank piece of paper and wrote anything.  Astes erwoi 9 hhta the cow jumped over the moon.

After many hours of cows and moons, there emerged a writing adventure called Conversations with Myself.  Conversations was a journal, a daily dialogue betwixt me, myself, and I, and the committee in my head that vied for power over who was to be in control.  It was often a fascinating dialogue.

The writing was intensely personal and self-revealing, written with the hope that perhaps the revelation of my personal journey and inner battle with myself could help, uplift, and inspire others who shared similar struggles to make their way easier.

Sometimes I would muster up the courage to show it to a trusted friend or two.  Always the response was encouraging and positive, but when I sent it out to one publisher it was rejected.  After that, I gave up and Conversations made its way into a carton that was buried deep within the recesses of a closet and my mind, along with any delusions of thinking that my various voices and mind wanderings would ever serve as a tool for helping others like myself.  Eventually it was sucked into the jaws of a passing trash truck and was lost and gone forever.  Fear became the winner in that fray.

Decades have passed since those days and yet sometimes I still do battle with myself over one thing or another.  Today it’s about not living up to my own potential.  There is not a soul alive on the planet who is not born with certain gifts and talents.  I know that I am a writer and I am not using that gift to the fullest extent possible.  So, today in the midst of this pandemic, my game plan is to dust off my writing skills and just do it.  No more hiding out in the closet for me!  If only one person gains benefit from the various voices in my head, then I can cross “live up to potential” off my list, at least in one small area of my life.

Today is a new day.  It is the perfect time to begin again with an updated purpose and refreshed commitment to resume Conversations.  From past experience I know that sometimes my commitments are strong and powerful and sometimes they’re a little shaky.  If I’m not back tomorrow, I’m going to need a few prayers.  All help gratefully accepted.

Meanwhile, I ask you to consider that the old will be gone forever, and invite you to let the promise of a New Age blossom in your heart and spark your imagination to create a vision of how you would like the world to be when this is all over.  Together we can make it so.

Please be well in heart, mind, body, and spirit.

With love from me and the cacophony of voices in my head, Julia

(Photo and meme courtesy of New Waves of Light (nwol.us).  Please feel free to share.

 

 

 

The Quest for a Happy Ending

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The following is an excerpt from a newsletter that I sent out to the residents of my condo building on June 30, just two days after the tragic shooting at the Annapolis Gazette. Though you may have read it before, sometimes it helps to be reminded that each one of us makes a difference in our world.  There is a revised ending–just so you know!

On Thursday we were reeling from a senseless tragedy that occurred right here, a mere four miles away from our own front door, in a building where many of us go to doctors and dentists.  It doesn’t get very much closer to home than that.  At the risk of sounding uncharacteristically negative, today I am feeling rather powerless and hopeless as I process all that is happening in our world today.   The horrendous murder of innocent people coupled with a pervasively negative political climate is turning our country inside out.   If I think about it or dwell on it too much, it almost seems more than I can bear.  Perhaps some of you may be experiencing similar feelings.

As I sit with heavy heart, I am aware that my mind tends to run away with itself by indulging in negative thinking.  I am not helping the problem—indeed, I am adding to it by allowing an insidious underlying fear to infiltrate my mind and dominate my thought process.  A smile is catching.  So is fear.

I don’t want to be responsible for spreading the disease of fear, for truly, it is a disease. It robs us of peace of mind, a healthy outlook, and hope for a brighter future.  Instead, I am going to shift my mindset into one of looking beyond the appearance of what is, and instead focus on what may be, and of what is possible when we focus on love rather than fear.  I invite you to join me in adopting and maintaining a higher vision of a better, safer world.  In horoscopes, it is often written that sometimes we must “tear down in order to rebuild.”  Life on our planet may never return to what it once was, but I am holding a vision and keeping the faith that one day it will be rebuilt into one that is even better.  Please, please help to speed the process by focusing on what’s right rather than on what’s wrong, on light rather than dark, on love rather than fear.

If this post speaks to your heart, I hope that you will share it with others who may find solace and comfort in knowing that they too can make a difference in a world in such need of love and peace.  Please pass it on.  We need all of the help and hope that we can get.

To borrow a phrase from yesteryear, “Make love, not war.”  Stay strong and nurture your spirit with thoughts that lift you up into the hope of a happy ending.

Peace, blessings, and love to all.

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