Monthly Archive: October 2005

This weekend was SerpentStone Samhain Gathering.  The weather was
perfect, although chilly at night.  I was overwhelmed by the love
and support my Family gave me.  I had a wonderful time, it was
much better than expected and almost as good as I might have dreamed
of.  I got love, hugs, and support from people I was not expecting
it from, no new shocks of someone I thought was my friend treating me
badly… I was  saddened by one or two people that I expected to
not treat me well that lived up to that expectation, but even that was
kept in the background, nobody went off in my face.  I also got to
participate in the memorial service for my dear sister Rhea, aka Elf,
who passed earlier this year, resulting in many much-needed tears of
loss, joy, and sharing with others.

But the understanding that Lady Rhiannon had with the landowners turned
out to be different from the wishes of the landowners.  Somebody –
who did not know me – heard I was there and told the landowners, who
then told Rhiannon that I had been banned from the site.  All this
was late on Saturday, I had been there for nearly 2 days with no
problems.  As Rhiannon tearfully explained this to me, many of my
beloved Family also turned out to give me aid and support.  Money
was given me for a motel room and Dreamfox drove me to the nearest
affordable motel, and I spent Saturday night there.  This also
gave me a good chance to talk with Dreamfox, something which happens
too infrequently, and I was again astonished by the amount of love in
his heart as I was by many others over this wonderful weekend.

Sunday late morning my students came and picked me up the next day, after packing up our campsite.

Yule Gathering will be at a site owned by Lady Rhiannon, whose daughter
Diana informed me that if I had any troubles with the owners, she would
personally kick their asses…  LOL

I am so blessed to have such a wonderful Family – and that so many in that Family feel blessed by my spirit and contributions.

Hugs,
Me

We create that bad among ourselves. We create it; then we try to call it devil, Satan, or evil. But man creates it. There is no devil. Man creates the devil.
– Wallace Black Elk, Lakota

Judgment and love are opposites. From one come all the sorrows of the world. But from the other comes the peace of God.
– from A Course in Miracles

There will come a time when images have all gone by, and you will see you know not what you are. It is to this unsealed and open mind that truth returns, unhindered and unbound. Where concepts of the Self have been laid by is truth revealed exactly as it is.
– from A Course in Miracles

“Perception begins to change and the beauty of creation literally shines forth from all persons and objects…There are moments when suddenly all is still and the experience of the quality of All That Is takes place within an all-encompassing Presence…In the stillness of the Infinite Presence, the mind is silent as there is nothing that can be said; all speaks for itself with completeness and exactitude.
– David R. Hawkins

There is great freedom in the realization that I have a body and a mind, rather than I am my mind or body. Once the fear of death is transcended, life becomes a transformed experience because that particular fear underlies all others. Few people know what it is to live without fear – by beyond fear lies joy, as the meaning and purpose of existence becomes transparent. Once this realization occurs, life becomes effortless and the sources of suffering dissolve; suffering is only the price we pay for our attachments.
– David R. Hawkins

You’re not stuck where you are unless you decide to be.
– Wayne Dyer

Be wary of work motivated by guilt or spiritual pride. Do not try to save yourself by helping others. Do not try to save others when it is you yourself who needs to be saved. First, put things right in your own mind. Learn to forgive the past and honor yourself here and now. Learn to trust your gifts. When you are fully expressing who you are joyfully, your work will naturally extend to those who will benefit from it or from your personal example. This is God’s work. It requires no marketing. It has an agenda of its own.
– Paul Ferrini, The Silence of the Heart

Don’t look outside of yourself for answers. Don’t seek refuge in the ideas, opinions and advice of other people. Don’t go into your head and try to figure things out. Surrender all of that, and seek the place where love begins, in your own heart. It is your responsibility to reconnect with the Source of love when you need to. No one else can do it for you.
– Paul Ferrini, Return to the Garden

You ask yourself, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.
– Marianne Williamson, A Year of Daily Wisdom

As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
– Marianne Williamson, A Year of Daily Wisdom

Sooner or later, most people become aware of a deeper longing in their souls to understand and experience a connection with something that transcends their individuality and community – call it nature, spirit, or God.
– David Simon

The Presence of God is your Presence.
The Knowingness of God is your Knowingness
for God’s Mind is your Mind.
Your Life is a Self-Expression of God.
Your Life is perfect for God is perfect.
You are the Expression of Love
for God is Love expressed as You.
You are the Creative Force of the Universe
expressed as a Human Being
in order to enjoy your Creative Abilities.
Your Life is your Creation.

WE ARE HERE TO DISCOVER WHO OR WHAT WE REALLY ARE

– Cookie Break

The Physical Universe is the Body of God.
This Body or Physical Manifestation
is the Mirror or Reflection of the Mind of God.
The Physical Universe changes and renews
its Planets… Stars and Galaxies in the same way
as our Body changes and renews its Cells and Organs.
Mind needs something different than itself
in order to reach Self Realization.
So… only because we are Man
is it possible to realize that we are God.
God and Man… are each other’s Reflection.

– Cookie Break

Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed.
– Michael Pritchard

Telling the future by looking at the past assumes that conditions remain constant. This is like driving a car by looking in the rear view mirror…
– Herb Brody

The sooner you let go of a situation that isn’t working, the sooner one that WILL can COME IN!
– Bashar

Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.
– Lucille Ball

If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are, if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.
– Joseph Campbell

The true depth and breadth of the heart is measured not only by what it can hold, but also by how willing it is to let go.
– Guy Finley

The Persistence of Perception makes us believe
that all Things are as we see them.
The World in which we live… however
is made of very fast vibrating Energy Force Fields
that give us the Impression of Solidity.
All Things are our Thought Energies
vibrating with many different Frequencies.
Our World is the Physical Reality of our Mind.
The World is a Multi-Complex of Energy Vibrations
in which all Realities take place.
Why did you choose the Reality you are in ?

THIS IS THE ONE YOU ARE LEARNING TO MASTER

– Cookie Break

Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.
– Michael Jordan

Your ego doesn’t reject love. It merely provides you with excuses for why you should be skeptical of your divineness. Your ego is exceedingly polite in this matter. The polite background ego voice whispers that love is a high ideal – but one that is loaded with danger. There is a good chance you will get hurt, so you should proceed cautiously. It warns you to not give hurt, so you should proceed cautiously. It warns you to not give too much love because you may be taken advantage of. Because you are so special, it tells you, others want to take advantage of you. All of these ideas keep you in a state of fear – not panic, just fear. A steady stream of anxiety about giving and receiving love is enough to keep you under the influence of ego.
– Wayne Dyer, Your Sacred Self

In Tibetan, the word for body is ‘lu’, which means ‘something you leave behind’, like baggage. Each time we say ‘lu’, it reminds us that we are only travelers, taking temporary refuge in this life and this body.
– Sogyal Rinpoche

Responsible choices have loving and caring in them; personality choices often don’t.
– John-Roger with Paul Kaye, What’s It Like Being You?

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How to Love Yourself…

1. Stop all criticism:
Criticism never changes a thing. Refuse to criticize yourself. Accept yourself exactly as you are. Everybody changes. When you criticize yourself, your changes are negative. When you approve of yourself, your changes are positive.

2. Don’t scare yourself:
Stop terrorizing yourself with your thoughts. It’s a dreadful way to live. Find a mental image that gives you pleasure (mine is yellow roses), and immediately switch your scary thought to a pleasure thought.

3. Be gentle and kind and patient:
Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be patient with yourself as you learn the new ways of thinking. Treat yourself as you would someone you really loved.

4. Be kind to your mind:
Self-hatred is only hating your own thoughts. Don’t hate yourself for having the thoughts. Gently change the thoughts.

5. Praise yourself:
Criticism breaks the inner spirit. Praise builds it up. Praise yourself as much as you can. Tell yourself how well you are doing with every little thing.

6. Support yourself:
Find ways to support yourself. Reach out to friends, and allow them to help you. It is being strong to ask for help when you need it.

7. Be loving to your negatives:
Acknowledge that you created them to fulfill a need. Now you are finding new, positive ways to fulfill those needs. So. lovingly release the old negative patterns.

8. Take care of your body:
Learn about nutrition. What kind of fuel does your body need to have optimum energy and vitality? Learn about exercise. What kind of exercise can you enjoy? Cherish and revere the temple you live in.

9. Mirror work:
Look into your own eyes often. Express this growing sense of love you have for yourself. Forgive yourself looking into the mirror. Talk to your parents looking into the mirror. Forgive them, too. At least once a day, say: “I love you, I really love you!”

10. LOVE YOURSELF – DO IT NOW!
Don’t wait until you get well or lose the weight, or get the new job, or find the new relationship. Begin NOW – do the best you can.

To give love is true freedom; to demand love is pure slavery.
– Swami Chinmayananda

Peace… comes within the souls of men when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the Universe dwells Wakan-Tanka, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.
– Black Elk (Hehaka Sapa), Oglala Sioux

No one is less worthy than you, even if that person’s behavior toward you is unwarranted and objectionable. His fear makes him act toward you in a belligerent way. Your fear makes you think of him and act toward him in an equally belligerent way. Fear in one person tends to invoke fear in another. That is the equation of mutual trespass. The only way out of the cycle of mutual attack and defense is to see your attacker as he really is. When you see him as a decent human being who is responding to you out of fear, you can speak and act in a way that will lessen his fear. That means you don’t attack back. It does not mean that you allow the other person to intimidate you. Each of you must find a way to stand up lovingly for yourself without putting other people down. Your regard for yourself is essential. It is precisely that self-regard that must extend to include the other person.
– Paul Ferrini, Miracle of Love

The common belief of those who are hateful is a firm conviction that life does not love them. Hate is their response to feeling hated. It is uncommon for a person who feels loved to project hate. Keep in mind the important biblical reminder, “God is love.” Evil is in the mind of man. Any hate you encounter comes from the minds of people who feel disconnected from God and the flow of love energy that exists. Why you buy into their hatreds you too are disconnected. Revenge, anger, retaliation, gloom, and all the things that you perceive as problems are mental constructs.
– Wayne Dyer, There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem

Forgiveness remains the only path that leads out of hell. Whether we’re forgiving our parents, someone, else, or ourselves, the laws of mind remain the same: As we love, we shall be released from pain, and as we deny love, we shall remain in pain.
– Marianne Williamson, A Year of Daily Wisdom

Of what is the body made? It is made of emptiness and rhythm.  At the ultimate heart of the body, at the heart of the world, there is no solidity… there is only the dance.
– George Leonard

The choice between love and fear is made every moment in our hearts and minds. That is where the peace process begins. Without peace within, peace in the world is an empty wish. Like love, peace is extended. It cannot be brought from the world to the heart. It must be brought from each heart to another, and thus to all mankind.
– Paul Ferrini

Having found your lifework, the greatest obstacle to its fulfillment lies in your attempt to “direct” it. You cannot make your spiritual work happen. If you try, you will fail. You will see the loftiest work be tainted by spiritual pride and undermined by ego expectations. You cannot do your spiritual work the same way you did your worldly work. The former requires surrender. The latter requires the illusion of control. As soon as you give up the need to control, any work can become spiritual. As soon as you try to take charge, the most spiritual projects begin to fall apart.
– Paul Ferrini, The Silence of the Heart

The descent into the darkness of our own psyche is essential to our healing process. Without the descent, we cannot become light-bearers.
– Paul Ferrini

In the moment of our emotional upheaval, when we have lost peace, for whatever reason, we need but leave everything behind and enter. We need but leave behind the thoughts that would judge, the  temptation to evaluate or give meaning to what we see. We need but leave behind what we perceive and enter. For “nothing we see means anything. We have given everything all the meaning it has for us.” We think we know who we are, but we don’t. We don’t know anything. We don’t know. Naked, we enter the heart. Empty-handed and without thought, we enter the place of silences. Living in the consciousness of God’s love means coming to grips with our utter powerlessness to understand anything on our own. It means surrendering our need to know or control. It means learning to trust that everything that happens has a reason, though it can’t be seen. Everything that enters my life brings a silent blessing, that I may not be able to feel it.
– Paul Ferrini, The 12 Steps of Forgiveness

When we see men of worth, we should think of equaling them; when we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inward and examine ourselves.
– Confucius

See, that’s all you’re thinking about, is winning. You’re confirming your sense of self- worth through outward reward instead of through inner appreciation.
– Barbara Hall, Northern Exposure

Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.
– Sam Ewing

There is in the body a current of energy, affection and intelligence, which guides, maintains and energizes the body and mind. Discover that current and stay with it.
– Nisargadatta Maharaj

Good friends and excellent teachers – Stick close to them!  Wealth and power are fleeting dreams but wise words perfume the world for ages.
– Ryokan

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Instead of being concerned with fitting every new experience into a preconceived category, put your energy into living the experience itself. Instead of using your thoughts to place a judgment on each thing that comes your way, put your energy into being more fully aware of it all.

How many things do you miss completely because you think you already know what you’re looking at? How many new concepts do you fail to grasp because you’re trying to fit them into concepts you already have?

If your life seems to be stuck in one place, the most likely reason is that your thoughts are preventing anything new from coming into your awareness. Relax your need to judge and to analyze, and you’ll glimpse the abundant richness that is always available to you.

Let go of the need to know it all, and you’ll begin to experience more and more. Move beyond the desire to always prove that you’re right, and your eyes will open to profound truths.

What has it ever gained anyone to be cynical and closed minded? Choose instead to open your mind, to open your eyes to the astounding, ever-increasing richness of what is.

Let yourself out of the prison that your ego keeps trying to build. There’s a big, beautiful universe right here and now that’s filled with value for you to live.

— Ralph Marston

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Rules for Being Human


1. You will receive a body.
You may like it or hate it. But it will be yours for the entire period this time around.

2. You will learn lessons.
You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called life. Each day in the school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant or stupid.

3. There are no mistakes only lessons.
Growth is a period of trial, error and experimentation. The failed experiments are much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately works.

4. A lesson is repeated until learned.
A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it. You can then go on to the next lesson.

5. Learning lessons does not end.
There is no part of life that does not contain it’s lessons. If you are alive there are lessons to be learned.

6. There is no better than here.
When your there has been a here you will simply obtain another there that will again look better then here.

7. Others are merely mirrors of you.
You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.

8. What you make of your life is up to you.
You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.

9. Your answers lie inside you.
The answers to life’s questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen and trust.

10. You will forget all of this.

– Author unknown

ColorQuiz.com mordewis took the free ColorQuiz.com personality test!

“Feels too much is being asked of him and is tired …”

mordewis’s Existing Situation

    Sensuous. Inclined to
    luxuriate in things which give gratification to the senses, but rejects
    anything tasteless, vulgar, or coarse.

mordewis’s Stress Sources

    Wants
    to overcome a feeling of emptiness and to bridge the gap which he feels
    separates himself from others. Anxious to experience life in all its
    aspects, to explore all its possibilities, and to live it to the
    fullest. He therefore resents any restriction or limitation being
    imposed on him and insists on being free and unhampered.

mordewis’s Restrained Characteristics

    Feels
    cut off and unhappy because of the difficulty in achieving the
    essential degree of cooperation and harmony which he desires.

    Wants
    to broaden his fields of activity and insists that his hopes and ideas
    are realistic. Distressed by the fear that he may be prevented from
    doing what he wants; needs both peaceful conditions and quiet
    reassurance to restore his confidence.

mordewis’s Desired Objective

    Feels
    too much is being asked of him and is tired out, but still wants to
    overcome his difficulties and establish himself despite the effect such
    an effort would house on him. Proud, but redesigned in his attitude.
    Needs recognition, security, and fewer problems.

mordewis’s Actual Problem

    Strongly
    resists outside influence and any interference with his freedom to make
    his own decisions and plans. Works to establish and strengthen his own
    position.

mordewis’s Actual Problem #2

Afraid that
he may be prevented from achieving the things he wants and therefore
demands that others should recognize his right to them.

This sounds like a crock to me, but it’s what the test said.  Another friend said that the test was “pretty accurate for pop psych…”

Hugs,
Moss

BILL MOYERS: Is the [Garden of Eden] story trying to tell us that, prior to what happened in the garden to destroy us, there was a unity of life?

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: It’s a matter of planes of consciousness. It doesn’t have to do with anything that happened. There is the plane of consciousness where you can identify yourself with that which transcends pairs of opposites.

MOYERS: Which is?

CAMPBELL: Unnamable. Unnamable. It is transcendent of all names.

MOYERS: God?

CAMPBELL: “God” is an ambiguous word in our language because it appears to refer to something that is known. But the transcendent is unknowable and unknown. God is transcendent, finally, of anything like the name “God.” God is beyond names and forms….The mystery of life is beyond all human conception. Everything we know is within the terminology of the concepts of being and not being, many and single, true and untrue. We always think in terms of opposites. But God, the ultimate, is beyond the pairs of opposites, that is all there is to it.

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To be realistic, one has to take into account that to choose to devote one’s life to reaching enlightenment in our society is uncommon and relatively rare. The goal of society in general is to succeed in the world, whereas the goal of enlightenment is to transcend beyond it…Spirituality…is based on the invisible realities and realms of nonduality and therefore may seem unreal or, at best, an oddity to the ordinary world.
– David R. Hawkins

The more you attach your value and humanity to those things outside yourself, the more you give those things the power to control you.
– Wayne Dyer

So many people are expecting a miracle instead of being a miracle.
– Wayne Dyer

If neither the body nor the mind is the real self, there is no need to destroy it, conquer it, or do battle with it. Thoughts are occurring on their own, not because they are caused by anything or anyone.
– David R. Hawkins

In nonduality, in no one instant can any such thing as a ‘problem’, ‘conflict’, or ‘suffering’ occur. These all arise in anticipation of the next instant or recall of the past. The ego appears to be the product of fear, and its purpose is to control the next instant of experience and ensure its survival. It seems to vacillate between fear of the future and regret over the past, and the desire and sense of time which repels action stems from the illusion of lack. With a sense of completion, desire ceases. That which believes it is finite fears for its survival for it is subject to time and the illusions of causality.
– David R. Hawkins

Part of working on ourselves, in order to be ready for a profound relationship, is learning how to support another person in being the best that they can be. Partners are meant to have a priestly role in each other’s lives. They are meant to help each other access the highest parts within themselves.
– Marianne Williamson

What are we to do with our fear, our anger, the clouds that cover the love inside us? Relinquish them to the Holy Spirit. He transforms them through love, and never through an attack on another person.
– Marianne Williamson

Our anger stands in front of our love. Letting it out is part of the process of relinquishing it. The last thing you want to do – ever – is to buy into the insidious delusion that spiritual lives and spiritual relationships are always quiet, or always blissful.
– Marianne Williamson

Commitment in a relationship means commitment to the process of mutual understanding and forgiveness – no matter how many conversations it takes, or how uncomfortable those conversations might sometimes be.
– Marianne Williamson

A life of reaction is a life of slavery, intellectually and spiritually. One must fight for a life of action, not reaction.
– Rita Mae Brown

Your success and happiness lie within you. External conditions are the accidents of life, its outer trappings.
– Helen Keller

Can a man cling only to heaven
And know nothing of earth?
They are correlative: to know one
Is to know the other.
To refuse one
Is to refuse both.
Can a man cling to the positive
Without any negative
In contrast to which it is seen
To be positive?
If he claims to do so
He is a rogue or a madman.

– in Thomas Merton’s The Way of Chuang-tzu

During the day I praised you and I didn’t know
At night I laid with You and I didn’t know
I had thought that I was myself
but I was entirely You and I didn’t know.

– Jalaluddin Rumi

View all problems as challenges. Look upon negativities that arise as opportunities to learn and to grow.
Don’t run from them, condemn yourself, or bury your burden in saintly silence.
You have a problem? Great. More grist for the mill. Rejoice, dive in, and investigate.
– Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, Mindfulness in Plain English

Don’t bring things up to people to point out their imperfection or your perfection; just bring up the possibility that some things can block people from receiving the greater health, wealth, and happiness that is coming to them.

Then you can walk away and never say another word to them in that area, because it’s their choice. If they weren’t aware of the pattern, they may be thankful that you helped them become more aware. They may also say, “I know it now, but I just can’t change it yet. Something inside is holding me.” That’s karma, and that’s fine.

You can help them get through it, not by judging the karma, but by cooperating with them and holding the Light for them. This is important when you are working with other people, especially with your spouse.

– John-Roger, Sex, Spirit and You

Ego and mind and all creations arise out of Self as Self.  Even the ugliest of doubts and the most separate of differences rise from the Beautiful Source as Isness.  In Self there are no do’s and don’ts.  If there is unhappiness you are not unhappy, you are the Untouched Awareness of this unhappiness.  As waves are not separate from Ocean, nor rays from sun, you are not separate from Existence.  You are the moment in which all is.
– Papaji

Of all the creatures of earth, only human beings can change their patterns. Man alone is the architect of his destiny… Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.
– William James

I went to the Outer Banks Thursday night with my neighbor, John.  He just wanted to go, and didn’t want to go by himself.  I helped drive, but he paid for everything.  We got back around 11:30 pm Saturday.  Had a pretty good time, I’ve never been to the NC beaches before.  Maybe I’ll mention some things we did later.  Too sleepy right now.  Thanks to new subscribers and comments.

Hugs,
Me

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(in my email today, no author listed)

To realize
The value of a sister
Ask someone
Who doesn’t have one.
 
To realize
The value of ten years:
Ask a newly
Divorced couple.
 
To realize
The value of four years:
Ask a graduate.
 
To realize
The value of one year:
Ask a student who
Has failed a final exam.
 
To realize
The value of nine months:
Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.
 
To realize
The value of one month:
Ask a mother
who has given birth to
A premature baby.
 
To realize
The value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.
 
To realize
The value of one minute:
Ask a person
Who has missed the train, bus or plane.
 
To realize
The value of one-second:
Ask a person
Who has survived an accident.
 
Time waits for no one.
 
Treasure every moment you have.
 
You will treasure it even more when
you can share it with someone special.
 
To realize the value of a friend or family member:
LOSE ONE.
 
Peace, love and prosperity to all!
Remember…
hold on tight to the ones you love
& Friends You Care About!

Oh, if you only knew yourselves! You are souls; you are Gods. If ever I
feel like blaspheming, it is when I call you man.
– Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)

I got a huge ego boost tonight.  My dear and close online friend Ale told me that I should know she loves me… and that she picked me over everyone on her Friends lists…

It won’t help that much, since she lives in Rio de Janeiro…I can’t swim that far… but it felt so good that such a sweet, wonderful woman would have those feelings for me.

Hugs,
Me

Waaah.  I think I killed my fish tonight… and if he isn’t dead, I’ll never know.

I clean his bowl once a week, and maybe once every 3 months or so I just dump him and some water into a glass or coffee cup in the kitchen sink so I can scrub the bowl out.  Tonight was the latter.  But as I dumped him into the glass I was using, he bounced off the surface of the water in the glass and popped right down the drain of my sink.  All I could do is send a lot of water after him, hoping he can get to a pool or open water somewhere.

Guess I’ll talk to John6 about another one.  Need to put a screen over that sink drain before doing that… if it weren’t tragic (I’ve had this fish for 2 years or so), it might be funny.

Hugs,
Me

Self – Image:
The Cage that Keeps us from Living

by Matthew Roethel

Remember the first time you met your future in-laws? You spent hours asking your partner questions about them so that you could dress right, say the right thing, and you hoped that if you were the slightest bit lucky, Mom and Dad In-law wouldn’t think that their kid was a total idiot for wanting to marry you. Do you remember anything about the evening? Or were you so wrapped up in making sure that you lived up to the image that you created that you were not able to pay attention to anything going on around you. You leave the party, turn to your partner and say, “Can you tell me what happened tonight? I can’t remember a thing!”

It was the same thing when you went to that job interview, gave that big presentation at work, took your first big customer out for dinner. Do you remember the moments or does it all seem like a blur? Oh, and that image you presented to the in-laws – does it match the one you show your boss? Does it even match the one you show to your partner?

Have you ever signed up for an Internet dating site? That’s kind of fun – you get to create an image of yourself when you fill out your profile. If anyone has tried it, aren’t you amazed at the wide variety of body types that fit the description of “average”? I have a friend who signed up with several sites at the same time. He had to keep a set of 3 x 5 cards with him when he went on dates so he could remember what he had said about himself on the site where he met that night’s date.

There is not a single human being on the planet, now or ever, who has not created an image of what they should be and tried to live up to it. It is simply the way things work – as a child, we need acceptance, approval and love. To get these things, we try to be what we think our parents, teachers, friends and everyone else wants us to be so that our needs will be met. What ends up happening is that we are so busy maintaining our image that we forget to live life.

This is a true story – when I was in high school, I wanted to throw a party for my friends. I planned everything out, carefully picked out who to invite, got just the right food and drink. Just before the party was to start, one of my friends called and asked if he could bring along these three girls that he knew. I said no. Why? Because that wasn’t planned for in my image of the party. Of course, he ended up not coming, along with half the other kids. All that was left was me and a couple of my dorky friends sitting around staring at each other for three hours. Image. Wonderful.

Okay – now we know the issue, what do we do about it? First, I had to admit that I was not fooling anyone. Do you have friends that try to maintain carefully crafted images of themselves? Are they fooling you? Think about it. What makes you think you are fooling anyone? If you are feeling really brave, and have a friend that you trust, do this exercise: write down two things that you like about yourself, and two things that you don’t like but think that you keep hidden from everyone. Ask your friend to do the same – about you. Compare the lists. Are you fooling anyone? What are you going to gain by maintaining the image?

Once you decide to let it go, how do you get rid of it? At K2’s Ascension Workshop, we did a death and rebirth process where we left all of our baggage behind and started life over with a clean slate. Many spiritual paths have similar processes. You can do it alone, or you can make it very powerful by doing it in a group with common intent. Once you are reborn, no more image, all that is left is Self. You are free to be. You are free to live. (And yes, it really is that simple. The hard part, for me anyway, was getting over the fear that if I let go of my image, there would be nothing left.)

Then what happens? You begin to experience life. I spent an afternoon hanging out with friends with no conversations in my head. I was relaxed and natural, and they responded. We spent a lot of time smiling and laughing. For the first time in years (the first time that I can remember), I was able to look up and say, “I’m happy” with nothing attached to it. Let go of your self-image, and see how much better you feel.

Love and Light,
Matthew