From overwhelm to spirituality (part 2/4): miracles

In this initial phase of the spiritual journey, my feeling was one of awe and wonder about the unseen realm. The following  stories may illustrate this.

The headache

One morning in 2006, I had a snippet of a song running in my mind,
…and gives me such a headache?’
It took me a while to figure out that it belonged to the introduction spoken before the song I Got Life  from the musical Hair.

In the evening, I had a headache. That was very unusual for me. I rarely get headaches.

After a while, I remembered that line which was playing in my  mind which said, ‘…and gives me such a headache?’. And here I was now with a real headache. Was there any connection or was this mere coincidence?

As soon as I had remembered that this line had been playing in my head on that morning, the headache ceased.

In retrospect, I think that my guides were trying to teach me a lesson about the creative power of thought.

The ladybug

“Mommy, do angels really exist?” my older son asked me. He was about 4 years old.

My first impulse was to tell him that they are not real. But then I hesitated.

“Yes, they are real. But they are very shy and we must listen carefully in order to be able to hear them,” was the answer that I heard escape from my lips.

He seemed to accept that response.

‘What did I just say? Where did that come from?’  I wondered.

Then we walked into his room. Outside it was a dark and rather cold winter evening.

As I opened the door to the balcony, a little ladybug flew into the room and landed right above my heart.

I was in awe. A ladybug in winter time – how unusual! As if some angels were giving me applause for telling my son to learn to listen carefully.

Grandma’s visit

One night in 2006 or 2007, I had dream where my grandmother, who had died a few years earlier, appeared to me.

“We see what you are doing and we like it,” she said.

That seemed like a real message from her. She wanted to convey that she approved of my interest in spiritual matters and wanted to encourage me to go further into that direction.

The answering machine

After experiencing so many miracles, I was in awe of the invisible Source that surrounds and permeates everything. And I longed for more and more connection.

Even if I could not hear God’s voice like Neale Donald Walsch could in his books Conversations with God, couldn’t God at least leave me a message in another way, for example on my answering machine? (Yeah, sounds silly, I know.)

Then one evening when our family was in the living room around the dinner table, suddenly the answering machine went on just as if someone had called.

But nobody left a message.

And the strange thing was that the phone hadn’t rung before.

“This is spooky,” my husband said.

I was stunned and in awe. Somehow my wishes really seemed to be answered.

Saved from an accident

Sept 28, 2007. It was evening. My children and I were talking a walk around the fields. It was getting dark.

I was aware that this was about to become dangerous. There were no street lamps and we didn’t have flash lights, so the small paved roads around the fields were dark. But we started running just for fun.

Then all of a sudden, there was a sharp pain in my left ankle. I needed to stop and wait at the side of the small paved street with both of my children next to me.

Suddenly, a guy on a bicycle drove by real fast – with no lights on.
After he had passed, the pain in my ankle stopped immediately and we could walk home.

The pain in my ankle made me stop at the side of the road and saved us from being run over.

Magic numbers

Oct 9, 2007. I had scheduled a past-life regression hypnosis for the next day and was a bit anxious.

The night before the hypnosis, I could not sleep too well. I woke up and pressed the light switch on my clock on my nightstand.

It showed 3:33 am.

That was remarkable not only because of the number sequence, but also because the light switch of the clock used to not work correctly and would usually illuminate only the hours, but not all the digits of the minutes. Except for this time, when the light shone on all the numbers.

Back then, I did not know anything about the symbolic meaning of numbers and how they are often used as messages in an attempt of spirit to communicate with us. But I took it as a sign of reassurance that I was protected and well taken care of and went back to restful sleep.

The no 1 at the bike rack

I usually bike to work and put my bike into the bike rack. In November  2007, I happened to use the same place in the bike rack almost every day.

Then one day, something caught my attention. Over several days some things seemed to be assembled down there on the floor.

At first, an old marker pen appeared.
Then it was joined by a feather.
And finally, by an acorn.

I never touched anything and just watched with curiosity how these items appeared at ‘my’ bike rack and were then arranged by an invisible hand from behind the veil.

After a couple of days or weeks, the whole thing had moved from an accidental mess to what looked like the number 1 (not in American style, but in European writing style).

It was too neatly placed to be a mere coincidence.

I wondered what it meant. Was there a symbolic meaning of number 1? Or maybe that all is one?  I couldn’t decide.

But I got the impression that there was some very powerful unseen force behind the visible 3D world.

And that invisible force wanted to get a point across.

***

This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).

Prev

 

From overwhelm to spirituality (part 1/4)

I was sitting on the sofa in my living room and staring at the incredibly messy shelf at the wall across from me. Amid the pile of toys on the floor, my two little children were engaged in one of their usual play fights. I was trying to relax, but my mind was as messy as the bookshelf and the floor.

My thoughts were constantly hovering between the need to clean up the mess, to discipline my children, or to get stuff done from my never ending four or five to-do lists. The stiffness, weakness, pain, and fatigue from the rheumatoid arthritis made it even worse.

Oh, how I craved an inner calm and relaxed feeling state of mind!

What hadn’t I tried during the last years in order to get a handle on this feeling of overwhelm. Getting organized better, like boxing up the toys from the floor and putting them away.

I had read through a pile of magazines about decorating the home, being sure that I would be able to feel calmer and more relaxed if only I managed to shape up my living room like in one of those beautiful pictures.

I had read Getting Things Done  by David Allen and also tried to apply the suggested process in order to get a handle on my to-do lists. Great book.

But somehow it all didn’t seem to work for me. All of it was only a superficial cure against the feeling of being overwhelmed by the excessive demands of life.

I was staring at the messy shelf when I suddenly realized,

‘Actually, I don’t want a nicer living room. What I really want is inner peace.’

Boooom! (Now imagine a stage with a lot of smoke and fireworks as the magician pulls a rabbit out of the hat).

“Here you are!“ said the universe the next day and led me to a website which had not only content about homeopathy (which was my passion at that time), but also articles about little children who started to talk spontaneously about their past life memories.

Past lives? Immediately, I was hooked.

In consider this the start of my spiritual journey around the end of 2006.

Urge to read

After that initial article on the internet, I wanted to know more and developed an urge to read.

The first spiritual book that I read was about reincarnation: Children’s Past Lives by Carol Bowman. That touched me deeply.

It shattered my worldview once again. I was lying in bed reading this book where little children of 3-4 years of age would tell out of the blue that they have lived another live before and who they were and how things were different back then.

I felt the floor shake under me, so dizzy did I feel. And initially, I became afraid as I realized that this world is not remotely what I thought it was.

We are not our body!

I always thought that the sense of ‘I’ and my thoughts were a result of the electrical signals in my brain. But, no!  It was the other way around.

If there was reincarnation, then that had to mean that I could exist independently of my body. And if neuroscience tried to find out how thoughts emerged from the brain, that was just as useless as trying to find out how the evening news were created by watching the electron streams in the TV. There was plenty of evidence, not only from investigation of reincarnation (e.g. by Ian Stevenson) but also from near-death experiences (NDE), that our consciousness existed independently of a brain.

In the following months, my interest in homeopathy suddenly dropped to zero and I read only books on spirituality. I devoured them. Even though my life was very busy with a job and my little kids, I found time to read many books. Early in the morning, in the bathroom even before breakfast, and late in the evening, I would find some time for reading.

The next subject on my reading list was channeled stuff:

Conversations with God by N. D. Walsch, The Seth Material by Jane Roberts, The Law of Attraction by Esther and Jerry Hicks, and A Course in Miracles  (ACIM).

That was my next aha moment:

There is a wise inner voice inside each of us.

And some are actually able to hear it! Wow, I wish I could hear that, too!

Actually, one day being able to hear the voice of inner guidance was a huge motivation for me on the spiritual path – besides the initial call for peace. I often felt that having to make an important decision was quite a burden, and I hoped that guidance of a wise inner voice would make life easier.

Later, I read The Enneagram by Rohr and Ebert which triggered another insight:

There is so much unconscious stuff in me of which I was not aware.

I found myself to be type 5 in the Enneagram (investigator, observer). That is someone who lives mainly in his head, likes theories, and in addition has an issue with loss of privacy. How the heck did they know that reading tons of non-fiction books is connected to a resistance of going public?  I had read various models of personality types, but by none of them did I feel as X-rayed as by the Enneagram.

Then in one of the books on esoteric knowledge and spirituality, I came upon the word ‘enlightenment’. What was that?

It sounded like the ultimate wisdom, the ultimate vantage point.

I asked myself and others how an enlightened one would deal with two fighting, disobedient children, a frequently occurring situation which was particularly stressful to me. Would this situation still stress me after enlightenment? Would I know better how to react?

I asked the question to some people on an email distribution list on the topic of spirituality. But nobody there could answer this question. So, I had to find out by myself.

I started to read anything about enlightenment that I could get my hands on. I wanted to find an answer to the following questions:

  • What is enlightenment?
  • What is the journey towards it like? What happens and what does it feel like?
  • What is life like for the enlightened one?

I devoured mainly autobiographies because I felt these would best answer my questions. Some of these books were my favorites. Among the ones that I read more than three times were the books by Jed McKenna, Bernadette Roberts, Suzanne Segal (Collision with the Infinite) Sally Bongers (Everyday Enlightenment), and books related to A Course in Miracles (ACIM) (by Gary Renard, and  Carrie Triffet).

In these books, I found many real life stories about the journey towards and after awakening and enlightenment.

The answers to my questions from reading these books were:

Enlightenment is the permanent shift of the self-perception from a separate body-mind to “all that is”. (This is not to be confused with mystical states of union with the divine that occur as a temporary peak experience   during meditation.)

The journey towards it is different for everyone, but there are some milestones and phases which are similar in most journeys.

There are many features that originate from that state where the separate self has fallen away, e.g. non-attachment, unconditional peace, acceptance, and knowing how to deal appropriately with each situation.

This was all theoretical book-knowledge just from reading, of course. However, the aha moment for me was:

If I assume that I am this body-mind with all its attributes and its history, then I am living in an illusion.

What fueled my search then from now on was not only the search for inner peace but also the search for truth.

If I am not this body-mind, then who or what am I?

Additionally, something else was a huge motivation for me: I wanted to avoid reincarnation at all costs.

After reading many texts on spirituality, my understanding was that we come into this world over and over again. Each time we forget that we are eternal spirit. We even forget our plans for this particular incarnation. The process of remembering our true nature usually involves getting through some difficult experiences which can be potentially traumatizing when they are not properly processed. That means lifetime after lifetime of forgetting and suffering. I wanted to know how do we get off the reincarnation wheel.

Having a body had been great for ballroom dancing. However, due to my painful rheumatic disease, I had come to conclude that incarnation sucks and that I should better avoid another life with a body in 3D space and time.

Where was the emergency exit from this illusion, dammit?

Even though this phase of discovery of another realm was mainly about reading material which shattered my former worldview, I did have the impression that the universe was sending me lessons. That means, things got down from the realm of mere book-knowledge to first-hand experience real fast.

At first, I had my doubts about it. Does life really conspire to send me learning experiences? But then these experiences became too frequent and too unlikely to ignore.

***

This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).

Prev
Next

From rheumatoid arthritis to homeopathy

In 2003, only three weeks after the birth of my first child, I fell ill with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It started with a severe acute attack with pain and stiffness all over the body spreading out from my neck and shoulders.

This was very difficult to handle since I had to take care of a newborn. I was hardly able to take my child out of his crib for nursing at night.

RA cannot be cured by conventional medicine. Physicians can only suppress the inflammation with drugs with more or fewer side effects. I got cortisone and sulfasalazine which made me fat and tired.

I was disappointed with conventional medicine and didn’t want to accept the statement that this disease cannot be cured.  Therefore, I sought help in alternative treatment. After trying various paths (massage, acupuncture, bioresonance therapy, nutrition, vitamin supplements, etc.) without success,  I ended up with homeopathy.

I vividly remember the first time I got a homeopathic remedy. “Let them dissolve on your tongue,” said the doc as he gave me two white sugar globules for my RA. “I won’t tell you the name of the remedy so you won’t be tempted to look it up. See you again in six weeks.”

I headed home and observed my physical reactions.  There was a marked improvement the next days. The veil of heavy lethargy was lifted and the joints were not as stiff anymore.

But – what was that? Blue spots all over the body! Like bruises but not painful. No way that I had bumped into that many tables without noticing. “Geez, you look like you are bleeding internally,” said my husband. “You better get your blood coagulation values checked!”

The bruises faded after a few days. Six weeks later at the next appointment, the physician told me, “Blue spots that look like bruises? Yes, this is a so-called ‘proving symptom’ of the remedy I gave you. Actually,  it is a good sign that the remedy was a good match. I gave you potency 200C of a snake poison, Lachesis.”

In order to understand my bafflement, one must know that a 200C potency is so highly diluted that it contains no molecule of the original remedy anymore. Then why does it have any effect at all?

It is not clear how homeopathy works.  But there is no way that these bruises could have been a placebo reaction. I became convinced that this alternative healing method was the way to go regarding my RA.

During the following three years, I became passionate about homeopathy. I read many books, took a couple of classes, and learned a lot about it.

Before the disease, I was into dancing. It was my passion. I danced about 5 times per week, competitive Latin and ballroom dance. But there was no way I could dance with this disease.  I was desperate since I had derived so much joy from dancing. I thought, ‘I can’t dance anymore. How can I ever be happy again?’

I was confident, though, that I could handle the RA attacks with homeopathy, and I decided to have another child.

In 2004, just before the birth of our second child, we moved into our house. With two children and the new house, life became even more busy.

My health was getting back to sort-of-normal or at least bearable.

Even though homeopathy did not completely heal me, I was able to leave away the conventional medicine entirely and rely solely on homeopathy for the treatment since 2010 (which was seven years after the sudden onset).

Later, I wondered what this phase had been good for. There was a lot of physical and emotional pain. But was it also good for something? Eventually, I settled for the following conclusions: (A) I got used to watching the reactions of my body closely, how it would react if the homeopathic remedy was changed.

And (B) I got familiar with the fact that something non-material as a homeopathic high potency does have a remarkable effect, even if no one knows how this can be explained.
In retrospect, I think that homeopathy served to crack my world-view open.

Using the metaphor of the hike, my path had become rocky due to the pain. I had tried various side roads which all came to a dead end. But when I came upon homeopathy, that was a turning point in my path. I became aware that there was a mountain which I had not seen before.

RA_homeo_1

In 2006, I was in my mid-thirties and had achieved my goals in life:  a job in the corporate world, a husband, two children, and a house.

‘Life could go on like this,’ I thought. But again, life had different plans for me.

***

This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).

Prev
Next

***

photo credit: UweBKK (α 77 on ) Brünnstein mountain panorama near Kiefersfelden, Bavaria, Germany via photopin (license)

Life in flatland

While the previous three posts (map, emotions, insights) gave an overview of my spiritual journey, I will share a more detailed version in the following posts.

***

I am from Germany and was born in the end of the sixties. Both of my parents were teachers.

I grew up without any spirituality other than normal Christian religion. We were Protestants but went to church basically only on Christmas Eve.

However, I remember that I often had a hard time to hold back my tears when the pastor talked about the love of God. I never knew why this touched me so deeply.

But other than that, religion didn’t play a major role in my life.  I wasn’t sure whether there was really any God and whether prayers would be answered.

One day when I was still a little child,  the doctor said with a sorrowful look that a family member very likely had cancer. I was devastated. I cried and prayed with all my heart, “Please,  God, make that this isn’t true!”

And then, it wasn’t true. The result from the biopsy was negative.

I remember my relief and gratitude. Had my prayer been answered? I wasn’t sure.

Early interests

During my teenage years, I developed an interest in science. My motivation was to look behind the appearance of matter. I thought if I could only zoom into the world and look at all the tiny atoms and molecules, then I could understand the world.

I read books like Double Helix by Watson and Crick about the DNA structure and thought that must be really exciting to do scientific research and find out about the secrets of our world.

My earliest aha moments were with Einstein’s relativity theory and with quantum mechanics:

Time and space are not what we think they are. If we move very fast, then they change.

Atoms are pretty empty and subatomic particles can behave as particles or as waves depending how we look at them.

Fascinated by these world-view shattering insights, my wish was to become a scientist and find out about the secret truths of our world.

Back then, I didn’t imagine what kind of more profound secret truths I would eventually discover later.

Illusions were another topic which fascinated me. A book about optical illusions impressed me deeply.

Later, I devoured books by neuroscientists Oliver Sacks and Vilaynur Ramachandran about people who experienced a radically altered perception of the world as a consequence of brain damage.  All of that left me with the impression that our sense perceptions and our brain are not the appropriate tools to see reality as it is.

I was also interested in psychology, always asking, ‘What is it that makes us happy?’ When I came upon the theory of flow of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, it made sense to me at that time.

I experienced flow during painting, dancing, solving math problems, and computer programming.  These activities kept my mind engaged and were creative. Back then, I thought the recipe for a happy life was that I just needed to make sure that I could fill my time with a lot of activities that allowed me to be in the flow state.

Because of my interest in science, I studied chemistry.  But after my doctorate (German PhD equivalent), I thought that staying in science would not contribute to finding out the truth about the world and it would not make me happy either.

Therefore, I decided to leave science and got a job in the corporate world.  That was not about finding the truth and understanding the world any more, but at least it gave me some financial security. In addition, part of the work was fun and allowed me to sink into a happy flow state.

Then I got married. And in 2003, our first child was born.

For my spiritual journey, I use the metaphor of a hike up and down a mountain. This part of my journey was in flatland. Even though I loved mind-boggling new insights, I was unaware of a dimension behind the visible 3D world  (- the mountain at the horizon was covered in clouds and invisible to me – ). And I was always busy achieving the next step in my life.

Flatland_1

 

I had it all, a job and a family. Life could go on like this, I thought.

But life had different plans for me.

***

This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).

Prev
Next

***

photo credit: UweBKK (α 77 on ) Brünnstein mountain panorama near Kiefersfelden, Bavaria, Germany via photopin (license)

 

Insights from the spiritual journey

My spiritual journey has turned my worldview inside-out and upside-down. Here are my key insights:

1. Consciousness can exist without a body.
Before becoming aware that there is something more behind the 3D visible world, I grew up with a scientific, materialistic worldview. I assumed that consciousness was just a by-product of the activity in the brain. (I use consciousness and awareness interchangeably here.)

But then I read a lot of near-death experiences (NDEs) and reincarnation stories. Later I had some meditation experiences which involved the void. And that shifted my worldview. I am consciousness with some content in it. Even after leaving this body, I will be consciousness with something in it.

2. Consciousness is a higher dimension.
What do I mean by that? When we think of  life in a two-dimensional plane, for example (like in the book Flatland), then the higher dimension would be the third dimension which is perpendicular to that 2D plane.

And what characteristics does the 3rd dimension have compared to the 2D plane? It is at the same time everywhere inside  the 2D plane and also surrounding  it. It is above and below and inside the flat sheet of paper, for example.

Yet, even though it is everywhere, it cannot be detected easily  when one is a being which is living in the 2D land because the 3rd dimension is not a 2D thing.

Only its effects  can be felt in 2D land. In the book Flatland, there is a scene where the 3D sphere tries to convince a 2D being that it (-the sphere-) is real. After several fruitless attempts, it does so by punching it in the middle of its 2D-shape, something which is painful but seems supernatural enough to convince the 2D being.

For our 3D world it cannot be visualized that well, but I think of it as analogous. Consciousness is that which embraces all and permeates all.

The witnessing awareness is not just a silent and watching witness. The void (which I call the void because it is not in the realm of things and therefore we have no words for it)  is the potential before manifestation.

3. Everything is connected via consciousness.
As illustrated in the following picture, one 2D being (red triangle) would be able to make a connection to another 2D being (red square)  even if they are separated by a wall. The connection could simply go upwards and then downwards again, passing through the 3rd dimension.

Flatland_connection_2

Again, here in 3D land it cannot be visualized that well. But it works analogously. Telepathy or remote viewing are possible for some people because they can connect via consciousness. I have experienced getting messages from others in my dreams and also feeling the physical pain from from someone else in my own body. These messages were passed via consciousness.

Consciousness is one. There are not many single consciousnesses floating around. The many expressions of consciousness are more like branches of a single tree or arms of a single octopus. Individuated but not separate.

4. Thoughts create.
Some may think, ‘Duh, obvious, we have to think before we create something.’

But that is not what I mean.

I mean that thoughts, especially if coupled with emotions, can manifest stuff, literally (for an example, see post Can thoughts influence the weather?).

After I came upon that insight, I understood why it is important to learn to watch and control my thoughts, especially when the interval between thinking them and receiving the effects became shorter.

5. Inner peace is inside – and can cause miracles.
This could also be phrased as ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is within.’

I used to unconsciously search happiness by rearranging things ‘out-there’.

But now my focus has turned to finding the inner peace first. (by turning the focus of attention back on awareness itself, see post Describing the ineffable)

It does not mean that I have to put up with whatever disagreeable circumstances are apparently ‘out-there’. I am not a doormat. (see post The riddle of acceptance)

But finding the inner peace inside first  does two things. A) I can hear guidance more easily when I am at peace. And B) inner peace is the place from which miracles tend to happen. So, even though I do not necessarily change things on the outside by my action, circumstances still change for my benefit (see posts The power of forgiveness and  The magic wand of inner peace)

The insight that inner peace can cause miracles is nothing new. The teachings of The Work by Byron Katie, Ho’oponopono (The World’s Most Unusual Therapist), and A Course in Miracles (ACIM), for example,  all use different approaches for dealing with upsetting situations, but they have in common that they all aim for inner peace when shit hits the fan.

6. There is a guiding force behind the veil.
I was raised partially on spiritual texts that talk about ‘We are consciousness. Everything happens in consciousness. Stay as the witness. Watch your thoughts float by. Detach.‘ and so on. These are important and useful practices.

But I don’t recall any mention of spirit guides, synchronicities, and a force behind the veil which guides us (see post, Coming out of hiding). (Well, there are some mentions, like once we realize what is going on, our head is already in the tiger’s mouth and it is too late. But that didn’t prepare me for my experiences.)

So, I was very surprised when I got clear directions as to where I had to go. Even though I was familiar with the phenomenon of channeling and that there is an inner voice which can tell us wisdom, I was not prepared that this inner voice would give me directions. And not just in a polite way like a sat nav would give them,  but it sounded more like a drill sergeant. Apparently consciousness is not just a silent witness, but it has a direction and a will to it. Once I had done the plunge into the void (awareness looking back at itself), it was like a new boss took over.

And resistance was futile (- surrender is still work in progress).

***

These insights represent what I have come with up to this point in my spiritual journey.

I did not mention every point in my worldview that has shifted. There is certainly more, for example, what about time?, what about free will?, and much more. But the ones mentioned above are the foundation.

For me, these insights are a shift in my worldview that is comparable in order of magnitude to a Copernican Revolution. What seems ‘out there’ is not really ‘out there’ as everything happens in consciousness and therefore happens in me. And reality (i.e. the ever changing content of consciousness) is more pliable than I had assumed before.

(Related post: 15 insights from the spiritual path)

***

This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).

Prev
Next

Emotions on the spiritual journey

What does the spiritual journey feel like from a psychological or emotional point of view? Is it a continuous climbing up the vibrational ladder of emotions from depression over boredom towards bliss?

I was searching for inner peace, but ironically the journey went through terrain that often brought up emotions that were the opposite of inner peace.

Everyone’s path and experience is different, of course. Here,  I share an overview of my own experience with the hope that it is helpful for others. I refer to the metaphor of a journey up a mountain to a lake at the mountaintop and then downhill in a river (which I presented in my previous post ).

Map_journey_1

Flatland
While I was in flatland, unaware of a dimension behind the visible 3D world, I was ambitious and focused on my next goal of my career and family life. When one goal was reached, there was always a next goal.

That time was marked by intense work, often accompanied by a sense of stress, tension and anxiety,  and also by joy about success and joy during activities that allowed me to be in a flow state.

Uphill
On the uphill phase, the road had several turning points. Each turning point was a problem/solution pair:

  •  A sudden onset of rheumatoid arthritis led me to homeopathy.
  •  Overwhelm led me to spirituality.
  •  Anger about what I perceived as unfair treatment at work led to acceptance and letting go.

That phase was emotionally difficult. I experienced:

  • Confusion, anger, sadness, listlessness, fear, loneliness
  • But also hope and fierce determination when searching for solutions.
  • Besides the negative emotions, there was also a feeling wonder and awe. At every turn of the way, a wonderful new worldview opened up which I would not have discovered had I not gone through the previous challenging time. And there were synchronicities and miracles which left me in awe and gratitude.

Mountaintop
On the mountaintop, I found mainly peace by looking back at awareness itself.

Downhill, strand A (lessons, tests, divine help; not contained in the picture above)
On this part of the way downhill, there was fear again because of the lessons and tests.

But there were also joy about new insights and awe about the divine which was peeking out from behind the veil every now and then.

Downhill , strand B (being in the river, i.e. guidance and sharing)
My guidance told me to share more frequently and more widely. But often I resisted this. Here I experienced the following:

Procrastination loops at the riverside: Doubt, confusion, fear, resistance, guilt, restlessness, sadness, annoyance, apathy. But also a feeling of safety.
Not yielding to the urge of my soul to share sometimes feels like building a dam and being about to burst.

In the river:  Upon surrender,  a sense of obedience,  reverence, and being humbled. But also an inner temper tantrum because I don’t like to be bossed around.
There is fear, but also faith. Awe, wonder, and gratitude about the many forms of divine guidance.
Passion (yes, sometimes).

Although things tend to fall more into place when I eventually follow the river, it isn’t that life becomes just more and more wonderful and free of problems. Sharing openly on the internet brings up new kinds of challenges and lessons which in turn can evoke anger, confusion and so on (see above, “downhill, strand A”). Also, the shock about the fact that a spirit guide became negative and started to feed off my pain is something I have yet to make peace with.

***

That shows that my spiritual journey is far from the continuous climbing up the vibrational ladder into bliss states. It is more like a transition from one operation mode to another, i.e. from ‘living-in-flatland mode’ to the ‘yielding-to-the-river mode’. And that transition is accompanied by all sorts of emotional upheaval as well as inner peace, awe, and wonder.

I remember one time when the emotions became too strong and it felt like too much to bear, I fretted, ‘I was much happier when I was not yet on the spiritual journey. Ignorance is bliss.’
But a couple of days later, I had a spam comment on WordPress and the email address of the sender contained the words ‘Ignorance isn’t bliss. Ignorance is ignorance.‘  LOL. Isn’t it awesome how the universe uses even spam comments as an input channel to get its point across?

Now, what has changed compared to flatland where I started from?

  • When I am off track, running in circles in the loops of procrastination and resistance, then there is a feeling of guilt which I did not feel before.
  • Also, the feelings of being humbled by the forces behind the veil and reverence towards the divine are new to me.
  • The feeling of inner peace and quiet joy that I find when I turn the focus back on awareness is something I did not know before I had reached the mountaintop. I see this as the holy grail or the pearl of great price.

(Related post : Dark Night of the Soul)

***

This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).

Prev
Next

A map of my spiritual journey

Is there a map for the spiritual journey? There are maps for every phase in life. When kids come into puberty, we teach them what is going to change in their body. When a woman is pregnant, she is taught how pregnancy, labor pain and childbirth unfold.

But what about a map for the spiritual journey?

I searched and found that there are already many maps out there. And they differ not only in the metaphors they use, but also in the emphasis which they give to the single phases and milestones of the spiritual journey. No wonder, because the curriculum of life is highly individualized.

So, I decided to draw a map of my own journey and add it to the number of already existing maps. And even though everyone’s journey is different, I still hope that some readers can relate to my observations.

When I look back at my spiritual journey, I think of it as hiking up and down a mountain. And I can discern 3 phases.

 

Map_journey_1

 

Phase 1:  going uphill.
Starting in flatland where I was unaware of a dimension behind the visible 3d world, my path was slow and winding at first, but steep and direct later.

Each turning point in the road consisted of a problem-solution pair. That meant that there was trouble quite frequently. And each time one problem was fixed, a new one would appear. But in retrospect I can see that every difficult time during that phase (coupled with the corresponding solution) brought me closer to the mountaintop.

Phase 2 : I reached the mountaintop.
Here I looked back like in a 180 degree U-turn at the one who was looking (awareness-watching-awareness meditation), got the fact that I am awareness and felt the deep peace of resting in awareness. (see post Describing the ineffable)

I think of coming to see myself as awareness as the important key point in my journey. Therefore, I place it on the mountaintop.

I depict awareness as a lake because that is what it feels like for me. Diving into the silent void feels like diving into a deep, still lake.

This phase was also where guidance came through strongly.

Phase 3 : going downhill again.
It consists of two strands.

  • Strand A  is about integration which, in my case, has the following components:
    Insights, lessons, and tests,
    development of intuition and courage,
    divine help and manifestation.
    (Strand A is not contained in the drawing above.)
  • Strand B is about guidance and sharing (or the resistance to it).
    I think of it as a river that flows downhill from the lake at the mountaintop. The direction of the flow of the river indicates the will of Source.  My guidance nudges (or kicks) me to enter the river and to go with the flow and share more.
    But I sometimes resist and rather stay at the riverside where I just run in circles – until life gets too painful and I eventually surrender and enter the river, only to get out of the water again when I feel too scared or resistant for the next assignment.
    The whole strand B is about coming into alignment with what my soul wants to do here. Sometimes it feels like coming into alignment is my only subject in Earth school at the moment.

From reading the stories of others, I know that there is more ahead. Bernadette Roberts, for example, described her journey in her books as diving into ever deepening states of stillness. She lost the ego which resulted in the unitive life; and then  some years down the road, she  permanently lost the sense of self.

Just to put my journey so far into perspective, when I compare my current position with Bernadette’s map, I see that I am not even fully in the phase termed ‘unitive life’ yet. And that which seekers in non-dual traditions strive for, the permanent loss of the sense of self, is far out of reach. Bummer.

But writing and publishing this post was another step towards surrender and entering the river.

***

This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).

Next

Making contact with my spirit guides

It has been more than 2 months now since a negative spirit guide has been dismissed from my team. Here is what has occurred since then.

The guide who had to leave
Before the dismissal, I had a guide who showed up in visions with curly blonde hair and in contemporary clothing  who sent me the name ‘Aaron’. He was the one who pushed me to share my stuff in various online formats. Since he appeared frequently in dreams, visions, and as inner voice, I thought that he was my main guide.  But now, I have not seen him anymore. It seems that he is the one who got booted out.

Fear and confusion
My emotional state about what happened ranges from rather calm to fearful. Sometimes I am confident that I will be able to continue with the rest of the team of guides and I even long for communication with them.  And at other times, it seems just too tempting to shut down the connection because I assume that this will keep me safe from being bossed around by the inner voice in the future.

I know that keeping my inner peace is important. So, I am trying to get back to inner peace whenever fear surges.

Also, I keep thinking about what part of my past experiences has been tainted by that guide. If I am to share this stuff, I don’t want to mislead people. I don’t think that I need to throw away everything and start from scratch. But the very strict guidance with partly threatening dreams and physical pain is probably not that common and might be more because of the negative guide.  On the other hand, there are many stories  of people who got ill after not obeying guidance. Did they all have negative spirit guides? Probably not. Maybe getting sick is just a natural consequence of resisting the soul’s calling.

Keep the faith
Around the time of the channeling where the negative guide was chased away, the word ‘Israel’  came up frequently in unexpected places, and also ‘Jacob’. So, I looked up the story of  how Jacob wrestled with an angel and was renamed to Israel afterwards. Is that a message that there are special karma bonus points after one has survived such a struggle? lol
Anyway, it seems to encourage me to believe that something good will come from this.

Also, I get the number ‘2’ showing up frequently and in unusual places, which, to me, means to have faith.

Making contact with my guides
Currently, I am trying to make contact with the rest of the team. Each evening before sleep, I am lying in my bed and asking them to give me a physical sign that they are there. An electrical tingling sensation or a muscle twitching counts as a sign that they are trying to get my attention.

But sometimes, the muscle twitching gets into a cramp, or the tingling sensation turns into a shooting nerve pain. Then I tell  them that they should not hurt me and need to  try again. To establish rapport takes practice and patience on  both sides of the veil.

Who are they? In dreams or visions, I got several different faces and names so far. But it seems like they were to be understood more metaphorically than literally. For example, the first one I got was a big man with the name ‘Max’.  That seemed to mean that  he is the biggest or greatest of them. His message for me was to spend more money on food and clothing for myself. I tend to be content with simple and cheap stuff. Sounds like he is encouraging me to show more self-love in these areas.

Messages by the other guides were about manifestation with joy and faith and about using my voice.

They all say that they want to encourage me with joy rather than by threatening me (like the negative guide did before). So, that looks like a positive change.

Whenever I ask for their guidance, listen, and then actually follow their answer, they send me signs of much appreciation and celebration. As if they know how hard it is for me to find that trust again and as if they want to show me how happy they are that I try nevertheless.

I still do get dreams and visions. Some of them talked about the importance of coming into a joyful mood. But often, the dreams are less blunt and their meaning is  harder to decipher.

In summary, making contact with the team of guides takes trust, practice, patience, and a lot of fine-tuning.

Do I have more slack now?
In the past, it felt as if my free will was getting less and less and I was on a very short leash. When I did not obey the guidance, I would get sick or other trouble would happen. Even though I don’t have throat chakra issues at the moment (like breathing trouble in the past), I still do get uncomfortable physical symptoms when I procrastinate too long without blogging anything. This time, it is a pressure between my shoulder blades (which feels like someone is poking his finger into my back).  That means, even now, I do not really have an unlimited amount of slack.

I have been told that there are two available tracks. I can either take the slow path (do what I feel drawn to do, e.g. journaling, taking long walks, just being at peace) or the path of fast growth (blog more, do a webinar). Or I can even take a mixture of these two. So, that means I will still have to do the webinar about guidance. But it does not have to be right away and it does not need to be live (as I originally thought).

My guides have asked me to post at least once a week. However, I told them that I cannot commit to that. Then they asked me to at least state my commitment and firm intent to share all about the topic of guidance. I thought long and hard, but found again that I cannot even make that commitment, especially not after I had a negative guide.

At the moment, I just want to feel safe. I do not want to feel pressured. From that feeling of safety, I hope that intrinsic motivation and joy will arise to share – not only on the topic of guidance but also about the phases and challenges  of the spiritual journey.

 

Dismissal of a negative spirit guide

If trust has been broken in a relationship with another human, it is difficult enough to restore it. But what about loss of trust in spirit guides?

In August 2016, I was lured by my guidance to go on a family hiking trip. Initially, I did not want to join this tour with 20 people in a mountain cabin. But signs and dreams occurred more than half a year in advance and were so persistent (-I even got a prophecy by someone else that I would get this task to go on this tour-) that I gave in eventually and agreed to join the trip. After all, I had learned in the past, that I had to obey guidance, otherwise weird stuff would happen or I would get sick.

While most of it was fine (the company of good friends, well-organized, good food, fantastic weather), the hike itself was way too strenuous for me. I had not  thought about it before, since it was a family tour. And because I remembered that my kids at age 5 would not hike a lot, I thought  it would be an easy tour which I would be able to manage  even though I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.

But the hike itself was way too strenuous, too long, too steep for me. And even worse, I got a bad flare up of my arthritis in my right foot  due to going steeply downhill for a long time. This kept me unable to walk for 5 months afterwards. And even now it is not healed yet and my ability to walk is still restricted.

So, I trusted my guidance, and what did I get from that? Lasting physical damage!

I felt extremely let down after this experience. My emotions ranged from shock, anger, disbelief, sadness to fear that this might happen again.

How could I ever trust my guides again after that hike? Why, oh why did they lure me onto that hike?

I tried to get answers. My guides tried to rebuild the trust relationship after that, but I was not satisfied. Could I get a clear answer, please, about why they did this in the first place? Nope.

I tried my spiritual toolbox of forgiveness and acceptance. Maybe there was something good about it which I had overlooked. Maybe I just needed to accept the pain and learn whatever from it?

I asked some channels whether they could get more information. The answers ranged from “We just tried to show you how strong you are” ,  “You didn’t need to follow our guidance. You have free will.” to “You will be able to walk again end of January 2017”.

WTF???

How could I ever talk about divine guidance with conviction after this had happened? I thought, ok, I would still hold the workshop on guidance end of March 2017, because I had promised it and I needed to get that task off my chest. But afterwards, I got a new assignment that I had to do a webinar.

I want clarity, dammit, before I hold this webinar! Otherwise, I will have to tell that following guidance can screw up your life and that I do not recommend it.

In summer 2017, my inner voice and dreams started to direct me to a certain psychic medium (Lisa Wechtenhiser) who is able to talk to one’s spirit guides. I contacted Lisa and told her about the lasting physical damage and the resulting loss of trust.

At first, she talked to my guides and gave me similar information to what I got before ,  “Oh, you have free will. Just because the guides suggest something, you don’t need to do it.”

But I insisted that this is no satisfactory answer  since I don’t really have free will anymore lately. I get assignments and usually weird stuff happens when I don’t follow.

So, she said, “Let me just channel them, so you can talk to them directly.”

And then something remarkable happened. As soon as she tuned into the guides, she was able to detect something like a disturbance in the force of the field. There was some guide in there that did not belong there.

She dismissed him from the group, and afterwards I got some completely different information about why this hike had happened.

The dismissed guide was a guide that I originally hired when I hired the entire group of guides. Initially, he was helpful. But later, he underwent a transformation, and his energy then fed off my pain and my suffering.  And so he needed to leave. 

There was a veil over the hike that I would go on this trip with all good intentions, so that the negative guide could get whatever he needed. He always needed something going on and so created situations that put me in pain and suffering.

The rest of the guides tried hard to lessen the effects of what the negative guide did. 

But the need for energy of this negative guide amped up over the last year. So, he was able to override the rest of the guides and put me into situations where all of my pain and suffering  fed him. And he would have stayed.

The other guides were sorry that the trust connection had been damaged,  but they said that they would try everything they can to rebuild that bridge with me.

 

***

My guides have sent me some signs of confirmation that this was real and not a made-up fairy tale. Now, they are trying to rebuild the broken trust, slowly and in baby steps. This takes time.

I would never have expected to which odd experiences my spiritual journey would lead me, when I first started out listening to teachings of ACIM and non-duality!
Now, I am left with a feeling of confusion about what to make of that story. How much of my past experiences has been influenced by that dismissed guide? Was he responsible for the very stern guidance I got up until now? And will I have more slack now? Time will tell.

I hope that my foot will heal over time and that I will be able to have a clear connection to my guidance and to trust them again.

***

Lessons for me:

-) Not only entities in the lower astral realms can be negative, but also spirit guides. It is very rare for spirit guides, but it can happen.

-) It might be a good idea to use some form of protection when communicating with guides. Something like a sovereignty statement or a visualisation of protecting light or so. Something that says, everyone who is not in my highest good, get out.

-) What a channel hears depends on whether they just talk to the guides or actually tune into their energy and channel them directly.

-) The concepts of acceptance and trust can be easily misunderstood. When one is in a dysfunctional, abusive relationship with another human or with a spirit guide, the most appropriate choice might be to leave that relationship.

 

 

 

 

If you want to make God laugh

As I lay half-awake in bed around 3 am on May 14, the inner voice started to talk again. At first, with compliments and congratulations regarding the recent workshop on divine guidance.

But then it said,  “I want you to hold an internationally available online seminar”.  And afterwards, I had the song “Live is Life” in my head. I guess that meant it had  to be a ‘live’ webinar.

§@$§&%.!!!

*Sigh*.

Ok, it is not that  bad. After all, I am not required to travel, book venues, invent a logo, print flyers, and all that stuff. It will just be webinar. Just talking into a lifeless camera hole for about an hour. I should be able to accomplish that.

Originally, I had planned to do the workshop on divine guidance end of March 2017 and then to retreat into cave time again in order to rest and  heal more. Maybe my rheumatoid arthritis would improve after a past-life regression hypnosis? I wanted to focus on self-care and healing.

I did not dare to listen to the inner voice because I was afraid it would tell me bluntly what I had to do next. And I am fed up with constantly getting new tasks.

But only about a week after I had posted the script of the workshop, I already got this new assignment.

Afterwards, my usual course of events started, similar to what I have described in ‘the universe’s bag of tricks’.

Resistance, followed by dreams that tried to persuade me with metaphors that  I ‘needed to nurture my baby’. That it would be ‘a piece of cake’. That it is a ‘leap of faith’ which is required and which will lead me to happiness. An inner voice which told me that I must speak.

More resistance, followed by dreams that threatened me (-in one of them a person dressed in a skeleton costume walked behind me, as if to tell me that death is going after me if I resist).

Still more resistance, and I got  clogged drains everywhere and other mirroring patterns (for example,  no network connections or people not answering my comments and emails).

More resistance, and now I feel a tightness in my throat chakra again.  Just like back in 2013, when I resisted sharing  anything of my experiences at all.

Alright. So, I will have to do this webinar if I don’t want to feel choked again.

I wonder where this will lead to. I can see the puzzle pieces falling into place. This blog, the youtube video, the divine guidance workshop. It is all about coming out of hiding and sharing. Expressing myself, becoming visible, and speaking up. And I find it stressful each time I get a new assignment.

I often wonder why I am chosen to speak about guidance even though I am so resistant. Or maybe it is exactly because  I am so resistant?  Maybe I will teach what I need to learn? Not only listening to guidance, but also how the process of surrendering happens in slow motion?

Whenever I asked some channels about these patterns, the answer was always, “Follow your joy.”  Yeah, good idea! My joy is journaling and taking walks in nature. But anything that has to do with workshops is stress. Therefore, it feels as if I have to choose between my joy and my guidance. That is probably not how it is supposed to be.

Rather, I am often thinking of the story of Jonah. He was guided to go and preach in Nineveh but resisted. He got on a turbulent cruise trip  instead and then got a ride in the stomach of a whale which transported him to his destination. Eventually, he had to give up his resistance.

Sure, Jonah, just ‘follow your joy’, and all will be well? Nope. It does not always work that way.

Also, this Bible passage speaks to me
“That servant who knows his master’s will but does not get ready or follow his instructions will be beaten with many blows.” (Luke 12:47) That means once I know what I am expected to do, I better follow it. If I don’t, I will get into trouble. That has been exactly my experience over and over again since 2013.

So, the phase I am going through is still about coming into alignment with the will of my higher self and it feels like I am being kept on an ever shortening leash.

I had other plans after the workshop in March. But if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.