Art in nature (part 4): seeing faces

Sometimes, I see faces in trees. They might be man-made and obvious or very subtle and show up only after processing the picture with the photo app.

Some trees were marked by the foresters with two white dots and then someone else had fun with decorating them:

A face carved into a dead tree by an unknown artist:

I see a long, thin female face on the bottom part of this tree where the bark is missing. The ivy on both sides looks like it is her hair.

A chubby, doll-like face on the upper part of the purple area (which was originally greyish-white) appeared after processing the picture with the photo app.

And last, I noticed a face on a concrete cube at the side of a parking lot. There were many concrete cubes, but I didn‘t see faces of the others. Only on this one which is right across from the bench where I usually sit and take a break during my weekend walk. The weird thing is that I have come across this cube many times during many years already. But only recently (in June 2022) did I notice a face on it.

Is this just the human brain’s tendency to interpret faces into any pattern or is it something more? I don’t know. But taking walks is much more fun when I pay attention to unusual sights.

Be who you are

During the first half of June 2022, I’ve had several long conversations with different people, and the common theme was always about simply daring to be who you are and not giving in to the fear of „what if others don’t accept me?“ I realized that the fear of being ridiculed and ostracized is all pervasive and some people rather get sick or commit suicide than come out of hiding. So, I took this as the writing prompt for this week‘s post.

***

Here‘s to all the people who don‘t fit into the norm.

To all the people of the LGBTIQ spectrum who struggle to come out.

To all the mystics living secretly among muggles.

To all the introverts who are are coerced to party after work with their extroverted colleagues.

To all those who have been sexually abused by family members or by priests of the church and struggle to find someone who believes their story.

To all who’ve had extraordinary experiences like spiritually transformative experiences or alien abductions but who are ridiculed when they talk about it.

To all the black swans and white peacocks.

Be who you are. Unapologetically. Because the effort of hiding and pretense takes a huge toll.

Share your story. Writing your hero’s journey not only helps you to process your experience, but sharing it feels freeing and could also encourage and help others.

Dare to shine.

You are beautiful.

Building trust in the inner voice: the bike seat story

“We are so happy to hear that you are going to Berlin,” said the inner voice of guidance. “You will be treated like a princess. No, even like a queen. Like royalty. Enjoy your trip!”

And then they added, “And we have a surprise for you.”

In addition to this statement of the inner voice, I got an image in my mind of some people dancing or bobbing up and down with joy and excitement.

“Well, what is it? Won’t you tell me?” I replied.

“No, we won’t tell you. Because then it wouldn’t be a surprise. And the soul loves surprises!”

I had planned my spontaneous trip to my parents in Berlin for a few days during early May 2022. I wrote about it here. Some last minute concerns had been wiped away. Due to a sore throat, I had decided to take a COVID test. I would have canceled my train tickets when the test would have been positive. But luckily it came back negative. I felt relief. And now I was ready to go.

I wondered what the promised surprise was going to be.

And even more, I wondered whether I heard the inner voice correctly. I still struggle with the issue of discernment and trust in the inner voice. Most often, the guidance does not appear as an audible voice but more like thoughts in my mind. Thoughts where it is not me who is thinking them. It is more like someone is talking to me telepathically in thoughts. But it is hard to tell whether I am making this up. Is this wishful thinking? Or is it from guidance? It is often easier to discern when there is some additional guidance showing up on another input channel like in a dream, a song in the mind or showing up in the physical. So, I decided to wait and see.

As it turned out, not only was I treated royally with fantastic weather and tasty food, but there were at least three surprises. The first surprise was that the train had on-board entertainment and I got to watch a movie on the 5h train ride to Berlin. The second one was that I was contacted by a former colleague right after I had left Berlin. I am going to share now in more detail about the third surprise.

The surprise

So after a few days, I came back from Berlin late in the evening. And since I already had experienced two surprises, I didn’t expect any new ones. I got off the train and went to my bike which I had locked at the train station for a couple of days. My bike was still there and not stolen. That was a relief. But there was something unusual about it.

The first thing I noticed was a little rose flower in my basket. It was an artificial one, made from fabric. How lovely to be greeted with something like that!

Then I noticed that there was something strange about the bicycle seat. Not only was the plastic bag removed which I had used to cover the seat. But the saddle was low and the quick clamp was loosened.

WTF?

Then I took a closer look and realized that this was not my bike seat! Someone had taken my old bike seat out and put an almost new one in there. My old bike seat was very much torn on the surface. But I didn’t mind. I always used a plastic bag to cover it. And now I had an almost new bike seat with a smooth surface.

How lovely! Someone must have exchanged my saddle for a better one and put the rose in my basket. That must have been the surprise my guides promised me.

Some handicraft work required

However, after I arrived at home, I took a closer look at the new saddle and saw that there was a problem. The seat pillar was too thin. Even if I closed the quick clamp, the saddle would still move.

Darn. Now I wasn’t so sure anymore whether this surprise was really such a great gift and some resentment crept in.

Then the problem solving phase started. Sifting through ideas how to deal with this. I wasn’t going to spend money on a new bike seat because I was afraid that that one would be stolen the next time I went to Berlin leaving my bike for several days locked at the train station.

After an unsuccessul attempt to enlarge the diameter of the saddle pillar with thick fabric duct tape, we tried some handicraft with metal from soda cans. After some tinkering, we ended up cutting the metal of not only one but two soda cans and wrapping it around the pillar to make it fit into the bike frame. ( I am so grateful that I stumbled across this helpful tip in an internet forum.)

Then the saddle pillar fit and didn’t slide into the frame further while biking and I thought, finally, I can be grateful for this surprise.

Messages

But there was more. There were probably some messages to consider.

One of the soda cans was a Dr. Pepper with cherry-vanilla flavor. We usually never drink Dr. Pepper and I wasn’t even aware that this was available here in Germany, but my husband bought it because it was the cheapest soda can he could find at the grocery store. I wondered whether there was a message in that for me. Does having (Dr.) Pepper under my butt mean something similar to getting fire under my ass? I hope I won’t be pushed by my guides again to do things which I don’t want to do. Had enough of that in the past.

The other thing that might be a message was that the saddle had the inscription ‘MOODY’ on the side, along with icons which reminded me of moon phases. Was it an admonition to look at my moods and heal my moody conditions? Or should I read Raymond Moody’s books about NDEs? I am not sure. Looking at my moods of occasional grumpiness, fear, and anger and trying to get into a stable inner peace is always a good idea, but it is still work in progress.

The third thing to mention about the saddle is that is is from the brand ‘Selle Royal’. A royal bike seat. When I saw this, I realized that the inner voice which I heard before the Berlin trip had told me that I would be treated ‘like royalty’.

Not only did I have a new bike seat now, but I also had one more experience with the inner voice where I had learned to trust that what I had heard was real. And much more than any channeling class exercises, it is these little personal experiences which teach me to trust.

Art in nature (part 2)

Lately, I have been taking more pictures while talking walks outside and playing around with the pre-installed foto-app on my iPad. Changing the lighting and the colors is so much fun. Sometimes after I have processed the image, I zoom in and enlarge an area which then gets a bit blurry and looks more like a painting than a photography.

Among many other creative endeavors, used to paint and draw a lot up to the age of 14, but I am not a trained photographer or artist. I don’t know what the many different parameters on the foto app really mean, but processing these pictures is more an intutitive process which enables me to be creative and play around with colors and beauty, but without the effort, skill, patience, and money required for acrylic painting, for example.

Sometimes I wonder, though, whether this creative pastime is just a distraction from other stuff I know I should be doing (like putting that old divine guidance workshop from 2017 into an online workshop version, which I keep putting off).

I just know that I feel the urge to do it and that some little girl inside of me is jumping up and down and excitedly clapping her hands with joy each time I have produced something beautiful. And that is probably a sign that it is not only okay but even indicated to do it.

Here are some of the latest results.

Messengers from beyond the veil – a list of mind-expanding books and other material

Starting in 2006 up to now (2022), I have read many books and other materials which have expanded my worldview. Reality is so much more than what we can see and touch in this realm. Why are we here and why do we keep coming back? And what is it that we have to do here?

In my search for answers, I felt drawn to channeled material and also to real-life stories of real people. Not the study of ancient religious texts or dogma or theoretical essays. Neither poems, nor greeting card wisdom. No fictional experiences by fictional people, but real-life experiences shared by actual people. So, these materials below contain mostly case studies or autobiographies, sometimes in combination with channelings.

Here is a list of which websites, books, videos, and podcasts have influenced my understanding along with what the key takeaways were.

Please note that I mention only my personal key takeaways. There is much more in these books which would be worth writing about. But I want to offer a short, condensed list here and therefore restrict myself to just one or two short statements about each author.

The materials are sorted in the order in which I encountered them.

Jeffrey and Jody Long: The collection of exceptional near-death experiences at nderf.org
Consciousness can exists without a body. Coming from a scientific, materialistic worldview, that was a huge shift for me.

During the life review, people experience the emotions of everyone else who was involved in an event.

What matters are the little things. Kindness to a stranger can matter more than worldly achievements or than donating money.

These NDE accounts helped me to let go of the attachment to my day job. Because from my soul’s point of view, my career is not what really matters.

Michael Newton: Journey of Souls; Destiny of Souls
Michael Newton regressed people hypnotically not just into past lives, but into life between lives.

We reincarnate over and over again. And in between lifetimes, we review our past life and plan our next life.

For me, this sparked several questions: What did I plan before I incarnated? What were my past lives? Do I have any recurring (dysfunctional) patterns in my incarnations? And how can I get out of having to reincarnate over and over again?

Bernadette Roberts: The Path to No-Self; The Experience of No-Self
An autobiography of the journey to enlightenment.

On the spiritual journey, beyond the unitive stage (where the personality acts in alignment with the soul), the experience of being a separate ‘I’ ( or of being a self or having a self) can fall away, not just temporarily like in a spiritual peak experience, but permanently. Isn’t that mind-boggling? Our usual experience of a ‘me’ being in this body and a wall over there as a ‘not-me’ – this subject-object relationship which we take for granted – can collapse into just being a bubble of experience without a sense of a separate ‘I’ in there.

For me, this provided a map for my journey and gave me like a bird’s-eye view on where I am located on this map (i.e. probably at the mere beginning of the unitive stage, I guess).

Gary Renard: The Disappearance of the Universe
Gary Renard’s spirit guides appeared to him in his living room and taught him about the book A Course in Miracles (ACIM).

Gary’s book acted as a tin can opener for the difficult to read ACIM.

The key message for me was that forgiveness is very important (but can be very hard to do).
Worldview shattering book with spirit guides who suddenly materialize and more mind-blowing stories.

Robert Schwartz: Your Soul’s Plan; Your Soul’s Gift
Channeled insight into the pre-incarnation planning sessions of people with challenging biographies.

Before the incarnation, we plan challenging or even traumatic life events in order to grow.

This encouraged me to make peace with the challenging events in my own life.

Jurgen Ziewe: Multidimensional Man; Vistas of Infinity; youtube uploads (in English and German)
Jurgen is an out-of-body traveler who travels into different astrals realms (from hellish to heavenly) where he meets various beings. He reports his experiences and insights. On his youtube channel, he also shares artwork which depicts several astral realms.

The key messages for me were that not only do we take our emotional baggage with us into the afterlife, but thoughts and emotions manifest much faster in the afterlife than in our realm and thus the outer becomes an immediate reflection of the inner.

This encouraged me to make peace with my life and learn to manage thoughts and emotions better (- which is still work in progress, though).

Dolores Cannon: The Custodians; The Convoluted Universe: Book One to Book Five; The Three Waves of Volunteers and the New Earth
Dolores Cannon puts people into hypnotic regression where they go into past lives.

Contrary to what I had learned before, life forms on planet Earth are not a random development, but we have been seeded.

And this experiment of separation and free will here on earth was on the brink of going into a bad direction. Interference to help us from the outside was forbidden, but as a workaround, volunteers incarnated here to help us to get back on track.

I thought I was done with the worldview shifts when I had accepted that consciousness can exist without a body, but nope, there is always more mind-blowing stuff to digest.

Cash Peters: Soul Crossings (youtube)
Cash Peters channels pictures of the transitions of famous people from life to the afterlife.

What makes a transition hard and what makes it easy?
Attachments and wrong views make a transition hard and need to be let go of.
Success and fame in the world do not mean that life was lived in alignment with the soul.

Guy Needler: The Anne Dialogues
Guy Needler has a channeled conversation with his deceased wife Anne about what happens during the process of dying until the next reincarnation.

If you read this, I would recommend to make use of the glossary because of the many unknown terms.

I found it interesting to see how much effort by how many different beings goes not only into the planning of a life, but also into the life review.

Wendy Garrett: Wendy’s Coffeehouse (podcasts); Blog talkingtonightlights.wordpress.com
Wendy Garrett had several paranormal experiences of various kinds, among which are experiences with guides who made her nightlights flicker to initiate and facilitate communication which she shared in her book Talking to Nightlights 2.
In her podcasts, she interviews people who have experienced extraordinary things (for example, UFOs, alien encounters, near-death experiences, out-of-body experiences, fairies, miracle healings, crop circles, ghosts, Bigfoot/Sasquatch, remote viewing, etc.).

The key message for me was that there is so much more out there that I was not aware of yet. After listening to her podcasts, I have ended up with many books on my list which I plan to read in the future.

And finally, a big thank you to all my fellow WordPress bloggers and others who have pointed me into the direction of some of these materials, either directly or across several stepping stones! Without you, I would not have come across these wonderful, worldview-expanding books and websites.

Britzer Garden in Berlin

Around Mother’s Day 2022, I took a spontaneous mini vacation and visited my parents in Berlin.

As usual, one of the highlights during my stay in Berlin was a trip to the Britzer Garden, a beautifully designed garden landscape which surprised us with a lovely new view at every bend of the way.

There were huge rhododendron bushes, white and pink in full bloom. We also saw cute baby goats, little lambs, huge carps, a communicative frog, and coots with chicks. Here are some pictures.

Art in nature

I love to take walks alone around the fields in our area. Nature makes me calm down. I appreciate the beauty of it all.

Naked trees against the sunset colored sky look like amazing work of filigree silhouette art. The branched shape of naked trees has something fundamental, basic, something which is found also in the form of river deltas, bloodvessels in the body, etc. Maybe that is why I like to stare at naked trees.

Sunlight shining through leaves of grass or leaves of trees and lighting them up from behind looks magical, too. I have read NDEs where people describe how plants in the heavenly realm look as if they are lit from inside. Maybe the leaves of grass are so fascinating because they remind me of some beautiful realm beyond the veil.

And the bold color combinations of nature. Leaves which combine a shade of pale bluish-green and violet. Or the sunset with hues of peachy orange, yellow, blue, and purple. I feel as if walking through an art exhibition – but with the added bonus of getting fresh air and hearing the song of the birds.

I took some pictures in spring 2022 and then had a lot of fun playing around with the photo app on my iPad changing the lighting and the colors. Here are the results:

Bridal gown show of trees
Sunset on the fields in Walldorf (Germany)

The message on the bench

‘Why not go through the forest today?’, the thought dropped into my mind on Saturday, April 23, 2022. Yeah, I had already taken a walk around the field in the sunshine just a day ago and now it was cloudy, so I wouldn’t miss any sunshine when I went into the shade of the forest instead of my usual walk around the fields. It would be the first trip to the forest this year.

With a little excited anticipation about what would be in store for me on that day, I got on my bike and took the short ride to the forest.

I had intended to put my bike right at the entrance of the forest and then walk the rest of the way, but for some odd reason my mind seemed to be wiped blank when I passed that spot and I ended up riding further into the forest instead.

‘Okay, never mind,’ I thought. ‘Who knows what this will be good for. I’ll just put my bike next to the little bridge then and walk from there.’

This time, I didn’t miss the spot. I locked my bike next to a small bridge and then took a walk around a lovely nature reserve area.

Even though the landscape was beautiful, my mood was rather brooding. Triggered by current events, thoughts about past stuff from work came up. Anger about not feeling appreciated enough in the past and my resulting intention to reduce my level of engagement at work. I still haven’t truly forgiven this issue. Regarding my day job, I am in a sort of detached, disengaged state most of the time. It feels peaceful on the surface, but if anything touches that old wound, emotions of anger and sadness come up again.

There are many benches along the way and I usually sit down often to rest and enjoy the view. I was glad that I was alone on this walk. Sadness came up and I let the tears flow. I didn’t even know whether the tears were sadness about the work anymore or whether they were a sign of release. Tears of relief as if someone hugged me after I had gone through a rough time.

In that brooding and teary-eyed mood, I got up and walked a bit to leave the nature reserve again where I suddenly saw a new bench at the side of the forest. The wood of the bench was old so it must have been there for a long time, but even though I had walked past this spot many times, I had never noticed a bench in this place. Maybe someone put an old bench in this spot?

So, I thought that I still had enough time since I rode my bike too far into the forest that day and shortened the way which I would walk and therefore I could rest on that new bench. And then a couple of minutes later, I decided to make a small detour. All because I still had enough time left.

As I walked a small, barely visible detour-path which I had never gone before with the forest on my left and the fields on my right side, I saw another bench. It was old, had a hole in part of the seat and was out of sight from the main path. How nice that there were so many benches in beautiful spots.

When I sat down, still teary-eyed, I saw that on top of some graffiti a (German) text was written on the old, weathered wood.

The message on the bench

Here is the German text:

Vertraue!

Alles ist gut.🤍

Du bist ewig!

Du bist wunderschön.

Es ist kein Zufall, das[s] du hier bist!

Wir passen auf dich auf!

Translation:

Trust!

All is well.🤍

You are eternal!

You are beautiful.

It is no coincidence that you are here!

We’re looking after you!

My tears welled up even more, this time because of wonder and gratitude. Until I was able to laugh again. Then I said to my guides, “Thank you. You guys are amazing.”

I don’t know who wrote this lovely message and for whom, but now it became clear to me how I was guided to this bench all along and why I was made to miss the first parking spot of my bike at the entrance of the forest.

At that day, I didn’t have any device with me to take a picture.
When I came back two days later to take photos of the bench, I also saw that several of the trees were marked with two white dots by the foresters. And someone had played with these dots and painted faces on a few trees like in this picture.

I think these kinds of stories happen to me, but they do not belong to me. They want to be shared. So, that’s what I do. I hope you also find some miracles in the forest or somewhere else in everyday life.

Results of working with divine guidance: a transformational journey

In the previous post, I discussed the coming into alignment as a result of working with divine guidance. I presented the octopus model (like an invisible giant hand which moves us) with strings with more or less slack representing more or less free will. I suggested that the spiritual journey is about shortening those strings, i.e. going from willfulness to willingness. From ‘my will be done’ to ‘Thy will be done’. From resistance to surrender.

What does the journey feel like on a personal level?

Understanding this journey from the bird’s eye view is one thing. Another thing is to understand what it feels like for the person who is actually going through this shift. Going from the macroscopic view to the microscopic point of view.

This is a transformational journey. Think about tadpole to frog. Or caterpillar to butterfly.

And the journey is very individual for each of us. But still, I think there are some commonalities that can be mentioned:

  • Awakening
  • Falling away of the old
  • Shift to something new

The stages / milestones do not necessarily happen in this order. Awakening can come before or after the falling away of the old.

And the term awakening might mean very different things to different people. While I would define it as the insight that consciousness is prior to everything and that there is a greater invisible force orchestrating events, other people might say that their awakening was that the mind feels very peaceful when it is clear and when there are no thought spirals running amok. Or that developing more self-compassion was the most important game changer for them. It is probably a combination of all of these viewpoints.

Regarding the transformational journey, I’m thinking about fictional example-biographies like the following:

  • High-achieving in a stressful career –> burnout with 40 years –> recover with alternative methods of healing –> change jobs to become an alternative healer.
  • History of being abused –> breaking point is reached –> recover with spiritual healing –> change jobs to help other victims of abuse.
  • Leading a pleasant life, but with the feeling that something missing –> become a spiritual seeker –> separate self falls away –> become a spiritual teacher.
  • Coping in life with alcohol abuse –> breaking point is reached –> recover with an AA group –> surrender to a higher power. Life is turned around and lived more in alignment with the soul.
  • Leading a sort of ‘normal’ life, but with the nagging feeling that something is wrong with one’s body –> inner coming out as transgender –> outer coming out as trans. And following that, a complete change of one’s life.
  • Leading a ‘normal’ run of the mill life with a job and family duties –> have an NDE –> experience a complete turnaround of life’s values and as a result, there are life changes.

My own transformational journey was triggered by rheumatoid arthritis after the birth of my first child which led me to homeopathy which in turn broke my materialistic worldview open. Then it was like a hike up to a mountain with a winding path uphill (- this represented the falling away of the old, e.g. former hobbies and former engagement at work). Afterwards it was like going downhill again, this time following the flow of a river – with more or less resistance from my side (loops at the riverside). This represented the coming into alignment with the new (e.g. sharing my experiences in this blog).
You can read more about my journey here.

So that is what the shortening of the strings in the octopus model can look like for the indivual person. A journey with the falling away of something old and coming into alignment with a new direction in life.

It can be deeply traumatic and heartbreaking.

It can be more or less dramatic with more or less messy upheaval.

It can be done with much resistance, kicking and screaming, or it can be done voluntarily and willingly.

It can be a sudden change or more gradual.

But it is usually transformational. And this transformation is one of the results of working with divine guidance.