Trust and tests

One evening in June 2012 just before falling asleep, I had a vision. I was alone in empty space and my eyes were blindfolded. I held a big hand which was without any body attached to it. And as I walked forward, for each step that I took a stepping stone would appear under my foot just in time.

That image seemed to tell me to trust more. I would be guided every step of the way.
That does not mean that I was able to have this level of trust right away. But I was guided to it in baby steps.

A couple of days later, my younger son got a very bad cold. I was lying my bed, my feverish child child in my arms, listening to his difficult breathing. I tried to remain in inner peace, but it was difficult. I was too worried. I guessed that it was probably not just a bad cold, but more likely already a pneumonia.

I was used to treat not only my rheumatoid arthritis but also acute illnesses with homeopathy, and I asked myself how I would be able to handle this one. If possible, I would prefer not to use allopathic medicine.

But when I tried to relax and get some inspiration on which homeopathic remedies to use, I suddenly got a vision of something strange. It looked like a mixture of cooked spinach with cream. Or I could also interpret it as mold. What the heck did that mean?

Then it occurred to me that a certain type of mold produces the antibiotic penicillin. Would the vision mean that my son would need antibiotics this time? This put me on alert.

When we went to the doctor later, she prescribed antibiotics. And fortunately, they worked and my son recovered quickly.

The pneumonia was not the only troubling situation during this time. More things happened around my son which tempted me worry that he wasn’t safe. And always, it appeared to be my responsibility to make sure that he was safe. What a burden!

Afterwards I asked my guidance what this course of events was all about. This time, the answer came through a book I was reading at that time. It was a channeled text which contained the explanation, “You are creating situations for yourself that trigger old beliefs to rise so that you can see them and release them.”

I took that as a sign that I needed to trust more.

***

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

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Insights and integration: what is an appropriate action?

I regard coming to see myself as awareness as the arrival on the metaphorical mountaintop of my spiritual journey. Afterwards the downhill part of the journey started.

I think of the downhill part as two strands. Strand A is about integration, that means  getting lessons, going through tests, and gaining some insights. It is also about developing intuition and courage, and about divine help and manifestation.

Strand B is about guidance to share and my resistance or surrender to it. Since this resistance vs surrender topic was huge for me, I present it as a separate strand. As a visualization for strand B, I chose a river. Resistance to the flow is like running in circles at the riverside. Surrender is like being in the river and going with the flow.

I have thought about how to structure this properly and come up with the decision that I will start with stories of strand A  roughly in the order in which they occurred in time,  and then I will mix in stories of strand B when they fit.

What is an appropriate action?

Around May 2012, I’ve had some events and also dreams around the question ‘What is an appropriate action?’

On the spiritual path, we are often told that we should do what Love would do. But here,  it can get difficult. What is it exactly that Love would have us do?

Regarding the time frame, these stories occurred during the time period on the mountaintop. But since the topic is about lessons, I place them here.

Rejected book recommendations

For example, I had come upon a website where someone wrote reviews about many of his favorite spiritual books. Through his site, I had found Neale Donald Walsch’s Conversations with God  which had touched me deeply. So, I contacted him and thanked him for his book recommendations.

Then I thought since he was an avid reader, maybe he would like to know more great book titles. And so, I shared books which I had liked a lot, like Life of a Yogi  by Paramahansa Yogananda, Path to No-Self  by Bernadette Roberts, and ACIM.

But  he rejected every single one of these books. Then, he even admonished me not too read too much. He said that the path wasn’t about the books. But what really counted was the application in real life.

I agreed that it was about application in real life. But I was just starting on this spiritual journey and was hungry for reading. I devoured books in every free minute of my otherwise busy life. Imagine getting that admonishment not to read too much from someone who had published reviews of about hundred books on his own website! Why was it okay for him to read a lot, and why was it not okay for me to read a lot? I was a bit surprised to say the least.

After that event, I thought, ‘Was it an appropriate action to share my favorite book titles with him at all?’

It felt like the right and most loving thing to do. But shouldn’t my intuition have warned me that it was futile and not an appropriate action at all?

Last minute movie tickets

In another story, I had wished to see the movie The Intouchables.

At 6 pm, my husband checked the internet and found out that it would be shown at 7 pm right in our movie theater in our town.

So, we had dinner and then arrived at the cinema at 7 pm and got the last two tickets – and these were even two places just next to each other.

It all worked out perfectly. So, last minute decision to go and watch this movie obviously was an example of an  appropriate action.

The melon and the bus driver

Then I had a dream. I wanted to bring a water melon to a bus driver. I remember running to the bus driver while carrying the heavy and big water melon in my hands. It was awkward and exhausting for me, but I felt very determined to bring my gift to the bus driver.

The bus driver was about to drive away. But as he saw me, he got out of the bus in order to take my melon.

Suddenly his bus drove off all by itself without the bus driver in it.

I thought that the dream meant to tell me that even a well-meant action can have bad consequences. I saw it as a lesson that I should never be so sure that my well-meant actions will always be in alignment with what my Higher Self wanted me to do.

I felt reminded of a funny advertisement video (in German, 36 seconds) where an old lady is waiting at the bus stop. A young man comes up to her and assumes that she wants to cross the street. So, he grabs her arm and leads her across the street even though she protests. When she gets to the other side of the street, her bus arrives but she cannot enter the bus anymore because she is on the wrong side of the street. The young man, however, walks away, seemingly very content with himself about the good deed he has just done.

Now, what is an appropriate action? How come that people sometimes do harmful things even if it comes from a place of good intention? I had no answer. I was only made aware of the issue.

***

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

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Guidance

Shortly after I had arrived on the mountaintop and in the same time frame where I had the experiences mentioned in the previous post, the guidance came through more strongly.

Meeting my guide

In May 2012, I felt a strange emotion which I could not label correctly. It was like a mixture of bitter remorse, anxiety, and a deep longing for something unknown. A feeling as if I was deeply sorry for something and would want to cry. But I didn’t cry. A feeling as if I was guilty of something and deserved punishment. There was just a feeling in my body which was located in my solar plexus region and went up to my heart.

Not only could I not label this feeling correctly, I also did not know where it came from. If it was regret or remorse, for what? And if it was fear, then of what was I afraid? And if it was longing, what did I long for?

So, I asked one evening before sleep where that odd feeling came from. And then I had a dream.

On a sunny day, I was with a few other people in a courtyard of a barn. Under the shade of parasols, we were discussing topics of enlightenment.

Suddenly a storm came up and we had to hurry to close down the large parasols and take them into the barn where they would be safe from the storm.

After that, I wanted to go back to the rest of the group who were already in the courtyard again. But as I wanted to go back, I looked down and saw a small abyss or small gap in the floor. I thought if I tried hard enough, I could probably jump over it.

As I was still wondering how to cross the gap, I felt someone pressing his body to my back. I turned to see who it was. A man with very short blond curly hair had put both arms from behind around my stomach and was trying to lift me across the gap. His face told me that he was in a bad mood.

When I asked him, why he looked so grumpy, I got the information that he was struggling to get me over the gap.

I felt sorry that I caused him trouble and said, ‘Oh, I’m sorry. But I could try do it alone.’ Then I woke up.

That dream seemed to answer my question about the feeling. It seemed to be connected to a guide who wanted to help me to get over some obstacle.

Name of my guide

October 16, 2012. I woke up with pain in my hip. I wanted to sleep a bit longer, but I could not because of the pain. It would not allow me to lie on my stomach. So, I turned on my back and thought that it was probably a sign that I should meditate now.

Then I got a vision of a face. A young man, blue eyes, curly blond hair. He looked like the guy who wanted to carry me over the gap in the dream back in May 2012.

When I asked him, “What is your name?”, I saw before my inner eye the following typewritten letters spelled out:

A a r o n.

Wow. I got an image and the name of my guide. I was very pleased and grateful.

But then some disappointment crept in. Why wasn’t Jesus my guide? I had devoured so many Jesus channelings and thought that it would feel most natural if he showed up as my guide. But no, that  had not happened.

The next morning the song ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ played in my mind. I got the feeling that my guide was rolling his eyes and making fun of me.

‘Okay, at least he does have a sense of humor,’ I thought.

***

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

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Mountaintop

Joy

One important feature of the time on the mountain top was joy. My heart was singing. This awareness watching awareness meditation led me to a profound joy. And the best thing was that it didn’t depend on anything external. It was there without any reason for it. Unconditionally.

What had changed since my emotional turmoil about the work? I had come to accept that I could not change my angry thoughts. All I could do was to ignore them and turn my attention to something else.

I had lost my fear of the listlessness at work. Before, I was so sure that giving up my engagement would lead to depression. But that hadn’t happened. Neither did the sky  fall down just because I had a more laid-back attitude. Everything that was important was taken care of – either by me or by someone else.

Stag symbol

Remember the dream on Jan 1st, 2010 with the fork in the road, where the left road led past a dead stag to the seashore, and the right road led to a volcano? Here is a follow-up story to that.

In August 2012, we were on a vacation by the sea. We had rented a lovely house, and when I walked to my bed in the bedroom, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw what was on the carpet which was just at the side of my bed: among other ornaments, there was a stag!

There it was again. The combination of stag and the seashore. I took this as a sign that, while I had taken the road to the unsurmountable volcano in the dream, now I had taken the proper road – the one with the stag and the seashore. That was like a confirmation that the inner work I had done with forgiveness and getting into inner peace had been fruitful and would lead me to freedom.

Urge to journal

On the mountaintop, one of the first things I noticed was that the urge to journal took off big time. While before, I used to write only a handful of journal entries per month, since mid of May 2012 I would journal almost daily. Obsessively. Dreams of the previous night, synchronicities, things I was angry about, and things I was pondering about, things I was grateful for, and miracles. Everything. It was like only writing it down would let me mentally digest everything that showed up in my life.

Urge to share 

August 2012. One day during our summer vacation, I relaxed in the bathtub. Above the bathtub in the ceiling, there was a roof window which was slightly opened.

As I relaxed and enjoyed the bath, I had the thought, ‘I will not stop before I see that God is in all things. And when I have found that, then I will walk around and share that God is in all things.’

Just after thinking this thought, a little feather came sailing through the maybe three-inch-wide opening in the roof window. In amazement, I watched as it floated down slowly and landed in the bathtub.

I took that as a sign that the thought I just had was heard and appreciated.

Later, when I was pushed to share and often resisted it so much, I often thought back to this moment in the bathtub. Was this the moment when I signed some contract?

Urge to declutter

In September 2012, right after the vacation, I felt an intense urge to get rid of everything in our house which was superfluous. So, I went into an intense decluttering phase. It was more like an obsessive-compulsive decluttering diarrhea. For about ten weeks in a row, I would obsess over getting rid of stuff in the entire house. Clothing, kitchen items, books, CDs, the children’s toys – no stone was left unturned.

After I had gone like a tornado through the entire house, I discovered that there were some things that I used to like but that I had long forgotten about. I used to write and to draw and paint.

The decluttering was like clearing away all the gravel from a huge mountain, and eventually I would find a handful of sparkling gems that were dear to me.

And something else happened in connection to that decluttering phase.

At work, our mail server was restructured. After that upgrade, my emails of the last 30 days were lost.

Fortunately, I had already read all of them and there were no action items left. But still, I wanted to keep them just for the record.

My initial reaction was self-righteous upset. “Oh boy, they messed it up!”

Of course, I asked whether the emails could be restored. But somehow that wasn’t possible without unwanted side effects.

Then I became quiet.

A Course in Miracles (ACIM) teaches to turn within and ask, ‘How can I see this differently?’

Lately, that translates for me into, ‘How the heck have I manifested that one?’

Suddenly, it dawned on me.

This was connected to my obsessive decluttering phase. The universe merely seemed to say, “You like to throw things away? Let me see how I can help you.” And with a mischievous grin it cleaned away my emails, too.

I became quiet and didn’t get upset, knowing that I had called this issue into my experience.

Four weeks later and without any further action from my side, the lost emails suddenly reappeared.

***

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

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Arrival at the mountaintop: awareness watching awareness

On my spiritual journey, I had gone a slow and winding road uphill, with turning points from rheumatoid arthritis to homeopathy, from overwhelm to spirituality, and from anger to acceptance.

My worldview had shifted a great deal. And through acceptance of the situation at work, I had arrived at a certain level of inner peace.

But letting go of my expectations about rewards at work was not the only thing that helped me to arrive at inner peace. Another important piece of inner peace was that I came to see myself as awareness. Since about the beginning of 2012, I had done a certain type of meditation, called ‘awareness watching awareness’. In my meditation practice, I turned the focus of attention 180 degrees inwards and looked back at that which is looking.  That is where our connection to Source is. And I found not only peace but also joy there.

I wrote about the meditation method and what it felt like for me in the post
Describing the ineffable.

So, I did that awareness watching awareness meditation, and it made me feel peaceful and joyful. Using the metaphor of the hike, it led me on a steep and direct path to that which I regard as the mountaintop of my journey.

Why do I place this at the mountaintop? The spiritual journey goes inwards and then outwards again (as in going out into life and interacting with the world again). And for me, looking back at awareness itself was the most inwards point on that journey.
In the hike-metaphor, I do not picture the journey as inwards and outwards, but instead as up to the mountaintop (=inwards) and then downhill again (=outwards). And at the top, I found a lake. Looking back at awareness is depicted as looking back at myself in the mirror of the lake.

Mirror_lake_2

***

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

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