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.

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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.

***

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)

 

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)

 

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.

 

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.

 

Divine Guidance Workshop

After much resistance and many pushes by the universe, I gave in and held a pilot version of the divine guidance workshop.

It was the ‘lite version’ of it. Just half a day with only six friends in my living room. No hassle with having to book a venue, no marketing, no traveling.

This event was not only heavily enforced by nudges and pushes of the universe, but many details of it were also guided.

A dream about the target group
When I wrote the script for the workshop, I was not sure who should be the target group. Materialists? Lightworkers? Buddhists?  Christians?

When I asked, I got the answer “We will send you a dream”. And then I dreamt about one of the participants and interpreted that as the prototype of a member of the target group.

Dreams about the chapter on the basics
I wondered whether I should include a chapter on the basics of the spiritual journey in order to let people know that guidance will shift their identity and will also result in a loss of free will.

But wouldn’t this information  deter many readers who might just want to know how to find the right romantic partner or how to make more money?

Then I had two dreams which both indicated that it would be silly  to cut away the foundation and therefore decided to include the chapter on basics.

Advice on the date
In November 2016, I was finally ready to stop procrastinating and set a deadline – just so that I could get that task off my chest.

But when should the pilot version of the workshop take place?

I asked the inner voice and heard “End of March 2017”.

So, I set the date to March 31, and everyone of the participants had time on that day.

Help with single chapters
When I wrote the chapter on synchronicity, I needed a good example as a story to include.

But I was at a loss. I did not want to just quote the old story of Carl Jung and the scarab beetle, but rather tell my own story.

As if to answer this request,  a bird flew against my window. It was a special bird – a canary.  And it had a special connection to our family on that day. You can read more about it in the chapter on synchronicities in the script.

An email which should not be sent
After a draft of the script was ready, I sent it to a friend. He wrote  a lot of detailed feedback into the comments.

When I attempted to answer all his remarks in a lengthy document, my computer program just did not save my answers. About two hours of work were lost.

I took that as a sign that this answer was not to be sent – for whatever reason.

Advice on whom to invite
Three weeks before the workshop, the inner voice told me,  “Can we talk? I don’t want you to ruin this. You need to invite F., too.”

I said, “Yes, I can do that, but F. usually works on Fridays and he will probably not be able join.”

The inner voice replied, “He will come. I promise.”

So, I invited F., and indeed, he participated. And it turned out that his presence was a blessing in several ways.

 

During the last two years, I have learned over and over again in how many ways an endeavor is guided if my higher self wants to make it happen by all means. At first, there are gentle nudges and not so gentle pushes. After the realization that resistance is futile, there is surrender. And in the end the whole universe conspires to support it.

***

I am very grateful to the six participants of the pilot version of the workshop who took the time to test this and who gave me valuable feedback and to all fellow bloggers here on WordPress who have shared how guidance shows up for them, who have encouraged me, and who have offered help in many different ways. Thanks a lot to all of you!

The link to the free script  of the divine guidance workshop (downloadable pdf) can be found here .

Postcards from cave time

I have been nudged and pushed by the inner voice to do a workshop on divine guidance. But I resisted this task a lot. So, I thought it would be a good idea to look at the resistance. Where does it come from?

With this intention, I entered into cave time.  I felt that I first needed to make peace with life and all the loss and pain that is part of the spiritual journey (- think of a caterpillar in the chrysalis stage grieving the loss of the former self), before I could move on with the task of creating a workshop.

Here, are  some postcards from the phase of cave time about the patterns I have experienced.

  1. Feeling confused while in the midst of it
    I find it hard to make sense of a phase when I am in the midst of it. It is much easier to look at a difficult time in retrospect and then see what it was good for and what I have learned from it.
  2. Connecting the dots in retrospect
    As I read through old journals, I was able to see common topics that came up over and over again. For example, one of them was “Learn to express your view and set boundaries even if that might upset others!” Maybe this is why I am guided to continue blogging?
  3. Working through old stuff goes roughly backwards in time.
    First, the most recent ‘forgiveness opportunities’ came up, like anger at work. After that, the older stuff came up for processing (like the painful and crippling rheumatoid arthritis I got after the birth of my first child). Last, some unpleasant childhood memories came up about being treated unkindly in a hospital at the age of 3 years.
    So, that goes roughly backwards in time. However, the whole review process was triggered by a disturbing past-life memory that was revealed to me.
  4. Reframing, witnessing, faith
    In order to make peace with emotionally upsetting stuff from the past, for me, it usually comes down to reframing in order to find peace of mind. There is probably some gold nugget in the experience that I must be determined to find.
    For current surges of emotional pain, the witness position was often the only peaceful place to be found.
    When nothing else helped, like with physical pain, I got signs by the universe to just have faith that things would improve over time.
  5. The universe uses WordPress
    Whenever I had an urgent question during this time, there would soon be several posts in my WordPress feed which contained an answer to my question. God listens. How comforting!
  6. Lists
    Besides journaling, I have found it helpful to make lists of all kinds. The list of recurring issues in my life. The list of things to be grateful for. The list of things my higher self would enjoy doing (sharing my experiences fearlessly) versus the list of things my personality self would enjoy (sitting safely on my couch and reading yet another book).
  7. Sharing
    Though I did not blog during the last 10 months, I journaled a lot. But somehow, this was not enough. Whenever I had moved through a topic, someone appeared with whom I was prompted to share. It was as if I was encouraged to spell out for someone else what I had experienced and learned or where I was stuck.Thank you to everyone with whom I could connect during that time!
  8. Honoring my inner knowing
    When sharing my process with others, they often felt compelled to suggest solutions to my issues. Often, that was helpful. However, in some cases I had to politely decline their advice and rather honor my own inner knowing about what would be the appropriate next step for me – even if I was sorry to see that the other person felt rejected and disappointed.
  9. Advice to others is advice for myself
    I often found that when I gave others suggestions about what I guessed would be helpful in their situation, that was the very thing I needed to tell myself in the next difficult situation.
  10. Circling at the fork of surrender
    For me, there is a fork in the road. Surrender and do the workshop on divine guidance and all that is connected with it –  or avoid it.
    On the path of surrender, I need to face much fear.
    On the other hand, the path of avoidance does not face the fear and I could stay in my comfort zone and feel safe, but this only leads to circling and coming back to the decision fork in the road over and over again.
    Unfortunately, the path suggested by the higher self is not always what my personality-self prefers.
  11. Twisted memory or jump to another timeline?
    Twice during the last ten months, I had the experience that current facts do not conform to how I had remembered things. Very odd! Is this my lack of memory or is it something like the Mandela effect and the jump to another timeline? Interestingly, both experiences seem to be connected to decisions which made me come into better alignment with my higher self.

What happened to my resistance after all of that cave time? It is still there and I still don’t know exactly where it comes from or what it consists of.

Now, I am back to the former mode of pushing through this workshop task with obedience and self-discipline.

At least, I have set a deadline now. A  pilot version of the workshop on divine guidance with a very small number of participants will take place end of March, 2017.

The universe’s bag of tricks

I want you to hold a workshop,’ said my spirit guide, while I was taking a walk alone outside in Jan 2015.  ‘A what? No way!’ was my initial response. ‘You know how much I hate having to organize my children’s birthday parties. I sure don’t feel like organizing a workshop.’

In front of me, a man was walking with a large dog on a leash. And right after my thought of resistance, he wrapped the dog leash around the belly of the dog in such a way that it became really short. This seemed to imply, ‘Remember, you are on a short leash!’   Afterwards, the dog was supposed to hop into the trunk of a car. But it refused. The man shouted, “Are you crazy?” and just lifted the dog into the trunk. That seemed to mean this would happen to me, too, when I resisted. Sigh. I would probably  have to yield at some point.

I had written a post about the many forms of divine guidance  and  was told by my inner voice that I should somehow turn this into a workshop format.

But doubts crept in. I would have to offer exercises. But how do I practice dream recall techniques in a workshop setting (when people are hopefully not sleeping)? More doubts came, about having to book a venue, marketing, travel, money issues. All of this resulted in me downright refusing to even think about it.

But the universe has its bag of tricks to convince resistant children.

The dishwasher mirrors my stubbornness
I seem to have a special affiliation with electric gadgets. They often stop working when I am not aligned with inner peace. And this time it was our dishwasher’s turn. The start button refused to work, or worked only after pushing it about 20 times. Not funny! Apparently, this was mirroring my stubbornness. Ok, breathe deep and say ‘Thy will be done’. And then the button started to behave well again. I am always amazed when forgiveness works.

Truck advice cheers me on
In summer 2015, I had agreed to write an outline at least, in order to demonstrate my willingness. I came across a truck with the inscription  www.nicht-bummeln.de which means ‘don’t dawdle’. I took this as advice to get started and wrote an early draft version.

The unsolved error ticket mirrors me
In December 2015, my efforts had somewhat stopped due to overwhelm in other areas of my life. I was extremely exhausted with no energy or creativity left over. There were no further pushes by the universe regarding the workshop. Maybe I didn’t need to do it after all? I turned within and asked, ‘Do you still want me to take care of this?’ This time, I did not get an inner voice or dream as an answer. But the universe used another very creative method to let me know.

In October, I had created an error ticket about a technical issue. And in December, about two months later, the ticket came back to me, not with a solution but with the innocent question , “Is this issue still not fixed and do you still want me to take care of it?”

My initial knee-jerk thought was, ‘Yes, of course, you [Bleep], unless you have invented any self-fixing bugs, you better take care of it!’

But then I calmed down and remembered that the universe often uses mirrors to reflect back to me what is buried in my consciousness. I admired the universe’s sense of creativity and felt humbled (and was able to answer more calmly).

WordPress posts about letting go of doubt
Even though I got plenty of messages, I still doubted them. ‘Is a pattern really no coincidence? Do I really hear my inner voice correctly? You want me to hold a workshop? Really? Me?’
On Dec 17, 2015, I got three messages to let go of doubt. Two of these came via blog posts, one was delivered over lunch by a friend. Three messages on one day about the same topic. That was no coincidence and made a pattern. The universe was telling me to let go of doubt.

Dream advice about handling fear
I turned within and asked how to deal with the fear and then got a dream about handling fear that suggested to take it step by step and to trust.
Additionally, my iPad sent me some push notifications of an app with the text, ‘I should be telling you that it is better to be safe than sorry, but sometimes safe can be boring.’
Another push notification said ‘Guts over Fear  is today’s new song’.

Inner voice begs me to visualize
My spirit guide begged me, ‘Allow the vision of yourself being on a stage speaking to people.’ Since I had downright refused the idea to do a workshop, I would never indulge in daydreams of how I would talk to a group of people about this topic. But obviously, daydreams are important. Thoughts coupled with emotion manifest reality. Therefore, I needed to allow some visualization exercise.

Magpies are telling me to express myself
I was staring out of my kitchen window when a magpie appeared on the street. And then another one and yet another one. Until there were six or seven of them. Magpies keep showing up often for me since several years now. When I was active in a forum, a new participant showed up with  the nickname ‘magpie’. And one day, I stood behind a guy with a sweatshirt with the inscription ‘magpie’ on it. Though there are several meanings connected with these birds, I interpret their frequent occurrence as a message to express myself and to consider the importance of voice (i.e., speak rather than write).

Cosmic push notifications
On Feb 16, 2016, my iPad suddenly started to switch from standby to active mode when sending me push notifications of apps. Apparently, the ‘do not disturb mode’ setting had been disabled all of a sudden. Hmm, what did this mean?
On the same day, I got a post and an email both with the word PUSH in it. That was a pattern again.

Ok, got it. Apparently, the grace period was over, and I got a push to get moving now.

Dream series about what is holding me back
In February 2016, I then had a dream where I was dancing Latin rumba with my spirit guide. I was dancing gracefully, but my legs could not move freely since they got stuck in the long Latin dress which was tied together on the floor. In my dreams, dancing is a symbol of communicating about the spiritual path. That meant that I could not communicate to the fullest extent since something was holding me back.
But what was holding me back? I asked spirit to show me. As an answer, I got  a mini-series of up to three dreams per night on about five consecutive days which addressed all the reasons which were holding me back. It was so much that my guide asked me in between, ‘Are you sure you can take more?‘ The most important point was lack of commitment and that this would make me prone to give up at the slightest obstacle. Other points were fear based decisions, desire for reward, doing too much for my children, dwelling on the past, laziness and sloppiness, and being concerned with what others think about me.

Sickness as a consequence of resistance
I have pain in one foot. Homeopathic treatment, which is my preferred method, just shifts symptoms around at the moment but does not heal. I remembered that the refusal to express myself in writing resulted in breathing issues in the throat. The throat chakra reacts if there is lack of expression. Likewise, I think that the issues in the foot might point to the root chakra (connected to trust and personal power), and I get a hunch that the pain will lessen once I commit fully to this workshop project.

Feeling drained versus energized
So many messages and the threat of illness as a consequence made me willing to comply. I got that I have to work on the workshop project.

But then another blog post came up that said that it is not enough to do things just because we feel pushed to do them. No! We need to do them because we enjoy them and because it makes our heart sing.

Yeah, I know that. Except that my situation feels like standing on top of a high building, staring down into water and being told to jump. ‘Just jump! And don’t jump just because we threaten you! Jump because you really enjoy it!‘  Well, nice suggestion. But, frankly, that did not feel feasible for me.

So, I turned within and asked, ‘Show me. How I can become more intrinsically motivated?’

And the answer came. These past weeks in March 2016,  I felt quite exhausted and drained as if no energy was left for mundane tasks of preparing meals or other household chores. I felt only energized when I worked on stuff which was related to the workshop about divine guidance. I took me a while to figure out that this stark contrast between feeling drained vs energized was probably the answer to my question.

Thanks for the information, dear universe, but the feeling of exhaustion sucks.
Note to self: Always be careful what you ask for!

***

The workshop has grown into a pile of about 40 slides now, but it is still in a draft version.

Shouldn’t I feel super ashamed now that I am so stubborn and resistant? No, there is another way to look at this. Rather than to burden myself with additional guilt,  I can choose to think about it as an interesting research project. Resist and then observe with what tricks my guides come up. Can I do my PhD in resistology and procrastination?

I often wonder whether it is difficult to be a guide. I sure would have given up already on someone as stubborn as me! I so appreciate their patience and perseverance and am always in awe about the creative and humorous communication methods of the universe.