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From the book and workbook, “Living In the Light,” by Shakti Gawain.

The next section of the workbook is entitled, “Daily Life.”  For intuition to really work for us, we need to be an open channel for it to flow into our everyday lives.  Shakti says, when you do that, “ . . .  you will move toward aliveness, health, prosperity and creativity.”

For most of us money is a Big part of our lives.  And often a sore spot.  Money is, in fact, an energy, bestowed by our culture.  Whatever we choose to exchange for it is only a representation of that energy.  Shakti tells us that money is a creative energy.  And creative energy is in limitless supply. Therefore, money should be too.  “A lack of money,” she says, “reflects the energy blockages within ourselves.”

Shakti tells us that this energy is blocked when we’re not doing what we love or not open to receive.  Not following our inner guidance. We need to find the balance and harmony of the male and female energies within us.  To give and receive. Shakti says that when we open to this flow of guidance, life become effortless.  We’re no longer attached to money and therefore it can flow more freely.  What we’re up to is experiencing “the joy of learning how to flow the energy of the universe.  Money is just an extra bonus in the process.”

Also, remember that where you put your energy and thoughts is where that money will flow.  If you have a thought you can only have what you need, that’s what you will get. Shakti describes a budget as a blueprint.  So you make a budget for what you want. and then you keep expanding that.

Exercise 23 is a meditation for feeling the energy of money and abundance.
Sit comfortably and breathe deeply a few times, relaxing your body and clearing your mind.  Then imagine there is a golden light under your feet.  As you inhale, imagine that light coming up through your body lighting up every cell.  Imagine it spilling form the top of your head and surrounding your body with its energy.  Stay with that for awhile, breathing in and out.  See the light filling you with joy and creating inner knowing and limitless opportunity, as it washes away all your thoughts of lack and negatively – clearing the blockages.

Then, see this light in you reflecting into the world and visualize how that will play out in your life.  When you are full and open to abundance, what will your life look like?  See how many details you can come up with for how you live, move, work. Your friends, your creativity.  Just feeling what it would be like.

When you’re done, come back to where you are now and write about what you saw.  Shakti suggests writing to a friend about it.

Exercise 24 is a practice of seeing the answers within.  We’re going to ask our inner guidance where we’re blocking ourselves. We start by getting quiet and relaxed and then putting our attention inside ourselves.  Ask, “How am I blocking the flow of energy and wealth into my life now?”  Shakti asks that we be open to when and what that answer may be.  It may happen right away, may take a few days.  It could be a picture or a thought or a feeling.  When you feel you’ve gotten all you can from this session, pull out of it.  Set up 2 columns and in the first one write, “How I am blocking myself.”  Fill that in with what you realized.  Leave it open to add more later.  In the second column write some ideas for what you could do about it.

I had a feeling in my body that I need to move more.  My legs were twitching.  And I had a sense that I want more playful energy in my life.  Something said inside of me to release the tension and worry.  My new plans include a lot more getting out and about.  And I hope, with what I will manifest from that, there will be more space for play.  I’m practicing these days, releasing whenever I feel that tension or worry.  And it’s working.

Exercise 25 is an arts and crafts project.  I love those!  Shakti want us to draw or make a collage with clipped pictures from a magazine of the abundant life we saw in Exercise 23.  Include pictures, symbols and words.  These “focus boards” as they’re sometimes called are not only fun to create, they’re an inspiration to have around.  I’ve found that if I remain open as I search for the pictures (or draw, I suppose), I’m not always sure why I’ve chosen a particular thing. Later, after I’ve had a chance to look at it and ponder it, I am always surprised to find how right on my choices were.  Have fun.  It’s a good chance to play!

Or less than.

From the book and workbook, “Living In the Light” by Shakti Gawain.

Feelings are an integral part of connecting to guidance and intuition. They are the language we use to define where we are.

Shatki says most of us don’t pay enough attention to our feelings and quickly stuff them at first sight.  She says that we are afraid of being consumed by them. The truth is we can be more than consumed, all the way to hurt, by ignoring them. In fact, Shakti tells us, “When we are willing to fully experience a particular feeling, the blocked energy will be released and the feeling will dissolve.”  So, what you resist persists.  If you shine a light on the feeling, see it, feel it, it will dissipate.

There is, perhaps, a lot more to say on this subject of feelings.  It takes up a whole chapter in my upcoming book.  Feelings are the guide posts. We need to feel them and hear them.  They are derived from thoughts that may or may not be true, but what we feel is always true. Feelings tell us the truth (even if it is based on false evidence).  I would add, then, we not only need to experience our feelings, we also need to respect them, listen to them.

Shakti also tells us that taking care of ourselves first is the best way to improve our connections to guidance, as well as others.  An important piece of this is listening to  feelings to identify what we need.  Taking care of ourselves is always at the center of any of this work.

Exercise 20  Talking with your Feelings
This mediation starts with closing your eyes and paying attention to the “middle of your body.” That would be your heart, your solar plexus or your abdomen.  See if you can find what you’re feeling in that moment.  Some examples are: peaceful, excited, anxious, happy, sad, lonely, playful.  Zero in on the unpleasant ones.  Go inside one of them.  Ask that feeling to talk to you.  Let it explain what it’s all about.  Listen with a loving and open heart.  Then ask the feeling if there’s anything you can do to take better care of yourself and this feeling.

Exercise 21 Expressing Your Feelings in Color
Gather crayons, paints, colored pencils and a big piece of paper.  Take a breath and note how you’re feeling.  Pick a color and let your hand just flow over the page.  Draw what you are feeling.  (You can use your dominant hand or your non-dominant hand.)  Follow any impulses; just let it flow.  Add another color.  Do whatever you feel led to do.  When you sense that it is complete, write three words, in crayon, that describe the feeling.

Exercise 22  Using Sound and Movement to Express Your Feelings
This is good when you’re not sure what you’re feeling.  Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.  Breathe a few times and then as you inhale, stretch your hands above your head.  As you exhale, drop hands to the floor, bending at the waist.  Repeat a few times.  Shakti says, “Imagine you’re scooping energy up form the earth, then straighten your body and reach to the sky.”  On the exhale, breathe a sigh of relief.  The next step is to lightly pat your whole body. “This touching will energize you,” Shakti says.  “It lets your body know that you know it’s there.”  Twist from side to side, and shake out your arms and hands.  Pick up your feet and put them down.  Shakti wants us to make sounds when we do this. Whatever sounds you please. Then shake everything out.  As child songster, Raffi used to say, “Shake your sillies out.”  Get your self moving for five to ten minutes.  Then pound a pile of piles with your fist, a plastic baseball bat or a tennis racket.  Shakti suggests making sounds as you do.  “Scream and make noise for all the times you didn’t and wished you had.”  You can use the pillows to scream into if you need to.  She says to do this for another five or ten minutes.  When you’re done, rest a bit.  Notice how you’re feeling, physically and emotionally.  If you feel so compelled, write about it. Note how you feel after doing these exercise.  The point of these exercises is not to change your feelings, but to allow you to experience them more fully.

Let those feelings flow!

From the book and workbook, “Living In the Light,” by Shakti Gawain.

As we return to Shakti’s teaching, let me remind you we are practicing identifying and listening to the voices in our heads.  We do this so we can start to pick through all that noise and find the still small voice of Intuition, quietly waiting behind all the chatter.

You may be able to identify the voices of the Tyrant and Rebel inside your head. The Tyrant drives you ever on to achieve more, do more.  It may have been constructed from voices outside saying you “should” do this or that. The Rebel was developed to keep us from being run into the ground by the Tyrant. So we don’t spend all our time trying to keep up with the Tyrant’s demands.

These two tend to feed on each other. The more the Tyrant yells to do it, the more the Rebel says, “No way.  I’m not going to.”  The more the Rebel stomps a foot, the more the Tyrant must step in to restore the status quo.

It’s very hard to hear Intuition with all that yammering going on. In fact, this constant battle can easily end up in stale mate. “The true source of energy movement and power lies in listening to your intuition, heeding its guidance and acting on it,” Shakti tells us.

Exercise 16 – Listening to the Tyrant and the Rebel

Two columns this time: Tyrant and Rebel.  Under the Tyrant column, write the rules and expectations that you live by.  What are you often telling yourself you have to do.  In the book, Shakti suggests doing it in categories like Money, Relationships, Career.

In the next column, under Rebel, answer those demands. See what the Rebel is saying back to all that.  Notice how it’s keeping you from doing what you choose.

Exercise 17 – Imagining and Seeing the Rebel and the Tyrant

“Close your eyes and allow images of your tyrant and rebel to form in your mind’s eye.” As always, Shakti advises that if you can’t see it clearly, find a sense or a feeling.  Just form an “impression.”

Then, describe what you’ve felt or seen.  Give them “full color and form,” she says.  You might name them.  They could have a talk or interact in some way.

After that, imagine them being stuck in their positions.  “When the image is clear, move away from them, and allow an image or feeling of your Higher Self or your intuitive wisdom to appear.  Listen to what this part has to say to you.”

Then, write about it.

My Tyrant has shades of my mother, or the German House Frau she might have been in another life.  She’s always scolding and telling me I didn’t do enough.

My Rebel wears sunglasses, a favorite tee shirt, a leather jacket and pajama pants.  She thinks the Tyrant is such a drag. “I doan wanna!” she shouts back.  “I’m going to the beach today.  See you later.”

“You most certainly are not!” The Tyrant rails back.

 “Well, if I stay, I’m not gonna do it.”

What’s a girl to do?

From the book and workbook, “Living In the Light,” by Shakti Gawain.

We all know Victims.  Those people who are chronically in the soup. Who always have a story to tell about how someone or some thing did them wrong.  “Victims believe,” Shakti explains, “that they are helpless, that they have no control over what’s happening to them.”

Victims need Rescuers.  Rescuers feel that Victims need their help.  They are the only ones who can solve a Victim’s problems.  Rescuers are the ones always rushing off to help another poor soul.

We all have both in us.  You can’t be a Rescuer unless there’s a Victim hiding inside.  Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to recognize the Victim.  The problem is that Rescuers are so busy rescuing others, they don’t tend to their own needs.

In order to transform this Rescuer role, we need to accept that the victimization is happening.  People are suffering.  Shakti says, “To transform rescuing we need to take responsibility for our own part and get in touch with the power of the universe within us to help with our own healing.”  As long as the focus is on the Victim, nothing will change.  The Rescuer needs to turn the focus inward, to see what needs to be done for themselves.

When you rescue someone you send the message that you don’t trust the other to properly care for themselves.  That they are not in control of their lives.  The Victim is just a sad case that is so much less than you are and really needs you to make everything right.  I have felt that myself, when well-meaning friends have tried to step in and rescue me.  (Even though I may not have asked for it.)  I end up feeling, why are they so sure I can’t handle this myself?  I wonder if I can’t . . .

People need to be able to help themselves, to know that they can.  This doesn’t mean that you can’t ask for or get help from others.  It’s a matter of being able to believe in yourself first.  Know that you can do it. “Amazingly,” Shakti tells us, “when you support yourself emotionally, others mirror this by giving you lots of love and support.”

Victims will stay victims as long as someone rescues them.  Or they get sick and tired of being rescued.

“The only way to truly help others is to do exactly what you really want to do.”  Trust that eliminating your own guilt and resentments will allow the universe to work through you to heal you and others, in ways you couldn’t have imagined!

The way to shut down the victim role, Shakti says, is to “turn to the universe within, before seeking help on the outside.”  Realize that there is a process going on here.  That the situations you have drawn to yourself, that might appear to be making you a victim, are actually invitations to heal.  “Our inner voices want to be heard and if we’re constantly ignoring them we’ll become increasingly uncomfortable,” Shakti warns.  We ignore them by seeking help elsewhere. 

Take the time to listen to what your inner Victim and inner Rescuer are trying to tell you about what you need. Follow your inner guidance.  Then seek whatever support you can get from others.  Knowing that you are being asked to help yourself first.

Exercise: Finding solutions for the Victim voice.

Three columns:
1) How am I a Victim?
2) Who or What is victimizing me?
3) What Action can I take?

Think about places where you feel you are a Victim.  Describe the situation and notice how it makes you feel.  Quickly note who is the culprit according to the Victim mentality.  Who’s “doing it to you.”  Then, Shakti suggests waiting, if you don’t know what action to take right now.  Let it simmer a bit and fill that in later.  See what messages come to you.

I’m having a fight with the electric company.  They refuse to help me figure out why my bill is so high.  Clearly, they are doing it to keep my bill high so they make more money.  I am very angry about this and have been given the run-around for quite some time.

The big, bad Electric Company is my victimizer.

The action to take?  Well after I calmed down and spoke to a few friends, I realized that I do have a recourse: The State Utility Commission. I’m gong to contact them and see what I can do.  Instantly, I feel better.  Less like a Victim.

Exercise: Getting to know your inner Rescuer.

Three columns:
1)  How do I Rescue?
2)  Who or What am I rescuing?
3)  What can I do for myself?

I’m thinking, I’m not a Rescuer.  I have too much on my own plate for that.  But the truth is, I am, like a well-meaning friend, ready to jump in and suggest a remedy. 

My neighbor hasn’t been well and yet she continues to push herself.  I want to tell her she needs to take time to pamper herself.  It is the best thing she can do for her illness.

But I see in this exercise that maybe it is I who need that lecture.  I push myself way too hard and, though I know better, I tend to forget to nurture myself.  Maybe, if I do that more often and tell her about my progress, she’ll get the idea.  I don’t have to make her feel any worse.

I have been seeing things in my friends.  Patterns of sabotage that they don’t seem to notice. I want to tell them about it.

I venture to guess that I, too, have patterns that are destructive.  I’m going to take a new look at that and see what I can do to reverse my own patterns.  Truthfully, I don’t know if I can do anything for my friends. Especially if they’re not ready to hear it.  (And how can I know that?)  If I try to tell them they might well close up and say to themselves, who does she think she is?  What does she know about my life?

In what ways to you play the Victim or the Rescuer?

As promised, I did the Male/Female Shakti Gawain meditation.

In this meditation, I was to imagine my Inner Male and Female Energies.  Meet them separately and then together. Ask them if they have anything to say to me.

They were beautiful and awesome. At first glance they both seemed to be wearing heavy clothing.

At closer look, her flowing golden gown was a thin cover on her skin.  Everything else was floating around her.

She said to me, “This is not too much.  You need to see and appreciate and wear all that you are!  Don’t look at it as a burden.”

Her demeanor was kind and she bent down to my seated position and we talked lightly for a short while.  Then, she said I needed to spend time with the Male Energy.  (Being female myself, I guess I must be more familiar with her.)  She left easily, saying she’d be back.

The Male Energy, too, was an imposing character. He seemed to be in heavy armor.  “It is not so hard,” he said, ”when you let go of what you don’t need.”

When they came back together, I noticed they were comfortable with each other and naturally affectionate.  Again, they both told me to appreciate who and what I am. Release the excess baggage. We talked a bit about the power of male/female energy and then they left.

I felt refreshed and renewed of spirit.  The next morning I had an extraordinarily good brainstorming session!

Try this yourself and see what you see.  I suggest carving out about 15 or 20 minutes when you can be alone and quiet, without phones.  Just remain open to the experience.

From the Book and Workbook, “Living In the Light,” by Shakti Gawain.  (Her post for the day has to do with Male energy.)

In each of us we carry male and female energies.  The female side is receptive.  She is our intuition and speaks to us through “inner prompting, gut feelings or images that arise out of a deep place within us.”  The female energy provides nurturing and support.

The male energy is the one that takes action.  He is outgoing and assertive.  He is responsible for carrying out the intuitive requests of the female.  The female can’t do much without him.  “Female intuition plus male action equal creativity.”  Or manifesting.

This interaction reflects the yin/yang, the animus and the anima, nature of the forces in the universe. Ultimately, we need a healthy balance of both these sides to effectively move and grow in this world.  

Exercise 13
Shakti gives us a meditation here.  Simply sit, relaxed and find a peaceful center inside yourself.  Then, you are to call to mind your “inner female.”  It could be anyone or anything.  “Accept,” Shakti says, “whatever arises spontaneously in your mind.”

Notice the details of what she looks like, what she’s wearing, the colors.  See how she makes you feel.  Ask if she has anything to say to you.  Listen openly for whatever comes, without judgement.  (You never know what you will hear.  Often when thinking back on it, you will find it far more apt than you might think at the time.)  Say something back to her, if you please. 

Then, let her go and return to your center. Do the same for the inner male.

When you have completed your interaction with him, let him go and return to your center. Then, ask them both to come back together.  See how they are with each other. Ask if they have more to say to you. Reply if you like.  Then, release them.

Return to center and take a few deep breaths, coming out of your mediation. Then, using paint, colored pencils or crayons as Shakti suggests, draw them.  If you prefer, add a written description.  (I will attempt this and give you my report later.)

Exercise 14
Another meditation.  Get comfortable and call forth the female energy.  Ask her if there’s something she wants.  Then see the male energy taking action to fulfil her wish. How does this feel?

Exercise 15
We’re going to put this on paper in two columns.  Column 1 is Female (What you Want).  Column 2 is Male (What You Can Do to Give Yourself What You Want). So as not to get overwhelmed, Shakti suggests doing only one or two at a time.

For me, I want to play more.  So a Male Action I might take is to schedule a time to go to the park and swing on the swings.  Another Female Want I have is to play music.  My Male might get out my guitar and tune it, pull out my guitar books and sit down and play.

See how this works for you.  If you like it, try another couple.  Have fun with it!

Next week we’ll investigate further energies inside as we learn about the Tyrant and the Rebel, the Victim and the Rescuer.

From the book and workbook, “Living In the Light,” by Shakti Gawain.

I have a believe that Guidance is everywhere. SARK does too.  That there are messages in everything, including the way the sun comes through the window, the music you hear or a passing comment.

Shakti is taking this a step further. That everything we see and experience in our lives is a reflection of what’s going on inside. A person who lives in an argumentative environment, will tend to have argumentative thoughts going on inside.  It’s sometimes hard to discern which came first, the chicken on the egg.  But it’s clearly easier to change the inside than the outside.

Shakti tells us that “The external world can teach us about aspects of ourselves that we cannot see directly.”  As a good friend can point out a pattern in our behavior that we never noticed.

As Shakti says, life becomes a much more fun adventure when viewed like this. Everything in our world can help us “. . . heal old emotional wounds and core beliefs that keep us stuck in the same limiting or self defeating patterns.”  Now that’s what I call freedom!

To me this brings so much light to what we’re supposed to be doing. We spend our time running around trying to achieve this, change that, find something. But there it all is.  Right in front of us.  The Universe truly does conspire for our best interest.

There is a down side to this.  This amazing tool was not put here to help us beat up on ourselves.  When you first start to realize that you are doing all these horrible things you see in others, it’s easy to feel badly about yourself.  When a child makes a mistake in learning, we don’t say it’s a reflection of the worth of the child.  We are learning about ourselves.  Mistakes and the revelations they bring help us to grow and find more happiness.   “Once we shed light on a process that has been unconscious, it will no longer run our lives without our knowledge.”  Let’s try to look at all of this as a positive, forward moving process, rather than a reason to berate ourselves.  Just think what we can do with this information!

Exercise 10
For this mirroring exercise, Shakti gives us two rules. #1) “Remember to assume that everything in your life is your reflection.” #2) “Avoid putting yourself down for the reflection you see.”  It’s a gift for you to use and grow from.

Focus on a particular incident in your life that is troubling you.  Describe it.  Then ask yourself how this mirrors how you feel about yourself.

I am finding recently that my friends are quieter than usual.  This could be because it’s summer, but maybe I’m not paying enough attention to myself. Do you see how this works?  One of Shakti’s examples is of your boss getting angry at you for being late several times.  The Mirror tells you that you really don’t like your job anymore and have been dreading going to work.  Maybe you’re angry at yourself for not doing something about it.

If we can learn to look at these situations in a creative way, seeing the gift in each one, the sign that tells us where to go and what to do next, life can become a much more exciting adventure.

Exercise 11
This one is to see “a direct correlation between how we treat ourselves and how others treat us.”  It is a 2 column exercise.  In the first column, write down all that you did for yourself in the past week.  All the ways you took good care of yourself or did something nurturing just for you.  Then, see if you can find, for the “Mirror” column, ways this was reflected in your life.  What good things came to you?  For me, I took a day off and got a new client!  It’s not necessarily going to be a direct result.  Like, I took a bath and my child did what I asked him to do without an argument.  But they can build up. It’s important to notice that when you do good things for yourself, the world can give back in kind.

Exercise 12
This one is a little more complicated. Shakti wants us to take a look at the different areas of our lives:
Work and Career
Sexuality and Passion
Home Environment

For each one write, in the “Mirror” column, “The major event or statement that reflects your attitude about each.” Then, in the “Belief” column, write the belief that the mirror of this event reflects.  Her example for Work and Career was “I have a job that I love to do, but I make a minimal income.”  The belief that is mirrored might be “I don’t believe I can make money doing what I love to do.”

The last step is to write an affirmation to turn that belief around. An affirmation, if you don’t know, is a positive statement, stated in the present tense.  Her choice for the above example was “I now make a good income doing what I love to do.”

There are conflicting thoughts on affirmations. Some ask, how you can you say it if it’s not true?  I believe the mind can be trained and this is just a training exercise.  The mind can’t always tell reality from fantasy.  So, you can fake it until you make it by repeating these positive statements to yourself.  The thinking is that if you can generate enough of the feeling, over time you will change your world.  Certainly, you can change what you believe that way.  We did it in school.

Have fun with this exercise.  Play with it. Take each area as it comes up.  Don’t rush it.

This one worked for me under Body. 
Mirror: I’m tired a lot and have a lot of minor physical symptoms.
Belief: I believe my worth hinges on how much I do, so I push myself all the time to do as much as possible. Resting and relaxing makes me feel guilty.
Affirmation: I deserve to rest, relax and nurture myself.  My body deserves to be loved and taken care of.  Just by being who I am, I am worthy and lovable. 
Who can’t believe that?

Shakti concludes this section by saying that it is a good practice to see this correlation between the situations in your life and your beliefs and add some affirmations to support you in changing the beliefs that don’t serve you.  But at some point, some of these issues may require more professional help.  If you’re feeling like you’re drowning in something, please, find a good therapist. Affirmations and awareness may not be enough in all cases.

Next week, we’ll look at the powers of male and female within each of us.

From the book and workbook, “Living In the Light,” by Shakti Gawain

Shakti defines spirit and form like this, “Our Spirit is the creative energy of the universe which moves through us to manifest in the world.  Our Form is our physical body, our mind and our personality – the medium through which our spirit moves.”

The problem is that what they seek is often in conflict. The spirit wants expression, change, a bigger life, while the form wants safety and security, and for things to remain the same. Shakti says this explains how we can be conscious and strong one day and lost and panicking the next.

So many of us spend most of our lives feeling lost and dissatisfied, no matter what we have. Shakti tells us it’s because of “our lack of connection to our spirit.”  Our spirit and form are working against each other. Often, the only time we can regain that connection is when we give up and surrender. That’s the point where we can bring these two into alignment.

You can have it either way.  You can focus on your spirit and keep it from ever having to be dragged down by the form. (Frankly, the form keeps us alive and functioning, so you can’t really do that for long.)  If it’s all about form, you carry that burden of “I can’t get no satisfaction.”

Shakti wants us to “recognize and feel” both sides.  Secondly, we need to love and accept these seemingly opposite sides of ourselves.  “It’s frustrating,” Shakti warns, “to see that your form can’t do all your spirit wants to yet. But it’s important to appreciate it as it is now and allow the integration to take place at its own pace.”  Sigh.  Well, that’s life, isn’t it?

Like all of this, it’s about listening to your inner voice and following its guidance.  This will build trust.  “The more the form surrenders to and moves with the spirit, the more enlightened and empowered it will become.”  There’s that surrender again!

Up comes this notion about will – that will is not about gritting teeth and moving forward.  But more about knowing and allowing.  Watch what happens when you’re too afraid to follow your intuition. Try to tell the truth about what you can and can’t do.  But don’t forget to be easy on yourself. The more you can keep judgements out of it, the easier it will be to see when you are following the right voice. That will build  trust  in your ability to hear and heed guidance and your willingness to follow it.

Exercise 9 is another 3 column exercise in the workbook.
In the first column, is What I Desire to Do – what your soul longs to do, like take a wonderful vacation to an exotic place, or save the environment, or be a famous singer.  Then list what you are doing now to make this happen.  In the third column, come up with a step you can take toward expressing this desire.

I was surprised to find that I am taking steps toward many of the things I desire.  This is probably thanks to Dream Boogie.  Others I feel okay about not pursuing right now – like building my dream house.  I continue to envision it and think about having it, but it doesn’t feel like the time to start drawing up plans.  I don’t need an Aston Martin at this particular place and time, either.  If I have the time, I might do a little online research to be sure it’s the DB9 I want and maybe choose my color.  I could find a picture of it to hang on my wall.  But, otherwise, I think it can sit for the time being.

One of my desires is to have my writing touch lots of hearts.  I hope that I’m doing that by posting to this Blog and searching for more readers.

There are also some heroes (and heroines) that I would like to meet someday.  I am, as it turns out, actively seeking them out through my business, UpWrite Words.  As for my dream of being a published author? Check. I work on that regularly as I prepare a book proposal.

This exercise made me feel good about the ways I’m working to integrate my form and spirit.

Can you list 10 things you desire to do?

From the Workbook (and book) “Living In the Light” by Shakti Gawain.

Shakti explains, “To be a creative channel is to be fully and freely yourself and to know that the universe speaks through you and your creative actions.”

The more you trust in yourself, your intuition, the more open your channel will be.  There’s a piece here about being willing.  To allow this flow to happen.  You must be in that easy state.  Not churning up useless thoughts about the regretful past or the imagined future.

Shakti agrees with Brenda Ueland, that we are all geniuses.  How much of that genius shines through depends on the depth of our willingness to be what others think we should be.  The more we allow ourselves to be shaped by others, Shakti warns, the more  “ . . . we will fail to hear the voice of our higher power and our genius will remain an untapped potential within us.”

It is that surrender again.  There’s more on this in the book, describing how it feels to focus on this connection and ways to practice opening to it.  Shakti also talks about detachment.  In order to be an open channel, you have to let go of attachments to everything but your intuition.

For Exercise 7, we are reminded that it is a risk to be fully and freely yourself.  That person may well be foreign to you.  Not what you expected.  There is a short meditation to close your eyes and relax.  “Ask your intuition to show you an image of your essential self.”  Shakti says it could be anything, a person, an animal, a color or just a feeling.  So, she wants us to remain open to it.  If you don’t understand the message, ask for clarity.

I saw myself in a long, flowing dress.  I thought, at first, I was tip-toeing, but when I asked for clarity, I saw myself dancing. Not sure what it means, exactly, but it feels good.  It’s possible that I have harbored a long-held suspicion that there is a dancer hiding in me. Shakti says you can repeat this exercise and see what other aspects of yourself you can discover.

“To be a creative channel,” Shakti tells us, “you must risk doing what you really want.”  Exercise 8 gets us to look at what that might be.  I love these kinds of exercises!  It’s a 3-Column List.  First is to list 10 things that you currently do that you love to do.  I found that easy and quickly jotted down many things like writing, reading, and watching movies.  The next column is 10 things you do regularly that you don’t want to do.  I wrestled with this a bit.  I don’t really like paying bills or cleaning house.  And when it’s hot, I don’t care for outside work, either.  In the last column, we are asked to list 10 things we love to do that we don’t do very often.  It became clear to me that I want to be spending more time in nature, keep in better touch with far-away friends and take a class.

This, as you can see, becomes a basis for creating a good action plan.  To reduce or make more pleasant the things you don’t like to do and see how you can increase the things you do want to do.  I’ve made a pledge to send a letter to a friend at least once a week. And I’m looking for ways to get myself out into nature more often.

Next week is about Spirit and Form.

Now, where were we?  The chapters are long and not so clear in the workbook.  What I thought was a chapter break was only a blank page.  So, I’ll just cut off each week as I please.

Last time we got in touch with the Higher Power in us and learned to trust in it.  Now we need to distinguish that voice.  Shakti tells us there are lots of voices inside of us.  We’ve all felt that. The ego, when it gets poked, can expose itself as one of those voices, loudly.  Libby Gill had you “Tuning into Your Inner Voices” in “Traveling Hopefully.”  Study of archetypes speaks of the characters who reside inside of us.  I have played with this concept often and always find I make deep discoveries about myself through it.

I tend to disdain, as many creative people do, the administrative details of life.  But I have found an efficient secretary inside who enjoys the endless minutia of that work. Most all of us can hear our inner critic from time to time.  The one that picks on and criticizes everything you do (or try to do).

Shakti, says, “If we become aware of who is ‘talking’ to us or directing us internally, we can began to have much more consciousness and choice in our lives.”  She suggests a book by Hal Stone and Sidra Winkelman called “Embracing Ourselves.” Getting to know the crowd of voices inside you become more able to distinguish your Intuition.  Some of the voices Shakti identifies are: The Perfectionist, The Vulnerable Child, The Rational Mind, The Rebel, The Spiritual Seeker, The Creative Artist.

For Exercise 6, Shakti offers another mediation.  It’s a rather elaborate journey down a spiral staircase to a “large, majestic room with a round table and chairs . . . “ You take a seat and get settled. Then, listen for your voices and pick the loudest to ask to sit down at the table and talk with you.  I have a feeling I’d have several at the table at once, but I think she wants us to take them one at a time.  Just listen to what they have to say, she advises. When they’ve all had their say, acknowledge and thank them. 

The next step takes you deeper.  Move out of the room and into a tunnel that opens into your sanctuary or safe place.  (I found this place, too, with Libby Gill in “Traveling Hopefully.”)  In your sanctuary, talk to your Higher Power.  Ask any questions you have and allow the answers to come. Stay as long as you like.  Ahh.  That sounds nice.  Then, come back out through the tunnel into the room where you’re sitting.

When you’re done, Shakti encourages you to write about the experience.  Record the voices, talk about what you saw and felt. And describe the sanctuary and what it was like being there with your Intuition.  Did you bring a certain theme or message from it?

Exercise 7 is in three parts:  A.  This is a written one.  Shakti wants you to think about times you have gone “against yourself.”  I’ve heard it said, going against your best interests, or not listening to yourself.  She asks for 10.  That’s a lot!  I know I did it frequently in my youth when I ignored what I thought in favor of what was expected of me.  These days, I try to listen to my Intuition when I’m aware of it, but sometimes that voice is subtle and quiet.  Or it’s “just a feeling.”  It’s that feeling that something inside is trying to tell you something.

I often have a feeling I should say something to someone.  It’s hard to know what would have happened if I had. More often than not, though, my fears and people-pleasing ways talk me out of it.  Those other voices are often more urgent and considerably louder.  They are, after all, fighting for their lives and can be quite convincing when they need to be. Especially when the prevailing winds go against what you feel or sense inside. Shakti wants us to see we can trust those inner yearnings.

B.  Now we get to think about the times we did follow our Intuition and how that played out.  Again, reinforcing the validity of the voice.  Something like, the time we were house-hunting and I said, let’s try that street and it turned out to be the house we bought.

C.  What would you do if you totally trusted your Intuition?  “What is your gut telling you to do?”  Learning to trust your Intuition is learning to stay in the present moment.  Listening for what you want to do right now.  I keep getting messages to publish more of what’s in my files.  Do I have the time?  Is it the right thing to do?  Too many questions. Gotta give in to some of these and see what happens when you trust a little more.

Next week, we’ll talk about becoming a creative channel.

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