Tapping Into The Grid

September 26, 2012

Tapping Into The Grid

 

[Transcription of a reading done on 7 August 2012 about drawing our strength from our core, not our effort]

 

We are, we are thankful to take a moment with you here to settle in together, to sit by your side, to hear you, to hold you, to bring you home.

 

Coming home

The notion of home is far stronger than a household or a piece of land, or even a sense of tribal or cultural identity. When human beings fight or grieve over those things they are fighting or grieving over something very significant to the human soul, but far deeper than location or land or culture or family. The notion of home can be associated with deep rest, with deep peace, and also with the sense of being taken care of. And that is very much what we wish to bring you here.

 

Although, we can only bring something close to you for you to choose; we cannot ever enforce or make anyone choose anything, not at all. But today what we wish to offer to you in response to what we see in your field is an experience of home because, you know, there is a space, there is a space, where you can come and rest, where you do not need to be responsible, in charge, and taking care of so many aspects and people. There is a space in which you can be held and put down the concerns and issues of the day.

 

That space in its real and fullest meaning is deep inside you. Your poets and mystics and artists over and over again have pointed towards this place. But no one, no one, can tell you how to get there, or what exactly it feels like, because only you find your way back home in your specific way. But it is very much something we would encourage you to allow for yourself so that you are activating a very strong sense of peace and also so that you are tapping in to your real source of strength.

 

Where do you get your strength?

Your strength – to get through what you need to get through in the day, to take care of dependants, to plan ahead, to keep everything ticking over – that strength you can draw from wherever you like. Some people draw strength from their bodies primarily, too much, and then experience the physical repercussions of that somewhere down the line. Some people use their emotional strength to push on, to keep on going, and they experience repercussions from at a later stage in their lives. And some people use their mental power, their mental strength, their optimism, their efficiency, their organisation, their ability to persuade, whatever it may be. Some people use those mental strengths to push on. It works for a while, it works for a while, but it won’t work forever, it’s not designed to work forever. Drawing too hard on one of those areas of your self will cause an imbalance in the system.

 

But there is a place that you can draw from that taps you in to something bigger than you. It is a collective source of strength and, in fact, gets stronger the more you use it. Therefore it will not cause you to go out of balance, or to get fatigued, whether that is physically or emotionally or mentally. This is what we mean by coming home, by coming into the place inside you where you are beyond your roles, beyond your expectations, beyond your responsibilities, and beyond your circumstances in general.

 

There’s a great freedom there, and that sense of freedom and being unburdened rejuvenates you. You are literally drawing power off the grid, instead of drawing power from your own limited resources. You perhaps have seen people who do do this, whether they use the church, or whether they use the community, or whether they are deep meditators. You will have seen somewhere people who draw their strength from the grid although it’s not so common in the modern western world.

 

Paradoxically, as human beings have evolved in medicine, in awareness, in cognitive ability, in other words, as you’ve all got individually stronger, you have become in some ways weaker, because you can get by for a while without drawing power from the grid. It’s only for a while, it never works indefinitely, but because you can get away with it for a while so many of you do it. And, what’s more you, you think it’s laudable to do it on your own, to push ahead, to draw on all your resources, carry as much as you can carry, and so on.

 

We are not at all suggesting you shouldn’t take a lot of responsibility in the world, aim high, and create to your heart’s content here. But we are suggesting to you that if you wish to carry a lot, you need to remember to draw your power, your strength, from a source that is beyond just your physical, emotional, and mental competencies.

 

How to draw your strength from the grid

If you wish to do this – and that is always step one, your willingness – it will take investment, it will take time and energy to remind yourself how to draw power from home, from the grid as we have called it, instead of just from you. If you are willing to invest in that, and only if you are, because there is no obligation here, then step two is to enquire into the kind of practice that will suit you best.

 

There is no such thing as universally the best way home. There are people who have used this path and that, this technique and that, who swear that the only way to be in touch is to have this lifestyle, or that tool, or that teacher. But we are telling you clearly today, clearly, you don’t need to follow. You don’t need to follow anybody else’s way home. There is great liberation in that, great freedom.

 

In other words, you can if you wish, you can use writing to come home, you can use certain kinds of reading, you can use walking, you can use nature, you can use candlelight, you can use baking for that matter, as long as the following conditions are there. It’s not about the content of the practice you choose to go home, it’s about it becoming a practice.

 

What is a practice? A practice is something to which you commit, firstly. That’s the first condition. Even the times you don’t feel like it a lot, even the times your practice isn’t going well. That’s the first condition, and strangely enough you have to commit before you start. You can’t see how it goes first, because the quality of commitment changes how it will go.

 

Part of commitment is regularity, that’s the second condition. A practice is not something you have to do as your job. It’s not something you have to drop your other responsibilities for, but it must be done regularly, even if only for a few moments a day, or a few moments every second day. It’s not about whether you are good at this thing, and it’s not even about what happens during this time, it’s about the permission you are demonstrating on a regular basis for coming home, for tapping into an on-going source of strength, inspiration, also comfort, love, perspective, and so on. To try and just generate these things on your own is exhausting. It is exhausting, and it is unnecessary.

 

The first condition for a practice is commitment, the second condition is regularity. You come to your chosen practice regularly. It becomes like the invisible heartbeat behind your life. That no matter what happens out there, there is something you return to on a regular, regular basis. Whether that is five to ten minutes of writing each day on your own by the light of a specific candle, or whether it is a walk in an area where you can breath and raise your eyes to the sky, or whether you choose to turn a practical hobby into a practice, or whether you choose, in fact more powerful than all, to be still for that time, doesn’t matter.

 

What matters is that you have made that practice sacred, and every time you let yourself walk away from your life to devote time to your practice, you are giving permission to privilege your deep self, your soul, your connection to the grid. Every time you do it, even if you are tired, even if you show up irritable, it does not matter. It’s not how you show up, it’s that you show up. Remember this is about coming home.

 

When you go home, in the most beautiful sense of the word, you can dump your things on the floor and flop on the couch. You don’t need to perform well to go home, not in the real meaning of the word. So, if you wish to, find a practice that feels appealing to you, and accessible to you. Choose to regularly engage with that practice. Come back to it, even if you have strayed far away, come back again, come back home. Invest. It doesn’t have to be an hour a day, not at all, even a few moments. But this practice, as mundane as it may seem, if you are regular about it you are giving permission for that practice to bring you home. In its own way it will tap you in to the grid.

 

On some days what might be delivered from the grid to you is inspiration. On other days it may be a sense of comfort, or playfulness. You may find that suddenly a good idea arrives, not even in that time you are devoting, but outside of it. Or you may just find that you seem to have the strength to face that, and choose that, and say no to that. It’s because you are tapped in to the grid.

 

The truth is, to be very accurate, you are never not tapped in, to a degree. You can’t be away from Divinity, you can’t be ever be separate from your own soul, not at all, just like you can’t be separate from your breath. However, the more attention you pay to your breathing, the more you can choose to make it deeper and the more oxygen can flood your system. Oxygen is vital, it brings life, it enriches you on all levels, and it is the perfect metaphor for a connection to source.

 

You don’t have to connect to source in a boring way, you don’t have to connect to source in a sombre way, you don’t have to connect to source in a churchy way, or even a spiritual way. There are those whose job it is to cut trees – a sad job at the best of times – and we have seen some of them give sacred meaning to that. It has become a practice. They are quiet, present, committed when they are there. And everything they need from the grid opens up to them. Cutting down trees is no one’s idea of a spiritual practice. And yet, we have seen some that are magnificently open to source through that.

 

No one is excluded in this! No one needs to have resources they don’t have, including intelligence, or gurus, or books. It’s your birthright to be able to draw what you need, what will enrich you, from the grid. And so we invite you into this aspect today, so that you need not carry all that you carry, and face all that you face using only your own resources, or even predominantly your own resources, to do so.

 

So many of you use your mental and emotional strength so much during every day. You never put it down. You never give it a rest. It’s a poor way to live. We mean poor in a sense that your life could be infinitely richer, especially your inner life. But we can’t force ourselves on you, we never do. We require regular permission from you for our participation, communication and presence. We’re always available, but your free will is so respected in this system – much more than you realise – that often our availability doesn’t translate into actual help to you.

 

And this is why today we are inviting you into a practice of your choice that you give the meaning of tapping back into the grid.  There is poetry that can do this. There is music. There is nature. But you could equally as well use embroidery or drawing for that matter.  It’s useful to use something you have a natural attraction towards, something that actually you might like spending just ten moments a day engaged in.

 

Expect Resistance

However what we can promise you from the outset is that you can expect major resistance from within yourself and you will find that mirrored in the world around you too. Why is that?  It’s not a sinister reason at all.  It’s simply this: whenever the ego senses that its power is becoming diminished relative to a larger power, it fights.  This does not mean you aren’t meant to do it.  It doesn’t mean that there is a force out there trying to sabotage you.  But you will find, you can indeed expect, that whatever you are doing that is tapping you in to the truth, to Source, to your own soul, you can expect the ego to fight hard.

 

It’s okay.  You can even have compassion for that part of you that resists, that forgets or always finds something else more important to do.  Have compassion for that part, love it even.  Most things don’t fight so hard when they are being loved and understood and given a voice.  But don’t let this sabotage the whole movement.  There will be a breakthrough point – in fact there will be more than one, there always is in a steady practice of any kind – there will be a breakthrough point where your experience deepens, or literally breaks through the ceiling.  You will know it when it happens.  And it will feel both frightening and exhilarating.  It’s frightening to the ego and it’s exhilarating to your soul, and that’s okay.

 

But we are so eager, we are so eager to welcome you more often to play with you and feed you and hold you.  And there is great strength to be found in regularly connecting with us.  You don’t have to do it in any other way other than the one you choose.  And this is very much our strongest suggestion to you at this point.  Firstly because we see that you draw heavily on your own personal strength, especially emotional and mental.  There’s nothing wrong with that, except that you are so used to drawing heavily, you have for nearly all your life, that you don’t realise, most of the time, that you’re doing it alone.  You’re used to it in some ways you have forgotten that there even is a grid that you can plug in to and draw from.

 

 

Implications of not tapping in to the grid

The implication of this, as we’ve intimated, is imbalance at some point in the system.  The other implication of it, naturally, is that on your own you have far less power, perspective, creativity, intuition than access to when you are open and connected to the whole.  And the third implication of this, and the reason that we are talking of it today: when you are going at it on your own most of the time, you don’t have very much energy left for the things in life than might in the end be the most important to you, the most joyful.

 

There’s very little left at the end of the day or week or month or year, very little left to devote to a new idea or a new friendship or a new joy of any kind if you are using so much strength just to manage your responsibilities.  When you are giving regular permission to come home, to tap back in to Source, you will find that sometimes you have both the courage and the wisdom not to work too hard on that situation or that thing.  Sometimes you will feel like retracting a bit and seeing how it goes before going to make sure everything goes okay.  That is not the same as abdicating responsibility, necessarily, and it’s not the same as being unloving, or lazy, or uninvolved.

 

Trusting yourself

There are times when the better solution can only come when you are not in the way.  There are times when that is the case.  It’s not possible for us to tell you in such and such a situation you need to back away, and at such and such a time, or if this and this happens.  Every time it’s different.  But you don’t need to be taught that, you don’t need to rely on your mind so much, when you can trust that you are tapped in to the bigger picture

 

It’s very hard to trust your own decisions when they are just your own.  You don’t know if you are being loving or unloving doing this certain thing.  You don’t know how much you should be involved and not involved.  But when you have demonstrated permission over and over again to be tuned in to the bigger picture, the picture that is beyond just this crisis or this month or this issue, then you can trust yourself a lot more to feel when to step in or not. When it’s just you alone using your emotional and mental resources to their last ounce it’s very difficult to trust.

 

But when you know that you show up regularly in whatever way you like, to demonstrate your commitment to being in touch with a bigger reality, when you know this, you will start to trust your own preferences, your own impulses, your own intuition, a lot more.

 

And so these are some of the reasons that we raise this today:

  • To help you avoid imbalance and fatigue on some levels of self. 
  • To keep you connected to a far stronger source of strength and ideas, perspectives, comfort, love, even just humour. 
  • And also so that as a result of that you have more energy to devote to your joy, and not only your existence.  Not only your existence, but also your joy.

 

Don’t worry about needing to know what your joy is necessarily.  If you are using a practice to come back home you are clearing space in the business of your own mind for us to speak, and we will.  And we have hundreds of ways to do so.  We do it indeed all the time, but often you don’t hear us.  Why? Because your energy is so focused on your emotional and mental selves that often you can miss what’s going on in the field, in your field, just beyond that.

 

If you devote yourself to a practice of coming home, every day preferably, every day, you are choosing to make some space between your thinking and the bigger pictureAnd we can breathe ourselves into that space.  Whether we use your dreams to do that, or the suggestion of a friend, or a picture in a book, or a lyric in a song really is immaterial.  But none of those things will work if there is just too much being drawn on in the emotional, mental, or even physical self on its own.

 

You have to work too hard to keep going if you just use your individual strength, you have to work too hard.  And in the hard, hard work just to keep existing you have to shut down a little.  Your energy field becomes contracted and dense, and even when we are talking, which we are all the time, you can’t receive it.  You are tuned into another channel as it where, that’s all.  We’re always available, but we’re available at a specific channel.  If you’re so tuned in to other channels, it’s not that we’re not there, but you can’t receive us.  

 

You don’t have to change your whole life to be able to receive us, you don’t have become devoted in the ways necessarily you have seen other people be devoted.  You don’t have to call yourself spiritual, at all.  In fact if you become unreal in this pursuit it won’t work.  But what is required is some kind of container.  Some kind of space that you call your own, that is your preferred way home, and that you marry really, you devote yourself to it, through good and through bad.  You show up regardless of how you feel or what is there on that day you come home, you come home.  So that we can feed you better, so that we can love you better, so that we can enrich and strengthen you more than you can ever know.

 

Coming once or twice, every now and again, taps you in a little, but not enough.  But when you do come home, the beauty of it is that not only do you strengthen your connection to the Divine, you strengthen everyone else’s too!  You can’t make choices on behalf of other people, sadly, but what you can do, believe it or not, you can change the very nature of the grid into which you tap.

 

We understand that this, to the human mind, seems extremely bizarre, but when you tap into the grid you don’t weaken it by what you draw off it, you strengthen it.  Every time you come home you strengthen the connection between all of humanity and its own Divinity.  The more you tap in, the stronger, the stronger the Source gets.

 

We are so delighted to offer that here. Thank you.

 

©Angela Deutschmann 2012

 

The God Spot

June 27, 2012

British writer and philosopher Alain de Botton has become in my life what cupcakes have become to baking. You know, ubiquitous, trendy and oh so very pleasurable. My husband has taken to teasing me about how regularly I read, discuss and re-tweet the words that come from this lovely man’s blog, articles, website, books, Twitter account, TED talks essays and, well, I think you get the picture. I find it refreshing, brave, wise and relevant that de Botton applies philosophical history and thinking to everyday human issues like work, sex and parenting. What’s more he infuses art, architecture, travel and other ‘sidelines’ of life with great importance and psychological value, and that is just plain joyous to me.

Alain (as I have taken to calling him, I hope he doesn’t mind) is also outspoken about being an atheist. This has got me thinking about the God question and how it has and still does play out in my own life and work.

I was not actively encouraged by my parents to practice any sort of faith. It was entirely my own instinct and nagging that got me to Sunday School. Neither was it peer pressure or school culture that resulted in my devotion to charismatic Christianity during the years when other girls my age were discovering boys and tanning their legs (a skill I still haven’t caught up on).  I expressed a love and interest in God that was quite simply all of my own making, though interestingly this was also characteristic of a number of my ancestors and extended family on my mom’s side. My great great great grandfather and his brother boarded a ship to South Africa in 1820 for the single reason of seeking religious freedom, when they could no longer agree with the dogma of the dominant churches in England. So, strong relationship with God was in my blood and, of course, also that of my granny and her sisters who spoke easily and often about a personal connection with divinity, though in a far more expansive and mystical sense than I could tolerate during my teenage years as a devout Christian.

It’s worth mentioning that during these years I was also well-loved and achieved remarkably well in academics, debate and leadership. My faith did not – as it often can – spring from low self confidence or a desperate need to belong or to prove something. I was hooked because I was having experiences with Jesus – visions, conversations, answered prayers. I spent at least an hour a day praying during my adolescence and I could not deny the very real results of this as they showed up in my life, my relationships and above all the richness and happiness of my inner world.

In retrospect I recognize that the moral framework – even cage – the church provided was, for me, a welcome way of avoiding the messy, scary business of negotiating an emerging sexuality without having (I believed) any sexual attractiveness. But aside from this, and sometimes trying to convince ‘less right’ folks (i.e. New agers, Muslims or, shudder, Catholics) that they were going straight to hell (cringe), all that time on my knees as a teenager did me no harm. I learnt to dialogue with the divine – rudimentary and limited as it may have been – and the response in my heart and in my life was real and loving enough to have me enchanted.

After being at university for a while as well as experiencing some (much-needed) international travel, my new religion became intellectualism. Or at least I wanted it to be. I loved the virtues of logic, order and learning and I wanted to play all the games (debating, competitive academics, poetry writing etc) where the smartest one was the winner. In the process I managed to suppress a lot of my femininity and develop polycystic ovarian syndrome but at least I was first in class and appeared to be bright.  This religion never quite fitted though and I always found myself secretly reading self-help and spiritual books in places I hoped most of my friends would never see me. I couldn’t help it. These books moved me, whether to inspiration or dreaming or tears, it didn’t matter. I recognized something underneath not all, but some, of the words in those books. It was God, and it still blew my heart right open.

The path from there to the here-and-now has involved Spiritualism, Buddhism, meditation practice, consciousness-based education, Zen, a brief (but harmless) fling with vegetarianism, hundreds of books and thousands more hours dialoguing with divinity, though at least now I get to do this from the comfort of an office and , hallelujah, a chair. I feel that my relationship with God increasingly deepens and expands and what I mean by this is some of the following:

  • My beliefs, ideas and truths (about myself, the world and the human condition) are constantly stretched and challenged to occupy more inclusive and exciting terrain. Just because I have a relationship with the divine does not mean I have or need a fixed, sure or morally superior doctrine.
  • My experiences with magic, synchronicity, patterns, connections, flow and grace continue to increase. If you want to know why that’s useful, think peace of mind, lots of inner giggling and not only resilience but also flexibility in the face of difficulty.
  • I continue to abandon judgment of myself and others in the face of the exquisite oneness and cherishing I feel from, with and even as, divinity
  • My experience of being loved –wildly and exuberantly – by life itself often blows my socks off and thus my own capacity to love grows steadily too

Can I say for sure that these experiences are useful? Yes.

Can I say for sure that these experiences are real? Yes.

Can I say for sure that I know there is a God? No.

I do hold open the possibility that what I experience in readings and other moments of what I call divine connection is simply another part of my own brain, or maybe I’m tapping into a part of the collective brain, or maybe I’m just making the whole heap of it all up.

Does it matter that I can’t (or have no desire to) irrefutably prove that my belief in divinity is right? Not a jot.

As my Growth Clubs work with in their very first session, it’s not the content of a belief that matters, or bears arguing about, it’s the effect.  If being an atheist allows you to be joyful, excited, productive, energetic and deeply purposeful, good for you. But I doubt that you can disprove the existence of a force beyond this physical life anymore than I can prove it. Likewise, if the religious or spiritual beliefs you are currently living by leave you disempowered, painfully repressed, judgmental, superior or small-minded I think you have a right to question, change or dismiss them without worrying about dire consequences to your very soul.

In his new book ‘Religion for Atheists’, Alain de Botton argues for preserving some of the rituals, transcendence and community associated with religion, even as you discard its dogma or downright factual incorrectness. To me this is simply because we must use beliefs that help us become who we wish to become, and not allow beliefs to use us and to shrivel us up into irrelevance or cynicism or a deep existential boredom.

Perhaps (and I hope this doesn’t offend anyone) it’s useful to think about God the way we do the G-spot. After all, you can’t actually see either of them, there’s no map or manual for locating them that works for everyone, some swear that they’re both made-up because science can’t prove their existence, but man, oh man, when we do stumble upon them we’re happy to let go and enter heaven. Is that possibility worth keeping an open mind about divinity? I happen to think so.

A genre of Joy? Some brave – and fun – new paths to healing

May 10, 2012

This morning I found a glorious book on the shelves called ‘Saved by Cake’ – the first Marian Keyes book that I have ever wanted to read (confessions of a literary snob). It is the story of her recent – severe – depression and how the simple act of baking did more for her healing than any of the drugs, institutions, needles or meditation workshops she tried. Not long ago I read ‘Poser’ by Claire Dederer, which shares with much honesty and humour, how she used yoga (resistance notwithstanding) to come to terms with motherhood and her bigger role in the world, and we all know the ‘Eat Pray Love’ theme of using travel to re-evaluate and re-imagine a life that was slowly coasting into dreadful. It seems to me that these stories – perhaps beginning to be a genre of their own – are all articulating the discovery, or re-discovery, of a simple joy that ends up having a powerful and life-changing impact.

 

The transformations in these writers’ lives (slow as they may have been in the making) were not initiated by dramatically new jobs, immigrations, winning the lotto or finally landing Mr/s Right. They were caused by a spark of attraction to cupcakes, learning Italian and the Tree pose. Your joy is meaningful, even vital, to your wellness even if it doesn’t at first appear to be related to a career, your healing or anything you’d label a ‘life purpose’. On JoyMap last Saturday there were bright eyes and tears of relief around the table as participants remembered how much they love kayaking, children’s books, dancing and beautiful stationery. Joy is about the texture of your life, not just your vocation, and it contributes enormously to your overall sense of wellness, resilience and strength. All three the writers above (like many of my clients) had become so wrapped up in their lives (motherhood, marriage, being a famous author etc) that their own private joys had been suppressed. I cannot say for sure that this is the direct cause or cure of depression, overwhelm, MS and many of the other common diseases of our generation, but I have no doubt it is a crucial component.   

 

Interestingly, this week I read a lovely blog by Martha Beck on Radical Fun, which articulates similar ideas and invites us into a commitment to fun. Enjoy this: http://marthabeck.com/2012/05/radical-fun/

 

The Art of Silence

March 23, 2012

I am sitting on a wondrous beige couch with which I have been well acquainted for a few years now. But today I am not running a workshop from it. I am deeply sunk into the welcoming cushions (in a posture my grandmother would certainly frown upon) and I am – actually – just sitting. Not working, or talking, or planning, or learning, or thinking, or helping, or earning, or improving, or trying. My attention turns to two monkeys playing in a tree nearby and I watch their antics for a long time, I don’t know how long, till such a point where I am so relaxed that a sudden cough from someone doing their own sitting nearby does not startle me at all.

It is Day 2 of the Silent Retreat in the Boondocks bush. I only know this because I went to sleep when the sun went down and woke up many, many hours later when it was light. More than that, I’m not much aware of time. Its control over all my choices has loosened somewhat;  it really doesn’t matter how long I spend daydreaming in the dam or when it’s time for lunch or how many more hours are left in this yummy sense of peacefulness. And, yes, I am just oozing peaceful right about now. By body is soft and happy because it is getting to sleep exactly when and how much it would like to and because I am not feeding it by the clock or according to the Family Meal Plan stuck on the fridge. I am eating, simply, from my own desires. This has meant some small meals, some large, some forgotten and a couple of brand new creations like a blueberry and mozzarella cheese sandwich. My body is thanking me for these freedoms in sleeping and eating by being ache-and-tension free and alternating naturally (with no force from me!) between wanting to do nothing and wanting to stride up the mountain.

Mentally, I feel different too. This is not to say (as you might reasonably expect) that my thinking has slowed down, or my mind become ‘empty’, which is often the explicit goal of meditative, and silent, retreats. Actually, this time, it’s just the opposite. I find myself thinking increasingly fast, and fully, as the silence deepens. But it’s the kind of thinking I strive for -creative, light, funny, clear – and it is not devoted to subjects like someone’s whiny facebook status, the sad state of my upper arms or how to pay the rent in two weeks’ time. These things do sometimes occupy my mental space, but not today. Instead I am thinking interesting and innovative thoughts about my work, the way I position myself in the world and what kinds of freedoms (stillness, growing our own food, free time) I want to invest more resources in. These are fundamental – even game-changing – issues but I seldom manage to devote more than fleeting attention to them in the bustle of my everyday life, whereas here I can play with them all I like.

I look over to the man, a fellow retreat-er, sitting and reading on the couch opposite me. I am suddenly, and surprisingly, flooded with love for him. We have known each other well for years, but it’s only today that I realize how joyful it is to be with him even in utter silence – without talking, sharing, feasting, laughing or any conscious connecting at all. This strikes me as a testament to our friendship and I am inspired to respect and cultivate it all the more.

It must also be said that sometimes we have a more rocky, more emotional, experience of silence. At previous retreats, participants have had issues arise that resulted in many tears, or much angry rock-throwing in the dam. This phase, if the silence is kept for long enough, does tend to give way to a more light and spacious state but it plays just as important a role in our overall self-awareness and expansion as any other experiences that silence can deliver. Yesterday on this retreat, while reading ‘Consolations of Philosophy’ by Alain de Botton, I realised how many uncanny similarities there are between the realizations of some major philosophers and the wisdom that emerges from my own readings, and I haven’t studied a single module of the discipline. This made me feel – illogically, perhaps, but nonetheless significantly – upset. Normally, I would take this ‘upsetness’ and immediately go and tell my husband about it in an effort to quieten, or maybe distract myself from, the discomfort. While that is a lovely resource, I didn’t have it here last night and so I had to sit with the feelings until they exploded into hot and insistent tears. These tears didn’t immediately answer all my painful questions, and they didn’t promise me that everything will be alright, but they may have done something that is ultimately more important. They allowed me to express something, to be heard (even if only by me), to be there, to be present in my pain not only in my power and, after two significant dreams later that night, I woke up the next morning in a new and more graceful state.

By the time the retreat draws to a close, I am so happy in my body, heart and mind that I find myself spontaneously (but quietly you understand) bursting out with ‘thank you so much!”, to whom or for what I don’t really know. Feeling this good hasn’t come from reaching any major goal, or an increase in wealth, or any new recognition from the world. It is simply that I have allowed myself to ‘step off the bus of my life’ and disengage, even for just two days. It strikes me that stillness may have exactly the same purpose as De Botton suggests of Art: to direct our attention to important, but neglected, things.  

How to make Personal Growth Workshops Work

February 20, 2012

There are a LOT of self-development workshops out there on practically everything (did you know you can do a workshop on ‘ improvised noise’ or ‘forgiving your alien kidnapper’?). Some of us (you know who you are) can get just a little addicted to the whole workshop business and, on the other end of the spectrum, others would never ever dream of expressing themselves and working out something personal in a group – how crass J. Having had years of workshop experience from both sides of the blackboard as it were, here is my rough guide to making workshops work for you.

 

When to Do a Workshop

  • Your life is generally ok but you feel stuck, bored and can’t manage to break a repetitive pattern on your own or from one-on-one therapy
  • The theme of the workshop is closely aligned with what you have already identified you need
  • You could do with a bit of a stretch, or risk, and even feel excited by that
  • You’d enjoy an intense, focused space and time to work on yourself with no interruptions
  • You’re ok (even if not exactly thrilled) to be accountable to a group, to express yourself publicly and to pay attention to other people’s stuff too
  • You realize that you can benefit from growing together with others, not only with your therapist or Kindle or journal
  • You get energy and motivation from learning / teaching with others
  • You feel capable of taking new awareness and integrating it into practical application in your life largely by yourself

 

When NOT to do a Workshop

  • You are utterly desperate and not able to function anymore on a day to day basis
  • You feel like you need urgent, specialized and exclusive attention
  • You can’t imagine wanting or being able to engage with anyone else’s stuff
  • You don’t have in you at the time to take a risk or be exposed to something new (all four the above suggest that private therapy must be the first step)
  • You know in advance that you’re going to spectate instead of participate
  • You wouldn’t have said you had this desire / need before the workshop came along (e.g. Releasing your Inner Serpent Charmer)
  • You know you’re going to need a slow, sustained, regular kind of input rather than the quick, intense sort
  • You don’t feel interested in or capable of integrating new awareness into your life by yourself
  • Someone else wants you to do it and you don’t
  • Doing it will mean being untrue to yourself about money, family or anything else

 

Things to clear up about a Workshop in advance

  • Is this going to be process-based or theory-based?
  • Will we be given tools or only information?
  • Can I carry on this work by myself afterwards or will more intervention be required?
  • Will I be forced to do anything or can I choose?
  • How intense and intimate can I expect it to be?
  • What kind of results do graduates tend to have?
  • Can I contact some graduates to chat about their experience?

 

Things that personally make me shudder in Workshops

  • The facilitator being subtly or overtly held up as inherently more (talented, connected, evolved, clever, wise whatever) than the participants
  • Anything being positioned as ‘the only way’
  • A participant’s experience or feelings being dismissed or judged or laughed at or invalidated in any way
  • A process being offered in exactly the same way all the time regardless of what dynamics or people happen to be there
  • A culture of submission or worship
  • Participants being left with the idea that the ‘wows’ and ‘highs’ of an experience are due to the special qualities of the facilitator or workshop
  • Everything happening spiritually or analytically without the body being involved
  • Clichés, boring rituals, no humour, bad food, no food, no challenges, no fun, holier-than-thou attitudes and an avoidance of what is real

 

Suggestions for making a Workshop really count:

  • Play big or don’t bother – jump in, tell the truth, go all the way, do everything wholeheartedly and unreservedly
  • Suspend disbelief and pretend every process is beneficial to you until you can honestly and objectively decide if it isn’t
  • Be willing to be undefended
  • Recognise that other people’s processes or realisations can be the beginning of your own breakthrough
  • Don’t take responsibility for fixing anybody else’s pain or figuring out anybody else’s stuff
  • Be willing to be wrong, or at least have your habitual stories questioned
  • Notice how you tend to ‘duck-out’ of a difficult moment or feeling (getting analytical, looking for distraction, going to the bathroom, becoming defensive etc) and just for once stay in the discomfort instead of avoid it.
  • Remember that any permission you gave on a workshop (permission to be honest, permission to try something new, permission to be touched) you can give in your life too. It’s not the workshop that creates the results, it’s you.

The Body-Love Paradox – for anyone stuck somewhere between ‘I love myself the way I am’ and ‘Do plastic surgeons take credit cards?’

September 6, 2011

On any given day in your life, I bet you receive the message – subtly or blatantly, once or many times – that your body needs improvement. In one form or another – whether it is to do with your weight, your ageing, your fitness, your style, your energy-levels, your six-pack, your health or the whiteness of your teeth – it is a generally accepted (and money-making) notion that your body should be better than it is now.

Those of us so-inclined absorb these ‘should’ messages from:

  • The conversations and behaviour of people around us
  • Images in the media
  • Experts (doctors, dieticians, medical aids, gyms, supplement-sellers etc)

The perfection of the body is a time-and-culture-specific obsession that we have accepted as normal, even healthy. Yet, interestingly, with more focus, information and resources than ever before directed at ‘health and wellness’ (which is often, more accurately, about perfection and control), we are more out of balance and unhealthy as a culture than probably ever before.

I cannot see the value in wholeheartedly prostrating yourself to anyone else’s opinions, society’s (fickle) aesthetics or the ever-changing knowledge of experts. To do so not only disempowers you, it also drives a wedge between your mind and the real, natural desires of your body.

It’s very hard to tune in to your body’s natural tastes, built-in balancing signals, unique sexual expression and its own preferences for movement when you are privileging the external conversation (i.e. the one that OTHER PEOPLE are having about your body) over the internal conversation. This internal conversation with your body (which some really lucky people seem to just do naturally, though I am not one of them) is where you receive the signals about being full or hungry, which specific foods would most light you up at any moment, how your system wants to move at any given time, where and how much stress you are carrying, whether or not you are truly attracted to somebody or something and so on. Vital information! Yet almost impossible to decipher while we place so much stock on the externally-focused comparison between where we are and where we ‘should’ be.

In the light of this overwhelming and shaming bombardment of ‘should’ messages, I really do understand (and have gone there myself) the impulse to go right the other way and say ‘screw you’ to all the ideals, rules and social conventions about how we should eat, exercise and look. Resist the shallowness, love yourself the way you are and all that.

Alternative messages, like these below, are finding an increasingly bigger voice and more appreciative audience, the more the rules about bodies get shoved down our throats:

  • All bodies are beautiful the way they are
  • It doesn’t matter what you look like, who you are is more important
  • Fat is a feminist issue
  • Beauty is a subjective and political idea used to keep people (esp women) ashamed and powerless

I happen to believe all the above statements, and I can’t think of much that is more boring than spending the majority of my energy, thoughts, money and time on my looks.

However (and it’s a big however), I also cannot just dismiss the imbalance and suffering that comes from emotional eating, addictions, and a deep-seated resistance to movement. If your pain is showing up in your body, this is not simply something to accept and pretend is all about society’s shallowness.

That leaves us (as a commitment to truth inevitably does) facing a paradox:

Do I love my body just the way it is OR

Do I get going to improve it?

The only answer to this paradox (and you’ll have to stretch past your left brain for a minute), is ‘yes’. To both.

I recognise that these two options appear to be contradictory and mutually exclusive, but that is only a problem to the intellect. Seriously. The heart, spirit and body can all happily accept and make use of contradiction which, in this case, means that it is quite possible to choose love and real gratitude for every inch of your current body, while also daring yourself to get real and tell the full truth about why, how and what we eat, drink, snort, rest, have sex, touch, exercise and all the other marvelous pleasures and possibilities a body has.

So many of our thoughts and habits related to our bodies are in shadow, in shame, and are secrets that only we (and maybe our housemates) know. We keep our bodies covered up, ensuring that they are both despised and fetishised at the same time. This is why, on Embody, we work actively with inter alia these two principles:

  1. Only that which is fully seen can be fully loved and
  2. You can only transform that which you love (not hate!)

Most of the time we try to run our lives on exactly the opposite principles of these two (admittedly, startling) truths, but Embody (my signature body-love workshop) works the other way round. In a spirit of gentleness, respect and courage we encourage you to let yourself be heard and seen and, insodoing, uncover the truths that your body is speaking on your behalf: what it is grieving or raging against or desiring or holding onto on your behalf.

Through this process you can reach a quiet and consistent peace, forgiving (and perhaps even celebrating!) your body for where it’s at. But this acceptance doesn’t mean you give yourself license to eat mindlessly, ignore your natural pleasure in moving or pretend that all your choices make you happy! The fundamental difference is that you now make new decisions, not because you abhore what you are, but because you are committed to your own joy.

Only from this place, followed by a set of new, consistent choices, can you take your body to different (and sustainable) levels of energy, play, grace and strength.

(Angela’s radical EMBODY workshop runs twice more in 2011 on 18-20 November and 2 – 4 December. For more information see http://angeladeutschmann.com/workshops/embody.htm)

My R10 000.00 Shadow

June 2, 2011

On the morning of writing this I happened to be the seventh lucky caller into a local talk radio show, 702, for a competition to win R10 000.00. Those of you who tune into this station know how enviable it is to get to play and even the presenter, John Robbie, greeted me by saying ‘a whole lot of people hate you at this moment!” I was delighted, excited and confident but ended up not knowing the answer to the one question that would have won it. My feelings over the course of the morning were fascinating to observe. The strongest and most uncomfortable one was a sense of having let people down. I actually found myself wanting to apologise to my husband and domestic worker. Apologise?! For not knowing an answer? It has now become very clear to me that I fear that I will let people down (my loved ones and the world) if I don’t always have the right answer.

This realisation is both horrible and glorious. It shows me clearly that I have been in the grip of the helper / teacher / knower archetype as a means of avoiding something I don’t want to ever allow: letting people down and what will happen to my sense of self if I do. Ironically, needing to always have the right answer is actually a disservice to me and the people I’d love to empower. It means I don’t give myself enough chance to ponder something, to play in the fertile field of the unknown for long enough to discover something totally new and possibly even more valuable.

The glorious part of this is that now I know and, as all those who have seriously embarked on shadow work will tell you, even in just the naming of something there is freedom from it. Does this mean I should stop being a teacher? No. Does it mean I need to try and let people down now? No. It means I need to embrace the thing I fear most i.e. make peace with the fact that I will definitely let people down even when I don’t intend to, and realise that, while that will hurt my ego, it doesn’t say anything about my real worthiness. Now that’s a release worth R10 000.00🙂

Personal Growth – let’s get some things straight

May 1, 2011

I’m in my eighth year of being a personal growth teacher, speaker and writer. Not only is this my job, it’s also what I read most, talk incessantly about with my husband and friends and it’s significantly informed the approach I take to raising our children. Personal growth is even what I do for fun, for heaven’s sake, sad as that may understandably seem to some. Along the way – thanks to my channelling, hours spent with clients and personal experience (read: mistakes!) – I’ve begun to distill what the essence of this journey is for me and to distinguish it from the huge industry of self-improvement available to us in bookshops, workshop venues and therapy rooms these days. Here are a few things I want to set straight. I hope they help you interrogate the jargon, own the journey and have more fun.
• Personal growth is a process of emergence, not improvement. It is not about miraculous manifestation or turning you into what you aren’t but letting go of the layers of defense you have inevitably put up between you and reality, including between you and yourself
• Your role in this journey and in this universe is creator – not puppet, not seeker, not student. You are giving meaning to life, not finding it
• The goal of personal – or spiritual – growth is wholeness, not goodness. We go on a journey of self-discovery in order to be more real, not to try and be perfect (whatever that is)
• As such, being on a spiritual journey should result in being more vulnerable, honest and able to face painful truths – not more superior, withdrawn and sure of our rightness. It should allow us to sit fully awake inside our lives and relationships rather than encourage us to float above them
• There are as many ways to experience and express our full selves as there are people. My preferred way to navigate is through joy and being in close contact with divinity, but there can be equal value in choosing religion, suffering or nature as your path. Do yourself and others a favour by not expecting them to grow in exactly the same way as you have
• Personal growth is not about making an impressive or successful life, much as that is how it often gets sold. There will always be parts of your life that contrast your preferences and no amount of affirmation or enlightenment is going to change that because contrast is the currency of creation. The masterpiece you are creating is you, not your life
• Transcendent experiences, yummy as they are, are not enough for true change. Without facing yourself and your past squarely, owning and feeling all of your experience and pain, no amount of meditation, peak spiritual experience or positive thinking for that matter is going to truly move you forward in an authentic way
• That said, personal growth is not a linear, structured process of ticking off certain boxes and then arriving at the finish line. Much as we westerners like to be goal-oriented about everything, including our spirituality, the evolution process has its own rhythm, its own grace and its own timing which must also be noticed and honoured
• The most graceful way to grow (whether at any moment that means it’s time to forgive or take new action or strengthen your intuition) is to clearly and regularly demonstrate permission for this – in whichever way you can with whatever is available to you – and then listen to life’s response
• There is a time and place for teachers (whether those are therapists, facilitators, friends or writers) and there is also a time and place for the conversation to purely be between you and yourself, or your divinity, with no third parties involved
• Judge workshops, therapies, books and teachers by the effect they actually have on you not by who or what they happen to be: is this empowering, energising, loving? Do I feel inspired, real, truthful, respected here?
• Most importantly, does the teacher / writer / facilitator consider me an equal and consider that I actually know my own way better than he or she does?
• Nothing specific is needed, required or obligatory on a personal growth path, and there is no urgency or rush. Think twice before trusting teachers who tell you so
• Likewise, there is nothing on earth that you are obliged to do in order to have lived a full, conscious, joyful, purposeful life. Your purpose lies in who you become, not the job you do, successes you attain or good deeds you undertake
• Every athlete knows there is as much value in resting muscles you wish to strengthen as there is in using them. Personal growth is the same. If you’re in a cycle of workshops, therapy or self-help literature or feeling what I call ‘improvement fatigue’, take a break. Focus on walking or poetry as a tool for joy, or painting your toenails for that matter. Nothing is spiritual and nothing is unspiritual unless you make it so (see second bullet!)
• Have fun with your spirituality! Play with it rather than labour at it. Be light about your faults, your issues, even your purpose. You cannot create light in the world by being heavy, no matter how noble or spiritual that may appear
• Does personal growth ever end? I don’t know. Many of us have experienced being at the point where there is no more drama, where we take absolute responsibility for how we feel and respond and where the undercurrent of everyday life really is joy. But is that the end of challenge, risk, stretch? Oh no! It may well be the beginning.

From Puppet to Pupil to Partner – the most important shift you can make

March 22, 2011

Here is a divine conversation to explode your ideas about truth, loyalty, change and who you are relative to divinity. An invitation to step into creatorship. Key ideas have been italicised.

We come forward, we come forward here willingly, joyfully, exuberantly.  Not to lead you, nor to guide you, nor to show the way.  We are very aware – as we engage with the collective field – of what we might call a new paradigm emerging.  Always paradigms have application, or use, or relevance on a number of different areas of your lives.  A paradigm is deeper than a circumstance in other words.  A paradigm is also deeper than an issue.  A paradigm is how you interpret your circumstances, and make sense of your issues.  And so while we recognise and respect that the activity, the churning, the issues, the events that occur in the circumstance of your lives are important, and worth sharing, expressing, and learning from, we must also say that without shifting on the level of paradigm, no real change ever occurs in the circumstances.  They may look different a few months or a few years on, but the essence of the challenge, or the tension, or the block, or the leak, whatever it may be, will be just the same.

So as we come forward here – not heavily, not with sombreness, or seriousness, or even not with great reverence – we come forward here joyfully, happily, exuberantly and we wish to open up for you a paradigmatic suggestion.  As always this is only a suggestion, just an invitation to which you are welcome to say yes or no and there will be no withdrawal of love for you from the Universe. There will be no less approval, no implicit judgement and punishment, depending on whether or not you take up this invitation.  We understand that that may be your experience of love, but that is not the way we love.  And so what we bring is simply, and purely, an invitation.

It has to do with who you think you are, relative to God.  Now you may presume that that aspect has little or nothing to do with the issues and the circumstances with which you are grappling in this stage in your practical, everyday lives.  We are saying to you it has everything to do with that.

Common paradigms – The Puppet

So if we may, we will share some of the common paradigms that are visible within this culture in this time. Paradigms about who human beings are relative to God, abound.  There are many different belief systems, many different ways of making sense of that.  And humanity is evolving in these.  But what is most visible in this stage, in this culture, and which will therefore have influenced you the most, are these two models.

The first is the model of the puppet, where God or the Universe (it doesn’t really matter the language, it is the paradigm that is important, not the naming of things) is seen to be in charge.  Perhaps not in charge in the old way of thinking about it like sending lightning bolts as punishment.  Perhaps these days it is understood that God is in charge by sending disease as punishment or bad events of some kind.  It is just the same thing as believing in a God who sends lightning as punishment, if you believe that disease is also punitive in some way. This is the puppet paradigm, the idea that a higher force is in charge of everything. That what happens in the world is the will of that higher force and you must simply play the game as best you can within the limitations of your own destiny as designed by that higher force.

Those people in the puppet paradigm, in the puppet mentality, will often say things like: “It was meant to be”, or “It wasn’t meant to be”, or “In God’s timing”, aspects like that.  Not necessarily every time those phrases are uttered are they coming from a puppet paradigm, not at all, not at all.  There is also truth around the aspect of grace, not forcing thing on life, but being open to a natural rhythm and that can be a very empowered stance. But sometimes those phrases are indicating that the person uttering them is living in a puppet paradigm.

The implications of living in that paradigm – and it needn’t be consistently, it can simply be sometimes – are quite obvious;  a lowered sense of responsibility, a lowered sense of power, an understanding that everything you have must be earned, that your purpose in life must be found, you must find it and seek it, and then obey it.  Those kinds of thoughts come from puppet paradigm.

When we call it puppet paradigm, we are turning it into a caricature, an extreme way of saying what we mean in that paradigm.  But not all people who are living out of this paradigm are necessarily unintelligent, not all are unspiritual, some of them appear to be very spiritual, but you’ll see by the working of their lives, that their ability to create what they desire – and that is the definition of power – is relatively low.  The problem is not their intelligence, the problem is not karma, the problem is not spirituality, the problem is the paradigm.

The second common paradigm: The Student

Usually – because paradigms work on an evolutionary basis also – a little while after living in puppet paradigm, a human being will begin to flirt with the paradigm of the student where, instead of Divinity being in control, instead of Divinity being a puppet master, It is now the teacher and a human being is the learner.  That is the student paradigm.

People who are steeped in this paradigm – and there are very many at the moment – will usually talk a lot about the lessons in their lives.  They will consider that they are here on the planet to learn, that the curriculum is predetermined and that their job is to work though lessons one by one so that they will be rewarded by moving on to the next lesson.  That is a very common mythology at the moment.

We will never call any of these paradigms wrong.  Notice, we have not once said that.  They are not wrong, but they can be outgrown. At a certain stage in your life, becoming aware of the puppet mentality may be very useful for you.  It may bring you some peace, it may give you hope, it may help you get through a situation, or a childhood, as it often does.  There are times in the human journey when that paradigm is appropriate, but it simply is not sufficient.  You will grow your way out of that being a useful model by which to understand your relationship with God.  And if you do not allow yourself – and it’s tough – but if you do not allow yourself to shift your fundamental paradigm when you have outgrown it, then there is no way you can change, fundamentally change the circumstances of your life. As we said earlier, you will just circulate within a paradigm that you have actually outgrown, but cannot get yourself to leave behind.

So the student paradigm is not wrong, in fact it is a positive development when somebody allows themselves to move out of the puppet paradigm, and into the student one.  There is a little bit more responsibility taken in the student paradigm than there is in the puppet.  But the nature of the responsibility is all around learning.  That is the word that is used, it is the mentality, and therefore it becomes the way that everything is seen.

In this particular paradigm people are often very devoted.  They work very hard on themselves.  They are reflective a lot, perhaps sometimes too much.  They become very observant of themselves, but not so willing to take risks. That is part of what it means to be part of the student paradigm.  Also people use that paradigm to explain why they don’t make real shifts: “I still need to learn the lesson here”, is often uttered in this paradigm, “I’m not changing this, or creating something different, or leaving that behind, because I just haven’t learned it yet”.

So, as with all paradigms, it isn’t wrong, but at a certain stage of your journey it becomes a limiting theory, and not an empowering one anymore.  When you were just stretching into responsibility, and out of victimhood, then it was useful for you to take upon you the student paradigm.  But it is not the fullest truth.  And we would invite you to examine yourself very closely in terms of how you use these two paradigms, in what situations you revert to them, and how you might indeed be hiding behind them.  This is not an intellectual analysis, it is a simple truth-telling exercise.

But it is deeply frightening to a human being to allow their paradigm about God to shift, or change, or expand in any significant way.  It feels blasphemous, it feels wrong, it feels irreverent.  More than that, if you make adaptation to your belief about who you are relative to God, maybe that makes a mockery of the way you have lived for the past few years, and that does not feel good.  But that’s why we are saying to you, the paradigms – none of them – they are not wrong.  They were of use to you at the time, they have simply become outgrown.

So you can look back to a phase in your life when your relationship to God was very different and you can still recognise, respect, and honour that at the time it was necessary and useful for you to engage with Divinity in that way, whether you were doing that consciously, or unconsciously. And now you may have found a new paradigm that has a better effect on you. Because that’s what we are looking for here: not truth but effect of a truth.

Judge something by its effect, not by what you deem to be its ‘Truth’

There is no way, while you are within a human mind, that you will know the full Truth with a capital T.  It is not the design.  In agreeing to express yourself physically, which is a marvellous privilege, you also agree to withhold or suspend, full awareness.  You are not going to know the complete picture about Divinity, or life, or humanity or even your own self while you are physical and living in duality. But neither do you need to. It is not that life is the constant search for Truth with the capital T, it is for you to use, and we say use, whatever truth works best for you at anytime of your life, whichever truth feels to you the most honouring, the most thrilling, and has the best effect on you.

Judge a truth, or a theory, or an idea, or a belief or a fact for that matter, by its effect on you.  If an idea sets you free, freer than you where before, if it gives you a little more energy, enthusiasm, excitement, empowerment, trust, self love, ideas, creativity, mobilisation – all the things you might like – if it brings you an increase in what you respect, then make use of that belief system, for now.

You don’t have to call it the Truth, you can call it a truth, a truth that at this moment in your life, at this time, allows you to become more of who you wish to become.  You do not need to be loyal to a paradigm, you do not need to be loyal to an idea, a belief system, a theory, not at all. You never need to exchange your fullest well-being for any loyalty. Not any single loyalty in existence is worth exchanging your well being for, including loyalty to an outdated idea about God and who you may be relative to God.

The student model of Divinity – where Divinity is the teacher, life is the school room, and you are the student – can be of value.  But humanity is nearing the end of the time where that paradigm serves you.

So, while in puppet mentality someone might say they need to find what purpose God has intended them for (and it doesn’t matter if they say God, or life, or the Universe, or Spirit it’s all the same),  in the student mentality they will say: “I need to learn the lessons I came here to learn.”  Both of those, to some degree, are disempowering paradigms.

An invitation into The Partner Paradigm

And so we wish to invite you today, to begin to tease, or flirt, with a more expansive paradigm, the one that we call the co-creative or partnership paradigm, where you are not living out a destiny over which the universe is in charge, nor are you sitting in your life as a student, trying to make your way through a curriculum but instead you – just like us – are a creative force in existence.  No less valuable than the non-physical companions you have, but simply operating in a different dimension.

The dimension from which you operate does not necessarily indicate your value to the system.  You have presumed this all along.  You have presumed that because you exist in a dense dimension, that that must mean that you are lower life force than for example those of us who exist outside that dimension by a short margin.  It is not so.  You have different abilities from us, but they are not lesser.  You have a different role from us, but it is not lower.

You are very welcome to reject this truth if it is not good for you.  Don’t reject it ideologically, reject it because its effect on you is not an effect you like.

But let us tell you some of the implications of the co-creator paradigm.  In this paradigm no one says: “I need to find my purpose.”  They say: “I want to create a purpose.  I want to make for myself a life, that according to me, has got great meaning, and great joy, and about which I’m very inspired.”  In the co-creator model there is the recognition that my experience in my life is as important as what my life ends up being, or doing, or giving, or achieving.  There is the recognition that it is vital that I make sure I am inspired, that I make sure that I exist in the way I wish to exist.  So there is much more responsibility in this paradigm than in the other two at that’s often the real reason why people reject it.

On the surface, they reject it because it sounds blasphemous to posture that human beings might just be equal to Spirit.  But often the real reason for the rejection is because the implications of that are very overwhelming relative to the kind of responsibility and power and beauty and influence you all carry.  You don’t all feel it, and you don’t all exercise it, but you do all carry it.  And that thought can be very overwhelming.

If it is overwhelming, if this is not a useful paradigm for you at this point, then it will not have a good effect on you.  But if it is a useful paradigm, it will make you feel more free, even a little giddy with freedom.  It will make you feel a little apprehensive, as paradigmatic leaps always do, but it will also raise your sense of fulfilment and mobilisation.

We find it both amusing and sad that people become deeply trapped, imprisoned, by a notion of a purpose.  They articulate that until they find their purpose they can’t be joyful.  The idea of purpose is having an immobilising effect, a paralysing effect, and still they use the idea. Even if that idea, that paradigm, is not having a good effect, it is still adhered to.

If there is one thing you take with you today, it is this: Don’t let ideas use you.  You use ideas.  So if they work for you, use them, whatever belief, whatever truth is good for you use it, until it is no longer good for you, and then let yourself expand it.

You don’t need to judge something in order to let it go. We hope you heard that.  You don’t need to judge something in order to let it go.  You can simply choose a more expansive, or simply useful, paradigm, job, belief system, whatever it may be.  Simply because you let go of one thing does not imply that you are judging it.  You can honour what it has meant to you previously, you can honour that at one stage its effect on you was good.

What we are talking about lies at the very deepest level of belief, which is about who you are relative to God.  Simply have a look at what beliefs, whether conscious or unconscious, you have been employing about this.  You have been employing a belief.  It is impossible for someone not to employ a belief about themselves in relation to Divinity.  Even if for them Divinity doesn’t exist, there is still a relationship.  So have a look at the way you have been deeply relating to Divinity, and have a look at the effect it has on your decision making, on your ability to life a full, content, exciting, balanced life.  And then see if a more expansive paradigm will serve you better.

Loyalty has no place in an evolutionary system.  We know that in certain paradigms loyalty is very valued, highly priced.  But if your interest is in your own conscious evolution, loyalty is not going to be a useful attribute by which to run your life.

If you are coming from a puppet paradigm, or a student paradigm, then what we have just said would feel wrong because, in a student paradigm, you should be here learning from us who have superior wisdom and, in a puppet paradigm, we are the ones who have made all this possible anyway, you are just puppets.  But in a co-creative paradigm it is both you and us who have made this conversation possible.  It is because of the insights you have let in, in your previous conversation a few moments ago, that we could speak as we did here.  It’s because of the steps you have taken, the leaps you made, the letting go you have allowed, that has made this particular conversation even a possibility.

And so understand that this very experience here has been literally created by both you and us.  So if it appears to be useful, or intelligent, or wise, then understand that those are attributes that are also part of you.  If you continue to project all your positive attributes onto Divinity you are going to keep yourself at a ceiling of development.  We know that it feels somehow perhaps right and respectful to project all of your positive qualities onto spirit, but have a careful clear look at what the actual effect of that is in your actual life.

That is how you judge your belief system.  Not because it sounds nice, not because it’s currently popular and what everyone else is saying, not because it appears to be high-minded and lofty but because of its actual effect on the living of your everyday life.  And so we offer you a paradigm that is highly respectful of you, and in our opinion a lot more mobilising than some of the paradigms you have been used to using.  It’s not the last paradigm you are going to encounter either, but for now it is a very valuable one on offer.

We are so grateful to express, and experience, this.

Thank you.

This teaching was channelled by Angela Deutschmann 2011

How to Really Create Real Change (hint: not positive thinking)

February 17, 2011

Much has been said about using positive thinking, affirmation and visualisation to create the changes you want to see in your life. Indeed, it’s an industry all of its own with the movies, cards and action figures to match. I doubt whether this philosophy could have grabbed human consciousness so powerfully if it had no truth to it at all, but here are the reasons why positive thinking on its own isn’t enough to bring real, sustainable change to your life.

1. Positive Thinking is still just thinking

Arguments about the power of the human mind to influence circumstances are usually built on the theory of the Law of Attraction. But the Law of Attraction works on a far more comprehensive basis than simply matching what you think or affirm with your rational intellect. You are comprised of a body, feelings, an imagination, a subconscious, a past, a deep belief system, a pain body, an astral presence and, undoubtedly, more layers than even that. All of these aspects of you combined create your field (also known as your electro-magnetic field, whole self or aura) and it is the vibration of your complete field that attracts or repels experience. The thoughts you can control – located in your intellect – are just one part of what ultimately determines your reality.

This does not mean you have no conscious influence at all on what comes your way, but it does mean that you need to be aligned on many levels to do so. It’s never going to work to repeat three times a day ‘I am worthy of a loving relationship’ while still carrying unhealed pain from the previous one. Simply because you have a picture of a bikini-clad model on your vision board does not mean that that body will arrive on your doorstep, overpowering your low self-worth in the scramble to get there.

 

Change happens because you inquire honestly and deeply and intimately into your relationship with what you feel you need. On Embody, for example, we look at why you want a certain kind of body, what has happened to your body that you’ve stifled, what associations you are holding with beauty, ugliness and being physical in general and much more. Simply imagining how nice it would be to feel beautiful is never going to cut it.

 

More importantly, the purpose of life is not success, it is wholeness. This means that your soul is more driven by your development than by your ego’s shopping list. Managing to manifest something in your life by positive thinking is in itself not of great value in the bigger scheme of your evolution. However, reaching into your deepest well of courage, brilliance, creativity and truth in order to create your Joy, is very much what it’s all about and how it works. Fulfilling our desires is vital as a seduction into growth, but it is not the aim of life (our becoming is), which is why positive thinking will never be enough.

2. The Change Cycle is comprised of TWO steps, not one

 

In order to create change there are two steps required – the first is Permission and the second is Demonstration of that permission.

 

The Permission piece is internal. It is about allowing or truly desiring this change to occur, not only because you want it intellectually, but because it also aligns with who you are on an emotional and deep belief level as well. To illustrate this once more: it won’t work to simply say you’d like to make more money when, on a deeper level, you have some resistance to wealth – rationally or irrationally. To really give permission for something new, for example having more love in your life, means you have to actually be ok with all the implications of this and carry little ambiguity or resistance. This step is deeply personal and intimate. No-one (including Divinity) can or will ever be able to give permission for something on your behalf, no matter how much they may want it for you. It is in this step of the change cycle that imagining new realities, dreaming and visualising can assist you to see if you are really aligned with what you’re desiring and help you to clarify it.

 

However, if you stop at this step, you are only directing half of the required energy to complete the change cycle.

 

The second necessary step to making change happen is actively and regularly demonstrating the new permission you have given. This is external i.e. it is action of some kind. Demonstrating a permission means regularly devoting your resources – time, energy, money and attention – in that direction.

 

Most of my clients, at this point, protest that they don’t know how to demonstrate a new permission.  What I have learnt is that willingness is more important than knowing how. Back to our example, if you feel you have given real permission for a new relationship with your body then you must demonstrate that in whichever way your circumstances allow: buy a new scrub instead of a new book, invite friends over for massages not movies and spend time engaging with the pain you’ve buried in your body. You will always have what you need for your one next step – probably not your tenth next step, but at least the first. The way you ‘put the universe into gear’ around a desire of yours is to actively and regularly demonstrate that desire in action – even if it feels silly, even if you can’t see how this will lead to step 10, even if you’ve tried it before. This is the second, unavoidable, part of creating change.

Thank you to the people whose readings have taught me about this empowering and workable approach to change.

 


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.