Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Truth to the Soul of the Soul

Anger is to an erupting volcano as comfort is to a freshly made bed just waiting for the weight of your body after a long, hard day at work.  Anger is a storehouse of energy scattering out in all different directions at once.  It is unpredictable, unrelenting and unabashed.  There are almost no rules and pity reigns supreme for anyone who dares to defy it.  Even when our highest self, with clarity and foresight, speaks lightning fast wisdom, it too can get caught up in the fire storm being challenged by the heat.  Anger, very much like volcanic fire, is indiscriminate.  It is eager and quite content to go from this to that once sparks start to fly.   Beginning as a molten hot spark of discontent, its' greatness comes after time spent isolated and nurtured in careful contemplation, even meditation, ultimately to stoke and gain combustibility powers.  Ultimately anything that is in contrast to anger, everything and anything will be consumed.  It erupts, and long after the embers have cooled, it retains its' memory and is still very inflamed.

Most people say they have never meditated before but concentrating with focused precision on one thing repeatedly for an extended period of time is surely a form of meditation (and attachment), and since thoughts are energy, eventually thoughts will produce.  That thought will multiply.  Anger energy when allowed will expand and grow into other abilities and dark force powers.  It becomes a magnet to them.  Pride is one level up from anger believe it or not.   Desire and fear are lower and are never far behind.  Grief, apathy, guilt and shame are all closely related and lower vibrations still.  A cup of anger mixed with guilt and shame is a toxic elixir indeed.

But, why so much anger in our society, in our culture, in our world?  Why have we allowed ourselves to display this behavior, not only to others but to our own children and family?  Our own children reflect our behaviors back to us and we shake our heads trying to figure out why they behave that way.  We are all in such denial but thank God for families and closeness.  Contrast surely shows up in close quarters to help strengthen bonds.  When we focus on the lower energies, we may tend to judge one another and opt out of the relationship thinking less is more, but anger in one family translates to a lot of different types of manifestations, both passive and aggressive.   Avoidance is a tactic the ego uses to keep a lower energy in tact.  Look closely.  Perhaps this is your situation.  If so, surround yourself with light and know that the answers are right in front of you (in this blog :) and also within). 

Anger is a fire that today, our society stokes, media counts on, world government fuels, entertainment glorifies, correctional institutions ignore, and individuals justify.  This does not have to be.

On a national scale, there has been so much bombardment of the numbing agenda against the American people, we barely fight back anymore with authority, we just fight with each other.  When anger becomes a resource of power for influential avenues to manipulate, it becomes clear that the powers that be are counting on anger playing a major role in their contriving and self serving designs.  Anger keeps the politicians paid, ratings up, jails full, wars endless, weapons sold out, street and pharma drugs feeding soul crushing addictions, the hungry unfed, the homeless homeless, the poor poor, and the worst part is the rich richer.  

But, let’s not judge the anger community and it’s many partners.  That defeats the whole purpose of looking deeply into it.  There is light at the end of the anger tunnel.  You just have to keep digging beyond the illusion.

If anger were to enter into this discussion at this point it would no doubt be angry about everything we are looking into.  It would brood and fester and act out showing its contempt through various means potentially even physical violence.  The fear that anger demonstrates would become all to obvious.  If you could slow down and witness the anger energy objectively with compassion, you may see something you’ve never seen before.  If unable to slow down, the anger in you may resonate, rise up and match it.  You’ve seen it all before.  If you have any doubts just watch the old, antiquated ‘news’.  They seemingly keep unbiased track of who is on what side, how many wars have been fought, how many targets were hit, how much money was made, and who’s side you should be on.  They keep track of the anger tally always from the perspective of them, not us, and you just need to know who signs their checks to know why.  It is anything but unbiased, they know it, but do we?  And what of all this talk about anger and what if the angry person is you?

What is the foundation of our anger in the first place?  

Desire and disappointments that you've experienced are in the forefront of your mind and you hear yourself say to others, “You just don’t understand.”, 'You’ve never gone through it, so you don’t know."  You continue to allow the perfectly landscaped hedge of isolation to get stronger so your anger can fully mature into a reliable yet sometimes unpredictable and combustible firestorm.  Even when others suggest calmness or forgiveness as a quelling solution, the anger speaks up defiantly because forgiveness, while being a higher vibrating virtue, is perceived as weakness and since ego is in charge, it rarely chooses the path of least resistance.   It can not see past the illusion it has created for itself, “What could possibly be more important beyond me and how wronged I feel?”. 

As for calmness and forgiveness, the anger energy is just too big at this stage to tick down, but, and here's the beauty, it is absolutely doable, transmutable, healable, sealable.  It's true.  Just start with calm observation, breathing, slowing down, removing yourself when necessary to catch your power breath back.  If you are aware of your anger and you've begun to dismantle it, forgiveness will surely arrive as a fork in the road up ahead.  This is karmic, cosmic and circular as far as life lessons, choices and synchronicity's are concerned.  What goes around, comes back around so know you will get another chance, many chances in fact if you do not get it.  If you are truly unaware of your anger, don't worry.  Your highest self knows and will be bringing it up to your attention when you least expect it, like a solar flare, blistering hot.

Keep in mind, when anger energy hits a high note it has all of your irrational power.  It has the potential to take you out, to make you sick, to hurt others, to act in ways that are never in your best interest, and it is ugly.  If allowed to grow, you may find yourself on the other side of a nasty outburst that could have been prevented, should have been prevented, and will be prevented once you know how.

That’s where the heart and love comes in.  Yes, love.  

Sadly to some, love is cliche which just goes to show you the level of discontent that exists in some of us.  Ultimately, the hearts real job is to lovingly convince the mind that it’s okay to let go of the old stories and replace them with new, higher vibrating ones.  Only love can do that.  Only love can soothe the soul and smooth the ruffled feathers of ego and pride.  Only love can forgive trespasses.  Only a heart full of love for self first can give this gift.  The love in your heart wants to grow just like anger does.  We are used to allowing anger to grow, and we are used to displays of anger in all forms.  But, when it comes to love, unconditional love, we resist because we just don't know how, or why, we should love ourselves, give unconditionally, or accept love from others.  

How did this happen and are we teaching this to our children?

For me, my inner child ran the show for many, many years.  She was hurt and disappointed and immature.  She only knew a few ways to express herself and acting out was definitely one of them.  She, (I), shut down my heart years ago and allowed all the lower vibrating energies to take over, including anger.  I was proficient at all of them and truth be told, that knowing does not diminish with enlightenment, but it enabled me to transmute the anger into an energy that is sustainable, manageable and useable.  I chose to allow the anger to leave, and I chose to invite peace to take its place, and boy is it a journey of choice, calmness and forgiveness.  

When I realized how much pain I was in, how angry I was, and how disappointment was crippling me, I decided to stop in my tracks and take human, mental, emotional and spiritual stock of my states of being.  I realized that I am the creator of my life and I needed to see the complete design in my doing and creating, inventory was crucial.  I decided that I was worth the trek and the investment in uncoiling my inner child’s heart.  That led to the connection to my soul and highest self.  

Left to her own devices, my inner child was hell bent on making sure everyone knew the ‘in chains and bound’ stories that were collecting.  The accumulation of wrongs were unconsciously indexed, categorized, and all available in the library of remembrance.  Reality, after all, must be faced!  That's what most people think but that's just not the way it is.  Reality is created.  It's what you make of it.  Had I stayed in that state of despair, surely I would not be writing this blog or dreaming dreams of writing books and helping the masses.  I'd be keeping an altogether different log.

Luckily, my higher self had a better story.  My ever patient, ever teaching highest self, lovingly shined light on the inflection in my own voice, so much so that when I would hear my own stories, they just weren't as satisfying as they used to be.  I could hear my own bitterness.  I started to see the pain.  I asked to be healed and immediately the healing process began. 

Healing happens in layers as much as all at once.  The all at once part is typically a thought or feeling that usually starts a shimmering cascade of upward glimpses that lead to ultimate bliss and joy of the soul, but it is indeed a stepping stone journey that begins with complete and utter self awareness.  Truth, to the soul of the soul.  You must be honest and if you have trouble with that, sit alone in meditation.  Being alone and meditating raises your consciousness to a higher level which illuminates that which no longer serves you.  Meditation shines on all those things that stand in the way of true inner peace, be it people, places, behaviors, patterns, beliefs, associations, objects, addictions, etc.  Once you see your obstacles, you can start to create a plan of navigation using everything you experience, keeping the good and truly learning from it, applying what you've learned, and recycling and sharing your wisdom.  Nothing is cast out as useless, as refuse.  All is used for the good of all.   

That being said, be aware that whoever you yoke up with in this state may just be the same reflection of your original condition and not the step up that you were hoping for.    When it hurts too much to grow, we take ourselves out of the growing fields and place ourselves in the mourning fields with likeminded others where growth is much, much slower and can even be seen as stifled.   This growth typically produces dis-ease and illness in the body just as stagnant waters are unhealthy to drink, this state of being is unhealthy to true productivity.   But when hurt is planted in the truth fields, much fruit is harvested, much growth is had, and much change for the better is promised.  The future holds many flowering fields for healing hearts to flourish in truth.

So, bring your story into the light and tell your truth one last time.  Allow the light to cascade in and all around you, your hurt, your disappointment, your fragile heart.  Forgive again, yourself, others, people, places, things.  Forgive, ceremoniously, that which holds you back.  I assure you, if you are brave enough to look, you will see things that you can begin to forgive and release and then, you will see more, and as you gain strength, you will gain momentum.  You will say, "Anger and greed, NO MORE!"  

And, as you allow the new condition of your mind to take hold, it will compassionately and lovingly alert you to lower vibrations that challenge your peace.  Do not take the bait.  Do not pass go.  Do not collect $200.  This is where you slow down and say, "No thank you, I appreciate the offer, but been there, done that.  I protect my peace now.  I am the peace now."

When we raise our spiritual and emotional currencies, and the peace in our minds matches the peace in our hearts, we will know strongly that this is just too valuable to waste on disappointment or anger.  It feels so much better and just feels so right to go with the flow.  We learn to let go of resistance and invite love and compassion in for ourselves and others, no matter what the situation.  We know that there are lessons here for all to rise up.  There is always so much more going on than meets the eye and at this stage, anger energy will be transmuted and utilized in the way that it was meant to be.  Energy to teach peace, love and tolerance.  Energy to be used to raise everyone up to a higher level of consciousness and community.  Energy to help those that cannot help themselves.  Energy to help the weak and the lost especially ourselves.  Energy to show the way to true justice and peace through the love, compassion and understanding of true human kindness.  It's time.

Keep searching.  Keep creating and reaching for the golden rays of peace, beauty and love, and don't be so hard on yourself.  We are all here to rise up together and learn together, what is important.  Peace, Love, Unity, Tolerance, Oneness, Kindness, Joy, Compassion, and Understanding....These are just some of the sustainable energies of the future.  These are just some.  Love yourself first.

Namaste, ~*~

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Archive To Magic

So here you are stuck in your complacency, your guilt, your shame and you have absolutely no idea how you got here, or how to move yourself beyond this point. Your daily life consists of shaming yourself repeatedly and punishing yourself, consciously and unconsciously, deliberately, on time, like clockwork.  You feel lousy but deep down, you really want to feel better.  You do know one thing for sure, and you keep telling everyone that one thing, EVERYONE, over and over and over, and therein lies your freedom.  Did you see it?  Did you miss it?

What story are you telling?

The past leaves us with energetic impressions, feelings and emotions, all sorts of information, all sorts of stories that connect the past to the present in a very real and potentially harmful way, if perceived negatively.  What we chose to do with these stories is paramount to peace of mind, openness of heart, and health of body and Spirit (who is quietly directing the whole show).  That's on an individual level, but keep in mind individually we make up the global community, the global consciousness.  There is a much bigger picture here.  Individually, we effect the whole as much, or more, as the single human we perceive ourselves to be.

Thankfully, the Spirit wants what the Spirit wants, and what the Spirit wants is for you to be able to see yourself the way you really are, at this time, in all of your glory.

We are all works in progress but some of us are in such denial about our lives.  Everyone else can see what we cannot, will not, and chose not to.  In a flash, a reflection of light is shining on a very uncomfortable place inside, and the light gets blamed.  It's easier to point our fingers and blame instead of allowing the light to fall all around us, instead of standing (or kneeling) in the light and admitting we need help, that we don't have it all figured out, that we're far from perfect and we missed the mark.  We've all made  mistakes, we've lied, we've cheated, we've gone beyond the promised boundaries of civilized living, worse than that - some of us are in terrible pain, petrified, paralyzed, depressed, sick and getting sicker.  Dis-ease is forming.

That is a level of play that I know all too well, have traversed and I am now able to transmute.  You can transmute yours too.  You can choose to feel much better but first you need to believe you deserve it, you are forgivable, you are lovable, and that the best of your life hasn't even happened yet.  That is a shift in consciousness that comes from self love and value, and in my case, it took some time to grow.

I am from the streets of Jersey City from two pretty cool, pretty tough parents at a time when our world was shifting in civil consciousness.  I was born a year before JFK would be assassinated and five years before MLK and Bobby Kennedy Jr.,  would also be assassinated.  There were many wars being fought when I came in, breach with one leg shorter than the other.  Oh, I came in screaming, demanding attention, and showing the world my ass because I knew everything was upside down.

By the end, the 60's had become the decade of peace and love but you'd never have known it.  Here we are in 2016, and peace and love is surely my mantra and I believe it is quite evident in the life I live, the stories I tell and the energy I emit.  I have seen the turmoil and I choose love.  

What we wrestle with is not outside of us.  It is inside of us in our archive, in our stories, in our emotions, in our feelings, and in our actions.  It's all inside acting out on the stage of life.  We are the stars.  We are the leads, the entire cast, the orchestra, the set and props, wardrobe and makeup, the lights and the shadow, we are even the audience.  We bear witness to all things.

What is your testimony?

How will you describe the life you've been given when you are asked to give your account?

Do you believe that your account will be accurate?  Will your account reflect the truth?

When you wake up in the morning, do you grab your script, put on your costume and begin the scene  right from where you left off the night before?  Do you play a part in life, instead of living life.  If so, the part you play is small in that you only allow yourself to shine through partially and the parts you allow are not your best.  As a matter of fact, there are even more lower parts of you that are kept at bay and when the lights fade, and the stage darkens, those other energies usually like to come out.  They also like to ad lib in your perfectly scripted performance.  Some things when left to their own devices become too strong for us to manage, or ignore.

You finish your scene at the end of the day, go back to sleep resting up to repeat your performance tomorrow but there has been some editing because the energy is growing.  There are new scenes added that you are not aware of.  Tomorrow, all of those energies that you've pretended do not exist, they get to perform without your consent.  You will be tested and challenged to manage that which you have ignored.

The time has come.  Take control.  Admit your weaknesses and use your strengths to overcome.  This is not a joke, but it is a playable game and it has rules.  If you slow down enough, read and reread the signposts, you will see that peace and love are the main components to a happy life.  Search for these two things in your life and your stories will be sweeter, there will be many more happy endings.

The truth is there are trillions of storylines; yours, mine and ours.  But they are just stories.  They are pliable in that there are no real scripts (only those that are self imposed), and along with an illusion of entrapment in many of the the storylines we play out, there is no trap.  We can choose a different outcome even if the story has a real physical ending, like death, that leaves us raw, confused, grieving, hurting and often times so depressed.  The healing process surely will take us to the other side where gratitude, peace and love are just waiting to expand our hearts.  It's always a process of choosing to heal and doing the work.  Otherwise, we arrive somewhere, somehow, unbeknownst to us and then the real work begins, trying to find our way back from an even more hurtful place.

We are choosing all of this.

Look again with love this time.

There is a clearing out of the archives that is necessary for all of us to truly operate at a level of sheer, creative magic.  I get it now.  I didn't for a really long time.  When I was younger, I was completely tapped in, and then at twelve years old, human circumstances caused me to pinch off the best of myself, my creativity, my trust and my imagination.  I lived the majority of my life in at state of treading water.  I was in so much pain and denial and everyone knew it but me.  If you are also, everyone knows it but you.  We are the only ones that do not consciously.  We do know subconsciously though.  We know in our hearts.  Our pillows hold the salty tears of knowing.  God knows.  And, now it's time to look deeply into the eyes reflecting back in the mirror.  Gaze with love.  Gaze with forgiveness.  Gaze with compassion.

Give yourself a magical, blank slate in the morning.  Start with gratitude and a prayer, a blessing.  Ask God to give you clarity, compassion and strength to be authentic, full of integrity, humility and truth.  Ask God to show you why you are really here, to show you what you really are.  Ask your Highest Self to come closer.  Ask your heart to love again, and to forgive.  Imagine yourself living your best life, smiling, happy, surrounded by love and unity.  Soothe any contrary voice, emotion or feeling going back to the source and filling it with love.  Eventually it too will speak of only peace and love knowing this is the soul's journey.  Peace and love are surely the way.  Choose to be loving to yourself and peace will follow you all the days of your life.

I pray you see love and peace everywhere and in everything  I love you.  Namaste.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

How Bad Do You Want It?


The past few months, I’ve been doing so much energy work, and the shifting that’s been taking place is pretty remarkable.  The side effects, if you will, to doing energy work is that it works to clear out stagnant energies in the body, it changes the patterns and conditioned thinking in the mind, heals the wounds and afflictions of the heart, and invigorates, empowers and grows the inner Spirit. 

The energy that we store shows up in many ways, most of which are quite unique, comparing one to another.  We could sit and chat and compare your pathways to mine and the results would be terrific.  The answer to the question, “how did we get here”? becomes really obvious.  We got here because we brought ourselves here.  No matter what the here and now has in our lives, we are the creators so we best be happy with the results.  (If you are not happy with the results, change them.)

To that end, I shifted and cleared out some old patterns and my biofield happily kicked up some sludge in the form of upper respiratory infections, one right after the other.  There was no coincidence that doing a clearing as it relates to chronic asthma led to these mucous producing episodes.  I am breathing better for it every day and I will continue to do the clearing until there are no more symptoms.  That’s right.  I do believe I can change the biology, chemistry, DNA in my body back to perfect health.  Of course we can.  And, no sooner do you embrace these concepts and then the miraculous shows itself.  All of the resources and techniques show up and if you apply them, you will not be disappointed as you clear, and lift, and rise and become one with the Cosmic Source of All That Is.  

So, how bad do YOU want it?  You define 'IT' in your life.  I think it’s pretty obvious, I want it pretty bad.  Anyone who knows me, and if you read this blog that I’ve written on and off since 2008, you know that I am all together passionate about Spirit and everything that relates to it  The point?  The point here is that I want it so badly, and everything in the Universe knows it.  And, I am (we are) loved so very much, that once you commit to truly being of the light, you will be tested.  TESTED!  Why?  Oh, well, if it wasn't special everyone would already have it.  Because it takes conscious, deliberate, intention filled demonstrations that you are sincere, able to discipline yourself, able to adjust, modify, yield, bend, sit, and be present.  All of that implies testing.  It implies that the heat will get turned up.  The light is brightest when the fire is the hottest.  That's why the Sincere Seekers will be tried and tested, just like all the Great Masters before us.  Even today, the majority of people still doubt.  The fire is not as bright as it could be.  

Why, when I decided after the respiratory infections cleared up to begin my yoga practice, was I tempted to quit?  I put on my yoga clothes, I put in my yoga DVD and when I went to use my remote control, nothing.  Hmmm.  I could not navigate the menu with the dead remote.  I could not navigate the menu with the DVD Player – no arrow to scroll and pressing play produced nothing.  So there I sat, ready to do yoga and there was an obstacle. 

Sometimes it doesn’t take much to take us off our higher course of navigation.  Something still lingers sometimes that is lazy and is not interested in doing the work.  That is really, in and of itself, the work.   Recognizing that life will always create flow and contrast for you to gauge where you’re really going, heading, and focusing because surely you will arrive at your destination.

I tried everything but it just was not going to happen.  I, of course, went and got new batteries and have been on my yoga schedule ever since, but looking back I see clearly that the Universe was asking “how bad do you want it, Maria”?, and I answered and will continue to answer, “I want it more than anything”.  Let’s see what I can do with that.

What do you want more than anything?  How bad do you want it?  What are you willing to let go of to get it?  How serious are you?  

Ask, and you truly shall receive.  Become more aware and you will see that everything is happening for you.

Namaste, love and joy always,
Maria ~*~

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Deep End to Enlightenment

I love metaphors.  I can chew on them all day and when you get right down to it, they're pretty darn accurate when it comes to descriptors of life and all it's complexity.  We oversimplify things, and we exaggerate, but sometimes a metaphor is like a lightning bolt ripping chords of illumination through the entire thinking process of our lives and we get 'ah ha' moments, as the avatar Oprah likes to say.   It is the ultimate equalizer.  

At any given moment in our life experience we can choose a metaphor to best describe the complexities of it so that others can have a deeper appreciation of what our unique sensory translation is at that time.  We all experience life differently.  Our unique brains and even more unique personal past experiences are deciphering our sensory input on an exponential level and, I believe with our transcendence into the 5D realm, we are able to compute on new, express levels, if you will.   But, we still speak pretty much the same language.  There are some new words and phrases, as with anything new, but at the end of the day, we get it, whether we admit it, or not.

Technology is not the only thing advancing on the planet, heaven forbid.  Technology is but a reflection of the advancement of the human that created it, and we have truly transcended, or so it would seem to a dedicated few in comparison to the whole of the world's population.  This is where 'the deep end' comes in.

In this new age of transcendence, holding onto that which no longer serves you is going to be a little bit more costly than usual.  Your spiritual, emotional, physical and mental currency will have to be utilized in this new dimension.  Those that choose to remain in their old patterned mindsets will have to pay dearly because when the Universe, and Mother Nature, and Universal Consciousness decided that NOW is the time to ascend to a higher level of thinking, living and being, and the human chooses to defy this, well, it has a reverberation that will show up much faster than before.  2016 is promising to be a year of great change, the likes of which we have never experienced here on Earth before, and if what I am saying is true, if you haven't already decided, you will continually be prompted, repeatedly called to make the necessary adjustments, as we are one and no one is excluded, even those that exclude themselves.

The downside to the status quo may show up as grave illness, strife, stress, or depression that drowns itself.  The good news is that if you choose to transcend, Spirit will never let you drown.  In an instant you can choose to become more than you've ever been.  It has always been your choice.  There comes a time in one's life when you have to choose.  You have to face a system of discontent that no longer serves the bigger picture.  You have to decide, firstly, whether or not you want to admit that there even is discontent, and if you get that far in your truth, you can go further to the root of the cause.  Once you get there, you can start to apply a loving, healing principle to transmute the discontentment into contentment, at the very least, or, ideally, a complete clearing back to creative energy.

But, most of us just 'throw out' (there is no 'out', btw) stuff in the deep end and hang out in the shallows. Who wants to do all that work?  Why can't we just be happy and not talk about those things?  Why can't we just say it's a new day and get on with it?  Well, of course we can.  And, the truth is, most of us do just that.  We ignore our truth.  We ignore others.  We play pretend, or worse, we're the real ugly deal.  But, when you live in the olympic size pool of life, you do not get to choose which depth you lead with.  You bring the whole energy pool.  You think you're swimming in pristine waters, you think you look amazing in your perfectly chosen suit of illusion, but water is transparent, and especially when it's not, everyone can see it. 

So, how can we clean up the water in the entire pool (ocean of life, our hearts and minds), not just the deep end where everything accumulates?  Always start with the densest stuff first.  If there's bacteria, debris, poison or toxicity, it has to go first, or, the entire pool will become infected, remain infected, cause infection, be infection (or dis-ease).  

For me, I didn't just store stuff in the deep end, I labeled stuff and had it all organized.  I had all my stories, reasons, justifications, understandings, because's, you name it.  Every single wave in the deep end of my life was weighed down, or tagged with something that even had an anchor to keep it in place, lest I forget to remind you.  You could wake me out of a sound sleep and ask me to cue up one of those waves and I could with clarity, emotion, charge and expression frozen in time, recount every experience without an ounce of clearing.  Completely exhausting, non-transcending, sickening really.  And, I did get sick, and even though my body healed from all of that holding on, my soul, my heart, my mind were still creating the same old program:  take all pain and sink it in the deep end and then avoid it at all costs, pretend it's not even there, maybe it will just go away.

I've had to learn how to swim all over again, many times.  I've had to find the instructors, study the lessons, apply what I had learned and enduring, excel at and pass quite the many exams.

Thankfully, I had a great swimming coach and program as a child.    The coach was patient and kind and the program was simple.  First, all the children were lovingly acquainted, then encouraged and acclimated with the shallow end of the pool and the cold water.  We were taught to be courageous and not intimidated, respectful, yet playful.  We were asked to sit down in a row on the pool's edge putting feet first in the water, where we were all taught to kick as one.  It was a lot of fun splashing around adults with freedom and no fear of consequence.   Once we got going, we never wanted to stop.  This was great.  If this was swimming, this was going to be a breeze.   It was light and exciting, and one of the easier lessons.

Then, the instructor upped the ante and we were asked to stand in a row putting our faces into the clear, cold water and blow bubbles.  He instructed us to turn our chins up and out to inhale, and then back down in the water to exhale blowing bubbles again.  Some struggled with this, and rightfully so.  They loved the blowing bubbles part, but the brain is wired to survive and submerging your face in the water without any prior reference point as to how to breathe life sustaining air except to GET IT  OUT, is a natural response until you learn to trust in some very effective breathing techniques that when applied, make the prior, very real panic and attention grabbing notions of getting out, or freaking out, unreasonable.  We all encouraged one another and laughed at ourselves.  Deep down, no one wanted to get out.  We all wanted to learn how to trust the instruction process, especially for beautiful, hot Summer days where you can cool off without a care in the world.

We were taught coordination putting arm strokes together with breathing while still standing in the shallows with the deep waters in clear sight.  And slowly, we were inched into eight feet of water where we were all lined up along the side of the pool holding on with both hands.  We extended our legs behind us and all began kicking as one machine.  No one could touch the bottom of the pool and when we realized this we all giggled with excitement because of what we had achieved.  

Then the day came when we asked to learn the meaning of perseverance while treading water in the deep end.  With only a swim stroke between us and the side of the pool, we were asked to float and tread water until they told us to stop.  At this point, endurance, sheer faith and determination ensues unless you never try that day.  I don't remember anyone quitting.  We all successfully learned to tread water and went on to the next level.

We practiced daily with exercises and the instructor was sure to let us have free swim and play time as well.  We played and practiced and once we mastered all levels, we were allowed to begin to put it all together.   How long can you hold your position without swimming just bobbing there kicking and flowing?

We all learned how to swim above and below the water, no matter what the depth.  We learned to do laps, and we eventually learned to do deep retrieval diving, as well as high board springing.  It was a most comprehensive and effective program to help anyone navigate any pool with gallons and gallons of clear, cold, refreshing water.  We were all asked to do the same as everyone else, but it was obvious that we were all at different levels.  It didn't matter.  The goal was the same for everyone and if it hadn't been for this program, we would have just continued to pretend (as children do) to know how to navigate the deep end, as well as playfully, cautiously and effectively avoiding it.

It didn't end there.  After the lessons of acquaintance and acclimation, love, courage, encouragement, respect, playful trust, coordination, perseverance, application techniques and practice, came the very public testing days where we were all gauged to determine where we were allowed to even be in the pool, at any given time.  That decision was not your own until you reached a certain level where the instructors didn't have to instruct anymore, but the lifeguards still had to maintain a presence and an overall observance of all happenings.

Everyone is watching everyone else.  It's the exciting and terrific day color coded bathings caps are given out clearly indicating who can swim where.  Everyone can see each others progress which we were asked to display.  Each had to humbly stand, practically naked in our swimsuits beside the seemingness endless amounts of water and each other, and follow the instructors prompts.  We each had to jump or dive in the above our head water at around 8 feet, swim across to the other side and back, go down in and retrieve a metal pipe lying on the bottom of the pool floor, jump or dive off the highest diving board, we were asked to do it all.  Some of us excelled as far as you can in the program and some were moderate to intermediate swimmers.   I suppose there may have been a quitter or two, but I was unaware of them from my vantage point.  It didn't matter.  We were all in the same pool together given the same opportunity.  There were shallows and deep waters.  There were fears and obstacles to overcome.  There were guides, counselors, teachers and lifeguards.  There were experienced and first time swimmers.  We were all there somewhere in the mix and, we were all one.

Can you imagine if the coach just threw us in the water without any instruction?  Surely after that, we would never attempt the deep end and maybe not even the pool at all.  Whatever was going on down at that end of the pool would just have to remain a mystery, but life is both the deep and the shallows.  It's the shady chairs and it's the sun deck.  It's the deep, rich tan and the palest skin.  It's the warmth of the sun and the cool of the water.  It's the smoothness of a babies cheek turned toward the sky, and it's an old woman's wrinkles as she lathers on sun screen.  It's the instructor and the student.  It's the life guard and the swimmer.  Life is both the sparkling pool waters in Summer, and sparkling ice crystals in Winter.  You would never deny one and only choose the other, well, you could try, but eventually balance wins.
And so, it's a new year.  If you've not cleaned out the deep end of your pool yet, you may want to just take a walk around and look at what's accumulating.  How does it feel to know that there's stuff down there?  How does it feel to know that you are in charge and you are allowing this in your life?  Can you truly feel free and clear knowing that you're running out of depth?  Can you still truly feel good?  Eventually, the water will have no room.   Eventually something will overcome.  Eventually, you may go to take a dip in your pool and find cement instead of what was once beautiful clean, clear, flowing water.  

Go to the deep end.  Try to learn to float again.  Can you freely tread water out in the deep, or does it become overwhelming?  Perhaps start by filtering out shame, guilt, apathy, grief, fear, desire, anger, pride, stories, reasons, justifications, and because's.  Get to feeling at least neutral about the deep end, instead of avoidance.   As you continue, reach for courage, and these will follow:  clarity, willingness, acceptance, reason (not reasons), love, joy, peace and enlightenment.

Learning to swim is a lot like learning to ascend, or transcend a new realm.  There are teachers, teachings, techniques, and lessons, and effective programs to assist you in your renewing of your mind, spirit, soul.  Just go within.  

What keeps you out?

That's what it's all about.  It's simple really.  Connect to your heart.  Stay there for a long while.  Then engage your mind.  If the mind is conflicted in the light of the heart, just allow your mind to be renewed with the weightless life raft of true, real, transcending love.  Sprinkle the deep end with love buoys of forgiveness for self, and others.  Create unity in your family and your community.  Make it your life's work.  Be diligent and relentless in teaching yourself how to float and swim in the clear waters of transcendence taking all experiences and wringing them out into beautiful drops of wisdom and grace.

Like the bottomless boats that allow you to see all that transpires, be so translucent that when others see you, they just see the clear waters of your weightless soul, free, swimming and flowing with all that is, for the highest good of all.   

And, so it is.

Namaste and, go for a swim won't you?